09 October 2017

Its been a While.

My Goodness, what can I say besides: its been a While. 

3 ... No 4 Years since I've had the time and energy to write anything again that does not concern immediate family, medical admin or property maintenance.

So: what has been happening in the meantime? Well for one we eventually bought a smallholding (more a small farm without water..) and then started planting some trees and a few months later we found out that I was pregnant. Much of the rest was is little bit of a blurr, since raising newborn babies and sleep deprivation is certainly harder for some to cope with and I was not that lucky in that regard. I think it took me at least a year and 8 months before I felt human again.

So, fast forward two or 3 years since we purchased our little agricultural property and we now finally have 3 horses staying there plus some stray cats and a rainshelter/ feed room shed with enough hay to last about 5 months. Pretty special :) The last time I blogged I was still working I think... and then I stopped work so that I could pursue a career in art (haaa haaaa. hmmm), writing a novel and to have more time to do things like Blog (hmmmm.. *snort* ) so yes, neither of those two have been happening. BUT we did get married, went on honeymoon, found out we were pregnant, quick baby-moon to France and now here I am. A mommy. wow!

Mommy stories will follow much later, for the moment I wish to talk more about the other non-mommy things that make me ME and at the moment my gardening and horses are what makes me feel alive.

I have spent countless hours doing research into what types of trees/shrubs/groundcovers to plant and how to space and stack them all together with water-collecting ditches (or swales) to make a super-sufficient and sustainable permaculture-like system for ourselves and our animals. One thing I did NOT anticipate was the amount of manure that 4 or 5 horses can produce in the space of 2 months! :o wow!! Glorious. No, really, they produce the most fantastic growing medium for any sort of plant under the sun... ok, except for fynbos species that prefer poor, acidic soil... but anything that is edible will grow in cured horse manure like weeds. In fact: the horse manure piles have started sprouting their own mushrooms already! :D even when standing in full sun, which is bizarre, I always thought that Mushrooms must have dark or shady conditions. Apparently not. 

We also have a few volunteer sunflowers coming up, which is from the few sunflower seeds the horses don't manage to chew that well and swallow whole in stead :) It all makes me VERY excited!! :) I'm much impressed by what has been happening at our place thus far. Even though things are moving V.E.R.Y slowly there is progress and it is amazing to be out in the FRESH air, to hear Fisheagles calling and birds, horses snorting and horsing around. They LOVE to play and run at full speed only to stop and then graze a little more before taking a lie down snooze in the sun. Our only hassle so far really has been the ticks (SHeeesh! there are SOOOO many ticks this year!!) and the occasional issues with the water systems (which seems to be solved at last). Our part of the country has been extremely dry the past two years and the lack of planning on government's side is creating a very tense water-crisis situation. At least for the moment our mini-farm has enough water for us and the animals to drink and possibly have a quick bath in, so I guess that if our water in the city dries up completely we will have to go collect supplies at the farm? :/ far drive, although I go there almost every day now anyway, so it is an option.

So, now I've been spending a bit of time thinking about what exactly I would like to write about on my blog... since life has changed a great deal for our family and I've shifted my focus and desires from complaining about the things that are not as I want them to be and in stead to celebrate the possibilities of today and of the future. There hasn't been that much change in the world (everybody is still fighting, as they always have, my husband is still looking at options of working in another country > he will travel to America this coming week), politics, weather, economic recession, corruption etc etc are still going strong. As they always have. But I have decided to shift my focus from all of the negative things (and things I have no control over) to the possibilities and the lovely tIhings we have right in front of us here and now! It seems like a pretty simple task, but it definitely isn't. If I had to try and explain how I got to this stage I wouldn't understand my own writing... so I will not attempt. I  have just decided though that life is short, celebrate what you have around you already, grow where you are planted and that you cannot EAT money >> savings are not as essential as making the most of the beautiful things that are in front of you. There are no guarantees in life, so give it a good shot so you will enjoy your time as much as you can. Within reason of course. You need to save up for emergencies, pay your insurance, medical aid , prepare for retirement etc, but don't hold yourself back all the time >> the horse needs to go for a full gallop every now and again! And so do YOU.

 : D

So is stead of moaning and complaining some more about all the maintenance issues around our house that are STILL not resolved... I have decided that I would like. to share with the public a few special stories that I have come across per occasion. I've found allsorts of very very interesting people along the way and the more positivity I focus into my days the more fantastic, exciting people I seem to find as well. It sounds too cliche, but it is try=uly so! I've discovered amaaaazing people just around the corner and right next door to me! I am VERY excited about the wonderful experiences we are sharing and some of those people either have a great way of telling their snippits of entertaining everyday life or they have very REAL, intense experience in the world that makes you look at life at a slightly less whimsical angle. They can make you realise that what we are on this planet is a very tiny grain of sand in the desert of eternal time. They also make you realise that we are actually VERY fortunate in the services, technology, education that we have. Some stories will make you shiver, wonder, contemplate what it really is that you are trying to achieve with your life. Those are my favourite type of stories. SO I'm hoping to get permission from a few of my newfound "friends" to post their stories about THEIR piece of LIFE on this planet.

Speak soon :)

PS: no time to Edit the life out of my posts anymore >> please take them as they come.

18 August 2013

Greener Pastures

Wow! I must be one of the worst Bloggers in the world?! Not counting the ones who just forget about their blogs completely and never return, leaving it all just "hanging" in cyberspace without a single response to comments. I guess I'm lucky in that sense, that I don't get many comments... *sulk* maybe that's why I haven't made time to update in such a long time? :/ Hmmm, it's been a while... 

I have been rather busy though!

A lot has happened, but I know you'll want the best news 1st, so might as well spill the beans... We got Engaged! :D Yeah! At last ;) It happened during our month-long holiday in France (April/May). Although I have to admit that a whole month of holiday is just FAR too long, a little bit of an overkill. It was pretty Awesome none the less. Aahhhhh, France is so beautiful! Really. REALLY! I never expected it to look the way it does... vast open spaces (we spent most of our time in the countryside), forests, HUGE forests. I suppose we also have National parks here in South Africa, but ours are all fenced off and you have to drive FAR and wide to get there and you have to pay entry fees etc. In France it seemed like every farm had its own mini forest, full of little buck and all sorts of wildlife. There are enormous backbones of forest that join many of the farm forests together and if you pull over from the highway and walk into the "wilderness" for only a few meters the birds are almost deafening! :) It was very magical. The countryside is definitely my favourite part about France and it's VERY green, well, a lot more than most of SA, they get a lot more rain than we do. 

10 December 2012

Hello Kitty! :D

Monday... always a rather eventful day. Also the day that I recap our house's snaglist with the builder. Yes, you are correct... we moved into the house a whole 2 years ago and there are still things to snag about ;) BUT at least these are new snags and not the list from Feb 2011 anymore. I do not imagine that we will have even half this list done by the end of the year, but that doesn't mean I'm not trying my best! At least these snags are things that I can mostly live with, like a cracked drainage pipe, a fused downlighter that is stuck, a broken doorstop, etc. Nothing that I tend to notice as I walk past it, except the bathroom mirrors that are still just mismatched place-holders for the "Real" mirrors and the missing splashback above the stove, but those are being worked on - sort of. I called the project manager today and apparently he is "overseas". Hmmm, had I not been so busy I'd be curious enough to phone his office to hear where he's gallivanting off to while we still have a load of snags to sort out before year-end. :P In stead I contacted the few sub-contractors that I have gotten hold of before to beg them to PLEASE come and sort our shit out before the long-weekend! Otherwise my New-Years To Do List will be even longer. :(

Anyhow... I am momentarily released from my cynical duties and can enjoy life like a child once more, because we got a new KITTEN!! She arrived last week and is the most adorable little fuzz-ball I've ever played with. The most personable and cuddly baby Ever! :) I was as excited about this cat as a pre-schooler counting down the days before Christmas! I could barely live with my excitement. And last week we could FINALLY go and fetch her :D. I am completely in love with life when I get to play with her. The first night she slept on my head and the second in my arms. She just LOVES us and wants to sleep where she can touch us all the time. I would love to rave on about our awesome little Kitty-cat (Oh yes, her name is Minki), but I am SO tired and honestly haven't even the energy to post a pic just yet. Shall hopefully do so tomorrow?

26 November 2012

To Leave or not to leave?

Spring has been here for a while now and that has meant making new veg planter boxes, sowing all sorts of strange seeds and raising baby chickens. The season took its time to arrive this year. We had a very dragged out period of dreary, Wintery weather and none of my seeds would come up. I'd enthusiastically sowed basil and coriander and seen no results for weeks, but now is the time! Things are blooming and seeds just want some water and they're off to a running start and I am struggling to find any open space in which to plant some more cool things.

Anybody who has been following the news in SA lately will know that Spring also brought a Sh*tload of worker strikes all over our country, including the Western Cape (where the last bit of civilization has been hanging on by a thread). We are facing SERIOUS political unrest due to politically motivated criminal activity and it is happening all over the country. This is a much debated issue in every household, including ours and it was a very bright and sunny South African day when I finally realised that we don't belong to this country anymore. With 'us' I mean anybody with the resources to get out of here within reasonable time... but mostly white South Africans. I have been one of the optimistic 'youngsters' who believed that our country would only go through a few teething problems and then make a good, mature recovery from its past, but it is evidently not the case. I now suspect the people of this land will first burn it to the ground before they start building anything up and that will take too long for my heart to ever rest safely in a feeling of belonging to this world. I said to a good friend today that if we ever wondered when the water was getting too hot, it is Now! People are burning down farms in illegal protests a mere 200 km from our house, 55 km from my family's farm... It is getting too hot in here, the frog is boiling and I for one would rather get out with more than the clothes on my back! :( it is very sad, but true... We are not Welcome here anymore and I am not one to argue with the type of dim-witted people who burn down their only source of income in protests against the government which they all voted for in the 1st place! No F* ing thank you! I' m not going to try and build up something that other assholes just want to break down. I'm not THAT insane!

To cheer things up a little, here's a picture of our very first handful of raspberries (Note the small bug on my finger, our Organic certification ;) 

20 November 2012

Pointless things

A good while ago I made a comment on a manically depressed person's blog and I never had any feedback from him since... which made me wonder... did he die? Would he have killed himself? How would I be able to find out? 

I wonder what will happen to my blog when I die? How long before there is no activity will Google shut it down? Does your spouse or best friend get access to all your internet accounts and announce your passing? Do they just delete everything you shared with the virtual world? What happens to your online life when you die?

Anyway, I am just posting to say I'm still alive and well. The past 6 months have been super busy and I'm still not quite on top of all my admin-type things. I still haven't managed to get into anything resembling a routine (flexibility has its disadvantages) and I constantly feel like I'm behind in everything that I have set out to do. This is somewhat depressing, but I must admit that a lot has been done. The problem is just that there is always still so much more to do. It never ends and this is starting to drive me insane. As in really! :( 

One day everything will get better, until then here's a picture of a Rooster ;)

11 June 2012

To do lists, bugs and Art

The 31st of May was my very last day of sorting through my files, old papers, notes, etc at work. All the scribbled ideas of what to look into next, rough illustrations of physiological networks that could mean something very significant in future... I threw them all away... well, most of them. As from June 2012 I've officially been unemployed and even though I do have a good couple of plans up my sleeve and some good projects lined up I feel somewhat vulnerable. I studied for 6 whole years in order to obtain 3 degrees behind my name, as a surety for my future financial security, and now I discard all those accolades for the unknown on a road often travelled, but seldom excelled at.

Jelly saying Howzit :)

Emotionally it is extremely hard to discard of all the proof of my work done for the past 4 years, however it is also an act of freeing myself from a weight of responsibility and closing a chapter on what will likely never be my role to play again. It feels enlightening and yet terrifying at the same time. Following the euphoria that resulted from finally being rid of the old responsibilities of scientific research I had to feed the addiction by clearing up some of my very old memoirs at home as well. That was almost even more of a challenge and still a work in progress, since it spans a much longer period and the items have even more sentimental value. However, I am determined to be able to walk to the end of my room without falling over 8 to 12 boxes of Crap! Indeed: some of the boxes are actually labeled "old crap". It's not an easy task at all, especially since I'm quite the hoarder, but in order to move forward you have to discard some of the past or at least make some space to store the new crap ;) So some old sh!t had to go.

The 'Bug hotel' - good bugs sleep for free ;)

28 May 2012

Mission: Goose chase!

I am happy to report that our house's snag lists is basically down to 2 snags - which is excellent! At bloody last they will all be out of my hair!! Well, I seriously hope so!? Our fish pond has eventually been fitted with a biological filter, which seems to work splendidly and I can now see the glowing globes of light rising towards my hand at feeding time in stead of the faint blobs floating around what used to look more like pea soup. 

Progress is slow, but it's there. I have completed the tasks of replacing the topsoil for the front garden, trimmed the hedges and some lovely fresh beetroot, carrots and chervil are growing in the spaces between them, since the hedges will take a while to grow into all the space. The beans have all been munched by some garden critter :( ... so, no beans I guess. I've had a load of topdressing delivered and scattered on the lawn, some organic fertiliser added to those who need it most. Things have been happening :) Other than that the garden's looking rather blooming good for early winter.