Thursday, March 6, 2014

a dry summer




Why hello there! You would be forgiven in thinking that I had forgotten entirely about this little neglected space. As life just became too busy around me, I found that the blog became far less important in daily life, and I kept pushing it far back into the list of priorities. Before I knew it an entire two months had gone past. Of course the longer you leave something the harder it is to come back to it. Where to start? What to blog about? You certainly become rusty in the blogging department and the words do not flow easily.

It is not easy to blog when you don't feel like yourself as much as you used to. When you start to question if this really is the best way to live. When you lose your motivation.

I guess a combination of things contributed to the way I was feeling this summer. It was a terribly hot summer, and we went for a long time without rain. I can only begin to imagine how hard this would be if your livelihood depended up on it. As it was here, my vegie garden, that I had such high hopes for this year, that I had spent many hours on, so much money invested in, potatoes, seeds and seedlings, withered up and died. I gave up the twice day watering when I realised that I was no match for this harsh windy Summer and that I could no longer justify using so much precious tank water. It is the first summer here that I had no tomato crop. Then despite the hard work of pumping water twice weekly and watering all the trees, we still lost several. The grass died and you could feel the crunch under your feet while walking around after dark. Because that was the only time it was pleasant outside. Drought can suck the life right out of you.

When it doesn't rain the cows still need water, and pumping and fetching water becomes a huge headache. Having them 10 minutes away was not helping either, particularly when we had to buy their entire feed for the summer. I love my cows, I love the fresh milk, but I will not pretend that the whole experience has been an easy one. It has been a huge learning curve. Yet I still want to do it. I think an update post is due very soon.

Going back to the dry, I can now say that we were very fortunate this time around. It rained. Hard. Then it rained again. And again and again. We went from a dirt lawn to bright green grass. Everywhere. You can't underestimate just how much better you can feel when it finally rains. My thoughts are with those going through much tougher times, who haven't yet had rain, and can't afford to bring in feed.

Then there was the whole blogging thing. Sorry to say I had been keeping well away from the blogging community, becoming more drawn to the quieter, non-sponsored and less popular blogs. A click on an old favourite didn't always feel the same anymore. Amidst the new professional headers, wonderful  photography and the sometimes bombarding sponsorship, it seemed easier at times to slowly fade away and put that blogging chapter behind me. I lack the time to experiment, funds and expertise necessary to try to perfect my photography or to stylise this space professionally. So I've just decided to do the best I can do. Homemade header it is. Blurry pictures it may be.

So I'm feeling better now. Ready to put this harsh summer behind and look forward to a cooler, greener Autumn. My favourite season. I thank all those who wrote to me out of concern, and I did feel missed. Just don't expect anything too fancy. My life is not fancy, and I always wanted to maintain an honest truth within this blog. The ups and downs are all part of life, and it would be a lie to gloss over that. So as long as you don't expect anything too flash, but just a little journal of this not so perfect life here, I hope to see you again real soon.


57 comments:

A little bit country said...

I wondered how you were doing. I love your new header. I did mine using pic monkey, super easy and free. We have had a hot summer here, but nothing like what you experience in Australia. We had our first huge down pour of rain last night, so needed, not only for our tank but also the garden which I am really enjoying. We got chickens too recently, the novelty for everyone I think has worn off but I love them. Looking forward to reading more of your posts, the good and the not so. Come back soon, you have been missed xo

Julie Maloney said...

Tania, I had a break from blogging and reading blogs for a while too and I have just recently popped back. When I opened my blog just now to check on new posts from others my first thoughts were......oh good, Tania is back! Then I looked at your blog header and I thought how lovely it looks! I'm not just saying this to be nice, it is the truth. I love reading blogs about people growing their own food, making meals from scratch and their everyday life. I think if your blog is a big part of your paid work, then go ahead and pay someone to create a page for you. Otherwise, why bother. As a stay at home mum, I much prefer blogs like your's. Great to see you back Tania. I have changed the name of my blog recently from Julie Maloney Health Coach to Country Living by the Sea because I have changed the focus of my blog and I'm not doing health coaching at the moment. Take care, xxoo

LaurenBurke BenHissink said...

Glad you're back, I've missed your posts!! I'm out for a quality read, not flashy sponsorship :) Heres hoping autumn brings extra rain, and perhaps an extra tank to store it in! Looking forward to seeing your photies of your kidlets snuggled in wooly goodness as the season turns :)
Lauren
x

Steph @ this brown wren said...

And that is exactly why, lovely Tania, I keep coming back here. Your way of life and how you blog about it is inspiring in so many ways. Wishing you a beautiful Autumn filled with new wooly projects, garden pottering and much peace. You've been missed xxx

Amanda said...

So glad you're back Tania. This is exactly why we all keep coming back to your blog - simple, honest and real.

Erin said...

Glad to see you are all doing well. I also get tired of the popular blogs sometimes. They start to feel show-offish and fake. Look at my awesome life and how smart/funny/sweet my family is. Of course, we all want to put our best face forward, and we also all know that no one's life is perfect, but still. It can get annoying and overwhelming. I appreciate your honesty, and always have.
Glad to hear you had rain. We are having non stop snow storms here, and looking forward to a bit of green.

simplelife said...

Yay you are back, I've missed your blog a lot. As I was reading your post my stomach sank, I thought oh no she going to say this is the last post, how glad I was to be wrong.
Look forward to more real life stories of how others live.

cheers Kate

rhonda jean said...

I too love your new header, Tania. It always nice to see a new post from you. Looking forward to the dairy cow update.

Zara said...

The handmade header and real life photos is what draws me to blogs, and yours is one of my favourites. I've wondered how you were going so it lovely to read your little catch-up post.
It's amazing how quickly everything greens up when the rain arrives. It really is picturesque at the moment here too.
x

Amanda said...

So sorry to hear its been such a long hot summer for you. We've had similar weather and I too gave up on my small vegetable patch but I can't imagine how hard it must be when livestock and pumping water are involved. I can relate to lots of what you've written here. I too let blogging fall to the bottom of my priority list for a little while... and have also felt the change in the blogging world, culling the list of blogs I follow right back. Yours is perfect as is :)

Kathy said...

I love the new header too. There's a lot to think about with blogs and I know I have some favourite blogs that I'm into and some time later they may not be what is happening in my life. The summer was very hot and I know when we had 8 weeks school holidays when I really had time to take the kids on bike rides when it's 33-35 outside even at 5pm we can't go and the time is wasted because it's just too hot and you don't feel like doing anything. Hopefully you will enjoy a little bit of blogging again and as I commented on someone else's blog...really the blog is for you and you write, do, show what you want. Take care. Regards Kathy A, Brisbane, Australia
www.oursimpleandmeaningfullife.blogspot.com

Catherine said...

I had been wondering where you had been, so glad you have come back to your space here:) The harshness of summer can make you feel sad, the dry it not easy to take it is amazing how green grass can lift your spirits. You know I have always loved your photography seeing little bits and bobs around your home, you are always inspiring when it comes to crafting and cooking:) I hope you have time to stop by your space more often so we can continue to be inspired. xx

P.S. I really like your blog header because it is you:) Such pretty roses.

Lilian said...

Missed your posts Tania. I don't think blogging is all about fancy. The honesty and authenticity you share with blurry pictures and all is what distinguishes you from the photoshopped, styled ones (which I do visit but like you it can prove depressing when your own life seems so mundane and grubby in comparison). Real life is lived out in dead plants, dashed hopes, messy homes, grumpy kids, and to come out the other end still hopeful, still laughing (sometimes through the tears), still perservering is awe inspiring!

Kylie said...

Hi Tania,
your sixth paragraph sums up exactly how I feel about blogs at the moment. It's the same with interiors - they're all so fancy, magazine worthy these days. Surely most of them can't be real?! I have become bored with blogs/mags etc like these and generally just skim through them quickly.
I'm so sorry you had a such a hot, dry, Summer. It really does sap the life out of you (we have been months without rain here in Perth) and it must've been heartbreaking to lose your vegies.
Anyway, always nice to read apost from you - even though I don't comment very often.
Take care, Kylie x

Sally said...

Welcome back. I've missed you enormously!

Michelle said...

I've missed you!!!!! And for the record, I visit your blog because it isn't covered with products, sponsorship, flashy perfectly styled images etc. Keep it just as you always have. Your blog
is perfect to me!!!
PS So glad you got that rain x

Christy said...

Lovely to see you back. Hoping for a brighter Autumn for you and your family.

Zena said...

The look of your blog is so beautiful, calming, rythmnical and truthful - simplicity at it's best. It would be so hard to live on just tank water with no town water to rely on. I so enjoy your posts about every day life. I hope you get your blogging mojo back; you would be missed if you just stopped.

Jess said...

Tania, missed checking in on you, I still did regularly though!

You know what? The thing I adore about your blog is that you don't have all the stuff on there. I don't blog but I grab tips from people and feel I know a little about them and it seems my peers all have this wonderful creativity, wonderful houses, photos, everything. I still think that about you but I guess it feels different when people make money and have such wonderful business minds, I feel I don't do enough so I guess it makes me feel awkward. Your blog is handmade, you shine through, it's not daunting, it's you, this wonderful mother and woman and a snippet of what you're up to that's inspiring and not as daunting.

Brenda edithandlaura said...

Welcome back! It's so lovely to hear from you, I have missed you so. Please dont change anything on your blog, I love how natural and unpretentious it is, I am o disappointed that so many blogs are super slick now. I much prefer simple, real and homely, somewhere I actually feel I could visit in real life, kick my shoes off and sit and chat :-) xxBrenda

simone17 said...

Happy to read your update!
Who says things need to be fancy, professional and polished? I for one much prefer your natural "homemade" style and do hope it won't change. That's why your blog interests me, real, honest, something I can relate to.

flowerpress said...

So nice to see you back here, I as just thinking about you the other day and missing your blog :-)

Jane Allan said...

So glad to have you back. Love reading about your everyday life and looking at your photos.

Michele Henselien said...

Thanks for coming back, I enjoy reading real blogs and not paid advertisements.

Lea said...

Oh Tania I was wondering about you! I'm glad you're back. Leax

Tracey said...

I understand about life taking over and then having a hard time coming back to blogging, but I'm glad you are here. You were missed.

Kimberly said...

Welcome back. The blog is perfect as-is. Keep keeping it real and honest!

Diana D said...

I am so glad that you are back! The weather is always one of the biggest obstacles to face as it renders you completely helpless at time. Thankfully it appears that the weather has changed for the better in your area.

I really appreciate the simplicity of your blog and I am so happy that you realize what a special little place you have. Some of my favorite blogs have gone big in the most month or two and I feel like it has changed my ability to connect with them. So bring on your blurry photos and homemade designs and share with me a story about your cows. I will stick around for that.

Natalie Woo said...

I love your blog! Whether the updates are 2 days or 2 months apart, I am always glad to see something from you. Happy to see you got through the summer as well as you could, it sounded awful from all reports.

Jacq Cue said...

Still waiting for the rain here (bendigo region) and my garden has died too.

We love homemade thats why we are here.

I am glad your feeling better :)

Lila Wolff said...

I'm sorry the heat was so hard on you, it wilts the soul when it does so much damage.
I love the new header, so fresh and your whole layout it's really simple and easy on the eyes which is my preference.
I really hope to see more of your real words and pictures here.
Autumn is my favourite season too.

Eileen said...

Glad to see you wrting again. I love your honesty. That is why I frequent your blog. Thank you.

purplepear said...

You are certainly not alone in your thoughts . So much of what you have said here today echo words going around in my head.I wondered why I was farming and living this lifestyle I have chosen, while struggling through the hot dry summer. But then it rained and rained some more and I remember why I love doing what I do so much. Lovely to hear from you again.

Ock Du Spock said...

I know what you mean about rain! We've had a shocker of a summer as well. Glad to see you back!

Farmer Liz said...

Welcome back! This summer has been awful and we are yet to get any rain. I also felt like not blogging about it, but I really wanted to show everyone the reality that it is hard and how much we rely on the weather. Real is more interesting and more useful than perfect!

hapee1 said...

Speaking for myself, I visit your blog because I love the honest way you write, the lifestyle you are leading is inspiring so I beg you not to feel like you don't compete. Love your homespun style hon keep it up and keep sharing with us!

Coal Valley View said...

So nice to hear from you Tania. I've missed your gorgeous space too and seeing what you and the family have been up to. Blogland really has changed a lot - I have stopped reading so many blogs for this reason. Your blog is perfect as is and there are still plenty of us still just blogging for the enjoyment and connection to others.....love your new header! Mel xxx

Monkeysinmypocket said...

I love your new header. Simple and sweet and real. Just like your blog. We are still waiting for rain, it's amazing how much the brown dry dusty land draws you down

Funkbunny said...

Welcome back Tania. I agree with what has been said here. Your blog is inspiring just as it is. Your creativity, love for your family and desire to tread lightly on the planet shine through. It's been a hard summer for food production in Melbourne too and we resorted to watering from the tap when our tanks ran dry.

Wendy Gregory said...

I am very happy to read your blog, I always enjoy reading your news. I also prefer simpler blogs and have unsubscribed to blogs with a lot of sponsorship.
We are having a very hot summer here and the garden is looking dry, no rain since December I think.
Kind wishes
Wendy

Bungalowgirl said...

So nice to see you again and so pleased that you have finally had some rain. I have loved your blog from way back, exactly as it is thank you very much. It's still you and Fox's Lane for me all the way as my two faves. I too have a not fancy, without all the bells and whistles blog with blurry photos and less than frequent posts when life gets in the way. Love to see what sewing you have been up to, me I'm up to my eyeballs in Harry Potter party planning! mel x

C Tredway said...

Hi Tania,

We did miss you. I checked all the time and felt the familiar disappointment when I saw you were still absent. That said, we all understand when you need a break and, you are never going to be proud of a blogging effort if it is at the expense of your happiness or your family. I had only hoped that the nasty trolls hadn't gotten to you with their criticism about your darling cows.

Glad you are back. Post sporadically- post whenever it suits you. We all love it, and we all appreciate the sweet glimpses you give us of REAL life. This reality creates a dialogue that it is normal to not feel cheery all the time. It's normal to go through periods of self doubt, tough home life and in your situation, an awful drought. Pffft to those who left. Pffft to those who may have criticised. Yay to have you back!!!!

City Hippy Farm Girl said...

and it's for all those reasons I love your blog Tania. Love it.
Rain, it seems such a novelty at the moment. We've had a bit in the last few days and it makes such a difference, I can't imagine either what it would be like if your lively hood depended on it. Tough damn country we live in.

Christine said...

I have missed your comfortingly honest home life posts very much. So glad to hear you got some rain..it is so true, drought does suck the life out of things. Hoping all is well with your family and animals. Lovely to see you back, Tania.
Christine :)

Bianca (ivylovesjack) said...

Oh, you are wonderful. I hardly ever read blogs anymore (please join instagram??) but love checking in on yours when I do. Absolutely love the honesty.

Jan (a gluttonous wife) said...

Tania it is so lovely to have clicked on you in my bookmarks and to see you have a post. I had tears reading your honest post, the part about not keeping up and doing your best. I question my blogging lots too but I've come to the conclusion, this is me, this is my best and if it doesn't stack up to the perfectly styled and professional blogs out there well so be it. I love blogging my recipes, my new recipes and lifes ups and downs. I think you will find we all feel the same and are glad to see you find your way back.
Warmest of regards
Jan x

litttlegreenvillage said...

Hi Tania, So good to see you are back. I kept popping on over to visit your blog, and no new post for a few months.
You are one of my favourite bloggers, just because there are no ads, you are not trying to sell anything or self promote, or so on.
Just 100% authentic.
Just how I like my friends, both in real life and in the blogging world.
You share information on your blog about things that you use, which is invaluable to others. It is because of your blog, that I have found Bendigo Woollen Mills, Heritage Fruit trees, and that fantastic Simplex kettle.
I love to read about how you choose to live and your family life. It provides a connection for me when I only know a couple of people in my real life who "get" why I choose a simple, sustainable life.
I understand the need for a blogging break, I had one for almost a year last year. Sometimes we just need to do other things for a while.
Just write when you feel like it. I follow you on Bloglovin' now, so won't miss a post. X

Sarah Rostron said...

Lovely to see you back and I am glad your blog is the way it is. Rather than some blogs that portray a perfect life that can make you feel inadequate. It's why I keep coming back.

Jacaranda said...

I am glad that you are ok? it does make you wonder when you have been away so long and I checked in regularly. Would you believe that the reader the blog and the less commercial it is the more I enjoy it some other blogs are starting to feel like Woman's day or the Weekly and full of ads that mean nothing to me.

All the questions you ask about 'this life' well we have been asking the same but about our suburban life and think that a country change would be the fix but then you have to wonder about what it is you are really looking for? What happens if we up and go but still feel the same but the scenery is just different? Maybe fou us it's about authenticity I'm not sure but I'm thinking it might be. We are so undecided and so stuck and don't know which way to go so we just stay for now. Love the things that you share with us and have always loved your photography and baking! So good to hear from you :)

The Desert Echo said...

I only just discovered your blog, but love what you have to say about blogs you love becoming slicker, less personal and more like pr. Is it me who has changed more or them? I like to connect to people and their ideas rather than feel like I'm looking at a glossy magazine. You obviously have a lot of support for your blog with so many comments, I sometimes wonder if what I post is worth saying as I get so little response, but I guess in the end I do it for myself to remember the good and not so good times.

I hope you get more rain, the world feels like it is drying up.

Mindfully Making said...

Welcome back Tania, what a beautiful return post, I like the words and the honesty. I love the new header too. Lx

Dee said...

Good to see you back Tania.
Home made is good, I don't come to see the glitz and glamour.

fiona said...

I'm very glad to see you back too, Tania. I love your blog for the very reason that it is real, it's not slick and over designed. I love hearing about what you've been making and doing and reading, and like Rhonda, I'm looking forward to another update on your cows! (I'm hoping to start milking one of ours later in the year... we just have to get that cowshed built. Amazing how daunting all that stuff is...)
We've also had a very tough, droughty summer (near Mudgee, NSW). It has been stressful and I've been feeling very sad about the many dashed hopes in my vege garden too. I'm just grateful that it's not my livelihood! Anyway, very late in the season as it is, I am finally picking a few tomatoes and zucchinis. It does feel wonderful to be at last harvesting a few things. So glad you're going to keep blogging. Your presence here in cyberspace makes a difference to so many of us!

Miirih said...

Tania, I think of you as a neighbour in our simple life journey's. I hope you can find a way to store more water before next summer. Possibly some shade cloth could come your way to help shelter your vegies and fruit. I love your blog its simple, short and quick for me to read from time to time.

Bee Girl said...

Tania, I am so glad to hear that you have finally gotten some rain. Drought is a very hard thing to experience (we've been in it for years here) and you couldn't be more right about the rain when it finally comes...it seems as though it is the best thing on the planet and, indeed, it is.

As to blogging...Your space is gorgeous and your photos are phenomenal. You have been such an inspiration to me with your simple, gorgeous, real life and for that I am grateful. Share what you want when you want to. Blogging should be fun (something I forgot for a while with all the updates on my own blog and am getting back to) and the community will embrace you regardless of what you do or how often. I think the comments here on this one post can attest to that.

Take good care of yourself <3

carol said...

Hi Tania, you don't know just how pleased I am that you are back, it gives me heart. Like you we have had the worst summer you could imagine. Drought took us over and we simply ran out of water, just enough for stock but none for garden or veg garden etc. We were within two weeks of no water what so ever when we were blessed with a storm. I all but gave up on everything and am only now starting to have any incentive to start again ( not yet with the garden or veg garden but hope that will come) Thank you Tania for expressing what so many of us were feeling and thank you for staring to inspire me to 'start again' That's what friends are for!!!!

Katie and Reuben said...

Tania! I'm so gald to see you back! I had been popping over every now and then to see if you'd posted, then when I saw your comment on my latest post I got very excited!

I can relate to a lot of what you said here. Our summer was brutal too. Luckily we have town water which means we can water pretty generously. Our lawn is pretty much just dust but our plants all made it through.

And I know exactly what you mean about retreating from the blog world. I have struggled with the same feelings over the last few months...

But I'm glad you're back!

Katie x