Wednesday, January 4, 2012


Apologies for the lack of beach photos - it appears my camera taking mojo was on holidays too...

We are home. After a few days away we are settling back into our usual days of the things we do when Daniel is not working.

We spent our trip visiting family. First off there was Daniel's parents in the beachy town of Kiama. We watched the New Years fireworks from the footpath. We had a lovely laid-back time taking in the salty air and sea breeze. Little tours around the garden, followed by longer walks through the town and to the blowhole. I remember remarking to Daniel that there is something about that salty air that encourages you to slow down.  Having grown up on the coast, I do miss the rejuvenating qualities of the ocean.

On the way home we spent a night in the Southern Highlands visiting my parents. I even managed a little antiquing at Berrima. I discovered that the  Peppergreen Antiques is all it's cracked up to be. A veritable treasure trove of antique goodies. Thank goodness for the large park across the road (and a patient husband)! I came home with a pretty blue glass bowl and some baby Alpaca wool from next door.

The trip back and the days since have seen us re-evaluating our life.  As seems to happen whenever we visit the coast. We do miss the ocean, but at this stage living coastal is just not practical, and most importantly, affordable, for us.

As we enter into our third year here, it seems that not too long ago it was just a vacant block. We love our home. We love the idea of a simple life. But we do need to work out some sort of balance. To not feel entirely slaved to our property. The reality is it can be a huge challenge to balance a (self-employed) single income, with the daily demands of work, family, school, home maintenance and (a small degree) of self sufficiency.

We live in a harsh climate here. Summers can soar to 40, while we've experienced frosty -15 and the occasional snow fall. Most likely a result of this unusual summer, our vegie garden has not amounted to much at all this year. All the lettuce bolted to seed overnight, half the tomatoes died and all the seedlings were eaten by snails. Garden heartbreak.

So where to go from here?

This year we want to try and recapture our original dreams for this place. In time we will have shade, we will have fruit (those trees are thriving), and there will always be the next planting season.

This year may see us extend our three bedroom into a four bedroom house.  We may install a greenhouse to get a start on those frost sensitive vegies. There are Autumn plans for chickens. Our trees will grow bigger. And so will the kids. We need to be mindful of our relatively small window of time (in the grand scheme of things) that we still have them at home. And at this time, they are happy here.

We are hoping that 2012 will be a time of readjustment. Of finding what works for us and our kid's. To continue towards our dream of clean food, cleaner air and a slower and simpler paced life.

Wishing you all a wonderful 2012.


  1. Welcome back Tania :)

    It's so hard finding that right balance isn't it and even when you do you have to adjust to not only Mother Nature's seasons but the season's of change that a family go through.

    It sounds like you are in the right place for the mean time and have goals in place that will see a few dreams come to fruition and no doubt it will be an exciting journey to travel putting those goals in place.

    So looking forward to seeing what the new year has in store for you :)

    Happy 2012 to you all.


  2. I am there with you Tania. The push and pull of where to be.

    From here it looks like you guys have made such a huge effort. But yeh after many different goes vegie patching (from Darwin to Melbourne) it is so easy to get discouraged. Sometimes the simple life can be complicated!

    Sounds like good plans for the year.

    Best wishes


  3. Happy 2012 to you and your family Tania. May those hopes and dreams come to fruition over the course of the year. Enjoy! xx

  4. love your huge sunflowers. Pleased the trees are doing well, they'll be so fun to watch grow - setting up is always the hardest work.

  5. Oh dear! I so understand your dilema. The simple life is so much less simple sometimes, isn't it?! We often discuss whether it would be easier elsewhere but I think there would just be new challenges! Hard to know really and then I would hate to leave everything we have, after all the work we have done to make our place a happy home for our kids. Water is our stress!

  6. May 2012 find you and yours an agreeable balance in all these things and joy together no matter what that balance may be. You are all such beautiful people (I am sure I can tell that even through the net). Best of wishes on all to come this year and the next and the next and the next.... I think that with love, patience, and hard work almost everything works out in the end.

  7. Lovely to hear of your holidaying in places we have visited in the last year, too. Your simple and thoughtful life encourages me to slow down and to live thoughtfully too. It's discouraging when things don't go to plan but good that you can look at the positives, too.
    Here we have renovated in the last few months, meaning that we have taken on a mortgage again, so some changes up ahead for me.
    With building looming, I didn't bother to plant any veges this year, but somehow they have self-seeded and we have tomatoes, zucchini and potato flowering at the moment, with no effort whatsoever from us! The kicker is that since last year I've had to go on a restricted diet and can't eat tomatoes or zucchini ... So my plans for growing our own food have also taken a downhill turn since discovering my food intolerances. I find that if I am thankful for what I have, the disappointments become smaller in my mind.
    Keep at it, and be encouraged that by all appearances your children are having the most wonderful life in the country and that you can live a slow and meaningful life where you are now.

  8. Welcome and happy new year it's lovely to see you back here again:) May you enjoy your new year and find the balance and joy of living in the country it brings many challenges but it is such a wonderful life to live. I will enjoy following along with your journey again Tania and be inspired by your adventures. xx

  9. How funny! We watched the New Years Fireworks in Kiama too! (Sorry for my mass comments... baby is sleeping and I'm trawling madly through a few blogs and yours is one of them!) Loving what I read here.. we're about to move to the Sthn Highlands! Sounds like some of your plans are like ours, vegie gardens, chickens and renovations are all on the cards for us too!


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