Tuesday, September 28, 2010

In the interests of full disclosure.....

... I'm posting pictures of the shambles that is my garden in it's current state, partly for my own record, and partly to remind me in the future what happens when I let stop getting outside and enjoying the blessing of what God has given me!!!

The mess comes partly from the cleaning up, and I can see the potential in my mind, it really won't take much and won't take long to be productive again. Let me take you on a tour....

The back of the shed, destined to become the chook run

First of the raised beds (which has since been planted out with broccoli, cauliflower and lettuce)

The first of the raised garden beds, with the next couple of in-ground beds prepared for planting. Newly pruned nectarine tree along the fence in the background, neighbour's star jasmine spilling over our fence to be chopped right back!!

The nectarine (one the left) and apple (on the right) trees were so overgrown from neglect, we pruned them right back to try and start again. I may have killed them in the process. Time will tell....

Big pile of green waste = big job to turn it into mulch and compost.....

The pond (complete with soccer ball - doesn't everyonoe have one of those in their pond garden??) The tree will need to be felled as it is appears to be diseased, and I'll put something there in it's place. Once the pond surrounds have been weeded and cleaned up, it will become our herb garden.

No. 2 son pruning very overgrown and tangled passionfruit

The end result!!

Shade pergola that will eventually have vines climbing all over it (north facing)

Patio that needs a makeover (north facing)

Citrus trees planted along fence to be espaliered, this patch will become the tomato patch once it's prepared (western side of garden).

Holes for said citrus trees being dug by No. 1 son (western side fence)

Hothouse will be built off this side of the shed

Recently planted fruit trees - posts will have wires running through them to espalier trees along (eastern side fence).

East facing side of the house - great potential, but doesn't get a lot of sun.

I've got lots of plans for the garden - or should I say we, because the kids are as much a part of this as I am. I'm good with the ideas, and even the logistics of executing them to a degree, I jsut can't *do* everything I want to physically (hence the child labour pics, lol!!), but I am so very blessed to have lots of people around me who are more than willing to help. Our plans include:
- enclosing the back of the shed to become the chook run
- erecting a hothouse off the other side of the shed
- 2 more raised beds
- finish off the wiring for espaliering the fruit trees
- plant more indigineous species
- build some birdbaths and feeders
- construct trellises for climbing veggies
- plant kiwi fruit to grow up the shade pergola
- spruce up the patio area
- put in a Hills Hoist
- work out what to plant in shaded area along east side of the house
- work out how to utilise more of lawn for growing food
- work out how to utilise 'gap' between western side of shed and fence (compost? worms?)

Oh, the possibilities!!!!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I refuse to be reduced by it

'I can be changed by what happens to me, I refuse to be reduced by it'
- Maya Angelou

Sara posted her weekly YOU:create canvas on Thursday with this quote, and as He often does, God uses His people to speak to me in His perfect timing. Me + self pity have been having a bit of a shindig lately, much as I've tried to deny it, much as I consciously continue to choose joy, I've been allowing my life circumstances to limit me. I have chronic pain from a back injury and an auto-immune disease that means living with varying degrees of pain and fatigue, depending on what the day brings, and I'm the first to admit that I do use that as an excuse for not doing things - things that I really want to do. Which is very, very, very lame.

I've been witness to some events in the lives of people around me lately that have brought sadness and grief to them and the lives of those around them, and it's been one of those times that's made me take a good look at myself and my life, and realise just how blessed I am. Regardless of what any day throws at me, ultimately I have a very charmed, very blessed life, and it is up to me to make the most of the gift of each day I'm given. As the quote says, I can - and will - be changed by whatever happens to me, but I can also choose how I react to it. I can live a life shrouded in self-pity, or I can defy the chaos and with God's strength rise above it, to look for the Light and bathe in it when I find it.

I love my garden. At the moment, it's an absolute shambles because it's a work in progress, but I love it. I love that I have it, and I love it's potential, but I haven't been out in it because of how I've been feeling, because I've let self-pity make excuses and keep me inside. Today I chose joy, and told the pain where to go and got back out there :-) I'll probably pay for it tomorrow, but for today, it was just what I needed. And God knew I needed it :-) Psalm 37:4 tells us 'Delight yourself in the Lord and He will grant you the desires of your heart'. I know that verse to mean that if we delight ourselves in our Father, He will place His desires for us in our heart (which can often come as a surprise, lol!!). Today, I discovered that if we delight ourselves in Him, if we turn our eyes and our hearts to Him, He will give us even the tangible things our hearts desire :-) I have always wanted to find an intact bird's nest that has been abandoned, and today when my boys pulled the dead grapevine off the water tank, guess what we found :-) An intact, abandoned bird's nest. We actually found 3 nests, 2 of which were broken in the pulling down of the vine. Not only did He grant me my heart's desire, He did it in abundance :-)

Oh, but it didn't stop there :-) Youngest DS and I then found a 'skeleton leaf', that was just so beautiful in it's fragility. And then I saw the bluebells were in bloom, and just bringing colour and happiness against the backdrop of the messiness of the garden. Then to top it all off, youngest DS comes with a gumnut and a gum blossom, marvelling to me how it goes from something so small to something so big, and how cool is that? He felt compelled to take photos - as did I, of the other treasures God gave us. So that's my YOU:create this week - we created memories of the awesomeness that is our God, and how much He delights in giving us what our heart's desire, just when we least expect it :-)

(click on pic for better view)

'For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also'
(Matthew 6:21)

Saturday, September 11, 2010

The results of the unexpected

I landed in hospital quite unexpectedly earlier this week, my body voted my appendix out, and decided to cause a bit of chaos in the process. Not to worry, 5 days later, I'm out of hospital and being looked after very well by dear friends (the children are off gallivanting with my mum and step-dad!!), and as I've had so much time on my hands (*snort* - most of it was spent anaesthetised, nauseated or just dealing with pain, lol!!!), I've been trying to keep distracted with knitting.

I've been working on Elizabeth Zimmermann's February Baby Sweater (Ravelry link), and am now on the home stretch. True to form, I started this cardi for a baby last year, she is now 15 months old, so the cardi is now for a new babe. I have at least another week off work, so this will be my goal, to get it finished by the end of the week.

(Back view, terrible, pic, better ones to come)

I also made myself a top when I made DD's skirt in the previous post, very comfy and sooo easy to out tgether, I see more of these in my sewing future in a myriad of fabrics :-)

(I promise to limit the bad iPhone pics to a minimum!!!)

I'm just catching up on blog posts now, and Sara, you have *no* idea how appropriate your canvas is for my life right now. I'm thinking my recuperation may include making one of my own :-)

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

This is awesome :-)


Sorry for the messy, non-hyperlinked link, I'm posting from my phone whilst in hospital (long story!!), but wanted to get this down. Fantastic concept, and the pledge says it all :-)

'I, stitchingmum of http://livelovecreate-stitchingmum.blogspot.com/, sign up as a participant of Self-Stitched-September. I endeavour to wear at least one handmade and/or refashioned’ item(s) of clothing and/or accessories/ jewellery every day for the duration of September 2010'.

So far, this month I have worn as per the pledge:
Friday Sept 3 - refashioned skivvy (turtleneck)
Saturday Sept 4 - hand knitted socks and sewn wool cardi
Sunday Sept 5 - sewn batwing top and refashioned skirt
Monday Sept 6 - hand knitted socks
I've been in hospital since then, so no further to report!!

Which will go perfectly with the 2 month pledge I've signed up for over at Wardrobe Refashion, http://nikkishell.typepad.com/wardroberefashion/ .

A much tidier post and pics to cone when I get home, which will hopefully be soon :-)