Hi there!

I’m slowly working towards some simplicity within the home, but hey! It’s a lot of hard work!

I love having a go at growing my own veges and always use herbs fresh from my garden. I try to plant from seed whenever I can and have learnt to save and share my own seed for the following year. I make Award Winning preserves and pickles; and my husband brews Award Winning boutique beers as well. I love to stockpile and try to limit quick trips to the shops. I dabble in bread making and enjoy making my own stocks too.

I enjoy feeding my family good hearty meals, nothing like those tiny restaurant stacks you have to look for on the plate. My husband maintains our vehicles and machinery and we both enjoy fabricating on a small scale mostly relying on metal & timber recyclers for any materials needed.

While I don’t always have time to reply to comments, I love reading them. I hope you enjoy your stay and I hope you learn something new because I love sharing what I learn, and I'm always looking for another new skill myself.


Saturday, December 31, 2011

Reflections for 2011 & Happy New Year for 2012

Wow, what a big one...where do I start?.....

I think I would have to say that finding the DTE forum, and starting my blog in February to be up the top of the best things that have happened......I've met some very lovely people along the way, made some awesome friends both here and overseas..and learnt lots of new skills. The enthusiasm here is fantastic and I appreciate and cherish each and every comment left by my readers....If you are one of the 'lurkers' that left a comment for the first time in my last post.....Hello there, It's lovely to meet you and thanks for leaving a comment. I don't always have time to leave comments, but I sure do love reading them.

I also joined a monthly garden course learning local knowledge month by month....which has given me lots of encouragement to try new things. To top it off, I'm getting to know a lovely bunch of people who also love gardening. Joining this class has been the best thing I could have done to improve my gardening skills. You can't get this information from sitting down reading a book, I don't care how good the book is.

Adding flowers (Yes, even non-edibles) to my garden to attract bees has been a major learning curve for me and I say hello to each and every bee I see now. When hubby was home, he took a walk around the garden with me and couldn't believe how much healthier everything is growing.... Every time I plant a new seedling, I also plant a pesticide plant and a pollen attractor if needed; which I also grow from seed or cuttings I've done myself.

My garden areas now have at least trippled and I love the workload.....It's fantastic therapy for both the mind and body, even though this run down body says "Enough!" most days.
I'm also working on a whole new food forest which is in the plans for next year.....The back yard really doesn't have any more room for plants, unless I start lifting pavers, and I've thought about doing that too....lol.

Like life in general, we've had some lows over the year, but with time we've also created some highs.
My oldest has completed his first year of an "Overhead linesman Electrician" which I am very proud of, and  being top of the class, he has his sights set on Apprentice Of The Year at the end of his 4 years of training....

One of our lows would have to be a huge change, when hubby and I made a joint decision for him to move away (2000km) from the family home for better work. We are both working towards one goal of paying off the house sooner.....While we all miss him ever so much when he is away, and my heart aches for him to breath the same air, we have grown even stronger than before. I am so grateful for the love we have after more than 20 years...it just grows stronger each week....

This past year has had my oldest niece going through a bitter divorce which isn't finalised yet, and we almost lost her to complications after a tonsillectomy. Her sister went to help with her children and her recovery, so I got to meet my youngest nieces two daughters for the first time; aged two and four....which I might add are darling little girls who love their great Aunty....
Sadly; Hubby's youngest sister has also gone through a divorce and on top of that, she was diagnosed with breast cancer. On the bright side, she is back at work after treatment and also found a lovely new fella.
I'm grateful for the health of all of them....

My mother's health has deteriorated some what, with complications adding 3 new specialists to her list...and she is also thinking of giving up driving, which will be a blessing, but also more running around for me....She is becoming less independent with each passing month....I can't help but wonder what the coming year has install for her.

Overall, I have learn't to take each day as it comes, and I've also learn't to listen to my body, and deal with my pain better.This has cut down on the amount of medication I take by half since this time last year.....and I am doing much more manual work too.....

One thing I like to live by is this: ....."How hard can it be? .....Really .....Give it a go!"
You never know until you try, and remember, anything is easy, once you know how.

Do you have any highs you would like to share for 2011? Maybe you have had some lows too, which you have been dealing with? If so, I would love for you to share some...If you have blogged about them, please leave a link too.


  1. I think we have all gone through certain high and lows throughout 2011. I am like you I want to focus on the positive, as all the negativity just gets you down.

    Happy 2012 to you and your family,

    Gill in Canada

  2. Hi Narelle. I think one of my highs would have been meeting you online. Everything you do is so much like how my Nanna did things too. One of the biggest lows was losing my dear MIL last Wednesday to cancer. She couldn't fight anymore after 2 years. We're hoping for a cancer free 2012 and getting on with living our lives to the fullest. Life is way too short.

    All the best for the new year Narelle, to you and your family.

    Anne xx

  3. All the best to you and your family in 2012, Narelle! We have had many ups and down this past year as well. The down for us is when my husband went to work out of town but the ups were great! Our oldest son got married to a wonderful girl and our next oldest graduated from high school and went to Australia to follow his dream of international travel. While we miss him, it's a wonderful thing to follow a dream so we are happy for him :) Thanks for all that you have taught me this year - you have really inspired me to learn more and do more! XO

  4. Among other blessings in my life, I agree with you that blogging has been a wonderful and fun part of my year. Meeting people from all over the world and learning how to do new things... very fun.

    Happy New Year!

  5. Wishing you and your family a happy New Year. You blog has been great inspiration to me - my kefir is happily fermenting away, my family loves the days when I make your kefir rolls, and I always look forward to what new project you a taking on. The new garden class and projects are so interesting for me - we don't have those plants here in Oregon and I'm very curious about them. Thanks for all of the help and have a lovely 2012.

  6. Happy New Year to you and your loved ones Narelle. Your enthusiam and generosity for sharing knowledge is inspiring. One highlight for me this year was meeting you in person, it was just like chatting with an old friend.

    Looking forward to more inspiring posts in 2012!
    All the best xx

  7. One of my highs is learning how to make that fabulous citrus cleaner from your instruction. Thanks so much and all the best in 2012 for you are your family.

  8. Happy New Year!!

  9. wishing you and your lovely family a happy new year, good luck with all your plans for 2012 :)

  10. "Every time I plant a new seedling, I also plant a pesticide plant and a pollen attractor if needed; which I also grow from seed or cuttings I've done myself."

    That's a lovely thing to be able to say! Isn't it a marvel when the many things you do and learn, over time and seasons, really come together into the bigger picture? Somehow this reminds me of a dinner years ago when I looked at my table and was stunned to realize that everything on it was either homemade or homegrown, right down to the eggs and milk and cheese and pork. It was a long, long time ago...but the memory still makes me happy.
    All the best to you and yours in the New Year, NellieMary!

  11. Thank-you all for such lovely comments and well wishes. I'll certainly be blogging and adding many more posts in 2012.

    Anne: I'm so sorry to hear of your MIL passing last week. I do hope you and your family have a cancer free year....and your right; Life is too short. I'll be thinking of you and your family.

    Sherrie: I know you understand when I say I'm missing my hubby....and I appreciate all your advice early on in the change...You are a great friend, I just wish you were closer, so we could have a cold drink and chat. You have wonderful children who are growing up before your eyes; and it shows, how proud you are of them in your writing.

    Mooberry Farmwife: Hi Julie, I love your blog, but I get so jealous what with that lovely supply of fresh milk you get from Matilda.

    Holly: I'm glad to hear that your family like the Kefir Rolls. I had to stop making them so frequently, as they are just tooooo yummy...and I found I was eating way too much bread....lol...I'm also pleased that you enjoy reading about different plants in the garden course.

    Lisa: I loved meeting you too Lisa, when we catch up with other like minded people it is good to be able to sit and chat like old friends. I thought the same...My only regret was that I was so comfortable, that I forgot to get a photo of us....when I met Tammy too, we did the same, chatting for hours only to discover it was time for her to pick up her children...photo's were forgotten there too.

    Deb: I love that citrus cleaner. I still get emails from people thanking me for saving them so much money. All the best for you and your family also.

    Mel: Happy New Year to you too...Have you met Sherrie, she is from the same area as you. Sherrie also has a great blog called Little Home In The Country.

    Archer's Mum: Thanks for the well wishes....My wishes go to you also for a happy new year.
    Hey we're still waiting for you to start blogging too.

    Quinn: I'm really trying to keep costs down in the garden, and cuttings and planting from seed is just one way I like to do that. I'm about to start many pots for a comfrey border in the front yard....so I will be harvesting rootstock to strike....no sense buying 20 or so plants of the one type, when you can grow them yourself.
    Good for you to have that memory of a past dinner with everything being home-made or home-grown....it takes a lot of work....
    Thank-you so much for all your comments throughout the year.

  12. I just want to mention that I admire your strength and resilience and generous nature. When visiting here, it's a lift up.

    I'm looking forward to whatever you will share with us in the new year. I especially like your garden posts and can't wait to learn more about "pesticide plants". I'm wishing for 2012 to be an awesome year for you and your family.

    brenda from arkansas

  13. I can't believe you have only been doing this for less than a year. It seems like a life time of information here.
    I love getting your emails and look forward to all the different subjects you cover. Have a great year. xxox

  14. Lovely post of reflection and looking ahead to the future.
    I want to tell how much I enjoy your Blog and the great things I have learnt from you.

  15. I sure have enjoyed our interaction with one another. I am alway keeping you in mind about sending a parcel your way. I still wonder what you would like from America. I guess you could order anything from America in the internet..... I hope to continue to learn from you this year. Melissa

  16. Hi Narelle! It has been a huge year - I'm looking forward to a slightly quieter 2012 :-).

    I really enjoyed getting to meet you this year, and hope to catch up again soon.

    One of my highlights of 2011 was meeting Joel Salatin, and doing a full-day workshop with him right here in Jamberoo. Awesome. I also got to meet Costa (from Costa's Garden fame) just a few weeks later.

  17. Greetings to you! Just wanted to say Hi and thank you for the pizza crust made with yoghurt recipe; it's great! I really appreciate your blog sharing your life and recipes. I hope you will have a good year and things will be better than you may anticipate. My father is also losing independence and I fear a roller-coaster ride is ahead...
    Best wishes to you and yours!


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...