09 April 2016

This Acorn Had an Acorn of Her Own

We have been a little absent on here… Thank you for being patient and sticking with us.

I would like you to meet the newest member of our family!


Lyla Melody born 1st day of Autumn 2016!

Allow me to share this new adventurous life with you, as this Acorn navigates a whole new world… Motherhood!

Love, 
The Acorn 

01 April 2016

I Am...


I am a writer, a story teller.
I am a daughter, sister, lover.
I am a wife.

I am a musician, a creator.
I am a designer.
I am a animal lover, protector.

I am a granddaughter, and in-law.
I am a friend.
I am a truth sayer.

I am a DIY’er, plan maker.
House cleaner, food creator.
I am a dreamer and a doer.

I am a photo taker.
I am a book reader.
I am a organiser.

Most recently, 

I am a Mother.

10 May 2015

Said the Acorn to the Oak...

You make us all better, you hold us together.

This little Acorn loves you jelly tots! Xoxo

06 May 2015

Ever Growing...

Yesterday was the Mister’s birthday, and this year I decided to bring a new girl into his life…

 

Her name is Sally, bright and happy. She is a total sweetheart.





Apparently our boy, Louie, thinks the same and has already become possessive of her attention. (As you can see in the above, Louie didn't like me getting too close to his girl!)
Xoxo


23 April 2015

Bedstead

Recently, I ordered a new bed via the internet.  The convenience of having it delivered to our door appealed to me.

On the day the new bed was to be delivered, in my usual Eager Beaver fashion,  I stripped our old bed, moved the side tables out of our bedroom into the spare room, vacuumed, cleaned the skirting boards and asked the Lads to take the old base and mattress out to the workshop, ready to be picked up by a local lady.  (I'd lined that up, too). 

I couldn't help chuckling at the Lads, as they actually 'rolled' the mattress out of the door, due to it's heaviness.  (One of life's difficulties is having to manoeuvre an extremely heavy mattress with no lug handles).  They would push, and the mattress would bend.  It doubled up.  Probably laughing back at us. 

"C'mon, Lads - lift, push, roll...lift push, roll... All together now.."

Anyway....

The new bed arrived - distributed over several ripped and damaged boxes.  We opened one, saw the extent of the damage and left the others unopened. 

And so - later - much later, the Machinist and son carted the old mattress back into our bedroom.  

We have been camping on the floor ever since.

We're back to our roots.  

We're also back to searching door to (retail store) door for a new bed.







Business Etiquette: Good Conscience

A few weeks ago, we ordered a new bed and mattress.  Usually, we physically 'window shop' on foot for items like this.  On this occasion, however, our new bed was ordered via the internet.

Living in rural areas has its ups and downs.  One of the unfortunate aspects is having to wait longer periods of time than others living 'in town' to receive mail and other goods.  When it comes to the delivery of larger items, a variety of companies hire a variety of freighters.  These freight companies employ a variety of sub-contractors in country areas to deliver to outlining rural areas.

The Tracking facility on most Freight Company websites is an invaluable tool.  It is courteous to allow the customer to know the progress of their order.  Especially impatient customers.

We were able to track our order to discover that it had been 'sitting' in a local sub-contractor's depot for two days.  Just thirty five kilometres away.  Had we known, we would have picked it up ourselves.

When our goods eventually arrived, this is how they looked:









Realising that these damages could have been done by either:

*  the main freight company, 
*  the sub-contractor, 
*  or even (gasp) the despatch department at the wholesale warehouse

~ in Good Conscience ~ , how could these packages have been delivered in this condition? 

The Machinist says that the Freighters do just that - freight goods (even though he, too, is appalled at the condition at delivery) and that they are not obliged to take further action.  While this may be true - 

In Good Conscience?

What about "Value Adding" not only to products, but to services as well?

A New Wood Shed

The Machinist has just headed into town to buy a load of wood for our combustion fire.  It's raining steadily, but sometimes, that steadiness turns to quite ferocious downpours; a back-lash from the severe storms elsewhere in our State.  At our afternoon coffee break, there were discussions on trading wood;  whenever a family buys wood, there is a feeling of decadence with the desire to share it with those who are, at that time, - short on their wood supply.

And so it is today.  We have run out and are resorting to the trusty Dyson heater.   When the Machinist returns, there will be some off-loading up the road, adding to another's stock, returning the favour.  The rest will be off-loaded here.

For some years, we used our children's old "Wendy House" as the wood shed.  The roof was still in tact, but some of the planks had fallen off and the eaves had expired a long time ago.  It looked unsightly at the front of the house, and a number of Hairy Marys had been busy spinning, connecting their webs from the house wall to the wood shed wall.  A variety of lifeforms, some living, some dead had been caught in the webs, and while fascinating, the bigger picture looked like a scene from a wild west movie.

Once, a tiger snake actually found refuge behind the wood shed (not for long, though - especially on my watch), as I'm sure others had without my knowledge, and definitely without my permission!

Our new wood shed is a zinc-coated, slender fixture.  More streamlined, with a working door that actually fastens.  The Lads will be erecting it while the Machinist is away.

In my mind, I can picture the neatly stacked wood.  Just the thought of it meets with my approval.

There's always a lot of last minute jobs happening around here.  True skill is coordinating them, so that they happen in the right order.

21 April 2015

Thoughts on Homeschooling

We didn't know what we were in for - years ago, when the Machinist and I made the decision to homeschool our children.  At the time, our eldest child was in first year high school.  The other two were in Kindergarten and year one - at our local village school.  We hadn't gone to great lengths to actually research homeschooling either, and nor were we then, or now - qualified or professional teachers.

We were moved towards this decision, from a variety of sources - all confirming that we were doing the right thing for our family.

It really doesn't matter why parents decide to homeschool their children.  We had our own personal thoughts, views, reasons which were then and even now - ours alone.

Every family is different.  What is right for one, may not be for another.

The most important thing that matters is that there is a love and vested interest in offspring.  It's not even about education, but rather - to instil a love of learning in each child.

What we know, without doubt, is that if a child loves to learn, delights in every new snippet of discovery, is happy and well balanced - knowledge and understanding will follow.A child can be trusted to learn, as it is in their nature.

We have no regrets about taking our children out of mainstream schooling - to the learning environment of their home.... Absolutely none.

Non je ne regrette rien

And nowadays we continue in the tradition of instilling the love of learning in our grand-daughter and those still to come, whom we love already....







13 April 2015

Something Nice...

Mister had been waiting weeks to go to a reptile expo - which he knew from the beginning he would be attending alone. (Me and reptiles DO NOT co-exist)

He left with the promise of bringing back something nice... Now don't judge me for sounding ungrateful but I did request that it wasn't a form of food. (Lord knows my hips don't need it, and we all know hips don't lie.)

When he arrived home I was presented this little succulent with delicate flowers. He's a keeper!
 

I have always wanted to fill a garden with flowers and succulents. Having four puppies kinda means we will never have a nice garden that doesn't have holes everywhere. So for now, I am working on a few pot gardens by our front door.


 These poor plants have already faced being nibbled on by the goats, and a few weeks later dug up and pulled at by the puppies. But they live on... One replacement plant at a time.





 


06 April 2015

A Path Going Nowhere.

A few years ago, we built our second workshop - the "Fabrication" Workshop on our village block, next to our house.  At the time, it was distressing for me, because (sigh...) there was the most amazing view from our back deck; a mountain range, paddocks, sheep, cattle, and a number of dead, but still majestic gum trees, holding their branch arms upward - towards the Heavens.  

Naturally, one's 'living' has to come before all of that, and so - I resigned myself to make the most of the situation.  The building of the workshop has created the most unexpected, yet delightful 'micro-climate' situation-type situation, and has provided a much needed and welcome wind break from the notorious westerly winds. 

It is Autumn now (a favourite of mine!) and this is what we planted on the weekend; a 20m garden bed - filled with perennials which runs alongside part of the workshop path. 

Note the plastic taped to the corrugated iron?  That's the Machinist for you.  "At least it will delay a little rust, Babe.  We won't have to bother about it for a few years..." 


The pieces of corrugated iron which retain the top path-to-be were salvaged from an old corrugated fence which had 'grown' there since - oh - 1950?

Before my time, anyway.



And with all good plants, come some healthy snails.



Confession:  I still CANNOT, to this day - kill a snail.  I cannot squash it.  I cannot bare the sound  of the crunching of it's home.  Instead, I throw them in the creek at the bottom of our property OR, if I'm pressed (is  that a pun?) for time, I will hurl them "elsewhere", without consideration (forced oblivion) to the fact that they will painstakingly slither back.

OR, I get Polly to eat them.



"Sluuurp...woof....thank-you, Mamma.  That was delicious"

Just kidding.  She would if I let her though.  This dog is STARVED.



I don't know why, but I get a pathetic sense of satisfaction and delight seeing these empty coloured pots - strewn haphazardly after planting.  I gently pull the plant from the pot, nestle it into the pre-dug hole and then toss them behind me, in a non-caring fashion (I've tripped on them later, too).



Newly formed steps leading from the garden to the side Exit door of the Fabrication Shop




This is how the plants looked after watering.  Can you see the willow tree branches hanging low, Sweet Chariot?  Can you also see that the path leads straight into a colour bond fence. It goes nowhere.  Unless, of course - one was to leap OFF the path, over the garden bed, and hit a sharp left turn into the barn.


Usually, I plant too many, too close.  I've really had to control myself on this garden project. The plantings are wider apart.

You're welcome, plants!



And again.... We'll cut the plastic when we apply the mulch.



And again... Wait!  What's that?  A wwwweeed.   It is poking through a hole in the old corrugated iron.  This weed sure knows where it's bread is buttered.  The Machinist and I both smiled and agreed that it was kind of nice the way it poked through there.  What tenacity!  (Of course I won't think the same way IF we allow it to live.  And grow.  And spread it's weed seeds.  

I feel faint at the thought of more weeding, so early in the (planting) game. 



Ok, then... I'm off to nip something in the bud....

#nomercyhavei


04 April 2015

Blogging Family

This past week I had the absolute pleasure of meeting a blogging friend. (Face to face) Before entering this world of people who write about their lives, thoughts and loves, I had no idea how fulfilling and truly wonderful it could be. I may have never physically been in the same room as this person, but I knew her. We are in the truest sense - friends.


Two and a bit days seemed to pass too fast, and all the plans (haha) of getting photos and visiting different places didn't really pan out... but the late night chats, stationary shopping and exploring that we did manage to squeeze out of our short time together were worth their weight in gold.


To go from such full on, exciting, chatty days to suddenly being back in normal slowed down time has made for some strange feelings. Saying goodbye is never easy, but with promises of new hellos it sure does make the future brighter!



02 April 2015

Goodbye, Summer

Summer has gone.  Even these foxgloves look tired and worn out. You know what they're singing?  "Bend me, shape me, anyway ya want me...Long as ya love me...it's all-right..."  Referring to the westerly summer winds, of course.  Oh, and the bees, that were giving them love.



See the brick edging?  These were recycled from an old chimney in our kitchen.  Young Acorn actually laid these bricks.  I'll wager, though, that she doesn't remember 'planting' a ten cent piece in the cement that holds the bricks upright.  She will probably hound me to show her when she reads this post, and I'll probably keep her guessing.  No egg hunt for her!  Just a ten cent piece hunt. Ha!


Two faithfuls: Snow in Summer and Ajuga.

Hold on.... What...?



Oh, it's Rowdy Rusty on his pogo stick.  He's hiding behind the Daphne.



Some of our pets are buried under these plants.  It's Pet Cemetery corner.

RIP faithful friends!



Ceramic chicks having a natter....

"Ya know, Mable... I'll be glad when this heat is over.. "
"You said it, Fred.  This sun will crack me up...unlike your corny jokes..."



The potted succulent cheer squad.



 Dial-a-crowd.


And so... summer really is over.

It's gone.

As is Sasha - the Family Cat.  She has vacated the front garden and now resides in the rear garden, where she now reigns over new territories AND a devoted canine.



01 April 2015

Not Trash But Treasure

Some months ago, my sister in law passed away.  She and my brother were divorced, so technically, she wasn't my sister in law any more, but that is minor "detail, daaaahling".  I loved her from the moment I knew of her.  I loved her because my brother loved her.  And later, I loved and admired her because of 'her'.


My sister in law is survived by her 90 year old mum.  Her mum told me "...Helen... no mother should live to experience the death of her child....

And so - a lot of things are changing for my brother, and my sister in law's mother.  Houses are being sold and auctioned.  Businesses are being leased.  Possessions are being assessed and sorted (there's a lot of s's there).  Arrangements for retirement cottages are being made.  Ideas for new 'off the plan' units are being mulled over.  Tidying up and the resultant rubbish is being carted....

That's where we come in...

We are carting the rubbish.

Right here, to our own home.

The men in our life cannot understand what we would want or do with someone else's rubbish.  But what they can't see, nor grasp is that we see the "detail, daaaahling..."

It's not always about the material, but the memories. The Machinist would argue with me that they are not our memories to keep, but someone else's.

There is a grandson from a broken family.  I will keep old photos of his Grandparents.  I will keep photos of his dad.  I will keep photos of his aunt.  I will keep photos of himself - growing up, sharing his life with all those that love him.  I will keep a few pieces of his aunt's engraved jewellery - given to her by his Great-Grandparents.

I will keep photos of my brother's life - celebrated here, as well as on another two continents.  I will keep photos of him and his ex wife (his best friend).  He may not want them or be interested in them now, but he may in the future.

I will keep old, food-stained, hand-written and (typewriter typed) recipes (with comments!) from the 90 year old mother's life as she cared for her family.

I will keep water paints, charcoal and oil pencils and crayons, as well as an artist's box and easel belonging to the 90 year old mother, because although she cannot make up her mind now, she may, as she settles into her new life in the retirement cottage, have a yearning to resume a pastime close to her heart.

I will keep old blankets (never used) because it would be wasteful not to.  I will wash them and add a fragrant softener to the water, later hanging them out on the washing line to dry in the autumn sun and breezes.

I will keep silken scarves and distribute them to my own girls.

I will keep (unbroken) ceramics, crockery and other kitchenware and distribute them to the needy, via our local (yes, local - as charity begins at 'home') Community Care.

I will keep cushions, foot warming pods and seat padding and pass them on to my own parents.

I will keep old paintings because the frames they are housed in are of good quality and need very little 'touch up' to engage in a new life and play host to our own quirky and strange sense of humour pictures and posters.

And so - with so much treasure around, it's hard to see the rubbish.

(Just for the record - I'm not a hoarder).

#reallynotahoarder


30 March 2015

Business Etiquette: Staffing

My biggest achievement and honour in life is being a wife and mother.  It is where my heart is.  It is my first true love.

But.... I'm also a business woman.  I am a director of a company established in 1988.  Our business is mechanical engineering.  We design and manufacture metal products for a variety of industries.  We have raised our children (and others) in the business, and are, to date - still training them to multi-skill, as business needs and skills change.



We would be the first to confess that we are not perfect and are always striving to improve our operations in any small way.  However, I am constantly overwhelmed and somewhat - yes - disappointed at the lack of 'business etiquette' shown by other businesses out there.

Recently, one of our own, in her second job was not paid (and still hasn't been paid) in three and a half weeks.  

Three and a half weeks!

Know they not (the employers) that therein lies their treasure, their most important asset?  Staff is the most important asset a business can own.  Without staff, there is no business.

Unless, of course, you are running solo ono.

If you've had the good fortune of taking leave, going on holiday, taking a mini break, as a business owner, then good for you.  Many times, it is well deserved.  But.... pay your people first.  If you can't afford to pay them, then you can't afford to indulge in any of the above.  Alternatively,  communicate with them.  Make an arrangement with them.  Don't disrespect them by having them chase YOU.

It is embarrassing for them.

They need to retain their dignity.  They need to know they are needed.

And so, Dear One.  This is for you.  Always remember:

"You is Kind"
"You is Smart"
"You is Important"

Love
Mummy x


24 March 2015

Special Moments

Last week, while visiting my Grandparents with my niece, my Gran disappeared from the tea table and called for me to come to her room.
She said there was something she had been meaning to give to me, and produced a small wooden box.

Inside was a few rings, charms and other tiny keepsakes. Of which she pulled a small gold band.

“This was your great grandma’s wedding ring; she’s been gone for a very long time now… And I know she would approve.”




Gran took my hand and placed the ring in my palm, curled my fingers around it and said, “Please wear it, I want to see it on your finger.”


Life is full of special moments; many of which I’m sure we don’t realise at the time.  However, this was one I don’t think I will ever forget.


Why do my fingers look like small sausages here?!