Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Thank You February.

It is dark this morning as I type this.

It is on the cold side too and although there is only a slow pitter patter now there was a heavy downpour through the night.

I also know that when the weather is so I will not be able to connect in any means or form ~ and that is alright. I am at utter peace with this. Strange how in days gone past this would have been so very frustrating and this frustration would have led to obscene curse words and an irritation beyond words could describe. Strange how things were then. It is very liberating to say the very least.

This month has been such an exciting time. Not only have we learnt a whole lot from our new Homeschooling lifestyle but we have also learnt what it means to start living a more frugal simple lifestyle. We are now a one income family with Rob trying hard to keep us afloat while I knit you all up one hat at a time to contribute to it all. It has also been a difficult month emotionally. Tristan leaves next week for China and I have spent the month watching him finalise his visa, sell off all his furniture from his bachelor/student year down the coast and now we finalise all the last bits with the bank. It is exciting and worrisome and the anxiety... well, I am sure you can imagine. But, I am pleased for him - this new life he will build for himself away from the tribe. It is going to be mighty interesting to see how the month to come will be for our home without the eldest child here.


; I finished off Danika's Pullover, 2 Beanies for Tristan in Variegated colours, 1 purple (barney purple) with heart motifs for Danika and 1 gorgeous green with diamond shapes (crystals to be exact) for Garren. Joshua wants one in white with bright pink. I don't have white at the moment and know he is just being sassy. So, I have suggested he think about what he wants first and then let me know. I have also added a plain purple toddler beanie to the Shop. After a number of DM on Instagram as to whether I would be willing to sell my hats I decided to give it a bash. I will knit one up every so often and add it to my online store. I will still be taking on commissions - so email me. The prices will be on the shop to give you an idea of what they will be sold.

Reading ; there hasn't been much reading happening. Besides that of lesson planning and the occasional swipe of the finger as I go through my RSS news feed or Instagram feed. I had hoped that we would have found our way to the library. But, not yet. I cannot venture there on my own with the children. I have to wait on Rob to get us there. It isn't in the safest area of town. So, we will just keep reading what we have on the shelf. Which is Charlie & The Chocolate Factory for Garren and a line or two for me from Jane's Delicious Gardening by Jane Griffiths. I am looking for the Anne of Green Gables series to reread. I love them as a teenager. And I would love to get Dicey's Song for Garren to try out too, it was another one of my favourites when I was his age.

Gardening ; I posted a garden update HERE a week or so ago. Since then we harvested a couple of Shu-shus for Friday night homemade take-out night. It was a great success. The hedge is bursting with fruit - what we don't use up soon will be heading home with guests from Tristan's farewell supper on Saturday. Otherwise, in garden news, I am heading off to harvest more Thyme for the dehydrator later this morning.

Watching ; from the beginning of the year we disconnected our DSTV and invested in Openview (which wants expensive at all). It offers the basics - a couple of movie channels, a learning channel, a kiddies channel, our usual SABC 1 2 3 and of course the ETV channel. It also offers a good couple of radio stations, especially the one we love. LMradio, a Mozambican station that plays good oldies. Even the jingles are set to dates before our time. Rob and I are smitten with it. But, in saying all this we don't really get to watch much. LMradio blares beautifully through the day and then gets switched over to BBC news from around six in the evening. If there is a good movie on over the weekend we will turn over to it. Otherwise we don't screen time too much. What I did do this month though, is order a few good old dvds from Takealot. The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, The Secret Garden, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, Mary Poppins and Charlotte's Web to be exact. They are still in transit. I have plans to choose one of them each week and let the small (and big ones) get to know a little of my childhood. I cant wait, it is no secret. I do hope they arrive soon so we can get started. Do you have a favourite golden oldie to suggest for us to get?

Cooking ; this month I added a new Zulu / South African traditional dish to our Saturday night supper. I started off with good old faithful Putu-pap, which I had never known how to make but sure knew how to devour in bowl fulls every time Rob's Mama made it. So that was a huge accomplishment for me. I then proceeded to add Samp & Beans which started off a little dry but by this weekend gone I was able to accomplish a little more gravy to stick around after standing for a bit. Cabbage was on special last week! Can you believe that buying a Cabbage is ridiculously expensive around these parts. I got it for R6.99 and was pleased as punch to add it to our meal this weekend. Curried Cabbage with a little soya bean. Did you see it on Instagram? It was a good food weekend to say the very least. I ended it off on Sunday with homemade custard slice and I think that earned a whole galaxy of twinkly star points with all the boys (especially Rob) and even with our little Danika. Speaking of which, She has taken it upon herself to only eat if fed by herself with a grown up metal teaspoon otherwise don't even worry about it. What new meals have you got planned for the week? Jennifer over at Thistlebear posted a delicious looking Slow cooker shredded chicken + easy enchiladas recipe which, of course, I am dying to try out. I have been slow cooking my chicken for weeks now - as there is almost zero wastage. The meat just falls from the bones and is delicious in my Chicken & mushroom pie and chicken a la king nights. Cooking up a whole chicken works out so much cheaper than buying pieces. That's how we roll these days.

Homeschooling ; we have completed our third week of homeschooling. Well, first month. We did informal assessments at the end of week three and it seems we are on track. We are still placing our footing as to how we want lessons to go. The layout and times that are set up as a guideline are not really working for us. We are finding that just as we get started on subject and it all gets super interesting we have to move on to the next one. We started lessons a little different this week. The mornings start with Math and English and then go through one subject a day for the rest of the week. With reading out loud in both English & Afrikaans in the afternoons while Danika naps or I prepare supper. I will let you know how our new lesson plans fare as we go along. Do you home school? How do you work out your lesson plans?

Hoping : for this new month for Tristan to be happy and find peace in this new country and city that he will be flying to. I also hope that we can slow down a little more. I am still training myself to stop and breathe and remember that this new lifestyle was indeed for us to do just that. SLOW down and enjoy the small things. I also hope that this silly little stye in my eye decides to heal up soon, I have never had one before and I would not wish it on my enemy. I also hope that this new month - the month that brings in the tweaking of Autumn and Mabon, my most favourite season - brings you all happiness and just enough of everything your heart desires.

cheers to February, hello there March.

Love always, Angela XOX

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

take a walk with Danika.

I have been noticing subtle changes outside of late. Mornings chores that were once done in brilliant bright sunlight have become a darker and if it weren't for the chirping of the birds one might think that it may be midnight out there. The heat is still here and will probably be here for a good time to come. But there is a change - there is this slightest wisp of coolness in the very early mornings. Yes, the seasons are changing, the wheel of the year is still turning. And, turn it will, regardless of what we're doing with our lives.

So, with these thoughts in mind I thought it best to update a little on how our wildlings are doing out there before it all passes by ever so fast and we're back into the throws of our African Winters. 

Our kitchen garden has fared well this year with the move from the bamboo thicket to closer and within the fence line. But, there has been a humidity this year. So much of it that the wildlings haven't fared as they should have. Rob, mentioned that our patty pan leaves (as well as the strawberry leaves) keep showing signs of a type of rust on them to the guy at the nursery down the road. This guy confirmed, as we suspected, that it was due to the high humidity this year. I have also noticed sporadic growth spurts. This hasn't been of the norm. Some weeks our greens flourish and we cannot keep up with them and other weeks they stand ever so still barely to reach for the skies in any shape or form. 

Our oranges have been green for months, as are our bananas! They are the first bunch ever to sprout on our land. We have been carefully guarding them from monkey invasions. And, aren't oranges supposed to be a Winter fruit? Interesting that the tree is in fruit on the last bit before Autumn swings on in. This week Rob fried up our first Aubergine. A little late in the season but they're about to fruit by the basket full (I hope!) I have ideas of pickling these little treasures for later eating in the year.

The girls in the coop are also a little bipolar at the moment. Some weeks we have all 4 sweet hearts laying and then nothing. I am still on the search for little red hens and pretty white fluffy ones too. Nothing has come up close to home on my web searches but I will keep at it.

It has been the strangest of seasons, to say the very least. I wonder what the rest of it will bring?

How are your wildlings and backyard faring this season?

ps.. Ive added a little meander around our backyard below - the sound for some unknown reason just wouldn't load with the video. I suppose old dated technology does that? of course I have no inkling of updating any of it in the near future - so we compromised and added Rob's favourite band to accompany it.

Hope you enjoy - Love Angela xox

Friday, February 16, 2018

Family Earthing.

Backyard earthing every Sunday seems to be our "thing". Even when family come to meet and greet and feast. I am ever so thankful the atrocious heat kept a distance - the reprieve meant that we could let the wee ones run wild and free to their hearts content. With cooler weather comes cloud cover which does tend to lend to darker pictures to share. I am beginning to get used to capturing them so. These sweet moments were captured this weekend gone when Rob's cousins came for Sunday lunch. We had such a lovely time watching the wee ones connect.

This week has flowed perfectly. Homesteading and homeschooling flowing from one to the other gracefully, we may just be on track. So much so that today is just a revision day - well, except for Math and a couple of Science experiments that we could not complete until today, as I needed to collect the ingredients on my weekly grocery store run yesterday. We are both pleased with how smoothly lessons are going.

I have found myself gravitating more in this space here now too. With my new steps on this path we are all now following and with me being home daily and if you know how things work around here there are hardly internet waves in the sky that lend for much time connecting. Between that and devoting more time to nurturing our young ones it only makes more sense to flow with this not so new way of sharing. Should you wish to keep following you will find me in your mail box each time I should update here if you subscribe HERE (or click in the subscribe box to the right of your screen) or peek at my INSTAGRAM profile for our link there. I will also send out an email every so often with links to posts should you be interested. If you are interested you can email me HERE and I will add you to my mailing list.

Happy Friday sweet beings and thank you for always connecting with us.
love always
Angela XOX

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Happy Valentine's Day.

I took a few moments to "celebrate" Valentine's Day this morning. I don't usually find commercialised holidays my thing and often try to steer clear of it all. But, these sweet hearts were screaming to be knit up. And knit them up I did in about a few minutes each while G was working on his Math sums in the first lesson of the day.

Tonight we will feast well on the special supper I have prepared and desert on homemade ice cream still to make it's way into the ice cream machine topped with pink homemade meringues that are now baking on low in the oven.

We will also take a moment whilst feasting on said homemade deliciousness to think of our Josh who wont be joining us tonight. He left for Camp in the early hours of Tuesday morning. I hope to set aside a sliver of each desert for him to enjoy on his return later this week.

Do you celebrate St Valentine and what small (or big) traditions do you and yours play out on this day? I always find it so very interesting how each person interprets and celebrates each "special" day which ever one it may be. Ours almost always gravitates around food.


If you would also like to add a few sweet hearts to your day, you can find the pattern over at my RAVELRY projects (with other pieces I have worked on or I am busy working on) .

Or, head on over to Liz's site for the originals and more - she is one talented lady.
(you may remember her as The Sitting Tree from years gone by.)

love and more love on this day of love,
Angela XOX

Friday, February 9, 2018

Our Barefoot Schoolhouse.

This week we completed our first week of homeschooling....

We did it, successfully and without incident. I am pleased and exhausted. I must admit that although the thought of homeschooling was anticipated with much excitement there were moments on the brink of due date when I questioned our decision as to whether this was something I could or should be doing for our family and our children. But, thinking back now, these feelings must have come from the various remarks made over the months prior to starting from skeptic people out there. When questions such as - "aren't you afraid that you will mess up your children's lives" are continually put forward to you, it would only make sense that (even if for a fleeting moment) you should question this of yourself too. That of course now has been place so far behind me and will never be questioned again of myself or allow that of someone else.

In the end we decided that we would further G's studies via Clonard Education. It seems a more natural way for us to carry on with G who has been in the school system since Grade RR. The transition would be smoother and if at any stage there should be a need to filter back into the system he could do so with ease. There is also the nitty of registering with Education Department which each Homeschooling family is required "by-law" to do. Again, here Clonard, for us, seemed the best option as they are well known with the Education Department so the registration should be a little smoother. I will let you know how that process pans out. It is a process, so I am told. Ordering the curriculum was easy and the staff are ever so sweet and efficient. We have all in place except for one teacher's aid in English and our Atlas. So, starting our week was super easy with all or most of our books at hand. Each subject is laid out so that anyone with passion to do so can teach from both the Teacher/Parent guides and manuals for each subject and an overall one. And teach we did this week.

This week I have found our week to be erratic in time spent on each subject. I have allocate time for Math, English, Afrikaans and Subject to be completed each day as prescribed via the Education Department but I am going to go with a more child-led (Garren-led) structure - we found that we either didn't have enough time to complete a certain unit or there was just way too much time allocated to that unit for the day - and I know that we will complete what needs to be done at terms end. He feels more at ease with this too and has even commented after each mornings schooling in our Barefoot SchoolHouse that he is happy we have chosen this new path.

Eclectic Homeschooling for the win I'd say and I am feeling rather pleased with this.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Welcome February

Thank you ever so much dearest longest January. 

You were kind yet oh so very long. You gave us bountiful harvests from the veggie garden, plenty of outside time in the cooler afternoons and near the end of the month a magnificent downpour to wash away all that heat and dryness. 
And, you finished it all off with the most magickal Blue Blood Full Moon in Leo. 
That was quite something to experience even if we could not see it for all the cloud cover.

Welcome the month of February. 

The month that begins our first harvest, known as Lughnasadh. The month of Valentine and all the commercialism that comes with said day. Welcome the month that has been anticipated for such a long time. The month that starts our adventure in homeschooling Garren and this Mama seriously working on a more minimalist life for her whole Tribe. 
February also brings a trip for the day to the coast to collect Tristan's Visa to head off to China in March and with that the final month before he departs on that big plane in the sky to start his life on another continent of the world. 

Bless you January!...  
February please be ever so kind to this Mama Bear and her Tribe.

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