Independence Days: A weekend at home alone


My sister’s wedding. Photo By: David Tye Photography

This week I’ve been working on a photo book for my sister’s wedding. I went back to Australia in September for her wedding and promised to put together a book as her gift.  I used to run a photography business on a part-time basis, but since living in the USA the business has been on hold. It’s been fun getting back into designing an album though. I’d forgotten how much I missed it. If you are interested, here’s the link to my Dog Photography blog, A Dog A Day.

Brendan has been away all week doing a Solar PV Design and Installation course with the Solar Living Institute. He’s really into renewable energy and has a great technical mind so I think it’s been a great course for him. Both of us see that in the future we are going to need to have vastly different skills and careers than we do now, so we are using the next couple of years to get re-skilled into areas which are going to be in demand in the future. Brendan is a handy guy, so I think he’s going to adapt well to any future need. Me, I’m not so sure. In a world of expensive oil, I don’t think there’s going to be much call for Aerospace Engineers and Dog Photographers! One of these days I’ll do a post on our re-skilling plans.

While I’ve been home alone this weekend, I enjoyed a quiet day of catching up around our little urban homestead. I pottered around the vegetable garden, pulling weeds, planting Collards and spreading straw mulch. It’s amazing how good you feel after getting your hands in the dirt. It’s called soil-borne wellness, and psychologists are well aware of it’s benefits:

Eating colorful fruits and veggies is great—but only half the story. There’s surprising evidence that our mental and physical health depends on growing them ourselves. ~ Psychology Today

I also started again on learning to knit. My first project since I was a kid is not so pretty, but it’s made with chunky yarn salvaged from the thrift store and big needles so I think I’ll get away with it. I have visions of knitting cute little shrugs and cardigans, but I suppose I need to master a scarf first. I need to find myself a knitting mentor, but in the meantime the internet has been a wonderful teacher.

I took a walk with Zoe dog in the morning and listened to a podcast called Web of Debt, from Two Beers with Steve. Podcasts are great. I’m not a very patient person and hate having to ever sit around and wait. Since I’ve discovered podcasts, I just pop in my earpiece and listen to something educational while I’m waiting. It also works well on walks where I have no human company. I tend to walk for much longer.

I also spent a couple of hours yesterday afternoon having a long coffee with an Australian friend. It’s good to have the time to reconnect with people, something I sorely miss when I’m travelling all the time.

Today I’m going to finish off my sister’s wedding book, transplant the broccoli, make pesto and maybe some soup. If the sun comes out today, I’d like to sit outside and finish the book I’m currently reading: $20 Per Gallon: How the Inevitable Rise in the Price of Gasoline Will Change Our Lives for the Better

Onto my weekly update (this is for two weeks, since I missed last week):

Planted: Transplanted Collards and broccoli, sowed beans, peas, spinach and carrots. So far, no sign of the carrots. We haven’t had one seed germinate, so I expect we got a bad batch of seeds. Or, could we be doing something completely wrong when it comes to carrots?

Harvested: Chives, Basil, Grape Tomatoes, Cayenne Pepper, Jalapeno.

Preserved: Dried the peppers, Basil as Pesto.

Waste Not: Brendan sold one of his bikes that he no longer needs. The bonus is that the purchaser is a like-minded soul who looks to be a potential new friend.

Want Not: Started a knitting project with second-hand yarn from the thrift store.

Build community food systems: A friend brought around a paper bag of passionfruit with the following written on the front: ‘A germination challenge for you’. What could she mean?

Eat the food – Until the cool season garden starts producing, we are down to hot peppers and herbs. Today I might unfreeze some of the summer squash and tomatoes and turn them into soup.

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