Sunday 22 May 2016

Vintage Glassware

I love the shapes of these glass jugs, as well as the sugar container.  They remind me of days gone by.  Mothers of old would use them regularly, sometimes covered by lace doilies with beads attached to add weight and stop flies and fruit flies from falling into the milk.  

The Nature of Our Village

Many many years ago - in a land far away - my own Mam would take us children on regular Nature Walks.  We lived close to a park which led onto a river.  The river bank was rife with a variety of lifeforms. I would always imagine "Tales of the Riverbank" whenever we were there.

We also lived close to a canal, - deep in some places, shallow in others.  Birds in reeds, frogs and spawn on rocks and in the water.  Tadpoles were ever present.

Mam usually wore an apron with a large pocket.  So many treasures, picked up as we walked were stashed in her apron.

She passed the love of nature, walks and picnics on to us.

The legacy continues - albeit in a foreign land with different flora and fauna:

The Host to our local treasures:  The Village streets and the paddocks beyond....

The Barn

This is the inside of our barn.  I don't know why we call this little building at the bottom of our garden "the barn".  It's not that livestock were ever raised in here.  Nor did we store hay or grain inside these walls.  Living things have entered herein, though.  At one time, our Emma's horse would frequent part of the barn, but she never liked to stay inside for long.  Maybe she found it austere.  

With master cobwebs like this, I would too.  Not to mention the decomposition of fallen willow tree leaves on the 'sky-light' part of the roof.

She preferred the outdoors. The beauty of the paddock.

I would too.  If this was my only other option.

The Machinist uses the barn, though.  A lot of his 'I-can't-find-a-place-for-this- I know - the-barn!' items are stored in - the Barn.

Generations of cats and kittens would play and frolic in the barn, too.  As did mice (not for long, though).  And once, while moving brand new fence sheeting off the bare-soil floor, the last sheet revealed a sleepy Tiger snake.  (I will never forget it.  Nor will my daughters.  I won't forget the terror of the snake.  They won't forget the terror of my voice when I saw the snake).

The Barn has played host to useful things, too.  Like props we used when we ran our cafe, The Daily Pie

We would use this light - like a beacon at night when we were expecting customers for evening functions.....

It's original home was in a local Theatre within our Shire...

And of course there is the faithful, hard working, manual-labour lawn mower.  Oh, the number of lawns this fella has mowed.  If only he could talk.  He would tell you!  He'd be glad to brag, too.

Which is more than I can say for this old dear.  I suspect he needs some attention....

Then there is the fire fighting pump.  He's pumped about his important role in the protection of our property against prospective bush fires (that's a lot of 'P's').  We're glad he's here, though.  But shhhh....don't tell him, or else it may go to his head.  He already thinks he's the cleanest, shiniest piece of equipment in the room.

Another guy ready for action.  I think my son was 2 when he learned to use the chain saw.

Just kidding.  That would mean that I would have had to start it for him by pulling this chord.  That would never have happened.  I'm not that tenacious.  Or patient.  Especially when there is no fuel in it to keep it running, and I wouldn't even know the difference.

And what is this treasure, hiding under that semi-rusty shelving?  Oh, that's right.  I remember now.  It's a birthday gift.  A potting wheel.  Never used.  Except for the assortment of beetles, spiders and other critters passing through it's parts.

All this to say - the Barn is on our Projects List for this year.  We've been slowly but surely clearing it out and I'm happy to report that these last items may be the Barn's last occupants before the Big Makeover.  The walls will be lined.  A ceiling put in.  A floor, too.



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....

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'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.


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.


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....