Heres to being open.

Screen Shot 2018-01-24 at 1.33.24 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-23 at 3.28.08 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.04 pmScreen Shot 2017-04-04 at 11.51.32 amscreen-shot-2017-02-27-at-1-14-34-pmScreen Shot 2016-02-17 at 7.09.48 PMScreen Shot 2015-11-07 at 6.21.40 PMScreen Shot 2015-09-21 at 4.35.49 PMLife on the farm is simple, minimalist and starting to shape itself toward being a sustainable little treasure.  We’re excited to now see progress as we take the small but inevitable steps toward a life with less and more good wholesome home grown food.

Our chicken coop is nearly finished, the lawn is drought hardy, the compost is heaped to the brim and the plans for the next phase are nearly under way.

Lately I’ve helping the community rally together against the Fracking Industry (as that fight is unfortunately still ongoing and will be a long process) in partnership with Lock the Gate, immersing myself in the joys of raising Wesley, copywriting from home and learning alongside Mike that the potential to make inner change is huge.

We have both been reading a number of books on mind development, cognitive decision making and positive communication.

Do you ever read books like this?  What’s a book you’ve read and felt really resonated with you?

For me the #1 is The Untethered Soul by Michael A. Singer – it’s simply given my mind a real shake up.

This is another year that is going to be filled to the brim with love, adventure, open hearts, cuddles, dancing, singing, photos, hiking and plenty of learning.

The first 1.5 years.

Screen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.25.12 amScreen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.24.24 amScreen Shot 2017-12-28 at 8.24.55 amScreen Shot 2017-12-22 at 8.30.02 pmIt’s said that a baby absorbs the most information during the first three years of life.  Wesley is now 1.5 years old and truly amazes us with his little discoveries each day.

His mind is like a rocket ship, fuelled and taking off into the great unknown – so ready to take it all in!

We’re now entering a period of new word development.  Some days he surprises me with 4-5 new words and has become more aware of when to say hello and bye.  He’s quite good at waving me off and saying “bye”!  He has even memorised a few parts in books (that blew me away the first time it happened).  He has a little library and we are lucky to be able to borrow some from Eneabba.  At this stage we probably read together at least 2x a day.  He’s often found tucked away somewhere quiet flipping pages, gently peering at the images.

Some of the words he’s learned so far:

Fish, Sheep, Boo!, No, Vroom Vroom, Car, Shell, Flower, Yeah, Ball, Moo, Teddy, Apple, Hi, Bye, Uh Oh, Mummy, Dada, Meow, Duck, Quack, Milk, Dog, Bubble, Egg…

Our darling Wesley has been climbing, feeding his toys and taking them on trips around the house, running, reading, dancing (such a good dancer!!) playing and beginning to take trips with us to the potty.

Here are some songs we’ve been dancing to lately:

He is very generous with his kisses, cuddles and even food.

Sometimes I hold him in the middle of the night and he snuggles into my chest like a koala.  It is then that I can truly measure how large he is for my top half of my torso is engulfed in his hug.  Long gone are the days when we gingerly held him and tapped our palms on his back for little belches.  When he was just born his whole torso fit in the palm of my hand or the crook of my neck.  He was incredibly delicate and precious to hold.

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Now I’m being swallowed in his size – it’s as if I can barely comprehend how this happened…When did you become my big boy?

Time is moving too quickly.   Everyone says that, and it’s true.  In my mind I flash forward to his first bike ride, bus to school, kiss, heart ache…

Day by day, inch by inch he will slowly transform into an independent person who will learn to lead his own way in this world.  We’ll be delighted to keep watching him and showing him everything we can so he can shape his own idea of what his new shiney world will look like.

I can only hope he will still love hugs and cuddles for a little while longer.

Point Louise, Greenhead Western Australia

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The breeze was so refreshing at the beach yesterday.  I had a few solo hours in the bush and sand dunes keeping an eye on what’s flowering, what bugs are pollinating at midday and where the little jumping spiders are on the coast at midday.  Do they move about in the full sunlight part of the day?

A little treat to myself during this little venture was an iced coffee.  And people! Australia and New Zealand do this right!  It comes with whipped cream on top and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.  The bitterness of the coffee is all at the bottom, and as you finish the drink you’re left with the sweet taste of ice cream to cool you down.  On a crazy hot day it is perfectly refreshing.

My search for the first two hours proved uneventful, though I did see many butterflies, beetles and wasps (and even one blue banded bee) out hustling between all the flowering coastal plants.

I’d thankfully slathered on a huge portion of sunscreen before leaving.  As I wandered the beach it crossed my mind to remove my shoes and feel that soft white sand and warm Indian ocean between my toes.  As I progressed along Point Louise, I followed a path up the limestone cliffs and began to walk North.

This was perhaps a poor impulsive decision as I then spent the next hour painstakingly walking along a gravely hot path barefoot.  What’s worse?  The sharp pain of awkwardly placing my foot on a rock or the searing pain of the hot ground cooking my feet?  Both at once was fairly uncomfortable.  I had to hype myself up to turn around and walk to full track back!

The good news is during this little tortured walk, I managed to spot what I’d been looking for.  One small brown jumping spider hopped across the path and into the shade.

After several hours out in the sun, I started to make my way home.

Greenhead is a gorgeous little community, with a number of holiday homes to rent a couple of cafes and a small pharmacy.  Now that Christmas is nearly upon us the town will be bustling with holiday makers, children and plenty of happy families soaking up the sun on these lovely beaches.

We’re also settling into the weekend and will be celebrating a quiet little Christmas with Wesley and friends.  Eggnog spiced with a little rum will be whisked up by Mike after a successful and popular batch last year.  He’s keen to try again (it was so delicious and I don’t even like liquor) and today I’ve baked some old style cookies my grandma taught me how to make when I was a child.   I hope you take time to connect with your loved ones, create or uphold traditions and cherish these memories.

Lovely Things.

Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.39.53 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.03 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.14 amI did not take many images in New Zealand but as usual it was lush and beautiful everywhere I looked!Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.40.27 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.05 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.18 amI’ve seen quite a number of jumping spiders since we first spotted one nearly two months ago now.  All of them have been male, and all of them have been wonderfully beautiful.Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.30 amScreen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.41 amThese are juvenile yellow throated miners who were clumped together when I first spotted them.  They were quite noisy calling out for mum n dad to feed them.Screen Shot 2017-10-29 at 8.43.49 am

I’ve recently returned from a 10 day trip to New Zealand for surgery.  I had been on a wait list for 8 months and so when the date finally came rushed to buy a ticket and Mike arranged to have leave from work to care for Wesley.  10 days in New Zealand were to rest and recover from the near 1.5 years of little sleep or alone time… Mike was so brilliant with Wesley while I was away that I never had to worry, he was in excellent hands.

The surgery was very short and I was basically recovered within a day.

I spent my spare time either pushing my limits physically by hiking, swimming, walking… or resting with family and friends.  One hike particularly stood out for me, as it was just alive with the call of birds.  It was the Fern Track up in the Pohongina, which was a solo venture.  The forest gave me so much energy.  It was a restorative trip and I came home eager to see my little Wesley and embrace Mike with the biggest hug.

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Something else wonderfully beautiful…these flowers were waiting for me when I came home.  Mike and Wesley had set up the home and it was so welcoming and pleasing to be back in our little nook in this world.

Slight side note – While I was away, my favourite artist release a second album (after an 8 year hiatus) and I’ve been enjoying it thoroughly for a few days now.  Fever Ray – Plunge.  Her voice is childish, strained unpredictable, off key and difficult to imagine ever being emulated.  My ears love it.

Aunt Stacey & Uncle Rayden

Screen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.04 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.24 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.20 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.47 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.15.55 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.26 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.53 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.11 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.16.41 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.37 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.28 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.47 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.18.54 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.19.05 pmScreen Shot 2017-10-03 at 3.17.54 pmWe have just had a really magical week with Rayden and Stacey.  They travelled to the farm from Melbourne and Adelaide respectively to come and spend time with us over 5 days here in Warradarge.  It was clear that right away there was going to be a super show down for top Aunty/Uncle title as deemed by Wesley.

They were hilarious playing with him, dressing him, bathing, changing and for four long nights they tended to his every need through the night.  Mike and I both found it a treat to have had the help round the clock and honestly to lay in bed just a little longer than usual in the morning was the best thing ever!  Sleeping in is rare these days.

We did quite a bit over 4 days…

  1. We devoured some really delicious home cooked food.  An epic lamb roast with roasted veggies and some home made pear and blue cheese pizza as well as some super local pork for dinner – Mike also spoiled us all with an egg and bacon breakfast which was gobbled up in mere minutes.
  2. We spent time at the beach in Greenhead.  This was where Wesley proved that it would take at least 4 adults to keep him from getting into the ocean.
  3. A little hike at Mount Leseure to enjoy the wildflowers and check out the landscape
  4. The gang even went to tennis for a hit on the courts (I stayed back to garden and also head to the bush).
  5. Risk was played rather competitively, with Mike being the ultimate winner!
  6. Rayden transformed into a professional TV chef teaching Wesley how to make chocolate biscuits for us all to enjoy during one afternoon when wee man was getting a little cranky it was such a great activity that perked him up.  He was such a diligent little helper!
  7. Rayden and Stacey helped me set up three large (50 foot) garden beds in our front yard, and brought in his expertise setting up a compost heap for us in the yard beyond the house.  It was so good to have the extra hands and energy to really crack into the work.  This also involved shovelling sheep poop from under the shearing shed for an hour – we did a huge amount of work!
  8. Mike spent some time managing some bee hives and caught one more on the last morning (we now have 5!!)
  9. Stacey and Mike went for a hike and enjoyed some nearby caves and Lake Indoon while Rayden and I stayed with wee man baking.
  10. A trip to the garbage dump haha was a memory for all to cherish too!
  11. Video chats with Great Grandma Izzy, Aunt Valerie and Great Uncle Andrew also topped off a pretty magical week.

Stacey takes some top points for changing some poopy diapers – and on that alone she should probably take out the lead, but there was a lot of love shared between the 5 of us and Wesley would be hard pressed to choose his favourite.  He was laughing, running around and being his curious little self during the trip.

The help over 4 days not only with Wesley but with some major jobs around the house was so appreciated.  We’re so lucky to have such incredible family and will cherish the times we share with them for years to come.

Today Wesley and I are back into the swing of things – we hiked to the top of Leseur this morning and have had a really chill afternoon.  We’ll be hosting a friend for dinner this evening and have a few dates out this week with some new local friends from Germany and Canada.

I’ve also got to plan out how much more manure will be needed for the gardens and work with Mike on how we will plant and grow food for us and for the markets in Jurien.  Big plans!

It’s going to be a great week, even though we miss Mike – we have plenty to keep us entertained and dive into the adventure of life on the farm.

Till next time!

Ps: red spotted jezebel butterfly and jewel beetles feature above if you’re curious.