Happy Jewish New Year :)
Littletree’s been brushing up on her Hebrew…
Due to the overwhelming numbers of requests, I’ve uploaded some photos of the new kitchen – long-time readers might remember my occasional outbursts of stress around the design and planning of the new kitchen.
I had to search around for ages to find photos of how it was before – seems I totally spaced out taking “before” shots; very unlike me! But finally I found some – ones I took of the house before we first moved in!
So here’s before:
So you can see we knocked out the ‘stupid’ wall that created a useless, dark corridor to the front door, opened everything up, ripped out the old lino and saggy particle-board subfloor and put in timber boards.
It’s not *completely* finished – I still have to do the tiling/ splashback on the wall above the benchtop, but I haven’t decided exactly what it’s going to be (it will, of course, be green), and the hanging light fixtures need to be moved to be above the island. But It’s all essentially finished, and I’m LOVING IT!
Here’s the view you see from entering the front door:
And a view of the island from the other side:
I have my laundry machine installed in the kitchen, in the place most people would put a dishwasher. But I don’t like dishwashers, and I got used to the washing-machine-in-the-kitchen style in Europe – makes sense to me, and I figure any possible future inhabitants of the house can still put a dishwasher in the space should they so desire.
Little features I love are: the Kids’ Cooking Space – one cupboard opens out horizontally to create a bench-top at small-person height, with the little mini toaster-oven stowed inside. Littletree loves this space, and she often opens it up when preparing food for herself. Makes sense, since I frequently have many small people in my kitchen!
And the semi walk-in pantry with masses of storage space fits all our food :) Yay!
I love love love the white quartz crystal bench tops, we very nearly went for a green marble top, but in the end, it was a lot more expensive, and this looks so much brighter and cleaner. Since we saved so much on the labour (getting friends to do it in return for living in our basement), and we were lucky enough to get all the cabinets and materials at trade cost, we splurged on custom-made hardwood doors from the most local, sustainably-grown timber we could source. They came up looking fantastic :)
We have an awesome, deep double sink, which I actually enjoy washing up in! And the extra little sink on the corner of the island was a fantastic idea. I also got a shiny stainless steel gas cooktop and new oven. Which means I’m cooking up a storm of decadent delights!
It’s the Vernal Equinox! Which means Spring, and warmer weather! I know I complain about the cold a lot, but really, it’s not like we weren’t at the beach all winter, but now it’s getting warm enough to actually swim again.
This week at home school group, the day was sunny, the weather warm, the surf up, and Littletree had her first try at catching waves with her boogie board
She had an awesome time, and I think has totally caught the surfing bug, so we might be down at the beach more often.
Remember Littletree got her ears pierced a few weeks ago?
Well, it was finally enough time since she had them done that she could change the earrings! She’s been counting down the days in anticipation of the big moment.
Since they seemed well-healed, I said she could put in new ones; she’d found a gorgeous pair of silver dolphin earrings last time we went to The Channon market and bought them with her hard-saved pocket money, so we gave them a good cleaning, took out the captured-bead rings she had in, and voila!
So gorgeous :)
Of course, the dolphins are being kept for special occasions, and she has a simple pair of silver sleepers in for now, but she’s already plotting an extensive earring collection! At least I know what to get her for Rosh Hashanah that’s coming up next week.
Littletree and I are settling back into life in the house with just the two of us. We’ve started elaborate plans for building a treehouse, made a new bed in the veggie garden with loads of radishes, and done a lot of cleaning up around the place.
Littletree is enjoying her new SodaStream, one of the main benefits of which is it seems sufficiently less wasteful to let her go crazy with shaking up the soda bottles and letting them spray out all over the place. Which counts as science education, right?
But still, I miss having Lady Demelza around, pottering with me in the kitchen (don’t we look awesome in our colour-coordinated aprons!)
And I miss the beautiful contrast of Lady Demelza’s maroon laundry on my gorgeous greenness
But of course, life goes on :) We have all sorts to keep us busy, Spanish classes, homeschool group, dance class, capoeira group, circus class, Littletree’s bakery business, treehouses, village markets, dances, friends, parties, gardening…
The ever-gorgeous Lady Demelza and her partner Uncle CJ left us this morning, off on the journey back down south.
They did leave us with a parting gift, so that we’ll always have a bit of their awesomeness around: a shiny new SodaStream machine! Littletree was ecstatic!
Once Lady Demelza got it all unpacked and set up, she gave Littletree a demo of how it works, and away she goes! So now we have plenty of soda water with which to make bubbly drinks. I suppose I shall have to start making my own cordials to go with it now.
So last night we had a farewell feast, Uncle CJ cooked a yummy roast dinner, which is now all eaten… but we still have the happy memories of Lady Demelza plying us with Pink Champagne
And the ultimate proof that Real Men do Drink Pink:
Happy journeys, Lady D :) and thanks for everything!
Some pages get removed, some get improved, new things are added in.
It’s really quite inspiring art, and being created by Lady Demelza, quite impressive
So impressive, in fact, that Littletree started working on a few pages with her
Littletree got so involved in it, the ever-gorgeous Lady Demelza decided to indulge in her passion for Op-Shopping and take Litteltree in search of her own vintage cookbook to alter. Didn’t take them long to find a Gretta Anna cookbook, circa 1987.
The two of them have been avidly working at their respective books, Littletree is quite enthused with her newest project!
I’ll post updates for sure!
¡Hola! Littletree has been loving the homeschool Spanish-language group that started in our village :)
Since Spanish was essentially her first language (we were living in Central America when she first started talking and she spent the first 15 months of her life in Latin America, but it’s since fallen into disuse), she’s picking it up faster than the other kids, but it looks like they’re all having fun.
The teacher is from Spain, so it’s interesting to get the differences between the Spanish and the South American accents – apparently I have a funny Argentinean accent!
The kids have a great time, it’s very casual and “unschooly”.
They play a lot of games, like card games to learn numbers, playing with differently-coloured stones to learn colours…
And the classic Twister – colours and body parts!
Today we learned to sing “Heads Shoulders Knees and Toes”, played “Animal Families” to practice numbers and learn animals, and practiced basic small-talk. Then we sat together for lunch – a great way to learn food words :)
I’ve been slowly coming out of my shell a bit more in the past week, getting out and seeing friends and doing fun stuff.
Last weekend was Rinka’s 40th birthday party, so I made myself get out of the house and go socialise. It was great to see friends and have a catch-up
Also great to see some old clients and see how their babies are growing
And how young love blooms in two of the babies I’ve caught.
And best of all, just awesome to be out in the bush, around a campfire and having a laugh :)
All in all, I’m feeling much better after the last weeks of gloom.
My awesome friend Lady Demelza has come up for a visit, with her partner Uncle CJ. It’s great to have her around, the two of them have inhabited the flat that’s under our house and are enjoying the warm weather and peaceful nature.
We’ve been having a lovely time showing them around the village, and getting them well acquainted with the area and the local folks. We went for a little excursion down to the creek yesterday, and they’ve been making trips to Nimbin and the Gold Coast and just enjoying the view from our deck.
Littletree loves having Lady Demelza around, who is, apparently, a fantastic godmother. They’ve been hanging out, discussing philosophy, engaging in elaborate art projects and raiding all the local Op-Shops.
And I’m so happy to have someone loving and supportive around to help out while things are a bit rough. It’s nice to have a little maroon about the place to compliment all my green :)
Apparently Mercury has been in retrograde, and as we all know, mercury is poisonous. So weird things happen.
Purple and I have separated, which is one big change. Actually, it’s a huge change! It’s been eight weeks now since he came home from vacation at the Rainbow Gathering in Washington State and told me he wants to break up.
We’ve been married for eight years, and despite a lot of ups and downs, it all seemed to be going well. I do get a lot of questions about the nature of our relationship – yes, we were polyamorous, and no, that’s not the reason we broke up.
It’s been a rough couple of months for me, going through teh dramaz with Purple moving out, and then not moving out, he wasn’t talking to me for a while and shut himself in his bedroom. I also (unrelatedly) broke up with my girlfriend; my beloved, who broke my heart. So I’m entirely single for the first time in many years. It’s been a very depressing couple of months, and really feeling like I’m barely hanging on at times.
Now that we’ve had a bit of time to work things out and a little space, Purple and I have decided to stay living together, at least for the time being. We are, after all, still best friends, and we’re still parents to Littletree.
We have our own bedrooms and it makes a lot of sense in many ways to be housemates. We’ve started the process of subdividing our block of land, with future plans for Purple to build a house on the other half. Who knows what the future will bring!
In the meantime, I’m feeling very “wrung out”, and coping as best I can. Littletree is a total champ. She told me one day: ‘no offence, mama, but when you and Aba argue, it’s your fault. Because even though it seems like he always starts it by saying something that’s mean, you have to remember that he’s too stupid to start fights!’ LOL
She’s a resilient kid, and very pragmatic. I can’t believe how much she’s growing up.
So tomorrow Purple goes back to Israel for a while, and who knows what will happen. Meanwhile, life goes on :)