Friday, May 20, 2016

new members of the family

Meet the new girls. Actually, we took them on when we moved into our new home. The muscovy ducks have lived here much longer than us. They're free range, love porridge and roost at night on a tree overhanging the swimming hole. We're really enjoying their antics. Ducks are so funny. And can be kinda fierce. I am learning how to garden with them around. They like their salad as much as I do. My first punnets of seedlings didn't last long. I soon realised why there was a bunch of garden netting in the shed. On the upside they are fantastic company and there is not a slug or snail to be seen. Phoenix the dog is learning to cohabit peacefully with them. Thank goodness. I was a bit worried about that. As soon as he sees them he sits down now. He's been in training. 

We have to race the ducks for the big juicy feijoas and luckily they don't seem to like guavas. There will be guava jelly after all. Phew! 

Friday, May 13, 2016

moving house

I have moved a lot in my life. I lived out of my backpack for vast chunks of time. Or set up house, worked and dreamed in one place for a months or years, then gave it all away and wandered off with a backpack again. I got really good at carrying 'home' with me. But I have been in one place for ten years. I love that place. I love the garden, the view, the neighbours, the critters I shared that land with. But life is a funny ole journey and I have moved to the next valley. I learned that moving as a mama is another story altogether. Especially as a parent of someone who doesn't like change very much. It's been a big time. Feeling super grateful for friends who helped us move and made it home. 
Luckily, I LOVE my new house and the gardens and land around it. We're still exploring but as Jed said the other night, 'we fit here mama, it feels like we've lived here a long time already'. I have been hard at work in the gardens and Jed's befriending some impressive looking eels in the stream that runs alongside the house. I hope we get to stay for a long time. 
It's a time of big changes but I feel very blessed. 
Phoenix the dog was a bit befuddled by moving, he kept creeping into any open bags or boxes...just in case we forgot him I think. Funny wee creature. 
So anyway, that's why the big bloggy silence around here. Life has been full. (Now that's a freaking understatement!) But it's good and I look forward to sharing more of it with you. x

Monday, May 2, 2016


I love our library services. We had just moved into our new home so were a bit out of the loop about any holiday goings on. Friends told us about a frankentoys session they'd been to at our local library. I was keen. I remembered late that evening and facebook messaged the library's facebook page, thinking they might get back to me sometime the next day. Two minutes later I got a reply...there was a frankentoys session the next morning at 10.30. All we had to do was rock up. Honestly, our librarians are just the best. 
So, frankentoys...pile of secondhand toys and you get to break or cut apart the toys and refashion them into a new 'frankentoy'. Total creative freedom + glue gun = much fun! 
There was something strangely liberating about cutting toys apart. Or maybe that was just me. It was all I could do to not elbow the kids out of the way to make room for me. No adults allowed. Honestly people, we have to do something about the kids getting all the fun. 
I think I will look out for those big bags of toys the charity shops package up and sell off for $5. I think a frankentoy session at home might be called for. 

( phone = not such a good camera. Hence the quality of these. Now I know.)

Thursday, April 7, 2016

Learning centre at the dump

One of the homeschool mama's organised a trip to our local refuse and transfer centre. Otherwise known as the dump. I had no idea the council had a learning centre up there. It was all kinds of awesome. The women running the session were great: friendly, well informed and importantly for the kids, fun. It was cool to meet some new people and hang out with some familiar ones. The morning had just the right mix of freeplay exploration of the space and structured activities in the centre. 

The Centre and the garden and displays are all made out of upcycled stuff found in the dump. It reminded me of many intentional communities I have lived or stayed in. Yup, I felt at home at the dump. 

A highlight was the pedal powered pump and investigating the tiger worms in the worm farm. I am keen to build a worm farm in our new house. (Ah, there's a future blog post topic!) We got taken on a walking tour of the facility too. Complete with high vis vests and workhats. SO shocking how much waste we humans pump out. It's horrifying and so unnecessary. Good for Jed to hear the statistics from someone other than me too. Newly inspired to make a big effort to keep our rubbish output down. All that packaging in supermarkets makes my head spin. Ugh. 
Anyway, hats off to Auckland Council for their work with the Waitakere Refuse and Transfer Station Learning Centre, I hear it is often booked out with school groups. 

There is exciting news too. They have a shop. YES! Packed with all manner of wondrous things that people have thrown out. It's fabulous. It's run by the MPHS Trust and I recommend stopping by. Spread the word, they are great people doing super work. I brought home a beautiful hand woven double woollen blanket for $8. I will be back! 

Wednesday, March 30, 2016

an advanced version

It took us a few days to build this one. The satisfaction was huge when we'd finished. It was the first build using the motor. That was exciting. There was great fanfare as we switched the motor on. And super disappointing to not be able to get the tracks moving. I tried and tried. I discovered I can get a bit obsessive trying to problem solve, ahem.
In the end I put out a call for help. Big thanks to Michael down the road who took a break from his work and solved the problem. 
In case it's not obvious, the ball bearings travel down the tracks then sit in line and are picked up by a magnet which carries it up to the top and starts the ball bearing down the track again. Endlessly entertaining!