Sunday, February 23, 2014

Garden Musings

 Harvesting: Banana's, Cucumbers, Beans, Spinach, 
Basil, Parsley, Lettuce, Raddishes & Celeriac
After, what seems like a chaotic start to the year, I'm finally seeing some of the fruits of my labours. I made a new years commitment to developing and maintaining a food producing garden. This is quite a challenge given I stay in the city for 4 nights of the week... but the small segments of time I've been able to put into the garden since it's renovations at Christmas appear to be adding up. 
I'm really happy with the produce I'm getting out of it now - and even happier that, when I'm away, my man can find his way round the garden to find his salad and veggies. 
So far this weekend I've
  • baked banana bread
  • made a spinach and basil pesto
  • made a quinoa and cucumber salad
  • cooked a bean and tomato casserole for the freezer.
Meanwhile, as I potter in the garden I have been pondering things - family issues, work projects, and still trying to work out my own priorities and hopes for 2014.... there's so much to think about.
  1. School Reunion or not?  It's not that I'm thinking about organising it, it's that someone is organising it and I'm wondering if I'll make the interstate trip to go? This is doing my head in! the school photo's and names list are bringing back all the emotions of a 16 yr old girl. Of course I want to go to see what everyone turned out like, but I don't know if I'm that interested? Then, caught up in all that, is the question did I turn out any different to what they would think? Is it about comparing yourself against your peers - again? or is it a general interest in people who travelled a similar journey at some stage of our life? Would you go?
  2. Pay off the mortgage or travel or volunteer?  at the beginning of this year I promised my man that I would stay in Australia for the year - no OS travel - yet the desire to spend some time volunteering this year is stirring in me. So do I find somewhere I can volunteer in Australia for a few weeks or wait for another year? staying put is difficult for me...
  3. The simple life - have i really made changes in the way I think and act? this year I was hoping to pursue more intentionally, a simple life - so that others may simply live. So far I think my life's just getting more complicated - my weekends are precious, but I keep booking them up with activities - like next weekend I'm going to Canberra to join in the Amy Gillet Foundation Community Bike Ride (110kms). I do enjoy cycling, and Canberra's a lovely place to cycle round. I enjoy the friends I do this with, and the achievement of completing such an event. I know cycling is good for my long term health, and socialising is an important part of an intentional life... but why do i feel so stressed.
  4. Declutter your thoughts - So here's what I came to.... I was reading this great blog post about decluttering your thoughts. Brooke encouraged me to think through some of the big issues and my opions. She referred to someone who said we should be able to state our position on things in less than 8 words. Some of her points were lovely
    • Travel is food for the soul. Take kids.
    • Gardening is an incredible pleasure, try it.
    • We are privileged, make it count for something.
    • Some of mine would be
    •  Something is better than nothing (exercise, giving, sleeping/resting, listening etc)
    • Be genuine
    • Life can be tough - take care of yourself
So pondering and gardening are things I take a stand on - do it - and something is better than nothing!

PS. updates on exploring ethical chocolate to come soon
and - I've updated my 'books read' tab for 2013 and was pleased with self - most read in a year since 2009!


Jeanie said...

When I started reading this post, I was completely dazzled by the eye candy of your amazing garden! Most of what I grow is herbs; Rick has done a much better job of food-producing gardening in his small space. But seeing how lush and green yours is and hearing about the fabulous things you have made from it -- well, that reminds me of the bounty to come our way in a few months and oh, how I need that hope!

But then the questions you raise are interesting ones. I'll throw out that I went to my 10th reunion and it was sort of a dud -- no one had done enough in 10 years to really be different and a lot of people didn't come. I didn't go to the others but through FB have connected with some and those I still maintain friendships with anyway -- whether online or phone calls or similar -- well, I haven't missed them. In 2019 I'll have a 50th -- that one I might attend!

You mentioned the mortgage versus other things and I'll just throw in my two cents here, learned from hard and sometimes faulty choices. The short answer is -- it all depends. It depends on how much you have to pay off over how long. Right now, being on a retirement income, I'm trying to pay off things as soon as possible so I'll have more cash available. I know a lot of folks who paid off maybe $50/month or so on principal and cut down their time. (I should have done that the first time). But remember, we never know how long our time will be. We think it's forever, no matter how young or old we are, but things happen. You can be smart -- and still live your dreams. They're all considered decisions, to be sure. And just knowing that you're thinking of them so thoughtfully leads me to believe you'll reach the right decision for you!

Finally, thanks for coming by The Marmelade Gypsy -- I loved your comment today! And yes, that all goes back to seeing your beautiful garden!

Midlife Roadtripper said...

"Something is better than nothing." I think I'll follow that lead today.

Enjoyed my visit here. Your garden is beautiful. Anxious for the weather to change so I can get mine going.