Sunday, February 25, 2007

Things we learned today

Learning is fun

Georgia is such a girly-girl. She is learning ballet - from her rather hopeless mum! This weekend she roped her mother into numerous ballet dancing sessions, complete with toe-pointing and tulle. Do I love it? Of course I love it. She has so much fun!


Mix 1/2 cup yogurt and 2 cups milk in milkshake tumbler. Leave in thermos container, covered in boiled water (We have a yogurt maker). Leave for nearly 24 hours. Voila - yogurt!


Ok, this is not *real* pesto, but we bought a big bunch of basil at the market and we improvised.
Mix bunch of basil with olive oil, garlic, parmesan, sunflower seeds (didn't have pinenuts), pepper, salt, balsamic vinegar. Make a thickish paste.

and finally...

Glad Matthew's not a whale!

Baby whales drink 500 litres of milk a day.

Monday, February 19, 2007


Today, as I was about to prepare dinner, Monte came in excitedly, holding two eggs! He had been to feed the chickens and he found their first two eggs!
To celebrate, we ate them. It felt kind of weird! We ate red-lentil burgers.
Here's the recipe:
What you need: 1 cup red lentils (soaked and cooked), garlic, 2-3 eggs, moroccan seasoning, cumin, 1/2 cup wholegrain flour. Mix ingredients. Form into patties. Fry in canola (or other) oil. Makes about 18.
We served ours on sourdough bread, homemade hoummus, mayonnaise, cheese and salad (lettuce, avocado, spring onion and homemade dressing). Yum! It was a very pleasant meal. The children were asleep. We drank some of Monte's homebrew.
It is very empowering making and producing so much of our own food. As we become less and less dependent on other corporations, we feel stronger in our own survival. Not to mention we are feeling so healthy!
The fruits of... a chicken

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Georgia rapt in her puppet making

I make time to play and create with Georgia by being behind in the housework. Honestly, when I am eighty I would rather remember the times I spent with Georgia making toilet roll and peg puppets than how tidy my house was...

Anyway, looking for a simple kid-friendly way to make puppets, I gathered some fabric scraps, pipecleaners, rubber bands, textas, toilet rolls and wooden pegs. Basically, you can 'dress' the puppets with fabric and rubber bands. Draw faces with textas.

It's so much fun and it's terribly easy. Georgia loves getting out her 'puppet box' to 'make puppets.' We make them, dress them and play with them. It's great fun. It entertains Georgia and makes her happy, which makes me happy, and also makes Matty happy because he can be left alone to learn how to crawl!

Mrs and Mr Molly, our toilet roll puppets
A peg doll puppet
Georgia loves her puppets! They are dolls for her to play with.

Breaking News:

Matthew cut his first tooth on Monday! He is almost crawling. Today he took one 'crawling step.' He can pull himself up and stand with support. He's growing up so fast!
In true Goulding fashion, Matthew LOVES his meal times!

Sunday, February 04, 2007

Wedding Anniversary

Oh my gosh! We're married!
On February 6th Monte and I celebrated our Eighth Wedding Anniversary. We were pretty happy! We went out for lunch and then took a stroll along Norwood Parade. I bought some books and some beads, as well as some wire for a crocheted piece of something.

It is wonderful to be married to somebody with whom you can laugh about things. For example, Monte told me in the morning that he loves me more now than when we were married, but some days he doesn't love me much. We laughed, because it is true. Some days we love the people with whom we live, other days we don't. He said I am more beautiful now than the day we were married, which is pretty nice of him, seeing I am noticing little wrinkles around my eyes these days.

I have included some old wedding photos. To remind those who were there, and educate (?) those who weren't.
In love at the church
The toast

The bride
The waltz
The laugh

More about Us

These are my blessings
I am back at work. I don't have as much time for my hobbies, like beading, crochet, knitting and scrapbooking. I am cherishing my time with my children, and each day I make time to sit them on my knee and sing to them and read them stories. Georgia is playing 'mums and dads' with me all the time. I am always big sister. I am always feeling sick and she needs to make me better with her doctor's kit. This is when she changes from 'mum' to 'dr seuss.' She said the most hilarious thing today. We were sticking some wall stickers up in her room - lovely princess ones I bought before I would have thought they were hardly necessary - and she called Sleeping Beauty 'Sleepy Bruce.' I think that will join the list of Georgieisms that have become part of our vocabulary (Witsies, fishied, abcd kids... the list goes on).
I feel so tired! But I feel so alive at the same time. I fit so much into my day. I start with a coffee with Monte (and usually a pair of children jumping around on the bed). Sometimes mg brings me breakfast in bed, because I hate getting out of bed on a sugar low, and when I do I am cranky! So I have my relaxed morning, plus I am working, plus I play with the kids, plus I am breastfeeding, plus I do one creative activity with Georgia each day, plus I make time to do one of my hobbies, plus I 'aim' to keep the house relatively tidy, plus I cook good meals, with the help of Monte, who has taken over the washing duty because he enjoys it (!?). But I do not iron. And I watch too much television and I eat too much chocolate and I don't exercise as such.
Matthew is almost crawling. He'll be 7 months this weekend. He is on hands and knees, rocking to and fro, with a huge smile on his face. He is comando crawling around the floor! Noooo! I do not have a baby-proof kitchen, although mg and I decided that perhaps Georgia could police the law that Matty is not allowed into the kitchen. She'll be good at that.

Post Script

I've been thinking about my last post. I was thinking, 'ok, so what can I do now?' Monte and I have become regulars at our local food co-op. We buy local, organic produce. We get our vegies and our other staples, like flour, eggs and peanut butter :/ from there. This weekend, at the comunity market at the same hall, we signed up at SisLETS - Southern Inner Suburbs Local Exchange Trading System. This is where we can exchange 'units' for products and services, instead of money. We can trade things like computer skills, web pages, heavy lifting (Monte) and ESL and English tutoring and editing (me). I am also going to 'sell' some products, like beading and crochet.

I heard somebody say "rather than try to change, we should just adapt to climate change." I thought that sounded rather absurd! I think that we have no choice - we must adapt to climate change, but we also need to change our lifestyles to prevent more bad things happening to our world.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Scary Stuff

Georgia, cultivator of the earth, loves her gardening.
We're all hearing so much about Global Warming at present. The recent report suggests that by the summer of 2050, the arctic ice will be gone! Just hearing this brought tears to my eyes as I looked at Georgia and thought of her children, missing out on something my generation has been taking for granted.

Temperatures will rise; wildlife will leave its habitat or die. Some countries might like it to be a bit warmer! Sea levels will rise. There will be more storms that our architecture cannot withstand. There will be less water where it's needed, and more flooding where it shouldn't.
So, we're hearing about this a lot at present, which is great. And there is a lot of debate about what governments should do (it's a shame it's all up to them!). But what can we do about it!?
We, as households, need to reduce our impact on the environment. We need to make serious changes. Value changes. Here are some things that we are changing:
  • we have switched to 100% greenpower (check that the greenpower supplied by your supplier is actually green-renewable)
  • we use cloth nappies and biodegradable disposables. IF SOMETHING CANNOT BE REUSED IT MUST BE RECYCLED!
  • I have made the change to reusable feminine hygeine products, such as 'The Keeper' and cloth pads. Before you think "gross" remember that fertility rates and the environment are much worse now than when women used cloth pads. And it's much healthier for women.
  • I have a bike to ride to work (but am still too scared to use it!)
  • We are growing our own food.
  • We are getting a big water tank.
  • We water our garden with recycled water from the washing machine, kitchen, shower and bath.
  • We are growing a permaculture garden, complete with chickens, banana circles and a pond with swale.
  • We don't eat meat. Growing meat is contributing to global warming. There are many ways we can get nutrients without meat, by eating lentils, tofu and lots of other great veges from the garden!
  • We recycle ourselves, reusing products where possible. EG, chickens and pets get leftover food, paper is recycled into paper or kitty litter for the rabbit, Benjamin. We keep toilet rolls and scraps of card and other items for craft activities for the kids. Basically, try not to throw anything away! Last week we had just three bags in our weekly rubbish bin!
  • Another form of recycling I am trying out this year is clothing. I am learning to make new clothes out of old ones! There are lots of things we can do with our clothes, like rip them up and crochet with them, and cut them up and make pants and dresses out of them, as well as quilts and hats and toys! Exciting!
  • We're trying not to buy much stuff, unless it has more than one use. Our contribution to a consumerism contributes to global warming. For me, this is the hardest thing that I have had to change, as I love shopping! I have had to learn new passtimes, such as crochet, beading, knitting, scrapbooking and just playing with my children.

I hope this inspires you in some way to make changes where you can.

Georgia and Matthew, whose experiences on this planet will be so different to mine.