Why I Hate Electronic Toys

Electronic, battery-operated toys? Not in my house. Source: flickr
Electronic, battery-operated toys? Not in my house. Source: flickr

When I was pregnant and fielding the usual “oooh, let’s get you baby clothes! Yay, tiny clothes for babies!” comments, I had one simple rule: Until Chipmunk is old enough to care about what she wears, All Pink Will Be Donated. This was a personal choice based on the fact that I just really, really don’t like pink. Especially the washed-out, anaemic pink that so many baby clothes come in.

Now that Chipmunk’s older (she’ll be three in a few weeks – how did THAT happen?!) the “no pink” rule has well and truly fallen by the wayside. She adores pink, and red, and black, and just about any colour, really. It depends on the day. (Right now she’s wearing a fluoro pink swim top and a pink/red skirt with red flowers on it.) Continue reading “Why I Hate Electronic Toys”

What Price For Food Security?

Source: TaxRebate.org.uk

One of the better Facebook pages I follow is the Weston A. Price Association. This morning I followed a link from them to an IndieGogo campaign from the Koanga Institute in New Zealand.

The Koanga Institute, for those not in the know, is New Zealand’s Permaculture Research Institute (PRI). They’ve also been supplying heritage organic seeds for the last three decades. Recently they’ve turned more of their attention towards regenerative gardening practices, particularly in the urban setting. Since I live in suburban Adelaide, this project has definitely piqued my interest.

However, so did a comment on the Weston A. Price page below the campaign link. A fellow Facebook user commented (I’m paraphrasing here) that $19,000 was a lot of money to grow food on 200 sqm, and how is that a model of food security? Continue reading “What Price For Food Security?”

Well, This is Embarrassing…

Not_Dead_YetFirst: I’m not dead!

I have, in fact, just returned from a wonderfully relaxing holiday in Queensland, where we visited friends and my half of the family for Christmas. One of the awesome things about my family’s farm is the teeny, tiny, almost non-existent internet connection – which meant I couldn’t waste time mucking about online, missing the sunshine and fresh air and complete and utter lack of people. (Can you tell I go a bit nuts when I’m subjected to densely populated urban environments for too long?)

Not to worry, though. I’d thought ahead to my weekly posts, written them up, and had them nicely queued in the blog editor. All I had to do was push a button or two and they’d come rolling down the line with nary a sign I was AWOL from my usual webspace… Or so I thought.

It seems that the best laid plans of mice and men have, once again, been interfered with by technology.

So really, this is little more than a “sorry I let you down, now let’s get back on track” notice. How about I attempt to fill the page with a little of my current thoughts and meanderings?

I was reasonably productive on holiday, which is nice. I read eight books and about half a dozen small ebooks/reports. I made many, many hexipuffs for my Beekeeper’s Quilt. I also made a roundabout ribbed vest and almost finished a Poppy cardigan for one of Chipmunk’s dolls. Alas, I ran out of yarn with half a sleeve to go, so it’s still in the to-do pile.

I also spent a good deal of time just catching up with family, as well as hearing all about how the property has changed in the two years since we last visited. Dad has been putting a lot of time and money into fixing the erosion problems cropping up in some of the paddocks. They’ve seen some improvement from the work already, but only time will tell just how much work still needs to be done.

Coming home has found me refocusing on certain aspects of my life and spending some deep, thoughtful time looking at others and deciding what I want 2015 to look like. I’m focussing much, much more on permaculture this year, both in my personal space and as a profession – I’m trying to get myself set up as a consultant to help others. I’d really like to focus on reversing desertification and promoting water security in rural areas. Since I live in the suburbs, though, I’m also going to focus on small space design to maximise food production and energy efficiency on the backyard scale. So watch this space for more info!

Remedies for Food Poisoning (and other stomach bugs)

Probiotics - just one item in my gastro-stopping arsenal.
Probiotics – just one item in my gastro-stopping arsenal. Image Credit

The last few days have been mighty interesting for the Squirrel household. We’ve had a dear friend from interstate stay with us the past week (great), gone for a weekend camping trip in the Riverland (also great)… and picked up food poisoning on the way home (not so great).

Luckily it’s been a milder bug than times past – we “just” had horrible nausea and belching, followed by diarrhoea a day later. Regardless, I thought it prudent to go over our first aid supplies and stomach bug remedies. Here’s a rundown of all the tactics I currently have in my stop-gastro-now arsenal. Continue reading “Remedies for Food Poisoning (and other stomach bugs)”

Mixed Nut-Seed Butter

Infinitely customisable, infinitely tasty. It's like a spreadable bliss ball!
Infinitely customisable, infinitely tasty. It’s like a spreadable bliss ball!

We ran out of peanut butter yesterday. This makes me a little twitchy. It’s an easy snack for toddler and mother alike, plus it’s delicious when you stuff dates with it as an afternoon treat. (I’m the only one who does that? Really? OK, moving on….)

While my cupboards are currently peanut free, they’re still bursting with all sorts of other nuts and seeds. So this morning I grabbed some out and stuck them in the Thermomix. And I’m so very, very glad I did.

This recipe is really more of a suggestion than a hard and fast set of rules. Feel free to use whatever you have in the cupboards. Replace the sunflowers with almonds, or the cashews with Brazil nuts. Or use all one nut/seed if it’s all you have. Continue reading “Mixed Nut-Seed Butter”