Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Getting stuff done

We are big on getting sh*t done round here. As much as I enjoy sitting down to watch a movie more often than not it is with a crafting project in hand or while we fold washing. The warmer weather has seen the garden spring to life and a chance to tackle neglected chores outdoors. 

Mr Fox fired up a borrowed wood chipper shredding the pile of branches from when we thinned the trees in winter. The lawns have been moved every couple of weeks and I think will now need a weekly trim as the weather warms. Weeds are popping up everywhere and I have been doing my best to remove the little buggers before they become established. There are less weeds this year for sure; the reward for our efforts since moving here. 

The back of the house looking tidier now the branches have been chipped

New planting for the season is a favourite task of mine. The disappointment of my last sowing failings is fading as new seedlings begin to thrive. Recently planted are; tomatoes, zucchini, spring onions and lettuce. Thyme, sweet william and larkspur have been loving nestled in some gaps also. 
Deep mulch around the plum tree

Most exciting of all is receiving boxes of plants from my parent's garden. It is real treasure to me. Such a comfort and joy to tend the very same plants my mother did. It brings a sense of connection to the wonderful woman I still miss with every fiber of my being. The last boxes had some gems like hellabores, trilliums and spring bulbs. Some lovely plants from someone special who is saving plants from a closed cottage garden too. 

There is so much colour in the yard this year as now established plants hit their stride. Settled in and happy they celebrate with blooms. Chirpy little forget me knots and paper daisies! Lavender is humming with happy bees. The wisteria though still small is putting on quite the show and smells heavenly. Bluebells and daffodils have been and gone but the violet still flowers. 

Lavender and a little busy bee

Compost is one of the most exciting things I 'make'! It brings me such satisfaction to see discarded food and garden waste turn to rich mulch. Our two bins provide about three or four wheelbarrow loads a year. Not a lot to be fair but it is good to reduce our contributions to landfill while making goodness for the garden. Both the tomatoes and zucchini had generous lots of this compost dug in at planting, hopefully providing them with a good boost. The less decomposed compost is now mulch on the flower bed. 

The rhubarb is peeking up after sleeping through the colder months and I am looking forward to adding this too pies and puddings. Mmm. The asparagus has barely survived; I think it is a little wet where it is planted and something (I'm guessing snails and slugs) attacked new shoots as they tried to pop up. There are a couple of plants that seem to be soldiering on. There will be no homegrown asparagus on our plates this year but next year should see a few to munch upon. 
Hello again rhubarb

The blanket that needed drastic repairs has now been finished. I backed it with a vintage sheet after Mae begin picking at the embroidered ends on the reverse side. Embellished with bees and flowers to cover the rips and stains it now is a cosy blanket for Mae to snuggle in too. Other inside projects were put on hold while we planned for and recovered from Miss cublets party. I am itching to get back to them but not until I finish writing out the Thank You cards first. 

When making the last of the party food one of our stove top elements started to glow red, hiss and in a shower of sparks it blew. Thank goodness it didn't break earlier. It has been rather a faff cooking with just the two smaller elements (the other large one had never worked). This weekend with much patience and a far bit of fiddling Mr. Fox removed the old elements and rewired in the secondhand replacements. Doing it ourselves saved us an electrician bill and reflects how far Toby's DIY skills and confidence have come. I am very pleased to have all four elements back in action. It's those little things that make life a bit easier. 

We have a few weekends at home while Mr.Fox is in the final stages of his marathon training and I am looking forward to knocking a few more jobs off the list. Hopefully a fine day or two to finish painting the outdoor furniture too. I'm sure we will squeeze in a few little geocaching adventurers too. Perhaps a trip to a Farmers Market this weekend too. 

My little helper wearing a mummy made fabric basket!

Mae is One!

Our beautiful girl is one! I can scarcely believe it. The first year has flown by and I have no doubt the years to come will pass with similar speed. I'm not sure I can put into words just how much joy, love and togetherness she has brought to our family. We are forever grateful that this girl is ours to cherish.

A cheeky smile, nose wrinkled just like her Nana Fox!

From before she was born we knew she was energetic and boy is she ever! When awake she is in constant motion, curious and brave. When she sleeps she hardly moves...such a contrast. She is sociable with such an expressive face.

Quick to laugh and smile but equally quick to stamp her wee foot if things aren't going to plan! Oh she just might have inherited a fierce will from her Mum and Nana. We have noticed that she is developing a strong sense of humour just like her Poppa and Aunty Mary.

Around her birthday she began to chatter; her babbling is now peppered with words we can understand and gestures that make sense. She can wave hello and goodbye. If you are lucky she will greet you with an enthusiastic "Hiii"!

 Mr. Fox and I are 'Dad-da' and 'Mum-mum'. Rolling her tongue is a favourite noise and she calls to our cat with a trilling 'Lil-lil-bly". We have had to be rather strict on Mae as dear Lily became quite stressed with all the chasing and grabbing.

Saying hello
After an unsettled and clingy period Miss cublet is once again content to play independently for a while. Pushing books, boxes and cars across the room with a 'brmmm brmmm'. Turning the pages of her books back and forth. She bangs and whacks her blocks together and scatters them across the floor.

Sometimes she will sit quietly placing toys in and out of a basket but more often she is walking around the furniture. Occasionally she is brave and lets go for a couple of seconds to balance. If music comes on she bobs to the beat or sways side to side with great delight.

Her teeth cause trouble as they swell and move in her gums. For weeks now she has been out of sorts as a teeth on either side of her upper gums force towards freedom. It must be very painful as she loses her appetite and finds sleep difficult. Bonjela gel, Weleda teething powder and oral pain relief have been necessary of late to prevent constant tears. She has a total of seven teeth; four on the top and three on the bottom. Her little toothy grin is just the cutest!

We were all excited one night last week when just as Mae was settling to sleep she clapped! She is so very proud of this new skill and takes great delight in clapping to music. It is fun to see her glee when we clap back in response. Finding that she can point out items and we will look where her finger is directed has been a wonderful discovery. It is clearly a thrill to her that she is able to communicate more easily with the world.

Eyes hold a new fascination lately. My sister taught Mae to 'blink' and she thinks it is the funniest trick ever. She has been confusing strangers by greeting them with a fixed gaze, chin dipped and the most concentrated brow as she determinedly blinks in their direction. If they flit their eyelashes back they are rewarded with giggles. Oh she is a funny girl!

A week before her birthday we spent an afternoon in the park. Mae's Grandma Ann was keen to carry on the family tradition for having a one year old portrait. Our cousin Emma is passionate about photography and created some special memories for us. It was fun to let Miss cublet loose in the park, it must have been tricky trying to capture our busy girl. We had a lovely day in the sunshine and Mae just adores her Aunty Emma and Uncle Roman. Spring was bursting forth in all it's glory, the sun shone and the birds sang...not a bad day to record our baby's first birthday! 

We celebrated with friends and family with an afternoon party. It was fantastic, I can't wait to record the details here soon.