Friday, 22 September 2017

Friday in September - 27 degrees C

It's been an odd sort of a week, with Brian taking a day off in the middle of it, making it feel like a weekend.  When I woke this morning I needed a jolt to remind me that it was Friday and my day for volunteering at our library. The photo above was taken last week when we were all dressed in jumpers and scarves. Not so today, it's 27 degrees Celsius!
I began as a volunteer, covering new books, a few weeks ago. Two hours on a Friday morning surrounded by books is my idea of heaven and it creates a bit of structure to my week, now that I don't go out to work for a boss.
 I love being at home, and enjoy being my own boss, but I've needed to become disciplined with my time, which I think is something most of us have to do when we leave the workplace. It would be too easy to let things slide... leave the bed unmade, put things off until the next day, and then the next, and the next.
So I set myself the commitment of being at our wonderful library each week for two hours. No matter what's going on here, I can put on clean clothes and take myself to a place I love to be, to chat with other people who I would not otherwise meet, and feel that I've contributed in a small way to our community.

The raspberry canes are greening up and sending up new little plants, so I'm thinning them out, digging them up and selling them in pots at the Farmgate shop.
This afternoon I've started mowing the grass (lawn), but oh my goodness, it's quite hot.. suddenly!!

Sweet natured  little Poppy is thirteen weeks old now and partly weaned to one milk feed a day, in the mornings after I milk Lavender.

The paddocks have all greened up. What a pity they couldn't stay green for much longer than they do. With a few warm days, the grass will go to head and by the end of October will start going yellow... and then brown.
All of the sheep have been moved away, except my two bottle fed boys, Peewee and Trevor, so the only stock left on our home block of sixteen acres are Lavender and Poppy.
We've made a deliberate effort this year to de-stock, to allow our paddocks to grow grass, some of which will be made into hay, and some will be slashed and let lay as mulch. It's a good practice to do every few years, to rest the land. We are putting out the bio-dynamic preps 500 and other liquid soil activators to feed the soil and encourage the organisms to do their thing under the surface.

 There is butter being made again now that I'm getting some cream from Lavender's excess milk, as mentioned in my previous post.  I made a batch of Cultured Butter today.(When it got too hot to mow the grass)
To see how I make butter go here; and for cultured butter simply add a spoonful of yoghurt or finished kefir to your cream a good twelve hours before churning. A teaspoon or a dessertspoon, it doesn't really matter, because it's just about introducing the culture into the cream for fermentation.
I generally add the culture in the evening, leave the bowl of cream out on the bench all night, and make the butter any time in the morning.
The butter 'turns' much faster this way too. Saves time and saves electricity.
Slather it generously onto vegetables and thickly spread onto bread or toast, it's a fermented food, it's good for us.
The weekend is upon us, so I hope yours is spent doing what you enjoy with people that you love.
Cheers. XX


  1. why do you mow when you have cows & sheep? i would love to have sheep but we have spear grass here, the kangaroos are keeping my grass down atm & it's way too hot to mow! 31`c here & very humid, wish it would rain...
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina I hope your rainy season is going to happen soon for you all up there. It's only the house yard that I need to mow. As much as I'd love to let the geese or sheep in, my gardens would be trashed in half a day. Our hot and dry season is tapping on the door any day now, opposite to your climate.

  2. I just wrote a FB post about volunteering, it's good for the soul! I volunteer at Boomerang Bags, sewing reusable fabric bags to replace plastic ones in our community, I haven't been able to go for a while, all the kids things and work have been getting in the way, but I'm so looking forward to getting back to it today!

    1. Cheryl I loved that post. A worthy cause and your sewing is so clever.

  3. Poppy looks healthy and happy - that's a good thing.

    1. Thanks Mr HM, she's growing rapidly and her Jersey side is dominant, so appears a little bony, but she's doing well.

  4. Yep, it's my idea of heaven too, bring surrounded by books. I still have a fair amount of books on my shelves, although I have stopped buying them. My family still give me books for birthdays etc; especially on subjects that are special to me. I have found though, that the internet is what I use mostly as I have everything at my fingertips. I love how I can cross-reference things that I am interested in.

    Thanks for the tip about the making of cultured butter. I don't have access to the beautiful creamy milk that you have but I occasionally like to make butter, especially when my grandchildren are around and want to help.

    1. The internet is wonderful for researching the latest info on every subject and I'm so grateful for it, but there's nothing like the smell and feel of the books. I too, hardly buy any these days, except from op-shops, and then usually pass them on unless the subject is something I need to look at regularly.

  5. Sally, when I worked in the city I worked next door to the library. Now in my new job working in a country town I am working in an office that is next door to the library. When I was in the City on Friday in Big W I was in the book section, (naturally) and overheard a man say he always gets his books from our country town library as (according to the man speaking) the local council wants to close it down. I hope that is not the case.

    Our Spring has started off dry (well it is our dry season after all), windy and hot. So the soil has really dried out.

    Now that I am working part-time instead of full-time I have been considering how I might adjust my routines. No doubt I will be playing around with a few different methods until I find what works for me.

  6. I suspect this is the case here with our small local library, so I do the very same thing as the man you mentioned, by using this small local branch to collect all of the books I reserve. Although I volunteer in the large regional library I'd hate to see the smaller branches closed down, but I think it's inevitable. Soon you will wonder how you managed to work full time Sherri. X


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