Thursday, 23 February 2017

Time...lack of it, and finding the remedy.

Like most of us, I'm usually feeling overwhelmed by the demands of all that needs to be done, but now I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
A couple of weeks ago, in the middle of a Monday night, I woke and decided that now is the time for me to retire from my paid employment.
No, nothing went wrong at work, I still enjoy my job, but it hit me suddenly that now is the time for me..... to slow down and allow myself some time.
Due to living a simple, rich and frugal life for the past decade, (yes those two words rich and frugal can belong together) we have no debts, so we are perfectly placed for me to step down.
So it's official, and after a few more weeks of fulfilling my work commitments, I shall be a retiree.
It's a wonderful feeling and I'm so very grateful that my life's path has led me to this point!
Life has been so very full these last few weeks (what's new?) and this post is long overdue.
I really don't know where to start. Can you sense that rushing sensation coming through my writing?
A few deep breaths, perhaps a cup of tea.....
So I'll just run through what we've been up to lately with a few pictures.

Last week I took a day away from the farm and work, to spend some time with my oldest longest time friend, Rachel, on her birthday.  She lives in the beautiful Adelaide Hills so we drove down to Brighton beach for lunch on what was a perfect day.
I could get quite used to having a day away a bit more regularly.

Rachel has been drawing and painting ever since I've known her, when we were pre-schoolers. Her art works are stunning, and I'm very lucky to have a few of hers hanging in our home.
I'm completely in awe of people who have great talents, and here are a few of her pictures that she has hanging around her home.

 A couple of weeks ago Brian and I went to an auction sale in Angaston. Of course, the things that we were interested in bidding for were at the beginning, in the middle and right at the end, so we were required to be there, waiting around for the whole four hours.
That was a test of my patience I can tell you.....

But I hadn't been to an auction for years, and it was good fun. The large items that Brian was keen on, fetched higher prices than he was prepared to pay, but we fluked a few very cheap purchases.
I couldn't resist offering $1 for a few lots of odds and ends that no-one wanted.

So many treasures in this tub for $1
This was also in that $1 lot. I'm a sucker for a pretty jug, and I reckon we can never have too many!

 And so was this pile of plates and bowls.

Glass cups and saucers are sure to come back in vogue some day! ;)

Brian picked up a gas heater for his shed for $1, and I got a little two burner gas camping stove with small gas bottle included for $2..!! We came away happy. We caught up with our neighbors during those long waiting around hours, saw some rather interesting sights, and as far as a cheap, half day's entertainment goes, it was a cracker!

 Both Brian and I, over the space of two days, sighted three small Brown snakes a bit too close to our living areas for comfort. I'm most concerned for the safety of these two precious members of our family; Alan loves to play with lizards, so an encounter with a snake is quite likely. Meg would probably just stand and bark, but it's possible she could also get excited and go for a grab too.
One snake was located and dispatched, but I placed this net wrap from our large round hay bales along the snake access areas, so they will get caught if they try to slither through.
We're not irrationally fearful of snakes as such, and have total respect for them if they would just keep away from where we and our animals are moving about.

Hay bale net wrap around the base of this compost bin where I saw a Brown snake.

There have been two birthdays in the family during the past two weeks, so dinner in the dining room is called for on these special occasions. 
Special guests from Victoria stayed with us for a couple of days, but it wasn't for long enough, so we talked and talked into the small hours each night. 

Lots of cooking and meals preparation. 

We're picking a half case of tomatoes almost every day now, so some are bagged and put into the Farm-gate shop.

Some are washed, put into 2kg lots, and into the freezer until I have time to do something with them.

Two big batches of Jembella Farm Tomato Sauce have been made and are still waiting for the labels to be stuck on.

There was a hot spell in the past couple of weeks, but on this 41 degree day, cooking tomato sauce on the stove top was no issue. The smells and heat went straight up the chimney. 
In fact, lots of my summer time cooking happens on this gas hotplate on top of the wood stove.

These plums from Brian's roadside foraging, made a big batch of plum jam.

Plums also provided the fruit element in both batches of Jembella Farm Tomato Sauce

 Last week Brian received a call from one of our  Beekeeping Workshop attendees.  Ray had inherited some hives on his property but doesn't have the equipment or experience to look after them, so Brian went to check it out and show him what to do. 
As it turned out, Ray and Lynne are happy for us to maintain the hives for them, in return for a small bit of honey, and as they are located over the ranges, more than forty minutes away, their climate and flowering patterns are different to what we experience here. 
This season has been a tough one for our local area, but over there at Ray's, it's a different story.

So Brian took a day off work last Monday and we spent all day sorting hives, cleaning them out and collecting honey.

 It's good to have some honey in the storage cupboard again.

And now, back to the serious business of preparing my entries for this year's annual Angaston Show on Saturday.
Yoghurt and soft cheese are both in progress on the kitchen bench.
I've gathered all types of various jams, sauces and pickles, honey, eggs, apples and tomatoes to add to the entries for displaying in the beautiful historic Show Hall for celebrating this 120th Annual Show.

Oh dear, this has turned into an epic, and there's still so much to show and tell..!

So for now, I look forward to slower days ahead....maybe! :) 
The raspberries need picking, and so do the nectarines, before the birds take more than their fair share. 
Cheers for now and thanks for visiting.

I love reading comments, but often don't have time to respond, so I apologise in advance for that.
I also totally get it that you may not be inspired to leave a comment, so I'm just grateful that you've made it this far through reading my posts.
However, if you DO feel inspired to leave a comment, I'd love to know from which part of the world you're from and a little bit about you and your situation in life.  If you're a blogger, I generally trace you back to your blog, and have discovered wonderful blogger friends who inspire me in many ways.
Thank you sincerely!


  1. Good for you Sally. No doubt,you have both worked hard over the years to afford this luxury to leave paid work. Though the work never ends on the land! You'll be so content, finding your new rhythms.

    I love how you could trade your bee-keeping skills, with someone with a set-up they didn't know how to handle. Saves money for everyone, gets the job done, and a share of the surplus goes round. :)

    1. Chris that's exactly right, the word is content, and I'm sure that's what I'll feel. I agree, it never ceases to amaze me of the good things that happen when folks share knowledge and generosity.

  2. oh sally Im so excited to hear of your retirement! More coffee's for us! ;)

    So glad all is going well, and as usual your preserves look amazing. Really I do believe there is such a thing as too much talent and skill in one person. ;) Ha!


    1. Emma... really, anyone can make these simple things. Now if I also made gorgeous hand stitched dolls and all the things that you make, then I agree, that would be skillful..! And it's a date... next coffee date next school hols.

  3. Now your days are going to be ALL your own, Sally. That's so wonderful for you:) I love your little jugs from the auction...I have a bit of a thing for blue jugs and have a little collection of those that I put posies from the garden in. I am also a big fan of plum jam... I adore it. Lately, we've had it with pikelets. I've never made my own though (Hmm...there's another skill I need to learn.) We have actually seen fewer snakes here this season than other years but in one afternoon we made three sightings...just couldn't work out if it was the same snake or three different ones! Never seen a brown here. I agree with you that I'm quite happy that they are out there in the environment, doing what snakes do, but I'd rather they stayed clear of where I work in the garden. Last year, I actually trod on a snake and I'm not sure if it or I got the bigger fright. It went one way and I went the other. It was pretending to be the garden hose when I stood on it! Enjoy your last few weeks of work, Sally. Meg:)

    1. Thanks Meg! Oh I still can't get out of my head what it must have felt like to step on the snake. :/

  4. How exciting for you Sally!!! Congratulations!
    Your friend is also very talented!

    1. Thanks Kelly! Maybe I'll see you over this way for a cuppa some day soon. :)

  5. Goodness me, you are so busy Sally. I hooe you enjoy your retirement as I am sure you will as you have plenty to keep you busy on the farm. I miss my work colleagues so very much since retiring as they are younger than me so are still working. Love the beautiful paintings.

    1. I know I'm also going to miss so many of my work colleagues too Chel. Our place is not far from work, so I'm imagining that I will be inviting them for lunch on those days when a sourdough loaf is just out of the oven, and a big pot of soup is on the wood stove. :)

  6. Onya Sally you deserve to slow down and take your time and your days will be full.
    You won't know yourself when you do retire. Bob retired 2 years ago and I think for the first 2 months he slept most of the time.

    1. I think I can relate to Bob's desire to sleep Merryl. I'm feeling pretty tired, and am counting down the weeks now. It will be lovely to have every day of the week to get things done and even put things off until tomorrow if necessary.

  7. congrats on your retirement, you are so busy with everything! wish i could preserve, your plum jam looks delicious! love fig jam too!
    your friend is very talented artist, they are simply stunning pictures!
    haven't seen many snakes here this season, the carpet, one red belly black & a brown. (maybe 2) & agree, much nicer when they stay outside!
    well hope to read more soon, always love reading about your farm life
    thanx for sharing

    1. Selina, It's really not hard to make jam, if I can make it, you certainly could. :) If you lived closer, we could spend a morning in my kitchen and you would go away with jam that you made yourself. I wonder if I should write a step by step pictorial guide to making jam? Oh dear, all those snakes you mentioned are quite enough for one summer!

  8. Thanks for the update Sally! Good luck with the slow days, I reckon you'll find plenty to keep you busy :)

  9. What a lovely newsy post.

    I love your sale bargains and I bet a lot of them can be repurposed to add to your farm gate shop in imaginative ways. It seems you are in full swing processing all this summers fruit and veggies ready for your winter larder something that we will be doing, hopefully, in six or seven months time, and if your retirement plans come to fruition you will have slightly more time for all this by next year ... as will we :-)

    1. It's lovely to hear from you Sue. As my retirement date gets closer I'm wondering why I didn't do it earlier. Just another few weeks and then there will be some time to catch up on so much that needs doing.

  10. I seem, to be playing catch up Sally! Always enjoy reading your posts both here and on Instagram, you are such an inspiration. Enjoy creating your new look days, Jude x(Instagram @fairywrencottage)

    1. Hello Jude, thanks for your kind words, and I could say "likewise" for me being inspired by your beautiful photos and words.


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