This past week at home

It's been a pretty busy week and on the weekend all beds were full here at the Hetzel house. Cups of tea were made, grandchildren were running around and simple home cooking was enjoyed but I was out of action for most of it.  On Friday night my nose started running like a tap, on Saturday morning I was sneezing and febrile, and Sunday I developed a cough and asthma. I think I'm almost over it now. I was really pleased Tricia was here because she cooked dinner for everyone and with Hanno's help, they provided scrambled eggs and bacon for breakfast to a full house on Sunday morning.


On Sunday afternoon, Tricia went down to Brisbane for a few days to visit friends, our visitors went home and everything returned to normal. Tranquility descended on our home again. We had a bit of rain yesterday so that stopped me working in the garden but I did manage to sow sprouting broccoli and aquilegia (granny's bonnets) seeds. The aquilegia seeds were collected in Tricia's garden.




The garden was planted up on 17 April and it's growing like wildfire. Just three weeks after planting I've started feeding bok choy to the chickens. We're leaving them in their coop until about 9am now to avoid the early fox visits.  We also have frequent visits from a wedge-tail eagle looking for a quick meal, so the chooks aren't getting out to free range on the grass. I try to make up for that by giving them greens from the garden.  If we can keep that going, even when they aren't feeding on grass, the eggs we eat will continue to contain omega 3 oils.  Tomorrow I'll plant up another large tray of bok choy seeds to continue a regular supply for the chooks. Bok choy is the fastest growing of the greens. They germinate in a few days, start growing within a week and can be harvested about three weeks after that. I hope to harvest some silver beet (Swiss chard) next week and two small turnips for my vegetable soup on Thursday.



It gives me a good feeling when I can work out what we need here and then do a bit of work to provide it on a continuing basis. Home is such an interesting and productive place when you have active and meaningful projects to take you through each day.  I've been doing research on berries lately and as a result of that, I'm taking out the very prickly youngberry we've had growing in the backyard for a few years, and will build up our Heritage raspberries again. If I can weed, feed and mulch the raspberries this week, they'll produce fruit in late winter/early spring. Our lemons are growing like mad and are juicy and sweet.



Soon the oranges will be ready to pick and yesterday morning I noticed they'd changed to a vivid orange colour.  Now they just need a couple of weeks of cold weather to sweeten them up. Oh, how I love orange season.  Last year we transplanted another Washington naval orange into the vegetable garden and added a Lane's Late orange to extend our orange season. The Lane's Late will allow us to continue our harvest when the Washingtons end in late July and will continue right through till late August.  In a year or two we'll have plenty of eating oranges with more than enough for juice and marmalade. Thank you sweet citrus family.


Tricia will be back on Wednesday and will stay until the following Wednesday. No doubt we'll go out and sightsee but the majority of our time will be spent here at home where we all feel so comfortable.  We feel protected from the outside world here - the influences, dangers, pollution, the busyness and the business.  When all is said and done, it doesn't matter if you're odd or strange or if you're the same as everyone else, the good thing is you'll fit like a glove into your own home. By the way, I consider myself to be in the odd category. I used to be a mainstreamer but now I don't fit any type or pattern and when I go out, there is increasingly more that is unfamiliar to me that I have no desire to know anything about.  Such is life.

I finalised the forum recently and a few days ago made a donation of $280 to the McGrath Foundation. For those who don't know of the McGrath Foundation, it's a charity that supplies breast care nurses to various communities. The donation was made on behalf of all of us "In memory of Rose Marshall". I miss you, Rose.

31 comments

  1. Sounds like you had a full week! Sorry you felt under the weather, but you were in good hands. Your orange tree looks so lush!

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  2. I miss Rose as well. Thank you for the donation Rhonda and for giving it in all of our names.

    SunnyMidnight

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  3. Hi Rhonda. It sounds like you are doing really well. I'm glad that you're feeling better. Your photos are just gorgeous! What a lovely garden. I grow lots of citrus, too. It's so nice to enjoy freshly squeezed orange juice. Take care...awakenedsoul

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  4. If you are truly in the "odd" category, Rhonda Jean, I wish all the world was in that category. Home is the very best place to be and I too am learning that I fit less and less in the outside world. It's getting that with all those acronyms and hashtags in news articles, it's even becoming difficult for me to read the news!

    Hugs
    Jane

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    1. Jane, I feel the same way! And Rhonda, your orange tree is so lush and beautiful!

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  5. Happy to hear you're feeling better Rhonda. Your weekend although busy sounds wonderful and good on Hanno and Tricia for that big breakfast.

    I must be worried about foxes too seeing I keep dreaming about them. Last night I dreamt there was a huge bird in the chicken's run. I have planted extra kale to supply our chickens as well as us. New sturdier run is currently being built.

    Enjoy being home especially with your sister.

    I think of Rose and I hope her family are well.

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  6. Such a tribute to your friend Rose, Rhonda. Good on you. I will bet your donation is most appreciated by many. I too started a new raspberry garden, and have both Heritage and AMity in there. WE shall see how they do; we have had intermittent rain and heat in the last few weeks! My bok choy was sown three times and did not make it as it was washed out each time. I guess this year they are not to be. It sounds like you had a full and busy week, and happy one; if not for your cold and sneezes, fever and asthma. Glad you seem to be on the mend now.

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  7. Hello Rhonda, I hope you are soon feeling much improved & your head cold disappears. I wanted to stop by & say that yes, I too consider myself in the "odd category". Its funny because I spent so many younger years trying to "fit in" to the mainstream .... & now - with older age - I just really don't care to be part of all that anymore & I embrace my oddness. Thanks again for a wonderful post.

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  8. Hi Rhonda, Glad you are feeling much better. Family time is so precious. You have reminded me to plant some Bok Choy and Silverbeet, now that the weather is getting cooler here in Mackay and we have some time for a few days. I think that also increasingly I am not as concerned about fitting into the outside world as much.Take care and a lovely post,Pauline

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  9. There is so much selfishness these days and a loss of connection to the planet :(
    It makes me happy to read your stories , Rhonda and all the others who seem to be still in touch with reality !

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  10. Dearest Rhonda it was lovely that a donation was made in Rose's name. Thank you.

    How wonderful to have your family support you while you were off colour. Rest is important when you need to get back on top of things.

    I think I should buy a mandarin tree as I love them so. Currently we have little in the herb department and I must work on those. At present I have an abundance of basil and I am glad it has gone to seed as the bees are back and enjoying it. My small lime has about 9 fruit and my passionfruit vine has a solo beautiful looking fruit ripening. I figure if it can do it once it may well do better next time. Pity there are no flowers while the bees are visiting.

    Take care and love to you and the family.

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  11. Good to hear you are well now. I enjoy viewing pictures of your garden and the changing seasonal growth/veges. The donation is a fiting memory to beautiful Rose <3.

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  12. Happy to hear you are feeling better Rhonda. xx

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  13. I hope you are feeling better so you can enjoy the week with your sister. Your garden is looking so green it's really beautiful. I like the little bird in your flower pot, so cute! Do stay "odd" you are lovely the way you are! :)

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  14. Rhonda, I was just thinking about Rose the other day as I know a lady who has terminal cancer and has the terrible back pain like Rose experienced. I often wonder how her Mum and hubby are coping. Enjoy the rest of your time with Tricia and I am glad you have recovered from the asthma.

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  15. I can find it confusing, living a simple life at home and trying to find my way in the world outside. I know there are people like me (because I find them online) but I find it hard to connect to them in the outside world.

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    1. We all find it hard, Anita. Sometimes you get lucky but generally, it's difficult finding like-minded souls.

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    2. Hi Anita, I remember a saying my Mum used to tell me when I was a kid when I was upset. She said "when the world fails us, there is always the home".

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  16. Thank you for your donation, a close friend was recently diagnosed and it brings everything very close to home. Life is fragile and we all must make the best of what we have while we have it. Thank you too for your usual dose of inspiration - here in Auckland, the vege seedlings are about to go in for the next season. We are simplifying to herbs and greens for the most part, as this is the most bang for our buck nutrition-wise.

    All my love, Ayesha

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    1. Lovely to see you comment again, Ayesha. I agree on your two choice picks for the garden. I think they're the sensible two. They're quite easy to grow, they're generally expensive, they taste best when fresh and, as you say, they're highly nutritious. xx

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  17. Another wonderful post dear Rhonda. Your words resonate so deeply with me, and I thank the universe for connecting with other "odd bods" through your blog. So glad to hear you have bounced back so quickly. A lot can be said for the health giving side effect of the simple life.

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  18. So glad you are feeling better. I enjoy your mastery of gardening where you are. I have been in the Gulf Coast of TX for34 yrs and haven't mastered the weather here yet. I seem to be hardwired for Northern Indiana where I grew up. Plus this is the first year I haven't worked full time+. I am going to try to get better organized for the fall garden.

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    1. We think we should grow vegetables in summer but in many places, the climate is too severe for that. If we grow in summer here, it's hard on us because it's so hot, there are many more insects, the lettuce and herbs bolt to seed and we use way too much water. Have a look around your neighbourhood , see what's happening there and copy the best gardens. Good luck!

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  19. How very honorable. I too miss her and knew her only an Nth as well as you did and from a million miles away.
    Also, glad I'm not the only odd one 😉

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  20. I am sorry to hear that you were ill, but glad it did not last too long, and your sister was there to help! I do a bit sigh when I read of you growing lemons outside. You do have a very special climate. But I love northeast Ohio even if our winters can be rough (not last year which is probably not a good thing!) and I do most of my gardening on the deck because of arthritis. I've been reading your blog since 2007 and am so grateful for the gift you have given so many with your wise and gentle words. Be well!

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  21. A lovely way to honour the memory of Rose with a donation in her name. I love reading about your life at home Rhonda, it gives me sanctuary in this busy world. I'm in the same club as you too, I'm a bit on the odd side - and proud of it. Mainstream life just doesn't make sense to me anymore like simple living does xx

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  22. I just love it when you throw in a new word....."mainstreamer".

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  23. your garden is looking so lush! & wow look at those vegies grow! i threw some seeds in but nothing came up :(( have since put seeds in the fridge am about to go plant some of those, hopefully they will grow.
    a lovely donation, hope her family is doing okay too.
    sorry to hear you weren't well but glad you are on the mend.
    enjoy the rest of Tricia's visit
    thanx for sharing
    selina from kilkivan qld

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  24. Another lovely post.. I love love your garden and am amazed at the fruit and such that you grow there in your country.. We do not have lemons nor oranges but lots of apples, raspberries and our back field at the farm is full of blueberries.. Thanks for mentioning the bok choy. I love it and am going to see if it is something I can plant soon.. Glad you are feeling better.. Oh and I love your homey pics.... Enjoy your time with Tricia... God bless.. xoxox

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  25. Hope you are feeling better Rhonda. The sneezes and sniffles are certainly around. We are trying hard to reorganise our planting in the cool weather. Your garden is beautiful.

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  26. Thank you for making the donation, well done

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