Xmas is Coming

Not long before we have Christmas Lunch at our new place for the first time. I’ve been reflecting a bit about this given it’s not something I celebrate and the animosity I have toward the consumerist frenzy it’s become. The waste from obligated giving is sickening. Don’t even get me started on that.

So not surprisingly, I’m not usually one for Christmas time, it doesn’t mean much to me other than a chance to be with family and eat great food. This is the first Christmas in our new place so I’ve been keen to have it here and not go away for the occasion. The most part of the last 8 years or so I have been going to Mildura to celebrate Christmas with Emma’s family.

I remember one time a few years ago, asking what I could do to help, Rita hadn’t had time to put the decorations on the tree so, given I’d had a fair bit of experience in the past, I was quite happy to put these old skills to work. I was a bit surprised that it actually brought back memories of decorating the tree with my mom and my brother in Canada when I was younger. There was a familiarity that went beyond the mechanics of draping a tree with tinsel.

This year we’re looking for an alternative to a Christmas tree per se, Emma has sent me pics of pineapples decorated like Christmas trees, books stacked to look like a snowman and reindeer in festive decor. I’m quite happy to have an unconventional approach, it’s how I roll. We’ve even looked at inflatable tree’s that require nothing but air and a bit of space, oh and a spare power outlet to plug in, which are in short supply in our living room. So that may not work. I’d much rather use something we already have or something that doesn’t involve waste, like the pineapple.

I’m keen to make the most of it despite the mixed feelings I have around the whole Christmas thing. I haven’t quite gotten to giving myself permission to enjoy it just yet, I’m still cranky and annoyed but don’t want to bring this to my family gathering either. There’s no getting away from the fact that I will be celebrating it and being grateful for my new home. So I’ve got a couple of weeks to shift it. Here’s my public declaration that I will.



This post is 32 of 45 posts for 45 years.


Eating from our Garden

I squeezed my own orange juice yesterday morning, not from our oranges, but from the Tangellos (mandarin-grapefruit cross) we got from Emma’s Grandma’s place near Mildura a few weeks ago. Lots of seeds but the taste was worth it!

I found a potato in the tub of spuds and we put it, sliced, on the BBQ with the fish and it was really tasty!

I’ve been eating a fair few nectarines and thinking about what to do with the rest of them as they start to ripen, you can pick soft ones from the tree now! We’re thinking stewed nectaries, maybe dehydrate some of them, freeze a few more. The fresh ones are much better cold, tho eating them fresh and hot is interesting.

The peaches didn’t fare so well, we got a few but it was a bit too hot as they were ripening and many of them cooked on the tree and had bugs in them. I am surprised that I’m enjoying the nectarines more than peaches and not from availability.

The apples are starting to get big and one fell in my bunny proofed section of garden under the orange tree and within a couple of days it was a tiny bird pecked core! No wonder the birds love our place so much, the feast on our fruit! I’d rather they left the strawberries more, i don’t mind sharing but we’ve only had a handful of the 20+ berries that have fruited.

I feel really blessed to have this food from my garden but it’s alot of work and it’s a bit tricky learning to deal with bugs and other nasties when you want to raise them naturally, no chemicals for me thanks! I’m learning what grows where and how to protect the plants from some of the things that want to eat them, and find nice surprises like a handful of rasperries, hiding under the leaves, not visible to birds! And the potato was a nice surprise too.

The joy of having food to eat in your own back yard is such a treat, despite the challenges, like empty rain water tanks, and its’ not even February! I used mains water for the first time this year. Praying for rain amid my gratitude for the long and sporadic harvest!