Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Mini Break

Please excuse me while my unscheduled mini-break from blogging continues. I thought I should take some time to have adventures, rather than just writing about them. I’m getting pretty excited about a few things at the moment. The sewing machine is out, the stash is reducing, the baby is smiling, the two year old wants cuddles and I am reading lots of books even if they are the sort that has lots of pictures.

*the bowls were thrifted gift from a friend who was clearing out their house after the family had lived there for at least 4 generations. As their new house reaches completion, I am busy working on a thank-you/house warming present.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Suggested Routine Day

When I had Little e, my mother passed me my Plunket Book. It was carefully covered with a recycled greeting card. I seem to recall that my brother’s matches, but with a blue cover. It is nice to be able to flick through the pages and see that milestones are all the same, even thirty years on. The advice in the front made me chuckle so I thought I should share the “Suggested Routine Day”.

6:00 am Early morning tea for parents. The baby is changed, fed and returned to his cot.
7:00 am Parents rise
8:00 am Breakfast
9:00 am Sunbathe or exercise period for the baby in his cot.
9:30 am Bath and dress baby.
10:00 am Feed baby and put him down to sleep – outside if possible.
12:30 pm Lunch or dinner for family
1:30 – 2:00 Change baby, feed him and put him outside in the pram. Follow this with exercise period in crib or playpen
3:00 pm Afternoon tea and as baby grows older, an outing in the pram. Follow this with and exercise period in crib or playpen.
5:30 p.m Feed baby. Social time and then to bed in a quiet well ventilated room.
6:00 pm Family evening meal.
6:30-7:00 pm Recreation and relaxation.
9:30-10:00 Last feed for the baby. Change and tuck down.
10:00 Supper and bed for parents.

That mum is having a very long day, even if the baby is sleeping through the night. I like that she doesn’t clean the house either. I think we all look back and consider that there was some idyllic time for bringing up children, be it the 1950’s or the 1970’s. I console myself that this virtuous timetable was written at the same time as irreverent ( or even celebratory) songs like this (Miss Smith you will appreciate this one).

My time table is stuck to the fridge. It started as a list of things my mother could do to help when she arrived. I have added to it (in itallics) as I started to use it for myself whenever I had a spare moment. It reads: Meals, Laundry, Dishes, Sleep, Eat, Bathe. Much easier to follow and yes, I do need reminding of the last 3.

Yesterday, I planted Garlic

Jerusalem Sonnet 18

Yesterday I planted garlic,
Today, sunflowers—‘the non-essentials first’

Is a good motto—but these I planted in honour of
The Archangel Michael and my earthly friend,

Illingworth, Michael also, who gave me the seeds—
And they will turn their wild pure golden discs

Outside my bedroom, following Te Ra
Who carries fire for us in His terrible wings

(Heresy, man!) – and if he wanted only
For me to live and die in this old cottage,

It would be enough, for the angels who keep
The very stars in place resemble most

These green brides of the sun, hopelessly in love with
Their Master and Maker, drunkards of the sky.

James K Baxter

During a brief find window of fine weather we were able to slip outside and plant the garlic. It had been waiting since midwinter. E took great delight in tearing the bulbs apart while whispering “break it up” under her breath. Now every garlic bulb in the fridge is greeted with the new name “break’d’up” and carried out the door.

I’m looking forward to fresh aoli in the summer time. Maybe I will have planted the sunflowers by then too.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I’m loving this* book from our local library at the moment. Like all Gecko Press books it is “curiously good”. It’s about a mother duck and her four ducklings. One of them is a bit odd but she loves them all just the same.

This page struck a chord with me:

“Mother Duck didn’t notice. She was reading”

In case you were wondering how we know she loves those ducklings, just look at the cover to see her reading to them all.

• “Guji Guji” by Chih-Yuan Chen

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The Simplest Things

Sometimes the simplest things can be the most fun. Little E can get into the fabric drawers and loves it. Fat quarters are waved in the air, up high and down low, to music. Long strips are wrapped up and admired as scarves in front of the mirror. More recently, layers of “blankets” have been found laid over sleeping toys. Sometimes it drives me to frustration, but it is nice to see my stash admired and reinvented.

E raided my homespun drawer last week. While picking up the pieces, I had to admire the murky blues and yellows. She might be onto something there. The pile is now next to the ironing board, earmarked for me to turn it into something else entirely.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Still Keeping Warm

The fire has been going for a week solid now and so blankets for keeping warm are still at the front of my mind. I have even been making them for gifts. This one is made from two layers of merino double rib with contrast binding. The colours suggested acorns, so I just had to add one making the ideal one size fits all babies gift.