Saturday, January 24, 2009

New babies at Cwm Goch!

We have had some new additions to our family this week.
Firstly we bought 6 new chicks (since 60% of our flock was lost in the last month or so).

Then today we brought home a very special little bundle. Her name is Bindi.

She is a Dobermann Pinscher and 10 weeks old and utterly adorable. We've learnt a thing or two over the years with dogs and breeders, and were really impressed with her family. We met the mother, grandmother and half sister and all of them had the most wonderful temperaments and very obviously genuinely loved by their owner.

We are very pleased - all of us! The boys are thrilled to bits and dying to play with her, though it will have to wait until she's settled in a little. She is curious, confident and very gentle - what better mix could there be.

No doubt more photos will follow as she grows.

There's nothing like animals about to make a house a home. :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Home Sweet Home

There's nothing like a remind you how much you LOVE home!
We just came back from a few days down south. It was lovely. No flies, cooler weather and the munchkins and Zach had great fun at the beach.
But coming home, as we pulled into the driveway, we had to pause at the gate as a family of Silver Eyes flitted across in front of us, and drive very slowly avoid the Bronze Wings (who seem to forget they have wings once they get in front of a car!) and then we gazed at the crows and 28s (Port Lincoln Ringneck - for non locals) who were sitting on the chook fence...and wondered if any other chooks had been taken by the Wedge Tailed Eagle, who we suspect was the culprit responsible for the injured and subsequently dead chook we found the morning we left, and which plants had survived the few days without watering, and how many more tomatoes were ripe now.....

And I sighed with contentment, glad as glad to be home.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Ta Dah!

I have just patched my first patch on a pair of jeans. The jeans were well worn (from kneeling in the garden!) and finally a proper hole appeared. I was so excited! Yay a hole! Hubby thinks this is yet another sign I'm slightly demented.

Anyhoo, I now know how to put a patch on - thanks to a mix of 'how-to's' from the net, and some sticky stuff which was supposed to be for hems, but that I stuck between the patch and the jeans and it worked anyhow!

Yay me! :)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Sewing advice please!

I've wanted to learn to sew my own clothes for a while - mainly because I don't like a lot of the stuff in the shops and want to wear what I like.

Bought what looked like a really simple pattern from Spotlight (for kids pj's), which the lady said was 'Absolutely basic - only 2 pieces for goodness sake'. This has done nothing for my self-esteem since I gave up on those pants and made my own. The trouble with the 'easy' pattern is it assumed prior knowledge and seemed to skip heaps of steps so i was left baffled as to how I was supposed to get from one illustration to another.

Have made a couple of PJ pants for the boys now (using a simple, sew 2 bits together, stick one inside out into the other, sew turn them out, fold the top and thread elastic through the hole. Keeping in mind that THIS was an achievement, can any of you suggest any REALLY simple (we're talking stuff a 10year old could do!) patterns that they may have seen on the internet anywhere (free preferably).

I've seen the Burda site - not simple enough. Lessons just aren't possible at the moment timewise. But tips and suggestions always welcome. Even good blog site addresses where people have made simple items of clothing.

Thanks in advance - I know there are a number of you who are great sewers out there.


Monday, January 5, 2009

@*&!ing March Flies!

I am strongly debating the right of this post to be placed under a 'Beauty of Cwm Goch' label.
We have been inundated with March flies (Family Tabanidae) this year - more than ever before.

Here is a picture.

You may notice the photo of the March fly and my knee is slightly blurry - that's because it is DARNED hard to keep still when these things are biting you - even through pants!

The females have a nasty bite and this year have swarmed on us in groups of up to 10 at a time the minute we step outside. The info on them says they are attracted to dark blue (which we haven't been wearing). They just seem attracted to any bare skin they can find. No amount of insect repellant or Eucalyptus oil, which we use around the decking to ward off the usual house flies, seems to work.

Cat suggested fly traps - we're looking into those. Any other suggestions gratefully accepted. We are wearing long sleeves and jeans in 40degree heat just to be able to venture outside.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

The Brain that Changes Itself

You all just HAVE to read this book. You'll find yourself amazed on every page.

I can't recommend it enough - for anyone, but especially if you know anyone who suffers from dementia, Alzheimers, or any physical damage or condition related to brain damage. This book will astound you.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Early morning walk

With 4 little boys in the house we decided the best way to keep us all happy would be to keep them all very busy. The day started with a quick brekky then off to the Bridle track for a walk before the weather got too hot.
Great opportunity to take some shots too!

Here are some Mulla-Mullas.


And beautiful acacia seeds about to drop from their pods.

What a lovely way to start the day!

New Year's Resolution - Choice theory

Those of you who know me, know that I am forever reading. Over the last 6 months I've been reading a lot of William Glasser's work. Glasser is a psychiatrist who developed Choice Theory, an interesting concept that I have become more and more intrigued with, the more I read about it.

There are few things I don't necessary agree with in his first book, but what has been interesting in reading subsequent texts is the applications and implications it holds for use in so many situations.

Choice Theory teaches some interesting concepts like the idea of a person's 'Quality World', what that looks like to a person and how it impacts on their perception of their lives and how they live it. And a concept called "External control psychology', which is fascinating!

Glasser asserts that all we do is 'behave' and that we choose all our behaviours (with the exception of some physiological ones) - based on our aims to achieve 5 basic needs. He makes verbs out of actions, for instance, he would say that we are not 'depressed', rather we are 'choosing to depress'. We aren't angry, we are choosing to anger' etc.
His theories and ideas go hand in hand with other authors I've been reading lately - like Stephen Covey (Habits of Highly effective people). Like the premise that you can't change other's behaviour, but you can choose to change your response to their behaviour etc. This relates back to the ideas of circles (inner one of personal control, sphere of influence outside that, then things in the outer circle that you can't control).

He has a whole range of sensible, workable ideas regarding relationships and people's interactions. Like the advice to 'stop before you open your mouth, and ask yourself, 'Is what I'm about to say going to push this person away or bring them/us closer' - I'm paraphrasing but this is the gist of it.

In talking about people who are unhappy, he puts the majority of people's unhappiness down to them actually being unhappy/unsatisfied in their relationships (hence his strong focus on relationship building).

In another book 'Unhappy Teenagers - and a way for parents and teachers to reach them', (brilliant, brilliant book that I'd highly recommend to anyone who has teens or works with them) he says that the biggest influence on the choices a teenager will make is not the threat of grounding/punishment, but the strength of the relationship that youth has with the parent. THAT is what stays with the teen when he's out of sight/reach of the parent and so that is what needs to be nurtured.

I think Glasser's work is wonderful and I'm lucky enough to be going to a Choice Theory/Reality Theory course that it being held in Perth in Feb. Very excited! A colleague at work told me they are in 'a different place with their life' since doing this course.

My New Year's Resolution is to live by Choice Theory as much as possible, and try to integrate it into our family life as much as possible.

For those of you who find any of this interesting the Glasser Institute has a website. Just Google 'Choice Theory - Glasser' and you're bound to find it.

In ending - Glasser talks about 7 Deadly Habits (and there are behaviours you should replace them with...I'll let you visit his site for those!).

The 7 Deadly Habits are: Criticizing, Blaming, Complaining, Nagging, Threatening, Punishing, Bribing/reward control.

Sound like some habits you could ditch? Read 'Choice Theory' for how!

Weeds are our friends...and beautiful too!

Another photo!

Spoilt Brat!

I have been so unbelievably spoilt lately that it's hard not to feel a little guilty!

To top it all off, today my Dad came around (having just bought himself a new camera) and gave me his old one! I already have the one he gave me previously, so this is an upgrade...and it does MACRO! Superbly stoked!

We are babysitting the two extra munchkins again at the moment, but I managed to get them all to bed by about 6pm - yes just call me Super Nanny! That left me heaps of time to get out in the garden to have a play with my new toy. I love having the macro feature. You stop to notice everything you'd usually walk past when you're looking for small things.

Here are some shots to enjoy!
Christmas spider as promised!

New shoot growing out of lichen.

A spider - still to be ideintified. It makes a lovely zig-zag thread in it's web.

Rusty gate - just cos.

One of my favourite flowers in the native garden - unsure what it's called.

No doubt ever post will now come accompanied by photos!