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Christmas 2012: done and dusted

I have logged on to wordpress today to discover that my last blog post was the 5th December.  I guess with all the craziness in the lead up to Christmas, blogging was on the bottom of my to do list.  Christmas is typically a very busy time for us, particularly as some of my extended family go extremely over the top with celebrations.

This Christmas for me was a little different.  My environmentally friendly lifestyle change is only a recent thing that has transpired over about the last six months.  As I sat and watched the kids open far to many Christmas presents revealing toys that they probably didn’t really need, I pondered over what the less fortunate were doing, and how many kids were missing out on toys this Christmas.  As we sat down to a breakfast and Christmas lunch, I gave a quick thought to where our food had come from, I was feeling a little guilty about the fact that I was about to indulge in food that had not been farmed in the nicest of ways.  My contribution to Christmas lunch was bio-dynamically grown pork and a salad, which unfortunately was shop bought.  I fully intend to be growing more of my own food by next Christmas and hopefully I will be able to supply a fresh salad straight from my garden.

Although the gift giving was way over the top, some of my family members have obviously realised how important my hippiness is and went to the trouble of buying gifts in line with my new beliefs.  My wonderful sister-in-law gave me a dwarf lemon tree, my darling mother gave me some terracotta herb labels and Miss Three was lucky enough to receive some gardening gloves, watering cans and gardening tools.

My new dwarf lemon tree

Terracotta herb labels

Terracotta herb labels

Miss 3's new gardening tools

Miss 3’s new gardening tools

Now that Christmas is over, my thoughts and plans turn to the new year and what it might bring.  The second half of 2012 dealt some of my family members some tough blows so I am looking forward to 2013 being a better year for all of us.  2013 will also bring extensions to my gardens and preparing them for planting out when the whether cools towards the end of March.  Yes, we do have to wait that long for the whether to cool down.  The last few days have seen 30 degrees at 7am with 90+ humidity and while my chillis and strawberries have been suffering , my sweet potatos are loving the heat and high humidity.

Sweet potato garden

Sweet potato garden

I’ve also had some coconuts fall from my coconut trees so keep your eyes pealed for my next blog post on my attempts to make coconut milk from fresh coconuts.

The heat of it

Today is one of those days in North Queensland where you get out the shower, dry yourself and your still wet.  You walk from the car to your front door and your dripping with sweat.  You don’t even think about drinking coffee because it’s just too hot.  In fact, you think twice about even going outside.  At 8am this morning it was already 30 degrees.  The overnight temperature didn’t drop below 27 degrees.  Right now outside it’s 32 degrees but it feels a lot hotter than that.  When I checked on the internet, it said the current temperature was 32 degrees but the apparent temperature (or feels like temperature) is 34 degrees.

These hot temperatures make it difficult to get out into the garden because it’s just too hot.  On the upside though, the heat and humidity has been great for my sweat potatoes who have only been in the ground for four weeks but are growing beautifully.

Day one - 1st November

Day one – 1st November

Sweet potatoes 4 weeks after planting

Sweet potatoes 4 weeks after planting

It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas

The first of December, I think, would have to be my most favourite day of December.  I think I like it even more than Christmas day itself.  Mainly due to the fact that certain members of my extended family go way over the top with presents and food.  It has always annoyed me as I’ve always seen it as a waste, but even more so since I started my hippy journey.

My husband has a rule that NO Christmas decorations can be put up until 1st December under any circumstances.  So given that he worked all day today (5.30am until 4pm), Miss 3 and I had to wait all day before we could start the decorating.  On the up side, I was able to use it as a bribe for good behaviour all day.  It worked a treat.  Infact, she kept saying to me all day “I’m being a good girl aren’t I mummy?”DSCF3814

Needless to say, once Daddy got home, we spent the next hour or so listening to Christmas Carols and decorating the lounge room.

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I don’t know what it’s like in your part of the country but up here decorating the outside of the house with Christmas lights is the done thing.  Of course that poses a problem for me this year, what with my new found hippiness.  I was VERY excited the other day to find solar powered Christmas lights.  I also managed to pick up some more this morning.  Now, not all of the lights on my house are solar powered, but given that we have solar electricity, I’m pretty sure that counteracts the fact that my lights are not solar.  I must apologise for the fuzziness of this photo but for some reason it was the best I could get and I really wanted to share my lights with you.

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Our Christmas lights

Miss 3’s Daycare Amazes Me!

My Little Miss 3 attends daycare three days a week as I work part-time.  She has only been attending this daycare centre since February.  The one she was attending prior was pitiful (but that’s a whole other story).  When we first went there, I noticed they had 3 chickens in a pen in the corner.  I later found out that the kids take turns in going in and feeding the chickens and collecting the eggs.  The centre provides all the food for the kids (I don’t have to send anything along.  YAY!  Makes things easier for me) and they use the eggs in their cooking.

As time went on, I began to notice more and more things the centre was doing.  A few months ago, they started a herb garden, they have heaps of plants in pots all around the place and yesterday I noticed a new dwarf orange tree.  The kids help the teachers to water the plants everyday and they absolutely love it.  I have seen arguments over who is going to help Miss Maggie water the plants today.

Yesterday all the kids in Miss 3’s class planted their own seeds in a pot.  Miss 3 was very excited to show me her pot with her name on it.  I can’t wait to see how excited she will be when her seeds sprout. Miss 3 is very into gardening as we have been doing a lot at home lately.

Yesterday when I picked up Miss 3 I also noticed a worm farm sitting in one of the gardens.  It’s in an area where the kids can’t access so no worries about little hands getting in there to play.  I’m not sure how involved the kids are with feeding the worm farm but I suspect the might be allowed to put the food in there under supervision.

I am so so happy that what I teach Miss 3 at home about environmentally friendly/self-sustainable living is also being taught at daycare.  It makes me so happy to know that she is learning all this from such a young age.  Well done daycare!.

Sweet Potatos are in

Sweet potatoes are apparently really easy to grow in a tropical climate, hence the reason that this is the first vegetable I am attempting to grow.  That and the fact that it’s one of the only vegetables you can grow in North Queensland through summer.

I’ve had a sweet potato sitting on my bench in some water for a few weeks now and it had grown some nice slips so I decided it was time to plant them in the garden.  The slips are the shoots with the leaves on them and this is what is planted in the garden.

Sweet potato with slips

The slips are removed from the sweet potato by pulling them down in the opposite direction to what they are growing.  Before planting in the ground the leaves from the lower part of the slip need to be removed (do not remove and roots that may have started growing).  Once in the ground, two or three potatoes will grow from each leaf node (the spots where the leaves have been removed)

A slip that has been removed from the sweet potato

Miss 3 digging holes for the slips

Miss 3 planting the slips

Watering the slips

In four to six months time we should be able to harvest our sweet potatoes….

The Sun is Shining

I’ve been nominated for a sunshine award……..

I was very humbled yesterday to find out that my very good friend the Rabid Little Hippy had nominated me for a Sunshine Award.  Yesterday I was feeling a little low, so to read Rabid’s latest blog post nominating me for a Sunshine Award really made my day.

Here are my answers to the questions:

1. Who is your favorite philosopher? I don’t really have one although I have been inspired by a few Mahatma Ghandi quotes

2. What is your favorite number?  definitely 7.

3. What is your favorite animal? I absolutely love dolphins.  I am amazed by their grace and the way they interact with humans.

4. What are your Facebook and Twitter? No twitter account.  Facebook is http://www.facebook.com/thetropicalhippy

5. What is your favorite time of day? Anytime of the day where I have 5 mins to myself

6. What was your favourite holiday? Would have to be the 8 weeks my husband and I spent traveling through Europe and Egypt

7. What is your favorite physical activity? I would have to say going to the gym

8. What is your favorite non-alcoholic drink? that one is my little secret

9. What is your favorite flower? Tulips

10. What is your passion? enjoying life with my family
And now for my nominations……

Rabid Little Hippy – of course I am going to renominate my very good friend Rabid, for without her I would not have even started my journey to environmentally friendly living.  She has inspired me more than she will ever realise.

My Life with Snotface – This blogger is not only my sister-in-law, she is the most honest person I know.  Her blog is about juggling life as a fulltime working mum, with a four year old son.

The Organised Housewife – she is….well….extremely organised.  She is a mum to 3 kids and blogs to help inspire and motivate you to have an organised, clean and clutter free home.  She has definately given me the motivation to organise and declutter my home.

I really don’t follow that many blogs so I’ve picked my top three and I’m going to leave it at that.

Happy Sunshiney Days

Some things of interest

I was trolling Facebook this morning and I found some interesting things that I thought I would share because I know that some of my followers don’t have Facebook accounts.

The first is a Christmas one.  Christmas is fast approaching.  Lots of people tend to go overboard when it comes to buying kids Christmas presents.  I have never really been one to go too over the top when it comes to buying presents for my daughter and niece’s and nephew’s but there are some family members that do.  I found this pic on Facebook this morning and I think it’s an excellent philosophy to use when buying presents.  I know that most of my family have already bought presents for this Christmas but I am going to suggest that we all use ‘The Four Gift Rule’ when purchasing presents for next Christmas.

The other thing I found that I really wanted to share is this graphic on the percentage of genetically modified crops that each country produces.  Australia is down there as one of the lowest but when I saw the USA’s percentage I was shocked.  What do you think?

theroadtoserendipity

Trying to find order in all of this chaos

Rabid Little Hippy

My journey into self sustainability, eco awareness and living in country Victoria.

thetropicalhippy

A blog about going green in the tropics!

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