Wednesday, 20 May 2020

Garden glows to bring us delight

Dear Family & Friends

We are trained to think and act in certain ways that no longer makes sense in the modern economy. The old world thinking says: we have to conform and be like everyone else so we can make it and fit in. We lost our identity and uniqueness - as our thinking is now based on what others think. To me this is a perfect recipe of keeping one with poor and crippled mentality. Living in a rural community, I sit in our garden pondering on this thought.

A section of our old garden facing the little barn

In my garden is a perfect place to know who I am. It's a peaceful place but not so quiet nor the same as everyone's garden. It got a mind of it's own and has it's own character. I plan and I plant but most of the time, the garden develops every season it shows it's own uniqueness - higgledy piggledy-  but we all enjoy it no less.

The same garden photo taken on another season in the year

The above two photos of the same garden place was taken in different season but it shows us that no one season looks the same. It always works itself out to give us beautiful pleasure. As a garden keeper, I simply enjoy how it wants to be for the certain time.

The joy of gardening is certainly a great gift for mankind. Hope you are enjoying yours and if not yet, I encourage you to start one even with just one little pot to start with. Have a lovely day today too:)


Friday, 15 May 2020

Benefit of Isolation

Dear Family & Friends

How are you benefitting from the imposed isolation situation? Hopefully you have found some advantage in it. As for our family, we profited a lot, in fact it never bothered us one bit. During the past weeks/months, we have accomplished a lot being locked down!

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Our big boss did a wonderful repair job of the broken down boundary mudwall, that was done in between his usual freelance-work from home schedule.

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In between free time, every member of the family unit comes in to contribute a hand to the vast  new garden, simply because many hands makes light work - and we all get satisfaction out of it and we simply enjoy our time as a family unit at any given time:)

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If you can catch me, I'm constantly sowing seeds in the ground just because this is the season to do so. We are all well occupied with the works our hands find to do each day that we actually can't relate much to the isolation or lockdown concept. Life is too busy to notice that there's some 'social things' that we are missing!! -  for Happiness happens to come from within us.

Hope you are all staying well and happy too.


Sunday, 10 May 2020

Visited a place just before lockdown

Dear Family & Friends

It's been more than a month that I've not been out except in my old garden and the new garden perimeter. It never bother nor bore me. Some might think 'isolation' is a terrible thing, but there's so many other things that keeps me well occupied that I can say I do enjoy my life as I always do, none depending on outside factors.

we captured a culture with our camera:)

Just some months ago, not too long ago, our family went around everywhere, where we immersed ourselves and enjoyed other culture and environment. So, I retrieved some of the wonderful memories and things we saw - to share with you.

a peaceful garden within a very noisy city - a place we appreciated

In one country we visited, we found ourselves in a beautiful garden with a big and serene pond - in the midst of a very busy city.

she carries a sword like a warrior of a kind - but not frightening:)

We chanced to see a very pretty lady doing a pictorial and she allowed us to capture it in our own camera too. Don't you think she is so beautiful in her full geared costume?

a sculptured tree - so beautiful

We always appreciate the opportunities of admiring other cultures in the world, the people most specially and of course the local plants and trees grown also radiates it's own beauty and kind too. I always credit these amazing design and acknowledge - that only a creative Creator can create and have created it all:) We are very blessed indeed:)

Hope all is well with you and know how blessed you are too!


Tuesday, 5 May 2020

Emergence in the garden

Dear Family & Friends

The week flew by, and speak of flying, the first of the swallows have arrived in town, oblivious to the travel restrictions and quarantined rules of mankind:)

It's been warm and green here with many plants emerging for the sunshine. Here's some photos from the garden and what we've been up to in the gardens.

Just a short post as I have to join the work force along with thousands of bees that is presently making an almost deafening buzz in our garden, as they go frantic with all the flowers and blooms at this time. To me the buzzing is a music but perhaps it could be frightening to some who got misconception of these lovely creatures!

Hope you stay cheerful and keep striving to be happy on top of everything else:)


Thursday, 30 April 2020

Tulip reminds us of Amsterdam

Dear Family & Friends

It's tulip time in our garden...they faithfully comes back every spring time to cheer us up. This year the presence of tulips brought me back memories of our trip to Amsterdam early this year. It's a country that is famous and known for growing these flowering bulbs.

Tulip museum in Amsterdam

The tulip museum didn't quite caught our attention when we were there...we were more fascinated with their cheese museum!

Inside the cheese museum

It's amazing how many cheese variety there were and in various interesting flavours too! Lots to sample and we thought they were all very good!

lots of free cheese tasting to do

Even the most visited canals didn't quite hold our attention as much as the cheese selection in the shop!

the canals of Amsterdam

So that was some of my thoughts - our fun family trip, that jogged up as I watched the tulip blooms in the garden. Did you know that tulips are fascinating flowers - they move a lot...if only I can capture every minute of their movements in a day.

Have a lovely day and keep safe & happy.


Saturday, 25 April 2020

Who will bounce back?

Dear Family & Friends

These days I feel more fearful for the future of many all around the world - more so for the economic aspect of it than the dreaded 'c-virus' situation.

Those of us who are courageous, optimistic, creative will bounce back, it is a great opportunity for those who knows how to fight back in this particular time - so are you all ready to be a part of that victory?

We have to change our mindset because nothing will be the same again. The truth is: it will take sometime for recovery before a new normal sets in. I'm not a prepper and I don't want to live in fear. At the same time, I'll always opt for some security measures. As far as I know and can, I see the importance of growing food as a security, foremost for my family's needs, and preferably have extra to share with others too.

In the garden, there's no crisis: Nature still prevails. Sun still shines. Rain still showers the ground. As easy as that...thus I carry on gardening with peace and joy as always. Been so busy lately that at the end of the day, my body refuses to move further, so I go for a well deserved good night sleep:) A well rested body  is always is a good start.

Hope all is well with you and that you are all taking courageous and wise steps forward too.


Monday, 20 April 2020

A short tour in our imaginary version of jardin du versailles

Dear Family & Friends

Come, let me take you for a short sight seeing trip as I have some free time. We're not going far, just next door to where we live, one minute walk through a secret garden door we opened on the boundary wall. Anyway, we still can't make the 25 minutes drive to the nearby city, even for grocery shopping due to strict ban with check points manned by the police. Not to worry, no food shortage at home. All is OK here:). 

Now  for our trip: Let's go back to summer last year when we got this property. From the balcony of the small house, we see this garden that was abandoned, covered with full grown weeds as high as 5 feet tall, which we flattened! Sorry we found no snake because they can't climb up the enclosed surrounding solid mud wall boundaries:(

Look what we have achieved so far.  Lockdown time is great for this project. Still a long way to go but it looks like our very own jardin du versailles is already taking it's shape! Without buying, my challenge is to fill this massive place with beautiful and edible plants, otherwise Nature will naturally grow weeds again! I use cuttings from my existing plants in our other garden and also a lot of the seeds I collected last year to sow more vegetable and flowers in each plots.

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Last weekend, the 4 of us worked in happy unity and planted hundreds of potatoes in 4 large plots. Potato seeds used were from last year's harvest that we didn't manage to finish.  We had good garden family fun time together:)

Hope you are all keeping victorious in every little ways despite of the circumstances. Keep healthy and happy:)


Wednesday, 15 April 2020

I don't enjoy cooking all the time

Dear Family & Friends

I thought I didn't like cooking, I still think I don't like cooking depending on my mood. But lately I've been watching a lot of cooking show and reading recipes. Cooking can be fun!

not my cooking but my mother's well known meatballs loved by all

As a mother and housewife, it's just a part of my routine to prepare homecooked meals despite of whether I'm fickled minded about it with the 'like or not like' to do business chore.

I love cooking prawns because it's quick to cook and everyone loves them too:)

I suppose it's what a lot of people find these days, with being locked down in the home because of the forced situation. If you're not used to home living on long basis, it could be hard. First of which - not knowing what to do with the free time on hand.

exotic sea grapes - oh how I miss these yummy goodness!

I'd's time for spring cleaning besides cooking! All those nooks and crannies that we haven't faced for days, weeks, and months can now get the attention. I'm home all the time but these things often gets neglected too and I'm off to try a bit of that today!

Have fun in whatever you set to do today!


Friday, 10 April 2020

I'm on a trip to be happy in my blue garden

Dear Family & Friends

Don't get me wrong, I'm not a person who is happy every single day but there is happiness every single day. Today I've woke up and decided that I'm going to be on a trip to be happy. The morning cooperated with a bright blue sky and wonderful sun rise:) So, off I went to the garden.

I see lots of blue colour here and there in my garden

Did you know that morning sunshine can give you the vitamin that we need to keep us healthy and happy? I found a nice corner in the garden where I can bask for some vitamin dosage. It's peaceful but not so quiet as I've got the company of the garden birds and bees that are on trip to a happy day too:)

still a bit cold outside, but the sunshine makes it more pleasant

Wish I could just sit there all day but my mind was distracted and I thought I must get on with my work for the day too. Yes, there is also something that we call 'work life balance'... not so sure how well I'll get the balance but at least for today I will aim to get it with a joyful heart.

Hope you are joining me for a trip to be happy where you are too.


Sunday, 5 April 2020

The sun still shines

Dear Family & Friends

Life is a series of choices. and if we have our own standards, can we make better choices?  If we have priorities, can we have a better day? There's commotions going around us everywhere, of various levels but how we deal with them is up to us - afterall,  we each have to deal with our individual life.

blooms always comes out in Spring time
Despite the fear being created around the world and how much fearful reactions we see amongst many... I choose not to do the same. The first thing I noticed this morning is that, the sun is still shining and the blossoms on fruit trees are all blooming. I must get out there to join the working bees for I too got a lot of work cut out for me today.

start seed sowing to have lots of food in the coming months

It takes time to grow food and it is not difficult. I have to start sowing seeds now if I want to have food abundance in the months to come for everyone to enjoy and benefit. Oh, growing food builds up confidence in knowing that we can be more responsible in life by being sustainable in some ways.

just imagine what a garden can give us if we grow seeds

For as long the sun shines, all is well... Gardening can get us moving with health, it allows us to enjoy a dosage of sunshine goodness, and give us the ability to deliver some good food for the family and others -now and in the coming days too.

Let's start gardening and have a happy day:)


Tuesday, 31 March 2020

A corner of our new garden

Dear Family & Friends

I've shared with you about the big walnut tree that we inherited last year, it's one of our big joy and in fact we have already been blessed with it's fruit abundance the same year:) Nonetheless, I understand that walnut tree hinders lots of plants from growing around them, and yes,we noticed that in that corner of the garden not a single weed grows either:)

soon to be a nice sitting area under the big walnut tree

Well, that's OK. We can then plan to make it as a nice sitting area under it's shade. Perhaps a nice round seat arrangement, using the big rock boulders that we collected from our next door neighbor:)

A portion of the corner boundary wall has been restored beautifully now:)

So far, we have managed to fix and rebuilt the broken down mud brick wall in that corner and it now look so much nicier and spacious too:)

This will be the next project to work on soon.

As spring time arrives, there's a lot more garden improvement that needs to be done. It's nice to dream and plan things out, but I know that it will take time and energy to do so too. Nonetheless, we'll just take each day at a time, without letting unnecessary pressure to influence us, instead it's about enjoying what we do as time permits us:)

Hope you are enjoying your day too.


Thursday, 26 March 2020

All as usual in our village

Dear Family & Friends

We sense so much insecurities with the people around us as they share with us their current situation around the globe with health and economic instabilities. Hopefully each one of us can find a way for better as we work our way through hope and positive outlook.

sun still shines .... everything are growing in the garden:)

In our little family unit in the village, life is unaffected and we remain grateful as always. I wake up and the promises of a bright new day is still there. So I check out the garden and everything still insist on growing and blooming beautifully. The bees are still busy working as always and so we do the same too.

anchovy fish cake 

Today I thought I would do something that I don't often prepare..tiny anchovy fish cakes. I like it but not much for the two girls, yet, they always eat their share:) Our garden is very busy as spring time always brings forth new I'm off to do what I need to do: Grow food to keep us fed, and grow flowers to keep us happy:)

Hope you are all staying healthy and moving on with high hopes.


Saturday, 21 March 2020

Lockdown in cities

Dear Family & Friends

While the virus situation is causing chaos around the world, we noticed a difference in the city scenario - quiet and empty. I call it peaceful except that this is not normal for such place.

people are staying home and cities seems empty these days

The lockdown situation forced employees to work from home and school children suddenly have unscheduled school break. I can only imagine how much this affects family situations specially when they are not used to be at home.

it seems strange to find city roads so quiet

Since our family unit had always worked from home and our children had always been homeschooled since the beginning, it's not a shocking situation for us. In fact we prefer this lifestyle but of course it is not for everyone.  

but life is still beautiful, flowers still blooms in it's season:)

Nonetheless, this particular time could also be a good opportunity to try to make some growth and changes. With more time at home, it's time to enjoy each other's presence, perhaps learn a skill and staying home could also mean - an occasion to save money:)

Keep your hopes up and always try to see the bright side in everything pertaining to life.


Monday, 16 March 2020

Should I worry about food in crisis time?

Dear Family & Friends

All over the newspaper there's nothing but news on pandemic virus and falling stock market that brings about panic along with fear. Supermarket shelves are stripped of supplies as people start hoarding for fear of the worst. With this situation around me, I wonder if I should also start worrying on running out of food?

Jerusalem artichoke are alternative for potatoes at this time of the year

My garden tells me that I shouldn't worry about food shortage. Just this morning, I gathered quite a lot of healthy food to feed my family. I can't grow everything but we do have food security just within our perimeter.

a bit of leafy greens and herbs gathered for today's meal

It's still early in the year to have food abundance as we are just entering our spring season where plants are starting to come back to provide food for us....but I can tell you that there's already plenty of herbs and edible weeds for soup ingredients - exactly what we need at this time to combat all virus that is circulating around us.

herbs are back - all fresh and new

In the garden, you can see how nature is so clever to provide us just the right food and medicine for the season. Whatever comes first as food source is exactly the portion that is right for us. This is God's perfect design plan for us:)

sting nettle is the most hated weed there is but we love them

So we don't worry about pandemic diseases or food shortage and would not allow unnecessary stress  to affect our lives. I do encourage everyone to grow food - be it just a few herbs for everyday use, or go for as many things as you could afford to grow for your need. - it's all a win-win thing to do.

very nutricious an delicious sting nettle soup

I never had any background nor knowledge on gardening till I took the interest and just by doing it thru trial and error. The benefit is immense - one of the most enjoying thing to do in life.

Hope you are all staying safe and protected, unaffected by the 'not so good news' happening all around us these days. 


Wednesday, 11 March 2020

Free materials to use and recycle

Dear Family & Friends

When we realized how much our society waste and throw away resources, it gives us great alarming thoughts. It just doesn't feel right no matter how much money we have and could afford to do this - simply because we could - for this is just not a sustainable thing to do.

Materials to be reused for various projects around our home and garden
In our barn, we store collection of materials like old paving slabs, used roof tiles, old windows and even old mud bricks that people in our village wants to throw in the rubbish tip.

stacks of old roof tiles given by our next door neighbour
 Fortunate for us, we have big barns to store these neatly till the time we can incorporate and put these into good use within our property. This means that we have to use our creativity and it also mean we won't have the need to buy new materials.

beside the roof tiles, we also got big stones and boulders for re-use
We have a lot of project plans for this year and we will definitely make use and recycle all our material stash.

As perfect weather persist for us this week, we will be enjoying some outside works too. Hope you have a good week as well.