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Showing posts with label seeking your thoughts. Show all posts
Showing posts with label seeking your thoughts. Show all posts

Free Range Kids: Special interview with Lenore Skenazy


Did you catch the 7.30 Report interview with Lenore Skenazy last night ? She is the author of a book titled 'Free-range Kids'. If you missed it, take the time to watch the whole interview with Kerry O'Brien ( who I am secretly in love with and devastated that he is leaving soon!) 

Do you think that it is strange that this topic has become SO CONTROVERSIAL ? 


I congratulate Lenore for being brave enough to take on the topic of 'helicopter parenting' and the issue of 'blame'. I LOVE her position that you can't go to the park and play because it is too dangerous, yet it is okay to let them sit on the lounge and watch television, become obese and develop poor habits and health issues that stay with them for life.

We won't accept caged eggs, but we readily accept caged children ! We fight for free range eggs, but are quite happy to raise 'battery hen' children.

Think back to your own childhood. Were you roaming the streets on your bicycle without a helmet ? Off playing down the street knowing that it would be okay as long as you were home in time for tea ?

Do you remember lots of kids, at some stage, having a broken arm, or skin off from 'stacking' their bike ? Eggs on their heads where they were running around the house and crashed into each other ?

Do you remember when kids were 'dirty' ? They were literally covered in dirt because they were building bike jumps, dig outs, cubby houses or burying treasure maps ?

How does the way you raise your children to compare to your own childhood ?

Think about times back even further. Was my Grandmother hovering over her children to make sure they played nice, didn't get their feelings hurt or (god forbid!) scuff their knee on some grass and get a graze ?

It seems crazy when we compare.

Are you a helicopter parent, a lawnmower parent (the parent that smooths out all obstacles) or a free range parent. I think I am in the middle ground, but with my boys now 9 and 12 I think I can swing a little more free range now that the Lenore has done such a great job of putting language on the issue.

Let's get some dialogue happening, people. Where do you sit on the free range parenting scale ?
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A Vision Splendid
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My Grandmother's Ways

My Grandmother's Ways





It is now over six months since my Grandmother passed away. But it’s funny, I don’t feel that she is gone. I feel that she is still at her home in Bathurst, where she moved to when I was a baby.


I took this photo in about 2005. It captures the feeling of driving up the driveway after a long trip to finally arrive at ‘Nanna’s House’. Her house was an old coach stop in the gold rush days.

When I look at this picture I smell the corned meat cooking, the apple pies, the fire going in the lounge room. It is real.


There is so much of my grandmother’s ways that I try ( often without success!) to incorporate into my own life. It seems now, that I am not the only one. Since frugal has become the new black, more and more people are adopting the wisdom of the old fashioned ways and making changes in their lives.


The Global Financial Crisis combined with growing environmental awareness has meant that many people are embracing some of the lost arts of yesteryear. Cooking, sewing, gardening and entertaining are gradually becoming more mainstream as people embrace the joys of home.

I have witnessed what I call a ‘collective sigh of relief’ that frugality is now ‘trendy’. It is much easier to keep up with the Jones’ when they are being frugal that when they are constantly updating to bigger and better things.

I see a resurgence in the vegie garden, chooks in the suburban back yard and home cooking.


In my grandmother’s day these tasks were carried out because of necessity, whereas today we do many of these things by choice – we chase the joy. Where once, throwing a microwaved meal onto a plate in a rush was a hassle, now we spend hours in the kitchen with a glass of wine and an Italian opera to produce an artisan feast and it counts as ‘stress relief’.

Whether you work full time or are a stay at home parent, there are many ways to reconnect with the joys of home. Here are some of the things that have brought me joy throughout this journey.

Cooking from scratch – trying new recipes and flavours and venturing into what I once would have thought of as a waste of time – like bread and pasta making.

Growing Your Own – never underestimate the joy of collecting something that you have grown – even if it is a handful of basil or a sprig of parsley!

Finding or buying Used – whether it be a vintage table cloth or an old wooden spatula, used items are fabulous in quality and bring the essence of their previous life with them. ( I always cook better with my great grandmother’s spoon)

Mending and Making Do – there is a sense of satisfaction that comes from being able to mend something or find a way to re-use an item instead of racing out to buy a new one.

Slow Living – turning off the television gives opportunities for everything from family discussions to games nights and story telling.

Getting Ahead – time is a very valuable commodity and thinking about what is coming up in the weeks and months ahead and tackling some of it now brings tremendous peace. Running around at the last minute brings nothing but stress!

Cash Budget – this is one of the best things that we have ever done in terms of our financial management. It has helped us get out of debt, have holidays and taught our children how to save and use their pocket money wisely.

Have you embraced any old fashioned living principles ? Is it just me, or do you think that frugality has become ‘trendy’ ?



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A Vision Splendid
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According To Martha ....Six Things To Do Daily

According To Martha ....Six Things To Do Daily




According to MARTHA who has positioned herself as THE world wide authority on all things 'homey' we should be doing the following 6 things every day in the home.



1. Make The Bed - because tidiness begets tidiness, meaning if you make the bed you will feel like cleaning the rest of the room.


2. Manage Clutter - we are meant to grab clutter every time we walk out of a room and encourage other family members to do likewise.


3. Sort The Mail - open, read and sort as soon as we bring it inside.


4. Clean As You Cook - rinse and pop things into the dishwasher as you are cooking ( great advice for those that actually HAVE a dishwasher )


5. Wipe Up Spills While They're fresh - almost anything is easier to remove if you attend to it straight away.


6. Sweep The Kitchen Floor - every evening after you have finished cooking so that dirt and grime don't build up.


Well..... sounds easy enough when you read it in a pretty little list. How do you rate in the Martha stakes ?
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A Vision Splendid
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Garden Update: Tears of {Onion} Joy

Garden Update: Tears of {Onion} Joy


I will be crying tears of joy when I finally chop and cook this little baby! Actually, it is not so little. They are remarkably huge!

This is the first time that I have grown onions. I always had it in the back of my mind that onions take too long and they take up too much space. But..... the time was going to pass anyway and I don't believe they took a lot of space. They are now ready to be pulled out, tied and hung up until we need them. I will be planting more for sure!

  Everything else is plodding along nicely. This silverbeet is going much better since a relocation into a much wetter area.

Rows of beans are powering now that the weather is warming. So too is the sweet corn. This year we are really trying to get our succession planting worked out. We always struggle with feast or famine when it comes to our garden so this year we are determined to try and stagger the plantings and have an ongoing supply of produce.





Tucked away there is the shadow is a little pumpkin that wasn't there yesterday. They say magic doesn't exist, but how was there nothing yesterday and today there is a pumpkin ? That is a miracle in my books!
There are also some exciting chook house renovations happening to prepare the girls for a luxurious summer in their new penthouse. Stay tuned for further updates.
A question for you.... how do you plan and/or organise your succession planting so that there are no gaps in your backyard production ? I have been really encouraged by the show River Cottage and borrowed the DVD from the town library. I like the way Hugh has his seedlings starting again as soon as the last lot go into the ground. He has a great system worked out.
Do you have any fabulous system for what to plant when ? I'd love to know what you do.





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A Vision Splendid
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