The Chook House

The chook house is coming along nicely. Hubby has been hammering away. I just have to paint it and build a little ladder. The back has a fold down door for easy access to the nesting boxes. There is a good size run for them to get out and stretch their eggs.

There is just one thing missing. Chooks! I can't get them yet because we have a couple of trips planned and I want to be around to settle them in, so I just have to wait patiently. In the meantime I can always pretend with the stuffed toy! LOL

Having chooks lay our own eggs will be another step forward in our quest for a more simple life. Hubbie is delighted by the fact that he will be able to make a breakfast omlette with homegrown eggs and home grown tomatoes.

In days gone by quite a lot of people had a couple of chooks in their back yard. It seemed to be a common sight, alongside the vegie patch and the water tank. As a child I can remember my Nanna making the best sponge cakes with fresh eggs in her wood burning stove. She had it perfected!
Friends of ours have recently got their own chooks and they have been giving us fresh eggs. They are so different to shop bought eggs. They are firm and the yolks are so yellow! When I buy shop bought eggs I forget how soft the shells are almost smash them to pieces against the side of the bowl when I am cooking. The fresh eggs seem to have much stronger shells.

So... I will wait patiently. In my wait I sit and think.... does Santa bring live presents? How many 'food miles' from the North Pole to my place?



A Vision Splendid Book and Site

You may remember me telling you about how this whole journey began. It was the day I asked my Grandmother ‘how come we have all the labour saving devices under the sun and still don’t seem to get much done ?’. It really hit me that she could get up every morning before dawn, milk a cow, collect the eggs, cook a hot breakfast for many workers, bake bread and wash by hand all without any electricity and there was me struggling to get a load of washing on the line or remembering to take a DVD back to the shop! When she began telling me about how she ‘did it all’ I got my lap top out and started typing... and typing and typing.

Over the next few years I struggled to implement her wisdom. It was a case of two steps forward and one step back. Slowly but surely things started to get under control. There was a slow shift out of chaos into peace.

As I continued on down this path I found that there were so many women in a similar position to me. As I started telling the story about my Grandmother and how I wanted to implement some of her advice, I found that other women were really encouraged and empowered by the story. This gave me so much joy!

Starting a website in mid 2007 was an extended opportunity to share the journey, hoping that it would reach much further than I could by simply talking to people that I knew. I then wrote the e-book which is a collection of the blog content as well as further more specific details about my journey.

In recent times there has been much interest in the media about living frugally and following the old ways. As part of this rise in interest I have been able to do three radio interviews and two media reports. I really see a shift on the horizon – I see people slowly but surely moving away from the excesses of the past in exchange for a simple, joyful more sustainable life.

The E-Book is an overview of the journey and the areas that I focused on to make things more simple.

The areas covered are:
1. A Simple Life
2. Money
3. Total Organisation
4. Home Management
5. Shopping and Cooking
6. Christmas
7. Old Fashioned Green Living.

Why buy the book ?

1. It’s a helpful collation of all the Vision Splendid content in one easy to read document, rather than scattered throughout the blog site.

2. There’s much more detail in the book.

3. There are worksheets to help you take some of the steps required to bring peace to your home.

4. There is ongoing support via email to answer questions, seek clarification, and give encouragement should you need it. There is also ongoing support via the Vision Splendid newsletter.

5. It is a way of showing me your support and ongoing encouragement.

You can buy the e-book here and visit the new site here

Let me know what you think about the new site. I'd love your feedback.

The new year is a fantastic time to start afresh. To make a commitment to a better life! I look forward to you joining me as we encourage and empower each other down this difficult path of chasing simplicity and joy in a crazy world!


Collecting Experiences

I woke up early this morning with a very exciting thought. The boys have finished school and for the first time in a few years I am not working! That means that I am in holiday mode with them until they go back to school at the end of January. I am so thankful to be able to have the opportunity to do this.

I am now turning my mind to things that we can do throughout the holidays. For the first time in a long time petrol has dropped below $1 a litre. That is a huge saving. I have never changed the amount of cash I allocate to petrol each week, simply adjusting how much driving we did. Last month $30 worth of petrol barely put a drip in the tank, whereas $30 this week almost half filled the tank.

Cheaper fuel prices means we can get out and about more and explore some of the local area again. It is great to live like tourists in your own town. There are some beautiful areas around here that I have never been to because we tend to explore new areas we go to.

So.... thinking about a collection of experiences that we can 'experience' over the holiday period.


Ticking off The To Do List

Slowly ticking off everything that needs to be done at this busy time of year.

Yesterday I had a fabulous day on the lake and the beach near Forster. I went with the kids to their end of year break-up day and it was jam packed with activities. There was canoeing on the lake, sandcastle competitions at the beach, ball games, parachute games, bush walking, treasure hunts. It was well run and let me tell you..... exhausting!

This morning I did the talk back segment on ABC New England/ North West. It was going fine until our funny little cockatiel (named Kevin!) got his wing caught in the cage and started flapping and squeeking really loud.

I got totally distracted and don't think I answered one of the questions! LOL Hello to any new readers who heard the programme today. Check out the content here and send me an email to say hi. I would love to hear from you!

Today we also had the annual prize giving and we were very proud of our sons. The eldest received the science award and the youngest the mathematics award.

In amongst all of that I have managed to squeeze in some card and tag making.

How are you going with your busyness? Do things speed up at this time of the year?


One Foot In Front Of The Other

My sons finish school on Wednesday and tomorrow they are having a picnic day at Camp Elim near Forster. I am going as a parent helper and am expecting a huge day of canoeing and games.

On Wednesday I will be talking on ABC radio in Tamworth as part of a 'Keeping Christmas Simple' forum and will then go to the annual prize giving ceremony for the school.

On Saturday I am doing a Christmas Workshop for all the people who come to our classes throughout the year. This means a whole day of teaching with a catered lunch for 25 people in the middle. Exhausting but hugely rewarding!

Saturday night we are having a Christmas Party with friends where I may just have to test my friend's Singstar to see how Abba sounds - must practice those dance moves! Then Sunday we go out to Dubbo to see my Grandmother for a couple of days. I am really looking forward to that. It is a 5 hour drive through country NSW and the scenery is really beautiful. I guess the trip will be longer because we stop to take so many photos. I will be sure to post some of them here for you to enjoy.

We have to slot a trip to Sydney in as well before all our guests start arriving, about the 23rd of December. Then we will fall into Christmas mode. Lots of swimming, eating prawns, water skiing, drink beer and yummy mangoes!

So as you can see, when I lay it all out there is so much to be done and so much to prepare. When I look at it like that I could easily get swamped. So I will look down at my feet with my blinkers on and put one foot in front of the other. Plod. Plod. Plod. I will enjoy each event and be in the present.
So now, to focus only on tomorrow...... sunscreen, water bottles, hat, joggers, Dencorub, valium, scotch. That should get me through the day! lol


Summer Nights

What is it about summer evenings ?

 They seem to slow us down and turn off our inner clocks.
After dinner each night the same ritual takes place in our house. It starts with a bit of water spraying when the gardens are being watered and then the boys are all excited and ride bikes and scooters around the yard. It is almost as if the slowly lowering blanket of darkness switches on a new level of energy within them.

Some nights it turns into a baseball game in the front yard, even though we as Aussies have no real idea how to play the game. Between the boys' knowledge of baseball from the movie The Sandalot Kids and my school girl days of playing softball we seem to somehow arrive at a version of the rules that pleases all. Added to that the stupidity of me who yells 'batter batter batter s...w....ing....batter' which I think may be from my teen movie days ( was it Ferris Bueller's Day Off ?) and believe me it is a sight to be seen!

Before we know it, it is too dark to see and the risk of injury rises, so it is time to call it a night. When we come in, I am amazed at the time. Sometimes it is so late! But...... in the summer time the clocks seem to stop and our bodies switch over the 'sun' time. We rise with the sun and we got to bed with the sun... and it feels magnificent!


Radio Killed the Video Star......

Poster from All Poster.
There has been much interest in my post on the topic of a simple Christmas.

I have done two radio presentations on the topic. Firstly on Monday on the Morning Show at ABC Mid North Coast and today during the breakfast show on ABC North Coast. That means that listeners from Newcastle to the Queensland border and out to Tenterfield have heard the 'Simple Christmas' message presented here at A Vision Splendid.

Thank you to all the people that have sent in emails. It gives me so much joy to know that so many people are interested in the concept of simplifying the 'silly season' and focusing more on the values of the season.

I love to hear stories from like minded people. I also love your contributions and encourage you to share more of your great ideas. You can either leave a comment or send an email. I thank you for your patience if I can't reply straight away, I will get there !

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