from William Martin’s “That Parent’s Tao Te Ching”

that parents tao te ching by william martin


Preserving the Bounty: Easy Spiced Plum Jam for Beginners

Thank you Veronika for an “Eau My God” lovely, scented plum jam. I love the satsuma plums and star anise combination. Delightful and spicy, gorgeous with yoghurt, on toast or a beautiful gift. Simply amazing. ūüôā

Eat The Roses

Edit:  if you are looking for a recipe for spiced fig jam to go with your cheese, it’s here and it’s just as easy and awesome as this one.  For plum jam, and the better-detailed rundown on equipment and hot-water processing, read on!

One of the things I adore most about autumn is the fruit ‚Äď a generously wide variety of it, beautiful, ripe and inexpensive ‚Äď in some cases even free, unless you count picking it and hauling it home.

Obviously, as the time and stomach volume permits, I munch away at all of this glorious bounty raw, or in pies and tarts, but there is something incredibly comforting about preserving some of the perfectly ripe fruit at the peak of its flavor in jam jars, to keep for when the landscape turns white and blue, to remind us (and the lucky recipients of such jars) that winter…

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Mixing and Soaking Grains for Chickens

It’s the simple things, like providing good nutrition for your family and the animals who assist you in your day’s activities, which give me that pleasure tingle. Barb evokes this with her chicken feed post. See if it does it for you too.

Oh! and happy springtime to all in the southern hemisphere, while those in the north can now start turning inwards for review and renewal time.

Dream Harvest


Sometime ago I read that soaking activates nutrients and makes food more digestible. We started soaking and sprouting grains for ourselves and then for our precious chooks. Here’s the system we use for our chickens…

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Bubbles, Candles and Music

Rudyard Kipling has been¬†credited with the quote, “Delight in the little things.”

I’ve been thinking on this trying to work out what the “little things” are.¬† My conclusion is they are the things we take for granted, the things you do not miss until they are gone often those same things which when you had them were accompanied by a lack of gratefulness.

My thoughts lie with my old hot water heater, which is now sitting on my driveway with the hope some resourceful person may want it for parts.¬†¬† It has served me faithfully for one and a half decades, but 18 months ago it began to fail.¬† Until then I’d never given it¬†a minute’s thought.¬†¬†Over recent months¬† I’ve managed to “bandaid and/or¬†fix ‘er up a bit” but as she was laid to rest today¬†I came back to Kipling’s quote and realised that the simple pleasure of having running hot water on tap must be one of those little (first world) things to delight in.¬† I am grateful.¬† I am grateful that I have a home, that I have a job which can help to pay for the replacement of said hot water system.

I am grateful I have the time to delight in the little things.  This evening I will be expressing that by indulging in a hot tub with bubbles, candles and music.

May your little things be amazing.

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My favourite facts about Iceland so far!

I really admire people who go to the less well-known parts of the globe and are ecstatic about being amazed by things so different from what they are accustomed to at home. However, when I got to the last point on this one I decided should I ever step onto Icelandic shores I may become a vegan. Enjoy the simple delight bought to you by Hannah ūüėÄ

Merino Wool, Silk Sari, Raw Silk and Golden Threads

There is an artist in me.¬† I am sure of it because I wanted it to be so since I was a child, as a teenager, as a young adult and still now as a woman looking towards retirement I want it to be so.¬† I participated in¬†a few years of art classes at high school, following all the guidelines, principles etc and produced some works considered good enough the school asked to buy my end of year folio.¬† However there was something not quite right from my perspective, it didn’t feel wild and exciting, like I thought it should be and I was a little disappointed.

So I dabbled here with a little textile, there with a little photography, a bit more in clay, followed by more classes including one where I used art as therapy to reach some dark places in me, jewellery making, then pencil and charcoal. Nothing ever seemed to fit, but something stuck was always trying to get out.

I’ve learnt in recent years art does not have to be perfect.¬† But it must be a rich,¬†deep form of SELF expression, a contemplation of one’s own truth.¬† That is what has been lacking, it’s not been the me I know speaking through the mediums I’ve tried.

“To me art is making mistakes; it’s the undetected magnificence of everyday¬†life and the pleasure of creativity.” Unknown.

This quote I came across a while back invigorated me.¬† Recaptured in my mind the¬†wild of my¬†garden, something I created¬†which is becoming a beautiful fabric of wonders.¬† Observing the magnificence of my garden and responding to it as a living, breathing system has given me that simply amazing pleasure of creativity.¬† And it’s a glorious mess of nature.

So now without perfectionism, without exams, without expectations I am heading for another rollercoaster ride.   Last weekend I produced the magic of felt for the first time.  It was tactile, I had a blast and am back on the artist train again.

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Oh Joy!  My heart is crying out for more.  Colours, clay, swirls, paper, faces and trees, trinkets, feathers, paint.  And more felt, fabric, ink.  I am ready to play again, like a child.