hit refresh



Sometimes, even when stuff's generally good, you fall in a heap, right? 

It all seems a bit much, a bit hard, the days too short and the nights too interrupted. So consistently and patience-breakingly interrupted. 

When the big picture doesn't make sense any more and the immediate picture makes you anxious. 

I'm not a bad pep-talk-giver. I have a good go at the whole Pollyanna thing, you know, most of the time. I'm the friend whose aim it is to make you giggle, who loves people and is usually up



It's hard when people keep telling you, you're living my DREAM you know, to reconcile it when you're not feeling at all dreamy. Just worried. And uncertain. 

But as things usually do, they come around. 



There's amusing small people about. 



There's lots of eggs. 


There's a fella who makes really cool useful stuff, including boot holders and wonderful raised garden beds (which I'll talk about more tomorrow.)


And there's precious friends whose little gifts (great brooch hey?!) and phonecalls and emergency dinners and hugs make everything excellent again. 

And I spent some time today in the new vegie garden planting with my Dad. 


There is nothing that is not totally excellent about that. 

A highlight.

I've missed all your highlights too. Got one? I'd love to hear about it!

Missed you, it's been too long since we talked. Cup of tea?





25 Comments on “hit refresh

June 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

So lovely to hear your ‘voice’ again! I was just thinking about sending you an email. I thought perhaps you were stuck under a tray of eggs. Or covered in cookie dough and rendered unable to type, you know, sticky consistency and all! Sorry to hear of your downs. I’ve had one too lately. My blog remains unvisited. But I am gardening A LOT. And oh my, isn’t it good for soul? I feel my heart being noursished every time I till the soil. You’ve been somewhat of an inspiration to me and my crew. Our chook pen is almost finished and our raised vege garden is almost ready for planting. Bit excited! Here’s to a brighter week for you and your wee family xo

June 1, 2012 at 8:45 pm

Love those veggie beds, and great to hear from you. Would love a cup of tea. Yes, it does get a bit much sometimes, doesn’t it? Even if everyone else thinks it’s a nothing short of blissful. But the sight of those eggs… wow!

Michelle S
June 1, 2012 at 8:52 pm

I agree lovely to hear from you again. Your blog is one of the first I stoked across after getting a little serious about getting back to basics and I have loved reading and being inspired by your updates. Sorry to hear you have been having a rough spot – they’re not nice are they.
Mmm cup of tea, I have my kettle on the fireplace heating up now.
Highlight? – feeling like I have finally found my spot in life, just slowing down. Getting back into my gardens, incubating and hatching some chics, making soap, bread and lots “from scratch” things.
Thank you for sharing your journey.


Ps Amanda – looks like I have a new blog to sneak over and look at. : )

knutty knitter
June 1, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Hmmmm…..a high point – making bread buns using ginger beer sludge instead of yeast and having very yummy buns result 🙂

viv in nz

June 1, 2012 at 9:24 pm

Highlight? Shite week really hip hip hooray for the highlight, coffee and Mattys batch of Italian spice biscuits, his papa’s recipe.

June 1, 2012 at 9:26 pm

Great that you are back! Your wonderful stories and great pictures were missed.

June 1, 2012 at 9:43 pm

Oh, my dear, sometimes just lying in the heap where I fell is all I’ve got, though the sun is shining here at last! Those awful broken nights- I spent 16 minutes in my marital bed last night, at 4-something am. Hanging in there.

Will it make you smile to know you’re not living my dream? But I do love reading about it. I’m waiting for your nutty from-scratch month- have prepped Dave that I’m having a cook-nothing month, instead(so I hope it happens in my summertime). Will heat up things other people cooked, like supermarket quiche, and will definitely open bags of salad, and hope to be eating lots of my garden produce, (steamed if necessary,) but chopping and measuring and stirring are pretty much out. Maybe I’ll cut up watermelon. I think if I combine the month with reading lots of inspiring recipes that I’m not allowed to make, I might be willing to reconcile with the kitchen by the end of it.

The brooch is perfection- I’m off to put the kettle on and browse the toyboxes!

Will blog something soon about my cheerful summertime life. Give my love to your alarming Dad, and Mum, and everyone.

June 1, 2012 at 11:08 pm

Oh Fi, I know the feeling, the feeling of “living the dream” where everything is taut and electric, both the good days and the sleepless nights filled with worry and uncertainty. The fantasy of living the dream and the reality of it are very different aren’t they? You don’t realise that until you’re actually doing it.

Look at it this way (and I tell myself this every day) – if it were easy, everyone would be doing it. At this stage I’m just taking it one day at a time!

A highlight? I had a euphoric birthday that spread out to nearly a week thanks to my husband’s family visiting on Wednesday. I cooked (which I love to do) and we had a lovely time. Cooking Indian food is the solution to entertaining on a budget, I discovered 🙂 And I also managed to cut an entire chapter from my novel during editing today. That is great progress for me, the person who could ramble on forever!!

Much love to you. The storm will pass. Your bravery will pay off. xxx

June 1, 2012 at 11:33 pm

I liked how you framed this up- I personally wouldnt particularly love people to tell me I was living their dream. I guess the difference is you guys acted on what you dreamed – and didnt just keep thinking about it. Its brave of you to share the hardness in amongst the goodness.

Ngo Family Farm
June 2, 2012 at 12:07 am

Yay! So glad you’re back. My (still in progress, but making progress) raised garden beds are a highlight here, too. Yours look beautiful. And I know that feeling you describe well – it does come and go, and can certainly be overwhelming. xo

June 2, 2012 at 5:55 am

Oh, I know the feeling! I am praying for you. There is hope. Really, there is!

June 2, 2012 at 6:22 am

Big hugs to you and yours. Your project(s) are enormous and wonderful and you are a champion for diving right in there. Always an inspiration ever since the first post of yours I read about Living in a Dark House with a Green Man. Dying to hear more about those garden beds, I’ve just done some at our new place. I sneak out at 9pm when the little man is is bed and water my lovelies and find myself talking to them, my pretty green babies (the plants, you know)! Keep up the dirt therapy Fiona, it’s magic stuff.

June 2, 2012 at 8:09 am

Well done on even finding the positive energy to write a post. Truer words have never been spoke, when the big picture doesn’t make sense any more and the immediate picture makes you anxious. I’m paralysed by that anxiety at the moment – the dreams of a bigger life tainted with the realities of mortgage and day to day living. I love coming here and seeing you do what I dream, and I get that it is probably the scariest thing you have ever done. Nothing but admiration for you, go easy on yourself and let yourself be scared amidst the bravery! My highlight is I got so scared I ran away for a holiday for a week, I almost relaxed and then came the phone call – your cattle are wandering along the main road. Thank god for kind neighbors who are better farmers than I’ll ever be. And so the anxiety starts again LOL

International Woman of Mystery
June 2, 2012 at 9:44 am

Welcome back. We all missed you! Will it make you feel better if I tell you you’re not living my dream? Not unless you also have a bit of Jake Gyllenhaal on the side, apartments in London and New York and can sing like Kristen Chenoweth. My highlight? A swim in the pool with the monkeys on Wednesday afternoon. Great fun!

June 2, 2012 at 9:56 am

Hang in there! 3 young children, a massive sea change and a huge learning curve – that’s enough to overflow anyone’s plate. You have a great passion and dream and the course of anything truly worthwhile is never smooth. You are exactly where you are meant to be, doing what is very real to you. Stay true to yourself.

June 2, 2012 at 10:26 am

I’m glad all is well. I’ve been missing you 🙂

I can imagine the life you have chosen is a hard and busy one…But I truly hope is worth it. What you are doing is so very very inspiring.

I hope all those gorgeous pigglets are going well. x t.

June 2, 2012 at 1:02 pm

I have missed you, and am glad you found the energy to come back. But go easy on yourself, and if you need time to just be, don’t feel obliged to post just for us out here in the ether.

It is OK to have down times – that’s life, full of ups and downs. And it takes courage to do what you are doing. As someone wise once said to me, sometimes you are the person being leaned on, sometimes you are the person needing that shoulder to lean on – embrace them both.

June 2, 2012 at 6:51 pm


I made homemade chips with fresh olive oil this evening.

June 2, 2012 at 6:52 pm

A couple of things were highlights and they both happened today. Have seen the first large photo of a little one we used to care for ever since we used to care for him about 3 years ago, and another little one (8 years old) has just whipped up a batch of pancake batter ready for tomorrow’s breakfast. How nice.

June 3, 2012 at 2:21 am

I turned 60 this past month. What I really dreaded turned into a week long celebration of my life lived thus far! Will did a fantastic slide show viewed out on the lawn, projected on the side of eldest son’s house complete with very meaningful, move me to tears music! While it’s scary getting older and worrying about how I am physically going to manage all the things I am currently doing and missing being surrounded by my children and all the joys of motherhood, I really live a contented life full of so much joy and fulfillment.

If I were younger, like you, I would want the cow and pigs and all the rest but I know even though this is your dream there is uncertainty, aching muscles, money concerns . . . But you are pushing forward, not holding back inspite of fear, making your dream a reality. Because you have dared to pursue your dream you will face obstacles, even lose a battle here and there. Keep moving forward but take time to enjoy the special little things that surround you. . . Remember to enjoy the journey, smell the flowers, lay on your back and enjoy the stars, stay connected with your Creator, enjoy a tickle with your wee ones. Embrace the good, move past the bad . . . Keep living life!

Mary Ann Cauthen
June 3, 2012 at 2:50 am

I am happy that you are back also. You always make me laugh & appreciate the type lifestyle you have. I am almost 70 yrs. old, but my heart is still with a do it yourself lifestyle, cooking real food, animals, children, etc. I went to Amanda’s blog & loved it also, but I only sign up for blogs that I can get via e mails. I don’t do all that other stuff – too technical for an old lady!! Keep at it & always remember “this too dhall pass” & that you are “bloomin where you’re planted!!” Mary Ann

Bee Girl (AKA Melissa)
June 3, 2012 at 9:48 am

Welcome back! I’ve missed your voice, too!!!

Highlight this week…the first starwberries of the year…only 8 or ten so far, but oh so delicious!

Wishing you a divine weekend!!!

June 4, 2012 at 6:52 am

Hi! So glad you’re back, but sorry to hear about your troubles. It’s
definitely not my dream to be a farmer… but I am in awe of what you have
done and are still doing to make your dream come true. It’s got to be
hard sometimes, no question about it. Hang on in there, and thanks for
sharing all this with us out here! – Reading your blog, and others that
I have come across through comments on here, I can’t help wondering what
my dream actually is? And what I would or could do to get there?
Innocent little questions like that, you know. – Though I sure don’t
want to be a farmer, you have indeed inspired me to make a raised bed in
my smallish garden to grow some veggies, and my daughter was pestering
me to grow melons, of all things. Though I do not think they’ll really
thrive in cold Germany, we are giving it a go. When my mother saw me
digging up a bit of lawn to make the melon bed, she said: I didn’t think
I’d ever see YOU wielding a spade! Thanks to you, we are making more
things from scratch. I didn’t know it was even possible to _make_ peanut
butter, which is now the whole neighbourhood’s favourite…
Thinking of you, hope things improve! Andrea in Oberursel

lily boot
June 6, 2012 at 8:50 pm

I’m so glad you’re back – and feeling a little more on top of things again. I go through these times too … I think it’s normal in this crazy world of ours, especially when we’re not slotted onto the regular merry go round but trying to live our lives with a little more consideration and orneriness! I know it sounds trite but I do find reminding myself regularly that this too will pass helps. It does. And small funny people and vegetable gardens with loving dads and a clever husband sound like lovely antidotes. So does a wee wooden badge 🙂 Take care sweet Fiona and know that whilst you do inspire me to hold onto my dream, I appreciate that every choice we make comes at a cost.

June 6, 2012 at 11:08 pm

i am happy that i have found your blog. i like it.
blessings regina


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