Doing Our Best

Well, that’s the first week of the school holidays done and dusted and, despite having more hands available to lighten the work load, we’ve managed to miss posting our usual weekly blog.  As a way of salving our conscience and catching you all up, we’re giving you a double dose today; we’ll leave it to you to ponder whether this is a silver lining or a cloud.

Something we’ve been pondering this week is the efficaciousness of awareness raising exercises. Who’d have thought it?! Even the die-hard cynic Homesteaders (those who snort and snigger about positive affirmations and the like) now begrudgingly admit our new Sage Words tradition has an uncanny way of providing the perfect words to rekindle, revitalise or restore you, whatever the week chooses to throw at us.

The Renovator’s chosen Sage Words, unveiled last Sunday, were no exception


and his home made Caramel Slice wasn’t half bad either

This week, while The Goat Herd and Milk Maid removed and replaced the leaky roof peak on one of the goat shelters and marvelled at how much better we had become at sawing to length, hitting nails squarely, and carpentry in general.


The Bean Counter and Renovator did their first-time-ever-attempting-this best an installed a cornice into The Renovators room (because ideas change and his room was the first to be renovated).


The Renovator, Bean Counter and Princess Nikita hard at work, bettering themselves.

Forecasters warned we were to expect snow to sea level later in the week and, while we weren’t exactly constructing snow sculptures or harnessing up the huskies, they proved correct in that temperature dropped sufficiently to ensure there was not a lot of dallying over the outside chores.


But it did mean that one job The Milk Maid had been putting off (because it was just a teeny bit scary) could no longer be ignored. The window seat squab is very visual and sewing precision is not her strong point but, with Maya’s words resounding and the rest of the Homestead encouraging, a pattern was fashioned, a lining constructed, and the job was ticked off. Next time will be better, no doubt, but we’re really pleased.


As for Farm Girl, the weather presented the perfect opportunity to knock one of her holiday wish list items on the head: learning to knit.


with each row she gets better and better.

So it was, with the warm glow of several jobs done to the best of our ability, we took Friday off in honour of The Milk Maid’s birthday. Her wishes were few: a day off from chores, a roaring fire, good bread and fancy cheese for lunch, and an evening meal out.


Some handkerchief fluttering was indulged in on the unwrapping of the gifts.

That there was carrot cake, the wonderful-but-embarrassing buzz of an entire restaurant singing “Happy Birthday”, and gifts that were apt, dreamed of, and unexpected made the day better than the best.


9 thoughts on “Doing Our Best

  1. A post packed with goodness!!! Love the quote of course, but the cake on the Boerenbont was very distracting! Renovator’s room is becoming a palace in itself and whilst I have been up half the night due to thunderstorms and temperatures and humity are rising again and making everything feel limp and on the point of boiling, I enjoyed the photo which brings back memories of nippy, crisp frostmorning air…
    The window seat is a work of art and CONGRATULATIONS on your birtday, dear girl!! What a lovely sweet cabinet you got there.
    but I had a fluttering handkerchief moment when I saw Farmgirl and her knitting needles and her pretty pink legging peeping through the stylish jeans. Who is teaching her knitting? A post worth waiting for and onwards and upwards to the next! xo Johanna

    • Thanks so much for your kind words and congratulations. I knew you’d enjoy the boerenbont (it’s not a celebration on the homestead without it!) and Farm Girl with her knitting needles. She is an excellent pupil who puts up with my haphazard instructions very well. I have no doubt she will surpass me in ability very quickly . The cabinet is something I have hankered after for a long time – just perfect for stowing all the sewing, crochet and knitting gizmos close at hand. That my lovely family sourced one at an auction that was stuffed full with the previous owners treasures made it even more special…what a treasure hunt that was! x

      • Oh my, that makes it even more special and than still full of treasures too? On my list to find is midcentury version of this, the are more like side tables with a drawer etc. Are you going to show more of the treasures on your blog?

  2. Happy Birthday! That unfoldy cabinet thing was your birthday gift? How wonderful with all those little cubbies to put things in, and such a lovely piece of furniture. Love the tea set on top too – fit for a Queen, with all that gold on it.

    Well done on the knitting and sewing. The window seat turned out beautifully. I’m a straight lines sewer myself – no armholes please. I haven’t used my machine in about 20 years, I’m almost afraid to haul it out because I”m not sure how the motor would do. But I do have a few projects (curtains) that I need it for, so like you I will have to take courage in both hands and get down to it when it gets to be winter here. I’m impressed with Farm Girl’s desire to knit – my youngest learned when she was 9 at school, but she is the sole knitter in the house, as I failed my Brownie square at a similar age (it came out triangular), and I was so thoroughly demoralized by the experience that I took to crochet instead.

    Renovator’s room is getting the cornice? I thought Farmer was the one living in the living room for ages while his room was redone? Though, now I think of it, Renovator must be called that for a reason…so maybe this confusion is just what I get for meeting you all in the middle of the story.

    Snow – ha! We’ve just had our first drops of rain (and we could just about count them, it was like squeezing rocks to get that rain) after 100 days in the 28-35 C range.. Color Pencil must live in the midwest somewhere – they are having a terrible time with rain there, floods and washouts galore. And I see from Country Calendar that the high country has been having a grand old time with snow. Cools me right off, seeing their pictures. And yours.

    That was a new quote for me too, and very apt. Thank you! Though I almost missed it when i clicked on the picture to read it because I focussed on the mugs – you have J.O mugs! Us too…hubby is a fan, and collected stickers like mad to get all of ours at half price 🙂

    • Farm Girl is an all out JO fan hence the cups. They’re very stylish but a little top heavy so it’s lucky we bought a shipload as we tend to be a clumsy lot.
      The Renovator is now sleeping in the living room – but only for a short time while his room (the first we attacked) to receive a quick sand and another couple of coats of paint. Initially we wanted to do the whole ecopaint thing but his room was the only one we used it in as it was TERRIBLE. I think your confusion in the whole who’s who on the Homestead has more to do with my not introducing us properly rather than anything else.
      Triangular brownie squares seem only fitting for a sailor 🙂 and I wish you luck with the curtains. I am a total whimp at those sort of tasks and procrastinate horrendously as I did with the window seat.
      And the cabinet is something I have hankered after for a very long time – perfect for keeping all the sewing, crafty stuff in one place 🙂

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