The Creation Of My Vegetable Garden To Feed The Family

Herbs ready for the vegetable garden

Herbs ready for the vegetable garden

For a long time I have wanted a vegetable garden, but what little spare money we had needed to go on decorating the house. But now at last we have been able to get it started.

I grew up in a family where my parents had a large vegetable garden and we were blessed with a diet of fresh vegetables most day. I have always enjoyed cooking and now that I am studying naturopathic nutrition, am well aware of the benefits of fresh, organic food for our health and well-being.

Our garden is small and so we have to make the best use of limited space. So far, after clearing it and building a patio to sit out and enjoy the sun, we have built a raised bed and bought a selection of herbs, vegetable and flowers to grow in it. Unfortunately we are still waiting for the last frost to go as, despite warm, Spring days we have also had snow. The plan includes plants such as chives, marigold and lavendar that are not only edible, but also beautiful. Careful thought has gone into the planning to include plants that provide mulch and protection against unwanted pests.  Stage 2 will involve erecting trellis on the back wall to grow beautiful plants such as fuchsia that also provide edible berries. Strawberries will also be sown into the raised bed. Two bay leaf trees have already found their place each side of the bench against the wall,

Bay Trees

Bay Trees

which will protect them a little from winds, all too common when you live on the coast. We have already enjoyed their leaves in our Dauphinois Potatoes dish, which added amazing taste and nutrients. Sitting on the bench provides a lovely aroma and at some point they should produce flowers.

The beauty of a vegetable garden is that it not only provides organic food, but also beautiful sights and wonderful smells- a treat to all of our senses. This Summer should be a good one, as long as we keep those weeds at bay!

Check out this blog again for updates to my vegetable garden and bay trees.

A Smoothie Source Of Nutrition

vitamin C boost smoothieSometimes you just know that you need a boost of nutrients that our modern diet cannot provide or as a picky eater you don’t get. We have found a new companion to our kitchen that makes this possible. It is called a blender and so long as we have a reasonable supply of fresh fruits and vegetables, preferrably organic, with minimal preparation, we only need to screw the bottle to the blade and press the magic button.  In a few seconds we have a smooth, refreshing drink that is packed with the missing nutrients. Sometimes we add milk (cows, soya, coconut…) and it turns into more of a milk-shake, which is just as delicious.

Anyone can make them. It is fun and educational too, where children can learn to get excited about all the different fruits and vegetables in our amazing world, experiment with their favourite combinations and enjoy and benefit from the results. Through trial and error we are getting to know which combinations we prefer. They certainly make a great snack between meals, which is a great way too for the body to utilise the nutrients.

So here is my Winter smoothie recipe- take a look and try for yourself: The Vitamin C Boost Smoothie

Being The Mother Of The Groom

The Mother Of The Groom

Having four sons, the likelihood of being the mother of the groom is rather high! In fact it has already occurred once and this year it is about to happen again. Last time around it was the bride’s family who did most of the preparation, considering the whole affair was taking place at theirs! A lovely wedding, unique in it’s own way with a large flavour of Bavaria, where our son had grown up. This time around it is quite different.

The eldest of our four sons is marrying a girl from South Korea (more…)

Math Games For Kids At Home

Math Games For Kids

“Win Podium” by sheelamohan

Introducing children to math can start at an early age at home, by making it a part of daily life. One might think me now a bit strange when I point out four donkeys in a field, considering our children have grown up, but old habits die hard! However, such occasions are golden opportunities to practice math! (more…)

Ah- Middle Age

2014-11-23 16.10.57If you don’t like change, you won’t be happy about middle age, for this is the time when you change, whether you like it or not. I try to look at it positively. After all, it’s the time when my children have grown up and I consequently have more time for me. Having looked at that, I realise that just looking after me isn’t what it’s made out to be. So I look after me when it comes to eating, exercising and having quiet times to relax and reflect. The rest of the time I find myself having more of an input in older people’s lives than before. (more…)

Our Family Values

WP_20150420_006Right from the start, our marriage relationship was grounded on mutual family values. This was essential for us if we were to go in the same direction, in a relationship that would withstand hardships as well as joys. For us, these values came from The Bible, which we had both grown to know and love since childhood. We had loved hearing and reading stories from the Bible as children, and as we grew into adulthood, found that it stood the test of time. The more we read, the more we found that it applied to our lives at all the different stages. It isn’t a book of old-fashioned rules and regulations, but rather a truly inspired book that shows us how to live. It tells the stories of human failures and victories and of mysteries that become clear over time. (more…)

The Road To Something Greater

WP_20150327_002Christian anarchist writer Elbert Hubbard once said,

When life gives you lemons, make lemonade

Walking to work the other day, it struck me that although my life might seem rather mundane now, it is only one part of the road I am on to something greater. It’s that “something greater” that I need to focus on, the destination, rather than the place I am in now, in order to know hope and joy.

The journey now is important too and this is the part I want to enjoy, to live each day in the present, at the same time as looking to my destination and remembering where to get off. If I only lived for the journey, I would never arrive. If I only lived for the destination, I wouldn’t survive the bumpy road ahead.

So the road I am on right now might be a little bumpy and it might be hard at times to see around the corner for the next step, but I must remember my destination and ensure that this road will indeed take me there. This is what we often told our growing sons in the past. It’s great to work in a routine type of job, but remember where you want to go. You might need to take another fork in the road at times to adjust things, but the excitement of going there will keep you going.

For me, I don’t know where my road will lead, but believe it will lead somewhere great, for I believe that when I started out on this road, it was right for me. I also believe that I (and each of us if we choose to believe) are destined for great things. I want that when I die, people will remember me for good things, not just sentimental ones, that I have made a difference in this world for the good.

So when life gives you lemons, make lemonade!

Funny Moments From An RSPCA Charity Shop

Source Chrissiejo

Source Chrissiejo

Every experience in life has it’s funny moments and my 2 1/2 years spent volunteering once a week at my local RSPCA shop was no exception. There was never a boring day, for so many different people would visit us and make our afternoon something to smile about. Two of our regular customers (more…)

When Letting Go Is Not A Good Plan- Don’t Lose The Things You Love

My Life Map Achievements

“The thief comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come that you might have life abundantly.”

My family is at the stage where we have gradually been letting go of our four boys. With the eldest it was hard, with the second, well he seemed to go before we could complain, the third one is wanting to go but hasn’t quite achieved it and the fourth goes and returns again. This got me thinking. (more…)

South Korea Is A Place Rich In Sights And Sounds


Tasting Korean Food

South Korea where I am visiting at present, is a country rich in bright colours, pungent in street food sellers smells and noisy with large, busy roads with people coming and going on a large scale. It’s lots to take in in two weeks. Their Hanbok dress is particularly colourful, and everywhere you go you see people selling their wares and bright lights to tempt your eyes and your wallet! Shops stay open well into the evening and some even all night. The subways are full of chattering people always on their mobile phones, waiting for trains, buses or taxis.

The food is often spicy and normally includes rice in some form. It’s amazing what they produce with rice, which I suppose is plentiful. I love the way they always seem to share their food. It really is a social event with communal dishes placed in the centre of the table and everyone dips in with their chopsticks and spoons. Forks are rare and knives even rarer at the meal table.

This is the way we experience the world. Without our five senses (more…)

Defiant Child Behavior problems