Remember me? Lots to report and plans afoot.

I keep wondering why I have had so much trouble getting to writing posts and I have come to the conclusion that when I was working I was looking for a form of escapism and regular blog posts were like therapy to me. Since having left work I am continually doing things that I enjoy, am busy all of the time and just don’t seem to have the time to sit and focus on writing a post.  We also spent a month in New Zealand that I haven’t worked out how to write about as I’m still not sure how I really felt about it. Whoever said they didn’t know how they had time to go to work was right on the money. So what’s been happening?

The new Courtyard Taking shape.

This area is out from the kitchen and up until recently has been mainly a utility area. The blood orange tree was planted against a wall but left freestanding after we rotated the ‘dentist’ room.  The area will be paved, have some kitchen garden plantings and be a great outdoor eating area. We took a gamble and using some great tips from a lovely Instagram friend, moved the orange tree (thanks @minipermaculture). It actually looks like it is doing better now than it was where it was moved from. We trimmed it back, planted it in a large hole that was full of compost, worm castings and other goodies, gave it a drink of very weak Seasol and sprayed the foliage with this solution as well. We are now making sure it is protected from the extremely harsh frosts we are experiencing and keeping everything crossed. The water feature is my leaving gift from work and once it integrates to lots of greenery it should ‘disappear’ yet be a focal point at the same time.

Seems to be doing well so far! Fingers crossed for us. This is the area with recycled bricks waiting to be laid by the very weary Mr ATMT who has been working his butt off. As well as the courtyard area, we are working towards getting the driveway edging and toppings done, but we had to run power and water to the courtyard first which meant making some mud. We hired a little digger and plumber son did a great job running the trenches for pipes and cables.

He got a bit of help with this little cutie. What is it about machinery that is so appealing?It’s coming together nicely and I am pleased to say we have just about lost all of the leaves  from the oak. I haven’t managed to accumulate much in the way of leaf old so far but they will still be waiting for me to collect and mulch up so there is no rush.

Some exciting plans.

I had always said I would convert the ‘dentist’s  room’ into a preserving or food related area and have made the decision to fit it out as a registered kitchen so I can have approval to sell  my bread. This is the white room on the right and I am currently working through all of the necessary red tape to satisfy council requirements. My plan is to only sell by pre-order of loaves I enjoy making and keeping it manageable and most importantly, enjoyable. We have so far stripped it out and are getting the electrical and plumbing sorted out so I can plaster, tile, fit out and get things on the road. I am really excited about this, its not planned to be a big commercial operation, just me making something I love doing, on my own terms. This is what it was like inside before I started gutting it. As well as working towards registering the kitchen I am planning on holding some workshops for people interested in learning how to make sourdough. I had a lovely group of ‘guinea pigs’ come at the weekend so I could get an idea of how the format I had in my head worked in real-time. We had a lot of fun and I have tweaked quite a few concepts of how to present and once we have the council tick I will offer some workshops. It is a really good way for me to think about how things are done and improve my skills as well.We hd a little set back with the new bathroom/laundry that was part of the exteno. I posted that I was thrilled that we finally had a finished room, and then KAPOW, poor Mr ATMT was wiping out the shower and came up under the tiled-in soap shelf.Luckily no damage to him, (I did ask!)and we have decided to replace that shelf tile with 2 single tiles as it is highly likely that this would happen again. Back to the suction cup rack but comfortable that it will be safer.Out in the garden I have some broccoli heading up, the bok choy and leeks are doing really and I still have a couple of capsicum hanging on in the greenhouse.


Here is an assortment of my Friday family & friend bake. Some multigrain, some flaxseed loaves that are using the excellent recipe that Francesca over at Almost Italian  posted and some light rye loaves. I love the way the kids are so keen to collect their bread on A Friday night or Saturday morning to get them through the week. Finally I just have to share this gorgeous video of our grandson experiencing milling flour for the first time. It is especially precious to me, as I would have had welts in a few places if I’d been caught sitting on the kitchen bench like this. I am going to let him sit and participate with me as much and as often as possible! I love it.



18 Replies to “Remember me? Lots to report and plans afoot.”

  1. Sometimes I feel the same way about writing (and even reading) posts. Too much going on sometimes to sit still. Glad you wrote this post and gave us an update on what’s happening. Good luck sorting out that ‘white room’. I know your bread will sell well!


  2. Similar glitch in my blogging. I’m so busy doing the things I planned, dreamed of. My to-do list rarely gets fully crossed off each day. How exciting, setting up a commercial kitchen… you’ll be busier than ever. And a lovely setting amidst your garden. Hmmm, maybe not much more leisure time if that pile of family & friend loaves is any indication. You’ll have an enthusiastic helper at any rate.


    1. 🙂 I took the last of your lovely soap with me to NZ and it lasted the month exactly. As most places charged a $1.00 (on top of the $45.00 camp site fee GRRRRR!) for a shower I made sure I got my $1.00’s worth. Many soaps would have gone to mush in these circumstances! Hope the boxes are getting less.


  3. Maree, I haven’t forgotten about you (never will!), and it was a joy seeing “life” going on for you in this post. Your renovations look fabulous and your bread photo is swoon-worthy! Your lil’ grandson is cute as the dickens milling flour — LOVED his “taste” — apparently one of many, given the “evidence” on his pants and shirt. 🙂 I, too, have slowed down on blogging, mostly due to “life” and other folks’ privacy. (Can’t share what’s “really” been going on, but I’m taking notes — a book someday?) Anyway, no matter how often or seldom you show up in cyber space, it’s always a delight reconnecting with you! xoxo


    1. Lovely to hear from you Kim. I can honestly say it is the first time in about 50 years I feel quite content and happy. Doing what I like and getting time with the little fella is great. Never really loved any job I worked at, was committed to it, went to the top with it, but it was more a means to an end than anything else so this is joyous. I’ll anxiously await that book! 🙂 XXX


  4. How lovely to hear from you and see the progress on your home and garden. I know what you mean about retirement and posting, I retired in late March and have never been so busy. Anyway, congratulations! It sounds like you are starting another job though, the commercial kitchen is a wonderful idea. Wish we lived closer to get on your baking list.


  5. Good to hear what you’ve been up to. The bread-making enterprise sounds great and I’m sure you will do well at it (wish I lived closer!)


  6. No time the for the grass to grow under your feet Maree!! It took a few years of retirement for me to slow down (a bit) but truly, I wonder how I ever fitted a job into my schedule. Can’t think of anyone better suited to spread the sourdough love, I envy those who will gain from your hands on tuition. The little white bakery room looks the perfect space for your endeavours.


  7. Hi Maree
    Good to see you are enjoying retirement I know what you mean about not having enough time to work It has been four years now almost exactly since I retired and I continue to be busy Isnt it nice to be able to do the things you really love and enjoy? Good luck with the new “job” :). Your bread looks so tasty Have fun with the classss too.


    1. Sherry, I prefer to call it redirection rather than retirement. I can honestly say I actually feel happy planning and doing something that I like for the first time ever in my working life. It will all be on my terms, limited to what I am comfortable doing and if I need a week or so off I’ll take it. If whoever is willing to pay for my bread can’t cope with that then that’s ok, looking to deal with people with a similar mindset. No huge investment if I decide to pull the plug 🙂


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