Sunday, 30 September 2012

In The Beginning...........

So where do I start?

We are a family living in an inner suburb in Adelaide.  We purchased our home when there were just the 3 of us, after returning from living away.  Now here we are with 3 more children still living in our small home.  We have tossed up the decision of selling up and moving further out onto a large block.  This would also mean we are closer our family.
 I grew up on a large property very close to Adelaide.  I was fortunate,  I was educated at a prestigious city private school, yet lived on a property with space to roam, fresh daily produce and chickens running free.  I love the idea of our children having room to explore and run around.  It is so healthy and good for their souls.  Yet here we are in a small house on a small block in inner surburbia.

My partner works in the CBD, so although we have considered the move, after much discussion, we have decided to remain put.  Our house is a 3 bedroom and the 3rd room is quite big, so it was fine for 2 girls to share a room.  Then we discovered we were having baby #4.

SO what does this mean????

Again the dilema arose, do we move to a larger house and larger block? Do I resign and remain a Stay at Home Mum???  How do I do that??? I was educated in the 80s when girls were continually told they can have it all, career, family, everything.  Yet how can we survive  with 4 children and 2 parents working.  We would be burnt out in weeks.  Yes I have a career, Yes it is above average, Yet the income is not much more than average, and by the time we subtract the childcare fees and other add-ons of working, will we end up in front or behind?
 So all these decisions and ideas floating through our minds.

 About Us

 We are 2 almost 40s living in inner surburbia in a small house.  We have 4 adorable children.  Two daughters, S=9 and R= 4 and two sons, I= 7 and H = 7mths.  We have both been educated and my partner has a good job in an office.  I have undertaken numerous paths and most recently have been working in a large organisation.   I took leave to stay at home with the children for a while.  Financially we are surviving, but not flourishing, and I am finding it hard to make ends meet, while still allowing my children the opportunities that I was afforded.

I was brought up, frugally.  My mother valued education and thus my siblings and I were well educated.  This meant my mother being creative in making ends meet.  So I have been brought up to save energy and not be wasteful.

My mother was the only person into compost bins, recycling before it was trendy and cool.  She saved jars, made preserves, recycled  boxes and turn off light switches all through our childhood. 

Where is society headed??

In this day and age, we are continually hearing about childhood obesity, global warming, increased levels of diabetes.   We are in a wasteful society and people are beinging to find the ways of my mother 'trendy' 'cool' and 'the way of the future'.
I had a friend (who we don't see so much anymore) who was talking about Peak Oil and Slow Food back in 2007 and  again, it seems the world is starting to listen and follow.

But,  how do we eat slow food and have a healthy simple life if two parents are both working full time?  This is my question.  Trying to live simply, frugally, healthily in a small house in the city!!!

So Far

We live in an old solid brick bungalow with very high ceilings.  The house is fairly ecologically designed with only two western windows ( one covered by a large carport and the laundry window)
This has ensured that the laundry works as an insulator for the rest of the house in summer.
Each window has full block out window coverings.  We have a large pergola/verandah across the back and have large deciduous trees planted across the back to allow us the northern sun in winter and shade in summer.

 Things we have done so far

  • 2007 we installed a 10,000L rainwater tank.
  • Removed all the pavers from our front yard - yes the previous owners had kindly paved the entire front yard!!!
  • Insulated our ceilings
  • We put in a new kitchen which is solid renewable timber, including recycled jarrah timber benchtops.
  • Planted in our small garden - all in the front yard
  1.  Moorpark Apricot tree and Peach tree which we are espaliering in front of our rainwater tank (which is in the front yard as it didn't fit out the back!)
  2. A triple grafted Pear tree - producing an early, middle and late season pear on each grafted branch
  3.  A Fuji Apple tree.
  4. A kashmir lime tree in a pot
  5. A passionfruit vine (on a liver - to help it flourish)

 More recently

I have purchased a breadmaker and have started cooking our own bread.  This saves our children from eating nasty preservatives.
We already use an ice-cream maker to make our own icecream.



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