Its been one hell of a month, hubs and I have weathered pretty much every crisis known to a married couple living in the suburbs (so not earthquakes - though my cousin was in chch, cyclones or floods; but unemployment, overdrawn bank accounts, sick kids, and relentless stress), Miss 6 has been suffering from a grumbling appendix (now seems to be ungrumbled, but we're keeping an eye on her), and Miss 5s antics to get herself expelled from school will make for an excellent 21st speech, and I am promising myself that one day we'll look back and laugh. Maybe. She has improved spectacularly in the last week (hubs and I are praying she gets through today with no tantrums and gets her good behaviour certificate - what caused this improvement? bribing her with money; if she's good she earns dollars to spend at the tuckshop!! sigh)
The thing that got to me most of all has been the garden. Destroyed by chickens and heatwaves, rust, powdery mildew, nematodes, snails, blossom end rot, wilt... everything seemed to get wiped out over a two week period in late January. It got so bad that I just could not bring myself to go outside and see all the barren, empty beds, what was the point when there was nothing to inspect and nothing to get excited about.
But about a week ago I was checking on the chooks - we've had a brush turkey invasion as well - and I suddenly noticed that a pumpkin had self seeded in the sweetcorn bed. It had got pretty big, and I know it sounds insane but I really hadn't registered that it was growing, I was delightfully surprised and then, on closer inspection I saw we had a baby pumpkin...
Then I noticed the basil had gone wild, so I hacked all that back and threw it into the herb dryer to replenish my dried basil supply. And then gardenate emailed me with a list of what I should be planting, and suddenly it was autumn, and new season apples are coming in at Hornsby farmers market, and it seemed as my life reestablished its equilibrium so the garden came back into balance as well - and we both started to thrive again.
So yesterday I planted oodles of Tatsoi and Pakchoy, carrots and turnips and swedes - note cunning anti chicken tripping sticks - they get covered in shadecloth as well. Chickens apparently don't like to eat eggplant leaves (the big green leafy plant to the right of centre). The basil is reshooting after just a week, and there is a very sad looking capsicum (yes, that scrap of green in the middle) which I am determined to eke at least one capsicum out of.
So its good. A long, difficult summer is behind us and the future is somewhat less daunting than it has been.