A long overdue update from 1/4 acre.

6 months after my last post I thought it was time I did another! Sorry for my absence, it’s just felt a crazy year with actually very little going on by way of the garden so little to write about anyway.

I gave up work completely 4 months ago after a long stressful 18 months including workplace bullying by new management then losing this job I loved when I refused to sign a new contract, going to care for a woman with an illness and finding that very demanding in too many ways. Actually, I was just very stressed, very angry and very worn down. Wendy is back now πŸ™‚ After a shit 2 years I am feeling much better in myself and I am no longer feeling like I wish the world would just bugger off and leave me alone. Many of you would recognise that feeling I am sure!

Anyway, Spring is here and there is lots going on. Though we got plenty from our garden last summer it was not maintained as well as previous years but we have been busy this past month getting it all back up and ready to plant. Roger put an extra raised garden in the front and we have been eating from both all winter. Last Summer/Autumn we filled 2 large freezers full of produce and still have enough for another two months and we will be doing that again this year.

My soap business is going well. I have opened a small shop in half our lounge (which I don’t really advertise yet) and we need to make signs for this.img_1160


This is most of it but not all. My products are in a few outlets now and I was asked yesterday if I could supply an Organics/Naturals shop in town they they move into a larger shop in a month or two. I am so excited about this one, not only because it’s probably the busiest outlet but because she is also interested in any produce we can grow. We have been sprayfree for four years and there is little in the way of sprayfree and organic produce in town, she has been unable to source local. I guess this is why the blog post today – finally, if you hang in there, it becomes possible to earn money off a not huge piece of land! The downside is Roger doesn’t have alot of spare time these days and it will be my job to do this alongside the soapmaking etc. Isn’t it good then, the timing coincides with me managing to get over myself! πŸ™‚ It going to be verrrryy busy. An extended herb garden is also growing well but with increased sales means increased everything and I will need more.

One thing that I am sure has helped alot this past month has been trying flower oils for healing. I read about flower essence oils where they run along the same idea as Bach Flower Remedies but – those have never really appealed to me as a viable healing modality so I upped it. If liquids hold the “memory” of flowers surely there is better, researched flowers solarised in oils (as I read about) but for long periods for truer value. Here to tell you this DOES work! but needs to be well researched for personal needs. Oils are then massaged in and absorbed that way.

Some of you have asked about baby Catherine, my granddaughter, and how she is doing. Catherine was born blind due to congenital cataracts (actually the worst the surgeon had ever seen) She was operated on and now has wee glasses but any improvement has been slow and full of unknowns. Catherine also has challenging brain issues, she has had an awful time with seizures which are thankfully more controlled now, her future prognosis is not for a long life. This child is beautiful and her parents are incredible and along with her big sister they are a loving and tight family unit prepared for the challenges which lay ahead.13718552_1276870595657601_6454521658151308789_n

Other than all this I have been keeping an close interest in the state of politics both in this country and of course America – none of which I am discussing here because I am prone to ranting but far out, this is a crazy and fraught world right now, isn’t it?! One nice thing though is last weekend I met a lovely group of people who were doing a 400 km walk and a 3.5 hr ferry trip to protest at Parliament about the TPPA. The leader of the group was a mother whose was joined by her 3 kids aged from 5 to 11 – they walked that whole distance! What an education for those kids, aren’t they going to grow up to be the doers of our next generation πŸ™‚


52 thoughts on “A long overdue update from 1/4 acre.

  1. Hello Wendy, it’s lovely to see something from you tumble down the ethernet! What good news this is – in fact it is going so very well I feel tempted to caution: take care, don’t over-do things!! πŸ™‚ I’m so happy to hear that little Catherine is doing well despite all the challenges she and all of you must cope with. These babies teach unconditional love I think.

    I use your products every day and love them – the coffee serum, the body butter and the almond and rose cream meet all my needs. And a young thing recently admired my lovely skin πŸ™‚ And recently I tried the herbal muscle pain relief salve, it really helped fix my strained arm. I was dead chuffed! πŸ™‚

    Good luck with all the new ventures, keep going with your herbals, you have such a talent for this! And don’t forget to chuck us out a bit of news now and again too.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Yes, I have been thinking that myself today. Mmmm. See how things go. we have friends who have working tourists stay with them regularly, 4 hours work a day for lodgings and I am thinking this might be a good idea. Pleased you like the creams etc and the pain balm is good ay? πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Nice when you get a compliment at our age, especially from a younger person πŸ™‚
      Catherine is a wee warrior/ess and the most darling wee soul, very contented and peaceful.


  2. Wendy, I often think of you and wonder how you are. It’s wonderful to have an update. Your home shop looks beautiful. May there continue to be more peace and happiness for you, as well as many blessings for little Catherine.


  3. Lovely to hear from you! Your little loungeroom shop looks great :). Well done on being picked up by the shop in town, you will be a busy little business owner. So good to get rid of that stressful job. Your granddaughter is lovely. Children teach us so much don’t they x


  4. It’s good to hear that things are righting themselves in your world. Your granddaughter is beautiful! It’s hard to see a wee thing struggling with life and the adults that have to watch the struggle. We can only hope that there will be a new solution come forth. I never believe what doctors say. They so often underestimate the spirit of the soul. I’m still using your soaps and wish you so much fortune with your business so you never have to deal with workplace bullying again. Good to see here even briefly. I was wondering how you were.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. You aren’t the only one who has been both disillusioned, and AWOL from blogging. It’s hard to get motivated when the world seems to be going to hell in a handbasket but its important to pull back from the big picture (where we have NO control over eventualities) and focus on where we can make a difference. What you are doing is incredibly positive and perfect for where you are in your life right now Wendy. Growing food that will not only feed you and Roger, but will give people in your town access to clean, healthy veggies is a brilliant thing to do. Your gorgeous products are also a positive step forward for millions of people who have no idea how to put their hard earned cash into small local and sustainable ventures. Having your products and produce stocked by a shop is a real step forward and leaving a stressful job that rewarded you with more stress was a good trade off for the reduced income. More money isn’t worth reduced quality of life!

    Baby Catherine is gorgeous. I am so sorry to hear of all of her health challenges but it sounds like she was born to the right parents and grandparents to face the challenges ahead. The best thing about blogging is that you can share the love, the worry and the sense of community far beyond your small sphere of influence. Your positive post will be seen by anyone who trawls through the WordPress feed list and you never know who you will inspire with your hopeful words. The world needs more hopeful words as we are inundated with negatives these days. Hope is a precious commodity. Wafting happiness and hope across the “trough” ;). And is that Ms Pauline’s gorgeous cards I spy in your wares? πŸ™‚


    • Hi Fran πŸ™‚

      It is really, really hard to watch all that is happening and not be moved by it, unfortunately the only way you can be moved is with sadness, anger, anxiety….overwhelm!!!! Fact is, it’s not ok. The other fact is, alone there is nothing one can do. But there are so many acts of rebellion going on around the world it is only a matter of time…..and THAT is unpleasant and brings more ugly in many ways. I mentioned above about the people walking to protest the TPPA – 400 miles at least, they were not allowed into the public chamber for the government sitting on this because they were a voice no-one wanted to hear. Government, for the people my arse!
      Anyway……! I intend to feel good about what I do in life and this is it I have decided, OUR/MY way forward. Our govt is in the process of regulating at least 600 plants (many native) for the Natural Health Products Bill and many are ones I use so you know, I can see some issues with this looming in the future 😦 Thank you for your kind words and yeah, it is really nice to talk to like minded people Fran – they are few and far between and I have missed it.

      Catherine is an absolute angel in every sense and she has the perfect parents and yep, Nana loves her heaps πŸ™‚ You are so right, hope is a precious commodity….we need to draw that from each other, it’s important.
      Yes, those are Pauline’s cards πŸ™‚ You have a good eye!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Lois says:

    Catherine is beautiful and I’m thrilled to hear they were able to get some control over her seizures, that will help her a lot.

    I’m sorry to hear you had such a rough time with bosses yet again but it sounds like it was all for the best. Your shop is looking lovely. Is that corrugated metal behind the one cabinet? I love how it looks. Now to have you move next door to me. πŸ™‚

    I still have a bit of your healing salve which has been renamed magic medicine by my granddaughter who asks for it for everything from a cut to a pinch. She was here today and pinched her finger. No marks appeared on her skin but she was upset and asked for some magic medicine. Her mom thought I was indulging her when I pulled it out to apply a bit on her finger. I figure I’m teaching her there are better ways to treat injuries than plastic band aids and over the counter remedies. Anyway, her little brother couldn’t be left out. I had to rub a bit on his arm after which he ran around making us smell his arm and telling us “I smell pretty.” πŸ™‚


    • Hi Lois. No, that was the same job but I took them to Employment Tribunal – that took 10 months. I did win but it was just really stressful and working a job I wasn’t enjoying was just too hard.
      Yes, Catherine is beautiful πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚
      That shelf unit cost nothing, you would be proud of us! A kitchen cupboard unit off Freeconomy, doors removed and a quick sand, and yes recycled corrugated iron from a building job πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ Cheapest shop ever and I have just reinvested what I have made so really pretty happy.
      So pleased to hear of the “Magic Medicine” That’s so lovely, had a wee giggle at that!


  7. Dear Wendy, lovely to spot a post from you.. And firstly your granddaughter Catherine is beautiful.. My thoughts are with you all in her challenging start, its so good to have such a loving family unit around her she is so very pretty.

    Wow also to your success with your venture that has truly kicked off. I am so happy that your produce is being so well received I can feel your excitement.
    I know it takes time to find ourselves again after giving up work..

    And you and I have shared a similar experience within our care profession.

    I love what you have done with your little-shop.. πŸ™‚ and if my daughter lived near you I think she too would be sourcing you to add some items within her health food shop too lol.. I can only imagine the beautiful fragrance from your home.. πŸ™‚

    Wishing you and your family well Wendy..
    take care of you..
    Love Sue xxx ❀


    • Aw, hi Sue πŸ™‚ Yes, she is beautiful, Nana’s wee angel πŸ™‚
      Yes, we do need time and I know we have shared experience in that area, I noticed your new photo and you are looking well and happy now. I have been wanting to follow up on everyone else’s blogs this past few days to see what they are up to but still haven’t managed it – will be popping in soon πŸ™‚
      You daughter owns a health food shop?! How nice that must be for you! I love the shop here and would love to buy it if she ever decides to sell but I am feeling too old to take on something like that. Love them though lol
      Apparently you can smell my lounge from the gate if the door is open but you know, I never smell a thing….too used to it. Looks pretty though πŸ™‚
      So nice to hear from you Sue, take care and I will catch up with you soon xxx

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes I love the smell of soaps, and head for them at craft fairs.. However Hubby said we now have enough soap to last us to the end of time, lol.. I have a big dish in my bathroom filled to the brim with pretty packages of soaps.. And a cupboard shelf lol.. I keep giving the small ones to my granddaughter to take home.. She loves them too..
        Wendy do not worry about visits.. You have enough to do.. I loved catching your post, and it is so good to see your little enterprise kicking off..
        And my love and thoughts are with your family and granddaughter too Wendy.. Mega Hugs xxx Sue xx


  8. Good Morning Wendy from America!! I have been absent from my blog since last summer. Busy and just too many changes. My son came back briefly, parents moved closer which requires a lot more help since both father-in-laws have dementia. I also have my grandson more etc. I have expanded my garden too which means less time and more time trying to keep up..which I know you understand.

    Your granddaughter is beautiful!!! It is difficult when they have many issues to deal with at such a young age, but they do have you as a grandma.

    I have to share that last week I made my own face cream from beeswax, lavender and a few other oils. I am not doing soap making but am finding essential oils to be so healing. I wish you lived in my town, I would be at your store each week!!!

    I wish you a great year in 2017. Blessings sent your way for a wonderfully successful 2017:-) It looks like 2016 was pretty darn successful:-)

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Hi there Robbie πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚ I can relate to all that, I am never here in the blogging world now, it’s lovely to hear from you! I know, life gets too busy, too complicated sometimes….lots of other things that take priority. I cared for my father when he had dementia and it’s a hard thing to see ay.

    Happy to hear you made your own face cream πŸ™‚ I loved making my own few products and tinkering with things like that. making to sell is a lot more complicated and though it’s a nice work to do it is still work and the fun part is not there quite as much lol.

    Last year was a hard year that started sorting itself but we had another major earthquake in Nov, 7.6 that was scary as hell and we are still getting aftershocks. I have been interested in USA’s politics and ……..not much one can say! Hope you are ok Robbie x


  10. Wendy, I saw this months ago, then forgot to come back and leave a note. But you are in my thoughts so often, and my prayers, too. I heard about the ‘quakes and can only imagine . . . Victoria, BC, where I lived for over 30 years, is in an earthquake zone where ‘the big one’ has been overdue for some time. I used to do what I could to keep a survival kit handy, but it’s not always easy. I’m sure it must have been really scary and then to have the aftershocks for so long . . .

    I’m so glad to see your soap business doing well; I loved the soaps I got from you although I didn’t get to use much due to the move and all that followed . . . I hope this winter (for you) hasn’t been hard and that the coming of spring lifts your heart. It’s so nice that Catherine is doing well; quite a journey she has taken on, isn’t it?

    I, too, love your shop photos, especially the display cupboards. Free and Upcycled is simply the best, in my opinion.

    Love and Blessings to you, Roger and all your family. ~ Linne


  11. Hi Wendy, just hoped over as I saw you over at Lois’s and wondering how you are all doing?.. Sending you a thought or three, and hope your enterprise is still thriving and little Catherine is doing well..
    Sending LOVE and well wishes to you and yours..
    Sue ❀


  12. Hi Sue:) doing fine thanks. We are in the middle of winter so I am hibernating, Catherine is doing pretty well thank you πŸ™‚ She is 16 months and a wee angel though lots of work for her mum and dad. How are you? Nice to hear from you.


  13. Hi Wendy! How far behind could I possible be? My gosh!
    Well I wanted to catch up before our visit, which I’m so excited about. I don’t know if I’d read about your grand-daughters health issues before. It must bring you comfort to know the family is solid and will endure what may come. My gosh, arms around you all.
    It’s exciting to hear about your organic products doing well ! We’re lucky to have a great Farmers Market on Saturdays downtown. There’s always beautiful produce and soaps and other creative hand crafted items. Many don’t operate indoors over winter (naturally, no produce), so it’ll be great to shop your items to bring home so I can get through to spring.
    Oct 1 I’m heading to California with my hubby to have a wee trip to Carmel by the Sea with Alys and her husband Mike. Then my guy will fly home and Alys and I will do the girl thing for a week.
    Once home, I’ll start focusing on NZ , I almost can’t believe I’m coming! Gah!! xo Boomdee aka kelly


    • Hiya Boomdee πŸ™‚ You are probably about as absent from blogging as I am lol.

      My wee granddaughter has great parents and is a contented wee girl, even through illness this past month she has remained cheerful….so cheerful she talks all night so her parents aren’t quite so πŸ™‚

      So looking forward to seeing you and happy for you that you can come here, I am sure you will love our wee country. You will be able to visit lots of Artisan and Farmers Markets πŸ™‚

      Enjoy your trip with Alys. Carmel by the Sea sounds like a nice destination!

      See soon! xx

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Hi, Wendy! Another summer is coming for you and I hope it will be fruitful and fulfilling. Hope you and Roger are doing well, as well as little Catherine and her parents. I’m not blogging anymore either but still think about some of my favorites, like you! Robin


    • Hiya! πŸ™‚ Nice to hear from you and yes we are all doing well thank you πŸ™‚ just moving in to Spring and loving the sunshine, seemed to be a long cold winter this year. Hope you and yours are keeping well Robbie x


  15. Was just thinking about you and dropped by for a re-read. Sending lots of love and light your way! And hugs!! ~ Linne (I changed my user name for the new travel blogs and didn’t realize it would change everywhere . . . )


  16. Kay says:

    Catherine is beautiful! I’m sorry she has health issues. I’m not sure if this would work – but I’ve heard ketogenic diet being very good for epileptic children who have seizures. Maybe you can check it out. I’ve been on keto diet for other reasons and its not hard, but because she’s such a small child with medical issues, you might want to read up and also check with her doctors.

    I have been thinking about you and hope all is well with you wrt your health and your soap making business.

    Much love and hugs!!!


    • Thank you Kay, sorry I hadn’t seen this earlier. Unfortunately Catherine can’t as she is now being tube fed with a prescription food, she was having issues with swallowing. I have read about that and also have a sister doing that diet, apparently some children have had good success. Thank you for thinking of us πŸ™‚


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