Aug 21, 2015

ABUNDANCE: family, joyful work and food!


The garden is full of delicious food, the land has been full of family, mothers, brothers, cousins, 2 lovely volunteers and a lot of JOY! We will let the pictures tell the tales of a new compost toilet, BBQ's, .......

ENJOY the snaps!

Click below to see more.....





FAMILY.....



Marcia and Eric returned from holidays in the Algarve, and we were happy to see them again. 
Then August began with the arrival of Rosemary, emma's mum. 10 days of mum time was a pure delight. 









 

To prepare for the arrival of mum we created a paddling pool next to the pond to dip into and refresh the body and spirit. The sail creates a wonderful shade that we move as the sun does!! Many a siesta and evening have been spent around the pool since......


But is it not only the humans who love the pool - Goofy spends many an hour 'frogging' - which means he sits watching and trying to catch the frogs. Alas, or thankfully, the little frogs outwit him everytime. They play dead or hide under our feet.....as yet he has not been able to catch one!! 









 





While mum was here we had a BBQ and invited our neighbour Sr Aquiles.

Next to arrive at the land was Ba's mum Fernanda from Angloa and another reason to celebrate! 





 Fernanda and cousin Bella from Castelo Branco joined us for a super Sunday. More abundance of food, family and fun! 




Fernanda spent 2 special days with us - the day of her husbands birthday, where we celebrated the life of Ba's dad Acacio. Fernanda and Ba planted 2 more shrubs in the peace garden dedicated to his memory. 










 For Fernanda's birthday the next day we had a special breakfast of the delicious fruits from the trees!












Marcia's brother Mario and brother-in-law Antonio arrived on Fernanda's birthday and Eric prepared a delicious BBQ lunch. 





This was Mario and Antonio's first visit to the land so it was a really important family day!!! It was a treat to have such special visit.  A big reflection for us over the past month is how important our families are to us. We are BLESSED in so many ways - family is a big part of that!!! Near or far we love them. 

JOY FULL WORK.....

 

This is how the compost toilet structure looked at the start of August.......bare mimosa posts that Ba cut from our wooded area at the top of the land. 



The following pictures tell the tale of the following 2 weeks of work..... 






Here Barbara is plastering with cob around the cord wood structure to hold the sawdust inside the compost toilet.
 




 
Next the walls.....

 
 


........the walls are canes that we cut at the bottom of the land, transported up via Soraia and then cut into shape. Marcia and Eric were amazing at this job - patient work! 








Work continued on at a lovely pace with the addition of Himel and Jacob - students of engineering from Canada and Sweden. 


                                          




Himel 


Jacob 



After the walls, the ROOF! ......




We decided to try a technique of 'thatching' with broom - it required the cutting of broom and preparing of countless bundles.

Marcia, Eric, Himel and Jacob were wonderful at this!!!! 






 

Barbara was on the roof attaching the bundles. For her the most difficult were the corners. While in Namibia, Zimbabwe and South Africa we saw a lot of beautiful thatching work - here Barbara was trying to see if we could do it with what we have an abundance of - BROOM!

 


 

The team worked with patience and with determination to put the roof on - taking 2 1/2 days to complete...working into the evening......





 

.....enjoying the sunsets, wine and chat with Rosemary at the end of the day! 


 

With the final bundles being prepared - then it was time to make cob to seal the top and the walls inside.....






Here Marcia and Barbara are doing the first mix.....



 
















....then up on the roof laying the cob and rainproofing the roof with a cap of sort!!!  




 Himel and Jacob wanted to learn how to make the cob mixture....



.....and how to plaster......



the results of the work with clay are beautiful! 



.....initial pictures of the finished structure.....




Fruitful garden 





 

with all the fruit and veg around we eat what we can and try preserving - got figs and tomatoes sun drying now.....





Soaping making........







 here Marcia is weighing, measuring and cutting natural soaps she and Eric made. We have sold quite a few of these to people passing by, and had requests from the UK! Looks like we might have a little business here!






 

We also have been drying our herbs for years - the interest for many medicinal teas is also on the increase! Here we are preparing bags for an order.....


Many blessings.....






 We have had a wonderful month - with family, our volunteers, enjoying wine and chats. The weather has been hot, but we have rested when needed. The work of completing the compost toilet structure was the main focus, but many others things - new compost piles, looking after the animals, fixing the water heater, clearing areas of brambles, strimming the roadway and preparing wood for winter - not such 'sexy' work, but the day to day life of living at the Mount of Oaks. We are grateful for living here and welcoming family and helpers to this place. 




 Until the next time....much love, peace and joy from the Mount of Oaks.



 

3 comments:

janina said...

Its everytime so nice to see your pictures, how its developping, the work and creations your doing. still miss mount of oaks, wonder when the day comes when im coming back!!!
Much love janina

DonkeyKhan said...

Beautiful post, Emma, I am far away but these pictures and the stories you've told with them took me back momentarily to my time I spent at Mount of Oaks. I can't say it enough, thanks so much for having Jacob and myself, I relished every moment with everybody. Much love to Marcia, Eric, Barbara, Emma, goofy, tally, the cats, shiku, and the land!

Emma Cowan said...

Janina, we think of you so often here - you know you would be welcome back!!!

Hinmel, thank you for your help! All the best with studies etc. hugs !!