Wednesday, 27 July 2016

Getting my mojo back

Its been a while since I have posted something 'homesteady', but life has been crazy crazy for far too long. I studied my Masters part time for 3.5 years (hence all the crazy other posts), I went back to work part time, my babies all started big school, and  most recently I have started a new part time job working more hours. Sometimes you just have to let things slide until you can get your head above water again. For your own sanity you have to focus on what is going to get you through - sleep, eat and surviving. But now I am starting to feel the need to rediscover the 'old' me, and get back into my interests, find that homesteading mojo I have been putting to the side for far too long, plus look into some new ideas that were always on the '....when I finish this bloody study I'm going to.....' list.

So to get back into the swing of things, I have ditched the traditional housework-on-my-day-off routine and made these instead

 - Laundry detergent (makes about 10L)
 - Almond meal (sounds fancy if I said I 'made it' but I really just ground up almonds)
 - Toothpaste - I use this recipe
 - and cake...just cause it smells good and I wanted cake (I added poppy seeds to this recipe)

So to keep this post short and to the point as I soon have to go pick up kids, my new 'thing' is trying to decrease our waste, and in particular our plastics. I got interested when I somehow stumbled across Zero Waste Home and through a bit more research an Australian version at Gippsland Unwrapped. Although we are SO FAR from a zero waste household, I am trying to do things gradually (all at once doesn't work in our house). My first goal is to decrease the amount of non-recyclables. I know that it does take quite a bit of energy resources to recycle, but we have to start somewhere. I'll get to recyclables in the process, hopefully. So here is a pick of a few things we have been doing to decrease our plastics and waste

Here, I have fruit and veggie bags and also some homemade beeswax wraps which I use in the kids' lunchboxes. I roughly followed this recipe and used our own beeswax.

We already compost, make a lot of food from scratch and give food scraps to our new puppy (he's a bitsa rescue pup, he's destructive but cute), but I think we can do more. I have also been planning meals which answers the dreaded question 'whats for dinner mum?', and I don't have to 'think' during the week. I have a planned list on the fridge and the kids now know just to refer to the list. ON the plus, I try to get those things that we need for our meals on our fortnightly shop.

I also hope to attend a UHC event next weekend - garden porn (aka seed catalogues). Between work, study, and football on weekends I have not been able to attend events as I would like.

But I feel like I'm coming back. Slowly.

Thursday, 5 November 2015

Peer Review

In the spirit of NETGL, I determined the best way to generate discussion regarding my proposal was to open a Google Doc for comment. I made this public by posting the link to my document on my blog, and after a few errors and a delay in the post appearing on Feedly, it was finally accessible for fellow course members. My aim, and practice, was to have a working document, whereby new literature and ideas were added to the document on an ongoing basis to hopefully generate discussion and help refine my subject and topic into a more defined task. I have used Google docs previously on other collaborative group assignments and found success with ease of identification and modification of the body of the document with multiple users. It was also easy to add additional comments without changing the body of the text if required. The difficulty for my specific situation was that I did not work in an educational environment, and thus found it difficult to generate specific feedback from outside the course on this particular proposal. I eventually managed to have a secondary English teacher colleague critique my work, and found she provided many insightful comments about the ideas on an ongoing basis. I also received feedback from NETGL course colleagues Charm and Lisa, of which I am very grateful. The difficulties that all three colleagues pointed out were the same elements of the plan I had been struggling with.

I engaged in discussions with my external colleague whilst both of us were in the Google Doc.  As we were discussing the best applications of the literature and refining ideas within the document I began to form together the pieces of how this research proposal may take shape. Although clear in my mind from the literature review about how this process could work, transferring those ideas into practice, and a measurable practice, was an area of difficulty for me. Perhaps this is because the nature of heutagogy is ‘self-determined’ and more reflective, and actually hard to measure apart from subjective individual opinions of how criteria were assessed. There would also be a lot of subjective bias of the results.  Lisa and Charm also posed thought provoking questions about how to refine the proposed activity. If I were to take this proposal forward into a full research activity, more consideration would need to be given to the measurement of the activities and to see if the proposed activities of the research proposal were measuring and recording what they are purporting to measure and record.