Onion beating cough

With the changing season colds are quite common… Sleepless nights because the kids (or yourself) can’t stop coughing. And first you try with some water, then swallowing something and it seems it worked (you have that moment of glory thinking it is finally gone) until you lay down in bed and the coughing nightmare begins again… Do you know what I am talking about? If so, this is for you!

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A solution to this problem might be easy in a city where there is always a 24h open pharmacy nearby but for me… Finding a pharmacy might take me more than an hour drive if I am lucky. In addition to that I am quite fond of natural remedies before turning to  medicine. So there we go, the best solution to a coughing nightmare: 1 ONION.

Cut the onion in half and place it near the bed. It sounds awkward but it really works well at home. The room will smell next morning but if you open the window it disappears completely.

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Today we are picking onions in our orchard. It is one of the kids’ favourite to collect since you pull the leaves and they come out from under the ground. They can’t stop shouting “Look mom! Look how strong I am !” and they feel proud of their power.

We will now store the onions in the fresh basements of our country house so we have onions for the entire winter, they last long. We will now be ready for any cough attack! We use onions in most of our dishes too

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📷 Photography by Mercè Rial

A summer without holidays

All of us mommies know what the word “summer” means. No school, disorganisation, long days and long nights, dinners, friends, family… in addition to that, living in a farm means orchard full of veggies that need to be taken care of, picked up, cooked and/or canned and stored. Ou wait, and my main job is taking care of tourists staying in our holiday cottages and they have have been fully packed from mid june to beginning of september.

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I am participating in an Instagram challenge for a month with the hashtag #augusthomesteading. Today’s word is NEW and since I don’t have anything new at home… I decided to write a NEW post in my blog after a long time of absence during the hectic summer. And the post is about new.

The first thing that comes to my mind right now when I think of new is end of summer. We celebrate new year on December 31st but the new year for me begins in September. When summer season is over, kids get back to school, everyone gets back to routine, life gets organised again…and we also start the farming year. In september all the fields need to be ready to be planted within end of september/beginning of october, so I need to plan all the harvest for next year. I decide what will be planted, I have to order the seeds, organise the work…

In addition to all that, after 3 years of moving around like nomads, we are settling down in a new home in our backyard. I could say my first proper house and with my dream kitchen! I couldn’t ask for more! Hopefully we will be able to move by the end of september.

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Work-wise, the year begins with new projects for which I am really excited and motivated, they have to do with organic or ecological farming. We have been experimenting with organic pumpkins this summer, and it went really well so… We are going bigger this year. I will be talking about them all year long as they grow. And much more things to come!

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So… I could say that this summer was quite inspiring, after long walks within nature after tasks, inspirational talks during long cozy dinners and some internet research; I am starting “the year” super motivated, with new goals and with loads of new ideas! I hope you all enjoyed your holidays and they were as refreshing as my “non-holiday summer”.

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📷 Photography by Mercè Rial

What is going on in the hens house?

Every day after school, the kids walk out of the car and run to the hens house. Candi (21 months old) is in charge of feeding them while Jaume  (3 years old) counts the eggs and puts them in a basket. When everything is set they bring the hens inside and close them for the night, to ensure they are safe from any wild animal roaming around at night.

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I just love observing them taking care of the animals, I try to interfere as little as I can so they can think by themselves and come up with different ways of doing it if they don’t get what they want at first. And it seems to work since they do it better everyday, quicker, and they still have fun, they always come up with new games and ideas during the task. I wish I had as imagination as they do! So much to learn from kids.

One day Jaume finds an egg with an unusual shape or colour and he shouts with excitement, sometimes Candi can’t open the lid of the trough and she asks for help to her older brother, who turns to her to help and patiently shows her how to do it… I could be looking at them all day long.

A couple of days ago, Candi got upset with a hen and she threw it an egg. Both Candi and Jaume were surprised when the egg broke and the hen started eating it. So they still learned something from it and Candi realised she can’t throw eggs anymore.

Of course it is not always this perfect, sometimes the situation can get complicated and then they start getting upset and before this turns to a fight or an argument between them or with the hens because something didn’t turn out as it should. Then I enter their “working-zone”, I tell them to calm down, the three of us sit down on the floor and discuss about it. First of all I ask them what happened, then I ask them why did this happen (so they realise by themselves what they did wrong) and then we think of a new solution in committee and give it a try again. My surprise was a few days ago when I see Jaume having some issues and all of a sudden when he is about to start shouting he looks at me, he points up with his finger 👆 and a smile on his face and he says “mom I have another idea!” And he tries a different way with a successful result. Then is when I realise I am doing it right. So proud of them!

In addition to all that… we eat yummy organic eggs and they love omelettes even more! Jaume already cooks them by himself.

I consider giving tasks to the kids since they are young very important. It gives them confidence, it develops the sense of responsibility and freedom. We need to grow kids that will be able to fend for themselves.  In the future they will need to make tough decisions and move on from difficulties. They need to be ready.

So here is their responsibility, my kids are in charge of the hens and the eggs. What about yours? Feel free to comment below.

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 📷 Photography by Mercè Rial

 

How rich we are 🌿

Recently someone told me “Living in the countryside must be beautiful and interesting but tough”. Yes, it is not always as idyllic as it looks. It can be rough and tough sometimes. But at the end of the day… Your attitude when facing challenges and the way you look at things will determine your feelings, your strengths, your state and therefore your happiness. I consider very important to value those little things, observe, feel and do what you like. Is life in the city always perfect? I am sure not! It might be easier but not perfect and probably not as beautiful.

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Today I am going to share a very inspiring 20 sec reading story by Paulo Cohello that made me realise how lucky and rich we are living this way. I hope you will enjoy it! ❤

🌿 One day a father of a very wealthy family took his son on a trip to the country with the firm purpose of showing his son how poor people live.

They spent a couple of days and nights on the farm of what would be considered a very poor family.
On their return from the trip, the father asked his son, “How was the trip?”
“It was great, Dad”.

“Did you see how poor people live?” the father asked.

“Oh yes”, said the son.
“So, tell me, what did you learn from the trip?” asked the father.

The son answered:
“I saw that we have one dog and they had four.
“We have a pool that reaches to the middle of the garden and they have a creek that has no end.

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“Our patio reaches to the front yard and they have the whole horizon.
“We have a small piece of land to live on and they have fields that go beyond our sight.

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“We have imported lanterns in our garden and they have the stars at night.”

“We buy our food, but they grow theirs.

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“We have walls around our property to protect us, they have friends to protect them.”

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The boy’s father was speechless. Then his son added:
“Thanks, Dad for showing me how poor we are.”

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📷 Photography by Mercè Rial

My CEO cows

I sit by the field observing my ladies eating grass. The bells 🔔 melody gets lost in distance. Chilling with them gives me so much peace and freedom. And then, laying on top of fresh grass, while the sun rays fill me with positive energy and a fresh breeze caresses my face… I start observing the cows and realise they are not so different from us, women.

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There is the leaders, when you mix two herds for the first time, the leaders in each group fight to keep the place. Those are my CEO ladies. The others stay on a side observing. Some would like to fight and you can see them hesitating wether to get into it and they keep jumping around but do not move forward into the combat. Would those be Entrepreneur cows? They feel restlessness, they want to experience, they observe to learn. They know they will be there one day, fighting to lead.

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There is those cows who are not willing to ever lead. They prefer to wait for the result and go with it. There is those who tried and didn’t get through and there is those who were leading one day and now they look from behind.

The cow is a very curious animal. Most of them will come to check what is going on. But others will always keep a minimum distance of about 20m from me. And they will never stop having an eye on you while in the field. They have fears, they are insecure, they consider you are the enemy.

They have cultural differences too, my brown cows (Aubrac) do not get along with my grey cows (Bruna). They are often divided in their own groups while in pasture. But there is something that we should learn from cows… If there is a problem (for example an animal approaches to attack any of the cows or veals), no matter if they are brown, grey, old, young, tall or short… they become a clan, they join and start running forward that enemy pointing at it with the horns . That is usually the opposite within society, when there is a problem people tend to disappear, during difficult times is when you truly find out who is worth.

But do you know what? At the end of the day… They are all mothers. No matter the status, the colour, the breed, the size, the strength, the fears… They all have the same goal, raising their little veals, just like us. And their veals follow them no matter if they are short, tall, fat, skinny, ugly or beautiful. Just as our kids do, each child has the best mom!

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And there is one more thing I would like to point out about cows… All of them after a long day of hard work looking for food, walking, eating, breastfeeding, cleaning their veals, … They are all up for a Spa treatment before going to bed! Don’t you fancy it? 😂

🐮 What type of cow do you feel identified with? Feel free to comment below! I would love to know it!

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Photography by Mercè Rial

Spa picture by me with iPhone 5

Location: my fields

 

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Pumpkins after school

It is just another day after school, I pick up the kids and it is time to spend some time outdoor after all day in class. Fresh air and exploring new things. Today we are going to do something different, something new to them, we will plant pumpkin seeds.🎃 We prepared the soil, filled the trays with sand, fill 2 seeds in each hole and cover them with more sand.

Pumpkins are not only used for decoration, they have so many health benefits. Pumpkins are full of vitamins, minerals and low of calories. In addition to that… there is so many creative ways to include them in your diet! Salad, soup, risotto, pasta, dessert… and they can even be a substitute for butter!

Did you know eating pumpkin can reduce the risk of diabetes, heart deseases and offer protection against asthma? These are just some of the multiple benefits of eating pumpkins. I can’t wait for the seeds to grow and eat our own and ecological pumpkins!

I must admit we took three times longer than a single person would have… But life with kids is so much fun!

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📷 Photography by Mercè Rial

Country life is amazing until…

Do you wonder how daily life in the countryside is? Let me give you a brief idea on that…

To wake up in the morning you definitely need an alarm… there is no cars or engine noises in the other side of the window, only the pleasant sound of birds singing. You don’t hear the neighbour leaving the apartment next door or the neighbour above being in a rush.

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**I would suggest to all those moms that can’t get the entire night of sleep, because that little angel sometimes turns out to be a “hungry-sleepless little monster”, to plan a weekend getaway in the countryside.  I don’t know if I was just lucky or it was the tranquility in the environment… but both my kids started sleeping the entire night (11pm to 8am one month and a half after being born…). Although I must admit I would still wake up in the middle of the night just to observe that adorable creature breathing and sleeping peacefully… (I am sure all of you know the feeling I am talking about).

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You need to get the car to take the kids to school… and there is no traffic jam or any parking problems…

Everything sounds amazing isn’t it? Yes, it is amazing until you go to prepare the baby’s bottle and you realise there is no milk or no bread for breakfast… you open the front door and there is no bakeries, no groceries… nothing! Just trees and animals all around. Ou! wait you can always steal some milk from the cow… 🐮🍼

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When it rains we do not lock ourselves at home or in a caffe… It is the perfect moment to wear our boots (so exciting when we have the occasion to wear them! It is usually sunny in Spain) and go pick up some snails 🐌. Look for the rainbow and of course… we cannot forget about jumping in muddy puddles once the rain is over and the sun shines again! (I feel like Peppa Pig sometimes) 🐷😅

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And yes, we often come back home with dirty clothes… but we put them in the washing machine, it is not a big issue. Or bring it to the dry-cleaner. Ou wait! You will need the car for that. Mommies… let the kids get dirty! It is not a big deal! And I always say… If they come back dirty… they probably had big fun.

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We directly sit down on the floor instead of chairs or banks. We lay down by the river when we want to relax. We do not exercise between 4 walls, we have paths and stones between trees. We do not do yoga in a room with air conditioning. We have hills, straw bales with views, green all around, fresh and pure air.

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And when we are in the mood and we feel like dancing… We can dance like crazy with loud music (neighbours 1km away will still not hear it). Watch video 🎥

Enjoy life and have fun with your little ones… they grow super fast! ❤

Photography by Mercè Rial

Reading under a tent

I am one of those mummies who loves reading but never finds the right time.

And yes, it is not easy to find the time when you have been all day at work, and then you pick up the children, take them to activities, shower them, prepare dinner, put them in bed… And then… once in bed… the fake-glory moment! “now I got some time for me” but first let me do the laundry and clean up the kitchen while the washing machine ends, so I can iron and get the clothes ready for tomorrow.  And then when you would actually have the time… you are completely exhausted. ( I am sure all those mummies who love reading know what I am talking about.)

Finally there is that day when grandparents call saying… Could we have the kids this afternoon…? We really miss them! And then you see the light. 💡📖

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I get my beloved book and pick a reading spot. I love reading outside; that priceless breeze caressing my face and some sunshine around. I look for a tree and set my tea pot, some snacks, pillows and since I know I will have a few hours from now, I even set the tent. Now I am ready to immerse myself to a different world.

Those are the advantages of living in paradise, the advantages of having an endless garden and nature all around.

 

Photography by Mercè Rial

A home without TV and 2 kids

Can you imagine living in a house without TV in the XXI century? Probably not…! But I decided that’s what I wanted! 📺⛔ At least for the moment, while my children are young.

I remember when I was a kid… I used to think “Adults are so boring… how can they live without playing? I’ll never do that when I grow up and I become a mum…Why are they always behaving quietly? Why do they spend so much time at work?…” and thanks god there were no cellphones at that time!

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So yes, I decided I don’t want my children to grow up thinking I am boring or that I am always on the phone… I must admit I often feel lazy to play or run around the house (kids actually never get tired! ) but then my thoughts as a kid pop-up and I force myself to do it. You must know I did never ever regret one of those games. Each one of them ends up being so much fun! And hearing your child’s laughs is the most precious thing in the world.

Unleash the kid inside you and spend some time laughing, screaming, running, hiding, breathing… It can often end up in tears when the game get too wild… But it is still worth it! Your kids won’t remember crying but having fun. I can ensure that when my 3 years old doesn’t come to me saying “mum let’s play” he comes saying… “mum, should we do some crazy stuff?” 😂 I love it!

I will write later on about some of our games… Following are some pictures of my little James and I playing in the stables. I have never met a kid that doesn’t like to play with straw. I am sure if you ever had the opportunity as a kid you remember that.

“The secret to living life as an adult, is to never let go of the child you used to be”  Linda Poindexter

Photography by Mercè Rial