Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Beetroot and quiet

I am officially in weird-land.

Today is the first day I have had all three of my girlies at school and no place to go, no urgent things to do.

Today I feel like I am feeling the enormity of having no kids at home for the very first time.

You know that thing that happens in families and communities when there is drama and everyone crowds around and calls and asks. Sometimes there is so much chaos in the drama that it is impossible to really feel anything. Even if the drama is bad. And then after a while, after days or weeks, the space clears and the drama is there alone, in bright day light. Big and obvious.

That's how I'm feeling today. The drama of my biggest starting high school and my smallest starting school is almost a week old and I am feeling it big time.

This morning I noticed all the mum's holding little kid hands down the street and felt alone. I realised that there would not be any Tuesday bush kinder for us and I felt sad. I saw how quickly I was getting things done without my helper and I missed her. I thought about all the millions of things I could do between nine and three-twenty and I felt overwhelmed.

And my house is so quiet. So quiet that I can hear the sound of the water coming up from the bore and down into the house dam. I hardly ever hear that sound during the day, only usually at night when every one's gone to bed.

So what do I do now?

Should I take a load of recycling to the tip? Sew Miss Pepper a new dress to wear on her day off tomorrow? Do the breakfast dishes? Bake something? Hang out another load of laundry? Plant some cabbage seeds? Tidy? Reply to some emails? Crochet a square? Work on my book? Write a post on my other blog about beetroots and how gorgeous they are this year and how we will have four heirloom varieties this Saturday at the Collingwood Children's Farm farmer's market from eight til one? Maybe.

I don't know what to do with myself.

I'm sure I'll get there in time. 
I'm sure this space will soon fill to overflowing.
But for now it's so quiet and I've written this entire post without an interruption and I think I'll go and see what my farmer boy is up to.

What are you up to?
Is it quiet where you are or is it bizzy buzzy?
Do you ever get a chance to just wonder and wander?
What are you having for dinner?
Any favourite beetroot recipe suggestions?

Later lovelies xx


  1. I'll lend you bubba Joe - he's been a rat lately but today he is at daycare so I managed some peaceful time in the garden planting peas & beans... then at 3pm I'll go pick my lil 2yo boy up and kiss him till he can't stand it!

  2. I sent my 3rd seet girl off to school last week too. I'm worrying about how school and other children might change or stifle her creativity or take away her delightful innocence and I'm excited by all the other things she'll learn while she's there. but I still have one at home to distract me.

    As far as beetroot goes... I love to roast it with mushrooms and serve them on a bed of herby greens (basil, mint, coriander) with haloumi and lemony tahini dressing on top! yummo!

  3. It's hard to be alone after being needed for so long, it's like he opposite of the way you feel with a really small baby. My favourite way to use (roasted) Beetroots is in homemade pasta instead of eggs.

  4. I'm starting to realise how easy it is to lose yourself when you become a mother, and how important it is to keep something for yourself because our children will need us less and less as they grow. You have your farm, and your book, and your blog, and like you say, your days will soon be overflowing with new projects. Any period of adjustment is hard, and you still have a whole lot of parenting ahead of you! By the way, your warning about "everyone else" is so true- I've been faced with "everyone else went to Adventure World this holidays". What do I do now?! xK

  5. I have my smallest lying on top of me at the moment, so no quiet and space here, but I know I'll miss him dearly when he's at kinder tomorrow. Hugs Kate. Xxx
    Roast beetroot risotto
    Beetroot relish

  6. This sums up my day exactly. I think I am about to walk to school half an hour early and stop at the library on the way. Hopefully that will fill the 40 minutes until there is noise again. So happy for tomorrow's 'you and me' day (as she calls them) - thank goodness for term 1 Wednesdays.

  7. I wish for moments to myself too and then when I get one I don't know what to do with myself either! I hope the new normal feels right soon. I am at home just finished breast feeding the baby and the two year old is watching too many DVDs. I haven't had a shower yet, the baby is still in her pyjamas and the other is naked! But I have made sandwiches for my husband who will be home for lunch soon :)

  8. Beetroot roasted with olive oil and sea salt; I cut them into pieces about a half-inch on a side and bake at 350 for a half hour or so. Delicious and super easy...

  9. It is a terrible time for you but I am sure it will pass. Mine was worse actually, being a working mom, I had to join office when my child was 9 months old..
    My beetroot recipe which I am also carrying in tiffin today is a simple and healthy one:
    Take 2 beetroots, peel, cut in two and boil or bake in oven so they are cooked. Then grate them in a bowl and add yougart(about 1/2 kg, adjust according to taste, the final product should be free flowing consistency), two green chillies minced and salt according to taste. Also, add one spoon minced garlic to it. Mix all the ingredients with a whisk.

    The dish is called beetroot raita and can be had as a side dish with rice or chappati.

  10. I love grating fresh beetroot on my sandwiches or cruskits with some ham and avocado xo

  11. Hi Kate. I'm the same every first-day-back after holidays. I find myself wandering around the house totally at a loss. Even these days it's still the same. I hope you found something to distract you and best wishes for the girls at school this year. My youngest started high school this year too (but up here it's year 8). I love beetroot - those photos are gorgeous... they make me want to cook some right now and eat it fresh :) Kx

  12. I so know that feeling! I was studying when my two were small and so by the time it was school time, especially after the Big Six Week break, ( it wasn't necessarily always a summer break, being in the UK), I could refocus on my studies but it was always tinged with the sadness of silence!

    It does get better!

  13. I know that it is hard when your daily routine is thrown overboard when people around you suddenly are gone. When my mother died (I know, in no way (thank god) comparable to this but I saw/talked to her every day) I felt restless for most of the time. It was only after 2 weeks that I could be alone again (and let my BF go to his job once more)and it took me another week to just figure out what I should do (besides having the urge to call). So it's not really weird that you don't know what to do at the moment. I think that in about 6 months time, you sometimes wish that you had more time to get things done in school hours ;)


  14. Kate you are lucky to have had the best company for such a long time. It's going to take time to adjust, and it's totally normal. I was comforting a teary Mum who returned from maternity leave today, having left her 9 month old in day care for the first time. It wrenches our heart when we have to be separated from them. It's not easy. Keep busy, and spend some time with your farmer boy when they are at school.

  15. oh that eerie quiet when no kids are at home is something I'm not used to either. My son is at school and now with my daughter at kinder there will be large chunks where I'll have a quiet home. I hope to be productive, enjoy solitude and feel at peace with doing not much...but having been a SAHM for seven years it's not that hard to adjust so quick. Oh do take care and enjoy those Wednesday the preppies have off!!

  16. I know that quiet, it was so quiet todayi could hear the birds again and I missed that but. Missed the chatter of Miss M more, but little R has started giggling and cooing and it is the sweetest of sounds ... The week is too long, the little ones should have Wednesday off until 3rd class. X

  17. Kate - I love your blog. Thankyou for making me think differently. Or for helping me see things from another perspective perhaps. I sent my first off to prep last week and am sooooo excited about his day off tomorrow. His buddy is going to ask for the day off too!!!! He must be exhausted looking after my gorgeous bundle of energy!!!! Live in the moment, that's all we can hope for. Can't wait to buy your book and to hear about all your new adventures this year.
    Melanie xo

  18. I had my six year old Grand daughter for most of this summer . When she left it felt very empty . I spent the day sorting out her crayons and drawings and making her dollhouse look nice for the next visit . They leave a big hole for such small people .

  19. what am I doing
    pickling walnuts!

  20. Oh Kate you poor love! I am two years away from being in the same boat and already dreading it!
    Our fav salad is a beetroot one. Toast pecan nuts in maple syrup and olive oil. Roast cubed sweet potato and beetroot. Mix with the pecans and some feta and drizzle with balsamic - so good that there are NEVER leftovers!

  21. I just started wondering today how I will feel when all three of my girls are at school (now aged 4, 2.5 and 11 months). They are my identity in a way and I am sure I will also feel lost. I don't want them to grow up!! suz - a new follower.

  22. Ah, my little man started school in September, so now they both go off in the morning to have adventures without me. It was a bit weird at first, but now I'm back to feeling like there aren't enough hours in the day again. Enjoy this empty period as it will soon become overwhelmingly over crowded. If it makes any difference I think we miss them more than they miss us.

  23. I made beetroot and eggplant chutney yesterday. I winged it but there are recipes on the net. Some have tart apples in them. Mine was a little bit too vinegary even for me so at last minute I stirred in chopped dates.

    My boys are now adults with children of their own, but i remember feeling supplanted by "Miss."

  24. Oh Kate...I feel the empty too...mister 3 is my only lad left at home with Mr 5 having just started prep and mister 7 being, well a mister 7...when school went back last week, it was just mister 3 and I which was just ace...then he got occupied...and I got lonely...they weren't here, wouldn't be for a few hours yet...just me and one litt let bean...it was hard, I felt so empty...I've never hung on to mister 3 so much...I'm sure he was over me by mid morning...with advice from thegourmetgirlfriend I'm taking it slow and doing all those thing I never usually get to do...though they just don't seem as important now...this too will pass I'm sure, we just have to surround ourselves with fun things, pretty hooky or sticky things...and baked goods like it's the middle of winter...much love to you and yours...it will all be okay xoxox

  25. I love quiet and redbeets! Love your blog.

  26. Oh dear! I have always been a loner so noise makes me edgy, lol! Not having children... I can only guess at the emptiness you must be feeling right now, kind of surreal?! I have felt that hole when dear friends have moved away but I'm sure it is not as strong as what you must feel now! But my friend, it is a new chapter in your life and you must pick up your pen and begin writing it...it will alright!!! :D
    Giant hugs from New England,
    Beth P

  27. You get used to it eventually.
    Do you know what I do, in those quiet empty times, I do something indulgent, like knit, or crochet or read. I do something for myself and I try to enjoy it (and not feel guilty).
    It's hard watching your kids grow and move on, but it's also amazing watching them become who they are.
    But I still have it, when I see mothers with little ones, that I feel a little lost. I loved being a mother of small children.....

  28. It is hard to ajust when they all go to school, my suggestions would be to use the time doing things that you can't involve the kids in, also prepare for when they come home by baking and having a special afternoon tea or go for an after school picnic. You can also help out at the school, schools are always looking for parent helpers. xxBrenda

  29. Your beetroot is beautiful!
    Hope you empty feeling is filled soon xxx

  30. My baby just started prep, and my eldest year 7. I'm wondering why I can't seem to settle and I find myself lingering at school in the mornings and heading over early in the afternoons hoping for an extra glimpse or a little wave. Wise mothers around me tell me it's normal, it's okay and that it will take a while. There's a bit of grieving to be done, and a whole new way of life to settle into. For now, I'm going to give in to it, not put pressure on myself and let equilibrium reestablish itself. Hope it works out okay for you too.

  31. Hi Kate,

    I feel exactly the same. Little B started school last week but only 1 half day. I am so proud and excited for him but Monday and Tuesday this week I felt restless and the quiet/silence was deafening. I couldnt really settle down to do anything. Busied myself cooking Monday and wandered yesterday. Am loving today as he is home again and it feels more "normal".

    I've started writing a to do list to do during his school hours - vegie garden, crochet, reading :-).

  32. Funny how we can be strangers, miles away yet feel close to a mum!
    i have 3 boys under 5, my oldest was struck down with a 40 degree temp on monday...yes MONDAY... and nothing will touch it... it is quiet here...but eery scarey yucky quiet...
    Quietness is a funny thing...
    Maybe it tunes us into hearing things we need to... that have been missing.

  33. i reckon make a list of all the things you'd like to get done now you have some time and just try and tick some of them off each week! they could be things that need doing as well as things you want to do- definitely include lots of wants (how about taking yourself to the movies in the middle of the day just because you can?!) it's all too easy to fill the days with chores (they are never ending after all), but after giving children your all-day-every-day for many years, it's probably time to enjoy a little bit for yourself!

  34. Hmmmm... Is that Kate talking? I have a very solid feeling that you will find LOTS todo and soon embrace the quiet.

    Best to your little new starter too. It begins!!! x

  35. Damn, I missed the beetroots!I could have made my roast vegie salad, with roasted vegies and fetta, roasted seeds in tamari and loads of leafy greens!
    It's amazing how your speak for so many with your ponderings in this post.
    after so many years, I reckon it rightly might take some getting your new routine in place.
    go gently!

  36. I was only blessed with one child and she was went off to school last year while I literally rattled around this big and very empty house :(
    I gave myself time to deal with her absence, I spent a week sewing, painting, crafting and just being. I took long coffee dates and I found myself.

    This year is My time to make the most of it. Im studying, sewing, working, being and creating and Im smiling. I have the luxury to listen to MY music or relish the silence.

    you will find a way, but my advice is just be; for as long as you need to be.

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