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Spring Greens, Kindness, and A Stove Named Rosie

It’s one of those funny sorts of days where I’m perfectly happy but feel all sorts of emotional, getting weepy at the drop of a hat. I know it’s because of all the kindness I’ve received and observed this week. It never fails to turn my heart to mush and make me a bit soppy.

The refugee situations in Europe and Australia are breaking my heart. I wish I was rich enough and powerful enough to find everyone a safe place to live and grow and thrive. But I’m so thankful for those who are doing everything they can to help and comfort and support. If this situation is on your heart too, here are 5 practical ways you can help refugees, starting today.

I’ve seen kindness close at home too. Yesterday my friend Oma spent the whole day with me showing me how to use her feather plucker, how to butcher ducks and chooks to get the most use out of each bird, and shared recipes for corned meat, sauerkraut with black pepper and caraway seeds, and crispy fried duck pressed under a brick. Then she gave me a stove. A stove!!! Do you remember I told you my stove and oven (and electric frying pan and spice grinder and bread maker) konked out last month? Bit by bit we’ve been replacing the appliances, but a stove is a big one and had to wait a while. Well, Oma told me, “I’ve got two and I don’t need two so one is for you.” I cried. Such generosity and thoughtfulness. It’s the loveliest little oven, just enough to bake a loaf of bread, a roast, or a pan of cookies, with two burners on top for soups, boiling potatoes, and frying eggs. I love it. And have named her Rosie.

It was such a beautiful day at Oma’s, working in the shed out of the wind, thoroughly enjoying the novelty of lush green grass and wildflowers after a dry and withering winter. As we plucked and gutted and carved and chatted, we were able to talk about so many good things in our lives: rain for our gardens, chooks laying eggs again, friends who are really there for each other.

When you move to a new country, it takes a while to find your place, to build the relationships that will be the ones you depend on when life goes wonky. And today I’m quite overwhelmed with gratitude for the lovely people in my life here. People I can ask for help when I don’t know what to do, who can ring me for a ride somewhere or to pick something up or to lend a hand in a project they’ve got going on. We’re there for each other and it is a lovely, deeply comforting feeling. It’s good to not be alone in this world.

Earlier this week I got to spend time with my friend, Kathy. Several months ago she invited me to join her gardening group and we’ve become dear friends since then. She grows and sells seedlings and plants and always has something new to try, like Egyptian mint. I love going over to her place for the afternoon. A “quick visit” always turns into hours of animated talking about herbs and veggies, happy perusing of seed collections, and sipping wine while catching up on all the ins and outs of our daily lives. We’re always swapping plants and seeds and sharing things we’ve grown, baked, or brewed. This week I brought her goat manure, black violas, pansies, bush lemons, and spelt flour, and she sent me home with celery, mugwort, horse manure, and a stack of cool new seeds: apple cucumber, jam melon, Amish paste tomatoes, Italian striped zucchini’s and other treasures. If you’re on the Southern Downs of Queensland and want healthy, hearty plants for your garden, pop over to Facebook and join her group: Pots of Herbs and Punnets of Seedlings.

Today is sunny and quiet and peaceful and I’m exhausted after a very busy week. 🙂 So I’m taking the day to potter, to rest, to do the things that restore my body and spirit: reading, naps, sorting seed packets, making soup, and chats with far-away-but-dearly-loved friends who always give me courage and inspire me to press on with hope.

What kindnesses have you experienced this week? xo

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Oana | Adore Foods - So happy to hear you have such lovely people around you 🙂 I love reading your posts, especially whose when you are sharing bits and pieces from around your farm…I am so missing working on my garden these days.

Rachel Friesen - This weekend we sodded our back yard. It’s the tail end of a landscaping project funded in part by the bank of Dad. A friend with experience in landscaping helped us all afternoon and into the evening, even though we’d been basically out of touch for years. My in-laws took the kids for a day and half to keep them out from underfoot, and took them out for back-to-school haircuts and shoes. We came home from church on Sunday with a bag of whole wheat flour from another friend, just because they had extra to spare.
I try to remain aware how much our standard of living relies on this level of community: a circle of friends and family who can help in a pinch and know that we’ll do them same. Learning more of Syria’s refugee crisis brings it into sharp relief. The world is not a meritocracy. Thank you for sharing ways to help!

Hotly Spiced - How wonderful to be given an oven! You must be feeling very blessed. I would love to see the crispy duck pressed with a brick! And it seem sthat you are finding your place in your country setting; the friendships you have made sound very precious xx

Coffee and Crumpets - You always make soup and bread sound so good that I want to run off and make some…even though it is over 80F here!
True friends, the ones that you write about, are the best.
Enjoy your week, Krista xx

budgetjan - Shifting to a new country and finding a new support network would be very challenging. Speaking the same language would be so helpful. You are such a giving person Krista, that I am sure there are lots of people willing and ready to help you!

Jackie Smith - I could relate to your observation about feeling rooted to a new place. It is important to have friends and the ‘go to’ kind when in need of a smile or to borrow a hammer. Luckily we have found a few in Greece and have a solid base from which I hope our circle of friends will continue to grow. Happy week ahead~

Krista - It sure is, @thesurprisedgourmet:disqus Definitely my therapy of choice. 🙂

TheSurprisedGourmet - Krista, working outdoors is a peaceful way to relaxing. I like the idea of working in the garden and around herbs.

Krista - Thanks so much, @disqus_yFC0ih80l9:disqus 🙂 So glad you’re in this world, in my world! xo

Kathy McDonald - Have a lovely restful day dear Krista. It is a joy to have meet you too

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