K.I.S.S.: One of the best-known acronyms. I prefer its unembellished form sans the second S, i.e. Keep. It. Simple. It was with this mindset we returned home from our road trip and set about the closing days of 2022 and vision for the new year.

Our K.I.S. framework was distilled from 2022 conversational post-mortems with friends and family around what didn’t and did work over the past year… initial enthusiasm to embrace all and sundry opportunities upon being released from the tethers of restrictive COVID-19 lifestyle at best unsustainable and at worst counterproductive in the long-term vs occasional nostalgia for those isolated days weeks where nothing much happened at all; and other discussions between the G.O. and me while we were travelling about things we missed when from away from home and appreciated most upon our return, and what the complexion of 2023 might be… already feeling effects of cost-of-living increases, risk of ongoing COVID-19 variants, lingering aversion to large group gatherings, public indoor spaces and signing up for too many commitments too far ahead of time… habitually accompanied by reference to the weather forecast; a mindset reinforced by recent years beset with bushfire, flood events and conditions not necessarily typical of seasonal expectations.

Having talked-the-talk, we continue our life-as-usual walk-the-walk into 2023 with what we hope is a manageable balance of homelife-responsibilities-appointments-activities-events but open to possibilities filtered through the lens of what constitutes la dolce vita for us.

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”
― Clare Boothe Luce

Most days I click a few photos as a form of day diary; some end up posted on Instagram @daleleelife101 with my favourite #LiveSimpleHomeMadeGrownLocalCreativeBetter hashtag. Others like these in no particular order from my camera roll lend themselves to food for blog post thought…

K.I.S: I love doing laundry. It’s my favourite kind of housework, and that tea towel is in constant use.
Seven years at Taylors Arm
K.I.S.: December 15. A small celebration for our 7-year anniversary of moving from the city to live fulltime at Taylors Arm.
K.I.S.: Books. Hardcopy or electronic. Not fussy.
K.I.S.: L to R. Begin Christmas food prep on Christmas Eve. Start with a Bloody Mary to go with breakfast. Smells a lot like Christmas thanks to @beulznewlz. Christmas morning is all about the dog.
K.I.S.: The beach. Christmas Day.
Flying fox habitat
K.I.S.: Focus on the positive. Our surrounds are currently habitat for thousands of native flying foxes which are necessary pollinators. Ignore the negative. Numbers are increasing, adding to noise, smell and neighbourhood discontent.
Feathered visitors
K.I.S.: Focus on the positive. Our surrounds also are habitat for many bird species including these cute Tawny Frogmouths in the garden between Christmas and New Year.
Collage_In My Kitchen
K.I.S.: #inmykitchen: Bottom L to R clockwise. Festive leftovers mean not much meal prep between Christmas Day and New Year; homegrown tomatoes, sourdough bread, yoghurt, water kefir, rice pudding; Adam Liaw’s shepherd’s pie with potato gems is genius; zucchini slice with added veggies is my go-to lunch as Christmas leftovers dwindle; making yoghurt on a sunny corner of the verandah.
OzGREEN_Save Nambucca River Community Field Day
K.I.S.: The Nambucca Valley OzGREEN Resilient Communities program and my volunteer facilitator role completed in October 2022 but I’m looking forward to being part of some great OzGREEN events happening in 2023 like this Save Nambucca River Community Field Day.
Carers NSW_Link cafe
K.I.S.: For 2023 as well as attending monthly carer peer support coffee catchups, I’m a volunteer facilitator… first job was to reconnoiter a new venue… I got this! The Link Cafe, Toormina.
K.I.S.: Flowers. Dahlias and hydrangeas over the fence from #bestneighbourever and I brought one of the few summer roses #inmygarden indoors out of the heat.
Collage_In My Garden
K.I.S.: Early December #inmygarden looks sad after three weeks absence. Focus on the positive. It will grow again.
K.I.S.: Early January #inmygarden… wicking beds doing ok after tlc + rain; except the kale… some-hungry-thing stripped it back to a stalk… again.
Collage_In My Garden Shed Project
K.I.S.: Latest project #inmygarden to use the space beside the shed to grow more edibles.
Collage_In My Garden Project Potatoes
K.I.S.: The G.O. makes another attempt to grow spuds #inmygarden.
K.I.S.: Growing artichoke flowers for the bees #inmygarden.
K.I.S.: Focus on the positive. Admire flowers #inmygarden. Ignore weeds until it rains, the ground softens up, and the weather cools off.
K.I.S.: More plants #inmygarden means the chance of growing more food… pumpkin planted along the fence with the ginger and turmeric.
K.I.S.: Things that grow well #inmygarden… Wellington Wonder climbing green beans, dragon fruit, choko.
K.I.S.: Plant veggies that can handle the heat in wicking beds along the west side #inmygarden… zucchini, watermelon, eggplant, climbing green beans.
K.I.S.: Small fruiting eggplant varieties yield quicker than large eggplants #inmygarden.
K.I.S.: Always succession plant cucumbers #inmygarden… as they tend to be susceptible to leaf mildew-blight-fungus-virus-wilt-spots here in the subtropics. These are recovering from our 3-week absence and have so far yield just one cucumber, so at the moment I’m fortunate to buy local grown from @dollysrun.
K.I.S.: Comfrey #inmygarden… beautiful, useful and self-propagating.
K.I.S.: When you have a small space, fill it up… #inmygarden #urbanpermaculture philosophy.
K.I.S.: Why do I go to the time and effort to grow edibles #inmygarden? ‘Cos what I grow tastes better and it’s handy being able to walk into the backyard to pick dinner when the shop is a 60 kilometre roundtrip.
K.I.S.: #inmygarden #smallharvest is better than no harvest.
K.I.S.: Family. Visit from granddaughter and her partner… making the acquaintance of her first cow @dollysrun, and our traditional stroll to the river and accompanying family photo.
Ball therapy
K.I.S.: Is a ball, as far as Diesel’s concerned.

“The philosopher Diogenes was eating bread and lentils for supper.
He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king.
Said Aristippus, ‘If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.’
Replied Diogenes, ‘Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king’.”
― Anthony de Mello

20 thoughts on “K.I.S.

  1. I always love looking at your photos, Dale. KIS is a good philosophy to live by. It is easy to slide into complications and adding more, until that becomes overwhelming.So yes to ignoring the weeds and enjoying the flowers and produce. ~hugs~

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Thank you for the visual nostalgia trip to the mid north coast. I’m getting pretty excited about making the trip now (flooding permitting, of course… there’s always something, isn’t there). When we’re there, I need to beg for a comfrey cutting/root to take home as well as the bean seeds, to benefit the chooks as well as the compost. And who was it who said that there’s no such thing as weeds, just plants in the wrong place?

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      1. Please accept some of our floodwater! I splash ankle deep through the torrent running through our back yard on my way to feed the chooks. Keeping their feet dry has become an impossible challenge. At least the chook house and the paved yard in front are still out of the water…


  3. I like the K.I.S principle too. There’s a lot of life experience distilled in that saying. Ditto with ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’, and my personal favourite as I age: ‘do what you can while you can’. We waste so much of our lives stressing about things we literally can’t control. So long as we’re doing the best we can in the circumstances, that’s enough.

    Liked by 1 person

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