We finally did it!

Migrating to Seeking Sanctuary

Hi All,

Well, we finally managed to nail down our lecturer to show us how to upload the new websites that we created to our new self-hosted site and The Road to Serendipities new sister blog is up and running. I just posted the very first post over at http://theroadtoserendipity.com/. Stevie-boy has a website of his own now and would love to see you if you would like to drop in and give it a bit of a look-see at http://focus.theroadtoserendipity.com/

I am going to leave The Road to Serendipity here and will not retire it. I spent the better part of 4 years here and a lot of water has gone under the bridge woven in between these pages. Life has been very different this year and Stevie-boy and I (and the dogs) have had to adapt to a different routine, a lot of questions about what direction we are heading in and just how we are going to get there but one thing remains steadfast, our love for Serendipity Farm and our desire to do everything that we can to create an edible food forest here and to live a simple and sustainable life following permaculture principles and ethics on our little patch of soil here in Tasmania.

I hope that you will head on over to continue on where we left off. I would love to see you there. I have a lot of empty pages that need filling, but I also know that I am going to have a lot of fun filling them. I won’t be posting here again so to my dear old faithful Road to Serendipity, “So long, and thank’s for all the fish” and to my dear constant readers, we have some awesome adventures to share, lets be off! :)

Holy macaroni I am almost famous!

Hi All,

Just sipping my tea while I read my RSS Feed Reader can make me excited. I just had to share this. I posted a comment on this ladies blog about how I make my non-dairy kefir and she ran with it! Aside from crediting me as “Karan” my method of feeding non-dairy kefir has now gone mainstream! I hope this gives vegans and people who can’t consume dairy for whatever reason hope that they, too, can eat this valuable food and gain the benefits :)

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/non-dairy-kefir-wants-a-date/

And here is the original post that got me commenting and that spawned the post above. Narf7 IS that masked “Karan” ;)

http://www.culturedfoodlife.com/cashew-kefir/

Sorry to love you and leave you but I just had to share my brief brush with fame. The new Website (tenuously called “Seeking Sanctuary” but open to suggestions) is being formulated at the moment as we are both on holidays from TAFE and working hard to get our sites (Stevie-boy has one as well) up and running in the new school term on our own server. I really like my new site and hope that you will all like it as well and as soon as it is up and running and we are ready to transition “The Road to Serendipity” to it’s new home you will all be the very first to know :). Have a lovely day wherever you are and whatever you are doing today folks :)

 

Time is fleeting

Hi All,

“Let’s do the time-warp again…!” Err…maybe not! Who has time to do the Time Warp eh? Certainly not old narf7! I have just dropped in for a very quick visit to share an awesome website that I found recently and clamped down into my RSS Feed Reader as its pure gold. For those of you dear constant readers (who are still reading my posts) who garden, this is MAGIC! Go here, revel in this generous souls amazing adventures into creating awesomeness for the garden from bugger all and the smelly bits that would otherwise get shuffled shamefully into the bin or hoarded behind the shed and buried on a moonlit night furtively (outside the compound so that Earl couldn’t dig them up and bring them into bed as his trophies…sigh…). I bring you “The Unconventional Farmer”!

http://theunconventionalfarmer.com/

That’s pretty much all I have time for at the moment folks. Life is crazy and time is fleeting. Sanctuary has gone over to the white fly’s and rats (for now) but no possums have invaded so I am calling that a sort of win. Stevie-boy and I have been hauling trailer loads of wood up from where they were cut and dried and stashing them under the deck for the promise of a cold winter. No log splitting for Stevie-boy this winter :). The front “garden” (jungle?) has run amok…even more amok than usual thanks to our 3 weeks worth of summer that went straight into winter and TAFE has seen us cramming so much information into our middle-aged heads that we are wondering if they can hold it all.

Pretty soon “The Road to Serendipity” is going to move to her new forever home. Stevie-boy, in all of his newfound wisdom (that man is a technical maestro) signed us up to self-host and as part of that dealeo, we get as many websites as we want. I just want “1” and so we bought the domain name “The Road to Serendipity” and sometime soon, when the whitefly have shuffled off, the rats have all been eviscerated by the feral cats and life has settled into shuffling from the warmth of Brunhilda to the frigid cold of the car for our 30 minute trip into the city for school, we will move the blog from WordPress.com to WordPress.org. I will let the three of you who are still following know well in advance.

I hope you all had a lovely Easter and that at least some of you got to put your feet up and give thanks. Catch you soon and please make time to visit that site if you garden in the slightest. You won’t be sorry :)

A pop up post from Serendipity Farm

Hi All

So what’s new? I have most probably missed the rise and fall of nations while I have been beavering away. I know that in the time since we last spoke, two of the most influential, larger than life people have passed away. I am talking about Mr Leonard Nimoy and Mr Terry Pratchett. They have both had a huge influence on our modern lives and culture and their passing is a big reminder to live each day as it comes and to make the most out of our lives. “DEATH COMES TO US ALL” but some of us aren’t quite ready yet…

And so onto the reason why narf has ducked in from her crazy world of attempting to meet all deadlines at once and ending up falling over her own feet most of the time. Well, I received the final parcel of bunting from a wonderful lady called Nanette who is a fellow Aussie and I just HAD to scrape the time up to thank her from the bottom of her heart for her most inspiring bunting/hanging that she sent to me. Stevie-boy has been bribed with an extra 30 minutes in bed if he will walk Earl today for me so that I can spend the hour tapping away here feverishly attempting to find the words to thank not only Nanette, but to every kind soul out there who has both sent bunting and remained a dear constant reader of mine for all of these years.

Nanette is a perfect example of “like minds finding each other”. That’s the best bit about social media. We can find each other. We might be slightly skewed. We might have some pretty crazy ideas. We might howl at the moon occasionally (or maybe that’s just me…) BUT we do have little moments of resonation with other souls out there in the blogosphere and the amazing friendships that can spring up are nothing short of incredible. (Narf pauses to multi-task the heck out of a bowl of hot porridge with brown sugar and coconut cream…Note to self…”you might want to wipe that off the keyboard, I don’t think that they are designed for deluges of sugary coconut cream…aHEM!)

I carefully unwrapped Nanettes bunting and was again reminded of just how talented people are. The attention to detail, the ric-rac, the beautiful bead strand, the fact that it wasn’t bunting and was a lovely wall hanging that I could easily relocate to my craft room and the fact that Nanette had found something that resonated with her, from my knock-about pages here were simultaneously humbling and uplifting. When someone that you don’t know gifts you something the modern approach is to look for the gimic. “What do they want?” We are conditioned to be suspicious but sometimes it is as simple as someone thanking you for your words and for taking part in something that stretches the world over, a little pop up gallery of sorts that we can all take part in.

I am SO behind in sending out reciprocal items. I have a wonderful square/squares planned for Ms Snail, and Stevie-boy has been AWOL from his shed for so long that the rats have moved in! Aside from a quick dose of something nefarious that rats adore but that will render it rat free, he has an order for Ms Marlene that absolutely positively MUST be achieved. I can only apologise for how slow my reciprocation is to those who are about to receive. Our lives are now manic. We spend a fair bit of time AWOL and the bits that we are here tend to be swallowed up trying to patch together Serendipity Farm and do homework. Don’t get me wrong, we LOVE it, but that most glorious and languid stretch of endless time that I seemed to have last year (and took most SHAMELESSLY for granted) has up and buggered off. I am left stretched thin in its wake, but only metaphorically. I have bulked out to attempt to turn myself into an anchor and alas, time is much like Maggie Thatcher and “shall not be stopped”. It does make it a bit harder for Earl to drag me but he is bulking up too so we are bound to meet in the middle of the equation at some point. A result of physics I am assured.

So I hate to love you and leave you so quickly but here are a few photos of Nanette’s gorgeous wall hanging. I adore it Nanette and thank you from the bottom of my heart for your wonderful kindness in sending it to me. That photo of them all fluttering in the sunshine is planned for this weekend if it doesn’t rain. I just checked the weather report and it said “sunny” so fingers crossed folks! Till then, here’s a BIG hug from all of us here at Serendipity Farm and catch you on the flip side :)

 

What have we here?

What have we here?

Isn't this gorgeous? :)

Isn’t this gorgeous? :)

I love everything about this lovely handmade bright hanging. You certainly got the brief Ms Nanette. There is nothing narf loves more than natural fibres, bright colours and hand made items. I get the feeling we are both hippies of sorts :)

I love everything about this lovely handmade bright hanging. You certainly got the brief Ms Nanette. There is nothing narf loves more than natural fibres, bright colours and hand made items. I get the feeling we are both hippies of sorts :)

Check out this lovely hand sewing and ric-rac.

Check out this lovely hand sewing and ric-rac.

And I got my very own strand of loveliness :)

And I got my very own strand of loveliness :)

And last, but by NO means least, look at this gorgeous fabric! You got me in a nutshell Nanette :)

And last, but by NO means least, look at this gorgeous fabric! You got me in a nutshell Nanette :)

One way to stop Earl from pinching your toys is to drop them into your water bowl as you take a drink. Works EVERY to a hydrophobic Mr E ;)

One way to stop Earl from pinching your toys is to drop them into your water bowl as you take a drink. Works EVERY to a hydrophobic Mr E ;)

Some of a great BIG bag of gorgeous fresh hazelnuts gifted to me by Glad, our elderly next door neighbour's daughter Wendy

Some of a great BIG bag of gorgeous fresh hazelnuts gifted to me by Glad, our elderly next door neighbour’s daughter Wendy

The few moments that I have to myself (HA!) get used to feverishly crochet. I have been making "things" for a friends baby sister. Here are two pairs of Mary Janes. Aren't they cute? Why did I make 2 pairs? Because I didn't read the pattern properly and ended up making 2 left shoes that's why ;)

The few moments that I have to myself (HA!) get used to feverishly crochet. I have been making “things” for a friends baby sister. Here are two pairs of Mary Janes. Aren’t they cute? Why did I make 2 pairs? Because I didn’t read the pattern properly and ended up making 2 left shoes that’s why ;)

And lastly, here's Brittany. Brittany used to have lots of hair as you can see in this image. She now looks a whole lot like Sinnead Oconor thanks to taking part in the "World's Greatest Shave" event to raise money for cancer research. Aside from donating money I donated this rather fetching dead fish hat that I adapted from a knitted pattern and customised the derriere out of for her soon to be bald and MOST cold head. She loved it so much she wore it into the city :)

And lastly, here’s Brittany. Brittany used to have lots of hair as you can see in this image. She now looks a whole lot like Sinnead Oconor thanks to taking part in the “World’s Greatest Shave” event to raise money for cancer research. She raised $1500 which is a fantastic effort. I decided to make this rather fetching dead fish hat that I adapted from a knitted pattern and customised the derriere out of for her soon to be bald and MOST cold head. She loved it so much she wore it into the city :)

I am currently working on a baby snuggle, which is the baby equivalent of a beer can holder as our 3 weeks of summer seems to have turned straight into winter STAT. I will share it when I finish it (soon) as I also adapted it to crochet from a knitted pattern. I am getting the hang of this cross culture thing and am enjoying plagiarising the heck out of knitting patterns ;). Please note, to all of the plagiarisee’s, narf is NOT selling them so good luck with the lawyers ;). Now, off to draw some sketches for a website our class is working on. We get to do actual “jobs” in this course and have an actual “client”…how exciting! Not sure that the “Tasmanian Aero Club” is going to be able to handle the “AMAZING” website that we are all going to cobble together, or if their server will be able to handle the plethora of whiz-bang components but heck, ya gotta try don’t you! ;). Back to the world of HTML5, CSS, Coding, Div’s and all things digital for moi. Have the best day folks and if you have leisure time, enjoy the HECK out of it because you just never know when it might evaporate!

Quick but joyous post before I have to dash off

Hi All,

Did you miss me? I am not vain enough to think that most of you did. One less blog to read, one less thing to do in our busy days. I never really ‘got’ how busy days could be till we started our new course and were suddenly hijacked from our delicious lazy days spent beavering away at the PC in our sweats. Now we have to looks somewhat presentable (although ‘presentable’ in our class of youngsters is an entirely different thing to what it was back last century when I was 17…) and what was once a leisurely 4 hours spent wiling away the hours from 3am to 7am when Stevie-boy would slowly open his eyes and would languidly brush away the dogs from his countenance and casually gather together some form of clothing, wander out to the kitchen and sip his first mug of coffee with slow but deliberate joy, is now a manic race to the finish line…

I am still getting up at 3am but I get a very strict 1 ½ hours to do ALL of the things…that’s 1 ½ hours for all of my RSS Feed Reader, answering comments, reading Facebook and anything else that used to be a slow progression and is now a crazy connection of synapses with “what is the MOST important?!” often uppermost in my mind. At 4.30am it is off out into the darkness to water Sanctuary via torchlight. It’s romantic aside from the moths that attempt self-immolation from the moment the torch goes on till when it gets hurried out to wake Stevie-boy to get trotting on our still dark, early morning dog trot. Back in, scoff some breakfast whilst watching the clock, check we have everything for our day and out the door not looking back because we would see this…

Sad and pathetic dog number 1

Sad and pathetic dog number 1

Even sadder and more pathetic dog number 2

Even sadder and more pathetic dog number 2

Life is SO very different to what it was last year but it is also incredibly rewarding now. We are both loving our new class and although the routine and rigmarole it takes to deliver our bums onto our seats in the morning might be a little more crazy than we would like it, once they are on the seat we are most wonderfully engaged. I didn’t think I would enjoy this course. I didn’t think I would be able to learn the software or handle being back in a classroom situation. I was wrong. I love this course and everything that we are learning and the promise of a nice new self-hosted, entirely crafted by “Narf7 and Stevie-boy1” at the end of our year is both exciting and delicious. Watch this space folks, we will be off on a new adventure soon!

I got a most intriguing parcel in the mail yesterday. When I saw the post code I knew who it was from and got highly excited. Ms Alys from Gardeningnirvana blogging fame had sent me some bunting! From the moment I got home I was savouring this parcel. Ms Alys takes mail and makes it UBER special. Every single component of this delightful parcel was stamped with her ubiquitous style and flair. Gorgeous green, everything complementing everything else, perfectly hand made or salvaged and just plain and simply delightful. Alys, you are a shining star of a human being. Taking the time to print out, not only those gorgeous printed cloth panels on that perfect burlap bunting, but to also take images from our blog and use them in an explanatory notelet was perfection to the max. I think you should do this for a living. You are so incredibly good at it. You made me feel incredibly special and most wonderfully wrapped up with your care and attention. That is a most special gift. Never lose it Ms Alys, the world needs more people like you :). And here, for your viewing pleasure, are the contents of my most wonderful and delightful parcel…

This is what I saw when I opened up the parcel bag

This is what I saw when I opened up the parcel bag

Scrumptious, perfectly colour coordinated, eclectic and plain outright delicious!

Scrumptious, perfectly colour coordinated, eclectic and plain outright delicious!

Check out the detail that Ms Alys went to...

Check out the detail that Ms Alys went to…

On both sides...

On both sides…

Just look at these jewelesque bottle caps from California!

Just look at these jewelesque bottle caps from California!

That glorious gold "Ted's" root beer cap is my equivalent of a 10oz figgy fizz...I need to have a lay down...

That glorious gold “Ted’s” root beer cap is my equivalent of a 10oz figgy fizz…I need to have a lay down…

If you aren’t from last century, didn’t watch Sesame Street before it went to the dark side or just can’t remember, check out this clip to see what I am talking about with the ’10oz figgy fizz’ quote…

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Ls2vNfQxyc

Gorgeous printed bunting

Gorgeous printed bunting

Check out the amazing detail on the printed cloth

Check out the amazing detail on the printed cloth

Each image carefully selected from past blog posts on The road to Serendipity and most perfectly paired together to give the very best representation of what we are all about and our ethos :)

Each image carefully selected from past blog posts on The road to Serendipity and most perfectly paired together to give the very best representation of what we are all about and our ethos :)

I am positively gobsmacked at how lovely this all looks in the very last of our errant summer light.  LOVE YOU Ms Alys :)

I am positively gobsmacked at how lovely this all looks in the very last of our errant summer light. LOVE YOU Ms Alys :)

Lastly, this wasn't in the package. I made this for a classmates new baby sister. No-one likes "normal" baby hats right? Ella's mum is going to tie her dummy to that long tail. Dual purpose hattage, my favourite kind ;)

Lastly, this wasn’t in the package. I made this for a classmates new baby sister. No-one likes “normal” baby hats right? Ella’s mum is going to tie her dummy to that long tail. Dual purpose hattage, my favourite kind ;)

Catch you all later, I have to race up to Sanctuary and get watering before Stevie-boy gets back with Earl. Bezial and I are having a rest of walking today. Have a fantastic time till we meet again :)

 

Evolving…

Hi All,

What’s this? Didn’t narf just say “I won’t be regularly blogging for a while, and here she is blogging?” well yes, indeed, I am. You see I just had a little epiphany. I have been reading and digesting your comments about my rather hastily conceived blogging hiatus that I dumped on you last Wednesday. Life last week was past hectic and into crazyville and I was pruning away like mad to find a little bit of something normal to hang onto. We spent the weekend planning and prepping. We have lots of meals in the freezer, we have organised ourselves well, we are on top of it all and this morning I read a blog post by the always chic, ever interesting and often thought provoking Ms Cityhippfarmgirl who was the instigator of my blogging epiphany. She has been blogging for 5 years now (not much more than I have) and threw a word into the arena that gave me great pause for thought…

The other day I was feverishly crocheting a cover for a tablet that we purchased to support our latest study load. Stevie-boys twitchy fingertips had been all over it and if the FBI had have wanted a sample of his DNA they could have easily swiped it and had more than their fill. I was considering how to protect it from the bumps and knocks that seem to follow our chaotic life around at the same time as find an instant way to slither away those finger marks (no Stevie-boy DNA for YOU FBI! ;) ) and came up with the idea for a  crocheted cover (mainly because I can’t sew for toffeenuts…) Once it was finished I had to work out how to close it. I have NO idea how to put zips into things and even if I did, I didn’t have a zip, so that was out of the question. I ended up thinking “buttons” but all I had were some teeny tiny ones that would have required a shrew like sequence of them and nimble fingers to keep the cover closed and knowing how impatient Stevie-boy is I could see them being left undone and the tablet slipping out in transit or worse still, when the cover was held aloft like excalibar. What was a girl to do? “Hmmm…”

In the midst of my feverish musing I suddenly remembered a Pinterest pin that I had shuffled into my ‘Crafty Bollocks’ board and I went hunting. I finally found it and gleefully started hooking. The pattern was for lovely eccentric crocheted buttons. As the wool that I had used to make the tablet cover was so very thick and chunky (double insulation for life’s bumps and knocks) the buttons ended up HUGE but who cares, they served a purpose and put a narfish seal of approval on the final result. I would love to share a photo of the cover with you all but it is 3.50am and Stevie-boy has sequestered both tablet and cover away somewhere and I don’t want to wake up the dogs and pique their early morning interest so you are just going to have to believe me that it is a. eccentric and b. serves the purpose. When I was making the buttons I immediately knew that I wanted to share the pattern. I wanted to tell everyone how to make them and how much fun it was to customise your own buttons and then suddenly I remembered “I am having a rest”…but you see I didn’t WANT to have a rest, I just wanted a bit of freedom to blog about what delighted me and what would be fun to share and THAT was my epiphany…

So I won’t be stopping blogging my dear constant readers. My knee-jerk reaction to almost drowning in C.H.A.N.G.E. which has always been my bugbear (what a magnificent word) and sticking point was to throw caution and all of my sheets to the wind and run around howling just before I sequestered myself under the bed with Earl at arms reach. I took all of your wonderful and most caring suggestions on board and my posts will be shorter and more to the point. When I have something that makes me “SQUEE!” with delight, I will share it. I can’t share my nectarines with you as they went in my mouth and I ate them but everything else you can consider fair game.

I want to thank Ms Cityhippyfarmgirl for giving me the most splendid and thoughtful epiphany. My word for this year is “Evolve”. And evolve, I shall! See you soon when I will most probably have something to get excited about and at least one photo to brighten it up a bit.

If you would like to have a go at making your own Squeealicious crochet covered buttons here is a very easy tutorial. There are many more out there but lazy old me just went with numero uno as it was a doddle.

http://www.annettepetavy.com/pages/en/newsletter/2012/10.html

 

UPDATE –

Stevie-boy is up now so I took a photo of the cover with the button sewn on it. I am imagining that your buttons will be a whole lot better than mine. I left the benchmark pretty low. I like people to feel good about themselves ;)

"Ta-DAH!" :)

“Ta-DAH!” :)

 

Here’s to simple pleasures

 

Hi All,

 

The older I get the more I become enamoured of simple pleasures. I got to skip my 5am walk with Earl this morning because we are going to take the dogs for a long walk later on today. I got to walk into my dark kitchen and put a gas flame on under my simple kettle. I got to pluck 2 tea bags (I like my tea strong) from my simple ceramic tea canister and place them in my big mug. I got the time to wait for the kettle to boil as I was loading up my RSS Feed Reader and going through the process of working out exactly where my mind was going to go this morning. I got the distinct pleasure of the scent of the promise of simple happiness as I poured the boiling water and my first mug of tea started to infuse. I decadently carried it over to my work station at 3am and settled down to start awakening my mind with possibilities, aided and abetted by the intensely heady but at the same time fundamentally basic simple pleasure of “tea”. At 5am I made myself another cup. My day can’t get much more luxurious and Bohemian than this.

Isn't this bunting AMAZING! Marlene sent it to me. She sent me 3 strings of bunting and a lovely card and I am completely and utterly in love with it! Along with the gorgeous bunting that Mommermum and Ms Pauline sent me and Sanctuary is going to look like a wonderful hippy bazaar :)

Isn’t this bunting AMAZING! Marlene sent it to me. She sent me 3 strings of bunting and a lovely card and I am completely and utterly in love with it! Along with the gorgeous bunting that Mommermum and Ms Pauline sent me and Sanctuary is going to look like a wonderful hippy bazaar :)

Isn't this little crocheted dragon magnificent? It was sent to me by Ms Snail. I have more than enough bunting to cover the front of Sanctuary and this little dragon makes me smile. Stevie-boy was born in the Chinese year of the dragon which makes this little fellow doubly special :)

Isn’t this little crocheted dragon magnificent? It was sent to me by Ms Snail. I have more than enough bunting to cover the front of Sanctuary and this little dragon makes me smile. Stevie-boy was born in the Chinese year of the dragon which makes this little fellow doubly special :)

Ms Snail also sent a wonderfully penned story about the birth of "Sanctuary" the dragon that gave us his full pedigree ;). I can't begin to thank all of my wonderful dear constant readers (and Mr Snail ;) ) who have contributed bunting, dragoons and pedigree to Serendipity Farm. You are all wonderful and we love the bones off you :)

Ms Snail also sent a wonderfully penned story about the birth of “Sanctuary” the dragon that gave us his full pedigree ;). I can’t begin to thank all of my wonderful dear constant readers (and Mr Snail ;) ) who have contributed bunting, dragoons and pedigree to Serendipity Farm. You are all wonderful and we love the bones off you :)

Isn't this picture of Max and Sam, Mr and Ms Snails babies gorgeous?

Isn’t this picture of Max and Sam, Mr and Ms Snails babies gorgeous?

I find that simple things are starting to make me smile more often. I love heading out into Sanctuary and noticing some new leaves or a slight blush on a tomato (ripening?!) or seeing that first tentative tendril of purest green emerging from a dormant seed. I love the possibilities that come from each new day. The first thing I do when I wake up is to say “Thank you God for another day”… the very next thing is “I hope I do something worthwhile with this one!” ;). Every day is a gift, a new chance to start again, to fix what you don’t like and to learn more about yourself and the world around you. Every day is another chance to explore and to evaluate and to measure and to infuse your senses in. The older I get the more aware I am becoming. What happened to that urgency where everything had to be done “STAT!” Since when did I start to pay attention to little details and take such pleasure in the small moments?

Earl taking in the view on a hot February day.

Earl taking in the view on a hot February day.

Stevie-boy took this photo of a gnarly old log. He thinks that it looks like "Rumplestiltskin" I think he has been into the cooking sherry! ;)

Stevie-boy took this photo of a gnarly old log. He thinks that it looks like “Rumplestiltskin” I think he has been into the cooking sherry! ;)

This little fellow was in a bag of dog toys that we bought this week to placate the boys and I couldn't bear to let Earl dismantle him. He is made of hand dyed fabric and will join the other rescued toys in Stevie-boys music room

This little fellow was in a bag of dog toys that we bought this week to placate the boys and I couldn’t bear to let Earl dismantle him. He is made of hand dyed fabric and will join the other rescued toys in Stevie-boys music room

I am just pouring my milk into that second luxurious cup of tea. Perfectly brewed this morning because I don’t have to rush or watch the clock…I can stretch my toes out under my lap blanket and I can take a few nice deep breaths. I can inhale that perfect aroma of fresh tea and know that all is right with my little corner of the world. If I had just one precious thing to give you all today it would be this perfect nugget of wisdom…find your pleasures in the simple things, that is where life is truly beautiful :)

Our girls out on "the range" free ranging

Our girls out on “the range” free ranging

3 Rocoto tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens) babies. I have more sprouting in the glasshouse but wanted to see if they would grow outside. They grow in temperate climates, they are perennial and they produce chillies that start out green and mild and progress through black and hot to red and very hot. You pick the colour and choose the heat. My kind of chilli!

3 Rocoto tree chilli (Capsicum pubescens) babies. I have more sprouting in the glasshouse but wanted to see if they would grow outside. They grow in temperate climates, they are perennial and they produce chillies that start out green and mild and progress through black and hot to red and very hot. You pick the colour and choose the heat. My kind of chilli!

What a lovely last paragraph? Today I am rushed off my feet! I got up later than I should have, I have roughly 40 minutes to race through my RSS Feed reader and stumble half asleep out into Sanctuary at 5am where I get to water in the dark with Stevie-boys torch wedged in a most determined manner between my teeth like I am pretending to be an overweight, middle aged female pirate with aspirations of slicing my possum foes in ‘twain’ with bright L.E.D. light. I am attempting to lose a bit of excess adipose tissue. I don’t know about you but where does this stuff come from?! It seems to creep up on me from all directions. I discovered, by complete accident, a lovely and most highly flavoured, low calorie ‘sauce’ for vegetables last night by racing around like a chook with my head cut off doing ‘ALL OF THE THINGS!’ while I was simultaneously attempting to make the next day’s lunches, cook Stevie-boy calzones from scratch AND play an online game of anarchistic jigsaw puzzles. Something had to give and it ended up (almost) being my steamed veg. I caught the pot just before the inch of water in the base pot boiled dry and when I peeked inside the lower pot and saw that condensed vegetable water that was as thick as gravy, I tasted it and it was delicious! All of this time when chefs have been ‘boiling down sauces’ I thought it was just a waste of time. Apparently not. You can turn humble veggie water into something thick, sensuous and very VERY tasty. It’s my new ‘Go-to’ sauce and hopefully will play a predominate part in shrinking my hind quarters appropriately whilst I bask in my new found saucy joys

Look how tall our baby grape vines have gotten! We can start training them onto wires next year but this one has decided that it might train itself by the look of it!

Look how tall our baby grape vines have gotten! We can start training them onto wires next year but this one has decided that it might train itself by the look of it!

Earl and Bezial in Sanctuary eating grass.

Earl and Bezial in Sanctuary eating grass.

The pumpkins are getting bigger

The pumpkins are getting bigger

It is Wednesday morning and I just juggled a mass collective of “things to do” and you ended up winning the “what can narf do at 4am” lottery. Life has suddenly changed on Serendipity Farm. It has gone from ordered languid chaos whereby we move around the place “doing things” as and when we saw fit to “Holy crap we are L.A.T.E!” Having to adapt to a completely new schedule coupled with integrating ourselves into a whole new lifestyle has been exciting and incredibly tiring. Stevie-boy and I are now physically attending ‘school’ rather than lolling about in our pyjamas studying from home. I have had to seriously adjust my schedules accordingly. No more lovely “up at 3am and spending the next 4 hours basking in online joy” for me! I have gone from that first delicious and life giving sip of tea that woke me slowly to “please cool down fast, I don’t have much time!”

My first attempt at succession planting. I planted beetroots and lolo rosso lettuce. I consider this attempt a success :)

My first attempt at succession planting. I planted beetroots and lolo rosso lettuce. I consider this attempt a success :)

Some of the scarlet runner beans that we have been harvesting from Sanctuary

Some of the scarlet runner beans that we have been harvesting from Sanctuary

Finally...PEPINO'S! :)

Finally…PEPINO’S! :)

3am – 4am is my time to do “all of the things” now. At 4am I have to work out what has to be done specifically for “that day” (today being Wednesday is “that day Wednesday” whereby we study 3D animation and I am supposed to post a blog post). At 5am I stumble out the back door in the dark to head up to Sanctuary and water. This part of my day is not negotiable. As manic and exciting as my day is going to be, Sanctuary is my “happy place” and shall always remain so. A parched and dying happy place is an oxymoron and only a moron would allow it to evolve so its narf and a cantankerous Bolshevik hose and a lot of muttering and under-my-breath swearing and the odd wide-eyed and bewildered dog at my feet beseeching me to go back to the house and stop putting the ‘things-into-play’ that will take us away from them and leave them pack-less.

An artistic shot of my potato garden from the side

An artistic shot of my potato garden from the side

Earl has done a great job this year. I have had quite a few nectarines from this tree

Earl has done a great job this year. I have had quite a few nectarines from this tree

The faerie village in Sanctuary's mint bed is taking expressions of interest...this is what happens when you add almost a full bag of mushroom compost to top up your mint bed ;)

The faerie village in Sanctuary’s mint bed is taking expressions of interest…this is what happens when you add almost a full bag of mushroom compost to top up your mint bed ;)

This adjustment has been whole household bound and thank goodness both Stevie-boy and I are great at organising things as otherwise we would have most probably gone barmy in the segue between our old home study lives and our new fully integrated with class lives. I must admit, the new study format is awesome. We already feel like part of ‘The Team’ and our lecturers are completely accommodating when it comes to how we work. The class is set up more like a design studio and we are all expected to act like we are working for the class rather than individual participants. We have melded with the class that are learning how to make movies (all 4 of them and all women) on the odd occasion and aside from my natural fear of technology, I am really enjoying this new journey.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) that I grew from a cutting.

Mexican marigold (Tagetes lucida) that I grew from a cutting with more of my succession planted beetroots.

Stevie-boy found this little lined crocheted bag for $1 at the thrift shop that is right next to where we attend TAFE. There are some benefits to having to physically attend TAFE ;)

Stevie-boy found this little lined crocheted bag for $1 at the thrift shop that is right next to where we attend TAFE. There are some benefits to having to physically attend TAFE ;)

It comes with the inevitable need to learn all kinds of new habits including giving up a lot of my spare time in order to satisfy the travel and study requirements. I am willing to do that BUT it brings around a lot of conundrums. Where do I spread my time? What is important? What should go by the wayside and what should maybe be slowed, spread out or perhaps stopped. I have to admit here that I have considered giving up blogging. Spreading ourselves thin with digital technology all week doesn’t make me jump for joy when it comes to having to do it all over again to create blog posts. I had a chat to Stevie-boy and both he and I feel that I would miss blogging and all of my dear constant readers. I have decided that I will drop back my posts. I will post when I have something to blog about…when I get excited and can’t hold in what has been happening and when the garden is beckoning and shall not be denied.

How green was my sanctuary ;)

How green was my sanctuary ;)

Swiss brown mushrooms that grew from some of the mushroom compost that I dug into the soil under this kiwiberry.

Swiss brown mushrooms that grew from some of the mushroom compost that I dug into the soil under this kiwiberry.

I hope you all understand my dear constant readers. I have been blogging for almost 5 years now. I started the blog as a means to communicate with my mum and allow her to feel like she was still part of my life even though I was thousands of kilometres away. Social media gives us that beautiful ability to feel up close and personal no matter where we are. It is one of its saving graces. When mum died, I carried on. I sailed on regardless as I had stories to tell and miles to go before I slept. My muses were primed and ready to go and it just felt ‘right’. My last few blog posts have been predominately images with captions and having to come up with a post each week has turned from a joy to a labour. Someone I met only last week struck a chord with me yesterday. I was showing him my blog and saying that I wasn’t enjoying blogging anymore and he said “well that’s your answer… you shouldn’t do something that you don’t enjoy”. Cheers Wendell, you are a shining light :).

 

The 'new gardens' are going well now. These eggplants won't fruit probably but at least there is something green in the garden beds aside from weeds ;)

The ‘new gardens’ are going well now. These eggplants won’t fruit probably but at least there is something green in the garden beds aside from weeds ;)

My cherimoya babies are going from strength to strength and appear very happy in our glasshouse

My cherimoya babies are going from strength to strength and appear very happy in our glasshouse

And so here I am at 4.20am. Knowing that I am going to head out to Sanctuary early as at 5.30am we are going to walk the dogs…I forgot to mention that bit, the dog walking is NOT NEGOTIABLE, even more-so than Sanctuary and her water. All of this crammed into our early mornings and don’t even get me started on what happens when we get home! Life has changed fundamentally and intrinsically and metaphorically and all of the ‘illy’s and ally’s” that I can think of and a lot more. I don’t want to tie a bow around ‘The Road to Serendipity’. It’s like the yellow brick road to me. It’s got a lot of promise and a fair way to go before me meet the Great and MIGHTY OZ and get our hearts desires so I will be slowing the posts down now. Like Ms Christi from Olalla, I will post when the pleasure strikes rather than on the stroke of 5pm on a Wednesday afternoon. I will still be here and there will be exciting things coming out of this space that meld my love of permaculture and sustainable living with technology. There are some very interesting phone apps fermenting inside my noggin and I would love to share them with you and see what you think.

I like the flashes of colour that flowers bring to Sanctuary. These fuchsias go part of the way to make the bees happy in Sanctuary and when the bees are happy, "I" am happy :)

I like the flashes of colour that flowers bring to Sanctuary. These fuchsias go part of the way to make the bees happy in Sanctuary and when the bees are happy, “I” am happy :)

One of the cucamelon's growing bigger slowly but surely

One of the cucamelon’s growing bigger slowly but surely

I feel like Frank Sinatra singing “And so…the end is near…” but it isn’t. This isn’t over; it’s just “resting”. Resting is good, ‘over’ is BAD. Resting means recuperating and recovering and regrouping and ALL of the ‘Re’s’ and that is what I am going to do. I am off to hibernate for a bit and see where life takes us and when it DOES take us, and we get time to turn around and have a look at where we have been and ponder, you will be right there with us on the cusp of a brand new day on Serendipity Farm. Thank you all for being such dear and most wonderful constant readers and see you all when I see you :)

Stevie-boy all scrubbed and ready to go to his first full day of TAFE

Stevie-boy all scrubbed and ready to go to his first full day of TAFE

From narf, to you all…It’s “Nanoo, nanoo from me, and nanoo, nanoo from him” as always, I love a good mixed metaphor ;)

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