Playing the giddy goat

Hi All,

Has everyone seen the Google Valentine’s day header for today? It’s very clever and it made me smile :o). To anyone who celebrates Valentine’s Day, “Happy Valentine’s Day”. To the rest of us who are just getting on with our lives and who spend each day alternately in love with and in various stages of frustrated angst at their respective partners, Well done for surviving so far and bonne chance for the future Smile. If you are one of the sad people who don’t use Google as your home page and are totally unaware of how superior Google is to anything else online, here is a link to the header for today so that you can marvel at it from afar rather than be presented by Google’s ingenious little sippets on a regular basis Smile

http://www.google.com.au/

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Whenever our entire clan would get together at my nana’s house on a Wednesday to share a meal and an evening my cousins, siblings and I (who were all around the same age) would tend to act as children do. My nana had a lovely saying that my sister and I still smile about today that summed our childhood antics up to a tee “Stop playing the giddy goat!”. We never stopped Nan, but we did love you (apart from your stew!) and despite not listening to you very much, you were most certainly our dear nana (now if we could have done something about that stew…). Here is Earl “acting the giddy goat” and trying to remove his head halter…

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Here’s Bezial pretending to be laying nicely and waiting until Steve is otherwise occupied patting “Dumbass” (Bezial’s name for Earl) and slowly rubbing his nose on the ground in a most vain attempt to remove the head halter as well…most certainly a sedate and understated version of Earl’s attempt but still “acting the giddy goat!”

Now that I have the luxury of being able to use Windows Live Writer to do my posts I have a lot of options that were previously unavailable to me. I am able to include maps in my posts (obviously I have been waiting with baited breath for this ability…) and I can insert pictures and all sorts of links directly into my post without having to upload them onto the blog. That means that the process is a whole lot quicker and more streamlined. When we were in Evandale I noted a large tree that had small black fruit and realised (by its leaf) that I had just discovered what my small seedling that I had found and subsequently dug up and have been trying to identify ever since was. It is a cherry laurel or Prunus laurocerasus. I was merrily munching away at the fruit and thinking that this fruit would make a really good substitute for dates. It has a somewhat mealy, meaty dry texture compared to its cousin the plum and luckily I didn’t swallow the seeds as they are apparently highly poisonous. In fact…the rest of the plant is highly poisonous and only the fruit is edible. This tree is capable of surviving very harsh conditions and I am going to plant my little baby out down at the bottom of the property along the fence line. It apparently responds incredibly well to pruning and makes a lovely lush hedge and so that is most probably how I am going to use this very useful plant in the future. Being poisonous also makes it ideal for Serendipity Farm. All of the native wildlife gives anything that you plant here a good once over to check for edibility and if one species turns its nose up you can be guaranteed that there is another one just around the corner with a distinct fondness for what you have planted out. Apart from erecting highly fortified fencing around every shrub and tree on Serendipity Farm, we need to think smarter not harder. This tree is going to allow us to plant something that will be a useful edible plant whilst surviving the dry and rocky conditions and eliminating the need to put any form of barrier around it. At least 1 specimen will be able to be planted out without a barbed wire barricade!

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Not a cherry laurel but another edible plant going great guns in someone’s hedge. Blackberries are having a fantastic year this year and anyone wanting to harvest their weights worth of fruit merely has to stop at the side of the road and harvest them from the road verges. I had to laugh when I saw a sign up saying “Blackberries for sale…$7 a kilo” and just over the road from this wannabe entrepreneur was masses of blackberries for free…

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The cherry tomato harvest is just about over but you can be that there will be many teeny baby seedlings emerging from this obviously amazing crop

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I quite liked this garden in Gravelly Beach. Rip out that lawn and put it all to veggies and you have my tick of approval Smile

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The same property but further on and the lettuces have run to seed but you can see these people are making the most of their garden space. Kudos people Smile

We went a little bit later for our walk yesterday and as it was starting to warm up again after a week of overcast and rainy weather I decided to put a bit of sunscreen on. I don’t like sunscreen. I have researched it and found that it has its own risks regarding skin cancers but when I am out in the midday sun walking the dogs with bare arms I would rather hedge my bets in favour of a bit of sunscreen. I slathered on some Palmer’s Cocoa Butter formula with vitamin E and SPF15. I love Palmers products. They not only sooth and improve your dry skin but they make you smell like chocolate. Earl took a few days to get over trying to lick my arms at every opportunity because I had obviously turned into the biggest Easter chocolate ever and was ripe for the eating…being the persistent little man that he is, he kept trying despite being rewarded by the disgusting taste of the product. He is thinking about complaining to Palmer’s for falsely advertising their product to dogs…Apart from shining like a beacon in the sun (perhaps it works by reflecting the sun’s rays?) it eventually soaks in and you remain chocolate scented for the rest of the day. Who needs perfume when you can smell like chocolate? We walked the dogs at Gravelly Beach and when Bezial started to pant we took them back. We stopped at a tap and gave them a drink of water and Bezial had a lay down in the puddle generated (his hippo ancestry comes to the front when he gets anywhere near more than a centimetre of water and the need to wallow overcomes him). We had a most amazing walk today. Usually walking the dogs makes me twitch. The THOUGHT of walking the dogs makes me twitch! Today has given me a great deal of hope that walking the dogs from now on is going to be an enjoyable and entirely different situation. We actually had loose leads today! No dragging, straining, pulling or Mack trucking us anywhere that we didn’t want to go. Earl may have only had 2 walks on his head halter (Bezial has had previous experience with them) but he has learned at what point the gentle pressure is applied to his nose and doesn’t reach that point. I would recommend these inexpensive head halters to anyone with a large dog who likes to pull (even a small dog who likes to pull…) they are amazing, life changing and well worth every last cent of their purchase price. I am tempted to buy 2 more just in case the Global Financial Crisis hits the business and they shut down…I NEVER want to be without one of these babies again! I sent the manufacturer (in Melbourne) a gushing letter of kudos and eternal thanks today. I don’t care if they bin it like a snotty tissue, I just had to tell them how fantastic their product was for us and how it has given me back my ability to smile first thing in the morning. No more finding things to do other than walking the dogs…no more dislocated shoulders, worn out trainer heels, inability to stop the dog you are walking from powering his way to whatever interests him and no more feeling ineffectual as an owner. There is nothing scarier than approaching someone walking a large powerful and most dangerous looking dog than realising that the owner obviously has no control of them! I no longer have to feel like a bad owner. We can control our boys and they are like lambs (lambs with attitude…but still lambs Smile).

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There you go…I am promoting Palmers without even getting a free sample. I am doing it for the love of you all my dear constant readers and because being soft and chocolate scented must be one of the best combinations of skin rehydration and aromatherapy ever invented Smile I had to add the tube of Nutrimetics hand cream that my sister gave me (lovely smell but not quite chocolate) and the good old Vaseline in the background which smells nice but again…not quite chocolate Smile (there is a VERY fine line between a happy smiley faced emoticon and a most alarmed emoticon)

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Easter lilies are having a great year this year. Their real name is Amaryllis belladonna but “Easter lily” they will always be to me. They have amazing scent, they rise up like the phoenix in the harshest of conditions before producing their leaves and represent new life in the most fragrant and delightful way.

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Look Stewart…I found you a new home! Who needs $500+ a week when you can just float your boat down the Yarra on a daily basis? It even has solar panels! (I have to lure him with technology…like most men he is easily swayed by technology Smile)

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Here’s a side view…it’s probably just about as big as your new apartment Smile

After we walked the dogs most happily and successfully we headed off to the library to pay my overdue fine of $1. I had put a book away and totally forgotten about it until I found it when I was cleaning up the spare room (the day after it was due back…TYPICAL!). I also had a most thick, meaty and illustrious copy of a book simply called “Creole” to pick up that I had noted a woman bringing back to the library the other day. I had to keep waiting for the librarian to deal with my “case” regarding bringing in a replacement book for Earl’s dog chewed copy and as the librarian had no idea how to process the book she had to keep phoning up head office and being passed around and in between all of this effort, she had to deal with an enormous amount of library patrons for what is such a teeny tiny library branch. I would imagine that this library survives on people ordering books online using the T.A.L.I.S. search engine like I do. There is room for 2 computers and a very small amount of books in this miniscule library. A wonderful lady named Helen works here (along with some others whose names I don’t know). I met Helen whilst undertaking Certificate 3 in horticulture. She was working with an autistic boy with additional problems who was undertaking Certificate 1 in horticulture, enabling him to be part of the mainstream group of disabled people undertaking the course but with the ability to be separated from the group should something upset him or “set him off”. Many things “set him off” and Helen always had to deal with this rather boisterous young adult on a regular basis. She did this with her customary calm manner and I once helped Helen to pick lots of broad beans that the class had grown for sale. We had a great time chatting about all sorts of horticultural things and she was telling me about when she was a child living in Exeter. She mentioned that the reed/seagrass covered river banks used to all be sandy beaches and they were used by everyone. You can’t get near the water now for the tufty grass ridden muddy riverbanks and she was lamenting the loss of this part of her childhood. Helen is an amazing librarian and is always willing to help anyone. She is delightful to talk to and despite being obviously quiet and quite shy; she is always willing to talk to anyone who initiates a conversation. Thank you for allowing me to take a few photos of your wonderful space where I can learn so very much and where I rediscovered my love of fiction all over again Helen. Hopefully you can find Serendipity Farm online and you can see how much I appreciate your efforts and you in your position as librarian at the Exeter L.I.N.C. branch of the State Library. You make going to the library a very pleasant experience and I look forwards to many years of seeing your smiling countenance whenever I pick up my truckloads of books in the future Smile

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The tiny little L.I.N.K. annexe that comprises Exeter’s online centre (2 computers) and the library and information centre.

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Helen behind the counter as the chief director of this tiny hub of activity

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Helen’s lovely smile and ready willingness to help every customer in the library enjoy their visit each and every time makes her a perfect librarian. Thank you Helen for your fantastic customer service at all times. It is most appreciated by all of us Smile

I was NOT a happy camper last night. I had played Animal Crossing Let’s go to the City for 3 hours and had collected 3 string fish (each stringfish being worth $15 000) and many thousands of dollars’ worth of other fish when the power went out for 3 seconds and I lost the lot. Not only did I lose all of my hard work for the 3 hours that I played, but I got a very angry mole creature called “Resetee” who practically flensed my hide from my bones with scathing comments about my parentage, lack of good manners and rude disrespect for saving my game. I think that there should be some allowance for power outages when you are playing this game because each time it resets without saving you get this highly outrageously indignant mole elevating in anger and as this was the third time that my game had been reset (in the whole history of me playing it) without me saving he really thrashed me senseless with his mole angst! I felt highly indignant myself after losing everything to be verbally thwacked by Mr Resetee and was sorely tempted to give him a good thrashing myself. I was only stopped by his rapid descent into his hole, muttering all the way about the rudeness of young people today! (Bloody moles…). I am going to play again today. I am currently wearing a 4 leaf clover in my hair. None of this makes ANY sense to anyone who hasn’t played this game before but it is as addictive as cocaine and twice as addictive as cigarette smoking so I am its mindless slave and am entirely unable to give it up. I get to collect Valentine’s Day chocolate today from the general store. I still have some from a few years ago when I was playing on Valentine’s Day and will see if I can give that stale old chocolate away to one of my neighbours that I don’t actually like all that much. I think that you have to be somewhat type A to want to play this game for very long. It’s more to do with controlling your own little world than actually “playing a game” to be honest. I love ordering, listing, sorting out and tidying my own personal space and this game was designed and aimed at people like me. Funnily enough I don’t like The Simm’s. It just never ticked the right boxes with me although it is practically a carbon copy of Animal Crossing (using humans rather than animals). I guess I just like cartoons and bright colours and Nintendo formatting. Call me old school on that one :o). I guess what I am trying to say to you constant readers is that I am coming to the end of posting for today and to the beginning of getting lunch and playing Animal Crossing for the rest of the day till tea time. There have to be SOME benefits to being a penniless hippy student and this is one of them Smile see you all tomorrow…

(The power went out again last night after I typed this post up and that mole is now my arch nemesis!)…

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