It’s Leonhard Euler’s birthday today!

Hi All,

I can hear you asking “who is Leonhard Euler?” Is he narf7’s neighbour? No, my dear constant readers, Leonhard Euler is someone that was born hundreds of years ago…back in 1707 on the 15th of April. He was one of our founding fathers of mathematics and was Swiss (it figures). Why do I care that Mr Leonhard Euler was born today? Well to be honest I don’t. Google told me to go and check it out. It put a most interesting header on its home page today that when I clicked on an atom in the middle of the design, it spun. That’s how you lead lemmings to their deaths folks…you let them spin an atom and suddenly they are up to their armpits in mathematics and equations and formulae and they are drowning in the stuff! As I now know, life is half science and half maths. The scientists and mathematicians told me so. I like to live on the fringes of both disciplines in the “dead zone” when neither venture and where both fear to tread. I live in the part where I do little experiments to see just how insane I can make scientists and mathematicians whilst still maintaining my ethical position. Mr Leonhard Euler kindly left behind his likeness in portraits. He must have liked his likeness a LOT because there are a lot of them on the right hand side of my Google search page and most of them look like David Spade with a strange tic. Maybe the Swiss revered people that look like thin mean weasels? Perchance I am seeing a 300+ year old “Botticelli” moment right here where skinny weasel men were found to be the height of gorgeousness itself? I guess maths and science generated a degree of awe back then that could have linked itself to the sexy train? It’s easier to believe when you take a look at the other scientists and mathematicians that Google wants you to spend WAY too much of your precious time left on earth checking out. People like Joseph Louis Lagrange (who bears a strange resemblance to Mr Bean), Carl Friedrich Gauss (that looks like Spike Milligan at the height of his manic depression…) and Pierre de Fermat (a florid and most obvious proponent of the “comb over” who may have even invented this wonderful saving grace of the older man). Then you get to the scientists that “look like Steve”. Curiously there are several of them! I once envisioned Rincewind of Discworld fame as having a very strong resemblance to Steve but then I saw portraits painted of Isaac Newton and realised that Steve has been here before. I just saw another scientist/mathematician (who would know Google…you thoughtlessly expect me to click on that portrait to spend MORE of my precious life moments finding out? You are sadly mistaken!) called Gottfried Wilhelm von Leibniz (funny how you don’t want to correct THOSE names Spell check! 😉 ) that also bears a striking resemblance to Steve (and Isaac Newton at the same time)…I might have to ask Steve why he looks like these esteemed most learned gentlemen but why he could care less about science, mathematics and the general pursuit of research in any way shape or form…could it be another case of life trying to balance itself out? The enormous void of vacuous thought left in a permanent vacuum since these 2 esteemed learned gents passed away in a flash of blinding human inspiration has finally been allowed to reach equilibrium in one man born 300 years later…good on you Steve…you ARE doing your bit for science and mathematics after all! 😉


Here is Bezial doing his very best to steal a ball of wool, run, and get away with it before I catch up with him…this is what you could call an “evidence” shot. Bezial swears black and blue that Earl is the most reprobated dog that was ever born…methinks history might be tapping at the window of that claim Bezial 😉


One of Steve’s conquests from yesterdays Targa Tasmania photo opportunities. He was trying to take motion shots…not bad but I think Bezial was going faster in the previous photo 😉


That’s more like it! Not a bad “motion” picture Steve 🙂


That green hotel in the main street apparently does $5 pub meals on a Saturday night, 2 bottles of vodka for $30 or $1 pots of beer on the first and last Friday of the month…just sayin’ in case any of you find yourself in downtown Beaconsfield one night with $40 in your pocket…just a warning, you most probably won’t remember what you did the next day 😉


This is the upmarket pub just over the road from the green pub. The meals are MUCH more expensive here…you can buy hot chocolate and expensive pastries and the clientele is MUCH more refined but $40 isn’t going to buy you much here…hot foot it over to the green pub and you can go home with some money in your pocket after most probably having a great deal more fun in the process 😉

Well that was your educational part of the post folks…it’s all downhill from here so hold onto your rollercoaster sea for a rapid descent into madness and scientific/mathematic deprivation. What has narf7 been up to since we last chatted eh? Well we submitted our assessments to our lecturer. It’s so much easier to push a button and hand in your work. You don’t have to see the expectant eyes of your lecturer and know that you dashed his hopes of ever making senior faculty member when he flicks through your work. As far as we can tell, our course, only going since late February, has seen a rate of attrition that is somewhat alarming. We keep seeing “new students” arriving and the online community that our lecturer steadfastly and quite frankly unrealistically expects we students who have never met and who are competing with each other to forge hasn’t quite gotten off the ground yet. We all seem to be circling each other in cyberspace trying to get a feel for the competition. We know that 2 media lecturers from Queensland are taking this course. Why? Who would know! We also know that all students are supposed to create a blog space so that our work can be posted and seen by our fellow classmates. There are apparently 20 people taking our course and only 6 of us have blogs. It IS good to see other students work. You think your own work is sad until you are able to measure it up and see that we are all sad together. It unites and gives allegiance to your endeavours and your unseen class when you can see that their work is at least as pathetic as your own. Most of our class have had a fair bit to do with digital art. Some are obviously artists and most of them are very comfortable with the platform. Steve and I are less familiar with digital art, although Steve has messed about with Photoshop a lot and is a whole lot more familiar with it than I am. I am really enjoying this course which I didn’t expect. Putting a bit of faith in Steve’s ability to choose a bridging course that would allow me to keep some of my hair this year was curiously a wise thing to do! My OCD tendencies to guide him to an area where I felt more at home (say brain surgery…) were cram packed down (with great difficulty I might add) because I might be OCD…I might be a “strong woman” (you can read that how you will 😉 ), I might have some very VERY strong opinions about things but I know that my way is only half of this journey that we are walking together. When I say “walking”…a fair bit of our journey has been running in the opposite direction of each other to be honest. We spend a lot of time tussling over things…trying to get our own way and being very childish but when we are able to work together on those rare occasions when someone forces us to behave, we are always amazed at the results and how they are SO much better than the sum of us :o).  This course is bringing out our creative sides and aside from showing me that being out of your comfort zone can, indeed, be a good thing, it is teaching me that I really don’t always know best. I am like a fish out of water here and Steve is the maestro genius and I am actually enjoying allowing him to take the rudder of the boat. “Keep steering Stevey boy…the first rock you hit I will be RIGHT HERE!” 😉


Remember those soaking soybeans from my last post? Here is the reason why they were soaking. This is my handy dandy über schmick soy milk maker. I have had it for years and it has lived in a dusty fugue up in the cupboard until I decided that I may as well use it and have been making some very interesting non dairy milks in it of late


After soaking the soybeans overnight I skin them. Then I put the beans into the filter container


After heating, grinding, magic, alchemy and a little bit of fairy dust the milk ends up in the stainless steel container and the okara, or soybean lees remain in the filter container


Here’s the home made hot soymilk after I added some date paste to sweeten it slightly and half a teaspoon of Himalayan rock salt to balance the flavour out

I have been up for an hour and haven’t even looked at my RSS Feed Reader. I finally managed to clean it out on Saturday. Saturday was my son Stewarts 31st birthday. Just typing that probably made him wince in his sleep. I would imagine he had plans of world domination by the time he was 31. I know he wanted to be at least PART robotic by now. He inherited his mother’s OCD need to have everything “just so” but takes it to extremes that my OCD brain can only marvel at. Do any of you have your entire financial life planned out for the next 5 years? I am talking about EVERYTHING here folks… no? Well you can sit back and admire my son’s resolve. The funny thing about resolve is that there is always…ALWAYS something that comes along and stuffs it up. It’s like life, the universe and everything is just waiting to have a bit of fun at your expense. You plan to be married by 30…in the next 10 years you are going to have 2.5 kids (the way Monsanto is going, we can pretty much be guaranteed of that .5) and to be well on the way to owning our own homes, being financially secure and with a decent portfolio of stocks and shares to see us through to a rich and enviable old age. Does that sound like your life? Mine neither! I think what we humans want, and what we are supposed to be living like is so far apart that there is room in the middle to drive a comet through. How did we get so far away from our ideals? There isn’t anything wrong with ideals folks, it’s just when we choose to think that they are the ONLY way to arrive at the Pearly Gates having lived a rich and satisfying life that we hit problems and brick walls. Most of the depression that the pharmaceutical companies are milking for all they are worth is spawned of a completely unrealistic sense of entitlement that we are led to believe is “the norm”. If I remember right…”Norm” was Dame Edna’s husband with the enlarged prostate…he was also that little guy from the 70’s with the terry towelling hat on in the “Slip, Slop, Slap” commercials… do we REALLY want to be Norm?! I know I don’t! I am as prone to idealistic regrets as anyone. I spent a good proportion of my early adolescence up our backyard tree watching the neighbours and being completely envious of their lifestyle. I thought I was the ONLY one who was suffering by not being “normal”…I wrote dark poems and read dark books and spent too much time ruminating about how everything was so “UNFAIR”… If I had been motivated I could have been the figurehead of the soon to emerge Gothic revival but I didn’t have enough motivation to be anything really. I think a lot of people my age had this kind of drifting feeling back then. We had NO idea what we were going to do, where the world was going, how we were going to get anywhere and most of us are still drifting and goodness only knows what we did mentally to the children that we brought into the world to drift along with us. I would imagine that is why we are seeing a revival of homesteading. Of learning the ways of the natural world and of pragmatic fundamentalism…nature regaining equilibrium and trying to pull in the reigns. The older I get, the more I can see how it really does all work together. I guess that’s the benefit of age? You get to see it for yourself. You get to stick your finger into the wounds and you get to be able to say to yourself “yup…it’s dead”. Nothing like a healthy dose of observation over time to give you as much perspective and incentive you need to attempt to redress your own personal stuff ups and try to do what you can to share your newfound wisdom with your kids. The problem is, by the time nature gets around to teaching you all of this wisdom, your kids don’t want to listen to you any more…they are too busy “living” and your wisdom isn’t part of their ethos. I think that life, the universe and everything has a very VERY good sense of humour don’t you? 😉


This is the contents of a bag of dried dates


This is a bag of dried dates on their way to becoming date paste, my new sweetener of choice. Once I make the date paste I then add the soaking liquid (sweet in it’s own right) back into the Vitamix goblet and process the goblet clean whilst making “date syrup”…no waste here folks! 🙂


Kid Creoles babies that seem quite happy to spend half of their time up to their eyeballs in date sweetened soymilk and even the equivalent of pureed chickpea porridge. Sounds gross BUT it tastes really good! I am enjoying experimenting with homemade non-dairy kefir equivalents


From a conglomeration of tiny little kefir brains to this uncured walnut that also looks like a brain. The curious thing is that both kefir and walnuts are actually good FOR your brain…nature is more than colour coded 😉

Steve is off to do the fortnightly shopping today. I get to wend my way around the web should I choose to. I have a sourdough carrot cake to bake today and when Steve gets back with my organic chickpeas, my 2 bags of Aussie almonds and a few obscure articles (for Serendipity Farm they are obscure…at least till we can grow them ourselves 😉 ) like a jar of kalamata olives (we have 2 kalamata olive trees…), an avocado (we have 7 avocado trees to be planted out…), a rough approximation of ½ cup of raw cashew pieces (“err on slightly more Steve…DON’T BE TIGHT…I need them for tomorrow…), 500g of raw sesame seeds, a large red capsicum, a packet of dried mixed herbs, a lemon and some Himalayan pink mineral salt. Why the strange foodstuffs? Because narf7 is going to create folks…narf7 is going to work her alchemistic magic on these, and lots of other foodstuffs to create something magnificent for her coming debut in “The Virtual Vegan Potluck”. Remember that OCD that I mentioned earlier? Well it is coming out en mass and it insists that I do a “good job”…forget “good job” who are we kidding? It is screaming at me to “KNOCK THEIR SOCKS OFF!”…sigh…almost 50 and I STILL can’t make that voice go away! Here’s the deal folks, I plan on making something that combines my vegan foodie predilections (good word that one…it might just be my word for the week 😉 ) with our ideals. I want to use as much of our own produce in the form of home grown tomatoes, eggplants, walnuts etc. combined with things that we have made with our home grown produce, dried mushrooms, dried herbs, sundried tomatoes etc. to show how we are trying to produce as much of the food that we eat as we can. I want to show the processes involved and the true cost of the food that we eat. No “Tofutti cream cheese” or “Daiya” vegan cheeze for this little black duck…this recipe is going to show its creation from go to whoa and all stages in between. By the end of the recipe I want to give people an overview of what permaculture can do for you and how to harness yourself to nature to arrive someplace that you both want to be. It’s one heck of a challenge and with my little Fujifilm point and click, I am going to try to take anyone curious enough to click on my link (or to be following the linkies through to the end) on a little journey of creation. At worse they might learn something before hurrying off to the next recipe. At best they might get a bit of a tour through the real price (monetarily AND physically) of the food that ends up on their plates. Either way, my narfy job will be done! Hopefully you will all want to come along for the journey with me to see just how OCD narf7 can be and how twitchy my perfection valve gets when I am honing my current point of interest ;). I just learned something. Daiya non-dairy cheeze has an Aussie website where you can go and sign a petition to get Daiya cheezes into our supermarkets! There are obviously more vegans in Australia than I initially thought ;).


The chickens on day release from their prison and “Pig” one of the feral cat’s extremely interested in the proceedings…right up to the time when he found out that my old girls know how to deal with cats! Lets put it this way…Pig will think twice before he eyeballs a hen again 😉


Something else that you can make with dates…the recipe for this one is on page 178 of the 15th edition of the C.W.A. cookbook (circa 1954). Don’t have it? Sorry ladies, it is worth more than my life to print it out here…those C.W.A. women are positively fatal when riled up! 😉


I HAVE been busy! This is one of 8 eccles cakes that I made for Steve the other day. No dates here but lots of fruit macerated in sugar with spices and a bit of butter all wrapped up like the pentagon in some puff pastry…the pentagon bit was entirely unintentional you can be assured, it stemmed from a complete lack of ability to make a circle 😉


This is some “Gouda Uncheeze” that I made as part of the recipe that I am making for The Vegan Virtual Potluck this year in May. It looks like cheese, it grates like cheese and even though it doesn’t taste exactly like cheese, my Omni husband said “you can tell your blog readers that I LOVE cheese but I can’t stop eating this stuff!” that is kudos indeed folks! 😉

I have created my masterpiece! Can you see the lightning and hear the crazed sound of my assistant Stevgor as I harness the lightning to bring my creation to life? Well it wasn’t THAT impressive but I managed to create the ingredients that I needed, create my recipe from scratch and feed some of it to Steve (remembering how VERY fussy he is) and none of it came back out to decorate the walls and he actually said “that’s very tasty…apart from the olives…”. I forgot that Steve doesn’t like kalamata olives BUT he was caught nibbling the ends off my piece of grated homemade “cheeze” and said “you can use that in the recipe…your husband the cheese lover couldn’t stop eating this stuff”. There you go…my own endorsement!  We got our feedback back from our lecturer about our assessment and it was incredibly positive and full of “sandwich” praise. Our lecturer is a sandwich man. He likes to give you something positive…hit you in the solar plexus with a swift bit of criticism and suddenly back to a nice soft pillowy bit of super-white bread to cover up the negative and leave you feeling all fluffy.  We got a whole lot of bread and hardly any filling this time which made us both incredibly pleased. Not a lot to fix up which is also great and everything we need to fix is minor and cosmetic. Now we move into some serious Photoshop with the next unit. Steve headed off and took some great motion shots at Targa Tasmania. Our property backs onto a bit of a wild corner on a steep hill so the cars tend to be ramping up a bit of speed by the time they get to where my dear gnome like husband was perched with his trusty point and click, a whole new world of manual settings and a couple of tutorials about “how to take motion shots” under his belt. The whole road was sealed off and although there were lots of people standing at the junction of Auld Kirk Road (2 of them slept in their cars overnight…we know…when we walked the dogs we saw them there 😉 ) Steve had a completely uninterrupted and pesky human free view thanks to the back paddock and the rest of our neighbours being elderly and not caring two hoots about fast cars. We can use some of his shots for our Photoshop unit and are already working on our first part of it. It promises to be very interesting and I am surprised about how excited I am to be learning about digital photography. We are actually thinking of upgrading our point and click Fujifilm to the latest model. I get to keep Betsy, my old faithful (who tends to take more macro shots than anything else these days 😉 ) and Steve can have the new one. We just got paid some sort of unexpected one off government payment (election year…can anyone say “bribe”? 😉 ) that amounted to just over $150 between us so that seems like a worthy  cause for that windfall.


“Well looky what I found in the pantry…”


“How the HECK am I supposed to get into this thing!”


Brunhilda wanted to get in on the photographic action…here she is doing what she does best nice and early in the morning 🙂


Steve won this jam recently for correctly identifying what flick weed was with my twin in Olalla Christi of fame. Christi is making a little pot of her absolutely AMAZING jam for every single one of the exponentially increasing guests at her beautiful daughters wedding. Christi, you deserve a medal! Not only does she deserve a medal but she deserves a hug…she just made Steve’s day :). Look what arrived in the mail today. A gorgeous jar of 4 berry jam that Steve is going to devour slowly and with great lip smacking on his morning toast till he scrapes the last sliver from the jar. Then he has plans for the jar as well…I naturally thought that I would be a winner as well because I would get the jar but NO! The jar is “my own personal trendy hipster jar that I can drink moonshine out of when I make moonshine”…how could you argue with that reasoning? ;).

It’s 3.52am… I have 14 hours till post time…we have a quarter tank of petrol in the Daihatsu, no cigarettes, it’s dark and my sunglasses are within reach…time to hustle folks! See you Saturday for another round of “let’s learn to tango with narf7” on Serendipity Farm :o)

38 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kaye Wheeler
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 18:32:17

    Ha, ha. I’ve just been teaching lessons on Euler’s (pronounced Oiler) theorem relating to polyhedron to my Years 4 and 5 students – the number of vertices and faces together is exactly two more than the number of edges for any 3D shape. It’s a great investigation. They make all the shapes from nets and record the number of faces, edges and vertices, look for a pattern in the data and see if they can discover the rule. I wish Maths had been as much fun when I was at school.


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 03:27:02

      You lost me a the word “vertices” Kaye! I don’t remember you being so smart!!! (Maybe we were lucky you had subdued your intelligence when you were dealing with us 😉 ). Maths makes my brain switch off. I love processes and formulae so you would think I would love Maths but it must be something that the side of my brain that doesn’t get used a lot has to process (there are cobwebs in there!) and as a creature of habit who fears the great unknown “Maths” is like the new frontier and it takes me a whole LOT to get comfortable with new processes. Kudos to you for being able to teach your year 4 and 5 students this amazing stuff. I remember 4 and 5…I stopped learning my times tables in mortal fear because Mr Pages-Oliver ruled the classroom with an iron metre ruler and would slam it down on the desk of anyone talking (you remember me Kaye…my mouth has a permanent “ON” button 😉 ) and scared the living daylights out of me. I never learned my 6, 7, 8 or 9 times tables until I was in my 30’s and my son taught me some mathematical rules. Sad really, but your classes are SO lucky to have such a loving and dedicated teacher :). You are exactly what teachers should be Kaye, people who actually want to educate and who thrive on the cusp of learning 🙂


  2. Deb
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 18:40:21

    Oh the old Sexchange hotel! Gee, its been awhile since I have been to Beaccy. Its hard to think I used to spend every school day there for the last 12 years. Might have to do a drive thru and visit the Red Ruby on my next trip north.


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 03:33:26

      I love that the owners of the Red Ruby have that great Asian grocery store in Launceston now. My daughters practically live there and know the owner by name :). I go there whenever I got to town to stock up. The Red Ruby was my dad’s special takeaway when he was alive. If he wanted to “treat” someone he bought Chinese from the Red Ruby :). We had a great walk there yesterday and I changed my library cards back to Beacy from Exeter. There are SO many houses for sale BUT the upside is that there are lots of young families moving to town by the look. The properties are nice and cheap and the school is well funded and Beaconsfield is well looked after by funding so it’s a great little town to move to if you are on your way up. I love that the culture is changing there as well. There are lots of active groups revolving around permaculture and community gardening and the community centre is a great place. I have been thinking about teaching some classes in how to make dairy free and egg free recipes as they just installed a nice spanky new kitchen :). Steve and I noticed the $5 Saturday night special pub meals sign yesterday. For $5 you would be hard pressed to make yourself a meal at home. I guess it is a good lure and now that the mine has closed in Beaconsfield the unemployed guys need a good lure to get them down to the pub and staying rather than buying a carton and drinking it at home. It is a massive juxtaposition between the old backpackers hotel on the other side of the road that is now upmarket and offering “woodfire hot chocolates” to passing patrons. It looks like you might have to take off your shoes to go into this establishment ;). That means that Beaconsfield has just about everything that anyone could want in the way of “Public House” if I am not mistaken 😉 and with 2 supermarkets…where could you go wrong? By the way folks, I haven’t been paid for this glowing review 😉


  3. LyndaD
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 20:12:12

    Very entertaining but gosh i get exhausted reading your posts. So much going on and so OCD (LOL). I have to read twice in case i miss something. Im being re-educated as well. My Aspie is going through senior school and needs help with assignments and homework and so im learning lots i didnt catch the first time. He finds it hard to put his thoughts on paper and so i get to listen to him talk and talk and talk and talk. I wish i could convince them to test him orally but i keep on working on it. You are very inventive in the kitchen and it would be lovely to be at home and have the time. My kitchen is mostly a food processing centre where its serve it up and fast and as healthy as possible after work. Lucky i use my freezer for slow cooked meals. Unlucky my Aspie son doesnt eat wet food so he get fresh, clean food – no mixing things, no sauces, no oozing gravies. Cheers. Im off to help him with George Orwell’s Animal Farm. He writing a journal as one of the pigs which is driving him mad because an Aspie cant put themselves in someone elses shoes.


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 03:45:26

      I have a daughter who is borderline Aspie. She is now 25 and she and her sister live in Launceston in our “town house” (dad left us 2). Now that she has her own space to negotiate and organise and put everything in its place (and her sister to boss her around 😉 ) she is doing really well. She was amazingly good at school but had real problems whenever she was called on to stand up and explain herself. She is getting slightly less stressed about it now but back then Aspie kids were simply not diagnosed and she fell through the net. I am amazingly lucky that she threw herself into studies and was able to get a job for a couple of years. I don’t think that will happen again unless she can find a job where she doesn’t have to work with lots of people (she was a draftsman) because she just can’t read people, has never been able to and is brutally “honest”. I remember Animal Farm and your son has my sympathy. Would it help for him to bring the pig to Mohammad? Instead of imagining himself as the pig, what about just “being” the pig. Starting with acting like one? How old is your son? If he is 15 plus getting him to act like a pig might be dangerous! IMHO there are too many pigs out there already! ;). Dry food eh? Does that extend to quiches (with lots of eggs to keep them together)? It would be very hard to have to come home from work and start fussing about with special food. My children are all adults now (23 on Friday “I didn’t forget Bethany!” ;), 25 and 31 last week) and we have lots of time to do what we want to do because with the job situation in Tasmania and with us rapidly approaching 50 and with 30 being the new junk pile in Tassie we appear to be destined to be perpetual aging hippy students. We have been very lucky to find online courses as we live 50km away from Launceston and travelling daily is just out of the question. I like to see life as a positive adventure rather than a series of problems waiting to be solved and try to learn as much as I can from wherever I can. I love sharing and exploring possibilities and know that we are incredibly lucky to be able to choose our own lifestyle. Kudos on your efforts with your son. They will pay off :).


  4. brymnsons
    Apr 17, 2013 @ 21:14:32

    You certainly have a lot of gadgets Fran. They seem to be coming in very handy on Serendipity. I wonder if Steve will let you have a scrape of jam lol. Nice looking pubs, are we going to have time to visit them?? 🙂


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 03:50:29

      We can go wherever you want to go Kymmy :). Steve and I are homebodies so we tend to stay here but when you are over we can make an exception to the rules. Glad and her daughter Wendy (Wendy lives in Beaconfield) go out to tea every Friday night at one of those pubs. Excellent value meals and that’s what keeps patrons and their families coming back. As you would know, living in small communities, the pub is often the hub of the town. I remember Broomhill pub as being the place where everyone met together and entire families would go for the sessions and the owner would put on movies and free food for the kids in the lounge so that the parents could enjoy themselves all night a very family oriented atmosphere 🙂


  5. franion
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 01:56:32

    Eccles Cakes … thank god they’re alive and well.


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 03:52:30

      They are on Serendipity Farm BUT they seem to resemble the pentagon rather than the lovely neat little circles they were supposed to :(. I think I might have to start wearing my tinfoil hat and giving hard stares to the nonchalantly whistling driver of that unmarked white van parked near the mailbox… 😉


  6. rabidlittlehippy
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 06:05:58

    You are so right about David Spade and Euler too. How funny. Yes, I looked them up (c’mon, this is me we’re talking about) and I’m still laughing.Particularly at the combover. 😀
    Loving your hexagonal eccles cake too. 😉 Not to mention your naughty puppy dogs. I must show my kids these photos. They will love them. lol

    Enjoy the heat from Ms Brunhilda. Ignisa and I have been learning about wood this week, what is still uncured and what is dry enough to burn without smoldering all day. Interesting lessons that I am just not quite getting.but fun none the less.

    Enjoy photoshop too. I had to self learn it on the fly a few years back now when I was putting together an album cover for a friend. Challenging. I still use my trusty version 5.5 (prehistoric I know) although I have spent time on a more recent version too. I look forward to seeing more photos, photoshopped or not. 🙂


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 06:58:01

      My girls use 3! Vintage but they love it…all things retro for my daughters apparently ;). We have to use the latest for our course but we are learning heaps and it’s great fun and I can see lots of uses in the future (fast approaching when Serentipity Farm blog fills up with photos and we have to move on to greener pastures…). Show the kids the naughty doggy and say “this is what happens if we let you have a dog…this is WHY you can’t have a dog! ;)”…for once Earl will act as an educational aid ;). Brunhilda is enjoying her life back as the centre of the universe but we need to get some more wood soon as she loves the taste. She has been fasting all summer so I guess she deserves her initial scarfing attack but come ON girl…slow down or you will get indigestion! 😉 Just about to send your morning missive 🙂


  7. Linne
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 07:01:19

    Life is half science and half maths??
    I say life is colour, music, dance, language, art and most of all, love. So there! 😛

    K, I have to confess: I was good at maths in school and really wanted to take physics, but we were limited to two of a kind, so ended up with algebra and geometry. (and may I point out that your pentagram looks more like a hexagram from my angle; but maybe it’s just peering over the edge of the world makes it seem so . . .)

    BAD DOG!! and great pictures of the cars, Steve! Rushing towards Peak Oil, eh? We get that here, too . . .

    Love the green hotel (have one for me, eh?); the idea of ‘woodfire hot chocolate’ is pretty funny, though; isn’t that what you make at home?

    Thanks for the photo of the soy milk maker; I was going to ask about it. I never skinned my beans, threw the lot in the blender and then strained out the milk. The okara makes great ‘meat’loaves and burgers. My boys loved them. I learned from “The Book of Soy” and “The Book of Tofu” by William Shurlieff, which can be found on eBay and likely also second-hand sites, too. This site suggests that vegans might want to grind up a B-12 tablet to add to the soy milk:

    OCD is fun, isn’t it? Where would the world be without people who want to get things ‘right’?

    I still haven’t stopped in to my ‘health food’ store to see if they carry kefir grains. But I will try to remember next time. I walked right by there yesterday, but was in a hurry and focused and never thought of it. Love your food photos, too.

    What the heck is Earl gnawing, anyway??

    How nice that Steve likes your cheeze and whatever it is you are making with it! As I often quote, “If you’re not living on the edge, you’re taking up too much room!” LOL

    Lovely looking jam you got from Christie. What a great surprise.

    Gotta go. Loved the post (I always do, no matter how long! LOL) ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 12:40:15

      Earl is gnawing on a coconut! If you break everything down to its fundamental basics you get “Maths” and you get “Science” ;). We might like to think that we can escape the constraints of maths or science but we can’t…they just call it “pure maths” or “pure science” and you are back where you started ;). Anyhoo… I took a photo (finally) of that tortoiseshell tatting shuttle and will send it to you today. I wish you could take some of my kefir grains, I am going to have to start advertising them on our local freecycle website soon or they will take over the house! 😉


  8. rabidlittlehippy
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 07:07:54

    Jas loved the naughty dogs but he did think Pig was a silly name for a cat. 😉


  9. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 11:15:51

    Homemade soymilk is so good! It’s a shame that the stuff at the grocery story isn’t allowed to taste like actual soybeans; it’s an entirely different creature. I haven’t gone through the trouble of making from scratch often, but when I do, it’s a real treat. I usually don’t even sweeten it and treat it more as a savory drink or ingredient. Next time, I really want to take the next step and make tofu, but infuse it with herbs or spices before coagulating it. I have so many ideas, and so little time to actually bring them to fruition…!


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 12:45:09

      I used to make tofu from my soymilk all the time. Bryanna got me very excited when she started putting herbs and spices and entire leaves etc. into her homemade tofu and one day I will get round to taking the time to do it myself. Have you heard of “sofu”? It’s Burmese chickpea tofu and sounds very interesting
      Sort of like polenta I guess? Makes you wonder what other beans you could do this with. I know what you mean…not enough time! I am planning on doing lots of experimentation this winter and using all that free 24/7 heat that Brunhilda is generating to cook all different kinds of breads, beans and experimental dishes.


  10. christiok
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 12:30:38

    To my favorite math-muddling wordsmith, the engine of the sexy train herself, what an explosion of energy you are! And clearly Steve aka The Winner is the reincarnation of Newton brilliance itself. You and Steve can be in my community any day. 🙂

    Happy Birthday to Stewart! Molly’s fiancé Ben will be 31 on May 9. Molly will be 30 on September 3, one week after she and Ben get married….whew, she just made it. LOL Plans, indeed. Some of us need them more than others. I myself like a plan, but not as much as I used to. Keith hates plans. He gets up in the morning and says, “I have no plan.” This can be a bit of a conflict sometimes… 🙂

    Here’s the link to a wonderful article I read today about the paths taken and not, life choices, regrets, etc. Just what you’re talking about. I think you’ll enjoy it. The writing is quite good.

    I’m looking forward to the Vegan Virtual Potluck, and congratulations on your fluffy sandwich evaluation. Love from Olalla!


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 12:57:16

      I find it hard to believe that Keith doesn’t like plans! I would have thought that he would love them. Just when you start to think that you are getting a handle on someone they change their gameplan ;). I loved that article so much I actually saved it :). I try not to look at other people’s lives. I try to just focus on my own. You could live your whole life regretting every single thing you do/did by languishing in someone elses universe OR you can get going and make the most of the time that you have left and thank GOD that you woke up in time to enjoy the rest! That’s my choice… I woke up at 34 and so far, have had almost 16 years of being able to live like there is no tomorrow :). Cheers for the sandwich love, hope our next units are thinly buttered with lots of fluffy bread ;). Have a great day and hugs from Tassie 🙂


  11. christiok
    Apr 18, 2013 @ 12:54:49

    By the way, how do you mail kefir grains? I could mail some to Linne, as you suggested somewhere…


    • narf77
      Apr 18, 2013 @ 13:00:53

      You put them into a Ziploc bag, fold it over and tape it up to protect them with a teeny bit of milk surrounding the grains to keep them moist and send it off. That’s how Rabid sent me mine and I have SO MANY GRAINS now I am thinking of sending them back to visit their grandma! 😉


  12. Debi at Life Currents
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 04:18:43

    Thanks for the chuckles. I’m glad you got the soy milk maker out. I’ve never made soy milk, but I have made rice milk, oat milk, and cashew milk. (a couple are on the blog). I also like to use the leftover solids from milk making in baking; adds a nice nutty moisture to the baked good.
    I’ve used my sourdough critters for numerous loaves of bread and even some English Muffins. I want to do a chocolate cake with them, but to be quite honest we don’t eat many desserts, so I fear it would just go to waste, or be given away after eating a couple pieces.
    Your “cheez” looks great. I’m looking for a recipe to make my own vegan cheez. I purchase some now, but I’d much rather make some. I was thinking of trying one by soaking cashews and grinding them and making it with that type of base. But, I’m not there yet.
    Have a lovely lovely wondrous day! Thanks again!


    • narf77
      Apr 19, 2013 @ 04:50:41

      Glad you liked the look of the cheeze, it’s pretty similar to this recipe…
      Steve loved it to and he is fussy. He keeps cutting bits off and eating them straight from the fridge ;). Not bad when an Omni cheeze loving Brit can’t stop eating it! I have made lots of cake with the sourdough starter and kefir I have made and Steve’s favourite is a carrot cake I cobbled together. Its delicious :). I don’t eat cake either. I made the uncheeze for my first ever Virtual Vegan Potluck entry I am not even sure I managed to register for the event let alone how I am going to post on the day but hey, you gotta start somewhere! 😉 Have a great day and enjoy the fun of cheeze making…just don’t do it the same day you are making pesto and lots of other things, it does take some of the enjoyment out of the process when you are flat out trying to keep up with processes 😉


  13. teawithhazel
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 09:49:52

    you really should be a’ve got the gift of the gab..maybe a book on life on the homestead..:)


    • narf77
      Apr 19, 2013 @ 14:02:42

      Or a book on how to NOT tame your muses? ;). I think most of my muses are frustrated writers or reincarnated, most prolific writers that are highly upset about being reincarnated into a bolshie middle aged student hippy 😉


  14. thinkingcowgirl
    Apr 19, 2013 @ 20:45:08

    A real shot in the arm of joy, thanks! I love the way you weave it baby 😉
    Doing an online course is a good idea. I have a writing group that I send my pieces to and they critique…very helpful. If I’m editing a story or an essay after a while you just can’t see the wood for the trees so it’s great to get a different perspective.
    I like the way you see the past and the future, and so eloquently put!
    Must get up (have been catching up with blogs lying in bed with tea) and go a gardening…still got a couple of little jobs on the go…money must be earned 😦


    • narf77
      Apr 20, 2013 @ 02:57:44

      Money…what is that? ;). Steve and I have been trying to save lately…the moth eaten sock under the bed keeps demanding to be fed so we are stoking it as best we can. I have a vision of sugarplum rainwater tanks dancing in my head ;). I wish…I WISH I could write as well as you do. I fell instantly in love with how you write. I might be prolific (understatement of a lifetime!) but I am unharnessed and my muses all bolt out the door at the same time and have never been trained to work together. I can recognise talent at 100 paces and I am on the other side of the world so you MUST be good ;). Your blog is one of my “preciouses”. I keep it close to me and like 23Thorns, I read it when I have quality time to myself with a nice cup of sweetened chai and Brunhilda blazing away to keep me warm…all of the sensory input that I need to match that magnificent buzz that I get whenever I read something wonderful. A balance inside and out :). The past and the future are really not there…just right here tapping away at the keyboard at 2.53am with my mind buzzing with possibilities and a weekend full of interesting things to do stretching out in front of me. I agree with the “different perspective” thing. That’s why I blog…why I read so many wonderful blogs. I get SO much more out of reading other people’s blogs and seeing things through other people’s eyes than I would if I just sat tapping away theorising my own life. My blog is a means to let my feverish muses release…I would hate to think what state my poor brain would be in if I didn’t have that “out” now! Most probably mush. I am a vehicle for a series of frustrated muses with warped senses of humour ;). Do you write freelance? You write so well :). Have a fantastic weekend and maybe you are onto something with the selling online thing? There is ALWAYS someone that wants what you are offering 🙂


      • thinkingcowgirl
        Apr 20, 2013 @ 06:27:04

        Aw you’re too kind 🙂 Very lovely to get the feedback. At the moment I’m just entering competitions to give me deadlines but I do hope to make a living from it eventually. I did win £75.00 recently! I love your blog too and you write really well – funny and unexpected so don’t rein it in. Maybe just a few more paragraph breaks 🙂 I’m trying to retrain my brain to be wider and more creative rather than always thinking of business. Down business brain, down! 😉 But it’s a struggle I can tell you. I was wired in that way for sooo long…I am also helping some friends with the marketing of their business so it’s still whirring away…cos I got to make a quid here and there. But it is slowly working. I got all stressed this week because of a job so today I decided to have a day doing whatever – that’ll be my next post! Have a lovely weekend too. 🙂

      • narf77
        Apr 20, 2013 @ 06:45:06

        Can’t wait to read about “whatever”…my favourite state of being :). Yeh…paragraphs and me…whatsagirltodoeh? ;). Maybe grammar should be my first stop on the literary train but closely followed by learning to break up paragraphs and condense my work down but my muses aint gonna like that much! I fear a Van Gough moment coming on (what the heck, I don’t need BOTH of those ears do I? 😉 ).

  15. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 23:46:57

    Wow! That is something, and such a good idea, making jam for every wedding guest. I don’t doubt that you could do something similar, perhaps bread. I guess I could make a placemat for everyone. I keep thinking about resurrecting my loom again at some point….maybe this winter, and put it where the exercise machine is that we don’t use. We will be out of town during the virtual potluck. I need to look at the blog to see what the criteria is, but perhaps I could take pictures of the vegetarian restaurant food during our get-a-way.


    • narf77
      Apr 27, 2013 @ 03:01:14

      It would be great to read your posts about new restaurants anyway, I like to read good reviews :). The odds are I am NEVER going to even set foot in these establishments so when you share photos and posts about them it’s great fun to “eat” vicariously through your words 🙂


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