“I’m not dead…I’m just busy!”

Hi All,

I feel like copying and pasting that sentence into several emails to friends and family and using it as my Facebook epitaph. I have decided not to use Facebook any more. It sucks time and energy out of you and it is totally addictive. I don’t want to waste valuable time sitting on my bum indoors when I could be outside in the sunshine (albeit the cold sunshine) facilitating change on Serendipity Farm along with my dear long suffering husband who might be dragging his feet, but he is still coming along for the ride. We have enormous gardens to build. Yesterday, when I was picking the last of the tomatoes and some ripe red chillies for The Virtual Vegan Potluck entry that is now all done and dusted and ready for posting in early May, Steve was planning aloud. That was difficult because Earl was on the end of a lead, Bezial was frolicking free and was up for a game with his harnessed kennel mate and when 2 American Staffies want to play, it’s not so much fun to be the man on the end of the rope! He was planning (while he was being pulled from pillar to post, spun around in circles and was anchoring himself to the nearest sheoak tree…) our plan of attack.

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This is Gok…prior to his recent cooking television series I had nothing but derision for this man-Gumby hybrid. I would see adverts for his television show about making naked women feel good about themselves and would cringe…one of those “empowering the people” shows that was really all about self denial and delusion but then I had nothing to do one evening and decided to watch television and was too lazy to get up when Gok’s Chinese cooking show came on. Truth be told my interest was piqued and I am now a complete convert of Gumby-Gok. I love the man. He has elevated himself into the stratosphere and I totally “get” why hundreds of women would strip for him and parade themselves naked around on television…Gok is the new Nigel Slater and he is the hipster king of U.K. cookery that this wonderful book was sent to me by the wonderful Tanya from http://chicaandaluza.wordpress.com/ a wonderful blog that I have been following for quite a while now. Tanya and I share an ethos, a sense of humour and a deep love for frugality and for living our lives to the fullest and Tanya decided that she wanted to send me a copy of Gok’s Chinese cookbook and I am absolutely rapt :). There are so many recipes that I want to make but the very first one is going to be congee. After that there is an amazing Chinese rice wrapped in dried lotus roots and after that the sky is the limit! I love you Gumby-Gok and I love  Tanya and Toli’s generosity as well 🙂

Steve is the heavy duty practical side of the equation…I am the numbers “man”. Together we figure it out and we put it into play and we usually end up with what we were after. It’s a great result when we work together… the only problem is that we work in such different ways that most of the time we spend trying to figure out what the HECK the other person is doing at any given time. Steve has plans…”those trees there are in the way…they will have to come out (read Steve wants some firewood for next year)… and after that we will put some poles in (read dig holes, concrete poles into the ground where only days before there was a perfectly good tree that we could have used for the same purposes…sigh…) and we can stretch that netting tight between them and after that…” I wasn’t listening by then…I was bums up doing callisthenics in an attempt to try to source some tomatoes from the jungle that used to be a tomato bed. “Next year we stake!” I say loudly and Steve looks at me in a somewhat alarmed way…obviously I must have interjected at some crucial point that most certainly DIDN’T require staking!

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I took this book out of the library recently on a whim…looks like I am going to be exercising my brain for the foreseeable future…

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Here is the button box that I recently gave my friend Kym. We swapped that lovely doily book for buttons…a great swap! We both get something that we want for something that we don’t want…the best of frugality mixed with barter 🙂

Steve says the magic words “after this garden, we will take out those trees over there and will make another one…” and THAT is part of why I love you still you smelly footed, stubborn mule of a man… you feed me what I want and I WANT more gardens :o). I have big plans for the first paddock on Serendipity Farm. Most of it is going to be a fully enclosed series of walk in, walk out vegetable gardens. I want to be able to grow chickpeas, amaranth, chia and quinoa along with buckwheat and various other hardy grains and lots of dried beans. Protein and calories are the order of the day. I am even going to have a go at growing peanuts after Sarah from http://gardeningkiwi.wordpress.com/ fame (and she IS famous folks…she has written a book :o) ) said that she bought a packet off her supermarket shelf (the ones in shells) and is growing them! She said “I like to experiment”…so do I Sarah…so do I! So peanuts are on the cards.

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This is the front cover of a wonderful crochet doily book that my friend Kym from Western Australia sent me recently. I finally found where I hid these photos! Linne wanted to see the cover so here it is…

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And here is one of the lovely doilies inside that I am going to attempt to tackle in the near future

I was going to have a go at growing Brazil nuts but found out that they won’t fruit/nut anywhere other than Brazil because they need a specific and most endemic little pollinator before they will produce the nuts…but the tree looks lovely and I might just grow one…”because I can!” I dare say no-one else in Tassie has a Brazil nut tree growing in their garden and narf7 is bolshie enough to give it the old college try. I have grown mangoes, avocados, walnuts, hazelnuts, figs, carob trees and copious quantities of chestnut trees (easy peasy to grow folks, I just fished a forgotten bag of chestnuts out of the fridge and threw them into some moist coir peat in a plastic bag in a covered esky and almost all of them grew!) and love to grow something for free. It feeds the frugality in me and gives me a sense of purpose to produce things.

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These pumpkin vines are WAY too late in the season to survive the coming winter and were harbouring some small mango saplings that had grown in the compost, so I decided to sacrifice the pumpkins to save the mangoes

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This is what the compost heap looks like today and the sad withered greenery was once pumpkins…next season I am going to have amazing pumpkins that no native animal is going to have a chance to sniff let alone get close enough to taste!

I might have to have a stall somewhere to offload all of the excess food producing plants, however, because even though we have 4 acres, 20 walnut trees and 15 chestnut trees might just be a few too many for that kind of acreage if we want to have a hope in heck of planting anything else ;). That’s part of the problem. If we were rank amateurs we could head out with our heads full of hope and just “plant” but we aren’t…we are fully fledged, dyed in the wool, fully away horticulturalists and we KNOW how far apart we should space things, we KNOW how big they grow, we KNOW about forest plantings and pH and depth of planting and we just KNOW which makes it all the harder to plant out our wonderful free little babies. I might just go doorknocking in the neighbourhood and see if our long suffering neighbours would like some “excuse me…we live just down the road…you might have heard our dogs barking…here…have a tree for your suffering…” ;).

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There might not be many but these potatoes were found when we were digging up the mangoes from the compost bin…SCORE!

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The 2 mangoes in their overwintering palace, the glass house. Lets just hope they survive the winter

I need to self-flagellate…I missed Leonardo Da Vinci’s 561st birthday on April 15th! I also missed that crap mini-series that someone (trying to make a fast buck out of jumping on the bandwagon to link famous long dead (read “can’t sue me anymore”…) people with crappy vampire series…) made about him recently but unlike my sheer unmitigated glee at escaping that utter pile of dog excrement, I am a little bit sad that I missed giving this amazing man the kudos that he deserved. Some people deserve über kudos and Leonardo is one such man…let’s all give him a minute’s silence, heck, let’s give him 2! for being one über cool dude WAY back then that was likely to get you lynched, tarred and feathered or just plain tortured and dispatched. It just goes to show that the brain will out, no matter what is standing in the way (or how much armour or pointy weaponry they are carrying at the time…). I offer you the quintessential anthem to kudos that you deserve sir…ringing down through the ages you ARE remembered…you live on in so many people’s minds and as ACDC would sing, loudly and repeatedly…”for those about to rock…WE SALUTE YOU!”. We most certainly do Mr Da Vinci. :o)

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We didn’t think that these poor long suffering potted babies would survive the long, hot dry summer that we had, let alone live to give us any kind of winter display but here they are looking beautiful and begging us to plant them out this autumn…”I hear you babies…I HEAR YOU” 🙂

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We grew most of these small trees from seed. We aren’t too sure what we are going to do with them all but we might just find someone starting out anew and give them an unexpected bonus of some gorgeous trees 🙂

It’s just turned 3.29am Saturday 20th. Bezial turfed me out of bed because it’s COLD out here and he heard me telling Earl to stop shoving ;). I don’t mind, all the more time for me to tap away here and tie up online ends before my brain turns itself off early this evening. I am now the mother of a 23 year old youngest child. My daughter Bethany had her birthday yesterday and was celebrating with her sister Madeline (25) by having lunch at a new local Korean BBQ house. I hope they had a great time and I know that Bethany’s birthday cake will have been MOST interesting because they were using some purple bubble tea as the basis. They like to experiment with cooking and tend to only use recipes as a basis for their imaginative recipes and 9 times out of 10 they are successful. I tend not to be as inventive as they are but I am reasonably inventive and like to mess about with cultures and letting the cultures metabolise ingredients partially to see what happens to the end result.

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I COMPLETELY forgot to post this heart for valentine’s day! We noticed it when we were walking the dogs AGES ago in Launceston at the university campus…I heart trees 🙂

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This is a leaf hopper…usually leaf hoppers = BAD but this one is in someone else’s garden so he gets to be admired for his beauty and left to nibble another day 😉

I am going to be making more kimchi this weekend. I have a precious cup of kimchi left from my last batch that is going to culture my new batch. Steve rust treated and sprayed my new fire set black that I got for $1 from the tip shop and remembered a fire poker that we had inherited so that got the black spray treatment as well. The handle doesn’t exactly match the set we picked up but who cares? It pokes the fire and that’s fine by me! The best thing about that $1 fire set is that it is solid cast iron and was built to last. I don’t know why someone threw it out in the first place but I have noticed that garage sales are rich playgrounds for savvy people here in Tasmania. The average Tasmanian doesn’t like to get out into the world until around about 10am. We used to head off to the Evandale markets (when we lived in the city) nice and early at 8.30 and we would be finished and on our way home before the long lines of Tassie traffic were passing us in the other direction.

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This is the shop at Wychwood…isn’t it lovely?

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This is the family home at Wychwood but I couldn’t resist sharing this lovely trough of succulents with you all 🙂

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Just around the corner from that lovely trough of succulents is this lovely brick oven. I have a pile of used bricks in town with an oven just like this’s name on it…

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These are the sort of rocks that you find on the beaches around Tasmania. Beautiful weather worn, smoothed by the ocean rocks. It’s hard to leave them on the beach!

Steve shops at 7am in the supermarkets because there are only a few older people there at that time of day…he is usually finished shopping by about 10am and we only shop once a fortnight so these shopping forays take all different kinds of shops into account. We plan this once a fortnight shop meticulously and Steve has his plans of attack. Sometimes the plans of attack involve grabbing things off shelves without looking at them and then finding out when you get home that someone had decided to dump a more expensive product for a cheaper one on sale and Steve just so happened to have grabbed the more expensive product in his hast to be “OUTTA THERE” but that is happening more infrequently now that he is starting to realise that it just isn’t worth handing your tea addicted wife (since she was 2) a packet of über expensive teabags that don’t deliver that rich tannin flavour!  It takes me almost a whole day to do what Steve does in a couple of hours and even then I forget things and come home with heaps of other things that weren’t on the list. I did the shopping the last time that I stayed at my daughters. I did a GREAT job…I was very proud of myself for my efforts BUT (that year of living honestly has forced me to tell the truth 😉 ) I did have the entire weekend to chip away at the shopping list and stretched out the actual shopping over the 3 days that I was away. Some people are built for speed and Steve is one such person :o). Now he just has to allow the concept of “accuracy” to filter into his mindset 😉

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Who would like one of these gorgeous little birdhouses in their garden?

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I took a side view because I am going to have a go at making something approximating this birdhouse…wish me luck!

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I LERVE this chair folks…it is official. We have driftwood from the sea that washes down the river and onto the pebbly riverbank right in front of Serendipity Farm…we have Teatree saplings on the property that need thinning out that would be perfect to make something like this and we have lots of misshapen woody bits lying around from past thinning out ventures. This chair has my name all over it!

Remember how I was complaining about how hot it was in February and March? It WAS hot…it was dry…it was HORRIBLE and now it is cold…it went from 30+C temperatures down to 5C in a matter of weeks. My recent weight loss efforts have handed me energy to spare. It shielded me from our long hot summer and I certainly didn’t miss my extra layer of fat in summer. Everything has good and bad points right? That includes weight loss! Yeh, I might be able to power up our steep driveway in a wave of determination…yeh my knees might be happier than they have been in years…yeh I might almost have broken out into a run with Earl the other day and I might be able to keep up with Steve when we are walking the dogs and yeh I might be able to fit into clothes that I haven’t fitted into for years BUT then the frigid Antarctic autumn descends and suddenly my obsolete layer of fat has taken on a nostalgic quality in my mind…like a nice round nana (cheers for that analogy Jess 😉 ) that gives you a cuddle and a couple of her chockie bickies (that’s chocolate cookies to you Northerners) out of the biscuit barrel when you visit her and you KNOW that the roast dinner she is going to dish you up that night will have more than enough delicious roast potatoes AND there is desert!

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This is an avocado…it appears to be trying to sneak away because it is MORE than aware of it’s fate. Tonight…this avocado will be made into sushi. “Fear me avocado!” 😉

My 25 extra kilos cuddled me in winter. They wrapped themselves around me and insulated me from the worst of the cold and I KNOW WHY SEALS HAVE BLUBBER! I might be able to zip around the place like Speedy Gonzales on steroids…I might be constantly marvelling at how loose cloth feels on my legs and how I have so much energy now but I fear winter. I really do FEAR winter. I am sitting here wearing 2 jumpers, a pair of leg warmers (YES leg warmers 😉 ), my warm slippers and I am STILL cold. Is this what you “normal” people feel in winter? I am going to have to scratch a chalky little note on our shopping list…my chalky little note is going to read “dear Steve…could you please pick me up 14 hot water bottles from K-Mart this shopping…I KNOW 14 seems a little extreme but humour me… I am going to strap them to my body for winter…I am going to knit myself a full set of long john’s (brightly coloured with flares…CMON’! Would you expect any less of me?! 😉 with little flaps where the hot water bottle necks are situated…I am going to sew myself into the long john’s (cheers for that analogy Linnie 😉 ) and I am going to spend winter in my improvised suit of warmth to take the place of my fat. I can just do a few cartwheels to empty them each morning, shiver for a little while as I fill them all and sink into happy hot fugishness through my days. I don’t suggest anyone visits me over winter (bad luck Kymmy, you already booked!) as my new suit might start to reek a bit BUT them’s the breaks folks and you do what you have to do to keep yourself warm and sane 😉

DSCF0920Some of the fire utensils from the $1 tip shop bargain that I got recently. The poker and broom are still in the shed awaiting second coats but already it looks a whole lot better than $1 in my books 🙂

Bezial just got up. He who tossed me out of bed at 2.30 is lying in front of Brunhilda at 3.57am demanding that I poke her and get her going. I am starting to wonder just who is the boss around here… Apparently Bezial already knows! 😉 Bezial has been waiting for this…he and I share a winter tradition of getting up together and me waking Brunhilda up from her overnight slumber so that he can lay in front of her for the rest of the day. Bezial just decided that she wasn’t warming up quickly enough and has gone back to the comfort and warmth of being tucked under my feather doona next to Earl and Steve…sigh…that leaves Brunhilda and I to do the work of warming up the kitchen together…she is crackling into life as I tap this here and its WONDERFUL! :o).

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Still harvesting things from our veggie garden and the spinach is showing no signs of going to seed or giving up the ghost any day soon which is great because I pick it every day 🙂

Last year I got up a whole lot later than I do now…Steve tamps the fire down before he goes to bed at 11 and I will be waking her up again at 3…she seems pleased with the new routine…she  and I have lots of possibilities as the colder weather progresses. I can now add a few new routines of my own into the equation. Now that I am up 3 – 4 hours earlier than the rest of the household why not use some of this time with Brunhilda’s early morning warmth to good avail? Time to start factoring in the warmth of the bread proofer that Steve made for me, essentially a shelf a metre above Brunhilda with a metal mesh allowing the wafting heat to rise through and slowly warm whatever I choose to place up there…I could prove bread up there overnight. A nice slow proofing so that the next day I can get Brunhilda cranking and an hour later I could bake bread…fresh baked bread before the sun comes up? Now THAT is an interesting premise!

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A gratuitous bum shot…I still can’t get over where it went! I have lost more weight since this photo but you are looking at the part of me that was the most significant to say the least…now I know it was there to keep me warm in winter!

Steve recently received a gorgeous jar of Christi from Olalla’s jam. He allowed me a tiny taste but I know that this jam is precious to him. It’s a matter of supply and demand. No matter how much jam he demands, there is a very limited supply. Christi is one of the most generous and wonderful people that I know but it costs a FORTUNE to send things between Australia and the U.S. My daughters send a 4kg (that’s over 8lb) package to my son in a neighbouring state for his recent 31st birthday and it only cost them $17 to do so. I would have to SELL said 31 year old son to pay for the costs if I wanted to send the same parcel to Olalla…that should give you an idea about how expensive it is (AND he is a practicing accountant who won’t get out of bed for under $200/hour so factor that into the equation!). I am just going to have to try to get Christi’s jammy goodness recipes out of her. In the name of transcontinental happiness she just might grace me with the recipe to make Steve happy over his morning toast but the problem is that aside from not being able to get some of the more exotic ingredients, Christi has her own alchemy when it comes to jam. I have NEVER tasted better jam folks. This girl could jar it up and sell it, it is THAT good. I bow to her jammy genius and can only hope that my homemade spadle could do justice to one of her recipes. I have a couple of kilos of blackberries in the freezer…I have a homemade spadle that could stir for the queen and I have a 20 litre stainless steel pressure cooker base that doubles as an “Ace” jam pot…now all I need is that fairy dust that makes “jam”…something that Steve wants to dip his spoon into and eat from the jar 😉

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Who could resist these 2…butter wouldn’t melt in their mouths now would it? 😉

Another tome? “Et Tu Brute?!”…sigh…I guess some of you are still reading my posts and maybe I might be able to coax some strangers from the ether (via unusual tags 😉 ) to stray onto Serendipity Farm and spend the time it takes to get through a BIG mug of tea to read them. I told someone today that my blog is my way of allowing my muses to vent. I guess you, my dear constant readers, are starting to realise just how many muses this poor husk of humanity endures! Brunhilda has managed to heat a kettle of water from cold to just on the point of boiling in under 2 minutes…not bad old girl! She is in fine form and just the crackling is making me feel warmer. Apparently the roosters under the deck are feeling the love as well because they just started to crow…sigh…have a fantastic weekend folks…remember you only get 1 life and this is IT. Do something that makes you feel alive this weekend…bugger it…do something that makes you “SQUEE!” with delight :o). Have the best damned time that you can this weekend and when you have to trudge back to work they are going to wonder what that little smile of contentment is that  is hanging off the side of your mouth…don’t tell them, it’s all yours. See you Wednesday :o)

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60 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. LyndaD
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 19:33:22

    You are one crazy, fascinating, intelligent but off the wall lady. So much fun in one post. Read it and Weep – i spent the afternoon with Jessie. Ha!

    Reply

  2. brymnsons
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 19:45:50

    Oh how lovely another peak at those buttons 🙂 I will have to buy some super warm clothes for Tassie, but then again I still have my layer of blubber, would you like to share some? I love the birdie house too. The chair would look great on the deck. I’m in Perth at the moment and my mouth is watering at all those shops. Bruce is getting worried and walking fast past everything! 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:29:23

      Tell him that if he doesn’t stop twitching you will find a teapot shop and REALLY make him twitch! 😉 have a great time in Perth…Steve loved Perth and called it is “Spiritual Home” 😉

      Reply

      • brymnsons
        Apr 22, 2013 @ 20:35:53

        I know what Steve means. I love the country life, but Perth is like a comfy coat 🙂 It just feels like home.

      • narf77
        Apr 23, 2013 @ 02:49:45

        Steve wanted us to move to Perth when he came out here but the rentals were a bit of a killer on that idea. Lucky really, I think I am a country gal at heart ;). I did live in the city for quite some time with Robert initially and it’s a bit overrated but the shopping is amazing and you can pretty much find any sort of “group” to hang with 😉

  3. rabidlittlehippy
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 22:01:17

    Bahahahahaha, you guys sounds like Martin and I. I plan, he’s the brute force that has to turn my genius dreams into reality. 😉 Thank the gods he’s a kind of magician and manages it nearly every time (or something closely resembling said dreams at least).

    I would like to offer heartfelt congratulations for deciding to quit your addiction to what Martin refers to as Facecrack. The first time I heard that I thought he was referring to something involving backsides but I soon worked out the comment. 😉 Facebook is so highly addictive and such a time vacuum. I shudder to think how many hours I wasted addicted to its blue logo’d screens, bemoaning it’s frequent updates, reading statuses that I couldn’t have cared less about or were about things I really didn’t want or need to know and although I’ve made some wonderful friends through there, I miss Facebook not in the least. Welcome to the dark side of life after Facebook. 😀

    Nice work on the mangoes. 🙂 My pumpkin is still doing its thang on growing its 5 pumpkins although the silly thing just produced 2 more female flowers. 😦 I’m hoping the frosts hold off for just a little longer to allow them to ripen some more. The one in the greenhouse is flowering merrily away though and it looks like my watermelon is too. There are 2 baby melons on there but I don’t know if the flowers were fertilised or not. Here’s hoping.

    Happy Birthday Signore Da Vinci. Your works live on and still continue to astound us with your prescience. Happy birthday too to Bethany. 🙂

    I love the old concrete (?) laundry trough too. Growing up we had one of these which was planted with mint. They look stunning don’t they, a lovely retro edge to a garden that is eminently practical too. 🙂

    I would like to set the record straight here. I DID NOT refer to you as round or nana-like, the comment was a description regarding my OWN nanna. I had to go back and read what I’d written as I feared another “60 years old” comment but this time I am innocent. 😀 Phew! 😉 May I suggest a snuggie might be of more help at toasting you up again? Or better yet, snuggle those hulking great walking heaters Bezial and Earl. 😉 I think the trade off for that extra insulation is the ability to move around enough to heat up. I’m a little lower on my extra insulation myself this year and I’m desperately seeking wool in which to knit jumpers or buy them 2nd hand and pre-knitted (scored 3 at the op shop yesterday 2 for Martin, 1 for me) and early mornings usually find me wearing my knitted trousers (if you’re comfy sharing measurements I might just knit you up a pair), a blanket over the knees and another around my wool dressing gown clad shoulders all the while sitting a scant 100cm away from Ignisa. I too despise the cold but I do love the snuggliness of winter, the deeply satisfying food and the comfort of hibernating. 🙂 Oh, and nice bum btw. 😉

    Well, it’s time for bed for this tired Mumma. A great Saturday is over and a wonderful Sunday is looming. See you bright and shining in the morning. 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:48:05

      LOL! I never thought that you were refering to me about roundness…I was thanking you for the analogy so that I could use it (fresh in my mind) in my post ;). I think my previous chunkiness was more akin to “solid block” than nice roly poly nana…I wear my weight on my lower half so look more like one of those weeble men that you push and they bounce back up. I am going to get some thermals to cope with the cold… still tossing up whether to attempt a full set of longjohns in rainbow colours (WITH FLARES MAN!) like Linney suggested ;). I dare say that there would be more holes than wool and Earl would get VERY interested in them and would probably lay at my feet unravelling them as I got engrossed with typing…sigh… Glad you had a magic day yesterday and hope today is going to be just as magic. This time of year is the bomb isn’t it? I fear we are going to be huddled under our feather and down doona come winter though…if autumn is this cold (snow on Mt. Wellington!) then goodness only knows how cold it is going to get in winter! Narf7 likes to think on the positive side…our sugar maples (should they survive the possums regularly “tapping” them for their leaves…) might yet reward us with syrup! 😉 Gotta look on the bright/positive side 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 05:13:18

        It’s apparently down to 0.6C here and around about 14 inside as ‘Nisa burned out overnight. She’s having a bit of a binge as I type and shoveling down the kindling as fast as she can. 🙂
        I am more than happy to whip you up those knitted long-johns on the machine but it is based upon your comfort in sharing bodily measurements. I’ve got my knitted trousers on now and even though they’re only acrylic and the tension is too loose (open weave knit not so god keeping in the warmth) and only 4-ply, they are still lovely and cozy and cushy to wear. I am envisioning a pair in 100% pure new wool (read machine washable), 8-ply and black (for that slimming effect) for me in the very near future. MUST hit up spotlight soon for cheap yarn. 🙂 I shall keep an eye out for psychodelia for you. 😉
        I just had a thought too. Are you growing any camelia sinensis?

      • narf77
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 05:18:35

        Yeh… I have 1 pathetic little specimen that I picked up for $2 at a nursery. I am hoping to get it to grow well so that I can take lots of cuttings :). “Come the revolution” I am going to NEED me a lot more! ;)… My aunty Margaret machine knits. I remember seeing her do it as a child (she had 4 machines!) as she actually sold what she knitted. If I was to source the wool (also spotlight) for said “amazing knitted trousers with flares in RAINBOW COLOURS OF EXTREME HAPPINESS” (yes…I meant that to be in capitals 😉 ), how many balls would I need? I could send you my measurements and will have to start hunting (and using my girls spotlight V.I.P. card 😉 ) as you can often find wool for 20c a ball here but with this sub Arctic weather we are having I bet it is rapidly disappearing 😉

      • brymnsons
        Apr 22, 2013 @ 20:41:03

        My neighbour was saying she uses those leggings under her jeans and they kept her snug and warm in England in winter 🙂

      • narf77
        Apr 23, 2013 @ 02:51:11

        I am wearing leggings now but do you mean thermals? I had a gorgeous striped brightly coloured set (top and bottoms) but it didn’t get so cold that we wore them. Everyone in the U.K. cranks up the heating in winter and it was all that we could do to not strip off every time we got to someone’s house. It was so refreshing to get outside into that crisp air that we tended to enjoy it when we did :).

  4. Deb
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 22:32:32

    I got homesick looking at the dogs sitting outside the kindergarten door where I used to work.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:40:43

      You worked there?!!! I went to the library all the time before we swapped and went to Exeter for about 8 months…we might even have seen each other in passing :).

      Reply

  5. Littlesundog
    Apr 20, 2013 @ 22:35:51

    LyndaD’s comment made me laugh!! I love your musings Fran, and I make sure I have plenty of time to devote to reading when I see a new post. Thank you for so many photos that delight the reader! And you know I love photos of Earl and Bezial!

    I’m planning to head about 20 miles south today to visit friends and hunt for morel mushrooms! It’s always a treasure hunt for me… spotting and picking these tasty treats. IF we find any, I’ll cook up a few, and dehydrate the rest. I hope to find time write email and maybe blog this weekend. Oh, and Daisy deer was seen by FD early this morning, laying in the tall grasses just back from the slope in the woods. It’s lovely to have her here on the property again (with a friend also bedded down nearby). They’ve been cleaning the feed buckets up every night. Evidently, they crave a high protein diet right now!

    Have a fantastic weekend!!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:31:58

      I bet she has brought her friend back to “the fold” to get ready for birthing. I notice that the feral cats seem to dissipate around here and we just think that they have moved on and suddenly, a month or so before they all give birth they return to wait it out here where it is “safe” (read we don’t shoot them!). Sounds to me like you are going to be honoured by Daisy (and Maisy?) giving birth on your property 🙂

      Reply

  6. christiok
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:09:22

    OMG! I’m blushing, Fran! Thank you for the amazing shout-out for the jam. :):) You are so funny — Jam Junkies of Tasmania forever. And as far as being generous, well, I consider $27 dollars a bargain for an instant on-demand professional horticulturist’s identification/description OF and prescription/recommendation of action FOR a weed that has infested my gardens and puzzled me for years! Value add that I get so much attention. 🙂 LOL

    And the jam recipe is here: http://farmlet.wordpress.com/jam-recipe/ You can do it, Fran!! Blackberry jam is the best! The Pomona’s Pectin is the real secret…so much less sugar needed.

    Happy Birthday to Bethany! It amazes me that our kids are so close in age — Austin is 22, Annie is 26, and Molly 29. It’s part of our twinness, along with lucky marriages, eh?

    I wear long underwear 10 months out of the year. I’m not kidding. It doesn’t get to be “summer” here — above 15C/60F — regularly until mid-July, and then it’s cold again by late-September. Cold and wet, that’s the Puget Sound area. But that’s why we’re so green. Uh huh. Anyway, long underwear. The kind with a smooth outer surface so I can wear them under everything without tension and binding. I have a drawer-full of them, black, white, stretched out and tighter, ones for fatter days, ones for fancy outings, etc. Layers, girl!

    Thanks for a wonderful Saturday morning visit! I LOVE the picture of your beautiful bum. Only you, Fran. Love from Olalla.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 03:39:11

      Lol that bum was when I still had a bit of padding on it… I am afraid it is sorely lacking in the padding arena now ;). I am with you on the long underwear by the way. Steve is just about to pick me up some “Thermals” as we call them here. I had a gorgeous pair of rainbow multi-coloured thermals (top and bottom) for when we went to the U.K. I thought that I was going to DIE as we were going in the winter time (much cheaper than summer to travel) and as it turned out, we didn’t feel the cold all that much and didn’t actually wear them. I am feeling it here so Steve is going to pick me up some more thermals and I can’t wait! :). Then I won’t have to look like the Michellin Man with all the clothes that I have been layering with lately ;). Your jam IS the best Christi. Its absolutely gorgeous and Steve is coveting his jar. I swear he has a secret marking system on that jar to ensure that no-one else is dipping their spoon into that nectarous heaven and is eking it out slowly and savouring it on toast. I will see if we can actually get that Pomona jam setter here as I have uncheeze recipes that use it as well. I am thinking of moving to Olalla by the way… if you are telling me it is always green…it never gets hot and you get a lot of rain? You just about sold it to me girl! Might have to do a few swaps first…Bev from Foodnstuff talked about a gorgeous Queensland permaculture property that was for sale. Methinks I will swap Serendipity Farm (and our town house…the girls can come with us to Olalla…remember their desire to move to Canada? 😉 ) for the Queensland property, then we can sell that and move to Olalla claiming diplomatic immunity because Kelsey is living here so we should automatically get green cards. Sounds like a plan to me! What do you think? 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:46:20

        Fowlers Vacola Jamsetta. 🙂 Many supermarkets have it, usually in the baking aisle I think, near the icing decorations, glaced cherries and such. 😀

      • narf77
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 19:00:16

        Mum always had some in her pantry cupboard but that Pomona stuff has more uses apparently…there are entire vegan confraternities making all kinds of crazy non dairy “cheezes” out of the Pomoma stuff and it is apparently the only one that will do it…so I gotta get me some Pomona A.S.A.P. (or is that “STAT!” 😉 ). I am currently binging on Pinterest…can’t get fat licking the monitor can you?…can you?!!!

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 19:07:35

        They’ve invented touch screens. Taste screens are only a computer nerd away. 😉

      • narf77
        Apr 21, 2013 @ 20:07:53

        I want smell AND taste screens…and a personalised screen at that (I have SOME scruples 😉 )

  7. christiok
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 06:25:52

    YAY! Get those green cards in the works! I will start looking for close-by farmlets for you. Bring the girls, and Stewart and Kelsey, too. Perhaps you should check with Steve Solomon first, though, about the glory of the cold and rain. 🙂 Apparently Tasmania is pretty darn nice…perhaps we should be the ones moving? 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 06:33:45

      Hey, we seem to be managing to make Frank twitch next door…he is on 2 acres (of manicured bedrock 😉 ) and has just bought a MASSIVE bit boat that he seems to be living on while he is doing it up in the river in front of his home…methinks a seachange is on the fronts for frank? 😉 Steve Solomon can come too! 😉

      Reply

  8. thinkingcowgirl
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 08:26:37

    Haha this talk of wrapping up is all too familiar 😉 I’ve only just shed my leg warmers! Honestly, I’ve spent about 9 months trussed up in wool and feathers and fleece – I’m writing a poem about it. Can you email me your address, I too have something to send you – for the winter! No, don’t worry, it’s not a pound of flesh… 🙂
    Cold definitely makes you want to eat fat and that’s pretty natural, crumpets biccies toast. Yum. While you’re putting things to bed I’m sowing seeds…

    I’m following Alain de Botton on twitter and he’s obviously writing a book on couple relationships and keeps tweeting interesting things. I quite liked this one ‘before you take the moral highground consider the fact that we always get together with someone of the same emotional immaturity’ Haha, so true. There’s always squabbling round here too 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 21, 2013 @ 15:04:04

      I SO agree about choosing someone on your emotional level…Steve and I are perpetual Kindegarteners ;). Our biggest problem is that we are also exact opposites and have NO idea what the other one is trying to do or how they process anything. The way Steve goes about doing something is absolutely foreign to me and as we both think that we know best you can imagine how “interesting” some of our combined studies (and just life in general) can be ;). I am not worried about fat…I was swathed in it for most of my life and it’s my most comfortable viewing platform for the world…this thinner stuff is as foreign to me as Steve’s point of view! I have actually embraced fats now after giving up dieting. I eat healthy whole fats like avocado and nuts rather than use oils etc. I have just learned to eat wholesome “real” food rather than existing on baked potatoes, toast and tea all smothered in butter (now THOSE were the days! 😉 ). This is the first year that I will be minus my walrus protection layer and I am starting to realise what it was for. I have been “layering” for the queen…she would be proud of me if she could see me swaddled and struggling at the keyboard first thing in the morning. I am SO glad that Earl likes to sleep in as he loves a good game and me trying to put on legwarmers, boots, 2 fleeces the woolliest pair of trousers I can find and anything else that I think will ward off the cold till Brunhilda kicks in for the day…I must look like a manic hermit crab with a predilection for clothing to any brave night time fisherman who foolishly takes binoculars with him… “Alain de Botton” eh? I learn so much from you :). Time to go see who he is and finish my cup (bucket) of tea before it goes cold 🙂 Have a lovely Sunday and hopefully “Spring” is at least pretending to stir…I LOVE it when the spring bulbs start emerging :). We have the leaves emerging here so that’s a start 😉

      Reply

  9. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 01:11:58

    I’m late…we’ve been up to the north of england to visit a niece and now I see Gok turned up at yours. Good old mail service! Wow, what a great post. Love those bird houses and the chair and that fire set (I think they’re called companion sets in England). I thought of you today as we came across the hugest car boot sale I have ever seen and spent hours wandering around and buying bargains. Toli couldn’t believe people were buying broad bean plants when all we do is stick the beans in the ground! Very jealous that you have grown mangoes (my all time favourite fruit) and wish you luck with the brazils. Have a lovely rest of the day..ooops, it’s over now for you…have a great Monday!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 03:55:23

      Bugger…I had just typed out a large reply with lots of wittisisms about Gok being to Gumby what the Hulk was to Dr Bruce Banner and how Eric Bana upset the spellcheck and it wanted me to spell banana and how I would have actually learned to spell if I had a spell check in primary school amusing me like it is amusing me here and how envious I was of your big boot sale and it all disappeared! Sigh…oh well, you got the paraphrased version and I will even insert the “somnolent” Brunhilda simmering my congee bit because I had to look up how to spell somnolent because Spellchecker couldn’t work out what I was trying to spell I was SO far away from the mark ;). I consider my blog posts an education in literature (even if it IS only a stupid Americanised version 😉 ). Have a great week Tanya and Toli and enjoy those gorgeous little broad beans, don’t people know that you should ALWAYS plant broad beans straight into the ground?

      Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 04:06:10

      Oops…I didn’t mean to make it sound like I thought “you” had bought broad beans in my comment! I was just ruminating about how people really should plant their own for the best results as lots of seeds (especially beans) really do need to be planted out into the soil first up and do best when planted that way. It’s like seedlings that people grow from a seed. They grow the fastest. They might take longer to fruit/nut BUT they grow like topsy and end up doing better in situ because they are acclimatised to their endemic conditions better than a tree/grafted tree bought from a nursery. You can always graft if the results aren’t satisfactory but you need that initial vigorous plant and we have grown almost all of our nut trees from seed that we are just about to plant out. Time to sow a whole HEAP of broad beans for my own personal bean fest (Steve doesn’t like them) come harvest time 🙂 I have SUCH PLANS! 🙂

      Reply

  10. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 07:12:36

    Hee hee! You’re even answering yourself back here 🙂 Yay for planting seeds..why wouldn’t you…unless your neighbours have already done it and shared their little plants with you. Last year a pal and I chose a word that would be “ours” for the year. Mine was Serendipidity! Now I’m thinking somnolent might be a good one for another year 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:05:42

      A great word indeed! My word for the year is “Release!” I figure that I release on cue approximately once an hour but that a more “controlled” release might be more conducive to peace and harmony on Serendipity Farm 😉

      Reply

  11. Linne
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 07:23:22

    Oh, Narfy7777777! Another post that makes me want to write a huge long answer back . . . maybe later. Just got my laptop opened again (my sister gave me Netflix for Christmas and I didn’t get to it ’til today. Started watching ‘Jericho’ (one of my all-time favourite tv series ever) for the umpteenth time . . . I can’t explain it; I’m obsessive about odd things.

    Anyway, I loved all the post, as usual, but what caught my eye most was the lovely doily photo; you DO know that’s the same as my multicoloured one I posted a while back? but, sadly, the pattern is somewhere in storage . . . hint, hint 😉

    I feel a temper tantrum coming on . . . I can see myself, in a couple of minutes, lying on the floor kicking and screaming, yelling “I want my Star
    Gate and I want it NOW!!”. Well, good luck with that, as they say. 😉

    If you move to lovely Olalla in the Future Province of Washington, Canada, ;-), you will be much closer to me and maybe I won’t have that tantrum after all. On the other hand, why don’t we all congregate at your place and rabid’s and Kym’s and . . . for the spring to early autumn, then whisk ourselves away to the nothern climes for spring to early autumn there, too?? Could be fun . . .

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:07:18

      Sounds lovely…who’s in? ;). Is that pattern that same?!!! Kymmy said it might be! My daughters must be strange too as they loved Jericho to the max and watched it all till it was canned here :).

      Reply

    • brymnsons
      Apr 22, 2013 @ 20:55:30

      Oh Linne I love your thinking…. we could do progressive craft, cooking, gardening etc x

      Reply

      • narf77
        Apr 23, 2013 @ 02:52:12

        And our husbands could just be “wonderful hosts” in exchange for the extended holidays that they themselves would get when we all buggered off to the next poor long suffering hubbies house 😉

  12. Lisa
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 20:58:23

    I stopped using facebook a long time ago. Not only is it a time suck, but the security issues are bothersome. That said..did you make the kimchi? I’m loving the shed and garden photos – I have similar taste and I want all of the above in my backyard!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 23, 2013 @ 02:48:14

      The shed and the garden photo’s are from a gorgeous garden that a friend and I visited not so long ago. It’s called Wychwood and it’s up for sale ;). I didn’t make the kimchi yet but today is raining and we can’t get out to collect firewood (like squirrels collecting nuts in May 😉 ) so I may have the time to get cracking with my kimchi. I like to add sea vegetables to add nutrition and a whole lot of flavour but Steve doesn’t like the way that it smells when I add sea veggies so it will have to be relegated to our own shed which isn’t anywhere NEAR as photogenic as Wychwood ;).

      Reply

  13. Lisa
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 05:35:53

    If I had the cash..I’d buy it! It’s gorgeous! That said, I have yet to make kimchi..but you’ve piqued my interest in it 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 24, 2013 @ 11:42:00

      I am addicted to kimchi now and making it yourself allows you to customise the recipe to your own tastes. My daughters love it really REALLY hot but I like mine a bit milder but with more flavour so I add ginger and garlic and other flavours as well as adding some sea veggies for extra nutrition and flavours. Mine ended up tasting amazing and I have a cup left that I keep thinking I could eat that I am saving for my batch as a “starter”. Fermenting is great fun 🙂

      Reply

  14. Linne
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 07:58:47

    This may take more than one answer, but here goes . . .

    FB: I only use it to message friends and for a closed Canadian group I belong to. I’m glad I didn’t know you were on there; I would have had to quit sleeping just to keep up LOL
    Gok: It would serve him right if I stripped naked and paraded around, but we’re not going there . . . EVER! Well, on the odd occasion I get to Courtenay, I may be seen skinny dipping in the river, ’cause half the town does; the other half wear suits; everyone gets along fine and no one cares what you wear (or not); people range from great-grandparents to new babies. Anyway, not likely I’ll be doing that sort of cooking for some time, but I’d love to share your adventures . . .
    You n Steve: I just love how you two work ‘together’, sort of . . . isn’t it amazing that when two people decide to do so, they can find a way through anything, although I’m sure it’s not always without a few snangles . . . you two are a great example to the rest of the world!
    Tomatoes: there’s a side benefit to staking; no vampires!!
    The Weird: I’m weird enough on my own, but you go for it! Besides I’m having a struggle finding time for reading these days, compared to my old life, when a book a day or more was the norm.
    Buttons: Kym is one lucky lady! But I found more of my own buttons today and may have to post a picture later just to evoke a bit of jealousy . . .
    Gardens: lucky, lucky you two (and yes, I know that we make our own luck!); I am so lucky to be sharing your journey!! And without breaking a sweat, either . . . Are you going to raise some chia pets? Inquiring minds want to know . . .
    Peanuts: they grow here in Canada, too; at least there are varieties that do. But, sadly, I never did get around to trying them. Share your pics, eh?? (as if you wouldn’t!)
    The doily book: LOVE IT! (sorry for shouting, but you ARE sort of far away LOL) Thanks for sharing the photo. That is the pattern for MY doily (the multi-coloured one with white violets and beigey leaves). But the pattern, like most things Linen, is in storage for the nonce. (hint,
    hint)
    Brazil nuts; I know it isn’t practical for getting large crops, but is there any chance you could hand-pollinate? I’ll obviously have to read up on Brazil nuts!
    The mangoes and the sacrificed pumpkin vines: My Mum grew some amazing stuff by accident on our compost heap in Salmon Arm. we just threw all veggie waste and leftovers onto the heap; never did anything with it that I remember. One year she looked out the window while washing dishes and saw enormous tomato plants, squash plants and more, sprouting happily from the pile. Even some potatoes from eyes that had been in the peelings. I never peel, so will have to plant whole potatoes one day.
    Room for a forest or two: I would consider (and you two likely did already) planting rather thickly along the boundaries, especially on the south side (for you); this would form a sort of hedgerow, only taller. If the plantings aren’t too wide, the sun will still get to the trees. Just a thought; I’m sure you have your own . . . or there’s the ‘Johnny Appleseed’ way; take a few seedlings out and plant them somewhere out of the way; if predators are a problem, maybe set up wire fencing to protect them.
    Potatoes: yummy!
    Greenhouse palace for the mangoes: do you keep a lightbulb burning in there on cold winter nights? Even one or two can make enough difference. As can big drums painted black, sealed and full of water.
    Leonardo da Vinci: One very great man!!
    The potted babies: I think when they are so close together, they conserve moisture; I’ve always had more luck with gardens that were planted thickly, except sometimes on the coast, where it’s damp often and then there’s mildew and the like to contemplate . . . they are so lovely, especially with the red leaves!
    Nice your kids have birthdays so close together, isn’t it? Hope they had a great one! Would love to see a photo of the cake; I really like bubble tea. I’d love your daughters; I cook just like that. recipes and patterns; just a general guide (until I get into trouble; then I go back and read ’em properly!)
    The heart tree: great picture! and I ‘heart’ trees, too (though it’s not my favourite expression . . .
    Lovely Leaf Hopper: even what we consider pests have a beauty to them . . .
    Kim Chi: haven’t tried that yet, but one day . . .
    The fire set: I meant to say, but forgot: the tongs are so you can position the wood precisely when it is burning (or add more to the fire). That was the BEST score! Wish I could just star gate down to shop your tip shop, garage sales, etc.
    Wychwood: love the shop and the home! What an attractive patio! I don’t think I have the bricks anymore, but I did have some that would have been perfect for an oven; maybe one day . . .
    Sea Rocks: My Mum and I both have collections of rocks like that (and other things, too; don’t ask!)
    Super Steve: perfect for you; but won’t be shopping for me (no offense, Steve); I like shopping for food, although the ‘muzak’ drives me crazy.
    Birdhouse and chair: OK, now I’m in awe (and in love!). How perfect can things be?
    Chockie Bikkies: save some for me!
    Sushi: I’ll have some of that, too . . .
    Warm: I think very warmly of you; will that help?? I see warm woolies in your near future . . . get knitting, eh?
    Brunhilda: what a great name: I’ve been thinking of names for my future stove, too, thanks to you and rabid . . .
    The bread proofing shelf: Love it! I have, in my storage here (where else?) an antique Mennonite bread proofer: looks sort of like a wok with lid, but deeper. It needs re-finishing before I can use it, but one day . . .
    Fresh baked bread: you may eat some of mine, if you like 🙂
    Gratuitous bum shot: very, very nice! reminds me of mine, once upon a time, not so long ago, either . . . my once and future bum, but unfortunately, not my present bum . . . LOL
    Christi was inspired by rabid’s sending you some kefir and has put some in the mail for me . . . yesterday I bought some 2% milk just for the kefir; I’ll have to name my grains, too! (no, not migraines!! ) and her jam sounds yummy, too.
    Postal fees: I stopped sending Christmas packages to my grandbabies a few years ago, when I sent one smallish box with books and cookies and it cost me $50 CDN to do so! After that, I sent cash when I could afford it and the parents bought the gifts. Not much fun for me, though. I should have had an accountant son . . . what was I thinking . . . art, music and alternative sports??
    Spadle: photo, please . . . although I’m fairly sure I know what you mean.
    OK, gotta go. More some time later. Thank goodness you only post twice a week! I do love your posts, though. My Reader is a highlight of my day!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 25, 2013 @ 03:45:44

      Whew that was a long comment! 😉 I couldn’t read any comments or comment back yesterday let alone read my RSS Feed Reader etc thanks to the net going down and stealing my early morning time. Brunhilda and I spent the morning together as I typed 3 blog posts in a row so I have plenty to fall back on as Steve and I attempt to work together harmoniously and build our big enclosed veggie garden. I saw a post this morning that made me twitch with excitement. I know about hugelkultur gardens and have been thinking that I could implement some on the outer boundaries of the property, indeed, a HUGE tree fell over our fence ages ago (that fence that borders Franks place next door) and after cutting it up and hurling what we could back over the fence we discovered it was mostly rotten inside and left the wood in the corner of the block. It’s perfect for planting and if I plant directly into the self made hugelkultur pile the plants should grow great guns. I plan on growing our own little privacy screen so that all of us can benefit from the luxury ;). Might plant some fruit trees so that Frank and Adrianne can enjoy the benefits as well. Frank appears to have purchased an ENORMOUS boat that he has moored out in the river on his boat mooring (he used to have a 40ft yacht but sold it) and this thing looks like you could ferry passengers up and down the river in it but he has been out on the boat all day every day so hopefully we didn’t drive him out there! 😉

      I am sure that Gok could care less what you look like naked because Gok is very VERY gay ;). I think that is what makes him so loveable to women and is the key to his success. He is also incredibly down to earth and pragmatic and before I fell in love with his cooking show I point blank refused to even watch the “How to look good naked” show (still haven’t) because I thought that cashing in on womens fears and emotional problems regarding their bodies was a low thing to do. It appears it was a pretty good show but I am still not going to watch it ;).

      NO chia pets here…Earl would eat them…he hates competition ;). Peanuts are just something I would like to see grow here as “calories” are the most important thing to think about when growing your own plants. Calories are seen as a terrible no-no but if you have to live out of your garden you soon learn that the food that you produce has to give you more than vitamins. Did you want me to scan that doily pattern for you Linne? ;). Apparently the only way to get Brazil nuts to grow is for them to be pollinated by a specific little wasp that is endemic to Brazil. It isn’t a marketing ploy, it’s just fact and that’s what keeps them at the high end of the monetary chain, simple supply and demand in action! 😉

      My grandma used to grow spuds (potatoes) from peels. I want to get to the point where most of our veggies grow in the compost and we have organised chaos out there. If we can get enough food growing out there the possums will start working FOR us in keeping their brethren away and I consider a tithe of 10% good enough for their reward. We should have the fattest possums this side of the pecos (but till our trees grow big enough to cope with their constant leaf stripping we are going to have to protect them agains invasion).We don’t get that cold here in the north of Tassie so the glasshouse seems to be ok over winter without any additions. We just clump all of the plants together and we have a banana plant and a coffee plant that lasted just fine all through last winter. This year we have cardamom and turmeric plants to add to the equation…should be a jungle in there 😉

      I am just about to start another batch of kimchi…I have to talk myself up into the process ;). I will share how I make it and you can live vicariously through my kimchi (Steve would add “and you can share the smell!” to that if he was awake ;)…I have to put my baby kimchi in the shed this time as Steve doesn’t like the smell at ALL! 😉 ).

      I LOVE the generosity of online friendships and Christi is my twin sister in Olalla. We have SO many similarities in our lives it is uncanny! She is one of the most gorgeous, generous people I know and your kefir will be infused with love and happiness and will be ready to get working for you :).

      Cant…stop…muses…would…drive…me…insane… 😉 Have a great week till I next bombard you with a massive post…wait a minute? That would be today! 😉

      Reply

  15. gardeningkiwi
    Apr 25, 2013 @ 05:57:59

    Hi Fran. Thanks for the mention. I think I’m going to have to dig up some of my peanuts as they seem to have picked up some kind of mould issue. I’ll let you know how I get on.
    Cheers Sarah : o )

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 25, 2013 @ 06:04:17

      I can’t wait! I am forcing myself to see how you go before I start donating space to planting them as your conditions are very much like ours (except you are wetter than we are). 🙂

      Reply

  16. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 12:31:00

    You don’t look like you need to lose weight. I try to o to the store on senior citizen’s day for the discount, but never early. It can be quite scary at that time of the day. Hope you do make some furniture.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 26, 2013 @ 16:02:39

      Steve usually ends up helping senior citizens with items on high shelves :). It’s only Steve and the senior citizens at that time of morning (7am) as the “native” Tasmanian’s don’t really get going till about 10am. We use that to our own advantage on shopping day and Steve is just about on his way home from his fortnightly shop (including everything else that he has to do while he is in the city) when the regular “housewives” are starting up their cars for their own expeditions. It works for us 🙂

      Reply

      • athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
        Apr 26, 2013 @ 20:43:41

        That’s funny. I’m short and sometimes I wait around until I see someone tall to help me. On the other hand I didn’t realize they were helping me because they thought I was old.

      • narf77
        Apr 27, 2013 @ 02:58:46

        PFFFT! Old SHMOLD! You look as old as I do fat ;). I “used” to be fat and we all get old. Old is seriously a state of mind. Tell Judge Judy that she is old! ;). They probably were helping you to reach things on the top shelf because they thought that you were cute! You are a pretty lady 🙂

  17. Sophie33
    Apr 26, 2013 @ 16:47:06

    This was such a lovely post, dear, dear friends! What you all do in one day! Ha!
    You look really slim: well done you!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 26, 2013 @ 17:32:12

      Hugs right back to you Sophie, glad you enjoyed the post :). I LOVE your smoothie recipes lately. I have a smoothie every morning and it’s great to be able to swap them around, although I don’t think I will have the boozy one for breakfast ;). I couldn’t be held responsible for what I did after drinking it! 😉

      Reply

  18. dwayland
    May 01, 2013 @ 07:39:30

    Where to start…
    Oh, maybe the beginning…
    I often feel like saying that I’m not dead, just busy. But, I think most people share that nowadays.
    My Grandma had a button box when I was a kid that I got to rummage through. Always fun. Now I have one too, mainly just buttons that fall off of shirts and such that I need to sew back on someday.
    I made some arm warmers over this past winter from old sweaters. Super easy and way comfy!
    Wychwood looks really fun. I could spend hours looking around there.
    Hee hee, love your avocado comment. I’m lucky that I have neighbors and family that give me avos, otherwise, my grocery bill would be enormous! We did sushi this past weekend for our anniversary. I love the stuff!
    Congrats on all the weight loss! Nice Bum! 😉

    Reply

  19. quarteracrelifestyle
    May 02, 2013 @ 05:27:33

    Aw, the dogs are just precious 🙂 And I adore the bird house (might try and copy that myself!) and the chair. There is heaps on teatree (our manuka) on the farm and Roger is intending making some furniture sometime soon, love the look.

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 05:50:32

      Those photos were “fillers” from the vaults (photos in waiting) from a past visit to the enchanting Wychwood with a friend. I would work in those gardens for free they were so gorgeous :). Everywhere you turned was something magical or gorgeous or perfect. Jenny and I were “gobsmacked” and the wonderful Karen sent us some pink angelica seed that we had been admiring! You can’t ask for a better garden experience than that :). We have found the teatree to be remarkably resiliant. We had to cobble together a dog enclosure around the house (in a few hours flat) when we first moved here as otherwise Bezial would have headed for the hills. We used teatree poles and they have stood the test of the last 2 1/2 years and Earl’s sterling efforts to ford them at every opportunity. I can’t wait to find the time to make some furniture out of them along with the driftwood that we pick up from the riverbanks washed in from the Tasman just around the corner from us :).

      Reply

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        May 02, 2013 @ 06:06:07

        It looks absolutely beautiful! I love to explore places like that. A friend of ours has 2 teatree chairs on her porch, they are used constantly and have been there for years. But yeah, getting time to do these things is a little hard sometimes, gardens tend to take over one’s life! We are only 10 minutes from a couple of beaches we like to go exploring on, come home with all sorts of collectibles and seaweed for the garden.

      • narf77
        May 02, 2013 @ 06:53:28

        We are not supposed to take seaweed from the beaches here but no-one cares what the officials say (the same officials that push for pulp mills…) and after a nice rough day you can see gardeners heading with determination to the nearest beaches with their trailers 😉

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        May 02, 2013 @ 06:57:52

        Good on them 🙂 I think if fleets of foreign fishing boats can go out and plummet our oceans the little person on the land should be able to go and pick up a little seaweed!

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