It rained on our parade…

Hi All,

Buggery bollocks the net’s gone down. My apologies to anyone sensitive reading this post but I have intentionally limited my angst to that initial sentence so it’s hopefully all uphill from here. It’s 4.46am and I have just written an entire post, I have resized 15 images for last Wednesdays post and am starting on today’s post last Wednesday. I like to make the most of my time but this is ridiculous! Last Wednesday I was typing Saturday’s post about Peak Oil. Who knows what has happened in the last week? I am guessing that Steve and I have done “something” regarding our proposed large fully enclosed vegetable garden. I am hoping that we did or this post is going to be an epitaph to our laziness or to how much rain Tasmania can spawn in a single week. I am going to turn our modem back on now after an hours rest. If it decides that it is going to play ball and connect us to the net this is going to be a very short paragraph and I will be off surfing the ether for recipes, processes and my addiction to knowledge. If it doesn’t…you might have to suffer a post spawned by the frustrations of a knowledge addict.

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This is what happens when you get up at 3am and forget that you didn’t put a screw cap on the container with your homemade non-dairy milk…sigh…

We are seeing a lot more grey herons hanging around the shoreline at the moment. It must be nesting season

We are seeing a lot more grey herons hanging around the shoreline at the moment. It must be nesting season

Sigh…the net is incommunicado and narf7 has been relegated to typing. Brunhilda has been sparking away since I got up at 3am this morning. We both slid back into our morning processes with consummate ease and now that I get up so freakin’ early, she barely has time to settle down into slumber before I am prodding her with the poker and asking her to boil my kettle for another day. “Chicken” and “Stock” are both loudly progressing themselves even closer to the dinner table as I sit here typing and my second kettle of the day is just about to boil. I am going to sit it on the edge of the cooktop where it can gently tick away. My grandmother taught me to put a smooth well boiled pebble into my kettle so that you know when it is about to boil (and so you can catch it before it starts to scream at the top of its lungs…a good thing when the rest of the household is fast asleep and entirely uninterested in how many cups of tea you want to cram into your early morning sessions…) and it’s a little tip that keeps grandma around in a small way. I think of her when that little stone starts to tap and as it keeps the beat slowly throughout my day.

A little bit later on and the sun is just starting to come up on a gorgeous chilly autumn morning

A little bit later on and the sun is just starting to come up on a gorgeous chilly autumn morning

Our neighbourhood has suddenly started showing off

Our neighbourhood has suddenly started showing off

Last Tuesday we visited our friend in the witness protection. She gave me carrot; broccoli, cabbage and cauliflower seeds and she also gave me some seeds that look like round emerald green pearlescent cake sprinkles. She has no idea what they are…”I” have no idea what they are. I have my suspicions that they ARE cake sprinkles but I am going to try them in a pot and see what grows. She also gave me some seed from a plant she purchased at the nursery where she works. It’s called a “Rocoto Tree Chilli” and promises to be a perennial tree that produces chilli’s that grows in temperate climates in full sun in a wide range of soil types. Its botanical name is “Capsicum pubescens” and apparently the fruit it produces is hot. Aside from the usability of the fruit, the plant is apparently hardy and there are stories about a man “living down south” who has one 8 metres high and 2 metres wide…I get the feeling that this plant is something akin to our own Cape Gooseberry that lives happily on Serendipity Farm and I figure it might self-seed all over the place but I have NO problem with an edible condiment that wants to keep on keeping on with very little input…some might offer up the word “weed” but we don’t call things weeds here on Serendipity Farm (not since we learned that constant weeding is NOT something that we wish to do for the rest of our lives) and choose to see as many benefits in our fast growing botanical cell mates as we can.

The solitary artichoke that didn't get munched to the ground by the wallabies with cat for size comparison

The solitary artichoke that didn’t get munched to the ground by the wallabies with cat for size comparison

I love this little house and it's for sale folks! Anyone want to move to Sidmouth and be narf7's neighbour?

I love this little house and it’s for sale folks! Anyone want to move to Sidmouth and be narf7’s neighbour?

Our friend in the witness protection and I huddled over Peppino shrubs and her exponentially increasing Tree Chilli plant and her cuttings that she took recently and we gravitated to her veggie garden and over to her unprotected garden where the neighbours cows and bull decided to crush half of her hard work in planting out conifers over the last year…curiously, they only crushed the half that were growing…the half that the possums and wallabies and rabbits decided weren’t palatable enough to predate and strip and so her garden is suffering a bit at the moment but her garden is like our friend…resilient, stubborn and optimistic and we are going back yesterday (remembering I am typing this last Wednesday and am projecting into the future…) to take lots of cuttings of hardy pentstemon’s, tree chillies, peppinos, and collect a tray of young leeks that she grew for us. We will be giving her chives and PDF’s and a barrel of biscuits that won’t even go halfway to repaying her kindness or the load of wood that she told Steve to get while we are visiting.

Steve insists that these are "my fishnets"...who thinks he would make a good Frankenfurter?

Steve insists that these are “my fishnets”…who thinks he would make a good Frankenfurter?

We discussed my fear of Earl and Bezial bowling over my high school bestie Kym who is going to visit from Western Australia for a week to celebrate us both mutually hitting the grand old age of 50. We even considered sending our friends partner off to stay with Steve and the dogs for a week and pretending that our friends house was ours just so that we could circumvent the badly behaved larger dog problem in the first place but hopefully Kym is made of sterner stuff and can understand that our 2 dogs might be badly behaved…they might have as much training as our chooks do and they might pay attention to us about as much as my children do BUT after about an hour they will settle down and ignore you like they did with my mum when she visited. If you AREN’T made of sterner stuff and you don’t think you can handle an hour of dog slobber and jumping Kymmy we might have to go back to plan A! 😉

1 roll of fish netting off to be cut up for our garden

1 roll of fish netting off to be cut up for our garden

After we headed into town we took some photos to illustrate the HDR function in Photoshop. What is the HDR function in Photoshop? Beats me folks, but it involves setting up a tripod, taking a “normal”, an “underexposed” and an “overexposed” photo all of the very same thing, all without moving the camera in the least and using the HDR function in Photoshop to blend the photos to arrive at something that looks like a black and white or sepia photo that has been hand coloured. I think I showed you some of them last Wednesday… (See how I cleverly pretended that I am actually here rather than back there typing this out last Wednesday? 😉 ) and they remind me of Victorian hand coloured photographs that my nana used to have in frames. I quite like them and the dogs behaved while Steve took the photos and I held them both. Their combined weight now exceeds mine quite significantly and should they have suddenly become aware of the presence of a cat per-se, I think Steve might have been able to take some entirely hilarious photos that he could have sold to the local newspaper. Thank goodness the feline population of Launceston decided not to make an appearance.

"I SWEAR I can smell fish!"

“I SWEAR I can smell fish!”

After we took our photos we picked up another bottle of hot sauce (my latest addiction) and headed home where Steve spent the afternoon manufacturing a new dog door for the back door and devising a way to make it unavailable to nefarious enterers when we are not here. Just a small aside folks…if anyone IS considering waiting till we head out and attempting to crawl in through the dog door I think I owe it to you to admit that we often leave our dogs behind when we head out. They like being warm and laying on the floor in front of Brunhilda and Earl loves to run at top speed out the dog door. Should anyone be foolish enough to want to crawl through a large dog door that hasn’t been secured at the back…they might ask themselves “why haven’t the home owners secured this dog door and why am I able to enter this establishment via said dog door so easily?” they might be able to get this thought out before Earl crashes headlong into them at 100+kph and they get to meet both Earl AND Bezial…I just thought I would give you a sporting chance 😉

Free steel poles to be concreted into the ground as part of the new veggie garden

Free steel poles to be concreted into the ground as part of the new veggie garden

It’s now 5.35am last Wednesday. “Chicken” and “Stock” are getting nearer to meeting their maker and I am starting to think about what I can do for the next hour and a half before I wake Steve up and we start our day. We have big plans for today (for “today” insert “last Wednesday”) and will be cutting sheoaks down, collecting large steel poles from a friend’s house, digging holes and humping stones from one place to another to be used in building the keyhole gardens and spiral gardens that are going to be created inside this large fully enclosed garden. Our friend in the witness protection is giving me lots of raspberry canes to grow. She is also giving me a “Youngberry”. Not too sure what a “Youngberry” is but it has very large berries on it and everything in the whole wide world wants to eat it because it is so delicious so I figure I might tack myself onto the end of that tasting conga line and graciously accepted her offer of a sucker. She is also giving me lots of perennial plants that have grown in her lawn over the long hot summer that we just had and that just elevated themselves into “must have!” status on Serendipity Farm. If they didn’t get eaten on our friend’s property, they are magic and are plants to be treasured at all costs. Sometimes you have to outthink your enemy. If we want a garden full of flowers we have to plant things that “the enemy” can’t stand. “Fool me once!”

Steve's maples still have a few leaves left by the possums to start putting on a lovely show

Steve’s maples still have a few leaves left by the possums to start putting on a lovely show

Steve and I are going to attempt to cut our way through about a kilometre of ex fish farm netting today. We have to circumnavigate our 175m2 fully enclosed veggie gardens with something that seals and dolphins can’t bite through. We figure if aquatic mammals can’t beak their way into it, possums and wallabies have NO chance! The weather has been perfect here lately. It’s lovely and cool and bracing outside but the sun is shining and the skies are blue and it’s easy, and a pleasure, to work for hours out of doors. We have even been having the odd rain shower but rain in Tassie works on Tassie time. It rains at night and on the weekends and rarely before 10am (when most native Tasmanian’s like to get out and about as a rule ;)) so we can have the dogs walked before it starts drizzling for the day.

On fire under the deck

On fire under the deck

It’s very exciting to be underway on the veggie garden…exciting and daunting. I now have to figure out how to fill these garden beds cheaply. We are going to use hugelkultur principals by using up the branch wood and sticks that we cut from the trees that we had to remove from the new garden area (after chopping them up to facilitate faster breaking down) as the basis for our garden beds. It worked really well in our other garden beds as most of them have chopped up chunks of wood in the base before we topped them with the wonderful black gold locally produced compost as our growing media of choice. Hay and straw are readily available, I just have to source reasonably priced versions of the two and now that autumn is definitely up and running, there will be lots and lots of autumn leaves to take advantage of. Lucky I LOVE to rake and collect them :o).

Franks 37 tonne behemoth in the river in front of our properties

Franks 37 tonne behemoth in the river in front of our properties

The next few weeks are going to be filled up with the logistics of building the veggie garden and planting out our food forest. I am just about to use Google Earth to map our first paddock to find out the area that we have to use for our initial food forest. After I do that, I can plot it into AutoCAD and can use it to start really planning where our trees and shrubs are going to be planted. Being a penniless student hippy is certainly teaching me more about patience than life up to now. When you are forced to wait for what you want and need there are life lessons contained in every step. Nature and a moth eaten sock under the bed don’t care if you have a temper tantrum because you don’t have what you want or need…they just ignore you thrashing on the floor and it’s quite humbling to arrive at the other side of a good “whinge” to realise that life doesn’t revolve around “YOU” like you thought it did 😉

Franks boat and the Batman Bridge in the background

Franks boat and the Batman Bridge in the background

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Sigh…like vegan narf7 is going to eat muscles and oysters!

I guess that might be all for today folks. I know I have been thrashing your eyeballs with large posts lately and don’t want to alienate my dear constant readers. I love you all for staying with Serendipity Farm even when it becomes a 2 cup of tea matter to read a post. I hope the new, smaller paragraph; format is helping somewhat with the reading. Have a great “rest of the week” and see you on the weekend where hopefully some progress has been made on our netting cutting and we might be ready to start digging holes. We have to see our friend Jenny (SO liberating to not have to type “Friend in the witness protection” now 😉 ) soon to get a load of firewood and some cuttings including; pineapple sage, Chilli tree (Capsicum pubescens), Peppino (Solanum muricatum), a new mint that I don’t have and some Young berry which I found out is a strain created by crossing the Austin-Mayes dewberry with a blackberry and raspberry hybrid known as the Phenomenal, and it has since been given the botanical name Rubus cecaesius.

3 narfs on a sofa. One of our media tasks

3 narfs on a sofa. One of our media tasks

"Excuse me...could you see your way clear to showing me how to make this thing work?"

“Excuse me…could you see your way clear to showing me how to make this thing work?”

In return I will be baking some batches of home-made biscuits and will be giving Jenny a large clump of chives. Jenny was a class mate when Steve and I studied certificates 2 and 3 in horticulture on campus in Launceston. We became great friends and share a love of plants that all 3 of us didn’t realise we had until we started our courses. We support each other whenever the possums and wallabies eat away at our inspiration and our hope and set each other back on track and ignite our horticultural passion over a cup of tea and a good chat. See you Saturday folks :o)

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50 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. rabidlittlehippy
    May 01, 2013 @ 18:07:59

    What a great idea to put that nice friendly little pebble in the kettle. We have a non-screaming teapot so waking up the neighbours with its whistle at 5am isn’t an issue but it is hard to tell if it’s boiled. If the kettle is full then it’s usually the explosive hiss of it boiling over and hitting the hot cooktop that give it away. Otherwise on some occasions the lid with rattle like your pebble but not always. Pebble hunting time kids!

    I would LOVE to move and be a neighbour but I think my husband might kill me if I ask him to move now. 😉 We did discuss if we did move as to where we would go next (in at least 5 and probably many more years time if ever) and Tassie, in your area and down towards Georgetown (still sort of your area) came up on the radar. Land prices are soooo much cheaper than here and we could get the land we want for an extremely reasonable (read mind blowingly cheap compared to here) price. However, for now, our roots are reaching down and we have work to put in here before any move is contemplatable. If it seems likely I might be sending forward an order for trees to propogate for us (along with the necessary deposit cheque 😉 ) so that our food forest garden isn’t needing to start from seed all over again. 😉 Your wallabies sort of put a dampener on moving to Tassie though. 😛

    I am convinced your HDR is High Definition Resolution. Well that’s what I’m thinking. I didn’t goodle and I’ve not done a course (although I have dabbled in Photoshop but haven’t heard the term before either) so it’s just what I thinked up when I had a thunk about it. I had a think, I think I thunk. I’m just glad I did not think up a glunk. Ok, No more reading the Glunk (Dr Seuss who else) to the kids!

    It’s so very exciting building and planning new gardens. I’m downloading AutoCAD to my iPhone and iPad (both are free) to see if I can figure it out and draw up my garden plans too. I’d normally whack it into photoshop but I can’t find a satelite photo that’s allowing me to zoom in enough to see what I want. Frustrating.

    Well, I managed to fold Jasper and Allegra’s washing whilst folding (now on to the other 4 mountains to fold, Martin’s Orik’s, ,ine and the linen and towels) so next time I need a post of about 9000 words to complete it all. Ok? 😉

    Got to love a friend who shares one or more of your passions. When you have that and locally, you’re set. 🙂 Looking forward to Saturdays post already. I can’t wait to see your jailed garden beds. 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 01:59:15

      If we have managed to get the second 20 metre net prepped by Saturday I will be heartily surprised! It involves having to remove thick rope from around the entire perimeter and at 5 metre intervals along the rope there is another length transversing the length. We don’t mind though because it’s great nylon rope that we are getting for free as well! Steve is hoarding it in his shed like a pack rat ;). We have to remove it by hand though and then cut the rope down the middle to get 2 x 3.5metre wide x 20metre lengths. We need to pick up some crusher dust and cement and then we need to dig “holes” (or a rough approximation of holes in the rocky soil we have up there). We also have to fit in studying again because our lecturer has seen fit to load us up with studies for the month but we are actually enjoying these studies so I don’t mind :). You downloaded AutoCAD for free? Are you sure it is AutoCAD? It’s usually a very expensive program. If you got it for free kudos! And once you get a look at it and turn your phone upside down and it still looks Chinese you will start to get an idea why I was lucky to have hair left at the end of our 3 years messing abart with it ;). I have already started Saturday’s post…note taken about the 9000 words…might write you a small novella and send it direct to you 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        May 02, 2013 @ 22:26:41

        The autoCAD app for iPhone and iPad is free. I’ll see how we go. 🙂 you might get a call or 50 to bail this untech mind out though.

      • narf77
        May 03, 2013 @ 03:14:27

        Any time you need a hand let us know :). By the way, have you ever thought of getting yourself a Gravatar? You can choose the image (think daffy duck on a temper bender ;)) and it is instantly recognisable by Google and most other platforms and instead of a pink squiggle you will have your own recognisable picture online…you can get one for free here…
        https://en.gravatar.com/

      • rabidlittlehippy
        May 03, 2013 @ 08:15:16

        I tried a few times but it all just goes buggy. I’m not particularly good with technology. 😦

      • narf77
        May 03, 2013 @ 16:15:59

        We did it for 3 years and it STILL made us twitch occasionally ;).

  2. Deb
    May 01, 2013 @ 18:24:34

    Is the house for sale the one titled Mouse Hole (pronounced mouzel in the UK)? It’s quite cheap @ $215,000. I love that part of the river.

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 02:00:48

      Yup, that’s it! I dare say you could get it for about $180 000 as it has been on the market for ages now. Everyone is trying to head out of Tassie as there is no work here. Pretty soon it will be full of penniless student hippies and the aging hipsters from the mainland (and the problem is? 😉 )

      Reply

  3. LyndaD
    May 01, 2013 @ 19:03:44

    I wish i had the wood stove to put a kettle that needs a pebble in it. Huh? That does look like a nice house. 129 Rowella. Can you imagine waking up (of course you can, you probably do) looking from your bed at that view. $215K with land??? Jessie, we could go halves and spend 6 months of the year each. I’ve been plotting and planning a Tassie holiday in my camper trailer. Now if i could just rent a boat to go up and down in the river, i might just convince the 16 yr old to come…. maybe spring.. It must be frustrating to have unreliable service on web. We would be lost. I really have trouble visualising your layout. Go take a video Fran. My friend Shelby in Ohio did the same and now i know where everything she talks about is. I wasnt so clever using CAD on the back yard. I just measured it out and graphed it on old fashioned paper. Before it started costing money, i checked it out on nearmaps and the overhead shot shows perfect lines and all the boxes perfectly square. Im such an accountant. My back fence is not square with the house so i had to be double sure when pegging it out as it looks crooked until its all together. Dont Laugh!

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 02:11:55

      Hee-hee! ;). The son-and-heir is an accountant who lives in Melbourne with his Texan sweetie. I have a brain like an accountant. It wants to go where it wants to go and bollocks to anyone trying to stop it’s natural progression. My daughter is a draftsman and my other daughter is an aspiring penniless hippy like us (except minus the hippy bit and she would want a whole lot more money 😉 ). We were trained to use AutoCAD for 3 years when we did our double diploma in horticulture and landscape design so we know our way around the program and how to use it to get what we want but I wouldn’t suggest anyone go out of their way to purchase it and try to use it, it is incredibly specific and not worth the hassle in my mind. Like you say “there are many ways to skin a cat” and AutoCAD would be classed as Lion skinning 101 in my books ;). That house could be bought for a song. It’s quirky and weird and I just love it. It is one of those houses that just smiles at you as you walk past and that attracts me more than any amount of colour coordinated brick veneer. The front yard is enormous and we walk past it every day. I don’t actually live right next to this house, it is in our neighbourhood. It’s in Rowella Road and we are in Auld Kirk Road next door to the Auld Kirk Church (indeed dad is buried within 2 metres of his old stomping ground 😉 ). You can check it out on Google Maps to see where we are. We had enough trouble seeing our property on Google Earth so I dare say “nearmaps” would have a spasm. Tassie isn’t one of the mainstream mapping priorities if you get my picture. Coming from W.A. gives me another perspective on Australia that most Tasmanians don’t have. It’s actually filling up with people from Queensland and W.A. and the mainland. You can get 100 acres of pristine wilderness for a song here and you never have to see your neighbours. If Steve and I weren’t penniless student hippies we would have sold this property and headed up to the mountains where rainfall and creeks are guaranteed to 100+ acres and built our dream house. As the American’s say “it is, what it is” and we didn’t and we are making the most of it and loving our lives here on the river instead. It might be drier but I am finding out that there are lots of food plants that will grow most happily in the dry and winter makes up for that summer dry period with copious rain and our stony clay soil sucks up that excess water like a sponge. SO glad we did horticulture though or we would be under the bed shaking as I type this 😉

      Reply

  4. urbanamber
    May 02, 2013 @ 00:12:43

    I loved the pebble in the kettle memory

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 02:14:39

      So do I :). It’s amazing the memories that I get sometimes when I am doing something and suddenly I remember that my grandmother or mother showed me how to do it. I guess that’s how people live on in their children’s memories isn’t it 🙂 It’s also how traditions pass from parent to child and a lovely smooth shell would work as well (especially in soft water areas like we live in)

      Reply

  5. teawithhazel
    May 02, 2013 @ 08:20:33

    my granny had an electric kettle which just doesn’t cut the mustard compared to a stove top kettle but she made a great cuppa..she always used tank water which she had to go outside for and which sometimes needed sieving to remove wrigglers..

    i’m looking forward to blow by blow posts about your enclosed vegetable garden..it sounds like a huge undertaking..what are the proposed measurements of it? j

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 02, 2013 @ 16:19:56

      175m2 Jane :). That’s a fair bit for a fully enclosed veggie garden…the first of about 4 that we will build over the next few years to foil the native animals and get a head start on our food forest on our 4 acres. My gran and my mum always used tank water. They wouldn’t consider a cup of tea made from tap water and gran always used to sniff when we had to resort to having a cuppa at a café after a long shopping “event” and sigh and say “I suppose needs must when the devil drives!”. 😉

      Reply

  6. Littlesundog
    May 02, 2013 @ 09:44:54

    I see you gave me my “Earl” fix, but I must admit, I cracked up big time over that photo of the cats sniffing the fish net! Thank you for that… I needed a good laugh today!

    Good luck cutting that fish net! That sounds like a lot of work, but if it’s effective, then it will be worth the trouble!

    Reply

  7. christiok
    May 02, 2013 @ 11:50:36

    It’s still Wednesday here, as I type, and I’m amazed that I have no “tense” whiplash reading this post. Who cares what day it is, eh? I can change tense 3 times in one paragraph! It’s my main weakness, according the Editor ‘n Cheep.

    Your garden plans sound wise and frugal, and none of that is fast. I love going on the trip with you. Who wants to go fast when every day is so glorious? (the weather’s been nice here, too:)

    I’m going out and finding the perfect tea kettle pebble right now!

    Reply

  8. jenny shepherd
    May 02, 2013 @ 22:27:47

    jenny

    Reply

    • jenny shepherd
      May 02, 2013 @ 22:34:46

      Hi thanks for that tip on kettle i wont have to wake any one now,my little duck is really happy here thank you.

      Reply

      • narf77
        May 03, 2013 @ 03:00:45

        Glad he likes it at your place, he was gyrating all over the place in the shop and the car and when we saw him we thought INSTANTLY of you! ;). Forgot to take cuttings of the pentstemons…you had best do some for us while you are chopping our next load of wood…we are having a sleep in, you reckon you could get it to us before we wake up? When you bring it in the trailer you can crawl through the dog door and put a bit on the fire before you go 😉

    • narf77
      May 03, 2013 @ 02:58:17

      Yes…”Jenny” is that you outing yourself again Jen? 😉

      Reply

  9. Chica Andaluza
    May 03, 2013 @ 02:02:42

    Love the pebble thing and how lovely that it makes you think of your grandmother! Maybe Big Man and I should buy the house…does it need doing up?! Am loving the autum colours that are popping up in the photos and really lived the one of you all on the sofa 😉

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 03, 2013 @ 03:02:54

      That house would certainly do with a “doing up”. It could be your “Southern Getaway” about as far south as you could get before you hit Antarctica! ;). It certainly feels a bit like Antarctica today but I LOVE IT! No whinging about winter here (yet) and Brunhilda is working triple time…just boiled my pebble kettle and my first cup of tea is steeping ready for my cold hands…isn’t life wonderful? :).

      Reply

  10. Angela @ Canned Time
    May 03, 2013 @ 05:29:09

    Great trick from Grandmama! Did she know it would make you think of her each morning when she mentioned it? He he!
    And we love your long posts, although I will admit that the fish nets were quite lost when I first read this on my mobile…..are artichokes normally that large? Love them and I’ve never seen the actual plant.
    🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 03, 2013 @ 05:35:37

      Much MUCH larger Angela and they end up covered in gorgeous mauve flowers that repel all borders by being the spikiest thing known to man after the cactus ;). My kind of edibles. Both perennial AND native animal repellant! They are related to thistles and have the flower and the spikes to boot. When they are actively growing they are vulnerable with tender leaves and that is when I have to protect them (FOOL ME ONCE YOU WALLABIES!). Next year “GOOD LUCK WALLABIES”…no artichokes scarfing for them!

      Reply

  11. brymnsons
    May 03, 2013 @ 11:13:50

    Hi Fran I have been doing a stint in the city. We came back completely knackered lol. I am use to dogs and will completely ignore them until they decide they have sniffed me enough to satisfy their noses, not sure about the slobber so I might change into my gardening gear at the airport :). Don’t worry, it will be fine, but thank you for thinking of me x. I have been playing with my new toy! I will take some photos and put them on my blog. It is just gorgeous, purrrrrrrrrrrs so and lots of options to play with. I am so spoilt! Good luck with the garden enclosure, that sounds like a lot of work. I got a bit confused with your tooing and frowing with this week and last week lol. See you Saturday x

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 03, 2013 @ 16:24:18

      Sorry to say Kymmy but our boys (Bezial 40kg and Earl 33kg) are loving slobber hogs that are hell bent on jumping up and receiving all of the love that they think they are due every time they meet someone. I think you are just going to have to grin and bear it until they get bored of you and head off to slobber on something else ;). I can’t wait to see the sewing machine and actually talked with Steve about buying a cheap, simple machine so that I can learn to sew on it and we can make our own “things”. I have been checking out how expensive (and unavailable more to the point) King sized sheets are and thought “I could make some myself!” Surely they aren’t that hard? The machine would pay for itself in no time…see what you and Linne have done to me?!!! ;). Consider yourself warned about slobberdog 1 and jumper dog 2 😉

      Reply

  12. brymnsons
    May 03, 2013 @ 18:58:52

    Ok I will come prepaired lol. Not sure if sewing king sized sheets will be cheaper? But they would be easy to start with 🙂 If you look on gumtree there are heaps of great machines for reasonable prices. Well done Linne, she’s a hard nut to crack lol 😀

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 04, 2013 @ 03:07:48

      King sized sheets here are non existant and you can get good cheap fabric in Spotlight so I think I might give it a go ;).

      Reply

    • Linne
      May 05, 2013 @ 07:27:41

      😉
      Good thing I’m not a preacher, eh??
      Women used to say to me, “oh, I’m all thumbs! I could NEVER ! I just told them all they needed was someone to teach them and I was that person!! Amazing any of them came back . . .

      Besides, how can one BE a self-respecting homesteading hippy (penniless or not) and not make everything possible (short of technology; I DO draw a line . . .)??

      I LOVE ‘infecting’ people with MIYitis!!

      WTG, Narf7!! BTW, if you can make sheets (and you CAN), you can turn two of them into a duvet cover . . . and more! Ask, and ye shall receive . . . Inspiration and ideas (and help if it’s wanted) 😉

      Reply

      • narf77
        May 05, 2013 @ 11:25:58

        Cheers ;). If I EVER get around to finding time to fandangle with cloth and a sewing machine (after my initial tantrum that is…I believe in honesty! 😉 ) and turn anything out I would be as proud as punch :).

  13. thinkingcowgirl
    May 04, 2013 @ 03:17:58

    I DID notice more paragraphs in your last couple of posts! Wahay 😉

    Your kettle story is a lovely link with your grandmother. I’ve got some charcoaled bamboo in mine…apparently it soaks up heavy metals and other nasties. It should weigh a ton by now, it’s been in there long enough! Not nearly as evocative as your pebble.

    Sketchup is the free download and easy (hah!) to use, I use it for 3d views of gardens and import it into photoshop for the prettying….images of plants which you can soften with the brushy and eraser tools.

    Looking forward to watching that enclosure grow. I’m in the city this week, tending to some planting, it’s got me all excited about gardens again! Maybe it’s the sun…

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 04, 2013 @ 03:29:56

      I reckon its the sun 🙂 You don’t want to garden when your fingers get burned by the weight of the permafrost built up in the ground ;). We don’t have permafrost here (don’t hate me) ;). Sketchup you say? Never heard of it but you can be sure I am just about to find it! Our countertops are made of bamboo. We hunted for something beautiful and sustainable and ended up finding this gorgeous thick bamboo material that we chose. It’s very hard and even reckless Steve hasn’t managed to burn it or cut it (deeply 😉 ). Have an amazing time in the city reacclimatising yourself with garden love. I am sure all of those old smooshie feelings will come back when you start to fondle that soil…this comment is threatening to become somewhat errotic! Thems the breaks in spring! Have a ball 🙂

      Reply

      • thinkingcowgirl
        May 04, 2013 @ 04:19:37

        Thanks! Sketchup is brilliant and plenty of tutorials on the old YouTube.

        Haha the great seam mystery. 😉 Just think about the princess and the pea….

      • narf77
        May 04, 2013 @ 04:22:27

        HA! Sheets ;). When you spend most of your nights being shoved out of bed by 2 massive snoring upside down hounds that shed hair and various other less savoury things (their gas is actually palpable 😉 ) the least of your problems is which side the seams are… they will be tucked in! I will put industrial elastic on the corners to keep them tucked in when Earl is prancing about on the duvet tapdancing for the queen and when he digs for China in a vainglorious effort to make himself comfortable…sigh…

      • thinkingcowgirl
        May 04, 2013 @ 16:33:23

        Oh I didn’t realise you can get material that wide….cool!

  14. thinkingcowgirl
    May 04, 2013 @ 03:21:28

    ps i’ll say one thing….beware the seam beneath!

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 04, 2013 @ 03:32:57

      (cryptic…”the seam beneath”…what is she talking about!…must…go…back…to…post to find out what the heck my crazed mate in the U.K. is alluding at…my paragraphs? Who would know! A mystery is afoot Watson!)

      Reply

  15. brymnsons
    May 04, 2013 @ 18:52:40

    Spotlight mmmmmmmmmm I like. Lots of great material and some good specials from time to time. I’m glad we stuck to small sized dogs lol

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 05, 2013 @ 03:57:59

      Yeh, no matter how rambunctious your dogs are, everyone forgives them because they are cute. Ours are just as “cute” but imagine 40kg of “love” on your lap slobbering all over you and demanding your adoration…not the same Bezial…”NOT THE SAME!” 😉

      Reply

  16. cathyandchucky
    May 04, 2013 @ 22:56:07

    Loving your posts Fronkii. Glad to see your still churning out reams of writing.You should touch base again even though briefly with Facebook especially the remember Denmark page. It’s a hoot reading old ex Denmarkians posts and see their old photos. My lord how things and people have changed with time!

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 05, 2013 @ 04:06:06

      Don’t worry…Steve calls me in whenever he sees anything he thinks I might like…and “I saw that Anne!” 😉 Like Sue Bourne even looks like me! Sigh, you would think that someone who was your best mate for the better part of 12 years at school would at least know who you were! I recognised you instantly Anne! 😉

      Reply

      • cathyandchucky
        May 08, 2013 @ 17:42:41

        I knew that wasn’t you on the swing. Didn’t look at all like you. Nice one of you and Rachel though and you and Lois Rowland. It’s an amusing site. Lots of lovely memories and hilarious old photos. Gotta love the 70s!

      • narf77
        May 09, 2013 @ 03:31:23

        I didn’t see me and Rachel or me and Lois? I guess Steve’s filtering service didn’t notice those photos of me ;). Maybe he was just saving me from myself! 😉

      • cathyandchucky
        May 10, 2013 @ 12:55:18

        Hi Fronkii, It’s on the remember back in Denmark site. Ones you’ve probably seen many times.

      • narf77
        May 11, 2013 @ 04:13:43

        Steve will check it out and let me know…we are off to the progressive garage sale today. One of the houses is around in Kayena so we will walk the dogs there. After that it’s off to Iron Pot Bay on the corner of Auld Kirk Road and the Deviot Road and heading the lower way back to that art gallery which is the end of the trail this year. Not as many participants this year so we might be back early. Won’t stop us taking lots of photos though and if the participants have sold everything (Tassie bargain hunters get there WAY early and buy everything before the sale is supposed to start…sigh…) I will just take photo’s of their houses and properties! They owe me that much for putting fuel in the car! 😉

      • cathyandchucky
        May 11, 2013 @ 13:18:01

        Sounds great Fronkii. If we manage to make it over around your 50th, I’d love to come on a walk with you.

  17. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    May 07, 2013 @ 00:31:10

    There is something called AutoCAD WS, a free Ipad app, which I am downloading. That is a beautiful property. I am always thinking walking paths and am seeing one around the giant lawn.

    Reply

    • narf77
      May 07, 2013 @ 04:11:22

      I saw a giant fully enclosed fruit and vegetable garden on that wonderful full sun area…funny how different people see different things eh? ;). The house isn’t anything special but it is just one of those houses that “Calls me”. I can’t explain it. We rented when we lived in Western Australia and we had to move out of one of our rentals as the owner had sold it. Steve went “house hunting” one day and found an ancient rickety old house in the middle of town that he immediately struck off the list as being someplace he thought that I would HATE. He did drive me past it and I fell instantly in love with it. It was a bit shabby, it was falling down in places but it had fireplaces in every bedroom, the bedrooms were MASSIVE and it had a gorgeous view over the harbour and was cheap to rent. Plus, I could just walk to town and there was an amazing 10km walking track right round town, out to the beach, around a stunning boardwalk and back home that I walked every morning at 5am so we moved in and lived there for 4 years till we moved here. My son stayed behind (work) for another 5 years in that same house so our family really did love it for quite some time 🙂

      Reply

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