Mnemonics Brachychitons and MacGyver

Hi All,

First, I need to get something off my chest. I have NO idea who to vote for in this weekends election. No idea. I used to be a staunch Labour voter who would rather cut off her own ear than vote anything other than Labour but this weekend will see me bewildered and confused. As we were walking the dogs the other day in Deviot we noticed this sign on the side of one of the local vineyard sheds and suddenly my problems were over…I decided to share it with you in case any of you are “swinging voters” like I used to be…

Smaky for president!

Smaky for president!

Today’s post is all about possibilities. Possibilities are everywhere. Most of us tend not to see them though. They are disguised in every situation, deep in the recesses of our mind and in our upbringing. They give life flavour, colour and texture and prevent us from living “wee beige lives”. I get the feeling that they crop up a lot more than we notice because I have started noticing them this week where I am sure they were almost absent last week

Egg possibilities...makes the fact the chooks scratched out all of my perennials almost worth it...

Egg possibilities…makes the fact the chooks scratched out all of my perennials almost worth it…

We have finally finished our hard slog of a hideous unit! We didn’t have any champagne to celebrate but you get the picture. Aside from being boring, the first part of it bordered on consumerism which had me at odds with myself. You never want to be at odds with yourself because your brain just shuts down and I found myself trying to coax my bolshie tired brain into action more and more as the unit went on. I found a bit of respite in the second half. Still boring but at least in an area that I am interested in. I was able to pick up some very interesting points about writing for an online audience and fear I have been doing you all a mighty disservice with how I blog.

Me doing the happy dance. Designer trousers by "Jess of Ballan"

Me doing the happy dance. Designer trousers by “Jess of Ballan”

Finishing our studies filled me with joy...note how much joy Earl is feeling at my rendition of the happy dance...

Finishing our studies filled me with joy…note how much joy Earl is feeling at my rendition of the happy dance…

I just learned that you apparently like short sharp sentences (I also learned how to spell “sentence” FINALLY! 😉 ), you like bolding in important areas, you like captioned images and you like well organised, to the point posts. I decided to look at one of my own posts and came away with my tail between my legs. Aside from dragging you all over the countryside in my posts I tend to do it while I am murdering the English vernacular…bad narf7!

One last happy dance shot...can you tell how happy I am to be finished with this unit?

One last happy dance shot…can you tell how happy I am to be finished with this unit?

This week has seen Christi become Mrs Glover…”CONGRATULATIONS” TO Christi and the Bearded One…no, they didn’t get married…Christi decided to change her maiden name to her husband’s last name. Like sharing a bank account, I see sharing a name as trust. It’s my opinion and I know that not everyone agrees with me but hey whatchagonnadoeh?

A bucket full of lemons...

A bucket full of lemons…

In order to get me to drink more water I needed to come up with something clever...well Kym came up with the clever idea but the slicing handiwork is all mine!

In order to get me to drink more water I needed to come up with something clever…well Kym came up with the clever idea but the slicing handiwork is all mine!

This week also saw Steve plant out 3 brachychiton discolor all by himself. I was slogging over some research questions and he decided to test the soil and found it lovely and soft and easy to dig after all of the rain that we have had so this week is going to be brachychiton week and we will finish off planting out 15 more of them all down the driveway. In about 10 years’ time the driveway is going to be a talking point

As Mr Punch would say, about something that was once distasteful that you are currently finding yourself doing "THAT'S the way to do it!" ;)

As Mr Punch would say, about something that was once distasteful that you are currently finding yourself doing “THAT’S the way to do it!” 😉

Bezial has been having a few problems with the cold wet weather and an old war wound that he sustained when he was younger so he was allowed to stay home from our regular walks for a couple of days this week. I headed out for a solo walk with Earl and decided to wander up the highway for a change. It’s pretty busy in the mornings but it makes a good change from our usual route. I am a bit of a magpie and managed to find a few things that had made their way from the back of people’s trucks and cars on the way back and as I was walking along I started to think about the possibilities of rubbish…

This week I pulled this ENORMOUS sow thistle (and it's brothers) out of my poor neglected veggie garden when I was harvesting rampant spinach for a meal. Obviously the soil is good!

This week I pulled this ENORMOUS sow thistle (and it’s brothers) out of my poor neglected veggie garden when I was harvesting rampant spinach for a meal. Obviously the soil is good!

It might be silverbeet but it IS very spinach like and it has the edge on spinach when it comes to being pretty as well

It might be silverbeet but it IS very spinach like and it has the edge on spinach when it comes to being pretty as well AND we grew it 🙂

I quickly had a post cram full of rubbishy possibilities invested in my handful of detritus. I then noticed lots of other things discarded by careless travellers and ended up with a lot of words that absolutely positively HAD to make it back with me to be typed out. I had to cram all of these words into my head so that I could bring them back to share with you in this post. How was I going to remember all of those words when I can’t remember where I put my mug 2 minutes ago?

"Just make yourselves comfortable feral cats..."

“Just make yourselves comfortable feral cats…”

“Reflectors, twine, solar cans, fire bottles, hot chocolate…” when these words were linked together and made into a little song I was able to bring them back in my mind to put down in print to share with you all (aren’t you glad? 😉 ). Mnemonics…the science of brain stuffing was my ally. When we want ways to remember things and we don’t have a handy bit of paper and a pen (as you do) we humans have been quite adept at keeping the words from spilling out and disappearing through the ages.

I can't for the life of me remember the name of these spuds. Something like Red Rascals...but they are red inside!

I can’t for the life of me remember the name of these spuds. Something like Red Rascals…but they are red inside!

As I had been wandering along seeing things that might be useful in other capacities I got to thinking about how our ancestors would have done the same thing. The difference was, where I was collecting to bring back to share with you, theirs was deadly serious and a matter of survival. “Where did I see that birds nest?” may have been the difference between eating and starving so I started to think about what I had found in the sense that it wasn’t just rubbish discarded by dolts, but a plethora of possibilities just waiting for some clever clogs to come along and make useful.

"I fell in to a burning ring of Stromboli..." injecting interest in Steve's favourite food in a vain attempt to get him to stop eating it twice a week...

“I fell in to a burning ring of Stromboli…” injecting interest in Steve’s favourite food in a vain attempt to get him to stop eating it twice a week…

I must admit that Pinterest has had something to do with this train of thought. I have been using Pinterest like sedatives in between my studies. Where the thought of opening my RSS Feed Reader brought on heart palpitations, Pinterest had the opposite result. Lots of bright colours, no strings attached. Free information and the chance to get “something” at least organised, categorised and tidy in my life so I took occasional 30 minute breaks where I pinned like there was no tomorrow. Say what you will, it was cheaper than valium.

T-Shirts that Pinterest stopped me donating to the local thrift shop and have me champing at the bit to make a t-shirt rag rug. OH the possibilities!

T-Shirts that Pinterest stopped me donating to the local thrift shop and have me champing at the bit to make a t-shirt rag rug. OH the possibilities!

I have started collecting crafty pins as the magpie in me demands that I get value for my time spent trawling and there are some amazingly creative crafters and people out there who share some fantastically exciting ways of turning things that other people throw away into valuable commodities. People like that are so much more important than advertising executives who coax us all into thinking that we are not good enough unless we buy German cars and watches.

I am hiding this in the middle of my post where I know most of you don't go. It is evidence that I once cycled...AND wore bike pants. In my new state of honesty I need to out myself. I rode 100km that day and never set foot on a bike since ;)

I am hiding this in the middle of my post where I know most of you don’t go. It is evidence that I once cycled…AND wore bike pants. In my new state of honesty I need to out myself. I rode 100km that day and never set foot on a bike since 😉

Out on the road I had a MacGyver moment. I started seeing what was thrown away around me as valuable commodities. Forget stocks and bonds, this stuff was right there and it was free! I noticed some cats-eye reflectors that council had obviously replaced and thrown the old ones to the side of the road. They could be useful for something. I could nail them to the mailbox or I could stick them on the side of the shed so that when Steve was reversing at night time, the shed was a lot more “real”.

This one's for you Finn. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) in a tree at the back of our house. They not only eat the gumnuts and hakea nuts but they trust us enough to breed on the property. We feel incredibly privileged :)

This one’s for you Finn. The Yellow-tailed Black Cockatoo (Calyptorhynchus funereus) in a tree at the back of our house. They not only eat the gumnuts and hakea nuts but they trust us enough to breed on the property. We feel incredibly privileged 🙂

Tasmania might be in a hay drought but that didn’t stop farmers from hurling hay bale twine from their utes in enormous quantities and as anyone who has seen “Cast Away” or “Swiss Family Robinson” or any of those survive if you can movies and television shows knows, one of the most useful things that you can have is twine. You can make a fishing line, use it to strap poles together to make a rudimentary hut, catch a bear…well you get my drift! Next we had all of those aluminium cans that inconsiderate bums through out of their car windows. That wouldn’t be a problem if our government could be bothered to give a 10c deposit back on tin cans like they do in South Australia (Kudos South Australia!) but as this post goes to press they are still just considered “detritus and worthless” so out of the window they go. What about if you took those cans and turned them into a solar collector? I’m not crazy folks…I saw it on Pinterest and checked further and here are some examples of clever people who are using their brains to solve their problems and reducing the coke can problem at the same time…
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nuxanLdtwZQ
http://www.treehugger.com/solar-technology/how-build-diy-solar-air-heater-old-soda-cans.html
http://solar.freeonplate.com/diy-how-to/DIY-solar-panels.htm

What do you do when you run out of your own images? You pinch photos that your mum took of Serendipity Farm back in April 2011 that's what you do!

What do you do when you run out of your own images? You pinch photos that your mum took of Serendipity Farm back in April 2011 that’s what you do!

So if you can make something that will give you energy and at the very least you could heat some water to make it safe to drink what about all of the bottles on the side of the road? Clear class bottles can be used to start fires and the darker ones could be used to add to your solar panel experiment or to store things in. I found a squished carton of hot chocolate but for now I am thinking that we might not need to take advantage of its dirt encrusted contents but you never know…one day in the future hot chocolate in Tasmania might be an incredible luxury.

You will be amazed to know that this photo was taken with Earl OUTSIDE the house compound fence AND off leash. That was back when he was about 5 months old and hadn't realised that his legs could take him elsewhere and that things were fun to chase...

You will be amazed to know that this photo was taken with Earl OUTSIDE the house compound fence AND off leash. That was back when he was about 5 months old and hadn’t realised that his legs could take him elsewhere and that things were fun to chase…

I arrived back home with a metal hook on the end of a canvas tie strap that had obviously fallen off the back of a truck (tee-he 😉 ). A strong metal hook of any kind would be extremely useful in a survival situation. It could be used along with some of that hay baling twine to haul something up a steep incline or keep something away from predators up in a tree. I also found a length of thick metal wire that could be sharpened and used as a hook to catch dinner or a small spear to collect oysters from rocks…what…you don’t have oysters on rocks near you? I do…

Steve and I posing for a photo just before we took the dogs for their morning walk. Mum would take photos of anything!

Steve and I posing for a photo just before we took the dogs for their morning walk. Mum would take photos of anything!

I didn't know she took this... :)

I didn’t know she took this… 🙂

I also found a roll of black insulating tape that could be invaluable to tape some of those cans or bottles together or to stick on your cheeks like Rambo because you can’t find grease…I also found a small empty gas bottle that I brought home to make some garden art out of. I stopped wondering at why our parents hoarded things. In their minds everything that they had been hoarding was something that could be used again…does that mean I am turning into my parents? I certainly hope not!

The first in a series of 8 images in a row that tell the story of how we made a chook house for our first 8 chooks...the rest is most disturbing history and a lesson to Steve to NEVER let me have what I want ever EVER again...

The first in a series of 8 images in a row that tell the story of how we made a chook house for our first 8 chooks…the rest is most disturbing history and a lesson to Steve to NEVER let me have what I want ever EVER again…

More proof that Earl was let out and we weren't even watching him like a hawk! Wasn't he cute back then?

More proof that Earl was let out and we weren’t even watching him like a hawk! Wasn’t he cute back then?

You wouldn't believe how hard it was to dig holes in this area but dig we did! Mum kept offering "useful" suggestions...hopefully our angst wasn't TOO obvious...

You wouldn’t believe how hard it was to dig holes in this area but dig we did! Mum kept offering “useful” suggestions…hopefully our angst wasn’t TOO obvious…

Gratuitous "ass" shot (cheers mum) and progress...

Gratuitous “ass” shot (cheers mum) and progress…

The bravest hen and the beginning of the end for Earl

The bravest hen and the beginning of the end for Earl

"Look Bezial...chooks!"

“Look Bezial…chooks!”

"Let me in to investigate..." Note Earl's nose was already getting him into trouble...

“Let me in to investigate…” Note Earl’s nose was already getting him into trouble…

Well that brings me to the end of my post today. It’s nowhere near as long as my posts usually are and hopefully it is more to the point than my usual posts. I actually had something in mind to share with you today unlike my usual approach which is “wing it…they will NEVER know!” (Oops…they do now! 😉 ). I have something special to share with you today. From now on I will be adding a special word cloud created from the posts that I share with you every Wednesday. I hope you like them as much as I do :o). By the time we next congregate around narf7’s bivouac tent with accompanying fire and roasting eggplants (no rabbits here folks, it’s all veggie!) Steve and I should have managed to plant out as many Brachychitons as Serendipity Farm can take. We may even have to think of a name change in a few years when the Brachychitons all bloom and Serendipity Farm turns pink en masse. We have other big plans for clearing debris that involve breaking each area down into small manageable sections so we don’t get overwhelmed but for now, the Brachychitons are burning in my temporal lobe…the rest is going to have to reside in my medulla oblongata along with my breathing, digestion and heart beat until I have time to move it all forwards…see you Wednesday folks!

Today's post all jumbled up in a word cloud...perdy aint it?

Today’s post all jumbled up in a word cloud…perdy aint it?

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42 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roz Takes
    Sep 04, 2013 @ 18:03:45

    Fran…spell check…Labor! If you don’t want to go back to the 70’s, if you want education for the kids and young adults, if you want a decent health system and hopefully more jobs not less and if you want an NBN …..(even if you are not a Rudd fan) then Labor. But I am afraid that people only listen to American Newspaper owners backed by big mining magnates.
    I enjoyed the Blog today reminiscing a bit.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 04:33:56

      Course I am voting Labor Roz 😉 we have NO alternative here in Tasmania. Even though our local labor government want to bring in the Pulp Mill 😦

      Reply

  2. brymnsons
    Sep 04, 2013 @ 18:57:51

    Love the word cloud, it sure is purdy 🙂 I like your happy dance photos too, must have been a huge relief! Earl was indeed a cute puppy, shame he is so crafty now, he would have enjoyed the freedom of roaming his estate. Note I said his lol. The weather is very springy. Nice sunny days with a bit of rain thrown in here and there. The flowers are blossoming all over the place and giving us a pretty show along the roads. I love this time of year 🙂 I sent you a picture of the lovely cups nestled in with my aunty’s tea set. They look very happy there and bring a smile to my dial everytime I spot them. x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 04:37:11

      Glad that they look good with Aunty’s tea set Kymmy :). Earl’s estate is pretty small these days thanks to his desire to eat everything he sees and after 2 lovely sunny days it is back to raining here but whatchagonnadoeh? We are planting out trees en masse though and have decided that if they live, they live, if they die, they die. At least they will die in the ground…better than shrivelling up in pots 🙂

      Reply

  3. cathyandchucky
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 08:44:27

    Vote SMAKEY 1. Hahahahahahahahaha I like the sound of the Party Hearty Party 😀 Nice photos of you dear Steptoe and Steve 😀 You are fast fading away to a shadow of your former self Fronkiii. Please, dont starve yourself too much. You look very good just as you are:) Do you think if Earl was neutered, he’d calm down more and you could trust him off the leash again or do you think he’s too far gone now? I love the photo of Steve as the crazy cat man with eggs to throw at people 😀 Is he the wandering minstrel of kitties as they sure seem to like following him.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 09:40:45

      I think Earl comes from hunting dog stock to be honest Pinky. There is no way this side of the peacos that he would be able to be let free gonads gone or not I fear :(. At least he stops the feral cats from invading the compound. If it was just Bezial here, we would be up to our armpits in furries! Bezial came for a stroll when I went to feed the chooks this morning and 3 of the furries came up to him and sniffed him! He had his hackles up but they know that he is “tame” and thus “safe”. If I wasn’t there with him, I don’t know how safe he would be! I have hit 63kg and my body is happy there. I have stopped losing weight naturally and feel great. Don’t worry about me Pinky, I know I look a bit stringy but that’s because my skin has decided to be bolshie and not play ball with my body losing weight so I tend to flap in the breeze a bit ;). Other than that, I am in fine health and am fit as a fiddle. I want to vote for Smakey, he makes sense! I will tell him that you have his vote as well. That should get him to the legislative council at least 😉

      Reply

  4. rabidlittlehippy
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 10:57:59

    This election it’s a case of our recycled prime minister or Mr would-make-Australia-look-like-a-complete-farce-Abbott which to me isn’t much of a choice but I would sell my soul to keep Abbott out of power. Not sure my conscience will let me vote KRudd though.

    Your hoarding/rubbish collection is so Womble-like it’s impressive. The Wombles totally had it right though. “Making good use of the things that we find, things that the every day folk leave behind.”

    I am so glad you like your “designer” trousers too (Steve would understand why I can’t call them pants 😉 ) and I shall (at some stage when the world settles down somewhat) make some for Mr Steve as well. 🙂 Green methinks.

    Love your pretty pink spud too. Does it retain its colour when cooked? I have sapphire potatoes growing in the greenhouse at the moment. They’re vivid purple and stay vivid purple when cooked too. Nothing like violent violet mash to entice kids to eat… Well, that’s the theory anyway.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 11:59:17

      Yeah, kids love coloured food. Madeline (now 25) was allowed to cook one night when she was about 13 and made blue mashed potatoes…”Yuuuum…NOT!” ;). She is a great cook now but back then I would have laid odds on her ending up a takeaway junkie as she couldn’t cook for nuts. Funny how living away from your parents forces you to learn how to cook isn’t it? 😉

      Reply

      • rabidlittlehippy
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:24:55

        Or to get a job that pays enough to buy ready cook and take out. 😉
        I just wish green was a colour that automatiaclly appealed… Broccoli, peas, beans, sprouts (although Jasper loves them), spinach, kale…

      • narf77
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:28:55

        Try making green hummus or use peas to make hummus and spread it over homemade sourdough pitas. You can do the same with beetroot etc. and the kids seem to love it that way

  5. christiglover
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 13:29:58

    Politics, ug. I know how you feel, Fran. Politics at the national level are gloomy here in the USA, to say the least.

    And how many feral cats do you have??! I see 5 cats in the egg possibilities photo. I’d love to get another cat, but our last experience was Annie’s cat Ditto who is other-cat aggressive, and she wanted to kill Garfield.

    Yay! to have finished the dreaded non-creative unit! There is nothing worse than meaningless, time-consuming coursework hanging over your head. A dark cloud has now passeth. BTW, in college I was the queen of mnemonic devices…songs, drawings, stories…I used them all! I was a history major. lol

    Thanks for the kudos on the name change, and it is a sharing, and a trust, and that’s why I’m doing it. It’s identity, too. Killien was my married name, since I was 23. I kept it after I divorced because of the 3 kids and because of my published children’s books…the kids are all adults now, and the books are out of print and I am creating differently now. All I can say is that it’s nice to have such an easy way to show you’ve changed. 🙂

    Love the old pictures of you and Steve.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 13:43:08

      I love the united Glover front :). We have a solid 2 weeks of maniacal tree planting ahead of us (school holidays) we are making hay while the rain rains and before our soil sets to rock hard ceramic. Wish us luck! 🙂

      Reply

      • christiglover
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 13:49:54

        I’m imagining you digging hundreds of holes with ease, the dirt crumbling beneath your shovels, the rocks rolling away of their own accord. May it be ever so. 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:00:42

        “Crumbling” might be a bit much of a stretch Christi, more like “Shhhhllluuuuurrrrp!” mud 😉

  6. Robbie
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:18:12

    You are such an authentic person, it is reflected in your writing. It is like sitting down and sharing a cup of tea with an old friend as they tell you all the things going on in thier life and some:-)
    I tried that pintrest and it made my eyes go in two different directions! I lasted about 5 minutes. It must be a useful tool for some people, my friends daughter uses it to get ideas for teaching. I just find spending time reading blogs, commenting and posting is enough time on the computer for me a day.
    Can relate to Earl, Schatze use to run the yard when she was a puppy. I never had to put a leash on her until she decided one day to leap the fence to check out hte neighbors dog. Now she is on the leash since she likes to leap over fences–and neighbors don’t appreciate he visits-lol
    .

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:22:26

      The probable difference between Schatze and Earl is that Earl likes to find things to chase and eat :(. I fear he was bred to be a hunting dog and that’s it… that’s all. I guess if everything goes to heck in a handbasket we have Earl to catch us rabbits ;)… and the feral cats… 😉

      Reply

      • Robbie
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:30:21

        but…I forgot to tell you she kills mice! She also is awful to the cats. She will not kill them( if I am around) , but if she had a chance I wonder if she might. she has displace agression with the “yappy dogs ” next door. After they run around our property unleashed she gets upset and comes inside and pins a cat against the wall if they are in her way after she has a barking match with the dog next door. She sees those yappy things as a small rodent-lol

      • narf77
        Sep 05, 2013 @ 14:35:25

        They ARE small rodents ;). Especially those horrific tiny ones with no hair! Bezial has a sore leg and stayed home today while Steve took Earl for a walk. I let him out free to walk with me to feed our chooks (hens) as he can be trusted (part labby) the feral cats all came to stare at him and stood around him even though he had his hackles up… what an insult! He wanted to chase them but was well aware of his tenuous grip on freedom… good dog, but poor underestimated dog he is ;). Earl would have had them up trees and then would climb the tree to get to them. Sigh…

  7. Roz Takes
    Sep 05, 2013 @ 16:44:50

    I say Fran is this the Party Hearty Freedom Party in disguise?
    http://www.abc.net.au/news/2013-09-05/sex-party-backs-big-tasmanian-cannabis-industry/4938084

    Reply

  8. Littlesundog
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 07:03:08

    I cracked up reading all of the captions under your photographs today! Where do you come up with so much cleverness?? By the way… I’d LOVE to fall into a burning ring of Stromboli!!! Another great post Fran! I make sure I have plenty of time to relax, have a cup of tea, and take in the always interesting recap of a week at Serendipity Farm!

    Reply

  9. Linne
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 11:49:50

    I loved this post as I’ve loved all the others and I feel I must ‘ask’, no ‘cajole’, no ‘plead’, no ‘BEG’ you to please, PLEASE don’t change your writing style. What I love about how you write is that it’s like sitting and talking with you; I feel your authentic self comes through so well . . . that sales ‘bamf’ (primo compost material) may be fine for commercial blogs, but I feel VERY strongly that your voice is so original, so entertaining, so FUN! that I’d just hate to lose it . . . another reason for me to be glad you are only at the very beginning of middle age . . .

    I confess that I have not yet tried the Stromboli, but it’s on the cards for as soon as I start whinging about the cold weather. Not today; today it was up near 30C again. But it’s due to start cooling off tomorrow and that’s the beginning of the fast slide into whatever comes after summer and before spring . . .

    LOVE your Party Party! We have a Rhino party here that sometimes runs people; I always tell young people who see no future in voting to at least make themselves heard (and counted) and vote for either the Rhinos (would serve them right if they got in, I think!) or else the Pot Party (which sounds suspiciously similar to your Party Party). I’m happy to see the Greens starting to make themselves heard here; only one member in Parliament so far, but she’s the head of the party, so I sense good things coming our way.

    Also enjoyed your happy dance (and those lovely ‘trousers’). Earl looks as though he thinks that if he ignores you, you will go away, maybe to make something for him to eat . . .

    Are those ‘silverbeets’ the same thing as our Swiss Chard, do you know? The stems look exactly the same to me. I love chard more than spinach and the leaves are perfect for rolling ‘cabbage’ rolls; they don’t need steaming first; I just cut out the main part of the stem (cooking them separately for a snack), then put in filling of brown rice (my old standby is Lundberg’s Brown Basmati, which smells like popcorn cooking and is SO delicious) along with whatever takes my fancy that day. Sometimes I pour tomato sauce over them in the pan, sometimes I just add a bit of veggie broth before I pop them in the oven. Very YUM!

    Yes, I am delighted to see that you ARE turning into your parents, but honestly, into the very best parts of them. As it was meant to be . . .

    I, too, love to scavenge and am a natural magpie, often accused of ‘hoarding’. But I’m very aware that I may not always be able to run to what I call the ‘land-fill’ stores and buy cheap plastic whatevers that will break in a week or two . . . nope, this magpie has been happily collecting for many aeons and will continue to do so to the end of her days . . . I love to ‘re-purpose’ found items, too. If it were up to me, I’d mount those cat’s eye reflectors on your shed so they made a picture at night when a light shone on them . . . devil eyes? a flower? you’ll think of something, I’m sure . . .

    OK, Mum needed her room for a few minutes, so I went out to the kitchen to find a cooler breeze wafting through and lovely clouds massing above the horizon . . . so I dug out my last bag of Lundberg’s and put some on to cook for my supper. I’ll steam some veggies in a bit, but I also found a can of chickpeas that needs using up, so I think humous is on the menu for tonight and the next couple of days. I bought whole wheat bagels and English muffins the other day when it was too hot for even the bread machine, so I will be spreading the humous on a couple of muffins, I think. Thanks for the inspiration, Narfie7! You are always such a help!!

    BTW, I love that solar heater.

    You can tell Earl that at 5 months he resembled a lion cub from the back . . .

    That word cloud is a fantastic idea! What a book that would make (well, once you have a decent collection of ’em); just sayin’ . . . ~ Linne

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2013 @ 12:32:49

      Our Silverbeet is chard Linnie and I love it too. I once planted an entire garden bed of it way WAY back and ended up with a huge pile of it for the whole summer. I lived off it and never once got bored with eating it in all different kinds of ways. It’s very versatile :).

      Reply

  10. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Sep 06, 2013 @ 11:56:20

    Your happy dance is quite contagious- It’s making me happy just looking at the photos! Love it, and love seeing a bit more of you too. 🙂 Congrats on finishing your tough unit. Sounds like that deserves a happy dance and a half, alright.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2013 @ 12:34:24

      I danced for most of the day after we sent in our last assessment I can tell you! We are still waiting to see how we went as our lecturer had the “Man Flu” and hasn’t been up to marking our work but as it’s holidays for 2 weeks starting Monday we think we are home and hosed for a nice relaxing time out in the garden tidying up Serendipity Farm ready for the busy season ahead :).

      Reply

  11. cityhippyfarmgirl
    Sep 07, 2013 @ 20:43:40

    100km and not a pedal afterwards??…that reminds me, I should go for a ride tomorrow.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 08, 2013 @ 04:05:48

      I have been waiting for someone to take up the cause since I stopped…that was back in 1998 by the way so it’s taken me a bit of time to find a willing taker of the baton…cheers! Now I can rest easy 😉

      Reply

  12. Lucinda Sans
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 08:18:13

    Really? That was a feral cat resting on a pillow or something? What game buggers! and they dint care about your dog?

    I need some of them here. To keep away the possums that have moved into my ceiling!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 08, 2013 @ 10:49:08

      I have plenty to spare. We put food out for them as we don’t want them cleaning up our wild bird population and we have come to a sort of rough agreement with them…they can eat the rats/mice etc. and they leave our chooks alone (indeed the chooks boss them around…) and we give them a pittance of food…it works. The dogs don’t ingest them because the dogs can’t get to them…simple ;). The feral’s are so complacent around here that I caught one walking up and down the outside of the gate with the dog on the other side arching it’s back and hissing at him as if to say “come on sunshine…have a go!” ;).

      Reply

  13. Bread & Companatico
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 18:48:28

    guys you are such a handsome and happy couple! and love your eco everything little farm, maybe in my next life I will go for something like that. for now it is beautiful to look at you guys, thanks for the pictures. and that stromboli speaks… still waiting for your breads, but I am patient. xox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 09, 2013 @ 05:14:32

      I am SO excited! I took a recipe of Joanne’s from Zeb Bakes http://zebbakes.com/2013/08/10/date-syrup-kefir-bread/ that she decided to try because I had told her about making my non-dairy homemade organic soymilk specifically for making kefir with and she decided to use her kefir with date syrup and then made loaves of bread with the kefir. What a great idea! So I made 2 loaves of amazing bread with my non-dairy kefir yesterday. I am so excited that they worked and am going to post about it so when the next round of bread posting comes up I am IN :). I took lots of photos so hopefully vegans and people who can’t have milk for whatever reason will be able to make these wonderful breads 🙂 can you tell I am excited about finding a way to make bread without sourdough or regular yeast? 🙂

      Reply

  14. Finn Holding
    Sep 08, 2013 @ 20:28:05

    Thanks for the cockatoo Fran, it must be entertaining having them breeding in your back yard.

    By the way, my views on advertising executives perfectly mirror your own, although I would have voiced mine in rather stronger vernacular!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 09, 2013 @ 05:16:20

      I do advertise my opinions strenuously but I spare you guys the weight of my verbal “expertise” ;). Plus, I have a sneaking suspicion that my lecturer has found my real blog as whenever I post anything negative about the course he finds a way to get all pedantic on my derrière so I am toeing the line via the blog (bugger… I just dissed him again…looks like I have another re-do on the cards! 😉 )

      Reply

  15. Chica Andaluza
    Sep 09, 2013 @ 06:12:23

    Poliitcs – eek..but vote we must when we get the chance! Now, when you say you find things that “fell off the back of a truck” does that mean they they really did fall off, or is it the English Euphemism for “some dodgy geezer wearing a fake leather jacket that I met in a pub offered me this state of the art bazillion inch tv for a tenner because it fell off the back of a truck?!”

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 09, 2013 @ 06:16:08

      Literally…off the back of a truck ;). Pun COMPLETELY intended of course…we bloggers have to run with what our week gives us 😉

      Reply

      • Chica Andaluza
        Sep 09, 2013 @ 06:20:04

        Big Man as discovered the town dump in England which is very ordered now for recycling etc. Luckily for us the guy who runs it spent 20 odd years in Spain and is now his new “Bestie” – he goes to the dump with a few boxes of rubbish and comes home with the car full of “treasures” – not quite off the back of a truck, but I’m stunned by what people throw away. Oh well, it’s our gain 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 09, 2013 @ 06:47:14

        Too true! Wish our grouchy tip lady was as nice… might have to import the big man as she doesn’t like Steve (or hippies by the look of it 😉 ) to sweeten her up while we fossick 😉

  16. Sophie33
    Sep 10, 2013 @ 17:38:24

    A very lovely post, my friends! 🙂 A great read too!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Sep 11, 2013 @ 03:56:34

      Glad you liked it and I came up with the idea when I was walking Earl along the highway and saw all the rubbish on the side of the road 😉

      Reply

  17. Allotment adventures with Jean
    Sep 15, 2013 @ 09:08:28

    So THAT’s a word cloud. I learn something every time I read your blog Fran.
    Love all the pics. And I didn’t miss the one of you in your biking outfit. After that hard slog no wonder you didn’t get on a bike ever again.
    You will know by now that Smaky didn’t make it to “The Lodge”

    Reply

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