Philosophy 101 narf7 style

Philosophy 101 narf7 style

Hi Folks,

Uncle Travelling Matt

I decided that 2014 was going to be a year where I learned/tried something new every day. Here are my first weeks reporting’s back to you, my dear constant readers. I feel like Travelling Matt from Fraggle rock, out reporting back so that you can all sit in your armchairs in the relative safety of your homes and learn from narf7’s mistakes…here we go…

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The deck prior to starting work

 

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The deck as of today. I have yet to paint the area in the foreground but that is on the cards for tomorrow

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Around the side of the deck

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The western red cedar that had deteriorated badly due to not being treated in 20 years is now a nice sage green. There used to be a large rose and clematis clump over this area of the deck but as I was pruning it decided to part ways with the deck and now lies on the ground in front of it. A problem for another day!

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Painting the deck step rails

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Bezial surveying his land

1. New Year’s Day – Starting the New Year with a sinus headache sucks. I had a bonus lesson today in the shape of “when sanding the deck on New Year’s Eve, wear a face mask in order to not have a sinus headache on New Year’s Day”…lesson learned TICK!

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A headache isn’t going to stop narf7! It might look like I am lying down on the job but some jobs require a degree of horizontality

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In my “Smurfette” phase…I have since been through my Kermit the frog phase and a brief stint with thinking I was Casper the friendly Ghost. Now I think I am a Jackson Pollack original. I am going to sell my bespattered trousers off to the highest bidder 😉

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Clever green washing to attract the unwary husband. Steve brought this home the other day on the shopping pronouncing it “organic”. He associated the green colour, the name “nutrients” the image and the “premium” with organic and figured it was better than the brand that we usually buy. I said “did you check where it was grown?” (he obviously hadn’t…) and surprise, surprise it is grown in China! It might have worked once but they won’t fool him again

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The awesome 8 litre jar that Steve bought for me the other day. I am going to get a couple more for my buckwheat and my sesame seeds

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Some of the bargain plants I have been picking up from small roadside stands lately. I am collecting monocots (grasses and iris type plants) for the driveway

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Who needs chia when you have buckwheat? I soak my buckwheat now for my morning breakfast smoothies and it forms a thick layer of gel. I love how these smoothies keep me going for the whole day until I am ready for my evening meal. Combined with my homemade kefir and Kombucha they are nutrient powerhouses

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A pint of free blueberries from our crazy American friend…trying to win us back 😉

2. Breaking large seemingly insurmountable tasks into small manageable chunks prevents you from hiding under the bed with Earl and not coming out. I realised that Steve’s desire to “do the deck” could be considered to be an insurmountable task and when I found myself shuffling mindlessly sideways towards the bedroom on Thursday,  I chose, instead, to pick up a paint brush and just “start”. A few hours later and many small chunks of painting and I had finished off the deck stairs and most of the deck railing. I learned the value of small chunks from Mr Adam Richman of “Man vs. Food” fame. When faced with having to ingest a hoagie the size of his not inconsiderable derrière, he would always break it down into small bite sized pieces…lesson learned TICK!

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I am probably going to get sued for using this image but this is the lengths that some jewellers go to in order to not have to do ANY work at all and get the maximum profit. The ultimate in middle man…poor cadis fly larvae!

3. Life IS like a box of chocolates. Mr Gump’s mama certainly knew what she was alluding to. When faced with a full and open box of chocolates we all go for something different. My personal favourites are chocolate covered Turkish delight. I was walking back over the Batman Bridge today after heading off with Earl for his daily exercise (and my daily drag) when I noticed a little trail of “jellybean stones” on the roadside. Jellybean stones are little smooth stones in the shape of jellybeans and I collect them whenever I see them on the side of the road. A truck delivering garden stones to a nursery must have passed by and lost some of its cargo and ever the magpie I bent to pick them up. We are all different. What one of us finds irresistible is so much “meh” to someone else. We pick and choose what we find attractive and worthwhile as we travel through our lives. We collect little piles of whatever we fancy and we stockpile them like Caddis fly larvae (Put picture in of those jewelled cadis fly larvae) in order to make our lives comfortable and attractive to us. I learned that I like simple natural things. I also learned that you don’t head out into the road part of the bridge in front of large log trucks to pick up tiny stones or that life that you wish to add those little stones to might be somewhat shorter than you imagined it…lesson learned TICK!

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My BAD in situ ready for me to elbow open the pantry door…I LOVE gifts from the universe, they are always perfect and exactly what I need, when I need them 🙂

4. “Keep your eyes open today” was one of my grandad’s favourite sayings…”why grandad?” “because you can’t see with them shut!” Most of us walk around as if we have our eyes closed most of the time. We think about all kinds of other things while we are doing our day to day tasks. We are miles ahead of ourselves and plotting up to the middle of next year while today is slipping away from us. Right this minute is the only time that we are guaranteed of. I learned that keeping your eyes open is a good thing. I found a BAD today while I was walking Earl. What’s a BAD you say? As Steve so succinctly put it “that is one BIG ARSED doorknob!” so BAD it is now known as. I put it in my bag and wondered at how it got on the side of the road. I had no idea what I was going to use it for, or if indeed, I was going to but when I got home when Steve was joking around about what we could do with it, I realised that one of his suggestions was actually pretty clever. We screwed the BAD into the pantry door that contains the rubbish bin and the compost bin. I am usually approaching this pantry with something unsavoury or wet in my hands and now I can just elbow open the door via the BAD. Not bad for something that the universe gave me 🙂

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Our almost new 10 000 litre rainwater tank. We got a pump with it and at just over half the new price

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The lady of the house gave me this New Zealand lily. She bought one plant and she has managed to line her entire driveway by dividing that same plant up! It is growing in hard clay so it should find life here on Serendipity Farm pretty cushy after that

5. The universe gave me something else today. It ALMOST gave me a hernia but let me backtrack a little here to give you the details. Today I learned that sometimes, when you put something out into the ether you get a reply. Everyone who is anyone knows that narf7 has very few actual desires. I am a pretty simple little spud who enjoys simple pastimes and my favourite things are usually free. I am a cheap date. My 2 biggest desires are to get hold of a rainwater tank in order to have a continuous supply of clean rainwater and to afford a small wind turbine for Serendipity Farm. In the scheme of things, they are pretty small requests. Whenever you go to a website you are faced with the site loading you up with cookies. The cookies that the site loads you with won’t make you fat but it will fatten up and customise the advertising that you see from that point onwards. Steve has been visiting Gumtree (our Aussie equivalent to Craig’s List as far as I can see…) in order to see if we can get more 200 litre blue barrels in order to put his genius plan into action. While I was perusing my early morning blogs in my RSS Feed Reader I kept noticing advertisements for Gumtree on the sides of the blogs and my eye was drawn by a blue barrel for sale! Pity the blue barrel was on the other side of Bass Strait in Victoria but the next series of ad’s that were all rainwater related contained a large rainwater tank. For some strange reason I decided to click on the rainwater tank knowing that it was probably in the Northern Territory but when the advertisement opened it was for a 10 000 litre rainwater tank and pump for $1000 and the best part about it was it was in the suburb next to us! I looked eagerly at the date of the advertisement and noticed that it was early December and figured that the tank would be long gone. I sent a tentative email off to the seller asking if they still had it and received an email back by lunchtime saying that he did so Steve and I phoned him up, set off to check it out and on Monday morning we headed around to pick up our new rainwater tank that we ended up paying half price for (after Steve did a bit of dickering) and one of my 2 biggest desires can now be ticked off the list. The moth-eaten sock under the bed dragged itself off to die but we now have a tank that will supply us with more water than we can use and the blue barrels are about to be creatively used to collect and supply rainwater to the veggie garden. Sorry that was a big one, but it taught me the value of waiting and of keeping my eyes open, “cheers grandad!”

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Gratuitous vegetable shot of the yellow zucchinis with the spuds in the background

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A mystery is afoot! I might have prevented the larger vertebrate critters from scarfing my precious veggies but obviously something pretty hungry is giving my silverbeet the old college try! No idea what but I bet it comes in caterpillar form…mutter!

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Lush garden full of “stuff”

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More lush garden…more stuff

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The beans that are growing in the compost

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The compost heap with its volunteer brigade of stalwart veggies

6. Monday saw me doing some serious hard yards on the deck and today I learned that sometimes, when something isn’t really important to you, it doesn’t hurt to give it up. Steve wanted me to paint all of the cedar walls the same colour and I wanted to leave one wall (the best preserved) as a feature wall. I usually get my way but this time I had a think about it and realised that Steve really wanted it to be the same as the rest of the walls and so I painted it over for him. It made him happy. I learned that making Steve happy makes me happy, a win-win situation 🙂

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2 very happy yacon plants

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Last week these zucchinis didn’t have fruit and I noticed that the beetroots have small beetroots the size of Ping-Pong balls

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Patty pan squash

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A little tomato plant that was growing outside the veggie gardens that I dug up to prevent me from trampling it

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All of these tomatoes are volunteers! I probably should have transplanted them…I wonder if it is too late?

7.  Tuesday was a doozy of a life lesson. I learned that sometimes the choices you make can have amazing results. I walked Earl and decided to take him over the Batman bridge and feed the 2 little chooks that have been abandoned there. I try to do this once a week just to make sure that they get at least 1 square seedy meal a week. When we got there I noticed that the little black bantam hen has had babies! 8 tiny little fluff balls. As I started to throw the grain on the ground 2 completely different chooks emerged to peck at it! Obviously the Batman is a prime dumping ground for unwanted poultry 😦 I thought about going to the loo at the public toilets but that would involve taking Earl into the loo and I didn’t quite fancy that level of intimacy so kept walking. We got back home with me almost bursting for the loo and I took a small detour to relieve myself in the bushland at the front of the property. I then decided to head through the tea tree garden and take a look at how some of the small trees we planted are doing (well as it turns out) and on the way back to the house I happened to glance down at the ground and saw a dead puffer fish! Obviously the feral cats brought it back to our property and they chose to dump it right where Bezial goes to sniff when we let him run down the driveway off his lead. If I hadn’t chosen all of the sequence of choices that I did this morning, Bezial would now be dead. He can’t resist eating blowfish. Only last week we had to prevent him from picking one up at the beach and he would have eaten this one as fast as he could with dire results. Is our life made up of choices or is it actually directed by our choices? I would like to think that our lives are the result of an incredibly long and convoluted “Choose your path” book. You start out as a baby and once you get to make choices they form your pathway to your life. YOU get to choose your pathway. That is really the only thing that we get in life, our choices.

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I thought that this was just a pretty weed but it is a useful herb called “self heal”

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The property is covered in oregano. This one is in flower

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Golden oregano

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A mystery…this hydrangea had bright blue flowers last year. This year the flowers are obviously pink. Nothing, aside from some bark, was added to this garden bed so why on EARTH have the colours changed? The pH is somewhat acidic (which would account for the blue flowers) so changing to pink is very strange indeed!

8. That brings me to today. What has narf7 learned today? I learned that on February 2nd I am going to head off to Hobart with my 2 wonderful daughters for what is ostensibly a trip to pick up a boot load of Korean foodstuffs and ingredients that my daughters can’t source here in Launceston. I am also going to head off to a park to find a statue of John Woodcock Graves who wrote the poem/song “Do ye ken John Peel” and take a photo of a book of poems compiled by a fellow bloggers dad (with lots of assistance by her) alongside the statue. Social media can assist people to do things that they otherwise wouldn’t be able to do. I am honoured that I can help Joanna (Zeb Bakes) to make her dad happy. The lesson is that if we can do something small/simple for someone else that will make them happy, why not? We are all in this together and if we share and we help other people we make the journey a little better.

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After I finish painting I am going to tackle this. You could be forgiven for thinking that this was a jungle. It is actually an archway, heavily fortified and the garden behind it is being guarded by 8ft tall Scotch thistles. I imagine some of the lessons that I am going to learn next week are going to be painful ones…sigh…

That’s about all I have to report today folks. I am absolutely knackered after painting half of our deck and after I get tea on I am going to settle down and have a bit of a rest. A bonus thing that I learned over the past week is that hard work makes me feel incredibly satisfied. I might be dog tired but I feel satiated body and soul. This learning thing is turning out to be fun 🙂 See you next week when the vegetable garden will have probably outgrown its enclosure and gone on the rampage…

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39 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 19:41:42

    Holy crap babe, you’ve missed your calling! The Wisdom of Narf77 should be printed out immediately and a copy sent to every home forthwith! We must have study groups and weekend workshops to fully begin to grasp the complexities and layers of wisdom revealed within the tales of life as lived by Narf………….. and I am so pleased that your intuitive wisdom caused you to choose to take a wee in the bush, thereby keeping Bezial from harm. That was a close one!

    The house looks fantastic! The garden looks abundant – are you sure you don’t want to adopt an artist and her cat, both of whom are quiet, house-broken and have recently been de-flea’d?

    You are a wonder, the amount of things you achieve in a week is impressive and then you find the time to write about it too………. Such a fabulous post!!

    Reply

    • Lynda
      Jan 08, 2014 @ 20:17:36

      Because you are so exhausted im not going to force you to read almost the exact comment Narf77. Totally agree with the above. You Are Amazing!!!! I love that you pee in the bush. Needs must….

      Reply

      • narf77
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:06:45

        Better to pee in the bush than in my accoutrement’s methinks! 😉 After having 3 kids your bladder develops a bolshie attitude that you really can’t ignore once you hit 50 ;). Its just lucky that we have bush to pee in or the visitors to the Auld Kirk Church next door would have some REALLY interesting photo bombed pictures of their holiday to look at when they got home 😉

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:05:00

      That was only half of it…I didn’t think I could stretch you poor sods to a mammoth post again ;). I live in a state of perpetual bewilderment at the moment as there is SO MUCH TO DO and so very little time to do it in. I have a school friend (bestie from highschool) coming to visit with her wonderful husband in under a week and the house looks like Hiroshima. If we haven’t finished this “tarting up” of Serendipity Farm by then, they can grab a paint brush and help. I will fill them with food and lots of drink and after a few fizzy tipples who CARES what your house looks like eh? ;). Bezial would adore both you and your cat fleas or not…Earl would adore you and would eat your poor kitty on toast :(. He has a real problem with cats (freeloaders) and spends his entire life patrolling the perimeters of the enclosure around our house in order to stop them breaching the security fence…he sees himself as some sort of dad’s army on steroids. I am a little terrified to think about what my life lessons for next week are going to be but whatever they are they will be covered in fecund vegetables and most probably learned whilst tangled upside down in killer blackberries trying to work out how to right and free myself 😉

      Reply

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:15:07

        I think if you get Earl a Mrs Earl the patrolling, possum bashing, kitty killing, may all stop- or at least slow down a bit – and then he can just get on with populating the world with little Earls that should be raised right [not what like you have done with him!] and taught to bash possums only.

        Be careful of those blackberries, they are vicious! I had a childhood trauma associated with them – a patch set out to entrap me and intertwined themselves in tight curlicues around my arms, legs and feet. They pinned into my back and neck and I had to be cut out…… I feel about blackberry pushes the same way I feel about possums 🙂

      • narf77
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:22:49

        I have a systematic desire to rid the world of blackberries. I start at the perimeter…I work with a stoic stony silence and a large tarpaulin and welding gloves and my trusty felco’s. I work with passion and with a purpose and I chip away constantly until I reach the heartland and “the mother”. Then I do battle with the vixen! I always win. I never lose. I might emerge battered, scared and covered in scratches but they are my war wounds and I am proud of every single one of them. Anyone who says “oh, you get free blackberries… leave them…” simply has NO idea about the ferocity of the average blackberry. They are alien, kin only to that specific alien and are to be culled at all costs. Steve patted a female dog yesterday. Earl tried to “have relations” with Steve’s leg. Methinks the world isn’t ready for Earl + girlfriend 😉

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:42:28

        We have mysterious synchronicities – or is it just that our respective countries are unwilling hosts to possums and blackberries? In the same house where I became a merciless possum killer I also took on a half acre of blackberry infested native bush………. due to the degree of childhood trauma I was still prey to at the time I could not deal with it myself – plus I was teaching full time and mentoring new teachers at the same time – I hired some burly chappies to do the hard work and watched from the safety of my deck, with great satisfaction, as my mortal enemy lost her hold on my hilly patch of land and the natives regenerated in her stead.

        Poor Earl – Steve is teasing him! I’m now thinking a lone Mrs Earl may be no such a good idea – perhaps a harem??

  2. Deb Cameron
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 22:39:45

    Your vegie garden looks lush, that netting looks like its doing a mighty job. Will put my dog food recipe on my next post.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:08:21

      Cheers so much Deb :). Our boys refuse to eat anything other than raw steak. It isn’t doing them any favours and I think it is time to stop the anarchy. I liken it to allowing your kids to dictate what they are going to eat for their dinner and them eating nutella sarnies every night…time for the “parents” to put their foot down methinks! Cheers in advance for sharing 🙂

      Reply

  3. Da Goils
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 23:24:23

    February 1st, Dummo!
    If you show up on the 2nd we will not be happy with you, especially since we will have reminded you again before that we are going on the FIRST! You come here Friday (31st) we go Saturday (1st), capicé?
    (P.S Hi Mom!)

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:10:40

      Pffft! poor tired old ma should easily be forgiven for a small typo. I know its “Friday” at the beginning of the month and that is good enough ;). Can’t wait for our Korean decamp. Twill be fun, and we can have lunch someplace scrumptious as well before a nice slow leisurely trip back. Lets do iced coffee again? (P.S. Hi Mingus and Beenz!)

      Reply

  4. teddyandtottie
    Jan 08, 2014 @ 23:38:23

    The deck looks amazing! Great before and after shots. Good on you for just picking up a brush and starting – look at the results. And good on you for giving the homeless chooks one square meal a week – it made me sad to think they were fending for themselves – particularly the new babies. Thank goodness you found that blowfish – and thanks for several hundred moments of snorty laughter throughout this post! xoxoxoxox

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:12:24

      Snorty laughter? My job here is done! :). Cheers for the lovely comment and those chooks won’t go hungry so long as narf7 is on the job. They are in a huge parkland with lots of bush and appear to be doing quite well for themselves. So far none of them have been scoffed by quolls so that is a minor miracle in and of itself. I look forward to seeing how many of that little black banties babies grow to become “The feral chooks of Batman Bridge” 😉

      Reply

  5. brymnsons
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 00:43:57

    The water tank looks amazing Fran! And you got it cheaper, hurrah!! Close call with the puffer fish. I think the cats are plotting to get rid of poor Earl… The garden is going great guns, I won’t be able to find you in it soon 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:16:31

      Hi Kymmy 🙂 The water tank is probably going to have to stay on the trailer for now as we are going to extend the dogs compound area around the house to include the orchard (good luck with that possums!) and give the boys a bit more space to trot around (with free guarding by Earl 😉 ) and until then we daren’t put the tank in as it is so big we wouldn’t be able to get around it to the side of the deck! The cheaper bit was amazing. It was like the universe said “how much can that moth eaten sock stretch to? Ok, here you go!” :). I don’t even care that it is my birthday and Christmas prezzies up until I am 92! The stupid cats would have gotten rid of the dog that ignores them and walks amongst them rather than the one that would kill them in an instant. They are starting to stand at the gate to the house and Earl HATES them. He barks at them on one side of the gate while they are hissing at him and swatting the wire mesh with their paws…the battle lines have been drawn! Poor Bezial would have been collateral damage 😦 I am scared of the garden. I can hear it whispering when I go up there and I am sure it is slightly bigger every time I head up there even if it is just an hour or so later…

      Reply

  6. quarteracrelifestyle
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 04:54:25

    Fran, your garden is looking great, very productive and lush!
    Maybe one of your dogs has been peeing on the hydrangea occasionally…I know someone whose dog used to pee on just one of her hydrangeas and it was the only pink one from all the blues.
    I bought a bag of prawns a few weeks ago and it wasn’t until I got home that I realised they too were Chinese. Chinese prawns do not appeal one bit and the chooks got them in the end – why on earth spinach (or prawns) have to be imported is beyond me! Used to be that bananas, pineapples, coconuts etc used to be the only foods we imported. I like that we can get specialty foods from other countries now, but spinach?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:07:47

      The sad thing is that China is using NZ and its clean green image to syphon a lot of its produce through to the rest of the world. A lot of our Aussie food production has shifted over to NZ and when you look below the surface, it’s all Chinese run. I have nothing against the Chinese people and this isn’t at all racially motivated but whenever a nation gets so big it can buy up huge tracts of other nations land and use it to feed their own population (and syphon off their own, less than stellar product back to said nation in the process) something is wrong in the state of Denmark! Steve was miffed to say the least when I pointed it out to him as he was very proud to deliver “organic” spinach to our table. I wonder what your chooks made of those Chinese prawns?!!! Like big slaters methinks 😉

      Reply

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:36:49

        Really ? Because we all complain that so many of our Kiwi companies now get their products processed in China…And we all feel the same as you and no, it’s definately not racially motivated. Free Trade has opened up a whole system of food swapping that is just crazy, countries (as far as is possible) should be supplying it’s own population in it’s food. China can lend money to every other coujntry because we have sold out our work forces, there are no jobs because companies and our governments have allowed this to happen. I don’t trust food grown there, they don’t have the same health standards we have and they use slave labour. The chooks loved them 🙂

      • narf77
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:54:20

        :). I completely and utterly agree. We have the case of a local large peach and cherry orchard that was sold to a Chinese consortium who ran it into the ground and it is now for sale again. The let all of the peach trees and most of the cherry trees die and just picked for 2 years without watering or pruning or anything. It is completely wrong to sell of our land and our food production to another country. If you control a populations food source, you control them! Simple as that. Time for us to chuck out our government (again) and get someone who actually wants to provide quality food for our populace. At least we are both trying to feed ourselves and bollocks to the Chinese!

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 18:50:02

        I agree. What happens should there be another world war where borders are closed to foreign vessels or fears or food safety? Or a huge catastrophic event, there isn’t going to be a sudden supply of food available in our own countries….it just doesn’t make sense.
        And yep, one of the reasons we grow our own!!

      • narf77
        Jan 10, 2014 @ 03:48:30

        Great minds think alike 🙂

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:08:22

      I BET Earl peed on it! You are absolutely right ma’am and 100 horticultural points to you 🙂 Mystery solved 🙂

      Reply

  7. Chica Andaluza
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 05:51:47

    Beautiful decking and I love your wisdom about tackling things in small chunks. We went back to work last week and I was a bit overwhelmed by what we still have to do. Big Man kept telling me not to look at the end but at what we had achieved so far and to just take it day by day (have you and he been chatting?!). Am trying to do this now and not feel like I’m drowning in “what I still have to do”. Great zucchini and chicks too! Had to chuckle as (I assume) your daughter’s comment on the date for your trip – you don’t want to miss it! PS. Although i have subscribed now, I am still not getting notifications of your posts 😦

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 06:01:02

      I post every Wednesday rain or shine ;). Yes, my daughters comment…they will invariably send me an email close to the date and I will get a phonecall ostensibly to talk about the weather but I KNOW it is a reminder call ;). We are going to have a great time and a scrumptious meal when I stay over the night before. I can always count on that. My girls are excellent cooks 🙂 I learned to downsize my expectation in order to crawl out from under the bed on the odd occasion (other than to grab a book, a torch and a box of chocolates…) in my life. I figured that if I did that, I would be able to stop having panic attacks about what there still was to do. I could look over the deck at the tangled behemoth of a jungle below and smile and wave like the queen at the blackberry biotches that will soon enough be mine. An entirely excellent life lesson to learn. Puts everything in its place (and I can still fit under the bed from all of that exercise although the chocs are off the list since my bum got bigger over Christmas 😉 )

      Reply

      • Chica Andaluza
        Jan 09, 2014 @ 06:05:02

        Hee hee, luckily my bed is quite high so I too can fit underneath it. Think I was having a few mad days as I can usually get it all into perspective without panicking. Your wise words were very timely. Looking forward to hearing in a few weeks about your time with the girls!

  8. teawithhazel
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 07:53:28

    love your life lessons fran..re the blow fish..your farm isn’t called serendipity farm for nothing! x

    Reply

  9. rabidlittlehippy
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 09:23:08

    I had one of those epiphany moments the other day too. We had a large pile of dumped rubbish out the front of the house (great look aye) and it’s been sitting there until Martin had time to finish pulling apart the couches to reclaim the timber inside of them (no good even for goodwill due to the amount of times my toilet training kids didn’t make it of the couches) but it was a big job not possible with little people. On Tuesday, aforementioned little people and I, with littlest person in a pram, set out to load the rubbish and demolish the couches. To my utter amazement it took a mere 3 hours and Jas was a tremendous help. We then manhandled the tractor trailer out from under the woodpile and hauled it bodily up the hill, me as the pack horse and Jas pushing it from behind. It too is now unloaded and everything is ready and waiting for me to step outside my comfort zone and drive to the tip to empty it. Another big job trying to get the trailer reversed to where it’s needed and unloaded whilst keeping 3 kids happy in the car. 😦 It might be a job for the weekend perhaps.
    You’re so right, hard work leaves you exhausted but utterly satisfied and there is no greater satisfaction than looking at a job well done years down the track. You will look at your enclosed veggie garden every time with pride just as I do our chook pen and the greenhouse as I built both of them with my own hands (with a little help from Martin) and boy it feels good to remember that. Same with my raised beds! I think the only thing that feels better is eating a meal you’ve grown/raised entirely yourself. 🙂
    Love your big jar – I have a similar one for my buckwheat that cost me $1 and I have 2 others just waiting to be filled. 🙂
    Lucky call re the puffer fish and I too love that you peed in the bush. I totally get the whole 3 kids bladder thing too, despite not being 50. I’m not sure the age makes much difference. 😉
    Here’s to another new day with lots of time and the perfect weather to achieve heaps. 😀

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:43:14

      I just finished painting the large expanse of deck. Took me all day and I am officially Jack Kerackered (narf7 rhyming slang for knackered 😉 ) You got your jar for $1?!!! Wish we could find jars like that for $1. I thought that $8.88 was a bargain ;). I get really happy when I am watering the veggie garden and the compost heap tomatoes are waving happily at me and I look over at the pumpkin with leaves that are almost 600mm across and beam because we did that! We thought of the concept and our experiment worked! I figured it would give the veggies optimal conditions to grow and I was right and sometimes it is absolutely gobsmackingly excellent to be right :). The peeing in the bush isn’t something I do regularly but I am starting to think of recycling it and making nitrogen rich fertiliser out of it ;). Ok, off to make some tea as I reckon I will be in bed by 6.30 tonight 🙂

      Reply

  10. christiglover
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 12:41:24

    A wonderful post, Fran, and I love your lessons. They all resonate, but I especially love how you worked it out with Steve over the painting. Win win, indeed. Your gardens are glorious and I love the rain catchment. A good investment.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:46:20

      Hideho my wonderful twin sister from Olalla (soon to be Hawaii 🙂 ). Glad you liked the post. It is a wonder I got the post done as I was really stuffed after painting the deck all day but I just managed to get the first coat on the last stretch of deck and it feels amazing :). Hope your winter isn’t too cold. We noticed that your temperatures were way down. They must be low for them to be reported on Tasmanian television! Rug up and cuddle with the B.O. 🙂 Aloha my friend 🙂

      Reply

  11. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 13:47:50

    Wise, wise words indeed… Ugh, “organics” from China really burn my toast! I hate the fact that that’s the case with almost all (if not all, actually…) of the frozen vegetables at Whole Foods. You’re paying an absolute premium for god knows what. It takes more than just your light speed-reading to cover all the information on a label these days, which is why grocery shopping takes me forever. What’s worse is the manufacturers that hide or completely omit the origin of their ingredients. It’s criminal, really.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:51:12

      I agree Hannah and what made it worse was the sneaky way that they did it! Green packaging, pictures of lovely little plants, “resealable” making it look like it was worth buying and paying a premium for when it is the same spinach that is in the homebrand bags! No ethics and the worst bit is that our government supports this kind of “enterprise” :(. I guess it makes growing our own all the more important…now I just have to hunt that robbing little swine of an insect that has been chowing down on all of my silverbeet/spinach leaving me with just the stalks! Lucky I just found a recipe for making fermented chard stalks isn’t it? 😉

      Reply

  12. foodnstuff
    Jan 09, 2014 @ 17:50:01

    Aarrgggh!! Self-heal is NOT a useful plant. It’s an invasive WEED. It self-seeds all over the place and takes over. It was growing here (in a small way) when we bought the place. There was some talk of it being native but it’s not. I’m currently weeding/spraying it to get rid of it. Let it grow by all means, in an area where you can control it, but don’t let it out of there!!

    Reply

  13. Yelena
    Jan 10, 2014 @ 00:59:13

    OMG, you have such an interesting house! I enjoyed your post very much!

    Hugs,

    Yelena

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 10, 2014 @ 03:50:17

      Thank you Yelana, glad you liked my post :). I adored your lemon poppyseed breakfast cake recipe. I love anything with poppyseed in it and as Tasmania produces a reasonable amount of the worlds poppies (for medicinal purposes) it seems like a good thing to add to just about everything :). Have a great day. I hope it isn’t too cold where you are. Here, it is heating up and next week is going to be truly hot. It doesn’t get too hot here usually but next week is going to be a scorcher (for Tasmania) glad you are enjoying reading my posts still 🙂

      Reply

  14. Littlesundog
    Jan 11, 2014 @ 15:17:10

    Hey Fran! I’ve been out of pocket for a week – and my WordPress iPad app is crap for commenting so I had to wait until I got home! Anyhoo, you look great as a Smurf! I’m insanely jealous of your weather and the gardens! We’re still dealing with the worst winter weather I can remember since I moved to Oklahoma. At least I can enjoy your photos, and be distracted for about 20 minutes while reading your post. Your landscape is really flourishing!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 12, 2014 @ 03:36:14

      I love the look of your frosty snow laden cold. I guess we both have a bad case of “grass is greener?” Come Wednesday we are apparently going to hit 35C here in Tassie which is pretty hot for a Taswegian but the mainland is sweltering away and practically melting so I can’t really complain. Earl sends slobbers by the way 🙂

      Reply

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