Au contraire…

 

Hi All

 

I have been doing that thing where you use your brain a lot for things other than the objects of your interest and desire…(what’s that called again?) “Study”. Cramming swathes of information into your head. Some of which sticks because it is directly related to what you are interested in (like making e-books) or is hovering around the peripherals of what you are interested in (like forming community with like-minded people) but aside from that, anything external to where my brain wants to be sitting at any given time spills out of my ears and into the ether most probably never to be seen (or retrieved) again

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The lengths that I go to in order to maintain my artistic integrity…here you see one of my kitchen knives that I was using in order to replicate a knife in one of my assessment tasks. The pile of pencil shavings was thanks to me having to draw things over…and over…and over again and these sheets of paper are my draft drawings prior to the finished result. We had to use the letters of our names to represent a profession or a theme.

myname f1

Here’s what I came up with (if I have ANY Drag queens reading this post please don’t spam me! 😉 )

Have you noticed that? Have you noticed how if you are interested in something you can spend hours poring over books, searching the net and wandering around with a book in your hands while you furtively attempt to stir the air at the side of a simmering pot? I think that the secret to being a really good teacher/lecturer, is first of all learning to read your students (after all, “students” per-se are a motley crew at best and at worst can be the stuff that nightmares can only aspire to being) and then finding what it is that they are interested in and pitching your lessons in that direction. I realise that classroom situations can’t give teachers the ability to tailor lessons to individual students but if you find a student who just isn’t getting it…who (like Steve) is asleep on their desk…who keeps interrupting your class by acting “the giddy goat” (LOVE that saying nana 🙂 ) then it’s time to pull out the old “personalise and pique their interest” bullet…load it into your teaching gun and “FIRE!”

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Ugg boots! Well…not really “Ugg” boots as they cost a small fortune and would probably sue me for even thinking about using their name, but cheap imports that are keeping my feet almost as warm for the princely sum of $8. Coupled with some thermal socks and narf7 is ready to tackle winter feet first!

DSCF7549The sum total of tomatoes produced in my garden this year that are red. I have about seventy quintillion green ones…note the hairy strawberry (they hit puberty early on Serendipity Farm. This one is so old he has a comb over…) 

I have been noticing meme’s on Facebook (back there…sort of…as our classmates set up a FB page and we check into it on a daily basis) that echo a similar theme. The theme revolves around how happiness is elusive. How we can’t expect to be “happy” all of the time and how we need to embrace the “sad”. Whilst understanding fully that the only way that “happy” tastes like ice cream and feels like a massage after going 10 rounds with Mike Tyson is to balance it out and to contrast it with the knowledge and personal experience of sadness but to say that you can’t taste happiness most of the time…Au contraire, I beg to differ. I think that happiness is a state of mind. It isn’t something that is elusive or to be sought after, it’s right here inside us. It’s that pure crystal clear moment when we realise that were we are, what we have, how we live right here…right NOW is “right” for us and we learn to feel a primal contentment in those moments. That is happiness. Well it is to narf7 Anyhoo…

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Steve’s secret walnut stash in a car park in the city. No-one collects the nuts and as you can see they are being squished by cars

DSCF7558Narf7’s not so secret stash/box of collected walnuts from the city car park 🙂 

So here I am, haggard but happy with the crisp fresh cold (only just remembering what “cold” actually is…) mornings that we have been having lately and my thoughts are with autumn plantings and winter baking. I have been cultivating a roaringly gorgeous online friendship with the spunky Joanna from Zebbakes  and the much closer Celia from Fig jam and lime cordial Throw in some spectacular Cityhippyfarmgirl action and narf7 is going to go to the sourdough ball this year. None of it will be at all possible without a starter however and my new hero is Tanya of Chica Andaluza  fame who has sent me some dehydrated starter from her own prized batch. Spanish starter on Serendipity Farm. Sounds like some kind of cookbook to me! I can only hope that our customs officials are as kind as the Spanish ones were and let the sourdough through. The Spanish version passed Serendipity Farm kefir grains to Tanya without batting an eyelid (maybe they were having a Manana moment? 😉 ). Fingers crossed that the tenacious starter arrives on the doorstep and this winter turns my humble and simple little kitchen into a bread baking alchemists dream, full of possibilities and potions. I just crammed “Tartine 3” into my library cart. Why start of easy is my way of thinking. Throw yourself in at the deep (experimental) end and tread water for a bit till something sticks (probably all of those unctuous cultures riding to the other side on the top of my drowning cranium 😉 )

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We headed into the city in order to swap 8 bags of prunes for 8 bags of dates. Steve picked up the prunes on his last whirlwind shopping trip and as I am NOT a fan of “prune syrup” we returned them and swapped them for dates. While we were there we took the opportunity to walk the dogs around the city and take a couple of photos. This is another one of those lovely traffic signal boxes. I love how bright and vibrant this one is 🙂

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This is a great idea. Filtered water that you can drink from a fountain or use to fill up your water bottle in an attempt to reduce the use of bottled water. The dogs were certainly appreciative of this on what was probably one of our last warm days for the year

As the weather cools down I start to rev up. I want to hear and smell Brunhilda as she crackles back into life. I went to sleep last night with the sound of persistent rain on the roof. It was absolutely and most primally delicious. My breakfast buckwheat porridge is now “right” and I have taken to wearing ugg slippers all over again. Enter the game. Narf7 1, Earl nil (for now…) The dogs are starting to need a blanky at night-time now. We keep lecturing them about how lucky they are. How some dogs have to live outside and eat tinned dog food (shock HORROR!) and wouldn’t know what a bed even looked like, let alone got to spend most of their days languishing in luxury on top of one. Couches, fridges, leftovers, begging for hot pasty ends, bacon rinds, caches of shoes…all completely foreign to the average shmo dog but do you think they pay attention? Nope…you can almost sense Bezial looking for “more” and Earls eyes slithering around looking for unattended foot coverings as you prosthelise

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Steve ate most of these last night and said that they were delicious. Even the green possum sucked ones didn’t go to waste. They got tucked into the compost bin to hopefully grow at their leisure over the winter

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I knew that European paper wasps had 2 phases, a sugar phase where they predate any and everything sugary and later in the breeding season they have a meat phase where they go for anything vaguely meaty but I never realised that they also had a cheese phase…here is the evidence!

We have plans in the immediate future to create a dog nook next to Brunhilda. Sort of one of those Bohemian floor setups for dogs so that they can take advantage of pillows and warmth and Brunhilda and overnight heat regulation. “Some dogs live outside in kennels you know you two!”… (Eyes just swivelled alarmingly reminiscent of my children’s eyes swivelling when I was telling them that there were starving children in Ethiopia…) and we have plans for all sorts of crafty adventures but we need to knuckle down and get some of these immediate studies out of the way. Sarah, our wonderful lecturer, has been very sporting about it all and has given us all of our work up front. I love you Sarah. You are a true friend! She knows how a student brains works because she IS a student. She is studying at university as she teaches and so that need to satisfy in the bare minimum is part and parcel of her world. You can reason with a fellow student and Sarah is eminently reasonable. This course is a world apart from last year. Last year I could feel our lecturer losing his sense of humour as the year progressed and our fellow students dropped like bored flies. The moment something a bit difficult arose they were like rats leaving a sinking ship but this year’s motley crew are all interesting, fantastically talented and most importantly focussed on taking part and completing this course. They all seem to have their eyes firmly on the finish line which makes this a much more exciting direction to be facing. Rather than working alone, we have lots of brains to bounce off and that makes it a much more entertaining environment to learn in

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A man and his machine against the mighty intestinal fortitude of a cross fibred wattle tree

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A man and his dogs

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A man who appears to be threatening me but who assures me is “Mr Log Splitter Extraordinaire”…

Ms TeddyTottie of “Teddy and Tottie” blogging fame posted a link to this excellent commercial to highlight ceasing battery hen/egg farming by some of our most noted comedians. I would like to share it with you all as well. I realise that some of you already follow this blog so feel free to skip the ad.

http://www.animalsaustralia.org/no-way-to-treat-a-lady

 

I find myself at 3.13pm on Wednesday and just remembered that I have to post a blog post…EEK! I have been studying all day and finding more holes where the possums have been weaselling into our veggie garden (SWINES!) that I promptly mended (narf7 1 possums about 7000 😦 ) and helping Steve to split some logs using a log splitter that we borrowed from a friend. All in all I am going to have to put this blog post to bed and hope that it isn’t too half cut and that the first bit was good enough to carry this last (most pathetic) effort home ;). I need to thank Tanya (Chica Andaluza) and Jessie (rabidlittlehippy) for sending me Spanish sourdough starter “Ole!” and for dealing with my aging Aunt Tilly who keeps sending me seeds. Jess has been a pillar of the community and has bent over backwards to attempt to educate Aunt Tilly but she appears to be almost as bolshie as I am. Cheers for your help anyway Jess.  You can both be sure that I am going to have a wonderful time messing around in the realms of sourdough possibilities and back propagating where I am happiest . I luv’s ya both 🙂

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Not only did Tanya/Chica send me some of her precious dehydrated sourdough starter for me to have a go at making true Spanish sourdough on Serendipity Farm, but she sent me a packet of lovely wildflower seeds to sprinkle around the place. I am wholeheartedly in agreement with the cover of the lovely card that she sent…I will just swap the (undrinkable) gin for vodka and after a few of those lemony moments I will completely “forgedaboudit!” 😉  Now I have to think up a sufficiently sexy Spanish name for my new starter…

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Dear Aunt Tilly…she keeps sending me seeds and I keep telling her “No Aunt Tilly!” but what are you going to do when your Aunty just wants to share? 😉 Cheers Jess for attempting to talk some sense into Aunt Tilly. For your kindness to Aunt Tilly I am sending you something special 🙂

Ok folks, sorry to love you and leave you but sometimes the small terrier that is life gets hold of your ratty little carcass and gives you a hefty shake which results in a bit of a brain rattle and a whole lot of having to get your bearings back. I should have them back and be a LOT more organised by next week but I can’t promise anything ;). I hope you all have a happy and most productive week. See you all next Wednesday 🙂

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33 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 17:24:18

    I used to make sourdough bread back in the 70’s. In fact I used my starter for bread, bread rolls, quick breads, a scone type affair which I quite liked but no-one else did, assorted cakes and biscuits and even things like bacon and egg pies. It was a hard working bug! My youngest daughter could regale you for hours with stories of her mothers door-stop bread ……. 🙂

    Can I tell you how very pissed I am that the kefir grains got into Spain but not here? Unbelievable!!

    I think your ‘toons of Fran’s job descriptions actually show enormous promise! If this is your first attempt it is most impressive! I particularly liked the Ninja – I think you had a real handle on it for that one – but they are all really clever! I love the reversed F! I don’t know about the drag queens reaction – but mine is that you have a whole lot of Mars in you work wise! 🙂

    Thank you for taking the time to keep posting during your super busy studious period. I went awol from my blog for three weeks due to a wee rush of busy-ness. I’m off to Wellington tomorrow for 9 days – Whoo-hoo!!

    Have a good week Fran!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 02:58:54

      I wish we lived closer Pauline…I can just imagine the adventures that we could have if we did 🙂 I might have to fire off some sourdough missives when I am up to my armpits in billowing dough and NO idea what to do next. I have made sourdough cakes and they were most successful but for some reason, they didn’t keep very long. Same deal with muffins. I would have thought that it would add moisture to them but it seems it limits their shelf life? I am with you on the pissed about the kefir and Spain. Looks like NZ went all “super industrious” when it came to that package. I reckon it is because I put what it was on the label. Tanya just send me sourdough starter AND SEEDS and put “Embroidery notions” as the declaration and they didn’t even scan it by the look. Maybe that’s just our slack lot here in Tasmania but I doubt it. I reckon they expect us to be honest and then fine us for the honesty…its going to backfire on them when people start resorting to sending their embroidery notions on a regular basis and they actually have to fire up that x-ray machine isn’t it? 😉 Glad you liked my toons. I am NOT an artist. I avoid tooning strenuously but just wanted to share how you can get creative with words and typography and it can be fun :). I am “flat out like a lizard drinking” at the moment and after checking out the latest assessment due in on Monday I was horrified to realise that it was about 3 weeks work crammed into a week! Then I was delighted to realise that we had actually done all of the tasks bar 1 last year (identical questions) so we can revisit our work from last year and submit it with impunity 🙂 All we have to do is draw some OH&S safety signs (could be amusing with my OBVIOUS talent for drawing now 😉 ) and Bob is my ex husband, we are there! Have the BEST time in Wellington Pauline. Linnie will be sighing a sigh of relief as she can sloth about now for about 10 days contemplating her navel without her fairy godmother hovering over her waving her wand and saying “get to work…”GREEN!” 😉 ” You will come back invigorated, rested and with kefir grains. Water kefir is kind of like my non-dairy kefir and lives on the sugar that you give it and can be used to bake bread like sourdough is and you can use it to culture non-dairy (coconut specifically) yoghurt. Adventure time coming up! 🙂

      Reply

  2. quarteracrelifestyle
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 18:57:28

    I love that you are so committed to your study…I have no near future plans of finishing mine!
    Love your ‘toons too, very clever.
    It’s been cold here too, we have had the woodburner going and I am back into fluffy bedsocks. I would love a woodstove.
    Enjoy your study and sourdough baking 🙂 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:02:22

      I am wearing fluffy socks as well. Those faux uggs are delightful as well and till Earl gets his little nibbley nippers on them (I will forget one day to put them away and he is just waiting for that fateful day…) they will keep my feet toasty 🙂 Brunhilda needs to be tarted up a bit before we can light her including a flue sweep and painting with fireproof paint but once she has her annual checkup she will be into the fray for a good 7 months and she will heat our water for free, heat the house, dry clothes, dehydrate things, simmer enormous vats of “stuff” for hours and generally add an ambiance to our home that only a behemoth like Brunhilda could do :). Can’t wait for winter now 🙂

      Reply

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 04:01:01

        Oh, I would love a Brunhilda – we looked into installing one it was just going to be too expensive for us. Enjoy her 🙂 A friend of mine has one and I just adore it for the comfort it brings, and it’s uses.

        Bob used to attack my fluffy boots, actually I can find them again and use them now!!!

      • narf77
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 04:10:19

        Glad to be of assistance regarding the re-use of boots 🙂 When dad died we were left a small amount of money and we renovated the kitchen etc. with most of it. We were most frugal but I had always wanted a wood burning stove. I didn’t realise at the time that it would have so many added benefits. We bought one made in Australia, no fancy shmantzy foreign jobby for us and Brunhilda is the bomb :). She has a firebox in the middle of her 2 main ovens which appears to keep the fire insulated resulting in us not having to relight her every morning. I just get up and toss on a few sticks to get her crackling again and once she crackles herself into action it is a slow and steady feed of wood through the day as she is very fuel efficient. Best purchase we ever made and she adds SO much more to the winter ambiance of our house. It is never cold in here and as she is on 24/7 for about 7 months of the year we get free hot water all of that time. Extra bonus 🙂 I agree…it is quite an upfront expense but I think I aced it on my choice. It was Brunhilda or a second hand car. She won and I am SO glad 🙂

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 06:05:08

        Ooooh, very envious of you your Brunhilda 🙂 And free hot water would be flippin great…I could have big deep baths instead of silly little things I freeze in. Our shower is terrible so I have baths but they sneak up in winter a bit but you pay the price for all that “sneaking”.

      • narf77
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 06:43:46

        Lol…no bath here but a nice long slower makes up for that and our pressure is pretty good :).

  3. brymnsons
    Mar 26, 2014 @ 20:43:13

    I love the cartoons Fran, especially the chef one, suits you to a tee> Free walnuts, how wonderful. The sad thing is people probably park on them and go into woolies and buy them! Canny you :). Nice shot of the boys and their master, well they won’t think he is but anyway… Isn’t it lovely to hear the rain on the roof. We woke to it the other day, bliss. I agree with you on finding happiness right here right now where you are. Taking pleasure in all the wonderfulness around us and just the little joys in life. Like friendship x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:07:35

      Friendship is precious. I think the older I get the more precious it becomes :). I was a bit dubious about posting those typography images but due to me only having a few images I figured you guys wouldn’t mind my amateur attempts. I thought it might give you all a laugh ;). I agree about those walnuts as most people would just buy them. Probably don’t even know that they are parking on walnuts, just “damned seed pods that mess up my tyres” ;). The thing is those fresh walnuts taste absolutely amazing! Sort of like sweet and almost maple syrupy with that distinctive walnut taste. I am eating about 7 a day and am trying to think of something to use them in that will do them justice but the way I am going, by the time I work it out I will have eaten them all! 😉 I love the sound of rain on the roof. It’s right up there with the smell of toast and coffee and bacon and the taste of that first hot cuppa in the morning…BLISS! Can’t wait to see your gorgeous new tea cosy that you are entering in the show. Steve entered some photos in the Albany show once and got a few seconds. He was chuffed :). I think mum might have entered some of her jams and lamingtons in the show once. Can’t remember how that went. I am too lazy to create something for someone else to judge. I figure Steve judges my tucker anyway. If it gets past him with a compliment I am ahead! :). Have a wonderful weekend Kymmy and enjoy that cow munching son of yours visit and give the doggies a snoodle for me 🙂

      Reply

  4. Angela @ Canned Time
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 00:46:12

    Yes to free Walnuts. I’d kill to have that tree in my yard…but then there wouldn’t be room for a yard 😉 Wishing you short studies and red tomatoes!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:09:58

      That fecking possum got in again! At least he is satisfying himself by nibbling pumpkins and hasn’t started on the green tomatoes. I am thinking wine and chutney so far…I just got a bonus on the studies as I realised that the next unit was one that we did last year and most of the assessment tasks are the same so we can resubmit our work from last year (lucky really because it’s a boring stuffy unit on OH&S 😉 ). Just got a few safety signs to create and that sounds like fun. That walnut tree doesn’t take up much room at all, it’s all vertical and the rewards are incredible. Growing in a paved car park and seems to be happy as Larry 😉

      Reply

      • Angela @ Canned Time
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:28:02

        The only Walnut tree I’ve seen here is in a park by a lake and would be very tricky to start picking up the nuts off the ground with everyone watching….Steve has a great constitution, not being swayed by watchers on…

      • narf77
        Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:29:32

        Thats a tiny car park and he does it when there are no inhabitants 😉

  5. Littlesundog
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 00:49:30

    Oh my, a talented cartoonist! You amaze me, Fran! I also loved the photos of Steve and his machine, and Earl and Bezial looking on. It’s hard to believe we are just getting through winter and welcoming spring, while you are preparing for cold weather. The yin and yang of life…

    We find the same issue with pecans here! People drive over them, or they just rot on the ground. I pick them up and have them cracked and blown commercially to make the cleaning easier. Generally, we get a good pecan crop (no worms or immaturity) every three years or so. I pick up enough to get me through several years, plus share them with friends.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 27, 2014 @ 03:12:45

      Pecans are a complete luxury here in Australia. I am going to try my hardest to see if I can’t get a few trees for the property but don’t fancy my luck. It won’t stop me trying. I will have to “import” them here from the mainland so they will be something that I save up for :). I can’t believe that people just drive over them as they are so easy to peel! It is mental that we take things like that for granted isn’t it?! Lunacy! Cheers for the kind comments about my typography. I shared it so that everyone else could feel smug about my humble efforts. I am NOT an artist ;). I thought it might give you all a laugh ;). Have a fantastic weekend and hopefully it is a delightful sunshiny window to your rapidly approaching spring 🙂

      Reply

  6. rabidlittlehippy
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 08:46:28

    http://www.diggers.com.au/shop/product/WPECSH/PECAN%20SHOSHONI.aspx

    😉

    Aunt Tilly will simply not listen. I’ve tried telling her it’s illegal to which she responds “stupid laws, stuff em” and I’ve tried telling her customs will stop them to wich she snorts and I’ve tried telling her you will get into trouble too whereupon she tells me that “how can [you] get into trouble since [you] wre the innocent receiving party.” What can I do. Naughty old bolshie that she is. 😉

    Score on the walnuts. This year my local supply has currently got none although I will get some chestnuts. The blackberries up their road are ready for picking too so here’s hoping the rain eases (only during daylight hours) and allows us to gumboot up and go and pick those delicious blobs of deliciousness. I’d love enough to freeze some for ‘ron. 🙂

    I watched the “Ain’t no way to treat a lady” and ended up in tears. Although we raise our own eggs I hadn’t even thought about the fate of the male chicks. I had assumed I guess that they’d be grown out for stock or pet food or something. I’m horrified. Utterly horrified. 😦 I will be sharing.

    Go Steve and your wood chopping prowess. Noice!

    We’ve done ok with the cherry toms this year although they have more green than we’ve had red toms (close call now though) but out the back with the rest of the toms? Zip. Nada. Nothing to be even vaguely impressed with. I’m weighing up between hold out and see how they go and tear them out and plant my winter crops. I’m leaning to the side of the latter but the former is about having hope and faith in the weathe… What am I saying?! Faith in our weather! Ok, tearing them out post haste!!! Winter garden, here I come!

    Reply

  7. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 12:20:02

    Ah, I am absolutely loving the word play doodles! You really brought your name to life is adorable, hysterical different ways. 🙂 Always full of surprises…

    The thought of such carelessly crushed walnuts makes me very sad. If only those people knew what treasures they were squandering! Perhaps its better that they don’t though. More left for you to gather up later. If I was there with you, I’d be delighted that there was such an ample supply of free food around to forage, right out in the open, too.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 28, 2014 @ 16:36:58

      The best thing about those walnuts was that they were fresh and delicious. I refuse to admit that I have almost eaten them all but know that there are more to be collected so that’s ok…isn’t it?! 😉 Glad you liked my attempts to insert “Fran” into those situations and professions. I try to add humour if I can because that makes up for my (most obvious) lack of artistic ability and hopefully while the lecturer is laughing she isn’t thinking about my dearth of talent ;).

      Reply

  8. Linne
    Mar 27, 2014 @ 14:58:53

    Love your cartoons and your ‘Uggs’ . . . and I agree with you on ‘happiness’ . . . we don’t have to worry about needing sadness to contrast with happiness. Life provides plenty of sadness, no worries there. But a large part, as you say, is just making up our minds to BE happy! Not always easy, I know, and I’m not the best example. Another case of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ . . . sigh

    I still think your garden needs a traffic signal box . . . you may have to score a refrigerator box and paint it yourself . . .

    Walnuts . . . faux pecan pie, if you have either basil or parsley (or use half of each, you will have yummy pesto for your pasta (nice alliteration, there, eh?); butter tarts like my Mum used to make (the butter is in the filling, not the pastry, she says); grind ’em up fine and add them to pastry for a lovely flavour; toast ’em and add spices for a nice pre-drinkies snack; I’m sure there are more ways to consume them. Love that Steve gathers them up; we need more foragers, city or no . . . And the shells are great for dyeing; the Confederate soldiers in the USofA wore uniforms dyed with walnut (or butternut, I think). Will dye your hands, too, though, so wear gloves.

    Nice log splitter . . . the machine, I mean. Well . . . the man looks nice, too 🙂

    The chicken ads were awesome! we need that sort of thing here, too.

    Did you know that the Spanish for Serendipity is “Serendipia”? But The Road to Serendipity translates to “el camino a suerte” (so says my trusty online translator)
    OK, I figured that out: if I capitalize the words, it comes out “La carretera de Serendipia”.

    Nice your sourdough got through; I suggest you send Pauline some “embroidery notions” . . . after all, that would be ’embroidering the truth’, right? Don’t put your return address on it, though . . . 😉 did I tell you I was a smuggler in a previous life?

    Loved the card, too; I’d be making Lemon Rum with it (you could use your marrow rum) or else subbing the lemon for the lime in my favourite bevvie: Martini & Rossi red vermouth with lime juice, a twist of lime and one or two ice cubes. I’ve never met anyone else who drinks it, but it’s very tasty . . . hic!

    Are you not allowed to receive seeds in Tassie? because they might spread and become bunny-like in their behaviour? http://photobucket.com/images/vampire%20bunny?page=1

    Your poor Auntie . . . if I had a garden, she could adopt me and I’d happily plant out whatever . . . I’m sure her plants are what we have in Canada anyway. If we ever see another summer, that is . . . It’s been snowing on and off yesterday and today and I am NOT AMUSED! 😦

    Looks like your studies are going to be much more fun than last year and isn’t it nice that they come just when the pressure of the garden eases off?

    Missed the wasps . . . I didn’t realize they had sweet and meat cycles, much less a cheese cycle . . . sounds like a tri-cycle, doesn’t it?

    Oh, and in return for your ‘remark’ above to the lovely Pauline, I will share the first two lines of a recent poetic spoof by moi:

    Some people tell me that offal is awful,
    but I think it’s awfully nice . . .

    hahahahahahaha . . . . . . . if you are nice to me, I won’t share the rest of it . . .
    Hugs to you in ‘cold’ Tassie (what was that, Narfie7 . . . +8C??) ~ Linne

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 28, 2014 @ 16:26:42

      I am going to put duckies pond inside the veggie garden area and am going to fill it up with herbs and strawberries :). I don’t eat pasta and Steve doesn’t like nuts (unless they are very finely ground and used in a cake). I am eating my way through them raw and they are really delicious. I am thinking about making nut butter with the last of them (prior to me putting on 20kg 😉 ). Steve says “thank-you” about him looking nice but you should probably put your glasses on and THEN comment ;).

      “El Camino” eh? Sounds like a really good name for that sourdough starter! Better than “El Chupacabra” which was my second choice ;).

      Tasmania is very strict on certain kinds of imported seed. No plant material either (unless you have paid them an exorbitant amount of money to process it 😉 ). Apparently my friend has wasps that eat the contents of the dead rats that her cats kill but don’t eat…sounds like nature is using up all of the available “food” this year so that tells me it is going to be a long cold winter indeed!

      HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA! 😉 My gran was best mates with offal and I am sure that we are more than our fair share of it disguised when we were kids ;). I could pick a kidney from a mile away though and good luck getting me to eat one! Yup, cold…it’s warm again (25C) today and humid after a day and a half of blissful slow steady soaking rain. Narf7 is a most contented little vegemite 🙂

      Reply

  9. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 03:43:01

    I need to work on a sourdough starter. Maybe my bread would improve. Good to see you are getting an early start on firewood. We (I mean Chris) cut ours as we went. A few trees fell down during an ice storm which came in handy. Had a fire going this morning, but today is supposed to warm up. No log splitter though. We had snow the day before yesterday. I will be amazed if we actually have spring. It has been so cold. Our dogs and cats are outside. We have several outbuildings. Chris even made a doggie door, and put a heater in there, but they wouldn’t stay inside. They won’t lay on blankets or anything soft. They just chew them up. I’m going to go outside and hike in a bit. They’ll be thrilled. We saw a red fox yesterday. They all played together.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 28, 2014 @ 16:28:23

      We had a long wet winter that we thought was never going away but when it did we had no rain from early December through to just recently. You might have a long hot dry summer yet! The dogs play with the red fox?! Ours wouldn’t. Earl says that it is a dogs prerogative and indeed, it’s job, to eat blankets 😉

      Reply

  10. Joanna
    Mar 28, 2014 @ 10:45:51

    Dear Ninja of Narf, I love your drawings! I am looking forward to the adventures of the Starter of Spain and Brunhilda the Bold and I haven’t seen a wasp for about a year but the last time I saw one it was shredding fibres off my garden bench, so I reckon they eat wood too, but maybe that it to build their papery nests with? I am not an expert on wasps. I am very impressed by the walnut stash, I once found a tree on a street and collected the nuts but they were mostly empty when I opened them which maybe explains why no one else had bothered with them, even the squirrels had spurned them. Have a great weekend !

    Reply

    • narf77
      Mar 28, 2014 @ 16:34:32

      Yes, they build their papery nests out of the wood but we could add that into their cycles. We have mud wasp nests on our brickwork and the Native wasps stuff poor zombie caterpillars into them and hatch their babies out into them…ECH! These walnuts were really delicious. I say “were” but I haven’t really eaten them all…I just WISH I had eaten them all ;). I am going to process the rest of them into a jar of nut butter or I will eat the lot. Thankyou for your kindness regarding my drawings but I know my limitations and Picasso has no competition from little old moi ;). I am just glad that you could work out what I was trying to replicate ;). Have a scrumptious weekend yourself. I am going to wait till Brunhilda is back pumping out the heat before I reanimate that starter. I picked up 6 lovely bread tins from a thrift shop for $5 today (about 2 pounds fifty pc with the sad state of our dollar at the moment) and can’t wait to let “El Camino” (the name for my new sourdough) do it’s stuff and I start baking. I am going to scour your back posts (hope you washed them well…) and those of Celia and anyone else that I know bakes sourdough prior to getting stuck in to practicing. I want to have my head stuffed full of possibilities (and solutions) in advance rather than starting out timid and not knowing why things didn’t work out. “Bring on the experiments!” 🙂

      Reply

  11. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 04:38:48

    So glad it reached you (and so sorry it took me ages to get here to comment – the laptop had another hiccup but seems to have sorted itself now). How about Lola as a name (always strikes me as deeply glamorous and a bit voluptuous!). Loved the walnuts – if the cars drive over them you have them ready shelled, how brilliant is that?! Loved the drawings too with your name – what a very talented and artistic narf you are 🙂

    Reply

    • narf77
      Apr 01, 2014 @ 05:10:56

      Blushing about the “talent” and am WELL aware of my limitations in the drawing stakes 😉 I think that the starter is going to run with “El Camino” as it has travelled a very long road to get here indeed and feels decidedly male. If I was to call it “Lola” I fear that I may get more than I bargained for… “L.O.L.A. Lola” 😉

      Reply

      • Chica Andaluza
        Apr 01, 2014 @ 08:18:46

        Hee hee – El Camino is brilliant…:)

      • narf77
        Apr 01, 2014 @ 09:51:14

        If you have seen that American show about the reprobate who changes his life around because of Karma called “My Name is Earl” (guess who we named after him? 😉 ) you will be aware that Karma Earl’s car is called El Camino as well. A very fitting name for our sourdough that will no doubt give me as much trouble as Earl does 😉

  12. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 01, 2014 @ 04:39:41

    Have just seen it’s called El Camino – perfect, love it!

    Reply

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