Study sucked all of my time

Hi All


Well another Wednesday just appeared out of the ethereal fog of study and I just realised that I haven’t chiselled a blog post out of the possibilities between my ears. It’s 5.22am and I am on the mental prowl for some choice narf7 tid-bits for you all to marvel at and wonder what you did prior to learning but you know what? My head is full of bampf! Last week it was OH&S where we were able to use a bit of what we did last year (but not much) to satisfy the requirements but this week it is hard slog and nose to the grindstone and all of those painful things that require you to spend hours online trying to remember how to type in a useful query that will garner you the best results. As of this moment in time I SUCK at useful queries even though we learned about them only a few weeks ago


We had to go hunting for an image stored on a hard drive the other day and we found a few images of Bezial back when he was numero uno dog all on his own. This is Bezial in town when he was a year old


Bezial in his favourite position on the back of the sofa in a sunbeam 🙂

I have been wandering lonely as a cloud in the early mornings that have just been padded out by an hour thanks to daylight savings going back to the hole that it crawls out of in October every year and my brain being crammed full of study thoughts…a walk with Earl is a dangerous thing when you are fully conscious of where you are stepping and what you are being dragged into but when you are preoccupied and thinking about other things you don’t notice the rabbit warrens or the rocks or the fact that you have suddenly veered off the beaten track and are being dragged backwards through woodlands of sheoak’s that really REALLY want to eat your hair. Earl is very good at sniffing out those kinds of woods


Bezial casting his vote on just how delicious Madeline’s amazing white chocolate vegan mud cake (for her sisters birthday) was… I think he gave it 9 out of 10. It would have been 10 out of 10 if it was about 10cm closer to the edge of the counter…


My experiment in kefir and buckwheat, a wonderful study in how to make prize hooch without doing much at all. The layer on top of this amalgamated mass is pure alcohol. Not entirely sure what I am going to do with this but for now, it’s a fun experiment. Might toss it out for the possums to fight over…now THAT would be fun! 😉


Instead of dealing on a daily basis with my RSS Feed Reader (that now contains 123 unread posts …”EEK”!) I am spending my early mornings wading through research so that Steve and I can formulate what I have found into some semblance of notes in order to answer the questions we have been asked. Most of our classmates are lamenting this part of the course but they don’t realise that we have the lament x 2 and then boosted on steroids because we have to come up with twice the examples that they do and twice the research because there are two of us. Thems the breaks I guess but sometimes it feels like I have cotton wool between my ears and I spend my days in a kind of fuggish haze. Today we have an online class where we have to share what we have found out about the questions that we have to answer. Forgive me for being a little cynical but if I have just spent the best part of 24 hours of my life slaving away researching and compiling I am somewhat loath to share all of my information. I am not being mingy or mean, I am just wondering why we have to share this information prior to it being submitted whereby other class members who may have been watching dvd’s, listening to music with their feet up, playing video games etc. for the first part of the week can sit around their PC with a pen and paper and take notes on everyone else’s hard slog and then hand those answers in… there is collaboration and there is blatant lazily riding home on someone else’s coat tails. I will leave you to make up your own minds about that


The app that Steve downloaded for his Nokia the other day (Pic Sketch Free) can do some pretty impressive things


Taken this morning when I was attempting to wake Steve up…Earl was NOT amused by the flash

Enough about the studies! My life seems to be taken over by them and I have planted out babies that are actually starting to sprout! Tiny little brassicas that are waving at the sunlight and making me happy. I have most cleverly labelled most of them but I have a tray of “Misc. and boobity boo” that are all mixed in together. I like a mixed bag. There is something good about getting what you are given and something tells me that because I didn’t carefully label each row and I have NO idea what is going to come up in this tray that this tray is going to grow the best 😉


Can anyone explain to me how these “cactus thing-a-ma-hoozits” are surviving on nothing but air? We dug them up when we were building the veggie enclosure last year!


The ubiquitous “Pie, mash and liquor”

I have also been attempting to reduce the amount of tinny packetty things that Steve likes to call “food”. Being from the U.K. he is predisposed to eating things out of tins and packets. Fresh fruit and veggies are much more expensive over there and when we visited in 2006 we practically lived on cheap frozen foods from large frozen food chains where you can buy a 10kg bag of chips (French fries) for 2 pounds. Well you could back then! We ate frozen burgers and pies and cakes and roast potatoes and Yorkshire puddings and when we were out and about sightseeing we ate pub lunches where you had “buy 1 meal, get 1 free”. There were 5 of us so we paid for 3 meals, not bad but it left my daughters with a complete disdain for “chips” of any kind. I, on the other hand could eat chips for every single meal and NEVER grow tired of that but then I am a freak of nature ;).


Can you guess there are at least 2 of us that are VERY keen to get out of the front gate?


It has been a grey old drizzly day today but I won’t be complaining about the weather for at least a couple of months yet…

Steve is from Northern England and as such he has his regional preferences when it comes to food. They eat a meal called “Pie, mash and liquor” which he likes to make healthier by adding frozen peas into the mix (SO proud of you babe 😉 ). It comprises a couple of pies from a packet, some mashed potatoes (would have been “Smash” a proprietary brand of dehydrated potato flakes in the U.K.) and a packet of purest green masquerading as “parsley sauce”. Much like having a good old U.K. fry up occasionally, he is prone to wanting this sort of thing on enough of a regular basis for me to want to tinker with it a bit and render it “safe”. I can’t completely change everything at once. That would be MADNESS! So I have sneaked in good mashed potato first. He didn’t mind that. He likes that. Next thing was the pies. I can make a good homemade meat pie but at the moment I doubt that I am going to liberate Steve from his shop bought pies any day soon so it’s back to the drawing board and that leaves us with the “liquor” quotient. When I mentioned to Steve that I was going to have a go at making “liquor” for his meal I got those eyes…you know “those eyes”. The eyes that tell you “O…K… you are going to expect me to actually eat this?” Those eyes…


We took a slightly (higher) route for our walk this morning going up a steep hill which eventuated in this magnificent view.


This was taken on Steve’s phone at the same time as my image on my little old Fuji.

So I cooked and mashed the spuds, Steve cooked the pies on the bbq (a maestro on the bbq with a shop bought pie…) and I set about making a good roux which I then turned into a delicious white sauce and added lots of fresh chopped parsley from the garden. I checked online and compiled a list of flavour requirements for “liquor” and ended up using a recipe from BBC Food, a more sterling U.K. food endorsement you couldn’t get unless it was from Delia Smith herself! They suggested adding a little white wine vinegar to the sauce to get that peculiar “liquor” quotient so I added a touch and after serving it up to Mr suspicious and having him prod it a bit and then give it a tiny taste he pronounced it “delicious!” Good-O it looks like another packet can be relegated into the “do not buy” basket 🙂 1 for narf7 and nil to the ubiquitous “liquor” middle man!


Taken on the way home. This image shows an approximation of where our property is. That big oak tree behind that interesting (and still working) light house is just on the other side of our fence. You can see how close the river is to our driveway


Another shot of Glad’s front “garden” and that overgrown mass of trees is our place 🙂


Glad’s place was the old church manse (ministers home) and is MUCH neater and tidier than our place even though Glad is 92 this year and we are not 😦

I recently bought some wool in order to make a pair of slipper boots. A wonderful fellow blogger who goes under the delightful moniker of “The Snail of Happiness” made me a very happy narf7 camper by sharing this free pattern. Head on over and grovel a bit and she might share it with you too. Her site is well worth visiting and she is a dead set U.K. legend when it comes to promoting hand crafts, permaculture and living sustainably. I am now following The Snail of Happiness. Thank goodness snails are slow buggers because her blog starts with a “T” and as Pauline will tell you, it can take me a while to get to “T” in my RSS Feed Read especially when I am otherwise occupied ;). Anyhoo, I have the wool. I have 3 new nice shiny pastel coloured crochet hooks in big…Bigger…and BIGGEST! Goodness only knows what I am going to crochet with the biggest one but the packet of 3 was cheaper than buying a single hook so far be it from me to snaffle a bargain when I saw one, 3 I bought. I haven’t had time to put hook to magic circle yet (let alone learn how to make a magic circle in the first place) and there are a few abbreviations I am going to have to Google as my crochet tends to be of the simple and long lasting (unless Earl finds it first) kind whereby I sit…I pick up my wool and hook and I watch television and crochet. Repeat this exponentially and that’s what crochet is to me. I rarely finish anything, it is a lovely repetitive action that soothes my inner savage beast (I have a narf7 “Earl” living inside me 😉 ) and allows me to just mindlessly create something whilst preventing me becoming a statistic on a government health list


I bought this little pot of chocolate mint for $2 from Di’s little plant stall at the top of the hill because I finally have somewhere to plant it that the wallabies can’t scarf it in! Also because I deserved SOMETHING for walking up that hill!

Autumn has brought blessed relief from the heat but in saying that, it has also brought dogs to bed. Dogs that were content to lounge around on the cool wooden floor are now feeling that early morning coolness and are migrating to those nice warm lumps of meat in their feather and down doona that you can snuggle up to and freeload from their radiant heat. I don’t mind sharing the bed aside for 2 component’s of the bed sharing arrangement (when I say “arrangement” I mean all one way!)

  1. Earl jumping on and off and on and off and on and off the bed all night in order to check various noises, to patrol his territory (there be cats!) and to urinate on a regular basis on the stoic aquilegia that is still growing at the back door despite getting “watered” at least 10 times a day by Earl. I am now a heavy sleeper so the getting off the bed doesn’t bother me, the problem comes when Earl gets back ON the bed and has to jump on my stomach every single time! I might be a heavy sleeper but I challenge even the heaviest sleeper to not wake up when a 33kg American Staffordshire terrier has performed a jump worthy of the Olympic trampoline team fair and square in the middle of your solar plexus
  2. Earl radiates his own heat. He is like a little hot water bottle and when you are snug as a bug in a rug in your feathery down doona you have enough heat. Once Earl starts cuddling up you start to think that you are radiating more heat than a coal fire furnace and you need to remove the doona from your person…problem is, once you do that you get cold again so for the rest of the night, while your canine “friend” is snuggled up to you, you are intermittently getting hot, hurling the doona off your person and then, getting cold and pulling it back on you again…all…night…long!

Bezial doesn’t snuggle up to you, Bezial doesn’t radiate heat, and Bezial isn’t the dog that insists on sleeping on our bed, sigh…


I think “someone” stole a squash!


And ran away with it…dropping it on his way around the corner…

Well looky here! I managed to make it to just on 2000 words through sheer complaining! There has to be an award out there someplace for bloggers who are able to complain their way through an entire blog post?! Steve is still fast asleep, so are the dogs, so are the birds for that matter. There might be some possums outside with stomach aches from attempting to eat the diabetes inducing date and chocolate blondies that I made the other day that the bbq decided to turn into rocks and despite Steve’s best (kindest) efforts to consume remained stoically tough and inedible to the end and that I may or may not have tossed over the balcony in a fit of pique (there was 250g of butter in those blondies!) to the chooks below who couldn’t even manage to peck their way into them. Pretty soon my day is going to begin. I haven’t read a single post in my RSS Feed Reader but I did finish off the last of my own learning tasks which frees Steve up to do his while I am off walking Earl this morning. He can then upload all of our work to the various places that we have to upload it to (another bugbear…why do we have to upload all of our work to 3 different places?!) where I employ the sanity instilling mode of “ours not to reason why, outs but to do or die!” when it comes to comprehending why we are required to do anything that I don’t comprehend as logical or essential.


“You want the squash? Come and get it!”

After that we have to sit down and compile a watered down list of answers to the questions that we have been asked. A sort of chef’s shared version where you just KNOW they left out the most important ingredient of their prized recipe…that sort of share 😉 we then have to take part in the online discussion which will involve Steve and I hopping the computer chair and making each other cups of tea (me) and coffee (Steve) and attempting to look like we are vaguely interested (which neither of us are). We then get the afternoon to work on our assessment tasks for this unit and we should be able to knock them out by late afternoon and then we can start on our negative space/white space unit to hand in for Monday. I don’t know how people who work are able to accomplish the amount of work needed for these courses but most of the people in the course with us work full time. SO glad we are penniless student hippies and can give this course everything that we have got…just not entirely sure I WANT to give it everything I have 😉


“Oops! When I said “come and get it” I didn’t mean NOW! better pick it back up again and run for my life!”


“My squash slid off the deck at about 60kph and landed on the ground…I almost “squashed” the chooks!” sigh…Earl and his thieving ways! 😉

Have a great week folks. I made it to just on 2500 words. Aren’t you glad? I might just give you one of those Wordles of today’s post that I shared a while back. I think they are pretty and it’s one less photo that I have to attempt to take on my walk with Earl the terrible this morning 😉

Wordle 4

51 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. microgardener
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 14:38:46

    Another crack up read today Fran! I needed a break from writing and you bounced into my inbox. I visualised your ‘Dog on the bed’ woes and compared them mentally to ours. We have an Australian shepherd (think oversized border collie look alike) who thinks she’s a human. It’s HER bed and she allows us to sleep in it. But only when we beg! Despite having a king size bed, we sleep most nights with this ‘horse’ (legs fully extended = 4.5 foot long) and often wake up to her feet on our pillow. The ON/OFF button goes on here too all night. Chandy has a heavy coat and feels the heat so leaves the soft warmth of our bed for the floorboards or tiles to cool down. Ah, but where would we be without our Fur Kids?


    • narf77
      Apr 09, 2014 @ 16:46:30

      I am SO with you there Annie 🙂 We purchased a King sized bed as well so that we could all share. Bezial doesn’t spend much time in the bed but it is Earl’s primary place of sleep. He comes to bed with me every night and spreads out to fill the entire bed. It’s not unknown for Steve or I to sleep upside down (we actually have pillows at the base of the bed just in case 😉 ) and Steve has had to sleep in the spare room on the odd occasion. Have a wonderful rest of the week and hopefully you are getting some of this lovely rain up there 🙂


  2. cathyandchucky
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 15:03:32

    Great read Fronkiii. I just had to edit my post from a couple of days ago that I did on my iPad as none of the text appeared that I had so carefully inserted between all the pictures! Sigh…. At least my post makes more sense now. You have Earl on your bed, I have Bubbles who, for such a tiny, skinny kitty likes to snuggle right up next to me and I just burn with heat! Maybe it might also be coming to that time of life where we woman feel that extra “special” type of hormonal heat as well 😀


  3. rabidlittlehippy
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 15:39:21

    Earl = Orik except Orik burns hot at night and does the doona removal for you! I do not like being woken up by a small body clad in only a nappy, kicking like a fiend to remove the offending doona, leaving me lying there shivering. If you don’t like being warm kid, SLEEP IN YOUR OWN BED!!!


  4. thecontentedcrafter
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 16:32:03

    What happened to the book review – did I miss it? Did you do it? Where did it go?
    I know I’ve had a shockingly busy week – that’s what happens when you disappear for a few days and come back to find the whole world and his dog have suddenly decided they need to talk to you RIGHT NOW!! – But I have been faithfully keeping up with all the posts – did I read the timing wrong?

    I’m sorry for all your grumbles re the learning thing. I can empathise. I am of the opinion, after 25 years in the trade, that education is pretty *#@*&*& up. Learning should be fun, to the point and not based on formats and formulas and who best remembers all the prescribed answers top pass the test. But that’s just me and I’m a bit of a renegade/reprobate when it comes to rules and education and stuff like that. 🙂

    I’m also sorry for you over the new sleeping arrangements. I can empathise here also. I have a cat as you know. As cats go he is moderately large being of the Maine Coon variety, though he himself is a small Maine Coon – commonly called a runt, though I would never tell him that. About the size of a small dog I think. He missed me while I was gone. His way of showing it was to hold me down for the first 24 hours after returning home and to sleep face to face with me in MY bed every night since. He has not slept face to face with me since he was a wee kitten and insisted on doing so whilst giving off the same amount of heat as the first atomic bomb did on Bikini Atoll.

    So there I found myself, nose to nose with a moderately large and very happy cat. I’d turn over and face the other way. There would be an audible sigh and a rustle as he moved around the top of my head [polite boy] arranged himself just so and thunked down with his nose to mine, purring happily and breathing cat breath all over me…………. oh the joys of being loved by a cat!

    I am making kombucha. I have no idea how it is going as I put it in the hot water cupboard three days ago and forgot about it. 🙂 Must go check…..


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:15:32

      Sounds like Orlando is related to Earl (he appears to be about the same size 😉 ). You didn’t miss the book review. It’s being posted today (10th April) as per the schedule of one Miss Emma Cooper a most organised girl indeed 🙂 I just scheduled it all neatly packaged up and full of love and adoration for that book and UBER excited about trying to source some of the most interesting edible plants (especially the perennial tubers) that I learned about. Booch is easy peasy. It does it itself. If you leave it to little you get sugary tea water with a mild tang. If you leave it too late you get vinegar. If you drink it after about 7 – 10 days (I leave mine for 10 days but I brew 4 litres at a time) it is just right and is scrumptious. You can then drink it straight (like I do) or you can tip a bottle of juice into it, squeeze some fresh juice into it, toss in some fruit slices, pulp. “essence” whatever you damned well please. I have seen chocolate booch, coffee booch, green tea booch, ginger booch etc. It is most accommodating with what it will put up with and is rumoured to be able to give you the ability to do complicated math (but that might just be me telling fibs 😉 ) Hugs to both you and to that enormous (got to boost runts ego’s, they are very sensitive you know…) Nuclear Maine Coon and here’s hoping I did Emma’s book proud. Please feel free to let me know (but please don’t be too critical, I am as sensitive as any runt 😉 )


  5. teddyandtottie
    Apr 09, 2014 @ 23:09:54

    I remember study woes well, Narf7, and don’t think I could put myself through it all again. I feel your frustration, but I really like your determination! I also admire how you can construct whole sentences in such a colourful and entertaining way at 5.22am!!! Loved the story about the pies and potatoes and peas – and Earl running off with a squash. Funny Earl! I can just see him spread out like a dish of fish on your bed – radiating furnace-like heat!! What a magnificent view on your walk this morning. You live in a gorgeous part of the world, Narf7. Good luck with your studies this week – remember it won’t last forever. xoxoxoxoxoxoxox


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:20:33

      I knocked the bollocks out of those bleeding studies and only have a “formal letter” to write which is diddley squat for old narf7 who has done business courses out the wazoo in the past 😉 MUCH happier now. Funny how that happens isn’t it? A bit like having a baby, you are very grouchy while you are performing the act but after the event you are all smiles and happiness 😉 I promise not to complain once in my next blog post (however, in saying that I have allowed myself to complain in multiples 😉 ) Have a wonderful rest of the week and weekend Ms. Teddy/Tottie. I gave up on being greedy about entering for the quilt. I am of the opinion now that if it is meant to be held and stroked by my hot little mitts (and forever to be parted from Earls hot little beak…) that it will naturally gravitate over the Bass Strait to me 🙂


  6. Chica Andaluza
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 00:07:18

    Hola! Sorry about the hard work and studying – I’m having a blissful time enjoying the spring snshine and sewing. Must take a look at that knitting pattern you recommend. “I think he gave it 9 out of 10. It would have been 10 out of 10 if it was about 10cm closer to the edge of the counter…” so funny! And what the heck is chocolate mint?
    Well done on the healthy makeover for the pie mash and liquor – have yet to introduce Big Man to that particular culinary delight but I think (as he likes the pies I make) that he’d enjoy it 🙂 Happy Wednesday, hope you enjoyed your walk with the boys!


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:23:40

      Chocolate mint is a kind of mint that smells like chocolate. Imagine holding a mint thin until it melted and then sniffing your fingers. It’s just like that :). The wallabies must love it as they completely scoffed my last one (they also ate all of my chives so maybe they aren’t a good example of tasteful creature 😉 ) SO glad you are enjoying the Spanish sunshine. I am champing at the bit for winter to start settling in and for it to get a bit colder. We are taking possession of a HUGE load of wood on Saturday in order to feed Brunhilda at a slow and steady rate in the manner to which she has become accustomed and I am twitching to get that starter reanimated and active but I have to wait till just the right time…soon narf7…soon…


  7. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 02:37:22

    Bezial is really a pretty dog. Earl, too. That cake looks so good and white chocolate is my favorite. Our dog would have gobbled that whole if he were anywhere near it. A dog followed us home the other day. We were out hiking. We thought it belonged to one of our neighbors and called, but obviously someone just dropped it off. We finally fed it last night….felt so bad for it. I have a feeling it’s ours now. I did want another dog, but this wasn’t the one I had in mind. I should have been more specific in my request to the universe.

    We have that app as well. I used it once on a facebook picture.

    If by chips you mean French fires – yes. Also love sweet potato fries. If I could only have one food to eat it would be potatoes. Maybe that is the Irish in me.

    You do have a beautiful view, and a beautiful place to walk the dogs.

    I have made it my goal to do at least one knitting or crochet project per month. I’m ahead now – on the 9th one. They are basically simple things. I’ve made three shrug sweaters thus far, some hats, and scarves.

    If you are complaining you do it in such a nice way I don’t even notice.

    I’m working on two novels (isn’t everyone). I wish I could scribble out 2,500 words as easily as you can.

    Have a great day!


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 04:29:00

      I reckon if I was attempting to produce a copious quantity of words they would freeze up before I could get them out on paper. I have the sneaking suspicion that my muses (and there are many…) are free spirits and even more bolshie than I am. They don’t like being harnessed and they especially don’t like researching dry topics. Not a sign of them when I was attempting to find the words for my learning activities this week ;). I love that you are creating with yarn. I haven’t had any time to get stuck into those slippers yet but I am holding that delightful thought as a reward after I knock out these tinderbox dry and most boring studies. Everyone needs a reward at the end of something that makes you twitch. I would love it to be French fries (the English and Aussies call them “chips” and they are much thicker than your French Fries) or sweet potato fries but my derierre won’t allow for that luxury and so I make do with crochet and good books. We do have a beautiful view don’t we? I constantly feel incredibly lucky to be able to walk alongside that river whenever I see fit. I must have Irish in me as well because potatoes are my one true love (after Steve…thought I had best say that in case he was reading this! 😉 ) Have a lovely day and a blissful weekend, hopefully in the sunshine 🙂


  8. quarteracrelifestyle
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 07:19:53

    You have a most beautiful neighbourhood Fran and isn’t Glad’s place lovely?! She would shame us completely and no, we aren’t 92 either!! Your doggy photos are always a delight and love the one with the cake lol.
    I am pleased to hear of another person who rarely finishes a project, Roger and I are both like that….which is rather unfortunate! We have unfinished rock walls, a water feature, drive, lounge walls, knitting, several paintings and mosaics etc etc. Just as well it’s nearly winter I think 🙂 🙂
    The talk of Steve’s diet has me gagging lol. I have not eaten a factory pie since the early 80’s when the news showed a mouse in one. Even though our hygiene standards have improved 1000 % I haven’t gotten past it. My new daughter-in-law is American and vegan but her diet is shocking – waffles, pancakes, white bread and few vegetables. She looks pretty healthy though, how I don’t know?!
    I haven’t heard of chocolate mint!


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 10:44:47

      The problem with vegans eating rubbish is that when they get sick, people point at them and say “the vegan way of eating is bad for you!” rather than “she only lives on rubbish!” 😉 Another person who hasn’t heard of chocolate mint? It smells divine, like mint chocolate patties or mint chocolate thins and is lovely to have in the garden. It has lovely glossy dark green small leaves and spreads quickly (as most mints do) but the wallabies eat it here and so I am going to have to consider (carefully) where I am going to put this new pot.


  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 07:24:34

    Forgot to say, thanks for link to Snail of Happiness, I like!! Also, Carry on the good work with your studies….you will get there!


  10. Angela @ Canned Time
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 09:51:33

    Bezial is such a sweetheart. You can see in his eyes that he knows who his Momma is!
    And thanks for the pics, what a lovely place to live….even with the ups and downs at night (I’ll never complain about Mr. Floyde sneaking up between us at night again)
    Off for my own Wordsworth moment tomorrow in the hills of West Virginia. I’ll think of you gathering all your thoughts in the pre-dawn there. I’m sure the dogs are close by protecting you from not getting too far off in your mind travels dear ♥
    Tally ho!!


  11. Robbie
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 13:10:35

    I admire how you find writing so natural and I don’ t mind reading your so called “complaining”, I find it a fun read about your interesting life + the pictures of your daily walks are stunning!!! My youngest moved out this summer + is attending college for physics. He got a TA last year+ RA next year , so it is paid for + mom and dad no longer have to help! He was home a few weeks ago, and He said,” why don’ t you go back to school mom if you want to study plant breeding etc…I said I finished graduate school in education and I don’t want to! I like to learn ,but don’t want to do assignments, read for classes etc…, so he showed me a “free website” with classes from MIT on various subjects. I can just go to the site and download a lecture, syllabus, etc + learn for the “sake of leanring”..NO GRADES or DEADLINES….now that is my type of leanring now…..:-) it is hard to do all that work with deadlines…
    I have to comment on dogs in beds…ours sleep on our beds + our pit bulls are always under the covers! + my cats sleep on my back! How do I ever get sleep-lol..great post:-)


    • narf77
      Apr 10, 2014 @ 16:50:57

      🙂 I am starting to think that it would be a great thing to remove the stress of grades and performance from studies and just learn for the pure and most blissful state of “learning”. I love to research. I spend my early mornings nose deep in all kinds of things. I love to fill my early morning brain up with all kinds of possibilities and indulge myself with Permaculture posts and gardening blogs and vegan food blogs and anything else that interests me (crochet at the moment) with impunity. No-one is grading me, judging me or making me want to pull out my hair…the very best kind of learning :). I can’t wait to read about your free studies! I think we have the same thing here as my son (who sounds a lot like yours 🙂 ) pointed out a website where he takes free courses and told me to take a look. I am too busy paying for courses (MADNESS !!!) to enjoy having courses for free ;). We only have 1 dog on the bed most of the time, King Earl who spreads himself out to fill all of the space that he has available which is interesting as we have a king sized bed and the mind boggles how he could stretch that far! Bezial is very polite and waits for me to get out of bed at 3am when he hops into my spot and settles down on my pillow. As I sneak out the door in the dark I can hear him sighing with contentment :). He then gets up at about 5.30am and comes out to sit next to me to keep me company (while Earl is upside down snoring and kicking Steve with all 4 feet 😉 )


      • Robbie
        Apr 10, 2014 @ 21:49:26 oldest dog Punk ( 14 yrs this month) is the only one allowed right now on the bed+ the other dogs are not being too nice to her since she is moving very slowly these days. Punk is a “mutt” we picked out a the local shelter many moons ago-lol. She gardens with me every season, but this spring I am afraid will be her last.She has osteoarthritis(last 5 yrs) + she is very stoic about her pain. She has a hard time walking + is on pain medicine, but she is not ready to go yet. She got through the winter, and it will be her last. I will not let her suffer another winter like that it was hard for her, but she wanted to garden one last season. Pain medicine is how she gets through.. She goes outside in them morning to greet me + waits till I come out to work on the garden. She refuses to come in + sleeps in the sun while I work. The other dogs are 8 +11 , so they are too large and muscular ( pit bulls) to be around her right now since they run into her and it is too painful for her. I keep them away from her most of the time. My other dog that passed away in 2009 was the ultimate alpha dog( huskie + shepard mix), but he was a large dog + his back legs went out + it came down to the last day where he could not walk, but he let me know it was his time to go…I am spending as much time with her in the garden this year because she wants to be there…it is special + they( our dogs) are so precious. We lift her on the bed at night + take her off since it is hard for her, but she is not ready to go yet..she will let us know….:-) so this summer is special with my old dog + she is the only one on the bed for now:-)
        I agree “Life long Learning”…yes, that is the way to go! the best thing you can do for your kids is hope they have the love for life long learning or to have the “insatiable desire to learn”!!!! We both have wise sons!!!
        I am like you, I LOVE my computer for learning + love to research, but thank goodness for Youtube..I can learn to do anything!

      • narf77
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:39:16

        Our boys (furries) are just on 7 and 4. Bezial has a problem with his front shoulder after jumping out of the car window going at 60km/hour when he was a year and a half old. He tends to hobble when it gets cold. Our dogs are very special to us. I dread to think about the day when we are going to have to ease their pain and when they let us know it is there time I am going to be a hopeless wreck after. I love how you let Punk garden with you. Bezial loves to lay upside down in the sunshine. This winter will be hard on him too but he has his own chair next to Brunhilda (our wood burning stove) and spends most of the winter glued to his chair with a blanket over him ;). Youtube is the bomb. Have you discovered Instructables? It is another source of some quality info 🙂

      • Robbie
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:58:54 fill me in..”instructables? If I want to know how to fix something/learn something, I just look it up on Youtube, someone always has a video of instruction!

      • narf77
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 04:20:31

        Instructables is Youtube for the Intelligencia. You can find instructions for how to do EVERYTHING on Instructables. You want to make a doll out of homemade plastic? How about cross pollinating a grape with a tomato? What about teaching your grandmother Polynesian? Although those examples might be a little bit far fetched I have seen recipes for homemade plastic, so many exciting crafts (how to make your own modpodge etc. and beads…gorgeous homemade beads!) and the most creative and excitingly innovative people post ideas here and tutorials 🙂

      • Robbie
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 05:24:26

        AWESOME=thank you!!!!!! that is perfect!!!!

      • Robbie
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 05:25:28

        cool, cool, cool!!!! I can’t wait to check that out, but have to finish my work outside. Came inside to give my old girl a rest, and me too-lol

      • narf77
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 09:39:28

        You have to find your quiet times where you will and if that is outside, then so-be-it! 🙂 My quiet times are from 3am till 7am. I used to HATE getting out of bed before 9am. Now I am raring to go by 9am and Steve is the one twitching in the mornings 😉

      • narf77
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 04:21:40

        Just use the “Search” box and type something in or clicke the “Explore” button on the top menu and to the side of the drop down menu are the catagories that you can click on and knock yourself out. I LOVE Instructables 🙂

      • Robbie
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 05:27:13

        I wish I had this in the winter! I am outside all the time now, but it will be perfect for me:-) I hate sorting through all the You tubes + you get some strange ones with your seraches-YIKES….sometimes not what I intended-lol…
        I will be using that a lot-:-)!!!

      • narf77
        Apr 11, 2014 @ 09:41:22

        It would have been perfect to while away Winters hours indeed. SO many things and such an incredible range of eclectic and eccentric ideas, tutorials etc. and there are some amazingly brilliant people that share there because it is such a productive environment this “sharing” thing 🙂 I read a tutorial by a young guy who was using bacteria to break down plastic faster…this kid was 16! You have to be enthused by things like that 🙂

  12. Robbie
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 13:11:50

    and choclate mint is the best…my go to tea all summer long! Hot and cold!!!


  13. caribougrrl
    Apr 10, 2014 @ 22:02:22

    what is it with dogs and squash, I wonder?


    • narf77
      Apr 11, 2014 @ 03:40:47

      Not entirely sure but Earl didn’t want to eat it, just steal it and run around with it so I couldn’t get it back… I think it is more to do with “naughty” than “hungry” in Earl’s case 😉 That squash is still laying on the ground and has been only slightly nibbled around the edges. It must have a shell as tough as Methuselah!


  14. Yelena
    Apr 15, 2014 @ 08:23:15

    Beautiful landscapes and your dog is absolutely adorable!


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