512, an extinct bird and an epiphany of sorts and the world of plants in fish terms as described by narf

Hi All,

Firstly, guess who has been blogging for 3 years today! WordPress just congratulated and thanked me…what for?! Cheers to everyone who comes along for the ride every week. I luv’s ya ALL 🙂

512, folks, is apparently to the internet what 42 is to the meaning of life. 512, is the magic number when it comes to P.C.’s at the moment but not in a good way. Apparently we are all hogging bandwidth to the nth degree. We are having a veritable smorgasbord of internet and each and every one of us all adds up to this magic number being breeched. One could ask why the boffins at the beginning of the internet didn’t think to use the number 512 billion, but I am sure they are currently kicking themselves for their lack of an intelligent narf7 back in the day. Not a lot can be done about the 512 problem aside from reset all of the large super servers and hope that we internet addicts don’t kick up too much of a stink in the meantime because the unthinkable is starting to happen… the internet is getting clogged up. Clogged up and shock HORROR…we can’t log on!


Extreme apologies to the person who owns this image, I am just using it to show what our small chook looks like. I think she must be a bantam throwback

Extreme apologies to the person who owns this image, I am just using it to show what our small chook looks like. I think she must be a bantam throwback


Now I was able to log on this morning at 3am and was able to do everything internetty and emaily etc. right up till 5.30 this morning when it all went kaput. I couldn’t comment on Ms Pauline’s latest blog post or Ms Snail of Happiness’s. I couldn’t reload pages and I was forced into the realisation that perhaps the internet might be having a little nap. That little nap has lasted 5 hours now and after phoning the girls, who are with the same service provider that we are, was told…

  1. We night owls aren’t all that happy about being woken up by you blackbirds!
  2. Err…nope…we haven’t got internet either

So it IS true what they say…misery DOES love company, if only to know that it is Dodo’s fault not ours. Stevie boy isn’t happy about the prospect of having to phone them up again as we get shunted to an offshore call centre where aside from having a terrible time understanding what is being asked of him, he tends to lose his temper with the ridiculous series of directions that he has to jump through in order to talk to someone in the know. Today he is just going to pretend to unplug the phone from the wall, run the internet cable into the phone hub etc. Why bother actually doing it when the only reason it is being asked for is that the person on the other end has a cheat sheet in front of them that says “ask this…then this…then that…” sigh… after pretending to satisfy what the operator has asked of him he may or may not get put through to someone in the know and after finding out that the girls internet is also out, methinks it might be a little more than just Sidmouth based.

Although this is still a pilfered image, it is much closer to what our girl looks like. She is much smaller than the rest of her brothers and sisters.

Although this is still a pilfered image, it is much closer to what our girl looks like. She is much smaller than the rest of her brothers and sisters.

Look what I found! A tiny little bit of already completed blog post! Oh joy of joys I don’t have to come up with the first couple of paragraphs, usually the hardest when my brain is spent and my energy is low. Today is blog post day but it is also 5.12am and nice and quiet, very dark (hello dark side of the moon) and I am merrily pilfering permaculture information while I type…I love multi-tasking ;).  I feel like I have been studying forever by the way. There is a little light at the end of the tunnel as our erstwhile lecturer has just informed we slaving minions that she is off overseas for three weeks to sun herself in the Pyrenees or wherever she is going in Europe (maybe she is off to ski in the Pyrenees…whatever she is doing she is AWOL!) and that we need to get a wriggle on with everything that is due in as goodness ONLY knows…she wouldn’t want to be thinking about a backlog of marking when she got back. Sigh…

This is what we have been up to in our studies. This image was taken to illustrate using the lasso tool in a tutorial we had to create

This is what we have been up to in our studies. This image was taken to illustrate using the lasso tool in a tutorial we had to create

The plus side (for there must always be a plus side to every difficult task) is that we are rapidly developing a new set of skills that are both challenging and rewarding. The more we slave, the more we know, the easier it gets and so while we aren’t donning snow boots and ski’s and sliding down endless slopes we are gaining valuable skills. Not entirely sure what we can use them for but if anyone wants a nice poster created let us know 😉

And this one was used to create a clipped image... we are learning a lot lately

And this one was used to create a clipped image… we are learning a lot lately

Here's the original for that clipped image, not a bad job really ;)

Here’s the original for that clipped image, not a bad job really 😉

Being nailed to your computer chair and only allowed out in order to walk the dog makes for a very dull week. I even got Steve to take the compost bin up to Sanctuary yesterday so that I didn’t have to look at the accusatory wafting’s of the nasturtiums gone feral, the comb over on the cut of sheoak that is now a fully-fledged set of waist length dreddies and the kale that no doubt the possums have been forced to eat due to having scoffed everything else in sight. We bought some lengths of metal clothes line encased in plastic in order to fix the top of Sanctuary to stop the little furry menaces from entering at will but thanks to our terrifying study schedule, we just haven’t had the time to do it and the one day that we did have time, it rained the whole day but whatchagonnado folks eh?

Here we have "converging lines" and this is going to be used for another task we have to do... lots of photos we have to take, lots of tutorials, lots of work...

Here we have “converging lines” and this is going to be used for another task we have to do… lots of photos we have to take, lots of tutorials, lots of work…

It is almost father’s day here in Australia. Yes…we do it differently to you guys in the U.S. as apparently our dads like to get gifts that make mowing the lawn easier or washing the car less of a chore in the early spring. Stevie-boy has been lusting after some man tools of late but our finances don’t quite run to these objects of desire…however narf to the rescue! I just got some online survey rewards, in the form of Bunnings gift vouchers, that cover the cost of the tasty tools and so the dogs are going to give Stevie-boy the tools for Father’s day. I can almost hear the manly “Squee’s!” from the future 😉

Sad dogs making the most of their terrible life by huddling in a sunbeam pitifully...

Sad dogs making the most of their terrible life by huddling in a sunbeam pitifully…

Well it is spring. It might still be August 27th in our neck of the woods but spring sprung back at the beginning of August and we have had very little rain, lots of sun and our temperatures are starting to warm up from single digits to angsty teens. Unlike other grumpy old people, I don’t mind the middle teens…I am not all that happy with the forty something’s to be honest. Those forty something’s have knobs on! Come to think of it. The thirty something’s are pretty terrible as well. Maybe I have a youth fixation when it comes to summer temperatures and like to stick to the teenagers and the twenty something’s…I hang with the hip and happening folks…the narf is most at home when blending into the lower denominators. In saying that, our growing season is now officially upon us. My wonderful friend Bev from the eminently learned blog FoodnStuff where you can learn all about producing food in our stressed Aussie conditions caught me lusting after her cuke-a-melons in a recent post and sent me a packet all of my very own! Not only have you made narf7 happy Ms Bev, but you have NO idea how happy you have made my eldest daughter Madeline who is besotted with all things cucumber and who is probably going to walk the 50km to my garden to eat my entire crop, she is that dedicated to the cause.

Cukamelons! And they are here on Serendipity Farm :). They might just be too cute to eat Bev ;)

Cukamelons! And they are here on Serendipity Farm :). They might just be too cute to eat Bev 😉

The blurb tells me that they are drought tolerant, that they taste like a cucumber crossed with some citrus and that they grow as big as grapes and are prolific fruiters...my kind of veggie! Thank you SO much Bev for your generosity :)

The blurb tells me that they are drought tolerant, that they taste like a cucumber crossed with some citrus and that they grow as big as grapes and are prolific fruiters…my kind of veggie! Thank you SO much Bev for your generosity 🙂

Now I need to get down to brass tacks. I have some delightful and most wonderful blogging mates who are steering me on the road to oversupply. My problem is that the garden pretty much does most of the work itself. You plant the things, they grow, they do what nature intended but it’s all of the peripherals that I need to get my head around. What seed to plant when? How long do they take to grow/fruit? When do I need to be planting the seed in order to get the maximum benefits of our short growing season? I am alarmed at reading posts about people chitting and planting and seedlings up and out of pots and time ticking…ticking…TICKING and Sanctuary stagnant in a pool of nasturtiums and acidic soil and me with NO idea how to remedy most of what I perceive as “threats” to our growing season (forgive me…I am in S.W.O.T. mode…you can’t drive all of those studies out of your mind en-masse…some of them hang about to interject at inopportune moments…). I have had most wonderfully kind people tell me to email them with my plan…my “Plan”…so that they can help me with it. For me to email my “Plan” I need to HAVE a “Plan”…eek! See I have a confession to make. Trees and shrubs do things themselves. I am a tree and shrub person and after digging a “root growth zone” (James, my long suffering cert 3 horticulture lecturer would be beaming now if he heard me call a “hole” a “root growth zone” like it rolled naturally off my tongue 😉 ) and amending the soil interface (beaming…positively GLOWING! 😉 ) so that the tree/shrub has the best chance of integrating itself with its new surroundings, it’s a matter of a bit of water at the right time, a bit of fertiliser (if it is needed) at the right time and away she goes…job done…hands dusted and off to cook the dinner.

Steve spent most of the other day standing on the deck with his binoculars and a camera trying to get a shot of "the remote control warship" that someone was sailing around Redwood island...on closer inspection it was just someone in a canoe... time for glasses Stevie-boy ;)

Steve spent most of the other day standing on the deck with his binoculars and a camera trying to get a shot of “the remote control warship” that someone was sailing around Redwood island…on closer inspection it was just someone in a canoe… time for glasses Stevie-boy 😉

Maybe it was too dark to see the canoe properly? ;) We called this image a rain-beam as it was right smack bang in the middle of a day full of rain.

Maybe it was too dark to see the canoe properly? 😉 We called this image a rain-beam as it was right smack bang in the middle of a day full of rain.

Veggie gardening (on the whole), annual and perennial gardening appears to be a different kettle of fish. You know how some fish are big and laconic and just lie like slugs at the bottom of the creek and occasionally swish so that you know that they are still alive? Well they are the “Tree” fish… they don’t need much. They wait for their food to come to them via the water and their huge gaping mouths. There are other smaller fish that move around a bit…hover in the shadows of tree branches and overhanging edges and wait for smaller fish to dart by so that they can inhale them…they are the “Shrub” fish. Sometimes they need other “fish” to grow with them so that they are happy but on the whole, they are pretty self-sufficient and just do their own thing. Then you hit the fish that need a few mates in order to feel comfortable. They may or may not have complex patterns of relationships whereby they feel a strong need to travel a gazillion miles upstream in order to produce seed or tubers that are vital to their ongoing survival and quite a few things can go wrong in those processes that could result in these fish not getting the results they need. They are still pretty self-sufficient but they have various stages of development that might need a bit of close attention and actual intervention in order to keep them going. These are the “Perennial” fish folks…they keep on keeping on but they sometimes need a bit of work, the odd clump broken up, a bit of a cut back when they die back down (hibernate kiddies, don’t panic, “STOP CRYING!”  They aren’t dying just having a big long sleep for the winter…) and while it isn’t a lot of attention, it’s a whole lot more than the “Tree” fishes and the “Shrub” fishes need

Stevie-boy made this feast while I was AWOL at my daughters. He used Guinness to make his beer batter and it turned out really well. Looks like that beer batter translates internationally ;)

Stevie-boy made this feast while I was AWOL at my daughters. He used Guinness to make his beer batter and it turned out really well. Looks like that beer batter translates internationally 😉

I would like to point out here that while I am not aware of any young person’s reading this blog at the moment you just never know what the future may bring so I feel it necessary to occasionally address them personally in order to keep my audience fully satisfied. You are just going to have to deal with it my dear constant readers with the narf switching between the vernacular for my regular audience and the odd hip and happening smattering of kidenese that may just slip out…yeah baby, I am dead hip and happening…positively GROOVY baby! 😉

Isn't this a clever idea for a chair? It would be really easy to make and it is even solid enough to resist the avid attentions of one Mr E. Dog...love the room as well :)

Isn’t this a clever idea for a chair? It would be really easy to make and it is even solid enough to resist the avid attentions of one Mr E. Dog…love the room as well 🙂

Now we get to the fishies that make me twitch. I am already twitching. I have a facial tic going as I type this stressful line…we get to the “Annual” fishies. The little buggers that flock in huge swarms in order to survive…the ones that get picked off by all of the bigger fishies (or in our case, all of the swarming waiting native animals that would call them sustenance) and that panic and bolt and that are entirely unpredictable, needy, over-reactive and just plain pains in the derriere. You need to hold their hands to nurse them through and to make sure that all of their needs are met or BAM…dead. Yup…dead kiddies. Deceased. Sorry about the abrupt lesson in vegetable gardening doom but I am with you on being bewildered and befuddled. I am a kid when it comes to understanding the rites and passages of annual vegetable life and I can only stand on the bank of confusion watching the little buggers dart about in other people’s gardens. Some people (who shall remain anonymous because I am DEAD JEALOUS of them and I would have to type their names in green) have these little fishes all corralled. They have made little fishy farms and have herded them in with great aplomb. Their fishy farms have special gates and they feed their fishies all kinds of weird and wonderful things. They talk about “growing conditions” and “putting things in the soil/water” and making up strange unguents to feed the fishies and how they apply strange and wondrous spells that involve moon cycles and moon plantings and seaweed (see…it all ties in to fishies!) and permaculture massaging and all KINDS of strange and wonderful things that are entirely foreign to me. I watch from the bank getting more and more bewildered and spring is rising inside me and making me wild eyed and crazy…”I have to do something NOW!” but what the bloody hell am I supposed to be doing?!

Oh the SHAME! We were overtaken going up a hill by "this" today... :(

Oh the SHAME! We were overtaken going up a hill by “this” today… 😦

Back under the bed…under the bed is safe (aside from Earl who is prone to licking you when you can’t move your arms…) to those people whose names shall remain anonymous and most decidedly green by both association and application I love you dearly. I admire you SO much I might start fan pages for you all but I just…don’t…get…it 😦 Could some of you write a book? A lovely thing that I could hold in my hand and carry up to Sanctuary and pretend that I am Dr Livingstone (and Stevie-boy is my willing helper chimp) and that I CAN conquer the strange and wonderfully terrifying new continent that is “Vegetable Gardening”…please?…Pretty please?

Steve found this to lure me off the computer... apparently there is a big wide world outside?! Whodathunkeh? ;)

Steve found this to lure me off the computer… apparently there is a big wide world outside?! Whodathunkeh? 😉

Well…looks like I am on my own for now folks. A terrifying proposition as those little fishies are swarming and seething and started earlier than usual this year and if I don’t coral a few of them they are going to disappear and my chance to harvest fishies this year will be all done and dusted. Might be time to take a few photos of Sanctuary, swallow my sad middle aged horticultural pride and send my “plans” (pathetic, sad and such as they are) off to one of my Greenest of the green online mates to give me a bit of a run-down of what I should be doing and when…oh how the mighty have fallen! Wish me luck folks…between the studies, the guilt and the lack of food (I am back on the healthy food wagon) I am a pathetic husk of a woman, but a most determined one. See you all next week when all being good, Stevie-boy, my helper chimp and narf the intrepid will have at least conquered the inner sanctum of Sanctuary and stopped the possum invading hordes from being able to invade and moral will have been restored considerably 😉



85 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. cathyandchucky
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 19:12:39

    I feel your pain Fronkiii. Though if your having troubles making a garden plan, what hope is there for the rest of us? I suggest rotary hoeing everything in and just plant food plants 🙂 . I would drop Dodo like a hot coal when your contract runs out and be going back to Telstra.


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:26:52

      Oh Pinky, how soon you forget! Our “soil” is 9/10ths rock and the thin bit of soil in between the rock is heavy clay that sets in summer as soon as the water drains off…a rotary hoe would die valiantly trying to dig the first bit over…its raised beds or nothing here. There is a huge rock under the surface in Sanctuary that we dug down to try to dig out but after digging down for 3 feet it was just getting bigger…and bigger…and BIGGER and we decided to fill the hole back in…pat it down and whistle and talk about the weather instead ;).


      • cathyandchucky
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 09:15:08

        Ah, I thought it was just lots of rocks on top that could be cleared up. Ok, go nuclear with good old roundup, or whipper snip and lay down weed matting or loads of newspaper on the spot your making your garden beds then like mum used to do with her Esther Dean gardens. I wish I was with you to give you a hand Fronkiii. Then I could drag you back over here to help me with mine 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:08:53

        By the time we had finished with all of this work we would be middle aged supermodels Pinky! 😉

  2. Jo
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 20:10:09

    Dear sweet Fran, don’t fret, you are a gardening star, you CAN grow annuals, you have grown lovely, lovely nasturtiums. You can make salads with the leaves, then make them gourmet salads by adding the flowers, then make them incredibly posh gourmet salads by pickling the seeds and adding them as well. There, done. Just think how clever you are already:)


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:29:58

      I think I love you JO 😉 Seriously, the terror is in equal measure to the rising tide of “SPRING!” that is screaming in my ear to be released and the two equal and opposite reactions are probably going to result in me exploding some day soon…cleaning up my defeated entrails will give Slavemaster General something else to do other than stand over my overtired husk on the PC with whip in hand tapping it on the monitor and saying things like “you don’t NEED a 10th cup of tea, we need to get this in NOW!” sigh…I swear he was a hopeless bodger when I married him and he never once let on that there was a steel backed sergeant major lurking under that hide!


  3. gardeningkiwi
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 20:12:31

    Hi Fran. I love those chickens – they look like monarch butterflies! Now I have some stuff I can send you to help you out with your garden – bite sized chunks in plain English of what to do next if you are interested. Let me know how to send it to you.
    Cheers Sarah : o )


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:34:38

      Sarah (that name should be in purest green 😉 ), you are an absolute legend. I would LOVE some bite sized chunks. I read your blog and it makes my brain twitch with possibilities and my nose twitch with the dust under the bed where I have just crawled to be “alone” with my terror/thoughts. Earl can’t fit under the bed any more. His chest just got too big so he is confined to the parameters of the bed where he watches me avidly for any signs of movement. I am his new favourite game 😉 I am the sort of person that loves to follow lists. I write them, I follow them, I tick them off. I am not all that good at coordinating things. I would like to think I am leader material (bossy, know-it-all etc.) but I have learned that I am not. I am a good list making follower. I will send you an email and when my garden benefits from those “chunks” I will dedicate one of my copious rocks to you. I will paint it green and write “Sarah woz ere” on it in red nail varnish in your honour 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:57:19

      You are harder to contact than I am! There is an email address attached to this blog? Could you please send those delicious bite sized chunks there please? I am SO grateful for your pointers Sarah 🙂


      • gardeningkiwi
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:26:01

        Hi Fran, I sent you a facebook friend request so I hope you will be my friend! and left you a message there. You could also try my the webpage for my gardening newbies – it has a ‘contact me’ page: http://liveplants.wordpress.com/ – we’ll get there in the end. The internet is full of tunnels and corridors behind the glossy front facades that can get us to where we need to be! Cheers Sarah : o )

  4. Margaret Griffin
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 20:35:04

    Hi Fran,
    As a fan of ‘Gardening Australia’, Tino, the Tasmanian presenter, usually has a bit to say about growing vegetables. His own backyard seems to be tucked under Mt. Wellington so I am sure Tino is used to growing food plants in challenging conditions.

    My own vegetable plot consists of a single kale plant which I purchased last Saturday in a pot sitting under the front verandah.

    I bet Earl was surprised to see his head floating above the table where he was standing.


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 04:59:09

      Earl thought that all of his Christmases had come at once! A floating head that no-one could stop! He could just open his beak and scoop up chooks at will and bring them back to his body! What dog wouldn’t want that? 😉 I have a lone kale plant as well…we should start a club. The “Possums won’t touch me” club. If you get a bit of garlic in a pot and put that next to the kale you have a possum free garden (but you have to watch out for the slugs on the kale 😉 )


  5. brymnsons
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 21:25:16

    Hey Fran I’m kinda still processing the “fish” iness of your analagy lol. I’m trying to convert it into green speak so that I know what the hell you are going on about ha ha ha. It’s simple, honestly, just think about what you would like to grow. KISS is a good guide (Keep It Simple Sweety). Don’t make a huge list, mainly stuff you will use often. Lettuce is great, for example. Don’t plan to fill the entire sanctuary, yet. Use a smaller section and add to it each year as you get to know your favourites. I have a book by The Australian Women’s Weekly called “the cooks garden” and it is pretty straight forward and has recipes to boot. Don’t bite off too much at first!!!! They do need weed’n, feed’n and other things, but if you go easy on yourself and start small you will get the hang of it. I repeat, you don’t need to grow everything! Ok lecture/advice finished… Love the idea of those cukamelons too. Wonder if they would make me burp?? Even burpless do (liars!!).
    Your lecturer sounds like a giant pain in the derrier. Good luck with getting stuff finished in time x


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:03:19

      Our lecturer has NOTHING on Stevie-boy (Slavemaster General) who has taken up the baton (whip) with steel rod backed determination and who is cracking said whip loudly and making me go so fast I can’t drink my tea till it goes cold! What’s a girl to do! I can’t help being OCD about my garden…it is SO BIG. If it was small I would have no problems but every time I go up there there is a field of nasturtiums waving at me, Earl jumping like a hairy porpoise through the sea of nasturtiums (and that accompanying scent of pepper that goes with this vision) after the odd nasturtium loving lizard (too quick for him but a marvelous game 😉 ) and me, sitting on a rock next to the dreddie sheoak wondering what I got myself into! If Earl didn’t prune everything that we put on the deck I would have pots of veggies on the deck and be done with it but I have this drive to grow building up in me. I think it is called “spring fever” to be honest and its also competitive because I absolutely MUST plant everything that everyone else plants ;). Whats a girl to do eh? 😉


      • brymnsons
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 09:44:46

        Ha ha ha why are you making it a competition???? Ah I never fail to get a smile on my dial when I read your stuff. Make a list of allllll the things you want to grow and the things you need to grow because someone else is growing it (sigh) and then pin it to a wall. Next throw darts at it 10 x. Whatever it hits, grow 🙂 simples
        I think Stevie boy must be channelling his frustration on my poor dear friend. Poor Fran, get Earl to steal his whip lol x
        Enjoy the weekend, I can’t believe how quick the year is going, September on Monday!!! Ah now the quick slide into CHRISTMAS!! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 13:58:31

        “AAARRRGGHGHGHGHGHGHG”! With you on the argghghghg. Good idea about the darts…that way I can monocrop…throw one dart “this year we are growing carrots Steve…lots of carrots…10 garden beds full! By the end of a 10 year rotation we should be REALLY good at veggie gardening 😉

  6. The Snail of Happiness
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 23:55:50

    I am very much of the ‘shove it in and hope for the best’ school of gardening, but I have been very strict this summer and done weeding and transplanting and earthing up and all sorts! Smug mode engaged!


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:04:43

      Smug mode noted and I am a suitable shade of green ;). Stevie-boy is home and so I might just get those poor blueberries planted, a strawbale compost heap started and some sweet potatoes into the ground and growing along with all of those nasturtiums, that lone slug sucked kale plant and all of that garlic that grew because I was too lazy to harvest it last year 😉


  7. Boomdeeadda
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 00:34:48

    Hey narfity-narf-narf! Springtime in Taz is it? Well that’s just awesome. Your winter seemed pretty short to me. Did it to you too? I honestly don’t know where our summer went…swooosh, we’re in the last bastions of sun and flowers, soon to be falling leaves and cool nights, then gasp…frozen, white….Yikes, just can’t go there quite yet. Between moving, unpacking, cleaning up the yard and tree’s and holidaying…summer’s done like dinner.
    I think you really must be ‘dead hip and happening’ growing things like Cuke-a-melons. I’ve never laid eyes on such things but I agree, they are kind of cute. Weird combination for sure. I can’t even imagine what they taste like. Do you use them in a salad then? What kind of dressing would you put on?
    Good luck with the whole possum thing. I was just over at Animal Couriers reading their post today and they’re helping an injured Possum get to an Animal rescue shelter for wild animals. Poor thing met up with a car. I thought it was rather cute but then he didn’t have a bushel of Cuke-A-Melons under his little arm. Have a great day out there in Taz. xK


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:10:43

      Those cuke-a-melons are SO cute! Grape sized and like lemony cucumbers and from Mexico. That’s why you haven’t heard of them before, because they are so far down south, Australia is closer ;). Our winter went way too quick. I am loathe to let it go. You guys clung tenaciously to your winter like ticks and robbed us of our winter time! Hardly fair… as those cukeybabies are lemony, I would go with a tahini dressing…YUM! Our possums are not like you guys possums. Yours look like Hades but would rather lay upside down and ooze smelly green unguents than fight (unless they are cornered when they will jump up with their furry little fists up and ready to go!) where ours are all larikin rednecks who are hell bent on eating everything in their pathway and if they can’t eat it, they play with it ;). Earl managed to grab a slow one once on the deck in the middle of the night (isn’t it ALWAYS “in the middle of the night”?!) and we had to rescue it from him. He knew he wasn’t supposed to be banging possums up against the glass sliding doors so dropped it guiltily when we opened said sliding doors and it ran away and jumped off the deck into a nearby tree where it started to yell at Earl! I would have hightailed it out of there but nope…this possum took time to sit in the tree, just out of reach with a howling barking dog that had just held it firmly in his teeth, to scold and yell at said dog…balls? Possums have HUGE ones! 😉 You have a great day too Ms Boomdee and don’t take any wooden nickels. They might have termites 😉


  8. thecontentedcrafter
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:36:11

    Those cukemelon thingies are so cute – and taste lemony you say? I have never heard of them and am going to be forced to find out if they are here. You have such a penchant for new, rare and / or unsourcable foodstuffs that I am truly amazed by your garden terror. Start a small patch with something you want to eat and take it from there. You are showing all the signs of wanting to build Rome in one day – can’t be done Franny baby – can’t be done!! I once made a half acre garden on that premise [I was a lot younger then and thought I was making the garden my babies would be married in, where I would potter about happily until my last breath – needless to say, neither of those things happened] I am happy to see so many of the experts happily offering their not inconsiderable assistance. Wouldn’t it be amazing if you got just a little corner dug over and growing all kinds of salady wonders for summertime feasting?

    I love that chair – Stevieboy could knock you up one of those tout suite as they say in Japan 🙂 You could crochet the most amazing cushion covers for it and it would become the artistic centrepiece of your living room! You would then take a photograph of the cushion covers – close-up – and email it to me and I will do you a painting featuring your design and colours 🙂

    Now, just saying this and then running for cover, touching wood and bowing down to the www gods – my internet has been going better than ever fir the last month – no fallings off, no not-gettings in and faster than a speeding bullet. The 512 issues must all be converging on Oz …………..

    Bye 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:42:28

      Is that a promise on the painting Ms Pauline? (Note to self… make sure to take the photo BEFORE letting Earl into the room not after…sigh…) We had about a week of it and now it’s much better. I think it was just our server having a spasm ;). Cukamelons are apparently endemic to Mexico, like living in pots, grow vertically and not horizontally, fruit copiously, like droughts, produce grape sized fruit and thus are right up your alley! I had heard of them before but thought that I would never get my lusty mitts on any but wonderful Bev sent me some and thus I am in receipt of 20 cukamelon seeds, 5 of which are already promised to my daughter in the city for prospective cukamelon happiness :). Best grab a wooden spoon and keep hold of it. I find it’s a great alternative to touching wood as they you are permanently holding it and you get to wave it around menacingly and all…ALL of the male population of the house are wary of you (you have the power! 😉 )


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:52:02

        I would like some of those cukemelon seeds – you could send me some and register them as ‘crafting accessories’ 🙂

        Yes, it is a promise!! 🙂 xoxo

      • narf77
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:05:49

        I wonder if you would be allowed to have them? They are from the U.S. and we have them here but N.Z. has been VERY funny since that possum episode about letting Aussie things through willy nilly 😉

    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:43:09

      (Note I passed over the garden…still too tender to think about it and there are stirrings that we might get into it this weekend…)


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 05:53:56

        I repeat – bite sized chunks! Much easier to contemplate.
        Good luck – I am sure whatever you do it will be just fine – as long as you keep those pesky possums and quolls and other rabid critters out!

      • narf77
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:06:13

        Quolls only eat the chooks…I think they got one last night 😦

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:23:03

        Oh bugger!! NZ customs MUST NEVER let those brutish thugs through – but some cukemelon seeds? I shall glue them down on a beautifully painted page and sprinkle them with fairy dust and they shall look forever gorgeous….. it won’t be my fault if one or two should jump out the window and land smack dab in the middle of a lovingly prepared planter box will it?

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 04:34:58

        You clever minx! I am thinking that maybe I could create a most interesting narfish birthday card for my good friend Ms Pauline in NZ with some nice white sequins on it? 😉 Seriously, I will see if I can get some seeds from Bunnings but I am not holding out a lot of hope as we here in Tassie are about as isolated when it comes to seeds as you guys are. If worse comes to worse I could get Jessie to send you some as she is on the mainland and I KNOW that they have them in their Bunnings over there :). Wish me luck Ms Pauline…I reckon cucamelons should be something that you would grow…imagine Siddy and a cukamelon?! 😉

      • thecontentedcrafter
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:50:24

        Woo-hoo “Luck” wishes to you Frannybaby!! I have Bunnings here, maybe they may have some if you have them – I shall look this weekend when I go to get more potting mix. Siddy may well become a vegetarian 😀

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 09:00:49

        Siddy will probably steal them from the plant and roll them around before chewing them up (expertly avoiding actually swallowing any) on the carpet. Earl has just told me he has instructed Siddy via mental telepathy (you NEED to get him that tin-foil hat Ms Pauline!) about the art of chewing things up and spitting them out. He has taught him the fine art of being able to make something look MUCH bigger than it actually was by munching it up nice and small and spreading it all over the floor, up the curtains and into the bathroom. He says Siddy can thank him later but he is going to have to fine tune cucamelons as Earl is only an expert on sweet potatoes…

  9. quarteracrelifestyle
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 06:06:33

    I have seen those cuc-melons before..must try and get some. They are very cute!

    I see Sarah has come to your aid and a good person for the job 🙂 All you need to be doing right now is digging over your garden and preparing it for the season – weeding. Don’t try too much just your big caged area. How about if I do a weekly planting guide for you then you can pick and choose what you want to use ?


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:07:48

      I KNEW you would pick that you were the greenest of the green ;). That would be amazing Wendy. When you are ready to make that e-book, let me know. Everything we are learning at the moment is all about e-books and creating pdf’s etc. and I would be most glad to assemble all of your stuff together for you in one great bit integrated pile of delightfulness that you could sell to an adoring public 🙂


      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:24:29

        Aw!!!! Lol, I have tried to start it Fran but I dunno! I fear I cannot do it justice and yes, I have no idea what I am doing.
        I was thinking I would just write a weekly post from Spring right through, to say exactly what we are doing. Give it away instead 🙂 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 04:39:17

        Most magnanimous and I could collate your efforts and create a booklet for you if you like. I am being serious here. We are back to media next year so it’s not like we are going to be stopping this any day soon and the more we do it the better we get by default ;). You and Roger have some precious work ethic and organisational abilities there that are saleable to people like me who are clueless…I am being serious here…I would pay $20 for an e-book that got me from my present clueless state and gave me a nice easy to follow set of instructions as to what to do when, what to plant when etc. Gardening blogs are great and all but no-one ever says “right you lot, get your soil ammended this week by doing “misc and boobity boo” as you are going to want to be planting your “X and Y” this week. Wait till the moon is in the nth quarter and plant your rhubarb (or whatever) and make sure to add some turnip dust to the hole as they love turnip dust in their holes…” that sort of thing. Clear, concise and a lovely list that we can hold in our hands and tick off as we go. I love a good tick sheet…that way I can SEE that I have progressed even if my garden looks like a quagmire or the California dust bowl…sometimes thats what it takes to get you up off your derriere and into the garden…a nice shove from a nice list.

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:22:38

        I will email you about it and we can discuss 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 08:57:01

        Just got your email, just replied 🙂

  10. quarteracrelifestyle
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 06:07:18

    And congrats on the 3 years 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:08:21

      The first 2 months I didn’t even write a post I was too scared of it. My real anniversary is in October 😉


      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:26:05

        I was like that too. I didn’t know I would get followers, scared the bejeebies out of me…I truly was panic stricken. i thought I was just writing something iI could “put out there” one day if it was worthy of anything at all 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 04:41:42

        Steve signed me up as he was tired of me spending hours a day emailing my mum and said “why don’t you just write a blog post so that she can read about what we are doing there and so can the rest of our families at the same time?” Great idea BUT I was not techy at all back then and I would have rather eaten my own feet. I put it off…and put it off…for two months till Steve forced me to write a post and it wasn’t so hard and back then I wrote a post a day! Mum loved it and Steve’s mum gets to read about things we do as well and anyone else who cares and I get to out my need to communicate (from afar) as a penniless bolshie student hippy with attitude and a desire to save the world. First…start in your own garden! 😉

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:14:25

        It’ nice that your family members read it 🙂 I am actually rather shy and not at all confident and very private so was terrified when I realised people could read my postings straight away (I had no real idea of what blogging was!) I had a massive panic attack lol. It was Roger who said well, if people are interested maybe you have something worth sharing.

        It depends I guess on priorities, in what way you want to save the world 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 08:56:45

        🙂 Saving the world from bad grammar and spelling…that would be a bad option for me because that aint gonna happen on this blog 😉 I am a hermit. I love people but from a distance. I love to comment and share…from a distance. I like my space and it tends to be about 4 acres wide ;).

      • quarteracrelifestyle
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 10:21:50

        SAME !!! 🙂

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 13:58:42


  11. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 10:58:37

    Happy third blogaversary, and may there be many more!

    Cukamelons sound AMAZING, since cucumbers and melons individually are two of my favorite things. Combining the two would must create some miracle super fruit of unbelievable tastiness. I want regular updates on those plants… I’m doubtful that they would grow in my sad little garden, but I can still dream…


    • narf77
      Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:10:05

      They are imported from the U.S. as they are Mexican natives so they should be really easy for you to get but it depends where you live as to how they would go. We have a short growing season here and it says that they grow well in pots and love to go vertical…might be an option? Did you check out that real vegan cheese link? I got excited when I saw it 🙂


  12. Robbie
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 14:34:45

    A plan…yep I make a lot of plans and then I change them every year-lol. I think I read some where just start small + then go from there. Shoot, I started with one corner of the yard and now I have the entire yard-lol..it just keeps growing as you read, learn, + make mistakes + read, learn and make some more mistakes-lol…it is endless. My plans are my spiral notebooks that I write all my ideas…yep, I know most people do it on their computers with charts etc…I just grab some paper and doodle-and from there I try to create it out there…..get those fishes to the correct classroom soon-lol..or they will not pass their exams! As creative and risk taking as you are( climbing in to large white tank things-well that is what it looked like) are one person I would say-JUST JUMP IN + roll from there! lol….
    Gosh, I sometimes look at my garden and wonder “what the hell am I doing” …people must think I am a nutty lady….but it sure tastes good so I’ll keep on doing it and grab some paper to doodle what I want next year to look like-it is fun!
    I love the picture of your dog on the table…they are too sweet…have a great week and get out there before the fish swim away!


    • narf77
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 04:49:32

      You know when you stir up the dog or cat and you play with them till they get that wild eyed look in their eyes and you know that there is going to be trouble if you dangle that little stick with a fake mousy in front of them one more time…it is going to end in tears? Well that’s where my spring brain is. It wants to GET OUT THERE IN THE GARDEN! But my winter body says “how about we stay inside, have a nice cup of tea and think about it eh?” and I think the end result is going to be explosive! What is making it worse is the relentless, never ending stream of tasks that our erstwhile lecturer is dumping on our heads on a constant basis. The woman is a slave master! We just finish one and another one gets dumped in our inbox and now she is off to Europe for three weeks and we will no doubt be given some kind of seriously stressful and most difficult to achieve final exam for something or other that we have no idea what to do about but that we have to spend three weeks constantly researching to achieve…we are learning HEAPS but that garden is a ticking time bomb and needs attention right now…RIGHT NOW!

      I am with you on the lists. I love…I LOVE lists. I have been forced to use a journal for our course this year as “art” appears to be part of it and we have to show our lecturer our designs etc. for our tasks and sketches (always sketches!) that we have to scan and send in with every one of our tasks but the flip side is that I have grown quite attached to my journal and I think I could use one for the garden…for that non-existent plan…for the sake of my fish. You have my inner spring narf twitching again Ms Robbie! Oh NO! Steve has promised me a weekend to fix up Sanctuary and if he tries to tie me down with studies I will run away…I am going to camp in Sanctuary if he won’t release me from my slave duty ;). The first step to the garden is stopping those possums from invading as otherwise there isn’t a point in gardening as they will eat EVERYTHING in it. So stop them we must. This weekend is phase 1. I might also get him to pick me up some potting mix to pot up my baby seeds so that I can grow my own seedlings. That would be a positive thing right? Wish me luck 🙂


      • Robbie
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 06:19:24

        Oh my reading your “stress” from school takes me back to going to graduate school with being pregnant 3 times during it ( they kept thinkinig I lost weight when I would return for semester, but I had another baby-lol), working and I can tell you there was no time for gardening like I do now. I had some tomatoes etc but nothing like I do now. I also could not do it with any kids at home + I am starting to wonder if I can do it full-time with just me doing it all. My husband still works full-time + I quite teaching in 2009 when my youngest left home…I wanted to do my thing + it was my turn…hmm…I am still struggling and busier than every + minus college classes! I could not do what you are doing ( studies) + have a huge garden.
        Your space sounds huge + dealing with possums. Can you enclose the entire thing? Fence them out?
        Well, reading your post and all that you do….how could you do a garden that large. Maybe start out small with some pots closer to the house. You know I had to move my stuff closer to the house because ground hogs and racoons were getting into EVERYTHING. I put my berry or perennial cops towards the back. That zone thingy pemaculture does…I don’t have a huge place. I found when the dogs are out there the possum( I only had one), raccoons, rabbits, and raccons stay away a bit more but they still get some of my stuff.
        I have come to the conclusion this year that having a food garden for every day food is a full-time job! Shoot you have two full-time jobs!
        Don’t feel so badly…studies to come to an end…when do you finish?

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 09:09:51

        I am struggling with studies and gardening as studies takes precedent over the garden but the garden is where I want to be so I end up in a conundrum of twitching. We did enclose the entire veggie garden but the possums have found a way to sneak through…we know where they are getting in but we just need to time to get up there and fortify it all over again and to do that we need to completely restring the top of the enclosure with plastic bound metal clothes line that the possums can’t chew through or bounce on till it breaks. I can’t wait to hear their angry little cries of rage (yes, they do scream out in rage if they are thwarted!) when they can’t just trundle in and eat the poor silverbeet down to stalks and relieve themselves on my kale in the hopes that it kills it 😉 I had pots on the deck but Earl pruned them…same went for the pots out the back (still inside the house enclosure thus safe from wallabies and possums) but as soon as you move pots outside the fence-line where Earl can’t patrol, it’s open season for anything else out there that would like to munch. The secret is to grow things that they don’t like to eat as there is no way we could cover 4 acres. Aside from being penniless student hippies and thus devoid of the monetary readies, the logistics would be horrendous and just imagine the drug spotter planes we would have to contend with every spring when we planted our tomatoes 😉 We just have to make the best of what we have and what we do. I must admit, I used to tell a friend who was studying horticulture with us that she was very negative about her garden. She lived out in the sticks on 50 acres and I used to wax on lyrical about how she could do this…and that…and this…and she would just look at me. I now know that look! 😉

        Your racoons are like our possums and although we don’t have anything under the ground (worms?!) we have wallabies and kangaroos that graze on just about everything and that are partial to onions, garlic and chives for some weird reason. The feral cats eat the rabbits and rats and mice but in the morning, when I am throwing out cheese sandwiches to the cats (don’t ask…) I now have a kangaroo and her baby out there waiting to eat their share! Sigh… Studies finish in November (I think) and then we start again next year in February so we get a nice holiday where we can garden, we can “do things” and Stevie-boy can pootle around out on the river in his boat pretending to fish but just soaking up the bliss :). Can’t wait! 🙂

      • Robbie
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 12:14:24

        Oh my gosh they jump up and down! Nuts! I have read about other people saying growing food out on the farm with a lot of acreage is not as easy as it looks. They have a lot of stuff eaten in their gardens. I had no idea how our city growing is a much easier time. We do have deer out front that have a path to the river and run down the ciy road ( between a park and river), but I grow inside my fenced in area. I only have one raccoon + he just nibbles on some of my berries once in awhile. I use to have a ground hog, but the neighbor behind killed it, I believe. Our dogs do help with a lot of the critters but if we don’t feed the raccoons they stay way. If you feed them they come from every where in large groups! Yikes!
        You have A LOT of animals on 4 acres-wow. You are right it would be difficult to do all that….Good to hear you will have a break soon When will all your studies be done so you both can enjoy life forever again? Complete the degree?:-) I bet you both would love to just have time to enjoy all your beautiful property! Minus your nosey four legged cirtters-lol
        I guess I better stop complaining about our single critters here ( chipmunks etc) which sound few compared to your lot + I don’t have them breaking in a covered area…geez they must be hungry! Jsut like little punks! Peeing on the kale-how rude!!!

      • narf77
        Aug 29, 2014 @ 14:02:04

        If they don’t eat it…they mark (pee) it 😉 We have to keep studying or we have to find work. As work is like hens teeth in Tassie the alternative is not very nice so we continue to study and learn and keep our brains active and one day we will have brains the size of the Empire State Building and we will be fonts of valuable information for all of our friends (big fat know-it-alls 😉 ). I think that kale might be toxic by the way as nothing (aside from the slugs) has tried it (including me…if the possums won’t eat it…just sayin’…) have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the last of your summer as soon it will be here in droves, drying everything out and turning everything crispy and brown…sigh…

  13. christiglover
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 05:31:24

    Aloha Fran! Honi-honi (kisses) to you and the gang as you enter the spring Sanctuary, and congratulations on 3 years of blogging. This is called a Body of Work. And it is fun and full of you and your manic Self! Great last picture…I laughed out loud at the little car overtaking you. Happens to me all the time! 🙂 xxoo


    • Robbie
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 06:23:40

      shoot when I write from the reader I make a lot of type mistakes but I am sure you can decipher it! lol


    • narf77
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 08:58:39

      But the difference is that you are walking Ms Christi…we were in our little 4 x 4! 😉 That was a smart car, scourge of the roads ;). Great big hugs from a sunny Sidmouth morning where I have been studying for 2 hours now and it isn’t 9 yet…I think I am broken 😦 Have a fantastic Hawaiian weekend Ms Christi and here’s to communal changing seasons 🙂


  14. rabidlittlehippy
    Aug 29, 2014 @ 14:20:07

    Happy birthday TRTS. 🙂

    Ok, empty the belly of Brunhilda of all her ashen goodness. Carry said load to Sanctuary and choose a bed that did not grow tomatoes or spuds last year (if possible). Throw on said ash, standing upwind whilst you do so. Take fork or rake and mix it through. Soil ameliorated and alalised just a little. 😉 Easy peasy.

    Next time you cook spuds, peel those sprouty bits off with a knife and a generous chunk of spud. Put them aside somewhere light but not in direct sunlight to dry off those cut bits. Walk them down to Sanctuary and push them in the soil about 1 foot apart (30 cm if you’re being all hip and up with the youngsters 😉 ). When they sprout up about 10-15cm, rake the soil up around the base of each plant and mulch if you can. Water periodically. In March or April when the whole lot keel over and die (yep, die kiddies 😉 ) then get digging. Spuds! 😀 Spuds are an easy fish.

    Overtaken by a smart car?! The shame!!! 😉

    I’ve got little clue for veggies or perennials but if Dr Google says jump I smile, say how high then hop somewhat in the direction of up but add in my own theory. I’ve had some successes and some resounding failures. Ah well. 😉 This year my veggie garden looks stunning! A veritable gorgeousness of sexy veggies, stunning plants and a trim, taught and terrific farmer me in the middle. Ah, who am i kidding. It looks like that in my head. In actuality? Not so much at the moment. Here’s hoping for a few more pumpkins this year though. 100 seeds and under 20 punks is just pathetic. 😦


    • narf77
      Aug 29, 2014 @ 17:17:44

      I think I got more pumpkins than you did and I didn’t even plant any! Just went up to the garden with Earl and while he was rolling and digging and being a nasturtium porpoise (there is such a thing!) I was sitting on a rock (decorated with possum poop…almost as cheeky as that smart car!) next to where we have been dumping the compost bin inside sanctuary (possums snacks 😉 ) and noticed that there are spuds growing from the potato peels. We missed spuds in the rest of the garden and they are growing as well so at least we will have nasturtiums and spuds and rocket and pineapple sage (that didn’t die with the frosts) and anything else that fell out of a seed pod and landed on the ground that the possums don’t fancy and garlic…left over from being lazy and not harvesting it last year ;). SO the run down is this…get lazy narfish derriere off the PC (not easy with slavemaster general but whatchagonnadoeh? Get a pillow, stuff a hat on it and stick it on the chair…if it fools him I don’t know whether to be dead chuffed or insulted to be honest!), get out to the shed and pot up seeds (mangleworzels anyone? 😉 ) then put them on the heat bed and let them do their thang…water them…watch them…fix the roof on Sanctuary…throw ashes on the garden (when they cool down…fool me once!) and dig in some of that manure, get some seaweed, “other things” (notice I am being loose there with what exactly I am going to put in there because at the moment, frankly I don’t know!) and then hope that the net holds, the water doesn’t run out, the possums bred slow babies this year of very small brain capacity and that narf gets a HUGE dose of narf steroids that will carry me over the sloth of winter and into the land of the moving and the garden positive…wish me luck…I NEED IT!~:)


  15. Littlesundog
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 01:02:34

    Of all the intriguing content in this post, I find myself totally enthralled that Earl has progressed to levitating these days! How exciting… I believe he is a humble guru of sorts. I knew there was a reason I was so drawn to him!

    I find as I get older, I just cannot keep up with all there is to do outdoors. Your bounty of vegetables and vast plant variety is mind-blowing. I could never keep up with all of that! But then, I guess some of it takes care of itself, and maybe if it wasn’t for your opossum population you might find yourself overgrown with too much!

    For a time I was consumed with the computer and much email. Now, I’m content to blog a little and address the bills (I don’t want to, but I must). The rest of the time I’m drawn to the woods and observing nature. Well, and doing a little wildlife rehab when a need presents itself! It’s all good, eh?? 🙂


    • narf77
      Aug 30, 2014 @ 06:29:04

      Your life sounds like bliss to me Lori 🙂 A nice steady quiet pace of knowing what you want to do. Mine is a bit chaotic at the best of times and now that spring is rising and bubbling in my veins like lava I am thrown into another chapter of “Life on Serendipity Farm…the saga of a crazed middle aged hippy woman who moved from the city to the country and decided to tackle it all”…;) Earl sends licks. He just got up at 5am and lay on the floor next to me. My little faithful guard dog :). It has taken him 4 years to get to trust us and really love us and we feel incredibly privileged as Earl is truly the closest thing that we have ever come to living with a truly wild critter. He is all dog…none of this soppy suck up stuff…he does what he does and is an excellent specimen of doggedness (most determined doggedness at that! 😉 ) poor old Bezial (completely a proponant of sucking up and behaving and doing the “I am a good dog” thing…) has to suffer the scorn of the Earl on a regular basis. You have probably never heard of the N.Z. comic strip that we Southerners adored for many years called “Footrot Flats” It was based on a farmer’s cattle dog “The Dog” and his adventures on the farm. It was hilarious! If you have the time check out these links as Bezial is “The Dog”, Earl is “Major” and I just had to include “Horse” the cat as he is part Earl as well 😉




      If nothing else it gives you an idea about a comic strip that was avidly followed by just about every single Aussie and New Zealander every day in the papers…a must read for city and country dwellers alike. I think you would have loved it 🙂

      Our possums are more like your racoons than your opossums…they use their little furry fingers to open things, to force things, and they get in and wreak havoc. Imagine letting 5 kids loose in a supermarket candy aisle at night…that’s what our possums are like except they don’t stop with the candy… they will bite everything, check it out, jump on it, and if they can’t eat it they pee on it 😉 Hugs for the weekend Ms Lori, I will be knocking out the last of our studies for the moment so that we can have a whole week off! Oh the BLISS! I should have at least something to say in my next blog post about the garden (even if it is just that we have 2 saplings growing in our lawn 😉 )


  16. Chica Andaluza
    Aug 30, 2014 @ 04:47:22

    Soooo sorry it’s taken me so long to get here and wish you a belated anniversary 😦 We move house on Sunday and then drive to Spain next Friday then back to England 7 days later…..still, shame on me! Love those cropped photos…the floating head really made me laugh, But not as much as you getting overtaken by a smart car 😉 Do hope we don’t meet your lecturer as we cross the pyrenees or I migth have to tell him/her to cut you both some slack and let you get on with being Serendipitous Farmers!


    • narf77
      Aug 30, 2014 @ 06:32:08

      Our lecturer looks mild mannered and nerdy. She is very skinny, wears glasses and would probably blend into the background nicely. The Pyrenees is the best place for her ;). I am still “smarting” after that smart car passed us! Forgedaboudit Ms Chica, this online social media jiggery pokery allows us all to come and go as we please. An open community of support and commiseration and buoying up our mates that you can drop into when you have the time and opt out of if you need to. Narf, the intrepid commentor of great happiness will still be here waiting for your next visit. Hope your house moving goes well and your journey back to OLE! goes twice as well and that you get some down time to yourself and the Big Man to enjoy the “last of the summer wine” 🙂


  17. Sue Dreamwalker
    Sep 06, 2014 @ 05:32:23

    Congratulations upon your 3 yrs of Bogging.. ..Seems you’ve been learning lots of techno stuff.. Loved the photo’s of Earl..

    I am so on your page with the Veggie Garden Narf… pulled up half a row of eaten cabbages today.. I think there are some Giant caterpillars lurking behind our shed, that will turn into Dragons next year I think.. LOL….

    Hubby just saw Steve’s mega meal.. He said a Man after his own stomach! 🙂

    Take care and enjoyed my time here tonight.. Hugs Sue xox


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:16:22

      LOL “Bogging” most apt 😉 That’s how I am with techno stuff “BOGGED to the axles” 😉 Make sure to get some photos of some of those dragons next year… you can sell the photos on Etsy and make a fortune with all of the fankids out there ;). Steve loves a good fry up especially with beer batter and black pudding. A good northern boy even if most of his youth (and his accent) are straight from Essex (where he lived for most of his life). Big hugs Ms Sue, enjoy all of that shellshocked amazing free time and just breath in…and out…and in…and out…and pretty soon all of that stress from the outside world will just melt away 🙂


      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 20:57:04

        Yes by the end of the month Narf.. I think I I will be surrounded by puddles of melted stress!.. 🙂 In one thousand, out one thousand! LOL… Have a brill weekend.. Hugs Sue xox

      • narf77
        Sep 07, 2014 @ 04:59:24

        Shedding and slothing off that stress like excess skin flakes…try composting it ;). You have a lovely weekend as well Sue. I am sitting here on Fathers Day in Australia (Sunday) and Google hasn’t come to the party! Mums got their day but not dad’s 😦 “POOR SHOW GOOGLE!” I will make it up to Steve as the boys (dogs) think he is a brilliant dad…looks like a day of making chocolate eclairs and his favourite dinner is on the cards 🙂

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:02:34

        A belated Happy Father’s Day! to Steve.. and I should think the choc Eclairs and favourite dinner would have gone down a treat.. 🙂
        Its been a great Sunny day here, so walking was on the cards here 😉 xxx

      • narf77
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:06:49

        Steve had a great day. I was going to do lots of things but ended up just cooking but he was very happy with the results (especially the chocolate eclairs) so I didn’t mind ;). It was a lovely sunny day here as well and we walked for miles over at Beaconsfield now that the gold mine has ceased trading and is abandoned we went for a walk up some of their infrastructure roads with the dogs and after walking up a steep hill for ages (and thus getting some quality derriere exercise 😉 ) we got some great views as well as the ability to walk in the middle of the road as we knew that there wouldn’t be any traffic. A great walk and as Steve said “I bet this tarmac abandoned road is COVERED in snakes in summer! EEK!

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:10:53

        LOL… thats one thing we do not have to worry about.. unless you go on the Moors.. We were lucky enough to see our own poisonous snake.. the Adder.. Mostly its just grass snakes..

      • narf77
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:41:03

        We have lots of snakes here and just about all of them could kill you but despite being lethal they just want to bask and eat frogs and do their own thing. They can bask all they like on the abandoned roads over at Beaconsfield, just don’t come here snakeys! 😉

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:42:38

        I could not agree with you more!… 🙂 x

  18. Sue Dreamwalker
    Sep 06, 2014 @ 05:33:22

    BLOGGING… I am having problems with my L not working on my keypad.. 🙂


  19. Linne
    Sep 08, 2014 @ 12:35:24

    Sorry this is so late, Narfie7, but a very happy anniversary to you anyways. I started following you shortly before you went from twice a week posts to once a week; I remember feeling quite deprived for a bit . . . then I realized that less frequency was more than made3 up for with more lengthiness! So I was happy again 🙂

    Happy Father’s Day to Steve (also belated, but still heart-felt). I hope there will be photos of the lovely meal (and the eclairs lol).

    I can’t tell you how much I love anything dappled and those chooks with the amazing feathers are just SO beautiful! Wouldn’t it be nice if their eggs were equally dappled, too?

    Great post, Narfie7! ~ Linne


    • narf77
      Sep 09, 2014 @ 03:24:52

      Cheers Linnie and cheers for the lovely lavender cream ;). I actually used to post daily for about a year so at least you weren’t bombarded by me in your inbox daily ;). Stevie-boy is still eating eclairs stoically but won’t share them with the drooling dogs so they must be good. I didn’t get a photo of the grub as we were so hungry we just ate it after it took a bit longer to cook than we expected (story of my life! 😉 ). I wish I could send you a good proportion of those lovely chooks as they are scallywags at the best and ninjas at their worst! 🙂


  20. Yelena
    Sep 22, 2014 @ 02:00:35

    The chickens are so adorable!
    I love all the photos and thank-you for showing the “lasso” tool.


    • narf77
      Sep 22, 2014 @ 04:00:49

      Hi Yelena, glad you could make it down under for a visit :). I dare say you are much better than I am with Photoshop (I am just learning) but that’s the only way that Earl is ever going to get up on the table twice in the same day 😉 Looking forward to Russian pumpkin recipes on your gorgeous blog 🙂


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