Enter the lizard hunter

Hi All,


Well hot diggety dog my dear constant readers, we are right back here again and little has changed on Serendipity Farm except the slave albino Morlock’s have been freed from their shackles of oppression and are now footloose and fancy free of studies for at least a couple of days. We collated our final two assignment tasks and all of the peripheral bampf that makes them take a much longer time to complete that we are required to submit along with our work and handed them in on Monday. That left us shell-shocked and twitching and with NO idea of how to live in the real world aside from sitting on a PC and working to rule. It was sad to see us wandering around like little lost lambs without a clue and even sadder when we were joined by the dogs because it started to rain and thus became a washout for working in the garden and walking dogs…four pathetic souls walking around the kitchen table following each other like shrews in a perpetual circle…

An example of what we have been doing lately

An example of what we have been doing lately


A caravan of shrews

A caravan of shrews

We had planned to forge ahead…to drive to Exeter and pick up a half trailer load of compost from the local landscape supply centre then head off to buy some seeds from a small local nursery that specialise in breeding their own heritage seeds to our local conditions. Less variety but more likely to survive…I like those odds! We had SO many plans! We were going to fix Sanctuary and Stevie-boy would be my hero and would drill holes in the poles and we would string up the possum repelling top netting with plastic coated clothes line wire that the little swine’s wouldn’t have a hope in heck of chewing through and would be relegated to bouncing furiously on with no dent in the netting allowing them to trampoline their way down to the tender greens below. I had visions of all sorts of things but then the reality of the rain…slow…constant…and unlikely to stop rain set in and so we walked a few more circuits around the kitchen table in a slow progression of sadness and broke off eventually to pursue other indoor activities.

One of the gorgeous sunsets we have been having lately to welcome spring into the Southern Hemisphere

One of the gorgeous sunsets we have been having lately to welcome spring into the Southern Hemisphere


We can’t handle another day of Earl sulking so we are going to have to get out and walk the dogs today. I can hear the wind chime heralding more rain but we have the curious situation here in my local borough, whereby it tends to stay dry till about 10am here and then rains. Excellent for early morning dog walkers, not so good for people who want to garden after they walk. We did go to Exeter yesterday to post off Ms Pauline’s dangler things for her dangler of International Happiness. I hope she isn’t expecting too much as there is a bag of harvested bits-and-bobs that we thought might just make interesting inclusions to her dangler.  I can’t wait to see how it looks when Ms Pauline has put her touches to it. Anyone who would like to add something to Ms Pauline’s dangler of great international happiness please drop me a line and we can talk. Ms Pauline could do with some aqua beads if anyone has any lying around. I did find something sort of green but that’s about as aqua as it gets in my mixed bag so anyone who dabbles in the beady arts who has some strange leftover beads please get in touch. The cause is worthy, admirable and will result in your cast offs being turned into frugal sustainable art by Ms Pauline who is a most clever minx when it comes to the creative arts.

We are getting a LOT of eggs lately. At the moment they are happy to lay in a haybale in Steve's shed but any day soon that will change and we will be back to hunting high and low for them

We are getting a LOT of eggs lately. At the moment the chooks are happy to lay in a haybale in Steve’s shed but any day soon that will change and we will be back to hunting high and low for them

I also sent off a delicious wooden spoon handcrafted by Stevie-boy to a wonderful lady who wanted to trade on her blog. I have been following Belinda’s blog for a little while now and  I had shared a post by Belinda with you all before and in this post  Belinda posed a most interesting case for trading something rather than selling. I think she was testing the waters to see just what she might end up with if she wanted to trade. I need to point out something here about why I was SO excited about wanting to trade with Ms Belinda. My daughters are both Koreanaphiles. They love all things Korean but especially K-Pop, a subculture of Korean pop music that has bled over into the West. The very first band that they liked was a band called Shinee and although I could remember most of the guys in the band I could NEVER remember one called “Minho”. Minho was my nemesis and my daughters would tease me mercilessly saying “which one is Minho”?  And I would invariably pick the wrong band member. It turns out “Minho” isn’t just a member of a Korean K-Pop band but it is also a region in Portugal famous for inventing Caldo Verde and for it’s gorgeous hand spun wool. Ms Belinda had made some wonderful hats out of some of this unctuous wool and was offering them up for trade! I could have my own Minho hat! I would never forget Minho again! Long after my daughters had forgotten who he was…”I”…the forgetful narf…would remember 🙂


Minho hat! :)

Minho hat! 🙂

So you see I “had” to at least attempt to trade with Ms Belinda (who appears to be hugging herself in the first image in this post…hey, if you can’t hug the one you love, hug the one your with eh? 😉 ). She accepted the offer of a trade for one of Stevie-boys wooden spoons and I promptly forgot about it till Steve came up the driveway with a parcel that I wasn’t expecting…it turns out the wonderful Ms Belinda had sent my Minho hat and a second Minho hat for one of the girls! Looks like we are ALL going to remember who Minho is ;). Steve found some lovely blackheart sassafras, a rare and special Tasmanian endemic wood, in his woody collection to turn into a lovely spoon for Ms Belinda and for some curious reason I forgot to take a photo of it before I sent it off yesterday…”Doh!” Oh well…I can show you the Minho hats and my daughters can fight over their hat when I get around to delivering it to the city ;). I love the idea of trading things. No money need change hands (which is a good thing when there isn’t a lot of it lying around to trade) and you end up forging community, making new friends, getting something awesome and handmade and sharing the creative love around. I think Stevie-boy needs to make more wooden spoons…his creative muse is delicious. Stevie-boy thinks that I need to shut up 😉

Steve both made these pork pies and took this lovely photo. This is for all of you carnivorous ex-pat's from the old country who can't live without their pork pies at Christmas...make them yourself! :)

Steve both made these pork pies and took this lovely photo. This is for all of you carnivorous ex-pat’s from the old country who can’t live without their pork pies at Christmas…make them yourself! 🙂

this photo is 40+ years old. It was taken by my mother on an 100 acre farm that we once lived on and is of her gaggle of geese that she kept. It might look like the Kalahari desert in this photo but it's mid summer and the geese have eaten all of the grass.

this photo is 40+ years old. It was taken by my mother on an 100 acre farm that we once lived on and is of her gaggle of geese that she kept. It might look like the Kalahari desert in this photo but it’s mid summer and the geese have eaten all of the grass.

It might be windy outside but it hasn’t rained since I got up and its 5.10am now. Bezial heard the alarm go off this morning and headed in with determination to take up my warm spot in the bed prior to me evacuating it so I did what any good dog owner would do and got out of bed. I need to tidy up my RSS Feed Reader that is wilder than Serendipity Farms front jungle at the moment but that’s easily tamed and apologies to my dear constant readers who I haven’t been commenting on your posts of late but our study load was formidable and now that we are out the other side (and the slave master general had his whip eaten by Earl) we have a bit of breathing space. The last thing that I want to do when freed from my seat on the PC is sit here all day knocking out my RSS Feed Reader so it might take me some time but I will get there 🙂

Spring has definitely sprung and here's the proof...the nectarine tree is flowering

Spring has definitely sprung and here’s the proof…the nectarine tree is flowering

The shadow of a narf and the actuality of a power cord that made all of the work we did today possible in Sanctuary (remind me to hide that power cord next time... ;) )

The shadow of a narf and the actuality of a power cord that made all of the work we did today possible in Sanctuary (remind me to hide that power cord next time… 😉 )

I might share our school blog with you all so that you can head over there and see what Stevie-boy and I have been doing for the last 2 years. That’s a lot easier than clogging up this blog with our erstwhile efforts and you can head over there and take a peek or not…your choice. Last year we weren’t expected to put much up on our blogs but this year our lecturer has us putting up our final assessments…I am not sure that I agree with her logic. Feel free to head over and have a nose around on our blogs but remember they are our school blogs so please vet your comments accordingly (looking at YOU Ms Twinn! 😉 )


This is Stevie-boys school blog


And this one is Narf’s school blog

Note if you want to look at the links, WordPress seems to have a mind of its own when it comes to how it opens them. Sometimes it expects you to download them to your desktop, sometimes it opens up a pdf on the page you are viewing (so you have to click back to where you were) and sometimes it opens up a pdf on another page…NO idea what it is going to do at any given time but that’s part of the experience right? 😉 By the way Bethany…if you do happen to go and have a look at our work and you see an image of a girl dressed up in fancy dress with a flower in her hand that looks strangely like you when you were about 8…it’s just a figment of your imagination! 😉

This artichoke is only alive because of those tyres around it. Note the tangle mass of deceased plant matter to the left of the artichoke. This is possum damage and the reason why we need to fix Sanctuary before we try to plant a veggie garden this year...

This artichoke is only alive because of those tyres around it. Note the tangle mass of deceased plant matter to the left of the artichoke. This is possum damage and the reason why we need to fix Sanctuary before we try to plant a veggie garden this year…

On Tuesday morning we had to walk around like hunchbacks in order to traverse sanctuary as the possums had trampolined the top almost down to the ground

On Tuesday morning we had to walk around like hunchbacks in order to traverse sanctuary as the possums had trampolined the top almost down to the ground

It’s only Tuesday at the moment so you just never know. I might get up to Sanctuary today and there may or may not be photo’s. I can at least get a photo of Earl’s craziness when we let him off lead in Sanctuary and he realises that he is FREE! which is part of the reason why you are NEVER going to be “free” in the real world Early boy…pity you don’t learn a bit of self-restraint as it would be lovely to let you off the lead and let you forage around but you were built to hunt and your primary objective is to sniff, to find and to eat 😦 Oh well…your choice sunshine! Bezial is happy to curb his desire to scarf a chook in order to wander free (like Kung-fu) among them (with the occasional beak pressing episode that we won’t talk about 😉 ) That’s given me a good head start on tomorrows email now. I can add a bit, take a few photos and I don’t have to produce a rabbit out of a hat at the starting gate… I tend not to perform well when put on the spot or on command. Probably best that I wasn’t born male 😉

Kale gone to seed YAY! :)

Kale gone to seed YAY! 🙂

Might be time for our resident sheoak inside Sanctuary to have a hair cut again...

Might be time for our resident sheoak inside Sanctuary to have a hair cut again…

I can plant these loquats out this year as they are big enough to survive a summer in the ground without a lot of extra watering

I can plant these loquats out this year as they are big enough to survive a summer in the ground without a lot of extra watering

I am SO tired! I went from twiddling my thumbs on Monday to slaving in the Sanctuary gulags for the last two days and I couldn’t be happier :). We started sorting out the top of Sanctuary, my fully enclosed (supposedly) native animal proof veggie garden yesterday. It was hard going because Stevie-boy had to drill holes in all of the steel poles that we concreted into the ground in order to make Sanctuary in the first place so that we could thread through and tie off sections of plastic coated metal clothes line that we are using to ensure that the possums etc. can’t pass. He broke 3 drill bits in a row they are so tough and we had to take a trip to Exeter to pick up some new bits so we also bought some compost and seeds at the same time. We like to multitask. We had a bit of a twitching moment yesterday where Stevie-boy decided that he would release the ring of clothes line that I had entrusted him to hold in order to do “something else” and it twisted all over the place and became hopelessly entangled. Needless to say I think I need to sign up for anger management classes and possibly hypnotherapy to teach me not to swear like a duchess whilst threatening Stevie-boy with every threat I could possibly think of if he EVER touched the plastic coated wire ring ever again… we got over it…not sure the neighbours have yet though…

The great lizard hunter

The great lizard hunter

The great lizard hunter again

The great lizard hunter again

Bezial has sworn off lizards and is enjoying a sunbeam

Bezial has sworn off lizards and is enjoying a sunbeam

Today, after walking the dogs with Jan and Mieka who appears to be developing a Mieka fan club and who has gone from Jan wondering what she was going to do with her to 5 people wanting to adopt her (the best possible outcome), we headed up to Sanctuary with steely determination and set to with the final push to get our garden back from the (filthy) possums. Earl and Bezial were most happy to be returning to sunbeams and lizards and the first thing that Earl did was frolic…a lot. We managed to shore up all of the top of Sanctuary and I sorted out one of the areas where the possums can get in. Tomorrow we have about an hour to sort out the other join and then Sanctuary is MINE! It would be OURS if Steve really cared about it but it’s my baby and my dream and Steve would rather be doing something else but is entirely happy to indulge me in my (crazy) pursuits.


Earl gave up on lizards and found a much slower golden beetroot to chew instead

Earl gave up on lizards and found a much slower golden beetroot to chew instead

The view from Stevie-boys gumboot

The view from Stevie-boys gumboot

Sanctuary liberated! :)

Sanctuary liberated! 🙂

So here I am…tired but incredibly happy on what has turned out to be a gorgeous spring day. The sun is shining, the sky is blue, it’s still crisp and cool and the soil is nice and damp (gluggy and muddy in some places) and I feel vegetable futures in MY future :). I will be soaking seed today to plant out tomorrow as we bought some compost and will be adding other things to it to make a happy place for seeds to grow. This year narf 7 actually IS going to grow all of her own seedlings and I have the seeds to prove it! Wish me luck folks because there is a whole lot of work to be done before I can plant out those little prospective seedlings but at least they are changing hands from being mental seedlings to physical seedlings. Thank you SO much to all of my gardening dear constant readers who have given me encouragement and help and thanks to spring for filling me with spring possibilities. No doubt I will be less than happy with spring tomorrow when I can’t get out of bed because I am too sore but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉

Vegetable futures!

Vegetable futures!




73 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. thecontentedcrafter
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 17:05:12

    How fabulous that you can now stand upright in Sanctuary – and I do hope you are right about it being possum proof! You have your safe garden, your compost, your seeds and some existing plants – you make me realise I am really behind! I have three empty tubs waiting to be punched, stoned, composted and soiled – oh, I have the compost,I’ve been making it all winter 🙂 I have no seedlings as yet. And the weather has been glorious here for about ten days [sorry!]

    Now about the trading – I agree with you and your friend – I have made a few trades – one with you for example – and I have made several others. It is a great thing to do. I am definitely up for more of them and join with you in encouraging your dear constants to be open to it.. The hat is indeed a gorgeous, woolly thing fit for a narfish head on cold mornings. A superb swap!!

    I am very excited about my dangler of international happiness – I have no expectations, I await to see what tumbles out of a packet. I am putting them all carefully aside and waiting. Probably in about a months time I shall add in some stuff from my stash and set to work. I should have lots of time then to just play abart’n’fiddle as granny used to say 🙂 When I have something to show I shall post about it and have a special giveaway for one of the dangler donators 🙂

    Poor Stevieboy!! Did he quake in his gumboots when you hollered at him, or does he just turn a deaf ear? Maybe you should turn that volume of anger on the possums and see if it makes them run a mile,,,,,,,? Now those are pests that deserve a good shaking of the fist!

    I hope the rain holds off for a bit so you can get the garden planted out and then sit back and watch it grow – and then you’ll have to spend hours on pinterest and the www generally finding recipes for preserving and pickling and fermenting and suchlike all your wonderful produce – unless you intend to swap it for all kinds of wonderful other things that you sorely need 🙂 which is also a very good idea!

    I shall have to look at your school blogs later as now I have run out of time……again!


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 05:53:50

      I could almost hold a party inside Sanctuary now Ms Pauline albeit full of crushed nasturtiums that the lizard hunter squished with impunity and Stevie-boy wasn’t far behind with his nasturtium squishing ladder. Not to worry, they have proved that they can’t be killed and should come back from their current squished state to invade Poland all over again. Awesome garden prospects there Ms Pauline…you guys are ahead of us over here and it might be time to get those little seeds biological time-clocks punched in about now 🙂

      The hat was/is gorgeousness personified and unlike most woolly hats, it isn’t heavy or makes your head feel like it is encased in a hot sheep. I have been wearing it for the last 2 days on my early morning dog walks in the frozen tundras (fine weather means cold starts) with excellent effect. Swapping is the bomb! If you have something that you don’t need and someone else has something that they don’t need and you both would like the other persons thing that they don’t need it is only a hop-step-and a jump to hit the right equation and swap 🙂

      Again, I think we had the same granny. Mine used to say that as well! There is one item in your bag of “bits” that I really wanted to send to you. It’s special because it is old and I haven’t seen another one like it around here and I coveted it but not enough to keep it and I really wanted to send it to you for your dangler 🙂

      Stevie-boy twitched a bit but stoically (sadly I am prone to outbursts just haven’t had one for a while 😦 ). I spent all yesterday making it up to him and even made him calzones on a Wednesday AND did the dishes to try to atone. I don’t like being prone to Icelandic volcanic explosions. Wish I knew how to not get so angry so quickly :(.

      We will be sorting out planting today and Stevie-boy is working on the holes for extending the dog compound today as well so the dogs will have a much larger area to run around in and dig and lay under the delicious shade of wattle trees in our long dry summers.

      I put the school blogs up in case anyone was curious and because I was too lazy to post what we had been doing. If people care they can go have a look. If they don’t, they don’t have to 😉

      I will be eating, preserving, pickling AND swapping if I have my way ;). Wish we lived closer as I have a whole lot of eggs that are being produced at the moment. I have 7 1/2 dozen in the fridge and that’s after constantly giving them away to all and sundry in the last week. They lay about a dozen a day and even though the dogs are up to eating a few they can’t manage that many and Stevie-boy only eats them occasionally and I don’t eat them at all! Earl says “Suddi, git ova her an it sum!” I am not sure you will be on board with Siddy travelling alone all the way to Serendipity Farm and indulging in a spot of egg snarfing and Earl education at the same time. I doubt he will return the sweet poppet of your dreams to be honest! ;). I am going to hunt for some aqua beads when I next head into town to decorate the international dangler of great happiness because most of what I sent were not beady. I would like the dangler to be interesting AND pretty…stay tuned 🙂


      • thecontentedcrafter
        Sep 04, 2014 @ 08:02:58

        As soon as I get a spare moment I am going to craft Siddy that aluminium foil hat for alas, Earl’s teachings are getting through. He is now on the table with the cat and constantly stealing the only three things the poor boy has left to him – one of which is his baggie! Luckily for me the cat is now pretty laid back about everything for he knows he only has to look offended and I will retrieve the stolen goods. Unfortunately I am spending a goodly part of my day retrieving stolen goods! It may be that I ship young Siddy off to Earl just for a rest – we’ll see how Earl copes with the real thing eh? 🙂 Thatl titch im!!

        I hope your hopes for the dangler are not dashed once I get my hands on all these fabulous goodies – though have to say the bits I am finding and throwing into the box are quite intriguing too – and I wouldn’t have thought of using them had you not started this particular ball rolling.

        It is very exciting! I’m happy to hear the hat is a hit – that makes a good swap gooder 🙂

        Yes to the living closer together – I use eggs often and purchase at considerable expense organic free range and there they are accumulating in your bowl! Bother!!

        The dogs will be most happy I imagine when they get a largish extended out door area they can roam about in and not get into too much trouble – and I really like nasturtiums – you could pickle all the seeds and have delicious capers! And pretty salads. I have no time for the next week to start my garden – the ED flies in later this morning and we begin to partay it up! Then I shall be pooped and have to take another week to recover 🙂 Time is no longer getting away – it has got away!! xoxo

      • narf77
        Sep 04, 2014 @ 13:26:19

        Here is a message from Earl to Siddy apparently…

        “gudai sudi gud tu si yoo is stillin cadz toiz. I tord yoo gud. Negs lesn haw to cadg a leezid. Aym stul nod gud ad id bud aym trayin gud. Cum on darn an i tich u gud. Wi gid leezidz an tij mai lod hoo iz boz. DOGZ iz boz! Luk owd leezidz an cadz sudi an url ar cumin!”

        I really think you should think twice before sending that sweet innocent little fluff ball down to Sidmouth to the den of iniquity that Earl lives in. He will return smoking a cigar (Havana of COURSE! If you are going to do something, may as well do it well!) with a penchant for liquor, wimin and digging holes and whenever you try to get him to do anything he will look at you with incredulity that you would expect him to do anything so very beneath him. Not only that but Earl may teach him the most dangerous of lessons…the lesson where you refuse treats at all costs in order to lay a smackdown on your humans to show them that you don’t need their “steenking treats” in order to get you to do what they want you to do. Earl is his own boss…there is still hope for Siddy 😉

        Enjoy that retrieval process. Dogs seem to enjoy it 😉 SO many people are responding and Ms Wendy just got excited to be joining the fray and she has pretty things…PRETTY THINGS! Why didn’t I think to send pretty things eh?! I sent practical things and bits and bobs from jars and tins that we had been hoarding. At least one of us is sending pretty things :). Ms Snail of great happiness has also posted off your dangler item from the U.K. so it is certainly going to be an international one :). I am hurling eggs at anyone that looks at me for more than a second these days. Earl loves eggs but last year we overdid it and they stopped eating them so we don’t want that to happen this year so they are getting a slow but steady stream 😉

        The dogs have had a great time. Earl hunted lizards this morning and Bezial basked in a sunbeam. The sun isn’t that hot at the moment and never is inside Sanctuary thanks to the netting deflecting the worst of it. Lovely place to wile away an hour or two unless you are neck up for that hour trying to weave plastic coated clothes line wire in and out of it BUT now the little possum darlings are going to really have to work hard to find an in…good luck sunshine’s! I should leave Earl up there…now THAT would be a surprise! 😉

        Partay time again eh? Make sure to Partay Hartay Ms Pauline. You have to do it for all of us who are hermits and who shun the light. You need to dress up and wear long dangly earrings and makeup and look pretty for we the mud dwellers who wear gumboots apart from when they go to bed and who are permanently coated in grime…you have to wear tasty shoes with pretty heels and nice clothes and enjoy every minute of your time with E.D. Isn’t it great when the grow up and you can have fun with them? 🙂 Have SO much fun you need 2 weeks to recover Ms Pauline…make that three. We will all be waiting here when you return 🙂

  2. The Snail of Happiness
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 18:59:21

    Please to report that yesterday I sent off a small package – my contribution to the dangler of international happiness… can’t wait to see the results. What an inspirational Narf you are!
    Sanctuary looks great and all those seeds… fantastic… I love spring with all that potential. Here I’m looking out on mildewed courgettes (Mr Snail is relieved they have finally come to an end) and ripening squashes, plus a whole load of potatoes that need digging up. Now, I just have to work out what to do with a sharks fin melon…


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 05:58:55

      Thank you SO much for Ms Pauline’s dangler accouterment :). The best bit of all of this is the sharing and the fact that this dangler is comprised of little bits and pieces from all over the world. Something lovely to remind Ms Pauline of how much love there is around the world and what an amazing circle of friends she has :). Nothing like a mouldy zucchini (that’s what we Aussies call your courgettes) to remind you that the season is over. Especially if it is pretending to be a whole absolutely fine zucchini on the top and is hiding the mouldy bit underneath and you attempt to pick it up…ech! I adore squashes (we call them all pumpkins here 😉 ) and a sharks fin melon? Now I am going to have to look that sucker up! I am getting excited about gardening again because the possums won’t be able to eat my efforts. Nothing like something uninvited eating everything you plant to quash your garden hopes and dreams. We found a wallaby inside there yesterday! Talk about a cheek! He had squeezed in through a hole in the side but thank goodness he was in there as otherwise we wouldn’t have found the hole…but Earl would have! It is now double fixed! ;). Off to see what a sharks fin melon is!


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:00:53

      Looks like most people make soup out of their sharks fin melons but I found this link where someone was roasting it and serving it with marinara sauce… might be interesting (and it links to a soup recipe as well)



  3. Margaret Griffin
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 19:59:02

    Hi Fran,
    Beautiful photos of healthy nasturtiums and is that a Pineapple Sage in Sanctuary? Will the possums rise to the challenge and breach the enhanced defences of Sanctuary? For your sanity, I hope not as the prospect of a bountiful harvest is a powerful motivator.

    I hope Earl is not tooo successful in lizard hunting as lizards can be your friends and allies in raising food plants especially those which eat snails and slugs.

    You and Steve have been working your socks off with your graphic design studies. I hope you feel it was all worth it when you receive your diplomas in Graphic Design.


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:05:26

      Cheers for this lovely comment Margaret 🙂 We did indeed work our socks and most of our clothes off with those studies. Hard work personified but well worth it because we have learned so much in the process. Nothing like learning something to keep your brain active and moving. Earl caught one lizard but the rest are safe as he is very slow and not very good at catching small things. He does good pounce but that’s about it. I love lizards in my garden and Earl is only allowed in at this beginning stage as he tends to pounce on everything…veggies…lizards…flowers…Earl is not garden friendly ;). Yes that was a big pineapple sage that survived the frost and kept going strong. I was most impressed with it :). Those poor nasturtiums got a hearty squishing from a land porpoise diving into them in search of the elusive lizards and Stevie-boy sticking his ladder into their midst on a regular basis and the whole of Sanctuary smelled like peppery nasturtiums BUT they have proven themselves to be very resilient and they are growing strong in the outer borders so I dare say they will recover from their invasion. Planting seeds today and making our own potting mix so wish us luck 🙂


  4. brymnsons
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 21:15:23

    Oh I laughed so hard when you expressed your dissatisfaction with Stevie boys holding abilities! I would have exploded into a massive hissy fit if it had happened to me too. I bet his nose hairs are nice and short now lol. Oh well at least you are both still alive and talking? to each other 😀 You guys have done an amazing job with your workload. I hope the possums are now foiled and furious. Happy planting, you will indeed reap what you sow in a few weeks x


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:08:40

      As I was drifting off to sleep last night I thought I heard the angry squeals of a possum unable to enter…might have been dreaming it but it put a smile on my dial in those last few seconds of awareness ;). I certainly blew a fuse Kymmy! I was a bit ashamed of myself as I even scared the dogs and Earl came up and licked me like “You alright?!” I spent yesterday making it up to Steve by making him calzones for his tea and I even did the dishes! That’s enough atonement though, back to crabby abby today ;). Cheers for checking out our school blogs Kymmy. I shared them more because I was too lazy to put any of our work on the blog and because if anyone was interested they could go see it for themselves :). Hugs from Sunny (frigid) Sidmouth. Is Daniel there yet?


  5. Belinda
    Sep 03, 2014 @ 22:20:59

    oh yay! glad the beanies arrived safe and sound! i decided at the last minute to send you two hats instead of one – a hand-carved wooden spoon deserves two beanies i think 😉

    and good luck with your vege growing! that table full of seed packets looks promising! 🙂


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:11:35

      I was totally blissed out with the beanies Belinda :). My daughters are paper, rock, scissoring as I type this in order to get the second one :). We sent the spoon on Monday so hopefully you get it soon. It’s made of Black-heart Sassafras and was from Steve’s special stash :). I found my veggie gardening mojo again so I figure that it MUST be springtime now and that stack of seeds is going to be my immediate focus for the foreseeable future :). Thank you SO much for those amazing beanies and I have to say one thing…unlike most woolly hats, they are incredibly light and easy to wear and don’t make your head feel like you strapped a hot water bottle to it…awesomeness personified and SO glad we got to swap. Hope you like Stevie-boys wooden spoon 🙂


  6. quarteracrelifestyle
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 04:07:53

    I have no idea what Pauline’s Dangler of Happiness is! Missed something somewhere.
    My god, those assignments look mind-blogging, no wonder you feel zombified. As a person who is technologically challenged I bow to you both in utter respect, it all looks as hard to understand as algebra to me!
    Nice to see you EXCITED about the garden lol. I would be putting electric fencing on that big cage if that’s what the possums do to it!!!!
    Love the hat. Yes it is nice trading, makes the world go around 🙂


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:15:40

      Ms Pauline is making a dangler of international happiness and it’s not too late to donate Ms Wendy. All you have to do, should you want to contribute, is send Pauline a few beads, something that could be strung onto some fishing wire or string that you think is interesting and that you don’t want/need. Its going to be a study in international frugality in order to create something delightful 🙂 If you have any old beads, trinkets, bits and bobs laying around that you could care less about that would add to a strand of deliciousness to string up in her window (or hide out the back depending on how weird it turns out 😉 ) please feel free to send them to her or not…no-one is being pressured into anything, it’s just a delightful way to express our happiness that we met Ms Pauline here in the blogosphere and for all of the gorgeous comments that she leaves so willingly that buoy us each and every time she sends them 🙂 It’s also a great reminder to Ms Pauline that she has a lot of friends out here 🙂


  7. Robbie
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 05:48:45

    I agree with Wendy- that stuff looks mighty Hard! I looked at your finished products and those are pretty darn good, but I CAN imagine all the work-phew a day off you need a year-lol. I work in photoshop and illustrator but not for grades. I do it for fun! I do understand now why you are stressed! Yikes that stuff looks tough!
    I also had no idea your sancutary was so HUGE. that is an amazing place to grow food. I would be sore and tired after working on that place. How do you find the time to make your garden grow:-)????? lol….do you ever sleep?? I would have to be on medicaton at this stage in my life to deal with the volume of school work you do + having deadlines + grades-YIKES again- no thank you:-) Happy Gardening!!!


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 06:19:17

      Medication! I never thought of that! I dare say the drug spotter planes are going to think that we are attempting to “self medicate” when I get my fully covered Sanctuary full of tomatoes this season but whatchagonnadoeh? ;). Seriously though, I am glad you could see that we have been tortured for our “art”. I love using Illustrator now. It’s SO worth the hassles that this course has brought to us for me to have learned how to use it. Dream weaver has also been worth it as now we can create an online magazine or e-book in style. We have had to work to specific sets of parameters through our course so what we have produced has been strictly directed but the sky is the limit and now I know how to use that damned pen tool the sky just isn’t big enough! 😉 Sanctuary is big indeed and pretty soon will be full of possum free grub. I can’t wait 🙂


      • Robbie
        Sep 04, 2014 @ 13:42:22

        lol. I start all my seedlings in the spring and have them under lights-lol. I have great neighbors and they know I am not growing “you know what ” in my house-lol….just annuals + some perennials….I will look forward to your e-book soon:-) You are such a gifted writer, that I have no doubt it will be in the future! All this stress will be worth the effort:-)

      • narf77
        Sep 04, 2014 @ 14:04:11

        If I make an e-book it will be free to all who want to read it 🙂 I had better get through this course first though as until November my derriere belongs to it ;). I just finished weaving plastic coated metal clothes line through another segment of netting in Sanctuary and it is almost entirely possum proof. I need to pick up another clothes line (great choice as possums don’t have metal teeth 😉 ) when we next go to the city and it will be perfectly possum free! I am starting my babies off on a heat bed that we bought back when we were studying horticulture. That heat bed was on 24/7 as we were hopelessly addicted to propagating. I haven’t ever grown my own veggie seedlings before so this is an adventure :). I am going to put lots of pretty flowers etc. for the bees in between just like I can see in your garden :). Steve just emptied the ducks boat pond (a small dinghy that the duck used to swim in) and we are going to lug it up to Sanctuary and turn it into a water wicked strawberry bed and maybe some herbs or lettuces etc. as well. If the possums can’t eat them they should do well :). I am getting excited about the possibilities. Even though our lecturer just gave us our final assessment for Prepress and its pretty detailed and intensive, we both know how to do everything that she asked for so it isn’t terrifying, just time consuming. Roll on the end of studies when I can submerge myself in the garden! 😉

  8. christiglover
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 12:02:24

    Aloha Fran, and congratulations on Sanctuary AND your beautiful school blogs. You are right about continuing to learn and stretch, but I am particularly impressed that you do it with a computer! I have decided to memorize a poem, and this is stretching my cognitive cells enough.

    I saw on one of your school blogs a map of Tasmania, so I looked up the square kilometers of both Tasmania and the Big Island of Hawaii. Which is bigger??? Turns out Tasmania Is 6 times bigger (65,022 sq.km. to Hawaii’s 10,434 sq km) That’s 25,200 square miles to 4,029 square miles. Tasmania is BIG!

    Loved reading how you worked to make up your outburst to Stevie-boy. I get crazy upset, too, but much less than I used to. And I get over it and apologize much quicker, like you. Still, also like you, I hate to do it at all! It was my dad’s way. No longer mine. At least not very often.:) Hugs to you both as you weather spring and the deepest of loves. xxoo


    • narf77
      Sep 04, 2014 @ 13:52:22

      That poem is beautiful by the way Ms Christi 🙂 I saved it myself and Pinned it on my “Pause for thought” board. Tassie is pretty big but small compared to the rest of Australia. I think Steve wants me to be contrite for a bit longer…he likes not having to do the dishes ;). I think part of loving someone is being able to bear witness to their ugly parts and still find it inside you to love them. If you can do that, you really do love them :). I would say that The B.O. and Steve have decided to weather the storm that we two sometimes call up because the rest of what we are is worth it :). HUGE hugs from now sunny Sidmouth where Stevie-boy just liberated the ducks boat/pond as we are going to turn it into a water wicked strawberry bed inside Sanctuary 🙂

      He is just about to head up onto the roof with the pressure sprayer (for some reason…I don’t ask any more 😉 ). Great to have him back home again and we are doing heaps around here which is making me UBER happy :). I don’t even mind that it’s Spring any more! ;). I hope Hawaii is treating you well and those pineapples are keeping you regular 😉


  9. Born To Organize
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 14:32:59

    Loved this post!!! I’ll be back tomorrow when I’m not so tired for proper comments. Thanks for the smiles.


    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2014 @ 03:41:28

      I don’t doubt that you are all tuckered out Ms Alys after all of that gallivanting around the country and into another country and back. I would need a month to recover from everything that you and Ms Boomdeedayzee got up to! Holy MACKERELS you girls can partay! I was exhausted just looking at what you were getting up to on Facebook ;).


      • Born To Organize
        Sep 05, 2014 @ 08:04:09

        You’re so funny. The thing is, I came home to the start of high school for both of my boys, back to school night, the requisite ‘shopping after the shopping’ because no matter how much you plan, some teacher wants a specific sized binder, or some such that you didn’t get on the first go around. Add in clients on hold, cleaning up after the house painter’s left, and all the other bits and pieces of life, and there you have it. No different from your very full days either, Ms. Narf.

      • narf77
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 11:56:19

        Been there done that wrote the postcard home on the school stuff and why oh WHY do they let teachers add in their own peculiarities to the list but only after you have shelled out a mortgage worth of moola on funding the booklist in the first place? It’s always UBER expensive as well…sigh…thank goodness they only get educated once eh? 😉 What your list tells me is that they all need you Ms Alys…you are an integral part of your world and that’s something to be happy about. Worse case scenario would have been to come home and they didn’t even know you went! 😉

      • Born To Organize
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 13:12:23

        [Shudder] Not to be missed would be the worst. Mike told me the place felt empty without me. That was music to my ears. The teens saved up some good bickering in my honor. All is right with the world. 😉

      • narf77
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 18:03:33


  10. cathyandchucky
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 15:38:49

    Maybe if you just shot a couple of possums and hung them from the fence the rest would stay away? Not the ideal method, granted but it might work 😉 full fencing is really the only way to deal with the little buggers. I want fencing to keep out the fruit fly as fly traps just don’t cut the mustard anymore 😦


    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2014 @ 03:47:31

      I think we may have dealt with the possums as now they have no way to bounce and break the metal clothes line that we strung across. We ended up using 5 rolls of 60 metres and criss-crossed it right over the top and so it really looks like a circus tent inside but a possum proof one! My friend Jenny has some potted up yellow raspberry canes for me to plant inside now that the possums can’t scarf them and she also has some regular raspberry canes for Steve to dig up and bring back so looks like raspberries might be on the cards here! Oh BUGGER on the fruit fly :(. The only way that I know how to stop the little swines is to wrap each fruit in something that they can’t sting through. Might have to be your option this year?

      (An Aussie company)

      A video for how to do it yourself with nylon curtaining

      Apparently they work, you just have to get the bags around the fruit early. Might be the best way and then you can laugh and suck on your trousers (like Bernard out of Black Books) as you watch them hovering hopelessly around the perimeters of the bags…get a glass of wine and sit out on the deck and laugh at them…who cares what your neighbours think, you will have ruled supreme over those tiny pests and will be the victor when it comes to delicious fruit! “We humans can beat you pesky animals…we SHALL have our fruit and veggies this year!”


      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 05, 2014 @ 08:28:33

        Hahahahahahaha! Maxine gave me a big old nylon curtain just for that purpose so guess what I’ll be doing on my week off next week! Making lots of little bags to cover the fruit. I imagine I should put the bags on once the flowers have all fallen off? Or do I wait till the fruit is bigger? I shall have to find some trousers to suck on 😀

      • narf77
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 11:59:35

        Just get some of Jason’s old trousers and sit on the deck with a glass of delicious white (preferably late harvest something or rather) and laugh uproariously at those little swines as they buzz helplessly around your fortified fruit…”NONE FOR YOU THIS YEAR!” 🙂 Maxine and I had the same idea? Great minds think alike 😉 That means it must be a good idea. Do you have a sewing machine? You can make lovely little potpourri type bags and add frills and little satin flowers to them to especially taunt the fruit flies…go to Spotlight and find some little fruit applique’s to sew on so that they can suck on them from a distance…FOOLS! 😉 Oh revenge how VERY sweet you shall be! 🙂

      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 13:36:34

        Hahaha I shall do that Fran 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 13:48:17


    • Linne
      Sep 10, 2014 @ 08:08:38

      Cathy, I’m just butting in here to say that I found a great trap for fruit flies this past summer; I took a small glass (you could use a mustard jar or the like), put in about an inch of apple cider vinegar and covered it with plastic wrap secured with a rubber band. Then I poked a few slits in with the tip of the paring knife and left it out on the counter. It was full of dead flies tout suite! So give it a try, anyway. When there were lots of dead flies, I dumped the mess out, washed the glass and repeated the process. It was great! ~ Linne


      • cathyandchucky
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 08:22:35

        Hi Linne 🙂 I actually found the exact same thing last season and did that with my two dwarf nectarines. I caught a few flies as well so aim to repeat the experiment with added pretty nylon fruit bags this year. I’ll post the pictures when I do xox

      • narf77
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 09:19:37

        Great idea Linnie 🙂 Give it a go Pinky, you never know 🙂

  11. missmaudy
    Sep 04, 2014 @ 16:34:12

    Despite living in the wilds of suburbia, we have a Possum Problem – the rather large furry bastard that lives near us managed to ring bark the lemon tree almost immediately after us painstakingly nursing it back to health. It’s dead now. The lemon tree, not the possum (although the over the back neighbour has Plans for that damn possum that involve it going to a farm a long long way away never to return, mwhahahaha).

    Every year, I attempt to grow basil. I’ve bought little pots and big pots and it doesn’t matter, it DIES. This year, I’ve decided that I shall attempt to grow basil from seeds so I will have approximately 75 opportunities to murder the bloody basil! I also have chive seeds and tomato seeds and some other random plant. Of course, once I grow the seeds to seedlings, I will have to prevent the Hound from taking up gardening.


    • narf77
      Sep 05, 2014 @ 03:56:23

      Glad to know that the possum problem is endemic…the little buggers are rife here. It doesn’t help that our dear city of Launceston, when it collects enough of the trapped little darlings from all over the place relocates them to the bushland under the Batman Bridge which is a mere 500 metres from our sodding house! What is a relocated possum to do but go hunting for new territory and MAN can they hunt! We had 2 mandarin trees on the property. They stripped and killed one of them but left the other one untouched. NO idea why but the 2 trees were metres apart…can’t quite fathom them out and that is what makes them SO frustrating! I think we might have fixed our veggie garden problem this year but that will just infuriate them and they will start climbing and stripping the poor fruit trees that have no protection…what to do…WHAT TO DO?! The only solution (aside from letting Earl patrol them which is on the cards…) is to completely enclose each and every fruit tree…the things that we do for a sodding peach!

      With you on the basil. Steve hates basil and I am sure that he urinates on ours when I go to bed in order to kill it. My rhubarb died a sad and most suspicious death as well and its just funny that he hates that as well! Seed is the best way to go as plants from the nursery tend to croak en masse and when you grow them from seed they are at least raised in your local conditions and more likely to survive. Kudos on the chives and the tomatoes. I just phoned my mate in the horticultural biz and she has 150 tomato plants she just planted out and told me not to buy seedlings this year WOOT! She also gave me some yellow raspberry canes and told me to dig up as many regular raspberry canes as I want so looks like if nothing else grows this year I will be raspberry rich! 😉

      You should have seen Earl lizard diving and trashing the nasturtiums. I am thinking of hiring him out as a “vegetation removal specialist” he is very good at it ;). He has decided that he quite liked digging as well so that puts paid to Earl accompanying me up to the veggie garden when I get things actually planted. Bezial is O.K. he knows what side of his bread is buttered and just wanders around and lays down in sunbeams. Earl…not so much…lizards are too exciting and its too much fun to bounce from bed to bed and dig and carry potted hazelnuts around by the stalk and chew up pots and sample poor long suffering beetroot plants…sigh…good luck with that possum. When it “goes to the farm” (that great farm in the sky…) make a possum skin hat out of it. Nothing tastes as sweet as revenge! 😉


  12. Born To Organize
    Sep 05, 2014 @ 06:45:22

    Congratulations on (several) jobs well done. The sanctuary looks brilliant. Those little opossums will have to get their exercise and snack food elsewhere. Move along, move along little O’s.

    I loved seeing all those eggs in one place. Nature gives and gives, doesn’t it/she?

    Well done on the school thing, too. I”m off to peer at your school blogs. Earl, I love you. That is all.

    I loved seeing your seeds all laid out. You’ve got a lot of work cut out for you, but clearly you are both up to the task. I haven’t made potting soil in years but loved doing it. Brings back good memories.

    Mouse the cat keeps catching lizards and it makes me sad. They are in shorter and shorter supply these days. Trying to keep him indoors more and more. The older cats have no interest in hunting anymore. I know it’s natural and all that, but since he teases them and walks away, it is a waste of a tiny life.

    I’m glad Earl is on similar restriction…to the extent possible.

    Did I say “I love you Earl?”

    I love you Earl!

    Happy gardening Narf.


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 11:52:42

      Our possums are a completely different species to your green gunge oozing fake dead fella’s. Ours are more like your racoons with nimble little fingers, foracious appetites and a need to clearfell every rose and apple tree of their leaves within cooee. Here’s a picture and a bit of blurb about them but what you need to know is that behind that “cute” facade, there lurks a heart full of rose leaves!


      Steve can’t comment on your comment on his school blog because we have to log out from this blog to do so and NADA on the logging out so he would like to say “Cheers for the nice comment and that shape was more like Bezial than Earl as Earl is like a Tassie devil…all front and no back where Bezial is all dog” :). Poor Bezial got called “chunky” on his walk this morning…the cheek of the lady! 😉

      We learned how to make good potting mix back when we were studying horticulture. We have lots of organic soil amelliorants to add and are pretty darned excited that we got motivated enough to get seeds, potting mix AND before it was too late! Still revelling in that BUT we need to get those seeds into the potting mix now so that they can grow!…Baby steps narf…baby steps! 😉

      Earl caught a single lizard. It must have been cold and didn’t get a head start but it was a teeny one and he can’t catch lizards usually as they are MUCH too quick for him. Earl says he loves you back…he actually says “gday laydi. aye em a luva nord a fiyda an me n Suddi ar awl indernashnl. Yu gud a prolim wiv cadz? I fixm! Led mi noew an i bi ther an figzit. Now mor cadz!” Might be best to lay off on the Earl love as he gets a bigger head than he already has and flips upside down till his head shrinks 😉

      Cheers Ms Alys, gorgeous weather for gardening here 🙂


      • Born To Organize
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 13:20:43

        Thanks for that opposum link. I didn’t realize they were so different. That last photo is pretty intimidating, actually.

        Okay, so no more smooching talk around Earl since you’re the one that has to live with the inflated ego. I have three cats with ample egos so I know what you’re dealing with.

        You’ve got lots down already with your seed selection, potting soil, and repairs. It seems we wait and wait for spring, then suddenly everything goes into overdrive. I finally lost my steam after several weeks and told myself it was okay if I didn’t plant every single thing.

      • narf77
        Sep 10, 2014 @ 18:05:47

        I haven’t even started planting and am already rationalising ;). I have been reading a lot about California and learning how dry it is there. We get a very long dry summer but quite a bit of rain over our winter period to make up for it…lucky really as our soil is predominately clay and I dare say it would bake hard like a teacup (and just as brittle) if we didn’t get some rain in our year. We have to dig our holes in the winter and autumn as otherwise we have no chance of digging a hole. Glad I am not the only one who hurls themselves wholeheartedly in and then 2 weeks later start twitching 😉

  13. Born To Organize
    Sep 05, 2014 @ 06:46:52

    Oh, and just because, here is our local NARF (Nike Animal Rescue Fund) :http://www.narfrescue.org/


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 11:53:26

      Narf rescue eh? Has a nice ring to it! 🙂 Cheers for the share Ms Alys and I am proud to share a moniker with a wonderful establishment like that 🙂


  14. Hannah (BitterSweet)
    Sep 05, 2014 @ 11:52:42

    Now those MUST be some darned happy chickens over there! I’ve never seen so many eggs in one nest. It warms my heart to know how lucky your little feathered ladies are over there to be under your compassionate care.

    Since I have trouble throwing anything out, I thought that I was starting to accumulate more seeds than I can ever plant in my life time. Turns out, I haven’t even started to scratch the surface! Although, I guess the difference is that you will actually make use of your treasures here, and even if I had the space to plant everything I’ve saved, I doubt that even half of it would grow. I don’t know enough about the climate in your neck of the woods to make an informed offer, but I still have to ask: Is there any chance you might be interested in trying to grow cherimoya? It’s my favorite fruit in the entire world, but it gets far too cold around here to ever support such majestic trees. I saved about 100 seeds from my time in Hawaii, and I would love nothing more than to see them actually grow up one day.


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:04:06

      I think we can grow cherimoya here Hannah. We don’t get that cold because we are right on the water. They are amazing fruit aren’t they. We have them in our tropical and sub tropical areas but it can be grown carefully for a bit till it gets older and should take whatever nature down here throws at it. I plan on planting some mangoes as well. I have figs all over the place and one day I WILL get that fruit salad! ;). Our chooky babies rule the roost here. We have 1 rooster (got to keep the girls happy 😉 ) who clucks around finding choice treats for them. If you throw him something he drops it for his girls and calls them over. They are all fat, well fed with free range food as well as most of my garden going down their intestinal tracts and they spend their days wandering all over Serendipity Farm clucking and scratching up insects (and the garden) till the sun goes down and they head home to the safety of their straw lined coop for another safe night. If you wanted to send me some cherimoya seed I would try my damnedest to grow some and plant them on Serendipity Farm. I would be honoured 🙂


      • Hannah (BitterSweet)
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 21:41:10

        Amazing! It truly sounds like a magical place, indeed. If you can grow mangoes, I’m betting the conditions would be right for growing cherimoya too. I would love to send you a few cherimoya seeds to try planting. Just email me your address and I’ll pop them in the mail right away! 🙂

      • narf77
        Sep 07, 2014 @ 05:03:26

        You are ON Hannah 🙂 Lets see if the combined vegan love can get some big trees growing :). If I can germinate them (and I have been pretty successful with some seriously hard things to germinate and I have my pride 😉 ) I can grow them and if I can grow them I can plant them and if I can plant them we can have trees. Imagine being able to say “I harvested seed from some fruit, sent it halfway around the world and there are trees in Australia that came from that fruit that I held in my hand as tiny seeds” to your friends, family and maybe your kids and grand kids Hannah! Now THAT is some serious social networking for a positive future! I am inspired! Check for my email in your spam folder 😉

  15. Sue Dreamwalker
    Sep 06, 2014 @ 05:17:00

    You have been busy… Well done in completing your assignments.. I so understand that shell-shocked feeling Narf.. I have been more or less feeling shell shocked since the 31st Aug.. No more work… LOL.. just garden and painting days.. I even read a book!..
    Love all those eggs.. and I will have to get my knitting needles out again too.. I bought some fancy unusual buttons today.. Now I need to knit something to sew them on. lol.. Yes I know backwards forwards.. but I thought if I passed these buttons by I would regret not buying them..
    We had a golden beetroot amid the red ones.. so How does that happen? is it the seeds that get mixed or do they morph!?
    Those pork pies look delicious .. And you are right here in the UK everyone has to have a Pork Pie on the table for Christmas tea or on Boxing day..

    Glad to be catching up .. Hugs Sue xxx


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:12:57

      The shell shock didn’t last long. We had another assessment dumped in our laps just before our lecturer went AWOL to Europe for 3 weeks…sigh…but there IS light at the end of the tunnel as we only have this one and another one to finish and we are completely finished the course! HOORAY! 🙂 I have almost 8 dozen eggs in the fridge and am passing them off to all and sundry. I actually planted out different kinds of beetroot but must have missed that one in the ground and it grew HUGE and woody and gnarly and Earl enjoyed chewing it up. He also chewed up a few wayfaring carrots…loves his roughage does our Earl but only in his mouth…once they are chewed they get spat out 😉 Compost machine? 😉


      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 20:54:27

        Earl sounds to be a great compost machine.. We are making about 5 beets into smoothies every morning so we planted extra and in spaces, so we are harvesting tennis ball size or a bit smaller..

        and Wow those eggs will make a lot of omelettes or beer batter! 🙂 seems since the boys went the girls are having more fun laying.. 🙂 Enjoy!

      • narf77
        Sep 07, 2014 @ 04:57:25

        The poor girls were being herded! Turns out we had almost 35 roosters and only 25 hens. We have since given away a few point of lay girls to friends who want to have nice fresh eggs and our flock is a good size and a mix of older girls and younger point of layers with good old Big Yin the original rooster still going strong. He lost his mojo with all of those young bloods but now he has it back in bucketloads and is back to finding tasty treats (usually taken from my hand and repurposed 😉 ) for his girls and calling them over and putting the treats on the ground for them. He is a quintessential gentleman :). I am just about to go beetroot wild. I love them! I actually kept a small patch of them just for the beetroot greens that are delicious and just kept harvesting the greens and using them in my green smoothies. I will be planting lots of greens this year as I missed them last year when the great pumpkin takeover bid took up all of my space and they smothered everything else. I have a good place for them this year WAY up the top of the garden so that they can’t take over this year and I will get greens…and beetroots…and silverbeet! I think we fixed the possum problems by the way! An upturned bucket of tasty compost ingredients is still upturned and bucket shaped after 2 days! WOOT! 🙂

      • Sue Dreamwalker
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:08:30

        Yes we learnt the hard way this year too with the Butternut Squash, we hadn’t realised they spread so much either.. Next year we plan to put them behind the shed on an old compost heap.. I think they will love it there.. And yes I often pick the baby beet leaves to eat raw in my salads… along with Kale and broccoli tops … Oooooh its a Good Life! :-D.. xxxx And great you solved the Possum problem! 🙂 xxx

      • narf77
        Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:15:11

        I am not counting my chooks before they hatch quite yet…the possums are not likely to take my attempts lying down and I am expecting them to find a few breaches but then I can mend them as they breach them and little by little I shall go to the vegetable ball! 😉

  16. Angela @ Canned Time
    Sep 06, 2014 @ 09:51:33

    Wishing you all the luck with your seedlings. I have such bad luck with them I assume the opposite effect may permiate the other side of the world in your garden 😉
    Speaking of that, could a poor, ignorant Yank have a translation for ‘danglers’ ?


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:19:30

      HAHAHAHA Danglers are just beads and bits and bobs threaded onto a piece of fishing line or string and hung outside to sparkle or dingle or just look unusual. I have lots of them outside and Ms Pauline said that she would love to make one so I thought that as this is an international conglomeration of love that if people had any stray beads or buttons or doo-hickeys laying around that they didn’t want that they could send them to her in an envelope (cheapest way to post) to add to her international dangler of great happiness :). No-one has to do it, just if they want to. Cheers on the seedling wishes Ms Angela. I have been SO busy my RSS Feeder has grown into King Kong sized proportions! I am a bit scared to tackle it but tackle it I am today (I am also becoming Yoda apparently ;)) so wish me luck…I am going IN!


  17. cityhippyfarmgirl
    Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:49:40

    Look at all your lovely seeds! I was going through a seed catalogue the other day being rather optimistic mind you given that I only have a few pots. Still, it was a process that I needed to do.
    As for trading. I love the idea and enthusiastically encourage it whenever I can. It would be bloody wonderful if people did it more often!


    • narf77
      Sep 06, 2014 @ 12:59:53

      My Minho hat came with a gorgeous story, was handmade and thus priceless and fit my head perfectly (lumps and all and room for my hair 🙂 ) and in return one of Stevie-boys lovely wooden spoons winged (or is that “wung?” 😉 ) it’s way across Bass Strait to it’s new home to be used and loved well into the future. I adore swapsies. They are SO much better than sterile shop bought sameness and everyone ends up feeling like they did something good for once and took back their world even a teeny little bit 🙂


      • cityhippyfarmgirl
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 13:03:43

        And hooray for that I say. Taking back the world a teeny little bit is every bit as good as it sounds.

      • narf77
        Sep 06, 2014 @ 13:18:53

        If we all take the world back to slower more creative and satisfying times a tiny bit…an inch each, we can make a HUGE difference to the world of tomorrow for our kids :).

  18. Chica Andaluza
    Sep 07, 2014 @ 19:14:36

    You’re so busy – makes me feel exhausted! Oh hang on a minute I AM exhausted 😉 Love the trade you did, that hat wil keep you snuggly warm. Steve’s pork pies are impressive and what are you going to do with all the eggs? Angel cake? A giant fiesta sized tortilla?!


    • narf77
      Sep 08, 2014 @ 04:09:14

      Only you could think of a giant fiesta Ms Chica :). I am giving eggs away to anyone who wants them. I used 3 of them to make Stevie-boy chocolate eclairs yesterday and the resulting choux pastry was a glorious golden colour. You deserve a lovely rest now with Big Man up on the Mountain with a bottle (who am I kidding…a CRATE…) of wine and some seriously good Spanish grub to rest and recover before you tackle your next big job as you are hopelessly addicted now and you have to take these gorgeous little slices of Spanish life whenever you can take them. It would certainly make you appreciate returning to the mountain 🙂


  19. Linne
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 08:23:02

    Love your eggs, your chooks, your garden !!!!!, your new hat (gorgeous), your dogs and your life in general. Also that you share everything with others and with us here. I am envying you spring, but am in no hurry really, I’ve had enough extra hot days for a while, even if we didn’t get that many! Still, I’m in no hurry for winter, either, but as the snow has been and we expect more this week (followed by a few days of low 20C weather – go figure!), I’m rather resigned. Oh, well, time to knit, etc. Big hugs to you and no icicles (I’ll save those for when you get the real got stuff, shall I?) ~ Linne (and the pork pies look scrumptious! I read lots of books from England and have no idea how I missed this tradition . . . ~ L


    • narf77
      Sep 10, 2014 @ 09:23:54

      Spring and autumn and even winter (now that we have nutted out how to get Brunhilda to feed herself with hot toasty logs 😉 ) are my friends and even early summer isn’t all that bad…just those long drawn out last couple of months where it is dry and hot…everything starts to go crispy including me! Steve will make and eat one in your honour this year 🙂


  20. tortadellafiglia
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 10:01:03

    wow! you look like extremely busy person! I love it!


  21. Littlesundog
    Sep 10, 2014 @ 12:51:27

    Ha ha!! Forgive my late night humor but you look like a rather robust Mongolian monk in that shadow photo!! And ya gotta love that great lizard hunter – mighty is he!! I think you have a much bigger problem with opossum’s than we do here. How on earth do you manage those little devils?

    It seems so strange for you to be experiencing spring, and we are just edging into autumn. Our last really hot day will be tomorrow… time to prepare for the winter weather. I will enjoy your beautiful photos of your gardens flourishing… and I’ll dream of our spring to come here in the Midwest US. 🙂


    • narf77
      Sep 10, 2014 @ 18:01:43

      I will waft our hot summer over come next March/April when I am WELL over it ;). Just getting the propagation bug at the moment and a bit of spring fever thrown in to boot 😉


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