So this is Christmas…well, Christmas Eve

Hi All,

Every radio station this side of Cooee (a real place that has a population of 574 AND is in Northern Tasmania 😉 )  are playing Christmas songs on repeat and most of those repeat cycles contain at least one John Lennon “So this is Christmas”. More an admonition of our communal lack of effort than a Christmas song (cheers 7LAFM!) but still considered Christmassy. I know that many of you don’t feel very Christmassy in the least. I know that for many people, Christmas is just an excuse to have a few days off, drink some seriously expensive booze and quaff their weights worth of expensive and rich food. I know that people spending Christmas alone or in difficult circumstances might be feeling considerably left out and today, in my little Christmas Eve sermon (for verily have I been given the task of cheering you all up and so sayeth the Lord! 😉 ) I wanted to remind you all that you are all part of an amazing online group of friends, some of whom become online family. Whether you feel included, excluded, excited, underwhelmed, overwhelmed, blissed out or knackered out Christmas is a good time to take stock of where we have been, what we have done and to hitch up our belts and think about where we are going for next year. Seriously though, you would think that they would leave a bit more than a week between Christmas and New Year to get all of that sorted out, especially as we have all been flat out like the proverbial lizard drinking getting Christmas sorted out and all need several nana naps in order to get over it so poor old New Years is a bit of an afterthought…

Another year, another tangle of lights...

Another year, another tangle of lights…

Look what I found at Hollybank. A bank full of holly berries. Not so special you might say but red holly berries in the middle of summer? I call that a Christmas miracle ;)

Look what I found at Hollybank. A bank full of holly berries. Not so special you might say but red holly berries in the middle of summer? I call that a Christmas miracle 😉

I used a willow wreath that I made from harvested canes last year and turned it into a holly wreath :)

I used a willow wreath that I made from harvested canes last year and turned it into a holly wreath 🙂

Then I hung it on the back door...where I realised that it looks like a set of shark jaws...er...

Then I hung it on the back door…where I realised that it looks like a set of shark jaws…er…

I made this doll for a very good friends little girl who apparently loves it.

I made this doll for a very good friends little girl who apparently loves it. She is 50cm tall and her tail comes off to reveal…

A most fetching bikini :). Still haven't learned how to make attractive mouths. Anyone reading this who can help guide me in the right direction please feel free to comment :)

A most fetching bikini :). Still haven’t learned how to make attractive mouths. Anyone reading this who can help guide me in the right direction please feel free to comment 🙂

Still, whether we are ready for it or not, it comes. I am particularly blessed to have been allowed to exist on this small blue revolving planet out in the middle of space for more than half a century. I feel incredibly in awe that for some reason I have managed to enjoy most of my life. I might not be “living the dream” but I am living MY dream which I think is more important. I just want to remind you all that no matter who you are, or what your circumstances are, there is always some poor sod out there who is worse off than us/you and that we have so much to be thankful for, right here and right now. And you can just about shut up John Lennon with your admonitions, we internet mates look out for each other and we do care. Another year older? Cheers John, but you know what? That’s another chance at another year and I am sure that our elderly 92 year old neighbour Glad is counting and enjoying every single day of it.

All the Christmas day food prep is now done. The flowery icecubes for the boozy punch are frozen...

All the Christmas day food prep is now done. The flowery icecubes for the boozy punch are frozen…

The strawberries for Stevie-boys homemade strawberries and cream icecream and for the punch purchased from just over the river (can't get much more local than that...)

The strawberries for Stevie-boys homemade strawberries and cream icecream and for the punch purchased from just over the river (can’t get much more local than that…)

8kg of cherries bought for $2 a kilo and most of them have disappeared never to be seen again ;)

8kg of cherries bought for $2 a kilo and most of them have disappeared never to be seen again 😉

The cherries came from a cherry farm over the river right next to the strawberry farm. We are so lucky to live where we live

The cherries came from a cherry farm over the river right next to the strawberry farm. We are so lucky to live where we live

Talking about Glad, she is just about to receive a large Stevie-boy original pork pie to tuck away (hide) in her fridge for after she gets trotted around to all of her family members tomorrow and she can return home, put her feet up and do what SHE wants. So much of the festivities revolving around Christmas involve trotting off to visit people that you may or may not really want to deal with. I guess it’s a good reminder that we have to sometimes suck it up for the greater good. I will note that Christmas is one of the worst times for family arguments to get started so watch out for those family members that are most antagonistic towards each other and add lots of water to their booze (at least while they are at your house, they can behave! 😉 )

Steve had 10 spare minutes and a hankering to use his nail gun so he knocked up this bench out of a slab of pine a friend had given him and a strut of ash. The dogs approve

Steve had 10 spare minutes and a hankering to use his nail gun so he knocked up this bench out of a slab of pine a friend had given him and a strut of ash. The dogs approve

The dogs are very confused about all of the activity around here... the baking has them particularly suspicious

The dogs are very confused about all of the activity around here… the baking has them particularly suspicious

This is the end result of churning together 2 cans of coconut cream, 1 cup of raw sugar and some vanilla and it's absolutely delicious. The best vegan ice cream I have ever made and I can't wait to experiment with this recipe to make all kinds of variations

This is the end result of churning together 2 cans of coconut cream, 1 cup of raw sugar and some vanilla and it’s absolutely delicious. The best vegan ice cream I have ever made and I can’t wait to experiment with this recipe to make all kinds of variations

Coconut ice cream motion blur! ;)

Coconut ice cream motion blur! 😉

We make pork pies every year for Steve and for our neighbour Glad who is 92 and her daughter Wendy who are both expats from the U.K. Christmas just isn't Christmas without pork pies apparently. They can live without the snow and the hot Christmas dinner but Christmas without pork pies? Sacrilege!

We make pork pies every year for Steve and for our neighbour Glad who is 92 and her daughter Wendy who are both expats from the U.K. Christmas just isn’t Christmas without pork pies apparently. They can live without the snow and the hot Christmas dinner but Christmas without pork pies? Sacrilege!

A gorgeous homemade Christmas pudding that Glad gave us this year from her secret recipe :)

A gorgeous homemade Christmas pudding that Glad gave us this year from her secret recipe 🙂

Spooning the heady rum syrup over the rum baba

Spooning the heady rum syrup over the rum baba

Stevie-boy and I are able to spend Christmas Day tomorrow here on Serendipity Farm that has been newly shorn and that looks adorable despite Steve doing some serious damage to the whipper snipper that requires a lot of internet trawling to find new parts. That’s for the New Year though so I am counting my blessings that we managed to get most of the whipper snipping done and make Serendipity Farm look pretty. We will be sitting out on the deck having a most leisurely Christmas thanks to lots of organisation (Steve and I specialise at being organised) prior to the day. Everything has been made except for the homemade mascarpone cheese that I am attempting to make this year. A tiny container of the unctuous stuff costs 4 arms and half a leg so this year, narf is going to make her own AND copious quantities of it if the recipe serves me right.

I received this absolutely lovely bunting from a lovely fellow blogger called mommermom. Isn't it gorgeous and aren't I a lucky narf? I never cease to be amazed at how lovely people who don't even know you can be :)

I received this absolutely lovely bunting from a lovely fellow blogger called mommermom. Isn’t it gorgeous and aren’t I a lucky narf? I never cease to be amazed at how lovely people who don’t even know you can be 🙂

Stevie-boy got a new 50mm lens from the girls for Christmas (early) and has been using it to take some most lovely photos of things around the garden...

Stevie-boy got a new 50mm lens from the girls for Christmas (early) and has been using it to take some most lovely photos of things around the garden…

Remember my red clover from last year? Well this is "son of red clover" ;)

Remember my red clover from last year? Well this is “son of red clover” 😉

Pretty and most hardy climbing geraniums

Pretty and most hardy climbing geraniums

A lovely mass display of climbing roses

A lovely mass display of climbing roses

This glorious buddleia flower

This glorious buddleia flower

This one is especially for you Linne :)

This one is especially for you Linne 🙂

Natural pest prevention

Natural pest prevention

And an arty shot of our newly installed and decorated Christmas tree avec lights :)

And an arty shot of our newly installed and decorated Christmas tree avec lights 🙂

I made a rum baba yesterday. It’s a heady mix of buttery brioche soaked in enough rum syrup to satiate a crew of pirates. We cooked Steve’s choice of a very large chook and a roll of pork (sorry vegan mates but sometimes we mixed couples have to compromise), Steve’s famous pork pies that he is going to share with friends and neighbours, coconut ice cream for me (that tastes AMAZING) and strawberries and cream ice cream for Steve that also tastes amazing but his uses cream and eggs and mine just uses cans of coconut cream, a bit of sugar and some vanilla. I froze some flowers in an ice cube tray for prettying up our boozy Christmas punch and have been freezing home grown berries to add as they ripen. My blueberry bushes are covered in blueberry futures but they aren’t quite ready yet. We picked up 8kg of “jam” cherries the other day for $2 a kilo and after picking out the damaged cherries (and cutting out the damage and pureeing and freezing them) we were left with almost 5kg of perfectly good cherries that have been slowly scoffed by yours truly over the past few days. I am claiming to be eating them all to lose weight…SHHH don’t tell Stevie-boy that I am eating them because they are delicious!

We went to Hollybank recently as a special treat for the dogs. I was warning them not to shake as they were both sopping wet after an impromptu swim...

We went to Hollybank recently as a special treat for the dogs. I was warning them not to shake as they were both sopping wet after an impromptu swim…

I think this is supposed to be a bull but both Steve and I thought "KRAMPUS"! As soon as we saw it so it is officially the wooden Krampus from now on

I think this is supposed to be a bull but both Steve and I thought “KRAMPUS”! As soon as we saw it so it is officially the wooden Krampus from now on

A woman can't even take a photo without someone else photographing her! ;)

A woman can’t even take a photo without someone else photographing her! 😉

Earl found the small plastic rum bottle (empty) used to make the rum syrup for the rum baba...

Earl found the small plastic rum bottle (empty) used to make the rum syrup for the rum baba…

A lovely shot that Steve took of Bezial

A lovely shot that Steve took of Bezial

And an equally lovely shot of Earl :)

And an equally lovely shot of Earl 🙂

The tree is up, the decorations made, the front gate is adorned and the big balls of great happiness are back up after languishing on the ground next to the front gate for almost a year. One of them was full of water and when we hung them up and were decorating the gate we were subject to a slow trickle of water sprinkling down on us. I think that the Christmassy feelings come from the preparations and the processes that are involved with making Christmas yours. It’s my theory but I have found that whenever we throw ourselves into making everything for Christmas, we have a sort of timeline in our mind that sets off a chain of Christmassy feelings. We have cinnamon salt dough ornaments scenting our house. We made them last week. We have Earl reminding us of the joys of Christmas for the young and reminding us of how we have to be careful NOT to put anything under the tree till tonight as he has already removed and almost unwrapped one gift (fool us once bucko!) and we found him with the small plastic rum bottle that we used to make the rum baba chewing happily on the lid…sigh…kids!

Moody Christmas chook and pork roll

Moody Christmas chook and pork roll

Raining and it is just about Christmas...

Raining and it is just about Christmas…

Lucky really as yesterday we had to light Brunhilda to cook all of the christmas fare.

Lucky really as yesterday we had to light Brunhilda to cook all of the Christmas fare.

Aren't these lovely? I got them from that most sterling and gorgeous of bloggers Ms teddyandtottie. She was so gorgeous that she couldn't work out who of her dear constant readers to give a prize to so she gave us all one! HUGE hugs Ms teddietottie, don't they look lovely? :)

Aren’t these lovely? I got them from that most sterling and gorgeous of bloggers Ms teddyandtottie. She was so gorgeous that she couldn’t work out who of her dear constant readers to give a prize to so she gave us all one! HUGE hugs Ms teddietottie, don’t they look lovely? 🙂

We have been busy for the last week whipper snipping the grass down and tidying up. Serendipity  Farm now looks like a park. We have to watch out for campers and picnickers ;)

We have been busy for the last week whipper snipping the grass down and tidying up. Serendipity Farm now looks like a park. We have to watch out for campers and picnickers 😉

I guess I really shouldn’t tax you too much with this post. I just really wanted to give you all a great big narfy cyber hug and let you all know how much I truly appreciate you and your decision to tag along each week to visit us down here in farthest flung Tasmania on Serendipity Farm, home to reprobates and the abnormal. Stevie-boy and I might be serious hermits who adore our own little space but knowing that there are good friends out there in “the rest of the world” is an amazing thing. Here’s to a wonderful time over the next few weeks. No matter who you are, what you celebrate, IF you celebrate, I hope that this week and the lead up to our brand spanking new year is a great one. I hope that 2015 dawns on us and gives us an incredible opportunity to live, to learn and to grow and that we are all able to be here to collect our thoughts come Christmas 2015. HUGE hugs to you all and see you New Year’s Eve 🙂

Happy Stevie-boy with a wonderful set of earrings that Ms rabbidlittlehippy sent to him for Christmas. He loves them!

Happy Stevie-boy with a wonderful set of earrings that Ms rabbidlittlehippy sent to him for Christmas. He loves them!

Merry Christmas to you all and we will raise a glass of Christmas cheer to all of you tomorrow :)

Merry Christmas to you all and we will raise a glass of Christmas cheer to all of you tomorrow 🙂

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52 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Roz Takes
    Dec 24, 2014 @ 18:02:08

    Merry Christmas Fran and Steve! I actually love that John Lennon song but I guess I am a tad older than you.
    The Amigurumi Dolls are amazing so ashamed I can’t crotchet will definitely have to learn. I find when making mouths on knitted dolls the simplest is always the best. Just a lovely curved line in red embroidery cotton looks great Erin would love the Littlest Mermaid always was her favourite and she even went to one of her Neko Nation nights as Ariel.
    Martin and I have also been busy today. Ham and Chicken cooked, savoury eggs done, special ice-cream with mixed fruit and cherries ready, potato salad check, home made shortbread wrapped in individual parcels, salad vegs picked from the garden and we have dog proofed the yard. I think we are ready. We have a great recipe for a mango and sugar snap pea coleslaw we are going to try out on them tomorrow.
    Have a wonderful day tomorrow!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 24, 2014 @ 18:37:09

      YUM! Is it hot over there? Your Christmas feast sounds amazing Roz but you guys always did do a magnificent Christmas :). Say hi to everyone from us and have a lovely day as well :). Cheers for the idea about the mouth. I might try it on my next creation. Glad you like them 🙂

      Reply

  2. thecontentedcrafter
    Dec 24, 2014 @ 18:39:55

    Ah see, that reminded me! Dear mommermom who has only recently joined in on the fun of this particular blogging community liked the idea so much she got something made and sent off to you and Marlene in a flash – while the rest of us chew on our fingers and say, I’ll get to it after Christmas! I haven’t even started mine yet – I have purchased the fabric 🙂 and, if you know where to look, it can be seen nicely tucked away in the corner of one of the makeover photos….. it is coming. Several other friends are also somewhere in process …… I’m glad I saw mommermom’s first though as that is lovely and now we have a standard to live up to! Just wait, Sanctuary will be looking most festive before the end of the decade 🙂

    I am very impressed with how the two of you have thrown yourselves into making Christmas sing on Serendipity Farm. It is looking beautiful, I loved all those photos last week and the view is spectacular! I hope you get some of the heat and blue skies we are enjoying! This is the first fine Christmas I have enjoyed since moving down south – which makes me really happy!

    I finished making another version of my birthday dessert – do you remember that recipe? This time I chopped up some dried apricots and soaked them for half a day in what was left of my Napoleon Brandy which I had for over 20 years and which used to get tossed into my Christmas pud back in the day before I quit sugar and wheat – It smelled really good! I just had a taste and it tastes really good too 🙂 And I made a date fudge which is really rich and might last til next Christmas as I think you can only eat it a nibble at a time.

    And I vacuumed the floor and that is me ready for Christmas. 🙂

    Have a good one – have a drink for me and tell your view I love it and you guys! xoxo

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 24, 2014 @ 18:46:28

      We are still wrapping the dogs presents and will probably be mopping the floor tomorrow ;). We will absorb the view and radiate it back out to you tomorrow and you can be sure that we will have a drink for you. We have a LOT of punch ;). I remember your gorgeous cake and that fudge sounds scrumptious. You must share the recipes in a blog post one day so everyone can make healthy and decadent treats :). I am off to get a magnifying glass to your photos now! ;). Seriously, Sanctuary is going to be the brightest star in the Southern Hemisphere, visible on Google Earth! ;). Have a fantastic day Pauline, Siddy and Orlando and enjoy yourself to the max 🙂

      Reply

  3. aFrankAngle
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 00:14:40

    I’m so pleased you found a monument that you now dedicate to Krampus .. .but isn’t that a small spoon for the rum syrup? Next time, try a soup ladle!

    Meanwhile, we are relatively new connections, so thanks for sharing a bit of your heart, which I can see you have plenty. To you, Stevie-boy, and the dogs, I clink Stevie-boy’s glass … after all, he must prefer red wine over white … so cheers to your Christmas cheer!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 25, 2014 @ 04:49:43

      Cheers Mr Frank and to your wonderful (long suffering) wife :). The small spoon is so that I can have one for the cake, one for me…that way I am not completely off my face when the cake has finished being “basted”. We were glad to find that wooden (bull) Krampus. Now we know where to take the kids when they have been naughty…Here’s to clinky glasses and Merry Christmases and new connections 🙂

      Reply

      • aFrankAngle
        Dec 25, 2014 @ 04:59:52

        Cheers … and since it is past noon here, I’m ready for some wine. 🙂

      • narf77
        Dec 25, 2014 @ 07:18:36

        It must be Christmas Eve still there? It’s 7.17am on Christmas morning here. I am just about to wake up Stevie-boy and the dogs (who are upside down on the bed snoring) and get ready to start the festivities. By the time you wake up we will be so full of Christmas “cheer” we will be positively obnoxious with it. Here’s to communal and most wonderful Christmas happiness however people choose to observe it (or not 😉 )

      • aFrankAngle
        Dec 25, 2014 @ 07:23:04

        Same minutes, but 3 PM here the day before… so quick math tells my 16 hr differential. Cheers to you getting Christmas cheer before me.

      • narf77
        Dec 26, 2014 @ 03:42:11

        We Aussies weren’t as good as the New Zealanders, Ms Pauline get’s her Christmas an hour before we do 😉

      • aFrankAngle
        Dec 26, 2014 @ 23:51:48

        Another example of global injustice.

      • narf77
        Dec 27, 2014 @ 03:56:09

        Nah, we Aussies see it as the New Zealanders being subject to Krampus first up so by the time he gets to us, he is all worn out from throwing naughty people into his bag and cuts us some slack 😉

      • aFrankAngle
        Dec 27, 2014 @ 08:30:32

        That explains a lot!

  4. aFrankAngle
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 00:16:19

    PS: I forget, but this is for you because your words (second large paragraph) reminded me of one of my favorite videos .. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p86BPM1GV8M … enjoy.

    Reply

  5. Angela @ Canned Time
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 00:59:08

    Merry Merry Christmas to you, those cuddlie pups and Steve-O of course. Have a blast Girlfriend!

    Reply

  6. brymnsons
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 01:16:26

    Lovely words Fran. Your preparations sound wonderful, you guys are going to be enjoying those delicious morsals. Lovely bunting, how clever eh. Have a fantastic day, will be thinking of you both x

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 25, 2014 @ 04:52:54

      Same here Kymmy and have the best day with your wonderful family and that gorgeous husband of yours :). Just about to razzle Earl out of bed at 5am to head off down to put 3 bottles of beer on the bin for the bin man and head out for a nice Christmas morning walk. Should be a goodn. Merry Christmas! 🙂

      Reply

      • brymnsons
        Dec 25, 2014 @ 11:08:36

        We have a quiet Christmas Day ahead, ah lovely. I will be making a trifle and peeling veges for the webber. Nothing too strenuous 🙂 Boxing Day is with Bruce’s family and that will be noisy, busy and fun! You have a great day with your gorgeous husband too x

      • narf77
        Dec 26, 2014 @ 03:43:09

        Have an awesome Boxing Day tumble with Bruce’s family and have a wonderful time catching up with them all. Don’t you love simple easy Christmases? We had a ball 🙂

  7. Born To Organize
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 13:15:44

    Warmth radiates from this post. You’ve created an amazing feast, loving decorations and even fancy flower ice cubes. You are incredibly skilled and resourceful when it comes to food prep, garden care, decorating and the like. You’re great at sourcing what you don’t have and making good use of the things on hand.

    It must be early Christmas morning for you as I write this. It’s 6:00 pm here, Christmas Eve. We had a weird little storm and now some heavy winds.

    I love the photos with the newly acquired camera lens. The one with the butterfly is particularly stunning. Everything looks amazing.

    Merry Christmas to you both. xoxo Alys

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2014 @ 03:47:05

      Thank you for this lovely comment Ms Alys. I used to be a cook “in a past life” 😉 and food is something very close to my (stomach) heart. I love to go the extra mile with food, after all, it is one of life’s simple pleasures that gives you a huge amount of joy when it is done right. We made Christmas punch that looked more like crazy cocktails by the time we had loaded our massive martini glasses up with frozen fruit, rum, wine, fruit juice and those ice cubes. We made a big jug of it and I finished it off at dinner time and its consistency had changed from punch to a sort of delicious slushy thing as the mango had dissolved. YUM! Lots of frozen fruit left over and Steve has roast meat to last him a month but we had a lovely elegant sufficiency and a magnificent sunny day on the river when it finally stopped raining ;). I hope you had a gorgeous Christmas Day with your family and that you are radiant with Christmas cheer 🙂

      Reply

  8. quarteracrelifestyle
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 18:15:06

    Fran, Merry Christmas to you and Steve xx I hope you have had a wonderful day – and I am sure it was seeing all these photos 🙂

    Reply

  9. The Twisted Yarn
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 19:26:32

    Merry merry merry Christmas m’dear. I love these glimpses into your beautiful, creative life, and especially this Christmas post. Save me some of that rum baba, yeah? I’m off to the airport now to check for planes to Narfland….
    Wishing you a peaceful, joyful colourful sunny Christmas with Stevie-Boy. And I apologise once again for my previous doubts of Earl’s sweet nature.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2014 @ 03:50:28

      We watched one of my favourite movies of all time “UP” yesterday (Christmas Day) and had to laugh as poor Earl got caste as the head dog (whose voice activator makes him sound like he is sucking helium) ;). He does get a bad rap but then if he eats Christmas presents some naughty vibes are going to rub off ;). I have a bit of a food hangover today as I felt that as one of the very first of you all to have Christmas, that I should sacrifice myself so that you could all be moderate. You are welcome! ;). Steve is off in the mumbly cumumbus at 5am this morning with his trusty thermos and his fishing gear for the first of many boating trips on the river at the front of our house. He loves pootling around up and down the river and rarely catches a fish but that suits me fine :). Life is good 🙂

      Reply

  10. Margaret Griffin
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 22:47:04

    Hi Fran, Is there any danger that this doll thing might get out of hand?

    I hope you, Steve and the boys had a lovely time together today eating all that home baked and prepared festive fare whilst gazing out at that gorgeous river view you have.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2014 @ 03:55:06

      I think I am addicted to making amigurumi dolls Margaret. I don’t think it’s a bad addiction to be honest ;). We did have a lovely day on the river. It rained first up as we were walking the dogs but then the clouds disappeared and the sun came out and it was magnificent. It does mean that today I have to water the garden but whatchagonnadoeh? 😉

      Reply

  11. Littlesundog
    Dec 25, 2014 @ 23:53:27

    Happy holidays to you and Steve… oh, and Earl and Bezial! We’re on the road so I won’t reply in length! I love you!!!

    Reply

  12. Linne
    Dec 26, 2014 @ 11:59:54

    Cherries for Christmas! and Strawberries!! I always wondered why anyone would want Christmas in the middle of summer; now I know . . . 😉

    Those dolls! I can’t even think about it . . . especially since, by way of using up a couple of large balls of yarn, I then purchased more balls than I will admit to, even at a long distance . . . I can only imagine if I were to begin with the dolls. (oh, I can use up all my bits . . . oh, I need a different shade of blue here and I don’t have any yellow that will do . . . off to the yarn store again . . .) Nope, I will leave the amigurumi dolls to you, my friend!

    BTW, I have been thinking about the name ‘Tasmania’ and on reading the comment by The Twisted Yarn above, I realized that a far more appropriate name would be ‘Narfmania’ or maybe even ‘Narfmania 7’ (which would beg the question “what happened to the other six Narfmanias?) 😉

    All your baking and preparations are wonderful. Stevie-boy’s, too. We need a full length picture of the tree, you know; that wee teaser wasn’t enough.

    Thanks for including my own special photo; I love those more than you know. Hope you are eating some for me, too. Lovely photos in general, especially of the boys.

    The bench is a wonderful creation, too. Ten minutes, you say?? Hmmmm

    And the buntings; how lovely that they are arriving already. I am amassing materials for mine (which will not be stitched, sorry) and it will be along anon . . . possibly after the move, though.

    I never knew there were climbing geraniums; now I want some of those! sigh . . .

    Did I ever tell you about the desk plant many years ago? It was on the desk of a young co-worker who loves language as much as I do. Every day I would go past her desk and say “nice geranial” and she would reply “it isn’t geranial”, to which I would respond that of course they were, as there were more than one plant in the pot and obviously, as geranium was the singular, geranial would be the plural. This went on for a while, until one day I got my comeuppance . . . she said ‘it isn’t geranial, it’s ivy!’ A closer look showed me that she was right . . . ah, the warm cheeks . . . served me right, though.

    Thanks for another lovely post. I think you need another rum baba and a larger bin of punch; then we could all pop by for a sip and a munch . . . what say you?

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 26, 2014 @ 14:53:39

      I made all of those dolls (the band) with just over a ball of wool! They really don’t take much. The hair takes a bit more and so do their clothes but the actual dolls, not a lot. They are great wool stash busters and use up all of your odds and sods end bits. HAHAHA on your co-worker. Been there, done that wear the foot in my mouth to prove it ;). We thought the mascarpone hadn’t worked but tasted it anyway and as the tiny bit of tartaric acid that we had to use to make the mascarpone didn’t have any taste we figured that we could just put the cream into the fridge and whip it up when it got cold. I pulled it out yesterday when it was rum baba time and it had thickend up! WOOT. I don’t think it was mascarpone but the hour and a half spent trying to get it up to 190F by cooking in a double boiler (aint gonna happen and I used a copper bowl!) must have removed almost all of the water in the cream leaving it ready to set firm in the fridge overnight. Not sure if it was a success but Stevie-boy said that it was delicious :). Narfmania7? Sounds like a new Nintendo game to me! 😉

      Reply

      • Linne
        Dec 28, 2014 @ 14:34:44

        I think stupid spellcheck got in there somewhere . . . what I called the plant was ‘gerania’ Latin plural for geranium. Arrggghhhh (I strongly dislike spellcheck. Was that politically polite enough? ) 🙂 The mascarpone sounds delish; any chance you will post the recipe (the one you actually created lol)?

        And no thanks for telling me the dolls only take a ball of yarn; now my fingers are twitching again . . . still, once I’ve got the afghans caught up, I do have that hot magenta barn cardi waiting in the Crafties’ attic . . . all I want for Christmas is more thyme . . . really, that’s about it! sigh . . .

        I’m still thinking that I could load all my stuff into two shipping containers, poke an airhole in one, jump in and ship myself to you . . . I wonder if Gladys would like a tenant ‘farmer’ . . . hahaha

      • narf77
        Dec 29, 2014 @ 03:17:12

        Glad wouldn’t even know you were on her back block ;). The 5 dolls only took 1 ball of yarn so that’s even more incentive ;). The mascarpone was a bit of a flop. It thickened in the fridge despite not doing what it was supposed to do but I don’t think I would make it again. Spell check is terrible and keeps wanting me to change my spelling to U.S. versions…how RUDE 😉

  13. Robbie
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 05:16:50

    Just getting around to visiting blogs– for I have not even been near the internet much lately. I have made a few comments on various posts but need to take the time to read them all the way through+ I need to take the time to read yours for it is usually filled with many fun + exciting things happening at your farm-down under:-)
    Today I had some time after taking our “bugga-boo” yep, that is her name. She is a black cat that needed to go to the vet the last year! She is elusive-lol.My husband purchased a rubber-maid container + put some holes in ( cost 5.00) and we put her in it this morning….task done + can roll on to others!
    I have been with family the past week + really did not spend much time on my computer during the Christmas Holiday-I missed your weekly wed post! I no longer post on Wed, so do not catch it as quickly…
    what a lovely post to miss…all the gifts ( from afar) from your blogger friends, food that is amazing( and making me drool-lol-as usual) , creative projects that shine, + all the lovely photos of your “beauty” at your place!
    I do love the dogs, well, since they are sooo adorable!
    “I guess it’s a good reminder that we have to sometimes suck it up for the greater good”,,,lol…I read that above and thought…yep, that is what you need to do..for it is only one time a year. We had no fights + everyone trucks to my place. I am the go to + there were no arguments this year! I say SUCCESS!!!
    You need that attitude, suck it up + realize not everyone will be around—so true:-)
    Belated Merry Christmas +
    A Happy New Year!
    My house is the “go to” for New Years. We all play games , stuff our faces-lol- and then most of us find staying up past midnight is not that easy when you get up at 5am every day! lol
    Have a good one!

    Reply

    • narf77
      Dec 30, 2014 @ 05:28:35

      Try getting up at 3am and just imagine the zombie that will be narf7 at midnight New Years Day 2015 ;). I noticed that you hadn’t been around (I was the first person to comment on Llrong’s blog post 😉 ) and missed you but am incredibly glad that you spent your time AWOL with your family and with good friends and that no-one fought on Christmas Day is most definitely a SCORE! Moment ;). Happy New Years Robbie and enjoy the heck out of that sucker! 🙂 Here’s to a new year full of promise, of potential and of hard slog to make it all possible 🙂

      Reply

      • Robbie
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 07:50:42

        When we were chatting to the office helper at vet office today, she said, she is tired of Christmas celebrations. I have to admit, me too! I love it, but as the years roll on it seems more commercial + I am tired of all the work..lol..It is worth it but by New Years, I am ready to be done with it all—I know, I have a negative attitude-but I am so ready for NEW things and to me a NEW YEAR is a “do-over”…yep, a chance to do things that did not work out the year before-in the garden!!! I am so excited to work in my space. I have been watching you + am starting to daily pace back and forth and on occassion run into a few walls-lol…want to be outside…and done with my rest inside!
        YES, this is the year of GREAT THINGS–
        I need to AWOL every so often…we all need a break:-) I would miss all of you, if I stayed away for too long…but…I have to spend time with your posts for I can’t read them in a hurry—too many good things to absorb + enjoy!
        I am not too good at ‘buntings” so I may make you and Pauline something from my garden next summer An item, I make but have not shared(on blog) that you can use….so that is on my agenda…will touch base as soon as I get it done:-)
        So the bunting may be something else that I know you would enjoy:-)
        But I have to grow it first! lol

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 12:47:02

        How exciting…a mystery! :). I use my time holed up to create things and now that I have learned how to make amigurumi crochet dolls, I am having fun with them. I now have a “craft room” (really just the spare room with a desk and a laptop in it 😉 ) where I can take myself away whenever the creative urge strikes (and lay on the bed and read…COUGH! 😉 ). Winter will be over soon enough for you guys…summer is just starting to heat up here and we have a forecast 31C on Saturday. I am planning out where I am going to put the buckets of water to pour over my head. I was thinking that we might have a nice mild summer…nope…eek!

      • Robbie
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 15:05:03

        well, our roles will switch soon:-) The heat at the end beats me up:-) I am all healed and ready:-)
        I will be clearing mine out this next week:-) so0000- it will be a new year of goals to achieve:-)

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 15:16:04

        We have both ends of the spectrum covered Robbie so no-one could call either of us asleep at our post 😉

      • Robbie
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 15:05:50

        did not know their name “amigurumi crochet dolls” -really neat creations!!!

      • narf77
        Dec 30, 2014 @ 15:16:35

        They are amazing things and the people that invent the patterns for them are truly artistic 🙂

      • Robbie
        Dec 31, 2014 @ 05:33:23

        so…I just sent an e-mail to pauline + wendy, I am going to send you three something from my garden next year, I create:-) It will be something simple, but knowing you 3-you will enjoy it:-) I just have to grow it!
        I just don’t sew, so the bunting was not up my alley, I thought about embossing something, but it would get wet/rust, so I have a better idea!

      • narf77
        Dec 31, 2014 @ 07:13:09

        I love a good mystery Robbie and I am mesmerised ;). Anything from your gorgeous garden would be most wonderful. I showed your garden shots to Steve yesterday and he was admiring both the photography and the garden (double points there 😉 ). I would be most grateful and honoured to have something from your garden in mine. Thank you in advance for your most generous offer 🙂 by the way, I can’t sew either 😉

  14. Chica Andaluza
    Dec 30, 2014 @ 06:45:50

    I hope your Christmas was wonderful – it certainly looked like it was gearing up to be just that way! Love all the goodies you were cooking up and that doll…bet she was a happy little girl! We had a quiet one but family is arriving from Spain tomorrow for New Year – so the noise levels will go up! Thank you for the good wishes and Big Man and I send equally good ones back to you and Steve and the beasties of Serendipity Farm for a happy, healthy and joyful 2015. Looking forward to sharing more of your adventures xx

    Reply

  15. mommermom
    Jan 05, 2015 @ 14:07:44

    What a beautiful and chatty posting you have here! Love all the news, updates, and pictures! I don’t know how I could have possibly missed this lovely post but I did and so am late to the party. Hope the holidays found you in good health and spirits which will continue into 2015.

    Reply

    • narf77
      Jan 05, 2015 @ 14:56:07

      And the same with You mommermom :). I post every Wednesday come rain or shine as otherwise my muses would collectively rise up in the night and murder me. I value my skin ;).

      Reply

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