My addiction to Pinterest made me forget to title my post! I need an intervention!!!

Hi All,

Does anyone out there know where my day just went? I think I saw it hurtling through the time space continuum around about lunch time but it seems to have taken a wrong turn on its straight through trip to Albuquerque and gotten lost. I find myself at 4.56am stressing about how little time I have left in yesterday…sigh…Why are we so busy? Well firstly, as a new convert to Pinterestism I have needs you know! I must be allowed to pin at least seventy-sixty-two new pages to my own page before I can surface and be functional in my day. I have also discovered http://www.tastespotting.com/ and   http://foodgawker.com/ as backups to Pinterest should my interest ever wane (we addicts like to have stashes of our addiction scattered around in hidden places…) and I most shamefully have to admit that I just noticed a pin that Steve accidentally pinned to our favourites bar that I needed to remove and put in its correct box (anus…thy name is narf7 😉 ) and I have been off Pinteresting when I should have been here typing to you my dear constant readers! Are you shocked? I am suitably ashamed but I can’t promise that if my eye doesn’t spy another incorrectly pinned linkie in our favourites bar (not that I am scanning it as I type this folks…Surely I wouldn’t do that…) that I am going to be carried away by the deliciousness of it all and the freeness and the fact that it doesn’t cram my PC full of my need to collect…

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These first two images were taken on a particularly foggy morning just on sunrise. I didn’t use any kind of filter or special effects and what you see is what I saw through the lens. I wanted to show you just how different a space of 10 minutes can render a landscape…This shot was taken at 7.10

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And this amazing shot was taken 10 minutes later. We certainly live in a wonderful place 🙂

Sure I might lose it all if some super power realises that the true power in the world lies not in its monetary value but in its social media and grabs hold of the reigns and rides that cloud (that technology seems hell bent to stuff itself onto) like Monkey from Monkey Magic, then all of this “free stuff” and this “convenience of the cloud” and this “don’t have to pay as much for your software” is going to come back to bite us all BIGTIME isn’t it folks? All of the “read it online on your e-reader” and “store it in the cloud” and “no C.D. required, just a “small” monthly fee” and “buy your movies from us and we will deliver them to you at the click of a button” etc. is going to suddenly show us that we have been right royally gipped! We no longer own much of anything. You know that wonderful moment where you slip that C.D. that you paid a heinous amount of money for into the P.C. and wait a decade till it loads up some program that allows you to make monkeys fly out of your Aunt Matilda’s hat? (I would be talking about Photoshop here folks…)Well the next Adobe download will be entirely online folks. CS6 will be the very last C.D. download you get. Why? Because aside from saving the Adobe empire a squillion-billion dollars in having to produce C.D.’s (which they will say they are being “Green” in doing…can anyone say G.R.E.E.N.W.A.S.H. with me slowly?) and have them sit on shelves in physical shops and paying all of those workers to produce and sell them (so how many thousands of jobs are going to be lost here folks?), the most important thing about clouds is that no-one can copy them. No-one can illegally download them and no-one can “steal” what Adobe thrashed out of its poor intellects who are chained up in some basement somewhere being fed RedBull to keep them awake and producing new software till they die of a diabetic coma and are rapidly replaced with another one… and once they get everything that they produce stuffed into a fort Knox of a cloud somewhere they will be able to charge you whatever they like to access their products because you won’t be able to get them “on sale” or “illegally” or any other way than via the fluffy cloud of corporate greed.

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This shot was taken slightly later on but Steve has admittedly mucked about a little bit with this shot in Photoshop but not very much (he misted up the sides to make you focus on the middle ground of the shot). How different they all look! I would like to experiment one day and set up the cameras on tripods and just take images every 10 minutes for the whole day! Even a time rich penniless student hippy gets bored sometimes folks 😉

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A gratuitous bickie shot…here you see custard creams, duskies and the dusky with the white cream is a “Minstrel” 😉

Am I sounding bolshie? “Moi?” Well guess what folks; it’s happening all around us. Books stores are going out of business because so many of us have been green washed into thinking that our lazy desire to read e-books online while we multitask and work, and stuffing things into online cloud sharing and freeing up our P.C. for …for…can anyone tell me what we are freeing up our P.C. for?! Games are all downloaded and played online now. Pretty soon you won’t “own” anything folks. It will all be online and we will all be at the mercy of our internet connection should we want to take advantage of our games, our software, our everything. How long till we don’t need physical money and it is only accessed through some cloud somewhere? Isn’t anyone else out there alarmed by this like I am? It’s sneaky and insidious and its happening all over the place and we all seem totally content to be led by the nose and give up all of our physical privileges…well not THIS little black duck! No e-readers and online PlayStation games for me! I can lose my food porn in an instant because I have books with glorious food porn in them that Pinterest has lured me away from…but “Come the revolution” I still HAVE them. That’s the thing…what do we actually “have” if we stuff it all into a cloud? Where is our money going? Are we going to truly turn into that virtual society that we are told is so progressive and wonderful?

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While I am ranting I won’t distract you too much…I want you to think about the rant NOT the photos ;). Here are some ground covers that I planted in a vain attempt to cover the ground and keep some of the moisture in. Hopefully they will spread in spring and will do just that.

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No idea what this little groundcover is but I bought it for $2 from the plant stand at the end of the road and it seems to love it here.

Maybe my bolshiness comes from being a penniless student hippy who knows the value of every dollar that slithers through her fingers. Maybe because I am almost officially “old” and I know the value of frugality and have seen it in my parents and grandparents. Maybe I just have the time to see how insidious this whole “Cloud” thing really is? Who knows, all I know is that I am incredibly suspicious of ANYTHING that has to be delivered and meted out by a third party…one of those vulturous “Middle Men” who really have no worth at all to anyone but who seem to be the makers of the most profit. Adobe are middle men. They create a market to sell what someone else dreamed up and they most certainly don’t want ANYONE else cashing in on their parade. Microsoft, Apple, you name it folks, these big companies not only want ALL the profits (and anything else they can get into the deal) but they want to sew up the internet for profit. No more free downloads, everything will be filtered through clouds and “small monthly payments” that amount to MASSIVE profits for these behemoth businesses that are hell bent on owning all intellectual property and making more money than I could hope to count for the rest of my life.

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Now you are all clucking and tutting and right royally pissed about how the big corporations are all ripping us off willy-nilly (as you SHOULD be!) you can have some more interesting images. This is Steve…this is Steve in his new Russian fluffy hat…why he felt the need to put these sunglasses on beats me. You would have to ask Steve and Steve is an enigma.

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Here you can see the ear flaps have been pinned up! “Magic”! That means that this hat is perfect for all of Steve (the enigma’s) winter needs. Steve has 9 earrings and cold weather chills gold and your ears at the same time (I know, I have 7 earrings)…you really do need a hat that will cover them when you are out walking the dogs or you might get chilblains on more than just your knuckles, toes and fingers…but when you are inside and your ears are safe…what’s a man to do? Pin up the ear flaps that’s what folks! How exciting is this blog? I am SURE you are riveted to your seats… 😉

That’s my 1150 word rant so far folks…now I can get to what narf7 and the-long-suffering-Stevie-boy have been up to since Tuesday. Our crazy American hippy friend wants us to drink rainwater. He also wants us to put bicarbonate soda in said rain water but that AINT gonna happen sir! He had a spare 600 litre rainwater tank complete with an inline water filter that he had laying around and asked us if we would like an extended loan of it till we could afford one of our own. We jumped at the chance! Steve has been up on the roof clearing out gutters, installing gutter guard, cutting holes in the gutter to accommodate a new plastic downpipe leading directly to the tank and watching him is exhausting! Today he will be heading out to take possession of a couple of trailer loads of spent horse bedding full of horse manure and perfect to add to the suite of organisms that we hope to populate our new enclosed veggie garden in. We will need an incredible amount of “soil” in this garden and are fully intending on taking advantage of any free offers of leaves, grass clippings, chopped up branches etc. to minimise the cost of having to build these gardens.

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This is an Azalea. This Azalea is one of many that are all out in flower at the moment on Serendipity Farm

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Here’s another one with a bee 🙂

We have to cut up another huge length of ex-fish-farm netting and remove all of the nylon rope from it. That usually takes us about a day with both of us working on it. We also need to unload that trailer load of gorgeous dry wood that Steve collected last Sunday and store it. Our amazing friend Jenny just phoned and asked us how our veggie garden is going and aside from offering to come and help us put the nets up around the perimeter of the garden (now surrounded by firmly concreted in poles) and told us that we can get another load of wood from her 50 acre property…”I love you Jen!”. Wood is something that we just can’t afford at the moment. It’s not cheap folks and as our chief source of heating our home, our hot water and cooking our food right through the cold winter months we most gratefully take advantage of any and all offers of free wood. Our friend Guy has told us we can get more wood from his mum’s property (Cheers Kaye…we love you too!) so hopefully that will get us through this winter and we have more time to plan for our next winter.

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These Azaleas were some of several bushes that we hacked back to stumps and “killed”. Apparently Azaleas are a whole lot hardier than one might think folks! We treated these shrubs horrifically and the only reason that they are growing back today is that we were too lazy to attempt to dig out the stumps and were going to just let them rot and pull them out when they did! It just goes to show you that nature is incredibly tenacious when she wants to be.

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This little Nandina domestica ‘nana’ (dwarf sacred bamboo) is putting on a magnificent show at the moment. It thrives in terrible soil in full sun and I would recommend these nandina’s along with their full sized brethren (the green leaves next to this one) for anyone wanting a very hardy plant.

We have 2 trees (one that fell down and is still entangled in a tree) that are dead in our side garden and another 2 that are on the way to dead. They are both eucalyptus obliqua and these eucalypts might have been Tassie endemics when Tasmania was a far wetter and colder place than it is today but call it global warming or call it what you like, conditions have changed and no longer favour Eucalyptus obliqua and favour the more hardy endemic Eucalyptus viminalis. We have lots of fungus ridden obliquas all in stages of decline and all LARGE trees. We have enough viminalis that we are not going to suddenly look like the grasslands of the Serengeti when the obliquas all die, but we need to do something about the dying trees because they are all close to the house. The tree that fell reminded us of our precarious existence and how expensive it would be to have to mend our roof. Guy is going to bring his tractor around and help us remove these trees. Once we fell them they can be cut up for next year’s firewood as well so there will be SOME benefit to my poor squished garden…

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More Azaleas and a stack of potted orchids that we have yet to figure out where they are going to live on a more permanent basis

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This is the inline water filter that is now on our loaner rainwater tank. We have had a tiny bit of rain but not enough to fill our tank, let alone reach the mark where we can actually turn on the tap and get “water” but hopefully some-day soon we will be drinking tea and coffee made with delicious filtered rainwater courtesy of our crazy old Californian hippy mate Michael 🙂

We spent yesterday with a new addiction. As part of our course, we are learning to use Adobe Flash. I never much thought about Flash as anything but something to make spam with and to flash up “CASINO!” in pop-ups but apparently it’s actually a worthwhile program and you can do all sorts of things with it. Steve and I finished our coursework for this terms unit early so aside from the hard slog we have been doing all week, we have had time to have a peek at what we are going to be attempting next term. So far this course has been incredible fun. We have learned an enormous amount about photography, design, and media and how to so “stuff” that we just never thought about before. It was always “someone else” did it, but now…”we” do it :o). It is very liberating to know how to do things yourself and Steve and I have noticed that our lecturer takes about a week into the new term before he launches a pretty severe workload of assessments onto us all. We like to know a bit about what we are studying and so we have a bit of time over the next 2 weeks to familiarise ourselves with Flash and its intricacies.

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It’s funny how 6 trailer loads of horse manure can be reduced to a flat and exponentially decreasing pile by a small but most determined band of beaked and feathered Somalian pirates isn’t it?

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Here you see what is left of our tomato and capsicum beds since we opened up the garden to the chooks and possums. Curiously, the chooks are the only ones taking advantage of this windfall…it would seem that I am not the only Bolshie one living on Serendipity Farm and that vegetables and their foliage taste SO much better when you steal them with impunity…

In the past week we have taught ourselves to “Tween”. We can take an image (or in our case a badly drawn stick figure) and we can make it move across the page. We got bored of making images and text move around the page and so we messed about and made them do pirouettes etc. It still wasn’t all that enthralling and so we peeked a bit ahead and discovered rotoscope. Does anyone else but me remember that Swedish band a-ha and their truly original video for their song “Take on me”? The technique used to produce that video is called Rotoscoping. What it takes is a video and someone with too much time on their hands who is willing to take individual frames of said video and hand draw over the top of the frames with a brush tool for frame, after frame, after frame…you get the picture (literally 😉 ). Steve and I are both working on a video that we borrowed from YouTube. Mine is an episode of that wonderful children’s show with the little plasticine man “Morph”. I have drawn over 100 frames and have managed to get through the title phase! I have 2400 to go…why the heck would I do that? Because the end results are amazing, that’s why folks! If you haven’t seen the song I was taking about, here is a YouTube link. Please note, the advertisement at the front is urging you to join the Australian armed forces…it’s up to you if you choose to take advantage of this wonderful career offer…I, myself, have chosen to opt out 😉

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=djV11Xbc914

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The chickens don’t seem all that keen on chilli leaves and have left the chilli plants relatively intact. I will be pulling them out soon but for now they are still producing flowers and tiny baby chilli’s!

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See that brown hay scattered all over the ground? That is a direct result of Somalian pirate activity. They aren’t even scared of Bezial any more! The only one that they are afraid of is Earl…he is something akin to The Dread Pirate Roberts and isn’t looking to step down ANY day soon! Even the feral cats ignore Bezial now…he wants to be known now as “The Ghost Who Walks…” The Phantom Dog 😉

Steve has decided to take a video that we shot of Earl on his birthday and Rotoscope it. Earl was given a whole bag of inflated balloons to explode and the resulting video is a great one to rotoscope because of both the highly expressive and animated Earl, and the inflated balloons that are there one minute and gone the next. My Pinterest addiction has run to putting a Pinterest bar on the blog. Under each post now you can click to add the post to your Pinterest account or just blatantly steal any of the images you like. Feel free…I discovered that people have been doing it for months! It’s strangely both flattering and creepy to find images of yourself, your dogs and your garden produce someplace where you didn’t put them but if you blog and you put those images out there you have to be willing to have someone else take a shine to them and pinch them. I know I do, so why would anyone else out there be any different? Pinch with impunity folks, just don’t try to sell anything using them, you might be disappointed by the sales results at the end of the month 😉

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The last of the liquidambar leaves just before they tumbled from the wonderful grey stems and rendered Serendipity Farm officially on winter time. At least the possums won’t bother with it till spring now!

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You would be forgiven for thinking that this was something terrifying out of The Moth-man prophesy but it isn’t. It’s WORSE! This…is a brush tailed possum. Scourge of narf7 and gardeners everywhere and prime target for Earl’s nocturnal angst…(his days are filled with rage against the feral machine). This one had a lucky escape the other night after running up the deck with Earl close on his tail…Do those eyes looks scared? NO! He was screaming his anger at Earl from a safe distance and doing the possum equivalent of what the French taunters were doing in the Holy Grail…

I have forged on and baked my not inconsiderable weights worth of custard cream biscuits and Duskies, a peculiar New Zealand chocolate version of them that are apparently quite delicious…I sandwiched the custard creams with vanilla buttercream and the Duskies with a rich chocolate buttercream and because we are not racist on Serendipity Farm I sandwiched some of the extra Duskies with vanilla buttercream and called them “Minstrels”. I know they are delicious because Steve told me so and the biscuit barrel is officially stuffed to the back gills. I have been experimenting with my morning green smoothies and aside from using my non-dairy kefir; I have started adding cooked beans to my smoothies. I can get pretty experimental when needs must and I wanted to make sure I was getting plenty of fibre, protein and nutrients and adding beans gives more body, a creamy texture and if you freeze the cooked beans (I cook mine from dry) they double as a great thickener for your smoothie. I also add ice cubes and my smoothies take me right through the day. Angela at Canned Time made some gorgeous vegan chocolate chip scones with a vanilla glaze by sheer accident the other day. Angela used beans in her scone recipe and I have to tell you that they certainly give a lot of moisture, body and texture to a recipe. Here’s Angela’s wonderful recipe if you would like to try it…

http://canned-time.com/chocolate-chip-scones-with-vanilla-cream-glaze/

Angela is my go-to girl for crazy out of the ballpark vegan recipes and she is incredibly prolific and inventive. This is the cutting edge of recipe development and I love to hover around the creative people who think like this and put their thought into action “What if I took a can of coconut cream, a can of cannellini beans and some date paste, pureed them together and made ice-cream out of them?” Not sure, but you can bet Angela has at least attempted something pretty close to it at one time or other ;).

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Finally, with permission from Christi one of my most dear constant readers and a true friend in Olalla Washington (see her wonderful blog here… http://farmlet.wordpress.com/) I am going to share some of her very talented husband “The B.O’s” wonderful drawings. Earl heard a possum earlier in the week. He raced outside and I was treated from my vista on the couch to a vision of a brush-tailed possum streaking down the deck with a most determined Am staff rapidly gaining ground on him. The possum made it to scream and steal another day but I mentioned in my last post that I might like to ask The B.O. to draw the debacle to preserve it in posterity. He did! What an amazing man :). Here is Earl, a most wonderful rendition especially the little pink nose. Earl looks like he just dispatched something…most fitting!

Hoochi Coo narf7 and the great possum chace of old Serendipity Farm

Now I am SURE I told The B.O. via Christi that this was a scene of Earl chasing a possum and me sitting on the couch watching…I think we might have had a case of Chinese Whispers go on and sure enough…Earl IS chasing (and making good ground on) that possum BUT I appear to be attempting to sell my wares in an Amsterdam hookers window! Now I don’t know what Christi has told you about me B.O. but it’s not true! I may have lost a little weight lately but a “Hoochie Coochie Woman” I am not! ;). If we ever get so poor that we have to sell someone’s body you can bet it will be Steve out in Princes Square strutting his stuff and not THIS little black duck! (We would make more money 😉 )

Our new fully enclosed veggie garden is one step closer to reality with Steve and I hauling a massive roll of ex fish farm netting down from where we store it to under the deck. That’s the first stage in us cutting the net ready for installation. We do things in stages here and as it rained all night we are very glad that we did it yesterday. That stuff weighs a tonne when it is wet! We will be walking the dogs in Deviot today in a vain attempt to get some quality photos to share with you here AND satisfy the dogs desire to pee on other dog’s pee that they didn’t pee on yesterday. Steve and I will be fighting for the computer as my Pinterest addiction knows no bounds and his desire to rotoscope Earl is equally as intense. I planted out a whole bag of Jerusalem artichokes someplace where I don’t care if they go nuts so watch this space to see narf7 go nuts at some time in the future ;). This weekend promises to be a tangle of energetic and mental activity on Serendipity Farm and it’s great to be back outside after almost a full term of beavering away in front of our computer screens. At least this term we will have a head start on what we need to know. See you Wednesday folks and enjoy your weekends to the max :o)