“On the scrounge again…”

Hi All

“I just can’t wait to get on the scrounge again…” (ALL apologies to Mr Willy Nelson for taking his sterling effort and narforising it…)

Disclaimer…just before you start attempting to wade through this post it is probably one of the longest posts I have ever put on this blog. I completely and utterly forgive you if you just want to flick through the images and get a visual idea of what the post is about today. I guess summer has just taken over my brain…its my excuse, and I am sticking with it! 😉

DSCF5713

These are Gladioli carmineus corms. Gladioli carmineus (Mini Gladioli) are a low growing gladioli that grow quickly and spread like wildfire. I got these bulbs when leaning over a gardeners fence and admiring her plants on one of my morning walks with Earl

DSCF5734

Steve gets the bucket and I get the tahini from inside it…a win-win situation

DSCF5706

Whatever these plums are they are not cherry plums. I noticed these on a small tree amongst some wild cherry plums so I picked some before the possums stripped the tree and am going to plant out the seeds

DSCF5749

geranium cuttings and the reason why you pick fruit when it is green around here…the possums sampled my pilfered plums…cheeky sods!

DSCF5716

I am a manic list maker…here you see some of my lists, some clasps to ensure that the hose doesn’t blow (again) and bags of chia, quinoa and amaranth seed that I am going to plant along with some buckwheat as experimental crops this year

DSCF5739

The hay bales in Steve’s shed have just been appropriated for “other purposes”. I don’t mind, at least I know where this nest is!

DSCF5696

Looks like it has more than one occupant!

Well here I am again on Wednesday but what a difference a couple of weeks makes to this little black duck. 2 weeks ago I was a spent husk. Today I am bursting with possibilities. December 1st was apparently the first day of summer but Tasmania seems to have decided to succeed from the rest of the world and do its own thing and we have had spring, autumn, winter and a tiny hint of summer thrown in over the course of the last 2 weeks. I can’t say I mind. I love all of the rain that we are having and so does the garden. 2 weeks ago the veggie garden was a sad reminder that I had been hiding under the bed with my fingers in my ears a little bit too long but the season appears to have been hiding under the bed with me so everything is rosy on Serendipity Farm.

DSCF5731

Steve’s Chinese (larger) bonsai Japanese maple that he sourced from under the deck as a tiny seedling and has been training for 3 years now with it’s own nitrogen fixing crop of clover growing with it

DSCF5709

A little primrose and a strappy liriopes both bought from the little stall at the top of the hill for $2 each

DSCF5746

When I sorted through the potted plants I found this succulent that is just about to flower and a lavender that I can plant out in the garden

DSCF5712

My newly purchased Egyptian walking onion and perennial leeks along with grape vines grown from cuttings from a Muscat grape and pelargonium and scented geranium cuttings sourced from one of our walks

DSCF5708

Healthy melon and capsicum (pepper) plants that my daughter Madeline grew from seed and that are excess to her needs so I get some (cheers Madeline 🙂 )

DSCF5697

More geranium and pelargonium cuttings. I usually take a whole lot more care with cuttings but geraniums and pelargoniums are very hardy and should all strike no problems

The vegetable garden is going great guns. Because of all of the rain that we have been having, the rest of the garden is great gunning as well; especially the forget-me-nots that I am studiously pretending don’t exist much to their amusement. I looked down at my jeans yesterday after I had gone hunting for eggs amongst the undergrowth (I live in hope and am ever optimistic…) and I was covered in forget-me-not seeds…the little buggers LOVE me! Earl, who had accompanied me on lead was also covered in forget-me-not seeds BUT the difference was, he just shook himself and they magically dropped off him…I attempted to follow suit and nothing happened…I was still scraping them off my jeans and muttering under my breath when I managed to haul Earl up the deck steps to the deck above. If truth be told, the jeans aren’t the only thing that is covered in forget-me-not seeds but every time I get infested I toss the item into the washing and continue on regardless “I CAN’T hear you forget-me-nots!”

DSCF5750

Wheeling loquat seedlings, cherry plum seedlings and displaced herbs around to the veggie garden from the shed

DSCF5753

An oak leaf hydrangea flower on the way

DSCF5754

The only thing stopping this artichoke and the Jerusalem artichoke in this photo from being scoffed are the forget-me-nots and other “garden miscellanea” in this garden bed preventing the chooks from being able to see them

DSCF5757

Looking back from the first garden to the house where you can see one of our fine specimens of guard dogs on alert…pity they weren’t on alert the other day when we had some Jehovah’s witnesses breach the compound, walk up the steps, come onto the deck and tap on my window for a good 5 minutes before I realised that it wasn’t Earl’s tail on the window, it was (shock horror) PEOPLE! I calmly informed them that I had NO idea why our big dogs hadn’t bounded around the corner barking to greet them, politely said “no thank-you” when offered literature and said goodbye to them as they headed back down the steps. Suddenly the deck started to rumble, an eruption of barking ensued and shamefaced dogs who had been sleeping on the job pelted down to bark off the intruders…sigh…

DSCF5758

I hope you are all getting the picture as to why I am hiding under the bed and have NO idea where to start in the garden. Everything has gone completely mental and who would know what most of this is!

DSCF5763

Our mountain of home grown compost underneath some ex fish farm netting that has been dampened to keep the worms in it happy

Now that I am free to wander around the garden at will (forget-me-nots and all…) I have rediscovered my love of gardening all over again. It goes dormant for winter and appears to have erupted out of me with a vengeance this year. As a penniless student hippy who desires to live simply and sustainably I have to find all kinds of different ways to get what I want that don’t involve the green folding stuff (or even the silver stuff to be honest 😉 ) and the last week has seen me scrounging with impunity to our advantage. Here is a list of recent scrounges…

  1. Live Christmas trees scrounged by Stevie-boy, the son-and-heir, his Texan sweetie and my daughters from the firebreak between a pine plantation and our friends property
  2. 2 x 20 litre tahini buckets scrounged by Stevie-boy from Wholesome House health food shop for his shed that contained enough organic tahini to fill a large glass jar…BONUS!
  3. A visit to the Deviot Heritage Apple and Pear enclosed orchard yielded rooted cuttings of various kinds of herbs that had gone rampant into the path and that are now replanted into a large pot
  4. More angelica seed from the same garden scattered all over the place on Serendipity Farm
  5. Some cuttings of Tagetes lemmonii (an aromatic shrub native to south-eastern Arizona and south into Mexico) that I have on the windowsill in a mug of water with the hopes that the cuttings will produce roots
  6. 4 more small loquat trees that are now potted up and happy as clams in the veggie garden
  7. Lots of cherry plum seedlings found on a recent walk down at Bonnie Beach that are going to become the welcoming fence line trees on Serendipity Farm in the future
  8. A selection of pelargoniums and geranium cuttings that were sourced from plants growing on the side of the road on another one of our walks recently. I realised that some areas of Serendipity Farm are always going to be pretty arid so have decided to grow plants that will be able to tolerate low water conditions and geraniums and pelargoniums are perfect cheerful specimens. Soon to come will be lavender cuttings, rosemary cuttings and anything else that I deem drought ready and willing
  9. I walked with Earl over the Batman again and took my secateurs and a large plastic bag this time and arrived back home with cuttings from Cistus x “Purpureus” (Pink Rock Rose) and that unknown grey leaved sage type plant that I am experimenting with. I have put half of them in a glass of water on my kitchen windowsill and the other half are in potting mix in the veggie garden
  10. Seeds, seeds and MORE seeds…collecting like a crazy woman from wherever I can see something that I like (that doesn’t involve pole vaulting over someone else’s garden fence 😉 )
  11. I found a stash of possum sucked loquat seeds underneath a large loquat tree that I may, or may not have been going to predate (but the possums got there first…) and brought them home and shoved them into the ground in likely places of survival all over Serendipity Farm. I kept 5 back to plant in potting mix as I love loquats and want them all over the place as part of my lines of defence between us and the marauding natives. I figure, by the time they get to the heart of our garden where the “good” things are, they will be so stuffed full on lesser fruits that they will hardly be able to waddle…ever the optimist is narf7 😉
  12. I have been snacking on native cherry fruit as I have been walking Earl in the mornings down Auld Kirk Road. There is a particular tree that Earl likes to make a fuss over (due to a large brown hound once attempting to accost Earl in this exact place…) that gives me a little time to snack on the large native cherry tree in the vicinity. The fruits are small, reminiscent of cashew fruit with the seed sticking out the bottom of the fruit and the same shape (except a lot smaller) and quite tasty when they are ripe. There are so many of them the birds can’t actually keep up with them this year.
  13. Free seedlings from Madeline, my eldest daughter including red capsicum seedlings and some kind of melon (either rock or honeydew). I am just about to clear them their very own mountain of horse poo to grow happily in. The pumpkins that sprouted from compost hurled under the horse poo before we sunk the first pole in the veggie garden are all starting to grow like crazy so some melons may as well join the parade
  14. Still finding lots and lots of beer bottle caps on the side of the road that I am collecting to make this

That’s only a small selection of free or minimal cost things that I have been hunting out with a view to utilising them on Serendipity Farm. I get so excited about the possibilities of growing free plants and guess what I did this week…I FINALLY managed to sort through all of the potted plants and move them to one area. Steve helped me set up the overhead watering system so that most of them get watered without effort and only a few are going to need to be watered with the hose but pretty soon we will be taking some of them off to one of the Deviot Saturday morning basket markets with a large painted sign saying “Free to good home”. I would like to think that people will make the most of some free plants for their garden and that our potted babies will make someone else happy 🙂

DSCF5764

Even the possums have been hiding under the bed when faced with the wealth of crazy undergrowth that Tasmania is generating. I am starting to think that we have switched poles and Tasmania is the new Bali! This rose bush is usually twigs. It lives as twigs for most of the year and then goes twiggily dormant…this year it has been allowed to keep it’s leaves and these little roses smell amazing. “Cheers possums!”

DSCF5772

Steve’s Strelitzia’s are just about to bloom and this large black cicada has just hatched out of his pupae and is waiting for his wings to harden enough for him to fly off to the trees above and join hundreds of his brethren in a chorus that will herald the heat of summer. They are great food for birds and other animals and every 4 years we get invaded by these huge slow chirping behemoths

DSCF5780

The offending pipe that kept blowing apart when we turned the tap on in the veggie enclosure. This pipe is all that stands between water and the garden so I mended it today with some of those clips that you saw in an earlier image. Soon we will get another water tap inside the enclosure but for now this one is good enough

DSCF5781

This used to be the first series of 3 garden beds in our original set-up. We were late to the game this year so decided to use the existing infrastructure to get going sooner and after pulling out the now unnecessary partitions we have a fair bit more room to grow veggies

DSCF5782

The bed in the foreground contains silverbeet that our horticulture friend Jenny gave us months ago. They were languishing in a cardboard box with most of their soil washed away and I am amazed that they survived, let alone are growing like crazy now! It can only attest to their hardiness

DSCF5784

Next time I plant carrots I will use seed tape…as you can see “someone” accidentally tipped a few extra seed halfway along that third row…oh well, the packets were only $1 each and the thinnings should be prolific

I have been studiously ignoring Christmas almost as much as I have been ignoring the forget-me-nots to the same effect…it is just flowing past me regardless. I have reached a point where I am just about ready to tentatively stick my toe into the Christmas tide BUT I will be doing it at my pace and point blank refuse to get caught up in the hype. The television is manic with “GREAT DEALS FOR CHRISTMAS” but narf7 is content with “slowly, slowly catchy monkey”. Wouldn’t a monkey be great on Serendipity Farm? He could live in the veggie garden and have fun with the possum marauders on their nocturnal visits…but seriously, this year will be spent doing what we want, when we want. A most glorious wish and one that I get the feeling I just might get.

DSCF5787

Rows of peas going crazy…now I just have to work out how I am going to support them when they get bigger

DSCF5790

On the left hand side of this small garden bed are some scarlet runner beans that formed large bulbous tubers last year and that the chooks scratched most of the soil away from. I didn’t expect them to grow back this year but once we topped up the soil and added lots of horse manure they started growing again. Bonus crop with no sowing effort at all!

DSCF5791

The nut trees that had been living in Steve’s shed to protect them from the native animals are much happier out in the open

DSCF5794

My 2 yacon plants surrounded by the pallid tendrils of a forgotten bag of potatoes in the back of the pantry

DSCF5795

Horse poo mountain that I am going to leave in this spot because all of these pumpkins spontaneously grew here. I must have dumped some household compost underneath this spot and now they are growing happily…more plants that I didn’t have to coax to seedling height and transplant out…I LOVE this gardening lark!

DSCF5804

More free plants. This time they are some of the strawberries that I sourced from a stack of strawberry runners that someone threw onto the green waste at the local dump. Their loss, my gain! This pot is one of almost 15 that we will be planting out “somewhere” inside the veggie compound

DSCF5808

The Egyptian walking onion and perennial leeks in situ. Is it just me or does that Egyptian walking onion look like Earthworm Jim? 😉

Bev, from the wonderfully inventive and sustainable blog “Foodnstuff” posted a post this week that was completely invigorating and got me out and about collecting plant material and getting stuck into the garden. Sometimes you just need a gentle shove and Bev’s post was mine. If you would like to see how a real garden works, click on the link above and head on over and check out Bev’s garden full of possibilities. I love Bev’s blog because every time I see a new post it gives me some new ideas and new ways of doing things that I didn’t know before. I am ever on the scrounge for useful information and Bev’s blog is cram packed full of it

DSCF5810

The sum total of the lettuce population in the garden…a bit sad really but we are just about to remedy this problem. I have to use slug/snail pellets in the garden at the moment because they appear to have heard on the grapevine that there is free grub on Serendipity Farm and I am NOT losing any more food to freeloading varmints…

DSCF5813

Looking into the veggie garden at the possibilities…note the amazing architectural construction of the gateway into the garden. Another one of my dad’s “wonderful creations”. I am just REALLY glad that he didn’t build the house! 😉

DSCF5814

Note the garden is now taking over the “lawn”. Note also that someone has to mow the lawn! (Note to self…mow the lawn BEFORE you show them another photo of this area! 😉 )

DSCF5817

This is what is commonly called “Elephants Ears” or Bergenia cordifolia by people who want to appear horticulturally clever “You KNOW who you are!”

DSCF5822

Note Earl has just about had enough of me walking backwards and forwards and taking photos…We picked up that Cray pot full of floats for $5 at the last progressive garage sale in march…I love the progressive garage sale 🙂

DSCF5824

Sadly, I don’t know what this is. I bought it in a pot at Wychwood because the lady told me that it was hardy. Here you can see it fighting a loosing battle against some native raspberries (note to self add “make tepee’s for the native raspberries as number 732 on your to-do list”…sigh…)

DSCF5827

Unlike the unknown perennial that the native raspberries are attempting to throttle, these little guys are edible. They are going great guns in the garden under the deck and you can see the small fruit forming on the vines now

I am just about to gird my loins and head off to a local friend’s home and spend some time chatting to her about making my idea about developing local community a reality. I know that there are a lot of people living in the area who might be interested in getting together with other like-minded people in order to develop our local community and share our combined knowledge to everyone’s advantage. My idea is to have a meeting to see how many people are interested, to start a group of us that are interested in getting together over a cuppa for a crafting group, baking circle, gardening group etc. all invested in teaching each other new skills and forging a sense of community here in tiny little riverbank Sidmouth. Stevie-boy suggested the name “Sidmouth Sustainability Group” which sounds like a plan to me and my friend is the perfect place to start because she has been a “hippy” for most of her life and knows more about sustainability than I have had hot dinners (and that is a LOT folks 😉 ). Together we should be able to at least host a few interesting talks about various subjects ranging from keeping goats, making goat cheese, spinning, gardening (Roxy) through to keeping ferments, cooking for allergies etc. (me). The idea keeps lodging itself in my head and I think it’s the right time to bring it to fruition. I will keep you in the loop about how it pans out but I doubt I will do anything about it till after Christmas (oh NO! I said it! If you acknowledge it, it will come! Sigh…)

DSCF5831

This spot under the deck is very dry and this is where I am going to plant lots of those pelargoniums and scented geraniums in order to keep moisture in the soil and to grow other shrubs that wouldn’t otherwise survive in this arid spot. There was nothing here last year and as you can see, we have some plants growing. A note to anyone who thinks that where they live won’t grow flowers. Plant snap dragons. Those snapdragons are self sown from “somewhere” (dad most certainly didn’t sow them!) and keep coming back and spreading year after year.

DSCF5833

This was a scented geranium that I potted up as a cutting last year that we planted out earlier in spring

DSCF5836

So is this one. They are hardy, have pretty flowers that stay on the shrub all summer and whenever they are touched by anything (including wind or water) they release a lovely scent. The perfect plant for under the deck on a hot summers day 🙂

DSCF5840

This bottlebrush seems happy out the back but it will soon be enclosed inside the dogs compound (we are going to extend it) so I can’t vouch for it’s continued happiness. We can only hope that Earl decides to “mark” things a bit further afield but I won’t hold my breath…

DSCF5846

Steve’s collection of “Solar Groovers”, little solar powered things that he has collected that wiggle in his music room window. You can see one of his tab books on the music stand in the background.

DSCF5848

Back on the deck now (much to Earl’s delight) and looking back towards the veggie enclosure. Note the gypsy hoards of chooks wandering around pinching things…sigh…

DSCF5851

Our bedroom window with assorted vegetation

DSCF5684

“Someone” who wishes to remain anonymous because he was a very silly man, left the door to the pantry open where he had placed his nice new crocs that he had purchased the day before…

DSCF5691

We can’t be having Earl get ALL the attention now…better do my cute “upside down” number and have a bit of a chew on what was left of that croc while I do…

Looks like I have earbashed you again but like the large black cicada’s that are hatching out all over the place, my summer exoskeleton is firming up nicely and I will be ready to fly in a week or so. I have even been contemplating the Christmas meal! Next week I will have the tree put up and decorated (although it will probably take me a month to take it down again…), decorations made of an interesting baking soda clay from this site… and goodness only knows what else will be fermenting on Serendipity Farm so stay tuned for the next summery instalment of simple sustainability on Serendipity Farm and enjoy your nice warm fires and hot chocolate because at the moment, I am doing the very same thing! 😉

DSCF5698

The cherry plum seedlings that I found on our walk at Bonnie Beach

DSCF5699

The loquat seedlings that I found on our walk in Deviot…if you keep your eyes open and look for things you would be amazed at what is right there on the ground

DSCF5700

I was happy to get a red cherry plum seedling so it should remain true to type and stay red as it grows with red cherry plums

DSCF5702

The herbs that I pulled out of the sawdust path at the Apple and pear heritage orchard in Deviot. No idea what they are but probably some form of mint. They look a bit sorry at the moment but they will soon perk up. Anything with a square stem (minty sage type families) tends to be very hardy

DSCF5702

Some of the cuttings that I took from the park over the other side of the Batman bridge while I was walking Earl the other day on the kitchen window ledge

DSCF5729

The Scented marigold shrub cuttings that I am hoping will strike in water also on the kitchen window ledge that is pretty full incidentally. Note the collection of shoes that need to be removed before we come inside due to being coated in something insidious and the lengths that we have to go to in order to ensure that they remain wearable and out of doggy reach.

DSCF5726

A Small interruption in normal transmission

Hi All,

EVERYONE knows that I am not tech savvy. I have given myself the moniker of “luddite” and generally shuffle anything vaguely technical over to Steve. I can’t even work the remote control for our television (much to Steve’s delight 😉 ) and my first instinct when something doesn’t do what it is supposed to do is to yell out “STEEEEEVE!” ;). The other day my brother in Western Australia had his Facebook page hacked into. He lives on a remote property out in the sticks in Western Australia and uses a laptop with Wi-Fi to access his satellite network along with a stick. Someone, that he foolishly trusted, took personal information quite easily from him and he asked Steve to give him a hand to sort it out. It would appear that he is going to have to start a new Facebook page, re-friend his 400+ friends and perhaps even purchase a new laptop computer because his “friend” was able to access all kinds of other information because my brother, like many of us, was completely unprepared for this hack. He isn’t like me, he does know quite a lot about computers but this attack broadsided him and showed him just how vulnerable our information really is. As we were wading through the morass of information online in an attempt to try to find a solution for my brother it became more and more apparent that we were completely vulnerable ourselves on several fronts. I decided that I would like to share what we found out and how to protect yourself further from external attack and that we would outline how you can make your own computer and personal email, Facebook pages, Websites, Blogs and other regularly visited sites along with your browser a much safer place to inhabit.

Let’s start with Facebook as this was the initiator of this post. We need to get you a secure Facebook page if it isn’t already! Check your address bar at the top of your browser…does it say “http” or “https”…we are looking for the “s” as it makes a HUGE difference. Mine was “s-less” so we headed off to amend that ASAP! Here’s how you can do it…

How to make Facebook a safer experience…

After logging in to your Facebook account do the following.

Note: where necessary, I will give you the techy way and the way for luddites to make it completely clear 😉 …

1. Click on your account settings (the little spoked wheel in the top right hand corner on the bar)

2. Choose and click on the tab “Account Settings”

3. You are on the General Account Settings page now

4. On the far left hand side you will see a list of options to choose from. Choose the “Security” button and click it

5. You are now on the “Security Settings” page

6. Click “Edit” on the “Secure Browsing” option

7. Tick where it says “Browse Facebook on a secure connection (https) when possible” and click “Save Changes” once you have    ticked the box.

Every time you log into Facebook now, you will be a lot safer, especially when using a Wi-Fi network :o)

Now we will show you how to make Hotmail Safe…

1. Type or copy and paste the following into the address bar of your web browser…

https://hotmail.com

2. Enter your password when prompted

If you want to tick the “remember this password” button feel free. We prefer to remember our own password and enter it each time :). Now your Hotmail account is safe 🙂

Although I don’t use Twitter, I know a lot of you do. I decided to check out how to secure your Twitter account as follows…

Note: this is particularly important when using Twitter on unsecured Wi-Fi connections!

1. Go to your settings on Twitter

2. Click the box next to “Always use HTTPS” which is apparently at the bottom of the page

3. Now click the “Save” button.

Note: There are also a few instances where turning on HTTPS in your settings doesn’t force HTTPS. For instance, when accessing Twitter from your mobile browser, you will need to go to https://mobile.twitter.com to use the HTTPS option at the moment. Twitter is apparently working on a solution that will share the “Always use HTTPS” setting across twitter.com and mobile.twitter.com, so that you don’t have to think about which device you are using when you want to check your account. Always check apps when using a third party application to ensure that you can see HTTPS to make sure the apps are secure

Now the big one…WordPress!…

Note: this will secure your dashboard but not your blog page (the page visible by everyone else) which should make it a little bit less hack-able (we hope!)

1. Go to your dashboard on WordPress

2. In the top right hand corner choose the “Screen Options” drop down bar (the little tab with the arrow pointing down next to    “help”

3. Tick the box that says “Always use HTTPS when visiting administration pages” and you are almost done…

4. Leave your WordPress dashboard open as we are going to stop an irritating warning that may appear (note: feel free to stop here if you are at ALL uncomfortable with doing the following…we are trying to increase your safety, not make you feel vulnerable 🙂 )

5. With your dashboard open go to the top right hand corner of your browser and click on tools (the spoked wheely looking thing next to the housey and the star 🙂 )

6. From this list select and click “Internet Options”

7. A box will appear. Choose the “Security” tab along the top of the box and click it

8. Now click “Trusted Sites” to highlight it and click the “Sites” button

9. The reason you are still on your dashboard is that your blog site will now be visible in the box. Check that it is your blog site, if not, close everything and make sure your dashboard window is open then follow these steps again 🙂

10. Click the “Add” tab and make sure that the “Require server verification (https 🙂 for all sites in this zone” is unchecked (no tick)

11. Click close

Note: what we just did might seem somewhat suspicious! It isn’t. What we did was to circumvent a problem that regularly occurs where you get a constant warning regarding security from windows. This is similar to allowing a program to access your computer through a firewall and doesn’t compromise your security. You are just adding WordPress to your list of trusted sites 🙂

12. The “Internet Options” tab should still be open. Click the “Custom Level” button

13. Scroll down till you get to “Miscellaneous” (you might have to do some serious scrolling here!)

14. Slowly scroll till you find the sub heading “Display mixed content” and click “Enable”

15. Click the “OK” button

16. Click the “OK” button on the open “Internet Options” box and your WordPress dashboard is now secure 🙂

Note: If anyone feels remotely unsure about following the security part of the above (from number 4. onwards) please feel free to stop at 3. If you get overly irritated with the warning that keeps coming up, you can come back and follow the instructions to stop it :o)

“WHEW!” That took a long time. As you can imagine, I am starting to twitch because my poor addled brain isn’t set up for that kind of marathon but I feel strongly enough about you, my dear constant readers, to want you to know how to protect yourselves from having unsecure websites that you visit on a regular basis and rely on. Any time you see “http:” it means that the site is unsecure. Never EVER give any bank details or information to an unsecure site. A BIG thank you to Steve, who just helped me with that list of tutorials. If anyone reading uses “Blogger”, I wasn’t able to find a way to secure “Blogger”. Apparently Google isn’t quite there yet with securing your blog…sorry about that! I also tried to find a way to secure “Pinterest” but at this moment in time, it’s not a secure site (aside from the log in screen). I wouldn’t have even thought about these security issues prior to learning about them the other day. I just thought my Virus protection would sort everything out. The biggest problems come from people using unsecured sites when they are browsing using Wi-Fi apparently. There are all sorts of free programs out there that are easily downloadable (even by tech numpties like me!) that can give people complete access to unsecured passwords, information and can let them see whatever you can see if you haven’t secured these sites! Imagine sitting at an airport waiting to fly and doing a bit of banking (as you do) or browsing Facebook etc. and someone sitting a few metres away being able to watch everything that you are doing! Not any more they can’t! At least it will be a bit harder for them and they will have to work for your information and why bother when so many other people are blindly going about their days with the equivalent of a sign on their heads saying “hack me PLEASE”. It’s a bit like being a burglar and approaching a house with a dog… you are probably going to move along to an easier target ;).

I did a short post Bev! Do I get a present? 😉 I will now add a few photos to pad this otherwise “dry” post out. See you on Wednesday when “Normal Service will be resumed” :o)

13020029

Meet “Boof” he is a shamless blend of terrier and poodle who will do whatever it takes to extract dog treats from Steve

13020026

Steve noticed this small snake on the side of the road on our morning walk with the dogs the other day. We live near a river and the odds are that we are going to have snakes in the local bushland. This poor little man had the bad misfortune to be slithering about when a cat was walking past. Cat’s HATE snakes and will kill them if they can…cat 1, snake 0

13020032

Steve and I noticed this on another recent dog walk (hey, we do it every day folks, we are going to notice things!) and after a quick confab, we figure the local council are trying to hide something from us all…we are off up to the road tonight to dig up what is OBVIOUSLY treasure! 😉 (Note I am HOPING that this is treasure and not where the zombies are buried with instructions to emerge at night!)

DSCF9545

On Valentine’s Day I did what I do every day, I got out of bed before 5am, I shuffled into the kitchen to put the kettle on for my one cup of tea a day…I put my teabags in my mug and after the water boils I pour in my water…much like I do every other day of the year. I headed to the fridge to get my soymilk and when I got back I was struck by the shape of a small clump of bubbles in my tea…a teeny tiny heart! I know the photo is a bit blurry but I am not at my best before my first cuppa, you are lucky you can even see the photo! ;). Someone out there in the ether loves me 🙂

DSCF9293

Here are some seed pods that I collected on one of our past dog walks (I am always industrious 😉 )

DSCF9320

And here are some of the seeds that one of the pods jettisoned out of itself at high speed when it exploded not long after I put it into this bowl… it exploded with such force that it hit the roof and scattered its seeds all over the place (I am still finding them!) and scared Bezial and Earl in the process. The rest of the seeds got thrown out into the side garden to explode at will in a safer environment 😉

DSCF9321

This fruit was collected from a Sorbus tree on one of our walks and I collected it because the fruit is a particularly lovely colour

DSCF9322

I found this Arestia major seed pod in the middle of the road on another walk (we DO get around… 😉 ). The woman who had told me the name of this plant also told me that she hadn’t seen another one in Tasmania (and obviously didn’t want to, because she wasn’t keen to give me any of the seed!)… it just goes to show that sometimes the will of nature to reproduce is stronger than the social standing of a snooty socialite! 😉

DSCF9325

A wealth of Queen Anne’s Lace seed…now I just have to wait for the bumper harvest of Wild Fennel seed just up the road so that I can seed the bottom of the property…”Bees…do your stuff!” 🙂

DSCF9548

The contents of one of my Green Smoothies. I have one for breakfast every day and on weighing myself this morning I was happy to see that have reached my target goal weight!

DSCF9556

Our very first loaf of sourdough bread courtesy of Audrey who is now allowed to keep her name because as my friend Kym from Western Australia so rightfully said “Audrey is a classy name…it reminds me of Audrey Hepburn…” Audrey was beautiful and resilient and so is this sourdough starter so “Audrey” she shall stay! 🙂