Bezial is NOT fat…he is just big boned…

Hi All,

Bezial is begging again. He has a sore leg because of a spate of rainy cold weather that started yesterday and a desire to race around like a spring chicken when he is effectively a middle aged man (something like those sad 35+ year olds that carry their skateboards everywhere…). This means that he doesn’t walk today and it’s my day to stay home with him while Steve walks Earl. We can’t NOT walk Earl…our home is too precious to us and as penniless student hippies we can’t afford to replace what his overactive teeth tend to expend that excess energy on when he doesn’t get his regular quotient of exercise. Earl gone = Bezials free reign at trying to get me to open the treat cupboard and feed him till he bursts. You can’t blame him for trying though. He is part labrador…his entire digestive system is Labrador along with his desire to frolic maniacally in any form of water from the chooks water bowl to the sea. He “looks” like a lovely big black American Staffordshire terrier BUT in actuality he is channelling his inner labrador most of the time. Anyone who knows dogs well knows that Labrador’s come a very VERY close second to Beagles in the gutsy dog stakes. Bezial has always had a tendency to eat to excess (a bit like his female caretaker to be honest!) and we once gave him 2kg of prime dog steak to see if he could eat it all when he was a pup…he did! Earl, even though he appears to be a heifer, has trouble with eating too much food and will leave some at the end of most of his meals. He tends to be a lot pickier than Bezial about what he will and won’t eat but unlike Bezial, he doesn’t use food avoidance to get his point across! The dehydrated dog steak treats that we give our dogs are Bezials snack of choice. We forgot to turn off the dehydrator when drying out the last of the steak the other day which resulted in amazingly crisp and crunchy meaty goodness and Bezial has his mind firmly centred on getting as many of those crispy meaty treats into his ever expanding girth as those big brown puppy dog eyes will allow. I am a sucker for those eyes. I threw Earls leftover steak out to one of the feral cats last night because of big cat eyes…I am also a quintessential over-eater so I sympathise with Bezial…I, too, am channelling my inner labrador and so am able to allow him his space to sulk when I put the lid on the treats and put them up on the treat shelf.

Here’s a few gratuitous grub shots…veggies ready for roasting

Barley and lemons…what more could a girl want?

Barley combined with mushrooms, capsicum and onions being sauted ready to make barley risotto

Veggie stock added to the barley risotto…I can’t find a photo of the finished result but it tasted delicious 🙂

Did anyone else out there realise that it’s almost Christmas time?! One of the blogs that I follow reminded me of it when I was reading my rss feed reader the other day and I almost fell off my chair! No time to panic about the Mayan calendar…CHRISTMAS IT COMING! Incidentally…the native Mayan descendants are a bit pissed about it all to be honest. They say that the local governments in South America are making money out of crazy foreigners booking “end of the world” trips to South America to party hearty while they, themselves, are celebrating the end of the old calendar and the beginning of the new. No-one is sponsoring their own new beginnings parties because there isn’t any money in new beginnings…only wildly spending desperate people who think that they won’t have credit card debts in February 2013 (let alone Christmas debt) so they are willing to go out on an exponential limb and party like its 1999. Christmas WILL come folks and with it, the usual hype, overspending, overeating and credit card woes in February… it’s inevitable…or is it? We are bollocking Christmas off this year. Not the sentiment or the actual meaning, but the rubbish that goes with it. This year we are going to volunteer (already have in fact 😉 ) at a local community church event aimed at giving people alone at Christmas time some Christmas cheer. After we get home we are going to cobble together a delicious simple meal of our favourite things and share a bottle of something tipsy to allow us to really feel grateful for our lot. We have been so very fortunate to be given the chances that we have in our lives and we just want to share that around and pay back some of what we have been given in kind. Consumerism? “Forgedaboudit!”…not this year world! You aint gettin’ ANY of our hard grafted moola! We need to stuff our moth eaten sock for prospective bills and permaculture practices so there’s no room in the inn for your overinflated projections of what makes people happy…Christmas no longer makes people happy (aside from people who manufacture anything with an “I” in front of it…and most of them are on minimum wage in China somewhere and could care less about Christmas). Let’s all take back the real meaning of Christmas this year and get stuck into feeling grateful and thankful for our lot. We really are a lucky bunch you know…let’s start acting like we know it!

MORE gratuitious grub shots…this time of the beginnings of an amazing pasta sauce containing caramelised onions and heaps of garlic, capsicum and mushrooms

Here’s the middle of the delicious pasta sauce…

and here’s the end result! Thick, rich and delicious…much like many a boy band member! 😉

And lastly heres an action shot of an incredibly delicious dhal that I made earlier in the week

Talking about Christmas has me contemplating our next homemade Christmas tree and most probably the photographic content of a future post. We have gotten quite adventurous over the last few years with what construes a Christmas “tree” here on Serendipity Farm. As rabid hippy tree hugging horticulturalists we refuse to kill a tree in the name of a seasonal holiday. This smacks of pagan sacrifice to be honest! The borers ate last year’s tree. It would seem somewhat significant because it was also mum’s last year on earth and her final Christmas with us. She died not long after Christmas and I am contemplating burying our Christmas tree somewhere on Serendipity Farm to make a bit of a statement. Steve is contemplating having me committed because aside from wanting to bury a handful of borer eaten branches, Serendipity Farm is predominately comprised of 1 part soil to 9 parts rocks and there is NO way that he is going to dig a large hole for anything  let alone some mouldering bits of twig. The alternative is to give our last year’s Christmas tree a full Viking funeral where we burn it on a pile and reinvest it into the soil rather than make a raft for it and send it out into the Tamar River which is tempting BUT we are too lazy and busy at the moment to go to that sort of an effort…  What are we going to build this year? Not too sure. Maybe an homage to a Christmas tree in the form of a vertical gabion herb spiral with Christmas baubles on it? Probably not…that’s a little bit far gone for even me but who knows… 2013 might just be the year that I finally channel my inner hippy and go nuts and totally dispense with the traditional and usher in a radical new ethos…but I doubt it…that would mean actually building said edifice to herbs and that would mean that both Steve and I would have to meet in the middle of a project that requires more than a day or so of combined effort which inevitably results in one of us exploding (usually me) and the other one sulking (usually Steve).  We certainly don’t have a shortage of rocks to donate to the project!

Here’s proof that you don’t need a shmicko camera and light box to take a good photo…I was attempting to take a photo of my garlic scissor hands for Halloween and noticed that this photo looks “FABULOUS” Darlings! I have decided to throw everything to the 4 winds and run off to become a famous French photographer…on second thoughts…I just can’t be quite bothered at the moment…I will just keep my latent amazing photography under my hat 😉

Earl sitting on one of the kitchen chairs waiting till I stop pointing that bloody thing at him till and turn back to the computer so that he can put his nose into that white bowl to the right and steal walnuts to his hearts content! He loves stealing walnuts and cracking them on the floor for unsuspecting bare footers to step on early in the morning…(you will notice that I have reverted back to my crappy photography but whatchagonna do eh? 😉 )

One of Earl’s stuffed toys fell off the deck when he was playing with it yesterday and Moustachio found it. He is mid destruction in this photo. Anyone who knows cat’s will know the position for destruction and those hind feet were going like pistons! You can see how he got his name in this shot

Steve says that he is instituting a new Boxing Day tradition on Serendipity Farm. He is going to tow the barely used aluminium tinny that dad left him down to the jetty and go fishing. No sports for him, unless he hooks a shark which isn’t an impossibility as we are just around the corner from the sea and Devil’s Elbow, the name of the little estuarine pocket of the Tamar River that we live on, which is a shark nursery and sanctuary. In that case he will be probably towed out to sea and will have to row his way back and that will be enough sports for him to last all year!  The funny thing about spring is that time seems to go MUCH quicker than the rest of the year. I feel like I only just posted my last post and Steve reminded me that it’s time to post again tonight! We are doing a lot of work in the garden at the moment to stave off more work in the future. We have been dealing with the blackberries that are threatening to take off and are removing them systematically. We have a garden bed that needs to be totally cleared out and replanted along with a very large Cotoneaster tree that also needs removing. We are then going to renovate a pond, clear out the jungle part of Serendipity Farm and start planting out some of our precious trees. We have to irrigate the trees that we have planted out so far and we have to install a gate on the side of the house so that we can get out to the veggie garden beds and relocated compost heap more easily… oh yeah…we have to relocate the compost heap! Spring is a time of barely concealed blind panic where you spend your days trying to outrun the weeds (and usually lose).

Note the blackberry tangles in this area of the garden…

The darned chooks certainly did!

Here’s another one of their well camouflaged nests inundated with brambles

We were outside bums up and heads down hacking away at blackberries when we heard a chicken’s tell-tale egg song. We are more than aware that the hens have moved their regular nests “somewhere else” and so we decided to have a look-see to see if we couldn’t find where. We found one of their nests and heard another hen down in the jungle area and if they are nesting there good luck to them! We will be sorting out which hens we do and don’t want to keep soon and will be selling some of them off. After we do so, we will be making a large enclosed area for the hens and Yin to live in with a gravity fed deep litter run. We want to be able to mulch our garden beds and our hens are most determined that we won’t. This is one battle that I fully intend to win! I have noticed that since we cleared out the side garden all sorts of plants are starting to grow. Lots of aquilegias have emerged and as waterwise perennials you can’t do much better. I noticed that some of the tall blue salvia that used to grow down next to the bird baths has shown its face in the garden. I thought that I had lost it all but it would seem that it was there all along, just tangled up in blackberries and unable to shine. We need to ensure that the soil stays moist over the coming summer months. Northern Tasmania has an extended period of hot weather without much rain. We have been leaving debris and branches around the wilder areas so that the chooks won’t scratch the soil bare but until we contain and reduce their numbers we can’t stop them from doing what hens do best. After we reduce their numbers and contain them we can start using chook tractors to get the chooks to work where WE want them to work. No more eggs off in the wilderness! No more random ferals living in trees…no more chickens emerging from the shrubs to be hoovered up by the feral cats. In effect, we will be able to take back control of our chook population and contain them where we want. I am sure that there will be some rumbling protestations by the hens but too bad…they have had it all their way up until now and the humans are taking back the farm! 😉

Billbergia nutans (Queen’s Tears), an epiphytic bromeliad native from Brazil, Uruguay and Argentina is a very hardy plant. I recently divided it in thirds and all 3 of them are flowering like crazy after being planted into the garden

Acer palmatum ‘Beni shidare’ one of Steve’s lovely dissectum weeping maples

Another showy maple…this one is called “Peaches and Cream”

Our veggies are happily growing and we bought 2 more punnets when we were last in town. We decided on some rainbow chard and a punnet of mixed zucchinis (yellow, regular green and some light green ones). We also bought a packet of Italian kale seed and found a site online that showed us how to make a seed block maker to make our own seed blocks for planting in using our own customised seed raising mix. Our dried beans that we put into my rarely used automatic sprouter have all started sprouting and we will be planting them into soil tomorrow. I am excited to see what we are able to grow and will be saving seed from this year for next year’s bean futures. Most of the punnets of seedlings that we bought are not heritage seed but we didn’t have much choice this year. Next year will be a very different situation and we will be buying heritage seed and planning out our garden beds much more carefully next year. You have to start somewhere and we have at least “started”.  We just fed the dogs a dozen hard boiled eggs and they will get more tomorrow. We have too many eggs! The end result of the dogs degustory delight at being able to freely imbibe eggs on a regular basis leaves a LOT to be desired and we might have to think of something else to do with our excess eggs. Reducing the chook population is a good start but we are going to have to start thinking of ways to use up our egg surpluses to make the best use of our resources. Cake baking time methinks! It might even be Pavlova time!

Nectarine futures on Serendipity Farm!

Abies koreana ‘Silberlocke’. Can you see why we love conifers?

“Get eating boys…we have 12 dozen to get through!” 😉

Time to wrap up another post and get it all packaged up and tied with a bow to send to your inboxes. I have a few interesting ideas up my sleeve regarding starting a seed pen-pal group to share heritage seed in Australia. I follow a Dutch blog that has done this most successfully and would love to do something similar here in Australia. We might not be able to receive certain types of vegetable seeds but most are fine so long as they come from Australia so I am contemplating how to go about starting something like this. It’s a sort of online seed swap that gives people a chance to share the genetic love around. I thought it was a brilliant idea when I read about it on the blog and think that we Aussies shouldn’t have to miss out because of our strict quarantine laws regarding the import of seed material. We have imported a lot of seeds from other countries but you never know how they are going to react and many imported seeds are unviable or unsuited to our climate. It would be amazing to swap seeds amongst like-minded people with minimal cost (aside from postage) involved. Let me know if you think it’s a good idea and if it could work and I might start thinking more strongly about it. See you all on Wednesday and enjoy the rest of your weekend :o)

Earl saw a Wabbit…

Hi All,

Its official folks…Earl now OWNS Deviot. He urinated on every second guidepost from the Deviot Yacht Club back to the Auld Kirk Church in Sidmouth near our home today. We were getting tired of depressed dogs on shopping day and so Steve decided to give Bezial a much needed ego boost and take him to town. Poor Bezial does it tough in our household. He used to be the only dog here but had to push his luck and start acting like he was depressed and refusing to eat so that we would think that he was lonely, rather than the spoiled manipulative hound that he was and so we took pity on him and bought a new friend for him in the form of little imported Earl. You would think that Bezial would have learned about companions after Qi took over and ruled the roost when we were living in town but he just couldn’t resist the chance to try to take over the universe and the result is Earl. He has NO-ONE but himself to blame for the arrival of Earl (and perhaps Qantas can be held vaguely responsible for the depositing of Earl on Tasmanian soil…). Earl is a wonderful dog. He is fantastic with other dogs and can read them well unlike Bezial who gives off intense vibes and sets every dog this side of the Pecos (and the Pecos is a very VERY long way away from Sidmouth Tasmania folks!) off with his vibes. The problem is that Bezial HATES to share. He has never been much of a cuddly boy and expects Earl to be the same but Earl loves nothing more than cuddles, adoration and hugs. Bezial is somewhat disgusted at Earls upside down love fests but puts up with them for the sake of the peace and sometimes he just likes to go back to what it was like before Earl when he was numero uno and Steve was all his. Today he has travelled into Launceston in the front seat (usually a big no-no), he has had a walk in his sacred ground (an old swampy bit of land just up from where we used to live), he has shared a foot long breakfast sub (bacon, egg and cheese) with Steve and has been ferried all over the place and allowed out to walk in the park and various other special places all on his own. Bezial is in heaven.

Princes Square where Bezial dragged Steve in solitary delight on Monday

Peek-a-boo…

Earl and I travelled with Steve and Bezial this morning to be dropped off in the dark at the Deviot Yacht Club. We set off back home so that Earl would get his exercise (very important or he eats things…) and I would get mine (ditto to Earl 😉 ). We were armed with a trusty small torch and my mother’s walking stick inherited from her mother.  Not because I had any physical need of it but because it was light and easy to wield with one hand in case of stray dogs deciding to “have a go” at Earl on the way home. Tasmanians don’t believe in adhering to rules. “Hey mate…if I was sposed to have moi dog on a loid…woi dint thay giv me wun wiv the dorg ay?”… Dogs run free from driveways with impunity in our neck of the woods and I would rather be safe than sorry! Thankfully mum/grandma’s (and perhaps her mum’s before her…) stick didn’t have to be employed to thwack dogs today and we had a lovely meandering walk home and as mentioned, Earl cheerfully pee’d on every second post and dethatched most of the road verge in his youthful eagerness to make his presence felt. By the time he got home he had no “presence” left to feel! He had to fill up with a big drink of water when we got in for the next round. We got to share the most amazing sunrise this morning. Rain is on the way but Earl and I just stood there marvelling at the beauty of it and feeling exceedingly special to be allowed to have God share it with just the 2 of us. Earl helped me make the bed (the middle pillow may never recover from his “help”…) and helped me feed the chooks by barking at the cats. I have been able to give Earl Heaps of cuddles and hugs as Bezial isn’t here to give me withering looks every time I do. We might have to do this more regularly as it’s good for the boys to be apart sometimes and get a special bit of attention each. Earl loves Bezial and misses him badly whenever he isn’t here. I know that somewhere underneath Bezials black bear coat that he loves Earl too but you wouldn’t know it! I raced around the house after Earl with a toy as he careened around the walls, floor and furniture in manic glee. He ended up under our bed with the toy in question and I actually managed to get him puffing which is very hard for the rubber band formerly known as “Earl”. When Bezial and Steve get home the 2 dogs will perform feats of callisthenic activity that would gain them automatic inclusion in the Australian Olympic gymnastics squad should they ever see fit to halt their interspecies racial intolerance but for today that means that I won’t bother hauling all of the rugs that Earl previously left in disarray back to their correct positions until they have finished their reunion frolics and all is calm on the Western Front.

The parents of our (still to be planted out) olive pits bordering Marian’s vinyard in Deviot

This time we remembered to take a photo of the varieties of olive so that we have an idea of what to get scion material for when it comes time to graft

From the other side of the road looking at the teeny little bus stop for the area

I have finally become a fully-fledged card carrying vegan again. The only thing that had been holding me back previously was my ongoing addiction to black tea with milk in it. I couldn’t stand it black as the tannin makes me twitch and not using soy milk (no genetic modification for me Mateo’s!) left me with few satisfactory non-dairy milks to use. Everything I tried was either too watery or allowed the tannin flavour to seep through or tasted weird. I am a tea puritan and if I don’t get at least a bucket large cup of it once a day I am not fun to be around.  I finally found the answer thanks to my daughter Madeline giving me back the remnants of a large bag of almonds that I had left with her when we moved here. To say that they were probably out of code is an understatement but they were in the freezer and they tasted pretty good so bollocks to codes! I ate a few as snacks and used the last of the bag to have a go at making some almond milk. I had read that it was good in tea and wanted to try it so soaked the remaining nuts overnight and used my VitaMix to process them finely, strained them through a fine sieve and the resulting “milk” tasted delicious. Taste was important but what would it be like in tea? I usually have 2 tea bags in my large tea cup but we tried 1 tea bag and it was delicious. I got the added bonus of the left over strained almond pulp. Not liking to waste anything if I can help it I decided to research what to do with it and the pioneering people who went before me most generously shared their knowledge and I ended up putting the pulp (after it was thoroughly pressed to remove as much of the milk as possible) onto a sheet of baking paper (next time I will use one of my re-usable silicone sheets that I got with my dehydrator but this time was an experiment), into a baking dish and placed in Brunhilda’s  4th, and coolest “warming” oven where I also defrost the dogs meat from the freezer over the course of the day. The 2 tasks were NOT combined on this occasion :o). The result was a very light fluffy almond “flour” that can be used in baking or combined with other things to make muesli. I am going to experiment with adding sesame seeds to increase the calcium. I love the taste, I can make it myself and I don’t have to worry about my ecological footprint and will be planting out some almond trees in the near future so that my milk futures are a step closer to being totally sustainable as well.

It would appear that Aurora have better things to do at the moment than fix this problem. It may not be totally obvious, but they have tied a rope to this overhead power line, thrown the rope through a branch on this tree and pulled it up. I guess they will get around to actually sorting out the problem one day…maybe…

Is that the overhead power line being precariously held there by this chunk of salvaged rope? No kidding guys! I shouldn’t give them too much jip I suppose, the outage was over 12 hours so we were sent a cheque for $80…”Woo Hoo! That almost pays our next power bill :)”

I am still madly in love with Brunhilda. I can hear the small weathered river stone that I placed in her ticking away as the kettle simmers on the hob. If I CAN’T hear the stone I know that the kettle’s water is getting low. I got this tip from my grandmother years ago and remembered it when we bought Brunhilda. My grandmother had a wood burning stove that always seemed to be on the go. She produced the most delicious roasts, cakes etc. from that stove and that’s what made me want one all these years on. Her kitchen was the hub of our fractured family’s existence and it was a very rare day that we didn’t go to see gran. My grandmother’s ingenuity went hand in hand with this kitchen and she made her own Tamarind paste long before tamarind was something that anyone had heard about, let alone used in their cooking. She grew herbs, made all sorts of lotions and potions and back in the distant past she would no doubt have been looked on most suspiciously by the religious establishment for her “nefarious” activities. Thankfully she was born into the 20th century but she was most definitely a pioneering spirit and was very artistic and creative and taught us all to be adventurous with our minds. Thanks for that gran. It’s only now that I truly appreciate what you did for us and I will be sure to give any dog that tries to stick it’s nose out of the driveway untethered a hefty “THWACK” for you.

The next couple of weeks are going to be spent working our way through our studies. We will be putting in an application of interest in a course that will enlighten us in the magic art of Illustrator 5. The course also teaches printing etc. but the best bit about the course is that we can do it from home like we are currently doing our diploma. We have to go through an interview process but hopefully the fact that this is a certificate 3 course, we have been at Polytechnic in the recent past, we have completed 2 Diploma’s (by that stage we will have…) AND that we have a proven track record in working at home on our own should all go in our favour when they are making their selection criterion for this hugely popular course.

This old horse has most certainly seen more than a few winters and a bit of frost isn’t going to put him off!

I am utterly in love with my early morning pre sunrise winter ritual of getting up on my own and heading out to the kitchen to greet the morning. Steve likes to lay in a bit until I bring him his first cup of coffee in bed and I don’t mind one little bit. It’s dark when I get out of bed. It’s also inevitably quite cold in our bedroom as it’s the furthest from the kitchen where our heat source latently drizzles out the heat after being damped down overnight and coincidentally, the kitchen is the place where I find Bezial waiting for his early morning “me” time with me basking on his small sofa next to Brunhilda. I don’t know who loves Brunhilda more, to be honest, Bezial or me.  I take pride in being able to navigate our house in the dark. Nothing to do with all of the carrots that I eat and everything to do with the dominant knee protrusions lying in wait to deliver a not inconsequential blow to any unsuspecting joint that dares to forget its place in the dark. I run my hand along the bedroom wall and can see the day when there is a well caressed groove in that short distance. After our bedroom (and the chunky footer of our bed…the most dangerous source of joint pain in the entire house…) I am ok to just walk. Once I get to the kitchen the very first step is to wake Brunhilda from her slumber. Brunhilda rises like the phoenix after a few sticks and has the polished river stone in my first kettle of water tap-dancing before I have time to settle down in front of the computer to immerse myself in the early morning magical world of rss feed reading. I can then lose myself for an hour (depending on how lazy Steve is feeling) in my gardening, recipe and sustainable living blogs over that first precious cup of elixir of life tea. Thus starts my day on Serendipity Farm over the winter. Summer is going to bring a LOT of changes. No Brunhilda to greet me and sunlight WAY before I decide to tumble out of bed. I dare say that the bedroom wall will be thankful for summer but I, my dear constant readers, will not.

The almond pulp left over from making my almond milk that I dried out in Brunhilda

What it looks like after being pulverised into almond flour. Both batches that I have made so far end up with a smell reminiscent of malted grain and should make an interesting addition to various baked items.

Well I just hit 2000 words. I keep trying to make my blog posts shorter but life imitates art here folks and I am known for my verbosity. The problem is that I was born to share and this primal need often overrides my ability to cull my posts. It feels like when you see people with their toddlers on a leash… just know that I am at least trying :o). I was looking up the lineage of the name Brunhilda. It’s derived from the Norse “Brunhilde” and my maternal grandmother, who I feel a close kinship with and an even closer ethos was called Hilda. My grandfather was called Hamilton. Neither of those names would appear today on the “most desirable baby names” list and thank goodness for that! Now that I have enough years under my belt to be able to throw around the odd thought or two with some life experience to tamp it into my philosophical Sherlock Holmes pipe… I have learned to embrace and enjoy my life sans mainstream acceptability. I am proud of my working class history, my upbringing and indeed everything about my life that brought me to the place where I sit here typing this post right now. I love each and every one of my children utterly and the man that I share my life with I consider my soul mate (even though we are complete opposites and will never understand each other till the day that we die…). I am most probably the luckiest woman I know. I dare say that there is someone else out there luckier…but I am content to be the luckiest woman on Serendipity Farm and am entirely grateful, thankful and in debt to God and to the circumstances that put me here. Cheers…and thanks for all the non-meaty fish ;).

Sunrise Sunday morning…and we didn’t even get any rain!

Freezing cold but very pretty…these photos don’t do it justice

Back (segueing nicely) to Brunhilda… anyone over the age of about 10 will have heard of Bugs Bunny. I actually didn’t like the smug little git and aligned myself more with that little black duck that raged even more spectacularly than his more mainstream cousin Donald. Bug’s was the cartoon equivalent of a psychopath and most certainly NOT to be idolised by anyone’s children. He did whatever he wanted to and turned his antagonists into gibbering idiots on more than a solitary occasion. My most lasting memory of a journey that he took underground almost in its entirety with Daffy Duck (we can only guess that Bugs and his pathological ability to lie drove Daffy to the depths of travelling underground to Pismo beach as ducks tend not to like being in this sort of environment) occasionally sticking his head out of the ground uttering the famous lines “I shoulda taken that left toin at Albukoikee”. I discovered the following and I quote: –

“Some of Chuck Jones’ colleagues got lost commuting from the Southeast US to Hollywood and ended up lost out in the New Mexico boonies. The experience was memorable enough to create an inside joke that ultimately became the means by which Bugs Bunny ended up in the middle of nowhere. The joke was that Bugs was actually trying to get to Hollywood but got diverted in Albuquerque.”

The Bugs and Daffy episode ended up with Daffy showing his greedy side at the expense of his sanity and physical wellbeing but another episode involving Bugs Bunny and his poor long suffering antagonist Elmer Fudd, involved Bugs toying with poor addled Elmer and pretending to be Brunhilde to avoid being “pwugged” by Elmer’s gun. Pathological lying…psychopathic bullying behaviour AND cross dressing all designed to amuse children…can we now, perhaps, understand why the baby boomers are all a bit “exit stage right” about life?! Here’s a picture of Bugs being found out in his lie and an inch away from being “pwugged” from the episode “Herr Loves Me, Hare Loves Me Not”…

http://www.animationconnection.com/view/lj83272-herr-loves-me-hare-loves-me-not

I got this from this site where you can purchase this very hand painted film cell framed for a mere $1,325.00. I can’t quite justify paying that sort of money and will be content with hoping that my brain keeps remembering this film cell in its entirely free format inside my head for many years to come…

I wonder if my grandmother’s lineage harks back to Norse kinship. She was a most determined and strong woman and should any of you have a bit of spare time you can head on over to this site and read a bit about Wagner and his Ring cycle operas (3 in total).

http://www.well.com/user/woodman/singthing/ring/story.html

It would seem that I have more than a paternal smattering of Germanic heritage. Reading this description of a Valkyrie most definitely reminds me of my grandmother…

“(The Valkyries are female, but they are warlike females. Not only that, Brünnhilde has to have a voice capable of outshouting a full Wagnerian orchestra for 4-plus hours. Hence the cliché of the massive armour-girt soprano with breastplates and horns.)”

Grandma was neither massive nor loud but was most definitely the patriarch of our family where women were survivors and were born to serve their man. You didn’t butt horns with grandma and come out the other side wholly intact…although that most CERTAINLY didn’t stop me trying…

Is it Earl locked out…or Steve locked in?!

Steve’s tea tonight…home-made chicken and mushroom pies made with cheese shortcrust, free range rooster and a local salad dressing (no food miles there 🙂 ) That egg is one of 15 eggs that we found in a hidden nest today. No doubt we will be finding many more eggs from now on. The secret is to listen for the hens telling everyone that they have laid an egg and backtracking to find the source! We will beat you yet Yin!

Well I just hit 3000 words and that’s my curtain call folks…forgive my foray off into the world of the Valkyries but to be honest, you could all do with a good cultural shake up, and what’s better than a Wagnerian Opera to stir up your inner cobwebby machinations. I might even delve into Donald Duck and his desire to teach his nephews a lesson when he thinks that they have been smoking cigars and they have actually bought them for him. He makes them smoke every last cigar and then finds out his error…lesson learned on both counts! We can all learn from both our elders AND our children and thus ends the lessons for today dear brethren…see you same time on Saturday for the matinee session…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E12ykihvCHk