Saturday, September 27, 2008


waiting waiting waiting for broad beans...............

Friday, September 26, 2008

Sock love

I am almost ready to show you my first pair of crocheted socks. Methinks this sock thing might stick around for a while. In anticipation of this, behold an array of beautiful sock yarns.
mmmmmmmmmmmmm. sock yarns.............
Some of these are not cheap. Home make socks do not save money. However the joy of creating such a functional item- one little stitch at a time, brings me much joy. It that weird?

Backyard Rompy Pompy

This time of year it is all about sex. Fruit sex to be precise.

Fruit sex and the BIG questions.

Big questions like.........

Will the male kiwi vine blossom in time to fertilise the female kiwi vines?

Is my golden kiwi fruit seedling a boy or a girl?

Do I need to buy an earlier male?

Will Kosui the Nashi catch up in time to have nashi sex with with Hosui who is already in full flower?

Will Kevin Goldmine, the new nectarine tree, self pollinate this year?

What kind of pollinator should I buy my greengage plum next winter?

And in other news, there are 8 eggs in the incubator which should be hatching out tonight or tomorrow. The sooner would be better, as I have another 59 eggs sitting here ready to go in as soon as the others are out.

yep, thats right - 59.

Thats 1 dozen Indian Game Bantams (WOOHOO - walking roasts!) and 1 dozen salmon faverolles.

And for other folks (I seem to have suddenly become a hatching service) 2 dozen Pekin Bantams and 11 (oops) black Indian runner eggs.

My only concern is that I will get then all mixed up and won't be able to tell them apart! (except the ducks that is...)

riddle riddle me

Riddle riddle riddle me
A platypus I be
And never was there ever
such a mixed up bloke as me

I've a brown fur coat like a cat
And a tail thats very flat
With a bill like leather
I'm a very funny fella
And you can't say fairer than that

I like to get up in the morning
When the sun is shining bright
Stay in my burrow
For the rest of the day
And get up again at night

(get up again at night!)

Late news, Pa Kettle/Mountain Man/The Cougar and I were having lunch on the bank next to the Queanbyean River this week. We had already seen a native water rat (he's always there) and Mr and Mrs Swan with their two baby signets.....when suddenly there he was - a little platypus swimming around in the reeds on the edge of the river.

Very cute.

First one I have ever seen.

......they really do have duck bills!

and Mr Duck Herder is getting very bored with me singing the platypus song over and over again.

Friday, September 19, 2008

life 'n nstuff

I think I am getting better at this life thing. I seem to be getting better at this whole surrender thing too.

Little Miss Over Achiever still clicks her high heels and purses her red lips at me from time to time...(which is hilarious now that I get to wear hi vis and steel caps to work rather than suits and lipstick) but I am getting better at remembering to UNwind, UNcoil, UNclench, EXhale.

It has become a bit of a spiritual practice - remembering to bring my naughty puppy mind gently back here, to what I am doing NOW, to the task at hand.

Luckily this action is it's own reward, because I get to do it many many times a day.

This requires TRUST. Trust that the universe supports this kind of awareness. That being in the NOW, being PRESENT with who and what and where I am right now, is EXACTLY all that is required.

Having a beautiufl garden full of trees and vines and veggies and flowers and ducks and chickens and a cat helps. It is easy to be present when you are in paradise.

I think I might have said it before, but being present means that you become more present....and being more present means your life becomes full of PRESENTS.


now what did that guy Lao Tzu say......

to the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders........or something like that.

good night.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tahini Ginger Tooth Crunchers

  • 3/4 cups of tahini
  • 1 and 1/2 cups honey
  • 2 cups rolled oats
  • 1 cup wholemeal flour (I use spelt)
  • 1/4 cup powdered ginger, or a few tablespoons of sweet fragrant spices
  • 1 cup sunflower seeds
  • half tsp salt

  • Preheat oven to 180 moderate or whatever
  • Grease some pizza tins, baking trays
  • Pour or scoop tahini and honey into saucepan.
  • Heat a little over low heat to soften. Mix.
  • Add other ingredients and mix.
  • Turn heat on again if mix is too hard to get a spoon through.
  • Once mixed, roll into little balls between palms and put on tins.
  • Lick fingers and inside of saucepan
  • Squish cookies gently with a fork to flatten
  • Bake until brown and the middle of each cookie looks like it has changed texture.
  • Watch out - they burn quickly but more cooked is better than under cooked.

  • Let cool for a little while and then remove from trays
  • Cool and store.

These keep for AGES in the fridge.

This recipe was adapted from another recipe I found in the internets somewhere that was subsequently tweaked, changed, added and subtracted enough to now call my own (well, that's what I reckon)

moochas muchus

Formal day of mooching today. And what better way to celebrate than with a new crocheting book. IMAGINE - crocheted socks. Here is my first attempt. I have made one mistake, which turned into two (I missed a Rear Post Double thingy, which meant I ended up with two Front Post Double thingies side by side, and then you can see the seam, two Rear Post Double thingies - which means my sock is missing a raised stripe, and then in the leg bit, I didn't start on the joining slip stitch, which meant that I lost a stitch....but I made it back up again at the end and well, I'm onto the heel now, and so far so good........
sheeesh, it isnt all that relaxing having to CONCENTRATE so much!

Community Garden

Some pictures from our Holder Community Garden annual meeting. Look at those happy gardeners paying their plot fees! That's Conrad our convener, and Lesley who is famous for supplying millions of heirloom tomato seedlings each year. And here is Mario, Patricia and Eilleen.

Yes, same Mario who helps me dispatch and prepare the odd cockerel or drake for the pot.
But more importantly - BEHOLD! First asparagus of spring.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Tea Cosy #4 revisited

HFS I am in love with this tea cosy. (yes, more tea cosy love)
Tea Cosy #4 was never quite finished in my opinion - and has been sitting around, occasionally used, but waiting for that final inspiration.

Cruising around on Crochetroo's lovely website, suddenly the answer was before me - in celebration of spring, and the flowering of the plum trees, behold the resplendent addition of 11 button blossoms, recipe courtesy of Crochetroo.

I now declare Tea Cosy #4 complete.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Lacuna Sabbath

As many of you know, the Lacuna Sabbath (Fridays) is for mooching in the garden. Today I spent some time down at the community garden, getting a plot ready for potatoes. I am not sure if it is too early to plant them, but they are sprouting like mad, so I guess I may as well get 'em in.

I notice from other years that even if they get nipped by the frost, they soon bounce back. This bed has had a huge compost heap on it, so I just cleared away the top bit and dug some lines. I will use the left over mulch from the top of the compost heap, along with some straw etc, to cover over the bed once the 'taties are all nicely planted. I think I will use some potash in the holes just like Peter Cundall suggested - will get some tomorrow on my way down.

I know lots of folks normally just plant potatoes under the mulch, but mine always do better if they are in the soil. The stay moister down there I reckon.

There is heaps of broccoli happening at the moment - and asparagus on the way (hooray!)

Closer to home in the back yard, where it is a bit warmer, the broad beans are flowering like crazy.

My three year old white peach seedling, planted at the community garden, gifted from my friend Phil from down at Nowra, is taller than me and covered with flower buds. I gave her some extra attention today - with a bag of compost from work and some new mulch.

Life is so beautiful!

Beanie #4

Beanie for my gorgeous little neice Maddison. Another version of crochetroo's easy peasy beanie recipe!

retrofitting the suburbs

Just because you asked.......!

For a number of years we have been looking for a good way to harvest our grey water. The hose from the washing machine is redirected out the laundry window and onto the kiwi vines - which will take as much water as they can get.

But, what about all that shower, basin, bath water?

I looked at LOTS of grey water systems - expensive ones, cheap ones, complicated ones, simple ones. Our productive garden is uphill from the house, which meant we were going to need a pump of some type.

In the end, elegant frugality and serendipity won out when we happily came across an add for the "Flo to Go" system in RENEW magazine. Designed and made right here in Australia by a very clever and handsome young man called Callam.

The clever thing about this unit is that it takes about 10 minutes to install! The system is designed to drop into the standard grey water access pipe vented thingy situated outside your house. If you can find the little vented grate thingy, then you could probably use this unit I suspect. The sucky thing you drop down the pipe has a sensor and when the little reservoir fills up with enough water to trigger the sensor, the little pump turns on and you can pump the water just about anywhere. The pump has a 16 meter vertical capacity.

Above is a photo of the sucky thing that goes down the pipe.

Between the pump and the sucky thing is a filter, which needs to be cleaned out periodically. At them moment, we do this every couple of weeks.

The pump lives in this little blue box!

It is powered by a normal 12 volt transformer thingy that just plugs into a normal power point. Luckily for us, there is one just near where the pump is.

Instant water!

I guess you could get pretty sophisticated about your watering system, but at this stage, we just move the hose around the garden and naughtily stick a little sprinkler on the end (council's like grey water to be irrigated strait onto or under the ground) and it is working very well thank you very much.

The whole unit costs around $1,000 and depending on how handy you are, or if you need a licenced plumber to install the unit so you can claim a rebate (which DOESNT happen in ONC) should be free or fairly low cost to set up. This is a bit of an investment - but HEAPS cheaper than many of the other grey water systems on the market. Now, every drop of water we use in the bath, shower or basin ends up on the garden. Ditto with the washing machine.

The ducks very much like playing in warm shower water - especially on those frosty mornings. It s very cute watching them squeaking over a steaming puddle in the frost.

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

very cool

So, like, this really cool thing happens when we have a shower now, or have a bath, or wash my hands........
The sprinkler comes on in the back yard!
That is very cool.
The ducks think so too.
I have been too scared to blog about it in case the whole thing stopped working.
I can move the hose where ever I want.
The plants say thankyou.
that is all.

Monday, September 1, 2008

winter harvest

Spring has sprung!
The grass has ris'
I wonder where the birdies is?
The bird is on the wing
... but that's absurd!
I always thought
The wing was on the bird!

Author? who knows - but my sister and I used to sing this poem over and over again on long car trips - Dad thought it was hilarious, but I bet my Mama wished he'd never taught us!

Just in case you were worried this was turning into a crocheting blog, we return to the main focus of my duck herding existence - the growing of vegetables, and the celebrations, jubilances and joys associated with said growing ons.
What does a late winter ONC garden have to offer friends and family of the duck? Apart from nettles, parsley, coriander, silverbeet and Chinese cabbages, we have enormous leeks, humongous beetroot and resplendent carrots.
What's that you said?.......
Yes, CARROTS!!!!!!!! Finally the 38 year carrot drought is over, and I can declare loud and proud that finally the duck herder has been able to grow CARROTS! Danvers to be precise. And how beautiful, sweet, flavoursome and HUGE they are. All bums and no tops - what perfect little carrots they be.
This lot went into a lovely big pot of soup with a hock bone, some garlic, onions and potatoes, bay leaves, parsely, corriander and of course, NETTLES.
And who came for lunch? Why the Mountain Man, his beautiful family, and the Rocketeer and her new beau. A loaf of freshly baked bread, a batch of muffins, and voila - lunch is served!
.....have I mentioned how much I LOVE my garden?

Beanie #3

This is a photo of the beanie I made for the Rocketeer to wear at the mountain biking yesterday.
The pattern is also from the crocheroo. I love her stuff!

Tea Cosy #5

Tea Cosy number 5. I used a pattern from Crocheroo on etsy. It took FOREVER - almost 4 balls of wool, but the end result is wonderfull. I did half on the plane back from NZ with a bamboo hook (I was worried that I wouldnt be able to get a metal hook onto the plane...)
Oh, I forgot - I went to Ashburton on the South Island for a conference. What a beautiful country. How amazing to be somewhere so wet! and with such big mountains.
I will have to do lots of planting and make extra compost to make up for my conference carbon footprint!