Thursday, April 30, 2009

can we start that one again

Its been one of those weeks. I was up in Condobolin for work this week. While I was away a series of unfortunate events occurred - enough to make me wonder where exactly I put a foot wrong, went through the wrong door, turned left instead of right.......

Finally after 5 years a foxy loxy found its way into the backyard BEFORE the ducks were safely locked up for the night. Poor old Miriam and Tabitha Jemima have been spirited away leaving only their very upset daughter, a small sprinkling of feathers and 5 chickens who refused to come downstairs all the following morning.

I guess we should be grateful a foxy chainsaw massacre hadn't occurred and there were only a few feathers here and there.

So I am in the market for a new Khaki Campbell drake, and think I have one lined up from Ron Davis for Sunday at the Hall Markets. Poor little duckies - I have had those two for almost 5 years.

In other news, one of our naughty little cats seems to have eaten a yet to be determined length of fishing line - she is sad and miserable and has a sore tummy. (I think it is more likely to be the nylon twine that holds the carpet pile together - seems that's what she has been playing with and pulling up just for fun) The vet removed a small length from between her teeth - but she is still unwell so obviously there is more in there somewhere! No doubt that will cost us lots more money and will get worse before it gets better. Lucky she is cute and a marvelous vet lives just down the road.

So thats it - praise god and pass the ammunition its the end of the week (well for me anyway). I really don't think there is another workday left in me atm. Bring on the Lacuna Sabbath I say.

Oh and thank you so much for all your birthday wishes - i am so lucky to have so many beautiful bloggy friends - thank you muchly.
And Mr Bredbo Valley View - a post hole digger and chainsaw are special gifts that can go on the list for that one day when we move to a farm, and actually, I have both of Pa Duck Herder's chainsaws in the shed just waiting for that day!
see, I want for NOTHING!

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Birthday Wishes

So what should you buy your pro-elegant frugality, anti-consumerism soil biology obsessed friend/wife/sister for her birthday? If you are unable to organise a round bale of lucerne hay, or a truck load of straw and cow manure, or some fertile indian game eggs, here are a few ideas.......

Well, Mountain Man aka Pa Kettle aka The Cougar is on the right track. While filling in the gaping holes in the driveway (and I use that term VERY loosely) up to the windy ridge, he dug up a very old, hand forged crow bar. (Luckily there wasn't a tired old farmer skeleton still attached to the handle.) Well, bit of a grind and a brush, bit of pink paint, and voila! Could there be a more perfect present? And I was just musing where I might find me an old crow bar since Pa Duck Herder took his back...... YAY. Thank you Mr Cougar.

And look - Lesley gave me a whole box of vacola jars. THANK YOU. And she didn't even know it was my birthday.

So I gave her these little mittens I just finished.

I have had a lovely birthday week. My beloved bought me the most beautiful necklace in the WHOLE WORLD. I feel like a QUEEN when I wear it. And a cool book which I devoured in bed yesterday and today, and a cool metal stand for my earings which is VERY practical.
Most of all I have cherished having endless cups of tea with sisters, dear friends and reconnecting with beautiful folks I haven't been in contract with enough of late.
And just to top it off, the week as ended with RAIN. Now that is a nice present.
So what did I do on my birthday? Well, I was in bed by 7:00pm with a cup of tea! I am not sure if that is sad or not, but honestly, it was EXACTLY where I wanted to be.
Happy Birthday to ME.

Sunday, April 19, 2009


The girls have been very busy these last two days. I have been very impressed with how MANY foragers there are now. I think they need to invest in some air traffic controllers - things were getting a little congested in the airspace there yesterday. Fingers crossed they have the numbers and the stores to make it through this first winter. If it is nice next weekend, Eric and I will open them just once more to see how they are going, and if necessary, perhaps I can cadge a couple more frames of honey from Eric's bees to see them through. I would be very sad if they died over winter.

We had a plot holders meeting at the Community Garden today. There are lots of housing and road developments happening around us, and we are loosing one end of the garden but are gaining more land and a new entrance at the other end to make way for a bike path and road realignment. In the end it will be good I think - more opportunity for communal meeting spaces and picnic areas, and another couple of rows of fruit trees. I made Cheryl's Banana Cake to take down - yum yum.

We had our first KIWI fruit this week. So now I guess we can start picking them in little batches. Kiwis don't ripen on the tree - but they store there OK. Apparently they are even better once the frost has got to them, so we will just start working our was through them slowly.

There is one more batch of apples and tomatoes in the Vacola. I am about to make a batch of Ratatouille. Lesley from the garden gave me some lovely eggplants to supplement the last of mine. The colours look lovely with the little pumpkins and zucs.

And then I reckon that's it for today. If I was good I would do some re-potting, but I am not so I wont.

Friday, April 17, 2009

lacuna sabbath

'sbin a while between posts.

It was lovely to have four days off over Easter, and even better to have a three day week and MOST EXCELLENT to celebrate the lacuna sabbath again today.

s'wats bin 'apning?

Well, I have been TIRED and GRUMPY. But this morning Mr Duck Herder made me get in the car and drive to Black Mountain for a run. Because my beloved is VERY FAST, we usually go our separate ways and meet up at the end for a coffee in the botanic gardens. As we parted, my beloved said "make sure you turn that frown up side down by the time I see you again" which made me laugh at my silliness right away and in no time I was in love with life again.

The marvelous hunt for wild food autumn harvest continues. I have been keeping an eye on some apple trees on the back road between Tarago and Goulburn. Wednesday afternoon in all that crazy wind and dust netted these little beauties.

All perfect. No coddling moths no blemishes no nothin. I love that I get to travel for work. Ten years of working in a 300km radius around ONC has resulted in a mental mud map marking the locations of roadside apple, plum, nectarine and peach trees as well as the best roadside stalls, farms selling local produce and functional coffee machines.

How cool is this. The two apples on the left are from two different roadside trees. The one on the right is from Robin's beautiful ancient old apple tree near Bungendore. This old giant is higher than her house, is a definite biennial fruiter but even this year which should be an off year, there is still about 30kg of fruit. Last year, well, it produced an embarrassment of riches - more than could ever be imagined.

After looking at the Woodbridge website, the one of the left looks a bit like a Pomme de Neige (also known as snow apple, lady in the snow, fameuse or chimney apple). The fruit is very red, flat and smallish. The flavour is lovely. The texture is a bit thick.

The middle one looks a little like a Lord Lambourne or a Blenheim Orange. Of course, they are almost definitely seedlings, so who knows.

I have just bottled what I am calling the "Pookie Hill Apples". I have decided that number 31 vacola jars are the new black. Why did I ever bother with little 3" openings?

And in other news, we have opened our home to two little teenage mothers who were dumped outside the RSPCA with 9 kittens between them. A few months ago we lost our most spoilt beloved little poppet and while I still miss her dreadfully, we also missed having that lovely pussy cat energy in the house. So here we are - Chu-Chu and Ziva. It is hard to get good photos of them - they are still a bit scatty and timid, but very sweet. They are best friends, probably sisters and little Ziva who is the naughtiest is also very very shy and seems to need Chu-Chu for confidence.



Beanies #5 and #6