Friday, December 30, 2016

Finally some time

2016 has been such a hectic year for me. Ups and downs and lots of wondrous things that I never thought I would ever do. Lots of living. And a lot of not getting all my chores done.

In these last few days of the year I have been spending some time doing what I truly love best. Just pottering in my garden. Planting, weeding and trying not to melt in the heat. 

Bees have been enjoying the self-sown sunflowers

I have been enjoying them too. No work involved.


A random lily (or something) growing in a strawberry pot.
Finally I have also had the time and the inclination to be creative. The inclination has been sorely lacking this year. I hope it is a sign that 2017 will be a year for creativity and craft because it truly does feel good to have busy hands and to exercise that part of my brain.

Enough rambling.

Thursday, December 29, 2016

SSCS 2016

Another Christmas has been and gone and I am finally getting a chance to turn on the computer. I like not turning it on but miss keeping up with all of my good friends here. It's a question of balance.

But anyway. The point at hand.

A big thank you to Clare, my lovely swap partner in Chookyblue's Secret Santa Christmas Swap.  

Clare obviously did a wee bit of looking about on my blog. The stitcheries in the wall hanging are all garden themed and absolutely lovely and just right for me. Thank you Clare.

And a sweet little cushion too. I should note that there were some little Lindt teddy bear chocolates in the parcel but unfortunately for them, they didn't make it to the photo shoot 😀. Yum!!

 I'm really touched by the kindness and thoughtfulness of the blogging community once again.

And not to forget, the tree ornament which I posted about earlier. Just so sweet.

Thank you Clare and Chooky.


Friday, December 16, 2016

Five on Friday

I'm  linking  up today with Amy's Five on Friday. It's the penultimate one for the year.

Just emptying my camera before I fill it up again.

1.  This is Butter. I know, what an odd name for a sheep but when she was a lamb, she had a tendency to butt the other lambs. In a logical step, her twin brother was named Bread. She is one of my favourites because she is friendly and doesn't butt anymore.

2. Fruit. Mulberries are still hanging on... just . Cherries too. Peaches will be the  next fruit ready to pick and I'm looking forward to them.

3. The native raspberries have a few fruit on them too but I think the birds will beat me to them. They are a little tart but I like them nonetheless.

4. I am still enjoying my Advent teas. It really is a great idea. I've also been playing along with the Random Act of Kindness Advent. It's fun and I'm sure I am getting so much more out of it than any of the recipients of my small kindnesses.

5. Cake decorating has been happening here. Not my handiwork because I am rubbish with the piping bag. And it is the closest we have to a Christmas tree in the house until Tuesday. More on that then.

Thanks Amy for hosting the link up and thanks for reading my random musings today.


Tuesday, December 13, 2016

My cows.

I really enjoy having the cows close to home. Usually they are off in a more distant paddock and the only interaction is when I visit them to make sure they are ok and in good fettle. They are spending some time in the paddock nearest the house to 'mow' the grass.


Now that it is warm, they have their summer coats on. Thankfully they keep their fringes no matter the temperatures. Actually I think the fringes make perfect fly veils for them. They would annoy me terribly.



 When they are not eating grass, they prune. Roses have had a bit of a trim. Yesterday the apricot tree.



And the Jerusalem artichoke 😢.

 I have been known to shed a tear or have a rant when sheep, cows , chickens, people, possums... anything gets into my garden. But not today. I'm going to move the girls across the road so the garden is safe. I'm sure the artichokes will grow all the better with the haircut. I hope.


PS River, the cows are Scottish Highlands.

Monday, December 12, 2016

Countdown is on.

The inner child in me which is very close to the surface is always excited by this time of year. Advent, Christmas, a new fresh year to look forward to and the summer school holidays. For the time being this is our Christmas tree, the one at the council office in town. The countdown is on though. I will be able to put our tree up and decorate it next Tuesday. For a year that has sped by in a flash, I have had some long waiting to do too. This week will be one of those long waits while I wait and probably worry just a little or a lot. Keep calm and keep busy that should do the trick.


Friday, December 9, 2016

Secret Santa Christmas Swap

How exciting. My parcel in Chookyblue's SSCS has arrived. I'm not sure who my partner is yet but what I do know is that she is from New Zealand  and is very clever with needle and thread.

A lovely ornament with cross stitched snowman and koala. How cute!! And although the photo doesn't show it here, the koala's ears are fluffy. Absolutely lovely.

Thank you to my secret Santa who will have to stay a secret for a little longer. And thank you to Chookyblue for organising the swap.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

Up with the birds

I truly love to be awake and out working while the birds are still making their morning ruckus. I'm not sure how everyone else here sleeps through it actually. It is so nice to have those moments to myself though and then to get started outside working before the heat and the flies clock on. 


The climbing Iceberg rose has had some pruning. Unplanned, but I'm sure it will be none the worse for the trim.


Like mother, like daughter. Trilby had to have a nibble too. I'm glad they are small cows because elsewise they'd probably be over the fence not just chewing tidbits.

I'm just glad these girls don't mind mowing the lawn for me.

Some more gladioli are blooming. This is one of my favourites, a soft pink colour. I've had to stake it though because it just won't stand up on its own.

Back when the weather was mild and much kinder, I decided to make a new vegetable garden in the orchard. Just a long straight bed really and somewhere especially for the pumpkins to ramble when they get growing. This is the first thing to be ready from the new bed, some lovely and slightly hot French breakfast radish. I've never had a radish for breakfast so maybe I should give it a try someday.
For now the radish are being enjoyed in salads and as snacks.


Saturday, December 3, 2016


Wow. Here we are in December already. After the cool and wet spring, summer is already striking back and it is HOT and starting to look a bit dry in the paddocks around the district. I know the vegetable garden wants me to water it every day but at the moment I am trying to stretch it to every second.

 I had a big surprise on Thursday morning. My very own Advent calendar all the way from Germany thanks to Grace. I'm loving it. 24 different teas, one for each day of December leading up to Christmas. I'm even loving that i can't understand a word of it except for "Tee" of course.

And hooray, fresh beans are on the menu. And there are a few tomatoes on their way too. I guess the heat is good for something besides melting the too many chocolatey temptations I have in the house.

And dahlias. Just getting the first blooms now. Slightly later than last year but a welcome spot of colour in the garden.

Ok. Off to have today's tea. I do believe it is Darjeeling.


Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Totally unrelated picture of a couple of my sheep

Oh my this year has gone by in such a flash. I'm still playing catch up. But happily for me I will soon have my little family all at home even if it is for a short time. So if I don;t catch up and get all the things on my to-do list done, I don;t really care too much.

I have been missing interacting with all of you, my lovely blogging friends. It is this terribly slow internet. Well not just slow, sometimes it just doesn't connect at all. I'm sure there is a message in there for me. Today however it is the beginning of my internet month so it is behaving and I will probably use it all up in one fell swoop. Not right now though. I have oodles of plants that need to be planted out. And even more poppies to put on the compost heap before they set seed. They are pretty but they can take over if you let them.

By the way. The cool spring is over. It is hot and I think the flies are making up for lost time. They are awful.


Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Away and Home

We had a quick weekend trip to visit family living in Wellington, NSW. Oh boy was it hot there. They have had rain recently so it is greener out west than I've seen it but not like home.

I'm still struggling with internet issues at home. I think it might be time to investigate how the local NBN is coming along. Last report from our provider was they were having teething issues. But hey they are having issues with the satellite too so it might be worth making the change. Then again I am thinking of taking the whole month of January off from online stuff.

The trip away was truly lovely but how nice to be home again.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Odd weather

I think by this time of the year a lot of us Aussies are whinging about the heat and the dry. Not this year. It is cold and wet. Cold enough this morning to have the fire on. And wet enough to keep the tanks and dams topped up and not much need to water the garden either. I'm loving it really. Even if the summer vegetables are behind compared to other years, they will catch up when the heat kicks in. 

I have my share of zemblanity but in a moment of serendipity on the weekend, I found the box of flower and herb seeds that I had stored safely away months ago. Of course I should have known they were in a lunch box on the floor of the shed. That is the best place to store anything. Right? 😕 And look at that, I found the emoticons and other symbols that blogger has provided us with. 🎕

Gold Medal

I wish I could say all of my roses looked as pretty as this one but nope. The wind and rain is giving them a hard time.
Hope rose looking hopeless

Mostly they look like this one. All ragged and sad. Dead heading is on the to-do list sometime soon.

I have taken care of the root stock which was springing forth from some of the grafted roses. I guess it is kind of pretty in a way. It fights back with plenty of scratches for my trouble.

I'm feeling quite disorganised at the moment. So many things to do and thoughts running through my mind. Insomnia is not helping that's for sure. Keep calm and carry on is the order of the day.

And just a picture of one of my drakes. I need to find a nice home/ homes for two young drakes. It seems that not many people want drakes. Ducks on the other hand are in demand. I would keep them all but too many drakes does not make for happy ducks. The fighting can be pretty fierce.

Ok. Work to do.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

Around the place this week.

Nothing doing

I have been busy offline. Nothing unusual about that, I am quite often busy and quite often I am busy doing nothing. A little bit of lovely mail came in this week and more letters were sent out. My sister sent me a Christmas advent card (she knows I love them) and I think she was (not really) disappointed that her card wasn't my first this year. I guess that means I should get busy writing my own. Have to write a list first of course.

My friend, Nadine, gave me a few plants a while ago. This one is flowering at last. It's such a pretty soft pink and these succulents are truly indestructible as long as they have some water.

Mulberries are ripening. It is the best crop of mulberries I've ever had. Well it will be if I can beat the birds and Hope.

Other things I have been up to this week. Drenching sheep. Shearing was on the to-do list but there have been storms and rain and wet sheep and shearing don't mix well.

Went for a day trip. I had something on order in a nearby town and it was ready to be picked up and it was a very good excuse to do some bush walking, buy some nice bread (wood fired ovens make a difference)and visit my favourite cafe.

As far as the storms go. There have been  three big ones this week. Two of which resulted in blackouts. And both blackouts at dinner time. I rely on electricity for cooking and last night I had the vegetables prepared and the stove on to cook rice. There was too much lightning around to cook on the barbeque so it was Vegemite sandwiches all round. Not too bad actually and the best bit, tonight's dinner is already prepared.

I have to say I am so grateful for the rain that we have had this spring. It makes all the difference to the garden and pastures. Summer won't be so bad this year no matter how hot it gets because the soil has moisture.

Now I truly have to do some stitching. Time is running out.

Monday, November 7, 2016

Just a small break from my usual type of post today. My lovely friend Bekah posted today about her experience with a bully recently.  I'm sure most of us have had our own dealings with toxic people. I know I have.

In 2013 I deleted from my life some very toxic people and I haven't looked back. They know exactly who they are and in fact, they will read this because I see from my stat counter that they continue to read my blog. In fact they spend more time here than I do which is sad.

It has been my experience that people like that take joy from putting others down because deep down or even not so deep down, they are dissatisfied with their own lives. It is just plain nasty, envious and often narcissistic. If only they knew how kindness actually makes you more friends and true friends at that. Kindness sets off a chain reaction of goodness which can make your heart sing. Oh how much these nasty people miss.

Thanks for reading

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Friday Night with Friends catch up

Hard to believe that it is already November and 5 days in at that. I think most of us feel the same, 2016 has been a blink and you miss it kind of year.

Well the first Friday of the month last night and I did a little bit of crafting with friends in the virtual world. Cheryll is our lovely host and you can click over to her blog to check out what everyone has been up to. I do suspect though that like me, there has been a bit of secret sewing going on.

Boring Christmas fabrics not used last night

I am not going to give anything away with my pictures because it is very much top secret for Chookyblue's Secret Santa Swap. Suffice to say what I am working on doesn't involve the fabric above. But there has been cutting and ironing and stitching and some brain wracking going on here.

I am in a couple of Christmas card swaps this year too but other than that I have really limited my swapping. I do have a tendency to bite off more than I can chew but not this time. Probably more due to the fact that I was away for a couple of months and my internet has been poor rather than any wisdom on my part.

Anyway, there is work to be done.

Friday, November 4, 2016

Five on Friday

It has been some time since I have participated in Five on Friday. My Internet connection at home has been less than stellar but I thought I would give it a try tonight and so far so good. I hope.

Thanks Amy for hosting. I've also joined up for Amy's Christmas card swap again this year. It's a nice swap with no stress involved, just a heart-felt message on a card and pop it in the post. Simple.

Anyway. Mt five. I have been doing a lot of work in the garden especially now that the weather seems like it has taken a proper turn towards spring. It has just been teasing up until now apparently. The fact that only now are self-sown tomatoes and pumpkins coming up tells me so. They know better than I if it is warm enough to get growing.

Last week I took delivery of some new berries. I have variable success with raspberries and other cane fruit but I am taking another chance. I mean there are plenty of wild blackberries growing without any interference so surely these cultivated types should be able to grow. perhaps if I leave them to the own devices, they will do best.

 The chickens will not leave the mulch under the olive tree alone. When I say mulch I should say lawn mower clippings. The chooks have however turned it into a nice mulch with all their scratching.

The roses are coming into their own now. This one is called Hope. It is pretty in an understated way. Like many of the roses I grow, I bought it because of its name. I have a whole family in our rose garden except one named for me.

This rose was a gift from my sister. It is called Scentimental. And is pretty in a showy kind of way and nicely scented hence the name.

The recent rains and humidity have encouraged some black spot on the roses. Not enough to do too much damage.

Green. It is green all around at the moment. Those late winter and spring rains have given us so much grass. I moved sheep and cattle on Thursday. Usually they are a cinch to move because they follow me because I will always lead them to greener pastures. It was much less cinchy than usual because they are by no means hungry or looking for greener pastures. I had to rely on the fact that they are like pets and come when I whistle.

Happily they are closer to the house for the time being so I get to talk to them a bit more. And it is easier to take their pictures too.

Bye for now

Saturday, October 29, 2016

A day in town

My youngest had a sleepover at a friend's house last night so I've had an extra trip to town this week. Actually I have had a couple with some 'urgent' school uniform problems which involved more dollars for clothing than I want to think about.

I had a nice tour around the garden centre this morning. It is so lovely at the moment with plenty of potted colour to please the eyes. I would love to give the Kangaroo Paws pictured above a try but I think the frosts we get would be too harsh. And they aren't cheap enough to experiment.

I would have liked to liberate a few of these lavenders from their pots but I probably do have enough. So all I bought was what I went in for, some potting mix. Restraint!!

The lavenders at home are blooming well. Just the right conditions this year.

I also had a good collection of books from the library this week. Cookbooks of course and the recipe for tonight's dinner is from Deliceux , an asparagus and goat's cheese tart. There is still enough asparagus in the garden to make a good meal every couple of days. Yum!

I have had the worst internet connection problems to date this week. I am at the library right now and very grateful for the free and fast connection there. I will try to do some commenting before I leave for home.