Well another Sunday has ebbed and flowed under the life bridge and we find ourselves contemplating our navels on Monday. That means there are only 2 weeks to “C” day and that will have a lot of people in a flap but we are enjoying the summer, doing what we like in the garden and walking our dogs a lot and generally destressing after a long TAFE year. Christmas is a doddle compared to learning how to make a film I can tell you!
This year Steve and the dogs and I are heading off to the park over the Batman Bridge where we are going to have a lovely vegan gourmet picnic and the dogs will have their own meaty Merry Christmas. We plan on stocking up with some decent Christmas booze to give everything a rosy tinge and we will do our usual Christmas walk at Paper beach in honour of my mum who passed away 5 years ago just after heading home from visiting us for Christmas. Christmas is a celebration of good food, good company and good cheer for us and with very little monetary output (especially now Steve is vegan) just the way it should be. So many people get caught up in the hype of going overboard at Christmas time (like they do with weddings) and end up drowning in credit card debt in February just so that they can keep up with the Jones’s. It’s all very sad and unnecessary and more and more people are embracing a simpler lifestyle which can only be a good thing.
I have been walking longer distances with Earl in a (vain) effort to tire him out. Yesterday I think I did it! I walked 8km with him and he spent the rest of the day laying around snoring. Bezial was very suspicious of him. He usually has at least one pounce on poor Bezial while he is sleeping but nothing yesterday so Bezial spent the day with one eye open waiting for that pounce that never came. Where we wheel-barrowed in the topsoil and mushroom compost mix to fill the remaining wicking beds last week, there is a small bit of soil left that we were going to use to re-pot some of Steve’s succulents however Earl has decided that it’s his personal rolling space and whenever we go near the soil with any form of garden implement he feels the need to lay down sprawled all over the remaining soil to prevent us from filching his spoils. It’s not like we are going to have our home featured in Better Homes and Gardens any day soon so Earl can keep his dirt pile (for the moment)
When we were in the city the other day we dropped in to the Alanvale City Mission shop. They are the most reasonably priced thrift shop in the city (that we know about) and have a large range. Not only did we exit with a loaf of free dark rye bread (the bakery down the road donated it) but I found a glorious set of 3 nested Crown Corning bowls that are oven and microwave safe in the most beautiful green hue that decided to come home with me. I love thrift shops. You head in with a vague idea of what you might want to look for but inevitably you rarely get what you are looking for but you often emerge triumphant holding something that caught your eye and that is just perfect for you like my gorgeous green bowls 🙂
Steve needed to pick up some quick setting cement the other day as we have decided to take back part of Sanctuary near the door of the glasshouse so that I can use the glasshouse again without having to go into Sanctuary each time to do so. That also means that the wicking boat and my first fridge (not wicking) bed with Vietnamese mint will be included in the deal and will be back in the orchard area where I can utilise them to better advantage. While we were picking up the concrete at the Beaconsfield Landscape and Nursery Steve saw discounted seed potatoes for $2 a bag in a huge range of varieties. Most of the varieties I had never heard of and so we bought 9 different varieties of them to plant in my spud garden at the back of Sanctuary. There were more varieties but as they are commonly available in our grocers, I didn’t bother buying them. I had to snip the mesh bags very carefully away from the shoots but I ended up with a huge amount of potatoes and spuddy potential that made my heart sing. It really doesn’t take much for me to think that I am a lucky narf7 I can tell you and this was right up there with some of the best. I am giving a few varieties to a friend to try growing them herself. It’s always good to spread the vegetative love around in case some disaster happens and you lose everything, your friend will still have them to share back with you when they have enough 🙂
There’s another chicken in Sanctuary but we aren’t sure if she is going to survive the quoll attack that hit her the other day. She was very wobbly and shocked when we found her near the back gate the next morning. Steve and Earl heard the commotion at about 11pm the night before but there wasn’t anything that they could do as it was down in the jungle part of the garden. The chooks have gotten a bit too complacent about living outside the protection of the coop and it would appear that some are paying the price. We found two dead chickens not so long back and now we think it was either a dog or a quoll that did it. Limpy has decided to go clucky on an egg that our one eyed duck laid in her bedding so we might have to dissuade her by taking the egg. I feel a bit mean as Limpy has had a very hard life up till now and is only just starting to enjoy life. Maybe she might start laying eggs herself? Who knows, either way she will be living in Sanctuary for the rest of her life now as we can’t release her out into the resident population as they would kill her. She gets on well with Ducky and they are usually found together so I figure it’s the best of all worlds as now we have some built in grasshopper and other pest control inside Sanctuary where we didn’t have it before and Ducky and Limpy are safe.
After filling up our remaining wicking beds and planting out our recent haul of veggie seedlings etc. we realised that we were going to have to put slug and snail pellets on the seedlings as overnight, the trail blazing cephelopods had done their best to level my sweetcorn seedlings. The problem (as it usually is in our house) was Earl. Bezial isn’t interested in eating slug pellets but Earl doesn’t have as healthy a respect for his own life and would likely hoover them up with joy so I asked (long suffering) Steve if he would put some chicken wire around the outside of the fridge wicking beds and he kindly did so I loaded up the seedlings with the poisonous green pellets and the next morning it looked like slug and snail-ageddon out there! There were slimy trails all over the beds with cephalopods in various stages of demise. Obviously I put the pellets out just in time or we wouldn’t have had any seedlings left!
I recently took some cuttings from a female kiwifruit at the top of Rowella Road. It’s actually fruiting now and my cuttings appear to be going great guns in their makeshift (plastic bag) “glasshouse” over the pot that I put them in. On the same property is a Kentish cherry tree loaded to the brim with gloriously shiny cherries. Why haven’t they been scoffed by the birds? Because Kentish cherries are sour cherries and the birds have obviously learned that over the years. The thing is, they are not all that sour and the riper they get, the nicer they get so I snacked on a few and brought their seeds home with me to grow in our garden. I love finding adventitious edibles on Earl and my morning walks and bringing them home to try to grow here. This morning I took some cuttings from some feral Elderberry trees predominately for a friend who wanted to buy one but I mentioned that they were growing wild on the road verge and he got very excited about the prospect of free plants. I gave him 5 of the cuttings and brought the rest home so that if his don’t strike, hopefully mine will have and he and I can both have elderberries at some time in the future.
I hope you have enjoyed your Sunday meandering with narf today. It’s been an altogether gloriously sunny day here on the river and I have truly enjoyed it. I finished off a stash busting crochet baby blanket this afternoon to give away to a friend. I want to divest myself of all of my acrylic yarn and only use home spun yarn from now on. That will give me the impetus to practice spinning more and hopefully spinning more even yarn in the process. Tomorrow I am going to plant out all of those beautiful potato futures and heap them up with lots of hay from the chicken coop laden with potato joy (aged chicken manure). I am also going to plant chocolate mint into a fridge wicker that tends to get sodden whenever it rains and I am going to try to steal some of Earls empire of dirt to pot up my mushroom leaf plant but I am not holding much hope of that as whenever he senses me heading for the back door he dashes past me and sprawls out in his dirt…sigh… Have a glorious week folks. Don’t get too stressed out about Christmas approaching, just think of it as another day to enjoy your life, give thanks for who you are and what you have and a signal that 2018 is just around the corner and ready for us to all have a glorious adventure living 🙂