How to fry an egg on your forehead

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Hola fellow world travellers,

If you hadn’t gauged by the title of this post it’s a tad warm on Serendipity Farm and has been for a while now. It’s 3pm and 36.1C so if this post is slightly manic, you need to take the heat into consideration (It’s “my” excuse and I am sticking with it! πŸ˜‰ ). Since our insane attack on all things “weed”, “overgrown” and “out of place”, we have been laying low like Brer rabbit to avoid the heat. 2018 has been a lot warmer than our average summers and back in August 2017 I had a premonition that it might be and set about losing weight. I had put on a lot of weight over the last couple of years. I am going to put it down to the stress of studying subjects that are SO far out of my comfort zone as to be positively asteroidal and I was using food to salve my fear. I managed to get to quite a hefty weight by my birthday but having watched my sister melt away after gastric surgery back in December 2016 I decided that it might be time to pull a shrinking rabbit out of my hat and do my own decreasing trick.

King Earl, lord of all he sees has just claimed the newly cleaned steps.
When the weather heats up, the flies come out and their spider predators start to mass in the wings. This one was HUGE. At least as big as my hand.
This is a stack of plastic containers. We watched The War on Waste and it opened up our eyes to the state of landfill and how wasteful we Aussies really are and so we are going to package up our dogs meat in individual containers now to stop the waste of soft plastics back into the environment.

Up till now I have never had much luck losing weight. I lost it, it came back. Simple and depressing. It turns out my biggest problem was refusing to reduce the size of my enormous portions. Even when I was living on 600 calories a day (back in the foolish years) I would eat an enormous bowl of steamed vegetables (no starches) to fill me up. My sister was basking in praise for her weight loss and I was a bit miffed because I figured that she hadn’t really “earned” the right to bask (aside from paying a tonne of cash to have the operation in the first place) and when she told me that I should “Just eat smaller portions” I thought that was a bit rich coming from someone with only 1/3 of a stomach left! It’s much easier to eat smaller portions when you don’t have a full stomach to contend with and I decided that I was going to show my sister that smaller portions wouldn’t help me to lose weight. I was completely wrong. They DID.

This is my yarn that I bought at Spotlight for $2 a ball. I am going to use it to make socks if my circular knitting needles arrive any day soon. I ordered them on eBay and am just waiting for them to arrive to hit up YouTube university and learn how to knit socks. I love a bright pair of socks πŸ˜‰
I am not entirely sure what this plant/flower is but it is apparently a house plant that someone threw out into the garden and that struck there. It’s about 8 feet tall and since we cleared out the area where it was living and it is getting regular light (and water from me) it has started flowering. It seems very happy.
I have been surreptitiously taking cuttings form the end of any lovely geraniums that I see on my walks of late. I figure they would grow well here and this lovely variety proves my theory.

I have since told my sister that my 27kg weight drop is entirely down to her amazingly good, and most perfectly placed, advice. I am not sure if she realises that she really is behind my newfound ability to survive this heatwave we are calling “summer” but she is. I started on my birthday back in August and ate smaller portions. It wasn’t even very hard to do which had me banging my head on the wall for a bit as I could have lost weight and kept it off SO many times over in the past if I had just followed this little bit of advice. I eat smaller portions of “normal” vegan food. I don’t count calories or limit what I am eating. If I want something fried for dinner I have it, just in a much smaller portion than I used to have and it has completely liberated my life.

Steve’s birthday grub. Note the sundried tomatoes, pickled jalapeno and roasted capsicum chopped up on the top. He has changed his opinion about a lot of foods since going vegan just over a year ago and will eat a lot more. It doesn’t hurt that most deep fried things taste spectacular πŸ˜‰ It was all washed down with some Tiger beer and a couple of bottles of Little Creatures.
This is Vietnamese mint. It’s growing like topsy in an old fridge. I didn’t know about making wicking beds back when I planted the mint out in this old fridge and put holes in the back of it but this mint has been growing happily for years now. I have never used it in cooking but you just never know, and if I ever want to try it, it’s there πŸ™‚
This is the view to the left of our back door. We have 2 fridge wicking beds of ancient blueberries that I thought were on their last legs but that have been sending up new canes (is that the right word?!) since spring so there might be life left in the old dears yet. I got a big handful of blueberries from them and am going to attempt to grow new blueberry plants from their seeds. Sort of paying them back for their longevity by helping them out with their children πŸ™‚

I now walk 5km+ a day with Earl and love it which has helped with the weight loss (and with maintaining chew free furniture). If I hadn’t lost 27kg I would be the saddest panda this side of the Pecos by now. Steve just had his birthday yesterday and for his dinner we cooked the most delicious battered popcorn “chicken” based on homemade seitan that I pulled small portions off the dough and then cooked it as normal the day before (lucky really as we had a 5C spike on Steve’s birthday!) ready to be dipped into excellent vegan beer batter and fried in Steve’s little deep fryer. We added a few sliced mushrooms to the batter and we also cooked some salt, pepper and chilli tofu and served it all with a delicious salad. He was most happy with the results and we have as much seitan “balls” left over to do this over again frozen for a later date.

This is the furthest fridge wicking bed in the run in Narnia. It gets the most sun and has a mix of potatoes, basil, a grape (growing up the side of Narnia and not visible in the shot) and anything else I could stick into the soil. As you can see, in the 36C heat, it is very happy and not melting at all (unlike the photographer!) The fridge was a big fridge/freezer combo that has alpine strawberries in the other side (in the foreground) that went absolutely mental this year with growth and sending out runners. I will have a LOT of runners to plant out in Sanctuary for next year πŸ™‚
Here are a few tomatoes and some dwarf green beans that I picked the other day. We are getting a handful of strawberries each day as well and despite melting, we are enjoying reaping the benefits of a happy garden.
This is what the last of the fridge wicking beds look like now. They are in full sun and are not protected from the possum invaders but have so far managed to escape predation thanks to Steve’s clever idea to put chook wire around the outside. We had heard that possums don’t like floppy chook wire to climb up and it seems like it might be true! We also put an old bed head that we bought from a garage sale for $2 years ago up against the beds to prevent Earl from predating my chuffa leaves. I think it fits with the industrial rusty chic look that we have going in our wicking beds quite nicely

 

I might be melting but the garden is going mental in this heat. Because I get up early and head out to turn on the drip irrigation to Sanctuary at 3.30am and it hasn’t got any overhead water like I used to have to do, there isn’t any mildew (touch wood) like we usually get. I have had to dispose of one and throw out a half drowned other baby rat that were foolish enough to try to get a drink from Duckies water bowl and fell in, but that just means we need to lay some rat baits for them to take back to their nest. I need to do this BEFORE they eat my growing crop of pepino’s. They most likely lived on raspberries and youngberries for quite some time without my knowledge as there were SO many of them I couldn’t keep up but I am onto them now so their reign of fruity scoffing shall be a short one.

Another viewpoint of the newest fridge wicking beds in full production. Note the corn. I haven’t ever been able to grow corn well on Serendipity Farm in the ground but in wicking beds they are thriving. Lets just hope we get to harvest some of them πŸ™‚
Hree are some more ripening tomatoes and strawberries growing in one of the fridge wicking beds. They seem to love the heat.
This mental bed is more feral plants than planted. I planted red onions and dwarf beans in here but the Chinese cabbages that went to seed have grown back with a vengeance and as you can see, there are some tomatoes that have made an appearance as well. Oh well, the more the merrier on Serendipity Farm πŸ™‚

 

We have been picking lovely big ripe and delicious tomatoes for a few weeks now. I bought the seedlings from a local man who sells them at the beginning of the season. I can’t grow tomatoes as well as he can so I don’t mind supporting him each year. The earliest tomato was the Rouge Marmande. It’s ugly as sin but absolutely delicious. I have been saving seed from them and may even give them a go next year and see if I can’t match the quality of the sellers tomato plants. It’s always a better option (in my book) to learn to grow things yourself rather than rely on other people if you can at all help it as one day they may not be there but if you have the skills and the wherewithal, (I can’t believe I just spelled that correctly the first time!) to do it yourself, you are a very lucky person indeed.

Here is the “Pinata” Honey Gold mango that I bought the other day and my ripe coconut prior to being scoffed (mango) and soaked (coconut) and planted out (mango) and put in its ziploc bag (coconut). Fingers crossed for them both germinating and growing on to adulthood πŸ™‚
Sorry about the bad photo but here’s the soaked coconut in a zip-lock bag. We figured that the lounge room is the hottest room in the house so it is going to live in there for the duration till it cools down and we light Brunhilda and it can move alongside her till it sprouts and grows.
This is a photo of one of a Facebook friends mangoes that she grew from seed. Note the fruit! She lives on the border of N.S.W. and Queensland so lives in the ideal place for mangoes to grow but I am not giving up all hope. I am at least going to have fun trying to grow mine πŸ™‚

I have decided that if we are going to be forced to endure these hot summers (thanks global warming 😦 ) then I am going to make the most of it. My latest (crazy) idea is to grow a coconut palm or two here. I did some research at YouTube university and found a guy in New Zealand who had grown some. I figured that New Zealand is pretty similar to us in growing conditions (aside from they have more rain) so if he could grow one, I could. I followed his instructions to pick a coconut that was heavy with water in it and then soaked it for 3 days. I just removed it from the water and put it into a large zip-lock bag where it will enjoy the heck out of the humidity in its new environment for a few months till it sprouts a shoot and a selection of roots and can be planted out. I would love to be given the moniker of “The first person in Tasmania to grow a coconut palm”. It could be my epitaph πŸ˜‰

This is kale. “Hello kale”. I haven’t eaten it. It’s growing quite well along with it’s siblings but still I haven’t eaten it. Why haven’t I eaten it? Because I am not entirely sure “how” to eat it. When I work it out it will be likely too late to eat it at its best but if anyone has any good ideas about eating kale, please let me know in the comment section below πŸ™‚
This is a babaco plant that a friend gave me a few years ago. It has overwintered in the glasshouse and then last year out in the open and aside from losing it’s leaves, it seems most happy to grow here. I am going to plant it out in Sanctuary but till I work out exactly where, it is living in the nursery part of Narnia where the pink gooseberries that I grew from seed are growing and a peach grown from seed that a friend gave me is waiting till I can work out where to plant it.
This is the one time of the year when I get satisfaction out of blackberries. These blackberries are doing double duty as possum terrifiers around the base of my little seed grown apple tree. If they weren’t tangled around it, it would have been hoovered down by the possums so they are allowed to live but I cut them back mercilessly. Then I eat their babies πŸ˜‰

When I was hunting for the coconut I was also searching for a “Pinata” Honey Gold type of mango. I had eaten one the week before and it was the very best mango I had ever eaten in my life. I vowed that I was going to plant the seed and again, headed off to the internet to find out how to best grow one. The tutorial told me that I had to cut open the seed and inside would be more smaller seeds but after cutting open the large seed there was nothing…except a broken large seed. I was a sad panda. I finally found a few overripe Honey Gold mangoes in Launceston (they had been on special and there weren’t many left) and bought one home, ate it (it was just as good as the last one!) and have planted the seed out along with another kind (hedging my bets πŸ˜‰ ) in this heatwave so fingers crossed they think that they have dropped into a tropical paradise and by the time they have worked out that they aren’t actually in Aruba, it will be too late!

This is my tiger nut crop growing in a very large pot along with a feral Chinese cabbage and a strawberry runner that a friend gave me of some particularly delicious strawberries that taste like Allens Sherbie sweets. As you can see, they are loving the full sun position that they are in. Hopefully I will get some extras so that I can send them to a couple of friends on the mainland who would love to have a go at growing them (Bev and Jane) πŸ™‚ Not sure if Bev got any of hers to grow? Let me know Bev πŸ™‚
This is the mushroom plant now. It is in a very big black pot and has gone mental. I threw in a handful of aged sheep manure when I planted it and mulched it well and it is situated in a semi shaded spot (apparently where it likes to grow) and is loving its growing conditions. Not bad for a New Guinea native. It’s in a fridge wicking bed next to my turmeric and that strange looking plant with the long greenish brown leaves is a pineapple lily.
I will have to pull up the horseradish this year and divide it as you can see, it’s HUGE. That’s a large broccoli plant behind it and the horseradish loves growing in the freezer section of one of the fridge wicking beds (the perfect place to plant the edibles that might invade Poland)
My accidental guild. Peaches, potatoes (because I had nowhere else to put them πŸ˜‰ ) and peas (growing from the pea straw under the peach tree). The “P”erfect “P” guild and Earl does his bit to “pee” on it whenever he goes out into the garden πŸ˜‰

I also headed into a local Asian grocery store and noticed that they had fresh longans and bought a handful. After learning my lesson about following normal website tutorials I went back to YouTube university to find out how to grow them. The universal method is to put the cleaned seeds into damp paper towel and seal them in a zip-lock bag till they sprout (it seems to be a “thang” with tropical seeds) so they, too, are waiting to sprout on my counter top basking in 36C heat and no doubt enjoying the ride whilst poor narf7 melts daily like the wicked witch of the west. Again, at least something good has to come out of this heatwave! I wouldn’t mind too much as you expect it to be a bit hot in summer if you live in Australia but it’s only the middle and we still have the hottest month (February) to come! o_O

I am not sure if I will get any rockmelons from this plant but at least I have the possibility of rockmelons and for me that’s enough πŸ™‚ The lettuce all bolted and went to seed but the rockmelon loves it’s sunny spot in the hot sun
I probably shouldn’t have planted a Queensland blue pumpkin vine out into a fridge wicking bed. It has escaped it’s confines and is off searching for soil to invade.
EGGPLANTS! Be still my beating heart. This eggplant plant is covered in them and is still producing more flowers. I am SO happy! With eggplants costing us $9 each for a small one in Tasmania, I won’t have to sigh heavily whenever I happen to see them in the supermarkets from now on.
This image is for Jane. To show you what the loquat trees that I grew from seed 3 years ago look like now. They languished in pots for a year then got planted out 2 years ago and they are practically unstoppable. Drought tolerant and very hardy to the max. I usually forget to turn on their water but as you can see they don’t care. They are here for the duration πŸ™‚

Steve and I are back at TAFE in a week or so. I don’t really mind this year as we have an excellent lecturer who delivers quality tutorials accompanied by a new female lecturer (not usual in this field) who is both knowledgeable and approachable and they both teach the way that I learn best so it might be my year to conquer my fears about coding. Either way, I am going to ask questions and not expect to know everything that the lecturers are talking about the first go round. The dogs have just gotten used to us being home for the last 6 weeks and we will be back to “abandoning” them again which is going to go down like a lead balloon but which can’t be helped. We expect a couple of weeks of stink eye and several uneaten (sulking) meals from at least one of them.

Doesn’t he look wild? He used to be feral. Now he waits at the gate for us to come out and follows us meowing. If Earl didn’t live inside the house fence, Pawly certainly would!
This is an Eastern spotted tailed quoll. The other evening we heard a commotion out in the garden and headed out to see what was going on. A mother hen and her semi grown babies were wandering dazed around on the driveway which isn’t normal for hens as they nest up at night and Earl was sniffing the fenceline. I went out to explore and found 3 of the hens babies dead on the ground! I looked up (using the torch for light) into the tree above me as Earl was standing up at the fence sniffing up in the air and saw one of these fine fellows. AHA! The prime chook killer of old Sidmouth town is back! I picked up the dead babies and left them at the base of the tree for him. I checked the next morning and he had taken 2 of them away. I haven’t seen him since. I think I scared him!
We have taken to getting up at 6am and heading out for our early morning walks of late. This was Saturday’s walk and the sky was quite threatening. I thought that the forecast for “rain” might eventuate but the cloud cover burned off later in the day and we had 35.5C for Steve’s birthday! They are telling us that we will get rain on Tuesday now. I don’t believe them πŸ˜‰

I am going to head off now. It’s time to feed the (stink eye) dogs who may or may not eat their dinner now as it’s very hot. We also have to brave the outdoors and head out to feed the feral cats that have become quite tame over the last few months. I hope wherever you are in the world that 2018 has been treating you well and that halfway through January, you are living, learning and enjoying your life. Catch you soon πŸ™‚

I have 2 macadamia nut trees (one less happy than the other one) and pots of happy dragon fruit growing in this part of the garden. I also have a pot with elderberry cuttings growing in it and anything else “potted” like the pines, that we haven’t given away is in this motley bunch. The area is full of frogs and lizards and gets watered every day.
I discovered an interesting conical hole on the bank next to the tap alongside the compost heap the other week. I have been keeping an eye on this hole and noticed something moving in it the other day and saw the BIGGEST spider with huge fangs. She is apparently a wolf spider and has since added webbing to her lovely den. I don’t mind her living in this area of the garden as she is another beneficial to take care of the pest species as far as I am concerned. She often suns herself at the entrance of her burrow and scampers away whenever she sees me.

 

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57 Comments Add yours

  1. Congratulations on the weight loss – 27 kg is not to be sneezed at! If you treat kale like silverbeet you’ll be on the right track. Light steam, bit of your favourite oil or lemon juice and there you are. Add to stir-frys and also can be used in green smoothies – where it is supposed to be at its best vitamin and mineral loving goodness, but personally I don’t care for it. (I’m also not that fond of silverbeet and never buy it or grow it) I believe it has already fallen from its loudly touted top pedestal position as the best green ever as lots of people had bad reactions to it.

    It’s pretty hot there huh? It is here too, not as high as you, but then we’re not supposed to be. Last summer was so awful and this summer is so hot I’d kind of like the weather gods to work out their issues and find a nice median if at all possible. I have a little weather app on my new laptop that tells me the last two days here have been the hottest on their dates ever recorded in this city. (28 degrees) In contrast the same days last year were the coldest ever – at 6 degrees. Feb and March are generally our hottest months – what are yours?

    The garden is looking fabulous – we need a photo of the new revised you and a belated happy birthday to the lovely Steve. xoxo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I remember taking kale from the TAFE gardens when we were studying horticulture. Steve didn’t like it but I thought I did. I think the added bonus of pilfering it added a tasty edge as I don’t think I am all that keen on it to be honest now πŸ˜‰ It’s pretty in the garden and it might be its last hoorah to be honest. It might go in the “don’t bother planting” folder for next year methinks. We aren’t supposed to be as hot as we have been here in Tassie. Mainland Australia gets very hot but as a rule, we stay in the mid to high 20C’s and are quite happy with that. Not this year! Feb and March are our hottest months as well so I am dreading seeing what they throw at us if 36C+ is a “mild” January temperature! The garden does it’s thing so long as I keep the water and fertiliser (aged sheep manure) up to it. That’s the very best thing about gardens and it gives me the irrits when people puff up like adders with pride when someone else says “your garden is looking gorgeous!” The garden deserves the praise as the gardener is usually second to the plate unless they are trimming the lawn using a ruler and scissors and that’s a whole other ball game! πŸ˜‰ I will brave the camera sometimes soon. I am not a great fan of it to be honest and I will pass on your felicitations to Steve when he wakes up. He had a lovely day doing everything that he wanted to do πŸ™‚

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      1. think you do deserve kudos when it comes to your garden – you only have to think what it would look like if you went away for a month ! I know what you mean about the camera – I am not a fan at all but my friends have started saying I need to have a face pic at least annually as a record of my passing – it’s an in joke but also probably true! I need to get some pellets or something to add into my pots, they are showing signs of nutrient deficiency with the increased demands for water. Any suggestions?

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        All I do is throw in some aged sheep poo that I bought from the side of the road but my guess is that you should head to your nearest larger nursery chain. We have Bunnings here but I don’t know if you have it there? Wherever is big enough to be reasonably cheap for you. Pick up something like a Powerfeed liquid nutrient with seaweed emulsion in it. It will wiff a bit but it is brilliant for conditioning and fertilising your plants. Look for something with a complete spectrum in it (it will say something like that on the box) with nitrogen, balanced with Phosphorous and Magnesium (NPK) If you get a liquid in a bottle it is much easier to deliver it direct to your plants and the uptake is a lot quicker. We have Powerfeed and Seasol here. I am not sure what your organic alternative is but I am sure there is one. The camera and I are NOT friends but I guess I should suck it up for posterity πŸ˜‰

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      3. Thank you for your sage advice – I have a good seaweed based liquid so should actually use that πŸ™‚ I use it on my indoor plants with great effect and don’t know why I haven’t segued that realisation to my outdoor growths….. Just thick I guess 😦
        Yes, suck it up for posterity – I shall adopt that as my mantra! Yes, we have Bunnings and Mitre10 both excellent stores!

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        We share Bunnings and Mitre 10? We are truly sister countries Ms Pauline! ❀ That makes me strangely happier than I should likely be πŸ˜‰ Seasol and Powerfeed are the companion liquid fertilisers for organic growing. Seasol is more of a plant conditioner and it awesome if you have a stressed plant that you need to repot etc. as you soak it in a diluted solution of seasol and it tends to survive. Powerfeed is the food/fertiliser of the two and is a brilliant all round fertiliser that gives everything a boost. I don't believe that anyone is ever thick, just they don't know something yet. "Thick" is reserved for people who actually know but who refuse to learn πŸ˜‰ Have fun stinking up your plants. Suddy will love it! We put lots of stinky chook poo hay in our last few wicking beds and whenever I water them the water that flows out STINKS to high heavens and Bezial tries to either drink it or roll in it o_O dogs eh? πŸ˜‰

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      5. πŸ™‚ Siddy isn’t a roller thank heavens! I’ve taken a note of your two recommendations, thank you!

        Liked by 1 person

      6. narf7 says:

        Earl is a selective roller. He will have a good sniff first and then does me the honour of giving me plenty of notice that he is about to throw himself head first into something particularly stinky that I am seriously going to regret if I don’t halt this action forthwith πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  2. aFrankAngle says:

    That’s too hot for me … so thank got it’s winter here. Oh crap .. but that means our hot summer is on the way … damn cycles!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      That concurrently means that our winter is on it’s way which makes me a happy clam Mr Frank! Thank you for reminding me. I was losing a bit of hope there πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Phew that is positively Boiling Heat Fran, and if ever it gets up to 25 *C here we are melting, and that is hot for us.. So goodness knows how that kind of heat feels..

    Congratulations upon your small portions and weight loss Fran. I must try convincing hubby to do the same.. πŸ˜€ I have stopped doing as many puddings, as I have gained a few pounds over Christmas and winter with not being so active..

    I could swap you for some fine days right now.. January has been awful, cold windy sleet, snow, but mainly rain most days and we went a week the other week without ever seeing the Sun, Just grey think cloud that hung low, with temps to match.
    Today though we have seen blue skies but its cold windy and temps although a little higher are 13*C which is very warm considering it was only 3C the at the beginning of the week

    I am really pleased your beds are doing well and the watering system is working well. Love to see them thriving, Though not so much the spider the size your hand.. While I may like hot climates, I do not like the size of your eight legged friends.. And can just live quite nicely with the ones we have thank you very much.. πŸ™‚

    Sorry to hear about your young chucks.. And I loved you showed a photo of the spotted tailed quoll, or I wouldn’t have had a clue what it looked like. It has the face of Weasel it looks the size of a Cat?? Is it.. And speaking of Cats love Pawly, he certainly looks relaxed and at home..

    A Happy Belated Birthday to Steve, and hope he had a good day, Loved all the photos and your exotic plant which you didn’t know the name of.. Beautiful

    I have sort of been hibernating still, painting, model making and not turning on the modem at all some days.. I think sometimes you just want to switch off from the outside world and that is how I have felt.. Sort of cannot be bothered, So absorbed myself in reading, and crafts..
    I know those who are my true WP friends will still be here when I next visit them, and for once as I logged in your update was top of the pile.. πŸ™‚ So I am early here for once.. LOL.

    I had better post that post on the Island of Seil its only been sat in my drafts two weeks.. But I knew if I posted peoples comments would be left pending as I was not wanting to come back into Blog land just yet..
    Keep up the excellent work on the portions!.. I have been watching Tom Kerridge who is a chef and his TV programme he lost not pounds but stones!!.. A link for you is here
    http://www.goodtoknow.co.uk/wellbeing/545818/tom-kerridge-weight-loss-secret
    In the hopes that Hubby takes a leaf… I have cooked a few of his recipes and they are tasty.. They are not Vegan though, but some good tips he gives..

    Have a Super week, and hope TAFE is not going to get you all stressed up as much.. NO going back now, you have made inroads πŸ™‚

    Sending Love and Hugs and take care Fran…
    Sue xxx ❀

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      That kind of heat feels like wearing a very thick jumper when someone has the heater turned up too high and you are too polite to take it off and you sweat like a mule. It’s easy to eat too much, especially for me. I am used to eating three times what a normal “lady” would eat. My mum served us up huge portions from when we were tiny so we got used to eating a LOT. I was eating 3 pasties when I was 10 so you can only begin to imagine how much I ate on a regular basis and when I coupled that with eating savoury deliciousness like lots of toast with (vegan) butter, fried things galore and ALL of the creamy fatty things, you can see how I was managing to approach derierre magnificence in one fell swoop!

      You really wouldn’t want our hot days at the moment Sue! We get a bit of a respite this week as the temperatures are going back down to our mid to high 20C’s normals. Perfect weather and lovely for our last week of the holidays.

      Those HUGE huntsman spiders don’t bite and eat the copious amount of flies that hot Aussie weather seems to spawn so I don’t mind them at all. They just tend to get in places where you put your hand and when you touch them they are VERY furry and react by curling up into something ridiculously tiny while you are howling because they terrified you out of your mind you realise that they are equally as terrified of you so it kind of evens out in the end. That wolf spider in the burrow however, she can BITE! I won’t be putting my finger anywhere near the entrance of her burrow I can tell you!

      We have gotten to the stage with our feral chooks where we actually accept that the quoll is going to eat some of them and we don’t really mind. They have gone over the top in producing clutch after clutch of feral babies and they sleep out in the open where the quoll lives so you really can’t blame him for choosing a tasty chook meal. He was very big and fat so I figure he has been eating them on a regular basis of late and wherever a pest species build up (in this case chickens) there will be a predator that comes to take on the “problem”. Nature rules!

      Steve had a lovely day doing everything that he wanted to and is still thanking me for “my lovely birthday weekend” so it must have done down well. Winter makes you become introspective and think more and you tend to do crafts, read and those kind of things because “outside” isn’t hospitable. I will be doing the same kinds of things mid June and will be loving it as I have a long memory and will be most grateful that these hot days of summer are gone! I didn’t have another baby for 6 years after the first one because I remembered that pain in exquisite detail and every time I was tempted that memory was at the fore!

      I think the value of true friendship is that you can pick it up where you left off years apart. It doesn’t fade. That’s how it is with online blogging to be honest and I love my blogging friends πŸ™‚ If you aren’t ready to go back to blogging, you really shouldn’t Sue. It’s here for your enjoyment NOT as a chore. That’s why I stopped doing it for a while there. It felt like I “had” to make a post and I was digging in my heels. If you want to just comment on a few friends blogs do so. I only post now when I have something I think is worthwhile posting about. My followers that count (I have many that have never commented at all) all wait and comment if they feel like it and that’s how it should be πŸ™‚

      It’s amazing how easy it is to veganise normal recipes. My daughter went vegan a few years ago and her brilliant sister made her a birthday cake. It was based on a white chocolate mud cake recipe and all she did was swap out the non vegan ingredients like eggs and butter, for easy vegan subs and it was magnificent! Thank you for the link. I am going to check it out. I loved Tom Kerridge. He was that big jolly chef from Cornwall or something like that. I used to watch him a lot on the television and am glad he lost a lot of weight as he really needed to. He has that gastro pub that everyone is raving about doesn’t he? Again, thank you for the links πŸ™‚

      I won’t be terrified this year at TAFE because these lecturers teach using good tutorials that you can work through at your own pace. My last few years have been a bit crazy as my lecturers had a different system and it didn’t really gel with my desire to work through things at a solid pace. I often had to wait or head off to YouTube university to find what I needed to know but these lecturers this year have it all covered and are incredibly well organised so I am really looking forward to the challenge πŸ™‚

      Hugs and love right back to you Sue and keep your chin up, your Spring is just over the cusp πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Thanks Fran for that advice about Blog land… and I too have many who follow or who click multiple posts as likes.. but never leave a comment..

        I used to often follow them who followed me.. But unless I am interested in their blogs and follow, I wait, often they leave a quick message to catch you and disappear never to be seen again on your blog.. LOL Yet I have some Great Blogging friends, who have been tremendously loyal
        I now have a rule I comment three times and if they do not answer my comment I unfollow. And I need to cull my follow list again.. πŸ™‚ lol
        While I have over a thousand followers on my main blog.. About 50 are regular visitors.. So it shows you..

        As for the spider.. Yes Wolf Spiders I have been bitten by.. They jump at you.. LOL if you are near their funnel webs I have learnt to wear gloves especially when picking strawberries as we get lots in the beds

        And Yes Tom is the one with the Pubs.. and he is now T total, cut out booze altogether.. His series on TV is on BBC right now and I am enjoying it..
        I made a pasta with his recipe and Hubby loved it..
        Also happy to know you will not be getting stressed out at TAFE either.. And enjoy your cooler days for the rest of your hols..

        Always great to have our conversations Fran.. Take care.. and Much LOVE πŸ™‚ xxxx ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        We got rain and its lovely and cool today so I am a happy camper. I checked out Tom’s weight loss and he has lost 10 stone! He is almost half the man he was I reckon in size. He looks very different and it would be a whole lot easier for him to move around. I reckon that large cooks tend to be good cooks as you know that they at least taste what they are preparing for you πŸ˜‰ Have a great day Sue πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Haha, yes, I have some pounds to lose myself since Christmas.. LOL πŸ™‚ Not easy when you love to cook πŸ™‚ and taste and have seconds.. πŸ™‚ haha

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        Or thirds in my case πŸ˜‰ Now that Steve is cooking as well and he is very good, the food is really good so I need to keep my eye on the portion sizes.

        Liked by 1 person

      5. Yes hubby cooks a lot and forgets he is cooking for two not four! πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  4. well done with your weight loss, i am also trying to cut down on portion size as i suffer with arthritis in my knees and carrying too much weight doesn’t help. I am pleased you have the spiders there, and not here , but i would like to share some of your sunshine..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We went past sunshine and directly to BLAZING DESERT for about 4 days there. Tasmania is more like the U.K. with it’s summer temperatures than the rest of Australia and suddenly we were beating Queensland with our levels of humidity and temperatures. Yesterday was the last day of the heatwave and we had 32C temperatures and 93% humidity. I now know what it is like to go to South America πŸ˜‰ I feel a lot better now that I have lost most of the excess weight that I need to and my knees are my problem area as well. It’s a family thing so anything I can do to alleviate the problem, like losing weight, is a good start. We will keep the spiders here if you take some of the sunshine load. It’s a deal!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I always think that is one of the best times, straight after a heat wave and you get this beautiful cooling breeze and the land seems to give a sigh of relief and the whole area becomes more pleasant, bring on summer although I do love the spring too..

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        You can have summer. I am over it! We have just finished month 2 of summer and have 2 more to go. I know officially summer lasts 3 months but we get it for 4 here and it only really turns to autumn in April for us. That’s when we light Brunhilda, our big 4 burner wood stove and she remains on till mid October. Now THAT is my favourite time of the year. Free hot water, free heat, 4 ovens to bake in and amazing ambience. I can’t wait ❀

        Liked by 1 person

      3. ooohhhh that sounds right up my street, we have had a frost here today but the sky is blue and the sun is out, a great end of january day..

        Liked by 1 person

      4. narf7 says:

        That sounds perfectly lovely to me πŸ™‚

        Liked by 1 person

  5. foodnstuff says:

    I’ve decided I don’t really like kale as kale, but I do dry the leaves and add them to casseroles, where I hope I’m getting the vitamins and minerals without the taste. The chooks love it so they get most of it, plus green grubs.

    Only one of my tiger nuts germinated into a spindly little plant so I hope it produces a few nuts by the end of the season.

    Congrats on the eggplant. I have only one showing on 3 plants so far, but there are plenty of flowers so hoping for more eventually.

    Had a stinker of a hot weekend, but the cool change came this afternoon and there’s gentle rain outside now at 9 pm. I love the sound. Means I won’t have to water tomorrow and the garden will benefit. Some more in the tank, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I have the same thing with my water chestnuts Bev. I was late in planting them out into a tub and they never quite made the translation from the smaller containers with mud and water that I had them in in the kitchen to the great outdoors. I have 1 solitary water chestnut growing. Maybe we can have an over the Tasman swap event when they grow their corms? I sucked it up and paid just on $7 for a single eggplant from Bunnings back late last year as I truly adore eggplants and was muttering as it grew slowly. I did pick up another couple of them in a pot later on in the season and planted them out and they have grown quickly with the heat and have a couple of fruits on each of them. The first one is obviously a variety of Japanese finger eggplant. I just saw the purple and white stripes and thought “bonus!” without checking out the kind it was and it is absolutely completely loaded with fruit and grows more flowers every day! If I see this kind next year at Bunnings I will suck it up and buy 3 of them it is that prolific. I would rather get some seeds for it so I will have to go hunting online I think. I did manage to grow about 3 little weedy finger eggplant seedlings that are only now just starting to grow bigger but I figure they will miss their chance to produce. I really need to get my head around when to plant out seeds to take the best advantage of when to grow them here. Our weekend was like yours. A lady up the road almost lost all of her prize chooks because it was SO hot up on the mountain where she lives. She has cleared out all of the trees from around the house and the sun here is vicious because of the lack of an ozone layer. She couldn’t even squirt their pens with a bit of water as the water coming out of the tap was hot because she has those black water pipes on top of the ground bringing up water to her property. It rained yesterday but was still hot and humid last night when I went to bed so I still slept under a sheet for the first half of the night. It’s lovely and cool this morning and I just had to close one of the windows! I agree, you don’t truly appreciate the sound and smell of that lovely summer rain unless you are a gardener and truly value the delicious feeling of not having to water your plants πŸ™‚ at least this next week looks like normal temperatures for Tassie. Hopefully it’s the same for you πŸ™‚

      Like

  6. Kim says:

    I’m not convinced i would do well in that heat – being fair skinned I burn quickly and don’t generally like being overheated. Losing all that weight must be making it a bit more comfortable for you so well done. I’m sure Earl is happy that you are so willing to walk now.
    The garden is looking very good. All of the work you put in on the wicking beds sure has paid off! Being able to ‘shop the garden’ for meals must be wonderful. Enjoy it all – you’ve earned it πŸ˜€.
    I would be bluntly terrified of that wolf spider so I’m currently happy freezing here in the uk. Spider free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      I have fair skin too Kim and you just have to put on a hat and make sure to do everything outside before the sun does it’s worst. I was SO glad I lost weight this weekend! Yesterday was the last in the string of stinker days and was 32C and 93% humidity which was almost unbearable. Earl is most surprised when I occasionally break into a bit of a jog when we are walking. I think he thinks that someone is chasing us πŸ˜‰ The garden is doing it’s own thing magnificently. I love it when the summer weather and the garden cooperate. It’s almost worth the heat. I am very happy that the wolf spider lives outside on the side of a steep bank where I don’t have to poke around. She is most welcome to live there as she is now eating pest species out of the compost bin. Steve and I were walking down to check the mail yesterday and I spotted something in the new wicking fridges just outside the back door that zoomed into the corn. I looked closer and saw a large rat head peering out at me! I wish we had a spider that would eat them! Now we have to place baits or we won’t get any corn and they will start to eat our tomatoes! I think we are feeding those feral cats too well! Glad I could make you happy to be going through your cold winter. I am sure you have spiders where you are, you just don’t notice them. I had a lovely comment from Sue Dreamwalker about how she has wolf spiders in her garden and she lives in the U.K. so you never know…

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Kim says:

        Pawly needs a very stern talking to!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. narf7 says:

        HAHAHA! πŸ˜‰

        Liked by 1 person

  7. Jane says:

    Your garden looks so good and the wicking fridges are totally amazing. Thanks for the photo of your loquats. If mine do half as good I’ll be well pleased. It has been hot hot hot here also. Definitely odd weather for us. We do get hot in the summer here, but we had at least three solid weeks of very humid 35 – 43c. I was soo thankfull for the rain and the cooler temperatures that arrived on Monday night, but the temperatures are gradually increasing againπŸ˜“. I don’t like the cold either. A bit of frost now and then for the stone fruit is ok, but not every morning for months like last winter, and even then once the sun came up we had above average temperatures and so dry. I’m convinced I’m living on the wrong planet.
    It’s funny but I don’t mind spiders at all in the garden, but one in the house produces near hysteria in me.
    A few days ago I noticed a New Holland honey eater visiting the agapanthus flowers and today I saw another. Both were visiting blue flowered aggies, so far I haven’t see any on the white ones. I was pleased to see them as I always felt a bit guilty for liking agapanthus.
    I like kale, but only when the leaves are still quite small. I just bunch them up and cut them into thin strips and fry them only for a minute or two with onion or garlic, in butter, then stir it through some pasta spirals with an individual serve tin of tuna or salmon. Sometimes I add olives and capers as well. Very yumπŸ˜‹.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      The wicking fridges have been my saving grace this year. Every year (prior to now) I have tried (hopelessly) to grow vegetables in the tangle that is Sanctuary and when I decided to give up and just turn Sanctuary into a fruit, nut and perennial garden with additional flowers for pollination and concentrate on growing veg in the wicking fridges it was the start of a brilliant adventure. I love gardening adventures and it really tickles me when they work. Our fridge croaked back in late December last year and we were so lucky that we still had our daughters old fridge that the gave us to turn into a wicking bed. It had been languishing in the shed prior to the big shed clean up and we were procrastinating about even going into the shed as it was disgusting after months of chooks roosting in it (as you can imagine o_O!) but after we cleaned it out (and prior to our fridge really giving up the ghost) we remembered the fridge and hauled it out to make a bed out of it. When our fridge went over to the hot side we decided to give old Betsy a test drive and see if she was really dead and she wasn’t!

      Betsy is now purring away in the kitchen full of our cold goods and our old fridge is now destined for wicking bed heaven which makes us SO happy because no landfill for our old fridge and another precious garden bed in the making. I once lamented to someone else that I wanted old fridges and they said “put an ad in the paper saying “wanted, old broken fridges” and we would end up with about 100 of them dumped in the front acre” People can’t get rid of them as they cost a bomb to haul to the tip and it’s a terrific way to prevent them going into landfill when they are a truly valuable resource for skint permaculturalists and they really do work as brilliant wicking beds with amazing thermal mass πŸ™‚

      The heat persisted through Monday here and I went to bed under a sheet, got up to pee and still went back under a sheet but after my second nocturnal visit to the small house, I had to get under the doona. Tasmania is mental because not only was it stinking hot on Monday but yesterday (Wednesday) it was freezing cold and snowing in the mountains and -2C on Mt Wellington! I love the cold. I can rug up and bumble around to my hearts content. I have always wilted in the heat. I think it’s my German/Scottish blood to be honest. I was born to be a cold loving creature πŸ˜‰

      I have never worried much about spiders to be honest. I pick them up and move them around in my hands most of the time unless they are particularly big or have some serious looking fangage and then I use a glass and a bit of paper to relocate them. They must catch and eat tonnes of flies in the house and I seriously HATE blowflies so that makes my little portable fly muncher mates most welcome inside to me!

      The bumblebees are going mental over the blue agapanthus. We don’t get honeyeaters out here as the enormous wattle birds rule the nectar roost out here and would see them off. I am not sure if we even have them here? Your recipe for kale sounds scrumptious! I might have a go at adding some strong flavours like olives etc. to counter that deep brassica taste that it has. Excellent idea Jane. Hopefully you get some loquats from the seed and they grow well for you. They really don’t need a lot of extra water but they do need protection when they are young.

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  8. brymnsons says:

    That pussy cat looks the spitting image of my darling departed boy, Buster. For a second I thought “How did she get hold of his photo?” If he’s anything like my boy then he will be a sweet nature. Your crop is looking wonderful πŸ™‚ Isn’t it a lovely feeling to eat what you sow, or at least admire the growth. Still melting here too…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Pawly has a really lovely temperment. If we didn’t have Earl, he would have moved in and taken over the house by now as Bezial has a soft spot for him :). It is lovely to eat what we have grown. We are harvesting a decent amount of food this year as we are growing it in the wicking fridges rather than Sanctuary where we couldn’t find it! We did get a lot of berries from Sanctuary and my pepino’s are going great guns this year. We have corn and tonnes of tomatoes and cucumbers as well this year which is awesome. Last year was a bit of a lame duck as it was so wet and cold but this year might be hot, but it is certainly a good year for food growing here in Tasmania πŸ™‚ I even have eggplants!

      Liked by 1 person

  9. brymnsons says:

    Buster crop πŸ™‚ Clever Narf7 and Stevie boy. Tell Earl to play nice… ha ha ha ha

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Last night we heard an ominous clucking from outside and headed out to find Earl with a chook in his beak. They are tough here so it survived but he got another one within minutes! That one survived as well. It turns out they are (incredibly stupidly) choosing to come inside the house fence to avoid the danger of the quoll and right into the gaping maw of Earl o_O. Not sure which is the more pleasant death to be honest but if they just went into the coop they would be safe…sigh…

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  10. brymnsons says:

    Silly chooks.. soon to be dinner by the sounds of it.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Hi Fran, My vegan brother makes spiced kale chips (crisps) sometimes and I score some – very tasty. Apparently kale is also a winter crop and doesn’t mind a bit of chilly weather.
    If you want to add a bit of hot, tangy zing to your food – Vietnamese mint is just the thing.

    Will you be busy preserving any excess produce – dried tomatoes, pickled cucumbers, egg plant in oil?

    Good luck with your 2018 studies at TAFE.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Margaret, I haven’t actually tried kale chips, thank you for reminding me! I will have to give them a go so at least I use the kale for something. The Vietnamese mint is very hardy and I love how it looks in the garden. I will have to add a little bit to a stir fry to see how it goes. We have so many tomatoes on the plants that we grew that I am going to have to preserve some of them. Last year I just turned them all into pasta sauce and froze them but I am going to dry some and eggplant in oil sounds scrumptious so I am definitely going to do that. I think we will eat most of the cucumbers as we are enjoying a lot of salad this year and they are really lovely and sweet when they are small and picked fresh from the vine. Thank you for your good wishes with our studies. We are enjoying our course so far and fingers crossed, we will keep doing so. πŸ™‚

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  12. Linne says:

    Well, I’m pretty late to the party, aren’t I? Loved the post and sharing vicariously your garden (without the heat LOL). I’ve experienced up to the low 40s, but only a few times, I think. In the old days before cell phones and internet (remember those?) we knew ‘very hot’ and ‘hot’, but didn’t track the exact numbers. High 30s I’ve seen more often, but high 20s to low 30s was pretty common in Edmonton most of the years I lived there. Weather is odd here, too. This afternoon it warmed up to +4; we expect plenty of snow tomorrow and down to -20s by mid-week.

    As to kale, I didn’t eat as much of mine as I’d expected. But the six months I was in Tacoma last winter I bought bags of salad mix whose main component was a small leafed baby kale. Scrumptious!! I added sliced carrots, onion, apple, raisins, walnuts and sometimes zucchini, then put sliced roast chicken (from Costco) on top with a wee squidge of the mix’s dressing, which came in a small bag that I then kept in the tiny fridge in a glass. I had that more than half the time, but did alternate with ‘steamed’ veggies that I cooked in a glass bowl in the microwave. I never used the stove as I didn’t want to get into buying propane and all that. Anyway, the baby kale salads are fantastic; I don’t know what variety it was, but I certainly loved it. No strong flavour and none of that fibrousness that some of the kale seems to have.

    I almost hope for global warming to hit here so that I can grow mangoes and the like, but I owuldn’t like the extreme heat. And I’m not really into air conditioning, either. Maybe an earth-sheltered hobbity home? And when your mangoes come in, if you get the chance, try chunking them into a bowl and adding chunked peaches and a handful of blueberries. When I was making this for myself, I had a lovely golden-yellow bowl that was so lovely with the contents that I took many a photo of it/them.

    Have fun at TAFE; coding is pretty interesting, although I only dabbled a bit back when it was all new; not sure I could do it on my own these days.

    A VERY belated happy birthday to Steve, too; I’m glad he had a lovely time.

    Thanks for the lovely share of your life and gardens. So nice when we have heaps of the white stuff everywhere outside! Love and Light ~ Linne

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Linne, I can imagine how people get that winter SAD condition if they are holed up with snow all around them for months at a time. We don’t get that here, just a bit of cold and rain and this summer has been a lot hotter and drier than it usually is but the garden has come through thanks to the drip irrigation that Steve and I installed. I will share your best wishes with Steve for his birthday when he wakes up. It’s just gone 4am here and I have already turned on the irrigation for one of the stations in Sanctuary as it’s going to be another dry day but thankfully, not a hot one. Hopefully we are over our very hot days. I am NOT a fan! I love mango and so far my seeds are still just that…”seeds” and nothing has struck but you never know. I am trying to grow some longans and had three of them growing and in a pot until Earl upended them on a quest for a (stupid) chicken that came into the garden that he was chasing…sigh… I love the sound of chunked mango and peaches and blueberries. That sounds incredibly healthy and sunny as does that delicious sounding salad that you made. Coding is much easier now thanks to having studied it a few years ago so it’s just a refresher and away we go this time :). I am glad you enjoyed the garden visit. It’s about time I did another blog post. You reminded me πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  13. Linne says:

    I forgot to say Congratulations on your weight being so much closer to normal! I no longer say ‘losing weight’ as someone pointed out to me that what I lsoe I can also find again. hahaha I, too, am 50 lbs (23 kg) closer to my normal, but I have another 45=50 to go still. I quit added sugar in January and have kept it up; not doing as well with reducing my fats intake yet; now planning on the reduced portion sizes, too. I expect to be close to my normal by the end of April and after that plenty of walking will take care of any that is left. I have ‘in-grown’ my jeans (opposite of ‘out-grown’, don’t you know?) but won’t buy new ones ’til early May. I’m using a wee bungee cord through the back loops to keep them up; don’t want to terrify the natives when shopping, do I? And I’ve begun getting patterns ready to use, as I’m making some new clothes for myself, too. Other things first, though. Anyway, it’s nice to know I’m on a parallel path to you in some ways. Cool waves to you; it’s too warm for you to be wanting warm hugs, I bet. ~ Linne

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  14. Robbie says:

    Sorry took SOOO long to visit and read your post this past month. I need time to sit down and read your post. I can’t do it in a hurry. It is something I need a good cup of tea or ( like today) my breakfast. I am eating my steel cut oats and half the amount. I believe you are right about smaller portion sizes! I ‘ve always said that I overeat GOOD food it is not the evil food I am eating a lot of off-LOL
    Spring is starting here in our area. Been busy with helping my daughter, parents and the past few weeks. I do get a post in, but I often don’t get time to visit everyone’s blogs-
    Yours is one of my favorites, but I need time to read and soak up all the exciting things happening in your neck of the woods.
    Everything looked so beautiful and filled in:-) our stuff here is all brown, dead and more shades of brown. HOWEVER there are spring bulbs poking through the soil and I noticed Sorrel and Chervil growing,
    Those eggplants are beautiful!
    I relate! I can’t seem to grow perfect tomatoes either. I start them from seed anyway since I don’t know anyone that grows them well. Mine are always tall and spindly even when I blow air, baby the hell out of them!!!I just bury them deeply, and it usually works. I love growing peppers they don’t get all spindly and funny looking-LOL

    I always find the ugliest tomatoes taste the best-that is why the gave up on them and created those tasteless things to travel long miles The breed the taste out of tomatoes-UGH! ‘
    Well, have to run…..so good to see you are doing well down under!!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      We are getting to the “brown end” of summer. Isn’t it funny that we hit the brown end at the same time, likely twice a year! πŸ˜‰ Glad to see you here and I haven’t posted a blog post for ages. We are back at TAFE now and working our derrieres off coding websites again. Enjoying the process and learning heaps this time because of the way that they course is formatted πŸ™‚ The tomatoes are still ugly but delicious. I turned about a kilo of them (weird pink looking lumpkin tomatoes) into a heavenly pasta sauce yesterday for Steve’s dinner. He was most happy. It’s great to eat food from the garden. I actually have rockmelons this year (you call them cantaloupes I think) and lots of them growing. It’s the first time I have used this particular fridge wicking bed as we only filled them in late last year and planted them out for the first time and I have corn! HOORAY! I haven’t been able to grow corn in the ground here but its fighting against the ants and their desire to spread aphids EVERYWHERE on a constant basis at this time of year along with the white fly sucking the life out of all of the leaves and trying to find ways to prevent them from murdering everything in the garden using natural methods as nothing seems to eat them (too tiny?) I guess they get stuck in spiders teeth like poppyseeds πŸ˜‰ SO glad to see you here Robbie I will get another blog post out soon ❀

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Robbie says:

    Good to hear you are doing great + those fridge beds are working great. I can’t wait to grow and eager to get out there with all my pollinator buddies:-)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. narf7 says:

      You go girl! πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  16. Hi Fran, just checking in on you and hope all is well down under, I expect you have been really busy with the growing season and creating wonderful websites.. πŸ™‚
    I have not been in blog land much either,
    We have Snow again today Easter Monday.. but it is set to turn to rain.. So fed up of Winter when it should be spring..
    Sending LOVE and HUGS .. take care..
    Sue xx

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    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Sue, I really NEED to get a blog post sorted out. We are going at a cracking pace here with our course and not much is happening at the moment in the garden as we are starting to head into winter now. Thank you for checking in on me ❀ Big hugs from sultry Sidmouth Tasmania πŸ™‚

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Namita says:

    Hello Fran, Visited your space after a long time and loved the posts as usual. How have you been? your weight loss journey inspires me to shed some unwanted kgs. Your pictures are really outstanding. Love the way you are facing summer πŸ™‚

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    1. narf7 says:

      Hi Namita I haven’t posted for AGES. We have been really busy with the course that we are studying at college this year as it is very fast paced. I need to post another blog post as I have a lot of photos to share and stories to tell. Summer is gone now and winter is starting to twinkle on the horizon with cold mornings and Brunhilda is back on the scene with her lovely basking warmth. I have managed to germinate a coconut who lives over the top of Brunhilda and one day I hope to plant it out somewhere on Serendipity Farm where it might just survive. Life is a constant adventure. Lovely to have you visit and I hope that everything is going amazingly well for you and your lovely family ❀

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    2. Just checking in again Fran.. And did not get your reply comment via WP, so apologies as just logged into your site and saw it.. We are enjoying Summer now.. and getting ontop of the garden.. Hope all is still well with you.. And can understand the none interest in Blog land.. Me too, not as regular in my postings or visiting any more..
      Too much to do in LIFE>
      Sending LOVE.. and Hugs xx ❀

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      1. narf7 says:

        Hi Sue, I keep meaning to write a blog post and then it goes out the window as EVERYTHING else takes priority. I think I am just out of the habit of doing it to be honest. I love that you are getting on top of your garden. It’s something that we gardeners have to take seriously as our gardens have a way of going feral at short notice ;). I am glad that you are enjoying life and are spending more time really living it. I think that we can get caught up in the blogging world but I also know that what we share here does, occasionally, touch base with someone and it does make a difference so with that in mind I really need to get my act together and start blogging again! πŸ˜‰ BIG hugs Sue XXXXX I think you are my Jimminy Cricket πŸ˜‰

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      2. Lol. Yes agree with you Blogging takes lots of time and energy.. But hopefully what we share will help others, I am sure it does..
        I so relate, I went on line yesterday intending to post and I didnt even get to upload my photos.. I hit a glitch in the uploading as Windows 10 had done another famous Large upgrade change and decided it wanted to change the way I upload photos from my device.. and I spent an hour scratching my head and yes I did curse too LOL.. And send Microsoft its Feedback of the experience.. WHY dont they leave things that work simple alone Instead of making it complex..
        Yes well I know why.. They want to know what data we are uploading and I feel we are all being spied upon.. And I hope they are listening LOL..
        Yes I was more than frustrated by the end of it.. And then when I finally did manage to add the App that allowed my device, I uploaded my photos only to find I couldnt’t find where they had put them.. I did eventually, as they slotted them in a neat folder.. BUT it took me ages, as I have LOTS of photo folders.. Heee Hee..
        Which is why we LOVE our Gardens.. PEACE and Tranquillity with only the birds to Tweet us, not that I am on twitter.. Lol..
        Well Rant over with.. And will look forward to your new blog post in the future..
        Hugs Fran and thanks for listening xxx

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      3. narf7 says:

        No problems on the listening side Sue. It continues to amaze me that the operating system (Windows) keeps making things harder and harder for the user to do. It used to be very easy to fix your own problems and to actually find where files and folders were on the PC but now you almost need a computer science degree with honours in order to find a simple file to fix! The strange thing is that although Windows is making it harder and harder technically, its getting easier and easier to make a website. You can get amazing free high quality images from Unsplash that now links to just about every content management system and blogging platform seamlessly, you can get plugins where you just drag and drop everything into a framework and you don’t need to know how to code any more. It’s like they are deliberately trying to put coders and designers out of work πŸ˜‰ We are starting to use Instagram now. We have had an account for years but never could work out how to upload any images etc. till we realised that it’s all from the mobile and you can’t actually do much from the desktop (duh!) so we are using our mobile to upload more now whilst being very aware that Facebook owns Instagram and thus everything that we are posting, where we are posting from etc. is being recorded somewhere for posterity. Big brother is watching and wants you to download some “amazing” new program to “make your life easier” when really its just to find out more about you and market to you more appropriately so that you will actually start buying what they are selling. That’s the WHOLE reason why! Rant officially over from this side…over to you πŸ˜‰ LOL! Have an awesome day in the sunshine Sue. It’s bloomin’ freezing here! I am going to make my first batch of sourdough bread here since the ill fated (many years ago now) batch of vinegar bricks that I made so fingers crossed this lot actually looks, tastes and cuts better than the last lot. I don’t have very high to raise the benchmark to be honest πŸ˜‰ XXX

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      4. Glad we are on the same RANT page Fran, and my thoughts exactly about Big Brother.
        Good luck with the Sour dough.. and keep warm.. Its been overcast and dull all day but just about right for our gardening not too warm..
        Your benchmark can only get better then Fran.. LOL.. Your one step ahead of me, I have made bread from scratch but never sourdough..

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      5. narf7 says:

        My sourdough turned out fantastically. Better than I could ever have hoped for ❀ I was SO happy to pull those two crusty, crackly, crunchy lovely holey and mildly tangy loaves out of the oven yesterday morning. It made my week πŸ™‚

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      6. WOW.. Wonderful Fran.. I can almost smell freshly backed loaves from here.. LOL.. ❀

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