I was just hanging out over the deck rail muttering expletives at one of our chickens. Her name is Minnie, not after the mouse of American fame but after the Minx of U.K. comic fame. Minnie the Minx was a horror of a child who spent most of her time terrorising the neighbourhood. Our version of Minnie arrived on Serendipity Farm in a clutch of eggs that was hatched out by a particularly vigilant hen who protected her offspring with zeal. We have the ultimate hen munching pest control in the form of an overstuffed spotted quoll that arrives every few days to extract another one from a shrub where it is dozing at night. Minnie’s mum was clever and took her enormous brood into the chicken coop to avoid natural selection thus we have a large population of what we called “tumblebugs” because they used to tumble down over the foliage whenever we called the chooks and were always first in line for any treats.
Minnie was one of the smallest tumblebugs but one of the most tenacious. She learned early on that human’s come bearing gifts and now hangs around us whenever we go out into the back yard. I put cheese chunks out onto the deck in the morning every day for the butcher birds and currawongs to take back to their babies and I drop the occasional chunk down to the thronging chicken masses below sort of like the pope or the queen bestowing blessings and well wishes on the crowds. I am nothing if not a benevolent monarch. Minnie has the ability to snarf cheese from the jaws of doom and steals EVERYTHING that you throw out to the hens. She even stole a chunk of cheese from out of Pawley, one of our feral cats, mouth. I may, or may not, have been swearing quite loudly at Minnie as she guzzled her way through a series of treats meant for other beaks/mouths and suddenly realised that it is Sunday and that church was just out for the day…sigh…
It’s been raining on the odd occasion so far this winter which is great because we don’t have to water anything aside from the potted plants on the deck. Seven of the persimmon seeds that I rescued from the road and told you about in my last blog post have germinated and I potted them up into pots and have them on the kitchen table to keep them warm till spring comes. This morning, on our way over to Beaconsfield to pick up a couple of sacks of grain to keep Minnie and her bunch happy, I noticed that “the man” who lives on the corner and who has a glorious selection of espalier fruit trees had been at it again and was throwing his persimmons out into the road. Another screeching halt later and I was collecting them up to bring home, feeling like I had won the lottery. The dogs didn’t get a walk today as it’s raining steadily but I did get some persimmons so all is not lost.
I am a creature that likes to plan. I enjoy the process of planning and the act of planning and the research of the planning phase and although I tend to baulk at the actualities of “doing” after the planning phase, the planning phase is always incredibly well executed indeed. Steve is not a creature who likes to plan. He likes to just jump in with both feet and “DO!” at the top of his lungs with extra determination. We would make a formidable team if we were able to unite our talents and passions but we tend to be bolshie about having our own way and what could be a most promising union of sorts ends up with someone getting the irrits. Steve has been cooking a bit more lately. He decided that he wanted to recreate a U.K. style curry using curry powder. I tend to mix spices etc. to make my own and sniffed audibly at his “curry” but when I tasted it I soon backed down and got off my high horse as it was magnificent. He then decided to cook himself a (faux) meat pie with sliced potatoes on top. In Australia a potato pie has minced meat on the bottom and mashed potato on the top. In the U.K. it apparently has a beefy stew on the bottom and sliced potato on top covered by puff pastry. I guess that’s why we Aussies fled Auld blighty and moved over to the other side of the world to get away from their strange concoctions and especially their H.P. sauce (BLURG!) Steve’s pie looked suspiciously edible and the stew that he made to put into the pie with homemade seitan looked delicious.
Earl isn’t a fan of missing out on walks because it is raining. Bezial could care less if it rained for days as he spends his days lounging around next to Brunhilda in a state of suspended bliss with one ear pricked up lest Earl sneak up on him while he is slumbering. Earl is like Steve and gets very bored if he doesn’t have his walk. Steve doesn’t need a walk but does need something interesting to do as he doesn’t deal with boredom well. Earl tends to find something nefarious to do if he is bored and that usually involves removing the blanket cover from “my” couch in the lounge room and scraping my bolster pillows onto the floor. I am sure a psychiatrist would have something to say about Earl’s actions but I just sigh and pick everything up and put it back for the next scraping event. We have a week of rain coming up according to the weather department. The have been on strike for a while now so I hope they aren’t just having a lend of us in order to get a pay rise a bit quicker but it is, indeed, raining at the present moment and I am, indeed, most happy that Steve and I decided to get 3 extra wheelbarrows of wood this morning up on the deck so that we wouldn’t have to get wet.
I am not usually impulsive and tend to take my time making up my mind about things but the other day Steve and I were trawling Gumtree (to my overseas readers, Gumtree is a bit like Craig’s list or any other free online market place where you can advertise goods for sale but this one is local) and I noticed an excellent second hand sewing machine being offered for sale for $60. I have been tinkering around the outside of getting a sewing machine for years now. The last time I used one was when I was 15 and my long suffering sewing teacher spent most of the year rolling her eyes at my crooked hems and saying “Frances, what IS that?!” She was also the same poor long suffering teacher that had to teach me typing and the eye rolling and exclamations kept coming from one class to the next. If I don’t see the value of something I tend not to put my precious energy into it. Sewing? “Meh!” Typing? “Meh!”, Cooking? “YES PLEASE!” I was good at cooking. Can you see where this is going?
I have a truly excellent friend who has been my friend since I was in high school, just after the sewing and typing fiasco. She is an amazing seamstress and makes glorious quilts. I can’t sew a straight hem. She has a sewing machine that costs more than a small car, I use a needle and thread and mutter with my tongue poked out as I try to thread the needle (getting harder as I get older and refuse to get glasses…) but no more I tell you! I looked at the sewing machine and Steve looked at the sewing machine and we both decided to go for it and buy it! Impulsive, thy new name is narf7. In order to purchase said sewing machine we needed to connect with the seller, a Yorkshire man living in Longford Tasmania who told us that he had someone else coming to look at the machine and that he thought he had broken something off it! Oh well, Steve and I are both of the same thought processes and believe that if you are meant to get something you will. It will be “there” for you and you will get it. Not too long after the phone call we got a call back from the Yorkshire man saying that the person didn’t turn up and were we still interested? After quizzing him and finding out that what he thought was something broken was actually the spare bobbin holder falling off (a case of the blind leading the blind for us all) and Steve was in the car with Earl the wonder dog for a 120km round trip to buy me a sewing machine 🙂
When Steve got back I was surprised to see that it was in incredibly good nick. It works well, it can sew a straight hem (where I have difficulty) and it is going to be my new adventure in the near future when I finish off the last of the crafts that I need to finish. I made another good friend a scarf for her sister in law’s birthday. I have just finished another large project, this time knitted as I want to get myself back into the knitting ring and I have run out of things to procrastinate about with making clothes for that doll that I shared with you in my last blog post and will be making her clothes soon.
Steve and I have been attempting to knock out some gardening tasks in between the rain. We tried to burn some debris but it wouldn’t even light it is that damp and cold around here. It was sad watching one lonely fire lighter burning its little heart out trying to ignite a pile of debris that point blank refused to ignite. We have decided to give up on burning the debris till it dries out more, likely in Spring and will move on to other things to do around here like make garden beds for my strawberries, blueberries, kiwifruit etc. and try to come up with ways to stop rats from eating EVERYTHING…sigh…
I have come to the conclusion that I am a much nicer human being in winter. It suits me. I gravitate naturally to hibernation. I put on weight easily for the colder months. I spend hours basking in front of the warm fire and I am completely content to potter around inside cooking things and doing random crafts. I have been watching the heat waves in the northern continents out of the corner of my eye while I have been basking. I realise that as we are living in Australia, one of the most ancient and arid regions in the world, that we are likely to be suffering a similar fate to the northern states in a few months time when summer arrives with a loud fanfare and a blast of hot air but I am seriously loath to give up the cold. I might have to be dragged kicking and screaming into this summer to be honest and I am going to cling to winter as long as I can. Bezial is with me on this one.
I haven’t got much more to say today and It is getting dangerously close to “feed me Seymour” time where we have to feed the dogs, cats and fend off Minnie and her cohorts in the process then start making our own evening meal so I had best head off and get the afternoon processes going before they arrive on my doorstep in a tangled mass. We don’t want the chickens hopping the fence and dropping by for a visit as Earl has a problem with chicken invaders. One foolish chook decided to set up shop in one of the trees inside the house compound last night and Earl found her on one of his nocturnal excursions and killed her 😦 The excitement of the hunt obviously got to him as he no sooner got back inside (after waking me up) and snuggled up on the bed after Steve ceremoniously removed the chicken from his beak and hurled it over the fence and I finally went back to sleep and he barfed on the floor…sigh…its like having children all over again except I don’t actually remember any of my children heading out under the cover of darkness to murder chickens. That doesn’t mean that it didn’t happen, it only means I don’t remember it! Have an awesome time till we meet again and seriously misquoting Stephen Stills classic song…”If you can’t be in the life you love, love the life you live!” 😉