May 30, 2011

Creature Feature

No - not a B-Grade movie.
Real life.  Real action and drama and a real carpet snake!

However, the real excitement (said with a hint of sarcasm) to me is the fact that when I first saw it, the dear wee thing was directly over the back door!!

Haven't seen it again since then - it was obviously camera-shy because it was on the move once I started clicking away.

I am so glad that the house is very securely screened and effectively snake-proof. Otherwise I don't think I'd sleep well at night!

I'm sure it is not the same one we had removed.  I'm sure though it is an offspring or maybe sibling of our old friend.  It is definitely smaller. 

This is the one I had removed last year.

As long as the new one stays away from these little guys I'll be happy.    It had obviously had a decent meal lately - when I saw the big bulge in its' belly I went back to count the chickens again, but they were all there.  I'm hoping it was a rat or similar.  At least that would make me feel better.

I will have to put up with this one hanging around I feel.  When I had the last one removed,  my DH wasn't too happy and gave me the big Environmental Talk about how snakes fit into the scheme of things.   Which I can understand totally. ...  I just didn't like seeing it all the time in the garage!

Another funny event this weekend.  My son recently bought a new Oscar fish  for his big tank.  It has been in there about a week, but must have decided to vary his diet a little.  Talk about biting off more than you can chew!  It has been like this since Saturday.
(If you double click on the photo you might be able to see more clearly)  The Oscar has a fish (catfish I think) wedged into his mouth.  We have tried to physically remove the little fish, but it just isn't budging.  We'll have to wait and see what happens to the Oscar.  At the very least, it might put him off attacking the smaller fish!  I think the theory was that they were too big to be seen as part of the menu. Seems the Oscar thought differently.

Cheers for now   Wendy

May 24, 2011

Vintage recluttering fun

Well I had a couple of more finds on the weekend.  It was not my intent to turn this into a thrifting blog, but I might run with it as or when  it happens.

Found these lovely canisters for $3!  I love red.  I particularly love red as a feature in my kitchen.  I have a few red feature tiles, and a couple of other red accessories.  Just loved the brightness of these. 

As I don't really need more canisters, I thought they might look cute as a feature.  How about this ..... flying canisters  (not a permanent feature, just velcro-ed to the wall to see how it looked!).

What is it about vintage things that was just so powerful?  I think going back to the 60's for example, they just seem to make such a strong statement.  This leads me to my next subject.  Vintage Knitting Patterns!

I came across this little gem.  Don't you just love it?  There are a couple of things I could say about the cover, but I won't. 

However, what about this one.   A couple of captions spring to mind...... 'But Eunice, Mother used to always iron my underpants, I don't see why you won't!'   could be one.

No prizes, no winning entry, but can you think of something he would be saying?  Nothing too rude thanks, I'm pretty broad-minded, but keep it clean!

and also for this one!  Note position of chair. 

They are great patterns and I would love it to be cold enough to be wearing one of these classics!  I'm still toddling along with the vest I'm knitting at the moment.

Have fun - I'm off to declutter.

Cheers for now Wendy

Photos - Villawool - Villawood Textile Company

May 20, 2011

Decluttering - what decluttering??

It is probably about time that I confess to my recent op shop finds.  I've been keeping pretty quiet about it, but thrift shops and I go back, way way back. 

In the last few years I have been trying to curb my habit, and to giveaway more than I bought.  This has been reasonably successful.  However, sometimes I lapse.  Sometimes things just leap out at me.
Sometimes I go to garage sales.  Just happen to drive past one at the right time.  Just happen to find some beauties like this.
Not just once.  But on two separate occasions.  What are the chances of such a great match!
A little while ago I off-loaded some of my Corning ware on eBay.  So I figured it was justifiable.    Or maybe two wrongs don't make a right?  Or could it be two steps forward and one back.  I think there must be an analogy there somewhere.
In the meantime, I am enjoying my new finds.  I think they are lovely and bright and could possibly be the start of a new collection!

cheers for now Wendy

May 19, 2011

A little of what has been going on lately

Lots of juicing of our plentiful mandarins at the moment.  We do eat a lot, and I have cooked an orange (mandarin) cake,  but juicing seems to be how we deal with them the best.   A big glass of MJ in the morning is just lovely. 

Actually looking back, a few years ago, if we mentioned to anyone that we juiced our mandarins, that was considered strange.  However, now I see mandarin juice all the time in the shops.
So this is how to make one clucky hen very happy, if a little bemused to what happened overnight!  This hen (Little Banty to her friends) has been clucky for so long I decided to do something about it.  As the rooster we have is her sibling, we can't go that way!   In the past I have bought some fertile eggs and put them under her, but only one hatched and he consequently died, so that was a bit of an expensive exercise.

I bought some 1 day old chickens and put them under her at night. The breeder seemed to think that it would work, but didn't totally guarantee it, so she advised to be prepared to have to take them back out again and keep them under a lamp if she rejected them.  Not a chance!  Little Banty loves them and straight away fluffed up and tucked them under her wings. 

They are all bantams - the breeds being Silky (hopefully one lavender, one buff) Pekin (black) and Light Sussex (white with black).  They all seem to be doing well.  I'm hoping to start a little bantam flock. 

These two are still getting a lot of attention too!

cheers for now Wendy

May 16, 2011

Your comments mean so much!

It is so nice to think that there are so many caring friends made in the short time that I've been blogging.  Each comment meant a lot to me, and our family.  We are all adjusting ok - Bundy is missed, but it wasn't exactly a shock.  We knew his time was approaching. 

The whole event went pretty gently.  There was no drama, it was all done with dignity.  Which suited his personality so much.  The fact that we could bury him at home was 'good' too.    He spent all of his years here.  A couple of holidays at the beach, but the majority of his time was spent keeping an eye on his patch.  So it was fitting really.
I thought I would share this funny photo of the three dogs.  Dexter being introduced to the other two as the new kid on the block.  The look on their faces cracks me up - What the.....??  They both look about to eat him.  They didn't and he went on to be part of the family.  Dexter is now aged 5 and Angel now 8 years.

Thanks again.  A brighter post tomorrow when I show off our new chickens.

Cheers for now

May 15, 2011

Goodbye to an old mate

Last Thursday we farewelled our old friend Bundy. 

We knew that his time was approaching - he was close to 18 years of age which is a pretty good vintage.  18 years of loyalty and love - and  such a dignified  dog.  In the end his mobility issues were too much to delay the inevitable, and the vet put him to sleep.    

He was buried at our place.  He was a Smithfield cattle dog, a red stumpy tail.  A little unusual, not seen too often, they are a slightly different from the blue heeler type.  A little taller maybe than a standard cattle dog,  but solid and tough. 

I brought him home from the markets (back in the day when you could pay $50 for the pick of a litter in a cardboard box) and surprised my husband with a present.   There had been a minor burglary next door to us a few weeks earlier and we had talked about getting a guard dog.   A cattle dog turned out to be a good choice and  after Bundy came onto the scene, there were no problems.   

He proved to be a major part of our lives.  Always close by, well mannered and gentle to those he knew as accepted by us.  I think most people are a little wary of a cattle dog, but he was always well behaved.

In his later years, he had to put up with the intrusion of two more dogs into his life.  Angel, the bumbling black Labrador/kelpie cross, and Dexter the terrier cross.  Both well below his level of intelligence (sorry to Angel and Dexter, but it's true!).  But he accepted them into the family, while still maintaining his place as top dog.

Goodbye Bundy, you will be missed.


May 11, 2011

Why this will never turn into a knitting blog

I love knitting I really do.  I love the feel of wool, the excitement of starting a new project.  The sheer potential contained in the ball of wool.  I love looking at patterns and knitting blogs.  However, this is the reality after starting my latest project.  Very slow progress indeed. 

I haven't knitted anything substantial for quite a few years, so maybe I 'm a little out of practice.   A little hint would be in the re-wound ball of wool.  There are two more of those.

For such a simple pattern as the one I chose, it is very easy (for me)  to make a mistake.  Six purl, six plain and then next row knit the purl stitches and purl the knit stitches.  Sounds very simple right!?

The object is to have a definite vertical rib repeated throughout.  Straight lines.  Straight lines that if one stitch is out, that will be continued in the next row and the next row will not be straight.  Do you see what I mean? 

So I have taken to checking each row when I finish it.  This is why I have been working on this for ummm 3 weeks or so, and this is all I have to show for it!  Lovely wool, really nice to work with, and luckily not showing the ill effects of re-knitting.  Here are some of the ones I haven't wrecked yet.  .
At one stage it was nearly 40cm, and I pulled it out and started again.  I may be a slow knitter, but combine with a fussy knitter, it is making it a very slow project. It will be a buttoned longer waistcoat for my husband when it is finished.  Stay tuned it should be finished by winter 2012 at this rate.

Here are some of our first picked mandarins.  Still looking a little green, but fine to eat and juice.


So I thought I'd take a photo of our fruit bowl when I realised that everything in there was home grown.

Then (because I secretly fancy myself as a food photographer) this is a snap of my lunch yesterday.  Only thing homegrown in that was the avocado.  However, as I've mentioned before, that in itself is a success - we've waited a long time for home grown avocado.    Maybe it's too late for a career change, should keep my day job.

Absolutely magic day here. I'm off on a bit of a drive to collect some bantam chickens today.  That should make Little Banty happy.   Will show photos when they are settled.

cheers for now

May 6, 2011

Signs of the Season

Ahhhh ..... the best time of the year as far as I'm concerned!  The start of autumn and those lovely sunny days with blue skies.  Time to get the quilts and blankies out of storage.  Time to load up the Hills Hoist with them all. It is worth putting up with all the heat just to get to this stage.  I am a born and bred Queenslander, but feel sure that I was meant to live in a colder climate - it will happen one day.

My favourite - with so much beautiful work in it.  I wish I could claim it as my own creation, but I bought this one new at a craft fair when we were on holidays in central NSW a few years ago.   The detail is just gorgeous, and as a knitter not a crocheter,  I am even more in awe of it.  The other crochet rugs I have acquired over the years,  mainly from thrift shops.
Doonas/quilts/comforters - everyone seems to have a different name for them.  For a family of 3, we certainly seem to have a few!   A couple are lightweight for the start of winter, then ramping up to a heavier  wool fleece one for when it really does get cool.  It just doesn't get cold enough for woolen blankets here, although I have a few in storage.  For us, it is just one cotton woven blanket and one quilt.  What do you use where you are?

Other signs of winter - our citrus doing well, and not too far off being picked.  I think that Nature has it pretty well planned that citrus ripens just when winter kicks in.  Plenty of Vitamin C to ward off colds.  It seems to work for us, we are rarely sick over winter (touch wood)!

I hope to have some decluttering to report next week.  I am currently sorting out summer/winter clothes too, so I plan to have photographic evidence!

Happy Mother's  Day on Sunday to all the mums out there.  Fortunately (for us, but not for him) we don't have to drive our son way over to the other side of town to play football as usually happens on Mother's Day!  He has a minor injury (a huge lump on his knee after a collision at training during the week) and won't be playing.  Instead I may even get a little spoilt - who knows! 

A big Thanks to the gorgeous Ali of Mud Pie for having the Diggers book giveaway.  I won I won!  So did Hazel and Gooseberry Jam.  We all won a book each!  Thanks heaps Ali.

cheers for now Wendy