Monday, 30 March 2015

Farm Stay Guests

 Leonardo doing the cat walk - don't yea just love his little flick at the tip of his tail.

It's only Bella and Leonardo staying at the moment hence I open up the centre so they can soak up the sun rays. They can get outside too but when I'm in the cattery they come inside to be with me.

Saturday, 28 March 2015

Farm Stay Guests

Leonardo and Bella arrived here this afternoon
Leonardo came with some rescue remedy as he was feeling a tad unsettled at home - They are shifting house and all the packing going on is unsettling. I'm glad I snapped these shots when they arrived... Captain casual doesn't need any rescue remedy.

 Bella has been happy going inside and outside too.... while Leonardo likes to stay outside most of the time - He is a man cat and likes being outside.
Bella has been finding the happenings in the paddock just a tad different from life in town....

Checking the Sheep gestation calendar Rodger Ram and his lady friend should be expecting a little lamb or two around the 20th August. The ewe sure seems to have a smile on her face about this news.

Friday, 27 March 2015

A busy week....

It has been a busy, flatout, roller coaster ride week. ... One of those weeks!

The hops are ready for harvesting, quince jelly made, and the trucks doors are now at the painters. 

Plus I've been accepted into year 3 (the final year) of my naturopathy course

I've been learning Instagram too - it is rather fun. You can find me here.

Tuesday, 24 March 2015

Farm Stay Guest

Moby and I have become quite good mates. He walks about and enjoys his pats. Moby likes to eat his dinner when I'm not watching and licks his bowl clean. He could be hired as a dish washer. He's rather a fine old fella, I'm quite taken with him and will miss him when he goes home tomorrow.

Sunday, 22 March 2015

Welcome Autumn

 Autumn is officially here now in the Southern Hemisphere now that the Autumn Equinox has arrived. We celebrated Mabon with a mushroom soup based on a recipe from My New Roots. Sarah's tip of using white beans in a soup pureed gives the soup a creamy texture without dairy.

Mushrooms about 500grams wipe with a paper towel and chop
Minced garlic cloves we like garlic so always rather generous 8 cloves - just adjust to taste
2 brown onions peeled and diced.
2 cups of dried cannelini beans
1 liter of homemade chicken stock.
Juice of one lemon
Handful of thyme from the garden
salt n pepper
olive oil.

Soak the cannelini beans overnight in 6 cups of water.  Next day drain beans, rinse and cover in water and simmer for about 1-2 hours until soft.
Defrost homemade chicken stock -( I just take out of freezer the night before and pop in fridge).
Saute onions and mushrooms in a little ghee or coconut oil in a large soup pot
Add garlic
Add cooked beans, chicken stock and extra water if needed
Add juice of one lemon
Add salt n pepper to taste
Add some fresh thyme (try not to get stems in)
Simmer until heated through and mushrooms are well cooked.
Using a wand whizz up soup until constancy you like.

Serve in soup bowls garnished with a swirl of olive oil, fresh thyme, salt n pepper to taste.

Very yum autumnal hearty soup.

The cabbage trees have been dropping their leaves. I think I share every autumn the task I enjoy doing. Picking up the leaves and making faggot bundles. These are wonderful to start a fire with - way better than kindling! Pop a couple of pine cones in the fire and one gets some nice embers going. Now that I've collected all our cabbage tree leaves. I start gathering spare ones on my morning walk in a bag and come home to tie them into bundles.

It is nice to know I'm not the only gatherer on walks, a lady we bump into gathers puha for her chickens and walks along also with a couple of gathering bags.
Mittens and hats on the morning walks will be needed soon one can feel the change in temperature,

Are you foragers and gatherers too on your daily walks?

Saturday, 21 March 2015

Farm Stay Guests

Its Mobys first stay here - He has been here 3 days now and is settling in rather well.   
He was a little wary of the new surroundings at first but has worked out that he's nice and safe in his cat run and all the sheep that wander along outside the run and the geese and the pukekos can't actually get too close. 
A comfortable sunny spot for a nice old boy... Moby is 11 years old now,but you can't tell - he's very heavy to pick up and a rather solid and muscular boy.

Beau and Sienna often stay here and they act like they are at home... Beau has just finished washing his face
And Sienna is bunting my shoe while Beau finishes off by licking his nose 
Bunting is a MandaBurms black cat trait...Nearly all the black cats we have bred do this

Friday, 20 March 2015

Farm Stay Guests

  Beau and Sienna were a tad rude to their mum, she got no goodbyes they just zipped back into routine here and zoomed in to check out that everything is how it normally is when they are here.
 As the norm with most cats that stay here - I do all the work of cleaning and feeding and the cats make big fusses of Brent.

 Now who have we here?

 Moby is an 11 year old fella that doesn't usually go away. He was not thrilled, but did come out of his carry cage and climbed in the igloo which has a hottie and his blanket from home . Smells from home do help the cats adjust.

I never push the cats to come and meet us, We let them settle in their own time. But day one Moby got offered his dinner in bed.

Thursday, 19 March 2015

Yarn Along....

I really enjoyed The Worst Hard Time which is a historical story about the American Dust Bowl.
I listen to books on audio so I can multi task while doing chores, weeding in the garden and walking.
Joining the Wellington library as an out of town borrower is free (you just have to take in ID and proof of address with a rates bill, power bill etc and then you get access to their extensive library)

 Knitting is going slow... first time I've knitted in the round and used stitch markers - Abbey tells me you are not meant to knit in the stitch markers grin. Now no laughing!

  Tuesday night was the first fire of the season...

 Stella got the best spot 

 On her new cushion Abbey made her.

Abbey and I have been watching at lunchtime The Great British Sewing Bee. We have a Smart TV (which I don't even know how to turn on) Abbey jacked it up so we can watch it via You Tube on the telly.

 I am missing quilting with all the study I'm doing,,,, but only one more year of study to go, I've enrolled in my final year of Diploma of Naturopathy.  I'm still pinching myself that I'm doing this and that I have passed every paper except one so far (my ego didn't like that).

I hope today I finish redoing my 2000 plus word essay of how urine is formed. It's done my head in and I even thought of quitting. I suppose everyone feels like quitting at times..... Distance learning is hard at times especially with my style of learning being visual and kinesthetic and being more right brained than left brained. 

Wednesday, 18 March 2015

Five years ago today......

Personally I'm ok with going grey, I know a lot of woman prefer not to let nature take it's course and keep colouring. For me I didn't want to be exposed to the many toxins in hair dye so I stopped dying my hair five years ago today. Two years later I signed up to study naturopathy.

More and more people are becoming aware of environmental and health issues that can be caused by chemicals and it is becoming quite fashionable not to dye ones hair (not that I have ever followed fashion trends).

 It's not uncommon to see other 50 year old women break out of the old mold society has for woman, that they should be hiding their grey hair as one phase of life shifts into the next.

 I'm quite enjoying my autumn years which is the term often described for 45-65 year olds and as I did in my youth I keep going against the norm.

I think grey is a sign of a rite of passage into cronehood and increasing wisdom.

What do you think? How many others are letting nature take its course and going grey?

Monday, 16 March 2015

Looking a lot like Autumn

 The Maple leaf tree is my favourite tree, I love following it through the seasons as it changes leaf colours.

I might have to stop feeding the birds as they got to our grapes this year before I did and left us none.

Brent spent his last week of annual leave splitting firewood. Once again we have plenty of wood to keep us warm for winter. Can you see Brent's hand as a measure of how big the pile is? My hand wouldn't even reach on tiptoe.  The woodshed is full plus there is another stack.

 My job is to collect the pine cones up.

 The walnut tree is giving a bumper crop this year.

 We have three avocado's on the tree so far. Now to make sure the possum doesn't eat them this year.

 Crab apples - nearly time for jam making.

The feijoa tree is also going to be a bumper crop this season too.

 My vege garden is coming to the end of the summer growing. I'm still getting cherry tomatoes and the chillies are nearly ready. It is nearly weeded ready for the winter garden to go in.

I blink and the courgettes turn into marrows. The sheep like eating marrows so they don't go to waste

 Golden rod in the herb garden is just starting to flower

The first nerine to bloom

Rodger ram (rear) has been a busy boy and lots of romancing has been going on so we should have lambs once again in August.

Abbey has been teaching me Instagram - it's rather fun but a new world learning about hashtags # and ats @. One follows on Instagram and are not friends. A very different language... but I'm slowly learning to use my phone (finally) and play on Instagram

Have a good week. I've pine cones galore to pick up and a horrible assignment to redo. Yes my first assignment in two years of my naturopathy degree was a not achieved. I was gutted, That is what happens when you set yourself high standards. So this week it is back to the drawing board rewriting a 2000 plus word essay on how urine is formed.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Who Dunnit?

Who do you think has been picking the black boy peaches off the tree? The mastiff or the poodle?