Sunday, June 23, 2013

Possum Magic

I was wallowing in bed the other morning, still whiny and grumpy with coughing and sniffing, when Steve hissed at me through the window to come outside quietly and bring the camera.  Outside our front door are an assorted collection of 'grubbing in the mud' footwear.  I have mentioned before about my love of lairy boots, particularly my dotty ones.  Well, it seems someone else likes them too.....what is this we spy sitting on my wellies.....
We weren't sure what this was at first, surely rats don't get this big I thought to myself.  Thankfully no, this little critter is a Western Ringtail Possum, who by rights should have been tucked up fast asleep in his treetop nest (called a drey, I educated myself) as it was daylight.  For some reason he had tucked himself up under the little table by the front door, keeping his bottom warm on my boots.  He sat there quietly for a minute, then bolted...
There he goes, see his white tail.  But he was very confused, running backwards and forwards on the grass, stressing me out that an eagle was going to snatch him up for its breakfast.  Eventually I walked down to him and herded him towards the peppermint forest, and eventually he climbed a tree and settled down.  I hope he finds his very own tree or else he will have to build a new drey.  He had gone from that tree by the next morning so I hope he found his way home.  We love wildlife experiences :-)
These wood ducks appeared out of nowhere the other day, they did this at the same time last year, spending some time grazing our grass and sitting in our trees.  I wonder where they normally live?
Steve is having a lovely time in his shed, now it is spick and span and his big boy power tools are at the ready.  Look what this clever boy has made.  See that manky piece of metal and chunk of wood at the bottom of the photo, that's what he used to make that knife!  He intends to continue perfecting his craft and the next knife on the agenda is a fish filleting knife.
 
 He used the last of the pieces of metal fencing that his mate Mel kindly gave him, and has made a very useful wood stacker for inside the shed, so we know we always have some dry wood somewhere.  Because by crikey we need dry wood, the fabulous wood fire in the house has been burning constantly for the last couple of weeks as the winter weather sets in.  Lucky for us our property has masses of wood and we have also just planted a few blue gums as our woodlot for a few years down the track. 
The planning process of The Chook Spa Resort Extraordinaire house is well underway.  Steve has had to think hard to design a house that wont cost us a fortune, that we can use lots of the leftover Hardie boards and Colorbond from the house, will be comfortable for the chooks and will be strong to keep out foxes, which are very prevalent around here.  He has just about got it sorted in his head, yay.
In the meanwhile I shall continue to wallow in my misery of illness.  Cheered myself up yesterday by making this.  It is called gluhwein, the German version of mulled wine.  Bottle of red wine, a quartered lemon studded with cloves, a sliced orange, a cinnamon stick, good pinch of allspice and 50 grams of sugar, all in a bowl and microwaved for about 6 minutes until almost boiling.  Then add 60 mL of brandy and drink while hot.  Very very nice.  This is the recipe you used to use mum, that you gave me a copy of, so thanks! x
 
I finished reading Dan Brown's Inferno this week.  Was good!  I'm all enthused about art history again, he really makes it interesting and exciting.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Blah

Not much been happening this week.  Because of this....
We had a lovely visit to Perth last week, catching up with parents, kids and grandkids.  Riley is three today, Happy Birthday gorgeous girl xxx  We saw her a week early, with present opening at mum and dad's house, then off to the train station for a day out at Scitech with Riley, Stevie, Michelle and Paul. 
Alas we also brought home a nice little batch of virus so Steve and I have spent the week coughing, sniffing and being pathetic.  I suppose Scitech, with its hundreds of buttons to push, is a minefield of disease, ah well.  We have both had the stuffing knocked out of us, so lots of resting has occurred.
I did however make some lemon butter yesterday, thanks for the lemons Mum xx 
There was also a Lemon Syrup Cake here, however it disappeared too quickly for photos.  You know, because of all the healthy vitamin C...
Isn't this a pretty dinner, underneath the multicoloured flavourings of spring onion, chilli, ginger, garlic and soy sauce are some hefty chunks of bonito and pike, which were steamed for 13 minutes and was absolutely delicious on a bed of rice.

As much reading time has ensued, I can now announce that I have finally read all five friggin' enormous books in the Game Of Thrones, A Song Of Fire And Ice by George RR Martin.  Far out, what a mammoth session, it took me 6 weeks to get through them, concentrating all the while on the trillions of characters.  It hasn't 'finished' though, and book 6 is in the pipeline.  All this is because we have been watching the Game Of Thrones series and loving them.  I thought if I read the books I would gain greater understanding of who everyone was, alas no, still hard slog to remember all the connections.  I am very pleased that I have finished the books though, quite a conquest methinks!

I had a delightful read yesterday(a one day and finished read, hooray!) of a book recommended by a friend, The Rosie Project, by Graeme Simsion.  If you enjoy the character of Sheldon on Big Bang Theory then you would enjoy this book too. 

I also downloaded the sample of Dan Brown's new book, Inferno, and after reading two pages, I bought it..... can't wait to settle into that one, I love Dan Brown.  I would have linked all these books to the relevant Amazon page, but as I am doing this blog post at dial-up speed (sigh), it would have taken half an hour to manage that, so I didn't.  Okay?

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Visitors

We were happily awaiting the arrival of our dear friends Angie, Andy, Anne and Ian to stay for the long weekend so harvesting of lovely fresh greens were in order.  The first broccoli heads timed themselves beautifully to be ready for our visitors. 
I set to making lasagne pasta sheets as I wanted to make a spinach and ricotta pasta using my homemade ricotta and pasta.  As it turned out I didn't have enough ricotta so it turned into an inventive lasagne with the addition of a couple of layers of a tomato vegetably concoction of mine.  It tasted good, phew!
Here we all are having some electronic R&R with the numerous iPads, iPhones and Kindles amongst us.  I see in this photo we are all sensibly drinking tea and milo but I might point out that there were many many wine bottles in the recycling pile! :-)  It was great to have you all to stay.  xx
The kangaroos were very obliging and turned up in numbers to be watched and admired.  Have I ever shown you the difference in size between the males, females and a joey that left the pouch 2 months ago? 
Big difference eh.  That male at the back is the alpha male, he is a huge, rippling mass of muscle, very awe inspiring.  The joey looks a bit cross doesn't he.
Steve has been very kindly putting hooks up on the walls for me to start hanging special things that have been packed away for 18 months now, lovely to see favourites again.
Kerry, I will finish this quilt, I really will!  It's on the wall as my reminder :-)
In the meantime I am choofing along with embroidery.  This is the makings of a pot holder for the kitchen, stitched onto some old denim.
 An embroidered garden scene, a work in progress on and off for the last 7 years!
An exercise in thread painting with chain stitch.  The coloured in part of the flower is all chain stitch in about 6 colours to experiment with shading.  The centre is french knots and the outer part of the petals are various embroidery stitches.
The new thing I am fiddling with at the moment are these fabric flowers.  The technique is called Tsunami Kanzashi and is rather fun.  Why am I doing this?  Why not! :-)