Saturday, April 22, 2017

Cuddly Lilly and Hungry Voldemort

As Easter approached there was the most amazing moon.  I woke up in the wee small hours two nights running to find the light of a glowing, golden, full moon shining across the bed.  This photo really doesn't do the colour justice but setting a camera up whilst half asleep is a big fat fail, so I settled for auto and hoped for the best.
 Even as dawn broke the moon was still there, hovering above the horizon looking magnificent.
 On Good Friday the family arrived.  We were blessed by a visit from Michelle, Paul, Sam and our granddaughters Stevie-Lee and Riley.  It was so good to see you all :-)
 There is nothing, NOTHING, more heartwarming than hand-made cards.  They are proudly displayed on my fridge now.  :-)
I organised a range of things for the girls to do.  I made them both a scarf, then I showed Riley how to make pom-poms that we attached to the ends of the scarf.  I think she wore it all weekend.  Stevie preferred the idea of a fringe, and as she was busy playing an engrossing and imaginative game with a small doll alongside me, asked me to do it for her ha ha. 
We went and visited our neighbour who kindly showed the girls her miniature horse Star with her most divine little foal Lilly, who adores being cuddled upside down on a lap.
We went for walks, watched the kangaroos, did jigsaws, fed the chickens, and checked out the progress of Voldemort the King Skink's breakfast.  He lives under the outside settee and I've discovered he loves eating banana and cherry tomatoes so I chop some up and leave it out.  We can watch through the window when he gets hungry.
 Neo is engrossed with Voldemort and follows the skink's progress around the outside of the house by moving from window to window with his nose pressed close, watching intently.
 And when he is bored with watching Voldemort, he sits on his favourite chair by the sliding door and watched the bouncy little wrens eating their breakfast of dessicated coconut outside on the path.  It's like Neo personal wildlife video :-)
 After we said goodbye to the family, we had the pleasure of a visit from Ange and Amy.  How many photos of kangaroos did you take Amy? :-)  It was wonderful to see you both.
 On the home garden front, the tomatoes are all but finished (thank god for that!).  We've reckon we've grown over 100 kilos this year which is really great but a lot of work to preserve them in various ways and I'm glad it's finished with.  Look at all the colours of the varieties we grew this year, so pretty! 
 I am fascinated to discover that down here the figs ripen much much later than Perth.  This variety is called Black Genoa, which is the tree we also grew in our Willetton back garden.  We used to get the start of ripening figs at the end of January in Perth, but here they have just started, in mid April.  Granted this summer has been weird and everything has been a few weeks late but this is a big difference.  But no matter, we are thrilled with our first Black Genoa figs, and they are HUGE!! Look at this one, it's about the size of a pear! 
 On the craft front, I've downed tools for a few weeks whilst we've had visitors.  But in progress is something I'm making Riley for her birthday in June. 
 I am way behind with the current 'crochet along' blanket that I'm doing on the internet, but no matter as I'll catch up eventually.  These are the squares from week 1.  We make three of the same pattern but changing the order of our pre-chosen colour scheme. 
Steve very kindly made me a blocking board (hey Paul, do you recognise this wood?  It's the offcut from your bar top!).  Often when you crochet you need to block your work, it can be a bit out of shape, so you peg it out and dampen it and stretch it into the shape and size it should be, then when it dries it stays that way.  As this blanket needs 36 squares all ten inches square, it will make the sewing them together so much simpler if I have blocked them all, then they are exactly the same size.
Embroidery isn't something I spend much time on at home, I usually do embroidery when I go to the Tuesday group in town, and this is what I'm working on slowly but surely.  This type of stitching is called canvaswork and I've been making it up as I go along, all I knew was that I wanted to stitch a line of houses, sort of like something reminiscent of an English seaside village street.  It's coming along okay.  The eventual use for this is as a decorative top to a door stopper.  I am going to stitch up a patchwork cube filled with rice to sit in front of the bedroom door to stop it slamming, and I thought this might look nice sewn on the top of it. 
Time for a cuppa, see you next time xx

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

35 Years!

See this handsome couple here?  Hard to believe that's us!  That was taken back in 1979 when we'd been going out for about six months.  On April 3rd we celebrated our 35th wedding anniversary.  Far out! -)
We decided to treat ourselves to a trip on the Kalgan Queen, something we've always been meaning to do.  It's a four hour boat trip from Emu Point, across Oyster Harbour and up the Kalgan River.  It was a great day out and the skipper was a mind full of local folklore and information.  I never knew why Emu Point was named thus, it was nothing to do with emus, it was in fact named after a boat belonging to explorer William Wentworth.
 This is Perch the Pelican, isn't she gorgeous.  She was hand reared by the skipper, Jack, after he found her caught up in fishing line when she was a youngster.  She delighted us all by wandering up and down the side of the boat, then catching a couple of herring that were tossed into the air by Jack.
Oyster Harbour is huge and shallow, with one deep channel across it.  I didn't know that it is theorised that wayyyyy back, Oyster Harbour was dry and the deep Kalgan River ran across it and out into King George Sound, then sea levels rose, flooding the Harbour and the river bed remains as the deep section across it.
 This is Green Island, a nature reserve right smack in the middle of Oyster Harbour.  It is a breeding ground for many birds, but in particular, it is one of only four breeding grounds for the pelican in the whole of Western Australia.
 Jack throws out two fish for each of two Sea Eagles that swoop down and grab them, it was quite a sight.  We've never seen a sea eagle before.
 Here they are atop a giant, dead, Norfolk Island Pine tree.
 We choofed under the Kalgan Bridge and headed up river.
 The Kalgan is a beautiful river and it abounds with various birdlife
 This is an Australian Darter, it has a neck like a snake and apparently keeps its wings open underwater to help it shoal the fish to catch them. 
 Meanwhile, on the home front, hello Lucy and Rabbit.  The roos are enjoying the flush of green grass that has sprung up after the recent rain.
 We are enjoying our apples.  These lovely red ones are Red Fujis, our best apples I think.  Nothing better than plucking one straight from the tree and munching on it whilst have a walk around. 
I am still up to my eyeballs in tomatoes too!  I've made bolgonese, tomato sauce, dried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes for in the freezer for winter cooking, we've eaten trillions, given them away, the ducks love eating them as long as I squish them or slice them first, I think I need to make more sauce with the next batch.
 The weather has been up and down between cold and warm, dry and wet.  Voldemort enjoys the sunny days, he bakes himself out the front on the warm concrete.  He looks rather sleepy and contented don't you think :-)
 
This is the trolley that we tow behind Helga the ride-on mower when we want to move stuff around.  It's become rather decrepit and rusty being out in the weather.  The wheel bearings were stuffed a while ago and it has been very rickety.  The final straw was when I pulled it along by the handle and the whole handle fell off, rusted through.  Now we could have spent $250 on a new one, but instead my clever husband spent about $20 on some new wheel bearings, and he forged a new handle by welding some bits of spare square tubing together and even finding a piece of squishy tubing to make the handle comfortable to hold.  As good as new!
 Meanwhile I have been busy on the crochet front.  This is dad's beanie in the making.
 And the finished article, measured for size on a partly inflated balloon.
 And here is dad, wearing his beanie, that fits! I hope it keeps you nice and warm dad xx
 I've also joined a Crochet Along which involved crocheting 35 squares, two or three of 12 different patterns, then putting them all together into a blanket.  We use our chosen colour scheme throughout all the blocks, although the order of the colours change.  The colours I chose are Petrol, Sage, Meadow, Parchment, Camel and Duck Egg Blue. This is square number one!  And yes, I know I also have my Mandala Madness blanket too, that is sitting forlornly in the corner of the sewing room at present.  I like to have a few things on the go, so I can chop and change. :-)