Wednesday, 19 March 2014

What A Woman!

Do you remember from last post that Terry and Heather came for a visit, we went fishing, Heather rolled her ankle at the top of the hill, pronounced herself okay, then climbed down a cliff, fished, then climbed up the cliff again?  Well, there is an update to this seemingly completed story! 
The following morning Heather's ankle was very swollen although not particularly painful, so she and Terry choofed off to the hospital to have it checked.  Well, to cut a long story short, an x-ray was done, Heather was marched to a hospital bed where she stayed for five days then had surgery to have a plate and screws inserted into a broken ankle!!  She was known as the 'fishing lady' in the hospital and we are all in awe of this wonder woman who climbs cliffs with a busted ankle!  Poor Heather is now on crutches for six weeks which will undoubted drive her balmy.  Get well soon Heather! xx
 I am pleased to announce that we have had a few days of light drizzle, not enough to put much into our tanks, but a welcome drink for parched grass, plants and trees.  Our tank marker is very low, we've probably got about 10000 litres of usable water left, which will just scrape us through before the rains start in earnest.  Worst comes to worst we have to buy in a tanker of water but we don't think it will come to that.
 At the bottom of the hill we've just noticed that we have probably lost a few big peppermints, they are completely brown and look very sick.  Hopefully they will regenerate, but if not then they will be the next source of firewood.
As all our summer green vegies have now finished, I am scrabbling to find green stuff for the chooks.  I have bought them their very own lettuce from time to time but I also wander around picking any green grass I can find and tie it up in their yard, where they have great fun pecking at it.  They are definitely moulting as there are a lot of loose feathers lying around, but they haven't diminished their egg production at all, which is what I thought happened when they moulted.  Super chooks, that what they are, good girlies, they've given us over 500 eggs in just over six months.  :-)
Lucy the old roo is so hungry and bony looking, desperate in her hunt for grass.  I couldn't think what to feed her except chook pellets and I tipped a pile out the back.  She has been coming every day to the same spot, scoffing them down, then finishing off with a big drink from the birdbath.  She has gotten so used to this over the last couple of weeks that when Steve went out the other day, she came over to him and ate right out of the container - I was rather jealous I can tell you.  :-)
It occurred to me that chook pellets were not the best choice of fare for a roo, so I went to the stockfeed shop and bought a bag of roo food - crushed grains and lucerne hay.  I mixed some up with water and a bit of molasses and put it in a bowl outside, and this morning, supervised by Neo in the window, Lucy and Lucky have scoffed their proper roo food.  Steve showed off first by going out with a handful of the roo food, and of course Lucy ate it right out of his hand.  Bitch.  :-)
I harvested a huge pile of little chillies.  This time I have had a go at pickling them, something new.  We'll find out in a couple of months if they are okay.  All I know is these are hot little suckers, hopefully the pickling will tone them down a bit.   We still have loads of little tomatoes and eat heaps every day.  The ones I dried a few weeks ago are going down a treat, yum yum.
Despite the dry, I have been carefully watering the plants in my fenced garden and have been rewarded by some lovely flowers.  This little beauty is a mini Buddlea, commonly known as Butterfly Bush, as it attracts butterflies.
My pineapple sage is flowering again, a reliable plant that strikes very easily from cuttings.  The little birds love it for its nectar, and it smells divine. 
 My tansy has flowered for the first time.  Its foliage is pretty and fernlike, and the clumps of bright yellow flowers glow brightly amongst the greenery.  Tansy is supposed to repel flies and mosquitoes apparently.
 I have planted quite a few elders, aren't the massed heads of tiny white flowers pretty.  I am planning to make a batch of elder wine and elderflower champers when I have enough flowers.  The rhubarb and elderflower champagne I made before Christmas, while becoming very very bubbly, didn't actually ferment so it ended up like a very sweet and fragrant soft drink, yummy.  The elderflowers give it a certain tang and smell really nice and fresh.
This beautiful shrub is commonly known as Karri Oak, or Chorilaena quercifolia.  It normally grows in karri forests as a shrub.  I love the little oak shaped leaves and it has many many hidden fluffy white flowers that bees and nectar birds love.
I am thrilled to bits with this.  This is a Kunzea.  This is the first shrub I planted on our land, so it has been in the ground for about 3 years, and has grown big and strong.  But not a flower was to be seen on it for all that time, just lots of leaf and branch growth.  Finally it is starting to produce the gorgeous red, fluffy flowers, hooray.
And then we have Neo.  Lord Neo, Of The Hill.  Sir has settled himself in now, totally happy and confident in his new home.  He is a gorgeous boy, just the right amount of cuddle in him, and the energy of him!  He has his satan hour morning and night, when a mere glance in his direction will send him shooting around the house at a zillion miles per hour.
 He loves playing with screwed up bits of paper, and somewhere under pieces of furniture, I am sure hundreds of these are to be found.  We bought him a six pack of ping pong balls the other day, great fun on the hard floor.  These too are nowhere to be found, and then he will find one again and the sound of it being swatted around the floor fills the air.  I can see that I am going to have to grovel on the floor with a broom handle under everything to find sir's toys.  :-)
Do you like his home-made toy?  This is the thing he likes to kill, providing one throws it for him.  He is ever so clever at catching it in mid-air, clasping it to his belly and giving it a damn good hiding.
He is a big stickybeak and his favourite haunt is at our bedroom window, either on the ledge or perched on his tower in the window, surveying the domain, and being entertained by magpies and kangaroos having breakfast outside the door.
Well, the oven is beeping to tell me the triple batch of shepherds pies I made are cooked, so I best be off.  Great way to use up more of the masses of potatoes we grew, love home cooking with home produce! :-)

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