Saturday, November 5, 2011

A Little Bit of Sad.

While we were overseas, our two ducks, Dr Drake Ramoray and Charlize Theron were killed by foxes or dogs. Our housesitter is unsure. The two naughty ducks refused to go to bed one night, despite her multiple attempts to herd them into their duckhouse. In between attempts they were taken. She was so upset....and so are we.

Who is going to keep our dam free from waterfowl?

Who is going to torment and play with Paisley?

Who is going to snack on our garden greens?

Who is going to attack my trouser leg in the mornings?

There is no more "Go to bed ducks!" reverberating through our valley........

Vale Dr Drake and Charlize

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Guilty!!!! My Carbon Footprint Has Exploded!

I have been blogging absent due to working maniacal hours, travelling overseas, ditching my horrendous job and finding new employment, and mostly because my trusty old computer was retired and HH went and purchased me one of those tablet thingies, which I hate using.

Apologies to all for my lack of commenting, which I do enjoy, but this little notebook/tablet thing is a down right bugger to type on, the cursor is a mongrel to control and my life has been busy enough to use as an excuse for my absenteeism.

So between travel, a bit of consumerism and lack of attention to my garden, my carbon footprint is hideous.

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Poor Paisley.

There was a trip to the vet, some general anaesthetic, a scalpel wielded, and a sore little boxer girl. Paisley has had her womanly bits removed. YAY!!

She was so excited to go to the vets this morning. Her tune has changed. She got home, promptly threw up on the kitchen floor and has just fallen into bed asleep. A big day for a little girl.

Poor Paisley.

Monday, August 29, 2011

a list of simples.....

The almost springing sun streaming through the leadlight of a door that once lived in a Californian bungalow but now furnishes the entrance to our strawbale house.

Three hairy fat ponies staring longingly over a fence at pasture that is screaming to be grazed, but full of springly sugars that are equine forboden.

Two sleeping boxers catching a quick nanna nap before venturing outside for the last play of the day.

Naughty chickens laying their eggs anywhere but in their laying boxes.

Fruit trees that are shaking off the last of their winter sleep before bursting into blossom.

......spring is almost here.....

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Saddling Up on a Gorgeous Winter Day

Today was such a lovely day that I simply could not resist saddling up the pony and tootling around the paddocks.

Which of course, gave me the perfect opportunity to photograph Cash in all of his stepping out on the town gear. Cash is my primary riding horse. He is a 16hh hairy yeti of a Standardbred. Come late spring he will be less yeti-like.

First of all I had to go find him. He had been lying down have a siesta in the sun. Despite so much horse/ground contact he wasn´t too muddy.

The biggest issue I always have with haltering up Cash is the appaloosa that is always attached to the lead rein.

I was kind of hoping for a good over the shoulder shot. I usually have two horses following Cash and myself through the paddocks.

Firstly Cash´s ¨sneakers¨. Yes, my horse wears hoof boots with pads inside to cushion his soles and hoof frogs. Earlier this year he was diagnosed with Navicular Syndrome which was downgraded to laminitis. He may have navicular changes, but seeing as he moves freely and happily when wearing boots and pads, we will just continue to do just that. As my vet chiro said she can xray Cash´s hooves from various angles and give me a definitive diagnosis of navicular, but the management will still remain the same. So she recommended NOT xraying and just continue with boots and pads anyway and save myself alot of money along the way. Sensible woman.

I forgot to take a closeup pic of Cash´s bitless bridle. It is a Nurtural Bitless Bridle from Canada. I am still on the fence with this bitless bridle, but as my instructor says, if it works, it works. So I am still using it. Besides it matches Cash´s saddle perfectly.

This is Cash´s new saddle in all of its comfortable glory. It is a WoW saddle and although the name is a little corny, it is true. You sit in the saddle and the first word out of your mouth is ¨Wow!¨, actually I my first words were ¨OMG!¨ Deliberately, of course. I am not a trend sheep.

And check out those stirrups! My absolute favourites, they sit at a 90 degree angle to the horse so are always able to picked up by the feet easily. When you have crappy knees like mine, these stirrups are a kneesaver.

I didn´t even THINK to take some pics from the saddle and my photographer was at work. I am a pretty useless blogger!!!!

All in all it was a lovely day for tootling.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A Little Op Shop Haul

Having been over to Saving For Travel and reading about her charity shop hauls, I figured it was about time that a) I post something and b) share some of my little second hand finds. The first is my gorgeous set of Daffodil yellow plates and bowls. I LOVE this setting! It is my little piece of summer in the midst of winter.

Next is my little pudding bowls. I adore bowls for eating from, serving from, cooking in or even just putting little treasures. A bowl begs to receive, whether that be nourishment, gifts, love or respect. The humble curves protect precious cargo. Bowls exist to be filled.

My next few finds reveal my shoe fetish, in particular for heels. These purple velvet pointies are lethal and tacky in extremis with their golden cobweb heels. Still, I love them!

The next is a puddle of glam. A lovely beaded sequinned evening purse for the outrageous sum of one dollar. The silver cuff is is peppered with amethyst stones and is quite unlike any other piece of jewellery that I own. Still, I am prepared to live on the edge, a little.

Heels, heels and more heels. The yellow pair were a complete impulse buy. The yellow dinner setting set me off on a tangent of sunshine and these shoes were sitting in an op shop begging to be I did. The pink shoes are simply divine. My kind of prettiness that teams up so well with denim. The grey high heels were another surprise find. I don´t often find shoes in my hoofsize, so when I find them, if I like them, I buy them.

...and one of Rubin, just because he is a big spunk!

Thursday, July 21, 2011


Yes, I am back in the saddle on my pony and loving it simply because I have a new saddle that both of us love. I have a beautiful KN Symphonie Dressage Saddle that I comfy, the leather is beautiful it looks an absolute treat on any horse. However Cash decided that despite a few professional fittings that he was not going to have a bar of it. Out came the treeless saddle. He loves it. I hate it. It was further exacerbating my almost constant back pain. I didn´t ride. He went biggie. I was faced with retiring him.

Then our chiro vet assessed Cash, recommended popping him in hoof boots and getting out there and riding him. My lower back groaned at the thought. I used every excuse under the sun NOT to ride Cash. (It is really all the treeless saddles fault!)

Then I got trapped at work by the rally organiser who railroaded me into joining the Standardbred Riding Group which meant that I would have to get in the saddle again. Which I did and hated it.

I attended riding group with my lovely steed and we both had a blast.

Then my riding instructor, who hates the treeless saddle as much as I do, tried her saddle on Cash and lo and behold it fitted and he was a very happy camper.

Then I happened across one of these saddles second hand, had a riding lesson in it....and I fell in love with horse riding all over again. While I began the riding lesson with spasming lower back pain, I ended the lesson pain free. I am STILL pain free. This saddle may just save me spending money on specialists that I pay to keep me upright and walking. It has already saved me $65 this week alone.


What a saddle.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

My Little Camera at the ¨Dome¨

Of course, not in my hands, but the hands of one of HH´s workmates.

Not bad for a point and shoot.

HH is a diehard Western Bulldogs fan. He has held the same seats through three name changes of the venue and twelve years. He has seen the same supporters grow older, grow wiser, learn about the game and go through weird piercings and now bringing their children to the game. There are new babies, new walking aids, new hearing aids, new partners, and new supporters. Grey hair, pink hair, freshly bobbed hair and no hair. I could have added no teeth to the list, but that would have been more indicative of a Collingwood supporter profile.

As Australian Rules Football is a winter sport, these are our crappy weather friends.

As a collective we cry....¨Doggie! Doggie! Doggie! WOOF WOOF WOOF!¨

I don´t think this will be the year of the Dog, but our support will never wane.

C´arn the Dogs.

All Quiet on the Posting Front.

I have been a slave to work.

Cash and I had a riding lesson on Thursday.

The garden is overgrown with weeds and things that are self seeding.

It is raining.

I am scared to turn my mobile phone on in case work needs me.

HH is baking muffins.

I had a glass of my favourite red wine last night...and I didn´t even really enjoy it.

There is a funk and Daffodil is firmly entrenched in it.

Give me my blankie, I am mid-sooky.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Daffodil´s One Month of Little Changes...

The end came yesterday. One month of walking one hour a day (sometimes counted as the miles that I walk at work) one month without alcohol (apart from 2 glasses of savvie blanc) and no bread. For one whole month, actually 35 days.

So how did I do?

My jeans that were too tight have now been relegated to the local charity shop. My jeans that I could not even do up are my new jeans, and they are also almost too big. My work pants have gone the way of the dodo as they keep slipping down over my hips. My long black leather riding boots fit again...YAY!

Yesterday Cash and I attended Standardbred Riding Group which came armed with it´s own set of firsts for both of us. Riding in public, riding in hoof boots and riding in an indoor arena for a whole hour in the saddle that my horse loves and I hate. He was a legend. He was quite taken with the large mirrors positioned throughout the indoor arena. At one stage he was trying to force his nose behind the mirror to meet the horse in the mirror. Dag. He moved off of the leg beautifully, he executed perfect square halts. For a horse that has not been ridden in almost 5 months he was an absolute star.

What have I learnt from my one month of little deprivations?

I don´t NEED to drink alcohol, I barely missed it and my bank balance was so much healthier, not to mention my liver!

Bread makes me bloat.

Walking is great for the back and legs.

My ankle held up quite nicely with minimal pain experienced.

Riding horses really is enjoyable.

So for my next month? I quite like the idea of short term changes to reach goals. This month I will

1) Have a riding lesson once a week.
2) Ride the fat, hairy yak at least 3 times per be damned.
3) Walk one hour 3-4 times per week.
4) Go another month without bread.
5) Only one glass of wine no more than three times per week and not a vase sized one!

I did not have a photographer present for my public riding lesson on Saturday...they showed up late. I am more than a little peeved as I would have loved a photo of Cash playing with the mirrors.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Another Touch of Frost

Actually these photos prove that I really need to get out in the garden and do some serious weeding.

..this one looks like a little half frozen kiwi

Friday, June 17, 2011

¨I am Paisley¨

Our little boxer girl is Paisley. She is 2 years old and was purchased brand spanking new off of the shelf from a breeder here in Victoria.

For the regular reader there was no doubt a sharp intake of breath regarding Daffodil buying new and unused, but it does happen occasionally!

HH and I love boxer dogs. Paisley was number 4 and Rubin Carter number 5. However, Rubin has had his moment in the blogging sun, now it is Paisley´s turn.

She is a very sweet dog. Very sure of herself and fiercely independent. She is one dog who will see someone walking past and will quite happily abandon us and join them in their jaunt around the block. Everyone around us knows Paisley and very kindly returns her after they have finished their walk. Paisley, unlike Rubin who has lived life on the streets, thinks that the grass is ALWAYS greener on the other side.

If she gets bored she creates her own fun. That usually means seeking out Drake Ramoray, our Duck, and wrestling with him for an hour or so. Or stealing off to find bits of Don and Hamelot fur that have not been picked up by the birds and chowing down that. She is a charming little creature.

She is gentle with children. She stayed with friends of our while we went away on holiday. Her morning ritual involved waking up at five in the morning and playing tug of war with their 2 year old daughter in the hallway using the cord from daddy´s dressing gown.

As a little puppy, once she was awake, she was awake for the day. HH could be often heard in the darkness of early morning bemoaning ¨WARNING!!!! The jack is out of the box...I repeat, the jack is out of the box¨ while unceremoniously having his ears chewed off by a 10 week old puppy. There were no weekend sleep ins there for a while. She is much better these days.

She thinks that the entire world revolves around her and that everyone is there to love her.

She may just be right.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

A Guest Bedroom in a Straw Bale House.

If you ever come to stay with us you will stay in our guest bedroom in our straw bale house. The wall behind the bed is ready for it´s last coat of render. The cross hatching pattern in the earthen render ensures that the final coat of render will adhere to the wall and not delaminate or simply peel off.

As you can imagine, rendering the guest bedroom is low on our list of priorities, so you will just have to live with it until we can bothered to get around to rendering it.

The bed suite was an eBay purchase, like that was a surprise. We paid all of $190 for it with two bed side tables which have been put to use in our bedroom. The tables that feature in this room were picked up at the Bed, Bath and Table factory outlet in Brunswick East...10 bucks a piece....BARGAIN!

The light fitting was also an eBay puchase. Custom made for a client who then purchased a property with very low ceilings....her gain/loss = my gain. $23.00 a piece and I ended up with three of those light fittings. OUTRAGEOUS!!!

So to go with my very cheaply priced straw bale build, I also seek to fit it out and furnish it on the cheap. It just goes with my eBay kitchen and my eBay bathroom

Sunday, June 12, 2011

She Has Gone and Killed the Cardamom!!!!

I cannot believe what I have done. Honestly if I had children and treated them with the same contempt and mindlessness that I have inflicted upon my cardamom plant, Child Services would have stepped in and seized my babies a long time ago.

I left my beautiful cardamom out on a freezing cold night in Central Victoria. The mercury dipped down to at least minus 4 degrees and froze the living daylights out of it. I am so ashamed. I quickly scooted her inside to bask in the warmth of the wintery sun in our lounge room, but I fear the damage may be done.

...and if you look closely you can see the beginnings of one little potato. I have no idea how that got in there! Again, I am not the most observant of parents, not only do I let them freeze to death but I do not keep track of who their little playmates are!

No wonder I don´t have children. I cannot be trusted.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

For Dom - Mister Cee´s Lineage

...nothing fancy pants

I know, no photos!!!!

I will get out this afternoon and grab a couple of the fattus yakkus for you...and maybe even one with a saddle on his back...and who knows, maybe a rider as well.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

I Am Now An Official Member of a Standardbred Riding Group...

Gosh darn it!

Yes, I went out today and lodged paperwork so now Cash and I are official members of the local Standardbred Riding Group.

I would go out and take a photo of their latest horse addition, but he is absolutely putrid with mud and looks less like a potential dressage horse as he does a pure mud pony.

I suppose I should highlight Cash´s racing details.....

Racing Name: Mister Cee. (terrible name!)

Never started, never trialled and never raced.

That was pretty easy!

Now he is ¨Walk the Line¨ stable name Cash, of course! Fifteen years young, Sixteen hands high and as fat as a yak. Hardly auspicious stuff is my boy.

In two weeks time he and I will strut our stuff in our first public ridden appearance and I already need a change of underwear, I am so nervous.

Daffodil Can Run, But She Cannot Hide.

Almost three weeks ago I pledged to myself to walk for an hour every day, to not drink alcohol and not eat bread for a self imposed month of torture to get back into my jeans and to also get back on the horse and attend my first ever riding session at the local Standardbred Riding Group.

Walking - check.

No Alcohol - check minus one day of rolling around under a wagon.

No Bread - check.

Fitting in the jeans again - huge check. I can only just wear them without being charged with public indecency.

Registering for Standardbred Riding Group - non-check

Getting back in the Saddle - non check.

Oh well, I had resigned myself to delaying joining the SRG for ANOTHER month. All well and good. EXCEPT that the Rally Organizer caught me out at my new place of employment. Her Mother-in Law is a resident of the facility that I work at and came in to visit her. The lovely rally organiser had me bailed up against the wall promising that I would register with the riding group by handing in my forms and monies on Thursday at her place of employment AND attend the monthly meeting this Friday night AND attending Standardbred riding group on Saturday the 25th of June.

If I still worked in the Big Smoke this never would have happened, our paths would never have crossed and I would have had another month of procrastination.

That is living and working in little country towns for you.

You think that you might be able to run, but you certainly cannot hide.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

My Red Boy

My red boy is Rubin Carter. We found him online at the RSPCA website. We were taken with his big cheeky grin. We drove down to meet him and were confronted with 30kgs of boisterous, licky boxer. He had been kept solely in his backyard by his previous owner. He was never house trained, walked on lead, or let inside. He was left at home alone for days on end with only a bucket of water and a bucket of dry biscuits. Dogs are pack animals, leave them alone for long enough and they will serach out a pack of their own. He was impounded by the council on numerous occasions. Eventually, his previous owners got fed up with posting his bail that they surrendered him to the RSPCA for rehoming. Apparently nobody wants an escaping boxer. He had no manners and jumped all over us. We fell for him immediately. He was two days from being destroyed as literally nobody wanted him. He was too much of a dog for most people...except for us. To us he was a boxer who needed a home. So we spent almost three hours doing some training with him and introducing him to our other boxer, Paisley and ensuring that they did not want to kill each other. By the end of training session he was walking beautifully on lead next to Paisley and they were more than the gorgeous couple stepping out on the town with their owners. We had lots of family´s wanting to meet with our dogs and sold more than one family on a boxer for a suitable family dog.

Funnily enough, Rubin is no longer an escaping boxer. He never leaves our sight when we are out and about. He never runs off of our property. He loves being with us. When we go out he simply falls asleep on our bed with Paisley. Neither of them chew things or play tug or war with anything. They are both confident that we will return to them...and they are right. So they sleep soundly knowing that we will return to them.

He is a changed boxer. He is included. He sleeps in our bedroom with his sister. He wakes up when we wake up. He falls asleep when we go to bed. He never runs away as he knows that the grass is not greener on the other side. He plays with Paisley and he plays with other dogs. For a boxer who has led a very sheltered and excluded life, he now has the best of every world. We love our red boxer and cannot imagine life without him.

Please do not discount adopting an older dog from a rescue shelter. All of these animals deserve a second chance, but please bear in mind that they may come with some excess baggage. We have found Rubin to be the most loyal companion. The rescue dog may need some extra training and extra attention, but it is all worth it in the end. Rubin is a firmly established part of our family.

Rubin Carter, we love you.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Did Someone Get the Number of That Wagon.....

I have wagon wheel tracks across my face....they must have come about when I fell off the wagon and it ran over me.

Two glasses of a SPECTACULAR Sauvignon Blanc and I am sitting here posting and feeling more than a little tipsy. I blame work. Running me into the ground and making me feel exhaustimatated and losing my ability to think clearly and make sensible decisions.

We went out for dinner. Delish!!!! Normally we would eat at home, but both HH and I were absolutely pooped. We have not been out for dinner for almost 3 months and we thought...STUFF IT!!! Lets go. So we did, and I had one of glass of wine and then another and then, wait for it, I had a profiterole for dessert! I have never had a profiterole before. It was nice, but very sweet. now I must run after that blasted wagon and get back on it. Thank goodness I allowed 36 days for my month of little changes, although I am thinking that maybe I should start all over again, but there will be no beating up of oneself, there is no guilt, there is no BAD, BAD DAFFODIL. I enjoyed myself and now I am back on track for the rest of the month.

At least I have been keeping on top of the walking and the bread.....

although I am beating myself up over not taking photos of my delish indulgence to share with you!

I had pork sirloin, nice but not as good as Don and Hamelot, on cauliflower puree with steamed green beans and grilled blood sausage. (Dom and Bryce, was that suitably Primal?) Dessert was profiteroles with chocolate sauce and home made vanilla ice cream and berry coulis shared by two. (Definitely NOT Primal!)

Not World Wide Web

Only a spiders web in my orchard. Does this mean I am now posting with photos?

Fear not, blog reading public, I shalt not go overboard with pictorial inserts which may unduly distract from my enthusiastic verbosity.

I was just having fun with my little camera.

I have no eye, no idea and my thumb is missing from this shot.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

When Buying Meat....

We are lucky in that our little town we have a butcher who actively advertises that they sell locally raised meat that is raised in premium free range conditions. We also have a farm set up that also advertises cows and sheep that are kept on pasture. They slaughter and butcher for you and you can purchase a full, half or quarter of a cow or sheep. You can visit their farm and view the living conditions that livestock live on.

So, check out your local butcher, or even talk to a farmer who may sell you a cow for meat and suggest a mobile butcher who will shoot and butcher the cow for you to pop into your freezer.

If you have a small backyard, you could even look at raising chickens of ducks for your meat consumption. Some people keep rabbits for this purpose.

When you raise your animals you have full control over their living environment. You know exactly what your animals are eating and ultimately what you will be eating. If you are nervous of killing and butchering your own meat, enlist the help of a butcher. They can show you exactly how to quickly and painlessly kill your animals and to cut them down into traditional cuts and portions.

My pigs were shot. They stood at the gate with their snouts upturned waiting for their food bucket. They literally had no idea what happened. There was no stress, no torture and very little noise. They died the ultimate stress free death. Isn´t every living thing entitled to that?

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

One Little Lime

We hosted Christmas last year and requested that we have a present free Christmas. One set of friends was very naughty and presented us with a lime tree. Don´t try and tell me that rules are meant to be broken!

Anyhoo, their lovely and very thoughtful present was duly potted and for the last six months has been hauled around the various microclimes on our property to ensure its first year survival rate in blustery Central Victoria.

The hard slog has paid off with the lime tree sporting one lovely little lime that has survived the punishing winds, the deep frosts and the flaying sun. Onya little lime tree.

...and may you be the first of many more to come.

My Eyes are Not as Wide Open as I Thought They Were....

Four Corners, Monday Night - A Bloody Business. Watch it. It is horrendous and gut-wrenching.

If you do not understand how to slaughter an animal humanely, even after years of supposed education paid for by the industry that is supplying you with the animals to kill in the first place then you and that industry are both blindly stupid, negligent and promote animal cruelty and torture. How long would have these barbaric practices continued without the public knowing, how long was this going to continue on without any improvements in the end conditions for future animals?

If Australia cuts the ties for supplying Indonesia and other countries with live animal exports and deplorable killing conditions, then other countries will step in to fill the void (make the money). Then, as big business is prone to do, will not only export and kill their animals inhumanely, but raise, feed and transport those animals inhumanely as well. All to make money. Will we be as upset if those animals are not Australian cows?

Food is business.

If you do not grow and raise your own produce then you are subject to big business and its practices. As soon as there is money to be made, corners will be cut and animals will always be the ones to suffer.

As a developed nation, Australians are very good at not even being aware that we have our heads in the sand. Ask no questions and you will be told no lies. As long as the money is rolling in then we are happy little campers. We love our booming economy.

The killing conditions have been going on for years in Indonesia despite supposed multiple attempts at educating the staff at abattoirs on how to kill humanely. Someone has not been doing their job properly and it is only when the Australian public are brought to awareness by shocking video footage that we start yelling our outrage. Shame on us Australia. You are happy to reap the profits but turn a blind eye to what happens to animals after they leave our shores.

...and don´t get me started on slow racehorses or those who are now to old to race and win money lest I disturb your planning for your pretty little fascinator and outfit for the Melbourne Spring racing carnival..

or slow greyhounds..

or slow harness racing horses...

or the continuation of caged chickens so that you can have your omelette for breakfast...

or how pigs are kept so that you can eat your bacon...

or feedlot fed cattle in the USA..

or Premarin Mares (Pregnant Mare Urine) kept pregnant AND in a feedlot so that you can have your female hormones as ¨menopause is a disease¨. The foals born are then either retained and put into the ¨pee line¨ or fattened up and sent to slaughter for horse meat which is then shipped to overseas markets...

So sit on your leather sofa with your sheepskin ugg boots on smugly confident that your yelling outrage will make a difference. How do you reconcile your previous 10 or so years of existence while millions of other cows and livestock died in agony?

This is globalisation, baby.

Who do we take a stand against?

Live animal exporters?

Incompetent education practices and educators?

Meat eaters?

Foreign slaughterhouses?

Cattle Farmers who engage in exporting Australian beef to overseas markets rather than feeding and employing in their own backyard?

The Australian Tax Department for making all transport costs fully tax deductible meaning that we can fling our produce all over the world without having to be mindful of transport costs and end stage living and killing conditions?


Readers of my blog will already know my stance on meat consumption.

You want to eat meat? Raise it and kill it yourself. OR know where your cow is living and what it is eating and who slaughters it. Familiarise yourself on what you are feeding your family. Don´t dumb it down. ¨Pork¨ is dead pig. ¨Beef¨ is dead cow. These are animals that lived their lives to be killed for our consumption. The least we can do is advocate for their entitlement for optimum living conditions, a quick and a quick painless death.

I actually do not know the answer for the issues raised by Four Corners, but it disgusting that it has been going on for so long unchecked, unregulated, unknown (to the international public) and with those animals not having a voice to advocate for their rights.

I am guilty of ignorance about the plight of beef cattle in Indonesia, and that makes me sick to my stomach. How long before the furore dies down and we forget about the plight of future cows whose destiny lies in these slaughterhouses regardless of their origin? How long will it be before we return to putting our heads back in the sand and be completely unaware that we have done so?

.....and what about all of the other animals that exist and die in suffering all around the world to feed the human population? Do we pick and choose our causes?

If you were put off of my post about slaughtering my two little pigs, then watch the video and then re-read it. My little pigs had a great life and quick death. They suffered no torture and no fear.

I though my eyes were wide open, after A Bloody Business, they are not as wide open as I thought.

A Little Bit of Frost

Well, it was cold in Victoria overnight. My car had iced shut by 8.30pm last night.

When I got home this morning my property was a sea of frost. So out came my new little camera and I got a little bit shutterbug happy.

My little camera may be lacking a huge lens and a knowledgeable eye, but for a little point and shoot, she is a fun little camera.

After this ¨photo shoot¨ my poor little tootsies were just about snap frozen so I hightailed it inside and sought refuge in my warm bed to catch some much needed sleep after a night shift.

Winter has certainly made her presence felt!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Daffodil´s New Little Camera

HH purchased me a new camera seeing as my blog has been proudly photo free for the last few weeks. Not that I am fussed. Although to some a picture may be worth one thousand words, as John McCarthy quipped ¨According to the Chinese 1001 words are worth more than a picture¨

So what did geeky HH buy me? He just spewed out all of these numbers and words that made my head spin but I am guessing that it is a camera!

It is actually a Canon S95 in utilitarian black. I was hoping for fire engine red or passionfruit swirl, but black is fine, I guess.

So I opened up the parcel checked to make sure a camera was inside and then went about my daily business. HH got home made a beeline for the camera and has been busily playing with it ever since, taking shots, photoshopping and goodness else what you do with cameras these days.

I am sitting here posting and I throw a quick query to HH ¨Does it come with headphones?¨ I figure that if my mobile phone can take photos, place calls and replace my iPod, then surely this little camera would be issued with headphones, at the very least.

Nope. It is just a camera. How disappointing. Don´t tell him I said that.

So about my little phone, oops, camera. It is tiny. It fits easily in my Daffodil sized pocket. According to HH it has excellent photo quality, it allows me to have control over my photo taking if I wish with manual mode or if I am lazy, as Daffodils are rumoured to be, then there is auto mode.

HH is quite take with my camera. I am still a little bit miffed that it does not come with headphones.

Days Nine, Ten and Eleven.

Jeepers! Where has the week gone? It may be Monday (it IS Monday, isn´t it?) for the rest of you but for me it is the beginning of my weekend. Being a shiftworking nurse means I take my weekends when they come. Some weeks my weekend is one day, other weeks it can be five days.

However, I am still walking around the block AND covering huge distances at work. My work pants are almost falling off of me, I am giving them another 2 weeks or wearability before they fall into the embarrassing stakes of having me step out of them completely and leave them behind when walking.

Still no alcohol. Working shifts helps alot with that one. I have a strict no drinking when working policy anyway. The more I work, the less opportunity I have to partake of an alcoholic tibble.

I am still bread and flour product free, even with my little yearning for a scone at work the other day.

So, I am feeling fine, swimming in my work pants, hauling my jeans on and off without unzipping them and my heel feels great.

I am enjoying my little month of little Daffy changes!

...p.s...and my new camera FINALLY arrived.

I may just take a picture or two....or not!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walking on Sunshine - Days 7 and 8 One Month of Little Changes.

Walks done. Todays was completed in the sunshine, then it clouded over. Noice timing, Daff. Bread avoided and this was a tough one as there were scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea at work yesterday. AAAAHHH! I love a scone, although being a non sugar baby, I love them just warmed through and slathered slathered with butter, preferable organic, and even more preferably from a little producer about 30kms from where I live. Dangerous and delicious.

Daffodil has remained an alcohol free zone.

Keeping it short and sweet for today as I am being a busy little Daffodil.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From Paddock to Freezer.

Dom and Hamelot, my wessex saddleback pigs, are now in the freezer. HH could not help himself and had a pan fried pork steak for dinner last night. His report: ¨Excellent succulent meat¨, he really enjoyed the it. He did admit that he misses our little pigs. I mean lets face it, Don and Hamelot were a part of our little farm. However, as meat eaters, we are taking responsibility for our meat intake and that means raising and nurturing our own animals for our own consumption.

Now our two little pigs are reduced to a pile of now frozen steaks, roast, chops and ribs. I am very mindful that that pile of now meat were once living, snorting, roto-tilling pigs that lived in our paddock. Our pig meat is not some product of intensive inhumane farming practice....and now they are in our freezer. Don and Hamelot lived a free and valued life. Now they will still be valued and mindfully enjoyed as we slowly roast, grill and fry our way through their bounty.

You were and still are cherished pigs.

Thank you, Don and Hamelot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day Six Walk FattyDaffy´s Month of Little Changes

Another walk under the belt, or is that from the belt?

It was really icy cold when I started, by about half way through the walk I warmed up which of course meant that my nasal passages had thawed and the sniffles started. EEEW.

Lunch will be tofu, mushroom and wombok cabbage soup with plenty of chilli.

Dinner will be leftover pumpkin, feta, pea and onion frittata with some roasted vegetables.

Still no bread on the horizon and no alcohol.

When I started my month I thought that ¨No bread and no alcohol makes Daffy something something¨ repeated ad nauseum.

You know what? I am not missing them at all, but it is only Day Six.

Walk on.

Day Five Rain, Wind and Op Shopping

Day five is over. My walk was interesting. I started out dry with the windswept look. I ended the walk saturated and looking very drowned ratty with wind blasted red cheeks. I thought I had enough of a break in the weather to get my walk in. Boy, was I wrong. Still, a little water is not going to kill me. It is not as if I am dry clean only.

Still going strong on the no alcohol Daffodil policy and still no bread (or flour products)

Dinner tonight was a pumpkin, sheeps milk fetta, onion and pea baked frittata and in true Dffodil style, there are no photos!!!!

Having had a day off to today and with the uber-crappy weather, I hit the op shops. A vintage black velvet opera coat *GASP* with a gorgeous apricot fringed coverlet that I will use to line it. Another jacket for me and one for HH. I also found a gorgeous soft pink jumper and the standard pair of black pants. I also scored 4 daffodil yellow dinner plates and bread and butter plates. EEEP, I won´t be able to use those little plates for a while.

What would a post be without pics?


HH has purchased me a camera which should be arriving any day now. I may even use it. Or not.

My heel is still holding up to my walking regime and the amount of walking I do at work. WOOHOO.

I will also let you in on a little secret.

My jeans are already sooooo much more comfortable.

Monday, May 23, 2011

google serach ¨Dr Drake Ramoray¨

Just having a giggle here.

If you type in ¨Dr Drake Ramoray¨ my little blog comes in at number nine in the results list.

Dr Drake Ramoray is the name of one of my ducks and my other duck is Charlize Theron.

How many disappointed people are out there hoping to unearth some kinky gossip regarding Dr Drake Ramoray and Charlize Theron and only come across a little post about my ducks.


Another Walk Bites the Dust

Another day and another walk. My heel feels great and even my back is feeling stronger and not so tight, I feel like I have more energy and there is a definite spring in my step. Could all of these benefits just be from walking?

Actually today was not just walking, but helping a poor driver who got bogged further up our country lane. The kind of mud that you sink up to knees to in your wellies. The thick claggy glue that sucks the boots off of your feet and you spend alot of effort just trying to remain upright. That was a workout in itself. We ended up raiding our building site and hauling it down the road in piecemeal in order to build a road for him to get through on. Dirty, funny laughing work.

He was a very nice gentleman with two gorgeous little dogs. I tell you, the people you meet in little country towns.

All in all, a tiring and muddy day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Quick Little Update.

Three days so far, and three walks done, plus walking my hooves off at work. No alcohol and not really missing it. No bread, still going through bread withdrawal especially when HH fires up the toasty sandwich maker and squishes jarlsberg cheese in between 2 slices of a gorgeous dense whole grain loaf and then toasts that toastie to delicious toastiness!!!

THEN I skip on over to Alisons blog where she beguiles me with Tamarillo Cosmopolitans and Wickedly/Quite Healthfully Chocolate Chestnut Spread and don´t even get me started on Bryces Primal Chocolate Coconut Crepes....

It is all doing my head in.

My heel is still a happy camper, so I am, too.

...and I met the most GAWJUS 11 week old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Bess (and her lovely owner) while out on my morning walking in the rain this morning.

No, I don´t have pics because I am a lazy blogger and I was having far too much fun playing with a very cutesom puppy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Month of Little Changes

I used to love walking. It was easy on the aging knees, the scenery around where I live is lovely.

There are horses who say hello along my 6.5km stretch of country lane. Then I developed heel pain and was unable to walk any real distance without pain, and even more pain the following day. Over the past few months I have barely walked with intent outside of work purposes. My last riding lesson was in March and it was a disaster as I had no mobility through the ankle and my foot would simply slip through the stirrup and I was unable to rectify it. That was just downright dangerous and a very scary feeling as a stirrup would edge its way up my calf. Without intentional walking, no horse riding and being simply unable to work horses full stop, I put on a few pounds. And then a few pounds more. To the point where my jeans actually do not fit me anymore. Forget about thrashing around on the floor and going red in the face trying to squeeze myself into them and then fighting all sorts of laws of quantum physics and laws of energy, mass and gravity trying to do the zipper up. The only equation that was working was;

Daffodil+no exercise+mindless eating = jeans do not fit anymore.

Now that I no longer have heel pain, I have taken the bull by the horns (actually, the runners by the laces) and took my first real walk in almost six months. Yes people, I actually walked my 6.5kms this morning in a very average time of 1:11:30 according to my gps and at an average speed of 5.45kms per hour.

That is not too bad considering my almost total lack of exercise. I used to do that walk in just under one hour flat, so I have a lot of improving to do.

Now for the important stuff for me. No heel pain when walking AT ALL. No heel pain when rolling over rocks on the side of the road to let cars pass by without killing me. NOICE!!!! and even now, hours after I have finished my walk, no pain OR tightness through the ankle, heel or calf. I feel great!

On the bread front. No bread has passed by my lips to settle on my hips.

On the alcohol front. Likewise.

So between no bread, no alcohol and walking one hour a day for one month, we shall see how the FattyDaffy goes in getting back into the top boots and the riding gear.

Small, simple changes.

BTW, YOU CAN DO IT, FIONA!!!! Thanks for joining me on this one month of little changes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Heel Spur.....

I am calling it. My Heel Spur is no longer bothering me at all. Yep, crack open that champagne, it is over. Months of hobbling hell, screaming achilles tendon pain, unable to wear shoes and at times unable to ride my horse and sometimes having to take time off of work all because of this blasted heel spur shredding my achilles tendon.

No surgery required. I took on Bowen Therapy and essential oils and beat the effects of the bony prominence into submission.


...and now for the not-so-yay.

I put on weight through not moving around so much. My jeans are WAAAAAAAY to tight and right now I am looking at going up another size. EEEWWW! Muffin top!!!! My top boots are also almost muffin topping my calves. Double EWWWW. There is far too much Daffodil to be forcing into riding jodhs. It is not a pretty sight and certainly not for the faint hearted.

Something must be done and today I start. I no longer have the effects of a heel spur to cultivate my laziness. I have to get this spreading Daffodil moving and losing it.

I already know what my weaknesses are. Bread. I love bread, so no bread for me for one whole month, which of course immediately reduces my butter intake. What is bread without butter? (actually, it is still delicious!) Alcohol. Oh how I love you Shiraz, but you cloud my judgement and leave me eating mindlessly. Goodbye alcohol for one month.

Hello walking. One hour every day, rain, hail, shine or frost. This I really do need. My walking gait is still somewhat impaired from inactivity and the only way to restore that is through meaningful activity. What better way than walking?

It all starts here and it is starting now.

Bye Bye FattyDaff. Hello top boots!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don and Hamelot Have Left the Building

Don and Hamelot, our two little Wessex Saddleback pigs were slaughtered yesterday. I will not pretty up this post for human acceptance. If you are vegan, you do not have to read on. If you are vegetarian, likewise.

Please, everyone who may read this post, be assured that these two little pigs lived a very happy life, they ate well, free ranged, wallowed copiously, burrowed with and without intent, got out of their paddock once and fell asleep on their boundary fence. They jumped straight back in when dinner arrived and strangely enough never attempted escape again. The grass may have been over-tilled by them both, but they obviously knew where it was greener. They had shady trees, a pig ark stuffed to capacity with sweet smelling hay that they would burrow into every night...and afternoon for siestas. They were well kept pigs.

HH and I deliberately kept Don and Hamelot far away from the house in their own purpose modified paddock. Even though we are animal lovers we do still eat meat, not alot of meat, but still some. Having our own property has enabled us to keep our own livestock for our own consumption. This was our first year for raising pigs. Having them away from the house meant that we did not cultivate a ¨pet pig¨ mentality. Don and Hamelot were pigs with a purpose. Their destiny lays in our freezer and eliminates the need for purchasing commercial (yes, even free range) pig meat.

Pigs can be very harsh on the land. Their newly vacated paddock will need a year of resting with a couple of round bales of grass hay to mulch it, preserve it and rejuvenate it before we can put any more livestock on it. That paddock has been stripped, tilled, turned, and upended by our little pigs. The deep underlying clay pan is almost our new top soil. The only thing keeping our topsoil in our paddock is the fact that they soil is still damp. Once it is dry, all it will take is a stiff breeze and our neighbours will have newly deposited top soil on their land. OURS! I have no idea how free range pigs can be kept to supply a commercial market.....Do they really, or are they only born free range and once weaned then kept off of the land? Our two pigs lived in a 3/4 acre paddock for four months and utterly destroyed it.

Anyhoo, I digress. Yesterday, Russell, our slaughter/butcher guy came with his refrigerated truck, gun and dog. He inspected our two little pigs and commented that they were at the perfect size. Being boars, you cannot keep them too long just in case their circulating testosterone ¨taints¨ the meat. It does not always happen, especially when the pigs are kept truly free range, but why take the risk? Don and Hamelot weighed in at about 34kgs and 38kgs respectively. A good weight to still handle between two people. Russell produced his gun and shot each pig in the head, between the eyes and they fell to the ground. Don and Hamelot both saw us as food and would wait at the fence for us with their little upturned snouts snuffling in anticipation of the food bucket. Today there was no food bucket, only a gun. There was very little noise, and they died immediately. I do not know what goes on in a professional abbatoir, so I cannot compare the two processes.

HH had set up a 44 gallon drum filled with water and boiled it using fallen timber from our property to fire it up and get that water boiling. Each pig was then dipped into the water for about five minutes which is enough to make it easy to scrape their coarse hair off but not to cook them. They were then removed and Russell hung them up using a block and tackle and the abdominal cavity opened and all of the innards removed.

Russell then set about removing the head and the trotters (which I did want) Some of the offal we saved, some went to the dogs and the rest into our septic worm treatment plant. He is quick. He knows his job and he does this for a living. Don and Hamelot then had a meat hook placed through them and they were put into the cool room where they will hang for a week before being butchered into traditional portions and put into the freezer to be eaten by us over the next year.

I hope this post is not too sanitized, but if you were expecting lots of blood and gore and squealing none of this happened. As I said, Russell is a professional. The whole morning was stress free. Don and Hamelot died in anticipation of a yummy food bucket. I don´t think that you can die much happier than that. They didn´t run away in terror and there was no squealing. It was a quick clean death. How many commercially farmed animals meet an end like that?

If you ever come to our place for dinner and there is pig on the table, rest assured you can eat without a guilty conscience knowing that Don and Hamelot lived a happy life, had a quick death and we wasted as little of them both as we could.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Search Thus Far....

Recently I wrote of the demise of my beloved black purse.

Now begins the tale of replacing her.

Sometimes it is real drag being a crazy op shopper on the hunt for something specific. Daffodils Law stipulates that as soon as you want something second hand you shall never find it. I don´t think I have spoken a truer word. All I want is a purse. Of course, not just any purse will do. I mean lets face it, I have just laid to rest The Perfect Purse. It was a purse that slotted into my hand perfectly, its soft wells and troughs formed by my hand so intrinsically a part of me. The union of hand and purse so perfectly matched that aside from colour and texture we may well have been as one. Spiritually and chemically bonded.

The first purse I stumbled across was a red leather purse almost brand new. YIPPEE!!! Completely unmarked leather, smelling freshly tanned and probably sweated over by a small child in a third world country mindlessly purchased by someone and then just as mindlessly fell out of love with and relegated to the op shop.

...and now it was mine. Gleefully I put all my valuables into it and started on the long path of working, nay moulding this purse into my own.

My effort lasted about one week.

I hate the purse. It has an awkward closure. It is difficult to secure, and even though I spend an extra moment to ensure that I have closed it properly the stupid little press stud does not always catch.

I can see why this almost new purse was donated to an op shop....because it is next to useless! It will be taking a one way trip back to the op shop where someone with more patience than me will tolerate the dodgy press stud.

Purse number two was found at The Savers store in Mill Park. It is a fairy floss pink crocodile print leather, smaller in stature than The Perfect Purse. Upon opening I just about fell over at how many card holding options there are inside! My black purse could hold 4 different cards. This purse can hold about 20? Who has that many pieces of plastic? I have my ATM card, medicare card and drivers licence. In permaculture terminology I have plastic deficit to be owing this purse. Look, don´t get me wrong, it is a cute purse, but it is more for someone in their early 20ś with a plastic fetish and not someone of my vintage sans plastic.

I thought I could learn to love this purse. Alas I cannot see a future for us.

On MOnday, while stumbling around Bendigo purchasing rubber sheeting (get your mind out of the gutter peoples, it is for lining Cash´s new hoof boots!) I fell over an op shop that I had not been to before. Tucked away on a side street. Quiet and organised. Very helpful and pleasant staff. I found a gorgeous riding shirt for me, business shirt for HH and a basket to carry it all in. While standing there waiting for the shop assistant, my eye fell on a purse....

Deep burgundy patent mock croc leather. Noice.
Open it up. Space for 4 cards. Big tick!
Compartment for my folding money that I do not have to fold....big tick.
Quick snappy closure that is in perfect condition for my coinage...big, big tick..Oh, I think I am in love!!!

I purchased gorgeous new purse, got home and once again set about slotting my important bits into it.

I hate this purse as well.

The card compartments are too small for cards!!!! WHAT THE?!!!

Who manufactures a purse that cannot hold a drivers license? Or allows you to easily and deftly whip out the ATM card and just as easily slide back into its spot? Not Mellini, that´s for damn sure. They have NO IDEA how to make a functional purse. They make great looking purses that are useless.

The search continues.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Carda-mom mom Carda Carda-mom

In a fit of silly I purchased a cardamom plant a while back. I don´t live sub tropically. I live in central Victoria where the summer can flay the skin off of your nose and winter can snap freeze your butt cheeks in the blink of an eye. Not exactly prime growing conditions for cardamom. I hold no hope in her ever flowering as the conditions we have here are simply not conducive to that. However her leaves will still impart a subtle flavour of cardamom. Mini yay!

I potted her up in early February so that when the weather started to turn I could move her around through the various micro-climates to offer her some protection.

I think she has done rather well considering her geographical handicap. Check out her puppery.

I am quite proud of her achievements.

Do you attempt to grow the unusual or take on the challenge of growing things completely outside of your growing zones?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Losing a Little Piece of Me

My purse died recently. To some people that may not mean much, to me it was a very sad day. I have had this purse for almost 21 years. I purchased it on sale (of course!) at Myers all those years ago. It was a lovely plain black leather purse with minimal card holding capacity, for in the dark ages plastic cards were not that common. A compartment for my coinage and allocated space for my ¨folding money¨.

It fitted perfectly into my hand, the black leather worn to buttery softness as it almost never saw the inside of a bag, as I am not a bag person. If it doesn´t fit into my purse or jeans pocket then I don´t carry it.

Even with being held almost every day come rain, hail or shine the leather still maintained its integrity, a sign of a quality build. But even that quality build will at some time come unravelled as something challenges its integrity and staying power. That something was coins. Yes, the coin compartment of my purse burst it banks and would blindly and shamelessly share my tinkling wealth with the outside world. With my heart in my mouth I carefully inspected the inner workings of my beloved purse to see if surgery was an option. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can repair my purse?


Don´t we?

Alas, we do not. The whole purse would have the be taken apart and the clasp and leather reunited. A huge undertaking and no one could offer the guarantee that she would be as good as new. It was with a heavy heart and a little tear in my eye that I removed my valuables from her and laid her to rest.

Such a faithful purse, a dogged and sturdy performer under pressure and at play. She has been with me through thick and thin, travelled the world seen many a sight that other purses do not see as they live in a bag. She was a well rounded purse. She was a purse who had lived life to the fullest. There are not many purses that can say that!

Goodbye my lovely purse, you shall never be forgotten. Any purse I have from here on will have big shoes to fill.

Vale Daffodil´s purse.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Thrifting Excesses - a False Economy?

I was over at Frugal By Choices log this morning and one concept she was discussing concerned ¨Cheap Chic¨ Thrifting, garage saleing and uptaking from friends. (They offload, you uptake)

For me, I am a very enthusiastic thift/opshopper. I love the thrill of the hunt, finding a high end label piece of even finding things I never knew I was looking for. Does that make it a bargain? Not always. Even op shopping can be a false economy. I have 12 brown t-shirts. Granted I wear them all, but who needs 12 of them? I could get by with 2 or 3. Even though they are all thrifted t-shirts, were they still value for money? Pink t-shirts....many. Black t-shirts? Don´t ask. Too many to count.

Another weakness is black pants. I have almost 20 pairs. Again, alot of that little amount of money could have been spent on something else, committed to debt reduction or further financial investment.

Don´t get me started on how many pairs of jeans I own. I live, eat and breathe denim and my wardrobe shows it. I could quite possibly NEVER buy another pairs of jeans in this lifetime and still be denim clad in my coffin at the age of 90.

Shoes? Another weakness.

Just because something is cheap, does not always make it a bargain. I thrifted a pair of Wrangler jeans a few weeks back, AND I HAVE NOT EVEN WORN THEM YET. I haven´t needed to. I have so many other pairs. The $2.50 is not alot of money in the scheme of things, but start multiplying that and the numbers start stacking up.

I shudder to think how much I would have spent on clothing had I purchased at full retail price. Should I also be shuddering at how much I could have saved on my extensive thrifted wardrobe?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Who´s Got New Shoes?

Cash has new shoes!

Yes, the poor pony has a new pair of ¨Mary Janes¨ to give him a level of cushioning comfort while coming back into work.

These are ¨Easy Boot¨ Gloves and while they are not a perfect fit they are pretty darn close. Now we just have to wait for his other pair to arrive from New York and he and I will be stepping out on the town again. Such a cosmopolitan horse! I don´t even have a pair of shoes shipped in especially for me! I do have a pretty little pair of ¨Dorothy¨ shoes from the local op shop. Does that count?

Stay tuned for the photo shoot of Cash in Boots.

Don and Wessex Saddleback Pigs.

I give my two little pigs a very hard time. I spend too many a post dwelling on their excavation talents, and not enough time on them as my two little pigs.

For starters, they are no longer so little. When the boys first arrived, they fit on my lap. Those days are over. There is now considerable bulk and spillage. They simply no longer fit on my, or anyone elses, lap. They also squirm a little bit too much, so all of a sudden you are trying to contain a 25 kilogram bowl of jelly (without a mould) within the confines of your lap. Good luck with that one!

There is some seriously good eating on these little fellows, and we have nurtured them for exactly that purpose. That is never far from our minds when we interact with them. Their sole purpose is to fill our freezer. They are fed well, kept well, we keep them in wallow when the weather is not forthcoming, but we always keep our distance. These boys are not our pets, they are our eventual food.

This has been quite a confronting experience for me. As a confirmed animal lover, it has been difficult to maintain that professional distance and not mother them, as cute as they were, and still are. They have distinct little personalities. They are happy to see us when we arrive with their breakfast and dinner. They come bounding up to the gate, ecstatic to see us (dinner, that is) there is much snorting and squealing at seeing us. Their backs arch up to receive back scratches and they LOVE nibbling on rubber wellies.

Raising happy meat is not for everyone. It is for us, as we would rather know that our happy meat has really lived a happy life and their slaughter and butchering will be fully appreciated and respected. Our pigs will not be a part of the consumer anaethetisation where you have no idea of the conditions under which your produce has existed for your purchasing and eating pleasure. Our pigs will never be subjected to inhumane living conditions that redeuces them to only the choicest cuts at your local supermarket and the rest is cast off to blood and bone or feeding your dog. We plan to waste as little as possible from these two little pigs and respectfully and ethically consume them from nose to tail.

That´s MISTER Potato Head to You!

I didn´t realize that Mr Potato Head was lurking in the potato patch, but lurking he was in all of his mishapen potato-y glory.

As with the fanged tomato, and the X-Rated carrot who was never featured on this blog, perfect vegetables are things that happen to other people.

My vegetable patches are the freak show of the circus, with produce that scares the littlies and adults alike.

Still, they taste delicious.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

A Little Patch of Mud

I have never been a fan of white on horses, or in the horsey vernacular,¨Chrome¨ or ¨Bling¨.

White on horses equates to filthy horse. It means lots of rugging, or washing and grooming to keep on top of the dirt. That is not me. I love brushing horses before and after riding, but to brush simply to keep a horse looking clean in a paddock is just not my thing.

However, I do own a paint clydesdale cross with HEAPS of chrome. I had vowed never to own a horse with bling, but this sad little horse was at the horse sales and destined to end up as a can of dog food. I could not leave him behind. So he and his little buddy in the next pen came home with me.

I go out into the paddock this morning and there is Hendrix, in all of his painty glory, looking like he has been slip-sliding through a mud slick. I just have to close my eyes and pretend that the mud does not exist. At least Faran, my appaloosa clydesdale cross, LOOKS clean!

Cash can be counted on to keep himself looking spiffy, so I don´t have to worry him with a brushing, but....

Guess what I got up to today?

Yep, restoring a naughty little muddy pony to his blingiest best...and then it rained..and then he rolled...and then I gave up.

I swear that I will NEVER buy a bling-y horse again!!!!!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Note to Self: ¨Unbit¨

I left a comment on Frugal Down Unders blog this morning. One of my usual sophisticated witticisms, and the word verification function asked me to type ¨unbit¨. For the horsey people who read my blog, I thought it was very cute as I have not ridden any of my horses in a bit for more than five years now.

I think that word verification and I shared a special moment together this morning.

Of course, you can fully expect me to freak out if it requires me to type in ¨treeless saddle¨ or ¨barefoot¨

One Little Artichoke.

At the very end of the growing season when all the other artichokes have come and gone and been eaten or left to flower, there is one little late starter showing up after the curtain has fallen.

I will let him go to flower and have a little splash of colour in the grey of the day.

Chickens in the Garden.

My Chickens have green talons.

I am serious. My intentionally planted sunflowers failed to thrive.

My chickens overlooked sunflower seeds in their seed mix...flourishing. I have no idea what their secret growing tips are and they are all keeping mum. It is a conspiracy, I am certain.

So dotted throughout our orchard are neglected flowering sunflowers. Also out there are sunflower seeds that couldn´t be bothered making an appearance simply because they were planted by me. Maybe they are waiting until my back is turned, or we have sold the property and moved on.

Either way, the chickens are more skillful at growing sunflowers than myself.

How is that for demoralising?