31 March, 2007

before the lights go out

in Sydney for Earth Hour.

Today, we made an effort to do our bit for the environment by replacing the outdoor taps with ones guaranteed never to drip (we shall see). The lawn also got mowed with the mulcher rather than the catcher, adding the nutrients back in, thereby reducing the need for extra lawn fertiliser. We also did a stack of weeding, and for some winter/spring cheer planted primula's and pansies.

Tonight we shall have barbequed sausages from the Eumundi Smokehouse purchased from the Warwick Farm Farmers Market, and watch either or both Kenny, and Little Miss Sunshine, of course with all unnecessary lights off.
Farmers Market Haul

29 March, 2007

our new verandah

Well folks, here it is, our recently finished verandah. This was a February project that took a little longer than planned as we did not plan the hot water service to blow up, or leak profusely, nor did we plan the under bench oven blowing up (literally) either!!So, after a couple of extra thousand dollars spent elsewhere on appliances, may I present to you, our verandah:
Finished Verandah
Another view:

Finished Vernadah
Underneath the awning:
Under the new verandah
And lastly, from LA-Bamboo_Direct on eBay, our 'Lotus Rain Chains' in place of downpipes. His store is well worth a visit, as there is lots of good stuff there!

Verandah & Rain Chains
Sorry about the 'quality' of this last image, as we have had some rain and it is late this evening...

27 March, 2007

Ahh... the sweetest words (this time for me!!!)

This time it is for me...
Graduated with the award of Master of Agriculture (Turf Management)!
Alas, one Masters down and another to go... Best I get back to the study...
Except this time, there is no thanks from Jasmine, no no...
But this time, from Lady, whom I was told from a very reliable source, has been visiting the neighbours by going under the fence...
As if Cooper wasn't enough of a strain!!

26 March, 2007

pink sashiko

O wow! B is too clever, we have three columns and a new colour. It complements my Sashiko.


I bought this Sashiko at a craft show last year and took it a couple of times, when I could remember, with me on work trips to Melbourne. Something like a fix for craft withdrawl. I only had a small section to go, and with a trip to Newcastle this week, that will include an overnight stay in a hotel, I thought it might be a good project to take with me and finish. That is, if I hadn't done a couple of stitches, and then a couple more stitches and finished it last night. Realistically I would probably have been too tired to do any stitching.

I really enjoyed doing this one, it was so easy to do, just follow the printed pattern. I am now itching to get another. I found this great site last night which should be able to help out here. The only thing is what to do with them when they are done. Any suggestions?

25 March, 2007

on the brink

of blogging oblivion. I am struggling to find the time, and energy to keep our blog going. I have a camera full of photos to share which I am commiting here to posting over the next week. Although with this next sentence I admit this is a shaky commitment as this week shall include more late nights for work in addition to a trip to newcastle which is going to be exhausting. Up and back in two days via Sydney airport*, to put in a full day of work reviewing/reworking a document that is one year stale. I had booked a day off this week but it is not to be.

So while time has been a challenge, the weather has not helped with the energy levels. It has been so hot, and HUMID. Yesterday, I put the last of the muraya's and clivia's in the verandah garden beds, and the wisteria's at either end. This ended with a 2 hour nap before racing to vote, followed by a trip to Borders. If we (B) can work out how to put in a third column, I plan to add in a what I am reading at the moment. I did get a copy of the Easter issue of Martha Stewart, sooo many good ideas. There was another magazine I would have liked, Real Simple but Yikes like Martha Stewart it had a price tag of $14.95, instead I had to be satisfied with a sneaky peak in store.
Martha Stewart Living Easter Edition

*My parents are flying to Melbourne for my brothers graduation, and I offered to take them to the airport. The drive from my place to theirs is about 45 minutes, their place to the airport about 30 minutes, from the airport to work about 1 hour 30 minutes, and from work to Newcastle 4 hours. I feel sick just thinking about it.

14 March, 2007

happy chinese new year

Happy Chinese New Year Dragon

I know this is a bit belated but I couldn't resist after taking this photo on a recent visit to Star City. Ya gotta luv a dragon, I certainly do especially having just finished reading Garden of the Purple Dragon, a charming little story for young people. The second in the series by Carole Wilkinson.

Chinese New Year Dragon

13 March, 2007

Meet the neighbours part IV, and the new deputy

Last night, all was going well with L making some homemade pasta, and I was at the lovely new oven preparing the sauce for the nights dinner. I went out to the vege garden to collect some fresh basil, when I heard some voices from the currently (newly sold) vacant house next door.

Over the last couple of weeks we have heard people next door, namely enjoying the pool, but as we knew who it was, thought not too much of it as at least they were not causing too much harm. However, the Street Sheriff (who shall be the subject of a future 'meet the neighbour' entry) had informed us recently that the vacant house had been broken into, and should we see anyone in the yard we should call the police. I should also mention that the Street Sheriff has had the opportunity to say a hello to the new owner when he called by last week, and that our new neighbour is Barry, amongst other details, but inadvertently he forgot to get a contact number for him.

So making pasta and pasta sauce, with voices heard whilst collecting basil, on the instructions of the Street Sheriff, call the police is what L did, at 6.54pm to be exact.

Well, after nearly 40 mins of L keeping watch through our kitchen window whilst putting fresh pasta through the little machine that rolls/cuts it, I was keeping watch out the front window to see if they were to leave and in which direction they were leaving (suspects looked like the same that were in there throwing rocks against garage wall and into the pool on Saturday) to the house across the street from us. L, who by this stage was becoming more and more aghast at the time police were taking in this matter called again. The officer who took the call (as did the first call 40 odd minutes earlier) mentioned to L that the sooner he got off the phone to her, the sooner he could escalate the call to officers out on the road.

About a further 15 mins went by, and by this stage lights were noticed on inside the house! Great, now they have broken in and the police have all but allowed this to happen!!! L, on a further call to the police told (ordered) them to get their act into gear and get here quick as they were inside... Police arrived some 5 mins later under lights and sirens and snuck around the side of the house (as viewed from my vantage point of the bay window at the front of the house). Some 10 mins later, both officers left without a person in cuffs, or anyone being escorted off the property to across the road for a discussion with the parents of across the road. Instead, under further surveillance by us, said accused were now out the front having a smoke and L was off to make a further complaint to the Police Assistance Line, not happy Jan... I got my car keys and went out to the car to go for a drive so as I could see who they actually were, and told L to call the 'Sheriff' to make sure he didn't have Barry's phone number.

I returned some 10 mins later to see the police car had returned, accused being questioned by police, and both L (the newly appointed deputy) and Pete (Sheriff) all out the front. L came, somewhat sheepishly, to me in the car and informed me that the accused was actually the new owner, and it might be a good idea for us to meet...

Welcome to the street Barry!