Getting Ready…

It is now March here on the New England Tablelands and up the hill, where I live, it is rapidly turning into Autumn.  There are leaves changing on the Maple trees, the nights are getting cooler and the days seem to be  getting far too short and we have had buckets of rain!

The rain, for me, has been the worst – what with a new roof that has sprung a leak, thankfully now fixed, and masses of blackberries turning mouldy!  I had only made jam before the big downpour and so I have no stock of blackberry cordial/syrup or blackberry nip (purely medicinal – best thing ever when you have a caught a chill that threatens to turn into a cold).  The raspberries never had a chance to be made into jam, they were too delicious eaten directly from the garden!

But on the positive side of the changing season is the Autumn harvest and clean up!  Turning over all the potato plants has provided an abundance of beautiful potatoes which should keep us out of trouble for quite a time.  They have all been sorted and classed, now stored in the cool shed in dark fully enclosed boxes.  The corn crop has been a rocketing success too with enough ears picked to fill the freezer.  We still have a plethora of tomatoes on the vines too, with those already picked turned mainly into sauce.  We have a couple of apples to pick and deal with as well.

Out in the chook run my new Light Sussex, Lacey, has turned broody and a lovely gentleman provided me with a clutch of fertile eggs.  As you can see from the photograph below she is tenacious in her drive for chicks!  Although why she prefers the cardboard nesting box to the luxury of the converted fruit box is beyond me!  The other hens, however, are taking great delight in their new nesting box and lay every single one of their eggs there.

I have also ‘winterised’ the coop a little more, adding a few pieces of ply board to the roof and both sides to give them all more protection from the elements, especially the howling winds that seem to be plaguing us at the moment.

So that is life on the little plot of ground at Guyra at the moment.  I am hoping that this weekend will bring some sunshine and a bit of warmth so that I can do some much needed Autumn cleaning in the house, everything seems to be dusty and grimy.  Don’t you just hate that?

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Yarn Along

If you love knitting and reading and having a peek into what others are doing, then head on over to Ginny’s marvelous blog, Small Things, and check out all the wonderful Yarn Along posts for this week.

I am currently reading Julia Leigh’s “The Hunter” which I am enjoying, even though it does have quite a dark plot.  Like all interesting books, it makes you think and ask yourself what if.  I have just started knitting a top down cardigan for myself in an Alpaca/Silk mix.  Yesterday was the last day of summer in Australia and here on the tablelands we are already feeling the cool of Autumn, which sadly means that Winter will not be too far away!

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Murder Most Fowl

A silly heading, my odd sense of humour coming through, but we have had two murders in the chook-house within 48 hours of each other.  The question is, who or what is to blame?  There are two theories – a neighbour’s cat, who has been seen stalking said chook-house, or a hawk.  Over the last week or so there have been many an ‘expert’ leaning on the fence, listening to evidence and placing their verdict and the majority seem to blame the cat, even though the hawk was seen in the vicinity.  The reason?  The first gruesome find was headless, the neck clearly gnawed on by teeth rather than beak, and the second victim, on closer inspection, also had teeth marks around the neck.  The wise old sages also assured us that there was not enough room for a hawk to swoop upon its prey.  

In the end it really doesn’t matter what was responsible.  We lost Harriet and Esme, two beloved little bantams who were endlessly amusing, sweet and provided a good deal of eggs.  By Sunday last we only had little Milly left, she was safely locked up in her tractor but already pining for her mates.  So after a frantic telephone call to Troy at the Chookery, we ended up with Gertie.

Gertie spent her first six days in the little chook tractor with Milly, who was not impressed, and she found her name by her rather comely appearance.  But as you can see from the above photo, she is out and about with Milly and roaming free.

How on earth can I do this with said murderous cat and hawk still about?  I spent nearly the entire weekend cat and hawk proofing their yard.    

It looks rather awkward but it works.  

Now I am looking forward to an afternoon of knitting in front of a warm fire and waiting for my Roast Pumpkin soup to finish proving so I can feast!

I do hope you all have had such a productive weekend.  And to all the Mums out there – Happy Mother’s Day!

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Wollomombi Chimneys and Horses

Do you ever wonder what the story is behind these chimneys?

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Yarn Along and Matjana Preschool Water Fundraiser

If you love knitting and reading and having a peek into what others are doing, then head on over to Ginny’s marvelous blog, Small Things, and check out all the wonderful Yarn Along posts for this week.

This week I have two vastly different books that I am reading.  “Amish Peace” by Suzanne Woods Fisher is a lovely book that gives an insight into the Amish way of life and focuses on many aspects including Simplicity, Time, Community and Forgiveness with a scattering of their Proverbs.  The second book is “The Yowie: In Search of Australia’s Bigfoot” by Tony Healy and Paul Cropper, this is an interesting book and the authors have done a marvelous job in documenting cases, providing theories and giving a honest review of the Yowie.  I am a dag, this is my second reading of the book and I am thoroughly enjoying it.  Do I believe though?  I am in two minds about it all.

Of course that now brings us to the knitting.  No one will be surprised when I say I am knitting socks!  There are two pairs on the go this week – the yellow will be for a friend (and yes, you know who you are!) and the very brightly multi-coloured ones are for me.  The yellow is a silk/wool blend, dyed by me with Greener Shades – I am absolutely LOVING these dyes and I prefer them to anything else I have dyed with so far.  The multi-coloured ball is a commercial yarn called Magic Merino For Socks by Touch Yarns – beautiful yarn, lovely and soft and I can’t wait to finish so I can wear them!

Talking of socks, do you want a pair but can’t really justify a purchase?  What about if it was a donation to a worthy cause?  Then you should head on over to Dust Bunnies & Sequins blog – she is a wonderful person who has organised an auction of various items in order to raise funds for Matjana Preschool in Swaziland.  Amongst the items you will find an auction for Socks – these will be Silk/Wool socks hand dyed and knitted in either a cable, lace or two colour self striping pattern by me.  Please note, it will take about two weeks from the end of auction and confirmation of your payment for the wool to be dyed and then knitted.  So go on, place a bid!

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And so it begins…

It started off slow.  A single red leaf on the Sugar Maple.

Now there are more.

The days have a chill in the air, the nights more so with it now being the time for warm bed socks and the heavier wool quilts.

Autumn has come to the New England Tablelands!

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