Friday, December 30, 2011

Snails and my Lazy Ways... Again

Some things this year in my garden have been terrible failures. We have had way too many snails. I have lost track of how many cucumber and zucchini seeds I planted. I saw them emerge and the next day... gone. Same with sunflowers. I so wanted sunflowers this summer. I have done several lots of sunflower, cucumber and zucchini seed plantings since November. Eaten by those rotten snails. My basil wasn't going too well either until I took action and protected them with my snail zapper protectors. But I've run out of those and haven't mustered the energy to make more for all the sunflowers and zucchinis and cucumbers I'm wanting to protect. Of course, it probably wouldn't take much to organise some death-by-beer tubs about the place but I haven't been bothered. I'm the type to whinge and take the easy, wasteful way and just plant more seeds.

Mind you, I have been enjoying a snail squash at night. Now that I have a puppy to take to do her business after dark, I've experienced first hand just how many snails we have. They come out from beneath the ground covers and crawl their way along the path to my veggies. Unless they encounter my purple ugg boots taking Wokee for a wee. I've been taking great pleasure in stomping and crunching my way along that path each night.

Nevertheless, I don't seem to have made too much of a dent because things are still disappearing. And just before Christmas the lovely Phoebe sent me a packet of gem squash and poppy seeds. I actually won a competition! But they came with a note that ordered me to protect from snails at all costs. So today it's time to take a stand! If I can find the energy to put finger to keyboard and whine about the snails and my failures I surely can find the time and energy to make a snail zapper. I will make beer baths for them all to drown a happy death in. I will chop up some more milk and lemonade bottles and trim them with copper to protect my seedlings. And I will plant some more bloody sunflower and cucumber and zucchini seeds.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Final Festive Fallen Branch Friday

I thought long and hard about how to make this last festive fallen branch friday interesting. And I failed to come up with any decent ideas. Well, actually I did come up with some decent ideas but they were at the beginning of the week and they required time and energy... and then I forgot about doing them. Well heck it is Christmas and all and I'm run off my feet with parties and gift giving and cooking and stuff. Yeah it's a hard life! Anyway, I put my promise of an interesting post to the back of my brain. Until 6am this morning when my children and puppy woke me demanding their attention. And once my brain unfogged and I remembered what day it was and my commitment to you I got in a bit of a panic.

And then I had a brainwave.

What is more festive than one of those cutesy hallmarky pictures of an exploited baby animal all dressed up in tinsel in front of a Christmas tree? And I have the perfect cutesy puppy just yelping for camera time. Naturally I have packed away all my spare tinsel, but I did have a Santa hat and at this hour of the morning I thought that would do the trick. So I propped Wokee in front of my fallen branch Christmas tree, turned on the lights and requested that she look appealing. And festive.

Those card makers obviously use loads of superglue and sedatives 'cos puppies don't like to sit still dressed in stupid costumes and look cute. But I did manage one or two festive enough pictures.

And then Wokee decided to eat the hat.

Happy Christmas Everyone!

Thank you to Phoebe for the picture of her tree which has been decorated with her Grannie's very old glass decorations. She tells me that she has been busy making jams for pressies and she has sewn them into bags on an old singer machine with material that she picked up from the hard rubbish. Inspiring!

If you have a picture of your fallen or pruned branch Christmas tree that you still haven't sent in and would like to, please link up here.

Thank you very much to everyone who has contributed their pic over this month. They have been lovely to look at. But you can rest assured that I won't be doing this again next year!

Anyway, have a wonderful Christmas.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Vine Twirling, Plum Picking and Swinging in the Hammock

This is the current view from my hammock under the plum tree. I'm loving having a swing under there at the moment. Only a few months ago it was all weeds. But you might remember I've been making an attempt to de-grass our yard and this was the first place I started. Those new veggie patches are doing quite well too considering they don't get much sun. The corn is growing nicely and I have a lovely lettuce mix growing well too. Lettuce I believe likes a bit of shade so this has turned out to be a perfect spot.

As you can see, the plums are ripe and are falling off the tree. So, as much as I like to have a lazy swing in the hammock and sip on a cup of tea, it's a bit of a guilty swing 'cos I'm reminded of the work that I ought to be doing. It's great having a whopping big plum tree in the back yard but as you know I'm a bit lazy about some things. And I don't much like picking plums. At this time of year we end up with loads of plums sitting in bags at our back door just waiting to find a home. I spend my time scouring recipe books thinking of recipes to make with them. Of course I will make jam. I also made a few jars of chutney last year and that went down a treat. Any friend who walks in the door will walk out with a load of plums. But still I know we'll have a smell of fermenting fruit in our house and some of the plums will end up in the compost. What a waste. The chooks have already got sick of them. So any plum suggestions from you all will be gratefully accepted.
In other garden news, those beans I planted in the big blue pots are creeping their way to the balcony. I don't think they'll provide much shade for the fernery which was my initial idea but I am nevertheless liking the little bean canopy overhead as I step outside. And they are providing some entertainment and occupation for Monkey Man. Monkey Man isn't much interested in gardening. He likes a big, messy jungle and he has crazy ideas about planting things in the wrong spots and too close together. That's why I've left the front garden to him and I'm in charge out back. But Monkey Man does like a bit of a prune. Whenever we are in a rush to go somewhere you can be sure to find him with a pair of secateurs in hand in his front garden. Only he doesn't do proper prunes, just little snips. He'll leave a big thorny rose branch to poke someone in the eye as they walk down our front path but he'll do a wee artistic snip from a twig nearby. And he loves to do a bit of a vine twirl. He's always finding a bit of vine that needs twirling 'round a bit of support.

And now we have a bean vine right in his line of vision at the back door. So whenever he ought to be making a phone call, or sorting through his papers, or writing a chart for his fourteenth carols by candlelight event, he'll be eyeing off the bean vine. And then he'll get a chair and wind the vine a bit further along the string supports he nagged me to put up. Even when I've already done the vine twirl that morning. So those beans are serving several purposes - beans for food, canopy for shade and entertainment for Monkey Man.

Friday, December 16, 2011

Festive Fallen Branch Friday

I can't believe it I have actually finished my Christmas shopping - a record for me. We often end up in a mad panic at a mad shopping centre at the last minute, bickering and sighing our way through the crowds. But not this year. Yay!

I have to confess that I am finding it a bit tricky now to write a decent post about a dead decorated branch every friday. And I'm not sure that you all want to read about it either. But I did commit myself at the start of the month and I am not a quitter. So you will have to tolerate today and one more Festive Fallen Branch Friday. I will try my hardest to make next Friday's post jolly and interesting and festive.

Here's my lovely friend Nyree's fallen branch tree made from a branch from a gum tree found in her local park.
If you have a pic of a Christmas tree you've made from a fallen or pruned branch or a bunch of twigs you could email it to me and I'll feature it in my last festive friday post next week. Or you can link up to your blog post here this week or next.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Fluffy Pup Meets Fluffy Chooks

Wokee loves our chooks.
She loves to sit and watch them scratching away behind their fence.
She loves her morning visit to their house to check for eggs.
And she loves to bury her nose in their pea straw and chew on some chook poo.

So today I thought I'd let her get up close on the other side of the fence.
I know she'd love to bounce and play and bark at them but she didn't. She sat quietly watching. She's a lovely gentle pup.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Festive Fallen Branch Friday

I am a complete duffa! I've been wondering all week why I couldn't see Andrea's tree from Harvest with Glee on last week's link up. And yet it was showing that there was one entry. Then Jules from little woollie posted but I couldn't see hers. So I did some further investigation and realised I'd filled in my linkylink thingo wrongly. I rectified it on Thursday - way too late. But the linkup to Andrea's is on the wrong page and I have no clue about how to fix that now. So sorry everyone. And then this morning I tried to electronically transfer funds from my bank to enrol in a summer workshop and it wouldn't bloody work. But this time it wasn't my fault. I'm not having luck with gadgets this week.

Anyway, Dixiebelle and Andrea and Jules have all done wonderful trees that you must check out!

I've done my tree too.  Well I should say that the Monkeys and I did our tree. But to be honest I am a control freak when it comes to tree decorating. And when I didn't like what they were doing I sneakily moved it over a bit and spread the tinsel around a bit more and slyly suggested that some decorations don't need to go on the tree this year (the ones I think are ugly). All so that my artistic tastes are satisfied. Oh yeah, I'm bad.

Here's our tree. The photos are not the best but I'm having a bad day with technology. What I like about our tree this year is the old metal bucket. Usually I cover it with Christmas material but this year the monkeys wanted to decorate the tree with some thick tinsel that they found in the box. And I didn't want them to mix their tinsels. So I suggested we fill the bucket and surrounds with it instead. So sneaky. So controlling.

And here's my mum's tree. This is the first year that mum has ditched her artificial tree completely in favour of a fallen branch one. She says it's because she's feeling lazy. But couldn't possibly be. Putting up a fallen branch takes just as much effort. I am taking full credit for this change in tradition!

Ah you wouldn't believe the trouble I just had trying to download those images. What's going on with the gremlins this week?

Now I'm pretty sure I've managed my linkup technical stuff properly this week. So if you have a Christmas tree that you've made from a fallen or pruned branch, please link up here.
And if you don't have a blog but would like to email me your picture so I can feature it next week, please do. Only two more Festive Fallen Branch Fridays to go. (Sorry - do I sound like one of those countdown to Christmas shopping adverts?)
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