Monday, December 27, 2010

Our Kiwi Christmas

There are some things that stay the same year after year...tradition..and i love it. Sometimes you start a tradition without even knowing it when it is done the first time. The photo below is a mailbox in the rural outskirts of hastings that is dressed up like this a few days out from Christmas. The owners have been doinf this for a few years now and I knew I had to capture it on film asa this has become one of our Christmas icons. It is normaly there when we pass it to pick up our Christmas tree which is another couple of miles down the road.  And wouldnt you know  it the images folder on blogger seems to be doing its own thing!!Oh well next time maybe I can get the photo!!

And so Christmas Day arrives and it is hot..really hot..but not humid..a miracle! After  a large lunch and dessert that lasted for a few hours, several games of cricket, children running around with their own games, we headede to the river down the road to cool off.
Alex chose this shirt for her Daddy...everyone liked it.

 And then boxing day came around and it was into our own pool for the girls..their are no photos becasue mum and Dad had completely passed out from exhaustion and heat and humidity(again)....

The day after boxing we all went to Napier to good friends for a delicious tea.....our fourth ham so far..and Ive lost count of the pavlovas consumed. Before all this we went to Ocean Spa to swim..honestly it is so hot the only place to be is in the water.
Today it is very humid again and I am waiting to get into the pool after this post. It is VERY windy and our Park is a major devastation of broken limbs and felled greenery. I tried to get the wind in this photo but it may be hard to see..

 And then the wind blew in this flash flood of a storm!! The girls are in the pool and loving it.
 Playing a new Monopoly game . Santa left this for Alex . It has a electronic credit card system instead of cash and when you pass go you get 2 million!! Georgia has bought lake Taupo and the Waitangi Treaty grounds. It is at this point that The gorgeous hubby in  uniform takes interest...We are having a game tonight.. I hope to win some farm land....

I sewes a whole lot of ornaments..none of which Ive been able to post :( but this one did, I hand made the wreath and stamped the card and rustically finished it off with baling twine!
Til next time
Swimmingly yours

Thursday, December 23, 2010

A harvest complete in time for Santa

I hope Santa catchces sight of these beautiful garlic bulbs harvested this morning. As for me, I am so excited. This is my first success growing garlic!!
This December has been sooooo stressful, what with sickness, hospital stays, no money due to sick leave and other very stressful things not written here. However tonight is Christmas eve and (I think) it is all sorted. It will be lovely and lovlier to leave the stress ehind and I say that with some sadness as usually Christmas is THE season for me.
I wish you and yours a very happy Christmas and we here will be enjoyiong the eve movies on Tv with KFC and also I will be sewing little felt ornaments(!!!) Typical!
Happy Christmas wishes
Love Cherry

Friday, December 17, 2010

Scrapping the Chrissy photos

And so here are some of the Christmas scrapping pieces I have done..I havent included all of them. I have really enjoyed doing these and there are plenty to do. Im hoping for some Scrapping vouchers this Chrissy!! Actually i went into the scrapping shop and there on the wall was a tremendous piece on canvas. It was gorgeous!!! Anyway it is going to be a class in Feb 2011. I have my name down! The cost is $70.00 so Ill be putting money on it bit by bit so it will be less painful then paying as I leave the class. It really is so beautiful, a comination of shabby chic and antique with the three photos in sepia to match the colours of the canvas. YUM!!

At my none oclock walk about, feeding the chickens and having to slosh through the mud that is their run at the moment, I took a moment to have a small harvest. One egg, four strawberries, one chicken (Pokey the jumper) on the nest, and then I went to my two much neglected old packing boxes, filled with straw and grass clippings, racked apart by the chooks, not watered at all then when i remembered watered into a drowning frenzy and so i was pleasantly surprised to see this little gold mine of new tatties there. plus one of the boxes was filled with fat juicy worms, so many in fact that it reminded me of a worm farm (which by the way i want)..I think I will add a few piles of old straw and some food scraps to this because the composition that has gone in this is quite unbelievable.

And finally to finish here is Alex in hospital. less her heart. She was so sick. She still has a cough but all her antibiotics are finally finished and she went for her first post sickness swim the other day..she has missed the pool so much!

Happy scrapping and harvesting
Love Cherry

Another posting finally

...But I have an excuse. Whilst looking forward to Christmas and all that holds with that small frission of fear financially, Alex took REALLY sick and got pneumonia. She was in hospital for five days and this was after four days of illness at home. So on her admission we were both fully exhausted!! I stayed with her all the time with a bit of a swap with GHIU and georgia to go home shower, buy some self sufficiency magazines and Christmas special magazines and rush back again. Then when Alex got out and was still recovering I immediately got the flu and was ggoing around and I went straight to the Dr for antibiotics as I didnt want to end up in Hospital, but I ended up sleeping for days straight, and a week off work (Boo Hoo bank account), then Georgia starts to cough......lets just say I wasnt leaving the surgery without antibiotics.!!! Amazing how many children and adults have succumbed to this bronchitis bug in the last feww weeks although Alex was the most severe.

And so we got the Christmas tree and can I say it is beauty, but we were all too miserable to decorate it properly. it took days, not even the children got into it!! Talk about a miserable run up to Christmas....
I am slwly making up for lost time, although this year will be bereft of my Christmas cake and other goodies. I will however soon be cooking up lots of pavlovas for Christmas Day cel;ebrations in the country with family. It seems the most ovious thing to do with my chickens laying happily!

We finished School yesterday at 12pm....oh the bliss in that. This morning we were having a busy sleep in and were flat out (literally). Its a gorgeous feeling six whole weeks of holidays in front of us. I hope I can save up enough peenies to buy a large tent (rather than our two small ones) and go away at some point. I have willing house/chook/cat sitters arranged!
I have also been scrapping previous Christmases. It seems so much easier to do while in the middle of Christmas moods! I really will post some pics when I can locate my camera!
The rain has been falling finally in between great yawning banks of humid and heat and my garden is producing its first raspberries, strawberries, its first zuccini..trying to become a marrow, the garlic is looking thick and strong and I am immensely proud of this and am looking forward to the shortest day to harvest (when is that?). What else have i had, well there a re weeds aplenty, it is wild jungle out there, and when I can battle out into the humidity and sweat profusely for a short while while I pull out weeds and wild wheat
the chooks get that plus some silver beat gone to seed. Tommorrow i am going to dig out the potatoes that didnt do so well (How could they covered in lawn clippings and scavenged and dug up by the chooks. Who knows if there will be any treasure?)  Also have a date with the chook area..a serios date one that right now in the cool of the night seems inviting but by tomoorow will seem less so!
I should go and get some sleep . Although I havent been blogging i have been reading others and its lovely to see the English and Americian season preparations. So cold there right now....we are melting here!

WIshing you a warm Chirstmas run up
Love Cherry

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Welcome to my Christmas !!

So I thought Id walk you through some of the Christmas decs I have up. I started November 1st..I always think Christmas needs to be drawn out efore the big day. I LOVE CHRISTMAS!!!
This quilt I finished piecing back in the year. I bought this with a gift voucher from the gorgeous huby in uniform. I pulled it out just a few weeks ago and have been sewing my fingers raw to get it finished. Last night as i was sewing the binding on I found two smaller panels I hadnt stippled. With my wonky leftover cotton, my bleeding fingers and the time restraint I just about went crazy at this discovery!! But earlier today..FINALLY..finished. I had to finish it as every year I make a Chrissy craft especially for that year and put the year on it. So this with Merry Christmas 2010 HAD to go up!!

Rudolph..made from a Handmade magazine. Sitting on the mantle next to Granddads clock..
My fireplace this year. I made all this arrangement and commotted a cardinal sin in that the fireplace is not cleaned out for summer. I hate this only it was clean eforehand then we got a cold spell. Now in order to clean it again all the decs would have to be removed as the ash and dust would contaminate everything..and I do not want to have to take everything down, so this will be done instead sometime in January. ut iot irks me what lays behind this small scene.

Here is last years 2009 craft. I love these. They came cut out and unfinished from a friend. The second one with Joy on them is missing his moustache and looks like an Amish Santa.The first one has 2009 on its base.

I love this prim Santa..well hes as prim as I could get him. The Night before Christmas book is the most beautifully illustrated looks a bit tatty now which years ago I would have hated but now I love the look!!

And that is all for now. On the 27th November our Local Christmas tree farm opened. We got there a couple of hours after it opened and there were heaps of people. Well pick it up in the the next couple of weeks or so.

Alex has had a coughing flu since Thursday and is really miserable. Today the Doc gave her antibiotics but since then she has been vomitting because she is drinking but not eating other than Popsicals. Poor Alex.

It is sweltering here too. It was in the thirties today (in November!!!) So very hot and so very miserable with a sick girl in the house.

Ou new chooks have amalgamated well with the older flock. Only problem is the Hokey. Pokey and Christmas all look identical now. The new chooks just love to sun their wings in the hot sunshine which induces the others to join in. Six chooks all lying around on one side with one wing extended out is too cute for words.  Plus lately we have been feasting on Crayfish and the chooks get a decent feed from this as well. The new girls absolutely fal l upon this meat as if they have been having it all their lives!!! Too funny!

I'll post more Christmas decorating next time...Ive been scrapping too!! Its so hot..if only I could do these crafts in the swimming pool!!

Happy times in the heat
Love Cherry

Saturday, November 20, 2010

chicken news from the urban farm

We had the sad demise of Henrietta the other day, Despite the fact that she had been sick on and off for ages and then this time really waswnt going to pull through and despite the fact that I went around saying:wheres theres livestock theres deadstock and despite nme saying all the right things to the children and thinking of the tiny hen brain contained within I was still very depressed when she died. And of course I was the one that found her..and had to remove her...GHIU buried her though. A very touching funeral service was had around the base of the grapefruit tree and Georgia put a lovely cross of pebbles down afterward. The next day while checking my plants over in that area I inadvertantly stepped on the mound of fresh earth simking my foot into the mound and the cross and ruining the grave site.
So having lost one of our little hens we then went to the egg farm and bought two young pullets. Hokey and pokey..I cant tell them apart really. Anyway we have had them segregated off from the others and all the attendent problems that brings. (a real pain in the  butt frankly). They have been laying gorgeous little deep brown eggs. I would like to have got one older hen but they arnt available until November end. Still the feeling that weve rescued these guys does the  soul a lot of long as I dont think of the other few thousand chooks left.  The oppressed has becomes the oppressor with Sad Chook marching sentry like up and down the fenced partition grabbing mouthfuls of feathers from screeching chickens from time to time. She of all chooks should feel some empathy. Maybe shes just trying to make her mark before she again gets pushed to the bottom of the pecking order y the young ones!!!
Its been great seeing the young hens learning to live in the fresh air and experiencing life as it should be for the first time. They are still quite skittish and I think just realising now (day six) that human equalls food! ut to see them dust bathing in sctasy or fanning their wings out to catch the morning sun is just delightful.
I have no digital camera at present . It is in room 5 at twyford School in georgias desk. SHe and I are both as bad as one another at rememering things and so that camera has been out of my reach to use here for a week now..... I did want to post pictures here. So Ill do it next time.
I have been having a ball scrapbooking and making mini albums as well and lots of Christmas layouts .
My fingers are munted from trying to finish qulting a CHristmas quilt. Im down to stippling the order and then of courser theres the binding. It has been embellished with merry Christmas 2010 so it is imperative that it goes up this Chhristmas!!!!
Hopefully more photos sson.
We are all holding our breath over in this side of the world for our trapped miners. Just awful news so close to Christmas (well anytime actually)

Best wishes Cherry

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Im back and scrappin"

So with my glorious OCD rearing its inglorious head again Ive found some solace in scrapping and crafts..some would say I never left that particular solace!!! I had this course books for months to do thiis gorgeous advent calender from Kaisercrafts. My photo is soooo bad on this one but it looks so great. Old vintage and a heirloom piece. Then i went and bought akit to make for a good friend of mione for Christmas. I was a perfectionist the next time around and made a better job although you couldnt tell looking at the finished results.   Inspired totally by the course and really falling into love with sscrapping again I did these few pages ......

Ta Da!!!

Ta Da!

Ta DA!!!

And these two mini alums for the end of year pressies for the teachers, they are/will be fillled with quotes photos of the girls, happy thoughts and general pretties....Thank you very much (applause fading...)

happy scrapping
Love Cherry

Monday, September 27, 2010

Well this new add image thingy is just charming...i can not work out how to use it infact its a fluck i got this far.
Ive been away from the computer for a while. There is so much going on here with spring making its appearance and the most gorgeous days  that are unbelievably summer like. We have also had winds so severe they ripped up trees and snow in the deep south. But good old Hawkes bay always gives us these early summer days. Soon it will be October and windy is ALWAYS windy in October..but Im one these weirdos that like the wind!!
School holidays are here for two weeks.
And Ive had a extremely unwelcome visit from Mrs OCD. Which is the bain of my life and can cut me off at the knees for a while. hence the lack of blogging.But I know Ill get thru it as always However im not really up to blogging so Ill just post these few pictures of our Springtime Urban farm..
 The first pea of the season......
 Right outside Alexs bedroom and our bedroom is this lilac night it smells divine!
 I got adventurous and planted out these young corn seedlings..Hope they survive!
 Finally we began to get full egg production as henrietta returned to health once more..GHIU celebrated by making Choux pastry...
And sponge can he cook!!!!  Unfortunately Christmas has appeared to have recieved a leg injury (probably from jumping the fence all the time) and is really hopping along, I think now she has gone off the lay. I desparately hope her leg come right soon. She is eating and being somewhat her bossy self ut is quite sore.
Happy Spring

Friday, September 10, 2010

Easy Urban permiculture..

Chooks peck the insects and scratch around the compost at the front of the garden.
Chooks by scratching up compost then aerate and turn it for us.
They also manure the heap that then acts as an activator for even better/ faster compost.
The insects give them protein that then goes into their beautiful eggs for us.
I am very happy watching my happy chickens at work.

With much chooky love

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The shaky Isles

Sisters Choice
Ongoing scrap hexagon quilt

Scrap cushions

As promised my latest crafting exploits... The top is the Sister Choice quilt. I decided it wasnt wide enough and so I added flying geese. I am OVER this quilt..Officially.

So thats leaves five quilts to actually quilt I think..and half a quilted Christmas stocking, and two unfinished patchwork scrap quilts...SIGH..

So The GHIU is away with the navy this week patrolling the outer reaches of NZ from the poaching foreigners and after the big (and ongoing) Quakes in Christchurch I said that if the big Quake came to Hawkes Bay (we live on a fault line) while he was gone I wouldnt forgive him (Im a woose). Sure enough yesterday as I was home with my two coughing spluttering sniffing girls The room started to sway quite decently. My first thought (after here we go) was that at least the girls and I were together during the long awaited Big one. Thankfully althouigh it lasted a little while nothing major happened. it was a 5.1 on the scale though.

The last two days and nights have been mild and then there has been a bit of gentle rain at night..perfect for my young crops a growing . I am definately running out of room!!!  My new plants, the grapes, the boysenberry, the raspberry and the thornless blackberry are all budding up nicely. And there are flowers on a few of the strawberries.
In the henhouse there has been a downturn in the economy.. three eggs per day. Henrietta is still off. She is just not herself and on Monday I found a ruber like eggshell with yolk embedding the straw. At first I thought this was henriettas return to laying (if she is infact off) but the next two days have not proven this. Otherwise they are happy and today had a breakfast of susuages, just to cheer them up. On the weekend I have been free ranging them out in the front of the garden. Imagine if you will five chooks scratching through our mound of compost, sunning themselves in the  dust. People gawping from their cars as they drive past and me out in the sun in my lounger reading the latest edition of Urban farmer magazine. Complete. Bliss!!
 Ill leave yoiu now to watch Nanny Mcphee and the Big bang with the girls,
Happy days
Love Cherry

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Lesbian hens and other news from the urban homestead..

Its been a cold few days here in the backyard homestead. Spring arrived in a flurry of freezing cold temperatures and rain. This was after many days of balmy springlike weather. Thankfully we have just enough firewood to keep us warm.
With all the warm weather I had been getting a bit over excited and planting everywhere i can. I have hardly any space left for the seedlings growing inside. Some of the tomatoes are growing quite big and will have to go outside soon. Below is a shot of my basket by the bedroom back door with mesculin salad growing in it. I copied this from a Burkes Backyard article. I think Ill do this when I can find some more baskets.

Things have been a it off in the henhouse. First of all henrietta the sweetest kindest of the flock has been unwell. Fluffed up and we think not laying. This has been for the better part of seven days. She eats a little but just fluffs herself up and stands in the corner. Weve massaged her crop and she seemed to come right the next day but then by the end of the day she was back to square one. We dont think shes egg bound but who knows. Poor thing, She nots suffering that i can tell as such just off somewhat. The thought of finding a dead chook in the morning is countered by the brighter thought of repacement with a couple of Aracaunas. Every cloud does have a silver lining..

This afternoon taking snaps i was joined as always by the cat who thinks he is infact a chook and always joins the girls in their day. He bought his first pigeon in today..feathers everywhere and a big bird to get rid of. At least Sara used to eat them all up..

And here she is Henrietta the sad..
Peas are popping up in the raised bed

Everything seems to be doing great in the raised bed..
A new area I have enlarged and fenced off for more veges. There is also some citrus and a eatable grape here.

Spring has sprung. Blossoms on our neighouring Apricot tree that overhangs onto us.

Ive even stolen flower space for peas.. Should have lots for Christmas lunch this year!! (Just like my dear old Late Dad)
And here she is..Christmas. Christmas plays by her own rules ..she flys out of the coop, has the dog doing amorous things through the fence with her and is the Queen of the pack.  If you watch "The Good Life" as I do (Often on DVD) You will know that Tom Good thought he had a queer cockeral. Well I have to say that we have a lesian hen. Shes Queer and out there. At first I tried to deny it. She was "fighting " with Sad Chook because Sad chook was in her sunbathing spot, but then "it" happened again and again, it even happened today when I was taking photos, if I hadnt turned the camera off then franticaly turned it back on but it is so slow then you could have seen it for yourself. Although we have only ever seen her "liason" with sad chook (who she also bullies), Sad Chook is a bit confused and lovestruck and follows her around everywhere. When Christmas flied over the coop (as in the above photo) Sad Chook paces up and down the fence line. Christmas is very vocal too, we have taken to calling her the rooster. She could be undergoing a sex change (It has happened before to chickens) and begin crowing any day..either that or charging around the yard with gay pride banners..

Next post will include crafty things. I have been pottering away at many things.
Then Love Cherry