Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Cake of "Our Lady" The Virgin Mary

As a Catholic I am about to enter into the time of Advent and start to prepare for Christmas. To many people Christmas has a different meaning, be it family gathering and sharing of a meal, giving of gifts or helping the less fortunate and celebrating the birth of Christ.

Today I was given a beautiful gift of a quarter of a cake dough to care for and in 10 days I too will pass 3 equal serves onto 3 other families of a religious faith to repeat the process , this doesn't have to be of a Catholic faith.

Cake of "Our Lady" The Virgin Mary

This cake is also know as "Pope Pio's Bread".

The story is told of an Italian woman had been suffering from illness all her life that she could not even do her house chores. One day her daughter asked her to bake a cake. She refused more than once because she felt she was unable to do this.

The daughter insisted so much that the mother felt like she needed to bake this cake. She asked the aid of the Virgin Mary. As soon as she had begun to prepare the cake, the Virgin Mary appeared and she herself prepared the cake for the woman. The woman was so astonished at what was happening, the Virgin Mary then told her "you yourself will eat from this bread and the whole world as well".

She asked the woman to keep 1/4 of the dough and add to it the ingredients of the recipe to make a whole cake and distribute the other 3/4 to 3 faithful people, on the one condition that they too would do the same and prepare the recipe of this miraculous dough.


So over the next 10 days as it gets closer to the birth of Christ I will begin a journey of a different kind.

Even if you don't believe, I do and from what I have been told from people who have shared in this journey... it's worth doing.

Christmas is a time to remember what was sacrificed for us to live.

Monday, November 27, 2006

About Those Eggs

Have you ever wondered why you don't see white eggs at the supermarkets as much as the brown eggs?? I heard on the radio once it was because we the consumer think brown eggs are better for you than white eggs.

Makes a lot of sense doesn't it, as brown bread is better for you than white bread. Here's the interesting part about eggs, white, brown or even blue (yep there is a chook breed that lays a blue egg) they are all as good as each other. Araucana hens are know to lay blue to a blue/green egg and even a violet colour. No difference between the white and the brown.

One thing about collecting my own eggs from the paroles out the back is the different colours and shapes the eggs come in. Check out the egg on the left from one of my isa brown hens.

Wonder what she was thinking as she was laying it?? Maybe she wanted a stick of fritz to go with all the salad scraps she has been getting from the kitchen of late?? Got all excited and out popped the next best thing.

For your interest .....

  • Isa brown egg weighed in at 66 grams
  • Fabless 4's white egg was 64 grams
  • Bantam egg came in at 40 grams.

So next time while at the shops buying those perfect shape eggs, think of us backyard poultry lovers with all the pretty colours, shapes and sizes.

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Hot Days Ahead

Days are hot of late and with daylight saving and the sun setting later in the day, I have now transferred my gardening to the evening hours after tea. After the heat of a day, nothing is nicer than getting out in the garden and refreshing myself after being inside with the air conditioner.

One of the nicer things about gardening in the evening is the clouds that I can watch being coloured with the sun setting. Tonight was very pretty and there was a plane flying through the clouds leaving a vapor trail behind.


I don't see gardening as work and in the past I have referred this as playing, as I love gardening so much. Tonight I played hard as I mowed the back lawn. The cuttings were put into a box as tomorrow is compost day.

With the day cooling off, Nibbles was let out for a run. Pat busted Nibbles chewing on the prized raspberry leaves and was promptly made to move on to another area. I also managed to photograph Nibbles raiding the rainbow chard earlier on before I started the mowing.

Talking about mowing, I am so glad we don't use a petrol driven mower. Besides my mower being better for the environment and free to push round on the lawn. Nibbles doesn't have to worry about moving as I push it. And for me it's a great work out.


Thursday, November 23, 2006

Christmas is coming to Luckyland.


Yes it's that time of the year again, where the boxes come out and all the fun begins. That's right, time to put up the Christmas tree again. This holds a special treat for either Amy or Pat when they put the tree up. As the cats (mostly Lucky) like to help and do their bit as well.

Me I'm not so much the trimming person for Christmas. Don't get me wrong I love Christmas, but I do object to the $$$$ value some people put on this time of the year. Pressure for parents to get their children what they are wishing for, what ever the cost in the early months of the new year when the banking statements and store cards come in for payment.

My idea of Christmas is Midnight Mass and a family gathering on Christmas Day, wandering the streets looking at the houses decorated with Christmas lights. Another great place is the SA Brewery as each year they have a stunning display of Christmas themes on the bank of the Torrens River.

Also the nicest donuts can be bought down there. Or it it the atmosphere that makes those donuts taste so much better.

Pat and Amy bond over an afternoon/evening as the outside of the house is decorated. I like to think in years to come that this will be one of those treasured memories Amy will share with her children around the same time of the year, when she decorates her own house.


And in our old age we can sit back and tell our grandchildren of those special hours spent as a family on the same level.

Monday, November 20, 2006

Ist Flower Ever

Back when we bought this house 7 years ago, I took some plant cuttings from my Father In Law's garden. In the collection of plants was 3 different Zygocacus cuttings. Finally 1 plant has flowered for me. After waiting what seems a long time the flower has opened up into the most beautiful pink colour I could have asked for.

I hope I don't have to wait another 7 years for it to flower again.

Saturday, November 18, 2006

Fun & Games


Milly is due to hatch out 9 eggs in the first week of Dec. She's been a good mum sitting on her eggs. I caught Milly in the pond this evening and thought I would check on her eggs.

Boy was this is good idea. I found a now broody Banjo sitting on Milly's eggs and was telling me not to boot her off the eggs. So I lifted Banjo off the 9 eggs and look what I found.


An extra 11 large eggs. So I had to make a choice of what I was going to do.

I have no idea how and what eggs will be any good and what and when the extra 11 are really due. I am hoping that most of the eggs will be okay. Somehow I don't think Milly will have covered and kept warm all the eggs.

So I used the box Bonnie hatched her chicken in, placing the 11 extra Pekin eggs into this box. Hoping Banjo will hop onto the new nest of eggs.

On dusk I popped my head into the shed and Banjo is in Milly's nest and Milly is on the new nest of eggs.

So now it's a waiting game to see what eggs are going to hatch out a cute little duckling and what ones are not.

I can't believe they got this one past me, as I have been collecting heaps of duck eggs and thought Milly only had her 9 eggs. Now the other 7 ducks are separate from Banjo and Milly to make sure there is no more mishaps.

If all is okay in the morning, I'll switch the eggs around on the 2 ducks, so Milly is a mum to her original eggs, she started off with.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Say Hello to Hazelnut


Introducing Hazelnut and little female guinea pig who will be company for Rizzo, after Sandy died almost a fortnight ago.

Hazel is so tiny that to have her on the lawn safely I had to come up with the idea of putting Cadbury's day hutch inside the play pen to make the wires not so far apart.

The other day Amy popped Hazel in the day hutch and then the play pen and on both occasions, Hazel slipped between the wires. So for Hazel to graze on the lawn through the day, this was the only measure I could come up with.

I do love her rich chocolate colouring.


Monday, November 13, 2006

Updates On Chickens


The little chickens are growing and running round everywhere. The tiny chick about half the size of the others died over the weekend. It was just so tiny and compared to the others weaker as well.

But these 6 little chicks are full of beans and running everywhere now.

I have more photos of the chickens on my main website on Lucky's Nursery page.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

Moth


On dusk I was out the back finishing off the animals, returning animals to their hutches and giving them a feed and fresh water, when I came across this moth on the lawn. If I hadn't been watching where Nibbles was running round my feet, I would have either missed seeing it or stepped on it. I put on the soil in the tomato area to keep it safe.

I have no idea what sort of moth it is, as in...........

  • Night moth
  • Day moth (lost)
  • good moth
  • bad moth
If you know what it is please let me know, as I like it to be identified.

I have an Identification on the moth now:)

It's a emerald moth, a Geometrid. It grows into a looper, and then eats my garden.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

New Look Website.

Over the last couple of weeks I have been giving my website a new look by moving away from using FrontPage to using Dreamweaver as my website program.

I have found this to be very exciting and challenging at the same time. My brother Mick has been helping me, by giving a few lessons and then sending me home with a list of things I needed to do.

The main pride and joy on the new site is the template with a drop down menu on every page. This is just so cool as now you don't have to go to the home page to select another page to view. Also any links away from my own website now open in a new window.

I have to be honest and say Mick did most of the work on the drop down menu. Which I am very grateful for him doing. Then like a trusting brother he sent me home to finish off some pages and that is when I did the unthinkable.

I clicked on the "Animal" link and stuffed it up big time. Boy was I upset and feeling so guilty about this. A tip here.... never send your sister home with a template and not have her sign in blood.... "I shall not bugger it up".

So back to Mick's we went and after he waved his magic computer mouse a few time (really I think it was more than a few times) we had the template fixed (well he did) and then I was asked to repeat the linking of all pages to the now fixed template.

So there you have it, 2 full Saturdays and a couple of hours last night, bonding with each other and this included sharing a meal of hot fried takeaway chips one day, as it was taking longer than what we though and another day where we had a planned lunch at his place....... a new fresh looking website was born.

I love it as I can now have the freedom to have pages structured how I want them. There are new pages added like "What's Growing", "Harvesting", "Photos" and "Flowers". I won't have to remove a page here to add a new page there, thanks to my new web hosting company I have gone with. As the new web hosting company has given me way more space for the same price I was paying for 10MB on the old web hosting site.

If you haven't been and had a look at my main website lately, you are invited to go and see it now:)

Still some updating to be done, but Rome wasn't built in a day.

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Sunday In The garden.


I have spent the better part of most of the day out in the backyard. Pottering round picking up things that needed picking up. There are days where I just run out of time and things just have to sit until I get back to them.

After the lawn was tidied up, Pat decided to give the lawn a mow. At times he was hindered by a cute little lop bunny who thinks mowing lawns is great fun. Nibbles loves to run in front of our mower. No I don't think he has a death wish as it's a push mower, better for the environment. I think Nibbles just likes to get in the road at times.

This resulted in a wheel barrow of lawn cuttings for the compost bins. So as to just throw the clippings in, I decided to clean out the hen house and collect their straw bedding laced with manure from upstairs in their housing area.

By this time the ducks had cottoned on to the fact I was going to be mixing compost. So I was greeted with happy quacking ducks by the time I was ready to turn over the first compost bin. I love how the ducks love to help make compost. They tend to get in and climb all over the compost heap searching for worms and any other composting bugs they can score. I find though with using a garden fork, I have to make sure I don't spear a webbed foot or a busy duck head getting in the way.

I also took the photo above as I am very excited as this is the first time the plant has flowered. I have had this plant about 5 years now and the cutting come from my Father-In-Law. Only thing I have been doing the last few months is I might throw it a bit of water with some seasol or worn wee mixed in the water. So not sure if this is what made it want to flower or just the size of the plant is what has helped it develop a flower bud.

I keep visiting the nursery to see the little chickens. Milly is broody and so I'll set some duck eggs under her in a couple of days.

Still no rain here, though I did measure 1.5 mm of rain earlier this month. We now have level 2 water restrictions. I only water my lawns once a week and the other 2 days I am allocated, I am leaving in the catchments and the River Murray.

So that is about it from me for this sunny Sunday.

Saturday, November 04, 2006

7 Little Chicks

How special is this? 7 beautiful little Sussex bantam chicks. Bonnie is still sitting on the other 5 eggs and I am hoping tomorrow there may be another 1 or 2 chicks. Though I am so pleased with the 7 that have hatched.

To listen to the "Cheep-Cheep" of the chicks is just so heart warming and makes me smile even just thinking about them.

I guess I'll be spending a lot of time in the nursery as they are just too cute for their own good.

Later on tonight I'll pop some more photos up on the nursery page on my main website.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Update on Chicken


Little chicken has now hatched after a long battle trying to get out of her shell. Note I am hoping for a girl.

I was worried after 12 hours of trying to hatch that time was running out for her, so I rang a friend and with a few "birthing tips" I helped her hatch. I was greeted with a strong chirp and a happy bantam mum.

Three more eggs are pipping and a couple of the other eggs felt cool to me. So I am really hoping that I have a minimum of 4 chicks.

Stay tuned:)

Mother Nature At Her Finest


It doesn't matter how many times I see this, I am always humbled at the power of Mother Nature.

About a month ago good friends from Melbourne called in for a visit and BBQ and their visiting gift was a dozen fertile Sussex bantam eggs.

Bonnie has been sitting on them like a good little mum she is and now the day has arrived. I am hoping for a few little hens from the dozen eggs.

I won't check again until I feed the animals tonight and I'll update you all tomorrow with news of hopefully little chicks safe and happy with mum.