Garden rivalry

What a delight in the glasshouse this morning! Some friends and I have a little friendly garden rivalry going on... I have tomatoes before Christmas!

Dad and I have all out competition organic versus spray and synthetic fertiliser. I have to concede he beats me with carrots hands down but I think I've got him on tomatoes, cucumbers, zucchini and garlic this year. He's been buying his in!! Enough of that or I might sound like I'm gloating and Mum tells me pride comes before a fall gillybean. Look forward to seeing how everyone else's gardens are going and arranging a few swaps.


Special present.

I might be feeling a bit over emotional with my boy and my darling both going away, because I had a terrible day at work. I think I'm being tested.

This made my day though! A present from an extremely crafty cleaver friend.

Friend, what you don't know is that the skirt which you used for the spotty stockings use to belong to my Grandmother who was spot mad. I wanted to wear the skirt but it didn't suit me and I wanted to make something but wasn't inspired, so I let it go. This softy is especially special because with your busy life you made it for me and it has those spotty stockings which remind me of my very special Grandma. Thanks, it's just wonderful.X

In relation to my problem at work I can see that sometimes letting go can be the most rewarding thing to do.


A few weeks ago my " skatey boy" went to the West coast with his Dad, the weekend just gone he got down the East Coast to Kaikoura. None of the other kids have that adventurous spirit like their Dad so R gets to see alot of the country side. The purpose of their trip was to purchase a caravan for L to live in while he works in Reefton about 3-4 hours drive from here. Houses are too expensive to rent or buy so that seemed like the best option for now. I will stay up here where the children are settled and have a lot of opportunities. R likes to take photos on his journeys and his Dad is happy to make a few stops along the way. The salt lakes above and seals near the main highway.
I've been at home making a little progress on my cleaning and sewing. I saw the little dancing tutu over on Melissa's blog and decided that it would make a good rainy day activity. I think mine would have looked better with more tulle but it's pretty expensive in our local sewing shop. This one will probably be for my niece visiting over summer.

It did serve to inspire me though, so I ferreted through my fairy fabrics and settled on some shiny stuff for a skirt for PJ. Engrossed in sewing, I didn't notice she was due home from school so didn't get it put away before she spied it, so it won't be for Christmas. She can wear it for her school prize giving tomorrow night which I will miss as I will be fare welling the teen off to Adelaide. I may make her a bag for Christmas with the leftovers.


sillybean, sillyseason (or something)

Red currant jelly

I wanted to post pictures of all the cute Christmas presents I'm making. Problem is I'm experiencing something similar to "writers block" except with sewing. It happens to me often and usually resolves itself 24 hours before a deadline or after I've had a jolly good clean up.
A gift from my friend's mum. THANK YOU!!
and the pile of fabric which should really be Christmas presents by now.
With the end of the school term looming I've barely sat down all week, leaving me absolutely no desire for cleaning up. I've been to school performances and prize givings, Christmas party's and meetings, play dates and interviews, packed a kid for camp and done the washing when he arrived home. So, I'm pooped!

Next week, my "teen" flys to Australia on his own for Christmas with my brother. I'm a little freaked out, it will be our first Christmas apart. I decided to send him because our small town has a lot of bad influences on teenagers, drugs and alcohol mainly. A boy a few years older, from a good family round the corner, has been sent to jail after getting into trouble with the law and a couple of T's freinds broke into their old primary school a month ago which sent me into a panic thinking, if those great kids are making stupid choices with dire consequences what can I do to keep my boy safe a little longer? Answer: send him to my brother away from bad influences. Is 14 too young to drink alcohol? I think so, but T got an invitation to an end of year party from a girl I don't know, so I rang her parents to make sure they were all going to be supervised and thank goodness asked "there won't be alcohol available will there?" turns out "yes there is". He doesn't hate me for saying he can't go, thank goodness. Why make alcohol available at 14? I know I'm getting old and I'm glad that I'm un cool. I was 14 and pretty stupid once too, perhaps that's why I'm so determined to protect my kids.

Just to make things a bit more challenging L has applied for a job out of town, which means we'll only get to see him on weekends. I feel happy for him that a job has come up that he's really keen on, but I have some concerns about our kids. Watch this space I guess.

And...The red head is driving me nuts!!(we both went to "time out" this morning) He's 2 a half I know, what do I expect? But just between you and I he's much naughtier than the big ones were. I wonder if it is because they got the odd little smack when they were naughty? What do you reckon "spare the rod spoil the child"? It's against the law to smack now so we'll see won't we? I'm not looking foward to him being 14!

A new bag?


Another garden post

Succulent fresh peas are on the menu every second night. I just wish I'd planted them every two weeks for a continuous supply! They're one thing that grows very easily in my soil, not needing any special attention, just water. It's great to grow things that don't need too much attention. Carrots on the other hand do not grow well for me at all. If by some strike of luck they germinate they usually get taken over by weeds or bugs, carrot fly ,grass grubs, aphids you name it and it will find my carrots.I need to arrange a friendly swap with someone who can grow them because for five seasons they've been pathetic.

I never did get around to sorting out the aphids in the tunnel house, partly because I'm busy and partly because these guys need something to eat. This is a paper wasp hopefully she and her babies will gobble up lots of aphids and grubs. She might also eat the juvenile lady bug on the fennel flowers though, which would be a shame because they love to eat aphids. I feel so much better about letting mother nature sort out the pest control. If only she'd give us a bit of rain as well.
I'm letting alot of plants go to seed, the predatory insects are especially attracted to the umbelliferae family including parsnip,dill, fennel etc. They get really tall making the garden much more interesting and colourful too.


Patchwork garden

This blog is being a little neglected as summer settles in and Christmas quickly approaches. Middle of summer is a stupid time to have Christmas, there's far too much to do in the garden to be inside sewing or even worse shopping in town. Motueka is a tourist town and a summer work destination so traffic is terrible at this time of year, a quick trip to town for groceries can take hours during the summer months. I have had a great week though, just not alot of spare time. There were heaps of garage sales on in the weekend and I'm rather pleased with the bright tea towels I got for 50c each. I was going to cut them up for bags but I'm getting quite attached to them the way they are.
I was also a winner on Sally Anne's blog! I haven't won anything for a long time so it really made my day when I read I had won. It was meant to be because my daughter gets called "sweet pea" on the rare occasions that's she's not driving me nuts! I watched her sing solo at a performance for the old folks club on Friday. I was so nervous for her, but she was amazing. Huge credit needs to go to her wonderful teacher who nurtured the shy girl who didn't even want to go to school to a point where she'll sing on her own in front of an audience. What a treasure she is.
I Love how the garden looks in summer, it comes together to remind me of a patchwork quilt. These views are from the top of the kid's slide. I am disappointed that a new plum tree I bought seems to have silverleaf. From what I've read nothing can get rid of it and it spreads very easily. I'll be devastated if I have to start cutting trees out.
Mating stink bugs got squashed today with a satisfying crunch. I am not a Buddhist gardener! The aphids in the tunnel house will be dealt to tomorrow as soon as I decide weather it's better to make a garlic spray with the last of last years garlic or pyrethrum spray which has the disadvantage of killing ladybugs too, which we don't want. Any suggestions would be welcomed.