I've really appreciated the comments latley, especially one I got from Briar today about enjoying me keeping it real. I like to think that I'm like that.
On my blog I have always tried to find a balance between "keeping it real" and "airing my dirty laundry" of which there is quite a pile! So THANKS you just made my day.

To all who are waiting for the possum gloves pattern I have most of it typed up. I actually didn't realise how tricky it would be because I don't want to get anything wrong. I can see why people have pattern testers now. It is my goal this week to get it finished, that is if that jolly dirty laundry doesn't get on top of me.

Here is another super dooper keeping it real blog.


Lovely Links

I haven't really got time to be cruising around the blog sphere on dial -up entering giveaways, but I'm glad I did because I found these beautiful individual stamps. I'd love to buy myself one right now, but I'm living frugally for winter so I'll put it on my wish list. I thought I'd share it with you though cos I think they are adorable.

If you have an hour or so to discover a whole lot of new craft blogs I suggest you pop over to sew mama sew for all the giveaways. Be in quick though they close on the 31st May.

I'm hoping for a weekend of sewing. I deserve to relax a bit, it's been a full on week. I worked in the craft co-op this morning, it was my turn to do the window display. I'd been stressing about it because I wouldn't say arranging things is one of my strengths but I think it turned out alright. I'd show you but I am still camera-less and missing it very much.
This week I've also run into town for sport and dancing three times, and twice to organise the hiring of a suit for the teen's high school ball next weekend. A word of warning... save up for a couple of months before the ball because it's painfully expensive!!
I cleaned the bach for guests from Australia, cleaned the kids bedrooms because they were disgusting and cleaned up piles of seed I hadn't got around to sorting and storing. The red head has a fascination with opening dried pea and bean pods, so he actually did most of the work.
I did a great job at being a good Mum this week too, we had TV off alot and played connect 4, Mancala, go fish and read stories, it was lovely. I asked the kids what they wanted to do this weekend, Skatey said "go catching salmon". I wish I was SUPERMUM.


Digging up for dinner:


Kumara (sweet potatoes)

The vegetation has mainly frosted off in the garden, I can see dried up stalks of where tubers were planted when I go out to see what I can find in the garden for tea at about 4pm in the afternoon as I'm feeding the the chooks and getting the washing off the line. I had forgotten about the purple Maori potatoes I'd planted, accidentally unearthing them the other day. They and the other potatoes that I still have in the ground are cooking up beautifully boiled or baked. I've been making potato bakes with lots of veges, bacon and cheese sauce because the red head who is a terribly fussy eater actually seems to enjoy them.

The kumara did alot better than I expected, I love sweet winter veges and am so glad to have succeeded this year with these. In my colander is the yield from one plant. I didn't plant enough because I had trouble getting hold of the shoots to plant last spring so I will save the best of these to try and sprout my own for next spring. I find them a wee bit tricky to grow, but they are so worth the effort. They seemed to like the seaweed mound I grew them in but I think need a more sheltered warm spot for next year. One of the fabulous Aunts gave me advice on cultivating them: Point their roots in the direction that the sun rises, and instead of having the roots point deep down, have the ends of them going back up towards the surface (so they are planted in kind of a U shape) This advice was given to her by an old gardener when she was living in Tolaga Bay.


Away without a camera

Having a few days away from home.
Forgot the camera!
Walks on the beach in the cold winter air, the sound of the sea at night and 5 Tui feasting on nectar in the garden.


Frosty gardening

We got the frost to end the growing season last night. It's good to remember to protect plants around full moon as it often frosts hardest then. Here it's too late to try and keep things protected, winter has stamped it's mark.

It's not all bad though, brussel sprouts, parsnip, swede, etc all have their flavour improved after a few good frosts.

I went out at 9am to feed the chooks and to have a look at how the frost has affected the altered area of the section near where the big shed is built. The shed is a bit of an eyesore, it's not as cute as the old one and it's not the studio I had wanted but it does have one redeeming feature; a tank to collect rain water from the roof. One little step towards sustainability and L's answer to spending the country out of a recession. There is a soak hose coming off it which I'll run around the vege garden once the wood piles are sorted out. I had hoped it might be a little bit more frost protected with the shed there now but it doesn't seem to be much of an improvement.

Then I glanced over to the neighbours place and thought to myself "thou shalt NOT covert thy neighbours passion fruit vine"!!

She has used a little trick that we did when we lived in another cold area. If you have a fire with an external chimney plant those frost tender vines or tree tomatoes near it under the eves of the house. It provides just that extra bit of heat needed on frosty nights. We have a inside chimney here so it doesn't work for us, I've tried about 5 times and it dies every winter. Hopefully my lime tree thrives and then I may have something to barter with.

Otherwise in the garden I'm still just composting, clearing and preparing to plant garlic. I'm harvesting, kumara, potatoes, brassicas, leeks, spring onions, winter lettuce, the odd straggly tomato, peppers in the glasshouse, parsnips, pumpkins and yams which are a bit pitiful this year. The chooks have also finished laying so we'll miss our fresh eggs until after the shortest day now.


Knitting possum

Dusting, window cleaning, lighting fires, vacuuming, knitting and costume sewing featured quite heavily this week. My neighbour caught me in the middle of a cleaning spree doing a very loud Bohemian Rhapsody rendition and invited me to watch the school kids rehearsing their performance for an upcoming event. I don't need asking twice to abandon housework.
I've been helping sew the costumes for the performance, so the lounge has been covered with black and sparkly fabric for the "Kiss" themed costumes.
I've been staying up way past my bedtime knitting too, lots of possum/merino gloves are coming off the needles for the craft co-op and here

Drop me a line if you'd like the pattern. It may be similar to others available but I made it up because the others I've tried don't fit as snugly as I like. Maybe it's the character of the double knit possum wool , I don't know. I should try it with some other yarn as well but I love this possum.


Golden sand

Freezing cold nights needing hot water bottles and extra woollen blankets are heralding gorgeous late autumn days, perfect for playing at our region's beautiful beaches. (Who wants to stay home and do housework anyway?)
So on the weekend we packed a picnic and some beach toys and headed off to Kaiteriteri, which during the summer months turns into a township of tourists. The locals make themselves scarce
preferring the quieter spots, with the exception of the teenagers who enjoy the beach scene. I love it in it's winter glory, pretty shells, golden sand, subtle colours and not too many footprints.

Skatey boy, always in search of adventure rode his unicycle to the top of the lookout, did a few "watch me" stunts and raced back to join the littlies making castles and channels.
I enjoyed the tranquility. I loved watching this young black shag dip and dive then warm up under the skull rock. I stretched out and soaked up the rays too after I did a few rows of knitting of course.