Dear Aunt Agatha: My kitten thinks he’s a puppy!

Posted in Animals on June 28th, 2011 by Coffee

That’s right. Fidget seems to think he’s a puppy!

He’s always been one for playing with toys (and I’ve always been a sucker for buying him toys), but he/we seem to have discovered a new game. We throw the toy somewhere, he brings it back to us, rinse, repeat…

Sound familiar?!

But at least playing this game with his toys he doesn’t growl. Much! If he has his bell he growls all the time. (Except when I have the mic beside him trying to capture the growl for all to hear. I’ll keep working on that!) That’s why we limit “bell time” to a half hour session or so every couple of days.

And yes, Pinot is just as cute, but she’s happier outside thinking about chasing birds. And eating bugs.

My Third Loaf of Sourdough…

Posted in Food and Drink on June 25th, 2011 by Coffee

…was almost a success! At least this time it was quite edible!

I tried to be very careful with the whole process this time, just to make sure of things. I even ended up taking pics to try to confirm whether things were doubled in size or not.

But careful as I tried to be, I still managed to stuff up the baking slightly by not lowering the oven temp at the right time. Not sure if that’s why the crust was so crunchy or not, but at least I still have all my teeth.

Still a bit stodgy for my liking, so we’ll need to work on that. I suspect it’s the proving somehow being a bit slow. But the taste was about what I expected. Even Bec went back for seconds.

I’ll see what the next loaf is like!

By Request: Some Kitty Pics!

Posted in Animals on June 25th, 2011 by Coffee

This one’s for you, Beth!

We’ve been meaning to try to capture this for some time on “film”. Whenever Fidget goes outside on a wet day he comes in with his legs and belly absolutely drenched and covered in these cool little spikes and tufts. Then he proceeds to wander around getting food etc, jump on the couches etc, then try to clean himself up a bit! Which can take a while!

When he comes back inside on a slightly wet day he comes back in covered in mud, and follows the same routine.

Whenever Fidget goes outside on a dry day he comes back in covered in dust!

He reminds me a lot of Pig-Pen from the Peanut comics!

Pinot seems to both have slightly shorter fur, and be that much higher off the ground that she doesn’t seem to collect the same amount of stuff on her excursions.

Deck: Pictorial update.

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on June 22nd, 2011 by Coffee

Ok, ok, ok! I’ve heard the calls for pics, so here’s a few. All the actual decking is just piled up in stacks, drying, of course. That’s not the final product!

We’re looking for a walkway type effect around the courtyard, with more of a deck outside our bedroom, and more of a wide step thing outside the lounge. Hopefully you get the gist.

They’re even clicky for a slightly bigger view if you need to see some of the finer details. But it’s a horrible grey, dim day here. Not very conducive to good picture taking. Sorry!

Deck: Part 5

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on June 21st, 2011 by Coffee

This is possibly starting to seem like a bit of a saga to you. Believe me it’s seeming a huge saga to us too! But after a bit of a delay while some new timber was delivered, and some old timber removed, both on the back of a big truck (again ripping up more of the “lawn”) we were back into construction mode again today. Yay!

As usual, the builder arrived bright and early, but alone this time. So I spent the day playing builder’s boy. I even got to use the big scary drop-saw as well as the less exciting tape-measure, pencil, hammer and square. I admit to having no desire to take up the chainsaw he used to chop posts to size…

It was a long day’s work, but we managed to get all the bearers chopped to size and nailed down, with all the joists cut but not yet fixed to the bearers.

Summing it it in that one sentence it suddenly sounds like we didn’t get much done at all, but we did, honest! There are a lot of bearers to go around the double rows of posts, honest!

Last stage once the builder had left for the day was to move all the decking timber up onto bearers resting on the cut joists to dry out for a couple of days before the last (hopefully!) big effort in getting the actual deck nailed down. Luckily for me Bec pitched in and helped get all that moved, which we managed just before the daylight disappeared completely. But at least now with the bearers done and the timber along it we can really see the shape of things.

And the good thing is that it’s looking just how I imagined it. And wanted it. I think that’s actually due to being there and helping though, carefully making “helpful suggestions” to the builder, like how it might be quite good if we could possibly move the bearers to the outside of the posts as that might look a little neater given we’ll be able to see them from the other side of the house… I do shudder to think what we might have ended up with had we just left them to it. Of course we would have had a fully functional deck, but maybe with a few bits here and there we’d not be as happy with. But luckily we don’t need to deal with that.


But I was so busy working that I forgot to take any photos while it was still light enough. So you’ll have to wait until it’s light tomorrow for some pics. Assuming I can move to talk some, of course! And assuming you deserve them.

Day Off Decks…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on June 15th, 2011 by Coffee

And other cracking day weather-wise, so out in the garden we went to plant a few bits and bobs that we picked up yesterday afternoon from a couple of local nurseries. On the schedule a few native grasses, trees, and some shallots.

Grasses: Planted. Shallots:Planted. Trees: 2 out of 5 planted…

We discovered one of the other seedlings we’d planted a week or two ago had been well and truly munched, presumably by the hare that we watch, seemingly without a care in the world, past our back door every night.

So given that we only had enough little stakes to make up 2 windbreak/hare protection fences we only planted 2 trees. The others are waiting within the hopefully safe compound of the vege patch until we can grab a few more stakes and cloth.

Gotta get me something to deal to that pesky hare!

Deck: Part 4

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on June 14th, 2011 by Coffee

Well, nothing happened yesterday. Except for an early morning call from the builder to say that the concrete wasn’t arriving until today now. Wish we’d known that Sunday night. We would have tried to sleep in instead! (Not sure that would have been all that simple to arrange. The kitties seem to like to visit us if we’re not up at whatever time they think is reasonable. But we would have given it a go!)

But this morning the builder and his two “boys” arrived bright and early to start banging in all the pegs for the string to mark all the levels etc. As it was still so frosty I pretty much left them to it apart from clearing the area of a few bits and bobs, and checking that my holes passed muster. By 10am there was some post cutting going on in addition to the stringing up. OOoooh! The excitement!

10:20am, the concrete truck arrived. 11:45 it left, having ripped up anything that looked like it might be close to a “lawn”, and having deposited it’s load in globs around the place. A frantic bit of wood-wobbling then followed, trying to get the posts all square and at the right level.

Lunch then followed while the concrete did some of its setting stuff. Then some more discussion about what was going to go on next seemed to go on, and then they buggered off to let the concrete dry. So it looks like the kitties can have a play on the poles for the next few days. I hope they like them as much as the holes!

Breaking news!: Cat down a hole!

Posted in Rants And Rambles on June 14th, 2011 by Coffee

The kitties have been loving the holes! Once they worked out that they weren’t firm ground, and they had to watch out or they’d just fall down them. Eventually. But then they were their favourite things. They were jumping all over the place like gophers on speed or something! It was tough to get them to give up the games and come back inside.

I’m not sure how they’re going to feel when they go back out and find that the holes are not holes anymore…

My second loaf of sourdough…

Posted in Food and Drink on June 13th, 2011 by Coffee

…Also not a success. While some larger species of duck may have survived a direct hit from the loaf, smaller ones would still have been at a high risk of extreme deadness. Taste-wise it wasn’t all that either, once I braved losing a tooth to check.

So based on no real evidence at all other than the location of the moon last night I’ve decided it must be the starter that’s the issue, so that one’s gone-burger. Kaput. Gone to meet it’s maker. Oh. Wait. That’s me!

New starter was, erm, started today. In the hope of capturing some particularly tasty wild yeasts I even took it for a stroll down through the long grass while whipping it gently in it’s big blue bowl. Must have looked a bit odd to any neighbours that happened to be watching, but I’m sure they’ll see weirder things.

Crossing fingers this one works out a bit better. Otherwise I may well have to look into other parts of the process for issues…

Deck: Part 3

Posted in House, Plants and Gardens on June 13th, 2011 by Coffee

Lovely still morning here yesterday morning after it had warmed up somewhat from the very frosty start. Perfect for finishing the last of the post holes!

So nice, in fact, that on top of the last remaining holes I managed to motivate myself to even dig the difficult ones in the corners that we were going to wait until Monday to do. In the end they weren’t that hard to get done. Some of the other ones were much, much harder.

So there we have it. Fifty-seven holes dotted around the place, just waiting to be filled with the concrete and wood. Assuming they all pass the builder’s inspection, of And a few blisters on my hands to show I’ve been working!