Meet Our Pet Rock

Posted in Food and Drink, Rants And Rambles on May 24th, 2012 by Coffee

Yes, this little rock hangs out in our kitchen, normally beside the egg timer. It’s a very quiet little rock. Doesn’t say or do much. We found it hanging out outside when the lawn was being prepared.

But it does perform a very important function in our lives. It keeps the lid of the rice pot more firmly squeezed onto the pot, hence avoiding too much spillage or steam seepage giving us a much cleaner stove and nicer rice.

Thanks, little stone!

Now why would…

Posted in Animals on May 14th, 2012 by Coffee

… a kitty be trying to climb the walls?

To get to the mouse that managed to climb right to the top, of course!

Mouse 1: Kitty 0. At least Until the mouse got knocked off the wall with the spade…

A bit of protection

Posted in Plants and Gardens on May 14th, 2012 by Coffee

I’ve been watching the chicken’s bum feathers get blasted around by the wind despite the windbreak cloth that we’ve installed, so last weekend we grabbed a few native shrubs to start a bit of a good looking and not too expensive shrubbery to assist them to scratch around unmolested by the breeze.

So far we’ve installed (from right to left, and really just so I have a record of what they are) Griselinia Broadway Mint, Griselinia L. Whenuapai, Pittosporum tenufolium “Oliver Twist”, and Pittosporum “Stephen’s Island”.

Four is about all I can install in a day without my wrists cracking from hitting rocks while digging, so that’ll have to do for now. Although I suspect we’ll need a few more to stop some of the other breeze directions.

And now I have a record of how big they started off so I can see if they’re actually growing.

“Wildflower” of the month – May

Posted in Plants and Gardens on May 14th, 2012 by Coffee

Before I forget again, here’s this month’s wildflower.

I had to venture a little further afield to find something interesting this time – down by the bridge in the shade where these are taking over a bit of the roadside. But worth the little amble. If I thought we had any shade that would suit it I’d be thinking about collecting some if it and trying to naturalise it in the garden somewhere…

Update: I’ve just been informed that apparently it’s Chamomile. For some reason I thought that had a lot smaller flowers, but apparently not. I’ll have to smell it next time and see whether it smells right…

Feed me!

Posted in Plants and Gardens on May 12th, 2012 by Coffee

I’ve normally been a bit slack with plants in pots. They get installed in the pot, they hopefully look pretty, they get watered, they eventually die or turn ugly, they get chucked out. Rinse, repeat. Then A little while ago I decided that I’d try a bit of an experiment with the two biggest plants out on the deck that were starting to look like they had stopped flowering and were heading down the path towards being compost. So, a big harsh trim, followed by a bit of liquid fertiliser every couple of weeks and they’ve now turned into stars.

I guess there’s something in this feeding lark after all!

(And yes, I have realised that I managed to miss the “Wildflower” of the month for April. A bit busy. And I don’t remember anything really catching my eye anyway. I’ll have to go a bit further afield to see if I can find something for May. A good excuse to get out anyway!)

Teaching the girls new tricks

Posted in Animals on May 9th, 2012 by Coffee

Along with the three girls we seem to have been feeding a whole flock of sparrows each day. Not what we really want to be doing with the chook food! The chooks try to chase the sparrows away, but they just keep coming. So we’ve invested in a feeder for them that hopefully will eventually sort out the problems for all of us. Simple really. All they have to do is stand on the step and the lid opens. If they can just get used to it!

We’re getting there slowly. First stage was to prop the lid wide open so they got used to the food being in there. Which they thought was great, as now they had something else to stand on top of to get a good view. I had visions of one of them jumping up on the lid when another was feeding. I guess we’d be having chicken for dinner that night!

But they seem to have stopped that since I recently propped the lid up a bit and they open it the rest of the way to feed. Most of the time. One especially is a bit lazy and just goes in from the side. She’ll learn, unless she wants to starve!

And the sparrows? Well they’re still visiting, and the brave ones sneak in under the lid for a feed. Get in while you can, little ones!

Of course once we’ve finally got the chooks trained we’ll probably add a bird table somewhere and feed the damn things anyway!

Such a brave little mouse…

Posted in Animals on May 9th, 2012 by Coffee

But I think we all know how it ends.

Turning 3¼ into 8…

Posted in Plants and Gardens on May 6th, 2012 by Coffee

Historically I’ve been pretty bad at thinning anything I’ve sown. Like really bad! But this year we had such a good strike rate with our onion seeds that I could see things getting even more horribly squashed together than usual at some point soon.

So what better way to spend a fine autumn day than pulling out baby onions and trying to replant the best of them into new rows. So now instead of the original 3¼ rows of onions we now have 8. The big problem with that is that currently I only have enough wire netting covers for 4 rows. So let’s see how many get pulled out by birds or kitties before they get big enough to look after themselves.