Friday, May 18, 2018

Where Things are at Currently.


Thanks for your encouraging comments Julie ;Chooky; Linda; Loulee; Dianne and Janice, You gave me a little boost when I needed it.
 The Luculia tree is looking magnificent today. Although it is dropping leaves on the newly sprouted grass just below.
 #2  son made a creditable start to sorting out his stuff when down here at the weekend!
 Tuesday was the day we were to get new carpet laid in the lounge and office. Tuesday was also the day when we got 68mls of rain in quite a short time. In order to move the furniture we had to find places inside the house . The van bringing the new and taking away the old carpet was able to back into the carport and keep mostly dry.
 Luckily the dining room is tiles so the couches could be stacked on top of each other.
 Moving all the stuff in the office required some sorting and throwing by me the day before, so that all stands in good stead for if we move soon. We are pleased with the new carpet although it stinks of some sort of treatment so leaving the doors open when we can. I hope the smell goes soon.


 Selling. We have had quite a few people through and today for the first time a couple gave us their second offer in writing. We reduced the price a  little  and they came up a little.  So it may be looking quite promising.
 It is time consuming and exhausting mentally so last night I didn't sleep well ( but that's nothing new ).

 On the kiwifruit front Eurofins came in early today and took fruit samples to test so picking is not far away now. ( A silly time to be trying to sell but at least prospective buyers get to see this crop on the vines .)
 Absolutely no sewing but a little knitting; lots of cleaning, deciding, sorting and some boxing of books and glassware etc.

Sunday, April 29, 2018

Progress on Some Fronts......

Progress on some fronts but not others.
 This front...the front of the little jersey I showed back  on the 7th of March. The back is done and I made steady progress on Friday when I took knitting to P and Q instead of sewing. Strangely so did several other ladies. 3 at our table all talking knitting. I think the weather had something to do with it.
 I note that I often write something in here when it is pouring with rain...I guess I am inside with more time to spare.
I am quite pleased with how this is knitting up . This shows the range of colour. I got several favourable comments and friends fondling the wool and saying, "  that's lovely and soft." ( that's how hand knitting has to be in my opinion.)


 My sewing machine has been back inside it's trolley bag  in the cupboard as I have been trying to keep the house neat . We are officially "for sale ," since the beginning of this month and as we are not having open homes I have to be prepared to allow the agent to bring viewers at short notice. ( 5 or 6 so far ) The most common comment is, " it looks like too much hard work!"
 Anyway at the moment we are sticking to our asking price. ( others have said to me when selling you can always come down but can't put the price up. I think that is sensible advice .)
 I guess after a while it has to be reconsidered.
 Almost every cupboard and drawer in the house has been cleaned and the decision,  keep or get rid of, made by me.
A lot of paper work has gone to recycling...far too much to put through our shredder.
Lots of books went to the last Book Fair but there are still lots here.
 Things belonging  to grown up sons are still in cupboards or the container. # 1 son said get rid of any clothes, they will be the wrong size for me now. Other items he wants held on to. # 2 son has yet to give me advice on what he wants done with his things.....
  I am finding it quite stressful so is R perhaps more than me. Looking on line for possible properties to buy is very time consuming. Often the ones I like have just sold. There is one exception and we can't work out why it hasn't been snapped up....possibly for the same reason we have been hearing...too much work....maybe that property is waiting for us  ????
 ********

 Something completely different Now. Does it annoy you when you donate to a charity or cause then they spend huge amounts sending you paper work and more begging letters and supposed free gifts...which wasn't what you gave the money for ??? ( I got one recently with 9 separate items in the envelope ) 
 Also new charities which I do not give to have suddenly acquired my address to send me  letters . On the principle  that they have paid for that address list I will not acknowledge their requests. Am I turning into a grumpy old person? Some of the same charities also use email to further press their cause.
***

There is not much left to pick in the garden now. Some butternut, egg plants, silver beet, spinach, late capsicum and the last of the beetroot.
 White butterfly caterpillars are enjoying eating my brassica seedlings. I am spending time killing them when they are large enough for me to see.
 R planted  broadbeans ( with red seeds! ) and  I planted 6" high plants. They are all doing well...I think we ( or someone else ) will get lots of enjoyment out of them later in the year.
Other recently planted seedlings are getting pummelled into the dirt.
 The fire is going and its wonderfully warm inside the house. I think I'll just stay in today.


Sunday, March 25, 2018

Feijoas are Yummy!

 It's time to pick up and start eating feijoas.
 Well around here it is anyway. You either like or hate them.
( They have varied and intriguing patterns inside ) 
That bowl full was yesterday collection. So they don't remain on the ground too long ( especially if you have birds that like them ) I need to pick up every 2nd day. Our few trees have a good crop so we will have plenty to share with family.
 They can be cooked but only if you have a real  over supply. Best eaten just cut in half and scooped out with a spoon.
 Other countries where they call them different names ( pineapple Guavas - Australia ) they don't seem as popular or to do so well as here. We are lucky in Northern  NZ.
 I will eat my share and maybe more.
*****
Heavy rain forced me to pick these dahlias up out of the dirt and rinse the blooms clean. They have recovered now and look vibrant on the kitchen bench.

Thursday, March 22, 2018

Walnuts.

Yesterday I did my second walnut collection for this season. We are lucky to have a very prolific huge walnut tree.
 It is at the top of an incline so is well drained. I think it is a Wilson's Wonder  and is now 30 something years old.
 Nuts at various stages or readiness.

While growing and maturing the nuts are enveloped in an outer green skin.When ready they split the skin as shown in the top picture and the nut falls to the ground or if low down I pick it straight off the tree and take off the green shell. ( wear gloves as the juice stains. )
 The less time they spend lying on the grass the better.
I then bring them home and spread them out on an old sheet on the cobblestones in the sun. I do this every day for a week or more.
 We then both either shell them or store them in sacks  till we have time to do that .
 Once shelled and very carefully quality controlled we store them in the freezer. This way they do not go rancid. ALMOST all walnuts for sale are rancid which gives them a bitter yukky taste.( people think that's how they are meant to taste and it's not )  I will have to do many more pick ups over the coming weeks.
 This year I will be coveting my collection as we are getting ready to put our property on the market............ and this may be the last crop of nuts that are mine to collect.

 *****
 We are waiting for a contractor to come and reseed a slope of lawn up to the garden shed. Beside it is the nerine and orchid bed. I tidied it up and made a defined edge to seed up to.


Red  Nerines do exceedingly well in my garden.( pink and white ones less so )  I have them in several spots and the flowering time varies accordingly. The flowers are good in a vase. Their bulbs sit up atop the soil and like to be sun baked. The clumps build up and up. I have potted some up as I don't want to be without them.
 I wont be able to take my walnut tree or my copper beech tree both almost 40 years old, if we move to a smaller property but I can take a few garden favourites like bulbs.
 It is a hard thing we have to do...we have lived here 40 years.


Wednesday, March 07, 2018

Knitting.

Autumn means it is going to get cooler in the coming months. ( though you wouldn't think so the last few hot days. ) Today it's pouring down.
 I already had this wool, a lovely marled 4ply , to knit another jersey for Grandson. I'm using a tried and trusted pattern. It's strange how the wool always looks more interesting in the ball than when it's knitted.

 I am pretty much back to doing everything except Kiwifruit work.( Just keeping my arm plastered as per instructions and making sure I don't bump it. ) ( getting it wet is ok now .)  
  The garden got a growth spurt of weeds with me out of action for a couple of weeks. I've been trying to do a couple of hours weeding out of the sun each of the last few days. Mainly in the vege garden where produce is still growing.
 Some time ago I posted photos of Grandson helping with the planting of these gladioli. It was very late in the season to be putting them in. They have come up well but show no sign of forming flower buds. They are possibly too shaded, so I cut back the over hanging Luculia tree, put in more stakes to tie them up gave them another round of blood and bone and some sheep pellets and a thin covering of potting mix. I cant think what else to do to encourage flowering. Maybe some more worm pee. I scattered in a packet of Thumbelina Mixed Zinnias around their feet that might still have time to grow.
With the down pour we are getting today everything will be watered so that's one less job. I do however have to venture out to pick courgettes and beans and cucumbers.
 The passion fruit are finished now and were a big success.....one fruit the birds did not attack.

Thursday, March 01, 2018

Great Progress.

Great progress with my healing. Thanks for your encouraging comments Mary; Chooky ;Kiwi kid, Suzy; Rose Marie and Dianne, they gave me a boost.
 I got rid of the sling last Friday and yesterday was my final visit. All stitches, 18 from the graft and 8 from the incision were all speedily if a little ouchily  removed.
 I came away with a roll of Micropore tape to keep reapplying myself and that's it! I healed up like a youngster...liked that comment.
 The new graft is under this. I am keeping a stretch knit tube piece over the top but my wrist is so skinny it is only acting to keep the tape clean.
 I really enjoyed being able to get it wet in the shower. Of course I am going to continue to take very good care of it in the weeks to come.
 Even better the Path Lab  Synoptic report came back with the diagnosis  benign  Keratoacanthoma.  ( excision complete )
 I have googled that and seen photos of many of these growths and realise mine was in a unobtrusive place. Many folk have had them on facial sites - not so good.

 Any way I am getting back to all normal activities and haven't missed my time amongst the vines. The garden however is looking a bit untidy.
Untidy doesn't stop the Autumn bulbs ( red nerines ) from flowering. They are early this year. Our temps have dropped dramatically -  Autumn I guess.

 Over the weekend the young ones were here. Grandson loves playing Poohsticks in the creek. The game of Poohsticks originated ( well calling it that anyway ) in A.A. Milne's The House at Pooh Corner. ( 90+ year ago in Hartfordshire  ) 
 On this occasion we didn't worry about playing it on the bridge we just dropped sticks into the little creek.
 Most floated, some got stuck on rocks and long grass, others wobbled on down the little rapids. No worry about him falling in here and we could stand in the shade. Sunday was sunny.

Monday, February 19, 2018

Trying to be( a ) Patient.

Thanks for the words of encouragement.
 Some things I can do left handed but many things I can't. Quite a lot of things need both hands.
 I can sew machine zigzag okay cause there is no precision needed and I cut the towel up earlier last week. I am making baby wipes.
 When I came home after surgery last Wednesday this is how I looked.
 I had an ugly  fast growing growth  ( possibly squamous cell carcinoma  ) ( result not back from path lab yet ) on my
right arm just above where the wrist bends. It grew in size while I kept getting referred to someone else then someone else......

 If you are squeamish stop reading / looking right now.


 Today I have been back to have it redressed and it's doing well.
 To make sure it was all removed a cm all round of clear skin had to be taken away.
 A full depth graft was taken from under my upper right arm....very good stretchy skin........ first use I have had for that sagging flesh!

  When the nurse had it exposed she was taking a photo of its progress so I asked to take one with my phone.
 This is what it looks like.
 An insect with too many legs?  

My upper arm just has a thin plaster across the stitches now and it has a lovely bruise running from the bottom of it. Stitches still in.

 I asked today if it was alright to type and write for a short while - yes. When the sling gets too sweaty ( most of the time ) rest your arm against your upper body if sitting down. and at night put a pillow under it.
 Definitely don't get it wet, don't chop or twist your wrist or lift anything heavier than a cup. Don't go near the orchard or garden ! 
 It will all take a while to heal and be very vulnerable to bumps so stay away from crowds.
 I will try and obey orders and be a good patient....I don't want the graft to fail or have to be redone.