Sunday, July 31, 2011

When it rains it pours!

Well as I sit and type this the heavens have opened outside.
The SEVENTH shower today! Funny thing is only 10 minutes ago this is what it looked like outside...

Crazy crazy weather yes. Now of course I'm not one to complain about the rain
(even though I do love a drizzle above a full blown thunderstorm) and I'm certainly not one to wish it away, especially since the farmers could really do with their dam levels increasing.
Still it has made my presence in the garden a little slack and I am looking forward to tackling a number of tasks that loom on the horizon. At the moment the weeds are taunting me and the vegie/herb patch looks like an orphanage of brown misery. The only thing thriving is the rocket...

Um.. maybe thriving a little too much
(seem to recall you should not let your herbage go to flower ...oops)
Over the weekend, Hubby and I took the time to collect some lemons and oranges from our beautiful citrus trees.

We had way more lemons than oranges.
So many in fact, we had to put a whole tub on the verge for people to help themselves.
Now I need some "lemony" ideas so that I do not waste any more.
I'm thinking... lemon curd, lemons in salt and lemonade.

On a "fungal" note... I managed to spot a cute little glass toad stool whilst thrifting on Friday. 
The perfect addition to my moss terrarium.
And on Saturday we had a fabulous Thai dinner with dear friends of ours.
The chef cooked up a feast ...

My favourite being the Prawn noodle stir fry ....

and this dude - a Chinaman Cod
Cooked in Soy and Lemongrass. Yum!
We finished of the night with a cheese platter and a family game of Vingt Et Un.
(I learnt that this is French for 21 - otherwise known as Blackjack)
Congratulations Sambo - you are quite high roller.

And last but not least I am proud to say that our ladies are laying eggs for us every day.
Even with all the thunderstorms and wind they are being such troopers.
I ate my first two from the batch on Friday and I do not think I'm being biased when I say the yolks were the most resplendent yellow I've ever seen... and sooo tasty.
Thank you girls. We are eggstremely grateful for your eggcellent eggforts.
(No more .... I promise.. ok maybe just one... 
When I saw the first one I was nothing short of eggstatic.)
Ok. I'm done now

PS - One last thing... On Sunday I saw this movie...

and it was FANTASTIC! 
HIGHLY recommended.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Moss 'n things...

So I brought back some moss from down south and I'm going to try and get it to grow here at my house.
(Fingers crossed)

Inspired by the lovely Anna at Mr Sparrow 
(and this book)
I decided to put some of it in a small glass dome that can hang in a sunny indoor position.
The last lot of moss I put in here went mouldy?! I think I may have given it toooo much love
(if that's possible)

I put in some beautiful blue stone that I also found on my trip and a little cutting from a succulent that my mum gave me - not sure how the moisture hungry moss will fair with the succulent, I'm hoping they get along. Next I'd like to find a teeny weeny ceramic creature to live in here - I'm thinking a mouse, a deer or perhaps even a rabbit.

 The moss is such a magnificent green and it looks so inviting... 

Slight digression coming up....
When I look into this dome, I'm reminded of Honey I Shrunk the Kids - a really silly film comedy from the 80's starring Rick Moranis
You may know him as the legendary Dark Helmet from the movie Spaceballs - very very silly. 

Image via HERE

Anyway - if I could be made really small - then I'd like to spend some time sipping tea and cake, in my beautiful moss orb ... just spinning and sipping....

On another botanical note ....

I decided to display some of my mini vials and bottles on my antique cake platter
(when I have no real sweets to serve that is)
and I must say I think it looks just as yummy.

I prefer to have flowers in smaller containers all through my house rather than just one lot in a bigger vase  - seems more lavish and decadent even if they are just cuttings from the garden 
(like this Geraldton Wax)

Flowers just make everything prettier...

These Camelias are from my front yard and work really well as floating flowers.

Here they are in my Spanish glass star bowl - complete with a floating tea light.
Instant table art.

Note to self:
Find ludicrously well paid job that entails travelling the world and prettifying (new word) homes with candles, flowers and moss.
Tootles peoples!

PS - According to my stats - this is my 100th post!
Whoop Whoop!
(Lets see about adding another zero to that total)

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Perfect (perfect) Pasta...

Apologies Hubby.
In all my prattling about moss and cottages I completely forgot to post about the pasta that you made for dinner last night! 

Hubby (laughing) -  Why are you taking photos?
Moi - So that I can blog about it - I mean look at it! It's perfect!
Also the photos I took of your last pasta dish looked like spew... sorry.
Hubby (still laughing) Well thank you that you think my lasagna is blog worthy
(complete false modesty)
Moi - Well duh! Look at it. It's perfect! Ok let's eat.
Hubby - Uh.. It's molten hot at the mo...
Moi - I don't care. 
(it's never pretty to see a woman drool)

Ok. So I'm really not a fan of blaspheming and/or swearing.
However  - there are meals that call for this kind of profanity.
(Actually if I'm going to be honest I'm quite the foul mouthed sailor when it comes to food. Especially pasta... & cake. In my defense I usually explete in my mind  - or I mouth the words silently to my Hubby across the room whilst rolling my eyes and swooning)

And you should know that this lasagne was made from scratch!
(That's sauce AND pasta sheets...from scratch... you could taste the love)

If it's possible to cheat on your Husband with one of his culinary dishes then my dear...
I'm so sorry... forgive me.

When it came out the oven it looked like a great big puffy pillow!
So to my gorgeous hunk of a man (and his Magimix) 
"Thank you"

You rock my world
(Not just my taste buds)

Oh and guess what he's just pulled out the oven?

Whole Cumquat & Lemon Cake
(with syrup)

Gordon Bennet!! 
I am the luckiest gal I know... for shizzle!

Mill Cottage...

The rammed earth cottage we stayed in, whilst holidaying down south, is actually located a few miles out of Margaret River proper - closer to a town called Witchcliffe

Right up the road from this cottage is an old (now defunct) wood mill.
Every time we've holidayed there I pay the old mill cottages a visit - and do a bit of exploring
(Hubby usually will not join me in this adventure - he finds them too creepy)

This time round I decided to take some photos.
I find them quite charming and I can imagine what they were like when still occupied by the people who worked the timber mill. There are stables out the back and a small front porch out the front.

Obviously over time they have been occupied by a variety of people
(some legally, some illegally?)
I love looking for clues and waxing lyrical about cosy fireplaces and living off the land.

From what I could see inside they have been modernised
(pretty sure they did not have ovens such as these in the 1930s?)
I tried to do some research but the details of the cottages are quite sketchy.
There are three in total (all along the same road) 
One is occupied, one is boarded up and this one is the most run down of the lot.

So I braved the creaking noises, the dark interior and entered.
Camera in hand

I just love venturing into places and looking for clues
(When I was a kid I dreamed of working for Scotland Yard... seriously)
Of course I let my imagination run wild and dream up all sorts of passionate, criminal and deviate events that may (or most likely may NOT) have taken place.
Truth is I'm pretty sure I'd crack the 10 second mile if I found anything REALLY scary.

Then again.. this loo was pretty frightening.
Have to be more than a little desperado to use it methinks.
Still there were a few romantic elements in amongst all the cobwebs and filth...

Like the vines growing over all the outbuildings and this 
stunning screen door handle...
(I was tempted to nick it - I wont lie)

Or the Medusa like figure sculpted by the vandalism of a few electric conduits.

I found a room, running off the side of the front porch, which must have functioned as a cloak room.
(probably a bit posh to call it that -  but dirty work jacket and boot room doesn't quite sound as nostalgic now does it?)

Upon closer inspection I deemed that the occupants were not christened with names that stirred the literary musings of my crazy mind - Fitzwilliam? Heathcliff? 
Hang on they were gentlemen, not working class - let's see..
A Mr John Thornton perhaps?

Nope... no such like.
Still one wonders what reverie occupied the time of men by the name of Andy, Spear and Casper?
(Australian nicknames surely?)

But even in this room there was a tiny flicker of mystique to be

What is it about moss?
What magic does it hold?
(I'm transported to Pip's return to Miss Havisham's house after all those years...)

I did in fact bring some back with me.
Have grandiose plans to get it growing in every shady part of my garden.
Will be realistic though and start off by putting it in a terrarium.
(Last lot I gathered died within a week... Booo)
Wish though I could have magically transported the cottage into my backyard.
(Note to self:  research Harry Potter spells for appropriate cottage gathering, moss growing
magical conjuration)

Happy Week to you all peoples!
PS - Rain on the radar... Yay!

Down South

A rammed earth cottage in the middle of five acres of quintessential Australian Bushland.
A few days of nothing but rest and relaxation.
A trip to the Valley of the Giants 
(first time for us)
Climbing the Gloucester Tree! (Facing your fears)
Drinking the best red wine.
Eating soup, pizza and pasta.
Sleeping in

Yes please!
This was a vacation to savour.
The JAm family (with Pooch of course) just being.
It's highly under rated this "just being" business.
At first I felt the urge to organise, tackle a book, 
clean (*!?#) and then slowly this manic obsessive behaviour of mine dissolved into a pool of sweet nothing...ness. Sit... look... think... don't think.
Read - or not.
Wait... walk... have a beer... eat now... eat later.
Who cares?
(Certainly not the kangaroos that greeted us every morning)

Fact (s)

(if you're heading down South in Western Australia)
You can have pizza every day for a week. 
You can have pasta every day for a week.
Being a red wine snob is not a bad thing.
Harry Potter rocks (I whittled a wand for my son... yes that's right... I.... "whittled"!)
Lavender scones with honey and clotted cream are quite unlike anything I've ever had before.
A family vacation is a blessing.
I love my life.