Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Purple Makes it Sing.

I liked the colours before but a wide purple border has really made it sing! Before it was a green and purple top; now it is a purple and green top.

In one photo is Inky the cat acting as self appointed Quilt Inspector. He is being spoilt at the moment cause as you can see he is alive and well/ recovering. It wasn't cat flu!

On Monday evening he was lying on the cool tiles in the kitchen asking for his dinner when I spied about half an inch of something protruding from his nose / mouth ( not completely certain which ). I bent down thinking it was something stuck in his fur but as I gently pulled an 8 inch long ( see photo ) piece of cutty grass of some kind appeared from inside him. ( it had a hard sharp end and clinging texture ) That was his sneezing problem and had been inside him presumably for about a week - poor little bugger..... it came out easily coated in mucus but he was instantly in recovery mode. Now he is playing for lots of extra fuss. He is down to about life # 4 now I think. ( did he eat it ? )

So that is 2 very good things. No vet visit and my quilt top finished . Each border has tended to stretch out the wrinkles. Thank you all for your comments.

Yes, Margaret of course you may use the instructions. The instructions for the original Hearts quilt ( same method ) are back in blogs I posted in April / May 2007.

Still very, very hot. We had a lovely meal and company on Sunday night - I did need to get out, so it was fun! Back to work now after taking a long lunch break.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Slightly More Variety.

It's still Very hot here. We worked last Sunday cause rain was forecast for Monday and Tuesday AND we did indeed get some gentle misty rain which lasted nearly 48 hours and amounted to 40mls. But the heat continues, so the benefits won't last too long, but we are grateful all the same.

After further searching I think the correct name for the flower in the previous post is Huernias pendula - a close relative of the Stapeliads. That flower is just finishing but there is a 2nd bud. Apparently the extreme heat will have helped it to flower.

We are catching up on mowing, gardening, housework etc before starting back at the first block with the Kiwifruit next week.DH got up early yesterday to dig a row of Heather potatoes before it got too hot. I went out mowing lawns then too. Best time of the day, or evening, but all the jobs don't fit into that time space really.

Yesterday afternoon I had just got my scrappy quilt out and was cutting some borders when visitors arrived - so much for that. Last evening I put the first one on and cut some 1 inch darker green strips to go on next. It is still a tiny quilt but was not intended to be large. I am going to have to be extremely careful when I get to sandwiching and quilting it as you can see in the photo, the way it is constructed, it has extreme stretch in one direction. So far I think it will be okay as I am aware of needing to stretch it taut before quiting ( fingers crossed )

Now a little animal content. This was never intended to be a blog with animals but Percy Peacock found his way in here - By the way Meggie he only comes on short visits now - he discovered the young neighbours up the hill across the road, are even more of a soft touch than us. They feed him cat food and all sorts of treats. They have many, many PET animals ( are animal crazy );there's cats; a dog; chickens; ducks; a cow; a goat some doves and goldfish. Maybe Percy likes the company. ( We are quite happy for him to be there ). Our small black cat ,nearly 12 years old, a slight, jumpy, from the wild, little fellow (who adopted us at a few weeks old, when his wild cat Mum died ) is not well. He has been sneezing for some days and is very skinny ( never been fat ). He is still eating a bit and seems happy enough but has truly bad breath and bloody mucus ( sneezes - yuk )- so something is wrong. IT may be cat flu???? ( anyone have any experience with that? ) We rang the Vet but only got the receptionist. The Vet did not ring back ( as she said he would ) so now we have to wait till Tuesday ( long weekend ) to take him in. I am not sure if he should go there if it is cat flu? So Incubus ( his real name) or Inky or Bad Boy Bubby or just Bubby may not be with us much longer. He has always had that natural immunity wild cats seem to have and never gets infected sore scratches if he fights. So he may survive this. A neighbouring cat sometimes tries to steal his food, so maybe that's where he caught it?

We are invited out for dinner tonight to my Cousins' place with about 4 others so that will be lovely. Any company is to be appreciated. I'm glad I have my blogger friends popping by leaving comments !

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Just too Hot!

Firstly Thanks for your comments everyone. Georganna, I'm so glad you commented to tell me of your New Zealand holiday( see comments ) and that the suggestions you found here were of use. Yes, we are lucky NZ is such a beautiful place....but Hot! So hot, ( 32.5 C in the shade some days ) that all week working outside with the Kiwifruit has been exhausting. We now really, really need rain.
On Thursday afternoon we stayed inside for our Annual Globalgap Audit, which we passed, so can have our Kiwifruit exported for another year - of course that meant jumping through an ever increasing number of hoops. Several new signs had to be purchased and erected; a policy had to be written of a risk assessment for our water supply - we've been drinking it here for almost 30 years now, but what the hell we just add it to our other policies -( too many to list! )and they tell us it is about to get worse - has the world gone completely made? Do adults really need a sign in our outside toilet telling them to wash their hands before picking fruit? ( personal visitors think it is amusing )Grubby people still pee on the floor and anywhere they dam well like, I'll make a sign for that too! ( sorry I've raved on about this before - probably last year.)
Something different. I noticed this succulent flowering in the carporch and it has never done so before. I think it is a Stepelia but am not completely sure.( it is most unusual.) To get the photo of it's inside colour and detail it had to be tipped right up so the light would penetrate.( it's like a bell )
No sewing what so ever this week , I might sneak some in later. Have not kept up to date with all your blogs, so must do that too.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Very Mundane.

The old adage about " All work and no play makes ..........", seems particularly true at the moment. All week under the vines thinning reject fruit and pruning in this heat , with only the radio or CDs for company. DH working at the other end of the row most of the time gives one far too much time thinking. When sad News about the death of our amazing Sir Edmund Hillary dying aged 88, comes on the radio it seems very personal - someone I and every other New Zealander my age probably, have known my entire life, now gone. What a life though; what good things he quietly achieved. I especially like it that he wasn't a rugby player or a politician but a practical person, a beekeeper, a risk taker and adventurer, a kind and decent bloke. I wonder how much influence his early life had on him? He said he didn't have friends at primary school.( none? - that's sad ) The PE teacher when he first went to High School ridiculed him and other weedy or fat or small kids and gave them hell - what right did that Teacher have to take those kids' self esteem away? ( Really upsets me ) His father also made life difficult for him. Luckily his Mum was remembered kindly - Thank goodness for great MUMS! Maybe that ( his early life ) was why he was so kind and considerate to ordinary folk here and in Nepal.
Today's photos are of the (so far ) biggest ugly fan kiwifruit I found - because what we are doing is boring and repetitive any distraction is good - hence the competition between us for the biggest reject fruit or the silliest shape. ( you can see why this is referred to as a fan! )

The other photo shows the very little progress I have made joining the strips together for my scrappy quilt. I grab the odd minute to sew a few together, but have not spent long at it. The weekend has been filled with housework, gardening ,picking veges ,clearing leaves and a little reading. I did go on strike yesterday after lunch and enjoyed watching the tennis finals. I haven't seen another person, other than DH in so long I may be becoming a recluse - not of the religious kind. Thank goodness for email and I got a regular letter from my only sister, so I know there are others still out there in the world.( but just not close at hand )

Still only one person has viewed the property - so I don't think we are going anywhere else any time soon!

Monday, January 07, 2008

My Favourite Pasta.

2008 has begun very hot and fine for us. Not so for some of my Australian friends with storms and floods . Also we see on TV some USA states are having heavy snow storms. So I better not complain of having to work in the heat.I do come in ( from Kiwifruit thinning ) feeling very tired and don't dare sit down but rather go straight to making dinner while I'm still standing. At a loss as to what to make tonight I decided to make my favourite pasta.
It doesn't have another name , but is very versatile. Use whatever vegetables you have on hand.Broccoli is good but tonight as we had fresh peas and green beans straight from our garden I used those.The pesto we use we also make ourselves when the basil is ready and freeze jars and jars of it - enough to last all year. commercial pesto would be fine but the consistency varies so don't make it all too runny. Right here's the recipe.
Ali's Favourite Pasta. ( serves 4 )
1 whole packet ( 500 gms ) of large spiral pasta.
4 slices of bacon
1 med head of broccoli ( in florets )
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup olive or avocado oil
2 tablespoons of balsamic vinegar
1/2 cup firm rich pesto ( or similar )
1. Put a very large pot of water to boil.
2. Empty the pasta in when water is on a rolling boil and time it for 8 mins.( stirring occasionally )
3. While that is cooking steam or microwave the green veges, to how you like them.
4.At the same time microwave between paper towels ( or fry ) the bacon till crisp.
5. Mix the lemon juice and oil, and balsamic together ready to pour on.
6.When the pasta is cooked drain it then mix in the pesto while the pasta is still hot to distribute it. Then mix in the other liquid and the veges. Cut or crumble in the bacon.
Serve in deep bowls, add ground Black pepper to your taste. ( I added some sliced black olives too ) Enjoy!