Friday, August 29, 2008

Our new friend the scythe

Brad wanted to get a scythe for a while, we asked around locally

"do you sell scythes?" - Brad
blank stare
"you know - the thing the grim reaper holds" - Brad
"oh - no I dont think so..."

Well we got one a few weeks ago from the US, from scythe supply. Its set up to fit Brad, so since I'm short its not quite right for me, so I haven't been able to play, well, that and the fact that I don't have ANY time anyway... Brad has now mowed our lawn - front and back - HEAPS quicker than with the lawn mower - I think we were both a little suprised - and this is someone with NO experience in using a scythe. Its just lovely, really lovely. We have now grand plans to grow wheat, grind it and make bread etc etc, thats with all the spare time we have - HAHA!

I think this video will inspire the sceptics about this beautiful tool - it certainly got me inspired.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


How else can you describe pizzas cooked in an oven you built by sheer physical labour and mud (plus just a little straw and sand)?

We had a great day on sunday to celebrate our daughter's second year. The weather was pretty good for August in this part of the world, the food was great and so was the company. Unfortunately 'granddad' couldn't make it, so I hope he likes the photos.

Our little girl is not real used to crowds so at one stage she was a little overwhelmed by it all, but she did enjoy her self, and loved taking her cousin to see the animals. Now we are looking forward to her second birthday in only a few weeks.

Brad being the perfectionist that he is made her just a fantastic birthday cake - a wombat. She just couldn't quite believe her eyes in the morning when we showed it to her, she then tried to pat and kiss it!

I didn't quite finish her top that I'm making her, but its not far off being finished.

Well, its lovely day here today - first fine day in ages, so I'm madly washing clothes, tomorrow I'm planning on planting out as many trees as possible as I'm worried that spring is here, and the poor things wont have time to get their roots in the ground before summer comes.

We are planning an extravagant vegy garden/greenhouse/chook tractor system. No doubt we will start on that before we finish off some of the other started jobs! Ah the joy of being dreamers!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Can´t quite believe it, but our little girl turned 2 yesterday. The terrible twos are now upon us, and we will have to wait and see how it will all go. I´ve read that 3 is worse, so we are in for a fun filled next few years. Our little girl is now in a ´real´ bed, can say 3 word sentences, says lots of words, especially useful for demanding food etc. I think she demands more of my time now, than as a newborn, although she has always been a needy child, we now realise this, since the baby is just the opposite. Very calm, chilled out, and patient.

We are having a bit of a party for her on sunday, and we will be cranking up the pizza oven - SO EXCITED! We fired it up again, and it heated right through this time. No major cracking (cracking is a normal part of a clay oven, as clay shrinks and expands). Pizza trays and peel (the thing to put in and pull out the trays) are ready, now its just a matter of days...

A bit of stress at the farm at the moment is that there are 2 vicious dogs killing sheep on nearby farms. These dogs appear to be similar to Rottweillers, big and good at killing. There is going to be a bit of hunt for them this weekend, as they are decimating sheep herds. Hope they catch them. I am the last person to want to see an animal dead, but I worry about my 2 alpacas and my arthritic old goat Archie. They would not have any chance against such dogs. I am losing sleep over it, and my heart stops when I go and check on them, I don´t want to find them all mauled... Here are my beautiful boys.

Our scythe finally arrived! We ordered it from Scythe supply in Maine USA. We can´t wait to use it. Its been custom made to fit Brad, but I should be able to use it too, but with the kids around its not really a child friendly thing to do, so I guess Iĺl have to wait till they are bigger.

I´m frantically working on a top for our little girl. But I really want to have it done by her party on sunday. No way though, I would need some sort of miracle! Its a modified version of the standard top down raglan, but below the arms, I´m doing a feather and fan lace pattern. Its knitted in some handspun and dyed mohair. Depending on how much yarn is left, it will either have long or short sleeves.

I also have to sit down at the spinning wheel, its been too long now, and since I got some new books on spinning I want to have a play... Soon I hope.

Anyway, lots of food prep to do before now and sunday, will post pics of pizzas (well if they turn out that is)...

Thursday, August 7, 2008

All fired up... well sort of..

On the weekend we started a small fire in the pizza oven to help it dry out on the inside. It took a few goes to start the fire (I have only just mastered being able to start a bonfire - and burnt half way up the front of the block, but that's another story) and in fact it was friends of ours who finally got it going well. It sounds quite odd when the fire is burning, with a sort of drumming/deep sound. Can't wait to get it going a bit harder so we can cook our pizzas in there... Only a week and a half before the party, so hopefully the oven will be ready for a good fire by then... finger's crossed.

Spring has really hit this part of the world - not such a good thing, as we seem to have missed winter again... not good, when we are suffering from drought - makes me nervous about the summer ahead. The peach tree has it flowers opening up, and I"m holding my breath that we don't get any frost. Which reminds me I think we only had ONE frost this year... We normally get lots of frosts... Not good - lets hope this isn't part of global warming, because if it is, its already making fairly dramatic changes around here... hate to see what another few degrees would do...

Yesterday I got in the mail a package I had been waiting on, the books I purchased from the Interweave hurt book sale. Yay! I got 2 books on spinning, a book on dye gardens and Wrap style. Happy with all of them, but one book Colour in Spinning has just blown my mind. It has so much practical info on how to use the drum carder to full effect - I've been using mine for years to prepare my alpaca fleeces, but just too tease them out a bit, this is a whole new world, and I can't wait to play some more!

Also on crafty stuff, I've decided to participate in the Ravelympics (Ravely is just the most amazing place for knitters - but those of you who are part of it already know that!). I've decided to knit our daughter's birthday top as part of the 'handspun heptathalon' and do some 'wips wrestling' with some grey mohair that I have to finish spinning. This probably sounds like I'm speaking a different language to the non knitters out there! I wish I could take on more challenges like others, but unfortunately my craft time is so limited that I'm afraid I wont finish these projects by the end of the olympics. Such is life with children... especially those that don't want to sleep...