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We ate this cauliflower “pasta” with peas and ricotta last night. It was excellent, and not only because all I had to do was email the recipe to the Bloke, go to work, come home, sit down, eat. I ate the leftovers cold for morning tea, it was still good. I’m going to go out on a limb and say best thing ever to do with cauliflower.

Did I ever mention we bought and have been using bamboo toothbrushes? Well they’re good too. Buy them online in a box, and then forget about buying any more toothbrushes for months. If there is more than one person in your house you will need to invest in a quality texta though, because they don’t come in different colours.

We’ve eaten the first few peas of the season, the broad beans are twice as big as we’ve ever grown them (it turns out they like rain! Who knew?) and the parsley and coriander are going to seed. There are self-sown tomatoes popping up, the garlic is nearly ready to harvest and I’ve bought replacement Vietnamese mint.

We’ve even eaten a few dinners outside this week.

Snow in Trentham, early October

Of course, a fortnight ago it snowed just down the road, so we’re not quite out of the frosty woods.

I don’t want to put anyone off visiting, but we’ve had the heater on pretty much all day for the last few days, there’s been talk of buying an electric blanket, and we’ve been wearing thermals. I heart the ultrafine merino and the New Zealanders who sail in them.* It’s been raining on and off for several days, which is pretty fantastic given that two months ago I felt like it was never going to rain again. It might take me a very long time to get sick of winter.

We’ve bought up big on peastraw to edge the garden and provide it with a little insulation. The lad also finds it is a handy wall to walk on and practice balancing. This may get more exciting as the rain soaks in and the peastraw breaks down.

gardening

That hint of blue sticking out from under his read skivvy is his thermal. One of his thermals. I’m so glad I stocked up on them in the Christmas sales. What with all the rain there’s been lots of indoor activity. Except for the Saturday morning garage sale we went to where we found the beads. A huge bag of beads. A bag of wooden beads on bits of nylon thread that used to be a beaded car seat cover (I’m tipping) for $2.

beads

He has played with them for hours already, and fortunately, no one has yet broken an ankle falling on them. (They’re closely related to Bluemilk’s “goddamn craft”). Lest you get the impression it’s all terribly wholesome around here with the thrifty wooden playthings and fairtrade basketry, I should point out that the little black thing, with just a fleck of white in the centre, just a little north of the yellow blocks, is a Racing Nun. We have two of them, they’re on wheels, they race. All those years of Catholic education come down to Racing Nuns. And those strings of beads? Well each of them is the same length as one member of the family (yes I know, aren’t we delightful and brilliant parents?) and the kid has taken to stringing them around our necks and telling us we’re King of the Office (brilliant parents introducing the toddler to interoffice competitiveness).

In other news, I decided to do some embroidery for the first time since the Great Cross Stitch Christmas Decoration of 1994-1995. Being your standard or garden variety toddler the lad decided he wanted in on the action, so I found him some scrap fabric and got him kitted out with a needle (we’re livin’ on the edge people) and some embroidery thread I got free at an op shop, which is what happens when you go opping at 5 minutes to 4pm and the volunteers all want to go home. After a few unsuccessful goes at saying “embroidery” he decided to call it “drawing with needles” instead. Which is perfect. My drawing with needles is coming along slowly, and I’m enjoying the colouring-in. His drawing with needles is also coming along and involves quite a lot of puckered fabric and calls for “more blue!” and “more gold!” which, frankly, is ace.

* It’s late, I’m tired, and I couldnt’ think of any grammatical way of saying what I needed to say, so I went with a completely innapropriate cliche, whaddaya gunna do?

Woohoo! The Obamas are planting a veggie garden on the front lawn. They’ve clearly been inspired by the good people of Melbourne’s inner north-west, where front yard veggies never went out of style. It’s most helpful if you’re a novice veggie grower, walking home from the tram you can see what seedlings you should be putting in and compare your harvest to the masters. It’s quite heartening to see how a bit of friendly viral internet-based lobbying can alter peoples’ thinking. So Kevin, how’s about some broccoli on the roof at your place?

In other news, I planted stuff too. From top to bottom there are scarlet runner and green beans, red cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, nasturtiums, spinach and parsley. Out of shot there is sage, rosemary, thyme and alyssum (which we wont eat, they’re just for the pretty factor). Still to go in, carrots, more beans, onions and garlic. The Bloke planted some natives in the front yard, so it looks ever so slightly less bogan. And I finished the biggest thing I’ve ever knitted. The Jo Sharp Sideways top in Sublime Organic Cotton. The details are on Ravelry for the interested types.

first-rural-living-veggies

sideways-top

Some time ago, when the lad was still getting started on the whole speaking English deal, some people were blogging their kids’ language, because you want to remember that sort of cute when your kids are teenagers. Lately we’ve had a storm of cute. He’s hailing cute. Every morning he gets up and declares it’s snowing (he’s got a northern hemisphere book about bunnies and seasons), which is pretty funny, he’s getting the hang of more grown up phrases, which is novel enough for us to be amused, and he’s still getting some words and phrases a bit wrong. Which is the best sort of cute. He’s quite fond of eating Ice Quackers and his rocking horse requires constant motivation from the rider: “Giddy Up! Giddy Down! Giddy Up! Giddy Down!”

Real Guerilla Gardeners don’t plant and run, they maintain gardens. If you’re not going to stick around for the weeding, watering, and removal of the occasional dead plant, then you’re not actually beautifying the neighbourhood, you’re just creating a bigger mess than you started with.

I’d get cross about it, but I don’t believe Channel Ten really go around planting and building stuff without talking to someone at the local council first

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