Monday, May 30, 2011

Daffodil´s New Little Camera

HH purchased me a new camera seeing as my blog has been proudly photo free for the last few weeks. Not that I am fussed. Although to some a picture may be worth one thousand words, as John McCarthy quipped ¨According to the Chinese 1001 words are worth more than a picture¨

So what did geeky HH buy me? He just spewed out all of these numbers and words that made my head spin but I am guessing that it is a camera!

It is actually a Canon S95 in utilitarian black. I was hoping for fire engine red or passionfruit swirl, but black is fine, I guess.

So I opened up the parcel checked to make sure a camera was inside and then went about my daily business. HH got home made a beeline for the camera and has been busily playing with it ever since, taking shots, photoshopping and goodness else what you do with cameras these days.

I am sitting here posting and I throw a quick query to HH ¨Does it come with headphones?¨ I figure that if my mobile phone can take photos, place calls and replace my iPod, then surely this little camera would be issued with headphones, at the very least.

Nope. It is just a camera. How disappointing. Don´t tell him I said that.

So about my little phone, oops, camera. It is tiny. It fits easily in my Daffodil sized pocket. According to HH it has excellent photo quality, it allows me to have control over my photo taking if I wish with manual mode or if I am lazy, as Daffodils are rumoured to be, then there is auto mode.

HH is quite take with my camera. I am still a little bit miffed that it does not come with headphones.

Days Nine, Ten and Eleven.

Jeepers! Where has the week gone? It may be Monday (it IS Monday, isn´t it?) for the rest of you but for me it is the beginning of my weekend. Being a shiftworking nurse means I take my weekends when they come. Some weeks my weekend is one day, other weeks it can be five days.

However, I am still walking around the block AND covering huge distances at work. My work pants are almost falling off of me, I am giving them another 2 weeks or wearability before they fall into the embarrassing stakes of having me step out of them completely and leave them behind when walking.

Still no alcohol. Working shifts helps alot with that one. I have a strict no drinking when working policy anyway. The more I work, the less opportunity I have to partake of an alcoholic tibble.

I am still bread and flour product free, even with my little yearning for a scone at work the other day.

So, I am feeling fine, swimming in my work pants, hauling my jeans on and off without unzipping them and my heel feels great.

I am enjoying my little month of little Daffy changes!

...p.s...and my new camera FINALLY arrived.

I may just take a picture or two....or not!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Walking on Sunshine - Days 7 and 8 One Month of Little Changes.

Walks done. Todays was completed in the sunshine, then it clouded over. Noice timing, Daff. Bread avoided and this was a tough one as there were scones with jam and cream for afternoon tea at work yesterday. AAAAHHH! I love a scone, although being a non sugar baby, I love them just warmed through and slathered slathered with butter, preferable organic, and even more preferably from a little producer about 30kms from where I live. Dangerous and delicious.

Daffodil has remained an alcohol free zone.

Keeping it short and sweet for today as I am being a busy little Daffodil.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

From Paddock to Freezer.

Dom and Hamelot, my wessex saddleback pigs, are now in the freezer. HH could not help himself and had a pan fried pork steak for dinner last night. His report: ¨Excellent succulent meat¨, he really enjoyed the it. He did admit that he misses our little pigs. I mean lets face it, Don and Hamelot were a part of our little farm. However, as meat eaters, we are taking responsibility for our meat intake and that means raising and nurturing our own animals for our own consumption.

Now our two little pigs are reduced to a pile of now frozen steaks, roast, chops and ribs. I am very mindful that that pile of now meat were once living, snorting, roto-tilling pigs that lived in our paddock. Our pig meat is not some product of intensive inhumane farming practice....and now they are in our freezer. Don and Hamelot lived a free and valued life. Now they will still be valued and mindfully enjoyed as we slowly roast, grill and fry our way through their bounty.

You were and still are cherished pigs.

Thank you, Don and Hamelot.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Day Six Walk FattyDaffy´s Month of Little Changes

Another walk under the belt, or is that from the belt?

It was really icy cold when I started, by about half way through the walk I warmed up which of course meant that my nasal passages had thawed and the sniffles started. EEEW.

Lunch will be tofu, mushroom and wombok cabbage soup with plenty of chilli.

Dinner will be leftover pumpkin, feta, pea and onion frittata with some roasted vegetables.

Still no bread on the horizon and no alcohol.

When I started my month I thought that ¨No bread and no alcohol makes Daffy something something¨ repeated ad nauseum.

You know what? I am not missing them at all, but it is only Day Six.

Walk on.

Day Five Rain, Wind and Op Shopping

Day five is over. My walk was interesting. I started out dry with the windswept look. I ended the walk saturated and looking very drowned ratty with wind blasted red cheeks. I thought I had enough of a break in the weather to get my walk in. Boy, was I wrong. Still, a little water is not going to kill me. It is not as if I am dry clean only.

Still going strong on the no alcohol Daffodil policy and still no bread (or flour products)

Dinner tonight was a pumpkin, sheeps milk fetta, onion and pea baked frittata and in true Dffodil style, there are no photos!!!!

Having had a day off to today and with the uber-crappy weather, I hit the op shops. A vintage black velvet opera coat *GASP* with a gorgeous apricot fringed coverlet that I will use to line it. Another jacket for me and one for HH. I also found a gorgeous soft pink jumper and the standard pair of black pants. I also scored 4 daffodil yellow dinner plates and bread and butter plates. EEEP, I won´t be able to use those little plates for a while.

What would a post be without pics?


HH has purchased me a camera which should be arriving any day now. I may even use it. Or not.

My heel is still holding up to my walking regime and the amount of walking I do at work. WOOHOO.

I will also let you in on a little secret.

My jeans are already sooooo much more comfortable.

Monday, May 23, 2011

google serach ¨Dr Drake Ramoray¨

Just having a giggle here.

If you type in ¨Dr Drake Ramoray¨ my little blog comes in at number nine in the results list.

Dr Drake Ramoray is the name of one of my ducks and my other duck is Charlize Theron.

How many disappointed people are out there hoping to unearth some kinky gossip regarding Dr Drake Ramoray and Charlize Theron and only come across a little post about my ducks.


Another Walk Bites the Dust

Another day and another walk. My heel feels great and even my back is feeling stronger and not so tight, I feel like I have more energy and there is a definite spring in my step. Could all of these benefits just be from walking?

Actually today was not just walking, but helping a poor driver who got bogged further up our country lane. The kind of mud that you sink up to knees to in your wellies. The thick claggy glue that sucks the boots off of your feet and you spend alot of effort just trying to remain upright. That was a workout in itself. We ended up raiding our building site and hauling it down the road in piecemeal in order to build a road for him to get through on. Dirty, funny laughing work.

He was a very nice gentleman with two gorgeous little dogs. I tell you, the people you meet in little country towns.

All in all, a tiring and muddy day.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

A Quick Little Update.

Three days so far, and three walks done, plus walking my hooves off at work. No alcohol and not really missing it. No bread, still going through bread withdrawal especially when HH fires up the toasty sandwich maker and squishes jarlsberg cheese in between 2 slices of a gorgeous dense whole grain loaf and then toasts that toastie to delicious toastiness!!!

THEN I skip on over to Alisons blog where she beguiles me with Tamarillo Cosmopolitans and Wickedly/Quite Healthfully Chocolate Chestnut Spread and don´t even get me started on Bryces Primal Chocolate Coconut Crepes....

It is all doing my head in.

My heel is still a happy camper, so I am, too.

...and I met the most GAWJUS 11 week old Bernese Mountain Dog puppy, Bess (and her lovely owner) while out on my morning walking in the rain this morning.

No, I don´t have pics because I am a lazy blogger and I was having far too much fun playing with a very cutesom puppy!

Friday, May 20, 2011

One Month of Little Changes

I used to love walking. It was easy on the aging knees, the scenery around where I live is lovely.

There are horses who say hello along my 6.5km stretch of country lane. Then I developed heel pain and was unable to walk any real distance without pain, and even more pain the following day. Over the past few months I have barely walked with intent outside of work purposes. My last riding lesson was in March and it was a disaster as I had no mobility through the ankle and my foot would simply slip through the stirrup and I was unable to rectify it. That was just downright dangerous and a very scary feeling as a stirrup would edge its way up my calf. Without intentional walking, no horse riding and being simply unable to work horses full stop, I put on a few pounds. And then a few pounds more. To the point where my jeans actually do not fit me anymore. Forget about thrashing around on the floor and going red in the face trying to squeeze myself into them and then fighting all sorts of laws of quantum physics and laws of energy, mass and gravity trying to do the zipper up. The only equation that was working was;

Daffodil+no exercise+mindless eating = jeans do not fit anymore.

Now that I no longer have heel pain, I have taken the bull by the horns (actually, the runners by the laces) and took my first real walk in almost six months. Yes people, I actually walked my 6.5kms this morning in a very average time of 1:11:30 according to my gps and at an average speed of 5.45kms per hour.

That is not too bad considering my almost total lack of exercise. I used to do that walk in just under one hour flat, so I have a lot of improving to do.

Now for the important stuff for me. No heel pain when walking AT ALL. No heel pain when rolling over rocks on the side of the road to let cars pass by without killing me. NOICE!!!! and even now, hours after I have finished my walk, no pain OR tightness through the ankle, heel or calf. I feel great!

On the bread front. No bread has passed by my lips to settle on my hips.

On the alcohol front. Likewise.

So between no bread, no alcohol and walking one hour a day for one month, we shall see how the FattyDaffy goes in getting back into the top boots and the riding gear.

Small, simple changes.

BTW, YOU CAN DO IT, FIONA!!!! Thanks for joining me on this one month of little changes.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Heel Spur.....

I am calling it. My Heel Spur is no longer bothering me at all. Yep, crack open that champagne, it is over. Months of hobbling hell, screaming achilles tendon pain, unable to wear shoes and at times unable to ride my horse and sometimes having to take time off of work all because of this blasted heel spur shredding my achilles tendon.

No surgery required. I took on Bowen Therapy and essential oils and beat the effects of the bony prominence into submission.


...and now for the not-so-yay.

I put on weight through not moving around so much. My jeans are WAAAAAAAY to tight and right now I am looking at going up another size. EEEWWW! Muffin top!!!! My top boots are also almost muffin topping my calves. Double EWWWW. There is far too much Daffodil to be forcing into riding jodhs. It is not a pretty sight and certainly not for the faint hearted.

Something must be done and today I start. I no longer have the effects of a heel spur to cultivate my laziness. I have to get this spreading Daffodil moving and losing it.

I already know what my weaknesses are. Bread. I love bread, so no bread for me for one whole month, which of course immediately reduces my butter intake. What is bread without butter? (actually, it is still delicious!) Alcohol. Oh how I love you Shiraz, but you cloud my judgement and leave me eating mindlessly. Goodbye alcohol for one month.

Hello walking. One hour every day, rain, hail, shine or frost. This I really do need. My walking gait is still somewhat impaired from inactivity and the only way to restore that is through meaningful activity. What better way than walking?

It all starts here and it is starting now.

Bye Bye FattyDaff. Hello top boots!!!!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Don and Hamelot Have Left the Building

Don and Hamelot, our two little Wessex Saddleback pigs were slaughtered yesterday. I will not pretty up this post for human acceptance. If you are vegan, you do not have to read on. If you are vegetarian, likewise.

Please, everyone who may read this post, be assured that these two little pigs lived a very happy life, they ate well, free ranged, wallowed copiously, burrowed with and without intent, got out of their paddock once and fell asleep on their boundary fence. They jumped straight back in when dinner arrived and strangely enough never attempted escape again. The grass may have been over-tilled by them both, but they obviously knew where it was greener. They had shady trees, a pig ark stuffed to capacity with sweet smelling hay that they would burrow into every night...and afternoon for siestas. They were well kept pigs.

HH and I deliberately kept Don and Hamelot far away from the house in their own purpose modified paddock. Even though we are animal lovers we do still eat meat, not alot of meat, but still some. Having our own property has enabled us to keep our own livestock for our own consumption. This was our first year for raising pigs. Having them away from the house meant that we did not cultivate a ¨pet pig¨ mentality. Don and Hamelot were pigs with a purpose. Their destiny lays in our freezer and eliminates the need for purchasing commercial (yes, even free range) pig meat.

Pigs can be very harsh on the land. Their newly vacated paddock will need a year of resting with a couple of round bales of grass hay to mulch it, preserve it and rejuvenate it before we can put any more livestock on it. That paddock has been stripped, tilled, turned, and upended by our little pigs. The deep underlying clay pan is almost our new top soil. The only thing keeping our topsoil in our paddock is the fact that they soil is still damp. Once it is dry, all it will take is a stiff breeze and our neighbours will have newly deposited top soil on their land. OURS! I have no idea how free range pigs can be kept to supply a commercial market.....Do they really, or are they only born free range and once weaned then kept off of the land? Our two pigs lived in a 3/4 acre paddock for four months and utterly destroyed it.

Anyhoo, I digress. Yesterday, Russell, our slaughter/butcher guy came with his refrigerated truck, gun and dog. He inspected our two little pigs and commented that they were at the perfect size. Being boars, you cannot keep them too long just in case their circulating testosterone ¨taints¨ the meat. It does not always happen, especially when the pigs are kept truly free range, but why take the risk? Don and Hamelot weighed in at about 34kgs and 38kgs respectively. A good weight to still handle between two people. Russell produced his gun and shot each pig in the head, between the eyes and they fell to the ground. Don and Hamelot both saw us as food and would wait at the fence for us with their little upturned snouts snuffling in anticipation of the food bucket. Today there was no food bucket, only a gun. There was very little noise, and they died immediately. I do not know what goes on in a professional abbatoir, so I cannot compare the two processes.

HH had set up a 44 gallon drum filled with water and boiled it using fallen timber from our property to fire it up and get that water boiling. Each pig was then dipped into the water for about five minutes which is enough to make it easy to scrape their coarse hair off but not to cook them. They were then removed and Russell hung them up using a block and tackle and the abdominal cavity opened and all of the innards removed.

Russell then set about removing the head and the trotters (which I did want) Some of the offal we saved, some went to the dogs and the rest into our septic worm treatment plant. He is quick. He knows his job and he does this for a living. Don and Hamelot then had a meat hook placed through them and they were put into the cool room where they will hang for a week before being butchered into traditional portions and put into the freezer to be eaten by us over the next year.

I hope this post is not too sanitized, but if you were expecting lots of blood and gore and squealing none of this happened. As I said, Russell is a professional. The whole morning was stress free. Don and Hamelot died in anticipation of a yummy food bucket. I don´t think that you can die much happier than that. They didn´t run away in terror and there was no squealing. It was a quick clean death. How many commercially farmed animals meet an end like that?

If you ever come to our place for dinner and there is pig on the table, rest assured you can eat without a guilty conscience knowing that Don and Hamelot lived a happy life, had a quick death and we wasted as little of them both as we could.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

The Search Thus Far....

Recently I wrote of the demise of my beloved black purse.

Now begins the tale of replacing her.

Sometimes it is real drag being a crazy op shopper on the hunt for something specific. Daffodils Law stipulates that as soon as you want something second hand you shall never find it. I don´t think I have spoken a truer word. All I want is a purse. Of course, not just any purse will do. I mean lets face it, I have just laid to rest The Perfect Purse. It was a purse that slotted into my hand perfectly, its soft wells and troughs formed by my hand so intrinsically a part of me. The union of hand and purse so perfectly matched that aside from colour and texture we may well have been as one. Spiritually and chemically bonded.

The first purse I stumbled across was a red leather purse almost brand new. YIPPEE!!! Completely unmarked leather, smelling freshly tanned and probably sweated over by a small child in a third world country mindlessly purchased by someone and then just as mindlessly fell out of love with and relegated to the op shop.

...and now it was mine. Gleefully I put all my valuables into it and started on the long path of working, nay moulding this purse into my own.

My effort lasted about one week.

I hate the purse. It has an awkward closure. It is difficult to secure, and even though I spend an extra moment to ensure that I have closed it properly the stupid little press stud does not always catch.

I can see why this almost new purse was donated to an op shop....because it is next to useless! It will be taking a one way trip back to the op shop where someone with more patience than me will tolerate the dodgy press stud.

Purse number two was found at The Savers store in Mill Park. It is a fairy floss pink crocodile print leather, smaller in stature than The Perfect Purse. Upon opening I just about fell over at how many card holding options there are inside! My black purse could hold 4 different cards. This purse can hold about 20? Who has that many pieces of plastic? I have my ATM card, medicare card and drivers licence. In permaculture terminology I have plastic deficit to be owing this purse. Look, don´t get me wrong, it is a cute purse, but it is more for someone in their early 20ś with a plastic fetish and not someone of my vintage sans plastic.

I thought I could learn to love this purse. Alas I cannot see a future for us.

On MOnday, while stumbling around Bendigo purchasing rubber sheeting (get your mind out of the gutter peoples, it is for lining Cash´s new hoof boots!) I fell over an op shop that I had not been to before. Tucked away on a side street. Quiet and organised. Very helpful and pleasant staff. I found a gorgeous riding shirt for me, business shirt for HH and a basket to carry it all in. While standing there waiting for the shop assistant, my eye fell on a purse....

Deep burgundy patent mock croc leather. Noice.
Open it up. Space for 4 cards. Big tick!
Compartment for my folding money that I do not have to fold....big tick.
Quick snappy closure that is in perfect condition for my coinage...big, big tick..Oh, I think I am in love!!!

I purchased gorgeous new purse, got home and once again set about slotting my important bits into it.

I hate this purse as well.

The card compartments are too small for cards!!!! WHAT THE?!!!

Who manufactures a purse that cannot hold a drivers license? Or allows you to easily and deftly whip out the ATM card and just as easily slide back into its spot? Not Mellini, that´s for damn sure. They have NO IDEA how to make a functional purse. They make great looking purses that are useless.

The search continues.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Carda-mom mom Carda Carda-mom

In a fit of silly I purchased a cardamom plant a while back. I don´t live sub tropically. I live in central Victoria where the summer can flay the skin off of your nose and winter can snap freeze your butt cheeks in the blink of an eye. Not exactly prime growing conditions for cardamom. I hold no hope in her ever flowering as the conditions we have here are simply not conducive to that. However her leaves will still impart a subtle flavour of cardamom. Mini yay!

I potted her up in early February so that when the weather started to turn I could move her around through the various micro-climates to offer her some protection.

I think she has done rather well considering her geographical handicap. Check out her puppery.

I am quite proud of her achievements.

Do you attempt to grow the unusual or take on the challenge of growing things completely outside of your growing zones?

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Losing a Little Piece of Me

My purse died recently. To some people that may not mean much, to me it was a very sad day. I have had this purse for almost 21 years. I purchased it on sale (of course!) at Myers all those years ago. It was a lovely plain black leather purse with minimal card holding capacity, for in the dark ages plastic cards were not that common. A compartment for my coinage and allocated space for my ¨folding money¨.

It fitted perfectly into my hand, the black leather worn to buttery softness as it almost never saw the inside of a bag, as I am not a bag person. If it doesn´t fit into my purse or jeans pocket then I don´t carry it.

Even with being held almost every day come rain, hail or shine the leather still maintained its integrity, a sign of a quality build. But even that quality build will at some time come unravelled as something challenges its integrity and staying power. That something was coins. Yes, the coin compartment of my purse burst it banks and would blindly and shamelessly share my tinkling wealth with the outside world. With my heart in my mouth I carefully inspected the inner workings of my beloved purse to see if surgery was an option. If we can put a man on the moon, surely we can repair my purse?


Don´t we?

Alas, we do not. The whole purse would have the be taken apart and the clasp and leather reunited. A huge undertaking and no one could offer the guarantee that she would be as good as new. It was with a heavy heart and a little tear in my eye that I removed my valuables from her and laid her to rest.

Such a faithful purse, a dogged and sturdy performer under pressure and at play. She has been with me through thick and thin, travelled the world seen many a sight that other purses do not see as they live in a bag. She was a well rounded purse. She was a purse who had lived life to the fullest. There are not many purses that can say that!

Goodbye my lovely purse, you shall never be forgotten. Any purse I have from here on will have big shoes to fill.

Vale Daffodil´s purse.