Monthly Archives: February 2015

some success in the garden!.


just as the vege garden is about to give up its bounty, we have decided to sell up and move north of the city!.

I’m really pleased with how the sweetcorn is going and I have a great baby butternut squash coming along. we’ll be able to enjoy the corn, but I dont think the squash will ripen enough before we have to be out of here, plus, I’ll be OZ and I cant ask my parents to remember to check it and bring it with them!.

I’ve had good success with the rainbow carrots as well – those colours held once cooked. the white one must have hit a stone on the way down!.


the corn is at the back of the plot in the photo below. as time has gone on, I noticed the corn I sowed when I transplanted the first sowing was doing better than the 1st lot. I’m putting this down to the first 9 being sown in loo rolls. I’m thinking the rolls cant have broken down fast enough for the roots to really spread out. I’ll check for sure when I dig up the plants as I remove the corn. i wont sow in loo rolls again, for sweetcorn at least. but I will definitely grow corn again!.


the butternut squash a few days ago – its twice the size now!. I’ve taken off the growing tip to encourage growth of the squash rather than the plant. I haven’t ever got this far before – I one I started in the UK didn’t survive transplanting!. I hope I’ve done the right thing, but that’s what my NZ vege book told me to do!!.


I’ve also had a case of blossom end rot on one of my oxheart tom plants. I’ve haven’t looked up what causes this yet.

a couple of the houses we looked at at the weekend had large vege beds – of the 7 houses we went into, 5 had vege beds of some form or other!. we have 2 of those 5 on our short list!.

I have planted up 2 potato grow bags with leek seedlings, so we’ll at lease had something to look forward to in the winter. I’m also going to take some celery and strawberries with me.

( and then all the excitement of planning a vege garden on a bigger scale can begin!!).


2015 Christmas Ornaments #1


This year I have lowered the Christmas cross stitch ornaments to 6 for the year – that way, I may be able to achieve it!. I have the first one finished for the year. That is to say, the stitching is finished – its not yet made into an ornament – that will have to wait til we’ve moved and I can locate all my craft things!.

And……. I must confess, I started this last year!. We don’t need to be picky, do we?!!

My first ornament for the year is from a Prairie Schooler book, and is one of 8. I have no plans to do the others at the moment, I want to do a LHN small for my next ornament. (note to self – kit it up to take to OZ!). ( 2nd note to self – you’ve already packed away the X Stitch stash!)



I love the look of this, the 2 colours and while I’m not a big fan of back stitching, it really makes the piece come to life.

I have kept out Lizzie Kate’s fat snowmen to take away with me and I’m hoping to be well over halfway by the time I get back in mid May. there are 6 blocks on the piece, I have 1.5 finished. I’ll photograph progress in a few weeks as yesterday was the first time I picked it up this year!.

I hope to get a good chunk done tomorrow as there is a 1 day world cup cricket match between NZ and England tomorrow and I intent to beach myself on the lazy boy and watch/stitch/surf the net!.

2015 Reading Challenge.


My apologies everyone, I didn’t get round to posting the link party for the reading challenge last weekend. Due to the fact my parents and I have decided to move house, I will only be running the party once a month, on the 1st sunday of each month. I will change the info on the right of the blog to reflect the new information.

I have a busy 3 months ahead of me, what with moving and making sure my elderly parents are sorted, then spending 2 months on the Gold Coast caring for my niece while her parents travel the world!. I’m not sure how much reading I’ll get done, another reason why I wasn’t going to attempt 50 books in a year!!.

I have a few posts on the back burner which I will get up soon – some gardening stuff, some cross stitch – a small finish (woohoo!), and I may even do a house crush on an open home we went to on sunday, with the most incredible vegetable garden and fruit trees in the back yard – I soooo want that house!.

I’ll be back soon!.

New Gardening Books!


I know I’m getting old when I get excited about the arrival of gardening books!.

Last year at the Ellerslie Flower Show, I brought some special publication books from NZ Gardener magazine. I really liked them as they have good local knowledge tips in them. I was aware there were more, but they weren’t on sale at the show.

roll on to this month issue of the magazine, and there on the second to last page was an add for back issues and reprinted special interest publications, for $10 each. I jumped on the phone and ordered 5!. I really wanted 6, but decided to leave herbs for a later date.

they arrived today –


they are, homegrown (plot to plate), fresh vege, tomatos, potatoes and root vege, a self sufficient type one.

they are just good no nonsense gardening information from a wealth of local gardeners and while I’m still learning the growing season here,they are really helpful!. and they have great recipes to use the produce you grow.

Plus, my parents have decided to buy a new house, so there’s plenty of inspiration for the new bigger and brighter kitchen garden!!.

2015 Reading Challenge Link up Party #2


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**Link up party is at the bottom of this post**


this party I only have one book to contribute. I’ve found it hard to read and I’m not sure if its because of the book itself, or because I’ve read more books last month than I normally do and I’ve had enough!

the book, once finished will go in under ‘non fiction’, and is the memoir of an Australian woman who moves to a farm. I thought it would be a fun read while I was farm sitting, but as I mentioned, I’ve struggled with it. I will finish it however!


I have modified the list to suit my tastes this year, choosing about 30 of the 50 categories. reading 30 books in a year will be a challenge in itself for me as some years I may only read up to 5 books!. subject to how the year goes, next year I may challenge myself to complete the full list!.

2015 reading challenge – my list – 4.5!/31

A book with more than 500 pages

A classic romance ( pride and prejudice)

A book that became a movie ( Philomena)

A book published this year

A book with a number in the title

*A book by a female author – READ ( 3rd Deborah Challinor)

A book with a one word title

A book set in a different country ( Deborah Challinor)

A popular author’s first book

**A nonfiction book –  3/4 READ ( ‘Through the Farm Gate’, Angela Goode )

A book by an author you love but not read yet ( Lisa Jewell)

A Pulitzer prize winning book

A book based on a true story ( philomina)

A book at the bottom of your to read pile ( JFK)

A book more than 100 yrs old ( pride and prejudice)

*A book based entirely on its cover – READ (tumbledown manor)

*A memoir – READ ( 7 summers )

A book you can finish in a day

A book set somewhere you’ve always wanted to visit

A book that came out the year you were born

A trilogy (Fiona mccallum series)

A book with a love triangle

A book with a colour in the title

A book by an author you’ve never read before (Fiona mccallum)

A book you own but never read  !!!!!!!

A book that takes place in your hometown

A book that was originally written in another language ( madame bovary ?)

*A book set at Christmas – READ ( an outlaws Christmas)

A book written by an author with your initials

A book based on or turned into a tv series ( masters of sex

A book you started but never finished ( masters of sex).


Now over to you :-

Welcome to the 2015 Reading Challenge Party based on the list devised by Popsugar.

Each fortnight we’ll share what we’ve read during the past two (or three!) weeks based on the categories set on the challenge list. We can use this link up to find more books to add to our reading pile, ask for ideas or suggestions for categories we may not be familiar with and read reviews of the books by participants. We might also gain a few more readers or cyber buddies along the way.

RULES (cos there needs to be a few!)

  • Link directly to your reading challenge post please.
  • Try to include photos of book covers, but if you can’t, at least give both the name and the author of the books you’re reviewing. Also indicate which category the book falls under ( feel free to double up, if you’re not a huge reader)
  • Keep a tally of how many you’ve read vs how many to go e.g. 3/50
  • Take some time to check out the other blogs in the party and comment, you might gain a new cyber buddy!.
  • Remember to link back to this party in your post, and feel free to grab the button over there on the right hand side of the screen.
  • Links that do not follow the rules or appear to be spam will be deleted.