November 30, 2012

Ist for many things

The first.

December 1st is officially the first day of Summer, and it's a glorious day here in Warkworth, New Zealand.
We visited our neighbours Sue and Karyn to help bag and tag our very first home killed sheep. It had hung in chiller for 1 week and today was the day we were taught the fine art of what's what from loin chops to shanks and how to trim them neat and tidy, then onto heat sealing into bags and labelling. Then the best bit was, we kept a few 'ends' aside and marinated them for BBQ lunch and fine sald from their garden as thank you to the beautiful animal. It was sensational, it was also really special to appreciate that the life an animal lives is very evident in the food it eventually provides. Thanks to our teachers.

'Dreamnight at the Zoo'

Last night at the Zoo, another very special first occurred: Dreamnight is a world wide, very special evening for chronically ill and disabled children and their family members to come to the Zoo after hours and spend the evening with a Zoo staff member or volunteer and experience a night to remember. They get up close to some very special animals and enjoy fun activities like face painting and bouncy castles and for free. No one is paid for attending and I can tell you, there was so many staff and volunteers it was a humbling experience for everyone.
Rufus the Red Panda and one of our Dream kids.
Big up the my pal Sally, in the costume for 3 hours, she was a trooper. Many parents said this experience will be the high point they remember during the many low points they will face in their journey ahead with their little ones.

Kahlesi and the 14 eggs update:

Going out today to check on our girl I did hope to see some chicks had hatched, but alas there is still nothing to report. The 21 day hatching period is fast approaching with no change. Gulp! maybe Harry is not firing...and we send Jedi to a new home! cross your fingers for us peeps.
Signs of Summer
Butter cups sprouting up everywhere....
I do hope all of you out there are having a fine Summers day, well those in the southern hemisphere anyway. For those in the northern world, wrap up warm now or move to New Zealand.

November 27, 2012


We are really happy with our choices of late. Our new plan that I shared in my last post was to buy preloved furniture that could look good in our place.... with a little tweakin that is! So, we purchased a brown tall boy, good condition, good size and the drawers worked well, we then took a wee bit of time had fun with a sander and paint, then distressed it a bit and hey presto! In a 24 hour period   

It went from this

To this..not bad eh!

Kitchen choices

We had plans drawn up by several companies for a new kitchen, although we did like what we saw, we know what, we can do so many other cool things with the money a new kitchen costs, let's have a go and do our own thing, doing this means were not giving our money to someone else for a job that we can at least try to do ourselves, right?
Good choice! so, yes you got it, we bashed, scraped, sanded and painted what we had with the end goal being to achieve a lived in kitchen look with as many authentic features as possible. We are still working on this, but here is a wee sneak preview of how we are doing.

Pantry gone, shelving ripped out, great fun.

Result - paint throughout, old ladder as pot hanger

Cost: $111 + labour.


The ever expanding flock.
Mama 1 has officially abandoned black beauty, she is now on her own and doin just fine, we were a little worried at the start because we thought she wouldn't, even couldn't do well on her own, well not quite yet anyway. But alas, here lies the divide between humans and animals, we think we know what's best and they know what best for them. Brooke has been encouraging her to come close and it's just lovely to watch the interaction.
Mama 2 has a flock of 5, we actually bought 5 baby chicks from a local breeder and gave them to Mama 2 at night time to 'do her thing'. She is an amazing Mum, probably better than Mama 1. The wee ones are even having a wee fly if Mama gets to far away from them, instead of running, they just do a bit of a superman and run then take off, often landing on her back. It's beautiful. They all mingle with the residents in the day time and at night time Mama takes them all to the their own beds to sleep under her protective wings.

Vege garden gone wild! woo hoo..

This is indeed a dream come true. Having all of your own vege's at hand and fresh as, is just so amazing. Salads every night, the beans are so tasty and crunchy. Brooke has officially gained title of Miss green fingers, she tells me her Grandfather had green fingers, she certainly is producing some great results. The tomatoes and flowering, so watch this space...

Green is good



Wild roses, just growing around the place..


Murphy Brown has  had enough for the day.


I've got much more to share with you friends, check in next time and see the progress on the Cottage beside the tracks....look after each other.





November 02, 2012

Updates from the Station Masters Cottage.

Vege garden:

Brooke has been working away every night on her vege garden and the return is about to be revealed...onions and garlic are days away, and the rocket might well shoot to the moon if we don't eat it quick enough, might have to barter some with friends. The potatoes she picked last week are wonderful and I made a cheeky wee Gratin with them, boy was it good. Carrots, corn, beetroot, tomatoes are all taken shape nicely. This is going to be a fantastic yield, lots of yummy Annabel tomato sauce to make..any glass jars you lovely people have out there, I'll take them off your hands.


Check out this beautiful little creature. Our friend Karyn asked us to look after him and another wee lamb for the day, how could you resist the absolute cuteness of him. He was found all alone and barely alive, but a few days under Karyn and Sue's care, he is a cracker. He will be going to a great home where the family want him as their pet and all the good lovin he has had to date will continue..

         cute or what                                      and legs to match

 Out with the old, in with the older....

I know, sounds crazy, but it's true. We sold pretty much all of the furniture we brought from our old place as it was never, literary going to fit into the house and it was the wrong style for this type of home. Trade me is it has all gone and we have started to search for the 'right' stuff. We have bought a couple of items that are great for bedside units. The wood look doesn't look right, but the actual design does..1 hour later, sander, paint, turps, lots of sneezing and hey presto...wishy washy white....
                                From this                                          

To this

Old meets nice         

Chicken news!
Check this out..little beauty is out and about with mama and she's doing just fine. Mama is a great mum, she drops food for her, she even mimics perching on a wee branch and little beauty jumps up too. They are now spending their daytime with the others and so far, it's been fine. Day one was interesting when Franny challenged mama and they got into a chick fight that mama won. She was protecting her wee one and boy did she do a fabby job...since then all has been well at chook chook cottage.
Our other Sussex, Ivy is sitting on 6 eggs, which are due to hatch any day now...we can't wait to see how many actually survive, but I'm sure she'll make a magic mama 2.
Our other rooster Jedi, has a new home with our friend Andrew and his family. This means Harry is now officially the Man of the house...

Mama and beauty on a wee walk 

And, change of direction

Handsome Harry

Day time at chook cottage, boy, to be a Chicken eh?

Well friends, we have had a really productive, industrious time of late..progress is everywhere and life on the lifestyle track is going really well. We must always remember to celebrate the successes we create, the friends we have, the gifts of family that surround us  and the unconditional love our animals provide us.Try not to let things drift too quickly into the past and know that we cannot have today without yesterday...and tomorrow will always be a mystery. Today is all we have.

It is said, that those who have passed are always with us.
1 year ago on Nov 4 my beautiful Lucy passed away....for anyone who has lost a pet, boy does it hurt.
I remember feeling angry with myself when I realised I hadn't thought about her for a couple of days, it was then that I understood why. My heart was taking over and ever so slowly was gathering all of my Lucy memories and securing them is a safe place forever. Now with every beat of my heart...she is there.

"forever in my heart and always on my mind"