Thursday, 27 May 2010

The Charlie Adventures & Walnuts in the Woods

Well, as I am sure you are wondering...the Charlie has perked himself up, come down
off his poison induced, paranoid high & returned to his silly, regular inquisitive self.
So far, he has not nibbled anything deadly this week!
It is really handy that I am here quite a lot & can keep a bit of an eye on the boy...
that way we know what he is up to some of the time at least.
Like when I had arranged these vintage blankets on the bed in the "Parlour" so that I
could take some photos & list them on Trade Me & returned a few minutes 
later to find "himself" all nicely settled in!
My dear friend Ruth is a gatherer too & so we have been gathering nuts in May
..down to the bottom of the plum orchard & over the wee creek 
through the gate & into a wonderland...
so many beautiful trees..quince, crabapples, pinenut, hazelnuts, camelias...
& a majestic stand of walnuts originally planted by this dear gentleman
(a retired judge) 30 years ago.
so nice to share this gathering time with my friend
on the return journey there were chickens roaming free amongst the trees

My old cane washing baskets are fabulous for nut storage. However, we have discovered that we are not the only ones a bit partial to the odd walnut so I have covered mine in their baskets, stacked them & left them on the back porch to dry under the attentively watchful eye of Moja.
He has taken to sleeping, ensconsed on high
most of the day & night.

Ruth has not been so fortunate & has quite a rodent problem..inside & out..
"so why don't I sell some of your walnuts at my gate,
said I, along with the fruit?"
And that is what we've done.
We have all kinds of things out at the wee "shop" just now mandarins, oranges, feijoas, pears, kiwifruit & the loveliest tree ripened apples that I go out & pick
every few days from an orchard down the road.
The family are so kind.They leave some fruit on their trees each year so that people can come & 
pick their own for 80c a kg.
Oops this sign doesn't have the walnuts on it!
The new card table is working brilliantly..
(much better than the box I had with an old suitcase & a brick in it!)
..happily snaffled for a $1 outside St Vinnies the other day. 
I have a dear customer with a dickie leg & a limited income so we 
decided to do a bit of barter..her relish for walnuts & apples
..perfect idea
I just had to pop the sweet persimmons in there too as I had just picked them
& they are such a gorgeous colour.
It has quite suddenly become very chilly the last day or two so 
I had a rummage
& found the crocheted hat that I made last year

I still rather like it so might have to find the pattern I used & create another one
Now, back to that jolly old Charlie..on Tuesday I had been out at work gardening & on returning home some 5 hours later discovered that the front door was wide open
..oh oh so I rushed inside & saw that my camera was still sitting on the table & the computer was still in residence & then found this!!
"somebody" had a push of that door, found it was only snipped shut & there we go...
walk right in & now I think I'll just have a nice little sleep just up here! 
Of course dear thicky Moja was left out the back guarding the walnuts,
entirely unaware that he too could have spent the day inside..phew! no harm done : )
Much love to you all xxxx

Friday, 21 May 2010

Speaking of Him & of Roses in the Rain

Around & around.. I come again to this tight space. There are many things in this life beyond our control, my brain being one of them. With creativity comes sensitivity, with historical displacement comes the struggle to find my place in the world & sometimes 
the unbearable weight of depression.
This morning I feel powerless & overwhelmed (for a number of reasons)..
I have just delivered an urgent note to all of our immediate neighbours as
Margaret's precious "Charlie" has been repeatedly poisoned by toxins unknown
& we are desperate to find the source. 
Charlie really is extraordinary!!
I will often find him at our house making himself quite at home 'cos his "Mum" isn't at his place!
On my journey of leaflets in the rain
I found loveliness on the front fence..valliant Souvenir de Mal Maison
I am reminded in my place of powerlessness that I am not in control He is..


No, that's not how
I see Him really


My father dropped off some more "stuff" this week..he thinks that I might know what to do with it!
One of those things was our very old family Bible that I have never actually seen before.
All our names have been carefully recorded in the front by my grandfather
It even has pictures!
I quite like this one of "the lunatic breaking the chains"  
And beautiful lettering.
Ah & a simple message...we must guard against indifference..turning
our faces away from caring. "He" is all about the heart.
My love & hugs to you all. Thanks for being here.




Tuesday, 11 May 2010

The Memory Keeper & A Granddaughter

I have recently been reading a book with the intriguing title of:
"The Memory Keepers Daughter" & in the process of reading this fascinating story I got to thinking that as women, especially as mothers, we have the chance to become "Memory Keepers". There are so many things that happen in this life that no one at all would know about if someone didn't record events & experiences & journeys of families. That is probably why story telling is so important in many cultures. Stories & tales are passed down from one generation to another... that is just the way of things..& some of us have very poor memories & imaginations which is where photos come in.
This all brings me to Felicia, Rob's mother. It is her birthday today.
Happy Birthday Felicia we hope you have a really lovely day!
Thank you for doing such a fine job as the "taker & keeper of the photos"
Without your faithfully creative eye on the job we would never have
remembered what we looked like back in 1980
 when we lived in Manaia in Taranaki
Or how sweet little Anna was & just how many friends she had back then or.. a million other things!
I have often admired Felicia through the years for her brave & fearless approach to learning new skills..even now, joining the family on Facebook, mastering her own interesting computer & making the transition from film to digital photography even in her 80's (am I allowed to say that?!!) She recently made this fabulous voucher card for Rob which I am in awe of

A good sense of humour is also very useful when recording the life of a family!

We have been to see
Gaylene Prestons
"Home by Christmas"
..wonderful story telling.

Resourcefulness is good too..I found a voucher through Ezibuy..2 for 1 to this very movie : ) for last week.


Now, it's quite interesting because everywhere that I turn just lately I seem to come across a sweet 16 year old girl called Jasmine who is doing a fabulous job of connecting people & enjoying her friends & family..
Just this week Jasmine posted this photo on Facebook (below)
of herself & her cousin Matthew
(our Matthew who is now almost 25!)
I imagine that a common Nanna took this photo of two cousins.
Well done Jasmine!!!...keep being a "Memory Keeper"
..every family needs a good one..tag!
And just to finish this post..
I bet you haven't seen this particularly special photo of Nanna
.. dressed in this seasons high fashion weed bag
kindly supplied by the Auckland City Council ; )

Love Catherine x

Sunday, 9 May 2010

Mary Bearing Bumble bees & Other Inspiring Things

M for Mary & for Mothers Day

 My mother arrived last Sunday morning for a wee visit bearing "bumblebees" & rose petal jam (amongst other things) ohh they are so yummy. I will pop the recipe on the kitchen blog
shortly. 
 We had a lovely time catching up. One of Mary's finest accomplishments after those of the kitchen department, is that of the art of needlework.



 This is one of my mothers samplers that I so love having on my wall!
Needle work has been an interest that she has always enjoyed & something that has made way for the fostering of many lovely friendships through the years with other like-minded & equally skillful woman just as her mother did before her.



 I have one or two of my Granny's pieces. This one needed repurposing.
  Now that is more my style..I love to appreciate other peoples expertise!
When I bought this vintage sewing basket it was the grubbiest nicotine colour so I have given it a paint & popped the tapestry on top
 I think that it's looking a lot better now..just have to finish the inside. So far I have covered the inside of the lid with my last bits of this old Sanderson
 I recently bought this dear little evening bag on Trade Me horribly cheaply. All I need to do is a few wee repairs..just the stitching at the sides..isn't it sooo fine!
 Written in honour of my mother & all the amazing skills that women bring to this life.
Have a blessed day all of you. With much love from Me xx





Wednesday, 5 May 2010

St Matthew's Autumn Fair & other Autumn Pleasures

I just have to begin this post with this dear little Brambly Hedge picture..do you remember these stories? I don't!...I only remember the pictures...I always wanted a house that looked like this...& Rob said the other day "look our house does look like this after all!!"
And the great thing is that he loves it all too. When I found this tiny old chair outside the Hospice Shop for $5 the other day & bought it home, he fell in love with it too & set about cleaning it up & "helping" it have a new life.
I wouldn't miss the St Matthew's fairs (spring & autumn) for the world..shame poor Rob had to work. There were so many people gathered at the entrances there was almost a stampede when the whistle went! You have to be pretty quick off the mark with so many people looking to find a bargain so I was amazed that I managed to find these little vintage pieces. (a very kind man had to keep beating others off them with a big stick until I returned ; )
They are just perfect to go in the new "Larder"...an old & very crummy shed that Rob has been renovating for quite sometime. It is being slowly transformed in to a very vintage & useful space. He is doing a wonderful job! I'll be doing a post about "the Larder & the Pansy" very soon. Now back to the fair..most of the helpers are in their 70s & 80s. What ever will we do when they have all gone!? They make the most wonderful preserves & things & secretly I think they all have an absolute ball.
I found these booties in an op shop the other day.. brand new..thought they might be cute for my niece this winter. I knew that there was something a bit familiar about them, returned to the kitchen & found this little ensemble : )
I thought that my Wellington Madder & Rouge oil cloth went quite well in this old basket..great for collecting feijoas & lemons.
 We have so loved living just around the corner from Cornwall Park these past 21 years.
 We must have walked around in there 1000's of times yet we still just love to watch the changes through the seasons & walk among so many magnificent trees. This morning it looked like this
 we were so excited to discover that our one resident Tui has found himself a girlfriend : )
my first job on our return was to pick some more of these gorgeous guavas

I do so love Mme Isaac Periere, so nice of her to produce some autumn blooms for me.
Her fragrance is just heavenly








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