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What a difference some fine weather and hard mahi makes. Thanks to Stan and Ivan we now have a leveled section and grass seed sown. First a pallet dragged behind the ride on lawn mower to smooth out the major ruts. Then a borrowed hand driven rotary hoe with Stan holding on as it bucked and fought it’s way around and around the house. Ivan spent hours on a rake to take out the hundreds of pine cones and sticks. Grass seed on and … DONE! Next day both were feeling sore to the bone but hey, it looks great out there. Today Stan, Cody and John brought the greenhouse up from the last farm and put some posts in so it won’t blow away. Woo-hoo, now it’s been washed and all ready for the frosts to finish and planting to begin. From this …

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To this!

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Getting it just right

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Washed and ready to go!

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My poor thumbs were getting sore from trying to loosen up tight muscles following knee surgery. Luckily for me, Stan was able to turn some very cool massage tools out of ‘Blackwood’ that he’d dried and stored years ago. The smaller one is getting nicely burnished from all the rubbing but the handle was a bit small. The new and bigger one has a better shaped grip which is really comfy in the hand. Thanks Stan!

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Back on Line

It’s been a mission getting internet connected at our new home but at last, 3 months later, a service provider to rural areas has hooked us up. You’d think we lived in the back of beyond instead of in the middle of the South Waikato but there you go.

It’s been an eventful 3 months with a ladies retreat to prepare crafts for, our lovely daughter’s wedding and knee surgery for a torn cartilage all done and dusted. The house we now live in is a new build on a recently converted forest to farm block that is owned by the Trust we’ve worked with for years.

It feels like we’ve done this before establishing a new section and making it feel like home. At the moment we’re still surrounded by a sea of mud, waiting for the ground to dry out so we can level the top soil and clear it of the sticks and pine cones to plant grass seed. At least the views are great and the bovine neighbours friendly!

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Tacked our mailbox to the end of the row opposite our driveway to make it easier for the postie.

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You don’t want washing to blow off the line !

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Gorgeous views.

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Very interested, especially when they hear Stan’s voice.

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Top soil down and mowing strips getting laid.

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Still need to pick up sticks and pine cones before lawn seed goes down.

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Being in the middle of packing up and moving house, there isn’t much going on in the way of crafting at the moment. Having said that, it was fun to have a go at turning George’s toy dinosaur, (from Peppa Pig), into a cake topper. To make the rice bubble and marshmallow shape I halved the recipe from here, http://kiwicakesnz.blogspot.co.nz/2012/05/marshmallow-rice-krispies-for-cakes.html , and it worked really well. The trick is definitely to keep squeezing and compacting the mix together when shaping. The cooled shape was then thinly crumb coated with buttercream and covered in green fondant and decorated. It was a bit monstrous for a cake topper but once you’re committed to a certain size there’s no going back!

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I forgot to post Ari’s 2nd birthday cake last month so here it is now, the shark cake! I think it got shared around since there was plenty of cake involved. Thanks for the idea, Elysia, from “gamerswithjobs”.

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It felt like the final pick in the garden this afternoon. The last of the beans, courgettes and blackberries. Then the pumpkins came in and the kumaras dug. There were some beauties amongst them but they seemed really hairy this year! Yonks ago I remember Dad experimenting with wrapping the perfect kumaras in newspaper to keep them for longer. Not many of mine escaped some sort of fork prong abuse so I was only able to try the method with the few survivors. Looking forward to seeing how it works.

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It’s been a while since I purchased a lino cut print from┬álast year’s craft show. At last I’ve finished embroidering the bush scene and added appliqued birds on the border.

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Bullion stitches for the fern leaves

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French knot leaves

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Kokako

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Californian Quail

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Korere or Kingfisher

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Tui

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Fantail

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Waxeye

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Ruru or Morepork

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Pied Stilt

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Saddleback

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Kea

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Black Robin

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Hihi or Stitch Bird

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