Wednesday, 30 December 2015


For my birthday Brent took me for a walk around Nga Manu Nature Reserve. It was quite special as it's been 15 years since Brent has been able to have the day off work and spend it with me.
My gift is a trip away later in the year. - So exciting!

The kea bird is one of my favourites - they are quite the characters! And one of the birds that do not visit our home. We are quite spoilt for native birds that now live at our place from all the native planting Brent has done.

I didn't get a good photo of their underside of the wings.

Photo source I wanted to show you how beautiful their wings are.
Photo source of Kea in flight.

A family night out to the movies to see Suffragette 4/5 movie well worth going to!

Kate Sheppard, New Zealand's suffragist leader. She appears on our $10.00 bill, a daily reminder of one of Sheppard's famous quote "all that separates, whether race, class, creed or sex, is inhuman, and must be overcome"

New Zealand Women were the first in the world to get to vote in 1893.

Do let me know how you are finding Instagram & Facebook posts. Is it working for you?

Friday, 25 December 2015

The Magic is in the Mess

We have been on a roller coaster ride with doctor visits, specialist appointments and hospital visits going through diagnostic procedures. Then hearing what the specialist thinks maybe the issue... But still having to wait for tests to come back from the labs to be sure.
For me it was rather exciting to be sitting in the specialists room and thinking oh man I know what that is and that all my naturopathic learning will come in useful. Of course the first thing I look at is diet, it is such a fundamental part of the naturopath journey;

So with everything that has been going on, thoughts of Christmas have not been a priority. We don't even have a Christmas tree up or a single decoration out this year.

But we have strawberries - We hear on the news there is a shortage in NZ shops... But not in our garden - Homegrown organic strawberries, best crop we have ever had... The secret is simple; guard them from the birds and let them fully ripen on the plant - Yum yum way tastier than the watery ones you get in the shops.

I  decided a special menu around gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nut free, grain free, sugar free, nightshade free, seed free. Sounds overwhelming doesn't it. But not if you look at eating AIP Autoimmune Paleo. I pulled out my cookbooks to help.

Christmas Eve and we had quite the feast, today for Christmas Day it will also be AIP menu. Oh and  we opened all our Christmas gifts on Christmas Eve.

 I never stick to a recipe and always adapt  - but thanks to The Autoimmune Paleo Diet cookbook I found a tabbouleh recipe that uses the tops off carrots. What a clever clever idea. Yell if you want my take on this - I use parsley and currants

 Abbey made a mango salsa.

 A kale salad also from Mickey Trescott's book
Asparagus and broad bean salad from Deborah Madsion (we still have enough broad beans for another few meals). (NB Broad beans are not AIP approved as they can be hard for the gut to digest but family members have been able to tolerate a little and won't be eating any again for a few more weeks). It is all a bit hit and miss and depends on where you are of what you can eat. As a naturopath (in final year of training) I don't use the AIP diet as a diet as such but more of an elimination diet as I do not believe there is one way of eating for EVERY person. That is where it is soo exciting with all my study that my learning is going to be so beneficial for my family. Empowering aye!

NB Ham is not AIP and some reacted badly to it last night. That is the beauty of going on an elimination diet (AKA AIP) your body will tell you quite clearly what you can and cannot eat.
Pudding was cherries, strawberries and a macaroon each from Little Bird.

Today is the first day I've been in shorts and Tee shirt - Summer has arrived in the Southern Hemisphere.

Saturday, 19 December 2015


Ok I've had some feedback that some of our readers do not "do" facebook or Instagram BUT they do have an Iphone or an Ipad.

If you have an Iphone or an Ipad it is time to get with it - smile!

Instagram is super fun once you get your head around it - and super fast.
As Brent would say "None of this shit is hard once you start dabbling with it"

Let me try and help you get on Instagram.

First you need to down loan an "AP" from Itunes - it is free. Below is the direct link
If you know a teenager they can help you as this part is probably the hardest of all.

Once you have your App on the phone you need to make an Instagram account and a profile.(you can have a private profile and just be a lurker aka  that means just look at everybody else's stuff and never show anything of yours).

This lady shows it quite well. If you have a Facebook account just sign in with that.

This lady describes how to actually use Instagram and what all the buttons mean.

Next is finding people (or accounts) to "Follow"

I have two accounts on Instagram  "CottageTails" (my personal account) and leannemorris_naturopath - (which is about herbs, food, health and lifestyle). So there is two accounts you can follow.

I've rather eclectic tastes on who I follow - I've soo many interests. Once in one of my accounts click on "following" button and you can see some of the people/accounts I enjoy.

For example....
charlotte_annefidler shares beautiful photos of her cottage and her maine coon cats. I adore the photos she shares of her cats looking out windows.

beelori1 is a beautiful quilter I enjoy following and plan to make her Farm Girl Vintage quilt next year..

katedaviesdesigns lives in Scotland and shares photos of around Loch Lomond and the West Highlands She has over come some pretty heavy stuff life has thrown at her click here to read her story.

kensingtonroyal shares first released photos.

That is just a quick sample of things I like to follow - again click on my profiles and you will see all the other accounts I enjoy.

Now once you have got an Instagram account you can "follow" me and start double tapping my photos and videos to say you have enjoyed /liked what I've posted.

Any questions ask away I will try and answer.

Sunday, 13 December 2015

Blogging Break

Thanks to all who have emailed us to see if everything is ok since there has been no blogging. I've just been on a blogging break.

I've been learning Instagram and love it - find it soo much faster than blogging. So much so that yesterday I made an account for Cottage Tails.
I just need Abbey to help me connect it to Cottage Tails's Facebook page and it's all go.
Brent lets me use his Ipad and it is soo fast to take a photo or video and then a push of a button to share. So quick. People interact too so you get little likes (hearts).

I think owners of cats staying here will love to see little videos of their cats while they are away. I know I would. So that is what I am planning to do for the coming busy season over Christmas. Just click the above links to follow us on Instagram/Facebook.

My Moon garden which I planted with hundreds of white poppy's developed purple poppies. I just knew I had saved the white poppy seeds correctly. I blame the birds for dropping purple seeds in the white garden. They are too pretty to pull out. White poppies are just starting to open out and should be fully out for when everyone drops off their cats so they can see them too.

The temperature has been rather cool here - we are still having a fire at night - soo unusual for December. With this in mind I just know the three bogans (cats) that stay here every Christmas will need to be inside the cattery at night time. (They are getting old too).  I asked Brent to block off the attic area in the cattery so they (and other cats that stay) can't get up there. The cats actually love jumping across from side to side but it takes me ages to coach them down. A huge game for the cats! I'm quite the party spoiler aren't I. Brent will finish it today and then it is time to set up the cattery for Christmas busy time. All litter, cat nuts and meat have been brought so I am ready and looking forward to having cats back to stay. It's a lovely part of my day sitting down patting the cats, very relaxing indeed.

Monday, 23 November 2015


 Brent and James took Abbey to the Elton John concert. They said it was fantastic!

I was hoping for a little rooster which we were going to name Elton. Abbey chose the name and dont yea just think it is perfect for a little araucana rooster.
The raising of the eggs has not been a success. The old girl sat and cared for the 9 eggs for 3 weeks so we were all very hopeful.
Last weekend 2 eggs just disappeared. Brent looked for clues of rats or ferrets nothing. So quite a mystery. 
The poor old foster mum got badly dealt to by one of the other hens and she lost most of her comb very traumatic to witness! One sure can understand where the term hen pecked comes from.

Saturday the eggs began hatching. Three chicks died, The foster mum took two chicks out for a walk and the little grey chick was doing really well  but wibbly wobbly and the black one seemed to be thriving. Two eggs had gone cold. 

Brent and James transferred the foster mum and chicks to a pen of their own (in hindsight we should maybe of done this sooner??). At this stage the little grey chick was weak - we did witness the mother hen just sit on the chicks no matter what position the chicks were in. It is the first time the mumma hen has ever raised any chicks.

I don't want to look this morning in the nest.... but hope the two chicks left are still there and wouldn't it be wonderful if the other two eggs hatch.

 Mother Laura and daughter Maji (aka blue puss)

I've no Farm Stay Guests here now until mid December so cat lovers, photos of cats will be thin on the blog news. I did get a few photos of our cats helping me in the garden. They are terribly hard to get to stay still for a photo.

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Famous cats stay here.

Pancho has so many fans on the blog so thought you all might like to see this photo of him with his mum Heidy and the Mayor of Wellington Celia Wade-Brown.

Pancho is the face of the Cat Tracker NZ that his mum Dr. Heidy Kikillus is leading the Cat Tracking in New Zealand survey. Click here to read about the other cats taking part in Wellington.
Plus you can read more about it in today's NZ Herald .

We feel very privileged to look after Pancho so his mum can travel with her work.

Friday, 20 November 2015

Lilac's and cats

The whit lilac is flowering in the moon garden and smells wonderful...
It is called Syringa vulgaris Madame Lemoine.

Farm Stay Guest.

Pancho is well loved at our place - I was off duty yesterday with a migraine and the family enjoyed looking after Pancho. Pancho seems to love everybody.

Wednesday, 18 November 2015

Bee Keeper

 The bee swarm

 The bee keeper has his hive box underneath the swarm ready to catch it
 I didn't get it on camera as it happened so fast. The bee keeper shook the tree and plop the swarm fell into the box. It was rather wonderful to watch I've never seen it happen before.

Farm Stay Guest.
Pancho possibly is thinking mmmmm these socks don't smell like lavender.

Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Art Exhibition

 Opening night of the art exhibition was on Sunday evening. We all went along to see James's display of his metal guitars and other music related art work.

 His chain microphone and tractor seat chair for his drums.

 James on the drums

 And on guitars.
I can't seem to remember how to put videos from my camera onto the blog. But I can get them to facebook from the Ipad which is connected to another page (man this techno stuff does my head in). If you want to see the videos click here....

 The other artists that are also in the exhibition.
It is on for two weeks if you want to pop in and have a look.

Farm Sty Guests.

Welcome back to Pancho - he had a busy day watching the antics of us girls and all the critters. One lamb decided to get out of the fenced paddock and us girls had a merry time getting it back in. Then the gosling decided to go swimming in the water trough and couldn't get out. Pancho was either scared for us girls as the parent geese tried to attack us while we were saving their gosling. Or Pancho would of been laughing his head off. Either way huge amount of excitement for him to watch.