Monday, 16 October 2017

First trip away in the truck

 We were invited to a 60th birthday party (now how scary is that, that we are going to 60th's!) which was in the Wairarapa. I've been out of sorts for a few months processing some very deep hurt from friends and extended family which has rocked my world. I don't seem to be as resilient as I used to be. It's been a bit tough what the universe has been throwing my way.

Brent suggested we take the truck on her first big journey and Abbey said why don't you guys stay the night!

I'm not a great traveller and do not like the Rimutaka Hill Road - which in the above photo we are parked at the top. Brent took it slow around the windy corners which the truck handled no problems. I wasn't sick just a tad queasy. (I have my eyes closed most of the way).

 Of course a visit to Wits End is always a must in Featherston.

 We chose The Gamekeeper's Cottage in Featherston to stay at.
 I was delighted with the entry - lavender and lambs ear's. My heart skipped a beat or two!
 The wisteria was heaven!

 It was the first time in 30 years that the pickup truck has slept outside. And it rained!!!

 The cottage had a neat decoration theme of hunting. A collection of  firearm holsters, fishing rods, whisky containers and even the curtains fitted the theme.
The building was built in 1854 and there was photos of the rebuild on the wall.

 It was really warm and cozy with the fire and even a lamp so I could knit. It also had a claw foot bath which we enjoyed bubble baths in.
A mean gas stove. Gosh I'd love to have this in my home.
 We always pick places that are a bit unique - but they must have a kitchen so I can cook. I prefer to cook than eat out. I cook very simply, in season meals and we are now on the reintroduction stage of autoimmune paleo diet. So we had fresh salad with a tomato (first time reintroducing tomatoes), fresh new potatoes, scotch fillet steak with mushrooms and caramelized onions. For pudding some strawberries and dark chocolate.
For breakfast I cooked whitebait (very first of the season) omelette with asparagus plus a few strawberries left over from previous night.

The Gamekeeper's Cottage was private, unique, and comfortable. The hosts were really nice people and allowed us to arrive at 1pm to drop off our bags on the way to the party. I have to be honest tho as many of our blog readers have taken our recommendations and also visited where we have been over the years. It was $190.00 per night. We were disappointed with the cleanliness - just little things, and a few big things... dead dried crusty blowflies on kitchen bench, no milk in fridge, no butter or jam etc for toast, not that we would have used them but it is the first time I've ever seen no provision of these. The tea, coffee jars were greasy and contents old looking. No salt shaker (cooking salt in greasy container - pass!). The pots and pans were filthy as were plates. I get so angry having to wash dishes before using them! Mirrors not cleaned. Hand towel had the sour smell - blokes with beards know this I'm told. Only two bath towels and one teatowel  and  no extra bedding if cold. Thankfully we have a blanket kept in the truck which Brent brought inside to pop on the bed.

We gave it a 3/5. Made the best of it and enjoyed our little trip. We were home in time for lunch and much nicer weather over here on the Kapiti Coast so I got to spend the afternoon in my garden. BLISS.

Plus the old pick up truck went really well on her first big journey. She is so comfortable to ride in. We have more trips away planned in her.

Linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise 's Weekends

You can find me hanging out mainly on Instagram The photo/video is also posted to Facebook.
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Monday, 4 September 2017

Our Weekend.

Lambing has finished - there is a question if Trump serviced a ewe before he left -
 if so it is not due until quite late September.

I've been putting video's and stories (still learning how to do these) over on Instagram I'm not sure how to add videos taken on Iphone to the blog.
I do hope you can see the videos over on Instagram as the lambs are now playing and such a joy to watch.

We have 15 lambs and man they are cute!
But as I've shared before we have had a really heartbreaking lambing season. 
Lost 6 lambs and one ewe
I'm too soft for such loss. I'm really thinking hard if I want lambs next year. But also thinking very seriously of getting in a new line of rare breed sheep called Rylands

Photo that popped up on James's memories of 2 years ago using our paddock to teach a friend to drive in.
Photo taken yesterday showing the ponds that have developed with all the wet we have had. We are in for another wet week. So I'll leave the lambing pen up in the bathroom for another week or two - just incase... fingers crossed we will not need it.

New visitor to our place. A female pheasant. of course we fed her as she was right up at the chicken coop. Later we saw her mate at the top of the hill. I sure hope they come back daily and join in at feeding time. We have quite the collection of critters visiting. Awesome aye!

A run in the truck to Ruth Pretty's.

Saturday night to the movies to see Dunkirk. A tad too violent for me. I would have preferred to have seen this movie  from the viewpoint of more of the civilians that were doing the rescue rather than all the war action 3/5

Sunday night video hire Going in Style. Very funny but I'm a big fan of Morgan Freeman. Good light hearted movie - which is more my thing. 5/5 from me.

Hope you all had a good weekend too.

Linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise 's Weekends

You can find me hanging out mainly on Instagram The photo/video is also posted to Facebook.
To follow the Farm Stay for Cats photos - feel free to join Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats Facebook Group.

Monday, 28 August 2017

Long Weekend Away

Earlier in the year Abbey & I had a plan to attend a knitting retreat with friends, Unfortunately some friends could not come in the end and when I booked I had not taken into consideration it would be lambing time. We decided not to attend the knitting retreat officially in the end - but just make it a long weekend getaway where we would knit.

It was a rough start getting away with triplet lambs needing to be orphaned. Only two made it and the mum is getting better every day. They went to a home where a lady was already raising two orphan lads. She has such an awesome set up with a barn. You can just see the triplets snuggled up under some fleece.

Brent was back at home looking after the place. Two sets of twins were born and more over the weekend. He was busy! And not had a holiday.

It was rather wonderful coming home to see all the new lambs. 

We stayed in a little old cottage called Mid-Summer Cottage. Oh it was cold, really cold. We rang the owners as we could not find the oil heaters that were advertised. The owner was lovely and brought us one around. The next day we went and brought a little fan heater and that helped warm the house... but we were still cold! However we snuggled up under our quilts we brought with us and did get lots of knitting done.  The cottage was lovely and clean, lots of hot water, biscuits, large bowl of fresh fruit and a complimentary bottle of wine. Nice beds, lots of extra blankets and cots if young families wanted to stay. There easy is room for 6 people plus children. But it was little things such as being cold (would be wonderful in summer), no chopping board, no towels for the third person staying, not enough toilet paper or dishwashing powder - (thank goodness I worked this out and got the girls to go and buy some). Plus the electrical wiring was sparking at the kitchen light switch so we cooked in the dark. I probably wouldn't stay again at the cottage - and give it a 3/5.

 At a knitting retreat you wear garments you have knitted. I'm not much of a knitter but pretty thrilled to have knitted these. I've linked them to my Ravelry project pages if you want to knit the same patterns or get the same wool. Credit has to go to Abbey who blocked them for me, picked up stitches around shawl collar for me and helped me choose patterns and yarn. I did sew in the ends - actually on the Friday.... just in time. PHEW.

Friday we visited Chantal cafe as it is health conscious for dairy free, gluten free and vegan options. It has good reviews on Tripadvisor.  However we found it uneatable or drinkable. Tepid turmeric almond latte was nasty! Raw Carrot cake was served without any almond cream as it shows on their instagram account. This was not nice either and we did not eat. It was wet and tasted like carrot cake batter mix before you cook. Sorry folks cannot recommend Chantal.

I posted the above photo on Instagram and Chantal has offered to refund our money - which I will take them up on. Other Instagram friends commented they prefer Hapi NZ. We did pop in on our way past after this recommendation and so would have loved to of tried here. Next visit!

Heather had on her list she wanted to do a wine tour. Moana Park gave a lovely tasting of wines plus they are vegan, organic winemakers. A bottle of their wine came home with us.

We also visited Skeins and I loved meeting Deb from Outlaw Yarn whose yarn my cardi is from. I didn't buy anything. But Abbey did!

Sunday on our way home we stopped in at Gem from BlackBird Blog her shop. The shop assistant told us a sale was coming real soon so we brought nothing and will wait for the sale announcement, suggest you do too!

Drive home we stopped in at the Hawkes Bay Farmers Market - oh my wonderful!!

Oh on drive up we stopped in at La Petite. We had made almond milk to take away with us knowing we wanted to buy some of La Petite's hot chocolate. This photo is of Abbey's haul. Mine I brought gifts to bring home and their plain hot chocolate. A must stop in and visit!!

The market opened early than advertised and by the time we got there Stray Cat Socks was nearly sold out WHAT!!!! It was BUSY! a tad too crowded for me. ... I am an empath introvert so crowds overwhelm me. It was lovely to meet Instagram and Blogging friends, Thanks for saying hello!
I only brought one skein of yarn to knit socks. Abbey found it for me, isn't it perfect! So fun seeing yarn in real life that international vloggers talk about. Perfect autumnal colourway for me. By Leading Men Fibre Arts - Show Stopper in Turkey Run colour. 75% superwash Merino, 25% nylon. I'm not a superwash fan but it has its time and place such as with socks. Now I'm all ready to learn to knit socks.

What a buzz to return home to find a white faced heron sitting on top of the cattery.

It was nice to get away, but also rather nice to be home.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Birthday Food

Abbey made her own birthday cake - aka pudding. A recipe from Homegrown Kitchen's cookbook.  Magical Ice Cream Swirl Cake. It was gluten free, nut free and dairy free so everyone in the family could eat it. It was a hit and will be made again. I even enjoyed it and I'm not a big fan of coconut cream.
 Wellington on a Plate is currently on and the Food trucks came to Kapiti. Because Origin Food Shack came we went out for tea. A very rare occurrence with all our diet needs.... I could not fault it, and that is saying something as I am terribly fussy. Highly recommend and I will be chasing down the shack if I see it again.

 Brent & I all wrapped up warm enjoying our meal out. I'm wearing my Wurm hat I knitted. Jazzy aye - and it's ever so practical as it  keeps my ears warm!
 James is NOT into healthy food.... you do not want to know what he ate!!!!
And ate... Abbey enjoyed her birthday dinner out - so wonderful the event coincided with her birthday.

Oh and for lunch I took Abbey out to a local cafe Sunday Catina in Waikanae - highly recommend. So very very awesome that we are getting local, food we can eat. (I forgot to take photos of our lunch)

Monday, 21 August 2017


I'm officially a chicken rustler
This girl has been hanging out at our place and I have no idea where she has come from.
When none of my family were looking I laid a trail... a bit like Hansel and Gretel which led into our chicken coop. I could not believe how easy it was. (maybe I was a real rustler in a previous life) BUT then our three old girls went into the coop and I shut the door. There was a little hen pecking by Brodie, but the new girl just hung her head and let herself be pecked at. Then it was all over they have been getting on fine. Will leave them locked in for another day and then see if she stays when we let her out.
I hope she gives me an egg a day.
Her name is Wonder from an Instagram friends suggestion.

I can't tell you how good it is to be thinking of quilting again. I have a few baby quilts on the go.

 My crocheting is coming along slowly.... trying to be good and weave in ends as I go....
Totally loving this project! But the yarn is working out to be extremely expensive.

Plans for buying at KAN next weekend.
I'm not a shopper and know that when we are at the wool stalls I will be so overwhelmed with choices and possibly crowds that I would buy nothing. So I've made a plan. I've chosen a few projects I would like to knit and will be looking for wool for these patterns

 Abbey is going to teach me to knit socks. I've found if I wear a thin pair of cotton socks under hand knitted ones I don't get creeped out by the texture of the wool. (Princess feet I have). Plus my feet keep soo warm with wool socks!
Abbey has a pattern called I will Think About it Tomorrow  that she is going to get me to learn on.

It's her birthday today... and Abbey is having a sale. Click here to go to her Instagram account to find out more. If you feel inclined show her some birthday love and shout yourself a pattern or two.

 Brent has been asking for a scarf... I'm the slowest knitter ever.... but I've chosen Dashing Fella pattern. He is teasing me how long it will take to get finished.

Do-Re-Mi Cowl for me. 

Pumpkin Ale for my next cardi

I'm not planning to purchase for all projects... but with a plan in mind I should find some wool to bring home. Plus I have Abbey and she is so good with matching colour that suits the person and also the project.. so truth being told Abbey will shop for me, she has helped me choose the patterns too.

Linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise 's Weekends

You can find me hanging out mainly on Instagram The photo/video is also posted to Facebook,
To follow the Farm Stay for Cats photos - feel free to join Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats Facebook Group.

Monday, 14 August 2017


 Lambing has begun, we have a set of twins so far who are doing extremely well. They have plenty of pine trees to shelter under to keep out of the heavy rain we have been having ALL winter. - I'm so ready for spring!

I love lambing time and watching the lambs little tails wag while they feed, then comes the fun stage of frolicking lambs when they play. No doubt this week will bring them some new lambs to play with.

 It is our first time since we have lived here that we are having to get in feed for the sheep due to the wet winter we have. The top paddock is closed off as just a mud paddock.

We have never had this much water in our paddocks - The middle paddock has  two ponds caused by the rain, and are nearly meeting. The wet ground is dealing to the animals hooves too. We hate seeing them with sore feet.

 The girls are not too sure of their new tucker... but we also do not want them to eat too much until after they have birthed. Very thankful our wood shed is topped full of hay - being all ready for when the lambs arrive and when the mums will need the extra feed


 A job that has been on the must do list for a while was completed this weekend. A gate and fence just off the cattery. This is probably going to be our new area where we feed the sheep.

Louie was a great help checking the hole depth for the fence posts.

As for me, I stayed inside nice and warm and dry. I finally got around to making some alphabet templates. It's been 6 months into my gap year and I'm feeling well rested and ready for creating...Adrenal fatigue  has not been fun, nor was influenza B!

I've begun unpicking a crochet blanket I started - it seems to be a bit of a stop start year...I love the pattern but honestly the thought of sewing in all threads had put me off this project.

I started a baby blanket with the wool... But have unpicked this too as the cast on was far too tight.I was in denial... so did quite a bit of progress before I frogged it.

Much happier with this blanket. Went up to a size seven crochet hook to cast on and casted on a lot looser. (I'm using a size 4.5 for body of blanket). Also changed the colour pattern as I worked out I was going to run out of coloured yarn. So three rows of white and one row of colour. I can pick up more white at local yarn shop.... but it is nearly twice the price to buying local compared to on line. $8.54 on line and $15.00 in local shop.

The blanket is based on Granny Stripes by Lucy at Attic24

Linking up with Pumpkin Sunrise 's Weekends

You can find me hanging out mainly on Instagram The photo/video is also posted to Facebook,
To follow the Farm Stay for Cats photos - feel free to join Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats Facebook Group.

PS the Cattery will be closed from 23rd August until 28th August.