Monday, 24 April 2017


 Oh my the weather has been amazing, warm sunny days, cool nights. Perfect for bonfires.
 I got the fire in the house going for Abbey
James is smoking up the barn with all his activity.

 Brent, Louie and I got to spend a relaxing evening around the bonfire. My kind of date night!
The flame gazing is totally relaxing and one can feel the benefits to the old adrenals...

 Sunday Brent took me for a burn in the truck - to the garden shop. ALL yes ALL roses were $15.00 each including standards. I did so want new standards to go by front door. Iceberg were the only ones left. I nearly got them but as I adore colour and David Austin roses I picked shrub roses.

Sweet Juliet
Sweet Juliet

On way home we stopped in at Ruth Pretty's for a cuppa. I have never had a bad cuppa or treat there ever. As I no longer have coffee or cake in the home I do so enjoy a jolly nice cuppa and treat. Oh my the ginger slice was just how I used to make it with heaps of ginger - DELISH!

Changing the diet for family members has been totally worth it for their health. 
But I have struggled. I miss cooking how I used to cook. I miss eating food I enjoyed.
It is quite the adjustment to flip your diet on its head.
And often it falls to the wife/mother as we are typically the ones that do the grocery shopping, menu plan to suit all dietary requirements as well as likes and dislikes and then us mums/wives cook it.

But saying that it has been totally worth it and the results outstanding for all the effort.

Sunday evening I listened to a wonderful new Podcast by Mrs M S Curiosity Cabinet. Oh my you need to click out and go read her blog and listen to her Podcast. You will love it if you like crafting (especially knitting), sustainability, and home made wardrobes.

While listening I casted on my Pure Joy Shawl. The wool is 100% lambs wool from Otago New Zealand but it is dyed in Tokyo by  Ruataniwhadye Studio. So far it is a super fun pattern to knit. I'm up to learning short rows.
The project bag was a gift from a friend - she embroidered it and is very special to me.

So another fabulous weekend. I even got to lie in bed both Saturday and Sunday - something I never do but as there are no Farm Stay Guests currently I do not have to get up. Plus I am trying ever so hard to work on getting enough sleep so staying in bed for as long as I can is terribly good for me, not just decadent.

Hope you all had a great weekend too, see yea on Friday.

Friday, 21 April 2017

If I was having a cuppa with you...

 Old Rose cup by Emma Bridgewater. 

If you came for a cuppa I'd have to know in advance as I keep no dairy milk in the home, but I could offer a herbal tea....
I seem to prefer hot water with a slice of lemon as my drink since stopping milk.  Substituting cow's milk for non dairy just doesn't cut it for me cuppa, so I go without at home and enjoy a treat of a mocha or cappuccino when out.

 If you came for a cuppa you would not often find baking done. Family members no longer eat gluten, wheat or dairy. So I'd pop some popcorn using coconut oil and serve it sprinkled with salt and pomegranate molasses  as a little snack.

 We would discuss how nice and cosy it is in the evenings with the wood fire going. Autumn nip has arrived.

 If we were having a cuppa... I'd show you my knitting... how it is not sitting right with the shawl collar finished and how I hope it will block out. I'd probably share that maybe knitting is not for me... unpicking wool seems a lot more work than quilting...Anyway it will be aggressively blocked before I knit the sleeves to see if it will be wearable or have to be frogged...

If we were having a cuppa.... no doubt we would talk about the TV series Poldark. I have so enjoyed it and looking forward to season 3. I've brought the audible book to listen to next. I remember my mum devouring the Poldark books as a young teen. I've never read the books, but enjoyed the original series and the new series was just as enjoyable.

 If we were having a cuppa I'd share how I took photos of lamb on sale in the supermarket this week to show Brent, (I felt ever so weird taking photos in the shop). Our freezers are full of homekill and were a bit blown away by the price of lamb (that was on sale). We have been trading our lamb for fresh fish from a friend who goes out fishing... treat for both families to have a change.

If we were having a cuppa... I'd say my plans for today is to move my cats into the Farm Stay cattery. We have no cats booked at the Farm Stay until 2nd June. A first for a long time with no families going away.

If I was having a cuppa..I'd show the Facebook page of Kuri Companion and how he has a pack of dogs walking off lead through a gate and past horses... Here is the link,

Tuesday, 18 April 2017


 We went to a fancy dress party. Our outfits had to begin with the letter B. I went as a birdwatching bush woman (even have twigs in my hair), Brent as a bush mechanic. It was terribly fun. My kinda party wearing gumboots!
Everyone dressed up. There was a Brit at the beach - wearing mismatching  checkered tee shirt and shorts, socks with sandals and a knotted handkerchief on his head. A botanist, bakers, butchers, builder, babies (really funny as drank their beer out of baby bottles). My favourite was a lady wearing a lovely dress coat with stars, but when questioned how did that relate to the letter B she unzipped the coat and was all dressed in black and said - Black hole. Very clever!

 I spent a little time changing the blog and Facebook. I kept putting off removing photos of Mack our mastiff (RIP). But finally did it. Louie is now one year old, his adoption day is coming up soon, and as you can see is a big help.

I'm still in a real minimalist stage.. so the blog has got quite a clean plain looking. I've a few more tweaks to do and some new things to try out. But honest the thought of sitting at the computer is just not where I am at. Sat too long studying I think.

Most of the weekend was spent deep cleaning our bedroom, I know people do Spring cleaning but I'm an Autumn cleaner. The thought of going into winter and the house not all clean, being cooped up with windows shut and cold... just makes me want to clean.

Come Spring I'm like, let me outside... hence why I do not spring clean.

My autumn/winter capsule wardrobe is all sorted, with summer and spring clothes packed away, I only need to buy some socks and thermal tops and want, but do not need, a new pair of boots. so on the lookout for some nice knee high chestnut coloured boots.

There is even an App you can get on your phone to help organise/plan your capsule wardrobe... I still prefer my paper version that I have laminated but I might get with it and try the App out. 

One of my naturopath tutors has been affected by the flooding in Edgecombe. The photos are horrific. They have lost everything. I've gone through some of my holistic healing books that I have spare and packaging them off to her.
Books are my weakness and the thought of losing them would be heart breaking. Anything with paper, wood or material are lost in floods due to they absorb moisture which provides an environment for mould spores. EKKK that would be quilts too. They are well insured but sad aye!

Hope you have a good week. I'll be back Friday in blog land. Daily I'm on Instagram which the same photo gets posted to Facebook.

Linking up to Weekends at Pumpkin Sunrise

Thursday, 13 April 2017

If we were having a cuppa tea ...

A blog I enjoy called Thistles and Kiwis, often has a topic called "If we were having coffee or even a cuppa tea..."

Let's play!

If we were having a cuppa it would be some lemon verbena tea (from my herb garden) in one of my Emma Bridgewater mugs with some Green Kitchen Stories oat ginger crisps

If we were having a cuppa I'd tell you that it's nearly been two months since I finished studying and I do not know what I have done in that time or how on earth I found time to study.... I have thoroughly enjoyed not sitting at the computer all day and instead have pottered doing odd jobs, cleaning, sorting, gardening and catching up with friends.

If we were having a cuppa I'd share how much I am enjoying Instagram. Arthur Parkinson's Instagram account is one I'd recommend you go and visit. Arthur is 24 years old and has chickens and a secret walled garden to look after as a job at Emma Bridgewater's factory. OOOH to visit one day... Imagine!

If we were having a cuppa I'd share how much I am enjoying the TV series This is Us.

If we were having a cuppa I'd share I'm nearly finished knitting the collar on my Georgetown Cardi. I'm the slowest knitter ever,

If we were having a cuppa I'd share that my current audio book is by Fredrick Backman who also wrote A Man Called Ove. So far I am enjoying My GrandMother Sends her Regards & Apologies.

If we were having a cuppa I'd share how the news is all about the weather , Cyclone Cook is about to hit New Zealand and is meant to be the worst storm  in 50 years. People who had booked their cats at the Farm Stay have cancelled and are choosing to stay home over Easter instead of going away - rather wise I think.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Kahu (Swamp Harrier) and Karearea (NZ Falcon).

 Kahu (Swamp Harrier)
Karearea (NZ Falcon)

How awesome is this... both birds have been at our place this week!
I can now clearly see the difference between them.

My google search re the NZ Falcon led me to the New Zealand Falcon website where they ask you to record sightings.
I received a great email back confirming that it is a young harrier and that the falcon is possibly a male as they are a lot smaller than the females. He also commented we must be rural enough to get both visiting us. (Rural for how long.... we have heard there are plans for more subdivisions around us, and of course the new motorway is only a few paddocks away.....).
He also said it is not too uncommon to see the Falcons especially in Waikanae on the eastern side backing onto the hills.

It is so on my bucket list to visit Wingspan in Rotorua.

Tuesday, 11 April 2017

Kahu, No it is a NZ Falcon (see next post for more details)

Abbey calls out, "Mum come quick with camera" and I know to rush and go quiet. She had witnessed the hawk hunting the doves. The Kahu (Maori name for hawk) landed on our barn and waited for the doves to come out of hiding, It was wonderful to watch.

 I enjoy the doves, but would never recommend or get another dovecote in my life. Doves look amazing and romantic flying free. But the reality is their poop gets everywhere. They even make their nests for their babies by building up their own faeces in the cote, which when there is a big enough pile they lay their eggs in it and raise their young. (gross aye).
Cleaning out a dove cote is one of the worst jobs ever.

So knowing what we know re doves we are more than happy to lend mother nature a hand and try and help the hawk by flushing out the doves to help keep the numbers down.
You can see the hawk still on the roof in this photo,
How amazing is it the the hawk seemed to know Brent was trying to help and just sat and watched and waited.... The doves were on to us all and lived for another day....

Oh my goodness... I've just been corrected. I'm so excited. Our visitor is not a hawk Kahu (Swamp Harrier) but a  Karearea (NZ Falcon).
Tomorrow am I will elaborate more...

Monday, 10 April 2017


OK... I am getting there of what I'm doing re the blog....

I started blogging like most bloggers do - so friends that lived overseas could see what we had been up to and it has morphed into all different kinds of things. 

Now that I've finished homeschooling our children and they are both living their own lives, and I've finished my naturopath studies. 

A new phase is blossoming and so the flavour of the blog is once again changing...

The biggest change is I am no longer going to blog about the cats that come and stay. This is due to I'm now using an Iphone. The Iphone allows for me to take videos and great quality photos of the cats.  For technology, it is easier to upload the videos and photos to Facebook Group rather than to a blog.

A separate Facebook Group has been opened - Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats. 
It will be exclusively used for photos and videos of the cats staying. 

I invite you to join the Facebook Group - Cottage Tails Farm Stay for Cats and also share the Group with friends and family so they too can see your cat while staying.

 Please feel free to also join if you just enjoy seeing photos of the cats.

I've been asked if I open the Farm Stay to cats we have not bred. The answer depends ....firstly the Farm Stay is a hobby, it is not a business. I used to breed Burmese and Mandalay cats and when I stopped breeding I began using the runs so the owners could bring the cats all back as boarders. 

If you have been following Cottage Tails blog/social media and have a cherished, well loved, pampered cat, (or your friend does) you can make contact with me for the possibility of your cat having a holiday at the farm. (spaces are available for Easter Weekend)