I really want to do a Sunday Update but I'm very cold and my feet are muddy.
Yes, my excuses for not doing things are getting weaker by the year, but they are what they are.
Mother of the Bridegroom!
I'm not sure if my posting a photo of Simon and Melissa the other week was too subtle, but just in case it was, let me tell you that they are engaged. They're getting married early 2015 and I'm so happy for them both - and for us as a family. We adore Melissa, and she and Simon make a really great pair.
The weather has been so fine for the last few weeks that the rabbit compound has been able to stay in one place for about a month. But the onset of rain earlier in the week turned the middle part of the lawn in and around the enclosures into a bog, so today all the hutches were moved closer to the house. After a while, trapsing about in crocs or gumboots gets weary so I kicked them off in favour of my bare feet.
Hence the muddy foots.
It takes a few hours to move the hutches and rearrange the fences. It would probably take half the time if the rabbits weren't so curious about what's going on. They're in and under my feet, asking me what I'm doing every five minutes. So steps must be measured, and placement of large heavy hutches must happen after a number of checks that there aren't any furry animals about to be squashed beneath a repositioned bunny hutch.
And then there's the figuring. Where the bunnies can get the most sun; the most room given the limitations of fence panels; who gets more square footage than some other bun. Also, figuring who is out of a hutch and who is in a pen while things get moved because not all rabbits get along with other rabbits. It's a bit like that puzzle where you have seven people who have to cross a river with one 4x2, a paddle, and someone always has to be holding a duck.
Today the weather was cold, clear, and a perfect re-hutching day. All rabbits and their houses have been relocated and are currently waiting for me to finish my Sunday Update so I can come out to feed them their bedtime apples and tuck them in for the night.
I'm flying to Melbourne at the end of the month with my sister and cousins. We're just going over to hang out with each other in a city we all love. My cousins will be here for the shopping, and my sister and I will be there for the eating. I'm really looking forward to it.
I bought an old stand mixer off TradeMe.co.nz the other week. I think the mixer is from the 70s and smells like it's about to burst into flames when I use it (that burning, electrical smell). This purchase was made because I thought I'd be sensible and expend 10% of the price of a brand new stand mixer. The jury is out as to whether this was as sensible as it appeared pre-purchase.
First thing I made was bread. The mixer has a dough hook. But for all the dough just rides on the hook rather than being kneaded, I think I'm better off doing it by hand! I made three dough-based items last weekend: pull-apart garlic and butter bread; pizza dough base; cheddar-cheese scrolls. They all turned out pretty good considering.
This weekend - today, in fact - I made a grapefruit pound cake and a dozen frangipani tarts.
The mixer really does speed the process of cooking up. Plus, it's so much tidier. Or I'm so much tidier using it.
Simon and Melissa came over for dinner last night. We wanted to kick off wedding conversations and it was a really lovely evening. I'm so excited for their wedding - even these early days it sounds like it's going to be a lovely fun day.
I like when they come over because I can crack open my Jamie Oliver books and make something delicious. Last night I slow cooked lamb shanks in Guinness and served them on potato and celeric mash. It was such an easy, delicious, hearty dish. The meat was so tender it just fell off the bones, and the gravy was rich and dark and perfect.
For a change I did a starter to the meal and made prawn cocktails. Yes, that good old fashioned stand by. They were so delicious, and exactly as I remember them. Super easy to make tool
So now it's time to slice up an apple and take it out to the bunnies. It's become a habit to offer them each a sliver of apple at my bed time. I do it in part so they know that's the end of the day for me. They each run up to the fence and I lower a plate with the slices and they take one each. By the time they all have a slice, and if the night is still, like it is tonight, it's really lovely to hear all the soft crunching in the darkness.
The moon is bright tonight, so I know the bunnies will be up late doing all the curious things bunnies do when they're unsupervised. In the morning I find burrows, and rearranged bedding, and bowls dragged around and upturned in the hutch. Maybe that apple slice means bedtime for me, but means party time for the rabbits.