About Me

My photo
I have moved - click My Web Page for direct link to new blog
Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Monday, February 28, 2011

This is the answer to all our weight problems

Now I have the answer
to all my weight problems

Its not exercise
washing up liquid lol

Saturday, February 26, 2011


A Definition of Concentration
The act or process of concentrating,
especially the fixing of close, undivided attention.

Can you do several things at once
or are you a one thing at a time person?

Are you able to concentrate with loads of noise going on all around you
or do you need peace and quiet to hear yourself think

I need quiet to do book work yet if I'm in the car I need the window open to hear the other traffic so I can concentrate on the road and know what's going on around me 

There's something about childhood concentraton I love 
Here's one of our sons aged about 3 lining up the cars and blocks
completely oblivious to all about him

Furniture and people

Last year I did a post about music and how I associated certain pieces with certain people

Now have a look at the wooden chair below
I have no idea what the correct term is for it is but my Mum used to call them 'Bed chairs'

When I was little we had something similar but not the same
The back on ours dropped almost flat so you felt as though you really were lying down on a bed

But -  my Grandad in Belfast had one almost identical - you would swear it was the same one lol

Last September we were in the small town of Twillingate on the northern coast of Newfoundland and visited the Durrell Museum

Thats where I took this photograph  
 I saw it out of the corner of my eye as we walked in - I wandered over and stood there feeling quite sad and teary eyed remembering the last time I'd seen one like this - many years ago when I was about 15 - and thats quite a long time ago lol 

I suddenly missed the Grandad I hadn't seen since then.

Now my question is
Is there a piece of furniture that reminds you of a certain person ?

Friday, February 25, 2011

On my mind - Bulbs

Gifts of bulbs are great
as long as you are given the instructions
By that I mean when to plant, where and how deep 
as well as when they will flower

On my mind today are these bulbs
I was told they are Crocus - Iris - and Scilla (Cuban Lily)
but nothing else

Looks like I'm going to spending some time on the internet
finding out all the when wheres and hows

Does anyone in Australia know the answers?

Thanks to Rhonda at Down to Earth
Pop over there and see more of what's 'On my Mind' this week

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

New twist to an old favourite

The other week when the cookery books came tumbling down I 'found' some I hadn't seen for ages.  One or two of them I knew had 'healthy' type recipes and knowing I'd got into a bit of a rut with food and finding it hard to come up with something different  for our main meals  I thought just for a change I might have a go at using them again.

This was the first one I decided to use 
 Taste of Life
Julie Stafford
This edition is dated 1989 and has stains on some of the pages
so I must have used it in the past lol

Now, as much as I would like it to, living here in Melbourne, I have to realise Summer won't last forever; Autumn is definitely going to be here soon and the weather is certainly going to cool off.

With half a butternut pumpkin in the fridge really needing to be used - Soup was the first thing that came to mind
A quick glance at the book - a hopeful hunt for the rest of the ingredients and I was off and running

The recipe was called Pumpkin Soup with Basil 
Pumpkin, Carrots, - Onion and Tomato
Not the ingredients I usually use but they were there and ready to be used

I'd made chicken stock the other day so it just had to be defrosted  
When I made it I picked all the meat off the the carcass and blended it in as well so it meant there was more goodness in the soup which will make it more filling

Yes, those are chopped onions in the bag - I had some onions a while ago that had started to go soft so I chopped them all and froze the equivalent of 2 in each of those little bags. They are a bit soggy when defrosted so they are being  used in casseroles and stews where frying them is nice but not really necessary
Heres the stock and veg mix just about ready
The tomatoes and onions had to be cooked in a liitle of the stock till soft
then added to the big pot
Then the whole lot was blended to get that lovely creamy soup
Final result
2 bowls for dinner that evening
and four packs to be frozen
each one holding enough for both of us
I can't find the book in print anywhere so don't think theres any harm (well I hope there isn't) in reproducing the recipe here
Does anyone have a favourite soup
or like me tried a new version of a favourite one

all photos enlarge with a click

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Sad news from New Zealand

The news from New Zealand today about the earthquake in Christchurch (which is on the South Island) has been on tv most of our day.  Such graphic cover showing the turmoil and destruction in the city - so far I have heard that 65 people have lost their lives and the number is expected to rise considerably

Please send good thoughts the way of Michelle at Mickles Pickles - who lives in Wellington (on the North Island)  - this week she is already contending with some sad personal news but now has the worry of not hearing anything from close family who live in Christchurch

Take care Mickle - we are thinking about all our Kiwi friends across the Tasman - Zebby Cat will be a comfort to you

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunday February 20th 2011

Sunday was the twentieth of the month – its the day I tell you about the daily happenings in my life and the all the things I got up to. Somehow I didn't get round to it yesterday evening and here it is Monday evening and I am only finishing the post.

Early Sunday morning was absolutely lovely – about 9am I took a look over the neighbour’s house at that blue sky and decided to sit right down there on the steps in the sunshine with my tea and toast.

Had a little finishing off to do on some of the tiny hats and bootie for a bereavement programme giving help and support to parents who lose a babe pre-term - I have been part of this programme for a long time now, organising volunteers and liasing with the paid staff of the charity that oversees it. Most of what I do is organisational but I do do some handwork if we are getting low in stocks. The tiny sets are available to assist in the loss of a really early miscarriage and are called remembrance sets

I'd also brought a new book outside to start The Plantation by Di Morrissey - didn't get much read tho - as being sunny and warm means my shadow is never far away and she didn’t disappoint me. Once she'd had a snooze I was there to be played with lol

I did think about moving some of that stuff in front of me back to garage but that’s as far as it went ‘cose its still sitting there. A wet day during the week meant I dried sheets on the two clotheshorses and Dh has been fixing the whipper snipper (for my benefit he said) I think my reasoning at the time for not doing it was that I want to try it (the WS) out so there’s no point in putting it away and its bound to rain again this week so the clothes horses can stay there for the time being.
By 10.30 this is what the sky looked like and as I had to nip down the road to one of my favourite stores I had to be on my way. 
Now this isn’t something you see  everyday while you're waiting at the traffic lights  – a wooden boat in the suburbs.  Not sure where he would have been going or where he would have been but I’ve been kind and removed his interstate plates so he can’t be identified.

So here we are at one of my favourite places – no not that one, well it does have some good gardening stuff and when the kids are short of idea for birthday or Christmas one of their gift vouchers always is appreciated

Instead it was Spot*light that was calling my name  
Had to pick up some flanelette for the programme I mentioned - found it straight away but was surprised at how little materials they actually had.  Didn't seem to be anywhere near as much as usual, if I was out looking for dress or curtain materials I'd certainly have been disappointed

Just as I was coming out the heavens opened so I nipped into the electrical retailer next door and had a look at a new washing machine as well as fridge freezer.  New purchases we've been planning for about a year now.  Came home with some good prices :))

I spent the afternoon cutting the material to size, ready for someone else to overlock - and even tho it was a cool evening dinner was light, mainly because I left it to Dh lol

Later in the evening I spent an hour watching a documentary on ABC - Return to Lake Eyre - amongst other things it talked about how Lake Eyre normally a dry salt lake was full again for the second year in a row mainly because all the river systems have filled (to flood proportions in places) since the rains returned.  Last weeks one Out of the Ashes looked at how the bush has regenerated in the two years since the Black Saturday fires

Certainly not a busy day - had a fairly early night - not too good a nights sleep tho.  Had a funny dream where I could have sworn dh was telling me someone was tampering with his car outside.  I woke and thought it was real 'cose I lay there for a while wondering why he hadn't got up to look out the window or ring the police.  When I spoke to him and asked about the car he wanted to know what I was talking about - I can still hear him telling me his car was about to be stolen lol

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Flowers in the hallway

Each week I think there won't be any flowers in the garden
but with the alternating wet days and then warm ones 
the roses don't seem to be waiting for cooler days to bloom again

So where I thought would be no more for this week 
odd ones keep popping up an various bushes
Not arranged in any particular order they all seem to blend well with each other and I managed to glean the last - or what I think are the last -pieces of the yellow Cape Fuschia (Phygelius)  and  Penstemon along with a couple of fuschia flowers and some long stemmed lavender

To see more flowers from around the world

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Easy peasy dessert

This summer we've had  lots of hot humid sticky days which has mean't a lack of interest in heavy food
So when I just couldn't be bothered and fresh fruit just didn't do it for me I've gone back to one of the easiest nicest desserts and at times snacks there is

Good old fashioned Jelly - called Jello in some parts of the world

Here in Australia it comes as flavoured crystals but in England (not sure about anywhere else ) I only remember it coming as flavoured gelatin cubes.  

So simple to make - dissolve in boiling water - pop in fridge to set
Takes no effort to eat - it just slides down the throat
Just the thing when you are feeling unwell
Lovely and cold when your body is hot
Fabulous with Ice Cream or Yoghurt

Along with Fruit and Custard and Cake its part of the makings of a Trifle lol

When the children were little I'd often add a tin of mandarin oranges which seemed to stretch it a little further - we  happened to have strawberries on hand the other day
So I chopped up a few and added them to the mix

Our fridge lives in the laundry which means the washing machine is close by - the lid makes a great handy bench at times.
I know you can't see it clearly but there is a chopping board on there

Gone are the days of the large jelly mould I'd use when the children were little  - you know the sort with the fluted edges - that also needed two packets of crystals so it was firm enough to unmould.  The tupperware one was my favourite with a lid so nothing dropped into the jelly in the fridge and changeable bottoms that became the pattern on the top when it was unmoulded. 

These days when there is just us two I use these little ramekins as moulds
The dissolved mixture just fits nicely into the four of them and they don't take up much space.  .
We tend to eat directly from the little bowls (without tipping it out)
together with yoghurt, cup of tea and a biscuit
but theres nothing to say I couldn't make it look more interesting
chop it up in a bowl - with yoghurt, cup of tea and slightly 'better' biscuits
And then of course I could pull out all the stops and present it like this

Do you make jelly - what do you like to have with your jelly?  
Custard, icecream, fruit?  
Have you experimented with setting things in it and how did it go?  

Friday, February 18, 2011

On my mind

Whats on my mind this week is exercise
or rather the need for some new exercise equiment

These are my very comfortable but rather well worn

They have walked many miles here and overseas
now I feel it is time to trade them in

So I am looking at new ones
Have you seen the price of them recently?!

One of my daughters is a runner/walker - actually in training at the moment for the Melbourne Oxfam Trailwalker event  - a fundraiser where teams have to cover 100km in 48 hrs, this is not her first time and I have to say I admire her for doing it each year - anyway she has goodness knows how many pairs of runners.  I'm sure she told me each pair plays a certain role - she has some that are for use on bush and forest trails as well as those for general running - pays what to me seems like the earth for them and actually keeps a check on the mileage that they do - seems there is a recommended lifetime for all of them so when they get close to that time out comes another pair.

Now thats alright if you can afford it I suppose but what options are there for the general public

Do you take the time and trouble of visiting a specialist shoe store where they will measure your foot and talk about what you doing  - bit  like going to a hairdresser for the first time or do you visit a large department store where you can try and buy much more cheaply and hope they are comfortable?

'They' say that to lose weight and tone your body you need to eat a blanced diet and do more exercise.  This new fitness whatever that I'm on means I'm doing a lot more walking, going to the gym and taking more classes at the leisure centre

My latest love is Zumba - as well as Body Pump, it has to be the best class on offer

So I need to go shopping soon for new shoes to keep my feet moving in the style they deserve 

Not sure if this fits the bill of being something 'at home' but if I'm not healthy it makes things 'at home' a great deal more difficult for us all lol

Do visit Rhonda and see what others have
On their Mind

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Newly discovered treasure

When we moved back to this house nine years ago
a lot of my 'stuff' was left outside in the garage
I would laughingly call it In storage - or Under consideration 

I knew roughly what was out there - especially craft supplies
Good bad or evil it had to stay there
because there wasn't enough room to bring it inside

Over the years I've had little rummages through the boxes
and made some decisions
You can go - you can stay - I'll have a think about you

Just about all the knitting wool lives out there but is mostly stored in see through boxes so I can 'see at a glance' what I do have and can work with

Anyway last week I made a fabulous discovery

In a box beneath another - one that I actually thought was empty
and had been using for height (one on top of the other)
so Kiera could see out of the window
I found several pieces of Mohair fabric and also some paw pad fabric from my Teddy Bear making days
Here's three of my treasures
Roddy on the left is my very first bear
Making him helped me pass some stressful time while we living interstate 

I made the other two at classes here in Melbourne
After we returned home I was looking for something to do and discovered a lovely shop close by in Boronia called Bear Essence
(who have now moved away - down to Tooradin
not that far but unfortunately a little too far for browsing)

Anyway I had fun making them with
Monica Spicer - Monica's Attic Treasures

There's enough in each piece to make another one of my lovely friends 
but not enough for one of their big mate
The big fella is Doug
Doug jumped out and said 'hello' when he was featured in one of the Teddy magazines many years ago
He was the brainchild of Wendy Bergamin - Beargamin Bears
and at 51cm/20ins is big enough to cuddle
But look what else I found - there was more in the box
A great big piece of fur fabric large enough for another Doug
and also 2 smaller different coloured pieces for what ever takes my fancy
Over the years I've made lots of bears but these are the only ones I've kept
Doug was given to one of the grandchildren but has returned home for safe keeping 
I made him in a fur fabric and he's been squeezed and squashed that much his poor legs don't support him any longer

You know, I might not use all or even any of this lovely treasure this year but at least I know it's there if I ever get the urge again

Has anyone else ever come across 'long lost - newly discovered' treasure 

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Last post not on Google Reader

Seems my last post hasn't made it to Google Reader

It can be found here


Chocolate cake anyone?

Sometimes I think my husband has selective memory
No matter how much I tell him I 'did' do something in the past
he says 'I don't remember that'

Now I have proof positive that I did cook chocolate cakes :))

photos enlarge with a click
Might have been a long time ago tho - the older boy turns 50 next year lol

Monday, February 14, 2011

Secrets in the Cupboard

This is my Dh with his aunt -
Taken last September in Nova Scotia at the wake after a funeral
She was happy we were there - 'no place to be sad' she said
Always remember and celebrate the life of the one who has gone
It doesn't matter how long a life they lived - Its how they lived it that matters

She is the one who left her life in England back in 1945
to move to Canada as a war bride

And its their family I've been researching over the past few weeks

Its been fun doing this and there have been some good moments when things have fallen into place and then some not so good moments when there have been big surprises.

The biggest surprise was when I actually located Aunt Dot's long lost aunt's name on a passenger list of a ship going to Canada in 1902 but the circumstances were not good.

At the turn of the 20th century there was a lot of poverty in England (as well as other countries in the world ) and it seems her father (recently widowed) placed her - the youngest child - into the care of the Waifs and Strays Society.  What happened then also happened to so many other children at that time - she (aged 12) was taken to Canada seemingly for a better chance in life. It appears she went to an intitution in Niagara on the Lake but there is no record of where she went after that

Between 1869 and the mid-1920s, thousands of British children were sent to Canada to benefit from a better life. Orphaned, abandoned, or left by families too poor to care for them, they were represented by over 50 philanthropic organizations in Britain and Scotland. In total, nearly 100,000 children would make the journey across the Atlantic.

Earlier this century, several thousand British children mainly in the care of voluntary organisations were emigrated to former Dominions - mainly Australia, Canada and New Zealand - under several schemes involving the British Government, the Governments of the receiving countries and the voluntary organisations who operated the schemes.

Now I think I'm quite well educated and was aware that lots of children had been brought to Australia particularly after WW2 - but I certainly didn't know the 'scheme' had been going on for so long and the children had been going to other countries as well .

Looks like I'm going to be sitting here for quite a lot longer than I thought!

Flowers for today

These were the hallway flowers from last week

Not many out there now
Will have to wait for the autumn flush

Todays Flowers

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Magpie youths on the town

OK mate - come on up, the coast is clear
That big brown cat is nowhere to be seen
and the Lady of the House seems occupied elsewhere
What do you mean - its all dark
and theres some one following you
Oh lor' I know you're only a young un but you can't go around
being scared of your own shadow
anyway come on into the shade -
Need to take a breather after all that heat 
Look at us - a couple of young bucks surveying the scene
Well we aren't bucks, we are actually young Australian Magpies
They call us Juveniles and theres a lot of us around at the moment
you'll recognise us by our grey plumage and scruffy look
and the fact we hang around with the oldies a lot

 The juvenile Australian Magpie has a grey mottled look, and its eyes are brown. It tends to follow its parents around screeching to be fed - even when it is nearly fully grown.

I'll just move along this fence a bit
You're right I can lots from here
Still a bit cagey tho - wondering where that cat is
Well come on down and look from this angle
Yes I know we are on top of that thing the cat lies on
and what ever you do don't poop on this blanket
We'll never hear the end of it from
You know who - yes - the Lady of the House
Well that was short lived fun wasn't it
I told you to be quiet and not make a mess
No wonder she told us to get out of there
Go on, outside and play she said -
you've got that huge great garden to play in
and you sit around doing nothing 
No good looking back up there
We've done it for today
Come over here - we'll dig around in the grass
could be something to eat down there
and you will be able to see
lots of other critters from around the world

click on photos to enlarge 

Saturday, February 12, 2011

A deadly disease

Hearing the news  the other day that Jeannie Little had been diagnosed with Alzheimers Disease and was now living in a nursing home made me feel quite sad. Her daughter has created a research fund to look further into the cause of this awful disease one that is close to my heart.  It's a disease that doesn't discriminate or care who becomes its next victim - as well as many ordinary every day persons it also made itself known to many well known people including President Ronald Reagan, Perry Como, Harold Wilson and  Hazel Hawke the ex wife of one of Australia's Prime Ministers

I haven't said much recently about my aunt - mainly because each time I visit her in the nursing home I come out feel more and more upset and depressed.  Its doesn't seem that long ago she was living life to the full and then getting angry at her doctor who had told her about the disease that was going to become more and more obvious - it soon began to cause us a lot of pain as well and at times trouble and bother.  I wrote lots of posts about spending time either at the doctors or in the hospital A&E dept.  The anniversary of the Black Saturday fires reminded me of this one  - that was the night we had firefighters for company in the emergency dept.

Its so hard to look at photos like these and remember - an elegant lady with one of my daughters a few years ago

Looking like the lady she was on the terrace of her home in suburban Croydon

Talking to one of the spaniels she always seemed to have around her

And then to see her like this - a very frail lady who remembers nothing of her life, eats with her fingers, cannot put two words together, doesn't seem to know who you are or where she is.  Yet from somewhere deep down she can still recognise and show an interest in a dog