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.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well I never!

I was about to make our bed the other day and wondered if I'd have to get another valance
Or more to the point when we get the new bed would the bedspread reach the floor the way it's supposed to.

This mattress was one of those with a pillow top - when it arrived it turned out to be so deep none of my sheets fitted.

When I put the valance on I realised the base was much lower than the previous one so had to run a seam up the middle to lift it up off the ground

And then when the bed was made I realised the whole thing was much higher than the previous one and as you can see the bedspread has a half mast look about it lol

Its so high when I sit on the side my feet don't reach the floor and even now 9 years later I still feel as though I need a step ladder to get in lol
As it still hasn't proved to be the bed it was purported to be
we are going shopping
For a new one!
Now as I looked at the bed in the mirror
Something didn't look quite right
Trying to be a bit arty farty and make things look a bit different
thats the way I took the photos lol
Standing there I could see what was staring me in the face
It looked like the hotties were having a little love in lol

That's when my Mother would have said
'Well I never'
So I turned around to face the bed and this time I really had to laugh
From this angle it almost looked
as if one of the hot water bottles was feeling the cold

She'd have said it again then
'Well I never' lol
Almost as if it had taken a cue from me
(not sure when it learned it)
it appeared as if the lavender one who was a bit cold
felt that 'red' was a great source of heat
and 'his' side of the bed was far warmer than 'hers'
Now did you ever think I'd be able to get a post out of an unmade bed and two hot water bottles?

What's the silliest post you've ever written?

Monday, May 30, 2011

An Old Favourite

I have an old woollen cardigan
Its red, its chunky and its fashioned in a Fisherman's Rib

I bought it a long time ago to take overseas to be used as a jacket if need be
A trip to see family and friends - nothing fancy planned - so I didn't take a heavy coat knowing I could always borrow one if need be

Over the years its been one of those garments
that has always given me a sense of comfort

Maybe because that trip was the last time I saw my Dad - but maybe these days because its really old and only ever comes out of the wardrobe when the weather is cold. Its one of those things that keeps me warm and also keeps me happy.

Its been washed that many times it looking its age
has become fuzzy and pilled in places and sort of grown out of shape.  

You'll often see it hanging on the bedroom door ready to be grabbed if I think its cool in the house but not cool enough to turn the heating on

There's a hole in a sleeve and one of the seams is coming undone - so some time or another I must find a bit of red wool and do some running repairs .
It has a mate - I have a navy one as well
After the success of the red one on that trip I went back to the shop and sure enough they still had them on sale

This one tends to live on a chairback in the kitchen
Waiting patiently ready for action once the temperatures drop. 
Its great for hanging out washing or weeding
Must be a mother's instinct about certain colours not showing the dirt lol

Dont worry - they don't go off the property
They are my equivalent of a mans really old sweater, the one he wears out in his shed 
The one you wouldn't dare to thow away

Now believe it or not I found they had come back into fashion
I googled Fisherman's Rib Cardigan and found this 

Click on the link and see all ways they came up with to wear it

Do you have things hanging in your wardrobe - past their use by date - but you just can't get rid of ? 

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Here comes another one

This weather is beginning to get to me - I don't mind sharp cold days but miserable cold rainy ones have never been my strong point.  You'd think having been raised in England - and you know what the weather can be like there - these days wouldn't bother me - but then maybe that's what has put me off them lol

You know, during those recent years of drought even us here in the suburbs wished like crazy for rain - and, have we had rain since the drought broke.  I remember laughing at someone who jokingly said 'Be careful what you wish for'...............now I know what she meant lol

Anyway to pass the time away I've been going through some of the holiday folders from last years trip when we had a fabulous time in Nova Scotia and Newfoundland visiting friends and family. Looking through those photos I found something else in a similar vein to another post I did recently. 

Do you remember the post called Similar but not the Same - the one about the sheep in Newfoundland...........these photos of a log truck Newfoundland style could also could come under that heading.

We'd just left our B&B at Springdale and were tootling along the road when we  saw this Log Truck.  To 'our' eyes it looked overloaded and at one time we thought it was going to tip over

but it carried on its merry way as if nothing had happened.  The size of the tree trunks weren't massive - in fact they were very spindly -  not like those we get in our forests close to where I live.    Needless to say we overtook and went our way as quickly and as safely as possible lol

I did get told the name of the trees but you know me - the queen of lists at home - I forgot to write it down:((

So heres a look at our log trucks - slightly different - Similar but not the Same

Friday, May 27, 2011

Red sky in the morning

Red sky at night
Shepherd's delight
Red sky in the morning
Sailor's warning

Remember that one?
(I know there are other versions but that the one I remember)
I'm not sure where I 'learnt' it as a child but it's been stuck in my mind for a long time

So do you think that old saying is True or False?
Heres a reasonable explanation that even I can understand lol

Whether you believe the explanation or not
there are days when it just happens to prove itself
Take a look at what was coming up over the trees very early in the morning one day last week  
And here we are a couple of hours later
A little bit of blue accompanied by a lot of greyish looking clouds
Thinking it had got rather dark inside the house a couple of hours later
I had another look outside and found this
No wonder I needed the lights on lol

Its quite a while since I've taken part but I'm sure
There are other skies to see here

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Have a drink on me!

May 24th was my Mum's birthday
She reached the grand age of 80 
The way of the world during those 80 years 
meant that some were good and others were bad
She made do, had fun and enjoyed her life as best she could 

Unfortunately she had to leave this land a few years ago
When she left us she met up with Dad
and they now have a little spot together on a grassy hill
where they can watch the world go by
The photo below is one I took a few years ago just after Dad had died
I went back to England for a while to check on Mum and
she took me round to see where he was buried

Such a beautiful graveyard with the church up above it
Thats the grassy hill where they both lie

Only thing is my sister tells me its now full 
theres not one inch of space left
Its such a popular place people are dying to get in there:) 
We never made a big thing about birthdays in our house
but Mum and Dad would sometimes celebrate at the local pub
Quite frequently lol

And see that white building with the old fashioned black framework
Right across the road from the graveyard
Well thats the local pub lol
Mum and I didn't always see eye to eye
There was many a fight whilst I was growing up
Funny but when her grandchildren and great grandchildren came along
she sort of mellowed
No sign of the person I knew her to be

Anyway putting all those past differences behind me
I'll raise a glass in her memory this evening

Sad she couldn't be down at the pub to enjoy the evening
She loved a drink, did our Alice lol

just click on the photos to enlarge 

Monday, May 23, 2011

Kiera's predicament

These lovely illustrations and words

come from a couple of books I've had for while
One is called 'Cats'
and the other is called 'A Morning Purr' 
The author and illustator is  Ron Edwards
1930 - 2008
who was more well known in the bushcraft and folk scene 

The two books have been described as containing monochrome watercolours of cats, each with its own 2 line poem and they are delightful to look at as well as funny to read

Bought from Ron at a market in Port Douglas (signed copies no less)
and given to me by a son who certainly knows what his mum likes

So whats this got to do with my Kiera?
Look at the subject matter she says

A trip to the vet last week 'cose she was licking and nibbling at the same spot
on one of her front legs
and I thought maybe she had an allergy problem
proved otherwise

Oh the embarrasment of being told 
yes, you've guessed
She had a few visitors:((

She is combed regularly, 'dabbed' regularly
and her bedding is washed and changed regularly
but these little monsters found a nice comfy  home
in her soft warm furry coat
No sign of irritation on her 'cept for the nibbling
but they certainly were there

 So we have changed the monthly treatment ( from F to A)
and I have the prospect of 'bombing' the house
Cooler weather has meant she spends a lot of time
in front of the heater where its nice and warm
Thank goodness she sits on a little mat that can be washed

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Funny ol' day

Well, after a week of doing nothing some days and running around like a hairy monster on others all Ireally wanted to do was 'play around' in the garden today
But the sight of these grey skies first thing turned me off a bit 

Yes there was a hint of sunshine but it really was a case of
Grey clouds to the left of me
And grey clouds to the right
Meant it was enough for me to bring out the reinforcements
Namely in the shape of my lovely blue gum boots
Certainly not new by any means
but old faithfuls that have been with me for many a year

Some drops of rain before I'd even started sent me back inside for a hot drink and a chance to do a few jobs I kept putting off
I had all day I kept telling myself as the kitchen cats kept me company as I looked out the kitchen window

I popped out to look at the sky
The rain had started to really come down giving the steps a good wash
My wellies stood there patiently waiting for me to get going
Lunchtime came and the sun arrived drying up the rain
My blue boots stood there drying off and enjoying the warmth 
But I had decided to do other things instead
and thats just what I did
Look at this - Tidy at last
In fact I felt so good looking at the first one I ended up doing two
Theres a place for everything and everythings in its place 
Tidying messy drawers isn't top of my list of exciting things to do but I lost my patience with these two the other day and felt it best they return to their former glory.
Now I just need to keep them that way :))

The sun came out again but I stayed indoors and went on to do other things
Chore for the day was to clean the stove - remnants of cooking from the short patience day needed to be removed lol
It was funny but each time I turned around and looked at those two drawers I had a great big grin on my face
Just like my puddin of a puddy cat 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What does this picture mean?

It means that there was washing on the line 
before 10am this morning

Today is going to be sunny and dry and the outside line was the place to be
At least thats what we have been led to believe 
It really will be a pleasure
after the wet miserable days we've had recently
and anyway who are we to disbelieve the weather bureau lol

The bed was stripped early, the bathroom raided and the linen on the line quick smart.
 Hopefully it will 'dry' completely
and not be too damp when it comes in this afternoon
Or our place will most likely look like a chinese laundy with it draped all over the clothes horses to air overnight

Do you like the company I had near the washing line? 
Its Mr Magpie and one of his ladies
Look at the fabulous white back he has
This is a different Mr to my regular one - the previous one had a funny way of walking and this one is quite strong on his feet
 I haven't seen the previous one for a while so its possible 'something happened' to him and this one has come in and 'claimed' the ladies
 Now,  as I'm in a domestic mood today
I've gathered all the ingredients together for this evenings hot meal
I really enjoy a lovely hot winters 'stew' or casserole
And as I'm always watching the money 
more often than than not 
I use economical cuts - this is blade 
but sometimes I'll just get shin if the butcher has it
Carrots, onions, swede. turnip, parsnip and some garlic - all my favourite winter veg.
I start by browning the meat to seal, put to one side. 
Cook the chopped onion and garlic in the same pan, put to one side with the meat
Then brown the chopped veg a bit in the pan and pop them all in the big round Bessemer casserole (the orange one in the background)
Add some water along with a dash of this and a dash of that (from the bottles, jars and packets) to the same frying pan and bring to the boil stirring as you go - this 'cleans' the pan of any meat flavours left behind - that liquid then go into the casserole along with more water.  Put lid on and walk away with a smile on your face. 

This particular frying pan measures about 10ins across has 2 inch sides and has a really heavy base 
bought many years for $2 ago in an op-shop  
it has to be one of the best bargains I have ever found 
its obvious someone certainly didn't know its value in the kitchen
Oh yes, I realise that all those salty additions don't do your BP any good but a little bit of this and a little bit of that gives it an incredible flavour.  Sometimes I use the cornflour to thicken but others I leave it and enjoy the fabulous juicy gravy

You know, even tho' an animal is the same all over the world its strange that different countries call the cuts by different names.  This UK site Recipes4us.co.uk uses the names I grew up with all of which are similar to Australian.

Only thing is when I ask for Shin on the Bone here they insist on calling it Osso Bucco even if when its not veal but older beef.  You get the most incredible 'gravy' when you use this cut - I read somewhere Osso Buco means "hole of bone" - all the bone marrow gives the stock a flavour and taste of its own.

 Just a little aside here:
I'm in no way associated with the company but I 've had my Bessemer pieces for about 20 years, cost me fortune that long ago but they have been good friends. Used on the stove top and not in the oven you can do all sorts - even make cakes in the casserole if you want.   In those days Margaret Fulton used to promote it - I think you can still find the associated cookbooks online.
Bessemer is an Australian company selling premium quality cookware. Our heavy cast cookware functions like an oven on the stove, ensuring even heating and sealing in vitamins and flavour with lower energy requirements.

Must go - the kitchen is a calling my name lol

Do you have any favourite winter meals?

Monday, May 16, 2011

Feel like a day out ?

Yes thats what Dh said last Friday
he was fed with all the wet and cold days
and he'd decided
We were going to have a day out somewhere
rain hail or shine

'Get your comfy shoes out and something to keep your fingers warm'
That was funny seeing as how my mitts are fingerless lol
and sort your clothes out today as we are leaving early in the morning
So thats what I did 

It was sort of a surprise
but I did have an idea where we were going
when he said
'take something to do on the way.  You'll be in the car for a couple of hours'

Just up the road from us is a little place called Violet Town
Its not too far away - just a couple of hours - in North East Victoria

Little is the right word as up until very recently
it had a population of less that 1000
And on the 2nd Saturday of the month it comes alive

'Cose thats when the Violet Town Market is on!

It wasn't the best morning to go for a drive,
there was rain, rain and more rain
as we tootled up the Melba Highway
but by the time we were on the other side of Kinglake Forest  
I saw the most beautiful double rainbow over the tops of the grape vines
and then the promise of a better day
But it turned out to be a cold, cold morning
The heavy shoes and mitts came in very handy
Lots of great things to see, fruit veg and crafts and hot food

I only took a couple of photos because my fingers were cold
and stayed tucked up inside my fingerless mitts for most of the time. 

Now lots of places have their chook raffles and meat raffles to try to raise funds
But look at this idea for a fundraiser
Superb for a place thats gets a bit nippy in the wintertime
A wood raffle lol

With the cost of wood these days
I'm sure there weren't any locals who didn't buy a ticket lol
Coming home we could see the sun on the hills in the distance
A sign that it had been a nice dry sunny day -somewhere

By the time we got to the new Yarra Glen bypass the clouds were gathering again
Thats the Dandenongs in the distance  
If you enlarge and look closely you can see the TV masts on the hill
Yes the same ones I can see from my garden

Oh theres those comfy shoes again
I've had them for a few years now
They will last for quite a few more I think
as they only see the light of day in the winter
I've been trying to post this for a couple of days
Blogger has been very trying to say the least:((

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Addition to last post

A couple of bloggers asked about the fingerless mittens in the last post.

One pointed out that I hadn't mentioned yarn or needles.

Oops - that was a slight slip up on my part. 

I use 8ply/DK - size 4mm/UK8 needles and cast on 34 stitches - it knits up quickly and isn't too bulky on the hands.  The pattern is for an adult ladies hand but you will most likely find it will need to be a bit bigger in the wrist for a man so just add more stitches - because I use 2x2 rib I add in multples of two - then knit the stocking stitch part longer

It usually takes just under 50grms for a pair and I normally just use acrylic but if you can find resonably priced pure wool then go for it as they will be deliciously warm.

Hope that helps

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Whats on my needles

Scarves lol
In various colours and textures
Fingerless mittens.
Such an easy pattern - basically 20 rows rib, 30 rows stocking stitch followed by 6 rows rib. Sew side seam leaving a hole for the thumb
Knitted slippers - using some gifted bright multicoloured yarn as the 1st colour and then contrasting colour from odd balls stash for 2nd. Same base - different look
More slippers but with a softer look more suitable for bedsocks. Gifted multiclour and contrasts from my stash of bits and pieces

Angela at Earthmama had a post the other day telling us about all the craft things she was making to keep friends and family warm this winter
She then asked the question - Whats on your needles?
So heres a look at my kitchen table covered in the knitting I have on the go at the moment
Looks like I'm going to busy for a while finishing them off

This post is back to front - the photos were supposed to be after the introduction but Blogger won't work properly and I've had to revert to the old one. Only problem is I can't lower the photos to write the intro lol For some reason can't link to Angela either
So like Angela, my question to you is - What's on your needles? - What are you working on at the moment ?

Anyway whatever it is - enjoy:)