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November 2007
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January 2008

The Neckst Best Thing

EveryoneYes_labradors_there_is_a_santa_clau relax, there is not a whiff of Madonna, or Rupert, or even Benjamin Bratt. (What was he thinking?? He should have stayed with L&O)  Happily my neck has the All Clear. I still have to see a Surgeon about taking The Lump out,  but apart from its inherent annoying lumpiness, it is OK to have it benignly sitting there for a while. Hoo-ray. I am happy to be able to stop worrying about it. No doubt some other worry will leap in to fill the Worry Vacuum. It is very strange, that even though I tell myself not to worry and I appear not Twisties_toteto worry, I have Inside Worries, like The Inside Thinks in The Chrysalids. It was nice to walk out of the Consulting Room with a cheerful smile though. The power of Pollyanna I think!!!

And so this is Christmas. The Labradors have received the most wonderful presents, and are extremely spoiled. They are very happy, very lucky Labradors. Harki loves her squeaky toys and Peri, well, Peri is happy to play with the packaging. There's always a child like that. Friends are very kind to The Labradors and I appreciate that they understand The Labradors are not pets, but Animal Companions!!! They have other things to be photographed, but Cleopatras_stockingto be going on with, these: oh and Dog Muesli bars that have been put away safely somewhere and I can't find them now!!! 

I don't know what people use their Crisp and Confectionery bags for: pencil cases, little zippy bags, a going out clutch bag??? I have made MrsDrWho a Twistie Tote. I don't think it's up to much load-wise, but I added a band of material at the top and stitched the handles to that to try to make it a little stronger.  I also made Cleo a Christmas stocking,  Christmas Owls and some ornaments. There have been lots of presents for me too, I am ever so lucky too. No pictures now, but some next year!!!! I can say that in all honesty, knowing I won't be posting again till 2008.

I haven't been knitting at all. It has been far too hot. I want to knit the felted scarf from YARN 8 with the bobbles on the end, but it is Mohair and even farther too hot!!! Today I went to the Christmas_owls_2pictures with MrsDrWho and The Niece. We saw Enchanted and I can Highly Recommend it to anyone who has ever seen Snow White, Cinderella or Sleeping Beauty or any Princess films really. It was great for children but most amusing for adults too. Christmas_ornaments Well worth seeing.

Not much else to tell really. I had a scrumptious Christmas lunch with all the trimmings courtesy of Someone Else's Mum and Dad. I saw my Mum, sister and niece too, on Christmas Eve Day. I have not managed to post a single card as yet, but I have given cards to actual real people I have met up till now. The Boxing Day Test is won, over half the Sydney to Hobart yachts are home and New Year's Eve The_labradors_smiling is almost upon us. All in all it has been the Best of Years and the Worst of Years, but I am always glad to just see another year in. The Labradors, Peri on the left and then Harki on the right, are happy too.  They thank you for all your Festive wishes and hope that everyone has a wonderful New Year.

I only have 894 Blog Posts to catch up on..... that's a reading task of Sisyphusian proportions!!! Be afraid, be very afraid. I could be commenting on your blog soon..............


We're on a Road to GlassWhere

My_dog_has_no_nose There I was, happily ensconced on the couch chatting to MrsDrWho on the phone when I heard the sound of breaking glass. A lot. I peeped out the front window and there were two youths of indeterminate age and gender throwing glass bottles onto the road. Very soon cars were driving over the glass and I could hear it crunch. MrsDrWho encouraged me to ring the police and they arrived quite quickly and after some loud youthful swearing, the bottle throwing ceased and the road is clean today. Well done Police Officers!!!

I'm pretty much giving up on posting Christmas cards before Christmas this year. I had 9 hosBazillions_of_little_bagspital and doctors' appointment last week, including being made momentarily radioactive, and really, I was happy to be able to potter and not fall into a heap!! The Lump has been declared a cold cyst/nodule at the moment, and this is apparently good. I will find out what happens next on Friday.

Harki and Peri are hot but well. There has been much duck diving in the paddle Harki_is_helpingpool and on Monday they went to the park to see Aunties Margaret, Sandra and Suzi (in alphabetical order) They had a little time to run about and they both went into the river, but while Harki managed to remain clean, Peri got all muddy and so did all my clothes!!! There has been barely any knitting. I finished the tea cosy for the Tea Cosy Swap on Ravelry and sent off the parcel without the Tea Cosy. I am dozy!! Luckily my Sendee was The Very Well Connected Celebrity-wise Donni and she kindly found the whole situation More_chrissy_drawstring_bagsfunny. Now I am knitting a camel to add to MrsDrWho's Knitted Nativity. I was going to make her a Zebra instead but I am to apathetified to bother. I have sewn: I have made about a bazillion little Zippy bags from sweet wrappers. Such fun, and Harki helped with the picture!! And I have made quite a few drawstring bags too.

I've baked, and Peri helped by stealing the sprinkles from a high shelf in the pantry. Her paws were all pink from the red sprinkles. She didn't eat the silver ones as she doesn't like Of_course_i_used_a_spoon_2 peppermint very much. She is a terror, but maybe she has the temperament needed to be a TV Chef!!!! Gordon Labradorsey, Labragella or even Peri Oliver!!!!

When The Labradors and I have walked in the bush over the last week or so, there have been thousands of beetley insects, I think they are cicadas, all black and shiny and so noisy you can hardly hear yourself think. The trees are littered with the empty shells of what the cicadas were before they shed their skins. They come and go on a seven year cycle but I don't remember them Empty_shellsbeing so prolific before.

I still have a meme to fulfil. I haven't forgotten. We're looking forward to some rain over the next few days, at last. Everything is very dry.

Cicada

The Knitting Coven celebrated Christmas and Katt dyed some special wool for me, and I knitted Sharon some Seaweed socks and made her a matching Box Bag of sorts. I think they match very well!! And Sharon was especially pleased there was no Seaweed_box_bagpurple.

Here's the Spicy Biscuit recipe: it is very yummy and cuts out crisply and is so eaSeaweed_sockssy to re-roll and re-cut. Happy baking.

Spicy Biscuits

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/3 cup Golden Syrup
  • 1 egg
  • 2 1/4 cups Plain Flour
  • 1 tspn Bicarb Soda
  • 2 tspn spice: choose mixed spice, cinnamon and ginger(my favourite) or even extra chocolatey cocoa

Preheat the oven to 180*(160*C ff) and prepare trays. Cream the butter, sugar and syrup till lighter in colour and fluffy and then add the egg. Fold in the dry ingredients and then knead till it comes together and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes. Roll out on a floured surface and then cut out shapes. Bake for 12-15 minutes. They hold their shape very well and ice beautifully. 


And I Guess That's Why They Call It The Booze

Thank you kindly for all the lovely comments and positive thoughts!! I haven't seen the Surgeon yet: funding cuts, don't you know.... but I have seen 2 more different doctors and two nurses that I know as friends, all in passing, and they have all confirmed that 'Yes' it is a cyst and is very unlikely to be anything that I need to worry about. It goes up and down, my cyst: gets bigger and smaller on different days.... but I have indulged in some Retail Therapy as advised!! I bought the last two pretty balls of wool from The Shop I Am No Longer Boycotting As It Has New Owners And I Am Giving Them A Go, and some cellophane bags. It is difficult to get cellophane bags here at a reasonable price. I could have had 3000 for $120 plus postage, but really no-one would live long enough to use them Kiwi_green_eco all up, so I bought 300 for about $20. I have no idea whether this is the going rate or not, but I am happy. I also bought a new DVD recorder with an inbuilt tuner/set top box thingy. Oh the joy: it set up all the channels instantly itself, it set the clock too, and when you press the Guide button all the stations and programmes pop up and you select one- set record and then it even names the recording!!!! It cheered me up no end and it was slightly on sale.

The Lovely Meaghan at Yarns Online did a sterling job sourcing some Cascade Eco wool in Kiwi Green so I can knit a Hemlock Ring Blanket. The only colours to choose from here were shades like Oatmeal, Natural, Cream, Off White etc  and I didn't want any of those. Meaghan added my 2 giant skeins to her next order, kept me informed all the way and they arrived last week!! Of course now it is far too hot to knit a blanket, but I am hoping for a cool changeView_from_my_cheap_seat.

Six Days Later: This draft has been languishing, unpublished for almost a week, but that's good, because now Elton gets a guernsey!! Last night, along with 14,999 other Apple Islanders, I went to see Elton John. First let's get the boogelliness out of the way: I have only been to one almost concert before, but the crowd was so rude. People talked ALL night through the songs. They did not care and were very rude. I was in the poor Bronze section ($100 a ticket) but the Rich people in the Silver ($200 or more) and Gold ($300 and more) sections were apparently participating on some kind of relay competition because at any one time at least 10% were walking off the ground to the outside of Elton_john_3 the grand stand, especially if it was a less popular song. Perhaps they indulged a little too much: you could buy as much alcohol as you liked and some people obviously did.

In spite of this, the concert as excellent. I had several moments of thinking "Wow, that's Elton John, right here!!!" and I could actually feel the music. My fingers tingled and you could feel the sound waves emanating from the 112 speakers. I imagine it was like being at a soccer match in the UK, but instead of You'll Never Walk Alone, we were all Crocodile Rockin' and Candle in The Wind-ing. He sang and played for almost 2 1/2 hours and we provided a more than adequete sing-along accompaniment!!! It wFeelin_hot_hot_hotas wonderful. I could go again right now. I shall be humming Elton songs for the next few weeks...

The Labradors are both well and happy. Peri can usually be found soaking up all the coolness from the Evaporative Cooler whenever it is on. They are both very pleased to have the paddle pool filled and more mud making has ensued. Harki has spent endless hours running up and down the stairs to the treeless backyard to fetch her toy and Peri has been perfecting 'Drop'. This means she goes from a standing position to Drop by simultaneously thrusting out her froSmittensnt legs and whipping up her back legs and then actually dropping to the floor. She is excessively pleased with herself!!!

The Smittens are complete and turned out very nicely too. And I have been to MrsDrWho's classroom to make MIni Christmas Puddings and some 3D biscuits too. I also remembered to take a picture of The Most Excellent And Naff Knitted Knitted_nativity_with_sad_sheepNativity I made for her!!! The Mini Christmas Puds are so simple and look very effective. I think you could add some extra fruit or nuts if you liked and even melt white chocolate on top for the icing. But I managed to work with the whole class in less than 90 minutes. We made 100 little puddings for about $10!!! MrdDrWho has been experienceing her First Christmas With A Cat. Cleo has been ever so helpful!!!

Although it is inordinately hot, we have had thunderstorms and rain and it is cool today. I am finishing my Tea Cosy for the Swap and doing a little sewing. I also have been 'Tagged'. I have not completed my Tag but as there doesn't appear to be a time limit, I think I'll do that this week!!!

Mini Christmas Puddings

  • One 800g ( 1 1/2 pounds) Dark Christmas Cake - cheap brand, mine was $3
  • 1 cup of liquid: orange or apple juice, even tea, coffee or brandy I reckon Mini_christmas_puds
  • 1- 1/2 cups coconut
  • 500g (1 lb) icing sugar mix
  • red and green glace cherries to decorate the top

Crumble the cake into a bowl and add about half the liquid and half the coconut. Mix well and then test to see if it squooshes well and rolls into a ball easily. Adjust the liquid and coconut as required. Roll into small golf ball sized balls and refrigerate. I skipped this step and ours worked fine. Mix up the icing sugar with some water or juice to make a medium icing: not too runny but not too stiff. Drizzle over the puddings and it is nice if it drips over the sides. Chop up the cherries and use 1 red and 2 green pieces to make a holly shape on top. That's it!! Your puddings are complete.