Bedly Nightshade

And so it goes, every morning and every night: The Labradors play on the bed. Lorelai Gilmore feels so well that she is imbued with a new enthusiasm for play. And a biscuit as well, if possible. This is her "Hopeful Biscuit" face.

Gilly is thinking about a biscuit

The best new toy is a hair elastic: it stretches, it pings, it flies, it can make a noise- best toy ever. Tonight they played for most of the 100 minutes I was talking to MrsDrWho on the telephone about her first two days with her new class. They played with the hair elastic, a plastic cup and then the leg of the dinosaur toy. Hedy used to have the upper hand, but Gilly has learned her wily ways and gives as good as she gets. It does make the bed a dangerous place for people who don't want to have their stomachs bounced on unexpectedly, or find themselves staring at a Labrador's belly as their head lies on the pillow.

Hedy's new harness

I let Hedy Lamarr wear her new Walking Harness so I could take some photos. She loves to wear it, as you can see from her proud stance, she thinks it is a delight!! And she walks like a good girl on her lead, so it is a bonus all round.

Gilly's paddle pool play

Lorelai Gilmore has spent rather a lot of time in the paddle pool. The weather has been very humid for the last few days. I know it has not been 45*C, but here 19*C overnight with humidity is a heatwave for us. Gilly likes to dip, turnaround, maybe have a drink and then hop out. Her belly is still a little pink where her fur has not fully grown back yet.

Caramel biscuits

Last time we went to The Vet I took these Donna Hay Caramel Biscuits. They are sooo easy to make and use so few ingredients I am not sure why I haven't made them again.

Neil diamond and video chat hats 2017

I have finished two new hats: The Neil Diamond (Michele) and The Video Chat (Skyping Beanie) hats. Neil Diamond was finished in time for MrsDrWho's God-Daughter's birthday tea. The colour is not right, the grey is much nicer. The Video Chat Hat is an excellent pattern and though I look terrible in most hats, this one might be OK. It isn't for me, it is a hat to knit when I talk on the telephone with the headset on. I didn't have any short 3.25 KnitPro needles and so I cast on fewer stitches for the band with 4.5mm ends and then increased. It means the ribs don't line up from the band through to the hat. I must remember to get new needles.

New timtam flavours

There are four new flavours of TimTam biscuits, made in collaboration with Gelato Messina, which I must confess I have only vaguely heard of. Oh, when I clicked through I recognised some of their gelato cakes from MasterChef. I cannot comment on the flavours as I can't have chocolate, but I shall ask MrsDrWho about the : Salted Caramel & Vanilla, Black Forest, Choc Mint and Coconut & Lychee.

Bags 106 107

What a surprise!! Bags #106 and #107 for my friends MrsMauritius and Bella'sMum. We met about twenty-nine years ago and after we transferred to other schools we continued to catch up over the years. Now we are all retired and we had lunch in town on the first day of school. I am lucky to have such good friends. I made an Australian wild flower bag for MrsMauritus and a "dogs with hats on" bag for Bella'sMum. Bella is a black Labrador.

Hedy stole the zucchini

WeeJock and Bessie's Mum left a zucchini in a bag on the gate. Hedy hasn't had a lot of zucchini and last time she ate some she was sick. Apparently it wasn't the zucchini. I put it on the bench inside the back door, and then later on went outside to find Hedy Lamarr had stolen it!! It is very yummy. I rescued it and Gilly and Hedy had some later on with their dinner.

I must confess that I haven't done any posting. I have spent the better part of every day asleep over the last week. I think because it is cool, I did too much: three social outings in a row and then sewing and knitting and baking: all too much. And I have a slight niggle of a toothache. I have a dentist appointment next week, but I always worry. Dentists are so expensive and my teeth have suffered from all the drugs I have had to take to keep me alive: hmmm, good teeth or being alive?? No doubt it will be something hideously expensive. Still, I must look after my teeth and gums. They are a source of horrid germs, and germs and I don't get on.

I have no idea what I will be baking for Friday Food tomorrow. It will be much cooler, I am making a curry, and maybe something banana or the Better Homes & Gardens super quick and easy pineapple slice?? And it is 11pm so it is time all good (and naughty) Labradors were in bed............


Waffle On. Waffle Off.

There has been much socialising and, ergo, much sleeping ensued!! We walked at the dam this week, but we slept all day and all night. Twice. I think today we have caught up at last. Private school teachers are already back at work and State school teachers return next week, so there has been some determined catching up. MrsDrWho had a BBQ and I made Donna Hay ice-cream waffles. Oh they are so easy and look pretty fabulous. I made all three kinds:

  1. Raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream with raspberries from MrsReno's garden, dipped in dark chocolate and coconut.
  2. Mashed banana and peanut butter with vanilla ice-cream dipped in milk chocolate and pecans.
  3. Chocolate ice-cream with choc bits, a few pretzels and a smear of Nutella, dipped in nothing as they were chocolaty enough.

Waffle ice creams

I bought frozen waffles and filled them and froze them for two hours and then did the chocolate dipping. We had a little heatwave of 30*C so I didn't want to bake. I didn't taste any because I can't have chocolate, but the BBQ people said they were delicious. And as a bonus they keep in the freezer for ages if you don't eat them!!

The next night we went to the posh restaurant at the Casino and then on Sunday I had a long and leisurely brunch with Judy-May. I came over all faint and woozy as it was hot and she kindly reorganised the seating and I spent the bulk of the time over the air-conditioning vent, feeling soooo much better. How kind!!

Rey zippy pouch

I sewed a Rey Zippy pouch. I am a big Rey fan, Rey from Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

I have been buying material at The BlackSpot of Doomlight (TM) Their Christmas material is on sale for $2-50 a metre, or $1 if you buy the rest of the bolt and with member discount it comes down to 75 cents a metre. I may have been back three times. I did buy some material to make my Rey dress. Now it is home I am not sure it is right.

Rey and matching fabric

There was a better khaki colour but it was plain, and I always spill things on the bodices of my dresses. The Rey material has a tiny bit of green on her outfit, a bronze/khaki colour. I think I might wait and see if there is a better colour later on. This green will not go astray!!

Neil diamond hat one ball

I am racing against time to knit a hat. Today I suddenly remembered a vague promise to knit a hat for MrsDrWho's god-daughter, and it is her birthday tomorrow. We are so old that a god-daughter is perhaps thirty??!!

I need to knit 250 metres by tea time tomorrow. I have knitted a ball so far this afternoon. I've made this hat before, it is the Michele hat, and I have named this The Neil Diamond Hat and I am using Merino Magic 8ply from Heirloom. I am knitting as fast as I can. The slip stitch pattern is easy: one row K6 Slip 1, the next row just K to the end.

Labradors on our walk

Such good news for Lorelai Gilmore at the vet. Her results were excellent and from a starting point of 3 1/2 blue tablets every day, she is down to 1/4 of a tablet every second day, and an Imuran(sp?) every second day too. Dr Tim was very pleased and Gilly seems so happy, playful and normal again. The days have been delightfully cool, but sunny in the afternoons and so Gilly likes to lie on her cushion and soak up the warmth.

Gilly rests outside

Hedy Lamarr pulls like all get out when she walks on her lead so Dr Tim suggested a new harness. I don't have a picture, but as soon as she put it on, she walks like a good girl. MrsDrWho bought Hedy a rope toy for her birthday last week, and she loves to fetch it. I also think it is hefty enough to survive her sharp chewing teeth for quite a while. We are making Hedy work when she wants to play: she has to sit and not bark. She learned to sit in no time flat but she is contrary and barks if throwers are too slow for her. Sadly, that means she has to wait even longer.

Hedy and the rope toy

We haven't really done very much at all, what with all the sleeping and resting in bed. We are very grateful for the cool weather, it even rained this afternoon!! The poor people in Sydney have been suffering from the heat with the hottest month ever in January, but Cooma has had 36 straight days over 35*C. Now I must go back to the couch to watch The Weekly and knit, knit, knit......


Ten Things I Eight About You

Gilly is 8

Lorelai Gilmore is Eight years old!!! There are a bazillion things I love about her, too many to list. She is such a wonderful animal companion. Gilly is loving and loyal, sturdy and true. She loves to play with disposable plastic cups and to walk between your legs and have her back scratched. She makes me laugh. I was chuffed to see that when they are home alone, The Labradors sleep next to each other in the garage. Gilly has a good companion coming along nicely in Hedy Lamarr.

We sing this song about Gilly, now she is eight. I have always enjoyed Sesame Street King of 8 for Gilly.

We are so very happy that she has kept on living after her awful immune suppressed illness last year. She is still taking all her tablets, but she is as bright as a button, full of playfulness and every alert. She is teaching Hedy Lamarr to be alert as well. Hedy is a little bit afraid when Gilly barks, and this is not a bad thing: Hedy should go lower than Gilly. It is the way of the world.

Gilly and Hedy on night time alert

In celebration of Lorelai Gilmore's birthday and the fact that I have just sewn my hundredth shopping bag: Gilly and Hedy would like to give the hundredth bag away to someone. Just leave a comment and we will pick a winner next Thursday afternoon our time. The bag is made from some green quilting cotton and has a mosaic print of Gilly and Hedy on the front. I printed the fabric on The Spoonflower. It is a milestone, or a kilometrestone??, and now I have made one hundred bags in three and a half years the unit cost per bag for the pattern is just eight cents. That's as much as The ABC costs each Australian: Eight cents a day. I would pay more.

#100 bag

The bag is sewn, ironed and ready to post anywhere in the whole wide world. We will send it off to be used for shopping. It will do a good job. Even if you have never left a comment before, it will be fine if you'd like a chance to win!!

#99 bag cats

Here is bag #99, a cat bag. Though the material was cut carefully in the shop, when I tore it, it was quite wonky, and I ended up short. I used two blue jelly roll strips as an accent on the bottom. I think it looks as if it was meant to be. Roll on bag #101.

Sunflake dishcloth

Knitpicks is sending a free dishcloth pattern every week this year. I have knitted the first: Snowflake Dishcloth. Oh the agony of soooo many ends, and sewing ends into a cotton dishcloth is my idea of hell. Still, it will be very pretty, and if I can keep it up I will have fifty-two at the end of the year. Last year I was determined to sew The Splendid Sampler. I made it through about six blocks and then Hedy arrived.  I shall knit as many dishcloths as suits me and if I miss a week, I shall employ a devil-may-care attitude.

Cheese you've been a long time

We walked to the shop and I left The Labradors at the Dog Stop while I went to The Bakery. They waited: Gilly patiently, Hedy not so patiently. She woofed. Poor Lorelai Gilmore still has a fairly pink belly. Her fur is growing back every so slowly.

Hedy does rhythmic gymnastics..the stick

Hedy Lamarr is very athletic. She can leap and twist and turn and should be considered for The Dog Olympic Rhythmic Gymnastic team in three years!!

The new Donna Hay magazine has some recipes for icebox pies. Basically it is a base with flavoured ice-cream and maybe a topping. I made the Salted Coconut and Passionfruit Icebox Pie.

Ice box pie

The base is 135g shredded coconut, 75g caster sugar, 25g melted butter, 1/2 tspn salt flakes and an egg-white. You mix this together and press it into the base of a 20cm pie dish and bake for 25 minutes at 150*C. I used a flan tin with a removable base. Set aside to cool.

It would have cost $20 to buy the twelve passionfruit the recipe asked for, so I compromised with four real passionfruit and used some tinned passionfruit pulp. Bring the passionfruit pulp to a boil, add 55g of caster sugar and simmer for 6-8 minutes until it thickens. Set aside to cool.

Then Donna Hay mixes 40g shredded coconut with 1/2 tspn of salt flakes and bakes it for 1-2 minutes. It is meant to be sprinkled over the top of the icebox pie. I missed out this step as I felt it was a bit too trendy for the icebox pie recipient.

Soften 2 litres of vanilla ice-cream and fold in almost all the passionfruit. Spoon onto the base, swirl the extra passionfruit mixture over the top and then cover and freeze. Slice, top with softly whipped cream and enjoy.

There are five other icebox pies: blueberry cheesecake, pandan key lime, cherry chocolate, chocolate swirl & hazelnut and tiramisu.

We are expecting rain tomorrow, which is very exciting. The State has had to start up the gas-fired power station for the second Summer in a row. We really need some rain. I think we will cavort madly in the rain when it comes. And there will definitely be a Friday Food recipe tomorrow. I am baking back-to-school lunch box idea recipes.

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore.

Baby Gilly

 

 


Friday (Food) Friday, Gotta Get Down On Friday.

I am being kind to myself after a tricky week and there is no Friday Food. This week:

  • The NBN came
  • The phone and internet did not initially
  • Nor did the silent number
  • The car is leaking some kind of fluid (sp edit)
  • We need new tyres
  • It has been hot and ever so humid

 

The actual man who installed The NBN was kind and very nice to The Labradors. Gilly was interested and sensible. Hedy was all yes I want a pat/no you are a stranger and had to be put in her little box for everyone's peace of mind. Ipad photos, so worse than usual. Hedy inspected the work.

The nbn has come

I am just treating myself a little carefully. After phone calls and emails - from MrsDrWho's mother's house because you can't email or phone if you don't have the internet or landline connected -  my ISP magically found it would not take up to twelve days (5-7 working days with two weekends in the mix) and they had enabled the internet and phone by the next day. I do despair, that I have to exert such effort, but it all ended up being sorted out and my number is silent again too.

Don't know what is leaking from under the car, I just noticed it yesterday, and we need new tyres desperately, so I am off to see what can be done about money. No point in having a car if it doesn't work. We spent all our money on Lorelai Gilmore last year and she is worth every cent!!!

Although it is hot and horridly humid, we have had a cooler summer and this morning it was cloudy so the sun didn't heat the front of the house: a boon.

So I am being grateful and telling people about what is happening. I am thinking today of James Hird. I am not an AFL fan, I only keep an ear on MrsDrWho's mother's team so I can chat to her about the games. I know only too well how easy it is to slip into a state where you believe people would be better off without you, that you are not worth very much and life seems a burden rather than a joy. I hope that whatever has happened, he can find the help and support he needs, anyone needs: BeyondBlue.

Gilly Hedy new summer beds

The Labradors have new Summer beds. They have a cool fabric outer and are squooshy but not warm, they feel airy. They are very popular, especially after the paddle pool. I think a wet cushion is a lovely cool sleeping place.

Cicadas potential friends or snacks

When my mum came to visit she came on our walk. The Labradors were astonished, as were the people, at the cicadas flying through the air. Gilly, and then Hedy, found the cicadas which had fallen to the ground but were still flapping, and they became potential friends or snacks: you guess which. They look like birds, but they aren't. The sound is almost unbearable, but to us it is the sound of Summer.

Christmas baking

I did some Christmas baking, and made cards. That's pretty much all I did. I made spiced shortbread mini biscuits, gingerbread with fondant snowflakes, vanilla pinwheel biscuits with peppermint candy cane iced on the edges, flourless chocolate biscuits, fruit cake and ganache truffles and lemon and white chocolate truffles. I am so pleased with the way they turned out and I purposefully made things that weren't covered in chocolate so they didn't melt in the heat.

Becca bag #1

Sweetpea bag #1

I bought a Craftsy course on sale for $24 and learned a new zip technique and sewed a Becca bag and a Sweetpea pouch. I am totally enamoured with the way the zip works. You cut the zipper ends off and then sew just one half to the bag and then re-attach the zipper pull. I feel very clever!!!

Bags 97 and 98

Grocery bags #97 and #98. I am almost to one hundred and I think I shall give #100 away on my blog. It is the very least I can do after subjecting readers to endless bag photos. I have some special material from Spoonflower printed with Gilly and Hedy and I shall use that!!!!

Xmas 2016 zippy chip bags

Last two zippy chip bags for the last two children at our Christmas gathering.

Hot bowl cosies xmas 2017

Also for Kris Kringle, hot bowl cosies. When you take a bowl out of the microwave, you pop it in the cosy to protect your hands.

And generally the rest of my craft for 2016: I am always amazed that I make so many things. I do sometimes think I waste my time sleeping and feeling not very well at all, but I look at all these things and I feel useful and productive. Of course I love making the shopping bags, but I like to try new things as well.

Knitted things 2016

Bags 2016

Hats 2016

Other bags 2016

Other things 2016

Gilly is trying new things, she joined in the Border Collie/Labrador Puppy chasing game. We are so pleased to see her being happy and enjoying herself. I wonder if she pined for Peri, after Peri died?

Gilly plays The Game

And Hedy is as happy as a pig in mud. She is silly happy, and extra pleased because Gilly stole a present bone from the Christmas bag and I gave half to Hedy Lamarr!!

Hedy is so happy

Here are The Labrador after the gardener whipper-snippered. They have the whole yard to play in and he even filled the paddle pool. He's a kind gardener.

Gilly and hedy after whipper snipper

Today I sat down and added one hundred and four books to my sidebar - you can only see the most recent twenty books I think. I hadn't added any last year. I think there are some I have missed. I usually take a photo as I put the book across the opening at The Library. I think there might be a few photos elsewhere. I've already read seven books this year so I hope to keep up-to-date with my list in 2017.

It is still too warm to sleep, and since we did sleep all day yesterday until 4-19pm and then all night again, perhaps we can stay up a little later. Tomorrow and Sunday are forecast to be 30*C so we should take the cool moments while we can.


That Touch Of Sink

Yesterday Hedy Lamarr had her first swim. In truth, she had her first sink: she ran full pelt toward the ducky she spied and leaped into the water and sank like a stone. There is no documentary evidence per se as I was in will-I-have-to-wade-in-and-save-her mode. I do have "after" photos:

Labradors not swimming

Hedy submerged totally, and after the beat when I wondered whether I would have to save her or not, she surfaced like a submarine, spluttering and dog paddling!!! I made sure to clean her ears and eyes before breakfast.

Gilly does not swim. She wades about doing a kind of canine water aerobics and gets wet up to her chin. Hedy is very vocal and is always making high pitched barks.

Lemon butter biscuits

I have been poorly on and off and spent more time sleeping. Not much else has happened at our house: a little more knitting and some baking. I baked some Jamie Oliver Lemon Butter biscuits for The Vet today. They tasted lemony and buttery but they were not very pretty and I had run out of icing sugar and I just glazed them with some lemon curd. The recipe did make twenty, though it refused to roll out without sticking. I just rolled 20g balls of dough instead.

New toy

As anyone reading my blog knows, I am the world's worst photographer. MrsDrWho bought The Labradors some soft toys at her school fair.  Gilly had the toy, and Hedy stole it. Gilly is chasing her trying to get it back. To no avail.

Lorelai Gilmore is very well. She stole Hedy's treat yesterday, much to Hedy's shock and horror. Gilly is bright eyed and interested in all sorts of things out the window now. She even sneaks into the kitchen if we forget to shut the baby gate.  We go to The Vet next week for more blood tests.

Gilly likes a good step

Hedy Lamarr is in denial. We weighed her at The Vet last week and she is a tad more then 23kg. Gilly is a tad under 27kg. Hedy thinks she is still a tiny puppy.

Hedy says her little box fits perfectly well

She is too big to lie sidie-waysie in her crate, or Little Box as I like to call it. She does not let this deter her.

Hedy is sure she fits

The lady at the wool shop gave me some banana passionfruit. I have frozen the pulp, mixed with a little sugar, in my new freezer. I love freezing things, I have two litres of freshly squeezed lemon juice and six take-away containers of raspberries and loganberries from MrsReno. There is still plenty of room for more frozen things!!!

Banana passionfruit

Last night I went with MrsDrWho, and other lovely people, to see Blackadder. Encore Theatre dramatised three of the Elizabethan episodes: Head, Money and Beer. It was very good, though the seats were uncomfortable. I was glad to go out as I had had a shock. I had had my heart set on something and my hopes were dashed. When I met MrsDrWho I burst into tears. After a lot of Blackadder and a commiseratory glass of wine I had things more in perspective. I did have to listen to Classic FM all day today though. I can only hope that in Australia we see what happens when a country is divided and we don't go down that path. I am glad to live here in a small city, on a small island, where in spite of all our differences, we manage to get along. Still, I Maintain The Rage from 1975, but maybe those Over There will instead maintain their hope in the face of adversity. I shall hope along with them. Together: we can.

Halloween here

Oh and we had a Halloween here, of sorts. There was a great letter in our letterbox inviting us to participate if we wished and a balloon to tie to the letterbox to show assent. The letter also acknowledged not everyone celebrates Halloween in Australia (which is as it should be) And although we didn't participate, I feel a lot happier about it than in years gone by. The Halloweeners were all rather older teenagers and the only interruption to the early evening was their laughter!!

I used my $10 Spotlight Christmas voucher wisely, and bought four sewing patterns and a 6B Wilton piping tip for just $10. I am love a bargain. I saw 8096 on The Curvy Sewing Collective and was smitten, and not just because it is green!! I shall make the third iteration, with the wider gathered shoulder straps. Not so sure about 1102, as it is made in knit fabric, but I might give the version modelled a try.

Patterns 1
I saw 8137 reviewed as well, and I am in search of a woven fabric wrap dress, so I will try a sleeveless short dress version. I just love the skirt on Butterick 5982. I am not sure about the dart in the centre front, but there is some discussion here about a full bust adjustment in the comments.

Patterns 2

The weather is very Springy: hot, cold, frosty, snowy, rainy and wind so strong I couldn't open the car door. It has not been terribly hot, but it was hot enough that I didn't want to take The Labradors in the car for a visit to The Vet this afternoon. We are also enduring mosquitoes the size of blow flies and bulbous, loud blow flies as well.

Labradors on the new bedding

The night is coolish, but we have a new woollen underlay and a new doona so we will be snuggling under the doona and sticking a foot out of bed to cool down. My mum very kindly gave me some money so I could pick up my lay-by early. It is technically too hot for the woollen doona, but I don't care. The old underlay was so old, I had turned it already from top to bottom and in many places there was No Wool Left!! This is a photo taken in a poorly lit room with the iPad, which doesn't have a flash. After disassembling the bed, and making it halfway again, I was too tired to find the camera. Gilly looks so happy, and Hedy sits up very straight to have her photo taken and is very interested in case there might be a treat afterwards.

I have also started answering my blog comments, slowly but surely, and they are not a task or a bother. I like to answer my comments, it is just they get away from me sometimes!! Gilly is lying on the almost finished quilt (and I let her, she's sick) and Hedy is squashed in her little box, so all is right with the world. Time for bed for all Labradors.


Where Have All The Flours Gone? Long time Passing.

This week I went to The Hospital to participate in a pretend ward round for the almost graduating doctors. They have a small replica ward and there were four patients and we all had a scenario to play. I was being me, with a relapse. An actor was playing a dementia patient and caused havoc all around the ward and he even ran away from his doctors!! Though the bed wasn't terribly comfortable, it was a very restful three and a half hours. I changed into my pyjamas and my next door neighbour gave me some honey bear lollies to eat. We had cups of tea and sandwiches at half time.

Pretend Hospital

Last week I did actually feel quite poorly and had a couple of days in bed. Luckily one was Wednesday and we don't go for a walk, and I roused myself to take The Labradors for a walk on Thursday and then I could sleep contentedly knowing they had their exercise. The weather has been typical Spring weather: hailstorms, heavy rain, wind and then warm sunny days. No-one knows what to wear or if they should take their umbrella or not.

Hedy has learned a new trick. When she plays with Sandy, she does evasive roly polys to try and get the better of him. She is so funny, and after all the rolling on the grass also very wet. Gilly doesn't play. She likes to wander about investigating all the smells, and (I am sorry to say) eating wallaby pooh.

Gilly went to see Dr David last week and we had good news again. Her blood results were all in the normal range and this week she only has to take one blue tablet each day, and we don't have to go back for a month!! Lorelai Gilmore is so happy, she wags her tail on her walk and she is naughty at home: I caught her in the kitchen!!!!

Gilly at the vet

She is still very hungry all the time and likes to eat her food up on the step, so she can be higher than Hedy Lamarr. Hedy likes to try and steal Gilly's food.

How Gilly eats her breakfast

Hedy is so big now and she can be quite defiant. She knows she mustn't jump up when someone comes home, so she sits perfectly: and barks crossly. If it is later in the evening, Gilly is always waiting at the gate, but during the day they are both there. They are not allowed at the back gate because they bark at dogs going past, but if I am at the car, I let them have a special gate treat!!!

Gilly and Hedy waiting at the gate

I had meant to blog last week, but on Thursday and Friday my internet was interrupted. Earlier this year I was without a landline for five weeks, and finally my ISP apologised and gave me some compensation and upgraded me to a better plan. I was very pleased, but no-one explained clearly that being upgraded meant an interruption to the internet!! It was all fixed by later on Friday, but I lost the will to bake and blog!!

Our knitting group had a Dessert Degustation. One of our number is undertaking a Hospitality course and she has been cooking with some famous chefs, like Tetsuya!!! We were lucky enough to experience these culinary delights from our talented chef:

Dessert degustation 1

Poh's White chocolate ganache tart with raspberries, creme caramel and chickpea brownie with berry compote and whipped coconut cream. I couldn't eat the chocolate brownie, and I couldn't even fit in a second slice of the delicious white chocolate tart!! The creme caramel was so smooth and the caramel so yummy.

Dessert degustation 2

The final dessert was Tetsuya's Granny Smith apple granita with apple jelly. We didn't know about the tiny hidden apple jelly cubes so they were a wonderful surprise. This may have been my favourite. To finish we had three truffles, I can't remember what the dark chocolate one was, but the other two were saffron and cumin I think, and then a spiced rum and coconut. It was a marvellous selection of desserts and no-one had room for dinner.

Hedy has also been using food, but not in a good way. While I was sleeping she chose some plain flour from the shopping bag and then opened it and played with it, in the loungeroom, on the carpet. I am not sure how to remove it as it has set in a crusty layer. The darker spots are where she has tried to nibble the flour. She is still very much a puppy.

Hedy's flour explosion

But look at her: even when she is lying in wait for Gilly half way up the steps, she is as cute as a giant button!! I think that might be flour on her nose.

Hedy waits to jump on Gilly

I am knitting a hat for WeeJock and Bessie's dad. It will be the Five by Five, Faith Hat and I am using some lovely soft Inca Spun Tweed in grey. I have knitted a ball of wool since lunch time and only have another 5cm to work until the crown decreases. I think I shall finish it tomorrow!!

5 by 5 faith hat start

Hedy always gets a sudden urge to play rough and rowdy rebel games at bedtime. There is an awful lot of refereeing to do and maybe a little cider vinegar squirting. Oh no, now she is blowing bubbles in the water bowl. She is fascinated by the patterns the water makes in the light, and so we have a towel under the inside water bowl now. Thank goodness for Lorelai Gilmore!!!


Now It's Music I've Found, And I'm Tired, I'll Sleep Sound.

Oh I am so tired. I am beyond tired. Today we went for a walk and unexpectedly met Rafa and his dad. Hedy played so much she had to have a little lie down.

Hedy the ball Rafa

Then I had my hair cut and this afternoon I went to be a Patient-Partner at the Hospital. Seven people searched for, found and then palpated my spleen.  An enlarged spleen is a rarity, so the almost newly minted doctors and their tutors were excited to feel my spleen. I also had to exert myself so that they could hear the murmur in my heart. And get on the bed, off the bed, several times. I want to go to sleep, but I know if we go to bed now, I shall be awake in the middle of the night again.

Lorelai Gilmore is feeling very well. We met a new puppy, Sebastian, but I don't have a decent photo of him. Hedy, Sandy and Rafa played with him. Gilly?? No, Gilly met Sebastian's human and ascertained immediately that she had treats in her pocket. Gilly has never met a pocket full of treats she doesn't love!!

Gilly, never met a pocket she didn't like

Lorelai Gilmore has her "asking for a treat" face and paw down pat. Look at that face.

Gilly asking for a treat

Hedy Lamarr never passes up a treat, she also never passes up a muddy puddle.

Hedy in the muddy puddle

When Hedy bites Gilly, I squirt a little diluted apple cider vinegar at her. I only had to do this a few times before she realised what it meant. After that I just had to show her the bottle and say "No!". Unfortunately I left the bottle on the desk and Hedy wrought her revenge quickly, chewing off the top.

Hedy's revenge

I have been knitting something from Craftsy's new free Autumn Knit-along . They say Fall, I say Autumn. It is a gift, so I have not shown it as it truly is. I am very pleased though. It was a fun knit and looks great too.

Some knitting

I've also been trying to eat more vegetables. Tonight I had peas, sweet potatoes and potato. Yesterday I had some carrots, Hasselback potatoes with bacon and broccolini (not shown).

Bacon-y potatoes

I am tired in other ways too. A female politician has said she felt bullied by a male politician. The male Premier has decided there is no case to answer and the male politician apologised for his tone, but not the bullying. Now he is saying that he is the victim. How is it that he seems to have turned the whole thing around and made it about him?? The Premier says there should be mediation, but I think there should be a proper third party inquiry. I don't believe that putting a bully, and the person they bullied together is a good idea. I think it can give more power to the bully. No-one really know what happened, but the male politician threatening to sue anyone who discusses it seems wrong.

It is still a man's world.

Today is International Day of the Girl and a survey released shows that two-thirds of girls believe that gender inequality is a persistent problem in Australia. 40% say they do more chores than the boys in their family and only 16% feel they are valued for their brains and ability. Things have changed, but not enough. It seems that because girls have been given the same opportunities as boys, boys feel they have had something taken away from them. And when women are given equal opportunities to men, men also feel that they have lost out: I am speaking generally. I think of the way Julia Gillard was, and Hillary Clinton is, treated so poorly by men and by the media. I despair of old rich entitled white men. Women and men are certainly different, but deserve the same opportunities and respect. A few weeks ago I found a credit card on the road behind my parked car. I took the card to the police station and I had to fill in a form. The form was all "he", "him" and "his". Not even a pretence of "s/he". I do feel not as equal when simple things such as government forms only have male pronouns. I would like to see all forms with just female pronouns and then tell men that these pronouns are inclusive. I don't feel included.

What else can I talk about?? The Plebiscite for Same Sex Marriage. I cannot for the life of me work out why I can have a vote-that-might-not-even-be-worthwhile about same sex marriage, but not one about going to war or the deficit. It does seem now that The Plebiscite might be off. I think couples should be able to be married in a civil ceremony. Everyone should have a civil ceremony and then they can have their marriage blessed, or whatever, in a church if that is what they choose. And churches should be able to refuse if they want to. I don't want to interfere in their religion. I can't think of one good reason why there should not be same sex marriage. The arguments used against it sound oh so familiar to those used against African Americans, against our Aborigines and against women. And saying that children deserve a mother and a father?: even fifteen years ago in my classroom most of the children's parents were no longer together in their original family unit. There were single mums, single dads, people who had remarried, people whose spouse had died, the list goes on. I believe children are better off with two people, or one person, who loves them, rather than with two people who hate being together and make their home an unhappy or unsafe place.

I feel like Hillary after saying all that!!

And I just can't even start thinking about Donald Trump.

There. I've managed to while away an hour. Time for a cup of tea, maybe another episode of Fringe and then sleep. Tomorrow there is no walk, we don't walk on Wednesdays, so I plan to sleep all morning.

And now I plan to press "Publish" and be damned.


Don't Go Cake-ing My Heart

Gilly is doing well. Dr David is very pleased with her progress, and my own GP thinks she is doing well too. She has the correct amount of platelets and her Red Blood Cells are below normal, but not terribly much so.  I didn't realise how well she was responding until we again met The Golden Retriever with the same thing. He has been very unwell, can't eat, has lot 3kg and has a large sore on his back. Gilly is doing very well indeed.

There are no blood tests this week, but we are going to visit The Vet and have some lovely pats and tasty treats so Lorelai Gilmore doesn't think going to The Vet is a not-very-nice thing. Still, there are Liver treats and Gilly thoroughly inspects the room to make sure she has them all.

Gilly at the vet

Gilly is enjoying her walks again and can keep pace, more or less, with Hedy Lamarr if she wants to. This is a terrible picture, but it shows how much Gilly has improved: she trots along, tail wagging, interested in what she can find and see.

Gilly and Hedy as normal

There are a lot of smells to be smelled.

Gilly on the trail of a scent

And her fur is starting to grow back properly at last.

Lorelai's fur growing back

Hedy Lamarr's friend Rafa the Border Collie is not coming for a walk, he's at The Kennels. Hedy loves to play with Rafa and her pretend stick. Rafa pretends to be cross and barks at Hedy, then they swap and he runs with the stick and it is Hedy's turn to be cross.

Hedy, stick. Rafa , bark

While Rafa is away, Hedy is playing with Sandy instead. Sandy has had a sore back, but he is well again.

Sandy and Hedy play with the toy

But Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr especially love walking together. Hedy has learned not to bark incessantly in a shrill manner in the back of the car, and she is trying to learn not to bite Lorelai Gilmore. The little bottle of watered down Apple Cider Vinegar is a good deterrent, and most of the time I just show her the bottle and there is no need to squirt the vinegar. Hedy Lamarr is almost as big as Lorelai Gilmore, and she is 8 months old!!!

Hedy and Gilly happy on the walk

In the afternoon they snuggle up together on one too small cushion that Hedy has begun to eviscerate.

The Labradors on the cushion

I haven't done very much, other than look after Gilly and try to keep things ticking along: badly. I have almost finished the 2ply Loop de Loop. I have finished my BoHo not BooHoo socks,  which I started on 3rd July. They are lovely, and I have another same-but-different ball of green striped Nako Boho too, and a ball of Kiwi fruit inspired Opal too. I see more socks in my future!!

BoHo not BooHoo socks 2016

I should have suspected something when I caught both Gilly and Hedy in the kitchen on Saturday morning. I shooed them out and thought nothing of it. Little did I know they were on a fact finding mission. I baked a delicious chocolate orange fudge cake for MrsDrWho and left it to cool when I went out to dinner on Saturday evening. When I came home at 9pm I realised that I hadn't tied the baby gate shut and that the empty tin just inside the back door meant that they had eaten a whole cake. A cake that had 200g of rich dark chocolate in it. I rang the emergency number for The Vet and Dr Rob was on duty. He said that other than keeping a eagle eye on them, there probably wasn't anything to worry about. If they started vomiting or lost their balance they would need to go straight to The Vet and have a drip. The only drip was me, and now the baby gate into the kitchen is doubly secured with a green occy strap. $2-95 at Woolies, but priceless when it comes to peace of mind.

The reason I baked the cake a day early was because the power was off all day Sunday for power pole replacement. My next-door neighbour had the bright idea of taking the ingredients to MrsDrWho's house and baking it there, and so I did. It is an easy recipe (I didn't bother separating the eggs) and you melt and mix and it bakes in 25 minutes.

The Cake Emergency didn't break any hearts, or bank balances, though I may have just put a new pair of green sandals on lay-by today: new green shoes always cheer me up.

New sandals

And now we will all do what we have been doing an awful lot of: going to bed and sleeping. Lorelai Gilmore is taking fewer blue tablets, so she doesn't need to go outside so many times during the night, but I think the worry just makes me need more sleep. Hedy Lamarr doesn't always want to sleep, so sometimes we have to throw the Squeaky Toy until she's worn out. Hedy is a lovely girl, and we are so lucky to have her. She loves Gilly, and I think Gilly is glad to have a puppy to snuggle up with, but not one that bites her ears, so we are working on that!!

 

 


Happy Walk, Keep Walking Happy Walk.

Most recent first: Hedy Lamarr has been for her first walk with Lorelai Gilmore. It all went spectacularly well. Rafa's dad and mum pointed out that Hedy is much more obedient than Gilly, who is having a little regression while she gets used to Hedy. I am just glad Hedy came back when she was called. I cheated and left her lead attached as a bit of an impediment, so I might just have a chance of catching her if she didn't come back.

Into the wide green yonder

I am a tad puffed out, breathing heavily, it was Gilly and my second walk for the day. Every time we play the video, Hedy comes from wherever she is when she hears me call her name. She is so cute!!!

Hedy walks very well on her lead, though she occasionally goes the wrong way!!!

Hedy walking with Gilly

We all enjoyed our walk and look forward to more happy times at the dam together.

Gilly taking Hedy for her first walk

It  is also time to start leaving Hedy out of the crate when we go out. I popped up to the deli at the corner and when I came home The Labradors met me at the gate, safe and sound.

Gilly and Hedy good girls

Gilly enjoyed her last walk without Hedy yesterday. She loves the cool weather and the rain, and we have had plenty of rain and an electrical storm. If only we could have the rain spread out, rather than in one fell swoop. Lorelai Gilmore can't wait for Rafa to be let out of the car so they can run very fast together.

Gilly is ready to meet Rafa

Gilly actually meets Rafa

I have, no surprise, sewed some more grocery bags: bags 81-83 in fact. The first for a cat loving friend, and the next two for Mrs and then Mr Madcage. The duckies are a late Easter present!!!

Bags may 2016

I found the best sock wool ever for MrsDrWho: Rainbow Sparkles from Opal. Beautiful rainbow merges and glittery silver sparkles that are soft and don't feel scratchy at all.

Rainbow sparkle sock wool

To retain the gorgeous stripes I decided to tackle an afterthought heel. There are so many variations, but somewhere I read a tip that you should knit the heel and then measure on the person to see how long the foot should be. Fantastic idea. I knitted half the stitches for the heel on waste wool, and then slipped them back on the left-hand needled and knitted them again with the sparkly sock wool. Then it was just a case of pulling out the waste wool and picking up the top and bottom stitches. I decided to make the swirl heel from the Crystal socklet at Knitty.com. Here are the Sunshine Lollipop and Rainbow socks thus far.

Sunshine lollipop rainbow sock and heel

Mr Madcage also has a new birthday Forest beanie, knitted in Loyal 10ply with a twisty cable pattern. I do like the Loyal 10ply. It is soft and light and very warm and knits up beautifully. I did have a better photo, but it turned out I actually took a video and I don't know how to make a photo from a video.

Forest beanie 2016

For the very first time I decided to bake something Star Wars for May The Fourth Be With You. I watched a very helpful video and then made some Darth Vader black fondant helmets.

Darth Vader May The Fourth

I piped swirly red and chocolate two tone buttercream onto some fudgy chocolate cupcakes and topped each with a Darth Vader helmet. I don't think they are too bad at all, and MrsDrwho said the cakes were very yummy.

May the Fourth Darths

This week I am having a rest as far as possible. Last week I had a migraine, and then on Monday we had the NBN debacle- that's the National Broadband Network, where our house will be getting Fibre To The Home.  I met The NBN man a few weeks ago when he came to confirm that we will have the cable from the pole outside to the roof, as our house is built on a giant rock and there is no way to dig a trench. Easy, I thought. Ha!

During my five or six phone calls and Live Chats I was assured that the technician who was to come on Monday would do the outside and inside installations. I talked to my friends who have The NBN said they said this is not the way things are done, but I checked and checked again. On Monday the technician turned up and he was just the Inside Person. The Outside People had not done their job yet. The Inside had not talked to The Outside and so nothing could go ahead. Well, after all this, I ended up telling the ISP not to even talk to me until they had it all sorted out. And I shan't believe them even then, since I have had two separate communications, stating two different dates and times since then.

This week I am also going to drive an automatic car. I have only ever driven a manual car, but our car is too small to take two people and their suit cases to the airport. I am going for a drive tonight, just so I can get a feel for the car and learn it's super modern things like reversing camera and other things of which I know nothing!! Hedy is already having her post-lunch nap in her crate, Gilly is asleep on the  couch and I think a nap is definitely called for after all the tooing and froing.


Fortune Favours The Cold

For two glorious days it was 19*C , then one almost glorious day it was 22*C. Lorelai Gilmore and I were so happy. We slept all morning and then on Tuesday we went to bed at 7pm and slept all night in the wondrous cool.

Gilly and her close up

The cold is fading away now, but at least the nights are cool. And when the days were cold I managed to do more than a few things.

I finished knitting a shawl: there's a group where we knit along together and I metaphorically hold the hands of those new to shawls. I have to soak it and block it now.

If I Could shawl before blocking

I read on Esme's patchwork and quilting blog about The Splendid Sampler. There will be two blocks a week for fifty weeks, one hundred in all: and it is free. I bought a few plain greens to supplement those I already own and I have finished blocks 1 and 2. They are all 6 1/2 inches.

Tss 1 & 2

I also sewed one of the warm up projects: the Cathedral Window pincushion. It's wobbly and I had to join some pieces, but it still works a treat.

Tssextra

A few of my knitting friends and I went to a funeral this week. I think you should tell the people you love that you love them while they are still alive. I don't want to regret not doing that. At Leukaemia Support Group we learned about Advanced Care Directives. Basically you set down what you want to happen if you are in an accident or too ill to communicate in hospital. It is unnerving to think about. Uncomfortable. But since I am poorly with my weird illness, I have asked someone to be my 'person' if anything happens.

I just need to work out where on the form you write " and I want The Labradors to come and visit"!!

Cupcake
This afternoon I just fancied some vanilla cupcakes. I had some sour cream to use up and so I searched for a recipe and found The Perfect Moist and Fluffy Vanilla Cupcakes. I made half the recipe and used a vanilla bean instead of vanilla extract. I made one sixth of the frosting as that's all the butter I had!! Yum, delicious and vanilla-y and moist and fluffy as promised.

Lorelai Gilmore has FlippyFloppy Ear and we saw Dr Marion at the vet. A woman after my own heart, she agrees that anything over 25*C is tropical here!! Gilly's ears are improving in leaps and bounds. There is no new Puppy news. Be assured when there is Puppy news, everyone will know.

Gilly alert

Gilly is shocked: "What, a puppy you say?? What is this thing of which you speak?"