Yes, pie crust promises: easily made, easily broken. Thank you, Mary Poppins. The road to hell is paved with good intentions and really annoying letters. I was being prepared for Friday Food. I made sweet shortcrust pastry, I blind baked the pastry case and let it cool and then I opened my letters.
The jolly Superannuation people sent me a cheery and celebratory letter telling me that in seven and a half years I could think about retirement: retirement party!!! they said. And I could top up my super and look forward to a fabulous retirement. And so it went on, and on...
Obviously the left hand does not know what the right hand is doing at that company. It made me a tad upset. I have been retired for coming up to seventeen years now: a retirement I didn't choose and it has been no 'party'.
I rang up to let them know that their letter was rather thoughtless and cruel. The woman I spoke to was very apologetic, and understanding. She said they would put a flag on my account so I didn't receive any more overly cheerful and depressing letters. I do worry about other people in my situation though, who may be more negatively affected. I am going to go into their office on Monday and ask to speak to someone and find out exactly what is happening.
And then I didn't feel like doing any more baking.
The Labradors have been enjoying the cold weather. Gilly has been investigating the frozen puddles. It has been a very frosty Winter so far and the puddles are, more often than not, frozen. The grass is crunchy and white with ice and it is a cold Labrador playground of fun!! They run and play so much more when it is cold. Tonight as I was on the phone to my mum they were in and out, and round and round the lemon tree, in the freezing cold night-time.
Gilly is also very interested in the water cracker biscuits in my pocket. She comes up and nuzzles my hand and looks at me with her lovely eyes and I give in, and give her half a biscuit. Lorelai Gilmore is still lovely and thin and she is allowed to have treats, such as they are.
Hedy Lamarr is not talking to me. I put ear cleaning drops in her ears and she has sent me to Coventry at home. On our walk it is a different story. It is all Billy Ball, all the time. She is so happy, hyper excited and then doubly so if she catches the Billy Ball: bonus!!
I have a not terribly good photo of the finished Star Wars Wall hanging. It still has a rogue pencil line and Hedy's muddy paw prints on BB8, but it is complete. MrsDrWho likes it and I found a kind of starry hanger as well.
I hope to finish the Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie tomorrow, and I will post it next Friday. Once it gets to Sunday I always feel the Friday moment has passed. I am OK with Saturday, but Sunday is beyond the pale.
Judy-May has a new house!! How exciting!! She organised a House-warming Afternoon Tea and so I said I couldn't possibly have a catch up with my Sewing friends on Tuesday afternoon because: House-warming Afternoon Tea. In the back of my mind I had a niggling memory of something happening Thursday afternoon. I expect you can see where this is going.....
There I was, sitting at home with a present and a TimTam Brownie and I realised I didn't know where to go to find the new house. I plaintively posted on The Ravelry about said situation and feeling out of the loop. I don't have The Facebook, I am not Modern and the others are Modern. Turns out, the House-warming was today: Thursday afternoon. I took myself off to bed with a cup of tea and had a nice lie down on Tuesday!!! I am surprised we let me out of the house sometimes. My kind Knitting friends had a laugh with me this afternoon. I am wondering what I will forget next.
Here is the Wonder Woman table runner. I used one pink and two red fat quarters and just 20cm of the Wonder Woman fabric. I did a little hand quilting and fussy cut Diana for the centre of the squares.
MissSingapore is a celebratory age this year and MrsDrWho suggested a cup, saucer and plate. That could be my "thing" and I could buy it for her from now on to make a collection. MissSingapore is vegetarian and I just went to Cocoon by chance and there I found a gorgeous cup and saucer by LyndalT, which is animal bone free. It is Fine New China and perfect, as Miss Singapore can drink from it knowing it is free from animal products. Lyndal is an Australian and I rang to say how pleased I was. She was lovely to chat to. I am borrowing the photo from her website, I will put the clicky link here. The cup and saucer are secure in their box and I am too afraid to remove them.
I am knitting a doily to accompany the tea cup and saucer. It is Flacon, not a Ravelry pattern, using 4ply cotton and 2.5mm needles. I have four more rounds and then the crocheted edging to finish.
I am knitting MrsDrWho a cowl using Time Traveller in worsted Felici from The KnitPicks. Which is of course on sale now. I took it to MrsDrWho's house on Sunday to try for size and now I can't find it. More wondering.....
Vandals regularly break into The Dam area, after the gate is shut, and drive all over the grass areas.
Sandy's Dad thinks the Parks & Wildlife need to use a motion activated camera to catch them. The P&W put some rather large rocks to block the side, but the vandals just pushed them out of the way. Now they have cemented in two upright logs. Up the hill the vandals pushed the logs over and now there is a huge felled tree and more rocks. Their efforts seem to be in vain.
The construction in the dam area has not started, but I managed to kick Hedy's Billy Ball under the fence.
She was very upset. She cleverly ran around to the opposite side because it should have rolled out there. It didn't. I had to find a stick and hook the ball and pull it slowly towards us. Thank goodness I succeeded!! Hedy Lamarr has faith in me.
Lorelai Gilmore is just smelling things. That's what she wants to do. That, and roll in something smelly herself.
And now some Labradors running. Gilly sees Sandy and his Dad walking down the hill from our car and she keeps and eagle eye out for them. Now Hedy copies and does the same, but she takes her Billy Ball with her. When Sandy appears they run to greet him, and then they all run back through the gate.
Gilly might stop and smell something and come last, but fast!!
This week I made a mash-up dessert: Lemon Meringue Cheesecake Pie. I didn't take any pictures, but Onyi has requested it for Friday Food tomorrow, and her wish shall be granted!!
Labradors eat anything. Literally anything. And The Labradors at our house have eaten pretty much everything they shouldn't. Last week Hedy ate most of a tea-towel. I absent-mindedly hung the tea-towel over the baby gate to the kitchen, instead of on the oven handle. There must have been biscuit on it, because I had used it to take the giant biscuits' tray out of the oven.
When I came home, I wondered what on earth was lying in the mud near the fence. Yes, it's the end of the tea-towel as we know it. I kept an eye on Hedy for the next day or so, but it didn't seem to have any ill effects. Thank goodness.
We had such very good news today at The Vet. Dr Gary gave Lorelai Gilmore her blood test and she has a platelet score of 50. Which is excellent. I think it has been 35, then 38 the last twice. She still has to take her Imuran, but we don't have to go back for three months. We are ever so grateful to all the doctors and nurses for taking such wonderful care of Gilly. She has a blue bandage because her leg bled a little, it stayed on for just an hour when we came home. She is very happy.
I am extra absent-minded because my mum came to stay and we did so much over the three days that I have spent a week in bed recovering. It was so lovely to see her and we spent time shopping, chatting about knitting, doing crosswords and practising her Ipad skills and dining in and out!! Mum came for a walk one frosty morning and Hedy was so excited she almost turned inside out. Gilly was sure Mum had a treat in her hand (she didn't) and spent the first half of the walk trying to inveigle the treat away.
One of our neighbours has chickens and we benefit from the eggs every now and then. Last week I looked over the road and at Not-The-Chicken-House, there was a chicken on the front patio!!!
There has been very little crafting. Poor MrsDrWho is once again waiting for birthday presents because my life has ups and downs. I am making a Star Wars Character wall hanging. It is meant to be paper pieced and quilted. Instead, I used Heat & Bond Lite to stick the pieces in place and then puffy paint to seal the edges. Also, it has some muddy paw appliqué from guess who? Hedy.
Today I sewed finally sewed the pieces together and basted the wadding to the back. Not much farther to go now.
I bought MrsDrWho some Star Wars earrings from BooKittyBootique on The Etsy. All the earrings are lovely, I bought some aqua ones for me and an excellent R2D2 pair for MrsDrWho. As I was wrapping them up I somehow hit the end of the cutting board and one pinged its way across the room into oblivion. I sent a message to BooKitty and not only did she offer to replace the earring, but she sent another pair and they were hand delivered!! I can recommend her Etsy shop.It was so kind of her and I very much appreciate the extra effort and thoughtfulness. MrsDrWho loves her earrings and earring story.
I have met some wonderful service and working dogs lately. I went for lunch with Auntie Dutch and we found ourselves next to a Guide Dogs In Training outing. The dogs were all so happy to see each other and they (mostly) waited patiently. The lovely golden Labrador next to me wriggled closer until she was secretly touching my foot. I resisted patting her as she was working. I went to the Council Chambers and met a newly trained Hearing Assistance dog. I've seen him out working as well. His humans were waiting for approval to come through so he would have the same rights as a Guide dog. His humans were happy to be in the photo!!
I met Alice the Army Reserve recruiting dog in the Mall. The recruiters hoped that if people stopped to pat her they might be interested in joining the Reserve. MrsDrWho and I assured them we would not be signing up!!
Rafa The Border Collie is away and so Hedy has decided she will play with Sandy. Sandy is almost thirteen, but he plays like a puppy. Lorelai Gilmore will only put up with so many shenanigans, and she makes sure everyone is playing sensible.
Hedy loves to play with her Billy Ball. On Monday we accidentally left the ball at home. It was a very traumatic walk for Hedy. I made a special effort to remember Billy Ball on Tuesday and much joy ensued. And when Hedy Lamarr wants to play, she wants to play now.
I have a new Winter coat. It is not new, it is from the posh St Vinnies' shop in town. My next door neighbour was walking past with me and insisted we go in. I protested I could never find anything in there. She proved me wrong. It is a Junior Look green coat, 80% wool, 20% nylon, fully lined, with pockets and it cost the grand total of $18. Of course it won't do up over my upper nether regions. I was experimenting with a kilt pin here, but I just wear it open and if it is deathly cold (as it has been, it was -5*C overnight twice) I wear a scarf.
When it is -5*C, the water on top of the buckets outside freezes and so do all the puddles at the dam and the grass. It is a Labrador Winter wonderland.
Well, not much happening, but we still have lots to tell!! There will be Friday Food, in fact I have two Friday Foods. I am one ahead now, which is handy.
Life has been so busy this week. Monday was a holiday, and I can't actually remember what we did. On Tuesday I went to Leukaemia Support Group and found that one of our number had died. I don't have the local paper delivered any more so it was a bit of a shock. Two of our group have died in the last six months, but their other halves have continued to attend, and we are all pleased to see them. I baked a big batch of Coconut Rough Muffins and went and spent a little time with WeeJock & Bessie whose Mum and Dad had to elsewhere unexpectedly.
Yesterday I baked some TimTam Brownies and went to the wool shop for some knitting time with knitting friends. I went to pat WeeJock and Bessie and there may have been some slight miscommunication between their Mum and Dad because I set off the alarm. Oh, it was so loud and piercing and went straight through me. I had no idea what to do, but luckily their kind next-door neighbour knew what to do and we were able to disarm the alarm. I had to go home and have a cup of tea and a little lie down. Then I took some muffins to MrsDrWho, because I had promised to, and she is writing reports. We went to bed at 7pm last night.
Today has been just as hectic. We went for a walk, I baked more muffins, had lunch with friends. I am sitting here now and I can hear we have a mouse. It is rustling in the wall. I shall have to do something about it tomorrow. I made a scarf for one of my lunch friends, a simple Feather & Fan stitch in charcoal Jet 12ply. I knitted two halves so that the ends both had a nice curve and then grafted them together at the back of the neck. The socks are in Crunchy Salad, Fresh'n'Juicy from Opal. They are almost finished, for MrsDrWho's birthday.
I knitted the Cowl for MrsMichigan last year, but I hadn't posted it and now it is Summer, but she will have it for their Winter. It is a Craftsy free pattern in a knit-along by Kate Atherley: the Waverton Cowl.
Lorelai Gilmore's health continues to improve. She runs and plays with the other dogs and jumps up for a treat, even though she knows she shouldn't.
Hedy is just full of happiness and wickedness. She is sometimes so happy she quivers with joy.
For only the second time in maybe fifteen years, there are lemons on the lemon tree: there were three, now there are two. I am a terrible gardener and plants volunteer to come to our house and die. Still, I am hoping this is a sign of things to come.
The lemon tree is in The Forbidden Zone and The Labradors are only allowed in there under strict supervision. So, late in the evening when I came home from Sewing, they went mad. They went round and round the tree, one going one way to try and catch the other. It was a good game!! Hedy has laser eyes, and Gilly is so fast.
I sewed a new dress sometime in the last few months. It is the Cashmerette Upton Dress in some lovely Christmas tablecloth poinsettia material. MrsHouseOf paid the grand sum of $4 for four metres and gave it to me, so it was free!! I love that I didn't have to do a Full Bust Adjustment. I followed the instructions and cut out a toile and it fitted almost perfectly. I always have to raise the armholes and lower the waist a tad, but I am so pleased. I love the swooshiness of the skirt. I sewed the pleated skirt, v-neck version. It is a little loose and needs some tweaking, but I couldn't be happier. I like a loose dress when the weather is warm. I obviously have ONE pose, because each of my neighbours took these photos at different times during the day!!
The ABC TV News decided to update their weather map. That is a good thing, but when they updated it, they put the numbers for the forecast first and then the name of the town or city. I couldn't work out why I was having difficulty reading the chart when the sound was down. My eyes were searching wildly for the place name in the few seconds the map was up, and then it was gone before I could find the numbers.
I know we read from left to right, not middle to end, then back to the start and then to the middle again. I taught many children to read when I was teaching, so I know I have some expertise in this area. I rang The ABC and explained why I thought they needed to revise their chart almost three weeks ago. They said the graphic designer would ring me, but no-one did. Tonight I watched the News and something seemed different with The Weather: yes!!! They have changed the order and the place name is first and then the forecast numbers. The map is so much easier to read. I feel it is a victory for common sense and teachers of reading everywhere. Thank you ABC!!
We all had a nap this afternoon, and it is very late. The Labradors are in bed already. Tomorrow I am thinking of making some Nutella-like truffles for Friday Food. It will be an experiment, so I may need a back up plan.
For the last two months I have either had a cold, or been recovering from a cold. And not even a bad cold. I went to the doctor for my usual appointment and she decided I didn't need antibiotics, and I didn't. But it took me so long to recover. Every day we would go for a walk, then we would go to bed until four or five o'clock in the afternoon, and we would sleep all night too. It was only last week that I started having proper days awake. Consequently I am dipping my toe back into The Internet and my blog.
There has been very little crafting: I knitted a Milo (It's Marvellous What A Difference), some socks for MrsDrWho ( Magical Happy Socks) and I made Wee Master Singapore some Shiny Gold Disco Trousers to match the Shiny Gold T-Shirt I sewed for him. Oh and I made a whole other set of pouches with Labradors on the front. I sewed one set and promptly put them somewhere safe, aka Lost. I sewed another set and of course then I found the first.
Lorelai Gilmore's health has continued to improve. She is feeling very well and loves to run and play all the time. Winter is here today, but we have had a few fogs and frosty cold mornings already. Gilly and Hedy love the colder mornings, they are invigorated.
We went to the vet for Gilly's blood test a fortnight ago. This is how Hedy waits for Gilly.
And it is impossible to take a photo of her joy when Gilly comes back. Poor Gilly, Hedy's waggy tail is a bother.
Hedy loves to play with Rafa and the ball. The ball is the thing. They both want it, they both can't have it at the same time. Rafa has the same toy, but if there are two, it is too confusing for them.
I've had to return a whole stack of books to The Library, unread. I couldn't concentrate at all. Thank goodness I feel better, as I have lots of new books on Hold as well as the old one, back on Hold again.
I used my candy thermometer for the first time and made some Italian meringue. I made a syrup with sugar and water and brought it to the boil until it reached 120*C. Meanwhile I whisked some egg-whites. When the syrup reached the correct temperature I slowly poured it into the bowl as I whisked the egg-whites until they were cool. I don't have a blowtorch to brown the meringue. I am afraid of them, uncalled for I know, but gas and matches or an ignition spark scare me. I made some lemon curd and marscapone filled doughnuts topped with the Italian meringue and also some apple pie doughnuts, tipped with whipped cream, pecans and maple syrup. I took them for supper at Sewing. I feel more confident with the candy thermometer now, there may be more temperature related recipes in my future.
Last week I went to Sewing, this week to Knitting Dining Out and I was also an unexpected Patient/Partner for the Fourth Year Doctors. I was the lucky ninth phone call to find someone to fill a gap.
And now it is time for all good Labradors (and naughty ones) to go to bed. Tomorrow I am going to ask my next door neighbour to take a photo of the new dress I sewed ages ago, and I shall endeavour to post for Friday Food and even, shock/horror, read and comment on blogs!!!
Here is Lorelai Gilmore running. She hasn't run like this since Peri Naughty died. Oh and here's Hedy Lamarr and her BillyBall and Sandy too.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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............
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:
Raspberry and white chocolate ice-cream with raspberries from MrsReno's garden, dipped in dark chocolate and coconut.
Mashed banana and peanut butter with vanilla ice-cream dipped in milk chocolate and pecans.
Chocolate ice-cream with choc bits, a few pretzels and a smear of Nutella, dipped in nothing as they were chocolaty enough.
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!!
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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.
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......
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 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.
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.
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!!
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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!!!!
Last two zippy chip bags for the last two children at our Christmas gathering.
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.
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?
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!!
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.