Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Number Nine, Gilly's Nine......

Gilly's birthday

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore, eighteen months ago we weren't sure you'd make it to eight, so nine years old is pretty wonderful!!! She'd had a dip in the paddle pool after her special birthday breakfast. (And nicely obscured Hedy Lamarr with her tail) Their breakfast today was chicken breast, carrot, celery and a little rice.

Gilly's birthday breakfast 2018

Here is baby Gilly, she was so cute!!

Baby gilly

Do not think that Hedy Lamarr was missing out. She likes to stand on your lap, dripping with paddle pool water, showing you that she really wants to play with her Billyball.

How close is hedy

In celebration of Gilly's birthday we are giving away a shopping bag, Labrador-ified. It is bag #134 and the second bag of 2018. Please leave a comment, and then in a week we will draw out a name from a hat. And we promise to send everyone a card with Gilly and Hedy's photo!!

Gilly birthday bag 2018 #134

It is a polypop bag in my favourite lime green colour with a strip of the Labrador fabric I "created" last year on The Spoonflower.

I am feeling a little more like myself again. Antibiotics are a wonderful discovery and without them I would be dead. Thank you, scientists, for all your life saving discoveries. I know doctors counsel against the overuse of antibiotics, but because I have a compromised and suppressed immune system, any small health issue can become serious very quickly. I am allowed ALL the drugs!!!

Here's a quick review of last year's craft and cooking. I didn't knit very much at all, basically because I was poorly, had a chewed finger that needed plastic surgery and had my eye operation. I made hats and cowls and small things. And only one pair of socks.

Knitting

I sewed a lot of shopping bags: thirty. I love sewing these. Someone asked if I would make them for their cool and trendy little shop, but I am not only unreliable health-wise, but I could not bear to have to make bags under pressure. I only make them when I need them, and I enjoy it immensely. I like to try and match the bag fabric to the person and it is fun looking and choosing.

Bags 2017

I sewed a variety of other bags too.

Other bags

I sewed some garments, which I was very pleased with. Two dresses for me and one for MrsDrWho's sister in Supernatural fabric.

Garments

I made a table runner, wall hanging and the final of three cat beds:

Cat bed wall hangings

And finally the "other" category, a baby quilt, a cross stitch and some tiny bunting.

Other

I was not very consistent with Friday Food last year, for obvious reasons. Here's what I did make:

Baking 2017

So all in all, in spite of being chronically poorly and having extra medical happenings this year, I was very productive. I like to keep as busy as possible and to be useful. Since I can't be a teacher any more, I have to find ways to make myself productive and useful.

Today I am baking some biscuits for Gilly, going to The Eye Hospital because I have an errant stitch sticking out of my scar, I think if there is a hole big enough for a stitch to poke out then germs can find their way in, and possibly baking a cheese and spinach slab quiche.

And we shall be resting after yesterday's heat. It wasn't 47*C / 117*F, but it was too hot for us.

Run labradors run


A Week Is A Long Time In Christmas-tics

I have made it through the week. The mind is intact though the body is weak and totally worn out. The days have been packed with activity, one, two or sometimes even three things, for seven days: in spite of all my planning, it just happened.

Also, there is a smudge on my camera lens, I breathed on it just now and gently cleaned it with some soft fabric. This is probably the wrong thing to do, but the smudge went away. I can feel the lens is scratched. I may need a new camera.....

I have had so many Christmas occasions and appointments and my mum came to visit for three days for her birthday: we did so many things and had a wonderful time. I baked lots of things for my mum and sewed her nothing. I did take up her new trousers. We ate curry and toasted sandwiches and a delicious meal at a posh restaurant where I even had a tiny dessert. It was a passionfruit meringue sundae, served in a tiny glass with shortbread crumbs then passionfruit curd, passionfruit ice-cream and a caramelised meringue shard. It was so delicious but I felt far too full!! Mum had the frozen lemon parfait with caramelised mandarin and a scoop of lemon curd icre-cream.

The Labradors have felt neglected. They went for a walk with mum and Hedy is in love with her. She wiggled and waggled and carried on a treat. They both ran very fast as they were so excited. It is good to see Lorelai Gilmore running and being well.

Gilly and Hedy running fast

Gilly is far more sensible. You can tell she is more sensible because she is poking out her tongue!!! We had a lot of rain after the heatwave broke and Gilly and Hedy took every advantage and were totally wet all the time.

Hello we are very wet

Though they may have felt neglected, they were not and there were games and paddle pool adventures at ten o'clock at night.

I have been sewing for my friends. I sewed some Project Bags by By Annie for our Sewing group. I made the third biggest size, there are four, and they measured 35cm square. The back is quilted and the front has vinyl and a zip. I made them to easily hold layer cakes and our Moda Cake Mix papers.

By annie project bags

I made two needle rolls for our Knitting Friend who is going to live overseas. One is for Double Point needles and the other for interchangeable tips, and I left a space for some cables.

Dpn needle roll

Interchangeble needle roll

I sewed Christmas shopping bags for my friends. I didn't go to our 2017 Christmas because my mum was here, so I sent them all off to good homes!!

Christmas 2017 bags1

Christmas bags 2

And finally I sewed some zippy chip/popcorn bags as well. These are always popular and they are well used. The children wear them out so I am happy to make them a new one every year.

Zippy chip bags

Consequently there was no Friday Food, but I made a gingerbread traybake for Leukaemia Christmas BBQ. It was so easy, and though I didn't taste it, I had so many requests for the recipe I sent it off to our nurses for them to email to the group. I can highly recommend it and I will post the recipe this Friday. I did have tiny gingerbread decorations but I could not for the life of me find them so I used festive M'n'Ms. I forgot to take a picture of the bags I sewed for our fabulous nurses, they look after us all so well.

Gingerbread traybake

MrsDrWho has bought an aviary,

Aviary

and furnished it with love in anticipation of finches. The finches are being re-homed and they arrived this week. I am looking forward to seeing them.

Birdies are here

And finally, I managed to take a reasonable photo of The Labradors for our Christmas card. Someone had their eye closed, or was looking away, or would not sit close enough to the other dog!!! This is not the photo, but it is pretty good. I was holding a seaweed rice cracker to entice Hedy Lamarr to look my way. Lorelai Gilmore is a super model, she needs no encouragement.

I am holding a biscuit  Gilly and Hedy want it

If you have read this far, well done and would you like a Christmas card from The Labradors?? There is an Email Me button at the bottom of the side bar, or you can leave a comment and we will email and ask for your address. We sent cards last year and it was lots of fun. We can't promise they will be there before Christmas, but that's par for the course in our lives.

This week I am going to try and sew a dress to wear to the Star Wars The Last Jedi at a quarter past midnight on Thursday morning. Wish me luck. I have my back up Star Wars dress, so we shall see. After our walk tomorrow we plan to sleep ALL DAY.

And finally, The Parliament said Yes, and same sex marriage is now law. People can be married from January 9th I think. I do think it rather rich that some politicians smugly congratulated themselves on the passing of the Bill. I say that we did their job for them and they could have saved the $122,000,000 and done their jobs. We did it for them and they should not steal the credit. Happy New Marriage Year!!!


There Is A Season (Burn Burn Burn)

We are melting, like The Wicked Witch of the West from OZ. Oh the weather has been so hot, so hot that it has broken all records for high temperatures in November for all time. I checked last year's November statistics at the BOM and the hottest day was 26.5*C, and the rest of the month was in the teens or low twenties. My brain won't work and my illness makes it much harder for me to endure the heat. Tomorrow it will be 31*C, which is really like 36-39*C on The Mainland. Wish us luck, if we can make it to Saturday it will be only 20*C.

Backyard Labrador fun

The Labradors have remained cool. Gilly spends a lot of time in the paddle pool, and Hedy is young, so she copes far better. They went to the Vet because they had conjunctivitis. Lorelai Gilmore hasn't totally recovered. I think because she is immune suppressed, it takes longer for her to fight things off (like me!!) Hedy is fine now, though she hates me if I have a tube of ointment in my hand. We came to a compromise: she would tolerate the ointment in her eyes if it was just before she ate breakfast and dinner. Phew!! She was in denial at the Vet. Gilly's eyes were red and sore. Poor Gilly.

Sore eyes

I caught up with my friend TinkingBell last week. We had a lovely day of chatting, drinking cups of tea and browsing the shops. It is too hot to stop and take a photo of my lovely Dalek necklace. I love it, so wait on tenterhooks for that!!! I sewed a Doctor Who bucket bag and a drawstring bag. I used this pattern for the bucket bag and I can recommend it. It's free and has only a few pages to print out and tape together. It sews up really easily and quickly. I just made up the drawstring bag. I used my Doctor Who fabric. And my photos are worse than usual.

Doctor who bags

My photo of when a woman walked into a bar was so terrible that Onyi took over. Look at her photo: marvellous!!

A woman walks into a bar

The Darksideknitter has a new job and so we went to a "bar" for drinks. I had 0.9 of an alcoholic ginger beer. I ordered a small ginger beer with ice and the bartender filled the glass almost to the top, added ice and then charged me less than the full price for a less than full glass. I have never come across this before. But ask me how many bars I have been in in the last 28 years?: that would be one, this one. I ordered the buttermilk fried chicken with Korean chilli dipping sauce. There was so much chicken I had to take half home. Women let other women have just one chip, and the chips were very good. They were crispy and salty on the outside and fluffy and hot on the inside. Yum.

Almada for Auntie Dutch

I finished The Seamwork Almada robe for Auntie Dutch. I took the world's worst photo and all Hedy's shredded tissue paper from my new shoes was on her cushion. I have covered it up poorly but it looks like clouds of snow, and that is very cooling. I met Uncle and Auntie Dutch on Monday for afternoon tea and then unexpected dinner. The Labradors had to wait till 8-45pm for their dinner. They coped. This is why they never know when they will be fed: guerilla dining!!! The robe would take two hours to sew, but I did French seams and made my own biased binding and then covered the cuff seam with purchased binding too. Auntie Dutch liked it, and wafted about in it when we went home for cups of tea and patting Poppy the dog. They brought me back a few things from Ikea, and refused to take my money, they are kind and lovely friends.

#114 Auntie Dutch

Forest bunting

I sewed a shopping bag, bag #114, and used the off cuts for some bunting instead of a card. I have made tiny bunting before and Auntie Dutch was chuffed. I must make more.

Iced vovo fascinator

Auntie Dutch made a fascinator to wear to a Melbourne Cup lunch, her mum enjoys the occasion and so Auntie Dutch goes with her. This is an Iced Vovo confection. She sprayed the biscuits with clear varnish of some kind, so sadly, you can't snack on a biscuit on the way home!!

Early christmas present

My mum gave me money to buy a new food mixer, but before I could spend it MrsDrWho and MrsSingapore et al bought me this!! I am so lucky and so excited. I haven't opened it yet, but I plan to make something tonight when it is cooler for Friday Food: a raspberry swirl pavlova wreath from Donna Hay. It is very Christmassy. I am going to use the money my mum gave me to buy new prescription sunglasses.

New wool  gorgeous

I have some gorgeous new wool from Knits Needles & Wool: Rose Hip Knits, a Tasmanian who hand dyes White Gum Wool. The colour is Woods. It is so soft and luxurious and I will be making something warm for my neck next Winter.

Produce box Produce list

This week's produce box makes me very happy. I love broad beans and I have already eaten cucumber and tomato sandwiches and an apple for lunch today. I shall have some kind of stir-fry for tea.

And now we have reached the point where we have been inside here too long. I think a dip in the paddle pool is called for. I may have to stand under a cool shower.....


Eye Am...Eye Said

Waiting in the eye hospital

Now that The Finger is doing nicely, it is time to have an operation on my eye. I can't have two very sore things at once. A cyst has been growing on my eye for some time now, and yesterday the doctor removed it. MrsDrWho kindly dropped me off and waited for about ninety minutes. It all seemed to go very well and my cyst was appraised as "giant". It was about as big as a peanut M'n'M. I didn't have sedation, just a whole lot of local anaesthetic. I could feel things happening by pressure, but not pain.

Eye operation

My eye doesn't hurt at all, but it is nice to keep the eye patch on because the swelling irritates when I blink. Hedy does not like me: I am some kind of evil pirate from the right, and myself from the left. If she is lying on the left and rolls over and is suddenly on the right she has to scramble to run away. Gilly takes it all in her stride and wants to lie next to me all the time.

I need to go back on Monday to have my eye checked.

Gilly at the vet with hedy

Lorelai Gilmore went to the vet last week for her blood tests. Hedy came too, as she howls like a banshee if left home alone. And vice versa. Gilly's tests were excellent and she doesn't have to go back for six months. She has to continue taking her Imuran tablets every second day for the rest of her life, but they don't seem to have any real side effects. Dr David, who diagnosed her last August, is very pleased and we are very grateful.

Gilly and Hedy at the dam

The weather has been not too hot and we have had lovely brisk walks at the dam. The paddle pool has been in constant use at home, and no-one has fallen in a hole at the dam again!!

Produce box 3

My produce box arrived and it has some different things in it this week. And mint! I love mint. I made tzatziki last week and I will probably make some again, but with mint. I grated the rest of the apples into some pork sausage rolls and made a leek and kale pasta bake with anchovies. This week I am making a Thai red curry and plan to use the Spring cabbage, pumpkin and silverbeet.

Esme's Patchwork has some of the Moda Cupcake Mixes for Charm Squares in stock and I bought one. It is a pad of fine paper, printed with sewing and cutting lines. I am using my Batik from the Quilt Expo and some denim-like quilting fabric.

Cupcake mix 1

You pin the two fabrics right sides together, paler fabric on top. Sew along the dotted lines with a short stitch length and then trim and cut along the solid lines.

Sew cupcake

Press to set, then press open and tear off the backing papers. Sew together in the formation you choose and voila:

My cupcake

I love it, it is pretty much perfect and the points are pointy too.

Now I am tired and need to rest again.


Ding, Dong, Bell, Hedy's In The Well

Who put her in?
Little Johnny Thin.

Who Pulled her out?
Lorelai Gilmore and me!!!

 

Hedy trapped in the excavation

A new toilet block, and BBQ area, is being built at the dam. They have excavated a giant hole, which has filled with water, and put a high portable fence around it: which is no barrier to limbo-ing or commando crawling Labradors apparently. We were walking, and I looked around and saw Gilly inside the fence and Hedy was in the water. Hedy was frozen with fear and/or trepidation and would not come for a biscuit or her Billyball. I managed to find a way into the "pool" area and I had to lie flat in the mud and try to pull Hedy out. To no avail. And as I was contemplating my next move, Lorelai Gilmore came back in, leaped into the water and swam around to Hedy's left side and then climbed out. Hedy watched and then, encouraged by Gilly, tried to climb out and I was able to grab the scruff of her neck and haul her out.

Help

Gilly doesn't really swim and so she is a hero for showing Hedy how to climb out and rescuing her.

Gilly is a hero

Hedy Lamarr has been wicked, no surprise there. I put the brownie I had baked on the dining room table ready to take to MrsDrWho's house and as I wandered about getting ready she seemed to be acting suspiciously. I couldn't work out why until it was time to go and I saw this:

Hedy ate brownie

I knew how much dark chocolate was in the recipe and I calculated she had eaten about one third and it was less than 100g. She was fine, but kept us up all night wanting to go in and out and being generally hyperactive. I put the other baked goods up high in the hall.

Hedy is not talking to me

I showed Hedy the brownie and then squirted her with the diluted apple cider vinegar. She wouldn't talk to us for about half an hour and sulked as far away as she could go.

Gilly is looking exceptionally beautiful today

Thank goodness for Gilly, who is such a good girl and paddles happily in the paddle pool, eats grass and plays with her plastic cups!!! I think her only flaw right now is her love for the muddy puddles at the dam.

Gilly loves the muddy puddle

I finished the batik jelly roll quilt. Somewhere in the house there are some jelly roll strips and I know not where, so I added some plains to make up the length. I am so pleased with the way it turned out and I may quilt-as-you-go again.

Jelly roll quilt

This is the first thing I have sewed since August 11th when Hedy chewed my finger accidentally. My finger is almost as good as new. I have normal feeling in the top, but at the sides I feel as if I am touching the freezer in the supermarket whilst having pins and needles. That is where my finger split and they plastic-surgeried it back together. I can see and feel the hard scars. But look, my finger looks like a real one again: it's my middle finger.

My finger

I am sewing two shopping bags for my sister and Bella'sMum. My sister has a Shar Pei so I bought a fat quarter from The Spoonflower and Bella'sMum has a black Labrador and so I found some dog drill.

Two new bags

The Spotlight has Doctor Who fabric and I have it ALL. The comic strip version will be for the skirt of a dress and then the other is to make gifts for friends.

Doctor who

We have the second medium produce box and I am about to be cooking outside my comfort zone: there is kale, a big bunch of kale. I have never eaten or cooked kale, but there are leeks, pumpkin and fresh thyme, so I shall be searching the internet for a recipe.

Produce box 2

I used the cucumber and spring garlic to make some tzatziki, along with the tomatoes in some wraps for dinner. There was not quite enough to save so we ate the tail end for "dessert".

Yummy dinner left overs for dessert

Speaking of dessert, which I can usually never eat when I am dining out, I ate dessert for my lunch on Saturday. I caught up with MrsDrWho and three of TheHouseOfs and I had French toast with nut brittle, ice-cream and salted caramel sauce. It was delicious: the toast was crisp on the outside and pillowy and luscious on the inside. And was there a custardy sauce???

French toast for lunch

Wow, this is a very busy week: unexpected Patient Partner with the Year 4 doctors yesterday, curtain making for a couple of hours on Monday, medical appointments today, lunch tomorrow and then the vet on Friday. And add to that our extremely high temperatures, it was up to 15*C above average: 32 in Hobart and 28 here. Thankfully it is cooler now, but I have a slight heat headache. We are not looking forward to a hotter than normal Summer. Bah Humbug. We shall make hay while the Sun doesn't shine!!!


Instant-gram

There was no Friday Food last week because my cold was still too nasty. I baked a cake by Yotam Ottolenghi, and the recipe asked if this was the best ever chocolate cake. I gave the cake to MrsDrWho for her and her dinner guests, so I will tell you the verdict on Friday in my Friday Food post.

Best chocolate cake ever

Today is the first day I haven't had a residual cold headache. I had an almost four hour nap (not quite sure you can call that amount of sleep a nap?) after my new Exercise Physiologist ran me through some assessment tasks. I can balance on each foot for 45 seconds. If you need a balancer, I'm your woman!!!

If you want mud, then surprisingly, Lorelai Gilmore is your Labrador:

Gilly loves to be muddy

She was in the puddle at the dam with Hedy, but came out the muddier of the two.

Hedy and Gilly in the puddle

And here we have Rafa, Gilly and Hedy at the top of the 'hill' on our walk. It is the place we used to stop to farewell Sandy and his dad as they continued up the hill to their car and we went back down to ours. Hedy is doing a very good job of being a puppy dog!! We have turned Rafa to The Labrador Side and he wants a biscuit now too.

Rafa Gilly Hedy

The weather has been Spring-y. We had some more wild, windy, wet weather and when we went to the dam today, there was a tree half across the road. The Ranger must have been there because some of the tree had been trimmed already.

Tree down

Hedy has been, not very secretly, eating something she shouldn't be eating at home. Well, the plain flour in the shopping bag: the flour on her nose was a dead give away, but she is happily unaware!!

What's on Hedy's nose....

 I have started sewing the Jelly roll quilt as you go baby quilt. Phew, that's a long name...JRQAYGBQ, and the acronym looks like gobbledygook. I used a batik jelly roll MrsDrWho gave me for my birthday and some flannel for the backing. I used spray adhesive to 'baste' the backing and batting together as I am still a bit wary of my injured finger becoming more injured: which is has, which finger do you think The Labradors squashed against the fence and made bleed?? You'd be right if you thought my injured one. It had a bandaid and antiseptic and seems to be healing well.

Quilt as you go baby quilt

I think I am ready to start knitting again. I have some normal feeling in my fingertip, still pins and needles, touch-the-freezer-in-the-supermarket at the sides, but I am going to give it a go. I have some lovely wool, Katia Darling, from the wool shop. MrsDrWho picked it out. They had some new sparkly Opal, but I had just knitted her a glittery pair, which I realise I have no photo of: ahhh, maybe they don't exist??

Katia darling

I have joined The Instagram. I have resisted The Twitter and The Facebook, but it suddenly struck me that people whose blogs I used to follow, now have The Instagram. I can keep up with them through a new medium. And so I joined and then before I knew it I was on The Instagram. I am not sure how to properly drive The Instagram, but I had a quick lesson from the lovely WoolShopDesigner, and she said I am doing OK! I am not at all sure about Instagram Etiquette. When I searched it was all about following and then un-following or some such strategy. I don't want to gain followers, that's not my goal. I just want to keep up. Trying something new makes my brain work hard and keeps it on its toes.

And have I shared my birthday shoes? My sister sent me money to buy a specific pair, or two, of green shoes she had found, but they didn't come in my size. Bah humbug. So I ordered some shoes from The Homyped people. I have to wear sensible shoes because I have a sore knee and it seems silly to endure pain for a high heel. Well I think so. I bought two pairs of shoes, one is a mineral metallic which goes with everything and the other a darker olive than the photo, which I am very pleased with. My sister is very kind!!

Z birthday shoes

 

 

Our Council has instigated a Food and Garden Organics kerbside collection: FOGO. Our bin arrived in the wrong place, but our kind neighbour pulled it all the way around the corner and up the back of our house. We have three bins now: the ordinary Monte Carlo biscuit filling colour regular bin, the yellow lid for recycling and this new bin has a green lid, so we are chuffed. There is also a little FOGO caddy to keep in the kitchen and carry up to the big bin. We don't have a lot of FOGO waste, but I have already put some lettuce core scraps and banana peel into the caddy. It is not a big change, but it might help make a difference.

FOGO


Cold, Always Believe In Your Cold. You’ve Got The Power To Know You’re Indestructible.

I have a cold. Pretty much everyone I know has has a cold, a bad cold, or the full blown ‘flu and I have been lucky. Until Saturday night, and I have had a cold since then. We still go for our walks, because come hell or high water The Walk is sancrosanct. It means Hedy does a lot of running after the ball and catching it, and Gilly can roll in something smelly and then play in a muddy puddle.

Today is the first time I have been out. I went to the shop to buy vegetables for The Labradors and salty crisps for me. And the ingredients for the Feel Better Chicken Soup: garlic, ginger, chilli, chicken, noodles etc. 

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I also changed the bed. I needed a big rest after that. Since the paddle pool was filled there have been many wet and/or muddy feet on the bed.

Hedy Lamarr loves to play with WinnieWinston. He is a black Labrador toy that is meant to suction to a window with his suction feet. Hedy likes to dip him in the paddle pool, and then just duck him under a little more to get him really wet.

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Lorelai Gilmore is losing her Winter undercoat. Big time. It comes out like clumps of merino wool. Luckily she likes to have her legs and fluffy bits ruffled and patted and so we can make a furry mess outside. The weather has been warm, 20*C today, but we had a huge electrical storm with teeming rain at the weekend. Gilly likes to cool off in a puddle, thankfully we have the paddle pool at home.

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And just when Gilly is having a lovely time, along comes Hedy to stick her nose in. She’s putting on the brakes, and I think her ears are air brakes!

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So that has been our little world these last four or five days: bed, a walk and sleep. I have had to cancel outings, and a visit to the vet for Gilly’s blood test. I can’t go to our 100th Knitting Dining Out tomorrow, that’s one hundred months over ten years, and I am sulking about it. I am very cross, but that is just the way it is.

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We had some sad news that one of The Labradors dog friends, Jet, died yesterday. He had been sick for over a year. He was a lovely boy. Here he is playing with Gilly and our lovely Peri Naughty. Jetty is in Dog Heaven with Peri Naughty and Sandy.

We had some marvellous news as well, with one of my friends  becoming a grandmother for the first time. I had a few happy tears tonight when she told me. I must get better and sew the baby’s quilt.

I have my usual appointment at the GP on Friday, so she will be be able to check if I am on the road to recovery. I am so annoyed, my friends are on school holidays and I could be gallivanting about. Well, gallivanting slowly, in a cafe, with a cup of tea!

 


Yes, Pie Crust Promises.

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.

Pie crust

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 inspecting the puddle

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.

Gilly is treated

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!!

Hedy loves her Billy ball

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.

Star wars wall hanging

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.


Wondering Woman

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.

Wonder woman table runner

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.

Tea cup and saucer

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.

Doily

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.....

Time traveller wool

Vandals regularly break into The Dam area, after the gate is shut, and drive all over the grass areas.

Vandals and construction

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.

Vandal proofing

The construction in the dam area has not started, but I managed to kick Hedy's Billy Ball under the fence.

Billy ball is lost

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.

Please help

Lorelai Gilmore is just smelling things. That's what she wants to do. That, and roll in something smelly herself.

Gilly smells something good

Gilly smells more smells

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!!


I'd Like To Buy A Towel Please.

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.

More giant biscuits

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.

Hedy ate the teatowel

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.

Gilly is well!!!

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.

Gilly is serious Hedy is not

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!!!

Chicken awl

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.

Hedy trod on this

Today I sewed finally sewed the pieces together and basted the wadding to the back.  Not much farther to go now.

R2d2

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.

Trainee guide and hearing dogs

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!!

Alice the recruiting dog

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!!

Hedy and Sandy play Rafa's game

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.

Gilly sorts out Hedy and Sandy

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.

Hedy 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.

New coat

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.

Gilly and Hedy on a frosty morning

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.