ABC, Not As Easy As 1 2 3.

Oh it has been so lovely and cool. Well perhaps the pendulum of weather swung a bit too far the other way: we had terrible storms, hurricane like winds, 104mm or 4in of rain and more than 20,000 households are/were without power. At our house we had a lot of rain and a small branch fell off a small tree. Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr are in their element, which must be water?? Well it isn't fire, wind or earth, so it must be water. Hedy loves to make splashes and waves.

Hedy in the giant puddle

Gilly is looking her best now the weather is not so hot:

Gilly's close up

And this photo is very typical, Gilly is happily trotting past and Hedy wants to play with the ball. Now!

Happy Gilly and billyball hedy

MrsDrWho's mum gave me some greengages. I love greengages. I just cut them in half and popped out the stone and boiled them with some water and about a tablespoon of caster sugar for ten minutes. I plan to have them with yoghurt, some expensive vanilla ice-cream and maybe top some with a crumble?? When I was little we had a green and a golden gage tree, they are a kind of plum I think. It is the taste of my childhood. I am also lucky to have received a jar of greengage jam....

Yummy greengages

I have sewed a few bags already this year. I am not sure of numbers. I have a list somewhere, not sure where, but I can ask Judy-May the number of her positive word bag.

Bags 2018

I am an easy mark when I see Labrador bags in the supermarkets. This is a Coles Easter bag and $1 of the $2 price goes to The Guide Dogs. I bought three because that is all they had!!

Guide dog bag

I saw this pattern on The Internet and had to have it. The Spotlight didn't have a copy at our shop or online and I ended up buying it from The Etsy. It is on its way and the weather is cool... Who knows, I might sew?

Pattern on its way

Now let us speak of The ABC's First Annual Public Meeting.

Abc ticket

I booked a ticket and like everyone else assumed that we would be having a "meeting". No, that was not what happened. Most of the people there were on the north side of sixty, if not seventy. There were FOUR chairs and a couch.

Abc legs

Eventually they rounded up a weird assortment of chairs, not enough for everyone and for almost an hour I sat on the floor. Then we were treated to a similar amount of time of the television screen buffering. Buffering and buffering. Older people were watching the meeting stream on their smart phones. It appears my ticket just entitled me to almost watch the live stream. That's it. No discussion as promised. And we were told to both cheer when we were to have a live cross, and also to be deathly quiet. Most people couldn't hear the instructions given by a softly spoken woman on the stairs to people hard of hearing. It was not worth the bother. I shall be writing a letter to Michelle Guthrie offering my organisational skills and expertise. I can organise sitting down. I can organise chairs, and a microphone (it's the ABC for dog's sake), and someone to make sure the streaming feed is working. It did eventually work, but we ended up watching a TV backwards through glass and relying on the closed captions because there was no sound.

Hedy in little box

We are seriously considering putting Hedy's little box away. She's older now and though she naps in it, it takes up a huge part of the dining room. Well I just looked and not really a huge part. And it's not inconvenient, but one day we will have a new puppy and we don't want two little boxes. We are not sure how she will cope.

There has been much news of kangaroos/wallabies on the Sydney Harbour Bridge. My mum has a wallaby that greets her at her front door after it has chewed all the new leaves from her plants. We see lots of wallabies and pademelons.

Wallabies not on the Harbour bridge

We see them almost every day as we drive to and from the dam. If we are walking up the hill with the dogs on their leads the marsupials are quite unafraid. They know they can leap high over the wire fence and be away, even if a dog accidentally gets loose. Which they won't because we don't want them chasing the wild life, or running on the road. And yes, I did stop the car to take a photo. There is little traffic and the rule is not to stop for animals but there is no danger if you slow down and give way to them.

Autumn is coming. The nights are drawing in. The temperatures could still be high, but it is only a fortnight until Autumn officially begins. Yay!! I shall be in my element.


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


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.....


Don't Chew Want Me Baby. Don't Chew Want Me Ooh?*

It has been five weeks and three days since Hedy Lamarr accidentally chewed my finger, and I am doing very well: in fact the dead part of the fingernail fell of this morning when I was checking my injury. The skin covering my finger has died and is ready to slough off, like a snake skin. I realised this is why I had weird pins and needles feelings. When I touch the tip of my finger I touch the dead skin, then there's a layer of air and then the brand new pink skin. You can see some of the brand new pink skin below the fingernail. It is very strange. The dissolving stitches have dissolved and the remaining growing part of the fingernail should soon be growing. I hope. Because I have a suppressed immune system, it is a longer healing time than normal, but keeping the wound dry and clean has really helped.

Finger at five weeks

I have still not knitted or sewed. I have two almost finished knitted hats from Before The Chewing. The first is just a plain and simple beanie I am making up as I go along, in Felici Worsted in Time Traveller (Doctor Who stripes, but they can't say that) for Uncle Dutch's birthday. The second is the Fisher Cable Hat for MrReno's birthday. Both are covered in dog hair because Lorelai Gilmore has started moulting. She helpfully had a big cuddly pat right next to the hats and I am just not up to removing all the dog hair yet. I plan to make MrsDrWho a Pussy Hat, and MrsReno is making one too, both from some Caron cakes.

Hats

The Labradors went for their Dental check in August. Last year we found out that Gilly had her very own auto-immune disease and so it is marvelous that a year later she is almost better than good. Hedy scored a 10/10 and Gilly a 9/10 and she must have another check in six months. Her auto-immune illness is managed by one tablet every second day and she can't be immunised. This is a worry, but she is well and happy. She leaps over trees in a single bound!!!

Gilly leaping

And such a look of concentration.

Gilly leaping concentrating

Hedy Lamarr has a different look. She has a muddy look!!! The weather is warming up and so when we get back to the gate at the dam she insists on running through and cooling down in the puddle.

Hedy in her puddle

Hedy is also helping around the house, and by that I mean by making a mess all around the house. She has never been interested in toilet rolls, but last week this one just took her fancy. And she just doesn't care. At all.

Hedy and the toilet roll

MrsDrWho, MrsReno and I went to The Quilt Expo. Outside there was a patchwork Mini!!!

Patchwork mini

Inside there were some wonderful quilts. I bought 16 mixed green batik fat quarters for $20. Such a bargain. One of the prize winning quilts was hand pieced (3000) hours and hand quilted (2000 hours).

Quilt fair 3000

And here is the owner of Esme's Patchwork's Splendid Sampler. I started this when Hedy came to live with us and because she came to live with us I stopped!!

Splendid sampler

I have plans to make a quilt-as-you go baby quilt soon for my friend's first grandson. It will be a race between my finger healing and the baby arriving.

In Australia we are participating in a, what I consider to be ridiculously expensive and unnecessary, postal survey about same-sex marriage. We elect politicians to write and enact laws. And it is going to cost $122 million. I am voting yes. I believe that marriage is a civil contract. I am not religious, and feel very cross that some religious people want to tell non-religious people what to do. I think it is right and proper that churches decide which couples they will marry, that right is a binding law. But the world will not end, the sky will not fall if there is fairness and equality. Yes, there is activism on both sides, but without the brave and forward thinking Suffragettes, women would not now have the vote. I know that other people will not agree with me, and that is fine. Australia is a country where I can disagree with you, and you with me, and I can live with that. I will be very sad if the law is not passed in the affirmative. It's Time feels as appropriate now as it did back in 1972, albeit for a different cause. Here's a link to the video. I hope that if anyone disagrees they will do so in a polite and respectful manner. We don't have rudeness or swearing or cruelty on this blog.

It's Time

It’s time for freedom,
It’s time for moving, It’s time to begin,
Yes It’s time

It’s time Australia,
It’s time for moving, It’s time for proving,
Yes It’s time

It’s time for all folk,
It’s time for moving, It’s time to give,
Yes It’s time

It’s time for children,
It’s time to show them, Time to look ahead,
Yes It’s time

Time for freedom,
Time for moving, Time to be clear,
Yes It’s time

Time Australia,
Time for moving, It’s time for proving,
Yes It’s time

Time for better,
Come together, It’s time to move,
Yes It’s time

Time to stand up,
Time to shout it, Time, Time, Time,
Yes It’s time

Time to move on,
Time to stand up, time to say ‘yes’,
Yes It’s time

 

 

The ABC showed the first of thirteen Countdown specials, one for each year it was broadcast, last Sunday. I grew up watching Countdown and on Sunday I turned the sound on the TV up to 60 and did sad, old people dancing in the lounge room. Gilly and Hedy thought I was having a conniption. I knew all the words and all the tunes and all the people, and I am very much looking forward to the next twelve shows.

*Human League


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.


Dip-That-Toe

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.

Things I have made

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.

Winter walk

We went to the vet for Gilly's blood test a fortnight ago. This is how Hedy waits for Gilly.

Hedy waits for Gilly at the vet

And it is impossible to take a photo of her joy when Gilly comes back. Poor Gilly, Hedy's waggy tail is a bother.

Gilly is back  Hedy is so happy

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.

Hedy and rafa wrestling with the ball

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.

Doughnuts

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.


Wasp The Eye Doesn't See, The Heart Doesn't Grieve Over.

Hello Denizens of The Internet. It has been Some Time, though I tried to keep up with Friday Food. The end of February, and all of March, has been hot (30*C and hotter in some places), and we suffer from heat stress, The Labradors and I.

Wasp walk

And now I am sick. I have a sore throat that has worsened and I have fifty antibiotics to take. They are less powerful and more targeted, but it has been five days and I am not feeling terribly much better. I may have to go back to the doctor. I was going to have lunch with MrsDrWho and Mrs HouseOf today and I went for a little lie down and overslept by an hour. Even the phones ringing out didn't wake me up.

Wasps

What we do have is a wasp nest. I went outside yesterday in the late morning and there were a bazillion wasps circling outside the back door. There was a nest between the rocks in the retaining wall. My next door neighbour saw me looking worried and came over and put some wasp killing powder in the niche. As the gardener was here whipper-snippering we all had to stay inside, so no Labradors were in danger. They did have a middle of the day walk instead of a morning one:

Hedy was confused,

Hedy and her shadow

Gilly took it all in her stride.

Gilly on a mission

Lorelai Gilmore has taken to running interference when Rafa and Hedy Lamarr play in, what she considers to be, a rough way.

Hedy Rafa Gilly

Lorelai Gilmore is just checking up to make sure everyone is OK.  Hedy is showing everyone her belly!!!

Rafa Hedy Gilly

Christmas has long gone, but I have been catching up on a few late gifts. First a Christmas banner print fabric sewn as a bag for AuntieDutch and a Star Wars bag for me!! I know: for me. Bags 108 and 109.

Bags 108 and 109

And for The Dutches a Reindeer apron. I bought the panel off the roll, but the pocket was too small before I even started sewing, so I added a border to the top, and a lining, all in one. Now it looks like the apron is smiling, and not in a good way.

Reindeer apron

I also made a Christmas Grumpy Cat cross stitch for MrsDrWho. Actually I made two. A certain puppy may have knocked a cup of tea over the first one in the middle of last year. I glued a teeny tiny bobble border around the little frame. If you click on the clicky Grumpy Cat link, the pattern is free, just scroll down the page.

Christmas grumpy cat

And now it is time for a cup of tea and a rest. It has been hot again today, 28*C, and the same tomorrow. The BOM have forecast a cooler week ahead and some rain, at last.

Thank you for all the lovely comments, I plan to reply as soon as the weather is cooler and I feel better. I do appreciate that despite the unplanned interruptions to blogcasts, kind people (and dogs) leave us comments!!


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