What’s The Use Of Worrying? What’s The Use Of Anything?

I have been worrying, worrying so much that I experienced some awful anxiety. I have terrible physical manifestations where I have a kind of ongoing panic attack. I am grateful for the part of me that looks after me and I rang Lifeline and talked to a kind woman who told me I would in no way be bothering my doctor if I went to see her. She was away, but I saw another kind doctor and I have some more drugs and I have had three visits to my psychologist in quick succession. 

That is why I have not been around, internetally lately.

There was no one thing, rather the cumulative effect of many things: my tooth died I had an abscess and then a root canal, my iPad just stopped working and had to be replaced, my specialist retired, there was a flood in the bathroom, I hit my tyre on the curb avoiding a  car driving madly in the rain and a few other bits and bobs. 

I just carried on regardless in the face of so many things and in the end my body and my mind decided it was all too much. I didn’t read, I didn’t sew or knit or bake. I did walk The Labradors and see my friends.

I feel much better now. I am a work in progress, it is very hard being ill and having to work on your mental health as well. I have lots of support and love from my family, friends and medical professionals. Thank goodness.

Lorelai Gilmore and a Hedy Lamarr are always there. They have a new friend called Billie who is a Guide Dog in training and she is staying with Sandy’s Mum and dad. Lorelai LOVES Billie and runs and plays.

Hedy had had an allergy and we all went to see Dr Marion who gave her some very low dose tablets that did the trick. She has only had three in the week since. Gilly is very well and happy. She loves the cold weather and still plays in the paddle pool. They both love the icy cold and frosty mornings.

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I bought some marvellous earrings for MrsDrWho’s birthday from CheekyLittleMonkeysJ on The Etsy. I bought TimTam and BBQ Shapes packets. I sewed a BBQ shapes zippy bag and made TimTam Bites fudge. You can see the earrings stuck in a piece of carrot! I can’t work out how to make a clicky link to the shop, so I will attempt to paste the URL.

https://www.etsy.com/au/shop/CheekyLittleMonkeysJ?ref=l2-shopheader-name

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I also knitted her a PussyHat Project hat in miscellaneous blues of indeterminate make-up.

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Amongst my circle of friends there has been a death and a birth and a new puppy. Life just goes along on her merry way, regardless. I hate feeling anxious or depressed, but I am grateful so many people have my back, and glad to feel like my old self again.


The Fogs Of War

We have been very busy because it is The School Holidays and perhaps that is why I had a migraine last night. I have to be truly bedridden before we miss a walk and Gilly and Hedy had a lovely walk with Rafa this morning. The mornings are quite foggy, and the fog is so thick you need to use your windscreen wipers.D3458A22-9739-4299-A47E-675424DC3875

Hedy Lamarr and Rafa conduct a series of games. There is a lot of facing off, running and then engaging.

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Gilly and Hedy love the cooler weather. Gilly is especially happy and wags her tail and even “plays” with Rafa for micro-bursts. Gilly is so good, but she waits until she sees the prize before she asks with her paw. Hedy is already asking non-stop because she believes I have a treat!!

MrsDrWho took me on a short road trip to visit Auntie and Uncle Dutch and Lo, The Young Dutches and Kinder Zoe came for lunch. There are no photos of them, because, privacy, but here are Poppy, Auntie and Uncle’s dog, and new puppy for Zoe: Daisy-Belle. Daisy-Belle slept in MrsDrWho’s arms. She is such a cute puppy. 

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I sewed two more tiny Hold It bins by Made by Dana. The yellow for Kinder Zoe and the Bunny outer fabric for The Dutches. 

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I also made some Honeycomb Malteser Fudge. Auntie Dutch loves honeycomb but I thought it would just dissolve into the fudge, but the chocolate covered Maltesers might just be OK. And they were. It is such an easy recipe: melt together one tin of sweetened condensed milk and 440g of whatever chocolate you like (I chose half milk and half dark) and stir until smooth. I let it cool a little and then made layers of fudge, Maltesers, fudge and then pressed the remaining lollies into the top. I chilled it in the freezer and we were good to go. This fudge needs to be kept in the fridge, and in theory if you use a 20cm (8 inch) tin, you can cut 64 pieces.

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I fixed my Star Wars dress, after Hedy’s paw ripped the neck. I unpicked the lining at the waistband and then laid the dress so that the lining matched the lining and the Star Wars the Star Wars, and then sewed a fish eye dart really. The seam is there if you know to look for it, but because the fabric is so busy, I think it works.

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I finally knitted Mr HouseOf’s birthday hat. I was seduced by a Caron Cupcake, but the pattern on the label was for a child’s hat, so I worried if there would be enough meterage for an adult hat. I used some lovely black Merino Magic for a double width band, and in the end there was plenty left. I shall use it to make a striped hat. Hedy may have stolen the pom-pom from the bedside table. I am not sure if Mr HouseOf wants it, or not?

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When I talk to The Nextdoor Neighbors at the fence, Hedy Lamarr likes to dig the hole she is working on. It is fine, that is the dedicated hole digging area. However, if you are in range, she will shower you with dirt. Poor Lorelai Gilmore was standing there very innocently, when she came within range:

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Hedy could not care, and poor Gilly needs to have her head wipes and be cuddled. She is very patient with Hedy.

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I feel so much better now the weather is cooler, even though I had a migraine. I am lucky that mine only last two days and I am allowed to tailor my hospital-at-home drugs to suit the pain level. I am even happier that I have worked out how to blog using The TypePad mobile platform. I emailed myself a video from my phone to the iPad, then I saved the video and used the YouTube app to upload it and then copied the URL. I feel very technologically competent.

Tomorrow is ANZAC Day and I plan to bake some kind of ANZAC caramel slice. I never feel very included with all the emphasis on mateship and men. I do remember those who have served in any capacity, at home or abroad, in the Forces or not. I am very cross right now that Brendan Nelson wants to spend Half A Billion Dollars on an underground hall for the War Memorial. If that much money is there to be spent, we should be spending it on people, the people who have been negatively affected by their service. If you’re willing to put your life on the line, I think we should be willing to give you all the money you need to help you transition back to civilian life. Another display won’t help anyone. They could just squoosh everything together a bit more.

I need to get my act together and sew a dress before the month ends. I have six days.......

PS When I preview this post it looks weird, so please excuse any weirdness. I don’t know how to fix it.


Come back to the Five And Dime, BillyBall, BillyBall.

This blog post has been siting in my Drafts since the 2nd of April. Tonight Australian Story on The ABC was about Emma Betts, a young woman who died from melanoma. She had a blog called Dear Melanoma, and sometimes I need something to remind me to practise gratitude. It is not that I am not grateful, but complacency is such an easy thing to slowly slip into. I haven’t used the very long time I have been ill to do anything really worthy, but life has been worth living. We are lying in bed (again) and I decided I would not wait for the right time to post to my blog, I would find some photos and do it now. No one expects The Spanish Inquisition: or decent photos on my blog!


Lorelai Gilmore and I are in bed and Miss Hedy Lamarr is off somewhere creating chaos, or in her Little Box. We are watching Caught Out about the Cricket cheating in the Test against South Africa. One of the people said that we are all sullied by the behaviour of Smith, Warner and Bancroft: that as a nation we have to live with the consequences. I do not feel sullied. Cricket is not what it used to be. It used to be on The ABC and no one wore coloured clothes. I do hope that the men are being well cared for, I am worried about their mental state. 

But I don’t feel represented by men playing cricket, or mateship or ‘if you’re not with us you’re against us’. Sadly, I do feel represented by our inhuman treatment of refugees, by the way we have decreased our foreign aid, eg.

We should be more outraged by the lies and obfuscation of our politicians. That’s my two cents’ worth on that topic.

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In good news, I have sewn a new dress: the Beetle Dress. I bought four or five panels of fabric on super special at The Spotlight. Each panel had some tropical leaves, two kinds of lattice and two Christmas beetles. I managed to cut out the pieces to my satisfaction and I love the surprise beetles in the back of the skirt. I tweaked my Upton Dress pattern by moving the shoulder seam forward 2.5cm, moving the side bust darts back 5cm and lowering the under bust darts by a half. Luckily I have short legs and so I was able to eke out the skirt lengthwise. 

I wanted to wear my new dress to WeeJock and Besse’s Dad’s birthday party. WeeJock and Bessie’s Mum was very worried I would be unwell, or unable to walk the steep paths to the venue. In the end I rested and was relatively well and able to go. Jolly good thing I did, because it was a surprise wedding!!! Oh we were all Very Surprised and I had enough tissues to share with my friends when we all cried joyfully. It was such a wonderful evening and two wonderful people shared their special day with us all. Now my dress has been renamed as “My Wedding Dress”, which confuses come people and amuses me no end.

Hedy has had FlippyFloppy Ear and we bought the very expensive new $130 tablets that aren’t steroids for her. She was vaccinated too. Dr Rob says that,when she is not being excited, her heartbeat is nice and slow and she is incredibly fit. Gilly came too, of course, and they are both nice and slim. I always feel happy about that. 

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This year I have been unwell, really unwell almost all the time. My immune system is compromised and that is why I am poorly. I have missed out on an Easter Day trip and other outings, I’ve not sewed or knitted very much at all, there has been an awful lot of sleeping and the one thing that is sancrosanct is The Labradors’ Walk. Five times a week we go for a walk, we love going, and I save some, or all, of my energy for that. I hope the cooler Autumn weather brings me some better health.

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I have at last finished a pair of socks for my next door neighbour. The Blueberry Choc Shake Socks 2018 are knitted in Opal Fresh and Juicy. Opal sock wool is the work horse of sock wools, and though not the softest, it is comfortable to wear and lasts seemingly forever. 

Someone stole Hedy Lamarr’s red BillyBall when we were at the dam. She has a new blue BillyBall and she loves it. Thank goodness.

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However, her love is ephemeral. On Friday we met Sandy’s mum and her grandsons. They had a foam soccer ball. Hedy wanted that ball so badly, that she stole it. Luckily the boys played with the BillyBall: all’s well that ends well. She worked very hard to fit the ball in her mouth.

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I sewed two Hold It bins from Made by Dana. I can’t work out how to make clicky links on the iPad tonight, sorry. I am very happy with them, and I plan to sew some more.

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I am knitting a cardigan for Kinder Zoe. Her favourite colour is yellow, and I love this buttery colour. I am making Pixie Dust by Lioness Arts. It is a top down raglan with a lovely lace pattern in the increases, repeated across the whole body.

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I baked a layered chocolate cake with whipped butterscotch schnapps ganache for MrsDrWho’s morning tea at school. I used my cake levelling tool, so that made me happy. The day was very warm and the ganache would not set, so I had to put the cake in the freezer and it went slightly wonky. I think the women at school used the roses to make it look beautiful.

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There, I feel I have achieved something positive. I only skimmed before I posted, so please excuse any errors.


Take This Job and Bucket.

Thank you for all the lovely birthday wishes for Hedy Lamarr. Hedy has been a rascal while we were out. She has been somewhere grubby, I don't know where.

What chewed the buckets

And she has chewed the new buckets. They only cost a dollar each, but these are buckets three and four. One and two went into the bin last week.  The buckets fill up with rain water, and those marks in the aqua bucket are where Hedy likes to pop a front paw in, and try to empty the bucket.

Buckets

Lorelai Gilmore would never chew a bucket, look at how good she is, and how lovely!!! Autumn is four days old and already the mornings are crisper and the nights are closing in. Gilly runs to greet Rafa and then runs back to tell me she has greeted him. So much running for an older dog.

Gilly loves the cool walk weather

Oh and back to Hedy's birthday, we assigned comments ordinal numbers as per the post and then employed a random number chooser, and the bag and chocolate treat goes to: Deb!! I know Deb in real life and so this will perhaps give us a much needed excuse to catch up for coffee, tea and cake!!

Random number chooser

We had two medical emergencies this week. On Wednesday Gilly was bitten on the leg by a wasp floating in the paddle pool. We rang the vet and they saw us within twenty minutes. Here are The Labradors waiting for Dr Michelle to bring back Gilly's antihistamine injection. Because she takes Imuran to suppress her immune system we have to be very careful of her treatment.

Where is Dr Michelle

Is Dr Michelle coming back?? Gilly and Hedy think they hear her......

Is dr michelle coming

Yes, she's here and she has liver treats!!!

Dr michelle and she has a treat

There were quite a few wasps, not a nest, but enough to be a worry. My neighbour helped me to hang some wasp traps. Hang them Very High. But not high enough. Somehow Hedy jumped up and ate the wasp trap contents. It was a hard decision to make: should Gilly run the risk of being bitten again, or should we use a wasp trap? There was less than 1/2 a teaspoon of the wasp powder in the trap. We rang the vet and they rang poison hotlines and thankfully, a dog Hedy's size would not be affected. But they both had to skip dinner, as the vet said not to induce vomiting. The lovely chemist at the corner says she knows of a very stinky, but safe, wasp trap filler, and so I shall be able to use that. I feel terrible, but I truly had no idea Hedy could jump higher than I could reach. I baked the vet a very large Banoffee sheet cake as a thank you, for they didn't charge me at all for their advice.

Kimmy and hack

I know it is difficult to believe, but I am about to sew a dress. The Kimmy Dress was one of this month's Seamwork patterns. I really like it, and I am going to make the hack with a flared skirt, a longer flared skirt. MrsDrWho's mum brought this material back from Singapore. It is less than a metre wide, so I have bought some plain green to be a border at the hem. The fabric itself has borders, and I want to try use them as well. I'll also have to add a dart, as I need an FBA. And I know I am behind the times, but I finally realised The Officeworks is able to print out patterns in PDF in A0. Thanks to Beth who talked me through the email process. No more taping 32 pages together, I am happy to pay $8-50 for two sheets.

Kimmy fabric and A0 pattern

Lorelai Gilmore and Hedy Lamarr are very accommodating and stopped half way down the steps so I could take a photo for The Blog. On the right is a tortoise... I want to say bird bath, but it is really a kind of teeny tiny pond that Hedy likes to drink from. The gardener comes tomorrow, so there will be some at long last weeding and trimming. The grape vine is taking over the entrance.

Waiting while I take a photo for the blog

I have three new balls of sock wool, so I am eager to finish the socks I am working on. I just have the foot and then the toe.

New wool

I also have a new-to-me phone, an iPhone 4. WeeJock and Bessie's family had a passing down of phones and I was lucky enough to be on the end of the line.

New phone

My older phone costs just $9 and really just did texting. My new phone might be eight years old, but it is so exciting to be able to text my mum and not say: "I am knitting rocks today", or "Fear Mum". I can iMessage and I can add photos to The Instagram. I am so very grateful!!

MrsDrWho and I watched the last episode of Star Trek Discovery this afternoon. I loved the entire series. There were parts that shocked us with their unexpectedness, and the plot was riveting. The characters were both familiar and new and I especially liked that it was a darker version, more like DS9 than TNG. The cliffhanger ending has us eagerly awaiting the next season. And the theme music, very good music and the music over the last credits was perfect.

The weather has been cooler and I have been feeling much better, though I see it will be 28*C at the end of the week. Bah humbug.

 


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!!