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.

 


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


Rogue Won

There will be spoilers, so if you don't want to know what happens in Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, don't click on that clicky link, and/or scroll way down to my review.

Last week I decided to give away the 100th shopping bag I sewed. And it is now 9-35pm on Tuesday 24th January and I am doing the draw right now. Hold on....

Bloss wins!!!

I wrote the names on pieces of paper, folded them twice, popped them in the hat, closed my eyes and drew out a name: Bloss has won!!! She will be able to take the 100th bag shopping!!

Oprah would be proud

But wait, there's more: you win a prize, and you win a prize, and you win a prize......

Oprah would be proud. I sewed some small buttoned pouches in my favourite, and pretty much trademark, green with a Labrador appliqu├ęd to the front and a nice green button that closes the pouch with an elastic loop. I hope you all enjoy some Labrador happiness. Thank you so much for your kind wishes for Gilly's birthday and the 100th bag. There are eight little pouches, I thought maybe no-one wanted the back end of Labradors walking away, so there are some repeats!! I will send an email anon to everyone. Can't promise it will be tonight.

Happy Hedy loves her walk

Happy Birthday Hedy Lamarr. Hedy is a big One Year Old Puppy Dog. She is so happy to be One!! Her little knees are dirty because she is such an enthusiastic stick fetcher that she skids on her knees when she comes close to it. How lovely it is to have two Labradors at our house, and it makes us very happy that they like to be together. I think, to be fair, there should be a give-away next week for Hedy's birthday too!!

Labrador afternoon naps

Gilly and Hedy ate their delicious birthday chew bones.

2017 Gilly's birthday chew bone

2017 Hedy's birthday chew bone

Lorelai Gilmore has been secretly spending time in Hedy's Little Box, which is what we call her crate. I came into the dining room and there was Gilly, looking very at home, if a little worried whether she should be there or not.

Gilly in the little box being worried

I am catching up on Christmas presents. I sewed a set of three Star Wars bags (102, 103, 104) for MrsDrWho, The gold is very gold, almost brassy and very striking.

102 103 104 Star Wars set

I knitted a Pussy Hat for me. It is green, it has two tiny stripes of pink near the top. I used some Vero for the ribbing and then couldn't find the other balls and had to buy some Kureyon for the body of the hat, hence the pink stripes. Of course this afternoon I found the rest of the Vero. The hat really makes cat's ears on your head, but I could only wear it for a few minutes because it has been hot. It was 30*C yesterday.

I shall try and be restrained and not go on and on about it. I am just very grateful to live here and mindful of the "First They Came.." poem. I must speak out if I can, and saying that I don't want to be annoying sounds hypocritical, but some people are not interested or it is not high on their agenda. I like to be aware of what is happening in politics, especially when it affects women and minority groups. I can't do very much, but I vote and I like to learn all I can.

Hats

The other hat, the Markedly Striped Hat, is for MrMadcage's birthday. It is the end of the Kureyon and some Rowan 10ply. I love that it looks like I have made a lot of striping effort, but it is just two rows of plain, one row of Kureyon until the crown, where they alternate - one row of each.

A present from Singapore for the fish

I fed MrsDrWho's mother's fish when she was away on holiday. There were nine when she left and nine when she came back: I am very proud of that. Sadly, now there are only seven. MrsDrWho's mum brought me back four metres of marvellous green fabric. It has a border on each side and it is light and airy. It will make a very cool Summer dress, which is my next project.

When it was 30*C yesterday we didn't know. After our walk we were so tired we slept till 2-23pm. When we woke up, the heat outside was terrible. Inside it was cooler, and The Labradors had the paddle pool for cooling down. MrsDrWho and I went to see Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. It was not in 3D, apparently we do not warrant 3D. Or Gold Class, even though they insist on showing all the happy Gold Class people all over the rest of the continent.

I was enthralled by the film the and the two and a half hours flew by. Also I cried at the end. Several times. It was a sad film, but war is hell and people die, even in the Star Wars Universe. I saw Star Wars, now called A New Hope Episode 4, when it was first released and this film takes place primarily a few days or weeks before Episode 4 begins. There is a lot of chopping and changing of setting and at first I had no idea what was happening, but all becomes a little clearer as the film progresses. The characters are all very interesting and there is a great diversity: human and non-human. I loved that the actors seemed to keep their natural accents, more or less: Ben Mendelsohn (Director Krennic) falls in and out of his Australian/generic world accent, as do others. I was chuffed to recognise at least two Australian actors.

The action is fast and furious and people die. Lots of people die. Many things are unexplained and maybe the stories will be fleshed out later on, or maybe they are told in some of the books. It did not matter. I am glad that the film ended the way it did, there is no more of their story to be told. But it is a worthy part of the Star wars Universe. MrsDrWho told me that there are fans who are disappointed or angry. I am neither. I love the film, maybe even a little more than The Force Awakens. There, I have said it. I like these side stories and I would like to see more, as well as The Last Jedi, which follows The Force Awakens.

It was not only a marvellous film, it also whiled away almost three hours in air-conditioned comfort. When we came out it was sultry and cooler and we had rain by 10pm. I want to see Rogue One again, it is on for another two days, I may be able to squeeze it in.

Tomorrow we are off to The Vet for Gilly's blood test. She seems well, and even a bit naughty, so fingers crossed her numbers are good. We also need to investigate a new lead for Hedy, who pulls like a train engine and it all strength and determination. And then lunch with MrsMadcage for her birthday. It will be a lovely day.

And now I am just pressing the Publish button and being damned. And spelling or grammar errors will have to wait for tomorrow to be fixed.


Friday Food: Tray Bake Kits

Vanilla cakeReading a cooking magazine I spotted new Woolworths Tray Bake Kits. Of course I had to have them all. Not that I am affected by advertising but really: tray bake kits with a tray and all the bits and bobs. What's not to want???

I really wanted them and so, in the end, I went to three supermarkets before I finally had all the kits in my hot little hand.

There are three types: vanilla cake, chocolate cake and brownies and they cost $4 each. You add a little butter, two eggs and milk to the cakes and one egg, oil and water to the brownies. They come with a folded tray that opens and slots together and icing and sprinkles for the cakes. The whole thing is as cute as a button. Some Woolworths had all three kits, some two and some none at all.

New traybake kits

So dear Reader, I have taken it upon myself to test the kits and taste the vanilla cake at least.

 

Tray Bake Kits    makes 18 pieces

The cakes require additional ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 60g butter, softened
  • 190ml (3/4 cup) milk

The icing also needs:

  • 60g butter, softened
  • 20ml milk

Contents

Vanilla cake kit contents. The chocolate cake kit has a chocolate cake mix and 100s and 1000s.

 

The brownies require additional ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 100ml vegetable oil
  • 100ml water

There is no icing or frosting for the brownies.

 

 

Preheat the oven to 180*C or 160*C fan-forced for all the kits. Unfold and assemble the tray and grease it. I tried both butter and oil, and the butter seemed to work best of all. I folded the creases of all the tray edges and made sure the openings were open so the little arrows slid in easily. They are pretty good trays and maintain their shape quite well. I got better by #3!!!

Tray assembled

To make the cakes, put the cake mix, butter, eggs and milk into the mixer bowl and beat slowly to combine. Once everything comes together, beat on Medium speed for 3 minutes. Then just mix with a spoon to make sure everything is properly combined.

Vanilla cake batter combined

Pour into the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. I baked mine for 30 minutes and turned the tray half way through. It is cooked when the cake is golden, comes away from the side of the tray and a skewer poked into the centre comes out clean.

Vanilla trayed and baked

Set aside to cool completely.

Vanilla icing

While it is cooling make the icing. Put the icing mix, softened butter and milk into a bowl and beat slowly to combine and then on a high speed for 2 minutes. It will be pale and light.

Vanilla cake iced and sprinkled

Spread the icing on the cake and top with the sprinkles. There is just the right amount of icing, a little more than you think you need, but not too much.

De-traying the cake

It came out of the tray quite easily and didn't stick at all when I used butter to grease the tray.

Here's the chocolate cake:

The chocolate cake

And vanilla and chocolate cake pieces.

Vanilla and choc tray bake

I think the vanilla cake is delicious, it is quite vanilla-y and the icing is light and tasty. It till tastes faintly like a packet mix, but not too badly. My next-door neighbour tasted it and thought it was very yummy. She liked the chocolate one a lot and the icing was very fudgy and rich.

 

To make the Brownies, put the cake mix into a bowl with the egg, water and vegetable oil and mix with a spoon until combined.

The brownie

Pour into the tray and bake for 30-35 minutes. I baked this one for the full 35 minutes.

Cool and slice and it is done.

Choc brownie

I did taste the brownie and I think it was the least successful of the three. I thought it was a bit too flat and the edges were crusty while the centre was moist. While I might consider the cake kits, I would not buy the Brownie one again.

In reality, I like the cake kits for their novelty value, but I will always make a cake from scratch. I like knowing the ingredients I am using are as local as possible, or Australian at least. I like the whole baking process and as we don't have a proper life at our house, it fills in the time some days. Baking cheers me up!!!


Tooth Or Derring

The tooth in question is Hedy Lamarr's. Hedy lost a baby tooth early this week and you can see her Big Girl tooth coming through.  It's the tiny point of tooth just poking out of her gum. No wonder puppies chew, the tooth fell out somewhere and she had a big hole in her gum. It must really hurt.

Oh the indignity of having a tooth photo taken.

Hedy's big girl tooth

The derring-do occurred when Hedy broke into the kitchen, opening the baby gate by herself, and ate the carcase of a BBQ chicken from the bin- no drumsticks or wings, just the cartilage middle section.  I knew something was afoot because Gilly came and told me with her Special Ears on. As we are on to dog number 6 I didn't panic. I rang the vet and Dr Megan remembered Hedy. She said to keep an eye on her for either emission or non-emissions from either end, and no dinner or breakfast. We have tied the baby gate for the time being. Of course I knew what she had eaten and always ring the vet. I thought I should add that. Hedy usually likes to do whatever Lorelai Gilmore does:

Gilly do Hedy see Hedy do

On our walk we usually just see this: Gilly off on her walk, and Hedy trying to keep up and keep on task, looking to Gilly. 

Gilly takes Hedy for a walk

I have knitted a hat for the baby next door, Modern Sweet in some Loyal 10ply in a hot pink. Very cute and I love the flower. It just took an evening to make.

Modern Sweet 2016

I'm also knitting a new hotwater bottle cover for my new back-up hotwater bottle. It is a pattern of my own design, and the last one was in 5ply so this 8ply is a tad too big but I don't care. I am using all odd ends of wool and using Fibonacci stripes, because they make everything pleasing to the eye.

Slih

Nothing much has been happening this week because I have a cold, a cold which I suspect I caught at Leukaemia Support group when I was in a room for two hours with the hot air-conditioning on. We don't walk on Wednesday, and I took them walking this morning, but both days I have slept till way in the afternoon. I did wonder if it was time for Hedy to have just two meals a day, but no, they continue till she's six months old. So the sleeping is why Hedy wasn't being sufficiently supervised.

Labradors love treats

At the weekend I read about an Eco-Cooler, an air-conditioner that works without power. It uses the principle that air you breathe out with an open mouth and a "ha" is hot, but air you blow out through pursed lips is cool. It needs a lot of plastic bottles and I'd like to try it out in Summer. So, I bought some fizzy cordial, as we call it, and conducted a taste test so no-one else has to. Believe me, no-one else wants to.

Special edition fizzy cordial

There are three Fan Made flavours: Fairy Floss, Fruit Tingler and Pineapple Coconut and then Traditional Pink Lemonade.

Fizzy cordial

I don't drink fizzy cordial, maybe some lemonade in Summer, but rarely, so the first overall impression of the flavours was how sweet they were: incredibly sweet.

The blue Fairy Floss tastes vaguely of almost burnt sugar and sweetness. It doesn't really remind me of Fairy Floss very much.

The Fruit Tingler is perhaps the best of the four. It tastes distinctly of Fruit Tingle lollies. And sugar.

The Pineapple Coconut has an artificial and strong coconut smell, but a lesser flavour. The pineapple flavour is not prominent.

Can a drink taste pink?? Yes, it can because that is what the Pink Lemonade tastes like: pink. Or what I imagine pink tastes like. Pink and sweet.

Well, that was certainly an experience. And not an altogether pleasant one. I think of myself as having a sweet tooth, but these were all overly sweet, being 31/34/31/31% sugar respectively. Definitely a sometimes food and one that I will not add to my menu any time soon.

Our Sewing group continues on, and some blocks have been sewn.

Bom continues

I had all sorts of plans for this week, but none of them will come to fruition and I am just not worrying about it. Tomorrow I have an appointment to have my hair cut I shall and bake a chocolate cake for the vet. Dr Megan talked to me over the phone and the nurses were very kind to ask her to ring me back. The Labradors snuggle together on the couch every evening. And I have a hotwater bottle and some yoghurt full of the right kind of healthy bacteria for tea. We watched Doctor Thorne this afternoon and thoroughly enjoyed it. I can't wait for Episode 2. I like Trollope. I remember watching The Pallisers and then Barchester Chronicles on TV and we read Trollope at Matric. Very witty and he writes excellent women!!!

Labrador sisters


Rolling In The Sleep

I have been sleeping. I have been sleeping for five days in a row. We went out for walks, and supplies, but other than that is has been all sleeping. The weather has been cold, we just had the coldest May day on record, so it has been all hotwater bottles and extra quilts on the bed. Today is the first day I feel un-tired. We still had a nap this afternoon, but I went out to do some shopping and left Hedy Lamarr out of her crate to run free in the house and back yard with Lorelai Gilmore. I did shut the hidden dining room door and the hall door, but when I came home Gilly was waiting at the gate and Hedy came from inside when I called- she was probably asleep in her crate!!

Consequently, not much else has been happening. Hedy goes for a walk off her lead. She comes when she is called and runs like the wind. So fast that she is a blur. Gilly is poking out her tongue. It is the season for rolling in something smelly and eating it as well.

Hedy speedy Gilly slow

Hedy has met Rafa the Border Collie and Sandy the Failed Guide Dog. They have both been champions. They have put up with a wriggly, licky puppy with hardly any growls at all. And if there is a little growl, Gilly appears from nowhere and puts herself between them and Hedy. What a good job she does.

Hedy with Sandy and Rafa... and Gilly

And all The Labradors...

Wiggly Labradors

Hedy is so cute and she is such a good girl. Her worst fault is stealing balls of wool, and that is because I haven't put them away. She has grown out of her cute dark green baby collar and has a new one. I felt guilty, so I went back and now Gilly has a matching collar. Gilly woke up on the couch next to Hedy Lamarr the other day and she wagged and wagged her tail, and licked Hedy's paws and belly. I think Hedy is settling in well. She doesn't bite me all the time either, which is nice!!

Hedy points

I have almost finished MrsDrWho's birthday socks. I have made both the afterthought heels and knitted past where I think I should start the toes. Which is annoying, but sensible because it is a new style of sock and I need to ask her to try them on. The stripes match so well, I am so chuffed.

Sl&r socks almost done

I bought myself a present today: two Pyrex bowls in a gorgeous aqua colour. They were on sale for half price so I treated myself. The container with the lid in already filled with some salmon pasta sauce, which I ate from the cute bowl for my tea.

Pyrex1

Pyrex

I drove MrsDrWho's automatic car with no problems at all. I feel slightly silly that I was so worried. Now I feel confident that I could drive any car at all. She had a lovely trip away and if I need to drive the car to the airport again I will definitely be available.

Well, our house has been quite boring. I watched the end of River, a TV show on The Netflix and thoroughly enjoyed it. I am making my way through The Night Manager now.

Tomorrow I plan to start knitting a corgi for The GardyGardeners. They have always had corgis and as they leave for The Mainland soon, a corgi will be a nice keepsake for them.

Corgi


The Force Asleepens

Gilly is pretty sure that she missed two whole meals somehow. Yesterday everyone went to bed, they got up at 11pm and went out in the car while she stayed home, then everyone went back to bed again at 3am. Finally we woke up and went for a walk at 8am. She is sure that somehow she missed out on a breakfast and dinner!! She has been playing with her rawhide bone. It is dug up, carried about and then reburied again. It is almost 8 weeks old.

Gilly and her bone

MrsDrWho, MrsSingapore, MissSingpore and I went to see Star Wars: The Force Awakens (spoilers). It was excellent: on a par with VI, V and VI and streets above I,II and III. The film started at 12-01am and we had assigned seats so there was no frantic queueing. We saw a lot of ardent fans, there was a beeping R2D2 and the ushers were all Stormtroopers. Lightsaber wielding people had their photos taken outside.

Star wars 2015

The audience was very well behaved and the cinema was air-conditioned, which was so wonderful. We are having a heatwave, it will be 33*C tomorrow. Hopefully a cold front with rain will come through on Sunday. We saw the 3D version and it was not too 3D, you didn't have to duck all the time. I can't wait to see it again. I think Disney can have a Gold Star for their first effort.

I wore my new Star Wars dress. It has a little pocket for keeping the Star Wars music player, but I can't find it, so I just had to hum the music instead. I am very pleased with my dress, I like the green border, I think without it the dress would be all busy print and no focus. The plain border grounds it.

The Star Wars dress 2015

The dress has the bodice I sewed for my Hawaii dress, and a knife pleated skirt. The skirt is almost 4m wide and I made 2.5cm knife pleats. I am exceedingly pleased with the way I inserted the zip. It doesn't interfere with the pleats at all.

Dress zip and pleats

I have been sewing Christmas shopping bags. We are a crinkly plastic bag free State, so we all need shopping bags. I have to make one for The GardyGardeners tomorrow.

Christmas Shopping bags

Last week I went to MrsDrWho's class until recess time. They made Ungingerbread Houses. The houses are hugely OTT. They children were very good at listening,  following instructions and sharing. Teaching for me is like riding a bike, once I am there with a class it just seems right and proper: I made them instantly quiet and sitting up straight when I said: "As soon as everyone is quite I can give out the ziplock bags." Who knew I still has The Power??

Ungingerbread houses 2015

Well, that's all. The heat is very wearing. We have the evaporative cooler filled with water and some ice to blow cold air during the night. And this afternoon too. We caught up on sleep. I had been doing well with my Christmas preparation, but the hot weather has put a spanner in the works. I am lucky that my family and friends are so understanding. They say things like:"Oh, how nice to get a present after Christmas!!"

Tomorrow I am baking a Sticky Gingerbread Cake and the last in my new Christmas baking for Friday Food. I have no idea what it will be. I am sure Gilly will be ready to help.

Gilly is happy on her walk


#putoutyouronions

While I have not lost my mother, as a country we have been very careless with our Prime Minister. Again. It was on, and my favourite hashtag on The Twitter was #putoutyouronions. I wish I had The Twitter just so I could have done that!! So it's farewell Tony and hello Malcolm, who at least knows that the PM is decided by the Party with the majority and not by a special vote by electors.

Good to live in a country where this all happens without the Defence Forces driving tanks through the streets, with not a shot fired, or a water cannon aimed. Yay for us. My mum and I talk on the phone on Monday nights and we both said that we couldn't go to sleep until we knew who would be the PM.

I have been Getting Things Done now I am feeling a little more like myself. I have almost finished a pair of socks for MrsDrWho's birthday, which was in June. I am using my usual pattern in some Opal Hundertwasser Kuss im Regen, Kiss in the Rain. I call them The I Just Want Your (Kiss) Socks. I love the colours and the way they merge and play.

I just want your socks sock

Peri is pottering along, she needs help sometimes to jump into the car, but we are developing a routine and try to anticipate each other. Peri is very funny, because when she is exceptionally pleased and joyous, she has what I like to call Happy Hackles. And she likes to be patted on The Hackle area: hard.

Peri's happy hackles

Lorelai Gilmore is exceedingly pleased as well, because The Paddle Pool has been broken out for Spring. It has been very hot, 26*C,which I hope is not the shape of things to come. We have to put an extra cover on the bed, because she likes to play in the pool and then go to bed. As you do.

Gilly's spring paddle pool

Gilly is very interested in cars and so far has been in Rafa's car, and now Sandy's. You can just see Sandy on the far side.

Gilly in Sandy's car

I picked up the latest John Flanagan book today. I had ordered it a few days ago from Petrarch's and expected it in a fortnight, so it came early. As I was leaving the shop one of the Shop Men was coming back in, I showed him my book and he looked inside the cover and then swapped it for a book signed by the author. I am extra chuffed now.

A new book

There is a new way to eat a Golden Gaytime ice-cream: it comes in a tub at the supermarket now. There are new flavours: mint, strawberry and chocolate, but I went for the stock standard toffee and vanilla with biscuit crumbs. It is nice to have an ice cream without chocolate, which I am not supposed to eat.

Gt

On Monday I found ALL my Library books and took them back. I also found my proper prescription sunglasses, and I am very happy about that. MrsDrWho and I went shopping and I bought a few Christmas presents. We found some tops in Target with a push-the-button-for-sound feature: they play the Star Wars theme. I had been quite cross that there were no clothes at all for women, apparently Disney feels they have the Princess market for girls and adult women are not a demographic they are interested in. Still, Target does have some pyjamas and a top.This is a children's t-shirt, but I am going to take off the button and sew a little pocket in my soon-to-be Star Wars dress and push it all the time to annoy everyone. And amuse myself.

Da da da da da da da da dum

I 'virtually' attended The Writers' and Readers' Festival, and I notice they avoided any proper punctuation.  I went to Words for Nerds as it streamed for free in our Library. The speakers were Jane Caro, Julian Burnside and Don Watson. It was slightly spoiled by the woman in charge in the room speaking loudly on her phone. Twice. Very enjoyable and I would go again. I have read books authored by all three, and I am very interested in words too. It is a Very Poor photo.

Writer reader festival

And now we are going to watch Gruen, time shifted, and then go to bed and read the new book. We haven't had a nap today at all. I might not read very much.


Oh Mother, Where Art Thou???

Well, I almost went with The Day My Mum Might Have Gone Psycho. It started when my sister rang from The Mainland to say that the Doctors' surgery had rung her to say my mum had missed her appointment. My mum never misses an appointment. No-one could contact her by landline, mobile or email. I knew she was going out with some friends, but I didn't know their numbers, or the new next-door neighbour and my Aunt was on The Mainland too.

So I did what any good daughter would do, I rang the Police and asked for help. I also told them her age. I was more worried about that really. In about half an hour the Police rang back to say that her car was not there and there was no sign of violence at all, and she wasn't lying inside unconscious. So we sat by the phone, ringing and messaging until my mum arrived home at about 3pm.

Turns out her appointment at the doctor was on THURSDAY and she had been on a tour of the Menzies Centre and had not turned her phone back on. Everything was fine, and I am glad the doctors' surgery rang, but very cross they had the wrong day and then sent my mum a letter chiding her for missing her appointment. It took me more than a few days to recover from the day, but I did go into the Police Station in town and thank them very much. I am grateful to live in a place where the Police will look for a person who has been misplaced for just a few hours.

We have also updated all our contact numbers and my mum's new mobile has an alarm and automatically dials for help.

Look, Gilly and Peri: happy girls.

Gilly and Peri Happy girls

Peri's blood test showed two of her liver enzymes are high, and she must have another test in three months. She is sometimes wobbly on her back legs and only goes up the steps if it is really worth it. When Uncle Dutch came, he said she looked at him and he saw her think: "He'll come down the stairs and pat me," and he did and she was right!!

The Whipper-snipper Man came again and made the paving weed free and like new. He also took out lots more weeds.  Gilly can run in great circles from the bottom to the top and up the side and the paddle pool is in service again. Peri is pleased to have the side to sniff new smells.

Back yard

My mum and Aunt came to visit last week. We shopped and ate and I helped mum choose a new mobile and then we shopped and ate a little more. For three days. I had a lovely time and it was so nice to see them both. Plus, my mum wasn't missing, which was a bonus. I felt fairly fine on Friday, but went downhill and on Saturday I didn't wake up till almost 10am and I had to pretend it was Sunday so The Labradors didn't know they had missed their walk. We had a catch up walk on Sunday proper.

Peri had the best day ever when she found a huge bone from a wallaby. It had been stripped clean and was not smelly at all. She ran, in her own fashion, all the way from the gate to the dam, proudly carrying the bone. Neither Rafa nor Gilly could get a look in.

Peri bone 1

Peri Gilly bone

She didn't want to chew it, just carry it. In the end we threw it over the fence before she wanted to bring it home.

Peri bone so happy

I have nothing crafty to show, as although I feel well, what with my mum almost disappearing, the vet visits and then visitors, I feel quite tired. Yesterday I felt a bit better and of course I did too many things. A new book arrived a few weeks ago at the PO at the corner, but there was no card in the letter box. Luckily they know me and sent another card today and I went to pick up my book. Since it was 19*C today, I need to sew a dress. MrsDrWho has suggested I cut out two at once. I think she might be on to something there.

Book

Cadbury have a new kind of chocolate treat. They have been around for a few weeks so I bought some and made MrsDrWho taste them. There is a sweet, and a savoury, chocolate 'biscuit'.

New choc

The sweet version has little Nice biscuits without the sugar, which taste vaguely of Malt'o'milk biscuits. The savoury version is reminiscent of the Lemon Crisp biscuits, which has two sweet biscuits sprinkled with salt and a creamy lemon filling.: obviously with chocolate and not lemon. I am not sure they will catch on, but they are soooo much better than Vegemite Chocolate. That was a mad creative flop!!

Cleo is very apprehensive about the whole thing, but determined to be involved.

New choc biscuits

And now I am going to watch some TV (Hinterland on The Netflix and then on real TV The Chaser's Media Circus. Gruen was back last night after almost two years) and then we are all going to bed. We have new cotton sheets with 250 thread count. They are as smooth as silk and I think I may need some more. The old sheets have a lower thread count and have developed dreadful bobbles. I am throwing them out and there is no way of using them for anything else really.

And there will definitely be Friday Food. I had prepared for last week, but then the sleep over.


Pease Porridge Hot, Peas Rice Cold.

I was meant to be Dining Out with my knitting group tonight, but I wasn't up to it. I rested and napped, but in the end I just stayed home and had steamed rice and peas for tea. Very sad, especially when the menu at the restaurant is fabulous. Next time.

Peri and Gilly are happy, they have had some stewed plums and we opened a minty tasting rope toy for Gilly too. The Labradors love the cooler weather, there is a forecast for snow down to 800m and we have quite a bad bush fire to the north; too far north to worry us, but the residents were evacuated. All the dogs have been so happy on their walks, running very fast and playing fast games. Gilly is running down the hill to catch up to Sandy, who is strangely close to Peri, who usually spurns him.

Wheeeeee Gilly Peri and Sandy

My camera stopped working. No, technically it only worked intermittently. I took it to the camera shop and would you believe, it turned on first time for the camera man. Then, it refused to turn on. Good. It is too expensive to fix the battery contacts, so I used my Christmas Gift Card from my mum to buy a new one. I am learning to drive it.

I made a new bag for MrsMadCage. It is called Lillian's Bag from Esme's Patchwork Shop and it is very cute and useful. She didn't want a zip, which can be inserted on long strips of material, but it can also have a button or a magnetic clip. When you put it down, it sits open and you can easily see your knitting or sewing bits and bobs. It takes three fat quarters, but next time I'd use one nice fat quarter for the outside, and plain cotton for the lining. It sewed together very easily and I need one for my embroidery. Stat!! I can't find the pattern on the website, but I know Lillian posts things off for people.

Lillian's bag is good

I sewed two more tote bags. One is a Doggy bag and it has Peri and Gilly's Spoonflower material on the front. The other is for MrMadCage's birthday and I baked him some brownies as well.

Doggy and mad bags

I am knitting some socks: slow and steady through the warm weather I am up to the heel turn on the second sock.

New un named second sock

And now we are off off to bed. I have some baking to do tomorrow for The GardyGardeners to take for afternoon tea. I plan to make a small batch of something nice. And then rest. I think it is a case once again of the cool weather, like a siren, enticing me to do lots of things and then I realise I should have done less.

Peri and Gilly are very good companions and when they are not with me they are always at the fence hoping for a seaweed rice cracker.

Peri and Gilly by the fence

Oh, and a Dalek.

Dalek-table