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September 2005

Marty Rhone, get away!!!

         Spiral_lacy_edging                                           How long is a piece of lace??? I don’t know but it has taken literally hours to get this far. There is 132 cm of the lacy Edging and this is not enough for both the fronts. It is good to know that the length of edging required for the back is not too daunting, so once the fronts are covered there is not much to go!! I might be needing the extra ball of wool, as there are the sleeve edgings to make too. I knitted and knitted and knitted, becoming more familiar with the pattern thank goodness, so I didn’t have to rely on my amended pattern!!! This pattern has a different number of stitches for each row and each row is also different from any other, but it is not as complicated as the Travelling Vine and I knitted a whole lacy jumper in that years ago.  The socks and the Snuggly Cardigan are on hold while I knit lace.

We have had a month’s worth of rain in one night, Launceston had over 75 mm ( over 3 inches) last night  and there are floods and closed roads and more flash flooding to come. Deloraine is all awash and at the dam today the overflow was Niagara Falls. The creek was also a waterfall and Peri was taken aback for a second before she dove in to swim and be buffeted by the water. Even Harki had a dip and tried to eat all the foam. There were giant puddles of water everywhere and streams of water making their way downhill. The ground was so full of water it was a quagmire. Yet, in typical Tasmanian style, in between showers the Sun is shining and it is quite warm!!!000_0067_1

The GardyGardeners haven’t come today, they would have had to wear wetsuits and work in an octopuses garden. I have caught up on all my TV watching and so now I have to watch the rest of ‘Down with Love’. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer reminded me last night I had to finish watching it. We talked on the phone twice last night. There are only two more days of school left now, then it is the Holidays!!!! This means:

  1. All my friends will be on Holidays and

  2. All my friends will spend the first week recovering and feeling sick!!!

I think 4 terms, which I am greatly opposed to, would just mean 4 lots of recovering from being sick!!!

I will have to go out later on to go to the Library to pick up Scarf Style. I am hoping for a scarf I like. Tomorrow I will have to take a photo of my thin scarf that it is way too hot to wear!!! Oh I have added some photos to my albums as well.

Banana Loaf

  • 185 g plain flour

  • 2 1/2 tspn baking powder

  • 1 tspn cinnamon

  • 30 g butter

  • 110 g brown sugar

  • 1 eg, whisked lightly

  • 65 ml milk

  • 2 very ripe bananas, peeled and mashed

Preheat oven to 220 C ( 200 ff) and grease and line a small loaf tin.

Sift dry ingredients and rub in butter. Stir in the rest of the ingredients till just combined and spoon into the oaf tin.  Bake for about 30 minutes, stand for 5-10 minutes and then cool on a rack. Slice, toast and butter. Nice with mashed banana with cinnamon sugar!!!

Doin' it for themselves..

000_0038_0001_1 Tasmania truly is all Crowded House, we are always having 4 seasons in one day. Last night Hobart had the warmest August night in recorded history : 15 C and remember, this is WINTER!!!, yet today Tasmania is having rain of Noah-like proportions. The Labradors wouldn’t go outside till I went to get the paper when I woke up at 9-20 am. I didn’t feel guilty about not taking them for a walk!! The Labradors are not really sisters, but we like to think, on the inside, they are!! Sisters!! Peri loves harki more than Harki loves Peri, I think.....

Both the BH&G and the Delicious magazines arrived simultaneously. I think that there is definitely postal interference. I will be going postal soon!!

Oh the Gatecrasher Trojan Virus keeps trying to attack me all the time today. The anti-virus blocks it every time but I do wish people would stop doing it. I don’t understand the hacker/attacker mind at all. Why would people want to deliberately wreck and hurt things? It is beyond me.

I have taken Rachael’s advice and tried to get out of the pre-digital camera state of mind I inhabit. I still think that if you take one picture that is enough, otherwise you are wasting film!! There is no film and I can delete the boogelly photos. That said, I am lucky to get 1 half-way decent out of 100!! I have snapped away and made 2 000_0026 photos of the actual Lacy Edging for the Zhivago Cardigan. The Lacy Edging is a boogelly pattern : there are only 8 rows but they are all just slightly different enough to make constant pattern referral necessary. I knitted through Grey’s Anatomy, 24 and L&O:Trial by Jaime Jury and managed 53 cm. That looks like enough for the curved front, so I need to keep going until there is at least 1 ½ metres. The sleeve frills are separate so they will be a doddle!!

On another knitting front : the front of the Snuggly front is complete and I am onto the sleeves. I love ribbing with 2.75 mm needles. They are so tiny and so cute.

A new Christmas handmade magazine appeared yesterday, and there will be a country Christmas one soon too. I have to organise what I have already made, and see what I still have to make. My Christmas giving is almost totally handmade : cooking or craft. I need a good idea for this year’s card too…….

Spicy Beef Wraps

  • 400 g beef mince

  • 1 tspn dried chilli

  • 2 cloved crushed garlic

  • 2 tbspn chopped parsley

  • grated zest of a small lemon

  • 1 grated onion

  • 1 avocado

  • 4 tomatoes

  • lettuce or salad leaves

  • 1 red capsicum

  • 4 pita breads

  • natural yoghurt

  • juice of a small lemon

  • extra chopped parsley

Mix the beef mince, chilli, garlic, parsley, onion and lemon zest. Season and mix well by hand for about 5 minutes. Shape into 4 burgers and flatten. Refrigerate for 30 minutes and cook in a little oil in a non-stick pan for about 5 minutes on each side. Meanwhile slice the salad items. Mix the yoghurt with the extra parsley and lemon juice and season to taste. Toast the pita bread if desired. To assemble : place one burger, salad and some dressing into each pita bread. I like a lot of lemon so I add a little more juice as an added dressing. Instead of chilli you can use one of the branded spice mixes : Moroccan or Cajun eg.

Blowup : and I don't mean David Hemmings...

OK, if the police had to save someone's life with my photos, there would be no hope for them. Even with psychedelic '60s enhancement they would still be very, very, bad. But I do not let that stop me. Look in my albums and be amazed, very amazed!!! There have been no recipes for maybe 4 days, so I neeeeed one now!!!

Chocolate Fridge Cake

  • 400g good dark chocolate
  • 125 g butter
  • 100 g nuts ( pecans, macadamia etc)
  • 100 g dried/glace fruits of your choice
  • 1 packet of Chocolate-coated Scotch Finger biscuits, roughly chopped

Melt the chocolate and butter over a low heat and stir till smooth. Add the nuts and fruit and the roughly chopped biscuits and mix well. Spoon into a greased and lined tin - square, rectangular, springform, though I like a narrow bar tin, and press down firmly. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour.  Dust with cocoa, slice and serve. For a more grownup slant, add a splash of liqueur or soak the fruit in rum or brandy.

Abandon hope, all ye who enter here....

When I was 19 I was amazed that I had my own car, a Hillman Minx with 2-tone blue colours, a 3 gear column shift and real red leather bench seats. 

15 years ago ACMA and I marvelled at the wonders of the internet as we waited hours  in the School Library on Sundays for Blake’s 7 bloopers to download from the web. I despaired of ever owning one of these expensive and new-fangled machines.  Now I have a shiny black computer with bells and whistles.

5 years ago , when I was first sick , my Mortgage Insurance actually worked, and they made my fortnightly payments for me. Never in a million years did I ever imagine owning a house off my own bat, but when I had to retire they came to the party and I have a house!!!!!

We won’t even mention the mobile phone other than in passing : I never dreamed pleasant thoughts about one day owning one of those!!!

2 years ago DVD recorders were  $3000 to $5000 and ACMA and I wanted one but they were out of our reach. Then about 18 months ago we chipped in 1/2 each and we can now record merrily away on DVDs.

I have been wanting a digital camera for ages now, to take photos of the Labradors mainly, never thinking I could afford one, and now :  Lo and Behold!!!

I have a new digital camera. It was sooo cheap, only $139!!! ( Even $5 less than the advertised price.) The first thing I have captured – pictures of  the Labradors. I am no photographer, but I only took 4 and I have put them in The Labradors Photo Album. I think the trick is to take a bazillion photos and then a tiny percentage may be acceptable. I have barely any megapixels, only 3.2, but the pictures seem OK????

000_0004 000_0001

So, on the left is Harki, and on the right, Peri!!!

So, although it might not be as bad as Dante had imagined, there will be Comedy ( probably not of the Divine sort) and there will be Hell ( though only on this end of the picture taking process), so you might not have to abandon all Hope as yet : Unless you are Pandora, and that’s a whole other box of tricks!!! There is no escaping the horror of my new picture-taking ability........

Om, mani, paddypaws, hum.

I have to say ‘Hello’ to AmandaMoo. AmandaMoo carried my new book all the way home from the mainland. The Labradors have been unknowingly practising  Bow Wow Yoga for years. This is such a lovely book.  We had the most delicious warm lamb salad with roasted vegetables and I made a berry nice trifle for dessert.

Although Eddie ‘Miw-yon-air’ can’t say it, I have been consumed with the minutiae of life.  My life is not full of huge extravaganza-type happenings. Today I made lemon mayonnaise for the salmon cakes. I find a kind of Zen-like serenity in the whisking of the yolks and the slow adding of the oil. It is an amazing chemical change : emulsification.

I added lemon zest and juice and cooked 3 salmon cakes for lunch. I should rouse myself to do washing, but I have lost the will to live in the washing department.

The Labradors had a lovely walk, though they both went down the wicked path and not through the gate.  When I had Vundy the German Shepherd the dogs were always ‘The Girls’, but now they are ‘The Labradors’.

No BH&G or Delicious magazines arrived today. The postman came early but no magazines. This means they will be late for the second time in 6 months. Never fear – I have emailed the said magazines’ editors and have heard back already from one!! They are ‘looking into it’.

On the dinner set front, there were two left, with an aqua, a lime and a khaki stripe and some dots too. They were $40, reduced to $30 but when they were beeped they came up at $20, what a bargain. A helpful lad carried them. I can pick them up later on.

I am going for a nap now. If I wake up before 4-30 pm I will go to buy more wool tonight. If I wake up later I will have to go tomorrow!!

The Pied Piper

And so the Pied Piper of Launceston played his pipes, and all the rates heard the music and began to follow him down the street : big rates, little rates and medium sized rates.

They followed him down the river where they all drowned.

So wrote the Brothers Grimm, and grim is what I feared my Rates demand would be. I had entertained giant bills of $2000, but I had a reprieve!! The demand is for not much more than last year. I won’t have to sell the Labradors for medical experiments now.

So the postman came early and left the bill, but nothing else. We did spot him going down the street again 15 minutes ago and we are hoping he might make a second run, a la Six White Boomers. The Labradors waited eagerly in the hall for a while, but he hasn’t come. We all saw a cat and then a puppy dog, but no postman.

Last night at Sewing ACMA slogged her way through the Christmas magazines, no-one else had the motivation. So if you do all the hard work, you get to pick !! I think we are making brooches again, and there isn’t a  small pattern so I will need to cut and paste photocopies to make them. I knitted away and still didn’t finish a ball of wool yesterday, road to Hell etc. Today I have finished the ball off , made a trifle and caught up on last night’s TV.

Yesterday was slightly shot, due to a 3 hour afternoon nap!!! No nap today, so I can guarantee I will sleep well tonight. I am off to the Madcages’ for tea. I am taking the afore mentioned trifle. Still no magazines either. And no coathangers. I have been to the supermarket for 4 days in a row, asking for them . They see me coming now, and hide, I am sure. I am polite, and not cross. I just want to be able to hang up all my new tops.

I have to pop out now to Target to see if they have 2 green dinner sets on sale. ACMA told me last night and I didn’t write it in my diary and I had forgotten until just now!!!!

The White Rabbit

Part of the joy of subscribing to magazines , apart from the tiny amount of money you may save, is receiving your magazine before it appears in the shops. At Easter time all the magazines were horribly late and now, once again, I have to bear the sight of the new Delicious and the new Better Homes and Gardens magazines in all their resplendent glory on the supermarket and newsagency shelves, while my letter box languishes at the footpath : empty. I really, really hate that. Late!! Late!!! Late!!! This speaks volumes about the very low level at which my annoyance kicks in. I sweat the small stuff and let the big stuff sort itself out!!!

I have started the sleeve of the Zhivago Lacy Edged Cardigan.  I have 2 more balls of wool so I should finished the sleeve tomorrow. I think I will knit the actual lacy edging next. This will give me more than an idea of how much more wool I will need.

Tonight I am going to sewing. Not much sewing or craft has gone on over the winter term. Everyone ( except me) is (still) a teacher and so they are tired  in the cold dark middle term. Tonight we are leafing through magazines, mainly Handmade, to choose our Christmas project.  Last year we made Santa Brooches. Because I don’t go to work, I make up little individual project bags for everyone. Last year there were tantrums when I set my expectations too high. Tired and report-writing people want simple, clear and easy!! We are all pretty easy going and should agree on a project amiably.

Both the Labradors had a swim in the dam today, Harki doing impressive dog paddle. Peri remained smell and rolling-in-something-boogelly free. They had morning tea with the GardyGardeners and now Peri is sunbathing and I am keeping Harki amused with 4 or 5 tiny bits of dog food in a plastic apple juice bottle. She  will roll on her back, hold it upside down in her paws and the food will fall out. She also tosses it up in the air, and as a last resort, chews the bottom out of it!!! Oh no, Peri has heard the rattling and stolen the bottle.

Block of Chocolate Biscuits

  • 1 big block of  runny centre chocolate  - peppermint, strawberry, caramello

  • 1 egg

  • 150 g brown sugar

  • 60 ml vegetable oil

  • 125 g plain flour

  • ¾ tspn baking powder

  • ¼ tspn bicarb soda

  • 100 g dark chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 180 C (160 fff) and grease and line trays.

Cream the sugar, egg and oil and then fold in the sifted dry ingredients and the melted chocolate.  Refrigerate for 10 minutes or so. Divide the dough into 24 evenly sized pieces and then use each to enclose 1  square of the chocolate completely.

Space widely on the trays and bake for about 10 minutes.  Cool  for 10 minutes on the tray then on a rack.

Note: you can prepare these right up to the stage before cooking and freeze them too.

Now we are One.....

The Labradors were so happy to see me when I arrived home, and I came bearing bones as well. Then they were doubly happy. Peri has been looking to see if there are any more in my bag. She is clever. Harki knows they are in the fridge : she is more clever!!

Today was the Knitting Coven’s First Birthday. While there was no actual singing of the eponymous song, we did knit, crochet and chat from 1-00 till 4-30 pm. Almost everyone was there and we were very convivial. I had tea, Earl Grey, though Merlot abounded, and we had platters to nibble from. 

Cathy bought sock wool at Bendigo, and it is a lovely bottle or emerald green and she sold me 3 balls @ $1 each!! Socks, here I come!!!!

Katt had made a hooded top for a toddler from a pattern she designed herself!!

Sharon, sans her Mrs Weasley hat, fell in love with this shrug pattern from the new Interweave Fall 2005.

Suzi had a wonderful book, Knitting Christmas Stockings, and it has a pattern for a Dog’s Christmas stocking, with bones and paw prints. I need socks with paw prints on them.

There was a prize drawn. The fact that there was a prize had escaped me, but I won!!!! It was Stitch’n Bitch, by Debbi Stoller. How lucky amd I??? Very lucky!! I was slightly overcome and didn’t realise what had happened!!! I have wanted to buy my own, but now I have one. I shall especially treasure it!! It combines two of my favourite things : books and knitting!!!

We drew Secret Santa and I have a SS, can’t tell who it is. We all have a little list of what our SS likes, and we have to make something for them for Christmas.  I shall have to do some knitting!!!

All the excitement has tired me out and I need a nap as soon as Dr Who starts

No Serenity here....

The back of the Zhivago lacy edged cardigan is finished and I have started the left front. The kind lady at the Wool Shop has put another ball away for me as I expressed my worries about needing another ball. They have dyelot issues, apparently. I  am also onto the second ball of fuzzy wool for my ruglet. I need 6 more balls. That will make it measure 150 x 110 cm-ish. That is quite a handy size.

I inquired at the Cinema about “Serenity” and when it would be screened and the helpful girl looked up the schedule till October 20th and there is no sign of it. This is terrible news. I know there is a special screening in Hobart on the 29th, next Monday, but what about us?? It looks like DVD for me.

Tomorrow the Knitting Coven meets again, 1 pm at the Monkey Bar near City Park. I am hoping for a nice glass of wine again and a bit of a gander at everyone’s knitting.

The Labradors had an excellent walk today, though they have decided not to play with any of their toys today. They just want food. I gave them half an apple core each and some dried fruit.

Salmon and Potato Cakes

( I am making these for my tea)

  • 1 kg mashing potatoes : Desiree, Tasman, Pontiac

  • 800 g can Red Salmon, drained, deboned and deskinned if you want – I do!!!

  • 1 egg, beaten

  • juice of a lemon

  • finely grated rind of lemon

  • 60 ml mayonnaise

  • chopped parsley

  • breadcrumbs

Peel potatoes and place in a saucepan of COLD water and bring to the boil. Simmer till tender, drain and mash.  Add all the other ingredients except for the breadcrumbs. Season to taste and fold together gently. Use a ¼ cup measure to make evenly sized salmon cakes. Roll them in the breadcrumbs and then refrigerate for about 30 minutes. Shallow fry in vegetable oil till crispy and golden on the outside. You can also fry them with a minimum of oil and then bake them in the oven at 180 C for 15-20 minutes. Serve with mayonnaise and lemon wedges. 

When the Moon hits your eye like a big pizza pie : That's enough-e

Oh I am so tired I have a headache. The ‘party’ was very sedate, let’s face it, I haven’t the energy to be anything else!! Janette had a good time and the band played ‘That’s Amore’ and  Old Blue Eyes for me so I was happy. The Labradors let me sleep till 10 am, when they declared they needed feeding desperately!!!  Their new Squeaky Ball toys have thus far defied destruction and Harki can, when necessary ( ie, Peri wants the one that belongs to Peri) fit both toys in her mouth. I am not exactly sure she can breathe, but it keeps her happy. Needless to say there has been no walk today

The new Autumn (Fall) Interweave Knits magazine arrived at the newsagent’s yesterday, Auntie Captain Mrs Archer picked it up, along with the Dalek-covered SFX!!! The Interweave Knits has many things I want to knit, and now I can because I have the magazine and the patterns. I am a bit surprised it has so many things I like. This bodes well for the future, and it only took about 6 weeks to arrive – Oh and a season or two, but I figure we are fashionably behind here. Like I’m in fashion anyway!!!!!!!

I like these!!!

Drop_stitch_cardigan Fairisle_skirt


Canteen_bagGreek_pullover Ribbed_cabled_socks 

Note: this is not an artistic arrangement of photos. I have no control, it seems, over where they go!! This could be my next goal really, to gain control!!!

Now I shall knit my Zhivago cardigan and watch Midsomer Murders and Hustle from last night. Then a giant sleep and I will gird my loins for American Broadway, New Tricks and Canterbury Tales tonight!!!