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October 2005
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December 2005

Fully Sick ( even thinking about the Thorpedo)

I have been having ‘issues’ with my health. It may have been sorted out, I hope so. I am taking Beta blockers to slow my heart down – be still (well, not quite) my beating heart. I may have a thyroid problem – I may have something else. Who knows??? I had an ever so exciting ECG –  and after taking the tablets the doctor prescribed I managed to sleep last night for the first time in ages. Is it hot? Or is it just me? It is 20C and only 8-25am so I think it is warmer than usual. I have my fingers crossed that these new tablets might work. They come with 3 pages of ‘information’ but less deadly side effects than cyclosporin, so that’s a bonus! I might know something later on today.

Consequently I have not been up to doing much at all. I made a brief appearance at the Knitting Coven yesterday for 45 minutes.  It was the Christmas Knitting Coven and just my luck to be ill. It was warming up to be a great party. There is more to tell, but I am not up to a long and involved post yet.

The Labradors are in excellent health : full recovered from the dog flu, and in fine fettle. They had a great swim a few days ago. Harki swam right out to try and steal Peri’s stick. ( Yes, I do arise from my sick bed to walk the Labradors. I am made of Labrador walking steel)

Serenity has come and is about to go from the cinema. It was a week late and then I was sick. Bah Humbug. I must be well for Harry Potter tomorrow.

Knitting? Schmitting. There has been less than no knitting.

Photos? There will be some later on.

Thanks to everyone for their comments. Having happy thoughts is, apparently, no panacea for an actual illness!!!

Happy, happy Thoughting : Happy Thoughts!!!

Peri_with_her_spoils_a_tin_and_a_bagToday I am a tad stressed and worried, even though I know I should not be. I am thus trying to engage my mind with happy thoughts. So:

The Labradors are very well again. They are happy and bouncy and I have to growl at them to behave when they are too enthusiasDo_i_look_a_bit_apprehensivetic.  This is very good!!

The weather is cooler and so we all like that. I have finished reading all of the manuscripts, written all the comments and I will be able to post them off before 4pm today.

Tonight I am going to ACMA for tea and to watch The Legend of the Rangers. This is a movie made as a sequel/possible pilot to follow Babylon 5 and Crusade. ACMA is cooking tea and I have made some little cakes with chocolate and almonds in the centre.

I have bought my green card from the stationery shop and I might start making my Christmas Cards  tomorrow.

I have decided on my theme for my Christmas cooking : Biscuits. There will just be biscuitLook_mum_peri_is_bad_but_i_am_goods this year.  Spice biscuits, shortbread, melting moments, dark chocolate, white chocolate and macadamias, gingerbread…….. I like this idea : it gives me a focus.

I remembered I had a great green bag from ACMA via her sister. I used it today and felt very green all over : green shoes, green shirt, green top, green watch, earrings and bracelet, green bag, green walletCamera_agent_86_or_i_am_a_terrible_photo, green key case and green pen. I was so green it must have hurt people’s eyes!!!

There, 6 reasons to be cheerful and happy ( and the Darkside says: Yes and one reason to feel stressed, my Precious.)

Today there are just pictures of the Labradors and my photographic  incompetence!!!!

The Adventures of a Tin-Tin

Peris_audition_for_jaws Yes, and Peri is feeling so much better that she attempted to ‘eat’ the outside of the springform tin!!! She stole it from my basket sometime between yesterday and this afternoon, and I found it in the garage, up the stairs, where the Labradors like to sit!!! Teeth like a shark!! Harki just wants to play, play, play!! I have had to throw the tennis ball, the No-Longer-Squeaky Bottle toy and the new Furry Squeaky Head toy all day. They Peri_being_good_harki_is_playing went for a walk as well, so they are both obviously tickety-boo!!!

I have made the Heritage Apple Cake with Blueberry sauce from the recipe my Secret Pal sent me. Aunty Captain Mrs Archer, in the spirit of Scientific Endeavour, volunteered to eat it. ‘Is cake : is good!!!!’

Eartha, the KCSS is coming along quite nicely. I knitted away through a couple of TV shows yesterday afternoon. I am content now that I will have it well and truly finished in time.

I have listomania. I am making lists left, right and centre. In fact, what I really need is a list of my lists so I don’t lose them. Here is a list of my lists:

  • Christmas Card

  • Things to buy to make the Christmas cardsHarki_sits_and_waits_for_her_toy_3

  • Presents
  • Things to buy to cook and make Presents

  • TV shows ACMA and I must watch

  • Places I have to go between now and Christmas
  • Other non-Christmas things I have to do

  • Knitting projects I have to complete

  • Knitting projects I want to make

  • Books I own ( I have a whole book and a bazillion spreadsheets for this)

  • Books I want to own

  • Clothes I own in colour order : eg, light green, lime, olive, mint etc.

Delicious_secret_pal_cake_take_one_sp_an_2  And so on : ad infinitum. At this time of the year I can only think about things if they are on a list.

I am also nearly at the end of reading some manuscripts and I have to make some educated comments and return them tomorrow. I had read more than I thought so I only have to fill in the forms and I can post them off tomorrow.

I best be off to make a list of the things I have to do tomorrow before I forget..

Coconut Chocolate Tarts

Tart cases

  • 1 eggwhite

  • 60 g caster sugar

  • 20 g plain flour

  • 1 cup shredded coconut

Chocolate Filling

  • 200g dark chocolate

  • 2 eggs

  • 60 g caster sugar

  • 300 ml thickened cream

Preheat oven to 160C ( 140 ff) Spray a patty pan tray – a spray can of cooking oil is good for this. Beat the eggwhite a little and then add the sugar and beat for about 5 minutes or until soft peaks form. Fold in the flour and then mix in the coconut thoroughly. Divide the mixture between the 12 patty pan holes and press with a soup spoon to even out. Make sure it comes evenly to the edges of each patty pan. Bake for 12 minutes. Cool a little then place on a rack to cool completely.

To make the filling : Melt the chocolate over a double boiler or in the microwave. Cool slightly . Beat the eggs and sugar till thick and then fold into the chocolate.  Whip the cream and then fold this through. Spoon into cases and refrigerate for about 2 hours. This quantity makes twice what you might need, so there is some for you to enjoy with a cup of coffee or tea while these are in the fridge!!!

Joanie loves : Everyone!!!!!

Joanie_likes_the_hearth_in_summer_too Today I went to visit a very good friend, and spent a lovely long time with her. We managed to while away the day talking. They have a Labrador : Joanie. Joanie is quite old now, a bit hoppy and slightly lumpy – but full of happiness and a touch of puppyhood. She wouldn’t stay still long enough to have a photo : she waged her tail and bobbed her head up and down and demanded pats and ear rubs!!! The Labradors are very jealous and I have been severely smelled!!!

I have knitted not a stitch for 2 days. Not one solitary stitch. I must buckle down Joanie_and_her_mum_jenny tomorrow. I have read over 400 pages of Trickster and watched TV and neglected my other tasks!!! I have also been addicted to Chuzzle by ACMA. It has terrible music and I play with my non-dominant hand, but I have scored 206,195 in my first game. Is this good? I have no idea. I expect it is pitifully bad!!! I can't play computer games - well except for Solitaire!!!

Lamb_burgers_with_beetroot_salsa I have cooked the delicious lamb burgers with beetroot salsa. The lamb burgers were good but the salsa was outstanding. I could eat lashings of it, every day, at any time!! It was very tasty indeed.

I am now forced to watch Harry Potter I and then an early night I think…..

Oh, I heard a new phrase yesterday. I was listening to the cricket on the ABC and a batter made ‘ahundred’.

‘Well,’ said the commentator, ‘He’s made a hundred now. That’s his first ahundred.’

Now I know I made a hundred in the backyard at mum’s, but I didn’t know it was a new word : an ahundred!!!

Hounding the Hospital!!!

Harki_waiting_at_the_hospital She Who Smells Yarn : Matthew Reilly will be at Petrachs on Tuesday 22nd November at 7 pm!!!

Yes, I succumbed to the pressure and took Harki to the Vet yesterday!! She had spots on the roof of her mouth and probably her tonsils are enlarged a little. She had an injection and has the little green antibiotics too!! She was amazingly well behaved at the Hospital and didn’t bark at the other dogs. I don’t think she was feeling well. She feels much better today. I fed her the antibiotics inserted into seedless red grapes!! They fitted in exactly. Peri is back to her normal self, and my cold is almost gone. I cosseted myself yesterday and only went out to go to the Vet!!! Those ‘Day and Night’ cold and ‘flu tablets are great : I slept all the way through for two whole nights after taking the little blue tablets!!! I am well and truly rested.

I have started a Christmas list!! Last year I had, apparently, made a spreadsheet of names and addresses. Who Very_old_knitting_book knew??? That was a bit too organised for me, though I am a sucker for a spreadsheet. I had a list of what I cooked as well. I must have been abducted by aliens and replaced!!!  I also organised my Christmas books into the right order. I am obsessed with doing this. Thank goodness I don’t have 1000 watercolour pencils : I would spend the entire day arranging them!!! I have  started my Knitting Coven Secret Santa gift : I am naming it Eartha. Ha ha, ACMA, despite your warnings, and those of  Sheppard to Ford : I am naming things!!! I may name some other things later on too, just see if I don’t!!! So I have knitted a smidgen of Eartha, and as it is cool, I plan to knit quite a lot this weekend.

I am only a little way into Trickster. I really, really want a family tree of the Tortall Royals. I found a bare timeline, but there are lots of links and I will need to plough through them to find one. I wanted to read on last night but I was too sleepy.

Tennis_anyone ACMA’s friend Pauline has a very old knitting book, and she let me touch it, and then ACMA made 2 copies for me : one to keep and one to share!!! It is so old it is falling apart and it is full of unknown ‘movie stars’ from the 1920s and 1930s. It is also stuffed full with great old advertisements for yarn and for ‘cures’. I’ve added to my Woolcraft collection. I have 6 books now, all different, and I am bidding on one that has an ad for a Tasmanian mill on the back : Patons, I think.

Thank you to my Secret Pal – she has sent me another recipe. It sounds delicious.  Here it is:

Heritage Apple Cake with Blueberry  Sauce

  • 6 Granny Smith apples, peeled and diced

  • 375 ml water

  • 2 tbspn sugar

  • a strip of lemon rind

  • 100 g butter

  • 2 tbspn icing sugar

  • 150 g plain flour

  • ¼ tspn baking powder

  • ½ cup flaked almond



400g can of blueberries, undrained


2 tspn cornflour

Preheat oven to 190 C ( 170 ff) and grease and line a 20 cm springform tin. Place the diced apple, water, sugar and lemon rind into a pan and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes, and allow to cool.

Cream the butter and icing sugar and fold in the sifted flour, baking powder and cinnamon. Reserve ½ a cup of the mixture for topping, and spread the rest into the tin and bake for  10-15 minutes. Cool a little. Spoon in the apple and then top with the remaining cake mixture and flaked almonds. Bake for a further 25 minutes.

Sauce : Combine the blueberries and cornflour, bring to the boil and then simmer for 1 minute till thickened.

Serve cake warm or cold with the sauce and cream or ice-cream. It would be yummy with custard too!!!

I'm part of the Union till the day I die....

I have just woken up from a nap : I have a cold and the tablets are wearing off. I might not be part of the union for very long at this rate!!! Might it be the Dog Flu????  It is not so bad as the tablets do make the aches and pains just about disappear....Yesterday I did 2 things and expended too much of my stored up ‘reserve energy’!! I went to one of the IR rallies and watched the broadcast. In Tasmania 20% of all unionists turned up. ACMA, a Principal and I made everyone stand up to sing the National Anthem. We stood up straight away and began to sing with gusto and even the most recalcitrant person was shamed into doing the same. It was rather like going to church : a feeling of solidarity and togetherness. We were as one.  I wore my orange ‘Rights at Work’ sticker all day and 3 adorn my car as well.

Footloose_and_fancy_free Later on I went to the Knitting Coven meeting where we were all hard at work knitting.  Some new sock wool arrived from an order we placed and it was well and truly fondled to death.  Some people were also smelling their wool : they shall remain nameless, but you know who you are!!! I have started my Secret Santa for the Knitting Coven. I have a month, so I have plenty of time. ( Ha! That is my ‘Ha’ of derision!!! I will be finishing off my SS at the last minute, just like I always am)

This morning there was no walk, as I have my boogelly cold. Peri is feeling  so much better. She is back to her normal happy, enthusiastic self. Harki seems fine too, but there are still 3 days of contagion left to pass. Harki and Peri have new Squeaky Toys. They are red and green squeaky heads. Harki loves hers. Peri made hers squeak last night and kept giving herself little frights. It was very funny!!

I finished reading Odalisque this morning in bed. It is excellent. There is possession and betrayal and Trickster_2_in_1_book treachery and forbidden love – Fiona McIntosh does these so well. I have to wait a whole year for the next book though. I picked up Trickster by Tamora Pierce from Petrachs. It is a hardcover combination of the 2 Trickster books, and it was only $30!! Next week Matthew Reilly is giving a talk there to launch his new book. I am thinking of going. I have read all his books except for his latest, and Hell Island which was only available if you bought the Australia promotion books. I didn’t want any of them . The ones I wanted I already had. They were several years old. The promotion is not very good. Still, I am not paying $28 for a novella!! I shall tell Matthew Reilly this!!!

I also bought the new Donna Hay and the new Simply Knitting UK this morning when I went to pay the rest of Peri’s Hospital bill. Free pins and a mini Rowan pattern book!!!

While I was sleeping the parcel postman came, but I was asleep and so I will have to go to the PO at the Newsagent’s to get the parcel.

There is, despite my previous promise, no recipe. My  broken vow is like a pie crust promise, so there’s the food!!!

Oh, another crossness. A teacher at Acton school is being hailed as an innovator because to increase fitness, the children have been charting the distance walked by the school, and ‘walking’ to places in the world, like Cape York.  This is not new. Years ago at many schools I taught at, or knew teachers at, this activity was in place. We participated in one when the Olympics were in Sydney in 2000. I wish people could get their facts right. There is nothing new!!!

Sedition! Sedition! Sedition! *

*With apologies to all ‘Fiddler on the Roof’ aficionados!!!

In the face of the soon-to-be-upon-us Sedition Laws, I decided I ought to break them all sooner rather than later : 7 years in gaol will be a long, long time away from The Labradors…

So, I am officThe_horse_bagially inciting disaffection towards, the Federal Parliament ( both Houses ), the Queen of England, her heirs and successors, and all countries deemed to be friendly by Parliament. There, I feel much better now. I wonder if the laws are retrospective???

Tomorrow I am off to an IR rally at an ungodly hour and then it will be the Knitting Coven meeting. Yesterday I read ACMA’s report comments and we did editing and some rewriting, and I made 26 of the Raspberry Triangle thingies.  The Labradors had an uneventful walk today : no out of control dogs or boogelly rolling in horrid things either. I have lazed the day away. We have all had a nap and I have read my new book. I have also added my new Handmades and books to my spreadsheet. I was planning on making a start on Christmas, but I couldn't find the book I needed and I am too full of ennui to be bothered looking!!!

I have done more of the knitting you do when you are not knitting : The Bag with No Name, which shall, I think, be called The Horse Bag. ( even if we’re not in a desert).  I am still girding my loins for the Dr Who ZUC, though I reallBallet_wrap_cardigan_winter_iky need to get a pattern first!!! The new Interweave Knitting preview is out and I can see quite a few things I would like, including this wrap around cardigan. I have a longing for wrap around things, apparently...

Now, it will be more like the good old days when there were regular recipes from this day forth!!!

Lamb Burgers with Beetroot Salsa ( Delicious SP!!!)

·        500 g  lamb mince

·        1 red onion, chopped

·        1 clove of garlic, chopped

·        ¼ cup parsley, finely chopped

·        3 tspn ground cumin

·        1 cup mint leaves, finely chopped

·        425 g canned baby beetroot, drained

·        1 tbspn parsley, chopped

·        60 ml lemon juice

·        2 tbspn olive oil

·        100 g soft goat’s cheese or feta

·        hamburger rolls

·        salad etc for filling

Mix the lamb, half the onion, the garlic, ¼ cup parsley, ¼ cup mint and 2 tspn cumin very thoroughly.  Make four burgers. Refrigerate while you make the salsa..

Cube the beetroot and place in a bowl with the remainder of the ingredients. Mix well, season,  and then set aside. Cook the burgers as you prefer, then crumble ¼ of the cheese on top of each one and grill for a minute or so, till bubbly. Serve on the bun, with the salsa and salad and garnish with a little extra mint and parsley.

Nice day for a White, Purple and Black Wedding

             Daniels_wedding_car                         Now the Carnival is over…. The Wedding was lovely. There was a ceremony in a chapel at Grindelwald ( a faux Swiss Village) which was short and very sweet. I cried, of course!! It was very windy afterwards and so the bubbles supplied blew themselves. The Groom arrived in an excellent car and was best manned by a gardening celebrity's son!! ( he gave an excellent speech too) They wore black : very swish and gangstery!!! The brideCertifiedsmaids wore strapless satiny purple and the Bride’s dress was strapless with a deep cream embroidered bodice, two tiered tulle skirt and there were upswept hairdos galore. Everyone looked great.  I  went home in the intermission, it was only a 15 km drive,  and had a rest and then went back for the reception at 6pm. I knew all bar one person at the tables, it was Groom’s family and friends. There were purple and silver balloons and we had more bubbles and cameras and a hand painted tile for everyone as a souvenir. Apparently it Daniel_and_olivias_wedding_cake was like a factory with tiles on every available surface at home and they were thoroughly varnished so I’m using mine as a coaster right here. I also got a heart for my ‘i’ – which started quite a big medical discussion!! The food was very delicious : I had chicken stuffed with smoked salmon and camembert with prosciutto and crispy vegetables. There was an abundance of chatter and mirth and reminiscing but I was tired by 9 pm and forwent dessert to go home. I slept soundly….

Now I am past the Wedding and all it’s run up I can make a Christmas list of thinI_heart_my_tilegs I must do/make/cook etc.

Peri was still a tiny bit shaky yesterday, but she looks to be well on the road to recovery. She is back to her cheery, happy little self. I am watching Harki closely. She has an itchy ear  but has played with her Squeaky Pork Chop since 8am this morning, so she seems fine at the moment. Yesterday we saw the yappy black dog at the dam. It is the only dog that has come near the Labradors, maybe he gave Peri her URTI?? The Labradors were on their leads already when we saw them and this time they put their dog on the lead too. He is not obedient and ignores all their commands. He didn’t come at all when they called him. I don’t I_hope_this_is_as_good_as_myrrens_giftcare if they think I am paranoid : I don’t want The Labradors to be frightened by another dog careering about.

I have read only a dozen pages of Odalisque, but isn’t the cover gorgeous and the title is embossed. I think Fiona McIntosh’s Myrren’s Gift trilogy is one of the best I’ve ever read. Fantastic?? I hope this is as good…

Now I must feed The Labradors and then I will mosey on over to ACMA’s and make her some Raspberry Triangle thingies and potter about a bit – oh and read her reports to see how they sound. This week, not counting Dr Who , which I never do – and we get double episodes as soon as the 6-30pm shows finish: Huzzah!! – there are only 8 hours and 40 minutes of things we want to watch on TV. How sad is that? It means more time for my Christmas list then!!!

Poor Little Peri has Adelaide's Lament

Peri_at_the_hospital_when_she_was_sick Poor Little Peri has an Upper Respiratory Tract Infection. She is officially sick. She had an uncomfortable encounter with a thermometer and her temperature was up and her glands were swollen. She was all happy as she was at the Hospital and it is all colour and movement and everyone pays her attention.  Dr Malcolm gave her an injection and then a course of antibiotics. It is about 2 hours later and she feels so much better already!! She has run about and is playing a bit. It is contagious though, and so I have to keep a close eye on Harki for a week or 10 days now. Dr Malcolm is not sure if she has a mild dose of Kennel Cough or another virus, but as they have been vaccinated to within an inch of their lives, it should clear up in a few days!!!!

Harki was so good, as even though I had the dingly collar and lead in my hand and she was expectantly half way up the stairs waiting to go in the car, she came inside with no fuss at all when it was yime to go. I did use my special voice, but she was still very obedient!!

Now we all need a rest from the stress, though I have bought a zip and I need to finish my top TODAY!!!!!

Peri was sick, but my Secret Pal cheered us up no end!!!

No fancy song title punny heading today. We are a bit over wrought. We had an awful night: Peri wasn’t well. She had a cough and then she was shaking and shivering when we went to bed. I patted her and talked to her and she cuddled up next to me and batted me with her little paw when I stopped patting her. Poor little thing. We must have fallen asleep and this morning when I woke up I suddenly remembered and there she was fast asleep. ( I must admit I did have to poke her a few times during the night to make sure she was still alive as she was breathing shallowly : what a bad mother I am to prod my child!!) She seems a little subdued but has eaten her breakfast and an apple and had a little play, so I think she might be  recovering. I am ready, of course, to ring the Hospital at any moment if I think shBefore_the_opening_ceremonye’s having a relapse…

So consequently we slept in till almost 10 am and when I went outside to get the filmy material to start making my top – there was a parcel from my Secret Pal!! It cheered me up no end!! Thank you Secret Pal, it’s just what I needed!!!

It was so beautifully wrapped and inside were presents!!! Now bear with me as I can’t synchronise the photos and my writing:

Crisps_and_labrador_treats  Crisps for me, and the Lime ones I have had at  Uncle and Aunty Wedding Parents’ house and they were so yummy  , and I like the other two just as much. No, they weren’t crumbs, as you can see in the picture below which was taken just before I devoured these for breakfast!! I am so bad. The Labradors are very thin now so they are allowed a treat, especially on Wednesdays when they have Morning Tea with the GardyGardeners!! I expect they can have one for their Elevenses. We usually have Elevenses.( regardless of the actual time)

Interweave_magazines_drool_drool_drool Knitting Magazines!! 2 Interweave magazines that I have leafed through like a mad woman. Thank you, they are so lovely and there are socks and jumpers and cardigans and everything!!! I want to sit down and devour them too – but  MUST SEW TOP  repeat ad infinitum till it is done. I will read them in little reward breaks!!

Green_butterfly_stitch_markers_a_bit_blu Stitch Markers she made herself and they are green!! with little butterflies. They are so lovely, and so beautifully made. Perfect, in fact.  I will be breaking these out next week for the Dr Who ZUC. (ZippyUppy Cardigan) When they are not in knitting use they could be earrings!! I am not a very good close up photo taker so be assured these are even lovelier than they may look.

Hey_good_looking_whats_ya_got_a_cooking AND a cooking present : the latest Delicious Magazine from the ABC, a green spatula and a green potholder. You have no idea how many times I burn myself when I am cooking. I am a walking aloe vera receptacle.  I have a smaller spatula that ACMA gave me for my birthday so now I have one for every occasion!! I want to cook Lamb Burgers with beetroot salsa for me and strawberry chocolate cake for ACMA!!! Are you reading this ACMA??? It is a chocolate cake made with the egg whites whipped with sugar to make a meringue and then after it is cooled you top it with toffee strawberries, like I sometimes put on top of pavlovas!!  I think you will like it!!!

Crisps_that_are_not_crumbs Thank you Secret Pal!! What lovely presents, you are so thoughtful and clever!!! Thank you again especially for the Labradors’’ present!!!! I love all my present very much!!!  Oh and the crisps weren't too crushed at all!!!

I have cut out the back of my top and sewn 2  darts  : in 2 hours and 28  minutes that’s all I have done!! I better start sewing like a sweatshop!!!