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August 2008
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October 2008

Pi-Casa is Your Casa.

NOT The 39 Steps I've read The 39 Clues, it's not a long or complicated book: it's for children after all. I can go online and solve the puzzles and codes, I can shoot like Annie Oakley, but can I fly a plane?? No!! I cannot. You have to fly through giant hoops using the Up and Down Arrow keys. My plane ends up somewhere, miles off my computer screen, stuck in an endless loop-the-loop formation. It is very frustrating and I have had to ask MrsDrWho if any of the children in her class are participating, and can they fly the ten levels?? I can only make it to level four. I am nothing if not inept, I'm not of the computer game generation. The concept of the book is great, undemanding, and I'm looking forward to the eventual film. If only I could fly a stunt plane......

Now, to business from the last post. (Except Cloth and Soap Swap. Damn the PO)

Fringe: Well it's a kind of X-Files with a touch of Lost and Alias. I like it. It's not totally fantastic but there are quite a few clever lines and I am interested in the characters and The Pattern. It has potential. I may lose interest if they don't continue to improve: Lost and I parted company a long time ago.

The Mummy 3: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor: A rollicking good film. It's set in 1946 so Rick and Evelyn (after a WWII of espionage) have settled down unhappily to a quiet life. Their 21 year old son manages to disturb the Dragon Emperor and so begins their journey to Shangri-La and then a final huge battle at The Great Wall of China. There will be Mummy films 4, 5 and 6 as I know actors have signed on. This is no deep and meaningful film, but it's a great movie. I didn't look at my watch once!!!

Rose's Left Glove in Progress

New Books: I have my very own copies of A is for Apron and Knitting New Mittens and Gloves, and well as the new Autumn Interweave Knits, Delicious and BBC Good Food Australia. Yet I am not satisfied. I am desirous of two new books: Softies and More Softies. They aren't on The Book Depository and Fishpond only has the first book so I think I will just bite the bullet and buy them tomorrow in town.

I have been knitting as evidenced here: my Rose's Gloves. I am just about up to the part where you put the thumb stitches on waste yarn. I love the cable and moss pattern and it is surprisingly nice to do, not too fiddly at all. I am disappointed that the increases and decreases seem to show up on the palm side, but maybe careful washing and blocking will even them out. I am not quite sure how to block my gloves. Do I wash them, put on some rubber gloves, then put on Rose's Gloves and then waft my hands about, surgeon-like, till they are dry????

I sewed Mrs HouseOf a skirt for her birthday. I drafted the pattern, just a simple four gore skirt with a waist gathered to fit on a band. The fabric is a purple slightly stretchy damask with the silver roses woven in. And the great thing is that it doesn't need ironing if you hang it up carefully to dry. A boon for a mum of four who's off for a day of relief teaching. I think it looks quite nice when worn by The BareNakedLady!!!

Purple Dream Skirt

Today is AFL Grand Final Day and so MrsDrWho and I took the opportunity to lunch with the BionicKnitter. Afterwards we shopped in a nearly deserted town. I bought 4 new green tops, they are scarce this year. Then we did some serious damage at The BlackSpot of Doomlight. I had a '40% off voucher if you spend $100'. We used it twice to buy Christmas Fabric. I will take pictures to post tomorrow as it's at the Time Lady's house.

Peri has taken the opportunity to attend the party next door through the fence separating us!! She does this every year, hoping for a plethora of treats. Happily no-one feeds her, but she has been sitting there for the three hours I have been home this afternoon, and was probably there for four more while I was out. Harki doesn't wait at the fence. She knows there is no hope of anything other than a pat.

A Beta version of Picasa 3 is available and so I have been using its new Collage facility. Here, for your enjoyment and amazement is a collage of 545 Labrador (and a few other dog) pictures!!! So many Labradors to love, so little time!!

545 Reason to Love 

Here's an easy recipe that's quite healthy as well as being very quick.

Spicy Lamb Wraps

  • 500g lamb (pork, chicken or beef) cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2 to 4 teaspoons of Tikka Masala curry paste : to your taste
  • 1/3 cup plain natural yoghurt
  • olive oil, salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 wraps warmed in the oven or microwaveLamb Wrap
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • chopped parsley
  • other salad ingredients of your choice
  • Mango Chutney

Put the meat, curry paste and yoghurt into a ziplock bag. Seaon as desired. Massage it well and pop it into the fridge for at least 30 minutes. You can do this the night before. Heat the oil in a pan and then fry the meat, stirring every now and then, until it is cooked. This takes 7-10 minutes. Meanwhile slice the onion and chop the parsley. You can also add chopped tomato, some baby spinach, capsicum: whatever you fancy. Warm the wraps according to the directions on the packet and then place a quarter of the meat onto each wrap and top with the onion and parsley. I also like to add an extra dollop of yoghurt and maybe some Mango chutney. Enjoy!!!

Crosby, Stills, Gnash & Young

Ages ago Georgie tagged me for a Seven Randoms Things Meme, and even more ages ago TinkingBell tagged me for a Why I Live Where I Live Meme: and so, in one fell swoop we have the Seven Random Things Where I Live Meme!!!

1. Today I decided I should make an appointment to visit the dentist. They had sent me two letters but because I had other things on my mind earlier this year I decided it could wait. Lo and behold there was an appointment tomorrow, 'Yes!', I said. Then I practiced going to the dentist by lying on the bed and trying to swallow with my mouth open. (As you do) Not going to happen. I've postponed my visit for a month.

2. I have my own TARDIS. It's Montpelier Green of course, not TARDIS Blue. It's the first thing you see when you come in the door and underneath is an 'I Want To Believe ' Poster. Just covering all my bases My TARDIS (are belong to us).

3. I especially like my house because it has secret sliding doors, the originals from  1930, that can divide the lounge and dining rooms.

4. I live here accidentally. I'm from the Southern Capital, but ended up teaching here. After living in a flat mining town for quite a few years I was so happy to be living on a hill again, with a water view. Even if the water is boogelly. I love our house, it's only small, but it's just right for us. There are wooden floorboards in the dining room  and elaborate white twirly wooden decorations from floor to ceiling in the hall. I like looking out the front bay windows, there are five in a curve, and sitting on the verandah in the Sun. 

5. I won a prize in a writing competition for The ABC. It was a NANO Story with only 6 words. Hence my ability to rate an Honourable Mention. The prize was a book and an ABC mouse-mat.

6. I often eat at Old Peoples' Teatime. Today I ate tea at 4-30pm. Sometimes I only have Brunch and OP Tea. Tonight I had chicken with mushrooms, thyme, sour cream, rice and vegetables. Yum.

7. I haven't really gardened in the back yard for eight years, and at the weekend friends came and took away the jungle for me. The Labradors are so happy!! I am so lucky!!

Here are some gardening pictures. MrsDrWho, Auntie and Uncle Dutch and their son and his wife, Uncle and Auntie Electric, all worked like things-that-work-really-hard and transformed my backyard. Every time I go outside it is a surprise. It's like the episode of Armstrong and Miller where the people waiting for the chemist to fill a prescription went out the back and through the door and all the chemists' staff were in Narnia!! That's how I feel. I was so exhausted I couldn't sleep. Don't get me wrong, I didn't actually do anything. But as I spend most of my life sitting on the couch and just standing up and being outside all day wore me out. But do you know, the very, very best thing is that Uncle Electric put a hanging down light fitting in the bathroom so now I can reach to change the light globe. Fantastic. He also installed a J-Box outside. That's enough electrifying talk I think!!!

Before and After 

Harki and Peri usually sit in the garage, but that was Spring-cleaned as well so they were shut out. Harki would be a good girl but Peri had already made two successful bids for freedom. So they perched on the step, and looked pitiful. We found lots of toys, so many that they filled a tub to overflowing. Harki is beside herself. She just can't choose. Even Peri runs past and picks up a toy and plays for a few minutes.

Two little Labradors sittin' on the step  Harki's Choice

I have made an start on my gloves. It's not much of a start but I have assembled the necessary items and even cast on. I'm planning on putting the cable section of Rose's Wrist-warmers on the gloves. My tension is too tight and I don't have a pattern that fits so I have gone down a needle size and I'm winging it.

This WILL be gloves...eventually 

There is so much more to say, I could blog on, but I'll save The 39 Clues (who can fly that aeroplane????), The Cloth and Soap Swap, The Skirt Sewing, The Cooking, The Mummy 3 and The New Books for next time. Oh and A Fringe review. This week I am excited because Hamish Macbeth is being repeated. We have the DVDs and even the missing West Side Story episode but there's just something compelling about HM being on TV. Oh, that could be my eighth random thing- I am compelled to watch shows we already have on DVD. I just have too. Somehow they are just that tiny bit sweeter Free-to-air.

I've spent a wodge of time installing Windows Service Pack 3 today, and playing with my photos, and I have 152 Bloglines posts to read. That's really read and maybe comment on, not just whizz through. I may be a day or so on those......

Dr Check-up and Mr Hide

I've not actually been hiding, but there's not been a lot to share. I have had lots of medical appointments this week but on Friday my surgeon gave me good news: apparently I have foolishly wasted one perfectly good thyroid gland by having it removed along with a plain boring old cyst. Thank goodness!!! I had to sing to show my voice was fine, so I sang the opening lines of Oklahoma's theme song chorus and then, when requested, another burst an octave higher. I am sure that's not what the doctors were expecting to hear. They asked me to shout, but although I can be exuberantly loud I try not to shout, I rarely shouted at my class and I try never to shout at The Labradors, but apparently I sing with excellent projection so I didn't have to yell. The surgeon says she doesn't need, or want, to see me again and they were all very glad that I could have my port replaced at the same time as my other surgery as it took two hours to put the breathing tube thingy down my throat. That was half the time I was in surgery!!! Then, of course, I had a little nervette of happiness because everything was OK.  I must ask MrsDrWho to take another photo of my scars, which are healing really fast. I shan't be able to trade on anyone's sympathy soon. I am able to sleep fairly normally on my front or side now so that's making me so much happier, though I am still a bit stiff and sore. All the kind acts, wishes, thoughts and emails are having a very positive effect, and I feel very spoiled to have so many lovely friends.

Come on in, the water's fine

I am still tired and slow so the poor Labradors are having quite short walks. I have devised a new system whereupon we walk thusly: Day 1- a walk in the morning, Day 2 - a walk in the afternoon, Day 3 - Rest day.  This means over eight days they have six short walks instead of four longer ones. It is a novelty to have an afternoon walk and we met some different dogs and walkers today. We went at the end of a rain storm and didn't expect to meet anyone. Harki was quite put out that I expected her to get off the path for walkers and sat down where she stood. I had to give her lead a hard pull to remind her I was in charge. In this strange alternate afternoon universe  Peri came when I called, had her lead clipped on easily and sat off the path most obediently.

Some unofficial embroidery  Longed for and now found

I have been doing a little knitting, but not much. I have started some embroidery for MrsDrWho's nephew. I am making a small quilt with a theme. I haven't joined Lynette's Embroidery-Along officially yet, and I am not to good at adding buttons to my sidebar even with Typepad's help. Lynette has a Labrador, Hi Lynette, Hi Hugo!!!  The sewing machine has been used, I've finally taken up the hems on some jeans and made some sock totes. One is for purplevelvetfrom The Ravelry. I craved and longed for last years IK Holiday Gifts issue. I had kind offers for lending it to me, but on a whim I asked on the Australian Knitter's group and lo and behold the Lovely purplevelvet posted off the magazine tout suite. I am in happy magazine delights!! So I seweda purple velvet (suedey not too plush!!) sock tote and popped in a few treats and posted it off with my thanks. Then I played about with my sock tote pattern and came up with this spotted small experimental sock tote. It is only 25cm long with a diameter of 8cm. Anyone like it?? First emailer to ask gets the SSEST: my email is under my buttons in the side bar. It's not perfect, but if all you want to pop inside is your small sock needles, and a small ball of wool, it'll do the job!!

PurpleVelvet sock tote 

Small experimental sock tote 

What else?? Well, now I'm not dead as I feared I would be, I have treated myself to some new Knit Picks needles from the Talented Donni- a whole set of sock sized needles, and from Yarns Online- 4mm needles. I've also ordered some books from The Book Depository: A is for Apron,  Knitting New Mittens and Gloves and a Trinny and Susannah book. I bought one of their older books today, it was on sale and 66% off!!!

Picking up some knitpicks 

I've been cooking too, lots of pasta and some creamy chicken and rice. Today I am marinating some lamb in tikka curry paste, freshly grated ginger and plain yoghurt. Then I'll lightly fry it and have it with extra yoghurt, lemon juice and some carrot and tomato salad in some pita wrap. Yum!! I'm also planning to make some chicken and chorizo rice pilaf with saffron.  I know I am feeling better because I want to cook.

This week I am looking forward to Fringe, and now that MrsDrWho seems to be over her horrid cold virus we might be able to have lunch, or brunch, or even go to the pictures, or spend some time shopping or catching up on some DVDs. I think we have Stargate Atlantis: The Fourthly Season now, as well as Dempsey and Makepeace!!! It's DVD watching weather, we have had violent thunderstorms and rain, and then warm sunny days as well. Harki's hip has been playing up, so she's been having half a tablet every day this week. It is Spring time, the same thing happened last year, yet in Summer, Autumn and Winter she is well. The Labradors are asleep now, too much afternoon excitement and they are also sulking as they weren't allowed to have any lamb. Harki's allergic to lamb so no-one can have any. I've seen all this season of Doctor Who so I'll settle in tonight to watch Midsomer Murders. And maybe contemplate the gloves I should be knitting right now.........

Bothers in Arms

Time to go home You would think that having an operation, with lots of bed rest involved, would be the perfect excuse for A Whole Lot of knitting. You would think wrong. I have not knitted a stitch and typing is a pain in the neck (or arms)!!! Thank you one and all for your kind wishes: I was so very well looked after by MrsDrWho and Uncle and Auntie Dutch, who have Hospital Know How. I have had a lump in my neck since before Christmas last year and it has been slowly getting bigger, whilst being monitored closely and I have been blithely keeping my blog a happy Lump-free zone. As the time drew near to the operation I was pretty much convinced I was going to die. There is no rational reason: my reptilian brain was coming to the fore. The Labradors had to go to The Holiday Kennels, hence the trip to the country to check them out (They were wonderful carers)!! And I was reasonably OK until the day before when my Port broke. This was a good thing, because I could have my lump and the old Port out and a new Port in, all at the same time hence both boogelly arms. But I did reach the limit of my coping. MrsDrWho promised to adopt The Labradors and once I woke up she rang them every day and I clutched, pitifully, the piece of paper on which she wrote of their happiness!!! Uncle and Auntie Dutch were there every day too and I was able to get my cannula whipped out early and have a vase, STAT!! I am so lucky to have such lovely friends.

The nurses and doctors at The Hospital are wonderful and I could not have been better cared for. It was all fun and games during the night as I was in the Old Ladies' Joint Replacement Ward, I have no boogelly antibiotic-resistant germs and this Ward was very germ free, so I went there: One old lady liked to gad about with her walking frame and sit on people and another lady had a few tantrums. Me? I liked to lie in bed with my oxygen mask on and just listen to the ABC radio. I knew I was recovering when my meals were upgraded from Free Fluid, to Soft Light and then Normal. It was time for me to Happy to be home go.

I am home now. I had no external stitches at all. Pretty amazing. Medical persons have gasped in amazement at the finery of my wounds and the potential lack of scarring I should expect. I pretty much don't care!! Scars don't worry me at all. I can wash my hair and drive (slowly and cautiously) and I can potter about from bed to couch. Yesterday I took The Labradors to the Vet and Harki donated blood to a sick Golden Retriever and Peri was popped in a cage. Dr Tim took me through to peep at the sick dog and as I went past a cage I thought there was a fine looking Labrador in it. Yes, it was Peri!!! I am not as up with it as I think. Then we went to the dam and they had a little run in the bush and I sat on a fallen over tree in the Sun. I'm paying for it today by being extra tired.

So, I'm still waiting for results from The Hospital but I am trying to be positive and honestly, I haven't the energy to be worried. The new Port means that I have to sleep like I am a statue effigy on top of a coffin in an old Church and I am protecting my shoulder from happy Peri onslaughts at all times. Harki is very gentle and she is much braver as she was so well behaved when she donated blood. The Labradors came back from The Kennels so happy, and smelling slightly sweet from their hydrobath. They had such a good time, Harki and Peri were so well behaved and nice they were allowed to play with all the other dogs, and I suspect they may be missing the extra company.

I have browsed the bazillion posts from The Bloglines and marvelled at everyone's exploits, and I plan to reply to my lovely comments over the next few days as I feel better!! This morning we had a cup of tea and toast on the verandah, but this afternoon it's back to lying on the couch with excellent painkillers, my hotwater bottle and two Labradors whille drowsily watching DVDs.

Peri, Spring Goddess