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December 2009
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February 2010

Smack The Tony

Last year Megan from Somewhere Along A Winding Path decided the memory of my childhood toast and dripping treat needed to be erased by a happy gift. And here it is:

Dripping with aprons

There's a lovely pleat effect happening with the skirt, which scared the willies out of Lorelai Gilmore. I wore it and made it creased, but after I ironed the scariness out of it, the apron was fine. Thanks Megan, it's just lovely and suits The BareNakedLady too. I still owe Gaby a skirt from Blogtober- she knows I know and is very patient or really cross and just not saying!!!I will make it my February OPAM, along with Otto.

Labradors. I often wonder if people think I am terrible walking Harki and Peri near native wild life? I'm really not. Here's Peri at full pelt chasing a Mr Kangaroo:

Peri where are roo

You can see Peri in the far left and there's nothing but air, a whole picture, and still not a glimpse of the wallaby way out in front of her.

I tell Peri she's dreamin'.

Lorelai Gilmore is busy chewing up sticks and then doing special Olympic Show Jumping Dressage. I have noticed recently that her chest is barrelling out like a proper Labrador and her head is getting bigger too - more brains????

Hup 2 3 4
Miss Harki-Parki-Parker-Posey has had FlippyFloppyEar. Dr Tim saw her last time and very considerately said that when her ears were FlippyFloppy again I could just ask for the special ointment without an appointment, saving me almost $50, and more on a Sunday, which is when I rang and then popped in to pick up her ointment. They'll be needing a chocolate cheesecake next week when I am up to it. Her little cries of Ear Hurtiness stopped about twenty minutes after I squeezed the drops in. I love drugs, they are pretty fabulous.

Happy Happy Happy Happy Hark

Lorelai Gilmore and I went to the shop for The NextDoorNeighbour and it was like the Berlin Wall all over again when we went to the back door to deliver the shopping. There was crying, gnashing of teeth, leaping up and paws through the fence. There was no stopping to chat, as soon as I asked,"Shall I come home now?" the Big Dogs tore up the stairs to the back gate and were waiting to give the Baby a good sniffing and a bit of a growl because she had been where the grass is greener and the treats live in a box near the door!! Look at those squooshed faces and Lorelai Gilmore's plaintive paw.

Separate Tables
Yesterday was Australia Day. I am not particularly enamoured of the direction it has taken, with rampant Chauvinism. Nor of the many honours that go to the rich and high up, rather than to the grass roots workers, but then I found something to be more outraged about!! Tony Abbott and his pronouncement. The thought of him being able to enforce his 'vatannical'* rules has made me gladder to live in Australia than I ever thought I could be around Australia Day. Hurray for us and our freedom to Be!!!

Knitting: there has been knitting. It is a face cloth. It is finished and just needs to be washed and wrapped with the soap and posted on the first of February.

DVDs: there has been a ginormous Press Gang viewing session so that MrsDrWho and I are at the beginning of season three and have just fifteen more episodes to go.

Sewing: I have looked at the dress pattern from the other day again. But I am a tad excited about the pattern book I bought from The Ebay: Enid Gilchrist!!! However I must suppress my new pattern urges and I will cut out the pattern pieces anon.

Enid G Wizz 

Tomorrow MrsDrWho and I are partaking of a little Real People's Lunch, ie lunch in town during actual lunch time on a week day, and then I am off to The Till on The Hill for a little dessert buffet!!!

*Vatican + Tyrannical

Monday Munchies 4

It's been hot again and though I did want to cook some things from the February Delicious Magazine, they all required far too much heat, so instead I settled for something from the Jan/Feb GoodFood:

Chorizo, Tomato and Bean Salad serves 4
  • 200g grape tomatoes, halved (I used 250g of tiny Roma)
  • 2 tbspn olive oil
  • 100g chorizo, thinly sliced
  • 1 red onion, diced
  • 2 tbsp sherry vinegar (I used some posh red wine vinegar instead)
  • 2 tbspn honey
  • 400g can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained
  • 200g mesclun(I used some Asian salad leaves)
  • crusty bread to serve
It says to use the oven (preheat to 180*) but I used the grill instead and it worked perfectly and was less heat producing. Drizzle tomatoes, cut side up,  with half the olive oil and grill for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, cook chorizo in a pan with no oil, for 5 minutes on each side, until golden and crisp. Wipe pan out and then add the rest of the oil and cook the onions over a medium heat for 5 minutes, then add the vinegar and simmer for 2 minutes, it should reduce by half, and then stir in the honey and mix well.To assemble, on a large plate strew the lettuce, then sprinkle over the beans, tomatoes, chorizo and then pour over the onion mixture, Serve with the crusty bread.

I didn't add any salt or pepper and it needed no extra seasoning. I loved the sweet honey, the salt and chilli of the chorizo, the flavour intense tomatoes and the soft mashiness of the beans all soused in the warm sharp vinegar sauce. The flavours are perfect together and I would make this again in a flash.

GoodFood salad

Murder Moss Horrid

I have been contemplating Moss stitch. I'm knitting a face cloth - Orange You Glad I Made This? - and I quite like the effect of Moss stitch as the border. I do a cable cast on with an odd number of stitches in K1 P1 Rib and then I launch into K1 P1 rib for each row. I saw that this meant the first two rows were Rib, rather than Moss stitch. So I experimented and did the same cast on, but with a P1 K1 Rib and then K1 P1 Rib for the first row. I am much happier with the latter (on the right) than the former (on the left), it's Moss stitch from the get go.

Left Bad, Right Good

I have acute hearing, actually I have lots of cute earrings!!  MrsDrWho's sister, MrsSingapore (the erstwhile MrsMacau) sent me a slew of earring which match my green spotty skirt to a T, picking out all the colours perfectly!! (they're on the left)

Mrs Emerald went overseas and brought me back earrings from Turkey (top right) and then underneath from Slovakia and Prague. (middle right) Down the very bottom are some earrings MrsDrWho gave me for Christmas, there are two pairs but I was too lazy to get the others.

Acute Hearing

MrsSingapore also sent me this- a Fortune Lion String Puppet, or as I like to call it, a Potential Labrador Toy!! I shall have to keep up out of the way!!

Thank you very much

MrsDrWho asked me if she could bring anything back from Singapore for me. I said maybe some wool?? My wish is her command!!! Yes, that's right, wool from Spotlight in Singapore where they are apparently exceedingly excited about wool from Australia!!!!!

Yes Virginia there is a Spotlight in Singapore

In Labrador news, Harki is happy and likes to lie on her blanket on the asphalt so she can see inside, up the stairs and down to the fence in case there is a treat!! UncleDutch came yesterday and did heaps of cutting back, sweeping up and tidying for me. I do so appreciate it!! Harki looks beautiful, we've had a walk today and lots of plays with balls and plastic bags!!

Harki on her blanket

And here are Peri and Lorelai Gilmore up the clean and tidy un-jungly steps. The picture is a bit wonky so you have to lean slightly to the right to make it level.

Peri and Gilly stepping up

I am off to Knitting in the Pub which is organised by The DarksideKnitter (Ravelry Link) and I am taking my Orange You Glad I Made This? knitting with me. I'm doing a knotty pattern to make it look dimply like orange skin, well trying.

I'll leave you with a little video of Lorelai Gilmore tormenting and teasing The Big Dogs. Harki is growling at the beginning and Lorelai decides she will annoy Peri instead. Watch while she bites Peri's legs and then her face and takes no notice of me. Notice, however, how patient and good Peri is!!

Monday Munchies

Lamb Meatballs with Hidden Feta serves 4
  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 egg white -optional
  • slice of bread soaked in a little milk -optional
  • Greek Spice mix: garlic, cinnamon, nutmeg, pepper, oregano, parsley
  • salt and pepper
  • 100g Feta cheese cut into 8 cubes or batons
  • oil for frying
And to serve
  • flatbread or wraps
  • 4 tomatoes, seeded and diced
  • 2 Lebanese cucumbers seeded and diced
  • yoghurt, lemon zest, spring onion OR tzatziki 
Lamb meatballs Hidden Feta

To make the meatballs, mix the mince, onion, and spice. I added 1 tbspn of spice and a teaspoon each of salt and pepper. Patties, rissoles and meatballs all need extra salt I think. If you mix it with your hand (or gloved hand) for about 5 minutes it will emulsify and should stay together. Or add the egg white and squeeze out the milk and add the bread to the mixture and mix well. Divide into 8 equal parts and I weighed mine because I am obsessive and they were all 65g. Roll into a ball in your palm and squash flat. Put the Feta in the centre and then enclose it completely with the mince. Check no Feta is showing. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and then cook the meatballs for 5 minutes each side, then I quickly gave the edge a minute or so on each side. Rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, spread some yoghurt, lemon and spring onion OR tzatziki on the flat bread, then the tomato and cucumber dice. I squeezed a little lemon juice and then put on the quartered meatballs, I love the look of the oozy warm Feta and I grated a little extra lemon zest on top. Fold up and then eat. Good hot, warm or cold.

Not A Penny More, Not A Penny Dress

Peri is pretty much back to normal. What happiness abounds!! She and Lorelai Gilmore have been tearing about at break neck speed, jumping on the furniture, playing tug of war with boxes, bringing the rain and dirt inside (yes it rained last night and it has been cooler and raining again this evening!!!) and rolling about and leaving fur everywhere!! It's great to see her feeling well again!! She looks back to normal too.

Peri Alert
Harki has been Queen of All She Surveys lately because Peri hasn't been in the garage with her. It was too good to last, but she enjoyed her time at the top, all alone!! She likes to keep an eye on who is walking past. Just in case.

Queen Harki
Miss Lorelai Gilmore is very happy to have her sister back to normal. On our walk yesterday she wouldn't sit still for a nice photo, she wanted to sniff and lunge everywhere. When she did deign to sit still we could only manage this!!

Lickety Split Gilly

Under the harsh Australian Sun my parking hanger had come to grief. It was all discoloured and brittle and then it just shattered into several pieces. The lady at the Transport Office said I should keep it in my glove box, but my left arm for reaching is the side where my port is and my arm isn't very good at stretching and then doing lock opening manoeuvres. So, when my new hanger arrived I sewed a cover. It is lined with Whisperweft and poplin and has a Velcro closure and a thin handle so I can hang it over the gear stick. I hope it will last more than eighteen months this time.

Hangering around

When I was writing my January OPAM Goal, perhaps I should have been more specific, that is, sew a dress for myself That I Like. I sewed a dress. I did a FBA and then I had to take the darts in more at the back because of the extra width added in the front when I did the FBA. I don't like the crossover bodice. It should work, but it gaped and then I shortened the long  edge and then I just lost patience and sewed the two edges together. I wore it out and no one fainted or tried to put their eyes out with burning pokers rather than look at me. The BareNakedLady needs more enhancing up top!!

Dress for unsuccess
Not a total unmitigated disaster, but I definitely need to try again with a different pattern. One with Princess seams, so we'll see how that goes in some lime green cotton first. It will be another toile I might as well wear if it works out. Plus the pattern was half price and the 4 metres of 150 fabric cost just $10. 


Now I am going to have cup of tea and read my new Delicious Magazine. RoseRed and KraftyKuka have both resolved to use their languishing cook books in 2010. I think it is an excellent idea, so I shall try to cook some things from the new Delicious this coming week!!! Monday Munchies post to follow a little later this evening!!!

It's A Peri Peri Lab World.

Good news from Dr Tim about Peri's tests: all the results were clear. Huzzah!! This means it is most likely that she has hurt herself somehow, somewhere, and time will make her feel better. In the mean time she is taking the same tablets as Harki to stop the pain and after five days we will see how she is.

She was feeling a little better this morning, still not playing rough and rowdy rebel games with Lorelai Gilmore but she went for a little walk, and even went half way up the stairs at the lookout at the dam.

Ups and downs

Thank you so much for all the really kind thoughts and words, comments and emails: it cheers my heart. I am so used to worrying about Harki at a low constant level that Peri's unwellness made me very worried. We are all of to bed now for a recuperative nap and then I will set about replying to all the lovely comments!!!

Harki and Gilly are both well and spent a lot of time sniffing the Hospital smell right off Peri. Right now they are doing Synchronised Standing, ready for London 2012.

Harki's walk today 

Looking alert

We Haven't Stopped Dancing Vet.

Peri went back to see Dr Tim at 3-30 and she was, of course, bouncing about, even jumping on the bench next to me in the waiting area. She went happily out the back to have a blood test and may even be a Blood Donor candidate because she was so good. Dr Tim said that he knew I knew my dogs and that if I said she was poorly, then she was. The Labradors are too well adjusted, and Labradors in general, to be so quickly frightened to such a degree. When she is at home, bored, she thinks about whatever is hurting.

I showed him her 'hang dog' photos from this morning and he thinks maybe she is poorly:  a little pancreatitis, a strained muscle or something else. These things are easy to treat (relative to a psychological illness) I can ring tomorrow and find out her results and then we will see what to do.

Peri seemed a little better this evening but after the excitement of the Vet and coming home wore off, she was poorly again. She gave a little cry and went to bed. She looks happier when she's with her sisters. Everyone is so kind to worry with me, I do try not to be a panicker, but I still worry.

Unwell Peri and Harki Peri Unwell and Gilly

Mental Mickey

Peri is having some mental health issues. Yesterday we went for our walk, and then I swapped Harki and Peri for Lorelai Gilmore the puppy and we went for a walk. When I came home, Peri was strange. Her ears were down, she was dragging her back legs, seemed distant and distracted and just poorly. She kept hiding and lying under bushes in the garden and was really anti-social.

Peri unwell

At the hospital she saw Dr Marion and was thoroughly checked out: no ticks, no infection (oh the indignity of the thermometer) no ear problems, no arthritis or joint problems, eyes and heart all fine too. And she was her normal happy self, jumping about, being all wriggly and making little woofy happy noises. She even wagged her tail when she was vaccinated. Dr Marion wondered of she had been bitten by an insect, but thought it more likely that 'something had happened'. Something human beings mightn't understand, but that is very traumatic for a Labrador. When we got home her happiness evaporated and she has been unhappy again. Not so much, but definitely unhappy.

Just now, when Harki is barking at the window, she is very upset, so I wonder if Harki growled at her??? I know that she is upset when Harki growls at Lorelai Gilmore. If she is not better next week she may have to go back and be prescribed some tablets to make her carefree and less anxious.

Harki is happy. Dr Marion said that she is amazed Harki is so well and very glad she is still enjoying life. She's been in the paddle pool, and then the dirt, making mud.

Harki looks happy
Lorelai Gilmore is happy but a little confused as to why Peri isn't playing with her.

Gilly looks happy
So of course I am very worried and trying too hard to make Peri feel happy. I had to have a little Georgette Heyer decline and take to my bed yesterday. It is cooler today so I am coping a little better. I have been outside with them this morning, sweeping up the remnants of a week's worth of playing with cups and sticks. Peri is up and about, but still upset.

Peri upset
She has more frequent little bursts of joy, so I am hoping her sadness will heal soon.

Runaway (In)Jury

Laurie managed to cut her lip when she dropped her iPhone on her face. We have both accidentally punched ourselves in the face when pulling an arm out of a sleeve and a few weeks ago I managed to poke my index finger up my nose when I was washing my hair in the shower and stab my nostril with my nail. Today I bit the side of the back of my tongue and there is a little bit flapping about and it wouldn't stop bleeding for ages. Now it is swollen and I feel all lopsided. I wanted to say it's a wonder they let us out of bed or the house, but then I realised all these accidents happened at home!!!! To top it all off I fell over a slab of concrete painted yellow in the car park this morning and grazed my knee: my pride hurt more than any actual injuries though my wrist, thumb and knee are boogelly. A kind man came to see if I was OK, isn't that nice and faith restorative?

I have added up the time I have to wait for the 13 books I have on hold at The Library: 2 years 5 months and 2 weeks. Not counting the book still on order.

Look away if you are offended by the KFC ad or red hair: look away now.

I think it is very strange that an ad about being the lone supporter of a cricket team, in the stands, in midst of the opposition, and then currying favour with fast food should be banned. It could have been a Hawthorn supporter in an Essendon crowd. It is about the culture of cricket, not whether we think West Indians should eat KFC, or not. KFC is a cricket sponsor and we're playing the WI soon. And while I am being controversial, the UK seems to be obsessed with discrimination against 'gingers', people we call 'Blue'. I have those wodges of colour in my hair every Winter and I have red. Really red red. I suppose I should thank my lucky stars I don't live in Tabloid Newspaper UK or YouTube America!!!

MrsValley and I had a long and leisurely lunch today in air-conditioned comfort. Who knew that time could fly so fast and that we could be so lovely and cool? MrsValley has wallabies and kangaroos and various parrots that come and visit her every day. They like to look at her through the window as she eats breakfast and make starving eyes at her. I knitted her a facecloth with a kangaroo on it. It is a little hard to see because I chose a variegated kangaroo coloured bamboo soya. It's Skippy the Bush Clotheroo. Squint.

Ms ClickertyClick has made a dress from an Enid Gilchrist pattern. I, of course, have made no dresses yet. Only a bodice with an illusion of a waist. I am now haunting on line auctions in hope of finding that  pattern book, but in the mean time I have bought another:

Enid G
I think MrsElectric may like some of these vintage styles for BabyElectric!!

Now we have the obligatory Labrador photos. We have all recovered from the birthdays and thank you for all the kind and happy birthday wishes. There are lots of treats to be doled out. It is very warm, and we are hiding from the heat. Harki has lost a tooth. You can see very clearly in this photo that she has a gap!! The tooth has been wobbly and fell out sometime yesterday. She's looking so cute because she wants some of my breakfast!!

Parker Posey

Peri is demonstrating her exceptional ear skills again. She's running to me at the dam, and I just love the way her ears have curled and almost meet at the top. Peri is the happiest of all Labradors. The grass is straw yellow. If we have some rain everything will green up overnight.

'Ear Peri Goes
Lorelai Gilmore wants some of my breakfast too. She's making a face like Oliver Twist.

Please Mum may I have some more


Here's a recipe inspired by Martha. It is very healthy, but it tastes delicious.

Blueberry Pancakes-makes 4

  • 3/4 cup wholemeal self raising flourBlueberry Pancake
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbspn melted butter
  • oil for cooking in the pan
  • 2 cups of blueberries
  • 1 tbspn honey, golden syrup or maple syrup
  • zest of half a lemon
Put the flour into a jug or bowl, make a well and then pour in the buttermilk, butter and the egg. Whisk till smooth and set aside while you make the blueberry sauce. Put the blueberries, honey or whatever you choose to use, and zest in a glass bowl and microwave for 1 minute bursts till the blueberries 'pop' and are soft. That's it. Preheat a non stick pan to medium, add a dash of oil and then 1/4 of the pancake mixture. Even it out with the back of a spoon and cook till bubbles appear. Flip and cook for another minute or so. Place each on a plate and then pour a quarter of the sauce over. 

This isn't a fine, genteel pancake. In spite of the wholemeal flour and lack of sugar, it is rather delicious when smothered with the blueberry sauce. That's why Harki, Peri and Lorelai Gilmore were so interested!!

Look at the three silly goats at the dam. They were making a terrible bleating noise, but it apparently meant 'we are having a lovely time here, look at our death defying feats'.

Silly Goats
Tomorrow is dog walking day so I hope to be out and about before the day heats up. There is a pie crust promise for lunch with Mrs Madcage, perhaps, and maybe some more small knitting or sewing.

Oh I almost forgot, there is a new puppy at KnittingNatty's place, he's the Sunshine of their lives now!!! How lucky they are!! My word there was a lot to tell today!!

Birthday Girls

Happy Birthday Lorelai Gilmore who is a big One, and Happy Birthday Peri Naughty who is Eight!!! (In order of birth date so no Labrador is upset!!) We had a lovely birthday on the 9th and everyone received a present or two. Gilly had lots of extra pats and we all marvelled at her Oneness and how she ever could have been a tiny pup.

Lorelai Gilmore and Peri are like peas in a pod. Trying to get a photo was like pulling teeth. First Lorelai Gilmore:

Gilly Rascal
And then Peri Naughty:
Peri Rascal 

Finally I was able to get some birthday snaps:

Gilly is One

 Peri is Eight
It has been so hot that there has been a lot of playing in the paddle pool today. Harki just stands in it and cools her heels, so to speak, but Peri has all the right moves:

Harki has the right moves too, the right moves for lying on the couch on the lovely clean sheepskin being cooled by the icy air from Mr Cooly.

Cool for Labs
I have knitted my first thing for 2010: the Alika phone sock. I knitted it in the wool left over from my Upside Down Baudelaires, The Greenery Snickerts. It is very snug and I love it. I knitted a 3 stitch I-cord to make a button loop. My phone feels safer now!!

Phone sock it to me
And the phone sock is lying on top of The Momento book!! It arrived on Friday afternoon and I Love it. It is full of beautiful dogs!! I have been making people look at it and they have made all the right noises!!!

I have set this post to appear at 12-01am on the 10th. Interestingly, the Typepad people offer both 12am and 12pm, times that don't actually exist. There can be midnight and noon but not 12am or pm. In much the same way that last year was not then end of the first decade of the New Millennium, it will be at the end of this year. I have had to email the ABC TV News and our local paper about their incorrect decade-age. I don't think they care.....

I think I may have developed a hunger to knit. It is way too hot for anything larger than two hands, but I have just the thing planned!! Now I just have to find a way to sleep through the heat tonight.... and be rested and ready for Peri's birthday celebration on the 10th !!!

*Birthday Girls without a Nicole Kidman in sight!!