Wednesday, December 31

Festery Frenzy.

First up, I would like to wish everyone a

New Year full of Good Health & Good Fortune!

Joyous 2009 to All!

Many thanks to all who wished us a Merry Christmas- we had one!

Reading other blogs, I have the feeling a lot of folk this year, have found the pace quite fast & furious. One blogger Joke notes that this year they put New Year's Eve right after Christmas!

I agree.

I spent 4 (yes four!) hours yesterday seeking medical attention. What a waste of a day. I took a book, since I know from past experience this Centre is always running on slow. (Our regular, hardworking GPs take a break at this time.) A lot of attendees take note of the number of hours of delay, go home & pursue other activities, should their condition allow. I should have done that. I could have been gainfully employed doing other activities, but not feeling at all well, I took a book, & settled in the cool air with resignation, for the two hours I was advised I would have to wait. After 2 1/2 hours I ventured to ask how much longer??

I should have taken a fatter book, as I finished the one I had taken. I contemplated going over to the shops to purchase another, but knowing I have a huge TBR pile at home I thought better of it. I spent a further hour & a bit, then saw the Dr for a quick consult, & left with the script to set matters aright. At least it was cool, although the Dr informed me it can get rather chill from the Doctor's perspective. The consulting room seemed a lot more chilly than the actual waiting area, which is huge with a very high ceiling.

Some fascinating people-watching to be done. Some gladness the waiting areas are so large, as you cringe back from the violently vomitting child passing by, & you try desperately not to inhale.


It is to be another rip snorter of a day here today. Yesterday was 34 here, & today is to be the same. At present it seems a less humid day, so it is quite pleasant.

This is the nearest thing we get to snow! It is the blossom from the Lili Pili. It all falls, & lies in great drifts in the back yard.

Little doggy paw prints investigating the mass.

These are the blossoms. They are like puffs of smoke really.

Very similar to gum tree flowers. Or the red Pohutukawa of New Zealand.

After the hectic run-up to Christmas the gift quilt was finished.

I called it "Stars" since the person it was made for loves his family above all else, & they are his Stars. I embroidered their names in some of the stars.

A lovely Christmas was celebrated among our family.

Here is SG with his sisters & his father on Boxing day, at our place.

I think SG was demonstrating his magic powers here!

Here are GOW & GOM on Boxing day. complete with broom handles growing from Gow's head, heehee!

The girls seem to have adopted the Japanese custom of putting up their peace fingers. I had to snarl to eventually get a pic of them, without the fingers!

AG & HG (honorary granddaughter)

Leo did not get his bath nor his haircut. He has been panting so I am going to have to do something about his wool!! Look at those messy feet!

Gom on Christmas day with a tree growing out of his head, & a dog growing on his stomach. haha.

Meggie & AG, with Oscar. I call the grey patch my 'witchy streak'! Of course there is grey sprinkled all through, but just the one concentrated patch.

Our actual Christmas day was not too hot, so it was quite pleasant outdoors.

Our son SB came to stay for a couple of nights, & it was lovely to see him. He had to return to the city for work, so was gone all too soon.
Loved ones across the Tasman enjoyed a wonderful Chrissy day too!
Beloved Brother & his 3 sons, & his lovely little Grandson. The proud Dad is the one on the right in the pic.
It has been a nice Christmas but we all agreed it seemed to arrive too fast.
We have avoided the after Chrissy sales. Can do without that frantic madness! I might be tempted to sneak off to Spotlight's sale though, to pat some fabric. If some just happens to jump into my bag, well that will be nice!!
I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead. An unrealistic wish, I know, but perhaps if I wish for minimal calamities & minimal health upsets it may help.
I never make New Year Resolutions. Why set yourself up for failure. haha. I just tend to let it all happen & what will be will be.

I really wanted to post Phoebe Snow singing "It must be Sunday", but I can't find a copy to post. If you get a chance listen to it, I love the lyrics.

Monday, December 22

Stolen Ideas.

Look at this gorgeous fruit platter!
We had a little party yesterday, a sort of pre Christmas chance to get together with friends & family.

Mr & Mrs Nice Neighbour came over, & Mrs NN had made up this lovely fruit cheese & cracker platter. The lovely little dresser on the plate contains little Pate knives! Isn't it so cute! What a lovely idea to make something festive & appealing.

We all had a great afternoon, with plenty of laughter. Time spent with good friends is so cheering & uplifting.
All in all, it was a lovely afternoon/evening.

Here is Red Square Dance hanging out on the line for the photo. It was a little breezy this morning, so a photo was a hard task.

The sun is shining & it is a very nice non humid day, thus far. It is not tipped to be too hot, so hope it lasts.

I even got most of my Christmas gifts wrapped up yesterday morning too, so that there were no inadvertant peeks to be seen. I am glad that is out of the way.
Now all I have to do, is prepare Sherry Trifle, mix a special Ice Cream I make, & then the remaining food will be prepared on Christmas Eve.
Time to relax.

I was tagged some time ago, by Anecdotally Yours, for the Deck the Halls meme.

Egg Nog or Hot Chocolate? Hot chocolate. But here it is Summer! white wine.

Does Santa wrap presents or set them under the tree? Presents are always wrapped.

Colored lights on tree or white? When we had a tree, I liked the colours.

When do you put your decorations up? There are decorations?? Er, not very often these days.

What is your favourite holiday dish? Roast Pork & gravy.

Favorite Holiday memory as a child? Having time to read endlessly, & having cousins & family come to stay.

When and how did you learn the truth about Santa? Walking home from school across farm paddocks, the neighbour kids told me. I can still remember the shock, & how I cried when I got home. I was careful not to cry in front of the neighbour kids, though.

Do you open a gift on Christmas Eve? No. I am a 'wait for it', kind of girl!The kids sometimes opened one gift, to stay the excitement.

How do you decorate your Christmas tree? Always put the children's homemade ornaments on- even when they were adults, & got embarrassed! These days, unless we have Christmas here, I don't bother. It is so liberating!

Snow! Love it or Dread it? I loved it, because we didnt ever have much, & it seemed special, & was soon gone. However, here downunder it was also never at Christmas!!

Can you ice skate? Never tried. Am sure I couldn't!

Do you remember your favorite gift? I presume this means from childhood? Always books.

What's the most important thing about the Holidays for you? Family get togethers.

What is your favorite Holiday Dessert? Fresh fruit salad.

What is your favorite tradition? Family gatherings.

Which do you prefer, Giving or Receiving? I enjoy both, but I do love to give something, even if it is only an ear to listen.

What is your favorite Christmas Song? Keep them away from me! GGRRRR!

Candy Canes! Yuck or Yum? Yuk, but I might have liked them as a child.

Ever recycled a Christmas present? Honestly? Never!

I stole this from one of the Sunday paper magazines, because it appealed to me.

What would you like for Christmas....

If you were feeling greedy?
A new small car, with a liftup hatch.
If you weren't feeling greedy?
Good health for all my family.
If you were being practical?
Baths & haircuts for the dogs!
If you had to share your present?
A first class trip for two around the world.
If you had a present for one day only, (then had to give it back)?
A chance to give the homeless 2 great meals for Christmas Day, with a bed for the night, in comfort & luxury. Well, one day is 24 hours right?

Try it if you like, I found it quite hard to think of things that were not flippant or ridiculous... after all it is just a fantasy...

I remember a Christmas when a Beatles album would have been treasure!!

Friday, December 19

Colour as Therapy.

I have been working steadily on my Riotous coloured 'Scrappy Happy'- which is just the working name. I still have not decided on the final name, & am trusting it will come to me, as I get closer to the finish line... which needs to be soon!

I had a name chosen, but the closer I got to the finish, the less it seemed appropriate.

As with a lot of my quilts, it has taken on a life & direction of it's own, as it evolved.

When I began the sewing, I knew who it was for, & how I wanted it to proceed- more or less.
As it has grown, & come together it has dictated some of the design.

I was unsure about the quilting, but then I had the sudden idea for the stars in the centre of the larger blocks.

I initially thought a meander in the large blocks would be nice, but I am somewhat hopeless at meander quilting on my domestic machine. I was looking for something closer to 'neat'.

My Janome is dear to my heart, but every now & then it sh*ts itself, & apparently goes on a sort of strike.

I am not sure why, but the tension just refuses to behave. An expert could not understand it, & he spent days trying to solve the mystery.

I also wish it had an automatic needle threading facility! I am getting tired eyes, & can be heard muttering blue things at the thread & needle!!

However, I seemed to overcome the sulky tension problems, & this is the finish line!
The binding has been completed, & now there is some hand detailing & all will be finished.

I do have a query, & plea for help.
I used a marking pen, for some of the stars. It is a purple pen, brand name ADGER*TM.
It also says, "Please try with a piece of wasted cloth before use.
Please take off cap with hands, not with a mouth."

Of course my twisted mind boggles!!

I used this pen on the lighter coloured fabrics, to trace the star outline.
I understood it would fade with light over 24 hours.
It has not.
Do I need to panic, or will it fade on washing in cold water?
I intend washing the quilt, & drying it in the clothes dryer, to make the quilting effective.

Some of the darker colours involved the use of Korbond Taylor's Chalk marker pencils, & they are proving hard to banish also.

Will these wash away?

The upside of all this is, I do believe in the power of colour. I feel happy when I work with bright colours, & find my thoughts are happy.

I find the Ming Blue reminds me of an Asian Lady- I think she is either Chinese or Japanese. She is very beautiful, & but has a somewhat cold demeanor.
Red, is too hot & hectic for me, but I do love to use it.. flirting with strong feelings?

Yellow makes me feel happy... Buttercup flowers, & sunshine, & golden days.

Green, the wonderful foliage of grasses, trees, & all living plants..

Blues.. deep seas, wild eyes, ...

Wednesday, December 17


I find there are triggers everywhere I go.

You know, sights, sounds, smells, that trigger off a memory.

I was thinking of the Christmas preparations we used to have at school, in the lead-up to the Christmas holidays. We would make paper chains from bright coloured paper with a sticky backing. We cut strips, then cut them into lengths, which we then formed into chain links by licking one end, & forming a circle of the paper, to link all the circles together. When the chains were long enough we strung them about the classroom.

I can still remember the horrible taste of the gum on the paper. Why they didn't use water & a sponge, I have no idea. It kept the little blighters happy & quiet. The paper would come to the classrooms in piles, doled out from the storeroom. I suppose it was issued to schools as an Educational Aid. (I wonder if they still have it in schools?) Along with scissors to be carefully doled out, counted, & returned, recounted, at the end of the session. Sometimes we would be allowed to use the paper to make shapes, so that we learnt the differences between triangles, circles, etc.

I can still remember that near hysteria undercurrent, present in the classrooms as Christmas got closer. We would be allowed to make Christmas cards to give to our parents. I remember laboriously painting a bright card with Holly -bright red berries & dark green leaves. We never actually had Holly in New Zealand but most of our images of Christmas were of the variety from Mother England's Christmas visions. Including snow, which of course, we never saw either, Christmas falling in Summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

The reality was heat, humidity, Pohutukawa blossom, beaches, & long summer evenings.

Rellies would come to our Grandmother's & pitch tents on the lawn, in the early days. As the children got older, they would sometimes go to a Caravan park, at nearby Papamoa Beach, & would come for the day. Other rellies would come for the day, & leave at night, the children grumpy & tired.

My Grandmother would cook for everyone, her face bright red, & gleaming with perspiration. She was English, so we always had traditional English Christmas food. Roast meat & vegetables, with peas, probably from the garden, & gravy, so delicious, it was my favourite part of the meal. There would be Plum Duff, & custard, & fruit salad, jelly & Sherry trifle.

I think back on the small kitchen & the old stove & I just don't know how my grandmother did manage to cater to all the family. The dining room was very small, & looking back, I think we must have eaten in relays or perhaps we children were shooed off into the kitchen, which had a small table.

I don't know if SG has made any Christmas cards this year at school. I remember our Granddaughter made some things, mostly carefully selected things, with no connotation of any religion. There was some carol singing, but I think even that has been discontinued. While I dont have religion, & actually dislike carols, I don't think it is fair to discontinue the tradition because of a minority.

Reading over at Rosie's of the Girl Who Leaked Music, triggered the memory of a man whistling.

We were in a store, shopping for Christmas gifts. It is a very busy store, with a high turnover of stock, & there are usually several delivery men going about their business, trundling in pallets of stock. One man whistled. He whistled without rhyme or reason, a tuneless piercing of the airwaves, which drove me instantly insane. I wonder if he does it at home? I wonder how his workmates can stand it? I looked at the staff to see if they were reacting.

I seemed to be the only one, suffering distress.

For a time Gom took to whistling a tuneless theme, constantly repeated. It had no recognisable tune, but it never varied. It drove me mad.

I found out he did it at work. His boss made suggestions and rude remarks about it. Gom never took the hint. Finally, his boss 'had a word' to him. He was surprised, & I think, a little hurt. I guess it was a subconscious thing, but sometimes habits like that can really bring a person down!
Gom no longer whistles. Which is a bit sad, when I think about it.

There was a man shopping at Bunnings, who whistled a constant tuneless highpitched through-the-teeth whistle. I looked at his wife, & wondered if she was deaf, she seemed totally unaware of the irritation. Maybe she learnt to tune out?

I greatly admire those who can teach the mentally different. I applaud their patience & strength. I applaud their sheer, decent, honourable, humanity.

One of my son's friends taught 'handicapped' (I hate that word) children. He was apparently very good at it. He recently took his own life, for reasons I have no knowledge of. I am told his marriage had ended.
My son is deeply upset by his friend's death. He said all their friends could not believe it, as 'he was such a strong person, after all, he taught the disadvantaged'.
I wondered why, people would think that because a person has the ability to teach less fortunate children, they could not have weakness? Why they would not bow, & perhaps break, under the sheer weight of their personal misery?

On a much brighter note, I am leaking colour!! I am working with a riot of colour, & it is lovely.

A Scrappy Happy!
I am onto the quilting, which is hard on my shoulders. I keep taking breaks, slacking off as it were. Yesterday, I caught myself nodding off on one of my 'breaks'.

I sat outside in the cool breeze to sandwich the quilt. Our dining table is really not suitable to use, & my knees prohibit the old get-down-on-the-floor trick. So I use Keryn's tabletop instructions, but using clothes pegs to clamp the edges onto the outdoor table.

Tuesday, December 16

Unseen Rythms

Isn't Rythm an odd word? I had to check its spelling before I began, as I felt it did not look correct.

As I get older, I find I am forgetting some spelling!

Gom watches children's game shows, where they have to spell, & I find I make a few mistakes!

When we were children, our mother had a huge Dictionary. It was a Westminster Dictionary. It was akin to the Bible in our house.

If we had a query on spelling, we were told to "look it up in the dictionary!"

It was great advice, because, more often than not, I would end up following more & more words, & might be found some time later, still reading the dictionary!

That particular dictionary was illustrated. I was always fascinated with the items chosen to be illustrated. They seemed so random, & some seemed so ordinary & everyday, I wondered why they had been chosen... surely everyone knew what one of those looks like?

Eventually my mother's dictionary fell apart. Though she tried, she never did find another Westminster Dictionary, & had to content herself with Oxford, which she felt to be inferior.

Of course language is a living thing, changing all the time. It was nice to be able to consult Westminster for the definition of a 'Fletcher' or 'Farrier'or 'Hooper'. Old words which ceased to be relevant in the modern world, old careers, which ceased to exist as technology evolved.

My mother would have loved a computer, with all the information available to her. She never stopped enjoying leasrning. She mourned the fact that she had had to leave school early. She would have loved to go to university, & she loved to study up on everything that interested her, which was almost everything.

We used to tease her about her Medical Dictionary though! I think at one stage or another, she must have 'suffered' almost every ailment in that book! Or if she didn't have 'it', one of her grandchildren had 'it', whatever the 'it' of the day might be.

Perhaps it is a good thing she didn't have the resources of the Internet for medical matters!


I have been noticing fluctuating energy patterns myself. They don't seem to have any ordered rythm. I seem to have 2 or 3 days where I have energy & feel quite able to tackle shopping, cooking, & sewing.

Other days have been a trial to stay awake, the prickly sticky humidity sapping all my physical strength from my limbs, all capacity for thought from my tired mind.

I began to read a book, that Gom had finished, & recommended. It gripped me, to the point I spent a day & half lying about gobbling it up without pause, in greedy great gulps. I even got up at 6am yesterday, & sat & finished the reading. A good start to the day.

I have finished the "Red Square Dance" aka "Red Devil" ! I asked Gom what he wanted it to be called, & Red Devil didn't appeal to him, so he suggested Red Square, which didnt appeal to me, so it is now deemed "Red Square Dance". It was quite a dance to get it quilted on my machine, & I am pleased with the way it turned out- yes, even the wobbly crooked bits where I was too lazy to mark straight lines, at the borders!

I washed it, & tumbled it dry- it was raining, so I felt quite comfortable drying it in the dryer. I am happy with the end result.

When SG saw it, he fell in love with it too. When I told him it was for Gom for Christmas, he said, "Well you'd better hide it Nanna, or he will see it!" He is still very much about surprises, bless him.

His sister had decorated their tree, in a pretty pink & silver colour scheme. Thier dog has decided to make his new 'kennel' under the coffee table next to the tree, & pretty baubles & tinsel comes flying off, as he scuttles under the table! He gets into trouble for that.

Granddaughter came up to bath Leo for us. He is such a fatty now- Gom overfeeds him, but I have given up trying to get him to change! He was quite well behaved, but would not tolerate his feet being trimmed of the woolly 'boots' he appears to wear.

I intended to bath Honey myself, & just. could. not. do. it. I finally got the energy on Sunday afternoon, & she looks all nice & fluffy again. She was happy too, & tore around like a puppy, playing with her toys.

I have begun another project, in the sewing/quilting line, so am hoping the cooler weather we have will last. Also the energy supplies!!

Friday, December 12

Out & About..

Overheard, "You are too old to be wetting yourself in public!!"
on the way to the toilets in a Shopping Mall. Elderly woman.

"I wanted one of those. I saw what they cost, & changed my mind. What a bloody waste of good money!" Youngish Mum, looking very jaundiced.

"She gave me a list of what they would like. I thought 'Piss off, we can't afford that. They will get what I buy them!'"

"I would love one of those!". "Oh, look they even tell you how to wear them." "I don't need anyone telling me how to wear it!!" "oh! ok" Shrinks down a bit... moves away.

"HA HAHA" laughing like a Gallah! "Look at that! What kind of dork would by that??"
"Err, I got that for my brother?"
"Oh sorry Dude. That is major cool!"

"Thank goodness!! I have got all my Christmas presents!" "thank goodness that is over & done with!!"

So sad, to think it is such a chore. But how often do we agonise over such gifts, wanting to find 'just the right thing' 'the perfect gift'. It seems some people have this special gift, for choosing 'just the right gift'.

I have been given perfect gifts, that probably cost very little. But the thought that went into the gift made it perfect. And impossible to top.

In the past, I have been given gifts that I can see, the giftee, has thought to be perfect. The sad reality is, I have been shocked & surprised, but not pleased. I have struggled to appear so thrilled. I don't know if I was always convincing. It is too sad to look back upon.

On the other hand, I wonder how many times I have given, what I had deemed the 'Perfect Gift' only to have disappointed. Did the recipient disguise their disappointment? Did they manage to hide their 'non-delight'?

And, don't you hate it when someone, on your gift list, says to you.
"I am going to buy myself 'xxyt' on Saturday"
And you shriek "No No! Dont! Dont buy that! It is Christmas. For Gosh sake,"

And, they don't 'get it' .
And they reiterate their intentions to buy themselves the damn thing you want to buy them or have already bought them!!

So you finally shriek at them, you have got them that very item for Christmas!
Then they are full of apologies. Horrified, they have spoilt the surprise.

Usually happens to one of us, over the Christmas Festery Season!!

Ahhh the joys of the gift buying mine field!!

Happy Gift Buying or giving in your world!!


Tuesday, December 9

Knicked! Or stolen...

I have shamelessly knicked this from Ian at Or So I Thought. Please refer to Ian for the rules, & regualtions, & any other strictures.

It just appealed to me, & so I have stolen the questions, with modifications to the answers.

From what I can gather, ignore the ones you have not done/or been, & add the ones you would like to one day achieve, in light along with the ones you have already done in boldface.

1. Started your own blog (Well, Der!!)

2. Slept under the stars. Oh yeah, & how dissappointing was that! but I did love the absolute darkness!.

3. Played in a band

4. Visited Hawaii

5. Watched a meteor shower- I think! It sure looked like one!

6. Given more than you can afford to charity Yep. then wondered why.

7. Been to Disneyland/world

8. Climbed a mountain

9. Held a praying mantis. Yes, I used to feed them to my water beetle.

10. Sang a solo (In the shower) Yes, but only once I knew no one else was home!!

11. Bungee jumped

12. Visited Paris

13. Watched a lightning storm at sea. Yes, but only from the shore! does that count??

14. Taught yourself an art from scratch. I taught myself to crochet using a normal right handed book, & a mirror. I am left handed. Worked well!

15. Adopted a child. Yes

16. Had food poisoning. OMG Yes!! How hideous was that!! I hope to never experience that again!!

17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty

18. Grown your own vegetables. Why yes, as it happens, & they were bloody delicious, too!

19. Seen the Mona Lisa in France

20. Slept on an overnight train. Yes, fitfully between soldiers & stops from Auckland & Wellington.

21. Had a pillow fight. Yes, in a dorm, with lots of other 'sleepers'. haha

22. Hitch hiked. In my young & foolish days!! Too often for comfort!

.23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill . Ok I am guilty. We did it to save money, which may sound strange!!

24. Built a snow fort

25. Held a lamb. Oh how I have held a lamb/s! I loved them, I saved several lives of abandoned lambs. What a thrill in life it was, to feed them , & save their lives!

26. Gone skinny dipping. In the Ocean, what a thrill, to feel the foam of the waves about your body. magic.

27. Run a Marathon- are you mad??

28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice

29. Seen a total eclipse Yes!!

30. Watched a sunrise or sunset. Both, & what a treat, always!

31. Hit a home run

32. Been on a cruise

33. Seen Niagara Falls in person

34. Visited the birthplace of your ancestors

35. Seen an Amish community

36. Taught yourself a new language

37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied. Yes, believe it or not!! And I am here to say, it was wonderful!! Don't let them fool you! You can feel happy!

38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person

39. Gone rock climbing. Yes, & I never caught the attraction.. just bloody hard slog!

40. Seen Michelangelo’s David_ Of course! but I am assuming this means in person??

41. Sung karaoke

42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt

43. Bought a stranger a meal in a restaurant. I won't go into details, but I never regretted it.

44. Visited Africa

45. Walked on a beach by moonlight. Often in my young days.

46. Been transported in an ambulance. Yes, twice.

47. Had your portrait painted

48. Gone deep sea fishing

49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person

50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling

52. Kissed in the rain !! Yes!!

53. Played in the mud. Oh yeah!!

54. Gone to a drive-in theater. Yes. Highly overrated!!

55. Been in a movie

56. Visited the Great Wall of China

57. Started a business Yes. Thrice!

58. Taken a martial arts class

59. Visited Russia

60. Served at a soup kitchen

61. Sold Girl Scout Cookies

62. Gone whale watching. Do Dolphins count??

63. Gotten flowers for no reason Yes.

64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma-- with my shy veins???

65. Gone sky diving

66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp

67. Bounced a check

68. Flown in a helicopter

69. Saved a favorite childhood toy A doll.

70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial

71. Eaten Caviar And the fuss was about??

72. Pieced a quilt Too many to count.

73. Stood in Times Square

74. Toured the Everglades

75. Been fired from a job I was too fast for the 'line' so 'they let me go;!

76. Seen the Changing of the Guard in London

77. Broken a bone Been there, done that more often than I would prefer. Collar bone, & 4 broken ribs.

78. Been on a speeding motorcycle Yes, Once! It cured me for life!!

79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person

80. Published a book

81. Visited the Vatican

82. Bought a brand new car. Call me shallow, but it was the best feeling!! I loved that car!

83. Walked in Jerusalem

84. Had your picture in the newspaper. I am proud to say yes. I was a protestor for Play Centers in NZ. I strode out proudly, my pic was published... to my horror! haha.

85. Read the entire Bible. Actually Yes. Didnt convince me! The more I read, the less I could believe.

86. Visited the White House

87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating

88. Had chickenpox. Yes, bear the scars.

89. Saved someone’s life. Yes

90. Sat on a jury

91. Met someone famous. Long ago, & far away.

92. Joined a book club

93. Lost a loved one. Well yes, at my age I coudn't not!

94. Had a baby. Three.

95. Seen the Alamo in person

96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake

97. Been involved in a law suit Unfortunately, yes. We won. It was a hollow victory.

98. Owned a cell phone. Yes.

99. Been stung by a bee!! Oh yes. that nearly cost me my life, & if I get stung again, my chances of death are pretty high!!

Ok, I nicked this, feel free to nick it too.
It is quite fun to do.

The Faster I Pedal...

I see I have been missing here for a few days. Nothing dramatic.
Just life running away.
The faster I pedal, the further behind I get.
I had another attack of the itches, & so took the tablets for relief... with the result they seemed to 'lay me out' for 2 days. I slept almost a whole day, then the night as well on Sunday. Did stop the itching though!

When I think about the fact of how close Christmas is, I feel as if I am being approached by a runaway freight train! Yeek!

I have been given 2 awards.
Now I am appreciative of these awards & am happy to graciously (I hope) accept.
However, I do fall down in the rules department.
I always break the rules, by not posting the RULES, & not often passing the Awards along.
I figure everyone who reads here deserves awards too.
I certainly love to visit all your blogs, & so consider yourself awarded- Please!

This Award was given to me by Marja, of Dutch Corner. Marja lives in Christchurch New Zealand, & comes originally from Holland. I greatly admire her courage & adaptability for doing so well in a new country, with a new language.
Thankyou for the Award Marja!

This next Award was given to me by one of my longest standing readers, Ann of Ancient One's Place. Thankyou Ann. I do appreciate this Award, & we have had many laughs together.


We have been 'treated' to some spectacular thundery storms, with sudden heavy downfalls. So far we have been lucky, in that we have sustained no damage or flooding from the severe storms.

Down in Sydney they have not been so lucky & there have been flooded roads with traffic delays. The pattern for the daily storms seems to be a late afternoon or evening showing of the clouds, followed by 'hell & damnation', so to say.

Last night we got this, as our reward, later in the evening.

Yesterday was very hot & sticky, & we went shopping with our Granddaughter & our Honorary Granddaughter, her friend. We had a really nice time with the two girls, & we stopped at a food court in the Mall, for lunch.
Then Gom discovered he had left parcels somewhere in his travels. Off he rushed with HG in tow, & they came back, full of grins, with the retrieved packages. Phew!
Goody Two Shoes me, had mixed salads for lunch, while the girls had hot Chilli Wraps, & Gom had his favourite Chicken wrap, though he declared his homemade ones to be better! Probably right I would think.
GD sat fanning herself, & admitted the chilli had almost been too much for her! I can take or leave chilli, & at present seem to be on a 'leave it' phase! Though, I still love Tobasco on eggs.
Another view of last night's sunset gold. I liked the way the rays came up through the clouds, & made one black cloud appear almost like a balloon on a string.

I hate these thunderstorms. The changing pressure give me headaches sometimes, & I get tired & cranky.
The horrible build-up to the actual storm is usually so humid, I can hardly breath, or at least that is what it seems like.
(Yes, this is me, just lying about whining about the weather. Boring I know!!)
When I have managed to keep awake, this is what I have been working on.

My Brother refers to it as Red Devil, which is not a bad name for it.
However I have been referring to it as Big Red. So I might consult Gom to see what name he prefers.
Once I have this Red completed, I should finish Granddaughter's quilt.
I wont be promising myself anything. The stitching of the binding will depend on the state of the sweating hands, so could take some time.

Wednesday, December 3

Flakey Cooking??

When I was a young school girl, it was accepted that "Girls Cooked" & "Boys Woodworked".

I don't really know who made the rules, or decreed who did what.

I suspect my mother looked upon it all, with somewhat jaundiced eye.
She was somewhat of a Rebel for her age group.
She was quite 'handy'.
She could not see, why the sexes were separated, to 'limit' their skills.

To be fair to the very small, school, she attended in the 30's, she was offered some skills in Poker work, Wood work, & I do believe her brothers, & other males~including my father~ were offered cooking & sewing classes.

There were varying degrees of success or failure at these said classes~ all offered at a very small, rural school, where farming was the norm, & girls were girls & boys were boys!

However one of the skills my Paternal Grandmother was said to possess, was the ability to make light, fantastic, Flakey Pastry!!

My mother strived to make Flakey Pastry. It almost never worked out for her.
We would laugh & tease, at each attempt. Occasionally, she would manage a flake or two! & we would point it out, & savour~ the flake/s!

This is not a picture of my mother's Flakey Pastry.
It is my (bought ) Flakey Pastry!

Soon after I married, I tried making Flakey Pastry.

I was pleasantly surprised to discover I could make a creditable, & light, delicious Flakey Pastry.

My mother's lip would curl, when she mentioned my paternal Grandmother's ability in the pastry making stakes.

I felt quite proud of my newly discovered ability, & was quite surprised at my mother's seemingly dismissive learning at the news, of my talent.

I was later to learn of the underlying currents, between my PGrandmother, & my mother. I could finally understand the curl of my mother's lip, when she discussed the Paternal G's pastry making ability.

I could see, why she would not value any virtue of my Paternal Grandmother.

I was very proud of my talent, nonetheless.

However I have let the talent lapse. It is much easier to buy, & use, the pre,cut, rolled & prepared slices of Flakey Pastry.

Shame, I know, but surely, the way of the modern world.

Take the easy way out. Much faster. Less effort. Less drama.

Queen, Too Much Love Will Kill You.

Monday, December 1

Groping around in the dark...

Of course, this is not the wild blue yonder... though it may look suspiciously like it.

Do you think some Clown is up there, blowing little puffs to form cute whimsical cloudpictures?

I once stood, next in line, at school, to a girl who was gifted with a lovely, clear, musical voice, & she sang softly of 'CloudBoats' .
I was captivated by her song, & searched until I found the words, tune, & a singer of that song. I have never forgotten the song, nor the words, nor Betty's beautiful clear young voice, singing that song.

I think of Betty each time I see the Cloudboats. I can still hear her clear beautiful, in-tune voice, singing. Her blonde plaits, which I used to watch her mother forming, in the mornings before we left to walk to school. Her lovely, tall, frame, swinging along the path to the school. So seemingly confident, of what we might encounter, on our journey to the school.
How I admired her. How I envied her! Her 2 older brothers who were never handsome, in the traditional way. One had ears that were so large, they could double for wings, it was felt!!Her gorgeous baby sister, who was all blond, curls, dimples, & pretty roundedness.
We lost touch, as young school friends do. I often think of her, & the wonderful warm, mornings I spent in her house, waiting for her mother to complete the plaiting of her hair.
Listening to the brothers bickering, the mother scalding, but gently, absently.
The baby Annabelle crying for attention. Rarely though, she had a sunny disposition, & all who met her were enchanted.
I fear I am living in the past! Far too much.
I am dwelling on the future, & find myself dreaming of my death, & passing from this life.
I don't think it is about to happen. Hell, no one gets off that easy!!
The Black Dog has a grip.
The bodylanguage of dejection invites further depression. I try to fight it, to 'spring' into the day.
I find a further 'wart' on my little dog Honey. I fear for her.
Both dogs have had ear infections, so we are treating those... much to Leo's disgust!!
Honey is very accepting & resigned. She probably realises the relief she gets.

John Denver, Sweet Surrender.