Saturday, 30 June 2012

Cooking for the freezer

Osso Busso, Bolognese and Lemon Chicken Tagine
 Only 4 degrees inside the house this morning, aaagh so cold,  I threw on my gown and slippers, put on the heating, grabbed a magazine and a cup of tea and jumped back into bed till the house was warm enough.  While flicking through the current issue of Better Homes and Gardens I came across the slow cooked meals section, I don't have a sow cooker but these recipes can be cooked in the oven, what better way to spend a cold day than with the oven on and cooking a few meals for the freezer while also warming the kitchen.   I have an appointment with the dentist on Tuesday, normally I'm a scardey cat at the best of times but now with Addisons I'm worried how my body will react to the stress of having two molars pulled.  With that thought I realised that a few meals in the freezer as standby would be a good idea, something soft that doesn't have to be chewed much.   The smells in the house are amazing, I have osso bucco, bolognese sauce, and a morrocan lemon tagine all cooking, I have also made lasagne sheets, I'm going to freeze half of the bolognese to use for a pasta meal later on and make a lasagne with the rest.  I will have to rearrange the freezer because I also cooked a pot of soup during the week and I have enough for lunches for next week.   Last night while watching a movie I managed to finish knitting another beanie for my grandson Isaac, I will be able to post these tomorrow. Time to put the knitting away for awhile, I have so much quilting to finish.

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Relaxing Sunday

Sunday was a lovely day relaxing with friends over lunch.  My friends have recently purchased an old property not too far from me, which has an amazing mud brick house on it complete with beams, stained glass windows and quirky features.  After lunch, with the sun poking it's head through the clouds we went off to explore the property.  There is an old cottage on the property along with many out buildings, so much to look at.  The old cottage has the feel of a secret garden surrounding it, the old trees and vines are overgrown and almost wrap around the house like they are trying to protect it from the elements, not quite succeeding though.  On the ground you can spy old brick pathways that peek through the long ago planted forget-me-nots and vinca that make up much of the undergrowth, there are amazing shrubs, and many bulbs that are  poking their heads just above ground.  The remains of a vegetable patch with overgrown berrie canes and healthy looking rhubarb, still growing in it's bed, an old orchard, the bare branches covered in lichen, giving an almost mystical look to the old fruit trees that grow beside the forest on this boundary.  My friends have many plans for this property, one of them being demolishing the cottage and clearing the garden, it is a pity these can't be rescued but I can understand the cost to renovate something so badly in need of repair.  Wonderful property, wonderful day.

Craft Saturday

This past weekend has been a very good weekend. On Friday I babysat, Deacon overnight so his mum could have a night out, being a single mum you don't get much time to have some fun, not with a two year old anyway.   Saturday was our first girls craft day, something that will become a monthly event.  I have been looking forward to this because I've been involved with crafts all my life but have not been able to interest my two daughters in anything crafty up till now.   There would be four of us, my daughter-in-law, her sister, my eldest daughter and me, my youngest daughter was keen but her partner was celebrating his birthday so would'nt join us this time.   My eldest daughter has surprised me with how keen she has been, I think this has a lot to do with Pinterest, she has seen that craft isn't just knitting, crocheting and quilting, that there are so many other options that you can do.  She has only recently used my sewing machine but on Saturday she mastered the machine to make quite a few little owl shaped handwarmers that she filled with rice.  These can be heated in the microwave for a few seconds and can be carried in your pocket to keep your hands warm on cold days.  Teej, then went on to make a bag from the pattern I saw on Pinterest, to say I'm proud is quite an understatement, maybe I won't worry about all my supplies being thrown out when I'm gone after all.  My daughter-in-law sewed a pencil folder, the fabrics fun and bright, suitable for a child. She is a teacher and always on the look out for things to interest kids.  Her sister has been crocheting and has done some amazing things.  I was appliqueing leaves onto a quilt, we had a fun day doing our own thing and chatting but, next time we have decided to do something similar using picture frames. Looking forward to the next craft day.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

A productive week

reversable bag

I have been busy making things this week.  I have a sister who has a birthday at the weekend, I know she appreciates hand made things so I've just made a reversable bag with pockets that she can use when she pops down to the shops.  I  had some lovely fabric in my stash which I've used for the bag and I think it looks great.  I've also made four stubby holders or in my case soft drink can holders using more fabrics from my stash.  On Thursdays every week I attend a Barbeque and drinks held by the local Vietnam Veterans, this is a fund raiser for the local club.  Every week I shuffle through all the guys dirty stubby holders looking for a clean one to hold my can of drink, I usually end up with something very male orientated.  While sitting at home one day last week I had a brainwave, why not make my own, which I did, in very nice florals. The guys were very amused and I had remarks ranging from "oh isn't that pretty" (sarcastically) to  "oh, you've made a nappy for your can" never mind the remarks,  the holders worked and I have orders from some of the other women.  During the night while in front of the television I have been sewing, I have finished appliqueing the vine that surrounds the last border on my sisters quilt,  next I'm stitching the flowers on.   I have also started another beanie for one of my grandsons.   On another note, I have realised I haven't kept you up to date with my girlfriends sons condition.  He is at home now and although he has had a couple of trips back to the hospital, to relieve a blood clot that produced  some horrible seizures and he still has some balance issues to deal with, he is doing much better than was expected. He is still on medication but with time will be back to normal, he has youth on his side,  hence his recovery.  As usual I can't upload photos to my blog, sometimes I can, sometimes I can't.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Memories of the past

Today is one of those days when I like to be busy, today twenty three years ago my husband died in a motor bike accident.  I had spoken to him only thirty minutes before his death, when he phoned to let me know he was on his way home.  We were a family of seven, my three sons from my first marriage and our two baby girls, the youngest one only eleven months old, the other a sweet little girl of two, who thought her daddy was the sun and moon.  This was my second marriage and he was step father to my three wonderful boys.  This man had taken on a lot of responsiblity when we married, and during our early years we faced some dificult times as we all settled into a life together.  I remember how excited he was when I became pregnant, he was sure this baby would be a girl and we were both so excited when she was born.  Another little girl followed only eighteen months later, and our family was complete.  I had heard people in the past talk of having a broken heart when they spoke of  losing a loved one, but until my husband died I didn't fully understand what this meant.  The pain, a deep ache in your chest  is what is experienced after someone you love dies and is akin to a broken heart.  All my future dreams and those of my children gone in one night.  We have, of course moved on, my children have grown, my sons are married, I have grandchildren and we are a happy loving family.  But there has always been someone missing from special family moments, my daughters debutante balls, their twenty first birthdays, my sons weddings and the birth of grandchildren.   I have not remarried, I have not been able to let someone into my heart again.  Today I spent the day with some friends and one of my sons, I shared a drink in memory of the past and will do so again tomorrow with the rest of the family and his friends.  Then we will go on with living our lives until this time again next year.

Friday, 8 June 2012

Long weekend

This weekend we celebrate the Queens birthday with a long weekend, who would have guessed it would be raining and cold.  My plans for digging in the garden have been put off till later in the week, when the weather forcaste is fine for Thursday, I think I will just take it day by day and see what happens.  My sister will be pleased to know that because I can't go outside I have been cutting out flower shapes to applique on the quilt I am making for her. This has been an ongoing project, one that was started before I became ill.  It is the last border and I hope I will have it finished in time for her next birthday.  Last night I was looking through old "Patchwork and Quilting"  Magazines for a design of the flowers that I could use for this quilt and noticed how much the patterns,  fabrics and colours have changed over the last fifteen years, there are so many new young fabric designers working out there now,  the new designs are bright and colourful and have a lovely freshness about them.  I know a lot of the old patterns will never die but it is so good to have such a large range of patterns to choose from.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012


While reading a blog written about little girls and their impromptu tea parties it made me feel a bit sad.  I have two daughters, who are now grown women with busy lives, but, once they were sweet little girls with big imaginations.  Our lives then were filled with lots of hugs and kisses, lets pretend tea parties, dolls and prams, and little neighbour friends coming and going. On weekends and holidays lunches were often sandwiches and cordial in the cubby house, sometimes poured from tiny tea cups.   There was always a play of make believe with singing and dancing, and dress ups, often in my old clothes and shoes.  My girls would spend some time making tickets, going over song and dance routines which would then be played out before family and friends. They also loved making cards for special occasions, birthdays and mothers day.  Friends and family would often receive one of their special hand made cards.  Don't get me wrong, I know that there is still lot of love in my family but I do miss that special time that was so long ago.

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Apple trees

Pink Lady Apple
It has has been  wet, cold and miserable so far this week. Apparently it will be fine over the weekend, I hope so, I have some plans for the backyard. I want to dig up some lawn and plant a couple of apple trees, I have decided on a Ballerina apple or Pink lady apple sometimes known as a Cripps apple, and I will need a Granny smith to cross pollunate.  I love the versatility of Granny Smith apples, as a cooking apple or a lovely crisp slightly tart eating apple.   I'm hoping Bunnings will have these in stock because we don't have a plant nursery nearby anymore and I don't want to travel out of my town to find them.   I have been knitting Isaac's beanie this week and hope to have it finished tomorrow.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Beautiful roses

This is "Tineke"

"Dan Poncet"
While reading the usual pile of brochures that I took from the letterbox yesterday I noticed that Bunnings advertised bare rooted roses in store for only $8-64.   I have been thinking of planting a couple of roses in a bed that I was going to dig over, that hasn't happened, but I have a lot of pots left from all the plants that died when I moved houses.  Off to Bunnings this morning, three bags of potting mix, specifically for roses and I know I said a couple, that usually means just was two, but I couldn't help myself and have come home with four beautiful bare roses.  There were so many to choose from,  I was there for quite a while sorting through them but have decided on these four,  "Dan Poncet" a rich pink colour, "Vol de Nuit"  and "Lucette" both soft pinks and "Tineke" a lovely white.   Washing the old pots was the most difficult part of this planting, Yah,  I hope they will be happy in their pots, until maybe this time next year when I hope I have a new bed organised for them.   I love cut flowers inside and can't wait till they flower and their perfume spreads through the garden and house.  Lavender and Daisy's will be my next purchase, I have some wonderful plans in my head for them.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Beanies and Jelly rolls

California girl by Fig Tree Quilts

 Elephants and lions
Compliments Postively 365
It was so great to see my eldest son and his family last week, I got to spend some with my grandsons, Isaac and Noah.  Isaac gave up his little bed for me to sleep on while he camped in Mum and Dad's room on a mattress on the floor, he thought this was so much fun.   My daughter-in-law and I  were able to visit spotlight and purchase some gorgeous fabrics printed with elephants and lions, we were using these fabrics to cover some canvases for  Noah's room.   We bought the canvases  from the Reject shop, three in a pack for only $10, what a bargain. Neither of us had used a staple gun before but we soon got the hang of it and had stretched and stapled all three before to long.  They look so good,  I'm sure Noah will enjoy looking at these hung from his walls.   I have wanted to visit a popular quilt shop in Sydney for awhile and got to do that last Friday, they didn't have most of the things I had on my shopping list, but, I did purchase a Moda Jelly roll, by Fig Tree Quilts called California girl , the fabrics are so beautiful.  I have a book by Pam and Nicky Lintott with some beautiful quilt patterns using Jelly rolls, I just have to decide which one it will be. I love the fact that you only need one Jelly roll and some border fabrics and you have a quilt top.  Unfortunately I have to put it to the side for a couple of weeks, I'm just dying to get started but have some other things to complete first.  One of these is a beanie for Isaac, once he saw the beanie I had made for Noah along with the jacket and jumper he decided he needed a beanie as well, and it has to be blue.   While in Spotlight I saw some Cleckheaton "Country" naturals in dark blue 8 ply and decided this would be perfect. Both the little jacket and the jumper fit Noah and he looks so cute in them. Back to the knitting, I told Isaac I would post his beanie to him so I have to finish this as soon as possible, I know a little boy will be waiting for the mail.