Saturday, December 31, 2016

The Last Post...

...for 2016!

New Years Eve here!

Just a quick post before tea (that leg of lamb smells good!)...

Recipes:  made this Banana Bread recently, due to the ever present problem of over-ripe bananas (I don't like to eat them once they get black on the skin!)...

Here's the recipe which was on the sultana box...

And here's what I did to it:  used dates instead of sultanas; substituted about 1/4 cup of the flour with almond meal; added a dash of cardamom, allspice and ginger; sprinkled some cinnamon/sugar on the top before baking.  It was pretty good, especially warm with butter!!

A few goals for 2017:
  • Read through the books of the Bible in alpabetical order (Acts to Zephaniah).  Already started and am half way through Acts.
  • Buy an electric piano/keyboard and learn to play (have been putting this off for how many years??  The time is now!)
  • Do some patchwork/quilting...I've missed it...
  • Travel....  to places near and far..

I'm sure I'll think of more.

Will finish the year with this...
no explanation necessary

I hope 2017 is all you wish for...and then some...
See you next year :))

Thursday, December 29, 2016

After the rain

After a day of rain yesterday there was plenty of green on my walk early this morning...

 this is my favourite section of the walk

 the green, green grass of home

The waterbirds were out in force...

Then, later this morning, as I was feeling in need of a little retail therapy, I walked down to the Salvation Army op shop to pick up a few bargains...

A pretty summer skirt (which was half price), a ball of variegated yarn (minus the band), and 2 little old ink bottles (just because)...
 a grand total of $5.65

Which leads me on to Yarn Along...

I've been knitting more children's beanies for Ronald McDonald House.  They wanted cheerful colours.  What do you think...will these do?  As I use one strand of variegated and one of plain, I thought the yarn from the op shop would prove useful.

Still reading Candle in the Darkness from last week.  I'm enjoying it, and  despite the fact that it is partly a romance and I don't like romance novels, I am finding the interwoven facts of the antislavery movement and the 1861-1865 Civil War very interesting.

Also working my way through Quicksand which consists of vignettes of Mankell's thoughts and life.

Will leave you with this quote from Mankell...

"I am myself and no one else.  I am me."

I like the thought that I am unique, which, some might say, is just as well...

Monday, December 26, 2016

T'was the day after Christmas....

...and all through the house,
not a creature was stirring...

Not even me!

After a big day yesterday it's been all quiet on the home front.  I did go for my river walk this morning, then did an hour in the garden before it started to rain.  It's been much cooler today, although the sun is out again now and it is starting to warm up.

Thought you might like to see some photos from the Christmas Day Lunch yesterday.  They had 80 booked in, but I think they ended up with around 70 turning up...
 some of the guests

The young folk from the Mennonite Church came to sing...
they sang 3 Christmas hymns, concluding with Silent Night

Marnie, Denver and I went for a walk around the river after our tea last night...

Remember this photo of the swan family I posted a few months ago...
mother and 6 babies

They now look like this... 

I think the one on the left is the adult, but you can hardly tell them apart now, except that the young ones are slightly grey still.

And for some reason they like to spend long periods of time floating around with one leg stuck up in the air...then they change legs...
does anyone know why?

Boxing Day blessings from me!

Sunday, December 25, 2016

I'm dreaming of...

...a white Christmas...
but it's only a dream (sigh)
Christmas Day here already!  Will be heading out soon to the Free Community Lunch, to help in the kitchen. 
Last I heard they had about 65 booked in.  Turkey, ham, roast vegies and all the trimmings.  Pudding and custard or fruit salad and icecream for dessert.
 It's going to be over 30'C today!!
The Mennonite folk are coming to sing!
Merry Christmas one and all!
Enjoy your day, whatever you are doing!
extra kisses for christmas :))

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Now you see it! Now you don't!

I've had the painter in.

Remember the horrid red wall in my bedroom...


And see the dark red behind the bookshelves?...

Also gone...

So much better!!

Still crocheting away on my lap blanket, knitting toddler beanies for charity and reading Candle in the Darkness (which I picked up at the op shop).

And here's one I took of the jungle garden recently...
I've got a cold!!  Woe is me :((
Going to make some chicken soup (for the body) and knit/crochet/read (for the soul)...
I hope whatever you are's making you happy!!

Thursday, December 15, 2016

The north wind doth blow...

...but for us it doesn't bring snow!

For Yarn Along...

Almost finished the cream (although it looks white in the photo)/blue/green baby blanket, just need to do the edging.

Have had this one - Quicksand - on my bookshelf for awhile.  Thought I might dip into it...

These are going off to a couple of charities within Australia...

9 Beanies
5 pairs of fingerless gloves
2 baby blankets
And a partridge in a pear tree!!

And here's the recipe for the Anzac biscuits I mentioned making in my previous post...

Anzac Biscuits

1 cup (90g) rolled oats
1 cup (150g) plain flour
1 cup (220g) firmly packed brown sugar
1/2 cup (40g) dessicated coconut
125g butter
2 tablespoons golden syrup
1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda

Combine oats, flour, sugar and coconut in large bowl.
Melt butter and add syrup, water and soda.

Stir into dry ingredients.

Roll into small balls, slightly flatten, place on greased/lined baking trays and bake at 150'C/300F for about 20 minutes.  Cool on trays...although if you remove from trays while they are still hot they stay a bit soft in the middle...just the way I like them :))


Very windy here today, so thought it appropriate to finish with this poem...

Christmas Day

Words John Wheeler             Music William G James

The north wind is tossing the leaves.
The red dust is over the town;
The sparrows are under the eaves,
And the grass in the paddock is brown;
As we lift up our voices and sing,
To the Christ-child the heavenly King.

The tree ferns in green gullies sway;
The cool stream flows silently by;
The joy bells are greeting the day,
And the chimes are adrift in the sky,
As we lift up our voices and sing,
To the Christ-child the heavenly King.

A north wind in Australia is a hot wind.)


Time for morning coffee...

Enjoy your day!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Great minds...

Funny how Lisa and I were on the same wavelength today even though we are on different sides of the world...

She talked about not putting decorations on her tree.  I put some on mine, but decided I didn't like them...
 so took them off again!

I do have lights on it, but unless they are lit you can't see them...
 I usually don't light them...just did it for the photo

And Lisa made cookies today!  So did I!!
Anzac Biscuits

Talk about great minds :)))

Thursday, December 8, 2016


Colletta has a penpal sign up on her blog.  It ends 19th December, so if you like writing letters and would like a penpal you'll need to sign up before then.
Here's the LINK.

To make you smile...Ode to Joy

Bet you can't watch it without smiling! 
 I couldn't :))) 

Yarn it!

For Yarn Along...

I've finished the cream/pink/yellow baby blanket I've been working on and started a cream/blue/green one...

Reading the following...

A Reason to Hope by Laura Smucker
The Bible Jesus Read by Philip Yancey

And to get us into the Christmas spirit...

From By the Shores of Silver Lake by Laura Ingalls Wilder...

"Laura and Mary had wanted to make mittens for Carrie, but they had not enough yarn.  There was a little white yarn, and a little red, and a little blue, but not enough of any colour to make mittens.
'I know!' Mary said.  'We'll made the hands white, and the wrists in red and blue stripes!'  Every morning while Carrie was making her bed in the attic, Laura and Mary had knitted as fast as they could; when they heard her coming down stairs, they hid the knitting in Mary's knitting basket.  The mittens were there now, finished."

I wish it did! (sigh)

Monday, December 5, 2016


"We have a giant evergreen in the centre of the village, and this is decorated.  Since we have no street lights, we are spared the festoons of coloured bulbs, we have the stars and the tree.  The village store hangs wreaths in the windows, and the farmhouses have candles and wreathed doorways...
   At Stillmeadow, we use hemlock boughs from the upper woodlot to decorate the old narrow mantels.  They are not sprayed with gold or silver.  They are just green boughs, for it is the green of evergreen boughs that symbolised immortality."
(Stillmeadow Sampler - Gladys Taber)

Thursday, December 1, 2016

red and green and in between

I was debating whether to put up my christmas tree.  Not a real live one unfortunately, when I came across my little Royal Albert angel and decided she needed a tree to keep her company, so tomorrow it's 'putting up tree day'...
 she has a little music box in her that plays 'Oh Tannenbaum'

On the Yarn Along front, I've finished the cream/yellow/blue baby blanket I was working on, and have now started a smaller one in cream/yellow/pink granny squares.  I like to have a few made up to give as gifts as and when needed...

Finished reading Emma and really enjoyed it.  Now reading the abridged version of the true story from the movie Hacksaw Ridge...

And for a bit of green to go with my red (roses), the river the other morning...

"Christmas was coming.
The little log house was almost buried in snow. Great drifts were banked against the walls and windows, and in the morning when Pa onened the door, there was a wall of snow as high as Laura's head.  Pa took the shovel and shovelled it away, and then he shovelled a path to the barn, where the horses and cows where snug and warm in their stalls."
(from Little House in the Big Woods - Laura Ingalls Wilder)

Thursday, November 24, 2016


early morning by the river

Author Unknown
Perhaps we have not counted
Our blessings one by one;
Perhaps we have not bothered
Rememb’ring whence they come;
And maybe we have taken
For granted all the things
The good Lord has created,
And by His hand He brings.
The autumn hills all glorious,
A golden field of grain,
A sunset’s dazzling splendor,
The Milky Way’s great plain,
The starry sky’s sublimity,
The ocean’s mighty power,
The wonder of creation in
The petal of a flower.
If we’ve failed to clearly show
By word or act or deed
A thankful heart unto Him
Who fills our daily need,
May we show our gratitude
Today – and count the sum
Of all the blessings that we have
And name them one by one.

Although we do not generally celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia, I wish those of you who do...
A happy and blessed time with family and friends!
And remember to find something everyday to be thankful for :)

Thursday, November 17, 2016


Spent an hour and a half in the garden earlier this morning trying to tame and cut back some of the rampant spring growth...

When it got too hot, I came inside for my morning coffee, toasted sourdough and Castello blue vein cheese, and browsed my new mags I bought this morning on my way back from my river walk...

Started with Victoria magazine...
 such lovely well written articles and beautiful photos

I thought of you Lisa as I read this one by Frances Mayes :)
On the Yarn Along front...
Sewing up the hem on an op shop skirt (I shortened it a bit)
 remember this linen tea towel I bought recently?

 It's now a cushion cover!!

Continuing to work on my baby blanket...

And reading from Streetlights to Stars and finding it very interesting and enjoyable!

My friend Debbie wanted my tomato sauce recipe.  Actually it's my friend Lyn's recipe, but I'm sure she won't mind me sharing it...
Lyn's best ever tomato sauce recipe
3kg/6 1/2lb tomatoes
250g/1/2lb onions
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon curry powder
200ml/ 7 ounces apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons golden syrup/molasses
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
500g/1 pound sugar
Chop the tomatoes, onion and garlic roughly with a Bamix (a stick mixer), or put in a blender (or food processor) – in batches - (which is what I did as I don't have a Bamix).
Put tomato mix and all other ingredients into a big pot and boil till desired consistency is reach. I think I boiled for a few hours – it depends how think you want it. Bottle and seal while hot.
I added some extras to Lyn's original recipe – cardamom, cumin, Tabasco sauce, allspice, bay leaf.
I also used white and brown sugar.
I didn't sterilise my jars/bottles, but washed and dried them and heated them slightly in the microwave (you could use the oven) before pouring the hot sauce into them and sealing.
My sauce/relish was quite spicy, but have had lots of positive comments about it :)

My head is aching a bit today (due to weather fronts/troughs coming through), so think I'll need to take one of my migraine meds and take it easy for a bit.  Not that that is any hardship...  :))

Enjoy your day...whatever season (of the year, or life) you are in!!


Friday, November 11, 2016

It's a date!

Date slice that is...

My friend Brenda asked for my date slice recipe...

It's actually Valerie's recipe with a few changes on my part.  Here's the original recipe:

Valerie's Date Slice

4oz/125g melted butter
4oz/125g sugar

Mix butter and sugar together. 

Stir in 1 beaten egg.

Add 1 cup of chopped dates
And 1 cup of self raising flour

Spread in greased and/or lined baking dish/tray and bake at 350F/180C  for 15-20 minutes or until cooked and slightly browned.

So simple!!

Lynda's version:  I only used 100g of brown sugar and substituted some of the flour with ground almonds.  I also added some cardamom, allspice and ginger to the mix.


For Yarn Along this week...

Decided to work on some crocheted baby blankets.  Quite a few of the ladies in the Mennonite church are having babies soon, so doing one in cream/blue/yellow, but will also do a cream/pink/green.

And I found this little bear pattern HERE, so thought I'd make some to go with the baby blankets, and also they would be a good size to go in the Operation Christmas Child shoeboxes, and the pattern could be easily adapted to be a little doll too.  I'm a bit late for this year, but can make a start for next...

Browsing and enjoying this book about Beatrix Potter.
Lunch time...chicken soup!  Then some crochet time with a cup of tea, and some letter writing.
  My head (migraine) is not too good today so am having an easy, inside day.
Enjoy your day!