Sunday, 19 April 2020

Visitors and A Walk

     Staying strictly within the confines of social distancing Elizabeth and the Lads managed a visit and I managed a walk around the block...    David had trouble in the dinosaur suit as it is adult size...
                                      






It was Eliz and Cody's birthdays yesterday, just had to send $$ to their bank accounts as we couldn't see them or shop for them...
I've done the 15 minutes walk around a nearby block, Day 1 went well and I saw a huge flock of pelicans going home to roost. Day 2 was hard work going up that slight incline. Day 3 Joe came with me and talked non-stop the whole way round(he hasn't been invited again). Day 4 I took these photos and could have walked further I suppose...this is around 5.30pm, it's getting dark so quickly now...









It's been raining all night which is a lovely change and to celebrate I am making a beef and potato stew for our tea tonight,

Hope you are well, I really do
Love Sue
xxx

Thursday, 16 April 2020

Just Some Photos

Hallo Every-one, how are you managing at the moment, such tragic times for so many families plus the anxiety and stress of loss of income and the fear of becoming ill. I'm finding that being at home gives me a false sense of 'there's nothing really happening' but the TV news channel begs to differ.

Very quiet here as expected, we haven't been out for weeks now apart from a trip to collect our prescriptions from the chemist, I drove and stayed in the car while Joe went into the chemist...he hasn't driven at all since his car accident late November when he gashed his head and wrecked the car, there's never a dull moment is there?



This purple and lavender blanket is finished now...such fun and easy knit but so effective with the variety of colours and textures...have begun a nice chevron stitch one now and it's lovely to see the zig zags take shape...more anon...



Still in the garden small things are going on...a fungus came up in one pot...such a pretty colour


Next to the washing line a Golden Orb spider has spun an enormous web, the strands are surprisingly strong, she has bundled up many flies and was working on a large blow-fly when I took this. I haven't seen her mate for a few days, he's probably one of those bundles she's saving for a rainy day..


Elizabeth and David are making some hilarious home movies while in lock-down, I am trying to work out how to share them here; today's efforts involve a T-Rex suit and a spectacular fall from a log lol I think they need to go onto you tube first before I can upload them, Eliz is using Tik Tok atm the moment.

I made a yummy meatloaf by squeezing the meat from 500 gms of free range chicken sausages(the chickens are free range not the sausages) and fried off capsicum, onion etc, an egg, rolled oats and lots of herbs. It had a nice firm texture and was easy to slice for sandwiches too.

So stay safe my friends, stay well and make the most of this time at home if you are lucky enough to be able to stay there,
Love from Sue


I wonder if this link to Elizabeth's you tube will work now?

Tuesday, 31 March 2020

March 31st and Pear's Soap

Would you believe that my first on-line purchase after being in lock-down was for 6 precious bars of Pear's soap?

It's an emotional attachment I have because this is the soap that my Nana Gardner always used....I've been buying for Dad(for his comfort too) for several years now and the amazing perfume it has always makes me happy.

And those iconic posters of a chubby toddler bathing have never gone out of fashion have they...


Activities at Elizabeth's yesterday included Caleb's blonde eyebrows being painted which made him look much older than his 13 years, Caleb measuring every-one with a chain made from paper clips and they also started a bucket list jar with small notes about what they'd like to do "afterwards"


Times like this every-one should have a gratitude jar too...perhaps read out the notes at the end of each week...Pear's soap would be in mine lol



Uncle Tom(85) has sown some vegetable seeds in his UK greenhouse for the first time in years, his childhood was during WW2 and his parents had a Victory Garden, chickens, a goat and Nana knit their socks and jumpers etc. Uncle Tom has a spectacular garden of flowering trees etc and grows orchids too.

I was able to order on-line at Woolworths supermarket...they're so busy that the first opening for delivery is in 6 days but that's OK too, we have enough of everything to get through another week. That pasta sauce last night was very good with a few tweaks and some fresh basil, today I have some pork mince and apple patties and I'll make mashed potatoes and frozen vegs. I made a lovely soup of potatoes, cabbage, cauliflower and onion in an OXO cube stock and blended it until smooth, so simple and just using up bits and pieces from the fridge.

Old age pensioners were given an extra $750 by the Australian govt yesterday to spend to help the economy...not sure how much will be spent or hoarded but at least they're trying.

OK off to test my soap in a nice hot shower...it truly is the little things that count in the end isn't it?

Love to you all
Sue

Edited to add this...it appears the eyebrow experimenting is going a little too far

Mandy is a good egg alright lol


Monday, 30 March 2020

March 2020

Hallo Every-one, rather over-due for an update methinks.

So the whole world is in the grip of a pandemic, a virus named Corona Virus or Covid-19. It can be fatal for more vulnerable members of society so several entire countries are in lock-down...ie stay at home unless you are in an essential job, need to shop for food or medications. These strategies have come gradually as the virus spreads rapidly and people are still socializing despite being told to keep 1.5 to 2 metres away from non-family members. Restaurants, bars, cinemas closed last week and we are restricted to 20 minute visits to nursing homes. Any-one returning from overseas must self-isolate for 2 weeks and there are some big fines for any-one not complying with this law.

Today our schools have closed for teaching, they remain open to supervise students whose parents are working. My daughter has been home-schooling since the start of the year as they prepare for their bus trip, Jess's school closed 2 weeks ago and Charlie has been kept at home to avoid infection. Cody is doing his TAFE work from home at Grandad's...not an ideal situation for a young man to be so isolated but at least he is safe and has a roof over his head.

Which brings me to Dad(86 yrs) who has been in a nursing home for 25 days now and is very unhappy...he cannot understand why he is there with all those 'old people' but he truly could not live at home any longer as he needs constant care which we are not able to provide. He blames me for his 'incarceration' although the hospital doctors told us it would be unsafe for him to go home, his short term memory is awful but the cancer still hasn't manifested itself with any pain etc. I do hope he'll settle soon, he's also fallen 4 times since he went in.

Joe and I have stayed at home for almost 3 weeks now, I shopped carefully before we started this and was also very grateful for our small stock-pile which I learned about from Rhonda's blog and the forum when it was running. I've been out twice for fresh fruit and vegies which are now running low so I am trying to order on-line from Woolworths but they are so busy that I can't place my order.

https://down---to---earth.blogspot.com/2018/06/the-simple-art-of-stockpiling.html

Joe usually stays at home so this doesn't mean much change to him but I am enjoying the time to actually rest and also to catch up things such as de-cluttering our clothes, pruning shrubs outdoors, growing lettuce, silverbeet and lots of fresh herbs...even having time to sweep regularly makes such a difference. I have cut up old clothes to make toilet wipes (google family wipes) as toilet paper of all things was the first thing to disappear off the supermarket shelves when panic buying began about 3 weeks ago!

I'd been to library and borrowed 8 novels before they closed for the duration so I am reading them now.Foxtel have given us free documentaries, I am really enjoying that...Alaska is now on my bucket list.
 I'd also bought lots of yarn from Spotlight while it was on special and have been making these basic small blankets from them....250 sts of 8ply on a 4mm circular needle and then alternating the colours and using a wide variety of stitches in bands of 12 rows



This one is plain garter stitch but there's nothing plain about really and it's so simple I can knit it anywhere...a lot was done while Dad was in hospital for 11 weeks before he moved to the Aged Care home...


Dinner tonight will be pasta with a sauce cobbled together left-over roast chicken, frozen red capsicum and some rather watery bolognaise sauce I'd made and frozen...will boost it with chili, anchovies and olives .

I am so very grateful for so many things these days, our home is comfortable, we have power and running water and plenty to eat. Our families are safe too and that means more than anything.

How are you managing? Are you locked down where you live? Do you have any tips for easy meals or simple pastimes for children?

Big love, stay safe
Sue

Sunday, 17 November 2019

Hallo

Hi every-one, I haven't been blogging as my dear Dad(86) is rather ill now and I am taking him to chemotherapy and lots of medical appointments too...in the words of a friend 'I haven't got time to scratch myself!"
It didn't help that I got locked out of here either lol!



I've been knitting more than ever as it does really relax me so I'll just add some photos for my record as much as anything. A Lily dress from Tikki on Ravelry...


A cardi made with King Cole yarn and pattern...


An acrylic lap rug/afghan for a grandson...I am going to make each Aussie grandchild something similar...


Gardening is nice in Spring(we had a record for November 40.4C in Perth yesterday)


BBQ any-one?



Elizabeth and David helped me establish  a raised garden bed over Winter...the tomatoes cover the whole bed these days...


We lost Joe's Mum on August 1st, to 'old age' I suppose you'd call it. Maman(86) made me very welcome in the family although with my lack of French and her lack of English our chats were very brief. Her ashes were taken back to Gaspe where she was born in Quebec Province.



So that's us for now...I miss even reading every-one's blogs so please forgive my lack of comments...things will change once again...swings and roundabouts of our lives, eh?

xxxx

Monday, 24 June 2019

Curtis's Pumpkin Soup et al

The two big supermarkets here publish a free monthly recipe book using products they sell. I don't always pick it up but this month Coles had slow cooker recipes and a chorizo, pumpkin and white bean recipe by an Aussie chef named Curtis Stone.

My adaptation
1/3 cup chopped chorizo...and seriously any tasty meat or mushroom etc will work(sage leaves?)

large chopped onion and carrot
5-ish cups of chopped pumpkin
3 chopped garlic cloves
drained can of white beans
1/2 cup cream or sour cream
salt and pepper

saute the meat and remove from pan
saute onion and carrot, then garlic and pumpkin
add 1/3 cup of beans
cover with water or chicken stock
cook until tender, blend and season well
add the cream and the rest of the beans and heat through
To serve sprinkle with the fried chorizo or mushrooms
Bon appetite 



We bought a Sunbeam Pie Maker recently and have been enjoying some delicious home-made pies, simple make a thick 'stew' or pie filling and the pies cook in under 15 minutes without having the big oven on for ages.
My two elder grandson are flat-sharing these days...I packed up a couple of hot meals for them...no-one starves on my watch...I spent a whole $10 at the op-shop on 2 Pyrex dishes/platters, the big pasta bowl you can just see here and 4 kitchen utensils. These pies are a chicken, potato and corn mix...


These meat and tatie pies were my all time favourite as a child in Lancaster and Morecambe, I had no idea they were a local treat...I thought the whole world must love them nearly as much as me! Elizabeth and David were most appreciative lol


I finished little Darcie's cardigans, the second one looks a bit lop-sided unfortunately...I hope she is too busy running around for (m)any people to notice! Those wooden buttons come from Spotlight and at $2 for 6 are very good value...she will love the little hearts...



Off now to drop Joe at the podiatrist's and take Dad to the shops
No rest for the wicked!
Love,
Sue

Thursday, 13 June 2019

Feather and Fan Keyhole Scarf

Details of the scarf I made as promised. I've used that lovely Jeans yarn that I bought at Spolight but sadly they no longer sell it.



You'll need

size UK8 or 4mm needles
around 100gms 8ply wool(perhaps a little more)

Feather and Fan is worked over an 11 stitch repeat pattern plus whatever you'd like for a garter st border...I've added 4 sts at each side here and so cast on 41sts. ie 4 sts per border and 3 x pattern repeat.

Row 1 Knit to end
Row 2 K4, purl to last 4 sts and K4
Row 3 K4, (P2tog) twice, (M1, K1)3 times, M1, **(p2 tog) 4 times, M1 K1 3times, M1** repeat from ** to last 8 sts, (P2 tog) twice and K4
Row 4 K4, purl to last 4 sts, K4

I continued with the pattern until the work was around 20cms/8inches long then made the 'keyhole' by working on the first 15sts until that part was about 10cms long. Place them on a sts holder and work the next two parts to the same length~~ the middle 11sts and the last 15sts give a nice even width and also make it easy to keep to the pattern.
Once done you simpley work across the three sections to make them one again and continue in pattern until the work is about 36 cms in length or when the two ends are the same length once you have threaded the end through the keyhole(I placed the work on a spare length of wool and tried it on for size.)

There are lots of patterns available for this type of scarf, a beginner could make a simple garter sts scarf perhaps?

Hooroo for now,
Love, Sue
xxx

*M1 make 1 st...I knit into the wool in between 2 sts to form another  st or you could knit into front and then the back of the knit sts to increase that way

Just adding this pattern too after searching high and low for it, I made this cowl in 2015 with a 200gm ball of Bloom from Bendigo Woolen Mills, it can be worn twisted and doubled for extra cosiness

Purl Ridge Cowl