Thursday 24 May 2012

Some Rabbity Fun

I've snapped Twitch a thousand times and want to share how he spends some of his time....

How rabbits spend their evenings...

How rabbits spend their afternoons...

And How rabbits spend their mornings getting into all sorts of mischief and mayhem!

How rabbits relax after a busy morning...

and how he was when he first came to stay...

Love this boy and he brings such joy to our days.

A Walk on Tern Island

What do you do when you are feeling very sad? I head out to the beach, especially in Winter when we have clear days like this week. In the afternoon the 'breeze' off the Indian Ocean is very strong and kite surfers make the most of this shallow bay that has formed between Tern Island and the main beach...12 years ago Tern Island was indeed an island, a large sandbar that kept growing until finally it has turned into a spit. It is a sanctuary for birds...

You can see Penguin Island in the background, there is a Fairy Penguin Conservation Centre on that island as well as the pelican breeding area...

I was delighted to find this pile of seaweed mimicking the shape of the small island on the of the local fishing boats is on the left, Warnbro Sound is rich in crayfish, crabs and all manner of fish...

The seaweeds are quite beautiful...

and these twisted and worn roots look like old rope....

Looking back toward the foreshore at Safety Bay....

hehe I look like I'm on stilts.....

...and perhaps I should have read these notices before I went a-walking...

Hope you enjoyed our little walk, it certainly cleared my head and showed me how fortunate I am to live in such a beautiful place.

My poor Dad is having his last 8 teeth removed today, I could cry thinking about that but he said "Don't you worry about it!" Hopefully having full dentures will be easier for him now. I have to go to Mandurah for my 3 monthly venesection this morning...what fun!

Bye bye for now,
Love Sue

Tuesday 22 May 2012

A Tribute to Uncle Bob

The first of my "blood" aunts and uncles passed away yesterday at 4pm, UK time, his beloved wife, 2 daughters and grand-daughter were by his side.
Both my parents are the youngest of three children and the health and longevity on both sides of my family is quite remarkable. Uncle Bob was my godfather and bought me my bible when I was christened in 1957. He also delighted in telling me that as tot I assured him that my name was, in fact, Tudor Barbara Gardner!

Robert William Kelsall was Mum's elder brother and the oldest at 85yrs of all these uncles and my aunt Jess, 56years ago this week he met Joan Richardson who was to become his wife and lifelong best friend. They have two adult daughters, Joanne and Deborah, who have both been nursing for many years, and three grandchildren. Here they are on their wedding day with Grandma Kelsall on the left and Mr and Mrs Richardson on the right.

Uncle Bob was born in Preston on October 5th, 1926 and moved with his parents to Lancaster when he was about 4-5 yrs old. They lived in rather squalid conditions in Capshaws Yard where they shared a water tap and toilet with several other familes.

 Fortunately they were able to move into a new council house on Cedar Road where his younger brother and sister were born several years later. Mum recalls being bullied as a child and telling her big brother...he threw a tennis ball down the street at the offender and hit him on the back of the head as he sought to escape!!
He must have been a brilliant young student at Lancaster Grammar School as his interests were wide and varied, his beautiful baritone voice was a delight, he enjoyed mountaineering and fell-walking, photography, even printing his own photos, and worked as a chemist/pharmacist at a Glaxo for many years. A career change saw him lecturing in business studies at the college.

Here are Uncle Bob, Auntie Joan, myself, Mum and Grandma Kel at Redcar on the east coast in the late 50s,

Newspaper articles record his love of music and song....Auntie Joan also taught piano and played at their church, they both belonged to local music and operatic societies,

 Later in life he was the oldest in his computer class at the age 75yrs and also enjoyed delving into our Kelsall family history and sharing wonderful stories. He enjoyed writing to the newspapers, becoming very active in the bid to save the local post office from being closed, it was closed anyway! Uncle Bob loved to watch cricket on TV, it must be in our genes! If you google the Tryfan Cannon you can find many photos of the incredible rock he is standing on the end of in the next photo...

Here are a few of photos of the lovely village where he and Auntie Joan live in a 400yr old cottage on the village green, the house's hallway was once an open alley that sheep were driven through onto the green!

 In 2008 we had a wonderful visit there as Mum and Dad were in the UK at the same time as Joe and I, we had a lovely lunch at the local pub and had our waitress take a few pics of us all together, this is my favourite, Bob, Marge and Tom together again for the first time in far too long!

Joe, myself, Uncle Bob, Mum, Unka Tom and Auntie Joan waiting for our soup!

There is so much more that I simply don't know or remember about uncle Bob and as Mum and Uncle Tom reminisce I will add to this post.

Rest in peace dear man, you have been an inspiration to us all and has been a privilege to know and love you.

Friday 18 May 2012

My Hibiscus, Part 2

I bought this shrub about 8 years ago and planted it in the garden. It struggled in the dry sandy soil, was broken when a chair fell onto it and I was sure it would die. So I carefully dug it up 2 years ago and placed it in the this large pot, I can move it into the shade when it's very hot and it has re-paid me by flowering endlessly. I can't remember it's name but think it's named after a US President from days gone by...any suggestions?
What I can't get over is that every flower is quite different.....

The only sad part is that they have no perfume!


Simple Oaty Biscuits

We have a nice shop locally called The Pantryman where you can buy all manners of grains/beans/flours etc loose so just as much as you need for a particular recipe or just a little to try to see if you like it. I had rolled triticale and rolled barley as well as rolled oats I wanted to use so I modified this recipe to suit us.

I really liked the ease of measuring here, whole cups of the main ingredients and melted butter make a quick bake! This made about 30 biscuits.

You'll need to mix together.....

11/2 cups rolled oats(or whatever rolled grains you wish)
1/2 cup dessicated coconut
1 cup plain wholemeal flour
1/2 cup sugar

Melt in small pan

125gms butter
3T water
1T treacle/syrup/honey/maple syrup
1/2t bicarb of soda

Stir into the dry mix and shape into walnut balls, place on greased tray and bake at 170C for about 15minutes.

Cake in a Mug

Recently a friend on facebook was talking about those Cake in a Cup recipes and we found one that uses Nutella! Joe loved this so this is what I did...

Mixed together very thoroughly and place into 2 mugs, microwave one at a time on high for about 2 minutes but please keep an eye on it!

4T self-raising flour
2T sugar
2T cocoa powder
1 egg
1T oil
2T milk
2-3T Nutella
a few choc chips

I haven't photographed the biscuits and this photo of the Nutella pud isn't much chop sorry. It was good with some yoghurt and fruit on top!

Ahhh another week almost over, I have some pretty hibiscus flowers to show you hopefully later today, yes, it's either a feast or a famine at this blog!

The breadmaker is on already, I'll make some Minestrone style soup for our lunches with some cooked Puy lentils I had in the freezer and we have leftover lasagne for dinner...we're certainly doing very well on Rhonda's "Eat less meat" challenge!

I do hope you enjoy your weekend
Love from Sue

PS Priscilla is home from the hospital and feeling sore and tired but very happy.

PPS in all my recipes I use these abbreviations
T = tablespoon
t = teaspoon

Sunday 13 May 2012

Happy Mother's Day

With much love to my own Mum as well as all the mothers celebrating today, I hope you feel the love...
I found this poem on-line but no-one knows the author...
  • My Mother kept a garden,
    a garden of the heart,
    She planted all the good things
    that gave my life it's start.
    She turned me to the sunshine
    and encouraged me to dream,
    Fostering and nurturing
    the seeds of self-esteem...
    And when the winds and rain came,
    she protected me enough-
    But not too much because she knew
    I'd need to stand up strong and tough.
    Her constant good example
    always taught me right from wrong-
    Markers for my pathway
    that will last a lifetime long.
    I am my Mother's garden.
    I am her legacy-
    And I hope today she feels the love

    reflected back from me... ♥

    Dani (and Paul) bought me a glorious white orchid plant and it's special food, the card that Dani had chosen, written in and embellished was truly heart-warming. Later in the day I found this photo on-line and like the quote too, thank you Dani and Paul xxx

    It's Wednesday night now and today we went up to Northbridge to the New Moon Dim Sum restaurant for was wonderful, bright young wait staff, delicious food and a lift there and back...thank you "Boys" xx

    And how's this for exciting....cousins Bob and Karen's youngest, Christina, is going to represent Great Britain in judo very soon, she's a talented gymnast too and still in her early teens...must ask if I can share some photos of her in action...


Saturday 12 May 2012

Coffee Cake and Mocha Pudding

There's been a lot of talk about coffee flavoured cake at the forum recently, including some stunning looking coffee cupcakes that one member posted a photo of. Rhonda has a lovely recipe here but as she says it's no good for any-one on a diet so I had to think about something lighter. As with the whole orange cake recipe I wanted to be able to use the food processor as it makes baking so much quicker and easier for me these days(of achy arms).

You'll need.....

225gms of sugar
75gms walnuts

Blitz these together until they are fine and add

150gms of soft butter
3 eggs
2T strong cold coffee

once they are smooth add

225gms (wholemeal) flour
3 teaspoons of baking powder
and just enough plain yogurt or milk to make a nice thick batter.

Bake at 180C for 50-60 minutes and then ice or decorate as you prefer.

I made a simple icing with 3/4 cup sifted icing sugar(I dropped the bag on the floor at this stage and had to stop and sweep and mop before I could continue!), 2T cocoa powder, 1T soft butter and just enough cold coffee to have an icing that would coat the back of a spoon.

Earlier in the week I saw a fancy French recipe in a library book that looked delicious. Joe had left a large mug of sweet milky coffee so I warmed it in a small saucepan, mixed together 3teaspoons of cornflour and a splash of milk and used the whisk to make a thick sauce. I added 1T of cocoa powder to give it a mocha flavour and served half of it hot one night and then let the other chill was like "Instant Pudding" but much better or like an old fashioned blanc-mange and I really will be making lots of more of this.
Sorry about the fuzzy photo here...and I sprinkled a little coconut on the set dessert.

I'm not sure what the weekend holds, Paul is going to phone regarding a Mother's Day surprise for me(oh dear) and I know I will see my Mum briefly before she plays golf with Dad.
I do hope that you are able to spend time with your familyand  friends too, that's really all that counts.... need for fancy new sports cars or jewelry ;)

Bye bye for now,
Love from Sue

Friday 11 May 2012

Our Garden, Autumn

We're having a real burst of late summer today with 29C forecast for Perth. The sky is bright blue and although it's only 10C outside right now it will be very warm later on. Yesterday was also nice so I took a few photos outside...these "spring bulbs" have made a head start, they're narcissus and will have a lovely fragrance very soon...

Tomato flowers? In May? Yes, let's see what happens here shall we, they may be killed off if the temp drops very low...

Italian flat-leaved parsley, this has come up on it's own at the bottom of a drainpipe so is getting lots of water, I love these volunteers!..

Another "work in progress" here...I've read that if you pop your celery core into the ground it will take root and provide lots of fresh leaves...I don't like this one's chances as celery leaves are Twitch's Grand Passion...he just hasn't seen it yet!...Celery leaves can be used like parsley, they really are full of lovely flavour and enhance almost any dish...

Ripe tomatoes...yes...these have struggled and have a few blemishes but will be enjoyed non-the-less. This means that we have had ripe tomatoes from October to May which is a really long growing season and actually surprised me...

Our Eureka lemons are almost ripe, some of them are huge. The tree is over 5 yrs old and has always lived in this pot, now that I have the Bokashi compost bucket the fruit trees are enjoying regular compost drinks and I'm watching to see if makes much difference...

This large habenero plant came up from seeds I harvested from the seedling I bought at Fremantle Markets several years ago...this is the first time it has had fruit...I wasn't sure it was a chili plant for a long time but left it just in's the reward for patience. Some will go into the freezer and I probably make some Tabasco type sauce with the others...

This is a fully ripe habenero chile...they are gorgeous but fiery!

Here's our young comfrey pant, $3 from a local garden shop...I wanted to make some salve to heal cuts and scratches but still haven't got the beeswax I need. Comfrey is also a great help in the compost pile or bin as it helps the other plants to break down more quickly...this one has lots of new growth...

So that's our garden at the moment, there is rocket coming up fast and plenty of fresh herbs still growing, I've saved loads of basil seeds for later in the year and some capsicum seeds too. The eggplant shrub still hasn't produced any fruit and has probably left it's run a little late!

Do you have plans for the weekend? It's Mother's Day here Down Under so I'll visit Ma on Sunday morning before she goes off to play golf. Hopefully I'll be able to make it to Jessica's soccer match too!

Have a great weekend,
Love from Me

Monday 7 May 2012

My Weekend

I was out and about this weekend. On Saturday Joe had a specialist appt in Fremantle so we had a nice walk around the town after that. I needed more bokashi powder and on the way to the Planet Ark shop we popped into Le Forum, a lovely shop selling French literature etc...I spied some Santons on the top shelf and asked their price...oooooo I knew I had a little Christmas money left so treated myself to the beautiful lavender seller below. The two smaller santons came from Paris several years ago and I love the story behind them. Here is another nice link I also have 5 tiny ones that Olivia likes to put to bed in a matchbox! The new one wears a padded skirt which was an authentic way the Provencal women kept warm in winter.

 On Sunday morning I went to Burswood for lunch for Mum and Dad and took a few photos of plants and leaves while waiting for the bus on Gilmore Avenue, not sure where this leaf came from but when I held it up the light Maureen exclaimed that the veins looked like gold thread...

I thought this was a large mushroom but Mum felt it was a toadstool because it lacked a thread growing around the stem. We agreed it was a funghi just like Dad(fun guy)!

It's still raining heavily  but Joe managed to get a nice photo of the perigee moon of the last two nights, it's the biggest moon of the year, gorgeous isn't it?

The bread-maker is on and the bread is almost ready, we love our home-made bread. In the slow cooker is a large duck breast, bacon, chorizo and pork sausage casserole that will have white beans added to it later this afternoon, a wonderful fragrant dish based roughly on the French Cassoulet recipes.
I do hope you have a wonderful week, do you have plans or are you going with the flow like me?
Love from Sue