Tuesday 29 October 2013

Old Fashioned Rock Cakes

One of Dad's oldest and corniest jokes is "Rock cakes for tea. Take your pick!" when he knew Mum had made these traditional treats. They are much like a scone but quicker to make because there's no rolling and cutting involved. The slice in the background was made by our Gordon at High School over 20years ago is still cherished by this mum...

You'll need

2 cups of wholemeal self raising flour
125 gms butter
2/3 cup of brown sugar
1 cup of dried fruit(anything goes)
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 egg, beaten with about 2 T milk

Preheat oven to 200C
Rub the butter into the flour( you could use a food processor to do this)
Mix in the sugar, spice, fruit and then the egg mixture, add a little more milk if it's too dry but it should be a 'stiff' mixture.
Place tablespoons of the mixture onto a greased tray and bake for around 15minutes (I patted mine down and smoothed them a little this time)
They freeze well or are best eaten fresh

I've been to Bunnings and the library this morning. Jamie Oliver's new book was there so I grabbed that..."Save with Jamie" and has lots of thrifty tips for kitchen and meals.
 I also saw this amazing $2,000 BBQ in Bunnings and had a little day-dream...it even has a sink!

The Christmas Decoration Swap is in full swing at the Down to Earth forums, our friend Chel has this gorgeous Calico Angel tute on her blog that you may enjoy making.

Hope your week has started off nicely,
Take good care of yourself and your loved ones,

Friday 25 October 2013

My Week

has passed very quickly with lots of pottering being done...a little bit of craft, cooking, gardening, bloods at Mandurah and reading(a detective who can't help but grin as he hears the gory details of the crime(he's been turned into a flea now)).

A bush fire has been burning to the east of us and created this beautiful sunset...tragically huge bush fires are out of control in NSW and 3 men have already lost their lives.

Tee-ball and cricket seasons have begun...these girls may need to spend more time listening to their coach lol

J, however, looks very focussed...

The garden is enjoying the sunny days...the bottlebrush is glorious and look at that amazing tomato that's popped up under the washing line...

Twitch is also thriving, indoors and out...

behind his favourite tree

and the old "Feet in the Dish Trick"
And just because it's Friday I'll leave you with a pic of a catfish cleaning the algae in the aquarium at the doctor's surgery...

Special love to those undergoing chemo or grieving for loved ones at the moment, big hug to you all.

Hope you enjoy your weekend where-ever you are,
Love from Sue

Tuesday 22 October 2013

Feeding The Squirrels In Montreal

Probably not really a good thing as wild animals can quickly become dependent on us and also become a bit of a nuisance but I do love the squirrels in Canada and the UK.  As soon as we paused on our walk to take some photos of the park the squirrels came running over to see if we had some scraps for them. I had a nut bar in my bag and broke off tiny pieces to feed the 6 of them while Joe took photos, I got me finger nipped in the process but it didn't break the skin. They have very thin, brown teeth which came as a surprise and their bellies are white like Twitch's...

The squirrels in Montreal are grey but in Ottawa they have mutated to become black which I love!

The park is the Cour de St Louis and it is surrounded by beautiful Victorian houses, some of which are painted brightly and feature on postcards.
It's taken quite a while to remember to re-size and post these photos from September, hope you have enjoyed them.

Friday 18 October 2013

New Cushion Covers

I love all things roses and couldn't resist this gorgeous Paris fabric in Spotlight last week I thought it would be nice to replace the dark cushion covers in the lounge room with something more summery but I wanted a quick fix this time. Instead of the usual buttons on the back I wondered if a simple over-lapping cover would work and it does! I cut 1.5 metres of fabric into 4 wide sections, hemmed each end and then sewed up the sides with a 3-4 inch over-lap...

I don't have an over-locker so I zig-zagged the edges to prevent them from fraying

and my beautiful Peace rose keeps on flowering

Have a great weekend where-ever you are,

Percy Dewhurst


A little ancestry, mainly for me really. This is my Nana Gardner's father but I will have to add to this post when I get my own computer back from repairs.

Thursday 17 October 2013

Back Garden

The back garden was like a jungle after a short 5 week holiday away and it made me so discouraged, with the large windows in this house it was visible from every room and looked dreadful. We had a professional lawn mower man come in 2 weeks ago and he did a wonderful job...I've been out with Dad's old-fashioned hoe nearly every day and today I trimmed the grass again...it looks so good in the bright sunlight...like having a private park. The vegies I planted in my 'rabbit-proof cage' are thriving too, it's keeping the snails as well as Twitch out...

this is the Cape Lilac in full bloom, the flowers do smell like real lilac

tomatoes, silverbeet, tuscan kale and basil

my zucchini/courgette plants just to the right of my 'cage'

Love it!

How is your garden growing at the moment? Mum has been harvesting lots of broad beans to share, home-grown produce tastes a million times better than shop-bought stuff, even with a tiny balcony you can grow all sorts of fruit and vegs in pots!


Just a Thought

Saw this poster earlier today and love the thought, I do try to make as many gifts as I can and will look for locally made items as well...our Christmas Decoration and Card Swaps have started at the Down to Earth forums too...

It's taken Twitch several weeks to get his confidence back after being away on holiday but he is suddenly more curious and jumps up onto the sofas next to us to 'check us out'...he simply springs into the air on his powerful back legs, here he is inspecting the washing pile!

I've been doing some sewing this week so will show you that soon, Plan A today is to mow the back garden before I run out of steam.

Thinking of loved ones and every-one affected by cancer or who have lost some-one to it,

Love from Sue

Friday 11 October 2013

Elizabeth's Post

Loved this post of my daughter, Elizabeth's, on facebook today and as this is our family blog/album I have asked if I may share it with you...

"""It was freezing! Even the wet sand was toe numbing. The day almost ended before it started when Caleb skinned his knee and cried for a solid 5min. Went combing along the beach, found some cool crabs in a couple of rock pools, David filled another one up (note to self: never ever step in a yellow rock pool) and then we found a little patch of hidden beach to go paddling in.

I can't explain how much energy they burnt off! They were running and shouting and throwing and digging and pushing and shoving and laughing and laughing and laughing non stop for 3hrs. Then we came home and David tore the end of his big toe off. I'm still trying to work out how I'm going to wash the sand and salt off him.

it runs in the family

I've been intrigued with this little patch of coast lately. Just a few hundred meters down the beach (in both directions) and there's kilometres of fine white sand and clear green waters. They're beautiful clean beaches, they've won national awards. But they're so...stereotypical.

And then you come around the corner to this Point and it's so dissimilar that it's like visiting a foreign country. Even the sand is different, it's courser and studded with thousands of shells. There's reef everywhere, in the water and out. There's remnants of rocks all along the beach and little caves washed into the limestone cliff. I'm sitting on the beach here but looking 20m to my right and there's surf smashing against the reef, filling dozens of rock pools. And another 80m beyond that, I'ld be standing on a massive hill looking down on the bays and islands.

And it's quiet! I've never seen more than half a dozen cars in the car park. So when you do actually stumble into someone you can't just walk passed them (like you would on the street), you do the neighbourly thing and greet them and ask them if they had any luck fishing or tell their kids where to find a rock pool with crabs or fish in it.

It's untouched enough to confront you with..this sounds cheesy...the majesty of nature... the spectacular force of the waves, the echoes of them breaking all around, the way the sun light bounces off the water, the clean seabreeze (blowing in fresh from Antarctica) hitting you full in the face. It's timeless. And it grounding.... it's been here, doing its thing, ebbing and flowing and eroding away for hundreds of years and no matter what problems I have today, it'll be here doing it's thing for hundreds more. I really needed that today. I think we all came home tired but reinvigorated. And tanned.

 Oh! And some of the rock formations! I'm the first to admit...it's "just" a rock, right? But when you see them through a childs eyes... there's one near here that has the same profile as a naval gun ship. Then a little further south there's another one that reminds me of a pirates cog in full sail. And a couple of km down the coast, there's one last rocky, reefy formation waaaaay off shore.... I'm pretty sure I spent the first 15 years of my life thinking it was a rice barge like the ones I'd seen as a kid on the river in Bangkok."""

Hope you enjoyed Eliz's words and photos as much as I did,
Have a great weekend

Thursday 10 October 2013

Mandurah Revisited

I was supposed to have an appt to give blood today but it was cancelled yesterday. We'd been looking forward to going to Mandurah and having fish and chips after the appt so we went anyway! Just like that! We had the senior's meal at Cicerello's again, seafood chowder, fish, chips and coleslaw, tea or coffee and a small piece of black forest cake.

Then we walked along to the bridge and back, stopping to look around the graveyard of Christ's Church, Mandurah which dates back to 1870. There are some older graves on the site so there must have been an earlier church there, perhaps a wooden one. Thomas Peel who is the (white) founder of our region is buried there as well as several other pioneers. There is also the anchor off a ship named James Service which sank on a reef off Mandurah with all aboard being drowned. One grave belongs to a 14yr old girl, who died in 1937 from a motor cycle accident.

Twitch was left at home on guard rabbit duties...

looks innocent enough?

there are many houseboats on the Murray River, I'd love a holiday on one

new buildings

and the very old, my preference by a country mile!

Thomas Peel's grave, he was born near Blackburn in Lancashire. His cousin Robert Peel founded the London police Force, the bobbies were called "Peelers" after him!

new life in the centre of this native palm

the anchor from the wrecked ship

early pioneers, there is a street named after them in Mandurah

Then I decided to try a few shots in black and white...

 and then a bit of excitement....the lovely pelican I showed you earlier went "nuts" and chased this young woman trying to get the huge hot-dog from her hands...it was like a scene from funniest home videos...pelican won and swallowed it in one big gulp! Perhaps it thought it looked like a big fish!

 So we had a nice day out, had a decent walk too. Tomorrow the rain is expected again which is good for the tomatoes, zucchini, silverbeet, kale and basil that I planted 2 weeks ago.

Thank you for all your lovely comments,
Take good care of yourselves,
Love from Sue

PS these guys are out on the back lawn again...they are so cute, we call them Twenty-Eight Parrots.. to me it sounds like they are calling "Ricky" when they call to each other!