Thursday, 29 December 2011

Friday Funny

I love French comedy...

...and there are more where this came from, too!

Saturday, 24 December 2011

Granma's Christmas Pudding

Here we are at Christmas Eve in the Land Downunder and I have just stirred up the Christmas pudding. From Granma's recipe - the grandmother who is my great grandmother who died when I was about 8. I have posted the recipe for her wonderfully yummy pudding' each Christmas - you can find it at this link (or by searching "Christmas pudding" in the little window in the top LH corner here: So may you each and all have a very happy and safe Christmas time with those whom you love best! I'll be back soon!!

Making Christmas cards...

I made all my cards this year. Mostly the different tree shapes cut from paint chips and glued to cards bought pre-folded from the $2 shop. Great fun. Some of them were multiple tree shapes cut from hand dyed handmade paper and glued to one side of centre-opening cards. They weren't as much fun nor as effective as the paint chip trees. The trees were decorated with sequins, diamonds (Real? As if), buttons, glitter, or hologram stars stuck on with tiny foam sticky things to make them a tad 3D. Here are a few pics...

Monday, 19 December 2011

Feeling More Betterer!!!

I can't believe it is only two weeks since I had surgery!!
I am not only so much skinnier but am also feeling quite lively. Much more lively!!!

I got back into my size 11 jeans yesterday (that is about size 7 or 8 for Americans), and had to hitch them at times (yippee!!!).  For the first time in SIX MONTHS!!!

I know the actual surgery will take a bit of getting over - one and a half hours of anaesthetic is enough for anyone I reckon. And my belly is a bit tender still: there are three little sore patches that are still swollen inside, but only a bit. And getting less each day.

AND - I can take big deep breaths and that already makes a difference, I reckon.

Did I mention there was 3000mll of fluid in that thing? And that is what they managed to catch and measure so possibly it was more cos there wasn't much room to put a bucket in there at the time.

I have been making - and posting - Christmas cards. Will add a photo tomorrow, got to dash to catch the post now.

Saturday, 17 December 2011

Nicky Epstein

I have been reading a wonderful blog based in the book "Knitting On Top Of The World", called - appropriately enough - Knitting On Top Of The World Knitathon.

Lovely knitting, Mary has set out to reproduce every garment in the book. A HUGE feat given that I reckon Nicky Epstein had more than a few test knitteres running  up all the patterns in her book...
Have a look at Mary's site - she has created lovely garments.
And last month she had a give-away, a copy of the book signed by Nicky Epstein, the genius knitter-designer herself!!!


Here it is, snuggled on my couch with some of my knitting - the Sock Yarn Blanket, socks, Bare Bear's clothes. the jumper for The Sweetheart, some other doll clothes, and the tiny fine knitted bedspread for the doll's house bed (with tiny dollies in bed, too).

It is chockers with wonderful patterns based on different techniques from 50 or so countries. Everything from those tiny islands north of Scotland that make Skye - and the Mallee - look like Gardens of Eden! to South America, Japan, Middle East - all over. And everything from socks for feet to hats (and jumpers) for heads and all areas in between. Fabulous!!!!
Now to save up for some of the wools - the garments are all knitted with yarns that I should have to mortgage my house to be able to afford!!!

By the way - the koala in the photo was given to my by my Mum's Uncle Shig. Uncle Shig (Cedric) Bayliss was a tanner, saddler and whip maker in Tumut from the 1920s to his death in the 1970s (or maybe 80s - will have to check the Family Tree).
He would go out in summer and shoot kangaroos and feral cats, and then spend winter tanning them and doing his leatherwork. He is in The Stockman's Hall of Fame for his talents.
He made a stockwhip that was 60' long. At the handle end it was as thick as an arm. He used to walk out along the road dragging it behind him to be able to crack it. When he got too old to be able to crack it he took it up the back to the woodheap and chopped it up.

And the teddy - Bare Bear - was also given to me when I was born. He used to have fur but when I was three I dropped him in the copper when Mum was doing the washing and all his fur fell out. And that is why he is Bare Bear...

"Knitting On Top Of the World" is available from all good book shops - in Oz if I am not buying in person from Stoneman's Bookroom in Castlemaine I use The Nile which is another Aussie on-line bookshop. With free postage, too.                                          

Friday, 16 December 2011


I disabled predictive text on my mobile as it took far longer to try to find a word than actually just spelling it out...
Probably just as well when these sorts of typos are taken into consideration:

I found these last week when I was still afraid to breath deeply as my surgery site felt like it was going to rear up and kill me. I laughed till I cried. But in a good way.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Book Sculpture

"Amazement", was my first reaction. And to be honest - my 2nd, 3rd ... last reaction!! How wonderful to have a secret artist flitting around the city. Lucky, lucky Edinburgh!!

Sunday, 11 December 2011

Lots of Laughin' Out Loud

You probably will laugh at these two sites.
I just discovered this one - a great parody of Anthropologie (which is an American website full of very exxy MUST-HAVE stuff - just about every home decor related blog in America has some cheap rip-off of Anthropologie items to the extent that I was starting to feel sorry for Anthropologie and their copyright...):

Check out Anthroparodie and "YES, it seems that the items on this site are actual truly ruly Anthropologie 'treasures'"...
This necklace that looks like a string of sausages that have been gutted is one example. Or even a string of guts that have yet to be made into sausages.                              

AND ONLY $198....

The other site that always give me a lot to laugh at is by a patient person who trawls through Etsy looking for creations that really do belong on Regretsy.                      

There are some scary bloody ugly things on Etsy that have found their way to Regretsy, too!                                                                                                                      

Sunday Singing!

I should start a Sunday Singing habit....

So here is the first (of many) - it is Bobby McFerrin teaching a huge audience to sing a pentatonic scale. People who thought they couldnt sing...

Thank you Kate for first finding this for me!

It is very sweet and lovely. Time to get back to choir stuff now that I can again take deep breaths, methinks!

Just see if that doesn't make yoou smile!

Friday, 9 December 2011


I am gettin' better - I can now do ab crunches without gasping.

It is amazing how much work tummy muscles do. You can't sit up without the, or pull yourself up the bed, or roll over in bed even. Even putting arms in the air uses tummy muscles.

But I am almost brand shiny new. Almost like a shop-bought one.

Hooray!!!! (Now to make Christmas cards. And POST them off)

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

The Blanket in the last post...

I have also been knitting the Sock Yarn Blanket that is in the background of the socks photo below. More about the blankie can be found HERE: I hope that works - I am a bit post-op tired and emotional! BUT, I am quite flat-bellied after the large cyst on my liver was removed yest a.m. via three neat little keyholes (rather than the larger and far less comfortable open cut mining they suspected they may have to use!) Ooroo - I am up for another snooze... Try this for the link to original post about the Sock Yarn Blanket. And if this doesn't work have search for "blanket" in the little window at top LH corner: Another snooze...zzzzzzz

Saturday, 3 December 2011

Housewarming socks

These are the socks I made for S2 for a Housewarming present. He and his wife just bought their first ever home. I have a feeling it will probably be their last ever home, too. It sounds fabulous - 30+ fruit trees, and a chook palace, other shed, a well (with lots of water in it!), a paddock, lots of vege gardens - all on a couple of acres on the outskirts of Wodonga.

Thursday, 1 December 2011

When I grow up...

 When I grow up I want to sleep in real linen sheets, and pillowslips, and even a doona cover. Maybe linen curtains, too...

I found these somewhere whilst I was wandering the highways and byways of the web.

The company is and how wonderful do these sheets look?
I even like the idea of the bedhead made from bits of the chook yard...

More socks

 These were made for my Tall Fiddling Friend Andrew Clermont.
He is REALLY tall and has REALLY long feet to match. And these fitted perfectly!

The green is some lovely spotted silk, the brown cashmere. Bit luxury, actually.

This was the first pair I made, they are top-down, and I made a little mistake on one when I was joining up the heel. That is OK though cos Andrew says he will know which one to put on first...

And nicely styled with a yummy breakfast goog...

PS Go and find his music, he plays all over the world, and if you don't like folk stuff, then he also has country, bluegrass, soul, blues, Indian et al in his repertoire

Saturday, 26 November 2011

I love eBay!!!

Just look at this description, spelling mistakes and all:

"Up for sale is a old fasioned wool machine, I think you feed it wool and it turns it into wool like thread for sewing, Its NOT working, but its more like a souvenier. Im not sure if its antique or not. Its got engraved in it ASHFORD, MADE IN NEW ZEALAND."

"...I think you feed it wool..." and it magically turns into wool!! What a description!!!!

Like The Singing Alien*, this makes me laugh every time I read it!!!

This is an image  I hooked off the Ashford site. The wheel she was selling looked just like this. And sold for $25. I was so tired Thurs night I just crashed into bed and forgot all about bidding for it. 
Bugger, and double bugger.
I think a spinning wheel would be a lovely thing to have a go at. Certainly with all the knitting I am doing. And the alpacas down the road who's wool just gets chucked cos nobody wants it. Nobody else...

*Ah, you don't know The Singing Alien?
Here 'tis:

P.S. Anyone got a spinning wheel they don't want any more?

Thursday, 24 November 2011

Big Day Down the Mine!!!

Wow, what a BIG HUGE news day it has been today.

Starting with the wonderful, headmasterly Harry Jenkins, Speaker of the House (of Parliament - our big deal Federal one. In Canberra) handing in his notice.

GASPS of shock from the Liberal Party who, it seems, had No Idea it was happening.
I will find a photo of him tomorrow and pop it in, but he is a beardy bespectacled cross between Santa, a science teacher, and a boxing referee. (Or you could just Google "Harry Speaker" - that will be enough to find a link to him!!! Well it was this morning...).

His father, Dr Harry Jenkins was a Speaker in previous times, so Harry grew up with this job cooked into his breakfast porridge, and has handled the shenanigans of the Lower House inmates with humour, tolerance, sometimes intolerance, and grace. A delight to tune in to Question Time each afternoon to see Harry keeping the lions in order and turning them into pussy kittens!!!

Harry Jenkins wants to get back into the hurly-burly of politicking, he has had enough fun up in the Big Chair and now he wants to play with the kids again.

Opposition Leader Tony Abbott and all the other Members on the Speaker's Left Hand were opposed to the pollie the who was put up to be the new Speaker, a pollie who came from THEIR side of the fence!! Peter Slipper, Liberal Member for somewhere in Queensland next door to where my Mum lives.
It means that in this narrowly held Government that the Liberal Country Party Coalition would be a vote down as the Speaker is meant to be impartial.

Without going into all the politics of it, Peter Slipper has been the smelly one in the school yard and none of his mates liked him or wanted to play with him.
Leaving the door to the shelter shed open for the Labour Party to slip in and court him.

So, the poor old Opposition Party put up their own choice for Speaker - a Labour Member, praised him highly - VERY highly indeed - seconded the motion and all. And the Labour bloke stood, said "Thank you for saying such nice things about me" and declined the offer.
So they put up another Labour Party politician, said nice things about him/her, and the same thing happened.
By about the fifth Labour Member to be nominated by the Opposition, praised, seconded and declined it was all starting to lose it's special love meaning.

They nominated NINE Members before deciding it was perhaps beginning to look a bit sad and try-hard.

I reckon they reached that stage by the third turn-down. If they had been trying to get a dance at a B&B Ball they would have ended up out the back of the hall looking for someone who had a spare slab in the boot, sat down and got pissed as an alternative.

And the Libs cracked the shits and made a rule that said that if any of them became Speaker then he wasn't allowed to be a member of the Liberal Party any more. But 'Slippery Pete' Slipper got to the Chair and made a lovely speech about how he was going to be so impartial he was even going to resign from being a Liberal Party Member. He jumped before they even got to tell him he had to get ready to be pushed...

Anyway, it was lovely politics and made me wish I was sitting in the Press Gallery, or even the Visitors' in Canberra today. Or that the ABC had a Parliament Channel on the TV rather than on the wireless cos it is much more fun when you can see people jumping up and down, and looking embarrassed, or crappy, or shitty when the Speaker flings them out of the House.

Maybe if you are not in Australia and you give a toss you can iView it, or find something on Youtube. Google "Australian Politics" at least.

Hey - I found some footage - good old 7.30 on the ABC
I reckon My Friend Julia did very well today as Prime Minister.

She isn't really my truly ruly friend but I have shared a platform with her in front of thousands and met her a few times, and not everyone can say that.

That wasn't all that happened today.

Prince Fred from Denmark came to Castlemaine today, and got to look at how WE make Danish hams at KR Bacon (otherwise known around here as "The Pig") and be impressed at our cabana. I saw him eat a bit of that. On telly. I didnt go in to town and stand out the front of the factory like "women of a certain age" did. The ABC reporter said that is what they were.
And his wife - OUR MARY got to go see kids at a Primary School in Pakenham.

I wonder who draw the short straw for today's round of regal glad-handing...

I DO like Our Mary, she is very elegant, and laughs a lot when she is around kids. (Probably glad she has her own lovely four at home who are always sweet and clean).

Here is Fred at The Pig and Mary with the school kiddies

And then the last bit of lovely news was that the high school I went to got some money to do stuff with.
Sea Lake High School is now all grown up and is a K-12 College. Meaning it caters for all years from Kindergarten to Y12 (end of HS for us), and all the little schools around have closed.
When I went to school we travelled about 60 kms each way, mostly on dirt roads (yeah yeah, I know - carrying the bus blah, blah. Actually not too far from it, no air-con, and sometimes the bus would bog in the sandy road and we would all have to get out and push...).
And there were 90 of us in Y7, but only 250 kids in the whole school. Yay for Baby Boomers!!!
Anyway, Tyrrell College today were awarded $500,000 (!) so the kids can start a school farm. I reckon you could probably buy about 10,000 acres of the Mallee with that and still have enough over to buy stock and a ute...

The Mallee - uninterrupted views of the horizon...

Here is a story about the grant and the website for the College.


Wednesday, 23 November 2011


Re yesterday's post, Carolyn commented that I still have the word verification activated. 

Hmmm, I did what I was supposed to - perhaps it is Blogger doing that Yahoo/Yahell thing and just being slow with the upgrade. 
OR - I have done it wrongly...

Carolyn also said that she likes a pop-up comment box rather than one where the page has to reload. Oh dear. I can't say I have actually noticed there was a difference whenever I comment on other people's blogs. Just that sometimes Blogger treats me with disdain, and tells me I am not a member either of them and/or of my own blog.

I know it is easier and quicker to comment if you don't have to wait around for word identification - especially if you are on a slow internet (and I know there are people still on dial-up as there isn't another choice).

Has anyone else had these problems? 

I shall pretend to be someone else and see what it says when I comment on my own blog...

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

How to set no-reply and/or no-word-verification

 If you are a commenter on blogs it is a good idea - a really, really, really good idea - to set your profile to include your email address.
This is so when you comment I can write back to you and say "Thank you for your comment" and generally have a further ramble to you about whatever is rattling around in my mind at the time...

And there are some who have email addresses that read "" and that isn't good for any of us...Sometimes, I spend time to track the email down, sometimes I just throw a teatowel over my head and sob.

The wonderful girlie at I Have A Notion has written a little how-to so you can remedy this:

Here is how to do it:
•first, go to your blogger dashboard
•near your picture or logo on the left, click "Edit Profile" E"
•go to the first section labeled "Privacy"
•in this section, the third line down should say "Show Email Address"
•make sure the IS a Check Mark in the "Show Email Address"
•if you don't have an email address listed, you can fill it in in the "Identity" section
•The MOST IMPORTANT part when you finish, is to go to the bottom of the page and click "Save Profile" on the bottom left side. If you do not click save it won't work.

And I have lately been having trouble commenting on some blogs. I know it is cos Blogger has PMT days and wont acknowledge that I have written the correct word identification (aren't some of those words AMAZING???).
So I have done as Pleasant Home suggested and dropped the need for a word verification.

Here are her step by step instructions. I would highly encourage you to try it this way. Just give it a week. If you're not happy, you can go back in and change it.
Go to:
  • Design
  • Settings
  • Comments
In this section you will want the following:
  • Comments - SHOW
  • Who can comment - ANYONE
  • Comment form placement - FULL PAGE
  • ***Comment Moderation - ONLY ON POSTS OLDER THAN 15 DAYS
  • you will need to check this circle and type in 15 in the empty box..
  • ***Show word verification on comments - NO
  • Show profile images on comments - YES
  • Comment Notification Email - Type YOUR email address in this box

By using the ONLY ON POSTS OLDER THAN 15 DAYS option and with Bloggers
new Spam filtering. You don't have to worry about unwanted / spam comments. 

I have not (yet) had any problems with spam - don't expect to however. I think between Blogger's spam filter, and my ISP's filter there wont be much chance of any getting through.
Is this any help?

Back to knitting a sock.


Bugger - I am bumped!

The hospital just rang - they need my bed for someone with a trifle more urgent need so have postponed my surgery for a week.

Now it is December 5...

The lovely nurses in Victoria have been on strike for the last few weeks. Whilst I cannot deny them the right to more pay I JUST WISH THEY WEREN'T DOING IT ON MY SHIFT!!!!!!!!!

Their strike hasn't had any influence on my delay - that is just the system... Too many sick people, not  enough doctors or nurses, not enough beds in not enough hospitals etc etc. At least we have hospitals, and running water unlike 90% of the world.

The Good News is that I will be able to go to the House Warming Party that S2 and his missus are throwing on the 3rd of December. They just bought a house, their first ever (eeek!!!) and are having the BEST fun playing cubby houses!
Here  is their blog:
They have a couple of acres, and there are already lots of good stuff - chook palace, hay shed, green house, garden beds, a well that reaches to the bottom of the earth (or at least to the water table!) and dozens of fruit trees. They now have chooks, and are getting some sheep, and are planting lots of garden stuff. I think they will be largely self sufficient within a short time!

In the meantime - I can keep knitting socks...

Monday, 21 November 2011

Balcony decking and house history

When I bought my home nine years ago it was really a BIG MESS.
The Draughtsman who came to look at the place prior to drawing up plans for renovations got out of his car and just said "Bloody hell! Get a bulldozer in"!!!!!

It didn't have any of this turquoise weatherboard upstairs, nor lovely wide veranda. Instead, there was a slopy (and sloppy!) roof made from bits of corrugated iron the bloke (who started building this.
In 1967...) had scavenged from the tip.
And bush poles holding up a veranda that was head height - for him, head-bashing height for me - and only about a metre deep.

Holding up the iron roof were a couple of rafters that were each made of two shorter beams just nailed together. So a bit saggy.
And then no ceiling, just silver insulating foil that was orange from the smoke from his pot-belly stove.
That didn't have a chimney...
The room below was 16' x 32', with brick floors. Mostly.
There were some patches of dirt...
Probably for his 11 dogs to dig in...
The rest of the house was 32' wide and 40' long.
It is built of a mixture of mud bricks and rammed earth for the walls. And gaps, The bloke was not very tall, so instead of buying a ladder he left gaps between the tops of the walls and the roof...
There were four small rooms, each 10' square, along the south side (which is the cold side of the house in Australia, like the north side of a house in the Northern Hemisphere) - a laundry, bathroom, junk room, and pantry.

The house is an Alistair Knox design - famous for wonderful mud brick house solar passive designs that were ahead of their time in the 1960s. More information is here and here on this amazing man and his designs.
However - HOWEVER!!!! - the builder of mine was not really a builder. He started, as I said, in 1967 - I found receipts - and in 2002 it was still far from finished! (Not just receipts, but all sorts of stuff - all his bills, wedding TELEGRAMS and cards, piles of newspapers, junk, crap and all sorts of shit. And that was just for starters...)

So I really got a bargain - the Draughtsman was right - it really was a bulldozer renovation. I paid land value for the whole kit and caboodle, so got what I paid for...

We took 10 or 12 tip truck loads of rubbish to the tip, as well as having a huge bonfire, that burnt for 2 weeks. We SHOVELLED dirt out of the place.
S4 used to say "This house has nothing but potential" and "This is the only house where you wipe your feet as you leave".

The floor is red bricks laid directly onto sand. In some places he added builder's plastic down first, in others - zilch!
And in other areas there were large areas of dirt he hadn't got around to bricking.
The floor along the western end is mushy concrete, where he didn't add enough cement to the mix, so it is all flaking and dusty.
The floor in the laundry and junk room we ripped up and laid more bricks.
The bathroom floor was mostly easy - it had proper leveller under the vinyl. But only sand

under the leveller... So that came up, too and we laid bricks there, too.
The pantry floor had a great pit in the centre of it, and a hole to the outside world at the bottom of the wall. And holes in the ceiling. I think his idea was to fill the pit with water (and breed mosquitoes) and use it as a cool room. We filled the pit and the wall hole in. And laid more bricks.
He had a generator (which he took with him) and the front door was piled to the ceiling with blown up appliances.

All of which just needed a replacement fuse. He didn't know about $4 fuses, and went out and spent $$$ on another microwave/toaster/TV/whatever. The wiring was also bits he seemed to have scavenged from the tip. Short lengths of electric wire joined, not with proper little box joiners (cos they cost $$$), but with plumbers tape...

You are all probably crying now, so I wont dwell any more on what was!!!! Now, there is an upstairs with French doors facing South, East and North with little balconies
out of each, over the veranda roof.

Ever since I ran out of money back in 2004, and then got sick in 2005 (so no money AND no energy), nothing much more has been done to the house after the initial reno frenzy.
A few months ago, The Sweetheart and I decked the North and South balconies - the East one was done years ago. And we were so clever and worked so well together and it all is such a lovely feeling to be able to walk out onto the balcony instead of balancing on the joists!The upstairs is 16' x 32' - like the downstairs. It
is now my studio - at the North end, and my bedroom at the South, looking out to thousands of acres of State Forest. I only have 5 acres, but the Forest backs right onto my fence so I may as well have a Million Wild Acres!!!

The top photos are the South balcony, and these ones down here are the North balcony. You can see the roof to the rest of the house is higher than the veranda.
This is because there is also a mezzanine - The Shelf which runs along the south side and east-ish side of the big room. The living area has lovely almost double story space, and has wonderful acoustics. Not to mention a great balcony rail to hang quilts over.  You may be able to just catch a glimpse on the right of the bottom quilt photo of one of the big posts holding up the roof. They came from Victoria Dock in Melbourne and are over 100 years old.

Here is a bit of rock art S4 did - lots of lovely sandstone around here, just waiting to be used. Lots of rock walls in kit form...

And this is some of the lovely wattle that flowers through most of winter. There are four or five different ones around here which start flowering in June and carry on right through to September. Lovely splash of gold amongst the green of winter.

Sunday, 20 November 2011

Clever tiny bows

I made tiny bows using a tutorial I found online, but a video is an easier way of learning to make them. 
If you can get over those nails...her's, not mine. French nails should only have a sliver of white on them otherwise they look a bit scary. And what do all the books say about 'file to an oval'???  Check out mine - they are perfect (hahaha)...

Here is the video:

And then I added them to undies so they look cute.
And so you don't put them on backwards (tho these are gs so you would probably notice pretty quickly if they were on backwards...).

I sent them to my SIL cos she has a skinnier bum than I do, but they were also too small for her. (Whew).

SILK ribbon, too.
Very cute.
Another one of my great grandmother's forks put to good use!

Saturday, 19 November 2011


Not so long ago Jake (the Jack Russell-Corgi cross with Queen Anne front legs who thinks His Job is to Keep An Eye On Everything) ran TWO lovely echidnas to earth.
He spent from 5 in the morning till 10 just helplessly yipping at these invaders of his territory. They are so lovely, there is a little furrow under the back gate where the echidnas come in to forage in the night.
For termites.
Around my house...

I am so lucky to live on the edge of the bush and be visited by some amusing creatures.

The echidnas waddle and snuffle around. This is what they look like when they aren't hunkered down escaping mad crazy watchdogs:

This video was taken not too far from where I live - the bush is the same, and I could probably find mine ambling around too if I wasn't sleeping so much...

Friday, 18 November 2011


Hooray!! I got a date for my very own hospital bed, with hot and cold running nurses and ensuite surgeon!!!

Weird of me to be so excited about surgery. I love that bit where they say "Count's all over" like it was one sentence.
Last night I watched a programme which showed some abdo surgery, and the memory of that shoulder tip pain as the gas dissipates through my diaphragm all flooded back. (The gas is used to blow your belly up like a balloon so the surgeons can all get their scopes, spanners, chainsaws, party drinks et al inside during surgery).

November 28.

Is a Monday, and the Haematologist wanted me in 24 hours ahead of surgery so they can have a look at my bleeding tendency (Von Willebrand's variant, which was only diagnosed 3 years ago when I had a period of unexplained bruising, and massive haematomas on my foot which looked like ugly Old Lady bunions. Only bigger...You would have thought that this might have been picked up when I had some impressive bleeds after babies, and that superb one when I list 4 litres of blood in two haemhorrages after my sinuses were irrigated. Certainly could have been picked up when I was married to MTU* THE GENETICIST...).
Which means surgery on Tuesday 29th, and home in a few days after that. Or less, depending on whether it descends into being open surgery rather than cute keyhole. But at least I then wont have shoulder tip pain. Hahahaha!!!!!

It will be lovely to get my liver fixed up, and back to functioning  properly. And that goes for the rest of me, too!

*Malcolm The Unwelcome

Thursday, 17 November 2011

Tuesday, 15 November 2011

Cunning me...

Smart arse me, really, too clever for this world, will have to grease my bum and slide into the next one... "Why?", I hear you whining... BECAUSE - I cleverly loaded all those sock photos on Sunday whilst I was still at home, wrote a tiny bit of cleverness, and then hid it down the back of the couch so I could surprise you all down the track. And now when I tried to edit it and add more lyricism the screen is full of gobbledygook of HTML stuff and it is impossible for me to edit. Cos whilst I LOOK like I know what I am doing with computers I really know bugger all. the most computer related thing I have done IN MY WHOLE LIFE was to give birth to a computer genius - S#2 who did computer science AND computer engineering and used to fill in the software squares inside Nokia phones but has now grown past that and now does immensely cleverer things like build some little machinery that is like a photocopier except it makes more bits of itself so you can then build some bigger bit of machinery that will then create more of itself and eventually will get up off the desk and bring you a cup of tea from gratitude. Or something. If you want a lesson on reading computer gobbledygook then here is an old page from his secret diary: Not really secret cos I googled him ("S2 computer gobbledygook")and found that stuff. Course, might be nothing to do with my computer genes at all, cos Rex The Ex was a Systems Analyst back in the olden days. (Yep, Rex The Ex and Malcolm The Unwelcome... Makes me wonder why I got married really). So, the whole point of this entry is to tell you that you will have to extrapolate from the little I wrote in the previous entry what all the other captions might have been if I wasn't such a computer lightweight. Ooroo.

Sunday, 13 November 2011

More socks

All this talk of socks in previous posts has surely whet your apetites for more photos. Surely?
Hope so - cos here are some more...
I used this pattern as the basis for my toe up socks. Look at how lovely they look (even if I say so mine self)

And Jeny's surprisingly stretchy bind off which really IS surprisingly elastic and stretchy...

Friday, 11 November 2011

Socks for a Sweetheart (and me)

Above is when I had knitted one sock, and the second one was still in kit form beside it.

And then I got TWO made, and the Sweetheart practised being a ballerina with some fancy footwork.
Actually fancy sockwork because he has never been able to do this without those socks on.

He says...


This (below) is really what the colour was like and what it looked like when I tried it on.
Geez he has got BIG feet!!!

He has sworn NEVER to put these socks inside his boots. And is also thinking I could sew soles on them so he has 'house slippers'...
I made sockies for me, too. This was the variegated stuff I got as a surprise that I blogged about last week and knitted up with the cone of silk I scored from the opshop.

Coming along well.

I now have two made, and then I made another pair.

And then I made another pair (almost to the cuff on the second sock) and I knitted a WHOLE sock whilst hanging around surgeon's rooms on Monday.

It is nice to be home on my Mac and to be able to post photos easily....
even if it means I have to make my own tea and toast...

Rememberance Day

Lest We Forget...

Wednesday, 9 November 2011

Material Give-away

Beach Vintage are setting up a lovely new online shop and have HEAPS of lovely materials - for example ALMOST SIXTY oilcloths! and over a hundred gorgeous patchwork weight cottons.

They are having a give-away to celebrate and I am supposed to pick my favourite fabric, but to be honest I love 'em all. I would be able to do something with any of the materials depending on the length.
Give me a bundle of FQs and I will leap into making a quilt (yeah, yeah, I know - I am sick but I am not going to be malingering for ever, duh), or a few metres and there are quite a few vintage patterns at home that I can make up a lovely foofy 1950s frock, or about eleventy one metres of some furnishing stuff and I will make slipcovers for The Couches for a summery look (cos they are red jacquard velvety sort of winter flavoured material.
So nip over to and have a squiz at their yumminesses.

I tried to drag photos of all of these - sorry but you wil have to click on the links to be able to drool! is one of the Alexander Henry patterns I think would be a lovely vintage frock although just about any of the Alexander Henry's would be at home on my shelves (and then in my creations...).

And look at THIS with lovely sedate floral background but with black cockatoos splashed over it!

Then a Moda with lovely line drawings that would be gorgeous on my big old Snuggle Chair which needs reupholstering anyway -

Or a Kaufman which looks so old-fashioned it could only be in the kitchen, with splashes of red to accent the gorgeous 1950's jade green background -

Then another big blousy floral roses which has to be a 1960's frock -

OH - and they also have all sorts of trims, bias binding etc, too.

After all that, how can I possibly choose my favourite????

Tuesday, 8 November 2011

It is going to happen!!!!

I spent ALL day yesterday in the City, hangin' around in waiting rooms. So much waiting that I knitted a sock right up to the cuff...

First visit was by 0830 to the Royal Melbourne Hossie where they were very lovely, and I got to see the surgeon who had actually talked to my GP 7 weeks ago - I was so grateful to have only waited an hour and a half  that I forgot to ask him how his overseas holiday had gone. (Because he wasan't available for 6 weeks after my GP had spoken with him. He didn't mention that to her)
He said that this great bulge could be BLOATING and that I wasn't to be disappointed if I still had a fat belly after he had operated.
Eventually operated.
He put me on a vague waiting list and said it would definitely be before March.
And grumbled the new Liberal (which is a Conservative rich bastards government if you aren't in Australia) State Gov had lopped $100mill off the Health Budget DESPITE WHAT THEY PROMISED. I said "Who would have thought, eh?". So it is really (Premier) Ted Baillieu's fault that I am not going to get a bed soon at the RMH.
I sat in the foyer to have a little rest and a quiet think about my "bloat" and suddenly there was my ex husband (Malcolm The Unwelcome) and The Next Wife right in front of me. Sadly he was there for chemo treatment. He has Multiple Myeloma - same disease that my father died from when we were all young things. So, as a geneticist, I hope he is spending his last five minutes on earth checking the genes out for MM cos it means my boys have a double dose of a chance. He offered to find a Hep-Biliary surgeon in his wide acquaintance, though oddly enough, I seem to have been able to do that already.
Without his help.
He kissed me. He must have forgotten why he left me in the first place.
Hadn't seen him for ten years, I reckon.
An old Greek lady sat beside me also for a rest, asked "Was that your father?"(haha, he does look a bit aged and decrepit but that is mostly because he is ill. AND because he really is old. If that sounds harsh he told me he was dying, and The Next Wife said "You have been dying for years, Mal" which sounded pretty heartless, though honest). And then said I had "beautiful face" and that it was probably "because of baby"...

Then I caught a tram and had a bit of a walk up to St Vincent's Hospital. It was a lovely, lovely day in Melbourne Town. Perfect for smiling at people and sitting on walls and doing a bit of knitting and having a rest.

I discovered the restaurant and filled in another hour and then went up to the ST V's clinic to check in half an hour early for my 2pm appointment.
There, they told me that I wasn't due till next week, and the letter that I had received last week saying "7th Nov" was really for cancelling the appointment of "24th Oct", but then I pointed out that I received the letter AFTER I had been a fortnight ago, and none of this made sense and I was here anyways so find a spot for me.
Two and half hours later (than my appointment time, but really three hours of knitting there/sitting therre), I was half way up the leg of the sock I finally got to see the surgeon my GP had spoken with 6 weeks ago.

And it was as though the clouds parted, angels sang a cheering chorus, the sun shone and a rainbow arched and danced overhead. Truly really it all happened.
She KNEW what it was like to be size 12 and suddenly have to buy maternity pants (though I reckon she is never going to see size 12, she was about as big as a pixie. Small as a pixie) and GENTLY prodded my belly and asked about all my scars, told me this was as big as she wanted to see me, wrote the magic words "CATEGORY ONE URGENT" on my file and sent me off to Pre-Admission. Actually escorted by now-smiling minion to Pre-Admission. Who welcomed me with open arms and smiles, took lots of blood, and an ECG, and height/weight etc etc, I got to spend heaps of time with smily Erin a baby doctor (not as in Obstetrics but as in Intern) who asked if I was knitting socks for him, and we partied on until about 6pm. And they are writing me a letter very soon.

Because - I shall be having surgery "within 2 weeks, certainly no more than three weeks".

HOW GOOD IS THAT???????????

I got home to the Sweetheart's about 8 pm last night, absolutely stuffed, and have been sleeping for the best part of the last 24 hours.

I might finish the story I started on Sunday next time...
Goodnight. XXXX

PS Three people - apart from the Greek nana - asked about my baby, and one bloke asked me if it was a hernia because he had TWO and I was bigger than he was. He was pretty pleased to find he was still unique, and proceeded to tell me all about his previous hernia surgery. Fortunately, smiling Dr Erin called me in and saved me a lot of gruesome details....

Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Picture Is Worth A Thousand Words!

This is going to be where I upload photos of what I have knitted this past week.
Or it will be an essay on ditto...

Because, indeedy doody, I am becoming THE queen of sock creation!
This past week I have finished the pair or sockies I started last week, AND WORN THEM. Nobody noticed...

And then I started another pair, still using the toe-up pattern but adding in even more of my own creativity. I made a lacy row of eyelets around the ankle. I meant to do it too.

And then thought that looked so pretty that a whole lot holes would mean lacy socks. So, I did rows of "knit 2, yarn over, knit 2 together" (K2,YO, K2tog) which didn't make for anything like a lacy pattern. But it did make an interesting sort of spiraling rib.

Then, I did a picot edge around the top...

Here endeth the first lesson.
Blogger, or the iPad ate my homework.
I shall rewrite these thousands of words shortly.

Sunday, 30 October 2011

Weight Watchers recipes...

Made me laugh:

On being up the duff...

Yep - this is what my belly looks like. Actually, it is what it looked like a week ago. It is even larger now...
No wonder people ask me if I am 'with child'.

No wonder I am becoming ENRAGED at a medical system that has kept me waiting so long I am forced to buy maternity clothes, and to stave off queries about the imminent birth of my baby.

I wish I had gone private. Which would have meant a large amount of $$$ but my darling family were going to chip in to help with the money (whether they knew it or not!). My GP said that I wouldn't get any better surgeon in the private system. I think I would almost have settled for 'quicker' rather than 'better', though I would like to believe both would apply...

After my visit to St Vinnie's last Monday I decided to keep the appointment with the Royal Melbourne hospital for Nov 7th and then decide who was better.
But on Friday I got another letter from St Vin's asking me to come in on Nov 7th. Not the 14th like they said last week. I don't know why they want to see me sooner. I worry that it is because there was some unpleasantness in the blood tests I had done last week. At least I thought to get them to copy results to my GP, so she will alert me this week if there is anything I need to panic about.

I am having great difficulties adding photos to here off the little Notebook I am using at The Sweetheart's. I fluked the Fat Lady photo above. Actually, DO NOTE the definite lack of fat lady roll of fat around my hips and back - this bulge is all out the front.

I have been knitting socks this week. I made a pair of rather long socks (well not KNEE socks, whew) for The Sweetheart, in lovely pure wool streaked from bright aqua to navy. He has vowed to never put them into boots, and wants to wear them as house slippers ("liverlips" in our house!).
Clever me! It is really tricky to make a pair of socks. Often the second sock gets left behind, and one sock is generally of little use to most people.

And after I finished his socks yesterday I began a pair for me. His are in 8 ply (DK) on 4mm needles and really were a piece of cake.
My socks are 4 ply on #3 needles. Made with an odd ball of donated 75% bamboo/25% nylon "Happy" yarn made by Wendy. It looks like this. I knitted half a sock and didn't like the way the stripes were turning out. So I unknitted it. (Not just beautiful but clever and discerning also). And reknitted it adding in a turquoise strand of some op-shopped cone of something that seems to be silk. Lovely. And for $2, too...
It has blurred the stripes and looks much softer. Feels much softer, too.

I am ripping through these socks in such a terrifying speed because I found a pattern for socks that are knitted from the toe up. Maybe it is psychological but it makes the knitting go quicker. I love the cunning way you cast on using two needles and winding the yarn over them in a figure 8. And I love that it doesn't seem to be any time at all before you have got enough of the foot knitted that you can put your foot in it and admire what you have created. And demand that every one else also has an admiring look as well.

And the heel is also cunning and easy - much easier it seems than the other socks I have slogged my way through when I started at the top. And then suddenly, I am knitting up around the ankle and up the leg, about to do the ribbed cuff.
Just like that!
With my sock, I added a couple of deliberate lacy holes down near my toes and a line of 2 purls all the way up that I then incorporated into the ribbing.
So, one sock almost finished, and I will get a good start on the mate while watching the Grand Prix from India this evening (yay, go 'our' Mark!!!!).
This is the pattern I am using:

Been inspired to knit lately because I can't NOT sit and do nothing, and I am too fatigued to sew quilts. I have had to put The Sweetheart's big jumper aside as it is now too heavy on my belly now that I have reached the armholes on the front and back. So - socks for me.  Even the lovely Nana Rug I was making a couple of months ago is too heavy to continue working on at the moment.

And Mary of Knitting On Top Of The World has had me enthralled for ages with her fabulous creations.
This wonderful book by Nicky Epstein has been a catalyst for many people to start knitting. However, Mary has taken it one step further and is knitting EVERY article in the book. Have a look at what she has already made (she still has a couple of years of knitting to get to the last page...).
Recently, she had a give-away and I was a winner. So excited to find my name up there in lights last week after such a crapful Monday.

I am really enjoying knitting socks. Like the doll's clothes they are achievable...

Better have a shower.
Ooroo. xxxx