15 July, 2006

meet the neighbours III

Our neighbours kitchen window
Lynette and Denis are our immediate neighbours to the left (if you are facing our house that is). They are a retired couple with grown children, reminding me a lot of my parents, actually.

When we first moved in they introduced themselves to us with a letter about their children and their childrens partners, a photo of the family, and contact numbers. It was really lovely, and made us feel instantly welcome in our new street.

Last week, Tuesday night to be exact, we were the recipients of their neighbourliness, by way of a sample of Lynette's baking. It was on our doorstep when I got back from dropping B in Parramatta that evening. At first I was a bit suspicious of the warm, foil wrapped package, with no note. Lynette, however had left a message on the answer machine which explained that she had done some baking and that it hadn't gone unnoticed that we had been mowing the nature strip out the front of their place, and this was their way of saying thank you. It should be noted here that Denis also gives our nature strip a mow when he does the lawns, so that the home baked sultana poundcake was quite unneccessary, although greatly appreciated. And given the week I was having was a truly priceless gesture, that I shall repay with ..thinking.... a bag of lemons, because we all know I can't cook.

14 July, 2006

how time flys

and I haven't been having fun. I was not going to post any of this but my mum gave me some advice this morning and I am going to give it a go. The suggestion was that I write down what is bothering me in a notebook, and not worry about it for a week or so, refer back to it in a couple of weeks, and if the same things are still bothering me then worry.

I am sure she didn't mean for it to be done here, but here goes. Work, has really been stressing me out, This has been on top of a lot of other things that have been going on; my grandmother has been quite sick, she is 87, and went into hospital a week and a half ago to have her gall bladder removed. This was very traumatic for her (and the family) she became anemic and required a blood transfusion, ended up in the cardiac ward, and suffered a collapse of the lung. It didn't seem good. At the same time my dad is having heart troubles and a procedure he had early in the month was not successful which was really disappointing, and again the uncertainty has plagued me, and all of this has been on top of B's back, which has given him six years of pain, loss of mobility, uncertainty as to whether his work would keep him on, or not, and the constant joy (not) of having to deal with insurers (because this was a workplace injury) for approval to receive treatments and reimbursement of costs. I think this has caused me to get into the habit of worrying about things that might not happen. I have become anxious and depressed, well at least very fragile and teary. Things have definitely got on top of me.

There! Let's see if there is no more worrying.

The naturopath has also suggested Executive Stress B and Withania (something like St Johns Wort).

Funnily enough having put it down 'on paper', why wouldn't I be feeling a bit low. A happier me next time. News this morning from mum was that my Nan was on the mend, and looked really good, yesterday. I think a visit to the hospital tonight to see for myself might also help.

02 July, 2006

always look on the bright side*

Leunig cartoon, from SMH Leunig 2006 calendar for July
yesterday we celebrated mum's 64th birthday, it is not her birthday till later in the week, but nan is going to hospital on Wednesday to have her gall bladder out and she didn't want to miss out, so this weekend it was to be. B and I were the hosts for the celebrations, and commenced preparations Friday night, with shopping, cleaning, and preping of the food. The main course was African Chicken, I haven't made this for a few years and it took me a few hours on Thursday night to find the recipe, I am going to scan the scrap of paper with the recipe on it into the computer, this might also prompt B to resurrect the recipe page that was linked to the now no longer website. Although, you are meant to marinade for an hour, I marinaded over night, it has about a dozen spices which takes ages to chop, measure out and mix.

I also made the birthday cake, which was almost a burntoffering although once decorated (after scraping off the black bits) you couldn't tell, that is until it came time to cut (it was a bit dry). Thank goodness nan had made jelly (with cherries in it) and pineapple delight (a marshmellow, pineapple and cream concoction that is just delicious), along with the lemon butter I had made to join the cakes together they provided enough moisture to assist with swallowing.

It was a great day, the weather was perfect, the only dampner being that dad had received news that his irregular heartbeat had returned, Tuesday's procedure hadn't worked. Mum was a bit fragile as a result, it was a good job the family could be together to support one another.

mum opening her pressies
Thank you Leunig for your advice.

It has also helped that the gas heater got connected today, thank you to the plumber who was here from 8am to 4pm, it was a big job.

*heading care of Leunig

28 June, 2006

growing pains

Yesterday was a long and unsettling day that is thankfully over. I had the day off work to take my dad to hospital for cardioversion, some sort of treatment on the heart to regulate the beat. It was only a day procedure but it was a long day, as I had to be up early to trek halfway across town to drop B at work and then pick up my parents and take them to the hospital (my mum doesn’t drive and dad would be unable to drive after the procedure). Mum and I settled dad into hospital at 9am, and then the day consisted of occupying mum so she wouldn’t worry too much until we could collect dad at the end of the day, which ended up around 7pm.

I hadn't anticipated doing anything other than staying at the hospital keeping dad (and mum) company and trying to keep dad's mind off the procedure, but dad in true form didn't want us to think he was worried, and for us to worry, so insisted mum and I go out for coffee and some shopping.

Dad: "Take your mum and do some shopping, I'll be right, enjoy yourselves, and I"ll see you later".

Shopping...Enjoy ourselves?? I had brought my knitting, and a book, I wasn't planning on going anywhere. Mum and I went to Balmain, wandered about the shops, had coffee/lunch, then went to Rozelle where we wandered about the shops, had coffee and then went home to wait for news from the hospital.

I am feeling the roles are realigning, my parents still do so much to help/support us, but they also seem more vulnerable at the moment. So far so good though the procedure seems to have been successful.

26 June, 2006

sugar overloaded

Whilst the helicopters circled overhead attempting to get a glimpse of the celebrations on the hill, we celebrated my grandfathers 91st birthday.
birthday boy and his sweetheart
It was a small and intimate gathering of family over afternoon tea. And as you can see we well and truly induldged our sweettooth.

birthday treats

22 June, 2006


At the moment I need all the inspiration I can get (with B doing a hospital program for the next month and the dramas with his car). So it was great to make the annual pilgrimage to the Craft and Quilt Fair at the Sydney Exhibition Centre with my mum. I think this was one of the best ones I have attended so far. Financial constraints ment a great deal of discipline was exercised and practice in the art of window shopping, and a great many business cards/flyers gathered for future reference.

Here is my list and links:

  • artweave mini kits
  • Living Stitches more great designs in tapestry
  • Amitie Textiles ~ fabrics, patchwork and quilting, this store is located in Bentleigh, VIC and has been pencilled in for when I am next in Melbourne, they are aparently on the train line. They also have a blog.
  • And my ABSOLUTE FAVOURITE was Prints Charming ~ a Sydney based store, everything else seemed to be from interstate. Great handpainted on cotton fabrics and quilt kits. I just loved it.
  • The Thread Studio for wool felt in great colours. I am sure they had other great stuff but that's what I was most interested in.
  • Kaalund Yarns ~ exotic silks, wools & mohairs for embroiderers, knitters and weavers
  • Dragonfly Blue Imports online bead shop
  • Etelage jewellery kits
  • Frances Ergen Designs ~ mum bought me a delicious limey yellow wool and silk pashmina from Frances, and as she doesn't have a website I will have to visit her at the Stitches and Craft Show at Rosehill Racecourse in August. I would love one of her Indian embroidered sundresses.
  • Amiegems more beads
  • Bendigo Woollen Mills ~ I don't know why these guys don't have a website, they offer a great mailorder service and it must cost them a fortune to supply their shade cards.
  • And an old favourite Patchwork on Central Park from whom I got this small pack of fabric to use with a bundle of chenille pieces sourced by B.

fabric pack
I also got this wonderful piece of chenille from Sarah London who told me they will have a website soon.


And this bead, I just liked it although I am not sure what I will do with it.


18 June, 2006

what a day...

Well, today we went to Goulburn! Why?
Have a look at what we got on eBay!
We were planning to leave at the Sparrows fart (early in case you were wondering), but alas, when the F.I.L and the M.I.L arrived, we just had to have scones with Chocolate Orange jam with a cuppa tea... And we finally got off around 10am.
We finally got down there to two of the loveliest people in Goulburn. They even offered to have us drop in for a cuppa if were in town again!
Anyway, loaded up and on our way, we headed for Berrima, a quaint little town in the Southern Highlands of NSW. We had lunch, check out a couple of antique shops etc etc and got home quite late, later than what was planned. L and the F.I.L unloaded what was almost quite a heavy load into the garage. All we have to do now is to source some timber posts for the corners, timber for the roof and then some roof sheeting... oh eBay, do you have all of these too??

17 June, 2006

bloody cars (suzuki's anyway)!

What goes tap tap tap KNOCK?
Well, it is either the bearings on one of the quad cams, or one of the bearings on the crank shaft, right?
Well, that is what I believe has gone in my lil car. I mean, it has done 262,000klms, but hey, WHY NOW? You see, we had just lined up to get a security system, and I was on my way to do a 'Mystery Shop' when it started. As it was, on was on a call to 'L', and I heard this incredible noise, and I had to wait to call 'L' back...
After about 10 mins of self diagnossis, I called 'L' back to tell her my (suspected) bad news. Needless to say, I was over in Menai, and I had to limp the old girl back home... About 20 odd klms! By the time I got home, it sounded like a cross breed diesel/VW!
Anyways, after a couple of phone calls, I was now armed with 3 quotes, $2,200 for a motor that will be taken out of a wreck (2.5L instead of the current 2.0L, and out of a 2003-2005 Suzuki); Another motor out of another wreck for $3,000, or a rebuild for $8,995! Needless to say, I am going for the $2,200 model.
We will keep you posted as to how it all goes, but I am glad that I am currently going to hospital so I will not really need it anyway.

13 June, 2006

iris and hazel

I am lucky enough to have a job that enables me to have the occassional flexi day. I tend to take these on a Friday and spend the day with my mum. Flexi Friday this time saw us visit Eden Gardens, for their new Farmers Market, then cross the Harbour Bridge to Observatory Hill for the Encounters of Country: Landscapes of Ray Crooke exhibition and lunch, and then onto Paddington to take a look at Iris and Hazel as recommended by Douglas and Hope in Melbourne. Disappointingly they didn't carry much Douglas and Hope merchandise, however they did have some great things, all be it very expensive. Because they don't have a website, here are some photos to tempt.
iris and hazel, Paddington St. Paddington

window front

knitted giraffe

knitted toys

knitted toy

embroidered cushion

Douglas and Hope cushion (the round one)

Iris and Hazel tiles

Paddington St

05 June, 2006

any further bids

Not from me… but my dad on the other hand. What started out as a visit with mum and dad on Saturday ended with a trailer full of items on Sunday.

Saturday, B and I popped over to my parents place in the afternoon for a cup of tea and a chat, as well as to take a sticky at an open house across the road from my family home. However, a few delays and distractions on the way from our place to their place meant that we missed the actual open house. Not to worry, as Mum had Plan B, which was to view house contents to be auctioned the next day in Northbridge. This would also be a trip down memory lane of sorts, the house and its contents being in the same street that my dad grew up in and I remember spending many a happy hour with my ‘grandmother’ (she didn’t like to be called that) until she passed away in the late 80’s. So mum, dad, B and I took off, and what started out as hanging out together and mere curious exploration with a bit of window shopping thrown in, led to the purchase of a catalogue and arrangements for meeting the next day.

B and I had our budget, and a few items picked out - a victorian footstool (thought I might embroider a new top for it), 26 piece set of continental cherub cups, saucers, side plates and 2 cake serving plates, a pair of leadlight doors, and washstand. All items I could live without if I didn't get them, and technically I didn't, as I pulled out a couple when my limit was reached, however, Dad decided I was having the washstand and B (who really wanted the doors) was having the doors. Mum and Dad who didn't really want anything ended up with at least half a dozen other bits and pieces including a hinged cedar dining table, sterling silver frame, granite tabletop, and golfclubs.

It was a lot of fun.