OK, so it's cold these mornings and you don't want to get out of bed. There's frost on the grass where the sunshine hasn't yet reached; it crackles under your slippers when you go out to feed the birds - and you wish you'd had the sense to put shoes on before you came out. Then you turn to go back into the house and there it is, something to gladden a grumpy heart, a spider's web encrusted with frozen dewdrops and sparkling like millions of tiny diamonds. The agapanthus head that you were too lazy to cut when the flower died has gained a new beauty, festooned with cobweb and more dewy diamonds. My camera didn't do them justice but I'm glad I got the photos anyway. Our little farmhouse has been taken over by suburbia and in the not-too-distant future it and this wonderland around it will be no more so I'm collecting memories. This one was too good to miss. Frosty mornings have their compensations. Bye for now until next time.
This little bloke caught my eye outside a restaurant when we stopped for a cup of coffee in Orford, Tasmania. For once I had my camera handy. I couldn't resist a picture. I'm trying to decide on his parentage; those ears could be basset but he's a little short (or should I say length challenged?). An obliging little fellow anyway. Frosty here this morning. There was ice on the bird bath in our garden; a good reason to put off bathing in my opinion. Birds don't appear to notice the cold. I'm sure I wouldn't like to sleep in a tree in these temperatures. I know 4 deg celsius is hardly considered cold in some parts of this fair planet but I find it pretty chilly. Lovely weather for sitting cosily beside the fire knitting. I'm half way up the first sleeve of a new cardigan for the man of the house; it's to be stripes of leftovers (in brown & bottle green) to replace the dreadful thing he wears in the shed which has been mended beyond recognition. Almost finished, one sleeve to go. Hope you have had a nice weekend whether snuggling by the fire or relaxing on the beach. Bye for now, until next time.
This is Dad magpie and the two kids. The mother is up in the gum tree somewhere and won't come down until I leave. They really don't like to have the camera pointed at them. It's funny, the shy one has known me for several years yet still doesn't trust me. That's OK; they shouldn't trust humans. It's almost time for the parents to start chasing the babies off as they're well able to fend for themselves now and soon the parents will mate again. It's always sad for me when I see the babies being ousted but that's the way it is in the bird world. Somebody said that it is only humans that allow their young to come back home to live. The cold weather has prompted me to knit some socks; not my usual thing but fun just the same, so I'm going through my stash for odd balls to use. I love going through my stash as I've always forgotten what's in there and so it's a bit like finding lost treasure. Gorgeous day today but still cold. Bye for now until next time.
The man of the house likes to cook (what a treasure). Here he is with a loaf of cornbread made from a recipe given to me by Cristy, The Crafty Country Momma. There is Cristy over there on the right of my page. (Sorry I still haven't learned to do links). I think our cornmeal must be a little coarser than that which they have in the USA as it's quite crunchy, but that's part of what we like about it. Its delicious and a little less sinful than some cake as it uses oil for it's shortening (better for our cholesterol). Thanks Cristy. By the way: That's not a bow on his head but a butterfly decoration on the curtain. Cold tonight; winter is on its way. Hope you're all warm and cosy wherever you are. Bye for now until next time.
I'm playing truant at the moment because I'm supposed to be working on the newsletter but I just had to show you this latest scroll-saw marvel by Joe from the woodworkers club to which I belong. It's a jig-saw puzzle that actually sits upright on a swing, but it does come apart for re-assembly. I've given up looking for adjectives to describe Joes work - it speaks for itself. Joe has given me the pattern and is encouraging me to make one myself. I fall about laughing at the idea but he assures me it is easy. We'll see. Anyway, off to the newsletter - a big one this month as its AGM time again. Hope you had a lovely Mother's day and will have a beaut week. Bye for now until next time.
Cutting sandwiches for my school lunch was easy for my mother, when I was growing up, so long as there was a pot of pickle & a block of cheese in the house. Cheese & pickle sandwiches were my favourite. At the end of Summer, when the tomato vines were over their best, Dad would pull them for the compost heap, stripping the remaining unripened tomatoes and bringing them into the kitchen. Nana's pickle recipe would be trotted out and soon the house would be filled with the wonderful smell of pickles simmering away in a pan on the stove. It has happened again in our house. The man of the house has acquired some green tomatoes from a friend who has stripped his finished tomato plants. Nana's recipe has made an appearance again and man-of-house has been busily slicing, measuring, simmering and potting. Here are some of the pickles he has made. No nasty numbers, just vegetables, vinegar, sugar and spices - lovely. Here is the recipe if you'd like it. We cut the recipe down to about a third as it's an awful lot for just the two of us.
6 pounds (2 3/4 Kgs.) green tomatoes 2 pounds onions (about 1 Kg.) 2 pounds sugar (about 1 kg.) 2 tablespoons curry powder 2 tablespoons mustard (we used mustard powder) 4 tablespoons plain flour 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper. 2 pints vinegar (about 1200 mls) Peel and slice onions & tomatoes. Put them into a stainless steel, glass or china bowl, sprinkle with salt and let stand overnight. Next day strain off the liquid, put onions & tomatoes into pan and add sufficient vinegar to cover. Add the sugar and boil for 5 minutes. Mix all other ingredients with a little vinegar, stir into the onions & tomatoes and boil all together for 1 hour or until thick enough. Bottle whilst warm into clean, warmed jars and seal.