Thursday, December 22, 2011


This picture made me smile and I thought I would share it with you. A real performer, Zimmy is happy to be dressed up in all sorts of costumes to have her photo taken. She seems to love the attention. Zimmy belongs to my son's partner and has her own facebook page - Zimmy Dog. She is a real campaigner and fights for several causes, among them, Oscar's Law - a movement to end the cruelty of puppy farming in Australia, the Winter appeal for Animal Rescue, and Save Lennox, an ongoing issue in Ireland.
With only a day to go it looks as though Santa Zimmy has her paws full with getting her Christmas presents ready for delivery.

With all the hype, tinsel and coloured lights it's easy to forget what Christmas is all about. I hope yours will be blessed and peace filled and your New Year will be full of promise and opportunity.
Bye for now until next time.

Thursday, December 15, 2011


Sometimes something happens that makes a day really special. Yesterday was one of those days for me. Our daughter had announced that she was taking us to the Royal Melbourne Zoo. The man of the house has been eager to visit the Zoo for ages as we haven't been there for many years. We were keen to see the new enclosures that have been built to make the animals more comfortable and so were looking forward to our trip. The day before our visit our daughter let me in on the secret she had been keeping - the trip was actually a combined birthday and Christmas gift for me and the treat was that I would take part in the 'Elephant Experience' where I would be able to go behind the scenes to help feed Marli, the baby elephant who is now about 19 months old and also meet her mother.
Words can't describe how beautiful the experience was. Like anyone who truly loves animals I hate cages but sadly, for many of the planet's beautiful, endangered animals the spacious, natural enclosures at the Zoo are an insurance policy for the species.
I avoid the tendency to anthropomorphize. The most important needs for an animal's welfare are food and safety from predators, an absence of boredom plus the space to enable them to behave like animals. The Zoo is staffed by dedicated keepers who have these needs and the welfare of their charges as their top priority. They are doing a marvelous job. The elephants are fed in a manner that will encourage them to forage, are provided with plenty of space to amble and socialize.
What an experience. I loved every minute of my time with them. I can't remember when a birthday gift has given me so much joy.
Must go now. I hope your weekend will be a good one. Bye until next time.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Our Special Day

The Gala Day for the woodworkers has come and gone, and some of us are feeling that weird rudderless feeling that happens when you've spent a whole year working toward an event and suddenly it's over. It was marvellous seeing all our work stacked up ready for presentation. Everything looked so colourful. In all we shifted 600 toys, carting them back and forth like an army of ants as we loaded them into the various vans that were to take them away. Next thing is to get together to decide what we will make next year.
It's all go here as I imagine it is at your place with only 17 sleeps to go.
Over here in Oz we will probably be enjoying our Christmas family get-together in the shadiest spot we can find while we watch the youngsters cooling off in the swimming pool. Hard to imagine folk in other parts of the world wrapped up in the warmest clothing they have.
Wherever you are, I hope you will be able to enjoy some of the peace that the season represents.
Bye for now until next time.

Monday, December 5, 2011

The've Done it Again

Those lovely ladies from the Pakenham Patchworkers and Quilters have once again presented the woodworkers with the quilts that we need to dress up our dolls beds and prams - 48 in all, if I've counted correctly. I've photographed just a few of them here. Each one is a tiny masterpiece of stitching executed with the same care and precision that would go into a quilt for a full size bed. These women are such a giving bunch who present their beautiful work unstintingly to several recipients. Apart from their patchwork they also knit and crochet scores of little garments, teddies and blankets for needy newborns and where these aren't suitable they hand out cheques to welfare organisations.
I'm so grateful for people who feel the need to give when there are so many who need to receive. They make the world a nicer place.
I hope yours was a good weekend and your week will be good too.
Bye for now until next time.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

An experiment.

With the discomfort that I have had of late with my thumb, I thought I'd drag out the knitting machine and give it a run. A really simple project is a pair of mittens which I made up in an hour or two. They turned out well and fitted the man of the house perfectly, but the enjoyment of clicking away with my trusty needles just wasn't there. Into the bargain there was a lot more sewing involved as the thumb has to be knitted separately and sewn in place. So back to the handknitting it is. I made another pair on two needles and one pair on four DPNs. The DPNs win hands down (oops, sorry for the pun). In the first picture I've photographed one mitt from each handknit pair. That's the two needle job on the left with the seam down the side. The pair in the second picture is the machine knit ones. The only thing better about them is the nice smooth knitting and the neat rib in the cuff. I'll keep on with mittens for a while as I plan to give them to the nearest collector for the homeless. These are pure wool and lovely and cosy - plus the colour is more serviceable for the life they will lead.
Must be off now. It's the woodworkers annual dinner tonight and I must get ready.
I hope you will have a wonderful weekend.
Bye for now until next time.