Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas




Thanks to The Old Flame for finding this.  He thinks it is "too true to be funny."

Monday, December 21, 2009

Thriftmas



Because there just isn't enough compulsory shopping at this time of the year, The Old Flame and I squeezed in a little op-shopping on the weekend.

We found heaps of wool, sewing notions and a toy loom (a bit expensive, but what the hell, it's Christmas), some shirts and these, my favourite things, which I even managed to photograph.



The white cane basket was full of knitting wool - most of it useable, the hand made little blue and white mouse in 3ply wool, the blue darning mushroom, and pink ballet flats with cute toe detail.


Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Surprise



So I had a birthday.  The perpetual problem of having a birthday so close to Christmas is that it's a big hassle for everyone.  People are busy preparing for Christmas, attending Christmas parties etc.  If I plan a birthday function it's a hassle, so this year I planned nothing but a quiet weekend with The Old Flame.

He managed to surprise me with a gift.  A Tupperware mystery box of goodies.  I'm difficult to surprise, mostly because I tend to buy myself what I want and need, and also because TOF and  I went to Sydney recently to buy each other's gifts, so I thought I knew what I was getting.  I didn't, he surprised me and it was lovely.

The day held a surprise garage sale around the corner, a surprise visit to some friends, a surprise purchase of cute underwear at reasonable prices in a chain store (something I've never managed before - the benefits of significant weight loss) and yesterday, a surprise cake from my colleagues.  I thought I'd hidden my birthday from my friends at work, forgetting that some of them are also my friends on Facebook. 

Jill made a delicious cake which we shared yesterday afternoon.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Touche Turtle and Away!



I just love fnding new uses for Tupperware!

On Second Hand Sunday (29 Nov just passed), The Old Flame and I picked up the base of a Tupperware marinating dish thinking we might have seal lurking in the bits and pieces collection.

It came in quite useful when we rescued this little fellow.  He was trying to cross the Barton Highway at a very busy spot.  I picked up the smelly freshwater turtle, either Emydura macquarii (Macquarie Turtle) or Chelodina longicollis (Snake-necked Turtle), and we took him to a reedy spot near the lake in Nicholls.  He was gone in seconds.  So quickly did he depart, we didn't get another photo.

Live well, Stinky.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Zippity doo dah



Lovely to run into Button Beauty and Consumption Rebellion at Salvos in Philip a couple of days ago.

I was buying old Zip disks for a friend who volunteers in a major national institution helping preserve technology and electronic records.  If anyone has old Zip disks they were considering ditching, I can find them a good home. (And thanks to Twitter friend Sonja who has already pledged a couple more).

Hope the Barbie Camper found a good home. :)

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Iron woman



I have a shameful secret.  Really, really shameful.  Only a few people know it and I usually don't like to talk about it.  I quite like ironing.

My post on fabric napkins garnered a lot of "I love them, but hate ironing" comments so I thought I should come clean (so to speak).

Ironing is a bit like making jams and preserves - I'm not that keen on the process but I really love the result.

There is a sense of satisfaction that comes from a truly empty ironing basket that defies description. 

Early memories of my mother are Sunday afternoons watching old movies on the telly while she ironed.  The smell of hot cotton and Fabulon!  I got to do hankies and pillowcases.

One of my household chores as a teenager was the family ironing.  I didn't much like it, but I wanted my pocket money and it was better than mowing the lawn.  When I was at college, I took in ironing to earn extra money.  

Ironing also gave me a passive-agressive outlet.  When Dad was pissing me off (and when wasn't he?), I starched his undies and hankies until they could stand up on their own.  After I left home he complained to Mum that his clothes didn't feel quite right!

But I have to be honest, I enjoy seeing a rail of freshly pressed items and get a thrill seeing people I love looking smart in garments I have ironed.  It's a bit like knitting really.  All that time and effort - you'd only do it for those you love.

The Old Flame bought a divine new ironing board once I started doing his shirts, and I've invested in new spray bottles and pressing cloths and a clothes rack (because I broke the old one with over-use) in this last year.  I even found the much lusted after Elna Press (at a garage sale in South West Rocks in August for $40) - which makes ironing jeans and tablecloths a breeze.

In moments of frustration I dream of leaving work and setting up as an ironing lady.  There may even be a business plan tucked in the back of my diary.  It's a great plan; let me know if you need an ironing lady, I might be able to fit you in.

Now go away, I have a fifties housewife to channel.

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Are you being servietted?



New/old napkins on the washing line this morning. 

I bought 17 cloth napkins recently in navy, yellow, red, green and cream at a garage sale for $2 and another 8 navy napkins at the tip shop for $1.    These are going into the big box under the house where we keep our catering sets of glasses and other barbecue and party paraphernalia.  I loathe plastic cups and glasses and much prefer cloth to paper napkins.

Monday, December 07, 2009

Popping cherries



I know it's Summer when the first stone fruits hit the stove in a preseve-making frenzy.

The Old Flame and I took Mum and Peggy off to Young on Saturday and bought up big in the cherry shed on Torry Hill.  30 kilos between us might sound like a lot, but much gets given away.

Sunday, TOF and I get busy with the cherry pitter. 

We sacrificed a bottle of vodka to make two jars of cherry vodka which will be ready in time for New Year's Eve and made a start on the port stockpile Dad left me and preseved a couple of big jars of cherries in spiced port for dessert on Christmas Day. 

There are three containers of cherries poached in cinnamon syrup in the freezer to be eaten sometime in autumn or winter when stone fruits are just a dream.  Five jars of cherry, ginger and port jam also made it off the stove.  I suspect we'll use this more as a sauce than a jam as it's very runny and very gingery. 

There's also a weeny bit of highly concentrated "Essence of Christmas" syrup.  We chucked all the cherry pips and left over syrups from the other recipes which included  port, cinnamon, orange peel, sugar, star anise and lemon skins into a small saucepan and let it simmer while we did the rest of the cooking.  I seem to recall a mango seed also got popped in for good measure late in the day as well.  We then strained and bottled it.  It will be the base of a sauce or two for leftovers after Christmas.

Another couple of kilos went into the dehydrator for winter enjoyment as well.

Then there were the ones that only made it as far as our mouths.  And there's plenty for snacks this week.