Sunday, August 31, 2008

anyone care to guess...

... why Mummy's little helper needed a bath this afternoon? **

** and just so you know: I brought this on myself:
Two days ago Brenda next door was bemoaning the fact that Bear's sister, Molly, appears to be working on a career as an excavation contractor. Ol' dopey me had to go and say "That's funny ... Bear's never shown any inclination to dig!!"

Mum is kinda busy

but in the meantime - while she tries to craft a coherent post - Auntie Glennie and Moggie sent us this
and don't forget today is your last chance to leave a comment for the 2nd blogiversary giveaway contest

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

why cats are better than dogs part 367

Woke up this morning rather earlier than I wanted to because the bedroom as cold enough that I could feel it in my sleep and it didn't take long even in my fuddled sleep-deprived state to realise that it was because all the power was out.
Fully awake now and in desperate need of caffeine, I trudged out to the fuse box to see if it was just us or the whole neighborhood [ which is what happened yesterday afternoon ] and yes, it was just us. Flipped the fuse, fed the goats while I was out there, and went back inside to see if I could work out what had tripped the circuit breaker.
After switching off all the likely suspects, off it went again
... and again
... and again
... at which point I noticed that the cord to the telly in my bedroom - plugged in but not on - had a slightly familiar chewed aspect.
The Bearminator strikes again!

and guess what else I found out today ?

THIS is what happens when you try to clean a beige carpet after a certain someone has discovered and disembowelled a blue biro.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

a marathon effort

After staying up to a ridiculous hour watching the Olympics, sock #1 and I staggered across the finish line at lunchtime yesterday, in a personal best time that was good enough to get through to the final ... so sock #2 was immediately cast on.
We [ sock and I ] settled in with David and assorted animals for an evening of Beijing watching, interpersed with whatever looked good on satellite when the Olympic coverage was on anything remotely resembling waterpolo, hockey or basketball [ than which 't'is of more interest to watch cement drying ] and we collectively decided to crawl off to our warm beds after the amazing shock aussie gold medal in the men's 10 metre platform in the wee smalls.

This morning saw us comfortably encouched [a bit like being ensconced but you do it on a sofa ] for the men's marathon
I was engaged in my own personal marathon and was here as the medalists crossed the line

then a slight stumble after lunch:

and yes, before anyone asks, I pulled it back and redid

and this was the scene at 5 pm

so all that remains is for the socks and I to watch the closing ceremony in all our patriotic glory - or at least that part of it televised before midnight!!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

they lied

the weather bureau forecast an overnight low of minus 2

it was minus 2.9

the fire was out this morning

the goat's water trough was partially frozen

but the sun is out and it's just beautiful out there

Friday, August 22, 2008

heat 1 of the Olympic Sock Steeplechase

She's over the first hurdle
[ out most of day, minimal knitting opportunities ]

and ... oh no! ... she takes a tumble!
[ made the heel flap 2 rows too long and had to redo it ]

but she's up and running again and round the first turn
[ heel flap done, and heading for the gusset ]

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Ready... Set ... Go!!

and despite a late start, she's out of the blocks:

pattern - Broad Ripple Socks [ forever to be known as Bripple socks courtesy of Sheepish Annie ]
yarn - Handmaiden Casbah Sock [ 10% cashmere 10% nylon 80% merino ] from Canada, hand dyed by Irene from Jolly Jumbuck, South Oz
needles - set of 5 x 3.25mm dpns from the Op Shop [ Thrift Store ]

started lunchtime today after I cast off the Presto Chango Sweater for Riley which I promise faithfully to sew up after the Olympics are over

current mood: sunny despite the fact that my surgical procedure for next Monday was cancelled and the surgeon kinda forgot to tell me and I only found out because I rang to query the lack of supporting paperwork. Now scheduled for two weeks from Monday.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Play Date

FiestyWench came over this afternoon and bought her new wheel, the lovely Ms Rose along for a play date.

Unfortunately Bear and I are still having issues regarding suitable chew toys so Ms Charlotte Sheridan refused to play and stayed in the spare room ... I knitted instead. I still haven't cast on with the Olympic yarn - which FW got to pat - but 't'will probably happen tomorrow. I'm leaning towards the Broad Ripples . In the meantime I'm nearly finished this top for Riley : FW did
offer me a turn on Rose [ or is she Rosie?] but she's still too new and pristine.
I almost felt the need to humble myself at her feet ... I mean pedals ... "we are not worthy. we are not worthy"
Maybe next time.
I nearly had heart failure when FW and I popped outside for a while and Bear decided to taste test the handpainted merino roving. Luckily he left the wheel alone.

As a side note -we have discovered even more similarities on this visit - musical tastes, health issues, you name it, so now poor FW has a clear vision of the person she may turn into in a couple of decades.
Be afraid my sweet
Be very afraid

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Aussie Aussie Aussie Oi Oi Oi

daily for the last week or so:
Castlemaine Post Office person: Oh God no, here she comes again. It's your turn - I'm taking my break now [ mass exodus ensues ]
Me: Is it here yet ?
receives answer in the negative
exits sadly

and the cause of all the excitement?

the generous and wonderful and marvelous Irene at Jolly Jumbuck decided to do a little RAOK* with the last set of her Aussie Olympic hand dyed sock yarn and I got it!!!!
It's on Handmaiden Casbah which seems to be just the most wonderful machine washable merino/cashmere blend and something I'm dying to knit with.
It's just as well it took a few days to get here, because I've been in a quandary with what to cast on. Obviously it has to be something worthy of the beautiful yarn
... Hat? mmm maybe ... but ...
... jumper for grandson? It's a wonderful bright colourway that would marvelous on a fair, blue eyed blonde and I love him to pieces but ...
NOPE, not enough for him to get my cashmere
...fingerless gloves ? for once, no, I think not
... okay socks. It is sock yarn after all... but WHICH ? so many great patterns.

small rest while my brain cools down from the internet sock pattern overload

- nothing too fancy. Lace socks look better in solids or very subtle variegations, which this self- evidently ain't!!
I'm thinking about Broadripple or Wise Hilda's Basic Ribbed Sock. Opinions? or other suggestions? but quickly please 'cos I'm not sure how long I can wait to cast on :]

Don't forget to leave a comment on the birthday giveaway post here - you have until the end of the month

*RAOK - Random Act of Kindness

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

somebody remind me why I wanted a dog

Belated Blogiversary contest

Better late than never, huh?
as you'll know if you're a regular reader, last week marked the 2nd anniversary of this 'ere blog and in keeping with tradition I'm having a giveaway contest.
You have until the end of this month ie 12 midnight Australian Eastern Standard Time on August 31 to leave a comment on this post telling me either why you started blogging [ assuming that you do ] or what draws you to read blogs [ which you must do or else how did you get here ? ] OR perhaps what you think makes a good blog

of course there has to be a prize and it will be

a CD of wonderful, energetic African music by the Mafumani Choir
an aussie keyring - if the winner is from O/S
and an appropriate something else which will be determined by the interests of the winner - probably something involving fabric, fleece or yarn

and I must go now because Ms Alice is at the door for morning tea
ETA: and I forgot to get a photo - rats!!

Saturday, August 09, 2008

SOLD OUT - for one night only!

I'm not sure if words and pictures can really serve to give you a sense of last night's electric performance with the Mafumani Secondary School Choir , but I'll give it a shot:

As you will know if you read yesterday's post, I was in pain, with limited mobility, and really hoping it wouldn't put a crimp in my evening but y'know, sometimes you just have to soldier on, and deal with any consequences later. Right ?? Right!!

Okay, so:
high on adrenalin, covered in heat gel, and bolstered by many more anti-inflams and heavy duty painkillers than was really advisable, I drove into town, parked close and was able to walk in relatively normally, albeit carefully. Flat shoes helped.

We weren't allowed into the Theatre proper for a while, so there was general milling in the foyer, chatting, hugging and cheek kissing, and checking out of everyone's costume

Eventually though we did get in and despite some buggerising around with sound checks and trying to work out how to fit us onto the small stage of the Theatre Royal, it all kicked off albeit about half an hour later than planned

guess who had snagged her seat in the front row?

The sheer exuberance of the performances was exhilarating.
...the singing, mostly in a 'call and response' format, was enhanced by frenzied, uninhibited, joyous dancing, clapping, and whistling by the 5 young men and 6 young women in traditional garb - over board shorts, sneakers and Chicago Bulls sports socks - and you wouldn't believe the torrent of sound produced by such a small number. Musical backing was provided by these gentlemen augmented occasionally by James Rigby on guitar

Now being a Secondary School choir, I was expecting 'children' - which these young people absolutely weren't - but discovered from reading the cover notes on the CD that I bought as a blogiversary prize [ more on that tomorrow ] that because these people come from one of the poorest areas in South Africa, children frequently start school quite late by western standards and are often still in school well into their twenties. I'm a little surprised at that statement, because I would have thought that the labour of an adult would be of more benefit to the family unit than that of a small child.

we had a ball!!!!!!!!!!!!

To keep the spirit of the evening, and to complement the African music we had so painstakingly learnt and the fabulous Limpopo T-shirts worn by the Millennium Chorus, the dress code for the rest of us was black tops and colourful bottoms [!!] with many improvising ingenious 'African style headwraps.

I was intending to do something along those lines but in the end I made myself a perky little hat instead ... beret-ish but with less 'poof' at the top and a much deeper band... a red angora muffin - to match my red skirt and shoes... and as Castlemaine is the home of 'interesting' winter head gear, I do intend to wear it again ... although perhaps not on the zero degree mornings - it won't do a lot for keeping the ears warm

I'll probably blog about the genesis of the hat sometime this week [ note to self - overhead fluro kitchen lighting SO not flattering ]

postscript to the evening: while I'm not exactly moving normally today, I'm certainly better than I expected to be, so all those good thoughts and long-distance healing vibes may just have worked :]
along with the wonders of modern pharmacology and music-fueled endorphins

Friday, August 08, 2008


I've woken up this morning with my spine so far out of whack that I can barely move
step ... drag ... step ... drag ... shuffle

getting out of a chair involves that manouvre where you place your hands on your knees, push, and then walk them up your thighs pushing as you go to get upright

don't know how I did it

could'a been the wood chopping

could'a been the energetic swaying from side to side African style at choir practice last night

all I know is that there will be a complete lack of the swaying tonight at the performance
and lots of pain killers

I'm certainly no stranger to spinal pain but haven't had an episode like this for a while - and the timing sucks

yup I'm feeling a bit sorry for myself at the moment and in need of lots of positive healing thoughts if I'm to make it into town tonight.

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

late night visitor

It turns out that a guard dog does not need to be incredibly large and muscular.
Small and chicken also works

allow me to 'splain:

My eldest has to come up this way occasionally in connection with his job and needed to be in Castlemaine very early, so rather than get up before 5 as he would have needed to do, he rang to ask if it would be okay for him to arrive on my doorstep around 11.30 - midnightish and to stay the night.

no problemo

after the last flying visit we had serious concerns about asthma/allergic reactions so I vacuumed the house top to bottom ... twice ... and he was prepared to swallow some antihistamines the minute he got in the door.

David needed to go to bed - he's a little under the weather and I've kept him home today - and I settled in for some tv and knitting. As the evening progressed I found myself sharing the couch with a small dog and one... then two ... and finally... all three cats. Yup even MissC joined us, albeit somewhat tentatively at first. Of course I couldn't move to get the camera so you'll just have to take my word for the fact that peace reigned supreme for probably close to an hour

and then as the car lights turned into the driveway and pulled up in the carport a small fur based missile erupted off the couch amidst a flurry of barks of such volume that Sheepie probably heard the ruckus all the way over there in Maine.

His Beariness then took refuge under a table and continued to make loud comments on everything from Stephen's clothing choices and aftershave to the size of his shoes and his antecedents until tempted out with a peace offering of cheese which he deigned to accept after making sure that it wouldn't undermine his self-appointed position as house guardian.

btw it was minus 0.5 last night and the smaller bird bath still had ice on it at 11am but look at the lovely day it turned into:

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

and how about you my friend ... would you like to win a quilt?

Spent part of today sitting at the local IGA Supermarket complex with another member of our quilt group as we pounced on locals in an attempt to get them to buy tickets for our quilt show raffle quilt.

It is really bizarre the responses that some people give to the question " would you like to win this lovely queen sized quilt?"
very few will just look you in the eye and say " No ... thankyou"
A lot of folks got that slightly haunted look and blurted out the first thing that came to mind ... which didn't always make a lot of sense ... as they tried to edge away.

[thinks] If I don't make eye contact maybe she'll leave me alone!!!! Oh bugger, don't look! Don't look!

No one actually told us to leave them alone but it was clear that they were trying to work out just how fast one could dive through the exit door before it could be described as ' with indecent haste'
No one said they didn't like the quilt, in fact most were very complimentary, but several said that they'd have no use for it. Really? They don't sleep ? They don't have any rellies who could use another piece of bedding ?

At least [ this time ] no one said that they could do with a new dog bed !!!!!

Anyway, I actually had quite a pleasant time working on my reverse applique block and chatting to various people who DID want to buy tickets

and I'll attempt to get a decent pic of the quilt tomorrow ... umm ... y'know... just in case some of you would like tickets

and still speaking of quilts:

I found this absolutely fabulous tutorial for making slightly wonky butterfly blocks over on The Patchery Menagerie. Haven't had a go yet but the tute looks very well thought out.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Happy Blogiversary to me!

This Friday evening, the historic Theatre Royal in Castlemaine will play host to several local choirs: the Chat Warblers, the Melbourne Millenium Chorus, and the Arcafellas, as we support these wonderful African school children - the Mafumani Choir.
We've been practising our African songs for months and it should be absolutely fab-u-lous ...
provided we have an audience
It wouldn't normally be a cause for concern because this is a town that is incredibly supportive of all the performing and visual arts but this Friday is 08.08.08 - yup - We are competing against the Opening Ceremony of the Beijing Olympics.
if you're in reach of Castlemaine, please put the VCR/DVD on record and come along for an evening of great music, song and dance.

this is actually my second Blogiversary and it sort of crept up on me so I've decided the celebrations can continue for a while. There WILL be the obligatory competition with prizes, just not today.