I accidentally deleted dozens of photographs from this blog. Without them, many posts made no sense at all, so I have deleted them too. I have left those that had photos intact, and those that did not reference photos.
I thought I should post, as soon it will be too late to wish everyone a Happy New Year! I've been busy organizing and cleaning and have finally got things squared away. Now I can enjoy doing some fun stuff.
A few weeks ago I rediscovered my enjoyment of knitting. Since then I have made five scarves for family members. I thought I would ease myself back in before tackling a bigger project. Yesterday I looked after O and B for a few hours, and they both asked me to teach them to knit. My Dad taught me when I was about 5, and within a year I was happily knitting sweaters for my teddies.
I never really liked dolls, I felt they were cold things. Not like a teddy, who cozied up to you, especially when you weren't feeling 100%! Anyway, Olivia caught on fairly quickly, I had decided to teach her the way I was shown at school. When I was about 9, we , the girls in the class, made a school scarf, alternating royal blue and white stripes, about 4 inches wide. First we had to show that we could knit a perfect square, so that is what Olivia set out to do. Bronwyn, didn't want to be left out, but quickly became frustrated, so we will try again in a few weeks if she is still interested.Olivia took her test piece home with her, so we will see how she got on in a few days time.
Meanwhile, today I had to run some errands and picked up new reading material, and some yarn to make, you guessed it, another scarf. However this yarn is called Sashay. Not so much a yearn, more of a lacy ribbon, and you knit with the top row of the holes in the ribbon, and with only six stitches to knit on each row, it forms a ruffle. The lower edge of the yarn/ribbon has a soft metallic thread and is beginning to look quite pretty.
When I began following the pattern on the back of the yarn label it seemed quite straight forward, but I soon got into trouble. Thank goodness for websites. Red Heart even had a little video to show me what I was doing wrong, and suggested a slightly different method of knitting it (than the label indicated,)which made it all so easy.
It is going quite well now and looks like it is supposed to!
Has anyone used Sashay and if so how did you get on...?
By glimpse of moonshine chequering thro' the trees,
The school boy, with his satchel in his hand,
Whistling aloud to bear his courage up,
And lightly tripping o'er the long flat stones,
(With nettles skirted, and with moss o'ergrown,)
That tell in homely phrase who lie below.
Sudden he starts, and hears, or thinks he hears,
The sound of something purring at his heels;
Full fast he flies, and dare not look behind him,
'Till, out of breath, he overtakes his fellows,
Who gather round and wonder at the tale
Of horrid apparition tall and ghastly,
That walks at dead of night, or takes his stand
O'er some new-open'd grave; and (strange to tell!)
Evanishes at crowing of the cock.
from The Grave by Robert Blair
(1699-1746) Scottish writer. Robert Blair was a Scottish poet and minister, who is perhaps best known for "The Grave." He was part of a group called the Graveyard School.
Thanks to a little help from Picnik.com, I think my garden in the photo looks quite spooky too, don't you?
I spent a rewarding time in the kitchen yesterday afternoon. I made the pumpkin cheesecake, and it turned out really well. I've made it before from a different recipe, but this was with low fat cream cheese. (Trying to cut back to lose weight!) It is not quite as sweet, but moist and tasty. Then I made Spiced Moroccan Butternut Squash. Very easy and delicious, I will definitely make this again. We ate it with lean boneless pork chops, and steamed broccoli.
For Robyn, and anyone else that might like to try this...here is the recipe Roasted Butternut Squash with Moroccan Spices (Makes 3-4 servings..from Fine Cooking Magazine)
4-5 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1" cubes (I used one large squash)
2 Tbsp Olive Oil (or slightly less)
1/2 tsp. kosher Salt
Fresh ground black pepper
sea salt, for seasoning cooked squash
Peel butternut squash with veggie peeler, cut off ends and cut squash into cubes 1" square. Put squash into bowl and toss with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper and 1 tsp of spice mixture. Stir well to get oil and spices evenly distributed on cut surfaces of squash.
Brush roasting pan with olive oil and arrange squash in a single layer. Roast for 40-50 minutes, turning every 15 minutes or so. Squash is done when soft and lightly browned.
Season with sea salt and serve hot.
This spice mix is great on other roasted vegetables. Fine Cooking suggests carrots, cauliflower, parsnips, potatoes, sweet potatoes and turnips.
NB.I found when I went to stir after 15 minutes the squash was already soft, but not browned, so I turned the oven down to 350F and kept an eye on it until it was the colour you see on my photo. It depends on your oven I guess, but as the cubes are small if it over cooks it just sticks to the pan. So see how it looks at the 15 minute mark.
We are under renovation! The ground floor is being taken apart and updated. New floors, (wood and ceramic) trim, doors and paint. The crew began this morning and 2 hours in I have already heard enough banging to last me a while. As usual when we undertake these things, other issues are uncovered and require fixing. The upside is there is so much dust that I think I can pass on the house work for a few days. Meanwhile the laundry beckons so I will get stuck into that. Back soon with a progress report.
Another glorious Fall day! It makes my heart sing.
My fondest childhood memories are of Fall days, kicking in the leaves, and the scent of bonfires. We didn't celebrate Hallowe'en when I was a child, instead we all looked forward to Bonfire Night. November 5th, was anticipated with a delirious excitement, and to this day fireworks bring back that feeling. I don't think I know anyone who doesn't like Fall!
"The winds will blow their own freshness into you, and the storms their energy, while cares will drop away from you like the leaves of Autumn."- John Muir
Autumn mornings are the best! After a busy Summer, cares do feel as though they have dropped away. Time to sort leisurely through closets for warmer clothes, and look out cook books for Fall recipes. We don't need them quite yet as we are enjoying a warm humid spell, but it's good to be prepared. I have missed you all over the Summer, and have stopped by to see you now and then, peeking in and tiptoeing away without leaving a word. It feels good to be back. See you all soon.
"If ever there is tomorrow when we're not together... there is something you must always remember. you are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. But the most important thing is, even if we're apart... I'll always be with you."
I find it more and more difficult of late, to blog. I still enjoy reading your posts, but find myself uninspired when I try to write anything that is worth reading. So I will take a break, it may be a day, it may be a year, but I will be sure to post if anything comes to me that I think you might find of interest.
Big hugs & TTFN
It is so hot and humid right now, and thunder storms seem to be the order of the day.
We are still sooo busy, Ivo's test results were not what we had hoped, so we are going to the hospital regularly again for immunotherapy and interferon, to try and knock his cancer on it's a**!
We have the boat in the water and everything is shipshape. Problem is we have not had a minute to enjoy it yet, and apart from cleaning it and getting it launched we have only spent one night aboard.
On the home front, we have finally had the porch enclosure installed, the patio door replaced, but the saga of the deck is on going. Trying to renovate something can be so tricky. We are thinking now it would have been easier to demolish it entirely and begin again, it would certainly have been cheaper, and required less patience. I've also been looking after O and B after school two days a week, which is not work but a pleasure and a joy.
My dad's sister lost her husband, my uncle M ( in the UK) and while I was unable to attend the funeral, my cousin Linda did and reconnected with long lost cousins and aunts and uncles. As she was getting me up to date on what everyone was doing these days, I was remembering Summers past. Why do memories of childhood summers seem to be filled with endless hot and sunny days, when I'm sure they were not!
With my memory jogged I looked out some old photos, and came across this one, of my dad's two older brothers and their wives taken in the early 50's. The two on the right are gone now, and were Linda's parents. The other couple are still going strong and are well into their eighties. I'm not sure where the photo was taken, but I would guess the South coast, probably Weymouth.
I hope you are all enjoying the weather, and I promise to visit soon.