Tuesday, 26 June 2012

More Links To Jennet Cragg(nee Townson)

A message on my previous post about this remarkable great-grandmother has opened up another whole branch of our family! Aly Gray is descended from Jennet's son, Timothy Cragg and I am descended from her youngest daughter, Elizabeth who wed John Kelsall in 1650.

Aly kindly sent me this link  which shows that in the early 1800s distant relatives from Over Wyresdale emigrated to a place called Greenbank, Ontario, Canada. (I have actually been within 20 miles of this town in 2004 driving to from and to Toronto Airport.) Although all the pages of this book are not on-line it shows mentions of the Kelsalls and Craggs, cousins and second cousins, who lived in Over Wyresdale and followed the Quaker way of worship and living.

This next link gives an idea of the life and times of both Jennet and Timothy, I'm just a little disappointed he doesn't mention his young sister, Elizabeth but he has certainly left his mark.

This is the house he built in Over Wyresdale with his son, David(not the one who went to Canada). Beech House, credit to Neil Cragg, thank you.

Try this link for a better view

My next discovery is the web-site of Barbara Dickson also in Ontario and descended from Jennet Cragg. Barbara has compiled the stories of her branch of the Cragg family, the ones that went on to found Greenbank in Durham County, Ontario.

I find it quite hard to try to follow these family trees when they are so distant but hopefully by getting these links down now I will be able to follow them up. I'd especially love to read the whole of  Georgina Fandrey's book at the "Our Roots/Nos Racines" site in Quebec.

Lastly a link to what was probably the Meeting House for the Quaker Families in Over Wyresdale and surrounding farms etc, you can see the small and very plain graveyard in the main photo.

An on-going project!
Love from Sue

ETA Aly has just introduced me to something called Genes Reunited and so tomorrow I will begin filling in what I know of my own family tree(s).

If you are interested in writing out your own family tree there are lovely templates here to print off...would make a nice activity for older children to do their own.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Instant Porridge

While shopping recently I spotted a box of 6 sachets of a luxury brand name Instant Porridge for $1 in the sad basket at Dewson's.
Joe really enjoyed them for breakfast but at the regular price of $6 for 6 serves it was not going to be a regular purchase. I had a light-bulb moment and realised I could make it myself, saved the ingredients list off the box and got the food processor out...

To make around 7 serves for less than a dollar you'll need....

2 cups of rolled oats(not the instant kind)
1/3 cup of dried fruit, perhaps roughly chopped apricots and sultanas or some dates and pears for example
1T mixed seeds
1T raw sugar
1t cocoa powder(optional)
1t ground cinnamon (also optional but very nice)

Start off processing them, seeds and fruit first and then everything else until you mix is quite powdery. Store it in a airtight container, this much just filled a 500mls canning jar.

To serve...
Mix 1/3 a cup of your porridge blend with 1/2 a cup of cold milk or water,
Microwave for about 2 minutes and stir well...that's it!
 It shouldn't need any sweetener on it but you could always leave out the sugar and serve it with honey or maple syrup.

If you'd prefer you could soak the blend in 1/2 a cup of boiling water for 2-3 minutes and stir well, serve with a little cold milk.

By making your own it cuts back on the amount of packaging you buy.

(and I don't like porridge at all, it's right up there with Heinz tinned spaghetti lol The reason I don't like it is because on ONE occasion my dear old Grandad cooked it for Ian(4) and I(8) and he left a few lumps in it.....oh dear, this Princess could not eat Lumpy Porridge and so her Little Bro' wouldn't eat it either! Sorry Grandad xx)

The rain is coming back this week and it's shopping today, what an event that is...to buy the very best and most for the least amount of money is a challenge I actually enjoy.
Rose has posted a lovely spicy soup recipe at the forum with red lentils and chick peas and lots of healthy aromatics so I'm keen to try that.
Take care, especially if you are driving,
Love Sue

Saturday, 23 June 2012

State Government Dental Clinics

In Western Australia (at least) the state govt has it's own Dental Health Services and one aspect of that is hugely subsidised dental health care for seniors and disabled pensioners. The waiting list is two and a half years long for your first appointment so once or if  you qualify it would pay to get your name on the list as soon as you can. If you are in urgent need of attention (ie tooth-ache) you can turn up at 8.15am on weekdays and wait to see a dentist during this waiting list period.

In our case we are given a 75% discount on their prices which still seem lower than private dentists. Joe and I had our 18monthly check-ups last week and these cost us $10.75 each. Yesterday we went back as Joe needed 2 fillings and we both had a scrape and polish. Fillings cost $113 each and the scrape (removal of calculus) costs $88 so we ended up paying $100.60 for $400 + worth of treatment.

When I first heard of this service I had visions of trainees with their knees on your chest and a chainsaw in hand! However, we and my Dad have the wonderfully tender and caring, Catherine Tiong who relaxes us and waits for us to get be comfortable before continuing treatment. She is indeed an angel. In the waiting room are hanging mobiles made from various pieces of un-needed dentures and plates...very droll!!! And yes, they do all work that regular dentists do as well as fitting and making dentures etc.

This link may give some idea of the regular dental costs if you have to visit a private dentist

Friday, 22 June 2012

A Simple Quilt/Patchwork Pattern, Cobblestone

This link will show you how easy this basic pattern is, you can use any size pieces and mix and match a million different fabrics


I discovered it about 6 years ago when looking for thrifty gifts to make to take to Canada for Joe's family when we visited them....here is one of the gifted ones before it was finished...

This is the one I kept, the rather subdued tones seem to give it a sweet grace...it protects my grandparent's little folding card table...

They are not lined with any batting etc as they are intended to be used as table cloths, I just added the side sashes and backing fabric. My centre square for these measured 4 square inches as I have a template that size ...it is leftover from making this table protector or topper in 2004. I painstakingly hand stitched all the squares together and then ruined it by adding some very crude machine quilting lines!

Some of us do indeed learn by our mistakes ;)

It was 2C in Perth when I got up this morning, that's pretty cold for here. I have 3 large tomatoes on a volunteer plant so I am watching for frosts being forecast and then I suspect we'll be trying Fried Green Tomatoes!

Joe and I both have dental treatment today, I'm going to post about much money we save by going through the State Govt Dental Units,

Have a wonderful weekend,
Love from

Thursday, 21 June 2012

Picture Quilt in Fremantle Hospital

Almost 3 yrs ago Baby David was in the Children's Ward of Fremantle Hospital and I visited him with his Mummy and brothers several times. They have a large and well-stocked playroom there for the children who can get out of bed and for the siblings of patients. There are dolls' houses, puzzles, work-sheets, manipulative toys for littlies and a splendid puppet theatre to play in!

The sewer in me was most interested in the hand-made quilt hanging on the wall...these old photos don't do it justice but they do set my mind a-thinking...

I really don't have the flair for such works so I stick to rather safe patch working, just table toppers and book covers etc these days....that's still very enjoyable though.

It's 4C outside this morning but clear and sunny..Twitch approves of that! When it's wet outdoors he's continually trying to flick the rain off his fore-paws which is rather pointless lol
Cody, Caleb and David all have really bad colds and chest infections and Kyra is unwell too...get well soon my Loves,

I'm going to make some meat and potato pasties for the freezer today as well as nip into town,
Enjoy your day too,
Love from Sue,

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Tuscan Style White Bean Soup

We eat tons of minestrone, thick with various vegetables, macaroni and red kidney beans and grated cheese on top. I got a lovely "Slow Cooking Around The Mediterranean" recipe book from the library this week and liked the look of this simpler white bean soup.
However after reading the instructions.....slow cook the beans for 4 hours after boiling them for 10 minutes after soaking them overnight it was put into 'the too-hard basket' and I winged it with the aid of my trusty pressure cooker.....here's my version...

I left my 1 1/4 cups of haricot,white or navy beans soaking overnight in cold water and then changed the water this morning. They took 4-5 minutes to cook once at high pressure and I let the pot cool down on it's own while I cooked the rest of the ingredients. This made enough beans for 2 meals so I froze half of them. They would take about an hour to cook in an ordinary saucepan or you could use a drained and rinsed tin of white beans instead.

Soup Base
For 4 medium serves you'll need....

a chopped onion
2 cloves of chopped garlic
1 tin of chopped tomatoes
2 T tomato paste
1 t sugar
3 bay leaves
2 cups of chicken or vegie stock
salt and pepper
chopped parsley
a few shredded spinach/silverbeet leaves~optional

Lightly fry the chopped onion until clear and then add the garlic for a few minutes
Fry off the tomato paste then stir in the rest of these ingredients, (not the beans or parsley yet though)
After about 45 minutes the soup should be ready for the beans and parsley so add these now and cook another 10 minutes, try to avoid over-cooking the beans at this stage.

We had toasted French stick and butter with ours and it was really lovely.

Check out the pressure cooking times chart on the right of my blog, I refer to it regularly.

In the words of the immortal Johnny Cash "It looks like we're gonna be blessed with a little more rain" from this song

Stay dry and warm,
Love from Sue

Keep On Knitting!

 I made this shawl 3 years ago from a free pattern at Ravelry called  LaLa's Simple Shawl, in fact I made Mum one too from the same Vera Moda Yarn. As with most scarves if you choose a different yarn than the one recommended you just keep knitting until it reaches the size you want......Elizabeth has a soft red one...

Last week I found this lovely blue wool with torquoise and purple flecks in it at the Red Cross Shop, 250gms/5 x 50gms ball for $6 and I've made the hat and 2 pairs of wrist-warmers from 3 of the balls which sounds like good value to me!

 ...and another very thick hat for Dad who even wears them to bed!

If you haven't joined Ravelry yet you are really missing something special...6000 free patterns for both knitted and crocheted items, hints and tips, groups of knitters who may be focussing on a particular style such as Fair Isle or Aran knits. There's no cost to join so what are you waiting for? http://www.ravelry.com/

Click here for another knitty treat that's doing the rounds on Facebook, one pal, Mrs L has even ordered the yarn for one for herself!

Keep on knitting, folks,
Love from Sue

Today is the funeral of my grand-daughter's 2 yr old uncle Henry Wegner, may he rest in peace and may his parents find some comfort in his memories, goodnight Sweetheart xx

Monday, 18 June 2012

That Caterpillar!

You should have seen it! I don't think I ever saw such a beauty anywhere....I noticed that my potted elephants' ears had been eaten by something very hungry but was not expecting this giant...it's longer than a matchbox!

When 5 yr old Caleb saw this photo he knew straight away that this is the caterpillar's "bum" as he called it and these are 'faux'(false) eyes to scare away predators...

I posted a couple of photos at the Down to Earth forums and the kind members there tell me it is the larva of a Hawk Moth...something I have never seen.

It's bright and sunny again this morning. Yesterday let me get 2 lots of washing done and line dried....I didn't use the tumble drier once last year and I'm determined not to use it this year either!

 I have a head and chest cold and have broken world sleeping records the last three nights(look away Elizabeth and Priscilla who are sleeping badly at the moment)
12.5 hrs on Friday night
10.5 hrs on Saturday and 12 hrs last night...no medications involved other than 2 paracetamol tablets at bedtime!

So I do hope you have a good week,
Sending love and comfort to two dear friends who have suffered recent losses in their families,
Love from Sue,

Friday, 15 June 2012

Auntie Rosina's Meatballs

I have no idea who Auntie Rosina is or was and nor had Maureen Simpson when she posted this recipe in Australian House and Garden magazine back in 1996 but my goodness she knew her way around a kitchen!!!!
 Here are the recipes for both the sauce and the meatballs, add your favourite pasta and a salad perhaps and happy eating!

You'll need....

For the sauce..,

a chopped onion
1t chopped garlic
1 de-seeded and chopped chili(optional or try a splash of Tabasco type sauce)
600ml pasta sauce or as I did 2 tins of chopped tomatoes with 2T tomato paste
1/2 cup red wine
chopped or dried oregano
12 black olives
600mls of water(I only used half)

I also added a chopped carrot and celery stick.....easy enough to make;
saute the vegs in olive oil, add other ingredients and cook for around 30 minutes
I used the pressure cooker and cooked it for 5 minutes.

For the meatballs....

400-500gms of minced beef or pork or a blend
100gms chopped bacon
2 cups of soft fresh breadcrumbs
1 chopped garlic clove
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup chopped parsley
1 beaten egg

Mix everything together really well and shape into walnut sized meatballs or "boulettes" as Joe calls them.
Brown them in oil in a large frypan and then simmer in the sauce for about 30minutes. You can see below how many I made...use your best bread for added nutrition,

Serve on spaghetti or whatever pasta/potatoes/polenta you fancy and sprinkle with more grated parmesan or romano cheese.

Serves 4.

Hope you're enjoying some hot comforting dinners these days Down Under...the best part of winter methinks!


Thursday, 14 June 2012

This Boy

Even through the darkest days this week this little boy continues to make us laugh out loud and he brings such pleasure. Imagine sitting quietly watching TV and he comes flying through the air to land on your lap? It happens here! Earlier this week it was too stormy for outdoor play so he used the outdoor furniture as a rabbitty jungle gym....and just now he has raced in from the garden, into the wardrobe behind me and back outside again faster than greased lightening!!!

After our dog, Bonnie, died 2 years ago we didn't want another dog but Twitch has filled the niche perfectly for us.
Do you have a special pet in your life?

Love from Sue,

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Olivia Is 8yrs Old Now!!

Having your birthday at the end of Autumn means that we can't usually celebrate it with a sausage sizzle at the park but this Saturday the weather was fine and mild so we joined you at the Fantasy Park and here are my photos...Happy Birthday, Sweetheart xx
Everything is better with cupcakes...

and bubbles....

Jessica and her friend enjoy the bubbles too...

Nana Jackie and Pop Barry always come to the party.....here's Mum too.....

  Dad makes the best sausage sizzle in the world...when he remembers the oil and tomato sauce!!

There are wonderful sculptures for us children to play on.....Nana Sue said this is Puff, The Magic Dragon..

  and we surfed on this giant turtle...

Uncle Paul and Auntie Dani ride the colourful Dodo...

a cheeky parrot came to say "Happy Birthday"...

  A pink birthday cake, just perfect....

Hope you enjoyed seeing the photographs, Livvie and Jess...I do love you both so very much,
Nana Sue

EDA the park is a public open space and our lovely city council provide free gas BBQs so it makes a great place to hold a birthday party.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Stormy Weather

For the last two days we have been buffeted by up to 140km per hour winds and lost our power for the afternoon yesterday. Other households have been without electricity now for over 24hours,  local shops have sold out of candles and batteries and in the shopping centre many shops and all the banks are closed. Trees and fences are down, branches have crashed into roofs and cars and some schools had to close too. Our local hospital has been running on it's generators overnight.

I've just been out to take some photos(please just call me Your Intrepid Reporter!)....this rather unusual ship has been in Warnbro Sound for a few days now, not sure what's it's purpose is and it hasn't moved it's location....

This is the Bent Street jetty, almost underwater, you can see the tip of Tern Island on the right where the kite-boarders were last week...it was too windy even for them today, in fact I could hardly stand up on this western facing beach....

A few doors away from our house a large branch had snapped off this huge eucalyptus tree and broken half the roof tiles...

This huge tree was being trimmed before any of it landed on the children's playground next to the library...2 workers in the cherry picker and about 20 supervising!

I stopped on Arcadia Drive facing Seal Island and watched in awe as the clouds moved and the sun broke through over Point Peron....the pelicans in the next photo were struggling to get back to Penguin Island to roost for the night but they were almost stationary...

Around the corner and into the more sheltered Cockburn Sound there were at least three pleasure craft on Palm Beach....this cabin cruiser didn't look damaged...

the rest of these boats are safe on their moorings...

Sadly two beautiful yachts are also on the beach nearby...this will be a huge task to get them off...

As if we haven't had enough damage there are worse storms forecast for tomorrow so I hope there are no injuries, houses and boats can be repaired, we are somewhat more fragile,
Take care
Love from Sue