Sunday, 22 December 2013

Banana, Fruit, Nut and Oat Bars

I have no idea how or why this recipe works but it's a good 'un! Mum found it on-line here.

I've swapped one cup of rolled oats for one cup of  un-toasted muesli and used mixed seeds, glace cherries with almond extract in place of the dates, almonds and vanilla essence but here is the original recipe...

3 large ripe bananas, mashed
3 cups of rolled oats
1/4 cup each of chopped dried apricots, dates and almonds
1 teaspoon of cinnamon
1 1/2 teaspoons of vanilla essence

Mix everything together very thoroughly
Press into a lined swiss roll size tray(I used my 10"x10" baking tin)
Bake at 180C for 30-35 minutes or until golden.
Let cool completely and cut into small bars.


The teaspoon is for scale, I will get 16 2inch squares from this slab...

It was my birthday two weeks ago and Jacob(12) brought me these beautiful roses, I felt very special. We had a lovely afternoon tea with family....

Finally finished my second circular shawl based on Elizabeth Zimmerman's pattern, this one is in sock yarn and very light and colourful...

We're slowly getting ready for Christmas, just doing a little each day. Hopefully the last shopping will be done tomorrow, Joe has mowed the grass and the house is clean and tidy.

I'd like to take the opportunity now to thank you all for reading along this year, for your interesting and amusing comments and support too.
Wishing you all a very Happy Christmas and a most wonderful New Year, peace, good health and much joy.
Sue, Joe and Twitch!

Wednesday, 4 December 2013

A New Room

Where have I been all week? In here...reading! Dear Mandy said she had a single bed for me complete with all the bedding when I asked on Facebook if any-one had a spare bed to use for emergency grandchildren sleepovers but also to set up for Priscilla who would love to come to stay and visit Australia for a week or three once she is well enough. Hopefully seeing her room is ready will boost her spirits and in the meantime it's a wonderful place to read as the light is behind me!

 and my favourite action shot of Nosy Bunny running out from underneath the bed...

There's still room for my sewing table(under the green Thai fabric) and lots of other storage too.
Many thanks to Mandy and Paul for their big, generous hearts.

Hope all is well,
Love from Sue

Sunday, 24 November 2013

A Curious Creature

I've seen these once or twice before and just assumed that the twigs were actually a type of chrysalis but upon "making Google my friend" I see that they are rather like hermit crabs and the little sticks are for protection. The caterpillar cuts the twigs to size and then attaches them to a silken skin it has woven...

here you can see the head as the caterpillar climbs up the window frame
The animal is a Case Moth and you read more about it here, this one had made it's 'case' out of portions of dried asparagus fern.

We went to teeball on Saturday, Mum and Dad and I as well as Jess and Livvie and their was very bright is the sunlight in this pre-match chat photo...they made a new rule that if you hit the ball into the bush at the back there you were out as there was a real danger of snakes being active in that area...

Later the girls had a sleepover at their cousins, Jacob and Reuben's lovely home...every-one loves Baby Reuben...

I've been knitting like mad in front of the telly but am very disappointed by England's batting performance at the Gabba which was compounded by the England Rugby League's loss in the semi-final of the World's not an easy thing to support English sporting teams lol I consoled myself with some crisps and a glass of wine!

I hope you have enjoyed your weekend, Priscilla took the children to see the Christmas Parade in Ottawa and they've had a light fall of snow there this weekend...I think Liam must have been asleep in the right-hand side of the pram! Priss has lost her hair again during the last lot of chemo but she hasn't lost her love of Tim Horton's coffee lol

Have a grrrreat week, every-one, stay safe and healthy,
Love from Sue

Friday, 22 November 2013

The Tale of Socksie Kitten

I may have to start paying Elizabeth for writing my blog but I do love her "voice" she explains how her cat adopted her...

"Don't know what it is about this box. Its been puzzling me for weeks now. It started off in the main living area and the cat would poke around it. I almost fell off my chair when she actually jumped up and climbed inside it - she was a stray and doesn't have a playful bone in her body. 

I ended up bringing it into my room when I was packing away my ornaments and stuff and she's followed it in there. I don't know what it is, she loves the thing and I don't have the heart to take it off her just so I can fill it up with my junk.

 It was about 3 winters ago, I was painting out the back in the middle of the night and she must have taken 10 years off my life when she appeared out of nowhere, just a flash of white darting across my peripheral. Every night she would turn up at the same time and every morning she would be gone again. 

I remember telling the kids about this black cat with white socks that would come calling each night and maybe 2wks later they were so excited when she arrived one afternoon. She was such a skinny little thing, I had started giving her the kids dinner leftovers by that time. 

Then about a month after she first turned up I went to slide a note to her owner under her flea collar and the bloody thing was so tight. The trouble I had trying to get it off! She wasn't quite fully grown and I was fuming that someone could put a collar on a kitten then "misplace" their pet. She never really left after that.

She's still a bit of a loner, she doesn't do ANYthing even remotely cool like all those cats on YouTube, she just spends her days stalking from one sleeping place to another but she's wicked with the mice, she's super patient with the boys and on the rare occasions when she actually wants my company...when she jumps up on my bed and curls up behind my knees on a cold winters night, or (even rarer) when she actually wants to sit on my lap....that's hard won affection. She makes me feel terribly humbled and grateful for it."

Have a great weekend, I'm really enjoying the cricket! 

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

From Elizabeth's Easel

"And! AND! On top of all my quibbles about the dodgy orange and shadows (or lack of) on the bird, Caleb reckons my grevillea flower looks like a brain with legs. 

Its getting there and its really, really nerve racking. I've got this idea in my mind of what its supposed to look like, right? 

I know exactly where I'm up to, exactly what I'm going to do next. 

It feels like I'm thiiiiiiis close to to pulling off the painting of the century and it's paralysing me!! 

I'm second guessing everything. Nit picking over the tiniest detail. Questioning my colour choices. I dunno. It'll all come together in the end...not the way I have it pictured in my mind, but it'll still be something special in its own right."

I am just in awe!


Date Balls and Posh Slice

Date Balls 

You'll need

2 cups of roughly chopped dried dates
2/3 cup of water
8 T oat or rice bran
2 heaped T each of muesli or rolled oats, LSA, AND chopped seeds or nuts
1 t of vanilla or almond essence
(cocoa or dessicated coconut for coating)

bring the dates and the water to boil, stir well to mash the dates and leave to cool
add all the ingredients apart from the cocoa to the food processor and blitz until well blended, if it is too sticky add some more oat bran to get a firmer consistency

put the coconut or cocoa into a small bowl and drop in heaped teaspoons of the mixture. coat and roll in a ball...makes about 30 balls.

I've been making lots of soup this week to use up the never-ending supply of celery stalks we have (Twitch prefers the leaves!). One nice way has been to add chilli flakes and then puree the soup and add a large cup of cooked beans/chick peas/corn or peas for an unusual texture. This soup had just one soft beetroot, zucchini and celery but turned this delightful purple colour...home-made bread is always lovely...

Deezy's Posh Slice

The Royal Doulton side plate is one of 4 I bought on Ebay, they were made between 1923 and 1927 and are in mint condition

Deanne at the DTE forums shared this easy recipe recently,
 you'll need...

1 1/2 cups each of plain flour and rolled oats
1 cup of brown sugar
1 teaspoon of baking powder and a pinch of salt

Blitz these quickly in the food processor and chop in 175gms of butter and a small egg.
Process until all the flour is moist and will form a lump when squeezed
Firmly press  2/3 of the mixture into a lined lamington tin
Spread 250gms of jam over the base and then sprinkle the remaining flour mixture over the jam, rather like when making a fruit crumble
Bake at 175C for about 40 minutes or until golden brown...

spread the jam on the base

sprinkle the remaining 1/3 of the flour mix over the top

It's quick, easy and delicious, most has gone in the freezer already!

I found this in the 'fridge recently....the last chunk of 2012's Christmas Cake and it still tasted lovely, the keeping capability  is quite amazing...

I'm finally over that cold and have been working in the garden every day, I'm really enjoying seeing it flourishing at last and have planted some gorgeous red geraniums around the place. The fly traps are working well, I've been gathering snails every day, drowning them in warm, soapy water and digging them into the soil and I've seen the first few of those wretched Cape Lilac caterpillars that ate much of one tree's foliage last year....they won't get a chance this year!!

Hope all is well with you,
Love from Sue

Friday, 15 November 2013

This Week...

...really started last week with what I thought was hay fever but then developed into the first head and chest cold I have had since 2008! Grrr...I still feel sore and tired but am definitely improving.

To make this lovely baked omelette you'll need

6 eggs
150gms of chopped bacon
a small onion, finely chopped
2/3 cup of milk
2/3 cup grated cheese
1/2 cup peas
2-3 cooked potatoes, chopped coarsely
some finely chopped herbs and salt and pepper

Start by lightly frying the bacon and onion in a (very) little oil and then stir in the potato, letting it cool while you beat the eggs and milk.
Spread the bacon etc evenly over the base of a greased quiche dish and season well
Pour over the eggs and top with the cheese
Bake at 180C until set and golden, around 40 minutes.

I've been resting and knitting...fingerless mittens for friends...

Moving some pots around as we have less shade on the other patio now...

I weeded all along the fence line here and moved the pots too, the tree lost a large shady branch when the fence was installed and I miss it now!

I planted some more tomatoes and 4 marigolds to deter any nematodes that may be thinking of eating the roots of the tomato plants...

Some-one special in the briar patch...he loves to get under this asparagus fern and rest his day away when it's not too hot outside...

My lovely new cotton came Bendigo Woolen Mills this week...a green ball is on back order

I started knitting almost's all for face and dish cloths...I like the broken rib stitch in the darker one. I find this yarn a little thinner than a regular 8ply so I used size 10/3.25mm needles and another 10 stitches to get a nice firm knit...

Yesterday friends were talking about the $5.95 a kilo BBQ steak at Coles this week so I went in to get comes in these vaccuum sealed packages but is ready sliced. I went into Woolworths too just at the right time when the Singing Vegie Lady had reduced lots of goodies to $3 bag...

I washed and sorted the tomatoes, many were still firm enough to enjoy raw, the rest I cooked down with a huge clove of garlic and then blitzed with my wand...1200mls of fresh sauce and it smells heavenly...

The Christmas Swap is in full swing at the forum...yesterday I got a lovely surprise package from Vikki in Queensland...she wasn't really supposed to send me anything but look at this gorgeous handmade selection...

Priscilla has finished her chemo at long last, she meets with Dr N on December 2nd to discuss the surgery she needs now so please keep her in your thoughts. Cousin Dave is still having his treatment and is in good spirits so let's keep hoping for a great result for him. 

The forecast today is for a hot 37C...curtains will be kept closed and I think a BBQ dinner will be a great idea!

Hope all are well at your place, enjoy your weekend
Love from Sue

Wednesday, 13 November 2013

My Great Grandfather on Dad's Side of The Family

More for my own records and for the family, after Remembrance Day and several posts on FB I found this

Sergeant William Gardner, DCM, MM, number 15241, 8th King’s Own.
Died of wounds on 8th March 1917 whilst serving in Mesopotamia. He was awarded the Military Medal in the list of King’s Birthday Honours published June 1916.
“A veteran in the King’s Own, who gained the Military Medal for bravery in the field at Ypres in 1916, is officially reported to have died of wounds in action in Mesopotamia. Sergeant William Gardner, 40, King’s Own, leaves a widow and seven children residing at 1 Albert Square, Bridge Lane, Lancaster. Having previously served in the Active Service Company of the King’s Own Volunteers in the South African War, he again volunteered for the front, and was attached to the 8th King’s Own. When the battalion did such good work near Ypres in April 1916, he was to the fore and was wounded in the same battle as Captain Hamilton. He was hit in the shoulder, and had shown such gallantry that he was awarded the MM at Plymouth early in September 1916. While on Depot duty in the south, he volunteered for Mesopotamia and went there before last Christmas. A postcard was received this week dated 2nd February 1917, saying he had just joined his regiment and was ‘in the pink’. According to a report from the Records Office at Preston, he died of wounds on 8th March 1917, and it is probable that he figured in the attack on the Turks which culminated in the capture of Baghdad.” Lancaster Guardian 27th March 1917.

Thursday, 7 November 2013

Mostly Twitch

Twitch is indeed a huge part of our family and much loved but did you know that the people of Queensland are prohibited from keeping rabbits as pets? If you are a magician however you may keep two! It wasn't until 1985 that the Western Australian govt passed a bill permitting people here to keep a pet rabbit or two when they finally realised that domesticated rabbits have very little chance of survival if they get loose.

There are many rabbit fanciers throughout the world, some people show their rabbits, others keep pets in their gardens and a few have house rabbits like us. The angora types have long beautiful hair that can be spun and used for knitting garments. There are Rabbit Rescue groups all over Australia who will sterilize the rabbits that come into their care, vaccinate them against calcivirus and find good homes for them. A well cared for rabbit can live for as long as 12 years and Twitch is already two years of age! Myxomatosis is a problem for rabbits kept outdoors, spread by mosquitoes it is usually fatal and the vaccine is not available in Australia because it's one way that the Govt controls the numbers of wild rabbits. If you get your rabbit to the vet at the first signs of illness it has quite a good chance of survival. Cover outdoor hutches with fly-wire to keep the mosquitoes at bay.

Many rabbits live companionably with other family pets such as gentle dogs and cats as well as guinea pigs. They must be sterilized to become house trained and while a few of them enjoy being picked up most don't so if you get down to their level they love to be groomed and stroked. I walked into the lounge room last week to find Twitch on the back of the settee gazing down the street!

Here are some links to rabbit keepers and their organizations  

Western Australian Rabbit Council
House Rabbit Society of Australia
Rabbit Rescue WA 
RSPCA for what to feed your rabbit

And on with the Twitch Show especially for Juds...the garden is very dry as our bore is being replaced looks awful!


it's a bit windy, Mum

it's really ruffling my feathers

shall we go back inside?
I hope this has answered a few of your questions, Chel's especially.

Just for fun there are groups who get together for Rabbit Hopping displays...I could watch the following You Tube all day!

Have a triffic Thursday

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Gifts from Woolworths

I never thought I'd be singing the praises of a huge supermarket chain but Woolies has been very generous to me this month as we get ready for Christmas. I have a reward card that gives me some great special deals at times and also gave me 3 $10 off vouchers when I spend $40 which doesn't take long these days. They have a facebook page which I have joined and there was a competition to suggest a new flavour for their muesli bars...we'd just come back from Canada so it was probably cheating to suggest "maple syrup and walnut" but I did anyway and won this box of goodies...

 It is valued at $50 and there is a $20 gift card as well as the treats you can see...I love the shopping bag and Joe will love the treats, the diabetes people recommend Carmen's muesli for it's slow release of carbs. There was a personal hand typed note in there too.

Yesterday I joined a local house rabbit group on's such a pleasure to see others with gorgeous, well cared for bunnies and to share pics such as these...

I've made dog biscuits in the past but I don't think our fussy boy would even try these

Twitch likes to sleep in the bathroom when it's very warm, the tiles are cool although he seems to be relishing this hand-made mat!

I baked the Christmas cake yesterday and it smells so good, while the oven was on for four hours I also cooked some lamb shanks in stock and vegies and this morning I've made some stock from the bones. We had a lovely zucchini and bacon slice too, made with duck eggs from our friend, Steve

I added red glace cherries after this pic was taken

  The zucchini slice is this recipe but I fried the onion and bacon and let it cool before mixing it in

lots of dishes to wash lol
So that's about all my 'doings' at the moment, wishing you a wonderful Wednesday,
Love, Sue

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Melbourne Cup Day

The race that stops the nation.

Here is a link to AnimalsAustralia, please take time to read this article and perhaps take the pledge, hopefully one day some-one in Govt will take up the cause too.

That's all

Monday, 4 November 2013

Weekend Photos

I was happily re-united with our big gas BBQ after 15months on weighs a ton and has been waiting for Gordie to pluck up courage to move it. His friend, Ivan, has a ute and they brought it over for me. I especially love BBQ'd vegetables so cooked some eggplant, falafels and pork sausages to celebrate!..

On Sunday it was casino day and for $5 I had a cappuccino coffee, a four course buffet lunch and a ride to the city, a loaf of bread would have cost the same. Dad and I went for a walk outside after lunch and I had fun with my new little Nikon camera; I lost my other little one on the flight to Canada and this one is much better...

The kangaroo paw flowers are a big feature of the gardens at Burswood, they are a native plant and grow wild locally but these mass plantings are spectacular...

There are several outdoor areas for smokers...this one is cleverly covered with potted's a creeper with pink flowers and will be an awesome sight in a year or two...

not a sprinkler but a speaker for the lovely music we heard...

 I changed the camera setting to close-ups to see how that would go...

new growth

a busy bee

and a butterfly enjoying lunch
Dad was in fine fettle...this pic indicates what a rebel he is...

He also shared this joke..."
  "Why do deep sea divers cover their faces with their hands and roll backwards into the sea?
 Because if they roll forwards they will still be in the boat!"

So that was a truly lovely day out despite the heat. Elizabeth and David came over for dinner and a nice bath and it was lovely to spend a little time with them both. It would have been ever better had David(4) not re-set my alarm clock for 6.50am this morning!

It's already very hot today with thunderstorms forecast. Over at the forums I am taking up Rose's challenge to drink more water and the Christmas Decoration Swap is now closed, partners will be listed shortly.

Have a great week
Love from Sue

Oh! PS! Chel has a truly lovely Aussie book give-away over at her blog...go and make a comment to have a chance to win!