Wednesday, 2 September 2015

Pussy Cat, Pussy Cat, Where Have You Been??

Well ... I haven't been to London to visit the queen, I have to confess! :0) But things at the Meares' Madhouse have been pretty busy and crazy ...  the end of August through September is our busiest month or so for the year ... and it's been even more so this year. Let me catch you up a bit.

First there was a blogging pop-up-party. :0) Emails back and forth let the Fabulous Fiona and I know that Maria and her Sweetie had trekked across to QLD from Western Australia and were going to be passing through our hilltop home. Well ... Fiona and I are getting pretty good at pop-up-bog-meets, as we've had a few in the last few months ... fun!! :0) So ...

... we enjoyed  a fun ... and DELICIOUS! ... catch up. Thanks for popping in for a visit Maria! It was lovely to catch up in 'real life' after chatting via blogs for a while now. Hope the rest of your travels include more fun meet-ups. :0)

Then this last weekend we headed off for a little road trip. We had a special birthday to help celebrate on the Sunday (more about that later) so we decided to treat ourselves to a little break ... the first 'real' break since before we moved last year. So we hit the road ...

... and ended up at the top of another hill at Montville. This is one of our favourite places to spend time ... this was our lunch time view ... over rolling green hills, rain forest and out to the ocean. NICE!! :0) We were slowed down a little by poor GB's broken foot, but he's surprisingly spry on his crutches, so we were still able to snoop through the interesting little shops before heading to our accommodation ... in the next town over, Maleny. Bit of a misunderstanding there thanks to online booking, but all worked out OK.

This was our back deck. We were about three stories up from ground level in the tree tops. (Someone asked me if I had run off for the weekend with 'Where's Wally' ... it's GB's Bronco's jersey, but definitely distinctive! Tee! Hee! Hee!) The steps were a bit of a challenge for GB, but once we were up, we settled in for some quiet relaxation ...

... chippies and cider ... the relaxing snack of champions! :0) There was also some soaking in the double spa ... but I won't scare you with pics!!! Tee! Hee! Hee! The next morning we headed off in search of somewhere to have brekkie ...

And what better place than a spot called le Jardin. A French cafe/garden centre/gift shop. Coffee and croissant, coffee and crepes ... AAAAAAHHH!! If only we could do this every day ... though we'd end up as big as a house pretty quick. :0) There may have been some more browsing of shops before we visited the Maleny Cheese cafe and stocked up on some cheesy treats ready for lunch.

Sunday we headed off to help celebrate that special birthday ... GB's Gran Kent was turning 100. Talk about a milestone! Now, Gran's memory isn't what it used to be and she isn't able to move around much, but she just keeps ticking along.

Here is GB with his youngest sister Kylie and her two gorgeous gals with Gran Kent. She sat up like a queen (even gave the royal wave!!) and blew out her candles like a trooper. I think her favourite part was a balloon game with the younger family members, though ... decades of tennis reflexes kicked in and she was batting that balloon around to beat the band. :0) There were four generations from several of the family branches on hand to help celebrate. It was a very special occasion.

That brings us up to date, but the craziness continues ... GB's Mum's 70th party is this weekend, the one after is Stitchers' Dream Day Out (WOO! HOO!!), then the next weekend is our Carnival of Flowers and also Creative Fields ... see ... busy!! I promise to show you some photos, but can't promise when I'll get back to share. :0)

And in all the busy-ness ... don't forget to send me or Sweet Peg your OPAM finishes for August ... the blog hopping is about to commence, so you'd better be quick!!!

Right ... I'm off to keep an overdue appointment with my pillow. Hope you're all being kind to yourselves and having a great week! Til next time ...



Friday, 21 August 2015

Queen Of Procrastination!!

That's me ... the Queen of Procrastination! :0) Here it is, my first 'free' Friday at home in months and I should be writing pattern instructions ... but I'm not! OOPS! :0) Instead, I've allowed myself to be sidetracked all over the house, cruised around "The Dark Side", read a few blog posts that have come into my RSS feeds in my email folder, written a list of what I need to do this weekend ... I even contemplated doing some washing ... but it's icky and overcast today, so crossed that one of the procrastination list! Tee! Hee! Hee!

I also decided it was the perfect time to put a few things away that Mum had unearthed, during her unpacking, that she no longer wanted/had space for. They've downsized from a two-storey, three bedroom, office, granny flat house to a two bedroom with office unit and although Mum is a champion chucker-outer, she's finding a few things weren't 're-housed' during their packing up process. My favourite so far is this ...

... It's a dessert/cake set that Mum and Dad received as a wedding gift almost 48 years ago. You can even see the original gift card tucked up behind the serving spoon there. :0) It' silver and as you can see, it needs a good clean up and polish, but I just love it, especially that it's still in its original box. Into the future, my Beloved Geek Boy and I intend to host special afternoon tea and high tea events, so I'm always on the lookout for pretty tea cups/trio sets, pretty cake plates, gorgeous teapots and pretty dessert cutlery. My collection is growing ... it's a good thing we moved into a bigger house last year, right?! :0)

A quick update on GB's broken foot ... firstly, a HUGE thank you to all of you who commented or emailed to wish GB a speedy recovery. He asked me to thank you all for your thoughts and concern. Secondly, after having a few grey hairs scared into us when, on GB's return visit to the hospital, the Dr started mentioning surgery (EEP!!) ... the Dr finally decided that surgery wasn't needed (PHEW!!) and that a particularly unattractive support shoe worn for five weeks should do the trick. WOW! Very thankful prayers said here, I can tell you! It means that, although GB still has to go easy on his foot, stay off it as much as possible and keep it elevated as much as possible, he can ditch the clumsy crutches (which he tended to leave leaning in walkways where I almost tripped over them!!) and can be much more mobile than first thought. This has been great news for us, as we have a LOT of events, activities and visitors over the next 6 weeks. It DOES count GB out of any dancing competitions, though! Tee! Hee! Hee!

OK ... I guess I've procrastinated enough and I really need to get down to writing some pattern instructions (BLECH!!). Otherwise Matron Marion will be after me with a wooden spoon! Tee! Hee! Hee! Hope your Friday is toodling along nicely and that you're having a productive day ... or at least enjoying your procrastination! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



Monday, 17 August 2015

Making Other Plans!!

Have you ever heard the saying,

"Life is what happens when you're making other plans"? 

Well ... we've had a few of those "LIFE" things happening just recently. In fact ... last week was a bit of a shocker all round ... with one nice bright spot. :0)

The bright spot was Mum and Dad finally moving into their new unit ... after almost six months of living with us, they were pretty excited to be able to move into their own space, though perhaps not so excited about the unpacking! Tee! Hee! I think My Beloved Geek Boy and I will miss their help with the 'grown up' chores around the house and yard! :0)

There was also a sad short road trip to attend the funeral of one of GB's aunts after she lost her battle with cancer. It was a lovely service, though, and a sweet tribute to a creative, active CHATTY lady ... everyone joked that it was the first time they'd been able to have the last word in a conversation.

And there was also a work related accident ...

... This is what GB currently looks like after a 'helpful' workmate dropped a VERY heavy stage platform on his foot and broke it in three places. SIGH!!! (Just quietly, the 'helpful' workmate had better stay out of earshot for a while or I will be having a word or two to say to him! GRRRR!!) Instead of "GB" my Beloved will be HB for a while ... HOPPING Boy!!! :0P Seven weeks of hopping in fact ... OH BOY!!!!

 So life here at the Meares Madhouse ... as we head into the busiest month of our whole year!!! ... is a wee bit madder than usual, so you can guess there's not a lot of sewing going on here at the moment. One of our much-repeated comments is ... 

"At least we can't complain we're bored." 

After the topsy-turvy 12 months we've had (good, bad, happy, sad, exciting, BUSY, complicated, stressful, fun, unexpected ...) we've decided we could do with a bit of BORED to catch our breath!! :0)

So ... how's YOUR week shaping up? Hopefully you're having more of the 'bright spot' moments ... without clumsy workmates!! I think the only way to cope with our current craziness is to have another cup of tea ... or possibly an 'adult beverage'!! :0P Til next time ...



Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Happy Birthday Geek Boy!!

Yep ... August 11 marks the anniversary of the arrival of a very special person on planet earth ... My Beloved Geek Boy! :0) Today is his 40 ... mumble, mumble ... th birthday and while a few 'life' things have kept us from going out to celebrate, he's been spoilt by his workmates with coffee, cake, yummy lunch and chocolates and we had his fave Indian take away for dinner. (of course ... as chief cook I quite liked the take away option for dinner too! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

And in celebrating this latest birthday, it occurred to me that GB and I have been together for more of his birthdays than we've been apart ... AAAAAAAAWWWWWWW!! :0) So, to celebrate I thought I'd embarrass him ... share a little of GB ... with you. :0)

He was born in Redcliffe and was a real cutie as a kid ...

Don't you love that collar and tie? This was actually taken at one of his birthday parties. He's not wearing a tie tonight to celebrate. :0)

He was pretty cute as he got older too! Tee! Hee! Hee! Here he is in his cadets' uniform. MMMMM ... I do like a man in uniform! :0)

And then in 1985, we  both attended a Scripture Union camp ... S.M.A.D.D. camp ... Singing, Music, Art, Dance and Drama. We both ended up hanging out in the same big group ...

Wow! Bad eighties flashback! Tee! Hee! Hee! There's GB second from the left and second from the right is my Bestest-Buddy-Since-We-Were-Nine Lynette ... the blond curly-sheep perm has long gone! :0) After the camp ended, GB and I wrote letters back and forth (we lived in different towns three hours apart), meeting up about twice a year at camp and camp reunion a few months later. 

When we finished school, we both went different directions, but we kept in contact via letters and phone calls, forging a strong friendship that outlasted girlfriends, boyfriends, numerous address changes for both of us and living at different ends of the state ... even different states! After some six years of strong friendship, GB convinced me we should give things a go as a 'couple'. It took some convincing, but I finally agreed. :0)

Almost 23 years later ... I think he might have been right! :0) There might be a bit more of both of us these days (middle-age spread?!?!) but there's also a lot more friendship, a lot more shared history ... and a lot more love! ... between us as we've grown deeper into love together over the years. I think I'll keep him! :0)

(I also think he's still a bit of a cutie! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

Here's to sharing a lot more adventures and a lot more birthdays! :0)

Hope you're all having a wonderful week so far, too. Til next time ...



Sunday, 9 August 2015

Recipe For A Tasty Treat!!

Hello, Hello! Are you all still out there in blogland ... or have you crossed over to what my blogging buddy Chookyblue calls "The Dark Side" ... Facebook and Instagram?! :0) I'm on the first a bit (because it's so easy to scroll through on my iPad!) but not the second ... and feel a bit like a neglectful mama hen that I've been a bit absent from my blog again ... but I promise I have a good reason ... and a recipe for a sweetie-treatie to share with you to make up for it. :0)

The reason for my absence ... well there's a couple. Firstly, My folks, who have been living with us for the last five months, are just about ready to move into their new home ... a lovely fully refurbished unit at the retirement village where I work. So this last couple of weeks has seen a lot of re-packing of bags and boxes, some fun shopping for furniture, rugs, curtains etc. and a lot of faffing about to get things into gear for the move. It will be wonderful for Mum and Dad to start the next chapter of their retirement ... I quite expect to have to make an appointment to catch up with them once they settle in and get into the swing of a whole new schedule of outings, voluntary work and time with new friends ... I hope they have a blast! :0) And as much as we've been spoilt to have help with the grown up chores, it will be nice for my Beloved Geek Boy and I to have our space back again. Of course ... we may spend the first week or so looking at each other a little lost and wondering whose turn it is to be the grown up! Tee! Hee! Hee!

The second reason for my absence ... any stitching I've been doing has been for Secret Squirrel projects that I can't show you until next month, so I haven't had anything stitchy or pretty to share with you ... I still don't, really, but wanted to pop in for a visit.

So ... instead of a stitchy photo and post, I have a TASTY TREAT photo and post to share ... just in time for the approaching warmer weather when we'll all come out of hibernation and start to think about parties, picnics, barbecues and afternoon teas on the verandah in the sun again ... or is that just ME?!?! :0)

Do you remember me sharing earlier in the year that I hosted a "Cheer Up" afternoon tea for my Mother-In-Law and a few other of GB's family?

Well ... at the time, I had a few people ask for a recipe for ...

... these little tart shells. They're made with my Mum's recipe and really quick and simple. It makes three or four dozen (maybe more ... forgot to make a note on my recipe book when transcribing!) and they freeze really well, so Mum and I tend to keep a few tucked away in the freezer for impromptu gatherings or 'take-a-plate' events. You can use all sorts of tasty fillings. The ones above had home made lemon butter (middle tier) and shop-bought caramel filling (bottom tier). They are also really YUMMO with ...

... passionfruit butter!! :0) Our passionfruit vine went a bit burko this year and we had LOTS of fruit, so Mum made some passionfruit butter ... and passionfruit custard cake ... and passionfruit bikkies ... and fruit salad with passionfruit ...!!! You get the picture! :0) We still have some pulp in the freezer for icing flavouring or fruit salad. But I digress ... (stop sniggering Chooky and get another cup of tea!! Tee! Hee! Hee!)

So ... to give you the chance to make your own sweetie-treaties ... here is Mum's pastry recipe.


* 1/2 Cup icing sugar (we use icing 'mix' cos it stores better than pure icing sugar)
* 125g butter, softened
* 1 egg
* 1 cup plain flour
* 1/2 cup SR flour

Step 1. Cream the icing sugar and softened butter until the mix lightens in colour to almost white.
Step 2. Mix in the egg.
Step 3. Gradually add and fold through the flours (the mix of plain and SR flours stops the pastry puffing too much when you bake it, so there's plenty of space in the shells for the yummy fillings!)
Step 4. Turn dough out onto a floured flat surface and roll quite thinly.
Step 5. Use a scone cutter or drinking glass to cut circles from the pastry and gently ease them into greased mini-muffin trays ... be gentle so your thin pastry doesn't tear. (You may have to experiment a bit to find a round 'cutter' that fits the muffin tray you're baking in, as they're all a little different.)
Step 6. Pull pastry scraps together, re-roll and cut more circles. Repeat until you use up the pastry or until you feel you'll be overrun with mini tart shells! :0)
Step 7. Bake in a moderate oven (about 150C) until pastry turns golden brown.
Step 8. Remove tart shells from oven and allow to cool in the tray for 5-10 minutes, then cool completely on a baking tray.
Step 9. Spoon in your filling of choice and top with a dollop of double cream.
Step 10. Invite your favourite people for afternoon tea and ENJOY scoffing these sweetie-treaties! :0)

There you go ... I hope you enjoy testing out that quick and yummy recipe. You could also make larger versions of these tart shells, but these are a tasty mouthful for afternoon tea treats. Please share a picture and let me know if you try it out and love it. :0)

And speaking of afternoon tea ... I think I hear the kettle calling my name. :0) I hope you've all had a lovely weekend and that your week is FANTASTIC!! Don't forget to pop over to visit Sweet Peg to find out who this month's lucky OPAM winners are. Til next time ...



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