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 ...



Saturday 1 August 2015

Strawberry Jam & OPAM!!

G'day to all you lovely blogging buddies out there in blogland! Here we are at the start of another month  and I have to say that August is rather special to me for a few reasons. The first reason ... it's my Beloved Geek Boy's birthday month! AAAAAWWWWW!!! :0) August also holds another super-special birthday this year ... GB's Grandma Kent turns 100! WOW! That's right at the end of the month, so time to plan. It's also GB's Mum's 70th birthday, so a special party for that. But do you know my absolute favourite thing about August? It means that winter is 2/3 over and my beloved warm weather is a little closer! Tee! Hee! Hee!

Actually, the last couple of days here on top of our 'hill' have been giving us a teasing hint of spring ... we even had doors and windows open and Mum and I sat out on the back deck with our morning cuppa to soak up the sun and admire our blue, blue Aussie winter sky. Unfortunately ... the weatherman tells me the cold weather will be back next week ... SIGH! But I have at least one more lovely warm sunny day to look forward to, so perhaps that will tide me over til spring really does get here ... counting down! :0)

When I wasn't out soaking up the sun today, I spent some time in the kitchen bottling up some more homemade treats. I was given a couple of kilos of tomatoes, so I made some yummy tomato relish ... which I haven't taken a photos of yet - Oops! :0) I also had a jam session ... STRAWBERRY jam, that is. :0) Strawberries were on special this week, so I bought up a couple of kilos and this is part of the result ... 

MMMMMMMMM!! Somehow, homemade always tastes better, don't you think? And I know exactly what went into it. :0) Now ... if someone out there can make yummy scones (I tend to make DOORSTOPS! Tee! Hee! Hee!) and they're close enough ... maybe we can have a picnic tomorrow ... you bring the scones and I'll bring the strawberry jam! :0)

Actually ... I suspect I'll be enjoying some more of the lovely sunshine tomorrow out in my garden ... there are some pots and plants that need to be introduced so they can become the perfect pairs. :0) What are YOU planning for Sunday??

Maybe ... you'll be getting your creative groove on so you can add some finishes to your August OPAM tally. Well ... before you do ... DON'T FORGET to update your July finishes list on your sidebar cos my GORGEOUS Partner-In-Crime Sweet Peg and I will be doing our round up and blog hop in the next few days. If you can drop one of us an email, that would be a fabulous help too. Oh ... and don't forget to check in with BOTH of our blogs because we take turn about to draw the prize winners, so you might miss out on your prize if you don't check in. In fact ... I'm still waiting for Cheryl to get back to me with her snail mail address from last month ... COO-EE! CHERYL!!! :0)

But right now, I'm off to play Polly and sip a cup of tea whilst helping Tom Cruise and the Mission Impossible team save the world ... AGAIN!! Boy the world really does get itself into some sticky spots, doesn't it?! What would we do without Ethan Hunt, James Bond, Wolverine, Hawkeye, Thor or Batman?!  I don't want to find out!! Tee! Hee! Hee! Til next time ...



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