Home and Garden

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Mid afternoon, Mr Beloved returned to The Room Of Migrainous Hell (aka the bedroom)  looking pale and shaky.

“What’s wrong”? I asked, ever perceptive, even in my tortured state.

He held his hands apart about 1.5 metres.

“Brown.  Back of shed. I dropped some wood and saw it slither past….”

We’re not sure if it was an Eastern Brown, King Brown, or some other (venomous) snake – but as Mr Beloved says, they’re all part of the genus ahgettawayfromme.

Yep – no more winter in Toowoomba, this year Mother Nature has jumped right past Spring to Summer! There are already bushfires and today was around the 30C mark again (that’s 86 F for you furriners) and it’s supposed to only drop to 17C / 63 F overnight.

ARRGH!  I have LOST an issue of Cloth Paper Scissors magazine and I MUST FIND IT!! It’s soooooooooo frustrating – I have every .single. other. issue and there is stuff I HAVE to re-read RIGHT NOW in issue #15 and I have been looking for it for days. ALL WEEK, in fact.

CPS 15

I have looked through all my nests.  (This is what Mr Beloved calls the accumulations of STUFF that appear around me when I get interested in something… my armchair and my bedside table are permanent nests.)

I have shaken out every magazine on the bookshelves in case this issue somehow got tangled inside another one. I have pushed and pulled at books in case the magazine had slipped behind a larger volume.

I have looked in the sewing room, under the kitchen table, under the sofa, behind the tv.

I have found MANY MANY places where this magazine ISN’T.

I have found the instruction sheet for the washing machine (the powder is meant to go WHERE?), many old envelopes (pre-paid – I wonder if Australia post will still honour them?) and where the missing reams of printer paper have been hiding.

I have found several older journals with only a few pages used up.  (It’s hereditary – my grandfather was just the same, he’d use up three or four pages of a writing pad and then start a new one.  10 years after his death, my parents and I are still using up his writing pads. I particularly like the ones which have aged to  a yellow or brown, it’s a very nice patina to them.)





Peach Tree worm tree, useless for most of the year – but oh, the spring blossom!!

At long last – yesterday was THE DAY for the solar hot water installation!  We’ve had the unit and various boxes for SIX WEEKS but because of bad weather and then we were sick and then the installer was sick – well, it was THE DAY.  Things didn’t start all that well – the Blokes arrived (having driven up from Brisbane) a bit after nine and discovered straight away that VITAL COMPONENTS WERE MISSING.  Oh noes!

Boss Bloke got on the phone to the supplier.  Did I mention the AGONY we had already gone through getting anything done with the supplier?  Because our solar electricity panels were part of a government pilot program, we were assigned to a supplier who had won the government tender.  Had we but known…

The supplier has been just AWFUL to deal with.  At one point they even sent OUR information to another customer in Toowoomba (!!) and we received yet ANOTHER customer’s personal details – bad enough, right?  But add in the phone calls never returned, the forms not sent, yada yada yada… Anyway, we had already ordered the solar hot water system at the same time (last NOVEMBER, can you believe it?!) as the solar electricity, well before we knew what a stuff up they would make of everything.

So we’ve got Offsider Bloke getting down to things and removing the old hot water heater (which we then discovered had been leaking for quite some time..) and removing Lino of Renovations Past and (aha!) mouldy newspapers from 1976.  Which means our hot water heater was 33 years old – no WONDER it was getting sicker and sicker! They have a mean time to failure of about TEN years!

bathroom floor

(Floor is actually still pretty solid – looks worse than it is, and needs a good drying out)

Outside, Boss Bloke is ranting (quite justifiably) at the supplier saying “Vital Parts… you do this to other tradies but you don’t bloody well do it to ME… get it HERE!” and being told that the part was leaving on a courier RIGHT THEN.  (Which turned out to be a LIE on the part of the supplier – what a surprise, eh?)

Long story short – even after spending an hour for lunch and driving round various stores in Toowoomba, the tradies couldn’t get a replacement part.  Obviously made of pure unobtainium, that bit. More angry phone calls, drama, etc… and tradies standing around doing NOTHING  – which as you know, costs $$$.

I phoned the CEO of the supplier and had a rant. The courier still not here – a 90 minute trip had so far taken 6 hours, if we were to believe the supplier. Roadworks? Sure, there are roadworks on the Warrego Highway, but SIX HOURS? I DON’ THINK SO!!

Offsider Bloke is getting increasingly surly as the afternoon wears on… Boss Bloke is fuming but still chatting amicably some of the time… both Mr Beloved and I are EXHAUSTED from dealing with people in our space (and demanding people at that) all day… and at close to 5 pm the courier arrives!!!  YAY!!!

Eventually we get the paperwork sorted, I’m out of pocket a HEAP extra (well, actually, Mum and Dad are in the long run, since they have kindly and generously offered to fund the solar hot water, *mwah* Mum and Dad!) that I am going after the Supplier for.  The invoice from the installer notes that the extra impost is Due to delays caused by non-supply of parts, as discussed with CEO of Supplier.

Boss Bloke and Offsider Bloke finally get away at almost 6 pm.  Mr Beloved and I manage to eat something (hooray for about to be out-of-date filled pasta on sale at the supermarket!) and end up in bed by 7:30 pm. (although Mr B gets up and does his computer and online stuff, which is Good For Him.)

At this point, I am VERY glad that Supplier is so stupid about record keeping and paperwork – you see, THEY HAVE YET TO BILL US FOR THE SOLAR HOT WATER UNIT.  Which means that WE have the winning hand – and if we have to take them to small claims court it will still be worth our while.  Because as I said to the CEO – I can’t afford to have had tradies standing around doing nothing . So he’s bloody well gonna wear that charge.

solar panels

[See the solar panels? The one on the lower part of the roof is the new solar hot water one.  As you can see, it’s quite overcast today, so it will be interesting to see how much hot water we get.  Fortunately the hot water heater also has an electric element and a pump, so we ALWAYS should have hot water…]

what bird

The late afternoon thrill was my very first sighting and identification (thanks to our venerable 1963 edition of Mr Cayley’s What Bird Is That?)of red browed finches in our yard!!  I was lying in bed this morning just replaying the excitement when I realised I suddenly GOT IT – the thing that mad twitchers (birdwatchers) are about.  I’m hoping that today I might be able to get a photo, you really have to see the RED on these teeny birds, and the way they are totally fearless about hopping around in front of you!  (And I think I might have to treat myself to an updated bird book – this one tells me that the Latin name is Ægintha temporalis, but it’s now called Neochmia Temporalis.)

And this morning I also heard the wonderful “mooopmoopmoopmooop” call of the Tawny Frogmouth.  Ahhh! Birdy bliss!

Well, It’s now 10 am, I better get my day started… before I go, here’s some other birdy news: our cockatiel hen, Bolly, is spending all her time in the nesting box, sitting on at least two eggs! She has yet to actually get eggs to hatch (although the last lot did appear to have chick embryos well formed before she gave up on them) but this could be the year we get baby birds…

lemon butter


Yes, I know too much is BAD FOR YOU (heck, isn’t that what “too MUCH” means?!?!) but there is  NOTHING to compare to home made lemon butter on toast.  Mmmmmmmm.  I used Nigella’s Lemon Curd recipe from How to Eat.  (I don’t know why the names – butter or curd – are interchangeable, but apparently they are.)

This was a recipe that would be utterly UTTERLY perfect if I already had two of my dream things for the house: chooks (for the 4 whole eggs plus 4 yolks) and a lemon tree (for the 4 lemons).  Slowly, slowly, we’ll work towards getting things set up the way we would like.

I have very fond memories of my Mum making lemon butter – I think we must have had a lot of lemons available!   I also remember that Lemon Butter was a good thing to buy at church fetes and street stalls… possibly because it came from people who had chooks +lemon trees.

Oh, and after the first spoonful of the luscious home made version, the remainder of the FOUL store bought version (all citric acid and cornflour, possibly with artifical lemon essence… ewww!) was binned.  We kept the jar (of course!) to use for the next batch…

At least I’ll have an adequate vitamin C intake this week, eh?  The flu symptoms are FINALLY abating (fingers crossed!) – as in, I only wake up coughing a couple of times a night now, and the aches are approaching normal range (underlying fibromyalgia has NOT helped with recovery!).  I was somewhat heartened when watching the V8 supercars racing yesterday to hear a comment that one of the drivers – and bear in mind that these guys are endurance athletes, wrestling their cars around for hours at a time in temperatures often over 40 degrees – anyhow, one of these super-fit guys was still recovering from the flu that had laid him low at the last race meeting a month ago.  And I am NOT an athlete!  Another week off from the gym, though, then I get to start back gently gently…

Oh – and it amused me that the stove was so far out of scale with the lemon person.  Tee hee! I am being Very Good and actually USING my “good” art supplies – there are still a lot of colours in my tin of 30 Caran D’ache Neocolor II watercolour crayons that are untouched, but at least I have used SOME now!

In a flu-dazed moment the other night…


[clicky for biggy, do I have to keep saying this?]

Luckily once I’d got the top off I realised the tube I had in my hand was TOO BIG to be the lip balm.

Am I the only one to have these sort of near misses? (Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?…)

I am getting better, slowly.  Yet again the solar hot water installer declined to come near the obviously germ-ridden House of the Beloveds.  Grumph.  Next week, we hope.  I had to cancel another specialist appointment because I didn’t want to sit about in a waiting room full of people even more vulnerable to this wretched flu than I was.

Time for my next cuppa tea (It’s important to get fluids in, right?!)

Apologies for my silence, Dear Reader.  I have been ill.  *sigh* Again.

The tummy pain is back with a vengeance… almost to pre-surgery levels.  It’s stopping me from doing things.  I hate that.

I haven’t been to the gym in WEEKS.  I haven’t trained, haven’t done weights, haven’t been to a SINGLE class.  Ugh.  And you know what? Not only do I feel awful, my skin has gone really ratty too.  Who knew that even my SKIN was benefiting from exercise? I know it makes sense, skin being the largest organ, etc, but sheesh!

(Fortunately when I was at the GPs today to get a coupla new scripts and a referral to Yet Another Expensive Doctor, I jumped on the scales: 98 kg.  I honestly thought that I would have been back over the 100kg mark, what with not worrying about calories AT ALL while I was away, and not going to work out. )

I have done no sewing.  Not even tracing patterns.  Or finishing off a dress that only needs armhole and neck bindings and a hem to make it wearable.

I have managed a small amount of house cleaning, though.  I get tired of living in my mess every so often and then tend to overdo things (does that sound familiar to anyone else?) so I’m limiting myself to half an hour a day of solid housework.

Mr Beloved, Constance J. Woodle, Miss Kit Tern and the birdies are all well, if slightly bored by my constant whining about my tummy hurting.

We watched a documentary yesterday about guitars (Mr Beloved is a talented muso, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that? All self taught, and very fond of experimental music and mucking about on guitars) and he said:”Do you think I would be less depressed if I played more often?”


Do you think *I* would be less depressed if I actually sewed/made art more often?


It’s all about balance, isn’t it?

balancing act...

balancing act...

Yep, it’s that time of year again… time for Miss Caity’s Annual Rant about Easterfest (previously know as the gospel music festival, but generally known in our house as “THAT BLOODY NOISE”.)

Usually I’d go on and on about the way the super-amplified bass and drums drive right up the creek and into our house; then I’d have a rant about the way that the entire Queens Park is shut off from the people it’s meant to be there for (pardon grammar) and finish with the fact that the organisers of the event don’t give a shit about noise complaints and in fact won’t even supply the correct number for the regional council to register a proper complaint.

But I’m really tired, have spent a lot of the weekend sleeping (to get away from the noise, and because I’m just feeling like a wrung out dishcloth these days) so we’ll just leave it at that, yeah?

I’m popping into Lincraft tomorrow (not sure how they got dispensation to be open when just about every other shop will be closed – I don’t understand Toowoomba’s trading attitude at all) to pick up two Simplicity patterns for just $7.50 each, plus one Vogue pattern for only $12.  Yay!

Simplicity 4014

Simplicity 4014

Then I really have to sew my little heart out this week. I have to have a decent black dress for Friday (a funeral to go to) and my previous funeral outfits are now way too big.

(I’m just working out what to do with the seam finishes on this unlined dress and jacket –  I can do Hong Kong bindings (like Sue just did) on the straight seams, not quite sure how I’ll finish the princess seams.. maybe just hand overcast? Hmmm…. suggestions welcome!)

Oh yeah – I have to buy black shoes, too – I don’t know about you, but I cannot wear red shoes to a funeral.  Nuh uh.

AND – I fell off the food plan in a bigggg way over the last week or so.  And I didn’t even eat any Easter eggs!  Never mind, I’ll climb back on… unfortunately my plans for attending BodyStep this arvo were hijacked by my overwhelming need for sleep.  THe gym re-opens Tuesday, so I’ll be back into it then…

Who's a cutie, then?!

Who's a cutie, then?!

She’s just adorable, yes?

You might also notice from this photo that our lawnmower still isn’t back from repair.  This is what 3 weeks of no mowing and intermittent summer rain does to our yard!

Oh yeah – And I went blonde a few weeks back!

As I write we are in the middle of a wonderful fabulous heavy rainstorm.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I know this makes me sound like I’m 80 instead of 40, but the relief in my joints when a storm finally arrives is BLISS.

The other cause of happiness: Today a book arrived from my Mum and Dad:

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

I had the first edition – in fact, I have had SEVERAL copies, one I which I gave to my Dad – but somewhere in one of the moves I lost MY copy.  When I was at my brother’s over Christmas I was browsing his copy and remembered how much I enjoyed it – and so Mum and Dad kindly agreed to buy me a new copy.

So now I have the revised edition, with lots more info, I think I may have got the better end of the deal!

The charming and erudite Harold McGee continues to write about food and science – his most recent monthly column can be found at this link or by clicking the “news” tab on his website.

(*giggles* I might add that the book doubles as a handy weight for triceps and biceps work – you need strength to hold this up to read, or your nose will get smashed!)

So! Here I am home again.  I am still In Trouble with Her Poodleness for going away – she is quite determinedly “Daddy’s Dog” at the moment.  Flight was ok (and greatly enhanced by my earlier reading of The Cloudspotters Guide) and the trip home from Brisbane Airport to Toowoomba was better than usual (owing mostly to Mr Beloved’s familiarity with the back streets of Brisbane that kept us well away from the Milton Road traffic).

On to the Things I Now Know:

I need a MINIMUM of 12 hours sleep.  Any less than that and I am running a sleep deficit which eventually leads to my falling into bed and losing a day.

Despite all good intentions, I didn’t sew.  After Mum carted her machines all the way to Adelaide! But I did get Ju’s measurements, did the alteration, and Mum started the dress. I slept a LOT while Mum sewed!

Bantam Langshans don’t go cluck cluck, they almost purr. Bantam Australorps are also very pretty.

top: Berys; middle: Mrs Bantam-Langshan; bottom: Mrs Bantam-Australorp

top: Berys; middle: Mrs Bantam-Langshan; bottom: Mrs Bantam-Australorp

White Leghorns and Isabrowns act just like cliquey teenage girls. They like to do everything the “in” crowd is doing, but they are terrible gossips, and can spend hours chatting.

Mrs Isabrown: A good layer but a terrible gossip

Mrs Isabrown: A good layer but a terrible gossip

For some reason (possibly based in his troubled childhood ducklinghood), Adam (seen here sporting his trademark D.A.coiffure) Does Not Like the dominant white chook, Mrs Leghorn.  Who is now called Berys – for reasons which may be obvious in the photo of the three girls – if you thought “something’s not quite right with the bare bum of that white chook” you’d be right.  Adam “Drake” Khaki-Campbell was held in Duck Gaol for assault, and is currently on parole with a good behaviour bond.

Adam and Eve Khaki-Campbell

Adam and Eve Khaki-Campbell

(and watching Chook TV is a very pleasant way to spend time.)

I have also found The Hen of My Dreams: well, not found her yet, but I know what she is:

Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam Hen

Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam Hen

pretty, yes? Wyandottes are a very hen-shaped hen, I reckon.  And If I’m going to enjoy them, I want them to be really pretty! They’re not brilliant layers, but we don’t eat heaps of eggs anyway – we mainly want them for their help in the garden and our watching pleasure.

After watching the chooks at my brother and sister-in-law’s place, I’m somewhat in awe of the digging capability of the bigger chooks, and like the amenability of the bantams.

Gordon: Not a Morning Person either

Gordon: Not a Morning Person either

My brother, Gordon, works as a fruiterer.  And has to start Very Early a lot.  Despite the fact that Not Being A Morning Person seems to run in the family…

(I didn’t get a single photo of Dad!  Arrgh! Or one of Mum and Dad together!)

We didn’t see much of my nephew, Hunneal, either.  He was either at work (extra shifts to earn money since this will be his final year at school, and he’s studying hard for the big UMAT exams in July) or like this:

My Nephew, Hunneal - too tired to move!

My Nephew, Hunneal - too tired to move!

3 pairs of shoes ( 1 flats, 1 heels, 1 walking sneakers) was just right.  Yay! Also – my white walking sneakers are Not Suitable for jogging. I need more bounce than they provide. Hmmm.

It is impossible to tire out a Border Collie, no matter how long the walk or how many sticks you throw in the river.

Bidgee The Indefatigable

Bidgee The Indefatigable

Some people DON’T EVEN OWN IRONING BOARDS, let alone good irons, and a sewist should take this into account! Packing one simple dress that needs ironing is not too bad.  Packing a dress that needs complicated ironing – not so good.  Lesson: Never assume your obsessions will be the same as your host’s!

IKEA =totally amazing. For just about EVERYTHING.

Shellfish and my tummy DO NOT GET ALONG. Ahem.  Ooops.

My great-great-great ( is that enough greats?) Grandfather built a heap of buildings in Glenelg.  I have stood at what was Miller’s  corner, where his timberyard business once stood. I have seen the grand building in the middle of Adelaide where he had his office. Gordon reckons that makes us practically locals!

Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg - built by David Miller

Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg - built by David Miller

If the suitcase is full on the way TO the holiday, it’s going to be touch and go whether it bursts a zip on the way home… Thankfully it didn’t.

I miss Mr Beloved a LOT when I am away! Our phone bills will be huge, but it was worth it.  We had to talk to each other a couple of times a day, and 20 days was really stretching the limit of time away from each other.  I’m very glad I went, and I loved spending time with my family, but gee it’s good to be home!

Here at Chez Beloved, we’re fighting a (losing) battle against these rotten little buggers:

!)@*(#&@*& PANTRY MOTH!!

!)@*(#&@*& PANTRY MOTH!!

They are EVERYWHERE.  And it’s going to be very expensive to get rid of them – not because it’s an expensive process per se – just some pheromone based traps from the supermarket, and a good wipe down of everything – but because you have to THROW OUT EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE INFESTED.

Oh sure, some of the food can be frozen, that kills the blighters. Unfortunately, even though we have an insanely large fridge/freezer, there is NO space in the freezer section at all.

So MOST things  –  like flour, spices, rice, pasta, etc etc etc – basically anything not in a TIN (although I believe the moths are secretly breeding a mutant SUPERMOTH to even get around that difficulty) have to be tossed.  *fume*



And the moths are, of course, in my sewing room as well.  Which is why my grabbing the lidless can of this

Spray Starch

Spray Starch

and attempting to spray it around the room -INSTEAD OF THIS



was inevitable.

However, those moths have the CRISPEST, MOST CREASE FREE WINGS you ever saw…..


Thanks to everyone who cheered me on in my weight loss. IT REALLY HELPS! And we are soooo enjoying life without the neighbour Weasel. Oooh, he was a horrid little man. We have 10 neighbours (we own a long narrow block that runs along a lot of backyards) and only ever have real problems with 2 of the houses. Here’s hoping the next lot of renters are quiet people.

Power SewingEver been in the situation where you KNOW you’ve got a book, but just can’t find it? I’m not even sure if I’ve seen it since the move to Toowoomba, but I’m sure I wouldn’t have (deliberately!) got rid of it – arrgggh! I’ve been looking for this book for DAYS now. I don’t think I’ve lent it to anyone… if I did, please let me know, eh? It’s one of those really handy reference books, and I’m missing it!

I’m definitely headed down the hill tomorrow for the Stitches and Craft Show. I’m really looking forward to going with Sue – at last, another sewing chick! Tonight I’m digging through patterns and reading reviews (PatternReview.com – awesome value!) to see what I should spend my limited $$ on.

In all the digging around, I did re-find (is that even a word? UNEARTHED, perhaps – I swear, the Time Team would have their work cut out for them amongst all my stuff!)

[click to see bigger images]

Vogue 1407

This is Vogue 1407, and has someones name and 4/4/66 written on the front. New in Factory Folds! Of course, nowhere near my size – but it’s very close to the size I will be at my goal weight, I hope.  “Narrow, sleeveless dress with a two-piece look at front has a deep V Surplice neckline. Wrapped coat swings wide, three quarter length set in sleeves.” It’s so NOW I’m almost tempted to grade it up and make it… almost! The front wrap over is actually an overlay on an otherwise plain sheath dress, but doesn’t it look good? (and why are the instructions on a 1966 pattern SO MUCH BETTER than instructions on current patterns, hmm?) Although this is one of those vintage patterns where the only markings you get are perforated dots. And this is the little blurb about the designer:”JO MATTLI (Mattly) – Swiss charm and Parisian taste combine in the designs of this member of London’s couture group. Mr Mattli has designed the clothes for many English films.”

I think I paid 20cents for this pattern at an op shop. Whereas tomorrow I’ll probably be paying $30 for this pattern – if I can get it! Or this one….or maybe this one?

And now I’d better go turn up the hem on my other pair of jeans – don’t think it would be cool to wander around a Stitches and Craft Show and watch the fashion parades with my jeans rolled – ugh!

[later ETA: But first, I have to go sort through all the art materials that were previously stashed under the kitchen table, as Mr Beloved just had to pull them all out to retrieve a mrrrrrrrooooooouuuuuuusssse! that Miss Kitty Bing brought in as part of her “catch and release” program – she’s still looking for it, but it’s dead and gone into the bin – ewwwwwwwww!]

Well, that may have been the longest blogging break I’ve had in the last few years!  I’m still feeling crook – but I’m looking forward to getting out of the house (and out of town) tomorrow for some (window) shopping and the 2QAQ meeting down in Brisbane with Sue.

Still have pain – still incredibly fatigued – but I’m getting cabin fever now.  Still got more tests and scans and specialist appointments scheduled.



I’ve been too tired to even read much, let alone sew.  It’s frustrating.  I haven’t been looking at blogs much because EVERYBODY is doing such awesome work and  – well, I’m not!

All terribly boring to read about, sorry.

In other news: Mr Beloved was able to cut into the ceiling of the lounge room this week (There was no manhole!) to check out the termite damage:

The roof space

I’m very pleased to report that although the plywood ceiling itself has been eaten through, only a couple of the big bits of timber that hold the ceiling up will need to be replaced.  And the cavity wasn’t anyway near as dirty as we thought it could be.  SUCH A RELIEF!!

We’ve priced the replacement materials but are still getting figures together on insulation, possibly skylight tubes, and whirly bird venting.  Stay tuned…

And now I’m taking more painkillers and going back to bed.

Friend M called and said “Get down to Mac Campbells – they’re moving and there’s heaps of books for ONE DOLLAR!” – shortly after Mr Beloved and I had discussed whether we would avoid going in to town today or not.

So we went.

Cos you know if there’s one thing we just don’t have enough of in our house, it would be books, right?

Muuuaaa haaa haaa!  Some may end up going in to the next charity book fair – but some have useful, inspiring, relevant stuff.  A dollar each!  Gotta love that.

Off to read now.

… the answer is MORE POWER!   heh heh heh…

Yep, I now have a new iron.  TWENTYFOURHUNDRED WATTS, baby!  *makes appropriate Tim the Toolman grunting noises*

Only problem is – without water in it, it’s wayyyyyy lighter than I’m used to. I will adapt.  Toowoomba water is so hard that irons just get scaled up and spit rusty spots (and I’ve tried to remember to use distilled water but – sheesh!  I’m just not that dedicated.)  Hopefully by keeping this one as a dry iron it will at least last its warranty period…

(For those wondering how you iron without water in the iron: spray bottle set to mist, and pressing cloths.  For my birthday I lashed out on a whole metre of silk organza – half of which will now be a pressing cloth.)

No one had an iron without steam holes.  NO ONE!! But at least I was able to buy one without the annoying auto shut off beep beep beep beep ARRRGHGHHH!

And – something I’ve been wanting for ages also: a Hair iron!hair iron! A wet-to-dry hair straightener – because sometimes I HATE my wavy hair.   Straight hair always looks glossier and more elegant.

And – I went to Gardams.  Hanging on the line right now I have some brown batiste (for lining a top) and some absolutely un-crushable brown jersey (for this dress.)  Oh, and a metre and a half of the brown wool stuff for the bias skirt – I didn’t buy enough, and today I got the very last of the bolt – phew!
I can’t find brown shoes anywhere, though – dammit!  Guess I’ll just have to wear black and try not to be self conscious about it.

AND I went to the physio – I’m doing really well with fixing the urinary incontinence thang.  You remember all those times your mother told you to “Stand up straight and hold your tummy in!” (well, mine did, anyway) – turns out she was so, so right.   You now have permission to poke me with a sharp stick if you see me slouching.  But my muscles are learning what they’re meant to do, so yay me!  I have new exercises to do to help strengthen my back muscles, which should also help with the hip/back pain.

Nearly time for Grand Designs: more later.

Tuesday Tuesday Tuesday.. Ahh, it must be Quilters day! It was, so I went. Had a lovely time chatting and *gasp* actually managed to get a couple of sets of triangles hand pieced together.

Then when I got home, I found Mr Beloved had done this:


Yep, that’s where the architrave was. The whole door frame had to come off because of termite damage.
And this is what remains of the board framing the doorway. The wrinkly layer? Is PAINT. The little buggers had eaten away every scrap of wood in some areas. All those layers of paint were all that was holding it up.


More of the same board

That’s higher up on the same board.  Sickening.

HOWEVER, it does give us a chance to redesign that doorway – we were going to do a sliding door, but have decided that a good curtain with a pelmet is more practical and will keep that room warmer.  There will probably be a small bookshelf over the door now because – well, we need the shelf space!

Door frame

You can see in this shot that the termites even managed to damage some of the native cypress – which is supposed to be termite proof!  We’ll see how this looks once it’s had a sanding, though.

(See that hint of the 1940s apple green hiding in there?  That’s the colour the house was originally painted in 1947 when it was built – that colour EVERYWHERE!!  Walls, doors, kitchen cupboards… unremitting apple green.   I like it – but not THAT much!)

Two quilt mags arrived today – and oddly enough, both had feature articles on “Packing for a quilt retreat”..  the May/June Quilter’s Home (my favourite mag!) and the  May issue of Quilters Newsletter.  I took them to quilting, so I haven’t read them yet… looking forward to that this evening.  I notice that Quilters Newsletter have 3 pages of pictures of Gloria Loughman’s quilts – nice to see an Aussie featured, and her quilts are stunningly beautiful.

On the weight management thang:  The “milkshakes” are better than I though they’d be, and I seem to only be feeling hungry about 10 minutes before the next time I’m meant to eat – so that’s fine!  I must say I am really looking forward to my 90 grams of lean lamb and lots of veges tonight, though.

BTW  – I put mascara and a nice new lippy on today.  A friend at Quilters said “Are those new glasses?”  I said, nope, I have mascara and lipstick on today and she said “OH!  That’s why you look so much brighter!” (or words to that effect.)

I WILL MAKE AN EFFORT from now on, I promised myself, to at least do that much – I’m not a spring chicken anymore, ya know, with 40 happening… THIS WEEK!  ARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHH!

Think I’ll go read those mags now – see ya later, chickies!

* Yes, I have listened to waaaaaaaay too much Monty Python in my life!