Thursday, December 27, 2012

Op Shop Santa and Quilts revealed.

Before Christmas I told the story of how Santa was going to get all my children's gifts from the Op Shop this year. Now that Christmas is all over and done with I can show you what he found.

Vintage Board games some older than the other. They had all the pieces in them even the Chinese Checkers had all the glass marbles of each colour.

This was the most amazing find, I couldn't believe it when I opened the case.

Everything, including the dice was still in here. Nicky was so excited when she opened it Christmas morning.

A cook book each.

And something for the kitchen. David made icy poles as soon as he got up. Beau thought his food thermos would be very handy for work in the winter, Ben wondered just what he could cut up with the rolling chef and Nicky loved the Sushi maker. Op shop Santa was a huge success and they all said that their Santa sack was the best one they had ever had and could I do it again next year. 

It was lovely to see them sitting around playing a board game Christmas morning instead of on the computer or their phones. 

I can also show you the quilts I made for the two boys for Christmas. This one is Beau's. I got a text this morning with a photo of his quilt on his bed. 

 And this one is Ben's. I went looking for it Christmas night to show my Sister-in-law and he already had it on his bed. Something tells me that they both like them.
We had a lovely day together and the weather was kind and didn't get too hot.
I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas day and that your New Year will be a Safe and Happy one.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

JaM Time out from Christmas

JaM-A place to gather for just a moment once a week to share what we've been up to.

In the midst of Christmas preparations I took a little time out and painted the pine dresser in the dining room 
It was a very drab brown and I had painted most of it before I realised that I should have taken a before photo.

I am really happy with the way it looks now and it was nice to step away from all that Christmas madness for a few hours.
Visit Jody HERE to join in or see what everyone else has been up to

Monday, December 17, 2012

Op Shop Santa

Not many sleeps now until the Jolly Fat man in Red comes to visit us in the middle of the night. Those of you who visit here at The Backshed know that my children are grown up and have all moved on to start their adult lives. In our house the main present is under the tree from us and  there are just little bits and pieces they find in the pillow slip at the end of their bed every Christmas morning from Santa..  I decided this year that enough was enough, too much money was being spent at Christmas and Santa was retiring in our house. Well, the children were not very happy with this proclamation at all
I decided that if Santa was still going to be a visitor here then he was going to find all his presents at the Op Shop.
It was so much fun hunting around the local op shop for presents for Santa to bring. I managed to get fun things and practical things for all four of my apparently not so grown up adult children and it came to the grand total of  $16.00. They are going to get more than Santa usually brings and some are much more expensive items than they would get any other year.
So this begins a new tradition in our house and I got a lot more enjoyment fossicking in the op shop than I would get wandering in the shops trying and generally not succeeding to find inexpensive gifts.
I wasn't going to make a pecan candy cake either but apparently that is also a tradition that I am not allowed to discard. Before you think I am totally ruled by my children's wishes (which I probably am) I have to tell you that this year there will be no Roast turkey lunch with the baked vegies. Cold meats and some different salads are the go this year but there will still be cheesecakes and fruit salad for dessert. So if money is a little tight this Christmas, don't disregard the hidden treasure you can find in the Op shop down the road.
(There will be photos AFTER Christmas so I don't ruin the surprise)

Thursday, December 13, 2012

NBA Christmas Carol: Dribbling the Bells

Anyone who has someone in their family who follows NBA will probably have seen this. If you haven't seen it.....Enjoy!

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

It's the little things

In an earlier post I told you about how I am Skyping with my Scottish penfriend of many years. We were chatting the other day and I mentioned that I was going to make some Anzac biscuits for a friend for Christmas because they were his favourites. Well she had absolutely no idea what I was talking about. I have just sent her the recipe and the history of the Anzac biscuit. Even though we speak the same language and share a very similar background there are somethings that are unique to our countries. Just simple everyday things that we take for granted.
I sit here in the Summer talking to her sitting there in the Winter. It is 30 odd degrees here so not yet as hot as it will get and 4 degrees there and nowhere near as cold as it will get. She can't imagine a day over about 25 degrees as that is about as hot as her summer gets. I am sure that as we continue to meet each other in the virtual world there will be many more little things in our lives that are very, very different.

Monday, December 10, 2012

JaM-Climbing Mountains

Once again I am joining Jody with JaM

Sometimes when I have a huge To Do list I have problems getting any of it done because one of the things on the list is like a mountain that I can't climb. Once I get that one thing done the rest will all fall in to place. The mountain for me was the last Assessment tasks for the Unit I was doing for my Tafe course. It wasn't that I couldn't do them, it was because I was totally sick of the subject. I had done two units in Cert III and then had to do two more in Cert IV -Team Leaders and building teams. Last week I sat myself down, gave myself a stern talking to and booked in to do the Assessments in the Virtual Classroom.  Half an hour with my Trainer-Deb it was done and she was most impressed with my work and my thorough knowledge of the subject. After four Units I should know all about it or there is something seriously wrong with me!!!! 

So now that is done everything else is getting down very quickly. I am on top of all the Christmas preparations and only have a little baking to do.

The quilts are almost done, just the binding to sew on one and labels. 
The pool is cleaned and the parts for the filter are on their way, the gardens are tidy and the house is nearly clean. Lots of other little jobs have been done. There was absolutely no reason why all of this couldn't have been done ages ago except that one little thing was somehow roadblocking me from moving forward. 
I have to learn to tackle that mountain instead of standing at the bottom looking up.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Christmas is coming!

The tree is up in the lounge room.

Santas are bundled into a basket.

Christmas is scattered through the Violets.

The Prim tree has been tidied up.

Vintage camels wander across the top of a cupboard.

Christmas has arrived at my house!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

JaM-Getting organised

The countdown to Christmas is on and even though I have a whole year to prepare for it I always seem to leave everything to the last minute. Why am I still quilting two Queen size quilts just weeks before the day?  Everywhere I look there is something that probably could do with a clean, some paint, weeding or sorting through. Gifts to be bought, gifts to be made, really what have I been doing all year?
I go through this every Christmas and vow that next year I will be more organised so that I can cruise into Christmas day with absolutely no pressure.

There is also the Christmas trees and decorations to spread around the house. It is something that I usually manage to do a few days before Christmas and the last couple of years I have had one of the boys girlfriends to help. Flying solo this year and I have been challenged by my very dear friend  Chris to get it all done this week.

Well I did manage to get a couple of boxes out of the cupboard last night so it is a start.

And this one stays decorated, I just have to fluff it up a little.

Today is a quilting day as the temperature has dropped from the mid to high 30's we have been enduring. As I sit here it has just reached 11 degrees, almost light the fire weather. It snowed last night at Falls Creek.
So a good day to sit under a quilt and quietly stitch . 
I am going to ignore that cupboard that I really think needs a coat of paint to sass it up (I have only had it 20 years so a little bit longer won't hurt) And I just won't open the cupboards that need a good sorting and tidying. I did get the weeding done, an afternoon on the internet sorted all of my Christmas shopping, I have booked in to do my latest assessment in the Virtual Classroom on Friday and I may get up to the sewing room on the weekend. Somewhere in there I will put the Christmas trees up, pull out the rest of the decorations and throw place them around the house.
 Do you think that if I don't look out the windows I can avoid cleaning them?????
Join in JaM this week or visit those that do, here at Jody's 

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

JaM-Meeting old friends for the first time.

I am still being slack with my posts but my days are filled with study, the garden and hand quilting quilts for Christmas presents. There is a little stress that I have done nothing else towards getting organised for Christmas. Thank goodness for Jody and JaM or I would hardly ever get in here to let you know I am still around.  So really nothing too exciting to write about until this morning when I found out just how small the internet has made this world of ours...............

For almost 20 years I have had a penfriend in the UK. We started writing when our children were all in Primary school and have shared the ups and downs in our lives via letter and now through email. In those 20 years she has moved from England back to Scotland, our children have grown up and moved out, her husband passed away three years ago, and we have not lost touch for any serious length of time.
Elaine's children are scattered all over the world now. Her son lives in France, there is a daughter in Istanbul another still lives in Scotland and her youngest daughter is living in Australia at the moment. She keeps contact with them via Skype and we realised the other day that we could do that too.
So this morning we Skyped. It was the best hour and a half I have had for a long time. We chatted and laughed, talked about serious stuff and silly stuff and just enjoyed each others company.  I was worried that maybe we wouldn't have anything to talk about when face to face but the time just flew and there was still lots more to talk about but it was crawling towards midnight over there and she had to get up and go to work tomorrow.  We are planning to make this a regular event and we are hoping that in 2014 she may come over to visit her daughter and visit me too. We have always said that one day we would meet on an island half way between here and there, no husbands or children, just us, so maybe that really will happen soon.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

JaM-Ranting about this and that

I am so happy that Jody missed JaM and has started it again. Hopefully it will get me back on track to posting a little more often than I have been of late.

So this week I am going to have a little rant about this and that because there are things going on in my little world that I just can't get my head around.
First there is the matter of House and contents insurance. Not mine, it was pretty much the same as usual. No, it is my neighbours. He lives in a very modest house that isn't worth a fortune and he is on a pension. A few weeks ago he got his House and Contents renewal notice and it had gone up from the previous year by $6000. No that isn't a typing mistake it was $6000.  Why would it go up that much? Because the insurance company has decided that he lives in a flood zone. Never mind that he has lived there for over 30 years and has never even looked like he was going to be flooded out,  they decided it was a flood zone after glancing at a map and seeing where the creek was. Anyway after getting letters from the local shire and the Water Catchment authority to say otherwise they still knocked it back because he had to have records dating back 100 years.
And they say 'We're there for you" Needless to say he is now with another insurance company who couldn't believe his story. The same company did it to my Mum too,  adding $3000 to hers because she may be subject to flooding from high tides in 25 years or so. She is now insured by someone else........
When I left school and started to apply for jobs I wrote a letter and put in a couple of written references and my birth extract. Short, simple and to the point. Today I handed in a couple of job applications to Workways. It included the application letter that had to be written to a specific formula and that briefly addressed a minimum of three of the Key selection Criteria, two pages that specifically addressed the Key Selection Criteria, my Resume that was several pages long, copies of Certificates I have attained, copy of my Police check and one also had  a four page form to fill out as well. Each application took a minimum of a day to write, cost money in regards to the police check and aren't even for permanent full time jobs. It is unbelievable just how much work goes into presenting yourself to a prospective employer and then you have to jump through a whole lot of other hoops if you manage to get an interview. I wonder sometimes if it is all worth it?

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Miniature violets

Yesterday Edna arrived with my Birthday present which she had finally found in the back of her storeroom. It is the most gorgeous miniature tea set and a sweet saucer, all with violets to go with my ever increasing collection. The tea pot is only 7cm high. She is getting very good at finding something just a little different for my collection.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Herb posy

For something different (and maybe as a deterrent to Atticus chomping off the tops) I picked the heads of some herbs this morning and popped them in a vase. Parsley, chives, sorrel and  coriander.  It looks really pretty in a vintage jug on the kitchen bench.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Op Shop pickings

 It is very slim pickings at our Op Shop, it has been for a couple of years now. There is never any Vintage kitchenalia or anything of interest. Rumour has it that the Manager might have a nice stash at the back of her house but that is just a rumour. I did manage to find a couple of vintage aprons that will eventually be incorporated in a quilt. The faded fabrics give the quilts instant age and are quite beautiful.

 And these tea towels. I'm not sure what I will do with them yet but I couldn't leave them behind. Especially that poor little man doing his best to help.

The Grand kids have settled into routine and Munchie keeps herself to herself most of the time, but Atticus is certainly on a mission to make sure we don't forger he is around.
I found him in here yesterday.

My daughter always told me how she never had a vase of flowers in her house because Atticus eats them. Mostly he just bites the tops off and leaves a vase of stalks!

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Meet the Grandkids

My daughter flew to New Zealand this morning for a couple of weeks and I have the Grand kids while she is away. 

This is Atticus who spends the morning trying to work out how he can get outside and belting any of my furry kids if they get too close.

And Munchie (aka Sparrow) who spends all her time curled up and hidden from all of us. She jumps and hides at the slightest sound. In the evening she does venture out, but only after my cats have been shut up for the night.
There are also three rats but they are no trouble at all in their cage in the corner.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Last word.

Quite a while ago I had a little rant about same sex marriage and politicians hiding behind their religious beliefs when it came to this issue. Yesterday one of my son's sent me this.......

“Some people say homosexuality is a sin. It’s not. God is perfectly cool with it, God feels the exact same way about homosexuality that God feels about heterosexuality. Now you might say, ‘Whoa, slow down. You move too fast. How could you have the audacity, the temerity, to speak on behalf of God?’ Exactly, that’s an excellent point and I pray that you remember it.”
Ted Alexandro

How perfectly obvious is that!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Not a lot to share

So it is Blogtoberfest and all these amazing people are putting up a post a day for the whole month. Once again I am feeling very inadequate and boring. Everyone seems to have lots to say, projects to share and adventures to tell us about. I am busy all day everyday but don't seem to have anything interesting to share with anyone.

I have been doing a little sewing and slowly these blocks are adding up in preparation for a quilt.

  Unfortunately the sewing room is looking like this and this is the tidiest bit!

The bulk of my time is either here,

Or here. Battling away with Cert IV which is proving a lot more challenging than Cert III

Mowing the lawns is taking up a big part of the week although when I headed from this one on Sunday to do the front and side lawns, I found my neighbour whizzing around them on his ride on mower. It saved me a couple of hours and I got a turn to hoon round on the mower just for a play.

With all that spare time I managed to get some gardening done but not before my neighbour and I sat here and had coffee before he went home. (He rang when he got home and said there was a big brown snake on the road) The joys of summer!!

 A nice find this week in the tub of bits and pieces.

I had forgotten I had this unusual violet.

So Hilary I'm not really ignoring my Blog to comment on yours, although that does take up  a lot of time these days. It's just that I haven't really got a lot to share with everyone that is very interesting anyway.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Spam and Scam

Today I am over  Spam and Scam!!!!!

Because word identification to prove your not a robot when you comment on a Blog has become almost impossible to understand I very nicely  disabled it on my Blog. Every now and then I would get Spam comments and if they had a link to a website or email I would forward them back until they stopped spamming me. Usually I just delete them as they come in, 2 seconds and they are dealt with. Today it has reached the point of being out of control with 20, yes 20 Spam comments in my Spam folder this morning and more have arrived during the day.  I can't see the point of it really when they instantly go into my Blogger spam and the Spam folder of my Gmail. Do I really need a Russian bride, Viagra, a bigger penis, drugs from a Canadian pharmacy, to help a lawyer claim a multi million dollar estate, replica watches or any of the other totally believable (?) offers that are made?  They are mosquitoes buzzing in my ear, flies in my eyes and up my nose, a continuously runny nose. Yes you got it, something extremely annoying but something that really isn't achieving anything by being annoying because no one gets to read them anyway. So why do it???
And then to make my day even more wonderful the phone rings and yep you guessed it.........Hello Ma'am I am ringing to inform you there is a problem with the Windows on your computer. This happens at least twice a week and it too is an annoyance. Don't they realise that it has been going on for so long now that people know it is a scam? I used to just hang up but today the man on the other end of the phone got such a talking to he may never ring another person again. Don't they feel any guilt at all spending their days trying to con money out of people and usually people who don't really have that much money? 
I have even had Scam calls through my Skype after only being signed up for one day. So if there is any one out there who has a solution or if not a solution then a way of giving them a little of what they give us, please let me know. cause I am over it!!

P.S. If your not sure if an email is a Scam, Google the return email address or the name of the person sending it and it will quickly tell you if it is a Scam. And for those of you who believe those emails about brutality to animals and children, google it first cause a lot of them are a scam too!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Orchids and procrastination.

I'm supposed to be studying today but on a perfect Spring day it is very hard to stay chained to the computer. I have been out and put a little round-up along the fences, weeded a bit of garden and mowed some lawns. Now I am hot, sticky and definitely in no mood for study.
I thought I would share my surprise post birthday present with you instead of reading about the absolutely riveting subject of Team Leaders and their responsibilities. Such is the art of procrastination.
Last night was my second Community Liaison Meeting and Edna came and picked me up with these gorgeous orchids in hand. I usually get one like this from her every year. This year it is to hold me over until she remembers where she put the gift she brought me for my birthday. She did tell me that it is something to add to my collection of Violet China so I am looking forward to when she does find it.
It was her birthday yesterday and she was 70 something. 78 I think but I gave up trying to keep up with her age years ago. She really is an amazing women, remember when she went horse riding ?  I gave her a pretty floral scarf that she loved, I don't think she gets pretty things as gifts very often. She is Secretary of the Corryong Sporting Complex and is going to wear it Friday night when she goes to do the raffles. Said she will feel very 'swish' in her new scarf. Now, Edna doesn't play sport, drink or play the pokies but when the Sporting Complex couldn't fill the position of Secretary she immediately put her hand up to do it. This is on top of Volunteering at the Information Center,  selling raffle tickets for any club that asks whether she belongs to it or not, Volunteering at Op Shop and the myriad of other things that she quite happily does for the Community. I wish I had half her energy!!!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Jam-Small achievements

Spring is really making itself felt here this week with fluctuating temperatures and lots of windy days

 The garden is starting to look like a garden again with new growth and Spring flowers appearing overnight

 Some things are later than usual and others seem to be earlier than they have been in the past. That's the thing about gardens though, surprises everyday.

  Small achievements this week. One of Beau's rats was very sick and looked like she wouldn't make it but with patience and lots of care she has made a full recovery. With all the handling she has had this past week she no longer bites every time a hand goes near her, which is a bonus.

 Yesterday I handed in my last Assessment tasks for Cert III. Now I just have to wait and see if I passed them all. It will only be a matter of correcting them and sending them back in if I did anything wrong. So it will be on to Cert IV next week.

 And one quilt started for Christmas, just waiting on some backing fabric to move on with it. It is Grand Final day here in Victoria tomorrow so guess where I will be all day.

Today the radar looks like this and there has been strong wind since 1am this morning. Where was I at 1am this morning? Out shutting the shed doors so they wouldn't bang and rattle and I could go back to sleep!
Needless to say I will be doing inside jobs today.

How has your week been? Join in with Jody and tell us what you have been up to.