Category Archives: A Day in My Life

Jam jam jam jam, jam jam jam jam

Strawberries are soooo cheap right now. I don’t remember them ever being this cheap (although they must have been). So I decided I would make strawberry jam. I don’t even like strawberries that much (or strawberry jam, for that matter), but there you go.

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So I bought myself a heap of strawberries (2kg – although it ended up being about 1.8 after hulling and taste testing from the helpers) and some jam sugar (not strictly necessary, but I thought why not?!) and found myself a recipe. I looked at others, but this was the only one (that I recall) that didn’t use the same amount of sugar as fruit. Interesting.

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My mum is here so we had a production line – she hulled and I sliced. Slicing not required by the recipe but I’m glad I did, it made the next step a lot easier. And I don’t like really chunky jam anyway.

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My other helper assisted with this step – mashing the strawberries and sugar together to form strawberry mush (or slurry – neither word is particularly appetising, heh!).

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And then it was on to the stove to boil away. I did it for a lot longer than the recipe, at least 20-30 minutes. I tested it on a cold plate – when you put the jam on a cold plate (from the freezer) and then draw your finger through it, it should stay separate. It didn’t quite stay entirely separate the second time I tested, but it was good enough. I didn’t want to burn it!

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I ended up with four jars – I had exactly the right amount for four jars! I think they are 500ml jars, which is not bad – 2l of jam from 2kg of strawbs.

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Nice colour too (brighter red, not as dark as the picture). And the taste was pretty good too. The littlest helper waited (almost) patiently for the jam to cool and was most excited to finally try it.

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And it got the thumbs up all around. A bit runny, although once its refrigerated it might be a bit less so. I would definitely make jam again! Am going to have to make some scones so we can try the jam with cream too. And maybe a Victoria sponge…

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12 on 12

My lovely blog buddy Sarah has been doing these monthly picture posts, 12 photos of your day, the day being the 12th of that particular month. I thought I’d play along, since new motherhood is so exciting and glamourous!

My day begins the same as every other day – breakfast of two pieces of toast – one with vegemite, one with peanut butter – and a cup of tea. Eaten while I feed Harry. Or while I express. I’m having terrible trouble feeding H the usual way, so every few hours I have a date with my Medela Swing (I’m not sure what’s so swingy about it, but I suppose they had to name it something. “Pump” being perhaps too obvious. Perhaps it was named by the same people who do tampon ads, “swing” being much more evocative of swanning around having fun with your girlfriends than the reality of actually using the machine). Anyway!

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And of course my day wouldn’t be complete without a large dose of ABC for Kids tv. The next best thing to a babysitter.

Then a couple of loads of washing go on, and I help Connor make a duplo train track. Later, when daddy gets home from work, the duplo track is replaced with a wooden Thomas track.

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I have an appointment with my lactation consultant in the afternoon, and I get a puff finished on my way home – yes, I am still knitting puffs! I have about 500 or so still to knit. At my current rate of around 5/month, it will only take me another NINE years to finish all the puffs…heh heh.

I also (somewhat amazingly) find some time to work on Harry’s blanket, which is still not finished. Lucky it’s still mostly warm here at the moment. I am on the last main round of it, once this round is done I have only two quick rounds of double (single) crochet and then it’s done done done!

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After my appointment I picked up some “nursing tea” – a herbal tea which is supposed to help increase supply. I am not a fan of herbal teas, but i figure its worth a try, and I have a cup after dinner. It’s ok, slightly aniseedy, but drinkable. And it seems to have some effect the next day, so yay!

The observant among you may have noticed that’s only 9 photos…sad to say that’s really it for my day. You can look at the photo of the Swing three more times if you like, since I see it at least that many times, if not more, each day.

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Or you can look at this picture of Harry, I hope that the cute babby will count as three more photos, since I probably stop and look at him at least that many times each day every time he is asleep!

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Collections of one kind and another

I’m not really giving away any secrets by admitting I am not the world’s best housekeeper – like a lot of knitters, it seems I’d so much rather be knitting than cleaning!

But lately there have been a few tasks that have been calling out to me, that I can put off no longer! One of these was to tidy the china display on top of the leadlight cabinet. The actual collection was slowly engulfed by a collection of random crap, not to mention a blanket of dust and a nice collection of cobwebs to top it off.

I had a bit of free time in the weekend, and instead of spending it knitting, like a normal knitting person, I decided it was time to attack the collection. So I put away the crap and I took all the china down and dusted and hand washed it in the warmest soapy water. And standing in the sun, over the sink, washing all that china, it was such a pleasure. My guilty (!) secret is that I love hand washing fine bone china!

Anyway, I thought I might share it with you, because it is so pretty!

It is Shelley china, in the “Dainty White” style – perhaps the most common style they produced. My mum has always loved Shelley, and has a little collection, and back when I was working, for a while there, I quite got into collecting it too – especially when I realised how cheap it was from the UK on eBay (whoops!).  Even though it is common, I just think it is so pretty – the lovely petal details and the shapes, the fluting and the knobs.

And I culled it a little when I put it back on the cabinet – I really should rotate the display occassionally, I suppose! Because I do have more in the cupboard, oh yes I do!  (not that I’m buying it any more, no I am not!)

And since I’m showing off collections, I thought I’d share the ever-growing collection Connor is amassing:

Yes, of course, it is cars!  And trucks, and buses, and fire engines…

And more cars!  He never gets sick of them! He takes a bag of cars everywhere, even to bed!  They really are his security blanket (a bit like knitting is for me!)

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Sunday snippets

Husby has decided to plant a vege patch and re-do the herb garden. He went off to the shops this morning and has come back with soil and seeds (!! If it was me, I’d have bought seedlings, but anyway, it will be a fun experiment!).

He has a lunch today and since it was such a nice day I decided I’d give him a helping hand and clear out the herb garden, which is not so much a herb garden as a weed bed:

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It really didn’t take long at all to pull all the rubbish out. There was a few new sprigs of what look like flat- leaved parsley, but I pulled it all out (let’s just say my weed and plant identification skills are not what they could be, so I thought I’d play it safe!)

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I even did a bit more weeding and pruning while I was out there – no idea if it is the right time of year for pruning (I suspect not) but at least it looks a bit neater out there now.

And since it was such a lovely day, Connor and I decided an impromptu picnic was in order:

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Lucky we took advantage when we did, as some dark clouds have rolled in now.

It’s amazing how virtuous you feel after half an hour of gardening! How was your Sunday?

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Could I be a prouder knitter?

(Two posts in two days!  I know!  But I had to share this!)

Connor isn’t much of a talker (yet?).  His vocabulary mainly consists of “mum” and “dad” (and variations of both), “Nanna”, “nana” (banana) and “teddy” (pronounced ted-deeeeeeeeee).  And of course, “no” (nao!).  And the rest is pointing and grunting and the happy noise when I correctly guess whatever it is that he wants.

Yesterday, we went outside to get the clothes off the line.  Well, that was my plan anyway.  Connor decided he didn’t want to do that, and with the handful of cars he had (yes, he carries his cars with him everywhere) he stood near the outside table and kept saying “NingNing, NingNing”.  I didn’t quite get what he wanted, because I was trying to convince him to climb up the stairs with me to the backyard and clothesline.

So he put his cars on the table and ran inside and climbed onto my lounge chair and looked over the side to where I keep my knitting (out of his reach).  And then it clicked – NingNing!  Knitting!  He wanted me to get my knitting and sit with him at the table outside!

Could I be a prouder knitter/mother?!

So the washing didn’t get taken off the line (until later, thanks Husby) but we had a pleasant half hour sitting at the table, me knitting, him driving his cars back and forth.  I cannot think of a better way to pass the time!

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I believe in Yesterday…

So, here’s the deal:

Yesterday, I Turned Forty.

Yep. 4-0

40

404040404040.

Perhaps if I say it often enough it will seem real? It’s not that I have a problem with it. I don’t at all. I am very happy with where my life is at.  Of course, there are things that, if being totally honest, I would like to change.  But these are all things beyond my control. And so I don’t let those things bother me. It still feels a bit weird to be 40 though.  It’s an age that seemed positively ancient when you are a child.  And yet when you reach it, you still feel a bit of a child yourself.  But without a lot of the insecurities of childhood (especially teenager-hood!).  One of the great benefits of aging!

I had a great day! My mum came to visit for a few days and husby took the day off work. The day started with baby snuggles and a gift, then a sleep-in (until 9am! unheard of!). After breakfast and shower etc, I had a pedicure and got sushi for lunch, followed by fancy cupcakes.

And then a trip to the Zoo! It was a warm day but our Zoo is in the perfect location for cooling sea breezes, so it was lovely.  And not nearly as busy as going on a weekend.  The perfect birthday expedition.

And finally dinner out with husby while Nanna looked after the little fella.  A local restaurant, which meant we could (a) walk and (b) drink a bottle of champagne between us.  Weeeeeeeeeee!

A perfect end to a great day!

I leave you with a sneak peek of my super special birthday suit – not a suit as such (and no, not no suit at all, heh!).  A little project I have made with some special yarn (my very first wollmeise!). 

I shall reveal all later this month!

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Even though we don’t do Thanksgiving here…

So within five minutes of getting up from our nap this morning, I had changed a poo nappy and had baby vomit all down my top (and when I say “all down my top”, I don’t mean the front of my top, I mean INSIDE my top …)

Despite the poo-and-spew start to the morning, I am thankful for the following:

1. Connor managed to miss his clean clothes entirely (of course he did!)

2. I had not yet had a shower

3. My mum is staying this week so after I fed the little horrorhead I could have a nice long shower and even wash my hair

4. Shoes, and yarn. When all else fails, I can always be thankful for shoes and yarn!

Speaking of shoes, since so many asked, this is the source of my recent acquisition (which are Liz Claiborne, by the way). The shoes on the site are probably last seasons (or even the season before – I have no idea!), but since “the season” is no longer an issue for me (and never really was, heh) I don’t mind!

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A Day in My Life: Tuesday 14 April 2009

The 14th of the month has rolled around again – that means it’s a month since I finished work. My how time flies. Especially when I’m sleeping – I didn’t wake up this morning until 9.30am! Obviously making up sleep time from yesterday, when I was up at 5.30am (nothing more exciting than because I couldn’t sleep…)

So a slow start to the day, but since it was a lovely sunny one, I put on a load of washing – line dried sheets are the best!

There’s a little bit going on in the garden right now – this lovely little violet – which became obvious after we’d weeded the garden bed on the weekend.

And isn’t this the most perfect gardenia? It’s the only one on the bushes right now – don’t know if it is a late bloom or an early one!
I’d love to have it in a vase inside but I know it would only wither and go yellow within in a day so I’ve left it on the bush to admire from my kitchen window.

Wrote my daily to do list then sat down to have a quick look at emails and blogs and about an hour later (sigh – where does the time go?) thought it was time for breakfast!! I’m going to have to limit my computer time every day, because I get sucked into Ravelry or whatever and find I get nothing done during the day.

Tidied up around the house, showered, got the mail in, emailed my former boss about catching up for lunch soon, and then decided it was time for my own lunch. I wasn’t very hungry, and I’d been reminded about apples and peanut butter recently from some blog or other – I’ve never had it, but have wanted to since the West Wing episode where all the schoolkids are locked in to the White House because of some security scare and it’s kind of a running joke.

So I was a bit hesitant about trying it – do I dip the apple in the PB, or do I spread the PB on the apple? I opted for the spread, and after the first bite I wasn’t sure, so figured I should try it again. And before I knew it, this happened:

Hmmm, I quite like apples and peanut butter.

My mum phoned about our trip to Tasmania – checked the flights and found some on sale and booked them quicksmart – so we’ll be winging our way down there in May. It’s for her birthday, she wants to visit a few friends down there – and I hope I’ll be able to do that too!

Time for coffee, and a leftover Easter Nest (you can read about those here, if you haven’t already!). The final season of Buffy is on foxtel, and look, here’s lovely Giles in his drizabone. It’s funny that I have all of the Buffy episodes on DVD, but I still watch them on foxtel, with ads and all.

Husby got home early tonight, as I was ironing his work shirts – when he first started working, he would only wear white shirts, and the occasional blue one. I tried and tried to get him to buy some coloured or patterned shirts but he wouldn’t go for it. Until we went to New York a couple of years ago, and he bought 5 (yes FIVE) coloured and/or patterned shirts! Not the most out there ones, but really nice shirts. I was so happy, and he loves wearing them – now he leaves the white and blue ones until last. Of course, they are starting to look a bit worse for wear around the cuffs and collars, so we’ll have to get some more.
(The green checked on is my favourite – I know it looks a bit gingham in the pic, but it’s not!)

It’s been a week since I did the grocery shopping, so the fridge is a bit empty. Decided to make pizza for dinner – I’m quite pleased with this recipe, which makes it, base and all, from scratch. Yum! We ate the whole thing between us, with a nice glass of wine…or two.

Ended the evening with some knitting, some tv, and of course blogging this. Hope you all have had a great Tuesday (or have a great one ahead of you, if you are reading this in the morning!)

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A Day in My Life: Saturday 14 March 2009

Hurray, it’s Saturday! Sleep in day! Except I woke up with a runny nose at 2.30am, and then again at 6am. But I’m glad I rolled over and went back to sleep, and finally got up at about 8.45am.

Now, I had to be at Circular Quay at 11am, so I thought I’d better check the train timetable – ack, train at 10.23, so had a shower, ate some breakfast and spent about 20 minutes trying to decide what knitting I was taking with me – because my 11am meeting was my first Inner City Branch meeting of the NSW Knitting Guild, which I joined for the first time this year!

Since we needed milk, Husby kindly agreed to drop me off at the train station, so he could pick up the milk as well. Something we always notice about the area in which we live is how green it always is – lots of trees and plants and well-tended gardens. Even at the train station.

Got to the Quay at just the right time, met my work buddy Al who was coming along to Guild as a guest (and who joined there – yay!). The meeting was great – there were about 30 people and the thing I really enjoyed was the show and tell bit (yep, like school – stand up, introduce self and show off a piece of your knitting) – it was really cool to see what people were knitting – some from the latest IK, others from web freebies and others from pages torn out of old magazines. And then it was time for tea or coffee and cakes and chat! And suddenly it was 2pm!

The meetings are held in the library at Customs House (I did not even know there was a library here) – in this pic, the room on the left, on the third floor, above the arched window, where the window is slightly up, is our meeting room – a lovely light big space – it was great.

Train home, and no lift from the station so had to walk. Here’s the hill of doom – although it doesn’t look so bad in the picture – but trust me, it’s a tough one. And it never gets any easier (sigh!)

Had some fish in the fridge which really needed to be used, so cooked it up and had the healthiest lunch ever! Look, everyone, salad! Green stuff – lots of it!

And I ate it all too.

Spent some time catching up on blogs, and then worked on Mum’s Alpine Lace Shawl, which has been in hibernation for some time. I realised a little while ago that mum is turning 70 next month, so thought maybe I should get this finished for that…the main problem is I’m only a third of the way through and it’s challenging to work on while also watching tv. Although I did manage it today while watching the news.

Husby came home from visiting his family, and does what he mostly always does – turns on the computer…heh, it’s not that bad, really!!

Nelly came in to say hello and please give me a drink. Then she went back outside to sit in the weeds. (Geez, I really must weed that garden soon!)

Spent the evening knitting on Pearl Buck (finished one of the front pieces – yay!) and watching the Sound Relief concert on the foxtel. Nice. It’s getting really late now (it’s nearly tomorrow!) so am off to bed.

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A Day in My Life: Saturday 14 February 2009

Or, as it is more commonly known, Valentine’s Day!

Awww, sweethearts! (My favourite is “get real” – heh!). Part of a lovely gift from my valentine, MadMad. Only problem is, I think she might be cheating on me

I didn’t really realise how big the Americans are on Valentine’s Day, until I read about it on various blogs today. It’s nice, but I always think that it’s much nicer to be given chocolates or flowers (or whatever) on any day of the year, as a surprise, rather than on one day a year when everyone gets something (or at least everyone in some sort of relationship!). I guess the beauty of the way Americans celebrate Valentine’s Day is that you can “love” as many people as you want – which is a lovely generous way of looking at things.

Anyway, back to my day. Started with a lovely sleep in. Husby was going to set the alarm last night and I convinced him to turn it off so we could just wake up whenever. What a luxury to still be in bed at 9am!

Showered, put on the first of 4 loads of washing done today, and made some toast for breakfast – with peach jam, for a change – felt like something sweet today (must have been the candy hearts!). Checked blogs and Ravelry while having breakfast – so pleased to see the donations total on Jacqueline’s blog – she is having a fantastic giveaway for bushfire victim donations (via the Red Cross) – for every $10 you get a ticket in her prize draw – fantastic prices like Wollmeise, Sundara, packets of DB Baby Cashmerino, patterns and lots of other great yarny and crafty prizes! So donate, if you haven’t already.

Saw the back page of the SMH, with names and photos of bushfire victims. Every time I see coverage on it, I become teary. Partly because of the terrible terrible losses, but also, now, because of a feeling of pride in the way Australia, and the world, has responded.

I wish we could send some of our rain down there – for most of this week, it’s been around 20degC, and raining. A nice change from the heat of the previous weeks but weird weather to be having in summer. But it does mean I can wear my handknitted socks – huzzah!

Husby and I went to the shops for lunch and to buy a birthday present. And we did the grocery shopping while we were there. Time for a cup of coffee when got home, and husby decided to hang our clock in the lounge room. So because it’s been a while, here’s a husby butt shot for you. As you can see, husby didn’t mind at all. But sorry ladies, he’s all mine!!

We’ve had some bananas getting riper and riper on the bench for the last few days, so I thought I’d better use them up – time for a new recipe – banana bread, from Nigella’s How to be a Domestic Goddess.

While it was in the oven baking, husby made dinner – crumbed chicken, with couscous and vegies. Crumbed chicken is his new specialty, and he does an excellent job at it.

After dinner, time for some knitting while watching Toy Story (husby LOVES his Pixar movies!!). And a lot of the extras too – I love the dvd extras!

Had to try some banana bread with our cup of tea – mmmm, it is good!

And then typing this up, with Nelly asleep on my lap. She makes herself so very comfortable, I hate to disturb her when I have to get up. A good excuse to knit a few more rows!

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