>racing towards the finish line

>It has been a week of extremes
half the country is under water. Seriously under water.
Not here though.
After all the rain we had in October/November, the dams are still delightfully full, but there’s been little evidence of moisture of late.

A week ago we had overnight lows of 4C/39F
… and today?
While it wasn’t the hottest New Year’s Eve I’ve experienced up here [ that distinction belongs to … I think … 2006, when it reached 48C, and was still over 40 at midnight ]
it did still get to 40.9. That’s 105.6F!
4 degrees above freezing to ” OMG I’m going to die of heat prostration” in less than a week.
Makes it very difficult to acclimatise
especially for the elderly.
My 90 year old, just-had-a-triple-bypass, darling Godmother came up for the day today, and I just kept thinking
“Thank God for the A/C”

After the visitors left, I was at a bit of a loose end, pottered around a bit, knitted some lace, browsed a couple of books … your basic dithering
then I decided to make another of those wrap aprons. Ma-in-law liked her Christmas one so much, I promised her another for her natal day in March.
I’m not sure whether this will be it.

It might be.
Or it might be for DIL who said she’d certainly wear one.

At least this way I’ve got MIL covered 🙂

Happy New Year to you and yours, from me and mine
and I’ll be back tomorrow with news of some big changes Chez Catsmum


>Last Minute Christmas Sewing

>I never do this
I don’t race around at the last minute trying to finish off gifts … mainly because that’s normally a sure fire recipe for having everything go wrong, right ?
but here’s the thing
even though MIL is blind and won’t know the difference, I really wasn’t happy with the wrap-around apron that I made for her.
It is pretty enough, and would serve the stated purpose, but there were things about the finishing that I wasn’t thrilled with: the purchased bias was too narrow and I didn’t really like the way I’d zig-zagged in on.
So I’ve just spent a couple of hours making version 2.0,

and this time I grabbed a hunk of contrast fabric and cut 2″ bias strips with my rotary cutter, then fed them through my handy dandy [ seldom used ] Clover 1″ bias maker.
Much much better.
and no I’m not showing you the first one.
That was the whole point of remaking it.

one sleep to go!!

>Be Warned

>Basically, if you put your head through my door between the start of December and January 6th [ Twelfth Night ] you are going to find yourself admiring the Christmas decorations whether you want to or not
and I will grasp at any excuse that will get a few extra people through the door.

… you have a busload of Senior Cits to entertain? Bring ’em over
… require a venue for this year’s choir break-up party? No worries!

Need to kill 90 minutes or so with two busloadsof disabled adults from David’s thursday social club before pizza-dinner-and-Christmas-Lights-Tour ? *

Bring ’em here for junkfood, a visit from multiple Santas – and an elf – plus presents, candy canes, and a total overload of Christmasness

and someone obviously knows the hostess well:

I scored a really nice Christmas mug stuffed full of Robert Timms coffees, shortbread, & Twinings teas: English & Irish Breakfast, Earl Grey and Prince of Wales.

If you’ll pardon me, I’m off to become better acquainted with the Prince of Wales.

* a note for my Northern Hemisphere friends: because we are only a day or so past the Summer Solstice, it doesn’t get dark enough to see the Christmas lights until after 9pm. Hence the need to kill some extra time before dinner.

>Wee Jake

> has had two blood transfusions, has lost a bit of weight, and is being treated for jaundice, but despite all that, is now out of Intensive Care and in the High Dependency Unit. A huge step forward methinks.

… and he’s wearing his aunty-made knitteds

>A quilt, some goats and a good day out

>After His Royal Beariness and I dropped David off in town this morning, we choofed up the Freeway to Bendigo and picked up my newest quilt from Jodi Abel, longarm quilter par excellence.

Ms Jodi has done her usual wonderful job of enhancing my patchwork with her meticulous Japamese inspired machine quilting and I’m thrilled to bits with the result.

Then an already quite good day got even better, as we proceeded out to see PND and Brenda at Emu Creek.
Bear got to visit his extended family, which was why he was along for the ride, and I got to snuzzle – and bottle feed – some of the newest lot[s] of baby goaties:
some beautiful pure-bred Saanans

and some sweet little Nubian cross babies that have the same sire as my Ruby and Rowan.

After a substantial lunch, it was back home [ very carefully ] with a car loaded with wooden pallets, and also my very country Chrissie pressie from PND&B : a spiffy new water gauge to replace my cracked old one, a very fancy goat hoof-pick-and-brush, and last but not least, a box of Ferrero-Rocher chocs.

… and here’s the newest quilt in all its oriental splendour … which could be a pretty good name for it now that I come to think of it. What do you think, hmmm? Oriental Splendour ?
Yes ?
No ?

I still have to put on the binding and hand sew it down but I couldn’t resist laying it on the bed,
It’ll probably stay like that until after Christmas.


>It is one of the inescapable truths of blogging that the more there is happening in one’s life, the less time or inclination there is to blog about it

I would have expected that, because I’m not having the family Christmas dinner here this year, that perhaps the pre-Christmas run-up might be a little calmer than normal

I should have known better

Lunch at Maldon with friends on Thursday [ for my birthday and to stop me from dwelling on the other implications of the date ] was followed by frantic last minute house cleaning before about forty past and present members of our women’s acapella choir ‘Chat Warblers’ descended upon the premises for our annual Christmas knees-up.

So the next few hours yielded
birthday flowers aplenty

copious amounts of delicious edibles,

good friends,
and some really great singing.

Judging on past years, I expected the girls to start heading off at about 9.30 – 10pm, around the time David was dropped back home after a meal at the pub with Carer Graham, but nope. Everyone was still having far too good a time singing to even contemplate leaving.
Not even the ones with an hour drive ahead of them.
The same ones who needed to get up at 6am to get ready for work!

Instead of Dave heading for bed and Graham going home to a well earned rest, the boys both settled into the rumpus room and listened to the carols, etc emanating from the other end of the house in three & four part harmony.

Fast forward to a little past midnight, and was I fast asleep in my virtuous bed ? kitchen clean and shining ?
Aaah … that would be a no
I think we’d worked our way round to the Banana Boat Song [ Dayo! Da-a-a-y-o! ] and the Happy Wanderer by this stage:

Castlemaine ladies certainly know how to party [ or should that be par-tay ?]
They did eventually all depart, declinig my offer to roll out the sleeping bags

Friday was reserved for doing the dishes,

taking out the rubbish
finding all the hidden champagne flutes,
and making a tally of the things that people had managed to leave behind:

2 tote bags – one with sheet music and one with a large jar of Italian Nougat [ which may not make it back to its owner. Just sayin’!!]
one large salad bowl
one large casserole w lid
one pair of salad tongs
one large serving spoon
one blue cardigan
a marble cheese board
sticky tape
a packet of safety pins

and a bucket of tomato plants

I think they had a good time
I know I certainly did