Because everyone always asks

These and countless other boxes have now been dragged out of The Shed and the various other hiding spots on top, and in the back of, pretty much every wardrobe and cupboard in the house.

Four trees are in place

Three are decorated

One is still out on the verandah

I have one more day of decorating to go.


Thursday is D-Day. December 1st.

The start of the annual insanity Christmas House Tour

You have been warned

25 days 1 hour 49 minutes


Anyone seen Prince Charming ?

Every picture book or movie version of the tale of Sleeping Beauty [ well, that I’ve ever seen anyway ] has her pricking her finger on a spindle.

THIS, by the way, is a spindle.

What the illustrations always … always … show is Ms Aurora / Briar Rose [ whatever your favourite version names her ] pricking her finger on a classic saxony style spinning wheel.

which doesn’t have a spindle.

If the spinster was producing linen thread, they might have had a spikey looking distaff [ which would be that thingy at the top ] to hold the flax, and if I thought about it at all, I would’ve figured that the distaff was what skewered the royal finger.

I would’ve been wrong.

Turns out that the forerunner to what we think of as the classic spinning wheel is a thing called a Muckle wheel, or waulking wheel, and they do have an extremely pointy iron spindle.

So there you go, she could have pricked her finger on a spindle.

I would’ve been pretty much prepared to bet that no one could prick their finger on a modern drop spindle.

I was wrong.

My newest ‘jade’ spindle has a handmade hook that has clearly just been bent from appropriate gauged wire and then just snipped off without filing it smooth …

Someone wake me in a hundred years, okay ?

She’s at it again!

Sophie here.

I just wanted to show you the sort of abuse we have to put up with here, Chez Catsmum as Silly Season approaches.

I mean, seriously, is this any way to treat a dignified, elderly lady ?

and as she is an equal opportunity tormentor of small animals, the grandkittens didn’t escape her tender ministrations either:


A shawl, some kids and a bare Bear

You probably already are aware  that I’ve recently finished the ‘Hair Of The Dog’ shawl from my handspun alpaca/ samoyed / polwarth wool yarn.

I quite enjoyed making it, and certainly enjoyed the challenge of spinning samoyed wool, but there are limits to how many shawls a woman can actually wear so I’d decided that it needed to belong to my goats-and-gardens friend Brenda.

So Nadie, Bear and I were heading that way yesterday for a spot of lunch with the promise of ancillary brand new baby goat snuzzling.

About the time the Girl was putting on her farm tramping shoes, I realised that I didn’t yet have a photo of the finished shawl, so that was speedily remedied

and then I couldn’t resist taking one of the ‘Hair of the Dog’ with his hairy beariness who, of course, didn’t stay still long enough for my stooooopid camera but you get the idea.

Much goat snuzzling ensued, Nadie took pics of the new kids, Brenda cooked us a great lunch, and Bear came home heavily scented with  Eau-de-Goat Poo, which lasted about as long as it took me to throw him in the shower.

Net result: one extremely fluffy canine distinctly unimpressed at the enforced bath when he had one only last weekend.

Then last night I got a call from the dog groomer to see if I’d like to bring him in this morning instead of next week.

Forecast for today? 33C ! so yes please!

The sooner all that hair was off, the better … but … did I mention that part of the whole grooming thing involves a b-a-t-h ?

Someone was distictly underwhelmed

Did I remember to get a good shot of him pre haircut? asked Nadie when I got back … erm … ahh … that would be a no.


and then we went back a couple of hours later to a completely unrecognisable – but much cooler – canine

Here he is being beary unimpressed


I mean what he-dog wants to come home wearing a sissy red bow and smelling like a French tart ?


Drum Roll Please Maestro

I have just spent the last few minutes writing out slips of paper bearing the names  [ in multiples of $10 donation ] of all those wonderful people who supported the Castlemaine Relay for Life.

Only one person was going to take home the Forest Canopy Shawl

and that lucky person is …

[ drum roll ]

Merv Carr

who has four lovely daughters, any one of whom would probably love to relieve him of the shawl.




Friday Night

This was the scene at the Opening Ceremony for this year’s Castlemaine Cancer Council Relay for Life.

Apologies for the darkness  and graininess of the footage but it was taken in full dark with just my little point-and-press cheapie camera

The current total *raised by our little team of disabled adults, their parents / Carers, and support staff is slightly over $500 [ $200 above our goal ]

Of that Nadie and I – with your help – raised $330.

So many thanks to everyone who has donated.

I’ll blog about the experience tomorrow as well as announcing the person who will be taking home the alpaca lace shawl.

You still have time to donate, and to be in the drawing for the shawl if you’d like to [ link in the alpaca shawl post above ]

* The 14 teams involved have , so far, raised $16,000+ dollars and the final total will be higher, as this only counts the monies actually banked before the Opening Ceremony.