Thursday, 28 February 2013

When a friend turns 50!

Yesterday Sue W my op shopping buddy finally hit the big one!!  Last night her husband Joe had a small dinner party for her and me and TOF were lucky enough to make it onto the guest list.  All we needed to take was desert.  Now I am not much of a cook but I have been known to make a reliable Pavlova so I thought I can do this.  My style of cooking is somewhat experiential, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't.  Luckily TOF does a majority of the cooking in this house and this would be one reason our sons have made it this far!!  Mind you they never once complained when I would boil the peas to burning in the bottom of a saucepan!!
My Pavlova worked out fine, got smothered in cream, covered in chocolate hail and had some Blueberries placed on top.  Next was my Apple and Blackberry crumble using fruit from our garden.   The experiment here was adding almond nuts to the crumble part and grated butter so it crunched up on top.  These both got eaten so nothing for the scrap bin, they must have been a success or the other guests are all being violently ill today. Sues neighbor Glen the farmer whom I call the desert king rocked up with a couple of Rhubarb and Fejoa pies.  Plus Joe had visited the Cheesecake shop, so needless to stay, we had desert covered.  Dinner was lovely, roast chicken (not one of Sues), an assortment of veges and a salad all from their garden.  Washed down with lots of booze.  Me, one beer, small champagne to toast the old tart, and that was it.  Not a big drinker and also I was driving us home as TOF was knocking back the bevvies like it was a weekend and not a school night.
Nothing quite says 50 like a road sign and a walking stick so that is what we gave our birthday girl.  The sign was promptly hung up in the barn and got leyed!!!  And no officer I know nothing about where that sign came from, it was not me!!!
The walking stick was used in many a dance move and will be helpful for the poor old dears knees today I would say.
We were supposed to be decorating the barn but that didn't quite happen for one reason, drinking!!!
I did decorate one wall so I have contributed. But I dare say it is going to look fabulous on Saturday night when the BIG party is on.

Before dinner Clyde the dog found a stick.  Well some may call it a branch!!  He broke off all the small twigs with his teeth and then wanted TOF to play.  TOF broke a bit of the branch/stick so a game could proceed.  An endless game at that!!! But the obliging TOF played his part while sinking a few cold beers.

As for wee Max, well partying was just all too much for him, he retired to a chair and watched as the evening unfolded!!

There was birthday cake, the neighbours, even two of the French had returned.  It was a fun evening and I am sure the party this weekend will be hilarious.  I shall be taking my camera!!

I am working in the shop this afternoon, all tomorrow and on Saturday.  I also have my nieces baby shower on Saturday and then Sues BIG party.  Might need to sneak in a nan nap or three before then.

Hope your week is going well.

Monday, 25 February 2013

Winners are Grinners!!!

Just happened to win a competition that I didn't even know I had entered. Not Bad!!!  Apparently when I swiped my Onecard at Countdown ( loyalty point collecting card for Supermarket) and purchased two Arnotts products, I was automatically entered into a competition to win a BBQ.  So TOF must have put some biscuits into the trolley on this particular occasion and turned us into WINNERS!!!!    Yes we are WINNERS!!!  We went and picked it up yesterday.
Now all TOF needs to do is removed it from the gigantic box and put it together!!


Saturday, 23 February 2013

Another ones gone, yes another ones gone ....

another one bites the dust!!!
And that would be another WEEK!!!  Seriously is it me or is 2013 on speed because I go to work on a monday and next thing I wake up and it is the weekend!!  So what have I been up to, well quite a bit actually!!
Monday of course was my day of work and this week I got talking to a lovely young lady with the fabulous name of Graceful Earth.  Given that name by Aboriginis when in Australia, and by golly it suited her.
I noticed on Monday how colourful my garden was looking.  Bold and Bright just how I like it.  No pretty rows of one of two colours for me!!
My Asters are in full bloom and looking fabulous while my Zinnias just keep on flowering. God I love this time of the year in my garden.  
I have even beaten TOF in the tomato growing competition that he didn't know he was entered into.  Mine are huge and grown by seed tenderly nurtured by me.  While TOF opted for some garden centre ones and his a small.  Point proven I think!!
Tuesday arrived and I faffed about at home doing what I do when I faff.  Then after dinner I drove out to Dawns place (the potter) and we went Blueberry picking. Her brother in law, Farmer Kev as we call him, lets the self sown Blueberries grow wildly in the ditches that run down the edges of his paddocks. We decided we would ride bikes, me on a Mans mountain bike with the most incredibly hard small seat, how men still have balls after riding one of these bikes is beyond me.  Anyway, we rode along the road, then onto the cattle race which had a covering of soft sand.  Yes I got into a spot of bother on my man bike and went arse over tip and landed on the ground somehow managing to miss the cow shit.  In between fits of giggling Dawn did manage to ask if I was ok. SURE!!!  Of we went again, parked the bikes and crawled under a couple of ELECTRIC fences and got stuck into collecting berries.  Huge marble sized, spray free, super delicious Blueberries.  The dogs were eating all those at the bottom of the bushes.  2 hours later with buckets filled, and me getting stung by a paper wasp, we rode back in the loveliest sunset  back down that bloody race. YES I arsed off again, so I pushed that farkin man bike until we got to the road.  Gonna take my own bike next time I go Blueberry picking, it doesn't have an uncomfortable seat or that incredibly dangerous bar that could slice your @#%* in half!!!

Wednesday turned up on time and instead of a SuesDay I went out to Sues.  Her pommy mate Liz arrived with her two dogs and we all went for a walk to the house that Sue has been busy decorating, getting ready to rent.  Very nice job, and fabulous views. On our return we had a meet and greet with the goats, they are so lovely.

Thursday morning I was a busy bee in the kitchen pickling more Ferkin Gherkins and doing great things with all those Blueberries.  I got 3 bottles of Blueberry dressing, 6 jars of jam, froze 2kgs, and had another kilo in the fridge for eating.  I also sliced and vacuum packed Salami.  We got 1/4 of a beast off Sue and there was a Pepper Salami and a Garlic Salami, big long buggers too.  So some in the fridge and some in the freezer. YAY for my vacuum sealer machine!!

Dawn called in while in town doing some bits and bobs.  She had bought these Urinal hats for a party and thought we needed to try them out.  We met when I was about 18, quite some time ago.  One of my old friends and a true blessing in my life!!
Friday emerged and was a stinking 29*!!  Another friend of mine Diane lives out at Raglan so off I went to spend the day out there.  We hammed it up with our giant wine glasses (sorry to disappoint but it was only water) on her deck before heading off to wander about the shops.  We even went to the Raglan Dumporium where I got the cutest old double boiler saucepan for $3, which will be perfect for making my Lemon curd in.  Also found a Russian doll, not complete but gorgeous and only 50c. Raglan Dump would have to be the nicest dump I have ever been too, so well organised and clean, yes it is a dump.  Very ECCO friendly and well set up.  We walked the main street and checked out the shops properly.  Every time I go out there with TOF I only get to have a brief look so it was nice to take my time. Next thing it was half 3 and time to get back to the bright lights of the city.
So this morning I woke up and discovered that the week was over and Saturday had arrived in all her glory, with perfect weather for going out to the markets.  TOF headed off to Raglan to go fishing with Diane's man Grant so she came into town and we went to a couple of markets.  Slightly let down by the Gypsy one as it was considerably smaller than I recall them being.  I did get a Rose Quartz stone in a silver wire cage necklace from the house truck in the photo, only $5.  Super nice lady.  The 3 cloth dolls were hilarious, make an awesome gift. Loved the old bird with the blue rinse and saggy tits the best.  From there we went to the Frankton Market, held every Saturday in the main street which is blocked off to traffic.  Another let down as I remember this being much more interesting.  Now it is Indian and Asian folk selling their $2 shop crap.  Lots of plant stall, fruit and vege stalls, and then old books and other bits and bobs.  I have a list of Markets that I cut out of the local paper that I plan to investigate, so hopefully they will float my boat!!!

Please to report that TOF came home with some scrummy Gunrard and Snapper. So we have had a feed of fresh Raglan fish for our dinner.

Looking forward to tomorrow, relaxing at home but starting my Sunday with bacon and eggs cooked by my man. Hope you are all well and enjoying life!!

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

Haircuts, stamps and shwinging!!!

Just realised it has been a week since my last post.  Feel like I am at confession!!!  And I'm not even a follower of the Pope by golly!!
Anyway, my short hair is slowly getting to be long hair and can finally be dragged back into a pony tail  of sorts.  Reminds me of the paint brush style pig tails I had when very young.  But even tho I am excited beyond belief that I can finally tie my hair up, it was annoying the beejeezus out of me so a visit to a hair dresser was in need.   I just needed a good old tidy up!!  They in the world of Hairdressing call it a trim.  Even decided to try a new hairdresser out, some one younger, hip and happening, well basically available!  A friend of mine has a gorgeous daughter that ticked all the boxes and was not only available but affordable.  So a phone call was made and an appointment was confirmed and as my new stamp says:
Excellent!!  Purchased from one of my favourite stores, Typo.

Long story short, Sue W arrived in yesterday so she came with me on my missions of the day and ended up in the chair next to me getting a major pruning of her own.  Once we were presentable we headed back to mine to drink hot tea and Shwing in the Shwing chair outside and take pics as way of celebrating the overhaul in the hair department.
See I am just tidier, still able to style into the paint brush pony tail when required, but I can now see.

Found this last week amongst other fabulous things that were all half price at Hospice and other op shops.  Going to hang on my deck and put seed in it because that is what you do with something that is for Free Bird Seed.

I am still recovering from doing housework the other day so excuse the shorter than normal post.  I need to go lie down.

Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Apparently it is Wednesday!!

And it feels like a Sunday.  Waitangi Day today so for those that do attend work on a daily basis, they didn't have to go.  Because they were home, it felt like a weekend.  TOF and I basically mucked about at home all morning, went and did the grocery shopping and visited Bunnings for more plants.  We took the B car out both times.

This is the B car, formerly known to the previous owner as Beatrice.  A 1995 Toyota Corolla Hatch and she is a beauty.  The A car would be the red one.  Jak has been given our old station wagon and we bought a motor scooter for Max.  B car is mainly for TOF to use to get to and from work, but we both keep wanting to take her out for a spin!!  Like this afternoon I took her to visit some young friends of mine that have just got some chickens.
Wee Jethro is nearly 4 and him and his big sister Tabitha are totally enjoying the new pets.  As is mum Hayley, whom I now call Ma Kettle!!  They have the most gorgeous kitten which I think is called Ollie but I cannot be certain.  I kept call it her and she when in fact it is him and he!!  So what chance did I have at remembering its dam name? NONE!
Lets just say Ollie was stalking something in the garden and was rather entertaining to watch.  As the old saying goes, "Curiosity killed the cat, but information brought it back".
Last weekend I won an auction for this fabulous mint green with white spots dinner set.  Although an incomplete dinner set, it is gorgeous all the same.  I went and got some white cups to go on the saucers and it is all mixed in with my old white dinner set.  The new one is an oldie from the mother land (England) by TG Green and Co, called Domino.  I think it may now be discontinued but not certain.  All I know is that I love it, it has SPOTS after all.  And I love SPOTS and STRIPES, so it is a winner for me.  My poached egg on Vogels looks perfect on it too, and everything fits ticketyboo like on my $3 tray from the Dumporium!!  

I helped my friend Diane with her Garage Sale on Saturday and was so hot and bothered by the end that I needed a drink.
On Monday at work we had a huge collection of Artwork by Violet Jolly and her mother Phylis Jolly for sale.  By the end of the day I had sold over $700 worth and decided I may just grab some for myself.  Violet taught my mother Art at High school when my mum was a teenager.  Both Violet and her mother were very talented and most of their work has already been sold at Auction.  They are both of course deceased and I am looking at my big framed piece I got as an investment, that I really like so if it doesn't grow in value I do have a painting that I will enjoy.
The framed one is huge and was done by Phylis and is hanging in my front entrance.  The smaller mounted but not framed piece is by Violet.  Probably look around at the oppies for an old frame to use.

Well now that I know it is Wednesday and not Sunday, I shall carry on with the rest of my week.  Apparently I am helping Max move flats.  Bloody good of me really!!

Saturday, 2 February 2013

Friday, and you frockin well know what that means!

So technically it is now Saturday here! But 13 minutes ago it really was still Friday.  Me, Sue W, and Alice her lovely French visitor toddled off to out beautiful Hamilton Gardens.  And because it was Friday we all Frocked up!!
The Sues in the Italian Garden

The Chinese Garden

Sue and Alice in the English Garden

The American Garden

The cafe has re opened after being renovated  and Sue W shouted us girls lunch.  Because I am now all grown up I had a MOCHA!!  We ate the most divine herb and cheese scones with a delicious relish.  The sparrows are over joyed at the return of people eating and sat patiently on the railing waiting their turn to snack on left overs. 

It was another beautiful day full of sunshine accompanied with a light breeze.  Perfect for wandering around the gardens.

All Frocked up for Friday