Grandma and her boys

Tuesday, 29 December 2009

New Look Blog

You will have noticed the nice new blog look.

If you have a blog take a look at
they have hundreds of lovely looks to choose from.

15% surcharge

Yesterday I fell foul of this,
Some restrurants have started charging 15 % surcharge on bank holidays, if they are taking part in this practise they have to post a notice to say so ... But
I stopped for a drink and a snack at a garden centre on my way back from the caravan...
Tea and a scone  had been ordered and was in the throws of being served, then when asked for  $9.50... you can imagine I gulped a bit ......when I asked why they did not inform customers of the surcharge beforehand, every one just shrugged their shoulders..... you can imagine I was quite annoyed as the cafe did not advertise the fact that they were charging a surcharge... If they had advertised the fact, then the choice would have been mine to eat there or not... but I do not like being duped into a situation like this .

I  worked out that I had just paid $6.00 for a scone, so beware when eating out on a Bank Holiday in New Zealand.
Sorry to say they have lost my custom  at  Decor Gardenworld‎  Bethlehem  Tauranga

Busy Day...Well trying to be

So today is the day after, the day after, the day after Boxing Day, now that does not sound right but yesterday ( Monday) was a Bank Holiday as Boxing Day fell on a Saturday which means that the first working day takes on the Bank Holiday so every one is getting an extra days holiday or time and a half pay , and in some cases a day off in lieu.  I bet you are glad I pointed that out.
So what I am really getting at,  mainly that today has that  Monday morning feeling although it is Tuesday, and I am having trouble concentrating on anything..
I have cleaned the camper van and done the washing ( now it is raining !!)... put away the put away stuff,  I have to do all this straight away because putting it off makes it a worse job in the end to do.
I have spent awhile looking  at the gifts I received, and need to show you this...

This lovely bag was made by Bell ( my Advent Swap partner)
this was my Christmas day gift ...Thank you soooo much.

I managed to water the garden ( before it began to rain )
and there in the pond to greet me was this water lily

even the fish were up and feeding, I have not seen them for ages

The garden looks good and here is one of the tubs,
this fuchsia is looking lovely

The old galvanised bucket from the fire is looking great as well

So after walking around the wet garden in the rain I realised weeding has gone
out of the window, also window cleaning  was  a waste of time with the rain,
cooking is not necessary, quite a few left overs to eat up.

So a comfortable chair and some stitching seems to be the only course to take.
I have finished my first panel of Quilting Mouse by Nikki Tervo

so a good opportunity to start the next

Monday, 28 December 2009

It is all over

So Christmas is over once again for another year.
I went away this year in the camper van with Kathryn, Steve and the Boys.
The weather was fantastic 28 degrees for a few days, Santa was good to everyone and we ate sufficient for our needs plus some. I hope your Christmas was a Happy and Peaceful one also.

Sunday, 20 December 2009

New Machine test pieces

I have played with my new machine a few times over the last week doing test pieces
working out "what it does" and " how it does it"
After one or two sheets of calico fabric filled with stitches etc
I decided this was a unproductive exercise.

So while testing all the different stitches I would actually make something
so here is what I produced.

5 crazy patchwork pin cushions

What am I stitching

As the mood for Christmas has been very slow in coming this year
 I decided may be if I stitched something "Christmasy" it would help
so here is my offering,
all I have to do is decide what I am going to do with it ?
it is  3 x 3 inches on 32 count linen..

Christmas Tour at my house

A couple of years back a few bloggers did a tour of there house at Christmas for everyone
to see there treasures so here are a few of mine

I bought this really cute Nativity while we were living in Spain

A few years back in fact quite a few years back we had a small lounge and there was no where to put a tree, and I saw this one which hangs on the wall in a garden centre and thought "Yes" that is the answer to my problem

"The living "  table decoration for this year

My Lillyput Lane Cottages these all have snow on them
so are just right for Christmas these few are just a taste of the
50 I have collected

The Villeroy Bosh candle sticks that I treated myself to
in Kuwait in 1979
 I have 2 of these and I just love them

Today is Christmas in our house as I have to be in two different places on the one day,
so Iain and Claire , Ellis and Harvey will be having dinner with me today,
the photo shows up the creases in the table cloth...bother

Thursday, 17 December 2009

Christmas Shopping

I finally braved the crowds today and went Christmas shopping, I went armed with a list so I did not wander aimlessly around trying to see what there is for whom.
So I managed it in two and half hours, that was the bulk of it done...I am so proud of myself.
I really was getting worried as I had absolutely no enthusiasm  before today to even think about  attempting any shopping may be it was just to early before today.

So now I am going to wrap them this evening and I will be done.
I was also very good and did not spend to much on things for me...well just a few bits.

I found this lovely free ornament pattern on the Victoria Sampler website, she has some lovely free patterns check it out here

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

Forgotten Cookies for meringue lovers

Another recipe for your busy life   ...Yummy!!  they are good

Another good idea!! if your into meringues

Forgotten cookies

This is an old, traditional American Christmas recipe that has been handed down through the generations. They're called 'forgotten' because of the way they're cooked in the turned-off oven overnight.

•2 egg whites, at room temperature
•2/3 cup sugar
•pinch salt
•1 teaspoon vanilla
•1 cup finely chopped almonds
•1 cup chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 180°. Beat egg whites and salt until foamy and stiff, add sugar continue  beating to a stiff meringue. Add vanilla, almonds and chocolate chips.
Cover cookie sheet with foil and grease with butter or margarine. Drop by teaspoonfuls onto the foil. Put in oven then turn the oven off. Leave overnight

The Firemans revenge

I have just got to share this photo with you... now everyone understands it is
against the law to park beside a fire hydrant....or do they??

 I bet he won't think he is above the law next time.
And to the Firefighter who did this . . .

that's the attitude I want if my house is on fire

The best Banana Bread

The best Banana bread I have ever tasted was at one of the many
Christmas gatherings I have been to in the last 3 weeks
So am passing it on to you all.
It is quite good for diabetics as you can substitute the sugar

Chocolate and Cherry Banana Bread

1-1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2/3 cup sugar or sugar substitute blend* equivalent to 2/3 cup sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
 1 egg, beaten
1/4 cup sour cream
1/4 cup fat-free milk
2 teaspoons cooking oil
1 teaspoon vanilla
2/3 cup mashed banana (about 2 medium bananas)
8 maraschino cherries, drained and chopped
1/4 cup chopped walnuts
2 tablespoons miniature semisweet chocolate pieces


1. Preheat oven to 350 degree F.
2. In a large bowl, stir together all-purpose flour, sugar, baking powder, and baking soda.
3. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, milk, egg, and oil. Stir in mashed banana and vanilla.
4. Add sour cream mixture all at once to flour mixture; stir just until moistened (batter should be lumpy). Fold in chopped cherries, walnuts, and chocolate chips.
5. Spoon batter into prepared pan. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 10 minutes.
Remove bread from pan. Cool completely on wire rack. Makes 16 slices.

*Sugar Substitutes: Choose from Splenda Sugar Blend or Equal Sugar Lite. Follow the package directions to use the amount equivalent to 2/3 cup sugar.

Monday, 14 December 2009

Christmas Stockings

The Rainbow Quilters this year for our Christmas Charity made 130 Christmas stocking which have been filled with Christmas cake, mince pies and chocolate goodies donated by members.
They will be handed out to the folks living in Council Units around Rotorua, this is housing for  people over 60yrs old, trying to live on only  basic pension, which is almost impossible  to do.

We had a great afternoon filling the stockings.

Sunday, 13 December 2009

Te Kowhai tree seeds

Now I was going to tell you about the seed found in Alex's ear yesterday
 but on looking at Kathryns blog she has beaten me to it, so I am going to copy it here ...why re-invent the wheel as they say.....
This is a picture of the flowering part of the Te Kowhai Tree (  pronounced for non NZ folks).

They are everywhere in New Zealand and are a beautiful yellow colour.
Tui birds love them, but then so do lots of other birds, because each of those flower pods holds lots of little yellow seeds that the birds love to eat.
If you discover the little yellow seeds on the ground in abundence, then you know there is a tree near by.

This is what one of the seeds looks like from the Te Kowhai Tree.

Very small, not hard but not totally soft that it squashes under your fingers.
Very attractive to kids as you can imagine!
And that is where our mishap fun for the day comes into this post.
The above seed is actually the one that the kind Doctor in the Emergency department removed from Alex's ear yesterday morning!
Yes, that is correct, my 4yr old grandson calmly sat at the breakfast table and annouced that he had something sticky in his ear.
On further investigation it turned out to be true, and there was no way we were able to grab it ourselves. So we wipped him off to ED and the nice doctor flushed it out with Saline.
If that hadn't of worked then we would have had to go to the hospital and have it taken out under sedation, but we were determined to try every other option first!

Alex said that he found it in the garden at Daycare and decided to keep it when they called him in for lunch. Fair enough thought, although why he had to store it in his ear we will never know.
I think he has now had enough lectures about putting things in his ear (Mum, Dad, Grandma, Doctors & Nurses) that we are pretty safe that he won't do it again!

But then he is only a little boy and these things do happen!


Saturday, 12 December 2009

Christmas Spirt

I have been having difficulty in getting into the Christmas Spirt this year,

But I must admit that this  Here has helped and made me feel more in the mood.

I have sung all my life but for the last few years I have had to give it away, as I had a really bad chest and throat infection 5 years ago which caused damage to my vocal cords and I can no longer sing well, this was my all time favourite Christmas song that I used to sing when a member of a choir.
On a different note:
I really am having difficulty with the PC of not mentioning Christmas as the birth of Jesus, and refering to it as a seasonal holiday, or just the Winter holiday season as they now do in many European countries lucky for us in NZ it still has it's true meaning.
The PC brigade will want to take away Santa I will defend that as well....


Thursday, 10 December 2009

Merry Christmas to me........Merry Christmas to me

Ho! Ho! Ho!...Hum!

Yesterday I picked up my new sewing machine.....

but just look at the was over kill, and you can only see the main boxes....all  the polythene is inside the big box

Could not decide which picture so you have both

Okay the machine it's self had to be protected but .......
There was unbreakable pieces of plastic wrapped in polywrap then Bubble wrap then in a small box, with in a box
I though we were reducing the amount of rubbish we are dumping...this came from USA,  so okay a long way to come but triple packed plastic come on !!! This has to be my worse experience of over wrapped
May be we should start refusing items that are double and triple packed...I have also notice lots of items in the supermarket also double packed and they have not travelled from outside of NZ.

So do you remember what was your worse experience of over kill on  wrapping  ?