Monday, October 31, 2005

Hot and cold

G'day all!

I'm running hot and cold today. Tomorrow it will be all cold unless I can get the hot water heater lit again (I've never managed so far). It is really hard to get the dishes washed when the hot water has to come out of a kettle. I have no idea why the water heater has stopped heating water but I have an idea that the pilot light has blown out again. Of course this has happneed when Nathan is not around and he has the knack for relighting the thing. I sadly lack the knack. I am not going to live for a week without hot water!

You might be most pleased to know that the batteries charged for the camera. I took about 20 pics of roses then came inside to download all the pics, got them off the camera and the batteries died! Like what is with that? I only got about 20 minutes use out of them! So I don't have any craft pictures, again, cos I don't have charged batteries. Grump. Stupid batteries. Maybe it is the stupid battery charger. I wonder if I can find a multimeter and work out how to get it to tell me if the batteries really are flat or if the camera is spazzing? Google is my friend!

Hmm, well that told me not very much cos I don't actually know what setting to put the multimeter on. If i put it on V~ then it tells me that there is about 2.1 to 2.3 somethings (?volts? unlikely! 2100 mAh?) and if I put it on V... it says 1.2 to 1.3 (which I am guessing is volts cos that is the battery voltage). but the radioshack help page says I need to put a resistor across to check if the batteries are flat and like that is way beyond me. Anyone got any ideas?

Heh. This amused me. I need some amusement. I did this quiz after finding it on a certain crazy fibre lady's blog and she got it from brainylady.

Apparently I am John Sheridan. (Woo hoo!)
An experienced survivor who has maneuvered around many obstacles, you are looked up to by those who rely on your good judgment.
'In the last few years, we've stumbled. We stumbled at the death of the president, the war, and on and on. When you stumble a lot you tend to look at your feet. Now we have to make people lift their eyes back to the horizon and see the line of ancestors behind us saying, "Make my life have meaning," and to our inheritors before us saying, "create the world we will live in."'
Which Fantasy/SciFi Character Are You?


(for those in the know I reckon I'd prefer to be Delenn cos then I get to look at Sheridan instead of being him. LOL).

So I am running hot and cold at present. It is warming up here, which makes me hot. Nathan's computer is hot - the fan is running alllllll the time. The hot water is cold. I am glad it is Cup Day tomorrow - we get a public holiday all because of a horse race that you may have heard of called the Melbourne Cup - cos I need to get the garden in a bit better order for my birthday gathering on Saturday. Plus I have to get the hot water hot before I can shower and my timelines in the morning are usually tight. I can't afford to wait half an hour for hot water! But tomorrow I can wait for hours cos I will just get filthy in the garden anyway.

Now to make up for the disappointment of no crafty pictures, nor even any crafty talk, I bring you a picture of some very fast sheep. These Merino rams with curly horns went flogging past me as I moseyed along the freeway.

Then there is this pretty picture of a horrid weed.

Patterson's Curse or Salvation Jane, take your pick. It is a pity that it is a weed cos it does look pretty (until you have to walk through it and discover that it is prickly as all get out!). It is also poisonous to stock, including horses. It contains an alkaloid, a chemical which is effectively a liver poison. If a horse gutses itself on the weed, it can cause acute liver failure. Sheep, cattle and goats are less susceptible. Alternatively they can eat it over a number of years and slowly poison themselves until some other stress precipitates liver failure. dairy cows get irritated udders from walking through the prickly stems. Not many farmers seem to have controlled it and this year has seen a bumper crop. But it is pretty. It is all over the north central and north east of the state and apparently is all around Canberra too. In my state it is mandatory for farmers to control it - it should have been sprayed a couple of months ago. You can tell which paddocks have been sprayed, and it ain't many of them. The farmers who have done the right thing must be spewing cos they have coughed up $$$ to spray their paddocks and next door Bob hasn't and his weeds will infest the surrounding farms. There are some biological controls out there but they take about 10 years to really make a dint in the paddocks of Patterson's Curse. I have no idea how mandatory control fits in with biological control.

anyway, it is late and I must to bed!

anon!

Sunday, October 30, 2005

A drive and blatherings

G'day all!

Well I've seen Nathan off at the airport, I've driven to my sister's place 300km away, totally failed to see any of the things I wanted to see on the way up there (but did get to see some really nifty plants in a roadside stop on the way up and flogged past a heap of other good stuff, promising myself to get pics on the way back...). He arrived in Bristol safe and sound, but his luggage got left behind in Frankfurt... Just as well they gave him a toothbrush in the plane. He didn't take a spare pair of anythign in his carry on luggage though. So obviously not a girl!

So I wandered to my sister's place, we shopped for a dress for my niece, found THREE in the last shop we looked in (typical), then the rain set in. Bored bored bored. I almost finished the baby singled for E's baby - the knitting takes about two hours and the duplicate stitch takes about four.

Scuse me, Cheshire is destroying the house by crawling all over stuff, looking for Nathan I presume. I have no idea why she thinks he would be behind a bit of an Amazon box but....

OK, cat sorted. She's off to destroy something in a place where I can't hear her, I hope.

It rained all yesterday afternoon, all last night and for half of the morning. crikey it is boring being at someone else's place when you've gotten sick of one project and another project and even spinning becomes boring! So this morning I packed up and started the drive home earlier than I intended.

Beechworth is only about 35km away, so I made it my target. It has my favourite icecream shop in the world, maybe even better than its mother shop in Bright (a young bloke runs the Beechworth one and his mum runs the Bright one). Plus it has the Ardent Alpaca, which has lots of alpaca stuff including incredibly expensive fleeces. I bought 144g of fleece - a lovely soft pure black one, only a little bit of brown tip on the end.

But that was after I had wandered around the Gorge Nature Drive. There are not many places to pull off the one lane road on the nature drive - it is a drive much mroe than a walk. So when I finally found a place to pull off the road, I had to walk back up the hill about a kilometre to get some pictures of some orchids. Then I had to find a place to pull off for the waterfall.... The 20 minute drive turned into a two hour walk up and down hills and across granite rocks and drive (after the physio told me not to walk much on the silly ankle I have. I think I may have disobeyed them cos I was told walking around the house only).

Cheshire is back, loving me desperately, on my lap, purring at me and running her horridly cold, wet nose across my arm. Like a really fast snail. Ick.

It is nice to be back home but rather lonely. I have noone to talk to with Nathan away. I would show you pictures from the weekend but I only have one set of batteries and they gave up the ghost this afternoon, about five minutes before I got to the place where I really wanted to take some pics. Nathan has the other two sets of batteries with the old camera. Not that the old camera is much good without the flash card, which is sitting in Nathan's laptop here.... There should be more sets but danged if I can find them. I have to wait until the batteries are charged before you get to see pics.

Ms Slimey Nose has just farted. OHMIGOD I have to leave the desk now. It is HORRID!

OK, air has cleared now. I think she is trying to make me a little less lonely. The house is very empty without Nathan on the computer next to me or hammering away on one of the keyboards around the place.

Now for our latest in house hunting. We looked at a place on Friday which I'll call Lawn St. The house can best be described as a cottage. It is very small. Three bedrooms but small. The rooms are small, no built in robes, the hall takes up too much space, the kitchen is twee, the bathroom is small (but bigger than the one here), and you know what?

The house is peaceful. It is a deceased estate but it feels like a house that people were happy in. I walked in and liked it, even though it is tiny. It has been well looked after along the way. It shows signs of age but people have loved it. It has been a home for all of its forty-something years. People haven't loved Karan Court for ages. It has been used as a rental place. There is dog wee and a hundred nasty stains on the loungeroom carpet, and the shower is horrid. (Spelt that crapet, probably pretty true about the crap part.)

Nathan found sundews out in the front lawn of Lawn St. At that point he started thinking much more about buying it. I think I'd prefer to live in the tiny place than Karan Court, though the neighbours in the court might be better. I have to take the PiLs to look at both places, if I can manage it on Saturday in between talking to the bank and organising my birthday bash for the afternoon. I know I have to cruise the area on a Friday or Saturday night (remembering that there is a greyhound track only a km away and a major racecourse for horses and cars 1.5km away). (Argh, now I will have to remember to keep the cats in at night definately cos I couldn't bear for them to be taken for greyhound bait.)

The garden at Lawn St would need more work to get a blanker slate for us to start with, cos a big Queensland Box would have to come out along with a row of Photineas (I DESPISE photineas - they give me asthma and Nathan hates the smell of them). The house is less desperately in need of work and we could possibly open it up some by removing walls or parts of walls. The bathroom is functional as is, same with the kitchen. The garage would have to be enlarged and power put on it (the old bloke didn't have power in his shed????). But it has native little sundews in the front grass.... and the back yard is not half under concrete. Guaranteed north facing solar access (it is on a corner) for when we put in solar hot water and solar panels. It has a place where the water tank could go (but the greenhouse location is debatable). It is all gas, not electric. And it is well within our budget cos the house itself is small, though the land is a bit bigger than the other place we are considering.

Any thoughts?

OK, I'll stop rambling at you. I don't have anyone to ramble at, so the blogisphere is copping it instead.

anon!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

A week

G'day all!

It is only a week until my last birthday in my *mumbles* before I hit *mumble mumble* Eeek!

So remember, the first Saturday after the 3rd of November next year (that is Saturday the fourth of November 2006), BIG partay my place! We should be in our own home by then. YAAAAAAAAAY! Put it in your calendars, save up some $$ or whatever your local currency is and come on down!

Coincidentally, today was a workmate's 50th birthday and it would've been the parental 54th wedding anniversary.

Tomorrow Nathan goes to Bristol. He has to catch three different planes cos he is going to Singapore then Frankfurt then Bristol. Generally people sit on the one plane on the six hour flight to Singapore and then another 15-16 hours on the long haul to Heathrow. I hope his luggage keeps up with him. By the time he is laden with gifts for people in the UK, he won't have much space for his clothes! Anyway, I will be a mimbulus mimbletonia, or at least I will be mimbling and quite likely in need of a tissue or two when he goes cos annoying as he can be I am rather fond of him and I am a terrible wuss at goodbyes.

Knitting? You want evidence of knitting? Well a girl on the train did ask me what I was knitting. I am still knitting the second handwarmer - I've sorta lost interest since the weather started warming up (though parts of today were quite cool). I am knitting it straight off the spindle to get the energised singles look. She thought it was way cool, and I reckon she would know, being a chick dressed in all black with a hoop and a stud through her bottom lip. No pics yet. Still working on the thing. I really want to knit some summer tops at this stage. Summer tops. Yeah. My last summer top was not a rampaging success cos it is designed for women who are curvier and shorter than me, even though I added extra body length to it. Any suggestions for good summer tops with decent sized straps or even better sleeves? Being able to wear it to work would be good.

Today's weird links. All you ever needed to know about Japanese toiretto (not for the faint of bottom! nd check out the tongue in cheek (??) journal articles at the umm bottom of the article). There are so many comments I want to make about that article....

I need this book. I can understand the obsession of someone collecting dictionaries to find words that have no equivalent in English. That makes me a scary person.

I wish I could remember who found this link. I have to link to it too. You too can dress up like a rubbish bin for Halloween.

Vicki found this one and linked to it. I have to link to the unlikely sight of yarn all over the road too.

Now before I forget - a Happy Birthday to the Mster, I forgot to say it yesterday. And thanks for your comments - it is nice to hear from people. If I don't reply it is cos Blogger hides peoples' addresses and the replies often bounce cos they are"anonymous".

Finally, I am going up to my sister's place tomorrow after dropping Nathan off at the airport. I'll be back on Sunday! The cats will get their food dispenser half filled, will eat it in a day and starve for the next two days but oh well.

anon!

Wednesday, October 26, 2005

Stress nut

G'day all!

Well it is a total rollercoaster ride here at Weedhaven. Nathan doesn't want to go to England and is behaving very erratically, househunting is annoying is a really good way to go UP and down, and my ankle hurts. Plus until 2 minutes ago, literally, I couldn't find Nathan's tax details and tax returns have to be lodged by next Monday when a certain someone will be in England. Whether he likes it or no. Whether I like it or no. So we have a day to get Nathan's tax done and also to get him some new tshirts and shoes and a decent sweater and stuff cos his clothes are getting a bit tired. Plus Cheshire chucked all over the most threadbare bit of carptet.

We picked up a copy of the contract of sale for the house we are interested in today. This is all the stuff that tells you what encumbrances the house has, where the easements lie, whether it has had any planning permits issued, etc. We are looking at maybe buying number 9. So why is 75% of the info for number FOUR? Methinks someone handwrote a form or several up and their 9s look like 4s. So most of the info on the contract of sale stuff (called a section 32 here in Vic) is for a house around the corner! There is no way

We've found another couple of places that might be ok. I (and maybe Nathan) will be looking at one on Friday at 10am, on my day off. I've got that day off cos Nathan leaves and I want to go and visit my sister and driving up after work on Friday and returning on Sunday is hardly worth it. I'll drive up after looking at this place and farewelling Nathan as he sits on the squishy plane of too small seats. My sister wants me to refresh her on spindling. She used to spin in the early 70s I think - I can remember her spinning horribly rough brown wool. I want company for the weekend. For some reason she likes having me around and would love to find me a job up there, and will find Nathan one too. I haven't worked that out yet.

The upshot of all of this is I am a total stress nut. Nathan is even worse - he is almost non-functional.

So if you see me gibbering in the corner and hugging a pillow, you'll know why.

Maybe I'll be hugging this instead:


Actually I'd pefer to hug the contents:


But Nutmeg would like to roll on them instead:


Yep, the first of my girthday, oops BIRTHday presents has arrived! You want some nice yarn too? Go to LynnH

anon!

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

A weather rant

G'day all!

The weather in Melbourne has been rather unusual for over a week now.

Last week started off sunny and clear. Then as the week wore on, it became more and more humid. For the last five or six days, we have had afternoon thunderstorms. The wind has been from the north west, when there is a wind. We did have a sea breeze on a couple of days, admittedly.

This is WRONG, people! WRONG I tell you!

This is Melbourne, in Spring! Melbourne in spring means four seasons in one day. Hot, cold, moderate, sunny, windy, rainy, hail. Not this constant humidity and thunderclouds rolling in. We haven't had a cold front go through for nearly two weeks. I've been able to wander around inside the house without wearing socks, let alone shoes. I had four days wearing sandals. We haven't needed to use the heater once. That is plain not normal!

Admittedly we are getting little dumps of rain, which is excellent for the garden cos we have not had a lot of rain so far this October. I was digging in the garden last week and only the top 10cm of soil/mulch was damp. Under that it was dusty dry. October is one of our wettest months usually. I guess that isn't saying much. Melbourne used to get about 600mm of rain a year, mostly in winter but every month gets a certain amount of rain. In the last 10 or so years, we haven't been getting much rain in March and the April showers that usually break the drought haven't arrived either. Some years we've gotten a fair whack less rain than normal. This year we had very little rain between Feb to May, except for the huge dump (170mm or about 7") in one day in early Feb (and Feb is usually one of our driest months).

There has been enough rain to help orchids like this little Thelymitra flower, though the flowers were quite small - only a bit over a centimetre across.

(I must remember to blog the little drive we did to a little bit of orchid heaven.)

It isn't stopping my roses from blooming, though someone had a little problem after spraying them with white oil last week. They were becoming covered in aphids so I sprayed them nice and early with something relatively non-toxic (at least to me!) in the day to avoid burning them. The stuff supposedly burns only when it hits 30 degrees or more. It got to 25 last week at most. Every last rose I sprayed has either lost all its new soft growth or has terrible spots wherever the spray landed. This was with premixed spray too. D'oh! Lesson learned - don't spray the roses with white oil when they are in spring growth.


See the funny spots on this Graham Thomas flower? They are white oil induced. Doesn't seem to have stopped this bubby katy-did from hatching, and I bet it will start chomping away RSN. They like Graham and since he is such a big strong rose, I let them chomp a bit.

Even more random bits



Last night's sunset - lots of sullen clouds with bright colour behind them, like dour buildings in harsh climes with bright carpets and walls inside.

Today's dorky moment: going to lean on my desk - my hand was already supporting my chin - and discovering my desk was not where my elbow thought it was.

Cheshire can beat me for dorky moments though:


Today's annoying moment: MS Word. What a pile of something unrepeatable. One particular entry in a table MUST be in Heading 3 format. Nothing else is but this MUST be in a stupid format. It refuses to have it in any other format. Normal style? You gotta be kidding!

Today's unco moment, aka a painful moment: Deciding to take the stairs down into the station two at a time. Unfortunately I had a brain attack where I interpreted what I saw through my glasses as being real, when I know I have to look right down or look under my glasses to ensure it is real, and planted my right foot firmly off the edge of the second stair. Did you know that it really hurts when you fall onto the next step on the top of your foot and then go flailing off down the steps trying not to fall flat on your face? One guy thought I was going to land on him. I thought I was going to smack my front teeth out on the tiles. Instead only two steps later I was off and hobbling to my train. Everything still works, sort of, so I figure I've only given myself Yet Another (Relatively) Mild Sprain. I haven't taken my shoe off yet cos I figure it will control any swelling in the foot region. The ankle can puff away as it chooses.

Only problem is that I can't really do much of turning this into this when my main treadling ankle is uncooperative:


House update. We are now in a dilemma. We quite liked the first place we saw, despite its flaws. Should we put in an offer for it or not? It will need a lot of work done in the bathroom and we want to have solar hot water, maybe boosted through an instantaneous gas hot water system. The kitchen will need fixing too cos it is teensy at present. Everything runs on electrickery not gas and we want gas. Nathan wants to knock out some walls and redo the laundry whilst he is at it. I want to check out another place that is not so well placed for the station. I just can't find the time to do that. Hmmm....

OK, I reckon that will do you for the evening! I have so much that I have not blogged due to lack of time. I would really like to set up a few posts and publish them but at present my days are just disappearing in a flash, even though I am back at work. Work will pay for a house, eventually. Must work!

anon!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Slow progress

G'day all!

Well my week off work is up. I still have the weekend but where did my week go?

I think I know the answer to that.

Travelling into town only to find out my passport stuff is unacceptable. Dropping off nineteen skeins of yarn at the guild, and having to weigh and price them all after labelling them the night before. Of course I got some bits and pieces at the shop whilst I was at it....

Talking to a home loan mob and finding out we can borrow enough to buy a house whilst remaining comfortable.

Looking at houses online. That has probably taken up about 10 hours of my last two days. Finding out that I have to buy a place in Noble Park cos we are about $50K-100K short for the areas I'd like to live in. Could be worse. I could have to live in a place that is 1.5-2 hours one way commute each day. This will be about a one hour one way commute, or not much more than now. That hour or two a day makes a big difference. Given a choice of having a new place on a tiny bit of land that is out beyond the 9 circles of the Styx or an older place one with a decent bit of land is in the boondocks, I am going for the boondocks. Turns out that Nathan would like to live in the area we now live in too. Ah well, time will tell - maybe we'll trade up in a while, or have an investment property and really feel like the Joneses!

Checking out the "vibe" of Noble Park to see whether it is tolerable. The local supermarket looks pretty skanky but I can always do a fortnightly trip 15 minutes up the road to one of my favourite ones.

Cleaning up half of the garage, hopefully the worse half cos it was the part with the real junk in it rather than the boxed up stuff. Anyone know any Barbie doll collectors? I have a few mint in box and others that have never been removed - in my younger days I didn't want to play with these special Barbies, I just wanted to see what ones were in the brochure, the ones that never got released in Australia and were therefore more worthy of lusting after... LOL Yesterday the big bin arrived and we started filling it with rubbish from the garden and the garage:

Today we almost finished filling it (no pic but gee it filled fast once Nathan started carrying stuff out). We have a LOT of junk, and I mean junk that is junky rubbish, not just wires and bits of irrigation plumbing that are actually useful stuff. Soon we will have far less junk!

Digging out half the compost/dirt/cow manure mix from the pile in the front yard where Nathan was building a raised garden bed and carrying it around to the back yard in buckets, where it became my vegie patch in foam boxes. For 8 boxes I think I lugged about 32 buckets of "potting mix." Here's five of the boxes with onions and kohl rabi (seeds), capsicums and eggplants, capsicums and onions, asian greens and a thai birdseye chilli, lastly corn, minus boxes of corn, lettuce and zucchini (excuse the blodges in the bottom RH corner):


Cleaning the house up a bit - consolidating junk ready to be binned. Vacuuming. Doing about six loads of washing. An hour cleaning out the freezer after J left the door open all night. I have pics, but not of the big garbage bag of food I had to throw out. The pics are graphic. I shall share them another time. You will need to be strong to survive seeing the pics.

Doing a bit of spinning. Haven't taken a photo of the two most recent works/WIPS. Here are some of the earlier ones:


Left to right - alpaca, corriedale, merino/flax, wensleydale all lined up on Nathan's piano stool. I admit the alpaca was spun last week, not this. (clickable for bigger image)


A wee bit of Wensleydale in a never to be repeated colourway (what a shame!)




Some "Tropical Birds" in merino/flax mix. It has more green than shown in the photo. (clickable for bigger image)


The corriedale, showing the blend of coloured fibres.


The alpaca, which is actually oatmeal coloured.

Knitting a baby singlet and starting to embroider it. Takes longer to embroider than it does to knit. Honest!

And for something totally different, the most ugly tulips in the world, which is why I like them :-) They are called something like Flaming Parrot (should be a type of cocktail with that name).


Last, a boy and his other cat.


anon!

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

270K

G'day all!

That is what the first lender is very happy to offer us as a home loan. They said they could offer more, but we said no, thanks, we don't want to live on baked beans. The offgassing would be horrible! We would probably blow the house up.... Resale value = possibly more than with a house on it, actually. LOL

Now there isn't too much in our current area for under $270,000 so it looks like we will be going further out (for amusement value you can look at www.domain.com.au and search for post code 3174, Noble Park). Lots in the Noble Park area that are well within our budget and are close to the train. The train is important.

anyway, I have to do some bits and bobs, so I'll be back later to show you what I've managed to get done on my week off from work so far. Not a heck of a lot, to be honest!

anon!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Lynne needs....

G'day all!

Since this meme is doing the rounds, I decided to be a copycat and do it myself.

Google "(your name) needs"

This is what I came up with that amused me:
  • Lynne needs to explain to Ted that she will not be influenced by threats
  • Lynne needs to look into other less expensive alternatives
  • Lynne needs relief And she needs it soon
  • Lynne needs to be given a chance, a lot of people have judged her too soon
  • Lynne needs to hit rock bottom again in order to find inspiration
  • Lynne needs two men to testify that she is indeed single. (hmm, considering I am married, this will be interesting!)
  • Lynne needs to go to Dodge City to attend a suffrage conference (I'd prefer to go to Rhinebeck or Maryland, if it is OK with you)
  • Lynne needs _______ 6. I want to ______ Lynne 7. Lynne is like _______ 8. Without Lynne, I would _______ 9. if I was trapped in a room with Lynne, ...
  • Lynne needs a lot more support
  • Lynne needs to grab hold of her musical schizophrenia
  • Lynne needs a good spanking, preferably with a paddle or a hard flip flip
  • Lynne needs a toothpick

(Note that Lynne needs a new swinging lover because Stu has erection problems did not make the list. This may or may not surprise you.)

In other news, I toodled off to the handspinner's guild today and unloaded 19 skeins of yarn upon them. I hope some of it sells - some was going straight off to the market on Sunday. If all of it does sell, that is about a hundred and forty smackeroos for me! Me! It would pay off some recent purchases. Just when I need some extra $$$ cos tomorrow I am going to a

HOME LOAN BROKER!

(And I might be taking Nathan with me. Depends)

Yes, a couple of the home loan mobs are now offering loans for people without big deposits, as long as someone will go guarantor for 20% of the deposit (ie enough to get under the limit of when you need to take mortgage insurance, which is an upfront fee of about $6,000-$10,000). We figure that since Nathan's parents are willing to help out in this regard, we may as well go and get ourselves a loan and pay a bit more than we currently pay in rent and have a place we will eventually own outright. OK, we can't afford to have a *nice* place in a *nice* area but 10 minutes drive away are less *nice* places that will cost about $150K-$200K less than (ie nearly half) what they are trying to extract from people for areas that are *nice* around where we are living now. If we have an old dumpy house, Nathan can experiment with new cladding on it (he currently has a bug about putting cool room wall panels on - very well insulated, then prepping the panels for some form of render). If we don't do a deposit, we will have cash to do things like fix up the bathroom and kitchen cos we won't be using all the money we have now on deposit and stamp duty an conveyancing and valuations. Then once the place is more livable, we can see what is left from our savings and windfall, then put that into the loan.

We figure that once we are in the game, we have a chance of upgrading to a *nicer* place in a while if we want to. If we waited for another 6 months, we would know what Nathan's income is likely to be, cos his PhD ends soon and we might be able to borrow more. Or we can borrow less and pay it off faster and upgrade sooner if we want. As it stands, I'd prefer to get pre-approval so we can go house hunting. I'm already getting a feel for the areas we could live in and some are reasonable. They are all a bit scroaty.

Any Kath and Kim watchers reading? (BTW, it is an Australian show but the official K&K site is not very functional yet so I've linked to the BBC version. Ah the beeb!) For those who have no idea about Kath and Kim, the idea is transplantable to any place where you have scroats who think that they are upwardly mobile. On the train today, I could've sworn I heard Kim talking. She was making out that she was wealthy and well-educated and a real woman of the world, but she didn't sound it. She sounded like a girl who had left school at 15 and relied on being quite pretty to get anywhere. And the way she said "I want the leather" (seats) nearly had me cracking up. She talked through this pursed cat's-bottom mouth. And ragged out her husband severely simply cos he got a message wrong. A real Fountain Gate girl.

Oh, yeah. Knitting content? I'm knitting a baby singlet (look for the little ?girl wearing a pink singlet and pants) for little Cleatus Claymore (not his real name but it had to rhyme with foetus and start with CL). Cleatus' version is in mint green. It will go with the pilchers and hat. Such a quick knit. Pity that the embroidery on it takes me twice as long as the knitting, but it adds so much to the singlet.

And don't ask me about the passports office. $9.90 to get passport photos that the passport office immediately rejected cos they don't show the way my head seats onto my shoulders (via my neck of course!). Do you think I'll be going back to that chemist and saying money back or decent photos this time? Plus I rode my mountain bike to a friend's place to get the picture signed and now my thighs are very tired cos I haven't ridden a bike for so long. Plus despite the instructions saying that I need to provide ID via my birth certificate (which I don't have cos it is with my old, now cancelled, passport which I cannot find) or my driver's licence, they really mean birth certificate. Original birth certificate, not a certified copy. They could not give a flying farnarkle about me being able to supply my driver's licence, which has my photo on it and my signature because a bit of paper supplied by the state government that has no obvious relationship to me is really GOOD ID! I had to provide my birth certificate to get the driver's licence but nope, not good enough. Of course I was not peeved after that little problem - I was outright ANGRY! $50 to get a stupid bit of paper in about four weeks just so I can go and spend $200-odd on getting a stupid new passport cos I outsmarted myself and hid it really well! I am starting to think that it may be a really good idea not spending money on going to NZ, particularly since I won't have a passport before we leave and I need the passport for them to let me out of the country and into NZ.

I love the thought and spirit behind this new Knitty surprise pattern. Be warned, if your naughty stuff filter is strict, it will probably trigger it.

Here's your picture for the day.

Last night we got to eat our very own snow peas! Yum! So much nicer than the nasty stringy things that are like old leather boots that we get in the shops. Plus I love the tiny little lavender flowers - little dark velvety things with orange throats. And the apple trees have been flowering madly yet I've not managed to get much pollen off them. Ah well, time will tell!

anon!

Sunday, October 16, 2005

We'll be with you after this brief message

G'day all!

Well I don't have a lot of knitting news or even spinning news tonight, though I have done some of both. Nope, this post is an excuse to close some of the tabs that are filling up my computer and making it load screens more slowly.

Remember the "hobbits" found on the island of Flores in Indonesia? Well it seems that they may be a bit more primitive than first thought.

The Princess Bride the musical? (I admit, I would consider calling a boy Westley) (no, I wouldn't call a girl "Buttercup") (Who else freaks out when Vader says "As you wish" to the Emperor?)

I saw these rovings and I lusted, not quite as much as over the pink, green and blue bag. After all, I'd have to pay for them but the bag was free!

I am sure you have seen that the Ignobel Prizes have been awarded for 2005. We Aussies should celebrate - we have both Nobel and Ignobel prize winners this year, both in physiology!

OK that helps a little with the 20-odd tabs open in my browser. Maybe soon my silly gut will let me sleep - I think the PiL's BBQ is contaminated with wheat cos I have had two BBQs there recently and been crook after each one....

anon!

Friday, October 14, 2005

A gift from the universe

G'day all!

A couple of weeks ago at Gardening Australia Live, I saw many people wandering around with a "green bag" that wasn't green - it was sky blue, lime and hot pink.

I wanted one of those bags so badly. I wanted so much! I LUSTED after a non-woven polypropolene bag. I even got Nathan to ask a random stranger where they came from.

I didn't get one. I missed out. They had run out of them by the time I found out where they came from.

I whinged. I moaned. I sniffled. I wanted one of those bags. I couldn't get one. I was heart broken (but not for days).

At lunchtime today, I just so happened to walk past the City Square.

Guess what they were giving away there?

Tomato seedlings and some gardening samples in LIME, HOT PINK and SKY BLUE bags!

The bag of my dreams!

Of course I now have one :-)

Stuff all those other wants and "needs" - my life is now complete because I have me a nongreen green bag :-)

Well my life is complete for the time being anyway. I can't keep the smirk off my face. See?


OK, that is a manic grin. Such simple pleasures. I have to take them because you never know what tomorrow will bring, and I don't get to go to Rhinebeck.

Here's the Bag checking out a view of the Yarra with the MCG in the distance:


And it agreed to hold my current multidirectional zigzag scarf, knitted in Patonyle sock yarn:


This has been a very interesting week. I've managed to drag myself through it in one piece whilst experiencing simple moments of bliss. I love Spring! The new green leaves, the sunny skies (which may not last for more than 10 minutes at a time), the sensation of change and hope.

anon!

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

True confessions

G'day all!

I was over at Smatterings* today and read about her problems with finishing garments.

(* a couple of weeks ago my friend K confessed a girlie crush on the lead singer of Garbage and I thought how silly, a girlie crush. I am long past them! Then on the weekend I read all of the posts I could on Smatterings' site. *blush* Oh how I want a place with a big garden and a nice view and some places to grow all the plants I want to have, the vegie patch, the orchard, maybe all done permaculture way.... make some time for dyeing yarn and do more spinning.... be abe to go for rambles in the local bushland and keep it weed free.... have a pond or lake or fat lazy river nearby, or the sea)

Anyway, back on topic. I confess freely that I HATE and ABOMINATE finishing. I hate seaming even if it is going well. I HATE HATE HATE weaving in ends - I mostly weave them in as I go but then there are still the odd threads that can't be woven in on the way, like the ones on the top and the ones used in seaming. They just annoy me. I am not good at the finishing thing cos once I've done most of it, that's good enough, let's move on and play with something NEW! Probably part of my infp/x thing coming out.

Do you hate seaming too? Do you hate the finishing thing? Even if it is worth the blood (someone sold me needles that had sharp pointy POINTS on them for me to seam a jumper with!), sweat (goes without saying - seaming is hard work!) and tears (when you realise you just set the sleeve in upside down somehow).

At this stage someone will be telling me I should knit tops in the round and have no seams! I did that once, made a nice top down short sleeved sweater last year on my honeymoon and guess what I was silly enough to do?

Make it striped! So it has ENDS! Argh!

I think I'll make me a Picovoli next. No seams. Oh, except I have to wait for the knitpicks order to arrive, and that has to go via a friend in the US.

Now in a shameful attempt to distract you from the lack of knitting pictures, I bring you some more photos.

These white caper butterflies flocks in droves across Melbourne two weekends ago. They were everywhere! Apparently they migrate to find good tucker but since the northerly wind was so strong they got blown about 500-1000km (say 300 to 600 miles) from their usual range. It was amazing. I have never ever seen so many butterflies in one day, not even in the butterfly house in the zoo. It was fabulous! This fellow was a bit late - I snapped this shot a week after most had disappeared. I reckon this poor little blighter was cold cos the temps were about 8 degrees C colder.


The wisteria is going mad at present. There are two shrubs - one on our side of the fence, one on the other and they intertwine around each other. This year I won't have to bother about cutting ours back. Someone else can, or it might get bulldozed.


We thought Cheshire was mewing a greeting to us and she walked along the fence but the camera shows her true disdain for us lowly humans. Either that or she was worried that she would fall off the fence - she isn't good at walking on the front fence. Possibly a good shot for My Cat Hates You.



Apparently I am obsolete verse forms.
Songs of Innocence, Introduction
You are 'regularly metric verse'. This can take
many forms, including heroic couplets, blank
verse, and other iambic pentameters, for
example. It has not been used much since the
nineteenth century; modern poets tend to prefer
rhyme without meter, or even poetry with
neither rhyme nor meter.

You appreciate the beautiful things in life--the
joy of music, the color of leaves falling, the
rhythm of a heartbeat. You see life itself as
a series of little poems. The result (or is it
the cause?) is that you are pensive and often
melancholy. You enjoy the company of other
people, but they find you unexcitable and
depressing. Your problem is that regularly
metric verse has been obsolete for a long time.


What obsolete skill are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

I can't say that I am unexcitable - I have to stop myself from flying off the handle sometimes - but I have to say that I am very fond of verse that rolls off the tongue.

"I had written him a letter,
which I had for want of better knowledge,
sent to where I met him down the Lachlan years ago.
He was shearing when I knew him
so I sent the letter to him
Just on spec addressed as follows
Clancy of the Overflow."
(AB "Banjo" Patterson, "Clancy of the Overflow")

OK, that is enough rambling from me for tonight! I have to go buy me some muesli - forgot it on Monday and I am really missing it.

anon!

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

I feel so naughty

G'day all!

I've just placed a couple of order with Amazon and Knitpicks. Lots of money spent, but I've put in orders for a friend to so we can combine shipping. I feel so naughty! Thanks to the lovely J for giving me a US shipping address for Knitpicks - much appreciated! :-)

Today for your delight, I have a random assortment of photos. I am time poor now after spinning a bit of merino/flax, packing away half a bookshelf (and discovering that it is now fashionable to make cardboard boxes that don't seal, but instead have whopping big gaps in the middle that about half a hundred books could fall through....), and wrangling the Knitpicks site into finding the yarns I wanted to order, along with Amazon which doens't let you tick boxes by things in your wishlist you now want to purchase. Instead I had to do it all one at a time....

I give you

bubby galahs in a box (the front two were begging each other for food):


A triangular multidirectional scarf made of my handspun yarn (dyed by Jacinta at Spiral Dyed):

(you can join the yahoo group here and get free patterns, though you'd best get your skates on cos there are time limits for some of them. I think I'll give this scarf away as a prize or maybe a prezzie if someone likes it enough. Lurid greens aren't my colour though people loved it on the train - I got more comments from it than almost any other of my train projects.)

A quince flower:


Some grey alpaca (I tried to make it black but it wanted to be grey) hanging on my spinning wheel out of the way of errant passers by:

(yes I spun something fairly dull coloured! But I plied it to itself along with some berry coloured silk to give it a bit of oomph, no pics yet)

And just in case you think I am going dull in my old age, I give you summer pudding, by Jacinta, plied with black and with magenta merino:

There is no way that one is leaving my hot little hands (OK, cold sometimes sweaty little hands!).

Finally, the first rose of the season was
Quatre Saisons and is she a lovely smelly old thing! (pic not clickable)

Next off the line was one of my Rugosas, probably scabrosa (horrible name for a lovely rose) closely followed by a real stinker of a rose (whose scent I love but others despise) - Rosa foetida "Austrian Copper." Austrian Copper has the most amazing red/orange flowers. Rosa foetida is the source of most yellow roses, and also has passed on its horrid ability to coat itself with black spot to its descendents. Maybe you'll get a pic another time.

anon!

Saturday, October 08, 2005

Another photo feast

G'day all!

I am amazingly behind on my pics. Let's have a look at what I got from last week's S E X.

100g of merino/soysilk blend to dye and spin or spin and dye or whatever, whenever:


Some silvery mohair locks - obviously to play with in spinning but I don't know what I'll do with them, there was just a big fistful for $3 so I bought them:


50g of merino and flax in my favourite sort of colourway - lots of colours and all pretty! I've never spun anything with flax before so it should be interesting.


100g of Wensleydale in the same colourway as above.

This Wensleydale is quite coarse especially compared to the merino and polwarth I am used to spinning. It is coarser than the corridale I've spun and about the same as the other umm erp, golly, forgotten what it is... something that felt a bit wiry to someone who spins with merino mostly.

Some stuff I am assured is natural rayon - I thought it would be fun to play with, maybe cut up and spin up into some stuff that I then can dye. Rayon is a plant fibre, so it shouldn't take protein dyes. This could be lots of fun.


And some royal purple rayon. The two hanks cost $10 - not bad for a new toy to play with!


The piece de resistance - 250g of lurid magic merino for me to split into component colours and blend and create even more stripey stuff (I don't want all the colours to blend together in plying - it will go muddy I think):


I was quite good, you'll have to say, considering there were all sorts of yummy things for sale. I just have to be good at present cos I know that I am going to have to move soon and if we don't have a place to move things to it will be going into storage.

We looked at one place yesterday. It was quite nice, though the mold on the 2nd bedroom window is not good and the place seemed a bit damp overall - the wallpaper was curling at the edges. Plus the last people smoked inside. We'll keep looking around. We have plenty of time as long as Nathan's parents will put us up for a month (that is the current plan since we still want to go to NZ for a couple of weeks). We don't have plenty of time to get everything packed though.

Plus remember how I told you about the special thing we found in the greenhouse yesterday? Here she is:

I reckon she is pregnant cos her abdomen is quite large. Isn't she lovely? She's a huntsman. She's about 4" across. These big hairy spiders run around to catch their prey - they don't make webs (thank heavens cos walking through a web and getting *that* in your hair would totally freak me out). They sometimes come inside and clean up various bugs and stuff. I am quite happy to let them wander around the house but once they hit the bedroom, I get them on the broom and put them outside. Why? Well if they startle, they usually drop to the ground and run, and I don't want one startling above the bed and running all over me.

Finally I leave you with this. The other day Cheshire got a bit rough whilst playing with Nutmeg again. Nutmeg gets really upset and ends up holed up in some corner, and one of us usually comes and lets Cheshire know her behaviour is intolerable. Here's the proof that Cheshire did it again:

Yep, that is some of Nut's back fur stuck in Cheshire's chops. Doesn't she look quite pleased with herself, licking her nose? Hmm, I reckon I'll have me some more Nutmeg cos that last lot was yummy!

anon!

Friday, October 07, 2005

Back in a mo!

G'day all!

This is a post of links. I have too many links I need to get off my Firefox tabs - only 28 tabs open on *this* window, then there are three other Firefox windows open, and then I wonder why it goes so slowly when a fancy page opens up. Then I lose the lot when some really badly scripted page crashes my browser, so I'm passing all of these on to you instead! Next time I'll have pics - they just have to be edited and uploaded. Just wait until you see the pretty we found in the greenhouse - she is loaded up with babies and ready to pop!

The new science of feeling good, with some interesting stuff about how they are finding going back into the past and analysing things doesn't necessarily make people better - indeed it tends to screw them up more.

Apparently I am a very long and bright sock (I knew I'd have to be colourful!):
Super long sock
Wow! You would have been a pair of socks as long
as it's possible for socks to be before they're
tights - and all multi-coloured with pretty
patterns and detail all over the place - then
you could stand and admire your sock-self all
day!


What type of sock are you?
brought to you by Quizilla
My favourite pair of tights ever were rainbow colours in blotches all over the legs - I still have them but my work frowns on them - not exactly corporate casual!

Another Times article, this time on how the British Catholic Church says don't take all the Bible says to be the literal truth. It also has what I see as a dig at the current US presidency - any nation or people that is gripped by fundamentalism is dangerous. Now I ain't saying all you Americans are gripped by religious fundamentalism but your administration sure seems to be on a runaway train going down a looooooong hill with no brakes. I am mighty impressed with the article - at least parts of the Catholic church seem to be progressive.

Get those needles flashing - this mob in the UK will donate 50p to an aged care mob for every beanied bottle sold (link thanks to Karen).

high-tech undies are being sold now! Ladies, would you buy anti-bacterial knickers - apparently women don't like being told they smell, yet I've seen all those weird "feminine hygiene" products on the shelves with their built in deoderants and this and that, so maybe we'd just sneak some unsmelly undies into our shopping....

Can you believe that there are beings out there who think the best thing they can do is make money out of millions of peoples' generosity in the wake of Katrina? Golly that made me mad! I'd chuck them in the clanger and throw away the key. I don't like people who swindle others or take advantage of them. Makes my blood boil. (BTW, I was looking at a random blog the other day that just showed photo after photo of the people after Katrina and 90% of the pictures were of black people. Then I thought about the pics I'd seen of people looting places, and like what were most of them looting? Food and water/drinks. Loaves of bread. And you know what? I say good on 'em. There was no way to buy what they needed and they had nothing and the govt wasn't helping them any. Nope, didn't see the pics of guns being looted - could be a reason for that one! ;-))

Here's a nicer story about pterosaurs although I guess it ended sadly since we aren't being eaten by them at this very moment. LOL

Now I do have some pics for you, including a new FO, some bits and bobs blooming in the garden as we speak (including the first and second roses of spring) but they have to wait a little while until I have more than 10 minutes to do stuff.

anon!

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

A special message

to those who are sending to my inbox 2-3 copies of coke vs pepsi, google vs yahoo, my JC Penny (whoever they are) confirmation order number, Foot Locker confirmation order number, Starbucks, Pizza Hut and all the other "free" junk food and coffee joint vouchers EACH DAY, along with all the other spam just

GO AWAY



The rest of you, you nice ones who read my blog and occasionally leave me a comment, can stay :-)

I'll be right back with you. I have an FO, well once I tie the ends in she is finito! Except for the blocking. OK, it is not a very FO at all - it is an AFO. Almost Finished Object.

For the nonce, these might amuse if you haven't seen them.

Knitted ahem sculpture.

Angora pants. Check out the reallllly special ones below the longjohns with feet. Like pants with feet are special but fluffy pants missing other bits are even more special!

A radio station knitalong

A yearly get together for umm for want of a better word automotive enthusiasts in the Nevada desert.

Thanks to various friends and knitlists for letting me know about these links!

anon!

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Toe

G'day all!

Do you ever stumble out of bed in the morning and into the shower pretty much on automatic?

This morning I wandered out of the bedroom, heading for the bathroom when something impeded my progress.

My little toe was stuck on a wire thing. My foot couldn't move forward. Hm, what is going on here, I thought to myself groggily. My foot is stuck and won't move. Why won't it move? Very odd. My toe seems to be caught on something.... And YOWZA! My TOE HURTS! My toe is caught on the frame for a supermarket bag rubbish bin and it REALLY hurts!

Amazing how pain clears away the morning brain fog.

I have no idea if it is ok - it still hurts but it isn't enormously swollen or anything. It moves like the other little toe, though it hurts a little. And I ain't taking a picture of it cos I have lovely corns and all on this poor little bent hammertoe. It is not pretty! Nothing to see here, move along, move along....

Now where were we up to... Ah the fibre forum and the trip back. I might leave the trip back pics until I have pics of the stuff I bought.

So let's move on to some of the yarn I've been spinning. I've been spinning a lot of thick and thinnish yarn recently plied up with a fine contrast thread or a bit of silk or just a fine thread of the same tops. It is fun and easy and does not take as long as the navajo plied worsted/Dk/8 ply weight stuff. So without further ado I bring you,

Wendy Dennis blue/purple polwarth with silk:


Wendy Dennis candy floss coloured polwarth plied up with the odd bit of bright silk and a fine thread of the same polwarth tops:


A bit of FibreWorks (sp) rainbow lorikeet navajo plied into a fairly chunky yarn:


Some random merino plied up to stripe and blend from colour to colour, with extra chunks of either mohair or english leicester curls thrown in:


(Me - stressed? Would I spin lots when I am stressed? This is only part of what I've spun recently!)

Here's my favourite picture from the whole weekend. One of the stallholders at Gardening Australia Live had three young galahs in a box. They have been handraised and are very tame - they couldn't give a stuff about people patting them. "Yeah, whatever, where's the food," was their attitude. They've only just fledged and do not yet have their underfeathers or fluffy down stuff sticking out of their feathers (so every time they bent their heads, ugly red flesh could be seen between their feathers). Their colouring hasn't developed properly either - the adults are pretty pink on their head, neck and breast, then soft gray elsewhere. This little bloke posed nicely for me:

Isn't s/he cute?

Oh and for C, apologies. I only get one version of the story from the Husbeast. I should verify it first!

anon!

Monday, October 03, 2005

I'm getting the feeling

G'day all!

I really have the feeling that what you want to see is YARN! And knitted stuff. Not hear anything about my whinging and moanings about having to move.

Well, you'll just have to deal. Or not read, only look for the pretty pictures. That is easy enough!

Ah, I must remind you. You have thirteen months until a Big Event happens. I am not exactly sure what I will be doing for the Big Event but I definately will be doing something. After all it isn't often that one turns mumble-mumble. Of course it isn't often one turns mumble-mumble-harrumph either - indeed I've noticed that birthdays technically seem to occur once, but I got stuck on 30 a while ago. Anyway, you are invited to the big event, as long as I have some idea who you are. I'd love to see you! Heck, if there were lots of you, we'd hire a bus and do a tour of all my fave places here and be tourists (I used to call it terrorising places but now that is not at all PC).

So Saturday, yes Saturday I drove down to Geelong for the fibre forum.

Lynne goes to Geelong, and comes home again


The day dawned fairly average actually - looked a bit threatening. Still the fibre forum is indoors so who cares what the weather is? (BTW, the links below go to pics of around 20-30K in the main)

I drove through town, along the Yarra and then leapt back onto the freeway (I am too tight to spring for an e-tag to I use the tollway three times a year and too tight to buy a day pass for $10) and headed off for Geelong and the Westgate Bridge, seen here from afar, here as it winds across the Yarra and here at the top with the windsock telling me why the speed was down to 60kmh. Thankfully it was not frosty and windy, and you may be able to tellt he threatening clouds had cleared away. The drive to Geelong is a bit boring, quite frankly cos it crosses basalt plains and is flat and almost straight (except for a few wide slow curves). Eventually, I found the turnoff to North Shore (and surprise surprise it was exactly where I expected it to be!).

There were many beautiful buildings in the grounds of Geelong Grammar (boys school). There still are many beautiful buildings - I didn't blow them up or anything and they didn't fall down in the rather strong northerly wind. There were so many beautiful buildings that you'll have to wait til another day before you get to see pictures cos I cannot be stuffed editing them all tonight.

There was much fibre frolicking, once I found the traders and not the people trying to sell me their wonderful ready-made goods. I love pretty things but I like to try to make them even more than I like admiring them. At first I only found the bazaar, not the traders and boy was I disappointed! An hour's drive only for that? but then I found the Real Deal (and only took one picture - LOL. I keep forgetting to take pics cos the amount of fibre around me makes me dizzy. I'd be hopeless at Rhinebeck or Maryland).


This trader is new to me - she lives in beautiful Bundanoon, home to a fabulous national park and fascinating glowworms (if only I could find the digipics we have), in the Southern Highlands of New South Wales. She imports Wensleydale tops and boy are they rough compared to what I normally use! But so pretty. I bought some stuff from her but nope, no pics of what I bought yet cos I am a BAD blogger!

The usual suspects were there, and I got to meet Jacinta of Spiral Dyed - she dyes all those fabulously bright tops I like to spin so much. She sells a lot of stuff through the Thread Studio. That was good. She was almost as I expected but not hippy enough. LOL

Hmm, I reckon that is your lot for tonight cos I am yet to cook dinner and it is now nearly 8:30 and I have to pack three more boxes of books and do the shopping! You'll have to wait until another time for the rest of the driving pics. Some are actually nice pics, so never fear!

anon!