Friday, January 30, 2009

Hubby's New Camera, Sony a300 Digital

Bo has a new toy. A Sony a300 digital camera. So here are a few photos he took this week.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Primary School Window

What sat on the window sill when you were a child in primary school?

Well when I saw these today it brought back all those memories. We always seemed to have cress sitting on blotting paper and hyacinths in water, like this. So I couldn't pass these by. Plus the price was right, reduced from $7.99 to $1.99

The hyacinths are a Pink Pearl and a Blue Delft, the smaller ones are crocuses, a Remembrance, Jeanne d'Arc and Pickwick.

The glasswear, made in the EEC; I will be able to use again next year.

Just looking at their little shoots popping up brings joy and such memories too. From the instructions, they need to be put a dark cool place until the shoots are longer and then bringing out.

The plants behind are baby lemon trees, which Rob is trying to Bonsai.


Monday, January 19, 2009

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Candle House

A little candle house I picked up at the thrift.


Fingerless Gloves, My Sister Who knits

Rob requested these gloves from his aunt B. He just loves them and wears them to school and other places too. My sister says they're a one off as they are so fine and took her a long time to knit.
You have to put that in the context that my sister is a wonderful knitter and knits all the time and can do so anywhere and knits anything and very quickly. I have so many of her creations. I keep thinking that I should photo and post them.
B was always the knitter and crocheter and I was the sewer.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Tink's Tongue

Feed, Feeding and Fed

I've come to this most philosophical of thoughts that anything that needs feeding is work. I'm not saying it's not good work and fulfilling work, but never the less work.

Well of course first of all is the family. Planning, shopping, preparing, cooking and the eating of food. We never get fed up of eating, even though it's so repetitious.

Then of course are our girls, they must be fed. Tuppy has a very loud appreciative purr, and Tinkerbell has the longest licking tongue when she's really had a tasty treat.

My garden, this must be fed and looked after to produce. I love to see the results of a good feeding, the soil is rich and dark.

House plants don't forget them.

Last of all which led to all this is the fire. My does that need feeding right now, to keep our house warm. We must feed it day and night, day and night. Don't forget it for too long or you will soon know with a coolness which licks it's long bony fingers around you.

We haven't turned the central heating on at all. The sitting room is warm. We have a wide archway between the sitting room and the hall, so it's open. When the heat reaches the hallway, it climbs up the stairs. We close off the door to the boys room and leave the other doors open to heat them.

Once some heat travels upstairs then it moves across the hallway to the dining room, then from there to the kitchen. I like to cook in the kitchen because then it warms up. I also like to clean the oven because that heats up the kitchen too.

The basement which used to be the warmest room in the house is now the coldest, because the hot steam is no longer running around the pipes for the central heating.

The feeding of the flames, involves several stagings of wood piles. First the stacking of wood under the oak tree, or in the tent we left up to keep it dry. From there it gets stacked again by the back door, then it is brought in the house and piled up in a very large wood laundry basket which used to be Bo's mum's. A lot of wood moving. But then you can't say it's not satisfying and rewarding to sit by a flame licking fire on a cold evening, listening to BBC Radio 4 over the internet.

I think we will make it through the winter without putting the central heating on. I like the thought of our cozy home and being thrifty. By preparing good meals for my family, looking after our girls which give us pleasure, enjoying the produce we grow in the garden, and last but not least right now, feeding the fire.


Sunday, January 11, 2009

Peacock Embroidery

This embroidery was done by an old friend of my mum's. Aunt Gladys. Who we loved very much, and was a great lady. It was originally in a fire screen, but I couldn't get the whole screen packed in my suitcase, so took the embroidery out and brought that home with me. Probably sacrilege to do that. I framed it, but was never happy with the dark wood frame and mat. After many years I decided to have it re framed, but it was so ridiculously expensive, that it was cheaper to buy a frame and use the old mat, just cutting the edge to make it fit the new frame. In the end I chose this one, I like the bronze colours and shading; which I think suits my Simla Room. Peacocks are from India, so it seems the right place to put it.

The silk thread and colours just make it come alive. It is a treasured piece.


Friday, January 9, 2009

A Rare Occurrence

If you have teenage boys, or have had, you will know that a kiss from them is a rare occurrence, so here is evidence that it does happen sometimes.

We were at a get together with friends, for these photos of us.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

N.Z. RLY. Refreshment Rooms

What do you think this is?
Well if you have been following my posts on New Zealand in reference to aunt Mary, who used to work at the Railway Counter Refreshment Rooms. And if you haven't already guessed, this is a piece of an old railway cup. When the train arrived at the platform passengers would dash into the refreshment rooms, grap a cup of tea and a sandwich maybe, then take it back on the train with them. The cups would remain on the train to be redistributed back up the line. Or as sometimes happened passengers would just throw them out of the window. Thousands of cups and saucers went missing every year.
The number represents a particular station refreshment room. I will try and look it up and see which one. I found it on EBay. I have yet to receive it. But it was one of those nostalgic things that I just could not pass by. Depending what it looks like when I receive it, I may take it to the silversmiths and get it made into a pendant. Or maybe I could wire it.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Our Girls

These are our girls who you have met before, Tink and Tupp. They always beat us up to bed, and are waiting for us. Sometimes they get a little upset with each other. As you can see, Tink has become a little shirty with Tuppy, but it's usually the other way around.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Aqua and Air

During our time away visiting friends we decided to go to the pet shop that they like. We spent a long time there, looking at fish and spending time with the birds. Aren't they beautiful? At the store they a quite knowledgeable which makes it so much better.

Dear boy has now decided to start an aquarium, which started out smaller, but keeps getting bigger and bigger in his mind. Big enough in fact to put these tree stumps in. Which he went down to the man made lake to find. The water is controlled, and sometimes the lake is much fuller than others, but now it's low and the tree stumps are showing.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

The Railway Refreshent Rooms, New Zealand

Taihape Refreshment Rooms. Maybe Aunt Mary worked here, as I also have the photo of the party/picnic, which on the back says took place at Taihape. Isn't it great when things start to fit together? Well it seems logical she may have.

Paekakariki Refreshment Rooms

I thought I'd do a little research about the railway counter refreshment rooms in New Zealand, where aunt Mary worked, see my posting on this.

Well it has turned out to be a whole little history on it's own. The Railway Refreshment Rooms, began in 1917, when the dining cars; which were more for the wealthy,were done away with during WWI. There were a few privately owned refreshment rooms, but the railway took them over.
Listen here when you reach the web page click on the audio; where one of the original girls who worked at the refreshment rooms relates what it was like. There are seven pages to look at on the history I found it most interesting.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Tulpohocken Creek and Union Canal, Pennsylvania

While visiting our friends, on Sunday afternoon we went for a walk along the Tulpohocken Creek, which must be an Indian name. Paralleling the creek is the Union Canal.

We saw a group of painted turtles enjoying the late afternoon light. We were trying to take a good look at them, then they jumped into the water and swam up to the lock wall, to take a good look us. You can see the boys and my friends daughter looking down at them.

Here is some fungi we saw. The yellow and orange fungi was growing on a branch which you can see Bo standing with on the bottom collage. Isn't the yellow fungus so pretty. I have yet to look it up to see if I could find the name for it.

In the middle photo above is a blue heron, it's not a too good shot, but maybe you can just make the heron out. He was up and down the river while we were on our walk.

It was nice to get out and walk in the country, commune with nature.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Sunset in Pennsylvania

I have not retouched these photos, this was the colour of the setting sun, taken from my friend's back yard. I should have gone out again because it became a crimson red.

Cuban Shrimp, Camarones Al Ajillo

Dear Boy found this recipe for Cuban Shrimp in a newspaper at school, so brought it home and tried it. We served it over Jasmine rice, it was delish. We decided it would be a nice dish to make and took the ingredients to my friend's home, for Rob to make it there. So the photos below are of him cooking dinner for us in A's kitchen.

Cuban Shrimp

The shrimp and garlic are the stars of this dish, so don't serve it with anything that will compete with those flavors. a simple heap of white rice should do nicely, but we used jasmine rice and that was fine.

Start to finish 15 minutes
Servings 2

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 20 extra-large shrimp, shelled and deveined, but we used medium shrimp.
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine, we didn't have any so used sherry and that tasted great
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch dried oregano
  • pinch cumin powder
  • 4 sprigs of fresh parsley, we didn't have any but I'm sure would add a little something
In a large skillet over medium heat, heat the olive oil until fragrant. Add the shrimp and garlic and saute until the shrimp starts to turn pink, about 4 to 5 minutes. Use tongs to turn the shrimp once during cooking, but we used a wooden spoon or spatula with the smaller shrimp.

Reduce the heat to low, then add the wine, salt, oregano and cumin. cook for another 4 to 5 minutes.

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