Thursday, March 31, 2011


Something Pretty

Something bugging me.

I and several of my friends have 
noticed another disturbing trend in blog land.
More and more bloggers are altering their post times,
throughout a day or several days so that their
post "pops" back up to the top of the blog roll,
over and over again.

Now, I get the need some folks have to be 
seen in order to sell or to promote themselves, I mean
we are founded on free enterprise but here is the 
"bug" in this kind of business. 

Many of us, myself included, rely on
 our blog roll updates to keep track of posts 
by our friends and our favorites. 
I know I can use reader, but mostly I refer to my roll,
A quick glance lets us know what is new, 
and we don't waste time checking 
through previously viewed blog posts, or miss one 
because the times posted have been altered on us.
Haven't you noticed comments to you like
 " I don't know how I missed this post of yours?"

Being able to trust post times 
 allows us all more time to actually 
visit friends via emails or comments, 
which is something all of us
 time deprived bloggers desire.

When bloggers re-post their times
 it throws the whole thing
out of whack. I have heard from at least
 10 other bloggers about this in the last 2 months,
concerning their own blog rolls,
and it is NO LONGER going unnoticed.

Free speech and free choices out here,
of course, but all of us need to/should play nice.
To me, this is the equivalent of people who
 go into stores ahead of a sale and hide what 
they want to buy when the sale starts, 
and then prance in the next morning
 when the sale is on and pull out their prize 
from a place where no one else would find it.

It just isn't nice, and people, please, we are adults; 
no longer in grade school.
Most of us were taught to play nice 
and follow the golden rule,
and I do not want to anger or embarrass
 anyone who IS doing it,
I am merely trying to say very politely, please stop.

My blog roll is for my personal use;
 for me to follow my friends and also hopefully, to 
introduce others equally to my favorite people.
Please stop cutting in line.
My 6th grade teacher Miss Weber
 taught me not to do that.
Just sayin'

Now, here is a puppy.

(cute overload)


Wednesday, March 30, 2011

He's here!!

Jamie was born at 8.40am - 2.8kgs.  Sunny is fine, Kerry is ecstatic and we are very proud grandparents.

:-  ))))

Supporting others in their choices

Kerry took Sunny back to hospital last night about 10pm.  Our beautiful Sunny has laboured all through the night and has received some pain relief in the form of an epi-dural.   Kerry rang at 4am, an hour ago, to tell us the midwife is happy with her progress and expects the baby to be born in the next few hours.  :- )

Yesterday I wrote: There are many ways to go

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


How to change a bath in under 2 hours

Right before I left for NYC I removed
 all of this from the kids bath.

It had served the kids and their friends
 for many years, but I was ready for a change.
So I shot a pic of the complete set, sent a for sale notice
 out to my friends and sold it all 
including the matching tissue boxes,
and it now occupies a friend's kids bath.
(The kids and I enjoyed dinner out on the proceeds.)

Today I decided to see what I already had in 
the house to get a start on the new ivory based 
room and 1 hour later ... 

The double wire basket used to hold 
breads or fruit during parties.
The jars came from the pantry.
The lamp was in the garage.

Borrowing from other rooms and the linen
closet I have a very good start.
The shower curtain is 2 burlap curtains
 from Ballard that once hung in a bedroom.

The room definitely needs some tweaking.
The burlap needs some pressing and the
 pictures need to be hung lower. I plopped on
 existing nails. But in under an hour, 
it is a good base.

A few more vintage finds and the room
will be just fine.
Sometimes you just need to BEGIN
Remember my word for the year?
What do you want to change?

Joining White Wednesday hosted by the lovely Kathleen

Homemaking - a domestic apprenticeship

Another email has me writing today about homemaking. It's popular topic here, mainly because it is valued, but also, I believe, because there are too few mentors around who will guide and encourage young people towards a domestic apprenticeship.  Those young people, and some who are older, are looking for guidance. The skills of homemaking are seen as menial and not worth much, and often women

Monday, March 28, 2011

Going back to washing up by hand

I've had a couple of emails lately asking about washing up.  I've written about this in the past but its over a year now since we got rid of our dishwasher so I thought it would be interesting to write about going back to washing up by hand.
In November 2009, I decided I no longer needed, nor wanted, a dishwasher and asked Hanno to remove it from the kitchen.  Today, I wanted to give an

Sunday, March 27, 2011

All we need now is a baby

It was a quiet and run of the mill weekend.  We rose each day, showered, had breakfast, made beds and cleaned.  Lunch was eaten, dinner cooked, there were several knitting sessions and outside, a garden was weeded and tiny seedlings attended to.  We looked like we were going about our business with not a care in the world, but in our minds, we were preparing for excitement and celebration, but

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Creating and Creator

Have you ever been watching a cooking show 
(PBS) and realized you had everything they 
were about to prepare in your fridge?
It has NEVER happened to me before.
I jumped up and grabbed these:
a skirt steak, sprouts, a lemon, almonds, and butter.

Rough chop these and dry roast in skillet
 for a few minutes, just to enhance flavor.
Remove from skillet set aside.

Meanwhile in separate skillet over high heat throw
 ( forgot to photograph)
 in the skirt steak and brown 3-5 minutes each side.

 Rough shred some sprouts using a knife, 
and toss into the skillet where you prepared the almonds,
along with 2 TB butter.

Saute a bit, as they begin to soften, 
throw in some squeezed lemon, I only
 used 1/2 and some Kosher salt.

When steak is medium rare
 (for me a total of 6 1/2 minutes)
remove and set aside.
Finish up sautéing sprouts and toss in the almonds.
Slice steak thinly.

All told less than 8 minutes from start to finish.
I do love me some brussel sprouts as you can see,
and I am getting bored with oven roasted...finally.

An unusual Saturday lunch for me,
I rarely bother, and it was delicious!
So now I settle in to watch Lawrence of Arabia
 because I have an unending love affair with Peter O'Toole.

I may have to watch Creator and 
My Favorite Year this evening.

if you are unfamiliar with these 2 films,
well do yourself a huge favor and get them somehow

and if Peter does not ring your bell Vincent Spano just might : D

Thursday, March 24, 2011


Gone seven years now. 
She died of a brain aneurysm 
right in front of Hannah and I in the back yard.
It was one of the worst experiences I have ever had, 
and when Hannah and I talk of her we tear up
something fierce. 
I have loved all my pets and I have had many.
A few were adored.
Libbey was one of them.

She was 95 pounds of pure love and playfulness,
and loved the kids and I beyond measure.
We will miss her always.

Joining Chania for the Friday challenge Pets

Wonderful weekends to you all :D


On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Oven processing small batches of fruit

Congratulations to Monique on the birth of a beautiful daughter.  There is no news yet about Sunny and Kerry's baby but we expect him very soon.  I thought he might be born on the 22 March but the actual due date is this Sunday.  I'll let you all know when we get the phone call.  It's so exciting waiting for a new baby!~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Hanno bought some of his favourite sugar plums quite

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Comforts of Home

There is no place like home.
As much as I am not a huge fan of my city,
 ( it is just "not me") I do
enjoy my home and my friends 
and it has been lovely being back
 and catching up on the missed stories of last week. 
Nothing major occurred, just the day to day stuff
 that keeps us all so connected.
What the grandkids are up to, how was the job today, 
what are you fixing for dinner, 
how is the diet coming along?

All those sweet nuances of life 
that bind women together,
so that when the big stuff hits, 
we are also there to celebrate
 or lend a comforting hug or share tears.

The repetition of felting and cutting these
 roses is now all intertwined with these friends.
 You see, we talk a long time,
sometimes until the batteries die. 
So I put the phone on the work table, 
hit speaker phone and chat away 
while working with my wools. 
Oh, so comforting. 
Now, these roses of mine are 
sprinkled with the laughter and the love
 that I share with my local peeps and also 
several of you, that I now know via 
the telephone wires.

I will be having several of these chats 
with blog pals next week
 and I plan to have a stack of wool
 all ready for rolling
 to infuse even more memories 
into the next batches.

No, I am not losing my mind, 
well, not completely anyway lol
but I do believe in good energy and negative energy.
I believe food prepared with love just tastes better, 
sincerely written thank yous and
 a heartfelt hello, how are you? matter, 
and in creating any type of art,
 there must be joy for the creator.
It is why I do not "crank out" items any more.
Oh I used to, for shows and events 
but the joy was missing for me,
 so now, my motto is slow and steady.
After 3 decades of this,
 I have learned when my good energy turns to negative,
and I want only my best to give to friends. 

I have also learned:
that tennis shoes are the only thing 
I can wear in NYC to avoid excruciating pain
 ( Thank you K MART)

that I can eat roasted Brussel Sprouts until I am ill.

that $100.00 is the bare minimum for me to get out of Costco

that many people who read this have yet to realize
 I sign Z in my emails because my name
 is spelled SuZan but is pronounced Susan.

that as years go by I require more quiet,
 more alone time,
and no longer need to apologize for it.

that I am furious with the plans 
to severely cut the grants to NPR - 
the one place I feel I get unbiased news.

and now I realize I have digressed 
into another whole realm..
what my friend Sarah and I call 
"BINK" switch of subject...
and we can switch dozens of times
 in one conversation with ease.

ANYHOOT, hope you all
are enjoying your week, 
no matter your weather.

I'll be thinking of you.


Grace isn't a little prayer you chant before receiving a meal.  It's a way to live. 
  ~Attributed to Jacqueline Winspear

Cheaper cuts of meat - pork shoulder

We were vegetarian for quite a few years, maybe seven or eight, and went back to meat after reading Nourishing Traditions.  When I started buying meat again I was shocked at how expensive it was so I've tended to stay with the cheaper cuts or we eat fish or chicken, along with our favourite vegetarian dishes.

Purple sweet potato and onions.
I really like meat with the bone still in it.  Either

Monday, March 21, 2011

Making the bed

I am absolutely amazed at the support shown in the last post.  It proves, yet again, what a close and caring community we have here.  I wish I could give you a hug, or shake your hand, but all I can do is say thank you..........................
Can you remember back to when you had babies to care for and how careful you were with their bedding? You'd make sure the sheets were clean and straight,

Sunday, March 20, 2011

One of the things I hate about the internet

This is probably not the post you're hoping for today but I need to say something before it makes my head explode. 
What I choose to write about on my blog is my decision, no one else's.  Blogging appeals to me because it's uncensored, independent and raw and I hope that my writing about how Hanno and I live will help and encourage others who want to simplify their own lives.  Any of the millions


They waited for me.
My never fail to delight Banks Roses.
Draping and dripping down the wall.
I was afraid I would miss their fleeting blooms.
Some years, our Spring winds decimate them within days.

My yard is looking pretty sad, this winter took it's toll,
and days of labor await. 
Today is supposedly our last nippy day,
so I am heading to the studio with my wools instead
 and will try to enjoy the last cool day
 before the misery of the heat engulfs me.
 I did not say warm, warm I like; 
it is the blast furnace, 
melt your mascara, make your bra itch,
 make you snappish inferno I despise.
oh happy day lol 

Saturday, March 19, 2011


"New York, New York, it's a wonderful town!

The Bronx is up and the Battery's down
The people ride in a hole in the ground,
New York, New York, it's a wonderful town"

Of course when you find a neat old shelf on the sidewalk,
 you have to haul it home...on the subway, 
the hole in the ground.
..and when your Mom is in town she makes you do it.

I was in NYC all last week visiting the kids and I am 
now jet lagged and exhausted from walking many miles, 
and from subway stairs and 
dorm stairs. Darling Daughter chose to 
live in a green dorm, no elevators.
I am happy and thrilled to have spent days
 just hanging with the kids.

Did lots, saw lots, ate lots.
Dearest Son hung with us every night and 
some afternoons. Seems he is always checking his phone
however - he is a busy guy. Still working two, no, three jobs.

I tried to read all of your posts and 
 tried to keep up with my replies to
 your lovely comments, 
 but I may have missed a few so I apologize, 
if you were one of them.

I also have rose orders that came in right
 before I left and while I was gone 
 so the shop has no new pics
as they are leaving too quickly to shoot.
So please just tell me what you would like,
 and I will get right on it, and I will try to get some 
photos in the shop by weeks end, along 
with some other items coming in soon
also - I hope. I'm a bit out of sync.

The week away and the daylight savings
 and the 3 hour time difference and 
flying the red eye both ways has me
 a bit discombobulated. It also did not help
 to sleep on an awful dorm mattress, but
 saving $1,000 on a hotel and all the late night chats
and early morning teas were wonderful 
and so worth it.
So, there you have it.
I'm sleepy and slow moving but give me one good night's
sleep and this old grey mare will be her old self.
I adore my kids and I am so blessed
 to have had this opportunity to enjoy
 sharing some of their big city world.

I hope you are all well and happy.


Bean Sprout Bubba and My Poppet

Please support my sponsors: Bean Sprout Bubba and My Poppet, both operated by Australian mums from their homes.
Rebecca at Bean Sprout Bubba is very knowledgable about nappies/diapers and I know she will help you if you have any questions or are unsure about what type of nappies to buy.
Cintia from My Poppet is also full or wonderful ideas and is a caring mum.  If you need help in choosing what

Thursday, March 17, 2011

On my mind ...

This is a Friday photo feature that anyone with a blog can join. It opens the door to us sharing our lives through these photos and gives us all a new way to discover each other, and maybe form new friendships. Your photo should show something at home that you're thinking about TODAY. If you're in another country you should join in when you read this, even if it's still Thursday.
To take part,

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Organising your kitchen spaces

One thing that really stood out when I gave up my business to stay in my home was how badly organised my kitchen was, so I set about making it a more efficient and pleasant working area.  I thought if I was going to spend a lot of time in the kitchen, baking, cooking, preserving food and providing hospitality, I wanted that space to be comfortable and easy to work in.  Soon after, I moved my

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The country mouse goes to town

Yesterday I did what I tell others to do all the time.  I took a day off and looked after myself.  Around 9am I loaded up my iPod full of music and headed off for the hour's drive into the big smoke.  My good friend Susan travelled down to Brisbane from Townsville with her husband and while he was attending to business, Susan and I talked, had lunch, talked, walked around, talked, moved from the


When I walked outside this morning there was a chorus of
"HEY, over here"
"Psst look at me " 

Each corner of the garden displaying color
that was absent just two days prior.
All the pinks, yellows and purples,
missing since late fall, now awake and shouting.

Reaching to be higher, fuller and brighter than all the rest.
Vines, Annuals, Perennials, no matter, all clamoring for attention.
The Prim and Proper gossiping
about the lowly Mock Orange

But even she is showing off her new babies,
her buds of growth with pride.
Makes it hard for a gal to hear herself think.
HEY GUYS! Keep it down would ya?