Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Exhausting but rewarding!

I am really lucky in my job as a receptionist in the Allied Health area of our hospital. It is a great job with lots of people contact which I love and lots of great people to work with. My standard hours are 2 and 1/2 days a week and then I relieve when the other reception staff are on holidays or sick. I also do reception for some visiting specialists and yesterday I was lucky enough to spend the day in our elderly 'day centre' which operates out of our building. The chance to do some relief here doesn't come around often (as I am not a trained nurse) but when it does I jump at it. We have around 12 - 20 elderly clients who come in from their own homes for the day (we collect them on our bus), they enjoy a day of companionship, activities and a hot 2 course lunch. While there we can deliver them easily to appointments at the medical clinic, pathology, xray, physio etc. We also do a pharmacy run each day in case they have a script they need filled. Yesterday we did tai chi exercises (in chairs), followed by a game of scattegories then in the afternoon played bocce ( I was no good and helped the 'poms' lose to the 'aussies' badly!!). They all generally have some health problems or mobility issues. Most live alone. One of the dearest ladies yesterday has advanced dementia. Another lady that has dementia was telling me that she used to sew, even make wedding dresses. Unfortuantly those days are beyond her now. Another lady with impaired sight was crocheting a rug, something she has only taken up since her sight became so bad. Some of them are cranky and argumentative! They all have such a lot to offer and I always have such a fun day working with them. Gosh I am physically exhausted at the end of the day though! Today I am doing reception for a paediatrician clinic so the complete opposite end of the scale!! I usually manage a little stitching between patients so may even have something to report on that front!!

Monday, September 29, 2008


I promise these will be the last Jimmy photos for a while but they were so cute I just had to share them!! I'm also hoping the 'horsey' one doesn't find out I posted them...... Jimmy is an inside dog and up until the last few days has been happy to sleep in his bed on the floor next to me (the reason behind this is as I am a Mother I will wake up when he does and take him out to the toilet!!). The 'horsey' one has been putting him on her bed for cuddles because he is just 'so cute', yep you can see where this is leading. We as good parents have let her know all the reasons its not a good idea, hygiene, when he gets bigger, he has his own bed etc etc, her as a teenager has largely ignored us! When I got up yesterday morning this is what I found

The first photo I took was cuter as he was fast asleep but as I took it in the dark there wasn't much of them in the frame!! He was duly removed and not 5 minutes later missing again, this is what I found this time

Now she is a sound sleeper and had no idea he was there so he had got himself under the quilt and his head on the pillow!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Told you it was cute!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Puppy School and Footy Finals!

Well the day started with Jimmy's first trip to puppy school!! It was held in a town about 40 minutes away so with HS driving once again (my nerves are getting better!) we set off. Jimmy was a star!! After being scared of all the bigger dogs he thought he would make friends with a little chihuahua named Max smaller than him. Max had other ideas and was quite fierce baring his teeth and growling. Poor Jimmy! We covered sit, heel, wait and drop all in various degrees of success but the instructor feels he is quite advanced and very clever (maybe a little exaggeration there by mother!!). We have come home with homework and looking forward to his next lesson in a fortnight. As you can see it was a very exhausted Jimmy once he got home!
It was the Australian Football League grand final yesterday afternoon and SH, HS and the 'horsey'one's team was playing. Geelong-the mighty Cats! They went in as favorites and were hoping for back to back premierships. We decorated the front of the house, balloons, streamers and posters. I even stitched my Sashiko - navy and white , while watching. Alas it was not to be and by the end of the day the decorations were gone and there were long faces all round looking forward to next year!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008


Well we managed to get to the beach yesterday afternoon as planned ( a feat in itself for our family!!). SH finished work early so off we went with HS driving on his L plates - that makes me feel old!!! The 'horsey' one and I took Jimmy for a walk while the boys went off to get lunch. He was in heaven, so many smells, didn't quite know what to do first. A fish and chip lunch in the cold wind was good for the soul especially as I had put a jumper in unlike my kids who seem to always know everything - not on this occasion!!! then we hit the beach. Jimmy loved it! Did decide early on sand was for eating (as is everything) but then he found a stick and he was off. Landed in the waves almost by accident and got quite a fright, wouldn't venture that close again. One very tired, sandy, wet puppy snored all the way home in the car!
Before heading home the menfolk actually let me visit the local quilt shop!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ( I had just bribed them with icecream). It was very small but I was still able to make a purchase. This gorgeous 'strawberry' lady and a few fat quarters that the 'horsey' one chose for her holiday sewing project.
Off to 'puppy school' this morning!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Art Gallery and Horses!!

I love Thursdays as I finish at midday, it means I have half a day to run around and pay bills and do all those fiddly jobs that I put off!! During school holidays it means I have an extra half a day to do something with the kids and yesterday with my Mum as well. She had driven the hour and was already at home waiting when I got home from work. She'd even already handed out the treats to the kids, chocolate biscuits and chocolate!!!
We headed out for lunch which was interrupted by the urgent departure of the 'horsey' one - more on that later! The main reason for her visit was an exhibition at our local art gallery. She is a volunteer at the art gallery in her town but they won't be receiving this particular collection to exhibit. It was an exhibit of textile sculptures by an Australian artist from Sale 'Annemieke Mein'. The simplest way to describe her work is a combination of painted canvas, machine embroidery and stumpwork. There is however nothing simple about her work. It is quite spectacular and as much as I enjoyed it I will not be attempting to create my own similar masterpiece, I would not be surprised however if Mum (who has already done some stumpwork) went home and played on her own creation!!! I bought some cards of pieces in the exhibition but they didn't photograph well enough to post - sorry. My favorite was the 'dragonflies'.
Now the reason that the 'horsey' one dashed off was that we had a phone call that the 'myotherapist' coming from interstate to treat her horse 'Dudley' had arrived early!!!!!!!! Yes I kid you not, I paid for a combination of a chiropractor / physio for horses...........................luckily it was reasonably priced, not quite as much as I thought! He responded quite well and she has been taught some stretches to do with him daily. He had been naughty when she was jumping him and sore in the neck. He has to rest now for 2 days then she can ride him and see if there is an improvement!!
SH will finish work at lunchtime today so I will spend the morning cleaning the house (repeating the mantra all the time - I will not get distracted, I will not get distracted!!) then we will head down to a beachside town not far away for fish & chips on the foreshore!!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

My new favorite recipe!

Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
200g unsalted butter, softened
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup castor sugar
3 eggs
2 & 1/2 cups self-raising flour, sifted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup lemon butter
3 eggwhites
3/4 cup castor sugar
Makes 24 cupcakes. Cooked in a preheated 180C/160C fanforced oven.
Using an electric mixer, beat butter, vanilla and sugar in a small bowl until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating after each addition (mixture will seperate at this stage). Transfer mixture to a large bowl. Stir in half the flour. Stir in half the milk. Repeat with remaining flour and milk until combined.
Spoon into prepared patty pans and bake for 15-17minutes.
When cool use a small sharp knife and cut a 2cm deep x 3cm round from the top of each cooked cake. Discard tops - children are very handy for this! Spoon 2 teaspoons lemon butter into each hole. Place cakes on a large baking tray, increase oven temp to 200C/180C fanforced. Using an electric mixer, beat eggwhites and sugar in a bowl for 10 minutes or until sugar is dissolved. Spoon mixture into a large snap-lock bag. Snip a 1cm triangle from 1 corner of bag. Pipe mixture over lemon butter. Bake for 3 to 4 minutes or until tops start to turn golden. Stand for 5 minutes.
Serve and Enjoy!!
I made these for morning tea at work and they went down a treat.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I can't believe I was so good with posting last week and now another few days have gone past without a word from me!! To be honest there has not been a lot happening in Chocolate Cat land that is newsworthy!! We are back to Winter with our weather, it has been windy, cold, wet, and dull for days now. I need a little sunshine! The children are now on school holidays, we have read their end of term reports which I have now filed away. The 'Horsey' one spent yesterday in her pjs watching tv and only ventured outside to take the dogs for a walk with us in the evening!! I must say she cooked dinner for us last night. She is doing cooking at school at the moment and wanted to practice some of the recipes she has learnt. We had marinated chicken kebabs and rice - Yum! I could get used to this!! Her brother went to a friends farm to help with some farm work - I think with the rain they would of spent most of their day inside. Today we are off to visit family friends on their dairy farm. We were at boarding school together a long long time ago. It is far too long since we have caught up so I am really looking forward to the day. I actually sat and stitched last night and it was SO good for the soul. I don't know that I'd even realised just how much I'd missed it. The 'Brownlow' medal, the best and fairest award for the Australian Football League was being televised and it is tradition to sit up and watch it. Perfect viewing for stitching as you don't really need to concentrate on the screen!! My plan came a little unstuck when Fred - the cat came and plonked himself on my lap and proceeded to settle in for the evening! The football grand final is on this coming Saturday. My team lost this last weekend but the rest of the household's team 'Geelong' is in and we are all hoping they can win back to back premierships! GO CATS! Now I'm hoping SH isn't reading this!! I have done a little online shopping in the last week. I have ordered a felt christmas ornament kit, signed up for a BOM - Bluebird, and purchased some prairie paisley fabric for borders for the quilt I haven't quite made yet from my prairie paisley fat quarters!! Unfortunately I didn't get in while the exchange rate with the USD was good. I have also signed up for a Christmas Decoration swap with IndigoBlue. The pressure is on......

Friday, September 19, 2008

Warm and fuzzy feelings.....

Well last night was another evening without stitching but it certainly had its own rewards by the end of it. The 'horsey' one and I attended the school's annual netball dinner for the end of the season. The school enters many (11 this year) teams in the local competition ranging from U11 to U18. The 'horsey' one has only been playing for a few seasons and although she loves it and is extremely enthusiastic about it her success has been varied. This last season her team made it to the finals and although didn't progress any further was very pleased with how they went. Last night the 'horsey' one was recognised with the coaches trophy so a very proud mother here!!! I was team manager for the season which actually sounds a far more important job than it actually was!! It meant I had to be there each week to score, to coach if necessary and generally be a contact person. The two young girls coaching the team presented me with a bunch of flowers to say thank you and then the team itself presented me with another bunch! I came home feeling very appreciated and warm and fuzzy inside!

I have my Sunday morning sleep-in all organised!! ( yes I do realise thats a few days away!). While running around yesterday afternoon doing jobs I found the latest copy of my favorite mag 'Homespun', the next favorite 'Quilters Companion' which came with a free!! DVD, and my favorite food mag to try and get some inspiration for dinners. If I don't think about what I have to achieve between now and then............................

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Food Glorious Food!

I love food! There I've said it and if you could see me you would be able to see the results!!! My HS did hospitality at school yesterday and brought home 2 bags of the best looking Florentine biscuits and trust me they taste as good as they look!! He would like to be a Chef and has done for a few years, he always does very well in Hospitality and has a part time job as a kitchen hand (oops sorry I think that is 'dish pig') and he certainly has the right temperament!! He has never found school easy or enjoyable and we had looked at other options for next year such as a school based apprenticeship but he would have to swap schools and he would prefer to stay with his mates where he is. It means that if he knuckles down for the next 2 years he will always have other options if he should decide he wants them. As long as he is happy in life and able to support himself I will be happy, he has been given the opportunities , it is up to him how he uses them.

(Okay I confess - still NO stitching, I am having withdrawals!)

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Hump day!

Well today is officially 'hump day' or Wednesday - the middle of the week!! I'm working extra days this week as someone is on leave and I'm already hanging out for the weekend. Think such a busy week last week took it out of me and I haven't caught up yet. The kids start school holidays for two weeks on Friday, they are so looking forward to it!

No actual stitching last night ( I sound like a broken record) but I am starting to do the panic that I haven't started my 'Secret Santa Christmas Swap' yet when on other blogs people have finished them and have them wrapped ready to post - HELP! So I started looking in my huge pile of magazines (research aids) for inspiration and think I have come up with some ideas...but I need advice... should it be a christmas themed item or not?????

I'll leave you with an updated 'Jimmy' photo. He is growing so quickly and we are now a little worried just how big he is going to end up. He has huge paws and very long legs! We had finally had success with toilet training, things were really looking up, until the stormy weather - think we are back to square one now! He is starting to learn some manners and is just such a joy.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stormy weather....

Last week we had some lovely mild days with signs that Spring had finally arrived appearing everywhere. It was enough to put a smile on the dial!!! Saturday was the most magnificent day, my perfect weather. I was able to get washing dry, needed to use sunscreen and the garden was beckoning. Well Winter is back with a vengeance! We have had stormy, cold (no make that freezing), windy weather since Sunday. We actually lost a tree - a huge gum in our yard on Sunday night. It fell over our back neighbors fence. At this stage it doesn't look like it has damaged their fence , only shredded his pride and joy - his walnut tree. It could of been so much worse. It is just getting light now so SH will soon do an inspection after another windy night. Please could we have Spring back???
Still no stitching to report.......After work last night I scored the 'horsey' one's basketball game before going to a meeting at school regarding her trip next year to China!!!!!!!!!!! Yes the school that my children go to have the 'Year 9 experience' which begins with a week in the city in February, 4 weeks at a sister school (and touring) in China in April and a 10day camp in the Otways in November. What a life! HS went last year and had a great time . After a quick dinner SH and the 'horsey one' went off to another meeting at school , this time about their camp coming up in November this year! After I collected HS from refereeing basketball I headed off to bed for an early night. Maybe tonight!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mission accomplished!

Well I am finally back online again!! HS decided early last week the problem was the power cord so dutiful mother that I am went and bought a new one. That helped but still didn't solve the problem of being able to log onto the internet. It was ignored (although grumbled about) for the next few days and finally on Friday morning before work I decided enough was enough. I did the logical thing and phoned the support number for our provider and sure enough 20minutes later we were back online!!!!! I am now officially the 'Queen of Technology' in our house. The next problem became a lack of time over the weekend! The 'horsey' one's long awaited school musical stage debut took place. She was the star of the Dolphin chorus (sure there were 20 mothers saying the same thing!). My inlaws and my Mum came to watch the matinee yesterday and oohed and aahed appropriately! The 'horsey' one also had a riding clinic on both Saturday and Sunday and we had the hockey presentation dinner Saturday night. Added to the mix 'HS' worked at his kitchen hand job on Sunday so busy all round. Needless to say no stitching but I did manage two of these blueberry cakes over the weekend - Yummy!! Lots of photos and news to catch up on so think there will be quite a few posts this week.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Modern Technology !!!!!!!!!

Well we are having problems with our internet connection at home which is the reason I haven't posted or caught up with anyone elses blogs for a week. ( I am cheekily doing this during a quiet moment at work). My HS was frustrated that we had been slowed down due to having too many downloads last month so started fiddling with plugs etc etc and since then - nothing! Of course he isn't to blame.....Tonight we plan to sit down and work through it logically to see if we can solve the problem before we call someone. I think I have confessed before that I am somewhat technologically challenged, unfortuantly SH is not much better!!!
On a brighter note the costumes for the school musical that the 'Horsey' one is in next week were finally finished yesterday and delivered to school. I had to make capes for the 'barnacles'!! There were about 29 but honestly at times over the last week I was sure there were 1000 in my 'to do' pile. I will also add at this time that the 'Horsey' one is actually not a barnacle but a dolphin so will not be wearing one of my creations (and I use that term extremely loosely!).
I have some photos to share but will have to wait until I am online again, hopefully tomorrow!!