Sunday, 30 March 2008

Reducing my footprint

I like to think of myself as an eco-visitor to this planet - not in a shout-it-all-about sort of way, but more in a sort of thinking-about-what-I'm-doing sort of way. And especially now I have the beginnings of a new generation in my family (the very kissable ma minette), I want this place to be a nice one, a sustainable one, for her, and her future sisters and brothers and cousins.

Being a girl of the 70s, I was a big fan of The Good Life - this dated and corny British comedy was, quite frankly, instrumental in developing my views on sustainable living. Yes, laugh if you must, but I also own a very substantial collection of Earth Garden magazine, dating back from those days.

So now, in this latter half of my life, I have a small place where I try to grow yummy food organically, my Henny Penny gives me one egg a day, I compost everything I can, I eschew the use of plastic bags, and thrift store bargains give me a real thrill. The old call to 'reduce, re-use, recycle' can all sound a little cliched, I know, but hell's bells, I have to try.

Many scoff at the futility of small steps, small changes, small fixes to our lives. But I just want to feel that I'm doing my bit, no matter how small.

I decided to recognise Earth Hour last night. First, I cooked up an early dinner - Eggplant Manicotti, yum, yum - then I ran around and turned off every single light and every single power point. I lit every candle I own, and a luscious rose from Lambert Vineyards helped us pass a pleasant evening in the dark.

Shall I jump off my soapbox now? OK.

Saturday, 29 March 2008

Soothe me

Do you ever have one of those days at work when you just want to come home and knit? All the time? Yeah, me too. But this week it just got so bad that, for the first time, I said to my lovely, but equally frustrated, colleague... "I know this might sound a little dorky, but I wish I had my knitting here at work, right now. I think if I could just do ten minutes of knitting, I'd feel better." First time I've ever really needed to do it AT WORK. Shows what a bugger of a week it's been.

I read the blogs of other knitters who knit at work, but I've been a bit of a closet knitter, as far as talking about it at work goes. No longer. Along with my organic miso soup, my Madura tea and my tea grabber infuser thingy, I plan to stash a pair of socks-to-soothe-me-at-work in that second desk drawer.

Wednesday, 26 March 2008

Easter was fun

My family was together for Easter - don't you just love it when that happens. We had a lovely time at Daughter1's new house. The boys seemed very intent on building a pizza oven.


But should we move it over there?

The ceremonial lighting... Is that too smoky?

Ready to start cooking...
Pizza and champagne...
Pizza and red wine...

Later that same night, we made Easter treats for each other (we each picked a name out of a hat).The results are almost too gruesome to show. We'd never make good chocolatiers.
And this little attention-magnet made us all smile, all weekend.
I love my family. They make me very, very happy.

Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Am I very bad?

I am dreaming about my autumn project, honest I am. I'm planning a cardi - maybe Sitcom Chic in a lovely purple Zara. I'm even doing swatches! But the weather has been so hot, and I really wanted some summery yarn (yes, rhonrhon, I know I already have plenty in my stash). But I really wanted some Peaches & Creme. Georgie talked about it recently. Kay and Ann use it. I wanted it. And somehow, it arrived.

Well, not really 'somehow'. Those lovely ladies over at The Wool Shack sent me some, once I had handed over a few dollars or so. Mmmmm, it's lovely.

It will cheer me up on a headache-y evening.

New yarn and a yummy Lazy Knitters Dinner will make me feel better.

Milk for protein, strawberries for vitamins, and chocolate for anti-oxidants. Chocolate? Maybe just a little bit of Green and Black organic, free-trade, orange-infused dark chocolate fell into the blender.

Sunday, 16 March 2008

Life is good

Did anyone have a better weekend than I did?

Saturday evening, enjoying the sunset over Chez Nettie, with...
Early Sunday morning, I watched the dawn through the trees and native grasses...
Sunday afternoon, I got to play with this...
...just ma minette and me, for 3 blissful hours. Could the weekend get any better?
Well, not really, but this is pretty good...Sunset at Chez Nettie with chilled fragolino, sipped from one of my favourite retro wine glasses. An old man kangaroo bounded through this view and stopped to look at me, whilst laconically chewing on a long blade of grass, before bounding over the fence to blithely escape my two yappy terrors, er, terriers.

And I've still got the final episode of Jekyll to look forward to tonight. I love my life.

Saturday, 15 March 2008

Bargains on a Saturday

Who'd have thought that, instead of lolling about on a Saturday morning, if you actually get out and about, there's a whole world of Saturday bargains out there. I went out to get the paper, and decided to stop for brekky too - eggs and coffee at Idelic (I love to pretend that I am a little bit cosmopolitan). Then I just had to drop into the Y on the way back to the car. Gathered up some gorgeous chenille (in the form of a dressing gown, but not for long), three embroidered pillow cases, some lovely blue linen with butterflies, and a piece of grey corduroy. All for $10?! What will I do with these lovelies, you ask? Stick them in the stash, of course.
Then on the way home, I had to do a quick round-the-block again, when I saw that the Ukrainians were having a garage sale at their community hall. Two gorgeous NEW terracotta pots, for a mere $10 each (foot in picture for size comparison purposes).
A cute baby bath ($2) with a genuine 50s bunny transfer ... will make a great little paddle pool for ma minette, The Gorgeous One, when she comes to visit.
And finally, a post hole digger for a mere $5 - very useful for the garden, but not really worth a photo.
Oh, and despite the appallingly hot weather, there has been some knitting. Finally...finished Earl Grey Socks, which would show up the tiny cables down the side, if only I hadn't used self-striping yarn. Never mind, I know they're there.

Monday, 10 March 2008

Gotta love a long weekend

I wanted to make the most of my long weekend, so I spent some time in the garden, both working and admiring. This is the working part.


Well ... it will look much better when I fill the empty bits with lovely lavender.

This is the admiring part. Ahhh.

Drinking tea and looking at my sunflowers is a lovely way to spend a morning.

I also had a late visit to the Lifeline Bookfair. I had to be prepared for slim pickings on Sunday morning, but still managed to come home with more than 20 novels, some beginner French texts (to supplement my French lessons), 17 Topkids magazines, and a very few knitting patterns, including this beauty. What were they thinking? Or is it only me who thinks this looks a little risque?

Saturday, 1 March 2008

Some knitting

I didn't do too well on my self-imposed challenges in the Southern Summer of Socks.

One pair of Waving Lace Socks in Koigu (started before summer began)

One pair of plain old stocking stitch in glorious Tofutsies that the lovely rhonrhon brought back all the way from the States for me (started and finished during summer)

And one half of one pair of Yarn Harlot Earl Greys in Lorna's Laces, started in summer, but not yet finished (yes, I know it just looks like a bit of knitting sitting amongst the basil, but it will look more like a sock very soon).

Even though the girls over at Southern Summer of Socks appear to be granting a month's extension to summer, I still don't think I'll meet my challenges. Oh well, there's always next summer.