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#121 of 1361 Old 12-01-2011, 01:27 PM
 
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I took my mother down to my father's grave (his seventh anniversary tomorrow), rambled with my dog, paid some bills, bought wreaths and hung them on the balcony, picked up large flat-rate boxes at the post office, and found a couple of gifts for my boys -- juggling balls for one, a DVD for the other. 

 

Oh!  And took out the compost, brought in laundry that had line-dried yesterday, and hauled trash and recycling out of the shed into the driveway so DH can save a step in the morning.

 

I need a snack.


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#122 of 1361 Old 12-01-2011, 01:57 PM
 
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Quote:

Winning!

Totally!

 

Today I got up early (well, for me) after a late night cake decorating, so the lady could pick up the cake. Only she's half an hour late. And now I'm panicking slightly, because I might have made a rather major gaffe with the cake. It's for her in-laws' wedding anniversary - 30th? 50th? Can't remember. She left the design up to me - I did another cake for her one time and she liked it, so she rashly trusted my judgment. And in a fit of sentiment I said "Did they have a particular Bible verse or something at their wedding that I could put on the cake?" And they didn't remember, but she liked the idea and suggested 1 Corinthians 13:7: "Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres".

 

So I masked it and then couldn't think how to decorate it, and I was kind of stuck with the Bible verse theme now I'd brought it up. And then I thought I could do a cute tone-on-tone cutout picture with a tiny church-house on a hill and a path and a tree, and the bride and groom standing at the bottom, and the verse written around the edge. So I started playing around with templates, and then my Aspieness took over and I couldn't figure out how to make the bride and groom look decent. So I figured, maybe just leave them out, and have the hill and church and tree and write the verse inside the picture, on the sky and grass.

 

So I did that. And then I looked at it, and realised it could didn't exactly scream "wedding"... in fact, with the church on the hill looking kind of stark, and the verse in consequence seeming unexpectedly poignant, it kind of gave off a vibe that said "One of you has DIED". Or both. Either way, not really what I was going for.

 

So I tried making some little brides and grooms to add, but they just looked silly; and then I added some bluebirds and put a few tiny hearts around the church to convey Joy is Happening Within, but now it might just connote extreme religious fervor. (Plus, the first birdie I made looked like a raven. I was tempted to just go with it and add some circling vultures and a little fondant graveyard.) I'm not sure. DH said "Don't be silly, it's fine", but I think he just wanted to go to bed.

 

So, um, yeah. The lady in question has a good sense of humour, but I'm not sure her in-laws do.

 

ETA: Oh, good. She liked it. Whew.

 

 


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#123 of 1361 Old 12-01-2011, 03:47 PM
 
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Smokering... good thing she liked it.  That would be stressful.

 

I made goodie bags with crafts and candy inside.  They can make bracelets, an ornament, stickers and tattoos.  There is candy but DD2 said just kisses and a candy cane.  No junk just stuff to make and color. 

 

Ordered the cake and bought the cupcakes for tomorrow.  DH and I spent way too much time at the hobby store then went out to lunch... oh we made a wreath together then put on fake mustaches and sent silly pictures to my mom since she just had surgery... I don't think we were supposed to make her laugh but DH had her rolling. 

 

Picked up DD1, DD2 had tutoring, then DD1 and her dad took mustache pictures for grandma.  I think the fake mustaches will be the theme for our holiday picture. 

 

Now DH is making dinner... like he SHOULD!  And I'm on here... waiting for DD2 to get started on her homework and then I'll help DD1 with chess... she's going to get on the team no matter what.  She beats me all the time she just has to show that she can beat someone who doesn't suck.

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#124 of 1361 Old 12-01-2011, 04:43 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

Totally!

 

Today I got up early (well, for me) after a late night cake decorating, so the lady could pick up the cake. Only she's half an hour late. And now I'm panicking slightly, because I might have made a rather major gaffe with the cake. It's for her in-laws' wedding anniversary - 30th? 50th? Can't remember. She left the design up to me - I did another cake for her one time and she liked it, so she rashly trusted my judgment. And in a fit of sentiment I said "Did they have a particular Bible verse or something at their wedding that I could put on the cake?" And they didn't remember, but she liked the idea and suggested 1 Corinthians 13:7: "Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres".

 

So I masked it and then couldn't think how to decorate it, and I was kind of stuck with the Bible verse theme now I'd brought it up. And then I thought I could do a cute tone-on-tone cutout picture with a tiny church-house on a hill and a path and a tree, and the bride and groom standing at the bottom, and the verse written around the edge. So I started playing around with templates, and then my Aspieness took over and I couldn't figure out how to make the bride and groom look decent. So I figured, maybe just leave them out, and have the hill and church and tree and write the verse inside the picture, on the sky and grass.

 

So I did that. And then I looked at it, and realised it could didn't exactly scream "wedding"... in fact, with the church on the hill looking kind of stark, and the verse in consequence seeming unexpectedly poignant, it kind of gave off a vibe that said "One of you has DIED". Or both. Either way, not really what I was going for.

 

So I tried making some little brides and grooms to add, but they just looked silly; and then I added some bluebirds and put a few tiny hearts around the church to convey Joy is Happening Within, but now it might just connote extreme religious fervor. (Plus, the first birdie I made looked like a raven. I was tempted to just go with it and add some circling vultures and a little fondant graveyard.) I'm not sure. DH said "Don't be silly, it's fine", but I think he just wanted to go to bed.

 

So, um, yeah. The lady in question has a good sense of humour, but I'm not sure her in-laws do.

 

ETA: Oh, good. She liked it. Whew.


This was hilarious to read even though I bet it was super stressful to actually do. :-) Glad she liked it! 

 


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#125 of 1361 Old 12-01-2011, 04:47 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

 

Totally!

 

Today I got up early (well, for me) after a late night cake decorating, so the lady could pick up the cake. Only she's half an hour late. And now I'm panicking slightly, because I might have made a rather major gaffe with the cake. It's for her in-laws' wedding anniversary - 30th? 50th? Can't remember. She left the design up to me - I did another cake for her one time and she liked it, so she rashly trusted my judgment. And in a fit of sentiment I said "Did they have a particular Bible verse or something at their wedding that I could put on the cake?" And they didn't remember, but she liked the idea and suggested 1 Corinthians 13:7: "Love always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres".

 

So I masked it and then couldn't think how to decorate it, and I was kind of stuck with the Bible verse theme now I'd brought it up. And then I thought I could do a cute tone-on-tone cutout picture with a tiny church-house on a hill and a path and a tree, and the bride and groom standing at the bottom, and the verse written around the edge. So I started playing around with templates, and then my Aspieness took over and I couldn't figure out how to make the bride and groom look decent. So I figured, maybe just leave them out, and have the hill and church and tree and write the verse inside the picture, on the sky and grass.

 

So I did that. And then I looked at it, and realised it could didn't exactly scream "wedding"... in fact, with the church on the hill looking kind of stark, and the verse in consequence seeming unexpectedly poignant, it kind of gave off a vibe that said "One of you has DIED". Or both. Either way, not really what I was going for.

 

So I tried making some little brides and grooms to add, but they just looked silly; and then I added some bluebirds and put a few tiny hearts around the church to convey Joy is Happening Within, but now it might just connote extreme religious fervor. (Plus, the first birdie I made looked like a raven. I was tempted to just go with it and add some circling vultures and a little fondant graveyard.) I'm not sure. DH said "Don't be silly, it's fine", but I think he just wanted to go to bed.

 

So, um, yeah. The lady in question has a good sense of humour, but I'm not sure her in-laws do.

 

ETA: Oh, good. She liked it. Whew.

 

 




ROTFLMAO.gif  This is phenomenal!


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#126 of 1361 Old 12-05-2011, 08:08 PM
 
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Well, today I accomplished a fair bit, at least in terms of Christmas stuff. DD and I went into town, leaving wee Miles asleep and DH with instructions to summon us back if he got sad and wanted milks. (Miles, not DH...)

 

We zoomed around like industrious wee beetles and bought:

 

-a summer onesie, on sale, and two pairs of buy-one-get-50%-off-one socks for DD to give Miles

-chocolate-coated Turkish Delight for DD to give DH

-a voucher for the model shop for me to give DH, so he can buy paints and glue and stuff to make his model of the USS Enterprise he bought ages ago and hasn't started

-a voucher for a swanky spa place for me to give DH, so he can get a 30-minute massage to relieve the knots he always gets in his shoulders - or, I suppose, a Brazilian wax or a facial, if he prefers

-a little Fair Trade wooden painted zebra toy on wheels for Miles from me (and DH), because the poor kid has hardly any toys

-fancy cupcake liners for me to give my sister (I know, a horribly trendy present, but she does like baking cupcakes)

-a Starbucks voucher for my impossible-to-buy-for sister, on Mum's recommendation

 

And I picked up some tickets to a King's Singers concert, which are our gift to Mum and Dad. So that was productive.

 

Then we got back (Miles had slept the entire time, and woke up and beamed at me when I came in - he's a brilliant child), and DD went to sleep. So I popped Miles in the mei tai and went for a walk to the likker store, to buy DH's customary tiny bottle of whiskey for his Christmas stocking pocket. And I got some salt as well, so I can make non-edible gingerbread-looking Christmas tree ornament... cookie... things, without wasting a cup of freakin' expensive Himayalan crystal salt. And I got some sewing machine needles, because I've been sewing paper and need to finish Miles' quilt at some point before Christmas.

 

And now both children are asleep (DD woke up while I was out and screamed blue murder, apparently... she is not a brilliant child), and I have a double batch of Stollen rising on the table for choir practice tonight, and feel both tired and virtuous. And, oops, DD seems to have woken up screaming again. Oh well; when she calms down we can make gingerbread ornaments.


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#127 of 1361 Old 12-06-2011, 01:41 PM
 
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I got dinner in the crockpot, stopped at the store for this week's groceries (I got out of there for $20.00!!!!), and went by the library. This is my last week of maternity leave, so I need to wrap up my Christmas crafting, but haven't gotten to any today as yet. If it doesn't get done this week, chances are it won't... so this afternoon I have to upload and order some photos for the Christmas cards and a couple of gifts, and I should likely do another couple of projects too...


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#128 of 1361 Old 12-06-2011, 01:44 PM
 
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Nothing but cuddling today!  Oh actually I learned a song on the piano.  I sound terrible but I'm almost there!  So really I didn't actually completely learn it.  Also we're about to clear out a closet and make it a play room for the girls.  Yes we have one enormous closet and it's in the master bedroom that nobody sleeps in.  It's too far away from the girls room.  They don't sleep in that either.  They pretty much moved in with us til graduation I suspect...

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#129 of 1361 Old 12-07-2011, 06:45 AM
 
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smokering just reading this makes me tired (and i just woke up). perhaps that's what happens when you get to 46. 
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

Well, today I accomplished a fair bit, at least in terms of Christmas stuff. DD and I went into town, leaving wee Miles asleep and DH with instructions to summon us back if he got sad and wanted milks. (Miles, not DH...)

 

We zoomed around like industrious wee beetles and bought:

 

-a summer onesie, on sale, and two pairs of buy-one-get-50%-off-one socks for DD to give Miles

-chocolate-coated Turkish Delight for DD to give DH

-a voucher for the model shop for me to give DH, so he can buy paints and glue and stuff to make his model of the USS Enterprise he bought ages ago and hasn't started

-a voucher for a swanky spa place for me to give DH, so he can get a 30-minute massage to relieve the knots he always gets in his shoulders - or, I suppose, a Brazilian wax or a facial, if he prefers

-a little Fair Trade wooden painted zebra toy on wheels for Miles from me (and DH), because the poor kid has hardly any toys

-fancy cupcake liners for me to give my sister (I know, a horribly trendy present, but she does like baking cupcakes)

-a Starbucks voucher for my impossible-to-buy-for sister, on Mum's recommendation

 

And I picked up some tickets to a King's Singers concert, which are our gift to Mum and Dad. So that was productive.

 

Then we got back (Miles had slept the entire time, and woke up and beamed at me when I came in - he's a brilliant child), and DD went to sleep. So I popped Miles in the mei tai and went for a walk to the likker store, to buy DH's customary tiny bottle of whiskey for his Christmas stocking pocket. And I got some salt as well, so I can make non-edible gingerbread-looking Christmas tree ornament... cookie... things, without wasting a cup of freakin' expensive Himayalan crystal salt. And I got some sewing machine needles, because I've been sewing paper and need to finish Miles' quilt at some point before Christmas.

 

And now both children are asleep (DD woke up while I was out and screamed blue murder, apparently... she is not a brilliant child), and I have a double batch of Stollen rising on the table for choir practice tonight, and feel both tired and virtuous. And, oops, DD seems to have woken up screaming again. Oh well; when she calms down we can make gingerbread ornaments.



 


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#130 of 1361 Old 12-07-2011, 12:38 PM
 
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I went to a presentation on state revenue and spending priorities in the morning, came home to pick up my dog, and we ran errands together.  Mailed tuition payment for DS2, realized a headlight had blown, added to our list of errands.  Picked up a pair of DH's boots from the shoe repair place, bought another box of holiday cards, unsuccessfully shopped for a bra (dog waited in the car for that one), got the headlight replaced, bought canine meds at the vet where my 74-lb. bernese mountain dog met a golden retriever puppy who almost plotzed when he saw how big she was.

 

It's dark gray and pouring rain, so I turned on our Christmas lights and saturating the house with holiday music from Pandora.


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#131 of 1361 Old 12-07-2011, 01:24 PM
 
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Originally Posted by MariaMadly View Post

It's dark gray and pouring rain, so I turned on our Christmas lights and saturating the house with holiday music from Pandora.


Same here, except we don't have any rain. I'm really wishing it would snow. I'm pretending I'm in Santa's workshop this afternoon, trying to finish up the quilt for the baby's Christmas present. After it's done (just another hour or so!) I plan to work on some more gifts too. 

 

Otherwise, I haven't done much today. Got the dishes done. 


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#132 of 1361 Old 12-07-2011, 02:25 PM
 
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Got letters sent out to parents for the holiday party.  So the party is pretty much over.  Have the parent volunteers set for the field trip.  We're going to theatre and as much as I'm looking forward to going... I don't want to ride in the bus with all those kids!  Doing my work and one other guys work right now.  He's out today and tomorrow.  He's sick and afraid of my death stare when he comes in sick... He has finally learned!  We get a lot of leave and holiday hours, we have to use a lot of them by the end of the year so it's not a big deal for him to fear me when he's sick.  I don't get sick easily but I hate sitting next to sick people!  Why be miserable when you don't have to be?  Just go home and rest!

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#133 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 04:13 AM
 
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Quote:
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Same here, except we don't have any rain. I'm really wishing it would snow. I'm pretending I'm in Santa's workshop this afternoon, trying to finish up the quilt for the baby's Christmas present. After it's done (just another hour or so!) I plan to work on some more gifts too. 

 

Otherwise, I haven't done much today. Got the dishes done. 



Post photos when it's finished if you can?


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#134 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 04:15 AM
 
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Got letters sent out to parents for the holiday party.  So the party is pretty much over.  Have the parent volunteers set for the field trip.  We're going to theatre and as much as I'm looking forward to going... I don't want to ride in the bus with all those kids!  Doing my work and one other guys work right now.  He's out today and tomorrow.  He's sick and afraid of my death stare when he comes in sick... He has finally learned!  We get a lot of leave and holiday hours, we have to use a lot of them by the end of the year so it's not a big deal for him to fear me when he's sick.  I don't get sick easily but I hate sitting next to sick people!  Why be miserable when you don't have to be?  Just go home and rest!



Ugh.  Keep washing your hands!  I can't count how many times *I* got sick as a kid because someone who worked with my mother went in sick and spread it around.


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#135 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 05:36 AM
 
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Post photos when it's finished if you can?


I'll try to take some pics today. :-)  I'm pretty pleased with how it turned out. 

 

 

Oh also - my major accomplishment for today was I woke up on time! 


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#136 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 05:47 AM
 
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I made it to work... 10 minutes late.  I woke up 30 minutes late.  I couldn't get out of bed!  Plus I had moved to the girls room last night since our old beagle was snoring so loudly and all the dogs and cat followed me sans snoring beagle and we all piled into one twin size bed.  How can you get up from that?!  Anyway, my accomplishment would be actually getting out of bed today.

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#137 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 11:30 AM
 
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kitchensqueen: Congratulations on finishing the quilt! Mine's been going... not so well. Our dishwasher is broken at the moment, so dishes keep piling up on the kitchen table, which is also the sewing table. It's only a matter of time before someone spills food on the strips draped over the back of the chair. A professional I am not.

 

I was going to report what I did yesterday, but after doing it all I was too tired. :p I did accomplish a fair bit though, so here goes:

 

-Went to Bible study, taking along a Stollen with whipped orange butter (which was a good thing, as it turned out to be the last study for the year)

-Mixed up cinnamon salt dough for Christmas tree ornaments, before discovering the cookie cutters were at Mum's house

-Baked up, sliced and froze two loaves of wholemeal rye bread I'd started the day before

-Started another double batch of Stollen

-Wrapped presents with DD (I get her to write the name tags. They look cute, even though one is now addressed to aunt "Rosewiary"... and I have to watch her like a hawk, or she spaces the letters waaaayyy apart and then tries to put the last few letters in any gaps she can find. Oh well, she's only three!)

-GARDENING! Loaded up the car with two dozen pots of seedlings and a few rubbish bags full of dirt shovelled out of our garden bed. Drove out to our soon-to-be new rental house in the country. Planted out gazillions of tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, eggplant and a few mystery seedlings. Mulched. Got DH to scrape the mulch off the flower bed and deposit the new dirt on top. Planted out sweet peas and what I think is nigella. Remulched. Got DD to pour Slug Slam rather too liberally around every seedling. Watered the entire lot... by hand, with a smallish watering can, because there isn't a long enough hose. Took about thirty trips, because we can't get out there every day to water and it's HOT, so I wanted to give everything a decent drink.

-Dropped by Mum's to pick up lemons for making sorbet and the cookie cutters.

-Came home late, dirty and exhausted to make Caesar salad for dinner and watch a well-earned episode or two of Chuck.

 

The sitch today is: church Christmas carol evening tonight, at which I am singing ("performing" is too grand a word) with my singing group ("singing group" is probably also too grand a word... "ragtag conglomeration of noise-makers" might be better). Tomorrow we're doing our Christmas celebration with my family (because my sister's having surgery on Monday).

 

So, today I need to:

 

-Make strawberry sorbet for Christmas dessert

-Make and ice a carrot cake for Christmas dessert (technically for my father's birthday, but we're celebrating both together)

-Shape, rise and bake the Stollen (one's for tonight; the other will either be for Christmas dessert too, or for a friend)

-Make a pavlova for supper tonight, because I've entered a pavlova competition next week and need to bone up on my meringue skills

-Start making focaccia for Christmas dinner

-Get all the empty pots out of the boot and plant a billion more seedlings (it's amazing just how large a largeish garden bed can be!)

-Do other gardeny stuff, like pulling the deadish pansies out from the lemon tree tub and planting out basil there instead

-Make the Christmas tree ornaments with DD

-Wrap the rest of the presents for tomorrow (two presents haven't arrived by courier yet - ulp!)

 

And I should probably get in some singing practice too, and do my hair nicely and find something decent to wear for tonight, and... y'know... take care of the children and stuff. Gah. I want to go back to bed. I couldn't sleep last night, thinking of all the stuff I had to do - don't you hate that?


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#138 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 12:42 PM
 
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Right. I'm going to update as I go. :p

 

9:40AM. Two Stollen fruited, marzipanned, shaped and rising on the table. Forty-two pots filled with dirt and planted with stock, dianthus, broccoli, sunflowers, Canterbury bells, nigella, rock melons, watermelons,, zucchini, pumpkin, poppies and... you know what, I forget. Various green leafy things. And DH isn't even out of bed yet, so I can feel even smugger. :) DD's a good little gardener.

 

10:53AM. The bottom layer of the carrot cake is in the oven. The sorbet mixture is made; just about to blend and strain it, but the baby wanted the milks. I did a batch of dishes, too.


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#139 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 12:55 PM
 
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I have done NOTHING today.  I need some inspiration!  I want to be baking and cooking and making elaborate things!  Waaaah!


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#140 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 01:15 PM
 
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kitchensqueen: Congratulations on finishing the quilt! Mine's been going... not so well. Our dishwasher is broken at the moment, so dishes keep piling up on the kitchen table, which is also the sewing table. It's only a matter of time before someone spills food on the strips draped over the back of the chair. A professional I am not.

 

 

-GARDENING! Loaded up the car with two dozen pots of seedlings and a few rubbish bags full of dirt shovelled out of our garden bed. Drove out to our soon-to-be new rental house in the country. Planted out gazillions of tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, eggplant and a few mystery seedlings. Mulched. Got DH to scrape the mulch off the flower bed and deposit the new dirt on top. Planted out sweet peas and what I think is nigella. Remulched. Got DD to pour Slug Slam rather too liberally around every seedling. Watered the entire lot... by hand, with a smallish watering can, because there isn't a long enough hose. Took about thirty trips, because we can't get out there every day to water and it's HOT, so I wanted to give everything a decent drink.

 

Thanks! It feels good to have it done and Christmas coming together. I get the struggle - I don't have a dedicated sewing area either, so battling the clutter and stuff is a pretty big hurdle for me. I feel like I have to rearrange half the house to get set up to start, and by then it's time to do something else half the time. Sigh.

 

Also, I always have to wrap my head around the fact that you're all the way across the world and have different seasons over there this time of year, are doing all this gardening while we're just wrapping up with it here. Do you ever get snow in NZ? I don't even know. 

 

 

I've continued on with my Christmas crafting today too - so far I've got the pieces for the baby booties cut and pressed, the pieces for the name plaque cut, and most of the embroidery of the name plaque done. 


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#141 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 01:42 PM
 
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Cinnamon salt dough... Recipe PLEASE!

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Originally Posted by Smokering View Post

kitchensqueen: Congratulations on finishing the quilt! Mine's been going... not so well. Our dishwasher is broken at the moment, so dishes keep piling up on the kitchen table, which is also the sewing table. It's only a matter of time before someone spills food on the strips draped over the back of the chair. A professional I am not.

 

I was going to report what I did yesterday, but after doing it all I was too tired. :p I did accomplish a fair bit though, so here goes:

 

-Went to Bible study, taking along a Stollen with whipped orange butter (which was a good thing, as it turned out to be the last study for the year)

-Mixed up cinnamon salt dough for Christmas tree ornaments, before discovering the cookie cutters were at Mum's house

-Baked up, sliced and froze two loaves of wholemeal rye bread I'd started the day before

-Started another double batch of Stollen

-Wrapped presents with DD (I get her to write the name tags. They look cute, even though one is now addressed to aunt "Rosewiary"... and I have to watch her like a hawk, or she spaces the letters waaaayyy apart and then tries to put the last few letters in any gaps she can find. Oh well, she's only three!)

-GARDENING! Loaded up the car with two dozen pots of seedlings and a few rubbish bags full of dirt shovelled out of our garden bed. Drove out to our soon-to-be new rental house in the country. Planted out gazillions of tomatoes, basil, pumpkins, eggplant and a few mystery seedlings. Mulched. Got DH to scrape the mulch off the flower bed and deposit the new dirt on top. Planted out sweet peas and what I think is nigella. Remulched. Got DD to pour Slug Slam rather too liberally around every seedling. Watered the entire lot... by hand, with a smallish watering can, because there isn't a long enough hose. Took about thirty trips, because we can't get out there every day to water and it's HOT, so I wanted to give everything a decent drink.

-Dropped by Mum's to pick up lemons for making sorbet and the cookie cutters.

-Came home late, dirty and exhausted to make Caesar salad for dinner and watch a well-earned episode or two of Chuck.

 

The sitch today is: church Christmas carol evening tonight, at which I am singing ("performing" is too grand a word) with my singing group ("singing group" is probably also too grand a word... "ragtag conglomeration of noise-makers" might be better). Tomorrow we're doing our Christmas celebration with my family (because my sister's having surgery on Monday).

 

So, today I need to:

 

-Make strawberry sorbet for Christmas dessert

-Make and ice a carrot cake for Christmas dessert (technically for my father's birthday, but we're celebrating both together)

-Shape, rise and bake the Stollen (one's for tonight; the other will either be for Christmas dessert too, or for a friend)

-Make a pavlova for supper tonight, because I've entered a pavlova competition next week and need to bone up on my meringue skills

-Start making focaccia for Christmas dinner

-Get all the empty pots out of the boot and plant a billion more seedlings (it's amazing just how large a largeish garden bed can be!)

-Do other gardeny stuff, like pulling the deadish pansies out from the lemon tree tub and planting out basil there instead

-Make the Christmas tree ornaments with DD

-Wrap the rest of the presents for tomorrow (two presents haven't arrived by courier yet - ulp!)

 

And I should probably get in some singing practice too, and do my hair nicely and find something decent to wear for tonight, and... y'know... take care of the children and stuff. Gah. I want to go back to bed. I couldn't sleep last night, thinking of all the stuff I had to do - don't you hate that?



 

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#142 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 01:53 PM
 
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It's just this salt dough recipe with a whole packet of cinnamon thrown in. Don't know how it's going to turn out, mind you! I found some intriguing recipes online that use a whole cup of cinnamon, mixed with applesauce and PVA; I was curious, but not curious enough to fork out for a cup of cinnamon. I'm going to cut them into stars and hearts, and decorate them with edible gold dost and possibly royal icing, if I get around to it. I'll post pics if they turn out semi-decent-looking!

 

 

Quote:

Also, I always have to wrap my head around the fact that you're all the way across the world and have different seasons over there this time of year, are doing all this gardening while we're just wrapping up with it here. Do you ever get snow in NZ? I don't even know.

Heh. I know; even though I've never had a Christmas in the northern hemisphere, the whole "robin redbreasts in the snow with a roaring Yule fire and carolers with muffs" thing is so prevalent that Christmas in summer even seems odd to us. DD said the other day "Are we going to get snow for Christmas?" - and she's three!

 

We do get snow in NZ, mostly down south and on the mountains. Not where I live, though. :( I haven't caught a glimpse of snow for, like, 15 years!

 

 

But yeah, Christmas here is long summer evenings, planting tomatoes, cursing the heat and shopping in air-conditioned malls decorated with snow and evergreens. :p I guess it's a bit schizophrenic, but it has a charm of its own...


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#143 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 03:19 PM
 
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Just transferring my updates to the new page. You know, so you can all marvel at my awesomeness. :p

 

9:40AM. Two Stollen fruited, marzipanned, shaped and rising on the table. Forty-two pots filled with dirt and planted with stock, dianthus, broccoli, sunflowers, Canterbury bells, nigella, rock melons, watermelons,, zucchini, pumpkin, poppies and... you know what, I forget. Various green leafy things. And DH isn't even out of bed yet, so I can feel even smugger. :) DD's a good little gardener.

 

10:53AM. The bottom layer of the carrot cake is in the oven. The sorbet mixture is made; just about to blend and strain it, but the baby wanted the milks. I did a batch of dishes, too.

 

12:17PM. Bottom layer of carrot cake cooling on the bench; sorbet churning in the ice-cream maker. DD and I wrapped all the presents for tomorrow. It was pretty fun - we decorated a cardboard box to make a gift "basket" for my father, and DD wrote out tags to cover the price tags for the wasabi peas, chocolate almonds and bhuja mix. (Her Ns are dodgy, but she made a beautiful J.) Presents for one sister and BIL still haven't arrived, though. Unless we get an unexpected courier today, I'll just have to give 'em IOUs. Darn.

 

12:28. Wrote out chocolate cake recipe to give to a friend tonight. DH and DD checked the mail; DD came back and said cheerfully "You got a present, but it's a secret. I'm not allowed to tell you about the hairstick." Given that I sent the Etsy link to DH and suggested DD could buy it for me for Christmas, it wouldn't have been a huge surprise... but still. :p DD did have the grace to look a little "Hang on, did I say something wrong?"... which is an improvement over a few days back, when her idea of secret-keeping was whispering to DH "We got you chocolate!".

 

1:22PM. First batch of Christmas tree ornaments in the oven. That salt dough handles like a dream. Sort of rubbery texture: doesn't stick, and fairly forgiving. It's brilliant. I forgot my baking trays were occupied by Stollen, so I had to put the cookies on wire racks to bake. DH has decided he wants to go out for lunch and to buy garden stuff; I figure I can leave a carrot cake in the oven safely for a good hour and a half if necessary, so it should be doable.

 

3:36PM. Back from hardware store. Bought a hose, nozzle, sprinkler, snail pellets, seeds and six punnets of flowers, some of which I'd never even heard of, but they're so pretty! (I was quite restrained... I could easily have bought about twenty.) Bought and ate lunch hastily on the way home. The carrot cake still isn't done! Once it comes out I need to hastily bake the Stollen, back-to-back, so we can dash off to the new house afterwards and plant and water things. And then it'll be time for the carol service. I really don't know how we're going to fit dinner in there. And while the Stollen are baking I need to start the focaccia and maybe whip up the cream cheese icing. The pavlova will have to be nixed... no time. Oh well.

 

4:16PM: Stollen the First is nearly done. The focaccia dough is rising. The salt dough ornaments turned out rather nicely. The dough puffed up just a tiny bit - it didn't spread, just looked like there were a few air bubbles beneath the surface. But that's OK - it won't show when they're iced and gilded. No time to do that today, though! Going to head to the garden to put some more dirt into bags....

 


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#144 of 1361 Old 12-08-2011, 05:53 PM
 
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Heh. I know; even though I've never had a Christmas in the northern hemisphere, the whole "robin redbreasts in the snow with a roaring Yule fire and carolers with muffs" thing is so prevalent that Christmas in summer even seems odd to us. DD said the other day "Are we going to get snow for Christmas?" - and she's three!

 

We do get snow in NZ, mostly down south and on the mountains. Not where I live, though. :( I haven't caught a glimpse of snow for, like, 15 years!

 

But yeah, Christmas here is long summer evenings, planting tomatoes, cursing the heat and shopping in air-conditioned malls decorated with snow and evergreens. :p I guess it's a bit schizophrenic, but it has a charm of its own...


That is so wild to me. I don't think I could go that long without snow! I love experiencing the four seasons distinctly; it's one of the reasons I still live in the Midwest region here. Also, you got a lot done today!

 

I've got the embroidered name plaque I started today all done, and the baby booties are halfway there. I've got decorative topstitching on them, and just need to sew them together now. I feel like I'm moving in slow motion though, which is just not good at all. Too much to do in too little time... 

 


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#145 of 1361 Old 12-09-2011, 02:10 AM
 
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Yawn. It's 11:00PM now. Back from planting, singing and dinner. I pretty much got everything done, although I still need to shape the focaccia. Sleepy now,


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#146 of 1361 Old 12-09-2011, 05:58 AM
 
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Smokering - could you post or pm your recipe for stollen?  I've bought them in the past, but want to try to make one this year.  At altitude <sigh>.
 

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Yawn. It's 11:00PM now. Back from planting, singing and dinner. I pretty much got everything done, although I still need to shape the focaccia. Sleepy now,



 

 


In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#147 of 1361 Old 12-09-2011, 06:13 AM
 
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I accomplished not waking up on time again today. I have no idea how I'm going to pull this off when I start back at work on Monday. No idea. Maternity leave has ruined me for the pursuit of money. 


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#148 of 1361 Old 12-09-2011, 11:03 AM
 
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greenmom4: I didn't really use a recipe, just adapted my trusty regular bread recipe. Also, I did it "wrong" because we didn't have a few ingredients, so it's not uber-authentic. But I can give you the gist of it... This made two loaves, but you could halve it if you wanted.

 

6 cups high-grade (bread) flour

1 tsp salt

a few big spoonfuls of brown sugar

2 tsp yeast

a generous slosh each of cinnamon, ginger, mixed spice, allspice, nutmeg, cloves.... whatever you have.

 

Mix together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add:

 

about 100g melted butter

1 cup milk

1 cup warm water (I used freshly-squeezed orange juice, and made up the rest with water; I also added the orange zest to the dough)

 

Stir, turn out, knead for 10 minutes, adding extra flour if necessary (which it always is, for me!) Pop dough in an oiled bowl, cover and leave to rise.

 

In the meantime, soak a few cups of raisins, currants, candied peel, a few glace cherries... that kind of stuff... in a decent slosh of rum. I think it's meant to be rum, anyway. We didn't have any, so I used brandy. Sorry I don't have specific quantities on this, but it doesn't need to be exact - just be generous, so the bread is nice and fruity. Also, add some slivered almonds (I didn't have any).

 

When the dough has doubled, punch down and mix in the soaked fruit. This will make the dough all sticky, so add a bit more flour if you need to.

 

Find some old marzipan/almond paste left over from cake decorating at the back of the pantry. :p Shape the dough into two flat ovals; make a sausage out of marzipan, and place down the length of the oval, slightly off-centre. Fold the dough over, almost in half but not quite, to enclose the marzipan. (Just Google-image "Stollen" if that doesn't make sense - it's a very distinctive shape. I made a nice nontraditional ring-shaped one in a cake tin, too.)

 

Leave to rise again, covered. Bake at 180 degrees C for about 35-45 minutes, until hollow when tapped. Leave to cool on a rack. Before serving, dredge thickly with icing sugar. Serve warm if you can.

 

I served mine with whipped butter, with a little bit of orange juice and icing sugar in it - it was nice. Rum butter would probably be good too.


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#149 of 1361 Old 12-09-2011, 11:19 AM
 
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Yum!  Thank you!


In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of things not meant for you." Buddha

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#150 of 1361 Old 12-10-2011, 01:27 AM
 
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No problem. :)

 

Well, we had our family Christmas today. It was nice - had a picnic lunch at the public gardens, then came home for dessert and presents. I made two lots of focaccia, one garlic-rosemary-thyme one and one with ham and cheese, because my sister's having surgery and can't eat garlic (it's a blood thinner); and for dessert I took strawberry sorbet, carrot cake with cream cheese icing and a Stollen. Everyone was more or less friendly and pleasant, and we got some lovely gifts - Mum bought DD a sand/water table thing to play with outside, and my sisters gave me this awesome set of cookie cutters with the alphabet stamped into them.

 

Best of all, I made Mum cry. :p She found out last week that the King's Singers are coming to NZ next year. She and Dad once went on a date to see them, nearly 30 years ago, and she still loves their music. She didn't think they could go because the tickets were so expensive, but my sister and I teamed up and bought them. She was really happy - I don't think a present has ever made her cry before. So that was awesome. :) Makes up for all the years I bought her mugs. :p

 

Then came home to a lot of cleaning. Gah. I hope our dishwasher gets fixed soon. DD and I gilded some of the Christmas ornament cookie things today and hung them from the tree. I watered the garden and put on some laundry. And that's about it!


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