A Day In The A Blue Mountains.

Thanks for visiting my blog. I welcome you to take your time and browse , visiting my bush garden and discovering the wonders of my city within a national park; Blue Mountains National Park. Via my blog you will travel with me through the successes, trials and tribulations of gardening on a bush block. I share with you my patchwork & quilting, knitting, paper crafts, cooking and life in general.

Monday, 31 December 2012

New Year's Eve - 2012

Well, in 2012, the world didn't end, as the Mayan's predicted. So I'm hoping for a bright new beginning for 2013.
For some reason, I'm feeling quite nostalgic today.  The past few weeks have been difficult, while I first struggled with pain which turned out to be the precursor of the herpes zosta virus; shingles.  
As a result, my build up to Christmas was more one of inertia rather than the usual one of hustle and bustle. Despite this, no one seemed to suffer (except me - ha ha!). Christmas eve was spent at our Beautiful Daughter and Grand Daughter's house where Son In Law (visiting from the UK...yes I know... another long story)cooked dinner for us all, including Second Son and Youngest Son.  Afterwards we went for a night walk to visit exotically decorated homes with lights to delight children of all ages.  We got caught in a storm and had to take cover under a carport until the worse of the rain was over.
Christmas lunch was an extended family affair at my Baby Sister's new house, forty minutes drive away.
I was so happy that the sweltering days we'd been experiencing suddenly melted away into a drizzly cool Christmas Day.
The Christmas lunch was attended by eighteen family members.  We all contribute in some way to the meal, which means less pressure for the host.
Today, I'm preparing to spend the night in the city, with my Youngest Son and Mr Honey Pie of course.  We will bring the new year in with a bang...literally...on the foreshore of Sydney's marvellous harbour.

Hopefully, this event will also help distract our love-sick Youngest Son! (His girl friend is visiting family overseas.)
I would like to take this opportunity to thank all my regular visitors, especially those you have taken the time to leave comments.  And of course a big thank you to Robyn who has hosted the 366 Day Photo Challenge.  I haven't lived up to the total of 366 days of photographs...but I have tried my best!  It was a fun experience and has been a great motivator to blog most days!
I'm not sure if my photography skills have improved but I do know that today I know a lot more about the camera than I did this time last year.
I  wish you all a happy, safe, healthy and prosperous new year and look forward to catching up with my regular blogging 'friends' in 2013.

Happy New Year from Sydney

Sunday, 30 December 2012

Day 365/366

Meet Clover...our Grand Daughter's pet cat.
She was very happy to see us this evening, when we went to feed her while our Daughter and Grand Daughter are away.  We will visit her again in the morning.
Believe it or not, she's 'recovering' from a phantom pregnancy!

Sunday, 23 December 2012

Day 359/366

Banksia Serrata
Blue Mountains Australia

My photo challenge has slowed down drastically as I endeavour to recover from a bout of shingles.
What bad timing.

Saturday, 22 December 2012

Day 357/366

The oregano in my garden is doing so well that it's over-run the marjoram.
I've no choice but to transplant a bit of marjoram into its own container.

I prefer the  subtle taste of marjoram to the oregano's more earthy flavour.
I especially love using it in omelettes and brothy vegetable stews.

Monday, 17 December 2012

Day 352/366

On Friday, while in Canberra, Mr Honey Pie and I had lunch at a little coffee shop called Ona.
I though I'd share this blackboard sign we saw out front.
(By the way, I've got no idea who Mick is!)

Sunday, 16 December 2012

Day 351/366

Our house and bushland opposite was buzzed by police helicopter for quite some time today.
No news was forthcoming from our Local Area Command, which is a little worrying.

Friday, 14 December 2012

Day 349/366

Lake George, on the way to the nation's capital, Canberra.
Bilk Gallery was our destination to see a very clever jeweller's work.
You can find out more about Mark here and here.

Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Day 347/366

I've been busy.
Potting marmalade...

Sewing pouches...
(Instructions here and here)
(My Grand Daughter chose three fat quarters from her mother's stash and asked me to make the pouches for her Mum for Christmas.  The orange and pink ones are my prototypes).

and paper crafting.

Once I get my database sorted and my Christmas card labels printed I will start writing up my Christmas Cards.
These are handmade too...
here is a sample...

I found a tutorial here for the Christmas tree cards (the tutorial is for Christmas tags) and other fun things.
What have you been up to lately?

Monday, 10 December 2012

Day 345/366

Dinner tonight consisted of stir fried snow peas and spinach from Crop and Swap, baked salmon from our local fish monger and baby carrots from the vegie patch which I cooked in a pouch in the oven.  I made a sauce from white wine, butter, olive oil, lemon juice and thyme then served the lot sprinkled with toasted pine nuts.
For health reasons, Mr Honey Pie and I are trying to include fish in our evening meals twice a week to increase our intake of omega threes. 
Atlantic salmon is one of my favourite fish and also one of the most expensive!

Sunday, 9 December 2012

Day 344/366

Norman Lindsay style,
Last night,
Christmas Carols Night.
I wonder if Norman would have approved?

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Day 343/366

Today was the last Crop and Swap for the year.
At Crop and Swap there is a "Share Barrow" - "For things you're happy to give away".
This is the Share Barrow at the beginning of the morning.
The Share Barrow quickly fills up during the morning and is almost empty again by the time we're all ready to leave for home.
From the Share Barrow, today I took home a magazine called Organic Growing and a potted Jerusalem artichoke.
I left a bunch of lemon grass stems, and a bunch of thyme as well as an empty egg carton.

Friday, 7 December 2012

Day 342/366

Finally, the Christmas tree is up.

This year's tree putting-up has evoked many memories.
I assembled the tree with a colour theme in mind which meant that not all the decorations would be used.
As I packed away the multitude of left over decorations I felt bad and decided that we should have two trees in the house this year.
The second (mini) tree should hold all the decorations that evoked the memories.
Our family had our first ever Christmas three in 1975 when we moved into our first family home.  I have every decoration from that day...and more.  Each year I buy a box of decorations to add to the collection but the ones that hold the best memories are the ones that were hand made by all our children.
Last year...our Grand Daughter added her first hand made decoration to the tree.

And here is the 'big' tree.

With one wrapped gift beneath it.
"Who's the present for Nanna?"
"It's a surprise."
"Is it for me Nanna?"
"Be careful with that, it's glass."
"Well if it's glass, it mustn't be for me then Nanna."
"Well you never know!"

(Don't tell anyone, but I was desperate for pink and gold and silver decorations this year and after I took these photos I went out and bought some pink baubles to replace the red ones!)

Saturday, 1 December 2012

Day 336/366

Only 25 day to Christmas and the countdown begins.
In true Australian fashion, December's weather has been sweltering.
My poor Grand Daughter's ballet school had their concert early tonight and had to perform in 38 oC temperatures.  Luckily their usual venue (which does not have air conditioning) is out of action for renovations. Today's venue was air-conditioned but it was pre-set so it only just managed to to keep everyone comfortable while outside it was reaching scorched earth proportions! 
Unfortunately,photo opportunities were not great and the only photos I was able to snatch was of the school group.
The school has organised photographs so I'm hoping to get a pretty shot of our Grand Daughter in her blue tutu.

After the concert we came home to a oven-like house, threw open all the windows and doors with security screens and then went to our Daughter's for coffee, tea and snacks which was also attended by a multitude of beetles, spiders and what ever other bug could squeeze through the tiniest gaps around windows and doors. 


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