COUSIN CONNECT


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Saturday, 26 December 2009

OUR CLAYTONS DOG


Now that our neighbour will be moving next month, I have to admit to being rather sad if they take their little dog with them. Bella is the most lovable animal, and spends quite a lot of time at our house. YOu could say she is part of the family, and our cat Taliesin has accepted her as well, which is a big deal for him.

She is on a cane chair that was part of the set, sold in garage sale (mentioned in the previous post).
I am tempted to ask if she can stay with us, and suppose there is no harm in asking.

GARAGE SALE FIND



Our neighbour had a garage sale a few weeks ago, and we went over for a browse.
There was a lounge suite for sale and my husband thought that it would look good in our sun room (at the back of the house and is a wonderful spot to relax, plus I have my craft room there as well).
So we made an offer, which he accepted, and then decided to put in our old cane suite in the hope that we could recoup some cost. Lucky for us, it was sold and the comfy lounge looks as though it was meant for the room.

GARDEN PRODUCE



For my lunch today, I enjoyed some Lychees and a Mango from our garden. Everything is organically grown, and the taste is all the sweeeter when you have grown your foods from scratch.

The mangoes in the front of the picture are Kensington Pride, which I may be biased, but have a wonderful taste. Last year, the biggest fruit that we picked off the tree weighed in around 800grams, and my husband Michael and I shared it between us.

The mango crop has been better than expected, given the lack of rain over the past 3 months, so we are thankful for what we have on the trees.

Same goes for Lychees - I had been feeding the tree and giving it extra water, and managed to cover the fruit just as it started ripening, so that the birds could leave me some.

Should mention a good blog that I checked out this morning called Down to Earth .I was listening to Radio National yesterday morning and Anthony Fennell, the presenter, was interviewing the lady who runs the blog.
The blog is very well presented and has a huge following, so check it out.

Thursday, 24 December 2009

CROSS STITCH PROJECTS

I am making inroads into my UFO pile in my craft cupboard, and quite pleased that 2 projects have been completed (framing still to be done).

The smaller one is one of the many patterns that form part of a Cross Stitch Calendar which features a pattern for each day.


The other project is of a Japanese Kimono - this was a free pattern from Annette Eriksson which I received when I purchased a Chart from her. Lovely colours.


My resistance level was a bit low yesterday, as I spent a few hours on Ebay and managed to get more kits and charts. There really is a great selection available and I figured that even with the postage added, I am still getting good bargains.
So over the next few weeks, the goodies should start arriving.

Tuesday, 22 December 2009

HISTORICAL FICTION

On my last visit to my local library, came across this series and have just finished Book One - Emperor by Stephen Baxter.
The series is called TIME'S TAPESTRY, and starts with the Prologue at 4 BC - the story then follows on with the Prophecy of Nectovelin and the return of the Romans to Britain AD 43-70.
Gave me a good insight in the early history of Britain and the Romans. Especially liked the descriptions of how Hadrian's wall came about. All of this is interspersed with the people that are connected to the Prophecy.
Next book is called CONQUEROR and is in the time period 1066.
There are 4 books in the series and looking forward to the others.

Every so often I have a browse through different websites after putting in phrases etc. into Google. Historical fiction lists was the last one I used, and came across a site called Historical Fiction Network, which then has links to other sites.
After reading one of my favourite publications, Historical Novels Review, I requested an inter-library loan on a book by Sarah JOhnson called Historical Fiction, and have been able to get a copy.
Hoping that I may get it before Christmas, but if not, good reading for the New Year.
The only drawback in finding other sites, is that my TBR list is growing so much, that I would have to read a book a day for years, just to get through it. What a great thought though.

Tuesday, 15 December 2009

PRUNE AND BRAN MUFFINS

This recipe has been adapted to suit Low GI requirements. My mother found this recipe sometime back and recommended that I try. Since then, the muffins have become one of my favourites - and they also freeze well.
Even my husband likes the taste!!

Ingredients
1 cup Natural All Bran (I use the breakfast cereal All Bran)
1 cup Boiling water
1 cup Pitted prunes (chopped)
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoons oil (Grapeseed or Rice Bran if you prefer) - I use 1/3 cup of oil
2 eggs beaten (recipe said 1, but 2 eggs make a better mixture)
1 cup SR Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder

Method
Soak bran with boiling water - stand for 40 minutes (by then the mixture is cool)

Stir prunes and sugar into bran mixture. Add oil and egg mixture. Mix well.
(think this is the secret. Bran sets so mix the egg and oil mixture into it very well).

Fold into this, the sifted flour until just combined.
Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for about 20 minutes - cool.
Makes 8.

I use a large 6 hole muffin pan when I make these muffins.

Thursday, 3 December 2009

HISTORICAL READING CHALLENGE

When I read the post on The Royal Reviews
knew that I would participate. Historical fiction is becoming my favourite genre, maybe since subscribing to the Historical Novels Society magazine and browsing through their site as well.

At this point in time these are the books that I have chosen to read:

GALWAY BAY by Mary Pat Kelly
ANNETTE VALLON by James Tipton
SIGNORA DA VINCI by Robin Maxwell
THE HERETIC'S DAUGHTER - Kathleen Kent
THE HIDDEN DIARY OF MARIE ANTOINETTE - Carolly Erickson
THE VIRGIN QUEEN'S DAUGHTER - Ella March Chase
THE LAST BOLEYN - Karen Harper
THE POYSON GARDEN - Karen Harper
THE THORN MAZE - Karen Harper
THE BORGIA BRIDE - Keanne Kalogridis
BOUDICA - DREAMING THE BULL by Manda Scott
THE PLANTAGENET SAGA - 12 books in all and I am up to the 4th Book