Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011

 This year my Christmas decorating was quite sparse, somehow my heart wasn't quite there.  The feather tree on the table has 3 vintage pairs of baby shoes in shades of white with a gorgeous cream childs boot given to me in Italian by a lovely friend Olga, it started me off with a love of old worn children's footwear. In amongst the birdhouses on top of the cabinet I mixed in a lot of 12 inch feather trees.  Just outside this room I hung an old white window frame below the wisteria with a white paper cornet attached to the side, this I saw in the Christmas edition of Jeanne d'Arc Living magazine.  Of course in Denmark their homes have snow everywhere !!!! sigh
 Christmas morning tea with the girls who attend my weekly classes, this was a welcome respite to just sit around talking, eating and sharing gifts.

And this is the reason for my lack of decorating for Christmas, a week before our kitchen was being renovated.  Top is the new kitchen.  We had black formica glued over the old yellow below, a lovely new sink from Ikea, have been hanging out for a sink that you can fit a meat dish in and this one fits the bill nicely, its white porcelain and so cheap when you compare it to other similar ones. New down lights above the sink, they where in the middle of this area before and I was always in my shadow working at the bench.  Dual taps and a range hood completed the makeover.  Earlier in the year we had got a new hotplate and oven so all done for another 10 or more years.
I hope you have all had a lovely Christmas and I look forward to a better new year.
Raymon is through his first bout of chemo, hit him about a bit after he came home on Thursday but feeling a little bit better today.

Thursday, December 15, 2011

New Journey

Our dearest son Raymon starts a journey today with us tagging along.  Raymon has been diagnosed with cancer in the lymph gland it was also in one tonsil which was removed several weeks ago.  Although Johns brother and mother died with cancer it was while we where in Australia and we where not aware of all the procedures.  My sisters, son-in-law also succumbed to cancer and she and my other two sisters are very supportive.  This is a totally alien world for us and a steep learning curve for all our family.  I have heard of alternative treatments of cancer but when faced with it we can see no alternative other than to follow the medical professionals advise, it is so scary and we don't want to place any pressures on Raymon to try other treatments.  He, as well as we, feel that the medical profession have all the knowledge and latest equipment and treatments in their hands.  My outlook is to stay positive and I am confident Raymon will pull through this.  He is healthy, eats healthy food, doesn't smoke or drink alcohol, his vice is wacky weed and we hope this will give him some relaxation when he gets anxious as I know he does.  He is a fighter and I know he will follow the directions he is given.  Having had an infusion for Pagets I have a little bit of an idea how the body reacts to a foreign substance being  injected into the body and its pretty damn hard for a couple of days, my guess it will be a lot worse but the doctor assures us that they will be able to give him something for every side effect that he will get.  We will all get through this stronger than before, his cancer is not the worst stage and they are confident that it will shrink with chemo and radiation, there are a lot of people worse off than Raymon but this is his personal journey, only he will feel the pain, the vomiting and all the other things. I know Kirsty and Joanne are very concerned for their brother and they are very reassuring for us.
prepared for the fight ahead

Thursday, December 8, 2011

homemade protein bars

 John likes to take a muesli bar each day with his lunch, I was concerned about the ingredients that are in the bought ones not to mention the quantity of sugar.  So being the good housewife decided to have a go at making my own.  The recipe I found was in the Where Women Cook Sept/Oct/Nov 2011 magazine from Stampington.  following is the recipe I used with my modifications.
                                          Wild Honey Bran Protein Bars - Krystina Castella
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp ground allspice [I use mixed spice)
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 1/2 cups bran ( I use a mix of bran, rolled oats and phsylum husks]
put all these ingredients in a big bowl and stir to combine

1/2 cup raisins or sultanas
1/4 cup dried apricots chopped[I use more]
1/4 cup dried cranberries chopped
1/2 cup blanched almonds [I use fresh walnuts chopped]
1/4 cup sunflower seeds
1/4 cup sesame seeds
Add to the bowl and stir around with your hands to coat with the flour mix

1 cup unsweetened applesauce ( I cook up a grated granny smith apple which doesn't break down)
1 tbsp honey [I add this in with the apples while cooking]
1/2 cup of vegetable oil
2/3 cup brown sugar
1 large egg
1 tbsp vanilla extract
I mixed this lot up in the pot when the apples where cooled a little bit then poured into the bowl with the flour and fruit mix and combined well.
Line a 9 x 13" baking dish with baking paper and spoon the mixture in, I press it down with my hands as it is rather sticky to get it evenly spread.
Put in preheated oven 150 degrees for about 30 mins.
If you look real close you will see that the raisins on top are a bit burnt, I had the oven too hot in the magazine the fruit and nuts are sitting on the top which is pretty, but hey, all goes down the same way.  John likes them, at first he thought they could be a bit sweeter but has got used to them now.  You can probably tell if you have the magazine I am not too good at following recipes, if I haven't got certain ingredients I will substitute.
I photographed this rose in the garden at the front, its called Julia and is a lovely coffee colour and is particularly lovely this year, must be all the rain we had over winter it fades out to a cream colour.

Sunday, December 4, 2011

New camera

Early this year I had thought of getting a digital SLR but as I already had a SLR camera and I didn't take all that many photo's I couldn't justify the cost.
However my trusty little Kodak camera that I have used up to now and all my photo's on my blog have been taken with.An online friend Nicolette from did the research on point and shoot camera's, her recommendation was the Panasonic Lumix DMC - LX5 when I looked at her photo's I was just blown away, I had to have one, aha John got me one for xmas.  Said it had to be wrapped up and put under the tree, I said, it could go under the tree when I have had a good play with it.  I love it, still have a lot to learn though, at the moment I am just pointing and shooting.  So much smaller than my kodak and faster.  I have signed up to do a workshop at New Norcia in April, 5 days on photography, should learn something in that time and what a beautiful spot with the beautiful monastery and historic old buildings.  If you interested in doing the workshop have a look on following are some of the photo's I took on Saturday when I went to Fremantle Bazaar to have a look and flowers in my garden, the photo's are straight off my camera, I haven't done anything to them yet