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Monday, October 31, 2011

Yay! I did it!!...

I have had a mobile phone since early 2000. Not the same one, but a number of different models. Since I've retired I've hardly used it but I still intend to keep it. I don't have a smart phone like most of our family members have...I'm one of those 'dinosaurs' who say that they they just want a phone that calls can be made on and received and of course sms. My last 2 mobile phones have had a camera function because of an experience I had in a supermarket carpark one evening about 4 years ago. My car's back bumper
'touched' another car's front bumper...completely my fault, I honestly hadn't seen her. The other driver and I drove our cars to where the big light in the car park was, so we could check out the cars. She had an old car with a heavy metal bumper...we both agreed...not a mark. My Hyundai had a painted back bumper made of a kind of plastic...not a mark or even a scratch. She berated me and then we both went our separate ways. Six weeks later I got a letter of demand to pay the costs of the 'substantial damage' to the front of her car, with a description of a severely crumpled bumper and bonnet. DH followed it up for me but it was a case of her word against mine...we paid that's why I have a phone with a camera.

The Three Sisters in the Blue Mountains on a foggy October day

Now I haven't had a situation again like I described but I have taken a few photos with my phone and I've also received photos from other people on my phone. Those of you who are technologically brilliant will laugh when I tell you how I've got those photos 'off' my phone. I would forward them from my phone to DD1's or DD2's smartphone...they would then email them from their phone to my hotmail address and then I would save them to my pictures folder on the computer. But not any more. Yesterday I stumbled and fumbled around and managed to use the installation disc which I had not managed to misplace unlike previous phone models.  Most of the photos I've taken with the phone were very ordinary but there were one or two that weren't too bad. The photos I've posted are when we all went to my nephew's wedding last year. I didn't take the camera when we all went to the lookout at Katoomba so I used the phone...naughty DD1 poking a face like that at her mother!!! lol

The renovations...

Regular readers would know that DH and I have been having some renovations done as we have decided to stay where we are instead of buying a newer home 'farther out'. One thing that we wanted in a new place was an 'entertainment area' where we could have family gatherings without the 'squeeze'. We already had a side veranda which was just under 2 metres wide. A bit 'squeezy' but many times when it was raining our gatherings overflowed to that narrow space.

The railings on the veranda had started to rot from weathering (and we were also told that the 'wrong' nails were used which exacerbated the rotting of the wooden slats) and the roof leaked. So we decided to repair the veranda and at the same time extend it out a little bit. We first looked at doing this a couple of years ago and the builder who had worked on our front veranda gave us a quote, but he could never give us a start date...he finally admitted this year that he was too busy. DH's brother found us another builder, Russell, his neighbour. Russell came to see DH and I and we discussed what we wanted. He came back a day or so later with a quote. We agreed and then he came back on the first Saturday in October with a contract for us to sign. He started the following Monday and worked like a trojan on the job.

DH and I have had many shared meals at this table

Our old veranda furniture takes up so little space now!

The design of our 50s house was a bit didn't have a defined front entrance. The 'front' entrance was almost in line with the back door! I asked our builder if he could make what would give the appearance of a front entrance when he built the veranda. Don't you love it when someone interprets your ideas/concepts perfectly! We now have a front entrance.

Next step is painting the house and then planting some shrubs near the new front stairs

The cost of this renovation is about $1000 more than the stamp duty if we had been able to sell for a good price and buy somewhere else. Stamp duty went up quite a bit in the last state budget and the new rates came into effect on July 1 this year. We're happy to remain here until the yard gets a bit too unmanageable...should be a while though! lol

On Wednesday night we are having a family gathering to celebrate Nikki's 25th birthday. We'll be bringing out the trestle tables from under the house and the outdoor chairs stored under there as well. Eventually we'll get a larger table which can stay on the veranda, along with matching chairs but we're in no hurry. DH wanted all of this to be a surprise for the family so nothing has been written on our respective Facebook pages yet. I feel very fortunate that we have been able to add to our house and now have a very pleasant area to not only have family gatherings, but also just a nice place to relax and read/knit/sew or just somewhere to daydream.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The new roof for the veranda...

One of the problems with our old side veranda was the leaking roof and the fact there was no guttering and the water poured over the side. The previous builder recycled the roof of a previous structure which is great but after last summer's heavy rains, we were a bit fed up. With the refurbished veranda we decided to get a product that was 3 layers in one...roofing iron, insulation and lining. A friend had mentioned it to me so DH and I discussed its use with the builder. He was enthusiastic about it but pointed out it was more expensive than a regular roof but he said we'd recoup that extra in less painting needed as the lining has a shiny off white gloss finish. We obviously decided to go with the 3 in one product.

The roof arrived on the back of a truck and after a lot of manoeuvring the men got it off the truck and on to the front lawn. There it sat for a few days while Russell our builder finished off other sections. Because of the possibility of storms at this time of year he left the old roof on as long as possible. He removed it Monday of this week and then on Tuesday a plumber and Russell's son came to put on the new roof and guttering.

Parts of the old roof and uprights that held up the roof

By lunch time the roof was on.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

On my mind...the November Challenge

Being Friday, I'm again joining in Rhonda's   Down to Earth blog feature, On my mind...
During this last week the ladies who organise the monthly challenges for Knitting for Brisbane's Needy, announced that for the November one, the challenge would be 'head ,feet and hand warmers'. Included are beanies, gloves, fingerless gloves, mittens and  bed socks to help build up the stocks of those items. On the group's forum page, one of the organisers put the pattern for 'Banana bedsocks' which apparently are very popular. So I've put my name down for the challenge which will be the first weekend in November and I've decided to have a go at making some banana bedsocks :-).


Double thickness of 8ply wool

No 4 or 6mm needles

Cast on 30 stitches.

K1 P1 for 6 rows or 4 rows

Next row increase in every stitch (60) sts

Knit 38 or 40 rows

Next row k2tog all along row (30) sts

K1 P1 for 4 or 6 rows

Cast off





I wondered what these bedsocks would look like as my brain likes to know what the finished item will look like. I found 2 photos on the internet but only one would copy. I don't know if it helps or not. I've got out some balls of 8 ply from my stash and may have a little practice before next Friday night. A bit of judicious 'cheating' is allowed in that people often 'practise' knitting the items before the challenge actually begins. A blind eye is turned from this practice of practising because if more items can be knitted in the challenge the more needy people can be helped.

A photo of banana bedsocks I found on the internet

Random 8ply in my stash

I'm pretty sure that I will finish the throw of 40 colours this weekend. I have named this throw/creation, 'Touching Rainbows'. It obviously has rainbow-like colourwash throughout the length but I find mohair a very 'tactile' yarn...I love to stroke the surface and other people often come up and stroke it as well. As well as the R.O.Y.G.B.I.V. colours to represent the good times, there are a few rows of shades of grey as well as black on the ends...these represent the 'hard and or difficult or sad times' in the 40 years. I worked on this throw at the last 'Sisters of Stitch' gathering and the other ladies said to make sure they saw it before I gave it away. That is next Wednesday and after that sometime I'll arrange to meet my friend and hand over her belated gift.

Infusions and updates...

Today I had an iron infusion. The last one I had was in February this year and the iron levels had started to drop in recent months. The GP and specialist both agreed that I wasn't yet anaemic but steadily heading that way and an 'iron top up' was the way to go. I've had 4 infusions before but this was the first time that I noticed a difference in energy levels straight away, so that's really pleasing.

The work on the side veranda continues with only the tiniest bit of work still to be done. Now the building work meant some trimming of trees and even the removal of a plant from the front. The crepe myrtles at the side were trimmed/lopped not once, but twice. Firstly my BIL brought his chainsaw over and he and DH cut off over-hanging branches. Then my elderly neighbour Tom was upset and cross at us for not lopping off branches on his side of the fence. So my brother brought his fancy telescopic chainsaw around and he and DH took off the other offending branches. My brother also took all the branches away and mulched them at his place. I would have loved some of that mulch but I guess Harry and Myra need it more at their place ( a huge property in the range behind Brisbane).

The trees with their new spring growth

After the second trimming

Cutting up the branches ready to go into the van

Lots of new growth

Last week I noticed that the crepe myrtle trees were covered in lots of 'shoots'...they should grow lovely and leafy over the next month or so and not look so bare. that will give us back some privacy and more importantly...some shade. Next post I'll show some more photos of the veranda. DH and i are very pleased with it! :-)

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

My last post was about knitting and Linn from here left a lovely comment about the examples of my work. Thank you Linn, but trust me, the actual knitting is VERY simple. Maybe tackling a throw with 194 stitches per row might be a bit intimidating at first but why not try the pattern out (double click on it to make it larger and hopefully readable) on say, a scarf? With scraps of 8 ply, 4.50 needles for example and 42 stitches, a beautiful scarf would quickly emerge. On a smaller scale why not knit a mini scarf in Christmas colours for a favourite teddy??? (that's for us here in Australia but in places where it's cold a human-sized one would be great to make and wear)

This baby blankie is made with variegated yarn with soft white acrylic yarn as main colour. The pattern is the waffle pattern, the same as the baby throw in the previous post, but even easier to knit as only 2 colours :-)

Monday, October 24, 2011

A knitting pattern...

Many years ago a friend gave me a knitting book by Kaffe Fassett. The book contained patterns for the most beautiful multi coloured garments. I had previously knitted 'picture knits' for my children as well as for items donated to fetes and street stalls and had a working knowledge of knitting with several colours per row...but I never really liked it!
Then I bought a publication called 'Mon Tricot; a knitting stitch dictionary. One of the most exciting things that I discovered in Mon Tricot was 'slip-stitch' patterns. For those not familiar with these, they offer an easy way to do multi-coloured knitting projects. There is only ever one colour per row but when you slip stitches (slide onto right needle without knitting the stitch) you are able to bring colours from previous rows up to the row presently being knitted. Around about the same time as buying Mon Tricot, I also started buying a weekly craft mag called 'Silver needles' and I discovered more slipstitch patterns in that. I started experimenting on children's jumpers and cardigans and I found that it was possible to get 'the look' of some of Kaffe's garments by using the simpler slipstitch patterns. I also purchased the Harmony Guides to Knitting Stitches for even more designs.

I actually started knitting throws instead of crocheting afghans for charity around about this time too. I was a stay at home mum and knitting made yarn go further. I used a lot of slipstitch  patterns in these throws. The photo shows a baby throw I made for a nephew. That pattern is just called 'waffle pattern'.

Edward's baby rug

Another favourite pattern is the one I'm using for the throw that I'm working on at the moment. It doesn't have a name in the 'Harmony Guide to Knitting Stitches; Volume 3', it's just labelled 11.20. It's super easy to do and grows quite quickly. I first used mohair to make up this design when a friend gave me a bag of mohair yarn with 3 different colours and asked me to knit her a throw. Then after that one was completed I thought that I would make another one in mohair to send to DH's DD1 who was working in the UK. (the mohair is incredibly light to post) Another one went to a friend in New Zealand who was dying of cancer, and now I'm working on a fourth one. I'd like to share the pattern for a throw here. The details of actual stitches etc are 194 stitches for 10-12ply mohair on 6mm circular needles will give you a width of 120cm.
The original 3 colour throw

Sorry about the 'list to the right' of the image!! Also disregard the diagram on the top righthand side; it belongs to another pattern and I couldn't get the 'crop' to remove it. :-(

However this pattern can be used for smaller items and looks great as a border on a garment.

 Peter's throw; sadly, he's since passed away
This throw had quite a few colours in it and has travelled to the UK and is now back 'living' in country Wandoan!

Sunday, October 23, 2011


The Friday Night Sew In was a bit of a fizzer for me this month. It's all because of this problem I have...despite not having a medical degree, I tend to self diagnose :-(. It all started 2 weeks ago. I had some sort of gastric disorder. Not to worry, just a bug, I'll drink lots of peppermint tea and water. I also took an anti diarrhoea tablet that we have for DH when we travel. Then I noticed that I had backache that seemed to get steadily worse. No worries it's just my scoliosis. Then after a week things seem to settle down last Monday.Good eh? By Wednesday I had quite sharp abdominal pains so I rested and took some paracetamol. On Thursday I had a commitment at 9-11 helping out at Mainly Music at church. Before I went to that I made an appointment with the doctor for 11.45. Yes! I had 'given in'!

The antibiotics made me sleepy but my 'nurse' kept an eye on me

Apparently I have an infection in my colon. My doctor sent me for a scan and luckily the Xray place fitted me in straight away as I couldn't start the antibiotics until that was done. I slept most of Friday and then, after dinner (takeway organised by DH) I went to work on my knitting project for FNSI as I hadn't been able to prepare what I needed for a sewing project I was going to do. It went like this...knit 4 slip 2, doze 5 mins...wake up...knit 4 etc  until eventually I fell fast asleep with knitting discarded!

Saturday morning I did manage to do some more knitting so I guess it's been Saturday Morning Sew In for me this month :-)

SMSI! lol

Friday, October 21, 2011

On my mind...Mexican zebras...

Today I'm joining in with Rhonda's On my Mind Friday feature and sharing an experience we had while on holidays earlier this year.
Today DH and I watched the last DVD of our holiday in the US. This one contained files of our stay in San Diego and also our 4 hour trip to Mexico (Tijuana) from our motel in San Diego. We had been warned against going to Mexico as most Americans do not consider it to be a safe place. DH really wanted to be able to say that we had set foot in Mexico and at first we planned to go on the 'trolley' from San Diego. Eventually we went on an organised tour in a bus. The tour driver was an American (who spoke Spanish which was handy at the border) but all of people on the bus were either Aussies or New Zealanders.

We were dropped off in a particular section of the town and warned not to eat anything and to only buy drinks in cans or bottles not from 'soda fountains'. We were also warned not to go more than a few streets from the drop off point and certainly no further than a big metal arch feature over the road and to not pay the first price that they ask for. My husband thrived on the harassment by, and the pushiness of the local shopkeepers; I hated it! You couldn't walk even a few metres without merchandise being shoved in your face and entreaties to buy said merchandise. I wasn't a complete 'curmudgeon', I did buy a few items but I felt uncomfortable the whole time. The people are so poor and tourists must be seen as a way to make some money for their families. I understand that...

In the street where we were dropped there were a number of very interesting donkeys. Hopefully the dye/paint is not toxic but you have to admit it is creative. Tourists pay to get their photos taken with the Mexican zebras...$1 a time. We had a number taken with DH's camera and then the donkey's handler suggested we also pay the donkey $1...fair enough!!! lol

On the drive back to the border, we saw really, really, poor parts  and we saw unbelieveably ramshackle homes in which many Mexicans live. I expect there are other parts of Mexico which are not so poor...I hope so!

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Patience pays off...

Last Friday I wrote about a knitting project that I'm currently working on. It is a throw which will be a gift for a friend and I'm hoping to complete it in the next couple of weeks. It is a simple slipstitch pattern and as I said in the Friday post, it has 40 colours to celebrate a significant event for my friend. The project has rows of 194 stitches and I'm using various mohair yarns. Knitting that number of stitches in a row takes a bit of time and you can imagine my reaction when, on Monday night as I neared the end of a row, I realised there were not the correct number of stitches on the needles; I was 1 stitch short. I checked and re-counted but didn't seem to have made a mistake in that row. Unfortunately the colour before this one was very close in hue and even with the Daylight lamp I couldn't see the pattern of stitches clearly. I decided that it was important to me that I get it right...sometimes you can 'fudge things' a bit in knitting but I wasn't able to work out how at that time. It was late so I left it and went to bed.

Next morning after breakfast I started to unravel the row, one stitch at a time, picking up each stitch as I pulled out the row...I would never pull such a project completely off the needles and 'pull out' and pick up from there. I counted and still was missing a I started unravelling the next row down...and I found the mistake in the first 5 stitches of that row...2 stitches had been knitted together which is easy to do with mohair. DH was speaking to someone on the phone, so I wrote on a piece of paper and held it up to him...'The missing stitch has been found!' lol
After that I was right and I soon re-knitted the rows and then some more!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

The birds...

As I typed the title I thought of the Hitchcock movie of the same name, but this post is not scary like that! lol
The work on the side veranda continues, with the part demolition of the structure to allow for repairs and a slight extending of the width. The railings have gone and it has reminded me of those verandas on the old homesteads of the early settlers; it's quite open as a result. I was pottering around in the loungeroom late one afternoon last week when I thought I heard someone walking around on the veranda. The noise persisted but there was no knock at the door or a voice calling out. So I looked out the sliding door....and there was a large black crow looking back at me. He calmly continued to strut around for a while, then flew off.

The start of pulling down some of the veranda; look how untidy it is under there? lol

A day later I heard a similar noise on the veranda and looked out an caught a glimpse of a magpie helping him or herself to the cat's dry food bowl. This time I managed to get some photos!

Oops! The front steps have gone!

 Russell, the builder was there too and we both wondered if dry cat food is able to be digested by magpies. We are discouraged from feeding native animals by wildlife experts but this guy was helping him/herself! lol

Building work has now slowed down as the roofing structure won't be ready to be delivered until early next week. With it being the storm season already, Russell is leaving the old roof and its posts in place until the new roof arrives.

Sunday, October 16, 2011

My new toy...

Well it's technically not that new any's about a month old and I bought it during the Janome sale at my local sewing machine shop. Yes! It's my new sewing machine and it's not the super expensive model I thought that I would buy. I read reviews in sewing magazines of various brands and models but when I went to actually try out machines at the little local shop I found this model did everything I wanted and best of was simple to use! So I hardly touched my 'tax refund' money and it stays in my account earning interest until it's needed.

My old machine has stayed; I'm not quite ready to part with this old friend. We've been a team for 37 years but even I knew that there had to be machines that did buttonholes easier. That was basically the only criticism I had of my Elna 'workhorse'...the complicated buttonholes :-(   That machine sewed so many items of clothing for family members, it pieced quilts, sewed cushions, curtains and seat covers. It sewed wovens and stretch fabrics, organzas and silks, linens and cottons, it sewed trapunto and applique, it mended and upcycled and it got lugged to classes etc.

But when I had my first lesson on my new machine...I realised I was in much potential fun is coming up! I don't know why I was so surprised by all the marvellous possibilities of the new machine...after all a lot of research and development, as well as scientific innovation can happen in 37 years!!! And most has three types of buttonholes and they are all easy!!!

Through the generations...

My mother died 10 years ago last May and it's just been fairly recently that DD2 has indicated an interest in any items that may be still around in the family that belonged to Granny. Ten years ago she was nearly 17 and on the morning that I made a dash to the nursing home, she had come home at 3am and was very churlish when I woke her at 7am and suggested she might like to come and say 'goodbye' to grandma. She was distraught when I rang her at 8.30 to tell her that granny had passed. I was so proud of her when she arrived at the nursing home and sat with her grandmother along with the rest of the family...she hated nursing homes and found it hard to visit.

Recently I have been sorting through photos looking for ones of my mother as DD2 has indicated she would like to make a photo montage of her grandmother. Some photos that predate my birth were water damaged but many are able to be salvaged. I still have a few more boxes and albums to go through but I've been delighted with some of the 'treasures' (photos) I've unearthed in this search.

But I have another way that I can connect my daughter to her grandmother. When she moved into her own home a few months ago I decided then and there what part of her Christmas present would be. In my garden there are 'descendants' of plants from my mother's garden and I am potting up some of those for her. Add a voucher to enable her to buy some fancy pots for her courtyard in which to put these plants and I've given her some memories. One such plant is this begonia. Each spring it would flower and it was one of the few flowers that mum would let me pick to take a bunch of flowers to my teacher. So my memories are fond ones of this plant. It was really important in those distant days of the 50s and 60s to occasionally take a bunch of homegrown flowers to the teacher. (actually it still happened in the 70s when I started my teaching career)

Mum's begonias

Mum was very particular about what flowers I could pick...definitely not her gerberas, roses, violets or galliardias, but it was ok to take the daisies, nasturtiums and the begonias. Other plants of my mother's I will pot up for DD2 include some bromelaids, aloe vera and a variety of 'mother-in-law tongue' with the yellow edge around the leaves. Plants from my MIL that I will do the same, will include an aspidistra. So I guess I'm potting up some memories and linking the generations.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Now if you have been a  reader of this blog  for a while you may remember my mentioning that one of my goals since my retirement was to get more exercise and raise my fitness level at least a bit :-) One Friday I wrote about my efforts with my exercise bike.

When I started in earnest last December to get fit, I struggled even with the setting at the lowest tension. Now I'm at level 4 and do 31 minutes at least once a day and sometimes twice. To make the time go quickly my iPod is loaded with quite a selection of  music and especially the 60s and 70s; nothing too slow and with a good solid beat!  Sometimes I've read while I rode and I've toyed with uploading a talking book from the library on to my iPod as another way of passing the time.  
However, (she says with tongue firmly in cheek) would my stamina have improved more quickly if I had one of these bikes  here ? I believe the video is French and is an ad for bottled water...sacre bleu!... what will they think of next? lol
WARNING: I wouldn't suggest looking at all the other videos in the series as some are quite 'tasteless' and could offend. I believe they are all ads in various parts of the world.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

On my mind...a new project on the needles

Today I'm joining in the regular Friday feature at Rhonda's Down to Earth blog , On my Mind...a new knitting project.

Most of the yarns I'm using have been odd balls purchased on Ebay at very reasonable prices

On my mind today is a new knitting project that I finally got started on last week. There were a couple of reasons for my tardiness in starting; one major reason was that I was still collecting yarns as I had decided that I wanted to use 40 different colours of mohair. I'm not going to explain the 'whys' just yet but all will be revealed in a month or so :-) . Another reason for dithering about starting was that the colours had to 'run' in a certain way and there was a mental block for a while. The photos show how I sorted and numbered balls of yarn, then bagged them up. The captions on the photos explain that the yarns come from a number of sources; I've used yarns bought on a NZ holiday, a Tassie holiday, a craft show or two and of course Ebay.

When DH and I travel I often buy beautiful yarns from markets and shops. This beauty came from Salamanca Markets in Hobart

Progress after 3 days

Progress at the end of week 1

It's a throw if you haven't already guessed and it's a gift for a friend who doesn't follow my blog. It is approximately 2 years late as the significant event it celebrates was 2 years ago this month....but you doesn't pay to rush things!!!

A night out at the theatre...

Recently I received an email from La Boite theatre offering 40% off tickets to the previews of the show about to start there. We decided to book and we went last Tuesday night. La Boite is now part of the Creative Industries precinct at 'my old uni', QUT. The actual theatre is an example of  'theatre in the round'. The play was called 'Ruben Guthrie' and starred Gyton Grantley. Grantley has made quite a name for himself especially for roles such as 'Underbelly' a TV series.

Inside the theatre

In the first part of the play I wondered what we'd let ourselves in for. The language was pretty bad and came in rushing torrents. The play is about a 'high flyer' (Grantley) who works in the advertising world and has  problems with drink and drugs as he lives his 'fast lifestyle'. The play examines relationships etc and also the implications of when he tries to give up these addictions. As the play went on the audience became more and more engrossed in the action onstage...there were times when you could hear a 'pin drop' as 'we' almost held our communal breath waiting to see what Ruben would say or do next. Grantley deserves all the accolades he's received for his work and I include this play. He was brilliant. It was a play with everything...humour, pathos, disappointments, love, inter-generational addictions and was thoughtful as well as thought-provoking. There were so many layers to this story...
DH and I had quite a discussion on the way know it was almost like being back at uni after a great 'tute'!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Internet unavailable...shock horror!!

I haven't been around lately since our main computer decided to 'disconnect itself?' from the modem. My brother who has computer tech quals just happened to drop around the day it happened. He checked everything out (he knows about 'Bios' and systems and stuff like that. He checked everything out twice and concluded that the computer itself was fine so it was possibly the wireless adapter. He left us, muttering things about 'back-ups' and reinstalling Windows if buying a new adapter didn't work. To me...scary stuff lol!

DH didn't get the nickname 'Scrooge Mc Goodwin' without a reason. I don't think he believed that such an item could wear out so quickly. He organised to borrow an adapter from his DD2's partner to test whether that was the problem. However that couple were away for the weekend and this all happened on the Friday. When we did get the item on Sunday night courtesy of DH's DD3 (who had done the family taxi run to the airport to pick up the holidaying couple), we found that it wasn't an adapter but the USB for internet access to some carrier or other. We didn't need that as we have a D-link box in the family room and we just needed the little 'doover thing' which picks up the wireless signal from the  bedroom we use as an office.

Any way DH bought a new adapter on Monday...brought it home, connected its cable to the computer and voila! we were again on the internet. I know that I love being able to access the net, but I just didn't realise how much I use it until it wasn't available. I'm always 'looking things up for information', I use Google maps and Sensis to find places, white pages for phone numbers, historical indexes for family history information, I use FBook and Blogger, I look up Timezones, I use translators and currency converters, I buy things or check things out/compare  online before I buy in shops . I use online dictionaries, we book theatre tickets, airline tickets and accomodation online, I place holds on library books and extend loans, I send emails, pay bills and transfer money via the internet. I used to access online resources for teaching especially for using the IWB. In my working life in recent years, report cards were also completed online. Just as I was leaving the job, staff were training to put all their planning documents and assessment tasks online as well.

In my crafts, I get free patterns online or detailed instructions and tutorials. When I couldn't remember how to put the walking foot on my sewing machine, I found a video on the net and then I remembered all the steps. DH and I use Skype too. I reckon I've not mentioned all the ways that I use the internet...I still know people who proudly claim that yes, they do have a computer at home, but they haven't bothered to connect to the internet. So what do they do? Play games, create documents and spreadsheets perhaps?

I must admit I did get more knitting done on the weekend and much more reading (books and magazines) than usual...without the distraction of going online. I'll finish this post with some photos taken last week in the veggie patch. I'm also still harvesting bed #1 of potatoes and keeping a tally; so far I've dug up 3.675kg with still 4 plants to harvest. My brother made the comment that potatoes are incredibly cheap at the moment, averaging $2-$3 per kg but I know that mine have been grown without chemicals and that they are freshly dug not stored somewhere for months as the supermarkets are accused of doing. I noticed that he was happy to accept a paper bag filled with freshly dug up potatoes last time he was over! lol I read on the Brisbane Organic Gardeners site the recommendation that here we should plant potatoes starting in May, so that's something else for my 2012 calendar as well as divide hippeastrums in Autumn...I didn't know that before!

By this week, the plants were covered with little peapods

A volunteer tomato plant

We've had a few meals from the silverbeet so far

hmmm who didn't thin the carrots out properly? I'll know better next time.