Friday, 17 April 2015


Most of my favourite activities are sedentary. 

  I used to try to stay fairly fit by treadmilling in the garage.   Suddenly my treadmill blew all the house electrics and stopped.  Very quickly my fitness declined and my weight rose.

My doctor referred me to an exercise physiologist at Ontrac in Bowral.  I had two sessions with Scott, the exercise physiologist.  Scott tested  all my physical capabilities.  Scott prepared an exercise schedule for me.  Today I started my first session  in a group clinic at Ontrac.   

I am now tired, sore but very happy.  Getting fit makes me feel like I am caring for myself as much as  I care  for anyone else in my life.

Tuesday, 14 April 2015

Lower the bed and raise the water and food

Oscar had not got out of bed by 9am.  I had to wake him and I lifted him off the bed.  Oscar was very slow on his morning walk.

By 11am we had an appointment to see the vet.  After a thorough examination the source of Oscar's problems was located in his neck , mainly inflammation of the larynx.

Flexing of Oscar's neck causes him pain.  The vet suggested to lower Oscar's bed and raise the level of his food and water.  With the lowering and raising Oscar neck would not have to be flexed.   Since Oscar's bed is our bed we will have to sleep with the mattress on the carpet.   Ron looked bewildered but I said pretend that we are camping out in our own bedroom.   Ron laughed and agreed.   Ron and I will do anything to make Oscar's life comfortable.

The Oscar seal of approval.  Oscar did not give me time to make the bed before he started sleeping on the lowered bed.

Monday, 13 April 2015

The Pink Jacket story

I like improving my sewing by learning new techniques.  I have always wanted to try tailoring.  With Winter around the corner I thought now is the best time.

At first I was going to make Claire Shaeffer's cardigan jacket.  When I studied the pattern the style was too formal for my  lifestyle.  In my extensive pattern collection I found...  McCalls M6211
I had bought the pattern to make the pants.  The jacket was more suitable for my needs.   Instead of rushing into cutting up the fashion fabric I took it slowly and made a toile in calico.

I love the pleat in the back of the jacket.  I am glad I made the toile as it was too snug for a coat/jacket.  I got out Marta Alto's jacket book and added 3/4 inch to the pattern width within the front and back.  I added "in case" 1 inch side seams.
I am sewing pink tweed fashion fabric for the proper jacket.  I bought the pink tweed at a sale and I have no idea of the composition of the fabric.   I am having fun  trying tailoring and fingers crossed soon I can show you the finished project.

Sunday, 12 April 2015

Anxiety not dementia

Oscar is now over 13 years old.    For the last few months Oscar has been troubled.   Oscar's behaviour was bewildering and we could not seem to help.  The vet tested him for everything and at first we thought it was dementia.    Oscar is losing his eyesight and hearing  so he is anxious.  We have got Oscar into a routine and he is enjoying life again.
We share the bed with Oscar

Tuesday, 20 January 2015

The Worst Job in Cleaning

Ron has been helping me everyday with sorting, tidying, cleaning and organising the kitchen.  All has gone well until.....we came to cleaning the oven and stove cook top.  I googled and studied all the "easy" healthy methods to clean ovens.
I tried........

The  first link is to a method to clean an oven with baking soda and vinegar.
I left the baking soda mixture on all the walls and door of the oven overnight.
Today I climbed into the oven to scrub and scrub.  Firstly vinegar to dissolve the baking soda.  I was disappointed with the result.  Next I got a whole container of ajax and more scrubbing. The ajax was a little better than the baking soda.  Next I tried Gumption and more was removed.  By now I was over two hours scrubbing with my head in the oven.  I hate this job.  The oven is far from sparking clean so I will try ,try again on another day.

The second link is a method of cleaning the oven racks in the bathtub.  Again more soaking over night.  This time I recruited Ron into scrubbing the oven racks.  Ron has done a fabulous job but again it took nearly three hours.  Poor Ron has had his goodwill stretched to the limit as he called me a slave driver this afternoon.  Oh, dear where is some chocolate to cheer Ron up.

No photos of the oven.  It may take several attempts to get the oven to a photogenic state.

Friday, 16 January 2015

Pink Poplin Passion

   Today I finished the light pink poplin nightie.    Butterick 9985.    I redrafted the neck of the yoke to make a lower wider neckline.    I may have made the shoulder seam too narrow.   When I make this pattern again I think I will make a wider shoulder but still with this lower neckline.   I find this pattern very comfy and cool.

My next sewing is another poplin pair of pyjamas for Ron.  I have the red poplin that he chose from the remnant warehouse..    The next version of Ron's PJs will have short sleeves and short pants.   It should be a quick sew.

Wednesday, 14 January 2015

Sewing tools and notions

I am devoted to sewing DVDs and videos.  I have been slowly relishing some DVDs made by Claire Shaeffer.   By watching the precision sewing and couture techniques I know that old bend pins and dodgy scissors are not good enough.  I have been on the search for quality scissors for ages.

  About a year ago I bought Mundial Serra sharp red handled scissors from Lincraft.  The scissors were so stiff.  I took them back twice and I thought third time lucky.  No way they are ghastly scissors.

The story ends happily as today I ordered pins and scissors from Stitch 56

The scissors are made in Italy.   Beautiful pins are so practical.

The scissors are a pleasure to use.

Monday, 12 January 2015

Poplin Passion

Ron and I spend lots of time looking after our old dog, Oscar.   I am reluctant to go miles and miles in search of fabric for my sewing projects.   Thank goodness, I have learnt how to shop online.   One of my happy hunting grounds for fabric is The Remnant Warehouse.

At 7.30am the door bell rang and there was our postman, Frank with my latest parcel of goodies from the remnant warehouse.  The parcel contained two lengths of poplin.  Hooray!  
 Ron chose red poplin for another  pair Summer pyjamas.  I chose baby pink poplin for another Summer nightie.   Inside every woman is a little girl.  Poplin is lovely to sew and easy to wear on these high humidity nights.

On my sewing table...
The new red and pink poplin is unwrapped and ready for washing.       Butterick 9985 is ready to be pressed flat for cutting out a nightie.

Saturday, 10 January 2015

Reuse a handmade bag

The original bag made for Ron's camera.

My re-fashioning of the bag.
A wonky house does not worry me.  The house makes me smile.

 I have been enjoying watching organisational videos on Youtube.   I saw a woman using  a  bag organiser or insert.   I like the idea.

  The purpose is to keep your wallet and other bits and pieces in the insert.   When it is time to use another bag the insert can be taken from one bag and slipped in the other bag without disturbing the contents.    I bought a medium size organiser fromDESIRE2SHOP an online shop.  

 Now  I needed a new bag.   I tidied up the hall cupboard to find a bag I made for Ron two years ago.  Ron had never used this bag.  I thought it was time to make do and refashion the bag for my use.   I took the train motif from the front of the bag.   I had a sample of a patchwork house so I just hand sewed the house on the bag.  The strap of the bag was way too long so I cut it to my requirements.   I am pleased with the results.

Thursday, 8 January 2015


Oscar was 13 years old on 28th November.   Oscar has been unwell for some time and we have become the most regular clients at the vet hospital.

We changed Oscar's diet.   I wont go into too much detail but it is safe to say Oscar's rear end was in turmoil.  

Over the last year Oscar has become an anxious dog.   Oscar has never been storm phobic.   However, strange noises set Oscar off on barking frenzies turning circles looking confused.

Before Christmas the anxiety reached a crescendo.   Ron and I had sleepless nights.  Ron and I took it in turns to  try to comfort Oscar.    In desperation the vet dispensed Valium so Oscar would sleep.

On 2nd January, Oscar went to the vet hospital for an all day blood test for Cushings disease.   The vet was looking for Cushings as Oscar's adrenal readings were high.   The results came back to say Oscar does not have Cushings disease.

The anxiety issue has been my main concern for Oscar's health.   The vet now has ruled everything out and what is left is dementia.    Oscar since yesterday is taking  Clomipramine tablets for the anxiety.  

In my worries about Oscar's anxiety I took no notice of the vet telling me about Oscar's abnormal liver levels.   In November Oscar had a ultrasound and nothing was found.   I thought that was the last of the liver problems.  I dismissed it all too soon.    Oscar's liver levels are twice to three times higher than normal levels.  Oscar will have another ultrasound in a month's time.

Oscar deserves this level of devotion.   During Ron's recovery from his brain aneurism in 2010 Oscar was pivotal to keeping Ron active and happy.   One good turn deserves another.    I live for today and appreciate having the beautiful Ron and Oscar in my life.