Friends, Food and Family

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A whole week of planning with the kids as my third teaching period for University commenced. To start the week off, I said to the kid’s let’s visit my friend who manages a book store to stock up on your fave author David Walliams. The USA does not get his book releases as much as Australia. So we did that and went to the cinema on cheapo Monday at the Nova to see Chicken People. We loved it as we are all a bunch of chicken lovers and enjoyed the quirkiness of the chicken obsessed at a chicken show in Ohio and Nashville!

I had to balance some study time in with catching up with friends and their kids for the school holidays. There is nothing like art time and then playtime for the kids and wine by the Yarra River.

I started two units, so I had to devote some time to carving into the work for this week, so I spent a morning in and took the kids shopping in the city and on the way back we found a park to play in complete with a flying fox.

The big day last week was quite random as I wanted to check out the National Trust House property of the Rippon Lea Estate as it is Aunt Prudence’s house from the Ms Fishers Murder Mysteries series that I love so much! The bonus of visiting Rippon Lea Estate is there was a fashion exhibit Night Life focusing on clothing on the 1920s-30s!!

Oh my,  I had such a fun time with my friend checking out the clothing and accessories worn around Melbourne in the high times of partying and living it up in this fabulous city. I loved this era in fashion especially with the bias cut dresses and the beaded dress silhouette including the accessories!

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On our way back to the train station I found this very famous restaurant Attica in the streets of Ripponlea. I had only seen this on a show on Netflix and wondered where it was in Melbourne – the chef is very innovative and forages for a lot of bush food in the dishes and had me glued to the television when I watched it, and it did make me yearn to come back home.

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Oh and the dramas of public transport – we made it to North Melbourne, and one of the kids wanted to get off the train to go to the toilet, so we did with only two stops to our destination. Next train disappeared off the schedule, and the next thing over the loud speaker was we have problems with the train this evening we do not know when they will be running again, now this was 4 pm on a Thursday night – peak hour rush just on the horizon. So what happens next was this disjointed plan to get back to our place via the tram with everyone else leaving the city sardine packed into them as they travelled by. It was a difficult choice to make especially with having the kids with me, so we just walked to the 57 tram near the Victoria market and waited… and waited… it was two and a half hours later, and we were finally home. My phone was dead we got back to the house and plugged in to see what was happening with my dinner plans. So, of course, everyone else was in the same situation, so we just stayed in had a bitch session about how crap it was and had some pizza and wine and catch up such a way to end a Thirsty Thursday!

FriYay and I spent most of the day studying except for lunchtime when I met a friend for lunch in the city, and we went out to Lygon Street for dinner in the evening with my sister in law, her hubby and the cousins. The kids had already had fun though exhausting time with their cousins playing all day, so we had pizza and gelato and headed on home.

Another friend catch up on Saturday with a very old friend of mine from way back when and we went out for Laksa to a favourite haunt of ours from back in the day, the Laksa King and it still tastes amazing! After lunch, we wandered around the hood to check out the million dollar houses and matching fancy cars.

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It was back to school for the kiddos this week in Melbourne, so we had our goodbyes to the cousins and the animals at their house. The menagerie of cats, chickens and dogs was enjoyed by everyone. I will miss my friends and family, but I know I will be returning real soon and knowing this does not make leaving Australia to feel all that bad.

Jammed pack family fun

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My final week in Queensland with my family was filled with so much action interspersed with food which I love! We began our relaxing weekend with my sister and her crew coming to stay with us at our Air BnB we enjoyed a Sri Lankan feast with lots of wine for dinner and the kids enjoyed their fidget spinner collection and enjoyed the challenges of timing them.

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We spent Sunday at my parent’s place and the kids watched a movie after a lunch of tasty pastries from the bakery and took some fun photos in the garden.

Monday we went on a family trip with my uncle into the city to see the Marvel exhibit at the Gallery of Modern Art AKA GOMA – it was a super fun exhibit and displayed behind the scenes costumes and sets but the kids just zoomed through it! For lunch we went to this delicious gyoza place for a sushi burrito for me covered in wasabi pea powder, yummo! The kids loved their doughnuts and ice cream by Mr Fitz.

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Tuesday we enjoyed a family pub lunch for my aunts birthday celebrating with cake and balloons, scoring some super photos with balloons as props!

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Wednesday my sister found this great German guy who custom creates bikes as well as hires bikes to visitors on the peninsula for $25 per hour – Street Art Cycles come highly recommended and as it is an excellent bike riding destination, this was a perfect score for a day trip and we rode 20 kilometers in total for the day. The kids were really enjoying the 24″ frames and really took off riding on this dedicated pedestrian / cycleway parallel to the beach front! I rode this Breezer bike called Uptown designed by a mountain bike pioneer Joe Breeze whose history in biking began in Marin, San Francisco (so random and so fun).

We also found some local cats of the neighbourhood that were just like our dearly departed. Monty the cat across the road was just like Yeti the Himalayan Persian who belonged to my parents. And on our side of the street was an orange cat just like our lovely boy Mack who enjoyed pats from strangers.

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And my sisters beautiful black cat Millie gave us a bit of a scare when she disappeared for hours and we found her stuck behind the washing machine!

Towards the end of the week I realised I really had to get out and enjoy the sunny mornings and find some local wild life – I found some rainbow lorikeets on my morning walk / run having a party at a local mansion by the beach in this amazing tropical native garden. My friend Markus came to visit for lunch and we enjoyed another meal of fish and chips and went to find Gollums door on a tree by the beach. My last Sri Lankan meal of rice sticks, pan rolls, vadas with salad was enjoyed and it was such a treat!

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Friday came around and it was peoples day at the show so we went together with my nephew and enjoyed the pastel chickens, checking out sideshow alley with all the crazy clowns and toys and riding the ferris wheel yet again, I was a bit nervous of heights but I had to be brave as I was with Mr Ash and mum had to ‘make it work’.

Saturday we planned for our sausage sizzle and bought a variety of meat sausages from The Meat-ting Place – an organic butcher who could tell me where they sourced all their meat. The bonus was that they also had fish and I found Wild Barramundi from the Northern Territory which was perfect cooked in a foil packet with herbs and spices on the BBQ.

Sunday was our final “together” day where we went out for a day trip into BrisVegas to ride the free CityHopper ferry and eat some delicious Greek street food at Zeus Cafe in Southbank. We caught ferry down to the place where I moved to when I first left home and wandered the streets of New Farm before we went to New Farm Park with the kids. They loved it there and so did we, as we enjoyed the big old Jacarandas and the way the playground was built with a Strangler Fig!

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Before long it was my last morning walk on the beach where I said goodbye to the pelicans and our time in the peace and quiet of the Redcliffe Peninsula. I have to say it was an enjoyable couple of weeks with my family and catching up with friends!

Sunshine and springtime chicks

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Finally, the weather has been consistent for the last few days and the weekend was just amazing! These roses are in a garden in the Los Altos Hills where the kids go swimming – the colours are breathtaking.

It is the best time of year to go bike riding as the wildlife and the flowers after the rain are super and there is also a super bloom that you can see from space. Now that the flowers are settled so is my allergies, so it was the perfect day to go riding on Sunday on the path where there were hardly any people and enjoy the peace of the bay. Check out that trail – there is no one there! This is off the main trail heading out to the Bay, but I allowed myself a short ride so I could get back home to clean out the garden and do some sewing and study.

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Missy’s Bantam Silkie chick – fingers crossed it is a girl

 

 

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A Bantam Polish chick
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My fave cute Bantam chick
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Another cute chick
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Cleaning chick feet
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The world’s smallest chicken – a Serama

 

Friday we picked up some Bantam chicks that have just hatched from an egg project from a homeschool family. The eggs were from a very special place in Sonoma where rare breeds of chickens are raised in an organic environment – they are closed to the public due to their breeding programs and having to keep the farm safe from any biohazards. Their collection of chicks and images on their site is so inspiring and make me want to move to the country to a yurt and raise chickens – it is always nice to dream! Still, we are fostering these chicks for the 4H poultry project where the kids will take care of them at home until they are ready to go into the coop with the other 2 bantam chicks. This time we are raising quite a few bantams, and it will be so exciting to watch them grow, they are quite small chickens but oh so cute! I love how the kids are so mesmerised by the chicks and how gentle they are taking care of them every day, 4H really is an incredible program for kids. The chicks sleep a lot of the time flat out on their bellies with their heads in front of them – I had no idea how chicks slept, and they are just gorgeous to watch and such a distraction.

 

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Miss Bella

 

Bella has been sad for the last month or so and has been hanging out with us more as she is really missing her brother Mack – they were the best of friends. She is such a loving cat when she wants to be and is sleeping on our bed a lot at night which we love! I am still missing my best cat friend though as each day passes, I think of all the good times we had together.

An epitaph for my Feline Friend

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My little buddy I will miss you so much you were my light, my love and my rainbow and you will forever be in my heart. We have been through so much together, and you have listened to so many of my stories and shared my thoughts through your cat telekinesis. I feel that sometimes you knew what to do whenever I was sad or lonely. You made me feel so happy with your purrs and your love. I will never forget you. We saved you from a big fat cat called Sumo who was bullying you at a share house in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. Then you came to live with us and join Scrap who was the tuxedo friend of yours who after a while you two became best friends (until Scrap passed at a lovely age of 17 years old). I still remember the conversations at Bimbos in Fitzroy with my friend over pizza when he was telling me about you and how exciting it was to adopt you and bring you into our family over 12 years ago. How we came about to call you Mack – a Macintosh was one of my favourite things being a graphic designer, so it was pretty cheesy that name came about (though some will argue another story). We enjoyed our time in Flemo where I bought you a neon pink collar, even though you were a boy and I even bought a cat harness in the hope we could go strolling under the plane trees together. Alas, that plan was foiled as you were an independent kitty and wanted to climb trees and sleep in the rosemary. When I was pregnant with Ash and came home from work and lay down through sheer exhaustion, you were there with me hanging out and purring on the bed. Then came Ash and both you and Scrap were a bit disturbed about this small human in the house and soon you realised they were no threat and accepted him into your cat tribe. The kid who was pulling your tail still you lay there until you could stand it no longer and soon both you and Ash understood how to be friends. Not long, we moved you and Scrap to our next home where you were settled for just a short period of time before we whisked both of you over to California to live a cat’s dream in the sunshine and redwoods. I imagine the groomed grass felt amazing under your paws and the sunshine on the balcony was divine. Soon another little human came into being, and Missy became the cat girl who growing up with you has become a true lover of everything cat. She just used to hang out with you and pat you and you knew after the first time with a tiny human that it was time to hide if things got a bit rough. After living in an apartment complex with way too many dogs it was time, we moved again to our current house with a nice big fence to sit upon and watch the squirrels and birds from up high in your own little garden. The garden was a blessing with its plants to hide in and the afternoon sun where you enjoyed your days. Soon another kitty came to rock your world – a kitten called Bella, she was found abandoned and we adopted her after Christmas and she became your BFF. The way you two lay together grooming each other, she really loved you as her cat brother. I really enjoyed the time when you just lay upon my desk and I studied with you sleeping next to me, and I could pat you whenever I wanted and talk to you, and you would understand – even reading out my essays to you and you sharing your fleas with me. Even when I was sewing you were near my machine catching the fabric on the other side. Your presence is missing in my life, my feline friend. I came out to see you in the garden the other day and you did not respond when I called your name – not even an ear wiggle, then I felt your cat body, and it was so cold. Your body all but an empty shell but your cat spirit will live in our hearts forever. We love everything you gave us as a pet and a best friend and thank you for your beautiful, friendly cat soul and all the love you shared with us – we love you! Now I know what it means to say, Mack forever xo

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Guarding the recycling with Scrap – 3 bells to protect those hummingbirds
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Tortured by a child!
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Hanging with your mama
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These are my claws – do not mess with me!
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Let me sleep I am enjoying some peace
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Your beautiful cat face
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Dirty paws
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Busted! Drinking from the toilet bowl
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Wearing a cat hat
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The move to America – look at those young kids!
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When your people came home after leaving for 2 months – we missed you so much!

 

Serendipity

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Happenstance – serendipity, all those wonderful unexplainable events that happen in your life that generally are good intentions. This is what happened with this skirt as I happened to take a break from essay writing this week to fix a pair of pants. When I am with my new sewing machine, it starts to take me on a bit a creative ride, and as I am just sitting next to it writing assessments at the moment, it was a great excuse to make something. So I went through my basket of unfinished objects and found the top of a pair of jeans that I was going to make into a bag. I love those bags, but unfortunately, even though they were such a novelty they made a great talking point at craft fairs, though no one was very keen to purchase one – live and learn on that one! Anyhow this skirt came to be via a pair of old jeans and an unfinished skirt I made for Missy when she was a baby?!? I like how it has turned out, but the problem with this is that it is a little big still it was the joy of making something that made me happy yesterday!

What other joy and happiness came to me this week? Tuesday I was teaching at the local library my usual monthly event started up for this year – we will be doing the last class in June and starting up again after the summer. This month is a Valentine craft, and we made felt heart pins from a bunch of buttons, trim and embroidery floss. The tutorial is here on this site if you would like to make one of your own. What the world needs now is love so it was a perfect craft to do and everyone was very creative with their hearts and most of the class of 14 made 2 each. Next month we will be making a clutch from repurposed 8″ squares of interior design fabric – gotta start writing the tutorial soon!

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I also was very lucky to be looking after my friend’s cat for the weekend this little black guy is such a love bug and really appreciated the pats and the company when his humans were away. Any excuse to be with animals for me at the moment, they are so loving!

And another wonderful random act of happenstance happened on Friday when I rewarded myself a trip downtown to Oren’s Hummus Shop for lunch with a friend who I hardly see anymore because she is studying too! I love the falafel there, and the hummus is so creamy and delicious. Afterwards, we were so full we went for a wander downtown and went to City Hall to check out this inspiring CSMA (Community School of Music and Art) Art Exhibit. The classes are taught by CSMA teachers in local schools including our school. The work from our 5th-grade class was artwork inspired by human rights and boy they were powerful! The art teacher created the watercolour with the V to discuss tenants rights here in our own city. The ‘Measure V’ bill for rent stabilisation, is still under contention (the latest news it is being challenged by landlord advocates!) FYI the rent here is already way above market rate, and still, they want more!! I have lost many friends who have moved out of the area because it is so expensive to live here yes close to $2,000 for a 650 square foot, 1 bedroom apartment per month – insane!

Sorry, I digress… anyway my friend, and I was really inspired by the artwork by the children at City Hall and how powerful art can be in the classroom for reflecting on what is going on in the world. My favourite piece is this white woven wall hanging with the many textures, I am a textile lover, that I might have to get my yarn and roving out and make one in colour! We will see as I have many other things to do in the meantime… including studying for my maths and literacy exam for my teaching degree!!

It’s a sun sunny day!

 

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Enjoying the rays with the family

 

As the rain has been keeping us inside most of the time for the last couple of weeks! Sunday was literally a sunny day so we took full advantage of the morning and went for a wander to explore more of the bay. Over the week a friend of mine told me about a park with amazing views of San Francisco, Oakland and the bay where she volunteers to feed a feral cat colony! I was so excited so we went on a mission to look for it via Seal Point Park and it is right next door to Ryder Park – named after my nephew! It is a dog park with a hill with sweeping views of the Bay all around. Plus the added bonus is that the trail is perfect for riding so one day we will have to catch the Caltrain over there as it is 12 minutes away from the stop – it is a 21-mile bike ride via the Bay trail from Shoreline Park, whew I get sore legs thinking about it!

The pics above are from the top of the hill and looking down onto the sights, like San Francisco on the left behind all the fog. On the right is a pic of some of the sculptures along the trail.

Now, this is what we need more of here where I live super cool looking interactive sculptures. The two discs act like an echo chamber and it’s so good to go in there and sing! This lotus looking sculpture looks like it would spin if it is windy!

 

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A giant pokemon in real life in front of the binoculars
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Attack of the wild fennel
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The San Mateo Bridge and a fishing bridge (the old bridge!)

 

We decided to go and find Project Baycat to see if we could see any cats but unfortunately, they had partied Saturday night and there were no cats to be found. I will just have to go with my friend when she volunteers – I can’t wait! Still, it was a lovely morning to spend with the family in the sunshine.

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A beautiful Hindu statue of Vishu, the protector and preserver of the universe, and when someone places his statue at a particular location, it means they’re asking him to watch over the place and its inhabitants, and to ensure harmony – sweet!

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And did I say planes – all of the planes that come into SFO fly directly overhead so if you are into watching some planes, check out this Seal Point Park right next to Ryder Park – the water park in the summer!

 

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The bearded chicken!

 

And speaking of volunteering – this bearded chicken was left by the farm where our coop is and she has been adopted to our flock! In times like these, giving back at a local level is the best thing. I donated cat food to Project Bay Cat and I am still making pussyhats for my friends who supply the yarn and they donate to a non-profit for the hat. My favourite gig of the week volunteering with the kids and teaching them sewing. It is the best thing to see them create with a needle and thread, and a lot of the time I even learn from them!

 

Pacific North West Festivities

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We decided at the last minute to apply for a house sit up in Washington State for the holidays – we submitted as a family and the owner of the house was happy for us to come up to the island and look after her 3 cats for 10 days. We had no idea where this island was and the logistics have been a bit tricky as we had to meet up on Saturday for a tour of the house and how to care for the cats. Everything happened so quickly and we managed to book our flights in time and book an Air BnB in Seattle for the night before to catch up with our friends for dinner. As we travelled to Whidbey Island at the northern boundary of Puget Sound on Saturday morning we saw some snow and as we travelled further north there was more snow and we drove onto the ferry and landed on the island to being snowed on! What an experience driving in snow in a small little hire car, thank goodness we made it to the house and were warm and toasty to watch the end of the snowfall from safely inside our house sit.

Last Tuesday was the final workshop at the library for the Sew Sew with FabMo and we made Christmas decorations with felt and FabMo fabric. It is a fun little hand sewing project with various levels of skills in sewing which I always love. We had beginners who made tried sewing for the first time to a European contingent who were very skilled with a needle and made their own creatures including a hedgehog. I highly recommend coming to check this out if you would like to make your own decorations for friends or family and want to start sewing with a small project.

Wednesday I had a lunch date with a friend of mine who has just started a job at Stanford. I promised we would get together for some art lunch dates while she is working there so it was the perfect time to head on down to see the Nick Cave sound suit exhibit. We had been to the De Young and that is where I saw my first Nick Cave sound suit and I had to ask my friend this isn’t Nick Cave from the Bad Seeds fame. Lucky she knew and put me in the right direction, since then I have been researching these wonderful sound suits and the choreography with the suits and I really love them and the stories behind each suit. I am totally drawn to them as they are so textile focused and that is my love.

What I really enjoyed is the detail of each suit – as you can see in these pics there are lots and lots of buttons sewn onto the fabric as are pieces of knitted fabric pieces with a little-stuffed toy in between. The brushed wire is amazing in real life.

As a family activity, this is wonderful with a felt wall so you can decorate the sound suits as well as a caravan out the front of the gallery to design your own sound suit – the interactivity for the kids would make it a great winter activity for the school holidays.

If you have already had lunch a wander down to the Arizona Cactus garden is a fun thing to do with an amazing collection of cactus and succulents. I just love succulents so I was in plant heaven checking this out – the light was overcast and perfect for photographs as there were no shadows. The parking is $1.25 for 30 minutes so I would recommend a couple of hours max and then finding somewhere to eat close by or even head on back home if you are a local.

While I was near the cactus garden there is a mausoleum for the Stanford family and right next to them a sculpture of the family with these icons beneath them on how they envisaged the university for their son who passed away at 15 years old from typhoid. The Stanford family then wanted to educate all the children of California, they had some grand plans for the time and their sense of education was pioneering. I really liked seeing crafts, science and art as part of their vision.

On Friday and we made our way to the airport to fly to Seattle – we stayed the night in an Air BnB and visited our friends who live close by for dinner. We had a tasty dinner of Thai food and we walked from their house to the downtown for ice cream?!? Yes, ice cream in winter – there are 3 ice cream shops within a block of our friend’s house. We went to this place called the Nutty Squirrel and I enjoyed an amazing combination of Olive oil and Clementine on a cold winters night. After ice cream we went to our friend’s neighbours house for a nice glass of red wine – I am loving the Pacific North West.

 

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Finding the coffee shop in the snow
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Finally found a latte to keep us warm
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Getting snowed on and eating snow flakes
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Beautiful blown glass baubles from the studio in Langley

 

Saturday we made our way up to the island with no idea that we were going to be travelling in the snow. As we headed up north on the I-5 the snow was coming down and by the time we made it to the ferry, there was a blanket of snow on the ground. We drove onto the ferry and sat in the car for the 30-minute ride and off we went on the island to find a coffee shop to enjoy a snack before we drove up to the house. The Useless Bay Coffee Shop in Langley was recommended to us and it was a real local hangout with excellent service and food. After our snack we made it out to the snowfall and had to drive a hire car in the snow – what a scary experience. The drive to the house had a few hills and with the power of the universe, we made it to the house with no chains on the tyres and the car riding a rollercoaster ride on the snow.

With a sigh or relief, we found the house with the driveway covered in snow – I had to quickly text the owner to let us know which garage to enter in as it would be so hard to move the car out in the snow. We had only met via email so to meet each other in person finally was so good. We toured the house and checked out where the kitties hide and here we are, enjoying a quiet, relaxing break away from everything.

There are 3 kitties to look after at this house with an older cat called Spike living in the house and he really loves brushing. He is used to us now and loves to get brushes whenever he comes out from his resting spot. The other two kitties live in a barn as professional rat catchers. They have their own little room with a heater and lots of cat toys and even a chair to hang out with them for pats. They are Artemis and Apollo and enjoy our visits to give them some snacks in their cat hangout room.

Today in 5-degree celsius weather I took a wander through the orchard to see if I could find any apples on the trees, there was just one with other little ones who are just hanging on. The owner of the house gave us some cider from these orchards and we had some mulling spices to make a delicious mulled cider and so our festive season began.

 

Fall Finalé

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I am into a knitting groove obviously because the weather has a lot to do with it but I have really been inspired by the UK television series ‘Outlander’ with all the amazing knitwear in the costumes. This big cowl capelet was inspired by the main character and knitted flat and double stranded so it is super warm. It can be worn bundled up or as a capelet around the shoulders. As I was wandering outside with it the other day I managed to catch a Japanese Maple leaf.

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One thing I love about this year is the Fall colours the leaves of the gingko fallen to the ground are like moth wings.

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This week it was the finale of teaching the Arts Focus Sewing class and we finished with the kids making pipe cleaner dolls. I love the creativity of the kids when they make this project, some just want to make a naked superhero with a cape or others want to dress up their doll and even braid their hair. 12 out of the 26 kids I had in the class were K and 1st grade and having to sew with all the fine motor and focus these kids did a wonderful job and were so enthusiastic!

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Friday we enjoyed our holiday boutique at school from 3pm to 5:30pm – the turnout was fabulous! I really enjoyed chatting with friends I never see anymore and the focus this year was on kid vendors. The adults were there to inspire the kids and it was so good to hear that one of my sewing students had her table sewing scarves and accessories inspired by the scarf she purchased from me last year. It is so good to see sewing skills passed on and the kids create their own little ventures.

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Yes Bella just say what I mean – I have been preparing packages for Christmas to send to Australia and yes it is always a mission to do but once it is done, party! Here is Bella ready to go on a priority mail trip somewhere fun! Well, we will be too when we head on over to Whidbey Island this Friday, looking forward to some rest and relaxation and looking after 3 kitties but we will be missing out little fur babies 😦

Feeling the love

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The week of thanksgiving just went by in at such a slow pace and it was so luxurious to stay up late and watch ‘Outlander’ and then sleep in on the rainy mornings – oh so divine! The week was full of essay writing for my first academic essay for my course and it was due on Monday plus I had a quiz for my other unit! It was great to hibernate and study which I am doing mostly these days – I don’t mind it at all. The Education course is fascinating and I am learning a lot each week, the content is so relevant to this day and age and I am quite excited about it all!

When we returned to school on Monday my daughter’s teacher had found a little baggie with this super cute stegosaurus button inside it (sewn on the coat above). It was distributed by the Humboldt Art Abandonment Project, such a treat to pass this onto my coat which needed a fun little button. It just had a note that said TAKE ME HOME PLEASE – YOU HAVE JUST BEEN BLESSED by Humboldt Art Abandonment Project. And yes I am so happy to join you in your quest to share art with the community, these peeps are speaking my language.

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As I was watching Outlander I have been inspired to knit again as there is plenty of knitwear to be worn in the Scottish Highlands! While I have been knitting I have been sharing the couch with my little Love cats!

The Friday after Thanksgiving we went hiking to Hidden Villa for #GreenFriday I would love #GreenEveryday! Still, it was an excellent opportunity to catch up with our friends and go for a low key wander in amongst the green. It was all wet from the rain and cool but still so lovely to be out and about at the farm enjoying the day. My friend and I are both studying Education at the moment so we shared our challenges and class experiences on our walk, it is a good thing to get together every so often and the kids loved checking out the creek.

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Which way to the chickens – there are plenty of chickens at Hidden Villa in Los Altos and running free everywhere, it was so good to be with them. So many breeds 🙂

 

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Here is the door to the villa – such a charming place to visit, it is open certain days of the week so you can check it out. The surrounding garden is just beautiful with lots of succulents – they are my favourite.

Thanksgiving we drove over to the East Bay to see our friends for the day it was a chilled out day with some delicious food. My friends hubby made the turkey with yummy vegetarian sides with a sweet potato recipe by his mum. The vegetarians, myself and my friend had all the sides with Quorn and mushroom gravy. I made this goat cheese butternut squash salad and vegan lime pies, a perfect addition to the table. The kids were announcing themselves as the United Kids of America with the sign they made as they heard the adults vent about the election results. As friends, it is important to share perspectives and we all feel the same so it was such a great feeling to talk about what the future holds. It looks like we will be having a lot of visitors back home in Australia in the future 🙂

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After our Thanksgiving feast and a few glasses of wine we went to check out the view from the top of the hill – here you can see the Bay Bridge, the Golden Gate is way down the back. It was great exercise up and down the hill in the cold and we headed back had some dessert played Dragonwood (a kids card game) that went on forever and headed on back home in the dark. It was a peaceful week full of well-needed rest, aaaah!