Tuesday, September 25, 2007

It started off in a ‘usual’ kind of a way but in my mind but I actually wondered about that afterwards.

Cereal for brekky? “No”! emphatically from both of them. “Well, Cheerios then?” “Yes” from E3 (and 7/8). OK – at least one is settled. “Yes,” then from the other. Good I thought. The Cheerios sat in the bowl - with spoon protruding! Oh well…

“Toast L2?”
“Yes.” Out comes the toaster and within a minute or two, golden brown crispy hot toast pops up. Mmm… smells great even though my breakfast had not been long before. Margarine and vegemite spread, cut into baby triangles to tempt the appetite and laid out on the special yellow plastic plate. No way. A nibble was about all it got. The rest I found, thrown amongst the plastic implements used for playing with coloured dough. Guess it will soon be morning tea time.

“Outside Gan-ma.”
“ Well, OK but the grass is still wet so shoes on please.”

Off he runs, before I’ve had time to blink, oblivious to the dampness of the ground. Back soon with socks grainy from the path. No matter.

Clean your teeth? Well OK but it’s more fun playing with the water. Give up with moans that he wants his too-bush. In the bag it goes to await mummy’s return from work tonight.

10am time for E3(and 7/8)s eye drops. No way Jose! Rolling on the floor, he and I looking for all the world like two crocs rolling in the river, twisting and turning, arms flailing, protecting… exhausted I aim for the appropriate area of the face. Plop, a bit too low but hopefully the rubbing arm will push a smidgen into the said eye. Might be easier to wait for the afternoon nap I think.

Howls from L2 – up, up! Down, down, I think. It seems an imaginary something is coming after him. Placated, I put him down to run off while I contemplate a cuppa – if I’m quick enough.

I hear something dropping on the polished floorboards. Oh boy, I was quick enough for the cuppa but not for the box of macaroni and shoelaces. E2 had managed to leave a trail all through the house of these large tube shaped pieces of pasta. Rescued and placed high up so they can’t get scattered again – at least not today. Oh, oh, I missed the ones which had made it into an empty plastic jar and were now spread amongst the coloured dough. I move off to see what E3 (and 7/8) is up to. Ah - quietly playing his game with train tracks so at least he’s settled.

11.00am – all is quiet while both boys sit quietly eating small round crispy crackers in front of the TV. I think I might quit while I’m ahead. At least for a little while!

Didn’t last too long. Outside enjoying the warm spring sun, Grandma takes a little spell to sit and contemplate. Well I did contemplate – on what noises were being heard in the distance by L2 who seems to have extremely acute hearing.

“Wots dat?” he says.

“I think it’s a fire engine” say I, straining my failing hearing for the high pitched ‘nee-nah’ whine miles away.

“Wots dat?” again.
Maybe it’s the neighbour at work in his shed.

“Wots dat?” – again.
Oh just the birdies in the trees.

On and on it went, me trying to be more and more inventive each time until at last he spied a trail of ants on the bricks alongside where I was sitting.

“Stamp, stamp – I get them Gan-ma”
Well yes, he got them OK but think it a much better idea to brush them away with the little broom. Actually kept him occupied for quite a while until he spied a worm lying on the path, covered in dirt and certainly passed its use by date. A little frightened by this ‘phenomena’ L2 backed off a bit. I’ll get it with the dustpan, I told him. With a swing of the arm, poor worm was flung out onto the grass, racing toddler’s feet after it trying to find where it had landed. Well of course it was well and truly ‘gone’ but it used up a few more minutes of activity until something else took his eye.

“Wots dat?” I was at the bench preparing some sandwiches for lunch.

“Oh, Grandma’s making lunch” I replied.

“I have some?”

“Of course – we’ll put it on the table and all sit down and have it.”

Not good enough Grandma! Hand outstretched he clearly indicated he was ‘ready for it now – right now! Oh well – Grandma handed the sandwich and off L2 trotted to the little ride on car nearby. One tiny sandwich consumed, the hand was out for another. Just as he took a bite, the little car stuck on the mat on the floor and whoops, over it went, toddler, sandwich and all. Tears ensued and probably hurt feelings which only cuddles could help.

I think naptime is very near. Into bed with special blankie – a few blinks and he’d reached the land of Nod.

Once he wakes, we’ve only got the rest of the afternoon to go. Should be fun! But I wouldn’t miss it for quids!

Friday, September 14, 2007

BATTING - A Quilter’s Dream

After scrolling through more than 500 pages of a ‘batting’ search in Wikipedia, it finally gave me the signal that it could not process my search – it was possibly due to a ‘poorly worded’ search string. Well I hadn’t thought that the word ‘batting’ was ‘poorly worded’ anyway decided to try again, this time adding ‘quilting’ to my search word.

Ah ha! Success – this time only 3 pages to scroll through. Maybe I will find the origin of the term. But alas. No. So many meanings but nothing to give me the slightest clue about the origin of the word used in Quilting.

Firstly as one can imagine, were the cricket terms.
Batting average
Batting order
The act of defending one’s wicket with the cricket bat while attempting to score runs (see Batting, cricket) - helpful!

Then there were the baseball terms:
Batting cage
Batting power
In baseball, batting is the act of attempting to hit the ball with the baseball bat thrown by the pitcher in order to score runs – and again reference (see Batting (baseball)).

Strangely, this search also picked up ‘bat out of hell’ - now that would be an interesting one to pursue!

Another search brought
Cotton batting
Poly batting
Sweet dreams stuffing
even - Ebay batting! – that’d be worth a look I reckon.

But what I wanted was the ‘quilting’ batting. So from another search I got the inevitable “In quilting, batting is a layer of insulation between a top layer of patchwork and a layer of backing material – see (Patchwork quilt).

Well I already knew that but still was no closer to find the origin of the blessed word.

My search on quilt batting produced 50 odd entries, the least relevant being a list of words and phrases having differing meanings in British and American English. Needless to say, this list did not contain any words pertaining to either quilt or batting! However, it did tell me it was also known as ‘wadding’ – now that’s a peculiar word – wonder where that came from!

No, no – I’m not going down that path again – but two interesting facts I could have a go at are:

Wadding is used in guns to seal gas behind a projectile - and
Wadding is also used in model rockets!

Think I’ll quit while I’m still sane – at least for now.

Monday, September 10, 2007

The New Quilt is Finished!

It’s finished. Hooray!

Still working on the word ‘batting’ though.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Shall I try the black one next?

A couple of times before I have decided to try growing a tomato plant in a tub in my back yard. I’ve usually given up as the fruit becomes more worm than tomato, despite the application of products which are supposed to keep them free of these pests. It’s a couple of years now since I ‘had a go’ so I thought I’d have one more try but this time putting the plant in the ground instead of in a tub. I had a little patch in mind which gets the sun pretty much all day in the summer so I’ve lovingly prepared it with manure, blood and bone and water crystals. I purchased my very sturdy little tomato plant (Grosse Lisse by name) from a very up-market newish nursery and it’s now planted in the ground and watered in with a solution made from seaweed, guaranteed to ‘settle it in.’

I have heard that some types of plants are good to put with others – keeping pests away etc so information gleaned from the internet suggested french marigold was the one I needed for my tomato. This morning while shopping for my vegetables I found some plants which I was sure were marigolds, for sale. I bought two and promptly put them in on either side of my little tomato.

Something didn’t look quite right so I checked again on the internet to see what marigolds looked like. I really think I’ve planted the wrong thing! Have I got Candelula - or have I got a Zinnia? Oh well, they can stay until I find the right plants. I’m not sure what I’ll do with the ones already in the ground – they might at least bring a few bees around but as I’m not fond of the colour orange but I’ll have to try to find a little spot to plant them ‘out of the way.’

If this little 'Grosse Lisse' stays healthy, I'm thinking I might try a Russian Black!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

The New Quilt

Checking out my fabric stash proved one thing to me - nothing constructive could come out of what I had stored. No inspiration either, so back it went again into the storage container. A few days later when daughter announced that a new ‘big’ bed had been ordered for her Master 2, I silently mulled over the possibility of launching myself into action for some serious quilting time. Knowing that Master 1 had received a bed quilt at his promotion from cot to bed I could hardly deprive this current contender for ‘ cot to bed’ launch now could I?

Visiting my local retailer and hoping for a bargain in their half price sale, I embark on the possibility of colours and patterns suitable for this growing lad’s new bedcover. I am not one for being rash when it comes to purchases in anything other than fabrics! I spied some with a coordinating ocean/sea theme in safe primary colours and quickly decided on others to match. Without even a pattern in mind, made my purchase and took off for home. Pulling out old magazines I found a simple design which I thought would suit the colours and theme of the fabric. I wanted something that would be quick to sew by machine and not too complicated – had tried that before and taken years to finish one top. I wasn’t planning to go down that path again this time.

Striking while the inspirational ‘iron’ was hot, cutting was soon completed and the sewing together of tiny squares commenced. Often, past attempts have seen me lag at this point, or I get a few blocks finished and they are filed in the ‘I’ll come back to that later’ pile. I have no idea why it is different this time. I zoom ahead with this project and before long I am down on the floor laying all the little squares together – like a giant jigsaw puzzle.

Wow! The top is complete. I’ll now have to make another trip to the shop-that-sells-all and get the backing and batting. Batting? Where did a name like that come from? Maybe this could be another meandering theme I could check out in my spare time?

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Who won?

Pointing to the clock on the wall I showed them where the little hand needed to be to show ten o’clock. It was only 9.30am but another half hour should do I thought. L2 looked on very disinterestingly at my attempt to teach ‘the time’ and how-it-would-be-good-to-wait-a-while.

It had been a morning of contrasts with my two grandies staying at Granma’s for the day. E3 (and 7/8ths) was normally the one who reneged on breakfast but to my surprise, today two slices of ‘tana toast had been consumed. L2 was decidedly not eating! Trying to tempt a two year old’s palate with things like ‘tana toast, honey toast, Cheerios and even porridge was not working. “Porrich” he said. “Great” I said. Either he’d given in with a bit of resignation – or Granma had won – with a bit of cajoling! The porrich was prepared but they say ‘you can lead a horse to water but not make him drink’ – don’t they? The ‘porrich’ was definitely not going to be on the menu this morning for this little lad.

Which was why when it came to asking for biscuits and then ice cream sticks, a time was set!

“It’s on 10 Ganma!”

Oh?? This is where Granma realizes she hasn’t spelled out it was the small black hand that needed to be on the 10 – not the thin red second hand! That corrected, another 20 minutes to go.

The time came. Out came the ice cream on sticks. Red for E3 (and 7/8) and yellow for L2. Out we went to sit on the chairs in the sun – the best place in the world for eating ice cream on sticks at 10am on a beautiful morning!

All this time, there had been a constant chatter from E3 (and 7/8) who is a great conversationalist. L2 meanwhile was quiet. Obviously enjoying the ‘treat’ the slurping and licking came to a halt and looking at me, cherub-like, he pronounced “I win.”

I’d say he most certainly did – wouldn’t you?