venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
A fleeting appearance before I melt away in the heat ...

I have Christmas cards, I think there's still time to post, who would like one?

Comments are screened or my email is
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Quiet day, good day. No migraine but I was very sleepy for a few hours due to the medication hangover. Woke up enough to make dinner fortunately!

Croissants for breakfast with the usual boysenberry jam plus some violet flower jam that I saw in the deli and was quite fascinated by. Mum put a jar in my stocking. *g* I prefer the boysenberry for croissants but I think the violet would be excellent on scones.

Went to Roz's place for a cup of tea and exchange of gifts, happiness all around.

Came home, started the duck, then we sat down for presents with a cup of tea and some Lafayette Gingerbread (which Mum says is the best gingerbread she's ever tasted so that's rather nice.) Had an alarming moment when Mum tried to reach over the sofa arm for a present and ended up sliding off the sofa, onto some presents and into the tree. Amazingly, she was fine, the presents were fine (one gift bag a bit smushed) and the tree was a bit mussed and dropped some ornaments but otherwise fine. She said there was just nothing to catch herself on - except the tree and that would have gone well.

So we took a minute and had some gingerbread before opening presents. We basically exchanged books, DVDs, CDs, clothes and earrings which amused me. The hounds had their Christmas bandanas but I don't know if those counted as presents for them ... so they have some 'iced' Christmas tree biscuits which seem to be going down very well.

The duck took four hours to cook, flipping every hour, so I spent intervals between cooking duties reading bits of my two new books (Bill Bryson and Nalini Singh.) Dinner was Festive Duck with Apple Cider Drizzle (but cooked the slow way), Mini Herbed Pommes Anna, and Orange Roasted Broccolini. Dessert was Mango and Brandy Christmas Pudding. No, I didn't make it. I don't usually like Christmas pudding but we tried a sample of this and it was delicious.

Mum's in bed, I'm about to go; we'll be seeing Brother and family tomorrow for lunch. Good food, good people, nice presents, lots of doggy cuddles, no migraine. Good Christmas.

Merry Christmas!!!

Last of the carols ...

An Aussie tradition.

And again, for fun ...

venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
After spending the better part of two days feeling weak and feeble, I did manage to get some Christmas baking and wrapping done last night. Did multiple loads of washing today, had Christmas Eve dinner with cousin Dee, have a bit more prep to do and hope I stave off the migraine.

Oh crap, I have to make my bed. The only downside to clean sheets!

venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
... but I did get to cuddle with Miss Shadow on the sofa.

venetia_sassy: (Default)
Are greyhounds a fandom? (They're a cult; we have t-shirts.) I feel like I've witnessed a fandom collision. J.K. Rowling has a rescue grey too ...

venetia_sassy: (Adam // glitter and stars)
I cannot tell you how much I've been annoying myself weighing the various factors of standing, January hot weather, night time cool, solo or with friends and how much any one combination would be likely to cause a relapse. Plus finances. (I've missed out on a number of purchases this way. Sometimes I think I really need to go with impulse more, then I tell myself to be more adult and responsible. It's so boring.)

But while no friends were available to go along, I checked the tickets one more time today - and there were seats! Limited number and I snagged a really good one so I am feeling very pleased.

My bank account isn't but oh well.

Christmas shopping in town tomorrow and I plan to take plenty of time and sit down breaks. Not too much to get but there are a few places I want to browse as well. The weekend is going to be a stinker so I will be laying low and recovering if possible.

I haven't even thought about Christmas baking.

venetia_sassy: (101 Dalmatians // happy puppies!)
Miss Shadow got up on the sofa again! She is curled up beside me as I type. Mr Nosey was ensconced on one sofa while I was wrapping presents on the floor earlier (Mum looked at the pile and said, 'You are very efficient at this.' Which may explain why I get asked to do it for almost every birthday and most Christmas presents, just like the Christmas lights.) Miss Shadow came in when I was finished and when I was settled on the other sofa, I noticed her glaring at me. She has a very expressive face. It seems she was waiting for an invitation to get up again (have you met a dog who does that?) I put a cotton throw down this time and it seems to make her feel more secure.

Roz came by earlier with her new dog (their elderly Staffy died earlier this year), reportedly a kelpie/greyhound cross. Well, he's clearly kelpie/something bigger but I couldn't see greyhound. *shrugs* He's gorgeous though and seems very sweet. Roz has asked if I'll come over soon and do some training with him - he's a bit too interested in the chickens right now but their cat has terrified him into submission although she hasn't realised it yet. Today she came into the room and the poor dog slunk away and tried to climb in Roz's husband's lap for protection.

Yesterday was a bit exhausting for me and the dogs but they had a great many cuddles and their photos taken at least a dozen times. We went to one of our regular markets with the hounds in their antlers - and we brought the cool coats with us this time. They were needed although the weather was weirdly changeable and we had to take them off at one because of a sharp wind.

The little Fuji apples are sadly finished (we were buying five kilos a fortnight at one point) but we got the last box of the really good navel oranges, and the first kilos of plums and cherries. Plus corn, cavolo nero, capsicum, chickens, eggs and sausages, plus dried kangaroo tails and lamb bones for the hounds. Mum did some shopping I didn't need to know about, hem, and it took us two hours. If we were just shopping it would be half an hour. But with visiting all the favorite stall holders and stopping for everyone who wants to pat the dogs it takes a while.

Then we went to visit Mum's friend Ivy at her shoe shop so I could thank her in person for the lovely scarf she gave me for my birthday but hadn't opened by the time she left our party. She took photos of the dogs as well as did a customer and we all chatted. Mum may have made a new friend and joined a book club. The other customer was wearing a glorious blue skirt with peacock feather patterns from a shop two doors down and we stopped in there as well. I tried on the skirt and it was gorgeous and comfortable but even the Xsmall was a bit too big (yes, I've lost weight but I swear sizes have gone up. I am not skinny!) While in there a customer from the hairdresser upstairs and across the plaza came down and asked if I'd bring the dogs up because all the girls wanted to meet them! Good thing I keep up their stair practice. Again they had their photos taken but we only stayed a few minutes. They clearly weren't keen on the chemical smells. Then it was home and bed for three of us while Mum was still bright-eyed and energetic.

I try not to assume people are interested in my dogs (even though they are splendid dogs!) but then days like yesterday happen.

I was lying on the floor earlier and Mr Nosey had his head on my chest while Miss Shadow had her head against my knee and one paw in my hand.

Santa Paws!

Dec. 6th, 2015 11:47 pm
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Here's a happy thing. We took the dogs out in their reindeer antlers today. Now we always get people wanting to pat them and talk to them and ask about greyhounds which is one of the reasons we take them to markets, etc. But add the antlers and it seemed like every second person at least was grinning at them as they walked past. We heard "Oh look at the cute dogs!" "Look at the reindeer dogs!" so many times and they had their photo taken about ten times.

It was nice seeing people smile.

We took the hounds to a nearby market we've only visited once or twice but it got too hot too quickly to linger and we hadn't brought their cool coats. They had some excellent cuddles with various people in shaded areas, took alarm at the extraordinary noises made by some sheep (they know alpacas but I don't think they've met sheep before) and we toured the various stalls but didn't find any potential gifts. Then it was really too hot so we went back to the car and gave the dogs some water - they rarely drink from public water sources, those are contaminated by other dogs, thank you very much. They like fresh water, poured into their own bowl and held for them. It's possible they're a bit fastidious. Or spoiled.

The we went off to a nearby shopping district - which turned out to be having a market as well but it was still too hot to take the dogs around much. But we had an appointment to have their photo taken with Santa at the RSPCA for the third year in a row. And when the Santa saw them, she was delighted. "You've brought them back again! I love these guys!" And we have some lovely photos, individual and double, Miss Shadow grinning away and Mr Nosey looking a bit worried at first, then succumbing to cuddles. (We tried to persuade him to get up on the 'seat' and he didn't like that at all. Won't do that next year!) We also met a bouncy, stocky Dalmatian, a French bulldog and a French bulldog/pug who were all lovely and wanted to play.

Home again to pass out (except for Mum) and tonight Kitt and Rena dropped by for an hour to pick up some DVDs they were going to borrow. We wound up talking about various aggravations of modern life/life in general and I said, You realise we're turning into cranky old ladies in our thirties?

Anyway. Despite the heat and the people (mostly relatives) who think we're bonkers for having Santa Paws photos taken, it was a good day. A lot of people smiled.

venetia_sassy: (Default)
Er, I don't know if any of the cards will arrive in time but if you would like a holiday/Christmas card, let me know your address! Comments screened. I'm usually a lot more prepared for Christmas but I spent November either preparing for or recovering from our birthday party (which makes it sound huge ... about a dozen people actually.)
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
We put up the Christmas tree today and I had quite the battle arranging the lights. Mum always leaves it to me, saying I'm better at it. As I struggled with tangled cords and scratchy branches which combined to nearly topple the tree (Mum caught it!), I voiced the unworthy suspicion that this was her way of pushing the job off on me. She laughed and helped me disentangle myself from the tree. There must have been a gremlin in the lights this year, they weren't tangled to start with.

But the decorations are done now and looking lovely.

venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Almost forgot but it is definitely that time! If you would like a Christmas/holiday card from ridiculously sunny Australia, you can leave your address here (comments are screened) or email me:
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
I'm about to fall over and pass out (early start, much cooking, poor sleep last night) but before I do, Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and a happy day to all!

Later, I will tell you about our excellent Christmas dinner and presents that turned out well and post a photo of the cat in his Christmas bow tie and one of the dogs in their reindeer antlers at our recent market visit.

For now ...

And for fun ...

venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
After the better part of a week trying not to expire thanks to temperatures of 38, 42, 37, 41C, etc, it has finally cooled down and I have been cramming all of my Christmas baking (minimum amount, sadly) into the last 24 hours.

Orange Blossom Shortbread, Chocolate Spice Cookies, Almond-Cherry Florentines, an attempt at Choc-dipped Candy Canes (such a pain) and I'd already made some simple double pretzel chocolate thingies, if all else failed.

So now the first gifts have been delivered, the Cranberry Orange Cake is in the oven for tomorrow, the duck is defrosting, carols are playing and I just need to wrap a few last presents (including new squeaky toys for the dogs!), tidy up a bit and finish rereading 101 Dalmatians. I thought I might watch the movie tonight but we got back from Christmas Eve dinner a bit late (we always do) so maybe tomorrow night!

For now, I will leave you with two versions of one of my favourite carols.

Merry Christmas to all ...
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Ah, the annual Christmas shopping expedition. No matter how much of it I do online (and I do a great deal these days), there are still some things that I need to go out to buy. Some people who are frustratingly hard to buy for and the internet is not providing inspiration. Some things I need to see before I buy them.

So today I went off to a shopping centre, several hours later than planned due to a poor night's sleep. But! It was late night shopping Thursday so I didn't have to rush. And I didn't. I wandered, I considered, I perused, I got to pat some puppies. And while at one point my ears were assailed by a horrendous cover of My Favourite Things (wtf?) and I had to leave another store due some wretched trilling artificial birds (they did not stop. I couldn't believe no one smashed the fucking things; I did try to locate an off switch. I went back later and they had finally been turned off and I could actually look around), there was also a really wonderful performance of carols by a local choir. I heard them a bit as I was having a snack and when I'd finished, I managed to locate them. They were very good and it was lovely to hear carols sung by a choir instead of mangled on the radio.

I have added yet another reindeer to our collection; we finally have a new tree topper (ours has been looking very tired for years but we couldn't find anything nice to replace it!); I found a truly out-of-left-field gift for SIL-the-impossible-to-buy-for; the rest of Mum's stocking presents, except the market goodies; framed a picture of the Boyo for Brother; explored the option of a photobook for Mum (answer: album. Converting so many photos to digital would be hideously expensive.)

Yes, still a couple of things to get and food plans to make but the major trip is done.

My feet hurt.
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
First trial of the spiralizer was successful! BLT zucchini noodles (I didn't roast the tomatoes, just chopped them and cooked them for a bit with the garlic.)

We put up the Christmas tree tonight. Or rather, Mum brought the various components up from the garage, then watched me figure out the new tree lights and decorate the tree, with occasional advice. (I remember when I was way too small to do any of these things! So weird.) We played the new Christmas CD I'd bought for this - Katherine Jenkins' This Is Christmas. Highly enjoyable.

Almost to the end of the Finding A New Dog Quest! )

It's not quite official yet but it's looking that way. We've got a new dog. And tomorrow I will tell you more about him and post some photos. Because he is really very cute!
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Sooo ... it's been ages! Not by intention, not at all. Particularly over the last couple of months when there were quite few times I wanted to post but just didn't have the mental energy. I'll work on it. But for now, holiday cards!

The dogs had their photo taken with Santa today (the RSPCA was fundraising) and it reminded me that it was time for such things so hey, if anyone would like a card from Australia, comment with your address (screened post) or email me:

(I should have paid extra to have the digital image emailed to me so I could post it here - Miss Shadow has such a WTF expression.)
venetia_sassy: (Images // puppies! With Santa hats!)
Merry Christmas!!!

Whether you celebrate or not, I hope you had/are having/will have a lovely day.

I just woke up from a nap on the sofa to hear the dog snoring ferociously nearby (that might have been what woke me) and to find the cat curled against my chest. He has been determined to sit on me today but he finds it difficult if I'm lying on my side. He'll take 'plastered against me' as a second option.

I had trouble settling down to sleep last night - things to do and the weather was still quite warm and humid but I did fall asleep eventually. In the morning I didn't want to get up! I think all my pre-Christmas adrenaline disappeared once the day was here (I'm going, 'Wait, wait, not yet, not yet, let me enjoy it! And I have to make dinner!') plus the sudden change in weather (it dropped 20C in a few hours and it's been raining and stormy all day) combined to leave me feeling very tired and wanting naps.

Anyway, I woke up and opened my stocking gifts (we have new stockings this year! Mum has been complaining about the narrow, knitted ones she bought for years but we still used them. Not anymore! Mum is pleased) and we had croissants for a late brunch. Then I started the pork for our dinner before we sat down to open presents. The cat sat on my lap and refused to move.

Much spoiling occurred and I am relieved to say the various things I found seemed to be received very happily. The I had a little rest on the sofa for a while and the cat was reminded that really, there is nowhere to lie on me when I'm on my side.

After that, we headed across the road for an hour or so to say hello to the neighbours (the daughter had come over while we were having brunch to bring us chocolates and to ask if we would like to join their family lunch on Boxing Day. Very sweet of them but we're going out tomorrow.) Took them some of the Chocolate Saltine Toffee which I can now say is a success!

Came home again to cook. Originally I thought we'd have a late lunch but with my nap and the visit, it wound up being dinner.

And I don't usually say this about my own cooking but it was amazing. Try any of these recipes and enjoy.

Christmas Dinner 2012

Italian Red Wine Pork Roast
Pork Crackling
Roasted Italian Apples and Potatoes

Prosciutto Wrapped Asparagus
Sauteed Green Beans with Walnuts and Cranberries
Apple Cider Pound Cake Bundt with Apple Cider Glaze

(I still don't understand the pork crackling thing but Mum loved it.)

We did not eat the cake straight away however. We sat in the living room and listened to carols and had our first cup of tea from the large Republic of Tea parcel I ordered last month (Mum was delighted.) I made some Holiday Spiced Plum in my new and gorgeous teapot and Mum had hers in the delicate glass tea cup I gave her and I had mine in the pretty blue and white cup Mum gave me for my birthday. Then we had cake before I could fall asleep (and ooh, the crispy top-becomes-base of that cake is so good. I mean, all of it's good but that bit is amazing. Especially hot, right of the oven. Ahem. Bits fell off, okay?)

Then I said goodnight and Merry Christmas to Mum, had a nap and now I am saying Merry Christmas to all of you. Have a lovely holiday.


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December 2016

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