Saturday, January 29, 2011

Black, white & … ‘Buff It’?

As time rolls on we are moving through the house, painting, fixing, building and not cleaning. Okay, the last one is solely my fault. I’ve lost my bend and I have a personal deep hatred for my vacuum cleaner. It SHOULD suck. It is either over zealous or very lazy. I’m working on a new one. Robotics anyone?

Hubs has been building the beginnings of a pergola on our deck, which presently consists of a lattice wall on the southern side to block the copious wind. We’ve also been painting.

It started on Boxing Day when Hubs moved the entire studio into our bedroom for a day of painting. Err… right. We slept in our spare room that night and slowly have moved alarm clocks, fans and lamps in there with us. After both studio rooms were painted we started talking about the bedroom. Our strawberry pink monstrosity bedroom. I so vividly remember opening my eyes on the first morning in OUR house, the one we BOUGHT, to a sea of strawberry pink. Pink curtains, pink walls, and mushroom pinky grey Berber carpet. I promptly put four colour swatches on the wall, we didn’t like any of them and kept talking about it. It will be 2 years in April since we moved in.

After the nursery chair was covered a colour scheme became apparent to us. Off to Mitre 10 with glee we went and the painting began.

My house was described as ‘Freshly renovated.’ Poorly painted pastel 90’s country style walls with floral wallpaper trim and cracks and gaps does not equal a fresh reno. Just saying.

I spent Australia Day filling gaps in the joins , every join in the room thank you, and Hubs removed Floral Delight pink paper trim from the bottom of the walls. I did the first cutting in at 10pm that night. Delighted to be finished, I went in the room to grab my alarm clock. Lucy stood up and meowed her approval of the colour. That’s when I realised that if all the places to sit in the room, she’d parked on the wet paint mixing stick. A highly humiliating double parent Emergency Sponge Bath ensued, resulting in one furparent in fits of laughter whilst gripping the cat tightly, another furparent firmly sponge bathing cat’s lower half and one highly embarrassed cat licking her front paws desperately wishing for it all to end.

The next morning Lucy remained angry with shades of Dulux ‘Buff It’ on her head (?) and flank, refusing to look at me. ‘Buff It’ is the darkest shade on the swatch, and the room looks awesome.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Yeast Imperfections

Since entering the third trimester I’ve been able to function like a sane human 6 days out of 7. The 7th seems to be the day that the Pregnancy Truck arrives and runs me over repeatedly. You know, tired. Am I a drama queen? Potentially.

This Sunday was no exception, after the mega week I told you about. A little weepy, missing my Dad, wishing Hubs were home to pat my forehead and make cups of tea.

So, I baked. In times of stress I’ve always baked. A nice loaf of bread always cheers me up (or is it just the complex carbs?) so I made a loaf of crusty white.

It proofed like a dream, but I may have left the second rise a little long, for when it came out of the oven it looked like this.

Never mind- that’s an extra sneaky crunchy bit I slathered in butter. That cheered me up a tad. Then I had to smile. In a deep and meaningful wow she’s reading too much into a loaf of bread kind of way I thought the bread epitomised my mood.

From one side, Yeasted Perfection. Crusty and golden, beautifully shaped. The side we’d like to show everybody.

The other side, still crusty and golden, but struggling to hold it all together. Still perfect, still beautiful as everything is, but certainly not Blue Ribbon standard. How we sometimes feel beneath the smooth and perfect surface.

The bread is beautifully light and tasty - best toasted and covered in butter and vegemite. I am still tired but finding more opportunities to rest and reflect, a piece of toast in my hand.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A Week In Review (or, how I promised myself to upload every day, but instead, got a bit tired.)

It’s Sunday here, which means a lazy morning filled with best housework intentions but the reality is I’m actually sitting here procrastinating instead. Vacuum? Whatever.

This week proved to be slightly nutty with late nights and early morning. Pregnastics, MonaFoma, midwives, antenatal classes, Midland Highway trips and lots of BBQs.

Let’s start with the first image shall we?

Crochet (pics 1 & 2)

I’ve long been a mad crochet lady, with several projects on the go at once and often hidden away in various corners of the house. My skills are relatively minimal and my speciality is round things. Tea cosies & hats are my favourites. This was a tea cosy birthday present, started in November as a tea cosy Christmas present, but urgently required finishing for posting. I was really happy with how this one turned out, and there’s more birthdays to come, which means more tea cosies to make! I intend to start liking another stitch as much as I like reverse edge shell stitch, so my cosies may have more than one style to them.


Husband and I are rather partial to a picnic, and as we live a considerable distance from town nighttime adventures require us (me!) to eat before we go anywhere. And as fun as it is to eating out, paying the mortgage is also fun so we find outselves needing to get clever about dinners not at home. So, we picnic and barbeque our way around the social calendar.

Hobart has lots of free picnic areas, and we’re completely in love with the Cascade Gardens in South Hobart. When we lived in the area we spent a lot of time meandering through the gardens in the summer sunshine and winter winds. Now, we spend a lot of evenings having a quick barbeque high above the rivulet. So simple and such a relaxing way to catch up with each other before the evening’s entertainment. Cool bag? Barbeque tongs and eggflip? Sauce? Bread? Meat from the freezer? Cold drinks? We’re ready.

PVT at MonaFoma

When Husband and I moved in together so many years ago we didn’t have a single double up in our CD collection. I had a hearty collection of singer/songwriters, but Hubs had this wildly varied collection of so many artists I’d never heard of.

Slowly slowly I discovered new styles of music and over the years have come to quite enjoy Massive Attack, Faithless, Hermitude, Astronomy Class and many many more. In 2008 Hubs came home with an album called ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ by a band called Pivot.

When we were looking at the MonaFoma program Hubs discovered PVT (a name change was necessary due to legal issues) were playing for free on Thursday night. Another barbeque was required. ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ made it into the car CD player for our journeys to town and back, and the title track became well and truly stuck in my head.

On Twitter I kindly requested of PVT that they play ‘O Soundtrack My Heart’ to make a heftily pregnant woman happy. You know - it’s the only song I could remember vividly, so it’d be lovely to hear it live. They kindly obliged. It was the most amazing live version that totally blew my mind.

We had set up camp by the wall with a picnic blanket and I spent the set time alternating between

  1. Standing (baby quiet) and

  2. Sitting (baby’s world totally rocked by mega bass notes and thus refusing to sit still. See #1.)
I snapped some pics on my phone using Hipstamatic and they turned out surprisingly well. A brilliant evening.

A Cat and her Pool Noodle

Lucy turned 5 on Wednesday and I can’t quite believe she’s now classified as middle aged! Here she is with her Pool Noodle that she drags around the house and kills with regularity. Lucy isn’t the best photo poser, and manages to move at the last minute most times. Alas, Pool Noodle is a good friend to Lucy and keeps her occupied for a lot of the day.

A rapidly shrinking lap

Lucy enjoys a morning sit on my lap to look out the window, lean back and have her belly and chest scratched. Space is becoming a premium, so she attempts to get comfortable whilst looking a bit put out at the same time. A few more weeks, Lucy, a few more weeks.

Delicious Snacks

Again with the dinners. I need to eat. Regularly. Sometimes without warning. Quotable quote of the weekend has been Husband saying ‘Can you please have something to eat so you’re less murderous? Please?’

This is my friend Charlotte’s Zucchini Pickle that arrived at our house in a delicious hamper at Christmastime. It’s wonderful with Jatz Crackers and cheese. So good!

A week in review. I need a nap.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Sunday Harvest

Sunday’s glorious weather dragged me into the sunshine to tidy up the veg patch a bit and more importantly, thin the carrots!

We take carrots seriously here, as we eat a lot of them and they’re something I appear to be good at growing. As previously mentioned there’s four varieties in at present, Royal Chantenay, Red Cored Chantenay, Purple Dragon and Red Nantes.

The Red and Royal Chantenays look much the same to me, and all carrot rows are separated by a row of Chioggia beetroots.

This lovely big beetroot was threatening a takeover so out he came, and I’ve now vowed to thin the carrots much sooner than now. There were a lot of teen sized carrots that were really difficult to pull up, so earlier in their life is better.

The bounty was wonderful and the carrot thinnings have now been eaten, but I’d love your suggestions for beetroot. I’ll pull out Nigel Slater’s ‘Tender Part 1’ and see what it says…

Sunday, January 16, 2011

One last hurruh!

Today was my last gig for the next little while… I say next little while because I don’t like to give a definite timing - things could change. But the next gig booked is in November and I’m looking forward to a break.

I spent the morning before my show pottering around the garden (but that’s tomorrow’s post idea, so shhh!) and after I’d weeded and thinned and weeded some more, then baked a loaf of bread I sat down.

(see picture 1 above)

This sitting down caper proved to be a poor idea. Firstly, it’s a lot harder to get up from the ground than it used to be, and secondly because it meant I lazed in the sun instead of getting ready for a gig.

But alas, ready I became so Kitchenhand Dave and I headed down to Cygnet for our last show at the Scout Hall. And it was such fun. The room was full, the audience lovely and we all had a great time. Lots of stories and lots of songs, laughter and smiles. Precisely how I think it should be.

And then my mate Ben McKinnon came on stage and played shaker and sang harmonies in our last song ‘Green Lights’.

Being the wonderful audience they were, they stayed put for a photo for me. (see second picture) Then lovely Ben insisted on another one with me in it. (see third picture, and mind that the massive belly doesn’t knock you out!) These are great keepsake pictures to have and I’m very glad I got them.

I’m so happy with our last show, and I hope the audience was as well. Time for a new phase in my life for a little while, but right now I’m off to relive today for a bit longer.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Us Kendalls. Always an opinion on something.

Us Kendalls. Always an opinion on something.
Schrieben. Construct. Compose. Create.

My highly talented brother Benjamin D Kendall has been sharing his journalism-style essays over here for a while now. Whilst his writing is sometimes sporadic, it’s always good great, and I look forward to his new posts whenever they pop up on my screen.

I can write you a song that precisely dances around my feelings and leaves you often with an understanding of what I meant without actually saying it. But I can rarely tell you exactly how I feel without thinking that I’ve somehow muddled it all up somehow.

My big brother however - he’s just got a way with the written word. I love reading his posts and discovering another facet of his personality that fits so flawlessly with the public side that we see but remains so hidden, only to be revealed in his writing.

At A Folk Festival

Standing outside a venue waiting for our friends to go on and play I caught the end of a set from Justin Walshe Folk Machine. Amazing sounds & very awesome to listen to.

This sign was posted outside the venue where I was standing, and there were two Folk Festival volunteers dancing very sedately next to the sign. You know, feet planted firmly on the ground & upper bodies only keeping a groove on. Folk rock on!

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Last Two

Tonight is the beginning of the Cygnet Folk Festival, where I’ll be playing my second last show before our bubs is born. Quietly nervous with a baby booting me continually on the side where my guitar needs to sit - I’m trying to keep my breath together and prepare to Folk-Rock. Or, just put on a bloody good show.

Bubs has grown exponentially in the last couple of weeks but I’m feeling pretty good. The only way to wrangle the guitar over the bump is to play side-saddle, which works pretty well!

I’m excited and sad about these next two shows. I’ve never really had a proper break from music before, and with the exception of a show booked in November 2011 there’s nothing musical on the horizon. A new era will begin and instead of a stage my venue will be singing lullabies and showing a tiny person the world. Can’t wait.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

A few of my favourite things.

Last year I picked up this drawer from a great second hand shop in town. It came home, I cleaned it up and it sat in the workshop for months.

Then I liquid nails’d some bracing to the back of it and it sat in the workshop again.

Eventually, Husband brought it inside and it sat in the middle of the kitchen for day. And got moved aside. I came home on Saturday to find Husband in full swing gluing various things together and putting the drawer on the wall.

Apparently it took more than five minutes and less than ten. Which makes my months of procrastination TOTALLY worthwhile.

I’ve spent the last day or so putting my favourite things on it so I can enjoy them whilst I’m in the kitchen. There’s the guitar my sister painted for me, a mug I was given by my aunts friend when I was 5, the vase my Grandfather turned for me in 1988, a bell that was my great grandmothers, a tea strainer my mother gave me and a few bits and pieces.

I love having these things close by to look at. It reminds me of family I can’t see every day and of the memories we share.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Baby Brain

I’ve fallen a little behind on the photo per day- last couple of days have been nondescript and filled with pregnancy stuff. You want to hear about Pregnastics- where I go to a class filled with other pregnant women and we do physio stretches? Or how I jammed my body into my swimsuit and went swimming with a preggy friend?

So I went to catch up and wrote a lovely post about how I finished my chair, complete with picture of the cat admiring it. She laid there and watched Top Gear with us. She’s got taste.

I hit post, but something was vaguely familiar. Seems I’d already taken a pic and told you about my wonderful chair.

Lucky you, you get to read about it twice.


I finished upholstering the chair on Sunday evening. Thank you Google for your ever abundant wisdom, and Husband for his assistance with sawing bits of wood for the base and back.

There were a few tense moments with the staple gun, but it’s come up a treat! I’ve got enough material to make a single doona cover as well, so when we’re feeding bubs on a chilly winter evening we can all be warm.

And yes, as you can see, the cat approves.

Sunday, January 9, 2011


The chair has been sanded and teak oiled, springs converted from rust to black, boards cut for chair back and seat, foam glued to boards, upholstered and put together. A great weekend project for under $85.

This is going straight to the nursery corner of our bedroom. When I’m done admiring it.

Misty Mountains

Taken last night after two days of hot weather (32oC & 31oC respectively) were broken by hours of storms. The air was still moist but a nice cool breeze was blowing through the garden, and from where I took this photo the scent of wisteria was all around me.

Friday, January 7, 2011


This is Lucy, FurMadam of the house. We are doing some painting at present, so our front room is home to all sorts of things. It’s been a big playground for Lucy, who spends her days exploring. The well loved stool provides perfect height access to sun oneself and spy on the moving-house neighbours.

Forgive me.

I actually did take this yesterday but am only getting around to posting today.

This is Mike, our Meyer Lemon tree. We’ve had him for a bit over 12 months and he thrived and grew tiny lemons and oh! He was tall and glorious. Then, one winter’s night Husband popped outside to find a wallaby making off with half of Mike. We were frustrated - it had been a constant battle of human V wallaby, possum, bandicoot all winter.

Wedding plans begged our attentions so we let Mike be with the intention of pulling him out. Springtime came and lo & behold, new luscious green growth was found. Husband put up a fence quick smart and Mike Meyer is back on his way.

He is now joined by Lizzie the Lisbon lemon tree, a late wedding present from my bestie who had heard of Mike’s demise but not return. Now there will be lemons galore!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

What to do when you’re 30-odd weeks pregnant?
Why, recushion and upholster a chair of course!

We found a beautiful 50’s chair frame under our house that will make a great nursery chair. So, I’ve been measuring and re-measuring, and it’s all ready to go ahead and put together.

I picked up this fabric for an awesome price and I can’t wait to see how it looks!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Not just a good looking Raspberry Tart.

As I mentioned yesterday, fatigue has been kicking my butt a bit in the last week or so. Yesterday my lovely lovely friend Beck turned up with her three munchkins to pay us a visit. She also turned up with bread rolls for everybody, bags and bags of baby clothes, bags of maternity clothes and four raspberry tarts.

She proceeded to feed her muchkins and my Husband set them up watching DVDs (he rather enjoyed Diego and Cat in the Hat I believe), and snuck off to my kitchen to do all the washing up and tidy. When that was done she wanted to hang out the laundry - but that was already done.

Whilst the men and boyfolk were engrossed in forbidden television she and I snuck off to procure peaches, apricots, cherries and apples for preserving and dehydrating. I’m rather enjoying the cherries right now - apricots will be ripe in a few days, and the peaches are still ripening up properly for dehydrating.

Beck and the boys left when we returned back from our produce adventures and I resumed lying in state on the couch. I was so very touched by her kindness and gentleness from a woman who truly understands the joys and tiredness of growing a little one.

Today there was two raspberry tarts left so Husband and I dispatched to work with one each. And they’re oh so tasty and remind me exactly of how much I love having beautiful friends like Beck in my life. The hardest part is trying to avoid putting raspberry tart all over my keyboard. Tough huh?

Monday, January 3, 2011

Dig. Plant. Water.

Okay I have to admit, Week 30 of this pregnancy is making me tiiiiired. My best intentions of hitting the garden early today just didn’t quite come to fruition, so at 6pm, the garden was mine.

Husband and I have a Garden Agreement (tm). I look after edible, he looks after ornamental. The Edible side suffered rather badly throughout my morning sickness which left the 8 bed enclosed vege patch feeling rather sorry for itself and wondering if it could pack up it’s troubles in an old kit bag and leave.

Things are looking much better now, with two beds of tomatoes (various varieties, a mix of grown from seed and picked up from the Sick Plant Stand at the hardware store), four types of carrots (Red Cored Chantenay, Royal Chantenay, Scarlet Nantes and Purple something…), Chioggia beetroots, Elephant garlic, BlackJack Zucchinis and one lonesome Ronde de Nice Zucchini that refused to die when all it’s mates did. There’s three beds spare awaiting a delivery of some new soil for planting.

Husband moved the pots around on the deck for me this morning and when I finally hit up the garden I put in 6 Honeysnap Peas and five lettuce plants. More potting mix is needed to put out the rest of the peas. I also put in four more rows of carrots (Scarlet Nantes and Purple …?) with interdispered rows of Chioggia beetroots and replaced a couple of dead tomatoes with some Oxheart tomato plants from the Sick Plant Stand.

I’ve got a grand vision of making the deck a summer oasis of green and edible. The wisteria winds its way through the bars of the deck fencing and makes the area nice and shady. By next spring the wisteria will be wound all around the deck and make it a gloriously fragrant area for me to sit with the baby, look at the river and watch the world go by.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Still preserving. Today it’s a 2kg bag of Fuji apples from a grower’s shed by the side of the road near Franklin.

I’m unsure if they’re this years or last, but they taste mighty sweet and mighty good. I also can’t recommend an apple peeler/corer machine for a task like this. Last year a friend and I took 90mins to peel, core and chop the same quantity. With this ingenious contraption it takes less than 20 minutes into the dehydrator.

On today’s list was shelling this year’s broad beans for winter. It’s only through sheer neglect that we have a dried crop at all. See, they all podded at the same time, and at the time when my morning sickness was at it’s worst. However, I digress. There’s plenty of broad beans for winter stews, some dried peaches in the freezer and a load of apples in the dryer. Apricots, more apples and more peaches. And it’s almost blackberry time…

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Storing nuts for winter.

Well, kind of. It’s summer where I live and January means Stone Fruit Time. I drive along the Huon Hwy on the way to Franklin and pick up peaches every year from DM Cane & Sons. This time I got 3kg of yellow peaches for $12. Bargain! The dehydrator is working overtime and I’m about to get started on some preserving. This means we can have dried peaches all winter long. Yum!


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