Hoot Family

Saturday, December 31, 2011

A photo a day - Day One

A few of us are going to attempt it. Chances are there will only be a few left by the end of the week, even less by the end of the month, and one, maybe two by the end of the year but hey, we will have fun trying anyway ;)

I found this little guy in the back yard, down near the shed,

Friday, December 30, 2011

A new family member

Say Hi to Fluffy Jo!

Fluffy Jo (or The Brabbitt as the oldest child calls her) came to us at Christmas time. She is Alex's pet, which of course means that Daddy and I feed/water/clean up/look after her, but we are working on that ;) She lives in her hutch, but also likes spending time inside on the couch and snuggling into peoples necks but not when Charlie the Cat is inside (yeah, we are working on that too).

Alex was very excited when she arrived last Sunday, a plan very well executed by Hubby and I as he had no idea despite secret dawn trips, borrowing work vans to move the hutch from one side of town to Dad's work for sealing then back our house via X-trail and ocky-straps for hiding before the big day. Even Jess was impressed that we had managed to keep it all a secret! I was just glad we managed not to loose the hutch out of the back of my car!

And a special thankyou to Max and Mason for plotting a scheme that would get Alex's room clean which would mean that he could get a rabbit, even if Alex's Mum and their Mum probably wouldn't have been able to be distracted long enough for it to be carried out ;)

Monday, December 19, 2011

A Knitter's Night Before Christmas

Not mine, but still awesome lol!

A Knitter's Night before Christmas

'Twas the night before Christmas and all around me
was unfinished knitting not under the tree.
The stockings weren't hung by the chimney with care
'cause the heels and toes had not a stitch there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
but I had not finished the caps for their heads.
Dad was asleep; he was no help at all,
and the sweater for him was six inches too small.

When out on the lawn there arose such a clatter,
I put down my needlesto see what was the matter.
Away to the window I flew like a flash,
tripped over my yarn and fell with a crash.

The tangle of yarn that lay deep as the snow
reminded me how much I still had to go.
Out on my lawn, I heard such a noise,
I thought it would wake both Dad and the boys.

And although I was tired, my brain a bit thick,
I knew in a moment it must be Saint Nick!
What I heard then left me somewhat perplexed-ed,
for not a name I heard was what I expected.

"Move Ashford; move Lopi; move Addie & Clover;
move Reynolds; move Starmore; and Noro - move over!"
"Paton, don't circle round, stay in the line.
Come now, you sheep, you'll work out just fine!

I know this is hard being just your first year,
I'd hate to go back to eight tiny reindeer.
I peered over the sill; what I saw was amazing,
eight woolly sheep on my lawn all a 'grazing.

And then, in a twinkle, I heard at my door
Santa's coming across the porch floor.
I rose from my knees and got back on my feet,
and as I turned round, Saint Nick I did meet.

He was dressed all in wool from his head to his toes
and his cloths were hand knit from above to below.
A bright Fair Isle sweater he wore on his back,
and his toys were all stuffed in a aran knit sack.

His cap was a wonder of bobbles and lace,
a beautiful frame for his rosy red face.
The scarf round his neck could have streached for a mile,
and the socks peeking over his boots were Argyle.

The backs of his mittens bore an intricate cable,
and suddenly on one I spied a small label.
SC was the duplicate stitch on the cuff,
and I asked "Hay Nick, did you knit all this stuff?

He poudly replied "Ho-ho-ho, yes I did.
I learned how to knit when Iwas a kid."
He was chubby and plump, a quite well-dressed old man,
and I laughed to myself for I'd thought of a plan.

I flashed him a grin and jumped in the air,
the next thing he knew he was tied to a chair.
He spoke not a word, but looked in his lap
where I'd laid my needles and yarn for a cap.

He quickly began knitting, first one cap then two;
for the first time Ithought I might really get through.
He put heels on the stockings and toes on some socks
while I sat back drinking scotch on the rocks!!

So quickly, like magic his needles they flew,
that he was all finished byquarter to two.
He sprang for his sleigh when I let him go free,
and over his shoulder he looked back at me.

And I heard him exclaim as he sailed past the moon
"Next year start your knitting some time around June!"

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Day 2

A little project I finished this morning, not bad considering I only started it last night. It is made using some handdyed that I was sent as part of a Karma Swap on Ravelry, handdyed by Ozifarmer's Market.

Miss14 was NOT a willing model this morning, so the pictures are not great, in fact not even good, but I will endevour to get better pictures when Missy is in a better mood!

Friday, September 30, 2011

Blogtober -- my annual attempt

Ok, We all know I am not going to post a new post every day in October. In fact, I will probably make it to the end of the long weekend and give up. Or IF I make it past Monday it will become boring and you all will stop reading after Monday. But hey, I am going to give it a go anyway.

I was just about to clear my camera's card so I could head out and take photos of who knows what and was checking what was on there before deleting a heap of work photos which I no longer need. Jess had used my camera last weekend to play with, and it turns out she was trying to be kinda artsy. I will not pass judgment, what do I know anyway, but I have to ask why she needed to take photos of a strawberry? But again, what do I know?


Sunday, September 11, 2011


There was a little of this:


Some swapping of these:


Piles of this:


Some of this:


A few purchases like this:


And I bought a few of these:


And some of this:


Turned into some of this:


And this is stunning:


There was a little of this:

Yes, Coca Cola in a wine glass, cause we are classy like that ;)

And no weekend with the girls is complete without some of these:


Thankyou ladies, I hope you all had as good a weekend as I did!

Sunday, August 7, 2011


Does this happen to everyone else? You try and take a sneaky photo of your children, catching them when they are not looking, just because they are cute, concentrating on something else.


And then they notice you have the camera and suddenly your lovely child turns into this?

Alex Faces


And Thankyou Ellbell for the loan of your Fixed 50mm Lense. I have talked the Husbeast into getting me one. It wont turn me into a master photographer, but it might make my sad little photos look a little better ;)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Budding Photographer

What you will need:

To clean up in the study
To find an OLD digital camera in a box you had forgotten you owned
A small boy who wants to play with said camera
And NOT to mow your lawn for ages

What you will end up with:

Monday, February 7, 2011

A little boy's new bestest friend

We had a visitor over night last night.


He had a dodgey wing that looked as though someone had taken a big bite. He was hiding in the long grass (which hasnt been mowed in AGES!) in our back yard and was spotted by Mr7. Mr7 apparently had been following him for about 15mins before he was certain it was safe to come and get Mum. So Mum, armed with a broom and a towel, preceeded to chase this little guy around the back yard, trying not to hurt him, but trying to catch him under the towel without getting hurt herself. Once we had him wrapped in a towel, we called WIRES, who told us we needed to keep him over night and drop him off to the Creeklands Vet in the morning. Alex gave up a toy box, we found some wire that we had used for keeping the old cat out of the fishtank, found some little dishes and tried to keep him warm and comfy.


A phone call to the Vet this afternoon and he is ok. He will get better, no broken bones but a lot of broken skin, and more than a few missing feathers, but he will get better. He is going to stay at a carers house in Uralla for a while 'til he is feeling better, then he will be let go. But we can go and visit him on the weekend, just so Alex can say Hi ;)


Monday, January 31, 2011

Summer Time

I love summer. Ok, so I don't love the heat. I don't love the flies. I don't love the sun. I don't like sunscreen. I don't like sunburn, and I don't like Christmas but there are some things about Summer I do like. I love spending time with the family, both those here and away. I love taking a dip in the cool water on a hot day. I love a thunderstorm at the end of a hot day. Cold meats and salads for lunch. Quiche and Salad for dinner. And I love the fruit! Peaches and Plums and Berries and Apricots and Watermelon! But how to extend the fruity goodness?


What you need:

2kg of Your favourite Stone Fruit or Berries
2kg of White Sugar
and A Granny Smith Apple
Oh, and some Jars with Heat sealing lids


Ok. De-stone and chop the fruit into bite size pieces. Obviously you don't need to cut up berries, but plums or apricots need to be cut into quarters. Place cut up fruit into a big saucepan but don't put it on the stove top yet. Also chop or grate the granny smith apple and chuck in as well. It is important not to omit the apple. Stone fruit and berries are not high in pectin, which is required to help the jam 'set' so you need to get it from another source. You can get Jam Setta from the stupermarket, but you will get just as much Pectin from a Granny Smith Apple (and it is heaps cheaper too). Red apples don't have as much pectin, so granny's are the best.

I used Apricots because I managed to get them for $4 a kilo!

Now add the sugar, yep, all of it. Jam is not for the health concious. Add the 1/2 cup of water, and stir it through until combined. Now cover with a lid or glad wrap and put aside for an hour, but ideally for a few hours. The reason for doing this is to Maserate the fruit. The sugar breaks down the fruit into a deliciously evil pulpy goodness and makes for a smoother jam. You can skip this step all together if you like smooshy lumps of fruit in your jam.

Now for the cooking. Lid on the saucepan, cook on a medium high heat stirring occasionally until it starts to boil.


Once boiling it will foam up a little, ok, a lot. Apricots foam heaps. Some like to scoop off this foam and set it aside for use later. Once all the bubbles pop it makes an absolutely delicious fruity sugary syrup which is scrumptious over icecream, or blended into smoothies or for the more adventurous, grab a bottle of vodka, drink a few shots, and pour in the cool syrup, shake and re cap and set aside for a few months. Trust me, so very very yummy over ice!

Once boiling, you have to stir to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan and burning. Turn the heat down a little so that it is a tumbling boil, not a rapid boil.

After it has been boiling for about 30mins grab a teaspoon full of the jam mix, and put it in the freezer for a minute. Take it out and check if the jam is at setting point. It is a setting point when it develops a skin and goes all wrinkley when you tip it up. If it is not at setting point, cook for another 5 mins and test again. Once at setting point you will need to move quickly.

Time for the sterilised jars. If you havent got these ready now, you are screwed and this will teach you for not reading the instructions all the way through before jumping on in there! Easiest way to sterilise the jars is to wash them, then put in a sink full of boiling hot water for a while.


At this point you have two options. If you are after a jam with with lumps, proceed to the next step. But if you are after a conserve, jam that is lump free, pass your mix through a strainer before pouring it into the jars to remove any skin or pulp that hasnt completely disolved. You want to fill the jars to just below full and put the lid on straight away. You will probably have one jar that will not quite be full, and that is ok, you get to eat this one first! Once all the jars are full and the lids are on, tighten the lids a little bit more. CAUTION: They will be HOT! so be careful. Invert the bottles and leave for 30mins and then turn back up the right way and leave undisturbed overnight. What you are looking for the next morning is for the lids to have sealed properly. If you have the metal lids with the freshness seal, you are checking to see that the 'pop' is down. As the jam cools it contracts and kinda vaccuum seals the jars if you have a good seal. If they havent sealed properly, store your jam in the fridge and consume within a few weeks. If they have sealed properly, store in a cool dark pantry and they will keep for a few years!

There will be Plum Jam at our house next :)

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Monday, January 3, 2011

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Day Three


I think we all feel a little like this today, minus the chocolate lips and the gunk on the chin of course!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Day Two


Despite the hub-bub that is occurring at our house this week I was able to take an hour and sit on the couch this morning and make one of my Squares for the AusSwappers Squared Away Swap for my January Partner. She has a rainbow theme happenning in the squares she has received so far, but is missing purples. This one hopefully will fill that gap. I need to block it better, I was just spreading it out to make sure it looks ok. As for my other square for this month, well, I haven't planned it yet!

A photo a day (well, maybe)


A trip to the coast this week took us past the Ebor Falls. As a kid, my parents always made us call in to have a look, I think mainly to break up the trip a bit, but for whatever reason, I always enjoyed looking down over the rails and wondering just what it would be like to swim in the pool at the bottom of the falls. Just how cold do you think that water would be?