Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A weekend away

The view

As is probably apparent, I don't manage to post much on this blog any more. But I do feel inspired to make a quick photo post after having a really beautiful night away from home recently. I want to say a heartfelt thank you to my husband, the universe and Andrea for making it happen. The last time I had a night sans children (in 2005 in Sydney to celebrate my 40th birthday in blissful solitude) I returned to a vomiting child and a distraught husband and drove straight to the hospital for a two night stay.

A few weekends ago, I was lucky enough to be invited to a friend's mother's house in the Gold Coast hinterland for some r & r. I have to say it was just blissful to relax, read, drink cups of tea (made with beautiful rainwater), soak in a hot fragrant bath, chat without interruption, listen to the birds calling, gaze at the view of trees and cows and misty mountains, sleep in until 6.30am and then lie in bed reading and drinking tea.... I could go on and on. Of course, I missed my little family but they managed to survive without me (and with extra McDonalds, DVDs and other treats). Even the usual train trip from our place to the city that I do twice a week for work seemed exciting because I was setting off on a little adventure, all by myself. are a few glimpses of my heavenly weekend.


Fresh ruby grapefruit juice for brekky

A quirky mail box

Flowers on the forest floor...

A little walk in the mountain air in borrowed gumboots.

A feathered friend

I hope all the mothers out there get a nice break soon, because I'm sure you all deserve one. And best of all, is the big welcome you get when you arrive home.

Saturday, November 6, 2010


A pretty witch, two black cats and a scary boy!

We had a lovely Hallowe'en this year. Only the second year that we went trick or treating (or as a certain four year old pronounces it "frick or freating") but it has well and truly become the thing to do in Australia these days. Why wouldn't anyone want to dress up and snaffle some extra treats?

The best part about our Hallowe'en this year is that we shared it with some beautiful new friends. They were experienced Hallowe'eners and showed us the ropes. First a party (complete with scary sound effects, cobwebs and a VERY scary zombie Dad and then a walk around the neighbourhood to do some trick or treating - mostly at the houses where we knew people.

Our new friends lent us a box of beautiful dress ups and both my girls wanted to be black cats. My wee girl was such a cute puss that I think I may dress her as a cat more often.

My big girl was a beautiful cat too. I had no actual costume so had to make do with being a witch/princess in a black dress with a tiara. Here we are doing scary faces.

PS Love and big hugs to a beautiful, grown up, good witch. You know who you are!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tree fall

I haven't blogged for many a month as life has been sucking up most of my time and energy but I was inspired by a recent post on the nature of blogging from Irregular Tammie and the blowing over of a tree in our street to make a little post of my own.

I'm also popping in photo of the morning tea I made myself this morning. I saw Nigella Lawson make her wicked french toast on TV once and the idea of it has been lurking in my mind ever since. today was turning out to be "one of those days" and I had no chocolate or nice biccies in the house, I decided to make Nigella's Doughnut French Toast. I thought it needed something on top so added some strawberries. When rummaging in the freezer for icecream, all I could find was a jelly-tip icecream so I broke it into pieces and threw it on top. All desserts taste better with chocolate and icecream if you ask me. (I confess, I feel slightly sick after eating it. There was a lot of butter and sugar involved). Which reminds me, I added cinammon to my sugar for some extra excitement. I think Nigella uses plain sugar. I'm rather fond of Nigella actually. I like her Englishness and her womanly curves and the fact that she seems to really enjoy food.

Now for the tree.....We had very strong winds in our part of Australia on the weekend and I drove around the corner into our cul-de-sac on Tuesday to see a largish tree lying on the footpath and a telephone line dragged down above the road. (I thought it was a power line so I was quite relieved to hear it was just a phone line.) The two houses opposite us have seven children between them, most of whom have the freedom of the street and spend a lot of time riding their bikes on our footpath and climbing the street trees etc. I don't normally let my girls play in the street/footpaths as I am nervous of Greta walking into the path of a car. (She doesn't have much road sense at four), but I took a deep breath and said "Off you go then" and went into the house to get dinner ready, hoping there would not be any broken limbs. I was fairly sure the bigger kids would look after the little ones.

The kids were having such a great time that I thought it would be nice to take some photos. they are. My little girl is in the red dress and my big girl is the one with the ponytails

Bye for now.

Friday, July 16, 2010

A visit to City Farm

Well....the school holidays are over and we are back into the swing of normal life. We get two weeks here mid-year in the winter time and it's a good chance to snuggle up together or get out and about. On the first Monday, we set off to a local community City Farm to wander about in the sunshine, say hello to the chickens, and admire the vege gardens.

It was practically deserted so the girls had the tyre swing and little play area with a stage all to themselves. I guess Monday mornings are not their busy time! On Sunday mornings they have a market selling lots of organic produce and other yummy and interesting things so we'll have to go and check it out. The only disappointing thing about our visit was the bunch of people hanging out at the little cafe puffing away on their cigarettes. It was such a crisp beautiful day that breathing in all that smoke was revolting amidst such a beautiful setting aimed at creating a healthy way of life and a sustainable environment. Oh well.

The chickens had been moved to a new home at the other end of the "farm" so we followed a path through the bush looking for them until we came to a river. It's actually a creek but such a big one that it looks like a river. The girls and I spent ages just watching the reflections and a clan of ducks floating by.

There were a lot of plaques giving historical information about the area - both European and Indigenous - and lots of lovely artwork. Here are the girls sitting on a giant goanna decorated with Aboriginal artwork.

We loved wandering through the gardens admiring all the lush crops of veges and herbs. I was inspired to get back into my own garden and have been busy weeding and buying new plants and putting them in. I bought flowers for my shady side garden but will try and buy some new veges seedlings too.
I hope everyone else in this part of the world enjoyed the break from school. Such a lovely chance to slow down and smell the coriander.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Birthday girl

My Curly Whirl Girl was born four years ago today. She woke up this morning and emerged warm, rumpled and rosy cheeked, reminding me of the solemn little babe with pink chubby cheeks who was plucked from my belly on a freezing July morning. We've had a busy day which started with a visit to my parents' house for a birthday morning tea with Gret's Auntie Gina and little cousin. Here she is with my Dad. In my view, he's one of the most amazing men on the planet. And looking pretty good for 80, don't you reckon? (I always think he looks a bit like Alan Alda)

Then it was time to jump on a train and visit Dad at work in the city. We had an impromptu picnic lunch on the back steps of Brisbane's oldest church. It is thought to have been designed by Pugin and dates from the 1840s. Pretty old for our neck of the woods as European settlement only commenced in 1824 when the convict outpost was established. This little church is special to Scott and I (despite the fact that we are not Catholic) as we used to light a candle here to remember the baby we lost when I was 10 weeks pregnant. Anyway, the girls had a lovely time chasing Daddy around on the grass.

Then time to take two tired girls home. Here they are on the train reading their new Little Miss books.

I put Playschool on TV in our bedroom in the afternoon for my birthday girl to watch and then went in to what I thought was an empty room later and turned the TV off. A little voice said "Why did you turn it off, Mummy?". There she was, lying quietly in a makeshift bed amongst the clothes waiting to be folded.

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!

I've decided to only blog when I feel inspired to say something and celebrating my wee girl's four years in the world was too special not to mention. Thanks to all of you lovely girls who left such supportive comments after my last post. Life is seeming easier but takes some effort to stay on top of it all!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Hello bloggy friends,

I'm afraid I am having trouble being inspired to blog at the moment. Mostly because another virus has laid our household low so there is little of interest to report (or photograph). Also...I feel sometimes that I have run out of things to say. I haven't been sewing or cooking up a storm or doing anything too exciting with the girls. I have been concentrating on surviving each day as it comes lately, and trying to be calm and healthy and a little more assertive about the things I need or the things that bother me. So...a bit of a learning curve as I try and sort myself out. But....I have been really enjoying reading all of your blogs and also searching for new ones that I can relate to. I love seeing glimpses into other people's (usually women and mothers) lives.

As I have no new photos to post and don't like to leave the page blank and is a photo from a few years ago. It was taken before we bought the house we live in now, when we were renting a little house a few suburbs away. Queensland was having a terrible drought - you can see how brown the grass was getting. By the time we moved out, it was completely dead! Anyway....Scott took Gret out for a lot of walk when she was a baby to give me a sleep in, and this must have been a morning when Em decided to go with them. It brings back really happy memories.

Hope you are all having a great week.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

How does my garden grow?

After a bout of green thumbery in her garden with her girls, CT recently asked how my garden is going. The answer is that it has been sadly neglected lately, but nevertheless has managed to chug along on its own. Isn't Mother Nature awesome? I thought these white sweet alyssum had had their day in my little rock garden, but they must have self seeded or just come good with the recent rain as here they are, blooming away. If you look closely you can see that Kipper has been burying his latest bone in the back. This is one reason why I don't invest TOO much time and energy in my garden anymore. Even my vege patches have to be dog proof or he wanders about in them.

Did I mention a few posts back that my "old" vege garden which I was about to restart with fresh layers of compost etc and a good weeding has surprised me with lots and lots of little coriander and eggplant seedlings? (I initially thought they were weeds).This has made me feel amazingly happy. Little miracles in my own backyard - growing with no help from me whatsover. And they are growing at a rate of knots. I'm sure they have doubled in the last week. I can't wait to add some coriander to my next omelette or scrambled eggs and hopefully, in a few months, Scott will be able to grill homegrown eggplant to put on his home made gluten free pizza.

Here are the baby eggplants. I think I'm supposed to thin them out a bit as it's going to get crowded in there soon, but I haven't had the heart to pull out too many.

There aren't many flowers happening in Hester's Garden at the moment, but this lovely old ordinary geranium keeps flowering away. She always looks a bit down at heel and frowsy with the weeds around her ankles but I love her for providing a little patch of beauty amongst the weeds which want to take over everything in our subtropical climate. Nestled behind her is my little lavender bush which hasn't flowered for ages but I'm still hoping. She will get more sun now that the big passionfruit vine which used to shade the garden is dying off.

When I came around the corner of the house I saw our sweet doggy dog holding his bone between his front paws and basking on the green grass in the sunshine. Doesn't he look contented?
Speaking of sunshine, I won't be seeing much for the next few weeks as I have started a three week treatment for the sunspots on my forehead which will make the area inflamed, itchy, sore and sensitive to light for a few weeks. I'm not allowed to put any moisturiser, makeup or sunscreen on or expose the area to sunlight so I'll be trying to stay indoors and wearing a hat pulled way down when I have to go outside. I've peeked at photos of the results of this treatment (Effudix) online and it ain't pretty. Still, I'm sure I'll survive. If I'm feeling brave, maybe I'll post some before, during and after photos. This guy did, and I was really thankful for his honesty. I'm hoping my reaction will be milder. (Don't look unless you have a strong stomach)

Back to the garden is my second no dig garden vege patch. (Click here if you'd like to see what it looked like when it was brand new and ready for planting). As you can see, the weeds and grass have won the war we have been waging and have made a lot of headway into the garden. I had to pull my silverbeet out as it was past its best and being eaten into green lace by little grubs that left tiny black poos all over it. Next time I plant it, I'll get organised and spray them with a garlic solution as I hear real gardeners do. In the meantime, I still have basil and shallots to enjoy.

This shot shows the amazing passionfruit vine that a neighbour planted over a year ago. It has been so lush and just grown like Topsy all along the fence. Sort of like an instant hedge. The original vines near the ground are now thicker than my thumb but most of the vine has died off. But at either end, it is still powering along with lush greenness. How amazing it can suck all the goodness of the soil all the way along the fence.

Last, but not least, my faithful little pink geranium that my mother (Queen of the Green Thumbs) gave me. It is the ONLY flower in the whole front garden. Never mind. I'll get back to it after this skin treatment is finished.
Our household is still being visited by the Gastro Fairy who has been bestowing fevers and other unpleasant symptoms on the girls and me. Scott has gone away for work until tomorrow so it might be a tough night. I hope not. Usually in these circumstances, I do the cosleeping, comforting and cuddling and he handles the cleaning up and washing of laundry but this time it is up to me. I've been feeling a bit glum and fed up this week - resentful of the same old routine and chores and mess but when my girls are sick, of course I am reminded of what is really important and all I can feel is love and gratitude for them and for my life. Today, I've stopped trying to do housework and my part time historian's job from home, and cancelled all dentist appointments, social engagements etc. I'm concentrating on cuddling my girls (and wiping the house with Pine-o-cleen). So.....I'd better stop blogging and get back to them. My big girl is on the mend after 5 days and asking for a banana.

Hope you and yours are staying well.

Monday, May 31, 2010

Kippy Boy

Just found this photo of Kipper (snuggling up to my little girl) on the old camera and couldn't resist sharing it. Scott put him up on an old chair in the study. Kipper's not normally allowed on chairs so he thought he was in seventh heaven. I have just taken the covers off the chair and washed them as they were covered in white cavalier hair. I'm hoping the covers don't fall apart in the machine as they are pretty old. I knew there was a reason Kipper is an outside dog.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

trying out the new camera

One of the reasons I haven't blogged much lately is that my trusty old camera was tending towards the blurry side and I couldn't get nice clear photos. Then it came good and I took it out with me for a lunch with my old nursing buddies (not that we are THAT old). Then a few days later, I couldn't find it and starting ringing the restaurant and hunting around but it didn't turn up.I thought I had lost it for good so Scott and I decided to buy a new camera that would also take decent videos. Then the old one turned up but we bought a new one anyway as we were going for a weekend in the country as part of the Farm Day scheme that runs once a year across the nation. Then my big girl came down with vomiting and a fever so we had to cancel our exciting weekend plans amidst quite a few tears from the sick girl. So ANYWAY.....last night, we tried out the new camera at home. No photos of the big girl though as she was too sick to face a camera.

I'm quite happy with the new camera. It has a touch screen which has assuaged my desire for an ipad. The photos are nice and clear but the colours are quite intense. Makes things look a bit surreal.

I like this photo of my little girl as it captures the little details of her lovely face - the lone freckle on her nose, the last vestiges of her chubby baby cheeks and the dimple in her chin that she inherited from her Dad.
PS Em is now on the mend and playing the Wii.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

An award to pass on to CT and the joy of new snockings

Finally.....I have got myself organised enough to acknowledge this happy sunshiney award kindly given to me by Miss Prudence. Thanks for thinking of me! I have a very small band of bloggy friends, however, and cannot think of 12 people to bestow it upon so I am simply awarding it to CT at wee hour stitches who is worth her weight in blog awards. It sounds corny but a hello from CT on my blog really does feel like a little burst of sunlight in my day.

I have managed to coax a few more photos out of our temperamental camera. My little Curly Whirl Girl has a thing for stockings, or "snockings" as we prefer to call them. She is well and truly in the developmental stage of assserting her independance and will ONLY wear clothes that she chooses to wear. She doesn't care much for wearing her big sister's hand-me-downs (except for some reason for the really really shabby ones!) so I decided to let her choose a couple of new long sleeved shirts at Target. It's getting quite chilly here now that it is almost winter and she usually refuses point blank to wear a long sleeved shirt because she "doesn't like any of them". So...she chose a shirt and then wanted to go to Pumpkin Patch to look at "snockings". After much deliberation she chose these two pairs. I wish I could get them in my size. "The snowflake ones will be really really good for Christmas" she told me earnestly. I didn't like to point out that it will be warmish here in December. Funny how Australian kids grow up expecting things to be like they are in fairy tales and kids cartoons from the BBC in England.

My little girl is quite challenging at the moment. Adorable and loving, yes, but SO SO stubborn and mischievous. She is literally at times completely out of my control and I find myself either giving up trying to get her to stop doing something she shouldn't be doing or do something she should be doing, losing my temper and yelling and stomping about , or this week, just sitting and crying tears of frustration and tiredness. This at first made her laugh, but then she realised that I actually was sad and gently stroked my arm and said "It's ok, Mummy". I don't believe in smacking (although I have done it several times in the midst of losing my temper) and my back is a bit dodgy which prevents me picking her up or dragging her to her room or a "thinking chair". I've tried getting down on my knees and trying to get her to look at me while I explain in a firm voice what she needs to do (eg stop hitting her sister) but nothing seems to work. I've tried counting to three and then threatening to remove privileges eg TV but she couldn't care less about such things. Occasionally, I can bribe her with a Yakult or something but that doesn't seem like the right thing to do. Is there something I am forgetting? Any suggestions are very very welcome. I love her so much but she is truly driving me to distraction at the moment.
PS I have tried reward charts before but right now, she seems to be having too much fun misbehaving in the moment to think about future rewards.

Here she is again - my cheeky pixie!!!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Passing on bloggy award

Oh I'm such a slack blogger sometimes! I have not yet passed on the blog award from CT or started doing the other one she gave me or the one from Miss Prudence. goes.....I'm passing this one, the Circle of Friends award to the following:

Le at Third on the Right who is a true pal - stalwart in times of trouble, has a sensible head on her shoulders, can tackle any job or situation unfazed, and loving mother and spouse to boot, not to forget fellow chocolate addict and always up for a giggle about the funny side of marriage.

Miss newest bloggy mate who brightened my day by answering my emails and having a good chat about life. NEW PARAGRAPH HERE - WHAT IS WRONG WITH BLOGGER TODAY? IT WON'T LET ME LEAVE SPACES!
Feel free not to join in if it's not your thing! I totally understand.
If you don't want to play - say five things you love to do and pass it along. My five favourite things were a couple of posts back if you want to see them. Mostly to do with chocolate and sleep from memory.
CT - you lovely girl - thank you for the "Over The Top" award. Is it ok if I skive off answering the questions and passing this one on? I can't find the energy for such intensive blogging homework today.....
Miss Prudence - I'm still working on the award you gave me. Thanks for your patience!
My beloved digital camera has obviously been played with and dropped once too many times by my girls and no longer wants to focus. posts will be bereft of illustrations (new ones that is - I may have to trawl through my archives and bore you all with old ones) until I get organised and buy a new camera.

Friday, May 7, 2010

"Our " creative space

Oops! I just popped over to Beck's Dandelion blog and realised I missed "My Creative Space" yesterday after only joining in for the first time last week.

Usually, my girls love being involved when I sew something and particularly like playing with the fabric and pushing the sewing machine pedal thingy. But I thought my big girl was big enough now to actually try and sew something herself. One morning when she woke up early (as usual!) I suggested sewing instead of computer/tv and she was very keen. So she chose some strips of fabric and sewed some straight seams and made her first patchwork square ( will be square when I trim it). It was a beautiful sight seeing her concentrating at my machine in the morning sunlight. She wants to make some more squares and then sew them together to make a pillow case (not that I know how to make a pillow case but I'm sure I'll find a tutorial).
Here she is with her first sewing and her beautiful gappy smile.

Love you, Poss Poss xxxxxxx

Circle of Friends thingy

Thanks to my lovely friend and "psychic twin" CT for this little award and her thoughtful words. She was the first person I didn't know that found my newly born blog (apart from a sleazy Portugese guy who I think was attracted to a sole reference to breastfeeding) and became a friend. CT's warmth and love of life truly leap off her blogs and her comments.

So.....all I need to do now is say five things I love to do and then award this to five other friends, which I may leave until the next post. (I'm having a trying day and it ain't over yet!). A note to Miss Prudence, if you are watching - I tried right clicking on this blog award thingy and saving it as a picture and then I cut and pasted it into my post. I'll try that with your award and see if it works).

5 Things I love

1. Eating chocolate - Lindt if possible but usually Cadbury would do - especially their nice fat eggs full of caramel. (This particular joy was dimmed briefly by a disastrous year of seeing my dentist much more than I would have liked to - a year which culminated in a root canal procedure which saw a tiny piece of instrument break off and lodge in my root canal where it still resides despite a traumatic session with a dental specialist. However, I am now back to my usual chocolate scoffing habit especially when feeling PTSDish over the continuing root canal saga).

2. Looking at my children, especially when they are asleep and not expecting me to be their slave.

3. Seeing the thinnest of thin crescent moons shining in the night sky - always give me a surge of witchy magic and makes everything seem ok.

4. A good chat (and some chocolate) with my female friends and a good belly laugh over men, sex and other funny things.

5. Sleeping - alone in a very big bed with lots of room, and lots of peace and quiet. It could be a whole 8 hours of uninterrupted sleep at night or a blissful afternoon nap with the afternoon sun shining in the window - I'm not choosy.

(PS I love my tall handome boy, too)

When I have another spare 5 minutes, I'll pass this on to some worthy blogging girls (although I am partial to Quilt Dad - I doubt he knows who I am.)

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Christopher Bubba' s quilt (and my first attempt in joining the My Creative Space thing)

I tried to get this quilt done for the birth of Christopher, my special new nephew, but needed a few extra days to finish the embroidered label on the back. Here it is on the washing line - another rainbow baby quilt as I just love working with all the colours. One day, I'll move on to triangles but for now, I like squares and rectangles - minimal stress for a newbie quilter.

As my brother and his wife, Gina, have a special working relationship with boats and the sea, I tried to sneak as many boat/ocean motifs and colours in as I could. Gina came with me to choose some of the fabric which was great. There's also a blue Beatrix Potter square in there from fabric my big sister used in my surprise wedding quilt as a "baby wish" so it was lovely to hand a bit of that on to my brother's baby.

The corners and backing are a lovely print of masses of tiny boats sailing on the sea. My big brother was quite taken with the quilt and said it made him want to have a nap. I'd better make him one too!

I don't have a proper photo as yet of the Christopher Bubba on his new quilt as he was busy sleeping or drinking up his Mama's milk when we took it over, so here is a photo of my girl giving it a test drive.

But here is a photo of the beautiful boy himself just 5 days old here, I think.

I've put this post on the My Creative Space blog of Kirsty's (my first time) so if you want to see what people are creating, click here.

PS I've just realised it is supposed to be a sort of "work in progress" creative space but never mind - this one happens to be finished.