Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The stillness of after Christmas

I love the stillness that washes over the world (well, my world anyway) once the hustle and bustle of Christmas day is over.

In keeping with my new outlook on life I have foregone the Boxing Day sales. It's not easy, I confess. I really wanted to go and get more solar Christmas lights for next year, but we won't be needing to put any up so it's kind of a waste of time.

I normally buy wrapping paper and cards, paper plates, napkins etc after Christmas for the following year, but I won't need them either. Cards I did buy, though, a few days before Christmas day. The Princess and Little Man always give their school friends cards, so I bought a couple of packs of 24 for 50c a pack. The best I've ever managed was a pack of 24 cards in February at Target for 5c a pack! If the stores were discounting Christmas stock before Christmas was over by 50%, then I wonder if they'd discount them further still once Christmas was over?

I must say, the scenes on television about the post-Christmas shopping has me a bit sad. Why can't people just spend time at home with their families? Or go to the movies? Read books or have a picnic? Family is meant to be there for life; the latest handbag or designer shirt won't.

Christmas was just the four of us this year. I like it that way. Our cold lunch of meats, salads and fruits was changed at the very last minute to hot roast chicken and pork, roast vegetables and baked bread, followed by ice cream and topping. Why? It rained and rained and rained for days on end. I even had to put a cardigan on over my nightie when we got up at 6.30am to open presents!
On Christmas morning I checked the rain gauge and there was 110mls in there. We had another 90-odd mls fall by the end of the day. By Boxing day morning there was another 30-odd mls in the gauge. Yesterday we only had 7mls in the gauge when I checked in the morning. I haven't checked at all today. I think we're free of rain for a little while now that all of the monsoonal trough has headed south. Hopefully it will give the paddocks time to dry out a bit so we can mow again. At least all of this rain has given us a chance to watch and learn where the ground flows, holds water or flows the wrong way. I just wish we had the money to buy the rainwater tanks we've been wanting to get! And to put guttering on the roof!

I've read two books so far since Christmas Eve. I got The Black Echo by Michael Connelly as a Bookcrossing book left at the library. It's a police drama novel. It was really good. Then The Groom read it. I haven't decided where to leave it now we've finished with it. Yesterday I finished The Mango Tree by Australian author, Ronald McKie. It was so lovely. I bought it a couple of years ago at a second-hand book fair and can't believe it's taken me this long to get to it (but then again, if you only saw the amount of books we bought you wouldn't be surprised!). Now I'm back to a book (that I started months and months ago) by Marianne Fredriksson called According to Mary Magdalene, another book fair book. It's an interesting novel as "told" through the perspective of Mary Magdalene before, during and after meeting Jesus.

I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas and enjoyed what they made of it.

Thursday, December 16, 2010


It's raining here at the moment.

It's been raining every day for the past couple of weeks at some stage.

Sometimes it's heavy, constant rain. Other times it's just light steady rain.

Sometimes there's lightning, thunder, sun showers with rainbows.

At times it's so quiet I can smell it before I can hear it. There are times when it's raining so heavily I can't hear the television for the rain hammering on the tin roof.

This morning it started raining at 1.45am. Big fat, steady drops of rain. I'd fallen asleep watching tv and had woken up to put the dogs out when it started raining. I felt sorry for them and let them back in again.

I got up at 6.15am and it wasn't raining so let the dogs out again. Shortly after, it rained again. Lovely light, soaking rain. The stuff you don't mind walking around in without an umbrella.

I love the smell of rain. It smells even better when it falls on freshly mown grass. Which won't happen here soon if it doesn't give the grass time to dry out between showers. If I mow now, the blades will only tear up the long grass, and it's only been a week since I mowed the paddocks.

I don't even care that the mattress protector has been on the line for 3 days now, whenever it's almost dried out, along comes another shower or rain. I really should spin it back in the washing machine and hang it on my under-cover line on the verandah, but it doesn't matter.

It's cyclone season here. The wet season. It's always raining at this time of year.

Once it stops raining, things get steamy and uncomfortable.

Thank heavens we have wide verandahs here so the windows can stay open all of the time. I love the smell of the rain the breeze brings into the house.

The frogs get excited by the rain. No matter how little falls, there they are, out in the garden chirping or croaking along merrily.

I found a website yesterday that has photos and sounds of frogs in the area. I'm being driven to distraction by our 'window' frog, littoria rubella. We call him the window frog because he lives in the window/screen frame behind our bed, as such, his call is amplified. He's very loud!

But I like him and his little friends. Shame he has such a dreadful name, rubella.

The rain brings out other frogs, too. We have a frog that lives in the downpipe on the front verandah, we call him Timothy. There are also the 'clunking' frogs, the 'sheep' frogs and the 'creek' frogs. I like the 'window sill' frogs the best, as well as the 'barra' frogs.

There are so many frogs here that at times it can be deafening - and I'm yet to identify all of those I hear.

Then there are the birds, but that's another story!

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Slow cooked lamb shanks on creamy mash

I love slow cooked lamb shanks.

Here's a recipe I found in a newspaper.

I cooked it in the slow cooker and it was beautiful.

It's really a 'winter' recipe, but who cares when you eat it!

6 lamb shanks - frenched
1/3 cup plain flour
1/2 tspn ground coriander
1 tspn ground cumin
1/4 cup olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 large carrot, chopped
1 large parsnip, finely chopped
1/3 cup pearl barley (or a can of chickpeas if preferred, rinsed and drained)
2 tspn chopped fresh rosemary
2 tspn chopped fresh thyme
2 cups vegetable stock
1 x 420g can crushed tomatoes

1. combine the flour, coriander and cumin in a plastic bag or on an plate. coat shanks with seasoned flour and shake off any excess.
2. heat oil in a saucepan, add lamb and cook until well browned on all sides. remove lamb to a waiting plate.
3. drain excess oil from the pan, leaning a splash for remaining ingredients. add onions and garlic, cook while stirring, until soft.
4. add vegetable, barley and herbs. cook for 5-10 minutes until vegetables are just softening. add stock and tomatoes.

Conventional cooking:
1. place shanks on top of vegetable mixture, gently immersing shanks.
2. cover and cook for 2-3 hours, turning lamb once or twice.

Slow cooked method:
1. place vegetable mix into the bottom of the slow cooker.
2. position lamb shanks evenly on top of vegetables.
3. pour stock over all ingredients.
4. cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours.

Serve shanks on mashed potato, mashed with plenty of butter and pepper, and a ladle or two of vegetables and gravy on top.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Christmas Gifts

This is the season for giving.

Giving doesn't have to necessarily be about 'stuff' that can be wrapped or unwrapped.
Giving can also include those gifts that money cannot buy; consideration, time, love, hugs, laughter.

As a family, we have always donated something at Christmas time, be it under the Mayor's Christmas tree, the K-Mart or Target tree or the like, The Smith Family. I try not to donate money if I can because I find it detracts from the message I'm trying to send to my children.

I take them to choose a gift or make something if we can. Then we wrap it and deliver it to wherever it needs to go.

This year we donated excess produce from our vegetable garden. Hopefully this way, more than one person can benefit.

I would love to volunteer our time one year to the Salvation Army in preparing and serving a Christmas Day meal to their clients. That is something that I cannot do I feel until the children are older, I can't supervise them and devote my attention to the task of meals at the same time. That is something we'll do later, together.
I love Sew Mama Sew's blog and came across this challenge. I love the idea but we don't gift to anyone really outside of the children or to one niece (it's a long story) at Christmas. But I can do this for my random gifts that I like to do. I hope you like the challenge and be inspired to follow along. I know I shall, I love making bags.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A few of my favourite things...

My handsome 5 month old boy.

This is our second boy dog; we were given a 5 year old Wolfhound cross earlier this year. He was a big, hairy, dopey fellow, but sadly he died after being bitten by a snake. This new little fellow loves nothing more than wrestling with the girls and carrying around shoes and anything else he can get his mouth on to!

He is already as big as our 'middle' girl, who is 1 and who we got from the pound last year

I love picnics in the park, especially in a North Queensland winter.

The animals we find around our property are things we would never have likely come across in the 'burbs.

We found this poor soul floating in the dogs' water bucket. She had swallowed heaps of water and after an overnight stay at the vet, we brought her back home to discover she'd laid an egg on the drive back.

Unfortunately, I had the box upside down and the lid fell open as I was carrying her out to a lilly-pilly bush to release her close to an old nest.

I love sewing.

I love this tablecloth I made.

The colors are so pretty and brightens up our otherwise dark house. I can't wait until we repaint everything off-white.

Such pretty fabric.

This is the floral and lace false pelmet I made for my daughter's muslin bedroom curtains.


I also love the sound of the water falling in the fountain on the front porch.

I love eating mint Mini-Magnums in the afternoon - just before dinner-time. Who said dessert has to come last?

I love sitting at the computer feeling the gentle breeze of the pedestal fan on my back.

I love holding The Princess's hand as we walk along.

I love hearing the telephone ring and hearing my remaining grandmother's voice on the other end when I answer. It's a link to my childhood and reminds me of freshly made scones with jam and cream.

My favourite thing of all... life.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Loving this time of year...


I love Christmas.

I love the kitch-y-ness of it all; the tinsel, the lights, the corny Christmas carols wherever you go. I love bursting out into song at the drop of a hat even if I don't know all of the lyrics and sing the same verse or chorus over again. I love embarassing the Princess and Little Man by breaking out into an impromptu rendition of Frosty the Snowman in the middle of the supermarket. I really do love tinsel!

I do not like the cockatoos that keep chewing my Christmas lights to the point where I've had to admit defeat and take them off the front fence. Bah humbug to you, cockatoos!

I also do not like the fact that I've taken back two sets of solar LED lights to Big W that are faulty. The Groom does not share my passion for Christmas lights so it is up to me to put them up - and then take them down prematurely when after a couple of days in the sun they have still not charged or the lights go out after only a couple of hours of use into the night.

I've got another two sets that could be faulty. One set was working when I first set them up last week. I moved them to the other side of the front of the house (because the light emitted was way too bright to be shining into the bedroom window), but now they're not. The other set was flashing away nicely until about 9pm last night when they faded to a dull nothing-ness, before finally quitting altogether by the time I woke at midnight. It must be the Big W brand I think. I've used Mirabella ones for years without a hitch, but they've all managed to get broken or lost in the move to the new house or in storage.

This will be our first Christmas in the new house. We haven't made a lot of changes so far, other than the ensuite because the sellers 'neglected' to tell us the wetseal in the shower recess wasn't sealing and our wet carpet was the first tell-tale sign of a problem. No, we didn't get a pre-purchase inspection because we knew the sellers. It also wouldn't have shown up as the house had been vacant for 6 months anyway and any dampness would have long dried up.

I've planted some Bush Cherry's, Native Peanuts, rosellas and Tahitian Limes that were gifted to me by my lovely friends, Helen, Harry and Lou. I have also planted Black Bean, Illawarra Flame Tree, New Guinea Bottlebrush and bottlebrush and grevilleas that I've bought from fetes and markets.

We've got a lot of trees that will have to come out, too. The previous owners planted 3 poincianas metres from the front of the house about 4 metres apart from each other. Beautiful for their shade when they grow to full height, but way too close to the house for anyone's liking!

My chicken yard is still in a state of half-readiness for new occupants. If the Groom has managed to have a couple of days at home to work on re-fencing the yard, it has rained non-stop so that no work can be done on it. I've planted a bush lemon in their yard to go along with the Native Mulberry and 3 pigeon peas; there are also a number of young-ish mahogany trees in the yard, too, for shade that we built the yard around.

My vegetable garden is nothing to speak of right now. We plan to redesign and enlarge it after the wet season, so at the moment it is being left to its own devices. I donated a 20kg bucket full of Lebanese eggplant to a local Foodbank because we have more than we can eat. That bucketful was mostly from one picking! Eggplant seems to be my forte when it comes to growing vegetables, I think.

My tomatoes pretty much died off, and just as I was getting ready to dig them up, along came the start of the wet and they've all struggled back to some sort of life. Of course, I can't rip them out while there are flowers and some fruit on them now, can I. If we had the chickens I probably could. But the dogs love tomatoes, too, so every time I head over there I find myself being followed by the excited yips of 3 dogs! They've even taken to helping themselves to the cherry and tiny toms! The little sneaks.

Yep, I love this time of year. Everything is green and lush and you can almost see the grass growing. Mowing is almost a weekly occurence and heaven help you if you get behind schedule. The weather is humid and tiring, but school has finished for the year so we can just hang around under the ceiling fan and watch dvds or sit out on the back patio and watch the honeyeaters and other birds go about their day.
It is heaven. I'm so glad we left the crowded suburbs.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

An insight into our lives...

I thought that as I got older I'd get wiser.  I think I'm just growing more sceptical as years pass, though.

I read the paper online most days because our local paper is not worthy of my $1.10 outlay for it - even on a Saturday, and because I don't want to contribute to the cutting down unnecessarily cutting down of trees to produce such nonsense.  

I came across an article about Kanye West and his new teeth.  Firstly, I only know two Kanye West songs (the Touch the Sky one where he is Evel Knevel, and the other is the Gold Digger song because my husband's step-mother could easily have been the inspiration for the lyrics).  Secondly, he's not my sort of music anyway; but I'm so over these musicians who feel they need to flaunt their excesses.  He talks about how this kind of nonsense is what is expected of rock stars - HE IS NOT A ROCK STAR!  Led Zeppelin, The Rollingstones, Jimi Hendrix and the like are rock stars even if they did live to excess I admit(okay, off your soap box now girl).  

What I expect from 'stars' of today is to have an appreciation and gratitude for where they are and for the 'fans' who got them there. Otherwise, they'd be nobodies with maybe some talent and that's about it.  I want them to genuinely have a social conscience and act on it for altruistic reasons rather than egotistical and publicity reasons.  I know there are those who act quietly and out of the spotlight for whatever purposes, but I have misgivings out of those who turn something like community service into a media event so they can be seen as a modern day Mother Teresa or, heaven-forbid, a 21st century Jesus.

I'm so over 'celebrity' lately.  I'm watching and listening to The Princess talk to me about the latest happenings of Justin, Kourtney and whoever else.  I hear her talk about these people as if they are close, personal friends of hers, and I know that while I was probably no different to her at her age, I am sure my 'stars' were referred to by their whole name (unless it was Madonna or Prince).   I look at the magazine covers in the shops and ask myself, why on earth would anyone want to know about the latest 'adventures' of people like Lindsay Lohan or Paris Hilton, let alone want to emulate them?  They are not the sort of role models I want for my children. 

The Princess and I are big Hannah Montana fans, but we don't like Miley Cyrus or the image she is portraying to her mostly pre-teen fan base.  We love Taylor Swift and I think the concert The Princess and I saw her put on earlier this year was one of the best I've seenother than Prince's Diamonds and Pearls one that I got told off by journalists in front of me for squealing too loud at).  

But, then again, maybe I'm just being a tad hypocritical.  I threw a 'please marry me' note onstage to Boy George at a Culture Club concert (my first grown-up concert as a teenager).  I faithfully wore my 'Choose Life' t-shirt and fluoro-colored socks during my Wham! months, or my tube skirts, teased hair and rubber bracelets during my Madonna faze.  I even had a long purple trench coat that I covered the shoulders on in purple sequins after I saw Purple Rain for the millionth time (and yes, I do own the dvd, but haven't been able to find the Under a Cherry Moon movie or cd anywhere...)   

I wonder if those days, my days, were more innocent because we didn't have up-to-the-millisecond information on our celebrities.  

I wonder if I'm turning into my mother.  Or my grandmother.

Do we need such constant information?  I know it's handy in event of an emergency, like if a cyclone is bearing down towards you.  But sometimes I get so sick of hearing about world disasters non-stop. I admit to being glued to the television on the day of and after September 11 2001, but I was one month off giving birth to Little Man and I was wondering what kind of new world was I bringing him into.  

Yes, I did watch Princess Diana's funeral as it was telecast live, as I did for Steve Irwin.  I even tuned in periodically recently to the live broadcast of the bringing up of the first Chilean miner. But do we really need to know everything and as it happens?  Do we need to know every time some D-grade 'celebrity' passes wind or visits a clothes shop?  I don't think so.  

Everywhere I go I see gossip being passed off as legitimate news. I'm over it.  I want it to stop.  Maybe this is why I love camping with my family in the middle of nowhere for a week or so - it's kind of like a news detoxification in a way.  There should be more of it. Unless they personally discover a cure for HIV or the cold or cancer, let's have a 'celebrity' free news day.  That'd be lovely.  

On the other hand, I've warned Little Man and The Princess to get right out of my way if I see Goofy at Disneyland or they'll be trampled.  Now that is one celebrity I'd love to meet!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

What a week!

I worked three days this week, which is great because we've decided to save up and splurge on a big holiday next year.

Right now, I'm very grateful for work as it's a means to an end - our holiday.  We thought we'd go to Disneyland as we'd seen a package advertised for around $3,500 for a family of four for 5 nights including airfare, accommodation and park admission.  We passed on the package so we can go later next year and save some more.  So now, we're in the process of booking a 7 night Disney cruise to Mexico's Riviera, then later add to it do Disneyland, visit some family in the northern states of the U.S, visit Las Vegas and then head back to L.A for more of the big "must-do's".  This is really our last chance to do it before The Princess and Little Man get too cool to be seen to do 'daggy' stuff with their parents!  I cannot promise that I won't get too excited when I finally get face-to-face with my idol, Goofy!

In preparation for this big event, I bought the $21 challenge book in the hope of saving money on groceries.  It occurred to me the other day that I have been spending so much money on groceries that we're not eating.  I think it's out of habit more than anything.  I'm aiming to spend no more than $125 to start with, then progressively lower the amount from there.  But then again - that may all go out the window if the predictions of an intense cyclone season this year come to fruition, then I'll have to stock up for the inevitable flooding on the highways preventing the delivery trucks accessing our part of the world.

It's been rather overcast for the past couple of days here.  There's promise of rain but it doesn't eventuate.  I hope it comes soon; I've been putting off planting some rosella, amaranth and winged bean seedlings until rain is a certain so I don't have to water so much.  It must be coming soon; the frogs have been deafening at night, the rain birds have been calling non-stop, the ants invading the house are bigger and the gum trees are dropping their bark like mad.  The termite highways have also been busy and they're all in danger of being fined with speeding in their quest to make new nests.

I love the build up to the wet season, but I'm sure it didn't start this early last year!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Banana Bread

Today I have been making banana bread.

One of the mums at school gave me some while we were waiting for ballet class to finish; I wasn't overly fussed on hers, I thought it rather bland, but I thought I'd give it a go anyway.

The recipe is from the latest 4 Ingredients book on page 37.  It doesn't have any eggs in it, just bananas, flour, sugar and whole egg mayonnaise. Different.

Due to copyright restrictions I can't put the recipe online, but you could borrow the book from a friend or the library, or buy it yourself I guess.

Mine has just come out of the oven and I can smell it - yum.

The Princess and Little Man are playing with friends so I'll sneak a piece, slather it in butter, then eat it before anyone realises it's done!

I finished mowing the second paddock this morning.  I got an early start on it and was done by 10am.  I've got one more paddock to go and it's the one I hate doing the most - the creek paddock.  The creek banks are so unstable I'm afraid I'll get too close to the edge and fall in.  

Mmmmmmm, cake beckons...

Monday, September 27, 2010

Thoughts for today

Outside my window... there is darkness.  It is after 9pm.

I am thinking... will I make a banana cake tomorrow afternoon?  Should I let Little Man sleep in my bed with me tonight.  Why is the clock always ticking so loudly?

I am thankful to buy medicine for The Princess’s nose infection.

From the kitchen... For tomorrow's Breakfast: scrambled eggs with cream and chives (again). For Lunch tomorrow: ham, cheese and tomato sandwiches. For tomorrow's Dinner: Grilled fish and salad.

I am wearing... denim shorts, floral tunic top that used to be a dress, bare feet.

I am creating... shopping bags from old curtain fabric samples for the upcoming school fete.

I am going... to bed soon.  I’ve had a big day collecting unwanted bits and pieces from a friend’s house to use in my garden.

I am reading... the latest Burke’s Backyard magazine and Textual Journeys: Exploring Senior English.

I am hearing... the loud ticking of the clock, curlews calling, cicadas, frogs croaking merrily away.

A few plans for the rest of the week... put away the mountain of clean washing that’s built up, stock up on baking cakes and muffins to freeze for school snacks, tidy up my computer desk, go to Queens Park gardens and look at the herb garden. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Thoughts on turning 40

Next year I turn 40.  

It's not something I ever imagined doing, I always pictured myself as being young.

I don't make a fuss of my birthday, in fact, I can't recall having a birthday party.  Ever.  Not even for my 16th, 18th or 21st.  We had a family dinner at a restaurant and that's about it.  Nothing flash.  Nothing fancy.  

I've decided that since there is no way around turning 40 then I may as well make the most of it and have a party.  Of course, being the person I am, it still won't be anything big or fancy, but it will be a party with friends and their children.  No family.  Mine live too far away and we have little to do with those in The Groom's.  

I'm delighting in imagining what sort of party I want to give myself.  If I left it up to The Groom nothing would get done other than beer and sausages on the barbecue.  

I think it would be fun to have a jumping castle, fairy floss, maybe some pony rides.  For the children, of course.

I love the Lolly Chops website and have been very inspired by many of her ideas and freebies.  I'm thinking along the lines of pastel colors, especially pinks, greens and blues.  I'm mentally creating floral tablecloths edged in little cotton doilies that I'll have to search for at op-shops.  Gorgeous bunting hanging from the gum trees. Fairy lights draped wherever I can reach.  Silver tinsel draped everywhere (I love silver tinsel and would keep it up all year if I was allowed to)...

I'm thinking of heading off to Spotlight this weekend to check out the fabric and get ideas for colors.  One can never have too many tablecloths I say, so I know that whatever I make will be used again.  

Now I just have to get The Groom to find some time to build the "little" covered entertaining area in the back paddock that I have in mind as the location for my birthday!

Do you like the roses in the picture above?  I picked them from the garden yesterday.  They are one of the many discoveries I've made in the mess of a garden we bought with the house.  It's amazing what one finds when you chop down overgrown gardens!  I think they look lovely and have decided that they will be one of the few things that shall stay when we demolish the front gardens.  I don't know what types of rose they are but they are pretty and have a feint smell.  Beautiful!

Saturday, September 11, 2010

A silly little beetle

Some days I feel like this turtle; lots of work for unseen rewards.

I have been teaching year 1 and 2 one day a week in a particular subject this term.  I have some classes that are a pleasure to teach and make you realise your efforts are worthwhile and appreciated - not only by the students but their regular teachers.  On the other hand, I have some classes that I simply dread taking.  I must confess that there are only two classes that make me feel this way, and that I only feel this way because of the behaviour and attitude of a minority of students.  I won't discuss here their behaviour and my reasoning behind it, but suffice to say, I feel sorry for the 'good' kids in their classes as I feel they are being deprived of an education because of those particular students.

Anyhoo, I got a comment from one of the teachers yesterday that made my heart sing.  It came after a particularly trying session earlier in the day that left me wanting to scream in frustration, so it made me realise that I AM a good teacher after all.  Behaviour management is my weak spot, I simply dislike confrontation unless I'm all riled up.

So, to Mrs T, thank you for your kind words and support.  To you and your lovely class, it has made a big difference to how I see myself as a teacher AND a person.  It's a shame the same can't be said about the teacher of one of my difficult classes.

It's the weekend.  Let's enjoy ourselves!

Friday, September 3, 2010

Quiet on the home front

I have been grateful for the almost non-stop work over the past three weeks.  I had two days at home a couple of weeks ago with sinus, and then I wasn't booked to work yesterday.  I'm looking forward to the school holidays!

We're having renovations done on the ensuite.  It's slowly coming all together and looking wonderful.  It's mostly white with a light blue tile on the floor and a thin strip along the top of the walls of various shades of small blue glass tiles.  The toilet and water was connected today but the shower screen won't be installed until sometime next week.  Aaaah, no more late night trips to use the toilet at the other end of the house!  

Yesterday I had a day off and had been dreaming about sneaking off to the movies to see Tomorrow When the War Began.  I think the last grown up movie I saw by myself was The Other Boelyn Girl.  As normal, things don't go to plan.  The builders were here to do some odds and bobs, then I had to buy the materials for The Princess's Father's Day present, buy groceries, sign the tax returns at the accountant and go to the plumbing suppliers to buy a missing item for the vanity unit.  I have two more weeks left of possible work days so I'm sure a day will be found for me and a box of popcorn.

Do you like the picture of the curlew at the top of the page?  I took this years ago at a wild life park nearby.  A couple of weeks ago, when The Groom was clearing the creek paddock with the back hoe he disturbed a family of curlews and I came across a tiny fluffy curlew baby at the bottom of a tree next to the fence.  I shielded it from the hot sun and built a 'nest' around it until it got dark and it's mummy and daddy could come and rescue him.  I'd never seen a baby one before and my first thought upon seeing it was that it was a baby emu!

I baked a big batch of sultana cupcakes yesterday and froze them.  I think once the children are in bed I might defrost one and enjoy it with a cup of decaffeinated coffee!

I love cupcakes!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Trying times

Some days you feel like life is just out to getcha!

The Princess and Little Man have been at each other's throats more than they seem to be.  

They seem to have developed an amazing sense of entitlement that I can't recall instilling in them.  Ever.  

The Princess is not a morning person at all, neither am I, but I dread to see how she will be when she is a teenager if her performance from this morning is anything to go by!

Little Man is very argumentative with everyone right now.

They are 10 and 8 respectively.  Heaven help me if I plan to get through the teen years in one piece if this is an indication of what is yet to come!

I'm struggling to find the joys of motherhood right now.  I know they are there and there are lots of them, but honestly, there are days where I find it very hard to even like them.  What a terrible thing to say, I know, but true. 

They are just so competitive, especially with each other, that it becomes very frustrating and I seem to feel like I'm a referee than a mum.

On another note, we have a new puppy.  

We lost one of our dogs to a snake bite a few weeks ago.  It was very upsetting for the children and us.  

We almost lost my Rosie one morning to strangulation from her collar.  The red dog and the white dog were playing and the white dog's lower jaw got twisted up in the red dog's collar. We are lucky we got to her when we did as I was able to resuscitate and revive her.  The vet said we had literally a minute left and she's very lucky to be alive.  

Thank goodness The Princess went to check on them when she didn't get a response to calling them.  If we had have left already for school the thought of what we would have come home to is too horrible to bear.  

Now the dogs don't wear collars and we will only put them on when we are out and they need to be on a leash.   

Anyway, the new puppy is like having a newborn in the house.  It's been a blur of eat, sleep, wee.  He's been banished to sleeping in the aviary we use as a kennel with the girls because he's decided that when he wakes up around 3am he wants to play.  JUST like a baby!  My babies were sleep-through-the-night babies from around 3 months of age, so this has been a big adjustment.  

He's about 6 weeks old and very cute.  The children named him Moose.  Not my choice for a name, but they chose it to rhyme with Zeus, our dog we lost to a snakebite.  

Today, I'm grateful for my home and family (even if it's been driving me nuts).  

I'm grateful for antihistamine tablets because I've had bad sinus for most of the week.  

I'm grateful for 3 days of work for the week.  

I'm grateful that I'm alive even if sometimes I think I'm not.