Monday, October 31, 2011

It's not ALL for me!

I promise!

And they're not for Halloween, either.

They're for family and for gifts when we go to America.

That's what I told the lady at the checkout when I bought 12 multi packs today (I got a bit of a look like "gee, you must really like chocolate").

Now I've got to put them under lock and key so I don't eat them before we leave.

And I can't forget to leave without saying a big THANKYOU!!!! to Deb from A Clothesline Out the Back and her lovely family for their visit yesterday.

She knitted Little Man a beautiful beanie for his birthday and I've been eyeing it off since she left...

She is one very talented lady.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Close to bursting...

I'm going to Disneyland.

I'm so excited.

My whole existence lately has been focussed on Mickey and pals and I've been devouring Disney-related everything on the web.

It's ridiculous!

I'm having the dream holiday of my childhood.

I won't tell you when I'm going though, it's soon, but not too soon.

I'll surprise you with lots and lots of pictures when I get back.

It'll be like the cyber version of "slide night"!

Monday, October 17, 2011

On This Day...

Ten years ago, you came into our world.

You were yellow, but you were so beautiful.

You still are.

I love you more than you can ever know.

I wish nothing but the very best for you.

Even though we don't always see eye-to-eye, you will always be my Baby Boy.

Happy birthday, Little Man.

"Godspeed (Sweet Dreams)"
The Dixie Chicks

Dragon tales and the "water is wide"
Pirates sail and Lost Boys fly
Fish bite moonbeams every night
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

The rocket racer's all tuckered out
Superman's in pajamas on the couch
Goodnight moon will find the mouse
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams

God bless mommy and match box cars
God bless dad and thanks for the stars
God hears "Amen," wherever we are
And I love you

Godspeed, little man
Sweet dreams, little man
Oh my love will fly to you each night on angels wings
Sweet dreams 

Friday, October 14, 2011

On My Mind...

I had always promised The Princess that when she was 12 we would travel to Paris together.

Just her and I.

It won't be happening anytime soon, but one day...


source - unknown (I copied it from a Picassa album but I forgot to save the addres - my sincerest apologies to the owner of the photo)

Monday, October 10, 2011

Sometimes it's better to keep your mouth closed...

I talk for a living.

That's just the way it is.

Sometimes I get sick of the sound of my own voice.

And I'm sure my own children would say they get sick of me talking too - even when I'm not working!

The Princess is going through that dreaded "tween" stage (what a ridiculous notion made up by marketing 'experts' I reckon), and sometimes it proves to be a real challenge.

Especially in the age of Facebook, mobile phones, and constant pressure to have the latest of whatever gadget or thing is currently the 'cool' thing at school.

And moreso because she is one of the rare types at school who does not have Facebook, a mobile phone, isn't allowed free access to the family computer (and their accounts are heavily restricted time-wise and site-wise), they are given a set bedtime which is a lot earlier than many of their peers, they do not watch music video shows unless it's Rage and it's a retro edition and I'm watching it with them, they are not allowed free rein to watch much over a PG rating on tv or dvds, and being caught swearing means having to face the consequences, they do not have Ds's or X-boxes or whatever and the video game consoles they do have are only allowed to be brought out to play with on weekends or school holidays when there is nothing else to do and their games are G or PG rated.

Yes, they are sheltered from 'the outside world' as much as possible but we aren't blinded to the fact they will be exposed to stuff that we don't agree with.

But we'd rather The Princess and Little Man have the ability to be children for as long as possible and be protected from many of the evils in the world.  

We do discuss things with them, we do explain things to them, but we do it in a way that gives them enough information to educate them and hopefully protect them.

Hopefully they will grow up with a 'strong moral compass' and understand right from wrong.

And be proud of who they are and what they do.

But I wonder how many of her friends' parents would think to communicate without speaking?

Positive communication, that is?

This is one of my favourite ways of 'talking' with her, and him for that matter.

Through little notes like these - random notes in lunch boxes, folded in clean washing, under a pillow, tucked into a corner of her light switch.

That kind of thing.

I'm not a perfect mum, but I do my best.

And besides, I can never recall my own mum doing anything like this for us when I was a child.

Friday, October 7, 2011

On My Mind...

It will be nearly two years since my nana died.

I miss her so much.

After she died, I went through the house with some of my aunts and thought about some of the things I wanted to keep before the rest of the contents were donated to the Salvation Army.

I got a little glass eye bath, her beside travel clock, my old doll that used to sit on the spare bed (that is missing one eye and has scraggly hair and is really ugly, but I don't care) and whom all us grandchildren would play with when we came to visit, as well as some other bits and bobs that would mean nothing to anyone else.

This is one of the things I wanted to keep, along with some of her old Tupperware.

Nana never had a lot of money; she'd rather spend what little she did have on others.

So for her, to buy Tupperware would have been a real extravagance.

Interestingly, the hostess for the party  was my mum, and it was held a a couple of years after I was born as the catalogue was published November '73.

These are the containers I kept from nana's house.

I have this jug in the picture below.

I bought it from a garage sale for 50c but it didn't have a lid and I'm unable to buy a replacement one now.

It's so interesting looking back at old brochures like this.

So many of these containers are still around in the latest container, and I'm amazed at how many pieces of Tupperware I own that feature (perhaps in a different color or slightly different 'look') in this catalogue!

I even have the order form that she used. 

Nana bought a Small Wonderlier (set of 3) for $3.29 and a large salt and pepper set for $1.79.

If only prices were still that low!

Thanks, nana.

I love and miss you.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Dinner on a budget

The kids and I watched Food Inc. over the school holidays.

It was a real eye-opener for us, but especially them.

There were some parts in the movie that really upset them, such as the scenes of animal slaughter and the like, but I'm glad it's enabled them to question what they eat and what others eat.

The interview with the family who felt 'forced' to basically live on a diet of McDonald's really got to them.

They wanted to know why that family felt they had to eat junk food every day.

I explained to them about how different people have different priorities in life and how some people don't know how to cook from scratch.

Little Man said, "but you know how to, don't you mum?"

I took this opportunity with both hands and ran with it.

We set ourselves a challenge to see how little we could spend on a filling meal.

We settled on an old favourite - savoury mince.

* * *

First, chop an onion or two and fry in oil with enough curry powder to taste until the onions are opaque.

We had bought just over a kilo of mince at the supermarket that had been reduced to $8.43 and had used half of it two nights previously for spaghetti.

So that means the meat component of this meal was about $4.20. 

 Brown the mince with the onions.

I add heaps of mixed frozen vegies (or you can use fresh if you like, diced small).

It costs about $2 for a kilogram bag of no-name mixed frozen vegetables at the supermarket. 

I used about a 1/4 of the bag so that worked out to be about 50c.

Once they are all mixed in together I add a couple of scoops of gravy mix, adjust seasonings such as curry, pepper and herbs, and mix in.

I also like to add some halved cherry tomatoes from the garden, just for fun.

Finally, I add water to the gravy mix; I add water as I go until I get the desired consistency.

Then I put the lid on and simmer until cooked.

I stir it occasionally and add water as needed.

The best thing is, this meal came to just over $5.50.

I added a couple of packets of cooked 2 minute noodles (about 38c a pack - no name ones).

This gave us two meals over two nights.

You could bulk it up with extra vegetables, serve it with mashed potatoes, turn it into shepherds pie, add a tin of kidney beans and add chilli powder - anything you like.  

We also like it for breakfast the next day on toast with eggs.

So, I guess, if you put your mind to it, you can feed a family for less than at a fast food place.

And I'm glad I've taught my children that very important lesson.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Life is good.

It's coming into the Wet Season.

This is the build up time of year.

The days are getting hotter and more humid.

Thankfully we have strong winds at this time of year so the heat isn't as unbearable.

This is the time of year when the bugs start to come out and annoy you.

When the cane toads start their awful sounds and make their presence WELL known.

It's one of my favourite times of year - not too hot and not too cold.

Just right.

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Chicken Stir fry

The days are getting warmer so our tummies are wanting heavy 'comfort foods' less.

This is our summer 'comfort food' that is light yet very filling.

I don't have a recipe for this as it's too simple and I add whatever I have available in the fridge or garden.

Except for the chicken and carrots, all of this came from our garden.

I like to add heaps of soy and worcestershire sauce and garlic to my stir fry's.

Sometimes I add fresh egg noodles or rice.

And the best part, there's usually enough for at least a lunch or two leftover if I add heaps  more vegies or make up extra rice. 

Welcome to Spring.

Monday, October 3, 2011

It's the little things I'll miss...

School goes back tomorrow.

I'll miss the sleep-ins.

I'll miss the late breakfasts.

The 'not having to do anything because we simply cannot be bothered' easiness of the days.

Most of all I'll miss this...

Little Man and The Princess working together to build cubby houses in the lounge room.

This is the "Theatre Club" - a place where they've set up their portable DVD player and all of the pillows off the bed so they can watch movies.

As we're going on a big family holiday at the end of the year, I told them there would be no trips to the movies these holidays as we are saving money.

Goodbye, holidays.  

I'll miss you.

But only for a short while, when we'll do them all again for Christmas.

Sunday, October 2, 2011

A morning when I'm up with the sun

I must confess to not being a morning person.

But having no curtains in our room makes one wake up with the dawn.

And so outside I go...

The ladies greet me in anticipation of receiving any tid-bits.

Augusta has taken to taking her throat feathers off.

She must love the bare-neck look.

The space behind the sweet potato cage is always guaranteed to bring up any buggy-treats.

This is a hotly contested piece of real estate with the ladies!

The sunflower is growing nicely.

I wonder how long it will be from when it flowers to when the cockatoos discover it...

The dogs love watching the ladies.

It's a shame they also like eating them if they happen to get out of their yard.

R.I.P Maude, and Olive has recovered well.

 The orchids have started to bloom.

This one was recently removed from a tree we had to have cut down and has been transplanted onto an African Mahogany outside the chicken yard.

You know, it's not bad being up early in the morning.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

When one thing leads to another...

This is what happens when you get your sewing machines out to give them a clean...

You remember that pair of corduroy jeans you bought ages ago that are still sitting in the bag in the wardrobe...

They were a bargain at $40 down from $149.95 - they are R.M Williams and are such a great fit... except for the length.

Then again, I always have a problem with length and am accustomed to shortening all of my trousers.

So, then I made up a little drawstring bag and burp cloths for a relative's new twin boys (who are oh-so-cute!) but I forgot to take a photo of it.  I got the idea from here.

And because I love Posie Patchwork's blog and would love to have a go at making some of what she does, silly me thought, "How hard can it be?"

So I gathered up some scraps from my scrap fabric bag and this is what I came up with.

It was going to be a bag but because everything was cut without measuring (why is it my things always go missing???  that's right, i have children!!!) it came out kind of crooked.

I had to do some trimming to try and get it into a square shape and decided it will become a (small) cushion instead.

I think it looks cute and quirky.

Not bad for a first attempt and I had no idea what I was doing.

Maybe next year I might invest in a cutting board...