Thursday, November 30, 2006

We woke this morning to an eerie light. It's like sunrise all day, a sepia day. The world is suffused with a golden light, quiet and restful after the heat and glare of yesterday. Of course, there is a perfectly unromantic and disappointing explanation, the smoke of nearby bushfires is trapped beneath a layer of cloud. I am going about my morning under the cool glare of fluorescent lights, but when I glance at the windows, everything seems so radiant. And it's the perfect light to accentuate the orange of a stray cosmos flower which has sprung up in our driveway.

Summer is starting here, but what a strange beginning.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

On my bedside table ...

The Short Life and Long Times of Mrs Beeton, by Kathryn Hughes, is a biography of that well known domestic goddess. I never knew she died when she was only 28!

Eldest, by Christopher Paolini, is the second of his fantasy novels, and follows Eragon.

Tales of the Otori Trilogy, by Lian Hearn, is a series I loved. Set in 'a mythical, medieval Japan' (from the dust jacket), the descriptive passages in this book I found absolutely entrancing, and the story keep me hooked. I have read the Trilogy before, but a fourth book has recently appeared, so I need to reread them. Woe is me!

Monday, November 27, 2006

Menu Plan Monday
Monday: Asparagus Quiche and salad (life got in the way of this meal last week)
Tuesday: Steak with creamy mustard sauce, pumpkin, silverbeet (chard), carrots.
Wednesday: Grilled Maple Chicken, mashed pumpkin, broccoli and carrots.
Thursday: Tagliatelle with spinach and pine nuts, salad.
Friday: Grilled salmon, salad, chips for the kids.
Saturday: Stirfried chicken and vegies, rice.
Sunday: Roast vegetable, mint and fetta penne. (This was a huge hit last week.)
So the plans are laid, just got to go shopping. We have been staying right on track with our healthy eating. Beloved Husband is a tremendous help, as he has WAY more willpower than I. We're trying a bunch of new healthy recipes this week, even the creamy sauce is made low fat. I'll let you know how it goes!

Sunday, November 26, 2006

I have just spent an entire Sunday evening rearranging my blog. This is a big thing for me. HTML is a scary, incomprehensible gibberish for a closet technophobe like myself. I was dragged kicking and screaming into the computer age by my Beloved, who was sending emails to my university email account in 1994. I didn't actually read them until the following year, when I found out that I had an email account!

Anyway, here's the new improved blog ... hope you like it! And, of course, it's not a blog entry without a photo ...

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Biscornu Heaven
A small finish I had today! As you can see, I have finished this Lizzie Kate design into a scissor fob. It came up pretty nice, I think. It only took me a couple of evenings to make, you can't get better than that!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Food, glorius food! I am ready to get back into my menu planning. We're trying to be good before the Christmas feasting commences, so here's a healthy menu for the week:

Monday: Sweet and Sour chicken, steamed rice and salad.

Tuesday: Home made hamburgers, roasted potato chunks, salad.

Wednesday: Roasted vegetable penne with mint and fetta, salad.

Thursday: Asparagus quiche, salad.

Friday: Grilled salmon, steamed vegies.

Saturday: Beef and red wine casserole, mashed pumpkin, broccoli

Sunday: Thai chicken and noodle salad. Kids will eat similar with no chilli.
Don't forget to visit Organizing Junkie for more yummy menu ideas!

I have been reading a new book this week, all about household cleaning, and cleaning schedules. It's called "Speed Cleaning" and it's written by Shannon Lush and Jennifer Fleming, Aussie stain removal gurus.
I really love the simple advice in this book, mostly common sense, but stuff I have never really got the hang of. The cleaning agents recommended are cheap and healthier, primarily vinegar and bicarb soda, a definite plus in my asthmatic household. The fifteen minute claim is a bit of a stretch, on page 5 they then say to add an extra 10 - 15 minutes for each extra person in your house, as extra people mean extra mess. Dang those loopholes! This is a great book, but I have only one complaint : I've had the book five days, and my house is still not clean!

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

We have been down to the Gold Coast for a delightful weekend of sandcastles and surf. It was a much needed weekend of R&R for Brett, after several hard weeks of work. He was given Friday, his birthday, off, and we travelled down after school on Friday afternoon, as his Mum was cooking a delicious birthday dinner (Nanny Pawpaw's honey chicken, potato bake and sticky date pudding with caramel sauce - a little taste of heaven right here on earth!).
Saturday was spent at the beach, followed by a shopping trip for Brett and myself and a nap for the kids. (Thanks Grandma and Pop!) We bought a suit for Brett, to wear to the work Christmas Do next weekend, and some shoes. Quite a spree for my sweet hubby! Barbequed sausages at the park, courtesy of Pop, followed by a viewing of Wizard of Oz, made for a relaxing evening.
On Sunday Grandma and I took the children to the swimming pool while Brett and Pop went to an electronics sale. I took an impromptu dip when Joshua slid down a hand rail and disappeared under water. I leapt in after him, shoes and all, and reached him just as he was coming back up to the surface. He was fine, even a little impressed at his own 'swimming', but I was a bit shaky after that. And my shoes were squelching. Brand new leather Colorado shoes. *sigh* They have dried out now. Fortunately my watch didn't get wet!
So we're all adventured out. The kids were so tired when we got home, and Joshua is still a bit tired and cranky two days later. He's been practising his tantrum skills, and is perfecting them nicely. The terrible twos are a myth, it's the threes you gotta be scared of!

Lead us not into temptation ...

Monday, November 13, 2006

Surf's up! Christopher faces down a wave.

For those who don't know : here's a shot of the building we stay in with my lovely inlaws. We stay in the one on the right.

It's too cold!!

A room with a view. Aren't you proud of me, Mum?

Sunday, November 05, 2006

Thanks for all the charming comments regarding the biscornu I made. I googled the definition, and apparently biscornu is French for irregular or quirky. Basically it's a funny little eightsided pincushion, created by stitching the two squares of fabric together at a diagonal to each other. I don't explain really well, but I got the instructions from Own Two Hands. Her directions are easy to follow and well illustrated.

Three years fly past in the blink of an eye.
Happy birthday, my sweet tempered little gentleman. We're so proud of you.
As per his request, Josh had a "Bob the Builder Hat" for his birthday cake. And lots of watermelon.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

This is Cleo. She's a brand new member of our family. I just got her this morning. She's already charmed us all, especially Abbey, our Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Abbey has been rushing around behind her all day, making sure she's staying out of trouble. I think they are going to be best of friends. This afternoon I saw Cleo smooching up to Abbey, so that bodes well. StJohn, our other cat is unsure of what to think, but has checked the interloper out and decided she's not a threat. Anything that causes Mum to feed him earlier than usual must be A Good Thing.

We had an unexpected visitor last weekend in the form of a fledgling blue faced honeyeater. Apparently it takes them a couple of days to figure out how to fly and this little one leapt into the wide blue yonder only to crash into our shed and end up lying stunned on our back lawn. It was very fortunate for him that I was hanging out a load of laundry at the time, and I was able to pick him up and keep him safe until he'd recovered. His frantic parents weren't very grateful, though, and I was forced to use an umbrella as a shield as I put him in a tree. I did get some nice pictures though!

Finally here's a picture of one of our two lovebird hatchlings. She's a little creamino, and her colouring was a delightful surprise as her parents are perfectly average lovebirds. We must have had a few recessive genes lurking around in there! She's already had her first trip to the vet. She had a thread of cotton wrapped around her ankle and it had cut off the circulation. We managed to save her tiny foot though, with hot compresses and massage.