Thursday, March 27, 2008

On Saturday we will be celebrating Earth Hour. One hour of not using electricity is just a drop in the ocean, but maybe by doing this with the kids we will all be spurred to make bigger changes to our lifestyles and really make a difference.

Check it out!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter time again ... and the school inflicted Easter Bonnet parade. Christopher's class made their's at school, with a theme of recycling. I love that I didn't have to produce two hats this year!

Samara's hat is chocolate brown because that was the only colour cardboard left in the newsagency. She loved her little nest of eggs and chicks.

On Saturday we took the kids in to Southbank. There is a playground there with a man-made creek running through it. We ignored the overcrowded playground, which we often find is full of poorly supervised little hooligans, and found a quiet spot on the water's edge. The kids spent over an hour trying to build a dam, and wondering about how beavers got so smart. IT was a joy to watch them working together, encouraging each other and generally being nice!

It was the closest I could get to a real creek. Sometimes I really, really miss the tropics and small town life.

And a closing shot of Samara, because she is just the most beautiful little girl ever.

Friday, March 21, 2008

Revisiting my 100 Books I want to read list:

1. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy*
2. Candide - Voltaire
3. White Oleander - Janet Fitch
4. I Know This Much is True - Wally Lamb
5. The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
6. Love in the Time of Cholera - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
7. Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy - John LeCarre
8. She's Come Undone - Wally Lamb
9. The Inferno - Dante
10. The Canterbury Tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
11. Paradise Lost - John Milton
12. Vanity Fair - William Makepeace Thackery*
13. Tess of the D'Urbevilles - Thomas Hardy
14. The Portrait of a Lady - Henry James*
15. Bleak House - Charles Dickens
16. The Great Gatsby - F. Scott Fitzgerald*
17. Sons and Lovers - D. H. Lawrence *
18. The Power and the Glory - Grahame Greene
19. Decline and Fall - Evelyn Waugh
20. Scoop - Evelyn Waugh
21. Brideshead Revisited - Evelyn Waugh
22. The Catcher in the Rye - J. D. Salinger
23. Madame Bovary - Gustaye Flaubert
24. The Plague - Albert Camus
25. Middlemarch - George Elliot*
26. The Brothers Karamazov - Fyodor Dostoevsky
27. One Hundred Years of Solitude - Gabriel Garcia Marquez
28. The Age of Innocence - Edith Wharton
29. Beloved - Toni Morrison
30. Catch 22 - Joseph Heller
31. Far From the Madding Crowd - Thomas Hardy
32. The Shell Seekers - Rosamunde Pilcher
33. Anne of Green Gables - L. M. Montgomery*
34. Rebecca - Daphne du Maurier
35. Swallows And Amazons - Arthur Ransome
36. Ulysses - James Joyce
37. The Sound and the Fury - William Faulkner
38. A Passage to India - E. M. Forster
39. A Farewell to Arms - Ernest Hemmingway
40. The Old Wives' Tale - Arnold Bennett
41. The Epic of Gilgamesh - Maureen Gallery Kovacs
42. Mrs Dalloway - Virginia Woolf*
43. Memoirs of Hadrian - Marguerite Yourcenar
44. The Pilot's Wife - Anita Shreve*
45. The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
46. Don Quixote - Miguel de Cervantes
47. Walden - Henry David Thoreau
48. Tale of Two Cities - Charles Dickens
49. Picture of Dorian Gray - Oscar Wilde*
50. Journal of the Plague Year - Daniel Dafoe
51. The Color Purple - Alice Walker
52. Lolita - Vladimir Nabokov
53. Hornblower - C. S. Forester*
54. The Forsyte Saga - John Galsworthy*
55. The Warden - Anthony Trollope
56. Barchester Towers - Anthony Trollope
57. Like Water For Chocolate - Laura Esquivel
58. The Tale of Genji - Lady Murasaki
59. Feast - Nigella Lawson
60. How to be a Domestic Goddess - Nigella Lawson
61. Cook With Jamie - Jamie Oliver - really good recipes!
62. The Writer's Book of Hope: Getting from Frustration to Publication - Ralph Keyes
63. The Secret River - Kate Grenville
64. My Sister's Keeper - Jodi Picoult
65. Everyday - Bill Granger
66. The Memory Keeper's Daughter - Kim Edwards
67. The Sixth Wife - Suzannah Dunn
68. The Poisonwood Bible - Barbara Kingsolver
69. A Perfect Day - Richard Evans
70. The Opposite of Fate: A Book of Musings - Amy Tan
71. The Sacrifice - Beverly Lewis
72. The Emperor's Children - Claire Messud
73. Birdsong - Sebastion Faulks
74. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-time - Mark Haddon
75. The Wind in the Willows - Kenneth Graham (read years ago, but want to reread)
76. The Time Traveller's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger
77. The Alchemist - Paulo Coelho
78. The Life of Pi - Yann Martel
79. A Clockwork Orange - Anthony Burgess
80. The Penelopiad: The Myth of Penelope and Odysseus - Margaret Atwood
81. The Heart is a Lonely Hunter - Carson McCullers
82. I, Claudius - Robert Graves
83. In a Sunburned Country - Bill Bryson
84. The History of Tom Jones, a Foundling - Henry Fielding
85. Uncle Tom's Cabin - Harriet Beecher Stowe
86. The Unbearable Lightness of Being - Milan Kundera
87. Heart of Darkness - Joseph Conrad
88. I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings - Maya Angelou
89. Slaughterhouse Five - Kurt Vonnegut
90. Aspects of the Novel - E. M. Forster
91. Reading Like a Writer: A Guide For People who love Books and for those who want to write them - Francine Prose
92. On Becoming a Novelist - John Gardiner
93. Clarissa - Samuel Richardson
94. The Scarlet Letter - Nathaniel Hawthorne
95. Three Men in a Boat - Jerome K. Jerome
96. Brave New World - Aldous Huxley
97. The Quiet American - Graham Greene
98. Housekeeping - Marilynne Robinson
99. Lanark - Alasdair Gray
100. Oscar and Lucinde - Peter Carey

Of course, there have been many other books read during the past year. I am thinking I need to start recording this stuff.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Following in the footsteps of Gran, Mum and aunties, the next generation of Brownie makes her promise. It's all a bit confusing to me. Brownies seem very blue these days. They are noisy, cheerful and a complete rabble, and our beloved little girl fits in perfectly. She's a very happy member of the Bluebird Patrol. And the blue suits her very well.

Monday, March 10, 2008

I was going to post a triumphant finished applique in this space, a cushion I was making for a little girl's birthday gift. Fifteen minutes before I expected to finish sewing it together disaster struck. A number of excuses can be made for my stupidity. It was very soft fleece, and needed to be held in place very closely, I was swapping between zigzagging the edges (it was fraying badly) and straight sewing the seams, and I was hurrying, as we were due at the party in an hour. Anyway, one moment I was about to zig an edge and the next the machine needle zagged right through my nail and finger tip.

Much yelling ensued. First I screamed. Then I remembered that sometimes hollering is ignored in our house, so I yelled out the reason. "Darling Hubby! Help! The needle's gone through my finger!"

That turned out not to be a good plan. All three of our children freaked out. The guilt I felt from upsetting them didn't help either. I stopped yelling (no point yelling when everyone's already here). The kids didn't. After taking one look at my still impaled finger, I kept my eyes tightly closed. Hubby was trying to figure out which way to wind the thingy that raises the needle. I was trying to settle the littlies down, and stay calm myself. It was not a shining moment in our house.

Thankfully, Hubby reversed the needle smoothly, and a bit of elastoplast and a couple of painkillers solved the rest. We were a little late for the party, but my best friend held up the cake bit for us. Present came from K Mart. Cake and an excess of sugary treats did wonders for the kids' trauma.

The cushion will be finished later in the week.

Tuesday, March 04, 2008

This little fellow was on the screen of our bedroom window last night. He's cute, huh? Watching gheckos chase moths reminds me of long hot nights in the Torres Strait when I was about Christopher's age. No tv meant that some nights the most entertaining thing to do was watch gheckos brawling over their territories on the walls. They can be quite aggresive!

My life at the moment: messy. Josh has had a tummy upset since Sunday morning. Three days now I have woken to the sound of him throwing up in my bed. This morning, as I cleaned up another mess, I sighed "Oh Josh, I am so tired of cleaning up messes."

His reply? "I am REALLY sick of making messes!" That's four year old honesty for you. It made me feel a little bad, that I was whining, when he's suffering more than I.