26 December, 2006

welcome to the world

hope this post finds all of you having had a great Christmas.

We watched the Carols from Melbourne on Christmas Eve, midnight massed at our local church, celebrated with family (lunch at the next-sister-down's place), and especially welcomed Asye Brooke, born 21 Dec to our dear friends P & M, with two visits to the Mater in which P let me indulge in being a baby hog on both occassions.

18 December, 2006

another year, and other incidentals

The focus of the last few weeks has been Christmas. a Birthday and Wedding Anniversary.

We have a rule in our house, it is my rule that has been ‘taken on board’ by B, bless him. The rule is that no Christmas tree or decoration can go up before my birthday. This year however, I relaxed the rule, we have so much going on this month that the tree went up on the Saturday before and was actually decorated on Monday, my Birthday. I didn’t really care too much, we had a birthday dinner and opening of presents* at my parents on the Sunday, so I as pretty much over it by Monday. B was really late home from work so rather than cook my own birthday dinner, I opted for getting pizza, I actually felt like pizza, good pizza that is, but the good pizza place is closed on Monday’s and so it seems are the other independent pizza places in our area. So Dominoes it was. I don’t know how the chain pizza stores churn out a whole pizza for $6.50, it doesn’t seem right. Cheap ingredients is my guess. I am a pizza snob and proud of it. Disappointed that Al Pacino's is shut on Mondays and being another year older, decorating the tree was a nice diversion.

B was home really late Monday through Wednesday due to work, and although I was cursing him every minute for his absence, he more than made up with it with tickets to Priscilla on Thursday night. Priscilla was fabulous by ten. I want to go again, today, any day, it is just great.
Friday through Sunday, we managed to catch up with friends for lunch, meet A's whippet puppies, and the inescapable - do more christmas shopping.

And oh yeh! our wedding anniversary was Sunday. Happy Anniversary also to L and M with whom we share this day.

*I have a funny birthday story though, I know that one of my siblings will be getting cufflinks for their birthday or could it be Christmas, I am guessing the favourite brother will be the recipient of that one, and that another sibling will be getting a Halcyon Days trinket. I know this because I opened these two pressies which got quickly taken away and replaced with 'opps another wrong present' that is until I unwrapped a whitby jet brooch. Thanks Dad.

08 December, 2006

the sweetest words

"Graduated with the award of Master of Business Administration"
Thank you (not) Jasmine for the offering of a small bird ungratefully received upon our arrival home this evening.

06 December, 2006

gone to mush

at the moment I am reading the sweetest little story, which apparently is for Grade 5 - 9 readers. I was a little taken aback by this, obviously too many textbooks have turned my brain to mush. Anyway, B says there is nothing wrong with enjoying a young adult book, and I am really loving this beautiful and enchanting story so am sharing it with others as a good easy read.

Dragonkeeperhas won heaps of awards, it was the cover that caught my eye a few months back when we had our Chinese visitors with us, and the 2006 Books Alive Great Read Guide sticker. Not in the habit of reading for enjoyment I rely on these endorsements, and a third of the way through at this stage, I haven't been let down. If the rest of the story is as good as it is so far, I shall be reading the follow-on story and may even read the final in the planned trilogy.

The author also has a blog in which young readers are confirming their enjoyment. I don't think I will be leaving a comment unless I lie about my age. I could be nine, after all 3+6=....
Uni results are out tomorrow, fingers crossed.

03 December, 2006

still thirty-six

and still here. A quick update - the NZ commentary was ended due to some dodgy business with our internet connection. It was a problem at our end - an update or something meant we were unable to connect. We were also really absorbed with Rotorua to waste too much time with it. In the 24 hours there we managed the Polynesian Spa (SOOOO Fantastic, I dream about doing this again):

Polynesian Spa Rotorua
attending the Mitai Hangi, complete with dance performance, night time bushwalk and glow worm spotting:

Mitai Chief Rotorua
Hells Gate geothermal reserve:

Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve Rotorua

More of Hells Gate Geothermal Reserve Rotorua
This was just awesome, B and I also got to do a wee wood carving of our own:

Hells Gate Rotorua - woodcarving
This was a fun way to experience the Maori culture through craft, and to finish our stopover in Rotorua, a gondala ride:

We then spent a night back in Auckland, well Parnell before returning home, and for me work the next day, and Kylie the day after.

Since then it has all been pretty much of a blur. Today however, was a chance to slow down and enjoy. Although I have eight more days of being thirty six, my grandparents took my Auntie and me, and the rest of the family out to lunch for the buffet at the Manly Pacific for our birthdays (9 & 11 Dec). This was really special because six months ago we were praying for my Nan's health and hoping she would hang in there for the next-sister-downs wedding. She has really improved and even managed to bake both my Auntie and me each a birthday cake. I am so lucky.

18 November, 2006


Before we get kicked out of Esquires, we have been occupying the comfy lounges for a while now, I have to bring you a couple of photos from our afternoon rest stop before heading back to the hotel to push Zzz's.

We stopped in at Fred Ambler Lookout, Parnell, to take in the view and were pleasantly surprised by a colony of cats sunning themselves for the entertainment of tourists. We tried to count how many black ones, and tabby ones, and were amazed at how well they all got on. They didn't look feral, and we were amazed no one tried to take them home. I had picked a couple of favourites that if we lived here, would have happily taken home. It is one of the things we have noticed, New Zealander's seem to really love their animals, dogs in particular seem to be everywhere, in the gardens we have visited, just everywhere. I love it. It was nice to see the cats, they appeared well cared for, and we soon found out why. A lady came by to feed them with roast chooks. B couldn't help himself and went over to say hello, and was given a tour of the accomodation which apparently her dad had made. The set up was amazing, sort of tucked away, we wouldn't have known it was there had we not been shown.


Catsablanca dining room

Anyway, what an amazing attraction, and good on the Parnell Cat Colony Feeders. Might I suggest a sign in this area to explain the good work of these volunteers.

Catsablanca accomodation

It is funny as a tourist, you miss your pets and being able to 'pat a pet' or at least appreciate one on your travels is somehow comforting.

Macc and Jas it is just 3 more sleeps till we are home.

Rainy day itinerary

this blog is made possible by Esquires Coffee House, Sky City Metro, Auckland. Gotta love these hotspots, and the food is pretty good. Tonight a chicken and peach croissant with brie and rocket, weird combination with the peach but great.

We are smashed, again so much packed into the day. We were up kinda early to get to Auckland's Biggest Garage Sale but got side tracked visiting Cornwall Park which was across the road from the Showgrounds. It was magnificent even though it bucketed down with rain shortly after arriving. We drove to the top of the park to take in the views but were unable to leave the car as it was too wet, and the rain made it virtually impossible to see much anyway. We had breakfast in the kiosk which was kinda upmarket, it was all crisp white tablecloths and french accented staff but I thought the prices were reasonable and the food fresh and delicious. We planned on going back for the high tea at 2pm but got, well.... sidetracked.

The Garage Sale was big, with lots of people most of the good stuff I guess had gone, it would have been good to have been to the preview the night before but we didn't know about it. There were a couple of items we would have liked but there would have been the problem of getting them home.

We hot footed it over to the Aotea Markets back near our hotel, hoping to dry off with the heater in the car, the rain had really set in, we were sodden from the walk to and from the car getting to the garage sale. We got even wetter as we spun around the markets, which were all but washed out really.

Having managed to complete two locations on the days itinerary we would not be put off by the rain, and instead of our planned visit to Ayerlies Garden we took in the Winterhouse in the Domain. This was perfection, especially the heated glasshouse, although we were wet to the bone getting back to the car.

Next, was a trip to Miriwai, the black sand beach. It was a straightforward trip from Auckland, even though we managed to get ourselves lost. And even though it was still raining (I don't think it stopped until we got back to the hotel this evening for a sleep), we were fascinated by the colour of the beach, it is amazing, and the waves were huge. We would have loved to have walked, and there was some that were, but the rain had won out. We headed back to Auckland via Devonport, the plan being to buy one of these by Maggie De Grauw, however, when we got to the gallery they had sold the one I had my heart set on from our visit on Thursday.

Tomorrow we check out of the hotel and travel to Rotarua.

17 November, 2006

photo album link

Back in the shoe box, oh sorry hotel room, here is a link to the photo album.

thank god for starbucks

we have been able to escape the confines of our tiny (real real tiny, hot, non-airconditioned, fridgeless, bathless - although it does have a shower, and dated) room. Needless to say, we are checking out (early) Sunday morning. I do like to go off on a tangent, but thank god for Starbucks we can escape and through the marvels of wireless internet report whilst sipping frappuccinos, that we have had an absolutely brilliant day at the Ellerslie Flower Show.

After a rocky start, see previous post, we arrived at Auckland Botanic Gardens with an hour and a quarter to spare (someone didn't read the times). Anyway, we got a great parking spot, and they don't charge for parking, or seem to have toll roads, sorry off on that tangent again. The Botanic Gardens are awe inspiring, better than my memory of Kew, and they blew my mind at the time. Ellerslie Flower Show itself was better than I could have expected, it leaves Melbourne Flower Show for dead and I am sorry to say my favourite 'Show' the Royal Easter Show is shabby in comparison. I think one of the nice things about Ellerslie is that it is such a celebration of New Zealand. It is also really big, soooo many stalls, craft, art, food, more food (and lots of tasting), and of course garden displays. We have bought some seeds which we are hoping will pass quarantine, and some garden ornaments that (are heavy) were too cute to pass up. We were at the gardens till after 3pm, B's back and my foot were at their limit. We only got a cursery look at the Botanic Gardens so will probably try and get back there on Tuesday for brekky.

We had an early (5pm) dinner at the Seafood Catch at the Auckland Fish Market - fish and chips to die for. Feeling rested after our dinner we checked out the Victoria Park Market, we were there for less than half an hour, it was a real disappointment. Great building though so I guess not a complete waste of time, it also meant that we have more time for our planned market day, tomorrow, when we explore Aucklands Biggest Garage Sale, and the Aotea Markets a block or so from the hotel. And if we get through these without doing ourselves in, we have a garden to explore whose name escapes me.

Anyway, time to go, B promises photos in his post.

Oh and by the way, Sydney friends, it has been on average 24 degrees C, although yesterday we did have four seasons in the hour throughout the day.

16 November, 2006

New Zealand

After declaring myself a criminal with 12 months imprisonment, and B declaring he was importing prohibited goods (a wheat pack for his back) we were allowed access to New Zealand. No, polite Border Security Officer, I did not read the question properly. My excuse

  • my sore foot, that I think may be broken after launching myself off a gutter on Saturday morning and has been strapped up until the morning of our flight across the pond,
  • a scrambled brain from doing my last exam the day before,
  • not sleeping well the night before my exam, and
  • not sleeping well the night before the flight, for fear of sleeping in.

Making the most of our time here, we have hired a car, that way we can get from A to B more quickly and hopefully pack more in. So far we have managed to pack a lot in, although I can’t say that the car has enabled us to get from one destination to the next that quickly, we seem to get lost quite easily. Anyway today we have been to Parnell’s Rose Garden and Parnell Village

Parnell Rose Garden
Mt Eden Gardens,

Mt Eden Gardens
Devonport via the Ferry ,

Auckland from Devonport

Ellerslie to scope out where we needed to be tomorrow for the Ellerslie Flower Show, only to find out after driving around for over an hour or so, that the Ellerslie Flower Show is not actually in Ellerslie this year but at the Auckland Botanic Gardens about half an hour in the opposite direction, and of course we had to scope this out, adding an hour round trip to the end of the day. Needless to say we are having a great time discovering Auckland but are exhausted.

14 November, 2006

the long weekend

today I (hopefully) did the final exam for my MBA. I am a little unsure how well I will have done, not much study has been done in the last few weeks, and although I had a long weekend starting Friday last week and including Monday this week to study, not a great deal got done during this time either. The final bit of effort I had planned with a long weekend eluded me.

12 November, 2006

Douglas & Hope

A few dramas this weekend so a post I prepared earlier......

Douglas & Hope
Probably my most favourite shop in Melbourne, Douglas & Hope now apparently have three stores but still no website. I have only managed to visit the brunswick st store and this one in The Block Arcade in Melbourne CBD. This one is handy to the hotel I stay in, being less than 5 minutes by foot up the road. It is also open to 6pm which means I am generally able to drop in at some stage whilst attending my workshop. I made a couple of small purdhases, all Mozi designs. A teatowel, a card with a bird ornament, and a ham bag (I liked the design and with Christmas coming up, I thought B might find this useful). One day I will treat myself to one of D & H's cushions, if not one of their quilts. But for now I will have to satisfy myself with photos of their work.

Douglas & Hope window closeup

Douglas & Hope bags on display

Douglas & Hope Owl Accessory

11 November, 2006



Glowing Balls
this time last week we were at Riverfest, in Parramatta. It was not such a great day for this event, being wet and kind of cold. B and I had dinner at Wagamama's although if we had gone for a walk around the festival first we might have had dinner at the noodle market.

Riverfest noodle market

Looking towards Lennox Bridge

10 November, 2006



CH2 again
I am home today, studying for (hopefully) my last exam. I quite enjoy the view from my study desk looking out of the tiny window in our attic. I look down on the goings on in our street, admire our garden, and on a clear day like today, can see Centrepoint Tower. At work, my team moved office space. I have a bigger desk and can see outside, I can see trees and have an indication of the weather. I am hoping that I will feel less tired, as the lack of sunlight was becoming quite depressing.

Last week, I had the pleasure of experiencing the new office space of Melbourne City Council, CH2. It was a pretty funky looking building, nearly all glass with timber louvres that move to provide shading.

The offices are open plan with even Managers inhabiting a workstation.

office space
The building is green star rated to six stars, and I can attest that with a rotten cold that was getting worse in the airconditioning at the hotel was improved with the fresh air of this building. You could really feel the difference.

I was fortunate enough to get a tour of the building with the workshop I was participating in. There was so much information about the features of the building. How is this for a roof garden space in the CBD though?

roof garden
This is a model of the old/original council building. It is a really beautiful building and this model made of wire is great, it got me thinking whether I could make something like this of our house?

model of the original council building

09 November, 2006

Fifteen Melbourne

Fifteen Melbourne

I love tuning in on a Thursday for the latest developments at the Fifteen Melbourne restaurant. This is as close as I got to eating there. I planned to have dinner there on my first night but at $90 a head and bookings being taken for March 2007 at this time there was no chance.

Gotta go, with Jamie's Kitchen Australia about to start, I will make do with a virtual experience.

08 November, 2006

visiting amitie

amitie window display
I was fortunate enough to have enough time on the Wednesday I arrived in Melbourne to catch the train to bentleigh for a visit to the fabric and quilting store 'amitie'. It was a fairly straightforward trip, about 30 minutes from Flinders St (where I was staying) and no changing of trains.

amitie window display in closeup
I had encountered the ladies of amitie at the Darling Harbour Quilt Show earlier this year and hoped then to get to their store on my next visit to Melbourne. I was pleased I managed it this time although I was not tempted to buy any of the fabrics. I am not very good at putting fabrics together and there wasn't much in the way of fabric packs already made up. I also didn't really have any projects in mind. Probably just as well, as I have about a dozen fabric packs from a previous trip to Melbourne and the Darling Harbour Craft Show a couple of years back, which I couldn't resist at the time but haven't got around to making up. I couldn't leave without a purchase though, so came away with a new pink rotary cutter (breast cancer fundraising edition), linen thread (it looked kind of vintage, I have no idea what I will use it for at this stage) and a bird door knocker, not what you expect to be purchasing from a quilt store but I couldn't resist. There was to be a real bird theme over the next couple of days. More on that in posts to follow.
And in reply to B's post, while I was supposed to be sleeping, I was actually running a fever, and spent hours trying to get to sleep, and waking at 3am achey, hot and with a sore throat, no fun in an airconditioned hotel room without even a panadol.

07 November, 2006

husband flashes virgin

plane. I had to laugh when I understood the reason B insisted I have a window seat on my recent trip to Melbourne, and that I look towards the flight tower as the plane took off. My husband is soooo cute, he had parked near the flight tower and waited till my plane was taking off, at which point he flashed the headlights on the car.

In the same way that he sent me off to Melbourne, he welcomed me back, although I am suprised he didn't attract the attention of the authorities, as he was unsure exactly which plane I was on and flashed more than one virgin.

view from my hotel window
The purpose for the flight to Melbourne last week was a work trip however, I did manage to get to a couple of my most favourite shops and also a new one. I will hopefully post some of the photos in the next few days, and if not then next week, as I will be on annual leave to study for my final exam.

02 November, 2006

Whilst you were sleeping...

Sound familiar?

Well 'L', whilst you were sleeping (lucky you), I am yet to get to sleep!
I have been unable to get off to sleep with L in Melb today until Fri. You see, I am off with my recurring bad back, and I am just not at all comfortable at the moment. And, this is compounded with no one to the right! Last night, we tried swapping sides of the bed, but somebody forgot to tell Jasmine the cat. At around 3.30am, she jumped up onto the bed (expecting to see L I think and was suitable horrified when it was me. After the licking (and why is it cats have rough tounge?) and then a bite or two, I gave her the heave hoe and off the bed you go.
So, since Sunday night, I think I have had the grand total of around 10 hours sleep!!
Best be off to (try) sleeping now...

31 October, 2006

change the world ~ no 26

for a while now I have been after this book. It used to be sold by the people who sell The Big Issue, but as I don't work in Sydney CBD I was not able to purchase it when it was first launched. I had actually given up on ever seeing it however, a trip to Borders last Tuesday, I came across it on display and naturally secured a copy.

It is a great little book, I read it from cover to cover before bed and was truly inspired, so much so that I had to have an (over the counter) sleeping tablet to switch my mind off. This was not such a great idea as I felt terrible the next day and when I finally got to work fate had provided me with the opportunity to get started on saving the world in action 26 'Give Blood'.

As a socially responsible corporate, my workplace organises a regular bus trip to the blood bank. I have not participated in the past, but there were a few unfilled seats and apparently Sydney was down to half a days supply, also I had committed to saving the world the night before, and fate had provided me this opportunity so how could I refuse. A few mental calculations, I had eaten breakfast, and could squeeze in a couple of glasses of water before 12.30 no problem.

In addition, No 26 stated

"The medical side-effects of giving blood.

  1. Slight Euphoria
  2. Puffed up chest
  3. Broad smile

One in three Australians will need blood in their lifetime, yet only one in thirty currently donates.

Who would have thought that something so easy to do could have such profound effects? Your one donation could help to save up to three people's lives.

Bloody fantastic."

Well a week later I can confirm that it is a very worthwhile experience, although for other first timers, I advise to prepare yourself properly, don't go on a whim and if you do, drink, eat and drink some more. Don't have an over the counter sleeping tablet the night before, and if you feel in any way strange let the staff know. Otherwise you will faint, be at the blood bank for 2 1/2 hours and even then you may not be able to leave (unless you have a friend to accompany you, thank you C), and feel a bit deflated about saving the world.

Getting back on track, and with other avenues to save the world, I have formally signed up to do more, and will even give blood donoring another go.

26 October, 2006

new layout

I know it has been a while since I last made a post....
But, do you like our new layout?
Tell us what you think, ok!!

23 October, 2006


yesterday, I found out I didn't get an invite to the hens weekend for the next-sister-down, I also don't think she really liked the wedding present we gave her even though half of it was on the wedding register. We really are very different, I didn't really care if I got presents from people or not when B and I got married, I just wanted people to share the day with us and enjoy themselves. I also tried to include as many people as possible in the ceremony and activities. I didn't have a hen's day, but if I had, I would not have left anyone out. Whatever the reasons I am hurt and I don't believe either for one minute that B not getting an invite to the bucks night was an accident.

20 October, 2006

family flex friday

mum and dad visited today, and after a relaxing lunch, and a tour of the garden, dad inspected some of the handyman jobs completed, in progress and stalled. He also measured up other jobs that needed doing. Mum noted that she would also need to come back soon to finish the roman blind for the door in the dining room, to complement the curtains she made for the bay window about a year ago. So I guess they will be back for a working bee in the not too distant future.

road milling & road-resurfacing
It was lovely to have them visit as it has been quite a while since they have been to our house, although it couldn't have happened on a worse day as the council was resurfacing the road. To escape the dust and noise we took a drive to Hargraves Nursery and discovered a great antique shop. So many great things, so little money at the moment. I have made a mental note and hopefully before christmas we can return and some of the treasures we eyed off will still be there. I really loved this stuffed puppy but he was NFS.

Mum treated us to a couple of plants whilst at the nursery, one for the pond and a silk tree for the nature strip. B has been after a silk tree for months now, well actually years, we did get one earlier this year but it was quite small and over winter when it just looked like a stick stuck in the ground someone snapped it at the base and it was no more. This one is about 3 foot tall and protected by a stake. We will be nurturing it along so that by winter when it becomes deciduous it looks a bit more substantial than its predecesor.

With the parents needing to get home, we would have liked them to stay for dinner but they had the next-sister-down coming to collect her dog, we treated ourselves to dinner out - payella, and dropped into B's mum for coffee. It had been some time since we had visited her at her place so it was a nice way to round off family flex friday.

19 October, 2006

biscuits mark II

biscuits markII
I can report that the chocolate ripple version of my biscuits is even better. Although I think I prefer the original version, the compliments from my work colleagues and B confirm this one is best.

18 October, 2006

so simple biscuit treat

Whilst at the hairdressers, flipping through a magazine, as you do, I came across a recipe for wagon wheel type biscuits. So simple is the recipe, that I could remember the ingredients and instructions a week later when called upon to make something for a morning tea at work.

Marie biscuits, 'top and fill' caramel stuff, marshmallows, chocolate

Instructions on how to make
Spread 'top and fill' caramel stuff on half of the biscuits. Place a marshmallow on each of the remaining biscuits, and doing a few at a time, microwave for 30 seconds or so. The marshmallow will soften/melt and expand. Remove from the microwave and join to the biscuit you have spread with caramel stuff. When this step has been completed, melt some chocolate and ideally with a piping bag, otherwise a snap-lock plastic bag with the corner snipped, pipe melted chocolate over the biscuits. Allow chocolate to set, and serve, or store in an airtight container.

I love these biscuits, they take 10 minutes to make, are guaranteed fool-proof (If you don’t pick up the ceramic plate you have been using in the microwave too soon. This has no effect on the biscuits, unless you drop them of course, but does burn the fingers.), and people seem to like them.

With success going to my head I feel the need to share the recipe with the world. The potential for birthday parties, as a special treat, for school fetes, and morning teas, the opportunities are endless.

The variations are also endless. I am sure if you don’t like the caramel you could substitute for jam, just like a real wagon wheel. Also, if you don’t have the Marie biscuits another plain biscuit could be an interesting twist. On a creative roll now and with a work morning tea tomorrow, this evening I shall be giving Chocolate Ripples a go.

Too exciting!

17 October, 2006


clivia seeds
At the wedding of the ‘next sister down’ the weekend before last, the no 1 nephew and I collected clivia seeds*. Clivia’s are one of my favorite plants, with their dark green glossy leaves and bright orange flowers. Their seeds when ripe turn a deep orange to red, and are just the thing for a four year old with lots of energy to go in search of, when the adults are busy mingling. About a dozen seeds were collected, and would not be wasted; as a momento of the day, my old school and all of that; I plan to grow them.

I commenced the process last weekend by rummaging through recent issues of Gardening Australia, remembering there were instructions specifically on clivia seed germination. I found them in the September issue.

Step 1 ~ Remove seed from the fleshy pod and soak seed overnight in water with a drop of bleach
Step 2 ~ Soak two paper towels in a weak solution of bleach and water, drain off the paper towels so they are not too wet
Step 3 ~ Line the bottom of a container with the paper towels, place seeds, and cover with another bleach-dipped layer of paper towel. Cover the container with an airtight lid.
Step 4 ~ Rest seeds in the warmest part of the house to germinate. This can take two to six weeks

With step one underway, a spot reserved in the laundry for step four, and all going well I should have some well advanced seedlings in progress by the time the nephew is down at Christmas time.

*My apologies for the marigold that got uprooted, there was some confusion given the similarity in colours.

13 October, 2006


congratulations to the next sister down and her new husband on getting married last weekend. May romance and love continue to grow each year through the lifetime you'll share. It was a beautiful day.

Reception venue

01 October, 2006

momentous birthdays

today is the allocated* birthday for our little Jasmine who is five. This is her 2006 birthday portrait.

Jasmine 5th birthday
And before time gets too far away and we are on momentous birthdays, we had the pleasure of celebrating little B's first birthday, last Sunday. And you've just got to love the cake made by her dad 'faeries and mushroom', it was just too cute.

Breanna's Cake
*the people we rescued her from didn't know the date she was born or even how many weeks old she was when they gave her to us, I am guessing she was only about 6 weeks old. She was too young really but as the mother and litter had to fend for themselves, all but two, including our Jas were no longer. So from our estimations we set the first of October as her birthday.

29 September, 2006

strange customs

we keep a lidded container the size of a very small bucket (4L) on our kitchen bench, it is for fruit and vegetable scraps to be collected. On a regular enough basis the bucket is emptied onto the compost heap which is located down the back of our yard. I instigated the scrap bucket when B and I first moved in together, although the scrap bucket was used to feed our worm farm. We were renting, and the landlord may not have approved of a compost heap. When we got our own place I introduced a neat compost bin (less fuss than the worm farm, no need to filter out the onion and citrus skins) and vegetable scrap collections resumed. With yet another move and a bigger yard, the bin is no longer and we have a full scale compost going. Now where was I going with this.... yes I instigated the scrap bucket, my mum had one which she emptied on a compost heap, my grandmother, and great grandmother on my mothers side had one, and they too had compost heaps. Although now my grandmother digs a hole in her garden and buries the buckets contents, moving from petunia patch to rose bed, and so on. I can't remember whether my grandmother on my dad's side had one or not. The point is, and yes I am getting to it, it seems like a fairly normal doesn't require explanation sort of thing to do. But, maybe it is. You see we have a house guest with us, and she has taken to the scrap bucket without question, and has even taken on the responsibility of emptying it. The only thing is I believe that she is emptying it when the garbage gets emptied, into the garbage bin. So it is not making it to the compost. I can't imagine what she must think, why we would separate, only to put it all in the garbage bin. Do others have a compost, a vege scrap bucket for the compost, or a vege scrap bucket for the garbage bin? I am intrigued. Is my family weird carrying out a strange custom? Even if we are, we are doing our little bit for the planet, and our gardens. But it does make me wonder about others and their compost heaps and how they manage the kitchen to heap process*.

* I wonder a lot when I am meant to be doing an assignment.

24 September, 2006

craft withdrawl

there has been a distinct lack of craft posts due to no craft projects being undertaken in recent weeks, or is it months??? I have been loathe to do anything as I am meant to be studying. Keeping up to date on readings, writing assignments, and studying for an exam always provides more than enough motivation to be distracted by a craft project, to clean the house, or weed the garden. And whilst knitting or cross-stitch have been favourite distractions in the past, this time round weeding the garden has probably come in first, followed by cleaning the house, although the standards here are slipping.

This weekend the garden was again the focus of my distraction, with visits to The Indian Bazaar and Wisteria Gardens where we picked up Clivias and Bromeliads respectively for massed displays in the backyard.
Bromeliad bargain
The Indian Bazaar also provided a much needed craft infusion with this find of fabrics and lace.

pretty paisley patchwork fabric



funky fabric

linen bag
7 weeks and counting and I will be MBA free forever.

22 September, 2006

All about poo and worms

I have a new toy, as seen on Better Homes and Gardens, a tumbleweed pet poo converter. My new toy is going to make the regular collection of Macc’s droppings so much fun, because a slick team of worms are going to turn dog ‘do do’ into worm poo that will be the best fertilizer the non-edible parts of my garden will get.
pet poo convertor
The Tumbleweed Pet Poo Converter is just a tumbleweed worm farm, but actually any old worm farm will do. I just like the tumbleweed one as it seems a bit better designed than its competitors, I particularly like the hinged lid, and the pet poo (how many times can I say this in the one post?) converter tag. And in case you are after the Tumbleweed Pet Poo Converter and can’t find one, it is exactly the same as the Tumbleweed Worm Farm except it comes with different instructions. Tumbleweed Sales will provide you with these instructions if you ask nicely.

Basically, the only difference from the standard worm farm is that you can only feed the worms pet poo. Apparently if you feed them anything but poo, they won't eat it. Can't blame them really!

I have had a standard worm farm in the past, but prefer to compost my vege scraps, it is much simpler than having to worry about sorting the onion skins, citrus, etc from the rest.
I am hoping pet poo conversion will be less smelly than bagging the business for the bin. However, I am concerned that Macc's monthly combined heartworm, intestinal worm tablet might have a deadly impact on the pet poo factory workers. The instructions say not to feed them for at least 24hours following a worming tablet but it didn't specify what worming tablet they were referring to. I shot off an email to Dr Harry, but have not had a response to my question. So I guess I am running my own experiment, which I can report back on here. Has anyone had any experience with this already, I would love to hear from you.

21 September, 2006

there'll be no pictures for this post

and I should really keep this to myself but, there really is nothing like getting a new bra, and tonight I got three! After putting it off and putting it off, I finally made the trip to Debra's. With time running out to find an outfit for the wedding of the next sister down, it was decided to sort out the support, improve the shape, and get a boost in confidence* that a new (proper fitting) bra gives.

I went with designer styles by Oroton, Trent Nathan, and a third I can't remember but is a pretty cappuccino colour. Ohhh the choices for tomorrow.

So if you are in Western Sydney (it would be worth the trip even if you are from further abroad)and have not been fitted for a bra, I thorougly recommend the great personal service of Debra's.

*It's hard having stick sisters as siblings. Particularly when your mother goes into shops with you and tells you how great the clothes would look on either of them. Hmmmmmm, pass me another mint slice B.

20 September, 2006

burnt range rover offerings

range rover on fire
great excitement, lots of smoke and not in our kitchen for a change. Our early start, to be in the City to set up a display before my favourite annual conference started registrations at 8.30am, was thwarted by the unfortunate combustion of a new Range Rover ahead of us on the city west link. It stopped traffic for over 45 minutes, billowing smoke into the atmosphere, and requiring the attendance of the Fire Brigade, Police, RTA and of course a flat bed tow truck. Special mention should be made of this bloke who gave assistance (he had a fire extinguisher) until the firies arrrived.

good samaritan
Yay for the truckie!