28 August, 2006

just too early

a quick post before I head for bed. Mum and I have had a great day with the SIL and my nephews. It was an early start with Max waking and welcoming us, well me actually, firstly at 4am before my brother sent him back to bed, and then again just before 5.49am (I know it was before this time because it took me a while to adjust to the lights being on and to gather my wits enough to turn on my mobile to see what time it was).

The early start and weary from a full day of learning the ropes consisting of a trip to day care and introductions (both the boys will be there tomorrow), being shown the venue for swimming lessons (for next week), where to pick up a tuxedo (tomorrow), coffee at the Riverside Cafe Bookstore (this could be daily), lunch, naps, termite inspection assisted by Max (or should this be vocational experience as Max is going to be a "bug guy" after helping the pest inspectors carry out a termite inspection on the house), watching Ice Age (great DVD, made me laugh), play dohing, dinner, baths, then a trip to the airport to see the SIL off on her holiday (this was also so that I will know how to get back to the airport Wednesday to collect B), and finally learning (well actually providing guidance/moral support more than anything) how to hand tie a bow tie.

So really, its not too early to retire for the evening.

27 August, 2006

Bullimba bound

I am heading north this evening for two weeks of Qld sunshine and to play au pair to my nephews, Max 4 and Will 16 months. I am very excited because I don't get to see my brother and his family all that often now they are in another state, and the boys are growing up so quickly. I also have over 3 and a half months annual leave (and that's not counting the 3 months long service leave) so am well deserving of some time off.

21 August, 2006

Oh and I finished the scarf


Thank you to my patient model.

20 August, 2006

camellia craziness

Just feeling yucky and too tired to do anything this week, I decided the remedy was fresh air and sunshine this weekend. Remedy or not, it was also a necessity as Friday, I had purchased a few kangaroo paws, and some black mondo grass, the ‘goode’ husband had also tracked down a Finger Lime that he surprised me with on Friday afternoon, we also had bulbs purchased a couple of weeks back that needed planting. At least one day in the garden was required, except that a couple of short trips here and there also led to some sort of camellia craziness; getting a couple of keys cut, we bought two camellias (unnamed but one was pale pink, and the other hot pink), grocery shopping, another camellia (eastern red), a trip to the hardware, another two camellias (strawberry blonde and white waratah). A couple of azaleas, and heucheras, and the weekend was all about the garden.

A visit from A with Memoirs of a Geisha on DVD, and hours spent in the garden and I feel somewhat revived.

Less than seven days to go and I will be in Queensland.

19 August, 2006


I forgot but last week the ancient air-conditioner got transformed into this…….

I love how it matches the painting B gave me for Christmas a couple of years back. It was so meant to be.
painting by Vicki Langham

18 August, 2006

7 days in review

Under a haze of sleep deprivation all I can remember of the week is that our Chinese guests have returned to their homeland, and we have almost caught up on our sleep. The last night of their stay really hit us for six, Celia and Linda went to bed late, as there was the whole reweighing of bags thing to be done, redistributing items, and reweighing…..

The last night did not go quite as planned I was losing my patience due to a lack of sleep from the day before (1.20am bedtime on a “school night”) and Friday night we were repeating the whole exercise again when we had a 4.30am start the next day to get the girls to the drop-off point by 5.15am for the coach to the airport.

We had planned to take the girls out for coffee on their last night but, Celia, who could be a bit bossy informed us that she didn’t like coffee. Tea?? NO. Hot milk, soft drink?? No?? Well OK, then...we won’t go. B had started to quietly remind me how many hours we had to go, when he could see I was about to explode. So when they got up at 3am (an hour and a half earlier than planned), I was so pleased I had less than 2 hours to go (because I had to work that Saturday, B was taking them to the coach so I could get a bit of extra sleep). I do have a good husband, although I was so awake by the time they left I got up anyway and started the stripping of beds and washing of sheets and towels. Crazy, crazy, crazy… as I was shattered by early afternoon and we had B’s brothers birthday dinner to go to, which thank goodness was held at his mum’s because I was the one snoring on the coach at 8.30pm.

Sunday, we went to a street fair at Fivedock, before attending my Nan’s 87th birthday celebrations.

Five Dock street fair

fruit and vegetable art

vege art
At the street fair we discovered Embellish Jewels and I was thoroughly spoilt with two necklaces and a bracelet. Both necklaces are long, lariat style, one of pink dyed pearls, garnets, and with pink tassels, the other black onyx, red coral, carved turquoise, and black tassels. The bracelet is plain in comparison, being a navy crystal, but I just liked it.

Nan’s birthday celebrations were great, she liked the scarf very much. I think it was also the only non-cat related gift she got. The whole cat related gifts because she was given a cat (Yvette), she didn’t want a kitten, for her birthday.
birthday present cat
Due to the earlier sleep deprivation, the working week was spent counting down the days to the weekend. It could have been more interesting as I was invited to a preview as well as the opening night of an exhibition of my most favourite artist, Kerrie Lester. But alas I was too tired to make the trek to the other side of Sydney after work on Tuesday, and not really having the money, although I had promised myself this time to get a (small) painting.

11 August, 2006

the goode huswife

tonight Celia commented in response to B complimenting dinner which, both she and Linda had cooked, that she thought that she was a very good cook and also wife, as she cooked dinner for her husband every night. Ohhhh, should I then feel that I am a bad wife? I am actually not sure whether this was directed at me or not, anyway I choose not to take offence. I am lucky to have such a great husband who likes (and is good at) cooking.

It reminded me of an American reproduction cross stitch sampler pattern I bought a couple of years back from one of the craft shows 'one seed for another' by 'the goode huswife' the saying on the sampler being
" the goode huswives in summer will save their own seeds against the next yere - as occassion needs.
One seed for another - to make an exchange with fellowlie neighbourhood seemeth not strange."

Whatever the last bit is supposed to mean, I may even do this one next if I ever finish L'ete.

10 August, 2006

seven dozen eggs

we are less than 48 hours from saying goodbye to our guests, it has been a great experience albeit a lot more work than we both anticipated; getting meals, downloading photos, and a few too many late nights. Tonight also looks to be no different, there is a lot of packing going on, and weighing and reweighing of bags. I am amazed that the pallets of lanolin, boxes of perfume, and truckload of tacky stuffed koalas and kangaroos (made in China) seem to be fitting into their bags.

I will also be more than happy if I do not see an egg for a while. I did a rough stocktake today of how many eggs have been consumed by the girls and was shocked. In the last three and a half weeks, they have consumed seven dozen eggs, B and I have consumed possibly 2 eggs in the same timeframe. The girls have eggs for breakfast, use them in the cooking ~ to bind the pork meatballs, but also add them to soup.

I have tried the soup a couple of times but didn't really like it, it was a bit too watery and the egg which they whip up and then stir into the soup (looks a bit like noodles in the soup) doesn't add anything to the flavour so I don't really see the point.

07 August, 2006

procrastination day one, two, & three

Day one ~ I have three days off work, the purpose of which is not to wash the windows which I finished doing at 9am, nor is it to weed the garden (3 weeding sessions of at least 30 minutes duration carried out by 2.30pm), watch Judge Judy (3-3.30pm), do some knitting, update the blog, peruse ebay, or check the mailbox.

Day two ~ repeat of day one with the exception of window washing, although I was tempted as the enviro gloves for window washing (only use water) have left water drop marks all over the windows, and it is irritating me.

The other exception, a purchase made on ebay, a bulk lot of hippeastrum bulbs.

Day three ~ repeat of day two with the exception of an ebay purchase although there is still time in the day, and the other exception of dropping B off to pick up his car, got and getting (very) irritated with him for interrupting my assignment time, the reason I am home for 3 days.

05 August, 2006

chinese cooking lesson

we learnt to make pork and chive dumplings last night. They were relatively easy, very messy, and most importantly delicious.

dumpling preparation
There was lots of chopping, and apparantly we didn't have a big enough knife.
dumpling preparation II
Eventually, the chinese cabbage, chives, spring onions and pork mince concoction were ready for the production line to commence.

dumpling preparation III
We had an endless number of trays lined up ready for boiling, enough to feed a chinese army, let alone 4 people.
finished product
They were so delicious we ate more than we should, which B and I regretted, although me more so I think, because of one tiny but powerful ingredient ~ MSG. Although I had two tall tumblers of water with dinner. I had 1.5L of water immediately after dinner which made me feel extremely bloated and didn't seem to quench my thirst.
Sauces to accompany the dumplings included Hot Chilli Sauce, Malt Vinegar, Malt Vinegar and Sesame Oil, and Soy Sauce.

04 August, 2006

our nations capital

it has been a long week. A good week, but a long week nonetheless. 48 hours was spent in Canberra, spread over 3 days, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday for work. It was a suprisingly easy drive there from the office and back to the office on Wednesday, where I worked until 7pm. Madness! and will explain why I am so tried and crabby today, I guess, it might also have something to do with the late nights this week.

Enough whinging, I had a great 48 hours in Canberra, the drive down saw me accomplish a fair bit of knitting of the new scarf (not sure what my Manager thought of that one). And dinner on the first night with the participants of the Alliance was pretty sensational. We went to a restaurant called Benchmark, which is a short walk from the hotel. I dined on the pan fried western australian goat's cheese with semi dried tomatoes and an oregano balsamic syrup as an entree, frenched lamb rack with paris mash and forest berries finished with a rosemary jus for my main, and then super indulged by having the rhubarb and apple crumble with cinnamon and rosewater ice cream for desert. Each dish was served with a specially matched glass of wine. I slept really well that night.

On Tuesday night, I was lucky enough to have dinner with Uncle R, Auntie B and Cousin M1. Uncle R was kind enough to collect me from the hotel, I was too chicken to borrow the Managers car and drive myself as I have the uncanny knack when in Canberra of getting lost. I get disoriented at the best of times, so add in a circular grid pattern kind of development, and well forget it. Anyway, I thought the dinner the night before was great, but my Auntie B cooked a sensational 3 course meal; kumera and peanut soup, tasmanian salmon accompanied by steamed veges and a salad that had almonds in it, and a sticky date pudding (the whole thing made from scratch, yes even the sauce). Following dinner we had coffee and more Auntie B delights (dried apricots and fresh strawberries dipped in chocolate) at M1's new abode. Great food and company, it was a lovely evening. I am very fortunate to have such a warm and welcoming extended family.