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.