08 January, 2007

work in progress

my craft pursuits have taken a back seat to home improvement pursuits. For the last month a good part of my 'spare' daylight time has been spent stripping back a pair of cast iron columns that are intended for our back verandah. The columns are 100 years old or thereabouts and had countless layers of paint.

tin 1
Three tins of paint stripper, the first an environmentally friendly one (as far as paintstrippers go) although it killed the grass underneath, and two standard tins which did surprisingly little to the grass underneath and were as effective as the first tin in removing paint and half the price, metal brushes including an attachment for the drill (which I managed to burn out the motor this weekend, I guess 3 hours straight use will do that), and I think I am almost ready to paint them. There are still some stubborn bits which I have contemplated sourcing a blow torch, to burn that stubborn paint away. Although me and fire, are not always the best of companions, and I could end up causing not only myself some damage but my precious columns, so I can live with a few imperfections that I am sure will add to the character. Regardless, next weekend I shall paint. Due to the rain on Sunday, B took some time out from the thesis (which he submitted Sunday afternoon, Yay) and we made a trip to Bunnings and purchased the paint, and a cheap paint sprayer - for the fun of it, ahm that professional finish.


06 January, 2007

good read

The Master Pearler's Daughter

I have finished my first book for 2007. An enjoyable read, Rosemary Hemphill's memories of childhood, growing up in Broome with time also spent in England. Broome is one of those places I would love to holiday, and my fascination has been further fueled by 'The Master Pearler's Daughter', I also have a passion for pearls, and as the title reflects, this book explores , aspects of this industry. Recently B, gave me a set of south sea pearl earrings for finishing my MBA, he had bought them in 2006 as incentive for me to finish my last subject, and I was not able to have them until I had finished.

A friend from the past once referred to pearls as tears of the ocean, and this somehow seemed fitting as a graduation token, as many tears were shed over the last couple of years in obtaining this qualification. Rosemary, refers to her childhood in Broome as teaching her to be strong, independent and resourceful, I believe there may be some parallels to be made in doing my MBA. This was a lovely book to read, for me it celebrated the special and unique Australian environment, and that I have so much to be grateful for; family, self determination, and a garden.

05 January, 2007

meet the neighbours (part three)

meet the neighbour (part III)

(and farewell) our newest neighbour, Cooper. Visiting for 3 weeks, staying with the neighbours to the left, it has been somewhat eventful, with:

  • lots of conversation* that investigated by Macc was quickly dismissed. An SMS or two from us, being neighbourly, asking if everything was OK with the little fella, and would the neighbours like us to check? Thinking the neighbours were out, but no they just needed some time to themselves, and Cooper whilst adorable is a little high maintenance in the attention department.
  • a search party instigated when he had slipped his noose and gone walkabout. The one occasion we were pleased to hear his barking, as it meant we knew he was near, even if we couldn't find him, and he returned to homebase of his own doing, and
  • a play day, in which he stopped with us for 1/2 a day and ran Macc ragged (Greyhounds are not known for their endurance).

till next time.

*translation - barking

04 January, 2007



I arrived home early this afternoon, B was busy working to a deadline to finish his thesis and Jas was stretched out soaking up the last of the days rays with sunscreen on her nose. I grabbed this photo whilst bringing her an iced drink.

03 January, 2007

edible garden

passionfruit harvest

behold our first ready to eat passionfruit. By todays standards we have a large yard, and have tried to make the most of it. When we first moved in we had a lemon tree (it fruits all year round), persimmon, locut, mulberry, and the biggest monsterio delicio I have ever seen, and that no one will ever see again, as it got removed with the privet. These fruit trees gave us the idea for an edible garden, we now have another mulberry (a weeping one), a mango tree, lychee tree, blood orange, kaffir lime, and bush tucker inspired lillypilly's, lemon myrtle, and finger lime. We also have as many varieties of scented geraniums as I could find including, lemon, ginger, tutti fruiti, nutmeg, rose, lime, and peppermint. Apparently, the geraniums can be used to infuse flavour into all sorts of dishes, and although I have not tried any yet, I have a few recipes to try out.

And herbs, thyme, rosemary, oregano, parsley, basil, chilli, chives, and coriander. A globe artichoke.

And newly planted strawberries.

01 January, 2007

Happy New Year

we welcomed in the new year with Cameron Diaz, Kate Winslet, and Jude Law. With company like that we gave the fireworks a miss again this year. The venue of our New Year celebrations was the Macquarie MegaPlex Silverscreen Cinema, with our company starring in The Holiday, which was kind of apt given the movie finishes with New Year celebrations. So well planned, a nice little movie, and so us at the moment. What happened to the party spirit. We were home by 10pm and struggled to stay awake to watch the Harbour spectacular on TV.

My resolutions
Relax, don't stress
More craft, starting with (current for last 2 years) cross-stitch project
Join quilters class
Blog more regularly
Read more fiction
Go to the movies more often (this shouldn't be too hard)
Catch up with friends who have patiently waited for me to finish uni studies
Learn how to make scones
Make a baby god dammit

Oh and to finish the year off in true burntofferings style - burnt lasagne, maybe I should add improve cooking skills to my resolutions.

new year burnt offering

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.