17 Dec 2006

Santa Claus is coming to town....

We found a 'take your own photo' Santa at one of the local shopping centres today. It didn't work real well, but I think this is the best we'll get this year;
There has been actual craft activity happening in the last two days, but I'm not finished yet, so no pictures - hopefully be back later tonight with an update!

12 Dec 2006

Bloglines hmmmm

Well, I've just realised that Bloglines has unsubscribed me from 4 blogs. And the thing is, I don't know which ones.

Some blogs haven't been updating as they've been written in (like mine), and Bloglines seem to have deleted these ones.

I had a night out last night, meeting up with some online friends. It's always strange meeting up with cyberfriends, and even more so when you've chosen a fairly strange screen name. For example, imagine introducing yourself - "Hi, I'm Bushpig*!" In my defence, I never expected to say it out loud.

It was nice being out in the city by myself. The meeting was held in The Rocks, which is the old, touristy part of Sydney. I haven't been there in at least 10 years, and it was charming and civilised.

We've been making paper chains today. Not real successful - the kids lack the dexterity to hold the chain closed while closing the link with a sticker. Still, they enjoyed it.

* Bushpig isn't my name, but it's not far off.

9 Dec 2006

Christmas cravings

This year, we'll be going up the coast to my sister-in-law's for Christmas. DH's parents, and his other sister and her family will also be there - this is their complete immediate family. I'm not over the moon about it, but it will still be Christmas.

We have to go, because next year my English sister will be home for Christmas, with her Dh, son and new baby (expected to arrive in a couple of months time.) We will be spending our time with MY family then. I can't wait.

Currently I want to be planning Christmas menus, I want to be writing lists, and devouring Christmas magazines, and cooking the odd test run. Cooking is part of my Christmas, and I'm missing out this year.

Of course, I could be spending time making mince pies and fruit cakes and meringues. But I'm the only one who eats them, so it's not a real good idea considering my current lack of control.

6 Dec 2006

Our Tree is up!

Advent has arrived

I've put the Advent calendar up. It contains a mixture of bird shaped balloons, jelly snakes and little notes. Today's note reads; Put the Christmas tree up. I guess we'll get to that soon. It's currently airing on the front verandah, as it smells a little damp after being in the so-called storage room (shonky rental house!)
We're still cocooning here at home. The weather has been mild, but the kids are reluctant to leave home. I am too, as I'm still feeling decidedly shaky. Convenient really, that the children want to just hang around the house.

3 Dec 2006

Bad mummy!

It's December 3, and I haven't got the Advent Calendar out. I also haven't thought about what to put in it yet - didn't realise till today that my kids will probably want to participate this year (duh!)

I guess that's tomorrow's project.

We had a nice visit down the coast - spent time with my folks, suffered in a heatwave, played at the beach, and visited my sick friend while she had a blood transfusion.

Oh, and I feel sick.

27 Nov 2006

Wild times

We've had a busy few days.

DH's birthday was an exciting day.

On Sunday, I went on a behind the scenes tour at Taronga Zoo. It was very exciting - being a metre away from a feeding lion, seeing a sun bear training to have it's teeth brushed, and hand feeding giraffes. While we were feeding the giraffes, a tooth fell out of the mouth of a giraffe. Astonishing - they have baby teeth too! We also learnt one of the giraffes on display is completely blind.

The other wild times have involved vomit, and ended with me spending more quality and quantity time in the laundry .

21 Nov 2006

feeling the heat...

It's been 38 degrees Celcius here today, and I'm feeling it. We hid inside all morning, with house shut up and the blinds down. Around 12.30 we ventured out to an airconditioned shopping centre where we spent three hours playing in Ikea and having lunch.
Worst of it is the forecast for tomorrow is more of the same, and I think I used up my stamina today.

Dh is away this week, which adds to my woes.
In good news, contracts have been exchanged on our new house, so that's going ahead on schedule.
We had a lovely weekend with my sister and her family visiting.

We all visited the new Wildlife Park in the city at Darling Harbour, and were pretty impressed. They have a nice rangeof native wildlife on display in exhibits open to the weather, but all the viewing areas is inside and airconditioned. Also have some fabulous play thing like these possum trees -

17 Nov 2006

Oh my!

DH just called with news that he has been officially offered a job in Canberra. Oh me, oh my.... it's actually happening.


I *think* we'll be exchanging contracts on our new home today. There's been a last minute crisis with the bank (of course) but I think it's sorted out now.

The plague seems to be abating, andI'm hoping we're well enough for my sister to visit, bringing her twins and husband this weekend. I probably should be making a cake or something, but I think we'll take it slow.

To finish off, a sign I saw about 100m from our new home
I guess it's still magpie nesting time in Canberra.

15 Nov 2006

Milk Arrowroot Heaven

Milk Arrowroots are a classic biscuit for babies and small children. My daughter was in heaven with the milk arrowroots this morning when I disturbed her, and put all the biscuits back in the container.
In other news, my nasty cold has returned. Once again, I'm feeling sorry for myself.

6 Nov 2006

Happy househunting everyone!

We found it... we found it... the perfect house... no more househunting... we found it...

I am so thankful.

Well, not quite perfect - no chook house!

More details next time, but right now I'm at my parents place, with their shaky dialup.

3 Nov 2006


The long awaited Asian elephants arrived at Taronga Zoo yesterday. They were on exhibit for the first time today, so we were there to see them. Unfortunately, it was raining, but it was still a special time.

The kids and I were next to the Channel Nine TV crew as they were filming their story - a minor brush with fame in the shape of Peter Harvey.

I didn't think the elephants looked settled at all - they were bunched tightly together, and moving fast, trunks searching the air. They went around the grassed area, over to the dirt pit, where they threw dirt over their backs, and then over to the swimming area, and then repeat. Apparently they had been repeating this all morning. However, it is early days yet, and I'm sure they'll feel more at home given time to adjust.

In worse news, I still feel shocking. This flu thing is really knocking me around. It's worse because my nose bleeds every time I blow it, which is pretty often. I'm also bone-tired, this zoo trip was the first time we've left the house since Monday.

Tomorrow, we're supposed to be going to Canberra again, this time staying overnight in my sister-in-law's house. All well and good, except her children (same ages as ours) don't go to bed till 9 or so, whereas mine are 7pm definites. Hope we do all right. Then on Sunday, we're going to stay with my parents. I'll probably stay the entire week - DH is away with work, and I could use a break. We'll go to the beach, and play outside lots.

31 Oct 2006

My timezone is out

Daylight savings has started, and I'm taking it hard.

Probably because DH likes to leave for work at 7.10am. Which is actually 6.10am, and I do NOT wish to be alert and showered by that time every darn day.

I've also got the body aches and sore throat, so there might be a bit more to this tiredness than just the time change.

We spent the weekend in Canberra again, and I think this is adding to my tiredness. I hate looking at houses, and travelling 3 hours to get there does not enhance the experience.

In a first for this season, the cicadas have just started up.

I've also been spending some time over the last few days watching a new camera on Africam. So far I've seen some vervet monkeys, zebras, wildebeest and some baboons. Best of all, this camera has sound.

24 Oct 2006

Happy Mail Day

My order arrived from Posh Yarn today. I can't believe I resisted temptation for so long - the yarns are wonderful.

The pink is lace weight 50/50 cashmere silk, the pastel skein is sock weight 50/50 cashmere silk, and the two other skeins are 20/20/60 cashmere silk cotton sock yarn, one of which will be my Mum's Christmas present (unknitted).

We spent lunch time at a park near Hunter's Hill today, which was remarkably bush-like in feel. This feeling was helped by the barbeques supplied - ready to light a fire (not gas or electric.) Both children showed their barbequing genes, attempting to cook an apple and some cornflakes with great enthusiasm.

23 Oct 2006

Meme time - it's my first - be gentle

48 things you could care less about
1. First Name Leah
2. Were you named after anyone? Mym Mum says no, my Dad says Roy Orbison's song.
3. When did you last cry? Reading a birth story on the web last week.
4. Do you like your handwriting? Yes. It's neat and easy to read.
5. What is your favourite lunchmeat? Salami
6. If you were another person would you be friends with you? I don't know.
7. Do you have a journal? Yes, this is it.
8. Do you still have your tonsils? Yes.
9. Would you bungee jump? No.
10. What is your favourite cereal? Muesli. Preferably with lots of fruit and nuts and sesame seeds.
11. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off? Yes.
12. Do you think you are strong? No
13. What is your favourite ice-cream flavour? Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough. Fortunately, I no longer see it for sale anywhere.
14. Shoe size? 9.
15. Red or pink? Pink
16. What is the least favourite thing about yourself? My body.
17. Who do you miss most? My sister who lives in England.
18. Do you want everyone to send this back to you? I'll just read it on your blogs.
19. What colour pants, shirt and shoes are you wearing? Jeans, khaki tshirt, purple cardigan, black shoes.
20. Last thing you ate? Muesli.
21. What are you listening to right now? My children playing in the lounge room
22. If you were a crayon what colour would you be? yellow
23. Favourite smell? My parent's springtime garden - freesias, jasmine and violets. Heaven.
24. Who was the last person you talked to on the phone? A salesperson.
25. The first thing you notice about people you are attracted to? Their smile (or lack of).
26. Do you like who you stole this off? yes
27. Favourite drink? vanilla latte
28. Favourite sport? cricket
29. Eye colour? blue
30. Hat size? large
31. Do you wear contacts? nope, I couldn't be bothered. Glasses here.
32. Favourite food? Currently spicy pide.
33. Scary movies or happy endings? Happy endings
34. If you could live anywhere in the world where would that be? in a tourist camp in the Okavango Delta in Botswana
35. Summer or winter? I'm more a spring/autumn person.
36. Hugs or kisses? hugs.
37. Favourite dessert? Fresh sponge cake with whipped cream and passionfruit.
38. Who is most likely to respond? don't know
39. Least likely to respond? don't know
40. What books are you currently reading? a book about the Yellowstone Wolves, one of Tom Clancy's Jack Ryan series and The Wilderness Family by Kobie Kruger. (all are re-reads.)
41. What's on your mouse pad? Don't have one.
42. What did you watch on TV last night? The Real Sea Change
43. Favourite sounds? giggles
44. Rolling Stones or Beatles? Beatles
45. The furthest you have been from home? Probably Scotland.
46. What's your special talent? I can tapdance
47. Where were you born? West Gippsland, Australia.
48. Who sent this to you? I stole it from Meg whose blog I lurk at regularly

21 Oct 2006


I've been having such a good time tonight. I've been buying music for my iPod. Of course, I'm shocking at remembering songs I have liked, but I'm reading the Australian Music charts and then searching for my old favourites.

Fabulous music from my youth that's joined me tonight;

Especially for You by Kylie Minogue and Jason Donovan
Heaven is a place on Earth by Belinda Carlisle
Kokomo by the Beach Boys
Final Countdown by Europe
Back for Good by Take That
The Shoop Shoop song by Cher

and some others, but I'm getting a little embarassed.

Next, Rick Astley!

I'm seeing fireworks...

out of my study window. It's freezing cold (well, a top of 18 degrees seems freezing after our hot weeks), so I don't know how much of a crowd will be watching. Eastwood was celebrating the Granny Smith Festival today - this is the place where Mrs Smith bred the first of her apples. I'll be celebrating with an apple pie a bit later.

Fireworks have lost their excitement for me. At the opening of the Sydney Olympics, the firworks set off grass fires. And a couple of years ago, the New Year's Eve fireworks came in the middle of a terrible bushfire crisis. Add to that the enormous cost for such a small time, and I really can't approve.

We've made no decisions on the house hunting front, although I think we're getting closer.

Today, I've offered up my first items (magazines) on Freecycle, and am happy to say they will be picked up tomorrow. I've also sold some old quilting magazines on a quilting list.

And lastly a photo of the children getting ready for bed. DS has taken to saying "SMILLLLLLLLLLLLLLLEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE" which means he's too busy talking to smile :)

16 Oct 2006

Spring again

Well, it's Spring again today. Over the weekend, we definitely had Summer - 34 degrees C, hot winds, and over 200 bushfire burning.

It's a relief to have some cool. I think this might be a hot year.

We had a lovely visit with my parents - just hanging out together, and watching the kids swim in our blow up paddle pool. I also introduced them to Ikea - it's one of our favourite outings, and Mum and Dad were amazed. Mum instantly wanted to change every room in their house. We didn't actually buy anything, but did have to pay for parking for the first time, as we stayed a long time.

Saturday morning, my folks took our children to their home, and we drove to Canberra. We saw a lot of houses, and maybe even THE house. It's not perfect - single car garage instead of double, and the owners only bought it in January this year (which is a concern - we can ask why they're selling, but expect the agent would lie if it's something about the house.)

We then drove down the coast, to be in time for bath and bedtime with the kids. We'd driven around 600km that day, as well as viewing 21 houses, and were very tired indeed.

We're back home again now, reading the inspection reports for the house that might be ours, and I'm trying to decide if I really need to go out.... I'm thinking a home day might be nice.

10 Oct 2006

Random thoughts

We're taking things slow here at the puggle house at the moment. It's still school holidays, so our regular story time library visits are not happening. We're not going anywhere special, since school kids are everywhere. We also seem to be content to just stay at home.

Good news - my parents are coming for a visit! They'll be here Thursday morning, and I can't wait. Actually, thinking of their visit, I probably should check out my house, to make sure it's ready for a parental eye. It's much easier to pass this inspection nowadays, since the kids do a fine job of distraction. Not that it's that messy - the surfaces seem to be clearer nowadays. I'm an interested follower of FlyLady. I don't do everything she suggests, but the daily routines are habit now, so that's a win.

We'll also be looking for houses again this weekend. The house I was most interested in on our last trip is under offer, so that's off the possible list.

No pictures today - thanks to Blogger

9 Oct 2006


In response to Quiddity's 'show us your socks', here are mine.

I know there's only two pairs, but I only learnt to knit this year, and I'm happy with them. I'm also about half way through my first Jaywalker sock, but have misplaced it, so there's no pic of that.

7 Oct 2006

Sunny Saturday

It was a beautiful day in Sydney today. Just gorgeous. I started the day with a sleep-in, which in this phase of my life means 8am. I then got up to see DH 'cleaning' my desk. Basically just dumping my stuff on the floor. Well, it took me a while to work myself back to happy after that. After I let him know my feelings, that is.

We went shopping at a local outlet centre, since DH was after some new casual clothes. The kids did pretty well, at what is really a fairly boring place for them. Lunch we had gozleme, after watching some Turkish women kneading, constructing and cooking it on the barbeque. Delicious. The shopping centre is built next to a marina, and the kids enjoyed looking at the yachts. They also had a great time chasing away the seagulls.

This afternoon we lounged around the house and backyard, before going to the park.

Tonight, I spent some time with my sewing machine (fanfare please.) I made a new glasses case for my sunglasses, to keep in the car. It's not particularly exciting or pretty, but I saw the need, made a pattern, and solved the problem. And did it all with materials already on hand.

6 Oct 2006

We're going bananas

And that's because we found bananas for only $5.98 a kilogram. Yummo. Australia's banana growing areas were pretty much wiped out by Cyclone Larry earlier in the year, and bananas have been around $13 /kg ever since.

This was just a clearance - I guess they were too ripe and perfect, and too many of them - not a regular price drop, but we're excited anyway.

In other news, my ex-pat sister has announced her pregnancy. Her babe is due to arrive in early April.

I've been plugging away at my knitting, but still haven't finished the baby cardigan. I'm beginning to think my Christmas list was overambitious.

3 Oct 2006

Useful links

Alyson at terribleknitknit has compiled a fabulous list of (mostly free) patterns for socks, lace and small amount of wool needed projects here.

On the topic of knitting, my weekend away involved a lot of knitting. I am really sick of double rib now - the whole baby jumper is double rib. It's actually a cardigan, with a crossover front, and is knit in one piece. I've done both one sleeve, the crossovers, and am moving towards the second sleeve. I'm keen to be finished, so I can start the next holiday project - Haiku , which is worked mainly in garter stitch. I'm also keen to start because the next project is to be knitted in a yarn made of wool and silk, which feels great. The current cardigan is a wool acrylic fuzzy blend.

2 Oct 2006

real estate....

We've returned from a weekend spent in our nation's capital, spent looking at houses. I hate real estate agents. I hate open houses. I hate spending the day driving 200km!!! between open houses and getting a sunburnt arm because the car was too hot with the window up.

On the bright side, we have successfully decided where we want to live. I mean, which suburbs would suit us, not that we've found THE house. Well, actually we did find THE house, perfect in every way except budgetary. And by this I mean it's priced at twice our budget.

On the even brighter side, I got to cuddle my twin nephews. They are growing fast - one is up to 4kg, and the other can roll. They're delicious reminders of why babies are so special. Lucas and Annabelle spent the day with the twins (and their parents and my mum) while we cruised around town. They had a great time. Annabelle gave the babies about 5 million kisses, and was incredibly gentle (she is usually more fearless than gentle.)

26 Sep 2006


That's my theme song today.

We're going away this weekend, looking for a house to buy. Which is very exciting, however, it means DH is working long hours this week trying to take Friday off completely. Which means very long days at home, especially when my darling daughter wakes at 5.

So I'm grumpy. I recognise this, and am trying my favourite remedies. We've been shopping (DD crying the whole time), I've had two vanilla lattes, and I'm now listening to Swoon.

Not working. Sigh.

25 Sep 2006

Crafty Monday...

We've started the week on a crafty note. I'm an enthusiastic subscriber to Kids Craft Weekly, and this week's theme is "Underwater". We've started off by painting a box to act as 'The Sea' and have made crabs. They're all drying currently, and Lucas suggested we watch 'Finding Nemo' because 'we'll see the sea, Mummy.' Why not?!

While we were outside painting (we all always paint outside - it's a rented house), I heard rustling in the bushes. That slow rustle that is usually reptilian in nature. So I checked it out, and was delighted to see reptilian legs attached to this 30cm long body;
It's the back end of a Blue Tongue Lizard, a common garden inhabitant. What a relief.

21 Sep 2006

Finished objects!

What a productive morning!

Yesterday afternoon,we spent some time out in the backyard painting.

This morning, we added crayon, glitter and stars, and laminated the art into placemats.

While getting the laminator out, I also found a nearly finished sock monkey. I started him last year just before we moved (which I think was in November.) 20 minutes later, he's finished, and Annabelle's in love. His face isn't right - more hippo/pig but we don't mind.

20 Sep 2006

felting underway...

I've finished knitting my holiday project - the Black Sheep Company's Booga Bag. It's now in the washing machine, felting away. I followed the instructions - hot wash with 4-5 pairs of jeans.

It's only now that I'm thinking of possible effects on the jeans..... particularly since Dh and I only own one pair each.....

19 Sep 2006


While hanging out the washing on another glorious day, I noticed the mulberry tree is starting to fruit. The berries are red, and looking wonderful. So I got the camera, and when I moved closer found this;

So I ate it. Yum.

It's not actually our tree, but hangs over the fence from our neighbours.

This seems really early to be getting ripe fruit, but it's been a while since I lived with a mulberry tree, so who knows.

My thoughts are turning to pies, ice cream, scones, jam....

Pity the new diet has (nearly) started.

18 Sep 2006


It's nice to be home.. back in sunny Sydney.

Our holiday was fun. Despite the rain - I didn't think it rained on the 'the sunshine coast'. Pity, because our beachfront accomodation was pretty much wasted - managed half an hour's trip to the beach early one morning before the day's rain started up. We had a good time at Steve Irwin's Australia Zoo. I had very mixed feelings about visiting the zoo, due to his recent demise. However, we went ahead. It was very strange being surrounded by the huge mound of flowers, toys and posters left by mourners. I can't imagine how this must feel for his poor family.

We all got to hand feed the Zoo's elephants, which was an absolute treat.

We moved down the coast to the Gold Coast after this, where we visited Currumbin Sanctuary, and Dreamworld. The day we visited Dreamworld was the day The Wiggles were performing to celebrate their 15th birthday, and the first birthday of Wiggles World. The world and their toddlers were there. I was reminded of when we visited Disney World on New Year's Eve 1999 - absolute chaos, and that was just in the carpark.

The children are still out of sorts - I think it was just too much action for them. Actually, I think it was too much for me too. This time away has helped me realise what I want from a holiday. I like to stay away from crowds, to spend time in quiet places. I like to lay around and chat, read and sew. I like to be in the bush.

7 Sep 2006

Attack at McDonalds

It's shocking weather in Sydney - wild, windy, buckets of rain. Quite a shock after our balmy 27 degrees. We spent the morning at one of our local mega-shopping centres. We lunched at McDonalds (where I need to mention that I ate a chicken tandoori deli choices roll, and not a single french fry), and the children played while I knitted.

Annabelle came out sobbing very shortly afterwards, with an apologetic mother close behind. No wonder - look what her vampire child did to my darling girl

Drama aside, she's bruised but fine. At least the vampire was a very small child indeed - in fact surprising amount of teeth (which I can count on Annabelle's cheek) for his age.

6 Sep 2006

not tired, mummy.....

Nope, not tired at all. Lucas drifted off on the lounge while watching TV. This is his quiet time, while his sister is asleep having her nap.

Annabelle did not go to sleep, despite waking us all at 5.15 this morning.

Today I picked up our new memory card for the camera - I can now store 12oo images. Should be right for our holiday.

5 Sep 2006

Go forth and knit

I had my last knitting class last night. I feel great - I know how to do lots of things, and now can spend the time to use and practise what I have learnt. How empowering.

While this is wonderful, I am little concerned I have never felt this way after any other class. I am a teacher (of high school science/agricultural science). I doubt my students ever felt this way.

Maybe because knitting requires a small set of skills, and once you know them, just small technique variations gives all kinds of results.

I've got more thoughts on this, but can't currently organise them. I'll be back, but right now am going to follow Brenda's instructions, and go forth and knit!

3 Sep 2006

And I forgot to say

that it was 27 degrees Celcius here yesterday and today!!!

Spring's only just started.. think what can happens when we start to warm up!

Happy Fathers Day!

We spent the weekend down the coast to celebrate with our fathers - DH, his father, my father, and my grandfather. Fortunately, we'd prepared a few (heavily glittered) cards in advance.

We all had lunch at a local Chinese restaurant on Saturday. It was a nice time. My grandfather particularly enjoyed himself, and lingered. In the past he's always had to rush home to my late grandmother.

Saturday afternoon, the kids, DH, my Dad and I spent some time in the garden. The Wollemi pine has settled into the garden. Mum and Dad are a little concerned it will grow and grow and grow and grow, but then realised they will probably move before it's a huge problem. Personally, I think they'll still be there when it fills the yard.

In the evening, DH and I went and played Bolivia with his parents. It’s been ages since we last played cards, and I miss it.

I’m currently trying to balance my life. My two main concerns (in complete opposition) are my hobby of comping, and my desire for a simpler, more frugal life.

I am fairly successful with my comping hobby, winning lots of useful prizes. The highlights of my comping career have been winning a week long holiday for 6, a laptop and several thousand dollars. This is all good. However, a lot of these competitions are based on purchases. I buy things we don't really need, just to enter. This leads to more junk in the house, and more unhealthy eating.

I read an article tonight about grocery shopping once a year, and I love the idea.

30 Aug 2006

Crafty Fun...

We had some fun today. After reading a friend's tactics for entertaining her children - just let them have free access to craft supplies - I set aside my control, and got out the glitter.

Lucas was inspired by some cardboard corner protectors that had come off some photo frames I bought today. He drew, and glued and glittered and stuck feathers on top. Annabelle assisted, and we now have 8 very small hats;

We also made a trip to the garden centre and bought my Dad a Wollemi pine for Fathers Day. These are very special plants, from the age of the dinosaurs, only discovered in the last 12 years ago, and there are less than 100 adult trees living in the wild. A picture from the website;

Other news - we're looking forward to National Simultaneous Storytime on Friday. We'll be down the coast visiting my folks by then (if I drive fast enough) so will be going to the local library where an event has been planned. It's a nice book - Good Night, Me by Andrew Daddo and we should have fun.

28 Aug 2006

what a start to the week...

Got up, after spending a night dreaming of Africa...lovely.

Kids fed, dressed, washing done, inlcuding towels. Hung washing out, while Annabelle played in the sunshine.

10 minutes later;
Hmmm, I can't see the rain in the picture, but it sure is bucketing down!

26 Aug 2006


Wow, I feel good after being mentioned in another blog. No not for anything exciting, just following Brenda's simple instructions on how to personalise your blog banner. Thanks, Brenda :)

Unfortunately, anyone clicking through from her blog won't find much quilting around here. This is a longterm wholecloth quilt I have been working on for quite a while (in fact the quilt is stained from a rusty needle.)

It's only a cot size quilt, and I'm glad I didn't designate it to belong to either of my children(since they're both out of cots now.)

I started quilting soon after my wedding. I thought I could make a lovely quilt out of the dupion silks left over from my wedding dress, and that of my bridesmaids. Probably still could, but haven't.

As a result of this decade of quilting I have a large stash of fabric. One of my latest plans is to make plain shopping bags out of the 'what was I thinking' material. It's a good idea, and I can't wait to sew. Unfortunately, I'm without a sewing machine at present, so nothing will happen for a while.

25 Aug 2006

Friday night live

Well, we're alive, if not exciting.

I've spent a little time this evening reading my new book, Tim Flannery's The Weather Makers - the History and Future of Climate Change. It's a little dense to be reading when I'm tired, so I've paused until tomorrow.

I've had a recurring headache this week, and am still not my usual self. Tried many remedies - paracetamol, ibuprofen, chilli, caffeine, chocolate, exercise, hot baths.... Everything has only had a temporary effect. This weekend, I'm going to try sleep.

We went to the zoo on Wednesday, and had a nice time. The Asian Fishing Cat was jumping around (as pictured below) and the lions were awake. Taronga is preparing for the arrival of it's elephants soon, and we can't wait. The new enclosure looks fabulous (and the elephant house looks curiously agricultural...)

I have started on some knitted Christmas presents. So far, I have knitted one pair of booties. Not sewn them up yet, but there's time. My planned list is; two pairs of booties, 2 jumpers (size 9 months), one cardigan (size 2), one scarf, one shawl and maybe one beanie. And if I get time each of the jumpers will get a matching teddy bear with jumper. That may be a big if.

20 Aug 2006

Bed, Mummy!

Yesterday was a very special day. Annabelle moved out of her cot, into the 'big girl's bed'.

She was very excited all through the process of setting up the bed, wanting to get on the bed at every step. We bought a bed rail thing to stop her falling off the edge ( mummy-guilt for not getting one for Lucas too :( ), which was a challenge to set up.

Lucas was excited too. He was convinced he was going to sleep in Annabelle's room (and probably in her bed with her.) When we explained that Annabelle's bed was just for her, he wanted to sleep in the cot. Next time we go to visit my parents we'll try them in the one room together.

Annabelle wanted to go tobed at 5 (no, you haven't had dinner yet), at 6 (no, you haven't had your bath yet) at 6.30 (no, you haven't had your story yet) and at 7. At 7 she RAN down the hallway and jumped in. Refused her dolly, aquarium thing, and teletubbies. Requested multiple kisses and cuddles (much easier in the bed than the cot). I pulled the door, and didn't hear a peep till this morning. Bliss.

Of course, the down side is that my baby is a big girl now! Who knows how I'll feel when she's out of nappies...

18 Aug 2006

Oh yes, oh yes it's springtime!

That's a quote from Little Einsteins, set to Vivaldi's Four Seasons. We were walking home from the park yesterday, when we stopped to examine a leafless tree. This has been happening daily for some time now, and we talk about how the tree will get leaves when it's springtime. Well, the first leaf has appeared, and Lucas started singing "Oh yes, oh yes it's spring time". I was impressed, anyway.

Apart from that, it truly does feel like spring. We spent the morning at a garden centre near here and had a lovely time. It's so nice - lots of healthy plants, heaps of fountains (love to look at, but don't want one at home), a cafe and a children's store with books, toys and clothes all with a gardening theme. It also happened to be the weekly organic food and farmer's markets today, located just outside. We stocked up on Pink Lady apples, and a pie made from the same. Delicious! The kids and I have had an apple each, and have eaten half the (family size) pie. Checking out the website, I now realise the centre also has display gardens, which we didn't notice. A treat for next time!

I'm also inspired to sew some summery clothes. Certainly hats, it was quite hot outside this morning, and Annabelle has had some freckles appear on her nose. Unfortunately, my sewing machine is out of action.

I also want to plant vegetables. Reading the Digger's Club site, they say you can grow enough vegies for a family of 4 in three garden beds, with around 6 hours effort a week. My kids are loving spending time outside right now - usually I knit, or put the washing on/off the line, but gardening would be a nice thing to be doing instead. However, we're renting, and planning to move in a couple of months. Also, the garden beds here all have that weedmat stuff under a layer of mulch, so I can't really rip that up for vegies.

It's been a real stay home week. I haven't wanted to leave at all and the kids have been happy here. Maybe we are all in need of a break. I'm still not back to my usual self.

Well, I've tried 3 times to upload photos, and nothing! This is officially a photo-free post.

13 Aug 2006

Template fun

I've been having some fun fiddling around with my blog template. I've been inspired before, but always just made a mess.

Tonight, I followed Brenda's instructions, and I'm happy with the results.

Happy to be home

It's nice to be home again. In my home, with my husband and children, surrounded by my things, my junk and my peace.

I've never been to a family funeral before, and it wasn't easy. I took the children down to my parents place on Wednesday, where we celebrated my father's birthday with a roast dinner (his favourite). On the way down we stopped and bought 2 helium balloons for the children to give him - a big hit for both grandfather and grandchildren. The dinner turned out bigger than I expected, with 14 sitting down. Lots of vegies meant the $9.00 roast was perfectly sized. The atmosphere was festive.

Next morning, Mum went up to my grandparents place and picked flowers to go on Mama's coffin. She and I arranged them into some sort of order, and delivered them to the funeral home. We stopped off on the way home and bought Mum an outfit to wear.

I found the services very difficult, and was glad I had my children with us. Nothing like a quick cuddle when you're feeling bad. Both kids were very well behaved and pretty quiet.

We spent the afternoon at my grandparents house talking with all the relations who'd made the trip - all five of Mama's children, 6 of her 13 grandchildren, and 2 of her 5 great grandchildren were present. Of those absent, 4 were overseas, 3 in hospital, 1 had an unavoidable exam, and 2 were judged the wrong age to be attending a funeral. My mother's family;

Quite a lot of work has already been done removing Mama's possessions. This has encouraged various people to vow to tidy up their own possessions immediately. I understand this thought, but I'm more encouraged by our impending council cleanup.

7 Aug 2006

The twins have arrived!

Wonderful news, the twins have been born safely. Two adorable little boys - Jasper and Darwin!

They'll be staying in hospital for a while longer, but are doing well. They're both regulating their temperatures well, and are attempting to breast feed (although they are being given feeds through a nasal tube as well.)

I took the kids down to visit, and we had a nice time.

I got the quilts finished;

They're not exciting designs, but nice material, easy to look at, and with big chunky quilting. Perfect for a baby to vomit on.

The bad news; the budgie got sick. We took him to the vet, were given antibiotics for him, and were told 48 hours hours and he would be fine or be dead. Well, he's dead. The cockatiel too. It was some kind of gastric infection and must have been fairly virulent since the cockatiel never showed any signs of illness, just seemed sleepy. We didn't even have them 2 weeks. Fortunately, my brother-in-law is not too concerned. My sister never asked about them, and I didn't tell her either. She'll be having a tough time in the next few weeks, being home without her babies, so we're leaving it as long as we can.

Worse still news; my grandmother -Mama - passed away last night. She has been ill for a while with heart troubles and has been in the hospital the last few weeks. Her hip had dislocated three times since Friday, and she was dreading travelling to Sydney for her bowel cancer operation next week. She also would not have been able to return home to live with my Papa, but was facing moving into care. So, yes, it was a merciful release, but it's hard to be left behind.
Rest in Peace, Mama.

30 Jul 2006

Crafty Sunday

Dh took the kids to the Zoo again this morning - they all had a great time.

Meanwhile, I did the washing, nipped for breakfast, and got quilting. Yay - it's tricky sewing with the kids around. The house is small, so I don't like (machine) sewing in the evenings when I know DH is trying to watch TV. Anyway, I now have both quilts for the impending twins pieced, and sandwiched. I have quilted half of one already, and am really excited about the progress I'm making. A picture;

And the other quilt;

similar but different - this one has a checkerboard pattern.

I've also started knitting another pair of socks, this time using the Jaywalker pattern at MagKnits and using some self-striping Opal wool.

The pattern doesn't show in the photo (which is a pretty bad one) but it's looking full of potential at the moment.

And finally, my darling Annabelle with the adored birds;

I'm working on a decent photo of the birds - but they're tricky, and keep flying away :)