Dec 31, 2010

Blessed New year

I have been seriously absent these last week or two.. I have my daughter home with us, I have not seen her in 12 months, so it has been special catching up...
I sit and wonder where this year has gone, but not only the year, it is also the end of the first decade of the first century.. *laughing* that makes me feel a little old..
I did want to take a minute to wish you all a safe and happy new year, and to send you a blessing of love, happiness, contentment and abundance of spirit and well being. May the New Year bring ytou everything you need... Bright Blessing and I look forward to being here with you in 2011. Please be safe.. and be good to one another.

Dec 25, 2010

Happy Holidays

Well the day is done.. and I wish I could have got here this morning to do this.. but better late then never..
I want to wish all of you, a safe and happy holiday, a Blessed Yule /Merry Christmas.
May the day bring yo you and yours warmth and happiness, joy, peace,  unity and much love.

Dec 19, 2010

A Bit Of Baking

I love Christmas baking, and I am playing catch up, with only 6 days till Christmas and my daughter arriving tomorrow and her partner on Friday, there is near nothing done as far as holiday cooking is concerned. Usually by now there are a few tins of buttery, Scottish shortbread, while not traditional Choccie Chip cookies, sometimes German Speculass and/or Stollen, a legacy from my German mother.
Last night, I made up a batch of fruit mince for the tarts, while it has not been left to develop in taste over the last few months, it is equally as tasty used the next day. Tomorrow, I will make shortbread but today I made up the sweet, short pasty, I just can not bring myself to use store bought pastry, for these..
I always double the mixture, not only because we all like the pies, but the fruit mince is tasty mixed into ice cream. Half of the fruit mince makes a dozen pies.
Here they are, straight out of the oven, now I do not know why but there is always one mutant Christmas tart.. my husband always has this one, I wonder if he sabotages one..

Here is the recipe.. firstly make the fruit mince. 
1 cup finely chopped, peeled apple
3/4 cup blueberries ( I omitted these as they were far to expensive)
1/2 cup raisins-chopped
1/2 cup currants
1/2 cup sultanas
1/4 slivered almonds
1/4 cup castor sugar ( I use normal white sugar)
1/4 cup peel
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind,
1/2 teaspoon each of cinnamon,ground ginger & mixed spice
1/2 cup either brandy, port, rum or orange juice ( as I doubled this mix I used port and rum)
Put all this in a pot and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until soft and pulpy. Put into the fridge overnight.
1 cup standard flour
75grams butter, 
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg yolk and 1 tablespoon of water
Mix butter with sugar and flour until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the egg yolk and water, Mix to a stiff dough and chill for about 20 to 30 minutes. This makes about 400grams of pastry.
I am sure most folk know how to make the tarts.. after putting pastry into the patty pans, add about 1 teaspoon of fruit mince, pop on the lid and bake at 180c for 15 minutes.

Dec 17, 2010

Feels a little like Christmas

Well, it;s raining here again. Which for what has been a drought stricken State, a very good thing, however it is unusual to see so much rain, over in Western Australia, it was hot, very hot and dry..  Today has been the first real potter day for me in our new house.. well 15 year old house, it has at times a cottage-ie feel to it and I love that. This is the day we moved in and the removal guys are required to unpack to the bench the breakables, then they leave and this is what your left with. Chaos. This is the kitchen and family room, the rest of the house looked almost the same.

I have been working really hard to try and make it feel more like home, rather than a house with our stuff in it. I know it is just a time thing really. 10 days later, we are almost there in the organisation stakes.

Before it rained today, I  potted up some Parsley, Mint, Rosemary, Lemon and normal Thyme along with some Basil. It is important to me, to have fresh herbs not just to use but to add to the "feel" of the place. There is not vegie garden but there are little garden nooks, which are very peaceful. I am looking forward to trying to grow a few tomatoes, lettuce maybe some beans as well, I am just looking out for the best place for them.
I also baked my first batch of Anzac biccies today, the oven is a bit, well touchie, temperamental but we managed, it is fan forced and the fan sounds something similar to a single engine plane zooming through the kitchen, I am thinking it needs to be fixed as it made for a fairly noisy afternoon as I also made a good old fashioned Chrissy cake and the rattle and hum continued for a good 3 hours!
I  have just given it a brush with Brandy and the house smells lovely... the Christmas tree was also decorated today, it is starting to feel a just little like Christmas.

Dec 16, 2010

After 14 days I am back

Hello folks, well after trying to cram the contents of a large 4 bedroom, doubled garaged house, into a smaller 3 bedroom single garaged house and waiting near two weeks for the Internet to be connected I am here.. Some folks have decided to move on and no longer follow this bloggie and I appreciate that-  me not posting leaves folks in a bit of a blog limbo.. tonight is my first night online. Our mobile stick modem only worked if we went to the wee cemetery at the end of the street..and really we have been far to busy trying to get our home in order and trying to catch up with you all who are prepared for Christmas.. I will post some photos tomorrow of the house when the box's exploded and how the place looks now.
I hope your all looking forward to the holidays.. I know our family is.... it is nice to be back
Bright Blessings to you all.

Dec 2, 2010

Think it's gonna rain

Think it is gonna rain, a very strange phenomenon for this girl back from Western Australia. W. A has some amazing storms, but it has been a long time since I have seen storm clouds like this.. and when the skies opened, it thundered and lighteninged and rained, like I have not seen in a good while..and I enjoyed running across the car park in the pouring rain , hair plastered to my face, clothes sticking to me,  my shoes in hands, with thundered crashing above me..made all my twitchy witchy bits tingle..

Awesome don;t you think... Muma Nature at her very best, bless her.

Nov 29, 2010

We have a House..

Yaaay, we have a house... it is on the "patch" but that's ok... hopefully tomorrow we will know when we can move in... I'm sort of excited about it in a way.. We took the kids to see the place yesterday, they loved the place, right up until they seen the dishwasher would have to go into storage *laughing* they are going back to the old fashioned hand washing, which I personally love to do, and I have my kitchen sink under a window.. what else can I tell you about the house,.. oh yes.. it;s carpet, pink blinds, pinkish cupboards, I am thinking someone with a sense of humour picked the colour scene, and I am thinking with our stuff in it, it will look a little more un-pink.., and I can not wait to put in some vege plants and a herb garden.  I will post pictures when we are in, in the mean time here are a few piccies from my cross country jaunt.

Now this is Nellie, or Nelster, I have dragged this wee Nellyfant while globe trotting, so it was just the done thing to have her riding shotgun.

Australia is a huge continent, and many people don't believe that there is a sheep station here in Australia the size of Texas, and rumour has it we can fit that big ol' state in to Australia about 10 times. This road is in the middle of no where, from where we stopped there was nothing for a few hundred kilometres either side. This was the road.
and it went in a straight line for

Periodically, while driving along you could be forgiven for thinking there were giant X crossings for Kangaroos painted on the roads..
But they aren't
they are aircraft landing strips in remote areas of Australia, for the Royal Flying Doctors Service  This organisation is amazing, they are not only air ambulance, but run medical clinics in outback Australia and bring health care to people who would not be able to receive medical care otherwise.

And then there is the wildlife, this trip was a bit lacking.. I have in the past seen squillions of roo's and even the most amazing baby Emu's playing on the sside of the road, but this trip was lacking in wild animal spotting.. I was really happy to see no road kill either, which meant there was enough food and water further back and the animals didn't need to come near the Eyre Highway where they often loose their lives.

I have no why people feel the need tp add graffiti and in desolate places who does this, but it made me look twice when I seen these guys with "road runner" wings "beep beep"

Oh now did I mention Nelly? Aww come on a girl can get bored on a 4.100km road trip

Nov 27, 2010

Bucket List, Rain and Houses

It hardly seems like yesterday since we left Western Australia to take up a posting here in Victoria Australia. We have driven over 4,100km to get here, arriving on Thursday evening. .. It was the most unusual trip, we had planned on having this wonderful holiday / honeymoon on the way, but what neither of us took into account was how we felt...  We are a Military family so posting to new places is not unusual for us, we just didnt take into account how this posting had rattled our cage and impacted on us.. all the support going into the children, who felt like they were abandoning their mum  and Derek and I feeling very sad this time leaving his elderly parents.
I had mentioned we were heading to the South West corner of Western Australia, where we had plans to visit a whaling museum in Albany before heading to Esperance. When we arrived at Albany we were both worn out, so we booked into a motel, skipped the museum and headed on to Esperance the next morning.. we got there at lunch time decided not to stay and kept driving,  it was crossed off our bucket list as been there, a done that and the t shirt wasn't worth buying.. *laughing* don't we sound like a couple of sorry a**ed cases. I do have some photos I will post, but the camera is still in the car and it is pouring down here.. that in itself is odd since we have lived the past 2 years in an area, that has been suffering from pretty serious drought..
Yesterday, we were offered a couple of houses, they are not in our *rating* but as they are all that was offered we have to choose between two. I think we have settled on one and it is down on the "patch" an affectionate term used  for the housing area, used by those who live on the Navy Base. The area is actually very pretty with lots of trees and bush, birds and at times Koalas. When I went through the place, I wondered how on earth I was going to squeeze everything from a large four bedroom house into a smaller three bedroom house..
I know I will manage, and I know in my heart I can make this house a home for us, I also remember something Rhonda said over on Down To Earth, and that is Bloom Where Your Planted  and if that is where the Navy plant us, then that is where I will grow.. Tomorrow, I will share the high light of my trip -  my visit to Maggie Beers..
P/S// as all our stuff is still in shipping containers somewhere, and as we are in temporary accomodtaion, I had to go out and buy a manufactured sponge for the kitchen... oh my goodness.. I hate it.. I so prefer my own hand knitted cotton dish cloths, I know now I will never go back to store bought clothes willingly.

Nov 25, 2010

Pike River Miners - RIP

As an ex pat Kiwi (New Zelander) my heart broke as I followed this best I could as I travelled across Australia. It was gut wrenching news to learn that all 29 men had perished at the Pike River Mine... My heart goes out to each of the those families whose men will not be returning home..

Conrad Adams, 43, Malcolm Campbell, 25, Glen Cruse, 35, Allan Dixon, 59,Zen Drew, 21, Christopher Duggan, 31, Joseph Dunbar, 17, John Hale, 45, Daniel Herk, 36, David Hoggart, 33, Richard Holling, 41, Andrew Hurren, 32, Jacobus 'Koos' Jonker, 47, William Joynson, 49, Riki Keane, 28, Terry Kitchin, 41, Samuel Mackie, 26, Francis Marden, 42, Michael Monk, 23, Stuart Mudge, 31, Kane Nieper, 33, Peter O'Neill, 55, Milton Osborne, 54, Brendan Palmer, 27, Benjamin Rockhouse, 21, Peter Rodger, 40, Blair Sims, 28, Joshua Ufer 25, Keith Valli, 62.

Nov 18, 2010

My Life In Boxes

Well, it's done and dusted... Both D and I are now just starting to unwind, we went and had fish and chips on the Rockingham Foreshore as a treat for dinner, it was beautiful with the sun setting in the West.. tomorrow we start the drive to Melbourne, with the wee detour we are taking down to Albany, it is a a road trip of about 4,400km. This time next week we will almost be there.. we are stopping for a few days in the Barossa Valley. 
When I get a chance to get coverage, with out little magic Internet stick I will post piccies of our journey.. but in the mean time, here is my life in boxes

My poor kitchen - half the boxes gone

Two trucks - 

Two containers, we got to much stuff

These guys were amazing, they are moving this stuff in 38c (100f) heat and they still had a sense of humour.. They rocked!

Nov 16, 2010


Over the last few days, I have been flat out like a lizard drinking - tomorrow the big guns arrive and pack up the house.. Thursday the shipping containers arrive... it is finally happening.
I spent a good portion of yesterday cleaning, the mans bar fridge, the kitchen fridge, two bathrooms, from top to bottom and then spent rest of the day with my head in the oven, no it isn't a gas one I was trying to get it perfectly sparklie and clean, I was getting seriously miffed with this sparklie thing and settled on just clean after the main screw that held the oven door glass in place, went down the kitchen sink plug hole! There were a few interesting and choice, newly invented expletives flying about the kitchen, as I figured since the tap was running, the water  would have washed the offending screw right over the S bend never to be seen again - the minute D walked in the door, I shoved him under the sink to look,  I knew he had the screw when I heard a muffled " Woooaar Gunbuster!" from under the bench. Never fear when a sailor is near.. door glass back in place I was much relieved, I had vision of  many big $$$$$$$ as it wasn't your run of the mill screw.
Mister P and DimSim fly to Melbourne tonight and into kennels tomorrow, both of them know something is up.. Well, I am off to pack up some more personal stuff.. and clean the deep freeze... but first go check out this... it is your awwwwww for the day, Sue over at Living The Good Life   has had a calf, no not Sue her cow Cara.. it is the sweetest baby, I dare you to go over and get a warm fuzzy.

Airport?  I'm not going to no stinkin' airport.
 I stay in here - they never find 'Sacred Temple Kitty'

Nov 12, 2010

Oh My Goodness

You ever have one of those moments in time, when realisation leaves you absolutely mortified and there is diddly squat you can do to rectify the embarrassing situation... and then you re-run it over and over and go "omg how embarrassing"  Welllllllll I been doing that since last night, and even as I sit and type it, my stomach rolls with each recall.. gosh maybe I am a closet masochist for reliving it.. but really I wish I could fix it and I can't and I can't apologise and and and ... aughhhhhhhhhhh.
Lemme tell y'all what has happened and then you can say it's ok it will pass and I will say but it's horrible.

As we are getting closer to leaving, I will be putting a on vacation sign over on my Made It store, and yesterday morning I was making up a few orders that had arrived via email. I had individual wrapping paper squares on the bench with the orders all in a row and on the table there were two more little parcels - these where not orders but little thank you gifts. Now yesterday morning had been insanely busy, I had been trying to pack up all my soap making stuff, print brochures and be finished for a hairdressing appointment, Miss 12 seeing me in a bit of a flap, asked if there was anything she could do to help.. yes bless her, "slide price lists into the bottom of all them", pointing to the stuff on the bench, "and I will come wrap" I gave her a hug and off she went to school.. I wrapped everything and took them to post...
Last night before bed, I gave her a hug and said thanks for the help this morning, I really appreciate it, she smiled a great big smile and said, "That is ok, I even did the two you forgot about on the table"
I near choked, my stomach rolled and I audibly groaned, when I realised she had put price lists into the presents and I had already given them to the recipients!  I have given handmade thank  you gifts to two people as a sign of appreciation and they have price lists in their for the same stuff.. I can't doooooooooooo anything about it... but I'm dying of embarrassment here.

Nov 11, 2010

Remembrance Day Tribute

On the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11th month:
Will you stop to remember? Not only those men who served and fell at the Western Front back in 1918 but every man and woman who has served their country and paid the ultimate price - Those men and woman who serve and defend our countries, by choice with pride everyday.  Not many people realise that our Australian Navy play a huge part in these conflicts... Freedom is not really free and a
s my husband puts on his uniform everyday, I know that the freedom always comes with a price. I am eternally grateful my husband returned from 4 TOD's to the Gulf and my heart is with the families of those who did not. 
No matter who you are or what country you live in, will you stop to remember?
Lest We Forget.
I made this image for my husbands old MySpace page as a tribute to ANZAC Day.

Nov 10, 2010

Big Kid - Little Kid

Caleb has been back in New Zealand a week, he is back in his job as a corrections officer, a job that makes me worry, but I trust the Goddess to watch over him.. I miss him a great deal.. but seeing photos like this makes it a little easier.. these photos are precious and looking at these photos which have just arrived just makes my heart swell..  little Corban is a dead ringer of his Dadda at the same age 4 months over 2 -  I am a proud Muma and Nana to see my boy with his boy..

These were taken tonight after CJ's (Corbans) bath

Story time with Dadda - think he is asleep

Precious Moments

Nov 9, 2010

Wee wild hairy haggis

While my house looks normal, well unchanged to the untrained eye, there is lots starting to transpire in our house, with our pre-pack and up lift only 8 days away, there is much list making, last minute appointments, meetings with school teachers, potted plants to re-home, food stuffs to sort and toss as they can't be shipped and trips to the tip, porta robes and suitcases to fill... so it is busy and time is ticking on... sometimes it feels like your just not winning and amidst all of this organised chaos something  happens in your day that leaves you feeling a little richer for the experience.
Today was one of those days.. I met such a lovely lady, who I initially "met" on a forum Down to Earth  then later we added each other on facebook.. funnily enough we only live 20 minutes away from each other and for the first time today, we met in person. I am going to have to work harder on persuading her to get a Blog, *smiles* she has managed to avoid it thus far... I digress though, we more than likely won't get to met again any time soon, which is a shame.. but she not only left me with a sense of warmth and richness for having spent time with her...
This is a hairy haggis
but she left me a wee hairy haggis tea towel which amused my husband no end -  she also gave me a wee gift that was unexpected and rather special in my eyes - really apart from my kids no one has given me something handmade like this...
Isn't this precious? Thank you Sue for this beautiful wee cupcake pin will become a much used and treasured possession. 

Nov 7, 2010


A Saturday evening, Miss 12 is at a sleep over, Mister 14.9 laying on the couch eating Maltezers,  the husband and I sipping a quiet 'refreshment' still feeling a bit flat about oldest son having left to live in another country - all three settling in to watching Jackie Chans latest movie when the most awful caterwauling starts... "Robert did you lock the cat outside"?  no the door is open... with much rattling and the sound of cat claws up security screens.. "Robert are you sure you didn't you lock the cat out" no the door is open.... at this stage husband gets up as the caterwauling gets louder, increasing in pitch and tempo... "Bloody cat" - scratch, clatter, MEOOOOOOOOOOOOW, YEEEEEEOW bang., rattle "Awwww Bloody cat" now at this stage I am getting concerned.. so out I toddle to see what on earth the cat and my husband are doing to disrupt the tranquilly of our evening... .
Well, the door was open and cat and husband was no where to be seen - something catches my eye and as I turn to see, my mouth drops open and I can hardly believe what I see...
One cat, clinging at roof height to the kitchen window security screen, one husband with hands around cat ( I wonder if he is the reason cat is sounding like a strangled bag pipe)  frantically trying g to yank said insane, screaming cat of the security screen - all the while in the background there is a jet of water shooting 15 feet into the air... on seeing me husband starts yelling turn the sprinklers off.. "I don't know how"   **^#(@)$&  insert expletive husband disappears, I run through the internal door to garage, throw up roller door to continue cat rescue, cat hurls herself onto the path and disappears.. I run back the way I came to catch scared, wet cat in a towel.. Husband, soaked to the skin, walks in to hear myself and Mister 14.9 coooing and comforting  (poor kitty) who is now purring happily.... muttering "oh yea that's right poor cat, I near broke me toe kicking the sprinkler pipe rescuing your damn cat " and in his Lordships words "Bloody cat didn't get a reticulation enema, did she"

Nov 4, 2010

Little Minutes

Yesterday here was a bit of a scorcher it got up to around 35c (mid 90's) so I spent the day making some salads to have with out barbecue I made potato, basil and tomato pasta and some coleslaw along with the requested Tiramasui I did take a photo of the latter but it came out looking shocking, so Im not going to post it...  Remember I said the kids where going to barbecue - here they are cooking - haha Courtney is hiding her face because she was reminded of an incident involving funny faces in wedding photos.

Now here is how the bbq really got cooked.. blurry photos think I need a new camera..

And we are a family of carnivores.. Im afraid if it is not red my husband does not think it is meat! Im working on that I promise. He is getting better though :-)

We finally managed to get everyone in side to eat, we did contemplate eating al fresco, but outdoor dinning in Western Australia when the temperatures are in the mid to high 30's can see you and your steak being carried off by blowies the size of Seahawk Helo's (helicopters) - so we are in doors - by this stage my husband wanted to eat and toss the camera in the trash., Bless Him 

Christmas 2007 different house, different State
3 years later and 'The dog shouldn't be at the table son" still hasn't sunk in lol
We did head out after the washing up and the big kids wanted to give us our Christmas presents since they wouldn't be here to share on Christmas day.. I'm not posting all pressie pics, Derek got Guiness and book vouchers, Miss C got a rather large Lava lamp and Master R got X Box game, D and I got some lovely towels for our new house ( if we actually find one) and I got this.. I am so excited to try it out as well since I have wanted one for ages..

It was still a school night here and as it was well past the younger kids bedtime, I rallied them together for a family photo - 

We have made some lovely memories here last night and I am blessed to have that.. It has been a hard year for all of us, Caleb has tried hard to make a new life here in Australia, he arrived in this country emotionally battered 12 months ago and I hope his time here, while hard for him has healed some hurts, however the bond between father and son is calling him and he and Simone are flying out tonight to go back to New Zealand to live.. so as I sit and write this blog, I am having those "little minutes" that only a mother can have where the tears fall and the heart aches..  I know life is all about change and I ask the Goddess for strength and understanding, because there are going to be far to many goodbyes this month, as we too have to say good bye to Derek's elderly parents and sister when we post East in 14 days. Yes, Lots of little minutes.

Nov 2, 2010

Chickens, Pork and Yorkshires

Thought I would do a quick fly by in here... while dinner is cooking, smells great too. I am making a family dinner for my son, as he leaves on Thursday for New Zealand, we are having succulent roast pork with apples sauce,  roast tatters, kumera, pumpkin - steamed broccoli and peas, and Yorkshire Puds. sadly my Yorkshire making skills are pretty blimmin transient and more often than not they look like dish sponges rather than light, tasty gravy catching cups of goodness, so I gave in and bought frozen ones from Woolies....
I can see Sue over there at Living The Good Life having a good chuckle and rolling her eyes, 'cause she is queen of the Yorkie batter from what I have seen.. one day I will get the hang of it, even if my husband says there is no such thing as a bad Yorkshire pud... tomorrow night the kids are barbecuing.. Bless them, they have decided I am to do the desert not my choice theirs, so Tiramasui is it  ...

At least the chickens are safe from the bbq chefs.. aren't they be beautiful girls (two more are stalking my husband who is in filling the food hopper)...only problem with these chickens, they are not mine!

She is looking at the veges scraps I have tossed in here...

 I LOVE chickens and I fulfil my chicken owning desires, vicariously through you all who have yards filled with hens and will do until I have a bit of dirt to call my own and can move the chickens in... these lovelies belong to a friends who are off on holiday, so I am chicken sitting -
and look what they left me.. the most beautiful eggs even if the photo is blurred.