Thursday, October 3, 2013

The colour is back.

Well hello there.
Clearly I wasn't missed.  That's OK. I didn't miss me either. I fell in a bit of a hole. A black hole. Climbing out bit by bit. I'm still here, my daughters are 2 years older...and so am I. We gained another cat. Not much else to report. School is off to a mostly successful start with Bear in her first year of High School and the twins in Grade 2. They are all well and happy- that is a blessing in itself. This year will be the year of closely monitoring all three to help them stay on track. And for me... taking steps to keep out of that hole, to get back to being creative in a productive way. First steps have been taken to make our home, temporarily permanent as it is, function better for all of us. For the man of the house it means less clutter, more calm. For my kids it means being able to play and have playdates IN the house, to have a consistent, comfortable place to study and a place to create art. For me it means having things seen to,  organisation, a place to create and relax...and routines that are followed but are flexible. Lives are busy and when I lose the plot, it all falls down in a big messy heap and no  one has clean socks.
Since I've been down the hole there have been a few changes here and I'm not sure how to fix things here anymore. I'll have to reteach myself so relax- the Lego is temporary. However  making the blog prettier isn't top of my "to do " list right now...expect something  prettier after the New Year. Priorities people! Whilst not much of great significance happened in the last two years... there were  birthdays, and trips, and musings had.  Little by little I'll catch up. I think I can.

So here's New Cat, and here's the colour.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Is this thing on?

Testing testing 1,2,3

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

No, not abducted by aliens. Tied up by clowns. Fortunately the clowns have now begun Kindy and have had to untie me so I can make their lunches. I'll be back soon. Promise. I really have to fix my banner.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Balloonapalooza - recap

Boo and Yum Yum turned 5 two months ago. They have been looking forward to becoming "big girls" for the past year... soon they will be off to college, err I mean kindergarten.

Although they were very keen to include ten pin bowling, Dora and fairy princesses in the party theme, I took advantage of a fortunate TV moment to suggest a balloon party. It was so much fun I want to do it again. Tomorrow!!!

Although we hoped that by waiting another 4 weeks we might be able to enjoy an outdoor party, April showers meant we had to have the party indoors. In a confined space, with little natural light, there aren't many good photos. However the party was a blast. The balloon sculptor filled the space with the most wonderful wacky balloon creations. He made everything the kids requested and then some. We used a small helium balloon kit to inflate multi coloured confetti stuffed balloons in lieu of a pinata. The kids were able to pop the floating balloons using a stick with a pin taped to the end. They burst very messily all over the room. Big fun. I just wish I had a photo because I loved doing that. (The Dyson cleaned it up easily enough). When it seemed all the balloon fun was over I brought out my secret stash of balloons (hidden in the TV cabinet) and challenged the kids pop them by sitting on them. More fun, more mess.

Can you spot the "ooops" in my rainbow. Note to self, pay more attention to the balloons you are buying,especially size and random bags of smiley face balloons. Actually I think the yellow smileys added a little extra cute to my rainbow. I had to make this after I discovered BALLOON TAPE! All future Bear, Boo and Yum Yum events will now feature my signature Rainbow Smiley Balloon Arch TM!

Goody Bags....full of balloons of course...and mini balloon pumps. I found the perfect bags at Target.

Balloons on sticks...waiting to have sticker faces added. This kept the kids busy until everyone arrived.

The food table. Taken the night before so there's no food actually on it.I resisted all temptation to have a blogland "candy bar". Maybe for the Breadwinner's 50th I'll do one...but for a small kids afternoon tea party it would hav been overkill. We had fruit and cupcakes, birthday cake, GF carot cake and GF cinnamon cheesecake, veggies dips n crackers. And I hid all the crap in our house under the table :-0

This is their birthday cake ... on their actual birthday. It was small and from the supermarket LOL but they didn't care one bit. The cake we had at the party....that was super special.

Boo and Yum Yum celebrated the big 5 in a big way, it seems as if the celebrations went on for a month because, well, they did. They are very happy girls and we love them so. Bye 4, it was wonderful SNIFF.

Just pretend...

That I went out for milk and now I'm back. I have a lot to catch up on.
I'm doing this

Monday, November 22, 2010

Gobble Gobble Turkey Day

Thoughts on an Australian Thanksgiving. Every year a well meaning soul will ask me, in all sincerity, do we celebrate Thanksgiving in Australia? Well, actually the answer is no. Sadly the pilgrims didn't land in Australia. There were no Indians to share the corn. In fact I have a sneaky suspiscion that many of our first "settlers" weren't of a mind to celebrate their arrival on an annual basis let alone with an "all things cranberry and turkey" fest.

Since we have been living here in the US we have embraced Turkey Day as a day on which to gather our fellow expatriate friends, laugh, cook and eat together. Sometimes a little football will be watched but not too much! We stop for a moment to reflect on our good fortune and things for which we are thankful. It is like Christmas dinner without the stress of Christmas.

We have a fairly traditional Thanksgiving menu- Roast turkey with stuffing, gravy, roast vegetables, green beans, cranberry relish and jelly and a pumpkin pie. We are open to one day experiencing a deep fried turkey (if somebody else cooks it) but will most likely continue to draw the line at anything with marshmallows on top, candied yams, sweet potato pie or the tofu turkey.

We have a Thanksgiving tradition of our own... it's been about 7 years now so it's safe to call it a tradition. In our house the men don their chef hats and do most of the cooking whilst the women watch, heckle, drink wine and then ...eventually eat. Sometimes we women folk do a few dishes, find things that are in plain view, take photos and prepare appetisers and cook the greens.

The routine is fairly well honed. The turkey , around 12-14lbs, is ordered from Wholefoods. The same recipes are used every year. There's some pumpkin soup (butternut squash) to keep us sustained until the main event ( I cook a double batch of this at Halloween to freeze). There will also be a few little hitches. This year Breadwinner decided to store the turkey overnight in the esky (cooler). We have a bear in the neighbourhood, so he locked the esky in the car. Unfortunately it froze. The turkey not the bear. Our oven hasn't been fully functional of late and the spare part did not arrive until late on Friday. When I explained that we were doing an early Thanksgiving meal, the repairman made a special effort to come first thing Saturday morning to fix the oven. I am making huge progress in "Keeping Calm and Carrying on" because the fact that the oven was broken and the turkey frozen didn't bother me at all. In fact I was so relaxed (tired) I slept in until 10am. (Actually I am not well.)

A few small obstacles will not thwart our determined chefs, especially when they have visions of roast potatoes and gravy dancing in their heads.

So meet "Uncle Petey", and the Breadwinner, this years' Gnome Turkey Chefs Extrordinaire.

You can see one of their esteemed colleagues on the brie box.

These two work together like a well oiled machine...or not. Uncle Petey who comes from a short line of chef, is in charge of triumphantly finding the giblets, the potatoes, annual knife sharpening and carving. Mid preparations Uncle Petey will go for a run. Yes...he goes for a run. As he leaves he will sneakily turn the oven off. The Breadwinner, whose own father can barely make a cup of tea, is the expert in cranberry jelly, stuffing and annoying the turkey every 30 minutes. Pulling it out of the oven at every opportunity so it doesn't cook too fast.

Sometimes they move so fast it is hard to capture their speedy culinary moves.
Then they stop to consult Martha. Yes, they will not ask for directions but they will meticulously (ie fearfully) follow a recipe.
Martha requires this turkey be swaddled in muslin like a baby and then be basted lovingly with tons of melted butter and white wine. Every 30 minutes. For what seems like 2 days. Unfortunately the muslin doesn't taste so good.

Since the oven was repair wasn't complete until 11.30am that morning, lunch eventually became dinner.
Fortunately we had ample provisions to keep us sustained until everything came together in a delicious around 6.30pm.

TA DA ! Isn't he/she/ beautiful!

The kids kept themselves busy....chasing the Apprentice Gnome Turkey. This year he had no actual kitchen duties so no "chef" title. Actually there are two Apprentice Gnome Turkey Chefs... they had better study hard because their hats will be waiting for them next year!
The little people were very well behaved (mostly) , they went on a turkey hunt, coloured placemats, ate mac n cheese and then some turkey, and then settled to watch a new Disney Tinkerbell movie. Later they hid in the "cubby house" to tell spooky stories. 4 year old spooky stories.
There was orange jelly for the kids too ...and waaay to many candy canes.

My favourite thing of all ....the stuffing! Oh my, awesome sausage, apple, cranberry, herb and cornbread stuffing. I am thinking we might just have stuffing for dinner.

Now that our family includes two little US citizens we may well be celebrating Thanksgiving for years to come, at least as far as circumstances/ingredients will permit. In any case we have come to an understanding that there will never again be a hot turkey dinner at our house on Christmas Day. We are going to be having ours some time between Thanksgiving and Christmas Eve.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING TO ALL AND SAFE TRAVELS from the keeper of the recipes.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I've not done this before....

I mean, entering into competitions online.
So a few days ago I did..and look here!

A welcome bright spot amongst a few not so bright spots this week.