Thursday, December 24, 2009

The night before Christmas

The ham has been opened for Christmas eve toasted sandwiches....


The decorations are holding up.....



There was much excitement about going to bed with candles in their room....


And a last minute sewing effort to make a Christmas-top for Addie.....



I think we are ready!

I'll be offline for a while enjoying Tasmania in summer, hanging out with the full gang (while Tim's on holidays) and perhaps another camping trip amidst the general chaos.

Wishing you all a wonderful break also.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Creative Space - in the kitchen

Baking Christmas gifts.....

Max asked if it was a chocolate stir fry, no it isn't but I like the sentiment.


It's actually going to be panforte. I'm not giving much away as I make it every year.

I've also started the garlic harvest (after feasting on garlic shoots for a few weeks)


How I LOVE fresh organic garlic (there's also the fact it is dead easy to grow in Tasmania and after planting you basically ignore it). We all have permanent garlic breath and despite growing more and more every year I still don't think we planted enough



And the veggies for tonight's dinner





Thanks to Kristy for hosting Creative Space this year...go and look at some crafty spaces!

Monday, December 7, 2009

Stripe fest and broad bean feast

I think I've mentioned my penchant for stripes before, however it wasn't until I was downloading these photos that I realised how many stripes we had going on today!


and in case you were wondering, we are not sponsored by Bonds

Our broad bean crop is being harvested almost daily at the moment, Adelaide happily chomps through them while playing out the back....leaving a trail of pods in her wake. The few plants that popped up in the lawn (spilling things can be good) produced great big pods.


And the best bit is the smalls love to shell them for me, of course there is a small commission charged (the occasional nibble) and it keeps them amused for quite a while (not sure if this will last the season out)


I forgot to get a photo of them, in all there bright green splendour (when double shelled), cooked up with new garlic, yummmmmm.

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Creative Space - Advent

With no sewing machine set up at the moment we went for a no-sew advent this year (envelopes stamped in one feeding session!)


It is proving a hit with the smalls and is the first thing we do in the morning while preparing breakfast as it is hung in the kitchen (on a line usually used for more domestic tasks like drying out plastic bags for reuse).



I've only managed to fill the first weeks worth, at this stage it is mostly with seeds for the smalls to plant out in the garden. I'll be putting the thinking cap on (and looking around for ideas) to fill the rest soon.

Yesterdays goodness:




More Creative Spaces here.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Summertime

Welcome summer, make yourself at home, put your feet up and stay a while.

I'm breathing a huge sigh of relief after all my photos (and other less important stuff) was rescued from my old computer, I'm making all sorts of promises about backing-up more regularly (as you do).

I've been finding it hard to squeeze blogging in lately, we have been having fun with family visitors plus the Christmas rush is surely on. For me it is more of a summer rush as there is so much to do on the days when we actually get summer weather. Successful life in Tasmania means making the most of sunny days by dropping whatever else you planned to do.

So here's a quick wrap up of what we have been up to lately.....

Taking Leo on his first camping trip


Eating flowers from the garden



Going to the beach



Taking lots over-my-shoulder photos to see if Leo is sleeping


Summer time baths


Preserving.....


And so many other things like spending time in the garden; harvesting, planting, carting soil, weeding, cutting, planning and dreaming of the summer to come

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Tech wrecks


Technology has gotten the better of me, my computer decided to up & died just before I did my biennial backing up! After a week of sweating over whether I had 'lost' all our photos from the last 2 years a tech-savvy knight-in-shining-armour reckons he can get it all back.....yippee.

So I hope to be back online soon......in the mean time go & backup your photos!

image above from here.

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Dolly, Kudjekbinj, Bing, JP


When I first picked her up her name was Dolly. I was living in Darwin at the time and she was the pride and joy of a big burly biker living next to the Nightcliff Tavern. He seemed devastated when I told him I didn't plan to breed her (Staffy-Dingo-Bully?!?)

She was classified by the vet as a Humpty Doo-Brown-Dog.

She grew up surrounded by the camp dogs of Gunbalunya where her days were spent keeping cool amongst the lemon grass clumps and wisely avoiding the croc-infested waters around the town. It was here she was given the name Kudjekbinj, a place name in Arnhem Land. Visits to Darwin were always interesting as calling out "Kudjekbinj" on a walk always elicited amazement among any Bininj (Aboriginal people of that area in Arnhem Land).

We moved to Sydney where we walked daily around Callan Park, marvelling at the pace of city life and quickly realising it was not the place for us. While she remained Kudjekbinj to me she was usually just introduced as Bing.

She then went to live on the farm with my parents in Northern NSW while I was overseas, learning the joys of chasing rabbits and NOT chasing chooks (chook-chasing dogs don't last long on farms).

We then moved to Hobart and I'm certain she was the only Humpty Doo brown-dog in town. Somehow she then became known as JP, which was supposed to be a shortening of Kudjekbinj??

It was not the weather that brought the biggest changes in Hobart, it was the arrival of children. As more babies arrived, less walks were had. Thankfully JP was ball-crazy and we live next to a reserve so chasing the footy or a tennis ball replaced proper walks. Even so I often went to bed feeling guilty about yet another day with very little time spent with her.

Last weekend we had JP put down. She had a very large tumour on her spleen and while one vet encouraged us to operate I did not want her remaining time to be spent recovering from such major surgery. A second vet agreed and advised against an operation like that at her age.

It was a sad day for me but it was tempered by the knowledge that it was the right thing to do and she had had a great life and had not suffered at the end. We buried her in the backyard with her footy (or what remained of it) and a tennis ball. I've planted some sunflowers there and look forward to seeing them throughout the summer ahead, each one reminding me of my old mate.

I'll leave the kids reactions for another post but they sure do ask the curliest questions!

Monday, November 9, 2009

Giveaway winner

Finally, the winner of my blogtoberfest giveaway is Bek of Red Chocolate.....I'll be sending this pile of goodies your way soon as I can..



....you see , the summer weather has arrived here in Tasmania

....and I need to spend time at the beach

....eating watermelon



....I think there is a post box en route though!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Creative Space - the countdown

I've just realised how little time I have left before 'my sewing room' (sometimes referred to as the spare room) needs to be cleared out & ready for visitors. So I've been grabbing spare moments (thank you sandpit) to get some sewing done, finishing off some bits in the insanely large pile of works in progress, and making a few clothes for the kids and myself (having given up on ever buying anything due to the heart palpitations I get at the thought of herding 3 kids and myself into a change room) .

The idea was to get some summer gear made but in rummaging through the fabric shelves I ended up making up a dress for Addie and some wool and cord pants for Max (???)

This fabric reminded me of buttongrass and I wished I had bought enough to make a skirt for myself, for now it is a new dress for Adelaide. Given her growth rates to date it should fit her for the next 2 years, giving me time to make a skirt for myself & do some strange mother-daughter-dress-matching.

With a little red flash from underneath....

The wool pants for Max were made from these wool-blend pants picked up at the op-shop eons ago to experiment with making kids pants from adults clothing.


I used a basic pants pattern to chop them up, incorporating the pockets for the front...


...and these great tabs for the back



The photos are terrible but you can see the general idea. I've just got to go & stitch up the hem and add a bit of elastic to the waist. With some luck he will wear them without complaints of scratchiness.


The cord pants are already in rotation....


and Max's backpack is getting there s...l...o...w...l...y (currently being carted about on a frisbee)



Now I really need to get back to reality; washing our sheets after Leo vomited all over them (and me) this morning, scraping the ants out of the butter (why do they suddenly give up on the honey when you least expect), encouraging Addie to put her clothes back on, the list goes on....and on....and on.

For a field-day of creative spaces pop over here.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Sprung

Spring....it's everywhere and I'm so glad.

I'm still marveling at the tulips I grew (or planted & then forgot about until they appeared......my usual gardening technique).



This time of year always ends up snowballing for me.....before I know it I'll be getting my head around the fact it has been 10 years since the twentieth century ended (I was recently filling out a form and when filling out the date actually wrote '19....', oh dear)

We have all been enjoying the longer days and warmer weather. The garden is getting some much needed love as I try to reign in the weeds and get planting for summer.

The smalls and I have been watching a blackbird family who built a nest in the hedge out the front of our place...

:: they laid three eggs, two of them hatched (featherless baby birds really freak me out!)


:: mother-bird sat on the nest


:: they grew feathers in about a week and looked far more presentable...


:: father-bird delivered worms (dug from MY garden)....


:: then 'mysteriously' there was only one baby bird



:: as we were piling into the car one morning, baby-bird landed unceremoniously on the car bonnet in it's first attempt at flying. With major coaxing from it's parents (shrill shrieks) and Max & Addie (also shrill shrieks) it made it off the car and onto the fence, after doing an almighty bird poo on the car. So after all that bird watching the thing that gets talked about the most (and as often as possible) is the fact the baby-bird did a poo on our car!

:: now I have yet another annoying blackbird to keep out of the garden!

The smalls did enjoy the fact that it was much like the pictures in the Spring book (minus the pooing incident)


So in an attempt to actually plant all the seedlings lined up on the kitchen window sill I may be absent for a while.

However I've nearly put together my giveaway package (luckily I'm feeling all spring-cleaning-like so it's growing every day) & will work out a way to draw a winner this week.

Happy Spring!

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