Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The gifts...

Among the many gifts the kids received there was several standouts.

Our budding artist Erin wanted the Pictionary Man game & has had us in hysterics with her very entertaining & surprisingly accurate depictions of things like 'gravity'.


We gave Hayley a tripod & she then went on to take approximately 500 photos on Christmas Day, mostly of others & a few of herself!



Coolest of the cool Cal got what he wanted ... cold hard cash


And everyone was very happy.


Sunday, December 27, 2009

Christmas Day...

turned out to be a wonderful day with my family.


Kids under the tree...

Kids being silly...
And all of us squished into the smallest space in the house...


Saturday, December 26, 2009

MIA...


Wow... it has been so busy in the lead up to Christmas I haven't had a chance to blog or post any photos, so here is a catch-up.



Break-ups, Christmas parties, end of year wind ups, & swimming on scorching hot days consumed my time. Shopping & working filled in lots of hours also, I barely posted out the few cards I'd made, in time. And a rearrange of the house moved the computer into Cal's room & I couldn't find the time or energy at the end of the day to fight for some blogging time.



Erin begged for a gingerbread house & all the kids helped to decorate it.



One year when I have total control the house of ginger will be pristine!



I love Christmas time... the decorating, the cooking, the planning & the celebrating. With Christmas Day being held at our place this year I made some new deco's & sweated over the weather report each day. A cyclone in the North west was threatening to dampen our celebrations under the leaky pergola roof, so I had my fingers crossed for a fine day.





I hope your Christmas Day was filled with joy & feasting, ours was & even though the lead up is hectic that's what makes it so special.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Some sadness....

so close to Christmas.

I went to a dear patients funeral today. Over the past 2 years he & his wife became an integral part of the Unit while he was battling his cancer. He had been so determined to win, desperately trying to be in the 5% of survivors. But it wasn't to be. Along the way the staff & fellow patients were drawn to his friendly caring manner, we too had become convinced he was going to beat whatever came his way. His funeral was a lovely tribute to him & his love for his family. We will miss them both very much.

And I have broken a piece off a back tooth & now need to squeeze in a visit to the dentist, when the advent calendar is telling us only 10 days to go, 6 of which I have to work!

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Baking...

I think the baking is done.

Rumballs (liberally laced with Bundy)

Shortbread ( a new recipe from Donna Hay with nutmeg & cinnamon)

Panforte (Yum...with lots of honey, chocolate & glace fruit)

Fruit cake (Stained glass)

Almond & pistachio bread (an old favourite)

Cranberry & pistachio baclava (tried for the first time...fiddly but delicious)

My fingers are sore from shelling the nuts.

The gingerbread house is on the list for next weekend.
I might make something else...the recipe books are taunting me with treasures.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Last day...

Another ending today.

Erin has officially finished her primary school years. Our last child to do so. But just a hop & a skip across the playground & in 8 weeks time she will start her secondary schooling. There was no big teary goodbyes as the whole class will stay & move up to the senior campus, seems like just another holiday.

When they start back next year it will be the same school with some new faces & a bigger bag & heavier (more expensive) books.

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

They're back...

The Rode Rage crew pedalled into Ballarat yesterday afternoon after being dumped on with rain. Their only day of rain, luckily they were headed for their own showers & beds.

Today they ride from Ballarat to Parliament House in the city to meet some official people & on to the Children's Hospital.

What a fabulous adventure.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Shopping...

I went shopping with Chris today for some Christmas presents. Sure we got some but it was a very frustrating day.

What is it about men & the way they shop?

I was either rushed from place to place or I stood around in really boring shops like... the motorbike shop!

I didn't sniff any perfume. I didn't try on any frivolous shoes or gaze at really expensive cookware. I didn't get to point out any treasures that might find their way under the tree. I didn't even get any lattes or lunch.

I did get to spend time with my husband & find something for his birthday/Christmas, not quite the surprise I intended but something he really wants.

I'll have to get my proper shopping fix with Hayley another time.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Counting down...

The countdown has begun. The advent calendar has started, the lights are flashing out the front & a little Christmas spirit is creeping in.

I finally found the 2 Christmas gifts I bought months ago & hid in a very safe place. So safe I couldn't find them & was going demented looking & thinking of places to search. But now they are found & wrapped with others I more recently purchased.

And after poring over my many recipe books I have found a little inspiration, & I'm starting to feel a little organised. I made shortbread & cookies today & I've bought the fruit for the cake. Tomorrow I'm going shopping with Chris & will be able to whittle down the list a little more.

It will all be good.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

How good is this...

Supremely good.

Erin found this on the shelf at the supermarket yesterday & implored me to buy it to give it a try.



Yummy little chips of peppermint crisp, perfect on top of vanilla icecream. Also would be good scattered over pavlova, easier than crumbling up the bar.

Don't think it will last too long in our household.

What new find can you share???

Thursday, December 3, 2009

The graduate...

Last night we began the beginning of the end...

the end of the Primary school years. Not only the end for Erin but for our family as well.

Erin looked so gorgeous, not over the top as some girls were, just right.


The PFA gave the students a mug with the graduating class names.


She wore the dress that Hayley wore to her Grade 6 graduation, must be a timeless style as that was 10 years ago!


I didn't have to wear a 10 year old outfit.

Ness came along to help us celebrate the end of an era. We had a great time & we didn't need a limo, acrylic nails, fake tans, make up or stiletto heels, just letting 12 year olds be 12 for a minute longer.

Monday, November 30, 2009

Bad timing...

Couldn't have a shower this morning...the hot water service gave up the ghost after 17 hard years. Many baby baths & teenage showers have been enjoyed. Loads of loads of dishes, dog washes & some laundry have been completed until now.

A much bigger & more efficient hot water service was installed during the day & we look forward to many more years of steaming up.

Too bad the old one passed on just 4 weeks before Christmas, but I suppose there never is an ideal time to replace an essential appliance is there?

Sunday, November 29, 2009

A fun filled day...

...Saturday...

I saw the local production of 'The Mikado' & thoroughly enjoyed their modern twist on this classic. They did a really good job, especially the woodwind section!!!!

Then I went off to our Christmas party at a local cafe. It was a fun filled night with lots of laughter, a bit of drinking & some dancing. Who knew I could dance to Beyonce like that? When I showed the kids at home what a good dancer I am they were mortified but it was good to let our hair down (so to speak) & celebrate a good but hard year in the unit.

Most of the Dialysis girls turned up, along with a few very patient husbands.

This is our Day Medical Unit 100% represented!



Erica in the middle there became an Aunty to twin girls on Friday - Imogen & Aisha, all doing well.

Now I'm going to get out of my PJ's & put up a Christmas tree.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Hot & sweaty...

with a long way to go!

This is our nephew Alistair doing his stint.





Keep pedalling mate we are behind you all the way!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Make a cuppa...

I've got a lot to tell you.

Firstly an update on the skin graft.
Not so good.

The donor site has healed up nicely but my nose has been extremely slow to heal & one part of it has not taken but instead will need to heal from the bottom up, so I'm hoping the result will still be good.
I asked 3 of my nursing colleagues to take a look to see what they thought of my wound on Tuesday, each of them pulled a face & said 'it doesn't look good'. So I raced in to Carlton for the plastic surgeons reaction & she said 'it doesn't look too bad' & she is still confident of a good result...in time.

Next, after the 45 mls of rain we had dumped onto us on Sunday part of the front yard collapsed. We had seen a small subsidence but after the rain a large pit emerged. I was a bit disappointed as the front yard was looking so good.
After a phone call to Western Water they came & fixed it as good as new, filling in the hole with 1/2 a metre of soil, pine bark & tuscan pebbles. I could barely see the repair & was very impressed with how prompt & helpful they had been. Seems paying your bills on time is good karma.

I notched up 10 years service at the hospital & was recognised with several others at the AGM, receiving a 10 year pin & 2 champagne glasses...worth sitting through the boring speeches for! Bring on the long service leave!

In other news, my nephew escaped his mother's grasp & flew to Darwin to pedal home on a long & arduous journey. Follow their journey on their blog.

I've other news about Erin's transition to secondary school but I'll leave that for another post. You probably need another cuppa now! I would've liked to add some photos but someone has knocked off the camera - I didn't even get a chance to take pics of the front yard before it was fixed.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Stitches out...

Today the dressing came off & stitches came out.

After only one week I was expecting a miracle & while the surgeon is very happy with how it looks I have to be patient while more healing occurs.

At least I can go out in public with a bit more confidence.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Hey Anita...

Hey Anita & Sandie & anyone else who has started & maybe even finished their handmade Christmas cards for this year...I've started on a few!
This year I am going to make several of the designs I really like instead of many different ones that I did last year.








Here's to a few more while my stuff is spread from one end to the other.


Saturday, November 14, 2009

Happy...

Two happy girls on McHappy day.

A bit of fun on a hot day

Amazing how much fun a silly straw in a frozen drink can be.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Today...

This is what I looked like yesterday at 6:45 am.








And this is what I look like today after my excision of BCC & full thickness skin graft.



I'll be staying hidden for a few days.


And because I won't be showing my face in public without a burka I slipped in to the back of junior school assembly this morning to see Erin get her school colours. A big deal for her & a proud moment for me. I normally would be at work on a Wednesday morning so in the scheme of things a stitched on dressing, not being allowed to wet my face or wash my hair allowed me to see her achievement.

And its Remembrance Day, a day to pause & reflect on how lucky we are today because of events of the past.

Today I remember & am thankful. Lest we forget.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Tie dye...

Erin has wanted a tie dye T-shirt for ages & I haven't been able to find one. So today we got a white T, some rubber bands & torquoise dye & made our own.

We were very pleased with the results of our first effort.



Then we whipped up some chocolate chip cookies.


And now the house has been invaded by 3 big boys. They seem to take up a lot of space around the computer as they record the vocals onto the tracks Cal has recorded. Not my choice of music but they are happy with the way it is coming together.

One of their songs will be called 'Pulmonary oedema' !!!! Not sure if they even know what that is, maybe its better that way.

Friday, November 6, 2009

Hats...

I promised you a giggle.

A fond look at the past, when our father took pictures with his SLR camera & had the images preserved on slides. I remember slide shows of the many family holidays we had, mostly of scenery, but now & again a few gems like these.








And I can bet you that each of these hats adorning our heads would have been made with love & care by our mothers' own hands.

I told you it was a giggle.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

The garage sale...

I popped in on a friend after work yesterday & she was showing me the bits & pieces she has collected together for her upcoming garage sale.

'Have a look through' she says 'to see if there is anything you want before I put it out'

Have a look I did & found about 6 school books she had 'borrowed' off me!!!

Sunday, November 1, 2009

A quiet Sunday...

We've had some really sultry weather the past couple of days. Warm days with high humidity then a thunder storm rolls in with lots of thunder & lightning & a pelting of rain.

I tried to capture that great lightning shot but with the point & shoot this was the best I could do.



Hayley tried as well, it was very difficult to get the timing right, we wanted that perfect fork of lighting.
We might get another opportunity tonight, we're going to look on the internet for some photography tips.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

One year forward...

I missed my blog-anniversary! Since the 23rd of October last year I have been blogging.

257 posts, lots of visitors & lots of fun.

It constantly amazes me...the connections with people I've never met, the people I have met & the variety of far flung place that pop up on my visitors list. How does someone from Brazil read my little blog & yet some from my own family haven't cottoned on yet?

Here's to another good year.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Surf's up...

Erin set off this morning to a 3 day surf camp with school. Hopefully she will have good weather & a chance to learn how to surf.

We will miss her & she said she will miss us too.

The house seems too quiet already.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Take 2..

I'm ready for pink ribbon day tomorrow at work.


A fresh batch of cakes to support the cause


I'm sure it will be a bit of fun to brighten up our day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

We survived...

Callum's 18th celebration.

I had told Cal he wasn't having a party for his 18th, concerns about drunken gatecrashers overtook me. So instead he asked if he could have a couple of mates over. Sure I said, so long as it is not a party.
Ended up with 12 friends, some drinking & consuming of pizza & some loud music until midnight. No trouble thank goodness.
I think he will feel as though he celebrated & there wasn't too much cleaning up to do.

I'll ask him later when he gets up how he feels it all went.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Margaret...

On this day five years ago our Mother passed away.

I miss her. I miss her company & her knowledge. I still want to ask her questions. I want my children to be able to have that generational input. The 7 grandchildren will remember her because we will remind them.

Yesterday my older sister gave me a copy of the hundreds of slides that she had laboriously scanned onto her computer just before Mum died (& some after).

I was browsing through these slides last night & got a real sense of the person she was as a young woman. These are from a time I don't remember, but know of because of the stories that surround them.

Like this one, from a wedding she attended.

Or this one posing with a baby nephew before she had children of her own.



This profile shot taken in Cairns at her Grandmother's home


And this one taken on her honeymoon



There are loads of slides of us at beaches...Qld beaches like this one & others at NSW & Vic beaches that I will share later.

I like this one because she looks like she is having fun with her first born daughter, posing for her husband & his wonky photography skills.




The scanned slides have a nostalgic look about them, not only are they from 40 - 50 years ago, they have a lovely quality to them that is not perfect but very special.
When I showed Hayley she was delighted with the 'retro-ness' of them, something that can be recreated with Photoshop nowadays.

The pics are a giggle for sure...to see the fashions of the 60's & 70's not quite reflected in the home made clothing we wore. I will be sharing a large chunk of these pics in a post titled 'Hats'... you will fall off your chair laughing.