Wednesday, March 30, 2011

She's back...

back from camp, as evidenced by a sleeping bag in the hall, dirty clothes flung into the laundry and a half unpacked bag in the doorway. But from all reports a good camp.

Testimony includes: Very nice accomodation but the beds were lumpy, not as good as home

 friends got along, not in same cabin as bestie

 great weather, only rained a little on last day

 food OK, not as good as home
 didn't have time to miss family whilst on a 12  16 km walk,

She's now having an overdose of technology...a DVD, some TV, iPod and phone time and also catching up on some hugs with her sister and a quick squabble with her brother.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


I borrowed the movie 'The Social Network' to watch over the weekend, the story of how facebook came to be the phenonemon it is. It didn't really capture Chris' attention and he wandered off before it was done but I watched it through to the end. While I was watching it I didn't feel any sympathy for the creator and was glad in the end that he had to pay up to the others involved.

It even made me feel like I didn't want to use this form of media any more. I was not comfortable with the betrayal of friends and revenge used as motivation. I will continue though because it was a movie after all, not a documentary and Mark Zuckerberg has said it is not a factual account. There is always 2 sides to a story, no?

So I'm off to check my facebook page...

Monday, March 28, 2011


Erin is away on camp, I tidied the house and her room today and it is still tidy!

I was very productive today fitting in a run, a haircut, washing, vacuuming, and trying a new recipe for apple strudel and a spinach, pumpkin & fetta salad. I also pulled out  my scrapbook papers and got frustrated when amongst what seems like a thousand bits of paper I couldn't find 2 that go together. Another frustration, or maybe a disenabler, is that our local scrapbook shop, Florewen, is closed on Mondays. Heaven forbid if Wendy closed completely, I would be very sad. After last weeks series on Write.Click.Scrapbook that discussed how to use the supplies you already have, I was doing my best and will try to use their philosophies in future.

I've finally loaded the lino cut artwork that Erin had made at school of poor old Albert

You might need to squint your eyes a little to see the image. I think its a nice reminder of the big fat pig. I was thinking of him yesterday whilst looking at the flowering pansies. I'll be able to plant things like that in the ground now.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

A little bit of this & that...

Erin is off to camp tomorrow, looks like she will have pretty good weather. The teachers were saying this camp at Narmbool is one of the best they have been to. It has good accomodation (run by Sovereign Hill) and the activities are all environment based. This comes from their web site, which looks really good - they also have wedding receptions there.

"Narmbool offers environmental education in a real lived-in environment"

She is enjoying the last few days of wearing the summer uniform

 before she has to struggle with stockings and ties in the mornings.

I am enjoying the last of the summer flowers before the leaves fall and the blooms fade as we head into winter.

Last Friday I ventured back to the Alfred Hospital for a day of networking & learning with my colleagues from around the state and a couple from Tassie and the ACT. I trained at the Alfred in the early '80s, the days where nursing was more of an apprenticeship than the University degree it is today. I barely recognise the place, the wards, classrooms and the live in quarters have all been refigured, relocated and reinvented. I was pleased to see that our original nurses home, the aptly named 'Fawkner Mansions,' is still standing on the corner of Punt & Commercial Roads. As I waited for the tram I could see the window of the room I spent the first year in and remembered those hard fun filled times.

Next Friday, my day will much more pleasurable when Big Sister, her friend Mary, and I will venture out to the paper show at the Showgrounds known as Paperific.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

They're in...

The girls got their notification today, they are both in the production of Beauty & the Beast this year.

Hayley will be playing flute in the ensemble and Erin will be in the chorus. The ensemble will be fairly small again with just 16 musicians they will have about 54 pieces to play. Erin desperately wanted to play Chip but did not have the pizazz to land such a big role.

Also in April, Hayley and Lucy are playing at a friends wedding. They will play as the guests come in and be seated prior to the ceremony. I'm glad paying for years of lessons is still being put to good use.

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Around our place we are being over run by spiders. Not too many huntsmen types, they really give me the creeps, but the over productive web spinning kind.

This one had built a very large web right outside the front door, it's not well captured in my pic.

Webs are appearing everywhere and they are taking over things like the clothesline!  I hate that feeling of a web on your face when you inadvertently walk through one.

It might have something to do with the moon being so close to Earth at the moment, another thing that looks great but is so hard to photograph.

Whipped up a couple of layouts to share...

These 2 are the first in the new for me 8 & 1/2 x 11" format for Hayley's latest album. I like the size of the album while it sits on the shelf.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

My blog...

I'm going to blow my own trumpet here. Well it is my blog so I can can't I?

I like my blog.

There I said it, it might seem vain but I don't really care. I first set up this blog because I liked reading other blogs and thought I could do a pretty good job at it myself. I wanted to keep a journal and the ability to add current photos was very appealing.

I really struggled in the beginning trying to get my head around foreign technical aspects of  design  but with trial and error I am happy with the layout. Reading other bloggers tips and hints on how to pretty it up helped enormously. Even now if I visit a blog with dark backgrounds and over the top elements I don't go back.

I am still trying to get a nice blog header, loads of blogs have them with multiple photos, one day I will devote some time to get it sorted. You know, the day you have spare to catch up on little things that need time!

The other thing is I am torn between having it as my journal and yet knowing that other people may read it. I know Big Sister pops in (and I wish she would leave a comment now and then) and have told and shown Little Sister but she doesn't visit. Other than that, my few regulars are other bloggers whom I never knew before blogging, some have become real friends. I don't run around telling everyone about my blog, it seems too personal some how, sometimes it feels like letting them read my diary. That seems a bit ironic really that I can share with strangers but not those I see daily.

I saw yesterday a site that will print your blog and turn it into a book. I might just pursue this because as I mentioned before...I really like my blog.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011


After working today I raced home via the supermarket, went for a run, showered then made a meal whilst doing 2 loads of washing and hanging it out. I was racing around like a lunatic so I could go out to a local boutique that was having a birthday celebration with a winter range release and 10% discount. Not worth all the rushing about and I didn't buy anything even if it was a bargain. 10% off a $149 dress is not the bargain I wanted.

Plus on the way to his guitar lesson I wondered why Callum was so glum, he then told me he has been laid off til they need him again. It is such a shame his work didn't last longer and he is quite upset. I have a feeling though that something will come up soon.

I hope I am right.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Running update...

still running!

I've been keeping up with the program but its not easy. I'm wondering if it ever gets any less painful!

Talking to colleagues who are also in varying stages of fitness regimes it seems that gasping for breath is a common theme. While I am in the running part of my program I have to not think about the fact that my lungs are burning but it seems that it is all I can do. I think I have to try not to become so focused on my breathing and just try to look at my feet taking step after step. If I look ahead down the track I  feel a bit overwhelmed.

I did like this quote though

"Even if you fall flat on your face·at least you are moving forward."-Sue Luke

Here's to moving forward!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


I have just finished reading Pamela Stephenson's second book about her husband Billy Connolly. Even though it was titled 'Bravemouth' and has his photo on the cover I found it was too much about her and all the planning & extravagance she went through in putting on a huge 60th birthday bash for him. I ended up skipping through large chunks of descriptions of her travels through India.

What I did take away from this book was a lovely quote that I will use in scrapbooking in the future. Apparently Dame Judi Dench said to Billy in a tribute 'one loves one'. I really like that sentiment, so perhaps reading the whole book was worthwhile in the end.

Sunday, March 6, 2011

It has been a lovely weekend.

Erin got through the ordeal of the Beauty & the Beast audition. We don't have to wait long for the outcome, on the 23rd March we'll be hanging out at the mailbox for a special delivery.

I was able to potter around in the garden & the kitchen, the weather perfect for both.

And this afternoon I finished these 2 layouts I started at Big Sisters' place on Friday. She lives in Lara which is right in the flight path of the many aircraft that were doing flybys for the Air Show. She would have been in for a pretty noisy weekend if Friday afternoon was anything to go by.

When we moved from Brisbane to Melbourne in 1968ish my father would say to prospective family/friends/visitors that March was the perfect time to come.

Right now he seems to be right on the money.

Friday, March 4, 2011


I'm a happy woman tonight.

Callum has finally found some work. No matter that it is only for 6-8 weeks but its a start. Just what he needed, a step in the right direction.

We thought he was going for an induction today but he ended up working for 8 hours, some of it supervised, some of it solo. He answered  loads of questions from me and talked to his Dad about things I wouldn't understand, like grease nipples and hoses and such, in his quiet way. He was grubby and tired but mentally calculating  the dollars. And here is the kicker...

He is driving a quarry truck!

For a lad who doesn't have a truck licence or even a car licence he will be driving a truck like this with tyres bigger than he is. As Cal is just 6 ' tall it must be a big truck. It seems anyone can drive one after induction.

He is working again tomorrow at 6 am and headed off to bed early. Hopefully it will all be big from here on in.

Thursday, March 3, 2011


is no longer with us.

He has moved on to the great food bowl in the sky.

Albert in Aug 2009

We didn't think guinea pigs lived that long but Hayley calculates he lived in our backyard for 7 years. The first few months of his life he had a cage and a special water bottle and was fed guinea pig food. But after he survived the first night of not being put back in he stayed out.

Not content with guinea pig food he would get into the chicken enclosure to feast on their scraps and layer pellets and grew to be enormous. He ate the dogs kiblets straight out of her bowl, and any good plant that he could reach (all my plants are in hanging baskets or in pots stacked higher than his teeth). He even ate my straw broom and some homework papers that Erin left on the outdoor table that blew off for him to munch on. He drank water from the dogs bowl and steadfastly refused to eat the weeds in the back. Sometimes he would come right up to the back door and squeak loudly to be given vegie off cuts.

I was a bit concerned for the dog when he would bunk in with her in her kennel, we always joked that it was lucky the dog had been spayed, so I got a trampoline bed for her to sleep in where he couldn't reach her. Our dog is a lovely miniature fox terrier and was very patient and kind to him, sharing her food, water and bedding. Sometimes she would curl up her lip and growl at him if he got into the kiblets before her but she never harmed him.

Previously I had wondered how he had survived the heat waves, the frigid frosty winters, flooding rains and  the odd cat that would invade our yard but he kept on keeping on. He was pretty tough and now the dog is wandering around looking a little lost and it seems quiet out there without him.

The 'Dinner Pig' era is over