Friday, December 30, 2011

The present...

I forgot to show you my Christmas present, made for me by my talented husband.

This handmade structure will now receive our mail in style.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011


Why the long face?

Morgan is sad we are going
We are off the the beach for a few days, I may not get a chance to post depending on how laid back and relaxed I am, and depending on whether technology on the coast is cooperative.

I am taking the old SLR camera to get reacquainted with film but will still take a load of digital pics as well. I've got a new book to read and while I want to relax I also want to maintain my training as well. My niece is keen to be my running partner and as I am planning to do a biathlon in February which is a 250 beach swim then a 3km run, it will be a good chance to see if I can run at all after a swim.

Have a happy & safe New Year, I'll see you on the flip side!

Tuesday, December 27, 2011


These 3 sisters

produced this next generation of family

Monday, December 26, 2011

A wet end...

On our drive home from Christmas lunch we were caught up in a terrible downpour with next to no visibility on the highway. I was relieved to know that Callum had made it safely home on his motorbike an hour before the storm. It seemed to clear a little as we pulled into the driveway but it pelted down and flooded the backyard within minutes. More thunder and hail scared the dog almost inside out.

25mls collected in our rain gauge. The trees in the Avenue were shredded by the hail, there was a lot of leaf litter on the road and also on the track as I ran this morning. The strawberry farm will be a mess and what was left of the cherries will now be gone too. This morning much of the lettuce farm was still under water. The SES were called out to hundreds of calls disrupting their festivities, not what you want to do when you are in a turkey stupor.

Luckily we had no damage and the tank I had let get low is now well and truly topped up.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A wonderful day...

It has been a wonderful day and even a huge storm this evening hasn't spoiled it one bit.

It began this morning with a frenzy of wrapping paper and all peoples happy with their gifts

Then up to Little Sis' property to eat our traditional Christmas dinner. Done the same way every year, easy to organise, no dramas and always delicious.

Hayley took loads of photos as usual and this year she was playing around with a new wide angle lens. These are some of my favourites from today

And finally from our family to yours

Its been a wonderful, Merry Christmas


Here in Australia we dont say Happy Holidays as much as Merry Christmas or Happy Christmas but I like this image put up by Google for our pleasure this year.

Whatever and however you celebrate this year, best wishes for health, happiness and adventure!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

December 24th...

Christmas Eve is the last minute day.

Last minute to prepare food.

Last minute to get to the shops with everyone else on the planet, or so it seems, to get that last loaf of bread. We all know that the shops will reopen on Boxing Day and we once again will be able to buy bread but today that seems too far off.

Last minute to stare at the pile of presents and have a little panic. Panic that it is enough & it is fair and it looks fair and what else can I get.

Might be a little late but here are some things on my wish list...

 Of course I would need a new 4 wheel drive to tow it, but thats a given isn't it?

I'd love to stay at home if this pool was in the backyard

If that is too pricey a cool $5400 white gold Tiffany bracelet will do

Or just this initial pendant and chain would be OK

I might have left my wish list a bit late but we'll see how well Santa the family have been listening to subtle hints.

I'm off to marinate prawns and make stuffing.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Bring it on...

Last day of paid employment for the year was worked today.
Three weeks of lovely holidays to follow.

Just a few odd things to do before Sunday.

Bring on the relaxing.

Monday, December 19, 2011

A productive day...

A quick post while we wait for Chris' mother and sister to arrive to stay the night before Mena heads off to Qld for a while.

It was a very productive day getting some last minute things finished off and even fitting in a bicycle ride to hand deliver some Christmas cards. I got a tip from Ness when I had coffee with her this morning, a product for cleaning the shower that she said worked well & was easy to use, She was right Easy off Bam foam in an aerosol can went on easy and cleaned up the shower to be guest ready. 

And now the rocky road has been sliced up ready to distribute tomorrow. 3 more days of work and holidays here we come.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Jib Jab fun...

Our Christmas fun

Personalize funny videos and birthday eCards at JibJab!

Friday, December 16, 2011

Catch up...

Today I was able to catch up on a little housework before a haircut and some shopping. My list is considerably smaller after our expedition. I should be able to finish off the baking this weekend and if Chris will take me to Highpoint on the bike, so I can avoid car park hassles, the shopping will also be done.

I found some twigs with fairy lights (sounds exotic doesn't it) and some small baubles and have made up another Christmas feature for the family room. It was hard today just to focus on what I needed to get and not get caught up in lots of lovely things I'd like.

The helpful girl at Dusk told me why my candles smoke (one of them in a sconce had left a smoky mark on the wall) I need to trim the wick after each lighting and extinguish with a snuffer to keep the wick straight. I could have bought a nifty tool set to do that but I politely declined, thinking to myself - I can trim a wick.

Third day this week back to running. I started out at a slower pace as I still had the lingering effects of my URTI, and I'm really pleased to say its been going extremely well. Instead of a week at each level I have skipped through 3 weeks in 3 days. At 8pm the weather is nice and the track is deserted, except for a lot of bunnies of the hippity hop kind. Just as I headed out the door Chris' mother was on the phone to give him some grief and even though I was tired from my shopping day it felt really good to get out and clear my head and leave that guilt trip behind.

So now instead of writing up some of the Christmas cards I have made I'm going to relax in front of the telly and leave it til tomorrow.

And Louise, don't look too hard for that recipe, I cant find the dried strawberries this year and am sick of looking in every supermarket and deli I go past for them.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Like a needle...

in a haystack.

I was curious to find out the numbers that attended the Toy Run on Sunday. I didn't see anything on the news and there hasn't been any updates on the MRA site. What I did find on the web page was 165 odd photos from the day so I painstakingly looked at all of them.

I was a bit surprised to find this amongst the pics of bikes and more bikes

Monday, December 12, 2011

New Balance...

Strapped on the ol runners tonight for the first run in about 2 weeks.

I was a bit concerned about how I'd go so I started back at week 1 of the C25K program and did an easy session. I was pleased at how easy it was and should be able to push myself harder tomorrow. No coughing was a real bonus.

The trusty shoes have been very comfortable and no injuries have arisen but the mesh on the toe was no match for my toe nails and needed to be reinforced. The elastoplast bandaids have done the trick even if Hayley thinks it looks 'povo'. These shoes have done a lot of kms since February and I'm planning out my runs for 2012.

Erin had asked for her 'seconds' to be done for Christmas so we went down to the pharmacy this afternoon to oblige. Looks quite sweet but she wont be able to wear 2 pairs at once at school so will have to enjoy them over the summer.

Trust your children to teach you new words.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Toy Run...

Today was the MRA 2011 Toy Run. We were very concerned about the weather after last nights storms and only decided this morning at 830am that we were definitely going.

A grey cloud followed us all day

Grasshopper got another lesson, after one year of riding this is the first group ride he has been on.

First stop was to fuel up, thanks Dad for the top up
 Next stop was Melton to join a smaller group

 Callum is doing very well with his riding
 Our trip was probably the shortest of the many rides that ended up at the Calder Park Raceway.
 It was good to see lots of bikes with presents and decorations
 As we got there early we were able to watch a huge group roll in, many thousands thundering up. I'll have to watch the news tonight to see if it gets a mention.

 It is hard to get the scale of the event but it was huge
 The Boy Racers were in heaven perusing and dreaming. Chris has never wanted a Harley prefering the English Triumph and it seems Callum is following that lead also, dreaming of a bigger Triumph. Harleys outnumbered any other brand about 5 to 1 but the boys were both pleased there were many Triumphs there as well. We only saw 2 Learners and 2 Probationary plates on these bikes and there were scooters, trikes and trailers. They even had a caravan/trike set up and a side car hearse - something for everyone really.

And this young man Lukey Luke put on a spectacular display in a very small space...on a Triumph

I'm sure his Mum is proud of him and all that time spent doing wheelies is paying off.

All in all it was a very good day, we got to spend more time with Callum than we have in a long time and I think he enjoyed it too.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Better but still NQR...

My cold symptoms are easing off but I am left with a paroxysmal cough that is distressing for me and annoying for everyone within earshot. It is one of those coughs that makes my eyes & nose run and my face to go bright red. No manner of cough drops or water or enquiries as to my 'rightness' helps. I just have to let it pass. I really want to go for a run, or at least a walk, but any sort of activity sets me off. Maybe a few more days will help.

I am pleased with my Christmas progress. I now have baked goods in my pantry and a list for some more. A list really helps me and as I can cross things off I feel better.

The house looks Christmassy

and its hard to get a shot of the tree but its silver/white/blue theme looks very pretty

Erin has finished her school year, last nights' Presentation Night at Dallas Brooks hall winding up a full year. Every year as I battle peak hour traffic to get into the city I grizzle about the distance & the traffic but I enjoy seeing the talents of the students being rewarded. It always falls on a really hot day which turns into a balmy night, not sure how that works out but it does. I thought in another 4 years I'll be done with these city ceremonies but I sat with a colleague whose daughter is a teacher now and she was attending at her request. She thought she was done too. She was amazed at how the school had grown in the 6 years since her daughter had graduated. Its nice to see the full circle of student returning to teach.

My big Sis has not answered me about the recipe I'm looking for but maybe getting her daughter on to a plane to Japan is occupying her thoughts.

Sunday, December 4, 2011


My sore throat has turned into a full blown cold and it is slowing me down when I need to be at full speed.

I want to go for a run but I havent got the puff. I zoomed up to Melton to go the the Nutshack to get some glace fruit and nuts for my christmas baking wasn't there! I had to double zoom to Werribee Plaza along with thousands of other people to the Nutshack there. But I did get it and was able to make a start by making a fruit cake.

I am searching everywhere for a recipe I made last year but cannot locate it with all the other christmas recipes and cuttings. The recipe is for a coconut stack thingy that had dried strawberry in it. It was like a cone shaped macaroon and the dried strawberry was lovely and sweet and a bit different from glace cherries. I couldn't buy the strawberries at Coles today as I did last year, maybe this is a sign its not going to happen this time.

Did I see this recipe at your place Louise? I'm thought it was a Better Homes one but it still eludes me. And it the good ole internet is not helping either. Grrr, I need to move on! And I need to feel better to get lots more done.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The long week...

I'm nearly at the end of my long week.

Monday was a trip to the city on the train, the travel was OK but I always am glad it is an occasional thing. The study day at St Vincents was very interesting and informative but I was quite distracted by the view from the 11th floor. I don't get up high very often.

After work on Tues it was still 33 degrees and I headed up to the pool to do some laps instead of a run. Erin and her friend came with me and they splashed around. It was very busy with swimming lessons and people cooling off and I think that swim is responsible for my sore throat today.
I'm considering doing a biathlon in February - thats a swim and a run, not a ski and a shoot. The swim is at Brighton Beach and todays EPA report says the poo level at the moment is 'fair'. With all the rain the beaches are contaminated around the bay. I can feel another disease coming on.

I was thinking of my neice on her paddling on a river camp this week when I heard of the death of 2 kayakers in their brand new kayak. I'm sure I would have heard if extremes of weather had spoiled the camp. I was also reminded today that you should make the most of life when I heard of another workplace accident that prevented someones family not to come home from work.

I confirmed today that Erin will be able to go to Canberra with the school next March (just cough up some dough just before Christmas thanks)

Tomorrow I'll head up to Ballarat for another study day. The house is showing the signs of inattention but it will have to wait until the weekend. I want to finish off the house decorations and start some planning for Christmas not just cleaning and washing all weekend.

And I need a rest.