Sunday, July 29, 2007

No Photos Available At This Time
I can't upload any photos at the moment...no broadband left for this month, back to dial-up speed. Very sad.
The kids have been playing something called 'Club Penguin' for hours every day. (Well, an hour each on average, which adds up to hours. I don't want to sound like a parent who lets her children play computer games all the time.) They go through phases of wanting to use the computer, and then they forget about it for a week or so. A friend just introduced them to 'Club Penguin', so it is the flavour of the month. I set the oven timer for half an hour blocks, and they have their turn then have to go and find something else to do. Unfortunately they are at the age where cunning and sneakery (I know that is not a word) is at play, and if I am outside gardening or hanging the washing out, they come in and have more turns!! Dreadful. I'm sure I was not like that as a child! I know... there were no home pcs when I was a child.
I do remember something my sister and I did do which was rather sneaky. We loved condensed milk - the thick, sweet stuff. When mum was using it in cooking we were allowed to have a spoon of it each. We would savour that spoonful. One day we took a can of it out of the pantry and hid under my bed. We ate the lot! We felt very sick afterwards! Mmmm...I think that the saying that 'your sins will always find you out' is true.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Waiting...waiting...waiting...
all day for the news.
My sister and her husband had their first baby today.
It is a boy!
His name is Zac Joseph.
He is 10lbs4oz, or 4.65kilos.
There will be lots of photos to follow.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Fish
We live near a large aquarium/fish shop, which we pass in the car everyday. A couple of years ago my kids decided that we REALLY NEEDED some fish as pets. I finally agreed to this as I already had all the equipment stored in the garage. I had owned fish when I was in highschool, and had bought the tank, light, filter etc. way back then. So a whole school of goldfish were purchased (one for each member of the family plus a couple of extras). Turns out that the interest in fish lasted a couple of weeks, and I was left with a large tank to clean, filter to maintain etc. One by one the fish eventually died and we were left with little tetras lost in such a large enclosure. (I inherited the tetras from someone else who was getting rid of their fish).
Solution - I went to IKEA and bought a large vase to house these little fish. EASY! No filters, no tank cleaning. I have just introduced some water snails to clean up any algae. It all looks quite cute sitting on a desk in the back room.
Anyone want a 80litre tank with all the trimmings?

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

A Childhood Memory
One of the things I remember about the weekend, whilst growing up, was the arrival of the Saturday paper. Inside the paper was a children's lift out section, with 3 pages of comics. These comic strips included 'Blondie', 'Hagar the Horrible', 'BC', 'Marmaduke', 'Peanuts', 'Andy Capp'
(even as a child I knew this was horrible) and 'Garfield'. While I was young I never understood a lot of these comics, especially the political undertones of 'BC', but loved reading them anyway.

After I left school I discovered the delights of 'Calvin and Hobbes'. I found a book of these comics on our shelves yesterday, and took it down to read again.
After I had googled 'Bill Watterson' (just as a general interest thing - is he still drawing Calvin and Hobbes thing), I discovered there is a site (actually, there are lots of them) that will send you regular comic emails. Of course I signed up for 'Calvin and Hobbes'. I can regularly read a comic strip again - different media, same idea.
Calvin and Hobbes by Bill Watterson
Bill Watterson’s Calvin and Hobbes has been a worldwide favorite since its introduction in 1985. The strip follows the richly imaginative adventures of Calvin and his trusty tiger, Hobbes. Whether a poignant look at serious family issues or a round of time-travel (with the aid of a well-labeled cardboard box), Calvin and Hobbes will astound and delight you.
©2007 Universal Press Syndicate

Monday, July 23, 2007

I have a cold and I feel miserable.Found a site about the common cold. It had some of the myths colds.
Myth 6:You should feed a cold (and starve a fever).
Facts:

1. The origin of this old saying is obscure. There is no scientific evidence that excess eating will cure a cold. (Bummer!!)

2. On the other hand, eating tasty food will not make a cold worse and may help the cold victim feel better. Commoncold.org features tasty recipes for the cold sufferer. (I copied one of these recipes for your viewing pleasure.)

Goody's Hot Buttered Cider

Mull (heat) for 10-15 minutes:

1 pint of sweet apple cider
2 cinnamon sticks

Place In a Mug and Stir:

1 tsp powdered sugar
3/4 mug of hot cider (above)
1/4 mug of boiling water

Add:

  • pat of butter (??!!)
  • sprinkle of nutmeg

  • A jigger of rum was added in the old days. (Now that sounds ok.)
  • Sunday, July 22, 2007

    Saturday, July 21, 2007

    Saturday Afternoon Walk
    Today we all walked, or rode, along part of the cycleway that follows the Parramatta River. The Parramatta River is the main tributary of Sydney Harbour. The total catchment area of the river is approximately 130 km² and is tidal to a weir in Parramatta, approximately 30 km from Sydney Heads. This means that the river is essentially salt water until you near Parramatta.
    For years this area of Sydney has been quite revolting, but now there is an effort to clean up the river and its shores, with groups working to regenerate the native flora and water life. A lot of expensive estates are being built to make the most of the improving water views.

    Much of the foreshore is still in the hands of industry and private individuals as residences, however there is an increasing amount of waterfront land available as foreshore reserve with walkways and cycleways. As former industrial sites undergo remediation and redevelopment the foreshores are opened up for public access. Where there is no foreshore access, cycleways are routed through quiet residential streets with clearly marked sections of the road reserved for cyclists. (Wikipedia)



    For more photos of our walk look here.

    Friday, July 20, 2007

    Better Place, by Old Man River
    A New Car! (well sort of...)

    Some friends of ours have gone to Canada for a month's holiday. (Mmmm... am green with envy!) They have given us their cars to drive while they are away. I am driving the Toyota Avensis, and am loving it. It has seven seats! This means that I can collect the kids from school, and bring their friends home with them too. Madeleine has made full use of this feature by lining up a list of friends, and has started asking them to come a play.

    Thursday, July 19, 2007

    Chair Makeover
    When we bought our house there were some old chairs left in our garage. They are really well made chairs, with good solid timber frames. After about ten years of living in the house, I have finally decided to give them a makeover.
    The first one I sprayed red with a vinyl spray, and sanded back the wood and white washed it.I wanted to keep the second one white, but just refresh the colour as it was stained. I am still trying to decide what to do with the timber on this chair.

    Wednesday, July 18, 2007

    Knitting
    It is years since I have knitted anything (probably to do with having kids, working, and maintaining a house and garden!!), but have been craving a pair of warm hand knitted socks for the very cold evenings we have been experiencing.
    To my horror I discovered that most sock patterns require 4 needles to be in use at the one time - an idea that was too overwhelming. After a 'google search' this morning I found a pattern that requires a pair of round needles, so I am going to attempt those.
    My sister and I took a trip to 'Spotlight' this morning and purchased some yarn and needles.
    While I was there I got all excited and decided to knit a scarf too as I found this exquisite coloured and textured yarn. I thought I would use it, and any leftover sock yarn, to knit a striped scarf.
    I am calling it yarn because it is not actually wool. I find pure wool itches, so these are blends that feel really soft.

    Tuesday, July 17, 2007

    Very difficult to get out of bed!
    Sydneysiders woke up to their coldest July morning in 21 years today, when the thermometer dipped to 3.7 degrees.

    The minimum temperature was reached at 6.54am today and beat by one degree a July record set just yesterday.

    The temperature is the lowest recorded at Sydney's Observatory Hill since July 27, 1986, when the mercury plunged to 3.1 degrees.

    There is no chance of snow falling in the city but the Blue Mountains may soon be dusted in white.

    Sydney Morning Herald

    Monday, July 16, 2007

    Robot Chicken
    I love Robot Chicken animations on YouTube. I have posted one of my favourites labelled 'Giraffe' previously. The 'Star Wars' series are quite amusing too.

    Sunday, July 15, 2007

    One of my favourite recipes of all time.

    This is a Donna Hay recipe I use again and again. It is great to eat hot or cold. I made it again this weekend and was reminded how yummy it is.

    Taken from 'Modern Classics, Book 1'.

    Farewell...
    sleeping in, lazy breakfasts, the lack of lunchbox preparation and the absence of washing and pressing uniforms. School begins again tomorrow. Holidays are over.
    I am particulary sad. It is not that I don't like working... I just like holidays better!!
    I had the chance to meet two of the happiest, bouncy baby boys today. Long overdue. I have been meaning to see them ever since they were born, and they are now 9 months old.

    Lauren with James, & James with Ned
    James and Ned with their parents, Darcy and Jane.

    Saturday, July 14, 2007

    Keeping Up With the Joneses
    Tom, Anita and their boys are back in Australia for 6 months. They joined us, and the Allens, for lunch today. It was lovely to meet Anita and the boys, Eddie and Seb. I was amazed to hear that Tom has been living in London for 7 years - a lot has changed in that time.
    It was great to see old friends, and we have vowed to see Heather and Peter more often, as they only live an hour away. Maybe every 6 months...



    There was a lot of manic games played on the trampoline by the older kids.


    And Eddie enjoyed arranging trains.


    Friday, July 13, 2007

    Art Programme
    I have discovered a painting and drawing programme that gives some amazing effects. You can download a free version of it here.




    Nemo & a Dinner Party with Friends
    The girls went to see 'Nemo on Ice' yesterday. It has become a bit of a tradition that their Grandma and Aunty Ruth take them to the latest Disney show at this time each year as it falls between their birthdays, and makes a great gift.
    Last night we had Kirsten, Tom, Pauline and Camile (and all the kids) around for dinner. It was lovely getting to know Pauline and Camile better, and a good opportunity to cuddle Emma.Emma got a bit sick of all the cuddles.