Thursday, July 31, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Look at some of the gorgeous tags I got from A Little Bit Funky.
Yes... they're birds of course.
There is nothing like a tag to dress up a gift you are giving.

My nephew, Zac, turned one.
We celebrated his birthday on Saturday.
His cousins were very keen to help him open his gifts.

He enjoyed sucking down all the bright blue icing from his cake.

Friday, July 25, 2008

The Household Guide to Dying

"As I resigned myself to the fact that the latest Household Guide I'd written would be my last, I conceived in a flash the best idea ever. I rang Nancy and left a message. 'Think of the title,' I said. ‘How catchy does The Household Guide to Dying sound?'"
When Delia Bennet – author and domestic advice columnist – is diagnosed with cancer, she knows it's time to get her house in order. After all, she's got to secure the future for her husband, their two daughters and their five beloved chickens. But as she writes lists and makes plans, questions both large and small creep in. Should she divulge her best culinary secrets? Read her favourite novels one last time? Plan her daughters' far-off weddings?

Complicating her dilemma is the matter of the past, and a remote country town where she fled as a pregnant teenager, only to leave broken hearted eight years later.

Researching and writing her final Household Guide, Delia is forced to confront the pieces of herself she left behind. She learns what matters is not the past but the present – that the art of dying is all about truly living.
Fresh, witty, deeply moving – and a celebration of love, family and that place we call home – this unforgettable story will surprise and delight the reader until the very last page.

(Pan Macmillan Australia)

I managed to squeeze in another novel - a bit of a feat while starting a new school term and all the organisation that is involved.
The Household Guide to Dying is a poignant and delightful story. It was one of those stories to get lost in; one to look forward to reading at the end of the day. And one to smile and cry through as well. (I sobbed over the last few pages.)
I won't give away the story, but will share one of the wonderful descriptions of Delia's chickens, and the domestic ideal they represent.
Andrew and I have had tension over the my idea of letting our chickens roam free versus the need to enclose them (Andrew's choice, and the correct one, if our garden is to survive).

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Christian the Lion
My sister just sent me a link to this video. It is so lovely I had to share it...

You can watch the full story here - Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Click here.
Thanks For Signing
I love it when I get a message that someone has signed my guestbook. Thankyou.

Unfortunately, it does not tell me if you have a blog or not, so I can come over and 'visit' you.

Please leave me a comment some time, so I can find you too.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Telephone Companies
Don't you hate it when you are in the middle of bathing the kids, or cooking, or even just sitting down to read, and a representative of a telephone company knocks on the door offering you a deal.
And these guys just don't take the hint that you have no interest in their product, unless they can offer you free calls for the rest of your life.
What is worse, is when they ask, "When will your husband be home?" Sorry!! What century are we living in?!
(Actually, I shouldn't complain too loudly about that one, as I sometimes fob salesmen off with the excuse that hubby is not at home, and I couldn't possibly decide on their product without him.)
Well, I must have been feeling gracious and magnanimous, because I listened to one deliver his whole spiel last month... as a result we changed telephone companies again yesterday.
Back to Australia's largest telecommunications company.
The one we left a couple of years ago as they were not interested in offering us any special deals. They only do so when you actually leave them.
They have agree to match the price of the company we left, and then threw in a much better broadband deal - that clinched it for me!
I sent around an email to those in my contacts list and I was amused/surprised at the responses I got, and I quote:
"Hooray." (I think typed with a touch of sarcasm.)
"ah back to the bogpond you go..." (This company's email addresses end with bigpond.)
"Don't do it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I hate telstra. Poor
you!" (Another happy customer.)
"you can't beat them
they are just too big and toooooo powerful
you just have to accept it"
Time will tell. We can always change back, as I'm sure there will be counter offers made soon.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lounge Makeover (or Brave/Stupid is My Middle Name)
This week we had our lounges cleaned.
And, no I say to the woman taking my booking, I don't want any fabric protector sprayed on afterwards - I have plans.
We bought our lounges in the 90s.
It was our first really expensive, grown-up, furniture purchase. We had just dabbled at playing house before then.
And, following the trend of the day, we went for bottle green.
We were happy with the green.
We loved it.
As time passed, and we entered the new century, my ideas changed, and I longed for an update.
I covered our 3 seater with a heavy cream cloth. It looks brilliant when clean. But it took me eight hours, and I lost all my enthusiasm to continue with the 2 seater.

Last week I began to entertain the thought of dying the 2 seater myself. Mmmmmm... but how?
I thought of several options, but eventually I settled on painting fabric dye on with a sponge.
I chose Rit liquid dye in dark brown.
I mixed a whole bottle into a ceramic bowl of boiling water, and then began. The dye was very concentrated as I wanted to achieve a good, dark coverage.
It was very messy, and often just dripped onto the floor, so I needed lots of old towels to soak up the run-off.
It took two bottles of dye to cover the base, and another two to dye the cushion covers.
Tomorrow I am going to spray the lounge with Scotchgard to protect it.
Here you can see the pretty lights I bought when I was giving the lounge room a makeover earlier in the year, glowing behind the now chocolate (sounds much better than 'dark brown') lounge.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Last night I went and saw Mongol.
It was magnificent.
If you get a chance, go and see it.

Tadanobu Asano in Bodrov's film is strictly Temudjin, not the great Khan. He lived from 1162 to 1227, and "Mongol" covers the years between 1171 and the beginning of the unification of Mongolian tribes around the turn of the century.In fact, the spookily powerful child Temudjin (Odnyam Odsuren) dominates the first part of the film, undergoing trials and tribulations that make the lives of Dickens' abused and imperiled children look like a picnic. From age nine into his 30s, Temudjin was orphaned, hunted, imprisoned, enslaved, and constantly threatened by extinction. Literally alone in the vast landscape (brilliantly photographed by Rogier Stoffers and Sergei Trofimov), Temudjin escapes death repeatedly, at times almost mysteriously."Mongol" is huge - with endless vistas and epic crowd scenes, quite without special effects - but Bodrov keeps the setting just that, never strutting visuals for their own sake. The film is about people, and the cast is magnificent. (IMDb)

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A dinner party, with old friends... and new

First of all, I have to show off the table, because I am just so happy with my new wine glasses (40th gift), and the place mats (found in Big W!!!! by Vanessa).
The place mats match my wall perfectly.

Anyway, we had dinner with Megan and Nick (a new friend), who are here on holidays from New Zealand.

Megan is Brent's sister. We stayed in her house in 2005 when we holidayed in NZ.
Two of our dearest friends (Heather has a blog - Heather Here, so go and have a look at the house renovations they are doing at the moment. They are cladding their house in corrugated iron, a very popular building material in New Zealand.)

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Winter Garden
There is not a lot to show in terms of bright and pretty blooms, but there is some lovely foliage.Some sort of plant that hangs off anything really and just grows in the air!!?! Amazing stuff.
Succulents (isn't succulent a great word?). A staple part of the Australian garden now.
A type of begonia.

One bright splash of colour. A cactus that flowers in June.

Thursday, July 10, 2008


Yesterday I made a new doona cover. I love my Amy Butler cover, but saw this fabric at IKEA a while ago and fell in love with it.
It is a bit brighter and 'warmer' for Winter.
And while I was in the bedroom I took some more photos.
These shelves are where I keep all my stuff (wrapping paper, paints, craft bits and pieces etc.) They certainly have filled up since I gave them a makeover.
My side of the room, with lots of reading material, in the form of house/garden/renovation magazines, on the tray.
My sister-in-law, Bronwynne gave me this sweet (ummm... not sure what to call it!) thing to hang my jewellery on. And the jacket is one my mum embroidered for my kids when they were babies.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Brrrrr... it is cold
As it is school holidays, we took the kids out bike riding this afternoon.
And my goodness, it was cold!

Now I know those of you from other lands, might look at the photos of my children and exclaim, "But the boy only has one layer on!"
But I expect that if you are riding, you are keeping yourself warm via exercise.
Plus, small boy does not seem to feel the cold as much as 40 year old woman.

We have actually been having quite a cold week in Sydney.
Today had a minimum of 5 degrees Celsius, and I'm sure it was only around 14 degrees this afternoon - the wind chill factor making it feel worse. (Temperature converter in the sidebar.)

More Nieces or Nephews
Our family is growing bigger. I am to be Aunty Jenny again... and again.
Bronwynne and David are having another baby this year, and Philly and Brad early next year.
It is such a blessing!

Zac enjoying a swing.

Friday, July 04, 2008

Elephants and Funerals Last night I finished reading 'Water for Elephants'.
(It was actually one of those 24 hour reads, as I started the evening before and totally lost track of time, and then had to make myself go to bed, as it was going to be a very busy day yesterday.)
I thoroughly enjoyed the story.
It was fascinating and engaging.
I loved (and loved to hate) the characters, including Rosie the elephant.
Yesterday was a very busy day. And a special one.
We began the day with a private cremation, a time for the family to say goodbye to John.
After lunch, there was a service at John and Sylvia's church to give thanks for John's life; and then an afternoon tea. It was wonderful to see how many people loved and respected John, and came to show that and support us. Thankyou.
The day elicited a few memorable comments from the children, (that would have, or will be, been amusing under the right circumstances) that relieved the tension for Andrew and I at the time.
All the grandchildren were so well behaved.
It is hard to know how much each understood of the occasion.
However, there will be many stories of their grandfather told in the future, especially over family lunches, and so they will remember him fondly from these.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Wicopy These are some lovely earring from Wicopy that I purchased a while ago. There are some very sweet designs, and worth a look.