Tuesday, 31 March 2009

You know your kids are growing up...

...when you only need to cut their toast in two.

Sunday, 29 March 2009


After our ride on the Zig Zag railway last Saturday we drove down to Lithgow for a play in the park and to clear the coal dust out of our lungs.  The boys collected acorns and played on the climbing equipment, Joan read a book, Donald filled the bike with fuel and I wandered around taking photos of the Autumn colours.

It was my turn to ride Black Betty back home to Sydney.  I always get a little anxious before I ride the bike, but once I'm on I really enjoy it.  Black Betty is a fun easy bike to ride and makes the best motorbike sound.  The trip home saw us stop for apples through Bilpin, an apple pie stop and a vomit stop for poor Toby, he didn't enjoy the winding roads much.  On the bike you get to enjoy the smells around you of the flowers, apples growing, freshly cut lawn and the lush green smells of the bush.....and of course smelly old truck fumes.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

Feisty Redhead

I have a friend who I haven't seen in a long time.  We met in 1987 when I was working in Goondiwindi as a nanny on a cotton farm.  She took me in to town to meet the local young crowd.  She took me to my first B&S (Bachelor & Spinsters) Ball at Bollon.  She introduced me to Queen and have loved their music ever since. I didn't feel so isolated when I knew she was only across the river from me.  Where ever I was in the world, Julia Creek,  London, New York, Brisbane, Sydney or Melbourne I would always get a letter from her.  No matter what was going on in her life I would get a letter from her.  I'm not as good at keeping up with cards and letters as she is, but there are more phone calls happening now than letters.  My feisty redhead friend from Western Australia is Debbie, and it's her birthday today.  

She's feisty alright but she has a heart full of love for her family and friends.  I'm a bit slack on getting a card to you so I'm sending you my love the quickest way I know how, as I know you'll pop into my blog for a catch up.  Sorry about the old photo, I was trying to dig up a more recent one and do you think I could find my packet of Debbie photos?? I think this is a lovely photo anyway.

Happy Birthday Beautiful girl, I hope it's a fun one.

Lots of Love 

your long distance pen pal



Thursday, 26 March 2009

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Zig Zag Railway

Donald's mum Joan has been staying with us for a couple of weeks.  One of her desires whilst in Sydney was to ride on the Zig Zag Railway in the Blue Mountains.  So by car and motor bike we headed up the Bells Line of Road into the cool crisp mountains.  Donald on Black Betty, Joan, the boys and I in the car (the Horrendous Falcon only seats five).  We arrived in the mountains to the sound of Bell birds and the smells of fresh green bush land.  After enduring the "When do we get there?" we arrived at Clarence Station, Platform 9 3/4. The train arrived to a bunch of excited passengers waiting at the station.  

The boys couldn't wait to get into the old carriages.  

The train's engine itself was made in Ipswich, Queensland and the carriages were made by Queensland Rail.  

Seeing the baggage racks on the train brought back memories of catching the train to school in Brisbane, Queensland.  The school kids used to get the old deisel trains with the pull down windows and creaky doors while the city going passengers got the nice new electric trains.  The Zig Zag train was a bit more fun though.  With charcoal dust and smoke blowing through the windows, kids getting ash and coal dust in their eyes, going through tunnels in pitch black as there were no lights on in the carriage, the train rattled and chuffed along.  Poor Toby got a little freaked out by the noise and motion and especially in the dark tunnels.  Lucky Joan had a torch in her bag which he clung to for dear life.

Once the train got to the Top Points station, the engine had to disconnect and swap to the end of the carriages so it could pull the train down to the the Bottom Points station.  Which is why it's called the Zig Zag railway.  Then once at the bottom it had to disconnect again and swap to pull us back up to Top Points station to repeat the same process again.  It was just fun watching, waiting and hopping on and off the train.

Just before we went through the last tunnel back up the hill the train stopped to pick up some Scouts who were walking the trail to the bottom station. As we went into the tunnel the train was working it's hardest so the carriages got smoked out, ash, coal dust and heat from the engine fogged up our glasses.

It was a lot of fun despite the ash, smoke and coal dust it was all part of the experience.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

What Happens....

....when you let your mother in law touch up your roots?

Joan is a fantastic nurse, but a crazy hair colourist.

Uh Oh!

We're in trouble!

Just a little too much blonde.

So what do you do??.........You become brunette!!

PS. By the way this has been done before by me, so I was prepared with the brunette colour in the cupboard. Although poor Joan has just flown off back to Rockhampton thinking she's ruined my hair.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

Sweet Love

My boys are all in love. 

They are all in love with the same girl. 

Her name is Dusty. 

She is only visiting for one week, and I know their hearts will be broken by the end of the week.

Friday, 20 March 2009

300th post and a recipe

I haven't put up any recipes for a little while so I thought I'd show you this easy roast chicken recipe which is lovely and fresh.  And seeing as it's my 300th post I wanted to share it with you.  When I prepare meals I want them tasty and I want them quick and easy.  This one has both those qualities.  I hope you enjoy it.

Flat roasted chicken

1 whole free range chicken
1 lemon sliced
  handful of thyme sprigs
handful of oregano sprigs, you can also pull the leaves 
off the stalk of oregano and thyme if you prefer it that way.
8 garlic cloves
olive oil
salt and pepper

Pre-heat oven to 200°C (390°F)

Prepare your roasting tray, lay half of the garlic cloves unpeeled, half the lemon slices and half of the thyme and oregano into the bottom of the tray.

Cut the chicken either down the breast bone or the back bone and open up the one cut side.  You'll need a big sharp knife or kitchen scissors for this.  Turn the open side down into the tray on top of herbs and garlic, press on top to flatten the chicken. Rub olive oil all over, season with salt and pepper and place remaining thyme and oregano over top, with the rest of the garlic cloves tucked in under the wings and in crevises.  Lay the remaining lemon slices over top of the herbs and chicken.

Now depending on how quick you want to eat your chicken you can put it straight into the oven for 40-45 minutes until golden brown, or you can turn down the oven to 180°C (350°F) and cover the tray with aluminium foil and cook it a little slower for an 1 hr 10 mins or so (this keeps it lovely and moist) and then take the foil off and put back in the oven for another 10 minutes or so until it browns up a little.  I've tried it both ways and have loved it either way.

If you want quick roast vegies too, pre-boil some potatoes, sweet potatoes and carrots, drain then sprinkle with olive oil and salt then put in the oven on another tray for about 30 mins.  Keep and eye on the chicken and vegies as I have a slow oven and yours may be quicker, you just don't want the chicken to dry out.

Retain the juices from the pan and some of the cooked garlic, squeeze the garlic out of the shell and mix up a little gravy, add some flour, chicken stock and water and bring slowly to the boil.  It is a lovely, lemony chickeny, garlicy flavour, delicious poured over the chicken and any roast vegies.

Sorry I forgot to take photo's of the finished product but I was so eager to dig in and eat it, so you'll have to make do with partial shots of the roasted chicken.

Wednesday, 18 March 2009

7 am

Where are you at 7 am?

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Happy St Patricks Day

Yep soccer season is starting again.