Sunday, 30 January 2011

This mornings joys

I love mornings on my ever so clean front porch.  The coolness of the night still lingers, a gentle breeze shifts the leaves in the trees and my Maidenhair ferns, birds dart across the patch of blue sky between the Camellia's that camouflage me from walkers passing by, as I sit on my front porch lounge chair. 

I have been reading my scriptures here of a morning either after a walk or with my morning bowl of cereal.  I am trying to savour the words I read, sometimes I just get distracted by this beauty that surrounds me or a lizard rustling through the ground cover.  It brings me a little peace and calm and helps me to look for good in the day.  Thank you to everyone for your encouragement of my photography and for leaving comments, it inspires me and lifts me up.  A kind word does me a world of good.

This little fellow started me off on my photo taking spree this morning.  I saw him there just sitting and he let me get so close.  Little did I know he was eyeing off a poor moth for his breakfast.  Isn't it interesting to note the eye colour change from red above to a green below once he had caught the moth.  I'm not sure if it was the reflection of light on his eyes or the angle of the camera but they look like two different bugs.

The cooler nights we've been having are just bliss.  I've even had the blanket over me in bed, mind you all the doors and windows are still wide open but the cooler night air is so refreshing.  It has been another migraine week but the cooler weather definitely helps get through it easier.

The weeds are seeding and blowing away, and the pecan nuts are growing on the tree next door,  I can hear them starting to drop onto their I know Autumn is not far away.

Friday, 28 January 2011

O dear!!

I have a confession to make.  It began a long time ago, most likely on our holidays as children up at Hervey Bay at my Grandparents.  We spent a lot of our school holidays staying with Midgie Grandma and Pa (named after their cat Midgie).  I remember Gabby and I had to keep quiet in the mornings when we woke up, until my Grandpa woke up to make their first morning cup of tea and take it back to bed.  They woke up around 8am so it was a long wait for us to keep quiet, but we did it because we knew that we would get a biscuit (even before breakfast).  We always waited around quietly until we got a biscuit.  My Grandparents usually had a wheatmeal biscuit with vegemite on it with their first morning cup of tea, but we always begged for the Arnotts cream biscuits, my favourite was the orange cream and I think Gabby's was the shortbread cream, my next favourite.

When finally everyone was out of bed we would have our breakfast.  Now this is where my confession comes into play and no it wasn't my love for orange cream biscuits, I haven't even had one for a really long time, years in fact.  No my confession today comes from my favourite choice of cereal from the Kellogs Variety Pack.  My absolute favourite cereal was Coco Pop's.  I think we all know that there was only ever one packet of Coco Pop's in the variety pack and between two girls I think there was always a bit of a fight over who got the Coco Pop's.  The other cereals just weren't as good or as crunchy.  So here is where my love of Coco Pop's began and it was a world of joy if we ever bought a large box of it.  I think I remember just eating bowls full without milk so they didn't go soggy. I hadn't had them for a long time though until my mum started buying the variety pack for the boys when ever we went to stay with her.  I continued to eat my own reasonably healthy cereal that is until I stole a taste of Coco Pop's from one of my boys bowls.  Ah the memories came flooding back of that crunchy chocolate milkshake goodness.  I was hooked again, although I refused to buy a box of them.  Until one day these holidays my mum, yes my mum, talked me into trying Coco Pop O's for a treat.   She wanted to get the variety pack but that just bought up memories of fights over who got the Coco Pop's.  So I went for a whole box (it was only a little box).  The rule was that they had to have healthy cereal with just a sprinkling of the treat cereal on top.

Again I stole a taste from one of my boys bowls and oh my goodness they were even better than the original Coco Pop's.  These ones stayed crunchy longer and you didn't have to eat them up in a hurry before they got soggy.  I'm afraid Coco Pop's don't cut it any more for my favourite naughty cereal.    My new favourite cereal is the Coco Pops O's. 

I have been sprinkling more than a handful on my cereal every day and sometimes I even have a whole bowl full as a snack.  Sadly the holidays are nearly over and I have bought my last packet of O's, even though I am addicted to them and they crunch so beautifully with their sweet chocolatey goodness I know it's time to stop.  So farewell Coco Pop O's I shall miss you so.

Here endeth my confession.

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Cooling off

It may have been Australia Day but it was a cleaning day for us.  The day was just sooo hot (and still is) that I figured I needed to do something with water.  So I decided to clean the walls and ceiling of the front porch, it had quite a build up of dust, mold and spider webs and was badly in need of a wash.  I was firstly joined by Ethan who was also attracted by the coolness of the water, wanting to be my hose holder while I scrubbed with the broom.  We were shortly followed by Toby who had been cooling off in the bath all morning, one of the best spots to be on a stinking hot day like this.  I think everybody was excited to play with my new water gun attachment for the hose.  After the first layer of dirt was cleaned off Donald joined us and proceeded to do a better job at cleaning than I did and finished off the whole front of the house, I love it when he takes over.  By the afternoon our walls were sparkling clean, we were all soaking wet and I'd even given my front porch lounge chair a good clean too.  Oh how I love my clean walls now, they look like they've had a fresh coat of paint.  It was definitely a productive day and we kept lovely and cool.

We finished off our hot day in the air conditioning and had Salmon salad with home made potato wedges and we munched on Donald's "Australia Day" cupcakes, coloured in green and gold, while watching "The Empire Strikes Back".

Happy Australia Day

We started off the day with some damper and fruit salad for breakfast.  I usually make damper on Australia Day, whether it's for lunch, dinner or breakfast.  It was a plain damper with lashings of butter and golden syrup (recipe here) with our lovely fruit from the fruit stalls.  I'm not sure what else the day will bring for us, it's another really hot day...Oh to have a swimming pool to keep us cool!!

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

My fruit bowls are full

As much as I'd like to fill my bowls with my own home grown produce, my garden is rather overgrown with trees and shrubs and not much room for veggies.  We do have a strawberry patch out the back that presents us with a strawberry here and there, that is if the possums or bugs didn't get there first, and of course I do have some herbs dotted around the garden.

My latest enjoyment is driving out to Galston where it's more rural, spacious, orchards and fruit and veggie stalls abound.  We have had the best nectarines and peaches both white and yellow as well as the most delicious strawberries comparable to the Strawberry Queens selections from the farms in Ormiston, Qld.

Donald has been making dessert for us with fresh strawberry sauce (literally squished up strawberries) and ice cream.   He's also done a squished white nectarine dessert with ice cream too!   As much as I feel it's sacrilegious to mash up a perfectly good strawberry or nectarine, unless it's been bruised, it's absolutely delicious!!  I love the Summer fruits and fresh tomatoes, capsicums and zuchinis at the fruit stalls.  One day given a bit more space I will grow my own produce, my dream is still alive, but in the meantime I enjoy a drive out to the fruit and veggie stalls.

Saturday, 22 January 2011

I'm back

The sky is so blue, the clouds are wispy and the Crepe Myrtles are flowering, so are the Dahlia's.  A walk with my eldest, breakfast on the front porch with my second and a spot of blogging.  

The urge to take photo's and blog has been passing me by this Summer.  With my diagnosis of depression just before Christmas last year (which is being managed), constantly watching the flood news in Queensland, the heat and humidity have found me not very enthusiastic about anything this Summer.  I want to hibernate in the cool, sleep through the heat and read.  I've done lots of reading, reading to escape.

Mind you this isn't a call for sympathy, it's more of a reality check for me and a reminder that there is good in the Summer as well as the not so good.  Like these incredible Dahlia's, they are such strong and colourful flowers that remind me of Canada.

I love the different levels of green and light in this Ash tree, it brings me hope that Autumn is just around the corner and will bring forth some amazing colours.

So right now I want to share the good I have found and the best way I know how is with the photo's I took of my neighbourhood that have brought me much joy this morning.  Enjoy!!

Monday, 17 January 2011

Queensland Flood Appeal Auctions

Click on the link below to see the many crafty items up for auction donated by many talented people, all proceeds go to the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal.


Monday, 10 January 2011

Rest In Peace Funny Bunny

Oh lovely Frisky bunny how we'll miss you so
We loved how your whiskers tickled our nose

Your happy greeting at the fence every morning
Was such a lovely way to start the day

Your great big soft paws and floppy ears were so soothing
And your fluffy little cotton tail that bobbed while you hopped around in circles

Thank you for sharing your last year and a half with us
You have given us great joy and taught my boys responsibility

Oh how we'll miss you our funny bunny

Monday, 3 January 2011

A drop of rain

I don't mind a drop of rain, in fact I love it.  After the hot days we've had so far this year it is lovely to have a little cool weather and some rain to dampen our dry gardens.  I'm grateful for the rain drops that reveal those giant spiderwebs in my path.  

But spare a thought or a prayer in your heart for those many Queenslanders in peril.  Their towns, homes and belongings washed away by the rising floodwaters.  Pray that they may have a dry bed, that they may be comforted and fed, pray that they may have the courage to face rebuilding their homes and lives again.  Be thankful that you are safe in your bed tonight with the people you love surrounded by the comforts of your home.

If you wish to see how you can help go to the Premiers Disaster Relief Appeal.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Seeing in the New Year

A train ride, a ferry ride, some fireworks, friends and a long slow drive home.  Most New Years Eves are spent either going to bed or staying up watching tv, not very exciting I know, but we've never made the effort to go see any of the Sydney Harbour fireworks in all of the near 11 years we've lived here.  

This year we were invited by some friends to their harbour side family home to see in the New Year.  Yesterday morning Donald and I drove both our cars up to East Balmain to find a car park for one of the cars as it was to be our means of escape after midnight.  

The Balmain Peninsula gets closed off to incoming traffic midday on New Years Eve, as it is one of the hot spots to view the Harbour Bridge fireworks from, and what a lovely spot it is.  

Our friends house is right on the Harbour.  So after finding the elusive car park for our old falcon, that wasn't going to cause us to get an expensive parking ticket, we stopped for some lunch and then home.  This allowed us the freedom to catch a train into the city to Circular Quay, and then hop on a ferry through the Harbour to our stop at East Balmain later in the afternoon.  

 It was a very hot 34°C day that became a cool, breezy and lovely evening by the water.  Lots of boats cruising around, some with lots of people making the boat sit very low in the water, others just a few in a little runabout and some very lovely big yachts all lit up.  

We had planned to leave after the 9pm fire works but it was such a beautiful night, the boys persuaded us to stay until the midnight fireworks.  We could see at least 4 different spots in the harbour where the fire works were set off from as well as the bridge itself.  Some buildings in the city had fireworks bursting off their roof tops too!

We are glad we stayed, even though it took us nearly two hours to drive what would normally take half an hour.  Traffic leaving the Balmain Peninsula was at a stand still, but with the kids asleep in the back it became a people watching expedition as the masses made their way towards buses and the rare taxi that appeared.  

Today is a sleepy, hot day and last night seems like just a dream, a wonderful sparkly dream though. 

So here's to a Happy, Healthy and Joyous New Year for 2011