Saturday, January 31, 2009

All in a day's work

On Wednesday I was granted a "day off" (don't get me started) and went with my husband to help shift some cattle from a boggy paddock. It was a full day, and I had my trusty little point and shoot camera with me, wrapped in a handy plastic bag that came around a catalogue in the mail (reuse - recyle!). This is how my day panned out, in a little photo essay for you to enjoy. Or not.This was part of my first job, after arriving at LC and having a coffee. And changing into one of my three pairs of shoes I took with me. This is the lane way I had to drive up on my four wheeler - about a foot deep in water. Luckily, I found higher ground soon and got out of the water. Driving in its not as fun as it sounds, when getting bogged is a threat!

And then I had to moove (get it :)! ha ha!) this little mob through this extremely wet and boggy gate to dryer land. And believe you me, they weren't too keen to go this way (the ONLY way) and and I had to do some fancy riding to get them moving. Even if I do say so myself! And see that water and mud there, right in the gate. Guess who had to remove her boots and socks to shut the blo*dy gate? And pull my jeans up over my knees. The mud was knee deep by the time the cows went through. I am sure Trevor was behind a tree snickering at me... I didn't see him shutting ANY gates. (but I have LOOONG memory love, so be warned!)

And then I went for a ride through the paddock, and found these cows (see way up there in front of my motorbike - which is nicely accessorised with a pink tool container, cause its a girls motorbike, of course!) and this tree. I was a bit bored behind the cows, so I pulled up to look at its interersting-ness.

Then, just by pure chance, I found this little man hiding in the grass, waiting for his mama to come back and collect him. That wasn't going to happen, because we'd just shifted her into another paddock, so I carried him over my knees back to his mama. He peed on me. It was warm, and wet. And I had to stay in my wet pants for quite awhile before I could change them...

So, we got the cows shifted and calf re-united, and I also changed my pants with great pleasure. We then had to go and check on the bogged tractor, which involved driving up the road until we ran out of firm ground, then going the next 5 kms on the romantic. Just me and my beloved roaring up the road on the bike. He drove, so I got to sit behind him with about 1 inch of my bum on the comfy seat, and the rest on the metal grate on the back. Yes, sooo romantic.

This is what I found up the road apiece...the bogged tractor. It stayed bogged too, that baby wasn't moving without assistance. That ground around the tyres? It was like soupy jelly. But good news - he went back again today, and with some tricky manouvers, managed to get it out the the mud..and parked up on firmer ground!

And that pretty much summed up our day...we (using the term loosely!) fixed a fence on the way out, and then drove through pouring rain on the way, where tea was cooked in the slow cooker and my boy was overjoyed to see me. The girls were excited too of course, but my boy, well, he's still my baby!

Friday, January 30, 2009

Diversion from reality

Oh, this just speaks to me... in my next home (and in all likelyhood, my next life!) I want a house with the big glass doors that open onto my wide verandah. AND I want a white couch. And a housekeeper to keep up with the cleaning of the white couch (and that yummy white paintwork!) if there are any kids involved!

Isn't it just so....nice?

Free Blogger Template

Here is a link for free blogger templates - I haven't tried loading any one in particular yet, but the photoblog or one column templates have caught my eye - having a photo take up the full width of the page would be great!

Like Nicole my pictures don't ever load big enough for my liking, and I don't know how to change that. Not technologically savvy know, we don't even own an ipod?!

Anyone with advice on changing templates etc would be great! Its probably only me who wants to see my photos in their glorious detail...

I'll leave you with this.

I think it might be a little modern for my house, but I like the concept - these different sized canvases were painted with the numbers etc to represent the family unit of 5... it wouldn't be hard to do, without even using this digital file available from two peas. I can see something similar to the big 5 for a kids room, replacing the 5 with their initial...

Hopefully one of you can help me out with my photo size/template queries!

I'll share some photos with you soon, as I mentioned yesterday... downloading the camera is SUCH a chore - AND my dishwasher has stopped working, so that means I have to actually wash the dishes the old fashioned way, which really puts in a bad mood for the rest of the day! :)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

oh dear.

need I say more?!

I have lots to share with you, including my activities of yesterday, and the much heralded cake adventures of today. I did warn you that some tale of woe would result from my birthday cake making - it happens every year - at least once a year (sometimes I escape unscathed!)
Yesterday I went and helped my husband at LC, having shipped one child off to school, and the other two to "spend some quality time" with their paternal grandparents. I headed off armed with three pairs of shoes (my husband commented on the fact that I was the only woman he knew that needed three pairs of shoes to go mustering... I had thongs on my feet, cause it was wet, work boots for protecting my feet once I got working, and gumboots for just in case things got really messy! A girl has to be prepared!) and we shifted a big mob of cows from a boggy paddock into a harder paddock on higher ground. I have to say it was wet - not raining wet, though it did threaten - but water on and in the ground wet. I took lots of photos, to share and to look at in 6 months time to remind ourselves, that YES it did rain, even if it is a far and distant memory!
I'll come back soon and share some pictures of this adventure, and that of the very expensive and very bogged tractor. And some of the birthday cake too, although they are almost too embarrassing to share. But I'll say one thing, it must have been tasty, because there's little evidence of its existance tonight, apart from a few crumbs in the tupperware container!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Peace Decends

My oldest daughter headed off to start year one this morning, full of excitement, because she loves school, and a new little girl was also starting prep today as well. In a school of 10 students, and having only 2 girls in that 10 last year, this is terribly exciting! There was no tears or trepidation on anyone's part - their new teacher rang the bell and they were gone! No "goodbye mum" from any of them...
Anyhow, guess who turns six on Thursday? And guess who has been ordered to make, and I quote, "a chocolate heart shaped birthday cake with pink and yellow, and flowers.." Well now! Anyone who has read this blog throughout the previous year will realise that while I am more than capable of baking cake after cake after cup cake, any decorating that ventures past slapping a bit of icing on top, and getting really fancy, some hundreds and thousands, tests out my abilities to the fullest. I must have been away for the cake decorating lessons in Home Ec!

But the challenge is there, so after I wrestle with some folding (the washing has multiplied ten fold since this wet weather from the ratty kids that appear to love being in a varying states of dampness!) I intend to get baking, so I can start decorating tomorrow, and take the cake to school for morning tea on Thursday.

There's something to look forward to folks, because Iam sure that I will have some tales to tell from the cake decorating adventure that lies before me. Going on previous ventures, its a given!

(By the way, I didn't make this card, I lifted it from some other cool blog, but forgot to take note of its address! Sorry!)

Monday, January 26, 2009

Altogether too cute

I think there must be something about little boys that makes their mothers go all mushy....(especially when they say "But I love you Mum" sobbing on the floor when they have been denied something terribly trivial! it didn't work though!)
Look at that face. A very dirty face, truth be told, but still...

This is a rare one of the boy, looking at the camera without having a finger up his nose or showing me his bare bottom instead.

He has quite a wicked little sense of brother was recently rough-housing with the girls and in the melee, his (skip the next few lines if you are of delicate nature!) his bum crack was exposed... Angus caught sight of this, thought it was HILARIOUS (as did the girls..what is it with kids and bums that is sooo funny?), and with a wicked snicker, promptly pulled down the back of his pants so we could see HIS bum. I have to say, it is MUCH cuter than my brothers!

Again, why are bottoms so funny? Mine most certainly is NOT, the most unfunny part of it being its size...but that's a whole other, very long post!

The washing still isn't folded

but I got these done today. And I paid the bills, which then justified the time I spent scrapping(?!!) These both took far longer than they should have, given my new brilliant plan that I had for getting more done quicker, but I really wasn't feelin' the vibe as much today... and again, I apologise for the crappy photos. I normally use my fantastic little point and shoot for this sort of thing (for some reason it takes far better photos of layouts than the big gun Canon DSLR!) but it waaay out there in the car (in the car shed!)...and it's been raining. My husband reckons I could dissolve if I go out in the rain. He is SUCH a comedian. Hear me laughing? :)

Groovy girls is an 8x8, the other 12x12 (which is actually on pale pink CS). I was extra lazy today and even used the same paper (and scraps of cardstock from one on the other!) on both. And I have a feeling that one of the brads I used is bigger than the other, so I might need to fix that! I also used some cute little felt flowers that I placed over the flowers on the paper. Not sure that I love either of 'em, but at least they are done!

Betcha can't guess who's original layout gave me the bones for both of these? :) Anyhow, school starts here tomorrow, after a very laid back Australia Day here - it has drizzled pretty much all day and we just doodled around the house... Just quietly, I can't wait for the little bit of peace and quiet that comes from having one less (noisy!) child in the house for a few hours!

Sunday, January 25, 2009

The View from The Shed

I thought I would share this with you, seeing as its possible I won't be here much in the next few days, if it stops raining enough for us to process these cattle. The idea of needing floaties and gumboots to draft them up sounds as appealing as did the heat and the flies I was contemplating a few days ago. Good Lord, I can't be kept happy can I?

Anyhow, here's a view towards the house from our newly walled car shed. The shed itself (with roof - no walls) was put up Easter 2006... and its now January 2009.

Its taken nearly 3 years to get the bl**dy thing finished. But its done now, and it looks...funny. I'm sure the horses, whenever it dries up enough that I can drag a horsefloat across a couple creeks on the way to my parents place, will be most appreciative, and will drive Trevor nuts by wanting to stand in the shed (I can hear him now.."Its a CAR shed, not a HORSE shed!!" hee hee). Mind you, the way the grass is growing in the back paddock, they may not be able to find their way to the shed..its like a jungle!
Its either feast or famine in these parts!

I'm a scrapping machine

Well, not really, but I just did three pages in a row, which is the most I've done in a verrrry long time. Mind you, not much else had been done, but who cares? Trevor is away, and the kids appear to be feeding themselves (one just came past munching on a carrot!) so all is good. Although no one appears to be feeding me (not that I NEED it, going on my pants size, but my tummy seems to think it requires food. Blasted thing!) And Angus is wandering around with no pants on, a situation that appears to be quite pleasing to him...oh to be young again. I think wearing no pants could be quite cool in this weather!

But I digress...I followed the same basic design three times, lifting a layout of Di's, that I had in my favourites folder. This concept worked great, as I only had to find the one idea and duplicate it. However, I am tired of it now and will find another sketch or layout to inspire me next time, and then duplicate that a few times as well.

My apologies for the terrible photos, they are a bit blurgh, and crooked to boot (not in real life :) though.) Its very overcast here (drizzling actaully), and I had to use the flash, and it didn't make for nice replications. And I'm too lazy and impatient to use the scanner.

Overall, I don't know that I am exceptionally happy with all three, but at least they are done and I can move on to the next lot... the two of the girls were from a different year to the one of Angus - I think I will stick to the one era for the next lot, as I found it very confusing...and difficult to find the right journal entry!

Anyhow, I had better stop with those three for the moment and investigate what sort of havoc the girls have created while I have been distracted and not on their backs about spreading their crap from the bedroom (which looks like it has imploded) throughout the loungeroom and down the back steps to the back verandah.

I am so ready for school to start. Roll on Tuesday.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Just trying this out

Thanks to my long lost friend Kirsty, I have worked out how to link cool, and I will be linkin' idiot from this point on....all of the cool things I find when I am spending totally unproductive time surfing the net.

Like this site, which is free, and lets you turn your own handwriting into a font. Haven't tried it yet, but will do... one day when I think my handwriting doesn't look half bad.

Or, if you want to freshen up or change your blog template, try this one...

I'll be keeping track of all the cool things I find to share with you here (this Simple Scrapbook gal finds lots of good stuff as well!)

And just 'cos I hate to post without pretty pics, here's a digital scrapbook page that I did after finding a free template download from Jessica Sprague and CK. It was fun, if not a little frustrating to start off with, but I can see me using it again. I love making collage or storyboards, even if just to email or print out and use on a "real" page! Or to share things with you anal am I, I am off to take a photo of the yet-to-be-put-away-groceries to share with you, just so you can see what I boring life I lead.!

$530 worth of groceries later...

We went to our closest Woolworths supermarket yesterday, a good two hours drive away, to do a big grocery shop, and for my husband to see the chiropractor, and for me to get a massage. Holy Smokes, do I ever know I've had one today! She really got stuck into my sore spots, and also made me stretch my legs to places I really didn't think they would stretch to...and told me to do that at home as well.... I really CANNOT see that happening!
Anyhow, we had a day out, got a heap of groceries that are waiting to be put away (fun, fun, fun ...but I would rather do it myself than have my husband do it, because when he does it I can spend hours searching for something I was SURE that I had bought, but has been put away in some obscure place!)

Anyhow, Di ( - can someone please teach me how to link that properly?! please?) has challenged me to go to my sixth photo folder and find the sixth photo. Hmmm....this is what I came up with.

And boy, does this photo have a story. This photo was taken down the paddock at LC {abbbreviation for our property name}. This charming piece of vintage machinery (Massey Ferguson T32 tractor, I think is its name) is currently residing in my front horse paddock, which is right beside my houseyard and garden, right beside the road. It is there because my husband wants to sell it, but so far (its been there QUITE awhile) a For Sale sign has yet to be added. It's for sale as we only need one tractor, and we bought the property with five I think...I've lost count...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thanks Guys

Two of my new online friends, Jo and Anita (I have no idea how to link their names to their blogs! sorry!) have given me a blog award! Thanks girls - I know that at least two of you read my random blatherings!

Here it is:

"These blogs believe and invest in PROXIMITY - nearness in space, time and relationships! These blogs are exceedingly charming. These kind bloggers aim to find and be friends. They are not interested in prizes or self-aggrandizement. Our hope is that when the ribbons of these prizes are cut, even more friendships are propagated. Please give more attention to these writers! Deliver this award to eight bloggers, who must choose eight more and include this cleverly written text into the body of their awards".

I haven't enough blogging friends to pass this onto, but still thank you very much!

And just to change the subject, this is what faces me next week, and considering the weather has changed back to stinkin' hot, its going to be so much fun (inelegant snort). There will be far less people, because school will have started by then, so that means no willing slaves...sorry WORKERS to assist (this photo was taken in 2007, when we ended up with a whole tribe of pre-teen and teenage kids helping out. The place was crowded! and I was done out of a job, so I went home and made lots and lots and lots of food for those teenage tummies)...

There will be me, and my husband, my brother in law (who shares my husband's even and sunny temperament when they are both hot and dirty...insert another inelegant snort!), and our main offsider from the business, who has been graciously given time away from his real job to look at stinky calves bums. And believe you me, they will be stinky. I have the job of "penning up", which means staying away from the action end of things (thankfully) and involves yarding the little dears into the race. Our main man from town then has to keep the calves flowing down the race, to the Happy Pair at the cradle, where each calf is caught, earmarked, castrated (if required) and branded. And then, released to the care of their mumma's, who will be anxiously awating the return of their babies. Usually each calf is processed in about 40 seconds, but times that by a couple of hundred, it makes for a long hot few hours...

I would post more images of more details "close-up" but not sure if you really want to see it... let me know!

Tuesday, January 20, 2009


I should be vacuuming the floor and cleaning up my house, but instead I found this on my friend Kirsty's blog (who I haven't seen for years, and stumbled across on Facebook - finally, it has been good for something!)

This quiz is about Your First Baby: (hey, and what a great scrapbooking page this would make!)

1. Were you married at the time? Yes

2. What were your reactions when you found out you were pregnant? Yay...and gee, that didn't take long!

3. How old were you? 28

4.How did you find out? pee on a stick pregnancy THAT was fun! well, interesting is more the term. Its a skill that requires some practise, but after three pregnancies and a doctor that requires pee testing at each checkout, one rather gets good at NOT peeing on ones fingers. Just keepin' it real folks!

5. Who did you tell first? my husband..though I think he may have been home at the time, waiting for the result.

6. Did you want to find out the sex? No. not with the first one.

7. Due date? I think it was the 21st January 2003

8. Did you deliver late or on time? God No - 29th January, 8 very very long days late

9. Did you have morning sickness? No, not really. It went away if I ate something, usually high in protein.

10. What did you crave? Food in general ! :)

11. Who/what irritated you the most? not being able to do stuff (like lifting!) and my husband forgetting that I really shouldn't be lifting that 30kg bag of chook feed; back pain that drove me nuts.

12. What was your first child's sex? girl

13. How many pounds did you gain throughout pregnancy? not many (7kgs in total) , its the AFTERWARDS part where I gained the weight, or didn't loose any of the baby weight.. times 3. :(

14. Did you have any complications during pregnancy? not during the pregnancy

15. Where did you give birth? Park Haven Hospital, Townsville

16. How many hours were you in labor? Forever?!! Induced at about 8am (oh the horror when that horrid drip kicked in!) baby born just before midnight the same day.

17. Who drove you to the hospital? Trevor..actually, I think I drove both of us!

18. Who watched? Trevor and about 10 other medical staff (very nice staff, I have to add!) mum and m-i-l waiting in the waiting room (not all day, I think they turned up after tea time, when they realised things weren't going as well as they should have)

19. Was it natural or c-section? emergency ceasarean...

20. Did you take medication to ease the pain? Trevor thought that they would have to bring in another tanker load of gas, but then the midwife thought that an epidural might be nice for me!

21. How much did your child weigh? 7lb 13oz.

22. Did your child have any complications? She swallowed some meconim (sp?) but passed all of the tests, thankfully

23. What did you name her? Kate Elizabeth... we really hadn't settled on a specific name, but once I was out of recovery we decided on Kate, it was on the top of the list....for such a long time, before we were even married, we were going to have GRACE Elizabeth, but then our good friends had a baby girl, and used the name before us...

24. How old is your first born today? she'll be 6 in 9 more sleeps!
Here she is, snuggling up to her baby brother - they are both so much alike, in personality and looks - but that's a whole other post (which includes why I don't want another baby - especially if the pattern should continue and the next child would then take after our second child, Georgie... she's very individual...and I think one individual like her is about all this mother can handle, thank you very much!)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Some Other Stuff

Just to completely change the subject, here are a few layouts I have done...ages ago, and after checking the girls albums, are pretty much THE last layouts I have done for them. Which just goes to show just how much scrapping I have achieved lateley, because they are both pretty much sitting at September 2006. I think Angus's book is a little more up-to-date (somewhere in 2007).
I think I have to get more organised, and do some "catching up". I have decided to produce three pages roughly the same in one sitting, (layout/design wise) - for each album - even if the story is different, to make the process quicker.

A little less time on the internet might also speed the catching up process up!

I was having some fun with squares at the time obviously, and you know what? I still love them, and the papers I have used. I was really embracing the whole Simple design concept at the time. I may have posted these on my blog before, and if so, sorry! I don't have any other interesting photos to share with you just now.
So here's to my new resolution, though I am not sure when I'll get started! :) I really need to get my bookwork up to date, and do some of that pre-mustering baking done... just think, instead of blogging, I could be scrapping. Except blogging makes far less mess and doesn't involve children hovering over ones shoulder wanting to know "whatcha making mum?"...perhaps I should just go fully digital. But its not nearly as much fun!

Sunday, January 18, 2009

The Donkey

What's that? Doesn't look much like a donkey, you say? Well, that in fact is what this contraption is called, and it becomes one of my favourite pieces of equipment on our property during the cooler months.

The Donkey is basically an old fashioned water heater. It's a 44 gallon drum that holds water and we light a fire under it to heat the water. However, it is terribly important in winter time to be prepared: lighting the fire at 4pm is a great idea. When you come inside just before dark, cold, tired and disgustingly dirty and stinky from working in the cattle yards all day, and someone has not lit the fire for a nice warm shower, well, things are likely to get nasty. Mind you, it only takes about 1/2 an hour to get warm water, but you want it good and hot with a nicely stoked fire if you've got a few bodies to process!

You'll have to look closely, but there is actually a fire lit under the donkey - quite a pathetic and inept little fire I have to say. Lighting roaring fires isn't one of my better skills, and achieving one usually involves a good deal of newspaper, and then a nice dash of petrol or some other incendary fluid to help things along! Mind you, one does get better the more often it has to be done, and careful selection of the timber to be burned also helps.

Oh, I am so thankful for my electric hot water sytem, and electricity in general, when I get home. Its not exactly "weekend cottage" living, although it is quiet. Gives everyone quite a fright if the phone actually rings!

One more photo, seeing as I am on the subject of our property: here's an old one of The Hut, from when we bought the property back in 2006. Its quite flash as shed living goes: it has a cement floor and flushing toilet. Biggest problem - the verandahs aren't cemented, and the amount of sand that gets trekked in is unbelievable (I put my shoes on after a shower, no matter how often the floor gets swept during the day, there's still grit on the floor).
One day, we might get the verandah floors both back and front cemented (all of that junk on the verandah? its not there any more. Though occassionally, the motorbike gets parked up there, but mostly, it gets to be a verandah, with some rickety fold up chairs in pride of place)...and then, but shh, don't tell my husband, I might find a basic, comfy (and inexpensive!) outdoor dining setting to go there. Just so I can pretend it's a "weekend cottage in the mountains". But, funnily enough, new fences seem to have a higher priority than verandah flooring...

There hasn't been much crafty happenings around here lately, just more of the day to day stuff...hope this isn't boring you, cos there's likely to be more on the same topic in the near future. We've got to muster and brand a wedge of calves really soon, so I am getting myself mentally prepared for that, and the preparation of baking some large cakes and the like to feed anyone that turns up... (hopefully a few, I don't want to have to do all of the work myself!)

But until then, I'm off to a Tupperware party tomorrow to play ladies..the kids are most excited, they only heard the "party" bit... hee hee.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

We make our own fun in the country

The view from across the road from our house quite early this morning. The water is over the edge of the gutter onto the footpath, and just through the front gate.

This one is from the front steps, after I'd been for a stroll down the road to check out the creek. It wasn't over the bridge, but I thought I'd lost an idiot dog when it decided to go for a swim and ended up being sucked under the bridge. All good, it came out the other side. Luckily - it was one of the ones I've been minding!

This one is of the kids walking up the road (or river! hee hee!) from the pub to the police station. Handy location, that of the police station, just in case there is ever any trouble at the pub. Happens a lot in here you know. Ahem.

I took some of the kids playing with the kayaks, but it won't load. I took loads of photos, but sun + glaring water = difficult photographic conditions. At one stage we even hooked the four wheeled motorbike to a row of three kayaks and towed it (slowly!) up the road loaded with kids. They had a ball!

Here's some locals, enjoying the morning by the water! First there's A, who is actually the publican, and who is looking most glamourous (and she always does, you know, look glamourous!) in her floral gumboots and camo pants, and bling sunnies. She is also sitting in a kids fold up chair (cow!)...and then there's J, who is rather dashing in his cut-off jeans and smoking a durrie. He's the local truckie, and they both own (respectively) a good portion of the kids that splashed around with my own.

I love that they are both sitting in water: A on the footpath is in a good inch or so, J sitting off on the gutter a bit, in the shade of a big fig tree, much more. He's sitting on his favourite fishing stool, which he just happened to have in the back of his car. He pulled out the chairs when we decided to have an impromptu get together under the fig trees while the kids played, and played and played some more. A went and got some tea and coffee (on a tray with good mugs!) and I ducked home (200 metres down the road!) to quickly throw together a chocolate cake. So we served smoko on the bonnet of the Suziki.

Sort of felt like a most Australian thing to do!

Prime Waterfront Views

That's what we woke up to this morning! At 5:30am I got up to yell at the barking dogs, wandered to the toilet and then back to bed - looking out the window as I did so. Even with my shortsightedness I could see the water level - holy macaroni!
It rained heavily last night - 3" - after about 5" of rain for the past week. This excess of water overwhelmed the town levee banks (not to a panic level though) and has filled our streets and gutters, as it flows slowly down to the creek. The water, at its peak, was up over the gutter and through our front gate (and in the wee hours before I got up, I suspect into my laundry, going on the pile of wet towels on the floor that thankfully, were there to be washed)
This means great things for the kids - kayaking down the street! The small mob of town kids, aided by their 40 year old going on 14 year old fathers, have dug out the kayaks and canoes, and have let the kids go their hardests - kids from 2 to 14 years, all having a ball. The water is only about knee deep at the most, and about 10 metres wide in the biggest area, but still, its a rare occurance and they are making the most of it!
I'll post some of the many many photos I have taken shortly.
Off to enable the kids some more!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

I spend too much time here...

...on my computer. I should be doing constructive things on it, like editing photos, or perhaps, heaven forbid, some actual bookwork and reconciliation of bank statements and the like. That, certainly, seems waay too much like work.

But I digress. I've been spending time this evening, searching through the bowels of My Picture files, looking for some photos of our property to share with you. 'Cos I thought you might like to see our primitive water heating system down there, so you can run out and hug yours and thank your lucky stars for the modern conveniences you have. (I do have an electric hot water system at our house, one that I am thankful for when I return from an overnight stay at the prickle farm!)

Anyhoo, on my search for the aforementioned photograph, I came across this, dated August 2004 (scanned - this was my pre digital days)...arent' they so small??

This was taken as we were about to head home after Georgie's arrival. (I do have one similar that was taken when we were coming home with Kate, but I suspect its in a box under my desk, along with the rest of 2003. Tough year that!)

And then there was this one (September 2006):

This was taken the day before Angus was born. I would show one of me with THREE kids as we headed home with the newest edition, but frankly, that photo didn't happen (due to cranky ar*e husband!) So you will just have to be content with this one of my rather large belly and rather obvious lack of bosumly support... I so wish I had one of me AFTER though, as I was quite a few kilos lighter than I am now (due to loosing weight during the whole pregnancy and the usual loss of weight after the baby have I made up for it now!)

And finally this one:

Christmas 2008. The best of a bad bunch - too much Christmas cheer for this crew I'm afraid! A rare photo of me AND the kids together - I'm normally behind the camera, and like it that way!

I should do a page with these, either with paper or digital, but quite frankly at the moment, I don't have the motivation!

Anyhow, I'll be back with more soon, with the photo & story of the water heating adventure at our property, and shed building (or rather FINISHING) activities of the past two days...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Rambling on...

At 4am this morning (thanks to late afternoon caffeine intake), I had written enough witty and interesting blog entries in my head to last out the week. However, by the time I got out of bed (after going back to sleep)...they have all withered into the ether that is my scatty brain. Oh well!

It has been raining, which means a few things:

1. my husband has been home for the past couple of days. Normally a good thing, but being housebound, he has been driving me nuts. Hogging my office and computer, grumping about (not MY fault he can't weld or dig holes or whatever he was pining to do) and generally making me wish he would find something else to do! It almost has me convinced that YES he can build that bloody shed in my back paddock...(I have issues with the plans of his huge shed taking up significant area of grass growing space to feed the pony and poddies!)

2. the kids have have to play inside = messy messy house. And lots of DVD watching (especially when its been raining heavily and the TV satellite reception gets interrupted)

3. it's EXTREMELY soggy outside - making walking the dogs quite interesting...but in my spotty gumboots and oh so matching stripey knee socks (and with shorts & cowboy hat, man do I look fetching..ahem!) I can go anywhere. I currently am babysitting two other dogs, who have significant issues with strangers (issues that involve growling and teeth!) which included me to start off with, but all is good now and we are best buds.

4. the place looks like a chinese laundry, with the washing hung under the back patio.

I've also done some scrappy things, like these little thank you notes for Christmas. I should have used Christmas paper I suppose, but I liked this - it was the back side of some free paper from BHG! I thought they might have been too simple, but like the way they turned out in the end.

Anyhow, that's about it for today, I must go and post some mail and then plan to behead two rather rampant Geisha Girls that are taking over the garden. Don't tell 'em, but I also have plans to dig them up altogther, so their days could be numbered!

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Living with Imperfection...

As I mentioned before, we have an old house. Like REALLY old - probably built in the 1930's or 40's. It originally housed the post office and telephone exchange, of which there are still remants alluding to this history, around the place. Like the bit where people used to post their letters, holes in the floor where the phone wiring used to be, and a strangely shaped bathroom that used to house two seperate toilets (male and female). The house is mostly made of tongue and groove timber, with a more "modern" addition (1960's - how I know? that gorgeous (ahem) shade of both green and pink paint used liberally!) The ceilings are so high that I can't reach to cobweb (what a huge problem!) and my 6ft 2" tall husband can only just with the broom on full extension.

We put in a new kitchen and re-did the bathroom when we first moved here, and slowly are doing little bits as we see fit and have the money...the next big project - painting the outside. Hopefully the painter will be here in the middle of the year, when its a little cooler.

Anyhow, here's a peek at our old and very lived in house. I promise to think of something more interesting to write about tomorrow!

Going left to right from the top: my new huge pantry/store cupboards (last years big project) behind the dining table; the tiny front verandah complete with artwork from a previous owner (its meant to be an old dunny! but I have a pot plant in front of it); the kids playing in the lounge room (with the hopefully soon to be replaced ancient lounge suite! ) - the living area is all open plan; my favourite relaxing spot, an old daybed from my granma; the front verandah again from the front doors. And dd2's rather silly black cat, imaginatively named Sooty. Though he gets called a few other unfriendly names in the wee hours when he's prancing around my bed.

Hope you've enjoyed this little look at where we live - the collage was done in PSE; I love playing with my papers, but I also really enjoy doing digital collages and other little "instant" waiting for photos to come from the developers in the mail!


Saturday, January 10, 2009

Some Loose Ends

I've just noticed that the link to my old blog at isn't working for some reason, not that its important...but anyhow, if you click on the link it will bring up that the page isn't available. If you remove the suffix /atom from the address bar (I should know the proper name, but you know what I mean - that bit at the top of the page where you type in the web page address!) it will go to the correct site.

A bit more about my planned 2009 project: this will be our family album, as I rarely get time to do any other scrapbooking, other than in the kids albums. Along with the green album I for for this project (which I am thinking is big enough to house next year as well, if this is successful) I also bought a yummy red binder. I plan to take all the miscellaneous layouts I have done over the years out of the post bound albums I have(which sadly, isn't that many!) and place them here, in loose categories (ie weddings and special occasions, family etc).

I'm even thinking that I might get another one of these (or an AC one, if they come on sale) down the track for our wedding album, which after 8 years, has not been done (apart from stuck into one of those dreadful sticky paged things..what can I say? I knew no better!) I've been gathering ideas, mostly from a recent "8 weeks wedding album" class that was on twopeas.

I really like this idea, although I haven't got (and won't get!) any huge enlargements like this, I can work with what I have got to do something like this; and again use the divided page protectors to include more of the heaps of 4x6 photos that I have. Most are quite ordinary, but what else can I do with them?! I just need to find some nice clear letter stickers like these - any suggestions?

Anyhow, this quick post has grown like a weed - all over the place! I must go and feed some starvin' kids, and do some dishes, and feed the chooks, and finish preparing some books that need to go away for well as run some rather energetic dogs we are dog sitting...I could be here all day if I start making lists of things that are waiting to be done. Its endless!

My Back Yard

I thought I would share with you this photo my five year old daughter took, after she begged to borrow my camera "very carefully" (my little point and shoot, NOT my precious Canon!) It makes me laugh to see the way the trucks have been set up, complete with the flower to decorate; I also like the way the photo captures our back yard...complete with that darn couch grass growing in that garden bed just there. That tin building over in the background is the chookrun.
Our house is built on a quarter acre block, so I guess we have a HUGE garden compared to those in the city (this photo only captures the bit BEHIND the house...theres a lot more along the side!) I am slowly putting in garden beds to offer shade and protection and some lushness against the heat and dryness out here(although the yard is looking quite green as this photo was taken after some good rain). I have to say my motivation does a nose dive sometimes, though, when I have to battle the invasion of couch grass, and I have to wait (and wait, and wait) for some good dirt (read manure from the cattle yards) to be brought home. My husband considers the supply of dirt a LOW priority, but won't let me drive his new tractor to get it myself!

I'll share some photos of our old (ie 70 plus years old) house one day, perhaps after I've cleaned and tidied up...there's such a thing as TOO real you know!
A question for the more blog savvy out there: how do I add a picture that can be clicked on to make larger (to see more detail)...I have trouble working out the right size for my images to post here...

Friday, January 9, 2009

Happy New Year

(said in the voice of that big guy who used to be in Everybody Loves Raymond).

I'm a bit late I know, but after some lovely and flattering comments from two of my favourite Australian scrapbooking ladies (thanks Nicole & Di!), I thought I had better update my blog. Because someone other than me is obviously reading it!

We've just got back from a few days in the city, where the children were rather feral... perhaps because we never go anywhere? They are happy to home and I believe are off being feral again, but the good thing about that? I can't hear them. Unlike in a two bedroom townhouse in the city, with a tiny back patio...mind you, not hearing them usually means they are up to no good...

Like last year, I want to be organised in 2009. I sort of got started in 2008, and got there, a little bit...this year, and hopefully soon, my office area will be totally re organised. It won't look like the Freedom catalogue, but hopefully there will be less paper on my desk, with everything having a special home. I'll keep you posted, with photographic evidence. First I need to clean up my desk. Its just a little TOO real at the moment!

Another project I have in mind for 2009 was loosely inspired by Project 365 that seems to be taking the scrapbooking world by storm. Lets call mine Project 12 instead! (already, doesn't that seem to take some pressure off?!) Last year I did a 52 weeks project, which was wonderful and I love it (and I even caught my husband looking through it!) where I did a photo a week with an accompanying diary type entry. This time I am doing the same sort of thing, just monthly, and with more photos, using these resources:
This 12x12 binder (on sale from I was going to use an American Crafts binder, but these were half the price. Affordability wins!

This 6x6 paper range from Basic Grey, again on sale from Hybrid Designs. See that its got green in it? For once in my life it will ALL be co-ordinated. Well, the patterns are all different, but they all tie in together.

These divided page protectors, used randomly. The idea here being to use more of the LOADS of photos that I take (and mostly just put away in a normal photo album) and add little stories or notes about what we have been doing. Though Di has given me an idea about using a 6x12 page protector for the journalling, and perhaps placing it in the middle of the double page spread of each month that I was planning.
Anyhow, I had best get back to my unpacking of suitcases and shopping (school stuff and the like) as well as the dishes. Procrastination by thy name... I promise not to procrastinate too much about posting again soon...I just have to get my camera from the kitchen to the office. Its such a long way. But those Christmas photos need downloading! bye for now..

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