Monday, January 31, 2011

The office

After our office remodelling of sorts this time last year, I was so happy to have it done that I didn't really get things quite how I wanted, or even know how I wanted to have them.

After twelve months to dwell on the matter, and armed with my cobweb broom (yegads, its a wonder the spiders hadn't carted me away) I had decided what I needed to do.  I needed to take OUT a shelf.  I KNOW, take OUT a shelf? but yes it needed to happen.  The husband had gotten carried away, slotted in another shelf as he had the timber and the brackets, but it was a very useless shelf, but immensely useful for making things disappear or make you forget you owned them.

I forgot (der) to take a proper BEFORE shot. It was pretty sad, take my word for it.

_MG_5681This was half way through. And you can't even see where I removed the shelf!  (it was up higher)

This, ahh, is after.

_MG_5690all togehterI spliced together this photo of the set up  - exceedingly hard to photograph.  Bits of it still look messy (like the mail and bills over there on the left, but are now in hand tidyly, and the cords and stuff on the right, but a far improvement. And as for that shelf, well there was one there above those boxes - second shelf up - and I couldn't fit A4 folders or the like on that shelf. I can now - see the far right.  And having those folders there makes SO much more sense for me, I can reach them easily rather than lean over my desk to get them, which means things are more likely to go away.

The little white basket thing above my screen is the "mail basket" where all of the letters etc to be posted or go "somewhere" (ie bank) go. If something is put there, it's there for an important reason.

can anyone spot my new toy  - not office related - on the shelves?

Sunday, January 30, 2011



More creek swimming, last weekend, with the creek a bit higher than before. Still fun!

_MG_5731We didn't allow the kids to sit on the edge of the causeway this time, it had a fair old current.  And while it would not have been any more than knee deep on the bottom side, I still wouldn't have liked to have been washed down there and dragged across the rocks I know are there!

_MG_5736Granma came, and didn't feel like getting wet,  She sat on the bank where we had smoko, and watched.

Summer holidays. Sigh. This is what they are made of.

And this:

_MG_5760 (2)Playing trains on the lounge room floor.  

Saturday, January 29, 2011

First Day of School 2011

_MG_5750As dodgy photos go, this one is a winner, but still it captures the first day of the school year.  I wanted them all together to keep an eye on their comparative heights from each first day to the next.

And I so badly want to cut the girls hair back to nice bobs, especially the oldest, but they want to have "long hair".

Friday, January 28, 2011


A friend of ours was over himself with excitement when he gave the "kids" this new pet.  Husband is disappointed that it is not a pet that he can eat. (Pig Pig met a untimely end). Kids have yet to look after this new pet.

this new pet was called Daisy, until we realised that She was a He. Kids call it Woody, Husband calls it MiniPig.  Its funny, and catching.

Whatever the issues with his husbandry, he is quite endearing.

_MG_5691The cat, and the dogs in fact, are not convinced that he is NOT in fact a piebald rat, spend quite some time studying it intently every day.  MiniPig, I think, after initial heart palpitations, completely ignores their attentions.

That being said, he is quite fond of his little log home.

_MG_5700_MG_5703The boy child poking MiniPig in the bum, so I could take a photo of his little face peering out of his little hollow log. I can't explain the boy's facial expression, it honestly wasn't that big a deal!

Speaking of bums, who knew one small critter could produce so much, umm, manure?!  Or eat so much grass? or such a huge carrot in one sitting?  I had fears for the state of the strip grazed lawn (I move the cage to a fresh patch each day) but with the amount of droppings left in each site, I would say that the lawn will regenerate nicely, thank you very much.

He also likes watermelon, which is a good thing, as the kids apparently have gone off watermelon, just after I sliced up a whole half of one.

I am quietly pleased that this is an inedible pet, although the cat is always, optimistic.

Tales of Dodgy Birthday Cakes - 2011 Edition

Well, as the tales of Dodgy Birthday Cakes go, this year was probably one of the better creations to come out of my kitchen.  Thanks to the inspiration provided, unknowingly, by the lovely Fiona and Kathy, I had a plan that was sure to be reasonably successful.  Stressful yes, as a hot day in semi tropical north Queensland is not the best time to be icing with butter icing and chocolate finger biscuits, but one learns to work swiftly in trying conditions.

Shall I present, Miss EIGHT's (well, in actual fact she is eight tomorrow, but we had cake today at school) birthday cake:

_MG_5773And let the record state how cunningly this photo was taken so as to not capture the absolute disaster zone that was my kitchen bench, indeed whole flat surface of kitchen, after this event.  Who knew I could spread so much crap so far, when really so little in the way of kitchen implements was required. (my husband will probably tell you that indeed, he knows very, very well of my ability to accomplish this task!) But cunning photographer I am!

I ended up chopping the fingers in half (roughly, as you can tell!), due to the large size of the cake.  A smaller, taller cake would have looked great with the full sized finger biscuit.  As it is now, we have three and a bit packets of these biscuits left over (sigh) as obviously I could not estimate how many I needed. And I did intend to cover the WHOLE cake with freckles, but felt sorry for the teachers to have to teach the kids with that much sugar on board.

as a side note here, oldest child has just dropped and broken ceramic paint-it-yourself piggy bank given as a gift from her teacher, after being told no less than five times to go and put the thing down and let it dry, which she ignored and kept carting in to "show me".   She is now sobbing, but one way to learn a lesson in 1. listening to mother's advice and 2. things break when you don't take due care.  (can you tell the sympathy levels are not high?!) lesson in life.

Anyhow, the cake was a success, consumed a good few hours before the dropped piggy bank debacle that has just occurred_MG_5782I think this photo conveys 1. she liked it and 2. the goofy stage she is going through! .

Enough cake remains for Dad to have a bit tonight when he gets home; tomorrow the true birthday will be celebrated with gifts and a swim and smoko at the creek down the road.

Thanks friends, for your advice last post, re other little gifts for the girl's birthday. Mission accomplished!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Help Needed

cute and inexpensive birthday gift ideas for daughters upcoming EIGHTH birthday.  Already purchased nintendo DS lite thing (plus a game and case), also have a nice "pearlie" book - some ideas for one or two other little girly things, please! (not including makeup, thank you!)

invite_top_half PS isn't this just gorgeous!  I know I've done the bunting thing before, but thought I would share this lovely take on the idea here, just in case you are also looking for inspiration!

And good news, have the cake for #8 sorted (well in my head anyhow) hopefully this year's won't be a contender for Cake Wrecks!

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Protection, Support and Preparation

A funny title, you might think.  But as I went to help my husband on Friday, having shipped the kids off to Granny for a sleepover (the man seizes every opportunity - won't let me potter around in peace at home, oh no!) I thought of these three things. Things that I deem essential when ones husband disrupts ones dreams of peaceful days at home alone, disrupts ones dreams of vegemite on toast and tall glasses of cold milk for tea, and getting a job done without any sort of interruption....sigh.

Anyhoo, on Friday The Husband demanded my assistance in transferring a rascally band of cows from point A to point B - a journey of some 14 odd kilometres (should one be travelling in a straight line at all times, which I most certainly did NOT).

Before I go further, I must point out that I did not take a camera, and even had I done so, I really wouldn't have had the chance to take any photographic masterpieces in any case...sigh. So today I thought I would illustrate with some old fashioned cowgirl pics. Surprisingly hard to find (well, for a G rated blog anyhow!) , and let me give you one other piece of advice: think carefully about your search words, innocuous as you might think, when you type in the word cowgirl and any other word combination. Don't say you weren't warned!


But back to the discussion in hand.

PROTECTION:  north west Qld in January = HOT, and SUNNY (with a slight chance of getting wet, if one is extremely fortunate).  HOT and SUNNY = bad news for this fair skinned individual.  So, at long last heeding the advice my father gave in my youth, I most certainly slip slop slap, and then some. Wide brimmed hat (in this case felt "cowboy" style hat, although I have been known to wear ones favourite old floppy fabric gardening hat on more than one occasion) long sleeved shirt (buttoned up to the top, unlike girlfriend above!), generous applications of SPF +++++, cotton neck scarf ( to further cover ones neck and when things are REALLY bad, face) and GLOVES.  Gloves not so much for protection ones delicate hands from rough work, but for the back of ones hands from the sun. Jeans and sunglasses - should the day be bright and sunny, and of course, boots (or joggers if one can't find where one last left darned boots!)

So thus attired, one is ready to mount ones steed, or in this case, four wheeled motorbike, whilst ones husband impatiently waits for the application of sunscreen (being of the notion that the stuff will kill him) and pulls on ones gloves. But Husband has learnt to be patient, or at the least hide impatience!  as wives have been known commit mutiny if ungratefulness for wives attendance is shown. ;-)


So, off we go, at speed, to the paddock, where the collection of rascally cows is commenced, and where the SUPPORT part comes into the equation. 

How shall I put this delicately?  Let me see...lets say, if one wants to retain any sort of bosomy pertness (should there be any left what so ever after three kids) one wears ones best and firmest undergarments. It might be highly amusing for ones Husband (and any cheeky male employees or helpers) to see one try to ride a motorbike one handed, whilst trying to prevent an uncomfortable jiggle and bounce with the other arm/hand, but its not amusing for the unhappy and unprepared person it is happening to (please excuse the bad grammar there, but I can't think of another way to explain it!) I don't think I need to elaborate any further on this matter?!

And while not covered by the topic of support, it falls under undergarments:  wearing hot jeans, sitting on ones bum on motorbike for hours and hours: leave the lacy little numbers at home. This will be the day that you will love your cotton granny knickers! ;-)

cowgirl-poster And so that brings us to the last bit, PREPARATION. And while you may think I have it all covered with the above topics...let me set you straight. When one's husband says "we won't be long" he is being very conservative, and one needs to be prepared for a very long outing.  A water bottle goes without saying, a portable snack or two (muesli bars and apples are a good choice)  are great for keeping ones blood sugar in the right place, as smoko time and lunchtime come and go, and most importantly, a few tissues or folds of toilet paper in ones pocket. Now I dunno about you, but after bearing three kids, a couple of hours bouncing around on the motorbike (plus the intake of water on a hot day) means sooner or later ones bladder is going to make itself known. You won't know how much you appreciate that little bit of forethought until the day you forget.

I must note that I wrote this blog post in my head when I was behind that mob of rascally cows, and of course, I couldn't remember the true lyrical eloquence that I thought up that day.  And no, a notebook didn't make it into my pocket, but perhaps I should add it to my mental list of essentials!

So there you go: protection, support and preparedness! 

See you next time with some office re-organising.  Well, more like tidying, and culling and spider chasing, but whatever you call it, it looks SO much better now. Hmm, without looking at the floor of course! ;-)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Light and fluffy

as I avoid folding that washing for just a bit longer!

Firstly, a link to Mel's blog where she is doing a series of Hooray for Holidays posts - HOORAY which has some great activities if your kids are starting to drive you nuts.  I just send mine outside and tell them to occupy themselves at the sandpit or something, but then, I'm a mean and neglectful mum.

Onto some light and fluffy, a collection of ideas I've gathered up recently for that "one day" when I get around to doing something creative.

577733552D91172D4a2b2D8a742D9fe0de9faf7eDSC5F6415Cute and simple, could work equally as well in a girlish colour way.  and I love how unfinished edges are cool and trendy now!

il_570xN_196541010This is a needle book!  a few felt hearts sewn back to back, with a bit of pretty on the front, and with an eyelet or grommet in the corner, held together with a jump ring. Now considering its a fairly major search and rescue event around here should I ever need a needle to sew on a button or, heaven forbid, need to hand mend something, this is probably something I should DO.  And go and buy a fresh packet of needles to install in it. 

Then I would probably have trouble finding the thread....oh well

photos 247I love this quilt idea too - you know how I love the strippy quilts, well add a ruffle and call me pretty!  But considering I still have that unwrapped roll of fabric strips still sitting quietly beside my sewing not start another project like this yet (OR I could scrounge up some matching fabric and do some ruffles as well!)

felt_tree   I'm into cute felt projects right now - and doesn't this tree fall under that category? not sure what purpose it would have if I made it though, and really, a project does have to have a purpose!

now, speaking of pillows (I wasn't actually, but anyhow) I was shopping for a nice little pillow to throw on our bed, to finish if off nicely. and match my new lovely green patterned doona cover.  And also, a pillow for the husband throw on the floor every night and grumble about. you know the sort!  however, I refuse to pay at least $40 for something that really has no practical purpose, so have resolved to make it myself. One day! ;-)  along these lines:



probably more like the first than the second, loose ruffles or something, no finished edges (the $60 one that I saw in the shop - but wasn't sneaky enough to take a photo of, although I shoulda on my phone and pretended I was texting - had the raw edged look).  I've got some cotton calico/canvas stuff stuffed in a plastic box somewhere that will be perfect. one day, one day....

anyhow, best get to that washing, apparently no one has knickers or pyjamas left.  Well, its all clean, its just they've forgotten how to look in that big walk in and find it wardrobe in the laundry! ;-)

can't stop watching

the coverage on TV, when I wrestle the remote away from the kids and change it off ABC kids, that is.


And while I question the statement that 75% of the state is flood affected (someone must have trouble with maths and maps! perhaps 75% of the POPULATION?) I don't question the hardship that the residents that were affected by the flash flooding are going through.

I do question, however, those that don't heed the warnings, further down the river systems.

Anyhow, I'll try to come back later with a post more cheerful, if not containing anything of substance, will be least light and fluffy!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Droughts and flooding rain

Well, it is the wet season, but normally southern areas of Queensland don't get this sort of rain. No doubt if you live in Australia you would have seen on the news the terrifying flash flooding that hit Toowoomba and the Lockyer Valley late yesterday afternoon and last night.

368339-toowoomba-torrent Scary scary stuff.  I can't find the photos I have seen on the news of houses (assuming rural) surrounded by raging brown water, lapping the roof gutters, as their owners sit on the roof, waiting for help.  I've heard that floodwaters were rising metres in SECONDS.


Go here for lots more information:  NINE NEWS.  Normally I am a channel seven girl through and through, but this morning found that Nine had far more up to date information. 

There has been lots of flooding in the central and further south parts of the state in the past few months - but flooding that people could more or less, be prepared for.  This is a different story, and I am sure by the end of it there will be a good number of more deaths, people having been washed away. What a nightmare.

We live in the north west of the state, and I feel safe in saying, although it is entirely possible that at some stage we could get large amounts of rain, and we may experience some flooding - but it will that of the slow, backed up, no where to go sort of flooding, and flash flooding is unlikely.

I will be changing the TV off ABC kids with regularity during the day, to keep up with how things are going. And I am pleased that I cleaned out a heap of un-needed clothing just a day or so ago, which is now sitting in garbage bags ready to go to Vinnies or the Salvos - I think it will be needed.

Saturday, January 8, 2011


no need for words!

_MG_5644 (3)_MG_5641_MG_5648actually I do have words

1. black puppies are SO cute, but very hard to photograph

2. love the sparkly fingernails holding the sleepy little puppies.

3. out of all the puppies to choose from, I do believe the girls picked the same one each for their photo!

4. freckles on that last kid's nose. And you should see the height of it now. Summer holidays = growth spurt for all three. Sigh. Also = more cupboard clean outs for mother.   

Friday, January 7, 2011

summer fun

An outing last Sunday:  could have stayed there for hours. Kids had a ball.  I took a few snaps, and then put the camera away and then plonked myself down.  It was just GORGEOUS.



And although it looked muddy in the photo, the water was clean (the water in this creek is always "stained" from the red dirt it runs through.

One way to wear em out!

The next day, we had another play date, at another creek, with their little cousin.

_MG_5663 You've seen this creek before, we've had several outing there in 2010, and more to come before school starts again I am sure! The water was about waist deep on the kids, in the photo they are sitting on the causeway.

Once again, I took a few snaps, and then put it away.  And paddled up stream, where I then instructed my second daughter to tow me back, while I floated behind her resting on a noodle. I do believe she found every rock to drag me across, by the wicked giggles coming from her.

Good times.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The Eve of New Years Eve

turned out to be quite a busy day, well to start off with anyhow!

Taken from an email I sent to a friend describing my morning, which my husband read, laughed and said, "it sounds so different to what happened when you've written it like that! it didn't seem so....funny the time!"

"early wake up call from husband (who got up early to go to work) to "relocate all of these puppies" that our old dog Sally - yes in pup AGAIN,  the tart - just had.  So I stagger out with sleep in my eyes, and collect SIX just born - still wet and slimy (and green - overdue!) little puppies and put them and Sally in the shed instead of the mesh floored dog pen.  Wash my hands, and go back to bed where I am joined by the boy. Who cries because his dad left and didn't wake him up for milo.

We just get settled in and drift off to sleep, when the phone rings....its The Husband - "come and get me, I've broken down, something something radiator something something" So I dig all kids out of bed, round up a non leaking receptacle to hold 20L of water, as instructed, and drive 30kms down the road to find husband waiting on side of road.  He pours in water, it goes straight back out again (insert lots of swearing) and so attach snatch strap to both vehicles and I tow The Husband the 30kms back to our house.  at 75km per hour. Sorry no photos!

Kids inspect puppies on our return, "mum you can't count, you know there are EIGHT?!!"   umm, so I look and fair enough, she has produced another two since I relocated her. Well, I'll be...."

The rest of the day proceeded in a more or less normal fashion, except with the mornings fun I forgot to let out the neighbours milking cow until lunchtime, and OF COURSE we had a shower of rain, the only one for the day, when I was riding the motorbike down the flat behind the cow.

Here is some evidence to support the morning's activities:

_MG_5600 One proud mama dog, with her little pile of EIGHT puppies.  Anyone for a stumpy tailed cattle dog?

_MG_5604 (2)One slightly grumpy husband removing busted radiator from his ute. 

Oh, and one more thing:  one gappy toothed daughter, posing in a tree" Mum, take a picture of me like I am climbing the tree!"

_MG_5617 (2)_MG_5613And I just found this one, of the boy and his "Sand Pit Escalator" which was requested of Santa (aka escavator). Santa had to contract out to Dad to make it, as it was a special order! ;-)

And that has pretty much covered the fun of the past few days/week - apart from a little late night last night, bringing in the New Year with a small group of friends, playing Balderdash and laughing ourselves silly.

Happy 2011 everyone. Hopefully I will be feeling a little more vim and vigour tomorrow and get into the New Year with a lot more energy that what I am feeling today!

A review

of the lead up to Christmas and its festivities:

_MG_5480 _MG_5483 _MG_5486There was/has been/IS a fair bit of this going on. And a lot of hosing of little muddy bodies out on the lawn before entering house precincts, and a fair bit of soaking muddy clothes in nappisan.

But seeing as it keeps em busy and happy and out from under my feet, I don't mind so much!

_MG_5499 (2) 

Quite a lot of present wrapping (with Santa's gifts being wrapped and presented in a totally different way to all of the others!) (that tag was glittery silver on the other side...cute!)

_MG_5521 (2) Setting the scene for our friends and family on Christmas Eve.

IMG_5550 The kids all gathered around the tree ready for the second round of present opening (we were mean and let them open a few each, and then they had to have breakfast and get dressed.  All before 8am!)

_MG_5569And no we didn't have this for breakfast, although it did feature on the menu a little later in the day! and boy was it good.IMG_5575 And when everyone went home, the boy played with his dad and the new set of kid sized cattle yards that his dad made for him. (and the boy also lined all of his new tractors up just so).

_MG_5580And I considered which one to read first on Boxing Day!

Happy New Year

I was going to do a quick pictorial post of the fun we've been having here over the past few days of 2010.

But at the moment I have three over tired and GRUMPY children that need to be dispatched to their beds for a nice LONG sleep, despite their bawling protests that they are "not tirrreeeed", after a late night running around playing with some little friends, while their parents quietly, but with great hilarity and hysterics, brought in the new year playing Balderdash.

hmm, perhaps a resolution for twenty-eleven might be to shorten the length of ones sentences.

Righto, I'll be back soon, once I have tied some kids to their beds.

Just joking.  I really wouldn't tie them down. Lock their doors maybe?


Other posts you might like...

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...