Friday, December 30, 2011

the house

I did a little overdue cleaning and tidying up of our house before Christmas (well, the living areas at least, the bedrooms need a good overhaul) and thought I would share it while it was all clean and tidy and not attacked by messy children.

The painter is nearly finished, and the little front verandah is one spot that feels very freshened up.

IMG_1778The walls are aluminium cladding that was pale insipid green, which has been painted over with the standard cream to match the rest of the house. The outdoor rug I had on the old boards has started to fall apart after just twelve months (so much for UV resistant!) so I borrowed the fake cow hide from Angus's room to cover the boards. I like it, even though it catches every bit of fluff and grass.

IMG_1790I moved in the outdoor setting from under the tree, threw on some new cushions I had bought in anticipation of the day the painting was done, and am so happy with how welcoming the little verandah is. Its a great place to sit and have a quiet coffee.

IMG_1815   This basically, is the rest of our small, but roomy square shaped house. In the last post you would have seen the bums on the stool at the kitchen bench, which is the right of the dining table in this photo. This is one big room, kitchen/dining/lounge, with the kids bedrooms those two blue doors to the left, and the bathroom the yellow door on the top right.

In my cleaning and tidying I obviously never looked UP and cleaned away that box on of the glass cabinet. Oh well, I'm short, can't see it most of the time ;-)

So there you have it, where we spend most of our time....

Thursday, December 29, 2011

where's wally

meet the newest member of the family

IMG_1746the son of Alfie, my mums' dog, Rugby League followers of the late 80's and 90's will 'get' the name choice.

He is extremely cute, lovable and happy. Apart from that first night away from his mum.

IMG_1929Its exhausting being so cute and harassing the cat, pig and big dog, playing with the kids and generally being  very important and sneaking in the house whenever he can. 

Fingers crossed his life expectancy is higher than the last JR pup that came to our place. His temperament is vastly calmer and not as bolshy (far more trainable and tractable) and kids are very aware of how easy it is for a little animal to be trod on or run over. Yesterday when we sorting out the horses he kept getting underneath them all (everyone holding their breath at once) so they stuck a milk crate over the top of him and sat on it!

IMG_1762Yes, he is fitting in just fine, like he has always been here. And the novelty of saying "where is wally?" has yet to wear off ;-)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

all over til next year

the paper has been collected and binned, cardboard boxes and packaging rounded up, nerf gun bullets lost and found again by the dozen. Christmas 2011 done and is a little pictorial tale of the past few days of fun.

IMG_1814the kids helping dad roll rum balls. And eat them too apparently! (I use plain crushed biscuits, the standard coconut and cocoa and condensed milk, a hefty dash of rum, and this year instead of mixed fruit I used dates that I processed. Can't really taste the dates in the finished product but it DOES make them yum yum yummy.  I ended up processing the whole lot in the food processor, which with the voice of experience I would recommend doing only one batch at a time, instead of a double batch)

IMG_1819  Some of them prettied up in a glass jar from the discount store with brownies for gift giving.


the table set for Christmas morning tea with my family...

IMG_1843 continuing down the simplistic route, I plonked some festive coloured flowers from the garden in little glass bottles and called it done. Added food...(more was added after I took this photo, slices and other yummies from the fridge)

IMG_1853 The kids were VERY excited about the parcels under the tree...

IMG_1834 after being sent back to bed around daylight (which is rather early in these parts) and allowed up at a more reasonable and sustainable hour given the big day ahead.

IMG_1836I think he was excited about what Santa brought him, a topic of much discussion and thought over the past few weeks.

IMG_1872This is my youngest brother. He obviously got up that morning and thought, self, lets dress like a clown today. I enquired whether there was a jacket to match and thank goodness, it isn't. He is a bit of a clown so I guess it probably was an appropriate outfit.

After we caught up with my family and ate ourselves a bit silly, we headed out to Trevor's parents property for more of the same. More gifts (thoughtful and fun) and more food. More groaning bellies. More photos.

IMG_1896all of the grandkids, including the newest little bundle, just 26 days old. obviously a bit squinty and glary for the monkeys in the front row.... 

and then, before dark, with poddies and puppies and pigglies to feed, and some tired droopy kidlets...we packed up and came home. And had toast for tea.

Christmas for another year over and done. How was yours?

Friday, December 23, 2011



The other day we had to move some cows down at the prickle farm, and walked the cows up the laneway. At the end of the lane, as the cows were filing in, The Husband spotted these:

IMG_1695 VERY HARD to see, these are plover eggs, and the only reason he noticed them as he saw where the parent bird had been sitting (this is THE nest, just a little indentation on the ground, with a bit of old cow poo scratched up) when the cows came past. The bird sat on her eggs, making a warning noise at the cows, and the cows just walked around. Not until the motorbike arrived did she move away, dragging her wings and attempting to draw us away after her.

Can you see how easy it would be to NOT ever see them? This is the first time ever I have seen their eggs, even though I have seen many plover birds doing the wounded act over the years.

IMG_1697Aren't they beautiful?! and a really big egg for a bird that isn't so big, they are about a large chook egg in size. The plover isn't nearly as big as a chook!


We rode away a bit and waited, and the parent bird came back to his/her eggs and settled back down.  I think this is a pretty big batch of eggs, normally I've only ever seen one or two babies running about with the parents. We will have to go back again - they live near the water square so are easy to find - to see how many babies hatched out!

I'll keep you posted!


these came in the mail the other day, a lovely gift from a lovely friend.


Given that I went the lazy simplistic route this year and simply used some branches pruned from the mulberry tree, decorated with lights and just one pack of bells, they have added a sweet touch to their branches.

The kids are a little disappointed that the green plastic monstrosity has not come out of storage, along with the tinsel and the other tree paraphernalia, but they will get over it. Santa will still find them!

IMG_1660Although sometimes when I do look at it, simple does look a bit on the too-modern-for-this-house style!

The kids got all excited about the presents under the tree, until they realised that a good deal of them are not for them but in fact for friends and family! I am mean like that! but they do look all pretty wrapped up.

And so the countdown continues....just two more sleeps!

Thursday, December 22, 2011

the horses are in

part of the summer holidays is bringing in to our place the kids horses for them to ride; after the first storms we have grass in our small paddocks.  The kids were excited, and all had to have a ride. Given that mum didn't feel like saddling horses at the time, and only one horse has a physique suitable for bare back riding, they had to take turns.

IMG_1574We wish we could clone this champion fellow, we all love Ben.

IMG_1580Although not so sue that Ben loves Georgie with this kicking style being applied! Perhaps a career in bareback buckjump riding might be pursued with a style like that!

IMG_1594This girl is far more sedate and happy to go at a slower pace, with the other pony joining the little walk around the paddock.

IMG_1624and this one had to put up with poddies joining the procession too. Tis a good thing Ben is indeed quiet, as before I could blink at one point Ralph walked straight under Ben's belly. Better men than this boy have been dumped from calves going under horses, but then again, Ben is pretty special.

IMG_1626and doesn't blink an eyelid at kids catching half dead tadpoles at his feet....

IMG_1628or little boys trying out a new style of planking, vertical style ;-) All in a days work for Ben!

He is also a believer in rewarding himself for his efforts, breaking in the feed shed and giving himself a nice treat, leaving a nice mess in return. Gates and sheds have to be well and properly shut and secured with Ben and his mate on the premises.  But its a small price to pay.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

to be jolly

good tidings for 2011clowns they are.

Holidays seem to be slipping away at a rapid rate, its nearly christmas and our fourth week? and we seem to have done nothing much at all! Well, I guess the kids have swum and sleep overed and swum and played...but me, I've achieved nuffin'.

Oh well, what's new.

Not many more sleeps now!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

the season

I am not up to date with anything musical these days, its just one of those things that isn't a priority. That said I do love music (whilst not being able to sing in tune, I can play the piano, and am rhythmical, which is not a talent my husband, or it seems my oldest daughter, posses.) Amy put me onto some lovely music from Eva Cassidy and I am hooked. And with Silent Night being one of my favourite carols ever, I just had to share.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

summer days

with glammed up cowgirls (sequinned hairband used as a hatband, she thinks she is a genius! She is such a girly girl!)

IMG_1530swimming in the felt hats, which probably isn't a great idea, but I just couldn't stand seeing them in the burny hot sun without a hat on their heads...

IMG_1534even though they were in the water (notice the new bash on her hat, she did it herself with specific instructions of how it was to be when she needed some help)

IMG_1545And seeing as they spent as much time OUT of the water, exploring and looking for aquatic critters, I felt justified in making them keeping their hats on.

IMG_1552Its a good thing that there isn't a lot of traffic in this part of the world!

IMG_1565 For some reason I am feeling rather mentally refreshed today ;-)

Ah, a an hour or so with the kids by the creek, before dropping them off at granma's for a sleepover; breakfast this morning in peace...hmm, that might have something to do with it! Anyhow best get cracking and make the most of this child free time, which may or may not include some christmas present wrapping!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

found on the fridge

after one too many things was stuck under a magnet and the whole lot came flapping down.

I knew this was there, I look at it often, wistfully, looking at our much younger how things have changed in nearly nine years. And how much older do we feel and look :-(

2003 sharon kate trevor at mowbrayas you can see the photo has been very well loved, and I thought it was about time it got scanned, as of course this was in the days before I owned a digital camera.

We were at an aunt's birthday party in the Port Douglas hinterland. Kate was only about 6 weeks old and this was our first big trip away as new parents (I believe we went to her six week check up on the way home) I also remember she slept through the night for the very first time when we stayed at my grandmother's house. Perhaps that is why I am looking so fresh!

I wish I knew where that dress was. Probably long gone, passed along to someone else. I wish I still FIT into that dress.

And I can't wear a short hair cut like I used to either.

Now, should I put this back on the fridge? Or drag out some other old and equally depressing photo?! :-)

Monday, December 12, 2011

new additions

many many new additions to the menagerie:

IMG_1513 MIL, faced with a population explosion and a need to reduce numbers, scooped into her pond and sent these home with me recently.

After a night in cramped quarters in the goldfish bowl, and a morning waiting for their new home to be prepared, they made themselves comfy. These are Guppies. Not sure what else they are called, but they are little fish, that come in all sorts of colours - pretty orange and blue ones as you can see here.

IMG_1514I did a little recycling, and made use of a pool pump that had recently expired, taking the business bits of it out and using it to hold a water plant, and provide some shelter for the little fishes.

Its quite additive, sitting and peering into the water, watching them swim around.

I am hoping that I haven't however provided a new menu option for birds and kitties around the garden!

Sunday, December 11, 2011


its fairly obvious I am pretty bad at remembering plant names (it could be my memory in general actually, sigh...) I think this could be a cassia? whatever, its pretty. Most unattractive tree when its NOT flowering, but stunning when it is (and this photo? completely unedited, apart from sharpening for web)

IMG_1373Very much in summer holiday mode here, with very little being accomplished. I really need to get out of that mode, but its a struggle. Also struggling to find Christmas Cheer - so far we have only one dodgy stick/branch Christmas tree up, adorned with fairy lights and one packet of bells, and fairy lights on the front fence. That is the extent of our Christmas decorating thus far. (my poor children! i guess my slackness is taking some of the excitement out of christmas for them...sigh)

best go and put on some Bing Crosby and try to find the spirit of the season.

Friday, December 9, 2011

please do excuse us

we are otherwise occupied

IMG_1444with summer school holidays....

IMG_1394and a bonus for us is that the wet season has started a little early, so there are plenty of summer time water based activities to enjoy....

IMG_1425even though mum does insist on taking charming shots like these instead of letting them run amok, running in the horses on foot (not :-) the horses were fooling about just as much as the kids)

IMG_1438    or  attempting to break ones legs crossing grids (I am actually liking the sun flare a lot, underlines the summer feel does it not?!)


So you will know why you might not see me around here much, we'll be out and about enjoying the water and the lazy summer days.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

school breakup

Up here in northwest Queensland, we broke up for the school year on the 2nd December. We celebrated on the second last day of school with a visit from Santa and the kids school play.

IMG_1263Santa obviously had left his good black boots at home, and had to come in his elastic sided blundstone work boots. Quite scandalous. This did not stop the kids from taking their gifts from him of course.

IMG_1268Santa in previous years had arrived in a slight intoxicated state, however this year he learnt the error of his ways and took the role very seriously. Only one child bailed and bellowed in terror!

The kids did a play based on Roald Dahl's poem Cinderella. With a high portion of boys in the school, some cross dressing was required. Can you pick the boys?!



And just to mix things up, girls become Kings, and a twist in the plot saw little prep boys become Farmer Frank.


One critic (and it must be made clear she was not paid, nor was a parent!) reviewed the play thus: was so very impressed by the theatre presentation the kids put on at the school break up last night - it was "world class"... they should be selling tickets! the handsome (albeit somewhat bogan) Prince cut off the heads of the ugly step sisters when they betrayed him with a phony slipper. Cinderella was so unimpressed by his behaviour that she ran off with Farmer Frank instead...

Next stop Broadway?!

Tuesday, December 6, 2011


there are two trees that are on the top of my list as breathtaking in flower. One is the Jackaranda, and the other is this:

IMG_1209They are probably related, this is the Poinsettia

IMG_1212 And its at this time of year that I wonder where in my yard I could possibly fit a tree of this size (don't worry, I have eyes on the back paddock and vision of a row of them)

But until then, I have to enjoy them in other peoples back yards!

IMG_1216I'll be popping down to grab some seeds off the tree in due course ;-)

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