Monday, April 7, 2014
A friend passed on some photos last week of SH from a game fishing trip while we were living in Broome. I hadn't seen them for a long long time but they bring back such memories. I am sure SH and his mate Ian are sitting back somewhere sharing a beer and reminiscing about the ones that didn't get away! How lucky we are they had this opportunity before they were both lost far too soon and how lucky we are to be bake to share these memories.
Sunday, April 6, 2014
I am off to see my girl and my sister and her family! SH and I had planned a trip for last October and even though the $ would be better off in the bank I am using them as intended and doing the trip we had planned. Lots of planning involved but it is all starting to come together....
Saturday, March 1, 2014
I feel like I am starting to get somewhat organised in the kitchen now. Last weekend I picked up pots of coriander, basil, parsley and mint which look lovely in a basket in my kitchen. Now that I am using my Thermomix I am using a lot more of the fresh ingredients. Also managed an orange cake and a cuppa or two! Wonder what I achieve tomorrow ?
Monday, February 17, 2014
How lucky is the 'horsey' one? At the very last minute she was asked to join a school trip for this half term as someone had pulled out. All expenses paid! Means she is currently skiing in Bulgaria for a week ! She will have a lifetime of memories from these two years. Let's hope she stays safe as she has never done any snow sports before! Lucky I took that out on her insurance!
Sunday, February 16, 2014
It is nice to be acknowledged. I attended a morning tea on Friday at the school where I work in the boarding house to receive the first of my long service awards. Five years is acknowledged with half a dozen school wine glasses. Stable staff in the boarding house make a big difference, can't see myself leaving anytime soon so may even make a ten year award!
Saturday, February 15, 2014
Friday, February 14, 2014
I am well known for my dubious tv viewing and my current choices are no different! Day off today and along with the normal chores was a little bit of tv catch up. Biggest loser ( my home town, that is my excuse for watching ) , My Kitchen rules, So you think you can dance and my favorite at the moment The Winter Olympics, Go Aussies, Go Norway! I watch astounded at what these athletes can do, all looks very coordinated, scary and dangerous to me! The other 2 shows I am enjoying on Foxtel are Mother of the bride and Meet the frockers. Anyone else admit to watching any of these??
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Luckily starting my new budget I had a little bit of fun money tucked away. I needed it when I found these in the window of my favorite kitchen shop. They are flower ceramic measuring cups and spoons by Anna Gare . They make me smile and just had to come home with me. Probably very impractical but so pretty. I am going to enjoy using them :)
Wednesday, February 12, 2014
I have always wanted to belong to a book club! During morning tea at work one day I discovered another girl felt the same and so our book club was born. We are meeting every second month. Tonight was our second meeting and the first to actually discuss a book ( the first time we just planned the format, sort of! ). The first book to read was The Rosie Project and we all enjoyed it. All of us know someone just like Don! The next book is going to be The Book Thief, surprisingly few of us have already read it. It suits one of us in particular who plans just to watch the movie. It is so nice getting to spend time together outside work, make new friends, laugh and an incentive to do more reading .
Tuesday, February 11, 2014
Sorry another food photo today! This weeks new Thermie recipe, another pasta dish ' Creamy tomato fettuccine' . Once again clean plates and even requests for seconds. Best thing my salad hating, veggie loathing, meat loving HS did not know that it contained onion, zucchini, capsicum, fresh tomatoes . I did add chorizo for him. Will be having this again!
Monday, February 10, 2014
In the fruit bowl this morning were a few bananas that were well past their prime, a casualty of the heat, so after work tonight I turned them into the banana and choc chip bread on the cover of the latest Super Food Ideas magazine. Instead of opening a new packet of choc chips I improvised and used the equivalent measure in heat affected maltesers. Delicious! Very happy with my invention.
Sunday, February 9, 2014
I am a townie. I am not a city girl and definitely not a country girl. I panic if a road becomes narrow and if it becomes dirt I have palpitations , and there are no words to describe the nausea that sweeps me if I have to go through water. I however have the utmost respect and admiration for country people, for the work they do and the love for their lifestyle. If they didn't love it they wouldn't do it, the hours and hours of back breaking work sometimes for little return. A lot of farmers are now in the midst of a terrible terrible drought. They have had little or no rain. They are running out of water, they are running out of feed and if they can source feed or water the price is exorbitant and they just don't have the money. The livestock they love is dying in front of their eyes. They need help, they need awareness, they did not ask for this, no matter what plans they had in place they have run out now, it has gone on for too long. I am a townie, I am uneducated in these matters but I know people are hurting and the run on effect will hurt us all. SH was a rural financial counsellor for his last few years. This is a not for profit organisation who go in and try to help those farmers in financial trouble, sometimes they can liase with financial organisations on the farmers behalf, listen and suggest sometimes the hard alternatives, refer on to other organisations. Although he found it in some ways the most rewarding work he had done it was also the most heartbreaking and stressful and he always brought it home with him. Mental health and suicide are real and happening. Often the farmers can see no light at the end of the tunnel. At one forum he heard of a farmers wife who shopping with a neighbor sourced towells at an op shop to make sanitary towells for the four female members of the family to use each month, this is happening in Australia the lucky country. Let's hope the government step in with some drought relief sooner rather than later and let's all say a prayer for our friends and family trying to survive on the land.
Saturday, February 8, 2014
On the Australia Day weekend Mum and I decided to have lunch and catch up and thought we would try somewhere on our 'one day' list which is how we found ourselves at the Ampitheatre Hotel. In its time it would of been a bustling town but now blink and you may miss it! The Hotel isn't being run as such anymore , more as b & b accomodation and a cafe using locally sourced products open only on weekends, public holidays and some limited weekday hours. It is hard to say quite what style it is decorated in, a little retro, vintage, nouveau, really a eclectic mix. There is an assortment of rooms to sit in but on this beautiful summer day he suggested we sit on the 'tropical patio' which we did. The only things tropical about it were the fresh air and the wooden pineapple serviette holder but it was very pleasant. The menu is limited but delicious. They have won awards for their ice cream, most made with some type of liqueur . For dessert I had the Salted caramel waffles, oh my, I would go back again for them alone! An odd place but worth a visit and a lovely day out.
Friday, February 7, 2014
I had a very rare day off work today and had a list written of jobs to achieve. Because it was going to be hot I planned to do my housework this morning then some time out this afternoon to catch up on some magazines and nanna napping! I think planning my day was my mistake! At 7 am I realised I had a major plumbing issue in the bathroom, very unpleasant. Rang the plumbers at 8am who were here half an hour later and were able to fix the problem although it did take quite a while and by then my schedule had gone by the wayside! Oh well there is always tomorrow......
Thursday, February 6, 2014
Wednesday, February 5, 2014
As part of the new organised me I am planning to make two new recipes a week. One a general one and one a Thermomix one. Last night for dinner in the Thermomix I made Pasta e fagioli. Something I would not normally serve up and I did wonder how it would go down with my meat loving son but adding bacon sweetened the deal. We did decide next time we would add chorizo for the extra flavor instead. I am enjoying cooking from scratch and playing with ingredients (like the borlotti beans) that I wouldn't generally use.
Tuesday, February 4, 2014
25 years ago today I married my best friend full of hope and dreams for the future. We look so young and I am rocking the spiral perm! What wonderful memories we have made over the years and raised two amazing young adults. These are what gets me through as my heart breaks all over again every single day ......
Monday, February 3, 2014
Another of my resolutions / getting organised this year is getting back into my craft. It makes me happy and relaxed so not sure why it has not happened for a very long time. Luckily for my budget I am in no danger of having to spend any money on fabric any time soon . This block of the month has been gathering dust and sadly there is the following years barely started as well! The plan is to quilt, stitch or crochet at least 3 times a week until it becomes a habit again. Now to decide what to work on first!
Sunday, February 2, 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014
Well January was a month of working full time due to staff shortages, some small home renovations, hot weather ( without air conditioning ) and being very unorganised! I often say my year runs from February to November! December and January are lost causes. Anyway my weekend is revolving around getting ready for the month ahead. Not sure how successful I will be but here's trying. A lot of today was spent organising my new budget, in a book, the old fashioned way, just how I like it ! The last few months I have just bumbled through but that has to stop. I have gone from two wages to one part time one and life is going to have to change. It is doable but will require some discipline. All set up so let's see how we go! A few places to make easy cuts so that is a good start.
I saw an idea on either a blog or Facebook at some stage, no idea where sorry, of the 52 week envelope. Each week for the year you put the corresponding dollars in the envelope, ie. wk 1 $1, wk 10 $10, wk 52 $52. The amount you end up with at the end of the year was extraordinary for little effort . I have started so figure that is enforced savings for Christmas.
Please tell me I am not the only one to budget!
And in closing please take a few minutes to check your Superannuation plan as to whether it has death cover or illness cover, take out some life insurance and think seriously about income insurance. We had the forms but they were on the 'to do' pile and was expensive for a 'just in case' scenario.by the time we knew we needed this it was too late, SH's super would of been fantastic when he retired in another 20 years but was sadly lacking in our circumstances. I think our financial advisor let us down terribly but at the end of the day it was our responsibility to ensure we had the right cover, we found out the hard way we didn't :(
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
The week before the 'horsey' one came home at Christmas she had an adventure with a difference. The school she is at in the UK has an association with a charity Affecting Real Change and has projects in Gambia in Africa and in India. They take groups of students each year to work on these and a limited amount of the Gap students get an opportunity to accompany them. The 'horsey' one went on a trip to Gambia and had a rewarding week but one that opened her eyes to the conditions that other people live in. They were divided into 3 groups, one worked at the hospital cleaning and painting children's wards, they saw children with terrible burns and illnesses. The other 2 groups worked at a school, one group putting windows into a classroom and the 'horsey' ones group preparing for a new toilet block. In the hot sun they dug with shovels and picks a hole 2.5 m deep for a new septic to go in. She said the hardest part was getting the dirt out of the hole as it got deeper. They then mixed concrete and made bricks by hand that will form the building. The rest of it will be completed by others but they made a difference getting that done. They slept in a classroom on a concrete floor. She said they were ok, they had food to eat and water to drink and these purchases helped the community but she realised the children from the school were not so lucky. Although these kids have nothing they are always smiling and happy, a lesson we could all take on board. Another amazing opportunity she has had. I am so proud of her.
Monday, January 6, 2014
I am home alone this week ( or almost, still 2 cats and 2 dogs here!) , 'horsey' girl is back in the UK and HS and his dog Bella have set off to NSW for the week on a hunting trip. He was so excited ! Not my thing but as I don't have to go guess it doesn't matter! Will be happy to have him home safely next Sunday.
Sunday, January 5, 2014
Saturday, January 4, 2014
For Christmas the kids, Mum and I ran away to Broome to stay with special friends. We had wonderful memories of Christmas from the years we lived in Broome so somehow it seemed just right. The ' horsey' one flew in there from the UK and the freezing cold! It was a Christmas of warmth, sun, friendship, good food, sparkling Shiraz, champagne, cocktails, fishing, mud crabs, camel rides, sunsets, Broome style boab Christmas tree, cyclone Christine, Matso's brewery and swimming. It was lovely and so nice to be together.
I can highly recommend Broometown b & b, best accommodation ever!
Friday, January 3, 2014
At 3.30am this morning my girl headed off back to the UK for another 12 months of adventure. In the last month she has crossed numerous time zones and experienced all weather conditions, UK to Gambia in Africa, back to the UK, to Sydney, Perth, then Broome to Melbourne, Hamilton, Robe and back to the airport again! A whirlwind 10 days home but oh so nice to have her here but so much harder saying goodbye this time .....
Thursday, January 2, 2014
At the beginning of December I took delivery of Thermie! A purchase not made lightly and without a lot of thought over about 18 months. With the silly season I have not used it an awful lot yet, often days on end just making my morning juice but I am determined during 2014 to try a new recipe in it each week. I made this flourless chocolate almond torte yesterday to take out for dinner last night. Super easy ,satisfying making your own almond meal for it and so nice having chocolate ganache with no lumps!