Wednesday, December 24, 2008

On Christmas Eve...

When else can you enjoy milk, mince pies & shortbread for breakfast..??

Yesterday Matilda and Myles wanted to bake so they made shortbread...and did a fantastic job of it too. This morning was pretty relaxed here...we lounged around and watched an absolute favourite DVD...The Princess Bride. I think I have seen it at least 20 times but just love it every time I watch.

Time to get showered and dressed and get on with food preparations for tomorrow.

Monday, December 22, 2008


Last night when perusing the wine cellar John noticed that a bottle of Penfold's Grange Hermitage was somewhat rusty around the top. On further investigation he noticed that it had leaked slightly.

From Nick's Wine Merchants website...

"Penfolds Grange is without doubt one of Australia's and the world's most famous wines. From humble beginnings in the 1950's, Grange has maintained its place as Australia's most prestigious red wine over four decades and lead the charge of Australian wines onto the world market. Today, it is a wine of international fame challenging the First Growths of Bordeaux as the Worlds best. And like the First Growth wines of Bordeaux such is the reputation of Grange that each vintage is eagerly awaited by collectors both in Australia and overseas...

...Penfolds Grange is the benchmark against which all other Australian red wines are judged. To share a mature Grange, 15 to 20 years old in fine condition is one of the great wine experiences."

Of course it couldn't have been any old run of the mill everyday drinking red wine could it..?? It had to be the ultimate Australian red wine.

Hoping against hope we opened it this evening to enjoy with a pasta dinner. Sadly it had turned, the nose was very much like methylated spirits and it had turned a nasty brown colour.

I have just checked the Penfolds website...1995 Grange is now worth $499.00/bottle


Think I'll keep that information to myself.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Five Questions...

I have taken part in a Meme with a difference...

Ian from Single Parent Dad "interviewed" me and here are his questions and my answers

1. Your partner was widowed, did this make you more or less reluctant to get into a relationship with him?

Hmmm, something I have never really thought about really. I was looking for a man who understood what it was like to be a sole parent, preferably 24/7 and not the every second weekend variety. John speaks of his wife with warmth and compassion and doesn't put her on a pedestal or eulogise her. I really like that. He speaks of her from time to time, never inappropriately and if I have any questions I am able to ask and have them answered. I was also glad that I wasn't the first woman John had been involved with after Dianne died. He and the boys all grieve in different ways, he for the partner and mother of his children, Josh had her in his life for 10 years and remembers her very well, Myles was very young when she died and doesn't really remember her at all. He says he sometimes does but isn't sure whether they are real memories or whether he has constructed them from what people have told him and photographs.

I guess the answer to this question is neither, not more or less reluctant, he was just the right man to come my way.

2. Will you be spending any part of Christmas day on the beach?

Quite possibly, yes...the forecast for Christmas Day here is 31C (that's 88F). We live very close to the beach and spend a bit of time there. It depends on how sleepy we all are after Christmas lunch...I always love a siesta afterwards. We have a swimming pool so that may suffice but a beach walk would be great too.

3. Who is your money on for the 2009 Ashes?

I barrack for anyone but Australia in any cricket match they play. They are far too smug and superior and I love to see them beaten. So I guess my money is on England, especially at home.

4. How frightened were you of your recent back surgery and have you been righted?

Truthfully...I was terrified. In fact my blood pressure was rather high on the morning of surgery. There were hours of waiting around before going into theatre which made it even more anxiety ridden. I was never so glad to get onto the operating table and be put under anaesthetic as I was that day, such a relief. It was good to wake up, even better to feel that there was no pain, burning or numbness in my legs and feet...there had been for the last 18 months.

The surgery has been successful, although today I have been having a bit of back pain but probably because I have been overdoing it...I need anti-inflammatory medication and rest. The surgeon tells me that it will take 6-9 months for the fusion to set completely and that I can expect some intermittent pain so until then I can't make a definitive statement about it's success but it's looking good thus far.

5. What was the last thing to genuinely make you laugh out loud?

Our cats...we have two lunatic Burmese cats, Leo & chocolate brown and the other red. They get along incredibly well for two unrelated male cats that were thrust together. Every morning there's a huge bout of rough & tumble...always guaranteed to raise a belly laugh.

Want to be part of it?

Follow these instructions:

1. Leave me a comment saying, "Interview me."

2. I will respond by emailing you five questions. I get to pick the questions.

3. You will update your blog with the answers to the questions.

4. You will include this explanation, a link to this post and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.

5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Running Away From Home...

Bit of a lazy post today...I found this clip yesterday while checking out another and just loved it. It's too good to keep to myself. I enjoyed it even more when I discovered the boy's name was Magnus...I have a special little friend also named Magnus who is quite like this boy...thoughtful, very smart & has an original answer for everything.


Matilda gets home from Noumea this really looking forward to seeing her and hearing her travel stories...if running true to form she will not stop talking for many hours then fall in a tired heap. No doubt she will be quite exhausted, she will have had a week of very late nights (she usually needs 9-10 hours sleep each night) and very full days. We have no plans for tomorrow and are planning a gentle is the last day of school here in Queensland and students are "encouraged" not to attend...the schools cannot officially condone taking the last day off however do not mind if the students do not attend. I love the Summer break, 6-7 weeks off school and no real plans. Matilda and Myles will probably both travel to Victoria to spend time with their grandparents in the New Year, if only Josh would go away too then John & I could have a "holiday" here at home.

Hmmmm...that means it's my last child free day at home alone today for some time...better make the most of it. Might get some Christmas shopping in.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho...not long to go...

I have been a little absent this week, have had to lay low as I have had some unusual back pain. Am off to see my surgeon on Friday but in the meantime I have to rest as much as I can.

Yesterday I planned our Christmas lunch menu...sat on the sofa with a number of magazines & books. We usually do a lovely breakfast (croissants, smoked salmon and cream cheese, preserves, raspberries & cream and a fruit platter with juices, sparkling wine and lots of coffee) and then one main meal for the day, served around 3pm or so...there are lots of leftovers if anyone happens to get hungry.

This year our menu is...


Oysters with Wasabi, Soy & Sesame Dressing
Tiger Prawns
Moreton Bay Bugs
Lemon Aioli


Roast Loin of Pork with Apple & Sage Stuffing
Barbecues Salmon with Mango & Coriander Salsa
Roast Duckling with Sour Cherries
Ham off the Bone


Crispy Rosemary Potatoes
Roasted Tomato & Red Onion Salad
Asparagus with Lime Butter
Wild Rice & Cranberry Salad
Mixed Green Salad (greens from our garden)


Poached Champagne Peaches
Christmas Trifle

To be served with the appropriate wines of course. I'll also probably make a festive punch for those not drinking alcohol.

It seems ridiculous to me to do the whole hot roast dinner when living in the sub-tropics. It will quite probably be around 28-32C (82-90F) here on Christmas Day so the meal needs to be adapted to suit the climate. I'll cook the pork, duck, salmon and potatoes in the barbecue out on the back verandah to keep the house cooler and to give me some space. It can still remain very festive & special. Many families eat outdoors or have a Christmas barbecue or picnic, a very sensible idea indeed.

After lunch we will quite probably either sleep or swim in the pool, possibly both.

Just once in my lifetime though I'd love to do the white Christmas thing in a cold climate.

Just as a side note...last weekend John was shopping and saw legs of ham that had been reduced in price. He thought they were very reasonable so decided to purchase one. When he got to the checkout the ham scanned at the original price so he was lucky enough to get it free of charge. Have to love the Scanning Code of Conduct, don't you...??? It was around $45.00 worth of ham, free of charge.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Leaving On A Jet Plane...

No more sleeps Mum...!!!

Matilda is off to Noumea this afternoon with her school French class...!!! How exciting are school excursions these days.. ?? I remember flying to Tasmania from Melbourne in Year 10 and that was a really big deal. They will be staying at the Hotel Le Pacifique and will need to use their French language skills at every opportunity. Matilda will spend one night with Ondine, (the New Caledonian exchange student we had stay with us for a week in August), and her family. The highlight of the trip is a visit to Amedee Island where they will get a chance to snorkel gorgeous coral reefs and view the fish, rays and sharks, eat an amazing feast and get a chance to watch/participate in local dancing. The kids have a reasonable amount of free time for beaching, lounging by the pool and shopping (doing a mild panic here hoping she has enough cash). One of Matilda's life dreams has been to swim in crystal clear blue, travel brochure style water...I think she is going to be able to realise this dream while away, how special.

It's been a long countdown for her and her friends Maddy & Anwen...they began the countdown at 303 days to go...reaching 100 was a big deal then quite suddenly we were in single figures.

I have to admit to feeling a little wistful and envious. You see, I was to go too as one of the parent escorts. By about September though it became apparent that my back would not allow me to travel, either if I had had the surgery or would have been a very difficult trip for me to make given their itinerary. Very reluctantly I had to cancel.

The bags are almost packed...
Passport in hand...
South Pacific Francs purchased...
Host family gifts purchased...

Now all we have to do is wait...and wait...until 4.30pm. It could be a long afternoon.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Just Being...

Yesterday morning Matilda and I had to be out of the house early to get her to a Cheerleading display she was participating in. After dropping her off I went in search of coffee and the newspaper and a quiet, shady spot to spend an hour or so reading. I found a beautiful park, sat in the shade and wound the car windows down so the breeze would waft through...put a favourite CD on and just drifted for a while.

After she was finished I wasn't ready to go home, wanted more of that relaxed time I had spent alone so we headed to Kangaroo Point Cliffs...right on the Brisbane River. The City of Brisbane has set up this public space to be used by the community for rock climbing and abseiling. I guess they figured that people would use it anyway, they just made it more attractive and much safer by adapting the top of the cliffs. I really love the positive development of this public space.

The view from this part of the river in both directions is spectacular, to the east there is the city and Storey Bridge, to the west there is South Bank, the new Brisbane Star Observation Wheel and GoMA (the Gallery of Modern Art). We found a seat just for two in the shade and just sat and watched the world pass by on the river. CityCats passed every 10 minutes or so, I love that Brisbane uses it's waterway as a means of public transport that costs very little to use (Melbourne could certainly learn a lesson or two here), the trip from the University of Queensland to Brett's Wharf is a fantastic way to spend an hour or two, you can get on and off as you wish...there are a number of beautiful parks along the route as well as the Powerhouse Arts has a great cafe overlooking the river and lots of fun, free activities for children.

We didn't venture down the steps right to the river, sculpture gardens and maze...I'm not quite up to that many steps yet, 3-4 is my limit at present but that's improving all the time. We just sat, chatted and let the river breeze pass us by...we also took some "Thelma & Louise" style photos with my phone, a moment or two of silliness...we'd wave to the CityCat passengers just to see how many would wave back. I'd post the pics but cannot for the life of me find the software that I need to install before I can upload them to the PC.

I really enjoy the time Matilda and I spent together away from the rest of the family...there was just the two of us for almost 13 years and we did so much together. I think it's important to find time to spend like that. We don't have to "do" anything, we spent far too much time "doing" and not enough time just "being". We couldn't have done it if Myles were with us yesterday, he wouldn't have had the patience to just sit...he'd have had to have been up and down the steps, climbing the huge Moreton Bay Fig behind us or just wanting to get going. It made it an even more special time for Matilda and I...she gets just being.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008


I have just been to the best dental practice ever. I have been quite dentist phobic (and not just about the costs involved) since I had some teeth removed when I was about eight...I can still feel the dental nurse sitting across me in the chair, pinning down my arms and legs while the dentist was administering the anaesthetic, I recall screaming blue murder and thrashing around. Waking up after the procedure was just awful, I was bleeding profusely all over my brand new (for my birthday) yellow polo neck jumper. I still need 5mg of valium to even make the appointment. I researched and found this practice online yesterday and their website looked great so bit the bullet. I had a dreadful toothache as a piece of a wisdom tooth fractured when I was intubated for my spinal surgery. There was some decay under the fracture which is why it broke so easily.

The dentists and staff at this clinic are all middle aged women, around my age and older, every one of them. The dentist was so gentle, took a great deal of time, also took many photos which I could see immediately and explained everything to me as she examined me. There was also television on the ceiling, I could choose what I wanted to watch and opted for the fish tank DVD...!!! I chose to have the wisdom tooth removed and she did it there and then. Had it been an ordinary molar I would have had the root canal. The dentist felt it was the best thing to do as the decay had crept under the filling and gone below the gum line.

It was such a positive experience for me that I am now going ahead with a series have a series of treatments in the new year to replace my amalgam fillings with white ones and have my teeth whitened a bit, it's nowhere near as expensive as I thought it would be but I will wait until I am working before I have it done given it's elective.

It feels great to have been so courageous...I really think I may be able to conquer this good would that be...???

Monday, November 24, 2008

In Our Garden This Morning...

Had a crappy night's sleep so at around 6.30am got up and went for a meander outside. Look what I spied on our avocado tree...!!! Our very first tiny, wee, baby avocado...!!!

It's about 5cm long at this point, not sure what will happen with it and how big it will eventually grow, probably not huge as this is the first year the tree has fruited. Hopefully next season we will be inundated, we eat them almost daily at his time of year.

Also had a look at what has happened in the garden since our huge rain dump last week...over the course of the week we received around 400mm, quite substantial. John was outside in the pool shed a number of nights having to pump water out of the pool. Had it over flowed we would have had it in the house or worse, it would flow over the retaining wall into the neighbours courtyards, they are about 1.5m lower than us over the back fence.

We have tomatoes of a number of varieties going berserk, although some of them are quite watery after the rain, eggplant, beans, zucch's, huge amounts of self seeded salad greens (love the bitter, peppery ones), sweet potatoes and a feral garden bed of mint, rosemary, flat leaf parsley, thyme, lemon thyme, lemongrass, Vietnamese mint and basil. The front garden has a couple of passionfruit vines on the fence, olives, avocadoes, a grafted eggplant tree, mango and paw paw. We also have a kaffir lime, mandarin and grafted lemon tree in substantial pots on the verandah.

When we moved in to our home the orange and lemon trees had been somewhat neglected over the years and we (that would be John actually) gave them a serious prune and nurture. They are looking fabulous now and have the makings of healthy fruit on them. We did get a reasonable number of edible oranges this year but most of what we picked needed to be dumped.

I'm keen on the garden but more a fair weather gardener, John is the more passionate one, I like to harvest and cook the produce, he enjoys getting his hands dirty. In the scheme of things it's not a bad balance I guess.

Saturday, November 22, 2008


It's quite a stinker here today...around 34C (that's about 95F)...really dry too which is very unusual for this time of year for us. Usually the air is lovely and humid and ceiling fans are great. All I want today is aircon, am tempted to go and sit in the car and read.

Actually, what I really want is to be able to jump in the pool, and I can't, everyone else has been swimming several times today. I can't while I have my staples still would be so soothing and cool...all over. The steps are also a bit steep for me at the moment too although I'm sure I'd find a way to manage them if I could get in.

Just being a miserable, cranky so and so really. I want something particular to eat and we don't have it. It would help if I knew what it was so John could go and get it, an ice cream perhaps..?? He is going shopping "soon" so will give him a list, starting with Peppermint Magnums.

Time to suck it up and get on with things...perhaps a G&T will help..??

Phil...thanks for the award, will post tomorrow...

Friday, November 21, 2008

Not For The Squeamish...

As promised, actually threatened may be a better choice of word here, I have photos of my scar. Matilda took them a few days ago, I was quite desperate to see what it looked like...everyone had seen it but me. I can't see it in the mirror, not allowed to hips and shoulders are to stay aligned at all times.

So...especially for Kel...

Be warned...

Proceed no further if you are squeamish...

... ... ... ... ...

... ... ... ...

... ... ...

... ...


Last chance now...

Pretty ugly really (the right side of the photo is the base of my spine)'s a little red in places but healing well otherwise. A few of the staples are starting to fall out. Come Monday afternoon they will all be out. The itchiness is driving me crazy...I just want to rip at it...tonight I sat under the cool shower and let the water do it's thing, was bliss.

This evening I am feeling really good. I'm almost certain that the "tummy bug" I had was a reaction to the Heparin I was on. It started just on 24 hours after I began it...I was on it for a week and finished yesterday morning. Interestingly this morning I felt better than I had for a week and over the course of the day my energy levels have picked up enormously, it has now been 36 hours since I completed the course. My taste buds are recovering too, everything had a really musty taste, milk tasted "mushroomy"...ugh...!!! Was chatting to my Mum this afternoon and she said that after some major surgery earlier this year her taste buds went haywire while she was on Warfarin, another anticoagulant drug.

Coincidence...?? Am thinking not.

Anyway, I thoroughly loved my chicken soup that Matilda made today, bless her soul. She was so proud of herself. It was really, really good too, not just saying that because I am her Mum. She worked hard today, tidied, cleaned her room, changed the cat litter box, did all of her washing, brought ours in, emptied the dishwasher, went to the supermarket and pharmacy for me, cleaned & dressed my wound and all manner of little chores & errands for me. Am much more relaxed about it all tonight.

Looking forward to a gentle weekend here. Matilda has a busy schedule with five Cheerleading concerts. Her own concert is Sunday morning but they are showcasing the Cheerleaders this year and asked them to perform at all five concerts so we need to be there at 10.30am & 5pm tomorrow and Sunday. Looking forward to Sunday's concert though, her team does all of it's routines then.

Whatever you all get up tp, I hope it's with people who love & care for you...

Feeling Better Maybe..??

Am craving ordinary chicken soup today, can you believe, it is going to be 30C here and I want soup. My gut is pretty ravaged so I know it will be the best thing for me.

I must be feeling better, the untidiness here is bugging the crap out of me. I want to do something about it and am getting restless and antsy because I can't. Matilda is home with me today and is an angel, she is making the soup for me (no mean feat for a vegetarian - we work well as a team, I'll do the chickeny bits). She has told me not to stress, that she will tidy for me when she is done with the soup. I really don't cope well with mess and John and the boys are messy...untidy. I think it's a boy doesn't seem to bother them if there are piles of stuff all over the place. I knew it when we moved in together so in part I have to suck it up, however, they in turn knew that I like to be tidy and it works both ways.

I will add in John's defence that he has been carrying a huge load this last couple of weeks...he works every day then comes home to have to prepare dinner and get organised for the next day, I'm no help at all and feel pretty useless.

It's not a big ask to expect people to pick up after themselves, is it..?? To wipe down the bench when finished preparing a meal or snack...(and with wet cloth NOT the side of your hand on to the floor so it leaves smears across the bench that boys are blind to)...??

Any suggestions..?? How do I get all of the kids to pick up after themselves without being asked...?? One suggestion was to "impound" anything left out at the end of the day. It wouldn't take long for them to "remember" then but it seems pretty drastic.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Christmas Shopping Taken Care Of...

Our family has not really been into huge numbers of gifts at Christmas, an acknowledgement is just fine.

Over the past couple of years I have been rather uncomfortable with the idea of outlaying large amounts of cash for trinkets and bits that we don't really need so this year have decided to do something about it.

Most of our family, extended family that is, are all giving a Goat this year as part of Oxfam's Unwrapped gift giving program...a mere $39.00 will purchase a goat for a family and it will keep them in milk, fertiliser and future goats. The children in our family will receive a gift but also will have a duck or chicken purchased in their names.

Will get online in the next day or so and organise it...feeling better about the season this year.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Home Again...

Thanks so much for your well wishes, prayers and kind thoughts...the surgery itself went really well, it was complex and took longer than expected but due to the great painkillers I really didn't feel a lot of pain at all.

Have had a couple of recovery setbacks though...firstly on day 1 & 2 when they tried to get me out of bed I had a vaso-vagal reaction and spectacularly fainted in the shower...thankfully I was on a shower chair at the time and didn't hit the floor. Frightened the crap out of the poor student nurse though who thought she was going to have to call her first Code Blue.

On Friday I was having a great day until after lunch when I felt quite ill...turns out I picked up a gastro bug in the hospital, just beautiful...vomiting and diarrhoea since then...actually today is quite a bit better, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. I have a residual problem with depleted blood volume though which has left me with palpitations, shortness of breath and light headedness. It started two days into the vomiting but is improving slowly though.

Have come come on Heparin which I have to inject, three more days of that to go.

Wound photos to follow...have to get Matilda to take a pic...I'm yet to see it but know I have at least 23 staples in it...!!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Is Dr. Ross In The House...???

Today is surgery day, yesterday was long, much longer than I would have liked but the evening was gentle & calm. In the end I was far happier home with John and the kids than I would have been alone in hospital.

Cannot sleep, it's just after 4am here...decided to get up and catch up with some email before signing out for at least a week, more like two. I was talking with my Mum last night and she asked if I had given much thought to what will happen post-surgery. Um, a big no really...I can't think past today yet other than I have made plans for my family while I am absent. As long as they give me good drugs I will be just fine...I'll be taking anything on offer...the surgeon & anaesthetist have promised me great drugs. Gotta love them...even if they aren't as gorgeous as George...!!!

Thank you all for your kind thoughts, emails & messages, they mean a great deal to me. Think of me in 3 hours time, I will be so grateful to be finally going under the anaesthetic.

Will post as soon as I can...xoxo

Saturday, November 8, 2008

For Braja...

In the vein of this post and the ensuing hilarity that followed, and upon Braja's specific request I now present my latest find at our lovely Asian Grocery Store. Matilda & I were out shopping this morning for some things she needs for her trip to Noumea in 3 weeks. After reading Lilly's Life and finding a recipe for Duck Rice Paper Rolls I just HAD to have them...John & I both adore duck and take any opportunity to indulge we can, even keep a few Peking Duck breasts in the freezer for "emergencies". We whizzed down to the Asian Grocery Shop for a few things...fresh watercress, coriander, rice paper wrappers, hoi sin sauce as well as a few bits that weren't on the list.

I could not quite believe what I found in the "personal" section of the store...

Placenta Cream...!!!

The ingredient list was long and difficult to decipher...about half way down the list was the ingredient "Placenta Enzymes". It didn't say what type of placenta was included, I can only assume it wasn't human and was probably sheep or cow.


Utterly bizarre...

After coffee we headed home and made the rice paper rolls...I made them with shredded chicken as I had some poached free range fillets in the fridge...also made some vermicelli rolls for Matilda (she is vegetarian, she is almost 15 and has been for almost half her life now...see what happens when you encourage your children to think and form opinions of their own...)

I had a quick sample and they are delicious, will be delightful to have with a drink very shortly. Actually it may be the last wine I have for a week or two...I have to refrain from consuming alcohol 48 hours before the anaesthetic...that gives me until 7am tomorrow.

It's Gin O'Clock...


Friday, November 7, 2008

Can He Fix It...???

I knew the Obama camp's "Yes We Can..." slogan was familiar but couldn't really place it until I heard this's a hoot and the work of 774 ABC Melbourne producer Michael Taft.

Can He Fix It..??

I love it...

I missed out on posting yesterday...went out for lunch and did a little shopping and was wrecked afterwards, in a lot of pain so I slept.

Will two posts today still count for NaBloPoMo..?? I think we can be a bit flexible due to personal circumstances.

Can't we..??

Yes We Can...!!!

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Excellence... a proud Mama this morning...

Well, always a proud Mama but that bit prouder today. Last night was Matilda's school annual awards night. Matilda received an award for excellence in all 6 of the subjects she is studying this year. She has been a straight A/A+ student all year, has worked hard and deserves the recognition. Unfortunately I was the only one who could go to the ceremony last does tend to be a little tedious and go on a bit, last year it didn't end until after 11pm and Myles really needs to be in bed before then. Josh wasn't home so John had to stay home with him.

Would love to scan & post photos of her awards but they include a bit too much information...last names and school.

On the way home she was talking about the Year 11 & 12 student awards...I have no doubt she will be up there in two & three years time. Year 10 next year is the year that really starts to determine the way her education will pan out...she is quite determined to study Medicine at University (and specialise in Paediatrics or Emergency medicine), so has opted for the Maths/Science stream with French as her "fun" subject. Her school offers Uni Maths & Science subjects in year 11 & 12 so she will almost certainly study those.

It's starting to get to the serious end of her schooling...I hope we all cope.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sweet Transvestite...the sweetest of them all...

In a previous Meme I mentioned that I had seen the Rocky Horror Show live on stage 44 times, almost all at Melbourne's Comedy Theatre...have seen three actors play Frank-N-Furter but Daniel Abineri was amazing voice and oh so camp, he was Frank to perfection. I believe he played the role for several seasons, that's many hundreds of performances. I was lucky enough to be at his final Frank gig in around was brilliant, many tears shed.I'm told Reg Livermore did an equally brilliant job in the 1970's but sadly I was a little young, I'd have loved to see him as Frank.

While up online in the middle of the night last night I found has been illegally videotaped by an audience member so there are a few blips in it. It brought many smiles and some great memories...

Thanks so much for your kind thoughts and comments on yesterday's post, having a much better day today...had a crappy night's sleep but went back to bed for a nap this morning and feel as though the pain is under control today, have just managed to do some supermarket shopping and have put it away. If nothing else gets done today the day hasn't been a total loss. Am looking forward so much to having the surgery done next Tuesday.

Monday, November 3, 2008

This Barely Counts...

Today is a crappy, sucky pain day...almost no sleep last night, cannot get comfortable standing, sitting or lying.

Heading to my doctor for strong pain meds soon...hopefully this will help.

It barely counts as a post for NaBloPoMo...

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Tom & Flo...a love story...

After chatting with friends about those close to us who have died I thought it was time to mention my maternal Grandparents Thomas Arthur & Florence Joyce Anderson, Tom & Flo to their many friends.

They were married almost 60 years and I don't recall them having a seriously cross word with each other, they would bicker often but in that way you do when you have loved someone for so long. I used to stay with them on school holidays and every morning I would climb into bed with Nan and Pop would bring us in a hot drink before breakfast. Always hot chocolate for me and hot tea for Nan with a glass of hot water and a squeeze of lemon in. He would pull back their curtains so we could see out of the window into their garden...Nan adored her garden, after we got up we would often walk around it so she could point out the new overnight happenings in it.

After Pop retired they moved interstate to a warmer climate...they were quite some way away but stayed in touch regularly. Their 50th wedding anniversary was quite an occasion...about 40 friends and family gathered to celebrate, they were so happy and obviously very much in love still...we used to joke that they were joined at the hip. They loved their lifestyle, played bowls seven days a week between them and usually lived within sight of the Pacific Ocean, they loved the beach and until ill health prevented used to walk on it most days hand in hand.

As they aged ill health plagued them and our family were very concerned as to how Nan would manage if Pop died first...she had an aortic aneurysm and had become quite dependent on Pop for just about everything. She didn't drive and refused to use a scooter to get around, she really dropped her bundle, it kind of suited her to be dependent. We were very worried about who would care for her if Pop died first.

In May 1996, we received the call than Nan had died, her aneurysm had ruptured, she had lapsed into unconsciousness and died peacefully. It was incredibly sad however there was some comfort in that she had been the one to go first.

As family were preparing to leave for the airport to fly interstate to support Pop there was an early morning call from a neighbour, Pop hadn't felt at all well overnight and am ambulance had been called in the early hours of the morning. He was in hospital on life support. Family were able to go straight to the hospital from the airport to say their goodbyes and arrange to turn off his life support. Astonishingly, he too had an aortic aneurysm that had ruptured...the doctors made all kinds of excuses and noises about how the stress of Nan dying would have pushed his blood pressure up and caused it to rupture. I like to take a more romantic perspective and think that he could not live without his beloved "Darl".

They were cremated and had their ashes scattered together...always together...RIP.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

NaBloPoMo...& Tagged Again

...or National Blog Posting Month...!!!

I'm not likely to post every day, especially considering I am expecting to be hospital for 7-8 days of November however will attempt to post every day in November I can.

This was a fun Meme...thanks Kate for the compliment...I had to answer these questions with one word responses...some of it was easy, some really hard...

1. Where is your cell phone? Charging
2. Where is your significant other? Sofa
3. Your hair color? Dyed
4. Your mother? Complex
5. Your father? Absent
6. Your favorite thing? Family
7. Your dream last night? Bizarre
8. Your dream/goal? Happiness
9. The room you are in? Living
10. Your hobby? Blogging
11. Your fear? Loneliness
12. Where do you want to be in six years? Alive
13. Where were you last night? Bed
14. What you're not? Painfree
15. One of your wish list items? Health
16. Where you grew up? Victoria
17. The last thing you did? Snoozed
18. What are you wearing? PJ’s
19. Your T.V.? Off
20. Your Pet ? Burmese x2
21. Your computer? Desktop
22. Your mood? Contented
23. Missing someone? Forever
24. Your car? Practical
25. Something you're not wearing? Knickers
26. Favorite store? Delicatessens
27. Your Summer? Beginning
28. Love someone? Absolutely
29. Your favorite color? Purple
30. When is the last time you laughed? Today
31. Last time you cried? Thursday

Last Thursday I cried listening to an interview with Vince O'Rourke by Richard Fidler...he has written a book titled "I Wish I Were A Leper" about his and his wife's journey with early onset Alzheimer's Disease. His wife's story was so incredibly sad, his absolute devotion to her brought the tears. It reminds me of both my sets of Grandparents, all of whom I was lucky to have until I was 33.

I am supposed to tag 7 others but have done a bit of tagging of late, so instead, if you read my blog consider yourself tagged but unless you want to participate you are not obliged. I don't mind a bit.

Until tomorrow...which is just about now anyway...

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Excellent news...

Matilda's passport arrived today...woo hoo...!!!

One less thing to be concerned about now. Am so thankful that there was someone in the passports office who could help me around the red tape & bureaucracy.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Rambling...time for surgery...

Last weekend was a tough one...I saw a new Surgeon on Friday, an Orthopaedic Surgeon who specialises in spinal work. I received a quote for my surgery from the previous Surgeon (Neurosurgeon) and the out of pocket costs were to come to more than $4,000...!!!

For a $7,000 procedure, (laminectomy with spinal fusion), more than half of it we were going to have to pay ourselves. It seemed outrageous and downright extortionate to me. So, armed with a list of Medibank Private preferred surgeons I made several phone calls and found one who will do the surgery with no co-payment, he will invoice Medicare and Medibank Private and that will be it as far as his costs go. It sounded good to me so I made an appointment for 5th November but then was lucky enough to get in last Friday due to a cancellation.

In a nutshell...I really liked him, he spent an hour and a quarter with me, (the other one I have seen 4 times and would be lucky if I have spent a total of 20 minutes with in total) wanted to know all about my home life and family and the impact this was having. He did a thorough physical examination, (which the other doctor didn't do, he has never once touched me) and explained the procedure completely, again something the other surgeon didn't do. I'll be so glad to get it over with and start to recover, it will take up to 3 months but at least I will be making progress, I can manage that. I was having a huge down day, very hard on myself and seeing him helped big time.

The best bit is that he can do the surgery on the 11th November, a week before the other one could. I'll be in hospital for a week, should be walking by the next morning after surgery.

The weekend was tough as when the Surgeon did a really thorough physical examination, it caused quite a bit of pain, it was unpleasant on Saturday, had shooting, burning nerve pain down both legs, it was hard to get around...I spent most of the day lying flat on my back. I have reduced the number of painkillers I have been taking too, I doubt they were really effective and were making me feel ill constantly. Have already noticed my head is clearer. The surgeon I saw on Friday came up with a schedule of seems to be more effective, the last two days have been good ones.

Fingers crossed the next two weeks pass quickly and uneventfully. I have an appointment with the anaesthetist on Friday then it's just a matter of waiting until the 11th. I have had to go out and get some new PJ's though, only had one pair that was suitable for wearing in public...!!!

Oh, and it seems Matilda's passport application has been approved without having to get her father's signature on the form. I spoke to the passports office last Friday and they were going to rubber stamp it that day, we should have it here by this coming Friday...excellent news...!!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rated PG-13...

For a bit of fun I checked out my Blog's rating and scored a PG-13. Parents are strongly advised that some material may be unsuitable for children under 13.

Just because I mention the words Pain (x3), Dead (x2), Death (x1). Funny that it didn't pick up the F-Bombs I dropped a couple of weeks ago.

Rather bizarre...

Monday, October 27, 2008

Easiest Dinner Ever...

Mondays are a bit manic here after school, Matilda has cheerleading class at 4pm so I pick her up from school, (she usually catches the train home but it gets in too late for her class on Mondays), whizz home, whizz out again to cheerleading, I drive home, prepare dinner then whizz out to pick her up at 5.30pm. Mind you, it's a lot less crazy since Myles finished football for the season, I used to have to take him to training on the way to pick Matilda up.

So Monday dinners need to pretty much take care of themselves...tonight's dinner was a Jamie Oliver recipe. It's prepared and cooked in the one dish, (I use a paella dish given to me by my sister, she lived in Spain for a few years, it's the real deal). Preparation takes 10 minutes from beginning to in the oven...truly it does, we love it at our house.

Not sure on exact quantities but it goes something like this...

10 Free Range Chicken Thigh Fillets
8 Medium sized Chat Potatoes
12 Truss Cherry Tomatoes
I Head Garlic (around 10 cloves)
Handful Fresh Thyme
4 Small Onions - pickling size are great
Balsamic Vinegar Reduction
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Continental Parsley

Brush large casserole/paella dish with olive oil.
Halve Chicken Fillets and arrange evenly in dish.
Quarter Potatoes and poke in the spaces between the chicken.
Peel Garlic and Onions, quarter onions, fill empty spaces.
Scatter Cherry Tomatoes evenly, I like to leave the stems on.
Wedge the Thyme in among everything in the dish.
Drizzle with Balsamic Reduction and Olive Oil
Season with Salt & Pepper - I prefer salt flakes and freshly ground pepper.

Bake in 180C oven for approx. one hour or until potatoes are golden.
Adjust seasonings & scatter with chopped Continental Parsley

We love this meal with a huge green salad and lots of crusty bread to mop up the juices in the bottom of the dish...they're good, really good.

*Photo is the dinner I prepared's also a meal you can prepare earlier in the afternoon or even the morning and leave in the fridge until you need it. If you do it that way, it's a good idea to quarter the potatoes and leave them in a bowl of water to prevent browning then add them just before baking.

It's also super easy to double or halve for bigger or smaller families, this quantity feeds three adults and a hungry 12 year old.

Another Award & Happiness...

Oh my...I have been honoured again...!!! Thanks to Watercolor...she's a real sweetie who battles some unpleasant health issues but seems to come up smiling...she has the sweetest puppies too.

Now I have to let you know what makes me happy...

*Lazy, languid, lustful, lingering Sunday mornings in bed...
*Eating the first mangoes of the season...
*Listening to the kids enjoying each other's company...
*Seeing John at the end of his working day...
*Quiet family Sundays at home...
*A really great laksa...
*Reading at night in the silence after everyone else has gone to bed...
*Watching the rainbow lorikeets come in to nest in the tree next door (done best with a G&T in hand)...
*Excellent Australian red wine...
*Stolen kisses and hugs...
*A really great Scrabble score...
*Rare roast beef...
*Being anywhere in Mount Buffalo National Park...

I'm tagging Lynda, Karin & Lissy...looking forward to seeing what makes you happy...

After reading Lynda's list I need to add one more...

*John has a beautiful belly laugh, I love to hear it and do so at least daily...

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Quick Post...some photos...

We spent the day last Sunday with John's oldest son Brad, his wife Briohny and their boys (John's grandsons) Blake & Dylan...Blake is 9 and Dylan 8. They were holidaying on the Gold Coast and as we don't see them nearly enough it was a great chance to catch up.

We went to the Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary, the day was glorious, the sun not too hot to be out in and a gentle breeze was blowing. The Sanctuary was great, I hadn't been there in 30 years so it was wonderful to see the positive changes that had been made.

Here's a few quick pics of the kids...

From L-R...Matilda, Myles, Blake & Dylan. Seconds after that photo was taken the koala pooed in Matilda's hands...she was grossed out but relaxed a little when the koala carers told her it was all eucalyptus leaves, nothing else. Myles is Blake & Dylan's uncle, the similarities he and Dylan share are uncanny. Blake is fair and blue eyed like his Mum.

Myles with baby croc...just as well it was firmly taped shut, they are quite snappy even at this size. We saw a number of larger crocs while we were there. Nothing like getting a close up look to remind you that humans are not at the top of the food chain...
Unfortunately our day was way too was so hard for them to fit everything in that they wanted to do. They will be in Queensland in March for a wedding so we hope they will come and spend some time with us then.

Better get a move's cheerleading night and I need to get dinner organised before I go.

I have another post brewing on the outrageousness of surgeon's fees...not happy...!!!

Saturday, October 18, 2008


I'm "It" it would seem...

My friend Lynda at Art On A Limb has tagged me...

1. I used to play the cello, probably still can.
2. When I was born I had a heart condition called Patent Ductus Arteriosis and it was thought I was going to die. I was christened within hours of my birth. My Godmother was one of the sisters at the Royal Children's Hospital.
3. I have a's discreet and private and only those I want to see it ever get to do so.
4. I have see The Rocky Horror Show live on stage 44 times. "It's just a jump to the left..."
5. I once washed my hands next to Mick Jagger in a unisex bathroom at a nightclub in Melbourne.
6. I am highly allergic to shellfish, it sends my heart into an irregular rhythm and it needs to be shocked back into normal sinus rhythm.
7. I am a sixth-generation Australian...Matilda is seventh.

Okay, I'm required by Bloggy Law to tag seven no particular order...

There's no compulsion to participate, I quite like knowing the odd bits about people though. I like Trivia Nights too, I astonish myself with the amount of crapola I store in my head


Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Needed My Big Girl Knickers Today...

This morning when I woke all I wanted to do was put my head back under the covers...I had a day of dealing with bureaucrats and their fiddly, nit-picking little rules.

Firstly I had to get Matilda's passport application sorted. I have run into strife with it because despite her father refusing to have his name on her birth certificate, despite his contesting paternity (which resulted in DNA testing and an almost year long court battle), despite my having sole custody and guardianship of her, despite his never having had anything to do with her, not even ever having (known to me anyway) set eyes on her...I need his signature on her passport application to ensure I am not taking her out of the country against his wishes.

The only reason this has to happen is because he pays child support and that there has been a court hearing to determine custody & guardianship arrangements.

I have been backwards and forwards 4 times to the post office, downloaded copy after copy of forms, all with number titles, not names and in the end had to apply for a copy of the original custody and guardianship court orders (due to her primary school losing my copy when I had to present them).

Guess what...the Melbourne Magistrates Court cannot find anywhere on their database a record of any of our court appearances, there were three for fuck's sake and I have the orders from two of them, can even give them the file numbers they needed. They tell me that they have the details of all Family Court appearances since 1975 on their data base and "...this is a most unusual situation...". No kidding.

So today I decided to gather together everything I had, go to the passports office and get the information I needed. I had phoned them before and they could not give me a definitive answer as to whether Matilda's father had to sign the passport application

I find the place, no mean feat, it's well hidden (probably for good reason, so people cannot find it)...get to the touch screen and hit the right buttons. I then get a message that no-one will see me without an appointment and I need to pick up the red phone and make one.

I didn't know whether to burst into tears or pick up the red phone and throw it at someone. Eventually I spoke to someone (on the red phone) who, surprisingly, no astonishingly was quite helpful.

I explained my predicament to her...within 2 metres of the queue so everyone can hear our family's private details, no provision for privacy or confidentiality here. My biggest stumbling block is that in section number (whatever) it says "Father's Name As On Birth Certificate". Um, it's not on her birth certificate and I am not able to leave the field blank. Therein lies the problem and no-one can tell me what to do.

So guess what...tomorrow I get to go to the Passport Office again, I even have an appointment as made on the little red phone. I get to present Matilda's application to them and they are probably going to tell me that I have to contact him and ask him to sign it. Oh joy...he is going to be thrilled about that.

It remains to be seen...

All this has gone on for two weeks now, it has dredged up some pretty ugly feelings that I am pushing to one side but am going to have to deal with eventually. Matilda is old enough now to know what is going on. In the past she had been too young and I had been able to shield her from his hideousness. She asked me the other day why his name wasn't on her birth certificate...I had to tell her the truth.

Which is...

I don't know, I just don't know why he bailed out on her before she was born. I can deal with his rejection of me but it's so hard when it's Matilda who feels the hurt. I don't understand how he could be so irresponsible towards a new life that he had a part in creating. The day I held my screaming baby girl down at the Forensic Pathology Office while they attempted to take 4 vials of blood from her still makes my skin crawl. Had I run into him that day I would have killed him and not been accountable for my actions. I guess that's why they schedule both parties appointments 6 hours apart.

One day it will come back to haunt him...karma can be such a bitch...

Friday, October 3, 2008

Three Years Ago...

Three years ago on this night when I went to bed I had no idea what was in store for me the next morning. As I slept I received an email in my inbox that would change the rest of my life in a huge way.

When I turned 40 I set myself up a profile on an online dating site, kind of a birthday gift to myself I suppose. I have a dear friend who had been suggesting that I do so....she had been dating men she had met online for some years. I had been quite reluctant for some time but then she asked me to answer the following question as honestly as I could...

"So...where do you go to meet nice men..??"

I was stumped, couldn't answer, there was no answer. That very night I checked out a few online dating sites, chose one that was reputable, set up my profile, uploaded a photo and perused the profiles available to me. During the following 18 months I met and went out with a number of men, some I am still dear friends with today, others that didn't get past the first date. I had a series of short and a couple of longer term liaisons.


One night, during the wee small hours I was sent an email from a man named John, who said that he liked what I had written about my life and my family and wanted to know if I would be interested in communicating further. Immediately I wondered what someone was doing sending me email at 3am...what kind of oddball stayed up all night scouring the internet for dates..?? However, I had made a promise to myself to respond to every email I received, even if it was with a "thanks, but no thanks" so I replied. I checked out his profile and it seemed we shared a number of interests including food, coffee, wine, farmer's markets and left wing politics. He didn't have a photo up but was quite willing to send me one on request.

We exchanged emails over the next few days...he revealed that he didn't usually sit up all night trawling the internet for women but his (then 9yo) son had broken his collarbone that day at school and they had spent just about all night in the ER, waiting to be x-rayed etc. He was wired when he got home and thought he would spend an hour or so unwinding online. Hence, the email.

It became apparent that we needed to meet and the date was set, we had lunch and spent many hours that day talking and excellent start.

Over the next couple of weeks we fell very much in love...yes, it was quick and unexpected but so, so sweet. I had very definite ideas of what I was looking for in a partner, not necessarily a shopping list as such but having had a few more years life experience I knew very much who "fit". Finding John was like coming home, very much the other part of me...he felt the same way.

That first email was three years ago tonight, in the wee hours of the 4th October, 2005. John and his family coming into mine and Matilda's life has been for the most part the easiest thing in the world. It became apparent very early on in our relationship that we would be together for a very long time so plans were made and we ended up here in Queensland.

I adore and respect him, I enjoy his companionship and shared discussion. I never, ever thought I would find someone to watch Insiders with on Sunday mornings but I have. He is generous and kind, thoughtful and funny. He treats me with greatest respect and love. We do not argue, we never have, there is no need. He doesn't sweat the small stuff and understands what's important in life. He cares for Matilda like he were her biological father. My heart still leaps when I see his name in my Inbox, just like it did three years ago tonight...he is warm and very snuggly, gives the best hugs, I love the way I "fit" under his chin when we hug and the way he smells, he always smells so good. I love his mind too, he is highly intelligent...I love bits of him other than his mind. I love going to sleep with him and the way he places his hand on my hip as we drift off. I love that he has entrusted me to care for his children, not a decision to be taken lightly. I love that our children care for and get along with each other, we are so very fortunate. I love that he loves me...I am a lucky woman indeed, my life has been very blessed.

Happy three years my love, they have been amazing.

With so much love...

Monday, September 29, 2008

Where The Blog Are You..??

Well, seeing you asked...

I'm still here, thanks to all of you who have emailed. My computer time is somewhat limited with my back being in the state it is in at present, see previous post. Sitting down can be painful so I tend to stand or just limit my time here.

This posts title also refers to a new project I have decided to become part of for Australian Bloggers. It's called Where The Blog Are You..?? Head on over and have a look. There is a new button on my blog list that will also take you there. If you would like to join I'm sure Louisa would love to have you...the details are on her site.

I have to jump in the shower, get dressed and get Matilda's passport application lodged today but will be back this afternoon with a long post...promise.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Out Of Action & Best Ever Banana Cake...

Have been somewhat out of action with sciatic pain this week, I needed some serious painkillers just to get out of bed and be mobile. Mind you, I had overdone it on Saturday while helping out at Matilda's cheerleading carnival. I offered to supervise the sub-juniors...they are 3-4 years old and were the sweetest group of little ones. Between myself and one other parent we had 4 children to care for for about an hour and a half. We needed to dress them in their costumes for their dance and keep them amused until their second routine. At interval they went back to their parents who were in the audience in the stands. It was a fantastic night...the moon was full, there were around 2,700 dancers and cheerleaders. It was an organisers nightmare but it seemed to go off without a hitch.

I digress a little...

It proved to be too much for my back. A little history first for you...I have an extra vertebrae, most people have 5 lumbar vertebrae, I have an L6 and it's this that is causing me problems. L6 has slipped underneath L5 so instead of sitting neatly on top of each other allowing my spinal cord to pass through, L6 has compressed my spinal cord causing significant sciatic pain...also quite a bit of pain in my bladder, bowel and other internal organs...all nerves leading to these organs branch out from where the compression is occurring. Some days are better than others. Physio has helped somewhat but will not cure me. It is seeming like surgery is my only "choice". I have been under the care of a neurosurgeon for about a year now and had an MRI last Saturday morning to check how things have changed since my last one (Dec, 2007).

I don't particularly like my Neurosurgeon...he is somewhat of a perfectionist, arrogant and aloof, his bedside manner needs significant work. I see him for no more than ten minutes at a time and for this privilege I pay him no less than $120.00.


If someone is going to be cutting into me and playing God with my spine, an arrogant, aloof perfectionist is the person I want for the job. I am more than happy to forego the warm fuzzies providing my ability to move about unimpaired is not compromised and even improved. I have an appointment in the 2nd October to discuss the MRI results and what comes next. I'll keep you posted and in the meantime will keep up the drugs.

I digress again...I'm good at that...

While laid up yesterday I watched an older episode of Better Homes & Gardens on Foxtel. Maeve O'Meara cooked a fantastic Banana Cake with Caramel Custard Topping. I took down the recipe and made it this afternoon. It's sitting waiting for Matilda & myles to get home from school to cut into...I am hanging out for some but just can't bring myself to do it on my own, that would not be right, I like to enjoy such treats with others.

I tried before to copy the recipe but silly blogger kept trying to change the text colour & font so I gave up and instead you will find the link HERE...

Enjoy, it's quite easy and looks just like the photo...!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Currently Reading...

I'm currently reading The Household Guide To Dying by Debra Adelaide. Have had it for about 10 days now and have finally finished my previous book, Don't Call Me Ishmael (a young adult book that I adored, it has a laugh a page).

Verdict thus far...unputdownable...

Last night I stayed up with my book until 2.20am savouring the silence and peace of the house after everyone else had gone to bed. Okay, I probably really only read until about 1.15am or so. (...that much I do know as I got up at 12.45 to make a hot chocolate and finished drinking it so timewise that fits...). Yep, I fell asleep on the sofa...snuggled in a blanket, cushions behind my head, our smoochy Burmese cat Leo purring on my lap keeping me warm...hopeless I am, just hopeless. I woke quite stiff and sore, wondered if it was worth my while staying where I was or whether I should get up and go to bed...was almost too tired to do so. I contemplated this for a good ten minutes and felt myself slipping slowly back into slumber

In the end I opted for bed, knowing I would get more sleep there come morning. I was in luck, John had been sprawled across the bed, my side was still warm. I snuggled up to his back and slept again.

Feeling a bit tired this evening as a result, my eyes are a little scratchy. Had a lovely day out shopping today at Freedom Furniture with my cousin Joan,,,bought a new laundry hamper and a lovely shower curtain for the kids bathroom. I wasn't relishing cooking dinner this evening but Matilda has offered to cook Bean & Corn Enchiladas, the sweetheart...of course I said "Yes please..." She & Myles are busy in the kitchen now.

John should be home shortly, I feel a bottle of wine might just be liberated from the cellar tonight. Friday evenings are often relaxed and indulgent here...definitely an ice cream kind of night tonight. Enjoy yours wherever you are, I hope it's with those who love you.

Speaking of love...if you haven't already found Snickollet's blog from my blogroll, pop on over and read her news. Her husband and father of their two year old twins Riley & Maddie died of Pancreatic Cancer around 18 months ago. She has struggled in so many ways since John died. Just recently she has dipped her big toe back in the shallow end of the dating pool. She writes bravely and hear her happiness is so heartwarming & contagious. Her blog is a favourite of mine.

Also Buddha Girls' blog entry for today, it brought me to tears. Teachers like her are diamonds.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Very Quick Matilda Update...

No more drama with the braces wire for Matilda, it passed with no problem, x-rays reveal a perfectly healthy, intact gut.

She saw the Orthodontist yesterday and he replaced the wire with a heavier gauge one, fingers crossed that it won't break, it's unlikely. He also did her first big adjustment, she has had her braces on for 3 months now and the difference it has made already is quite significant. Her eye teeth, her "fangs" as she called them, have slipped into the place created by removing her two molars, it has been amazing to see how quickly her teeth have moved. He also complimented her on her excellent oral hygiene with the braces. Next appointment for adjustment will be November 19th, that's 10 weeks away.

Today she is in pain though...quite a lot of pain and her teeth are very sensitive. She can only eat soft foods so we have packed creamed rice and yoghurt (x2) in her lunch box for tomorrow. Tonight she had scrambled eggs for dinner...poor possum. I sent her to bed dosed up on Panadeine tonight, she was very wakeful last night...she has two more beside her bed in case she wakes in pain again. I don't really dose up on drugs at every little ache & pain but this pain is very unpleasant, there is no need to put up with it.

Thanks everyone for your care and concern over the wire incident. Thankfully the worst that happened was a night without sleep.

Friday, September 5, 2008

All Tarted Up...

Was feeling so blah need of some indulgence and a pick me up so booked myself in for a haircut today. This morning I was still feeling blah and almost cancelled but am glad I didn't.

While having my hair washed (I so love someone washing my hair for me) I was talking to the young apprentice at the salon about her training. She was telling me she now was able to do waxing and eyelash tinting.


I thought, what the hell and had both done. I have never had my eyelashes tinted before and it was quite an experience. Had to sit with my eyes shut for almost 15 minutes, much harder than it I would have thought. I had my iPod with me and plugged in to one of my podcasts so the time passed quickly. She then waxed my brows...I have very few brows, quite light considering my hair is almost black but it feels good to have them tidied up. Mind you, it hurts like hell, I just cannot imagine having large areas waxed...the pain...I'd need a general anaesthetic...!!! The cost of both "beauty" treatments...??? A mere $16.50.

I left the salon feeling pretty for somewhere to go out...!!!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Night In The E.R....

We went late night shopping last night at one of the bigger mall style shopping centre in Brisbane, (for this week we have a New Caledonian Exchange Student, Ondine, staying with us for a week...they don't have big malls in Noumea where she lives so she was really enjoying herself here tonight, she just LOVES shopping and found some wonderful bargains). I took Myles with me and the girls headed off by themselves, we arranged to meet up around 8.30pm.

We met up, everyone was happy with their purchases and we were just about to get into the car...


Matilda tells me that part of the wire on her braces has snapped and she is fairly sure she has swallowed it. She remembers it being there before we went out as she was fiddling with it with her tongue but it's not there now and she hadn't spat it out. After all, it was about 1.5cm long, you don't not notice something like that in your mouth. We all ate dinner while we were out. Myles and I on our own and the girls went and did their own thing so wasn't with her when they ate.

After heading home and talking it over with John we rang the 13 HEALTH phone number (a government funded after hours service that offers phone consultations for medical problems with a registered nurse). My big concern was that the ends of the ingested wire were sharp and could possibly pierce her gut. I wasn't sure what to do.

They go through a check-list of questions and then suggest a treatment. In this case it was "you have to take her to a hospital with an x-ray facility right now". So off we head into the late night, it was about 9.15pm by this stage, to the Mater Kids Hospital in the city (about 25 minutes away) where (thankfully) it was a reasonably quiet night. We were seen quickly and then went through the rigmarole of the Resident consulting the Paediatric Registrar etc . Eventually they decided to x-ray and what do you know, there is the piece of wire, around 1.5cm long sitting right in her tummy.

Now, what to do about it...

After more interminably long waiting and a consult with the Paediatric Surgical Registrar they decide to send us home with instructions to follow over the next 48-72 hours. Matilda has to try and locate the piece of wire...(this she is on her own with...once you are taller than your Mum there are some things a mother's love does not stretch to). If not it's off for another x-ray to see where it has progressed to, or not as the case could be.

If she comes down with an unexplained fever, bleeding from her bowel or abdominal pain it's back to the Hospital for "further intervention". I know what that means but Matilda doesn't as yet and we are hoping for her never needing to have to find out.

After all of that we arrive home around 1.45am, exhausted. Matilda was straight to bed, I was going to keep her home from school today but she had a field trip to attend that was very integral to her SOSE Studies...she went off quite happily but somewhat tired. I sent her phone with her, just in case she gets pain and needs to contact me quickly.

I was still quite "wired", pardon the pun, fully intended, when we arrived
I was still wired (pardon the pun, fully intended) made a hot drink and just stared at the television for a while, eventually heading off to bed around 2.45am and up again at 6.30...feeling pretty wrung out today and taking it very quietly, might even have a little siesta this afternoon.

Keep your fingers crossed that this little drama ends well for us, will keep you posted.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Flashback Friday...a day late but still...

Every girl needs a pair of red patent leather shoes at least once in her life...!!!

I'm quite sure that this was taken on my 3rd Birthday. I remember the dress and matching headband, made for me by my Mum...she sewed so many of our clothes when we were small, still sews beautifully but her talents have now extended to quilting, beading and mosaics.

I have a photo of me with my younger brother Mitchell, he was about 4 months old at the time and I was wearing this dress, so the timeline fits. I haven't seen him for close to 25 years now and have been thinking a lot of him lately. He left by his choice and hasn't had any contact with our family. I have a post about him I am working on, just in case someone out there in cyberspace knows him. I'd love to know how he is, whether he is happy, does he have a family of his own..??

More about him anon.

There's that car in the background again...!!!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

My Goodness Me...

I logged on to read Karin's latest wise words at The Sum Of Mum to find that I had been nominated for my very first blog award...woo hoo...!!! I'm thrilled and flattered to be in such auspicious company.

To pay it forward I am going to nominate some of my favourite blogs I visit regularly...each of them is very different, each of the writers are warm, witty and wise. I enjoy their writing and value their friendship very much. Like Karin I will limit my list to four, a hard decision as Karin & I have a number of friends in common so will share the love around. In no particular order...

Interestingly, almost all of the blogs I read belong to women...there don't seem to be many male bloggers out there. Maybe there are, maybe we just haven't met yet.

Very chuffed indeed...!!!

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Oh Yummo...

It was quite chilly here today so thought I would be a good Mum and cook a warming Winter dessert. Golden Syrup Dumplings are a huge family favourite...very easy to make and cook while we are eating dinner. The ingredients are pantry staples too making it great to prepare impulsively.

Golden Syrup Dumplings...


1 cup SR raising flour
40g butter, chopped
1 egg
2-3 tblsp milk


1 cup sugar
40g butter
2 tblsp golden syrup
1/4 cup lemon juice

Here's How You Do It...

1. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture is fine and crumbly, and make a well in the centre. Using a flatbladed knife, stir the combined egg and milk into the flour mixture to form a soft dough.

2. To make the syrup, put 2 cups water in a large pan with the sugar, butter, golden syrup and lemon juice. Stir over medium heat until combined and the sugar has dissolved.

3. Bring to the boil, then gently drop dessertspoonfuls of the dough into the syrup. Cover and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, or until a knife inserted into a dumpling comes out clean. Spoon onto serving plates and drizzle with some of the syrup.

Serve the dumplings immediately with whipped cream, ice cream or custard. They don't reheat well...tend to become rocks the next day, so you are going to have to eat them all...!!!


Monday, August 18, 2008

Homesickness, Illness, Matilda's Photos...bit of a ramble...

I haven't been a good blogger...

My apologies for being absent this last week...sometimes my attentions and energies are needed elsewhere, at home and for me in this case, perhaps selfishly.

I have a big case of homesickness at the moment. We left Victoria over 18 months ago and I have found that it can strike hard, really hard without warning. It usually hits on the weekends, times when I would be doing things with them

I am missing my friends...I could live anywhere in the world with my friends within reasonable distance. Despite many promises there has only been a visit from one friend since living in Brisbane. I understand and feel no malice nor blame for broken promises...I just miss them.

John has suggested, even insisted, that I take a trip to Victoria for a week or so to catch up with them. I won't even entertain that thought at the moment, he is still very much unwell and although back at work is finding the vertigo and constant tinnitus quite disabling. He is being stoic, very much the point where I just haven't been able to read what is going on with him and was so worried he was much sicker than he was letting on or that there was something critically wrong with him...his wall was about ten feet high and he wasn't letting me in. The higher the wall became the more morbid & skewed my thoughts became. I crumbled last night, the tears came and we had a full & frank discussion and I impressed my need to understand exactly what is going on with his health. I think he "gets it" now and I am feeling more relaxed tonight.

Anyway...I won't go away and leave him holding the reins until he is well again or I can take Matilda & Myles with's too much to ask of him to do it all here. I can suck it up and put on my big girl knickers for that long.

Hmmm...I wasn't going to post much tonight, it's way past bedtime and John is already sleeping soundly. I have been up way too late these last few nights, have been caught up with watching the track & field events in Beijing.

However, I did promise Matilda I would post some of her recent photos.

She has taken a keen interest in photography of late, always has her camera with her and has taken some fantastic action shots. She has an "eye" for unusual angles...she uploaded these yesterday...I find them oddly compelling.

They were self portraits taken through a magnifying glass. She was just "playing" with her camera as she often does...the results are almost creepy.

Time for's late and I'm tired. I promise I'll try to post more regularly over the next few weeks.