Friday, October 19, 2012


I received a special package in the mail the other day...

My younger sister is getting married in just a few short months.

Sometimes it's still a shock to me that she's old enough to be a bride.  In my mind she's still my little sister, excited about her first day at school, loving her teachers, looking forward to holidays - I do a double take when I remember she's now a young woman about to embark on her own life journey.

She and her fiancĂ© make a wonderful couple, I can't wait for the big day.  

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

That Moment.....

That moment when the last of the peppermint lolly is gone and you take in one big, long lungful of fresh air and it's like breathing in something straight from the south pole.

I love that moment.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Litterbugs make me mad

Everyday I drive up and down the range to work.  Somedays it's at a snails pace when there are roadworks, a broken down truck, a caravan on fire, police out with their radars....whatever the cause, the pace is slow.  It's on days like that when I really get to notice what's going on on the edges, what visitors to the area see when they first come up the hill to see the 'Garden City'...and it's not pretty.  

I am blown away over the amount of rubbish in the gutters and the bushes at the edge of the road.  What prompts people to think it's okay to throw garbage out the window of their car?  I grew up in the age of emu parades at school - that five minute dash once a month (or more) at the end of the lunch hour where every student had to come back to the teacher with minimum five pieces of rubbish.  The age when you put whatever garbage you had with you in the car at your feet until you got home, then you put it in the bin.  What has gone wrong since?

I notice new TV ads with little kids pushing the point for adults to stop littering...I can't believe it needs to be made public like this.  All I can think is there is a whole generation out there, the one between me and these little kids, who have missed out on this message of 'throw it in the bin'.  That's all I can think of.  

I'd hate to think it's part of a wider-spread lack of respect coming through.....though I'm not holding my breath on that one.

Makes me sad, it does.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

Apple tree, worms, scratchits and cake....

I'm a spoilt girl that's for sure.  It was my birthday this week - another year older to be certain - but I sure don't feel it.  It's a shock when people ask how old I am and I have to count the years to work it out.  In my head I feel mid-twenties, in my body not so much, but I sure don't act like my twenties are well behind me!  'Age is a state of mind' is my theory and I'm sticking to it!

I have to say that this birthday outdid itself - the second best birthday ever (*the best being the day I got married - yep, I got married on my birthday - fantastic party!!).  For starters the weather was perfect - nothing like waking to a warm spring day with the sun shining and birds tweeting outside the bedroom window.

I worked, as was usual for a weekday, but there was cake for morning tea.  Sure, I baked it myself but it was yummy.  Chocolate chocolate, double chocolate cake, big enough to feed the masses, of which I had only a small piece (lots of icing) because I didn't want the sugar-low to kick in too early - I had a dinner date that night!

Later the LOML took me out to dinner (Chinese) along with 12 of our closest friends and family.  It was an awesome night.  Lots of laughing, delicious food, cake, wine and more laughing.  I had the best night.  We finished it off with a nightcap at the local down the road before heading home to bed (I was the only one who had to get up the next morning for work - bad planning there on my part!).  

The LOML, bless his cotton socks, knows the way to my heart - he gave me an apple tree...

....and a box of worms!!  So very excited!!!

I also received some other beautiful gifts - very spoilt.  I didn't manage to scratch the set for life or the $500,000 though I did win $36 which I must remember to go and collect.  The LOML says I should reinvest but I'm thinking a couple of cake decorating magazines might be in order!

The best birthday in a long while, and nine years married.  Love it xxx  and love you, LOML xxx


Sunday, October 7, 2012

In My Kitchen: October 2012

Joining Celia @ Fig Jam and Lime Cordial for her monthly In My Kitchen posts - pop on over to Celia's and see what's happening in the kitchens of other bloggers....why not even join the fun yourself! 

Well it's been a whole three months since I last took everyone for a sticky-beak in my kitchen and a lot has been happening, I must say.  I can't believe how quickly two months have gone - so I'd better get a wriggle on and get this one posted before October is over and I'm skipping another IMK post!!!

This month (and the previous two), In My Kitchen.... this beautiful coffee set and the Brazillian coffee we were given by the LOML cousins in Sydney during our visit last month.  They have been getting a regular workout since we've been back.  I was taught how to make Lebanese coffee when we were in Lebanon 2 years ago but, not having access to the correct coffee itself, I haven't been able to recreate the right taste.  Now, with these 100% pure Arabica beans, it's like I open a time-space rift with every pot and we're back in Lebanon looking out over the hills!

We were also gifted with a box of Lebanese sweets to bring home - they looked too pretty to eat but they didn't last long!...

....and we were loaded up with the best Lebanese bread I have tasted in two years!  The LOML had to carry these 10 packs (!!) on the plane with him because I didn't have the strength to make the combined weight of our carry-on luggage and these goodies look less than 7kg!!  They are now happily ensconced in my freezer and taste just as good defrosted as they do fresh.

In My Kitchen.....

...I've been mastering my sweet and savoury scroll making.  Custard and almond for me, fruit and custard for the LOML, and cheese and Vegemite for the both of us!

In My Kitchen....

....the LOML bought me some cinnamon sticks and some 'hot' powder.  He's not sure what it is (!?!) but it tastes like hot paprika - it doesn't have the chilli kick to mark it as that.  I ran out of hot paprika the other day so this was great timing on his part.

And finally, In My Kitchen....

...the mulberry tree out the front has me up to my eyeballs in mulberries (those that make it inside of course - it's the picker's prerogative to sample the wares!).  I'm planning to make mulberry jelly for Christmas presents - I'm starting to think ahead about gift ideas....but that's a job for next month's IMK!

Thanks for visiting - what's happening in your kitchen?

Monday, October 1, 2012

Carnival 2012

This weekend just gone has seen the end of the annual Carnival of Flowers.  The gardens around town are just blooming with flowers this year - more so than previous years if that's at all possible and the fireworks have been amazing (as viewed from my back steps).

The carnival kicked off last weekend with the parade.

The biggest one I've seen, it went for a good two hours.  Apparently, back in the day, two hours was a short parade.

The best part again this year, I think, were the storm troopers.  I had to wait so long I was starting to think there was a space battle somewhere that was keeping them from participating.  But it was all good 45 minutes in.  Even Vader put in an appearance this year.

 I'm thinking about joining this club so I can put my beetle-bug in the parade next year.... LOL

I also ran into my friend Kel and her walking artwork too.  Kel is an artist (among other things) and has a talent for body art.  I keep meaning to do a post on her work - amazing! - until then, here is a taste....

What a great parade!  Next year's has very big shoes to fill, very big shoes!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

This is where I'm at right now....

Like the ad sang, I'm going to "accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative, latch on to the affirmative and don't mess with nothing in between".

The LOML and I have had a few times in our lives together where we've chosen a more positive path and have lost a few people on the way.  Sad as it was at the time, we're mentally healthier because of it.

It seems that time is upon us once more.  

Now, more than ever in our lives, we have no room for negative talk, negative thinking, negative attitudes.  We have chosen to surround ourselves with people who are happy, cheerful, friendly, nice, respectful.....and it's rubbing off on us.

It's amazing how the conscious decision to focus on the good, on the positive, on the bright side can make all the difference.

My glass is half full.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Getting my Spring on

I absolutely, positively, without any shadow of a doubt, LOVE this time of year.

These camelias are all off the one tree we have growing outside our bedroom window.  It's a massive tree, not a bust,
and I couldn't begin to guess its age....
In my ideal world, spring and autumn are the only two seasons - spring being the longest of course.
We have Jasmine growing along the fence out the front - the smell is divine.

Three weeks ago I smelled the warm on the air and started preparing for it.  Down came the blankets nailed over the windows and doorways (I do what I can in this icebox house!) despite the weather reports of another cold snap.  The doors were thrown open and the breeze blew away all the winter stuffiness.

This year I've planted heaps of flowers in my veggie garden...


The colours are gorgeous....
The plants outside are all telling me spring is here to stay.

  Thank you plants.  I love spring too.

Friday, August 31, 2012

Why hotels rock (a brief list)

  • Free stuff in the bathroom.  Especially good when it's a brand name selection.  But I'll take it all.  I don't use shower caps but I have a lot in my bathroom cupboard here at home, just in case.  Likewise body lotions, shampoos, conditioners and shower gel.
  • The pens on the  bedside table.  I don't collect much but the pens you get in hotels get me every time.  They have to have the hotel name on them though to be considered legit and allowed into the 'collection'.  At present I have about 20.  Is that enough to be called a collection?  Or is it still in the hoarding stage?  Especially since some no longer work....
  • The welcome message on the telly when you first turn it on (in the pricier hotels - you don't get that in a two-star in Tripoli).  
  • Someone other than yourself to make the bed in the morning.  And clean the bathroom.  And vacuum the floor.
  • Lots of hot water and fluffy white towels.  
  • The 'do not disturb' sign for the door.  

The more I think about it, it's the travelling I love the most - the hotels are just one part of it, just like the flight is merely a means to an end - it's the new experiences that matter the most.

But I still love hotels.

Thursday, August 30, 2012


The LOML and I were in Sydney a week or so ago.

Whilst there we did a few tourist things...

....saw a few sights...

....and welcomed home some sporting champs....

I think ticker-tape is the benchmark of a really good parade.  My standards have been raised.  Carnival of Flowers be warned..... lol

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Of macadamias and avocados and so forth

When the LOML and I first looked at this house with the intention to buy, it had sat un-lived-in and un-loved for months.  The grass was knee-high, the front gate was chained shut and the letterbox was full of junk mail.  

While waiting for the real estate agent to show up, we had a sticky beak around the yard, as you do.  

I fell in love in an instant.  

Well-established fruit trees were everywhere - orange, lemon, grapefruit, mandarine, fig, avocado, pecan, persimmon, apricot, mulberry, peach, nectarine, kiwi fruit, bananas, loquat, custard apple, lime, lemonade.....I was in heaven.  

It blew me away that this suburban block, tucked unobtrusively between two businesses in the 'rough' side of town yet still amazingly close to the centre of town, still had the feel of the farmhouse it once was.

In my heart I knew, this was my home.  The viewing we were about to have was merely a formality.

One of the mulberry trees just inside the front gate, absolutely loaded with fruit this year!
Right now, the trees are feeling spring.  I cannot wait until all these flowers burst their buds and bring in the bees.
That's the macadamia on the left, pecan in the middle, avocado on the right.
Some days I feel like the most fortunate person on the planet.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Walking on the wildside

When I was in the garden the other day, talking to the lemon tree, checking out the bananas (very exciting really, to have bananas growing in this part of the world through winter), making mental lists regarding the need to do some serious weeding and a whole lot of pruning, I was startled by the sound of dry grass rustling.  

A slow, sneaky rustle.  A rustle of the reptilian kind.  

I couldn't see what the source of the noise was but my mind filled in the gaps...

Clearly a gigantuan, multi fanged, lethal and angry snake-like creature was making it's way from beneath all the tin and timber the LOML has 'stored' around the perimeter of my garden straight for me to eat me.

Luckily, I wasn't eaten.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Falling off the face of August.....

Seriously, where has this month gone.

I'm flailing in my lack of date recognition and the disappearance of the days.  I'm really pinning all my hopes on the longer days meaning I get back on top of things again - in my world, we're only just into the first week of the eighth month...very disappointing, and more than a tad scary, to realize with a jolt that we're nearly into September already.  I'm just not ready.

That being said, a lot has been happening in this neck of the woods lately.  A blog post in each to be sure, but in a nutshell.....(not, as the LOML would say, you're a nut-Shell)....'s been Languages and Cultures Festival time again....

.....I've been working long enough to accrue a week and bit holiday - so we headed south and spent a week and a bit in Melbourne and Sydney....

(I loooovvveee hotel freebies)
....saw some sights...

Could I get a bigger pole in the centre of my frame????
 ....made a few donations....

.....welcomed home some olympians....

....did some shopping, met some rellies and then headed home loaded up with goodies....

.....I've since been out in the garden with gusto (this weather is glorious, just plain glorious!)....

.....we've also been cranking up the little Webber on the deck again with the LOML showing off his chicken-stick prowess...

Hopefully now I'm back in the routine of blogging, just like I'm back in the routine of exercising.  But while I despise with the white hot intensity of one thousand suns the necessity which is exercise in my life, (a routine that is a must.  M.U.S.T.), blogging (both reading and writing) is my outlet and my release and I'm glad to be back into it.


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