Friday, December 31, 2010

The Year That Was....really quite good, thank you for asking.


So how do you think it went?

2010 I mean.

From my point of view,
there was no too much to complain about.


 I lost 10 kilograms.
Some medical issues have put my Zumba-ing on the back burner for the past three months
and the next two to come
but I hope (yes, I guess resolve) in 2011
to move those final middle aged 5 kilograms that are still clinging stubbornly onto my hips and thighs
like dried Weetbix stuck onto the kitchen floor.



Two children happily settled into school routine
and a third growing up too quickly.
No more bibs or day-time nappies;
rare daytime sleeps;
the passing on of baby toys and the change table.
Celebrations of milestones with a happy smile but tears in my eyes.

The (apparent) end of renovations to our 1925 bungalow after 8 years.

Oh, and two little (but growing-oh-so-quickly) kittycat fur-balls to spice up our lives.
Lots of patting, poo-ing and kamikaze ambushes from under the sofa.



(Yes, I made that up.
My blog. Can do what I like)

Healthy, happy family? Tick.

No major illness or financial stressors? Tick.

While there is never enough time in my days to do all the creating that I want,
(and creativity is one thing directly related to my happiness)
I gave it a darn good try.

My hospital visits gave me time to rediscover reading,
something that has been rare since cattle-wrangling three children.

I have a developed passion (hubby would say obsession) with knitting.

I have perfected finger buns.

I (we) have spent some evenings re-discovering our love for movies
and the joy of watching a television series on DVD
without ad breaks, running late starts or showing repeats between new episodes.
(In the case of Torchwood, watching three series back to back)

I am not big on resolutions
but I would really like to get further with my health goals next year.

I look forward to my final child starting kindergarten next year.
We are both ready.

I am determined to go to see more movies, attend more theatre
and grab any musical theatre that comes to Adelaide with two hands and hold on tight.

I would like to refine my time on the internet.
It is easy and fun to spend time here
but I need to do it differently
so that I do get more hours in my day...
which can be spent knitting or making finger buns.

I hope that you all had a fabulous 2010
and that you can look back and smile with satisfaction and good memories.

May 2011 bring you lots of happy times, lots of belly laughs,
some adventures
and whatever else you wish for.


(photos taken by hubby on a trip with his father
to the Flinders Ranges, South Australia;
October, 2010)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

It's been a click clack Christmas

OND 2010

I pretty much spent the Christmas break knitting.
A nearly 5 hour car drive to and from my in-law's house
and a long weekend of extended family running riot
let me sit back and knit, knit, knit.


OND 2010

Pattern: Ava tunic- Fletcher Cottage Collection
Yarn: BWM classic 8 ply yarn

OND 2010

It took me a while to get a grip on the pattern
-hence a few mistakes visible in the top of the dress if you look-
but it prgressed nicely once I got myself sorted.

OND 2010

The pattern runs size 18mo, 3 and 6 years
so I made my nearly 4 year old the size 6.
Lots of room = lots of wear.

My Favourite (Christmas) Things

OND 2010

I hope that you all had a great Christmas and are enjoying what is left of 2010.

Channelling Oprah,
I'd like to share the pick of my Christmas goodies.
Well, pretty much all my Christmas goodies-
everyone seemed to give me things that I loved this year :)

Sadly, I can't channel Oprah's bank account or sponsorship power
so I am unable to provide you all with your own one of the lovely things.

Of course, a couple of these are goodies from my dear hubby
that were pre-purchased by me.
But I really wanted them
so I was pretty darn happy to find them under the tree...

OND 2010

From the elegance of Audrey...

OND 2010 the brawn of Spartacus dressed in old man's undies...
(I wonder how much they paid someone to design them?)

OND 2010

I can curl up with the good Doctor and some gorgeous creations in bed for some time to come.

OND 2010

My mum got me some very badly wanted bread tins
plus I scored some pinking shears and
-something everyone would have on their "want" list-
a cookie cutter in the shape of Finland.
(I spent a year there in 1987 and my close friend and I still exchange presents)
Now I have a conversation starter for afternoon tea
and some bloody big bickies to give my guests.

OND 2010

My mother-in-law knitted me some gorgeous socks,
all the better to curl up on the couch in winter with Mr Darcy.

OND 2010

And I can now make apply slinkies. Yay!

OND 2010

Finally, my oldest son made us a calendar
but I think that the calendar will face the wall
so that we can see our little elf.

As you can see, buying and hinting goes a long way to getting you lots of yummy things
under the Christmas tree.

We had a great Christmas with hubby's family at Mt Gambier
and the kids got to have a go at "snortling"
at the nearby rock pools.
Got to love Australia's beaches.

Compact OND 2010

I'm off to slink an apple!
Is that a real verb?

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

With Mother Nature's guidance...

I am happily knitting jumpers in "summer".

Little Boozle 2010

I have had to pull out some of the kids' clothes that I packed away a month ago
to cope with this crazy weather.

On the good side,
all this knitting I have been doing is getting worn.

Little Boozle 2010

Pattern: Caelum- Julie Kieliszewski
Yarn: Lincraft Cosy Wool- Natural colourway- 8 ply

Little Boozle 2010

A quick simple jumper.
The narrow neckline is offputting
but there is plenty of headroom and it folds down nicely.

Little Boozle 2010

Little Boozle 2010

Nice to be knitting for my boys for a change too.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pragmatic or romantic?


So do you know what your dear partner is wrapping and putting under the Christmas tree for you this year?

I do.

I have bought myself a few things that I need or want
(OK, mostly want- there is not much need involved)
(pinking shears, this book, and "Sense and Sensibility" DVD),
handed them to hubby
and made life easy for him for Christmas and my birthday which is a month later.

At least I know it wont be hubby who gives me the
 lead cut crystal peanut plates in the shape of a Christmas bell (I have history with those things).
Or tacky Christmas tee shirts saying "I've been naughty. Spank me" (though I might just wear that one that says "three wise men? get serious"...)
No scented soap leaves that will sit on my bath gathering dust (I don't "do" baths)
And I can leave it to some other "friend" to give me a little reindeer that poos licorice bullets
when you pat his head.

Heck no.

It's not that we have been together so long that the gloss has worn off
and he can't be bothered.
He is actually lamenting the fact that he wishes that he could get me something
that I really love
without me telling him or buying it for him
but somehow magically letting him know what it is that I want.

It is just that I am a fussy cow
who is blessed and doesn't want for much in life.

I love some things, loathe others
and after nearly 42 years on this planet,
have come to realise that it is hard for my loved ones to work out
which is which.
I am a little bit eclectic in what I like
and even I can't begin to describe to you what would be a sure fire description of my taste.

So bless his little cotton socks
that he wishes he could buy me something that I love
without me actually telling him.

I (we) have decided on common sense over the possibility of disappointment on both sides.


If anyone has any ideas on how I can tell him what I'd love to receive
without me knowing about it,
I'd love to know.

Meanwhile, my memory is so bad these days,
we might both luck it in and I will forget something that I bought him to give me.
(Yes, I am serious.)

 I do get my little rosy inner glow from knowing how much he wants to spoil me.
Because that counts for a lot.

So tell me- are you and your partner romantic or realistic?

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

To cuff or not to cuff...

Little Boozle 2010

I fell in love with the new Hupps embroidered Pimpicuffs
the moment that I saw them.

It is another one of those "Am I getting too old to wear these sorts of things?"
(like the "apron skirt over jeans" thing)

Little Boozle 2010

I have ignored my embroidery machine for a few months now,
so justifiably she spat the first attempt out in a big chewed up wad of stitching.
I did penance and unpicked it all and was obviously forgiven
because she then behaved herself.

Little Boozle 2010

I think it is really cute.

Little Boozle 2010

And am I going to wear it?
I sure am.
I figure that if I am aware enough to know that my time for wearing hot pants
and nipple rings has come and gone,
this is pretty non-offensive really.
It will go perfectly with my leopard-print latex skin-tight flared jumpsuit ;)

I'm Ho Ho hopeless!

OND 2010

It's that time of year again.

You know, the time where you don't have to fill that occasional obligation to craft with your kids.

The one where there is a whole stack of them that you find yourself committed to.

After the kids have brought home their macaroni'd Christmas tree decorations
and their self portrait Christmas card with lots of glitter and sparkly stuff glued on with a litre of glue
(and still not dry 3 days later),
they have worked themselves into a frenzy with love of crafting.

OND 2010

And given the time of year,
there is no shortage of festive crafty projects to "sure to be enjoyed with your children for hours of endless joy and entertainment for the whole family".

So far this year,
I have committed to making biscuits,
window glass painting decorations,
making finger buns,
decorating a gingerbread house
and oldest son is talking about some weird green gooey gunk stuff you can make that he found in a magazine.

It may not seem like a lot
but with 3 kids and 7 days to complete them,
it seems like a lot to me.
A whole world of pain.

OND 2010

Let me be clear.
I think that I am a dab hand at crafty stuff.
(yes, pure arrogance, that statement)
Sewing, knitting, crocheting, other craft stuff.
Bring it on, baby.

But having to teach someone else,
whether they are my age, on an aged pension or at kindergarten...
well, at least I am mature enough to recognise my limitations.

Firstly I suck at teaching.

I do not explain things well.

Actually, let me clarify that.
It appears that I do not explain things well
to people who think like my husband.
If you think like me, it's all good.

OND 2010

Secondly I have no patience.
(and on some days, I mean literally no patience)

I might have had some years ago but not now.
While my child is delicately and painstakingly (to me painfully) putting the finishing touches
on his or her cotton wool ball snowman,
I just want to rip the glue stick away from those little hands and finish it yesterday.

OND 2010
Thirdly I am a perfectionist.

And I am sorry,
but I can state with confidence
(actually probably arrogance again)
that no-one in this house
(hubby included)
(well, hubby in particular actually)
can colour co-ordinate like me,
draw in a straight line or a nice curve like me
or stick that pipe cleaner onto the toilet roll in just the right place at just the right angle
as well as I can.

And it bugs me watching other people not do it just how it should be done.

OND 2010

About now, I am meant to put in the big "but",
you know, the "but" which makes it all worthwhile...

"But to see the fun that my kids are having..."

"But to see the product of their innocent creativity..."

"But to spend that quality time with my children..."

about now,
I am wondering if that paint will come off whichever skin, clothing or furnishing it has been deposited on,
I am reaching for headache medication
and I am wondering if it is too early in the day to make a gin, lemon and lime.
A really, really strong one.

OND 2010

Maybe tomorrow (or after a gin or two) there will be the "but".

Sunday, December 12, 2010

The real meaning of Christmas

I know that I am not alone at this time of year
when, as a parent, I lament that commercial and materialistic push of Christmas
that cannot be avoided.

Whether you are religious or not,
I believe that this is a time to teach our children
to be grateful for what they have
and to find happiness in giving, sharing and
caring for other people.

This morning we watched thousands of motorcycles ride from the beach to the Adelaide Hills
as part of the annual Motorcycle Riders Association Toy Run.
Figures state that 15000 bike riders participated.

OND 2010

There were bikes decorated in tinsel,
bikers with Santa beards (some real),
young men doing the journey on mopeds,
many helmets sprouting reindeers antlers,
riders pulling over slowly to gently high five the kids on the road side
and hundreds of people roadside waving them past
on their journey to make their toy donation for underpriveleged children.

5 truckloads of presents were collected.

This is the true spirit of Christmas.
This is where I get to explain to my kids that giving is what it is all about.
This is what brings tears to my eyes at this time of year.

Friday, December 10, 2010

High Tea Etiquette.

My mum has flown from interstate twice in the past few months
to help run our household while I was laid up on two separate occasions.

Nothing I could do would really thank her properly for getting up so early
to make her grandchildren's school lunches
(and to make them so interesting. I can't compete),
for washing, cooking, bathing the kids,
doing the school runs, the grocery shops,...
well, you know how it is.

The little goddess and I took her out to High Tea as a small "thank you". 
It was something that my nan (mum's mum) had always wanted to do
but never did before she died a few years back.
So I thought we could do it in memory of nan.

Compact OND 2010

I was a little nervous at first,
taking a three year old to such a formal affair.

Compact OND 2010

But having looked up numerous (albeit really superficial) definitions of "high tea",
I can find no reference that says "take small delicate mouthfuls"...

Compact OND 2010

..."don't chew with your mouth open"...

Compact OND 2010

..."don't stuff your face"...

Compact OND 2010

..."eat slowly and remember to take a breath in between cakes"...

Compact OND 2010

or ..."don't lick or suck your fingers".

And I am pretty sure there is nothing about restraining yourself from slouching in your chair
and slinging your legs up in the air.

Compact OND 2010

Of course, I might have found such guidelines if I'd looked a teensy weensy bit harder
(and, in fact, had my eyes open as I read).
But hey, life's too short.

Compact OND 2010

So there!

My happy list

If you don't regularly read Kate's bog over at Foxs Lane,
you darn well should.
Kate is lovely,
her life is really interesting
and she has an amazing way with words and blog topics.

Yesterday, she reported the havoc that Mother Nature had inflicted
by way of rain and locusts.

But rather than wallow,
she made a happy list.
And is now encouraging people to do the same.

So here is my happy list for today:

a good hot strong cup of coffee
to start the day listening to rain on our tin roof
knitting pumping up the daggy music and
singing my heart out reading books out loud with my kids when our new kittens use the litter tray instead of the floor
under our bed  the spirit of Christmas that shines through
everywhere in spite of the commercial crap that pours down at this time of year
my children looking out for each other fresh summer fruit especially mangos
decorating the Christmas tree as a family
making a batch of perfect finger buns
looking through my fabric stash and dreaming about what
the fabric will become finding five minutes of quiet time to read pretty purple jacaranda trees everywhere when my children
laugh at one of my jokes

So go and visit Kate's blog,
stop and think about what is making you smile at the moment
and enjoy your day.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sweet, sweet Sorello

Little Boozle 2010

I am a fan of Georgie Hallam's patterns,
as my knitting history and pattern purchase history indicates.
When Tikki organised a mystery knit-a-long recently,
I jumped in and signed up.

Little Boozle 2010

Knitting an unknown pattern in stages is an interesting experience.
I started with enthusiasm,
then slowed down,
partly due to other commitments
and partly due to the fact that I didn't know where the pattern was going.

Little Boozle 2010

I should appreciate Tikki enough from my experience to know that I will love any of her patterns.
By the time I had finished the cute little derriere feature
and the gorgeous puffed sleeves,
I was enthused again and in love.

Little Boozle 2010

I knitted the female version of the KAL, the Sorello
(the other version was the Fratello for boys
and both patterns will be available for sale)

Little Boozle 2010

Yarn: Spotlight Basics 8 ply Pure Wool - colourway 09

Little Boozle 2010

Another plus- it is a great little pattern to stash bust some of those smaller amounts of wool.
I had red or purple and the little goddess favours red as a 2nd choice after pink.
Apparently purple is socially unacceptable.

She loves it too.

Little Boozle 2010