Sunday, October 31, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison
- pumpkin, zucchini, sunflowers

- Broccoli and leek soup with rice
- Cupcakes with purple icing (courtesy of red cabbage leaves)

- Home love: 100 inspiring ideas for creating beautiful rooms by Megan Morton

- racing out in between rain showers to plant my new seedlings (thanks Belinda :-)
- having lunch with my brother for his birthday (hence the cupcakes)

Friday, October 29, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama



Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Budding Artist

Little B has always liked to do craft as he calls it. He loves to cut and paste, do a spot of drawing and often comes home from kindy with copious arts and crafts projects. The latest being an incubator for chickens (made out of corks) and some solar panels (hmm wonder where he’s learning that from, Mr B?).

Now out of the blue, Little B has become obsessed with painting. Some days we spend the entire day painting – in different mediums, different textures and in different locations.

We’ve painted leaves, shapes, draped wool through paint to make patterns, finger painted, tried big brushes and small brushes. A current fave is to use cotton buds to paint, which was a tip from an arty friend (which dry out magnificently for re-use FYI). I have to say I’m running out of ideas but Little B’s enthusiasm doesn’t wane.

In a local crafty shop yesterday, I seriously contemplated some pastel paint sticks. Which on one hand seems over the top for a not quite 4 year old, but then again I’m all for encouraging passion and interests when they flare.

Anyways, it’s a great way to entertain him and enjoy his enthusiasm. A budding artist? Maybe…a happy pre-schooler? Definitely!!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Garden Update

Lovely, lovely beans

We’ve been having rather topsy turvy weather at the moment. The week starts as spring but by the end of the week, we end up mired back in winter. Brrr…I am so over the cold and yearning for more warmth and sunshine.

We have slowed our planting in line with the weather. Our snow peas are peaking through the earth and the rest of the beans are soldiering along. The majority of our seedlings will be ready for pickup in a few weeks and I cant wait to plant them.
Lebanese Cucumbers

We have quite a short growing season here so need to make the most of the time available to us. I have transplanted a few of our seedlings from pots into the ground. I’m probably about 2 weeks too early but thought I’d bung them in anyway.
Dwarf Peaches

We have 7 peaches on our dwarf peach tree this year (YAY!) which is so much better than last year when we had 1. Our dwarf nectarine is fruiting as well, only about 4 at this count. I’m also waiting to see if our dwarf apple (Pinkabelle) will do anything this year…fingers crossed :-)

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Lazy Sundays

- Black Beauty eggplant, Green Sprouting Calabrese broccoli, Burnley Sure Crop tomatoes

- Lemon cordial
- Roast Vegetable Tart
- Chocolate Pudding (yummmmm!!)

- The Bonesetter’s Daughter by Amy Tan

- Lazy days of…
Scooters &

 Growing veggies

Friday, October 22, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, October 20, 2010


So what are you normally doing at 7:30am?

For me, 7:30am varies wildly – I could be eating breakfast but I’m more than likely making a robot, or some pom poms or reading Yertle the Turtle for the 50th time.

Equally, I could be outside watching someone hop through the garden in his pj’s and gumboots, or be making paper bag clown puppets. Another strong contender is cooking. I often launch into making muffins, soup or bread at this hour.

I dream blissfully of what other people are doing at 7:30am. Are they leisurely eating breakfast? Reading the paper? Getting ready for work? Or even having the mythical sleep in? ;-)

I’m a morning person but even this has been challenged for the last 4 years by a super cheerful, super awake, super morning child. I love his joy and exuberance as he wakes every day and asks “is it morning time?”. When I say yes, we launch into our day – rain, hail or no sleep!!

7:30am – same time, same place, such an extraordinary hour…

Monday, October 18, 2010

Oh oh...I think I'm addicted

to sewing :-) Have only had 2 dressmaking classes so far but can say with utmost honesty that I’m hooked and thoroughly addicted. I’ve always dabbled a little bit in sewing but basically homewares-y stuff. With the most adventurous thing being some really basic curtains for our old house.

So I love learning all about adjusting patterns and how to make a skirt (which is the main project for this series of classes). It’s all about darts and zips and lengthening or shortening the skirt based on what you like. But my mind has already jumped ahead to all the other things I want to make for myself and Little B. It’s already delving into Granny B’s fabric and pattern stash to see what I can create.

I can see that there is no way I will be waiting until the end of this course before beginning another project or two. I already have my eye on some groovy summer pants for Little B and a few tops for me! We are going away at the end of November and I want to have these things finished by then.

Another bonus is that my SIL is giving me her sewing machine. She lives overseas and couldn’t take it with her, so it’s been in storage at my MIL’s. So I will have that one as well as Granny B’s whizz bang modern one to try my hand at.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison
- parsnips & carrots

- plaited rolls
- spinach & chicken dumpling soup
- butterscotch pear pudding

- The Passage by Justin Cronin

- digging around in Granny B’s fabric stash for ideas, lots of weeding and experimenting in the kitchen.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Family Bed

Little B has been having trouble coping with an unwell mummy in the last few weeks. I cant run around like I used to and play soccer or chasey. I also cant lift him anymore (nor can I lift and drain a saucepan over a sink but I digress). Also the move to Granny B’s has disoriented him slightly.

This has resulted in one very unsure little boy. Little B wants his mama all the time and never wants her out of sight. He also needs a lot more physical affection and reassurance. In the most literal sense, “hand holding” or “lap sitting”.

We are an affectionate family, so this poses little problems. He is the recipient of muchos kisses, cuddles, wrestles, hand holding most of the time anyways. So to give more is no hardship :-) And since we follow attachment parenting ideas, a lap sitter or shower sharer is nothing new.

But Little B has also taken to waking up to 5 times a night. He needs mummy to hold his hand and just check she is there. So we decided to embrace the family bed. We moved 2 single beds together to make a king and we haven’t looked back.

Little B is waking less and when he does we are just there. Plus it’s nice to just roll over and give him a pat or hold his hands, rather than hauling my butt out of bed to another room. Or like last night, he sought me out during the night and slept cocooned in my arms.

I’m sure there are people who would pass judgement on this. An older relative told me to put a lock on his door and leave him to it. In contrast, a mother at kindy told she has 5 children and they all sleep in the same bedroom as her and her husband.

I’m a big believer in being there for our children when they need us. I also like the closeness of our family and Little B is also showing signs of being calmer, happier and more confident during the day time. He also loves telling people about our “bunk beds” LOL.

Obviously I wont be sick forever nor will we have a family bed forever. But I’ll keep doing whatever it takes for my little boy to be confident and happy. Like the mum at kindy I want to be open and honest about attachment parenting and our family bed. And also let people know it's normal for a child of any age to wake during the night to seek comfort. And that it's ok to comfort that child in any way that feels right to you and your family.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Moldy House Update

Well bad news was always in the offing. I’ve been told that I will never be able to live in our little house again. The type of mold there is so endemic and deep rooted, that while it can be mainly removed, it will probably return due to the nature of the block (it’s an aquifer). I also had such a massive exposure to toxic black mold, and such a bad reaction, that I will continue to react in the same way.

Unfortunately, I have had to throw all my clothes away as well as they cannot be cleaned. The type of mold, Stachybotrys, binds to the fibres and is unable to be washed out.

So we look forward. We will fix the house but look for a new House of B in the next 12 months. The Mold may reign supreme, but then again so do we. I now need to focus on getting healthy. They say my physical rehabilitation will take about 12 months and my health will take just as long to recover if not more, so it’s all good timing really.

When you think things are bad,
when you feel sour and blue,
when you start to get mad…
you should do what I do!

Just tell yourself, Duckie,
you’re really quite lucky!
some people are much more…
oh, every so much more…
oh, muchly much-much more
unlucky than you!

- Dr Suess, Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are

There will be more challenges as we get through this. We’ve been told that when we move we have to treat our belongings as if the house burned down. All the furniture will need to be disposed of, plus our clothes and books. If we take it with us, we run the risk of contaminating a new house.

We’ve had time over the last few weeks to reflect on this change, and we are completely at peace with the situation. Can we financially afford to do this? The answer is a big fat resounding NO! Ultimately though the health and survival of our family is more important than any old house. And as the Dr Suess story says, there are worse things that could have happened to us and we are lucky we caught it in time :-)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Finders Keepers Market

I have had the most gorgeous birthday weekend. My first sewing class was on Saturday, followed by a wedding that night and then off to the Finders Keepers Market this morning. What can I say? I have had a ball :-)

At the Finders Keepers Market

I loved these hand knitted Xmas decorations from Lark
And a series of cards and prints like this
And then this afternoon has been a gorgeous one spent in the garden, planting varieties of snow peas, beans and Lebanese cucumbers.

Saturday, October 9, 2010


I celebrated my 33rd birthday yesterday. The day began with baked donuts, some beautiful decorations and some hand-made cards.

Little B and I spent a cruisey day – hot chocolate with a close girlfriend, lunch with my dad plus some fun mum & son time (he’s more excited about birthdays than anyone – I have my own official present opener LOL).

Then dinner with my family (and the obligatory cupcakes cooked and iced by Granny B and Little B - yummo)

Now, I’m not big on pressies but this year was given two handy things :-). Dressmaking classes and a mini green house for my veggie garden.

I like to reflect on my birthdays: where I’ve been, what I’ve done and who I am. I have to say this has been one of the happiest birthdays in recent times. Perhaps because as I get older, I get more comfortable with my decisions and how I am shaping my life.

Perhaps life is just more enjoyable when it’s simplified? Who knows – but it’s been great.

Friday, October 8, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Like Family

Picture courtesy of

Today I realised that going to a hairdresser is a bit like meeting up with an old extended family member.

I’ve been feeling quite blah and yuck at the moment – have just gotten over a nasty cold and just the day to day side effects of my mould exposure. To top it off, my last hair cut was done by a new local hairdresser who butchered my hair. No other word for it – just hacked it off all over the place and it looked a mess. It was long and then it was horribly short and long – it looked like I had a haircut over a mullet.

I’ve been trying to grow it out, and the longer it gets the worse it looks. So what to do? We’ve been invited to a wedding on the weekend and I accepted that for peace of mind a hair cut was in order.

So yesterday I drove a million miles from where I currently live, back to my old hairdresser. Amongst other things she works with the Ovarian Cancer Foundation and the Breast Cancer Network, cutting hair of women who either have cancer or are recovering from cancer.

It was the best 1.5 hours of my life. They had toys for Little B and made him super welcome. They washed my hair with my own shampoo and conditioner as I don’t want to be exposed to any more poisons as I get better. But it was like being with family. I had known her for 8 years before we moved house, and she also used to cut my mum’s and my brother’s hair.

So we had history and being at similar-ish stages in our lives (her little boy is 2 years older than Little B), we had a great time catching up on the last 3 years. But she made me feel special, beautiful and cared for. I also got a great hair cut.

Interestingly she said that when you are sick, you come to a stage where you want to cling to your identity as the rest of you doesn’t currently match how you are used to viewing yourself. Having the same hairstyle or getting a good cut does that for you. And I have to say she is right – I was super exhausted after the long trip but I feel better when I look in the mirror. I wont be stressing that people are “looking at” the sick person when we go out to kindy or the library.

Hairdressers are like family. And I feel nourished and connected by this visit with an old friend.

Monday, October 4, 2010

10 Essential Things

Sarah Wilson posted her 10 Essentials and I thought I would jump on the bandwagon and post mine :-)

1. What I wear: I inhabit jeans, love my pj pants, and adore long earrings, hats & scarves. Nothing completes an outfit like long earrings or a hat (or both LOL)

2. What I eat: bananas smoothies, blueberries & vegie soups

3. Favourite uplifting activity: Digging and planting in the garden, especially when it’s sunny. I find this soul healing and peaceful.

4.  My other favourite uplifting activity: putting on some great tunes and having a boogie with my little boy

5. What I do for fun: belly dancing. I love the physicalness, the music, the female camaraderie from fellow dancers…I love it all really. My life is not complete without dancing.

6. What nourishes me: my family – lying in bed with my son having a “chitter chatter” before we get up in the morning is heaven; and hanging out with my dear husband makes me supremely happy.

7. My favourite smell: freshly baked bread

8. What else nourishes me: reading. You name it books, blogs, the newspaper – I’m addicted to reading. My life would be a whole lot sadder if I couldn’t read a good book.

9. How I feel better: cooking always makes me feel better. I love creating new things, making food for the people I love and care about and then eating the results.

10. My guilty pleasure!: not sure I want to really out myself on this one ;-) But my true guilty embarrassing pleasure is watching Gossip Girl.

Lazy Sundays

Artwork by Art Harrison
- more pak choy and lettuce

- I was banned from the kitchen by Little B & Granny B for most of the day due to secret shenanigans in preparation for my birthday later this week :-)
- Veggie shasliks & Quinoa Salad

- Knitting tips by Debbie Bliss

- well, banned from the kitchen, I spent the day mooching around the garden, knitting and reading a good book on the back porch enjoying the sunshine. Followed by a game of soccer on the grass with Little B.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

School Holidays, Part Deux

Week 2 of school holidays has been as much fun as the first. We have:

Made sand pictures at the library
Baked scones
Enjoyed the rain

Built "stick creations"

And back to the trusty library again, to make spring pictures and we even made some new friends

I cant believe it's Term 4 already!! :-)

Friday, October 1, 2010

{this moment}

{this moment} - A Friday ritual. A single photo - no words - capturing a moment from the week. A simple, special, extraordinary moment. A moment I want to pause, savor and remember.  Inspired by soulemama