Friday, March 26, 2010

Passing on the bloggy love

Rather belatedly, but better late than never!

A few weeks back the very lovely Chally of Zero at the Bone gave me this:

I am most flattered :-) Thank you Chally!

It comes with an instruction to list 7 things about myself, so here goes:

1. My left ear sticks out further than my right ear. When I was in my teens a doctor once helpfully told me that I could have it "fixed" with surgery but as I have never felt it was broken, and I regard the idea of unnecessary cutting of any part of my body with anathema, I wasn't particularly interested.

2. When I sit in on Caitlin's singing lessons I wish I was the one learning. Maybe one day. You know, when I have the money and time to spare.

3. I still have a pet rock that I "adopted" in primary school (for "adopted" read "stuck googly eyes on"), its name is Nargun and it sits in pride of place on display in the lounge room. Patricia Wrightson, author of "The Nargun and the Stars" died this week at the age of 88, I was sad.


4. I can't remember the last time I mopped the kitchen floor. It's been spot cleaned, in many places many times over, with water and paper towels when things have been spilled, but mopped all over - not so much. I really should do that.

5. I never did know what I wanted to be when I grew up, still don't. My life has kind of happened to me without me planning any of it. Fortunately it seems to have turned out rather well so far.

6. When I was little I used to keep snails as pets. I'd let them crawl all over my arms. I still like snails.

7. I broke my arm when I was in 1st grade. I fell over on the oval while being chased by Mark. Mark was chasing me because I'd kissed him in class before recess. I don't remember kissing Mark but I vividly remember the sight of my own forearm with an extra bend in it. My arm was out of plaster for some very short space of time (less than a month, maybe a week or two?) when I had a play date with a friend and her mum took us for a walk with their dog. I asked to hold the leash, the (very small) dog started running, I tripped...and broke my arm again. My friend's mum asked if I was sure it was broken and I remember thinking "Are you stupid?! It's not supposed to bend THERE!" But I didn't say it because I was a) in PAIN and b) too polite.

I'm going to pass the award on to a couple of very beautiful bloggers, go visit them and say hi from me!

Helen at Feeding Five For Fifty
cat at Juggling Act of Life

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

"Forgotten Songs"

Lots of bird cages

Art installation in Angel Place outside the Recital Hall where we went to the Discover Mahler concert on Monday night. Part of the "Laneways by George!" project.

For more Wordless Wednesdays click here.

Monday, March 22, 2010

New stuff, some made, some bought

Every Monday night this term Adam has been taking himself off to pottery classes. Tonight, on the way home from the Discover Mahler concert we stopped off at his teacher's home to pick up his finished pieces.

Pottery mosaic

He has also made us a chesky so that we don't have to hide our esky in the tent when we're at reenactment events.

The chesky

It's a chest that's large enough for our rather large esky to fit inside. Which means it's kind of huge. So it's probably a Good Thing that we also got finally got this:

My new VW Multivan


I had been planning on calling it The Blimp, Adam was putting in a vote for using The Zepplin instead, but as it turns out I'm leaning more towards calling it The Loungeroom (on wheels).

It even has a table - it's between the two seats there and can slide out and open up to a fairly decent sized top.

Loungeroom on wheels

Let's take a closer look at that back seat shall we? Not even a week old and look at all those paw prints! Clara is completely confused by my sudden insistence that she sit on the floor of the van, not to mention being very put out that she can't see out the windows from down there. I feel mean, but then I think of those great big black claws on the leather upholstery and cringe.

Paw prints

Those paw prints happened on the way to the dog park where Clara has been playing while I weave. I decided to try something a bit more interesting and threaded up a kivrim pattern and gave it a go. I think I ended up with the threading slightly wrong but decided it didn't really matter for the purposes of a test piece, I'll get it right next time hopefully.

First attempt at a kivrim pattern

Tablet weave kivrim pattern

I finished that piece and am now working on a simpler (and really rather boring) pattern which I'll probably use to trim one of the kids' tunics. Then I'm going to focus on getting some lengths done to sell at reenactment events, I need to choose patterns that look interesting but are relatively quick to weave. Hopefully the wool I've ordered from Bendigo Woollen Mills comes in time for me to use - I'm getting pretty fed up with the colours I have at the moment.

Monday, March 08, 2010

22nd Down Under Feminists Carnival

The 22nd Down Under Feminists Carnival is up at Fuck Politeness. Lots of links this month, so how about you celebrate International Women's Day by heading on over to read some fabulous writing by a fantastic bunch of women!

Sunday, March 07, 2010

Sunday in my City - Photos from my phone

Unknown Mami
Hosted by Unknown Mami

The building works at my kids' school - they're getting a new library, new loos and 2 new classrooms, all part of the BER government spending spree.

Building site at the school

The demountable classrooms that used to be where all that building work is going on had to be relocated to the oval, so the kids are missing half their sports field till it's all completed. Luckily there's a local park with a nice big oval just up the road so the kids can walk there for sport.

Demountables on the oval

There's a bunch of other work been going on around the school too, one of the buildings had a new roof put on, lots of painting and re-carpeting has been done and part of the playground has been resurfaced.

The resurfaced passive area

I mourn the loss of the pavers, they were so much more aesthetically pleasing, but OH&S decreed that the trip hazards must go. It doesn't look so bad really.

Back at home we've had some very persistent visitors to our back deck lately. They hang off the flyscreen at the door and screech demands for food. I gave in.

Rainbow lorikeets on the back deck

The cardboard box really needs to be replaced with a proper bird feeding platform one of these days.

On Saturday we headed off to Berrima for a combined groups training day for reenactment combat. I wasn't fighting, unless you count finally conquering the tablet weaving that I'd been avoiding finishing for months because the cardboard tablets I'd improvised while at a friends place were so horrible to use. Adam collected a nice batch of bruises, Tom and Caitlin spent the day climbing trees, Clara basked in the abundance of attention from dog-lovers galore and David gave his iPod a good workout.

I took some pics and vids of the combat, here's a small selection:

Berrima training

Berrima training

Monday, March 01, 2010

Beef casserole

Aka "I made it up" because that's what I answered when asked 4 separate times "It smells good, what is it?"

2 tablespoons olive oil
4 onions, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
4 short cut bacon rashers, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
1kg diced lean beef
4 tablespoons plain flour
800g tin crushed tomatoes
4 carrots, sliced
3 cups water
2 Massel beef stock cubes (each cube makes 500mL of stock)
2 teaspoons dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon allspice
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon sugar
salt and ground black pepper

1. Heat oil in a large saucepan. Cook bacon, then add onion, celery and garlic and cook until onion begins to brown.

2. Add beef and cook stirring until it browns (or at least isn't red any more....). Sprinkle flour over the mix and stir through (here we're aiming for no patches of white stuff - it's all very technical).

3. Add the tomatoes, carrots, water, stock cubes, thyme, allspice, worcestershire sauce and sugar. Bring it to the boil, stirring constantly then reduce to a simmer and cover. Go take your daughter to her hour-long singing lesson and hope like hell that you turned the stove down far enough. Come home, give it another stir and season to taste with freshly ground black pepper and boring old ordinary salt. (It really ought to be fancy sea salt flakes to go with the fancy pepper, but once it's dissolved it's all just NaCl.)

4. Take your son to Drama class and then go check out the new car you're probably, almost certainly, we'll see, buying. Come home and decide 2 hours simmering is probably enough. Put half of it in the freezer for one of those days when cooking is just not going to happen. (I ended up getting 12 serves out of this recipe.) Stick the rest in a serving dish in the microwave and put the rice on to cook. Send Dad to pick up the youngest child, set the table and feed the cats and dog so they'll shut up and leave you alone. Feed the fish too even though they're not complaining.

5. Serve over rice and fail to take a photo because you're too tired and hungry and it doesn't look particularly photogenic any way.

I'll take a photo next time I cook it, because it tasted pretty damn good. Even Caitlin liked it.

And we used up a whole sourdough loaf mopping up the gravy.

(I seem to be posting an awful lot of food posts lately. Tell me, is this good or bad?)