Tuesday, June 07, 2011

Packing up and moving house

After five and a bit years here on blogspot I'm finally packing my bags and moving to my very own domain.

Allow me to present the new home of Mim's Muddle:

Blog banner with text

Go on, click on through and have a look around.

All the posts and comments have been hauled over to the new place so I'll be closing comments here and I'm hoping you'll all follow me on over and continue the conversations at my new place :-)

Sunday, June 05, 2011

Sundays in My City

Unknown Mami

My blog has moved! You can find this post and all its comments at my new place.

Today was a beautiful crisp cool day with brilliant blue skies, perfect for going along to a rally in support of placing a price on carbon pollution. Apparently quite a few other people thought the same, which makes me feel a little better about not being able to go.

We'd have been there in a heart-beat if we could but it was not to be. Tom's school had their band camp this weekend and we therefore had a concert to attend at 1pm and a child to collect and bring home afterwards, so no climate change action rally for us.

Adam and I left the two older kids at home and had a nice quiet drive out to the camp site. The 3 bands all played very well and Tom seems to have had a good time so that was nice.

None of which do I have any photos of to share.

However, when we arrived home and I got out of the car I found myself nose to nose with one of my most favourite things in the world. A praying mantis.

Praying mantis

Wanting to see if I could get a better angle and background, I picked her (I think) up, whereupon she immediately walked up my forearm.

Praying mantis

In this shot she's looking at the dog, who was bouncing around wanting to know what on earth I was doing standing in the garden taking photos of my own arm and hand.

Praying mantis

Back up to my elbow.

Praying mantis

On my hand, lunging for the camera.

Praying mantis

Time to say goodbye.

Praying mantis

And here she is back in the tree.

Praying mantis

Don't forget to pop over to Unknown Mami's place to check out all the other Sundays in My City posts!

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

37th Down Under Feminist Carnival at Boganette

The 37th Down Under Feminists Carnival is up at Boganette. I'm going to have to save this for the weekend, if I start clicking I'm going to get lost in discover-new-blogs land for days and there's stuff what needs to be done around here!

The next edition of DUFC will be hosted by Rebecca at bluebec.com, the one after that will be right here at my little blog, I'm both looking forward to it and slightly mind-boggled by the prospect.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

New tablet weaving!

These ones are all for sale in my shop:

"Kivrim" 1.5m long 17mm wide

"Ramshorn" 3.6m long, 31mm wide

"S&Z" 1.5m long 20mm wide

And here's a few more samples of other patterns I've done:

"Eternity" 20mm wide

"Zigzags" 20mm wide

"Checks" 12mm wide

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Chicken udon soup

Another in my "write it down so you don't forget what you did" series of impromptu recipe creations. This is the sort of thing that happens when I haven't even begun to think about dinner till after 7pm and the thought of pizza delivery makes me feel slightly ill.

Chicken and udon soup

3 serves of udon noodles (I used Hakubaku Organic Udon which come dried in a 270g/3 serve pack)
1 tblspn olive oil
2 heaped teaspoons of diced garlic from a jar
4 shallots sliced
1/4 red capsicum diced
2L of water and 3 Massel chicken style veggie stock cubes
420g can of corn kernels drained
190g tin of whole champignons drained (or fresh mushrooms if you have them)
1 cup of diced BBQ chicken leftovers
a few shakes of dried chili flakes
a slosh of soy sauce
a drizzle of sesame oil

Cook udon until just short of done, drain and set aside
In a large pot cook garlic, shallots and capsicum in the olive oil for a few minutes
Add water, stock cubes, corn, mushrooms and chicken and bring to a simmer
Add udon, chili, soy sauce and sesame oil, simmer till the udon is cooked.

The kids all had seconds.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

He's a hobbit

I slept in a bit this morning, as one does on a Sunday, especially in school holidays. Eventually I got out of bed, showered and dressed and began yelling at the kids to do the same. I then cooked egg and bacon rolls for the hordes, poured myself a glass of orange juice and set the kettle on to boil.

I finished my food and suggested to Adam that he might like to make the tea saying "I've boiled the kettle..." Only I hadn't. Because someone had unplugged it in order to plug in the sandwich press. And the only person who uses the sandwich press of a morning is Tom when he makes himself the egg version of toad in a hole. Tom, who with every sign of ravenous hunger had just eaten his egg and bacon roll.

"Tom," I called down the hall, "did I just feed you second breakfast?"

"Well," he replied, "I did have first breakfast earlier."

Saturday, April 09, 2011

Ironfest goes Steampunk

I've just received an email asking if I'd be willing to let all my lovely readers know about what's happening with the Lithgow Ironfest this year (though I suspect that those it's relevant for may well already know). We've had some fun times at Ironfest but, sadly, this year Adam, the kids and I won't be able to get there as Adam will be off being a crew member aboard The Endeavour replica the weekend that Ironfest is being held.

For those of you who will be on solid ground and who might happen to find yourself in the vicinity of Lithgow in mid-May here's all the info:

The 12th annual Lithgow District Ironfest 2011,
will be held at the Lithgow Showground
over the weekend of May 14 and 15,
Sat. 10.00am – 6.00pm
Sun. 10.00am – 4.00pm.
Please note that this is a significant change of date for us – because Easter and Anzac day will occur at the same time this year, we have decided to move back into the dark cold winter period of “Steampunk!”

Bring your coats!

For those people new to Ironfest, it is a cool arts festival with a metal edge, featuring art exhibitions, stalls, live music, street performance, historical re-enactments, (including St George’s Day Jousting and a Napoleonic battle re-enactment entitled ‘The Battle of Lithgow’ featuring infantry, cannons and cavalry!), blacksmithing demonstrations, workshops, busking competitions, automotive displays, educational, historical and technological displays and lots more of a particularly ‘steamy’ nature this Ironfest!

Keep tuned to our program page which will start to announce events as they evolve.
Program Information: www.ironfest.com.au/PROGRAM (At time of posting this page is still "coming soon")
Ticket pricing and purchases: www.ironfest.com.au/TICKETS

Participant information:
Contact 02 63 531 638 or Email (preferred): ironfest@lisp.com.au or visit: www.ironfest.com.au/PARTICIPANTS for online applications (again, page is "coming soon").
There's an Ironfest group on Facebook and this year's festival has its own Facebook event listing so if you're planning on going head on over there sign up for updates and let them know you'll be there!

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Sundays in My City - Sydney Aquarium

Unknown Mami
Hosted by Unknown Mami

We had a slow start today, a late brunch and kids who didn't really want to leave the house. Adam persuaded us into dragging ourselves out to the car and off to the city despite the grey skies and rain. It's kind of handy that I married him, if we had to rely on me for family outings we'd probably never go anywhere.

We settled on going to Sydney Aquarium

Off to the aquarium

where it turned out they had a Lego exhibition happening

Lego Neptune

along with plenty of fish

It's a fish

more Lego

Lego helmsman



scary Lego

Lego great white shark

slightly tacky Lego

Lego mermaid

completely adorable dugongs



and of course, sharks of various kinds


Across the other side of Darling Harbour is the National Maritime Museum which is currently home to the replica of The Endeavour, on which Adam is booked to sail as a crew member on one of the legs of its upcoming circumnavigation of Australia. Adam will join the ship in Brisbane in May and sail with them to Gladstone.
The Endeavour

The Endeavour

I gather there will be hammocks and being on watch and having to learn the ropes involved. If there is any climbing of rigging I do not want to know about it.

Don't forget to visit Unknown Mami's place for a glimpse of Sundays all over the world!

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Bullying sucks

Every so often one of those Facebook status spams annoys me enough that I can't keep ignoring it. Tonight's gripe comes to you courtesy of the spate of anti-bullying sentiment doing the rounds in response to the video of a bullied kid lashing out at his tormentor.

Here's the status spam in question:
The girl you just called fat, she is starving herself and has lost over 15kgs. The boy you just called stupid, he has a learning disability and studies over 4hrs a night. The girl you just called ugly, she spends hours in the mirror putting on makeup hoping people will like her. The boy you just tripped, is abused enough at home. There is more to people than you think. Put this as your status if you're against bullying.

This makes me really uncomfortable because there's an implication that it's the acts of losing weight, of studying many hours, of trying to fit the beauty ideal and of being already abused that make it not ok to bully these people.

No, no, no, a thousand times no. 

It's not ok to bully anyone irrespective of whether they perform conformity or whether they have an otherwise happy existence and it disturbs me to see something like this being posted and reposted without any questioning of the assumptions that lie behind the argument.

We need to do much, much better than this.

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

When needs must

This evening Caitlin, Tom and I were sitting on the 2 seater lounge together watching TV (Adam Hills in Gordon Street Tonight), Adam was sitting on the other lounge, the 3 seater one, all by himself.

Clara began by walking restlessly around the lounge room, she barked at invisible people in the cul-de-sac and was yelled at to keep quiet, she looked pathetically at the kids, she stood in front of Adam and growled pointedly. He offered her the rest of the lounge on which he was sitting but apparently his growl translation circuit was broken, that wasn't what she wanted. I can only presume she was trying to get him to evict the kids for her because when I said to her "Do you want to get up here?" this is what happened.

I ended up with a great gangling lump of a dog on my lap.

Lap dog?

And then I got kisses.


Mmm, tasty!

Lookit that tongue!

And we settled in to watch the rest of the show.


She looks a bit peeved doesn't she? Clearly she feels that the kids have no right to be usurping her spot on the lounge, but when there's no alternative one does whatever is necessary to get close to Mum!

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Weekend woes and wins

It's been hot and humid all weekend. I've got a lurgi that comes with a sore throat, headache, shakiness and mild nausea - every time I try and do anything other than sit on the lounge I end up a gasping, sweaty, can't stand unsupported mess. We've gone nowhere and done nothing except housework and I had to argue with David to convince him to watch Blade Runner with me. It's doing my head in I tell you! And my sore throat is putting paid to any serious singing practice.

On the other hand, my dog is cuddly and cute, the air-con works, my kids and husband bring me hot and cold drinks when I ask them to. I had lots of dvds to watch and all the clean clothes got folded as I sat on the lounge watching the end of season 6 of Lost. Don't ask, it was a can't look away from the train wreck thing, Adam kept having to leave the room in order to protect the TV.

The reason I was forcing David to watch Blade Runner is that he has to pick a sci-fi movie to prepare a presentation on for English. Of course all he's thinking of is "PRESENTATION  - ARRGH! Run for the hills!" I, meanwhile, am thinking "Cool! English assignments are so much better than when I was at school. Let's watch ALL THE MOVIES!" So, 10 Mum points for enthusiasm, not so many for practicalities. I think we'll watch Serenity next. What? Isn't that what kids are for, to project one's own obsessions on and live vicariously through?

I had planned to cook shepherd's pie tonight. I was lacking enthusiasm for the idea until I pulled up my recipe post from a couple of years ago, now I reckon I might be sufficiently motivated by the prospect of evoking another burst of praise from Tom:
"Smashed potato! Ooo, I LOVE smashed potato! Mum, that's just the way I remember you making shepherds pie. I LOVE your shepherds pie, it's the BEST!"

"You do know it tastes different every time I make it 'cause I don't use a recipe, don't you?"

"Yes, that's what I like best about it, you never know what you're going to get!"

I'll report back if there's a good response tonight!

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mini wildlife

As I was walking back to my car after work on Tuesday afternoon I spotted this little fellow sunning itself on the edge of the driveway. I was carrying a backpack and a guitar case and didn't much like my chances of getting my camera out without disturbing him but much to my surprise I did manage it.

Baby Eastern Water Dragon

Baby eastern water dragon

It was about the length of my hand from wrist to finger-tip and those tiny delicate toes were just beautiful.

Right after I captured a one-last-shot it decided it'd had enough of the big creature leaning over it and did an astonishingly high speed scurry off into the garden. And I continued on to my car with a smile on my face, gorgeous reptiles in my everyday spaces never fail to uplift me.

More pics on Flickr

Monday, February 14, 2011

We don't do Valentine's Day

But if you do I hope it's a nice one with lots of hugs and indulgence. Here's a *HUG* from me to add to your collection!

I'm at home with 2 kids fast asleep in bed (I hope - Tom was still awake at 11:30pm last night!) while Adam is out at sword training with David, so I've made myself a pot of tea, got myself an Anzac biscuit, and I'm going to put a dvd on and enjoy the peace for a little while.

Tea for one

Tea for one

Happy Valentine's Day!

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Saturday Fragments

I was going to post this yesterday but, as I completely forgot about it until just after midnight and hadn't actually written any of it yet, it has become a Saturday Fragments instead of a Friday Fragments post. 

This is a sort of "what I did last week" as recorded on Facebook with some elaborations.

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  • Plan for the day: drink tea, wash the dog, spend the rest of the day courting the dog's forgiveness, go to @shonias' place for dinner - I washed the dog, she was not amused. While we were out for dinner Tom delivered the amusing quote of the week:
  • Context free Tom: "Dad, it's not the size that matters, it's how hard it is." - it was actually in reference to choosing a rock with which to crack macadamia nuts.
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  • Dog just whacked herself on her own nose with her madly wagging tail. There was an audible THWACK! - she surprised herself into almost biting it too, we laughed.
  • We're in the car on the way to the beach. It has just started raining. Why are we doing this? - we were doing it because the week leading up to this point had been the hottest week Sydney had experienced in 150 years, over 40°C most days. When we'd arrived home at 1:00am on Sunday morning the outside temperature was 30°C (86F), turns out it was the warmest night ever recorded for Sydney.
  • We went to the beach. Didn't stay for long though! - the southerly change arrived bring winds and rain and the temperature had dropped to around 20°C by the time we got back home.
  • At Eastern City chinese for their Chinese New Year Lion Dance banquet - Tom got to feed a red envelope to the lion:
Offering the red envelope

Tom offering the lucky money envelope

About to get his head munched!

Tom about to lose his head

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  • Quiet summer evening, birds in the garden, cool breeze from the open doors, sun filtering through the leaves of the liquid amber #lifeisgood
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  • You know, life was so much easier during school holidays. Why do my kids (ok, and I) have to DO so much STUFF? Oh yeah, coz it's fun :-) - At drama class I was an Egyptian priest trying to perform a ceremony to Osiris in front a group of unruly kids, a role I invented for myself, we had a passage from the Hymn to Osiris to work with as an exercise - deliver it any way you want.
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  • I did something to my ankle last night, it hurts. Don't know what I did or when, but ow. And I'm on my feet at canteen half the day today - the ankle behaved ok but the sauna-like environment of the high school Canteen nearly did me in, I was not a happy vegemite.
  • Was feeling grumpy. Option A: Pick fight with husband. Option B: Unpack and repack dishwasher & tidy kitchen. I chose B #goodidea #notgrumpy - Thursday was a whingey, grumpy sort of day all round really.
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  • Blah, crap morning so far but better things ahead. Should get going or I'll end up late to my morning tea with @ChallyZatB - Friday started badly but got better.
  • BTW, the day that started crap turned into lovely morning tea with @ChallyZatB, yummy Japanese lunch w/ my dad and a swim w/ kids in arvo - we went to Pymble Pool late in the afternoon, my mum and one of Tom's friends came too and Adam met us there after work.
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  • Packemin Productions' Joseph is fabulous. It gets extra good marks for the wonderful plus size singers and dancers in the cast! - I love Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, it was the first musical I saw on stage as a kid, and this production did not disappoint! Caitlin and I went to the 2pm performance today.

From the Packemin website:
This pro-am production will feature a massive cast of talented musical theatre performers - and will also involve a number of schools in the local area to provide voices for the choir.
Go see it if you can, they've done a fantastic job with the kids and the professional part of the cast were great too :-)
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I'm linking up very belatedly with Mrs 4444's Friday Fragments, click on through to see what everyone else has shared this week!

Mommy's Idea
Hosted by Mrs4444.