It’s nearly my Birthday!

Next Monday, I will turn 33.

33 years young. Where do the years go, eh!?

In the spirit of consumerism I thought I would put together a list of things I would happily accept as gifts…

While the old hills hoist in our backyard is iconic and goes hand in hand with our style of house I am keen to replace it with one of these beauties in a different locale…

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of course, you can never have too many teacups and why not have ones that make your tea into a heart!?

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A Japanese maple to remind me of my trip many many years ago.

Japan in autumn (red maple tree in Nanzen ji temple ( Kyoto)

A grapevine and new fence to grow it on up near the shed.

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This whole outfit because it is just lovely.

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This would come in handy for the (rare) times I do get away without the kids-right now I mostly use coles bags (shame, Erin, shame!)

Bally leather overnight bag, $1310, from Hunt Leather.

And even though it won’t hit our shores until Jan 2017 a ticket to this would be fab!

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Should you wish to forward any of these in honour of my date of birth please feel free to contact me and I shall provide you with a postal address 😉

What’s on your Birthday list!?

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Leaning in…

This stay at home mother caper can be tedious, downright boring and a little soul destroying. It can also be super awesome. I feel like I have been leaning in to the role recently even though I have been doing it for over 10 years now! I hate it when upon finding out that you ‘stay at home’ some people don’t ask anymore questions. It can be hard not having an identity past laundry, lunch and dinner lady*.

I have often discussed the idea of having a ‘fake job’ with a friend. We decided it would be good if we had some sort of ‘business’ to chat about while not having to actually go to an office (or do any paperwork)…am I making sense or rambling?

Basically, lately I have been making a concerted effort to delight in being at home. Michael works so we can pay the bills (I am fully aware that he would like to not have that responsibility-more discussion on that later perhaps!) and I am grateful to him for providing for us. There is (of course) a shed load that needs doing around here so I am kept busy but why not be happy doing it. Now, let’s not get all Pollyanna about this declaration-I have melt downs to rival the best, the house is not spotless, I get tired and grumpy and I sometimes daydream far too long about jumping on a plane to find some handsome silver fox in France to shack up with. Seriously.

In the vein of enjoying it I have been finding different ways to drive to town just to look at the scenery. I have been baking-more than usual and as I told you before I have gotten stuck in to P&C. I know that this time will perhaps come to an end when all my brood are off doing their own thing and I am pretty sure empty nest syndrome will bite big time.

In the spirit of being cheery I found a beautiful spot on the drive back from the shops yesterday…

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And today I got teary at a stack of crockery…

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Something about the memories that these cups, saucers and plates have been part of. The church where these reside has been here since 1879 (the crockery slightly less than that I presume!). They remind me of my Grandma and just made me feel lovely-yes I realise that is odd but whatevs, they are super pretty! Now after making a stack of ANZAC biscuits to sell at school, wreaths to lay and getting one of the boys ready for cross country after making dinner, cleaning up and doing the folding I am knackered….do it all again tomorrow, eh!?

*It can also suck when people think you have it easy by not working outside of the house and are more than happy to share their feelings with you…idiots.

**I do ‘work’ occasionally but the chasing of the work is exhausting and it always seems to get taken over by something going on here. When I do do flowers I LOVE it-LOVE. I just hate the business side of things and actively avoid it…

On regret, and making hay

When the twins were 3 months old, I enrolled in an interior design course at my local TAFE. I am not sure what the hell I was thinking with a 20 month old and 2 brand spanking new bundles to tend to! Perhaps subconsciously I knew my Marriage was hurtling towards its demise and maybe it could be a career I could raise my children with. I would drop off my bebes to the daycare around the corner 3 days a week and head to class to pour over color charts, design briefs and fabric swatches. It was heaven! It was soothing to my soul to not have to think about what I would return to at the end of the day. The boys were lovingly looked after and I was happy for at least 7 hours a day, 3 days a week.

One of the students had four children and was super organised. I remember asking her ‘how she got it all done’ and her reply was (politely and with a big smile) to ‘make hay while the sun shines. Sometimes advice can be put into action straight away while other tidbits are kept on the back burner until you have use of them. I often think of those words of wisdom now as I potter around after my rapidly growing brood.

Now, let it be known that I do not ‘potter around’ willingly all of the time. I (like most Mothers) occasionally do it with whinging, disdain and hatred. I fret that the boys think this is my function, that this is what Mothers are good for-picking up, cooking, cleaning etc. how does one bestow empathy, kindness and set a good example while occasionally dreaming of running away to France under a false name and shacking up with some silver Fox frenchman? (This seems to be a theme, no!?).

Parenting is perhaps the most difficult balance of love and hate, no?

I was recently discussing regret with a dear friend and decided that regret is elemental to life. I think a no regret mentality is rather egotistical and fanciful. If you have none then you are 110% confident that EVERY decision you made was the absolute right one. I just don’t think it is possible.

I regret not finishing my Uni degree so as to have a job I could ‘go back to’. I regret making decisions with the information I had because that information was faulty. I regret not travelling before having a brood, the list goes on.

Now to be clear (even though it sounds otherwise) I do love my life. It is a very happy existence! I simply use my regret to propel my future decisions. Learning from the stumbles, mistakes and absolute wrong turns can only help you in the future if you are willing to garner what you can from them.

What do you reckon, thoughts on regret? I’m all ears…

El Presidente!

When the school P&C AGM rolled around I kind of knew I would accept the nomination of president. I am always keen to be involved in the boys school so why not get really stuck in!? The P&C consists of some lovely parents all eager to help where they can. As with EVERY other school there is always room for more people to attend meetings. We’ll see if we can get a ‘recruitment drive’ going and encourage others to get involved…wish us luck!

So far the year is off to a cracking start with our recent grant proposal (written by our treasurer and an awesome parent) accepted so we can replace all of the schools readers. I got to hang onto a giant cheque and have my pic taken which was pretty cool and have a quick chat about the bank possibly sponsoring part (or all!) of a fete we are considering holding (much) later in the year*.

We also utilise a council carpark for the school so the maintenance falls on them. As it is a good size and just off the highway, it is used by travellers throughout holidays and weekends (occasionally people even exercise their horses on our oval-not cool people, not cool!).  Currently there is no bin so we get to see such delightful things as disposable nappies, beer cans and general waste right outside the school gate. We also need the pedestrian crossing re-sprayed, the bus stop moved and a couple of dead trees felled.

After doing the ring around at council I was asked to put it all in writing (which of course I knew) and send it through. I am a little sceptical that it will be attended to swiftly…then I remembered that I have met our deputy Mayor!

At a CWA luncheon last year Mum, Fox & I sat with him. He was delightful and I asked all manor of questions regarding septic systems and living on a little bit of land as we had only just moved in a month earlier. I think I may give him a call and ask for some guidance in regards to getting things done as I am new to both the President role and dealing with councils in regards to getting things done. Can’t hurt, right?

We are right on the border of our local council so it does seem that we get a little forgotten. There are no councillors our way…something to consider in the future perhaps?

Have you had to deal with council in order to get something achieved-where should I be placing my expectations? High, low or middle of the road?

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*A Christmas market is on the cards….mucho organisation required to get a proposal together before our next meeting…any words of wisdom (other than DON’T DO IT YOU CRAZY FOOL!).

A Sunday well spent…

brings a week of content. At least that’s what pinterest tells me 😉

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Taking time out to have a cuppa under the trees and read the Sunday paper led to a lovely day.

After feeling unwell for quite some time and ending up with this guy in my elbow for an MRI. I have been forced to go slow.

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Interesting how we take our health for granted when it isn’t an issue isn’t it. I don’t think I eat poorly or take bad care of myself but being ill has made me take more note of what i put in my mouth and also made me get off my arse more to benefit my overall health. Frustratingly after multiple tests and specialists appointments I have no answer as to why I have been off my game. That in itself has been a mental challenge. I will end up having some hospital time to have a peek at how my coeliacs disease is travelling but apart from that nothing is showing up. boo.

I am feeling on the up and up which has resulted in some time in the kitchen enjoying baking and utilising the new space we have created that has taken quite a bit of work! In the meantime I am being kind to myself and poring over cookbooks for inspiration. This weekend it was melting moments. I made them with gluten free flour so kept them mini as they can be crumbly. You should make some, they are easy and a nice nostalgic treat. This recipe is from my fave Donna Hay.

Classic melting moments
  • 175g unsalted butter, softened
  • ¼ cup (40g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (150g) plain (all-purpose) flour, sifted
  • ¼ cup (35g) cornflour (cornstarch), sifted

lemon filling

  • 60g unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup (160g) icing (confectioner’s) sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind

Murder in Green Valley

I am a fairly tolerant lady. Not a lot rattles me (generally speaking!).

I let the chooks come into the house, spiders co-habitate with us on our ceilings and geckos are practically our pets.

However, we recently had an influx of field mice.

At first they didn’t bother me…they even got pretty friendly and would casually come out to see what we were watching on telly at night when the boys were tucked up and quiet. We tried to be considered about how to keep them out. To start with Michael went a bit cray cray with a few tubes of expanding foam filling EVERY nook and cranny he could find.

It was all going well until one of them had the audacity to climb onto my bedside table amongst my jewellery and perfumes when I was dozing off one night. That was not cool man. Then we found their point of entry that they had made themselves-fancied themselves as renovators I guess…IMG_0912

This was behind the tools we had stacked in the corner while working on the kitchen.

They were too big for mouse traps and too small for rat traps so I got serious and put out some bait.

Well, the joke was on me because 2 of them died in my wardrobe and stunk the place out! One in my toiletries back snuggled into my lovely shower cap and the other in my Lady Chatterley’s Affair basket…

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When I came across this one I squealed like a toddler. The toiletries bag and shower cap got turfed along with the body but the basket got a good wash and air and is back in rotation as a morning tea and drink bottle carrier for soccer on Saturdays.

Obviously rodents aren’t my bag baby 😉

cooling down…

Well the months have rolled on and the kitchen is 99% finished. I will do a detailed post when we get the kick boards, marble tops and tiling done. My bet would be that nothing is going to get finished until the boys go back to school. I ended up quite unwell towards the end so that slowed the process. Thankfully it seems it was a viral thing and has moved on. It wasn’t pleasant and I am glad to be on the mend albeit slowly. Pacing myself has become a priority-not something I am overly good at I must admit.

Holidays have seen slow days, lots of cooking, visitors, sewing and board games. Along with a LARGE dose of screen time which I am considering seriously monitoring upon the return of school…

I have been getting out into the garden which has been enjoyable. I am itching to get going on some more planting. So far I have added 3 magnolia little gems, an orange tree and sorted out the pots at the back door. I have a banksia, cats whiskers hedges and a native to go in once I work out where they will live! The decision has been made to put the vege garden at the front of the house. The stump of the pepper tree that we got rid of is of course in the road at the moment. Michael tells me that he is going to get rid of it but I don’t see that happening anytime soon so I will plant around it to get started.

I have been watching River Cottage Australia to get inspired. I am a big fan of the show-do you watch it? How pretty is this…

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Perhaps we could have a dinner party next to the new beds-want to come?

I also still have guest accommodation on my mind. We love having visitors and it would be lovely if we had some space for them to sleep over. I can totally see something like this in Green Valley-minus the snowy mountains of course (although the way the temperature is going down a bit of snow wouldn’t surprise me 😉

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I am enjoying the cooler change. I rather like getting round in jeans, wellies and a jumper. I do need to get the kitchen and bathroom windows finished and back on before it gets cold…not ideal to be without windows when the wind howls through! Any plans for autumn?