Monday, March 31, 2008

Football, Schmootball!!!

Yes it's that time of year again...the time when all the men in this house get that glazed over look in their eyes and sit in front of a television for longer than they hog the newspaper! When they start communicating in a language that is foreign to the females around here! And when they suddenly organise their social life around Friday night and weekend television viewing!

You guessed it, of is...ho, season again!

Now, it doesn't matter what the code it league, rugby or AFL.....the testosterone filled excitement around here is palpable! Suddenly, the breakfast table becomes filled with talk of such things as scrums, tackles, goals, tries, forwards, line-outs etc! Not that I understand, nor wish to understand, any of it! But watching a pair of males bond over their favoured teams and who among them happens to be leading in the local footy-tipping competition is something to behold! Regularly across the weekend, they can be seen leaning over televisions, radios and computers trying to get their regular fix of updates! They have huddled discussions on who should win and who didn't and which players had a good game etc etc! The twelve year old suddenly adopts an entire maroon wardrobe (Broncos colours, in case you're wondering!) and his front yard play is devoted to kicking an oval shaped ball into the air (and on the roof!) while he stands under it and tries to catch it!

Oh and I don't intend to sound sexist! I appreciate that there are women out there reading this who also like a variety of football games and more power to's just that in this house, we girls don't particularly!

But this year, the football stakes in our house are higher! For the first time ever, I have consented to the said twelve year old playing competition rugby! Ok, I didn't have much choice (and yes, he did do AFL last year which was only slightly safer!)! He desperately wanted to trial for his school team and as he is now going to a school that is known for its football ability, my opinion (ok nagging) about safety was overridden! No one here (apart from me) seems to care that football players almost always have chipped teeth and broken noses! No sirey! All they care about is the rough and tumble action of playing the game! Far out!

So this winter, dear reader, I am biting my tongue, sitting on my hands and wishing like heck that cricket lasted for twelve months of the year (Yep, cricket players wear heaps of padding and helmets to protect their precious faces.....ok, ok, the occasional accident like a black eye ;) does happen but it's not make by some else's body connecting with your face!) And if I make it through to the end of the season without heart palpitations along the way, then it will be a minor miracle! Wish me luck!

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter Celebrations!

I can't believe that Easter is almost over and it's back to work tomorrow! :( Normally we have more holidays at this time and an extra week to recuperate. This year however we have to wait two more weeks for that privilege! Darn.....two more weeks of work!

Yesterday, we spent the day at Bellbird Grove with family. This is a nice little (ok, big!) park just past The Gap in Brisbane. It's amazing to think that only 12 km out of the city you can get this type of rural environment, isn't it!

Most of the day was spent cooking up a bbq, eating, resting, talking and entertaining children. There is a little dam that my SIL walked the children to and Miss 8 spent the rest of the afternoon saying how great it was! Of course, we also had the usual Easter egg hunt and family game of cricket!

And the other highlight was a visit from the local, friendly goanna (or lace monitor)! Actually, I think that there are a few of them there, but this one was pretty game (about a metre from nose to tail, too)- coming very close to inspect what we were doing so close to its environment and then posing for some great photos! Lol! A show-off lizard!!!

So in all, it was a quiet, relaxing Easter. Hope yours was just as nice!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Happy Easter to All of My Blog Readers!

I hope that your day was restful and that the bunny (or bilby down here!) came and left you a few hip-lovin' (lol!) eggs!

Our day was spent with family, but more on that in a future blog!

Today I am posting a photograph of the table that Little Miss 8 set up for the Easter bunny/bilby last night! She prepared it totally on her own and it was so cute that I had to laugh! No doubt said bunny/bilby was delighted to come across such a sweet set-up! ;)

Friday, March 21, 2008

The Phantom of the Opera

Softly, deftly, music shall caress you
Hear it, feel it, secretly possess you
Open up your mind, let your fantasies unwind,
in this darkness that you know you cannot fight
the darkness of the music of the night.

Well now I know what all of the fuss was about! Tonight I finally saw this show in the current Australian production! Wow! Now I know what I've been missing out on!

I did love so much of it! I loved the songs and the storyline! I adored the amazing costumes and I marvelled at the special effects! The stunning sets left me speechless (The gargoyles, chandelier and boat scene were enough to leave anyone speechless)! I even sang along with the actors as they performed. Why then, did I feel like something was missing? Possibly because Anthony Warlow was not performing on the night of our viewing! We got the understudy....a fine and capable singer no doubt, but let's face it, Warlow has the 'it' factor that you can't bottle and usually have to be born with! I wanted someone on the stage to transport me passionately into the storyline but alas it didn't quite happen (ok, it did in the final scenes and heck, I was mesmerised! If only it could have been that way throughout the entire performance).

Having said all of that, I did rush out at interval and buy the cd so that I could sing it all again on my drive home. And just so that I'm not alone, I've added it to my imeem player so you can all get it stuck in your head for the rest of the day, too! Lol! Enjoy!

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Slow Cooker Osso Bucco!

My love affair with my slow cooker continues to simmer (Lol!). In fact, it has become an integral part of my dinner preparations for at least one night per week. I know that there is some preparation beforehand - in my case usually the night before - but it is so easy to place the crock pot into the heat cradle in the morning and come home to the smell of dinner cooking in the evening! Nice! It's also great for family members who come in late from work, sport training etc as we can all eat at different times but the food remains warm.

Here is a favourite in our house....Osso Bucco! It does involve preparing a gremolata at the end, but believe me, it is worth it!

4 lamb shanks
1 tbs flour seasoned with mixed herbs (your choice of herbs!)
1 onion, diced
2 sticks celery, sliced
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 tsp minced garlic
1/2 cup wine
1 x 440g tin crushed tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
2 tbs tomato paste

Toss the shanks in the seasoned flour. Place all ingredients in the hot pot. Cook on low for 6-8 hours.


1/4 cup fresh parsley, finely chopped (and yes, has to be fresh cause it's just so darn nice!)
2 tsp garlic
1 tablespoon lemon rind.

Mix all ingredients in a bowl.

Serve Osso Bucco with rice (I have a rice cooker that I can't recommend enough!). Top with gremolata! Yum!

Saturday, March 15, 2008

The Telephone Call!

A few weeks ago, my phone rang just as I was almost out the door and heading to drop the 12 year old at cricket! (You know, those times when you have a 'should I answer it or shouldn't I' moment and then realise that you probably shouldn'ta!!)

It was a senior at my work.

"Ummmmm", she stuttered quietly down the phone. "I was just wondering if you would be interested in working an extra day a week?"

I stood in stunned-mullet silence, gaping at the telephone receiver.

"Why?" I managed to blurt out.

"Because we have someone with health issues who needs to drop a day's work".

Simple as that! No begging, no pleading, no sucking up at how I was perfect for the job! Just a simple question and life as I knew it was changed in a moment!

Isn't that always that way?

I could have said no. I probably should have said no. I have serious back issues. I get migraines. My life is one giant roller coaster ride of work, eat, sleep, run after kids! How on earth could I fit all of that in and work an extra day?

And then, I saw it looming in front of me......HIGH SCHOOL FEES!!!

So I said yes!

And now, I am just so tired! My house is a complete and utter shambles (and yes, I know I should put the others in this house to work more but sometimes it's more work for me actually doing things that way!). My free time has almost gone and I am looking down the barrel of at least 5 more months like this! Stupid, stupid high school fees! But least now I can pay them and still have nights of take away dinners! Lol!

And the lesson that I've learned in all of this is that if the phone rings as you are walking out the door....leave it! It's probably not important anyway!

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Ah The Memories!

I have just had a chance to see the new Powderfinger music clip! Ahhhh, the memories it brings back of the great night that we saw them and Silverchair in concert at the Entertainment Centre. If you want to see a brilliant Australian guitar band in concert, check this out!

Monday, March 10, 2008

Free of Sin!

Miss 8 is in the process of making her First Communion and Confirmation. This involves a whole lot of weekends going to special lessons etc etc and each week is about some new aspect of the First Communion/Confirmation journey.

This week's topic was reconciliation.

So this evening, a few hours after the lesson, she comes up to me and says, 'You know mummy, we have to go to church on Wednesday night this week cause we have to do this thing where we tell Father about our bad choices'.

'Ok', says me! 'That's called Reconciliation. You talk to him about what bad choices you've made and about how you can improve next time'.

'Well', she says thoughtfully, 'That's going to be a bit hard for me'.

'Why?' I asked.

'Cause I've thought about what I've done wrong and you know what....I've got nothin'!!!!!'

Ahhhh the innocent! Needless to say, I gave her some suggestions! Lol!

*picture courtesy of Angel Guide

Sunday, March 9, 2008

My Latest Book Obsession

Have you noticed anything new about this blog? Yep, that's right! New Shelfari to the right! For a long time, I've avoided putting one up because my reading habits are a bit like the rest of my life....if I can fit it in, great, if not then it gets neglected! But lately, since I have found vampire romances of all things, I have been good. I did also commit to trying to fit more personal reading into my schedule after going the inspirational Bruce Sullivan seminar (one of the things he talks about is work-life balance) and so far it's bubbling along nicely!

So my latest great book read is the Undead series by MaryJanice Davidson. Now if the thought of anything to do with vampires makes your blood cringe (lol!) then take heart (double lol!) cause this one is just so much fun! In fact, think Stephanie Plum meets vampire girl and you have the character of Betsy Taylor....newly turned vampire who, it just so happens becomes the vampire queen thanks to a book of prophecies which describes all of Betsy's special qualities - like being able to pray and wear crosses and be staked, all without the traditional effect! The problem is that Betsy is more interested in keeping all of her human friends and family and worrying about her massive shoe collection than doing any queenly duties!

And of course, for all of the romance lovers like me, there is the very hunky, tall, dark and almost scary Eric Sinclair who falls into the job of being Betsy's consort and future husband.

So funny was Davidson's writing that I found my self laughing out loud to many of the little jokes in the book - something I haven't done since the likes of Stephanie Plum and Bridget Jones!

For those of us who love a series, this one doesn't disappoint either. From what I can gather, there are 6 books in the series (I've read up to book 5 and am waiting on #6) with another one due mid this year. And to whet the appetite there are also a number of novellas in between.

So don't be put off. This book is more chick-lit than scary vamp stuff and is great for a weekend of light reading.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

Ouchies.....Hit For Six!

Well, not quite hit for six....actually the opposite (and if you are from a non-cricket lovin' country then you need to know that a 'six' is when you hit the ball on the full into the grandstand and the crowd cheers and shouts and screams cause it is worth 6 points and you don't even have to run!!!)

So, what does one cricket ball and one bad shot and one over-sized, ill-fitting school helmet equal.....right, that would be a ball in the left cheekbone leaving an egg the size of a small continent on your face! Yep! And it also leaves a couple of weeks of rainbow bruising - rainbow in that I think it's turned every colour except red! Oh heck....maybe if you count the little scratch where the stitches on the ball left an indent on the skin then yes, red can be claimed!

This is my twelve year old son that we are talking about and yes, it did happen at school cricket training. And yes, it did get medical attention and much to our relief isn't broken (phew!) but hey, it makes for an interesting story and is obviously a badge of cricketing boys' honour at the moment. Thankfully, the egg has now gone and it is healing but is still a little muli-coloured.

And what was the most painful part? Was it the huge walloping lump on the side of his face? No! Was it the fact that it was so swollen when it first happened that it impaired his vision slightly?! Perhaps the embarrassing colours? No, no, no!

Of course, it was the fact that he mishit the ball and top edged it into his face in front of all of his peers! Doh, of course!

Monday, March 3, 2008

Happy Birthday To Me!

Well, it was a few days ago.

Birthdays aren't usually very special things. I got over the big one a year ago so this year's was going to just go by unnoticed! Well, at least that is what I thought. Ok, I did organise dinner at a restaurant with my parents on the night before but hey, that's what good families do! Right?! Little did I know that my sneaky husband (who ignored last year's celebrations, I might add!) went to the restaurant earlier in the day with a gorgeous arrangement of native flowers for the table (see pic), a beautiful card and a birthday cake for dessert! Sneaky, but much appreciated and yes, I'm still in shock!

He even outdid himself the next day and gave me the dvd of 'Who Do You Think You Are?' (the Australian version) and another dvd that he thought I might like with Ewan McGregor riding a motorbike around somewhere (will let you know once I've watched it!).

And to top it all off, the 8 year old nagged her dad into taking her to the shops the day before so she could spend her pocket money on a box of chocolates and a Powderpuff girl (yeah, yeah, I know but it is just so sweet!) keyring! The fact that she did this without any hints, etc had me almost in tears. And she spent my actual birthday morning cleaning her room which was what I had asked both kids to do for my birthday anyway! Ok, I know it's such a mum's thing to request, but if it works, flaunt it! Lol!

And the birthday day was spent doing what I love, taking the 8 year old to lunch for a girlie afternoon and having dinner with friends!

So until next year, here's hoping that this one goes by very very slowly!

Sunday, March 2, 2008

Home Sweet Tent!

The first assembly of our little tent!

This is a practice run and obviously we haven't put the fly thingy over the top nor all of the pegs in but you get the general idea!

We are looking for a nice little refrigerator and a picnic table to complete the collection.

And we are hoping that it won't be freezing over Easter.

And I'm hoping that our site will be somewhere near clean flushing toilets! Lol!