Sunday, November 30, 2008

The HSM Phenomenon

For over a year now, my nine year old has been espousing the words 'High School Musical' like a constant whisper in the echoes of our lives.

Today, thanks to a kind gift from a family member who had an unwanted prize, I was able to take Miss Nine and a couple of friends to see a sneak preview (in Australia anyway...I know it's already out in other countries) of High School Musical 3.

In the past, the raptures of the sound of the words and music from the over-used dvds were enough to send me running into another room for cover. Today, however as I sat through the screening I was actually kind of surprised.

What I realised, when looking over at the face of the friend's daughter next to me, who was constantly grinning throughout the movie, and when looking at my own daughter whose eyes were glued to the screen, is that this movie has something. In fact, it reminded me of a young girl (not
that many years ago) who sat in a similar position watching John Travolta and Olivia Newton John rocking in black leather pants at a fair ground and then flying off into the clouds. It reminded me of that same young girl who then had to go out and buy the black vinyl record and play it over and over again much to my parent's horror! And that same little girl inside of me was dancing around and swaying to the music of the next generation's Grease!

The movie itself was everything you would expect of a sweet and innocent musical-slash-love-story for teens and preteens. It had the boppy songs and wonderfully choreographed dance scenes. It had the handsome, clean-faced lead and his gorgeous love interest. It had a not-so-nice nemesis type character and it had a few simple problems that needed to be resolved throughout the storyline. And it even had one not-so-long, but obviously longed for if you believe the hoots of the teenage girls in the cinema with us, kiss scene!

What High School Musical does prove however is exactly what I've been saying about the Twilight popularity. That movie makers do not need to put in gore, violence or too graphic scenes to gain popularity. A good love story with interesting characters who have some level of chemistry are a certain winner everytime! And as a mother, I'm happy to know that my daughter prefers this type of flick!

So, what began as an anticipated couple of torturous hours to keep the kids happy actually turned out to be pleasantly enjoyable! Even for an old (
ish!!!) mother like me!!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Packed To The Rafters

I am up early because the Superteen has cricket this morning and demanded that we all get out of bed at 6am so that he could get to his 8am game!!! Arrrrghhhhh!

I love Packed To The Rafters! It is one of my fave Aussie shows. But watch this excerpt from the show from about 8.30 onwards (just at the end) and tell me what is wrong with this family image!!!! (And yes, I've picked a youtube vid so that all of you overseas people can join in, too!)

Friday, November 28, 2008

Like A Bridge Over Troubled Waters

Do you ever have days when you are feeling like this???? I do! In fact, today is one of those days!

I am stressed and feeling blue! I have troubles with:

**the children (too much hormone-filled Superteen, too much lazy behaviour, too much arguing, fighting, crankiness....should I continue??)

**the house (mess, mess, mess!)

**my health (*cough, cough, cough*)

**work (busy, busy, busy)

**Dear Husband (don't get me started!!)

**me (too old, too frumpy, too tired!)

**the car......I had to buy four of these:
So, to make me feel better and not so blue, I invested in one of these:

Using favourite!!!
Then I bought a soft-shelled crab one of these (you so have not lived until you try a soft-shell crab one! Trust me!).

And my all-time favourite feel-good drink.....a skinny hot chocolate one of these:

And then I picked up my Gold Class tickets to see this:
See, I feel better already! Do I feel guilty? Nooooooooooooo!!!!!! Do I feel poor....ummmm....maybe! Tee hee!

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Super Summer Salad! Yum!

To celebrate the beginning of summer and the wonderful foods that come with it, I present the salad that I tossed together (ummmm...literally!) about a week ago. Dear Husband has been buying delicious pieces of salmon from a store near his work so when we have left-overs, we love to throw them into a 'day after' salad!

In this one, we combined:

left-over fresh salmon, cut into chunks
shredded lettuce
rocket leaves
chopped Lebanese cucumber
sliced onion
cubed feta cheese
slices of avocado
cut pieces of mango

I guess that you could season with coriander of something similar but we just loved the avocado and mango tastes permeating through the dish.

And for the best ever advice on how to cook salmon correctly, I turn to my favourite Brisbane-based chef, Alistair McLeod who says that you cook the first side until it just turns pink, turn and cook the other side until it sizzles (might not be his exact words, but you get my drift)! I also sprinkle lemon juice on when cooking and I can vouch that this is a no-fail method!

It looks delicious and let me tell you, it is!!!

Monday, November 24, 2008

And After The Storm Passed!

.....the clean up began!

The massive storm that hit Brisbane a little over a week ago turned out to be one of the worst storms that we've had in the past 25 or so years. Devastating and unbelievable are words that are now commonly heard and if you are a northside dweller, then the past week's conversations with people immediately start with, 'How did you go in the storm?'

I have to admit that in all of my years of living in and around this city, I have never seen anything like it. To watch suburbs that I grew up in desecrated by winds and floods following these temper tantrums of nature is something more than unexpected. And even in my own and neighbouring suburbs, it has become commonplace to see piles of broken branches piled on every second footpath.

What has been so incredible is the selectiveness of this storm. I sat at the local swimming pool last week, looking at the surrounding gum trees and wondered how they survived whilst others beside them toppled. How is it that the day after the storm, you could drive along a main road and see only partial evidence of the storm's path and then turn into a side-street that was completely attacked?

To get a first hand impression of the impact of this storm, I suggest you jump over to Mooselet's blog. She has a great youtube link there that someone took during the first and most devastating storm (there were actually 3 in that week!). It gives you an idea of the force of the winds and let me assure you that that is exactly what it was like!

And if you want to see it all in pictures, check out the Courier Mail reader's pictures here and here!

Finally, our own back yard fallen tree has been chopped and tossed! :( Nothing like a pile of debris to make you feel like you've been hit by a storm.

Thankfully, as I've said in previous posts, our storm damage was minimal. Nearby suburbs like The Gap, Keperra and Arana Hills have now spent over a week trying to come to terms with the loss of houses, possessions and lifestyle. The devastation is so bad that my dear friend, who works in one of these suburbs said that even now her brain could not quite process all that her eyes saw.

If you do feel like making a donation to help these people, can I suggest following this link to St Vincent De Paul who are organising collections.

And finally, in case you were wondering why I haven't posted this last week, I am not actually 100% myself....currently suffering from some type of bronchial infection and asthma! Ventolin has become my best friend and let me assure you, it is not really possible to sleep well on four pillows!

Have a great week!

Monday, November 17, 2008

More Storm News!

I knew it was a bad storm. I knew that there were power black outs, high winds and lots of rain. But I didn't realise exactly how wide-spread it was until I went to drop the 9 year old off at school this morning on my way to work.

My first clue that it was worse than usual was news that my friends who live only a couple of minutes down the road still had no power. Then, driving out of my street, it looked like a war zone had hit. Trees were downed like dominoes. Traffic was bumper-to-bumper. And when I turned into the street that my daughter's school is on, I found the road completely barricaded and SES workers directing people to turn around due to downed power lines and a tree across the road. So the school was closed and my daughter spent the day at grandma's.

There have been so many stories from all around the northside:

* My friend works at one of the worst-hit suburbs and said that it looked like a cyclone had hit.

* A woman at work had a tree smash across her roof.

* My brother and another friend of ours both had water come into their houses. Nothing serious but enough to be scary.

* Many schools were closed and roads were blocked.

* Our local shopping centre was shut as was the petrol station due to lack of power.

* Many people have been without power and telephone all day today.

Thanks to all of those who posted news and wishes on my previous post. Thankfully, we are all safe and naturally, now have plenty of stories to tell. I hope you are all feeling dry tonight!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Storm Season!

I don't know what the temperature was today, but it was hot....darn hot! And as I sit here writing this at almost 9.30pm, according to reports, it is still 22 degrees Celsius (an on-line converter tells me that is about 72 degrees Fahrenheit for all of you overseas peeps and I'm guessing that today would have been up around did I do with that conversion??).

So in great Queensland tradition, a hot day usually means a thunderstorm in the evening. and true to form that is exactly what we got!

So severe was the storm that it cast an eerie glow around just before it hit. And when it hit, it was wild. Winds were lashing at trees, rain was drifting in sheets, thunder roared and lightning flashed across the sky. There was no hail here although a short way away there was. We must have just missed out! When you get a lot of summer storms, you kinda get used to them and learn to enjoy them but tonight's was rather scary.

Despite all of the menacing performance, we thought that we'd missed most of the damage....until we went up the back yard and saw this.........
Ooooops! Our beloved Grevillea Honey Gem that attracts all of the native birds decided to do a back flip into the neighbour's yard, with the help of massive winds!
We weren't the only ones. Many people lost trees and my bestie had one land across her street, effectively trapping everyone in. There was also a mass loss of power and we had a few family and friends here for dinner (somehow we managed to keep power, thank goodness!). Storm refugees, they called themselves!

So tomorrow, Dear Husband is taking the morning off work to chain saw our tree into bits and take to the dump. :( Goodbye sweet native bird visitors!

If you are reading this and live nearby, I hope that you managed to stay safe and dry! I love storms, but not that kind!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Why Not!

I have a skirt. It isn't an expensive skirt nor is it particularly flashy. It's simple and brown and I bought it for a very small sum. But I really like it. I like the way that it fits. I like the way that it swirls. And I like the way that it has pretty little sequins sewn around the lacy hem. I have always kept this skirt for night wear. Not that it doesn't 'work' in the day time but rather because it works even better at night when the light catches the sequins and when I can wear spiffy tops with it and feel a bit special.

But today, I had an epiphany! I looked at my massive pile of ironing and I looked at my empty shelves of 'day wear' clothes. Then I spotted my favourite brown skirt and decided....why not! Today, why keep it 'for good'? Why not wear it just because I darn well feel like it!

I've heard it so many times before, but for some reason today it rang true. How many times have we held back and not used something or not worn something or not consumed something....all for the sake of 'keeping it for good'?

Now, as a collector of 'old stuff' I appreciate that without the philosophy of preserving items, I wouldn't have my gorgeous cupboard of china nor my shelf of old tins. I wouldn't have a lot of furniture in my house, including that fantastic silky oak desk that you catch a glimpse of in the above photo.

But today I just didn't care! I decided to treat myself by wearing my fancy schmancy, swirly, whirly skirt around all day! And I did! And you know what???? It felt darn good, too!

So I am claiming this weekend as 'treat yourself' days. Do you have something that you haven't touched or put away in a special place and hardly ever use it? Do you have a dinner set that you only look at or jewelry that is too flashy to wear in the day time? Perhaps it is a special bottle of fragrance that you only wear occasionally or food that you only buy once in a while. Today, go out and use it/wear it/try it! You'll be so glad that you did!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Busy Busy Busy

That kinda describes my life at the moment!

Work is snowballing....getting ready for Christmas break!
Kids are busy with school and sport. The Superteen is up to his neck in assignments and exams and is just not a happy person to be around atm.
I am busy finalising ebay sales (yep, I actually sold stuff!).
We have weekends full with everything you can think of.
Christmas dinners and break up parties are being organised.
Christmas presents are being considered (what on earth am I going to get my father???)
And in the midst of all this we are making holiday preparations and I'm trying to organise a work movie night out to see Twilight!


So in the meantime, I was scrolling through some photos on our old computer the other night and found this one of my gorgeous baby.....the same baby that the teacher today told me was 'an absolute pleasure to teach'. You've just gotta be happy with comments like that, haven't you??!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Contemplating Why!


***Is there just never enough time in the day?

***Do I have a whopping big mouth ulcer in my mouth that just won't stop hurting?

***Does the Superteen think that he knows more than me and erupts into a tirade of aggression whenever he doesn't get his own way?

***Is work taking over my life atm?

***Do I want a $200 antique teapot that I can't afford and cannot justify?

***Am I sweltering under the air conditioner one day and wearing a jacket the next?

***Are ebay sales so pathetic atm? (Now I know why I rarely sell on there these days)

***Can housewives across America manage to post parcels to Australia but corporations cannot??? Hello, Leap pad makers!!!!!

***Do car rental companies have all of their discounts finishing in December when we are booked to go to Tassie after that?

***Are the Australian cricket team doing so poorly (Hello guys...this just shouldn't happen! Bring back Roy!)

***Am I reloving Abba songs? (Ok, I blame Mamma Mia for that one! Take the songs out and the movie is ordinary...but the songs make the whole experience!)

***Have I washed the whole weekend and still have washing to do?

***Have I become addicted to Packed to the Rafters?

***Do all of the web sites say that Season 2 of Life On Mars has been released on dvd yet no store has it in stock?

***Do I love going to Sandgate and am cranky that Woolworths is developing a whole corner for a new shop. Is it sacrilegious to develop a quaint little bay side place that still has a simple and relaxed feel to it? Developers, stay away! (Btw, my photo was from last week when I had lunch on the foreshore there!).

***Am I counting down to holidays (5 weeks counting this one in case you are interested!)

Phew, I feel better now!

Monday, November 3, 2008

Happy Birthday To My Miss Nine!

Yes, it's that time of the year again, where one of my children adds another year onto their age....and mine! So now, instead of Miss Eight, we have......Miss Nine!!!!

And to celebrate the arrival of a ninth birthday, I give you the Top Five Facts on Miss Nine!

5. She was born by C-Section in one of the loveliest situations that you could imagine. No emergency, no tired, stressed delivery. Instead there were gorgeous doctors and nurses telling jokes, laughing and relaxed in the room. I'm sure that a natural birth is ideal but after the horror of an emergency cesarean, there was no way I was tempting fate. And it was all so easy and calm and loving. Believe it or not!!!

4. She won baby contests. Now part of me is ashamed to admit that I did enter her in a couple (Ok, three!!!) but she won five trophies from three events before I decided that it was a little bit too OTT (read 'Little Miss Sunshine' moment here!) and gave it all away!

3. Her favourite colour is gold! According to her. I still cry that it's no longer pink but go figure the mind of a nine year old!

2. She is the accident and illness prone one. As a toddler, she contracted salmonella poisoning. It was terrible and after a couple of days of gastro I took her to the emergency ward of a local hospital only to have them tell me that it was just a virus and she'd get over it. They sent us home. The next day, cause I just didn't feel good about the whole thing, I went to my GP who did tests (you just don't want to know where they got those tests from!) and it confirmed salmonella. It was the most scared I've ever been for one of my children but thankfully, she got over it.....oh and they suspected that as a toddler, she found something on the ground somewhere and digested it. Yuck!

1. She is the most loving child around. She loves animals, she loves her friends and best of all, she loves her mum! She is not perfect (good grief, don't get me started on the tantrums!) but there are days when I come home and ache to give her a cuddle or smell her hair or listen to her funny stories. And it's at those times that I thank God for the amazing gift of a daughter.

And in case you are wondering, after a weekend full of sleep-overs and play dates, she settled into opening her fave pressies including lots of High School Musical stuff, Beanie Kids and DS Lite games! See, she still likes girlie things, even if they aren't pink!!!

(Still one of my fave girlie dresses of all time!)


Go Wes!!!!!

How cool is he here!

And for all of you international people who said that the Channel 10 embedded vid was blocked, here it is on youtube! You will have to sit through the intro first though.