Friday, August 29, 2008

A Quoted Dilemma!


The Eight Year Old: Mummy, what is a quote?

Me: Well, it is when you quote something that someone says.

The Eight Year Old: (*With befuddled look on face*) Huh?!

Me: (Thinking hard here!) Well, it is when someone says something and you like the sound of what they say.

The Eight Year Old: So

Me: Ummmmm....if you like the exact words that they use and you tell them to someone else then you are quoting the first person's words. You are kinda repeating the exact words that they said.

The Eight Year Old: Ohhhhhhh. So there are two types of quotes then?

Me: (Oh God, why are we put on the spot like this?) Noooooo, I don't think so! Oh....I guess that you could say that you will quote someone's words or that this is a quote if you point to words that belong to someone else (Someone pass me a shovel please so I can dig a bigger hole).

The Eight Year Old: No! Not that type of quote, the other type.

Me: I don't think there is any other type of quote.

The Eight Year Old: Yes, you know. The type that you put on a bed!

Me: Honey, I think you might mean a 'quilt'.

Ahhhhhh parental enlightenment! It works out every time!!!!!!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

No Fail Healthy Banana Cake


Ever wonder what to do with those over-ripe bananas that are far too brown to eat? Easy, make a banana cake. This recipe is healthy, low fat and tastes delicious. It keeps for a few days in the cupboard or freeze and defrost at a later time.

You will need:

1 tablespoon butter/marg.
1/2 cup sugar
2 eggs
3 small ripe bananas (2 large ripe bananas), mashed
1 3/4 cup self raising flour
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
a little milk

Grease cake tin (I usually use a ring or loaf tin). Pre-heat oven to moderate (170 degrees Celsius fan forced). Cream the butter and sugar. Beat in eggs thoroughly.

In a separate bowl, mix mashed bananas and bicarbonate of soda. You should notice the bananas froth/expand a little once the bicarb has been added. Combine this banana mix gently with the butter/sugar/eggs mix so that all are now in the one bowl.

Gently stir in the self raising flour. Mix in a little milk if needed so that it is a good cake batter (ie, not too dry).

Pour into prepared cake tin. Cook for approx 30-40 minutes, depending on size of tin.

This can be iced with a butter icing. You can add walnuts if preferred, or serve buttered. Personally, I just like mine plain!

Enjoy!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Olympic Emptiness!

I came home from work this afternoon and turned the television on, only to remember that the Olympics are now over for another four years! Is it sad to admit that I am having 'Olympic withdrawal' already?

I loved watching the Olympics. I loved seeing the quality of athletes competing (and envying their fitness levels, too! *blush*). I thought that the Chinese performances in last night's closing ceremony, also were magnificent (Good grief...what about that tower of people?!) and I am yawning today as a result of staying up till midnight watching it.

So it is with heavy heart that I reflect on the last 2 (or so) weeks from a blatantly Australian perspective:

*The moment that made me smile: watching the interview with Sally McLellan after she won the silver in the hurdles. The interviewer, Pat Welch, asked her a question and her response was 'Did you see me? Did you see me at the start?' Rofpmsl! Ummmmm....yep, we all saw you, Sally and thought that you were great!

*The moment that made me cheer: this is so hard cause there were so many moments but I think that watching Matthew Mitcham win gold in the diving was a magnificent moment. I'd followed his heats all afternoon and my bestie and I were commenting on his progress. Then to see him win with such a great dive was just fantastic!

*The moment that made me reflect: definitely the bronze medal won by Robin Bell in canoeing. He was cheered on by almost 20 0f his mates who have helped him (financially...emotionally) over the years to continue his sport and were there to support him during his big moment. True mateship, IMO.

*The moment that made me cry: Ok, not an Aussie but when German weightlifter Matthias Steiner won gold and held up a photograph of his deceased wife during the medal presentation, my tears were flowing!

*The moment that made me disappointed: Eamon Sullivan winning silver in the men's 100 metre freestyle after he'd broken the world record the day before. Oh, and Cadel Evans coming 5th in the cycling time trials cause he was carrying an injury.

*The moment that made me gasp: watching Steve Hooker win the pole vault. Omg! I lost sleep cause it was touch and go for a while between him and the Russian guy. He was only clearing the high bar on his third go at each attempt and I just could not turn off the tellie until I saw the outcome. I think it was well after 1am before I got some sleep!

*The moment that amazed me: what can we say about a guy who gets 8 gold medals? Phelps might not be an Aussie but if rumour is correct and he snogged Stephanie Rice, then can't we claim something???? Baaahaaa!

*The moment that made me proud: watching Grant Hackett get silver in the men's 1500 metre freestyle. That guy's heart is obviously big and he proved what a true champ he is.

*The moment that shocked me: was it a Judo or Tae Kwon Do participant who biffed the referee? Ouch!

*And finally...the moment that annoyed me.....the British press who actually paid to gloat by hiring trucks with big signs across them to drive around Sydney and London declaring that Britain beat Australia in the gold medal count! Not really in the true spirit of the games, IMO fellas! And if you want to get nasty then I have just one question.....who has won the Ashes for the last 16 years?? Ooohhhhh.....right back at ya, huh?

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Computer Sagas and City Pictures!


My computer, once again, is not completely happy. All I can say is thank God for updated anti-virus software and hold me back from 12 year olds who see it as ok to download info that they think they know all about! Argh! The computer is going but not without a few minor glitches! Double arghhhh! Kids!!!! Needless to say that a complete computer ban is happening in my house at the moment (only problem is that he neeeeeeeds it for assignments etc for school!)

In the meantime, here is a picture of Brisbane on a gorgeous day...taken from the Mater Hospital carpark. Why is it that carparks have the best views????

Friday, August 22, 2008

Today I Cried!

Today I cried.

I cried for my friend as I sat through her husband's funeral.
I held her as she wept.
I watched her as she wiped away tears.
I listened to stories of his short yet filled life.
I looked at photographs of the two of them together.
I listened to music that he loved.

And through it all, one thing stood out.
That no matter how you view someone,
Whether they are wealthy or not,
Whether they have good looks or not, speak well or not, work well or not.
It's how they love that counts.

My friend loved her husband.
He loved her.
He loved his child.
He loved his life.
At the end, that is all that mattered. That is what he will be remembered by....the fact that he was simply loved.

I have learnt a humbling lesson!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

A Quest For Rest!


Come....sit....bring your fave book! I'll make us a cup of tea and bikkies!

This is my all-time favourite place to read a book in winter. (Ok, after bed, that is!).

It's out the back, under the pergola.

Look at that gorgeous winter sunlight...it's warming my toes just thinking about it!

Where is your favourite place to read??

Monday, August 18, 2008

Question!


Question: What do you get when you combine one enthusiastic grandad, one begging twelve year old grandson and one addictive on-line auction site and leave them all unsupervised?

Answer: A whole lotta noise!!!!!

Someone please pass me the ear plugs and the Panadol!!!! Arghhhh!

Nice one, Grandad!

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Why? And Other Life Ponderings!



1) Why are sleep-overs called 'sleep-overs' when absolutely no sleep occurs? Testimony to this is the twelve year old's night over at his mate's place last night. He came home tired and cranky after only a half hour of sleep...then promptly fell asleep on the lounge for most of the afternoon.

2) Why is it that suddenly all of my friends are holidaying overseas? I rang one of my friends for his birthday only to get no answer. Then a text comes hours later telling me he's in San Francisco. My brother and SIL just returned from their Irish holiday. My BFF is currently snow skiing in New Zealand! Why am I still sitting here in cold and somewhat windy Brisbane? Anyone?

3) Why am I so addicted to the Olympic coverage? Is it sad that I didn't want to go out anywhere yesterday so that I could stay home and watch it? Yes, very...I know! And why is it that all of our gold medals in the pool were from the Aussie girls?

4) Why is it that I pay the debt of a small country to get my hair dyed to hide the suddenly sprouting grey only to find a new one pop up a day or two later?

5) Why is it that I live in a street with only a handful of houses yet only know one neighbour? Sad, but true.

6) Why is it that I no sooner clean one corner of my house then turn around to find that the kids have created a mess in another corner!

7) Why is it that my naughty dog barks at every bird that enters my yard? This Rainbow Lorikeet on the Grevillea Honey Gem in the back yard was lucky enough to be up high and clever enough to ignore the rampant barking down below! But whenever one flies in, the dog flies out! Argh!

8) Why am I blogging so much at the moment? Possibly because I have had so much time off in the last few weeks with illness and Show Holidays. Back to routine next week. *sob* I'm sitting here trying to organise work for next week and am coming up a total blank. Why????? Oh why????

Friday, August 15, 2008

14 August!


My nanna's birthday.

So instead of moping around all feeling sad and sorry, I decided to take the kids to the Brisbane Exhibition (or 'Ekka' as most Brisbanites like to call it!).

First up, though I attended a breakfast seminar on Educating Boys given by one of my favourite speakers, Ian Lillico! So inspirational! But why oh why these things always occur on my days off, I have no idea!

Then off to Ekka. All was going well until we went to park the car. Some bright spark decided to develop the land space where we usually park, hence lots of cars and not enough car spaces. We waited almost an hour just to get in! Next year, I'm catching the train!

Finally, in at the Ekka all was great. Lots and lots of walking! Lots of rides and games. Lots of animals (Damn, those moo cows are huge!). My fave pavilion was the Woolworths one where every second stall had free taste samples! Yeow! Some nice food there and I caught up with my favourite Bush Tucker distributor and got another pack of my favourite Lemon Myrtle spice.

Of course, Miss Eight loved the dog show. We arrived in time to see the Schnauzers on show and the Cavaliers lining up. Awwwww, cute!

The kids dragged me through the show bag pavilion and they bought bags that were sooo typical of them......the twelve year old got lolly bags (Trying to destroy that teeth investment I've made in his mouth, no doubt! Lol!) and Miss Eight was on a mission to get the Spongebob bag! She didn't care for the foodstuff....just the fun stuff!

The weirdest moment of the day was when a bunch of us were standing around one tiny tv that was at the back of sideshow alley tent, trying to view who won the men's 100 metre swimming final. Imagine it! All these strangers united in disappointment that Eamon Sullivan got pipped for gold by a Frenchman with massive shoulders! Good grief, how many of us Olympic armchair fanatics are there?!

And finally, after almost falling into bed last night, I woke this morning to the news that the husband of a work colleague had died unexpectedly last night. A very sad end to an eventful day!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

See, I Told You So!


Remember here when I said that there was an island somewhere out in that distance?

Well here it is! There is a body of water between that middle row of trees and the mountainous sand dunes in the distance.

Ok, I did kinda cheat and used the zoom on my camera to take the picture but it's a nice view, all the same!

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

I've Read It!


*************SPOILERS BELOW*****************************

I admit it, I preordered Breaking Dawn. But the last couple of weeks I've been feeling so ill that it has taken me longer than anticipated to read it! So now I've finally found my way to the back cover! Yay!

My thoughts on Breaking Dawn are mixed. I did read a number of on-line reviews and tried to not let these influence my overall reaction but perhaps some have. So, I am following Toni's lead and writing my impressions of the story. Please be warned, however that SPOILERS do follow!

The Great Bits

*I love Edward and Bella. *sigh* Ok, Edward is setting up impossible standards for real men everywhere (hey, learn from him, Fellas!) but I do think that their love story is just fantastic. They really do portray a modern Romeo and Juliet for the masses. And in BD, the essence of that love is still dominant throughout the story.

*Bella's 'change'. Ok, we knew it was going to happen but I just loved the way that it did and how she coped so well with it. Believable? No! But this is a fiction story so Stephenie Meyer could make Bella as adaptable to that change as she wanted....and she did! Lol! And I loved reading it!

* The wedding/honeymoon! The first section of the book was great. It really did flow on from the previous book and made you believe in the lurve! There were parts to this section that I had issues with, but the main storyline was in keeping with the rest of the story. True love rocks!

*Alice! How could you not love Alice?!

*The ending....give me a happy one any day! *double sigh*

The Not-So-Great Bits

*Charlie....Arghhhhh! His character really annoyed me! I mean, he is a cop, for crying out loud! Surely, after Jacob's 'revelation', he'd want to investigate the whole darn lot rather than have a 'need to know' attitude. Pul-ease! He really shouldn't have been so accepting of what was happening! Annoying!

*Jacob's point-of-view! So I'm not a Jake fan! And perhaps I am a little bias. But the section with his POV seemed to just drag on. In a way, I can see why SM included it but really, was it necessary? I liked the view from Bella's end. I like being in her head. Why change what works?

*Renesmee....is that really a name? Omg! I can see how she linked the whole Jacob/Edward thing. I can even understand why SM included her. But the super-speedy growth thing was frustrating.

*Human....humans? What humans? Oh, you mean those few who attended the wedding and were never seen again?

*The honeymoon.....awwww c'mon! If I woke up on my honeymoon with bruises all over me and remorseful husband after a wild night of passion that I couldn't remember, I'd freak out! No way would I be saying that it was all a-ok! Not a message that we want to get out there to young girls, huh!

*Toni summed it up when she said
I felt the events in the book were just thrown in together without giving it the right amount of tension or details to make each major event richer.
I read that and went....yeah! Sums it up for me!

I've always been very vocal about how I felt that the Twilight series was not just a teen girlie romance and that it had universal appeal (At my work it is we women in the 35-50 age bracket who haven't stopped talking about it. Hmmmm....what does that say about us?!) I admit though that I got to the end of this one and thought that perhaps it was more suited to its younger target audience. Perhaps my more matured tastes needed a tangier storyline! I wasn't totally unsatisfied with the story though and do feel sad that the Bella/Edward story has now come to a close; there were just bits that annoyed me! I'm just hanging out for Midnight Sun and the release of the movie now! Gold Class, anyone?!



Monday, August 11, 2008

Weird, Spooky or Just A Blob?




I am usually a very practical person. I have to be to just survive in my household and my job. I do have a strong belief in afterlife and would love to think that there is 'something out there' but can also be pretty skeptical. I am not the sort of person who sees Jesus in her cornflakes etc, so I have hesitated in posting this story just in case someone thinks that I have seriously cracked! ;)

Last Friday I was terribly, terribly sick - had no voice but had spent the entire day at the eight year old's sports carnival so as to not let her down. I came home, threw my clothes into a heap on the floor and had a warm, soothing shower.

After I exited the shower, I looked down resignedly at the clothes pile sitting on the tiles, knowing that it would take a lot of energy to pick them up. I gasped in surprise, however at the giant water mark that had landed on my tshirt. So surprised, was I in fact, that I grabbed the nearest camera I could find - my mobile telephone - and took a few pictures of it.

My feelings at the time were mixed. I was amazed at the obvious shape, confused as to how it could have happened because I'd only just gotten out of the shower and in awe cause I just felt a pervading sense of love at witnessing such an obvious symbol (I love hearts btw!).

The day after I showed my mum and dad the pictures on my mobile phone. Imagine my surprise then, when they relayed a story that happened around the same day, of a few weird events that happened at their house!

So, what do you think? Is this my own Jesus in cornflakes (Yeah right! Lol!) or is it a sign from someone who just wants to show love? Whatever it was, I thought it was beautiful!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie!


Ok, if you are visiting here from a place across seas, please excuse my shameless and unrestrained patriotism!

If, however you are a little Aussie blogger like myself then join in with me as I do a few rounds of Advance Australia Fair (Hmmmm....maybe I should put that on my imeem player! Lol!)!

I stayed up late, late, late last night just to watch the opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympic Games after my friend and I did yum cha for lunch yesterday just to get in the mood! (Ok, well that is what we told ourselves!). And yes, I waited until the Australian team came out......3rd last in the parade of athletes and well after 1am!! *Stifling a tired yawn here!* I wasn't overly fussed on the team's blue uniforms (ahem, what happened to green and gold!?) but still it was exciting to see them so enthusiastic!

I did love the opening ceremony. There were lots of highlights: the choreography and synchronicity of the drummers at the beginning was amazing, the link of the scrolled paper that flowed throughout the performances and the people who did the typeset dance were magnificent. And it was wonderful to see the Chinese performers who never seemed to stop smiling for the entire event.

So, I'll be interested to see how the next couple of weeks go! In particular, I'll be watching the progress of swimmers Bronte Barratt, Kylie Palmer and Leith Brodie who all train at the same pool where my daughter learns to swim (and yep, I've checked them out at training!). And ok, I admit it, I've developed a soft spot for cycling ever since Cadel came second in Le Tour!

So 'Oi! Oi! Oi!' and 'Go the Aussies'!

Photo courtesy of www.olympics.com.au for study purposes only.

Friday, August 8, 2008

Brace Off!



This is the five thousand dollar investment that I have made into my son's mouth over the last 19 months!

Yep, braces came off yesterday! Thank God for that!

I know that he is quite young to have had braces (although he did get his first tooth at 3 months so has been an early teether! No baby teeth have been left in that head for 18 months now!) and apparently that is how they do them here these days!

So now he has an almost metal-less mouth. He does have to continue to wear a retainer in the top (that comes next week) and already has one behind the bottom teeth, but in the meantime, he is enjoying all of the luxuries in eating that has been off-limits since they first went on.

And his first request now that he is brace-less? a) Lunch at Hog's Breath; b) a double scoop Baskin Robbins ice-cream and c) crunchy pork crackle and roast!

I'm trying to decide if my hips and wallet will survive!

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Winter Sunset


Sometimes, you look up and see the most beautiful sunset and stare in awe at its beauty. This one was just like that. Taken from my back yard a few weeks ago, the sky was filled with the most amazing colours! Enjoy!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The Farmer Wants A Wife Part 2.....Finale!

It's been 2 days since the end of this season's series and my friends and I haven't stopped talking about it (yep, soppy romantics that we are!).

So, here are my thoughts on the conclusion to this season's series (I have linked a few good articles to some of the people on the show here, too!):

Rob - Once more this show has been hit with a fantastic 'couple' to represent it! Woo hoo! The bubbly Jo and 'big sweetie' Rob have proven to be a golden couple for this series!

Howie - Am I the only one who noticed that he picked women who looked a tad like dear ol' mum? Ok, you can't force feelings that aren't there but it wouldn't surprise me if Howie's still lonely down on the farm as we speak/type/read!

Michael - I felt so sorry for Michael when Simone rejected him! *sob* I mean, the series is called 'The Farmer Wants A Wife', not 'The Farmer Wants a 'Good Friend'! Pul-ease! I thought that Michael really did do a lot of growing over the course of this and I hope he finds a good lady somewhere!

James - James, James, James!!!! You obviously have no idea about women! Lesson 1 in dating is that women want ATTENTION!!! They don't want their boys ignoring them for their mates! I've read a newpaper article where James has come out and said some not-so-nice things about these girls since the show finished airing so thankfully, I don't think he ended up with any of them! Phew!

Nick - Omg! What were you thinking! Ok, so Steph wasn't your cup of tea...fair enough! But then to pick Kristy! Far out! I think that Nick would have been better off not picking anyone and doing a Howie! Lol! Anyway, he's obviously another one singing 'Oh Lonesome Me!' behind the cattle sheds atm (or in his case, the wine sheds!).

Ben - My favourite! I think that this couple really had the most satisfying ending! You know...he originally picked the vet (letting his head overrule his heart) but with a bit of prodding from her, then returned to Sarah! Woo hoo! Blind Freddy could see that they were perfect together! She seemed like a fabulous girl and they blended so well on tv. Hooray for true fairy tale endings!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Kids, Kids, Kids!

Kid story #1!

The brag: At school the twelve year old entered the Rio Tinto Big Science Competition. Results came back last week and he earned a Distinction Certificate. Woo hoo! This places him in the top 12 % off the state, apparently!

He is, however, a bit slim on the 'informing parents of important school events' front! I had to find out from other school parents that there was a school dance on next Friday night. When I asked him about this, was he even remotely interested in going to it? Nope! His reason? Why, the football is on tv, of course! Now should I be worried that he's not interested in going to the dance or rejoicing cause he's more interested in football than dancing with girls?

Kid story #2!

The brag: Miss Eight, who got an excellent school report, btw, topped it off with doing her own PB at the recent sports day. My children are not particularly gifted athletically, so any ribbon is, for them, an achievement. So what were her results? Fourth in the 200 metres race, second in the 60 metre race and second in the relay (where she just pipped the girl coming third by a nose-length).

And her secret weapon for doing her best? Pretend, while you are running that your mean big brother is angry and chasing you with a stick! It works every time!

Kid story #3!

Queensland public schools have had, for years, a non-compulsory religious education system in place where representatives of local churches come into classrooms and teach non-denominational bible studies on a volunteer basis. During such a recent classroom lesson, the following was heard to take place:

RE teacher: God is our father and we are all of his children, each and every one of us!
Child: Even our teacher?
Re teacher: Yes, even your teacher!
Child: Wow! That means I'm related to my teacher!

And also.....video is of Miss Eight doing Twinkle, Twinkle at her recent violin recital. Not too bad considering that she's only been learning for about 6 months. Now, if anyone can tell me how to turn the view to the right, I'd appreciate it! I've searched high and low for an editing button that will rotate it but cannot find one. Also, it was taken on my mobile telephone and as I was sitting wayyyy down the back, the view isn't fantastic, but you get the idea!

video

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Riley Jensen Guardian Series


Hooray, I have found it! A vamp romance series that is set in Australia! Ok, Melbourne to be exact but not only is the setting familiar, the story is great!

The main character is Riley Jensen, who through a twist of fate was born half werewolf and half vampire so has a series of abilities that go beyond the norm of her species.

The series starts off with Riley working in an administrative capacity for the Directorate - a policing system set up for non-humans in the futuristic Australia. As the series continues, however and Riley has to help to solve a number of attempts on her life, she is convinced to become one of the Directorate's version of 'police'....a Guardian....and so continues her life of fighting the bad guys.

Riley is flanked in her escapades by a number of great characters....her brother Rhoan (also a Guardian), her vampire boss Jack, Sal, the woman who took over Riley's desk job (just love the witty banter with this character, too!), Kellen (wolf man and romantic interest), Liander (Rhoan's gay lover), Kade (horse-shifter and work colleague) and of course the delectable Quinn....the very old, very mysterious vampire who is also one of Riley's main love interests and whose appeal practically jumps off the page at you!

I really really enjoyed this series. The pace of the story is great and Keri Arthur, the author, includes little tempters throughout the plot to keep you reading. In fact, rarely a chapter went by when I didn't want to keep reading just to find out answers to the end of the previous chapter. Riley is such a great character, gutsy and fearless yet with a soft side. And the relationship between Quinn and her just works and kept me going back for more! My only complaint would be that the earlier books of the series were probably a bit too raunchy although I did notice that in the latter books, Arthur has backed off the sex scenes and has concentrated more on fantastic story lines.

I've now finished all six books in this series and am awaiting the release next year of the seventh. Hopefully, if Riley Jensen continues to be as appealing, there'll be a lot more to come!

Saving Grace.....So Beautiful!

I don't know why I've never been a huge Pete Murray fan. He is, after all, a former Brissie boy and I have good friends who are also friends of his. His music is the type that I normally love, but up until now I've never really connected with it on an emotional level.

So imagine my delighted surprise the other day when this song came on the radio and I just loved it. Hooray, strike me up as becoming a Pete Murray fan now! :)




(Don't forget to turn player off at right hand side of screen before playing this one!)

NB: Previous youtube vid has had embedding disabled! Not happy! The first one here is audio, I think and the second will not play but I'm having trouble with blogger trying to delete it from my post! *sigh*