Wow, that went fast.

This time next month I’ll be sitting in Tullamarine, waiting to get on a plane to go to the UK.

I think this means that the countdown has officially begun.

Posted in holidays | 1 Comment

During a grammar test.

Morning all!

I’m sitting in front of various classes today and I have no correction to do so I thought I’d pop in and have a chat with you all. Lots of things happening but my blogging mojo was low.

The most immediate thing that’s happened is that I went out to put some things in the recycling bin a few nights ago and tripped over a pot plant the painter had moved when I was on my way back into the house. The concrete verandah broke my fall, right on the bridge of my nose. It looked a little bit like a murder scene. Blood everywhere. Tom23 came over and took me to hospital, where 4 hours later they said that they couldn’t stitch it together and I’d just have to let it heal.

I’m thinking Future Frogdancer might have to get to know a plastic surgeon, but I’m leaving that up to her. She’s a very capable woman.

The only lesson possible that I can learn from this is not to recycle. It’s clearly dangerous.

Tom23 moved out a couple of months ago. He and a guy from his band are sharing a little flat together. He didn’t move far… just 3 minutes drive away. He lasted a full 7 weeks before he bought a thermomix from me. It was delivered a couple of days ago and now he’s happily steaming his chicken pieces and making his soup. Last night he was tackling meatballs… I must give him a call later and see how he went.

Excellent post by foodnstuff about wicking boxes.

Well, the year 8s are about finished with their grammar test, so I’d better hit ‘publish’ and go through the answers with them.

5 weeks to go till I get on the plane for Europe…

Thermomx recipe: Wonton Quiches I’m not a huge pastry girl so this idea looks really good to me. Handy to have some in the freezer for when the boys come home from uni and want a snack. :)

Posted in Children., cooking, Quality of life, work | Leave a comment

Dreams coming to fruition.

This clip made me laugh so much.

Facebook is pretty amazing. I was PM-ing Scott and Deana, who both live on the other side of the world. There I was, in bed with my laptop and the dogs, even before I’d had my morning cup of coffee, talking about stuff with people who were starting to think about popping their evening cuppa on before retiring to bed.
It’s not long before I go to Europe. I was saying to Deana that I’m equal parts nervous, cautiously excited and complete head-in-the-sand denial about it. For DECADES this trip has been in some dim, misty future… “one day” I’ll get there.
It’s along with the “one day my house will be paid off”; “one day I’ll get that food forest”; “one day I’ll have a spare bedroom to use as an office/sewing room/library”; or the biggie: “Some day my Prince will come…!” (To be honest, not really holding my breath for that last one.)

I’ve got the suitcase, the 28 degrees mastercard, the citibank account, been shopping for a few clothes, finding things for Scott to put on the itinerary…. but it still doesn’t seem real. Still, in 9.5 weeks I’ll be leaving on my holiday, where I’ll be gone for 9 weeks.

That’s scary. I know how much work I’ve got to get through at school, in the business and around here before I go. I’ve either chosen a REALLY LONG holiday or I’m hellishly overworked… :) Let’s just go with the first alternative.

Scott’s been fabulous. It’s a godsend having such a genius for organisation helping me on this trip. He’s doing the itinerary, so whenever I decide to do something he plops it in the masterplan and then that means I can forget about it because I know it’s handled. This of course means that Scott knows what I’m going to be doing better than I do, which led to the Facebook exchange when Scott was posting gorgeous photos of Nice when he was there last week and I asked, “I know I’m down in the general area of Nice… do I go there?” Instant reply: “You have 2 days there.” Slightly embarrassing that I didn’t already know that but good to have the answer.

Quick question for those who’ve been to England… I haven’t yet scheduled Bath and Windsor Castle. I have a week at the end of my trip that doesn’t have anything set in stone yet… is it worth dragging Scott out to see Bath and Windsor (again, for him)? I think Windsor is near Bath, isn’t it? His view is that I’ve Tetrissed so much into my trip already, it’d be a shame not to get the full set. My view for this trip is that sleep is for the weak…
Plus I’ve heard of a house that Jane Austen lived in when she wrote ‘Sense and Sensibility’. Or was it something else? Anyway, I think it’s down near the bottom left of England… though I could be wrong. That’d be good to see, too.
Google’s a marvellous thing. Here it is. And here’s where it is… Hampshire. Scott, England’s a little place…. surely we’d be able to squeeze it in? Look at how little the map is…especially considering England is the size of Victoria … it’d be 5 minutes down the road after Windsor.

Untitled
The house is finished and it looks amazing. I’m so very happy with it. The painter is coming back in a month or so to do the fence and then that’ll be another project ticked off the list. Once I get back then it’ll be all guns blazing to get the front garden landscaped with the urban food forest and then my house will finally look beautiful. I’m not even going to show you a photo of the front garden as it looks at the moment… it looks like feral bogans live here.
But soon it’ll be magnificent.

Well, I’d better go and start the day. That thermomix isn’t going to deliver itself…
Incidentally, we’re offering 12 month’s interest free terms for the thermomix for the next 4 weeks. Just in case anyone’s interested… :)

Thermomix recipe: Anzac cake Thought I might make this today for ANZAC Day in honour of my grandfather who fought in WWII.

Posted in holidays, renovating | 5 Comments

Woo hoo!!! Flikr is back!

IMG_0451
Look at the bagels I made! They’re like proper boiled bagels except you steam them in the thermomix before baking them. Too easy and very delicious.

IMG_0446Evan18’s art installation is coming along nicely. There’s a lot of roadworks going on in our neighborhood at present, which helps.

IMG_0442
The fruit trees I bought from Aldi for $20 each, nect to the house. Do you like the colour?

IMG_0441
Here’s the apricot tree that my Theatre Studies class gave me as a thank you. The pot now has a blood orange planted in it while the apricot waits for the front garden to be made.

IMG_0449Asparagus coming to the end of its first year in the bed.

IMG_0448
I was so happy with this. I thought when the warrigal greens died down last winter that I’d killed them by putting the chooks on this bed. Somehow a single seed or scrap must’ve survived. It took over the whole bed and I was rapt. Greens for pizzas and demos!

IMG_0447I’ve started putting my veggie garden to bed for 6 months. I’ve topped up each bed with sheep manure, rock dust and compost, put a few handfuls of worms in and then topped them up with pea straw.
Imagine the planting frenzy that’ll happen in Spring when I get back!

Thermomix Recipe: The bagel recipe is in the Alyse Alexandra book Quick Fix in the Thermomix.

Posted in balance, Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life, renovating, vegetables | 6 Comments

Skinflint Sunday: Catching up with no photos.

Argh! I’m still waiting to hear back from yahoo, who handles my log-in for my Flikr account. I thought I’d blog anyway… who needs photos when with the glory of the entire English language at my disposal, I can paint pictures in your mind instead?

Right! Um… here we go.

My house is looking fantastic! I can’t tell you how wonderful it is to come home every day and pull into the driveway of a house that looks stylish, hip and not at all beige. It’s starting to look like a house that belongs in this neighborhood, with my lovely little new car in the drive and the gorgeous paint. Once I come back from Europe and install the food forest in the front garden and get the shutters put into the two front windows then it’ll be a dream come true.

To give you an indication of what I’m fighting, I have sheer curtains currently in the front windows. Poppy and Jeff are the most entitled of all the dogs I’ve ever owned… it’s apparently ok to jump up on the couch and look out the front window when your mother leaves the house. They’re so cute and gorgeous.  They’re very naughty dogs.

It’s also ok to stick your noses through a tiny hole in the curtain and enlarge it. *sigh* Enlarge it massively. When anyone comes to the front door it looks like feral renters from the boondocks live here. Something had to be done. I swapped the curtains over from my bedroom to the lounge. I figure that no one really notices my bedroom window from the street but everyone sees the lounge room window. I don’t want to spend money on a new curtain when I’ll be getting shutters put in some time soon. (I’d rather spend the money on a gondola ride or something like that.) 

I spent yesterday planting my garlic. I’ve decided that I won’t be planting anything else, as the boys won’t look after the garden terribly well while I’m away and it’d all go to waste, but garlic sits in the ground for about 8 months so it’s worth doing. I ordered a couple of new-to-me varieties (Australian White… sounds a bit racist! and Silverskin, sounds a bit Star Trek Next Gen!) and planted them in a bed along with the Nonna’s garlic that my ex MIL gave me about 4 or 5 years ago that I keep on harvesting each year. I love the idea of keeping Nonna’s garlic going as a family heirloom but the bulbs are tiny and it’s a bit of a pain to use in cooking. Still, it’s better than having to buy it.

Well, I’d better go and start making the pizzas. It’s Family Dinner Night tonight. Since Tom 23 moved out we all get together on Sunday night for dinner. Sometimes he brings his flatmate, as we’ve known Gus for years… I was his year 8 form teacher. The more the merrier. Tonight after dinner Tom23 and I are heading up to Frankston to see David21’s band play. It’s the third gig on their first tour… their band Beautiful Beasts is supporting Julia Henning on a tour up the East Coast of Australia and then down to Adelaide. Very cool stuff.

Much like my good self, of course.

To prove my coolness and ultra groovy way of life, here’s the Independence Days Challenge for the last couple of weeks.

Babybaby.

Independence Days Challenge:

1. Plant Something: 1. Blood orange 2. Kaffir Lime 3. Elderberry 4. Balm of Gilead x 3. 5. Transplanted a red tamarillo tree that was strugging. (Thanks Bev!) 6. Garlic. 7. WORMS. (Bought a box of worms from Worms R Us online. ) 8. Meyer lemon tree. 9. Imperial Mandarin tree. 10. Parsley.

2. Harvest Something: 1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Chocolate capsicum 8. Parsley 9. Sage 10. Bay leaf  11. Parsnips. (Thanks Bev! They are descendants of the seed you gave me 4 years ago. They like the wicking bed.)

3. Preserve Something: 1. Dried lemon verbena leaves.2. Dried Basil mint leaves. (thanks Bev!) 3. Dried plums. (Bloody beautiful!)

4. Waste Not: 1. Composting and feeding things to the chooks. 2. Planting extra garlic because I couldn’t bear not to use all the bulbs I grew last year. 3. Made veggie stock paste from the sad veggies in the crisper. 4. Making pizza from all of the leftover balls of pizza dough that we have in the freezer. 5. Eating out of the freezer and pantry before I go away; using up food so that when I go to Costco the boys will have fresh food to eat.

5. Want Not: 1. Dried some purple striped beans so we’ll have a massive bean crop next year. 2. Bought 4 fruit trees from Aldi @ $20 each. Bargain! 3. Started preparing the garden beds for a 6 month rest because I’m going to Europe. 4. Saved parsnip, oak leaf lettuce and cos lettuce seeds.

6. Cook Something New: 1. Bagels. (OMG delicious. Worth the price of the thermomix alone…)

7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. Brought in some frozen meat from the freezer in the garage. Nearly forgot about it…

Thermomix Recipe: Creamy Coconut Yoghurt. People are raving about this recipe. Can’t wait to try it.

Posted in gardening, Independence Days challenge, pets, Quality of life, renovating | Leave a comment

“Why is everything in this country so SWEET?”

Just popping in to say I’ve been locked out of my Flikr account… no photos.
We all know that you can’t blog without photos.
Shame because one of the things I’ve been doing is getting my house painted. It’s BLUE and white.
Looks amazing. Seriously. I’ve already had 2 people approach the painter to ask about the paint colour. I’m setting a trend!
Stay tuned….

Thermomix recipe: Actually, not. This is a video with Aussie people tasting items from a supposedly Aussie restaurant, ‘Outback Steak’, in the USA

Posted in Just for fun. | 1 Comment

Give me a head with hair….

Untitled

Look at this! We’re in the lecture theatre at school all weekend for the last rehearsals for the year 12 Theatre Studies play and the kids put Evan18’s studio shot from the play last year up in the foyer to give me a laugh.
We’re on for 4 nights this coming week and the clock’s ticking! We were in here till 10PM last night… the kids were keen to stay longer but we were all dead on our feet so I booted them out just as the cleaners arrived. We were back at 8AM today and we’ll be back tomorrow.
I’ve brought the thermomix in with me to make us all soup for lunch and hot chocolates and sorbet. :)

Untitled
A couple of nights ago I brushed Evan18’s hair and took these photos. He’s sporting a full beard and long hair – a symbol of freedom from the opression of high school student managers and their irrational obsession with good grooming.

Untitled

First time I’ve ever been able to play with a child of mine’s hair and make it pretty!

Thermomix Recipe: Steamed Pork Dumplings Too easy!

Posted in Children., work | 3 Comments

A lovely surprise.

IMG_0399

I was going into the city for an excursion with my year 12 Theatre Studies class and I had to get to work early. I was running late (no surprise there…) and had no time to spend on making an elaborate lunch. I raced out to pick an apple from my Ballerina ‘Polka’ tree. I’ve been eating the Granny Smith and Pink Lady apples, but I’d left these ones alone until now as they were well hidden from the lorigkeets and I wanted them to get bigger.

IMG_0400

As I picked one, another fell to the ground. ‘Fine,’ I thought. ‘I’ll have two apples and a couple of hard boiled eggs for lunch.’ After the show, I grabbed one of the apples from my bag as I was walking back to the station and took a bite.

OMG. I have honestly never tasted a nicer apple. It had a fizzz of a pink lady and it was very slightly tart. The texture was amazing, which you’d expect of any fruit that had been alive only 4 hours before. I thought my lunch was going to be slightly sad and deprived, but I relished every bite. :) I’m seriously going to buy more of these trees.

Have a look at this story from Karen at Edible Eden. She’s the one who’s designed my front yard food forest. (After Europe; watch it happen!) This is her garden.

Independence Days Challenge:

1. Plant Something: 

2. Harvest Something: 1. Eggs 2. Warrigal Greens. 3. Rosemary. 4. Apple Cucumbers 5. Apples. 6. Tomatoes 7. Capsicum 8. Parsley 9. Sage 10. Bay leaf

3. Preserve Something: 1. Dried lime verbena leaves.

4. Waste Not: 1. Three bananas are going yuck. Using them up in baking.

5. Want Not: 1. Opened up the potato cupboard and caught a whiff of Something Not Quite Right. Found one spud in the bag that’d gone, so washed all the others and used lots in a roast that night. Also used up every skerrick of veggies in the same roast because I was going shopping the next day.

6. Cook Something New: 1. The Muesli slice from ‘In The Mix’. Excellent for Uni lunches. Tastes really good. 2. Dog biscuits (Peanut butter, banana and oat) when I had to use up some bananas.

7. Manage Your Reserves: 1. Delayed going shopping till we were dangerously low in things like shampoo and toilet paper. Used up quite a bit of food. :) 2. Rotated my stock of tomato tins.

Thermomix recipe: See the link to the dog biscuits above.

Posted in Fruit trees, gardening, Independence Days challenge | 5 Comments

Interesting link to a garden.

Wow, look at this garden.

Not bad for only two years!

Thermomix Recipe: Fresh Rice Noodles.

Posted in balance, chickens, Flowers, Fruit trees, gardening, Quality of life, vegetables | Leave a comment

Skinflint Sunday: Befriend a makeup artist. Comes in handy.

IMG_0381

David21 went to a party as a zombie. His girlfriend looked stunning dressed as a phoenix, but true to his upbringing by my good self, David21 went the zombie route. One of his friends from high school is doing a makeup course, so she dragged out the fake blood and latex and turned him into something special. *soproud*

Thermomix Recipe: Mexican Spice Mix. Tacos, here we come!

Posted in Children., Skinflint | 3 Comments