Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Eine Kleine Nachtmusik

I found some CDs at the Op-shop yesterday, while I had my 3 older kids out shopping for Christmas presents -> all done in one stop at the Salvos (Salvation Army thrift store, for my O/S readers :-). Back to the CDs. Only with my oldest, and next-to-youngest along, have I ever noticed the CD towers, over near the books. They are made from the same mold, those two kids - the kind of people who always stop to smell the roses, maybe take a picture, or render a quick sketch or watercolour of the roses. You know the type. And I have two of them.
So, I found the CDs. And bought... ... a synthesiser Bach compilation (because I like Bach so much, it will sound good to me, even on a synthesiser!); a Tchaikovsky ballet compilation, and an ABC (our version of your NBC, or CBC in Canada) disc compiled for dinner parties (Track 1 is Handel's "Arrival of the Queen of Sheba" - must be one of the most beautiful pieces ever written).

Today I popped out to the stores to get the youngest two to have haircuts (before we lose Knox under his long blond hair), got some shortbread to give our neighbours on each side (yeah, yeah, I should bake, but then what if it tastes gosh-awful, and they'd never say? Plus I have a way of leaving out a key ingredient when I'm making things for special occasions). With that, I think I'm done with preparations for the holidays.

Oh. Except wrapping gifts. I wonder if it's quicker to sew little baggies for the gifts? Maybe, maybe. Hmm, TBA.

And so, I close today (if I can get blogger to co-operate) with some pictures of my very extravagant (3 strings of battery operated lights) light display at the front of my house.
xxx to you all, and I hope you are having a lovely time getting things ready for your special people.

That's Jacinta putting dinner (that she cooked) on the table, after she'd whizzed off on her bike to the store to get an ingredient she thought we were out of. It was in the cupboard all along, but for once, she had a "guy" look, and didn't find it. Precious daughter.

One Room Done

We cleaned, spirited toys away, and took a quick picture, before someone comes in with boots, another with a bike, shopping, newspapers...

You get the idea. The other rooms are also (a bit) tidier, but not really photo-worthy. Wait until I tidy the roof space and the laundry - I know you're just dying to see those, too :-). Just don't look too closely...

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Because You Have To Start Somewhere.

A relatively normal backyard.

What a year it has been! Yep, it occasionally bothers me that I haven't posted a blog entry since February, but I wrote lots of posts in my head, just so you know. And I read lots and lots of other peoples', so in a way it's good. After all, blogging might help me clarify some things in my own mind, but it's still my own point of view, and a zillion times over, I'd rather be absorbing other peoples' thoughts, and assimilating those. I think a joke about being a thought whore probably belongs in here, but typing one-handed = it's too hard.

I don't think I can possibly catch up on a whole year. Might as well just start with now. Whoa, the house is messy. So many people crammed in, and getting up to stuff. No, we are not one of those households that keeps everything neat, stored, and looking like nobody lives there. We are most definitely here.

And so, to a photo essay (as much as I can figure out with Blogger), to explain why things look the way they do.

The herb patch, bolted to stems and seed with all the rain.
Can you say "Bicycle Shed"??? As in need one, now!
I included this photo, to show that depending on the angle and composition, you can make even the trashiest house look almost good enough for your favourite Mormon Mommy blog.
You are now entering the serious mess zone. Maybe a half dozen sewing tasks piled up on the right, storage tubs to contain the raw materials, vacuum cleaner (left out by teenage son after cleaning his car), shoes for the Op-shop and Planet Earth shoe recycling program that I forgot to take yesterday, and Grete's baby doll in her carrier. Oh, and two baskets of sorted laundry, and one to be hung outside (when I've finished blogging)
Kitchen, with handwash going on, and the bins needing doing (Knox, that's your job there sweetpea).
Kitchen table, with another sewing task laid out by Knox - "Can you widen these cut-offs for me, mum?"
Two maids-a-sleeping. Yes, we sleep on the floor. As a preference. Very Japanese of us.
Bissy's Lair - all of her stuff brought back from Uni last week, after 3 years as an undergrad. TBC...
And in no particular order, Grete's dollhouse shelf, the piano, the hopping ball that we have had since Jacinta was a toddler, tubs of toys waiting to be stored in the laundry again, and jumper and blanket from last night's run (literally) to the store with the Mountain Buggy.
The blackboard wall, waiting for some seasonal drawings to be added before Grete can add to her random spaceship works.
Rocking horse from Op-shop, futon because Daddy P slept over and has gone to work, the Barbie collection and storage tub for Barbies, the imitation feather Christmas tree, lost in the flotsam and jetsam.
And the Hallyway. Potty Central, plus stuff waiting to be stored in the roofspace for the summer. No, that is not a Stormtrooper costume, it's Knox's fullface helmet, for his serious Kamikaze stage of mountain biking. Fan, because Australian summer is meant to be hot (even though it's still cold at the moment).

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mountain Buggy

For Mountain Buggy enthusiasts. If you can push it, it can go there. No handbrake, though; just a parking brake.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Ode to St Valentine

...aka Picnic at Hanging Rock (Joan Lindsay). Loved that novel, play, and the movie. Classically Australian.

The above photos are No. 1's gift to her housemates at Uni. Origami roses. Op shop vase. You've got style, Jac.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

The Front Yard this time.

Aah, the Australian summer. Gum leaves, gum leaves, and more gum leaves. And not a koala in sight. Yeah, I should probably rake up those leaves sometime. Mm. Maybe later?

Actually I've been streamlining the housework this summer; mostly by just not doing it. The kitchen is clean but cluttered, the bathroom is acceptable, the rest of the house is dusty, but it isn't bothering me. I'd like to say I've been really creative during this spell, but I've mostly been resting, and idly dreaming of things I might do when I'm feeling like it. I suppose I know that my energy and sense of industry will return, and that the in-between times are just that, and not to be viewed with negativity. (I don't like the clumpy nature of that last bit of wording - suggestions, please?) BLW, loved your post this morning, and now I have the answer to my third option in my hot chocolate date with Amber - I would like to have learned more grammar. Unlike my friend BLW, I just write it like I say it. So, her words are the topiary and parterre gardens to my unfenced bush paddock. *sigh* But until I find a nerdy adult learning class on grammar (do they have such things?), I'm stuck with colloquial and clumpy.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

On Gardens, Solitude and Photos

Baby waiting patiently for backyard picnic,
having carried the chairs out herself to get things started.

Biss, trying to evade capture,
while doing her Uni subject selections for Semester 1 this year.

The treehouse, having been restored to its correct place in the universe,
after being temporarily displaced by the Christmas tree.

I've come to the conclusion that a picture really does say a thousand words. I watched such a good documentary 6 months or so ago, on 4 photographers, speaking about their own work, how it evolved, what it meant to them. If I find the reference for the docu, I'll insert it here. But I've been musing this morning on how much I love blog posts with photos, from other people's homes, outings, kids, fashions - whatever it pleases them to post, I'm interested.
So, I thought I'd go on a photojournalism stint for a bit, and just capture some of what's going on around me.

There is a bit of a problem with putting this new idea into practice, though. I only use my phone camera. Point, shoot, plug in USB, finished. I don't crop, chop, slice or dice. Or even focus... I used to love the old Ricoh camera, back in the days when cameras used film. I didn't know the name of the things I was manipulating, but I knew how to set it up to take the pictures I wanted. When things went digital, I got left behind. Of course, I can see the wonderful innovation that digital photography is - I could barely afford to develop and print my photos in the old days. And there was that time when I thought there was a roll of film in the camera, but there wasn't...

SO - I guess I'll have to get photography lessons from my kids, and then get on with it. TBC on that.

Christmas Packing Up.

Reindeer Roadkill
(note to Amber - see crumbs on floor;
perfection in housekeeping is only
for those people who don't have better things to do :-) )

Knox, making helpful commentary on my photo composition.

Gardens. Sort of.

Surveying the seedlings by flashlight after a storm; Biss and Somer.

And on solitude. From Youtube. Like the other commenters, I just love this girl's Canadian accent.

Sunday, January 2, 2011


A quick post of piccies of the last week or so. Especially for our northern hemisphere friends, as a reminder that somewhere in the world, it is summer.
We've been doing a mix of family stuff, beach, backyard picnics and running (of course). Staying close to home, as I haven't been well, and just can't get my head around the usual camping expeditions. Maybe in a week or so. We'll see. Hope you've all had some nice family times these holidays as well.