Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy Anniversare!

Henny and I have been in love for 24 years today about Midnight tonight! We have been living together for 23 years and 46 weeks of those 24 years and married for 17 of them.
I chose the best anniversary card for him with 2 chooks on the front. it is a Klimt painting. I wrote my own caption and said 'I am glad you are the rooster in my chookyard!' I really am your basic romantic! I did have two other captions...'I love you Henny Penny' and the other was...'You are a top cock' ( I only thought this one and didn't write it 'cause as we know after the 'f' word incident with Ginny that some people may have taken it the wrong way.
We have had some great news The Princess and the Gas Man have had their baby boy at 6.45pm last night he is 8.3 pounds or 3.8 kilograms and it 56cm long. They are very tall so I wouldn't have expected anything less. I am off to see him at 5pm today...can't wait. Scarpetta has already dropped off a pressie because that it how organised she is!
Well i always get soooooooooooo excited about New Year, not sure why but I guess because it is the beginning of perhaps the unknown.
Anyway as this new year rolls out, my hope for you and all of those you love is... that each day is filled with many rich blessings for you. That your eyes are always opened to the wonder that fills each new day. We really ARE blessed people! No matter how you look at it, we really have so much going for us all, especially as free people living in this most blessed country. We have so many choices ahead of us.
In 2009 let us live in love and joy and beauty and friendship and awe and wonder and delight in the extraordinary that is a part of our ordinary and keep celebrating the wondrous peace that fills our hope-filled lives.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Hurrah it's Saturday and my family gets home in five days from Italy on the morning of the 5th day. HURRAH! It has been a long couple of weeks. Kirsty I am in awe of you lasting 12 weeks.
I am a bit of a fraidy cat and so for the first few weeks of being on my own I felt the need to cook for others or be out and about.
The result is I am exhausted! and I have had some pretty appalling dinner guests but also some nice ones...and of course there was the awful problem of the dhal...
Last Sunday I had some mates over and thought I will whip up a quick Vindaloo. I was out there on the edge and just kept adding the far could go? I did show a small amount of restraint and 5 dried chillies and 4 long green chillies later, I thought this it it!
And it but still able to be tasted and enjoyed.
What would I serve with the aforementioned Vindaloo...dhal I thought. Then, great idea No. 1.
I was in the city shopping and there was an Indian place...I would just buy a container of dhal to accompany the Vindaloo (minimal effort but maximum presentation value). When I inquired the chap said $10...ten bucks says I for a container of lentils that cost 50c to make...I was of course completely undervaluing the cost of his rent, staff and other overheads. No I said "I will make it myself".
I rang Scarfetta - the source of all information. 'Oh it only takes about an hour or so', says she. I chopped onions, rinsed lentils, added spices...All done in 30 minutes. "How good it this?" I say to myself. Dinner of course is a raging success (my words not theirs). I farewell my guests and clean up. (it sucks that you can't make guests clean and wash you have put in a whole lot of effort!)
I clean up, go to bed, get up, go to work thinking about the nice plate of left overs for dinner that evening.
...4am in the morning after two consecutive nights of hot curry and dhal for dinner I HAVE THE WORST PAIN IN THE WORLD! OMG Are my ovaries going to explode? Do I have some cyst that has burst? How am I going to get to the hospital when I am all by myself. How will I notify my husband Henny all the way away in Italy. Am I going to die? Will I have to take the day off?
Well, I calm myself down and hobble to the kitchen and administer panadol. I decide to remain calm...alert but not alarmed. I take myself back to bed and give myself til 7ish before I head to the hospital.
About 5am I realise am not having quite the close brush with imminent death that I originally was anticipating... more like a brush with the foul and nasty gas generated by lentils that have not been correctly soaked to remove noxious gases.
it was nasty! Very nasty! Do not try this at home...and always soak your lentils and discard that noxious water. That is all I am going to say.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

At Home in Life As It Is

When the idea of keeping a blog first came (thanks to Ginny) my plan was to keep a journal of my journey to being me. Maybe what I first forgot was that I am already me even with the bits I don't like.
After being someone's partner for 24 years on the 31 Dec, I felt I was losing a bit of myself. While my family are away (They are on a huge adventure 3 weeks in Italy - Just the boys...oh a one hanger one)I am going to do a bit of looking for me. I think sometimes I am very lazy and choose the path of least resistance. This is not good!
Today is the day! Discipline and a sunny outlook with a forward heading direction. I CAN make the difference in my own life! And walk up a hill (see already I am saying "Do I have to?", "Can't I just drive there?")
I actually do like being me, so that is a beginning. I was talking to the Princess yesterday, her and the Gas Man are having a baby very shortly (like in 2 weeks). Poor Princess was a bit distraught at leaving her job in the hands of someone else. The fact that they would do it their own way and maybe even do it a bit better than her. "But" I said "They may do your job more efficiently but they simply are not you!". When you think about it, when people love or like us they are looking for the good not the faults. isn't that nice...we are looking for the good!
It's Christmas!
I am so going Christmas shopping this afternoon.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Friday Faves

Now, I have been following my friends Friday Faves for weeks now and I did notice that their Friday Faves were late this week and I kept looking and had crept up on me. Their simple idea of finding 5 things that were adding joy and happiness and then blogging them is something I look forward to. I missed them when they weren't there.
Nb. They have since appeared.
How delightful to know what brings your friends joy and happiness and that a glass of iced water or a phone call from a Son who lives close by becomes a highlight.
Life is indeed grand!
I am reading this lovely Advent reflection guide. It is so good!
In one of the first reflections we read ' Feeling at home for Christmas is difficult if we don't feel home in life. Life turns out to be much more complex and challenging than we expect: illness and accidents, failures and broken hearts. Making it worse we may think something is wrong with us, as if life shouldn't be this way.'
Then it goes on to compare the differences between the Nativity stories in the two Gospels. Luke's version is the bright side of the story - singing angels, kneeling shepherds, the donkey and the ox. Matthew's Gospel is the adult version fraught with difficulty and danger, vulnerability and flight.
In this busy season, as we prepare singing 'Silent Night Holy Night All is Calm All is Bright' we can also be comforted in knowing that there is consolation for us in the two tellings of the gospel story. This original story relates to us where we are right now. A child is always a blessing! But we know sometimes the beginnings are not always so grand and so bright. Careful planning goes awry... it is our challenge to look and find the joy in the moment.
I am going to keep looking to find Friday Faves ( it is a nice surprise when they arrive early)

Christmas statistics
fruit mince pies 2
melting moment 1
choc coated almonds 6
exercise 0
I really must eat some vegetables

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Exactly why I have to go to the gym

Christmas statistics
fruit mince tarts 1
peanut m&m's 7 handfuls
fruit 1

Grumbly Christmas fairy

Actually, one of my pet hates is when people talk about themselves incessantly and another of my pet hates is when people grumble at this time of goodwill to all men. So I am in a major bother! I am going to be guilty of ranting and raving about people who are obsessed by them selves at the expense of others around them in this time of joy to the world.
Let me first say, if you are feeling unwell - I am concerned for you. If you have a constant headache - I am concerned about you. If you have unspecific or specific pain that has been lingering - I am very concerned for you. If you play sport and have sore knees, feet, back - I sympathise but if you continue to play inappropriate sports for your weight and age I think HARDEN UP! get some commonsense you jerk and retire gracefully while you are relatively in tact!
See in the season of glad tidings, I am being SCROOGE these people are bringin' me down man from my tinsel induced high. I need to rethink some of my relationships and cross some names of the Christmas card list. It is a job that has to be done.
Or am I being too harsh?
Off to work it's Thursday and we have morning tea every Thursday...will there be fruit mince tarts?
Christmas statistics
Lindt ball/s 2
fruit mince tart 1 & 1/2
Lime & black pepper chips-guilty
exercise 1 hour & personal training YAY!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Christmas continues...

I just love Christmas! It is only day 2 of December and there is work to be done...Elf work! I have to make the cards - get the stamps off Crafty, buy a huge amount of extra stuff and then create. There are gingerbread houses to bake, a Christmas feast to be devised, special fruitcakes to my secret recipe to be made, lists to write, movies to be watched and of course cards to be written. The wreath isn't even on the front door yet!
I have been distracted so far, people keep having Christmas occasions. Last night was our Group reunion Christmas dinner at the local Chinese. We Christians know how to party! I knew the group was bonding when the farting stories came out, it is a privilege to meet with a group of women and just begin that journey of getting to know each other.
Tonight was the Book Club Christmas Galah...only four of us turned up out of a possible seven or eight but we partied as only women know how. Familiarity is such a delightful thing! Four of us in a local park feeling like we'd all been run over...This year has just whizzed past. But in true trooper style the party went on, champagne, chicken in wonton wrappers with a mango chilli salsa, chicken and pesto, salad, fruit salad, mince tarts, it was a feast! Scarpetta did the flash cooking, it does make you feel so special when somebody goes to considerable effort. Calculating books read is not a major achievement this year, but what is an achievement is that we have been together for 5 years now. Book Club is even going to have a baby...well not all of us just one of us 'The Princess' I am very excited for her.
I am very excited that at this very moment my family- Henny, Dom Antony & Moo Moo are meeting in Roma...Italy that is not Queensland. I am so happy that they can have three special weeks together. I will be keeping the home fires burning and organising Christmas ready for their return. There is a fleeting thought that they are not so good with directions and instructions, Henny did get on the wrong train going to the airport. I have put Moo Moo in charge - he may be 16 but he knows where he is going!

Christmas statistics

exercise 0
Fruit mince tarts 2
Champagne 3
wine 2
Lindt Ball 1 (PKT of 5. The others are soooooo not safe)

Monday, December 1, 2008

It's beginning to feel a lot like Christmas

There are certainly a whole lot of people complaining about it. This is one of my pet hates! GRRRR it makes me very angry. Christmas is the time of year when we pine for family, tradition and look to the beginnings of the Holy Family - a birth is always exciting and full of hope and new beginnings.

I try to put meaning into Christmas with the hope that meaning is created for my family and for those around me. Sometimes it works and sometimes I have to roll my eyes (If only I could stop there but, I can't). I feel like I am some Santa appointed elf whose mission is to point out how much meaning Christmas does have and actually it is up to the person concerned to put their own meaning into Christmas.

but...I LOVE CHRISTMAS! This is the time of year where the lack of discipline in my everyday existence is pushed aside for a regime of timelines, schedules and jolly tasks. It all starts the previous year when I scour the post Christmas sales for the ultimate decorations that my tree must have! This task determines the colour scheme for the following year...I continue the theme to the wrapping and that it also purchased in the sales. My preference is quality paper (this year pink) usually 7 metres long - This gives me the confidence that I will not run short. Decorations are stored in clear boxes according to colour range and precious decorations are individually wrapped in tissue paper - this is a great feat of organisation for someone who never knows where her shoes are.

It begins on November 29 or 30 - I have two birthday in that week so as soon as birthdays are over, it begins - The season to be really jolly and good tidings to ALL mankind. The tree is hoisted out and while we put National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation on the tele, we begin. Lights first then decorations are layered, baubles are hung on the inside of the tree - creating a feeling of fullness and depth. Special decorations are saved for the outer fronds of the tree. Lastly the angel is placed on the top of the tree by the youngest member of our family. He has grown 'cause we used to have to lift him up to do it. While I gently unwrap each bauble and suggest the location the boys are repeating different parts of the movie that make them laugh 'shitter's full', 'lotta sap - lotta sap', 'Clarke, Audrey will see it later, her eyelids are frozen over'....and variopus others. Watch it! You will love it!

The nativity purchased in Amalfi in unwrapped and someone hides the Three wise men in a not so obvious location so they can begin their journey travelling around the room to the nativity. On a daily basis we sit in the loungeroom trying to spot where the three wise men are and then if spotted we move them to another location...this activity goes on til Christmas eve.

The house is decorated, I have garland with lights for over the entrance to the lounge, a wreath for the front door, a wreath for the kitchen ( I sneakily have left this up all year as I just love it!), the book- T'was the Night Before Christmas, assorted candles and angels, bowls and vases full of small baubles in the desired colour scheme...The house really looks lovely at Christmas.

This year I am recycling and so the tree is sull of most of my colours, pinl, lime green, silver, purple and a hint of blue - blue although definitely not a Christmas colour is just a hint of me. Now that the decorating is done...The season begins.

Cardmaking and posting. I do like to have these in the post Nov 30 to arrive in boxes by Dec 1. This has been delayed this year (as my Boys are traveling OS and I have had to neglect my Christmas tasks in order to assist their preparations). This week rest assured I will be writing messages of hope and joy to all that I love and hold fond thoughts of.

I love Christmas craft! So this year I have covered the letters P-E-A-C-E and gorgeous scrapbooking papers and I will blu tack to my wall near the tree. NOICE DIFFERENT UNUSUAL. I also have the letter for b-e-l-i-e-v-e...that may be my project to keep me busy while the boys are away. I also have made a countdown calendar, a bit boring for some of my talented friends as it is really just a painted tree, covered in papers and then the numbers hung...but I love it!

I cook cook cook! Gingerbread houses and assorted treats. Christmas is when there are lollies always in our house and kids know they are not allowed to eat them. This year I am going to make my friend Karen's lolly pizzas - chocolate melted into a patty case and then layered with chopped up snakes, marshmallow and other assorted goodies.

I will keep you posted on what I am up to...but I really should be getting ready to go for coffee with my lovely husband (who got into Art School! and will be studying next year!) and my baby Boy. They are heading to Italy for 3 weeks to catch up with No.1 Son. Bon Voyage Treasures have fun living La Dolce Vita! Ciao x