Tag Archives: Food

Simple things

As the weekend is drawing to a close I have been reflecting that we hadn’t done much of note. Then I reflected a bit further and realised that we had actually achieved a number of things over the weekend, and that they were worth noting! I was trying to work out why I thought we hadn’t done much, and then realised that for the main, the things that were the most important to me are in fact very simple things.

Over the last week, with a combination of very hot weather, very tired children and some background stress from our friend’s emergency I have been letting the children have much more screen time that I would usually. Yesterday morning, after the children’s swimming lesson, I was negotiating once again with the boy and the eldest chick about who could access the computer and who could play on the Wii when it struck me that I had lost control of the house! So I promptly announced that all screens were off for at least two hours, but probably longer. After the initial 2 minutes of complaining, and the boy trying to trick me into letting him on a screen 5 minutes later, they all went off and found things to do.

The boy set up a very complex Lego scenario in his room, which involved lots of instructions from him to ‘his men’.

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The he built a “Millenium Falcon” and told me that it was built to look after me, as it was made with his love in it. Oh my boy – he is so sweet despite his amazing energy levels.

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The eldest chick also started building with Lego, and after repairing her Knight’s Bus, took a shoe box, some tissues and a pile of Lego figures and was playing her own quiet but apparently very complex game.

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The middle chick decided that she needed to create (hence me referring to her as my artist in residence – it is almost a compulsion!). She drew another bird, based on the one she drew for me to use on my packaging tags (in my last post) and decided that she wanted to make it into a stuffed toy. So with some instruction from me on the order of things, she did!

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Such simple things, but all of them were using their imaginations, which is the true joy in these activities.

In the afternoon when they were getting ratty I put them all in the car and we went and found 4 new geocaches. They loved it! The boy had to be hoisted by his mother to reach one tiny micro-cache, which he was thrilled by. Another cache was disguised as a piece of chewed gum stuck under a table (ewwwwww!) and another was a multiple hide, involving us bashing around in the bush, finally finding a panel in the grass to lift, then in the dirt another panel to lift before we finally found the cache. Again the kids were so intrigued by the sneaky hide that the time in the bushes, worrying about snakes etc, was worth it! One cache defeated us, so we will have to return another time and try again.

This morning, with no swimming lessons, we all slept in – another simple thing that gave me great joy!!

After a cup of tea with a beautiful friend, I had the afternoon to myself while the children were out with their father, so I played with my new toy. I haven’t found a name for the sewing machine yet, but one will come, I am sure! It is such a joy to sew with! Blanket stitch for applique is so neat and smooth!

So I made a new super hero cape for a friend’s son. The applique was so smooth I added a few more stars….. just because I could!

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I also finished the present I am making for the eldest chick and am very happy with the way it turned out. Photos will of course follow once her birthday has passed!

My next simple joy was the bowl of delicious Thai-style sweet potato soup with chicken that a lovely friend had dropped off to me earlier in the day. The colour alone was joyous and then I tasted it – mmmmm mmmmmm.

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A walk with the dog around the block, seeing cockatoos, parrots and galahs, and returning home to watch the chooks scratching around in the garden (they get to free range each evening while the dog has some ‘inside time’.)

Simple things but lovely things.

I then started to complicate things by dreaming of creating my own fabric to make ‘things’ from, planning toys that I could make, fabric labels……and started playing on our paint editing software……so now both the eldest and middle chicks are busy trying to get in on the action, with great ideas of what they will design and then have me make things from…….ah well, technology had to intervene sometime!

So – how was your weekend? Happy I hope!

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A gift is defined as something given willingly to someone without payment.  Over the last few days I have received gifts of different sorts, all given willingly and without payment, and am feeling very blessed.

My children have returned!   (A gift itself).  My house has been so quiet in their absence.  Now they are back, and the usual chorus of demands, complaints about their siblings, inability to find their own possessions, and arguments over what they are watching on TV in the late afternoon has returned.  With that has also come many, many, spontaneous long hugs from all three, tales of their adventures while they were away, and joy at reuniting with their friends (one friend rang an hour after she returned from her family holiday to invite the middle chick over for a sleepover that night!)  We have had a Uno tournament (I am the least successful participant so far – yes I am trying to avoid calling myself a loser), Lego building, and fort building using the kit that the boy received from his aunt for Christmas (sheets, ropes, clamps – brilliant).  So many gifts captured in that one paragraph – hugs, time, joy, love.

The artist in residence has been working her way through the book of papercraft that she received for Christmas.  (I bought it online from the Book Depository (one of my favourite sites) and didn’t realise until it arrived that it contained patterns from several of my favourite craft bloggers!  Bonus! )   She and the eldest chick helped me to choose fabric from Hawthorne Threads yesterday (another of my favourite sites), and are planning sewing time and projects for themselves.  The boy has learnt to use a hammer to nail in loose nails on the deck, and today washed the deck with his water pistol.

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Of course the return to the household and our usual chaos is not without hiccups –kids and mother all getting a bit irritable as we readjust to being in the same space again.  So today I rounded them up, plus a visiting friend, and the dog, and we went for a walk to find a geocache in our neighbourhood.

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We haven’t been geocaching for a few months, so once the kids remembered the joy in finding caches (including the eldest willingly climbing a gum tree covered in giant bull ants to retrieve the cache) we then had to find more!  A trip in the car around the nearby area saw us find four in total, including one very tiny micro-cache, hidden in plain sight, that impressed us all.  So with rediscovered enthusiasm we are planning a day of geocaching later in the week.  For those unaware of geocaching, it is a form of outdoor treasure hunting – a free pastime that involves us finding caches that others have left simply for the joy of having people find them and log them.  You can learn more, or register here. True gift giving!

I managed to complete a custom sewing order for a friend last night, and achieve two new firsts – I used bamboo wadding, rather than fusible fleece, and quilted the cover of the art wallet in a form of free motion quilting.  While I have a long way to go, it was a good experience and I am keen to keep practising and experimenting with the technique.  That came about through the gift of support from my friends in my new venture, and the ability to use advice generously and freely shared on the internet.

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One of the consequences of the children returning is that I need to get more organised, and tidy up my sewing projects rather than leaving them lying around as I work on them.  I have been sewing at one end of the house and ironing at the other (as a result of a built in ironing board) and kept thinking that a smaller, portable, or table top ironing board would be a good addition, and might reduce the trail of scraps and threads from spreading quite so quickly through the house.  Then last night I saw one come up on Freecycle, asked for it, and was able to pick it up this morning – and it is like new!   A physical gift!  Next up is some more fabric storage.  Might have to look at freecycle for that too.

After days of very high temperatures and a couple of days of extreme fire danger, today we didn’t reach 30˚C, we have had some light rain, and the whole day was overcast.  Just the relief we (and our fire fighters) needed before we head into another week of high temperatures.

The final gift to be mentioned in this post is food related.  A friend dropped in on her way home from the shops last night to leave me with a beautiful fresh piece of salmon, announcing that she had bought too much for her family to eat.  Seared on the barbeque, and eaten for dinner last night with potato and salad (while the heathen children had sausages after refusing the fish) it was a gift to the taste buds!  As I know she reads the blog I can say thank you here as well as in person!  (I have to add that the boy announced that his “favourite fish is flake.  I know it is shark Mum.  I like eating sharks”. Insert the image of a mother rolling her eyes here.)

Of course, just taking and not giving myself would be a good way to ruin the karmic balance, so as a small gesture towards redressing that balance can I encourage you to look at the facebook page of a friend, set up to assist people to understand the benefits of hypnosis. I have never tried this, but after reading her information have a much better idea of the benefits offered. She lives in country Queensland, but is able to provide her services through the wonders of skype, so you can contact her from anywhere in the world! You can find all the details here – https://www.facebook.com/#!/JessieHodgsonHypnosis

So – what gifts did you receive this week?

The weekend

I always start the weekend with a long list of things that must be done, or that I want to do, but it is rare that I reach the end of Sunday and have it all ticked off as completed. However I normally end up doing a whole pile of extra things that weren’t on the list but that were important (in the scheme of things). This weekend has been no exception. The list of things I didn’t do is long and quite boring, but the things that I did instead have been quite lovely. Like making marmalade!

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I don’t remember ever making it before but the sight of all my citrus fruit in the bowl not getting eaten while the children are away prompted me into action. The oranges were so orange!

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Then I threw in some limes and lemons and tried hard not to hum a nursery rhyme while chopping away.

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And then the important part – into the Thermomix, add sugar, and let the machine do it’s thing.

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And hey presto! Five jars of marmalade waiting for their labels! Could be a good excuse to have toast for breakfast tomorrow.

I spent the afternoon playing with fabric and trialling new methods of making pencil pockets for my art wallets. I think I have it mastered. I am trying to add pockets so that the wallet sits flat when it is full of pencils. The jury is still out whether this is a worthwhile endeavour or not! It is very fiddly and the wallets don’t look as neat when they are empty. On the other hand, by using this method I can fit more pencil spaces into the same space. So the experimentation will continue! In the meantime the vibrant colours that I added to my stash with my visit to Spotlight gave me some new combinations to play with.

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My time of uninterrupted creating will come to an end in a few short days, so I am wondering what else I can fit in before my chicks return to the nest. I should probably also tackle Mt Washmore before they return, although I should probably call it Mt Foldmore – the clothes are all clean, they just haven’t been folded, sorted, or put away. One of the indulgences of being home without the children. Yes – it is the small things that keep me amused!

How was your weekend? Did you make anything?