Friday, August 31, 2007

Quick shop

At the chicken shop today, I managed to get 3 whole chickens for $4.80 each & slightly over 1.5 kg corn-fed breast for $12.6 ($8 / kg). All up $27 - not a bad haul!

We then called into Aldi where Billy amused a few people by declaring loudly "We like specials! We only buy things on special" :) I'm teaching him well lol. I spent $36-odd for enough to do us until I can do a proper shop sans child. A few things were pantry fillers - eg 2 packets of sugar - 1 to use, 1 spare; 3 boxes tissues, 5 tins tomatoes etc.

I'm going to see how long I can stretch it out before I do a real shop. Most importantly I took the excess money OUT of my wallet - it has a tendency to jump out and spend itself on incidentals if it stays there :)

Monthly grocery wrap-up

I haven't done a major shop for 6 weeks! In fact the Homescan people rang me yesterday to find out why I hadn't been scanning stuff! Unfortunately I've been picking things up over the last couple of weeks as I was doing the party shopping - a jar of peanut butter here, butter there etc. I totalled it yesterday and I've spent $60 already! (There was 3L of olive oil - ~ $25 - in that total though).

I was planning on doing a major shop today but all of the lollies & chips etc that Billy has eaten recently have kicked in & he's an absolute nightmare atm. I'm not taking him for a major shop in that mood!! We need to go near the chicken outlet shop today so I'll call in there & see what we can get, then I'll just call into Aldi for the necessities on the way home.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

On the down hill run!

I feel like I'm on the down hill run with my commitments after this week.

Uni on Tuesday was Wk 6 of 12 - half way there! My Cert IV course today was the 3rd last one - we now have a 2 week break before the next lesson. I've got a couple of assignments to do during that time, but at least that's 2 weeks I only have to go down to Newcastle 1 day not 2 in a row.

I also have a website about *this* close to going live. Hopefully I'll knock the majority of the outstanding stuff over tomorrow. This one has been dragging on for quite a while, so I'll be glad to get it "done & dusted".

I'm inching ever closer to freedom! Bring on November!!

Monday, August 27, 2007

Credit for the cake!

I forgot to give credit where credit was due for Billy's b'day cake - I used Lightening's fudge cake recipe (except substituted carob instead of cocoa). It all but disappeared, and received so many compliments! It's a staple in our house, it freezes well (when it gets a chance to be frozen!) and now I know it works well as a 'fancy' cake too!

Thanks J :)

The party is over!!!

Well the party is over! I am never, ever doing finger food ever again :)

It wasn't without it's dramas though. The way Saturday went, I was wondering if the party was even going to go ahead - everything seemed to go wrong. On Saturday morning I pulled the chicken wings out of the fridge to marinate. I bought them on Thursday afternoon at the deli at Woolies - they went straight into a cool bag with a couple of freezer bricks, it took me about 30 minutes to get home and they went straight in the fridge - I pulled them out Saturday morning and they were off. The smell almost knocked me over - I was not impressed! So a quick trip down to Bilo to buy some more.

The cake I made last week & froze was too dry, so I made another one on Saturday. When I pulled it out of the tin, it split :( So it went from a slab cake to a magic hat cake :) A few other minor things went went wrong as well, like the battery in the lawn-mower being dead when Pete went to use it...

We had to go out to dinner on Saturday night - Pete had his squash presentation and since he'd won his grade, I figured we'd better go! Mum & Dad looked after Billy - and he freaked them out by coming down with a temperature which wasn't coming down with Panadol. We got home about 10:30 as they were starting to panic - I gave him some Nurofen as well to try and get it down. He was wide awake again by that point, and clingy, so I was trying to ice the cake & attend to him at the same time! At midnight I gave up on decorating the cake, and just left it iced. His temp was starting to come down, but was still high, so I got the sleeping bag & doona and curled up on his floor for the night to keep an eye on him. (Not as much of a sacrifice as it sounds - the alternative was sleeping next to a beer-y, snoring husband lol). So needless to say I didn't get a lot of sleep that night - his temp was down to a reasonable level by about 2:30am but I was wide awake at that point with everything I had to do racing through my mind.

Anyway he seemed ok the next morning, a bit whingy but his temp was ok, so we didn't have to cancel.

On to the party... Hot finger food is a LOT of work - not just beforehand, but on the day. We had 3 ovens going (we have a double oven and Mum brought a little portable one down), and spent probably an hour reheating it & cooking the pizza.

The pizza & quiches probably went over the best. I forgot to put sauce out for the meatballs so they were a bit dry, as were the pies, but they were all still nice. The sausage rolls & chicken weren't rejected either. We had heaps left over though - I really over-catered (and we didn't even heat some of it up!), so we'll be eating leftovers all week!! Luckily some of it was still frozen so we can save it for another day.

I'd hired a magician through LETS - she did a good show, the kids loved her, especially the grand finale with a real rabbit which they then got to pat & cuddle! Unfortunately she couldn't make it til 2pm, so it made it a long afternoon for some of the littlies and some had to leave early.

I had some wonderful help from family & friends with putting out the food, and cleaning up - it was so nice to come in to the kitchen and find piles of clean dishes!! Thank you everyone!

A selection of photos..

Party in full swing..

The infamous finger food..

Billy's cake - decorated by himself..

Blowing out the candles..

A very rare shot of me :)

Billy with magician JoJo..
I don't like to put photos of other people's kids on my blog (for privacy reasons), so have only put a few photos up here. I'll be putting more online later - if anyone wants to see more, email me at kezp99 @, let me know who you are, and I'll share the link.
Overall it was a good day though I think. Billy enjoyed it, so that was the main thing after all!

Now to do it all over again in 3 weeks for Pete's 40th! I'm not sure what we're doing for food - but I know it won't be finger food lol!!

Friday, August 24, 2007

Blog Comments

How do you handle it when you leave a comment on someone's blog that you want to later check back to see if they've replied? Do you just add the URL to your favorites? Try to remember what you wrote where? Or ???

What's your technique?

Dress-up box

The dress-up box certainly got a workout today..

Magician Billy - the foil is a magic wand (use your imagination!)

Builder Billy - complete with Bob the Builder toolbelt :)
I hope everyone had a nice day today - we spent the day up at Mum & Dads & Billy had a ball playing with his cousins. I had a great time chatting with my Mum & sister - and occasionally Dad as he wandered in and out. It's so good to have them home!!!

Thursday, August 23, 2007

"In Praise of Slow"

I reviewed this book earlier in the year - - and part of this came back into my mind tonight as I was trying to hurry Billy's bedtime story because I had "stuff to do". It's well worth a read - discussing things like the Slow Food Movement, alternative medicines, not loading our kids up with activities etc. I'll have to borrow it from the library again and see what I get out of it on a 2nd read.

I finished all of the shopping today for the party - just some stuff I'd left until I went down to Newcastle with time to get it. I had to go down to the chiro - he was very pleased to hear I am cutting down work - he blames my working for my back & neck problems (not surprisingly!!)

Tomorrow we're going up to Mum & Dads to see them - they got home yesterday - it'll be fantastic to see them.

Finger food recipes..

Mini Quiche Recipe

This was the recipe I used for the mini quiches - it's great!

Party Pie Recipe

Um, I didn't really have one as such. I boiled the mince (2kg), threw in some onion flakes (because I was out of onion), I think a bit of minced garlic, beef stock, tomato paste, salt & pepper. I think that was it - I just kept adding stuff til it tasted ok :) Then I reduced it down and thickened it with some flour.

The cases - I cut the bottom out of the frozen shortcrust pastry sheets, and the top out of puff pastry sheets. I used a muffin pan that wasn't very deep. Cooked at about 190 for 15 mins.


Ditto to above - 2 kg of mince, mixed with a bit of minced garlic, breadcrumbs, an egg, dried basil, salt & pepper. Mixed it all up in a BIG bowl lol, and shaped little cocktail size meatballs out of it. I cooked them on a tray I think for about 10-15 mins. I got away with a baking tray because they weren't very fatty, but if your mince was a bit fattier a baking dish would be better.

Sausage Rolls

Yes a real recipe lol. I think this was a Women's Weekly one originally.

6 sheets puff pastry
4 slices soft bread, crusts removed
3/4 cup hot water
1kg sausage meat
1 med onion, grated
1 med carrot, grated
mixed herbs to taste - I use about 1-2 tsp because I'm not a big fan of the taste
salet & pepper to taste
milk for glazing

1. Preheat oven to 220C. Soak bread in hot water for 5 minutes, squeeze out excess water & combine with meat, onion, carrot, herbs, salt & pepper. (This is a really messy part - you really need to get your hands in to mix properly!)
2. Cut pastry in half and sppon sausage mix down centre. Fold pastry over filling and seal edges firmly. Cut to size & glaze with milk. Bake 25 mins or until golden.

I cut each roll into 4 to make party size ones - you get 48 out of the recipe that way.

Enjoy :)

Monday, August 20, 2007

I think I'm turning into a finger food!

I've been busy cooking over the last 2 days ready for Billy's party on Sunday (it's a family lunch rather than just a kid's party - I don't do kid's parties lol). We decided to do finger food rather than a BBQ or meat & salads like we usually do - please smack me around the head if I decide that again!!

I started off yesterday by mincing 4kg of meat (it was cheaper than buying mince), then made the following:

* 54 mini quiches
* 80 party sausage rolls
* 132 cocktail meatballs
* 36 party pies

oh, and cooked a baked dinner as well!!

I was so exhausted last night - I couldn't even blog :)

I finished it off today by cooking:

* another 43 party pies
* B's birthday cake
* and made up some breadcrumbs - well actually my little helper did under supervision.

Our freezer is stuffed to the gills now! The thing that took the most time was the fact that I only had for eg 3 x 6-muffin trays for the quiches, so that took 3 batches, and 1 tray for the party pies, so that took 7 gos!!

On Saturday I'll be cooking up some chicken drummettes (once I find somewhere to sell them raw), making dough for a few pizzas, and decorating the cake, as well as cleaning the house (Did I mention that we're going out to dinner for Pete's squash presentation on Saturday night as well??!!). Sunday morning I'll make up the pizzas, cook some 'little boys' (cheerios / cocktails frankfurts / whatever they're called in your neck of the woods), make up some bruschetta and do lots of reheating.

Hopefully that will be enough food - as well as chips & lollies to start, plus slices for dessert that my MIL is in charge of.... I'm notorious for over-catering!

And yes, several times during all that cooking I was wondering why I couldn't just do what 'normal' people do and go and buy it all lol. Glad I'm not normal - at least this way I know exactly what's in all of the stuff - unlike the overpriced cr*p from the freezer section!

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Cup of tea anyone?

There's a funny story behind this teapot. For the last few years, we've had Xmas Day with my BIL's grandparents & family, so participate in the gift-giving as well. Last Xmas, his grandmother gave me this wonderful teapot which I duly admired - except at that time, I didn't drink tea :) I just assumed since she didn't know me that well that she didn't know I didn't drink tea. She rang me a few weeks after Xmas very embarrassed - she had actually bought me something else for Xmas and got my gift and the gift for her next-door neighbour mixed up. She was most apologetic and I assured her it didn't matter, offered to give it back to her if she wanted etc etc but she didn't want it back.

In the last few months I've actually started drinking tea (both black tea and green tea), and have started using the teapot. It's coming in very handy now - thanks Gran :)

Aftermath of the Floods

It's been over 2 months since the storms & floods of June, and the aftermath continues. I know several people who are still displaced while their houses are being repaired, or who have moved back in even though they are still waiting on repairs. Many businesses are still closed, some permanently, especially in Wallsend which was worst hit. Maitland's New Year's Eve fireworks have been cancelled as the river bank is still too unstable.

I take a back road to drop Billy at preschool normally - it goes over a wonderful little ricketty bridge - it's only been re-opened for a few weeks, it took that long for the water to subside. I took my new camera and risked life & limb taking some photos on Thursday :) It breaks my heart every time I go over the bridge to see all of the debris and destruction of such a pretty area.

You can click on any of the photos for a larger view.

This sign is at least 10m above the bridge - the debris that has collected against the road sign shows how high the river got.

Looking downstream - the "clumps" in the tree are more debris washed downstream.

Yet more debris :) Looking upstream.

The far side of the river - the road was all silted up and still has sand piled up along the sides.

A cute pelican who decided to pose so I could play with the zoom lens :)

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Saturday Ramblings

I'm tired and stressed.. (so what else is new?! lol)

We had a dreadful night last night - all 3 of us are coughing our lungs up (sorry, hope no-one was eating lol) so we were all waking each other up through the night. Once I'm awake I keep lying in bed thinking of all of the things that I have to do - my heart races, I can feel my body tense, and my mind won't shut off.

I'm only capable of thinking about things one day at a time - my life consists of ticking things off a list atm, and if it's not on the list, it doesn't happen. I'm even treating Billy's party that way which is sad - rather than the happy event it should be..

10 weeks to go until work & uni are finished.. I've done out a timeline in the task section of Microsoft Outlook of the paid work I have on, which also stretches until the end of Oct. I've blocked November off as R&R - it may not happen but it makes me feel good!

On the upside, the electricity bill came yesterday. We used 42 kWh / day which is more than last qtr ( 36 kWh ), but way down on the same quarter last year (72 kWh - ouch, yeah I know!!). The main change has been in heating. I haven't pulled the heater out at all this year - I've been putting a cuddly blanket over my legs instead when I've been sitting in the loungeroom. I'm only using Billy's heater for maybe 30 mins to take the chill off his room before bed. Other than that there's a little fan heater in the bathroom that's only on when he has a bath, and our IXL-tastic heater lights in the ensuite - I'd hate to see what they use though. The dryer has only been used a couple of times all winter as well. I'm pretty pleased with it for a winter bill - will try to do better next year.

Kin & Lightening have both awarded me the "schmooze" award! I'm not sure I like the name of this one - schmooze implies "sleazy" to me, but the sentiment is good!

This award was created by Danielle at Pink Reviews with the help of Mike at Things by Mike.

The award was created to:

"recognize those people that were exceptionally adept at creating relationships with other bloggers by making an effort to be part of a conversation, as opposed to a monologue".

I duly award it to:


Thanks to you both for the regular comments you leave on my blog!

I taught my last Saturday course for this term today - Getting started on eBay. I had 6 students so not a bad number. After work I did the shopping for Billy's party - tonight I work on my assignment, and tomorrow I'll be cooking for the party.. What a wild life I lead :)

Well, best get to it - the assignment isn't going to write itself unfortunately..

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Nice Matters Award!

I got all warm and fuzzy this morning when I woke up to find Susan over at Simply Living had awarded me the 'Nice Matters Award'. Awwwww thanks :)

The award was started by Bella-Enchanted

"This award will be awarded to those that are just nice people, good blog friends and those that inspire good feelings and inspiration! Those that care about others that are there to lend support or those that are just a positive influence in our blogging world!"

How nice is that!

So I in turn award it to:

A couple of 'old' internet friends: (as in I've known you guys for a while, not that you're old!!!)

And some new internet friends:

Susan (yes I know you gave it to me - you get it back again!)

I enjoy reading all of your blogs and the comments that you leave on mine. It's amazing how you can feel you know someone just from their blog!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Poll closed

Thanks to everyone who voted. The majority of you either don't care if I put homeschooling stuff in the same or separate blog, or want it in the same blog, so I'll keep it in this blog. Thanks :)


My camera arrived yesterday! My darling hubby picked it up from the post office for me as I was working late, and I got to play with it a bit last night. I think I'll be using it on Auto for a long time, but I'd love to play with all of the settings one day!!! I'll take some proper photos tomorrow.

I also turned down work yesterday. I was asked to run some courses in Term 4 - it was up to me what courses, what days & times etc, and it was really hard to turn it down.. I knew I had to say no for my own sanity, but I had a few mental arguments with myself "maybe I could just do a few days" etc.. But I finally sent the email off to say no. I'm proud of me!!!

Yesterday was my day tutoring at the uni (4 down, 8 to go lol), then today was my Cert IV course (as student not teacher). So I'm a bit brain dead and have a slight headache, early night for me tonight.

Monday, August 13, 2007

List: Things to do after I finish work...

When I left school in 1988, I got a traineeship which meant I worked for the company full-time and they paid for me to go to uni part-time. I finished my degree in 93 and then for some reason that sounded like a good idea at the time, went back for Honours - still studying part-time & working full-time. I finished studying in 95. Pete & I also started our business in 94 or 95 - still working full-time and doing casual programming part-time. We kept that up until I went on maternity leave in 2002. I remember the "new millenium" ticking over - as we were both up programming at midnight 1999.... I also started teaching part-time at an adult community college in 2001 after I had my mid-life crisis. (First? I think I may now be having my 2nd lol)

Once Billy was about 3 months old, I started working from home again and the business has gradually built up to the extent it is now, where I have more work than time to do it, plus the teaching. This year I added in doing my Cert IV Training & Assessment (just in case I got bored lol).

Anyway my point is that for almost 20 years (eek!), there's always been something to do - either work or study. Taking time out to relax has meant putting other stuff off. I don't really have any hobbies other than reading and the internet. I'm going to find it really hard to not have work to do - but I'm really looking forward to it!

So I've come up with a list of things that I've been wanting to find time for to give myself some direction. Some of these things have been on my list for at least 10 years! In no particular order they are:

* organise digital photos on my computer
* organise printed photos (currently just in a big box)
* do jigsaws / puzzles
* re-organise office (tidy up books, set up ready for home-schooling)
* get a household cleaning routine (I don't want to be one of those people who are obsessed with housework - not that I can see that happening lol - but it needs more than the lick & a promise that it currently gets! Billy actually asked me who was coming to visit when I was sweeping the verandahs yesterday :S )
* make pasta
* research family history
* gardening
* learn Italian
* play with photography
* yoga

That should keep me occupied, and hopefully I'll learn to relax while I'm doing it!

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Pleasant day

Great news - my mummy will be home soon lol. They rang tonight ("they" being my parents, sister & nieces) - they're leaving Perth tomorrow and will be taking their time coming home, so will probably be home in about 10 days. However knowing their usual form, they'll probably get a whiff of home and get here much quicker! It'll be good to see them - they left in April :(

So today - Billy woke me up with breakfast in bed - a big bowl of dry cereal lol. It was a beautiful day weather-wise - I even got into shorts! (Luckily no-one was here to see :) ) This morning I tidied up & swept the front & back verandahs and did a little bit of paid work. I ducked into Bilo & Woolies this afternoon to pick up some drinks & chips that were on special for Billy's party and then did some cooking (3 cakes - chopped up & in the freezer already or they'd be gone!). Tea was a roast chicken dinner. Nice & relaxing..

Farmer's Markets

We went to the Kurri Farmer's Markets yesterday morning. It was a bit smaller than I was expecting with only 2 or 3 fruit & vege stalls. There were lots of other stalls with jams, pickles, sauces, soaps etc so had a pleasant time wandering around anyway.

Prices for the fruit & vege were quite reasonable - I picked up 2 kg Pink Lady apples for $6, a lettuce, tomatoes, a cucumber, capsicum, snow peas & a toffee apple for Billy for $12.50. As nice as the jams, pickles etc looked, I kept thinking "I can make it for much less than that".. I have to admit to being suckered into a packet of guide biscuits from the Girl Guide's stall though - I was involved in Guides for so long that I have a soft spot for them (not to mention the biscuits lol).

I'm hoping the fruit & veges were local - I've been a bit cynical since I saw a roadside seller (who I always assumed sold stuff from his garden) pull up early one morning with a trailer load of fruit & vege from the nearby markets!!

Friday, August 10, 2007

I just bought a new camera!

I'm so excited! I was holding out to replace our 8 year old 1 Megapixel non-zoom camera until after we'd paid all the money we have owing, but as I've mentioned recently, it's gone all blurry. Not sure if the lens is damaged or if it's been dropped once too many times :( I've tried cleaning it to no avail - my phone now takes better photos than our camera!! So I bit the bullet and just ordered a Fuji Finepix S5700 digital camera. I was just going to get another 'point & shoot' cheapie, but for a little bit more money this one seemed a heaps better deal with lots of extras. I'll use some of the money I'm earning with the uni work.

I can't wait for it to arrive so I can play with it! Billy is NOT getting his hands on this one - he can have the old one to play with :)

Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Just for Kris..

Here's a summary of my day off - not very exciting but bliss :)

I dropped Billy at preschool, got home about 9:45 & put a load of washing on. Sat down on the lounge in the sun and read a book (Birthright by Nora Roberts) til about 11am (with a quick trip to the clothes line to hang the clothes out). I started to get a bit sleepy so I went to bed and slept til about 1:30!!! It was great apart from that really groggy feeling you get after a daytime sleep! Had some lunch, read more of my book until 4 when I got the clothes back in, packed Billy a snack and went to pick him up from preschool.

Ahhhh I needed that!! I've kept up the theme tonight - I cooked tea, made Billy's b'day party invitations and haven't even thought about work..

I still have about 70 pages of my book left to finish though, so I think I'll rectify that now :)


I've just created a poll on the side over there ---->

I'm 99% certain we're going ahead with homeschooling, but I want to talk to my mum & sister first. (Yep almost 37 and still need my mum's approval! lol) If I'm blogging about homeschooling stuff (what we get up to etc maybe on a day-to-day basis), would you prefer that to be in a separate blog so that if you're not interested you don't have to read it?

It makes no difference to me, just interested in "my readers" (lol) want..

I'm so excited!

I'm having a day off! Once I drop Billy at preschool, I'm coming home and going to lay on the lounge in the sunshine with a book, and probably nap as well :) I just read Lightening's post about Your Money or Your Life so I think I'll intersperse Nora Roberts with that lol. I'll probably still check emails (since I'm addicted!) but won't even read any work related ones - well, I'll try anyway :)

Catchya! (I'm feeling giddy like a kid with a day off school!)

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Frugal Subversive Award

Wow, I'm humbled. Susan has nominated me for the Frugal Subversive Award. I'm not sure I deserve it but it sure gives me something to live up to!

The award was started by Rhonda to recognise "bloggers who consistently turn their backs on consumerism to live frugally in a creative and authentic way. These bloggers have made me think in innovative ways about my own life and how I can make a difference making, reusing, and just saying "no" to mindless spending."

I may double-up on nominations as we all seem to be inspired by the same blogs! Just goes to show the wonder of blogs that like-minded people can share their lives.

Firstly I'd like to nominate Sharyn Munro, the "Woman on the Mountain". Sharyn has really turned her back on consurism - she lives alone (apart from the animals) in a remote wildlife mountain refuge. She's written an incredible book (called The Woman on the Mountain) and her blog is a joy to read.

Secondly Busy Woman at A Vision Splendid for her blog on living simply & frugally.

Thirdly Kris at Garden Varieties who shares her garden & her life with us.

If you are given an award and want to take part in this meme, you can in turn select three other bloggers who have inspired you to be a frugal subversive. Passing the rules on with the award will make it easier for everyone to participate. Congratulations on the award. I hope it helps you spread awareness near and far.


1. When you are tagged, write a post with links to three blogs who have inspired you with their frugal creativity or innovation.

2. In your post, please link back to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme and save the award graphic.

3. Leave a comment or message for the bloggers you’re tagging, so they they know they're received the award.

4. Display the Frugal Subversive Award badge to identify your blog as part of the movement that is turning its back on consumerism at any cost.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

One more down!

I finally finished an assignment today that was about 6 weeks overdue - talk about a load off my mind! It was really long & time-consuming so I've been procrastinating dreadfully on it. I made myself sit down & finish it today - it took me about 4 hours but it's done. Now I'm up-to-date - well, just the current one to finish, but that's close enough :)

Saturday, August 04, 2007

A good day

This morning I taught my "Getting Your Business Online" course for the first time. I only had 3 students - a 4th rang in sick - so we finished slightly early but it seemed to go really well anyway. Like always, I found some improvements that could be made and have noted those on my lesson plan. Hopefully it will run again next term.

By the time I got home, Pete had taken Billy off with him while he played squash, so I had a couple of hours of quiet to do some design work for a client, and mop the kitchen floor (that one in particular was long overdue!) Unfortunately he came home early because something went "pop" in his foot - he's hobbling around in a fair bit of pain atm and sitting with ice-packs on it. I suspect we might have a trip up to emergency tomorrow..

I have a little ritual with Billy at bedtime, I ask him what's been good about his day and to tell me x things that he's enjoyed. (I vary the number to keep him on his toes lol). I started it earlier this year to try & build his self-esteem and get him into a habit of reflecting on the happy things in his day. He loves it and won't let me get away with skipping it :) It's so funny some of the things that he comes up with at times - "I got to stay up late" or "I got to eat take-away" etc. Today was "I got to see the groovy lights at squash" - it's fun to see things through the eyes of a child :)

Friday, August 03, 2007

Book Review: The White Masai

Yesterday I finished reading "The White Masai" by Corinne Hofmann. It's an amazing book - the story of the first part of her life. While a young woman, she went to Kenya for a holiday with her boyfriend, and fell in love with a Masai warrior. She ditched the boyfriend, moved to Kenya and moved in with the Masai - in his little hut. The story follows their life through illness, red tape, family problems, starting a couple of businesses, the birth of their young daughter and more, and ends when the daughter is a young toddler (not wanting to spoil the ending lol).

While I wasn't totally impressed with the writing style (being translated from the German may have contributed to that), the story itself really makes you appreciate how easy we have life here and is quite hard to put down. It's one that will stick in my mind for a long time I think - I'm already keeping an eye out for the 2nd & 3rd books in the series.

Starting to simplify..

I'm slowly starting to simplify my life.

A small step - but I just did a mass delete of emails from several email groups I'm a member of. I was behind a few days and had hundreds of emails - from a glance most of them appeared to be general chat or whinging so I'm not missing anything by deleting!

Yesterday I cancelled swimming lessons for the term. We'd already missed 2 weeks with illness and likely this week as well as he still has a cold. The lessons were Friday morning 9am, and it always seemed to end up in arguments getting there on time as we were both tired & grumpy after a long week. Billy is at preschool for longer hours while I'm working, so I decided to just cancel them. I was prepared to lose the deposit I'd paid, but was pleasantly surprised when she asked if I wanted to transfer it to next term! Bonus :)

Speaking of which, did anyone catch the ACA episode on child burnout the other night? I don't normally watch that show (or any of those!) but that one caught my eye. Very scary..

I've decided to cut Billy's preschool days down to 1 or 2 once I finish work at the end of Oct. I haven't told preschool yet but have told Billy so he won't let me forget :) The director comes back from maternity leave next week, and the acting director (who is also one of Billy's teachers) is going off to another preschool - we'll miss her.

I'm not going to think about work today - it's just making me stressed so will do a Scarlett O'Hara and think about it tomorrow :)

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Got the irrits..

Stressed over a couple of things to do with work, just put B to bed in tears after fights about eating his tea, still don't have a login for uni after 2 weeks so I can't put my timesheet in (ie can't get paid), got the confirmation yesterday that B didn't get into the school we wanted due to space restrictions, more work related stuff..

Off to have a bubble bath & hopefully wash the irrits away :)