Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Liebster in da house!!

I was very flattered when Kelly from Handmade tears and triumphs sent me a message to say that she had given me a Liebster award. I'd seen them floating around and thought straight away that I'd probably never come into the radar for one of them. But here I am, telling you about it. Thank you Kelly!!!

The Low down on Liebster

Each person must post 11 facts about themselves 
Answer 11 questions the tagger has given you 
Choose 11 people and link them to your post (they must have 200 followers or less) 
Provide 11 questions for the people you tag 
Tell the people you have nominated

11 Facts about me

Fact 1.    I'm drink my tea black with no sugar. I drink coffee white with 2, I have only been drinking it within the last couple of months. I get now why my husband never let me choose and buy the coffee!

Fact 2.   I was chased up a plum tree by a ram when I was about 14. I was crying and terrified. My sister stood at the back door pissing herself laughing at me. Bitch. When my Mum came to see what all the screaming was about, she told me to stop being silly and get down.  Yeah but....theres a deranged ram trying to kill me!

Fact 3.   I'm a nail biter, I can't seem to get them to grow. Except at the end of my pregnancies. I buy polish for my toes, I feel naked when they aren't painted. They're coral pink at the moment.

Fact 4.   My first car was a purple Datsun 120Y, I thought it was the coolest thing ever. Grass grew on the passenger seat floor.

Fact 5.   My son went to special school from the age of 9, he has aspergers.

Fact 6.   I like to sing in the car, I could get through a whole song(usually with the wrong words), if it wasn't for cars coming the other way or people on the footpaths. I don't want to look like a dickhead.

Fact 7.  When I was still a silly teenager I got bogged on concrete, with a car full of friends. Not in the Datsun. It was raining, the ground was dirty and muddy, the handbrake was on. I was doing a mean burnout, thinking I was bogged. I may or may not have been a little bit stoned.

Fact 8.   I attended 10 years of Catholic school. I thought the nuns were lovely in primary school. There were Brothers in high school, Brother David sconed me on the head with his knuckles for saying 'shit' in homegroup. Prick ;p That sort of physical discipline wouldn't happen today, and worse things are probably said in homegroup these days.

Fact 9.   I wear ugg boots out in public. Crime of fashion? I don't care.

Fact 10. My grandpa was a Latvian Russian. He would sit at the head of the table and crack a bunta if we talked at the dinner table.

Fact 11. I lost my original engagement ring on my honeymoon. It's at the bottom of the Great Barrier Reef, unless a fish ate it, then I don't know where it is. Thank God for travel insurance.

Kellys 11 

If you could have dinner with anyone, alive or dead, who would it be?
So many, but you know what, the first person to pop into my head, Johnny Depp. Aaaand the mind starts to wander...Patrick Swayze, circa 1987. And after some serious thought Mary Mackillop.
If you could drive any car of your choosing, what would it be?
Well I'm not too fussy, as long as it has petrol in it, air con and heating. But I'll take a brand spanking new Holden Commodore if you're buying. A dodge viper would be far too impractical, and uncool with two kids in the boot.
What picks you up when you’re down?
Chocolate, and a walk anywhere out in the fresh air and sunshine. Definitely a hug from my mum, in fact I'll take a hug from anyone.
What’s your favourite Karaoke song?
Haven't sung Karoake in the longest time. It's a long way to the top by ACDC.
PC or Mac?
PC. What's the difference, I have no idea?!!!
What food do you despise?
Anything offalish, and mostly, whatever my husband cooks ;P
What one Super Power would you choose?
Invisibility, how much fun could I have with that one. And I may get some peace without the kids tugging at me or using me for a horse when I'm down on the floor cleaning up.
If you had to relocate to a new country, but you could choose which one, where would you move?
Maybe Italy or Spain. Imagine the lifestyle!!
What is the best book you’ve ever read?
I don't read many novels, not these days anyway. Have read lots of auto/biographies, on different poeple, which I enjoyed. A book I've read several times, is Playing the Jack by Mary Brown, a soppy love story set in 18th century England.
Do you think Australia should become a republican nation or are you all about the monarchy?
Have really no opinion about this, except if it's not broken why fix it. Does that mean I'm a monarchist? I think I'm sitting on the fence at the moment of 'I don't give a shit'.
What do you think of my blog? ;-)
I love your blog, it's a very entertaining read. You're funny, witty and write kick arse stories.

....and the award goes to....

I've chosen these 11 blogs to pass the award to. I have enjoyed reading them at some time or rather to want to follow. I also think they don't have the following they deserve. If I have nominated you, don't feel obligated to participate if it's not your cup of tea. (drum roll)...

Phew!! and nearly there.......

My questions for the nominees

  1. What nationalities are in your ancestry?
  2. Favourite Australian actor/actress?
  3. Which magazine to you read the most?
  4. What was your first job and how old were you?
  5. Electric blanket or hot water bottle?
  6. Favourite joke or party trick?
  7. Right now, what's on the top shelf of your fridge?
  8. What colour is predominant in your wardrobe?
  9. First car you owned and what are you driving now?
  10. Where was the best holiday you've had?
  11. Who has been the biggest influence in your life?

Swingin' the desert dueler

Monday, August 27, 2012

Girls Night Out - Open Slather

I haven't been out on a girls night out in so long, it's ridiculous. Before this night I hadn't had a drink for 18 months, ever! Over the weekend I joined my sister Carmen, and her friends to celebrate her birthday. Our little sister Sophie had flown from Victoria (her birthday is the day before, her hubby bought her a plane ticket to come over for the weekend). So for in more than a while we were all parting together. It was a bit spesh.

Me, Carmen, Sophie

Carmen and I are the same age for the next three weeks, before I turn 40 (I'm in denial!) have a birthday next month. 

I was intending and did drink a bottle of low alcohol wine, then there was the shooter, and the few light beers at the pub later on. I was surprised how I handled it, I thought I'd be on my ear after the first glass. I did keep nibbling and drinking water here and there. I had the best time!! A night out was long overdue.

Later at home, while I pumped and dumped my booby milk, I checked in on Facebook(as you do), and was quite chuffed to see that Kelly from Handmade tears and triumphs has given me a Liebster award! How nice is that?! So now I get to pass it on to some other bloggers too :) When I first started my blog (nearly four months ago), I really had no idea how big blogging was. How daunting it was to be a little fish(still a little fish) in a big ocean, Who was going to read my crappy, insignificant blog? I soon came to realise that there was a great support network for newbies and I will be excitedly happy to pass it on and make someone elses day to receive it.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Painted pinboard

Creativity kicked in this week, I'd been wanting to create some sort of pinboard for quotes, photos and stuff.  I'd seen great things made out of old pallets and really wanted to create something using an old one we had in the shed, but it all seemed a bit too hard.

While googling for ideas I came across a fabric covered pinboard that things were held on with criss crossed elastic. My budget is thin, so using my thinking cap, I opted for a canvas, a tube of white paint and elastic, all from the cheap shop for $12.

When we built on a couple of years ago, I did a painting using the paint we used for the walls, and some leftover bits in cans we had sitting in the shed. I can't take credit for this design, I ripped it off from one I had seen for sale on the internet for $150, the canvas cost me $15, big saving. The colours are different and I added the dots, and just a little bit less professional. 

When creativity is ripe, it's very hard to wait for paint to dry!! 

I used Isabels water colour paints to tint the white acrylic paint. When you buy tubes of acrylic paint it always pays to water it down so it's easier to work with, and it goes a bit further.
I paint the canvas with a light grey background, I tried to get it as close as the Dulux White Duck( I think I went with the half duck) that is on the adjacent wall to where the board will go.

I then use tape to section some lines and stipple them with white, so the colour is not so solid. 
I darken the grey with some brown and black from the water colours and section off some more lines. It was at this point I run out of sticky tape and call it a night, if I had the supplies I would have stayed up all night finishing it!

The left over space I put some pattern into. I opt for a pink flowery design. The pink is made with the Dulux Murray Red that is on the walls and lightened with the white acrylic. I drew the pattern on with chalk, and wiped it off when the paint was dry.

I stretched the elastic and spaced it about 15 cm apart, securing it with a staple gun at he back. Voila!!
I think it fits in quite nicely, and it doesn't look too bad!

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Expressing and high time for a hair do

So I sit here finally, after putting kids to bed, cleaning up toys, sweeping, mopping and expressing milk. I haven't showered yet, and am just starting my me time for the night. Its 10 pm.

I have just wasted spent the last hour with a hand pump attached to my boobs for almost half a cup of milk. I hate it.  It's the most frustrating, dissappointing and emotion prevoking job I have ever had to undertake as a mother. All for a trip to the hairdresser. Gives me the shits. It's not 'til Wednesday so I have another day of mental torture trying again. 

The last time I went was a year ago, right before I left work, when I was pregnant with Summer. So it is high time I get my time in the chair, a free coffee and some trashy mag reading.

I was there for nearly three hours, so I'm not sure how long it will take this time. My sister in law is kindly looking after both the girls, she's offered to look after them for most of the day, so I can have a day to myself. Sounds good hey! It would probably be a good idea, if I could convince myself that is OK to have some time out and not feel guilty that I am impeding on her time and that it is not an inconvenience for her to spend time with her nieces. That I am allowed to forget I have kids for hours and enjoy it, without feeling I have to rush to pick them up or feel like a nuisance for asking her to look after them.

I am very much looking forward to getting my hair done. Ever get to the stage when you could take a pair of scissors to your own hair because your so sick of it? The thought has crossed my mind the past week!!! So stay tuned for a new photo on my 'about me' page, of my new do.

I make a list every year around tax time, a wish list. I kind of plan of what I will use the money for, a hair cut and colour was on the list as well as a pasta machine. I haven't bought the pasta machine yet, I'd forgotten it was on the list in the back of my diary, until I just looked. I've been to busy hitting the shops for new clothes...and shoes ;P I have a shocking habit of going into shops looking for me and ending up walking out with stuff for the kids.

I am also bad at promising myself, after a trip to the hairdresser, to go back in two months and maintain, I never do.

Saturday, August 18, 2012

Open Garden #6

like sunshine on a rainy day

I discovered my first daffodil to come out. I love the colour, isn't it beautiful. It's the first time I have planted daffodils in this garden, and I didn't buy a single one. They were given to me from my brother in law last year. He works on the council and was removing from somewhere on a job and passed them on. I'm glad he did, fancy chucking them away.

Friday, August 17, 2012

Scone anyone?

I made scones, and I can't stop eating!
Jam and cream, butter and vegemite, I've had 6, cut in half, that's 12 halves!

How do you like your scones?

2 cups SR Flour
pinch salt
2 tspns butter
3/4 cup milk

Sift flour and salt. Rub in butter.
Add milk, make into dough.
Roll out to 2cm thickness and cut 
Put in a hot floured tin and bake for 7-10 minutes in hot oven.


Thursday, August 16, 2012

John Leslie O'Brien - His Story

On Wednesday the 20th of June we said goodbye to Bretts Dad. He now lies in the Centennial Park cemetery on Goodwood Road in Pasedena, Adelaide.

I never really knew his full story, and listened with interest and pride as it was read out at his funeral. I am thankful I knew him. I am thankful that we went to see him in May in Arno Bay, and we got to spend time with him. I am thankful for the photos we got of him with our daughters. I am thankful that he died peacefully with his family around him. I am thankful to Jacko emailing this on, so that my daughters will one day read it and know about their pop. 

'Pride in family, is pride in ordinary people,
who in our hearts and minds become extraordinary'

This is his story, written by Annette O'Brien, my sister in law and wife of Johns eldest son Jacko(Haydn), and read by Zoe O'Brien, their daughter at the service.


John Lesley OBrien was born on 21st October 1922 he was born at home to Robert Joseph (better known as Patty) and Florence Gertrude Mary May OBrien in Queens Town, Pt Adelaide.

He was the 4th child of 7, Elleen, George (born before the first world war), then Bill, John, Bob, Lionel and Fred born after the war. They moved to Woods Point on the river near Tailem Bend during the depression years, Patty got work as a dairy farmer. John or Jack as his brothers called him went to Woods Point schools he had to repeat year 7, as there was no high school.

After school Jack worked at Woods Point Limited at sheep station as a rouse about.

Jack enlisted 14th October 1941 in the Navy, trained and worked as an Able Seaman Radar Operator. He served on a corvette called the Cesnock. He worked on submarines patrols and escorting merchant ships, he was based at Columbo. After the war in Europe finished they then came back to Australia and formed the newly formed British Pacific fleet. John was at Tokyo Bay when Japan officially signed the surrender and then on to Hong Kong for its surrender 3 days later. Then they picked up prisoners from all the Islands around the pacific and Burma.

After the war he was a security guard at Woomera. He went to Millicent as a stock agent for Oats & Co, then joined the Lands Department and cleared soldier settlement blocks at Canunda and all over the South East. In the earlier years he played football for Hatherleigh, later we found out it was only because he was keen on one of the goalkeepers 5 daughters.

Johns story is that Daphne jumped out in front of his car in the main street of Millicent to attract his attention. He nearly ran over her.

John met Daphne Elizabeth Skeer and married in 1953, they had Haydn, Nigel, Gayle. In 1959 they acquired a soldier’s settlement block at Canunda and named it Shangrila, which means a place of peace and tranquillity (We often wondered about that) then came along Lee and Brett.  John had an affinity with the land. The children have many stories about their loved farm life as when…………..

Johns special place on the farm was Billy Goat Island where Brett went to visit on Saturday morning. Even though John was a hard working farmer, he still involved himself in his sons sports, he was President of the Baseball Cub for a few years and even filled in for the B grade team and was a very good batter.
He also enjoyed taking his daughters to the horse Hunt Club; he especially liked the stirrup cup (which involved a lot of laughs and a few stiff drinks).

He liked to go to the RSLClub and to the Anzac marches with his RSL mates (which we have a suspicion a lot of sky larking happened).

In 1979 John married Helen Banks and met Donald (who he adored and who adored and respected him). Then came along the apple of his eye Catherine.
In 1988 John retired and moved to Millicent and then to Mt Gambier, in this time they went for a trip around the world, which John often spoke of his experiences. In 1994 he did the Anzac March in Canberra at the War Memorial and was saluted by Peter Cosgrave.

In 1997 John packed up the Honda and moved to Arno Bay and lived with his son, daughter in-law and grandchildren Haydn, Annette, Danny and Zoe. He adored this daughter in-law and grand children and all the local children who called him Pop (everyone called him Pop)

He loved cross word puzzles, gardening, the news, drives to the beach and Fridays when he and Annette went to Cleve for coffee, to do X lotto (hoping for that big win) and picked the grand kids up from school (save that long trip home on the bus).

John was a keen lawn bowler and played first division pennants for Mt Gambier RSL and Arno Bay Bowling Clubs. He won 2 runners up Pairs Championships with his son Haydn, and won many other events. He was especially proud when he got to play a game of 4s with Haydn Annette and Danny.

Pop had a very dry sense of humour when things went wrong with the Department of Veteran Affairs, he would say bugger them I am NOT GOING TO FIGHT ANOTHER WAR FOR THEM.

Pop was a one eyed Port Power supporter and would often say when having a bad health day, you better ring Port Power and tell them I cant play this week.

Pop loved his children and the loves of this life were his 17 grandchildren and 3 great grandchildren. He liked to brag about them to others but he struggled to tell them himself.  He often caught the bus to Gayle’s to visit all the kids and grandies in Adelaide and Millicent.

On April 25th 2012, Pop marched in the Arno Bay Anzac March and also became a permanent resident of the Cleve Hostel where he had a very short stay until June 3rd when he was flown to the Flinders Medical Centre with acute renal failure. When we all got to say good-bye. We lost John, Jack, Dad Pop and old Pop on Saturday morning June 16th 2012, aged 89 years.

John was a proud upstanding man with a dry unique sense of humour, which bordered on the edge of  being politically incorrect. He was a dear loved Brother, Father, Father In-law, Grandfather,  Great Grandfather  and friend.

Taken on our visit to Arno Bay in May

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

The Wizard of Oz

Summer loves watching In the Night Garden, she hardly moves the whole half hour. I have it on hard drive, so that comes in very handy too when she needs some distraction and settling down and it's not that time of night(it's usually on at 6:30). Isabel loved it too, but has lost interest now she is older.

We've been watching the Wizard of Oz today, I downloaded it for Isabel, as Jake used to love watching it when he was her age. She really hasn't gotten into sitting and watching whole movies, until I tried her with this one. I think too being a musical, it keeps her interest.

It really is a good kids movie considering it was made in 1939, and even more unbelievable that we enjoy watching it seventy three years later. It's such a classic.

A fact you may not know, is that it's star, Judy Garland, who was 16 when the movie was made, died at the age of 47 in 1969.

Even back then super stars suffered from pressure to look good. She was plagued by her public image(unbelievable that she was touted as an ugly duckling). Even more sad and shocking she tried to take her own life more that once. Like so many amazing and  talented hollywood stars, too many to mention, drugs played a part in her death. 

She is the mother of Liza Minella, fathered by her second husband. Judy had two more children with her third husband. She had five husbands all together, marrying her last just three months before her death.

You can read more of her short and troubled, but amazing life and achievements here

There are soooo many great parts of this movie, but I love it when Lion sings his song about courage, when Dorothy sings 'Over the Rainbow', and the lollipop guild munchkins always make me smile. 

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Photo of the week ending 19 August 2012

Flowers from my happy wanderer plant(hardenbergia).
Also my photo for the 11th of august for the Fat Mum Slim Photo a day challenge (purple)

Friday, August 10, 2012

Open Garden #5

Look at this monster, it's a nasturtium (pronounced nas-ter-shum). There's something about this little patch of earth, I had tomatoes planted in this spot last year, and they went gang busters too. Compared to the piddly little nasturtium plant below, this one is a giant.

Nasturtiums are awesome at protecting other plants from nasty pests. The orange flowering plant will repel aphids, and insects are attracted to its mustardy oil in preference to your beloved veggies. It makes sense to plant it around the veggie patch. It is a companion especially to apple trees, cabbages, cauliflowers, broccoli, radishes, cucumbers and Zucchini.

Its leaves are edible in salads and the flowers a garnish.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Fishy spaghetti and being awesome

This would have to be one of my favourite lunch time meals, mainly for weekends, when Brett is home, and when there is a bit of fish in the freezer. If you don't like fish, you're not going to like this.

I start by sautéing some garlic and onion. When it is soft, add a can of chopped tomatoes, half a cup of water and let simmer for 10 minutes. Depending on how much sauce you need add more water and some pureed tomato (like passata). At the last minute I add the fish (I used coorong mullet) because it doesn't need much cooking time. Serve with cooked pasta.

I have made this with mussels, or some marinara mix (frozen or from the deli). Prawns would be good too. I love how the seafood flavour goes into the sauce.

After lunch, I go see what Brett is doing in the shed. He's cleaning up a bit, and rearranging. He recently bought a cheap runabout to use for work, and moved the caravan into the shed so there's room under the carport for his new second hand car.

Last week he got a computer virus, it wouldn't let him do anything on it. While I was in the shed, I started it in safe mode, system restored it, and put some security on it (the dope hadn't installed it!!!), and scanned it. We sat in the shed with coffees and kids and watched the computer screen. He was very happy, and thankful when I restarted in normal mode and the virus was gone. Even jokingly offering me some "in the sack action" as a reward for fixing his computer..... Errr, no thanks luv. Men!!!

"That's OK dear, it's just another day in the life of being awesome!"

He can now go back to hiding in the shed to surf the net, and play his music. Don't know if that's a good thing or bad thing. It does annoy me sometimes when I'm trying to get things done with two witching children and he is hiding. But then it annoys me too, when his bum is parked on my computer chair and I want to use it.

I'm happy to say that I caught him looking at laptops, and admitted he is buying me one for my birthday next month. Weeeeeeeeeeeee!! Tell me how good it is to lie in bed with a laptop, tell me, tell me. 

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