Thursday, May 29, 2008

Crazy Hair Day

The greatest wealth is health. ~Virgil Power, 1860

Today Ess contributed to a special cause - namely Cystic Fibrosis. She participated in Crazy Hair Day at her Kindy. One of the families who attends Kindy with her deals with this terrible illness. It is hard to think what it would be like to be confronted daily with the fact that your child may not reach adulthood. Ess and Eee have colds now and we don't enjoy watching them going through such discomfort. What would it be like to have your child be all clogged and gunked up well nigh permanently? We feel for the family.

So Ess had tremendous fun having her hair done in a silly way in order to help kids with cystic fibrosis become adults. She was not keen to do so when I left her this morning and in all discussions we had at home. She told her teacher that she wasn't having it done at all upon arrival at Kindy this morning. She just wanted to watch. Imagine my surprise when I came to collect my daughter to find this approaching me.

Ess watched the others including her best friend receive their crazy hair-dos and then decided she wanted to be silly as well. I am really glad she did. Her confidence is certainly developing.

I am sure this sight has caused you to contribute to this cause and perhaps participate in your region.

So enjoy your health, have fun with your hair and remember those who may never reach your age. Sobering.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Warm Morning Muesli (Gluten and Dairy free)

As my Generous Gentleman was away this Mother’s Day, and my girls are still too small to treat me with ‘Breakfast in Bed’, I decided to make myself some warm toasty cereal to set my special day apart. I enjoyed it so much I have not stopped making it! Most of it was prepared on Saturday evening so I still had time to enjoy the cuddles and surprises with Ess and Eee on the morning of Mother’s Day.

On the night before, place into a small ovenproof bowl a handful of each of the following:
· Crispy rice puffs
· Puffed whole brown rice
· Puffed whole yellow corn (although take care with this as it burns easily)
· Purina Kornies i.e. very low gluten cornflakes approved by the Coeliac Society
· Organic Toasted Millet Flakes
· Some biodynamic rolled oats (only if you can tolerate a wee amount of gluten, alternatively omit these to make this gluten free)
· Raw nuts and seeds such as cashews, almonds, pepitas, sunflower seeds

Sprinkle on your choice of some delicious flavourings, around ½-1 tsp of:
· Pure organic cocoa powder (be sure it is 100% cocoa not containing sugar and other additives)
· Allspice
· Cinnamon
· Nutmeg

Stir, cover and wait till morning.

In the morning:
Just before you prepare the children’s brekky turn on the oven grill. Stir in to your prepared mix 1-2 tablespoons of some delicious Extra Virgin Olive Oil such as Gwydir Grove Australian Blood Orange Agrumato Olive Oil and place under the grill. Turn on the timer for 5 mins or so - it shouldn't take longer than this in all. Keep your nose tweaked for the beautiful aromas which arouse your senses and indicate it is time to stir your cereal to avoid burning. (You’ll probably need to stir every 1-2 minutes or so.) Then rush around ensuring your children are satisfied and gather some fruit (perhaps stewed applies and a prune) in a bowl. On Mother’s Day I enjoyed warm apple pieces freshly cooked in my marvellous, speedy, waterless Nutrimax pots. (Browse a product sneak peak here). Drizzle on some organic wild berry alive soygurt.

When the cereal smells so delicious you cannot wait any longer (or time on the clock is ticking over too quickly), remove it from under the grill and pour it over the fruit and yoghurt. Enjoy while spooning banana and rice cereal into your baby’s eagerly anticipating mouth! Or perhaps you can enjoy while you indulge in reading or… Mmm.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Luscious Lentils

“One cannot think well, love well, sleep well, if one has not dined well.”
Virginia Woolf.

The days are cooling rapidly which signals the emergence of warm soups for lunch to me. I have a favourite! Warm, nourishing lentil and vegetable soup speaks volumes to me. It was given to me as Leek and Lentil soup as follows:

30g butter
3 small leeks, sliced
2 sticks celery, chopped
2 bacon rashers, chopped
1 cup red lentils
5 cups water
2 chicken stock cubes
½ cup cream (optional)
2 tabs parsley

Melt butter in large saucepan, add leeks, celery, bacon. Cover, cook on low 10 minutes. Add lentils, water, stock cubes, bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer, covered for 30 minutes. Puree. Add cream and parsley. (Surely this last step is an absolute indulgence. The parsley from our garden is garnish enough for me and mine.)

I have made it so regularly and changed it nearly every time depending on what is in the fridge. Today I replace the leeks (now costing $1.50 each, heaven forbid) with an onion or two. I have added pumpkin to make it creamier and cauliflower to make it lighter and fluffier, often a carrot goes in too for extra flavour. I find I prefer to use EVOO (Extra Virgin Olive Oil) than butter, or perhaps a combination of both, especially if I do use leeks (they love to braise in the butter). I have also found the joy of using Persian red lentils organically grown in Victoria. They are much more wholesome and nourishing than the split red lentils you can find around the place. Much more dense and leave you feeling more satisfied.

This is an absolute staple for me now. So easy, so nourishing! My babies like it to. (At least when they were babies!!)

Happy cooking!

Thursday, May 15, 2008


It can be easy to take for granted the beauty of that which abounds.

When we first moved down this way, the beauty of the trees was something which both my Generous Gentleman and I proclaimed. After all, in amongst the commonly known characteristics of South Australia – the extreme heat, cold and dry - the trees really are something to behold. They are something South Australia definitely has in its favour, that and the roses (that’s another story)!

However, I continued to rave over the beauty of one particular tree – the pink gum blossom. I believe it is known as the Pink Flowering SA Blue Gum. My GG didn’t seem to share my sense of amazement about this tree. It took me a little while to understand why this might be. In my childhood experience, these trees were as rare as hen’s teeth. I recall seeing one or two in Noosa, Queensland, where they offered me the same sense of delight and amazement. Down here these trees are numerous. There are at least 4 or 5 on our simple 1km walk to Kindy. My girls will remember the beautiful tree with blossom in varying shades of pink as part of their childhood. Now I understand why GG (who grew up down here with pink blossoms all around him) couldn’t understand my amazement at the prolific abundance of the pink gum blossom.

One rarely sees beauty in that which abounds. Beauty is found in the fleeting, the ephemeral, in rarity. One must be reminded to see the beauty which is beside and before them.

I will ensure that my daughters know the rarity and beauty of these trees and treasure their experience of them down here so their profound beauty remains and a sense of wonder is shared with their mother. I am sure the fairies who live in them flitting from blossom to blossom and drinking from their cups will remind them also.

Here is Ess's own photo of one of these gorgeous blossom trees.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Bulbs In!

We planted our bulbs over the weekend.

We look forward to some beautiful blossoms in Spring.

I think it is actually the first time I have planted bulbs. Being a girl who grew up in the warmer northern-most parts of Australia it is not something you can do successfully and easily. However now that we are in the cold south and my thumb is usually a pretty good shade of green we will try our hand at some Freesias.

Wish us luck! Ess would be devastated if nothing bloomed. She loves tending her garden even if she does need to be reminded to do the watering.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Card Designs with Cloud 9

I have designed and made a new range of cards!

Those of you with birthdays coming up in the near future will have the pleasure of seeing one of these arrive in your mail box.

I like this collection very much. It will be sad to see them leave my desk. However that is what they are for. I am glad knowing that their departure will result in an arrival which will delight the receiver. Enjoy!

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Blossom Dearie revives Oklahoma in me

During an interview I listened to recently I heard a dear old song which invoked nostalgia, hearkening back the days of my childhood. The song was “Surrey with a Fringe on Top”.

The interviewee, Lisa Forrest, remembers it fondly and states she often sings it to her children at night as they request it frequently: “chicks and ducks, chicks and ducks” they call. The first line of the song being “chicks and ducks and geese better scurry”. This enticed me to sing it to my two, indeed they have fallen in love with it too with Eee accompanying me on the piano and Ess requesting we sing it again and again as she bops and dances.

The song comes from the musical “Oklahoma”. While I don’t recall Mum singing it to us like this, Mum often got out the record she had of this musical, acquired after watching it during high school, and played it when we were kids. I am sure that as I grew older I would have put it on the old record player myself.

Once Upon a Summertime

The recording I heard this time however was not from the original musical. It was sung by a female, was jazzier and somehow smoother, richer and creamier. I liked it, really liked it, and have since discovered it was a recording of Blossom Dearie singing it in 1958. How have I lived my life without hearing Blossom Dearie before? So now I have purchased her album Once Upon a Summertime and will play it for my daughters with fond recollections of my own childhood; all the while creating new memories for my girls to last a lifetime.

Pictures sourced from

Friday, May 2, 2008

Baby's Booties

Every child begins the world again...
~ Henry David Thoreau

There is something quite nostalgic about baby booties, something which speaks of long ago.

So when I put my baby’s tiny feet in them I feel a sense of heritage, a sense of connection with her grandparents, her great grandparents...her ancestors, even though I don’t think the booties were knitted by anyone related. Perhaps they were, or it might have been one of the old ladies at the Aged Care Centre Nanna works at. Maybe someone will remember.

Nevertheless it is important to me that the newness of my baby is in essence part of that which was long ago. Those lives already lived, deeply rooted, joined as if in a never-ending chain with the newness, possibilities and hope for the future.

Our New Treasure

Lilypie Maternity tickers


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