Thursday, 31 March 2011


ten years

ten years today I have been married to my sweet man. ten years of life together. ten years of countless ups and downs. ten years and only the beginning of the life journey that we both willingly signed up for. ten things:

one :: we met in the summer of 1987. i know this for sure because my grandmother has a letter that i wrote to her while on summer holidays mentioning that i had met him. we were formally introduced after him and his mate {both 14} threw banksia nuts {tree seed pods} at us and declared war. is that where the belief comes from that if a boy is mean to you it's because he secretly likes you?... it wasn't long after that that we became mates and spent the rest of that summer {and many more after} swimming, reading and hanging out.

two :: each year on my birthday cam writes me a lovely poem in my birthday card. he's always done it, and i hope that he always does. the poems are always rhyming verse and are a reflection of our life at that time.

three :: one of the poems that cam wrote me early in our dating years was re-written as song lyrics and sung at our wedding. when i think of our wedding i always think of smiling, the first lines of the song :: you asked me, what i thought of you, on a windy cold dark night, and midst the boom and crash of tin, i think i got it right. i said that i thought lots, and certainly i do, but from a work smith such as i, more should be said of you :: and all of our wonderful family and friends who shares such a happy day with us.

four :: in the years after we met and before we became a couple, he would take me to an extremely posh restaurant for each birthday. he would show up at my parents house in whichever car he was driving {they got better each year or so} and take me on a real grown-up date. he never asked for more, just kept his "hat in the ring" as he says now. in a landscape of school then uni and boyfriends, he was the one constant, classy man in my life. i miss those days a little.

five :: as wonderful as he has been to me as a husband, i had no way of ever knowing what a wonderful father he would be. he is patient and kind to our children, he takes them to kinder, school and extra-curricular events. he revels in playing silly games with them, and listening to their take on life. he patiently explains things to them {even when they move on to other things and have lost interest in the original question}, and he mucks in and helps out with all of the not-so-glamourous jobs that having young kids entails

six :: growing up i always said that i would marry a cook. i was never interested in marrying a chef because i really think that the work hours would be shit, and if they are anything like the plumber and mechanic mates that i've known over the years {and the chefs that i worked with in my uni days} there wouldn't be much inclination to 'work' at home. ie: cook for me and the kids; but marrying a cook was always high on my wish-list. he is a marvelous cook, and while I easily hold my own in the kitchen these days, i am eternally grateful that for the first five years of our marriage he owned the kitchen. he did the shopping and the cooking, he could cook up a five star celebration meal or stick to a shoestring budget when we over-extended ourselves mortgaging two houses. now i just love that if i have an off afternoon and don't feel like cooking, he will walk in from a long day of exercise and work and take to the kitchen with grace. so important is it to both of us to be able to sit down for a home cooked meal together at the end of our day.

seven :: he always backs me. in saying that, i mean that whenever i have a new idea, or a new direction that i think we need to be heading, or i come up with something new that we absolutely must have, he supports me. he's not a pushover or a yes man, but if i've given the matter some thought {which i invariably have} he listens to my reasoning and supports me whole heartedly, so much so that in the end it's hard to remember who the idea actually started with. of course, this can sometimes be a double edged sword, because in hind-sight {ten years of it} some of the decisions that we've made have been terrible, but you know what, i really don't regret any of them, because the things that we learned along the way, together, have made us so much stronger as a unit {and i'm sure will also come in handy when our children are grown so that we can share with them some of the lessons that we have learned {even though i am sure that they will not take heed!}}

eight :: i am so proud of him for getting out of bed each morning and heading our for a swim, ride or run. i married a big man, and i love him, but i remember how much happier and comfortable he was during the years that he was a triathlon 'super star', and how attractive his jaw bones are, i know how hard it is to keep at it, trying to shift a few kilos {i've already fallen off my wagon, but only until next monday i assure you} and each morning when i wake to an empty space next to me all i feel is proud.

nine :: i love that i am married to a man who i find so attractive, i never realised just how much so until the day that angus was born. i remember laying on the operating table, being absolutely terrified of everything that was happening {not least of all actually having our first baby} and seeing him in my peripheral vision, hovering protectively over my shoulder... but when they wrapped angus up, and held him in front of my face so that i could see him, the first thing that i felt was flooding love, soul filling pure love filled my heart, because my little baby looked exactly like his daddy and i knew right then what pure love is, and just how much i loved his daddy's face.

ten :: after ten years of marriage the one word that i would use to describe him would be tender. he has enough for the both of us. in my not so nice moments i have a tendency to be fiery, irritable, angry, and pretty {loudly} passionate, in short i get pissed off and i'm not at all shy about letting him have it {deservedly or not} with both barrels. i love {love, love, love} that he rarely fires back. he just lets me get it out, finds my shouting both endearing and funny, gets the {fucking} point from the tirade, lets me calm down, then works towards an amicable, mutually beneficial solution with me. seriously, does it get better than that?

so ten years. ten full of life years. ten wonderful years. needless to say, i love you babe, happy anniversary!*

and eleven :: i love that you have absolutely no memory, good, bad or otherwise... "hi honey, i'm your wife, jo... we've been married TEN years TODAY!!!!!"

Thursday, 24 March 2011

teeny tiny tea leaves


Isn't it amazing how you can look at your kids all day long and never really see some of the details and traits that make them who they are?... I was just looking at some photos that I took of Mia this morning, and realised that she often has her hands folded just like this. It's not something that I ever noticed, until I looked at the photos, then I realised that yes, she does this a lot. What an old soul.


Of course the reason for the photos was the cardi... This one has been on the needles for a very long time, and perseverance {and winter looming} was why I put in the big yards to bring it on home.

I haven't felt like knitting of late, I can't crochet because of a 'thingy' on my finger that is slowly being rectified, and I can't be bothered sewing {although I did make two more summer tops that I never showed in this space}. Not that I need to be doing any of these things, but my life is just very full right now with other stuff... stuff like family time, cooking {cumquat jam, yum!}, cleaning, reading, and surfing {internet. obviously!}


But I did {finally} finish it, and it looks just as perfect on her as I imagined. The colour matches her eyes perfectly, and the design? well I loved it on Daisy and I love it on Mia.

Now I'll just wait on patiently and see where inspiration strikes...

Tuesday, 22 March 2011

counting down

counting calories

After much talk and a few trial runs, I think I am finally sick of feeling like crap and of lugging around these post baby kilos. So I've been doing a little something about it... Last week I loaded a little calorie counting app to my iphone, and it's been an excellent tool to keep me on track each day.

I find that it's easy to eat a slice of bread laden with butter and peanut butter when no one is looking {or two, or three!} or have eight or nine cups of tea {with two sugars in each} throughout the course of a day... and then be-moan, "why can't I lose a little weight?"... "is it because I'm getting older?"... "why doesn't it just drop off like it used to?"

I've used a food diary before, but never been bothered counting the calories, so it came as a bit of a shock once I started using my little app. It soon became blatently apparent why the weight wasn't shifting. It's a fairy simple equation, energy in must be less than energy out to lose weight, and my calorie dense diet was far from that. Now I'm sort of surprised that I'm not bigger that I am!?!

So I've been using this approach since last Thursday {a very short while} but all other attempts have failed after one measly day, so I am pretty chuffed that I am on day 6 and am starting to see some results {ie: less tummy bloat} I have also cut down my tea intake, because at 60 calories a cup, it's not doing me any favours.

Also, I'm sure I've mentioned in this space that I've been feeling a little tired?... so last week I went off to the doctors to have my bloods done. I got a call to go back and see her, so this morning I did just that. It turns out that while I am not {yet} anaemic, my iron stores are really depleted*. I think my number was 22 and they should be 30-200, so while not dire, it could explain the lack of energy. When I asked, she also told me that drinking that much tea will be blocking my bodies absorption of both iron and calcium. So hopefully the benefits of cutting back my tea intake will be two-fold.

* edited to add ~ while my diet is on the improve, I don't think cutting my tea will be enough, so for the short term I have opted to take a course of iron supplements to balance things up, with a plan to include more leafy greens and some more red meat in the longer term.

Monday, 21 March 2011

some little things...

As always life is chugging along over here, boring un-bloggy stuff {read: cleaning, dishes, more cleaning, laundry, kinder runs....etc}. I don't have a lot to say in the space right now, have a cuppa with me and I'm sure to have plenty, but writing it down to an empty room?... not so much.

Some little things that have been happening ...


A morning spent on my own, shopping at the garden store for some succulents, and dirtying my hands in a little soil. All so nourishing for a tired Mama, sorely in need of some ME time. Something that we are working on {again!} this time I've told him exactly what I need. ME time, every weekend for a few hours. It's in the diary, scheduled so it will happen. Something to look forward to, something to help fill my cup. You know how it goes.


We've been doing this regularly, the bread is simple, and it's good. We make it in the traditional way, kneading, proving, kneading, shaping, proving and baking. It's about a dollar a loaf {hence why we're making our own} and tastes excellent. If you want to have a go yourself, I found this recipe via The $120 Food Challenge blog.


We've been and registered Angus for this years Auskick {he's finally old enough this year} and he was super-chuffed with the backpack, footy and swap cards. It's awesome value, and we're looking forward to getting a little more involved in our community. Not quite ready to become a volly yet, but maybe next year?!?



pretty as a daisy

and last {but of course, not least} we braved the local festival this weekend {thanks Mum for stepping in for the absent husband} and hit the face-painting stand again, the animal nursery, and oohhed over the size of the camels... then we played on the cheapest ride {the local slide} before heading home for food and rest.

A good weekend for sure.

Saturday, 12 March 2011

Lessons in the garden :: Tomatoes


I'll be the first to admit that I have been shocked by the insane growth of my tomato plants this year. When I first planted out the seedlings I was very careful to also put in the stakes at the same time, so as to not damage the roots down the track. The problem was that I put in four foot stakes, and a foot of that disappeared under the ground, leaving me with three foot stakes... if you look at the height of Mia compared to the height of my tomatoes then it's fairy apparent that my stakes were never going to be enough.

Luckily for me there is a lot of 'stuff' around this property, so it wasn't all that hard to find some seven foot stakes to put in later {and clearly my plants roots haven't been to badly effected} and as I've mentioned before, my Uncle surprised me by putting much better netting over my plants... but still they grow.

One of my plants has grown up to the top, then bent over and is currently tied to the other side of the structure {making the plant about twelve feet from base to tip} and is completely laden with truss tomatoes.

So while I will take some lessons from this adventure, like more aggressive and decisive pruning earlier in the season; and better staking and spacing between my plants; overall we're pretty chuffed with the outcome of this one.

They're pretty awesome...

I've also been reading the new issue of Organic Gardener Essential Guide which is all about veggies, and there is an excellent article in there about growing tomatoes where they talk about starting them off really 'meanly' in a dry, root bound pot. The ultimate goal is to get earlier fruit I think, lower on the plant, to I think I'll make a note-to-self to have a go at this method next year.

In the mean time, tomatoes are in season, and I'll be coming up with lots of ways to enjoy or store them for later.

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

When Barb came to town....

{image by Barb Uil, Jinky Art. with permission}

I've been keeping something a little quiet, something that we had a lovely time doing while we were away over Summer, something that we will treasure forever. Something that I can finally show you a little sneak peek of... We had a {very fun} photo session with the amazingly talented Barb Uil from Jinky Art.

I tried to book a session with her in the Summer of 2009 {when Mia was 6 months} but you have to get in quick, and we missed our chance that time... so I popped our name on the wait-list for this Summer gone. When the time came to come up with some locations and ideas on what we wanted from our session, then only thing that I could think of was "wouldn't it be excellent if Barb would come to our beach". I couldn't come up with anything else until a ruled that option out, but when I asked the question {and gave Barb a little of Cam and my story} she was all too happy to trek on down the coast. Awesome!

The session itself was fun, we dragged Barb around to our favourite little corners of the property, and bumped around the paddocks in our little car, and showed her our {faux} private beach {well there is like, never anyone else on it} and all the while she took lots {and lots} of photos.

Then she worked her magic, and came up with about 80 photos for us to choose from {which of course we've done, and I'll be sure to show you when we get them} but in the meantime, you can have a look here at her write up.

Saturday, 5 March 2011

at the fair

taken with my iPhone 4

A big thank-you to my sister staying the night at my place last night, and providing me with just the reinforcement that I needed {ie: 2 adults : 3 kids being much easier than 1 adult : 3 kids} to brave the local, annual strawberry fair this morning.

It was fun. We lucked a car-park, wended our way in via the play-ground, bought some strawberries and biscuits {which the kids ate while I tried to talk them out of the rides}{didn't work!}, watched while they partook in a few rides, watched while Daisy patiently waited at the face-painting stand, then confidently asked the lady to paint her face as a butterfly, then sat beautifully while it was done, then got up, looked in the mirror and beamed "beautiful!".

We played in the play-ground a little more, then bribed the kids to exit with a bag of lollies, play-ground quickly on the way to the car, and home in time for lunch.

It's the first year that we've attended. Total spent $32.00. I'd probably do it again next year. They'd definitely like to do it again next year.