Monday, 30 August 2010

Blast off!

a rocket so big even the birds are scared

As well as doing lots of gardening, cooking and eating pumpkin scones, Jack and I made some rockets yesterday. We were inspired by Charlie from Charlie and Lola who makes a very impressive rocket only to have Lola break it seconds later. Ours was not as impressive as Charlie's but Jack was still very happy.
Which reminds me of a conversation Jack and I had a while ago.
Jack: I'm going to go in my rocket to the moon.
Me: Really? Who else is going?
J: You and Daddy and William (a friend)....
M: Who else? What about .....?
J: Oh no - he did a poo in his pants.
Harsh, but I guess a rocket is a very confined space.


bloomin' marvellous

Following the success of his potato crop a couple of years ago (although you'd think all those potatoes as Rothamsted would've put us off for life), S ordered a mixed lot of seed potatoes from Diggers. We didn't get exactly the same kinds as last time which is a shame because the Ruby lou were very good, but surely a potato variety called lustre will be outstanding? S cleared some nettles and weeds and geraniums (they are everywhere here) and he and Jack did some planting. Jack insisted on delivering the spuds in the ute which slowed things down considerably.

So now we have spuds, assorted herbs, a pear tree (a double grafted beurre bosc - william planted on a very rainy day) and strawberries. What else do we need? Did someone say tomatoes and basil? Hello Summer!

Sunday, 29 August 2010

bok bok bok

the girls

I've had a hankering to own some chickens for a long time now. There was a chook shed in situ when we bought our old place but it looked like Josef Fritzel built it so we demolished it. Then there was the chook tractor that never quite got completed. It was dome made out of white pvc pipe and chickenwire and blue twine. We left that behind. I was pleased when we moved here that there was a spot for chooks that looked ready to go. Well I thought it just needed a bit of work. Apparently it needed lots of work according to S, but he and Andrew set to work and in no time it was looking ship shape and foxyloxy proof (the most important part). Now all we needed was the chickens.



A friend who was ordering some, kindly got extras for me then minded them until we were ready. Today they arrived, looking a bit stressed, especially when Lucky starting bouncing around on the other side of the wire.

S has just checked on them and they are sitting up on their roosts asleep already. Jack liked the idea of them but seems to find them alarming in the flesh, but we are hoping he will come round. What's not to like?

Thursday, 26 August 2010


Jack's version of a cheesy grin

Our local preschool is harder to get into than Studio 54. You have to have your name on the list and even then that's no guarantee you'll get in. Sometimes it's all about who you know so I wasn't above using a Mosman connection but no dice. At least I wasn't as desperate as some people who lie about their (kid's) age to get in.
As Jack's third birthday approached I started talking to him about going and he was excited. Then he couldn't get in so things went quiet on that front. Then about a week ago we got the call saying a place had come up. Maisy goes to Preschool reappeared at storytime and we started talking it up big time. On Monday he packed his bag so he would be ready for preschool on Friday. It contained one Woody doll and one yoghurt. After reading the list of things Jack would need to take I thought he could do with a bigger bag.

I'm trying to smile but this bag is really heavy

ON Wednesday Jack and I went shopping at Jeannie's shop and Jack chose a pirate bag with matching drink bottle. He was so excited that he took it to Mudgeegong to show Diane and they filled it with the following food for Friday:
1 chocolate freddo
1 bertie beetle
2 melting moments
2 saladas with peanut butter
1 apple
3 marshmallows
Jack was thrilled (understandably) but I had a feeling that most of those items would not pass muster with the preschool powers that be. Using the negotiation skills worthy of a UN delegate I managed to persuade him that some of the things couldn't go. As I suspected the peanut butter and chocolates were verboten.
So this morning in his lunch box he had:
1 banana
1 apple
4 (yes 4) corn thingies with Vegemite
the melting moments
1 yoghurt and that was just for morning tea.
He's very hungry at the moment

No wonder his bag looks so heavy. It's all that food.
I was worried there may be tears (his or mine) but we both coped admirably well. Jack had some friends that were there already to show him around and give him hugs (too many hugs he later told me). He went straight to the esky where the drinks are kept to put his drink (they showed him that yesterday) and then he was off. No tears just a quick kiss and that was it. Phew!
Afterwards we went to the Railway cafe for lunch with a few of his friends to celebrate. In retrospect maybe not the best idea but we've learnt that lesson now.
He'll just spend the next couple of days eating what's left in his lunchbox.
I wouldn't normally send him to preschool in a Woody costume (even though that was what he had settled on last Monday) but today was yellow day for daffodil day and it was the only yellow thing he had. He couldn't have been more pleased.

S is quietly excited about Jack's first day

Tuesday, 24 August 2010

Red Lantern

Last week we went on a bit of a food adventure to Sydney (try as I might to get excited a roast beef and gravy roll at the wagga marketplace is just not cutting it). As Monday was S's birthday my parents offered to mind Jack so we could go on a hot date. I asked S where he would like to go and he said Red Lantern, which is a Vietnamese resturant in surry hills well known because of its good food, but also because it has produced two cookbooks and one of the owners/chefs did a DVD about eating and travelling through Vietnam. And it's where Callum and Adam and all those masterchef peoples partied on after the final episode.
I booked online, which is so easy for those with phone issues like myself, but our time was not available. I was offered 6pm or 9.30pm. As the parents of a 3 year old who regularly dine at 6 and are ready to hit the hay at 10pm it was not hard picking a time.
The resturant was smaller than I expected, the staff were fabulous (patiently answering many questions about goat, galangal and rice paddy herb) and the food was very good indeed.

My entree of char grilled beef and lemongrass wrapped in betel leaves was smoky and delicious, but the best meal of the night was the goat curry. Apparently it's a speciality and it was tasty and meltingly tender. The crispy skinned chicken that I chose, while nice was just not in the same league.

After all that and feeling absolutely full up to dolly's wax we still managed to share a desset platter. Even though I am not a fan of the 'hot banana' I made an exception for the tapioca pudding with bananas and the banana fritters. I could eat a plateful right now.

the artiste (an update)

It's been awhile since I reported on Jack's artistic endeavours, well about a year and a half and that's a bit slack. It's not that there's been nothing to show because his output is impressive - he's a prolific artiste. Lately we've noticed a change in his drawings and sometimes we are pretty impressed by what he produces. He does some pretty good rainbow work and recently he did this spider (or maybe centipede) which we think is rather good (but then we are biased).

And he also drew this face.

Sunday, 22 August 2010

new house

Jack's room

And finally here are some pics of our our new place. We literally moved just up the road (like people who move in Mosman). I used to drive past this house all the time and admire it and now I drive past our old house instead which is weird but okay (this house is ALOT warmer).

the house

the view

After living in an old schoolhouse we decided to go for something much more modern (1907) and smaller. The layout is much better (no one gets lost trying to find the toilet) and I love the old stove in the kitchen. We just need to cap the chimney before we get a visit from a possum. And we need to order the kitchen cupboards. A civilised kitchen at last. I can't wait.

dress ups

Jack gets in touch with his inner tiger

I may have mentioned previously overhearing a little girl leaving our house after a play date saying," and they didn't even have a dress up box!" with such disapproval in her voice that I felt ashamed.
My brother has done his best to remedy this situation supplying Jack with a fireman's outfit and a Woody costume. For awhile they languished in Jack's dress up box until recently when something in his mind clicked and all of a sudden it was dress up a gogo.

It is interesting to note that the Woody costume has a holster but no gun. When he asked me what it was for I told him that it's where you keep your banana as a cowboy always carries fresh fruit. Jack thought this a good idea and carried a banana (somewhat bruised) in his holster at all times. Except he called it his Woody fruit. Ahem.

a new sheriff rides into town

A fireman/woody combo - sounds like a reject from the village people

the all singing all dancing fireman - surely a life on the stage awaits?

He also has a fab purple tutu that I bought for him after he asked for one. Inspired by a pug who does ballet in a gorgeous book called "dogs don't do ballet" I wrote a review of the book here.

Saturday, 21 August 2010


It's a nice sunny day here which is lucky because I have a tonne of washing and apparently it is going to rain all week. Sigh. Luckily I have my technologically advanced clothesline. Fabulous isn't it and totally adjustable.

The thing is it's probably very 'unaustralian' to complain about the rain as it's what the farmers want (that's us now). It always seems that no matter how much rain you get it's usually not enough or too much or it's at the wrong time and will make the weeds grow. I think this season though we've had the most rain for years. There were pics in the Herald yesterday of beaming farmers standing in front of their crops. A very rare sight indeed.
And what of our crop? The oats jumped out of the ground and then the galahs set about eating them. They didn't get all of them though, but the locusts should finish them off nicely.

and we're back

I may have mentioned having technical difficulties and promising to be back soon. That didn't quite eventuate (although here I am). When we moved we decided to forgo landlines and be purely mobidicular. Ha to you telstra with your pricey line rental and bad service. We both purchased new phones with special features. Mine has a whizz bang camera and Internet connection so I can post those pics on my blog. Well that's the idea anyway.
It is only now weeks after receiving the phone that I have had a breakthrough of sorts. Well I can finally access several months of photos anyway. So there will be lots of pics (of Jack) at last - like this one - yes we keep him in a box now - we find it much easier.