Sunday, November 30, 2008

Maya Says

At 80, Maya Angelou says her "knees are not all that swift and my lungs need some extra help but other than that, my desire to learn and to share, that has not abated."

Ah yes, it is all in the attitude :-)

From CNN

It's All in the Attitude

When all's said and done, all roads lead to the same end. So it's not so much which road you take, as how you take it.

Charles de Lint

Art: "Monapali" by Archan Nair

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Friday, November 28, 2008

Photo Challenge - Weather

New Clothes

My new job as a different dress code to my existing one - they require "business clothes" to be exact. I have a heap of suits but as we are heading into an Australian summer, I am guessing it will be a few months before I need to pull them out of the wardrobe. So it meant doing one of my least favorite activities: clothes shopping.

I usually deal with this trial by just picking up a couple of new pairs of pants, or sarong tops each year - total time involved: about 3 minutes, total cost $40. Add another pair of crocs and I am set. Not bad for a year's clothes shopping. And if you work night shifts, well it is practical too :-)

That plan wasn't going to get me out of this one though. So I went to one of the local boutiques and over $600 and 30 minutes later I have the basics of a new wardrobe - 4 shirts and a pair of pants. I already have a few pairs of pants from the suits that I can wear. I have NEVER spent so much money on clothes - each item was over $100 which would normally make me fall over in a heap even contemplating the possibility.

Maybe it was because each item was lovingly wrapped on tissue paper and placed in a "proper" shopping bag (like you see in the movies) that made it feel better. Maybe it was the knowledge that I have had such a good run over the past 6 or 7 years and I knew it wouldn't last forever. Maybe it was a concession that going back into the "real" world had a price.

In any case, I shall look very presentable for my new job.

Now I just need to figure out how to "do" my hair and contemplate whether I need to wear make-up .... oh, and find something for my feet that aren't crocs lol

Flowers and Tradition

As for marigolds, poppies, hollyhocks, and valorous sunflowers, we shall never have a garden without them, both for their own sake, and for the sake of old-fashioned folks, who used to love them.

Henry Ward Beecher

Photo: "Retreat" by dinghysailor1

Thursday, November 27, 2008


Photo: "Stay III" by BabyJoan

Know and Do

I have been impressed with the urgency of doing. Knowing is not enough; we must apply. Being willing is not enough; we must do.

Leonardo da Vinci

Art: "The Vitruvian Man" by Leonardo da Vinci

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Photo Challenge Updates

Dare I say it, another month is almost gone. In this case it means that our year of 2008 is rapidly coming to an end too. For better or for worse, depending on how your year has panned out.

Anyhow, back to the photos ...

This week (28 November): Weather
Friday 5 December: Yesterday
Friday 12 December: Value

Happy clicking :-)

Purpose and Passion

To come to be you must have a vision of Being, a Dream, a Purpose, a Principle. You will become what your vision is.

Peter Nivio Zarlenga

Art: "Exuberance I" by Angela Morgan


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dance Dance Dance

You may have noticed over the last week I have been waiting for a phone call, while semi-dancing on one foot. On Friday I gave up thinking I had missed my chance.

Today, I got the call: I have a new job - dance dance dance :-) And yes I was being a drama queen lol

Details to follow in due course.

Photo: "Jump" by piratephotography

It's About Attitude

Don't be pushed by your problems. Be led by your dreams.

Art: "Mystic Dancer" by Melia Dawn Newman

Typewriter Art

Paul Smith, the man with extraordinary talent was born in Philadelphia on September 21, 1921 with severe cerebral palsy.

Not only had Paul beaten the odds of a life with spastic cerebral palsy, a disability that impeded his speech & mobility but also taught himself to become a master artist as well as a terrific chess player even after being devoid of a formal education as a child.

When typing, Paul used his left hand to steady his right one. Since he couldn't press two keys at the same time, he almost always locked the shift key down and made his pictures using the symbols at the top of the number keys. In other words, his pictures were based on these characters ..... @ # $ % ^ & * ( ) _

Across seven decades, Paul created hundreds of pictures. He often gave the originals away. Sometimes, but not always, he kept or received a copy for his own records.

As his mastery of the typewriter grew, he developed techniques to create shadings, colors, and textures that made his work resemble pencil or charcoal drawings.'

This great man passed away on June 25, 2007, but left behind a collection of his amazing artwork that will be an inspiration for many.

Sent to me by the fabulous Janet

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Seasons

The car got a bit hot on Friday and Saturday lol! Summer is on its way ...

The Way It Should Be

Talking with a friend is nothing else but thinking aloud.

Joseph Addison

Art: "Information Technology" by Angela Morgan

Two Wolves

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people.

He said, 'My son, the battle is between two ' wolves ' inside us all.

One is Evil. - It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.

The other is Good. - It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith.'

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: 'Which wolf wins?'

The old Cherokee simply replied, 'The one you feed.'

Photo: "Wolves" by fremlin

Sent to me by the fabulous Janet

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Cooking Dilemma

I know there are famines and war and political unrest happening in the world at this minute. Not to mention illness and grief and leavings.

Not wanting to sound shallow, I have something else on my mind: what style of cook am I? And I don't mean what sort of food can I cook, but what style of cook?

For many the answer is easy be it Italian, fusion, American, home style, Japanese, heritage or whatever. I just don't fit into any of these categories. I am, sometimes, a bit of all of them but that doesn't work as a description.

I have looked through all my magazines and delicious. is the closest to my style but it still isn't me as a whole.

Okay, before anyone tells me I should get a life and concentrate on the more important aspects of life, I have to agree. But this is one of the nagging questions that continues to bug me over the years - for some reason, I need a label.

Photo: "Good to be Pink Exclusive" by

Magic Moments

It has been an interesting week but my Magic Moments would have to be realizing that I am surrounded by friends and family who love and support me.

I do count this particular blessing regularly but the events of the week of made it more apparent than ever.

Photo: "Jump for Joy" by killerkaren

Out for a Hack

I went to a horse show last Sunday - a hacking event to be exact. Now I know that most people might have taken photos of the horses but I am not most people - and besides, they (the horses) were working so asking if I could take close ups of fetlocks or bridles didn't seem appropriate.

Happiness Is ...

Happiness is the meaning and the purpose of life, the whole aim and end of human existence.


Art: "Cottage Country" by Sharron Labatt

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Sunset on Thursday

Val called for me to come and watch the sunset on Thursday evening. The colors of the mountains reminded Val of her time in Alice Springs in the 70's. I must admit I have never seen the sun catch the top of the mountain just like that before - and the colors really are of central Australia.

It was only 10 minutes or so before the sun moved on but it was just magic - all the more special because we spent the time together.

The photos certainly aren't the best I have ever taken but I wanted to post them anyway.

Friendship Is ...

Wishing to be friends is quick work, but friendship is a slow-ripening fruit.


Art: "Made to Measure" by Angela Morgan

Friday, November 21, 2008


I am still waiting for my news and as every minute passes it occurs to me that my news may not arrive, well not in the form I am wanting it to. I refuse to be beaten by this. I refuse to feel sad. Oh, who am I kidding, this is hurting in a way that I didn't anticipate.

I am feeling lost and let down and hurt and, somehow, still hopeful that the phone will ring. I was told it would ring. It is just that the minutes keep ticking by.

I hope that in one, ten or even sixty minutes I will be back here, dancing wildly, having received the news I am waiting for. And that all of this self-indulgent crap will have been for nothing - I will concede to being a drama-queen. I hope ...

Photo: "The Way Down" by 'gilad

Take Care

It isn't the mountain ahead that wears you out; it's the grain of sand in your shoe.

Rodan of Alexandria

Photo: "Fog" by royce

Photo Challenge - Favorite

I had to sit and think about this theme - did I go for my favorite singer (Meat Loaf), or my favorite view, or was it the weather, or bear or clothes or ... well the list went on. I decided to go for my favorite food. Now this changes as much as the weather but one dish kept cropping up: chicken fried steak with mashed potato and white gravy. So, sacrificing myself for art, that is what I cooked last night :-)

Mr Linky is down at the moment so please leave a comment if you have a photo for the Challenge.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Patience is a Virtue

Patience may well be a virtue but I am learning that it is not one that I am celebrating at the moment. I am trying, but only out of default. Pacing doesn't help. Nor does sleeping. Perpetually watching the clock, or the phone, doesn't make any difference at all.

All I have to do is wait .... and wait ... and wait ... and, finally, wait.

Sigh ...

Photo: "A Watched Pot" by tyedyesnowflake

Happy Birthday Miss Weasley

Happy Birthday!

My precious Miss Weasley celebrates the passing of another year today - her time. I have oft written about how much this woman adds to my life and today I shall be celebrating, even though we are apart.

Love The Attitude

I used to be Snow White, but I drifted.

Mae West

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Cooking Time :-)

Yes it was Wednesday Lunch time again and my lovelies put in an absolutely stirling effort! I have had to concede cooking everything from scratch and using some jars of things but, well that is the way the world is turning and while I may NEVER do it at home, I need to (finally) accept that that is what everyone else is doing.

The theme for this week was "Quick and Easy Chinese". The menu included:

Beef in Black Bean Sauce with Noodles
Spring Rolls
Lemon Chicken
Chinese Barbeque Pork with Noodles
Chicken and Cashews
Vegetable Stir Fry

I didn't get to try everything but can highly recommend the Lemon Chicken and Chicken with Cashews. Absolutely beautiful and much better than your local restaurant :-)

I need to add that the yellow color from the photo came from the light in the kitchen - not the actual color of the dish :-)

All recipes are up on yeswecancook.

Photo Challenge Updates

Roll up, roll up, come one, come all - it's Photo Challenge time. Yes there are no prizes but we do encourage generous oohs and aahs for all entries :-)

This week (21 November): Favorite
Friday 28 November: Weather
Friday 5 December: Yesterday

Happy clicking folks :-)

Oh Groucho

Who are you going to believe, me or your own eyes?

Groucho Marx

Art: "I Believe I Can Fly" by Kurt Tutschek

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Some Days ...

Some days you just gotta DANCE!!!! Details to follow :-)

Photo: "We Can Walk on Water" by


Remember even though the outside world might be raining, if you keep on smiling the sun will soon show its face and smile back at you.

Anna Lee

Photo: "Sun" by everestelle

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happiness Is ...

Happiness is like a must share it to enjoy it.

Photo: "The Kiss" by jezustin

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nostalgic Saturday

I know I only read my brother Graham's email for the first time this morning but it made me Nostalgic for so many things, I just had to include it today. I didn't include ALL of his photos, but you get the idea :-)

"Sorry for taking awhile to give you an update on chicken No1. (Graham is growing chickens and this, his first, comes in at a delicious 1.8 kg!)

Here it is before and after (sorry about the picture I must have been shaking with excitement)

I just slow roasted it in the oven on 140 for a bit over an hour. I did absolutely nothing to it other than put a bit of olive oil in the baking tray and covered it with foil. I have had trouble finding time to put it on as most nights I am getting in around 8.30-9pm (got to love day light saving) by which time the last thing I feel like doing is putting on a chook to roast. It’s been sitting in the fridge in its little vacuum bag so on my way home from work the other day I thought I will put it on as soon as I get home and I can watch it before I go out to milk the cows. So I popped it on and got busy doing other things and I think I left it on a bit long. When it came out it was all golden and yummy looking, not to mention the amazing smell. I could have eaten it right away but the cows needed to be milked so covered it up put it back in the turned off oven. After milking the cows I processed another 5 chickens, with the borrowed plucker and stumbled back inside at 9.15pm.

Now I really don’t think I gave this chicken a fair go, I was tired, I had just processed 5 chickens which involves all the yucky stuff (I had washed my hands 2 or 3 times), it was possibly overcooked and it had cooled down to room temperature. I thought what am I going to do with it, the idea of eating chicken was not very appealing, actually eating anything wasn’t appealing. I decided I would just cut it up so could put in sandwiches add it to a curry make a pie or something. I started off with the legs, the meat was quite dark but not dry or tough, I could just pull the meat off with my fingers, then the thighs, wings and finally the breasts. There was quite a pile of meat and my curiosity got the better of me so I tried a little bit.............................., it wasn’t that good, it was great! It melted in my mouth the flavour was unbelievable it was undoubtedly the best chicken I have ever had. I tried another bit and you know what it was just as good. The first piece obviously wasn’t a fluke. By the time I finished cutting it up the pile was a bit smaller than when I started. I bagged it up into little bags and put 2 in the freezer and 2 in the fridge. People don’t know what their missing out on when they buy a factory chook. I was a bit worried that after all the work I had put into them they wouldn’t be any good but I am happy.

So I have got about 30 to go. I had a bit of trouble getting the scalder and plucker set up. My fist attempt with it ruined 2 of the three I did. It wouldn’t pluck and it tore the skin. I skinned the two and boned them out so I didn’t waste them. The water was too cold it needs to be at around 60 degrees C to loosen the feathers for the plucker. It’s an old hot water system that I cut the top off and it couldn’t keep the temp up so I have put a gas ring under it to solve that problem. The plucker was making a mess of them. The legs were getting caught in the hole where the plucked feathers go out. I don’t know how the owners get on with it but I made some modifications and it works well now. It takes about 10min per chicken from when I go and get the chickens out of the paddock to having them bagged up in the freezer, so I have only been doing 5 or so a night. Hopefully this weekend I will get them all finished. I am using the kitchen in the cottage for bagging and freezing them, it saves carting them over to the house and there is room over there for the freezer. It's not full yet!

The eggs are coming in pretty regularly now, I’m getting 5-6 a day from the 8 hens. We couldn’t keep up with them so the other week Nancy took 3 dozen to work to give a way as a bit of a promotion and today she took the first dozen that were getting paid for. I weighed them and they came out at 900g net so I think I should call them extra jumbo, the lid wouldn’t actually shut! At $6 a dozen my first customer was very happy.

I haven’t shown you any pictures of the veggie patch because there wasn’t much to see. I haven’t been able to weed much and my plan is not to do too much anyway, but until the plants get bigger it’s a bit hard to see them.

You can see the corn, some spinach, peas, the brown lines are tomatoes, the green is grass, I haven’t put up the trellis yet.

The pumpkin, squash, zucchini, cucumber, watermelon and rockmelon are all taking off, it’s hard to see them but we’ve been picking artichokes and the beans are really taking off as well.

The veggie patch is approximately 80m2 only half is planted the rest is access. I planted medic and Lucerne in between the beds which I mow for mulch. There is corn, potatoes, eggplant(2types), kale(6types), peas, asparagus, tomatoes (8 types), Spinach (2 types), radicchio, cape gooseberry, carrots (2 types), Beetroot, Salsify, artichokes (2 types), self sown lettuce, Self sown Tomatoes, Fennel, Celery, Leeks, Beans (5 types), cabbage (2 types), garlic, parsley, dill, collards, Pumpkins (4or5 types), Squash (3 types), zucchini (3types), watermelon, and honey dew melons. There will be something that I have forgotten so I will apologise to all the plants that I have forgotten and just say that I appreciate their contribution to the gardens diversity and ultimate sustainability!

Mulberrys aren’t far away either just think jam, pies, icecream........and then there will be figs, its almost too much to think about."