Sunday, March 30, 2008

My Artist of the Day

Mel Williams hails from Magnetic Island and I am thrilled by the color and vibrancy of her work. I used one of her frogs for my frog post but I really do suggest you check out the rest of her stuff. It makes me smile :-)

Cooking Is ...

Cooking is like love. It should be entered into with abandon or not at all.

Harriet van Horne

Art Kitchen Blessings 1 Susan Shi

Johnny Appleseed

Does anyone else remember Johnny Appleseed. I first read his story in one of my most beloved Little Golden Books when I was the proverbial knee high to a grasshopper. The story generally goes that this guy called Johnny Appleseed traveled across pioneer America spreading word of God and planting apples whenever he stopped so that those that were coming after him (imagine covered wagons) would have apples to eat for the entire crossing.

I found out this week he was a real person! Long live the ABC :-)

Anyway, Wiki has a great article which doesn't quite tally with my childhood memories (for example, John Chapman apparently traveled around Ohio, Indiana and Illinois rather than the whole country) - but trust Wiki. I am sure they are a more credible source that Little Golden Books :-)

My Visitor and Our Feast

I had a very special visitor (Bella) on Friday and Saturday - including Friday night - and although we ended up eating still-warm chocolate muffins and cream for dinner on Saturday, we started off with the very healthy baked spring rolls and fruit salad - which we made ourselves. Actually it was a very large bowl of fruit salad so we ate lots of fruit :-)

Other highlights was much laughter, some silliness, painting and Stardoll. She is such a gorgeous and special young lady and highly recommended if you are looking for fun company.

And Bella was my first stay-over-non-WA-visitor :-)

Very happy MG lol

Friday, March 28, 2008

If All Else Fails, Float

When the tides of life turn against you and the current upsets your boat, don't waste those tears on what might have been, just lie on your back and float

Photo Challenge - Love

After all of these years, he still has flowers ...

Thursday, March 27, 2008

Happy Birthday Bella!!!!

Happy Birthday!

Not only is Bella having a birthday today, but she is coming to stay with me tomorrow and I will make her a birthday cake and have a little party for the two of us... yippee.

Happy Birthday sweetheart - can't wait :-)

Happiness :-)

Happiness held is the seed; happiness shared is the flower

Pearl Learns Patience

I rang the Department today just to generally inquire about the status of my change of name - just as well I did. Apparently the reason I gave, being "personal choice", was insufficient. There is a letter in the mail coming to explain all of this and requesting extra information but who can wait that long?!

So I have written out a letter and dropped it off to the post office just now. Total time involved from dialling the phone to returning home, 34 minutes.

And the additional miracle is that I made it to the Post Office in under 3 months. No I am not joking, I have such a hard time getting there in any sort of reasonable or even vaguely sensible time-frame.

So for all of those who have changed over already, thank you. To those making the effort, it's not official yet. And to those who don't want to change, well all of this is irrelevant lol.

Sigh ... so I am guessing another 10 days before anything is final. Patience is always a hard lesson to learn .. sigh ....

Stardoll Revealed

Okay, I know I have hinted that I have joined a site for teens but I thought I would reveal my rooms now that they are decorated and looking quite fine :-) Yes there are three of them - can you tell they are mine :-)

I know I joined this so I could keep in contact with J-Bear but I am so enjoying it (now that I have figured out how it all works - after all it is designed for people much much younger than me). Who would have figured me for someone who would get into paper dolls and "fame, fashion and friends"!

The only thing I can't bring myself to do is wear short short skirts - even though it only pretend, I prefer jeans :-)

BTW I tried to make my doll look like me but this was the 'roundest' option I could have (no I am not complaining - if only all of life was so easy) lol

What a RAK!

I just don't know where to start!

A little while ago I was admiring Kyles new header and asked how she did it. Last night she sent me a range of samples! You can see the one I picked. So now Musings looks as pretty as can be.

And even though it has been a full moon and Miss K has had a bit of a full plate, she still found time (lots) to make my present.

Life is so much more blessed with friends like this :-)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Frogs, Frogs and Frogs (3 frog quotes)

We think too small, like the frog at the bottom of the well. He thinks the sky is only as big as the top of the well. If he surfaced, he would have an entirely different view

Mao Tse-Tung

It is a truly wise man who does not play leap frog with a unicorn.

Frogs have it easy, they can eat what bugs them.

Art is Finger Paint Frog by Mel Williams

The Joy of Tomatoes

Kind of a catchy title huh! Even more catchy when it is the theme of today's cooking class :-)

Okay I know I haven't posted them for the last couple of weeks, I have been struggling a bit with one of the participants but I was determined today not to give my joy of life away to him. And, having made that determination, it went so very very swimmingly. Only downside was that I forgot the camera so use your imagination :-)

Anyway, we made:
  • Bolognese Cannelloni
  • Mushroom Cannelloni (vegetarian option)
  • Roast Chicken with a Creamy Tomato Sauce
  • Bruschetta
  • A Garden Salad (with Tomatoes)
  • A Tomato, Basil and Baby Bocconcini Salad
I personally thought it looked fabulous and looked delicious. Making cannelloni was a new experience for the lovelies, as was bruschetta and bocconcini so the menu served its purpose :-) Also, the recipes were so easy they didn't need writing down - just a couple of verbal instructions got everyone off and running. Just perfect!

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Miss ... I mean Dr Maya Speaks

If you have only one smile in you, give it to the people you love. Don't be surly at home, then go out in the street and start grinning 'Good morning' at total strangers.

Maya Angelou

Art by Kamuna

Photo Challenge

Your weekly theme reminder!

From this Friday we move into the suggestions from our very own Abbey - she has offered a great list of ideas so we are working through them.
  • This Friday, 28 March is "Love".
  • For Friday, 4 April the theme is "Blue".
  • And for Friday 11 April, we need a photo that goes with "Heroes".
So for those who want to play, lets get snapping. And if anyone is getting sick of this and is only playing to make me happy, its cool, I am snapping away and there is absolutely no obligation for anyone else to play :-) And no, no-one has said anything that makes me think that that might be a possibility, I am just being polite :-)

Been Baking

I have done another cake - this time for a 16th birthday. Taking the Graduation Cake as an inspiration, and a request for a chocolate and caramel combination, this is how it turned out.

This one has triple chocolate brownies as the first and third layer with a caramel mudcake as the middle layer. There was homemade caramel and milk chocolate between the bottom layers and chocolate fudge and dark chocolate between the top layers. The top has chocolate frosting around the side which is then sprinkled with a commercial chocolate decoration. The top is smeared with more of the caramel then the chocolate sprinkles and a Caramel Kit Kat crumbled on top of that. The shards are mainly dark chocolate although there are milk and white ones at the back. There are also mini-shards of milk and white chocolate piled on the front of the cake.

No I haven't tried it - I was on night shift and was heading home (and it would be faaaaar too sweet for me anyway) but technically it fit the original request so I assume that makes it all okay.

And I didn't use slave free chocolate (yes sometimes practical considerations overtakes ethical considerations ... sigh ...) so that's a downer for me and I am regretting that sincerely but somehow I justify it by the knowledge that I wasn't eating it and I would have been more limited into how much chocolate I could have packed in. Not sure that justification holds water but now I am pontificating and changing the nature of the post so I will stop :-)

Monday, March 24, 2008

We Dance ....

We dance for laughter,

We dance for tears,

We dance for madness,

We dance for fears,

We dance for hopes,

We dance for screams,

We are the dancers,

We create the dreams.

Found on Lola's Stardoll site (but you have to be a member to visit it so I won't put a link in). Thanks Lola.

Art from Ian Kenny Gallery, artist is Karin Volker and the work is titled "Dream Dance"

Bulk Stuff

I have been sprouting my intention to be more green over the past few months. In many ways I feel I doing a good job of it, although there is always more I can do.

I have been waiting to use up my existing shampoo so I can swap to a more natural, home made product. Ditto for laundry powder. I have moved over to my home made deodorant and I use essential oils as a detangler. In amongst all of this (as well as being in transition to a more complete Food Miles philosophy) I realize I buy stuff.

As an example, I have three bottles of shampoo that I am working my way through. I have another two boxes of laundry powder to work through once I finish the one that is open. And today I have just found another 2 deodorant roll-ons.

It is similar with store foods like lentils and beans and don't even get me started on spices.

I don't know if I am waiting for a flood or something else that will cut me off for months at a time or what - I didn't even realize that I 'stocked up' like I obviously do.

So, as a status report, I am still working my way through my existing supplies ... it may take a while... sigh ....

Full Moon

Okay, so its a crap photo but you get the general idea. We had the most magnificent full moon last night. Driving into town it was bigger and had an orange hue but this is the moon from the lookout.

It was big and bright and the moonbeams just danced over a very calm ocean. A lovely spot to sit for 30 minutes before I started work :-)

Admittedly there was a red signal light just next to me but my goal for the next month is to learn to take moon photos :-)

Friday, March 21, 2008

Dreams Alive

Keep your dreams alive. Understand to achieve anything requires faith and belief in yourself, vision, hard work, determination, and dedication. Remember all things are possible for those who believe.

Gail Devers

Art is Elijah's Dream from Liza's Reef


We all have dreams but let me compare two situations.

A friend of mine is passionate about his dream - so much so that his face lights up when he talks about it. And what started as something of a little dream is growing, in size and viability, each day. My friend is moving his dream to a plan and the plan into action. The dream is being realized.

I have a dream but I am scared. I am scared of rejection, of failure, of being laughed at. So my dream just sits, nestled inside. Periodically it raises it's head, reminds me it is still there and asks if the time is right. Invariably it isn't.

Is today the day to suck it all up and walk the walk ... maybe tomorrow would be better :-/

Art is Purple Dream by Gabriella Stone

When It's Not Fun Anymore

I belong to a website - sort of a fun Facebook for teenagers (mainly girls). One of my younger friends asked me to play and why ever not (although I am VERY careful about interactions with new people). Really enjoying my time there and finally getting it all sorted out. To avoid 'misinterpretation' I have a very limited group of friends, mostly referred by my friend and it's working and I am having a ball.

Until now...

I just saw a public post from someone who says she has self-mutilated. I have tracked her down (these posts just flash and then they are gone) and sent her a message that I have tried to make sound supportive but non-judgemental, nor interfering. Haven't heard back yet.

I know that I have come across self-harm at work. I know that Random Thoughts still receives feedback from her post on the subject. I know the site is moderated really well so hopefully someone else has also seen this message. I just wish I could do something more - are her wounds clean? Does she have someone to talk to - her message said she just wanted to feel? Is she okay (well obviously she isn't but you know what I mean)?

Our children are so very, very valuable. I wish this pain (physical, emotional, psychological) could be avoided and all of them have a bountiful and joyous beginning to life. Not realistic but I guess I am babbling because I am waiting for a reply that may or may not come.

Photo Challenge - Communication

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Backseat Fumblings

Does anyone else remember the illicit moment of teen age love that were pinched at the lookout, lovers point or the drive-in?

I know that parents of this day and age let partners sleep over and that's not my point. I don't have kids and I don't think the line is clearly right or wrong so I am staying away from it all.

But there was something so exciting about the stolen kiss, the quick grope .. or even more. There was risk, there was excitement, there was 'naughtiness'.

How does that affect our perspectives, or expectations, of adult relationships? I live by myself. If I wanted to I could date someone and then bring them home for rumpy-pumpy who would care? Where is the fun in that? No wonder people want affairs - you get back all of the excitement of the teenage fumblings...

Where am I going with this? No idea. Just thought that now I am all grown up and responsible those stolen moments will never be again.

I miss that already.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008


I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn't say any other way--things I had no words for.
Georgia O'Keefe
Art Red Canna by Georgia O'Keefe


I am making a cheesecake for A & M and I have screwed up - I forgot to double the eggs. Crap!

Obviously I am having trouble getting it to set. I have turned the oven down low, will cook it for a while longer and will see what happens. It frustrates me when I do stuff like this. And, assuming it doesn't set, what do I do - I feel bad about serving second rate food to anyone (even though it will taste fine), throwing it out seems a waste but I don't want to eat it myself.

I know I play in the kitchen a lot, and I am okay that things don't work out when I am trying new things, experimenting or just having a go. I guess I am trying to say that I am not a perfectionist. But I have made this one a million times, it is dead easy and it is only my mistake that has lead to this point. Sigh ...

There goes a bit more sleep while I wait and see ....

Driving Home

Driving home is such an enormous pleasure and the soul can't help but be lifted. Just a sample of this morning's views. By the way, the purple dot on the third photo is a little rain drop ... sigh , ain't life hard :-)

Monday, March 17, 2008


Time flies like an arrow; fruit flies like a banana

Groucho Marx

They Found the Sydney!

News just in this morning that the searchers have found the wreck of the HMAS Sydney which went down off the West Australian coast after a battle with the German ship Kormoran in 1941.

Living in Geraldton for a few years, home of the best memorial to anything I have ever seen, brought the quest for the Sydney to life for me

The full story of the find, I am sure it will be developed as more information becomes available, can be found here.

The memorial has three components (see the bottom picture).

The statue of a grieving woman (wife, mother, sister, lover) looking out to sea, eternally waiting for the ship to come home is incredibly real. You can see the anxiety and the pain in her face.

The "Dome of Souls" is comprised of 645 seagulls, representing each of the Australian sailors that went down with the ship. The Dome is surrounded by a memorial wall that lists each of the sailors names.

The story goes that when the site was commissioned and a ceremony held to recognize the moment, a huge flock of silver seagulls flew overhead. Apparently the crowd all drew breath at the same time and just silently watched the gulls. This moment became the inspiration of the Dome.

The Stele (the bit on the left of the bottom picture) is made to represent the bough of the Sydney and apparently points in the direction it was last seen headed.

The precinct was designed by Joan Walsh Smith.

All of these are on top of a hill looking out to sea. There are also 360 degree views to the hills and the coastline. It is an incredible moving site and well worth the visit if you are ever in the area.

Sunday, March 16, 2008


Nobody can be uncheered with a balloon

Winnie the Pooh

Latest RAK

Can you see this bountiful pile of clothes? It is only a sample of what the delightful Miss K has passed onto me! What a fabulous RAK - I can tell you I am smiling from ear to ear. Her loss is my gain, in more ways than one :-)

Thank you very very much Miss K - you have made one MG a very happy (and well dressed) person :-)

The End of an Era

Yes the day has finally come, my coffee lake ... er, I mean 'mug' has sprung a leak and can longer be used for coffee. Yes, and before anyone asks, it is 'ideally' meant to be a soup cup but it works just as well for coffee.

So I will recycle it into a herb pot (assuming I can drill some holes in the bottom without totally destroying it - where did I put that masking tape?) and it will have a second life.

But what will I drink out of? I have two other coffee lakes in WA (hand painted from a craft show) but that is as useless as tits on a bull. And, knowing this day will come, I have been looking for another lake, but, to date, the search has been fruitless. Yes I could use some of my other mugs, including those given to me as gifts, but for a work mug, I want to make a statement. I want a lake.

The obvious thing is to contact a greenware shop, paint my own and get it fired - not that that is a bad option. Just not an instant answer :-)

Vale my coffee lake, you will be missed...

Night Shift

It's now my turn for moon watching :-) Cloudless skies makes it fun to try and spot the constellations (not that I know many of course so I do sometimes make up my own).

Friday, March 14, 2008

Photo Challenge

My little reminder that next week's challenge is "Communication".

For Friday 28 March it is "Love"
for the following Friday, 4 April, the theme is "Blue".

Start clicking folks :-)

Love Life ...

Love life, engage in it, give it all you've got. Love it with a passion, because life truly does give back, many times over, what you put into it.

Maya Angelou

rt from the Mural Mosaic blogged by Miss K
"Butterfly" by Michael Smart


I received a letter yesterday.

That's it really.

I get care packages periodically, and a present or two at appropriate times of the year. Obviously I get bills monthly, and junk mail even more so

But this was a letter with the latest news and updates, wishing me well and thanks for a past moment.

How incredible and how fabulous! What a delicious treat!

It almost makes me want to send a few letters myself :-)

Lessons In Life

When dying stuff, and the instructions tell you to wear gloves... well, wear gloves....

Hi, my name is Pearl and I have purple hands .... sigh ...

Fins, Fangs, Feathers and Fur

AND we have a new player - check it out

Thursday, March 13, 2008

New Name

I have always hated my name, no not Mountaingirl - I like that one - but the one they gave me at birth. Consequently I have always (from the age of 12 anyway) wanted to change it but could never come up with an alternative.

Suddenly it has all fallen into place.

I told my Dad about the change and he was delighted - even suggested I changed my surname. I initially said no to that but thoughts fermented that very night and yes, the old surname is going too.

I say all of this because now that the decision has been made, any necessity in actually doing it somewhat dissipated but, thanks to Dad, I have been prompted into action.

I have been downloading bits to organize a birth certificate and, to my delight, have found out that if I change my name in WA (cos that's where I was born and registered) I not only don't need the birth certificate, but it is much cheaper and faster than doing it in NSW. So I am organized and will be posting it all tomorrow. Okay it will take a bit to get back to me but the thought has become commitment which has become action.

My new first name was suggested by Miss Weasley's daughters, the middle name is borrowed from Miss Weasley and the surname is self-explanatory. I think it has to do with the move, the commitment to become more "me", all of the other changes that I have been making.

It is happening!

Art form Lynne Neuman