Tuesday, December 27, 2011

A fabulous Christmas

I was so glad I offered to host Christmas Day at our place this year. All the family were invited to come from about 3 pm and stay for a meal. The ladies all brought a contribution towards the meal with them so the menu comprised cold meats (turkey breast, leg ham, cold chicken cuts) and fresh king prawns. We had pasta salad, coleslaw, green salad, pineapple, tomatoes, beetroot slices, asparagus, sweet corn, cocktail onions and bread rolls for main course. Then for dessert... my daughter-in-law made a beautiful warm lemon and raspberry bread and butter pudding and mini cupcakes, my brother's partner made a gingerbread house for the kids and decorated mince pies and my oldest daughter brought the makings of mini pavlovas. I also bought a traditional Christmas pudding and a cake, but we didn't even cut them up on the night, there was so much other good food. So now the fridge is groaning with leftover food and hubby and I are finding it hard not to indulge ourselves a little. We won't mention all the chocolates and other food gifted to us, lucky they all have long use-by dates on the packages LOL. We had 19 adults and 6 children under 4 as well as my yet-to-be-born baby grandson. The day was intermittent cloud and sun, with a pleasant breeze in the afternoon. We assembled our blow up castle/slide in the backyard for the kids and so everyone sat on the ground on doonas or on the outdoor setting with nibbles and drinks watching the kids (including some "Big kids") play on the equipment. The littlies all got on well together with only minor skirmishes now and then. Christmas is such a big thing for the kids, they get over excited and tire quickly but it was a lovely family afternoon. My mother and father-in-law joined us. They are both widowed now and over 80, so they really enjoyed the time with the great grandchildren. It certainly reminded me of the great times I had as a child at my own grandmother's home sitting outside on the lawn with the family at Christmas. Hopefully we'll have many more such happy times in the future. On boxing day we delivered my little grandsons their cubby house gift as promised. Riley (3) helped unpack the box and found the instructions for the men and then didn't stop smiling the whole time he helped assemble the little house.
Riley was very quick to start "screwing together" the fence using only the picture on the box to guide him! Pop and Dad got busy screwing together the main parts of the house while Riley acted as Foreman of the site LOL
Here is the completed house being checked over, Riley couldn't wait to get inside and that big smile made it all worthwhile. Several family members contributed towards the purchase of this much loved cubby house for the boys. PS apologies for the set out of this post, Blogger won't let me put in paragraphs at the moment !!

"Alien" visitors

The weather has been so damp and humid in Sydney since late November that it was inevitable that some stinkhorn fungii would start to pop up in the garden. They really do look like an alien life form, so bizarre. Apparently there are over 77 varieties worldwide and the first one I've shown is indigenous to Australia. We've had about a dozen of the thin orange/pink variety called phallus rubicanus
popping up in the mulch in the garden next to the letter box (mailbox). The next one is the anenome or star stinkhorn and this is the largest I've ever seen in our garden, about 8 cm across the centre and can I say they REALLY live up to their names, peeeeuuuuuwwwww. There is a crop of about 10 next to our BBQ under a grevillea shrub.
So you can see why I'm very glad my little granddaughter Amelie (who loves digging in the garden) will not be visiting every Monday for a while. Her mum is on maternity leave waiting for the birth of our 4th grandchild and 3rd grandson in a week or so. Amelie would be so attracted to the bright red "flowers" and the smell is hard to get off your fingers if you are unfortunate enough to touch one.

Thursday, December 08, 2011

The year in review

It's just over 2 weeks till Christmas Day and I've organised 1 gift so far! It's been a year of mixed blessings here. My husband has been diagnosed with bi-lateral peripheral neuropathy (tingling and numb feet) which has really impacted both our lives. He cannot drive very far these days but has started a Pilates therapy programme and hopes to get some relief. I've finally started seeing a therapist regularly so hope to get my anxiety disorder under a bit of control. We farewelled my step-father in late October and 2 days later our 3rd grandchild Aiden James was born to my son and his wife Bel, and in January (or sooner) we're welcoming another little grandson, a brother for Miss Amelie. So as you can see, we're living in a real soap opera here LOL I guess Life is like that don't they say Truth is stranger than Fiction? We had another family wedding in July and my 3rd daughter announced her engagement on her birthday in September so I suppose we'll be looking at wedding plans next year. I began the Intermediate Historical and Contemporary Embroidery Course in February at the Embroiderers' Guild NSW and attend once a month for 2 years. The homework has been challenging while I've been ill, but I think things will improve next year as my medication kicks in and I start to feel better. I'm booked to install another exhibition at Hambledon Cottage Parramatta in May, this time featuring infants wear from the Victorian and Edwardian era. I welcome your suggestions for a catchy title. I continue to do Guest Speaker gigs with my travelling trunk show of costumes and vintage underwear, and teach children textiles and fibre arts at the Embroiderers' Guild. Miss Amelie will not be coming on Mondays each week in 2012 as her Mum will be on maternity leave, but promises to bring her to visit frequently. We formed such a strong bond with my granddaughter over the 2 or so years I've been minding her and she has slept over successfully several times. I'm going to miss my Nana Naps with her LOL So to all regular readers and followers, I wish you all the Joy of the Season and a very happy and prosperous 2012.

I've joined TAST 2012 too

I'm really looking forward to Tuesday January 3rd 2012, because that's the day Sharon B starts TAST 2012. For those who don't know, Take a Stitch Tuesday is an online tutorial which Sharon share's with stitchers all around the world every Tuesday. There are over 500 participants signed up so far, so if you like the idea of stitching along with so many friends worldwide, and sharing triumphs and problems via your blog, pop over to Pintangle here and sign up. Follow Sharon's excellent directions and strap yourself in for a fabulous journey !