27 April, 2006

I was going to write about thirteen things about waiting for a friend to give birth. I even got to number 12. Then I thought, that's her story to tell (but she doesn't have a blog) and I should come up with something else. Ummmm. How about Thirteen things I have done for this baby already - and it's not born yet. Nor is it mine. (See previous posts if you're confused). By the way, my friend said her waters broke yesterday, but the doctor disagreed. He said that the leakage was backwaters. WHAT THE HELL ARE BACKWATERS??? I think they just invent terms. She got her membranes stripped today, so things should be moving along now. Or soon...
  1. I have made it two quilts. I'm not really happy with either of them, but have run out of time to make a third.
  2. I have made it four burp cloths. They're cute. Too cute for a baby to puke on, but that's okay.
  3. I have bought it a book on baby massage. That is aimed at the baby getting the massage, not giving it.
  4. I have been dragged to baby shops all around Townsville by my friend, because her partner refused to go. I should have refused, too.
  5. I have given vehement disapproval over some shockers of names and the child should thank me one day for that alone.
  6. I have promised to show it's mum how to put a cloth nappy on it (they'll only use disposables in the hospital). And my friend has never held a baby, let alone changed a nappy.
  7. I have had two sleepless nights, waiting for action that never eventuated
  8. I have taken it's mother swimming on several occasions as it's the only exercise she can get now.
  9. I have done two belly casts of the baby's mother and neither of them worked (number two is still in progress). Always use a belly kit.
  10. I have agreed to be there for the baby's arrival. I have agreed to stay there no matter how grossed out I get. I have agreed to hide how grossed out I am (if I am).
  11. I have agreed to miss a day of work to be at the birth.
  12. I have the list of phone numbers to call the families (all over the world) while the new family bond. Though I think the news would be better coming from the new Dad. Maybe that one will change at the time.
  13. I am seriously hoping that this birth does not change my resolve about never wanting children because I just don't want them (reasons are many). Okay, that one isn't really something I've done for the baby, but I'm out of ideas.

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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, please use the auto-link. And comments are always much appreciated. Only if you leave a comment will I visit your Thirteen and leave a comment in return.
View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

26 April, 2006

I was going to write this in-depth post about Anzac Day (yes, it is a national holiday, like Memorial Day in the US) and what it's all about. But a good friend has just gone into labour and I am her birth partner so I'm off to play doula. Which I have never done before. Am excited and daunted. Wish me (and her) lots of luck.

But before I go, the Anzac biscuit recipe:

1 cup rolled oats
1 cup plain flour
1 cup sugar (DON'T forget the sugar)
1 cup desiccated coconut
125g butter
2 tbsp golden syrup
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1 tbsp boiling water

Set oven to 150C.
Mix oats, flour, sugar and coconut together. Don't forget the sugar.
Melt the butter and golden syrup.
Mix the bicarb soda with the water and add to the butter/syrup mix.
Add to the dry ingredients.
Place a teaspoon of mixture on a greased baking tray. Allow room for spreading.
Bake for about 20 minutes or until they're golden brown.
After taking them out, loosen them while warm and let cool on the tray.
Makes about 35.

Meh, I'm still waiting on the phone call to go and assist the birth - seems nothing is happening right now...

ANZAC stands for Australian and New Zealand Army Corps. The best place to find out about the ANZAC tradition is here. And if you can get your hands on the movie Gallipoli (has Mel Gibson in it), watch it. Is one of the best movies my school ever forced me to watch. Basically, on Anzac Day, we remember those who fought for Australia (and New Zealand) from WW1 onwards. The dawn service commemorates the time of day, on 25 April, 1915 that troops came ashore at Gallipoli, Turkey. The service is often very moving, particularly when you hear lines like these:

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.
(part of The Ode, which is often read out on Anzac Day)

Those heroes that shed their blood
And lost their lives...
You are now living in the soil of a friendly country,
Therefore rest in peace.
There is no difference between the Johnnies
And the Mehmets to us where they lie side by side
Here in this country of ours...
You, the mothers,
Who sent their sons from faraway countries
Wipe away your tears;
Your sons are now lying in our bosom
And are in peace.
After having lost their lives on this land
They have become our sons as well.
A speech that Ataturk (who founded the Turkish republic) said in 1934.

25 April, 2006

In honour of Anzac Day...

...I baked some Anzac biscuits. This first lot are the sugar-free variety. Yes, I know that you can't make Anzac biscuits without sugar. I had a friend helping me. She was meant to mix the dry ingredients. She forgot the sugar. It's all her fault. (She is pregnant and her due date is today, so I suppose I can forgive her for having other things on her mind...)

This is the second batch. These have sugar in them. They're soft and sweet and taste just as they should. And they look as they should as well, not like the crumbly rocks above.

I celebrated Anzac Day (can you actually celebrate Anzac Day?) by going for a long run in the morning. I would have gone to a dawn service, but it was - you know - AT DAWN. My run started at about 7:00 am. Dawn was around 5:00 am. That's two sleeping hours there. I did watch some of the parades on TV. And I made said biscuits. So I feel I have marked the occasion well enough. For a person who couldn't get their lazy ass out of bed to go to the dawn service.

22 April, 2006

Remember the nest I saved from destruction? This is whose life I saved. Nothing so exotic as a sunbird or anything. I think this is a baby sparrow. At least it's not an Indian Myna. I took the picture through the blinds - hence the fuzzy lines in the foreground.

I came home tonight to find an intruder. Green and slimy and about 5cm long. But I had the last laugh: my floor is so filthy it got caught up in a strand of my hair!!!

Same little guy, enjoying the baby quilt I finished a few weeks ago. After posing for a few more shots, he let me take him outside, into the rain.

And lastly, another flower from the front garden.

19 April, 2006

Thirteen places I really want to visit one day:
  1. India and Sri Lanka. And do (among other things) a tiger safari from the back of an elephant.
  2. The Kokoda Track. Have heard many stories, now need to experience it for myself.
  3. Antarctica. In the summer. Sunshine all day and all night.
  4. Sicily. I went to Italy, but never went further south than Naples. And I wish I had.
  5. South America. Overland from top to bottom. Or bottom to top. I'm not fussy.
  6. The Marquesa Islands. I know very little about them. But I hear they are gorgeous.
  7. West Africa. When it's safe. And when I learn French. Maybe I'll go before either of those happen.
  8. The Galapagos Islands. Have always been fascinated by the marine iguanas. And all the other life that abounds there.
  9. Prague. Was so close and yet, so far. I never made it there and wish I had. There are SO many things I'd love to see.
  10. Paris. For reasons, see number 9.
  11. Gallipoli (in Turkey). But not on Anzac Day. Some time when it's quieter and the Aussie tourist hype is not quite as great.
  12. China. Would like to walk the Great Wall from one end to the other.
  13. Lake Eyre, South Australia. A huge salt lake (when there is water in it). The bird life is (apparently) amazing.

There are many more. But I'm at 13 already.

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I am using auto-link to link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted! Most especially comments. I LOVE comments.
I have a new rule - if you don't want to leave a comment, that is perfectly ok. I still love the comments, but you don't have to leave one. But then, I just won't leave one on yours. And I am so witty and full of wisdom (some may perceive that wisdom as crap) that missing out on a comment from me would really be your loss. Such a huge loss...

17 April, 2006


Oooooh, I love those words! Melli over at Insanity Prevails has tagged me for a six weird things meme (I don't think it actually has a title, but anyway). I'm to find six weird things about myself and then tag six people to do this too. Fun, fun. But I'm just so normal. How can I find six weird things?

1. I just noticed that it's weird that the word 'weird' doesn't follow the "I before E except after C rule." Okay, I'm not talking about weird things about me here, just how pedantic I am about spelling. Maybe that's weird thing number 1 - bad writing (spelling and grammer) drives me INSANE. Reading a few errors in a blog is fine - who can be bothered to go back and correct a typo once the post has been published? Not me! Often. But if I'm at work and I'm reading a document that hasn't been checked for errors, I start to get palpitations and headaches and an urge to call the author and abuse them. I haven't acted on that ... so far. And those who only use the spellchecker to correct their documents and nothing else (this has particular relevance if a person has used US English throughout their work instead of Australian English because there are SO MANY differences between US and Australian spelling). Okay, spelling rant is over.

2. I have heaps of recipes. Many from the internet. I even have a folder on my computer labelled Recipes. And in that are sub-folders divided into entree, mains, desserts, etc. And I HATE cooking. I think that, of these, the only recipe I used was one for paella - and I'm not even a big fan of seafood. Which leads me to...

3. I recently found out I have a cholesterol reading of 4.1. Which is really normal and healthy and I should be proud of it and all. But my doctor told me I should eat more fish, anyway. I don't like to eat fish (love the taste but have overfishing issues). And I'm not too keen on the doctor. I bought fish oil capsules so I don't have to eat the fish (and hope I am not contributing to global overfishing by doing so). And am changing doctors. Not because of her weird advice, just because I think she's not very nice.

4. I quilt a lot. And started because my brother's ex started doing it and I thought, "anything she can do I can do better." And I can. But I'm not catty, or anything. Really I'm not.... I just started and found it was relaxing. And functional. Well, not so much when you live in the tropics and have a need for a quilt maybe one week out of the year, but still...

5. I can't give away any quilts unless I make them with the intention of giving them away. Consequently, I have a LOT of quilts in my house. So when people come to visit, they'll alway be rugged up and will never get cold. Forget the fact that they won't get cold because it's the tropics and anything below 20˚C starts rumours that the next ice age has begun, and speculation that global warming is just another government conspiracy theory...

6. Even though I lived overseas for seven years, I have an amazing urge to up and leave again. There are so many places I have to see. My next adventure will be a tiger safari from the back of an elephant, followed by wandering aimlessly through Sri Lanka and India. But dammit, I have to work. So am hunting for a sugar daddy. Or a winning lottery ticket.

Woohoo! That's six weird things about me. Trust me, there are SO MANY more. I now have to tag six others. You don't have to answer these, but I chose you guys coz I'd really like to see six weird things about you all. And aside from ShellyC, I don't know much about any of you. The six people I tag will be:

1. ShellyC

2. doubleknot

3. surfing free

4. Sandy

5. Lady Rose

6. Wendy (I really want to know six weird things that happened on your o/s trip...)

Note that I was going to tag Carmen, but she has been tagged eight million (okay, three) times already and I didn't want her to feel TOO popular :)

15 April, 2006

The new hedge

And this is the hedge out the front of the house (see previous post). The birds nest is up the top. Yes, it looks ridiculous, but what could I do? I didn't want to knock it down because that would be a few less native birds - and the Indian mynas are doing an excellent job of decimating the native bird population without my support. Posted by Picasa

Random stuff

As the title suggests, this will be a random bunch of stuff that has happened over the past week. Last weekend I went to Bunnings for - well, I forget, and it's not really that important anyway - and found this little guy faithfully waiting in the car for it's owner.

Oh, I did buy some seedlings, which started flowering this morning, so I have a little bit of prettyness near the front door. Still need to go and get some vegie seedlings at some stage - now that the weather is starting to cool down a little, some plants might just survive longer than two weeks.

This morning I decided to trim the hedge out the front. The first time I did this, it took forever and my hands were wounded for days. Now, it doesn't take nearly as long, and I'm not quite so delicate (or maybe that's because I just cut off shoots instead of whole branches now). Anyway, I was hacking away, and was close to finishing when I noticed this. The nest was so well hidden, and had I seen it in the beginning I probably wouldn't have started cutting. Now, I did put in a picture to show what the end product looked like but, my issues with Hello being what they are, it's not there. I'll include that in a minute...

And changing the subject completely, I have now banned myself from buying any more fabric. Except when I find stuff I really like. And when there is a sale on. Like here - this stuff cost me $1.50 (there is about a metre of each). Don't know what I'll do with it yet.

And this stuff was on sale also. May be the next quilt. Or, it may be the next in the quilt queue. That keeps growing!!

But I did manage to finish this yesterday morning. Didn't have enough fabric for the binding that I wanted (and only realised this after I had cut out, sewn and ironed the binding and found out I was about 1m short), so I raced to the shop where I had bought the stuff and, of course, they had run out of that fabric. But I was lucky enough to get something that matched. The clamshell quilting on the borders was inspired by the amazing work of Finn (hope you don't mind me borrowing your idea, Finn) and I love it as something different around the edges. I always say that a quilt is not "real" unless it has some mistakes in it. So best not to zoom in too close because, my God, there are some whoppers of mistakes in there. I just don't understand how, when you have pieces of fabric exactly the same size and you sew them with exactly the same amount of seam allowance and then you join the strips of pieced fabric together, you can end up with a 2cm discrepancy. I'm not kidding. But this quilt has taken me months and I'm just glad it's done.

12 April, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

This picture was taken at the second-hand shop where I usually buy most of my books. So here are thirteen books I have on my bookshelf that I am yet to read.
  1. Silent spring - Rachel Carson
  2. The sound of one hand clapping - Richard Flanagan
  3. Cry freedom - John Bailey
  4. My brilliant career - Miles Franklin
  5. The unbearable lightness of being - Milan Kundera
  6. Maya - Jostein Gaarder
  7. The grapes of wrath - John Steinbeck
  8. The magus - John Fowles
  9. Self - Yann Martel
  10. The sea - John Banville
  11. Eucalyptus - Murray Bail
  12. The Canterbury tales - Geoffrey Chaucer
  13. Anna Karenina - Leo Tolstoy
And that is nowhere near all of them...!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, please use the auto-link. And comments are always much appreciated. Leave a comment and I will visit your Thirteen in return.


08 April, 2006

Look what Larry did!!

This is the latest Cyclone Larry email making the rounds. I've been sent this twice, so far. Not sure if it's in really poor taste (as opposed to just average poor taste), but it's the only picture of the devastation that I have. To those who were not aware, about 80% of Australia's banana crops were destroyed in Cyclone Larry.

05 April, 2006

Thursday Thirteen

A quick Thursday Thirteen (again posting stupidly early - or late on Wednesday night).

This is a picture of The Strand (Townsville waterfront) taken on Monday night with the camera on my phone.

Thirteen reasons why I'm glad summer is coming to an end
  1. The mosquitoes leave.
  2. The sandflies leave.
  3. The box jellyfish leave.
  4. The stinger nets (swimming enclosures to prevent getting stung by the deadly box jellies) get pulled in.
  5. The cyclone threat ends.
  6. The rains stop.
  7. The humidity drops.
  8. The roads open and Queensland becomes accessible again.
  9. The night markets start.
  10. The outdoor concerts do too.
  11. The ocean resembles a glass of water rather than a cup of coffee.
  12. The whales arrive.
  13. My sister and her family arrive.
Note that 12 and 13 are two separate things - my sister's family are not whales.....
Note also that my mum has just started a Thursday 13, so go visit. If you'd like to.

Links to other Thursday 13s
(am not doing the autolink this week, just for a change, so please leave a comment instead. I'll get you all posted sometime soon...)
  1. EPH2810

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

View More Thursday Thirteen Participants

04 April, 2006

Tonight's menu...

White wine with vegemite sandwiches.

I am all class!!

02 April, 2006

Townsville Orchid Society Show

More from the orchid show

These ones were for sale. I was too scared to buy any for fear that my usual orchid mistreatment would finally result in orchid death. So I was just content to look and take pics. And wait to win the raffle of a basket full of orchids. Which I clearly didn't win, otherwise that would be in this pile of photos too...

01 April, 2006

A random bunch of stuff

Okay, this is the post where I ramble. So be warned and leave now (having said that, please excuse me if the post is seven lines long).

Big news first - I got 50 comments on my Thursday Thirteen. I am fast becoming a blog-whore (is that what they call them?) - and sorta proud of it too. Am especially happy with all the people who said the quilts were gorgeous, and the flower too. For those who wondered about getting new TT banners - I probably do it the long way, but here's what I do. I copy a photo and paste it into Microsoft PowerPoint. I then resize it so it takes up the space of the whole slide. Then I go to WordArt (for me, that's the blue A on and angle on the bottom tool bar) and choose the text I want to scrawl on the picture. Once you've written what you want and it appears on the slide, you can resize it and move it wherever you want. Once I'm happy, I right-click on the slide and go to "save as picture". Then I post in on the blog. I was stunned when I first did it and it actually worked.

Other news - and still on Thursday Thirteens - my mum just posted one. Yes, I know it's Saturday, but it's a great list, because it's about ME so go visit and comment and tell her how accurate she is (even if you don't know any better).

On Monday I got sick of my mobile selectively ringing (I think it has a mind of it's own and it screens the calls and then chooses what to let through), so I went to the phone shop and got a new phone for free. Well, I'm on the same ancient plan I've always been on. Which actually doens't exist anymore, but since I've been a loyal customer (not sure how you can be disloyal when you're under contract) for three years, they were really nice to me. And my phone does this:

This is the path I take sometimes when walking home. To the left is the creek and those trees are mangroves and those mangroves house lots of sandflies, so the scene is a little deceiving. I've only just worked out how to upload pictures from the phone onto the computer. And when I did, I realised that it takes pretty shitty pictures... but it does ring when people call, which is actually why I got it. And it has a flip top so is really compact and will be easy to lose. Good one, Tanya.

Okay, now the ramble has come to an end. Told you it would be pretty short. Am off garage-saleing. Posted by Picasa