Thursday, December 14, 2006

Evil, evil stomach bug and busy weekend

Billy has had a rather nasty stomach bug this week. On Saturday we went to the Wiggles concert (more to come on that) where he developed a slight case of diarrhea and then vomited at McDonalds afterwards (and no, he hadn't even had a chance to eat the food lol). He was sick a couple of times on Sunday then seemed fine on Monday & Tuesday - just not eating a great deal. Tuesday night he was sick again a couple of times and yesterday was sick on average every 1hr - 1.5hrs.. *sigh* We ended up taking him up to the after hours clinic last night as I was starting to get worried about dehydration. The dr all but patted me on the head, told me he wasn't too dehydrated and to go home and watch him - duh! Anyway he seems a bit better today - hasn't been sick since last night (fingers crossed!) and has had a piece of bread to eat. It's only supposed to be a 48 hr bug - it's running rampant right through the valley..

Anyway, on Saturday we went to the Wiggles concert - we had great seats side on to the stage and got to see everything really well. Billy took a flower to give to Dorothy so he was pretty excited about that!

Sunday we had Xmas day up at my Mum & Dads - they go away this week so we had to have it early. We had lunch out at the club, and then half of us went to Christie's speech presentation (she was excellent of course!). While we were gone Billy developed a really high temperature and we had to stick him in a cold bath when we got home to get it down. He wasn't happy about that at all! Then we opened presents, had pizza for tea and opened lots more presents!

We put the Xmas tree up last Saturday. It was really special this year - we're starting to get lots of "homemade" decorations that you can look at and get nostalgic as to who made it and when..

We just dressed up Mum's life-size doll "Jenny" as Santa - she's sitting on the front verandah waving to the neighbours now! Thanks for the idea Jodi!! The Santa suit was only $5 from The Reject Shop, the shoes & belt were old ones of mine - she's a pretty cheap decoration and we'll be able to position her in a different spot each day just to amuse ourselves :)

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Photos of our garden

Our front garden is looking great atm - it's an odd combination of protea, kangaroo paw, oyster plants and hydrangeas, but it looks very colourful!

Family reunion

We had the 3rd annual family reunion of my Mum's side on Sunday - my grandmother, mum's siblings, their kids and their kids (and partners of all of the above!). It's a good day - it started off 3 years ago for my grandmother's b'day and has turned into an annual get-together at Norah Head. We take over the park above Hargraves Beach for a BYO picnic lunch, and then the adventurous climb down the hundred-odd steps (not sure if there's that many but it feels like it!) to the beach. My cousins rented the lighthouse cottage for the week as well, so we went back there for afternoon tea. It's a nice relaxing day and great to catch up with everyone. However my calves are sooooo sore from the steps - I had to climb up and down twice as we forgot to take Billy's bucket & spade down the first time!!

I won a book today - it's the 1st prize I've won for myself after the ballet tickets for my nieces and 4 tubes of men's facial cleanser for Pete :) I won Tara Moss's new one, Hit, from a New Idea competition. It was a 25 word or less competition too so I'm doubly stoked with it!

The Use-it-up challenge continues - so far I've removed from the list:
  • fish fingers
  • sweet rice
  • bread ends (now in the freezer as breadcrumbs)

Slowly getting there!

Friday, November 24, 2006

'Use-it-up' update..

I've managed to use up a couple of bits & pieces:

* the tuna & pasta from the freezer were lunch for Billy & I the other day
* I toasted some of the pine nuts and added them to a stirfry
* I made a loaf of pumpkin & sunflower bread using 1 lot of gramma and some of the sunflower seeds - not bad, a bit heavy on the cumin though

I'll dry the bread ends out in the oven tomorrow night while I'm cooking tea, so they're ready to make into breadcrumbs.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I've heard of a 'flea in the ear'..

I can't believe I forgot to write this about Monday morning - I woke up at 2:30 with a bug flying into my ear! Trying to get it out just lodged it deeper until I had to go up to emergency to get it out! The worst of it was it was still alive and flying around inside my ear canal - it was the worst feeling. I felt like ripping my ear off to stop it. I ended up tipping water in to try and dislodge it - at least that drowned it and stopped it moving in my ear! Anyway 2 hours up at Emergency of our local hospital and they couldn't get it out - it was lodged too deeply (it was right next to the ear drum). So I had to get a referral to the Newcastle hospital for yesterday, where they suctioned it out! My ear is sore atm, not sure if it's just where they were poking and prodding - hopefully it won't get infected on top of everything!

Monday, November 20, 2006

'Use it up' challenge

I'm following on from a friend's challenge - she's made a list of everything that needs to be 'used up' in the pantry etc. ( I'm very guilty of buying stuff for a 'gourmet' recipe and then never using it again. So here's my list - I'll report on how much I've managed to use up as I go over the next few weeks.

  • garlic lime chicken rub
  • berry flakes / banana bits
  • sunflower seeds
  • pine nuts
  • paw paw & tomato chutney
  • dragonfruit and chili sauce
  • dragonfruit dessert sauce
  • polenta
  • apple cider vinegar
  • white wine vinegar
  • red wine vinegar (see a trend here?!)
  • arborio rice


  • salsa x 2
  • capers
  • 1/2 block copha
  • hoisin sauce
  • tandoori curry paste


  • bread ends (make breadcrumbs)
  • puff pastry
  • capsicum
  • chilis
  • zucchini
  • pineapple slices
  • thai curry paste
  • soup x 5
  • frankfurts
  • sweet rice
  • pasta spirals
  • tuna
  • fish fingers
  • mashed gramma

Any suggestions gratefully accepted!

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Billy's sunflower

Baking day & assorted bits..

We made 4 lots of biccies yesterday using a bulk recipe from the Savings Vault - 1 lot of jam biscuits, 1 lot of cocoa & peppermint, 1 lot of hundreds & thousands, and 1 lot of sultana & cinnamon. I even found out how to make your own condensed milk! The biscuits are very yummy - I've frozen most of them so that will do us for treats for a while.

I have some tiny shoots coming up in the vege garden - not sure what yet, but I'm pretty excited :) My herbs bit the dust - the pots blew down and broke in the strong winds the other day. Bummer..

I finally listed some more stuff on Oztion in the hope of making a bit extra before Xmas. No nibbles yet but still 5 days to go. Hopefully I'll find some more time to list this week too.

My teaching has finished for the year - I'm quite relieved about that. I don't think I'll be doing any teaching next year for the main college I've worked at for the past few years - the timetable doesn't look like it will work out for me. I'm not sure if that's by design or not, but I'm not really worried. I'm planning on doing the Cert IV of Workplace Training and Assessment qualification next year which is on Wednesdays - I'd told the guy who was doing the timetabling that I couldn't do Wednesdays anymore and that's when my courses ended up... C'est la vie..

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Home Scan

I just got a phone call from AC Nielsen inviting me to join their "Home Scan" program where you get a little gadget and scan everything you buy - groceries, fruit & veg etc - for market research. I'm not 100% certain how the rewards bits works yet but you earn points for doing it that you can redeem for vouchers, gifts etc. I'm strangely excited by it :) It should tie in well with me wanting to get back to keeping track of what I'm buying.

Sunday, November 12, 2006


I finally got motivated enough to do some planting today. I have a big garden down the back but I have to admit to letting it get over-run. I get keen, clear it out, plant and then because it's either too hot or too cold and too far away, I don't get back to it. I'm not a very consistent gardener :(

So I got a foam box from Aldi (discarded fruit box), and have planted some salad vegetables at the back door. Tomatoes (cherry & Roma), carrots and spring onions. It may or may not work but it's worth a try! I'll get some lettuce seedlings once I see how these go. I also replanted the parsley and oregano in my hanging baskets, and Billy planted some flower seeds in another pot - I'm pretty sure the seeds were waaaay out of date so I'd be very surprised if anything came up but at least he felt useful!

Time to get serious again

We've just been coasting along financially lately, not really getting into more debt, but not really getting too much ahead with paying it off either. So plan of attack:

* redo the budget for the latest interest rate rise
* update price book with Aldi prices
* stop frittering little bits of money away - it's "only" $2 here, $2 there but it adds up
- start taking snacks again when we go out rather than buying,
- empty purse of money each day - only take what we will need for the day,
- go back to recording what we're spending

I only have one more week of teaching - when that's over I will have reduced income, but it will also give me more time to be organised and is the major cause of the little extras - buying a can of coke and/or packet of chips, tea on the nights I work etc.

Monday, November 06, 2006


I did another shop at Aldi today. I need to restart my price book - I know most things were comparable in price to Bilo from memory, but some things I think may be slightly dearer. There are a couple of things I can't get at Aldi (like wholemeal flour) so it will mean the occasional shop at Bilo as well, if there are things that are cheaper there I may as well pick them up at the same time. I think I must be on version 6-million of my price-book. One of these days I'll find something that I will stick with! If only the prices would stop going up all the time :D

Saturday, November 04, 2006

A flash of sunshine..

I just looked out of the window on a drizzly morning to see a sunflower growing in our vegetable garden! What a cheery sight! Billy had "planted" some seeds some time ago (I think he just lay them on top of the soil) - obviously the birds had missed seeing it :)

Monday, October 23, 2006

Back to "normal"

Back to what passes as normal in our life.

We had an excellent time on our trip. We drove down to Sydney on the Friday morning and left our car at Grant's place. He dropped us at Pennant Hills train station - so Billy had his first train ride into the city. We got off at Wynyard - a comfortable walk to the hotel (Old Sydney Holiday Inn in the Rocks) normally - but not with a heavy suitcase! We'd been up at the crack of dawn to drive down, so we ended up not doing a lot that afternoon. Went out to a Pizza place for tea - mmm, real pizza! Saturday we caught the ferry from Circular Quay around to Darling Harbour (Billy's first ferry ride) and went to the aquarium. It was quite good, and we were early enough to avoid the crowds, but Billy is a hands-on person and just looking isn't his cup of tea! We probably set a world record for the fastest time around the aquarium :)

We walked back to the room and after lunch Pete & I went over to the Opera House to watch "The Tempest" while a 'Dial-an-angel' babysitter looked after Billy. The play was excellent - it's the first time John Bell has been in one of his productions for years and he stole the show. I just wish there were more of the originals in the cast these days - people like Christopher Stollery, Sean O'Shea etc. The new casts still seem to be finding their feet.

Sunday was up bright and early to catch the shuttle bus at 6am over to the airport. Check-in was remarkably painless thanks to the "eTicket" touchscreens - it's the first time I've used them. The flight went well (Billy's first flight!) - no problems with his ears - and thanks to the novelty of everything, the stuff I'd packed for him to do (plus his new Dora drawer) and the kid's pack he got on board, he was fairly well entertained.

We arrived in Adelaide, picked up the hire car (again no problems - can you tell I was expecting something to go wrong?!), and started heading in the general direction of Emma's house. I rang her on the road to find out her address and get directions lol. We ended up meeting Dave and Vippy at a shopping centre not far from the freeway and followed them home. We visited at their place for a while, then went out to lunch at Grumpy's Brewhaus for yummy pizza. Back to their place for afternoon tea, a "cat hunt" and lots of chatting! Billy & Vippy played well together considering they'd only met once when they were about 18 mo (and they were both essentially only children up until Ashie was born).

The next day we headed for the Barossa Wine Region for a quick look around. We went via the giant Rocking Horse that you could climb up! One of us had to stay on the ground to take photos so I volunteered! One of the breweries Pete wanted to visit wasn't open until the weekend, but we did manage to get to Maggie Beer's to sample her wonderful sauces, pates etc. Down to the other side of Adelaide the next day for a look around at Goolwa (and a brewery tour at Steam Exchange), and Victor Harbour - both lovely, laid-back places.

We stayed at Glenelg Beach that night - we had been going to meet with Emma et al the next day but it was going to be about 35 deg C, Vippy wasn't well and she'd cut her foot on some glass! so we postponed it to Friday. We caught the tram (another first for Billy) into the city, had a look around at the mall, did a bit of shopping and came back out. The tram trip back out was a nightmare - packed to the rafters with school kids heading for the beach!

Thursday we headed up to Semaphore Beach to go on the steam train that didn't run due to the hot weather!, then over to Port Adelaide (another brewery tour) - they've really made it nice up there. We spent an hour or two at the Investigator Science Centre - it was very similar to the science part at our museum and Billy loved it! I even learned some things from the show :)

Friday we met up with Em, Vippy & Ashie at Brighton Beach. The wind was cold and it had started to rain by the time we left. The kids seemed to have a good time playing in the water but it was a bit too much by the end and we had a few tears on both sides :)

Saturday we headed back up to the Barossa to go to the brewery that wasn't open on our previous trip - good thing too as they were so helpful and we learnt so much from them. Sunday we finished our trip by visiting Hahndorf - an old German village. Very touristy but a pleasant way to spend a morning (and a great sausage lunch!). Our plane left in the afternoon - it was raining by the time we got back into Sydney. Fortunately Grant picked us up from the airport which saved us a fair bit of time. It was a late night home as it was.

A great trip - even though we ate too much and spent too much! It was great to see Emma & Dave again, see how much Velouria had grown and see the new addition Asherah!

The next day Pete headed off on his brewing course, and I picked Charlene and Eve up at the train station in Newcastle. We first met Charlene (daughter) and Eve (Mum) on our trip around Europe in 1999 and became firm friends. We stayed with them when we went over to NZ a few years later. It was great to see them - it was just like we had seen each other only a few months ago, not years. We didn't do a lot - a bit of shopping, had a look around Morpeth, and watched a few DVDs. They left again on Thursday.

I think the house is finally back to normal - all the washing & ironing done, the grocery shopping done and the suitcases away!

Saturday, September 30, 2006

I finished!!

I just finished the coding for the 2nd-hand bookstore website! Now it's over to the client for testing and probably a few tweaks, then put it live once the domain is finalised.

Poor Swannies couldn't defend their premiership today - they went down by 1 point. I only saw the last 10 minutes and it was a nailbiter! I heard that it was the closest grand final since the 60s! Pete, Grant, Daz & Julie drove down to watch it - a long way to go for them not to win, but apparently the atmosphere was excellent.

We only have a few days until we go to Adelaide - we leave on Friday for Sydney for a few days first and then fly out on Sunday. We get back late on the following Sunday night, then Charlene and Eve are coming to stay for a few days, and Pete has his brew course as well. So I'm busy trying to juggle finishing off the website (now done!!!!), finishing a few jobs for a couple of other clients before we go away and trying to get the house ready for visitors! I'm not getting to bed until late and Billy is waking up at the crack of dawn (6am this morning), so I am very tired.. In fact I think I'll go to bed right now :)

Thursday, September 21, 2006

My first comping win!

I'm so excited - I just won a double pass to see Giselle at the Parramatta Riverside Theatre. I'm passing them onto my ballet mad niece - she's so excited too!!!

Sunday, September 17, 2006


Well I came home from doing a mystery shop this morning to find Michelangelo had decided to get the markers out and use the CARPET in his bedroom as a canvas!!!!! What was he thinking?!!!
Anyone want a 4 year old??! Free to a good home - heck, any home will do :)

Friday, September 15, 2006


Do you ever feel like you have to be everything to everyone? That you're being pulled in a million different directions and if any of them exert extra pressure you're going to shatter into a million pieces??

My life is like one of those plate spinners at the circus - life is fine while all the plates are spinning ok, but once they all start needing attention, that's when the trouble starts..

I think I need a long soak in a bubble bath with a trashy book tonight.. Now to find if I have any bubbles that Billy hasn't used up..

Wednesday, September 13, 2006


I have become addicted to a new site - It's Australian and lists thousands of competitions to enter!! I've entered competitions before but tend to get disheartened when I don't win - so hopefully if I enter enough, I'll start to win lol.

I'm busy with the new bookshop website - it's going well so far. Just taking a break from it now to ponder what direction to go in with one section.

Billy's at preschool today - I love Wednesdays and Thursdays! He seems to talk or sing or just make nonsense sounds CONSTANTLY. Plus he follows me around while he's doing it - I still can't go to the loo in peace! It's so nice to have peace and quiet so I can think. I'm really struggling with fitting work in now that he's not napping - I have to do it at night but by the time night comes around I'm usually too tired... I have to keep reminding myself that I work from home so I can be with him - it is my choice and I just have to be flexible and cope with the new routine.. Oh and copious amounts of caffeine may help too :)

Monday, September 11, 2006

Born salesman!

Billy had set up a fruit shop in the loungeroom the other night. His value-adding and product placement was very good - he was also selling peelers right next to the apples & pears :)

Anyway, I picked up an apple & pear to buy and he charged me $50 each - I commented that it was very expensive fruit and his comeback - "But this is a very, very, very, very, very good fruit shop!!!!" LOL

Thursday, September 07, 2006

This week

So what's been going on this week?

Billy finally finished the antibiotics - yay! He's completely fine now.

Boutique Bubs website ( website finally went live - I'm quite pleased with it and I think Kellie is too.

Pete's been away in Sydney for a few days for his Masters - I think that's it as far as the courses go, he just has to complete a couple more assignments and he will be finished!

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Happy Father's Day

It was Father's Day today, Billy was at Mum & Dad's place because I had to work. They went to the cemetery where my grandfather (Mum's Dad) is buried to put flowers on the grave.

Billy told me tonight that "Garmummy has a Pop too - we went to visit him today and left flowers in his yard but we didn't see his house" :)

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Ear update

Back to the dr yesterday and got the all clear on the ear - he said that as much as he could see the hole had healed and it was all white inside which meant no infection. There was still some dead skin and dried blood and stuff floating around inside but that should come out of it's own accord. Very good news!

His temp went down on Tuesday - I didn't need to give him any panadol Tue night, and he's been fine ever since - you wouldn't even know he'd had a problem. Still on the antibiotics though - that's painful 3 times a day!

Tue we went to Cafe Au Play for lunch with some ladies I know from online - it's a kid's indoor play area with a small cafe - Billy had a blast and wants to go again next week!

Wed & Thu I was flat out with work while Billy was at preschool. I got a lot of little bits and pieces out of the way which was good, but more work keeps coming into my inbox every day! I'm struggling to juggle it all, but am thinking of the money :)

Fri I had a migraine so I don't remember a lot of it! We had the drs appt and went to the library - I think that was it. Pete got home about 8pm - he's off in Sydney again next week for a few nights too.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Ruptured eardrum :(

Billy has been running a temp for a few days and was complaining for a few days about having a sore cheek but I assumed if anything that it was teeth. The day after his party he woke up with blood on his pillow and all around his ear - I cleaned it up and kept an eye on it through the day - no more so I assumed he'd just scratched it through the night. (Lot of assuming here, huh?!)

Anyway 11pm last night I went in to him and there was more blood on the pillow. I rang the After Hours clinic and after lots of questions they said it sounded like a ruptured ear drum from the infection. They said I should get it seen to - so up we traipse to the hospital at 11:30pm. Of course they'd just had a couple of emergencies come in(including a woman the cops picked up for paint sniffing!) so it was 30 mins before we were even triaged and then 2am before we were seen :( The late night quiz show that was on the tv in the waiting room was very painful!!!

Diagnosis was a ruptured ear drum - he gave us some antibiotics (Amoxycillin) and off we went to try and get some sleep. The dr did say he must've had a good pain threshold to not be more in pain!

It's a battle to get him to take the antibiotics (they do smell quite foul!) - I'm not looking forward to doing it for a week :( We have an appt at the drs on Friday to get it checked again. He doesn't seem to be in huge amounts of pain - still running a temp and gets a bit whingy at times but is quite chirpy the rest of the time. As Em said "After 4 years they still find ways to scare the hell out of us!"

Oh and did I mention that Pete is in Sydney for work this week so I'm on my own??!

Sunday, August 27, 2006

Happy b'day 4 year old!

4 years ago, at 9:13am on the 27th Aug, Billy was born. How our life has changed in that 4 years!

I cannot believe our baby is 4 years old today! Some days I wonder how he made it :)

He's turning into a real little boy - he has grown up so much in the last 12 months, particularly this year since he started pre-school. He's so much more independent than he used to be - can dress himself mostly (still has a bit of problem taking his jumper off), even made his own scrambled eggs in the microwave the other morning! He pretty smart - he can read & spell some words and can write some letters, he knows things like the months and can do simple sums. He loves preschool and they love him - it's always nice to get reports from the teachers!!

His Bob the Builder party went well today. The weather was nice, it was a fairly relaxing day and I think everyone enjoyed it. It was just family and a few friends but that was enough. He got lots of presents - I'm not sure where we'll put half of them!

So onto the next year!

Bob the Builder Cake

Bob the Builder Cake

Blowing out the candles


Being a duffer!

Billy the boxer!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

PS to One of those days..

I actually did have 2 good things happen yesterday. The 1st was when we went to the library - a book I've been waiting on for months was finally available ('Living the good life' by Linda Cockburn). The other was about 11pm - I found out I've got a new web design contract. I'm very excited about this - it has to do with my favourite subject - books :)

Monday, August 21, 2006

One of those days..

It was one of those days today where I really shouldn't have even gotten out of bed. It started by spending half an hour looking in vain for a CD Billy has borrowed from the library and misplaced. Continued with getting the electric bill that was DOUBLE what I was expecting - no more heaters on in this household now!. I dropped a glass bowl and shattered it tonight, and then sliced my finger open on a sharp knife while I was washing up... I'm sure there were more - they were just the highlights :(

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

All Things Hunter

I don't think I mentioned that I'm now "working" for All Things Hunter. I'm not actually getting paid at this stage - but will be getting a % of the hopefully heaps of profit from the web side of things! Fingers crossed anyway! So if you're reading this, go and check out All Things Hunter - Hunter Valley country fresh gift baskets and gourmet hampers, pass it on to all your friends and even better, buy something :) If you work for a company we do corporate gifts and branding, and will offer an employee discount! Oh and if you enter the competition (click on the WIN link) - you can go in the draw to win stuff!

There, that will get the sales flooding in :)

What else? Pete's away again this week for work... I need to start planning Billy's party as it's on next Sunday and I'm working a lot next week! I did buy plates and stuff yesterday so we have something to eat off - I'd better order the food so we have something to put on the plates!

I'm brain dead - can't think - need sleep... Night!

Friday, August 11, 2006

Officially a goldfish!

Billy went up a class at swimming today - he is now officially a 'goldfish'! He went quite well, it should be a good class as 2 of the kids are more advanced than him. He has been at the top of his previous classes for so long (mainly because he's older - not because he's a good swimmer!) and he learns well from copying the more advanced ones.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006


We got home from dropping Pete at the train this morning to find the mob of kangaroos right up at the fence - they'd come down for a look see! We couldn't get too close to them, but close enough to see them quite well. It's so cool to see them across the road from your own house!!

Thursday, August 03, 2006

"Chicken pops"

Billy went for his chickenpox (or "chicken pops" as he calls them) vaccination yesterday. When they discovered how old he was they gave me the option of getting his 4yo shots as well - so poor bugger got 3 needles at once :( He was very brave and didn't cry. They were excellent with him - blew bubbles to distract him, got him to count & sing songs. I was very impressed!

So that's the last lot of needles til he's in high school now. He was allowed to get KFC for tea as a reward - I had to suffer it too though :( He doesn't seem to be suffering from any reaction to any of the needles - they told me there's a 4% chance he may get a slight case of the chickenpox in the next month, so fingers crossed he's not in the minority!!

My oztion sales are going really well - I'm selling stuff fairly cheap because there's minimal fees, but so far I've sold 7 things, with 2 more with bids!! More than I was getting on eBay!!

Monday, July 31, 2006

Where does the time go?

I'm not sure what happened to the last week and a half! I was busy moving stuff over to oztion (and have made my first sales over there - yay!!!), busy with work and not sleeping very well so haven't had a lot of motivation.

Pete made a cupboard to go into Billy's wardrobe for his toys - it really tidies the space up! It looks great - it was a bit of a tight fit, in fact we wondered if it would fit a couple of times, but we got it in!

Billy had a concert at preschool on Friday - just a couple of songs and dances, and then afternoon tea but it was cute! He was the victim of a little altercation on Wednesday at preschool - another kid pushed him into the wall and he got a fair bump and carpet burn on his forehead. I happened to be standing next to the kid's grandfather after the concert, and he said "x didn't do that did he??!" Ummm, well actually, now you mention it!!

The business opportunity is looking like it might go ahead - still have to work out licensing etc, so it will be a little while before anything happens. I'm busy getting the tax done so we can afford to go ahead with it!

Mum & Dad are back from their trip away, so we went up to see them yesterday. I don't think they're that keen on being back in the cold!!

Pete's away for a course this week as well so it might be a LONG week!!

Thursday, July 20, 2006

A pox on ebay

eBay today shot itself in the foot and caused a mass exodus of sellers. They announced a massive increase in store fees and decreased the amount of store listings showing up in searches - how's that for getting shafted - we'll make you pay more AND give you less for it! There are MANY HUNDREDS of irate sellers (including yours truly) who have either closed their stores or will close them before the fee increases kick in. I'm moving my stock over to - no listing fees, reasonable final value fees. It doesn't have the same amout of buyers, but at this stage it won't cost me money to list there and any I make is a bonus. I'll possibly still list auctions on ebay for stuff I think will sell in auction format, but I am extremely negative towards them atm. So much for my plans to increase the business, buy wholesale etc - luckily I'd procrastinated enough to save me some money there :)

Final costings went in tonight for Pete's business opportunity. Fingers crossed that they're competitive and that it works out...

On the table tonight: steak sandwiches

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Food, glorious food

Grocery shopping today - the highlight of Billy's fortnight!!!  It was one of those weeks where we were out of bizarre things like garbage bags and metho - don't know why they always all seem to run out at once!
We made some sausage rolls up for lunch today - the recipe made 12 full size sausage rolls and worked out about $3.50.  < 30c each sausage roll - not bad value!!!  We had some for lunch and then Pete demolished another couple when he got home from work, so they must've gone down ok :)
On the table tonight: stir friend ginger chicken with bok choy (from the garden), snow peas (from the garden), zucchini and carrot.  Served with rice...
A potential business opportunity opened up today, so Pete has been frantically doing some numbers and figuring tonight.  I don't want to say too much and jinx it, but it could be very exciting if it works out. 
On that climactic note... time for bed!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Great weekend

What a lovely and relaxing weekend we had!

romeo and juliet ticket

The drive down to Sydney was fairly disgusting - rain, and several fender-benders along the way. We got down there and checked in; Pete has been working away a lot this year and had enough points for a free night at the Old Sydney Holiday Inn in the middle of the Rocks. It was still raining, so we had a brisk walk across to the Opera House to collect our tickets for the matinee of Bell Shakespeare's "Romeo and Juliet". I hadn't seen or read the play before (although obviously I knew the storyline!!), and was pretty underwhelmed. I don't think it was so much Bell's interpretation as the original play. It was about an hour too long (just over 3 hours with a 20 min interval), and the speeches were way too flowery and long-winded for me. You know you're not really into the play when you keep thinking through the various death speeches "Oh, just get on with it!!". I thought the strongest characters were Matthew Moore as Mercutio and Philip Dodd as Friar Lawrence. Anyway I enjoyed the experience of watching Shakespeare again, even if the play didn't do a lot for me. Looking forward to the Tempest in October!

After the play we walked over to Clarence St to go to the Redoak Boutique Beer Cafe ( - Pete had tried the beers at a beer tasting night he went to. I can't rave enough about the place - the food was delicious, the service was excellent, and by Pete's report, the beer was sensational! I had Stout Braised Wagyu Beef Cheeks on pappardelle pasta, caramelised root vegetables and slow roasted cherry tomatoes which was melt in the mouth, Pete had the Gourmet Sausages of the Day (chicken & lemon) on parmesan and caramelised onion mash and crisp onion rings. For dessert I had the apple pudding which came with cinnamon ice-cream and apple fritters, and Pete had the tasting dessert board which matched 4 small desserts with 4 small beers.

White chocolate and Blackberry Hefeweizen ripple ice cream with Honey Ale
Soft centred chocolate pudding with Brown Porter
Redoak beer filled chocolate truffle with Special Strong Ale
Bitter flourless chocolate cake with Irish Stout

We sat there for 3 hours eating and talking - unheard of for us! It was getting very crowded when we left - there was a 21st party on as well as a screening of the rugby.

And then a really cool thing - we were walking back to the hotel and walked past Rockpool. We looked in at the chef's working in the front kitchen - and Neil Perry was at work! It was very cool watching him work! OK, so small things amuse me... :) We ate at Rockpool a couple of years ago - it was the most fabulous dining experience I have ever had (also the most expensive lol).

Checkout wasn't until 11am so we got to laze around in the morning and sleep in - without getting woken up by a small child :) He stayed at his Ma & Pops and had a great time by the sounds of it. Unfortunately last night was a shocker - I was up several times to him with a dreadful croupy type cough and not being able to catch his breath. So tired!!! Oh well, at least we had the weekend!

Friday, July 14, 2006

Bargain of the day!

At the Steggles shop today I scored 6 kg of chicken stirfry meat for $30 - $5/kg – bargain!! So chicken stirfry, chicken enchiladas, apricot chicken, I can mince some for chicken patties, mmmm… what else??! I’m sure I’ll think of something!!

We had friends over for tea tonight – I made a couple of pizzas (ham & pineapple, and BBQ chicken with capsicum, mushroom, tomato) & garlic bread which seemed to go over well. I was struggling to be overly sociable though – I’m just really exhausted; not sleeping overly well and I think it’s an adrenaline let-down after the last couple of weeks of stress. Plus Billy was a bit of a horror today – or I wasn’t overly patient with him – one or the other, but the same end result.

We’re off to Sydney to watch Bell Shakespeare’s Romeo & Juliet tomorrow, and staying the night down there. Billy is staying with his Ma & Pop for the weekend which he is very excited about.

Full moon

“The moon is full because it drank too much glasses of milk” - Billy

Thursday, July 13, 2006

New laptop!

I'm writing this on my new laptop!! I finally took the time to get it set up enough to start using it - however now I'm at that really annoying stage when every time I go to do something I realise I can't because I haven't got x on my machine yet. I do have email and internet access though so the important things are covered :)

I'm not sure where this week has gone - Thursday is just about over already! Monday we stayed home. Tuesday we met my sister and nieces in the park for a play and lunch while the car was in for a wheel alignment. Then we went down to watch Pete play indoor cricket that night. Yesterday I was teaching (Intermediate Word & Excel) so that was all day gone. Today I didn't get any programming done but got a lot of little loose ends tidied up - ebay posted, letters & emails written, laptop setup, phone calls made & received etc.

I sold some stuff on eBay so have renewed my Simple Savings membership! Yay! I've got more stuff on auction at the moment.

On the table tonight - fish, mashed potato and veges. It was the last lot of fish in the freezer - we were very "fished out" after the CSIRO diet and having it twice a week, so aren't in a hurry to get some more (even though we know how good it is for us).

Currently reading: Marion Keyes 'The Other side of the story'. It's a very light chick-lit book but just the type of thing I can pick up, read a couple of pages and put back down again.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Creative play

Made some playdough for the munchkin this morning, so now I have multi-coloured hands from the food colouring!  (Yeah I know I should wear gloves!).  So he's a happy boy..
I also made some eggless Choc-chip muffins (we were out of eggs) and tried to make some savoury biscuits like Jatz, but they failed in a big way :(  Back to the drawing board on those.  Yesterday I made an Italian bread in the breadmaker - standard bread recipe + tomato paste & basil.  Very yummy for lunch with tomato & cheese.  I've frozen the rest - I think it will go great with the vege soup for lunch later in the week.
Billy insisted on helping me do the ironing & folding this afternoon.  What was supposed to be a 5 minute job turned into a marathon!  Not sure how well the clothes came up after all that, but most of them are his so it doesn't really matter :)
I haven't done a thing with the business this weekend - after the last couple of weeks of pushing to meet deadlines I was pretty burnt out.  I got heaps listed on eBay though which has been long overdue.  I may do a bit tonight if I feel like it, otherwise will have to get stuck into it again tomorrow.
Tonight's menu:
roast chicken (a la Jamie Oliver), baked potatos & veges.  And probably a choc-chip muffin for dessert!

Friday, July 07, 2006

Busy day

A very busy day yesterday - I had to go to the Chiro in the morning, and then see 2 clients in the afternoon. I did get to spend some time doing some clothes shopping - I used the money I got from Emailcash to buy 2 lovely polar fleece jackets. I can't remember the last time I went clothes shopping so it was long overdue.

I installed the system at the clients yesterday for them to test - they wanted a few minor changes initially plus some extra features that I've persuaded them to leave for the next round of changes. We could keep making changes to this forever, but I want to get it in and installed so they can actually start using it!

I ended up with a migraine though which still hasn't really gone away today :(

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Website launch! and imaginary friends

One down - the All Things Hunter website went live yesterday. I was up until midnight finishing off some behind the scenes admin stuff so the owner can edit the product information, but it's done! Well actually 1 more bit to test to do with uploading photos & permissions but that can wait until I teach her how to resize photos. Now today I need to concentrate on the system I'm installing tomorrow for the client to test.

So the last thing I needed this morning was to be woken at 6:30am by a little voice saying "Mummy, I can't find my black trackpants. I need to get ready for preschool"! At least we got to have a good snuggle in bed before we had to get started for the day - me, Billy, puppy, and the imaginary friends - Atyl, Merna and Zoo. (don't ask me!)

My Simple Savings membership is due, so I'm trying to come up with the money to pay it without dipping into the normal money. I've put some stuff up on eBay - hopefully some of that will sell and help out.

Now to work..

Monday, July 03, 2006

Saw the triplets!

We went up to SIL's to see the triplets today - it was the 1st time we've seen them since they got out of hospital since we've been sick. They've grown so much!! I got to have a cuddle of them all, but no, I'm not clucky! I'm quite happy being a good Aunty :)

Not sure if the late nights have caught up with me and my body is saying 'enough' or if I've got a migraine starting (which wouldn't be a surprise after the choc-chip cookies!), but I am absolutely exhausted tonight. I'm about to have a very early night. I have heaps of work, but it will have to wait..

Sunday, July 02, 2006


Not a bad film - not nearly as good as the book, although it does have the advantage of Johnny Depp :) I was quite disappointed in the plot change - having the mayor as the bad guy rather than the priest - I guess a mad priest isn't politically correct these days!

Last day of teaching for 3 weeks - yay!!!

Off to see the triplets tomorrow - we haven't seen them since they got home from hospital. We had plans to, but then we all got sick, so we haven't made it up there. Taking advantage of school holidays to make some time.

Roast beef for tea (marinated by our fantastic butcher in yellow-box honey & rosemary - mmmm!) with baked potatos, carrot & zucchini. An apple & pear crumble and icecream for dessert - life is good!!

Saturday, July 01, 2006

In the garden

Garden gnome?!


First snow peas from the garden today - yummm! I cleaned the pond out and got the pumps working again plus did running repairs on the vege garden sprinklers.

Light at the end of the tunnel

There is finally light at the end of the tunnel with some of my projects - 3 of them should wrap up (barring any extra changes they want) in the next couple of weeks. Boy I'll be glad about that! The last couple of weeks have been a real blur, I've just been flat out with working and trying to keep the house in some sort of order, cook decent meals etc. 1 more day of teaching this term though and then a couple of weeks off - yay! I had to even turn down some work - I was approached to do a couple of months of Access work onsite, full-time, which doesn't fit in with my life atm. He still wants to get together and discuss future work though which could work out well.

Helen & I have started challenging each other to do 1 extra thing around the house each day - just a small task like wipe cupboard fronts over etc. It's really making a difference in keeping the house presentable - we get to feel smug if the other person misses a day :) I'm planning on cleaning the freezer out as today's task - there are lots of UFOs (unidentified frozen objects) in there!!

Pete's off to watch the Aussie Rules again tonight - go Swannies! I'll dig through the DVDs and find a chick flick to watch - maybe Chocolat. I watched "How to make an American quilt" last Sat night - maybe I was just in the wrong mood, but I wasn't overly impressed. Very slow to start and then glossed over the stories of the other women too lightly imo.

I've been having a real baking week this week - I made a quiche and a chocolate cake for lunch on Wednesday, Billy & I made banana muffins last night, and I bought some choc-chips today to make some "cookies" - mmmmm, cookies!

Boy it's been cold here - we had a couple of nights at -1 and -2. Brrrr!!! Mum & Dad are up at the Atherton Tablelands on holidays - much warmer up there I'm sure!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Industrious day

I had a busy day yesterday. I was in the wrong sort of mood to go grocery shopping - I had a list but a few things jumped in the trolley that weren't on the list! I wasn't really in the mood for comparing prices - it was just throw things in. I was really dreading what the total would be but it wasn't too bad. No more treats for the rest of the fortnight though! Only need to get fruit & a roast from the butcher today.

Came home, unpacked and then made some strawberry yoghurt, apple & peach muffins from some leftovers in the fridge. They came out very yummy too - I was quite proud of myself! Dried out the leftover bread bits out of the freezer while the oven was on and made some breadcrumbs. Minced the meat I'd bought - I had to sharpen my knife first which was a new experience - it worked though!!! Made a banana cake while tea was cooking (bananas from the freezer - no way am I buying them at $13/kg!). I'm gradually cleaning the freezer out.

So a very industrious day in the kitchen - not to mention the 2 loads of washing and 3 baskets of ironing I got done too!

Also finished off the website changes I had to make for a resort company - it's using a template program which I don't like but hey, it's all money.

Billy is climbing over the top of me while I type - very hard to concentrate!!

Funeral impressions

  • Tiny little white coffin that made me cry to look at it
  • "Jesus Loves Me" hymn sung by members of their church, including her uncle
  • Beautiful eulogy by LJ's very strong parents
  • Sorrow but strength

We miss you sweetheart.

Sunday, June 11, 2006

Fairly frugal day

I've been inspired by reading the discussion forum on the Simple Savings site ( so have had a fairly frugal day. I've made up some Thai Pumpkin soup with some pumpkin from the freezer and fruit crumble with the fruit that was languishing in the fruit bowl. My challenge is to not spend anything until Sunday. Except for when we go for the funeral through the week, but that can't be helped. I need to go through the freezer tomorrow and see what is hiding in there and be creative in using it up.

I did have to use the drier today though since it's been raining all day and the work clothes had to be washed. In fact there is still washing on the line from 3 days ago when it started raining! But I cut both Pete and Billy's hair so I guess it's a positive in the end!

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Friday, June 09, 2006

Now I *really* hate tummy bugs..

I came down with it on Thursday night - I can't remember the last time I threw up, it's something I generally avoid at all costs, but I had no choice with this one. It wiped me out for several days, and I still have the attached cold and fuzzy head.

My niece was born on 1st June - I was so out of it that it took several days for it to sink in. She's about 6 weeks early and very ill. Hang in there little LJ! You have wonderful parents who love you dearly.

Work has been flat out - I am finally on a roll again with the Delphi project, plus a couple of websites. It's frustrating because I have a new laptop sitting here waiting to be set up and no time to do it!

Boo to the Tasmanian government for cancelling the Spirit of Tasmania service from Sydney. There goes our Xmas holiday - thanks very much.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


I hate tummy bugs. Billy was sick several times on Friday - including in the car, then fine on Saturday until he was sitting on my lap at night and threw up all over us both. Fine Sun & Mon (well, other than not himself with a heavy cold), then threw up in bed last night... He's eaten a bit this morning so let's hope it stays down.. So now I'm feeling ultra-guilty for putting him in preschool yesterday while I had to work..

On another topic - do you think I've watched too many episodes of Blues Clues when I can start understanding what Blue says????! lol

Monday, May 29, 2006

Finally succumbed!

Well, I've finally succumbed to the ultimate in geekdom and started my own blog. If I'm being honest with myself, I'm only doing it to procrastinate...

I'm hoping I can keep this updated regularly - I have been very slack with keeping a diary lately. I think it's because I have to actually hand-write - not something I like much now!

I have to make some changes to a website for a client - it's one of several jobs I've got going atm. I spoke to the client on Friday about 2:30pm to find out what changes she wanted - it's 2pm Monday and I just got an email from her wanting to know when the changes would be done! I'm afraid I have a rebellious/stubborn streak - I'll go out of my way to get things done - but as soon as someone pushes me to do it, I put my back up and go on a go-slow.. Oh well, such is life!

Best go and do some work now I guess!