Tuesday, May 31, 2011

The weight of the world on your shoulders....

I'm sure I'm not the only one in this position.  Not the only one who feels sometimes that they have the weight of the world on their shoulders.  Not the only one with a parent with dementia who lives in a nursing home.  Not the only one who seems to be the family member that gets to deal with all the crappy bits all the time.

My mum is in a nursing home with dementia.  The home is only about a 20 minute drive away and it is straight across the road from a hospital.   Over the last couple of months I have had at least half a dozen phone calls in the middle of the night or at least late at night saying that they have sent mum to the hospital.  You know the horrible feeling you have when you get those dreaded middle of the night calls, the ones that send your stomach into knots.  As I wake, I automatically think of all the people it may concern, is it my mum in the nursing home, is it my Hubby's parents in New Zealand, is it one of my stepkids, is it, is it, is it.  Well every time so far it has been my mum.

Last night was no different, phone rang at 11pm,,,,nursing home saying that they had just sent mum to hospital suffering severe chest pains.  I kept my head and hung tight.  I didn't go flying up to the hospital, I remained calm.  I waited an hour then called the hospital, they had done bloods on her and it would be about 2 hours till the results came in.  I finally fell asleep and called the hospital back this morning, to find that she had been sent back to the nursing home, nothing abnormal showed up.  We are okay for now, until the next time.  This is the first time it has been chest pains that have sent her to hospital.  Normally it is her "non responsive attacks", where she just doesn't wake up.  These can last for an hour or more, the cause of these is unknown.  She has had countless tests and everything comes back negative.  My mind boggles at this, how can nothing show up as being wrong when obviously there is something wrong?????

Now the thing that really annoys me is this........I have 4 brothers, yes 4!!!  And out of the 5 of us, I am the one that gets to deal with the stress of these calls and the worry all the time.  My eldest brother is estranged from the family and lives in Queensland.  The next one lives in Canberra.  I have another who lives about an hour away in the country, he is moving to Victoria in a month's time.  And the final one lives about half hour from here and he and I are the main people to be notified when things go wrong.  Thats great except for the fact that middle of the night calls go unanswered in their house.  They don't have a phone near the bed so by the time they get up, it goes to messagebank.  But do they get up to check it,,,,,no!  Do they have the mobile phone near their bed???  No!  Many times I have tried both home and mobile phones and they don't even hear them.  Then I get a call in the morning asking what all the fuss was about.  Normally I then call my brother who is moving to Victoria because they do at least ring me back, they often don't make it to the phone but they at least get up and check the calls and call me back.  They know that if I call at that hour, it is urgent.

Last night my way of dealing with things was to just send each of those two a text message letting them know.  And as usual the closest one didn't get back to me, and the country boy texted back saying "when you know more let us know"........like they can't call a hospital themselves??????  Would be nice for them to say we will call the hospital and let you know, or something like that.  But no that would be too hard!

Geez this has turned into a rant hasn't it.......I guess I am just so frustrated right now.  She is their mother too and yet everything that is "hard to deal with" gets handballed to me.

I think right now, I am having a hard time dealing with the whole dementia thing.  Thankfully she still knows who I am when I go to visit her, but each time I visit I can see her fading a little more.  It is next to impossible to hold a conversation any more.  I prattle on about the kids etc and her responses don't make any sense.  She still asks about the kids and I tell her everything but there is no 2 way conversation any more.  I hear tales of her "trips", the trips that don't happen except in her mind.  I hear how my dad is coming to visit her later (Dad died 24 years ago).  It is hard, so hard some days but I have to stay strong, for her, for my family.  I sincerely hope that I don't end up with dementia when I am older, I think it is so, so cruel.

To all the families dealing with something similar, my heart goes out to you all.  It is a rough road and I can see now that it is a road that only gets bumpier, not smoother.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Devastated - my precious birthday gift lost the same day I got it

It was my birthday on Saturday,,,,,,,41 years I have roamed this earth lol.  I'm still not sure how I feel about being 41, but I guess there isn't a single darn thing we can do about it!!  Life is flying by so fast and some days I feel that I'm not making the most of it.  I truly feel like we are simply treading water in our lives lately and it is annoying me immensely.

Anyway, on Saturday it was just me and Hubby for most of the day as my Ex had the boys and Hubby's kids were with their mum this weekend.  The boys came home at about 8.30 Saturday night.  So Saturday was just hubby and I's time to just relax.  We decided to go to a shopping centre that hubby had never been to before for just a browse and some lunch.  Before we left Hubby gave me my present from him,,,,it was a beautiful bracelet which looked like this.....

Sterling silver with cubic zirconias.  I loved it, it was sparkly and girly and well it came from my darling man so it was just perfect in my eyes because he chose it with love.  We headed out and got a lovely lunch of  fish, chips and salad which was just delicious and then went for a browse around the shops.  We had been there about an hour or so when I went to pick up something only to notice that my beautiful bracelet was missing.  We retraced our steps back through the shops, to where I last remembered looking at my arm and knowing it was securely in place.  NOTHING......I left my name and number with all the store owners in the hope that it would show up.  I left my name and  number with centre management just in case too.  But honestly, how many people these days are honest when they find things like that????  I am going to go and see the store that hubby bought it from to complain about the catches on these bracelets.  I know that it was securely done up as I checked it a gazillion times.  (Having said this I know that they will just say "well you mustn't have had it done up properly",,,,,these big stores never accept that their products are faulty!!)  Hubby got it at a good price he said, but that doesn't excuse the fact that this week it is back up closer to its normal price and other people will buy them and more than likely have the same thing happen.  Geez it isn't as  though I was waving my arm around, shaking it to death.  I was simple walking through the shopping mall!!!  There is no way that catch should have come undone.  It is a two part clasp, one of those that you kinda push together and then it had the little locking mechanism on the outside as well

Needless to say I am totally devastated.  It destroyed the rest of my birthday.  We left the shopping centre and I came in tears, feeling totally horrible about the whole situation. 

Friday, May 27, 2011

Some fun for the weekend,,,,,Hoedown Throwdown

Now I haven't lost my mind, I'm not a huge Hannah Montana fan but I watched this movie with my stepdaughter and I loved this song......even have attempted the dance,,,,,now that's fun to try!!!

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I'm in a Kasey Chambers kind of mood this week.....Rattlin Bones - I love this song

As I said above, I absolutely love this song.  Kasey Chambers music is my housework music for when I need a lift, cuz I sing along with her all the time.  Singing makes me happy (even if I have a shocking singing voice lol)......Enjoy it with me......

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Beautiful Mess - This song is written about my life lol


I love Kasey Chambers, her songs never fail to lift my spirits.  Today I would like to share this one with you all.  It is set in a field of sunflowers, what a beautiful scene that is!!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Mum can you..............

That is a question that I hear a lot of times in the space of a day, or on the weekend, sometimes many times in an hour even.  This time though the question was one which I wasn't expecting.

My 14 year old son asked me to make a blog (none of the family really know much about this little blog of mine, it is my time and my space lol and so although they know it exists none of them have really been all that interested if that makes sense).  I asked him what sort of blog and why on earth is he asking me to make a blog.  It seemed like a really strange request coming from a boy of his age.

Anyway he said that he had read somewhere a recipe blog which had step by step photos of recipes and how to make them.  He said that he would like me to put all my recipes into a blog with photos of how to make them, so that when they leave home they will be able to make all their favourite stuff without having to call me all the time.  I said to him well I was starting to put some recipes on this blog of mine and I showed him a few that I have done and he just shook his head and said "no mum, it has to be just recipes so we can find them easily and you need to show us more step by step photos, like a picture of all the ingredients and stuff".  I said to him that he could easily find the recipes on this blog but he is adamant that he doesn't want to have to filter through all the "girly bits" as he put it to find his favourite recipe.  He wants to be inspired and to be able to see the pictures and remember my containers and the stuff I used to make his favourites.  He wants "just recipes", no talking.

So he got me to thinking that maybe, just maybe, I might do just that.  After all it doesn't sound like a bad idea.  It could be like a family cookbook online.  As I have mentioned before, I have many pages of recipes, clipped from magazines and found on the internet.  Recipes that, sadly, I don't know where they have come from as I have been collecting them for years, since I was a teenager in fact, so that is about 30 years worth of handwritten notes, magazine clippings and internet finds.  I can understand why he wouldn't want to inherit my treasure trove of largely untrialled recipes lol.  As a teenager too, he is naturally quite lazy, why on earth would he want to waste his precious time trying out a recipe that he hasn't had mum make first???? lol.

So today I am considering how I will go about this.  I love to share my success stories with recipes so I guess having them all in one spot could be quite good.  Okay I am off to have a little play around in blogland.  Then I will have to decide whether I will continue to have my recipes here as well or just keep this for my general waffling on and have my dedicated recipe blog.....I just don't know!!!!

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Follow up to Hubby's Tooth Extraction

Well here we are at Sunday, 2 days after the much dreaded tooth pulling.  Hubby was very nervous and heck I was nervous for him.  Why is it that no matter how long ago you endure medical procedures, when someone near and dear to you has to have similar things done, the trauma comes flooding back??

As I sat there in the waiting room with him before he got called into the dentist, I could clearly remember that pulling sensation as the dentist tried to get my tooth out,,,,,,,this was a wisdom tooth I had pulled out approximately 20 years ago!!!  It was like it happened yesterday!

When Hubby got called in, I couldn't sit there and wait for him, I had to get up and go for a walk.  I arrived back 15 minutes later, not really wanting to go trudging through the nearby shops, I decided sitting and looking through a magazine would have to suffice.  Amazingly no sooner had I picked up the magazine than the door opened and out came Hubby.  I said "how was it?, are you okay?",,,,through the mouthful of gauze he mumbled "it was okay".  Turns out that it was no where near as bad as he thought and it only took 4-5 tugs to get the tooth out.  He has had pretty minimal pain and it seems to have been a pretty straight forward procedure which hopefully he won't have to suffer any more from.  He is still on his antibiotics to kill the infection but is managing fine with a couple of Panadol a day for pain relief.

Most important of all my poor baby is on the mend and that is all that matters!!!!!

Friday, May 20, 2011


Today my poor Hubby has to go and have one of his lower molars pulled out.  He got an abscess under it at the beginning of the week and plucked up the courage to go to the dentist.  (Both of us are extremely terrified of dentists and it takes alot to get us there - don't worry the kids all have regular checkups though!!! lol)

Today in 2 hours time he is scheduled to have it pulled out.  I feel very nervous for him.  I have had one tooth pulled before and one that they attempted to pull but couldn't due to infection at the time causing me too much pain.  I clearly remember both events even though the successful extraction I had was about 20 years ago now and the attempted one was 2 years ago.  Thankfully the attempted one never had to have a second attempt as the antibiotics finally did the trick and the abscess never came back.

I truly feel like it is me going to have it done, I feel that nervous.  Ridiculous I know but that is my fear of the dentist lol.

He is staying brave but I can see he is concerned.  I keep telling him "you'll be fine, I've had it done and if I can do it you sure as heck can".....I can't wait till its over and done with for him!!!

Tonight I will make him a quiche as that's nice and soft and later he can have a bit of custard and icecream  (one of his favourites).  Lots of salt water mouth washes to follow over the next couple of days.

Aah the joys of life huh.......I hope everyone has a great weekend....will let you know how it goes on Monday!!!

Thursday, May 19, 2011

ATTACK OF THE CROCHET BUG.......Art of Crochet Squares 3-16

I think I have discovered the problem with these installment type craft magazine things,,,,,such as "The Art of Crochet"....

.....the problem is that I get them in lots of 4 once a month.  I love pulling them apart and placing them in my folder.  I add a little sticky post it note on the pages of things I want to make (sadly lol, so far that has been at least 95% of the patterns!!) and dream about making them perfectly.  At this point the word perfectly is just a dream but hey, I've only just begun to learn lol!!  Anyway then comes the time to crochet and, me being me, when I am learning a new skill, I need total, and I mean TOTAL concentration.  So that requires me to wait until all the Little People of the house are tucked up in bed for the night so that I don't have the constant "Mum where is...." or "Mum can I have...", you know how it  is lol.

So sadly, my squares have taken time to develop, but just lately, as I have  mastered a few of the basic stitches and don't have to concentrate quite as hard, I have been churning out some squares.  Once again, they are less than perfect and this blanket isn't quite going to look like the one on the photo above but hey it will always be labelled  as the "blanket I learnt to crochet with".  I can see that due to tension issues etc I will have to crochet around a few squares to make them bigger as they have just ended up too small compared to a few that have grown to quite large proportions, but it will still be colourful nonetheless.

Here are my attempts at squares 3-16.....
As you can see by the photos some  are quite small. They measure about right according to what they are supposed to measure but sadly we have the larger ones such as cherry red one on the right that is very, and I mean VERY large in comparison.  Of course, being that sort of pattern I just couldn't stop when it reached the size of the other squares I had to keep going until the pattern was finished.  I am hoping I can stretch out some of the smaller ones a little bit to make up for it but oh well as I said I will just add little borders around the edge to even it all up a little.

Overall though I am quite enjoying my latest little hobby.  I particularly enjoy the granny squares as they are so quick to make up and I can see fast progress.  I enjoy the fact that crochet comes together so much faster than knitting, well for me at least lol.  Knitting seems to be very slow going for me, but crochet seems to happen and grow fast and I see results much quicker.

Last weekend I also got some more little tunnels and hammocks made up for Mr10's pet rats.  They had finally all but destroyed the ones that I made last year, so with some left over fleecy material I made up some more for them.  They love them!!!  While I had my sewing machine out I also recycled a pair of Mr10's old camo pants which had a huge hole in the knee and turned them into shorts.  Of course because they had been sitting in his drawer so long before he bothered to tell me they had the hole in them, when I got him to try them on they no longer did up lol.  Oh well my other Mr10 with Autism will be able to wear them as he is alot smaller in the waist.  So they will be reused after all and I was left feeling quite proud of myself!!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Thank you for the comments recently

For some reason I don't have much "oomph" in me this week.  I have recipes sitting here to share but I just don't have the energy to get myself organised to load photos and find the recipe etc etc etc.

I did just want to say a big thank you to those of you who have left comments over the last week or so, it is most appreciated (stops me feel like I am sitting here just talking to myself lol).

Today is very, very grey and wet here in Adelaide.  The rain is stopping and starting but the sky is very threatening looking, it wouldn't surprise me if we get an almighty downpour very soon.

Okay, back to the housework drudgery,,,,I hate housework!!!  But this house isn't going to declutter itself and it sure don't clean itself lol.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Oh My,,,,,I think I need to show a little restraint.......am I a Craft pattern Hoarder??? lol

Oh boy, you won't believe how I filled in the hours last night........with Hubby away for work until tomorrow night and the kids snuggly tucked up in bed for the night, I sat on the lounge flicking channels.  Nothing took my interest so I decided to plug in the laptop and have a little internet surf.  I went onto Quicksales which is an Australian version of Ebay.  I thought I would just take a peek at some crafty things.  Oh man!  Big Mistake!!

I stumbled across a seller who has oodles and oodles of craft magazines and craft patterns up for sale.  I sat there for a good while adding things to my "wish list",,, the result was approx $450 worth of crafting goodies.  Today I have filtered through them all and been "tough" with myself and got it down to $185 worth.

Hubby would freak and I hate to think how much the postage would be on that lot!!  But I soooo want them lol.  I mean its not like I don't have anything here to do,,,,my last count of crafting want to dos was 280 odd items.  But I cannot quite literally get these books out of my head.  I might just show them to hubby when he comes home and see if he will let me at least get a few,,,,I know it is going to be so hard to choose just a few but I just have a severe case of the "I wants" right now!!!! lol

I so want to find the time to get back into my crafting like I used to be when my eldest son was a baby.  I always had some little thing on the go but now life just seems very hectic and time slips away too fast.

Have a lovely weekend everyone and I will let you know how my persuasion techniques pan out with Hubby lol

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Chocolate cures everything right???? and Art of Crochet Square Number 3

This is what I bought this morning because I am sad.....

no not the biscuit barrel, the Lindt Chocolate Bunny.  I know it isn't easter any more but he was marked down to $1.37 in Coles and when I am feeling down in the dumps I often get tempted by chocolate.

Why am I feeling so sad?  Because Hubby has gone away for work, yet another spur of the moment thing that he had to do.  I hate it when he has to travel but even more so when he comes home from work one day saying he has to be gone by 5am the following morning.  So he left at 5am this morning to be able to catch a 6.15am flight to Queensland.  He will be back at about 6.30pm Saturday night.  I hate how companies just have no consideration for family life and don't seem to realise or quite frankly, even care just how much of an upheaval these spur of the moment trips make on a family.  Because of this trip he now misses seeing his kids who we were meant to have this weekend.  Yes we were only having them for Friday night this week due to Mother's Day on Sunday but he still misses out and most importantly his kids miss out.  Sadly we can't just "make up" the time due to the kind of relationship that his ex and him have.  Of course that puts the ex in a bad mood and so we all have to suffer the repurcussions for a long time.

So for the next 2 nights I will indulge myself with my Lindt chocolate bunny.  I never buy Lindt chocolate unless it is on special, so it is a once in a blue moon type of treat.  Will it make me feel better in the long run??  Probably not, but hey whats a girl to do????  He is kinda almost too cute to eat though with his little red bow and his bell don't you think?

As far as my crocheting goes, I am itching to start something "real" rather than just doing squares for a blanket that cannot possibly be finished until I receive all of the series of "Art of Crochet" but I am determined to catch up.  Here is my attempt at square number 3.....

I am quite pleased with my first ever granny square.  I have yet to pin out any of my squares yet and I suppose I probably should so they look "prettier" and neater lol but for the moment they are all just getting to know each other in my little bag they sit in.  Here is what this square is "supposed" to look like....
I don't think I did too bad with this one!!! lol

With hubby away I will most likely get quite a few more of them done over the next few days and will come and share some more.

But for now I am going to go and put a little water on my fruit trees and empty the cat litter tray (joy of joys!) and admire my bunny when I come back in....Happy Thursday everyone!

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Homemade Muesli Bar Goodness

Yesterday afternoon I felt inspired to try out a recipe I have had for a while now.  I don't remember where it came from but have a feeling it was found on some sort of thrifty website.  My kids love muesli bars and as you can imagine it normally costs quite a bit to give them one each day in their lunch boxes.  Here in Australia the bulkiest box of muesli bars you can buy is normally 24.  I, however, being the cheapskate that I am when it comes to groceries lol, buy the Homebrand type which cost me approx $2.69 for a box of 12.  So for us, that box will only last 2 days and that just doesn't thrill me at all.

So yesterday I finally decided to take a chance and try this recipe.  I started throwing everything into the bowl....
OK oats, chocolate chips, coconut, all good so far.....I desperately wanted to add the specified dried fruit but Hubby and I had munched out on the last that we had in the house last night, oh well.

Then came the "wet" ingredients....peanut butter, check, honey, check....oh darn......I ran out of honey!!  Instead of the required 3/4 of a cup I only had about a 1/4.  So after raiding the cupboards, determined I was not going to have to do a dash to the shop just for honey, I came across my Golden Syrup which was nearing empty as well, oh well I measured it up and I had just enough.  Not quite the same taste but today it was going to have to do (both honey and golden syrup have now been added to the shopping list lol).

Now the fun part, mixing it altogether....I didn't take a photo of this bit because it was kinda messy lol.  It took quite a bit of mixing power to get this lot all mixed together believe me.  Peanut butter doesn't like to cooperate sometimes!!!! lol

Finally though it was all mixed and smoothed out into the baking tray....

Into the oven with it for 45 minutes.  My oven is far from trustworthy though so I was fully expecting it to take alot longer.....

And then, after the required 45 minutes I had a look and guess what, it looked like it was pretty much good to go.  I took  it out and sliced it in the tray and then left it to cool completely.  This is part of the result, I ended up with 2 containers after everyone had had a taste test.  Not bad for something that took only 10-15 minutes to mix up!!

The result was actually rather delicious.  Next time I will definitely use the honey rather than the golden syrup as you can really taste the golden syrup in them, but overall they have been a crowd pleaser and each of the kids has one in their lunchbox today instead of the shop bought ones.  (Well all except Mr14 who hates chocolate, will have to make another batch with some dried fruit instead)  Yayyy!!

Another recipe that will be staying around and getting made regularly, I love i t when that happens!!!  Next time I will leave them in the oven a little longer as these are quite soft but that is the only real fault I can find.  Here is the recipe if you would like to give it a go too!!

4 Cups instant rolled oats
3/4 Cup chocolate chips
3/4 Cup dessicated coconut
3/4 Cup chopped dried fruit 
3/4 Cup honey
3/4 Cup peanut butter
milk as needed

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, adding small amounts of milk until the dough begins to stick together.
Press the mixture into a well greased baking tray.
Bake at 160 degrees celcius (325F) for 45 minutes or until the edges just start to brown.
Cut into desired sizes while still hot but do not remove from pan until completely cool.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Nursing Homes are depressing but fruit trees show me hope

Today I went to visit my Mum who lives in  a nursing home.  She is 81 years old and suffers from Dementia.  Dementia it is a word that strikes fear into most people's hearts when they think of their old age.  Nursing home,,,more words that most people live in fear and dread of.  To my Mum, the thought of going into a nursing home was one that she just would not even think about.  She had always said that the only time she would permanently leave her home was in a little wooden box.  That was a hope that I had for her too, I wanted her to live out her days in her own home, sadly that wasn't to be the case.  She has been in a nursing home for almost 2 years now and every time I go to visit I come away feeling immense sadness.  I feel horrible for helping to put her in there, I truly do but at the same time I know that if my brothers and I hadn't gone down that path, she wouldn't be with us at all now.  She could no longer live alone and it got to the stage where caring for her on the occasions that she came to stay at my house was very, very difficult for me.  She is diabetic and legally blind.  Putting her into a different surrounding is hard work as she becomes totally dependent on others for her every need.  I know that in the nursing home she is as safe as she can be.  I know that she is getting the care she needs, but that doesn't take away the sadness I feel.

She still knows who I am but it is almost impossible to hold a conversation any more.  She prattles on about things that have happened in her mind, although naturally she believes they were real events.  She talks about "Dad" coming to visit her soon (we still don't know if she is referring to her father or my dad (Dad died almost 24 years ago)).  I ramble on to her as best I can telling her all about what the kids are up to and what we have been doing but I now get next to nothing back from her in response.  It is hard work trying to hold a one sided conversation.  I help to feed her if I am there at meal times.  She is becoming less and less the person she once was and it is heartbreaking.  I don't normally talk about this on my blog as I feel it is something private and most people don't want to hear about the depressing side of life, but today I feel the need to get it off my chest, share it with someone, anyone.

I have come home this morning and gone out in the glorious sunshine that this beautiful Autumn weather has given us.  This is the blue of the sky outside my back door this morning...isn't this sky beautiful!!

Notice I have cropped out the lower messy part of the yard lol.  We are undergoing a back yard transformation you might say and it looks very weedy and messy right now.  We were progressing but then Hubby hurt his back and mine isn't the greatest at the best of times so everything has come to a halt.  Hubby's back is feeling a little better now so we are hoping within a week or so we can get back into it.

This little guy is my fuschia that I rescued from the "sad trolley" at Bunnings one day.  I paid $1 for him as he wasn't much more than a stick with a few leaves attached at the time.  Now I am no green thumb by any means but I love fuschias and wanted to give it a go to save the little guy.  Well, I am amazed myself, but just look at him now!!!  I can't wait until all those buds decide to open up and share their beauty with us!!

And now the grand unveiling our my beloved fruit trees which we received last Friday.  Last night hubby and I spent a lovely half hour potting them up.  They have gone in pots for the moment as we are considering selling our house in the next year or so and moving interstate and there was no way I wanted to leave my trees behind!!!!  So for now at least while we come to a firm decision, they are potted up with plenty of room for their young roots to develop.

Just disregard the shambles surrounding them lol.  Along the side fence you can see what is left of a rather large and unruly rose bush.  I want to replace the four rose bushes that reside along there with kiwifruits and raspberry bushes.

Here you can see some of the fruit trees,,,,the wilted one is a peach or nectarine, can't remember which.  I watered them all straight after I did the photos so I am pleased to say he is now looking a bit perkier lol.  The pots either side of the trellis like structure contain snow peas.  I am thrilled with these guys.  I grew these from seed,,,,,yes I know I can't believe they are still alive either lol, or for that matter alive at all!!!  Needless to say I am quite fond of these little plants.  I can't wait for them to grow and provide us with snow peas to go in our stirfries,,,yummo!

On the right hand side, on the rather dilapidated looking table are our feijoa trees, our strawberry guava and our Mr and Mrs Kiwifruit.  The kiwifruit was another plant I rescued from the "sad trolley".  This one was reduced to $10 down from $20.  I had always wanted to try to grow kiwifruit so I couldn't walk past and leave him there, I had to attempt to save him.  I am proud once again to say he is thriving.  He has nice new leaves and is looking very healthy indeed.  With all these small successes I have been having of late, I am slowly gaining in confidence with gardening.  I no longer consider myself as a "death trap" for poor little unsuspecting plants which I drag into my home.  Now I am happy to sit and watch each new leave develop and gaze in wonder at them daily.

And take a look at what I just noticed.  I just went outside to see if I could photograph some beautiful rainbow lorikeets which are going nuts in the gum tree shown in the top photo.  Sadly I couldn't get a decent shot of them as they are too high up and too far back within the foliage, but look what I found which I hadn't noticed this morning...... (I apologise for the blurriness of this first picture but I am using an old camera cuz I couldn't find any fresh batteries for the new one lol).....flowers on my beloved blueberry bush!!!!

We bought this bush last year and it was half the size it is now.  Last year we got a handful of berries off it and they were simply devine.  This year there are many little buds forming on it and these flowers have been sitting there, just as little buds for a little while now and finally one has opened up.  Oh I am so excited to see this, I can already taste blueberries,,,I cannot wait!!!

I am driving my hubby crazy and my kids too I think when they get home from work and school and I go on about each plant's progress lol.  All they hear about is my cooking, my plants or my crafts and things I want to make!!!

But hey, no home is happy unless Mum is happy right????

Monday, May 2, 2011

ANZAC CAKE - This cake is really good, I mean REALLY GOOD!!

This is a cake that I have made many times.  It is a regular on our menu as everyone enjoys it.  I have made it and frozen it in pieces for the kids for school recess which works out well, even after freezing it tastes and looks just like it did straight out of the oven.  But the whole family agrees that there is nothing like it with the icing on it, the icing truly makes this cake.  This is a recipe I have had for years, and I don't remember where I got it from (like most of my recipes lol....I really should start noting where the recipes come from shouldn't I!!)

I should have photographed a slice of this cake to show how moist and delicious it looks, but it has been devoured now so maybe next time lol.  My mouth is watering just looking at the picture!!  Okay here is the recipe,,you just have to try it, I know you will love it!!!


½ C golden syrup
125g butter
2C Self Raising flour
½ C castor sugar
½ C coconut
2 eggs, lightly beaten
1C milk

60g butter
1t honey
1t vanilla
1 ½ C icing sugar
1T hot water

Combine syrup and butter in pan, stir over heat until smooth.  Combine sifted flou, sugar and coconut in bowl, add syrup mixture and mix well.  Using an electric mixer gradually beat in combined eggs and milk.  Pour mixture into a greased 20x30cm pan and cook at 180 degrees for 30 minutes.

Combine butter, honey and vanilla in a bowl.  Gradually beat in sifted icing sugar and water until smooth.  Spread over cooled cake.