...of Faux Fuchsia's Christmas Tree.... and my two boys at the bottom of it. We went for a visit (like many have) to marvel at its gorgeous-ness. It is the most beautiful tree with gorgeous ornaments, each with a happy memory and story attached to it.
Happy Christmas my dear friends.
Much love to you all from Anne-Maree, Brynley and Kristian..... and Nigel and Brian (just)... oh and Henry (the spiny leaf stick insect)... and the rest of our emerging stick insects,from the eggs that Deb sent us (the gift that keeps on giving)...... that haven't been named yet......or don't get named because they die too soon and get fed to Nigel and Brian... and our new pet snails (from FF's garden, she was pleased to hand them over) xx
PS. Breaking news: after watching a particularly detailed National Geographic program, we have discovered that Brian and Nigel are actually 'Brianna' and 'Nigella'. I am searching for something pink to put in their enclosure. Girl Power.
I've been to hell and I'm working on the "and back" bit. Your love and support has been powerful stuff, getting me to the point where, this morning at 4am (not too good with the sleep stuff), I am sitting here worrying about someone else's tough journey.... other than mine and my boys.
Instructions to big brother on lizard tank this morning... I love him... he's so spirited and fierce.
It is now a race to get to the stick insect containers first thing in the morning to see if any have hatched. Little one is most indignant if big brother gets there first and "ruins the surprise".... hence the note.
'Frank', the first hatchling, was released 'into the wild' (the herb garden) as his leg was accidentally broken, when it was caught in the rubber band keeping the chux cloth on the top of the container.
Thank goodness 'Steve' hatched almost immediately, to take the focus off the impending death of 'Frank' in the herb garden. Thanks to Deb (sorry Deb, he calls you 'the blog stick insect lady').....we have the gift that keeps on giving..... a few squabbles....and never a dull moment!
I love the subtle metal accents in this beautiful kitchen..... the stool, handles, rangehood, vase and whatnots on the stovetop.
What would we call this?... 'Gentle Industrial' meets Hamptons? There are no rules... lets make it up!
I reckon the lights could hang lower, do you agree? Ikea has that exact style light in stock at present but in a chrome-ish look.
Love the barn door too and the wooden rolling pin wall display......a bit of 'country' thrown in for good measure. 'Country Hamptons Industrial'? 'Industrial Country'? Whatever you'd call it ....I love it all!
I have thoroughly enjoyed following 'The Nester's' 31 days to a less messy nest. She has summarised her 31 posts throughout October HERE. Grab a cuppa, it's a great read....... everything from organising your drawers, the freedom of having nothing on often used tables, 'editing' your stuff, assigning different cups to avoid 15 different cups in the washing up each night ......to not putting stuff where it belongs, but where you actually use it! Great idea!
We all have our protocols for minimising mess... and living in an apartment, with no room for mess, I have been devouring any tips on minimising clutter I can find. The kitchen is a big one for me... it has to be clean and tidy all the time..... and be spotless before I go to bed so I start the next day (in coffee central) with complete order. Beds can be unmade from time to time in rush periods... but the kitchen, for me, always has to be clean. I will share one of my 'keeping an apartment kitchen tidy and functional' tips later on this week.
What are your 'must haves', 'must dos' when it comes to dealing with mess? Any tips for living in a shoebox?.. and keeping that shoebox orderly?
Amidst the harsh industrial architecture of our inner city apartment complex ..........springs our burgeoning, uncultivated herb garden.
This picture has nothing to do with the contents of this post.
Just thought I'd show you my never ending source of herbs :)
After ironing my sons' school shirts for 7 years, I found that there is a spare button sewn on the inside of every one of them. 7 years. I switch off when I iron... that's my excuse.
'Run Away' does not effectively remove the stains from whites washed with coloureds.. it just leaves an offensive odour in the sink and burns the skin on one's ungloved hand.
iPhones don't like being submerged in water.
iPhones (before being submerged in water) only ring if the mute button is turned off on the side.
Children grow when you feed them ("when did that happen?"). My eldest son's singlets look like 1980's 'Madonna' midriff tops #plentyofskin.
0 and 9, on a sign put up for residents, look very similar when not wearing glasses. The water, in this apartment complex, was turned off on the 29th (for 6 hours), just after I had finished a sweaty boxing session with my trainer #noshower
While on the subject of #noglasses... the 'grill' and 'bake' symbols on the oven also look very similar #burntdinner
I am in denial about needing to wear my glasses.
Please tell me I am not alone in my mishaps. Anyone out there also experiencing early-onset 'senior moments'?
PS Happy November!
Herb garden - 5 months ago.
Herb garden today. Anyone for pesto?
That's the old derelict QML building next door avec deteriorating asbestos roof - I close my windows on windy days.
I wasn't going to write a post this morning. I was just going to chill out and have a break from the whole IT thing but it's part of my day now. I love tuning in to my little online community each morning, catching up on all your news. So I am sitting here, sipping coffee out of my new Ada and Darcy teacup, revelling in the whole 'I don't have to do the school run this morning' thing.
Even the fact that my brand new(not even a week old) iPhone was found fully submerged in a handbag full of water last night could not ruin this beautiful 'non school' morning. After soccer practice last night, a water bottle was hurriedly put into my handbag (upside down).... as we were running out of hands to carry things. I found my dripping handbag late last night, after retracing steps from puddles on the floor. Lets see if the case that I had my phone in and a dose of sunshine can't help fix the thing. Hey, my last little dinky phone survived a napisan soak and 2 days hanging on the clothesline in the sun... still worked like a charm.
... and my handbag camera still works... maybe I can blame the fuzziness of all my photos on water damage now!
We're off to the park this morning.. soccer of course.... and then out to a birthday party this afternoon. My boys always want to just hang out close to home on Saturdays... they need unhurried 'home down time'... the week is so busy... time to breathe out.
What do you get up to on Saturdays? Before children I vaguely remember the whole relaxed, reading papers in comfortable silence, coffee shop scene on a Saturday morning.... sigh!
P.S Oh, I joined Facebook. Yay! Feels really funny being a total newbie again! Am I the last person on earth to join them? Better late than never :)
On my morning walks, I am noticing that the Jacaranda flowers/leaves are dropping.
Deep breaths - they're only flowers
22 years after my last Uni exam, my heart still beats faster when I see this. Because when the leaves drop, on the Uni calendar, it's exam time. Two events on the Jacaranda/Uni Calendar..... leaves appear, get studying....leaves drop... it's too late...the dreaded swot vac and a painful few weeks of balancing exams and swotting. Blah!
This is the riverbank in front of our apartment - all Jacaranda trees!
Well, I don't know how it is these days, but back in the 80's, there was no continual assessment in the Science faculty. The assessment was just one big, whopper exam at the end of semester, for each subject. It was hell. By the time the Jacarandas had dropped ... it was time to fleece A-M's summaries of her subject summaries... yes I gave them away to all and sundry and suffered a few devastating moments when some of my 'less than studious' science buddies, who never attended lectures and just swotted on my summaries, got a higher grade than me!
Jacarandas on the other side of the river - close to the Uni
I was so relieved to read on a forum somewhere that others suffer that recurring dream... of going into an exam of a subject that you haven't studied for, or have even been to one lecture for. I experience it at least every few weeks or so. Hubby says, "that dream again?"... "yep". I never failed an exam in my 5 years at Uni... came close in the beginning... before I learnt 'exam passing techniques' (that's all Uni is right!) ... maybe that's it.. the coming close? But the dream is always about the last subject I need to get my last degree, the one I need to be able to go out and work.....the last 10 credit points. In my dream, I'm the only one who has to stay the next semester to do one subject in order to graduate.
Every grand home has Jacarandas lining the footpath - it was all the rage... back in the day.
The irony is, that is exactly what happened to my hubby. His situation was cruel... it was one credit point... one! He even pleaded to the Dean of Science.... nope, got no-where and had to sit a whole semester for the last credit point.
Yet I'm the one having the dream.... no nightmare.... it's a nightmare now as it is still going all these years later. What does it all mean? Is anyone out there as mental as me? Oh dear, that's an invitation if ever there was one.
... I am falling in love with my new neighbourhood. This was not meant to happen. This was meant to be temporary.... but now I am asking myself, where else would I want to live? It's wonderful. I am embracing it with open arms and it is giving so much back. It's like Byron Bay used to be (in the 80's) in the middle of the city!
The 'oh dear' bit is that it is frightfully expensive to secure any 'dirt' here. Never used to be that way. I went to high school in this suburb and used to say my 'safety prayers', when walking down to the spooky Southbank area to catch my bus.... back in the days of abandoned warehouses and noisy printing factories. I used to secretly feel sorry for any of my friends who lived here as it was old and dirty and noisy and 'factory-ish'.
Now I feel like I have come home... even though it was never my home. To sum it all up? This place is alive. It's where I believe you can be your authentic self.... no airs and graces. It's like the people here 'get' what life is all about... and they smile.
Just yesterday afternoon, the boys and I went for a wander, close to sunset. We heard this gorgeous music coming from a little house, a really groovy version of 'Somewhere Over The Rainbow' on a ukulele. The boys stopped in their tracks, "do you hear that Mum?"
We stopped and chatted. Meet Tabatha and Jacki.... my neighbours... living in the moment.
I am going to do a regular little segment on my bloggy: "Interesting People In My Neighbourhood".
What do you think?... would you be interested in getting to know my neighbours? I've met some amazing people. I had the thought when a guy on a unicycle rode past us yesterday while we were sitting in our local coffee shop!
PS Little one is positively joyous this morning. One of his stick insect eggs hatched! He is literally jumping up and down. He can't stop smiling his toothless grin. Oh it is wonderful to watch. Thank you Deb, for sending us the eggs.. seems they are over their 'jet lag'!
Now, for those of you who have been living under a rock (which is usually me when it comes to hearing exciting news), Kellie's beautiful online store, 'Ada and Darcy', is now open for business.
I went berserk as soon as it opened and am now the proud owner of these exquisite teacups (to encourage my new 'drink less coffee' mantra)... and matching plates (not in photo as I was still unwrapping them when I took this photo). My excuse is that all my teacups are in storage.. right at the back of the shed, right at the very bottom. I am eyeing off those gorgeous ruffled bedspread thingys too (storage excuse still valid).... oh and everything else that matches my teacups (storage).
..... and they came so beautifully wrapped, with some extra little treats for my family to enjoy too. Thanks so much Kellie! So overwhelmed am I with such a sumptuous new online shopping outlet (it has to be online these days!) that Kellie is now featured on my bloggy sidebar permanently. Her pretty colourful wares are such a complement to my neutral aesthetic over here. Even her promo buttons are gorgeous. Congratulations Kellie. You've worked so hard... and it's beautiful.
.. so on the weekend, I managed to wangle my way into a private viewing of the penthouse here in our apartment complex. It's for sale.... and apparently being auctioned at the Sydney Opera House as one of 'Australia's finest properties'!!! The exclamation marks are to exclaim my disbelief as 'it' (the penthouse) had the same traddies throw it together as those who did our place down here on level one. I had a morning tea guest yesterday who said our corridor reminded her of the YMCA. Keeping in mind, this is a brand new complex.
Anyway, ... look at the view! ..that must be the reason for the 'Australia's finest property' tag'. 360 degrees of flowering Jacaranda trees! ...tins roofs of old cottages, a smattering of Greek Revival edifices (multicultural here) ... and of course, the Brissie river at her muddy finest!
That lovely big expensive bit of bare dirt in the foreground was the demolition that my little one and I witnessed a few weekends ago. Another low rise apartment complex is going up on it. Oh and this is the view I (sort of) get if I stand on tippy toes on my son's bed and look out the top window of my boys bedroom.
Don't envy their power bill. These are all for the penthouse.
Quick coffee and then I'm off to do the 'Guitar Ensemble run'... early starts on Tuesdays.
Remember this beautiful old place? ... which I pass on my morning walks?... the one that has the pup waiting at the gate for me each morning, ball in mouth, ready to play .... well she's for sale (the house... not the dog).
The back of the property - the little studio and garage.
I have had the pleasure of getting to know the owners over the past few months. I stopped to chat one morning, when the owner was working in his garage. That's it (the garage) on the right...at the back of the property... with 2 street access... the only garage I have ever met that has it's own balcony with a view! I was curious as to why/how that incongruous creation in the middle of the picture came to be (across the road from the property) in an area steeped in history and saturated in heritage architecture... so we chatted.... and chatted.
I was given the grand tour, stayed for hours, inhaled the history, not only of the house but the neighbourhood as well. The owners know the area so well, have lived here for some years and have lovingly restored this home over that time. I would often walk past and see the lady of the house balanced precariously on a ladder on the upstairs verandah, trying to paint an out of reach shutter... I would hold my breath. Built in the mid 1800's, it was originally a 'gentleman's residence' and has had various incarnations throughout the years...apparently having a 'colourful purpose' during the war.
That little building, to the left of the photo above, was part of the stables. Next door (now subdivided) was the tennis court. Half of the tennis house is still standing in someone elses back yard... used as a garden shed.
She stands so majestically on the street (which originally was the cart track leading to the house... back in the days), proudly hinting at her history. My big son and I attended the open for inspection on the weekend. It was very quiet. She commanded respect and I think people sensed it. We wafted from room to room, drank it all in.... she's just beautiful. You can see more of her HERE.
Just when you thought it could not get any more exciting here at 'The House', I bring you... our stick insect eggs.
They were express posted to us by my lovely bloggy friend, Deb, at 'The Moerks'. Once little one heard that she had some and had offered to send us some, it became an emergency. So poor old Deb had barely put her bags down, from a trip around Australia with hubby and offspring, when she found herself packaging up creepy crawly eggs and sending them off to sunny (now, finally) Queensland.
Sorry Deb, but I think we have created a monster. They are examined every 5 minutes and arguments ensue regarding optimum moisture content and egg positioning. Research has surfaced that informs us that we could be up for a 3 year wait. Give us strength. You may be right Deb, they might have 'jet lag'.
In other riveting news, Nigel and Brian are thriving... so much so that I have actually taken an interest in their well being and am sneaking carrot to them while the boys are at school. As soon as I go near their tank, they look at me and flail their little arms as if to say, 'get me outa here'. It sort of breaks my heart. They are very human like. They love the boys. The boys let them out for a bit of a sunning, morning and evening. Blah, that's when I exit. I admire them from afar.
Yes, so it is action stations here at reptile central. Please, if any of you are 'fortunate' enough to be hatching stick insects eggs... any tips? I am ready to chuck them over the fence (no offense Deb).