Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Daily Cute...

What? Besotted? Me?

Help for Bushfire Victims

There's a great article here in the Canberra Times written by a woman who lost her house in the Canberra fires, talking about what victims will need now and in the future.

Monday, February 16, 2009

More about Sebby

Sebby has had a huge day. It began early, at 2.30am in fact when he was forced out of his warm cosy bed (on the floor next to my warm cosy bed) and made to go to the toilet in the cold garden in the freezing rain and howling wind under an umbrella that had a SPIDER on it. Damn you puppy books. Damn you all to HELL.

It was fine. No really. I lived with a newborn that didn't sleep for six weeks, I can do this...

Oh sigh.

No he's very cute. Very cute. Peeing from one end of the house to the other, but cute.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Its Sebby

Today we picked up Sebby

He's been here about three hours and already acts like he's never lived anywhere else.

Its late, I'm tired so I'll wax lyrical tomorrow!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Nothing says Happy Valentines Day...

Like heart shaped toastApparently the crusty bit is supposed to be an arrow. Yes, my husband is that romantic. I am so blessed.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Books for Bushfire Victims

Courtesy of Romance Writers of Australia....

We've all seen the devastation the recent Victorian bushfires have wrought and have wondered how we can help. We know that for many affected families,books will not be high on their priorities list for some time to come. But... We also know how valuable books can be in providing time out when reality gets tough. So... With the aid of some wonderful volunteers, we've put together a Romance Writers of Australia Bushfire Book Appeal.

What we need? FICTION BOOKS!
Romance books, children's books, genre books, whatever – either new or in
sparkling condition.

Please send them to:
RWA Bushfire Book Appeal
c/- 89 Rennie St
Thornbury Vic 3071

When to send them?Now! And any time over the next few months. The books will be boxed and delivered to the appropriate neighbourhood centres/community centres/libraries in batches as soon as practicable. Feel free to pop a note inside, or if you're an author, sign it.
With thanks, Kelly Hunter President
On behalf of Romance Writers of Australia Inc.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Call for Spare Phone Chargers...

Have a spare phone charger?

Please send any spare mobile chargers to those that have lost theirs as a result of the Victorian bushfires.

Please send to:
Telstra Country Wide
Locked Bag 4670
Melbourne Vic 3001

Hope amongst the grim news from the Victorian Fires

The news from Victoria has been so grim that I think everyone is looking for a bit of hope. I for one now keep tissues on hand when I watch the news because I can't help but cry. But there are amazing stories of survival starting to emerge as well. Like that of a woman who dug herself and her children into a Wombat hole and survived the firestorm - and the 97 year old who survived Ash Wednesday, Black Friday and was picked up wandering along a road, none the worse for wear, after losing the battle to defend his home against these fires. My Grandfather is 93 and I am fully aware of how intrasigent gentlemen of that age can be - but defeating a bushfire??

The human cost is dreadful and the animal and wild-life cost equally upsetting. But here is a little moment of hope...

CFA firefighter, Dave Tree, finds a koala moving gingerly on her scorched paws after wildfires sweep Victoria. 'Sam' accepted a bottle of water and she is now recovering at a wildlife refuge - where apparently she has found love. http://www.smh.com.au/environment/love-in-a-time-of-bushfires-a-koalas-story-20090212-85dp.html

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Victorian Fires

We're all watching helpless and appalled as the number of fatalities from the Victorian bushfires grows and grows. I woke up this morning and with dread turned on the computer to find the number at 173 and growing hourly. I think seeing Kevin Rudd, our prime minister, on television last night close to tears and lost for words summed up the feelings of all Australians.

I put the post below up on Sunday afternoon, saying where people could go to help. If the list on that web page of offers of help was not proof enough of the Aussie spirit, then I was stunned that my web-stats went through the roof. Literally hundreds of people googling how to help out, wanting to help. The Red Cross has been swamped by people giving blood, and in just six hours yesterday morning the Australian people gave $6million. Its cold comfort, I know, but comfort nonetheless.

I am an experienced fighter of bushfires. I've lived through four, two of which were very close calls and one in particular was a firestorm which trapped me and my entire extended family at our property west of Sydney one Christmas. I can relate only too well to what the people in Victoria are going through. My thoughts are with them.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Friday, February 06, 2009

Vegies Growing like MAD...

Yes, I am excited. Thus I expect the internet to be excited as well.

See, carrots I dug up this evening...These are Purple Dragons (the carrots that is). They're orange or yellow inside and do taste a little different to your bog-standard carrot from Woolies. More carrotty. I grew them from seed.

In the middle of the greenery you can see a teensy tiny zucchini. I put the zucchini seeds in peat pots on about 2nd January - and we'll be picking them in a couple of weeks I reckon, three at the most.
Corn coming up in the corn patch.
Yes, it is corn, no its not grass.

And below are beans I am companion planting with the corn. I planted bean seed a week ago and already they're this big - actually I'm a little taken aback, we're due for Melbourne's heatwave to arrive here tomorrow and I was kind-of hoping they wouldn't germinate until after, oh well.
Beans put loads of nitrogen into the soil, Corn takes loads of nitrogen out of the soil which is why they're awesome to plant together.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

He's eating my tomatoes

But I don't really care actually...He's a King Parrot, and you can tell he's a he because he's red. The girls are green.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Great Review for Secret Intentions...

Rachel C at Fallen Angel Reviews had this to say about Secret Intentions...

Secret Intentions

All Zani has to do is find evidence that Corbin de Villiers is leaking company secrets, seems simple. But there’s nothing simple about Corbin or her ‘job’ as his assistant; used to designing custom yachts, Zani has no idea how to be a PA. When she finds herself not only attracted to Corbin but hoping he’s not the one sabotaging the company, Zani struggles with loyalty to her family and an attraction she never expected.

Corbin de Villiers knows his new PA is hiding something, but with all that’s happening to his company, he doesn’t have time to find out what, even if Zani slips into his mind far too often for comfort. The longer they work together the more Corbin discovers Zani is many things but a PA isn’t one of them.

With lies, theft and the Russian Mafia things go from complicated to life threatening. Can Corbin and Zani find out who’s behind it all before they both pay the ultimate price?

Secret Intentions by Caitlyn Nicholas delivers an intriguing story of lies and love. Corbin and Zani are thrown together in a fight to first save his company and then their lives. Zani has spent her life fixing her brother and father’s problems, but this time they may have bitten off far more than she can chew. Ms. Nicholas has done a great job of making Zani a contradiction, on one hand she’s a successful business woman in high demand and on the other she’s an insecure woman who bows to her father and brother’s dictates. I loved watching as she grew to understand she was far more than her family ever allowed her to believe. Her relationship with Corbin grows along with her and as they get closer, Zani begins to flourish in her own skin. With secrets and lies at every turn, and everyone with their own agenda Ms. Nicholas weaves an intricate web of intrigue and danger that keeps you guessing. The chemistry between Zani and Corbin can’t be ignored but with everything going on seems destined to be pushed to the side. I loved the secondary characters; all of them have a hand at making Secret Intentions an engrossing read.

Reviewed by: Rachel C.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Dried Fruit in the Fruit Dryer - the conclusion

VILE. Worse than the cabbage disaster.

The plums were immensly bitter. So bitter I couldn't actually eat them. The apricots were like cardboard, the tomatoes were bitter AND like cardboard.Actually the mango was quite nice, in a chewy, stuck-between-the-teeth way.


And yes that is a carrot cake you see next to the plate. It was leftover from playgroup and they MADE me take it. Also, you are correct, my kitchen does look like a bomb's hit it, but that is how it normally looks. Moi au natural.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Sustainability - Hard Core - Ye Gods!

So I was reading Grass Roots the other day. I love Grass Roots and Earth Garden, they're my two favorite magazines - both 'alternative' living, sustainability type mags.

So, was feeling all environmental and so on about our bucket in the shower, and our vegies and remembering to take our green bags to the supermarket, and then I read about Jen Owens.

Jen Owens is doing the sustainability thing for a year. Here are her rules
  • self-sufficient in meat, fruit and vegies
  • everything else from Tasmanian only sources
  • No supermarket shopping
  • No purchases of new items
  • Reduce energy consumption to grid neutral - which is a 95% reduction to 1kW which is supplied by a solar array.
Holy crap. I now see how entirely under-whelming my efforts really are. I mean okay, we don't have four acres of land, in fact we have 700 square metres and this includes the house, but still... A 95% reduction in electricity! No supermarkets! I am in awe. I'm also rather inspired...

Best of all Jen blogging about her experience: http://paramihomefarm.blogspot.com/. I'll put her in the sidebar so we can keep an eye on how she's going.