Friday, September 28, 2007

Pretties everywhere............

Today is one of those days when I'm in the mood to celebrate, glorious weather, beautiful season with pretty flowers everywhere. My roses are on their way, they are budding and I can't wait for them to burst into blooms and colours. In the mean time, here is the very first flower for the season- an early bird. In actual fact, they are a little late this year due to the rain which hindered the pruning in winter, as I remember last year on AFL Grand Final Day, my kids posing in front of my roses with their West Coast Eagles gear on. (Ah! Now you know which team we support) But patience , they will eventually come and bring rewards with them, I mean the roses.Cupcakes off to school today, no prizes for getting it right guessing which are for girls and which are for boys!Snapshots here and there..............Going to make buntings out of these fabrics with the prettiest pinks and blues........
Have a lovely weekend, my dear blogging friends and readers, and a wonderful Grand Final Day to those who care about AFL football.

Monday, September 17, 2007

Chatty Chat Chat

What have I been up to? Well, heaps! The garden has been one of the many things I've been working on. There has been some change of plans and some minor "renovation" has to be made to the back garden, so I've been busy getting that started. I've still got a long way to go, but I'll enjoy the journey as I'm slowly bringing it to reality. The on-going fertilization and mulching also had to be done, so as you can imagine, I have been getting down dirty working hard.We've been entertaining and having people over as well, so I've been busy cooking. Here are some pictures of the Pavlova I made for dessert. It does appear like I'm always making desserts, but believe me, we don't just eat desserts, we do eat wholesome healthy main course food as well, it's just that desserts make beautiful pictures and I can't resist them. Also when food is served on the table, I 'm usually too busy to take photos. So that's why only desserts photos. One of my good ol' friends also had a surprise birthday party organised by her hubby last weekend, which I thoroughly enjoyed attending. I don't even remember how old she is, it wasn't mentioned at the party and I have lost count, not that she's that old. This is the present I got for her, which I think she'll love. I thought you might like to see the roses on it. She loves bright colours.I came across this (I don't know what to call it) when I was at a bookstore one time, I think it makes things out to be so simplistic and you know, it is that simple, so why can't some people get it right? Lol! Here is how it goes:

Rules of the House

If you sleep in it.............make it up
If you wear it...............hang it up
If you drop it.............pick it up
If you eat out of it...............wash it
If you spill it...............wipe it up
If you turn it on..............turn it off
If you open it................close it
If you move it.................put it back
If you break it
If you empty it.................fill it up
If it rings.................answer it
If it howls................feed it
If it it
I've also been babysitting my sister-in-law's dog Fritz, he's a ball of fur and quite a good looker, have to admit my heart beated fast holding him as he's a Westie cross, you know my dream dog is a Westie and he does look a lot like a Westie, even though his ears are flopped like his mother, a Maltese. By the way, we found out our puppy, Belle, is a Papillon cross, which is a French breed. Papillon means butterfly in French. She's growing beautifully. I've also been doing some other bits and pieces like Calligraphy, I simply updated the words and the style of Calligraphy in this faux old book I made eons ago. I also bought this chandelier for $14.90, which I thought couldn't go wrong at that price. I can always make a place for it somewhere in the house. It's hung up temporarily in the lounge room. I'll need candlelight-shaped lightbulbs for it.

Unfortunately, I'll need to mention this which is a sad turn. I'm trying not to make it too sad. We came home from church yesterday to find our budgie Goldie hanging on for dear life on the floor of her cage, it was dramatic in that she was still barely alive when we saw her, we got her out of the cage and had her on my daughter's hand, she literally breathed her last in the palm of her hand. We thought she must have waited to say goodbye before she left. It looked like she had a stroke, although I don't know if that happens to birds. She had the same happen to her about a month ago and one of her feet went limp and she couldn't hold on to the perch, she fluttered hard with her wings. She recovered from that after a few minutes. But this time she didn't. I personally don't like having to watch little animals die like that right in front of my eyes. We buried her in our backyard and the kids picked flowers from the garden and made a cross and we had a little "ceremony" to bring a closure to her life. We've enjoyed our Goldie the six years she'd been with us, her chirping was always a delight, she'd even given our guests lots of joy when they visited.
Sorry to leave you sad, but don' t be sad, she's had a good life of being a joy and a blessing to others, that's what counts when it's all said and done.

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Tea Talk (Part 3)

I drink "white tea, no sugar" many times a day, "white tea" is what we call "tea with milk" here in Australia. I love coffee as well, but because I have to have sugar with my coffee, I don't drink as much of it. But I admit the aroma of coffee beans being ground in a grinder is pretty hard to beat.Talking about aroma, there are many ways to drink tea which make tea-drinking pretty aromatic. I don't usually like black tea on its own, I've been through the "green tea phase" which had almost everybody starting to drink green tea for its health benefits, which for me has now been reduced to only every now and again, when-I-feel-like-it sort of thing.One of the ways to make tea even more aromatic is by adding herbs or blossoms to a pot of plain tea. Even on the coldest days, we can still feel close to our garden when we savour the delicate flavours of our favourite herbs or flowers brewed in our cup of tea.There are many blossoms you can select for your tea- Roses, Lavender, Orange blossoms, just to name a few. Roses are my favourite, choose the most fragrant blooms and before brewing, pinch the white heels out of the petals to eliminate bitterness.Before you start making your tea, don't forget to take the chill off your teapot or teacup by pouring some boiling water into it, swish it around for a minute, and pour it out. Then add the tea, and after that the herbs and flowers, crushing their petals and leaves gently to release their flavours. Below are a few fragrant flower and herb teas for your enjoyment.Did you know?--The term "orange-pekoe" actually refers to the location of the tea leaves on the actual plant, nothing to do with the citrus fruit? Orange-pekoe leaves are the second branch of leaves from the top of the tea plant.Spicy Rose Tea
4 tsp orange-pekoe tea
1 Tbsp fresh rose petals or 1 tsp dried rose petals
1/2 tsp cinnamon stick chips

Lovely Lavender Tea
4 tsp orange-pekoe tea
3 fresh lavender flower heads or 1/3 tsp dried lavender flowers
Honey to sweeten

Fragrant Flower Tea
4 tsp jasmine tea
2 rose geranium leaves
1 tsp dried orange blossoms

Lifting Lemon Tea
3 tsp orange-pekoe tea
1 tsp dried lemon verbena
1/2 tsp minced dried lemon peel
2 sprigs lemon thymeNo matter what herb or flower you use, make sure they have been grown without pesticides and are washed well before you put them in your cup of tea.

On my way home from dropping the kids off today, I saw many wisterias blooming in other people's gardens, they are simply sensational, that's something I'd love to plant in my garden.

I have a Fuchsia, aptly named "Party Frock" in flower now. It's beautiful. Also the purple Veronica, fragrant Jasmine and my still smallish pinkish Lavender.
Last but not least, these are my daughters' oh-so-cute ornamental teapot collection, aren't they gorgeous?