Saturday, May 24, 2008

Beijing Torch Relay

Yep. That's right. It came here, right past my work. Bit of an anti relay really. Took me bloody ages to get to work by bus that day, the bus driver was seriously on something and nearly killed us a couple of times - he forgot half his route so had to do a u-ie in the middle of the highway, almost side swiping two cars, and ran a red light. A bus running a red light? By the time we got to the city he had been reported via mobile at least twice (bless those canberrans). Something was upsetting him really bad and I heard him telling a bloke that his wife was taken away in an ambulance that morning and he was worried... why did they make him work???

Anyway, tourists everywhere - all with red flags in their hands and on their faces... all chinese and thousands of them! I heard/saw firsthand a few tussles with the free tibet protestors and most of the people on my bus felt "good on them, they'll only get one chance with the whole world looking at them".

Half my work colleagues were at an official 'relay breakfast' at parliament house, the other half were fighting the traffic or working from home.

Anyway I got a few photos... really crapping again but photos nonetheless because I WAS THERE! So for my beloved nephew, here are my photos of the Beijing Olympics 2008 Torch Relay that came to Canberra on 24 April 2008 and passed right by my work in Allara Street.

Photo 1 - the relay passing down the highway (past the swimming pool) and in view from my office window.
Photo 2 - on its way (missed it again) up the highway and around the corner to Parliament House.
Photo 3 - arriving on stage via Ian Thorpe - my, my how tall he is!
Photo 4 - the Australian National Anthem sung by Jonathon Welch (the Choir of Hard Knocks) - beautiful, beautiful voice, and me (not so beautiful voice but very loud) coz there weren't no other locals there - just me and him, oh and thorpey.
Photo 5 - the crowd singing the Chinese Anthem - unbelievably stirring and patriotic (if one can call communism that) and they missed a verse too! See it's not just us aussies that forget!

So there we have it for another 4 years.


made by me

more cards made by me recently for workshops and a friend.


Harvest 2008

And while I'm updating this blog thing, I must put down my thoughts about harvest 2008. Batlow was hit with a hailstorm just after christmas 2007. We had just driven out of the driveway on our way to visit Craig and Donna. 10 minutes later the storm hit (we didn't get any rain on our drive, we must have been in front of it) and wiped out the apple harvest in Batlow. The district was about 8 weeks away from picking. The storm was 3 kms wide and was vicious. Anne and Noel were still at the farm and helped get all the machinery under cover - thank goodness. A hailstorm is really quite disturbing. The Batlow Fruit Cooperative Ltd usually packs something around 180,000 bins of fruit a year. This year it packed 10,000. So the district, which is still recovering from an ongoing drought, now has to deal with the effects of a hail storm. Heart breaking.

We usually pick around 30 bins in our small orchard. This year we picked 9. I still sold bags of fruit at work to my colleagues, and they still loved them and wanted more. But very damaged fruit.

Here's some photos of the harvest (we picked the week after Easter - first week in April just for the record). Look how tall Jack is!


Birthday box

I was also recently asked by a colleague to make a gift box for his wife. He had bought her a present and wanted a nice box to put it in. It beats me why the jewelry shop didn't provide him with one when he purchased a REAL string of pearls and earrings to match. He asked me if I wanted to keep the pearls while I made the box. I declined. I thought about running away to the bermuda triangle for about 2 seconds, but then I thought... "No, I wouldn't make it out the door"...

He's a lovely man, who obviously adores his wife. So I went away and thought about it for months and eventually produced this in the nick of time. He told me it was for her birthday, he'd bought pearls, and she liked purple. I was sweating on this one! - sometimes if you know a bit about the person you can't see past their 'perceived' opinion to create it for them! Yes, and that is flocking you can see on the body of the box. Velvet flocking. So decadent!

I hope she likes it. My critic (she knows who she is) tells me that his wife will love the fact that he asked someone to make a box for her gift. Apparently she has a chronic illness, so that makes it more poignant.


30 years

I was asked to do an album for the Boss who has just clocked over 30 years with our firm. I was chatting with someone one day and we both thought it would be a good idea. So I went away and stewed on it for about 2 months, started emailing his mates that he'd worked with over the years and asked them for stories... I received a great response - Lots of funny stories - Most of which should have been edited by the political police, but weren't! He's a nice bloke - really hard working, intense and loves a laugh, a beer and a good footy match! I made it black and white for his beloved 'Pies. I used old photos I found around the office and left lots of white space and black space for people to write messages. I passed it around the office with a black pen and a white pen - it took days because everyone wanted to read it first! Apparently he liked it but he's not sure because its still going around the office for signatures!!

I hurriedly took photos but they're awful because it was late at night and my hands were shaking (bloody camera). If someone could teach me how to do a mosaic of photos I would be grateful!


Eye Candy

I started StampinUp demonstrating in February this year and it has been going great. I love creating the make and takes for the workshops. So here are some samples I have created, demonstrated, swapped with other members of my SU team, Katie, Tanya and others. Using the palette o' prints designer series paper, of course!


Monday, May 12, 2008


As you would have read (that is if you read my blog) I have been using DigestEasy on Jack, who is dairy intolerant. Well I thought I had better do an update for all of you who are interested. Some interesting points:

- If some 'turkey' has fed Jack ice cream or a candy cane lolly or a drink of cows milk (don't ask!) I have up to 48 hours to get DigestEasy into him and it will stop any ear infection / green mucus appearing. That's a good result!

- I put a few drops in to anything I am cooking (I use the cap on the bottle) while it is on the stove, or even in the mixing dish, and it will not give Jack any reactions. I thought the heat/cooking would kill any good it would do - but NO not this stuff!

- I have taken to using So Good Soy milk in my cooking. So Good Soy milk does not make a good white sauce for lasagne, so I use half that and half cows milk (*gulp*) and a few drops of DigestEasy, heaps of cheese (*gulp, gulp*) and he DOES NOT REACT.

- John can take Jack to the farm on friday night, let Nanna feed him heaps of food he's intolerant to (don't ask) and bring him home on Monday, and I can still save him with a measured dose (.5ml per 1kg of body weight) and no ear infections. That's a good result!

- we travelled to Tasmania with a tiny bottle of DigestEasy wrapped in a wet towel, packed in a ziplock bag. Canberra to Melbourne with an unscheduled overnight stopover, then onto Hobart and back to Melbourne, then Canberra. That bottle was in and out of suitcases and fridges and had its own unscheduled stopover overnight in Jack's suitcase. It was alright until the second week and then it just didn't seem to work (and let me just say my pulse rate escalated at that point). I think that's a question for Professor Cliff Hawkins. Maybe he could sell travel bottles or maybe I should have put it in an esky bag thingy.

I am also experimenting with John who gets WILD hay fever at the farm (and we are going to move there soon so go figure). I've given it to him once before he mowed the lawn and he was good but he's also a *bloody, stupid* smoker, so I have to think about it a bit. He eats what Jack and I eat (ie. lots of DigestEasy) and come to think of it, his hayfever hasn't been that bad lately.

Can I just say that I love Professor Cliff Hawkins! He has changed my life and saved my little boy's life!

If you have allergies / food intolerances (dairy, egg etc.) and you're looking for something to help or thinking about trying this out, or your child gets bad ear infections... then get some DigestEasy NOW. RIGHT NOW. Don't hesitate. It's brilliant.

email: cliff.hawkins[at]bigpond[dot]com or write PO Box 86 Archerfield QLD 4108.


Wednesday, May 07, 2008


I had a bit of a win today.

After 9 weeks without a functioning washing machine - yes that's right NINE WEEKS... N.I.N.E. W.E.E.K.S. without a washing machine, I have been offered a brand new one for $245.00 payable immeGIATELY. I have had visits from 4 different repair men, 6 different parts on order and one was even sourced from Japan (go figure) but no-one could fix it

Yesterday was the last straw... I welcomed the repair man into my home, set my child up in the lounge with an exciting toy (blocks) and asked him to play while mummy swept the floor in the kitchen (all the while keeping a quiet eye on the repair man - don't worry, he was about 90 not out and shrivelled) and listed to what he was doing to my beloved stupid machine.

heard a bit of tinkering, (he took the face, the sides, the back off) and then I heard a click and a loud BUZZZZZ and a quiet YOW! and went in to find the man standing in a puddle of water with a puzzled look on his face. He had 'blown up' yet another control board. I said


Well the end of the story is that after my concerned phone call to Electrolux the Manufacturer, and my lodgement of a timeline of the circus, Electrolux have offered me a new machine for $245.

I said


Tomorrow. "

Well I got my new machine, plugged it in and away we go again on the roundabout of life in my laundry - 10 loads a week.