Friday, January 29, 2010

For the love of beetles

I love taking close-ups of beetles, or anything else in the arthropod family. We recently bought The Wonderland of Nature by Nuri Mass. Such a beautiful book for teaching children about nature and journaling.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Summer storms

We have had lots of opportunities to watch storms passing the last few days. We love to sit on the verandah and smell the crisp air, and feel the wind whip up just before the rain starts pelting down.

This first one was a storm that passed to the north of us. The cloud was like a column that swirled and kept mushrooming at the top.

We managed to get a bit of cricket in after dinner tonight before the rain reached us. A short rainfall, but intense.

Littlest chicken has moved her bed to beside the window so she can just gaze at the clouds changing in the dusk as she goes to sleep.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Handmade gifts

I didn't make much for Christmas this year. I gave each of the nieces and nephews a vintage tin with seeds to grow, a notepad with their name on it (we had fun with silicone for those), and some little chocolates. For the two littlest ones I made 'emotional' bean bags. Brothers and sisters received hand-stamped candles (forgot to take a photo), and parents received their goodies in a hand-made Christmas bag.

I can heartily recommend co-operative games. We bought the children each one for Christmas and it's so lovely to play with each other, rather than against each other! We also bought them cheap-cheap-cheap little mp3 players on eBay, which entertained them marvellously during all the holiday travelling.

My sister gave us this sign for the gate - very funny (and appropriate)! And I have a nice little pile of books I plan to keep my nose in today... (wish me luck!)

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

How to grow an enormous zucchini

Steps to growing an enormous zucchini:
Step 1 - go away for two weeks,
Step 2 - have a huge amount of rain while you're gone,
Step 3 - come back to find previously neat veggie garden now looks like it's been on steroids.

Look at these babies. The biggest one is 40cm long! I better look up some zucchini recipe's quick sticks...

A belated Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to all. It felt like Christmas went for weeks this year (oops - last year), with Don's family here for a week, then meeting again for Christmas and the week afterwards. I seemed to make an astonishing number of puddings, and roast an amazing amount of pork!

It doesn't seem like Christmas unless there's some backyard cricket...

We enjoyed a week in Thredbo - a spot of bushwalking, lots of chair lift rides, water slides, bobsled rides, golf, pottering around.... Lovely!