Friday, August 30, 2013

Oh, it's a jolly holiday ...

A lovely find at the op shop this morning

Sheet music AND a story.

They don't make them like this anymore.

It takes you back, doesn't it?

The arrangements are perfect,

lovely to play,

and I'm always interested to see 

how other piano teachers

make notes on students' pieces.

(My markings tend to be more minimalist than these)

* * *

Also, two saxophone books for Emily;

a book on Good King Wenceslas

which I will show my recorder class,

(we just started to play Good King Wenceslas 

last week, a bit early for Christmas carols 

but they are so advanced this year);

and a wedding ideas book 

with great craft and party ideas,

which I'm looking forward to reading.

And all for $5.00.

* * *

Today has been a warm day.

The car thermometer has hit 30degC

a few times while I've been out.

Can it really still be winter?

* * *

I've thoroughly enjoyed the serenity

of the last few days

and am looking forward to seeing my girl again

very soon.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013


In which I succumb to metaphor

A swallow flew into our ballet class just now,

and couldn't find the way out.

He (she?) flew from one end of the studio to the other,

back and forth, frantically looking for an escape.

Sometimes resting on the curtain rod,

so close to the open window a few inches below ...

We kept on with our glissades, pirouettes and waltzes,

and in the end didn't see the bird actually fly out the window,

but I heard happy chirping as it flew off.

While struggling to keep up with the steps

I couldn't help but liken the bird to myself at the moment.

Frantically looking for an exit,

a solution,

a cure.

But at least now I have a reprieve,

Laura has gone on a school camp

and for three days

her migraines, anxiety, 

other symptoms and mood swings

are the school's problem.

Don't get me wrong, I love Laura dearly,

but I just need a break,

a rest on the curtain rod 

before more frantic circling, 

and hopefully one day 

flying into the sunshine and fresh air.

Ballet credit: Microsoft.  I don't dance that well!

Saturday, August 24, 2013

Sunny Afternoon

Such a beautiful sunny afternoon here.

I've been out teaching cardmaking at a local church.

The girls have been working on school assignments

(I hope)

and now Emily has gone to a high tea

for a friend's birthday.


Looking gorgeous.

The recent winds have blown away many of the magnolia blooms

but a few remain on the tree.

I love this time of year when the garden is full of magnolias,

freesias, camellias and daisies,

especially in the late afternoons.

* * *

What have you been doing today?

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Saturday Baking

Today I baked 

bread rolls in the thermomix

declared to be very good by the wheat-eaters of the family;

and gluten-free 

Caramel Pear Upside-Down Cake.

which, as it turns out,

 is still delicious even when you forget the butter.

Friday, August 16, 2013


I taught an extra music lesson today,

and when I finished, 

came upon this rare domestic scene.

Laura sewing ribbons

on her new pointe shoes

and Emily sketching her current project

for her textiles portfolio.

Glenn Miller's Big Band playing in the background.

Yep, that's my girls.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Spring is on its way!

  The days are getting warmer

and longer,

Freesias run amok in the front garden.

Spring must be coming!

And while I feel sadness that the cosy

winter days are numbered,

and with them my most energetic season,

I can't help feeling 

excited at the change in the air.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Wednesday on my own

 Laura is back at school today,

after a couple of days off with a bad headache.

Free to leave home once more,

I raced to the shops this morning

to buy some much-needed groceries.

Dealing with multiple diets is adding up.

High grocery bills and lots of foods 

to fit into the pantry and fridge.

And then I raced home, threw on my dance clothes

and rushed to ballet.

Where I was presented with a dress.

Looks like we really will be dancing 

in the end-of-year concert!


(except we will be removing those blue sequins,

in case you're interested ..)

Food for everyone

Yesterday was a big baking day.

Peanut cookies for me.
Based on my Gran's peanut biscuit recipe,
but with GF flour and DF margarine.

Realising that my body is not coping 
with leaving starches and sugar just yet.
But treating myself with the peanuts.

Orange cupcakes for Emily and her friends
who came over to work on an assignment.
Thank goodness they all have normal diets!

Grain-free Gingerbread Cookies for Laura.

Made with almonds, honey, and coconut oil.
They reminded me of the old Honey Snaps
we could buy when I was young.

First batch: a little overdone around the edges (above) 
but otherwise ok, 
although they look nothing like Kersten's.
Probably our oven ...

Second batch:  I pressed out one big cookie 
and cut it into square before baking - better.

Third batch: round cookies again.  
I was distracted by something in the mail
and they burnt to a crisp, smoke everywhere.
There goes a packet of almond meal ...

By the time Emily's friends arrived at 2.45pm
I was a nervous wreck.

But at least we all had some yummy baking to enjoy.

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Lightening up

For a long time 

we had at the back door 

a speaker and a boot cupboard.

The boot cupboard made for good storage

of gumboots and thongs,

and I had handpainted and stenciled it,

but it made getting out the back door 

with a load of washing tricky,

and I never like the look of 

two pieces of furniture 

right up next to each other, especially when 

both have knick-knacks and lamps on them!

So a few weeks ago I decided

that enough was enough,

and I moved the boot cupboard to the verandah,

and lightened up on the accessories.

Aaaahhhh...  much better.

Monday, August 12, 2013

It's complicated ...

Life in the last month or so has been difficult ...

... again ...

More sickness,

More diet changes,

More parenting challenges

More days stuck at home

- or rushing frantically from place to place,

catching up on errands after all the home days.

As I said in this post,

Laura has been diagnosed as very sensitive to gluten,

and has been on a gluten-free diet for 6-7 weeks now.

And yet we are not seeing improvements in her symptoms

(headaches, visual disturbance, nausea).

Now the doctor tells us that other foods 

can cross-react with gluten,

and so for 2-3 months we also have to 

remove some other foods from the diet:

Milk, corn, rice, yeast, oats, millet, (and coffee).

So my latest challenge 

is to figure out exactly what is left 

for a slightly fussy teenager to eat,

keeping in mind her braces, also, 

and also I'm trying to keep sugar to a minimum.

And then to cross-reference that with the other diets

in the family and see if we can come up with any matches

at any time, 

to save me making 3-4 separate dishes.

On top of all that, 

we've bought a Thermomix,

which is perfect timing, as it turns out.

I'm very grateful for it, 

but it does come with a learning curve of it's own.

* * *

It's no picnic, let me tell you.

Menu-planning and research has become 

an all-consuming activity.

But I think I'm over the hurdle now,

and am slowly getting my head around it all.

Today Laura is home with a headache,

and has just enjoyed 

a banana icecream for morning tea,

(made in the thermie, 

with one frozen banana and nothing else!)

and coconut pancakes with 

pears and maple syrup for lunch.

Much cooking has been done,

but there's been no time for photo shoots!

So instead, please enjoy these lovely tulips

that Tanya gave me a few weeks back,

as I did, during some dark days.