Friday, November 29, 2013


A busy day:
baking melting moments
(to be filled and eaten tomorrow at our 
family birthdays/early Christmas afternoon tea)

 and shopping all afternoon:
presents for tomorrow
clothes for me
make up for ballet concert...
the list goes on.

And an expensive car service.
Money is going out at an alarming rate;
fortunately in the last couple of days we 
received an unexpected tax refund.

Much as I enjoy shopping ;-)
I do find it hard to balance 
our "need" for items, eg clothing, gifts
and my desire for 
a simpler, less expensive life.

The games my mind plays exhaust me sometimes.
Spend? Save? Give?
Make do? Mend? Go without?
Too expensive. Too cheap.

I'd love to give more to charities
and to church;
but there are constant lists of things
to buy for our first-world life,
requests and needs from the girls,
and to be honest,
 my selfish nature wants more for me, too.

But I do feel a gradual change coming.
Slowly, slowly.
I'm learning to let go a little,
and be more generous.

Because deep down 
I know that money and possessions
are not what life is really about at all,
despite all Christmas marketing to the contrary.

Do you struggle with this at this time of year, too?

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

One Small Thing - Cookies & Tea

I was here.

Gluten-free sausage cookies

(made with this recipe, 
using 3 cups rice flour & 1/2 cup glutinous rice flour
in place of the regular flour)

... best enjoyed with something like this.

* * *

I am needing to be aware of 

some days more than others.

Of course I've also been enjoying 

Fortunately I've also fitted in 

a bit of exercise this week:

walking, gardening and ballet.

Things are going better here today,

but I am grateful for these small pleasures

in quiet moments.

A bit like Christmas ...

I've had a couple of not-so-good days here,

so it was perfect timing on Monday

to find a parcel from the UK on my doorstep!

with a lovely English Christmas card inside

beautiful wrapping, JUST they way I like it 

- red & white are my favourite colours for wrapping;

and inside the layers,

four sweet parcels to unwrap ...

... such fun!

Inside, four beautiful ornaments,

gifts from a giveaway by the lovely

Just in time for us to trim our tree this weekend.

Thanks so much, Amy,

I love them all.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Sunday ...

Church first, and a lovely surprise,

(as if being at church wasn't good enough in itself!)

 - something else to thank me for running the cardmaking night.

A plate chosen by my friend Fiona, 

topped with Tanya's yummy almond biscuits.

Some shopping after church, 

and them home to cook sausages and chips;

a game of Pictionary;

a walk in the sunshine

 someone lying on her skateboard ...

"Laura, what ARE you doing???"

meanwhile Emily avoids the camera ...

home to finish off these cards

before going to a lovely 

bible study end-of-year dinner.

One of life's better Sundays!

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Saturday ...

This term Laura has been having iceskating lessons

on Saturday mornings.

As it turns out, today was the first day I have been the one to 

take her and her friend out to the rink.

So I got to enjoy the beautiful surroundings at Norwest

with my new camera.

Norwest is not your ordinary business/industrial area ...

After the skating lesson,

we moved on to the main event,

in Laura's mind, at least ...

Buying iceskates!

Happy (early) Christmas, Laura!

And look, they suit her perfectly.

The girls stayed for a practice session,

and I drove home in a thunderstorm
and torrential rain, even a little hail.

After which I baked some chia bread
to warm me up,
before dozing for some of the afternoon 
while Steve was out on errands.

Now Emily has gone out to see 
Catching Fire with friends.

So, it's one of those Saturdays
when we don't see each other much,
but we are each doing nice things.

* * *
Hope you are having a good Saturday, too.

Friday, November 22, 2013

Photography 101

Today I received my new camera!

Something I've been wanting to do for a few years now.

(And perhaps you've noticed that black dot

appearing on some shots taken on our old camera?)

It was the darkest, wettest, thunderstorm-y

morning you can imagine,

but when my battery finished charging

(at last!)

the weather cleared up enough to go out

in search of scenery.

These photos were taken in an older part

of our Sydney suburb.

All pretty quick snaps 

but I'm happy with the way they turned out.

lovely old homes

lush green formal gardens 

I can't wait to try out the camera in better weather!

Then back home to try out some more interior shots

... so much to learn ...

I really like that this camera works so well in low-light conditions,

this was our very dark study during another storm tonight,

I could barely see the piano

and yet with a burst shot it was all captured in the light somehow!

I think my Lumix LX7 and I

are going to get on just fine. 

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Roses & Snapdragons

Roses and snapdragons,


and happy,

on my dining table.

A thankyou for running our church

cardmaking night on Saturday.

So sweet.