Monday, 31 March 2008

Schach Spielen

Littletree has gotten really interested in Chess lately, since she saw me playing a game against my computer.

Me and Purple used to play all the time when I was pregnant, but we gave up shortly after Littletree was born; somehow breastfeeding made me loose brain function, and I just couldn't think well enough to make playing worthwhile. I have a theory that it's the equivalent of men not having enough blood to work their brain and their penis at the same time. LOL

Anyway, Littletree started playing chess. I'm playing with her, and we talk a lot about which pieces can make what moves, and possible strategies. I don't have any expectation on her to actually learn the moves and what not. I figure she'll pick it up as she needs to, and with something this complicated, it will just come with time, exposure and practice.

Mostly, I tell her all the possible moves, make some suggestions and let her play. Somehow I had this idea that Chess is a game too advanced for someone not yet 5, but it's really amazing to see how she's picking it up.

She's started begging me to take her to the Cafe all the time, so we can play on their board. So, I guess a chess set is in order for her birthday! (which is in 2 weeks! eek!)

Friday, 28 March 2008

Ack! I've Run Out of Mondays!

I've suddenly realised we've only got a week before we fly out. Somehow, it always feels like I've got ages to go, plenty of time. That is, until one day when I wake up and realise I've run out of Mondays.

I was making plans with some friends to get together. Naturally, now that we're going away, everyone comes out of the woodwork wanting to catch up. So we were making plans for Monday, and I asked if they want to meet this coming Monday or the one after.

That's when it hit me: The Monday after, I'll be in Bangkok! We fly in one week from tomorrow! (The April Resolution)

And I've still got so much to do. All the packing, and organising. I have articles to write, a house to clean and yard work to get done. Thankfully I found someone good (fingers Xed) to sublet our cottage, and some friends to car-sit for us.

Autumn and Earth-Mama have kindly offered to drive us to the airport, (well, I'm letting them borrow my car for 3 months), as well as baby-sitting all my midwifery books, storing a few boxes and taking my left-over food off my hands.

On top of it all, we still have our regular lives to live. Friends, homeschool group, library, markets, housework, writing.

We have organised to spend our last Monday with the other families in the homeschool group to go on a 'field trip' to the Ice skating rink that's about an hour away on the Gold Coast! Littletree is beside herself with excitement. I guess it will be part going-away party and part Littletree's 5th birthday celebration, since we will have her birthday in Israel.

Tuesday, 25 March 2008


Yesterday I was out by the trampoline with Littletree when I heard an odd noise coming from the house. Well, I wrote it off as the sound of an avocado falling on the roof, but a minute later, the sound of breaking glass reached me.

I ran up to the house, only to find...

Mr Godzilla climbing all over my kitchen bench!

Naturally, the first thing I did was dive for the camera ;)

It crawled through my crockery shelf, sending cups and bowls flying, then up the side of the bench, knocked the compost bin over, tipped over a vase of fresh basil, and scampered over the kitchen table, knocking over a bowl of water onto my midwifery notes (thank goodness my computer wasn't in it's usual spot on the table).

By then Littletree had come to the door, and was standing in Godzilla's way just as it was preparing to bolt out to the front garden. There was this split second where Littletree and Godzilla were eyeing each other, it was almost like an electric communication passed between them.

Littletree started crying "No, no, no!" and the 1.5M Goanna dashed past her, stepping on her foot on the way out.

Poor girl, she went into shock, and started crying. But it was quite cute. She asked for Rescue Remedy, and kept saying "I'm fine, I'm fine. I'm not hurt, I'm okay." Littletree wanted to talk about the goanna for about half an hour, and insisted that we keep the doors shut from now on.

Then the cheeky bugger went around the back of the house, and came in the back door! At least I was there (still cleaning up the mess from it's first foray) and chased it out.

Today, I heard a scratching at the back door, that sounded just like Littletree's friend Kazan knocking. Only when I went to the door to let her in... it was Mr Godzilla! Seriously, the cheekiest goanna in history!

Monday, 24 March 2008


This weekend was the Autimn Equinox, as well as the Jewish holiday of Purim. We don't celebrate Easter, but we did go to a wonderful equinox gathering on Saturday night, under the full moon.

It was a really wonderful rainbow vibe, circling around the fire, calling in spirits and sharing Dahl. I made a vegan banana and date cake (naturally), and sat chatting with friends by the fire. If true style, it started raining on us, so I bailed out and drove home.

Sunday, Littletree and I joined our Israeli neighbours and went to the Byron Shire Purim Party. Purim is a funny holiday. The basic tenet is "They tried to kill us, we won, lets eat".

On Purim, everyone gets dressed up, like at Hallowe'en, only without the horror theme. And the really cool part is that you have to be Happy! you have to celebrate! you are supposed to get so inebriated that you can't tell men from women. And for some reason there's always a lot of cross-dressing at purim ;)

Anyway, it was a fun day, and we finally found the Israeli connection in the area. though Littletree got into a bit of sensory overload from the number of loud boisterous kids running around.

Here's some of the highlights:

Getting ready 57 Purim venus

Littletree went as a fairy princess 56 Purim seq

I went as a majik faerie 66 Purim ela seq

It was a big crowd 73 Purim party

We had fun 67 Purim fun

Rainbow Indian 70 Purim

Sunday, 23 March 2008


Another busy week. Seems like I've been having lots of those lately.

Littletree began her busking career, after I refused to buy her infinite treats. She played her guitar at the Markets... well, long enough to make enough money for a frozen fruit ice block.

The wonderful Rapunzel ran off to Confest, of course we'll miss her terribly, it was so lush having her here.

We hosted a little picnic by the pool in honour of her. Well, mostly as an excuse to have some friends over. Of course, as happens every single time we have people over, it rained, so we crammed eight people into my little cottage and had great fun.50 the gang

I just got my new Pinard Horn (a kind of funnel for listening to the heartbeat of a fetus) and stethoscope, so we had a spontaneous workshop on listening to fetal heart tones, and distinguishing all the various sounds in Earth-Mama's belly. Then Littletree went around listening to everyone (and even some things) with the stethoscope.

And most excitingly (for Littletree anyway) was the acquisition of a second hand trampoline.

Thursday, 20 March 2008


At last week's homeschool meeting I did a baking workshop with the kids - we made ginger cookies.
It turned out really well, despite me forgetting to bring the mixing bowl.
I improvised with a plastic tub, and it worked out fine. All the kids too turns measuring out ingredients, and crowded around the basin to mix the dough
39 Cookies
Of course, tasting the cookie dough was an important part of the process
40 Cookies
Once the dough was ready, the kids rolled out balls of dough and used cookie cutters to make shapes.
41 Cookies
Then into the oven (which worked better than we thought, despite having a broken door seal).
42 Cookies
The final product was a big success

Since some people asked for a recipe:
150g organic butter
¼ tsp vanilla extract
½ cup rapadura (evaporated cane juice)
2 Tbsp rice milk
2 cups wholemeal organic flour
2 tsp ginger powder
2 tsp cinnamon powser
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

cream the butter and sugar together, then mix in all the other ingredients, till the dough is a nice ball that you can roll up. (add extra milk, 1/2 teaspoon at a time if needed, or extra flour).
roll out, shape and bake at 150C for about 15 mins - until golden.


Tuesday, 18 March 2008

Freedom to Be Afraid

My newest Natural Parenting article was published on Essence of Life yesterday.
It's called Freedom to Be Afraid, it's about giving children the support and space they need to overcome their fears in their own way and in their own time.
Mostly it's about how Littletree copes with fear, and how she is overcoming her fear of water.
I'm also still keeping the forum going on EOL, so check it out.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Mango Chutney

A few people have asked, so here's my recipe for Mango Chutney!
First, you've gotta get a bunch of mangoes. best plan is to buy a case of them when they're discounted for being a little soft.
I chopped up 4 big ones, so about 1.5kg of flesh, and put it in a big pot.
Then chopped a bunch of onions, and into the pot.
I put about half a kilo of organic rapadura (evaporated cane juice sugar), about 1/2 litre of apple cider vinegar, and a couple of chopped garlic cloves and chillis. Then I threw in some celtic sea salt, some curry powder, garam masaala, ground coriander, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon, nutmeg and a couple of cloves.

Then stirred the lot up, simmering and stirring for about an hour, maybe a bit more.
35 Mango chutney

Stir and stir, till the sugar starts to caramelise with the onions, and everything reduces and thickens.36 Mango chutney
When I was sick of stirring, I let it cool a little, then scooped it into jars :)
37 Mango chutney
of course, it's freakin delicious!!!

Tuesday, 11 March 2008

Homeschooling Princesses

Last week's homeschooling meeting was really great; We all brought big sheets and blankets and boxes for building cubbies and forts.
Lots of fun!

Here's Princess Littletree, just because this pic is co cute I couldn't resist
20 Princess Sequoia

I also had the idea to brink a sack of potatoes and some knives and paint - we carved potato stamps, which the kids had fun with.
Here's me with some of the mamas carving away
17 Potato Carvers
The kids really got into the dress-ups, and playing in the cubby-castles.
Here's the group of homeschooled Princesses

18 Princesses
Ruled, of course, by our very own Homeschooling Queen!
19 Queen Lizz

Monday, 10 March 2008

Full House

I've been busy busy busy this week!
Not only is the ever-beautiful Rapunzel still staying with us, my Angel, who you might remember from my trip to New Zealand, came to stay with her Israeli boyfriend, so the house is VERY full!
Not to mention having four adults queuing up for internet time on one computer ;)

The other night we had also Earth-mama and Autumn for dinner, we made humous, which was fun and delicious
23 Humous Grinding
and crowded around my miniature living room to enjoy a feast of freshly-ground Humous, Quinoa, Wok-steamed Veggies and a decadent Macadamia satay sauce. YUM!
24 Dinner Party
Earth-Mama baked me an amazingly delectable cake; all yummy fruits and nuts and carob - no chocolate :D
31 Carob Cake
Then we sampled some of our home-made fruit liqueurs, and lazed back, bellies full
29 Josie Russel

Monday, 3 March 2008

Death of a Star

Lots of stuff happened while we were internet-less, I might catch up on them all, but probably not.
Anyway, one major change is that Estrella, Littletree's pet hermit crab, died.

We don't know why; she was just fine, getting pretty active, and all. Here she is just the day before.

We went to town for the day and when we came home, she was out of her shell, lying in the sand with one claw ripped off :( I have no idea what happened.
48 Estrella

Littletree was sad, of course, but not overwhelmingly so. She made a little burial with Purple. Then she asked for a bunny.

Sunday, 2 March 2008

When the Cat's Away, the Mice Will Play

Purple got on a plane to Israel yesterday. And the gorgeous Rapunzel has returned :D (here we are with Ansanity being silly off frame - thanks to Littletree for snapping this one)
Littletree is so happy to see her again, and I am too.

I'm feeling much better now, and catching up on my weeks without internet, and starting to search for someone to sublet our cottage while we're away.

Yep, in April Littletree and I are going on a tour of Asia for three months: We fly to Bangkok in a month, just for a couple of days to visit some friends and do some shopping and eat yummy food, before we fly to Tel Aviv.

We'll stay 3 1/2 weeks in Israel, for Littletree's 5th birthday and Passover. Just to visit the family and friends. Hopefully, there will be a little Pessach rainbow gathering while we are there. Then we all fly back to Bangkok, before heading to China for the World Rainbow Gathering. Then Littletree and I are back in Thailand for the month of June to attend a birth in Phuket.

Finally, we have our flight home on the 1st of July. Phew! Amazingly, I managed to find good tickets, at much cheaper than I was afraid of, with good connections. It's gonna be very nice to be travelling again.

So, anyone who might be interested in taking out wonderful cottage (description) (with photos) for three months, get in touch :)