Thursday, 29 January 2009

Starry, starry day

The crew from Starry Night came to our home school group today for an astronomy workshop. They come with an inflatable dome that has a projection of the constellations on it, which was really fantastic!

I was organising the day, which I took on since Littletree is so fascinated with astronomy at the moment, so we got to watch them setting up, which was cool.

I took a bunch of photos of them setting up, of course:

49 HS starry night dome

50 HS starry night dome

51 HS starry night dome

53 HS starry night dome

Something about being homeschoolers, most of the group were drifting in a bit late, but in the end everyone arrived just in time, and Marie gave a talk about planets and stars with the kids.

58 HS starry night dome

60 HS starry night dome

We all (well, most of us), posed out the front for a group photo too.

61 HS starry night dome

Entering the dome was very womb-like 

62 HS starry night dome

But once we were in there it was much roomier than it seemed :)

63 HS starry night dome

Marie did a great job of explaining the constellations, and the kids all had a great time, shouting out answers. 

64 HS starry night dome

Of course, once the lights went out, we couldn't take more photos

65 HS starry night dome

I think my favourite part was when Marie asked a question, and one of the kids (don't know who it was in the dark), answered correctly, and Marie asked how he knew the answer. The reply came,

"I'm home schooled and I love learning" :)

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Crystal Garden

We've been slowly working on getting our new garden established; we transplanted a few favourite plants from my old veggie patch into pots to bring to the new house.

Mint, Aloe Vera, Nasturtium, Comfrey, Cassava, Chili, and a few more.

45 crystal garden

Littletree has been really into taking care of the plants, watering them and giving them attention. She spends a lot of time with the plants, calling the faeries down from the forest to come and play in our garden and live in the plants.

The other day she decided to put all of her crystals in with the plants, to give them more energy to grow, and also so it's nice for the faeries.

46 crystal garden

Littletree has quite a big crystal collection on her temple, for such a little girl; she had enough to put two or three on every plant. They're all growing really well now :)

And if views our cute little fledgling garden isn't good enough, here's the sunset from the bottom of it:

26 sunset

Sunday, 25 January 2009


We finally found a nice car to replace Little Blue Sky who crashed 2 months ago (has it really been that long!?)

I was really fixated on the idea of finding a Toyota Corolla hatch, early 90s model, and not too keen on getting a Ford, or anything else... but it seemed like everyone had the same idea, because all the Corollas we found were double or triple the price of any equivalent car, and snapped up too fast to buy anyway.

In the end, we saw a notice up in the local general store for an '89 Ford Laser hatchback... not really what I wanted, but it was a manual, and selling for only $1000 with six months registration and a roadworthy certificate.

For the price it was worthy to at least check it out. Our friendly mechanic said the car is in great condition, doesn't even leak oil and could be sold for twice the money. But the couple selling it were backpackers keen to sell in time to get on their flight out of the country, and we jumped on the bargain :)

So we have a new little car!

47 rosita

Littletree has dubbed her Rosa; Rosita for short. It's breaking with our tradition of naming cars after the sky (we had Little Blue Sky and our yellow van, Sunshine). We briefly considered naming Rosita, "Sunset", but Littletree wanted something in Spanish (she's been speaking in Spanish a lot lately), so Rosita it is! (Though to be honest, she's red, not pink)

Thursday, 22 January 2009

Green Goddess

I received a wonderful gift from EarthMama, whose birth I attended six months ago:

42 painting

Isn't it absolutely gorgeous! and so apt for me :) I love it. She's now looking over my living room, in the prime position that you see right when you walk in the front door.

And just a quick plug for EarthMama - she doesn't have a website, but she does a lot of wonderful paintings in this style, and if anyone should want to buy one from her, I can give her your contact :)

Wednesday, 21 January 2009

Homeschool Group

We had a great homeschooling meet up today. The group met in a park we'd never been to before, in a town the group hadn't yet explored, so it was really nice to go a bit further afield and to branch out to new people.

The park is huge, much bigger than anything else in the area, and there were cycle paths, so the kids had a great time riding around

41 bikes

Then Littletree and her friend Princess played a game of giant chess

38 giant chess

39 giant chess

We mostly hung out in the shade chatting and sharing a picnic of fresh fruits and home made brownies.

Hopefully plans for a new chapter of our homeschool group closer to our new home will manifest, if we can organise it together with some of the new comers :)

oh, and the battery in my camera was flat today, so these pics were taken on my cell phone camera - sorry for the crap quality.

Sunday, 18 January 2009

Great Weekend

We had a few friends come over for dinner on Friday night, which kept snowballing till we had seven guests! One of my old clients, my current client and a couple of other friends came.

It's so wonderful to have a space big enough to host ten people for dinner. We sat around enjoying a big feast and chatting the night away.

31 dinner party

Here's Rinka demonstrating yet another great use for a big pregnant belly:

32 karin belly table

A few of the guests slept over, and we spend Saturday morning having a lazy breakfast before wandering down to a local swimming hole for a dip. We all had a great time swimming in the cold water :)

34 swimming hole

Here's RainbowBaby pulling my hair - he thought the big pile of dreadlocks was loads of fun!

36 hair pulling

Sunday morning Purple and I went exploring around the local markets and then had a relaxing afternoon at home while Littletree went to play at a friend's house.

What a great weekend!

Saturday, 17 January 2009


Littletree is really into belly dancing lately, and since one of her friends has a belly dancing costume in her dress-ups, Littletree wanted one too.

We decided to sew one, using some scraps from my sewing bag. Littletree had her first real go on the sewing machine, and had a load of fun.

27 sewing

Here she is modelling the finished product:

28 finished top

She's been wearing it just about every day, and freestyle belly dancing all the time. We're so loving having this great big expanse of wooden flooring :)

30 belly dancing

I think next time we get a package from her family in Israel we'll ask for some more belly dancing paraphernalia, like a scarf with coins on it.

Thursday, 15 January 2009

Koo koo koo ka ka ka burra

Slowly, slowly, we've been making our new house a home. Purple drilled some hooks into the wall on the balcony so I can put my hammock up :)

18 ela hammok

It's such a perfect spot to lie; it feels like hanging up in the trees.

And we discovered there's a posse of somewhat tame kookaburras who came to visit while I gave the hammock a test drive.

16 balcony

Littletree was so excited, and several of them flew down to say hello. I'm guessing the last people who lived here used to feed them, as they ate scraps right out of Littletree's hand

21 seq feeding kookaburra

Of course we wake up to their laughing in the morning, this morning I even saw a pretty-faced wallaby in the garden. It's nice to still have wildlife around, and feel like we're in the rainforest, yet have all the benefits of being in a village close to a big town.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

The Mystical Madame Littletree

Littletree has started giving tarot readings with her Fairies cards. She's so cute, and some of her readings are really insightful.

72 seq tarot

So far she only does a basic reading with three cards; past, present and future, with a possible fourth card to focus on a specific question.

The last reading she gave me was totally spot-on. She said I'd been travelling for a long time, and now I am in a space of serving others, but through working in this place of service, I'll get to a time of relaxation, and really finding who I am.

I think this counts as 'spirituality' on our homeschooling records, right?

All we need now is a large crystal ball and a horse-drawn wagon ;) LOL

Monday, 12 January 2009

My Shiny New Header

You might notice the lovely upgrade to my header image;


The original picture is one of the beach where the Thailand World Rainbow Gathering was held. My tipi was just inside the trees on the far right, though you can't see it.

Anyway, my good friend Aykut made the new design for me as a New Year's gift. So thank you to Aykut; I love it :) Aykut is a great guy, whom I met in India a bunch of years back and we've crossed paths in many lands since then. He has a whole bunch of interesting blogs, which you can check out here.

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Faerie Good Mothering ~ Honest Communication

My latest natural parenting article was published on Essence of Life; it's an article that uses fairy tales to illustrate the importance of honest communication with children.

Check it out here

Fluff, funny signs and falling from the sky

Driving home the other day, we came around a corner to be greeted by the sight of a flock of parachutists wafting on the breeze. There were so many of them, and so close.

47 parachutes

Driving around, we also stopped behind this car at a stop sign:

12 rael

UFO brings LOVE

An embassy for extra-terrestrials!

Lets welcome "The Elohim"

The scientific creators of humanity

Freaky huh. I wondered if these people are for real, but I checked out their website and it seems they are. Yah, we get all kinds of weirdos around these parts. There's even a feral barefoot mama with dreadlocks to her knees who only wears green!

Meanwhile, we passed a very open-minded public toilets;

13 gents

and this brilliant idea:

38 bike pole

It's a fixture on a street sign pole for people to lock their bicycles to. It even has directions for how to chain your bike to the pole, and reminds people not to lock others' bikes in.


Someone probably got paid a whole load of money to design and implement this thing, when it doesn't really add functionality to the existing pole. Seriously; what a waste of council funds and resources. Imagine if they used their power for good, rather than bureaucratic mediocrity.

Friday, 9 January 2009

My Little Annie

People are often telling me Littletree looks like a dreadlocked Annie, and now I can really see it!

I watched the movie Annie with Littletree the other day, and just at the end of the movies scene, when Annie fell asleep, I looked down to see Littletree had fallen asleep too, in the exact same pose.

09 seq annie

It was SO cute! Coincidentally Littletree was wearing the same colour dress as Annie, and they have the same hair shape and colour.

Naturally, I pushed pause and grabbed my camera before I turned off the DVD player and tucked her in to bed.

Thursday, 8 January 2009

Birth Kit

I bought a big bunch of new herbs and homeopathic remedies for my birth kit this week, in preparation for a birth I have due this month.

I was sorting out my birth kit, which until now I've had all my stuff in a regular backpack, with things arranged into smaller toiletry bags inside. It's a system that works, but it's not the most organised, to be honest, and I was looking at my big stack of homeopathics and tinctures, and thinking I need a good way to store them so that they're all easy to find and also keeping the herbs separate from the homeopathic stuff.

01 birth kit

The plan was to put things in small tupperware containers, but when I was preparing my birth kit, of course all the containers were packed for the move, and naturally, I'd thrown away loads of the empty "useful" containers I'd been collecting...

So I started casting about the house for an idea, and happened upon the recycling box, thinking I might get lucky and find a big yogurt container or something, when inspiration struck!

Egg cartons! Perfect :D

I organised all my remedies into groups - pregnancy stuff, labour stuff, post labour stuff, and baby stuff, and then put each remedy into a segment of an egg carton - one carton for each group of remedies.

02 birth kit

It meant there was a space for each remedy, and I could write on the top of the boxes exactly which remedy was in each place, and a few notes to remind me (and my assistants) what each thing is for, as a quick and easy reference. (Littletree even helped me decorate the cartons ;) )

The herbal tinctures all fit nicely into an old Halva box and we were good to go.

Feeling terribly chuffed with myself, I found a small plastic storage bin that we had been keeping potatoes in. I washed it out, and voila! the egg cartons fit perfectly, with enough room left for my stethoscope, fetascope, BP monitor, and other assorted bits and pieces.

03 birth kit

I got another box for gloves and wound dressing stuff, and I'll bring a small backpack with my books (always bring Heart and Hands, Holistic Midwifery and the Labor Progress Handbook with me), change of clothes, toothbrush and snacks.

I'm feeling super-duper organised like never before, and loving it :) I even had the idea to set up my tent at the birthing mama's place (she lives in a little bamboo hut, so there's not much space there), so I'll have my sleeping bag and a private space to retreat to if needed already waiting for me when I'm called to the birth.

It makes sense since both birthing mama and myself live in a rural area with limited cell phone range at best, and long distances between villages; it's a realistic possibility that if I'm not at home when she calls, going home and collecting my stuff, and then driving to her place could take me upwards of three hours, so I'm loving the idea of having everything ready and waiting at her place. All I need to do is get there :D

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Busy Busy Busy

So though we got our house on Christmas Eve, we couldn't move in till the phone was connected, and it ended up that we didn't move till the 2nd of January, but that was fine :)

We had one massive packing day, and actually managed to get all of the house packed up, loaded into the van in one go (I thought it would be two van loads), the house cleaned and the garden tidied (I thought I'd have to come back the next day to do clean-up and take the second van load), and move to the new house, and even got it all unpacked in one day! Even with delays from my good buddy George the snake who was coiled around the bulk food jars

08 george the snake

The next day I was so sore I could barely move, but at least we were home :)

So what with me being flat out exhausted, and having a pinched nerve in my neck that stopped my typing with my right hand (RSI from too much computer time), and all the moving, I didn't manage to post much lately.

So a brief update of the last week:

We celebrated Hannukah;

67 hannukah

We enjoyed the last days at the old house making the most of the pool; Littletree is fast getting over her water aversion, and even tries to put her face in the water now!

06 pool karin seq ela

Littletree got a 'magical' crystal tree as a Yule gift from my old friend Poly

69 magical tree

Littletree got into "fixing" her Bratz; 70 tattooing bratzshe opened all their fancy hair-dos, gave some hair cuts, drew bindis on their foreheads, gave them all tattoos, started dreading the hair of one of them...

71 tattooed bratz

And mostly we've been busy with settling into our new house, making it our home and fixing things up.

Monday, 5 January 2009

The Trouble With Telstra

***ETA - I wrote this post over a week ago, and for some reason never posted it. Anyway, here it is***

We've had possession of our new house for a couple of days, but we haven't been able to move in yet, because we're waiting for the phone to be connected.

It seems that Telstra, the Australian phone monopoly has been taking lessons in efficiency and customer service from India, because after 2 weeks of hassling them, we still don't have the phone connected.

Purple first called Telstra on the 11th of December, well in advance of when we were planning to have the connected on the 23rd. They said they couldn't find the address of the house in their system, though they could see that there was a phone connected on the house already from the previous tenants. Apparently it would take 48 hours for the address to be confirmed and we were given a reference number.

Two business days later (so after the weekend), we called back, but it transpired that they had no record of us having called before, and they still couldn't confirm the address. And we should wait 48 hours with a new reference number.

Another two days later, still no joy. The person Purple talked to said that the first person had put the request in wrong, but now he was doing it right, gave us a new reference number and promised to call us back the next day.

The next day no one called, so Purple called them again and spoke to a different person. She said that the other guy had done it wrong, and it takes 48 hours, and gave us a new reference number.

We didn't trust them anymore, so we called them again later and spoke to someone else, who couldn't see what the problem is, but that she would "escalate" the problem and phone our request through rather than emailing it. She promised that we'd be contacted the next day (Friday) afternoon.

Friday no one called us, so we called them. Purple talked to someone else, who said the address is not yet confirmed and there's nothing we can do about it. Purple asked to speak to his supervisor. The guy said "okay" and hung up on him!

Purple called back and spoke to someone else to complain. She said the address still wasn't confirmed but would get her boss to call us back to our cell phone, since we weren't home. Of course, she called the home number, and left us a message that they need the planning number of the house.

We called them back and spoke to someone else, who said we need to be transferred to a different department. Purple didn't believe him, and made sure he was being transferred to the right department, and they would be able to help us. the department was closed.

Monday Purple called the special department again, after being on hold forever, we explained the problem and were transferred back to customer enquiries. Yep. right back to the beginning.

Purple spoke to a woman who couldn't find our reference number (none of them) and said our request was never submitted. She didn't need the building plan numbers, had no problems whatsoever, she gave us the new phone number and said the phone would be connected the following Monday (a week later).

Purple freaked out at her and went over the whole saga, saying that we need to move into our new house, we can't move without a phone and explained that I'm a health care professional on call for urgent care. She transferred us to the complaints department.

Eventually someone in complaints said our request was escalated, and the phone would be connected in 48 hours.

Since we didn't trust them at all, and by that time we were approaching Christmas Eve, we called again the next day (23rd), for an update. The person we talked to said our request was pending and someone would call us back after lunch. they didn't (of course).

We called again in the afternoon and spoke to some guy who promised to solve it all and call us back the next day. Purple didn't believe him and he promised three times to call us the next day (24th) by 10am.

When he didn't call, we called them back, only to find out that this guy wasn't even in the office that day. So we spoke to someone else, who said the case would be "escalated", and he would call us back.

And still we wait.

India, anyone?


***Update*** The phone ended up being connected after Christmas and amazingly enough, it only took 2 days for the internet to be connected :)