Monday, 27 June 2011

Truly Blessed

I came down sick over the weekend; I got a nasty sore throat, totally lost my voice and felt like crap.

Thankfully, Purple was here to take care of me. He spent the day making sure I was warm enough, taking care of Littletree and making me loads of cups of ginger-lemon tea and soups.

Best soup ever – greens, broccoli, sweet potato all fresh from our own garden and home made organic chicken stock, with loads of garlic. He also made an amazingly delicious fermented spelt bread (actually, he made that for Ariad, who is gluten intolerant, but she couldn’t come over in the end so I had to eat it!). Mmmm spelt bread dipped in home made soup!


Actually, it was so tasty and nourishing I didn’t stop between mouthfuls to take a photo of the finished soup. But it did make me feel a lot better.

I am truly blessed to have someone so awesome in my life. Someone to share parenting with, and a house, and to look out for each other. Someone who really gets me and supports me exactly as I am (and puts up with all my crazy).

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Blue Room

When we arrived home from our recent trip, Littletree went into her room and announced “My room is a total disaster MESS!” I pointed out that her room was relatively tidy, just that she has an awful lot of stuff. Most of which she’s grown out of.

So she set to work, filling up 2 massive bags of junk stuff that was still perfectly good, but that she didn’t want or need any more. Clothes she’d grown out of, toys she doesn’t play with any more, and about a billion pink dresses (she absolutely will not, under any circumstances, wear anything pink or a dress, which is odd, because many wise people assured me that if I allow her to don a pink dress, she will surely grow up to be a brainless airhead hooker, completely oppressed by the dominant male patriarchy.)

She took all this stuff to sell at the village market on the weekend, and being the lazy industrious girl that she is, decided to not actually man her stall, but just leave all her wares lying out with an “honour box”. No one stole anything and she made $15.35 :)

Littletree announced that she doesn’t get to spend enough time with Purple, so she proposed a “daddy-daughter-day”. The premise being that the two of them would spend the whole day together doing fun, cool things.

They played card games, went for a walk together, had lunch at the cafe… and then Littletree decided to do something with her now totally bare room.

I came home to see this


Purple and Littletree making great use of the left over paint from our bathroom.

Littletree wants to re-create something like the kitchen we had when we lived in Tel Aviv – I painted it with a blue sky and sunflower scene


(Littletree aged 2)

And the finished product, a tidy, clean, fresh room!


Now I just have to paint the sunflowers!

Monday, 20 June 2011

Beach Schooling

We’re now heading into the depths of winter, and it’s FREEZING! Little green faeries weren’t meant to live in this kind of cold. I mean, it’s practically sub-zero! All this week the temperatures have been hovering at a max of around 20oC (68oF)!

Admittedly it’s beautifully sunny, and during the day we’re going around in t-shirts, but honestly; it’s far too cold for any sane person to survive. (Lucky I’m fairly crazy)!

It’s been so miserably cold we went to the beach for home school group last week. While us mamas were all basking in the sun, the kids were playing elastics


And hanging out on the rocks



Thursday, 16 June 2011

Is it okay to get kiss-marks on a cell phone?

Littletree, awesome-saver that she is, has been saving up to get herself an MP3 player. The particular one she wanted was $75, and she’d worked really hard to save enough for it. Then we happened to notice in the Post Office one can get pre-pay cell phones with MP3 players built-in for much cheaper than just buying a simple MP3.

My goodness cell phones are ridonkulously cheap these days! And I discovered that if Littletree has a pre-pay phone on the same network as I’m on, I can transfer credit from my phone to hers in increments as little as $1, so if she’s out and about, I can give her some emergency call money without having to fork out for a whole recharge card (but if she wants to have credit for making calls or texting, she has to buy that herself). Littletree was ecstatic with the idea!

That sealed the deal and we went into the shop to get one! Well, after an evening of Purple and I discussing it – I had this mental block that went something along the lines of “but she’s only 8, that’s far too young for a cell phone. if she has a phone, she’ll look like a spoiled kid, and what does she even need a phone for”. Purple wisely pointed out that if she’s buying it herself with her own saved pocket money, then it’s not spoiling. And she is of an age to start going out with friends around the village; having an emergency phone to use is a wise idea. and it’s cheaper than the MP3 player she was going to buy anyway.

We went back into the Telstra shop to check out all the available models.


So we got a Sony Ericsson Cedar (I thought the model name was entirely appropriate for Littletree). Plusses of this phone were that it takes standard 3.5mm headphone jacks (so Littletree can use any headphones she likes and not have to fork out for specialised ones); it has expandable memory with a MicroSD slot that takes up to 16GB; It’s got great rural coverage (important where we live); a 2MP camera; and it’s partly made from recycled plastic… all for $59, with $10 included credit.

In our local Telstra Dealer they are having a special this week that includes a $30 recharge voucher in addition to the $10 that comes with the phone – since I needed to recharge my phone credit anyway and I usually buy a $30 voucher, that meant I could put the credit on my phone and Littletree could get the phone essentially for $19. Bargain!


So she’s all set up now with her own cell phone. Good Lord Love a Duck! I’ve become one of *those* mothers.


So far, this phone is perfect for a kid’s first phone, or for anyone wanting a cheap phone as a back-up or whatever. The MP3 player works well, the camera is better than I expected it to be. Two-thumbs-up. And Littletree’s literacy is improving now that she’s learning how to text, so it’s educational… right?

Well, she is learning how to use a cell phone, at least. And her first cell-phone-usage-related question?

“Mama, is it bad for my phone if I get spit on it?”

“What??? Why would you spit on your phone?”

“Well, I gave it a kiss, and there’s a kiss-mark on the screen now. Is it okay to kiss the phone?”


Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Gluten-Free Pizza

Ariad came over for a visit, and since she commented about wishing for a gluten-free lactose-intolerant pizza, I set about making one. I’m just that awesome. And I love Ariad :D

So I made up a huge batch of regular pizza dough, and a smaller batch using organic gluten-free flour. I made a yummy pizza sauce, and instead of cheese I put crumbled up fried tempeh, and topped with mushrooms, garlic and olives. Heart-shaped, of course!


Yum! And the pizza was delish too!

Of course, I made loads and loads of pizza, so we invited all the neighbours in to join us with all the left-over Guinness from the weekend’s party (yes, we are aware that we’ve let the Irish side down by having beer left over)


Super-awesome fun :) and Ariad was even polite enough to not mention that gluten-free cheese-free pizza kinda sucks LOL

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Irish Night

Our downstairs neighbours (who happen to be Irish), Pixie and Elf held an “Irish Pub” party, to celebrate a friend’s 30th birthday. Naturally lots of Guinness was consumed, and a yummy Irish stew was cooked, and lots of Irish people were invited. Elf even got an old beer keg from the tip and cut it open to make a fire to sit around outside – Littletree toasted marshmallows.

I wore green especially for the occasion


The Irish stew was super-delish


And it was great to hang out with good friends


I made up a batch of Chocolate-Guinness Cupcakes with a Kahlua Ganache icing for the birthday boy (recipe from Cream Until Fluffy)


They went down so well!


Seriously, the best cupcakes EVER


Twas a most fun night :)

Friday, 10 June 2011

Back in the Rhythm

We’ve been home for a week now, and starting to feel “back to normal”. I’ve finally got the house in some sort of order; unpacked our bags, did a billion loads of laundry, cleaned so much dust from the kitchen renovation (which isn’t quite finished), caught up with some friends, spent some time with Ariad, went to Capoeira group, and did a lot of resting and acclimatising to the COLD. brrrr

We went to homeschool group this week, Littletree was so happy to catch up with her friends again


The kids had a blast, we met up at a friend’s house and made pizzas


Littletree decided to make hers heart-shaped (which started a trend)




And so educational too…

Sunday, 5 June 2011

Frequent Fliers

We’re home!

It was a long journey, but not too bad. The flight to Australia wasn’t overfull so we had two seats each. Well, for Littletree two seats was enough to stretch out and lie down, so she slept most of the flight. For me it was just less-uncomfortable, but still pretty nasty.

I hate flying. Being stuck in the air-conditioning, it’s loud and uncomfortable and rough on the immune system.

Here’s Littletree, the mega frequent-traveller, boarding the plane on leaving her 24th country.

51 frequent flyer

So, things I have learned on this trip: Phuket International Airport sucks. Most airports these days don’t allow you to bring any liquids through security into the departure lounge – including drinking water. Normally I bring my usual crocheted drinking water bottle with the water tipped out and the lid off. After we’ve passed security I find a drinking fountain to refill the bottle for drinking on the plane. But Phuket airport, there were *no* drinking water taps at all anywhere, and every single shop in the entire place sold *only* Nestlé water. :(

HERE is what I think about Nestlé, especially their water. So I was wandering around the departure lounge for ages, desperately wanting a drink of water, not wanting to buy Nestlé water. Not wanting to get on a flight without water, not wanting to buy Nestlé. Argh!

On the other hand, Kuala Lumpur LCCT Airport has filtered drinking water fountains, free WiFi, and not just WiFi, but electric sockets you can plug computers into (rare and hard to get in many places), nice bathrooms – even with free showers(!), and a reasonable selection of cheap food. Yay KL!

I will admit the shuttle bus to KL airport made me very nervous. The driver not only had his day bag sitting loose on the floor, 50 crazy bus

he also had a sticker of a motorbike racing driver covering the speedometer! yikes!

49 crazy bus

We did at least arrive safely :) Ah, it’s great to be home!

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

X Marks the Spot

Littletree is making a treasure map. I’m not entirely sure what the treasure is, but apparently the map will lead the way. And apparently the map will be rolled up and stuck in an old bottle which will be thrown out to sea. Or maybe just left somewhere one of her friends is bound to find it.

I’m not even sure where she got the idea, but the recipe was pretty clear.

Brew a cup of tea


Use the tea bag to colour a sheet of paper so it looks old while mama enjoys drinking the tea (this works best if mama has some cookies to go with the tea)


Leave the paper to dry in the sun. Once it’s completely dry, paint a map onto it. Add details to taste, such as islands, water, trees, paths represented by dotted lines, etc.


Let it sit a few hours while mama goes out to buy a lighter for the next step. Use the lighter to carefully singe the edges of the paper.


One authentic pirate’s treasure map!



Maybe the map will lead us home – we’re leaving Phuket tomorrow; who knows where we’ll end up!