Saturday, 27 August 2011


Littletree’s circus troupe performed at the Tweed Valley Banana Festival last week. She had a great time, getting to see the Banana Festival Parade, and the crowning of the Banana Princesses and Queen.

The Banana Festival is kind of funny. They have a parade with floats, and a  great big banana drives down the main street, and people throw bananas around at each other.

Only this year, there’s a banana shortage, and while we are able to get local bananas from farm stalls in the area for around $4-$6/kg (still expensive for this time of year, when they’re usually under a dollar), most folk in Australia are going banana-less and unable to get bananas for under $13/kg. So while we’re lucky in that respect, bananas weren’t really abundant enough to throw around willy-nilly.

I used to live in a town a few hours from here called Grafton where they celebrate the Jacaranda Festival every year. It’s much the same festival as the Banana Festival, only substitute for Jacarandas. There’s a big parade through the town, they crown the Jacaranda Princesses and Jacaranda Queen, and everyone gets drunk and throws jacaranda flowers at each other. Roughly halfway between the Tweed and Grafton is a town called Casino, where they hold a yearly Beef Festival. They have a parade and crown the Beef Princess and Beef Queen. I’ve not been to Casino’s festival, but I imagine getting drunk and throwing steaks around isn’t my cup of tea.

Anyway, Littletree’s performance was awesome and she had a great time




Thursday, 25 August 2011

Crystal Castle

Last week Homeschool group went on another adventure to Crystal Castle, where Gyoto Monks were building a new stupa. The kids got to make prayer wheels, join in meditation classes, and roll up sheets of prayers to go into the stupa


We finally had some real winter weather – it was only 15 degrees Celsius (59F) and cold rain! But the kids still had loads of fun exploring around the beautiful gardens and soaking up crystal energy


Our homeschool group has also started a few extra activities – a craft group for older kids, as well as weekly French and Spanish classes :) So Littletree is brushing up on her Spanish!

Monday, 22 August 2011

Meet May

The newest member to join the majikfaerie family – May. She’s a home-schooled girl, also eight years old, just like Littletree. May came to live with us for a while because her parents are on a three-month long seminar cruise in Hawaii, which is really boring for kids.

May and Littletree are getting on great. May’s parents are incredibly rich, so she doesn’t know much about living in a normal house, but we’ve been showing her how everything in the kitchen works, and how to do things like sweeping the floor and getting the fire started.

May is exactly the same size as Littletree, which is great, because May’s luggage didn’t arrive yet, so they’re sharing clothes and accessories. Littletree is totally ecstatic to have a kid her age staying with us; the two of them are getting along so well, making up songs and dances together, playing games, trying on clothes, building cubby houses… it’s loads of fun!

Yay for new best friends!

07 may

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Ear piercing

Littletree got her ears pierced. She’s been *begging* to have it done for a verrrry long time. Being as she’s Brazilian, this probably means she’s finally a “real” girl. In Brazil, pretty much every baby girl has her ears pierced in the first day or two after birth, often before even coming home from the hospital. I was constantly complimented on my beautiful baby boy, and on correcting people, they insisted she can’t be a girl, because she didn’t have earrings. After all; how else can one tell boys from girls?!

Anyway, I insisted that we do the piercing with a proper piercing needle, rather than taking her to a shop where they use a piercing gun. I think the main reason people prefer to have piercing done with a gun is they get scared by the word “needle” (which we’re all sure is going to hurt), and for the most part, people don’t know any better. But talk to piercers and it’s fairly unanimous.

The gun is more painful, and less safe. You’re basically looking at the difference between the gun, which uses force to push a blunt stud through the earlobe, essentially ripping a hole in the flesh. Ouch! This means poorer healing, more pain and more chance of infection. It’s also very likely the piercing will create hard scar tissue and can create skin tags, lead to abscesses and other nasties. What’s more, the piercing gun can’t be properly sterilised between customers.

Piercing with a proper needle is quick and relatively painless. The needle is surgically sharp and hollow, just slides right through. If you’ve ever had an IV line put in, imagine having that done, and then imagine comparing it to putting the line in not with a sharp needle, but just punching in a blunt stud. Yikes! Proper piercing equipment is either sterilised (usually with an autoclave) or disposed of immediately. Healing is faster and cleaner.

Personally, I’ve had a lot of piercings done, my early ear piercings were all done with the gun by shop assistants in malls. Those ones, even 20 years on, and some of them that haven’t had any jewellery in them for 12 years, still have hard lumps in them that have a tendency to get infecty. The ones I’ve had done with a needle were significantly less painful, and all healed nicely – barely a sign of them now, years after I’ve taken them out.

Anyway, there’s a strong movement amongst serious piercers to have the gun banned, but that’s enough of a rant from me.

Littletree is very happy with the result; she looks so grown up now!

83 ear piercing

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

Whale of a time

Yes, it’s been a while. I am going through some personal stuff that’s… well, challenging. Haven’t felt like blogging, but life goes on.

it’s been a long, bitterly cold winter. Two weeks ago we went over to Byron Bay with homeschool group to go whale watching. Frrrrreezing!

61 HS Byron whale watching

Okay, well, the sun was out, and nice to bask in, so it wasn’t *that* cold

71 HS Byron whale watching

And everyone went in swimming without getting hypothermia! But still, it’s the depths of winter, I swear!

The kids drew in the sand, wrote messages, and played hopscotch

63 HS Byron whale watching

And we all hiked up to the lighthouse to see whales

77 HS Byron whale watching

Loads of fun, and entirely edumacational!

75 HS Byron whale watching

Here is an amazing picture of the ocean, where a whale had just breached, but I was too slow to snap a photo. So, yeah; just a boring picture of the water.

73 HS Byron whale watching

Still, it was very cool to see whales, and the kids had a super-awesome time

72 HS Byron whale watching

We even got a glimpse of the famed Byron Lighthouse Goat!

79 HS Byron whale watching