Sunday, September 30, 2012


We're all excited because Mama and Bop will be here soon! Even Milo has cause for excitement because they are bringing Sunny.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Mum and Bethany

On my day off I usually clean the house, do the washing and maybe make some cards. During the school holidays, I like to mix things up. With Andrew and Toby away and Joss off with her friends at the hideously expensive Wagga Show, I decided to do none of the usual things and just have fun with Bethany.

We went shopping and bought her a pretty dress of her choice and a cute top (Myer were having a great sale). We met Margot at Cache and Bethany had a hot chocolate. Margot never fails to give presents to the kids and she came with a bag full of make up and a bass recorder! It's lucky she did really, as we chatted for almost two hours over our coffees and Bethany was very good.

We played with Milo and made a cake to Bethany's design. A sponge (the Nigella sort with maximum butter) with cream and, wait for it, marshmallows.

She wasn't all that enamoured of the taste, and I certainly can't blame her, but the fun was in the making. Hopefully, her taste will refine over time.

Friday, September 28, 2012

It's a library thing

Sometimes, being a librarian means that I have to fashion straps for a cardboard car so that a fellow from the Army Band Kapooka can wear it and still bang on a rubbish bin lid.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

New dog

Poor Milo has been sleeping outside since we moved into town. As it gets a wee bit cold here in Wagga, we have left him to get very woolly indeed. Now that the weather is warming up nicely, and remembering that our Spring and Autumn tend to be very quick, at least the mild days are few and we go from cold to hot very quickly, I made the appointment to rid Milo of his shaggy, matted coat.

Bethany took some photos of Milo as we dropped him off at the vet.

He always looks so embarrassed and sad when he is naked.

Bethany fed him the food he was unable to be given this morning (nil by mouth as he needs to be sedated to have his ears plucked) and, don't tell the landlords, but I let him inside for a bit this evening. Poor fellow!

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Girls alone

Andrew and Toby left for Sydney this morning. As I write, they are at the Opera House seeing Mnozil Brass.

Bethany has discovered that she loves to get the washing off the line. Joss pulls the trampoline over so she can reach.

She folds everything up into a tiny parcel, it takes her a very long time!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

In a flash

Phil, Charlotte, Henry and Georgiana arrived yesterday just after twelve and stayed until just after breakfast this morning. It was great to see them, even for so short a time. There are some advantages to living half way between Sydney and Melbourne.

They arrived while we were just at the end of our church's street fair, so they came to church first to let the kids have a little run around and jump on the jumping castle. I didn't get photos of everyone because I'm simply not organised like that.

This baby goat (kid seems wrong somehow) is so very sweet.

Can you see Andrew in the background? He and Lachlan played jazz for us. I wasn't listening very closely as I missed them playing a One Direction song. How does Lachlan know a One Direction song? At least we have a thirteen year old daughter for an excuse.

The house is quiet as quiet now, or least as quiet as it can be with Bethany around.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

A quiet weekend

We celebrated the end of a long week by dropping Toby at the pool for Kids' Club and heading over to the Shephards'. We planned early morning rides (OK, I just listened to that part), dithered over dinner choices, ate a meal's worth of chips, dip and bikkies while dithering and finally decided on pizza from Crust. At some point, amongst the comings and goings of our many children to and from youth groups, there was a musical interlude. Bethany and Nelly played very theatrical air guitars.

When the grown ups left to drop off or pick up the next round of children, Bethany saw her chance to get on the drums. She really wants to learn the drums...........I really don't think that's going to work, though she is pretty good!

More youngsters joined in. What a musical bunch, and then there's me and Monique!

A bit of a sleep in this morning will hopefully set us up for the rest of the weekend. Tonight, there will be four children sleeping in one room as Phil is coming with the kids! Kristin is going to Queensland so we will miss seeing her, but are very much looking forward to the rest of the family squeezing into our little house. The weather is lovely!

Thursday, September 20, 2012


Tomorrow is the last day of term three, so today was the last day of Bethany's art class. Her weaving is now a little rug!

I didn't get much further than the front page of yesterday's paper, except to check the ad and editorial I had submitted. Someone had to let me know on facebook that four members of the family were in the paper yesterday.

That's Andrew playing in the Groove Factorie during the Jazz Festival.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

On the front page

When the local paper and wants to do an article on our school holiday programmes, we have to go to great lengths to oblige. Actually, I just had to ask Andrew to bring the kids down to the library on his way to Toby's track racing.

Joss smiled for the photographer but looked daggers at me! She is definitely above banging on a pot for the camera. Despite her protests, she managed to post a picture of the paper on facebook this evening.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Latest reads

I really don't get to read as much as I would like. It's funny, because I watch almost no television at all, I haven't watched a show on TV for weeks and weeks, though I have watched the odd DVD. I have done a lot of marking and card making and these days, my kids aren't in bed all that early. When they were little, everyone was in bed by 7.30 and the evenings stretched before us, hours for reading or watching TV. Now, Toby is up until at least 9 and Joss 9.30. While they aren't exactly requiring constant supervision, there is often homework or an assignment to help with or some hideous not to my taste show they are watching.

I'm not complaining, just realising that this is not a stage in my life when I have endless hours of free time. Still, as reading is definitely a priority for me, I do manage to squeeze a fair amount of it in, trying not to be rude and reading at the table or when I should be talking to people.

We read Barbara Kingsolver's Poisonwood Bible for book club a few months ago and I was encouraged to read her latest book, The Lacuna. I'm so glad I did because it has overtaken The Bean Trees and Prodigal Summer as my favourite of her books. An historical novel set in Mexico and North Carolina it is told through the diaries of a young man who moves from the States to Mexico with his mother who is always looking for a wealthy man to love and take care of her. The young man ends up working for Diego Rivera and forming a lasting friendship with Rivera's wife, Frida Kahlo. He worked as a cook and typist for Trotsky and was there when he was killed. He leaves Mexico and settles, very happily at first, in North Carolina where he becomes a popular novelist, before being investigated by the House un-American Activities Committee. Fascinating times, beautiful places and extraordinary people, the Lacuna was also a lovely look at the importance of relationships, not necessarily romantic ones.

Beneath the Darkening Sky is one of Get Reading!'s  50 books you can't put down for this year. It is also pretty much the only one that appealed to me, at least at first glance. A story about a young boy who witnesses the death of his father before he is kidnapped and forced to become a boy soldier, cannot be a light and pleasant read. This book is brutal and frightening but it is beautiful too. Majok Tulba was too short to be taken when the rebels came to his village in South Sudan and he escaped to refugee camps and, finally, Australia. We have lots of new Australians in Wagga who were refugees from different parts of Africa and I think it is really important that their stories are told and that we care to listen.

Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell (not the funny David Mitchell) is a fabulous book with six separate but linked stories that take us from the 1850s through to a post-apocalyptic future and then back again. I really enjoyed the historical stories and the sci-fi one as well. I found the book clever and am very interested to see how it turns out as a film.

I have also been reading The Unknown Terrorist by Richard Flanagan. It is my book club book for the month and is man stuff. I haven't really disliked it, but the setting and characters are not what I would usually enjoy and I don't think I would read it if it wasn't for book club. I'll let you know what everyone else thought after Wednesday's meeting.

While I have been reading all these books, I have had Bleak House going on my phone. I have read 3,857 out of 5,421 phone-sized pages! I have loved them all. Dickens wrote such mad, tender, funny, mysterious and romantic books!

I have joined goodreads, though I have put more reviews on the library's account than I have on mine as yet. I do plan on getting to it....

Monday, September 17, 2012

The fast track

I am not, on the whole, a great fan of summer sport. I am resigned to getting up early on winter Saturdays and sitting in the car while children freeze on ovals at dusk. I very much resented the cricket season Toby participated in once and been very happy to avoid all summer sports since. I was a bit concerned when I heard that Toby was to take up track racing but have since come around to the idea that it is brilliant.

Toby absolutely loves it. There are around 30 young riders who gather with their parents at the velodrome on Monday and Wednesday afternoons - no Saturday mornings. We have hired a track bike for Toby (they have no brakes!) and he has some real knicks (bike pants with bottom padding).

On Sunday, after church, Toby and Andrew went for a ride with around 20 others. Toby was by far the youngest, with only one other child there, but he more than kept up and had a fabulous time.

Toby loves soccer, but I think he has really found his niche with cycling.

After the ride they stopped at the Thirsty Crow, a local microbrewery. I'm not sure whether Andrew asked for a beer for Toby, only make it hot chocolate. That's what I would have done.

Bethany ran into her old friend from pre-school, Bianca, the other day at the Botanic Gardens.

Just like old times.

Saturday, September 15, 2012


While cleaning and tidying Toby and Bethany's room, I found some of Bethany's drawings. They made me smile.

Back home

I have been at an early literacy conference, just outside of Canberra. It was a very full couple of days with excellent speakers and interesting workshops. The resort we stayed at was not exactly luxurious and the food at the conference dinner was woeful, but it was worthwhile and we have lots of ideas for how to make early literacy important to our town.

The only photos I took were during a great workshop about television and early literacy. At one point we made ninja headbands from crepe paper, smocks from garbage bags and played Fruit Ninja with real fruit. This is Cindy, Gundagai's librarian, my manager, Claire, and Sharon, who is the Children's and Youth Librarian for all of the libraries in our region.

It was messy, fun and made the room smell delicious.

After Wednesday night's less than fabulous dinner at the resort, we drove into Kingston to go out to dinner on Thursday night. We couldn't have only bad food memories of the conference, now could we?

The weather is glorious today. We have no soccer or netball, no marking, no markets. We do have, however, a routine inspection of our rental house on Wednesday. The list of things we are supposed to do beforehand includes washing all the curtains, cleaning the oven and every vent and flyscreen! It all seems a bit over the top for a mid-lease inspection. I'm not washing the curtains!