Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Carcoar Spring Fair

We headed off early on Saturday to my Aunty and Uncle's in Carcoar (not far from Orange, NSW).
But first we made a breaky stop at The golden Arches, where we bumped into the only copper in NSW driving a Porche...needless to say, we asked for a turn!

Back to Carcoar... It is an old historic country town spilling over with character and charm.
What is nice about a small Spring Fair as apposed to a city/big Fair is that you can get close to the action without the crowds and it feels much more intimate and uncontrived.
We watched the usual woodchopping, sheep shearing, cattle dogs and draft horses, but this year it was so much more exciting as I watched it through the eyes of a two year old. I witnessed the excitement in his step, I felt the excitement in the clench of his hands, the saw the excitement in his bulging eyes and I heard the excitement in his shrill. It was gorgeous to watch.
The biggies were more into side show alley and the 2 rides on offer, and as for my parents, sister and brother inlaw and ourselves, it was the beautiful village in all of its Spring glory that stole our hearts.

This is My Aunty & Uncles home. It is everything I have dreamed of: HIGH pressed metal ceilings,
wrap around verandah, chunky timber sideboards, gorgeous vignettes in every room, but most of all, full of welcoming happy faces, tasty food & flowers galore!

A few other pretty corners of Carcoar.

Check out that roo on the ridge. It was a perfect evening.

Other fun things:
Quaint shops, mason jar milkshakes, warm eggs, and chalkboards!

The Spring Show

- If these eggs won 'the biggest' of the show, and someone else's 'biggest' are those behind, imagine how huge they are against 'normal sized' eggs. OUCH. Poor mother hen.
-Loved this cake category: 'Best Packet Cake'!

The tourists

The explorers. This old rail was built in 1886.

Our Digs. 
An old convent attached to this beautiful church, perched high on a hill. 
I was a little freaked out by a few ghost stories I heard at dinner the night before so I dragged Paul to the loo with me at 2am (he thought I was pathetic! Tough.)

....and we finished off with Bear getting a vomiting bug which has now run through all of us except daddy over the past 6 days. 
This weekend get away seems like a distant memory.  

Thanks Jo & John for your hospitality. We had a great weekend.
Liv xo

Friday, 25 October 2013

Feeling blue? Go green.

I was reading Vanessa's blog Slow Heart Sing today and her post 'Garden refuge' resonated with me. One of her followers made the comment:"feeling blue? go green", and I have to agree.
Lately I feel very much like Vanessa, I'm struggling to get enthusiastic about listening to the kinder reader. every.single.night; I'm struggling to accept the invitation to play a board game or even engage in 2, 6, 9 & 11 year old banter; the fact that I hate thinking about what to cook for dinner makes me feel like a bad wife and mum, and the list goes on.  I'm not sure if it's this on again off again heat wave/cold snap weather that is draining me or the fact that my end of year lull has happened early, but I sure as hell need a pick-me-up every day at 3:30pm (usually a strong coffee or Berrocca).
But I have to say, "going green" has helped. The garden has been my refuge too. I've always loved the outdoors but the 5 years we spent in Brisbane I struggled to grow much more than a succulent or two, the kids were small and demanding and the climate was less conducive to the types of plants I like, so I am thrilled to be able to grow and enjoy a pretty garden, just like my Grandma use to have. I have also enjoyed the fruits of a herb and veggie patch these past two years, despite my mistakes and inexperience (ahem...propagating at the wrong time, drowning plants, letting herbs go to seed etc), but the fresh air, watering in the afternoon light, and having the kids run around barefoot on the grass around me has made me a little more pleasant (I think/hope??)
The trick is to get all of the chores out of the way before pickup so we can spend the afternoon enjoying the outdoors (even homework and dinner can be done on the back deck).
What do you do to snap out of a lull? 

Liv xo

Wednesday, 23 October 2013

All shapes and sizes

On Sunday as Hubby and I stood by the shore watching the kids paddle, surf and throw sand, it became starkly obvious just how comfortable some people are in their own skin (I for one, am not. I'd go so far as to say that my body actually scares me).
There were pears surfing, rectangles jumping the waves, inverted triangles jogging, and even steroid injected apples in bikinis - like I mean junkie apples....dare I say cottage cheese wrapped in string kinda apples. But hey, if they were cool with it, so was I.
I held my tongue, because who am I to judge, and then hubby said, "when we walked down here do you reckon everyone on the beach said 'wow, here come Mr & Mrs Universe.....(short pause)......or here come Mr & Mrs Natural?'"
BOMB SHELL.... he was reading my mind and he nailed it. Not natural in the French-hairy-armpit-natural but natural in the....perhaps....12-year-of-marital-bliss-natural. Know the one? My hips sort of do the talking these days. We're no oil paintings, in fact I'd be lucky to consider myself a Preschool artwork these days, but boy o boy has beach etiquette fallen in the past few years.
Onesies are like dinosaurs and tatts are like lifelines, it really opened my semi-rural eyes. One bloke, (with a very nice frame), had  THE BIGGEST windmill stamped on his pec. why?  Does he really think that Mrs Nice-Frame will fall in love with turbine blades rotated by the wind speed?
Then there was an inverted triangle with a cartoon looking turtle wrapped around her middle and her Mr Turtle had an equally impressive rose growing right up under his armpit.

I shouldn't gossip, because I bet I have someone else's blog post dedicated all to my own funny looking frame, but I am still in shock at what Aussies think is flattering and necessary!

I'm off now, going to find a 'burqini'  for summer,
Liv xo

Sunday, 20 October 2013

It came back.

Did you read yesterday's post? It came back, THE SNAKE came back. This morning hubby was outside surveying the area where I allegedly saw "probably just a lizard", and there it was again.  Me 1/ Hubby 0 , but this time it didn't live to become my friend, Hubby 1 / Snake 0.
(*sorry to any snake loving bloggers, but I have 4 sweet children who I'd rather didn't befriend reptiles).

Nerves have settled marginally, although one small snake generally means a larger mummy one lurking close by....eeek. You'll know me at the local shops, I'll be the one in a skirt and Blundstone boots ALL summer. Who said red ballet flats, what are they?

So anyway, we managed to race to Church after the assassination (doesn't seem quite right when I say it like that, does it?), but I prayed for the snake, just kidding, no way in hell. It didn't get so much as a 'sorry but I thought....". Nada.

Off the topic once after yesterdays gardening bonanza we promised the kids a day out today, so off to the beach we went.
Another glorious day.

And then back home in time to do a mountain of ironing (worst job in the world, bar none) and watch the most incredible sunset ever- pics don't do it justice. It was BRIGHT red.

It's going to be a big day in NSW again tomorrow, especially in the Blue Mountains. Predicted weather conditions are pretty nasty. Prayers.
Liv xo

Saturday, 19 October 2013

Random madness

My nerves are on edge a little at the mo.
This Thursday saw Sydney and the Blue Mountains turn into the Apocalypse: incredible winds, an eerie orange sky, choppers, sirens and thick choking smoke everywhere.
Phone calls to and from my sister and friends in the Mountains and constant checking out my own window all afternoon and into the night put my nerves on high alert. We are on 5 acres, most of which is bush running down into a valley. It is tinder dry and so the 'Fire Near Me' App has become my new best friend, and will probably be my bosom buddy all of summer. My cousin and his family escaped the fire in Winmalee, and miraculously his house survived too, but neighbours on both side were not so fortunate. So many tragic stories are coming to light but equally as many stories of generosity and community spirit, just like we experienced when living in Brisbane during the 2011 floods, the community spirit was sooo heart warming.

Then Friday saw this SAHM don a professional frock and head to a hospitality college over at NSW Uni to give a talk on decorating. I was so nervous in the days leading up to it, but surprising calm on the day itself. I think I was more concerned leaving my sick mum and my 2 y.o. at home close to the bush!

.....and then today I thought I do some gardening to calm the nerves and I bumped into a friendly snake.  
You know the drill : 'don't run, stay still and calm', well, I'm proud to say I didn't run but I didn't really stay calm.
When Paul finally arrived and the snake was no where to be seen I said, "It was just there, I was so close I could have whacked it with the spade", he responded, "well why didn't you?"
"Um....well.....because....I have my red ballet flats on and I was afraid it would jump at me."
"Jump at you! Darl, You're holding a spade, you should have just broken it's back at that distance"
*hang on a minute, let me just buy the Testosterone App and I'll be right back.

So now I'm wondering.....This arvo, I have developed the sorest muscles, and I'm not sure if it's the gardening (it wasn't that back braking) or the fact that my body has been so tense these past few days they my muscles have finally decided to pack it in?!?! Is that even possible?

So I'm going to hit the horizontal early tonight, and tomorrow we'll be preparing this house for another atrocious day of heat and wind on Monday. 
Liv x

Thursday, 17 October 2013

Janie's in Spring.

I told you here that I'd take some piccies of my Aunty/Uncle's  property in Spring, so here is a sneak peek.

       Quite something huh!
    We had our wedding photos here. Simply stunning .

How is your Spring garden looking?
Liv x

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Weekend Rewind Oct 2013

It was a beautiful sunny weekend here, so an absolute no questions asked or answered 'out you go' kinda weekend. The "tronics" were muted, hidden and forbidden and out they were sent into the wilderness (well, not quite, just the yard!), a few  "what can we do?" moments turned into a whole day of imagination and creativity. I loved it and so did they.

#1 honed his skills at carving a weapon ?!?!

#2 built 'base Denahy' complete with beds, cup holders and booby traps.

#3 & #4 got up to all sorts of mischief. 
Cleaning up after them is like sweeping up leaves in a tornado.

...and us, well, take a guess who did what.
Mr perfect lines vs Mrs washing line.

Liv xo

Sunday, 13 October 2013

A strange brood, but I love them.

Bear asked for a "warm tea" this morning and this is how I found it 10mins later: complete with a date, a lollipop and  2 sticks.

I was attempting to take a candid shot of Lulu making this pressie for yours truly and then she turned on me...obviously I wasn't stealth enough- got the fright of my life.

Cocooned himself. 

Now communicates via bananas. 

It's a crazy life, but a happy one. 
Happy weekend.
Liv x

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Imagination is a beautiful thing.

(My imagination!)

The other night I was reading Lucy a book she had borrowed from the school library, 'Good Night Fairies' by Kathleen Hague.

The words and illustrations were beautiful and thought provoking, and as I caught her smiling out of the corner of my eye, I thought of my own childhood, the dreams, the wonderment.

When I paint, particularly more recently as my style has evolved, I use my imagination a lot. I try and downplay adult reason (only when I'm painting!) and embrace the playful imagination of a child. 
Lately I have been enjoying painting whimsical maps of life's journey, both mine and others.
I have just finished a commission for a lovely young couple and when I asked them to give me some motifs, ideas, even details about themselves without giving away their whole story, one thing they said was 'a red boat'.
As I painted this canvas these past few weeks so many stories and events have evolved in my head around everything they said, but particularly the little red boat: what it signifies, where it now rests, what it is called, how big it really is, is it a ship? a tug boat? a bath toy? who it belongs to, who fell out of it? did he propose to her in a red boat? is it a family heirloom? who knows....but I do know that my imagination ran wild.

Imagination actualises what reality can't provide, and without it life would be very boring don't you think?

With Love,

Liv xo

'Overzealous new mum syndrome', ever had it? 

Were you ever tarred with the overzealous new mum stick???
I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I'm almost positive I was back with numero uno, 11 years ago. I hope I stopped after that because listening to these particular felines chant their way through the aisles and checkouts can be quite a headache. It's almost like they want EVERY SINGLE BATTLER in the supermarket to listen to their overzealous conversation with their precious bubsy wubsy.
If you have been lucky enough to avoid it, I'm going to make you unlucky enough now to read it. It goes something like this:

Conversation at the checkout: Overzealous-new-mum to 7-month-old-couldn't-care-what-she-is-saying-baby, in a decibel rivalling any major league football coach mid game:

Overzealous new mum: "Oooo sweetie peatie diddems widdems, I know you want that Toblerone but not today schnookems because you have to have your broccoli mash don't even have your eye teeth yet do you? What would the dentist say if mummy gave you so much sugar? I think mummy would get in oodles of trouble schnooky (*Looks around to see who is listening). Do you really think chocolate is the healthy option? (*looks around again, smiles at me).
7 month old couldn't care what she is saying baby: (*no response)
Overzealous new mum: Get your little fingers off that lady's trolley, there are germies everywhere bubsy wubsy. What do you think we should cook Daddy tonight? prawn and occi risotto or braised beef cheeks in a red wine jus? (*looks at 7-month-old-couldn't-care-what-she-is-saying-baby with curious eyes and then darts around to see the reaction of the other poor souls behind her who are enduring the torment. We make eye contact, she smiles, I force one.
7 month old couldn't care what she is saying baby: (* no response)
Overzealous new mum: (* getting louder) "I can't hear you. Pardon pumpkin? Did you hear that? Not what, always pardon. I've told you that before, haven't I Pumpkin?  say it with me...par-don."
7 month old couldn't care what she is saying baby: (*still nada)
Overzealous new mum: Did you say Risotto?

[*at this point I almost chimed in with a "no pea brain, your baby can't talk and has no flaming idea what risotto is,  so please hurry up and put all your groceries through before my ice cream melts". I graciously held my tongue.]

*Side note: this all unfolded in ALDI and you know from here and here that Aldi and I are not the best of buddies, he just pleases my I get to the counter and stoney faced Mr ALDI is putting my goods through faster than a cat on a hot tin roof, all the while Overzealous new mum still hasn't moved on and my raw chicken  rolls off the counter and bounces towards the door.

I mean seriously woman, your enthusiastic "motherese" is as welcome as a fart in a phone box, I almost gave in to the equally pathetic trump card 'I'm a mother of four, I've been there', but once again I held my tongue .

Rant rant. Sorry, but I feel better now.
Liv x

ps. Don't get me wrong I'm a baby lover, and I don't mind ooing and arring, but talking to a 7 month old about braised beef cheeks so loud that the deaf can now hear, WTHell!
pps. I know I write a lot of rubbish on this blog too, but you don't have to read it, unlike me trapped in a queue behind Overzealous new mum.

Wednesday, 9 October 2013


It's that time of year again. 4th term marks the homestretch of another year, ending in exams, parties, presentation nights, Santa Claus and the celebration of Jesus' birth.
Shoes are polished, shirts are ironed, lunches are packed, afternoon tea is (for now) sushi and fruit but I'm sure, come the end of term, they'll be sucking on candy canes and running out the door with shoes that resemble little more than rubber flippers and shirts so stained that they are thrown in the bin on the last day, with out so much as a thought of Napisan.

I woke up early this morning with my happy face on, but by 7:45am it was on the droop. Reality slapped me in the face in the form of 'Our Morning Show'.....nothing has changed, thats the reality of our school morning routine. It's tough going. One is organised, two are not. One is quiet, two are not. Two tease, one doesn't. One back chats, two don't. One does his jobs, two forget. None brush their teeth unless I put a bomb under them....and on and on it goes.

So God, I will offer up Term 4 for those who need it most, but I beg you for patience and a joyful homestretch to Christmas.

With Love
Liv xo

PS: I'm a little stoked with this new photo App I scored today, 4 pics in 1, Thanks Janie (I'm a bit  hell of a long way behind the times, but slowly catching up!!)

Sunday, 6 October 2013

I'm back

(I apologise in advance for the photo bonanza this post but I have a week to catch up on for the kids memories on this blog.)

For those (bored?) people who read my blog, firstly thank you and secondly, sorry for my absence, it's been a while.
I scoffed about being immune from bugs when the rest of the family was falling down around me over winter, and then WHAM, I got it. BIG TIME. I literally couldn't lift my head off the pillow for 10 days.
I can't recollect what my kids did in the first week of holidays, because truthfully, I have no idea. I'm not even sure if they ate, slept, killed each other, played like angels... well, I know they didn't kill each other and I'm pretty sure they didn't play like angels but they are alive and well.
*A huge shout out to family who helped me last week, especially the sweetest aunty/Godmother in the world who brought us a meal and cake.
Honestly you'd think I had man-flu, but it was quite something, I promise. this week I have over compensated, trying to win the mother of the year award.
Nothing amazing, just trying to be a little more present and have a little (cheap) fun.

Putt putt.

Lost 'our' temper...once


....three times a lad-y


Did crazy things.

Enjoyed our own 'Dancing with the stars' competiton. 

We did some craft, a gift from Maisie! (Thanks Maise! mwah)

Had interstate friends stay for 3 days
(road tested the new spit, twice)


Went to the beach.

(breath...just testing their limits again!)


Hired a tinny on the Hawkesbury River with some friends

They got there in 20 mins, it took us 1hr & 10min (same distance), hoons we were!

Ambushed by 3 water dragons.

Jimmy caught two fish.
Mike was MIA, cutting himself on oysters beyond the cameras reach for most of the day with a friend.

O my, I look like a real pear from this angle, nasty.
 Bear was pooped after a big day week and slept the whole way back, dribbling all over the hire jacket, and now I have a very burn't left shoulder.

So here is to hoping I made up for last weeks non event.

With love and a beverage in hand,
Liv xo