Tuesday, 28 August 2007

Papworth Clan - UK

Mum got a wonderful surprise when she arrived home from Australia. A beautiful bouquet of flowers and bottle of champagne were waiting on the doorstep from our family in the UK, the Papworth's. Thanks to Sue, Caroline, Robert, Ian , Jane , Kay, Dawn and partners, (and any others I might not have included) for making Chris' 60th Birthday so special! We do miss you all...

Stand Tall

Stand Tall Like The Sunflower

Written by Tony Masiello

"I find it humorous sometimes that even the most mundane occurrences can have an impact on our awareness.

My wife, daughter, and I moved into our home nine years ago and we spent a lot of time and energy in the yard to get it looking like it does today. We live on a corner, higher than street level, and the entire side of the yard is encased by a professionally built rock wall. The front of the house though is another story because instead of a wall along the sidewalk the rocks appear to be just thrown up onto the dirt as if someone were in a hurry to finish.

We did the best we could with what we had to work with and called this area our 'rock garden'. Whenever we had left over flowers or plants, Denise or I would stick them out front, just to bring some colour to the area.

I still do all of my own yard work, even the dreaded weed-pulling. After putting on my knee pads I assume the position to clear the yard of weeds, even in the rock garden.

Last summer I had reached the end of the rock garden and found a tiny little plant that I could not immediately identify. I knew I didn't plant it and Denise claimed that she didn't either. We decided to let it continue growing until we could figure out what it was.

Weeks passed and as I made my way back to the mystery plant, it appeared to be a Sunflower. It was spindly looking with a tall skinny stalk and only one head on it. I decided to baby it along and weed around it. As I pulled rocks from the area to get to the weeds, I noticed something unusual. The Sunflower had not started where I saw the stalk begin. It actually had begun under a big rock and grown under and around it to reach the sun.

That's when I realized that if a tiny little Sunflower didn't let a big rock stand in its way of developing, we too have the capability of doing the same thing. Once our environment begins to see that we believe in ourselves like that little Sunflower, we can attain the same nourishment and nurturing as well.

First, we need to believe in ourselves knowing we have the capabilities in achieving our desires. Like the Sunflower, it knew it had the capability to overcome its obstacle because it trusted in the Universal Truth and had faith it would succeed.

Stand tall like the Sunflower and be proud of who and what you are and the environment will begin to support you. You will find a way to go under or around your big obstacle in order to reach your desires".


I threw a packet of seeds in about 8 months ago and forgot all about them. I was about ready to pull out what I thought were weeds (novice gardener here...) only for them to suddenly bloom into the most amazing white and pink wildflowers.

Hopefully they'll set seed and come up for another beautiful display next year. Must start thinking about my vegies though, as its starting to warm up a bit and I really want a good supply this season.


Gavin's done an amazing job to get a new room put on the back of the house where the old verandah was, over-looking the bush, in only 2 weekends with a bit of help from our in-house sparky, Dan, and Zac of course. (Lots of encouragement from myself & Bec). Here's one of the lampshades.

My antique umbrella's

Finally - a space to sew

My old sewing box

...And finally, here's the finished room. The clear blinds mean that we can still enjoy the views - and complete with heater, utilise the space through Winter. Late Spring, we can roll the blinds up and enjoy the balmy Summer breeze...


Friday, 24 August 2007

New Outfit from Frou Frou's

Yes, my favourite vintage & pre-loved shop in town - they must have known I was coming in and got this outfit specially for me; it looks fabulous on; very floaty and feminine..bring on the sunshine!


They put an order in at work for tea, once a year or so. I certainly won't need any more for a while. I've now got a detox tea, (detoxifying and cleansing herbs - fennel, nettle, red clover and lemongrass; very nice) chai - lovely infused in warm milk, red green vanilla and jasmine. I'm growing my own chamomile. I also tried 'buddha's tears' where the petals unfurl once you pour hot water in. My lovely tea cup was from my favourite shop, Frou Frou in Springwood and is great for loose leaf teas, with its own infuser and lid to keep the tea warm.

Nana's 60th Birthday Celebrations !!

Mum flew over from New Zealand to spend a few days with us for her birthday. We had a lovely time together although it went far too quickly! We had a lovely Sunday lunch at the Norman Lindsay cafe.Bec & I made some yummy cup cakes especially for the occasion.

We are looking after the balloons for her as it was a bit hard to take them back on the aeroplane! (Apart from the large balloon - the kids took it in turns using the helium to talk funny)....

The best part - opening the pressies!

Of course, we missed grandad heaps...

This was the frittata - a lovely dish for Sunday lunch...

...And the steak sandwich

We shared the tiramisu - delicious...

..The birthday girl laden down with pressies... beautiful mountain weather!

Monday was spent at Scenic World, Katoomba. There's a lovely board-walk through the Jamison Valley - we thought it best to do some exercise before we did lunch again!! We also went back up to the top in the world's steepest railway...very brave we were.

We certainly enjoyed our hot bowl of soup in the local cafe. The next day was followed by some good old retail therapy down at Penrith shops (ppffffttt... 5 items only in the changing rooms...yeah, right!) Very exhausting though, so we had a nice big Indian meal for lunch. Unfortunately by this time, Grandad was missing Nana too much so we had to put her on a plane back to NZ....

Sunday, 5 August 2007

Daffodils by William Wordsworth

I wander'd lonely as a cloud
That floats on high o'er vales and hills,
When all at once I saw a crowd,
A host of golden daffodils,
Beside the lake, beneath the trees,
Fluttering and dancing in the breeze.

Continuous as the stars that shine
And twinkle on the Milky Way,
They stretch'd in never-ending line
Along the margin of a bay:
Ten thousand saw I at a glance,
Tossing their heads in sprightly dance.

The waves beside them danced, but they
Outdid the sparkling waves in glee:—
A poet could not but be gay
In such a jocund company!
I gazed, and gazed, but little thought
What wealth the show to me had brought:

For oft, when on my couch I lie
In vacant or in pensive mood,
They flash upon that inward eye
Which is the bliss of solitude;
And then my heart with pleasure fills,
And dances with the daffodils.

Yep...roll on Spring - seems like its been a long Winter!

To Everything There is a Season

Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 (To Everything There Is A Season)
by Solomon (?)

To everything there is a season, and
a time to every purpose under the heavens:

A time to be born, and a time to die;
a time to plant, and a time to pluck
up that which is planted;

A time to kill, and a time to heal;
a time to break down, and a
time to build up;

A time to weep, and a time to laugh;
a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

A time to cast away stones, and a
time to gather stones together;
a time to embrace, and a time to
refrain from embracing;

A time to get, and a time to lose;
a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

A time to rend, and a time to sew;
a time to keep silence,
and a time to speak;

A time to love, and a time to hate;
a time of war, and a time of peace.

The Red Wheelbarrow

You can't just read this poem - you have to close your eyes and FEEL it. It's simplicity at its absolute best - why does he start with the words - 'so much depends upon'?
Maybe William Carlos Williams knew the secret to happiness. That if you stop once in a while, smell the air, notice the colours around you, watch nature going about it's unhurried business; let all else melt away until the snapshot of life in front of you is all that remains - the pure revelation of joy is all the perspective you need...its perfect!

The Red Wheelbarrow
by William Carlos Williams

so much depends

a red wheel

glazed with rain

beside the white


Locro is a vegetable stew popular in Bolivia, Peru and Ecuador. I came across it in a recipe book of mine, 'Winter Food' by Jill Norman. I thought it was perfect for a nice change, and very healthy accompaniment to the corned silverside I had slow-cooked all day. (Nice on its own too - I saved some for my lunch tomorrow).
You need:- 50ml olive oil, 2 lge onions - sliced, 5 cloves garlic - sliced (or less), 2 kg butternut squash, peeled & cubed, 2 red chillies - seeded & sliced, 400g Tinned chopped tomatoes, 1 tspn dried oregano, seasoning, 200g Green beans - cut into short lengths, sweetcorn, kumera - peeled & cubed, any combination of frozen vegetables or other vegetables you have in the fridge.
You:- Heat oil in large frypan and fry onions until golden. Add garlic and fry for another minute. Put in squash, chillies, tomatoes, oregano & seasoning (+ any other veg). Cover, lower heat and simmer, stirring from time to time, for 20 minutes until squash is almost tender. Add a little water if necessary to prevent sticking. I added some worcestershire sauce and spicy red sauce too and it was delicious - kids also enjoyed it. Just vary to suit.

Bec's Damper

Bec just went to Bathurst Goldfields on a school trip, and really enjoyed making damper which was cooked on an open fire. For dinner the other night, we had the roasted root vegetable soup but as I hadn't put much thought into dinner (unfortunately a regular occurence just lately - supermum that I am....NOT)!! So we decided to quickly make some damper, to which we added garlic and parmesan cheese for a bit more flavour, seen as we had to cook it in the oven instead. Here's the yummy, quick, standby recipe for those days when you're less than organised...
You need:- 2 cups self-raising flour, 30g butter, 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, mixed herbs - dried or fresh, 2 cloves garlic, crushed, 1/2 cup water, 1/2 cup milk, grated parmesan (extra), seasoning.
You:- Sift flour into bowl. Rub in butter with fingertips. Stir in parmesan, herbs, garlic & seasoning. Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add combined water and milk all at once, reserving about 2 tspns. Mix quickly to a soft dough. Turn onto a lightly-floured board. Knead gently. Form into one large or 6 smaller rounds.
Arrange on a greased baking tray. Cut a cross in the top of dough. Brush with reserved milk and sprinkle with extra cheese.
Bake in hot oven (220 deg celcius) for 15-20 mins. Serve hot with butter and soup/casserole.