Wednesday, December 31, 2008

A busy Christmas Eve and Day....

I spent the night before Christmas Eve baking some cookies. These were wrapped and given to our friends. Gingerbread men, butter cookies and candy cane choc biscuits.

I got up at 4.30am on Christmas morning to lay the presents under the tree. I had them all hidden in a suit case which was locked with a combination lock so the girls couldn't get to the gifts!
This was the selection of salads and meats for Christmas day lunch. It was all very yummy.
This is my Mum serving the Christmas pudding that she makes each year. Her eldest grand-daughter Kirste is helping with the custard and cream. It was a good pud!
Here we are - my beautiful family!
My 4 sisters and my Mum.
(L to R) - Sue, Julie, Leanne, Janine & Marilyn,
& Dorothy
This picture shows all 5 girls on Christmas Day, 1964 when I was about 5 months old.
(L - R) - Sue, Marilyn, Janine, Leanne and me as baby. I still have the Noddy rubber doll that I am holding. I think Leanne still has that chimp toy too.
All sisters had to hand make something featuring 'fabric' - Leanne made this calendar holder featuring the above photo. I just love it!
Sue made this cute hand bag - I love the frayed ruffled trim. She is so clever.
Marilyn made pincushions and added some pearl headed pins, 3 tea-towels and a nice pair of knickers.....yep, all made of fabric!
In this photo, you can see the pot plant. Janine glued strips of material to the pot and then lacquered the pot with varnish. It is very effective and still made of fabric. Clever!
After lunch, Jason set up the "Slip n Slide" and the kids all had a ball, sliding around in the water. It was quite a warm day, about 28degsC.
....and finally, this funny old guy arrived with a sack full of lollies for the kids. There was great excitement when he came around the corner, ringing his bell and ho-ho-ho-hoing!
He made a grand departure on a mini 4-wheeler quad bike which had us all in fits of laughter!
Let's just say we had SNOW at our Christmas lunch!! *private joke*.
As you can see, we had a lovely time at my nieces. At about 2.45pm we packed up hopped in the car to drive all the way to Melbourne to be with "A's" family. Back soon with pics of the Boxing Day cricket.
Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Merry Christmas to all....

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas!

'A', myself, K18 and B15 will be joining my Mum and 4 sisters, their partners and some of my 10 nieces and nephews and their children for lunch at my neices - about 21 of us. For lunch we have cold meats - turkey, chicken, ham and pork with a variety of salads. Dessert is Mum's plum pudding, hot custard and cream or fruit salad & icecream.... or both! Yum!
My neice and her husband have a lovely big lawned area which they have been preparing as a tennis court, rolling it regularly and lines marked. That should provide some entertainment
in the afternoon. Father Christmas will make an appearance for the young ones, bringing lollies.
After that we are off to the cricket so...Come on Aussie, come on, come on!!
I'll see you when we get back - stay safe,
Love Joolz

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Something that we do...

Something That We Do - by Clint Black

I remember well the day we wed,

I can see that picture in my head.

I still believe the words we said

Forever will ring true.

Love is certain, love is kind,

love is yours and love is mine,

But it isn't something that we find,

it's something that we do.

It's holding tight, lettin' go,

it's flying high and laying low.

Let your strongest feeling show

and your weakness too.

It's a little and a lot to ask,

an endless and a welcome task.

Love isn't something that we have,

It's something that we do.

We help to make each other all that we can be

though we can find our strength and inspiration independently.

The way we work together is what sets our love apart,

so closely that you can't tell where I end and where you start.

It give me heart remembering how

we started with a simple vow,

There's so much to look back on now

Still if feels brand new.

We're on a road that has no end

and each day we begin again

Love's not just something that we're in

It's something that we do.

Love is wide, love is long

love is deep and love is strong.

Love is why I love this song

and I hope you love it too.

I remember well the day we wed,

I can see the picture in my head

Love isn't just those words we said,

It's something that we do.

There's no request too big or small

We give ourselves, we give our all,

Love isn't someplace that we fall,

It's something that we do.......

- Joolz

A newby...

I settled for a black phone, instead of a nice white/chrome one like I had. None of my 'contacts' were saved to my sim card so I lost all of those in the dead phone. Don't know why they don't tell you somewhere that you should save to the sim card as well as the phone.... or maybe I'm just dumb! Anyhoo, I am now back in comunicado.
My dear other half is no so fortunate - he lost/misplaced his phone *gasps* the same day that mine took a swim in the porcelain swimming pool! *giggles* Can you believe, 2 phones in one day!
He is a business man and losing his phone means he has lost about 20 years worth of phone numbers and addresses of clients and colleagues etc. Plus it's just plain annoying not to have the phone you are used to. He has diverted his number to an old dinosaur that he had about 5 years ago but it doesn't even have an earpiece for using in the car - we have come a long way with BlueTooth! I have a feeling he will remedy the situation this afternoon when he goes to Mt.G.
K18 got her Yr 12 results yesterday but I don't have it all in front of me so I won't brag here and now. She was very pleased (as were we) with her TER score and this will allow her to hopefully get into the course/s she wants for next year. We'll wait for the offers on Jan. 15th now to see what she is offered.
I seem to have come to a stand still with Christmas - I have a bit of biscuit baking to do but I think I'll leave it until the weekend so they are fresher for gifts. I need to do some wrapping but the girls are home so I may do that tomorrow as they are going to Mt. G shopping/lunching etc. I will have to wangle a few hours off work - do you think the boss will let me? I'll threaten not to cook his dinner if he doesn't - Lol!!
Cheers - Joolz

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

10 things about me...

...if I was a tree I would be a maple

...if I was a fruit I would be a juicy peach

...if I was a flower I would be a rose

...if I was the weather I would be a sun shower creating a rainbow

...if I was a musical instrument I would be a flute

...if I was one of the elements I would be helium

...if I was a colour I would be blue
...if I was an animal I would be a cat
...if I was a sound I would be falling rain
...if I was a song lyric I would be "Love's not just something that we're in, it's something that we do"
(Clint Black)
(this doesn't sound real good but you need to hear the whole song - I love it!)

Serenly - Joolz (I bought a new phone :)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Oh dear...

My day got off to a bad start! Would you believe, my mobile phone fell into the toilet? I had it in my back pocket of my trackpants, then went for a tinkle just before my morning walk and 'splosh'!!!

I am so upset - it was a great phone - it was pearly white and shiny chrome and it was nice and it was easy to use and, and, and I think I'm gonna cry! :(

I feel so disconnected from everything - still no internet at home, now no mobile until I sort out a replacement - maybe my old fax machine will blow up too! :)
- Joolz
PS - Daisymum - the first song is for you! Yeehah! :)

Monday, December 15, 2008

Productive Sunday...

I finally finished putting together my sister's presents (x4) - lavender fragranced wheat heat bags and draw string lingerie bags. For a giggle, inside each lingerie bag is a pair of Size 28 big undies with their initial appliqued on the rear! Should get some laughs on Christmas Day!
The theme for the presents this year was 'fabric' and must be home made. I attached a verse for the heat bags and I found cute little silver charms which came in organza bags which say ' friends always'.
I am really pleased with how they turned out, considering I don't sew.

I also got creative and made this Cookie Christmas Tree. It was quite a tedious task as it took over an hour to ice. Each biscuit is individually drizzled with icing then decorated with cachous balls. It looks really cool!
My family were not that thrilled when I said "I think I'll take this to work tomorrow for the staff for their morning tea". The staff really enjoyed it.

I plan to make a Gingerbread one and go all out, decorating it with different lollies on each branch. You'll need an insulin drip to eat it!

I have it in my head that I am not going to stress now that there are only 10 days to go. I have most presents organised, I know what I need to cook for Christmas Day so that's set and my girls are home now so if I need chores done, they can help out.
Stress less and enjoy....

Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Dance Concert...

(Web photo)
We have had a lovely lot of rain in the SE of SA. Basically more than 24 hours of solid rain, together with some gale force winds. Our rain water tanks are over flowing (*smiles*). This time last year, we were out of rain water and surviving on bore water for household use.

We had a rough trip to Mt. G last night to pick up K18 from an 18th party. I am a 'home safe' mum so when she said she didn't have a reliable ride home, I offered to pick her up at 12 midnight - a 100km round trip. The rain was fierce and the wind threw us (hubby, B15 & me)about but we go there and back safely. I slept better for knowing she was home safe.

I have spent a lovely afternoon today, at the MJ Dance Studio's 20th Anniversary Concert, held at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre in Mt. Gambier. One of B15's friends, Maddie, was in the concert. It was three hours of great dance from littlies aged about 5 years through to senior dancers in their late teens. They danced ballet, contempory, jazz, tap and there was also a display of Highland dancing which I thought was fantastic. Countless hours have gone into this polished performance and all involved must be congratulated. These kids are so dedicated, as are their parents. The costumes were fantastic and the afternoon went off without a hitch. We have some very talented dancers in our midst. There is even a young boy who is in the running for consideration for Billy Elliott. Well done!
My home computer has been fixed but we have lost everything on the desktop except our document and picture files. I am sitting in my office at work having an interruption free session on the web. Internet will be re-installed Monday. All games, music and other files etc in Windows is gone! My favourites list is blank but amazingly, I cut and pasted a list of all in my favourites folder about a month ago. So I have not lost all our my blog links. Phew!
Tomorrow I hope to do some Christmas biscuit (cookie) baking and I am still trying to finish off those home sewn pressies. Got. To. Get. Them. FINISHED!!!
See you soon and have a great weekend - Joolz

Friday, December 12, 2008

Nail art...

I am not a person who wears red so my nail technician was horrified when I said I didn't want Chrismas colours (red/green/gold) on my nails. I settled for 'Funky Fushcia' and this smiley little chap and a snow flake. Feels like Christmas!

- Joolz :P

Satay Chicken from scratch...well almost!...

Wednesday night we had Chicken Satay stir-fry for dinner as B15 wasn't dining with us. She doesn't like peanuts or satay. I chopped all these lovely veggies up - mushrooms, corn, bok choy, snow peas, capsicum, spring onions, carrot and broccolini & bean sprouts.
I browned the chicken and spring onions in the wok then whacked in all the other veggies, stirring continuously. I added about 1/2 cup of water and put the lid on to steam them a bit.
The last ingredient is 2 big tblespns crunchy peanut butter and a packet of Maggi Chicken Satay mix. Add further cup of water and mix sauce through. Serve with steamed rice or hokkien noodles.
It's a great way to get children to eat different veggies.
Cheers - Joolz

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Computer blues...

Oh, dear! My home PC is sick at the moment. I started it up this morning and an update that is received must have corrupted something. I spent 50 minutes on the phone to a lovely lady in Malaysia but that didn't resolve anything. So I have packed it up and taken it to a local technician. Hopefully I will know more tomorrow afternoon. In the mean time, we are without internet at home, even on K18's notebook! Yikes - how will we survive?
Until next time, Cheers from Joolz

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Many years ago....

...when my children were small, I thought I was so busy and had no time to do anything. It always felt like that. But I managed to lovingly cross-stich these special Christmas stockings for my girls. (My mum sewed them for me)
I was lucky to be able to stay at home with my babies until they were both into their school years. This allowed me to do many CS projects and also be a reading mum, help out in the classroom on special days, be on the Parents & Friends committee, do fundraising etc. Looking back, they were action packed days. We organised cabarets, garden days, catered for functions, held fashion parades & cake stalls etc.

Now I work in our business 5 days a week, from 10 til 4. I can have a day off if need be but usually I am there all week. Getting home at 4pm after I pick up the girls from the bus allows me time to think of dinner and chill out before then.
Even though the girls are getting older now, I will hang these above our fireplace (gas log flame, he he!) in the hopes old St. Nic will call.

-Joolz :)


I can't wait to see 'Twilight'. I am currently reading the 3rd book, Eclipse. I have been up since 7am and have read about 80 pages. I hope the movie is as good as the books. In some reviews, they say that the actress who plays Bella is a bit bland. We'll see.

Cheers - Joolz

Saturday, December 6, 2008


3 Loads of washing done, dried and folded....tick! (one load pictured)

Christmas tree put up and decorated... tick! Will take a photo later when it gets dark so you get the best effect. I love all of my glitzy decorations. Most were bought for 1/2 price after I spied them at the local garden centre a few years ago. I add a few new ones each year.

Home alone tonight with 'A' (is that an oxymoron? - I can't be alone if he's there too!). He is cooking Plum & Ginger Chicken with noodles. Good man. K18 is heading out and B15 is in Mt G with M14, her best friend. We'll pick her up tomorrow when we go to the pictures. High School Musical 3 plays at the same time as Australia so that works well.

I've achieved some of what was on the list - must get those presents sorted tomorrow!

Cheers - Joolz :P <3

Saturday's goals...

I've been very slack this morning - I'm still in my jammies at 10.30am!

Here is the list of things I want to accomplish today -


Put up Christmas tree and decorate

Applique initials on sisters pressies

Wrap sisters pressies

Washing x 3 loads

Fold x 3 loads

All this today so I can have a rest tomorrow. I have convinced 'A' to take me to the pictures in Mt. Gambier to see 'Australia'. It will be our only chance before Christmas.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Bring on the weekend...

I'm felling a bit blaaagh today, well actually I have been all week. I think it is just this time of year. I get up and go for a 5 km walk at 6am but feel depleted of energy when I return home. The weather is cool today and I just feel like crawling back into bed. But I have to work. Blaaagh!

We do have a free weekend so that is a bonus. I need to complete my sister's presents and get them wrapped. Not sure what I am going to do for my Mum yet. Hand made or bought, I still can't decide. I will put the tree up this weekend too. I bought 6 new ornaments to add to it this year.

My hubby has decided he'd like a Weber Kettle BBQ for Christmas. We had one of these when we were first married and enjoyed many good roasts in it. Then we bought a gas Weber BBQ and have had that for the last 10 years, but we can't seem to get roasts right in it. So he wants to go back to the hot coal method again.

I have put in a wish for a new camera. I have a basic digital point and shoot camera at the moment but I would like to be able to fiddle with the settings a bit more.

Things are a bit quiet at work at the moment so that makes my day go slower. I like to have a full day of paper work then the time flies. Today will most likely drag. :(

Well, I'd better get into it - the sooner I get to work perhaps the sooner I can come home (the advantages of sleeping with the boss - Lol!).

I made lasagne last night for dinner but I forgot to take a photo when I had it served up with a nice green salad.

Tonight will be chicken wraps - standard fare for Friday night at our house. I cut up lettuce, cucumber, carrot, onion, tomato, grated cheese. Fry off chopped chicken tenderloins, then add a packet of taco seasoning, water and a can of red kidnney beans. Once that has thickened and cooked for about 20 mins, heat tortillas in the microwave, add spoonfulls of chicken and the salad that you like, roll and wrap. Voila! (I'll try and take a photo if I can remember).
Have a nice weekend guys - Cheers from Joolz

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Tiny Treasures Tuesday....

I have been lucky to travel to a few places in the world and I love to collect small treasures to remind me of each country. Above are a set of Matryoshka or Babushka Dolls. Although not from Russia, I bought these cuties in Bath, England in 2000.
This happy little chappy comes from Hong Kong (2006) along with the other jade piece which symbolises eternal life, there is no start or end.

These are Chinese good luck charms from Hong Kong. They are meant to keep our house safe from evil spirits.

Onto Japan and here we have Hello Kitty and a cute little Geisha girl from Tokyo, 2006.

Ah, Venice, Italy (2006). This is a piece of Venetian hand made lace, depicting a Gondalier. The paper weight is made from Murano glass. Sweet.
Vive la France! Tiny pieces of Limoges from country France (2000)

To the Middle East - Dubai in the United Arab Emirates. These are sterling silver trinket boxes with ornate designs (2000).

Mystic India! (2006). Once again, small trinket boxes with enamel designs and also the small glass figurine of the Elephant God, Ganesh. The Taj Mahal was fantastic to see in the flesh.

A tiny Carnivale mask and a cheese knife made of Murano glass from Venice.
I love the fact that all of these things fit into my china cabinet. They are just small reminders of the wonderful places I have been to.
Do you have any special treasures?
Cheers - Joolz

Monday, December 1, 2008

Family time...

BBQ lunch at our house
(my four sisters and the 2 Nanas were there)

We have had a big weekend. Kirby celebrated her 18th Birthday with dinner at a hotel in Mt Gambier with about 20 of her good friends. They are a lovely bunch of kids and they had a nice meal, a few drinks and lots of laughs. Then at about 9.30 they headed off to some other venues for dancing. We tagged along until midnight then we oldies turned into pumpkins and went home. Kirbz wandered in a little later (.............considerably later!).

On Sunday, we hosted a family BBQ for the 'aunties and uncles and Nanas' . Cousins and partners and kids dropped by throughout the afternoon. The day resembled our Christmas Day lunch, except there was no pudding!! Gus did a great job with the BBQ, the salads were yummy and the pavlova and trifle for dessert, delicious. The weather was mild, windy but not cold - a bonus. We had a lovely shower of rain in the afternoon which was great for the garden and lawns.

I just did a count up and we saw 29 friendly faces drop in during the day so it is no wonder we collapsed into bed at 9.30 last night - tired, happy and just a little tipsy! Lol!

Bring on Christmas I say!

Cheers for now, Joolz