Sunday, 30 August 2009

Weekly Winners 35 2009

August 23rd - 29th
It was a wild,warm and windy week. Thursday was just beautiful when we headed to the regional park with some friends and I finally got the camera out.Weekly Winners is a meme to show off your favourite snaps of the week ,not a competition so anyone can join in the fun ...Please go see more Weekly Winners @ Lotus's .

The Big flying fox
The Littlies Flying fox


My Little Tree hugger

A three year old child is a being who gets almost as much fun out of a fifty-six dollar set of swings as it does out of finding a small green worm. ~Bill Vaughan
Cheeky Monkey Face

Moto bike goes like this ...

You are worried about seeing him spend his early years in doing nothing. What! Is it nothing to be happy? Nothing to skip, play, and run around all day long? Never in his life will he be so busy again. ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Emile, 1762

What I didn't get pictures of ...
  • the window my youngest MR 3 smashed while banging on the window. He wasn't hurt and thankfully DH was home , it was the sliding panel and he could get it fixed pronto ...the wind was wild and blowing a gale at the time too.
  • the wild wind
  • the old shed that blew down at work ... it had to be demolished.
  • the other batch of brownies we took to the park (I am just not quick enough)
  • the new shoots on the roses in Charlotte's garden...praying for blooms.
Some special moments to reflect on ~

Today is the 5th 'anniversary' of the day that shattered our world when we found out our baby girl had passed away in the womb at a routine appointment. I don't really mark the day, there are only so many days you can ...cry !

Wednesday was also the 4th anniversary of my Dad's passing. We lit a candle in remembrance of a much loved Dad. My DH lit it for me and placed my Dad's picture from the wall nearby. It was cropped but one that I knew was of my Dad holding my nephew, L ,who would then have been the age of my little boys. I am so sad they never got to meet each other.

I am not sure what we will do come Tuesday 1st September, the day we said hello & goodbye to Charlotte in almost one breath.

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Saturday, 29 August 2009

Catching my breath

... , catching up and a confession.
Guilty !
Yes , my dear Internets it's been almost 5 days since my last post. So much has been going on here and I don't know where to begin.

Twitter perhaps is part of the reason (it's so addictive).
Lately, I have found I haven't had half the time I used to have ...does that make sense ?
Well, more in relation to computer time and since the housecleaner ran off with the pool boy (OK it was years ago and besides someone else is holding the cleaning fairy captive).

I have been feeling overwhelmed.Sorry, if I haven't been by to comment. I have been keeping up a little in my reader.

I finally got my appointment with the BAHA (Bone anchored hearing aid) surgeon in the big smoke city , coincidentally it was the same day as my husband's court date. Less < 5kms apart and 3 hrs earlier. So it worked for us.

I went alone though. DH stayed with car as parking was a 1hr zone and we didn't know if DR was going to be on time. (One parking area was full and the other was $16 for 2hrs and 7 mins last time).

The same day, on our way to find parking we witnessed an accident. It was 5secs after we drove past a sidestreet .The taxi behind us was t -boned (hit in the middle on passenger side of car ). It didn't look too bad , though the bumper bar of the driver in the wrong was on the road. We couldn't hang around to watch we were at the corner of a narrow street leading onto a busy city street. I was thankful it wasn't us.It would have been a disaster.

I digress ... I am tentatively booked for surgery on 22nd September ...unless I change my mind. I am anxious about other things too about my NF and the BAHA . The NF ...I won't go there.

The BAHA ... Is it worth the cost ? It is very expensive, though I have private health insurance the out of pocket expenses are considerable. I still haven't got all the quotes (the Surgeon's I got the very next day) .The Surgeon was a lovely man , gave me plenty of time to ask questions and didn't rush me in & out like some do. He is a specialist in his field .

Will I like it ? During surgery the hair follicles are removed with some of the underlying tissue.Hair growing right up to the abutment could lead to complications such as infection risk. It is not a large area, and supposedly isn't very noticeable.
I am just chicken.The thought of someone cutting into my skull and inserting a titanium screw into my head (I checked Frankenstein's bolt was lower in his neck) it worth it to hear better ?

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Tuesday, 25 August 2009

Chocolate brownies 101

As promised ...These are the best brownies I have tasted ,made from scratch and easy to make (if 1 you follow the directions . Very rich and decadent but so, so good.
  • 150g butter (melted)
  • 1 cup Nestle Baking cocoa
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 cups sugar (I used caster sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • ¾ cup plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 pkt (250g) of white choc bits (I only used 100g each of white and 100g milk ...skimping on chocolate in no way affected taste)
  1. Preheat oven to 160 °C (see hint below to write the degree symbol in html ...too easy).Line an 18cm x 28cm lamington tin with baking paper (I lined it right up the sides ,makes it easy to lift out and nothing sticks).
  2. Melt butter and stir in NESTLE Baking cocoa. Cool slightly (though the white choc bits will disguise the eggy bits if you forget)
  3. Beat in eggs. STIR in sugar & vanilla (DO NOT TRY TO BEAT it makes a big mess trust me on this )
  4. Sift flour and baking powder together, add to cocoa mixture and stir until thoroughly mixed.
  5. Stir through 250gms choc bits ( white, white / milk or dark whatever )
  6. Spoon mixture into tin , evenly it is quite thick.
  7. Bake in preheated oven for 45-50 mins or until just firm when pressed in the centre.It will be moist and slightly chewy. Cook a little longer (5 mins) if you prefer a more cake like brownie or crunchier sides (watch carefully so they not burnt).
  8. Cool in the tin for 20 minutes (if you can wait that long) before turning out onto a wire rack to cool. Serve cut into squares (or chunks of your choice) dusted with icing sugar /baking cocoa if so desired.
  9. Warning it is too good to share but ...of course you will or else !
  10. Serve alone or warm with icecream/cream and top with flaked chocolate.
I found this recipe on the Nestle baking cocoa tin ...but couldn’t find it on the Nestle website. I found this other similar and very easy recipe. Caramel choc pecan brownies
Next time I want to try adding walnuts ... and then Pecans and/or caramel or I’ll just use the above recipe.
For the diet conscious try this one Chocolate brownies ...warning I haven't tested this yet.

How do you type Celsius ° character symbol in html - & deg ; no spaces

or find it on the character map in your computer start/accessories/system tools/character map ...copy and paste.
My Sister in law just got back from 6 weeks in USA and she said they have a super brownie pan she wished she had of bought ...I want one too now.
I hope I can convince my mum to bring two home for us when she comes home from her Canada/US trip.
Sorry no cut brownie pictures because we ate them so fast ! It says serves 20 ...they are kidding me !

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Sunday, 23 August 2009

Weekly Winners 34 2009

August 16th - 22nd
This has been another warm but busy week in Sydney. It was a challenging week and I didn't get the camera out as often as I would have liked. Ps I found the camera download cord ...just in time for Perfect Moment Monday.

Comfort food on bad days (and a choc milkshake)

I love these Old terraces in the inner city
City Street parking ... not joking it was this close (red car was 1/3 car length over the no parking sign too -maybe they were the tenants)
They call this a Park booze allowed either. It was a miniscule triangle wedged on a corner .

..Another example of my perfectly imperfect life
Do not beat the sugar into the cocoa mixture ...when it says STIR

I am a messy cook
Do not add the egg to hot butter mixture instead of the other 3 eggs ...lucky the recipe had white choc bits (honestly you couldn't tell).
The best brownies ever
recipe to follow...tomorrow !

Weekly Winners is a meme to show off your favourite snaps of the week ,not a competition so anyone can join in the fun ...Please go see more Weekly Winners @ Lotus's .

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Friday, 21 August 2009

Perfectly Imperfect Decorating

"Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right"
"All children have creative power." ~Brenda Ueland

If you can't make it better, you can laugh at it ~ Erma Bombeck... I still laugh everytime Sam says 'I rip it' as I tell him how naughty it was.

The freeze was here when we moved in almost 5 yrs ago so about time I redecorated.

..I have so many perfectly imperfectly life examples don't forget to visit Kate @Picklebums for her day 6

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Thursday, 20 August 2009

Justice last

Some very significant things have happened in the last few days.
A few months ago my husband (personally in his name but related to our business) got a Statement of claim for civil damages. It was from a woman he met once and was for an alleged breach of oral contract and subsequent alleged losses ...all for a quote he gave 5 months prior.

It was out of the blue and cost her $77 to lodge the claim in court.It was the first he had ever been to court.
Our business didn't deal in oral quotes. She was trying to claim scam over $6000 from us and gave no details how she arrived at the amount except for almost $600 in legal costs (to prepare the Statement of claim we presumed). Inconceivable.
For over 4 months it has consumed our life, though my husband only had to go to court in the city twice.
Preparation of our defence and witness statements took hours upon hours ...actually days.
There were sleepless nights and the worry of it.
The worse that could happen was he has to pay heed to her ridiculous, inconceivable claims and pay the money.

That it could proceed to a court hearing without someone really looking at the truth of the matter it is inconceivable.

A date was set for a mediation session at the court in mid July.We cut short our planned holiday away to be there ...or else they could have ruled against us in our absence. The woman did not show but her Barrister's secretary did only to insist on going directly a hearing. DH waited 3-4 hrs for a 5min chance to speak , and only a hearing date was set for a month later.

By all accounts a barrister was unnecessary , Dh represented himself.
The woman didn't show at the hearing only her barrister was there.
Our case was listed for mid afternoon , the 2nd case on the appointed hour. I accompanied my DH this time.
The courtroom opened , the two Plaintiffs and two defendants entered, the parties Cases 1 & 2, stood for Assessor as requested by the court secretary. It was otherwise informal.
The Assessor asked each person to identity themselves. then said Case 1 would likely be 30mins and that we could go outside and try to resolve the matter amongst ourselves.
We went outside with the Barrister, a very nice man by all accounts . A little small talk followed and then he asked if we were prepared to settle...

Dh : "No "
Barrister : "okay , we will let court decide"

He also told us he didn't normally deal in civil claims but murder and manslaughter cases, he mentioned he had been before Judge X in the Supreme Court and Judge Z in the District court already that morning.

The first case was actually 1hr.15mins long. We started to get worried we wouldn't make it back in time to get our sons from daycare. I made hasty arrangements, just in case, with my Sister in law.

Then it was our turn after 2 hr 30min wait.
It was very intimidating. Dh was nervous. The Barrister spoke first. He objected to us introducing more evidence , despite the fact Dh has been told he could. Incorrectly so it seems.
The Assessor explained at length why he couldn't. Ok .

The Plaintiff had sent her documents back to us by fax late on the last possible day after they had received our statements. We didn't have same opportunity they ahd to be lodged at the court.

In civil cases the court makes decisions based on written evidence submitted 14 days prior to the hearing. It was incredulous we couldn't respond to her false claims in her statement.
Still DH was able to read them out. He was very nervous but did a great job.
In the end the Assessor said it was 'inconceivable' that 'we' would have entered an oral contract as Plaintiff had stated .
At best her claims of loss - were not proven , excessive and were not even in her name but other names and actually in name of a business for what was personal quotes...her Barrister couldn't explain how the sum of approx $6000 was derived nor the discrepancies.

DH wanted to say surely they had also broken some tax laws but didn't.

The Barrister used some fancy legal terms and tried to argue a few points.He lost us.

In the end about 40 mins after we entered the Assessor started summing it up.It was ruled in our favour though at first it was hard to follow him. The case against Dh was dismissed.

Justice prevailed , though at significant cost to our mental health and untold stress.
We didn't have legal costs thank goodness.

The Barrister shook hands at the end and explained a few other things. He was a character indeed.

He took the case as a favour. Still the woman is going to be charged by him ...I don't know what the going rate is for a criminal barrister doing a civil case but she deserves everything she has got coming to her.
I am just thankful it was resolved and the case is over (God I hope so).
I am relieved we can move on to better things and put the whole saga behind us.

We paid our $32 for parking (cost twice as much as lunch did).
The drive out of the city took us 1hr 50 mins and we made it to preschool at 5.56pm with 4 mins to spare.
The calls of congratulations from family and friends were heartwarming.
I'll tell you the other significant things tomorrow ...

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Monday, 17 August 2009


For the want of nothing better to do . (Yes, I lie) Just a few crazy questions to answer for fun

Instructions are here

1. Last tuesday which was good friday we came to tell you something we know nothing about.
You were asked to pull up a chair and sit on the floor. What do you make of this?

I have toddlers it makes perfect sense.

2. The answer is YES...what is the question? DO you (I) want a free house cleaner ?
Their new book 'How to trash a room in under 3 Minutes'
Posted this especially for Kate and her The Perfectly Imperfect Life Challenge

YES ! Do you (I) want chocolate ?

3. The cops are banging on your door late at night. What are you thinking they are there for?
To ask why I didn't follow them on twitter and why did I tell every one they followed Hughesy & Kochie.

4. Children learn what they they say.. what would a child learn in your household??
Love is unconditional , the dust and the dishes can wait , chocolate makes everything better and you cannot live without your internet connection.

5. Tell us about 1 family ritual your family does every year.

6. What is the favorite food that you would eat everyday 3 times a day if you could?
Desserts ...Chocolate, cheese, cake, fruit , icecream are all desserts !

7. Tell us about your fantasy. You are not paying attention see #2 & #6 and scroll down to #8

8. You are stranded on a deserted Island. You have plenty of food, a person to keep you company, shelter and life seems stress free. what do you tell the rescue ship when it arrives.??
Where's the chocolate and wine ?
Did you remember my laptop and mobile broadband ?

Oh and where is the cleaner ?

Who wants to play ? !

PS The font choices are missing !

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Sunday, 16 August 2009

Weekly Winners 33

August 9th - 15th
It's hard to believe it is still Winter in Sydney. It was a beautiful week....almost felt like going on a bear hunt

Looking forward to Spring

DH's Niece's new backyard

It's a steep climb up

will pose hug for smarties

mmm pink playdough sausage
even 16yrs old enjoy playdough but don't tell anyone k

Twins mean you always have a playmate

Weekly Winners is a meme to show off your favourite snaps of the week ,not a competition so anyone can join in the fun ...
Please go see more Weekly Winners @ Lotus's Lotus always has some breathtaking images.

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