who is a pretty one, then?

A magical moment when I was gifted with the precious experience of observing this lovely creature taking the early morning sun on our front lawn.

Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi) or Pretty Faced Wallaby

Whiptail Wallaby (Macropus parryi) or Pretty Faced Wallaby

It was no more than 10 metres from the house. The fence is the edge of Augie Dog’s patch which adjoins the patio. The wallaby looks a little further away that it was as it is just over the drop of the hill upon which our house sits. It was just a perfect moment in paradise.

This is an official photo from the Queensland Museum that gives a clearer picture. More facts, clear here.

macropus-parryi

No doubt when it is feasting on our vegetable patch in a couple of weeks I won’t think so highly of it, but for now, it was my jewel in the crown for the day.

going someplace nice, without going anywhere in particular

 

three

What a gift it is to have a friend of many years standing. To be gifted with two such friends is entirely priceless! Lunch time found me at a local restaurant with two of my Ladies who Lunch. It was a three hour lunch with the obligatory glass of chardonnay, which this time went straight to my head.

Sometimes, I imbue my one glass and not notice any inebriation, but today, that glass, sipped slowly through lunch, went straight to my head. It did not hinder holding up my end of the gossip with humorous and intelligent witticisms however.

One of the ladies has a son in law who is a pilot and is with the Australian forces newly arrived in Iraq. Her daughter is moving house next week, and so friend has to shoulder to the grindstone to assist daughter. Mothers never cease being mothers, do they?

Speaking of mothers, after our lunch I visited my sister who is laid up with a fractured toe. She fought the corner of the shower cubicle and the shower won! I gathered together a pile of books to occupy her while she takes it easy for a few days. This week would have been her husband, BIL’s  birthday, the first without him, so a bit of a sad week for her, and I hope a bit of light reading will take her mind to another place for a few hours.

Her daughter was also visiting, and she had her lovely  baby girl with her. I mentioned her birth in June when the baby was born at just 29 weeks weighing 820grams. Well, four months along, baby weighs just over 8 pounds. She is a beautiful little girl who sleeps her day away, and spent sometime asleep on my shoulder or in my arms. A change of pace after Petite Fille this week, and it brought back to me how fast time passes.

I had left home at 11.30 and arrived back just before 6pm, a long time of being nice, especially for me, but what a lovely way to end the holidays.

I am going to sleep tomorrow, though. Oh yes, indeed, very late; very, very late.

sleep black

pat cake, pat a cake, baker woman

muffin apple

Quite the Country Domestic Flamingo Dancer, today. I ordered heritage vegetable seeds online, with visions of supplying our table and Daughter1’s family as well, thanks to Son.

I was also the Country Chef, baking ham and cheese muffins, then apple muffins, as well as cooking a double batch of vegetable fritters, to restock my frozen school lunch supplies. The apple sauce had been sitting in the back of the pantry for awhile so it was a great to use it at last in the muffins.

Mr FD and Son taste tested all, but I whisked the food into labelled freezer bags and into the refrigerator before they came back for seconds. It is nice to have something for those days when I feel that I physically and mentally cannot cope with making one more decision; or I am running late. I hope to find the time and energy to make a couple more recipes before Tuesday, but if not, at least I have something to start with!

What is it about home baking that makes one feel so superior and in control of  one’s life?

home appeal

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

Just imagine our veg garden like this but with no plants and chicken wire, and in Australia, and oh just better all around.

I have pried the play dough from beneath my fingernails. breathed deeply of the fresh country air and reclaimed ownership of my side of the bed.

The three men, Mr FD, Son and Augie Dog, acquitted themselves very well in my absence. The dishes were washing in the dishwasher (I didn’t ask how many days worth of dishes they were), the floors had been cleaned, and while the sheets hadn’t been changed, the bed had at least been made!

north-bundaleer-kangaroo-in-the-vegetable-garden

The loveliest gift is the vegetable garden Son has grafted from our forest floor. This one is ringed by chicken wire in the hope of keeping out kangaroos and hares. He has planted tomatoes, beans and corn so far. There are raised gardens to accommodate at least a dozen different vegetables. Son has also arranged a number of large pots that my father made many years ago from cement, for our herbs. One already contains a capsicum plant. His grandfather would be so proud of his only grandson! He has even installed a watering system, which knowing him will soon be time activated.

I am scared to ask how his university studies are going in light of the time and effort he has spent on the garden, but he is an adult and so we won’t go there! I guess it is his third degree, he should know how to pace himself by now!

I feel energised from my time away from home, which is odd, I know, as I am physically tired. I think that just the change of place has made me see my home with fresh eyes. Sadly, school starts back next Tuesday, but that doesn’t mean a few little projects can’t still be accomplished. And I need to remember that it will only be 10 weeks until we have our 6 weeks of Christmas holidays.

Just 10 weeks, just 10 weeks…may the strength be with me!

 

dogs, foibles and the human condition

fence hole

The sun is shinning, the birds are chirping, Mr FD is still away…

The only downside of Mr FD’s absence has been Augie Dog.  Mr FD usually sees to Augie’s nightie toilet issues, but when he is away it falls to me. The uninterrupted nights I dream of become a bit of a farce when Augie starts whimpering bedside to go out for relief. A forty kilo Golden Retriever will not be ignored!

We don’t have doggie doors, as it would have to be the size of a small adult, and would just be an open invitation for snakes and other wildlife. Augie is more of an indoor dog as well, due to the snake issues, and limited fencing. That said, he does not suffer from his lack of independence.

stroll

Augie is also well trained. He knows exactly when it is time for me to rise each school morning. Sadly, he thinks I should rise at the same time on weekends and vacations as well! Sometimes, I just take him out to the toilet run before returning to bed, other times we take tea and toast together. He likes his toast still warm, buttered; peanut butter is permitted. So is vegemite, jam, honey and anything else Mama FD is having on her toast!

In the next couple of weeks, Augie will be getting a short back and sides trim for the warmer months, and maybe the piles of hair, full tufts, that he leaves everywhere will decrease. False dreams I know! Some days I do feel as though I just follow him about collecting hair. If only I was one of those women who turn animal hair into useful things like face washers or boot liners. As it is, I would probably vomit at the mere thought of it!

I did once in my earlier fashionista days wear a dress that had a portion of rabbit hair. That didn’t bother me until much later, but in the end I think I was almost relieved when I put on baby weight and we parted ways. And yet, I can tuck into a large beef steak with wild abandon. We are complicated individuals, we humans.

The issue I am grappling with today is : do I shed the pjs, or not?

greet

over hill, over dale, we hit the boozy trail

lunch duo

Friend and I had a boozy lunch, if one glass of wine can be called a boozy lunch. Then we set to fixing the ills of the world. If you were sitting at the table next to us, we would have sounded like two grumpy old ladies, as we sorted politics, society’s meanness to others, childrearing, religion, dietary habits… oh, world peace and harmony in general, according to us!

After the caffeine of our  meal’s end coffee wore off, I realised how incredibly tired I felt. No doubt a combination of being nice for too long and righting the world’s wrongs.

I thought of many intelligent and witty comments to write as I drove home, but now that I am here with laptop and fresh tea I can think of none of them.

One thing has resurfaced – how much I love living in the country. To reach our rendezvous at restaurant in nearby village, I merely had to turn left out of our driveway, drive to the end of the road, turn right into the main street, waiting for three car to pass, then a left turn and follow my nose through the countryside to the restaurant, parking right outside the door. 7.4km – less than 10 minutes at a lovely country speed.

Dolce Far Niente.

duct

Laying low

playground

Last day of term commenced with Mass, then a joint morning tea where everyone, students and teachers, brought food to share. I have never seen so many packets of potato crisps in one place in my entire life (we call them “chips”; we also call fried fresh fries “chips”. It is a hangover from our colonial days!) After morning tea there was a “blow up” carnival – amusements all built on blow ups or inflatables – gladiators played in a bouncy air ring with balloon batons, a bouncy castle, a bouncy surf slide, bouncy boxing and … a rocking bull!

I must have finally lost all semblance of youth, for during my half hour of duty minding the students undertaking bouncy boxing and watching them hand the inflated gloves and head gear form student to student was “oh my, the head lice, and hand germs!” It almost made me ill just watching the communal gear…ugh. The high point was standing there and wishing and hoping that some of the more “challenging” students got a good biffo, even if it was with an inflated glove!

A group of students and teachers formed an impromptu group and jammed for the last hour which gave everyone time to chill out and then the bell rang, and I was no longer a Flamingo Dancer but a giselle racing to my car. I was in my favourite chair at home by 4.30!

car bye

Saturday morning, I farewelled Mr FD and his sister on a trip to visit an old family member with a milestone birthday. I have stayed home to spring clean and chill out. I just couldn’t face a nine hour drive  only the day after the end of term.

So, instead I made a huge dish of fruit salad to share with Son. We had strawberries, blueberries, pear, apple, mandarine, banana and black grapes. Delicious. I have also baked a classic chocolate coconut slice, the recipe I was given in year 8 at school, to have with coffee when Son’s mate visits this afternoon.

choccoc

Augie and I are about to take an afternoon nap which is now my prerogative for the next few days.

Living the good life.