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Showing posts from December, 2009
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Flowers taken in the gardens of Old Parliament House, Canberra

God holds the future in His hands,
With grace sufficient day by day;
Through good or ill He gently leads,
If we but let Him have His way. (Robrs)

Wishing all my readers a wonderful and safe new year and
I very much look forward to hearing from you in 2010.

The trip to the Art Gallery

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Yesterday I went on an outing with my cousin and her husband.  Along with many hundreds of people we went to the National Art Gallery of Australia to see the Masterpieces From Paris exhibition.   I love art and having studied it at school I always jump at the opportunity to see the "real" pieces of art , rather than the reproductions in books - so when I heard that the Post-Impressionist art collection from the Musee D'Orsay in Paris (which is currently being renovated) was coming to Australia I was so excited.

The exhibition contained 112 paintings, including Van Gogh's "Starry Night" (1888) which was just incredible.  In a book it looks quite flat but up close it is so beautiful - full of depth, richness and colour - almost glowing.  Another painting was "Van Gogh's Bedroom at Arles" (1889) and once again the colours are so vibrant - considering it was painted 120 years ago its just wonderful to look at.







One thing I did discover is the size …

Rambles..

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Now that Christmas is done and dusted for another year I can relax and enjoy my week's leave (I have another one in January).  I have been sleeping in (until 8:00am) and enjoying breakfast in bed (crumpets and honey + jasmine tea - I make it myself in case you were wondering) and reading for a short while before I decide what I might do for the day!!  So far I have been catching up one some:
reading (Illegal Action by Stella Rimington - one of those MI5 spy  novels)
gardening (see below) - I removed a dead shrub and replaced it with 7 small plants and added mulch - still have other areas of the garden to work on
baking - I wish you could smell the lime and macadamia shortbread cooking right this minute:)watching movies (including Emma, the new 2009 4 part BBC production)sleeping (just love those afternoon sleeps - Brenin the Doberman joined me yesterday)shopping at the end-of-year sales - but everything I "needed" wasn't on sale and things I didn't need were.
playin…

What beauty surrounds us...

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God's wondrous beautiful - no man could create such a magnificent raindrop on a flower.  Check out the reflections.

"Stand still and consider the wondrous works of God" Job 37:14


All things bright and beautiful,
All creatures great and small,
All things wise and wonderful:
The Lord God made them all.

Each little flower that opens,
Each little bird that sings,
He made their glowing colors,
He made their tiny wings.
(Cecil F. Alexander)

Sniffing the flowers - she is glad to be outside after 2 days of rain (62mm's of precious rain)

Hunting
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My youngest son on Christmas morning (he loves this hat and wears in winter or summer)

Ok - the title of this blog doesn't belong to this photo!!  This is me on Christmas morning.  Quite wide  awake considering I was woken by my husband at 4:30 (he has a very sore back and couldn't sleep).  I did enjoy an Christmas afternoon sleep for a hour or so.


Charles Wysocki

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'Maggie the Messmaker"

Charles Wysocki is another folk artist that I just love the work of, they contain such richness of  colour  and such eye for detail.  I am particularly fond of the car series which I have included just a few.


Charles Wysocki was born in 1928 in Detroit of immigrant parents (Polish), dying in 2002 aged 73.  He worked for AMCAL and from 1972 his works have been reproduced into calendars, like the one I have in my study of his most famous cats which I will enjoy in 2010.

"Too Pooped to Participate"

'Max'

Christmas Cheer

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We are enjoying a cool wet grey day - and even though it may sound strange, its perfect.  I love wet rainy days and as we are in such need of rain, it is the best gift to receive on Christmas Day. Heavy rains have been predicted in inland Australia (New South Wales in particular) thanks to  Cyclone Laurence and this will be very welcome as some areas haven't had rain in ages and towns are or have run out of water.

Because it is cool (after a very hot week) - roast ham and veggies were very welcome at lunch time and the turkey for dinner will be ideal.

I love calendars..do you?

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One of the exciting things about the end of the year is the trip to the mall to buy the calendars.  I need a calendar for:
the fridge doorstudymy desk at workmy pin board at workthe toilet doorEach calendar is carefully selected as I have to live with these for 12 months.  Sometimes it can take weeks to find the right ones.  This year I have bought the following:
Polar bears (mini) calendar for the fridge door
Lowell Herrero's "Cows" for the study (all the way from the USA)Cute cats (mini) for my pin-board at workUnusual locations around the world calendar for the toilet door (I try to make this interesting and educational)NOT BOUGHT YET - Still deciding!!! 
It can get very stressful if I can't find the right ones...ok a little crazy you might be wondering:).  Sometimes I go back when the sales are one and the calendars are reduced by 75% buy a few more - just in case.  Some are just so beautiful - especially the photograph and art calendars.   They are great frames and…

Pavlova....the best dessert on the planet

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I love pavlova (a meringue based dessert) and so does my family.  To me it is the PERFECT summer Christmas dessert.  And for this reason I made it tonight for a mini Christmas dinner (as my son and his girlfriend won't be with us on Christmas Day).   I have attached a link to the recipe: Pavlova recipe  - it is easy to make, but remember don't store the pavlova in the fridge once cooked as it can make it soggy.  The pavlova should be crispy on the outside and marshmallow in the middle.

The two pictures below are after I have mixed the ingredients and created the meringue  - it should be very glossy and have these lovely peaks.







One of the best parts of making the pavlova is licking the beaters once I have finished, I only ever make it when I am home alone so I get to lick both beaters - just delicious :-)!!!

Once it is cold it is ready to eat - I tend to make the pavlova the day before but not add the cream until we are ready to eat.  It will crack, but that is fine - once the whi…

Things in my garden

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Cosmos

Hydrangea - I love the way they gradually open

Dill - love cooking with  this herb

Charlie Cat - she loves to sniff the flowers.


Gaia standing at the entrance of his house

This is me

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This is what I plan to do ALL weekend.

.....Enjoy the moments that make you smile....



Happy birthday Jane Austen

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I couldn't go past today without highlighting the fact that Jane Austen was born on this day - the 16th of December, 1775 in the village of Steventon in Hampshire.  She was the 7th child of 8.  As far as I am concerned she was a most remarkable woman of her times and left us with 6 wonderful books that have been read by millions of women and watched as many different TV/movie versions have been made. 

I found a newspaper article (when I was cleaning my desk) that listed the top 20 love stories ever written.  Pride and Prejudice was number 2, Sense and Sensibility was number 14 and Persuasion was 18 - I wonder why her books are loved by so many over so many years.  She does create wonderful stories with lots of twists and turns plus has handsman men such as Mr Darcy or Captain Wentworth as the love interest. Modern romance novels tend to be trashy, poorly written with no plot following a formula and are all about sex and completely lacking in any morals! 

You may be interested to k…

10 days to Christmas......

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Artwork by Mary Engelbreit

It is always hard getting up in the morning and staying focused at work as I near a week's Christmas holiday break.  Just like when I was a child, time travels far too slow - with my mind already thinking about all the activities I will be doing over the festive season and most certainly not thinking about the work I should be doing now. Making it worse, my husband is already on leave - which means its twice as hard going to work.

Today was quite warm (32C - 89.6F) and tomorrow will be even hotter (37C - 98.6F) - but I spend all day in air-conditioning so it doesn't affect me very much.  My favourite time in summer is dusk as the sun sets and it starts to get cooler with the gully winds increasing, bringing relief after a hot summers day.  Charlie (the cat) and I have been sitting on the front step watching the parrots chat away in the gum trees - I was relaxing and Charlie was dreaming of catching one of these birds.

Do stop by and leave a comment if…

Pink for girls

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As I wore pink today I was very interested in this story in the newspaper (on-line) about the "problems" of young girls wearing pink. There is a group in the UK called Pinkstinks who are calling for:

"parents to boycott manufacturers of pink toys and children's clothing on the basis that "pinkification" is herding young girls into "pink alleys" that lead inexorably toward the pink collar career ghetto. The group's website asserts that long-term exposure to pink leads to low self-esteem, poor body image and limited opportunities for girls and women. The campaign "aims to challenge the culture of pink"

What can I say - I must have low self-esteem, poor body image and limited opportunities as I love wearing pink!!

Their aims is to:
Inspire, motivate and enthuse girls about the possibilities and opportunities open to themImprove girls’ self esteem and confidence, raise their ambitions and ultimately improve their life chancesTo challenge  t…

Christmas shopping

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13 days to go.........

Very happy with myself - I have sent all my Christmas cards and this afternoon I finished my Christmas shopping (well, not quite, but only 3 gifts to buy).  I have also wrapped all the gifts, so my teenage and adult children don't try and sneak a peak!! 

The only thing left to do is put up the Christmas tree - my sons, who I thought had outgrown Christmas Trees, said I had been slack.........

May you all have a WONDERFUL weekend - mine is looking very good - trip to the garden shop (one of my favourite places), grocery shopping (not so favourite), then home to put my feet up with a book (I might squeeze in some housework and washing).  The weather we have been promised sounds beautiful: 28C (82F) on Saturday and 30C (86F) on Sunday - so some of my book reading will occur outdoors.

 And Happy Birthday to my dad, who has a birthday on Saturday.
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Asiatic Lily*

I know who holds the future,
And I know who holds my hand;
With God things don't just happen --
Everything by Him is planned. (Smith)

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your path. -- Proverbs 3:6

* The lillies have just began to flower in my garden and they are looking lovely.  The ants also love them and if you look closely you will see them in the photo.

Books vs Kindle

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I LOVE reading books, I never leave home without on in my bag, I love reading in bed - nothing nicer than curled up on a winters' night with a good book and a cup of chocolate (plus a piece of cake!!).    Now there is a new sort of "book" available - one brand is the Kindle (left).  There are some pluses with this gadget - it doesn't take up much space (1/3 inch thick), its small and it can hold up to 1,500 books (with 360,000 books to choose from).  So all the books I have scattered throughout my house could be contained in one small electronic gadget  AND it can read out loud so I wouldn't even need to "read".  This one costs $259US

However, it doesn't have that "old book" smell, what would I put around my house if I didn't have all those books (books give home a special feel), what would I do with my book marks and most importantly my eyes after a day on the computer like to have a "rest" from computer screens (however the …

What was the pilot doing?

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Planes go over us all the time - flying between Sydney and Melbourne and they often leave their tell-tail white line in the sky.   Yesterday evening I saw this one - it appears that the plane had done a U-turn in the sky, had the pilot forgotten something?  Deciding which way he was going to fly?  I thought is was funny?!


Edward Hooper

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Edward Hopper (1882 – 1967) was an American painter known for his melancholy depictions of alienation in everyday life. Eerily realistic, his stark urban and rural scenes are a desolate montage of deserted streets, half-empty theaters, isolated railroad tracks and dreary rooming houses. Originally aspiring to be a Naval architect, Hopper rapidly rose to the status of America’s foremost Realist. Portraying scenes in New York and New England, Hopper underscored their grim nature with sharp lines, large, impersonal shapes, flat expanses of color and hard angles. Although known for his oil paintings, Hopper was also an adept watercolorist and printmaker whose later works shared structural similarities with geometric abstraction. (source: art.com)

Most famous for "Nighthawks" which he painted in 1942 (last painting below) - he also painted these beautiful coastal paintings below.  They are just beautiful - full of and light.