Tag Archives: mom

Breaking-in the Clothes Horse.

Yesterday, I had an encounter of epic proportions, when I tried setting up what should have been a simple clothes horse. One of those darned instant clothes racks you put up when it’s raining and your clothes dryer’s on the blink. Worse than any contraption I’ve ever bought from Ikea, this thing arrived without instructions..or even that pesky Allen key.

Indeed, I would’ve been most thankful if an “Alan” had been included, who could help put the thing up. Disentangle the rack, which was meant to clip in on top, from the feet. This is when the wrestling process began and I was seriously concerned that either I was going to get tangled and trapped inside. Or, it was going to become air borne. With only a little imagination, I could see this thing flapping it’s wings and flying away. (Or, is that just me? If so, I’ll blame the Weetbix. That stuff looks pretty ordinary, but the villains are always understated.)

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The annoying thing about all of this, was that I bought the clothes horse because the weather report said it was going to rain for three days. Naturally, the kids’ uniforms needed to be “processed”, especially the socks.

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An empty clothesline on a perfect washing day.

However, today I woke up to perfect blue skies, and what so many poor, deranged souls call “perfect washing weather”, when they could be down at the beach.

Have you had any challenging home maintenance experiences lately? Memories?

Despite all these DIY shows, I have noticed that the local tradie hasn’t become extinct. That there are still many people out there like me, who still need to be rescued. Fortunately, my other half compliments my capacity for disaster, and is a very enterprising Mr Fix-it.

Be careful this weekend.You might just be better off picking up your phone than a spade.

xx Rowena

Missing…Kings Cross, Sydney: Friday Fictioneers.

“Double expresso to go, please Tom.”

“Night shift, huh?”

“Should’ve stayed in Byron Bay.”

Night shifts at St Vincent’s were pure Adrenalin, but Saturday nights were insane. Yet, I couldn’t walk away. This was medicine. Real medicine.

“M…m..my daughter…Have you s..s..seen my d..d..daughter?”

The faces on the photos kept changing, but the anguish was always the same.

I refused to look at the photos anymore. Tried to zone her voice out. You could drown in Emergency,  if you didn’t hold a piece of yourself back.

“Sh…sh…she has carpe diem tattooed on her ankle with a p…p…purple b…b…butterfly.”

I couldn’t speak.

This has been another contribution to Friday Fictioneers hosted by Rochelle Wisoff-Fields. PHOTO PROMPT © Roger Butolt.

Last Friday afternoon, we took our son to Emergency at our local hospital for what seems to be migraine auras without the headache. We were very stressed and were naturally concerned he might have a brain tumour or some form of serious neurological problem. However, we were told it wasn’t acute and so we found ourselves down at the waterfront having dinner at what we would call a street cafe, but it looks very similar to a diner.

St Vincent’s Hospital, Darlinghurst is right in the thick of things near Kings Cross in Sydney’s red light district. Thought you might appreciate reading about  a typical Saturday night in their Emergency Department.

I Also wanted to share a bit of real-life excitement here on the home front. Last Monday morning, we were expecting a visit from the host of our local breakfast show, Rabbit, who was popping around with a prize. Well, the prize turned out to be a surprise visit from his co-host, Julie Goodwin, Australia’s first Masterchef. They filmed it and posted a clip on their Facebook page. I thought you might enjoy hearing me, although my mother said they could’ve captured more of my serious side.Here’s the link

xx Rowena

Mothers’ Day Cloud Hunt.

Nothing like a Sunday afternoon stroll along the beach to clear the cobwebs and psyche you up for another week…even if it is Mothers’ Day and you’re supposed to be immersed in your family.

After lunch and then watching the hit movie Lion with my son, I noticed some striking clouds and nabbed my camera and headed off to the beach, which is two blocks from our place.

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Clouds at Ettalong Beach, NSW.

Although I’m not quite a woman obsessed as I drive down to the beach, almost absorbing the clouds as I check out each and every curve, the lighting and am thrilled at the brooding darkness…even though I’ve been stuck photographing dangerous storms in the past.

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Ettalong Beach, NSW looking towards Broken Bay and Palm Beach.

Yet, it’s all too easy just to duck down to the beach and once again, I didn’t check the weather report before I took off. Five minutes. Surely, hail doesn’t strike the same place twice????

This time I was lucky. Not judicious, only lucky.

At the same time, I really enjoyed a quick walk along the beach and feeling myself become one with the landscape, inhaling and exhaling the sea.

How did you celebrate Mothers’ Day? I’d love hear what you’ve been up to.

xx Rowena

Mothers’ Day Is Floating Away…

Mothers’ Day is inevitably full of surprises. Not that I’m naive enough to script the day. Indeed, the older I get, the more I let it go. Run by itself.

That says quite a lot, because I can be something of a control freak.

Anyway, as I said, Mother’s Day is full of surprises and usually goes off script.

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The Family with the balloons before blast off.

So, this morning as we’re heading back to the car after Church, I’m wondering why the kids have wandered off AGAIN. I wasn’t impressed! Started wondering why we can’t all get to the car at the same time and why our family herds like meandering sheep…

Trying to round everyone up, I could see our son was clearly distracted. Indeed, all his attention was clearly focused at the sky and nowhere near the car, going home or my Mothers’ Day lunch.

Yet, in a moment which would’ve made his science teacher proud, he’d launched a shopping bag with a Mother’s Day card into the clouds powered by a bunch of helium balloons. I just managed to catch it visibly heading into the clouds like a dream. Apparently, he’d carefully tested the number of balloons required to achieve the desired amount of lift. This was a scientist at work, being observed by an absolute dreamer (his mother).

This spontaneous gesture filled me with such immense pride. He might not have broken any records, or invented the first shopping bag in space, but my heart was glowing.

That’s not something you can count on with a teen, especially on Mothers’ Day.

Although we did manage to get some photographs, he might just have to: “Play it again, Sam!” (Humphrey Bogart in Casablanca). These pics were hastily snapped on our phones.

It truly was a magical moment!

More Mothers’ Day entertainment to come.

xx Rowena

Featured Image: Photo Credit – My daughter “Miss”.

Rowena & the Radio Stars.

Well, on Monday morning, I had a bit of fun trading places. Instead of being behind the lens looking out, I was being filmed, inspected and watched under the microscope.

As I’ve mentioned in previous posts, our local radio station Star FM arrived at my place on Monday morning. While I was expecting breakfast radio host Rabbit to turn up, it was quite a surprise when his co-host, Julie Goodwin, Australia’s first Masterchef, pulled up in our driveway in her gorgeously cute white mini.

Wow!

That wasn’t the only surprise.

Indeed, we were off to make a salad together in MY kitchen.

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Talking salad with Julie.

Phew! Thank goodness I was prepared. Geoff had anticipated something like this and warned me about the kitchen. So, when it was looking like I was going to need an orbital sander to remove the black ring around the hotplate, I persisted. Pulled out the big guns…Gumption, the green scourer and pure unadulterated elbow grease. Wow! My stove top could now appear in a commercial.

Or, indeed, on the radio station’s web site.

I also thank my lucky stars that I wasn’t wearing my pink, fluffy slippers.

The dogs are complaining bitterly about being left out. After going through the torturous bathing process, they feel a bit ripped off . Bilbo is particularly grumpy after trying so hard to be nice. (He’s seemingly forgotten, that he was barking so much, that he was removed from the opening scenes.)

Anyway, of course, I had to share this with you. No doubt, it will be quite weird for you to actually see me in person and hear my voice for the first time. I’d love to know what that’s like for you. After exchanging posts and comments with some of you for years without meeting, it’s actually rather exciting that you’re stepping into my real world, after being in my cyber one for so long.

Love & best wishes,

Rowena

In case you’re wanting to follow this story through from start to finish…I wrote a post on my blog about meeting Rabbit and Julie Goodwin when Star 104.5 broadcast from my daughter’s school. In that post, I mentioned that as much as Julie had been there for me throughout the years, she’d never brought me a meal. That was until Monday morning when Julie pulled up in my driveway with butter chicken, rice and a salad for dinner. Go Julie! The radio station filmed the whole thing and posted the footage on their Facebook page tonight. It’s already had 964 views…amazing.

You can read more about their visit Here and Bilbo’s view of it all Here Bilbo had quite a lot to say.

I hope you enjoy it!

xx Rowena

Here’s a link to Julie’s recipe for Butter Chicken.

The Masterchef & the Rabbit.

Rabbits are usually the target, and not the decoy. However, this was no ordinary Rabbit.

This was Rabbit as in “Rabbit & Julie Goodwin” Star FM’s breakfast radio hosts. A few weeks ago, I was contacted by our local radio station. I was simply told that I’d won a prize and Rabbit would be at my house on Monday morning. Mia on the phone didn’t say much and was very adept at evading questions.

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Naturally, I had to do something for Rabbit’s visit. Create a bit of theatre. On Sunday night, I finally came up with the idea of Mad Hatters Tea Party…an Alice in Wonderland theme. After all, where is White Rabbit? I have quite a lot of Alice in Wonderland paraphernalia and it all came together very well….especially with some home-made, gluten free cupcakes which our daughter decorated. I also tied a scarf to the massive Norfolk Pine Tree in our front yard so they could find our house (as if they couldn‘t spot the crowd in the front yard and the tea party and don’t have GPS.) Well, my daughter and her friend were feeling “bored” and nabbed armfuls of my scarves and tied them to the tree. It looked fantastic, but very out there.

Suddenly, Rabbit and Mia arrived…along with a cameraman. Now, I should warn you that Rabbit knows how to keep a straight face and tell pure porky pies without flinching. Rabbit apologises that Julie couldn’t be there and presents me with a signed cookbook…Julie Goodwin: The Essential Cookbook.

As much as I appreciated the cookbook, I sensed there was more. That something else was up his sleeve. After all, they could’ve posted the book. AND, a radio station wouldn’t film someone who isn’t the author, presenting a book.

Then…  a dashing white mini convertible with “COOKING” on the number plate, pulls into our driveway and out steps Julie Goodwin, Australia’s first Masterchef. She’d arrived at our place with a meal…butter chicken, rice with saffron and we were off to the kitchen to prepare the salad together…and for the cameras.

OMG!!! Obviously, I’ve never been the mild-mannered reporter type, but I was uber-excited. I was so happy, that I all but burst into song. Julie was here!

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Well, you might ask why Julie Goodwin came here. After all, our place is hardly Masterchef Central.

Well, that’s a long story.

As I said, I received a message from the radio station a few weeks ago saying I’d won a prize. I suspected this was in response to a post I’d written after Rabbit and Julie Goodwin hosted the breakfast show on Star FM at our daughter’s school. I’ve been a mad Julie Goodwin fan ever since I first saw her battling it out on Masterchef eight years ago.

When I heard that Julie and Rabbit were going to be at my daughter’s school, I drove the 45 minutes up the freeway along with her cookbook and my heart was almost palpitating. Once I saw her on air, I was absolutely transfixed and I found it so hard to pull myself back and harder still to watch her leave… “Julie! Julie!”

Pathetic, I know! Yet, there was just something about Julie, which made me feel home. There was something about her which calmed a raging sea I didn’t understand. I was having a wonderful day and yet something inside me was drowning. The waves were crashing overhead and yet there were blue skies and things were the best they’d been in a long time. Indeed, I’d even become a believer in miracles.

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My daughter and I with Rabbit and Julie at her school.

Anyway,  when I wrote about meeting Julie, I made a tongue-in-cheek remark about how Julie’s never dropped around here with a meal. Of course, I’d never expected that, but around the time season one of Masterchef went to air, I’d been diagnosed with a life-threatening acute auto-immune disease called dermatomyositis, where your muscles attack themselves causing debilitating weakness. Although I’d improved, I wasn’t out of the woods. Our kids were aged 5 and 3 at the time and with Mummy being an endangered species, it wasn’t uncommon for Church or friends to drop in a meal. It’s what you do.

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Dinner with Julie (she’s the cookbook at the end of the table).

Now, I’ve not only received a meal from Julie. I also have another of her cookbooks and it’s time for me to share the love. Pass it forward…at least to my own family.

Bon Appetit!

xx Rowena

PS You might also enjoy reading Bilbo’s account of events. I must admit he did write quite a lot about himself: The Queen of the Kitchen.

Weekend Coffee Share – 30th April, 2017.

Welcome to Another Weekend Coffee Share!

To be quite honest with you, I don;t quite know where I am this weekend. For the last month, I’ve been Travelling Alphabetically Around Tasmania for the Blogging A-Z April Challenge. Yet, last week, I was back and forth to the lower Blue Mountains West of Sydney and exploring historic Richmond and Windsor both through the lens and through my heart.

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Just to add to my geographical confusion, the weather’s been all over the shop. Being cooler up in the mountains, the leaves are changing and there’s Autumn colour. I even spotted an open fire. That spells Winter to me. There’s also been a few nights this week when I’ve added extra blankets and the electric blanket has moved up to medium. I shouldn’t be surprised as it’s almost May. However, when I left home in jacket today, it was put straight onto the back seat and I’m back to short sleeves.

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Toasty warm at Lochiel House, Kurrajong Heights.

What is the weather doing in your neck of the woods? No doubt, most of you are enjoying Spring after snowy Winter’s. We don’t have such marked seasons here, but I appreciate your excitement through our coffee shares.

By the way, would you like tea, coffee or something else? I’m rather brain dead tonight.

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The last week, has been quite challenging for me. Our daughter went away on a three day dance camp at Kurrajong in the Blue Mountains and it was my job to drive her there. It was about a 2.5 hour drive out there and I stayed overnight to get her there for the 8.00 AM registration. We aught up with an old school friend of mind and her family for dinner nearby the night before and the whole thing felt like a big adventure.

Driving back, I decided to visit historic Richmond and had lunch in Windsor and went on extensive walk around town checking out the old buildings.

Windsor is the third-oldest place of British settlement on the Australian continent. Settlement at the location was first established about 1791, near the head of navigation on the Hawkesbury River (known as Deerubbin in Dharuk) and taking advantage of the fertile river flats for agriculture. The area was originally called Green Hills, but renamed Windsor (after Windsor in England). The town was officially proclaimed in a Government and General Order issued from Government House, Sydney, dated 15 December 1810, Governor Lachlan Macquarie having “marked out the district of Green Hills”, which he “… called Windsor”, after Windsor-on-the-Thames.

Of course, given my serendipitous, unplanned approach to travel, I hadn’t done any preparation. In actual fact, that worked well for me this time because my meanderings gained a sense of spontaneous discovery and I really don’t like taking a shopping list approach to travel. I like to sens, feel, explore and not fly through a place so I can tick it off my list. Done Windsor!

So, I was quite thrilled when an innocuous road sign pointing to St Mathews Historic Church led me to the oldest Church in Australia by foundation stone. Not only was it historic, but it was incredibly photogenic from so many perspectives, including the clock, the Church itself and the old cemetery. The Church was design by famous convict architect, Francis Greenway. and you can read more about the history of the Church Here.

From there, I checked out the rectory nearby and then drove into town for lunch. It’s always a bit of an educated guess when it comes to choosing somewhere to eat when you’re travelling. I usually go on the cakes, which are usually on display and give some indication. I chose well and one of the other customers put me onto a spectacular building with a woman standing on the roof. So, this was my next adventure which took me past another old cemetery, which was located next door. I am still trying to work out what the building was built for, but it was possibly the mortuary or a hospital.

At this point, I first noticed the huge, towering white cumulus clouds, which were hovering very close to the ground. I made a mental note, that they could be trouble but they weren’t that menacing shade of angry purple, which has gotten me into trouble before. You see, I am quite a cloud chaser and my beloved camera has gotten me into serious trouble in the past.

Still, I walked.

That was until the wind picked up and Autumn leaves were twirling in the wind and the sky was purple and not longer threatening to rain. The raindrop were falling thick and fast and I was moving to the car fast.

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Once again, I’d left my run too late and as I driving down Windsor Road, 2.5 hours from home, the road became treacherous. Pelting rain, strong winds and lightening and the road was starting to get submerged. I aquaplaned a little and slowed down, even though I wanted to escape the storm like a bat out of hell.

While Billy Connolly might’ve called the storm an “act of God”, I must say that getting out of there without incident was more of an act of God. I was spared!

After all that drama, I had to drive back out there to pick her up on Friday and was much more cautious this time because I also had to drive straight home with very little chance of avoiding the Friday arvo peak hour.

Yet, I had an hour in between getting up there and the dance concert and I explored Kurrajong and was put onto a stunning restaurant called Lochiel House at Kurrajong Heights. I can’t believe that I had about 20 minutes to drink my tea and enjoy their beautiful lemon and pistachio cake, which came with a side serve of scrummy cream and obviously home made jam. As you can see from the photos, Lochiel House was very pretty and as much I love its historical elements, I equally appreciated the little floral arrangements carefully positioned throughout, creating an eye-catching vista. There was undoubtedly a lot of care and attention to detail throughout. Very impressed.

It was lovely to see my daughter dance and simply to see her again. Really missed her.

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Our Sailor.

 

However, life isn’t just about dance and today we were off to the local sailing club for the junior presentations. I feel we’re on the brink of a huge precipice of commitment there. Like dancing, what starts out as a few lessons, either progress into a monstrous commitment or it dies out. It looks like father and son will be driving around the countryside racing later in the year. I think this is where we’re thankful for the off season, even though I’m hoping they get out in our laser. There are no icebergs around here during Winter.

Tomorrow, is the start of another week and my daughter has three auditions for the performing arts selective classes at our local high school. Audition hell…and that’s just from my perspective.

I don’t even know what I’m doing.

Well, I hope you’ve enjoyed our coffee share. It’s getting very late here so I’m going to speed off.

Best wishes,

Rowena