29 December 2010

i don't slowcook

I was really quite surprised yesterday. I enjoyed a dip in the outdoor spa with a friend where I'm housesitting and afterward we lay in the sun to dry off a bit. Aware that I didn't have any sunscreen on I made sure I didn't stay there too long. Ten mins all up I reckon. Ten mins!!
I burn so fast! *sigh* And don't think at least I'll get a bit browner. Nope. That doesn't happen with me. I'm a whitey. I burn, peel and go back to white. But nothing wrong with white. I embrace my paleness. :P At least this burn isn't too bad and I'll definitely make sure I'm slopping on lots of sunscreen this summer.

26 December 2010

christmas day

Our family Christmas is still coming. New Years Eve (had to be this year) once we're all in town. So this is how I spent my Christmas Day. I picked up my friend, Danielle, in the morning. After church we went to my parents for a simple lunch.
While Mum was getting the veggies cooked we chatted and Danielle showed us on google earth where her parents live in China. We also showed her how the sun rises in the east and sets in the west just the same as in China. He he :P

Dinner was YUM! Roast veggies and chicken and ham. Here's my parents eating main course.
Mum also made a splendid pavlova for dessert. One of the few foods that are specifically Australian. Danielle hadn't tried it before. Oh, and that green robot top is my Christmas present to myself. ^^ It's like space invader robots. Fun.
After lunch, Danielle and I went to where I am housesitting. She found the trampoline, which apparently she hasn't used much. She made the funniest sounds while jumping. Signs she was thoroughly enjoying herself.
After a trippy movie (Inception) we hit the highlight of our day. A spa with wine and chocolates...and a camera :P We took some crazy photos. This photo saw me climbing in to the spa too fast, slipping and whacking my knee so hard it now has a bump and is still sore. We stayed in for about 2hrs having a splendid time.
Then it was tea--I made risotto--and another movie for a laugh (Kung Fu Panda) before I took Danielle home.

16 December 2010

stage three complete

This week I posted off my visa application!

With help from Fastrack UK to make sure I had everything I needed and filled it all out correctly, I got together everything I needed. Last Friday I took the afternoon off work and trained to Melbourne and wandered up to the British Consulate for a 5min appointment of having my fingerprints scanned and a digital photo taken. It was necessary for my application and a nice afternoon too. On Monday checked and rechecked and a few more checks to make sure I had all the papers with me and headed off to the post office. Now to wait and pray that the British visa people will be so kind as to issue me my visa so that I can take this adventure.

05 December 2010

christmas sale

It's 20 days till Christmas so I'm having a 20% off sale on everything in my shop!!
Why not swing by and take a look at all my handmade items?
20% off for 20 days
Catch a glimpse of some of my products in my shop window to the right of this post. =>
Sale ends Christmas Day!

30 November 2010

a God story

In my post 'tell me a story' that I wrote just the other day, I talked about recalling our God stories. In a note at the end I said I'd share one of mine. Last night I was thinking about some of my God stories, times where I've experienced the reality and the involvement of God in my life. I thought about one in particular that sent me off on a tangent of memories and had me oozing gratitude.

In 2007 I took off on an adventure. I moved to the USA to live and work as an aupair (nanny). I met a lovely girl there who became a wonderful friend. She told me one day that before she left Germany to come to the USA she had prayed very eagerly for good friends. She said she specifically requested a friend who was Australian. I was fascinated. "Cool," I replied, "I didn't know you prayed for me." I honestly think that her prayers are the reason I ended up in that part of the USA. As I recalled this memory it made me think about how sometimes I am a part of other people's God stories. But then I realised that actually, this is my God story too. God was active in my life in getting me there not only as an answer to my friend's prayer but for my own adventure He was leading me on. Here's where the tangent began. My brain mulled over story after story of my experiences in the USA. My lovely friend, Suhra, is in almost everyone of them.

I had also prayed for friends and particularly for one really good friend. I got the best answer with Suhra. Not only was she such a joy to go adventuring around the USA with but she's the one that dragged me along to the church in San Francisco that I grew to love and now think of as my SF family. She filled my year with fun and silliness. She also encouraged and inspired me through our deeper conversations and the sharing of our God-journeys and the growth that took place. She was always there when I needed someone to pray for me too. And she also brought a level of thrilling excitement with the beginning and progression of a relationship with that guy she likes. ^^

So many awesome memories from that year. It would not have been near as good without my God-blessed friend, Suhra. And now, in a matter of months I begin another overseas adventure and will be attending the wedding of this wonderful friend. Joys longlasting!

28 November 2010

unusual visit

I went and had breakfast and a chat with my friend, Vi, last week before work. We were still sitting at her kitchen table still after some pretty delicious pancakes with lemon and sugar when I looked out the front window to see an unusual sight. Wandering across the front lawn was a mamma duck and seven fluffy little followers. We watched fascinated as they crossed the front lawn and turned into the driveway. "They're coming to visit!" I exclaimed. They waddleded right down the drive and into the back yard.
Vi got a tub and filled it up with water to see if they'd like to stay awhile. I pulled out my phone for some photos and went to find the ducks. Of course, they're not very cooperative when it comes to giants following them wanting to take photos. Round the back shed and up the otherside the mamma duck tried to fit between two wire fence pieces and got a bit stuck. The ducklings scuttled ahead when I tried to help by going closer to scare her back out. Should have listened to that little voice that suggested I leave them be. The ducklings ran back to the driveway and the mamma duck got out and flew to them.

Bye duckies!
Not sure where they came from since there's not watery home that nearby. Oh well. Sorry for scaring you. Thanks for your delightful visit.

25 November 2010

tell me a story

Remember that time when...

Reminiscing can be so delightful. Oh and I do love a good story. Some people are particularly gifted in storytelling. There is value in telling stories. The amount of movies made and books written easily backs up that statement. There is a lot of value, more than just the money kind, in hearing historical stories, events that really happened. The good are inspiring and the bad can help warn us and both can help us learn. The Bible is a book full of these kind of stories. It seems is was a part of their culture to tell stories. The Israelites were often encouraged to retell events and happenings from one generation to the next. At the beginning of the book of Joel it says, "Hear this, you leaders of the people. Listen all who live in the land. In all your history, has anything like this happened before? Tell your children about it in the years to come, and let your children tell their children. Pass the story down from generation to generation." NLT

Doing this kept their history alive. It reminded them of where they had come from. But I think it was more than that too. Especially when it came to their God stories which so much of their history revolves around. The generations needed to know these God stories but I also think they were encouraged to retell them so they would remember themselves. I think we humans too easily forget.

What about OUR God stories? The Bible is not the only place to find stories about God. Anyone who has a relationship with God will have their own God stories. Yes, it is good to pass them on but it's also good to tell our God stories to remind ourselves.

At times I've found myself wondering if God really does exist or if He really does care for me or if He really is doing anything, anything at all, to help me through. In these moments I need to stop my emotional tangent and remind myself that there have been multiple times in my life when God has been very real to me. I need to retell my God stories, my experiences with God. Even just to myself. So I remember. I'd love to hear other people's God stories more too. To be encouraged and inspired and better understand God.

Tell me a story?

Or tell yourself one.
Or someone else.

Just don't lose them to the fading memories.

Note: Here's one of my God stories. I'll share another in my next post.

13 November 2010

taking out kids

I rescued my sister last weekend by taking out her kids...to the playground. Particulary the 3yo who seems to get bored easily and entertains himself by getting into mischeif. They were great for me. Someone different somewhere different. I found a new playground at the same old local place. Last time I brought them here it was old and very basic. It's now a decent playground that's not falling apart.

We played at the playground for quite a while. Well Z didn't do too much. Chewed on some bark chips and watched the kids playing. There was a bunch of other kids there so lots of people to watch. I did give him a swing which he enjoyed. B liked the slide and the sliding pole and the cement tunnel. J liked the swing and cautiously climbed up the funny ladder (the red curved one in the slide pic). She was a bit scared but excited when she got to the top.
After I was starting to get a little bored hanging out there we went for a walk. There's a nice track along this area. We stopped on the bridge to look at the little fish swimming near the surface and then followed the track. We saw a digger and some horses and B had a little play in a puddle by the wayside. J wanted to hold my hand for a while but it was tricky pushing the pram along with one hand so I just stuck out a finger--which is all she usually takes anyway.

Coming back along the path we climbed a big hill. We could hear the go-karts racing around. B was interested to watch the one that was there doing practice laps. That and throwing rocks down the hill. We sat and watched for a while before heading back to the car to go home. I kept them out for near 2hrs. My sister sounded like she needed a decent break and the kids could probably use some good Auntie time. Ü

08 November 2010


Finally! It's been 10 months since I first heard about Phoenix Trading. They sell mostly cards and some related stationary type stock. All designs are artworks--nothing computer generated. Of course I have this thing about paying for cards. I generally don't, especially when cards in most shops are $4-$8. I'll just make one myself thanks. Of course, not everyone is artist so Phoenix Trading is a splendid way of getting nice cards for reasonable prices ($3-$4). Since that party, where I discovered you can earn money for drawing for them, I've been meaning to do some designs and send them in.

It took me until August to get started and in the last month or so I've been getting quite a few ideas and painting away. They have some guidlines about what they don't accept based on what kind of company they want to be and what they know sells. So I've used that but also done me things. I'm qutie enjoying it. I'm using watercolour. It can be a tricky medium to control but I love the way it looks. Using it in pencil form helps though. A bonus is that I think I'm discovering my style. Yay!

Today, I've finally sent scanned versions of some of my designs by email to the headquarters in London. Fingers crossed they like some...even one. It would be fun to have some of my work out there in the world for sale published by a company. And last I heard they are paying close to $2000 for the publishing rights for three years. If they like my style, it would be a great flexible side job.

03 November 2010

rainbow delight

I was fascinated with my find when I stopped into a supermarket on the way home today.

Rainbow pasta!

How cool is that! It would be so fun to eat. The colours all come from natural products too like the purple is from eggplant and the red from beetroot. Sweet. But with a look at the price tag came a jaw-drop and instant decision to admire them on the shelf where they would stay.

28 October 2010


I've been feeling a bit strange this week.

For one thing I've found myself getting bored here and there. It's an odd experience for me. The frequency of it anyway. I've also felt a little... twitchy? Probably have been sitting around too much and my body wants to expend a little more energy than I've been allowing it. Hm, restless is probably a better word for that feeling. And then there's the strange moods. They've made me laugh a little though. Chirpy, quirky happiness that makes me wonder if I'm overtired. Some blah-zay laziness of the slothlike kind. Ok, so that's not so strange. ;) I've also gotten annoyed with things a bit more too and growled and carried on at silly things. Usually to myself. It's been quite amusing really. Humanness can be quite bizarre at times. ^^

23 October 2010

a spruce up

Never quite liked my last new blog face. So I had a play today and I'm liking this much better. Just a little bit of sprucing up. I like the rounded corners and the posts still have their dark background like the night sky but the rest is opaque white so you can see a little of the background picture showing through. I'm happier with the colours too.

A nifty little addition is the clock on the right. It shows my current time. I particularly want this for when I go to the UK next year. Then before calling or trying to meet me online, my family and friends can swing by my blog to see what time I'm in. It took me a while to find this one but it's just right I think. Rounded corners to match and everything. Coolest part is that if you hold the mouse over it, it switches to the date so you know if I'm in your yesterday, today or tomorrow. If you want one too, just click the link under the clock.

17 October 2010

the rate it grows

My hair grows reasonably fast so I'm not usually too worried if it's cut shorter than I was thinking which happened last April. My "to the shoulders" was different to the hairdressers idea. Not to worry. Six months later and it's significantly longer.

April 2010 . . . . . . . . . . . October 2010

09 October 2010

what to do at 4:30am...

Ordinarily, I'd sleep. But since I was wide awake and I have the Saturday freedom to nap during the day I decided to get up and do stuff.
So this is what I did for the first three hours of my day.
Some more painting with watercolour of some designs I started yesterday. Love to start my day with a bit of creativity. Starts me off happy.
Also diddledaddled online. In the pic I'm checking ravelry to see what patterns I can find to use some of my yarn on. I don't have enough current project choices to work on. Ü
As it got light I decided to open my curtains and the rising sun was vividly orange and confining its colour to a smallish area.
Now that it's risen higher and I've had some raisin toast to calm my stomach, I might get dressed and go for a walk on this brisk, blue sky morning before the whole neighbourhood is up.

06 October 2010

fun in the rain

Oh I love letting kids be kids. I had my niece and nephews for a couple of hours this afternoon. I WAS going to take them on a playground crawl but the weather was indecisive--sunny then raining then a tad more sun then more rain. So we had to change plans. For part of it we were at my house inside playing with new cheapo toys I bought for them when it started bucketing down. Real heavy. I jokingly said overcheerily, "Who wants to go outside and play?" Ha ha. Tim looked up in complete innocence and hopefully asked, "Can we?" "Oh," said Aunty Kelly, "I suppose. If you want to. Sure." They were thrilled with the idea. I made them take their jumpers off so they had something warm and dry to wear when they came in. We went out and stood under the verandah and they were dabbling with being in the rain. Then I said to Ben, "Run and touch the back fence and come back." With an excited "ok" he took off and the others followed. They kept going back and forth, laughing, having the greatest time while the rain kept pelting down. Yay for simple thrills that give much joy! Go for it.

04 September 2010


Heather and I went for a day trip to Daylesford today. Well, half a day anyway. Oh boy! It turned out to be a bigger adventure than we expected. Firstly, it had poured rain all night. I mean POURED. It was pelting against my window and I'm sure it was the noise that woke me up numerous times. The drive to Daylesford of about 40mins was interesting. We passed a lot more "lakes" than normal and it was a challenge to see through the windscreen even with the wipers on full speed. We had to slow down to cross some "rivers" that streamed over the road too but we did eventually make it safely there. We decided to go to the Farmer's Market because the Makers Market (the main focus of the trip) didn't open until 10am. Not much going on at the Farmers Market which was outdoors in the wind and rain. Talked to a few nice people including one lady who was holding down her stall while the wind tried to send it flying.

Let's be adventurous. Never seen this ... er... vegetable before. Kohlrabi is apparently a bit like sweet potato or turnip. It's sweet apparently anyway and can be eaten raw, bitter skin removed, or cooked numerous ways. The guy said it's big in Germany. So we bought one each. I'm yet to try mine. We didn't stay too long since it was a pretty small market due to the weather. Heather wanted to look in a cute little shop called Wombat Gifts but it seems most places open at 10am on Saturdays there. So we still had some time to kill. We went to this neat little cafe with a lovely open fire. It wasn't actually too cold today. Pretty warm considering the winter we've had. Just wet. But it was a cosy inviting place to have a cuppa.

After 10am we went to Wombat Gifts and had a good look around. Lots of nifty, interesting little bits and bobs to look at in there. Then we made our way to the Makers Market. Oo, this was delightful. And thankfully inside!
It is filled with stalls of handmade goods. Such lovely stuff. The fabric made me jealous and the ideas were making me giggle with glee. These hats were great and love the one that Heather is trying on here. It's a bit redder than the pic shows. She decided to buy it too. It looked really good on her. They had a green one like it which I liked but none of the hats were big enough. *sigh* The problem with having a big head.

There were lots of really nice stuff that I wasn't willing to pay the asking price for though including some cool button rings. I did end up buying a little button hairclip though. My main purchase, a great purchase, was from the guy up on the stage. You can just see him in some pics. His name is Geoffrey Williams and he really looked british. Think the British black guy from Oceans 11. He was making some groovey sound. Relaxing yet inspiring. Gave the market a great atmosphere. I bought his CD.
And that's where we thought the adventure had come to end. But we were so wrong! Just out of Daylesford cars were stopping on the windy road. Windy as in lots of curves though the wind was still blowing too. If you click on the first pic you can see the tree fallen across the road. We ended up getting out to go help. A bunch of people were pulling at branches till they broke and then tossing them over the side of the road down the valley. That was were the tree was previously rooted. It broke on the barrier at the side of the road too so we were able to all get on one side, lifting and pushing, and get it just over the barrier. It was fun and felt good to work with others I didn't know to accomplish something that helped us all.

Laugh we did and giggled with glee at how our day trip turned out so adventurous. Still more awaited us...

At Creswick the road was blocked again. This time with too much water to pass. See the guy wading almost waist deep toward that shop? And the guy that directed us to another route home said the water would come up to our windows in the river ahead. So we had to turn back and drive 10kms or so to take the other turn off toward home.

Along roads sometimes like this. But it was a thrill for us. And see my new CD? We grooved and laughed and chatted all the way home. What an adventure! I think I need more little adventures in life.

28 August 2010

the wet

March 2008>> I took a walk across our local lake with family. Years of drought had completely sucked our lake dry. The lake bed cracked and solid to walk on and looking more like a paddock or field. That sun does look wonderful though. Oh the warmth! Mmm.

August 2010>> It's been a wet year. Most rain in 20years or so I think and it's not over yet. They've also routed some drains to run to the lake to help restore this recreational area. I took this photo this morning. You can see the same boatsheds and buildings as the first pic (just...) from a slightly different angle. And the black swans are back and breeding again too. Nice to see.

11 August 2010

stage two complete

Wow! Already. I was expecting this stage to take longer to come around. Stage two was the interview with Smart AuPair which I had this afternoon. I had a skype conversation with someone in Adelaide around some internet hiccups. The connection wasn't too great and half way through my laptop froze so I had to jump on dad's computer. I didn't bother trying my internet at home coz it's hopeless in the evenings. I got some of my own questions answered and answered lots of hers. It was pretty casual and we had a good chat and she said she was happy to accept me into the program.

She also said, "Just a curious question, did you know there's a well-known hotel over there called the Gellert Hotel?"
I replied, "Yeah, in Hungary right? My dad's looked it up before. Looks quite fancy."
It would be fun to go and stay there. He he.

So now the next stage in my overseas journey is completing an online course with Smart Aupair and reapplying for my passport and waiting for family matches to come for consideration.

08 August 2010

stage one complete

I got there. It's all done. I've been working on my application for the program run by Smart AuPairs for a few weeks now. It takes a while to get it all together. But it's done now. Everything collected and scanned and emailed through. How exciting! The ball is rolling. Now to await stage two.

06 August 2010

smart move

Oh yay! I'm getting quite excited again about an adventure in the UK. For a while there I was getting a little stressed as I originally planned to find a nanny job in the UK and move there of my own doing. The time has come when preparations need to begin and the idea was becoming a bit daunting. But thank you God for google search! I've found a program I can go with.

I came across Smart AuPairs and after looking through I realised that I meet the requirements. Most aupair programs only go to about 26 years old you see which puts me in the too-old category. But since the youth mobility visa for the UK goes up to 30 so does the Smart AuPairs program. They also go to other European countries but they go with the younger age group. I finally got a hold of someone in the Adelaide office the other day and fired all my questions at them and now I'm satisfied. As long as my application is excepted (and I don't see why not), I have a program to go with. It takes a lot of stress off.

The AuPair program means I have a structure to follow for getting myself ready which helps a lot. They also help me find a family and the families are screened just like I am so it's safer. They also support me when I go so that if things aren't working out they'll help or find me a new family to work for. I still have to organise my own airfare and visa but I'd planned to do that anyway so that's fine. There's also three different levels in the UK: AuPair, Mother's Help and Professional Nanny. Each level is more responsibility, more hours and more pay. I'm not quite sure if I qualify for all of them but I like the idea of having a professional nanny certificate at the end of my year. I've been working on my application the last couple of weeks and it's close to being done.

So YAY! It's all happening. Just gotta keep organising, culling and saving, saving, saving!!

01 August 2010

wait...I've grown?

There's been a few situations lately where I've found myself commenting on someone's behaviour or response and expressing my distaste only to have my listener respond with something like, "Yeah but he's still young. He's only 20."

When did I grow up??

It's wierd to consider... Looking back on the last ten years--it's been that long since I was 20 years old--not a whole lot appears to have changed. I'm still single and still finding my way. I'm not settled into a career nor do I have any great plan laid out on the table for my future albeit I have spent a year living overseas and am making moves to take off again next year. Due to my lifestyle, usually more in sync with my younger friends than the ones my age who are building careers and getting married, I often forget that I'm actually that much older than these 20 year olds.

Yet as I reflect on my life in the light of these recent situations I've commented on, I take note of the fact that I have indeed grown. I've been learning from the various experiences I've lived through and I've gained a wider range of years of perspective. I'm more mature-minded than I used to be even though I'm still quite practised at undisciplined and lazy.

I suppose it's the same with all living things; most growth is subtle.

10 July 2010

a week in Sydney

On Thursday 1st July I got up insanely early. But I never mind when the reason is going on a holiday. (Thanks so much Dad for driving me to the airport!) Flew Tiger Airways for the first time. I don't like Tiger at Melbourne airport though. It's kinda....tatty. And get this, they actually weigh carry on luggage. First airport I've seen that has a bag weight check that you have to go via. I hadn't weighed mine and it was too heavy. I switched some things around and then decided to get in line to check in. It was my first dilemma whether I needed to 'check in' when I was flying with only carry on. I was stressing a little in line. There's only one line for all the Tiger flights and time was ticking on. By the time I eventually got to a counter they were apparently just closing check in for my flight. At least I made it. Second dilemma was that my bag was still too heavy but with no time left to work out what to do I checked it in. Cost me $55 to do so, darn it! But I got to Sydney happily enough and found the right train to head out to where my brother and his family live.

It was splendid to spend a week hanging out with them. We didn't really do much but when I practically live on my own (and I'm a homebody) it's nice just to have company around. Especially family. The kids had to behave under threat of being sent to school on Friday. Ha ha. Last day of term for them so they skipped the games they usually play. We mostly did stuff like went shopping, played computer, watched movies, ate and a few other bits and pieces. Taught my niece and the two older nephews how to crochet as they wanted to learn. It was also good to stay up late and watch movies and talk with Simon and Esther. On Sunday we did go 'touring' a bit. It turned out to be quite a nice day. So we caught the train into the city and then the Manly ferry. Got a nice view of the Opera House and Sydney Harbour Bridge going there and back.
It was where I wanted to go hunting...in Manly. Simon, Esther and the kids hadn't been there before so they were happy to do some adventuring. It was a successful hunt. We'd done our research. Ice creams! From Australia's first Ben and Jerry's Scoop Shop! I ate B&J's a number of times in the USA and it's rich and delicious. A bit on the expensive side but it's a treat. Not so bad when you're buying for just one anyway... And I'm sure the ones in the USA were a bit bigger. Still, we all enjoyed our icecreams. I indulged with chocolate therapy and phish food. Mmm.
Simon's birthday is this month so as a present for him I booked a table at a local restaurant for him and his wife and sent them out for dinner. Back at home, after a peckish tea and getting the table cleared and kids in pjs (not hard when I said I wasn't putting on the movie until it was done--just need the right motivation) we settled in with snacks and milk to watch some original episodes of Astro Boy. He he. Funny watching such old cartoons now with the expertise they have in animated films these days.

I also quite enjoyed the afternoon I played a board game with my nephews. We were pirates and treasure hunting. We got quite loud and animated in our hunting and stealing and sword fighting. And Tim so nearly won...until the Royal Navy came and we had to drop all our treasure and then I went and stole his pile. Ooo I'm nasty. No mercy. Let's play to win! The rivalry was fun.

Ah, but holidays always come to an end. To come home I had to add to my luggage a few forgotten items from previous visitors as well as some gained gifts. To save some stress I posted near 3kg home so my bag was under the carry on limit. $10. That's what it cost to post. Way cheaper then checking my bag in again.
So I'm home again. Working again. Sliding back into regular life and preparing for the next anticipated adventure. (Next on the list is the Bendigo Sheep and Wool Show!) Thanks for having me stay a week in your house, my Gellert family, and sharing your company and food and such. I just wish I could visit a little more easily so I could come a little more often.

30 June 2010

roaring party

I turned 30 a month ago today! (Yes, I'm finally blogging about my celebration.) So the night before my birthday I invited my family and friends to come and help me see out my 20s in 'roaring' style. I set up the hall like a jazz club--tables up the back to sit around, mood lighting, room to dance and jazz, swing and blues grooving across it all. I asked my guests to dress to suit the 1920s and they did a fabulous job. I'm so pleased. I had a Charlie Chaplain movie playing and also had a dance instructor come and give us some lessons for dances from that era. My wonderful friend, Heather, made a toast to me later and we at the most scrumptious individual birthday cupcakes. (Choc mud cake with choc mousse in the middle and caramel icing!) It was a lovely evening and it was lots of fun to party out my twenties in style.

Click on any photo for a closer view.
My 20s have rolled on out and a new decade is here for the writing...