Archive for July 2011




End of an era…

In a quiet, leafy suburb of Perth, is the Riley Road House. It’s a quaint, cottage style home with polished floorboards, on a true quarter acre block. It’s the home my Aunty and Nan moved into over fifty years ago, and where they lived until their deaths.

It’s the house where we had family reunions. Family lunches under the almighty grapevine become legendary and expected.

Last night we said good-bye to the Riley Road House.

It was a lovely gathering – cousins, neighbours and friends all came to pay their respects.

As did the new owners.

They’re a lovely couple, with two little girls, and I think it was nice that they had the opportunity to experience the love and laughter in the house, to see what it could be.

But as sad as it is to say goodbye to The Riley Road House, there have been some big wins in the booty sector. Tangible items that allow me to learn just a bit more about my history, and my forebears.

It seems that both Nan and my aunty were hoarders of a sort. When Nan died, my aunt kept nearly all of her things – the granny-flat was tidied and sorted, but all the furniture and photos and knick-knacks stayed.

And so did the paperwork. My goodness – it’s awesome! I now have a partial copy of the family tree, and can get far, FAR more if I want 🙂 My aunty did the various trees at one point and there are dozens of archive boxes of information that she has collated.

And there are letters to and from various family members that go back fifty years and more I think – including an awesome eight page handwritten gem of a letter from my mum to my aunty telling her in no uncertain terms what she thought about something. Dad is making noises about destroying some of the letters, but I will drive to Geraldton and tackle him before I let that happen!

I’ve been enjoying reading my Nan’s travel diary from her 1964 cruise to Japan, and now I also have HER mother’s travel diary from her year long tour around New Zealand in 1935 – all beautifully typed out on her little portable Corona Typewriter that she took with her.

I scored a few OLD books, including one that is in really bad condition, that looks like it may have been one of my Great Grandfather’s school textbooks. And this school project of his from when he was eleven:

It’s about A3 in size, is all hand drawn and inked and very detailed.

It’s beautiful!

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Add a comment July 23, 2011

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1 comment July 19, 2011

Cooking Day

Monday has become my Cooking Day, and I had decided I was going to do some cakes. Until I opened the freezer.

I keep a lot of my dry baking goods in the freezer – flour, cornflour, custard powder, icing sugar – that sort of thing. I mainly do it out of habit formed from living up north where cockroaches, mice and weevils could find their way with a dogged determination into even the most well sealed containers. Well, the shelf that keeps my baking goods was looking a little cluttered so I decided to sort first, and this is what I found:

  • FIVE packets of Cornflour – 3 brands, 2 varieties (4 x Regular, 1 x Gluten Free)  4 open (I also have two unopened of Regular boxes in my storage pantry)
  • THREE packets of Custard Powder – all different brands, all open
  • FOUR types of Plain Flour (Regular, Unbleached, Gluten Free, Wholemeal) – all open
  • THREE different types of SR Flour (Unbleached, Gluten Free, Wholemeal) – all open
  • TWO large boxes of Cocoa Powder – Both open
  • FOUR bags of Pecans – 2 open
  • FIVE bags of Icing Sugar – 4 open
  • TWO bags of Pearl Barley – Both open
  • TWO boxes of Rice Flour – 1 open

There was other stuff too, but that was all my doubled up stuff – no wonder I couldn’t find anything in there.

So its all nicely sorted and organised now. Which actually created a secondary bonus for me. I seem to have accidentally implemented a successful breeding program of plastic containers, and they’re spilling onto bench tops and into cupboards they have no business being in, so now, that problem has been alleviated somewhat. (I wonder whether sub zero temps affect the fertility of plastic containers)

I did eventually manage to bake, but I wasn’t happy with the result so I thought it would be far more interesting to talk about my freezer. I tried to make sponge cake cupcakes. And I realised something, I don’t think I have ever made a sponge in my life. Not surprising really, when I see how many eggs they take!

But anyway – I tried. Uh, yeah. It seems I pulled them out of the oven slightly early. Some of them are a bit…moist on the bottom, and not in a good way. They’re not going to waste though…Tusk loves them. As soon as he realised I wasn’t going to bother decorating them he scoffed a couple down and snaffled a few more for work, so they won’t go to waste.

Add a comment July 18, 2011

Ninja Mice Invasion

It seems we’ve been invaded by a horde of ninja mice. They leave no evidence they’ve been. They steal no food, leave no droppings. But The Duchessa, Primary of the Feline Triumvirate, knows they’re here. She’s been chasing them all night – reaching under the couch, diving between cushions, jumping up walls after them. I’m not sure how successful she has been, because I CAN’T SEE THEM! but she has worn herself out hunting them.

I think they may have sent a scouting party the night before last, because she did the same then, but she must have scared them off, because she only carried on like that for a short time.

I just hope they’re not here to assassinate me in my sleep. I should be safe, The Duchessa sleeps on my bed, but the kids…they’ll have to fend for themselves.

Add a comment July 15, 2011

Life, or something like it…

Yesterday I trekked up to Ikea to meet mum and help her pick her new kitchen. This meant braving the early morning again, which I have become relatively unacquainted with in the last few weeks, and, really, I am quite content to keep it that way. Early mornings are currently cold! And since my face is resembling that of a sun baked dragon because of a dermatitis/psoriasis (even the specialist couldn’t decide which it was) flare, the cold was just making it sting all day, and making me want to claw my skin off.

My fun at Ikea was impaired, because the black hole that is the Office of Shared Services still hasn’t processed my final pay from the contract position I held. Who would’ve thought it was that hard? After all, they only found out BACK IN DECEMBER that I would be finishing on the 27th May. And they were reminded again at the end of April when the Finance Officer processed all the paperwork – so it’s only been ten weeks since they had that reminder, so I guess I can’t expect too much of them. Totally not surprised that the plug has *finally* been pulled on them.

Also got to play referee between Mum and one of the Ikea staff as they squared off over what should and could go into the kitchen space she had – now that was shaping up to be fun! 😀 Mum had Definite!Ideas,

Still, I did get to size up the drawers we wanted for our bedroom and work out what bits and pieces I want from there. And to spy Cool New Things that I’m positive I Need, and Will Find A Spot For. So there will be a few more Ikea adventures in the future months as I fill out my collection.

Today I’m being all virtuous and housewifey. In fact, I’ve been like that mostly for the last week, which is one sign that I am pulling out of the depressive slump I was in for a few weeks, where nobody loved me. I’ve found my cooking mojo again, and I’ve been baking up a storm in the last week. Last night I made 2 batches of  raspberry rocky road – white and dark. Today is more baking, and I’m going to freeze up meals and desserts.

But the housewifeyness extends past cooking – I’ve been cleaning, and sorting. Which is great. I just hope I keep it up. I’ve been slowly working through various rooms in great spring cleans.

Also had my annual Home Schooling assessment recently and received my report in the last week. Passed with flying colours, thank you. Not bad, given I was working full time for 5 months of that.

So now I have the Munchkin sitting at the table doing his maths, before he gets to do his science, and I have the house to fill with yummy baking smells.

Oh, and work on my job app.

Add a comment July 8, 2011

The Week that Was…

It’s been a heck of a week, really, so of course, since I’m so busy, I decide to set up not one, but TWO new blogs. I think the influence of editormum and girlie jones is rubbing off on me. And if that’s not enough I’m seriously considering taking on a slightly crazy project. Well, I was considering one *really* crazy sekrit project, but that fell through, so now I’m looking at a totally different, not-so-crazy one. Yup – they’re definitely a Bad!Influence.

So, the busyness of the week…

I think I’ve had visitors in one capacity or another all week – which has meant cooking (Yay!) and cleaning (Boo!). However, I have actually been pretty industrious in the cleaning department lately and have done some major cleaning and sorting. (Though I still haven’t quite managed to throw out those broken earring from the 80’s…) And I have got to the point with my bedroom where I am Over It. So, while it’s half sorted, it’s also in a worse state of disarray then it was when I started.

My recently divorced cousin Helga lives around the corner from me, and the lease on her rental was not being renewed so she had to hand the keys back today. She has three girls, and at the beginning of last week they still hadn’t found a place to rent, so things were getting a bit stressy. Finally, she got a really nice place on Thursday. The rental market is a nightmare out there…particularly for a single parent it seems. I’m so very glad we have our own place. So, since Friday, we’ve been busy moving and cleaning and all the other assorted ergh that goes with that.

Yesterday The Ratbag officially moved out of home. He’s eighteen, and determined he can be an adult, so he’s moved in with a mate from work, starry eyed about a life of independence. I’m a little sad about it, and I hope it works for him, but I think he’s going to be in for a rude shock. He only has a (very) casual job, and he wants to apply for Youth Allowance, so we have to fill out a form as to why he can’t live at home…except he can. So I’m not actually holding my breath that he will get any money from Centrelink. Hopefully he can pull himself together and get a full time job, or study.

The week ahead looks almost as busy. My parents are coming down on Wednesday. Well, they will be here on Saturday, but they’ll be in Perth during the week. Thursday I’m meeting Mum at Ikea to go shopping for her new kitchen, and to check out some drawers that I want to get. And I have a job application I need to do. I usually cannibalise old ones to address criteria, but I think I am going to start from scratch and make it all fresh and new. It’s an awesome opportunity, and would be a fantastic job. Plus it would give me a lot of networking opportunities for The Seed – so, fingers crossed.

1 comment July 4, 2011

Hello world!

I’ve joined The Great Migration and left my comfortable home at kaelajael.livejournal.com. This is a journalling of my everyday life, my personal thoughts, though usually I don’t tend to get too personal. In fact I will often go months with saying nothing…well, not in real life I won’t, you’re often lucky if you can get me to shut up for two minutes to get a word in edgewise. However, I’m here now.

So, about me.

  • I’m a wife. We’ve been married over twenty years.
  • A mother. I’ve got three teenagers, one of which has just flown the coop. And when I say just, I mean *just*…It was about three hours ago that it became official.
  • I home school my youngest who is in Year 10.
  • I organise things. Events, parties, dinners, etc. Me, not so much…I’m not that great at organising me.
  • I have a short attention span and get bored of things fairly easily.
  • My hobby-of-the-moment is always artistic but changes frequently as I learn enough to be comfortable with and then move on. Currently it’s cake decorating, but it’s been drawing, writing, beading, sewing etc…
  • I also love to cook, and will spend days making all kinds of goodies
So that’s who I am…Hi, and welcome 🙂

1 comment July 3, 2011

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