Tuesday, December 30, 2008


I am in post party recovery mode after too many drinks last night....it's a rare night where I'm still going after the pub shuts, lol. We had a great day today at Micks parents place at Redlands, the kids swam and played and we had a quiet afternoon recovering and making plans for when Mick and Jules are back in Briz next week. Which will hopefully include me getting my new tattoo, since I've finally managed to get my abdominal muscles into reasonable shape. Mick was planning to get another one shortly, so we've decided to have a joint pain-a-thon before they head back to Townsville. I'm actually pretty excited, I've been planning this tattoo ever since we all got our CF tatts back in 2003, but I was determined to wait until I was in the best possible shape, lol and I figure that I'm as close to that now as I'm ever going to be without enlisting supernatural help or paying for lipo. Hmmmmm.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

With friends like that.....

I don't really consider myself a Christmas person....the noise, the lights, it's all a bit too much for me. But there is an upside. The best part of Christmas is the chance to get together with my fave person on the planet. Mick and I have been mates for over 20 years....since we were teenagers in the same music program. We did all the stupid teenage stuff together, we managed a long distance friendship for three years while I lived in the U.K. - I still have the 27 page letter he wrote me describing an Orchestra tour to Sydney, so that I wouldn't feel like I missed out. He and I have one of those rare relationships that expands to include all the best things in each others lives....our partners and our children. We've danced at each others weddings and welcomed each others children into the world. Bruce and Jules have only made our friendship better, as have our kids....Kit and Matt are self proclaimed "besties" who have learnt that just because you don't see each other every day doesn't mean you can't have a real friendship. My friendship with Mick is something that can't be measured, only treasured. Love you bud. xox

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Christmas and all that....

Well I'm pretty much under control....the presents are bought, the rum balls are made, and today is DH's last day at work, sing halleluiah!! I've managed to pull my head out of the Twilight saga long enough to do some baking and make a hair appointment, I do NOT intend to do Christmas looking like Jim Carrey's grinch. I'm also planning to re-do turning forty while Mick and Jules are down for Christmas, and I figure if I'm having a good hair day it may focus attention away from the fact that I'm acoholicly incapacitated. That's my plan anyway. Kit and Seb know that their main present is a Nintendo Wii, but Bruce and I have gotten them a few other bits to go with it....Guitar Hero Aerosmith for Kit, and a Light Sabre game for Seb. I've been scrapping a bit too, making a few presents for the littlest kids. You can have a look here. Bruce has 10 days off which we're planning to spend at the beach and up the mountains, doing some bushwalking and reclaiming the zen factor, as well as hanging out at home and seeing mates. Hope you've all been good and Santa leaves you something fabulous!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008


I have a serious problem. Last friday, after two days of a lousy viral thing, I decided to drop some books off at the library, unaware that I was about to catch a much more potent disease....On the recently returned pile was a copy of Twilight. Catching my drift yet?? I hadn't read any reviews, but I had seen the movie trailer, and I figured that maybe reading the book before seeing the movie would give me time to get rid of my chest infection before I hit the cinemas. Yeah.
I started reading on Friday afternoon....by 10 pm Friday evening I was re-reading and cursing the fact that I didn't have the rest of the series. By 8am Saturday, I was hacking a lung out waiting for QBD to open so that I could buy the rest of the books. My entire weekend disappeared as I completely lost myself in the series. By Sunday afternoon I was finished. My first act upon finishing??? To pick up Twilight and start again. I think I need help....
On Monday, I saw the movie. It was OK. But nothing like the Bella and Edward I had in my head....I was worried in case the movie would change how I thought about them, but thankfully it didn't. DH is getting used to me grunting at him over the pages....my kids are unaware that their mother has a chronic bibliophilic addiction....maybe I need an intervention. All I know is that the Twilight series has ruined the possibility of me reading anything else in the forseeable future....does anyone have Stephenie Meyers number???

Friday, December 12, 2008

Stormy Weather....

These are a couple of views from the front deck at about ten to five yesterday evening....it turned out to have more bark than bite, thank God!!

Friday, December 5, 2008

Ballet, birthdays and breakfast...

This weekend is a busy one....tonight I'm going to watch Katie shake a tailfeather at her ballet recital, tomorrow I have Sebi's Laserforce party, complete with hordes of loud eight year old boys and lashings of destruction (oh yeah, really hanging out for that one) then Sunday morning is our December breakfast. (much more my scene).
Since we're all on a health kick, a cooked breakfast is a bit of an indulgence, so on the first Sunday of the month we go to Sizzlers and break the rules. Makes up for all the museli and wholewheat toast we eat every other day, lol. Plus I get to sit and read the papers and drink coffee while the boys see how many pancakes they can inhale before they explode. MMMMmmmmm, coffee.....

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

One of THOSE days....

where you know you just shouldn't have opened the curtains this morning. Where to start?? Seb was complaining of earache, but didn't seem to be too bad....so I sent him to school. BOINK!! first mistake. I dropped him off at 8.15, by 9.00 I was picking him up again. We had a trip to the doctor at 10.00, by which time he was writhing in pain and crying. End result. Middle ear infection in both ears, two days off school plus meds. Brought him home, dosed him with meds and painkillers, he went to sleep on the couch. BOINK!! second mistake. I turned my back on him for 30 seconds to answer the phone. I turn around and he's jerking up and down and sweating. Dropped the phone, got him into the bathroom, ran the shower on him to cool him down. Can't take him to the doctor because I don't have the car. Ring mum to ask her to come home (with the car), while I'm hosing Sebi down and talking to mum, my mobile rings. I answer it. BOINK!! third mistake. It's the high school. Kit's been bitten by something, has an allergic reaction, has come out in hives on his neck and chest. Can I pick him up?? Meanwhile Renee (who I was talking to on the phone when Sebi heated up) arrives in my driveway to help me run round in circles and pull my hair out. Fortunately by this stage, Sebi is practically back to normal, wide awake, asking for an iceblock. Give Sebi and Elly an iceblock, give Sebi panadol, ring high school, tell them i'll be there when my car arrives. Sit on the deck with Renee, talk scrapbooking, drink lemonade, wait for hands to stop shaking. Mother arrives, (with car) Renee and Elly go home, Mum takes Sebi, I go to the high school to pick up itching child. Get home,shower itching child, mop bathroom which is two inches deep in water from my attempts to shower Sebi and talk on two phones at the same time. I think I'll have a do-over.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Scream Ow!!

I am typing this one handed because my left shoulder has decided that it's ninety years old, unlike the rest of me which was a starting-to-be-fit forty. I don't know exactly what I've done, but I can't lift my arm to the side without 400 watts of extreme toothache, so my chicken dancing days have temporarily ceased. I'm actually fairly p*ssed about it, because I've been pretty dedicated with my weights and the results are finally starting to show....although I can't see the point of getting rid of your tuckshop arms when you can't even lift the bloody things afterwards!! It's got to the point where if I roll over on to my left side in my sleep, the pain gets bad enough to wake me, and that's it for the night. Which figures...I now have bags under my eyes to match my tuckshop arms. SIGH....
Seb is off school today after having a massive nose bleed in his sleep....he looked like a Freddy Kruger special this morning....blood all over his face and in his hair, plus all over his arms and all over his sheets. YUK!!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Forward planning....

I've bought nothing, wrapped nothing and decorated nothing, but my Easter Holidays are under control. DH and I were discussing which way to head for the first of the two camping trips we do each year, (rather than do something constuctive like Christmas shopping) and we've decided to head north. We've made a tentative booking at Rainbow Beach for 6 days over Easter, and we're hoping to do all the fun stuff we did a few years back when we were last there....horse riding, feeding the dolphins, zen by the sea.....gotta love it. Unfortunately I have to survive Christmas first.
I love having the kids home and not having to be up at the crack of dawn every day, but the heat drives me mental....I turn into a hermit, hiding in the air conditioning and growling at anyone who makes me go outside. I'm seriously considering online grocery shopping this summer, that way I won't have to stick my nose out the door until March. Works for me!!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Fairy Facts

Direct from PLant Freak Texas (thanks Kimberly)....
My fairy is called Hex Jupiterfrost
She is a mysterious and secretive fairy.
She lives in places hexed and tainted by black magic.
She is only seen during the first snow of winter.
She wears black feathers and rose petals. She has soft mauve butterfly wings.


Would you be surprised to know that I had a dress very similar to this many years ago??? I knew the eighties would be back to haunt me!!!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Little Drummer Boy

Remember when you were a kid and you had a performance for something and your parents would come and totally embarrass you by cheering really loudly and taking photos at inappropriate times?? Apparantly it's an inherited disease. Sebi had his first ever recital on Saturday and Bruce and I were front row centre with the camera, lol. We're actually lucky we got to go, because we didn't realise the times had been changed until Saturday lunchtime, and we were setting off for the Coast that afternoon, but fortunately we managed to squeeze everything in. And before you ask, yes I did choose that shirt, otherwise we wouldn't have been able to see him behind the drum kit. Too cool for this planet!!

Hulking Out.

Greetings from the recently returned Gold Coasting party animals. No, we weren't at schoolies, with the toolies and the moolies and the woset in the closet and the bofa on the sofa (sorry....Seussed out there for a moment). We (DH & self) were attending his social club's annual slapfest and booze up at Sea World, with the penguins and the dolphins and you get the idea. Although we did drive through schoolie central on our way home this morning and I have to say, I was highly disappointed. Where was the debauchery I was expecting??? Where were the head banging hooners?? At this point DH reminded me that it was ten past nine in the morning and all the schoolies were busy doing their mandatory practice upchucks in preparation for another night of "OMG did you SEE what she DID???? I swear, I would SO not do that in a public phone box. Unless he was WAY hotter than that", so I gave up trying to spot wildlife in order to deal with the fact that DH was turning green and gruesome in the drivers seat. He has a problem, poor man. He's subject to random attacks of Hulking Out, if the other drivers on the road fail to read his mind. And I gotta say, I am OVER IT. Big Time. Frankly, if you're gonna Hulk Out, then get an appropriate vehicle. Like a tank. A 12 year old two door festiva with cling wrap windows does NOT cut it. But try telling that to DH who cursed his way merrily up the motorway pausing only to laugh at the guy next to us in the silver Chrysler who got his portrait painted courtesy of the highway patrol at Yatala. My husband, Hulk Hartwell, terror of the open road. I'm SO proud.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Ho Ho How did I get myself into this???

I can't put it off any longer....today I shop for Christmas presents. I have the brochures, I have the money (thanks Kevin....sorry 'bout that whole voting misunderstanding) and I have my secret weapon. Nanna. Guaranteed to strike fear into the hearts of even the most dedicated bargain hunters. Add a trolley to her ferocious five foot frame (ouch...swallowed my dentures) and she's a force to be reckoned with. Wind her up and let her rip, then follow in her wake, collecting the spoils of war....that Nintendo Wii is in the bag!!!

Monday, November 17, 2008

Storm Season

has hit with a vengeance....yesterday while we got rain and a bit of thunder at Mt Gravatt, friends of ours at The Gap lost their roof in the worst storm in over 20 years. They are foruntately OK, although their entire house is several inches deep in water. They had a beautiful native garden, where I spent many happy hours exploring as a child, which has been completely destroyed. They are nothing if not resilient, though....as soon as they can hoist their caravan back onto it's blocks (HOW strong was the wind??) they're planning to live on site while their house is rebuilt. Not bad for a couple in their seventies!!

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Hee Hee

Check Out my Chick

I've been marketing again....look what I picked up at the local flea market this morning....isn't she GORGEOUS???? And a total steal at $4. In her previous life I think she was a cookie jar, but now she sits on my workbench and holds all my alcohol inks. All I need now is a cow and a pig and I'll be completely happy.

Friday, October 31, 2008


HELP !! My scraproom hs been invaded by tiny mutant alligators. Or possibly by REALLY REALLY weeny dinosaurs. THIS is what I found sunbaking on my computer monitor this morning.

And I don't care if it IS a lizard with delusions of grandeur, it scared 10 years off my life when it leaped off the monitor and hissed at me. I am NOT the worlds most reptile friendly individual, although I'm not as bad as DH, who is the worlds worst snakeophobe. So when the above specimen decided to take over my desk, I let him have it. Only problem is, now he's disappeared and I have visions of him having a Godzilla inspired gender redistribution amongst my paper stacks and laying squillions of eggs.
I see a distinct resemblance.....

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

IEP/ one day at a time.

This morning I had an interview at the school to update Sebi's IEP. I really hate doing it, because everything that you try not to think too much about gets hauled out into the daylight and examined, which starts you thinking, which in my case tends to lead to a low spot. Which I really don't want or need ATM. I have plenty going on here, and not enough time to do it in and a few days of hiding under the doona is NOT on my schedule. Things are pretty good....there's always room for improvement, but we're hanging in there. That's the thing about Aspies...there's always an up side somewhere. My boys have done incredibly well this year, it has not been one of our smoother trips, but the end is in sight, along with a large dose of down time and some celebrating. One day at a time, peeps....one day at a time.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Noah's Ark

I'm currently having one of those days which lasts for a week, so I thought I'd share my pain with the universe, 'cos I'm a giving kinda gal. Giving up, that is. I am officially admitting defeat. And I blame the mother of all mothers (i.e. mine). She jets off to the other side of the world and leaves me in charge of the mental health unit of St Francis of Assisi General Hospital. And it's KILLING me....both the dogs have separation anxiety, which means that every time I turn around I fall over them, because they won't let me out of their sight in case I do something cruel and inhumane like catching a plane to the other side of the planet. The cat has found some new and devious way to escape outside, 'cos everytime I smack my head on the window frame after tripping over the dogs, he's sitting in the middle of the back yard making faces at me and daring me to try and catch him. The "other" cat (read as devon rex or hairless walking tumour) is staging a sit in on nanna's bed and everytime I try to move it, it digs its claws in so deep I lift the double bed mattress as well as the cat. And I think I have bulimic rats....I was cleaning out their cage the other day, and they've been stashing their little treats under their water bowl. And I know they exercise when they think nobody's watching....I hear them doing laps, but when I open the door, they're sitting there manically washing their whiskers and looking guilty. I can't cope....where's my wind up mouse????

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

It's a guy thing....

Came into the lounge this morning to find all three of my kids (the two little ones and the big bearded one who really should know better) hangin over the computer, absolutely mesmerised.
At this.....

I think I was the only one who read (or even SAW) the message at the end.
Anti-gun people, you totally missed your mark. Although the music was nice.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Three Day Weekend...

thank God, 'cos it's gonna take at least that long for Kit to plough through his homework and assignments. His mate Renee is coming over today so he's having a homework free evening before getting stuck in tomorrow. Sebi has decided that he no longer wants a high bed, so we're pulling it down and redoing his room so that he'll hopefully have more space, and maybe even want to spend more time in there....he's angling for a TV, but that's not going to happen. I still remember the "no earrings till you're 13" rule that mum imposed on me, and how p*ssed I was when little sister got her ears pierced the SAME DAY as me... at 8 years old!!! Kit had to wait till he was 13 before he got a TV in his room, and Sebi will have to do the same, no matter how miserable the intervening years are for me, lol. He has his I.E.P next week which will set some new goals for him in term 4. My littlest neicette Elly is turning 5 this weekend so hopefully there'll be plenty of fairy pix for me to play with if I ever get a spare five minutes to scrap!! No word from the mother of all mothers, so we assume that she's fine and Ruling Britannia with a firm hand.
Luck hugs xox

Monday, October 13, 2008


He's 50 today!! Looks good doesn't he?? Must be all the Marmalade. xox

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Yukkin' it up.....

Hee hee, loving this one....courtesy of Plant Freak, Texas.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

School and stuff....

Kit is well into his first week at Cav Road, and seems to be settling in fine. The S.E.U. is fantastic, they are always up to speed with what's going on with the kids and their first concern is keeping stress levels at a minimum. Amen to that!!! Kit has gotten to know some of the unit kids and spends his break time playing YUGIOH with them. He's got sport today, and is going bowling and totally can't wait!! He's also into his first round of assignments, but has several tutorial periods a week where he can ask about anything that he doesn't understand. So far so good.
Sebi is into his last term as a third grader....next year he'll be in the big school!! His class is going to Underwater World in a couple of weeks, they're studying the ocean this term. I wanted to go as a "parent helper" but Sebi has informed me that if I come the camera has to stay at home. Party Pooper!!!

Friday, October 3, 2008

Pick-me-up please.....

I have caved in after a weeks worth of bad nights, and I am EXHAUSTED. Which is woefully bad timing because the GNI crop is tomorrow and I've really been looking forward to it. I think the final nail in my coffin was sitting through Beverly Hills Chihuahua with the boys....I must have powernapped through the good bits (???) and when we hit daylight my head was buzzing. Bruce had the Metroll Golf Day today and came home minus one window in the FGF (read as Funky Green Festiva or second car). I really have to wonder who I narked in a former life....fifty cars in the car park and we get targeted by the only stray golf ball????? Dodgy stuff, fellas.
To complete my day, some guy decided to fight with his girlfriend via his mobile (LOUDLY) on my driveway, and then proceeded to drown his sorrows with a bottle of something toxic before ringing her back (at least 5 times) and threatening to end it all on my recently swept concrete path. After the 5th call I was tempted to go out and offer some suggestions on the quickest quietest way to achieve his aim, but fortunately (for me) he decided to find somewhere a little more private before ringing his ex for the sixth time, and he stumbled off into the sunset....or possibly to be drunk and miserable in someone elses driveway. Works for me.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

International Nanna

Yes, Nanna is winging her way to Perth this morning, then jetting off to Manchester on Sunday. She'll be gone 6 weeks and my boys are already emailing a list of all the things they forgot to add to the original present list. In the interests of easier luggage spotting, Nanna has bought herself a massive suitcase that looks like something from the Cruella DeVil Catalogue (black and white spots), and she was less than impressed when the woman behind her in the queue at Virgin had the EXACT SAME SUITCASE, hee hee. And you thought ugly didn't breed!!!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

Gone with the wind/Hartwells by the sea.

I have just come inside from kissing the driveway after spending the windiest week in history in a tent at Tallebudgera. The boys (all three) had a great time. They would....to men (and boys) the possibility of being blown into the ocean in the middle of the night is the kind of disaster that fellas recount for decades to come. For the women who have to cook on a primus stove, look after neurotic rats and dry wetsuits while contemplating the same possibility, a week in a 4 star hotel looks better with each passing gust. So I am back....windswept, but not terribly interesting, after 6 nights of pokemon battles and mega violent DVD's. Next time, the boys can drop me at the nearest health spa and defy death without me....I have standards, y'know.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Be still, my heart....

Boy, it's just my lucky day....DH started his holidays today, so we started getting our camping stuff organised for Sunday. Suddenly, he announces that he has to go out, and he'll be back in an hour....leaving me to do the packing, check the camping stuff, organise the kids, yada yada yada. So after what can only be termed as a "dog hour" (i.e. three times as long as a regular hour), he returns bearing a large box and wearing a big grin. "This is for you, hon" he announces "I got it at BCF" Read BCF as "Boating Camping Fishing" or DH's fave shop apart from Bunnings.
So, it's obviously not anything on my personal wishlist, but hey, there are still possibilities....a nice collapsible sun lounger perhaps??? Suitable for reclining on at the beach while DH and the boys do gross things with maggots and fish heads??
Hmmmm....So I open the box and pull out......a collapsible folding CLOTHES HOIST !!!!
Suitable for hanging clothes on after you've spent half your holiday washing said clothes in the communal laundry. Romance isn't just dead, it's six feet under.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

A New Day....

and Kit is SO ready for it....doesn't he look swish, lol. He's not totally convinced about the whole knee sock issue, but at least he's wearing them. He's grown again...since the start of the year he's gone up two sizes in pants and three in shirts !! Bruce reckons I feed him too often. Sebi, on the other hand still has a physique like aldente pasta, so maybe I should feed him instead?? Aren't they gorgeous !!

Monday, September 15, 2008

S.W.A.K (sent with a kiss)

to my favourite niecette Abi, who's having a hospital stay ATM.
Abs is nearly nine, and is the daughter I thought Sebi was going to be, lol.
Mick (Abi's dad) and I have been best mates since we were teenagers, and our kids were born within 3 months of each other. Abi has Cystic Fibrosis and needs daily physio, enzymes and a whole range of other treatments so that she's able to go out and wreak havoc like other kids her age. Mick and Jules do a sterling job and it's always a kick in the guts when a hospital stay is neccessary. Especially when said hospital is 1500 km's away in Townsville, which means that instead of visiting, all we can do at our end is send our biggest and best loves for a speedy recovery. xoxox

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Counting Down....

the days till we leave on our camping trip...only a week to go!! We are all desperately in need of some "down" time as a family...things have been WAY too hectic this year. This week is all about getting Kit organised with his new school, he had a visit there on Friday and loved it....here's hoping he feels the same after the holidays when he does it on his own!! I have a few queries about books/classes etc, so while I'm getting that sorted Kit will have another visit to the SEU, complete with new uniform and YuGiOh cards. It's also only 3 weeks till mum leaves for England, so time to be thinking about my duty free list!!
Sebi had his soccer break up today, and despite all my previous whining, it was a pretty good day....or as Sebi put it "any day with a trophy is cool"
Can't argue with that.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

But I Don't Wanna Go.....

Please, please, don't make me go....I don't wanna sit in the sun all day. I don't care about the trophy. I don't even like soccer. Do I really have to? How come he gets to stay home and do stuff. You're not my favourite ANY MORE.
At this point Bruce threatens to cut off my internet access if I don't stop whining.
Looks like I'm going to soccer.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Near and Far

Today I watched some of the September 11 footage on a news recap. It made me realise (again) how far away people seem until something happens that makes you realise that we're all sailing on the same ship. My thoughts and prayers are with the American people as they do their everyday stuff just like they were in 2001. xox

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

So over it !!

Hopefully the next 10 days will see the end of one ongoing battle with the Dept Ed. I haven't finished fighting (not even CLOSE) but I can't have Kit in the front line any longer. The school's medieval attitude towards special needs has made it impossible for Kit to access the tools he needs in order to work alongside the other kids in his class. So, we move on....to another (hopefully) better situation.
Kit has been enrolled at Cavendish Road High School and will start there after the September break. He will be allowed to use his laptop and will access the unit for a percentage of his schooling. He will be sad not to see his close mates every day, but they will still be regular visitors, and he'll make new friends when he starts at his new school. This has been a really hard decision to make, and Kit has had to make some hard adjustments, but we are hoping that this will be the beginning of a much smoother educational journey. It's hard for Kit, because he always seems to do the hard yards to make it easier for the other 'specials' who come after. He did it for seven years at Wishart and the kids who are coming through now are reaping the benefits (including Sebi). I hate that it's been neccessary to change schools, but at least he'll have the rest of this year to get used to things before the new school year in 2009.


I've finally worked out how to be in two places at once.....if you want to check out my scrapping or my pix I've set up a new blog over here
Or you could use the link at the top of the page, lol.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Body Attack/Scream OW!!

I'm typing slowly today because every inch of me is screaming OW!! In a moment of forty-inspired insanity I joined Fitness First, after Renee put my name on a contact list. What I didn't realise is that "Fitness First" is actually short for
"Fitness First after which you wake up the next day and wish you were dead".
Which is precisely what I did this morning after attending the inspirationally named "Body Attack" class with Nay, yesterday afternoon. You just have to LOVE the names they give to the classes....Body Pump, Body Step, Body Jam.....after yesterday's effort, "Body Bag" is more in my league. I was labouring under the delusion that I was in OK shape for a forty year old mother of two. After 25 minutes worth of "Body Attack" I realised that not only was I in really REALLY bad shape for a 250 year old Siberian Mud Mummy, let alone a living human being, but I am also the most uncoordinated individual in the history of forever. Although Nay comes a close second, lol. The two of us made a great pair, hiding in the back row "righting" when everyone else was "lefting" and "upping" while they were "downing". The only bit I managed to get right was the "forward-side-back" bit, which I owe to 20 years of devotion to Tina Turner and Nutbush City Limits.
Tomorrow, I'm donning my floaties for Aqua Aerobics. (and you thought I was scary on dry land.....)

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Tanked/ Has anybody seen my downspout??

It's dark, it's cold and it's wet. Fine if you're a scotch and coke, not so fine if you have to photograph the downspout. And no, I haven't been drinking, although I have been tanked, which is why I have to go and photograph the downspout. Yes, Casa Hartwell has officially joined the ranks of the water wise with the installation of a 3000 litre ugly green tumour last week. My house now looks like someone stuck a large snot coloured missile silo under the bathroom window. Which I'm prepared to live with, being as I'm such a planet conscious anti plastic whole grain bread knitter. What I am having issues with is the fact that apart from the whole "ugly" thing (and it is WAY UGLY, believe me) I have to fill out a small forests worth of paper work in order to get the council/government/water commission/ugly tank society rebate. Even that I could cope with, although the part where the tank company takes away all your original invoices and then tells you to get a JP to sign the copies they send you having first sighted the originals that you don't have because the tank company took them (are we dizzy yet??) is kind of annoying. What REALLY ticks me off is the part where you have to photograph the downspout. Why??? Apparantly, to make sure it works. How do you know it's working??
You wait till it rains and then you either levitate or climb a ladder with your camera and wait for something to run out the end of the spout. I think I need to get tanked again. Where's that Scotch???

Wednesday, September 3, 2008


for those of you with a sweet tooth and a bent sense of humour!!!
PS, those of you planning formal events might want to skip this, lol.
Courtesy of Plant Freak, Texas....where do you find these things???

Sunday, August 31, 2008


I've been working on my box of goodies from A2Z, and although some of them are a secret, this is one I particularly like. The photo is SO old, Sebi was still at kindy!! But I've always loved it, so I was really pleased with the end result. The papers are BG periphery, mellow and stella ruby....oldies but goodies.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Dear Dad

Once again it's August 28th, and another year has passed. It's now seven years since my dad passed away. I still miss him, but more than that I miss the fact that he didn't really get the opportunity to know the boys. I know he would have been so proud of them, he always spoke about "my grandsons" with such pride in his voice, even when illness prevented him from interacting with them. We think about you often, dad. We remember you, and we love you. xox

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Mornings with Gryff

I've been a bit solitary lately...by choice really, with everything that's been going on I'm not good company, so I've been spending my mornings in my domain, getting a little work done and being alone. Almost. Apart from Gryff. Gryffindor is DS#1's cat, and he is also the solitary type....not into affectionate displays or random purring. He was in the pet shop for almost 4 months in a cage by himself before he came to live at Planet Hartwell, and it left a definate kink in his psyche. He does, however, have a "thing" for my scraproom, and tends to push open the connecting window from the granny flat and parade around on my desk, typing strange messages on my laptop and eating my ribbons. In the hopes of curbing his disrespect of my space, I sacrificed valuable real estate and installed a cat bed on my desk, beside the window, expecting it to be sniffed and ignored, in typical Gryffindor fashion. Much to my surprise, he has made it his own, and we spend our mornings together being mutually exclusive, doing our own things. He's great company. He's quiet, inoffensive and doesn't complain about my choice of music. Everyone in life should be so easy to get along with....

Monday, August 25, 2008

Psalms 138:3 In the day when I cried thou answeredst me,
and strengthenedst me with strength in my soul

Sunday, August 24, 2008


The latest residents to join the zoo at Planet Hartwell. The blonde is King and the brunette is Striker. And yes, they're rats. The boys finally wore down my resistance to the point where I would happily have purchased a giant squid or a snot flicking lemur in order to keep them quiet. Fortunately, neither was available at Pet City, so $150 later we arrived home with the aforementioned rodents and a penthouse for them to live in. Needless to say, the boys are thrilled, and I am SLOWLY getting used to them, although the whole walking round with them perching on your shoulder thing leaves me a bit cold. Polly wanna cheesestick???

Friday, August 22, 2008

Friday on my mind

I LOVE Fridays...the best part of my week!! Friday afternoon/evening is open house for the kids....we do pizza and ribs and generally have a houseful of the boys and their mates. Nobody mentions homework, everybody kicks back and a good time is had by all. I seriously need a weeks worth of Fridays ATM to make up for the totally crappy rest-of-the-week I just had. I had an interview with the District Office of EDQ and if they do everything they promised I'll be a happy camper (gobsmacked, but happy). I'm putting it in the wait-and-see box for the moment. Sebi's last soccer game is tomorow, and Kit has a Concert Band performance on Sunday, as well as it being Zac's Birthday. Time isn't just flying, it's disappearing while I watch!!
Happy Friday everyone!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Back into Battle

As I'm writing this, I can hear Sebi upstairs watching Lord of the Rings.....he only does the battles, lol. Anything resembling meaningful dialogue and he hits the skip button. I, on the other hand would rather sit down and talk through issues in a reasonable manner. But as there are no reasonable people to deal with in this particular situation, I am forced into battle mode again. I think this is partly why I am SO tired. And definately why I am not my usual sweet natured self. I am SO OVER having to fight for everything. Anyone would thing I was asking for the moon. (Which I could probably have, providing I filled out the right forms!!) All I want is a level playing field for my son. Every child has the right to education, including those with special needs, and every child has the right to feel safe at school. Now all I have to do is explain that to the education department.
Where's my tank??

Monday, August 18, 2008

Not happy Jan

Today I am down. It's partly the cold that I've had forever and CANNOT shift, and it's partly winter (SO over it) but it's mostly that once again I have reached the bottom of the tank. I'm dry folks...got nothing left to give. I'm trying to keep it all on track, but what I really need is a few days somewhere warm and quiet....either a tropical island or back in the womb, lol. I'm counting the days till we go camping in September, but if I don't post here for a few days, I'm probably out hitchhiking my way to Bali.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Isn't he lovely??

I don't post a lot of pix of fave husband because he doesn't come out much in daylight........now you know why.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Return of the Demon Queen.

Once again I am squaring off with the education department. I must have a trail of monumentally bad Karma following me around....for every great thing that happens, I have to deal with a truckload of crap. I know, it's not really bumper sticker material. Do I care???? Not a whole lot. I have decided to switch my approach from "I can see your point" to "Sort it or I'll sue". Don't ever get on my dark side, peeps....it's not pretty.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Tooting my Horn!!

Yay for me....I got invited to join the A2Z Scraplets design team, which I'm totally stoked about, since they're all about chipboard....only my FAVE thing in the entire scrapbooking universe, lol. You can check out their stuff here. I actually know Julie from way back in time, and they have a great range of alphas, flourishes and other goodies, so I'm looking forward to producing some kick ass chippie layouts in the near future!! Watch this space!!

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Happy Birthday Number 1

Yes, it's finally here....DS#1 is officially teenaged !! We started the day with a lesiurely stroll to the top of the STORY BRIDGE, courtesy of Mary, Rachel Stephanie and Jeff (thanks guys)....I was a little nervous about the whole thing (read as "packing death") but Kit loved it...and we picked the perfect day, 'cos the view was INCREDIBLE... we could see as far as Mt Warning in NSW.
The nicest part was that we reached the summit at 9.20 am, which is the time Kit was born, exactly 13 years earlier. It's a fantastic experience, and I highly recommend it, but not for those of you with a fear of heights. Regardless of how much harness they attach, it's mighty high up there!! Then we came home and I had a bit of a "kiss the tarmac" moment in the driveway, and Kit got his other prezzies.
He is now the proud owner of a tv/dvd which had to be mounted on the wall at ceiling height because Kit has one of those high altitude loft beds that give you nosebleeds while you sleep. I hate it, cos it's SO close to the ceiling I feel claustrophobic, but he seems to thrive on it. Go figure. He also got the latest pokemon guide from Sebi and he's going bowling with the rest of the poke-posse tonite. Tomorrow is a bit of a family gathering and then we all get to relax until Sebi's birthday.
He wants a bazooka.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Just call me Princess...

Noice look Kimmoi !!

This is the before shot....there may not be an after shot, depending on how bad I look later. My fave hubby and the peeps I like most are out tonite to celebrate the end of my reign as a supreme thirtysomething.
Kit has made me PROMISE never to wear this T shirt when we're out together....ahh, teenage embarrassment, how soon we forget!! I got it in the kids department of Target and I think it's cute. Kit thinks it's cute too...."if you're Katie".
Why should five year olds have all the fun?? Let the good times roll.....

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mortality Check/Facing Forty

Well it's nearly here....Next Wednesday is 40 years since my arrival on planet earth.
I guess it's a milestone, but I don't really feel like I'm approaching anything out of the ordinary. (ask me again next Wednesday, lol). I think I'm happy.
I have most of the things I wanted in my life....there are a few things I got that I wasn't expecting, but I think that's where the living part of life comes in.
Mostly I find myself content. I don't know whether that's because my expectations have become more realistic, or because I have been blessed with the gift of children who make the absolute most out of every situation, good or bad, and I've learnt from them.
I'm happier than I was at 18.
I'm achieving more than I was at 21.
I'm less selfish than I was at 25.
I think I'm ready for forty.....bring it on!!

Saturday, July 26, 2008


Lookie what I got !! Cashies had a pile of cameras & lenses in a "make an offer" box today, so I picked up a few for my ever growing collection. There's something about cameras that flicks a switch in me....maybe it's the idea of all the things they've seen. I think that's the reason that I won't part with any of mine, even though I don't use them, I still feel connected to them....they're like my kids, except they do as they're told every time without complaint. The one in the middle is my latest addition...a Canon EOS 500 film camera....and the lens fits my Canon digi!! I'm currently chasing a Kodak box brownie to add to my hoard, but no luck so far. Maybe next time....

Scenic Route...

are looking for summer pages for their July Product Challenge.
This is Sebi at Mudjimba, when we camped at Easter 2007.

Thursday, July 24, 2008


I am SO in demand this week....so far I've won over 34 million units of various currencies from various people I've never met in various countries I'd have a job finding in an atlas. Or anywhere else. What is it about these people?? Are they SO short of entertainment/money/braincells that they suddenly decide that sending poorly spelled invitations asking strangers to collect truckloads of money will somehow enhance their lives?? I think NOT, so in the spirit of international co operation I have just sent the minister of finance for the Republic of Botulism a few suggestions on what to do with his unwanted millions.

1. Buy a dictionary, IDIOT!! No one wants money from an illiterate.

2. If you want to be taken seriously, don't post your return address as
"tempted to hack" . People may think you are up to no good.

3. Think up some better reasons for using the money....helping the aged and
saving the whales are SO 2004. Try these instead....

a) The reunite the BAY CITY ROLLERS foundation
b) The Arnold Swarzenegger English pronunciation fund
c) The Kevin Rudd Ugly Specs Glasses Exchange

I'm sure any one of these worthy causes would be delighted to recieve truckloads of dodgy cash from a non existant really STUPID wannabe cyber god.

No, don't thank me....I'm here to help.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Optus and the time warp.

I had one of those moments tonight. A girl that Kit invited to his birthday rang up, and Kit took the phone into his room so he could chat to her. And all of a sudden I realised that this is where it starts. The whole "growing up" deal. It starts with phone calls and ends with him being in charge of his life, while I wonder what happened to the kid who set a trap for the tooth fairy. I LOVE that he's growing up, becoming independant and dealing with things for himself. But I miss the kid with the gaps in his teeth.


Got an email from Scrapbooking Memories today wanting my "Another Time" layout for their travel gallery.
Pretty happy with that!!


Monday, July 21, 2008


I'm feeling a little flat after my monster scrap over the weekend. This can be dangerous 'cos I start looking for other things to try.
On my current list of things to do...

Start Sebi's single bed quilt
Try some of my new recipes
Get the poster printed for Kit's big canvas
Start my Eiffel Tower Collage
Travel to distant lands, and have a bunch of new, exciting experiences.

hey, I can dream.

On my "today" list...

eat a cupcake.

I love it when I finish a list.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Scouting About...

Kit has gone to Esk for the weekend with his scout troop for what is commonly referred to as the "cold camp". It's actually a fishing camp, but the temperatures are expected to be near freezing tonight, so I reckon there will be more "cold" than "fish". However, polar boy has once again packed his wetsuit, working on the principal that the closer you get to the fish, the better your chances are. Rather him than me. Here he is, ready to attempt Everest, hee hee. Sherpa Hartwell to the rescue.

New Layouts

These are for challenges at the Mystical Mid Month Marathon....Six layouts in 2 days...that's a new record !! Told you I always do better when someone goes away.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Onward Into Battle....

Today is a pupil free day, which unfortunately does not mean a parent free day. Once again I am up to the school to try and find out if DS#1 has been moved to another class for the start of Semester 2. It has been "under discussion" for several weeks, but as far as I know, nothing has been decided which means that Kit has no idea which class he should be attending tomorrow. Nothing like leaving it to the last minute. Details later. If there are any. *SIGH*

Wednesday, July 9, 2008


The hormone fairy said I could. So there.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Missing in Action....

I'm missing. My son, that is, not me personally. The teen terror departed for camp on Monday morning, complete with his wetsuit and totally unrealistic expectations about getting some time at the beach. Good luck, number one...you're the only polar bear on the camp, as far as I know. It's kinda surprised me that he's left such a big hole here, as he has an overdeveloped hibernation gene which requires expremely late starts and large quantities of food left outside his door at regular intervals.
Not particularly social, but apparantly entertaining enough for sprocket the 8 year old demolition expert, who has had no one to torment for 2 days apart from yours truly. In desperation I offered to play Digimon on the playstation this afternoon which resulted in a headache you could crack a brick on plus nausea and dizzy spells. Kinda like morning sickness on high speed. Fabulous. Tomorrow I get my revenge. We're going grocery shopping. Come home soon Kit, we miss you. xox

Beware of the TEEN.....

This is for no particular reason...but I LOVE the way it turned out!!!

Monday, July 7, 2008

This one's for a competition at Scrapawhile...you had to put together a layout using one of four quotes...for those of you without bifocals, the quote reads
"let my mind be free from the burdens of the world. allow me to explore new dimensions, discover new thoughts, ideas and emotions"

words to live by, if you ask me.....

I WON ....

The July theme was Time for Tags, so I was pretty happy with my entry. So, some goodies in the post for me !!

Thursday, July 3, 2008

Here's how it works. Answer the questions about yourself. At the end of your post, tag another 4 people & post their names. Go to their blogs & leave a comment letting them know they've been tagged. Let the person who tagged you know that you have posted your answers.
Here are mine!
Q1: Ten Years Ago...married and mothering...not much has changed lol.

Q2: Five things on today's "to do list".....ONLY 5????

1. Drop the car at the garage for a service

2. Talk to a man about a water tank

3. Walk to Spotlight and Chemist Warehouse (no car, remember)

4. Help Kit with his poetry assignment

5. Cook dinner

Q3: Snacks I enjoy......Krispy Kreme Donuts and Cheetos (not together)

Q4: Things I would do if I was a millionaire.....Set up a fund to enable special needs kids to access the equipment they need to attend mainstream school. Relocate to Springbrook. Buy some alpacas. And a horse. Grow vegies. Scrap a lot. Sounds good , no??

Q5: Places i have lived.....Brisbane, England, Switzerland and a few other places along the way. (I think I have Gypsy blood)

I am tagging.....Kerryn, Plant Freak from Texas, Tam and Sara.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Too much of a good thing???

Holidayitis after 2 days....sad really!!


This one from my bud Kerryn at LSBS....to use girly colours/papers on a boy layout, or vice versa. The little skull and crossbones is courtesy of my SCAL program....gotta love it!! The papers are new out from Inque Boutique "memoirs". GORGEOUS...totally loving their stuff. The pic is of my youngest when he really WAS young (i.e. before school, earring, and attitude). Cute, no??

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

LMAO...check this out

hee hee, truer words were never spoken!!

SCAL Program....

I'm going to have a little rave about my new best fave thing....SCAL is a computer program that allows your cricut machine to cut true type fonts and dingbats. Since my best husband downloaded it, my little machine has had the workout of its life, lol. Tonight I'm going to load another program that'll let me modify bitmaps. Rock on technology!! Anyway, here's a little sample of the SCAL in action...gotta love it!!

Sunday, June 29, 2008

What U Need...

Sarah at Savvy put me onto this....you google your name plus the word "needs" then list the top ten responses.... I had to cheat a bit, 'cos I'm the only Kjirsten I know, so I dropped the "J"....apologies to respected viking ancestors....

Kirsten needs an adoptive home (with my very own room and cable internet please)

Kirsten needs your votes (how else will I achieve world domination)

Kirsten needs to become a philosopher (confucious says....)

Kirsten needs to learn to speak (comes in handy when ordering pizza)

Kirsten needs to shut up (make your mind up)

Kirsten needs a wave runner (ummm??)

Kirsten needs a new man (with all the optional extras)

Kirsten needs more cowbell (I don't wanna KNOW what that means)

Kirsten needs 26 minutes (really...I thought it took longer)

Kirsten needs to get back on the sauce (finally....some good advice)

Saturday, June 28, 2008


DH is so my fave husband ATM....he bought me the SCAL program for my cricut, which lets me cut out ANY true type font PLUS thousands of webdings. So basically my little cricut is now all powerful!!! Will post some pics later !!! Luck hugs xox

Friday, June 27, 2008

Inkurable Stampers June Challenge

I apologise in advance for the crappy photo, I'm working through a really bad headache and only one eye is focusing. The challenge this month was to use a tag and a theme of TIME.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

The White stuff....

Those of you who have entered the sacred portals of Casa Hartwell are well aware of my current standing in the "Domestic Goddess" stakes. Those of you who have yet to venture into the bear pit, be advised to enter at your own risk. The reason I'm hanging out my dirty laundry (pun fully intended) is 'cos this sweet little Russian lady shanghaied me while I was grocery shopping (add laugh track now) and wanted to know what was the best thing to use to keep cotton things white. I think she must have had a visual impairment as well as the language barrier, 'cos she totally missed the fact that I was wearing DS#1's manky navy tracky daks and a shirt that I think was donated by a mate who thought I could use it to wash the car. Not really the person to entrust with your white cotton. But she was eyeing off something in a spray bottle that I'm pretty sure is supposed to remove soap scum from your shower, so I figured I could at least improve on that. So after much waving of hands and imitating spin cycles (much enjoyed by the half wit shelf stocker who didn't even ASK what we were looking for) she bought some stuff in a pink container that comes with a really smart lady who does your kids homework...and people think television has no value.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Faff Album Cover

Ta Dah!!! I actually got this in on time....miracles never cease !!
I used a collections chipboard frame and foam core board to give the photos some depth. Pretty happy with it.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Mothering the weekend warriors...

It's Saturday again and my house is full of soccer boots, pizza crusts and testosterone. I'm starting to feel seriously outnumbered, but I gotta admit, I LOVE having a houseful of boys. I have a total den mother mentality....I love hearing about who scored what at soccer, and how many aliens bit the dust on the x box. I sometimes think it's just as well I didn't have a daughter, as I have no girly accomplishments to pass on. I am, however, a supreme authority on all things Star Wars, as well as being able to name at least half of the latest generation of pokemon. Not bad for an ex barbie loving ballerina...

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Faffing About

I have entered a challenge at Forever Always to design a family based album, and there are weekly challenges which hopefully will get me to fill it. It's been SO long since I've been in the right mind set to scrap, so I'm hoping that this will finally get rid of the cobwebs and get my mojo into gear, at least until the next disaster strikes. This week the challenge is to design the cover with an innovative technique for fastening it. Stay tuned !!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The ultimate remedy....USA style

Just when you're sure you're about to cough up a vital organ, the ultimate in remedies shows up via blogger.....I don't remember the details but it involved lemons and alcohol, and I gotta tell you I am feeling no pain, although I'm not sure I should be operating heavy machinery or a computer. or driving (hic) or a bunch of other stuff, which leaves lying in bed and feeling fabulous. For the ultimate in cold remedies check out the Plant Freak Blog
here . Bottoms up !!

Monday, June 16, 2008


After all my good intentions kinda fell through (see "sick and tired") all I have to show so far for the SAVVY cybercrop is one layout. But I've got till midnight tonite to get the others done, so who knows??? This is Sparky playing peekaboo....he's at that age where they close their eyes and think you can't see them...although he did try to hide behind a pole, so he's learning, lol.


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