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    Just saw that the baby has arrived! So happy for you both. (Though Hubby probably won’t be happy to hear about the difficult labour. He’s a lot cluckier than I am, and he likes me to believe it’s all a piece of cake.)

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  2. Linky Links

    ♥ Love, LOVE this Vintage Pillowcase Lunchbox now with tutorial!

    ♥ Oh em gee… homemade butter with bonus buttermilk. That sounds wonderful. I just don’t know how quickly we could use it. Of course, if it is that good, we probably won’t have trouble finding places to spread it. (And my buttermilk waffles are pretty much to die for.)

    Embroidery Transfers… gosh, I’m turning into my grandmother.

    ♥ Gosh I miss NPR. That earlier site linked to The Splendid Table, my old Sunday-drive-home-from-church show. Oh, how I miss you, Fresh Air, This American Life, Wait Wait, Don’t Tell Me, and even you, Car Talk.

    Reversible Wrap-Skirt Pattern PDF: I miss my sewing machine!

    ** Check out books by Lynne Rossetto Kasper at Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Inspired.

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  3. Save Electricity, Kill Trees

    This morning we were leaving the train station, and there was a group of people handing out postcards. Having seen the logo before, I pulled Hans around them and told him not to accept one. Sure enough, when we passed the garbage can outside, there were dozens and dozens of postcards reminding people about Earth Hour. Ugh, at least offer a recycle bin for people.

    I hate Earth Hour. Something about it irks me to no end. Like, ooo, let’s shut our lights off for ONE, single, solitary hour (while using batteries and burning candles) and then pat ourselves on the back for helping save the Earth.

    How about having Earth DAY? Where we consider turning all our electronics OFF instead of on standby. Where we choose our products based on the amount of packaging and the recycleability of that packaging. Where we take public transport instead of idling by ourselves in our cars on the freeway.

    I realize that Earth HOUR is just the beginning, but I just think it’s a lame beginning.

    But that’s me. I recycle. I compost. I am soon to be getting my eggs directly from the chicken. I want to try canning and growing a window-box herb garden. And I’ll shut my lights off for Earth Hour… because we’ll be gone.

    I just had to quote this person who is also anti-Earth Hour:

    Participation in Earth Hour is a salve for people who are otherwise thoughtless about their impact on the environment. It becomes a one hour penance for spendthrift activity and as soon as it is over, they can go back to their TVs and entertainment units, and continue to live their lives the way they always have.
    Woolly Days

    ** Check out the compost supplies at Amazon.

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  4. Desktops

    I love my new desktop wallpaper from Kris’s Color Dots. It’s perfect for organizing my little desktop icons that I can’t seem to live without. (Kris’s Color Stripes is well worth a look too.)

    Posted in Inspired.

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  5. Bonjour!

    Can anyone tell me why 14 of the last 35 visitors here have been from France searching for “missives”? Just curious.

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  6. More Toys

    Well, due to a series of circumstances mostly out of my control, I ended up buying this little guy last week. I was really wanting the D40, but my colleague bought the D40X. And if we both got the same thing, we would get a better deal. And blah, blah, blah. So I caved. We splurged on the 18-135mm lens, but now I’m going to end up forking out more dosh for an external flash, methinks.

    I took it with us up on our glorious mountain holiday this past weekend but left it on auto the whole time, because I didn’t have the time to go through the manual and mess with the menus. I haven’t touched my Minolta SLR in years. (I believe the film that’s in there is from my first visit to Australia, in fact.) So it’s taking a bit of reacclimating to the options and overall girth.

    ** Check out the Nikon gear at Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Photographing.

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  7. The Mountains Win Again

    Good Friday and “Easter Monday” are both public holidays here. So we took off for a little place I found on the internet with Dan & Lisa. The destination was a surprise for them, so I wanted to be creative with how to guide them up there. Because it looked like the place had an Eastern feel to it, I put each stage of the directions on a little slip of paper with a quote about relaxation on the back. And then I put each paper into a fortune cookie that I made myself. I made fortune cookies, people. It was pretty darn easy too; I highly recommend giving that recipe a try. They were tasty as well.

    The house we stayed in was just perfect. Lots of verandah space to look out over the view. We played cards and watched movies and cooked tons of food. I even took a swim in the saltwater pool yesterday… unheard of!

    On Saturday, we went up to Montville for lunch. We also had to look in all the cute shops, and we couldn’t go away without buying some fudge.

    Then we made a quick stopover at the Little Morgue Winery. It may not have met expectations from a decor standpoint, but the owner is such a delightful character. It was worth a visit just to meet him. We took home bottles of Eternal Flame, Rest in Peace, Supreme After Life, & Redomortis.

    Since we were in the area, I finally got to experience the legendary Big Pineapple. It seems everyone in Brisbane visited the Big Pineapple at some point in their youth. Sadly, it seems to be better left in hazy memory and faded photo albums, as today it is just a stinky (seriously smelled like urine), fiberglass pineapple with dusty displays of how the pineapple plantation works.

    We did get parfaits at the restaurant. (Even they didn’t stand up to Hans’s memory.) But I had a pineapple parfait, as I felt any other fruit just wouldn’t be appropriate. The pineapple was really nice, but I could have given or taken the rest.

    And now we’re home. The cat seems relieved. The chicken has doubled in size. The laundry is overflowing. And Erin is STILL with child. (Though one could argue that they’ll be “with child” for another 18ish years, but I meant that in the “overly pregnant” sort of way.) Now I’ve got some LOTRO to do.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  8. Speaking of Good Food

    I know not many of you dear readers are Brisbanites, but may I recommend Tongue & Groove in West End. Hans had a show there on Wednesday, so we grabbed a bite to eat between set-up and show. Granted, they did lose our order so we were good and hungry by the time food came, but while others might have been perturbed, we weren’t in a hurry. Plus they gave us some risotto balls when they realized the error.

    I have seriously been thinking about the pumpkin & risotto tortellini for the past two days. (And I only swiped a couple off of Hans’s plate.) I had the chicken salad, which was AMAZING with its sundried tomatoes, pinenuts, brie & dijon thyme dressing. I haven’t craved going back to a restaurant this much since Mama Carolla’s. (And y’all know how much I miss my Mama’s!)

    It’s good. Can’t wait to go back. The potato wedge-like things were great too. Yum.

    Posted in Exploring.

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  9. Food for Thought (& Food)

    I came back to my desk after lunch and found a present on my chair from my very sweet, very naughty husband. It is a sort of book/cookbook called Maggie’s Harvest by Maggie Beer. I had been admiring it a few weeks ago, because the book itself is just beautiful. The fabric cover, the teal and orange embroidery, the overall girth, the heirloom potential… it was so ME. (Make sure you look at this review with its gorgeous photos of the book.)

    One look at the price tag, however, and I had exactly one hundred and twenty-five reasons not to need it anymore. (The cover will just get dirty in a kitchen… who has room for a 736-page book these days… etc.)

    But now it’s mine, and I can’t wait to spend all day tomorrow out on the Adirondack thumbing through it with my baby chicken chirping at me. I’m excited, because she is an Australian cook, even though Australian food isn’t SO different from American food (despite the obvious kangaroo meat, general blandness, and bacon on everything). I’m interested on her take on food, because she writes about the ingredients and the recipes instead of just rattling off recipes.

    I don’t know. I’m into food these days. I even got an “ooo-la-la” in response to my white truffle popcorn we had for the Project Runway Finale Party.

    ** Look for Adirondack chairs and other outdoor furniture at Amazon.

    Posted in Cooking.

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  10. Lost in Translation: Sparky

    sparky (spark-ee)
    n. an electrician
    “I’m going to get the sparkies in to run the power to the new edit suite.”

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  11. Post-Its to Myself

    Sites I’m going to need to find back:
    How About Orange. Nice. My bathroom is accented with orange. My signature flower is orange. I like orange too.
    Doughnut Muffins recipe. I’m not really a super doughnut fan, but muffins make my morning. Somehow I can’t wait to try these.

    Posted in Cooking, Inspired.

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  12. Cheep Cheep Cheep

    So my mother-in-law gave me a baby chicken. I’m not 100% sure I ever WANTED a baby chicken, but I now have one. (I think this is why the RSPCA doesn’t recommend giving animals as gifts… of course, you can’t eat a kitten if you decide you don’t want it after Christmas is over.)

    Her name is Pepper (or Pepertje), and she is an Australorp. And she is going to be big and black and is apparently going to be laying lots of eggs for me. (Again, I’m not sure I ever wanted to have an intimate knowledge of exactly where my eggs come from, but mother-in-law knows best.)

    I’ve never been much of a bird person for many of the same reasons that I’m not a moth or butterfly person. Not so much a fan of things flying at my face. But I have to admit I’ve fallen in love. I mean, how can you not love this face?

    Or this tookus?

    I’m now a faithful reader of, and I worry about her while I’m gone during the day. She’s my little chickie!

    ** Check out The Joy of Keeping Chickens: The Ultimate Guide to Raising Poultry for Fun or Profit at Amazon.

    Posted in Creative, Nothing in Particular, Photographing.

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