Monday, December 20, 2010

Pot Roast Beef -Slow Cooker


Years ago I had a slow cooker, a very much loved slow cooker. This I know because, when I found it lying discarded on a dusty thrift shop shelf it had already seen better days.

While it was rather interesting to look at - as bright as orange as you have ever seen with a mass of flowers decorating the sides. It really was to small for my family to be practicable, living on a cattle station often meant I had the many mouths of Hungary ringers to feed. It eventually died, put a pot roast on one morning for the nights dinner, then went off to muster a paddock of cattle, came home late to no dinner. Broken!!

I then went for many years not owning another slow cooker. Then earlier this year sense prevailed me once again when I found this lovely on special. I already had a Target gift card & a Fly Buys voucher that I hadn't cashed in yet. So with all those small amounts added up I was able to buy this slow cooker for an outlay of only $29. What's more it's huge!! AND the sleek Stainless Steel is a far cry from my old 1970's orange horror.

So here is the pot roast recipe I tried to cook many years ago when my old slow cooker died.

POT ROASTED BEEF

1.5kg-2kg piece of Topside(remove outer fat)
1/2 cup Tomato Sauce
1 Onion
1Carrot
1 Turnip/parsnip
1tsp. Mixed Herbs
3tsps. Cornflour
1/2 Cup Good Red Wine
(I say good because I won't cook with anything I wouldn't drink. Oh! by the
way I always add a good slosh more!! He! He!)





Wash, peel & slice your carrot & turnip/parsnip
Peel & finely chop your onion
Place you meat in the slow cooker with the veggies surrounding the meat
Sprinkle your herbs over the meat & season with salt & pepper.

Combine 1/4 cup water, tomato Sauce & the slosh of your good red.
Pour over your meat.

Put the lid on the cooker and sloow cook on the low setting for about 8hrs.
Then remove the meat & veg- Set aside.

Mix the cornflour with 1/4 cup water to make a smooth paste. Use as much of this as you need to make a gravy of the thickness you like. (don't forget to check your seasoning)

(this photo is before removing the meat/veg to thicken)

Yummy!! I always serve more veggies on the side.
Caroline xoxo

Friday, December 17, 2010

Blue Hors Matine'



Even if you aren't a horse lover you may enjoy this.
Please take the time, broaden the horizons and take a peak at this.

Blue hors matine' is a show stopper an amazing mare who just simply loved to dance.
Dressage at it's finest!!

This video has been around for a while but this mare was simple amazing and I for one never get tired of seeing her talent.

Unfortunately she had to be put down earlier this year when she broke her leg while in her paddock.

Have a fantastic weekend
Caroline xoxo



Thursday, December 16, 2010

Emerald's Health Update!!


Emerald will have her first operation mid-January(& hopefully her last) The surgeon is fast tracking her operation because of the severity of her aponea. He is fairly confident that he will be successful and she will not need to sleep on a machine. Please pray for that one!!



We are hoping that we can get some resemblance of normal back into her life before Uni begins in February. Em had a really bad day yesterday at work, having to rush of to be sick she then came home & slept for the next 6hrs. It's a hard balancing act trying to keep things relatively "normal" & making sure her health stays strong. Today has been a great day for her, Soldier boy came to visit and the three of them mucked around - just like old times. She is still bright as a bubble tonight and it's nearly 10pm. You just can't pick it. She did say she might sleep upstairs in her old room tonight though, so she may just be needing a little Mumma sooking saying that.
So I better be off this computer & go and clean her old bed off. That's where I have all the Christmas presents stacked atm.

I would just like to thank the lovely caring people who have left me such kind well wishes for Emerald over the last couple of posts & specially to you Simcha as I know you haven't seen Em in ages & we just can't wait for you to move back to Australia. xxoxo

Caroline.......


Monday, December 13, 2010

Results are in


We have just got Emerald's results back from her Sleep Study.


It seems she has Severe Sleep Apnoea, so severe in fact that at times during the testing she stopped breathing in her sleep, at some stages up to 6 times in a 5min period as well as having 3 Hypoapnoea's (very shallow breaths)
More than 1 episode every minute. No wonder she is becoming such a tired/sick girl.

They are saying it is quite rare in a child this age , hence I suppose their reluctance to even give her a sleep study in the first place. I am so glad I kept pushing for this even though her other blood/urine tests were clear.

They say she is a most unusual case as-
She is only 17
She has always been medically healthy
Is very fit & athletic
Has a perfect weight/height ratio-BMI

So now we are off to see a round of specialists the first being tomorrow. Thank goodness they have fast tracked everything (owing to the severity of her apnoea) otherwise with Christmas only next week we wouldn't be able to see anyone till at least mid to late January. We are hoping for the best case scenario that an operation will fix it. We are all praying that she will not need to have a machine to sleep on at night, that would be such a terrible thing for a young girl to have to do specially at an age when they have so many sleep overs with friends and maybe in the not to distant future, a relationship. I was a little frustrated while seeing her GP as I would have liked to have seen the full results of her study. I was craning my neck to read his computer screen, but we were at just the wrong angle.LOL! I hope I can learn more about things tomorrow.

A note to all mothers out there, please believe in your own motherly intuition/instinct regarding your children even if you have to push your way there & never hesitate about getting a second opinion. If I hadn't have kept pushing we still wouldn't have any answers.

Wish us luck
Caroline xoxo

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Happy Birthday

Happy Birthday Lane-Austin
with love from us all.

MUM.....
xxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooo

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

A Sleep Study

Please think of
my darling daughter Emerald


Whose health has been deteriorating for a while now, more rapidly as the year has progressed. It has been increasingly difficult with her having to complete her Senior studies & a Trainee ship she has had through her part-time job.

We have finally found a doctor that was willing to refer her for a sleep study, this is something that I have wanted for a while but most doctors are reluctant to send young people for them.

It is just NOT normal, some days if I was to leave her she would sleep 16-18hrs. She is finding it harder & harder to concentrate & retain memory of the things she is doing. Not good, for a normally high achieving student.



The photos are of Em getting "wired up" ready for her sleep study. These are only about 1/3 of the wires that she ended up having to wear. She also had them on her body & legs.
Her sleep study was done just before we went on holidays
so we are anxiously awaiting her results.

Be back soon to let you know how it all goes, otherwise, back to the drawing board!!
Caroline xoxo

Maybe, a little prayer -if that is what you do. Thank you.


Sunday, December 5, 2010

Hi!


Long time no blogging.....

We have been on holiday here-

We are back from our Lovely, Gorgeous holiday,
it really is so nice holidaying with good friends.

November was such a crazy month with everything happening
all at once, but we are back ready to get into the next crazy phrase
of Christmas(hopefully a quiet one)
.
We still have a birthday in the family to get to before we get to Christmas though.

Thanks Cathy for sending me the email with that info. I will catch up with
you soon.

I hope your weekend is a peaceful one in the midst of this busy busy
season. Don't forget to nurture yourself & breathe....

Caroline xoxoxo


Friday, November 19, 2010

Harper Valley P.T.A. -Yippee School's Out

With Emerald having had her Valedictory ceremony last night I thought we would go out with a bang this morning with this song.

WHY?? because Emerald says the song reminds her of me, well what can I say!

That's a worry isn't it, Mmm! Em can we just settle for the "Same but Different"

I may have been just a little outspoken at SOME P&C meetings and have had to have the "Office Vultures" under control over MANY things & a lot of my friends & family know that when you have a child with a disability(my youngest) you have to stick up & fight for their rights every step of their school years (now that's a hard one that shouldn't have to be) but I've never had to complain over the things Jeannie C. Riley had to in this song. LOL!! Thank Goodness.

Of course, along with a lot of people think that Jeannie C. Riley is the only person that has ever been able to sing this song well. An oldie but a goodie!

Have a great weekend

Caroline xoxo

Monday, November 15, 2010

Oh Dear a bit of 50's Goodness!



Aren't these just the cutest little 50's paper napkins one ever did see??

Gotta luv them!!

with "wicked wicked" sayings & all.


NOW it's over to you ladies to "TALK" in my comments section.


Caroline xoxoo

Friday, November 12, 2010

SOLDIER BOY IS HOME.....

And we are all VERY happy to have him home safe.
(Jumping over the moon in fact)
So now I hope I've finally got around to you all & everybody can stop texting, ringing
& emailing -asking when??
Don't get me wrong ...we love your care & concern.
We also love the fact he's always been every body's son
& always had so many "Mummy's looking out for him.
(Poor guy!! LOL)

I know alot of you are concerned for him at the moment,don't be he's a man now & can well, make his own choices-if you have any other views on that pleeesse take them up with him not me.....cause I get in trouble for it LOL!!

I've done my job, and I am so proud of him

WELCOME HOME SON!!

On the other hand though, spent a delightful (read NOT!!) night in the Hospital Emergency Dept. after youngest son went to an Army Cadet camp and was injured. He's on the mend now but geez...hope he doesn't make a habit of visiting this place like his big bro did during his teenage years.

Love to you all & have a good weekend

Carolinexoxo

PS- I am so behind with blogging. So many things to share before I go on hol's be back to show you Emerald's Formal photo's soon.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

THE LAST DAY....


It's all over....

Emerald has her very last full day at school today EVER!!


She still has to go for a few hours on a couple of days to complete block exams, but apart from that her Senior schooling is all finished. Done & dusted!!

That's two kids finished -one to go. Bit sad on one hand & incredibly exciting on the other. I'm sure there will be a few tears shed among all the girls today. Emerald has been School Sports Captain this year so she will be handing her role over to another.


Next Thursday will be her Valedictory Ceremony. I was a bit disappointed as on the invitation it stated only 2 guests per graduating student. I know her brother wanted to attend. Anyway, you were able to apply for extra tickets which I did. (wish us luck!!) I can understand why they would have to do that though with some families bringing 8-10 family members.


Then it will be off to a well earned beach holiday, Christmas & then another wait for the results of her university applications.


The Journey Continues.....


Carolinexoxoxo

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

MORE RAIN & OTHER STUFF

It's been a wet old year for us to date, with the promise of a wet Spring & Summer to come. We have had 30ml in the last day with more rain predicted until Friday.




It has been great for the garden. I have not had to water for 4weeks now, which is a big saving. I did use a bit of water today though as we washed the exterior of the house. We use a high pressure water cleaner so we don't use as much as we would otherwise but I still try to be concious of it. We usually wash it down every spring, today though I also had to clean down the driveway & front path as with all the rain we have had it has become slippery & dangerous with the green stuff!!


Also had a call from the Soldier Boy which was lovely & Emerald cooked a delicious meal of Meat Balls 'n' Sauce with Pasta. She even cleaned up the kitchen afterwards, BONUS!!

Em was over the moon today as her new cowboy boots arrived from the States. We only ordered them 10days ago, so someones been doing their job well. I don't know what the Australian Air Express man thought though when he pulled into the drive, Emerald dived out the front door screaming "There here" before he even got out of his van.

No doubt we will be doing lots more photos with the new boots. I still have some more Cowboy pics from the other day when we were mucking around taking photos so I will post them soon. The Soldier Boy has asked to see them, so if I put them on here it's a job easy & done.


Caroline xoxo...


PS-Not long now Soldier Boy. Love Ya!!

Monday, September 13, 2010

NOT!! Cat in the Hat

Well you've all heard of the children's Book "Cat in the Hat" by Dr. Seuss




We have our very own version at our place......


"Cat in the Box"



Why?? An 8kilo cat would want to squeeze into a box that size AND stay there for many hours I cannot fathom.


Hope you all had an enjoyable weekend

Caroline xoxo


Saturday, September 11, 2010

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

We Have a Date!!



Can you see the smile on my face??

BECAUSE.......

We now have a time (next month) when Soldier Boy will return safely home to us from his overseas deployment.

The countdown begins.

The other kids are beginning to get excited, they have started to plan -and anything could happen when those two get their heads together!!

Today I got a nice little stack of letters from Soldier Boy & a USB with piccies of him AND some sketches he has done. Soldier Boy has always been a talented artist & after him not drawing much of late it's nice to see him back at it.

After carefully opening the envelopes and unfolding the letters trying real hard not to touch the paper to much, I let his Red Cattle Dog (Pictured above) smell them to see if he could pick up on his scent. Well now, I can't tell of course if he definitely did or not but he sure put on a show, ran around wildly & then started talking in his funny little dog way where his lips go up in a smile then the noise begins. Incidentally this is something he has only started doing seriously in the last 6mths & seeing as he is now 10years old-Who says you can't teach an old dog new tricks.

Yeah I know -you probably think I'm mad. Ha!! Ha!! Mums missing Soldier Boys are bound to go off the deep end and do some pretty weird stuff, but then maybe I'm just joining in with the rest of the family.

Have a good one!!
Caroline xoxo

Caroline

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

WORDLESS WEDNESDAY-Cowboy Kidz



Yeh I know it's Wordless Wednesday,

but I'd like to say one little thing.......


Geez I wish we had of moved that trampoline out of the background ;-)


Have a great day
Caroline

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

FUNDRAISING SILENT AUCTION



Mari over at her blog Carpe Quiltem is having a Silent Auction to raise money for the people suffering from the disaster in Pakistan. The funds raised will be going to Medecins Sans Frontieres/Doctors without Borders.



Sunday, August 29, 2010

BOOK FAIR

This is the stash of books I got recently at one of our local second-hand book fairs. Sometimes I go & find great hoards of books, other times I come home with not much at all. This lot of books cost me $50 and there is more than is pictured here as the kids had taken theirs and I also got a few DVDs & a couple of talking books(always good on long road trips)

The Green Cleaner book was a book I had years ago, lent it to someone and usual story-never returned. I was pleased to find another copy of it as it has some handy recipes in it, specially one for liquid detergent that I use to make frequently when the children were young. Also got quite a few Earth Garden & Grass Roots Magazines for my collection which is good as I nearly have a complete set right back to the early 70's. Loads of cook books (Yippee!! one of my fav finds) plus some novels and other groovy finds.

I love buying second hand books and it is such a good way to save!! I can get a boxful of books for the price of maybe only one or two.

Do you buy any books secondhand or do you prefer to buy new out of the bookshop??

Hope you had a lovely weekend
Caroline

Friday, August 27, 2010

THE BIG PADDOCK


(Photo @ "Crail" Roma, QLD)

And the bush has friends to meet him,

and their kindly voices greet him

In the murmur of the breezes and the river

on it's bars,

And he sees the vision splendid of the

sunlight plains extended,

And at night the wondrous glory of the

everlasting stars.

A.B. (Banjo)Patterson

from 'Clancy of the Overflow'

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

WRONG SIDE OF THE WORLD

Australian Country music star Beccy Cole wrote POSTER GIRL (wrong side of the world) as a response to a letter she received from a fan after she spent 2wks visiting Australian Soldiers overseas.

The fan wrote that he would be taking her poster off his wall and would not be listening to her music anymore.

Beccy was quoted as saying "That when I met the troops I become patriotic and really proud. I met young, enthusiastic Australians that just want to keep terrorism from reaching our home shores so that Australians can keep the life of peace & freedom"

She also says she did not know what her stance was until she went over there. People are quick to judge these situations without knowing fully what it's all about. Prior to that she said she would have said she was staunchly anti -war -but then again aren't we all

Please take the time to listen & have a great day

Caroline xoxoxo

Friday, August 20, 2010

MARY, A BOY AND AN X-BOX



I went downstairs to the kids t.v room the other day & this is what I was greeted with...





Lane playing X-Box with his little Silkie bantam, Mary snuggled up on his lap. She looked so contented bundled up in the rug. I didn't have the heart to move anyone of them. So they contentedly sat there for many hours till Lane's eyes began to square from to much of a good thing.Well good for him anyway specially as it's not even his X-Box.





We went over to Soldier Boys house the other day and seeing as he is deployed at the moment Lane thought he might just have to borrow (read take) his x-Box home to our house just to give it some exercise(you know how it is)


It was such a beastly day that day, no good for playing outside anyway. This time of year we get strong (read -gale force) cold westerly winds. Yesterday was a lovely day though it felt just like a warm spring day. Today it is raining we have had 9mls this morning so I hope it keeps up as I won't have to water the veggie patch.


Hope you all have a lovely weekend

Caroline xoxoo



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

EVER REMEMBER.......

Feeling like this?????


So pregnant you think you really couldn't get ANY bigger.(and then you do)

Lane is monitoring her closely, cause in the way of a 13y.o boy he thinks she might just burst
(he also described it in only the way a 13y.o boy could-gore & all)

As for me I have sworn to dear little Rosie pig that I will never let her get in the mothering way again.

Hope your all having a better day than Rosie
Caroline xoxox



Sunday, August 15, 2010

PLANTING SEEDLINGS & UNI


This is what I've been up to.(Yesterday)


We had about 2 1/2 inches of rain on Wednesday and Thursday so with this garden bed sitting empty and the place having had a good soaking I decided to plant some more veggie seedlings.


In this bed I put a mixture of beans, assorted lettuces and Asian greens, a few squash and of course and as always Marigolds.




Today I took Emerald to the USC (University of the Sunshine Coast) Open Day. They ran a really good day. Plenty of demonstrations,exhibits and information lectures on anything & everything they offer. We now feel a lot more prepared for next year now.


A busy but productive weekend here. What did you get up to??


Caroline xoxo



Thursday, August 12, 2010

ABBEY MEDIEVAL FESTIVAL 2010



My youngest son had been wanting to go to this for the last few years. I didn't think it was quite my thing!! but what do you know I had a fantastic time AND I would go again. Lane is absolutely Knight mad and being autistic he has the classic trait of becoming well and truly obsessed with anything he takes a fancy to.
.
One of the added bonuses for me and impressed me very much was the absence of plastics. EVERYTHING was made from Wood, Metal, Leather, Hides & Paper. Even the majority of the food was served in this way including the use of disposable/recyclable bamboo utensils. Very impressive and no mean feat when feeding 50 000 people.
It was held at the ABBEY MUSEUM which houses wonderful collections spanning the last half million years of humankind. Ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, Greece, Rome, Middle Ages, Renaissance and Baroque Europe as well as China, Japan, India & The Islamic World.
FANTASTIC!! Highly recommend going to anyone.
Caroline xoxoxo

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I BELIEVE IN .........


all living species living together in harmony

(yes even black cats & ultra cute Guinea pigs)


It's a bleak cold rainy day here, good day for the veggie patch though & for snuggling up with some "Soul Food"


Caroline xoxoxo


Sunday, August 8, 2010

LOVING DAUGHTERS & MISSED SONS

Your Smart & Sporty
Your popular with your peers but it hasn't gone to your head
BECAUSE......
Your Compassionate & Caring
not to mention hilariously funny
very practical with heaps of Commonsense
but just enough TEENAGE in you to make you a
DRAMA QUEEN
But best of all today you bought me
"MUMMY CHOCOLATES"
I Love You Emerald
From Mummy xxxxxxxxxxooooooooo

On a sadder Mummy note. My deployed Soldier Boy rang home yesterday while I was out. He got to talk to his sister though which was good but I was a little upset when I got home & heard I missed him. The last time we talked the line was so bad we ended up screaming our I Love You's down the phone & hanging up. So if you check in with my blog Soldier Boy remember WE all Love You and can't wait for your safe return.

Friday, August 6, 2010

EASY APPLE SLICE

340g Pkt Vanilla Cake Mix
3/4 Cup Melted Butter
400g Tin Pie Apples
200g Sour Cream

Preheat oven to 180c. Mix butter & cake mix to a dough. Spread evenly into a paper lined rectangular baking dish (I use a small Pyrex dish) Bake for 15Min's.
Combine apple & sour cream, spread evenly over cooked cake base and finish with a light sprinkle of cinnamon. Return to oven and cook for a further 15Min's. Cool in fridge & serve cold.
YUMMY!! and EASY!!
Caroline xxxooooo

Friday, July 30, 2010

WISHING!!


It's that time of year again!!


About this time of winter I wish for the long hot summer of lazy days spent on the beach. Now don't get me wrong I love winter. Cold days spent rugged up eating to much "soul food" and watching dvd's. Day's where you have an excuse to stop work early just because you have run out of daylight & the best bit of all -being able to dress up in beanies/hats scarves & other scrummy clothes.


But for now, TODAY anyway..... this chic has decided she has had enough of winter the beach is calling me, might have to go this weekend. Not to swim(to cold bbrr!!) but just to sit and watch the waves come crashing in to shore.


Whatever you do this weekend....I hope it's a good one

Caroline xoxoxo




Thursday, July 22, 2010

IGNORING each OTHER



I snapped this picture of Emerald & our Red Cattle Dog Maverick. It looks like they had a little tiff, and now their ignoring each other.

Oh!! and guess what I am a free woman well almost, after all I am a Mother LOL!. No more work for me and a lovely man to share my world with. My husband passed away in 1999 so it really truly is all true. "Good things happen to those that wait" AND "Everything happens in due time when & if it's meant to"

Oh!! and I forgot to say-My kids adore him after all we have known him for ages.

DID I tell you I loooove everything at the moment & yes I love you all to!!
Carolinexxxxxxxxxxxxxxooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Monday, July 12, 2010

LEGO CREATIONS

There has been a lot of Lego creations happening around here these Winter School Holidays.
The Lego has been on permanent "display" on the rug in our Lounge room for the last 2wks. It's going away today thank goodness, I have now been crippled by a stray piece of Lego at 3 in the morning one to many times. Every tried it?? I am sure most Mothers have, such a pleasurable experience =-(
Caroline xoxoxo.........

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