“If you were all alone in the universe with no one to talk to, no one with which to share the beauty of the stars, to laugh with, to touch, what would be your purpose in life? It is other life, it is love, which gives your life meaning. This is harmony. We must discover the joy of each other, the joy of challenge, the joy of growth.” — Mitsugi Saotome
Friday, October 31, 2008
Thursday, October 30, 2008
flip top head
(it's katie, journalling to herself.)
ohk. am freaking out now. the ball is rolling. everyone has a place at SCHOOL next year (we're still waiting for the littlest one, and actually, i am not officially IN at uni yet but that's ohk cos there is more than one university in NZ lol)
i am suddenly feeling the need to keep my options open and the deliciousness of making a big decision is over. now i have to live with it lol. i love the risk factor of change, just feel trapped now that it is happening.
and am thinking WHAT IF....? ad nauseam.
oh i do hope i remember how to write an essay (and where to put capital letters). i hope the kiddos are happy and no one judges their educational journey. i hope we all love the year of adventure. i hope Bulldog and i really do have mid-morning library rendezvous-es. and we both pass our papers without going mental.
but will there be any jobs for primary school teachers in a year? will i wanna go "back" to homeschooling/sitting on the beach/mid-afternoon glasses of pinot with friends... and feel like i need to suddenly become Ms Responsible Citizen And Get A Real Job but suddenly find that no one wants an ancient used-to-be-teacher-then-dark-side-home-ed-er-uni-grad-new-teacher???
love this poem that Hogman wall-to-walled me on FB today:
What is left of my brain after “Chicken Run”
Don’t tell me the truth
That it was all plasticine and cameras
I want to believe
I want to get lost in the magic
Help me feel the passion and get them over another hurdle
For what is life all about if not to risk?
To dare to dream
And then allow the rush of excitement to swoop over you
like some mad daredevil and defy the odds
After all if it’s a million to one shot
Then there is still a chance
That we may survive!
I say we do it
We let go and fall into an abyss of hope and dare to dream wild crazy thoughts
If only for a celluloid moment
Me and you and our little silver screen under the skies on a nice blue couch
Pass the popcorn
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
el cheapo mediterranean feast INCLUDING dessert "...it's CHOCOLATE. need i say more?" (movie line)
sometime last week all of our Fun Day Plans just weren't happening... it was monday, i think... and the lads were getting rather pinked out. so at two o'clock, we had a BRAINWAVE. we'll take twenty bucks to the shops and grab stuff for a FAMILY FEAST NIGHT!!!
the rules being:
*that we are feeding our six peeps for dinner
*and an extra four peeps for dessert
*we have to make everything
*the extra ingredients can be got from the $20 stash.
FIRST - we dreamed up the dinner menu:
then the lads decided who is TOP CHEF for each course:
Mouse: ENTREE: veggie sticks and homemade hummus
soak 2 c chick peas in boiling water for an hour (while you're at the shops)
rinse, add fresh water and pop into pressure cooker for 20 mins.
cool. drain. pile into blender with large teaspoon tahini, juice of 2 lemons, swish lime-infused avocado oil, 2 cloves garlic, tsp salt... it makes HEAPS! - enough for the whole week lol.
Slash: MAIN COURSE: beef and cumin kebabs on toasted almond couscous with greek yoghurt on the side
soak the kebab sticks in water, mix tsp cumin and tsp coriander powder into the 700g minced beef. make sausage-y shapes and gently thread onto sticks. grill, gently turning until cooked, about 15 mins. soak 2 c couscous in 2 c boiling water for ten mins. stir toasted almonds into the couscous (have a nearly-fire, open the windows and doors... and perform a rescue with the other half packet of almonds)
Charlie: DESSERT: Chocolate Five Star Cakes (cos there are 5 ingredients lol)
(cos we saw a recipe for 1-1-1-1 cake on the telly last week and decided to modify it. here's our recipe, cos we're definitely gonna wanna make it again)
1 c self raising flour
1 c coconut
1 c sugar
1 c milk
1/3 c cocoa
mix together and spoon into 12 muffin tins to make little chocolate puddings.
bake 180 celsius for 20 - 30 mins until springy.
eat drizzled with choc sauce - 125g dark choc melted with 125 ml cream.
and a scoop or two of *french vanilla* icecream on the side. delish.
Monday, October 27, 2008
switched on gardener
nope, we're not growing the green stuff.
we've just been doing that thing we do - the twice yearly one-hour-gardening-trick.
yep, we've finally found the Elusive Garden Gnome.
THIS TRICK IS *SO* EASY, I SHOULD PATENT IT:
the first half hour: Bulldog drags the knee-high weeds outta the garden and mows them up.
the second half hour: Charlie and I plant little 'erbs and spinach plants.
this year we spent ten bucks on veggie plants (from the local market - yeah, supporting the neighbours) buying JUST THE STUFF WE'RE GONNA EAT:
italian parsley, basil, pizza thyme, spinach and silverbeet. (miraculously, last year's rhubarb and rosemary and parsley and mint are still surviving.)
yep, we have given up on the annual *fifty bucks* outlay. cos LAST YEAR we planted all that AND courgettes AND poh-tay-toes AND watermelon AND tomatoes AND something else which all got
and... for the first time in my life, it felt so good to get my hands in the soil. now we've just gotta remember to water it... and eat it.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
rubber band men
we're in the middle of a three day weekend here.
i popped out to the gym this morning and left The Tidy Up List with Bulldog and the kids... and returned to find
there were little army men all stacked up on cushions and peeps hiding in makeshift bunkers and Bulldog had shown everyone the rubber-band manoeuvre.
and late this arvo we were treated to Mick's Daily Om - (i am so jealous of the ease of that lotus - talk about a rubber band!)
i have no idea where he's got this one from, but it has innovations - The Daily Owl -
Saturday, October 25, 2008
way back in july i was busy tricking myself into a Big Tidy Up and so i invented a *spring giveaway* as an incentive - which the derfwad of derfwads, Mrs. G. subsequently won. i actually finished creating her *designer tote bag* (ah, i crack myself up!) some weeks ago, but promised myself not to blog it until i'd also successfully made some cloth baby shoes
(free pattern here!) for newly-one-year-old Kinsee. even though i am a non-pattern-girl, i found the instructions really easy to follow - there's a bit of faffing about with iron-on interfacing, but the finished shoes look gorgeous, i think - i used some soft jeans fabric for the soles.
in typical Katie Fashion, my first shoes turned out too small - a *newborn* size - so i'm saving them for the first one of my preggie girlfriends who pops out a babygirl. and because the pressie for Kinsee is now arriving three weeks after her birthday, i've teamed the shoes with a cutesy wee skirt for wobbly-walking in -
both the shoes and the skirt are made from the same fabric as her mummy's apron *awwwww*
and here is the long-awaited bag -
to celebrate my spring/summer (little flowers) and Mrs G's ensuing winter (uh, that's "snow falling in the sky" lol - which is actually the same fabric as Hay's apron. Mrs. G is one of Hay's fans, so i think she'll love that.) the bag is lined with denim - yes, from a recycled leg of some jeans - because
there's even a funky pocket inside for storing all things derfwady.
Friday, October 24, 2008
so, i'm at the kitchen bench, blitzing a mid-morning breakfast smoothie (which i don't really *need* - because upon my arrival home from the gym at the crack of dawn, there was a sexy Bulldog whizzing around making me a portobello mushroom and poached egg on dark brown grainy bread.. and a grilled tomato, AND asparagrass - which i am buying up left, right and centre cos the season's nearly over... but i am addicted to spirulina smoothies - because they are green and good and they make me feel so healthy) and i glance up and catch eyes with a little golden-haired-boy, full of bounce, who immediately starts making "I LOVE YOU SO MUCH" sign language gestures to me as the sunlight creates a haloed kiss upon his head.
this spunky littl'un is grinning all over, waving his arms, blowing me kisses, clutching his hands to his chest, and spinning around and around. as i grab the camera and sprint outside, i hear his babyvoice calling, "Mu-u-u-u-m!!! I LOVE you SO MUCH!!!" and we revel in his uninhibitedness and i send my thanks into the great wide universe for such a gift as my Bouncey Mousey - cos i asked for him, and he was given. and he shows me his moves, and i try in vain to capture our moment - his exhuberance, his delight, his sweetness, the sunshine all around.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
YOU'RE DELICIOUS - whatever your cup size!
i got a crazy text from my friend Ang a few weeks ago asking me if i'd team my boobs up with some of her cupcakes for The Sunny Bay's annual Breast Cancer Fun Walk...
that pink cupKATEs bra!
Charlie is most definitely the man for the job
when it comes to packaging forty cupcakes
for our team of girls -
he has the patience of a SHINING *STAR*!
it's been *ages* since i sewed a pink fairy skirt
(for a Toddler Woozie!)
but we definitely needed
the *pink* fairy skirts and wings.
funny day though... as i was sewing,
i found myself blinking back tears
for my Auntie Megan
(who introduced me to ABBA when i was eight!)
who lost her battle with cancer a few years ago;
and my Dad's Mother,
who courageously fought cancer
when he was a child.
i would've loved to have known my grandmother.
four thousand women (and a few disguised men!!)
*pinked ourselves up* and walked together
4.5km through the main streets of town.
and we sisters, mothers, daughters, aunties,
friends and families remembered the brave ones
who've gone before us,
and the courageous ones still living with cancer.
(the inevitable self portraits)
Nush, Katie and Kath
Woozie and Mummy
Madge, Nush, Ang and moi.
including a wee tussle over the pink hairspray
(*ahem* which turned our hair to pink straw!)
so that's the *pink mania*
we've been living over the last few days.
and now i feel a bit emotioned out,
but i'll be signing up to walk again next year,
because of solidarity and sisterhood
and because the message of
YOU'RE DELICIOUS -
WHATEVER YOUR CUP SIZE!
is forever to be celebrated.
i just saw that we're in the paper...
(yep, Woozie and me and Nush and Kath are highly visible at the bottom of page three of our local rag. you just need your magnifying glass!!!!!)
Sunday, October 19, 2008
change of season
I will not live in fear
of falling or catching fire.
I choose to inhabit my days,
to allow my living to open me,
to make me less afraid,
to loosen my heart
until it becomes a wing,
a torch, a promise.
I choose to risk my significance,
to live so that which came to me as seed
goes to the next as blossom;
and that which came to me as blossom,
goes on as fruit.
i found this poem today. it speaks to my heart as a mother, as a woman, as a person. if i was a photographer, i think i would match it to a *pink blossoms* picture. there are blossoms all over the trees here, and fruit buds beginning. winter is over. this time of year speaks of hope and change, happening gradually, in its good time.
c'est la vie.
carpe diem, katie X
Friday, October 17, 2008
for some reason, i've always felt rather wobbly about the *teaching my children to write* part of home education. oh i'm ohk with the handwriting/spelling/grammar/
inspired? me neither.
of course i repliKATEd the classroom when i first started home educating. so we got blood out of a stone with "i went to the zoo. i saw a lion and it said rawr..." but blow me down, when Danny was about eight i fortuitously (love that word) came across a loidy called Charlotte Mason, who had this fabulous idea that we don't bovver with any formal written language until the child is around ten to thirteen, when after years of being immersed in wonderful literature, the child's lights will come on and fabulous prose will just flow out of them in the style of all the wonderful authors that they've been reading for all their infant years.
i'll buy that for a dollar.
so we left the formal written language stuff for a few years and just concentrated on reading beautiful books, classical books, rich in history and language. we talked about books, we lived and breathed books.
and guess what? Charlotte is right.
Woozie has been at school for nearly three years now. she had half a day off yesterday. well most of a day off. she'd been given a history project by this fabulous teacher and it has really captivated her - so much so that she sat at the pooter for four hours and finished her epic 7300 word linen-bound diary of a girl moving from Ireland to New Zealand during 1881, playing various Mamma Mia songs and creating prose in the style of Jane Austin, one of her favourite authors. her diary has a cleverly-woven plot with lovely little intricacies of learning to embroider, making dolls, and there's even a bread recipe! Woozie has aged the pages by soaking them in tea, and sewed them together at the spine. it looks real. i feel like i really know Francesca Barclay, a fifteen year old girl who was just a name that Woozie lifted from a passenger list on The Lady Jocelyn, the emigrating ship.
it made my heart sing to hear her beautiful alto as she poured her heart onto the the pages, cos i wondered if i'd sold the big kids short by not being so teachery.
it seems so obvious: fill and fill and fill these children up and one day *splash!* their cups shall runneth over...
(so i'm hoping that my little lads' sense of creativity won't be squashed by being in a classroom next year. i hope their teachers give them room to breathe and move and be boys. cos we've been practising our handwriting, but Mouse is still at the "i went to the zoo. i saw a lion and it said rawr..." phase (although he uses capitals) and Sam prefers to dictate his ideas and i write 'em down. which is fine if there is one mummy and a coupla kids...
uh, no prob's with Charlie - his dam has already burst.)
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Claudey The Super Undie Man
Claudey The Super Undie Man. (modelled on John Murphy's Claude Grenache). oh, he is *so* froggy!!!
actually, our Claudey's a bit of a *metros-xual*. well,
besides, all the coolest SUPER HEROES wear UNDIES, don't they?
and our Claudey is definitely a Super Hero. he even has a TAIL, to aid him in
yes, that is a TAIL - you can tell that it's a TAIL because it's at the BACK.
M6 and i are really proud of our efforts with Claudey The Super Undie Man, because he's a tad more compliKATEd than Squaddly Oddly.
the ears were rather tricky squicky... and then we had the special modifiKATEions... but in the end we totally SOCKED IT to him. ha!!!!!
these two are great mates. when they're not soaring through clear blue altitudes in their private jets (Claudey The Armless Super Undie Man has a pilot. he's trying to perfect TAIL flying... well, he *can* do The Helicopter...), they love sitting in The Secret Garden chatting about biceps curls and the decadent perfection of a dark chocolate covered strawberry.