kate5kiwis: December 2009


“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

Thursday, December 24, 2009

the twenty fourth day of Christmas

did i miss a day? i think i missed a day. i was gonna post mum's mascarpone recipe cos it's divine and so easy peasy, but have been busy doing other christmassy stuffs like wrapping pressies and trying to decide whether i prefer pineapple juice or cranberry juice mixed with my summer bacardi.

tonight raych is gonna be singing in the choir and doing a solo at a midnight mass (which we've never been to but it sounds like a great idea although mick is worried that we might not get home in time for santa) so i tried unsuccessfully to bribe peeps to have a wee nana nap.

it's now nearly six o'clock and i went to find raych and mick for dinner. there is harry potter playing on her stereo and then mum and i spotted this sweet sight:
(that's her daddy's shirt)

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

the twenty second day of Christmas

for the last few summers, i've made ten-minute-dukkah, which i stash in the pantry for when extras arrive and we need. food. pronto.
the recipe goes like this:
gently toast in oven or frypan, stirring for five mins:
1/2 c hazelnuts
1 c almonds
add and stir for another five mins:
3/4 c sesame seeds
2 Tbsp cumin seeds
2 Tbsp coriander seeds
(grab the first few ingredients from the bulk bins at the supermarket and the last two from a wee gourmet shop)


tsp sea salt flakes
few grinds of black pepper

throw into blender and pulse until chunky breadcrumb consistency. don't over-whizz or it turns into glue. ha.

now for the best part:
dip hunks of fresh white crusty baguette into a good quality fragrant olive oil (or avocado oil infused with lime) and then into the dukkah mix. grab an ice cold bacardi & pineapple and sneak out into the secret garden.

Monday, December 21, 2009

the next few days of Christmas

my beautiful, smart, talented, creative daughter
is spending many happy pre-Christmas hours
tying teeny tiny knots in embroidery thread
making and making and making these
gorgeously intriKATE *friendship bracelets*...

Saturday, December 19, 2009

the nineteenth day of Tidyingupness

The Bat Cave.

Friday, December 18, 2009

the sixteenth and seventeeth and eighteenth daze of Christmas

oh it's all a bit of a blur.
we're doin' the pre-Christmas sort out.
spring cleaning *everything* that moves -
or rather, stuff that doesn't.
so don't stand still or someone'll take ya to the tip.

even decided to pay the kids to give their rooms
the biannual huck out. cos i hate swimming upstream.

oh and i got 3 Housewife Points
by doing the fridge today.
fridges, like bookshelves, reveal *so* much
about the surrounding occupants, dontcha fink?
like, there's the Pristine Stainless Steel Fridge Fronters,
and then there's the Vegemite MARMITE Fingers Brigade.
oh lookit, a frigo saboteur.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

in which we take a break from our Christmas countdown to shriek...

aka Danger, aka Bulldog,
aka Blazer, aka Wozzle Blarney...
(i ♥ that your list of pseudonyms
is finally longer than
Kate the Bate the Hibbity Hob
the Hargey Bargey Narna

so - a birthday song from me to you,
cos i am he as you are he as you are me
and we are all together.

Hit me like a ray of sun
Burning through my darkest night
You're the only one that I want
Think I'm addicted to your light

Everywhere I'm looking now
I'm surrounded by your embrace
Baby I can see your halo
You know you're my saving grace

i love you to the moon and back infinity times.

Monday, December 14, 2009

the whateverth day of Chrissypuddingness

it looks like i've done nuffin' today. there's beds (there ARE beds) all over the lounge floor from saturday night's impromptu sleepover and sand all over the floor from sunday's fabulous beachy moment (the moment in which about five cups worth of sand got blasted into my skull and itchied and itchidefied and finally got washed out this morning) BUT i've actually cleaned all the wooden blinds AND the insides of the windows, so now we can tell what the weather's doing outside. which would be sunning and raining, alternately. so i chucked the washing into the dryer and have been feeling guilty ever since. i've ALSO spent a good THREE HOURS making dinner, which would be roasted orangey veggie soup and cheesey buns and a big fat chocky cake. but i forgot that BD and i are actually going OUT for dinner, with skool, so he's not gonna appreciate my prowess. kinda sad when ya actually have to POINT OUT yer housewifeyness cos it's all but got up and departed.
*beep beep* that's the buns, comin' outta the oven.
i'm off to practise my gracious smile for tonight, when the same lady, for the FOURTH YEAR IN A ROW will say that she MUST have us over for a barbie this summer...
ms snark, over and out X

Sunday, December 13, 2009

the thirteenth day of Christmas

yesterday we watched, breathless, as Charlie held an audience of a hundred completely spellbound during his piano recital at the end of year piano/violin performance. we found his first 'real' piano teacher this year, and she is unbelievably intuitive: she introduced him to Ludovico Einaudi, who is, i think, a kindred spirit.

the music of composer/pianist Ludovico Einaudi has been described as minimalist, classical, ambient, contemporary and deeply touching - the welcome sound of stillness in a hectic world.

unfortunately i forgot to take the camera to the 'real' performance. this is a reenactment on the school piano this afternoon. Charlie said that yesterday's piano was "so friendly to play" but still, he gets completely lost in the music about half way through: it's magical. here he is, playing Ludovico Einaudi's Primavera (Spring)... and yes, the entire five minutes is played from memory:

Saturday, December 12, 2009

the twelfth day of Christmas

I found these two on my bed,
late last night.
they ended up jamming me to sleep:
So close, no matter how far
Couldn't be much more from the heart
Forever trusting who we are
and nothing else matters
Life is ours, we live it our way
All these words I don't just say
and nothing else matters.

Friday, December 11, 2009

the eleventh day of Christmas

there is no such thing as the perfect decision.

when we all decided to go to school, we made the decision this time last year. it was a completely unknown entity, sending three little tackers off into the big wide world. it seemed an antithesis of our beliefs about family and education, yet the mamma and the papa needed our own togetherness oasis. i was up and down about the decision the whole of last summer, and yet, the sun has continued to shine. hotly and sweetly.

fast forward one amazingly eventful year.

last night and today, there have been a few celebrations:

Michael topped his whole class (he got a stickerfiKATE with a GOLD STAMP for Academic Excellence), and today both Raych and Joel walked across stage at Senior Prizegiving. Woozie for Soft Materials Technology (all her fabricky creativeness) and Charlie for French, Te Reo Maori; Excellence in Tutor Class (Service and special character award); and Excellence in Year Group (80% average across all subjects).

not bad for ex-homeskoolers, huh?

so tonight we are cracking the bubbly. and having a freaking weekend. cos The Dawg has worked around three hundred (oh alroight then, closer to four hundred) hours, day and night, since he started back a month ago. We've hardly seen him. and last night he had an epiphany, which is great timing, cos it's nearly his birthday, when he will turn the magic age of 42... which is, of course, the answer to life, the universe, and everything.

Thursday, December 10, 2009

the tenth day of Christmas

aha, an end-of-year skool show
with Sam the narrator in tie and tails
(why don't you narrate me down from here)
and angels
and kings (and camels)
and itsy bitsy little tackers
who sang all the words!
and Mick the Russian cossack dancer,
right there, on the very left of the stage.

duh, YES, there WERE Russian cossack dancers present at the birth of Jesus... and there were 2 lobsters too, according to my fave Christmas flick, which Wooz and i watched this arvo. and when we got to this bit (which i would've embeded here 'cept some bright spark has disabled the embed button. so click) she said, "oh loooook, he dances just like Dad... hahaha!!!"

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

the ninth day of Christmas

i think we've found ONE dress DECEMBER:
(woah. HAIR.)
make that THREE dresses DECEMBER.
♥ those sweat shop outlet sales.
feeling a little less than virtuous,
but at least we're not gonna fry
in this heat wave.
P.S. totally ♥ this heat wave
(gonna go wet down my HAIR).

Tuesday, December 08, 2009

the eighth day of christmas

after spending six hours proofreading/editing skool reports for Sir (at ten minutes a report... what is it with joe and josephine continually mixing up practise and practice, spelling students' names wrong, and confusing he and she? don't get me started on commas and semi colons. capital letter omissioning i will sympathise with though. pffft.), i made Big Fat Stocking Fillers Stuffs. cos last week i found seven Big Fat Very Friendly Bottles half price from Kathmandu on the whim of solving one of the summer's problèmes. The Curse of The Disappearing Drink Bottles. the other problème being that Kathmandu don't make seven varieties of Big Fat Very Friendly Bottles.

*ack!* how, oh how to differentiate? pas de problème.
nope. not keyrings.
jingle jangle name tags.

which are now firmly attached
seven Big Fat Very Friendly Bottles,
winging their way to The North Pole.
and there will be no excuses
for un/de/rehydration all summer
and beyond...

Monday, December 07, 2009

the seventh day of christmas

i was ridiculously mal à la tête from the first of the christmas parties. butterflies all day. i will never drink again.

i made some matching stuffs:
aha, hippie happy pillowcases
and a sheet,
to match the original happiness.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

the fifth and sixth day of christmas (actually i think that should be a capital C)... some long-overdue apron prettiness.

these have been a long, long time coming. Sarah sent me the fabric waaaaaay back before uni started, because she and her daughter were cutting some apron strings upon the occasion of Little Miss Cupcake going to skool... but i was having a wobbly and could not find my muse.

i thought i might find it here:
but *ack!* next to each picture there are these strange and unfriendly things called "patterns" with destructions like ENLARGE PATTERN PIECES 409%... and the resident mathematicians were road tripping and rock climbing. so i decided to fabriKATE it myself, from my head.

no jokes, please.

so we ended up with this complete beautifulness, if i say so myself.

yes, we have mummy-and-daughter-matching-aprony-goodness. right there.
(confession #1, woozie and do i share our wardrobes, although we try not to wear matching outfits these days.)(confession #2, i bribed mick with a candy cane to wear the little pinky apron. he minded less that the candy cane is also pink.)

the aftermath.

and oh how i love my timing: cos it turns out that NZ POST's last international posting day is tomorrow, which means that Sarah and Little Miss Cupcake should get them before Christmas!

PS the general rule is that we hide the selvedge, but i absolutely could not resist this wee sparkle, which is dancing along the hem of sarah's apron:

Friday, December 04, 2009

the fourth day of christmas

ha!!! after yesterday's creative ridiculousity, i went off in search of some beady mojo. mmm-hmmm, upon return from checking out a couple of classrooms full of twelve year olds, i headed off to my fave poirate's cave (unfortunately sans jack) and.. it felt as comfortable as a bowl of chicken soup. (don't try eating bead soup at home). but oh, it's been so, soooooh long, and i embarrasingly couldn't even recall the name for jewellery wire (which is tiger tail).

so i was looking for some sparkly goodness to make into bracelets for the two littlest lads' teachers cos they've both been so amazing, and general consensus is that a *sparkly bracelet* beats a box of chocolates.

truthfully, i got a bit dazzled by the bright sparklyness. sam's teacher wears a lot of black, but when i spied some lolly beadies i immediately thought how much the kids would *love* them around her wrist... but then after i strung them up, i totally had to kidnap them for moi-self.
cos remember those boiled sweeties
from our childhood? totally.

so plan B: a bit of blackity black:
which is black wooden beads hand-holding crystal sparklies. cos we all need a bit of sparkle in every day. i elasticked it, cos people's wrists? rather twick-twick-twick-twick-twicky to get a perfickly perfect measurement for surprises.

and mick's teacher wears pinks and reds, and is a girlie-girl, so thought this would be perfection for her:
fancy a close-up of those lampwork beadies?
sensationally fuzzy girlie, huh.

but hey, we're rolling and scrolling here:
next i made this for woozie (but i can forsee some stealage for moi-self cos it looks fabulous with my chocolate skirt)
which mister "Make Sure You Don't Photograph My Face, Mum" modelled.

and then i found the last glass heart in my beady suitcase so made this to jshjsh up the teacher-outfits that keep escaping from the wardrobe.
yeah, i'm turning a bit goth.
oh, and this is Percy, woozie's newest handmade bear, he's a metros*xual, and doesn't mind dressing up all French Organza Goth at all. well he's gotta have SOMETHING to do while she sleeps the day away...

Thursday, December 03, 2009

the third day of christmas: (i know, whatever happened to the first two?) how to make a designer wigwam for only twenty bucks.

this started out as one of those really great ideas. fabulous even. it was gonna be one of those "i'm dreaming of a white christmas" moments. complete with angel. cos mousey has been asking to put up the christmas tree for DAYS, and i had a great idea that i'd bribe them with a Great Big Bedroom Tidy and then we'd do the christmas tree thang. but today i met my friend becks at one o'clock for coffee, and before the coffee we had a quick breeze through the local christmas shop, and we saw some amazing designer cone-shaped willow trees wrapped in red organza for about two hundred bucks. we both got an immediate rush of blood to the head and thought: we can make our own for a tenth of that price!!!
so we grabbed some bamboo stakes
and five metres of satin fabric
and headed home in a frenzy.
uh, grabbed the brown wool (couldn't find any string)
and started wrapping and hot gluing
and fairy-lighting...

and oh dear, ended up with a
wonky freaking WIGWAM.

at which the kids scrunched up their noses
and suggested decorating The Proper Tree.
which they're now doing.
and the bamboos have been banished
to the garden where they belong.