??Journey or destination??

Exploring life experiences at home and beyond – Destination Happiness


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Time to go …2013

As the sun sets on 2013 wishing everyone a 2014 full of special moments, satisfying achievements and love. See you in 2014  with lots of my ramblings .Image

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Christmas Day and Boxing Day

Christmas Day for me was very joyful.

I was the only one up from 6:45 am until about 8:45am. I used this time to get things ready for breakfast and lunch. When everyone was up we sat in the forbidden room to exchange gifts. We all write lists of gifts we would like before Christmas then we all choose from them. I always like to add a few ‘surprises’ not on the lists to the gifts. The animals got gifts too. Sheldon got a Santa sack full of doggy goodies while Blacky got a new Christmas outfit.

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Sheldon thrashing a duck toy

Then we moved to the dining room for our traditional breakfast , pancakes within strawberries and blueberries with lashings of butter and soaked in maple syrup and an assortment of juices. This year we added bacon to the menu and I took time to make an effort on setting the table.

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The kitchen bench was laid out with a variety of cheeses, pastes, cracker biscuits, nuts ( from the Christmas Eve mad dash) and lollies. Our guests were just three – my kid’s girlfriend and boyfriend and my brother in law. My BIL brought us a lot of interesting cheeses. Already full we squashed more food in for lunch.

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The kids went with their gf and bf to visit their families and my husband and brother went to visit their dad in hospital at around 3:30 pm leaving me in a quiet room that had been filled with laughter and talking. The place seemed empty but I enjoyed the solitude , a chance to read then have a little nap until my husband returned home 4 hours later.

We watched four holidays and then our home filled with laughter and talk again as my son and his gf and her parents and siblings popped by. This us the spirit of Christmas to me, lots of talking, laughter and love.

We awoke to Boxing Day. Again I was up hours before everyone and created my traditional ham cheese and tomato toasted sandwich washed down with coffee with cream. I love leftovers! I was reading about why we have Boxing Day and found there was no real reason given consistently . However it’s St Stephen’s Day in Ireland and apparently their tradition is that people dress up in old clothes, wear straw hats and travel from door to door with fake wrens (previously real wrens were killed) and they dance, sing and play music. This tradition is less common than it was a couple of generations ago apparently ( one can only ponder why hahaha).

I’m exhausted from all the preparation and the constant full tummy from eating. It’s time girl me to go to bed and read for a whole ( if my eyes will stay open).

How were your celebrations?


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The geese are getting fat

Christmas seems to star earlier each year. But not in my home .

My first child was born on 17th November.

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He is the only one in our family of four that doesn’t have a birthday in the middle of the year. I used to feel a bit sorry for him having all the fun at one end of the year and a long wait until next time. But, then I realised this meant all the new idea and products are in the stores or him to choose his gifts from. Always best to look at the positives.

Our tradition starts with not mentioning Christmas before his birthday ( fingers crossed he doesn’t read this blog post  lol) No gifts can be bought and no decorations organised. It was then decided that our Christmas organisation would start on the 1st December . This way my son can have his cards up on display and gives time for any party celebrations.

2 sleeps until we celebrate my son’s birthday ( he’ll be 24 years old) and 16 sleeps until we start Christmas organisation . Looking forward to sharing both here .

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What Christmas traditions are yours?


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Celebrate Good Times

You receive some wonderful, improbable, hoped-for good news. How do you celebrate?

Growing up in a teetotalling family it wasn’t the bubbly or beer that was broken out. Celebrations in my family always revolved around sharing of food. We always had a special chosen meal for birthdays . The meals were of a take away nature something we didn’t eat so much of then. Our choice was mostly limited to Chinese food , KFC ( Kentucky Fried Chicken as it was known as then) or fish and chips.   My favourite ( still is actually) was sweet and sour chicken and fried rice. We didn’t eat out at night.

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We also had a cake. Sometimes it was home made but the ones I remember best were those from a local cake shop. They decorated using mock cream and created the best ever sponge cake layered with cream and decorated (using mock cream ) with cute little mice and frogs on it. I’m no so sure why they chose mice- a somewhat strange choice but delicious. These cakes were even given to my children when they were little , before the cake store stopped this style.

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Today we still celebrate with food.

So, if I were to receive good news it would definitely be a food occasion. As not a big alcohol consumer I wouldn’t organise that. Although I love eating out I would choose take away at home so we could all sit around and loudly discuss the news. Of course cake would be included. For me it would be a sponge cake with fresh cream. Still a favourite of mine.

Who would I celebrate with? Definitely the most important people to me … my husband , my two ‘kids’ and their partners.

Oh and I wouldn’t miss the opportunity to give a speech .

How do you celebrate the important events?


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Today

With some free time on my hands , I decided to look through others’ blogs and found one entitled The Simple Woman’s Day Book http://thesimplewomansdaybook.blogspot.com/ 

There I  found a day book with a series of questions to answer about your day. I couldn’t resist filling out my own answers.

Outside my window… washing flaps gently in the breeze, little chance of it drying fully because the temperature is too low today and the line is in the shade.

I am thinking… that I have so many things I want to do to de-clutter my home. I have brought pretty, minimalistic things to replace those I have tossed from the bathroom. It looks good!The next room is our bedroom.

I am thankful… for the relationship I have with my kids.Relationships don’t just happen and need to be worked on continually. Over the last few days we have been talking together about adult issues close to their hearts and it made me appreciate the closeness we have, to be able to share those things – the result of the trust we have built in each other. They never cease to amaze me in their positive drives  and enthusiasm.

In the kitchen… its a mess around the sink. The dishwasher died a few weeks ago so its back to they two partition contraption called the dual sink 🙂 The first week it was such a novelty to wash the dishes that we all took part. Then it was Brian and I doing it …now its the one who “can no longer stand seeing the dishes” piled first. Last night that was Brian, I MIGHT have to give in today…just maybe..or not haha

I am wearing… brown leggings that clash terribly with the red black and white overshirt. However as I have been cleaning and de-cluttering I thought the outfit ok. I just wouldn’t open the door to anyone though. I’m leaving it on for now to motivate me to go start on the de-cluttering of our bedroom .

I am creating… a notebook file on fairy tales to use at school. That’s my grade’s theme for Term Three. I love everything magical so its taking longer than it should as I stop at too many websites looking at pictures and listening to the stories.

I am going… to have breakfast tomorrow at a cafe connected to a local garden. Last day of holidays for Brian and I so we are making the most of it . I love cooked breakfasts , even more so when  don’t have to make it ( Shuddering contemplating the washing up too, lol)

I am wondering… how my daughter’s bike ride is going. She hasn’t ridden in a while and is off on a bike path that fringes the lake. Its a nice day  to be in the sunshine. The path she is riding I used to take her and her brother on . They rode scooters and I walked behind. We would take a picnic to have along the track.

I am reading… The story of the Trapp Family Singers by Maria Augusta Trapp. I love  Sound of Music and was recently looking over photos my BIL had added of his current European holiday and saw those Swiss Alps. I started a ‘google train’ and found this book on iTunes. I had some money to spend on my iTunes account that my son had given me for my birthday and couldn’t resist this.

I am hoping…  the Eels football team win or at least aren’t slaughtered by their characteristic 50 point loss. My son and his girlfriend are off to the match and too often its a disappointing trip home for him.

I am looking forward to… September holidays 🙂 Its our wedding anniversary during the break so we always plan somewhere special to go. Not sure we can top our 25th celebration last year (NT adventure). We are thinking of the Melbourne Colonial Dining Tram ( Of Kath and Kim fame – if you are familiar with the show)

I am learning  to use snap chat.

Around the house… I’m going to make a bigger effort to be organised  – a place for everything and everything in its place (just don’t quote me on it hahaha).

I am pondering… a psychic show I went to with friends. Why do these spirits make themselves known to be there yet never have messages to convey? Why is their ‘data of validation’ so vague and not specific? Why don’t the medium’s own spirit family members not converse with her?  That’s just scratching the surface of my ponderings 🙂

A favorite quote for today… ““I stay up late every night and realize it’s a bad idea every morning.”  Anonymous

One of my favorite things…  holidaying away from home.  It doesn’t matter if its 5 star, motor home  or in between. It doesn’t matter if I’ve been there before or not. It doesn’t even matter who I’m with or  if I’m alone….I love that on holidays away I don’t have to justify my laziness to myself nor do I feel I should be doing something other than having self indulgent fun. It’s one time I feel no guilt about doing nothing or everything … and most importantly no housework 🙂

A few plans for the rest of the week: At home to contact the plumbers about work done. We had one plumber do work on our taps and box a water meter (it needed to go underground ) only to have the tap break in the same way a month later. When the second plumber came out to fix the job he couldn’t turn the water off at first because the original plumber had actually buried the tap rather than box it as he had done the section you read the meter from. After digging up the earth over the tap the second plumber fixed the tap problem with new taps (nice chrome look I chose so now all the fittings have had  to be changed from white lol). Then I noticed under the sink the new tap connection is dripping leaving a small puddle on the cupboard shelf (insert loud ARGGHHHHHH!!! here ) 🙂

 

What are you up to?

Don’t forget to leave a comment after reading 🙂

 


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Birthday – Fest

Birthdays used to be one day of the year. On this day you received presents, chose the dinner and had a birthday cake. Growing up we had a birthday party with some friends and this was usually the weekend after my birthday . My mum’ s superstition was a birthday should never be celebrated before the date. I never understood that. My thought was if you didn’t make the birthday at least you had had a good celebration.
Now my family birthdays have turned into real birthday ‘fests’ as the kids have grown up and work the odd hours that happens in our 24 / 7 lives. And, I’m not complaining, I don’t think you can ever have too much celebrating!

This year mine started a few days early with a family dinner at a local Mexican restaurant. Being ‘Before Birthday’ this day doesn’t gifts but I does have cake!! ( thanks to my thoughtful kids who know sponge cake and fresh cream is always a winner to me) . The food was delicious, the company great but I think the clown placemat I had was perchance a message that birthdays shouldn’t be celebrated early 🙂 bear in mind I am frightened by clowns.

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Then Friday ( or Day 2 of Kerry-Anne’s birthdayfest as I prefer to think of it as ) arrived and my workplace celebrates birthdays with a birthday cake club. My cake was a sponge cake with lashings of fresh cream and strawberries. A taste sensation and a great way to end a week filled with long hours completing school reports ( phew !!! all handed in)

Saturday arrived … Official Kerry-Anne’s birthdayfest day!! Today I received gifts then I had the race to pack bags to spend the night in Sydney. I love staying in hotels and picked a great 5 star one from Wotif. As always I like to fill in the ‘Any special notes ‘ section with a small sentence advising the day is a special occasion, eg birthday , wedding anniversary. I think I might now be technically around 100 years and have been married a similar number of years 🙂 I have found about a 50% success rate in an upgrade or free bottle of wine or chocolates from this. I love the upgrade most though. I figure they obviously have the vacant room if they upgrade and its a fantastic advertisement for them too, which I always add to my trip advisor review . I learnt something on Saturday. For the first time the hotel asked for photo I’d of all t he guests staying. As I handed over my drivers license I realised anniversary is probably the best ‘special note’ now cause the date isn’t on my photo I D hahaha.

We stayed at Amora Jamison in Sydney. From the moment we drove in for the valet parking, to the smiling doormen and the helpful reception I was feeling special. Then as we checked in, the reception man asked which of us was celebrating our birthday to which I responded with glee ( I’m like a little kid with birthdays) “Me”. He told us then we had been upgraded to the suite . Our room was amazing and of course I quickly checked it out on Wotif to see the cost. it was $150 extra cost !!! It had a lounge room large bedroom with an even bigger tv than the lounge room one. The bathroom had a large bath, separate shower and so many mirrors near power points and a mirror over the vanity that could move so I could see the back of my hair as I straightened it…I was in a dreamland . I had lots of further plans for the ‘fest’ but part of me just wanted to dress in the bathrobe and slippers and absorb the suite as if by doing so the magic may last forever.

Inside the suite….

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But we did have plan to meet my sister and niece also staying in the hotel in a nice room ( not suite. ) and so I dragged myself from this luxury and we headed to Circular Quay for dinner and a little peruse of Vivid. Went last year and found it amazing but this year it was only to be an entree to the main ‘meal’ . We had tickets to see ‘Before Midnight’ third movie in a trilogy…but that can be another blog post. Vivid was colourful but much more crowded than last year. It such a creative colourful display. Many people take young children and babies in prams and strollers. It must be super scary for them with he crowd literally in their faces.

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Walking against the crowd up we headed to the majestic State Theatre. Before the movie we had hot drinks in the cafe next door. Enjoyed the movie very much…more so than Brian but to be fair he hadn’t seen the two previous movies . My evening was made further special as my sister and niece bought me a box of Koko Black chocolates to nibble on in the movie…so nibble I did!

As with all my adventures there is always something a little out of the ordinary. So far everything had been a smooth event…odd for us cause we usually have one thing funny to laugh about at the end of the event. But then it happened. I was desperate to not have to walk n the cold the 1 km back to our hotel. I was getting a bad cold and wanted to be warm. I was madly trying to hail a taxi, even waving at those with their lights off ( I figured they might be just about to drop off someone just where I was standing- that had happened earlier in the day) . So, I waved at a taxi ( light off) but it stops right long side me. Its windows were dark tinted , I called to my party and opened the front door and get ready to glide into the warmth. But no… The driver tells me he already has someone in the taxi and sure enough there in the back seat was a passenger. I asked “Why did you stop then?”, totally perplexed. His reply, ” The lights” and then he took off as fast as he had stopped. I began to think maybe he thought my skirt was a little too paisley for the night, was Brian’s jacket offensive?? There were a few white puppy hairs on it after all….then my niece told me the problem…the reason why he stopped then sped off…. I was standing at a pedestrian light crossing. The driver had stopped for a red light …hahaha… And not a drop of alcohol had passed my lips so my only excuse was the tint was too dark. Poor passenger must have been a little concerned 🙂

We returned to the hotel on foot power and I watched the city as it rushed and raced outside the warmth of our room. I watched from afar, an extra looking over others as they walked the pathways, crossed the park and wondered where they were headed, why were they were there…and , ever the mother, were they safe. We drew the blinds about 1 am leaving the strangers to run ant like on their way, mindful of the soft howl of an ambulance, I wanted to believe they we’re rushing a mother to hospital to birth a baby to bring a new life into the world on this day the ‘Fest of Kerry-Anne’ but I couldn’t totally block out that that howl meant possible sadness amongst those walking dots below or those I couldn’t even see.

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TRUTH IN ADVERTISING

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Luckily I am in that ‘MOST’ size. 🙂

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Night time across the city .

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