Lazuli Green Island Mama

Lazuli Green Island Mama

Thursday, December 10, 2009

gifts in abundance

The gifts our children bring us will not be known until long after they have been delivered.

May we be grateful for the lessons, even before we have realised them. Accept them graciously, cherish them.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

tips for a sunny day when you don't feel so sunny

If your day isn't proceeding quite as chirpily as you had planned, you could buy yourself a straw cow-person hat...

...find any remaining white items of clothing in your possession and get colourful,

...focus on Christmas baking whilst listening to Ella wishing you a swinging Christmas,

...then focus on the beautiful touches around you - like the water-colour Advents calendar which your oldest Sun hand-painted.

And if all else fails, pray for rain.

Monday, November 30, 2009

in the spirit of Thanksgiving

Just in case it wasn't yet evident, my heart's soaring. O yes.

When the leaves dance to the song of the wind,
when the summer sun hits my face at 7.10 in the evening,
when i sit in the Kamaroi library with open ears,
when the earth's essential oils permeate my senses,
when I'm greeted by strong women,
when the Zimbo chuckles,
when I crawl from a tent in the morning,
when there are storm clouds above me and within me,
when Chooch says "O beautiful one" so deliberately, heart's soaring.

Sunday, November 15, 2009


Ok, the category is "Random". Ready, set, go!

It was an event,
Little Manly, from sunset to midnight,
with Thai food,
4 friends,
a perfectly wrapped, perfectly thought out, with perfectly appropriate card, birthday present,
and more belly laughs than you can poke a stick at?

... it was a Lala birthday picnic!

O big fat warm thank you, lovely things, for the most delicious, birthday celebration, complete with vintage floral sheet. I am indeed, very very lucky.
I've had the most social-fluttering, sunny, busy, family, celebratory, Manly, weekend.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Making and baking

Raspberry bread, banana bread and tea. (O how I love tea.)

For todays' post I'd like to share with you my variations of one of my favourite Nigella Lawson recipes. It comes from How to be a Domestic Goddess - Baking and the Art of Comfort Cooking (What a luxurious title). A lovely book deserving a significant spot on any Goddess's shelf.

So, the recipe: Banana Bread

You will need:
100g sultanas (but I prefer to use currants)
175g rice flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp bicarb soda
1/2 tsp salt
125g unsalted butter, melted
150g sugar, or honey, or molasses
2 large eggs
4 small, very ripe bananas (approx 300g without skin), mashed OR 300g frozen/fresh berries (unmashed) OR 300g pumpkin, coooked and mashed;
60g chopped walnuts or shredded coconut or ground hazelnuts
1 tsp vanilla extract
(and a buttered and floured loaf tin)

  • Preheat oven to 170 degrees C.
  • Sift into a medium-sized bowl: flour, baking powder, bicarb soda and salt. Using a wooden spoon, combine well.
  • In a large bowl, mix the melted butter and sugar/honey/molasses and beat until blended. Beat in the eggs, one at a time. Then add the mashed bananas (or berries or pumpkin).
  • With a wooden spoon, stir in the nuts, sultanas or currants and vanilla extract.
  • Add the dry mixture to the wet mixture, a third at a time, stirring well after each bit.
  • Scrape into the loaf tin and bake in the middle of the oven for 1 hr to1 and a quarter hours.
  • Leave in the tin on a rack to cool.
I have made soooo many variations of this recipe and it always comes out deliciously (in my opinion). Yesterday this became a Raspberry and Coconut bread, with honey instead of sugar (I try to avoid sugar as often as possible). Another favourite in winter is Pumpkin bread with choc chips (for this version: replace bananas, currants and walnuts with 1 cup cooked pumpkin, handful of slivered almonds and a handful or 2 of choc chips). I think Nigella would be proud of these tasty variations (the Zimbabwean is often not. He can't stand it that I don't stick to the prescribed formula).

And apart from baking, there has also been the hum of stitching going on. Here is a sneaky glimpse of what's been created in our little study. Can't give too much away because one of the recipients hasn't received her Welcome to the World pressie yet. But I'll give you a clue: it's for someone who's name begins with "I".

PS. Don't forget to send extra prayers and blessings for Harry, Lyell, Jo and Jake. Even if you don't know them, trust me - they need them. I'm holding them in my heart and calling Harry's angels as loudly and gently as I can.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

trick or treating

Some very scary faces: Tess, Charlie, Noah, Tom and Isabelle.

Choochie on a mission: Find scary house, say "trick or treat", hopefully walk away with a treat (or 2).
Found: the scariest house.

Mission accomplished. And he came out unharmed.

Witchy women (wasn't that a song from the 70's?)

Checking out the loot.

And after all those lollies, using up some energy with a dusk-picnic, complete with swing-spinning, playing in undies, and exploring gravestones in the cemetery. Perfect.

Happy Halloween! (Mwah-ha-ha-ha)

Monday, October 26, 2009

Really, can you beat having a dance to a bit of reggae in a bush community hall?

Green becomes her

Having rebalanced all of my chakras and meridians with the fresh air of Bellingen, I have returned to the hum drum big bang of the big smoke, ready to see which life lesson crops up next. O so grateful for the lessons. I've said that before. May they be delivered gently enough.

The Zimbabwean has survived the long weekend of my talking, with the help of long sleeps and the Bellingen Youth Hostel... always a lingering stranger for me to have a little chat with. Why do I need to chat so much? Sometimes need, sometimes just enjoy it so much. To be sure, it can be exhausting for me too you know. It's not as easy as I make it look.

Anyway... the soundtrack to our latest roadtrip (ohne kinder!) was like this: Band of Horses (John's new favourite), The Killers, Kings of Leon, Block Party, a bit of Sinead, Coldplay, UB40, and the Pixies. And quite a bit of Eddie Vedder.

O how the little arms around my neck and legs are sweeter after a couple of days of space, and reconnecting with my one true love.

"This monkey's gone to heaven." Yo, sing it to me, Pixies.

Monday, October 19, 2009

musings from holiday location...

Bush walking and skirts. Is a skirt suitable attire for a bushwalk?

Hmmm, yes I do believe so. Especially if long enough to use as a towel, sling, bandage, perhaps even a night-time shelter if you get lost. Perhaps even as practical as a pocket knife!

O how I do like to ponder practicalities of being prepared. I was a good girl guide.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

What we found after the road north

Always room for any extra happy camper.

Cozy kiddles in a caravan.

A happy camper (fisher).

A happy Chooch.

Choochie's second mother. The one who can bake his birthday cakes if I'm ever not allowed to attend the party. And a safe harbour for a rest when out on a speed boat.

Some of my favourite holiday things:
  • time and space for long walks;
  • lots of loved ones for company;
  • extra children breakfasting at our table (my all time favourite);
  • lazy mornings in a mu-mu;
  • barefoot and muddy children looking for yabbies;
  • communal dinners; communal cups o' tea;
  • communal mulberries and ice-cream; communal everything!;
  • knowing we can do it all again. And again. And again. We are indeed the lucky ones.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

the road north, after the road south

Yippeeee! We're off for a family holiday (with extra family and friends).

Here's hoping that upon my return I'll rediscover my blogging groove, have some fresh piccies for you, and that the Spring weather will return or I'll be spending the whole holi in my wetsuit!

In the meantime, may all prayers and blessings be made for Harry, Jake, Jo and Lyell. Even if you don't know them, send them many loving prayers and blessings.


Monday, September 28, 2009

blame it on the boogie

I know, I know... happy blog-followers: I've been letting you down. Haven't been focusing on my blogging. My apologies. There has been much productivity happening in my corner... skirts to be sewn, baby blankies to make, parties to organize and attend. What can I say? I've been busy.

But, finally, here are a couple of snaps from Noah's disco party. It was that party actually, that took the wind out of my sails for a while. Here I was thinking: we've done it before - hosted parties for 40 people in a small apartment and not only were they ok... they were great! Some hardly memorable but we still know they were great! So of course we can host a disco party. Bring it on, baby!

I think I may have been mistaken. Not about parties that have been, but about just how exhausting 13 boys ages 6 and under can be in a small space, for 2 hours. Anyway... you get the picture, I'm sure.

Noah had a great time, felt like he was very famous (was just abit disappointed when the sushi ran out), and enjoyed his whole birthday. Loved riding his new bike too.

And the last photo... well, the Zimbabwean took that. He wants everyone to know that I have a problem remembering where I've put my keys. These ones I put safely out of Choochie's reach. But then I forgot that they were on the roof. And then we drove from bike shop, to next suburb, parked and went bike riding for an hour. And then I remembered where I'd put them. O my goodness, can you imagine the relief (and disbelief) when we returned to the subi to find them happily resting, waiting for their loving owner?

Saturday, September 19, 2009

A big day

The welcoming of Georgina Olive. Have you ever experienced the breath-taking moment when your whole being truly registers the birth of a loved one's child? That moment when your world stops, no breath enters or escapes from you, and you know that you love the new babe already. One of my favourite moments of all.

And here: another most exciting moment. I think that perhaps Dada getting a new skateboard could actually be just slightly more exciting than getting your own new skateboard. Because Dada's is so big, so grown-up, so awe-inspiring and untouchable when you're not on it with him. And sooooo much fun to sit on with your Dada's arms keeping you safe. A big day for leetle boys.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Story of the small boy who loved to play the guitar

There was once a small boy.

He liked to wear shorts with a red T-shirt and black sneaker-boots.

He liked to paddle on his body board on the edges of Sydney Harbour.

He loved to wear skinny jeans and be a rockstar.

He liked to play cricket on the beach.

He liked camping and camp fires.

He liked skidding on his knees until all of his jeans had holes in the left knee.

He liked fishing.

He liked to swim at the pool, at the beach, in the harbour.

He liked to take photos with his Dad's camera.

He liked to play rugby with his Dad, anywhere, anytime.

He loved to ride his bike a long long long long way.

But the thing he really loved to do, was play a guitar.

And his Mama learned many lessons from him, when she was still.

It was 6 years ago today
that Noah came down from the heavens to stay.
He came to bring gladness and joy to the earth.
Good people and angels attended his birth.
So let us all join in the singing,
with heavenly birthday bells ringing...
Happy Birthday to Noah.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dada day

Tea, some felt-loving, voucher for a new pair of rugby boots, and a home-made card...

Banana and buttermilk pancakes with ricotta, served on his favourite African tablecloth...

a beautiful new Jonah to kiss and love and snuzzle with...

and a bed time story. Not to mention tennis with a view of the heads, kite-flying, ice-cream eating, cricket and the odd tantie. These are just some of the things that make for a lovely Dada Day. O... and of course, an adored Dada. He's my hero.

What's the skinny?

No, seriously... just how skinny can skinny jeans be?

3 sleeps to go.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

gently reminding

"Love has no other desire but to fulfil itself.
But if you love and must needs have desires, let these be your desires:
To melt and be like a running brook that sings its melody to the night.
To know the pain of too much tenderness.
To be wounded by your own understanding of love;
And to bleed willingly and joyfully.
To wake at dawn with a winged heart and give thanks for another day of loving;
To rest at the noon hour and mediate love's ecstasy;
To return home at eventide with gratitude;
And then to sleep with a prayer for the beloved in your heart and a song of praise upon your lips."
Kahlil Gibran

I know it's hard to believe, looking at these two happy faces, but sometimes I need reminding.