Lazuli Green Island Mama

Lazuli Green Island Mama

Monday, April 30, 2012

Autumn randoms

A little Autumn visual diary...

Why do I love hooks? If somebody would let me (I won't mention any names) I would happily add hooks to the walls and doors of every single room in our house.

Hooks on my favourite piece of furniture are pleasing me no end, and have made said piece even more perfect.

 "Introspection": my lovely friend Gillian thinks this is just the tea towel for a girl studying philosophy. So do I. 

 Island kids on a grey Sunday afternoon.

 Do you like my new herbal medicine dispensary cabinet? I think we were meant to be together.

 the sick little dog. Our beloved Banjo has a sensitive stomach. Unfortunately, that doesn't stop him from digging through other people's rubbish or eating dead fish. Sometimes he needs some extra looking after.

 the Coconut husk and felt Haus-schuhe. The bee's knees of indoor wear this winter.

 an inviting cafe entry... as if the smells, young male waiters with exceptionally friendly service, and the view weren't enough!
Kids peering north. After taking this photo we took a bit more notice of those looming dark clouds. We scaddled down the headland and still managed to fit in a quick Autumn swim before being blown home.

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Where's the love Y'all?

My eight year old No-no has been dancing around the house to the Black Eyed Peas. For a kid who, supposedly, has minimal exposure to electronic devices, that boy sure can work an iPod (and an iPhone).

Next time you need to make a big batch of muffins (some for your family, some for your favourite family of 9 and some for another family favourite with a brand new cherub - making them 6!), I would suggest that you follow this... my muesli muffin recipe. It is dubious to ever claim a recipe as your own however, I don't remember where this came from originally. I've changed it so much that I think I can safely say "my" muesli muffin recipe.

Using two very large mixing bowls, chuck in to each one:
1 cup rye flour
1/3 cup coconut flour
1/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 potato flour
(if you don't happen to keep 7 different flours in your pantry [why don't you?], you can just use plain flour. Try to at least make it wholemeal plain flour!)
2/3 cup sugar
1/2 tsp salt
4 tsp ground cinnamon

Add to bowl one:
1 cup rolled oats
1 cored, peeled and chopped apple
1/2 cup sultanas
1/2 cup sunflower seeds - chopped in food processor
1/2 cup pepitas - chopped in food processor
1 grated zucchini
1/2 cup choc chips
1 cup frozen berries

To the second bowl, add:
1 cup rolled barley
1 cored, peeled and chopped apple
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup sunflower seeds - chopped in food processor
1/2 cup pepitas - chopped in food processor
2 grated carrots
1 cup frozen berries

Then, in a separate smaller bowl, combine :
2/3 cup olive oil
1 cup soy milk
4 tsp vanilla
2 eggs - lightly beaten.
Add this liquid mixture to one of your muesli mixes above. Mix with a fork until all ingredients are just combined. Spoon into muffin trays (this makes 12 normal sized muffins plus 24 small muffins).
Bake at 190 degrees C for 25 - 30 mins.

When those are done, add the same liquid combo (olive oil, soy milk, vanilla essence, eggs) to the second large bowl, and follow the same instructions. Unless you have a mammoth-sized oven and many many muffin trays... then go for your life: mix them all up and spoon them out to bake all at the same time.

These muffins freeze well in small batches, to use in lunch boxes. But you know, really, they are best eaten when still warm from the oven, while dancing to the Black Eyed Peas in the kitchen.

Where's the love y'all?

Monday, April 16, 2012

A noisy brushy

Thanks to my friend and neighbour Betsi, an island mystery has been solved.

For 18 months we've been trying to figure out just what is making that very strange noise outside our house late at night. We hear it nearly every night when all else is quiet, usually after 11pm. Sometimes it's coming from out the back, near the front door, or under the floor of the Zimbabwean's study.

I think it sounds like a small body scraping on gravel stones. So I thought it may have been a snake sliding around. Then I thought it was a bit of a hiss. So I googled 'blue tongue lizard sound' and thought that may have been it, but wasn't convinced. Maybe it was a door hinge, opening and closing at odd locations around the house. Hmmm, what else could it be?

We see a few possies: on the top deck, walking along the railings, in the chook yard at night, in the eucalyptus trees out the front, or in the mulberry tree. They are usually brushtail possums and are very cute and look well-fed. I certainly didn't know that possums made this noise!

We also hear this one. And then usually see a little head peep over a door, looking for his or her mama, who is probably out looking for food.

Problem solved.

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

darkness awaits

In small cracks and crevices, darkness awaits.
Behind opague clouds, in the shadows of Autumn, darkness awaits.
O rest assured, I do revel in it. I know it sometimes will come and that is the way it should be.

On this chilly afternoon, darkness has arrived. I have received the sweet phone call delivering bitter news. I hear it and accept it peaceably, surrendering with dignity. It is as it should be.

And now I wallow in the moment of it. I dig out my favourite dark melodies...
The Smiths What difference does it make; and Stop me if you've heard this one before... that's a goodie.
The Cure Fascination Street. O that one is thorough and good. Really. It hits the nail on the head.
the Beastie Boys - that's a bit of naughty fun when the kids aren't listening,
Ani di Franco Untouchable face - so is that,
Sinead O'Connor You cause as much sorrow
U2 So Cruel.

Of course these dark tunes are not holding a message of truth. I don't feel animosity or resentment or any bitterness to the bearers of my disappointing news. I'm simply disappointed for myself. I allow myself to be. I was aiming high, but this time I didn't quite reach. I will in the future though.

So when I've had my time of wallowing moments, I will again fill up my cup. That's when the rejuvenating sounds will fill my home and infuse my soul with love and wellbeing, just in time for my boykaloiks to return home after a day of (hopefully) fun activity.

All is as it should be. All experiences shall be honoured for what they bring to us.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Autumn good morning, summer good night

Happy Easter long weekend to you.

As Autumn leaves crunch under your feet, may you find new beginnings and inspiration in the change of the season.
May you be celebrating the harvest and dancing with little loved ones, if that is indeed how you do it. That's how we like to do it.
May you see them dancing.
May the strings of their instruments bring tiny flutters to the strings of your heart, when you least expect it.
May you be reminded, in the business of your days, to inhale - exhale - stop - look and listen.
May pumpkin soup warm your belly and good company warm your smile.

"God play with us, turn us sideways and around" (M.Leunig)

Friday, April 6, 2012

Moonlight crazy

Secretly I love doing the washing for my family. I have long thought that it is a privilege to have a family's worth of laundry to be done. I love hanging it on the clothes line, clean and fresh, to be kissed by the sun.

Every now and then there's an extra load of washing in my basket - one for school. On that occasion I have 18 napkins, 18 hand towels and face cloths to wash, each one embroidered with a name, an initial and a motif... created by someone who loves them so that each child will recognise the face cloth or napkin as their own. That is one special load of washing.

Tonight is the perfect night to wash a special load and hang it by moonlight, so those special cloths can be filled with magic, dried by a sea breeze, eventually to be ironed with meditative reverence.

Ahhhh... lucky me. Let's keep it a secret though.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

the adventures of a slippery dip

Recently, there was an ad in our local newsletter offering a free slippery dip to anyone who wanted it. It was a Friday. I just happened to have time to get in my boat and go for a little pootle. Hmmmm. A slippery dip would be a very handy thing to position in our backyard, straddling the fence, so that little boys could come and go, leaving the fence intact.

Excellent idea! So off I went... I pointed the bow of my boat south,

... and continued passed my favourite houseboat.
O how I dream of spending a night on this houseboat one day. Preferably somewhere on the Hawksbury River, with no other boats in sight. Ahhh...

I found the rather large water-front mansion and tied up to the neighbouring jetty, (being careful not to bang my island boat up too close to any big, fancy, mainland boats - they all live in the same water but there's a big difference between a mainland boat and an island boat. Come park at my communal jetty sometime. You'll soon see what I mean.)
I collected the little slippery dip, tied her into my boat and off we poottled together...

passed the lovely houseboat again...
until we made it home. I will try to add a photo of the little blue slippery dip in her new position, lovingly swooshing little boys bottoms over the fence. Mission complete. My only disappointment is that my bum is just a tad too big to comfortably swoosh down the blue slippery slope.
And there you have it. A Friday afternoon adventure for a little blue slippery dip.