Monthly Archives: May 2007

Listening and remembering

Music can take you places.
I’m not sure why, but I am having an Aus rock week. Every song I play reminds me of somewhere or some time or someone. The other night I was listening to “Fathers’ Day” by Weddings Parties Anything which makes me think of my cousins, who were big fans. Before that I had some Australian Crawl and then various Cold Chisel songs playing: Saturday Night, Flame trees, Bow River, it was odd to hear them all again. That led me on to Midnight Oil which reminded me of concerts at the Sydney Entertainment Centre with my brother and his uni friends.

Last night it was Hunters and Collectors and Crowded House.

Tonight it is Paul Kelly and songs about places I know.

I know I’m showing my age with that list but that’s fine. We did receive this and this for Christmas so I’m not living in the past all the time.

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Tooth Fairy protocol

I believe the job of the tooth fairy is getting a little complicated. I might be wrong; perhaps the tooth fairy is just not as focused on her job as she once was.

B6 recently lost his first tooth. He had been hoping for a loose tooth for 1½ years. When his tooth came out he put it in an orange plastic cup. The tooth fairy is accustomed to finding the tooth in a glass. He is sure he told the tooth fairy he wanted to keep the tooth; he wanted the money, but he wanted the tooth too, he said that. The tooth fairy has no recollection of that request.

Sadly, when he got up the morning after the first tooth came out, the tooth fairy had not dropped by. The tooth fairy felt dreadful, as you can imagine, missing a boy’s first lost tooth. So, she came in the the daytime, something she wouldn’t normally do. She took that tooth and replaced it with shiny coins. When the boy returned instead of being thrilled he was very unhappy. “Where is my tooth?” he demanded. “I wanted to keep it!” I explained that the tooth fairy was probably unaware of his wish, but this had no effect, he was inconsolable. He actually tossed the coins at me exclaiming that he just wanted his tooth back. (It was high drama for a minute there) We finally came to a compromise when I reminded him that the tooth next to the lost one was also loose, perhaps he could keep that one. Sigh.

On Saturday the next tooth came out. We were at a violin retreat all day so he wrapped it in a tissue and gave it to me for safe keeping. Yep, you guessed it, I forgot that tissue was holding the precious tooth and when I returned home I tossed it in the garbage. As Andrew said, I did what only a mother would do, I searched for the tooth and found it.  Enough said.

B6 left a note for the fairy this time. He doesn’t write his notes in words, he uses symbols. This note was stuck next to the cup holding the tooth and had his name, a picture of a cup with a tooth in it, a picture of a mouth with a gap, and a picture of a garbage bin with a cross through it. The tooth fairy may be lacking focus but I believe she got it right this time.

Summer dresses

v8180crop.jpgI have a very organised friend who has already sewn herself a collection of stylish new summer dresses. I know I should sew for summer in winter and vice versa, but I don’t seem to manage it. I am inspired though and I have fabric bought at the end of last summer and a pattern purchased the other day ready to go. The girls have decided they want to make Lucy’s and Susan’s dresses from Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. So there is no shortage of plans and patterns, just a lack of time. But that will change soon, won’t it?

 

In the cupboard

Last week Group of four did double duty: a morning field trip and an afternoon unit. When B6 realised this in the morning he declared, “Yay, no school today!” That’s what you think, my boy.

In the morning we headed off to a food bank in our city, the Kanata Food Cupboard, where we were given a tour and description of all the activities that go on there. We were also able to help sort three large collection bins that come in from local supermarkets and make up snack bags for school kids.

The food cupboard is staffed by 500 volunteers, some of whom had come in for an extra morning so that we could see them in action and have some guidance while we were working. We helped sort food into categories, some one else checked the use by date on every item sorted and then the items were shelved ready for another group to make family food packages. It was another reminder to all of us how richly blessed we are to always have enough food and often plenty to spare.

We then spent the afternoon looking at different components of fitness, breaking it down into muscle strength, flexibility, cardiovascular fitness and endurance. We tried to emphasize the importance of setting personal goals rather than comparing yourself to others but our arm wrestling activity did bring the competitive side out in a few of us!

Tulips

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I was looking through our photos for a good picture of a bird on our feeders. I didn’t find a good one but I did find these photos that A10 took while we were at the Tulip Festival a week or so ago. She concentrated on locating the odd man out.

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Sports update

A10 and B6 are enjoying their soccer twice a week and both Dragonflies and Sharks seem to be playing more as teams this week. B’s team is made up of 5 and 6 year olds who don’t really take the side lines seriously. Several times I have watched half the team race off after the ball continuing to kick it well into another game before a parent grabs the ball and directs them back. His team continues their winning streak while A10’s team has had 2 wins, 2 losses.

Our softball team has had two wins. I was not happy with any of my hits last week but this week I had a couple that looked decent. Andrew had some big hits this week, but as our field had no fence a home run was harder to achieve.

Our town has gone a little lot crazy as its hockey team is in has won the Eastern Conference final, so now they get their chance at the cup.

Lamingtons

As promised B6 and I made an Australian food mentioned in Possum Magic. Lamingtons are blocks of butter cake or sponge cake dipped in chocolate icing and rolled in coconut. The cake is less likely to crumble if made a day ahead so I did that the night before. Making Lamingtons can be a fairly messy activity. I left B6 whisking the chocolate icing at one stage and came back to find it splattered on the wall. This just reminded me of the Lamington drives I participated in as a teen.

Our youth group did Lamington drives as fundraisers. We would collect orders for boxes of a dozen lamingtons and then gather on a Saturday to spend the day making them. The cake part was purchased from a bakery or supplier, then we mixed up the icing and rolled hundreds of squares of cake in icing, then in coconut. You can imagine what our church hall looked like at the end.

We have shared our lamingtons with a few friends and their responses were enthusiastic. If you would like to make them here is the recipe we followed:

Lamingtons

img_2462crop.jpg 125g (4oz) butter
¾ cup castor sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 eggs
2 cups self-raising flour
pinch salt
½ cup milk

Cream butter, sugar and vanilla together until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beat well. Fold in sifted dry ingredients alternately with the milk. Spoon into a greased and greased paper lined 18cmx28cm lamington tin (squares tin). Bake in moderate oven 30 to 40 minutes. Allow to stand in the tin for a few minutes before turning out on to cake cooler. It is best to make the cake the day before you want to cut and ice the lamingtons, as fresh cake will usually crumble. Cut the cake into squares about 4x5cm. Dip in chocolate icing, then toss in coconut. Place on grease proof paper while icing sets.

Chocolate icing for lamingtons: Sift 500g icing sugar and 1/3 cup cocoa into a bowl. Add 2 teaspoons melted butter to ½ cup warmed milk. Add sufficient milk mixture to icing sugar mixture to make a smooth consistency; beat well.

img_2465crop.jpgIt is quite a messy process rolling the lamingtons in chocolate icing. We used skewers to hold the pieces of cake and roll them in the icing. We also put our bowl of icing in a larger dish of hot water to keep it from setting too quickly. I didn’t pour all the icing into the bowl at the beginning because after a while it thickens and gets bits of coconut and cake floating in it. At the end you have some chocolate icing with cake and coconut in it so you can’t really use it for anything else. You also have some coconut with globs of icing in it so you can’t really use it for anything else. So you have to just eat it, really, don’t you?