shot straight to shit!  Today started off as a nice quiet day.. coffee on the veranda while the kids played, a bit of housework.. the usual stuff.  I even started baking a lemon slice (note to self, share recipe!) and then.. *sniff sniff*  What is that smell.. that smells like SMOKE!   

So what do I do?  I of course send DH off outdoors to see WTF is going on and he comes back and says I think I need to ring the fire department!   They thankfully already had trucks on the way out.  The first shot shows the fire just after DH called 000 (our equiv of 911)

These were the scenes we were met with when we stepped out the front door.  We were told we'd be notified by emergency services if the fire became a serious thread to any homes, in which case we'd need to evacuate, but that for now we were safe as the fire fighters were working to contain the fire.  The second photo was taken looking over our back fence,  the woods are probably 100metres away, if that.  There is a bit of wetlands between us & them which provides a little buffer.  At the worst of it, the smoke in this picture obscured the trees to where they were all shadows.

The fire grew to this in a matter of a few minutes.  Just after this shot the fire engines came through.  Mr. Sam HAD to go put on his firemans costume because this reinforced to him that firefighters are clearly the most awesome people on the planet!

The fire crews started a bit of back burning to starve the fire of fuel the closer it got to homes, if it came to that.  So all that extra smoke is a good thing, if a bit scary looking!  That pic was taken from our front yard,  the firetrucks are 3 houses down from us.  After about 2hours, the smoke has thinned considerably, although there are still good clouds of it billowing past out back.  It's nowhere near as thick and icky as it was!   

Life seems back to normal now,  we're getting ready to settle down for a nice bolognese dinner with yummy garlic bread.. the kids will have a bath, and hubby & I will go and smash a big ole dragon in Obsidian Sanctum with some mates.  But for a  few hours this afternoon, we were waiting for a call to evacuate our home and being MIGHTY glad we'd purchased contents insurance for our stuff when we moved in here!

I sincerely hope everyone else's day has been far less eventful than ours!


Ok... I was a total slacker last night after I got home from belly dance class and did not make the eggy pies I said I was going to.  In my own defence though, it was 8pm and I'd have been cooking & cleaning till 10.. so screw that!  I figured I could redeem myself somewhat, by sharing the joy that is/are eggy pies, with you fine people  :D    I have no eggy pie picture, but hopefully I will remember to take one tonight to add later.  My recipe's are not overly exact.. so bear with me!

Caz's zucchini mini quiche

5 beaten eggs
3 good sized zucchini, shredded
1 onion, shredded
1c cheese, shredded
1c flour (not shredded ;)
125g (give or take) chopped bacon, cooked till crispy
chopped chives
salt & pepper

After you have everything shredded, mix all ingredients together. It should be a fairly thick mixture.. if it's too runny, add a little more flour :) Salt & pepper to taste.  I give my muffin pans a light spray with oil to prevent sticking, but it's not *usually* a problem.

Scoop into muffin cups (we use mini muffin pans, as the Merrymeister likes bite sized foods) and bake until the tops are lightly tinged with golden brown goodness & a skewer inserted comes out clean. Usually 20-30minutes at 350ish. (this will vary depending on what sized muffin pans you're using of course, so I just check them regularly by stabbing one with a wooden skewer.. if it comes out clean it's done, But I like golden brown so I would be tempted to turn on the broiler for a minute if they were pale :D ) 

These are also rockin good with chorizo instead of the bacon, just chop it up & brown it.  We had to go back to bacon as it gave us equally rockin heartburn lol.

The boys always help me do the work with these, and we make these nearly every week.  They are household favourites for preschool lunches & picnics out! 

Enjoy!  And if anyone has a go at making them, drop me a note to let me know what you thought :)  

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Today was a pretty typical day at home for us.  The boybarians did really well and chewed through their 'schoolwork' by 1230 today... We had a bit of math for Frodo & Sam, some tracing/handwriting practice for Sam, and Frodo read a chapter of the science curriculum that he likes and we searched up some activity pages to go with it. (I just finally picked up a years membership to Enchanted Learning which I can already see is going to be well worth the 20ish bucks!)   He also got out their 'book bank' full of science books and found an insect book to go with this weeks chapter, without any suggestion from me. Sam did a Headsprout lesson and we did a bit of drawing and such for fun.   Sam is SO wanting to be able to read cool stuff like his big brother and he's a bit bummed that it's taking so loooooong lol.   

We're supposed to make zucchini mini quiche today, but it's SO STINKING HOT that I think that will have to wait till this evening!  No way am I cranking the oven up when it's 34C (somewhere in the mid 90sF)   I have belly dance class tonight, which I'm very much looking forward to!, so it'll be a late evening undertaking to be sure.  But a tasty one ;)  If I can be bothered after shimmying by buns off for an hour and 15mins anyway!

Sam & I started plotting our Spring altar (although honestly it feels like it's already summer here... 'they'  are predicting a nasty summer for us)  and I plan to pull out the Altar mini workshop ideas I stashed for a MDC pagan mamas camp, that didn't happen, and make a few creations to beautify it a bit.   I have terra cotta clay to make my own new Goddess with (my current 'Nile' goddess has sadly lost the tips of her hands), a totally cute little star wand that I'm going to let the kids decorate, some fabric to make an altar cloth representing the elements and a few other bits & peices.   I'll definitely share pics, and possibly post my little workshop here as well.   


Since I've been home from the US, I've been in such a state of jet lag that it's not funny.  Today is one week I've been home... I swear it's the longest week ever!   Up until early this week I had some pretty rockin vertigo & dizzyness that I suppose is a hangover from the extended air time, but finally that faded completely yesterday.  (nearly a week of woozyness yikes!  I was going to be heading to the doc if it didn't let up by today).  I figured it was time to get out of the house with the boys (because honestly they were driving me nuts! lol) So I went to a local park .. a very local one actually, and one of the boys' favourite hang outs, and met up with some local homeschool mums.   (here's a tiny pic of the lake we spent the day at, the park is just out of the shot on the right, on the far side of the lake.  Just a gorgeous spot!)

There was another boy there who turned out to be 11, but he ran off with Frodo & Sam and they had all sorts of fun.  They went out onto the little jetty and looked at the fish & the ducks (who were very disappointed that the kids weren't there to feed them lol)   and just generally explored around & played.   I think there were 5 of us grown ups there, and 10 or so kids... so not a bad sized crowd for the first time we all met up.  I'm really hoping it turns into a regular thing, as all the other park days & hs activities we try to get to are quite a drive away... and with my car seat prone children, more often than not we end up missing out :(   

It was so nice to get to go chat with other hs'ing mums (and there was even another possible/likely pagan mum there, as I spied a rather particular tattoo ;) about this that & the other.  We talked about school stuff (duh), cats, dogs, our kids interests. OUR interests, In-laws lol.   I'm pretty sure I've forgotten one ladies name, and I probably have someone else's names mixed up lol, but I'll sort that out eventually I spose.   

DH was conveniently sick (he really IS sick though, poor guy) so he kept the Merrymonster home with him, after he made a run to see the doc.  And I picked up his get better drugs on the way home with the boys, who scored a rare treat of nemo juices for being good sports about waiting at the chemist :) 


Today we finished up a unit on Ancient Egyptian Gods (as part of history).  It was pretty cool, and Frodo can recognize a fair few of them on site now.  Not surprising, given his love of ancient Egyptian 'stuff'!   He drew a few symbols for some of the God/desses and then came to the part of the assignment where we have a vocabulary word to define.  Todays was simply 'gods'.   We put together a definition from a couple of sites and he copied it dutifully into his history notebook.  

We talked about how the Egyptians had many gods and that their Pharoh was seen as a living god. Then I told him even today some people believe in many gods, some people worship & believe in only one god... and that some people don't believe in any gods at all.    He seemed to take that pretty well in stride (wouldn't it be nice if  more adults could live with that concept???)  Then came 'what do you believe mum?'  I guess it never occurred to me that I've never told him exactly what we believe, he has heard mention of Goddess and see's pagan books around and helps put together our family altar...but there's never been a specific discussion about this.  

It's not the easiest thing to put your entire belief system into terms a 7yo can understand (or even to put them into a brief talk they can SIT through lol).  What I came to in the end was that Yes Frodo, mum believes in many god/desses...who are also one god/dess and that I don't really think they are all distinct individuals, I sometimes use different names for them as a way to relate to something so much larger than myself.   I explained that I think of God/dess as the tiny spark of the divine that is inside every living thing or that it might be easier to think of the Goddess as the spirit of all life, since we are all connected.  He rather liked thinking he has a little bit of god in him. 

It was a very interesting, and thought provoking, chat.  I think I'll have to bring out my copy of Circle Round and make sure to include more Goddess/nature centred stories.  I want my boys to feel comfortable with the faith we are raising them in, even if as they grow older they decide that another path looks more interesting to them.   

Pagan parents, let's hear how you involve your children in your spirituality!  I'm sure there are lots of great ideas knockin around in your heads :D


Tonight I made beef stroganoff for tea (that's dinner for you yanks ;) with alittle corn on the side & bread rolls for the kids.  For the grown ups we had something I was sure that neither of the boys would touch with a 10 foot fork, and I knew without a doubt that Merry wouldn't eat (as it clearly does not resemble a peanut butter & jam sammich in any way).  My dearest and I looked greatly forward to this feast of yumminess with butter & salt to make them just perfect and were totally devastated (well not so much really, as shocked out of our chairs) by the words "Can I try one of those?" and "hey what are those, and where's ours??"  *sigh*   

Oh fine,  parents always complain about their kids not eating veggies so I guess we really HAVE to let them try one.  But surely they will not really eat them.. so it's only two tiny bites 'wasted'.   Well.. they friggin LIKED them!?!?  My children have surely been abducted by aliens and replaced by someone(s) closely resembling them.. because never.. ever.. in a million years... would I expect them to try, let alone LIKE...   

Brussel sprouts!?!??  I am so shocked to my core, that I do believe I'm going to have to have a glass of Baileys' .. on the rocks please.    Anyone else care to join me? ;)


These are photos of the beach, taken from the balcony of our hotel room.  You can see my Celtic inclinations coming through in the timing of these pics lol... All taken at/near sunset or at midnight.  There is something magical about the spot where the land, sea and sky all meet and I can totally see why the Celts thought these places were between the Worlds and between times.  

The shore is one of my favourite places,  when I'm in a funk or something weighs heavily on my mind I am often called to the beach.  Oddly enough it usually tends to be overcast & windy, mirroring my my.. or does my mood mirror it?  I visualize all my worries being carried away with the tide.  It never fails to lighten my heart.  Jon has been through an awful year, losing the love of his life in the accident that nearly claimed his own life, and I thought that he could benefit from a bit of coastline magic.  

And here are pics of me with D, my 16yo (making a goofy face as per usual!) and Jon himself, on the beach.   We had an amazing time, and it was healing all around to have this time together.  Jon's looking pretty damn spritely for a young man who was never expected to make it to the hospital isn't he?  I don't think he'll ever understand just how proud I am of him, I don't know that I would have wanted to survive but this young man has just soldiered on and honours her memory every single day.  
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A day or two after I got home, I went & had a manicure (yeah I know, but I love my nails.. it's my one really girly pleasure ;) and today I christened my newly polished manicure by hitting the garden centre!   I like nothing more than getting my hands in the dirt and growing (or attempting at least!) to grow some of our own veggies.    While I was away, the weather here warmed up considerably... so in the space of 3 weeks half my veggies bolted to seed *sigh*.   That's ok though, it just means I can plant more! lol

My visit to the garden centre today netted me 2 nice looking capsicum plants, a 6pack of green beans, 1 variegated thyme, 1 garlic chives, 1 purple basil *yum*, 4 black beauty zucchini, 1 sage seedling, and 4 cucumbers =D      All area happily potted up on the veranda even as I type.  The kids love to help plant things so of course they were in the middle of everything.  

Since we rent this house, and I doubt the owners would appreciate us digging up their 'nice' new turfed yard (nice is in quotes because there is no topsoil under said turf, and it looks pathetic.. a veggie patch would surely look MUCH nicer hehehe).  I've had moderate success over the past couple of years with my veggie gardening attempts and each season I seem to get a little better at it.    

The pitiful little tomato plants that hubby picked up about a month ago have been nursed to a much better condition (seasol is brilliant stuff), and with the warmer weather they're actually starting to grow now.  We're still munching sugar snap peas, although few of them make it to a cookpot... the kids steal them off the vines lol, but we might have enough out there to go in a fried rice tomorrow.   And the golden zucchini has about 8 or so fruit starting to grow!   

As soon as the sun disappears behind the trees, I think I shall have to adjourn to the veranda with a cup of coffee and admire our handiwork.


Mrs. B has a very interesting Pagan Journal prompt up at the moment.  She wants to hear what we think is the most frustrating aspect of being pagan.  I suppose at different times, there are different answers to this question... lack of community, lack of activities within that community, the ridiculous price of some 'supplies' (I put that in quotes as there is very little I think of as a required supply for pagan practice.. and the absurd prices feel almost predatory in some cases)  I had a bit of a ponder whilst I made a cup of coffee and came up with my answer.

Ok I sat there for a minute trying to figure out a way to put this diplomatically, and came up with nothing lol.   So I'll just say it & duck for cover!  I was close with the community aspect, but that wasn't *quite* it... My issue is finding community that doesn't feel like, for want of a better more pc term, a bunch of nutters.  *ducks*  There seems to be such a strong tendency toward the extreme in pagan circles where people appear to want to be as out there as possible.  As a pagan I totally understand the need for, and really do LOVE the symbols.. but really, if your outfit inspires a game of count the pentacles @@, nuff said.   I also realize that our faith is as much a part of our everyday lives (probably moreso) than your average Christian... but I've met people who behaved as if everylittle mundane thing was some great mysterious message from the Gods.  Sorry Joe, sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.   

I think I've hit on it... my real problem is the lack of 'down to earth' people that celebrate this 'earth based religion'!!  I can't really be the only down to earth, no nonsense pagan mum living in this greater metro area with a population of some 2 million folks can I?  (not that it matters, because I found the same problem when I lived in California too)  I have had about TWO pagan girlfriends, maybe 3, in my entire history as a pagan that I really felt I could sit down for a cuppa without the conversation drifting to the way fringe.  I suppose I must say I have no huge problem with discussing some of the more unusual topics paganism can bring up... but sometimes it'd be nice to sit down with a couple of pagan friends and just chat about ... nothing :D and just know that even though we aren't actively talking pagan stuff, that common bond is still there and doesnt' require constant reinforcing.

I shall now pull a Salman Rushdie and go into hiding LOL. 

Just a quick note to say I am back :D    In a couple of days, when my net is UNthrottled *sigh*  I will put up a post about my travels and plenty of pics of me & my guys up to all sorts of fun.  But for now, I'm doing good to be able to get this page to load so no way am I attempting to add photos!  I have, however, noticed during my browse through blogs I follow that Mrs. B has a new pagan journal prompt.   So I may wander off and get a cuppa coffee and come back and post on that.