Saturday, October 31, 2009


last nite we had some heat lightning. we didn't get more than a few drops of rain but lightning was flashing fairly regularly so i decided to get the camera out. it wasn't great lightning because it was behind clouds but i thought i'd play with the camera so next time we have a good lightning storm maybe i can get a shot of a fork if i'm lucky.
from the kitchen window- the first shot is how the sky looked without lightning (the sky was pretty glow-y) and the second is some lightning

the backyard (again the first shot is just the sky and the second has lightning):

i hit the "i'm feeling lucky" button in picasa and i like the way it changed the photo:

i wish we had better views in our yard and from our windows (most of our windows face the house next door about 3 m from ours). it makes it a bit hard for lightning photography because i'm not gonna be running across the road or down the street during a lightning storm.

Posted by Picasa

Friday, October 30, 2009


last saturday i got to attend 1 day of a 21/2 day sustainability in early childhood education conference for work. i wish i could have gone to the whole thing but because my co-worker was already going to all of it, one of us had to be at work on friday so there weren't just 2 relievers working together and opening the kinder (and my co-worker is actively involved in the organization that planned the conference).

i got to go to 2 really great sessions on saturday morning-- the first one was discussing our own journeys with sustainability and outdoor play and the second one was a presentation from a new zealand kindergarten that built their entire garden from the children's ideas. they had everything from garden beds where the children could pick all the flowers they wanted whenever they wanted, chamomile grass, insects and bugs to observe (they even found a protected lizard in the garden because of the kinds of plants they had), lots of fruit and veggies and even a banana tree (it's kept inside but they were actually able to find a way to have it after one child said he wanted bananas to grow in the garden). after lunch we went on tours. i went on a tour to skinner's playground (a great supervised playground in st kilda with cubby houses built from recycled materials, a veggie garden and lots of space to play) and 2 kindergarten and child care centres in the st kilda area that have amazing gardens and programs focusing on the environment and play areas involving natural materials.

the saturday of the conference also happened to fall on the international day of climate action (they didn't realize that when the conference dates were set) so we took a photo for the website:

(my head is barely visible behind someone near the right side of the photo)

below is a closeup of the banner that is behind us in the photo:

the only thing i was really disappointed in was the food. the entire conference (including a 3 course dinner at the zoo on friday nite) was vegetarian. people i talked to said the food was pretty good. i was just there for morning tea and lunch on saturday. morning tea was muffins and fruit bowls (apples and pears). i was happy to have an apple but i was a bit disappointed there weren't a few vegan muffins (i think there were a couple others that were vegan too). lunch was a packed lunch (in a tupperware sandwich box to keep and an aluminum--aluminium to aussies--drink bottle) so we could head off on our tours. lunch for most people was sandwich wraps in the container and then there were small bananas and pieces of cake (not vegan unless they just didn't mention it and i couldn't find anyone to ask) to take if you wanted along with your water. in my specially labeled sandwich container was a salad. a small salad of lettus, tomato and cucumber with drop of an oily dressing. i'm sure the wrap bread was probably vegan and if the sandwiches had cheese or other dairy i'm sure they could have easily been substituted. so i had lunch of salad and a small banana (after my morning tea of an apple). fortunately i brought the last few almonds that had been sitting on the kitchen table so i had a little bit to snack on from a food that was not fruit or vegetable. i know it wasn't the conference organizers fault-- it was the catering people's fault for not really knowing what vegans can and can't eat. i did make it clear on my evaluation form that i was very disappointed in the vegan food though (especially sad since in the conference program book they had a paragraph stating why they had chosen to have an entirely vegetarian and vegan menu for the conference).
i did have a great time though, got to talk to some great people, hear some great things and just be around a lot of people with similar views on the environment, sustainability and the importance of play in nature for children.

sucked in

i came across this article this morning. i like the clear picture it makes.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

giant seagull

they showed this clip on the 7pm project last nite. even funnier is the quote from peter hitchener on the youtube clip:
"I was reading away, and it was a serious story, and I suddenly thought, 'Oh my gosh that seagulls back again', because we had bit of a problem last night,'' Hitchener said.
"About 50 seconds to 6 o'clock this seagull arrived and started pecking at the camera and it had the beadiest huge eyes you've ever seen in your life.''

(it's better viewing the clip on youtube cuz its widescreen but my blog is putting it in a square)

Saturday, October 17, 2009


when i bought the vegan whipped cream i had to buy the vegan waffles so we could use whatever was left of the whipped cream on waffles. i blended up a few of the strawberries with some water and agave nectar to make a not too sweet sauce and then chopped the rest to put on the toasted waffles along with the whipped cream. a great breakfast treat.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


i am officially australian (and still canadian). i had the ceremony last nite where i said the oath with around 130 others and then we each got our certificates of citizenship, a native plant and our electoral enrollment papers. the only minor stress was the start of the evening. we had a flexicar booked at 5pm. the plan was to go get zac's nanna who lives nearish to the town hall in coburg where the ceremony was taking place and then get to the town hall for me to register (i had to be there between 5:45 and 6:15). i had gone online to add a half hour to our original flexicar booking and the site told me to pick a different car because that pod was out for maintenance. i called flexicar yesterday morning to ask why my confirmed booking was no longer available and why nobody had told me because the only reason i knew is because i decided to change my booking. they said the car had been in an accident the day before and was out of service. they knew about my booking for the evening and would be replacing the car so my booking was ok, it would just be a different car there. i rode past my booked car spot mid afternoon and the damaged car was in the spot with its back end crunched in a bit. when we walked up just after 5pm there was no car there. i called flexicar a bit panicked because i didn't know if we'd have time for whatever alternative they would offer. of course the office closed at 5 so i had to go through the whole long voice mail message before it would allow me to speak to the on-call person. i got to her phone and it rang a lot and then went to voicemail! i left an urgent message explaining what was going on. at that moment a girl zac knows through work (she works at a different organization but zac had been in touch with her several times in the past few weeks) drove up to the line of traffic at the red light. she asked us if we were waiting for a flexicar. i said we were but we were pretty sure it wasn't coming since we knew it wasn't just somebody else that had the car out past their booked time. she offered us a lift which we gladly accepted. turns out she lives in boronia (which is about an hour in the opposite direction she was taking us, past where she'd just come from). sooooo thankful for her and her perfect timing. flexicar called while she was driving us and the on call woman said she was going to have to call the operations manager because she was also under the understanding that there would be a car there for us too. i explained someone had helped us and we wouldn't be needing flexicar that nite. she's gonna make sure we get some extra driving credit added into our account for all the stress it caused us. we also had to get zac's sister to pick up nanna and then drive us home afterwards. other than that mix up, it was a good nite. after, we came home and celebrated with an aussie dinner of (vegan) meat pies and coopers beer (i should have gone for the more aussie vb but its not good and probably not vegan). then we had dessert of canadian thanksgiving pumpkin pie. it worked out ok-- it was almost proper pie consistency (just a bit less firm than it should have been) but it doesn't taste great. its ok but i think maybe i needed more sweetener or something to make it taste like proper pumpkin pie. the soyatoo whip cream helped though. (that's the first slice. the one i had today was a bit less sloppy looking)
Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

motivation part II (see below for part I)

i became motivated. the sun came out (briefly) and i did a nice 30 shred workout (mostly for the strength training).
after, i had a hair appt. i've been going to rising angel for probably a year now after going to cheap walk in places for several years. such a difference when you go to a good salon and get the full wash, cut and dry with someone who knows how to make your hair look good (i LOVE the wash/scalp massage and every time i go it makes me realize why wombat LOVES her baths even though she hates water-- the full massage she gets from us then must be good).
after that i went next door to radical grocery (waffles and vegan whip cream) and the few op shops in the area. i managed to find a pretty much new (with instruction booklet) rice cooker for $10 (zac has been wanting one for a while).
when i got home i made a pie crust (from la dolce vegan), cut, cooked and pureed some pumpkin and made a pumpkin pie from a recipe in how it all vegan (which is currently in the oven-- the pie, not the cookbook). turns out i don't have a 9" pie plate (just 7 or 8" ones) so i had some left over filling (which was quite liquid-y and i'm hoping is thickening up in the pie while it's in the oven). i decided to use the last bit of filling to make a spiced pumpkin latte. soooooo good! unfortunately there was only enough for the 1 but i guess i could always make a 1/2 batch of the pie filling and use it for lattes.
if the pie works out there will be photos (complete with vegan whip cream)


today is my RDO. i figured i'd get some things done since it's only tuesday and i'm not exhausted from a week of work (although yesterday was very long and involved a staff meeting/dinner after work). i woke up this morning and it's all grey and windy and COLD (the wind almost feels icy-- i'm sure it did feel icy at the time i would have had to ride into work). so far i've done nothing but make breakfast and try to fix things on the computer. i'm working up the motivation to do some sort of exercise. i also kind of want to make a pumpkin pie, which would have to be done from scratch (no canned pumpkin or pumpkin pie mix in australia but i do have a big pumpkin from our aussie farmers direct box that is waiting for a purpose). it's thanksgiving in canada so it would be fitting to have that today (no way i'm gonna do the full tofurkey dinner thing but a pie could be a little taste of thanksgiving). i just need to get out of this chair though.....