Monday, May 31, 2010

Bits Of My Weekend - Volume Six

(N.B. This post could also be titled 'What I ate this weekend....')

Friday night I visited our bricks. We have quite a lot now. Next stop, roof!

Friday night I had this for dinner. It was Chicken Mignon. Inside the chicked were semi-dried tomatoes and boccincini. It was to-die-for.

Saturday morning I cooked some breakfast. I couldn't find the metal egg rings, but I could find some capsicum. Yum!

In my fantasy world I am an amazing photographer, and since we spent quite a lot of money on a fancy-dancy digital SLR, I think perhaps I should learn how to use it. Now, I am possibly the laziest person in Australia, so I was only prepared to venture as far as the front yard in my quest. This is one of my Dad's roses.

All the leaves are brown... (All the leaves are bro-wn)
And the sky is grey... (And the sky is gr-ey)...
About five minutes after I took this photo the wind picked up and blew them all away.

I made up a recipe for pie. I've never made it before, and even though I used icing sugar when I should have used cornflour, it turned out quite well.

Bits Of My Weekend is a concept stolen from Michelle. When you're finished here, you should go to her blog and see what the rest of the world did on the weekend. Leave a link to bits of YOUR weekend while you're there...

Sunday, May 30, 2010

My Dad

The following is taken from the eulogy at my Dad's funeral earlier in the year.

Dad met Mum at a dance at the local mechanics institute hall in Kilmore when he was about 23 and she 18 in about 1960. They became engaged to be married on the 15th of September 1962 and were married in Kilmore on the 4th of May, 1963. They honeymooned around Adelaide and South Australia in the farm's new light blue Holden Ute and a caravan.

Soon after their first wedding anniversary in 1964 Chris was born, followed by Marita fourteen months later. Peter was born 4 years later in 1969 and then 8 years after that I arrived.

Dad loved being a father. Our childhood was filled with family holidays, cousins coming to visit for school holidays on the farm and Sundays after mass with the Zoch’s and the Ryan’s.
Dad was at his happiest when he had people around him. He was such a social person and loved nothing more than catching up on everyone’s news around a barbeque. He loved to whistle, which at times drove mum to distraction, and he had a song, or at least a line or 2 of a song for every occasion.

We have memories of car trips punctuated at regular intervals by dad cheerfully singing ‘Tiptoe through the tulips’, if he happened to see a tulip, ‘There’s a hole in the bucket dear Henry’ or the chorus of “Sadie the cleaning lady”. The return trip was usually spent trying to distract Dad from noticing any of the same sights on the way home in an attempt to reduce the singing.

Dad was a member of the Knights of the Southern Cross, St Patricks Parish Council and regularly played tennis at High Camp and Pyalong. In his younger days he also played footy for Tooborac. He was an active member of the Glenaroua CFA for 45 years.
Later after Peter started playing junior golf at Pyalong and also Dad decided to take up golf and was a member at Pyalong for many years. He loved golf; I think more for the social side of it than any serious golf side and especially looked forward to the annual Pyalong Avenel tournament that was held on his birthday on ANZAC day. Each year there was much debate between Dad and Mum about whether or not he should go or stay home, he usually went! Later in life he used to thoroughly enjoy 9 holes at Kilmore. He especially loved playing a round with Peter and Shaun and in fact played his last game of golf with them recently, just before his surgery. He was always interested in what we kids were doing and he and mum would always come along to encourage us at school and junior sports or other school activities. He was always quick to volunteer for working bees and other community projects. He was still helping out recently at his Grandchildren’s school working bees.

He was a humble man, not wanting to take charge or direct, preferring to just work with people and get the job done. He had a real knack for making new friends and making people feel comfortable and part of a group. He knew how to have fun and always had something cheeky to say followed by a little smirk to let you know he was pulling your leg.

Once after Dad showed a visitor around the farm who didn’t know a lot about farming, whoever it was asked how the sheep handled living on the steep hillsides, without missing a beat Dad answered quickly that they had to be regularly rotated from one side of the hill to the other side or the sheep’s legs would grow longer on one side and they would all look crooked, followed by that little smirk. Another favourite of his was when counting sheep running through an opening in front of inexperienced onlookers, usually kids, and they asked how he was counting them he would always say the best way was to count their legs and then divide the answer by 4. The visitors would look to us and we would nod approval of course.

As well as a song for every occasion he also had a saying for every situation. For example if one of us was grizzling about some minor issue he’d say ‘Pity what happened to ya”. We have vivid memories of following dad around when we were very young asking what was this and what was that, the standard answer he would give was “A wing wong for a gooses bridle.” If there was a lot of something it would have “heads on it like mice” and I don’t know how many times we would stop somewhere or he would have to go somewhere “to see a man about a dog” I could never understand why the dog hardly ever eventuated.

My Dad loved a good story. One of his favourites was “When I was your age I used to ride my pushbike down to Riley’s paddock carrying my ferret box and nets, then I’d ferret all day, then ride home again with 26 pairs of rabbits hooked on the bike frame”. I’m not sure how true that was, but I’m sure he believed it. Another story he told often was that the rabbits were so bad at times when he was young that you would have to chase the rabbits down the holes before you could set the nets.

Dad loved a trip to the Pyalong tip, and would often return with more than he took with him to dump. On one trip we brought home the entire middle section of a hills hoist, complete with huge concrete blob on the bottom just because he needed a tiny cog out of it to fix ours. I guess he was recycling before it was trendy.

Dad was a hard working man who worked the family farm with his brother John and their father Jack. We all pitched in at the busy times like shearing and hay carting time and we all have great memories of working together in sometimes hot and trying conditions to get the work done. When he was younger he was also a shearer working at most of the farms around the local area. He loved the social side of the shearing shed where all of the important news and current events were discussed and debated.

After continued poor seasons and low wool prices the decision to sell the farm was made in late 2000. It was probably one of the hardest decisions Dad and Mum and John and Sue ever had to make. The farm was sold in 2001, this allowed Dad and Mum to enjoy a wonderful retirement while still in good health. They moved to Kilmore and after a few improvements to set the house up how they liked it, their thoughts turned to travel and they purchased a caravan.

The years to follow were spent being happy wanderers, with one of the first trips they took retracing the route of their honeymoon, with updated facilities. Trips to Queensland and Tasmania among other places followed. In 2008 Dad and Mum ventured overseas. Dad was especially pleased to go to Tipperary in Ireland and see the places where the Leahy’s originally came from. Whilst getting ready to board the plane at Melbourne Airport, Chyken and I smuggled a little surprise into their luggage.

It was a stuffed toy, a beaver about a foot high. We thought perhaps we would get a postcard from him, or a photo of the beaver with Big Ben. Dad’s sense of fun is evident in the many hundreds of photos that were taken on their trip of the beaver at various locations. Dad and the beaver in an Irish Pub, Dad and the beaver at Edinburgh Castle, Dad and the beaver under the Eiffel Tower.

Our Dad lived for his family, not only for Mum and us 4 kids but also our partners, our children and his very large extended family. He was extremely proud of every one of us and kept up to date with the lives of his nieces and nephews as well. His pride at each of our 4 weddings was evident, especially when he walked his daughters down the aisle, and he made a big effort to welcome and involve our respective spouses in the Leahy family. He loved big family gatherings, he loved a good yarn and he loved a beer, good wine or a port at night with friends.

Dad had a very strong faith. He has been at every grandchild’s baptism and as they grew older also at their First Communion and Confirmation celebrations. His faith was a part of who he was and he was especially happy to see them receive their sacraments.

He wanted to be involved in his Grandchildren’s lives and to help achieve this at the start of each sporting season he made a point of getting all of the kids sports game draws and planning his weeks so that he attended as many of their games as possible. He loved watching the Grandkids play footy, soccer, netball, basketball, swimming and dancing. Every birthday was special and Dad and Mum made sure that on these days they paid the special person a visit if at all possible.

Towards the end of Dad’s illness he showed great courage. He had such a positive attitude and he was so strong. The past 2 months have shown us the true extent of Mum and Dad’s love for each other. Dad was totally devoted to Mum, and Mum to Dad. One of the nurses commented to Mum just before he passed away that he adored her. That is so true.

Dad, there are so many things we still needed to talk to you about and share with you. Luckily the list of things that you HAVE seen and achieved in your life, and the lessons you taught us far outweighs this.

Thankyou for being our dad.

See you in the soup!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bits Of My Weekend - Volume Five

Another week gone already? Here are some highlights of my weekend...

Saturday night we had a get together with some of my work mates. Here's me and Chyken being silly.

This is Me, Donna and Jenni being VERY silly.

On Sunday we visited our newly erected bricks.
This is the back wall of our house.

Then we caught up with some very good friends for a surprise birthday lunch for Mary and Christine. Here is Mary with Oliver, my extremely cute second cousin.

A very relaxing weekend all round.

Bits Of My Weekend is a concept stolen from Michelle. When you're finished here, you should go to her blog and see what the rest of the world did on the weekend. (Be patient, she is in the USA and her weekend isn't usually finished when I post my Bits!) Then you should come back here and leave a link to a post containing bits of YOUR weekend!

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Bits Of My Weekend - Volume Four

Friday night and the lights are loooooooooow...
On Friday night we went to see Mamma Mia (a reward for me losing 5 kilograms!!). Before the show I elected to go to Mrs Parma's. This was probably not the best idea, and I probably put back on some of the 5 kilograms. We'll find that out on Wednesday. In any case, it was (as always) wonderful.
This is my meal, the Chicken Bolognaise Parma. (With bacon, yum!)

Restaurants like Mrs Parma's are one of the things I miss the most about not living in the city anymore. I also miss our Thai and Indian places, but what we don't have in fast food we more than make up with in clean air and no traffic! I HATE traffic. I find it hard to believe that I used to sit in traffic for almost an hour to get to work and I travelled about 10 kilometres. Now i travel further (60km-ish) but it only takes me 45 minutes!

After dinner it was time for the show! I loved it, even from the cheap seats. Chyken claims he didn't like it (although he concedes that the band were great!), but he was clearly DANCING at the end, so I think he is lying!

On Saturday we ventured out in to the southeast of Melbourne, past the Chicken and her big yellow Chip, to visit Thea.

Now, I MEANT to get a photo of Thea, but I totally forgot. I did get one of the food though. It was incredibly nommy. Except for the olives, they were yuck.

After seeing Thea we popped in to see some other friends, and then headed for one of my favourite places - The Drive In!

We saw 'Robin Hood' (it was great, and although Russell is nowhere near as hot as he was in 'Brides of Christ' he's still gorgeous! Cate was, as always, wonderful!) Then we saw an Australian movie called 'I Love You Too'. It was better than I thought it was going to be. It's no 'Muriel's Wedding', but it was enjoyable enough. Chyken automatically liked it cos it contained a dwarf!

Sunday I spent at home alone 'cos Chyken is off doing some school concert thingo. I have done some washing and been to the supermaket. Enthralling stuff, and totally not photo-worthy.

Bits Of My Weekend is a concept stolen from Michelle. When you're finished here, you should go to her blog and see what the rest of the world did on the weekend. (Be patient, she is in the USA and her weekend isn't usually finished when I post my Bits!) Then you should come back here and leave a link to a post containing bits of YOUR weekend!

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Bits of My Weekend - Volume Three

Just another weekend in paradise...
This is currently Chyken's favourite restaurant.
Can't say I was all that impressed with the food, but I did think Mr Wang in the window making the noodles was pretty fantastic. It's blurry because it was super fast!
We then went Mother's Day shopping. We didn't buy these, but I'm always up for anything that is funny AND safe, and I think you should be too!
Saturday night was the fabulous Lauren's 30th Birthday Part-ay. There was excellent cake.
And a fire in a keg. And a fire in a keg loving dog called Lady. She has no whiskers, a direct result of trying to EAT the fire. She jumped and snapped all night long.

Mother's Day dawned and Chyken picked some lemons to give along with other presents. Country lane on the way to visit some of the Mum's. (We have three!) Saw some kangaroos just before this but wasn't quick enough with the camera and they bounded off. Old Baptist church that I've been meaning to stop at and take a photo of for ages.Camel's Hump on Mount Macedon.

View from Chyken Snr's backyard. Hanging Rock.

It was then home again and time to cook dinner for Dame Washalot, my sister and her family. My speciality, Lasagne.

Chyken helped with the cheese. (And did a wonderful job of cleaning up after dinner!!!)

In the beginning...

The assembly...The baking...

It's messy but it's gooooooooood!

Go on over and see how Michelle and her family spent the weekend. (If she hasn't posted yet, she will soon, she's on the other side of the world to me and is probably still actually HAVING her weekend as I type this!)

Then you should come back and tell me how you spent YOUR weekend!

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

25 Random Things About Me...

I've recycled this from dear old Facebook, becuase lately I am lacking in writing inspiration. I've changed some of them a bit.

25 Random Things about me...

You are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you.

1. Most of my friends know everything there is to know about me, and if they don't, it's because they haven't asked.

2. I spent the first 18 years of my life living in the same house. In the same bedroom even. I miss it more than anyone will ever know

3. I met my husband on a dating website.

4. I love watching people's reactions when I tell them how I met him.

5. I was engaged to someone else when I was 18 - 22. It seems like a whole lifetime ago.

6. I broke off the engagement because he was abusive. I had to take out an intervention order against him. Going to court to get it was the hardest thing I've ever done in my whole life.

7. I am addicted to this blog: . Sunday cannot come around fast enough so I can read the new ones.

8. I am really scared that when we decide to have children, the process will not be easy.

9. I try not to, but I can't help thinking less of people who put a 'k' on the end of words that don't have one.

10. I am actually a very shy person, and find it very hard to make the first move.

11. I threw up on a tram once. I blame the McDonald's breakfast, and not the huge amounts of Vodka I had consumed the night before.

12. According to Chyken, I can speak Dutch in my sleep.

13. I worry about my sister a lot.

14. I have absolutely no idea how the Stock Market works.

15. I think all politicians are full of shit.

16. I would do ANYTHING for members of my family, but I don't feel that all of them would for me.

17. My 21st Birthday Party really was shit. I am deeply sorry for those that had to attend.

18. I really have absolutely no idea how I got so lucky as to meet Chyken.

19. I wish I had tried harder at school.

20. I love reading historical fiction. I think I would have loved living in Tudor times. Aside from the beheadings, obviously.

21. I love John Farnham and I'm pretty sure I always will. He has NOT retired.

22. My house can hardly be called 'tidy', but I cannot go to sleep if the wardrobe doors are open or the doona does not have the buttons at the bottom of the bed.

23. I am truly frightened of oogely boogely men. (The big long things filled with hot air that are usually outside Godfrey's).

24. I have never seen Top Gun or any of the Godfather movies.

25. I used to think that people were exaggerating when they complained of their 'heart breaking'. Then my Dad died.

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Bits of My Weekend - Volume Two

Friday night on my way home from work I saw this:

You can't see it? Here's a zoomier picture...

Now, as I live in rural Australia, I see kangaroos all the time, so that is nothing new, but this paddock normally has alpacas in it, so it was a bit odd to see another type of animal there.

I arrived home to a present from Chyken for no reason.

Stamps! I love stamping! Perhaps I worked in a bank in my past life or something, anyway, these are great, not that I really have any cause to use them. I did stamp 'Good Work' on my Mum's hand after she cooked Roast Lamb on Saturday night though. On Friday night I also came upon a catalogue containing such treasures as these:

If you were wondering what to get me for my birthday, wonder no more!!!

On Saturday I got up early and went to the pool for some water aerobics (my new favourite thing!!!) I do not feel that there needs to be a photo of this, but I promise it did happen!
After that I came home and did some serious couching with Chyken. I finally watched Avatar (yes, for the FIRST time!). It was OK. Can't see what all the fuss was about, but perhaps that's cos I didn't see it in 3D and/or IMAX. We got off the couch briefly for the aforementioned Roast Lamb, and then it was back there for 'The Ugly Truth'.

On Sunday I went to watch my nephews play footy. Jack is number 10 and Will is 17. Jack's team thrashed the opposition, and Will's got thrashed by the opposition.

That's Will in the yellow and black, about to take a mark.

We then had a massive late BBQ lunch. Here is a delightful picture of my favourite niece called Emily. She is having an operation to remove lots of teeth tomorrow, so I thought I would take a photo for comparision later. We then hopped in the spa for a couple of relaxing hours and then come home for an early night.

Here's a bonus picture of Chyken, just cos he's wonderful and showed me enough html so that I could stop swearing at the PC and move the photos around a bit.

Pop on over to Six in the City to see how others spent their weekends and then please come back here and tell me how you spent YOUR weekend.

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