Saturday, October 29, 2011

"No, Its Not Melena...

... its M-I-L-I-N-A"

 In the last few weeks, on more than one occasion, I've been reminded that my name also has a medical meaning.  Spelled differently, Milina vs melena, but pronounced the same none-the-less.

I'm pretty happy that this meaning went above the heads of fellow school children, and my brothers, when I was growing up.  So the only person to make this fact known to me, and bring it up occasionally, was my Dad.  Jokingly of course, Dad was quite amused!

OK, if you want to know the meaning, go here.

Although it may sound the same as the medical meaning, and I've spent all my life spelling it, I'm really very proud of my name.

It was my Mother's maiden name, brought from Korcula, Croatia, when my Grand father  travelled to New Zealand at 16 years old. He was from a stunning place.  You can see more here.

This was where he and his family lived - just the green door and the window above was theirs.

Having three of my own children now, giving them names were big decisions.  There are so many factors to consider.
- What meaning did that name have to us?
- Will they need to be spelling it for the rest of their lives?
- Does it work with our surname?
- Does it have other meanings, or translate into other languages?
And all of these considered, could we see ourselves using these names on a daily basis in our family unit?

I can't believe I didn't check a medical journal beforehand, but I'm pretty sure Ruby, Jenson and Mila do not have any other medical meanings.

When I was at school, Milina was one of the "different" names.  However, living in today's multi-cultural society, who is anyone to say what is "different".
Buuuuuuuut, there are always some that break the rules, follow their own path.

So, do you or anyone you know have a name with another meaning??

Friday, October 28, 2011

Quite Time Cuddles

Some times - they fight like cats and dogs.

Most times - I can see their love, and my heart swells.


And for this, I am truly grateful.
See more Gratefuls at Maxabella Loves

Wednesday, October 26, 2011


This is our pet dog Remi.

He's getting on a bit, he'll be 10 next year.  He's really patient with the Little's, and he loves them as much as they love him.  He's really just a big toddler himself.  He's gorgeous.

Oh how he sulks at bath time.

This is not our pet.
I've gotten used to seeing her babies on a daily basis.  But she Freaked Me Out!
I was only in this room a few minutes ago.  Where the (insert whatever) did you come from?  I shudder to think! You better not have siblings.
To be fair she had probably moved in long before we had, and has probably been on google herself finding out how to deter humans.
I've been busy wiping lavender oil around inside window frames and will  be doing the same on the outside with lemon oil. 
Any other natural spider deterrent suggestions would be greatly received.

And, please, nobody tell me she is small.  I don't want to hear it.


Tuesday, October 25, 2011

That Saying About Lemons

I got thrown some "lemons" in the form of fudge that would not set.* 

So I made "Lemonade". 

Coconut Chocolate truffles

French Chocolate Pastries

and a jar of chocolate fudge sauce to pour over icecream.

Beats the socks off plain fudge anyday.

*I don't know why I try to make fudge, I've never been able to make it work.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Same Same But Different

Once upon a time we used to make a regular Saturday morning trip to Oakleigh in Melbourne.  Oakleigh has a rich Greek culture and along with it all the wonderful vibrancy that Greek people possess. 
We would buy our meat, eat souvlaki, drink coffee, or a frappe if it was really hot, and hopefully get a seat outside in the pedestrian mall to enjoy the sunshine and people watch.  I've always found it fascinating to watch the older generation of men sit together, drink their coffees or spirits, smoke cigarettes and chat...loudly and with intent.
It had been a while since we had been, so thought we would make the trip today on the way to pick up the two older Littles, who had spent the night with Baba and Deda.
What greeted us, was not the normal hum of Oakleigh, but the big bang of a Greek Street Festival.
There were definitely no seats in the sun today, and trying to navigate the crowds with a pushchair was a bit of a task.  So instead we ordered to go and headed for the nearby park.  We ate our lamb souvlaki's (about the only time we can afford lamb at the moment), drank ginger beer, enjoyed the very warm spring air and listened to the Greek music being played around the corner. 

Life is good!

Hope you all had a happy weekend.

Who's starting to look like her Daddy??

Friday, October 21, 2011

Queen of the Castle

One thing about living in a small country town is that postie doesn't deliver the good stuff.  Unless it's in a standard sized envelope we have to make the trip to the Post Office to pick up our goods.  On occasions I've not rushed, knowing what they goods were and that it wouldn't matter if I picked them up in a couple of days. Not this time!!  I packed the kids in the car, and off we went to the Post Office.  Well, it was actually just me who went to the PO.  Yes, I left the kids in the car!  It was raining, and another thing about this small country town is that I can pretty much always find a car park within 10 metres and I never have to wait more than 20 seconds to be served.

Anyway, I'm too excited to be talking about that.

 Last week, I was the very lucky winner of a gorgeous Castle cushion cover from the lovely Emily and her "silly little blog" The Beetle Shack (Em's word's, not mine).  You must know that I Love Emily's blog.  Her images inspire me, and her muses and wit brighten my days.

So I rush home, excited, and apart from lovely gifts from the postie, who doesn't love beautiful gifts that come wrapped like this with a sweet handwritten card.
Its a beautiful velvet cushion, with the cutest wee pom poms.  I. Love. It!!

I'm still undecided whether to keep the cushion here

 Where we are yet to fill the walls that GLARE at me Everyday!  I've been eyeing off some of these prints from the Castle collection as well.
    Unfortunately though, priorities call for filling this space first,
as well as some screening trees, as I'm sure the neighbours don't appreciate seeing our smalls on the washing line!

Or shall I keep it here?  New linen required, I think.

Either way, thank you so much Em from The Beetle Shack, and Rachel from Castle!!

Aren't I a lucky girl - I certainly will enjoy!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Lowering Expectations, Or Just Plain Lazy...

The Littles Baba and Deda, my Parent's-In-Law, arrived home late last week.  They have been away since the end of July.  Being in another country from my own family, we do rely on them a bit, and we are so grateful for their willing help.
A lunch was scheduled at Baba and Deda's for Sunday.  Since it was Little Red's fourth birthday last weekend, we thought it would be opportunistic to celebrate with a cake and all the family this weekend. Most other times I have and would bake the cake myself.  I LOVE baking, it makes me happy.  I especially love eating home baking.  This time however, I didn't. 
It had got to 9:15am Sunday morning, I had just put Little M down for her morning nap, and was still tossing up whether or not to bake the cake, knowing we were planning on leaving around 11:30.
I quickly tossed it up in my head.
Right, do I bake this cake and have something yummy to celebrate with, to go along with all the praise of providing such delightful tasting treats?  And do I also bring forth the morning from hell trying to bake this cake? Dealing with kids fighting for my attention, needing food, needing drinks, needing noses wiped, nappies changed, getting kids ready.  Me getting totally stressed out, the kids getting totally stressed out. Me blaming EVERYTHING on hubby (bless him).  Hmmm.  I've done this all before, on more than one occasion.  It doesn't end well.
So, I lower those expectations and decide not to bake the cake.  Instead, I get to do nice things, like showering and washing my hair, ironing our clothes so we look semi-respectable, trying on two outfits, hanging out a load of washing, pulling in said load of washing 10 minutes later because the rain comes out of nowhere in this place, and tidying the kitchen.  I think i may have even been nice and shared a laugh!  We took our time, we got ready and we left on time...Happy! 
Or, was I just being lazy? 
I could have baked the cake during the week, but after a week of quite painful sinusitis and thinking i may need to have teeth extracted (who knew sinusitis had referred tooth pain??) it wasn't high on my agenda.  I could have done it on Saturday night, but after breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks and a batch of choc chip cookies (Auntie Ness's recipe - mmm gooey goodness!) - meh.  These sound like excuses.
Anyway, we bought cake.  It was average.  But Little Red didn't notice.  She was too excited  by the fact that she got her cake with Smurf's on it, that she got sung to again, and she had more candles to blow out.
A stress-free morning, followed by a lovely family afternoon.  Instead of returning home with three cranky overtired Littles AND a bombsite of a kitchen, we only had to deal with three cranky overtired Littles. 
Then we could sit, drink beer, eat chips and watch the All Blacks beat the Wallabies with some healthy trans-Tasman banter, knowing that we were done for the night.
So, is it OK to lower my expectations to take the pressure off, or was I just being plain lazy?
Either way, I have to save this Devil of Nigella's for another day...

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Finding My Feet

I'm still finding my feet in this new little town we call home. 
But one thing that is already a part of our routine is a trip to our local produce market, held on the edge of a very pretty park, every third Saturday of the month.

It's only a small market, but Little Red and I fill our bags with locally grown produce, eggs, fresh bread, flowers and whatever other goodies maybe available that day. Lunch that day generally includes something we had just picked up.  I'm looking forward to lots of fresh berries next month.
It's nice to know that what we're consuming comes from just down the road.
What was included in your routine this weekend?
I hope its been a good one.