The TV blew up last week.
On the first night Mr B and myself found ourselves actually having to talk after the kids went to bed.
By the second night we gave up and hit the Margaritas!
The TV blew up last week.
“A cup of coffee commits one to forty years of friendship.”
Our remaining little Guinea Pig Tigger has been very withdrawn and has been pining hiding in the bedroom of her hutch. She won't interact with us and is only eating small amounts. I encouraged the kids to cuddle her and give her lots of attention. Rhiannon took her role very seriously and climbed in to the grass run with her and brought her homework with her. She spent the next hour there keeping Tigger company while doing her school work.
Yesterday evening Byron came home from work a little later than usual. He had a cardboard box under his arm. Without consultation with anyone else he decided we needed a playmate for Tigger and so now we have a new addition to the family. She is a tiny 6 week old guinea pig that the kids have named Ivy. They are overjoyed to have this fluffy little fur ball to fuss over and it really has cheered up Tigger who runs up and down the ramp in her hutch with the baby following her every move. Her appetite is back and she is now scoffing carrots and grass again and looking perky.
Today I feel so sad, so flat inside. Like a weight is in my chest. My kids are upset and I can do nothing to change it.
We had a hot day yesterday. It was about 30 degrees in the morning and the kids wanted to swim in the pool. They put their three Guinea Pigs in the wire run on the grass to get some exercise and then they jumped in the pool. As I sat and watched the kids the sun got warmer and warmer and I threw a shade cloth over the Guinea pig run to take the glare off them. After about an hour and a half I got the kids out of the pool and we headed inside. The kids stopped to put the guinea pigs back in their hutch and found that their beloved Jaffa was dead. The other two guinea pigs were very limp. We carried them into the house and gently dampened them down with tepid water and tried to revive them. We held Splodge and watched her move around and thought she was going to be ok but over the next few minutes she died in our arms. The littlest guinea pig who was Splodges baby was also very weak. Over the next few hours we sat with her and cooled her down and tried to feed her drops of water from a syringe. She refused all food and drink over the next 4 or 5 hours before finally eating and drinking tiny amounts.
All through those hours we had tears and questions, sobbing and hugs. We searched for reasons why they had all been so badly affected by the heat. Most Australian summers days get to 30 degrees and more and yet these guinea pigs had been with us for almost two years without any problems. Maybe because it was the first warm day this spring and they were just not used to it? Maybe it was that they were getting a little older?
Watching the kids bury the guinea pigs in the back garden with serious red eyed faces was heart breaking. I know that they were "just" pets but to our kids they were very special. I know that it is teaching them about life and death, about the feelings that go with it and how to work through them. But right now I would pay any money to take that sadness out of their eyes. To have waved goodbye to them in the school yard this morning without watching tears spill over onto their cheeks again. Not to have had to give another big hug, whisper more words of "it's ok" into their ears. Not to be sitting here in the house looking at our one surviving pet hiding in the corner of her hutch, refusing to come out and be cuddled. Refusing fresh slices of apple that would normally cause a flurry of squeaking and jostling to grab them from my hand.
I'm dreading the school bus pulling up. I want to see smiles on their faces again. I will do what I resort to when I don't know what else to do. What Mums all over the world do when they want to make everything ok.
Baking and hugs.
P.S: Three tiny fingernail sized paper guinea pigs made by Rhiannon last night.
The Masterchef Cook-Along was great! The program started at 7.30pm and we had everything laid out on plates ready to bake. The kids were on the edge of their seats watching the first half of the show and waiting for the real action to begin. When it did there was a flurry of mixing and taking turns, passing the mixing bowl from one to another. Licking spoons, talking over the tv, missing bits of instructions and having to shhhhh and catch up! It was fast paced and it took our 6 pairs of hands to work as a team until the puddings came out of the oven.
They smelt, good, they looked amazing, they tasted....like heaven! It was fun stopping to imagine all the other kids that were scattered around Australia and tucking in to this warm, chocolate, nutty delight at the same time as us. By the time the bowls were scraped clean it was gone past the kids bedtimes so they ran upstairs to brush teeth and jump into bed with the memories of hazelnut chocolate puddings still fresh in their heads.
I got left with this....!
We have been having some pretty heavy storms here in Australia recently. There was a particularly loud thunder storm last night. This little fellow managed to hop up to our tv room window and hid between the shutter and the glass as the wind and rain howled around him!
I was working an early shift at the hospital today.
When I came home tired and needing a cup of tea in my red chair I found out I had been replaced.
Byron went shopping for milk with the kids and they came home with this.....
Here is a photo that got away. I found it when I was looking through some photos today. We had a picnic day with friends to celebrate 10:10:10. Even though it was still just Spring the kids all had their swimmers in the car and decided that it was a perfect day to swim in the lake. They were brave or foolish depending on your viewpoint!
This is one of my favourites as Gareth jumped off the end of the jetty with our friends!
20g butter, melted
1/4 cup caster sugar
50g plain flour
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon finely grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
80ml thickened cream
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/4 cup orange juice
35g unsalted butter, melted
50g white chocolate, coarsely grated
400g fresh cherries, pitted (about 300g pitted)
1 tablespoon caster sugar
Squeeze of fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
1 teaspoon icing sugar
150ml thickened cream
Cherry and rosewater compote
150g pitted cherries
Finely grated rind and juice of 1 orange
3 teaspoons maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon rosewater
1 cinnamon quill
1. Preheat oven to 180C.
2. For lining moulds, brush two 350ml capacity shallow oval ceramic dishes with the melted butter. Sprinkle evenly with sugar shaking to cover. Shake out excess sugar.
3. For marinated cherries, combine cherries, sugar and orange juice in a medium bowl. Set aside.
4. For filling, combine flour and salt in a medium bowl; make a well in the centre. Whisk in egg, egg yolk, rind and vanilla bean paste until smooth. Combine milk and cream in a small jug and gradually whisk into mixture 1/2 at a time. Add sugar, orange juice, melted butter and chocolate and stir to combine.
5. Spoon fruit into prepared dishes and pour over batter until 3/4 full. Place in preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until tops are golden.
6. Meanwhile for cherry and rosewater compote, combine ingredients in a saucepan, simmer over medium-low heat for 8-10 minutes or until fruit is tender and soft and liquid is slightly reduced.
7. For mascarpone cream, beat ingredients in a mixer until soft peaks.
8. Serve clafoutis with cherry and rosewater compote and mascarpone cream to the side.