....What Were We Saying? - Oh Yes

Birthday cake made from scratch and
decorated with Reese confectionery.

Welp, that's January all but gone folks.   Uh huh.

So many folks just waste January fluffing around and being disorganised.  Sure, it is still holiday mode for some and Australian summer holidays for the children, but January can be a great time to get budgets pumping, holiday jobs cranking and plans well on the way to being started and bedded down.

Porridge with chopped apple, cinnamon, a little cream and honey.
The perfect breakfast. (Well, one of them anyway)

How's our Christmas accounts coming along?  Ours automatically has installment  number two dropping into it tonight (pay day). Have we set up our new budgets for the year yet? What about our summer gardens - are they producing well?

Toshi the cat - she who must be obeyed.

At ours, the five girls are gearing up for another year at Uni (college) and school.  Both daughters studying Nursing at Uni hope to graduate this year with Bachelor of Nursing degrees and launch out into  their first postings - both want to go out to country hospitals in their new grad' years. We'll see what happens. The other daughter is finishing her History and English degree this year and has sensibly also done an education component so she can teach in secondary schools. She has her big 10 week teaching placement this year, so that will be interesting. Another daughter starts her double degree in Communications and International Studies this year and the youngest is beginning her final two years of High School doing her HSC via pathways method.  So it is timetables, books, study notes, part-time jobs and juggling tutes, prac's and placements this year....it is making me dizzy just thinking about it.  Within five years all our children will be finished their University degrees and making lives for themselves elsewhere - it only seemed like yesterday I was reading A.A.Milne to them sitting at the end of their beds with them all rugged up in their 'dressy-gowns', chins on knees and listening enthralled. (there's that stupid lump in my throat again).

Romertopf roast lamb shoulder

....carved up and succulent.
Pass the mint jelly will you?

Sweet potato being fried up.

Help yourself folks!
Table set in the background with
lamps on and waiting.

Broccoli and cauliflower cheese. 

Mint jelly and butter awaiting

Lamb, honey carrots, sweet potato,
baked potato, broccoli and cauliflower
cheese, hot bread roll and iced tea.

Just a few of us tonight eating

...on the deck at twilight with fairy
lights on and oil lamps glowing.

In the last couple of weeks we have celebrated birthdays, cured June from her cluckiness, done a full spring clean of the hen house, installed a small pool, entertained tribes of folks, flown to Adelaide SA and back, survived Christmas and New Year at work (I run a large payroll) and zillion other things. We also had some mishaps with a water leak and had to empty out the side garage and storage rooms....a blessing in disguise as it triggered the culling and sorting part of our brain. We have enough sorted to order a skip bin I think!

You can't have too much cake.

I saw a little quote the other day that I just loved - I'll leave it with you now:

“Today, there are three kinds of people: the have’s, the have-not’s, 
and the have-not-paid-for-what-they-have’s.”

-Earl Wilson

Take care folks and stay nice.



  1. Mr.HM you are certainly off and running this year. Your lamps looks really lovely as well as the fairy lights in the background. Make the most of your girls being home as it won't be long before they leave the nest.

  2. Mr HM,
    I love that quote at the end of your post. It is so true.
    Your lamps are really lovely. I know you have put kero in yours. I have citronella oil in mine. I do live in a mozzie area so every little bit of mozzie protection helps.

    1. I wondered about using citronella but was worried about smoking up the glass - I'll give it a shot then

  3. Lovely pictures. It's truly The Good Life!

  4. It feels good to be on top of things in January. Hopefully I can keep it up for the rest of the year. Eleven months to Christmas today!

    I am like you Jane, I put citronella in our lamps too:)

    All that food looks very delicious Mr HM!


    1. 11 months till Xmas......I am SO ready this year. (insert steely glare of resolve)

  5. What a happy, contented life you have!

    1. Welcome Vintage Ellen. Well, we give it our best shot at being more contented.

  6. Our youngest daughter has just started her year off, as her first baby is due in about ten days. Oldest has given us two wonderful grandsons, so even after they grow up and leave home, they still give us wonderful joy.

    1. All the very best for the new arrival of another grandy Marlene. We are not quite at that stage yet but it will not be too far down the track I suppose.

  7. Time does fly, Mr. HM. My boy reached his double digits this January and it felt somewhat bittersweet. The baby and the toddler and the young boy are gone replaced by a lanky-legged not-quite-teenager boy. Soon, I expect he'll be driving! Your outdoor area looks lovely with lamp light and twinkle lights, it must be nice to share meals out there, meals that looks delicious and always leave me thinking I'm hungry! Meg:)

    1. Hmmm time seems to be speeding up don't you think?! Yes, we eat out on the deck with the fairy lights etc 90% of the year, we do love it.

  8. I'm so with you, on seeing those littlies, turn into biggies and realising they're pursuing activities which will eventually take them away from home. Gulp. We know it's coming, but can we ever really prepare for it?

    All that food looks really yummy, I must say. That roast particularly, looks like I could serve it up on my plate, and smother it with my fruit chutney!

    1. I know - way too many food photos as per usual - I have a one-track mind it seems.

  9. Food and more food, so yummy. Working away at making a budget that will last.

    1. I know what you mean about a budget that will last. So many of my early budgets were SO unrealistic. I now factor in 10% extra on everything and also I put away more against emergencies than before. It is the stuff we don't think about that has the capacity to entirely scuttle a budget. I must do a post on realistic budgeting sometime - there is too much unrealistic busgeting advice knocking around.

  10. Your post bought a lump to my throat. My daughter completed her Nursing Degree 2 years ago and is now a Nurse in the Emergency Department at one of our Hospitals here in Tasmania. It seems like just yesterday that she was making mud pies in the back yard. To add insult to injury she built a house and moved out.
    Mr. HM. just be proud, be very proud - there's not much you can do as sadly we cannot keep them forever. Wow! what a fabulous Cake, makes me hungry and I have just eaten so I can't possibly be. We built an undercover outdoor area over winter and it has just changed our house so much - for the better.

    1. I am proud Lisa....but that damn lump keeps happening!

      We eat outside 90% of the time now - it has changed our house for the better too.

  11. My daughters are now 28 and 21. Both went away to university and never moved 'home' again. They have made their way in the world and I'm proud of them but I do wonder where the years have gone and how that seemed to happen in the blink of an eye!


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