A Simple Woman's Daybook

FOR TODAY ~ Wednesday 29nd February 2012

Outside my window...Nothing moves...I'm sitting in the dining room looking out at the entertaining area with the pool behind. There's no sun, no wind, no rain...just stillness. The birdcage plant has spread its leaves ~ now we'll have to see if it produces a flower. Beneath are the loungers in their naked state of undress.... we took the cushions indoors a few days ago when the thunderstorm and rain came to visit. 
The potted plants are having their last fling before the breeze brings the autumn chill. There are quite a few leaves laying on the ground from the overhead vine...waiting for yet another sweep. I cleared them yesterday but today it’s as if I never saw the broom, never mind used it. I always thought brushing up fallen leaves was an annual chore but that hasn't been the case since moving into this house....there's always fallen leaves. It'll be a nightmare when the autumn fall does arrive. We're having a blackbird visit daily to take some of the grapes, which can be quite comical. First he has to perform amazing flight techniques that a blackbird doesn't normally do. When he manages to grab a grape then he struggles and struggles trying to peck into it. One day after quite a length of time, he gave up and just gulped the whole grape. I thought he'd choke and quickly wondered how to perform the Heimlich manoeuvre on a bird! 
The barbeque sits cosy in its cover waiting for some male bonding. I'm of the firm belief that the BBQ is the man's domain (well I've got away with that so far...my OH naturally has assumed this role ; D so long may it continue).

I am thinking...what a refreshing change it is to have tradies who are reliable, polite, and do the job they're supposed to. Since I've been in Australia this seems to be the norm ~ or have I just been lucky? They all seem to be dog friendly too, which is a help when someone insists on attention. Muffin's not exactly a guard dog...anyone getting into the house stands to suffer death by licking!
I've experienced in days gone by, having to wait in the house for a full morning, afternoon or worse case scenario the whole day...on the off chance they might call.

I am thankful...that Muffin and Zac get on so well together. Zac is staying with us for another little holiday.

In the kitchen...the aroma of cooked bacon and eggs. My son decided he wanted a more substantial breakfast today. He's got man flu so he says he needs to feed the cold! Hmm...any excuse.

I am wearing...Capri jeans, blue t-shirt, no shoes again! I think this seems to be a common theme.

I am creating... a wish list for the coming Melbourne Food & Wine Festival. This might sound a little strange, but it's going to take quite an effort with careful planning to choose out of all the events which to attend. It is the festival's 20th year and runs from the 2nd of March through until the 21st March. It is sure to be spectacular. Take a peek at the website to give you some idea of what's happening.

I am going...to the local butcher to see what inspiration I can find for tonight’s evening meal. It's fantastic to have a local butcher shop with skilled staff. I think it's a privilege that I don't take for granted as in many areas now unfortunately these small businesses are struggling. We all need to do our bit to keep them afloat! 

I am wondering...as its the 29th February today, how many females may have used the leap year tradition and proposed to their loved ones. My son's taking no chances he's off sick today!

I am reading... My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult


Anna is not sick, but she might as well be. By age thirteen, she has undergone countless surgeries, transfusions, and shots so that her older sister, Kate, can somehow fight the leukemia that has plagued her since childhood. The product of preimplantation genetic diagnosis, Anna was conceived as a bone marrow match for Kate - a life and a role that she has never questioned… until now.
Like most teenagers, Anna is beginning to question who she truly is. But unlike most teenagers, she has always been defined in terms of her sister - and so Anna makes a decision that for most would be unthinkable… a decision that will tear her family apart and have perhaps fatal consequences for the sister she loves. My Sister's Keeper examines what it means to be a good parent, a good sister, a good person. Is it morally correct to do whatever it takes to save a child's life… even if that means infringing upon the rights of another? Is it worth trying to discover who you really are, if that quest makes you like yourself less?

I know I'm perhaps a little late reading this especially with the movie now viewed by so many...but I haven't seen it yet and as you know I much prefer to read a book before seeing the film.
The book is certainly highlighting a complex emotive subject and although I've only just started to read it, I'm already involved with fascinating characters contained within.
At this stage I don't wish to research any further about the book because it may give too much away and don't want to spoil it for myself. It has grabbed me from the first page.

“ The author vividly evokes the physical and psychic toll a desperately sick child imposes on a family, even a close and loving one like the Fitzgeralds… there can be no easy outcomes in a tale about individual autonomy clashing with a sibling's right to life, but Picoult thwarts out expectations in unexpected ways… a telling portrait of a profoundly stressed family. ”
—Kirkus Reviews
About the Authur:
Jodi Picoult, 44, is the bestselling author of eighteen novels ~ the last five of which debuted at number one on the New York Times bestseller list. Picoult studied creative writing with Mary Morris at Princeton, and had two short stories published in Seventeen magazine while still a student. Realism - and a profound desire to be able to pay the rent - led Picoult to a series of different jobs following her graduation: as a technical writer for a Wall Street brokerage firm, as a copywriter at an ad agency, as an editor at a textbook publisher, and as an 8th grade English teacher - before entering Harvard to pursue a master’s in education. She married Tim Van Leer, whom she had known at Princeton, and it was while she was pregnant with her first child that she wrote her first novel,Songs of a Humpback Whale.
In 2003 she was awarded the New England Bookseller Award for Fiction. She has also been the recipient an Alex Award from the Young Adult Library Services Association, sponsored by the Margaret Alexander Edwards Trust and Booklist, one of ten books written for adults that have special appeal for young adults; the Book Browse Diamond Award for novel of the year; a lifetime achievement award for mainstream fiction from the Romance Writers of America; Cosmopolitan magazine’s ‘Fearless Fiction’ Award 2007; Waterstone’s Author of the Year in the UK, a Vermont Green Mountain Book Award, a Virginia Reader’s Choice Award, the Abraham Lincoln Illinois High School Book Award, and a Maryland Black-Eyed Susan Award. She wrote five issues of the Wonder Woman comic book series for DC Comics. Her books are translated into thirty four languages in thirty five countries. Four – The Pact, Plain Truth, The Tenth Circle, and Salem Falls - have been made into television movies. My Sister’s Keeper was a big-screen released from New Line Cinema, with Nick Cassavetes directing and Cameron Diaz starring, which is now available in DVD. She received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from Dartmouth College in 2010 and another from the University of New Haven in 2012.
She and Tim and their three children live in Hanover, New Hampshire with two Springer spaniels, a rescue puppy, two donkeys, two geese, one duck, eight chickens, and the occasional Holstein.

I am hoping...that summer isn't over yet. Although being in temperatures of 38°C over the last week wasn't pleasant. I think the perfect temperature is around 24 ~ 26°C ...that seems to be just the right level. But how many people are sitting right now in their ideal temperature that they are most comfortable with. I've heard about freezing winds, floods, drifting snowstorms, damp yukky grey drizzle to searing sun, sweltering humid rainstorms and dry dusty breezes so I think I'll not complain.

I am looking forward to...helping prepare my daughters wedding. It's a little difficult with the distance between us at the moment, but we'll manage I'm sure. They'll obviously be lots of future posts on this major event, so I'll hope you'll bare with me. It's not everyday that you're only daughter gets married.
Note: I underlined helping....I am going to try to not interfer but just be positive and do as I'm told. Only having imput when asked! Promise N! (She'll be reading this)  ;D

Around the house...are things that need my attention. After having such a busy time since last Wednesday the menial tasks have been pushed aside. Unfortunately they're beginning to come back onto my radar. Ah well, it was nice whilst it lasted.

A favourite quote for today...It has to be a quote relating to music due to attending two live concerts in one week.....                         
Music is an outburst of the soul - Frederick Delius

One of my favourite things...is when I've finished creating a post for my blog that I feel proud of. Sometimes I'm aware that time has restricted me or that the hour is late and therefore the odd blip gets looked over...my editor and proof reader unfortunately don't get a chance to read them before I post. If you come across any whoopsies please either let me know (kindly) or just skip over quickly. I'm constantly trying to improve but sometimes there are so many other influences at work ~ its difficult. 

A few plans for the rest of the week: A bit of everything. I like to try and get the best out of each day.
After last weeks hectic social whirl I feel this one will be quieter...but you never know?

A peek into my day... yesterday I promised something steamy for the guys out there...well here it is....

Not quite what you had in mind?
I'll be posting about this tomorrow...because as you know Wednesdays are my Daybook entry. I hope you don't mind?

And that's it for this week; I hope you enjoyed your visit. Don't forget to pop over to The Simple Womans Daybook and check out the other day book entries
Have fun : D