Thursday, 22 December 2011

Elise Turns 4 Years Old... Oh How Quickly the Years Pass

Elise turned 4 in early December.
I decided to keep it simple, and so
asked 4 of her friends from her
swimming class, to attend a little
garden party outside the pool
after their lesson.
Only two kids showed up,
but it was enough for elise.

The girls have some lunch while
Forest who we had to smuggle into the pool
park, naps.

Elise loved the cake in a shape of
a little puppy.
I got the cake from Bread Top,
which have shops around Melbourne, including
Richmond and Doncaster.
Very yummy cakes.

A little dinner party with the grandparents and uncle
followed the lunch party.
Poor elise had a terrible cold and didn't feel
well, but she thoroughly loved the day
and especially everyone singing happy birthday
to her. What an angel. xo 


We have been wanting a dog
for some time now. It would have been
impossible when we had the restaurant
because we were only ever home
from around 12 midnight to 9am the next
day which would have created one very
lonely little doggie.

I had been on at TM to let me get some
kind of pet. Some of my requests that had
met with an immediate no, included
a goat (for goat's milk and to make cheese),
chickens (for eggs), a mini cow (for milk),
a rabbit (just for something
furry to love), and although I am not a great
cat lover, at my wits ends, I had even asked
if we could get a cat.

Then low and behold, we spotted the most
beautiful, gentle-natured black labrador
the other day. After watching her for
some time we took the plunge and decided to take
her home with us.

Apart from the toilet training issue,
we havn't looked back.
She is one of the most sweet-natured dogs I have
ever met. It was hard for me initially, because
I never quite got over the death of my childhood
family dog (Rocky) who passed away 4 years ago.
I still have his ashes in our living room, which
I just can't bring myself to part with.
There is something about the relationship
between man and dog.

But our new little puppy who we have called
'FOREST', has opened a new chapter in
my heart.

More of the Kinder Years - the End of Year Concert

Elise LOVES kinder, like you wouldn't believe.
It wasn't always like this, mind you.
We have had our fair share of guilt
as we dropped off a very upset Elise.
But that was all generally before we found
GUMNUT child care in Alphington.
I had been looking for a friendly
family-oriented kinder for Elise that
also offered day care, and third time
we were lucky.
Elise started here when she was 2
and has now just finished 3 year old kinder
(last day today).

They had their annual concert of chaotic
singing and dancing the other night,
and I had a front seat, so I got it all on
camera while Takamitsu puppy-sat at home
(see next blog!)

Here is a photo with two of her best friends,
Nicholas and Ruby (on either side of her).

Our Cherry Harvest

Having a cherry blossom tree in the garden at home
has become a very valued and almost necessary
pre-requisite for where we live.
Cherry blossom trees hold great sentimental
value and significance in the
Japanese culture. When the cherry trees bloom
they produce dainty little pink and white flowers,
which are very short-lived.
The flowers only survive a couple of
weeks at the most, before they flitter to the
ground like gentle snow-flakes.
The Japanese love this dramatic notion of a short-lived life
that can only be cherished for an instant.

After the flowers have died and left the cherry tree,
the trees start to produce fruit. We call them cherries
but they are probably more like miniature plums.
Elise loves picking and eating these and its TM's job
each year to help her harvest them.
Here are the photos!

Takamitsu the Ladder

Elise with her humble harvest.
P.S. you have to be quick and beat the
birds to the cherries.


Okay so I'm almost a month behind in my
entries - sorry! End of year - you know
what it's like. On Sat 3rd I visited the Warrandyte
Art & Craft Market. It's held on the first Saturday
every month (not sure about Jan).
It would have to be one of my favourite
markets, mainly due to the sheer size of the
market itself, which is set up in a gorgeous
setting along the Yarra River, which looks
so much nicer in that part of the world.
Be warned don't get their too late
as it is hard to park!

I have a number of favorite exhibiting
stall-holders, but today I would like to introduce one
who really stands out.

PADDY'S PICS by Patrick Mohr
Patrick sells his beautiful photos in
the form of postcards and also larger versions
attached to mounts. He mainly seems to specialize in
images from the Warrandyte region, but I also noticed a
lot of non-Warrandyte images on this visit,
with images of other areas of Melbourne
such as the city, Collingwood,
Fitzroy and whereever else the
camera takes him. I have been buying his postcard
size photos and mounting them
in my own frames but I think my
next purchase will be a larger size photo.
You will have to forgive me, as my photos
of his photos do not do them
justice, but these should give you an idea
of the beautiful angles
he captures these natural images on.

This cherry blossom tree in front of the vinyard
is beautiful, as are his black and white images.

More beautiful images.
I love the one of the Yarra River.

I think that is enough of my poor photos
of Patrick's images.
But I'm sure you get the jist.
Patrick's photos are also available
for purchase online: