Sharon's Journey Through Life

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Tea Party

Welcome to my tea party, hosted by Glenda from Sweet Daisy Dreams. I'll be enjoying all my beautiful rose patterned china that I collect and making my table look beautiful. Lots of roses and candles and polished silver serving ware. I'll make my yummy chicken sandwiches and the best banana bread ever (recipes will follow). Pretty cupcakes and petite savoury muffins will adorn my multi-tiered dishes. Green berry tea and champagne will titillate our taste buds. Chocolate dipped strawberries and full-flavoured cheeses will compete for our attention. A feast for the gods :-)

Mmmm. What will I wear? A pretty floral dress and ribbons in my hair. My lovely vintage beaded purse that was my mum's as a young woman. Delicate beaded sandals and pretty pink nail polish. And of course, a smile of delight.

Visit the other tea party girls - Shelby, Genevieve, Shann and our hostess Glenda.

Nutty Chicken Ribbon Sandwiches

15 slices grain bread
90g spreadable butter or margarine
1 1/2 c (200g) finely chopped cooked chicken
1 stick celery, finely chopped
1 1/2 T sour cream
2 T mayonnaise
1/3 c chopped pistachios
  1. Spread one side of each bread slice with butter.
  2. Combine chicken, celery, sour cream, mayonnaise and nuts in a bowl; mix well.
  3. Spread five slices of bread with half the chicken mixture, top with buttered braed, buttered side down.
  4. Spread with remaining chicken mixture, top with buttered bread, buttered side down.
  5. Cut crusts from sandwiches, cut sandwiches into thirds, cut each third into two pieces.
Banana Bread

2/3 c sultanas
75 ml bourbon, dark rum or orange juice
1 1/3 c plain flour
2 t baking powder
1/2 t bicarb soda
1/2 t salt
125 g unsalted butter, melted
2/3 c sugar
2 large eggs
4 small, ripe bananas, mashed
1/2 c (60 g) chopped walnuts
1 t vanilla essence
  1. Heat the sultanas and rum (or substitute) in a small saucepan. Remove from heat, cover and leave one hour.
  2. Preheat oven to 170 degress Celcius.
  3. Sift flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt into a medium bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, blend butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs, then the banana. Stir in the walnuts, drained sultanas and vanilla.
  5. Add the flour mixture, a third at a time, stirring well.
  6. Spoon into a greased, floured loaf tin and bake for 1 - 1 1/4 hours.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

New Photo Challenge

I have had great fun participating in these photo challenges and am really looking forward to hosting this round. I must admit that it's a great thrill to get onto my blog and read all the positive comments. My oldest daughter has joined the photo challenge too and it is proving to be a positive experience for her. Thanks to those of you have encouraged my youngest daughter Shelby too.

Karen's challenge with numbers was indeed that - challenging. But great fun :-)

I love having fun so the next theme is -


Let your imagination and inner child run free and have fun with it.

Please try to have your posts up on Saturday 9th August.

Here are the rules as for as I know them..... If you want to participate please go to The Brenda Photo Challenge Blog and leave a comment. Then you will need to post 2-3 photos depicting your interpretation of PLAY on your blog by Saturday 9th August. Most importantly of all, have fun :-)

Here are the rules for the next lucky hostess.

1. If you're asked to host the next challenge, and you accept the mission, pick a date (usually two weeks gives everyone time to gather their subjects and snap their photos).

2. Pick a theme (can be anything that floats your boat).

3. Post the rules and the next host, on your post. The next host then does the same!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Photo Challenge - NUMBERS

Welcome to Brenda's Photo Challenge. I know that I'm early, but I'll be away all weekend and am busy at work. This time Karen M hosted it. Numbers is indeed a challenge. It has made me really think about what I could photograph for the challenge.

I am hosting the next challenge. Check back on Sunday or Monday (I'm hoping to post it Sunday night in Australia so not sure when that will be for those of you overseas) for more information. Hope that you'll enjoy it.

Numbers rule our lives - birthdays, street numbers, postcodes, phone numbers, tax file numbers, employee numbers, account numbers, pin numbers, fuel prices, appointment times, and on and on. Numbers rule our existence now that I think about it.

Hello to you all from my friendly calculator.

The foreign exchange rates board outside American Express. These days the Aussie dollar is doing pretty well beside the American dollar. We aren't doing that well against the pound though.

Treasure Hunt

On Sunday, we participated in the annual Blue Mountains Four Wheel Drive Club Treasure Hunt. It was based around the Wallacia/Luddenham area and proved to be difficult, challenging and fun.

We started the morning, before meeting everyone, with breakfast at McDonalds. We then all met up at the Penrith Rowing Club and were sent on our way with some clues and two pages of things to look out for during the day and a list of treasures to collect (but not before Tony and Tegan went back home to get chairs). We scavenged a wrapper from McDonalds - we needed a McMuffin wrapper, which we had already eaten for breakfast but threw away the wrappers. Little did we know that we would need it for a treasure. We had to find our way out to Wallacia and stop in Mulgoa on the way because Matt and Mick, the organisers, had a bright idea to hide something there. We found the light switch, but not the light bulbs.

We stopped off at the newsagent at Wallacia to purchase $2.70 worth of goods and collect the receipt and the next set of instructions. We made purchases that we needed for our treasure list, and continued on. It was a little frustrating as I was relegated to the back seat and couldn't really help too much. Tegan was navigator for the day. We had to look out for unusual things that you don't normally see. The gnome in the wreck stood out, though I was actually drawn to it the first place as we needed a wheel nut for a treasure and we got one off the wreck he was 'driving'. We continued following clues and collecting treasures until we met up at the checkpoint at Vickerys winery for morning tea.

The next leg was a little easier, following arrows spray painted on the road and stopping at particular points to answer questions and/or collect treasures, all the while looking out for questions and treasures from the two-page list. It became a little competitive amongst some of the boys, with some impressive slides from Shane. Even though we arrived at the memorial with two other cars - Shane and Teresa, and Steve and Connie - we had to take photos of our own crews as no-one would do it for each other :-) We got back to Vickerys, where we had left Shelby with Andy for this leg, and started off on the final leg. Shelby stayed back again, riding on Thomas the Tank Engine and playing with friends.

The last leg led us to Silverdale and Warragamba and a quick tour around the towns. We had a variety of clues to follow and the highlight of this section was visiting the dam information centre, collecting instructions and questions from the volunteer that worked there. Tegan had great fun at one of the stops, where we had to provide photographic evidence of the navigator playing on the swings. The end of the hunt led us to Wallacia golf club, where we had to buy a drink and get a receipt as the last treasure. Then we had a few drinks, enjoyed a scrumptious dinner and checked in with the organisers.

Overall, a frustrating, tiring, busy, fun day.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Photo Challenge - PATRIOTISM

I have joined Brenda's Photo Challenge. I found it while roaming through some of the blogs that I read. The patriotism challenge was issued by Karen. Have a look at the links from their sites to the other participants in the challenge.

This is my oldest daughter Tegan flying the Australian flag. It is a few years old - we actually took it during the Olympics when they were in Sydney. We managed to get tickets to the rowing, near where we live, in the ballot and we had the best time barracking for the Aussies.

This is the Sydney Opera House - a landmark everyone should recognise. This picture is when they dressed it up with gorgeous lights for a special event. It is stunning day or night, sunshine or rain.

The Twelve Apostles - one of the most amazing ocean rock formations on the Great Ocean Road in Victoria, Australia. We spent a day driving along this short section of coastline, the views more and more stunning as we went. One of the best drives ever! Words cannot explain the beauty and magnificence of this natural wonder.

I Love A Sunburnt Country - by Dorothea MacKellar

The love of field and coppice,
Of green and shaded lanes,

Of ordered woods and gardens,

Is running in your veins;

Strong love of grey-blue distance,

Brown streams and soft, dim skies -

I know but cannot share it,

My love is otherwise.

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of drought and flooding rains,
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me.

The tragic ring-barked forests
Stark white beneath the moon,
The sapphire-misted mountains,
The hot gold hush of noon.
Green tangle of the brushes
Where lithe lianas coil,
An orchids deck the tree-tops
And ferns the crimson soil.

Core of my heart, my country!
Her pitiless blue sky,
When sick at heart around us
We see the cattle die -
But then the grey clouds gather
And we can bless again
The drumming of an army,
The steady, soaking rain.

Core of my heart, my country!
Land of the Rainbow Gold,
For flood and fire and famine,
She pays us back threefold;
Over the thirsty paddocks,
Watch, after many days,
The filmy veil of greenness
That thickens as we gaze.

An opal-hearted country,
A wilful, lavish land -
All you who have not loved her,
You will not understand -
Though Earth holds many splendours,
Wherever I may die,
I know to what brown Country
My homing thoughts will fly.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Broken Hill Sculptures

This slideshow is of a very special place just outside Broken Hill in outback New South Wales. I have been there a few times now with family and friends and it is always the most magical experience. We have always visited at sunset with a bottle of wine and sat or wandered and enjoyed the sculptures and the sun setting across the desert.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Yeah - I Won!

This is me jumping for joy after I won 2nd Place Women at the Fun Day. Yippee!


Last weekend, the 28th and 29th June, the Blue Mountains Four Wheel Drive Club had their annual Fun Day (or Funkhana). We set off Saturday morning up the Putty Road to a property owned by one of the members, set up camp and got started.

The activities were all great fun - they were all easy and based on skill and having fun. There were about twenty cars competing - some came up for the day, while others camped for the weekend. The Saturday night was cold - we woke up to a good frost. We were all rugged up for the cool mornings and nights, but the sun was lovely. We had glorious clear, crisp days.

Of course, catching up and chatting with friends was on the agenda :-) As you can see from the photos below, we did fit some driving in too. The left-hand photo is the start of the ball and pole event, where you have to drive around a somewhat circular course and the driver has to place a ball on each pole and then drive around and knock them all off again. The right-hand photo is an event where you have to roll balls down the pipe attached to your car and try to get them in the containers (I am REALLY bad at that).

Our camp site. We have a good size camper trailer with a swing out kitchen. It was the sunniest spot, so we had sun most of the day. In winter that's great. Below lft, is my sister Andy and I. Below right are my two girls, Shelby and Tegan.

This is me driving a full pelt and then stopping quick enough to touch, but not knock over, the post. Just like trying to get a parking spot in the shopping centre :-) You can just make out me in the driver's seat.

Every event attracted a crowd. Besides competing, watching is the next best thing!

Shelby was Tony's navigator for this event. You had to hold a full-to-the-brim container of water while the driver drove up a hill, around a loop and back down, without spilling the water. Hilarious stuff.

All in all, a great weekend :-)