Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Dad...




Hope you enjoy your day!

This is a photo of Dad, Tracey and I on our way up to Exmouth in 1967

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Tori's school report...

On Friday Tori came home with her school report for the first half of the year. She got an A in dance, B's for English, Math, Music, Health, Phys Ed and Technology & Enterprise. She got C's for Science, Society & Environment and Art. Her teacher wrote the following:

Tori has continued to be an exemplary student. She is respectful, polite and well mannered and she has a highly developed sense of responsibility. She has been an excellent faction captain carrying out all her extra duties in a responsible and reliable manner. It has been important to her to be a good role model and she has achieved this by being a caring class member, a conscientious and commited faction captain and a fully involoved member of the school community.

She is a very focused and motivated sutdent who has demonstrated the ability to set goals for herself and achieve them. Tori is an independent learner and a very cooperative team member. She applies herself fully to her tasks and takes pride in all she does.

She is very conscientious and she strives to do her best in all she undertakes. She has maintained excellent standards in the presentation of her written work and her dedication to achieving high standards is evident in the excellent homework routine she follows. She has a highly developed sense of right and wrong and she constantly shows positive values.

Well done Tori.

I am very, very proud of her. She has always loved school and is doing so well :)


Monday, July 21, 2008

Wheat free lemon cake....

Years ago - pre children - I used to live with Sonja. A couple of weeks ago I bumped into her in the local shopping centre. Her and her husband have bought five acres and built a new house. She rang on Sat morning and invited me to afternoon tea on Sunday, both her parents were also going to be there.

Sunday morning I made this wheat free lemon cake (I have been wheat free for about 3 weeks, hoping to fix stomach problems) to take. It is really nice and you would never know that it wasn't made from ordinary cake ingredients! Honestly!

Wheat free lemon cake

200g butter , softened
200g golden caster sugar
4 eggs
175g ground almonds
250g mashed potatoes
zest 3 lemons
2 tsp gluten-free baking powder


1/2 cup water
1/3 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
3 tblspns lemon juce

Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas. Butter and line a deep, 20cm round cake tin. Beat the sugar and butter together until light and fluffy, then gradually add the egg, beating after each addition. Fold in the almonds, cold mashed potato, lemon zest and baking powder.

Tip into the tin, level the top, then bake for 40-45 mins or until golden and a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Wait 10mins and then place on serving plate.

Put syrup ingredients into a saucepan and boil for approx. 4 mins until thick and syrupy. Using a skewer poke holes into cake and then pour syrup over cake.


I think it would be really nice warm for dessert, with cream or yoghurt.

Thursday, July 17, 2008


Mum, Brody, Tori and I went to Melbourne in March for 1 week, before Mum flew over to NZ. We were lucky to be able to stay with our friends Leonie and Graeme, who put up with us, fed us and drove us around!

These are some of the photos that Tori took.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

A new chook house...

I finally went and bought a new chook house. Have been looking for something secondhand for ages, or even wood offcuts or bits of tin for Jay to make one. No I went and bought a lge dog kennel from Better Pets and Gardens. I had to paint it to make the wood more weatherproof...picked a lovely shade of green!! The roof is hinged and lifts off to one side, which I thought would make it easy for collecting eggs. Will be able to see any creepy crawlies!! Brody made the ladder for me, from some wood we got off the lady accross the road. I thought if it was off the ground, they would have a bit of extra shade and shelter underneath. At the moment it is just sitting on two milk crates.

The first night 3 of my 5 chooks made their own way up the ladder and inside and I 'helped' two. Last night, all five managed to find their way inside :) Clever girls!

Yesterdays eggs...

Daily egg output is around about three now, so getting five was a bonus!!


My first day at work...

was okay....little bit boring. But that is what you get with filing! and there is lots of it!!

It will get better, as I learn more and they give me more to do. The staff are all nice anyway, and that is the main thing, isn't it?

Came home anyway and Tori and Jemma (Brody's girlfriend) had dishes all done and nice and tidy, that was good :)


Thursday, July 3, 2008

I got the job...

I just got back from a job interview and I start on Monday at 9.30am with this company

Initially I will be doing reception, as a couple of ladies go on holiday, then I will be on the admin side. I am looking forward to it, actually.

Now, off to buy some shoes :)


Brody turned 17...

Where does the time go?

This picture was actually taken in October 2006, at the Royal Show we put on for the kids. Its really hard to take a picture of him now.

Brody turned 17 on Tuesday, 1st July. I remember that cute round faced little baby with black eyes and heaps of black hair. And I am not biased...but he was the most gorgeous baby I have ever seen :)...Still got the dark eyes and the black hair - although for years he kept on asking me if he could get blonde streaks, NOT! The face is still cute, but not round anymore.

Luckily for me he didn't want all of his friends over :). His girlfriend Jemma came over for dinner, along with Tracey, Tyla and her boyfriend Ben and Bub, Jay, Shayla and Willow. He requested KFC, much to my disgust ( I wanted to do a barbecue and have the outside fire going ), but in reality the KFC was easier :). Made up salads, with bread rolls and presto! Dinner! He also requested a black forrest cake, which I made that day and Bub brought over a cheesecake and topped it with warm berries.

I didn't get any photos though, really annoyed at that and Willow was disappointed that Brody didn't want candles and anyone to sing happy birthday. We should have just done it!

I haven't got copies any more of the baby photos scanned in, so will have to show them another time.

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Never Forgotten...

Irene Meryl Curtis

22.6.1920 - 30.6.2007

My beautiful grandmother passed away on 30th June, 2007.

We will never forget what a wonderful strong woman she was.

This is a copy of her eulogy that I wrote for her funeral.

Irene Meryl Head was born in Meekatharra on 22 June 1920, the eldest child of Flossie Veronica and Edward Head. She was the devoted big sister to Mavis, Tom (known as Digger) and Fay.

Meryl’s childhood wasn’t always easy. The family moved around a lot working on mines, her father always building a new little house for them each time. The walls were lined with Hessian and white washed, the floor just dirt that her mother would sprinkle a little water over, and with time it would harden and shine. The typical Coolgardie safe sat in the corner, the legs in containers of water to stop the ants crawling into their food. Water was carried to the house in buckets. In winter, the children would chew chewing gum to put in the nail holes in the roof, to stop the rain from coming in. Even this house had the ‘designer touch’ though, Meryl and her brother and sister cut newspaper into designs for the cupboard shelves, and gum leaves were picked and put in a glass on the table. Meryl’s childhood days were still lots of fun, they would make up a picnic and walk far into the bush to pick everlastings, nights were gathered around the table playing cards with the adults.
Meryl and Mavis spent 2 yrs studying in a convent, when her father had an accident at work and lost 2 fingers. The family then moved to Kalgoorlie and Boulder.

When baby Fay was born at home, Meryl’s mother was very ill and the newborn was placed on Meryl’s chest to keep warm. She laid for hours with Fay snuggled up on her, and the next day was told she could name her and pick out the pram.

When Meryl was 13, the family packed up and moved to Laverton, where her father had purchased a mine. Meryl worked as a housemaid and waitress at the Laverton Hotel. She got ½ a day off day off a week, and a friend would drive her the 10 miles to her fathers mine to visit her family

When Meryl was 15, her mother fell ill, and was put into hospital. She quit her job at the hotel and went to work for the Dr’s family to be closer to her mother. That only lasted a week, and then she worked at a boarding house in Laverton. Two year old sister Fay went along with her to work. Sadly, her mother died and as Meryl’s father was away working, she took on the ‘mother’ role and looked after 13yr Mavis, 9yr old Digger and 2yr old Faye until her father eventually arrived to pick them up. He took them to a mining camp called Murrin Murrin. Another ‘little house’ was built. Meryland Mavis made a stove out of kerosene cans. It worked so well, that they could even cook scones in it!

When her father moved away for work, Meryl packed up the children and they moved back to Kalgoorlie, Meryl and Mavis worked as housemaids, taking little Faye with them each day. When Meryl became sick they went to Perth to stay with family, and were then separated. Meryl obtained a live in job at a shop and earnt 10 pounds a week. Then she worked as a nanny to 4 children in Mt Lawley. She moved with that family to a farm and was given a horse and began horseriding.

By the time she was 16, she was back in Perth working at the Monte Carlo Restaurant. This was the first time that she ever saw women drink and swear. Haven’t times changed!! It was here that she also met her best friend, Roma Curtis. They moved into a flat together and Roma took her home to introduce her to her brother Frank. 9 weeks later, on her 17th birthday, Frank asked her to the movies. They married only 8 months later in February 1938, with only Frank’s cousin May and Frank’s sister Amy attending, as everyone else said it would never last. Meryl always loved telling people that, and loved that they had been married for nearly 70 years!
Meryl and Frank moved into a rental and their first son, Malcolm Francis was born in August 1938. Frank worked at the bottle yard, owned by his family. Every Friday, Meryl, her mother in law Ethel and Frank’s sister Rita would walk down to the bottle-yard and pick up the mens’ wages. Three pound 10 a week was good money for those days! If they could afford it, Meryl and Frank would spend 1 shilling and sixpence at the movies and treat themselves to an icecream. A second son Terrence Edward was born in June 1940 he family moved to Subiaco and then Frank joined the army. Little Terrence became ill and passed away in Dec aged just 6 months. To keep busy and to help her get over the loss of her baby, Merle became a waitress in London Court.
When Frank’s family sold their share of the Red Castle Brewery, Frank and Merle bought 49 Acton Ave, Rivervale. Then a third son, Brian Raymond was born in April 1943 , followed by a daughter Veronica Irene in Dec 1944. When Frank came home after the war finished, he started an apprenticeship and became a carpenter. Meryl took in army ironing and made felt flowers for Woolworths.
Meryl never forgot her brother and sisters who she had been separated from, and finally tracked down her brother in an orphanage. He moved in with them, along with two cousins, Les and Tommy Head, Fay, the baby sister also moved in with the family. The Curtis house was always full of children and animals - including a ram called Wally, a horse called Red, even a baby kangaroo that ended up in the Perth Zoo.

Meryl worked as a nursing aid at St John’s in Belmont for some years and left there to work as a barmaid at the Broken Hill Hotel in Vic Pk. Whilst working there, she won one thousand pound in the lotteries, which was a lot of money in those days. The family decided to purchase a cafĂ© in Dalwallinu. It was a little quiet town and a small business, but it didn’t take long for word to spread of the wonderful home cooked meals available, and Meryl and Frank soon needed both Veronica and Ray and extra staff to help out. It was in Dalwallinu that Meryl first started playing golf and lawn bowls. She went out one day with Frank’s brother Tommy to play a round of golf. She asked him to pass her the 3 wood…….he did…….she swung……and he dropped! She had hit him in the head and had to take him to the hospital for stitches. Tommy said he would never play again, as the game was too dangerous!

After 5 years, they sold up and moved up north to Exmouth. Meryl and Frank lived in a caravan, sharing an outdoor shower and toilet with everyone else. Neither the toilet nor the shower had doors, and it wasn’t long before Meryl cut up an old bag, and nailed ½ of it to each one for privacy. She was fondly known from then on, as the carpenter lady!

From here, they decided to tow a caravan and travel around Australia . Meryl loved Queensland and all the fresh fruit.

Back to Exmouth to manage the caravan park for 2 yrs, and then back down to 49 Acton Ave.

Never without work, they soon moved to Coogee Beach and became managers of the park there. Meryl was still playing golf and started square dancing. In 1976, she danced for 3 days and nights at the Entertainment Centre, she also danced at the Royal Show and in Hyde Park.

Four years later, they were back up in Exmouth, and managing the Norcape Lodge Caravan Park.

After 2 heart attacks, Meryl and Frank retired to Rockingham, where Frank enjoyed daily walks along the beach and Meryl played bingo and caught the bus regularly to the casino.

2 ½ years ago, Meryl and Frank moved to Forrestfield to be closer to family. Here, she grew herbs in pots out the back, and loved her cottage garden out the front. She enjoyed giving us cooking lessons - no-one’s apple pie is as good as Nan’s! And the family Meals on Wheels Service was very much appreciated, but she still thought her cooking was better! Every time we make a quiche now, we always use her recipe, and remember how she called it a kish!.

Meryl spent years on handcrafts, always crocheting, sewing or knitting. She loved making outfits for dolls and the endless grand children and great grandchildren that came along. She was decades ahead of the recycling trend. She would spend hours cutting up plastic bags into strips and then crocheting them into hats. She was terribly disappointed when the bags became biodegradable, as she felt that she couldn’t sell them if they wouldn’t last forever!

She was a fantastic cook and could always make something out of nothing, even at short notice. She never cooked with a recipe, but everyone knew that they could always turn up at Nan’s and she would whip up something delicious.

Meryl loved her family, and truly believed that family is the most important thing that a person can have. She was much loved by her adoring husband, her 3 children, 11 grandchildren and 26 great grandchildren and their families. She cherished every visit made to her, and loved to hear stories of what was happening in our lives. She never stopped saying how proud she was of her children and grandchildren and how lucky she was that she got to meet her great grandchildren.
Unfortunately, because my laptop was stolen a couple of months ago, I don't have any other photos scanned in of her at the moment.

What I Like to Listen To...