Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Paper Chatterbox's and Other Ramblings

My daughter bought home a little paper thing from school she called a Chatterbox. I remember having them at school. You put your fingers inside the flaps and spell words, in the end you lift a flap to answer some questions. Well she played with this chatterbox for weeks, and today, inevitably, it tore. A small hole was developing a couple of days ago, but she kept on playing. She was so devastated today when it tore and she could no longer play it.
So Google to the rescue. I searched paper Chatterbox's and presto, easy to follow instructions. 5 minutes later she had another Chatterbox to play with. Obviously it's not as good as the one she made at school, for several reasons. It's not as pretty and it doesn't have the same meaning.
Here is the link I used to make it - http://www.ehow.com/how_4460565_make-paper-chatterbox.html
This got me thinking. Of all the expensive toys my kids have,some times it's the smallest and simplest things that they treasure the most. Who would of thought that a broken piece of folded paper could evoke such emotion.
I know that if they loose toys or whole toy boxes, more on that later, they seem to be a little distressed for a short while but get over it quite quickly. I guess it's because they know that a new toy is just around the corner, because we are probably too quick to buy them what they want. I quite often remind my kids that I didn't have the DS's, playstations or DVD's when I was growing up. I remember having a couple of Barbie dolls, a small suitcase of clothes for them, some colouring books and pencils. That was the sum of my toys. Yet I was happy. I didn't spend much time inside. I was out in the yard playing, or riding my bike around the block, or swimming in the pool. I know times have changed and it's  not always safe to let the kids take themselves to the local park like I used to. But they can still play outside in the yard. They have a trampoline. But they prefer to stay inside and play there electronic games. Where did this all change. I don't remember purposely telling my kids to stay inside. They have always had a yard to play in. Where did the desire to stay inside come from?
Generations change from one to the next.  And not only the kids and their toys. I often reflect on what my parents had when they got married compared to what I had. For the first 3 years of my parents marriage, they lived in a one room flat above a shop, opposite  the railway line. When they got their first house, they had minimal furniture for 8 years, and no carpet till us kids came along a couple of years later. My dad used to work 3 jobs. During the day he was in the Navy, by night he was a cab driver, and on the weekends he pumped petrol at the local service station.
Fast forward 34 years later when I get married. We moved straight into our own home that my husband already owned. We both had a new car. The house was fully furnished, ducted air installed, all the mod cons as my folks would say. 4 years into our marriage and expecting our second child, we built a new home. It had to be a big house, a McMansion is the term they use here for the large two storey, 4 bedroom house, 3 bathrooms, 2 car garage etc. And of course all new appliances and furniture. What a vast difference to my parents day.
I suppose when my kids are ready to get married they will skip the old house first and want to build new straight away. I only hope that the great Australian dream is not out of reach by then.

Tuesday, 6 September 2011

Lemon Butter

My lemon tree has an abundance of lemons on it. I seem to struggle to use all of them before they go off. This year I thought I am not going to waste them.
So I made Lemon Butter. Yumo. I gave a jar to my mum when she visited from interstate, it is her favourite spread for toast.
Now what to do with the rest of the lemons.
Here is the recipe if you are interested in making some.

Lemon Butter
2 eggs
1 cup of sugar
1 heaped teaspoon of butter
juice of 2 lemons
grated rind of 1 lemon

Beat eggs, sugar and lemon juice together till light. Add butter and stir over heat till thick.
Bottle in small jars.