Saturday, 21 September 2013

Super Spring Saturday sunnyday397 style

It is wonderful here in Melbourne in's Spring and my family are having a great time!  It is a real relief to say goodbye to Winter and now we have school holidays for the next two weeks.  This means a welcomed break from the usual hustle and bustle of the 'working/ school week' routine and today I have had great fun, doing some things that have been so worthwhile and enjoyable.  In my blog today, I want to share with you what I have been up to, as it was indeed a super Spring Saturday sunnyday397 style!

The mornings here in Melbourne in Spring are often sunny, but usually a bit on the chilly side.  That doesn't stop me from going for a walk, though.  You may have often read about my love of walking around the neighbourhood, pounding the pavement, stretching my legs and breathing in the fresh air.  This morning was no exception.....just put on a jacket, grabbed my shopping buggy and off I trot, down to the shops to pick up a few bits and pieces.  This is certainly a wonderful way to start the day.

I know a lovely lady that I am privileged to call a good friend and her name is Cath.  Cath and I have only known each other for just over 12 months but it seems like much longer than that.  She is the one who actually encouraged me to start my blog and pursue my passion for writing.  Cath is also a great support and mentor to me for my business too.  We always enjoy a laugh over a cup of coffee, sometimes a red wine or two and thoroughly enjoy each other's company.  

Today Cath was holding a fund raising cake stall at the local hardware store to raise money for a great cause, one that she feels very strongly about.  She is participating in the 'Ride to cure Diabetes' which has been organised by the 'Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation' and has been very busy doing various fund raising activities for this.  So, I was more than happy to do my part and help her with this by making some jumbo cup cakes to sell at the stall.  

Cath did an amazing job, as did many of her friends, madly baking away and creating some mouth watering creations for the stall which was a huge success. Cath told me, "By 2:30pm, we had 2 cakes and 4 plates of slices left over.  We were exhausted!  So we gave the slices to the store staff and took the cakes home.  I calculated we sold approximately 350 cakes and packets of slices, cup cakes and cookies!"  You would agree, a brilliant effort!

Here is some information about JDRF taken from their website-
"The Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation (JDRF) is the world's largest charitable supporter of type 1 diabetes research.  JDRF was founded in 1970 in the US and 1982 in Australia by a group of determined volunteers.
Internationally, JDRF has been involved in every major type 1 diabetes breakthrough of the last four decades including:
  • Islet transplantation
  • Beta cell regeneration
  • Preventative vaccine development
  • Reduction of complications
JDRF-funded researchers have driven the advancement of day-to-day disease management tools and accelerated the pace of research through a focus on four research priorities - immune therapies, beta cell therapies, glucose control therapies and complications therapies.
JDRF supports Australian diabetes research via the strategic provision of funding, investing over $100 million into Australian research to date.
In addition to supporting research, JDRF Australia plays a key role in advising and influencing health policy direction across all levels of government and building community awareness of type 1 diabetes.
Throughout all local and international activities JDRF's mission remains constant - to find a cure for type 1 diabetes and its complications through the support of research."  If you are able to support this tremendous organisation in anyway, please do!

After dropping off my contribution for the cake stall, I headed back home to get busy in the garden.  Now the photo above is not my best angle LOL!!  But you will get the idea.  Every year in Spring, I look forward to sprucing up my lawn in the back yard.  It gets very worn out over Winter as the boys kick their footballs and run around on it.  Grass does not grow much in Winter here, as it is too cold, so it very quickly gets demolished.  I started by tidying up the lawn area so that I could lay down some more seed and top soil.  This really works and in a couple of weeks we will have a thick, lush lawn again as the days get warmer, yet we still get plenty of rain fall.  We have also been busy trimming our large trees as they get way out of hand if left too long.  I have managed to fill 2 garden waste rubbish bins with the cuttings but still have heaps more to cut up and get rid of.

When we were at the hardware store, we popped in to pick up the soil and lawn seed.....and I couldn't resist but buy some other goodies too.  I went straight for the herbs and tomato plants and my husband grabbed some potted colour (he loves flowers!)  I have planted 2 tomato plants, some sweet basil and thyme in my herb garden and I will take much pleasure in watching them grow, eating and cooking with them.  I have planted the flowers in my front garden as they have much more chance of surviving out there, away from 3 mischievous children who love to dig in the dirt out the back!

When we are outside, I love spending time with one of my other best friends.  His name is Jack and he is a beautiful German Shepherd that we have raised from a pup.  He is close to 14 human years old which is a wonderful age for a Shepherd.  He has spent most of his life with his sister, Kimba, who we also loved very much and miss her dearly.  She passed away last January, at the ripe, old age of 13 human years, leaving Jack to watch over us as he has always done.  

I have cared for a German Shepherd for over half of my life and they are most definitely my favourite breed of dog, but when Jack leaves us, I will have a break.  I often feel guilty that I can't spend as much time as I would like with him.  Owning and caring for an animal is a very big responsibility that requires much time, energy and love and now with our large family and busy lifestyle, I just can't dedicate all of that to a dog anymore.  It wouldn't be fair or right to get another pup now, so we will continue to love Jack as we have always done and cherish this time with our canine 'member of the family'.

On my walk this morning, I picked up some items for a BBQ which is one of my family's favourite ways to eat on a sunny day.  But on our travels to the hardware store this morning, we couldn't resist but buy a mini rotisserie spit....and of course, we had to try it out!  All of this work in the garden gave me quite an appetite and my husband and I set about trying to work out how to get this spit going.  On our first attempt today, we thought we would try to do our own 'charcoal chicken' and I am pleased to say it was a big success.  It smelled and tasted terrific and the family gobbled it all up with some green salad for a late lunch.  

Now we think we've got the hang of it now and will experiment with some other types of meat for a yummy way of cooking.  I was thinking today that this is the perfect way to cook for a large crowd and have a mouth watering meal........ spit roast the meat, throw some salads together, some bread rolls, a few cold drinks and you've got a party!  Looking forward to doing this again very soon.

What a day!  Lots of fun with my family in the great outdoors.......typical sunnyday397 style.  This is only the start of many more to come as we all relish the change of seasons and the warmer weather.  My life is made up of simple pleasures and I get so much enjoyment from doing things like I have done today.  Yes, it was a super Spring Saturday and I hope you've enjoyed reading about it as much as I have enjoyed writing about it.  Until next time, sunnyday397 wishes you and yours well :) xxx