Tag Archives: Family

Family sushi dinner

We love sushi. It’s so delicious, healthy and full of vegetables. I love making vegan sushi so much.

Tonight’s sushi dinner includes:

– edamame in pods blanched and tossed in salt.

– inari stuffed with garlic, sesame mushrooms

– tofu and vegetable sushi rolls,

– ginger sesame cabbage

– tofu nigiri

– vegetable gyoza.

A lovely friend showed me Costco and i bought the edamame and tofu there at good prices.

The lettuce in the sushi rolls came from our vege patch!

The gyoza i buy frozen. Served with accompaniments 🙂

This big banquet served 3 adults and 2 children for dinner and has enough leftovers for 3 lunches. You could easily make dinner go further by adding a serve of miso soup for each person and some tempura vegetables.  Yum!

Hope you have a lovely week full of vegetables hehe.

Xx

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To kill or not to kill, that is the question.

Its 11:30 pm. our family is together, but soon this is all about to change.  My child was hurt today. She had a procedure by a plastic surgeon that put her back together,  hopefully with minimal scarring into the future.

The purpetrator to her injuries? Our family pet. He can’t stay in our home now. He must go. I know it seems simple to some but let me give you some background.

For years, my partner and I lived in apartments. I was desperate for a cat but it wasn’t to be. I grew up in a family with pets. We waited. We moved a long way to be closer to our families.

We got jobs, bought a house and four weeks later I went to the animal shelter for a look. As I walked along the rows of cages, there were so many tiny kittens and adult cats waiting to be rescued. Some sleeping, some laying, some crying. There was one that was climbing a cat stand, playing, jumping, miowing. I kept walking. The adopton facilitator showed me some kittens. “These are very cute. Maybe one of those?” I looked. They were very sweet, curled up in a warm, furry pile. We went back to the climber. “I’d like to meet him please”.

I entered the cage and sat down close to the exit. He looked at me. “Hello” I said. He jumped down from the cat stand, walked over to me, climbed onto my lap and cuddled in. “Would you like to come home with me?” I asked. He miowed and curled into me. The adoption facilitator was training someone that day. She said to the trainee “This is how adoption is meant to be. You won’t see a better meeting than this”. I took him home.  He was 8 months old. His shelter name was spike. We named him Henry. He’s been my baby since that day. He has my last name!

We soon realised that he was scared of men and workboots. You can probably imagine why he has those fears.

We built a back deck. He hurt his back the day we signed the construction contracts. He couldn’t walk without crying out in pain. I flew out for work the next morning after a night of hand feeding him cat food and water. My partner took him to the vet.  He had hurt his back.

Fast forward to the death of my grandmother. He sat with me while I grieved. As I lay on the floor crying, he snuggled against me. When our friend came to stay and look after him while we went to the funeral, I wrote a three page letter about how to look after him. I grieved. He was always there, even in the weeks that followed as life went on but I had sadness creep through the everyday.

Later my first child was born. We did all the things the pet experts suggested. My partner brought home a singlet of the baby’s so he could smell her before she arrived. We put aluminium foil on the cot mattress (hilarious in retrospect but we were first time parents hehe). We did it all. He was so gentle and sweet. He cuddled up in between my shins while I spent what felt like endless hours breastfeeding. 

Then my second child was born. I birthed her at 1:30 pm. I arrived home at 9pm with a newborn in my arms. The next morning my toddler came into our bedroom and discovered Mummy with a flatter stomach, her new sister in her arms and Henry curled up in between her thighs. Again he was always in close proximity,  although this time around, navigating around an enthusiastic, almost two year old toddler. He managed beautifully.

The children grew. He did too. My dad had an accident at a hardware store. I tried my best to look after my father during his immediate recovery from his shoulder operation and the weeks that followed. For the first week after my Dad’s operation, I slept (badly) on the couch upstairs in between my unwell baby’s bedroom and the stairs downstairs to where Dad was staying. It was very rough. Dad was suffering badly. I was very worried. I also worked during this period on a major project at work.

Who slept next to me on the couch? Henry. Who visited my Dad during his convalenscence and really brightened his day? Henry.

All those days working from home, all those all nighters rewriting reports so they would meet client deadlines. Henry lay in his cat napper next to my work desk. So many days we would intermittently smooch. He made the stress manageable.

Henry has a beautiful soul. When my partner worked night shifts, we would play quiet games for hours. He would play fetch with mouse toys. When we had chidren he snuggled with me.

Through all the colds, flus, period pains, celebrations, family time, challenges Henry has been there. Just two weeks ago I went to bed feeling horribly ill. He lay on my chest with face next to mine. I slept better.

Today he made a mistake. He has scratched my eldest before because he was cornered and frightened. Today though, she could have lost her eye. He has to leave our home. My child isn’t safe if he is frightened.

We took Henry for a walk in the back garden. He got frightened by a neighbour who is loud and speaks unkindly to his wife. So we took him down to the front garden instead. His tail was still puffed up. All my daughter did was lean down and innocently pat his back. He turned and hurt her.

I watched as my baby was repaired. I saw it all. I was there for her fear, anxiety, sedation, procedure and I will be there for her recovery.

This time Henry won’t be with me. He won’t be a comfort. He will be put away. In exile. While we decide what his fate will be. While our daughter recovers from her injuries with me by her side.

I am well versed in animal welfare issues. I understand the complexity and vulnerability of rescue animals’ lives. I know how much love they need to heal from their bad experiences.

So what about Henry? What will become of him? We could rehome him to a childless person/couple. In two years time they get a great job overseas and have to move. Henry gets handed on to a friend/cousin/coworker. They don’t really love him.  His history is forgotten. He makes another mistake. He is abused because of it, or neglected. He leads a miserable life. Maybe remembering our family, maybe me. Or worse. He’s given away for free and ends up as live bait for some greyhound or dog fighting ring. He could die a horrible death within view of heartless scumbags.

I believe pets are for life. Our responsibility to them is a serious, lifelong committment. Henry’s care is written into my last will and testament. I am heartbroken.

So to kill or not to kill. That is the question. We could have a vet come to the house and he could be euthanised in my arms at home. Or he could face an uncertain life and death.

Should he die in the arms of his favourite person or should he be tossed aside, not understanding where his home and family is? Why he has been abandoned.

So now it’s 1am the next day. I sit here listening to him snoring, crying, about to check on my injured child.

I am heartbroken because I can no longer fulfill my promise to him. To always care for him and keep him safe and loved. I am heartbroken because my child is badly hurt. No parent wants this.

As I sit here with pain in my heartspace, where he has always put warm, fuzzy feelings,  the question remains.

To kill. Or not to kill.

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My family’s Anzac Story – Part 3

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Tomorrow’s Anzac Day is a special one for my family. Tomorrow we remember and say thank you to my great grand father.

His name was Alexander Menzies Kippen. He left Brisbane as part of the 9th infantry battalion in September 1914.

He landed as part of the first wave of soldiers at Gallipoli. He survived. He survived the boat trip, the landing, the run up the beach, the digging of trenches and the below ground life that followed. He lived through the fear, the sweat, the grief of loss and managed to return home to build a life.

For that service, I am thankful. For Australia, I am thankful. I am grateful to the Turkish people for welcoming Australians (descendants of the Anzacs amount them) to their beautiful country in peace.

My mother has been on the Gallipoli peninsula and surrounds the last week. Isn’t it fabulous that Australians can go and pay their respects to soldiers of both sides of the Gallipoli conflict by travelling in safety and peace.

Tomorrow, on Anzac Day, I’ll have miniature replicas of my great grandfather’s medals on my jacket. To say thank you. You are not forgotten.

“They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.”

My family’s Anzac Story – Part 2

The women of WW2 were integral to many aspects of Australia’s success abroad and the subsequent recovery at home. They contributed to Australia’s war effort and picked up the pieces of shattered lives afterwards.

My nanna was one of those women. She commenced full time military service at age 18. She worked in Signals, transmitting messages across the globe wherever Australia had personnel. In the “previous experience” section of her enlistment, she included “home duties” and her high school certificate. Her military record is scanned and as I read the faded yellow pages with torn edges, it seems like she had a whole other life.

A life of service, mystery and a little cheekiness. She was 18 and in love with a man fighting on the front lines of Asia. There were secret messages sent to him via her Signals connections. My grandparents stayed in contact throughout their war service and married after they were discharged. They had four babies and stayed together their whole lives.

Katherine Kippen was promoted to Sargent in October of ’43. There are no records of her saving fellow officers lives under fire or any such thing. There are lists of promotions and locations of Signals bases she was stationed.

What her military record can’t ever show is what an incredible woman she was. She was complex, determined, strict, soft, traditional and forward thinking all at the same time. There are a few things she said to me over my life that I will never forget and i will share some of them with you today.

“Don’t give yourself too readily or they’ll never respect you”
I was a teenager crying over some boy at her kitchen table. I was a bit shocked that she said this, but we went on to discuss it for a while. She looked in my eyes and was always gave me her full attention. “You’re worth more than that” were some of the statements in that conversation.

“Katherine doesn’t need to get married. She’ll be right either way”
This comment was delivered with a flap of her hand as she laid in a hospital bed as I was being teased by an aunty for not getting married and going to university to study the environment. She was known for her traditional values, inherited from her predecessors, but with one remark she silenced the room. Gosh I adored her.

“Do what you love”
Pretty self explanatory.

AS she aged and her body refused to participate in her life as readily as she expected, I could see her suffering. My partner and i would visit. They would sit at her kitchen table and talk about sports for ages – tennis, cricket, football. She was a mad sports follower. They got on well. I did a bit of cleaning up during these talks and she always, always thanked me in a way that made everything feel good. She was never over the top but she readily opened her arms an held me close.

Yes, she was number Q142241, and more.

Kath Dyne photo page 3 of 9

Family lunch boxes and mama’s remedy

I have my children’s head cold. This one has actually taken hold a bit so along with the family’s lunches, I have made myself a hot toddie.

Mamas hot toddie
In a mug add juice of 1 lime or 1/2 lemon
Add 1 tbsp rice malt syrup
Add generous nip of rum
Top with boiling water
Stir to combine

This lunch includes:
Mango smoothie
In a blender, combine until very smooth
3 ripe mangoes sliced
4 tbsp quick oats
4 tbsp white chia seeds
4 tbsp rice bran oil (optional)
Top with soy milk.
Add to reusable pouches

Carrot and sultana wholemeal biscuits
Fruit box
Vegetarian schnitzel sandwich
Crackers with Vegemite
Banana

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Atrax Track, Manorina and Jolly’s Lookout, D’Aguilar National Park

Palm groves make shady umbrellas
Palm leaves make shady umbrellas

The Atrax circuit is a fantastic walk for families with small children. It is only 750 m long with level, wide paths, timber bridges and stone steps.  It is accessed via the Manorina Carpark on the right hand side of Mt Nebo Road, 22 kilometres from the Brisbane Forest Park Information Centre (only 30 kilometres from the Brisbane CBD).

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This track leads through beautiful wet eucalypt forest. The tall, mixed forest offers a diversity of tree species providing dappled light to the rich understorey below. The path winds through little pockets of “fern forests”, past “mossy boats”, trickling creeks, small ponds, through the middle of a burnt out tree, underneath wonderful tree canopies with large epiphytic orchids (Dendrobium speciosum), little palm groves, secret little patches of terrestrial orchids, vines and grassy patches.

This forest offers a wonderful diversity of texture and colour.
This forest offers a wonderful diversity of texture and colour.
What's around the corner?
What’s around the corner?

This is a quality walk with plenty of Nature engagement opportunities. Allowing little people to take their time, run back, run forward, pick up rocks, turn over leaves, balance on fallen logs, play peek-a-boo, make leaf umbrellas, float leaf boats down the creeks, stand in the water, feel the different barks, look up at the sky, walk the brick entrance and jump up the path will have everyone’s heart singing.

The trees seem to reach all the way to the sky!
The trees seem to reach all the way to the sky!
A blackened tree trunk
A blackened tree trunk

There are no facilities apart from a car park, so we teamed this walk up with a picnic at the Jolly’s Lookout picnic area (a couple of minutes in the car back towards the city). The vistas are good out past Lake Samsonvale and beyond. There are toilets and bbq areas (no wood collection from the forest), and one large undercover area at the lookout.

What a Jolly Lookout...
What a Jolly Lookout…
A good spot for lunch
A good spot for lunch

Inormation on D’Aguilar National Park can be found at http://www.nprsr.qld.gov.au/parks/daguilar/about.html

What a lovely morning out on a glorious winter’s day. A family member brought home a leech from this walk so maybe tuck the little peoples’ pants into their socks just to be safe.

It takes a village to raise a mother

"How's your motherhood travelling?"
“How’s your motherhood travelling?”

Welcome to the Whistling Kite Collective’s Journey of Wellness series.

Motherhood has been an incredible journey. One thing I have learnt, it takes a village to raise a mother. Catching up with people face to face has helped me enormously, especially in the early days when I felt like I was running downhill in the dark. My transition from woman to mother was made so much easier by being surrounded by the collective wisdom and support of others. Yes I could have done it alone, but who would want to? Being surrounded by others’ life experiences has expanded who I am and surely improved how I parent. Being able to reach out and pat someone on the back, snort into my drink, giggle at the ridiculous and cry with exhaustion has been so valuable.

This past week has been one long lesson in relationships. Each of my roles as a person has been challenged in some way.  I have felt a wide range of human emotion in a short period of time; sadness, empathy, grief, sympathy, joy, nervousness, shame, anger, excitement, shock and delight. I attended a funeral of a young, lovely person who passed very suddenly. I ran into a friend who is almost ready to birth her first baby. I spent time in nature with an amazing person and her wonderful little boy. I was lucky to spend a few hours with two dear friends that I have hardly seen since my second baby was born. When my first friend arrived at my door, I was so incredibly happy to see her I could have jumped on her! I settle for a hug and kiss. When my second friend arrived unexpectedly, I opened the door and burst into tears. My people, my village, hooray!

This week has reminded me how lucky I am. I have everything I want and need. Sure there could be more; or much, much less. Do my friends really know how special they are? Does my family? What about my favourite man? Do I really show these people how fabulous they are?

My dear friends and family near and afar have inspired me to be a better mother, to seek help, ask advice, laugh at myself, to rest when I can, to be grateful for my time and to enjoy the company of others. So, to my village, I thank you. I am blessed to be a part of something bigger, wholesome and very, very real. I also thank you internet, for connecting me to my worldwide village, where I can plug in at any time, catch up with loved ones around the globe and feel a part of it something tangible.

My favourite lessons from my village:

  1. Surround myself with positive, nurturing people.
  2. Listen and filter out any unhelpful or confusing information.
  3. Value myself and my inner voice.
  4. Quoting a very clever someone “You don’t need a book to tell you how to love your babies”.
  5. Value my people.
  6. Keep in touch.
  7. Say thank you.

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