However, I know a few of you wonder what's going on when I'm offline for too long. So I thought I'd quickly drop by and reassure you everything is fine.
It's just I've been busy with wrangling kids and pets. I've been catching up on travel writing, and reading books to review, and you know, LIFE.
Then there's the end of the school year screaming towards us, and Mr 12 is graduation from Grade 7, and where-the-hell-did-that-time-go? And since when did primary schoolers graduate anyway? I finished up with a half-day at the swimming pool, cordial, and an ice-block if I remember correctly. Mind you, that was back in the Dark Ages.
And Missy Moo's garden has been taking over the back yard, and the kids have been eating me out of house and home, and bursting out of clothes and shoes with reckless abandon as they grow even taller and bigger. Much like the plants in Harmonie's garden.
And there have been bills and appointments and Dr Who (gasp) and, you know, LIFE.
And the year is just flying by faster than Santa's reindeer on the night of December 24th.
Speaking of which, this is the time of year that I start to feel a little bit festive. Stressy, but festive.
Today is my Mum's birthday - happy birthday Mum - and it has always marked the start of the holiday season for our family. My birthday is next, on November 27th. What a wonderful late birthday present I must have been for poor Mum. .
Apparently, I gave Mum pre-eclampsia, and a horrible labour, and then she was briskly told to put make-up on and look nice for her husband before Dad came to visit.
Later, one of my big brothers demanded I be taken back to the hospital and be swapped for a boy! My big sister dropped me on my head, Accidentally she insists. My other brother was too busy fussing over chooks and hens to worry too much about the noisy new arrival.
His birthday is next, followed by my father's big day. (Four Sagittareans in the one household. Can you imagine what it what like growing up in that fire pit?)
And then there is Christmas.
I always like to think birthdays should be celebrated in weeks not days. After all a day is over far too soon, don't you think?
I started this week off with mangos. Bowen Specials not the horrid stringy variety. I can't wait for cherries to hit the stores, then I get really happy.
And then today, I had lunch with two girlfriends from high school. They are just as lovely now as they were back then and it was a tonic to see them. We're grown-ups and mums now, but despite that, the years disappeared as we giggled about old times and caught up on gossip.
I've a few other treats planned for the week, including a visit to the hairdresser and a massage (bliss), not to mention special time with my two favourite humans in the world, Chase and Harmonie.
I love to travel for birthdays, but the demands of the rugrats' school agenda isn't going to allow that to happen this year. So in the spirit of giving, I'd like to give a perfect day away to a lucky MIA follower.
Thanks to Sovereign Hill and Maid In Australia's Countdown To Christmas Giveaways I've got a family pass to fabulous Sovereign Hill to give away.
"Sovereign Hill has been delighting visitors since it was officially opened to the public on Sunday, 29 November 1970.
In the 1960s, the Ballarat community recognised the need to preserve the unique heritage of the city through a network of museums that would collect research and interpret the significance of the goldrush era. From this vision, Sovereign Hill was born.
Sovereign Hill is an internationally renowned, award-winning outdoor museum operated by The Sovereign Hill Museums Association, a not-for-profit, community-based organisation. This means that operating profits are invested back into the museum so that new experiences can constantly be developed.
Sovereign Hill has an equivalent full-time staff of 200 and more than 200 volunteers who provide costumed interpretation of the Outdoor Museum and a range of heritage-related functions behind the scenes."
It's an awesome day out for the whole family.
And guess what? They have fantastic gifts as well. I'll be featuring some of them in my Christmas gift guides, but I found a few for my birthday wish list.
A little birthday bling always gives a girl some heart. Nice for Christmas as well. This floating gold heart is gorgeous.
Sucks to be in the high risk group for skin cancer. But this lacy parasol would protect this ageing skin a treat. And so feminine!
Some of the goodies on offer at Sovereign Hill. And I have some for a lucky reader as well. Read on ...
The lovely people at Sovereign Hill are giving a lucky follower a family pass valued at $117.50. You'll have a decent amount of time to use the pass, but obviously you'll have to get yourselves to Ballarat to use it.
Can't get to Ballarat? Never fear, you can have a taste of Sovereign Hill instead. Because we also have a hamper of delicious treats similar to those pictured above, valued at $45. It contains a jar of raspberry drops, a bag of Sovereign Hill boiled lollies, brandy sauce, a candle, cranberry sauce, and quince paste.
To win, you must be a follower of my Facebook page. Then simply leave a comment below sharing your favourite birthday indulgence. Winners will be drawn on Monday December 2 at 5.30 pm. Please don't forget to check back to see if you've won.
Main Street, Sovereign Hill