Wednesday, November 30, 2011

My contribution to the Monster Zucchini Club

So it seems my garden, in particular my zucchini plant, caught wind of the fact that other zucchini plants out there in the big wide world (eg Fiona's and Ali's) were producing some better-than-decent sized fruits and decided to one-up them all.

Ladies and gentlemen of the panel I give you......

....the All Litten Up Monster Zucchini Contender!!!!  [round of applause please]

Thank you.  Thank you very much.  I couldn't have done it without much ignorance, neglect and a few days rain.   Thanks.

As gloriously large as it is, I have serious doubts as to its palatability (is that even a word?).  I think it may just find its way straight into the scrap bucket.  Pity.  It does look nice though.  

Sunday, November 27, 2011

One for the fellas.

Tonight my sister handed me the latest junk mail catalogue from the Shaver Shop.  

This page was towards the end...

Clearly, the hair free man is all the rage this December.  

As disconcerting as it was to see a picture of a male model with a shaving implement so close to his tender bits (careful!), it was this bit that left me lost for words.....(go on, click on it and make it bigger - no pun intended!)

The guffawing and not-for-young-ears-jokes that my sister and I then went on with sparked the attention of my too-smart-for-her-own-good 8-year-old niece who will no doubt be digging this catalogue out and trying to work out what we were laughing at.  And then asking her mother questions that shouldn't be asked for a couple of years yet.

I'm lost for words.

And I'm still laughing.

Friday, November 25, 2011

Operation Matron Dress: The Plan

So I have about 12 weeks to get myself toned up, trimmed down and able to fit into this dress.....

Plenty of time you say?  Well for me, most likely just enough.  

Not that I have that much weight I need to lose but 12 weeks allows for one false start, a few slip-ups, a whole lot of potential disaster in the form of Christmas and New Years, as well as 6 weeks of hard-core work hours which will seriously test my commitment to regular, heart-beat raising exercise (gift shop + Christmas + boxing day sales = long days + hard work + minimal free time).

With that in mind, I have a Plan.  A Plan that I will now share with the world because once shared it remains in the social consciousness and I am honour-bound to uphold it.  I'm like that. A healthy dose of guilt does marvels for commitment to a cause.

So here Plan of action in order to reach a successful outcome for Operation Matron Dress.....

  • No added sugar.  That means no honey on toast for brekky, no mid-afternoon bikkie snack, no chocolate after dinner and definitely no ice-cream.  Oh, and no soft drink.  Not even the diet ones.
  • More water.  I figure that without the soft-drinks this will be easy.  I just need to make sure my water bottle is always full.  And with me.  That helps.
  • Make my own lunch to take to work.  I know, terrible that I don't do this already.  The carvery in the food court will see a significant decrease in their sales with this one but packing my own lunch will mean I can load up on healthier snacks to get me through the day.  Also, I'll be saving myself $5.20 by making my own egg and lettuce sandwich.  Yes that's right.  I am being extorted each day for two slices of bread, some (not a lot by any stretch of the imagination) mashed egg, and a sprinkling of 'passed it's prime' lettuce.  Time to change that.
  • Cardio at least 3 afternoons a week.  I will pilfer my niece's skipping rope, I will somehow permanently plug the treadmill in (not as easy as it sounds - power was cut to the shed where it lives so plugging it in involves a whole lot of extension cord to reach the nearest power outlet), I will walk the block during a lunch break.  I will ride my bike to the shop.  Or I'll walk.  Basically I will move.  As opposed to the sitting that currently goes on.
  • I will do some form of resistance work.  Squats behind the counter.  Lunges across the yard.  Step-ups on the back stairs.  If I can wrangle it I will get the weights gym out of the shed on our investment property and into our shed up here sooner rather than later.  And I will set it up and use it (the most important part).  
  • And most importantly, I will report to the world my Operation status.  Nothing like an obligation to fess up and share my progress to motivate me to achieve.  Once a week I plan.  Shouldn't be able to hide anything that way.

Here goes.....

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Och. Mein. Gott.

Earlier in the year a lady I met through our shop who told me she was getting married in the new year.  She's 75 and getting married for the second time (her first husband passed away a number of years ago) to a lovely man she met through her volunteer work selling raffle tickets for the Mater Children's Hospital.  She was wanting to know if I knew a cake decorator who could make her cake.  I put up my hand and offered my services.  She was stoked. 

Fast forward a couple of months and I'd managed to narrow her down on style, size, shape and colours etc for the cake - everything was going to plan.

Then it sort of went pear shaped for her.  Her fiance's family, for one reason or another, have all pulled out of the wedding leaving the bridal party one matron short (can't call them bridesmaids when they're all married now can you).  So the hunt was on for a replacement.

I was nominated, asked and added to the bridal party in quick succession.  Happy days.

Today I received the dress.  

Made to fit the redundant family member who is clearly not as hippy nor as busty as I am, I have my work cut out for me in order for it to fit.  I do have the option (which will be happening regardless) of letting out a few seams but they are not that generous to start with so the only other option remaining for me is some serious exercise and some really serious watching what I'm eating until the wedding.  That and some hardcore body slimming underwear as well.

So there you have it.  I have been looking for something to motivate me to stick to an exercise plan and to encourage me to eat better for longer than a couple of weeks (my won't-power is seriously weak) and the potential to be immortalised for all time in someone's wedding photos wearing a dress that clings in the most unflattering way around my thighs (shiny tafetta no less!!!) is enough to scare the bejeezus out of me and get me on that wagon as quick as I can!

I'm hoping the approaching silly season and its myriad of temptations won't destroy my plans too much (my family are notorious for putting on the most sugar-laden, high-fat spreads known to man so I'm scared.  Very scared.)

Anyone have any suggestions for exercises to tone up and trim down the maximus gluteous?  

Saturday, November 19, 2011


Legian Beach, Bali 2008

The other night the LOML had a dream.


He had a dream where he was talking to God.


God asked him a question.  

        'What is the purpose of your life?'

Not 'what is the meaning of your life?'.  Not what is the meaning of life in general but what is the purpose of your life.

I found it quite spooky that the LOML had this dream.  Not that he was talking to God, spooky in that he remembered his dream when he woke up and then told me about it hours later.  I'm flat out remembering what I had for breakfast let along remembering what I dreamt about.

Spooky because for the last few weeks I have been pondering this very point.  Mulling over it in my mind again and again, arguing with myself, talking to myself, going around and around in circles on the same topics, usually while trying to go to sleep at night.

I don't have children.  I'm not going to have children.  And just recently, for one reason or another, I've had a minor crisis regarding my purpose, my point of existence, my reason for existing if it's not to procreate and populate the world.    

Don't get me wrong, I'm not in any way down with my life or my decision not to have kids but just recently I've felt super different from everyone around me.  Different in a not-so-good way.  Different enough to make me feel on the outer, to make me feel not part of the club.

I don't mind not being part of this particular club.  Truly, it's my choice and one I am happy living with.  But sometimes, like now, I wonder what, if I'm not being a mother, is my point?


I don't like feeling like this.

The LOML, in response to God's question, replied that I was his purpose for living (awww, love him) as was travel and experiencing.

I think that works for me too but I'm sure there's more.  More to it.  More to me.  More to my reasons for being like I am, thinking like I do.

Sometimes I feel like I'm running out of time to work out what it is I want to do with my life, who I want to be when I grow up, where I want to end up.  

Sometimes it all just overwhelms me.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

In My Kitchen: November 2011

Joining Celia and her 'In My Kitchen' posts - head on over to Fig Jam & Lime Cordial and join the fun....

In My Kitchen..... a foodsaver vacuum thing scored courtesy of Melbourne Cup winnings.  Nice.  This will be a godsend when it comes to tomato drying time (mmmm....semi dried tomatoes.....) and finding a way to store all my creations, not to mention the storing of everything else - zucchinis, beans, peas, bananas, apples, apricots - the list is endless!

In My Kitchen....

....are my nicely tidied 'pantry' shelves.  I don't have a pantry as such so everything is on show on some make-do shelves until such time as the kitchen fairy visits and leaves me with a nice big cupboard with doors.  What that means in the meantime is that I really have to be tidy with my putting away and storing.  Unfortunately tidy and I don't agree so this morning I pulled everything off the shelves, and then tidied and restacked in some form of order.  How long it will stay like this I'm not sure but it looks better for the moment.  All I need to do now is work out what to cook to use up the 5 packets of pasta shells I found hidden at the back!  (note:  this was a tidying exercise, not cleaning, so don't look too closely at the dirty walls!)

In My Kitchen.... my chilli painting precariously perched on the mantle above the wood stove.  One day soon I will get up and actually hang it but in the meantime the spiders webs are holding it in place quite nicely!  I love this painting.  The LOML brought it back for me on one of his buying trips to Indonesia a couple of years ago - just for me.  It is the first thing I see as I enter the kitchen and it brings a smile to my face every morning.

In My Kitchen....

......are a couple of buckets full of dried broad beans waiting to be shelled, dried a little more in the dehydrator before being packed and sealed and stored away.  

In My Kitchen.... some Asafoetida Powder I picked up at the spice stall at the Sunday Markets.  This is the one ingredient I have been missing from my Indian recipes - it will be interesting to see the difference it will make to the taste.

In My Kitchen.... the latest batch of seedlings sprouting on the windowsill.  These are broccoli.  For some reason I had in my head that they are a winter crop (?).  Maybe they are and I'm a little ahead of myself.  Either way I'll give them a go and see what happens.

In My Kitchen....

....are a selection of seeds which will make their way into a tasty seedy bread.  Breads.  That's a whole lotta seeds right there!

And finally, In My Kitchen....

.....are some butterbeans, snap beans (can't see them) and some peas picked with my niece and nephew yesterday.  I love fresh green beans eaten straight from the bush.  They have a taste like nothing else I know and take me back to when I was 8 years old and would lie on my back between the rows of beans (mum and dad grew a commercial size crop one year on our farm) looking up to the blue sky and breathing in the earthy aroma of freshly watered soil whilst munching on beans picked straight from the bush.  Ahhh the memories!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Corner Shop Wisdom

Our corner shop - the one further down the road, not just down the road (they're rude and I won't reward their lack of service) - has a chalkboard out the front on the footpath that they regularly write some pearls of wisdom on.

Their pearls are rippers.

So good that I have to share them as they come up.

Today's nugget of gold....

'The only reason people get lost in thought is because they are in unfamiliar territory'

Hahahaha - cracks me up! 

Saturday, November 12, 2011


I don't do snakes.

At all.

So you can imagine my horror when I spotted this....

A snake skin, just the one, coming out of the drainpipe, into the side of the house and then back out again.

One snake skin.

Uggggghhhhhh!  [insert massive, goose-pimply shudder here]

I don't do snakes.

* note: this photo was taken from a substantial, 'safe' distance away.  Thank the sweet Lord for telephoto capabilities on my camera.

The Burn

Given that the weather has warmed up significantly over this last week, clothing options have now moved into the shorts/skirts and shirt variety.  And given that I was almost reduced to tears the other morning when the 3/4 pants I bought and wore quite comfortably for the entirety of last summer now resemble spray on legs, the time has come for some serious weight reduction exercises.

I've probably left it a bit late (truly the intention was there - I think I started psyching myself up and attempting to start this months ago) but better late than never.  And truly, there is no time like right now. 

With that in mind I have this week been giving the treadmill a definite workout (oh, how unfit am I!) and yesterday included a whole 'across the yard and back again' set of lunges.  I tell ya, I thought my legs were burning afterwards but that ain't nothing like the burn I've got going today!  Walking is slow and steady with a bit of a saddle-sore gait and as for sitting down gracefully, well, that's more like an inelegant fall.  Don't even get me started on the getting up and down the back stairs (who chose a highset house?).

But one mustn't complain.  No pain, no gain.  One must embrace the burn and celebrate it for it's powers of buttock firming and centimetre losing.  


And now to go and do it all again.  And again.  And again.  Owwwww!  

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

High, Low, High, Low, High (phew!)

[to set the scene.....]

Remember these tickets?  Ignore for a moment the front ticket and focus your attention on the ticket behind.....that is the source of this post

HIGH:  Realising you read your Melbourne Cup ticket wrong and that you actually won.

LOW:   Finding out your husband (chief holder and checker of tickets and claimer of winnings) also read it wrong and threw it in the bin at the pub after the race.

HIGH:  Remembering you took a photo of your tickets to put on your blog and that maybe, just maybe, that might help in the quest to claim your pickings.

LOW:  Realising that some low-life grub at the pub on Cup Day (and there are a lot of them out and about on Cup Day) may have gone through the bin, picked out your winning ticket and claimed it themselves.


The agonising wait.....


HIGH:  Getting to the TAB with your printout of your blog photo of your tickets, being told you were very smart to take a picture of them because in a situation like this a photo makes the process soooo much easier (and quicker) and then finally, finding out that no low-life grub found your ticket and that you are the winner of the Melbourne Cup Trifecta!  Wooohooooo!  

Now to go shopping.....!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Card night

The LOML used to play cards a lot when we lived in Brissy.  

Just us.  

A few drinks, some groovin tunes, a shuffle here, a shuffle there, a few more drinks and a couple of cd changes - good times, good times.

Then we left Brissy and for some reason we haven't had a card night for a couple of years.

Multiple reasons were suggested but they were not accepted as excuses.

So the other night we rectified that and dug out the decks, cranked up the moozac and poured a couple of liquid relaxants.

It was fun.  Fun we had forgotten we used to have.

I would tell what we played but it's a game that seems to have morphed over the years into something else.  I think originally it was gin rummy.  Now it's not.  

I would also tell the final score but I got thrashed so I'll keep it a secret.  

The LOML was very pleased.  It's usually him who's getting the thrashing.  His gloating was very unbecoming.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Post script

So it turns out that putting all your money on an alcoholic and expecting them to come through with the goods is optimistic thinking at its best.

Yes, Drunken Sailor, my pick in the Melbourne Cup, clearly spent too much preparation time propped up in a bar somewhere knocking back cheap shots like they were lolly water.  Did it even make it to the starting gate?  Or was it still in the bar, slumped in a corner, drooling onto a barmat?  Who knows. What I do know is that I shouldn't  put my faith in a tipsy seaman.  Or horse.  Or whatever.


The LOML it turns out had a bit better luck.  Or would have if it wasn't for the pipping at the post by a nostril hair.  He had a trifecta on.  The horse that won (Dunaden) he had picked to come second.  The horse that came second (Red Cadeaux) he had picked to come first.  He picked the third placegetter.  He also picked fourth and fifth, not that that made any difference.  If it weren't for that nostril hair, I would be not far from kicking back beneath an umbrella in a resort on an island off the coast of Thailand sipping a strawberry daquiri whilst watching the sun set.

Stupid nostril hair.  Horse should have poked out its tongue and won.
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