Saturday, April 30, 2011

Wedding Fever

Photo: Matt Dunham/ AP
As no doubt the entire universe knows, yesterday was the day Kate and Wills got hitched.  I'm sure they would have preferred eloping to Vegas and being married by Elvis* over the monumental affair they had.  But I guess that's the downside of being the future King and Queen of England.  Can't win them all!

In honour of the occasion my sister and her family (BIL, niece and nephew) came over to ours and we celebrated the royal nuptials with pizza and wine (beer and scotch on the part of the fellas, cordial for the kidliwinks).  Nothing says posh-nosh more than mozzarella and tomato paste on a bread dough followed by a wine chaser!  Said wine was of course consumed with obligatory pinky finger raised - v. elegant, v. high society.

I do love a good wedding and royal families know how to throw a good shindig.  They've got nothing on me though.  My wedding rocked.  Funny how I say 'my wedding' instead of 'our wedding'.  As much as I love the LOML with all my heart, weddings are women's business - men just have to turn up (in a suit, no jeans, no joggers).  

Anyhoo, the LOML and I sealed our fate on a beautiful spring day at our friend's house in the Granite Belt in SE Queensland nearly eight years ago.  Ceremony in their garden, party in their shed, complete with hay bales, band, port-a-loo and fairy lights.  Rock on!  

So here's cheers to Wills and Kate - may your days as husband and wife be full of personal jokes, double entendres, snuggling on the couch in front of the telly, brekky in bed on a Sunday morning, romantic walks along beaches in the rain and lots of hot, married-people sex (don't believe what you hear, married people do it HEAPS!).  Cheers!!
Photo: Toby Melville/ Reuters/ Landov


* this option was a serious consideration when the LOML and I got married.  As we didn't choose to go with it, I'm owed it.  So I'm putting it out there that our 10th anniversary will see us in Vegas getting married (again) by Elvis.  Skinny, young Elvis that is. I don't want no fat man in a jumpsuit telling me to love and honour my husband till death do us part!**

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Have glue gun, will glue

This morning I completed a task that has been 6 years in the making.

Years ago, quite early in our relationship, the LOML and I went on a romantic getaway and visited some wineries near the Queensland/ New South Wales border.  In one of those wineries (I can't remember which one - they're a blur after all that sampling!!!) I saw the Best Cork Board Ever.  That's correct - Best Ever.  It was a board - with wine bottle corks stuck all over it.  How cool!  I totally had to have one for myself!  And so started the planning and preparation to get to this point in time right now where it is made and finished and all mine!  To share the love and so you too can be the proud owner of a Real Cork Cork Board, I've included step-by-step instructions (with photos, because instructions are so much more professional looking with photos!).  

Step One:
Drink wine.  Lots of it.  Champagne too.  Make sure the bottles have corks not screwtops otherwise you're just a wino and you should probably go to a meeting.  Surveying my collection is like looking at a time capsule - I can see periods of Asti Riccadona, Hardy's, Yellow Glen, Brown Brothers, Wolf Blass and a whole lot of un-named varieties!

Step Two:
Save the corks.  I put them in a safe spot so I wouldn't lose them.  Well, actually it was two safe spots because I forgot where the first safe spot was.  Luckily we moved house during Step One so I found the first safe spot again!
Step Three:
Assemble required equipment and ingredients: corks, board (I used an old picture frame that I found kicking around the back shed), hot glue gun.
Step Four:
Start gluing.  You could have a practice layout first to make sure they all fit and get them arranged in some sort of aesthetically pleasing order but I'm too impatient for that.  Luckily for me I had enough corks to fill the board and they all fit together nicely!
Step Five:
Stand back and admire your handiwork.  
I plan on placing my Cork Board in a very prominent position so that all visitors will see it and be in awe of my creativity and competence.   Naaahh - not really - but I have put it on my desk so that when I see it I am reminded that a) I'm very clever and b) it may be time to cut back on the alcohol!
So, what do you reckon about my Cork Board?  (blatant fish for complements here....indulge me!)

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Mistress of Make-do

Two and a half years ago when the LOML and I moved into this house there was a piece of glass missing from the corner of the bathroom window.  
Not too much of a panic - just replace the pane!  Easy right?  Simple?  Nothing to it?  That's right.  And like all easy, simple, nothing-to-it tasks, it has sat there with nothing done to it.  For two and a half years.

The first winter was cold.  Super cold in the bathroom with it's own personal little vent system happening.  It is absolutely amazing how much wind comes in that little tiny opening - even on a still night!  After the fiftieth night of shivering through a shower, using every last drop of hot water, I vowed to do something about it.  Well actually, I vowed to have the LOML do something about it.  Home maintenance isn't in my job description.  I can do it, but only if I have to!

The second winter was colder and still the hole was there.  As you can see, we don't rush headlong into things around here!  The LOML was out of the country for most of this winter (relaxing on subtropical beaches no less!) which left me to freeze it out and have a whole hot-water-system worth of hot water just for me.  Believe me, I used it all!

And here we are now, about to enter our third winter.  Do you reckon the window pane has been replaced?  Of course not!  But finally I had a brain explosion (why oh why didn't I think of this sooner!!!) - just cover the hole up!  Problemo fixo!  Hooray!!!
SPC Baked Beans and Spaghetti - for hungry little human beans!
I remain at a loss as to why this has taken me two and a half years to think of.  

Now to plug up some gaps between doors and floorboards and around the windows.....I'm on a roll!


Sunday, April 24, 2011

Easter Sunday

My BIL was a chef in a past life.  So when the invite for lunch is received, it is always accepted.  Today was no exception.

Mmmmmm.....roast beef and veg....delish!

My little niece got into the spirit as well making these beautiful table seating arrangements.  It's the Easter egg that sets it all off I think!

All in all, a beautiful way to spend a Sunday afternoon - surrounded by family, laughing lots, telling stories, playing football with the kids, and eating too much!  And best of all, tomorrow is a public holiday!  Hooray!!!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Chicken and eggs

I am need of enlightenment (among other things!)

Can someone please explain to me the relevance of eggs for Easter?  Or chickens?  Or rabbits for that matter?  Or even bilbies?  Does it have something to do with the circle of life?  Unbounded breeding (rabbit link - work with me)?  Or is it all just a clever marketing ploy schemed in the consumerist 1980s to get us to part with more money by buying chocolate eggs, rabbits and chickens in the guise of celebrating Easter?

Either way, I do love the taste of Easter chocolate.  Psychological maybe but I reckon it tastes better when shaped into an egg filled with smarties. Or a gold-tin-foil wrapped bunny complete with red bow and bell...
Okay....so IMAGINE a bunny with a head...and a red bow and a bell....!
Or even a line of chickens looking quite two dimensional and side-show-shooting-game-like...
So much for sugar-free!

Friday, April 22, 2011

Hotties

It's that time of year.


This afternoon I whipped up a batch of Hot X Buns to give to our family and friends tomorrow and Sunday.  I don't eat dried fruit (I know, don't start on me) but I love to cook and really, that's reason enough to get baking.


The LOML sampled (as he does) and declared them better than what you can buy at the shops.  That, of course, goes without saying!


So, for your viewing pleasure.....


Happy Easter however you choose to celebrate it.  :)

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Just for me

Throughout my life I have done things to please other people, to make them happy, because they like it, because they think its a good idea, because they say so etc.  I think it's genetic.  

I do a lot of things to please me too but only in the last ten years since I met the LOML has there been a noticeable lack of guilt when I do (he is very good at the empowering thing, gotta love him!).  Painting my toenails is one of them.  Blue is my favourite colour - and this shade of blue tops all blues.
Look at those stumpy toes!  Yep, they're mine!
Nothing makes me feel more 'me' than when my toes are shining.  And even though we're coming into winter with its socks and boots and slippers and stockings, blue they shall stay. Just for me.  

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Tooth and nail

I'm a nail biter.

Always have been, always will be.  I suffer serious nail envy when I see ladies with beautifully manicured fingernails - even more nail envy when it is on a young girl!

I have had times in my life where I have beaten the habit by pure will power alone but most times I need a bit of help - a little distraction if you will.

When I was a youngster mum would paint my nails with some sort of anti-bite polish that would taste absolutely disgusting.  I'm sure it was a toxic, cancer-causing poison.  But it wouldn't work for long regardless of the claims on the bottle.  A couple of times dad took my hand out of my mouth and stuck it in cow poo.  Charming.  Didn't work either.

My latest creation - I totally love the colours on this
tea-towel.  I'm also pretty happy with the edging!
About eight years ago I had some acrylic nails put on to get married.  That stopped the biting while they were on but the cost of maintaining them soon made me go au-naturale once again.  Surprisingly my brain must have liked the look and decided to keep it that way because it was a long time before I had to take measures to stop the (occasional) chomp.

Every now and then I find myself with my fingers in my mouth again - usually when I'm reading a book or watching telly or when I am stressing about something (major sign right there).  It drives the LOML nuts.  Last year I took to wearing gloves whenever I wasn't doing something with my hands.  Or I would sit on them.  Both good ideas in theory but I had a hard time actually remembering to do them!

Then I had the brainwave of doing something with my hands to keep them busy so I couldn't put them in my gob.  Hallelujah!  How long did that take!!!  So I pulled out the old crochet hook and got down with some serious crochet action!  

Now, while the LOML is flicking channels like a madman (and driving ME crazy!  What is it with men and tv remotes - just leave it alone already!!!!) I am crocheting the edges of tea-towels, face washers, hand towels and bath towels, creating squares and rounds to make knee rugs, blankets and the like.  And then the other day I discovered Ravelry and a heap of things I now must make!!!  

So for now my fingernails are safe and I get some beautiful end products to give to the special people in my life!  Win/Win!!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

La Vida Loca

I was going to title this post La Vida Normal but the more I've thought about my day today I came to realise it wasn't.  There is some degree of normality but on the whole it's been a whole lot of busy-crazy - I feel like I've been running around like a headless chook minus the wing flapping and running into things!

It started early with a call from mum who came home from hospital this morning.  All is well - well, as well as can be expected.  The cardiologist has confirmed that her heart is fine - nothing wrong there - so now the hunt is on for the cause of her chest pains.  She has tests, tests and more tests scheduled over the next couple of weeks, plus an endoscopy and a few more tests (!), which will hopefully determine just what causing her troubles.  But her heart is fine and that is some mighty good news!

Monster zucchini and cucumber - plus some normal size ones
from the veggie garden.  Over the back is a watermelon I
found still kicking in the garden. It survived the re-roofing of
the shed so hats off to it!
I then spent most of my day in the shop pricing stock and rearranging displays in the gear-up for Mother's Day (big day for gift shops - second to xmas).  Easterfest is on this weekend which will bring a huge amount of people to town (something like 50,000 from the surrounding districts and as far away as Brisbane and the coast I think the paper was saying).  Needless to say, we will be ready for them and try to convince them that right here, right now is a great time to get mum something special! We can only try!

I have also done all my usual chores at home - unfortunately no magical fairy completed them for me!  Plus baked two loaves of bread (one -cheese and chive - to take to the neighbours tonight for our first French lesson - oui oui!), picked the veggies that have grown to monster proportions from a couple of days rain, fixed up the chook pen fence which had some pretty big chook-sized holes under which they could have escaped (but they weren't that clever!), pulled weeds out of the garden while the ground is still damp and fed my niece and nephew's guinea pigs (Spotty and Milkshake) that we are pig-sitting while they are away camping for the week.  Phew!  

I still have a list as long as my arm to complete (a written list is the only way I remember to get things done!) but the chances of anything else getting done today is slim to none!  No matter, they'll still be there on the list tomorrow!

Right now though, I'm going to kick back on the lounge for 30 minutes before heading across the road for dinner!  Au revoir!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Doing a Monty

When it seems that things seem to keep getting worse or going bad - despite you not thinking they're able to - I see that there are two ways of dealing with it.  Sit in a corner and cry, or follow Monty's advice...
Some things in life are bad, they can really make you mad, other things just make you swear and curse.  When you're chewing on life's gristle, don't grumble, give a whistle, and this'll help things turn out for the best...always look on the bright side of life... always look on the light side of life...[sing along if you know the words].
I choose Monty's way (well actually it's Brian's way - as in Life of Brian - but lets not get caught up with little details like facts!).  So even though life at the moment is seeming a little overwhelming, I choose to look at it with rose coloured glasses and focus on the positives.  Also, a little distraction helps wonders too.


Mum is still in hospital - we don't actually know when they will let her out.  She is having numerous tests each day - tomorrow is a stress test which she is not looking forward to.  At this stage the doctors are starting to lean away from heart attack (phew!) but the stress test tomorrow will confirm her heart's condition for sure and whether or not it is her heart that is the problem.  I don't know where they will go from here if it turns out it's not her heart but then I'm no doctor so I guess I'm not expected to know!!  The good news is that she is well at the moment and being looked after by people who know what they're doing.  


In the meantime I'm doing a marvellous job of distracting myself.  Busy hands and all that.  If I keep myself active and doing things I don't have time to think, and I've been very busy this last few days!
I went to the library on Friday (I love the library - FREE BOOKS!) and got out this one - Art of the Slow Cooker by Andrew Schloss.  I love slow cooking and go on and on about the wonderful flavours, the tenderness of the meat, the delicious aromas that come from cooking food slowly, the idea of getting back to how nana used to cook.....I could go on but the real reason I like slow cooking?  Deep down I'm lazy.  I like the idea of putting dinner on in the morning and forgetting about it for the day  (and producing an amazing meal at the end of it!) and best of all, only having one pot to wash up.  Lazy.
Fresh, fresh market veggies - not in the picture are the onions, sweet potatoes,
carrots and pumpkins - there wasn't enough room on the counter!!!
Anyway, tonight (well, today) I've decided we're having something slow cooked for dinner.  Haven't yet narrowed down a recipe from the book - but that's a minor detail!  I went to the markets this morning - I love the Sunday markets - and got a whole heap of fresh veggies in anticipation - yum!  
My ode to Celia's Zucchini Slice - but using roast veggies instead of zucchinis!  The cut slice is a bit mangled but I was soooo hungry and it smelled soooo good I was in a rush to eat !
I also picked up some organic quinces.  I've never cooked with quinces before but am inspired (as always) by Celia's Quince Jelly.  I'm gonna bite the bullet and give it a go!  I have made her Zucchini Slice a couple of times now - very successfully and with much praise from the LOML - and even adapted it the other night by using some leftover roast veggies instead of the zucchini - very yum as well!
And I couldn't resist these beautiful flowers for mum.  I had to be careful carrying them though - I get an allergic reaction to natives especially grevilleas but an allergic reaction is the price I am willing to pay for my mum!  It was a sight to see as I walked around the markets awkwardly holding the bunch away from me while carrying two greenbags over-full of veggies!  
I ran out of jars so had to use some Fowlers Jars - hopefully they sealed okay....
...if not, I guess I'l just have to eat them!
I've also been madly preserving the millions (slight exaggeration there - the LOML always tells me, I've told you a million times to stop exaggerating!) of cucumbers that the vine keeps producing.  Truly this vine is a miracle.  I expected it to curl up its toes weeks ago when the nights started getting cooler but it is just ploughing on.  I have so many pickled cucumbers, bread and butter cucumbers and cucumber relishes that I think I'll have to start gifting them just to get some cupboard space back!
And I'm learning French.  Why French?  Well I've wanted to learn another language for a while now and had first been interested in Indonesian/ Balinese (we go there a lot) and then last year got excited about Thai (will be going back there as well) and eventually settled on French because it, as well as Lebanese obviously, is spoken widely in Lebanon.  We went to Lebanon (we did a lot of travelling last year!) to search for the LOML's family (and found them - AMAZING story!) so it will be now be a major part of our lives - whether visiting or living we aim to be there every year at least.  When we were there I was always spoken to in English (I am very fair skinned and blonde!) and the LOML (who clearly looks Lebanese) in Arabic so we made a decision once we got home that he would learn Arabic/Lebanese so that he can communicate with his family and friends and I would learn French to cover the rest! 


Today, being such a glorious autumn day, I had plans to get out into the garden but we've had rain and windy-rainy-drizzle (annoying to say the least) for the last two days so I'm making the most of the sunshine by doing the washing and cleaning the house :(  Best case scenario I will get all that done quickly (if I can get myself off the computer!) so can then spend the afternoon in the garden....


Busy, busy, busy! 

Friday, April 15, 2011

Bad things happen in threes

The other day I was telling someone that bad things tend to happen in threes.  You know, like walking under a ladder brings bad luck as does breaking a mirror.


So after I face-planted into a pile of dump mulch the other day and then ended up with blue hands while dyeing my jeans darker the other night, I have been waiting for the third thing.  


I thought the bird falling down the chimney was it, but it wasn't.  


It wasn't even the second bird falling down the chimney the next morning - I know right! What are the chances of another bird falling down the chimney and flying into my windows the very next morning! If I was betting woman I would have made a packet with those odds.


But no, the third thing was a whole lot scarier.  I think I tempted Fate by thinking a bird in my house was bad enough to be the third bad thing.  It wasn't.


I have just got home from the hospital where my mum was admitted earlier today with rather severe chest pains.


Scary.


She's had all sorts of tests and scans and x-rays and such to try and work out what caused it but nothing is showing.  The docs have told her that even though her results are showing nothing, they can't rule out a series of small heart attacks.  Heart attacks.  In multiple.  That's a whole lot of scary right there.  They're keeping her in overnight to monitor her and see if they can pinpoint the cause.  Like I said, scary.  


I don't think I like bad things happening in threes.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Make mine a bluelight

No, not redlight, bluelight.

Did you ever go to a Bluelight?  Bluelight disco that is.  So named because it is run and organised by the Police Service.  

Targetted at teenagers, a Bluelight was the place to be when I was in high school.  Though meant to be alcohol-and-drug-free,  - one glance at the abnormally high number of brought-from-home-Mt-Franklin-water-bottles that you knew weren't filled with water indicated the blatant disregard for little rules like underage drinking!  Likewise, the number of kids sitting/lying on the dancefloor or being escorted out of the hall by a person in charge hinted at the consumption of some form of mood-altering substance!

Though technically a 'disco', at a Bluelight teenagers from all around the district would stand around the edge of a large community hall in groups, ignoring each other rather than dance to the latest pop music which blasted from speakers at the front of the room.  Strobe lights would be giving off a surreal, robotic feel and a smoke machine would be working overtime in the corner pumping throat-tightening vapours into the air to be recycled by the air-conditioning for the next few hours.  All while the cool kids stood in their groups being cool.

Me, I was one of the die-hard Bluelight-ers who actually went along to dance.  I was the one in the middle of the dancefloor busting a move, all night long, dancing with whoever was there.  Water and toilet breaks were a sign of weakness.  I came to dance and dance I did.  Cutting a rug in a swing top*, crushed velvet skirt (waistband rolled up to make it shorter - the shorter the better), black stockings, pointy toe shoes (with small heel - stylish to the max!) and hair that was teased within an inch of its life and hair-sprayed like there was no tomorrow.  There was to be no fringe-moving on my watch -  no matter the vigor of my moves (super, super-hold hairspray was the hottest hair product around).  Truly, the early nineties were a terrible time for fashion!

The day after a Bluelight I felt the full force of my dancing prowess.  Knees that felt like they needed a replacement (I dance from the knees, feet in one spot, body swaying - hard to explain, but funky!!), no voice from all of the singing (screaming - that music was LOUD), a headache from the insane decibals emitted from the speakers and scratchy eyes from the smoke machine - all signs of a good night. 

I found out the other day that Bluelights are still on the go.  I know, who'd have thunk it!  My youngest brother (nearly into highschool) was heading to one with his mates.  I'm sure the image and happenings have changed somewhat since I was there, but I can almost guarantee there will be a smoke machine and a strobe light!  Oh, and some kids pashing each other in the corner!

Ah, the teenage years!  How I don't miss you!


* What is a swing top?  Take a length of fabric say 2m long.  Gather one long edge and top with a collar.  On the short edges, add buttonholes and buttons.  Hem.  Voila.  Swing top.  Best made from the most garish, loudly coloured (fluoro is best) fabric you can find.

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Is it just me?

Or do these things happen to other people as well?  I tell ya, I'm starting to get a bit of a complex.  Why me has been uttered a few times this last week and I'm really hoping this is the end of it.


Today I woke to the sound of a bird chirping.  


Not so much of a problem you say?  Well, said bird was chirping from my kitchen.  On the bench.  In my kitchen.  Inside my house.


For the fifth (FIFTH!!) time in 12 months a bird has fallen down the chimney and found itself flapping around the house, flying into windows and squawking for its friends.  Stupid bird.  And of course, this only ever happens as the sun starts peeking over the horizon.  Never at lunch time, or in the afternoon, no no no, these little buggers wait until I've got a sleep-in planned and then they strike! 


Picture courtesy:
www.abc.net.au/science/articles/2004/04/08/2044900.htm

This morning it was an Indian Myna - currently in plague proportions in our little neck of the woods.  That makes three Mynas and two parrots venturing into my domain to wreak havoc and freak out in the last year.  Hopefully they aren't stupid enough to be the same bird.



Eventually, I managed to get it out by opening a few doors and windows and hoping for the best.  They usually sense freedom and make a speedy exit so all's well that ends well.  


I have to complete this task on my own because the LOML, who gets an allergic reaction from a feather doona, would probably require hospitalisation after an episode like this!  As it was, when he emerged from behind the closed bedroom door an hour after the deed was done he still choked up and started itching - and that was after I had swept the floors and had the fan on high (bbrrrrr!) to try and shift the 'bird cooties'.


I can just imagine the conversation these birds have when they finally get out and make it back to their mates.....
You'll never guess what just happened to me?  I was abducted by aliens - tall, giant, feather-less aliens that can't fly - who live in a freaky cave that has invisible walls that you can see through but when you go to fly through them you knock yourself out.  I'm lucky to have escaped!
I bet his birdy mates teased him last time (assuming it was the same bird)....
Good on ya!  You didn't get abducted at all - you just had too much grass seed and were a little under-the-weather....there's no such thing as aliens.
You reckon!?!  I'll prove it to you....this is where I was sitting when I fell.....TTTTWWWEEeeeeettt!!!  (sound of bird falling)
Don't get me wrong, I love the nature and wildlife we have around our house.  I'm just over it trying to get into my house - between the possums, galahs and now these birds, I'm feeling a little terrorised.  Someone (ie not me) really needs to get up onto the roof and fix up some holes......


On a (more positive) side note, my hands have returned to normal following the dye incident of the other night.  Turns out that semi-obsessional hand-washing for two consecutive days is the way to go!  

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Olive Theory

Have you heard about this one?
According to Urbandictionary .... 

Determining the success or potential success of a relationship by whether one person in the relationship loves olives while the other person hates them.
Marshall and Lily in "How I Met Your Mother" argue that based on the Olive Theory, they are an awesome couple based on Marshall's hatred of olives and Lily's olive love*.

That would make the LOML and I the perfect match.  He loves olives and my hatred of them is rather intense (I hate them with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns) .  I am nothing if not committed to my dislike.

Perfect Match.  (oooh-wah-ooh, oooh-wah-ooh).  Predict that one Dexter!
Image courtesy: www.cv.vic.gov.au
* okay, so in the show Marshall does eventually come clean on his actual love of olives and his original lie about disliking them in order to win Lily's heart but the theory remains sound....

And maybe I watch a little too much tv.....

Monday, April 11, 2011

My [latest] obsession is going well

My search for my relatives back through my family tree on mum's side has been going very well.  Ancestry.com has HEAPS of information and has taken me back at least 5 generations to Scotland, Ireland, Norway and Germany - amazing!  So far no criminals but I'm still trying to piece together one couple's reason for coming to Australia back in the mid-1800s so you never know!


Pick up whose kids????
This latest obsession is still ruling my life.  I've taken to writing a to-do list each morning with chores that must be completed before I start delving into history.  If I didn't, nothing would get done - as what happened last week!  A couple of afternoons just before the LOML finished work I could be found running around like a madwoman trying to sweep the floors, wash the dishes, feed the chooks, water the garden, fold the clothes, start dinner etc all in the thirty minutes before he got home!  Not that he would have a problem with me looking into my family tree (he found and met his family overseas last year after years of searching) but I feel bad when I realise I have spent all day on the computer!


At the moment I'm going through old newspapers online (trove.nla.gov.au) and have found numerous ads and notifications placed by my great-great-great-grandfather who owned a pub and inn in inner Brisbane (well, it is now inner Brisbane.  Back then George Street was referred to as North Brisbane!).  Late last night I found an ad he'd placed on May 1 1865 ...
I hereby caution all clergymen and others against marrying my son Charles ........., as he is not eighteen years of age yet.
Charles had stowed away with his elder brother on a boat bound for the Sunshine Coast and I get the feeling he didn't seek his father's approval!  And as this was the date that Charles married Anne, I really don't think dad approved!!


My how times have changed!  I can't wait to find out more....!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Is there a cure?

Sometimes I do stupid things.  Whether as a result of rushing things, not thinking things through or not following instructions the outcome is pretty predictable.  Doesn't happen that often but when it does all I can do is laugh.  Otherwise I'd cry.


Tonight was a doozy. 


I've had such a great day too, it's a shame it's had to end this way.  The weather was glorious so I spent the afternoon out in the veggie garden weeding, planting seedlings, mulching etc and then tonight we had a spontaneous BBQ dinner with all the family at our house.  A great day.


And now that everyone has gone home I've decided to complete a task that has been on my to-do list for a week or so - dye a pair of my jeans a darker blue.


I was being so careful - managing to get the dye all mixed up and jeans soaking without making too much of a mess - certainly making sure not to get any on my clothes.  I was being so careful.....


And then I pulled off my gloves....


Must make sure next time that the gloves don't have holes in them.


Anyone have any solutions for removing dye from skin?

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dump lip

WARNING: This is not a pretty post.  It is quite embarrassing, a little disgusting and yet very funny.  Trust me, I know, it happened to me.  And I'm still laughing.
This is not dump lip.....
Firstly, some background information.....
On the first Sunday of every month our local dump (refuse tip/ waste transfer station - whatever you call it - to me it's the dump) gives away free mulch.  This mulch comes from all the greenwaste people dump at the dump - all chewed up and mulched.  It then sits in a pile (big pile) for a month, composting away, until freebie Sunday.  


When you go to get a load you are given a piece of paper that has the potential to scare you off it - may contain noxious weeds, metal, glass, chemicals, household waste etc.  Nonetheless, it is free.  You can't expect great things for free.  And there is some serious heat in that big compost pile - you can see the heat waves coming from the top of it - that surely that will kill the weeds and their seeds ? ? surely.  


Next, setting the scene.....
On the Sunday just gone we went and got a load of dump mulch to put around some trees under which nothing but weeds grow.  Anything to stop the weeds.  On Monday my challenge was to get it out of the trailer and under the trees.


After some amazing trailer manouvering on my part (I have never reversed a trailer before so what better time to have a go than when no one is around to watch and laugh) I got it into position.


Now for the story......
There I was, happily wheelbarrowing stinky dump mulch (it doesn't just stink, it reeks.  It is after all, dump mulch) out of the trailer, making a good dent into the load (it was a BIG load).  I got to the end where I couldn't reach far enough to drag the last couple of barrowloads from the back the trailer into the wheelbarrow (had to use my hands (gloved) because the shovel wouldn't go into it) so I jumped into the trailer with the intention of dragging/pushing/pulling the mulch towards the back of the trailer where I could reach it.


So there I am, crouched on my heels, weight on my hands as I used my body weight to push a big pile away from me.  Unfortunately for me I was getting so close to the end of the task and my body was feeling very tired and worn out that it stopped talking to my brain.  This meant that my feet neglected pass on the message that the trailer floor is smooth tin and the potential for slipping is great.  And that's what happened.  My feet slipped out from under me.  And because  my centre of gravity was forward on my hands as they pushed away the pile of mulch, my face broke my fall.  On the pile of dump mulch.


I jumped up with lightning speed, flicked of my gloves to wipe my eyes - all the while spitting the dump mulch out of my mouth and saying "yuk, dump mulch, dump mulch....eeeewwww'.  Swiftly I made my way upstairs to the bathroom (spitting and swearing all the way - I'm such a delicate flower) to wash my face and survey the damage.  Nothing too bad, just some red marks across my forehead and cheeks to indicate the force with which I face planted and a little blood where my lip had split (and not much blood at that.  I must confess I was like a little kid squeezing my face to make it bleed - you get WAY more sympathy from others if there is blood!).


After making sure that I wasn't permanently disfigured (a frighteningly real possibility - my sister and BIL pulled a bucketful of broken glass and twisted metal out of their last load) I then froze - did the guys working next door see me stack it?  They were awfully quiet when I came upstairs.  Oh no, I bet they saw!  No, surely they didn't see....?  How embarrassing if they did.  


I slunk back down and finished the job.  This time kicking the mulch off the back of the trailer with my feet.  There was not going to be a repeat of the face plant.  


The epilogue.....
Anyway, it's been 4 days now since it happened and I haven't come down with any scary dump disease and my lip has recovered just fine.  The only thing still bruised is my ego but that will come good in time.  This isn't the first time I've done something stupid and it certainly won't be the last ! 


Don't feel bad about laughing - it's a funny story and I haven't stopped laughing at myself.  Neither has the LOML.  He was sympathetic of course (at first) but he laughed almost as hard as I did when I told him.  Just another day in the comedy that is my life.....

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

We're all litten up

So winter is not quite here yet but it we are starting to feel it.  Cool mornings and even cooler nights.  And it's only just gone autumn.  I am totally going to freeze this winter.


Anyhoo, tonight the LOML must have been feeling a bit chilly (couldn't possibly have been because he insists on getting around the house in shorts and t-shirt - put a jumper on already!) because he hauled up a load of firewood from under the tank and lit a fire in the lounge room.  Well not actually in the lounge room - in the fireplace in the lounge room!!!  


So here we have it - the first fire of the year.....
Sorry for the unfocussed-ness - my little camera didn't want to play tonight..... 
Nothing beats the crackle of an open fire.  During winter we don't light it that much - relying on the heater ($$$$) and the combustion stove - because we lose most of its heat up the chimney.  But it sure is nice to sit and watch the flames, very relaxing and calming.  Especially whilst partaking of a small glass of heart-warming chocolate liqueur (my new favourite)!  


I am so going to sleep well tonight (unless tonight's Criminal Minds scares the be-jeezus out of me like it usually does....a bit more chocolate liqueur should fix that!).

Monday, April 4, 2011

You have to laugh

....otherwise you'd cry.


The LOML just rang me from work to share with me a funny story that just happened to him.  He had to tell someone.  It was an experience too good not to share.


So he called me cos he knew I'd get a kick out of it.


Here's how it went.....


He's at the shop where there we have a half price sale on.  A lady comes to the counter with two small glass vases.  


In an attempt to engage in some light-hearted conversation, he says to the lady (after the greeting/how's your day etc) "Now we have a sale on at the moment - you can have these vases for half price or you can get two for one."


The lady says "Oh I don't care, which one works out cheaper?"


He says, after a moments pause, "They're the same thing."


She says, frowning slightly and in an exasperated tone, "Oh....give me two for one....no, make it half price."


He says without breaking into smile, "No worries."  He hands her the change.  "Have a nice day."


Then he rings me.  Laughing.


Retail - it's a whole other world.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

It's show time!

I love regional show's.  They have a relaxed country feel to them that city exhibitions can only try to replicate.


This week has seen our town's regional show come and go and I just had to go for a wander.  


Horses and rides - that's what it's all about!
It's been years since I was last at a show - I think it was the Ekka 5 years ago and it put me off.  When I was a kid the show was the year's family outing - a whole day to fill in at one place.  I remember circuses, fashion parades, show jumping, tractors, hay bales, horses, cows, $2 show bags filled to the max with horrible tasting lollies and cheap and nasty toys, the Holden stunt drivers, fireworks and wood-chopping.  What's not to love about all that!


You don't see tractors like this at the Ekka!
And I have to say that this year's show didn't let me down.  Sure, the entry price was more than I expected but I guess they have to pay their bills too but once in those gates, I could have been a kid again!  Actually, considering all the cool things I saw it would have been great to be a kid again!
Oh to be a kid again!
I had a good wander around the handicraft displays as well - sussing out the standard.  Next year I am entering a few categories for sure!  This year I missed out on nominations by a day!  Oh well, that's what I get for not being organised.


So it's all over now.  Three days is all we get but three days is all we need.  


Till next year...!

Saturday, April 2, 2011

I just don't get it

Today in the paper I read an article that interviewed a young couple about their actions in dealing with the rising cost of living.


After I read their response I could only shake my head.


The article from the Courier Mail today.....(bold highlight mine)....
Ben Messina, 21, and Sharon Smith, 24, are comfortable going into a bit of debt.They found that with the rising cost of living - and a recent change in Ben's job as a retail assistant from full-time to part-time while he studies - they had less money in their pockets, even for basics such as grocery shopping.But rather than compromise on their lifestyle, they decided to rely more heavily on their credit cards."Well-managed debt is better than compromising on your lifestyle," Ben said."If it doesn't get out of control, you can just pay it back slowly - and it's not an out-of-control debt."They put most purchases - including fuel, bills and groceries - on their credit cards and pay them back when they have more money.
Now don't get me wrong - I too use my credit card to pay for groceries and fuel and bills.  But not as a source of funds to maintain my lifestyle.  As a last resort I will use my credit to pay bills and buy essentials when the budget just doesn't quite stretch to cover what it needs to this week, but I pay off what I put on at the end of the month using the money that had been budgeted for the bills.  


Key word there - budget.


I have a budget - and if I can't afford something this week/month/year, I don't get it (or I work out how to do it cheaper).  I don't see this as compromising my lifestyle, merely living within my means.  


I don't see the logic in keeping on doing what you've always done because you've always done it when it costs you more and more (certainly more than you can afford right now) by paying for it with money you are borrowing from a bank (with all their fees and interest charges) waiting in hope for the day when you can pay it back when you have more money.....you know what they say about one day....yeah, that day will never come!  


All I can do is shake my head at that sort of mentality and hope that this is only their youth and inexperience talking.  And hope that they will learn, learn quickly and without too much pain.


Otherwise in 10 years time I'll be reading about them complaining that they can't afford to buy a house or that their bank is charging them too much or that they can't afford anything because they don't have any money or that they have no credit rating.  And I don't want to be reading that.


So here's a tip young peeps.  Two tips even.  Comes free of charge (no strings attached, no conditions apply). 

  • Budget.  
  • Live within your means.  



It's. Not. Rocket. Science.



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