Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Cheers Big Ears

Just because the weather is astronomically and abnormally normal, that is no wind or rain or fog or cold, you could almost swear it's summer or at least early autumn, tonight we adjourned to the front deck (currently obscured from the footpath by the lush green trees) and made good use of the LOML's birthday gift - the go-anywhere-webber.....

....and cooked up some delish chicken sticks and some corns-on-the-cob.

And because it was five o'clock somewhere (heck, it was after five o'clock here!) I had a relaxing glass or two of red.  Ahhhh, noice!

Hope you had a lovely evening also!

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Good weather for ducks

So outside it's raining again.  

Which is fair enough I guess because raining inside wouldn't be cool at all.  Though it is as good as raining inside my house given all the leaks and drips making their way under the roofing iron, along the rafters and through the ceiling.  Grrrr.

One day, in the not too distant future (I could be kidding myself on that one) I solemnly pledge and vow that I will live in a house that doesn't leak.  Or have holes in the window panes patched up with an old cardboard box taped into place.  Or make use of a recycled cardboard box and newspaper to plug the drafts around door jams.   And that house will also have a kitchen stove that can have all the hotplates, and the oven, turned on at the same time. One day.

One day I will live in a house that doesn't require this sort of make-do-man-ship....
And when that day comes, I will be extremely and eternally grateful for what I have because I've lived through this.   Been there, done that and all.

Take now for example.  Sure I have a leaky ceiling, but at least it is a ceiling.  Not all that long ago I came home from work to a house with absolutely no internal walls, doors or ceilings.  That was a bit of a shock, let me tell you.  I knew it was on the cards but not the time scale.  I was quite calm about it too.  I think they were all replaced in a relatively quick fashion.  If you call a good three weeks in winter quick.

example A: no internal walls
That was also around the time when the LOML and I spent winter without a bathroom.  The same winter with no walls and ceilings.  That was cold.  There ain't nothing colder than a wet shower curtain hanging from a few nails in the roof touching your butt as you madly try to starve off hypothermia with the camping shower hose thingy.  Brrrrr.  I was very grateful at that time that the hot water system hadn't packed it in too.  That would have done me in for sure!

So there you have it.  It's raining outside and I have the most perfect, prime occasion to grumble but I've managed to (quite unlike me) look at the bright side.  Haven't I?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Empty Nest

Remember how my mum moved in with us last year?  

It was only ever going to be a temporary measure while she got back on top of things and sorted her stuff into the right piles.  And the LOML and I were happy to be in a position to help her out.  God knows she's helped me out enough in my life, I owe her. 

Well, the time came. 

She got her stuff sorted into its respective piles and was on top of her world again.  All that was left was for her to do was to step on out into the world again.

And she did.

About 3 weeks ago she moved out.

While I have to say it's liberating to have our house back - being able to nudey run from the bathroom without fear of getting busted, not having to worry about the squeaky bed - it's also rather....quiet.  No comforting other-person noises when the LOML is out at night, no little dog following me around as I potter around the backyard, no-one to take my sheets off the line if rain threatens during the day.....I must say I feel a little lost at times.

Empty nest reverse style.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Sweet little thing

I don't do reptiles.

I despise snakes with the white hot intensity of a thousand suns.  Really, I don't like them at all.

Frogs are cute until the moment they jump at me.  

Toads are evil invaders and ugly to boot.  

And lizards, well I'm sure they're nice but I'm happy for them to exist separate to me and my world.

And then I spotted this little mite in my strawberry patch the other morning....

hello little lizzie!  hope you are enjoying your sunning perch on that manky old orange!
....cute as a button.  I don't think the photo shows his size correctly but he was only about 8cm long - so little!

I'm sure I saw his (her?) parent lizard in the garden the other week - a bit of a novelty as they aren't often seen in suburbia (well, as suburbia as we live).  But mum/dad is a welcome addition to my vegetable patch so long as I see them well in advance and don't get scared witless thinking they're a snake as they scamper off through the weeds!

I really don't do snakes.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The BIG 4-0

Yesterday was the LOML's birthday.  

He's been in denial for a number of weeks that his birthday has been fast approaching but yesterday there was no escaping the cold, harsh reality that the day had finally come when he reached forty.  Four-oh.  No escaping it.

Before Christmas I began planning a BBQ/casual gathering to celebrate this important milestone in his life.  Nothing flash or too complex, just a simple BBQ with some tunes, some salads, some sausages and a bath-tub filled with ice!  Trying to organise everyone from around this little corner of the world was difficult enough without adding the fact that kids went back to school today so not making it a late night yesterday was an important factor....and then the LOML threw a spanner in the works declaring that he didn't want a BBQ, didn't want everyone to come over, didn't want a big fuss made.  He just wanted me to take him out to dinner and be done with it.  


I let that slide for two weeks before I made the decision that his turning forty was important and really, any form of BBQ/ celebrative gathering wasn't about him at all, it was more about the people who cared about him getting a chance to show him how much he means to them.  

So I went ahead and organised everyone anyway!

It ended up being a great day all round - the food was delish, the company marvelous, the weather just perfect - and best of all, I haven't been left with a fridge full of leftovers!

I would have taken a photo of the amazing choc-choc-choc mud cake (pick the flavour there?!?) I made for him but I wasn't that organised.  Take my word for it though, it was DELISH!  (I only had a small sliver - the temptation was just too much!!!)  Given how little was left at the end I think everyone else felt the same!

And despite his protests that he didn't want any gifts, he ended up with a (drinks) cupboard-full of good stuff from people who clearly know his tastes well!

Happy Birthday LOML!! xxx

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Operation Matron Dress: Too many weeks since I updated but better late than never!

Goodness gracious me!  Where have the weeks gone?  (don't be fooled - I don't talk like that - I can't say I've ever actually said 'goodness gracious' out loud in my life! ).

But that's not the point - the point is that it's been a long time since I first posted about my quest to tone up, shape down and fit into this dress in time for the wedding in February in which I will be stand-in-matron.....and my vow to regularly report on my progress.  Big fail on that front but....

....here's a long overdue update!

The sugar headaches have gone now, the cravings for sweet goodies are minimal (if at all) and best of all, the clothes (pants!) are fitting better.  Yay!!!  Christmas was a testing time, what with all the puddings and nibblies and what-not.  I had the handle on that though because I nominated to host Christmas Day which therefore put me in charge of catering (ulterior motive if ever there was one!).  I'm sure my family was quite put out with the lack of sugary sweets and decadent desserts but I was happy (and less tempted) and that's all that mattered!  I did managed to partake of some champagne which was my only slip-up, if it could be called that.  The sugar-low that followed was not pretty!

At the start of the first week I weighed and measured myself (thanks Marianne for the suggestion) so I had something to compare against, and as of the start of Week 5 I had lost about 2 kg, though it could be a little less - our scales are the old dial version and when combined with my ever-increasingly-blurry eyesight (mental note: get eye check) all I can do is guestimate!  Nonetheless I'll go with 2kg.  I would have remeasured myself by now but I put the original measurements in a really, really safe spot.....and now I can't find them!  But the clothes are fitting better and I'm wearing shirts and shorts I haven't worn for at least a year so that can only mean a decrease in girth.

I'm still struggling with the exercise thing - struggling to find time and motivation to fit it in more than anything.  I've been doing squats and lunges and push ups etc both at the shop and at home but getting myself onto the treadmill has been not happening.  I have been walking with purpose though whenever I have to walk somewhere (as opposed to the dawdle of everyone I pass) and I've been trying to get out of the shop for a walk around the centre/ block whenever I can so that has to count for something.  I also scored a pilates DVD from Santa though I am yet to pull that one out.....!  February is getting closer and closer with every procrastination!

On the positive front, I'm sleeping better than ever and if I thought my skin was good during the first week of sugar withdrawal, it is now absolutely amazing!  I can't remember the last time I had a breakout and I was even asked for ID at the casino over the weekend (I am well and truly beyond the needing-ID-stage so that was a real ego booster!  Thanks Mr Security Guard!).  No sugar, quality sleep and lots of water does wonders for Shelley's skin!  The occasional consumption of sweet alcoholic beverages is the only impediment to the good sleep but I am learning, albeit quite slowly!

I'm feeling confident that I can still achieve this.  Over this last year (especially over winter) I added a 'winter coat' and am a little, though not much, heavier than the weight my body likes to sit at (really, it hasn't changed that much over the last 8 or so years).  More than anything it's a little wobblier and has sunk a little.  Nothing a bit of toning up won't fix.  Add to that the elimination of the bloating that I've found comes from eating sugar and I have great faith in my abilities to come out on top.

And if all else fails, I have approximately 1.5cm in seams I can let out (though even that won't be enough - I am a lot, a lot, hippier than the person for whom the dress was made!).  And there is a shop in town that sells shapewear to suck it all in and hold it there for the duration.  Gotta love shapewear!

If you'll excuse me, I think I need to go increase my heart rate a little and raise a sweat!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

In My Kitchen: January 2012

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

In My Kitchen this month...

......is some of Santa's loot.  I have wanted this book for years - ever since I first flicked through the pages of my friend Mrs H's 1976 copy.  I have been scouring second-hand bookshops and markets for years in the hope of coming across one.  When I saw it in the bookshop before Christmas I pointed it out to the LOML as a 'very good choice' for Christmas!  I love it when a plan comes together!!

In My Kitchen...

...is more Santa loot.  A beautiful teapot and giftbox of teas from the Tea Centre.  

The mug I snaffled from our shop - the only one of it's kind and destined for my kitchen from the start!!  As you can see, I have a penchant for chicken things.

I'm still a newbie tea drinker and this set was selected because of its appeal to novices.  I'm itching to try the chai.

In My Kitchen....

...are some 'just because' flowers.  I love 'just because' flowers - I love all flowers - and these are so bright and happy they made my day. 

In My Kitchen...

...are the beginnings of a tomato glut.  All of a sudden the weather has turned warm (yay!!) and the tomatoes are ripening by the hour!  All the rain we've had these last few weeks have swelled them to bigger-than-normal size - these are supposed to be cherry tomatoes but they're more like beefsteaks (I exaggerate a little!)!

This means the dehydrator has begun it's work in earnest.  I can't wait to use these in a meal of some sort....I'm thinking a beautiful fresh green salad tossed with some fetta cheese!  Yum!

Happy New Year In-My-Kitcheners!  May 2012 bring you good health, wealth and happiness!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

The Haul

I ventured down to the veggie garden today to pick a few tomatoes for a salad.

Good thing I took the basket.

....yes, that's another monster zucchini at the back.  I really need to be getting down and picking them more often!
I also had to use the front of my shirt in a very-unattractive-good-thing-the-neighbours-can't-see-my-pasty-wobbly-belly make-do basket thingy to carry the beans.

I think I might add some sauce making to my to-do list today....

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Happy New Year World!!!!

Here's cheers to a new year, a new chapter, and maybe a new direction....!

Photo: Anna Cervova

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