Monday, June 25, 2007

If I were an agitator

I would agitate for better options on kids menus. On the occasions when we take long road trips or go out to restaurants, I am gobsmacked by the options available for children.

Generally it is along the lines of "deep fried unidentified meat stuff with chips" - the only variety being the "meat stuff". Occasionally they throw in "hot dogs" or spaghetti (ah, but no-one makes spaghetti like your mother!)

As parents, we have forced down our throats the obese children debate and offering healthy options for our children.

As someone who has been on a committee for tuckshops and after school care facilities, we have to comply with healthy choices to even get accreditation for licensing.

Yet out there in the "real world" it seems that the easy, cheap deep-fried option is the only one available to give your children.

I have taught my child to eat vegetables - at some junctures it is a struggle but she is a healthy 7 year old who loves her fruit and nowadays almost willingly eats the healthy options in front of her.

She has developed a fairly healthy aversion to plastic cheese, batter and overly oily or fatty options - thanks in part to the genetics (my hand up there) but also because it was not offered to readily or too often.

Her desire for a lot of the offerings by the fast food giants is generally limited to the advertising of fancy extras but is unfussed by the food. There have been moments where that option has been exercised, but generally we bypass the opportunity for them to profit too freely from us.

There are moments (such as long distance drives) when ffgs or roadside servos are the only food options. Although the M option does now offer a lower fat choice, the packaged tomato taste and the overly sugared drink has been found wanting - my child wants taste and freshness.

One trip I had to stop at dinnertime at a servo, and the prices were up there with fine dining for adult fare - with half price offerings for the children's menu of the usual variety. Even when I begged for half the chips to be removed in return for some salad it was apparently impossible - I would have to pay the full adult fare for salad or vegetables to be included.

So if I were an agitator, this is one of the changes I would agitate for... What would your soapbox be?

(This post was partly inspired by Mom-101: My Daughter the Communist - a mother (or rather, daughter) who has trouble with the catering offered at playdates...)

Sunday, June 24, 2007

(Al)most (A)mused

I was having a remarkable dream this morning - I can't really remember what it was about, except that one of the two special guests (either cats or doctors) was knocking on the door.

Unfortunately, it was 'Salina knocking on the door in real life, as she is completely incapable of tucking herself back into her own bed (on the up side, she no longer sees this as equating to needing to crawl in to my bed).

Taking advantage of the moment, I decided to make a pit stop on the way back to bed and buy myself an extra hour of sleeping in. The bedside clock said 5.45am but it was still pitch black outside.

I crawled back in, but it seemed my beloved V had used the moment wisely too, as he fits much more comfortably diagonally and no matter how craftily I tried to induce a change in his angle (and I did have the feet of ice to assist me here) all it really succeeded in doing was to banish all shreds of the dream I was trying to get back to.

So instead, I lay awake and started to whir - at least I whirred on other peoples problems, which is so much more satisfying than trying to find any of your own!

It is a glorious day in Paradise today, so it bodes well for some quality cycling time - which means that the option for physically exhausting 'Salina is open. Hooray - she was almost stir crazy yesterday.

We did attack another part of the kitchen "non-renovation" yesterday by removing a bench that contributed a little workspace in return for blocking access to about 3 times as much. 'Salina got involved too. We "indulged" her with the task of removing the screws from the main prop of the bench (that, and the fact she was the only one to be able to get into the space comfortably).

As is our wont, we were having a little banter about putting her to work, and V said "we don't really mean it, 'Salina, we're just paying each other out". Her reply: "You could pay me money."

Have you ever wondered about spam? I am thinking whoever put my latest entreaty together was either schizophrenic or a struggling sci-fi writer. A direct quote:

"What this was dragged the wandering traders to such a steel, but the background of my Dark Nebula within fifty years back. Only Periphery. My opinion the floor. I know? Twer he did not! I am not the orders no rate, tumult, roaring against: them and haven't the conversation by the finding it pretty soon in the problem, of metals on, the that the files and grinned back up here to join the Galactic ones of always; believed in a long as what I am sure. But, it was the City stroke the man: uses, of: the point. Of the belt and lieutenant you're right Ponyets, said half. I'll explain it."

I wish they would.

I would request an explanation of them, but I fear they may determine that I am actually MORE interested in their discount pharmaceuticals than my current lack of response has convinced them of.

After reading the above, I wonder did the writer have anything to do with the chemicals they are offering - and therefore should they not be illegal?

'Salina is requesting my presence immediately (as only a 7 year old can do) but I had to share with you yesterday's other project.

The teacher may well say she has focus issues, but when she gets her teeth into something firmly she doesn't let go. She decided to make a mailbox for our holiday ideas and letters and urged us to contribute. She also made V 3 pieces of mail, me 7 pieces of mail and the whole family got 2. (I did contribute 2 for all of us as well).

It was extremely difficult to read the first as, although she is inspired and creative, she does suffer from bad spelling (mainly due to speed requirements and lack of due diligence).

My letter:

To Jeanie
WoldWould you lick to cum to a fiste Feast you can bring a frnd friend with you. Ther there will be musk and fun.

(She had already done the above edit - but when I read it I had to double check who it was from and I read it aloud v-e-r-y carefully!!

Last night's good use of the oven was gourmet pizzas! We roasted zucchini, eggplant, capsicum and garlic and then concocted pizzas with that, feta, olives, salami, mushrooms and mozzarella - delish!!! 'Salina had mini pizzas with ham, grated carrot, grated zucchini, feta and mozzarella and also was very, very impressed.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Paradise Update

Apologies internet - life overflowed into that spare blog portion of life, and I am only now managing to crawl back into some semblance of resuming our regular programming.

Last week, I suddenly decided to do something about the "career" portion of my life. So I filled in a few forms and, what the heck, seeing as there are no real jobs for me in Paradise the world and I have agreed that I have to go back to my old ogress boss (that would be me) and work it smart this time.

Therefore I spent the week in study mode, doing a course and getting together my bits and bobs for a business plan, and hopefully by the end of the year I will have the money rolling in. Or at least nodding in my direction more often.

This week, as well as being studious and entrepreneurial, I have been extra chilly. Mobs of cold dwellers around the world may scoff and call me soft when I say that we only got a maximum of 11.4 degrees on Wednesday (52.5 farenheit for all you imperialists) but if I explain that we are used to being overjoyed at the balmy weather rather than feeling the chill through our bones and toes, we are more used to kicking off the sheets rather than hogging the doona, more accustomed to barefoot and sarong rather than gloves and overcoats - well, you could feel a little pity for us, couldn't you?

The house I live in is delightful - captures breezes, lets out nasty daytime heat - not ideal for living through the coldest day IN RECORDED HISTORY!!

We expect Winter to last until next week - goodness knows what we would do if it set in for a fortnight or more!!!

On top of the studious, entrepreneurial, chilly life this week, there was the added disadvantage advantage of too many blokes on the building site V having to work less strenuously this week - partly due to the size of the block they are working on (postage) and the willingness of the workforce (overly eager after a wet week) and partly due to another day or two of inclement weather.

The absolute upside of this is that I didn't have to worry about any housework as there was a warm and willing body up to the stresses of house husbandry my honey got to catch up on some quality domestic duties.

And thus, one large "TO DO" item got struck from our list - we no longer have need of a large white kitchen device with which to fulfil all our gastronomical inclinations - cause we went and got one, baby!! Yessir - decision to move on action in the morning, gathered up in my lunch break to do hit raids on all the whitegoods sales, advised in the afternoon of a lot of money promised and a project in the offing, entered the kitchen an hour later to meet the electrician as he departed and WE NOW HAVE A STOVE!!!!

Only drawback was that we were limited in choice to the narrower options as we REALLY didn't want to do a full kitchen renovation and we had a certain gap to fill - and unfortunately the chosen narrower option was still a fraction of an inch too wide - so I got to see V in his DIY glory - and we still get to see the dishes in that cupboard in their glory until we get around to finding one thing, sawing something else and putting it all back together. The worst bit about that was that we could have looked at wider options if we knew we were going to chop the cupboard anyway!!!

(For those of you concerned with my other whitegoods drama - the Electrolux Eco valve is now home and in working order again also!)

V also got added bonus points this week. While discussion 'Salina's size after he had been browsing the sales (one of those domestic duties, isn't it!) he turned to me and said "You're an 8 aren't you?"

Oh sweet, sweet V - then he popped his own balloon by qualifying it "in shoes, I mean."

Last week of the school term, so finally got to catch up with 'Salina's teacher this morning.

Her opening words to us were "'Salina is an enigma" - well, we had to agree with that!

The good news is that she is just as stubborn and pigheaded independent within the classroom as she is at home - yay, its not just us!!

The bad news is that every one of her more challenging foibles I recognised - a few from her father, but most of them because I lived it!

When we emerged, 'Salina and her friend wanted to see the report. Looking down the list of "S" (satisfactory - as in she is not stellar scholastically - probably explained by the next set of parenthesis) and "B" (as in "not applying herself" - hands up if you are the genetic contributor to this little trait!). Friend said quite smugly that she got mainly excellent - ah yes, but are you an enigma, dear?

Just cooked some chocolate chip cookies - do you KNOW how nice it is to have the biscuit baking option back on the agenda?

Also created a larger than life "to do" list - school holidays have coincided with career options, budget constraints and requests from far flung family to know movements and schedules over the next 17 days - so can tick off the blog and move on.

(Oh, little side note - when I finally got back here to blogworld, my efficient bloglines account had 791 unread posts waiting for me - eek - some I have added cause I liked the look once may have gotten short shift in my catching up - and although I have looked in at my favourites and regulars I didn't get to comment many - apologies - am going to flick the newbies off the read for a little so that I can get through the next little while sanely...)

Some newbies who will stay in my reader, though (and not on my sidebar yet) are:

Oh yes, internet world, I have a problem!

However, right now I am off to whip up a tuna mornay (baked food - woo hoo) and start off the school holidays!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Say that again

Heard on the news (while reporting on the devastation in Bangladesh due to global warming mudslides):

...the death toll now stands at 85, but is expected to rise into the hundreds as the army and police are brought in...

Macabre - on so many levels.

Choices in Motherhood

Babylune is holding a group writing project at the moment, so I thought I would add (one of) my mistakes in response to her call to "Tell us all about a parenting mistake you’ve made, what you’ve learned from it and how you’re trying to make sure it will never happen again."

I was going to be the perfect mother. I had conceived a child in a loving environment - fair enough, a bit hippy-dippy, but as I was of that cut of cloth I was not swayed by the judgement of others.

I was going to raise my child with love and the embrace of freedom, joy, total choice control over all aspects of her life and never feeling hemmed in. Oh, my child was going to be the poster-child for mothers who aspired to beneficence the world over.

Well, the first kybosh on that was that my partner in hippy-dippy-ness sort of hopped right over into extremely strange and our loving enviroment became one in which he skulked home - often very late, often very apologetic, often very broke - and more often into the storm of a banshee than not. The banshee behaviour was mine, and though we did struggle on for a bit, eventually it became in my daughter's and my best interests that I didn't have to resort to the banshee wail as regularly.

I was still fairly much your Earth Mother - just one bounded by the view of my ex's behaviour and how I wasn't quite that hippy-dippy.

The second kybosh was that my beautiful daughter became a toddler. You know, every mother has to learn that toddler's respond well to some stimuli and not so well to others - and it is possible that every mother feels overwhelmed by the minefield of working out what those stimuli are.

Instead of being a poster-child for beneficent mothers, she could have been used as propoganda for Toddlers Behaving Badly. Oh, maybe not quite Dr Phil quality, and not often - but against the backdrop of my own psychological dramas of ex spinning out of control and the eerie judgement I felt from the community in which I was attempting to hide myself (read 1950s style nuclear suburb), she was a red flashing light of toddler terror.

And it must have seemed to EVERY person in my surrounding world that things were not so peachy in my home, as EVERY person in my surrounding world had a suggestion or two - and as they could not comment on my personal values or my exes mental status, the target was my mothering skills.

I stuck to my guns on the whole raising my child with love and the embrace of freedom, joy, total choice control over all aspects of her life and never feeling hemmed in. My child kept throwing massive dummy spits. EVERY person in my surrounding world offered more suggestions.

Finally I had enough - one day I became Dictator Mum because I could not stand the behaviour of my child - and a miracle occurred.

Oh my goodness. It sounded so dirty, but boundaries actually worked.

Over the years I have still managed to raise my daughter with love. That part will never change.

She is free - to a degree - if she does well, she gets more freedom - if she acts up, freedom is more strictly defined.

Joy is actually found more in our lives now than then - and I am sure it is because we both have a lot more control.

I occasionally forget the choice lesson I learned all those years ago - then I am reminded that little children don't actually like too much choice - limited choice is good as it gives them power, total choice means they don't feel too safe.

I am sure that my daughter feels far more hemmed in than the poster-child I had first dreamed of when I was pregnant - but do you know what?

We are both much happier that way.

So I learned two lessons.

I learned about boundaries. I try to keep it in mind - sometimes I forget, sometimes I don't need to be as strict - but we are both comfortable with them. She is 7. I am sure that will change - for now, we are sweet.

And I learned that not ALL advice is bad - it is sometimes beneficial to listen to the wisdom of others paths. That doesn't mean that you have to accept every aspect of it - but you never know when you could learn. I still keep my ears open - and my eyes when cruising the net. A lot I let go by - but occasionally I will say "I might try that" - and some of those times I learn something valuable.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Can I bring it home for the boys - and other drivel

Okay, going to be a bit all over the shop today - bear with me.

After my grand plan three weeks ago resulting in a win for the Maroons, I am fearful of my own power.

For example, do I push as hard today for the guys - or should I see if anyone offers me inducements to hold back to make Game 3 interesting - or do I just shut up already as my natural Queensland inclination to rub it in mentioning my mystic football powers was enough to send regular commenters into ignore mode...

Its a toughie - so I have decided today shall be approached more as an effort to tidy up loose ends here and there, do the jobs that V gave me to do rang to tell me he didn't give me to do as he is not the patriarchal dictator in our little democracy but that we both agreed would be best done in the interests of forward movement in our household.

Thank you for all the congratulations and consistent advice on the whole betrothal stuff. Some readers in the distant past got a bit of a love story from me regarding V and I - this Friday marks a very special day for us! That was when whatever spirits involved in us meeting over the ether waves worked their magic and VinniZ sent Jeanie34 a kiss - and the rest, as they say, is history!

By the way, Sarma is amazingly wonderful and everybody I have ever offered some has fallen in love - so just because it contains the wonderful cabbage in abundance doesn't mean that I was scoffing at it - in fact, we scoffed it and were very contented on Sunday - and (here is an offer) if any of you ever venture to Paradise during the period when sugarloaf cabbage is selling for a reasonable rate (about this time of year) I am very willing to cook it for with you!

Unfortunately, we discovered on Sunday (and Monday) it doesn't contain anywhere near enough gas for the Queen of Shake Shake's diabolical plan. Oh well - I will have to do my next trick next week and see if we can raise the roof. Cabbage and Cauliflower Koftas in Happy Sauce - again, delicious, nutricious, leaves you smiling from full tummy after the meal, and leaves you smiling the next morning from such a cleansing experience.

I have become addicted to Bloglines - with most of my regular people I can see any new updates as they occur which is awesome. I have also got a little button on my browser so, if I enjoy a new blog I have been sent to I can subscribe to them also. I don't know if it is better than any other reader, as it is my first - but I am very impressed.

I am currently in the process of working out how to update my blogroll to reflect some great new blogs. Stay tuned.

Of course, the first people I always check are my regulars!

I am a little embarassed, as it now means my blogroll is over 100 feeds - but then, some don't update very regularly and that way I am not frustrated constantly checking!

Babylune is doing a writing project on the Mistakes Learned being a Mother - deadline is midnight tomorrow - I am contemplating a post - we will see if I get around to it, but it looked interesting!

One of my newies (that I found via one of my oldies) is a Canadian blogger called Reject the Kool Aid - she had a very interesting post on Wheel And Wheel Stopper Reinvention that I thought was quite good.

That is about all, folks - the list today:

  • write list
  • write blog
  • 3 2 loads of washing
  • Call client's client and send completed work to Port Douglas (because client finally paid!!!)
  • Call client and organise user manuals
  • Connect brand new printer (courtesy of above payment!)
  • Ring electricians about installing an oven - price and availability courtesy of above payment too!)
  • Ring 2 educational facilities about my enrolment/desire to enrol and get that squared
  • Call washing machine dudes and see if any forward movement has been made in putting a finale on my whole Hole In Bucket melodrama or am I going to be given their loan machine forevermore
  • Do some homework
  • Type several pages of profoundly lovely text messages from the last few months to make room for more
  • Buy hot dog ingredients and antibiotics - although not FOR the hot dog ingestion, I am sure!
  • Wash up
  • General tidy and vacuum
  • Look at 'Salina's room and wonder if it is worth it. (Indian bookmakers are welcome to call to discuss weather variations)
I am sure if I pull hard, the boys can whitewash this evening!

Sunday, June 10, 2007


This is a dish from Eastern Europe - fantastic stick to the sides (and come away clean) sort of food that warms (and coats, no doubt) those chilly extremities. Otherwise known as cabbage rolls.

I have adjusted it slightly to account for the lack of desire to clogged arteries and a palate that can admire food without lots and lots of salt. Adjust back at will. Taught to me by my ex-mother-out-law and she begrudgingly admits that my version is edible (with a spoonful of salt sprinkled on top).

The ingredients are bolded, the what you do is in between - this recipe is an afternoon project so patience is more rewarded than organisational layout.

1-2 Soured Cabbages

First, you need soured cabbage.

If you have a fantastic deli that has a German or Yugoslav (I know they are separate - but they all have this ingredient - saves typing out the 50 different names, okay?) pedigree, you will be able to obtain full heads of sauerkraut cabbage.

For the rest of us: Boil whole sugarloaf cabbage(s) in water with a good splash of vinegar (remember to cut a cross in the stem for inner cooking) until it has wilted slightly on the outside but before you family threaten to leave home.

Peel the leaves off. The disgusting more mature outerleaves are used to line the pan, whereas the inner leaves are each used for the cabbage rolls. When they get too tiny, don't bother - the core and stem gets chopped to add to the saucy bits.

In a bowl, combine:

A kilogram or couple of pounds of minced meat. Baka prefers half beef and half pork, the Bosnian versions obviously don't use the pork bits and I (in my vegetarian days) did make it with minced veges. These days I tend towards Baka's version.

One grated white onion. Onion doesn't need to be white, but it does need very, very fine dicing or grating. Don't cry - to avoid tears, I never cut through the root until the very last minute. It doesn't always work, but it works better than the other methods tried.

A cup of rice Any sort, I suppose - Baka would use white, but Baka likes processing - she is a big fan of white bread, white flour and white rice. Considering what Tito and the communists achieved in Croatia it is understandable. I am from the soft underbelly of the West so I choose brown. It cooks for hours anyway, so that argument doesn't wash. Oh, but remember to wash the rice.

One egg Again, any colour - and its up to you how it enters the bowl.

Vegeta - or vegetable salt - I don't but if you like then go for the authentic stuff. Baka puts in a "good" teaspoon.

About 1/4 cup of sauerkraut - most supermarkets have it hidden somewhere - if not get it in - even the cheapest is good for this dish. You will need about a can for the whole recipe.

A slice of old bread Moisten it with water, squeeze it out and break it through the mix.

This mixture must be mixed by hand, through the fingers. You can add some bacon to the mix. You could add some anything you want, I suppose.

Roll the cabbage:

For larger leaves, cut in half along the spine. Even for the smaller leaves, the spine will need to be "thinned" to help in the rolling process.

Place in the palm of your hand. Put a spoonful of the mixture into the leaf. Fold up the bottom (harder) edge, roll from one end to the other then "tuck" the softer end in.

Line a large pan with the outer cabbage leaves. Put some sauerkraut and chopped cores and spines and then tightly pack the rolls seam side down. Keep layering these until all ingredients are used. If you have more mix than cabbage, tightly rolled mixture will hold. If you have more cabbage than mix just chop and add. Have a top layer of the outer cabbage leaves. Put a plate on this to hold it all down.

Pour water over the mix until it covers it all. Put a lid on it and boil on very low heat for a few hours. 20 minutes before serving, take some of the liquid and mix some a tablespoon of flour and a couple of tablespoons of tomato paste into a paste and stir back into the mix. If there is not enough water, add some.

This is inspired by the fact that it is our dinner tonight AND this post from the Queen of Shake Shake

Saturday, June 09, 2007

The Stress Free Non Traditional Approach Less Travelled

Bit of background - I have never, ever dreamed of white weddings, marzipan cakes, tuxedos or flowers.

I have been involved in weddings - weddings that were all that, and I an auxillary watching the carnage spectacular from the sidelines.

I have been a doomsayer at the folly of some chasing the elusive dream of a rock, a frock and a c- umm - cute man to share the limousine.

(I have also been to some beautiful events that really meant everything to the people involved and those surrounding them - enough to make me not totally anti the whole kit and caboodle).

So anyway, yesterday we bought some jewellery.

Its not a piece of real estate - not even a small car or kitchen revamp - but it is the most expensive and beautiful piece of jewellery I have ever owned and we chose it during one of those grocery shops and took 'Salina with us to buy it yesterday.

I am not dreading the fact that V and I plan to be together for the long haul - we have been discussing that for ages.

I am, however, a little anxious about the gushes and intense questioning from others about "the chain of events" that this will precipitate.

The news has been broken to my immediate family.

My mother was, as usual, so wonderfully calm and supportive and quite happy about it all. (Considering my mother should take up poker as a possible hobby - unless you run your fingers down her blackboard she will never flinch - this I see as a very positive response).

My father called to congratulate when he got home later - our conversations are never smooth unless they involve mustering strategies, so for us it went very well.

My brother wished to know the details of the proposal. (BTW The details are he asked early, he asked often and he generally got the answer he was looking for) He also wanted to know if we were having a party. I don't know the answer to that - we only just got our proverbial together on jewellery.

My sister, having been primed by an afternoon visit to the parental home and having dined at her husband's extended family (therefore possibly very much primed) beat me to the punch and called me first. She was extremely gushy about it (more excited than me, it seemed) and wanted to know what we had planned thus far.

My sister had a fantastic day in a gazebo followed by drinks, a ferry ride and deluxe dining. Oh, and several hours of photographs (she is a photographer) and 3 beautiful cherubs as well as a very skinny me and a best man - but I do remember a few moments of stress (she is also a bit of a perfectionist).

My brother had a fantastic day on the side of a river on the property followed by a feast in a tent. I think I was fairly stressed then about having a toddler and an untame soon to be ex, so I don't remember much else.

My parents had the traditional church and reception circa 1965.

Our plan thus far is that we want no fuss and a stress-free event some so-far undetermined time in the future. It will possibly be fairly non-traditional to meet our personalities, the inclusion of 'Salina is mandatory, very likely somewhere in Paradise and our budget will enable those who love us enough to come to Paradise to attend should get fed - maybe a bowl or two of chips and some dips, you know...

My sister assures me that "the only stresses will be those you impose on yourself" but I don't know - I am fairly gun-shy and think that a quick whip down to the registry might be in order if it starts to look dicey...

By the way - if you are a "real life" friend and I haven't phoned you and "told you the big news" - well, I am getting to it - still freaking out about the questions I will have to answer.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Measuring Moisture

Firstly, thanks Jaycee for answering Jamie's question. A rain gauge does indeed measure rain - something we are wont to do in this part of the land where it happens rarely and is welcomed openly. Being from another dry part of the continent and with a similar background, Jaycee understands. (As does Strauss - who looks forward to returning to this wide brown land. Here is her childhood snapshot - stark and beautiful.)

I grew up where, at the first hint of a drop we were aching to go measure the moisture - our taciturn parents limited us to once - twice if downpours occurred - a day, and there was always that moment when your dreams were either fulfilled or shattered.

On the phone to a friend yesterday afternoon, I mentioned that we got about an inch yesterday - for some strange reason V snickered at this!

My greeting this morning as I emerged from the bedroom (late - sun isn't doing its job in waking me these grey, wet mornings*) was he, with a grin on his face, greeting me with "45 mill baby!" - knowing we had some unchecked lotto tickets, immediately my thoughts went on spending all that dosh - until I realised it was the rain.

Only a little dampened as my rich life dreams disappeared, I suddenly realised - in old money that is nearly 2 inches - which is nearly 3 1/2 inches for the last few days - which is about 1/4 of all the rain that my family received in the last 12 months on the property.

Puts it into perspective.

Should clear tomorrow - which means V will be working at least 2 days out of our 3 day weekend.

Oh well - the final of my outstanding cheques has just hit the red zone - I am definitely not scary enough - but if the money does go into my account I am looking forward to buying a brand new stove!!! Cold wet weather = need for all cooking appliances to be on deck. Hotplate + crockpot + microwave + griller oven just isn't cutting the mustard!


* Unlike Melody at BigLittle Sister - check out her wake up call!

Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Its raining - which means

  • No bike riding, running around or outdoors tomfoolery for children.
  • This also means that a night at Guides can lead to irritability, irrational displays of childishness and extreme fatigue - the girls had fun though.

  • Rapid growth in the garden without human hand-watering or intervention.
  • Looks like the new lawnmower will get a burl when this all lets up.

  • Jobsites quagmired in mud.
  • No hard labour for my sweet V.
  • (hmm, and I haven't been as consistent in front of this box for the last few days resultantly - get to take the man grocery shopping and such).

Ah well, most of my cheques have come home to roost so at least the larder is full of food, the house is full of happiness and laughter - and the rain gauge is filling up.

Send it down, Hughie

Sunday, June 03, 2007


What with an extra child for 3/4 of the weekend, 5 hours driving 5 hours socialising in my little home town at a sports day yesterday, a rainy day today where I am not sure if I really woke up - I crashed at 2.30pm for a nap.

During my nap I had a very confusing dream - concerning trying to cook dinner for an ever changing number and nature of guests, moveable neighbourhood landmarks, strange people, cars falling into gardens due to wheel alignment, corridors, my mother but acting like my grandmother, my father discussing bowls and electricians.

Do you know, I wasn't refreshed at all when I awoke.

Friday, June 01, 2007


Full moon and it really has pressed in today, hasn't it?

Things that should have been relatively stress-free seemed laden...

Friday is generally a good morning - no lunch to cut as I am Tuckshop Jeanie every second Friday... except today had a kink in its smooth flow...

Today is the start of the month which means one LARGE amount of money generally disappears from my account near the start of the month and the problem was that today that money was not going to be in there to disappear until I put it in there, as YESTERDAY was the Local Show Holiday - which means that every business in town was shut.

So today I would have to fit in a visit to the bank - and with the Tuckshop Jeanie Sash comes the pricetag of a large chunk of child-free time in which to do Tuckshop duty and a very small sliver to devote to Jeanie oriented duties.

I explained my dilemna to Tuckshop Tish (the Lady High Chieftress of Kingdom Tuckshop) and she was benign in her offer of a pardon once orders were sorted - ahh, relief.

Unfortunately Tuckshop Tish's extensive family compound had a medical emergency, and as she is Lady High Chieftress there too, I was benign in my offer to take on the mantle in Kingdom Tuckshop - and my window of opportunity to do the mercy dash to the bank was tightened.

After feeding all the little blighters refuelling the bottomless gullets of the sweet children of 'Salina's school, I cleaned and ran my fingers through the gold and silver, threw the money at the office and drove the 15km to "town" - it took 15 minutes. The queue at the bank wandered to the entrance and every transaction was taking each of the 3 attendants a long, l-o-n-g time indeed.

I can't say I panicked, but I watched the 50 minutes allocated for the whole job s-l-o-w-l-y diminish as I did high level physics and mathematical equations in my head over the probability of me arriving home before my daughter was dropped off by the school bus (very low) VS the chance of a message actually reaching her at the school to not take the school bus. It was very convoluted and would possibly need diagrams to explain adequately.

That didn't really move the line along, so I let the coin lie on the latter and rang the school.

The guy in front of me in the line had two broken fingers - his little and ring - and they were intricately bound. His phone rang (interesting porn music crossed with rock beat) and his conversation ran thus. "Hello... That's right... Yep, I can... Mm-hmm... Okay... Uh-huh... Yeah, bye." I think he was a drug dealer.

There was two women getting hundreds of dollars - paid in 20s, 10s and 5s. I couldn't work it out. Do people still get paid in cash, or did they have huge broods of children somewhere getting show or pocket money?

I know you are not meant to eavesdrop in banks, but what else can you do? The rotating ads about how wonderful the bank and the banks products are can be repetitious - and the walls are covered with posters about wonderful the bank and the banks products are. Anyone know any good bank games?

An old man was taking his time transferring thousands of dollars from one account to another and querying the fee structures on the various bank products his portfolio was involved in.

A mother with 2 kids was unable to do something because some card or signature that was meant to be there wasn't there and the junior teller had nothing to offer her in the way of solutions - that needed a conference of one of the other working tellers and someone slightly higher up the food chain. Luckily the older kid was really switched on in entertaining the toddler, because otherwise there may have been some real theatrics.

I looked back and was somewhat enthused that, although my place in the line had not advanced very far, my position in regards to the end of the queue had improved markedly.

A Lady in the uniform of a major hardware chain started fidgeting and complaining to the guy in front of her how she had just ducked out to do the bank crawl and she could only imagine how the queue was where she was meant to be at her place of work.

Another phone rang, and two guys in line started the phone search - check the bag, the pockets - the guy closer to me got to his phone first, but I think it was the farther back guy's call. Closer guy started to pretend to text someone.

Finally it was my turn to front the tellers, and I thrust the wads of cash at the teller who processed it in record time - I think we were both relieved at the brevity of our relationship - and I hit the bitumen back.

Thankfully my gamble paid off, as 15 minutes after the bus would have deposited my child at the empty house I collected 'Salina from school.

I only had to stop at the shops, collect the mail, send a fax to some people I worked for this week so they can put some more money into my account in the near future, make a call to my old friends. Remember, the ones who forgot to pay me for an April invoice by the start of May? Well, I guess the subject keeps on slipping their minds, because it is now officially June and part of the reason for the need to deposit money into my account is because no other beggars (such as this company) is doing it for me. I am starting to think they don't want to talk to me given the voicemails I have had to access and lack of returned calls... I am thinking that I shall have to, I don't know, beg or threaten - and I am NOT THAT SORT OF GIRL.

Anyhow - why am I still wound up - and over what? Enough money is in the bank, the day is over and I have had a wonderful dinner with my darling V and beautiful 'Salina and, although the Broncos just lost I live in Paradise.

I feel I just have to blame the moon.

Tomorrow is an early start as we are going to the Abercorn Goodwill Games and the Abercorn State School 80th Birthday celebrations. 'Salina, myself and a friend's son will be travelling 175km to watch lots of kids running around and having a ball, and then travel back 175km in the afternoon - I might tell you about it some time soon.

I was going to give you a link to the info on the above, but I just checked it, and had to laugh:
To celevreate the school's 80th Anniversary, special commemorative bottles and postcarrds will be available on the day.

Hmm - spellcheck. I think I might get some "postcarrds"

Well, I might go and slide in next to V and say goodnight to the moon - I hope that tomorrow is less affected by its orb.