Friday, August 30, 2013

Discovered a gem

Technology arrives slowly (although not always gracefully  - as illustrated...*)

and I would like to announce that THIS WEEK marks the week where we finally triggered the step that enabled us to not only RECORD what is shown on television, but also to WATCH IT BACK!

I know - its a winning combination - a luddite geek.

It only took:
  • Watching the technology approach, arrive at station and start to leave (about 7 years)
  • Actually BUY a DVD Player WITH Recording Ability (about 5 months ago)
    • Buy two at the same time, because the old one died and we have 2 televisions and it had taken us several weeks between the death of the old one and this purchase so we thought best to strike while the card was hot
  • Actually INSTALL a new DVD Player in the Living Area to replace the dead one (about 3 months ago)
    • (but fail to install the recording one for some logic lost forever involving the television set in the bedroom that actually didn't have enough cables because the technology in that area still relies upon a relay of antenna to set top box to television set and the introduction involved an unresolveable loop, it happens)
  • Work out the above addendum after the apparent suicide of the new DVD Player that was not the recording one (about 6 weeks ago)
  • Discover that, although it is a DVD Player WITH Recording Ability, it does not record to a DVD (about a week ago)
  • Discover I had a USB with enough memory on to contemplate recording (about a week ago)
  • Work out how to record using the incredibly complicated remote control with additional handicap of remotus batterium decelerationisation ** (about a week ago)
  • Work out how to replay FROM the USB directly into the television (about a week ago)
  • Work out how to replay PROPERLY from the USB directly into the television using the incredibly complicated remote control with additional handicap** (about a week ago)
  • Work out how to FAST FORWARD through the replay (about a three two one days ago)
  • Work out how to STOP in the right spot of the replay (ha ha ha)
  • Work out how to REWIND (although it doesn't really "wind" does it?) through the replay 
  • Work out how to FAST FORWARD through the replay
  • Work out how to STOP in the right spot of the replay
  • Work out how to REWIND (although it doesn't really "wind" does it?) through the replay
  • Work out how to SCENE FORWARD through the replay (about a two one days ago)
  • Work out how to FAST FORWARD through the replay
  • Work out how to STOP in the right spot of the replay (HA HA BLARDEE HAR)
  • Work out how to REWIND (shaddup)
  • Work out how to FAST FORWARD 
  • Work out how to STOP in the right spot of the replay (Faaaaaaaa)
  • Work out how to REWIND
  • Work out how to just sit quietly and watch
And before I get sidetracked (you wouldn't believe what gets edited OUT around here - I know, more verbose that this - ahem...)

What we watched was Raw Comedy Grand Final 2013 - which was okay, not as good as some other years (mainly due to the propensity to "push the boundaries" where, quite frankly, I have discovered I am not in the mood to push when attempting to enjoy humour), there was one absolute gem of a find.

(And can you believe, not one clip on the whole entire Googledom?!  Eek - come to our place, we might have worked out how to FORWARD to her set in a reliable yet speedy manner - I said technology had arrived, not that it had settled in.)

Anyway, as I was saying, last night (okay, and the night before - and the night before that - we don't watch an awful lot in each sitting, and we are yet to learn the intricate ways of the remote complicated by the additional handicap **) we were FINALLY watching the (end of the) Raw Comedy Grand Final 2013 that we had recorded the weekend before (and which may have been a repeat of an earlier played show - geez, enough with the interrogation) we found a fantastic new talent.

(I found something)

Anyhow - Demi Lardner - winner of the Raw Comedy Grand Final 2013, so the judges were right - and recently equal winner of 2013 So You Think You're Funny at the Edinburgh Comedy Festival.  (Anyone else read that and feel like calling it "Edin-burgh' with emphasis on the "burGH"?)

Anyhow - in the timeless words of Molly Meldrum, do yourself a favour.  (If you are in Adelaide - and I am looking at you, Jen - go check her out and welcome her home next week)

(and  I am eagerly anticipating the creation of a better internet presence - hint hint)

BTW - absolutely nothing was paid for this endorsement, but should the tour ever come near Paradise I wouldn't say no to my name being on the door - just saying.

* - I swear - I don't have vampire hands in real life - I blame the lighting - well, if I was a decent photographer I would blame the lighting.

** - remotus batterium decelerationisation - but apparently we don't have gettuppem and goem to carry out a batterectomy - its an ongoing saga in Paradise...

So what did you discover this week? What mountains were finally scaled in your world. And did you laugh?

Monday, August 26, 2013

You say to-may-to

I say OH MY GOODNESS (and this doesn't even count on what is yet to be harvested from the remains of the vines out the back)

I "graded" them into "yet to ripen", 

"probably ripen this week", 

and "cook right now - but how?"

There was also a "what the heck" moment with this little tomato...

One lesson in little girls and sharp knives (the good sort of lesson - where Paris succeeded under supervision) and the trays were prepared for a long visit to the oven...

 And the finished product, now in the fridge just WAITING for the tastebuds.

What do you do with your tomato glut?

Friday, August 23, 2013

Home is...

I was yarning about some of the places I have lived to V the other night.

It got me thinking...

When I was a child, I lived with my family at Granite Glen (1)

Until I went to boarding school, but I still got to go "home" to my family on holidays (2)

And then I went to uni, where after a stint at a res hall, I lived at my Grandma's and then in share houses on both sides of the Bridge in Brisbane(6)

When I moved to Sydney, and lived in the Inner West - share-housing in Leichhardt, Birchgrove, Balmain, Chippendale, Glebe, Chippendale and Petersham - as well as house-sitting at a friend's place in Erskinville and a stint with my extended family in the Northern Suburbs(15)

Then I moved back to my family for a year, although I did get lured back to Sydney for a bit in Stanmore with a friend (16)

Then I tried travelling - ha! - and ended up in Melbourne, where I inadvertently settled for a year in three different addresses - twice with friends, one a share-house(19)

Once I realised I am just not built for travelling, I moved back to Brisbane where I lived with my sister on the Northside, a share-house and then with 'Salina's Dad in suburbs near to West End, without him in the area and then in a secret location far away and then East Brisbane with an ever changing cast of characters(25)

And here I am, at my 26th address - and I have now been here for nearly exactly 7 years - the longest I have been ANYWHERE since I was a child.

(and as an addendum, I have lived with - not counting double-ups, boarding school or res -  52 people, blood related to 7 and familially - or is that famililili? - related to 13)

How many addresses have you had?

Thursday, August 22, 2013

The Liquor Cabinet

There are things that I have carried throughout my life as talismen in my mind.

One is the memory of receiving my red shag-cord-veloury (technical term there folks - for I have no idea what that material was called) outfit sent to me by my lovely Grandma Mart one year that I so proudly wore to a friend's place for dinner.  And that instant when I got so brutally deflated by my friend's careless remark regarding my wearing of pyjamas.

I learned several things in that instant.

I learned that Lingerie was not some term regarding fancy clothes, but rather fancy clothes that you wear to bed.

I learned that it is best in life to know a least a little of other languages.

I learned not to trust my innocent delight in things and instead know that I was completely bereft of an inbuilt style trip-switch.

(It wasn't until many, many years later that I learned to not pay as much mind to that flaw - or at least fake not paying as much mind...)

Another is the knowledge that I have two of the most awesome parents in the world (despite somehow slipping me faulty DNA in the style sector).

Another is The Liquor Cabinet.

Not in the traditional boozy sense, either.  More in the mark it has made on my psyche in the geographic location within the home.

My first memory of The Bar, when I was a kid, was this amazing cane one that my parents owned, complete with two swivel stools and one puffy orange stool (that may partially explain then initial development of my love for my favourite colour).

This is not the original set, but rather one found on the internet.  It is apparently originally from this Etsy Site that has such cute things.  Anyhow.  As I was saying.  Similar but not the same.

It had curved corners and a sideways door that hinged down and inside was the most amazingly shaped bottles and pariphenalia - it didn't actually contain that much alcohol, more curios.  It also had very scarred rattan panels as it was the perfet material for our cat Gabby to sharpen his claws against.

It was not about the liquor.  It was never about the liquor.  It was about everything around that part of the house.

It was forbidden territory.  It housed this little fridge with timber veneer and a cool ice cube tray.  It had the good glasses.  It was rumoured to have even hidden Christmas presents.

(Before you read any further, a WARNING - there are images of alcohol coming up.   

Not very good images.  Not very good as in technically, they are crap pictures.

However, if you feel that images of alcohol in general fall into the category of "not very good images", if this offends you or causes you discomfort in any way, I suggest you and I quietly part ways with no malice or regret - I won't hold it against you if you can find it within yourself to accept there are differences in humanity and tomorrow is another day.  I apologise for inadvertently causing you any unintended consequence.

If you are under 18 and/or a child of mine, you are also encouraged to go and talk to your responsible adult about the dangers of looking upon images of such)

In Mum and Dad's dream house, they have a new Liquor Cabinet.

It is worthy of the accolade.

When I was zhushing up Mum and Dad's Dream Home, the Saturday night after children were in bed was dedicated to doing the kitchen and the living room.

It was nearing midnight when I got to that particular corner of the living room that was the new beholder of the status.

I methodically took out all contents, dusted and washed and de-cobwebbed* as I had a plan with the reorganisation.

Come wander with me through the contents...

My first every inebriated status was attained with the assistance of this particular substance.

The one on the right hand side (and as it was my only ever experience of consciously choosing to drink that particular beverage, I have never even contemplated the one on the left). 

Colloquially known as "square bear", this is a standard for any self-respecting bar that caters for the average local or my brother.  I actually get to drive past the factory that makes this most days.  I get to smell it too if the wind is up.

I grew up with my parents sharing the "after work" drink of Scotch and Dry.  As a result, they often receive a surplus of this come Christmas, and occasionally the giver doesn't know that the label of choice is not properly represented in this assortment.  There is only a teeny tiny bottle stolen from some mini-bar representing it.  That is because Dad keeps the real bottle of Johnny Walker in the kitchen, of course.

A winery had the name of one of our favourite horses for a variety.  As a result, several bottles were purchased and/or given to them.

I had to smile - Pottique was a truly beautiful mare.

The local vinyard's sticky offering and a rather dodgy sounding liqueur fit rather neatly inside

The cute box that was taking up space doing nothing but looking pretty.

Check. Out. That. Label.

So good I took it twice.  THIS is how to sell wine!

I remember when we went to Kellermeister.  It was 1986.  I was in the National Rowing Finals and Mum and Dad came down to watch.  We had one day off so we went on a driving tour around the wineries.  I nearly typed winderies, and it was really.

I had actually thought that that was a 27 year old bottle of wine - but guess what?

You can still buy this wine in this packaging - when you are on a winning formula, hey?

Ah, Brown Brothers port.  Honestly, a great accessory for any bar.  Vintage too.  Check out the cork!!

(And look, I got artistic on the angle at that point)

This should go in the "well, its getting late and I am still seeing a WHOLE HEAP of this room that needs your attention" section.

I know for a fact that the Sherry on the right is used in cooking far, far, far more often than drunk, and I can't remember a time in my LIFE when my parents have suggested a snifter of Drambuie - no doubt a present that either reflects a phase that one of their children was going through or a stranger shooting wildly in the dark.

Ah, now these - these are now openly on display in another part of the room altogether - for these are not alcohol receptacles but conversation starters.

The bottle of Pisco Sour is all about the concept rather than the concoction.  It is about my parents travelling to South America and Mum being a tourist and LOVING the shape and history and story that the figurine on the left is telling.

The (empty) bottle of Opera @ Cania is a memory of a picnic and cultural opportunity at a local tourist destination.  They were going to have another this year, but the lack of a major sponsor and poor ticket sales (in a region devastated by flood earlier this year - and that has been pummelled by drought, dairy industry debacles, previous floods and politics) has meant that the risk cannot be borne and it has been cancelled.  I do hope that the stars align that this event does happen again, because there should be more bottles like this.

And, you know, I was powering so frantically that I didn't touch a DROP.  I swear.

(* By the way, is it only me, or does anyone else see these home shows and think "but what about the spider's webs" and marvel at the arachnid repelling-qualities that seem to exist in the homes of the rich?  Daddy-long-legs might be pretty and unable to kill you, but they have a downside that seems unrivalled by the most ferocious of the venomous spidey)

This post has been submitted to the Digital Parents Blog Carnival
Digital Parents Blog Carnival
Hosted this month by Bel and Nic at Mums Take Five

Monday, August 19, 2013

Waxing the Full Moon

What a rather unfortunate title.

It means what it says in regard to the astronomical impact, and if you are here on any other google search, please, I think you mean the link below.  (indeed, perhaps even the missing link below).

Life changes rather suddenly on us sometimes, doesn't it?

There has been a lot about the last 8 months that has been unbloggable for me.  A job role that is ending on Wednesday, on the full moon, on the  44 month mark of Paris.

It has been uplifting and devastating, joyous and frustrating and the best job in the world with a fairly amazing bunch of people for some real characters, parts of stories that give a little bit of hope back for a few.

And, of course, I haven't been able to blog a thing.

Last weekend, when I had my run of luck, it also offered me many blessings.

I learned, with the speeding ticket, to slow down and regard signs.  (a lesson, unfortunately, that I have to learn by repetition)

I got a chance to be fairly internet free for two and a half days.  It was just like olden times, I swear!!

I went and stayed at my parents house, without their knowledge or explicit consent, and mucked around with all their stuff.

Mum and Dad built their dream home a few years ago, and had just spent 15 weeks doing their dream tour of "the mother country" and Europe.  15 weeks of a 16 week trip.  As it was my Dad's birthday on that Sunday, and Mum's yesterday, I had devised a cheap yet extremely heartfelt and practical gift that would possibly tick off the birthday section of the to do list.

I was giving them the opportunity to invite their friends to their beautiful home and regale with adventurous tales and amazing photos.  While I can only assume the latter factors, as they were without my control, I had in my hands the opportunity to zhush the house and plant flowers and prepare and freeze meals.

Unfortunately the whole "cheap" aspect of the surprise were busted rather poetically by the bookends of disaster that was last weekend.  Silver lining was getting the awesome laundry folding bench completely clear (although Mum - I am concerned with the final location for the eskies, so don't try to climb the stepladder and get them down yourself!  And don't send Dad up!!  Its been keeping me awake-ish).

The whole "surprise" thing was also slightly stymied, as although I had no issue with using their hospitality in their absence and without their knowledge, even I draw the line in the sand when it comes to the loan of a motor vehicle.

But the "beautiful house" bit?  Well, with the assistance of Bush Babe, 'Salina and Paris, it was right out of the pages of a magazine.

The Insurance dude did that whole "this is the information before we officially give you the information regarding your claim, but probably the car is kaputz" which did give me a momentary lament about the cool grand I had dropped on it at the mechanic's on Thursday before I left.

Pollyanna me would like to think that by doing so I had saved a business (or at least a job).  You never know.

The Dark Side of My Psyche thinks "yes, but what would have happened if you hadn't spent that money.  Perhaps it could have been worse".  DSOMP is a real bitch.

In other news, 'Salina is now officially the same height as her mother.  We did the check in the bathroom on the weekend, and the only difference is my butt is saggier.

I didn't realise it would affect me so much.

We had Sarma tonight. I made it yesterday, but hadn't timed my run to the precision that I pride myself on and therefore had it on the best day possible - the day after, where the flavours really settle and the sauce blends.

Of course, I also have the opportunity to have it on Wednesday, as it is my contribution to the farewell luncheon.

And there was enough left over for both V and I to have substantial lunches today.

That it the downside with Sarma.  The amount you make is dependent on the cabbage - and the cabbage always surprises you with its ability to create a mountain out of virtually nothing.

Still, it freezes, its a great leftover, its good for you, it keeps you warm and regular and it is as cheap as all get - those Eastern Europeans know a thing or two about surviving!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Lessons I learned on your behalf today:

Lessons for the evening.  

When you discover a new blog which entertains:
 and you fail to find her facebook page or her twitter feed (because you fail to see the very obvious Twitter Feed box on her blog - d'oh)

do NOT then search for like terms on Twitter.

You may find yourself in alien territory
 or lost in reminiscing.

That is all.

Monday, August 12, 2013

The Third Thing

You know how things happen in threes...

and when one thing happens, you think it is isolated, just one thing...

and then another thing happens and you just start searching like crazy for that third thing?


Okay, welcome to my mind.

This is the third thing.

It was also instrumental in the first thing - for being a little heavy.

In defence of the hapless right foot, the logic sector of my brain assisted it - along the lines of "roadworks, fair enough, like to slow down through someone's workspace, do de do de do de dooo - 4 km and nary a sign of any roadworks, mustn't be happening or be over, send the message to the appendage in charge of acceleration - oh, apparently it is still roadworks despite the lack of actual work going on on the road, appendage, hit the pedal to the left - too late, flashing lights, hello there officer".

Working out the cost of that little misunderstanding - 8 (in the end) km of "roadworks" (my definition of that term apparently isn't wide enough to encompass that of the legal establishment in the Sunshine State) at 40km below the usual speed limit = 5 1/3 minutes - so I need to earn the equivalent of $6,446.25 an hour to justify that sort of frittering...

Yeah, right.  Onya right foot.

The second thing - again, not completely the fault of the right foot. 

Driving along a lonely road with the girls on my way back to V - a long, lovely, sun-dappled, lonely road.  A long, lovely, sun-dappled, lonely road that was not the scene of the above.

The sun-dappled is the thing, though.  Weaving in and out of forests and hills and valleys so gorgeous, ensuring that the foot was not too heavy and heeding my father's sage advice "drive to the conditions" so the gravel road received far more respect than the above-mentioned "roadworks".

And then the sun-dappled malevelently tripped me up.  Threw a pebble in my path, if you will.  A large pebble.   Of rock-like proportions.

Until I was upon it, the sun-dappled was just doing its thing, and then I got a half-second glimpse of my doom - and then the underside of my car felt its doom and then...

And then the old right foot could do whatever it pleased, it no longer had control over acceleration because my car was mourning its transmission.

In the middle of a long, lovely, sun-dappled, lonely road with ABSOLUTELY no mobile coverage.

Right foot got plenty of time to contemplate.  As did left foot.  As did 'Salina and Paris - full kudos to 'Salina - she was a trooper in sharing the load (half an emergency kit we put together - warm clothes, water, food - darn, I am going to have a torch next time though!! - and half to the just woken from a much needed nap Paris).

We did see one car during our hike - a ute with a young couple - who we gave our details to so they could call for assistance in case we didn't find any mobile signal before dark.

We had to hike for several k along that  lovely, sun-dappled, lonely road - around bends, through gullies and up, up, up hill - one hill, one HUGE expletive deleted hill - until, miracle of miracles, 'Salina found a magical spot where we got 2 bars!!

Those 2 bars of signal meant we could call for roadside assistance, for friendly reassuring voices, for quelling fears of loved ones and for entreaties for a tow-truck.

At first, I was promised the towie would call me "as he was out on a job".  When the call came through, it was from the town of our destination - over 120km away - and he had NO CLUE where we actually were but thought he could wing it and would be there in a few hours - and could I stay WITH the vehicle, in the dark, away from my precious 2 bars of mobile signal with the girls?  He conceded that was foolish, but still expected us to wait several hours on the side of the lonely road with looming shadows playing with the Twilight-gorged mind of  'Salina.

We did see several other vehicles after this promise - all were warned of the car and the possibility of rocks, and all were (thankfully) normal pleasant people.

As we were working out the logistics of transporting ourselves to safety as well as the car, the bright flashing lights of a tow truck approached from the town we had travelled FROM - only 45km away - which was SUCH A RELIEF.

So a broken toe-nail?  So claiming it for my third!!

Sunday, August 04, 2013

August - Garden Share Collective

The biggest producers during July were definitely the herb patch - we harvested like crazy, as the coriander does get the bit between its teeth and bolts so easily in our climate.  Luckily we have a few more seedlings getting started, so we are letting it go and hopefully I will work out how to treat the seed for spice usage.

The legume patch is going gangbusters also, producing enough for several meals a week and a voracious 3 year old self-serving!  There is a bit of powdery mildew, which was an issue with cucumbers in this bed last season.  We used a milk spray (not always effectively) then, but I have just read about a chamomile spray suggestion so might see how that goes.

We have some new plants in the ground - Pak Choi is awesome, so I have coerced V into planting a few more here and there.

As the strawberries were busy disappointing us, V has thinned them considerably and mounded them, and is going to mulch to see if they are happier.  We think this bed may be a bit unhappy - about 7 months ago we used a fair percentage of paper trash in a mulch on it and, while the chilli is going great guns, everything else complains.  TLC is definitely scheduled here.

This little patch, however, needs no extra assistance - all by itself it has created a forest of tomatoes of all ilks, and we have already reaped a hearty crop.

That tomato created some excellent raita last night!

V has also been hard at work getting a few more seedlings up and running - I am looking forward to capsicums...

Another thing I am looking forward to is a bumper crop of limes next year - this year we got attacked rather severely by brown aphids (and there masters and controllers, the ants) - this year we have banded for ants and ladybirded for aphids, and it looks like me might be approaching a win

Something that does pop up from time to time and puts smiles on our faces are sunflowers (hence the header) - we are looking forward to this one blooming soon...

And these several million in Summer - V is trying to develop a bit more terrace out the front to define our ground a little more and stop the run off (and eventually grow a bit of a privacy border) - as an interim measure we put all of our flower trash from the front garden in here, and we are definitely going to have marigolds, whatever those flame flowers are and allysium in abundance to kickstart us.

Thanks to Lizzie from Strayed from the Table for inspiring and hosting the Garden Share Collective - go and see what else everyone is doing in their gardens this month.