Thursday, May 31, 2007

Busting the House and Bicycles

Yay - I did it - I harnessed that Red Wednesday Rage and - well, my feet delight in the feel of clean tiles, lino and carpet, my eyes feast on lines of clarity - and my daughter got awfully grumpy at the pile of "crap" on her chair for her to sort!

One thing that helped lift me up to the realm of house-buster after I blogged yesterday was while I was reading a little booklet that I had stolen retrieved from my mother's packing when she moved house. The booklet is entitled "Souvenir of the Centenary of the Central and Upper Burnett River District of Queensland 1848 - 1948" (Which you can get a copy from the Cornstalk Bookstore in Glebe for only $100 if you are interested!). In the section "Transport on the Burnett 1848 - 1948" I read:
...In later years another well-known mailman was Frederic Schafer who, in 1889, ran a weekly mail service from Gayndah to Camboon. He did this on a saddle horse, leaving Gayndah at 6 a.m. on a Sunday and arriving at Camboon about mid-day on the following Tuesday, returning to Gayndah by the following Thursday evening, covering a total distance of 330 miles. In the big drought of 1902 he did this great distance on a push bike, to which he had fitted a carrier back and front, and in these he carried mails and newspapers. When there was too much mail for his improvised carriers he slung two mail bags over his shoulders. The amazing stamina of the man is more fully realised when it is remember that no man made roads existed and the bicycle had to travel over dirt and stony bush tracks.

It put things a little into perspective for me, that is for sure!

Today is one of those wonderful local public holidays that give you the opportunity to spend at the local show if you are so inclined - well, as much as 'Salina would like to be inclined our bank balance currently has no such illusions.

So while I do this and finish a little work and chasing invoices, 'Salina is down at the beach with friends and V is hard at work. In his industry there is no such things as "show holiday" (or several other non-religious holidays) as they get plenty of (unpaid) holidays in Summer when everything sort of shuts down for a few weeks.

This afternoon I am tossing up whether to try and refind yesterday's rage and whip 'Salina's room with her assistance or just chill in the back yard and do a little garden meditation. After all, it is another beautiful day in Paradise.

No doubt there will be a cycle somewhere along the way - for about 2 kilometres to the post office and back - not quite in Mr Schafer's league.

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Looking on the bright side

Another fantastic day in paradise - bah humbug...

I thought I yesterday went rather well, all considered - actually pat myself on the back as I hadn't turned into the bitch from hell which happens on the occasional 4th Tuesday.

Ha - it seems it was being sneaky to pounce on me today...

On the flipside - I have decided to channel all the rage at the world (you know, people or events being happy or sad or just being) and focus it onto the house - sort of take it on 50s style.

Heck - and I am not even doing it for State glory.

I hope to be in a happier mood (and have a much cleaner house) in the future.

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Digging a hole

Man, I am in a whingy mood this morning, so shall not blather too much here. Save it all for my loved ones... Something to do with the moon or the stars, no doubt. Happens every 4th Tuesday - know what I mean?

For the last few weeks, we have had workmen up and down our street digging holes and ditches and laying pipes - so while on some days there is still relative silence in paradise, on many days there is clanking and roaring and beeping and swearing going on.

I hope it is coming to an end sometime soon - working on a computer on the sort of stuff that I do (when I work) requires a sort of intensity that doesn't work well with that sort of background grinding away at you.

Yesterday it was constant, but there was one very funny moment. As I waved 'Salina off on the bus I so desparately wished I had a camera. Directly across the road from our house is some sort of pipe juncture - I think - at least, there is a gaping hole surrounded by orange mesh that occasionally gets filled by dirt and machinery and then emptied again.

Yesterday, Monday morning - there was the man on the digger thingy and EIGHT men standing around the hole looking in. By the time I could have grabbed the camera another vehicle with three more men pulled up to look at the hole - but then some of them were facing me so I didn't have the guts to take the shot.

Last night, a walker hailed us from the street at about 8 to advise us that something had burst and there was water flowing from where they had been working - so from 9 until at least 10.30 last night there were some more men digging and doing mysterious things to pipes and water out there - at least they weren't using the machinery!!

As a friend of mine said this morning, some days you want to yell "Bring back the leafblowers!!!"

(To see my view of leafblowers, click here)

(oh, and Trace - my Thai Beef Salad recipe is hidden here)

I am hoping to get into a better mood. Any suggestions?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Single Mother Abuse

Yesterday I had a workshop to attend on behalf of some volunteer stuff I do. When it was requested of me I had much inner negotiation over whether I should go, as it meant 4 hours where V would have to look after 'Salina. Now, I don't have any doubts about the fact that they would be fine without me, its just that I don't want to be "dumping" my child on my boyfriend too much - he is not a babysitter and I have been the solo mother for so long that I see her as my sole responsibility and it is a very hard habit to break.

It took them about .5 seconds to both say "fine".

So I head out to this workshop - 3 1/2 hours of looking for signs of abuse, legal responsibilities in reporting abuse and working on scenarios about abuse - all fun stuff.

In the room there were about 20 people - mainly Guide leaders and a few volunteers - and with a brief scan I would say all upright, church going, civicly responsible women.

During the first session, the trainer used as an example "a single mother with a drug addiction". Inwardly I cringed - bad call, as it can be any type of parent who has addiction issues that impact on a child in 1000 ways - but it was an isolated incident so didn't hop on my high horse (always saddled nearby).

In the second session we broke into groups of 4 to work on scenarios. Ours was to do with "a depressed, suicidal child of a single mother who is constantly berating and criticising her daughter about ruining her life, wishing she had adopted her out and blaming her for the dearth of boyfriends".

When asked about what issues would cause alarm I had to bite my tongue from sarcastically commenting "she has a single mother" - but I bit down hard.

Of the 9 scenarios used, 3 did not mention families, 3 did not mention family dynamics - and the others were the above, single mother's boyfriend and inebriated stepmother. Am I being oversensitive in thinking there was a bit of a bias here?

(How ironic that my child of a single mother was being babysat by my boyfriend while I was at a workshop highlighting the potential abuse of the situation of a single mother's boyfriend.)

I spoke with the trainer about it after the session - tried very had to hold back from personal attack or feeling personally attacked - but explained to her that they were all very stereotypical scenarios that reinforced a view of "non-nuclear" families that wasn't necessarily a true indication of all such families.

I also mentioned that many of the good women inside would already have on board a fair prejudice about such families and be keeping a hawk's eye on any charge that came in from such a fold - however, they may not notice indicators of abuse from those who came from "normal" families.

I admit that the trainer took that all rather well and I am very glad that I didn't go harridan on her!

Then I went home to my own little blended family - and found that the abuse handed out was that V had done a very smelly fart when reading on the couch! As my mother said, I need not worry too much, as 'Salina would report ANYTHING untoward.

As it was a rainy afternoon, we then watched a DVD - 'Salina's choice was "Miracle on 34th Street" - a favourite (and classic story starting with the main character Single Mother's daughter is watching the parade from the Single Male Neighbour's apartment window...)

I then abused her with some lice treatment (ongoing - I think I will just have to do it as long as she is at school!) and administered a little self abuse - so have given myself (as I did her) lots of medusa plaits...

Was I oversensitive? Is this only noticed by single mothers? I am not saying all single mother's are as pure as the driven snow - but I know many, many single mothers, and we aren't monsters either.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Soak, Spin and Sizzle

Had a very lovely day.

Here is what Paradise was like at sunrise this morning:

Parents stayed last night and will be again tonight.

Last night was a fantastic (if I may say so myself) batch of spag bol and some awesome homemade garlic bread. I have people who are not in love with me or directly related to me who are willing to testify.

As V is going to be working for Saturdays from tomorrow until indefinitely, it was very welcome news that today he would get a rest day. We haven't had a Friday together since he snuck down early on a wet weekend during our long distance courting.

So after seeing 'Salina off on the school bus and waved the parents out of the driveway, we got down to some serious couples activity.

Yes indeed, we rearranged furniture, measured items and spaces and dreamed about what we were going to spend future monies on.

I also got a call from an old Sydney colleague offering me some work for some clients of his - not knocking back any of that - and the more I can do from home the better It helps those monies dreams seem more coupley - still haven't quite got the mantle of spending V's money sitting right.

I had some vague blog inspirations this morning with hanging out the laundry. You know how, when you hang out the laundry you are free to blog in your mind about many matters? I have had many a poem, rant or blog get created as I whir and peg, whir and peg...

Here are just a few from the backyard of late:
  • Smut in Childers - oh, I had a very funny take on the word play this offered
  • OCD behaviour with being a cloth nappy mother - I even colour co-ordinated the pegs with the nappies... I must tell you (or at least a therapist) about that madness one day... I have toned it down somewhat these days to folding by drawers, but surely everyone does that!
  • Clues from the clothesline - I wondered how many clues you could get about a person from a snapshot of their clothesline. I also wondered whether it was a PI training device, whether it has been used in any books and whether I should. What do you think?

The problems with such inspirations are that they very rarely make it into the computer - and there may be a very good reason for that...

Tonight they (my parents, not my food fans) shouted us at the local Sizzlers - my father and my daughter are huge fans, and an all you can eat salad bar is right up V's alley!

We rolled out of there just in time to settle in front of the tele and footy - ahh life in Paradise - you gotta love it!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Housework, woodwork and unpaid work

Okay - first the housework - The Mighty Maroons won last night, and I do take some credit in the win.

Its all about superstition, see. I finished that little job I had going yesterday in the corner of the office - and my deal was that if I got that done then the boys would have better fortune.

I suppose having a superior team on the field helped. I mean, they had to score twice as often just to get the points on the board thanks to the blued vision of the officials - but luckily they ARE that good.

So, what do you think - 'Salina's room for the next match? Or will Trace have something more challenging to offer the Housework Gods as sacrifice? (No permalink, Trace, cause I think that was a comments discussion, wasn't it?)

Finally Thursday is here and I actually have an old poem that might fit the
this week’s (completely and totally optional) idea — who’s talking?
! Well, not exactly, but I have cackled along thinking that I would do this Poetry Thursday thing for so long now that even a sideways glance is as good as a match for me.

Bit of background:
  • once upon a time I had a campervan named "Rig";
  • once upon a time I had ex-boyfriends behaving badly;
  • once upon a time I had ex-boyfriends friends hit upon me often; and
  • once upon a time I was a performance poet - and such subject matter was not immune to being worked into material. (sort of like blogging, really)
Without further ado, here is the poem: (Okay, one more ado - there are tabs in this poem, which are my wont - but unfortunately not the wont of the html generation - so imagine imacculate layout please)


He said “Why don’t you sleep here?”
I said “No.”
He said “Why?”
I said “Because” and went on to tell of
the desire for my own bed
and dreams
unencumbered by the pressure of another
or surrounds unfamiliar.
And he asked whether this was preferable to being with him,
And I told him that it was not that
he was not a preference,
He just wasn’t a consideration.

And he said “Stay for a while, then”
And I said “No.”
And he said “Why?”
And I explained my need for sleep
and the hour of morn
and how this hour had represented my wake up call
on the day we were still calling today
but was yesterday.
And he said “Sleep here”
And I said “No.”

He said “We have to start somewhere”
I said “No.”
He said “Why?”
So I told him how a journey that was going nowhere
Could do whatever it liked as far as I was concerned.
My path was focussed
and I could not see him making a huge impression
on my journey.
And he said “You have to make decisions
for your own happiness”
I said “I am.”

So he said “Lets just make it a one-night stand”
So I said “No.”
So he said “Why?”
And I laughed and said how
it wasn’t the place
it wasn’t the timing
it wasn’t the time
and how I didn’t find it, or him, an attractive prospect.
And how, if I were feeling so inclined,
I had enough tricks up my sleeve
without resorting to the good friend
of a bad ex.

And he said “It’s because of him”
And I said “No.”
And he said “yes” and went on to explain
nuances of my previous relationship
that were - interesting
and very unflattering reflections on my judgement
at the time.
And he said “I always fancied you”
And he said “You liked me, too”
And he said “Your ex was jealous of me”
And he said “He’s got someone new,
Someone unlike you.”
And he pulled me near
And he whispered in my ear
“Lets be together tonight”
And I said “No.”

So we shared a cigarette
He gave me his number for a cup of tea and chat
And asked for a souvenir from me
(preferably underwear)
And we laughed at his little joke.
I kicked him out of the Rig
and headed off
into the sunrise.

Now its off to make beds for visitors, doing enough housework to make it look like I have, put together an application for some assistance in working for myself as noone else has a job for me, collect child and another from school (as looking after him for a friend), making amazingly good spaghetti sauce and feeding, entertaining and nurturing many - happy Thursday!!!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

In which Ms Jeanie begins FINISHES a task

Remember this?

Yesterday I promised that it would be attacked. Well, yesterday I promised a lot of things - but the biggest promise I am afraid I had to carry out was sorting out a little programming issue, and so the tweaking and testing sort of ate up all other promises and spat them to the side.

So yes, today - invoice, users guides and - SHUDDER - the corner...

Add also a little study, a little washing and a little preparing for my parents to visit tomorrow night - and we count ourselves thankful for the usage of After School Care once a week.

So - invoice being sent with promise of user guides on payment - much easier to beg for money with leverage - tick.

Washing - sorted, first load on and about to be checked - tick.

Preparation of the spare bedroom, studying? - yeah, yeah, we will get to that...

But the big news of the day is:

Pretty impressive, huh?

Ahh - what is that you say? Look behind you? Why?

I need coffee...

Okay - several coffees, teas and hours later, how well did I do?

Even got a thumbs up from the Edster!

I know I will never be entering Ms Organised, but my clutter is best piled or filed

(and yes, that is a Christmas present awaiting delivery)

but hey, always after the eclectic look!!!

Hmm - only hope our boys are as tidy and successful in showing the Southerners tonight, eh?

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Its not procrastinating - its organising my mind!

Things I should be doing:
  1. Writing a user guide
  2. Chasing barcodes
  3. Writing another user guide
  4. Writing an invoice
  5. Packaging it all and kissing it goodbye
  6. until I have to do the whole beg for money routine
  7. Tidy The Corner of the Office
Things I have done instead:
  1. Checked the blogs
  2. Copied lots of links to interesting posts
  3. Had coffee and contemplated
  4. Taken away the barricade to The Corner of the Office
  5. Decided to write a blog instead

Elizabeth advised me in my comments:
No do not take a man grocery shopping.

He will evolve into:

a...the man who will throw anything interesting into the cart with no thought to cost


b...the man who questions every item you pick up to put in the cart because of brand or cost or some strange reasoning of his own.

If a man wants to go to the grocery store than he has to start doing the meal planning and the cooking.

See, this is one benefit of getting a new partner in your late 30s and know what you do not want in a man - and finding the new partner who has budgeted, cooked and cleaned for himself for some time.

He cooks! He cleans! And we are still in the halcyon days of our relationship where we can laugh and kiss in public over stupid little things. Ah yes, I am sure we are embarrassing the heck out of innocent bystanders having no child around to focus our behaviour on!

When it is no longer fun, then he can go by himself.

In fact, he is cooking dinner tonight (Tuesday is Taco Night, due to us being at Guides and needing dinner to come home to and it being a dinner 'Salina adores) AND tomorrow night (as it is the first State of Origin for the year, we are having footy fare!)

Speaking of being in the halcyon days, my SIL got me a book for my birthday: The Bad Mother's Revenge by Sonia Neale.

Now, it is quite humourous - although there are some bits that have me perplexed. Maybe you can help me...

My relationship history is - umm - diverse and interesting - but I never got to that whole bored with the more fun side of things if you know what I mean.

Now, one of the reasons that I sometimes feel a bit out of place in the blogosphere (hell, society too) is that so many found Mr Right, settled down, did the kids - and I sort of muddled up the order (but had fun doing it - not bemoaning my life, here).

But what odds do we have to break to not have that bored with the more fun side of things happen?

Although, I must admit that Oh The Joys seems to have been in our living room because part of our bonding process is watching crap TV!

Speaking of my diverse and interesting past, for once Poetry Thursday has a completely and totally optional idea that I already have a poem for.

Every week I mean to participate. Every week I (used to) have visions of writing something profound and incisive and new. Every week I realise that I have more excuses than new material. This week is different - this week I shall trot out something I used to "do on the circuit" and to heck with new material.

The topic this week is "Imagined Dialogues" - and the beauty of the "Completely and Totally Optional Idea" - to my mind - is I can morph it into being pertinent. Ha ha - not being a joiner due to not choosing to always conform to preset rules, I have participated in exactly 0 such exercises. Going to break the duck!

Other blogs that inspired me this morning but will not morph into the flow of this one:

Anyhow - it is time - User Guides, here I come!!!!!

Oh, but before I do, here is The Corner of the Office - I hope that tomorrow you may see an after shot!

Go Maroons!!!

Monday, May 21, 2007

Somebody Loves Me

A bit of an erratic post (and I say that in foresight, as opposed to the usual "oh my goodness" at the end of a waffle!)

For a start, thank you Jay for alerting me to the Blogger malfunction on the Mysteries post. I hopefully have fixed it now! Let me know otherwise.

Thank you also to Tracey and BrissieMum2 for sending me love - sweeties! (Oh, and BTW Trace - I can't see your sidebar and links, although V can on his computer - my computer is wierd! I generally use Firefox, but can't even see it with IE)

I am not sure if Blogger and I are truly in love, though. I joined Blogger because it was easy when the impetual motion was working for me - and hey, it lets me say things to the world that otherwise would have just kept on rattling in my brain - but I don't know.

For a start, generally you cannot get a "discussion" with the comments section on other people's blogs. If you comment on a blog you have to go back to that post and check the comments every time - as do those who comment here and want to instigate feedback. Maybe if anything tickles me in my comments, I will answer it in a post and save the hassle - what is everyone else's take?

Secondly, if you know of any way to make Blogger better - or alternately a better platform - can you let me know? I would love to investigate it further.

I am sure that some people I do my work for love me - and even if they don't, how to get them to express their love in a timely and financially enhancing way?

That is my task for this afternoon - possibly shall not be:

Dear Oh-IT-guru-of-clothing-manufacturer

We have known each other for a very long time now, and I know that you know you can call on me for information and advice on interesting little things I have done for my client and your colleagues (whom your company half-shafted a short while ago). I know this because you do, and did (even after the half-shaft manouvre).

When we had our last series of discussion, I expressed to you my interest in receiving some dosh for my impressive know how and writing a report on it, and you seemed only too happy to receive my invoice. At our last discussion, you reported on its progress in the general direction of the Accounts department.

It all seems so long ago now, gu, and while my invoice may involve a sum of money too small for your consideration, given that it equates to the wholesale price of only one or two of many of the garments you make for the benefit of the beauty of the world, it means a lot to me. It means a bill paid, some groceries bought, child-care for my child - heck, it could even mean a new printer and a massage if I go to the right outlets (and don't worry about the former necessities).

These are things that I want and need in my life, gu, and for some reason the tardiness of your Accounts department mean that they are not in my life RIGHT NOW. Can you help me either (a) see sense in their dereliction of duty, or (b) live the high life by putting a fire under their tail.

Yours in breathless anticipation,

Jeanie (hoping to make Paradise an even better place)

And lastly, I know that my family and friends love me.

'Salina is showing me her love right now by yelling her homework problems and hypochondriacal fears of wrist control across the house.

V is showing me his love by not snoring during his afternoon nap. Probably wore him out - poor boy had a rain day, so after discussions on how to use the child-free time most wisely this morning I fulfilled his fantasies and took him grocery shopping.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Why why why why why?

Why is it that there was no "comments" section on the last post?

Why is it that I automatically assumed that no-one loved me when no-one commented rather than check all items were in place?

Why is it that I still assume that no-one loves me when they can't wade through my mega-long posts and still have the energy to comment?
(Actually, the answer to that one may be the indeterminate length of pre-menstrual attribute or just low self-esteem)

Why is it that you can add another child to the single child mix and they can play happily for hours without needing you, and yet that can be more tiring to the adult (even when the load was time-shared by the other mother)?

Why does every copy of Narnia stop in the middle of the battle? This is our second copy and again it has begun jumping.

Why do movies have loud music and soft conversation?

Why am I sitting here typing all of this codswallop rather than sipping a hot drink with my V before slipping in to bed for some slumber?

Saturday, May 19, 2007


There are many mysteries that keep me awake at 3.37am this morning...

Like - what was the real purpose behind the shop that had exactly enough car parks for customers and workers that I kept going to in my dream when I was awoken by a tap on the door by my daughter?

Like - why is it that the people who want complicated and fancy computer programs yesterday cannot get their urgency to translate to the person who has to provide 8 barcodes but prefers to use me as a conduit?

Like - why, when I promise to do something tomorrow life bounds up and says "not on my watch, missy!"

So - why haven't you seen the answer to this mystery yet?

I suppose I was not to know that the tomorrow in question when I posted that would be filled so well with the housework that I had put off until a rainy day or until visitors came. I knew I was getting visitors, just had not known the magnitude of the decrepitness of my house until I started to scratch the surface...

But that is a fairly crap excuse - and 3 days ago. Oh, and I did actually get a blog out of my system, just not the one that I had promised...

And the tomorrow after that tomorrow (which was yesterday's yesterday) was spent running hither, thither and yon - hoops for Centrelink to make me jump through to receive no money (no, I don't know why I have to keep bounding through the hoops for that either, but they must like seeing me do so), playing with my adorable niece and nephew while their parents went kitchen shopping, having lunch with Dad because he had an emergency dentist appointment in town and fitting in work around the edges and between all.

And the tomorrow after that tomorrow after tomorrow (yesterday) I was tuckshop lady most of the day - I didn't even get on to look at work or blogs until after 'Salina's bedtime.

But you see - again another mystery - why do I make excuses for my tardiness rather than answer the mystery of why I promise to do something tomorrow and then allow life to interfere with my promises?

It is called P-R-O-C-R-A-S-T-I-N-A-T-I-O-N - and while I know on internet world there are many vying for the crown, personally I do it waaaaaay too much and let it take over my mind and my life.

Maybe that dream was telling me something about only having enough carparks meant that I should not invite trouble by ever promising - my carpark is full? Ha - look at me even looking for excuses in sleep!!!

3.52am now - how about I just check this promise off my list.

So yes, my friend Betty* sent me my shirt!

I think I am currently the only person in Australia with this T-shirt - but it is a question for Australians as well as for the women of America my friend in Arizona is trying to catch the attention of with the shirt.

Despite my mother's pursed lips (and I know they are pursed, Mum) it is a question that any of us with boobs - male or female - should answer.

I do have boobs - and they have been very handy appendages, too. As you know, I have family occasionally tuning in so shall not tell you anything about earning potentials or the attractions that they offer - after all, this is a family show and I ain't showing the family!!

But I was one of those women who had her share of motherhood dramas when motherhood came into my life - but luckily they had more to do with the "hood" than the mothering.

I was one of the lucky ones who was able to nurture my child easily and proudly for 2 years (less one day - got sacked before I resigned) - which was lucky when you look at it, as the money issue may have made formula purchases interesting and my organisational skills were up to taking my boobs with me wherever I went - I am not sure I would have survived the remembering, sterilising and packing everything associated with bottle feeds (and more importantly, not sure 'Salina would have).

However, the attention is not to be drawn to my personal issues OR the sexual referencing that the word on the t-shirt offers.

It is about a very important issue close to my heart: Breast Cancer Research. Doesn't take much research to know that if BC had favourite hunting grounds then my family tree would have been up there on its list.

Of late fewer have fallen prey to its wicked ways, mainly due to modern medicine. And, see, you don't get much modern medicine without researching - and in the modern world of corporate greed accountability, it seems that it is more up to the people to pay for research in the hope that when a breakthrough is made it will be available to the people (and at a price within reason).

This year, The Betty Boobs (Betty and other Bettys - I don't think their names are Betty IRL but makes it easier) have put together a team and entered the 2007 Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day!.

They undertook to do this last year, and despite many sore feet and aching bodies after managed to achieve their fundraising and walking goals - and selling these t-shirts will assist them again - which will assist research and activism which will assist Breast Cancer sufferers in the (hopefully near) future.

From their own blog:

The Betty Boobs members are primarily a Arizona 3-Day Team. We have each individually committed to raising over $2,000 for Breast Cancer before the November 2007 Walk. While trying to brainstorm different ways we could effectively fundraise the topic of t-shirts came up.

Our shirts were designed to be attention getters and fundraisers. They are $20 a piece, and 100% of your purchase will go toward the 3-Day which benefits Komen for the Cure and the National Philanthropic Trust for Breast Cancer Fund.

We accept cash, money order and paypal. We have S, M, L, XL, and XXL, they are 100% cotton and are not preshrunk, so order accordingly!

If you would like to order a shirt please email us to place your order. If you have any questions please feel free to message, comment, email us or join the got boobs? myspace group if you haven't already. We are thrilled to help you and we are devoted in this cause.

And the got boobs? myspace URL is

Go Boobs!!! You can find details for contacting them on The Betty Boobs myspace page - Their email is the betty boobs at yahoo dot com (you know the protocol - no spaces and insert at and dot as applicable)

* I will call her Betty here because, although I know her name, this is the INTERNET children, and sometimes on the internet it is better to use a nom-de-plume because that way you have some anonymity. I actually met Betty over the internet and it took us knowing each other about 3 years online before I got even close to knowing her name, so there is no way I am going to just give it up. Okay?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Chrissy Hols

When I was a kid we used to have a 3 term year at school. That meant weeks and weeks and weeks of school before you got a break. I tell you, those weeks and weeks and weeks felt like years when it was getting hot (Central Queensland Summer runs hot from early October until early April some years) and the fans were hypnotising (and the boy next to you had blood noses and bladder problems)...

There was always a build up of anticipation for ages before break up day. There was always the swimming carnival to make you feel like you weren't really at school, then there was a few days of scrubbing the classroom and putting together your show pieces for your family - and then break up day.

The whole community would come in to help us "break up" at the end of the year. Big Sandy would bring in a few damper ovens and the men would dig pits and build fires - meanwhile the ladies would be in their town clothes firing up the urns and laying out the plates of slices and sandwiches. One or two dads would have found a good deal or good crop of watermelons, so they would be put in the troughs and covered with damp tea towels and we kids would be as scarce as possible - generally right at the other end of the oval playing Tackle British Bulldog or Tackle Red Rover or Tackle Soccer or Tackle Catch'n'kiss.

After lots of food was ingested, we would have sack races and egg and spoon races and 3 legged races - then we would eat more food and have parents vs kids Cricket matches - then we would eat more food and have plum dunks and apple dunks and then show our families our work, grab all our books and ports and leave for the eternity of Christmas holidays spread out before us.

Every morning we would be up early during the school holidays - without daylight savings to help us out we would be up by 5, swimming in the pool (doing laps - Dad still is a big believer in laps), feeding the horses, having our bacon and eggs (cooked by Dad - Mum had trained Dad to deliver a cup of tea and not bother her for a bit), cutting our tucker, catching and saddling the horses - and then waving bye to Mum by 7.

Every day we would muster cows and calves and drove them down to the dipyards. We'd have smoko then some would muster a second paddock while the first paddock was sorted through the yards - dry cows one way, calves in the pen, bulls out and the cows through the crush and dip (so they would be able to swim when the flood came). We learned to count by counting the cows out of the draining pen, because that is a good job for a kid.

Then the second paddock would come in and we would do the sorting all over again - and then the yards would be full.

After another smoko the fire would be started, the brands warmed up and Mum would join us with her notebooks. Each calf would be checked on Mum's mental checklist and confirmed by Dad as Stud (keepers, no castration, tagged and numbered) or Commercial (steered, earmarked and branded). Dad bred Brangus - polled cattle as he hated dehorning from his own childhood of Hereford horns (and cancer eyes, apparently).

Generally during branding, if you were too little you could play, a bit bigger and you got to put the numbers on the pliers - and a bit bigger than that you "brought the calves up" - a technical challenge regarding hind legs, butting heads (still quite hard enough without horns) and steering molten lava to your way of thinking.

After smoko we would then "mother up" - this entailed letting the calves back to their mothers and working out who belonged to who without who catching sight of you and considering you as a threat to her baby and having a serious chat to you about it. Again, still quite scary enough without horns.

Taking them all back to their paddocks was always a fairly quick trip - and if there was time Dad would organise another paddock to be mustered before sundown.

Every day was in the saddle. Every day we would get sunburned, windswept and dust drenched. Nearly every day a cow would threaten you to climbing the rails or you would have to stare down her bluff. Sometimes she wasn't bluffing.

Nearly every day there would be moments of high tension as a slide gate didn't get shut quickly enough, as a calf went through the wrong side of a fence, as a horse didn't have the hump properly out of its back and would pigroot, as the dogs got into the tucker box or the oyster bag and had a feast.

But then, every day would start with swimming. Every day we would get watermelon with smoko. Every day we would be in fresh air, on horses, singing, laughing and carrying on. And every day we would go home, feed up, have another swim, a hot bath (if you were quick enough) and a good dinner. And every day we would fall into bed and sleep immediately - until next morning.

As Dad used to say when we whinged about working in such a manner for most of our Chirstmas holidays "people pay to do this" - and it is only now that I can really understand that they were the best holidays.


(Written for Scribbet's May Write-Away Contest) - Not sure if I made deadline but it was fun to write...

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

It was one of those days

As can be gained by the previous post, I awoke very early to whirrings of political intrige...

At 4am trucks carrying a house rumbled past - there goes the neighbourhood!

I was then greeted with the news that 3 - possibly 5 - of my family members will be visiting - tomorrow night! Love having guests but certainly fast tracks the rearrangement of the spare room.

V awoke with an aching and a groaning - my head pounded from the early morning (and contemplation of politics) - so he remained my partner in crime all day. Neither of us were especially entertaining to each other - oh yes, dreams of hours of child-free time yet when it is heaped upon us we wasted them in trifles of household chores and collective moans.

'Salina also awoke early - which did not translate into being bouncy and eager to get ready for school - whether my weariness or her propensity to push my buttons, but it was a lot rougher morning than most getting her off to school.

Got a call from the client of my client wanting to know how soon everything will be ready by, but that is a question I cannot answer as I am waiting on an answer to a question myself. May have been abrupt on a subsequent phone call - I am very much a people person if everything is flowing smoothly and in the direction I require, but I am afraid that virtue wears thin when viscocity is compromised...

Good news is I received a parcel from America:

Will be doing The Betty Boobs tomorrow (quoth the raven)

Lay down on the lounge room floor after lunch for 5 minutes - and awoke 1 1/2 hours later. May have been refreshed but suddenly remembered Japanese theme tonight.

Went to print out the information to find that the USB device intermittently signalling SOS that I have been ignoring was the final throes of the printer, and it is now a plastic oblong objet d'art as the verb "print" no longer defines its usefulness.

So instead went to get the fixings for the special sushi. As you can see from the following recipe, it called for flat leaf parsley, smoked salmon and white sesame seeds.

Well, our local IGA did not have parsley of any persuasion - but I got a good deal on avocado and thought that could do for the green! Then I could not find any smoked salmon so had to settle for ham. Hmm - didn't even bother with the white sesame seeds!

So all in all the girls at guides ended up making a fairly Aussie variation of a traditional Japanese dish and enjoyed the experience - and I came home to a much healthier V who had tacoed us up for dinner and the ending is much better than the beginning.

The recipe:

Hamaguri-zushi (clam sushi) or yellow flower sushi
The rice:
• 4 cups sushi rice
• About 60g/2 oz smoked salmon, chopped up into pieces
• 2 tsp. lemon juice
• 1 Tbs. toasted white sesame seeds
• 2 Tbs. chopped mitsuba or flatleaf parsley leaves
The usuyaki tamago:
• 6 large eggs
• 1 1/2 Tbs. sugar
• 1/4 tsp. salt
• 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch or potato starch, dissolved in 2 Tbs. water
• Oil for cooking

Make the usuyaki tamago. Dissolve the cornstarch in the water. Beat the eggs lightly with a fork or chopsticks (not a whisk or it will become too bubbly) with the sugar, salt and the cornstarch/water.

Heat the small frying pan over a medium-low heat. Brush lightly with oil. Put about 1/8th cup or 3 tablespoons of the egg mixture in the pan, swirl carefully so it coats the bottom of the pan but doesn’t slosh up the sides. Hint: use the same scoop or spoon to measure equal amounts of the egg - I use a 1/4 cup measure, half filled.
Cook just until the top is barely set, then carefully pick up the omelette with the spatula and flip over. Cook for about 10 seconds just until it’s set, then flip out of the pan. The omelettes should be yellow, and not browned. Repeat for the rest of the egg. You should end up with about 12 to 14 omelettes.

Sprinkle the chopped up smoked salmon with the lemon juice, and let sit for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Fold the sesame seeds, salmon, and mitsuba or parsley into the rice, trying not to smoosh the rice grains too much.

Divide the rice into as many portions as you have omelettes. Put the portioned rice on one quarter of one of the omelettes. Fold the omelette in half, then into quarters. Turn over so the rice part is on top (the weight of the rice helps to keep it stable). Squeeze the sides a bit so the insides can be seen.

Note that you do not need dipping soy sauce for this, since the sushi itself is already flavored quite well.


You Wouldn't Read About It

That was a favoured saying of my father during my childhood, to express incredulity at the weird and bizarre world that surrounds us on occasion. It is one that comes to mind on a point that has been buzzing around my head for the last few weeks, a point that interrupted my beautiful dream this morning and forced me to face my computer at 3.34am this morning.

One change that has come into my life since V moved down here is that we now receive the local daily newspaper (LDN). This is in an attempt to gain knowledge and understanding of the events and repercussions of the world we live in. Please allow me to pause and laugh at that concept when coupled with the LDN.

We are offered occasional snippets of important information, it is true - but the main fodder concerning the LDN is the accidents, brawls, domestic intrigues, crime and stupidity brought about (generally) by excessive consumption of alcohol and/or drugs. Oh, and how government stinks - its a balanced tabloid.

The letters to the editor are all on how lenient the sentences handed down are (and they are), what a bunch of whingers the oldies/youngies/lefties/pollies are (ditto) and how slack the local council is in fixing basic services for anyone outside of spitting distance of the chambers front doors (right on the money).

It reminds me a bit of school, where the same crew were continually in trouble for being trouble makers - and then the whinging about the teachers and parents not doing enough. And I remain as bemused as the school kid I once was, where I notice that the most care and attention goes towards the troublemakers and placatory efforts.

Of late, other factors also remind me of school. I went to boarding school, and I will be darned if some politicians (at all levels) remind me of the mistresses who wielded power in that institution. (See disclaimer below)

The most concerning thing on the radar in regional Queensland at the moment is a little issue called "Forced Shire Amalgamations". It probably doesn't receive much coverage at any level but that of regional Queensland because, quite frankly, who could be bothered by the conflicting bleats of the various little interests of regional Queensland unless you lived amongst it? But I think it is an issue that the rest of Queensland at least should take note of - if not all Australians and world members who want to see how government can treat their people like schoolchildren and get away with it.

A bit of background. Local shires in regional areas gather rates from those who live in close in the local towns and from those who live farther away who use the local town as a commercial centre and then theoretically redistribute those rates as services to the members of the shire. Through this, locals receive employment within the council, facilities in the shire are maintained and industry is supported both directly in promotion and indirectly through services such as good roads, decent town water and sewerage and lobbying for local interests on occasion.

In practice, it is true, there are varying degrees of success in this operation. Some shires are very good at stretching the dollar, applying for supplementary funding to create industry, employment and goodwill throughout their region - and then there are those that spend all the dosh in favoured places, laugh at their constituents and bust the bank.

And hey, obviously the local shire (or the doughnut shire as it is affectionately known, after the shape it is in due to previous shire amalgamations) has a few issues regarding the distribution of its services, given the luxurious parking bays at the Esplanade opposite the new resorts and the lack of proper drainage at a town only 15km down the road. (Oh and the generous remuneration they voted for themselves just before the proverbial hit the fan in April.)

However, what local government does give regional Queenslanders mainly is the feeling that they can approach their local councillor and voice their needs and concerns and hope s/he takes it on board - and boot him out or write to the LDN if s/he fails to heed their needs.

Well, that is all about to change. Here is the change process as related to the Queensland State Government (or Matron in boarding school parlance - Beattie is slightly prettier):
  • at some point in the past (not sure when - I am not a investigative journalist), Matron (sorry - the Queensland State Government) told the girls (sorry - Shire Councils) to sit down and discuss merging their shires covering thousands of square kilometres with neighbouring shires covering thousands of square kilometres. They sat down, discussed and decided that they didn't really like it but would keep playing the game to keep Matron happy.
  • Matron and her minions kept giving hoops to jump through regarding this reform. I am not privy to the exact hoops, but submissions made had to go through departments, be amended and rejected for resubmission - and sometimes deadlines were set too tightly to be undertaken.
  • on the 17th of April:
    The State Government announcement on Tuesday, 17 April stopped that process. A new Reform Commission has been established to review local government in Queensland in time for the 2008 local government elections. The commission will provide an announcement to the Minister in August this year advising the names, classes and new boundaries for local government areas.
    Yes, thats right girls - you are no longer to sit here and discuss, we will make the decisions for you.
I am sure that better ways can be had for local governments and councillors to act - but I am equally sure that there is a much better way for the State Government to act than to be seen as ripping any shred of democratic process out of the hands of the people of the bush and imposing their will.

And just like at school, it would have been much better to have not offered the bat and ball in the first place - the transparency may have shown them to be the bullies just like the school misstresses of yore, but hey, honest bullies.

If you are interested, here are a few sites and articles:

Disclaimer: Those of you who know me know how political I am not, in the main. I am interested in the ramifications, obviously, when they affect me or people I know - but I have lived too diverse a life to sign my endorsement to any affiliation - especially one that is busy playing politics.

I grew up in the country, and obviously the politics spruiked by those who spoke FOR the bush and FROM the bush. I lived many years in cities and understood and applauded those who spoke for social reform, environmental sustainability and rights at all levels. I have been a single mother and worked in the advertising industry. Unfortunately I can see most sides of an argument and therefore don't want to argue any more!

I originally come from both the Monto and Eidsvold Shires (it happens) and have relatives involved in the Future of Monto blog.

I intend to resume whinging about my own life soon.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

To all the mums in the world

Hi, my name is 'Salina and I am 7 1/2 years old and I have my new tooth coming through and I lost it last year at the library.

This morning I made my mum breakfast in bed and it had 2 pieces of toast with vegemite and I also made some porridge for her.

I went for a ride with my mum and we had a race home. I saw V surfing and waved to him - my mum can't see that far because she has trouble with seeing. At least, I think it was V because he waved back.

Then we went down the hill and we came home.

Now we are typing a blog.

Can I make something up? When I came home I saw a dragon shooting bits of fire everywhere and now we are surrounded by fire. Help!! Help!!

Ha ha ha ha ha - I am only kidding so don't believe me.

Happy Mothers Day to all the mothers in the world.

(Jeanie's Notes to Self:
  1. Teach 'Salina to butter before vegemiting toast and to sugar porridge before serving. Otherwise full marks on the breakfast in bed component of the day.
  2. Give 'Salina lots and lots of hugs in gratitude for being a wonderful daughter and making mothers day so special.)

Friday, May 11, 2007

And now for a tune from Dexy's Midnight Runners

Did you know that you can download your favourite Dexy's Midnight Runners Ringtones?

Probably in less time than it takes for one lady whose name is immortalised by DMR to get a file to me that I require to do my work, too.

I did a draft about my work, but it was nasty so remains one of those unpublished whinges...

I am ahead of schedule at the moment - and standing still, because I need a file...
  • I asked for it nicely in an email on Tuesday for Thursday please
  • I asked for it nicely over the phone on Thursday for first thing on Friday please
  • I asked when I should expect it first thing on Friday in an email - I am pretty sure I was still quite nice (because I am very rarely anything but)...
So I ask the internet world - when should I get off the nice and into the not so?

Oh well, I will go and investigate the housework options while I wait and wait.

Come on...

Edited to add: See - all it took was a whinge to blogworld - received 11.25am - woo hoo - the housework gets a reprieve!

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Skates are on

Quick fly-by post.

I have (or should I say, 'Salina has) a case of Girl Guide biscuits to offload - if we actually sell any, it will save us from eating them all - can I put you down for a box or two? ($2.50 but you gotta come and collect because I can assure you, GG gets our voluntary contributions already)...

As well as that, I was the dufus who suggested the theme day be Japan for one of the Guides meetings (honestly, I was throwing words out there for the little sweeties to get the idea of throwing ideas around, I swear) so I am the dufus who has to work out what craft/cooking/learning bits the group can do next Tuesday.

The Mugs for Mums project looks to be complete, so this is good. As I am not Tuck Shop Lady tomorrow, it means in theory I do not have to be at the school either today or tomorrow. Already broken that with taking someone to school who missed the bus this morning.

I have some freelance work on at the moment. I put the quote in 1 month ago, got the go ahead 2 days ago and they want it as soon as possible. Mathematically, even if I were not being a mother, cementing my relationship with V or sleeping I could not get the workload through by when they desparately need it - it seems that a phrase like "10 working days required" is merely an invisible addendum... Must not complain - it is work (I need work), it is money (theoretically - that is what I asked for when I quoted and that is what I anticipate when I finish the job) (I need money) and it keeps me off the streets.

I have not forgotten that I will one day also do a blog for my Arizonian (Arizonette? Arizon?) online friend and her amazing fundraising efforts for Breast Cancer Research.

(I also have not forgotten that I still have a Flat Stanley project to finish for another American online friend - sorry!)

Scribbett is doing another Write-Away competition due next week on Vacations - I intend to do one if I get a chance before cut off.

But hey - taking frozen spag sauce out for dinner tonight, the floors only need a good bake and could probably be delivered in a box, we got some rain today - which will rinse the clothes on the line and vindicate me not hanging the rest - and now I am back to earning money...

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Mish Mash

Now, as you may know I aspire to do a well organised blog with a lot of quality information given out with wit, integrity and well constructed visual aids.

Unfortunately, my aspirations often expire between gathering in the mists of my mind and sitting here and typing - and there have been so many gatherings and so little sittings of late.

I will do a breast cancer post - maybe later this week.

I also have many theories of massive quantities of alcohol consumed and the wild west tincture of the local "big smoke" - may have to save it also.

I have been super volunteer woman these last two weeks - only 2 more kids to patiently walk through the mugs for mums thing. Also tuckshopped and guiding stuff - but all that will be on hold as I finally have the green light to do a quick project over the next couple of weeks that may actually pay!

The trip over to the familial stomping ground went off quite well - well, despite the late arrival due to a slipping horse float on a gravel incline ahead of us at one point which meant we got to look at the blood red full moon and discuss football with the cowboy who was stuck for a while.

I will have more time and info to post soon, I am sure - not even getting to read the blogs I love these last few days...

Saturday, May 05, 2007


I know I said I would be back tomorrow to tell you all about The Betty Boobs but that was three days ago. I still mean to - I have not had a moment to scratch myself and I want to do more justice than just scratching to the important issue of Breast Cancer.

Speaking of scratching, just got bitten by unidentified insect, which means my quick getaway has been hindered for 10 minutes so have come here to make my apologies.

I am off to my family's inland tonight, to the Eidsvold show tomorrow, but will be back in Paradise on Monday. See you all then!

Leaving you with the scenery I shall be driving through in about an hour. The view from Mt Perry Lookout:

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Fitting In To a Me Shaped Hole

In my Wednesday reads, I came across a theme - and my goodness, I just may use it for something more worthwhile than whinging about my own life - not that there is much to whinge about at the moment - 'Salina is being a peach, V is proving that good, intelligent, sexy men exist (well one does - but that is the one that matters!), the earthmoving equipment has moved up the road and it is a glorious day in Paradise.

While reading 8 Centimeters Deluded: Washed Up Jellyfish or Breast Implants? I had to laugh out loud at the line:
Gag me with a 3D, acid-free photo corner.

She was referring to scrapbooking (and she could not have echoed my sentiments more) during an adventure packed blog regarding social niceties and the cringe reflex - but go check out this amazingly witty woman!

Not much further along in my blog meanderings, Jennster bemoaned
that's when i just look around wondering if anyone else in the room feels like an outcast like i do. and i always decide that no.. i don't think they do.

Honey - I sure do! I remember when I was at my most vulnerable in life (besides the every day vulnerability that washes over me in some social settings). I lived in a beachside suburb where I knew NO-ONE. A single mother refugee from an increasingly dysfunctional relationship break-up set down in the middle of nuclear-ville. I am sure that all the females in the little nests for miles around shuddered at my coming and I sure as heck have no idea what the males were thinking as I was at the point where I was truly invisible to the actions and reactions of that species.

I lived there 18 months - not one day during that time did it get any better. Oh, a few old dears would appreciate the cuteness of my toddler and I did corner a neighbour into a discussion about dogs once - but that was it. If they had been ungenteel folk I am sure that I would have found graffiti plastered across my walls "Begone - Heathens Not Welcome" - but they were very polite in their stiffening of lips and sniffing disdainfully as I perambulated their streets.

I would like to say that once I moved, all that changed - but change was very gradual and there were days during our journey where I could have shrivelled up into a ball of see-through cellophane - and there were people I met on my journey who I think wished for this response.

I often wonder why it is that people seek to feel better about themselves at the expense of others? Maybe it is because I am a woman that I feel this most keenly in the camp of women but I do not wish to be sexist and say it is a purely woman thing.

I have noticed it most since being a mother - no, since being pregnant with a child.

It began innocuously enough...
  • Do you know the sex?
  • Do you want to know the sex?
  • How much testing will you do on finding out if you have a perfect child before birth?
  • How much intervention will you seek/accept in having the child?
  • Cloth/Disposable? Breast/Bottle? Dummy/Thumb? Working/Stay at Home?
  • Choosing to be a single parent over a dysfunctional family?
  • Playgroup? Swimming Lessons? Music Lessons? French Lessons?
  • Kindergarten, day care; home-based care or grandparents?
  • Drinking? Smoking? Vegetarian? Allergy free?
And that is all before you get to school age - at which point there is pre-school, committees, parties, sleepovers, bullying and teachers to tiptoe through - and if you feel that you don't fit in to the accepted norm as a mother, the ostracism you can feel can certainly flatten.

It did get better at the old school before I left - and that is because I found a group of awesome mothers - both single and married - among whom I really felt I could be myself - and that was a truly liberating experience.

I would love to say that it remained all wonderful when I moved to Paradise - but it didn't. In fact I felt so shut out by other parents it was truly painful. I made an effort to be friendly at school pick up (which I attended as my daughter felt so shut out by other children) and I have never before met such a solid wall of resistence. The only person that would speak to me was another new mother.

Gradually it has changed - mainly through relentless volunteering and therefore the children will say hello to me. I also met another mother who I clicked with - and who could recount her very similar reception six months previous - so I knew it wasn't me. And I have also found some fringe-dwellers amongst the phalanx of disdainful matrons who I can relate to.

I would love to have the guts to turn to these women (and a few men, I might add) and tell them that I am NEVER going to conform to whatever their narrow standards may be and to just get over themselves - but I dare not run that gauntlet of artfully cocked eyebrows. So instead I will cultivate my slowly growing posse of pleasanter parents and know that there are people like me - we just don't run the P&C!

Having said all that, I wonder do I do that to others? Are there people who think that I do that? Do I dismiss others because of some inner snob? I would like to think not - but then I have to think that these people do not deliberately make others feel small - do they?

But hey - I have found an online club that is made up of women just like me - or rather, possibly rather unlike me but enough like me in the "I am not going to play the mother game competitively but for the joy of it" that I feel more at home. They are Omega Women - go check them out!

And finally - a preview for the blog I aim to do tomorrow: I have to thank the internet for saving me during those dark days alluded to above - I found a group of like women online, and for the last 4 years I have known and loved these women for the beauty they have in their lives. One of these ladies is part of a group called "The Betty Boobs" and this year they are doing the 2007 Arizona Breast Cancer 3-Day! which is a 60 mile walk to raise funds and awareness for two Breast Cancer charities. As a teaser for tomorrow's post here are the shirts they have created - and you can own one too!!!

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

In which we eat, wash and are thankful

I have had a sort of uninspired, inspiring day. I kept opening this page with a wonderful idea and then it was whisked away.

I think it was more drilled, bulldozed and chiselled away by the heavy earthmoving machinery working directly in front of the Paradise abode.

I once complained of leaf-blowers - HA - leafblowers are an inane irritation devised by devils to upset the peace of a neighbourhood and send calm members insane - but I think that the constant pounding, beeping and thumping of the machinery, combined with the presense of 5-7 strangers at any given daylight moment directly in front of my house is not exactly giving me peace of mind.

I am not nuts - yet - some sanity has been held onto by sheer determination as I have to present as the patient parent 'Salina's teacher has entrusted to guide her flock through the fine art of mug painting this week - a sort of "mugs for Mums" project, one might say.

Those of you who know me well in real life will surely nod in agreement when I say I have pulled off a class act to have presented as patient to the poor teacher. I am one of those who can apear calm most of the time, but set the hair-trigger and watch the fireworks - and there are loved ones who know exactly where the trigger is - either to avoid or detonate.

But I have indeed pulled it off - thus far. Half the class have done their mugs without too many inner rants about the amount of paint they are using, time they are taking or patience they are wearing.

But then, compared to my mates out front, they are indeed peaceful interludes!

The washing machine guy came yesterday - had to park at the end of the street as we were blocked from civilisation by "No Entry" signs - and exchanged the switch dubbed last week as faulty - to find that it was NOT the switch that was faulty, but the whole board. Thank goodness I found the bank statement proving my purchase and making this exercise a warranty issue, because replacing the whole board means that finding that sucker was worth a WHOLE LOT MORE!!!

Today he came back and gave me a replacement washer while he takes the Electrolux for fixing - unfortunately it was AFTER I had put 4 loads through the 28 year old Simpson...

Last (but mentioned first): when fresh out of inspiration yesterday, I googled the ingredients "orange juice chicken thighs" and got a heap of recipes - from which, I made up the following.

Amazing Glaze
  • 1 cup orange juice
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • 1/2 bunch coriander
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 3 teaspoons cumin powder

  1. Chop coriander and blend all ingredients in a food processor.
  2. Warm up and oil barbecue or grill. Put on chicken thigh fillets and brush generously with glaze on turning. I turned about 6 times and cooked for about 20 minutes.
  3. Serve with brown rice, grilled sweet potato, steamed broccholi, beans and corn. Use leftover glaze as sauce.

It was so delicious, my picky eater even begged for it to be served again.

Original recipe called for some garlic-chilli sauce instead of the garlic I used. Also recommended for pork.

Oh - edited to add - the thanks is to all you folk who added their wisdom on the last post. Plenty of time to stress, it seems, just build the correspondence bridges early.