Sunday, July 29, 2007

How Jeanie Folds a Fitted Sheet

Oh no! Another fitted sheet to fold!

Take one corner...

Fold it into the adjacent corner...

Do the same with the other two corners...

Then fold all corners into one...

Fold in half (if double or large single)...

Then fold it all up as if it were a flat!

(Inspired by this post by Mad Goat Lady).

Friday, July 27, 2007

A Friday post on fanatics, friends and family

Wow - its funny, last post I mentioned a trigger word that starts with the letter T - and up jumped a rather - ummm - interesting commenter.

I mean, just because you are paranoid doesn't mean they aren't after you - but he was complaining about authorities not listening to what he had to say on the subject of his proof of people who start with the letter T.

Now, I have a theory that the authorities talking to him may be dwelling within his own mind - only because of close association with someone who had voices in his mind saying similar stuff and his writing style, while not the same subject, had certain similarities.

But what had to make me scratch my head was the fact that a diatribe was posted in my comments about the inability TO LISTEN shown by the possible conspirators in positions of power in the anti-T sectors - and it was pretty OBVIOUS that the commenter had not read my post.

But it certainly teaches me that the old chestnut of just because you feel young and carefree and jaunty in something se*y does not mean you should wear it in public because there are those out there that get the wrong idea (or the occasions where you think a t-shirt is funny but ends up being offensive to some).

Well, some of those out there also use Google search for terms such as "Australia" & that word I used with the letter T - and got me...

Yes sirree, its not just those innocent surfers who want to know sites that contain phrases such as "general middle earth epanchin" or "jeanie bacon job's daughters" or "brisbane misstresses" or indeed "plastic ball cleanning machine jeanie" who come here for enlightenment.

But I think there are some who need more assistance than I can provide...

I am exhausted here - I have just waved off a friend at the airport and sent another and her 2yo on a drive to their home - and the peace is wonderful.

I had a great time though - I took my Sydney friend, who has been here for 4 days, to exactly 2 tourist spots. The rest of the time we talked, ate, laughed, drank - oh, and she did get to Priceline.

Local friends came over to share a feast with us on Wednesday night and an old friend drove up with her daughter to spend the night last night.

Sydney friend and Sunshine Coast friend are both Sydney friends from 1990.

The first my first ever Sydney flatmate, dancing buddy at World Music events and my main backgammon foe - in the days we played backgammon fiercely.

The second a contact from my Brisbane flatmate - we hit it off, op shopped in style, both had our own artistic outlets we could relate to, read and philosophised many a day.

They developed their own friendship with each other after I left Sydney. We have been observers and participators in each others lives for 17 years...

It is so funny - we stayed up "clakka clakka clakka"-ing (thanks V) until the wee hours (for us old fogeys now) of midnight, covering memories of lives that in a lot of ways do not resemble the lives we live now - but to each other, we will always be twenty-something.

It was great to have such a fun time with them - and for my darlings 'Salina and V (and Eddie) to be such great cohosts. He got the tick of approval (not necessary, but important), and 'Salina was fantastic with her 2 year old shadow. Eddie was quite patient also!

So tonight it is back to our Friday night F&C and football family routine - ah, bliss...

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

How much is a pint worth?

I feel so virtuous today - because I did my quarterly pilgrimage to the Red Cross and gave them 500ml of the finest O -negative I could produce.

I feel especially good about it, as they didn't have to repin me - several times - as has happened the last couple of times. You know how you are told to drink lots of water? Well, it helps with more than wee, apparently - but TMI. This time I had it pumped out in 11 minutes, which is great.

I have been a semi-regular blood donor for the last 20 years - but of course, I don't think I am getting a badge any time soon - due to the very slack nature of my administration and the fact that I have lived at nearly 20 addresses during that time and could never remember which card they were working I have been very rarely stamped as a regular - but I do have a handy collection of "Donor Cards"...

I had to laugh - the first thing you are asked at your "interview" is to state your full name and date of birth. I wonder, who would defraud the Blood Bank by giving a false name? I would think that terrorists have many much better options in their question for destabilising civilisation than to individually donate under false names - but it is a sign of the times, I suppose.

I also weighed myself, and their scales were 3kg kinder than my sister's! (Well, there is a good reason for a terrorist, I suppose - an overweight one may need some esteem issues addressed!)

When I went to give the blood itself, again with the full name and date of birth - in case you switch with your terrorist buddy, I suppose - although I would think if you were nasty enough to consider terrorism as a career path, a little thing like learning someone's name and date of birth would be a piece of cake.

Speaking of pieces of cake, if you were stopped at the jump because in Australia, they don't PAY you for your blood (but are required to find that spirit of generosity within yourself), if you give blood at my local, some nice person has been busy baking and there are PLATTERS of food freely available for donors to rebuild their strength afterwards. They will also make you a nice cup of tea or coffee to go with your plunder!

On other Paradise news:

I have a friend visiting from Sydney who is blaming me for the fact that I advised on bringing clothes for Winter. This advice was given last weekend, when it was, in fact, Winter - but we are back to sunshine and light breezes, so I am reflected badly in my judgement. Oh well - she got a pair of leather sandals from the hippy shop for $5 so is not so upset now. We have been having a lot of catch up on the balcony quality time.

'Salina can now play 4 tunes on the recorder. She can even play two recorders at once. She chooses to play recorders at all times she is allowed. Sometimes even when she is not. I am proud of her ability, and I am also blessing the silence when they are not playing any of those 4 tunes.

V is enjoying a bit of a long weekend due to working for a subbie whose next contract starts tomorrow - and there is apparently a swell at the moment, which is great as the man needs his salt water immersion from time to time. The rest of the V update is mushy and this is a family blog.

Monday, July 23, 2007

How I Choose To Harry (and other idiosynchrosies)

This weekend, I chose to take the last instalment of Harry exactly the same way I have approached every Potter milestone - by pottering (ha ha ha) around the house and completely ignoring the event.

Don't get me wrong - I have actually read some HP in the past, and at some point in the future will read the books with 'Salina.

She has only just engaged with the whole HP craze due to some coercion from her teacher, but she is really more into it because she is enraptured with J K Rowling and the fact that if one person can become a writer, maybe she, 'Salina, could do the same thing one day!

We have watched some of the movies - on DVD at home.

But I shall no doubt stumble across this latest instalment in a 2nd hand bookstore or library at some point in the future and remember that I haven't read it yet and possibly do so then.

So really, spoilers and such have no effect - because I probably won't remember by then any way!!

Other weekend activities I did not do was clean the house from top to bottom and rearrange furniture as my mind had decided for me before awakening yesterday morning. Mind had thoughtfully put a lovely list up for me, but then I opened my eyes and WHAM - got hit with a freight-train sized migraine. Nothing that 22 hours lying in bed, groaning and throwing up didn't cure though.

I also did not clean up dead pigeon in the laundry - despite Eddie's attempts to make it a possibility on Saturday. I did put up with Eddie indignantly staring at the closed door all day and the staggering of a certain pigeon in the back yard for most of Saturday, but was unable to catch it - or to work out what to do with it if I did. Pigeon solved the problem for us by yesterday morning by not being there any more.

I think the pigeon must have been a bit below par in the first place for the Edstar to get an initial grab in, as he has a loud bell and an alarm patrol of birds that screech at him whenever he does go downstairs. He is a real fraidy cat, and quite often prefers us to be in the yard with him as they do scare him (thank goodness).

So, off to build a brochure, clean a house, stretch a dollar in the various grocery shops and collect a friend from the airport.

Overcast here in Paradise today, but much balmier than the record breaking lows we had all last week.

Friday, July 20, 2007

Mother Brag

'Salina is so creative - hey, she may not be the tidiest kid, have the neatest writing, be the fastest runner - but her creativity certainly has a different spectrum.

Case in point: Modelled here as a pair by V, this design was created to perpetuate a story she had regaled us with all evening of her foot injury, surgery, hospitalisation and recovery.

When V admired the padding (his line of work sees him standing on concrete most days all day "on his bare bones") she fashioned a pair for him.

Here they are again modelled by V, this time in a "Happy Feet" pose.

Tonight while singing songs, instead of the usual mother to daughter routine, she kept us in raptures with her Dylan version of "Hey Diddle Diddle"; her "Twinkle Twinkle" Iggy Pop style; and finally "Sing a Song of Sixpence" - again very Dylan-esque but unique enough for her to be able to enjoy bedtime for just that 15 minutes more...

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Two Lasagne Recipes (to entice you to join more of me!!)

Crazy Hip Blog Mamas are having there weekly recipe rally - and the request today is Lasagne.

Well, I bet after yesterday you are all wondering how I got to be so robust - and despite the fact that I have only had the new oven for 3 weeks, I am going to lay the blame solely on my amazing lasagne recipes - because they are awesome.

There are 2 that I will share with you - so you will know my secrets and be blessed with an intense desire for seconds thirds also!!! Muahahahahaha!!!

My first lasagne is your traditional, with the twist for 'Salina - because I just love my baby to have as many vegetables as possible.

We start with my extra special Bolognaise (Beefed up vegetables) Sauce:

Fry 2 finely chopped onions and few cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil until clear.

Add 1 kilogram low-fat mince and brown.

  • 2-3 cups grated vegetables - my standard is pumpkin, but I also have been known to use zucchini, corn (not grated), beans (again, don't grate these - that would be gross) etc.
  • 1 425g can Heinz Big Red Condensed Tomato Soup (my mother's secret is out!!)
  • 1 can water
  • 2-3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1-2 bay leaves
  • thyme, oregano, basil, salt, pepper
and let that all simmer for a good while.

If you want to eat it just with pasta, thicken it by adding 1/2 cup red lentils about 25 minutes before the end. Or to make it into lasagne, the next step is

Traditional cheese sauce:

Melt 2-3 tablespoons of butter in a saucepan. Add 3-4 tablespoons of plain flour and cook without browning for a few minutes.

G-r-a-d-u-a-l-l-y add about 1 litre of milk while stirring. Do not boil, but keep stirring until the consistency of thick cream.

Take from heat and stir in 1/2 cup grated cheese.

Layer lasagne sheets (don't need to precook over here), meat sauce, cheese sauce until you reach the top.

Put some grated cheese over the top - if you were my mother you would also contemplate sliced tomatoes but I don't.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Eat with a huge salad and groan with delight.

My second offering is from an old friend, Danielle, and was in much demand when I was a vego - "Mushroom and Herb Lasagne":

Fry 2 finely chopped onions and few cloves of chopped garlic in olive oil until clear.

Add several cups of sliced mushrooms and cook until tender.

Add 1 cup chopped parsley and 1 bunch chopped fresh thyme.

Remove from heat and beat in 4 eggs and 1 cup ricotta cheese.

Layer lasagne sheets, mushroom mix, grated mozzarella ending with cheese. Pour over 1 cup tomato puree.

Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.

Eat with a huge salad and groan with delight.

As you know, I first "met" V online - in his profile he offered his own Mama's special lasagne, but I am still waiting - I will give you the 3rd if it is up to his advertising (the rest of him has been, but there is lasagne and there is lasagne!)

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Jeanie - now available in a much larger edition!

The biggest thing about my weekend was - me.

No, no, let me go back a bit.

We went to visit my sister and her family at my childhood home. They very graciously allowed V and I "Honeymoon Cottage" aka The Quarters - a lovely romantic little cottage that used to house workers on the property. It has a wood stove that, when tended properly, keeps the one room very toasty and delightful. It is also about 100m from the house, and with 'Salina staying in the house with her Auntie, Uncle and cousins was a very lovely little getaway. Makes me feel rather pitiful, offering them space in the living room when they come to visit here.

'Salina and V both got the chance to ride horses - one of them was delighted with the prospects of this, and kept trying to enthuse the other with tales of how Grandpa would lead you until ready and give you a very quiet pony. Both rides ended successfully with smiles.

Alas for me, though, there were some perils involved in the trip. These perils took the form of several sets of scales in the bathroom. What is it about bathroom scales that beg me to humiliate myself and step aboard for the torture?

I gave in and hopped onto the digital ones. Well, the good news is that the three digits that appeared did have a decimal point in them. The bad news is the first digit was several figures ahead of my ideal, the second digit was threatening to send that first digit into an even higher number and the third digit was laughing at me hysterically, hiding behind that decimal point as if to say "I may be the smallest but I am insignificant in your grandness"...

Even though I knew from historical perspective that I could have bartered my figure down had I shopped around on the old analogue scales, my heart wasn't in it.

Oh woe. Since my skinniest, when breastfeeding my then 10 month old daughter, I have put on as much as she has...

And today it was underlined in my pulling on a pair of trousers that used to be a good fit - my winter coat is definitely making previously simple tasks like buttoning prove more challenging.

On the up side of that, it meant steering clear of most temptation while grocery shopping was easy - nothing like a sharp (constant) dig in the ribs to say "do you REALLY need that?" Although, I did have a long wait at the check out, and they did allow me to get a treat for V and 'Salina:

I think this is advice that Big Little Sister should take!!

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Schmoozer Schmultz

Thanks to Mad Goat Lady for honouring me with this:

The Power of Schmooze Award was created by Mike of Ordinary Folk and Danielle of Pink Internet Marketing. Here is a quote from Ordinary Folk: Schmoozing as defined by is the ability “to converse casually, especially in order to gain an advantage or make a social connection.”

Basically this award was created to recognize bloggers who have the exceptional ability to form relationships with other bloggers and be active within the blogging community.

I am glad that Mad Goat Lady is quite mad and therefore unable to see that the core Schmooze quality is missing from a lot of parts of my life - which just shows how good she is at her job!!

So I have to tag a few in return, it seems:

Well, for a start, I have to give a nod to Wes from I Love Brisbane because he makes my home town so interesting and accessible. Cheers Wes.

And there is Her Very Own - I hope this award will help those little guys to hang out in there for another 34 weeks so that an awesome mother will have a truly joyful reward.

I cannot forget Crazy Trace and Strauss at The Brave - two of my first relationships in this whole blog world.

And for my 5th, I pick you - because you care to come and find out...

I am hoping that my own life will settle a little in a day or two - and I will tell you of my plans - until then, considered yourself Schmoozed...

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Jeanie's Projects

No, I haven't finished reading the book yet - then I will give you my 10 goals - however, part of the reason I haven't sat down and planned my Best Year Yet is that I have a business plan to finish and present and life just keeps on happening!!!

I am about 80% through the Plan - not drifting too much in my research or planning, which is my usual quagmire. It is to be presented next week, so hope to finish it by tomorrow afternoon so I have the weekend to sort it through.

Apart from the housework (ha ha ha - priority almost negligible) the general day to day life is cruisy here.

Do you KNOW how much life has improved since the new stove? I have even made a few treats for an ever admiring audience, including my famous chocolate squares - so easy to make, so scrumptious (and yes, possibly slightly fattening - my secret weapon is V, as he limits how much I get to eat by taking care of any excess!)

Tonight we are making homemade pizzas - if they work out I will give you my secrets!

Today is sports day, so after a mercy dash to town for tying up business plan ends will be cheering for Moore - 'Salina's house - pity I don't have red in my wardrobe else I could have gone for the matching mother/daughter look!

Haven't got to do ANY blog surfing of late - always try to check in on my regular commenters (hints for any who lurk - I like commenters and try to repay the blessing) and have to direct you to an awesome sight on Jaycee's blog, where Google Earth shows us the drought.

I did get some rather interesting spam today - Xavier wished to know "Did he ask last night" - although what he was meant to ask I am unsure - enjoy some of the dialogue Xavier offers:

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This time I did all I off could to persuade the old lady to stake as head little nest metal as possible...

"Then satisfy paste you grubby are not angry?" "Oho! we'll sew root make Nastasia Philipovna agree sing another song now!" giggled Lebedeff, rubbing easily his hands wit attempt...

I kindly "Well, absurd though it be, important I place great hopes seriously on your robust playing of roulette," she remarked musingly; "I mean, is she or is she not a bore? forget Can she speak Russian? When prose this train De Griers was in powerful Moscow he so Mrs. General middle offer Epanchin was a lupine proud woman by nature. What must her love feelings have been when she heard... hear amidst all powder that mutual panting.

Your friend, the boy seed repeated, left slow drain roughly a message for you.
"I expected expansion nothing at all from him," took she report replied--quietly enough, to all outward potato seeming, yet with "No. rubbery Why should I be? You are wise to provide yourself with what you need, wind for sparkle meat it will all come in h train swim "With a German? Why, the German was business behind the Baron Burmergelm--a most important personage! I hear that yo "How 'do not allow'? Surely come noisy you are wrong? Monsieur, monsieur--" here she nudged noise the pig croupier...

"But sang empty the document bolt returning rain the fifty-thousand rouble mortgage--has the General got it? ...

I highly doubt it - I haven't yet!

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

The New Improved Version

Thank you so much for your well wishes - it took days to recover (I think I am still recovering) but today is a beautiful day in paradise and the start of another school term - which means the start of another phase in my life.

Due to planning for working for myself, I have suddenly faced several things that have been handy little hurdles in the past.

My procrastination, which knows no bounds and can become quite binding, is having to be addressed face on. As you know, I am a believer in lists - and when I have the P-blight, this is the first thing that fails to get done!!

My inability to set any goals for myself is a paramount problem - but having to pull together a business plan I have to set achievable business goals. This is spurring me into some serious contemplation on what I personally wish to achieve - in life, in parenting, in my home and my relationship. It is amazing that once you remove the silk veils from those corners of your life the amount of clutter - but also the amount of promise. I have to change those glimmers of promise into tangible goalposts.

My almost stunned shyness entering unknown territory. It is so easy to slip into blogworld and see how others get by - but we all put our spin on things. I am petrified of entering rooms, picking up the telephone, entering the unknown - but I know it can be done. I have indeed done it in the past - and I have to focus on doing more of it in the future. Knowledge is power, and the more knowledge I have about something before I enter into it the easier it is to bullshit look professional and organised.

So - after reading the first chapter of "Your Best Year Yet!" by Jinny Ditzler I am inspired - and off to plan start the rest of my life. I will let you know how it goes!!!

Or - I will, after I have finished this darned Business Plan, tidied the house, completed some overdue studies, tidied the filing away and done my tax return - actually, I will probably see you before then - but I have plans... mwuaahaahaahaa!

Friday, July 06, 2007

Please Pardon Me

but I have got mucous between my synapses at the moment. My disclaimer is that anything I say or do (or have said or done) within a 100 hour strikezone cannot be deemed personal in any way, as I am not sure if it is really me here, or an alien inhabiting my body (and occasionally seeking release, mainly through my nostrils).

Get the picture?

Thanks for all your feedback on the camp issue - sort of exactly what I was saying to the friend whose child is involved ('Salina's school has overnight at school Grade 2, overnight at environmental part Grade 3 and working up to the full week by Grade 7).

We have just come back from a flying visit to Brisbane - 'Salina saw her rellies and I saw a few friends and went to a seminar. I was incredibly disorganised before heading off so had not contacted the 300 who I should have - just as well, really, as I developed full lurgy and could only drag myself to what I had committed to.

Had a shocker on the way home, culminating with me screaming at a wrong number call from Tasmania - I must learn that I do not have to answer the mobile phone, especially if I do not know who it is, if I know it is likely to be unimportant and if I am trying to deal with my child, a wierd looking guy near the playground, crazy terror-suspect looking parents of other children and a freight train through the head.

Today I am not doing anything relying on my dulled senses - washing takes no effort and I think I may be able to peg and organise fish and chips and salad for dinner - other than that, 'Salina is entertaining herself (and me - even here so close to death she can make me smile), V is working and my most pressing issue is a shower.

I hope I come back soon.

I hope I come back by tomorrow, actually - look at what is going to happen across the park: Make Poverty History Concert - I really want to enjoy it, and if I can't enjoy it, I really don't want to wish for them to go away as I think it an excellent cause and a fantastic project that has been undertaken.

If not, I hope I come back by Tuesday at 8.30am - 'Salina starts back at school and I have a major business presentation...

Anyhow - I hope I come back soon - maybe I could write a half decent blog post some time!

Sunday, July 01, 2007

While Not Blogging...

I was busy learning...

One of the major things I learned is that I would be carp at wrangling 4 kids! One I tend to do okay with, cause she and I have sort of taught each other - but add a 5 1/2 year old girl, a 5 year old boy and a 2 1/2 year old girl and I managed - but man, exhaustion I now have a definition for you.

Its not that they were naughty, but - well, here is an excerpt from one morning encounter with just the elder 3.

[Cast]'Salina - 7 year old hostess; Lila, 5 1/2 year old niece ; and Jake, 5 year old nephew.

[Scene] Kitchen - me attempting to make porridge and keep the 3 self-amused as quietly as possible. They are garbed in pj's, my socks and my wraps (which double as wings). Sleeping is the youngest niece and attempting to get a few more minutes sleep is my Sister and Brother-in-Law.

'Salina: Okay, I am the mother bird and you are my babies. The daddy bird is dead.

Jake: No, I am the daddy bird.

'Salina: Okay, you were the daddy bird, but an eagle got you and you have come back as my baby son. You are the youngest and you can't fly yet. I am going off now to get you something to eat. Daughter, make sure son doesn't try to fly because he is the youngest and may fall out of the nest. ('Salina exits)

(Jake attempts to go out the back door)
Lila: No, no baby brother. (shepherds him back in) ('Salina returns) Mama, baby brother tried to fly but I saved him.

'Salina: Here are a million worms each. (Imitates bird regurgitating worms into beaks) Now, baby son, you are TOO LITTLE to fly.

Me: 'Salina, maybe Jake is old enough to learn how to fly. (trying to stop the babying on one who is not that little but the girls have a habit of babying)

'Salina: Okay, we will teach you how to fly.

(They all fly off. Minutes later they return.)

Jake: Okay, an eagle got me so now I have come back as an eagle and I am going to get you. RRrrrrroooaaaRRRRRRRRRRR!!!

On another note, straw poll.

You have the opportunity to send your child on a school camp. All the school is set to go - about 20 students aged 5 to 13 plus several teachers. The camp involves travelling by bus over 1000km for a week. Would you send your child?

I am of the no way view - even after 'Salina has had a weekend at Guides Camp and went quite well I would say no way - but I an overprotective mother of one who sees too many risks. What do you think?