Sunday, November 30, 2008

Farewell Ella

Dear Ella,

The last thing I expected was that today would be the day I'd have to say goodbye to you. The last thing I expected was that our walk on Wednesday night would be the last one we'd take together. The last thing I expected was that you'd be in my life for four short years.

I had plans you see. Dog training plans, and you sitting curled up at my feet whilst I wrote a bestseller plans, and family holidays at places where you were welcome plans, and you growing up with the kids plans. I don't even think they were plans as such, I just knew they were going to happen. And now they're not just because of one horrible paralysis tick. It isn't fair.

I sit here, tired and teary, and my head is crowded with memories of you. How you loved to hide under the cubby house and you'd pop up out from under it looking like you'd just had a really cool adventure. Hubby and I used to speculate you had a jacuzzi and a kick-arse stereo system under there. I loved that you could spend hours scuttling around the herb garden, unsucessfully catching skinks and making the air smell of lavender and thyme.

How you always knew that sneakers meant walk time and you'd twirl and twirl with delight so it was impossible to get the lead on. How, no matter where I was, you were there, just a few metres away keeping an eye on things. How the kids would try to feed you and you would only eat the delicacies you particularly liked. How the kids could drag you around and you'd never so much as blink at it, just give me that hang-dog look as if to say 'now would be a good time to rescue me,' - and I always did.

How when the kids were on the naughty chair you'd always go and visit them. How you'd peep through the cracks in the fence when we were going somewhere in the car without you. How you'd sell your own mother for a schmackos. How you hated getting up in the morning as much as I do. How you'd give me that eyes-half-shut I love you doggy smile. How you were without doubt the best catcher and eater of flies Australia has ever seen. How you had the softest ears.

Words cannot say how much I will miss you dear friend. Rest in peace beautiful Ella.

Stir Up Sunday

Its Stir Up Sunday. This - because its the Sunday before Advent begins - is traditionally the day that you get the chrissy pud or cake baked and finished all ready for The Big Day. This year I have my second pudding left over from last year (mostly because I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown and didn't get to Christmas in July) and so I'm spending today decorating the christmas tree and attempting to put the rest of my family into a sugar coma. Photos tomorrow.

I've not used the recipe below before - generally I use Delia Smith's one - But you know, I think I might switch...

1 bottle brandy
2 cups dried fruit
1 cup butter
2 cups nuts
4 large eggs
1 cup water
1 cup sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup brown sugar
1 tsp salt
1 tbl lemon juice

Cooking Method
1. Sample the brandy to check quality.
2. Take a large bowl, check the brandy again.
3. To be sure it is the best quality, pour one level cup and drink.
4. Repeat above step.
5. Turn on electric mixer. Beat butter in large fluffy bowl.
6. Add sugar.
7. Beat again.
8. At this point it's best to make sure the brandy is shtill ok.
9. Try another cup………just in case.
10. Turn off the mixerer.
11. Break 2 leggs and add to bowl and chuck in dried fruit.
12. Pick fruit off the floor.
13. Mix on the turner
14. If the dried fruit gets stuck in the beaterers pry it loose with a sdrewscriver.
15. Sample the brandy to check for tonsisticity.
16. Next, sift two cups of salt. Or something. No one will notish.
17. Check the brandy.
18. Now shift the lemon juice & strain your nuts.
19. Add one table. Add spoon of sugar or somefink. Whatever you can find.
20. Greash the oven.
21. Turn the cake tin 360 degrees and try not to fall over.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Fingers and Toes Crossed for Ella

There's a lot of shit going on in the world right now. I'm checking the news regularly to see if there is any news of the 37 Aussies missing in Mumbai, vowing never to travel on an A380 plane as nobody seems to be able to maintain them so that they can fly safely, checking the pool gate is firmly shut every time I think of the twin toddlers up in Gosford... Last week my parents lost a friend to prostate cancer...

I know that horrible, terrible things are happening to ordinary nice people. But this morning I woke up to a very sick puppy. Our dog Ella, a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, had picked up a paralysis tick. She could barely walk, couldn't blink, was vomiting and having difficulty breathing - clearly in a really bad state. But you know, she could still wag her tail - which is so Ella. She's the cheeriest little soul and no matter how shit everything is she's still upbeat.

So I rushed Ella to the vet, they found the paralysis tick on a back leg and have begun the tick treatment. Cavaliers have a harder time with ticks than other types of dogs, because of their pushed in nose (so the vet tells me), but Ella is very healthy with a good heart, liver and kidneys so she's got the best chance she could have. On the way to the vet, Staying Alive (by John Travolta) came on the radio and I have taken that as a sign she's going to be just fine!

I still want to cry though. has analyzed my blog personality and this is what it said ...

ESFP - The Performers

The entertaining and friendly type. They are especially attuned to pleasure and beauty and like to fill their surroundings with soft fabrics, bright colors and sweet smells. They live in the present moment and don´t like to plan ahead - they are always in risk of exhausting themselves.

They enjoy work that makes them able to help other people in a concrete and visible way. They tend to avoid conflicts and rarely initiate confrontation - qualities that can make it hard for them in management positions.
Hmm, well I was sure it was going to say "a sarcastic and surly individual with deep seated indifference and sibling rivalry issues. Do not under any circumstances let this person take care of your children, pets or husband."

Especially attuned to pleasure huh? I want to know when the hell that's going to happen. Same for surrounding myself with sweet smells - clearly they have not experienced hubby's feet.

Friday, November 28, 2008

My evening walk

Interesting things I see most evenings when Ella, the dog, and I go for a walk...

This house has possums on the roof trouble so they've thwarted the little buggers. As one who unwillingly runs a free possum bed and breakfast - I envy these people.

This is the view the houses in the street behind ours have. We have no view. Especially not out the bedroom window where the Murryana hedge has grown so high (read, not been trimmed since our wedding in 2005) as to obscure even the ferals that live across the road.

The local Catholic church has this cross in their garden. I rather like it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Cool doesn't even begin to describe me...

Having the Top Gun soundtrack in the car started out as a joke between hubby and myself. However, as most things in life are wont to do, its gone horribly, terribly wrong. The kids love it you see. Totally love it and refuse to listen to anything else.

Danger Zone is their all time favourite. They demand I play it over and over at loud volume, with the windows down, and sit in the back yelling "Go faster, go faster." Its hard to go faster in the suburbs where the speed limit is 50kmph.

But, I do my best. So if you see a faintly embarrassed woman belting around the northern reaches of Sydney in a grey four-wheel-drive blasting Playin With the Boys, that'd be me.

The video still makes me grin tho...

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

I Love Your Blog

As the stat counter on the blog ticks over 10,000 hits, I was very touched that Rhian Cahill nominated this blog as one of her favourites.

Now I'm supposed to go ahead and nominate my favourite blogs, but look to the right (no not your right, the right of the page...) and there is a list of my all time faves. I visit most of these blogs on a daily basis, know/have met all the people that write them (with the exception of Spike who writes This Isn't Sydney - his is down the bottom of the list because his RSS feed isn't working right now. Its a sensational blog. I do plan on meeting Spike one day. He walks around Woy Woy where I am frequently found on the way to Umina Beach with the kids - so if ever I see a fellow with a camera strolling about I plan to leap out of the car and accost him. He won't mind. You see I'm a natural blonde with unseemly big bosoms and men rarely, if ever, mind when I accost them - well except for hubby, but that's another story.)


I KNOW I've banged on about it before, but I've been blogging now for four years. Yes FOUR. And despite my best efforts to give up blogging earlier this year don't seem to have been able to kick the habit, unlike smoking. Yes, I have quit. Been a couple of months now. I love my blog. It brings me endless joy and endless satisfaction that it amuses other people as well.

OKAY. Enough of the gushing. I will now return to my normal sarcastic self...

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Spring in Sydney

Despite the shithouse weather (nineteen degrees on Sunday - I ASK YOU) it is actually the very end of spring in Sydney. The Jacaranda's are in full purply blue bloom that seems to glow luminously in the evening twilight. Beyootiful.

I love it when the Jacaranda's are blooming. At work - which is a large university for those of you just tuning in - they say that if the students leave their studying until the Jackies are in bloom then they're up shit-creek. Spring time is also exam time you see, so whoever they are, they have a point. Right now campus is swarming with stressed out students and invigilators. Oh I love the invigilators. They sound so much like they should be toting large scary looking guns or something. The reality is, however, that they're all Enjoying Retirement and probably wouldn't tote anything more full on than a couple of cheese sandwiches and a good book - oh I Don't Know - what the hell do people Enjoying Retirement tote around? Tasers?


Monday, November 24, 2008

The Bane of My Life...

This is the bane of my life...
The Huggies Car. A toy I foolishly saved up coupons from nappy boxes and then paid $18.75 for.
The child is not the bane of my life, though its a close run thing a lot of the time.

It was cold and wet and horrible on Sunday, so my Marvellous Husband decided it'd be a good idea to get out the Huggies Car. What he didn't realise is that there is a Very Good Reason WHY the Huggies Car was in a small scrumpled up heap wedged behind the old vacuum cleaner where Nobody Would Ever Find It.

Every single time it puts in an appearance the squabbling begins. No amount of negotiating, adjudicating or yelling will put a stop to it. I even tried leaving them to it, but after about forty seconds of shrieking I have a sense of humour failure.

Council clean up day in two weeks and counting...

Went and had coffee with Janine today. Her little boy is the cutest baby I have ever seen. Have told hubby that we should start thinking about having number three - but only so I can see him go all white and fainty at the thought. Heh.

Revenge is sweet.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Love it...

A BROTHEL owner says he is unfazed by the revelation that NSW Premier Nathan Rees is operating an electorate office in the same building.

"It's a little embarrassing, yes," said the brothel owner, Mr X. "We're sick of all the seedy characters hanging around. But respectable businesses like ours aren't going to be driven out by the likes of them."

Rees moved his office to Best Road in Seven Hills on September 5. A large sign outside the office clearly bears the words: "Member for Toongabbie."

It is understood the local council has received several complaints that the office is bringing down the tone of the neighbourhood.

Complainants include the brothel, a mob of drug-dealing money launderers, an international arms dealer, an arsonist, a gang of slave traders, the crew of a Somalian pirate ship and a merchant banker.

A council insider told The Sun-Herald: "We have to take all complaints seriously. Apart from the merchant banker's, obviously."

Full report here

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Nanoing away

Have been writing my butt off. 25,000 words in 15 days. Yes. It has been keeping me glued to the computer no doubt about it.

After 4,200 words today this is all I'm pretty much capable of...

Actually I remember doing this in a nightclub many years ago. I thought I was the COOLEST!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008


We Interrupt this Haitus...

K, I'm not normally one to make excuses for not blogging. Generally this is because I'm off having a life instead of writing about it and I know that you guys are all fully aware of this.

HOWEVER. This time is different because I hurt myself and so have something to complain about. Yes. Was picking up Miss Nearly Three and tore the muscles in my shoulder. Ouch. I actually felt them tear. Anyway, its been bloody agony, so have I been floating about on a cloud of Neurofen Plus (ahh codeine). Its incredibly painful to type - that reach forward movement of my arm is agony - so I haven't been blogging or even doing nanowrimo. Not a thing.

Yes. I have been suffering.

AND NOW I'm not having a very good morning. The kids are being even more feral than usual. I mean seriously evil. Gwyneth Paltrow is presently swanning about on Oprah going on about how she never diets but does work out 2hrs a day 6 days a week (saw the footage, man she sweats) and I am sitting watching with my jeans unbottoned because I porked up so much when the inlaws were here nothing fits except my fat pants (which are in the wash) and I have lunch spilt down my front where my rice paper roll disintergrated. Yes I AM THAT LOVELY.

I'm a bit stuck over the kids though. Miss Nearly Three has been so evil that we've instigated the super nanny naughty chair. And it is working. Well for her anyway. Miss Four thinks the naughty chair is the best fun ever and requests to be allowed to sit on it. Of course I say no. So she goes and bites her sister or something equally horrible so that she gets put on the naughty chair, then sits their (their? their? I can write novels, me. SIGH) grinning. Argh.

Super Nanny never had these problems.

Friday, November 07, 2008

Oh busy week

Its been a very busy week at my house.

Since Monday I have...
  • Lost $10 on the Melbourne cup - my surefire winner picking method (ie choose the horse that matches the locker number I was given at the gym) was apparently not quite as surefire as myself and the blokes in the butchers seemed to think. I was all lined up for a party with the Mother's Group girls, but alas Miss Four slept right through the race, so Miss Two nearly Three and I watched the race. She loved it and we had to watch the racing for the rest of the afternoon - hmm.
  • Cooked Leek and Potato soup.
  • Had three nights of interrupted sleep; coughing, snoring, bed swapping, rougue christmas beetles, really good book, it all conspired against me.
  • Spent the day with my mother
  • Watched Obama get elected and even managed to watch some of his acceptance speech live - until the kids realised they were missing the Mr Men anyway.
  • Fed my children McDonalds
  • Refused to admit I'm getting a cold
  • Got a cold
  • Invited Janine over next Tuesday
  • Wrote a lot of words for Nanowrimo. About 6000. Very happy with that.
  • Cooked chicken
  • Felt smug about our miniscule credit card debt - it won't last - and was almighty pleased interest rates dropped again. We were pretty much maxed out with the mortgage payments and its making life much easier.
  • Came to work, twice. This has included in sitting in three traffic jams and proabably another one tonight. I am over traffic jams. Go Away Traffic.

Yes, another scintillating few days. Sometimes I don't know how I manage.

Monday, November 03, 2008

Another Dear-Old-Thing Blog (NOT)

Well, you'll all know I'm a bit partial to blogs written by those enjoying the later years of life. I adored Olive, the world's oldest blogger, and she lived just up the road so that made it extra special. I still miss her.

I came across Margaret and Helen recently. Their perspective on life and current affairs is totally refreshing in a no-holds-barred kind of way.

My fave quote so far...
Now I am an old broad. We didn’t talk about this stuff. I really don’t know why gay people want to get married. It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. Just ask Harold. But I guess if one consenting adult wants to declare their love for another, why would anyone have an issue?
Struggling on day three of Nanowrimo, current word count 0. Marvellous. Have been left alone in the house with two litres of full fat milk and 3/4 can of Milo - its not pretty.

Saturday, November 01, 2008

Its ANOTHER Lolly Competition

  1. Its Samhain Publishing's third birthday (and we know how three year olds feel about lollies)
  2. I'm going to be up on the front page at Coffee Time Romance all of November (howdy to everyone who had made their way here from there)
  3. I'm embroiled in the insanity that is Nanowrimo (and not doing too badly thus far)
  4. My husband was over-zealous with the purchasing of lollies for the trick or treaters and I am on a diet (and have nothing in the way of will power)...

I'm having a Aussie lolly giveaway.

Leave a comment on this post, or any others over the next week, and you'll be in the running for a swathe of tooth rotting goodies. Low fat, diabetic friendly options available - yes a jar of vegemite - find out about the culinary loveliness for yourself!!