Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Crimbo

Was I a bit bah humbug the other day?  My apologies. Its been a christmas lead up like no other.

But things, as of this afternoon, have found their equilibrium and christmas cheer has burst forth in the Nicholas household - we even put on carols at St Mary's for an entire five minutes - then we were made to switch to Wallace and Grommit.

We've spent the evening making icecream (had slight measuring brain-fail and managed to squeeze out a gigantic 2 cups worth for  7 people, sigh) and visiting neighbours and admiring christmas lights and eating mince pies (yes, I can eat again, not complaining about the 2kgs in 4 day weight loss, but would prefer in future to do it with slightly more dignity).  The kids were so excited that (in our own Christmas miracle) they both passed out the minute we put them in bed - yes, yes, we'll be up at dawn (5.14 if you were wondering).

Well, its 55mins to Christmas, and I must away to bed.  Season's cheer to everyone who reads here.  Take care, be safe and have an awesome day.

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Twas the Week Before Christmas...

My mother just rang, having a stress about christmas.  Fair enough, you may think, its a stressful time for anyone, but here is a short list of what has been going on in addition to your usual christmas kerfuffle.

  • My youngest sister has been trying to get on a plane, from Heathrow (news just in: she departed 25mins ago - so now 24hrs of worrying about plane crashes and it'll be fine)
  • My brother in law, who has been recovering beautifully from his spine operation, came out of hospital yesterday (in record time - YAY).  
  • My nephew who has been suffering from chronic ear infections has been ferried about to specialists and a grommit operation is looming on the horizon
  • The vet ballsed up my sister's dog's cruciate ligament operation and thought that this week would be a good week to fix it all up ("you'll only have to pay for the anaesthetic") - because what someone with an incapacitated husband and sick toddler needs is a dog that can't even get itself outside to go to the bathroom
  • I got food poisoning - and not just your normal 24hour type food poisoning; its been so bad that I haven't been able to function since Sunday, and in a great improvement managed to eat two tablespoons of boiled rice yesterday.  Apparently my gut has shed its lining, about which I have no idea, but I do know its really fricking painful.
It can only improve from here, right?

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Cocktail Hour, Caitlyn Nicholas Style

What? Serving cocktails in the measuring scoop that came free with an extra large bag of dog food IS classy. The champagne chasers are necessary, trust me.
Today has involved christmas shopping (DONE, yesssss), 35 degree heat, violent thunderstorms, bickering with my husband (all good now, have been shown error of my ways at length, in detail, repeatedly, LOVE YOOO), feral children, Miss 4 crapping in the pool (again) and then a fight with the dog to get the floaty out before he dived in and ate it (and managed to do that without sacrificing pool scoop this time, WIN).

Was considering doing a bit of a photo blog post about my day As-It-Happens sometime these holidays, am glad today was not that day.

Cocktail recipe: Applesinthe
45ml Absinthe
30ml apple juice
splash lemon juice, splash sugar syrup
Mint leaves 

Monday, December 13, 2010

Not my year for garlic

Lately have been feeling Very Pleased (ie, jealous as hell) when I read about Other Bloggers harvesting their bumper crop of garlic.  I love home grown garlic and this year put in three huge patches, but, as with so many other things in this garden, it has not worked out as planned, and here is the sum total of my garlic harvest for 2010...


After planting over 100 onion seedlings (most of which I bought) I've also ended up with about half a dozen golf-ball sized onions - I did lose a lot to the wretched escapologists chickens - but even so, its just not been my year for alliums this year.

But in cheerier news, followed Greenfumb's example and picked the largest and most alluring of my tomatoes and they're now ripening on the kitchen windowsill.
Did I mention to anyone before that I'm slightly allergic to raw tomatoes?  Um yes (now do you see why I feel so strongly about The Universe Hating ME???). But I still love growing them, and eating them when they've had the crap cooked out of them.  So, YUMS.


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Close Encounters of the Oprah kind

So, have been a bit miffed that I missed out on a ticket to Oprah but today fate, fortune or whatever, smiled down on me and quite by accident I got to see her and say hi.

We were down at the Opera House, at the last of the baby proms for the year.  The place was utter chaos, as all the Oprah audience were queuing for tickets, and a huge stage and tv camera's were being set up on the forecourt.  Oprah herself was walking over the harbour bridge and the place was seething with helicopters.  Even a skywriter had written the letters O H R A in the sky (and then clearly given up in embarrassment at his spelling mistake - or was it initials... Oprah Has Royal Authority??)

We carolled away with Saskia from Playschool and members of the Sydney Symphony Orchestra at the proms, and then went for our usual wander in the botanic gardens.  Then as we headed back to lunch at Circular Quay I saw a bit of a fuss near where they'd set up the huge stage.  So I hurried over, phone in hand and as I got to the barrier, who should be standing there but...
Yes, yes, not her best angle :)  Sorry Oprah.  She was chatting to the lady next to me about how she'd been up on the harbour bridge that morning.

Then she held out her hand to me, and I shook it, and squeaked, "Hi, its great to meet you, welcome to Australia."  Look, I was having a fan girl moment okay, I could barely get the words out, it was almost as bad as when I met Jackie French.

She smiled vaguely at me and then moved along to the next person - yes, am sure she'll be writing about meeting me on her blog this evening - and then I ducked out the way so the other ladies behind me could get a chance to say hi, and that was that.

Circular Quay has gone Oprah mad.  Oprah flags everywhere, and you could even get the t-shirt...
I did not get the t-shirt, but was amused by the fat hairy old guy wearing a t-shirt that said "Oprah Loves Me."

So, I've said Hi to the Queen of Daytime TV.  Rather chuffed actually.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Check out these beauties

Quick brother-in-law update:  The surgery went really well, though took a lot longer than expected, apparently his back was a mess of scar tissue from the earlier accident.  He was kind-of with-it by yesterday night and all is looking good. Phew.

Summer has arrived here on the Upper Upper Upper North Shore (locals will know that this is a humorous reference to the fact that real estate agents like to extend the poshness of the North Shore to suburbs that are blatantly not even remotely near the North Shore, in an effort to increase house prices - thus far this strategy has not appeared to work).  Temps are hitting 30+ every day and the humidity is hovering at around 50 - 60%, making the mould in the bathroom grow as you watch it.  Its also making the vegies grow as you watch them.

Amish Paste tomatoes.  This one is about the size of my fist.  Have a dilemma though, do I pick now and ripen inside, or leave to ripen on the vine and risk birds, chooks, caterpillers, snails, slugs etc etc...

Pumpkin - Queensland Blue I think - I dunno, this was a self-seeder so it could be anything.

And those there are my cucumbers growing everywhere apart from up the trellis I carefully set up.  Am a bit chuffed about these ones as they are grown from seed I saved last year.

Have a good weekend everyone :)

Friday, December 10, 2010

Hugs, finger crossing, vibes, thoughts, prayers... I'll take 'em all.

Today my brother-in-law is having a major operation. It'll take a surgeon 4 hours to fuse two of the vertebrae in his spine and hopefully this will relieve some of the horrific pain that he is enduring right now.

This is not a pleasant story.  Many years ago my bil badly injured his back in a car accident.  He's had serious problems ever since. Lately these serious problems have doubled and tripled in their intensity.  It has become a regular occurrence that he'd have injections into his spine to relieve the excruciating pain.

Then about ten days ago, his back spasmed and my sister knew immediately that this was like nothing before.  The pain went from excruciating to uncontrollable and my bil was taken to hospital where he has remained on a cocktail of drugs.  Last Thursday these drugs were failing to control the pain, and... well, its been really distressing.

So, after tomorrow we hope that after rehab, the pain will be over and he can get on with a normal life.  Oh, I hope it all goes okay.

Thursday, December 09, 2010

Being Precious

So I rock up to my local garden centre on Sunday morning.  One of the employees is standing by the entrance and upon spotting me shouts, "Well hello there, precious."
What the...
I gave him a quizzical glare look, removed my sunglasses from my head, put them on pointedly, and stalked off to inspect capsicums. Wondering briefly if I do come over as precious to complete strangers.
But he wasn't finished there.
No, when he came to relieve me of my money, he spotted the bottle of pyrethrum I'd picked up - I use it on the patio to get rid of the sandflies mostly - and he said 'Ah, chemical woman.'  As if I'd just confirmed all his assumptions about being precious.
Chemical woman?
I said, 'Okaaaaaay," in a tone that was supposed to suggest that I'd rather we didn't speak further.
But he just grinned and said, 'bye chemical girl.' And handed me back my card.

Its not been the only difficulty I've had communicating with the human race this week.
Yesterday I had an appointment at a beauty salon for a person to go at my nether regions with hot wax and a pair of tweezers.  Yes, and pay them for the privilege.
Alas, in a moment of utter brainlessness I picked the Wrong Time to make this appointment.
Upon arriving at the salon I told the receptionist that I had to cancel that part of my appointment due to it being The Wrong Time.
"Wha?" she said.
"The Wrong Time," I said, slightly louder.
"Wha?" she squinted at me.
"I've got my PERIOD," I snap.  Just as every hairdryer in the place was switched off.


Wednesday, December 08, 2010

More wildlife

2.75 hours into school holidays and Bloody Hell.  56 days to go.  Help meeeee.

In other news, on Monday I ate a turkey sandwich for lunch THEN walked outside and there was a brush turkey sitting on the roof.

Coincidence? I think not.

Clearly it was here to avenge its fallen comrades, OR sexually harass my chickens.  Either way, next door's dog scared it off, and it hasn't returned. Phew.  (Yes, you might be wondering where Sebs the Attack Spaniel was... after some half-hearted barking from under the outside table he disappeared inside to leave me to fend for myself.)


Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Farewell Fat Clothes

Am not happy. Despite dieting my shrinking behind off, I did not lose weight this week.  It could be because I'm adjusting to the new weightwatchers regime, or it could be because I've got a scorching case of fluid retention or it could just be because sometimes dieting sucks.  Who knows.

So, am blogging about the fat clothes I got rid of on the weekend in an attempt to cheer self up and keep motivated and stop eating fantales.
There was a good pile of stuff that's around size 14 to 16 that I simply cannot wear anymore - it falls off. And my god it was a good feeling to clear it out of the drawers and cupboards. Its a symbol of what I've achieved, and I'm also not giving myself a place to go back to.  No siree.  If I put weight back on, I'll just have to suffer in my size 12 jeans until I lose it again.

Well, its a strategy. :)

The clothes have gone to Vinnies.

I cannot tell you the number of times people who have lost weight, who have tried to give me their old fat clothes.  Seriously. It happened again just a couple of months ago.  Why anyone who had lost weight would look around for their nearest overweight friend and go 'oh you look like you're a 16, here have my old stuff,' is beyond me.  Its devastating and humiliating.  And honestly, whilst I firmly believe in people's good intentions, to do that to someone is a sign that you are not a friend.  Yes, yes, I know they're often nice clothes and yes, the person is most likely right, they'd probably fit.  I understand their logic.  But the reality of this situation is cruel and hurtful.

This setback - of working incredibly hard on weightloss and getting nowhere - is really the first serious challenge I've faced. I'm surprised by how desperately I want to eat and how I've gone right back to the usual justifications and self-talk that I thought were dead and buried about six months ago.


Wish me forbearance.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Gigantic Underpants Fail

I did it again.  Ran into Target and grabbed the first bulk pack of undies I saw in the right size. Am rueing the decision as I ended up with these...
Even more enormous than the horrific purply-grey ones I ended up with last time.  Do not think I will be able to bring self to wear them, though if I do and we are on a yacht and we lose the sails in a freak accident, I will be able to save the day and hoist a pair up.  Never let it be said that I am not versatile.


Wednesday, November 24, 2010

The Sty

I have a new apron.  I also have a house that looks a lot like a pigsty.  So today I combined the two and wore my apron to muck out my pigsty.  (My hair is in a pony tail and yes I should smile).

At the end of Phase One (the bedrooms) I ended up with a dirty clothes pile that blocked the doorway to the other end of the house.

Despite perplexing the dog, this pile served the worthy purpose of stopping me from having to look at the state of the TV room (Phase three).  Which is as illustrated below.
I have also run out of washing powder, leading me to believe (somewhat cheerfully) that I may not get to Phase Three until at least the weekend.


Finally, and seriously, my heart goes out to everyone in NZ, and the Pike River miner's families in particular. My sister worked underground as a mining engineer in various coal mines for many years. I know what it's like to live with the knowledge that a loved one spends their working day kilometres beneath the surface - mostly you don't try to think too hard about it, and put your faith in the safety procedures that every mine has in place.  There is nothing else you can do.  It's beyond ghastly, what has happened, just devastating.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Guess who had his summer clip today...

Am thinking its time for my summer clip as well.  Seb's has spent the day hanging out with two ruby cavalier's and could barely keep his eyes open long enough for this photo.

In other stop press news, my Honey Joys sold out in moments at the Christmas markets and I am, officially, the Honey Joy Queen. You may now address me as Queen Honey (which sounds like a porn star) or Queen Joy (which is uncannily accurate, me being suffused with joy at all times, or was that sarcasm? always getting those two confused). Honey joys, for those who are unsure, are cornflakes smothered in honey and butter, put in a patty pan and left to coagulate.  Very yum.


Monday, November 22, 2010


Been making Honey Joys for the school's christmas markets.

It was hard work, on a day when the kids have been brain-suckingly horrific, but I really love being a part of the school community and contributing in this way.

Its been a day of connecting today.  Connection for me is something that is really important.  When I walked away from my first marriage I was desperately isolated.  Breathtakingly alone.  Now my life is overflowing with people, so much so that I sometimes get overwhelmed by it.  But not today.  Today I've had coffee and laughter, phone calls and laughter and setting the world to rights and chatting and helping and advising and text messages and IM chats and discussions in the car park and bumping into people in the supermarket and the newsagent.

Yeah, the kids have been hard-work, and I'm drained and tired, but looking back over today the feeling of connectedness and sense of belonging, makes me smile.

Its been a good day.

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Just found what is missing from my life

I've just spent ten minutes surfing a few blogs, and am now contemplating the intricacies of a FUD (female urinary device)...
Courtesy of Mrs Woog at Woog's World - who's opinion of the thing I am entirely in accord with.


Just as I was getting over this, I came across Re-useable toilet paper.
The environmentalist in me approves of this, she really really does, but... well, when I was living in China I stayed in places where the sewage system could not handle toilet paper, so after you had finished with the toilet (subtly put eh?) you put the paper in an open bin which got emptied once a day if you were lucky.

Right now this concept is giving me flashbacks, and they ain't pretty.


Clearly neither FUDs nor re-useable toilet paper are missing from my life.


What has been missing from my life re-appeared of its own accord this afternoon after an absence of a good 20 years...

Miss 6 got one at a party this afternoon, and after some confusion has taken to the concept with admirable dedication.  Never has so much laughter been heard, mostly at the expense of hubs.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Saturday afternoon in the garden

Miss 4 has been taking photos. Given her height and my height there were a lot which included my elbows, boobs and bottom.  Not a pretty sight when clad in grey velour tracksuit pants and a hot pink lycra top (what? its Saturday and I've been in the garden all day).

This thicket is the tomatoes.  They're fruiting all over the place.

And the washing on the line. I just love when kids take random pictures like this and they really work.

And then there are those that have questionable content.


Friday, November 19, 2010


Am still here. Am okay.  Things have been rather full on at Chez Nicholas. We have finally launched ourselves into 'the system' with regards to Miss 4s behaviour issues - well, after she pooed herself at the paediatrician's office to get attention, we kind-of had to.  Words like Oppositional Defiance Disorder and Aspergers are being mentioned - but I want to stress that we have no official diagnosis at this stage, and honestly if she did have either of these things it would be at the very mild end of the spectrum.  She's a fabulous, hugely bright kid and frankly I think with counselling for all of us, and good management techniques we'll smooth out the somewhat bumpy path that we're currently on.

Regardless, the last couple of weeks have been confronting and intensely mentally draining and I have not had the headspace to put together a coherent blogpost, even if it was just about vegetables.

We have a reasonably quiet weekend ahead - before the insanity of end-of-term and (oh dear god) Christmas and (Oh Dear God) long holidays - so am hoping to get a few moments of ranting writing time.

Be back soon. :)

Wednesday, November 10, 2010


This bed here is half my sweetcorn bed (I've got two 3m x 1m beds next to each other, so I generally count them as one bed).  At the end of July I put in a heap of sweetcorn seed. One germinated and I bought the rest from the seedling lady at Hornsby markets.  Then in September I put in another heap of sweetcorn seed.  Four germinated and those shorties at the front are also courtesy of the seedling lady in Hornsby. sigh.

Though slightly dismayed - which you kind of get used to when you have such regular gardening disasters as I do - am not put off.  Here is the other half of that bed.  I've just pulled up all the bolting lettuce and laid it over the soil to protect it a bit due to all the heavy rain we're getting at the moment (not that I'm complaining or anything).
I'm planning on putting seed in this bed in the very near future, so I reckon the seedling lady can expect another visit in around three weeks or so.


Tuesday, November 09, 2010

I hereby declare this house organised.

I know that I can be hellish bad at follow up posts. Ones which talk about know how I went with the tidying, or if I actually sold the child on ebay etc...

So here we have it, a follow up post.  There's a lot of good news :)...

Firstly, I was talking the other day about getting the house straight and organised before we hit the Christmas holidays, and also that the Universe had conspired against me every time I tried to do anything.  Well, the Universe did not stop conspiring, it never does, BUT I did manage to get the house in order and organised by Miss 4s party on Sunday.

It was a struggle.  It was boring and fricking hard work, but as I sit here, and things are in order (yes, there is a bit of random untidyness and the dishwasher needs unloading and the clothes need hanging out...) I really feel that the huge effort was worth it. I've got a sense of having things under control for the first time in weeks.

So the house is orderly. What of our finances...

As most of you know we've struggled with credit card debt since our annus horribilius last year, when we had a long period of no income.  We arrived in 2010 in arrears to practically every telco and utilities company in Australia - and, can I just add, we were really up front about our situation and our plans to pay what we owed and they were all great about it - this is in addition to a maxed out credit card.  Since then we've worked hard to dig ourselves out of that hole - which has also been horrible and boring and stressful and awful.

We've paid off debt as fast as we can, so by the end of July we were straight with everyone except the rates bill and the Credit Card.  I had set up a payment plan with the council and we had a schedule of payments organised for the credit card, and it was looking like we'd be debt free by March 2011.  But hubs did his tax and the refund exactly covered the remainder of the credit card and the amount owing to the council.

So, as of yesterday, we have no debt aside from the mortgage.

It doesn't feel real yet.  I'm so used to stressing about money that I'm automatically worrying about the cost of a celebrationary afternoon tea at T2.  Hubs is in dire need of new jeans and I have a pretty desperate bra situation happening - but a part of me is refusing to believe that its going to be okay to spend money on new clothes.  I'm pretty sure I'll get over it :).

One thing I am totally sure of though, I never, ever, want to go through it again.


Sunday, November 07, 2010

Birthday cake

So today was Miss 4's early birthday party.

Yesterday I made the cake.
Started with this...

Progressed to this (those are marshmallow ghosts on the cake, it being a, somewhat late, halloween theme)...

And ended up like this...
Smitten Kitchen's red velvet cake - it was amazing, a light moist chocolate cake, with a cream cheese icing (same as what you'd put on a carrot cake).

Its been a great day :)

Wednesday, November 03, 2010

Fly trap update

Firstly I would like to thank everyone for their kind comments about my norks on Sunday's post.  It has completely inspired me and I have decided to copy Guccimama and have Half Naked Thursday on my blog - yes, henceforth I shall be plastering my nekkid bits... oh as IF.

And, to the person who emailed me to inform me that if you zoom in on that photo, you can get them up to almost life size - I KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE.


I am sick with a rotten cold AND my life has exploded.  When I woke up this morning I had decided I could just about send Miss 4 back to school with a clear conscience (when I picked her up this afternoon the front of her top was crispy with snot - goddammit - tomorrow I'll dose her up with drugs so its not so obvious I'm a bad bad mother) and was looking forward to a few days during which I had nothing to do except execute a well organised countdown to Miss 4s birthday party this weekend.


Within the space of four emails and two text messages I ended up with about 45 MILLION other urgent things to do, AND hubs is dealing with a massive massive crisis at work so I haven't seen him for days, AND I had a huge panic about the party this afternoon and ended up running around random supermarkets with a Very Runny Nose and No List.

I cannot even remember what I bought.  Well, I do remember the gigantic packet of chips, because I ate them, and I spent the afternoon teaching my children to suck M&Ms onto the end of a straw and drop them in a bowl (you could Feel The Serenity in our house for an entire half hour once they got the hang of it) and I know for a fact that M&Ms were not in my vicinity pre-shopping.

Um.  So. Flytrap.

Not a success.  I think that one fly died of boredom.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Outfit Win

I asked my husband to take a photo of me in my dress, and this is what I got...
Me: "What ARE you doing?"
Him: "If you were walking down the street anyone could see that."

Mmm, thanks honey. No really.

After I punched him for a while he was persuaded to take this one.  Why the fuss?  Well, this dress is one that was given to me ages ago, but being a touch porked-up I couldn't zip it.  Its sat in the cupboard, until last night I remembered it and wondered 'what if.'
And it fits!!  So today I wore it into the Sydney Opera House to the Baby Proms (Music for Tutus, its like having a private audience with Australian ballet dancers - they are AMAZING - if you have access to a kid grab them and book in for the session next year, right now, don't wait, you won't regret it).

For me, the best bit of this whole weightloss biso is getting back into clothes I couldn't do up.  Yup its nice to see the numbers on the scales going down but what really makes it meaningful is to get into the smaller sized clothes.

At the start of this year I resolved, for the third year running, to lose weight - and this year, I've done it.

  • I've lost 10kgs which is (more or less) half way to my ultimate weight goal. 
  • Last June I weighed just over 82kgs.  
  • Now, in late October, I'm 5kgs off a healthy bmi (so am presently 72kgs and want to get to 67kgs) 
  • Once I get to 67kgs I plan to lose another 3 - 5kgs so that I'm in the middle of my healthy weight range.
  • And then I'm getting a tattoo or piercing (suggestions welcome)
I'm in no hurry.  I'd like to get to 67kgs by Christmas, but yanno, I'm not going to live or die by it.  This time around this weightloss journey has been reasonably easy (last time, back in 2001 when I porked-up following my divorce, it was an unmitigated nightmare, I hated and resented every moment of it, but knew if I didn't do it I was heading for 90kgs and beyond).

This time around I went in with no guilt, no excuses, no deprivation, no gym joining, no drama.  So if I don't lose weight on my weekly weigh in (have done Weightwatchers and have been attending meetings) then my thoughts are... 'Gah, ate too much, will do better.' None of this, 'oh its been a busy week, I'm stressed, my life is so overwhelming its no wonder...' or 'Crap, I'm never going to lose anything, I'm useless' type thinking.  Just, yup, over-ate, move on.

In short I've been really really kind to myself, and its really really worked.

I haven't exercised.  BUT, I walk about 15,000 steps a day around the house doing housework - WW recommend you do 10,000 steps a day. And I do walk the dog (but its hardly cardio-vascular with all that pausing for sniffing).

So yes. 10kgs off. Fit into wonderful floaty goddess dress AND had photo taken by insane Chinese tourists on Opera house steps (chatted to them in Chinese, they were speechless with surprise, very satisfying ) Its All Good.

Row of Lettuce

All different varieties of lettuce.

Saturday, October 30, 2010


We've got a couple of caulis. Only about the size of my fist, but I think I'll pick them soon before the bugs and the weather get to them.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Making Progress

Of course the kids got sick, I mean it wouldn't be My Life without the kids getting sick.  Just when I thought my re-organising blitz could not be de-railed any further I end up with Miss 4 running a high temperature and me sitting up with her all night (and I mean 3hours sleep, all night).

Today however, Things have been more under control, Miss 4 is much improved and I've caught up on sleep (sort of).  I spent the day in the kitchen, making and freezing sausage rolls for Miss 4s imminent birthday party (I use the Masterchef recipe with a pork and veal mince mix - just the ready made one you can get from Coles or Woolies - they taste damn good and are staple at our kids parties).

I also continued in my quest to get the kitchen under control, piles of paperwork and old newspapers have been sorted, chucked or filed.  School dross (from swimming caps to jazz socks) which were strewn ankle deep in an even layer over every surface have been corralled into one large pile that I'll tackle tomorrow.  AND The clean laundry avalanche has been beaten into submission.

Miracle really.

In other, unrelated news, I have come across a new fly catching device.
Classy (or should that be glassy) eh?

According to some scurrilous home remedy website, I fill my glass (until half empty) with dilute apple cider vinegar, then cover it with glad wrap with holes in it.  The flies, attracted by the fruity smell of the vinegar, crawl through the holes and are trapped and awaiting DOOOM.

The two flies that somehow sneaked in through the backdoor that Someone left open apparently did not see the memo about this.  They spent most of the day flying near, but never landing upon, my cunning device - eventually one fell victim to the dog, and the other my much used fly swat.

I shall give it another day or two, but I'm not holding out much hope.


The squash plants have just started to flower.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Ripe Strawberries

Ripe Hokowase Strawberries

And ripe Chandler Strawberries
They taste even better than they look.

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Progress so far

Organising the house is Not Going Well.  Am better today, but taking it easy, And have actual work that pays actual money so concentrated on that.

Still, just to illustrate the scope of what I'm up against, here is a before picture of the playroom.

I took this about two hours ago and, incredibly, it presently looks WORSE.

Still, I am not daunted.  I will tackle the playroom or have a damn good excuse tomorrow.

I have written a list of things to do (mmmm, lists) but its huge and boring and irrelevant to anyone but me so I won't post it (unusual I know).

The task of getting re-organised is a large one, but, due to the War on Clutter of last May, I'm thinking its not going to be totally horrific - no doubt I'll find out for sure when I actually do something.


Ella's Rose

Ella, our first Cavalier, died of a tick bite a couple of years ago.  We planted a rose for her, and it flowers profusely in October and November.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Flat on face at first hurdle

There is nothing quite like being utterly derailed within hours of making fine and fundamental resolutions about your life - it is as if The Universe is sniggering at your pathetic attempts to exert some control over your random existence.

Well Universe. Bite Me.

I will overcome your 24hour bug.  It will not dissuaded me from having a tidy and organised house. Hell no.  I, am on a mission.

But right now, if its okay with you, I'll just stay here, curled up in bed, and wish a slow and painful demise on the person who inflicted this thing on me (can I just point out here that noone else in them my family has it, yet).

There is a chocolate bavarian in the house and I do not want to eat it.  Yes. That sick.

In the meantime here is a before photo of the kitchen.

Yesterday, before my world crashed down upon me, I cleaned the kitchen to within a centimetre of its life, scraped all the spatter crud from the tiles behind the stove, de-crumbed the toaster and everything.  Sadly I didn't get time before the school run to attack the oven.  You can no longer see into the oven through its window, and when I tell people the inside is actually light blue they laugh a lot.  I also didn't get to the cupboards, the pantry, the fridge, the microwave, the floor, or the knife and fork drawer which is growing some kind of black mildew.

I did, however, wipe the swatted fly guts off the window sill.  It was totally gross and made me wish I had not banned insecticides from my house.

The dog disappeared into the clean clothes avalanche and returned with one of those St Bernard brandy containers around his neck and icicles hanging off his ears.  There are things fermenting in the laundry and I don't have the words to describe the kids bathroom.

Yup. Its aaaaaaall good.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Getting Un-Overwhelmed

I've got a lot on right now.  Not that I'm complaining (for once), I always have a lot on and that is how I function best.  Bored me is a very sad thing to see - I lose the will to live, give up on everything and forget things like when I last washed (myself, the kids, my clothes, whatever).  That said, I constantly tread a fine line between having a lot on and being overwhelmed. In the last couple of years I've learned where that line is - I had to after my complete meltdown of early 2009.  One thing that I know well is that if I have the house clear and clean, and have plans for meals and activities, then a massive chunk of overwhelmedness magically disappears.

Life is busy.  With a new job, latest book going along nicely, kids and school stuff, and constant guests over the last 6 weeks its been more ridiculous than usual.  I knew this time was going to be a challenge, and I purposefully let the house go and decided that the weightloss journey was on hold. (I have maintained the weight I was at, and have 5kgs to go to get to my first goal of a healthy weight/bmi - woo hoo).  I knew there was only so much I could handle, and instead of trying to do it all and ending up back on drugs, 5kgs heavier and sick as a dog, I took steps to keep some semblance of balance going.  And it has worked.  It really has.

But, its time to get it all back on track.  I've got a kids party here in a few of weeks, we're in the downward slope to Christmas and long school holidays, and now is the time to get it all together before chaos descends again.


Saturday, October 23, 2010

There was a FROG in my HAIR

Barring the odd thunderstorm the weather lately has been divine.  So yesterday morning I was outside working on reformatting possibly the most mind-bending form ever.  Things were going along nicely and I thought I was nearly done, when I realised there was another half a page of information I hadn't put in yet.  Once again, defeat was snatched from the jaws of Victory. Or something.

Being deeply irritated over this I pottered off and weeded the sweet-corn bed (which has produced about 4 sweetcorn plants from the rows and rows of seed I put in - I hate gardening).  When I returned to the laptop, I found I had company.
A teensy-weensy frog had joined me, see there, next to the yellow smear (which is the remains of melted yellow crayon btw - never leave crayons outside if the temp is 40+, makes a bloody awful mess)

Being a 'Real Woman' I elected to catch the frog With My Bare Hands and put it somewhere it bit more friendly and dog-free.  Normally I'd pop a glass over it and scoop it up on a magazine or something. But No. I had to be a Real Woman.

I pounced on the frog, who apparently was way ahead of my lightening reflexes, it panicked jumped onto my arm, I panicked, it panicked more and headed for the nearest cover - which happened to be under my hat - you know, where my head was.
This is what I was wearing (am smiling with my eyes, and yes, my hat is on backwards, what of it?), and the frog disappeared under my hair behind my ear.

I won't go into the next events, suffice to say there was a great deal of girly shrieking which set off every dog in the vicinity.

The frog, having more of a brain than me, bugged out quickly, landed back on the table with a plop - and waited quietly until I'd calmed down, and fetched a glass and a magazine.  It is now living happily in the weeds behind the cubby house.

Yesterday was my day for wildlife it seems.

Friday, October 22, 2010


So far today we've had a lost possum on the roof (he's now safely tucked in his tree and we've left some apple slices for later).

I have had to put up with this vehicle parked in my driveway, lowering the tone of the place to unseen depths - it has BACKPACKER written on the side.  BACKPACKER.
 It also has a backpacker in it.

And, given the overwhelming amount of inside work I have to do (house trashed, no clean clothes for the children (and I mean none), book to write, paid work to complete), I have given up on it all and will be outside for the rest of the day, and takeaway for tea.
Those are red currant bushes at the back there, getting along nicely after we put them in a month or so ago, and rhubarb at the front.  It was transplanted a couple of months ago (it got too much sun where it was before) and thus far is thriving.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Mummy, please, pleeeeeease stop singing

It was my rendition of "I'm freeeeeee, freeeeeefalling" that reduced her to this...

We've had a rash of discombobulated fairies at our house today. Clearly there are OHS issues I need to address. Poor fairies.

And, I'd just like to update everyone on my slightly over-confident claims about never buying chamomile tea again.  The brew resulting from my carefully picked flowers tasted exactly like water, was a pale urine colour and had one boiled spider and four boiled beetles in it.  Yum.  I think the flowers are too young and I need to perfect my de-beetling technique.  That'll teach me.


Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Sexxy Knitting

So Mumndad are back from the UK, and today I went and had a browse through Mum's machine knitting pattern books.
Her: Get your hand off my arse
Him: You're sitting on it

Him: Does my moustache turn you on?
Her: No, but that chappie with the tight trousers and the bouffy hair over there does.
Him: I'm only smiling like this because of these trousers
Her: You have no chin or neck

Him: You look like that tarty one from Ally McBeal
Her: You can make a career out of looking vapid?

From Living the good life:
Her: Honey, did you f*rt?
Him; Sure did hun! 
Anyone with a caption, leave it in the comments and I'll whack it up here :)

Also, how the hell do you spell bouffy? buffy? boffy? booffy? boofy?