Thursday, September 27, 2012

Pouring, it's Pouring

I would like very much for it to stop pouring. And I don't mean the weather outside. In fact we could do with some rain, the garden needs it.

I've been editing again, on tiny teeny weeny deadlines. I'd hoped very much to get the book sent back to Momentum before the school holidays descended on me.  It was all arranged and I'd been working my bum off and I was going to get there. And then I went on Amazon....

You see Secret Intentions and Running Scared have been selling really well lately.  Much to my eternal startlement (I mean they've been out there for 5 or so years now, so I'm not expecting royalty statements saying I've sold 76 copies in a month!). So I hopped on Amazon to see if there'd been some sort of advertising or something (there hadn't been), and there was a review... one of those one liner crushing ones that no matter how much you try to ignore it, it keeps niggling you.

It led to anxiety attack, a re-read of Drive Me To Distraction, sent me four days over my deadline and working well into the school holidays.

Le Sigh.

So day before yesterday I sent the edits back.

Phew. Breathing space. Time to interact with my children and not just ignore them as they reenact various Lord of the Flies type scenes with the neighbours kids.

And then yesterday morning, at 8am the phone rang.

It was Miss 6s psych.

Miss 6 has a therapist at school with her three days a week.  Paid for by us. No help from the school. No help from the government - the little school funding we can get hold of ($800) was DENIED because the department decided Miss 6 does NOT have Aspergers. Yep. Still WTF-ing that one.  Apparently the diagnoses of paediatricians, independent child psychologists, school based psychologists and counsellors don't count for much these days.  But anyway I digress...

Miss 6s psych had rung to tell us that our therapist had quit.

My day came to a shuddering halt.  It was a disaster. A disaster of epic proportions. For school and most of all for Miss 6. She's not learning. She's barely interacting in class without her therapist there. She can't handle change at all. She can't read. She's got a serious visual processing disorder that means we're currently exploring ways to somehow get her to be able to recognise letters on a page.  Her bewildered frustration leads to melt down after melt down, she needs someone at school with her or the place is just day care.

The effect of this news led to a domino effect involving pretty much everyone who had dealings with Miss 6.  And by afternoon I was sat in my chair watching QI on iView and contemplating the tattered remains of a system we thought was working, but turns out noone had told us was just smoke and mirrors.

Now my husband has the gift of the gab.  He is also very very good at managing people. I am neither of these things, though as the Mother it is usually down to me to manage those who manage Miss 6. But last night I handed it over to him. He works 12hrs a day resolving conflict. And he's damn good at it.

Two hours later, and some of the smoothest talking I have ever heard, and it seems, hopefully, we might have a solution that means Miss 6 will get through to the end of the year with the support she so desperately needs.  But the damage has been done and we've realised that the current situation is unsustainable.  We have huge decisions and changes before us, and I think probably a lot of bumps in the road ahead.

It never just rains does it? It pours.

And that review that so got to me... yeah it said I was long winded.

What the hell??

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Whip It Good

Blog post today about good old peanut butter.  Not the most earth shattering topic I hear you say, but wait...

Yeah okay, you have a point.

But you see the other day I sent The Man of The House to do the shopping.  And he returned home with a tub of Whipped Peanut Butter, and substance hitherto unseen in this household.

But it's twice the price, I wailed. (I did actually wail) And you paid all that extra money for AIR.

Now, whilst I am loathe to admit I'm wrong, I was incorrect in saying that the whipped variety was twice the price, in fact its 32c per 100g more.

From our local supermarket website...
375g Whipped peanut butter 1.61 per 100g
375g Smooth peanut butter 1.29 per 100g

You don't just pay extra for air, you also pay for more sugar and extra preservatives and chemicals. Yum.

Still. We had to admit that the whipped variety was much easier to use, easier to spread, less gluggy and liable to stick to your teeth, and the kids liked it more.

Hmm, I said (really, I did).  Whilst I will not be paying an extra 32c for my peanut butter with air, I wonder if we can come up with a home alternative.

A quick google resulted in this website...

And so, we gave it a try (with a few drops of oil, but no extra sugar.
It worked surprisingly well, though when we tasted it we could see why they add extra sugar to the commercial stuff. When you whip it you can really really taste the salt, and more sugar would cover the taste of it. (This is my theory btw, food scientists feel free to prove me wrong).

We also tried it without adding any extra oil, and it whipped up quite nicely. It was easier to use and much less gluggy, not fluffy like the stuff in the jar, and had quite a salty aftertaste.

Conclusion: I will not be buying whipped peanut butter again, nor will I be bothered to whip my own except on special occassions, but it was a fun experiment.

The End.

Sunday, September 23, 2012

The Horror: Day Two

Why yes, its school holidays again. Hurrah. No really.

Yesterday was Day One of The Horror. This involved a trip to Tinkerbelle, a trip to a Fast Food Chain that will remain nameless, but conveniently provided a 'toy' with the meal resulting in the Offsprings now being utterly over Tink and into the next animated offering... Transylvania.  From hereon we shall name them Unhappy Meals.

It is now 7.24am on Day Two of The Horror.  I have been up for two hours. As has the rest of the household including the dog.

This is the sight that greeted me at 5.34am.

Yep. The last ten weeks have been brimming with kicking and screaming when it comes to getting out of bed in the morning, but today... OH HELL NO. We're going to be dressing up at the Crack of Dawn.

Do I sound bitter?

That's probably because I am.

We are now into the modelling clay.

The end result of which will be multi-coloured poo coming out of the dog at some point in the next 24 hours.

Twelve hours until I can put them back to bed.

*Hold Me*

Friday, September 21, 2012

I'm Coming Soon

Woo hoo, I'm coming soon...

Drive Me To Distraction
Argh, had better get these edits finished then, seeing as people can preorder it already (for discount price of $2.99 I might add).

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Cat v Dog

Every evening from 6.30pm to 7.30pm the Cat That Will Not Die and Sebby the cavi commence the staring. First one to look away loses, and then there is much victorious barking from one side of the glass and inflammatory prowling around from the other.

They never get bored with it.
Dog stares at Cat
Cat uses laser eyes to defeat Dog

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Dogs and Chooks

We have one chook that keeps escaping.  The others are perfectly happy in their corner of the garden unless the water runs out. Then they all escape and drink out of the dog's water bowl, occasionally pecking at the back door so I am fully aware that Things are not as they would like. But Henrietta here does not like to be contained by walls.

I actually don't mind too much.  Yes she keeps trimming my lettuces (which are on the verge of bolting anyway due to a very dry spell and lots of gales), but we also haven't seen any ticks, snails or slugs around since she's got into the habit of making a break for it once a day (after she's laid her egg, of course).

It'd be a different matter if all four chooks escaped.  The back garden is too small for all of them to be scratching it over all the time and we'd end up with a dust/mud bowl. Mostly dust.

Sebby the cavi would dearly like to chase Henrietta. But, the wily thing realised long ago that if she doesn't run away then he merely licks her head and goes about his business (ie barking at next-doors dogs).

Yes, that would be my herb garden under all the chickweed
I am neck-deep in edits for Drive at the moment. And still getting over the huge response to the giveaway I had :) 750+ entries!! I love giving stuff away, and I'll be holding another one in early October.  But yeah, editing, its taking it out of me. School holidays plus inlaws are descending on me in a couple of weeks and so I'm racing to get them finished.

Wish me luck :)

Monday, September 03, 2012

Giveaway: Back To The Books

My next novel, Drive Me To Distraction, is being released on 

 1 November

8 weeks to go!

To celebrate I'm giving away a $10 Amazon Giftcard to three lucky readers :)
Get your entries in!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Spring Peas

Regular readers will recall the great garden disaster of a few months ago.  This involved me leaving all of my seeds out in the rain for several days, leading to panicked planting and the resurgence of my vege garden at a time when I was rather over the whole gardening thing due to failure after failure.

Serendipity smiled on me, and now I have a garden filled with abundance, despite my ignoring it for days on end.
The peas got all mixed up, so we've got snow peas and normal peas all growing together
The kids and I stand in the sunshine and eat snow peas after school
We picked these for dinner tonight
Is there anything more perfect?
And the sweet and delicious result.

We ate them with baked chicken and roast vegies, including baby turnips from the garden as well.

Doesn't get any better :)