Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Write On Wednesday

Its that time of the week again! Linking up with Ink Paper Pen for another...

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 4: Two Fat Ladies (88!):  I am sticking with the timed theme. It is much easier to find a spare 5 minutes than a big chunk of time to write.  Grab the 8th book from your bookshelf. Open it to page 8. Scroll down to the 8th sentence. Write this sentence at the top of your page. Set your timer for 5 minutes and write the first words that come into your head after your writing prompt.  Stop when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish. It will be interesting to see where all our different prompts take us.
Ok. Here goes :)
...the heart is made fonder by absence.
or some other rubbish, her mother would have her believe. There is no good reason we should be apart, she stewed, no reason at all.
"17 is perfectly old enough to fall in love, Bethany. I am a women now and Robert sees me as such!"
Bethany sighed as she looked at her sister's pouting face, "look Rose, she spoke softly, if it is ment to be it will be, you have to have faith." Ugh! cried Rose, "You sound just like mother!"
Roberts face appeared at the door all of a sudden, he looked nervous. "Rose?"
"Yes, Robert?" "They wont budge. I will have to go." Roses face fell. Roberts father an astute business man had been posted abroard for a year. He was taking Robert with him, to learn the family trade. Robert didnt want to go.
"But Rose, wont you come with me a minute? Rose took Roberts outstretched hand and he led her out of the door and down into the garden. Rose, I have somehting for you said Robert in a slightly shakey voice. "What is it ?" asked Rose, Robert reached into his jacket and pulled out a small box, Rose took a deep breath as Robert got to his knee and asked her for her hand in marriage.
Yes! YES! shouted Rose and twirled around in delight. Robert took her hand and they ran back into the house. Mother! Bethany!! It IS ment to be she shouted still caught up in the moment. Her mother arrived down the stair case in time to see Roberts face blush with nerves, "He has asked me to be his wife!" exclaimed Rose, "when he returns from America we will marry!" Rose's mother sighed, her daughter had always had a mind of her own. Very well darling, and she took Roberts hand firmly for a moment, and with a slight smile she looked at him and said "you take care of my first born....
And there's the 8 Minutes up already! Its amazing how much more you can write in 8 minutes than the 5 we had in last weeks excersise. This was fun, thanks Gill!
If you want to join in Write On Wednesday too then just pop over to Gill's blog Ink Paper Pen and linky yourself up!

Monday, 27 June 2011

Lost in Translation

So as of this morning we bid *Auf Wiedershern to the Germans. They have vacated the farm, off to the slightly less-green pastures of the city. It was a fun week, full of bonfires, tractor riding, bushwalking and jellybeans, but must say it will be kind of nice to have the house back to normal. I got a little bit lost in translation there for a while, so to be able to understand what is going on in a conversation without copius amounts of hand gestures and primitive style grunting noises will be great. 
We unfortunately didn’t manage to cross any of the items off of my list (Germans are smarter than I thought) but I did find out some interesting facts during their stay:
#1 They don’t have marshmallows in Germany (WTF!?)
Luckily this allowed for the introduction of an amazing tradition: toasting marshmallows over a bonfire. One of the Germans was like a kid in a candy store, he has decided to take them back home, market them and become a millionaire – the other one thinks they taste terrible. "Worse dan ze Vegemite."
#2 Diabetics who are bad enough to require an insulin pump attached to them 24//7 get to eat pretty much anything they want to because the pump just corrects all their insulin levels for them via a blue tooth thingy and a little computer. How cool is that?

#3 Diabetics also know more about Jelly Beans than the average person and keep a stash of pretty damn good ones. I had never had ‘Jelly Belly’s’ before. OMG!!!  Best. Jellybeans. Ever. I have eaten 3 packs in 3 days and could quite likely do a blogpost dedicated entirely to them (did you here that Jelly Belly PR people? Will blog for jelly belly's)
#4 My husband appears to find it easier to speak German than English once he is back around his native language for a while. He keeps talking to me and asking me things in gobbledee-gook then wonders why he is met with a blank stare and a raised eyebrow.
#4 Germans are tolerant. They put up with my awful cooking without complaining for 5 whole nights then they offered to cook for us last night as a thankyou. They made this fancy meatloaf type thing with fancy potato’s and vegetables and for desert they made this divine mouth watering chocolate mousse.  

It turns out one of them was the son of a chef and loves to cook. How embarrassing.

Have you had international visitors stay with you before? How did you communicate? How awesome are Jelly Bellys? Did you know they have a butter popcorn flavour that tastes like butter popcorn!?

*I have no idea how to spell that word but it means goodbye, which I think you had all figured out anyway.

Friday, 24 June 2011

A Little Birdy Told Me...

It’s easy to lose and hard to gain. We tell people with our deepest secrets every day and they promise on their lives to keep them, but between you, me and the fence post it seems that more often than not, promises were made to be broken - Unless of course, you are 8yrs old and have partaken in the sacred ritual of the ‘pinky’ promise, that one’s for life or at very least a few good lollies as bribery.
As a child you find out something so incredibly AMAZING like Romeo has a crush on Juliette OMG! And as much as you want to keep your promise you just have to tell your best friend and they promise 'cross their hearts and hope to die' to keep it to themselves but before you know it Juliette is cranky with you because someone told Romeo and now he thinks she has girls germs.
As adults we still do it to a certain degree, partake in idol gossip, except we call it a chat and a cuppa. Even I have in the past been guilty of divulging non consequential little secrets entrusted to me over a cup of tea.
 The trouble is as we grow older the importance of keeping those secrets increases, they are deeper and darker and the threat of revealing them tends to have much bigger fallout. The burden can be hard to bear too – someone I don’t really know very well confided in me that one of her friends has told her he is cheating on his wife and now she doesn’t know what to think, her loyalty to her friend is one thing but she can’t condone his behaviour as she feels for the wife’s position. She needed to say something and felt she could tell me as I don’t actually know the people involved. (Yeah, yeah and here I am putting it out on the internet for the world to see.)
Putting people in hard positions like these and that need to get something off your chest, are how ‘a little birdie told me...’ stories eventuate,  often in only half their entirety and then get spread around like Chinese whispers and blown out of proportion. That's how rumours are started.  Rumours around the family home and in the work place are a whole lot more damaging than any encountered on the school yard, rumours cost people their jobs, business’ their clients and split up families.
Personally, I have only told a few people my darkest secrets – I suppose that’s because they really aren’t very dark at all and are hardly worth talking about.  One such person is my best friend, he and I have total trust in each other and after 10years we still stay up late at night chatting and laughing (and gossiping) with each other like kids at a sleepover. I’m lucky enough to have married him too.
Do you Gossip? (Oh come on, you know you do!)
Do you feel like you can genuinely trust people or do you always feel the need to watch what you say around some?
Have you ever been burdened with a secret you wish you hadn’t ever found out about?

 Want to join in the Flog Yo Blog Friday Fun? You to can link up with Glowless - She loves Loves LOVES  Blog Flogging so much it even brings her to faux tears.

Thursday, 23 June 2011

Food, Fun and Fires in the Kitchen

I cant cook to save myself so in search of a quick fix way of turning DRAB food into FAB food, I went out and spent a considerable amount of hard earned dosh on THE magical kitchen appliance that promised to make me a Master Chef in no time.  I bought a Thermomix! 

Ta Daaaa!

But sadly, it turns out that the Thermomix has a few flaws:
 A) It doesn’t go to the shop and buy the correct ingredients for you.
 B) It lacks an oven attachment, thus not eliminating sunken cakes or scorch marks.
C) It s self cleaning feature doesn’t clean of burnt on hard stuff from when you don't read the recipe properly – that still requires the old fashioned pot scrubber method.
I have had her nearly 12 months and felt it was time to show her off to the Blogoshphere, so without further ado I would like to introduce my first (and probably only) Blogged Recipe, a failsafe of course:
Step 1: Clear out life savings and purchase Thermomix.
Step 2: Check what ingredients you need in your Thermomix Cookbook and chuck em in! If you do it in the specified order and press buttons as per recipe method.  It will look something like this:
FAB and totally how it's supposed to look
Step 3: Take a large tea spoon's worth of the mush ingredients at a time and roll them into balls and place on baking tray like this:

BEWARE – don’t space them to close to each other like this:

Or this happens:

A tad DRAB - I only did this for demonstration purposes of course *ahem*

SET OVEN TIMER – they take roughly 10-15 minutes depending on your oven.
Once cooked they will look something like this:

Somewhat uneven in size and shape perhaps, but the kids still loved them which is the most important thing.

WARNING, dont forget to set the oven timer or they will turn out more like this:
 Which is why whenever I bake I try to keep one of these handy:

A FAB way of putting out your kitchen fires!

  • This post was (obviously) NOT sponsered by 'Thermomix'. 
  • Taking advice from this blog page will not enable you to cook FAB Anzac bikkies. At all.
  • Please have your fire extinguishers serviced reguarly, it turns out they are a little DRAB when they are empty.
This has been another DRAB 2 FAB edition. Want to join in the link up party too?  Head over to the divine Diminishing Lucy and add your own Drab2Fab moment!

Wednesday, 22 June 2011


Time for another Write on Wednesday! Gee, where did that last week go? "W.O.W" As we are now calling it is hosted by Ink Paper Pen, if you want to join in the fun, head over there and link yourself up!

Write On Wednesdays Exercise 3 - I remember: Write "I remember" a the top of your page. Set a timer for 5 minutes. Use "I remember" as your prompt and write down the first words that come into your head for 5 minutes. Stop when the buzzer rings! Do this exercise over and over if you wish.

I remember when we used to hop on our bikes, the scent of wattle trees thick in the spring air, it made you sneeze. We rode through the streets for hours laughing until our eyes watered, talking about boys and chewing on the sacred bubble gum so forbidden by your mother until it’s sweet taste finally faded away and we had ulcers on our tongues.
I remember how we would hide our bicycles at the bottom of the hill under that bush with the spiky leaves so we could jump over the wire fence and climb up to the top.
 Our mountain. Our safe place.
 We could see the world from up there, we owned it. We would lean over on the side with the view of the valley, the wind blowing into our faces, making our clothes billow up like balloons around us, it felt like we were flying.
I remember how we would play on the gigantic rocks surrounded by dry yellow grass as tall as we were, we’d watch the sun disappear over the horizon. Those rocks were our castle and the grass was filled with terrible brown snakes ready to strike at any moment, we’d count to 3 then jump off and run through it shrieking, laughing and stomping our feet, back to our bicycles and home for tea.

Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Invaded By The Germans

I am a messy, uni-lingual, Anti domestic goddess who can’t cook to save herself and yells at the children too much. I am also sadly, a ‘Yes’ person.
 Of course this means when my German husband’s cousin asks if he and his mate (who doesn’t speak any English and has severe diabetes) can come and stay with us for a week or two while they are in Australia, I say ‘Sure, no problem!’.  
Sure, no problem. Except that one of you is likely to leave in a diabetic coma cause I have Zero idea of the dietry requirements of a diabetic, and that’s only if the food poisoning from my poor cooking skills doesn’t get you first. My husband and children will be ok as they are used to it, eating at my place is kind of like drinking the water in Bali, you can only do it if you are a local.
The husband has managed to take some time off from his day job and plans to put our visitors to work like slaves, something about digging trenches for the duck coop and chopping firewood..  I’m not really convinced that digging into rock hard clay with a pick axe is the way they will want to spend their holiday.
So while I am rather amused and slightly turned on by the fact that my husband can chat merrily away to people in a foreign language, I am left playing charades for 'do you want a coffee?'  and it brings me to the age old question:
What does one do with two non English speaking, 30 something year old German men in the middle of the bush?
Below are a few simple ideas I have to keep them occupied:
#1) Send them into the bush with the kids to look for Koalas – We don’t get them around here, but they don’t know that and as a bonus it gets the kids out of our hair for a bit!
#2) Give them some shovels and tell them there are Opals about 1.5M down coincidentaly in the same spot where the new duck pond is going...
#3) Let them have fun on the farm with a turn on the tractor! That way they can slash the bottom paddock for us while Hubby & I relax and drink cocktails by the dam.
#4) Give them vegemite on toast and photograph their facial expressions.
 If all else fails, I guess we can always send them off to the pub – With half the locals boycotting it I’m sure the pub could use their business and with them being German, I’m sure they could use the beer.
What would you do with a house full of Germans for two weeks? How would you cope?

Monday, 20 June 2011

Things That Go Bump In The Night

Hubby and I were having a coffee the other night and being  -5 degrees  and 9pm it was pitch black so  we were of course sitting outside – this happens regularly as he’s a smoker and I’m stupid enough to sit with him, even in winter.

Anyway we were talking about how we should really get our gun licenses due to wild pigs, burglars rabbit problems, drop bears and the like when there was a loud crashing sound with a metallic ring coming from the direction of the front gate.

We looked at each other – or at least I think we did, it was a little too dark to see properly-
"What on earth was that?"
"I dont know... Did someone climb over the gate?”
Then the dog that had been lying asleep at our feet starts growling like a maniac. Uh oh, that can’t be good. So doing what we tell all the people in horror movies not to do, we got a torch and went to investigate.
It turns out our visitor was indeed hungry for blood. More precisely, mouse blood.

A Tawny Frog Mouth Owl had discovered that we have a mouse plague a rogue mouse and was sitting on the fence eying off its prey. (Please excuse the poor quality photograph but I was aiming and hoping due to the lack of light to focus.)
I love living in the country, even the things concealed in the pitch black street-light-less nights are amazing and beautiful, we just need to work on our making our imaginations a little more that way!

Sunday, 19 June 2011

Winners Are Grinners!

Look what I won!!

I know we are supposed to be living a life without television, but hey my Lap Top has a DVD drive in it and there is no point in that going to waste now is there?
A massive thank you to the kind people at digital parents for randomly selecting my name in their recent competition. My life was incomplete having not seen a single episode in the 3rd season of Packed to the Rafters. Now I plan to spend the  rest of the weekend curled up with my new DVD’s and of course, this:

Saturday, 18 June 2011

Today I am grateful for

My children.

As my dear friend suffers her second miscarriage, I am so incredibly grateful to have been able to hold all four of my babies in my arms.

Friday, 17 June 2011

Why Skiing Sucks

I HATE skiing passionately, cold, wet, downhill-into-a-tree, not my cup of tea at all - even the spelling is stupid, who puts a double “i” in the middle of a word anyway?
I must admit that part of my hatered for winter sports comes from a bad experience on a school ski trip when I was about 14. My friend and I, both equally terrible at remaining upright on a pair of slippery sticks decided we were getting a little bit better at this facing our own mortality lark and decided after a quick lesson with a dreamy, tall, blonde, curly haired, sunglass wearing, snow board riding super-hunk that were in fact quite capable after all and we would finally venture off the flat area and head for a small beginners slope.
Alas we were too busy talking about the good looking ski instructor we desperately wanted to impress and we miss read the difficulty level signs on the hill. So we gently pushed off down a colour coded slope with rather poor visibility, about 10 meters later it steepened suddenly and we discovered that our gentle beginners slope had turned into Mt Everest.
So there we were, flying down the mountain of doom at a million miles per hour doing figure 8’s with our legs, screaming our lungs out until I lost one of my poles and promptly fell over doing a rather painful rendition of the splits. My friend fell approximately 4 meters away from me landing in similar circumstances.
We were stuck. With our legs folded beneath us in an ungodly fashion, neither of us could reach that stupid little clip thingy that holds your ski to your boot. Oh the pain of it all, we spent approximately 15 minutes stuck in the freezing cold mush whinging and moaning whilst getting snowballs pegged at us from laughing kids on the chairlifts that happened to be directly above our heads.
Then out of nowhere a knight in shining armour appeared to free us from the death hold of our ski boots. Sadly the knight in shining armour wasn’t wearing armour at all but more of a bright blue snow suit, and while he was indeed a cute saviour, it was cute in the way only a 4 or 5 year old can be. Little bugger had skied up, stopped with that swish of snow powder like an expert and asked ever so politely “Do ya want me to help you?” and after granting us our freedom he said “bye bye” cheerfully and zoomed off down the mountain of terror.
Being rescued by a pre-schooler was our last straw and we and trudged back up the hill on foot, dodging the glaring professionals whizzing down the “black run” around us until we made it to the warmth of the cafe and drank hot chocolate until it was time to go home.  As a result of this missadventure, the only Ski related activities I have participated in since have involved eating yoghurt.
Are you a winter sports person, or are you sensible? Have you got any tales of terror from the ski feilds?

This was another ‘Flog Yo Blog Friday’ moment, proudly brought to you by the Great Glowless and sponsered by the letter 'G'. If you want to join in the fun head over to “Where’s My Glow?”  And Link yourself up!

Wednesday, 15 June 2011

A June Afternoon

It’s Write on Wednesday time again, the long weekend threw me some and I almost forgot! This week the challenge set was to record a conversation between other people that didn’t know you are writing it down.Over a few minute period this is the conversation between my children sitting at the table next to me colouring in:
“I need the book!”
“Nah! I need it, give it to me!”
“Muuum? When are you going to buy some more printer ink? I want to copy this picture...”
“Get a da pinter eenk?”
“Mum Chloe wants to come in, can you help me open the door?”
“No NO NOOOOOoo I wanna da paper. Gett da paaper!”
“Oi! That’s not your pen!”
“Yeah! Amy gave it to me.”
“Nah! Thats mum’s pen not Amys”
Yeah! Amy gave it to me cause she likes me.
“Nah! She likes Buzz, not you! Muum Gucci’s got your pen!”
“How do you talk to a giant? – With big words!”
HAHAHAHA – and then they are all laughing like maniacs. Questions, complaints, fighting, it’s an everyday occurance. Should I be concerned? Do all kids spend more time fighting than playing?
The Princess is mostly a casual observer, she doesn’t say much yet, she interjects into the conversation occasionally to repeat something one of the others has said, generally things you prefer she wouldn’t like “shuddup” or she will ask for something they have “peas da paper?”.
Buzz is reading a joke book and making a paper pirate hat for Felix at the same time, he comes out with random jokes whilst Felix accuses him of sabotaging the pirate hat “see he doesn’t know how to make it! He’s tricking meee!” “Muuum Buzz is making a bad one for me!” He won’t try to do it himself but likes to criticize the brother helping him “Muuum! It’s too small!”
 Gucci is making his own pirate hat with a smirky grin on his face, “Im gunna give this to Amy at school tomorrow!” He may be only seven years old but he loves the girls and Amy is the latest crush to bestow folded paper goods upon.
“Mum look at this!”  Gucci has made Ben the teddy a miniature pirate hat and is singing sea chantys to him “Ahoy a pirates life for me... Muum can you take a photo? Then we can print it out and give it to Ben for his birthday!”

So that is my observation of conversational moment in time, I know I cheated by using the children who are oblivious to my writing in front of them, hey they would be oblivious to a Jumbo Jet landing on the table, but I am not quite ready for a cafe blog just yet. Want to join in the Write on Wednesday Challenges Fun? Hop over to Ink Paper Pen and Linky yourself up!

Tuesday, 14 June 2011


Lately, tiny town has been experiencing some unrest amongst the villagers, People are grabbing their torches and pitchforks and choosing sides.  Two well known local families are feuding and whilst the area has a population of roughly 800 people, only about 100 actually seem to live here full time so as you can imagine, in such a small close knit community this division is causing a few problems.
The local school has been badly affected with children fighting their parent’s battles at recess and as a result a couple of kids have even been removed and we very nearly lost the P&C, luckily some new and neutral parties stepped in and took over the committee roles (say hi to the new P&C secretary of tiny town) .
 The soccer teams have been thrown in the middle with the coaches no longer on speaking terms and some of the older children making life hell for others. Half the town are even boycotting the local pub! Now for a tiny Australian town, that is REALLY serious.
I am keeping out of all this, staying Switzerland. I HATE confrontation and being the new kid in town, I am lucky to be in a position where I don’t have many friends yet can remain fairly neutral and I hope that it all blows over soon, I mean, how long can it go on for? Oh will somebody  PLEASE think of the children?
Alas, it’s been approximately 6 weeks already with no signs of backing down or apologies from the parties involved, just more accusations flying back and forth and more childish behaviour. I guess adults are just kids who have had a few more birthdays.
I wonder how many people out there have been involved with town or even family feuds? It seems that half the people I know don’t talk to some of their siblings anymore. I hadn’t been with my husband long when a feud with some of his side of the family ended their fairly close relationship for over 7 years, we are all talking now, but I don’t think it will ever be quite the same again, that kind of hurt runs pretty deep.
Have you been stuck in the middle of a feud? Could you get away without choosing sides? Are you involved in a family split at the moment? Do you think it could ever go back to the way it was?

Friday, 10 June 2011

Sparkles In The Sky

image from here
It’s that time of year again, the June long weekend. Growing up in Canberra that was something that would always mean getting together with friends and thanking Her Majesty for the extra day off, as we tried to light fireworks with numb fingers and short matches. 
The refreshing sting of smoke in our eyes as we laughed and told stories by the bonfire and the stickiness  of melted sugar running down our hands as we cooked marshmallows on sticks, watching the show and trying to keep warm.
It was bliss.  
Alas NSW doesn’t permit such hooligan-esk activities, and now even the ACT government , after slowly shortening the season over years has gone and banned fireworks altogether thus letting the long held tradition of jumping-across-the-border-and-lying-about-your-address fizzle away slowly and finally die out, like many cheap fireworks themselves.
Whilst their motives regarding dogs being affected by the noise and running away are good, and despite my being an animal rights advocate to the end, I tend to feel people could take more care to lock up their dogs just that one night a year and let us have our pyromaniac style fun. I have to admit unlike the ER nurses across the capital, I am REALLY going to miss firework night.
I caught wind that a town nearby which is even smaller than ours (town hall but no pub) are having their annual firework display/ auction type affair on Saturday and I plan on taking the children and dragging the hubby to create ourselves a new version of an old tradition, one where we can still eat marshmallows and complain about the cold but with new friends, we can still marvel in the glory of as Gucci calls them “the loud sparkles in the sky” and as a bonus we are almost guaranteed  to leave with all our fingers intact!
What is your take on fireworks, love or loathe? Do you agree with the bans, or feel it has killed an age old tradition?
Wanna join the Flog Yo Blog Friday fun? Go see GLOWLESS (after leaving me an awesome comment of course) and linky yourself up!

Thursday, 9 June 2011

Please darling, grow some goddamn hair!

Linking up with lovely Diminishing Lucy today for another Drab to Fab :)

Thursday is my shopping day, I head out to the little-big smoke and hover around the shopping centre awhile then do the weeks grocery shopping. I head to Aldi where I try not to throw canned goods at the lady who always serves me then grab the rest of my stuff at Woolworths before buying an iced coffee at the servo and heading home. Same routine every week, I’m painfully predictable .
The other routine which seems to be building with ridiculous predictability is that of the elderly community of little-big smoke to smile, tickle and comment upon The Princess whilst I shop.
 This would be fine, if they would stop insisting she is really too young to be walking ( hardly at 2&1/2) and calling her a BOY while they do it!
“Oh isn’t he lovely?”
“Walking already? Boys are always quicker than girls..”   
“That’s a fine young chap you have there.”
“Ooh boys are such handfuls, wait till he grows you’ll be busy!”
 She may be a little lacking in the hair department but SHE IS WEARING BRIGHT PINK FOR CRYING OUT LOUD!!
My favourite today was a little old lady to her husband:  “Oh he’s a cute little thing isn’t he, oh wait perhaps it’s a girl? You can never tell these days, the things mothers put their children in...”
This was said at my child, right in front of me without talking directly to me at all, is it me or is that just a tad rude?  So after that additional straw the camel’s back snapped I decided to make The Princess' hair go from DRAB to FAB and I rushed straight to Best & Less and invested in some of these:

Which look like this on her:

Yes I know, Ridiculous not Fabulous.
People try to make me feel better by telling me their little girl didnt have hair till she was 4. Thats really not very comforting. After three sons, I feel the need for the world to know I finally have a GIRL, and since to the world in general girls are obviously supposed to be born with pigtails, I ask you please darling, grow some goddamn hair!

Click here to Link up to Lucy and do your own drab to fab post!

Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Write on Wednesday

The wind is howling around the house, I gaze out the window upon the trees swaying violently on this cold grey day and I wait for a second expecting to hear the cracking sound that splits the air when a big gum gives up its fight and crashes to the ground.

My Border Collie is lying at my sneaker clad feet snoring gently, farting repeatedly and twitching his paw like he is chasing rabbits in his dreams, he looks old today and his black fur is greying slightly.
My head is aching rythmatically and I remove my unruly thick blonde hair from the grasp of the ponytail where it has spent the best part of the last 15 years in an attempt to relieve it.
I look at my hands as I type on the laptops warm keyboard, they are worn and wrinkled beyond my years, my wedding band has dulled and my nails are uneven from working in the garden yesterday.
 The wood fire is starting to die out and I glance outside to see the pile of wood waiting for me in the cold to collect it and re-stock the fire. The sun emerges for just a moment teasing me by warming my leg and disappearing again just as suddenly.
The hum of the computer is just audible through the din of window panes rattling and I wonder how the baby manages to sleep through it all as I escape the bad odour leaking from the dog and go to fetch a panadol and another coffee.

Want to join in the Write on Wednesday Challenge? Pop over to Ink Paper Pen to read the rules and link up :)

Monday, 6 June 2011

Windmills On Wheels

There has been a lot of talk about cars and driving lately, with the whole kidspot top 50 and the ‘drive’ posts flying about the interweb, so I thought I would share the story of my first car.

She looked like this one - image from here

I began driving at the ripe old age of 17 like many other Aussie kids do, the only difference was that I was 7 and a half months pregnant with Buzz and it wasn’t my parents that taught me but my Holden Commodore driving husband to be.
My driving instructor was an old bloke with a great sense of humour who had been teaching for a long time, he had a daewoo which I did the log book lessons in and every time I turned a corner in it  I put the windscreen wipers on instead of the indicator.
‘J’ the driving instructor was absolutely petrified that I was going to give birth in his car during one of the lessons and when my gigantic tummy prevented me from turning around in my seat without wincing he signed me off on the reverse parallel park without me having to actually do it which may not have been a good thing as to this day I haven’t even attempted it once.
Much to J’s mortification Buzz indeed came a month early and a full three days before I sat my final test to get my P’s. Buzz was in perfect health despite being a tad prem and we were released from hospital by midday on that third day just in time to get home and sit the driving test at 3pm. The look on J’s face when I walked out the front door and introduced him to my new arrival was priceless.
With baby Buzz safely in the hands of then husband-to-be I headed out, passed the test and became the 2 millionth P plate driver of a Red VN Holden Commodore.
That car was the hubby’s baby, but he had access to a work car and I needed it more than he did so he begrudgingly handed over the keys. The amount of times people saw my car with its P plates and tried to race me off the lights that first year was ridiculous, I was having no part in it with my precious cargo on board of course but the way people would tailgate and fishy behind me to try and evoke a response was downright dangerous.
Not long after her engine blew up, through old age I might add and nothing to do with my driving! We made the expensive decision to give her a heart transplant and do some other over-due work and about $3000 later she was like new again. Exactly two weeks after we had her home from the mechanic and before we increased our insurance some kids stole her took her for a joy ride and wrote her off. I tell you there is nothing quite as sobering to a 3am phone call from a police officer asking if you have lent your car to anyone!
The hubby couldn’t bear to part with her and bought the wreck back at the insurance car auction – her mangled body lay in our driveway in a bogan-esque fashion for about two years before hubby was able to say his final goodbyes, I think he may have even shed a tear as she disappeared from view for the final time on the back of a tow truck.
My Pop had one like this:
He loved it so much that when it died, he actually buried it on his property.
When did you learn to drive and what was your first car?

Saturday, 4 June 2011

Sweet hell of soccer mumdom, let thee commence for another Saturday morning.

Every Saturday like clockwork we commute the 80km round trip to the muddy sludge fest that is our “local” soccer field. We stand around for an hour with 100km/ph ice winds hammering us in the face while our poor babies battle it out on the field in shorts that touch their shoes and oversized numbered T -shirts all the while trying to impress the hoards of screeching parents on the sideline living vocariously through their children.
I confess that I have never been the sporting type and frankly, I have had some trouble understanding the desire to kick the living snot out of a ball on a muddy field with the constant threat of hypothermia hanging over me, but when our tiny town discovered that we finally had enough kids to make up a soccer team, Buzz and Gucci HAD to be a part of it. Literally.
 In the beginning the little tykes gave it their all, they looked back at their parents with “am I doing ok?” looks on their faces and the team spirit when a goal is scored was unbelievable.
 Sadly for our team those goals have been a bit few and far between and the fact that the 1st coach quit, the second coach has a badly broken shoulder and the temporary replacement is in bed with the flu, well it hasn’t really helped any.
As a result that energizing team spirit has started to fall a little bit and some of the original congratulatory high fives have been replaced by minor looks of contempt. Yet the kiddies are still running their little hearts out every week determined to score “At least one goal, mum!” before that final whistle blows.
As for my boys? Well I don’t care if they don’t win, as long as they have fun and try their best I will always be proud of them. They don’t care either, as long as I give them $1 each after the game to spend at the only canteen left in Australia that still deals in 5c lollies.

Friday, 3 June 2011

For The Love of Lego

Signing up with Glowless and the gang for another Flog Yo Blog Friday!
Since we began our life without television the children’s indoor play activities have revolved mostly around fighting , lego and fighting about lego.
Lego has been gifted for Christmas’s and Birthdays for years now and they are starting to build up quite a collection of planes, police bikes and little ‘Ninja Warrior Dudes’ as Felix calls them.
This is the current state of Buzz’s floor:

Buzz is normally my tidy child and he was a tad unhappy to leave his room in this condition as he left for school today, but he absolutely has to get this plane finished this arvo to make sure “My brothers didn’t lose any bits!” when they borrowed it. To pack it away in the interim would apparently put him behind schedule.

When I was a child, lego came in buckets of assorted pieces with a couple of suggestive pictures on the front and we used that little thing called imagination to decide what we were going to build. We could create 1000 different things with just that one bucket.
As time has worn on, imagination in general seems to have worn off. Even the Lego company has cottoned on to the limited attention spans of today’s kids and developed carefully designed box sets with step by step instructions to quickly create a single masterpiece. These seem to have completely replaced the old tubs of coloured bricks from my youth.
Sure the finished helicopter looks great but it’s only a helicopter not a house and a car and a school and a spy head quarters. If just one piece goes missing you can’t build it anymore which leaves us more inclined to display them as dust collectors on a shelf rather than chuck all the bits back in the Lego tub for rebuilding the next day.

So while my kids are fighting about who lost who’s rotor blade I am on the hunt through ebay etc to find an old fashioned collection of basic coloured bricks and windows to try and re-stimulate their imaginations all the while silently acknowledging that my mother was right and I should have listened to her when she told my money hungry 13yr old self that I was being ripped off selling my 4 huge storage tubs of Lego for $200.
Do you remember the hours of fun that came from the original sets of Lego? 
 Want to join in Flog Yo Blog Friday? Pop over to Glowless' here and sign up!

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Little Changes

Today I am linking up with the lovely Diminishing Lucy for a Drab to Fab post.
Well they say a change is as good as a holiday, and since I am not in the financial position to have the latter I thought I would set about making a few little changes to the place and ‘fab’ it up a bit. I started by moving the dining table into the rumpus room and the kids crap toys into the dining room. Sounds odd, and as I can’t provide photos at this time you will have to trust me it looks a lot better!
Now the three or four of you who stop by regularly may realise that I’ve re-vamped the ol’ blog a little too. I thought the black was a bit harder to read and un welcoming and I think it darkened my moods when writing as well so I decided to go with a fresher, lighter look to happy it all up a bit. Tell me what you think? 
It’s getting cold here at the farm, lots of sub zero temperatures I don’t like winter much, something about sitting in a freezing car with fighting school children at 8:30am waiting for the windscreen to de-frost that just bugs me. So to combat the frost bite in our toes another small change we have made is the installation of a temporary second hand fire place to keep the bedrooms toasty warm at night while we renovate, sadly it doesn’t look like this Fab one:

But more like this one:

Rather Drab, but oh well at least it keeps us warm!
I hope you have had fun with your own Drab to Fab’s this week!