Friday, October 31, 2008
I love Halloween. Here in Australia it isn't embraced with the enthusiasm that you find in the States and to a lesser extent the UK. Something I think has quite a bit to do with the fact its spring here and its hard to whip up enthusiasm for death and ghouls when the days are getting longer, lambs are cavorting in the fields, and its 36 degrees outside. Okay lambs are not cavorting (too flippin hot), but you get what I mean.
Happy Halloween everybody, or Samhain for all you Wiccans.
Oh what's that you say? Samhain is the NAME OF MY PUBLISHER.
Yes. Its their birthday. I shall be in their cafe posting galore tomorrow in celebration. Also my ad is going up on Coffee Time Romance tomorrow... more on that later. Its going to be a busy weekend.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
Oh, its just been one of those days. Am exhausted due to sleepless night, inside with feral bored loud children and on day one of post holiday diet (did pork up rather due to all that eating).
So, at a loss as to what to do with the screamies I decided to make pumpkin soup out of pumpkins and have a go at a bit of Halloween craft at the same time. Yes. It seemed like a Good Idea at the time.
Here is our victim. No not the dog - am not yet that close to the end of my tether.
So without injury managed to get top off and start to scoop out insides. Kids were able to help with that bit. Note excellent and artistic drawn on pumpkin face. All my own work you know.
And the finished result...
Yes, how completely LAME.
We do have pumpkin soup for dinner tho. Marvellous. Fucking bloody marvellous.
So, then managed to stretch morning tea into lunch and kept the screamies eating until nap time. Was looking forward for a nice sit down, cup of tea and a shower - hadn't actually managed to get dressed yet - ahem. Had nice low fat lunch (okay except for the mayonnaise, but I mean honestly how many calories can be in mayonnaise?) and then went to check on the kids. Miss Bugalugs was hanging around outside her room.
"I've done a poo," she said. Yes. Nothing new there, its happened twice a day for the last nearly three years. Not really bloggable. But what she didn't add was that she'd used it to redecorate her bedroom. I did nearly take photographs. Nearly. But there are limits to what I'd inflict on you guys. I shall not describe it either. Suffice to say teddy, monkey and Baby (a toy called Baby not Miss Bugalugs) are currently going around and around in a boil wash (there is a LOT of stuffing going around and around as well so it looks like we may have had a fatality) and the dog is outside for the foreseeable future (DO NOT ASK).
So, get that all cleared up and its time for our playdate with Diana up the road. Thank fucking christ. By this stage had postponed diet to tomorrow and stopped off to buy packet Tim Tams - I deserved them. No I did. Diana is one of my mother's group friends - a group of women I have blogged about before, who have kept me sane and grounded over the last four years - words cannot describe how awesome these girls are. So today is no exception. Diana sat me down, listened to me rant for an hour, made me two cups of tea, made me put the biscuits down and eat WATERMELON. I know. Watermelon. Given the state I was in that was akin to giving a rabid dog a snuggle. But she did it. What a friend.
I left feeling calm, in control and reassured that my children will not be decorating their bedrooms with their own excrement when they are say 15.
Naturally it all fell apart the moment we got home and I have eaten seven Tim Tams in the last hour, but for that three minute car trip I really thought I'd got a handle on the day.
Rang my mother to complain about the injustices of the day only to be informed she's off to Tetsuyas (posh nosh resturant - yes m'parents are worse about food than me). I wished her poo in her icecream.
Monday, October 27, 2008
So brace yourselves for a month of blog posts moaning about how much I've written and pictures of LOLcats for when I've been procrastinating. I love lolcats. Hubby reckons that if I'm going to inflict Nano on him again, then the least I could do would be to cut myself off from the internet and give myself one less avenue of procrastination (he may well be hoping that I procrastinate in the direction of the cleaning cupboard instead - HAH).
Without the internet?
How refreshingly amusing.
Here's a lolcat. Just to get us started.
YES. I am aware this isn't a cat.
Saturday, October 25, 2008
Bottom left hand corner is Thyme. I use Thyme heaps. Especially when making exploding pumpkin soup - its my secret ingredient.
Across the top is Rosemary. I use this one a lot too. Mostly when I'm making a slow cooked casserole. I think Rosemary is my all time favourite herb.
On the right is Oregano. Don't use this one fresh really. Usually I dry it which seems to intensify the flavour and then it goes in spag bol with home dried basil. Oregano and Basil are best friends.
The white ones are petunias, whilst very pretty they taste foul and I don't recommend eating them. Also, there is grass growing up in the middle of them. If you are a horse then you will think this is great. Or a queasy dog or cat.
Friday, October 24, 2008
This is the Hardy's Bay RSL.
Yes. When I saw it all I could think of was our Year 10 camping trip to Colo River as well.
Still, its an RSL. They almost always do decent, if a bit unimaginative fare. I was all geared up for my prawn cocktail followed by steak Dianne, and if feeling lavish maybe ice-cream.
When we arrived we were rather nervously told that TONIGHT the chef was unveiling his new menu. For the FIRST TIME EVER. Oh yes indeedy.
Well. The menu was promising, things looked good and the decision was made that we would go the whole hog. Yes. Starters. Mains. Dessert. Coffee.
And go the whole hog we did. I had the most sublime prawn, mango and fennel salad, followed by a divine chicken breast with potato galette, blue cheese tortellini and leek garnish. Then. THEN. I had creme brulee.
Not what we expected, and a most plesant surprise. I really hope this pays off for the chef and the RSL, it was the best meal we've had in a long time.
So its home tomorrow. Been a good break and have fallen in love with another bit of NSW. Can't complain.
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Box Head 5 minutes later.
And about 20 seconds after that.
Yes, perfect weather for a holiday with small children.
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
However, all is not lost.
If by February 2009 any of these words appear six times in the dictionary's English language database (which is complied from books, newspapers, broadcasts and other media) then the word will be saved.
Various celebrities have chosen their favourite words to champion. Stephen Fry has chosen fusby, and Andrew Motion (UK's poet laureate & avid bird-watcher) has chosen skirr.
Here is a list of 24 popular ones (with the top ten first). Which one will you choose? Which one will you champion?
Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caducity: Perishableness; senility
Compossible: Possible in coexistence with something else
Embrangle: To confuse or entangle
Fubsy: Short and stout; squat
Malison: A curse
Mansuetude: Gentleness or mildness
Oppugnant: Combative, antagonistic or contrary
And then there is...Abstergent: Cleansing or scouring
Agrestic: Rural; rustic; unpolished; uncouth
Apodeictic: Unquestionably true by virtue of demonstration
Caliginosity: Dimness; darkness
Exuviate: To shed (a skin or similar outer covering)
Griseous: Streaked or mixed with grey; somewhat grey
Muliebrity: The condition of being a woman
Nitid: Bright; glistening
Periapt: A charm or amulet
Recrement: Waste matter; refuse; dross
Roborant: Tending to fortify or increase strength
Skirr: A whirring or grating sound, as of the wings of birds in flight
Vaticinate: To foretell; prophesy
Vilipend: To treat or regard with contempt
Here is the original Times article
And Time Magazine's take on it.
Monday, October 20, 2008
When unpacking the car we had a small milk disaster, actually it was more of an entire esky disaster in which milk was involved. You see we're on a very steep slope, and when hubby opened the boot the esky made a bid for freedom. It shot out of the back of the 4wd and slid at high speed down the drive, hit the curb, turned left without indicating, rolled, and began to spew its contents down the road. I tell you pears can go extremely fast. Faster than hubby can run it turns out. But not frozen casseroles. No, friction slows them down.
So the milk was punctured, right down the bottom and was leaking everywhere. Being the quick-thinking girl that I am, I finished my beer as fast as I could (which was fastish - hell I was laughing too hard at my husband running up and down the street collecting foodstuffs before they got run over) and recycled the bottle.
The teapot behind it is sitting on a teapot warmer that has a little candle in it - just in case you were wondering.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
Here is our view...
Not bad don't you think?
The kids and the dog think its quite good as well.
I have decided to come and live here. Hubby and the kids can stay at home and I'll come up here and write books. Excellent plan I thought. Hubby's not so sure.
Had to escape from paradise during the afternoon and head back to Sydney for a baby shower (yes, very civilised it was with cups of tea and fairy cakes and me crapping on and on about how horrible Miss Beanie-baby's birth was. WHY do I insist on telling this story to pregnant women? WHY?).
It was my first baby shower ever AND I got to revisit my youth and play pass-the-parcel. Yes an immensly exciting afternoon. Won a jar of age defying cream. Grite. Being one who believes that the Universe sends us what we need in life am now practically glued to the mirror looking for wrinkles. Have found quite a lot. More than I realised I had. Am expecting great things from this cream. Great things.
I bought them from my local garden centre.
It makes me so immensly cross that they sell these type of plants willy-nilly without any warning or suggestion that they're not an environmentally sound choice for the area I live in. I would've thought that a garden centre was the exact place where anyone could be aware of what is good in the garden and what could turn into a disaster. But NO. Its all about profit isn't it. Its all about what sells.
For the first time this corner of the garden is just starting to look pretty...
And now I'm going to have to take out the daisies and plant something else.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
I love this particular lavender plant. It came from my parents place in Orange. My Mum grew many different types of lavender there for essential oils. They've sold that property now. Orange was too far away, what with the rest of the family based around Sydney, and the four hour drive trip was too much.
I miss that place though. Harsh and beautiful. But hell to get a Pizza delivered.
Friday, October 17, 2008
Yes, probably nuff said. But you know me. Too far is not nearly far enough...
Despite losing weight have gone UP a bra size. F. I ask you. Size F. I nearly cried in the change room at DJs when I realised that good old E was er too squishy. And what is F for anyway? I mean it was E for Enormous, F for fucking gigantic Flipsy and Flop perhaps?
A for appealing
B for beautiful
C for a cupful
D for delicious
E for enormous
F for Frickin huge.
Soon they will be obscuring my belly button. Swing low sweet chariot, la, la, la...
Yes. It doesn't get much worse does it...
OH actually It DOES. If after you've had a small meltdown about your new bra size you decide to go shopping for swimmers. Why I didn't just fling myself off the top level of the Westfield carpark, I don't know.
I bought myself a bikini (yes, I have no brain), convinced myself all the way home in the car it looks fine, and then when I showed hubby he hesitated. And in that moment of hesitation I could see his poor terrified brain going... "If I tell her the truth she'll never have sex with me again, If I don't tell her the truth she'll figure it out eventually and then blame me and never have sex with me again. I am going to lose this badly."
Needless to say its going back to the shop and the purple Target tankini that I've had since 2003 will do me another summer.
Thursday, October 16, 2008
Its been a really busy morning this morning. By 9am I'd achieved a lot. In addition to waking up, feeding the screamies, dressing the screamies, cleaning self, unloading dishwasher... all the usual first-thing chores, I had...
Iced about a zillion cakes for playgroup (I baked them the night before).
Prepared lamb shanks for dinner and put them in the slow cooker.
And had the dog clipped.
Here is the instrument of torture... The dreaded dog clip tardis, into which small innocent puppies dissapear only to return minus about a kilo of hair, de-fleaed, washed, perfumed and with anal glands well and truely squeezed.
And here is the after photo. Is it just me or does that expression say "I'd really like to kill you, but I forgive you?"
So its a really cold day today. Temps are staying below 20 and I'm washing and de-fleaing Ella's bed and snuggle cushion. The poor thing is really cold, so cold she's shivering. So in a moment of inspiration I grabbed one of the kids old jumpers and put her in it.
Yup, I agree. I'd call that expression: "Tonight you will die human."
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
Not that its all gone to pot. (Tee hee - pot, gettit! Sorry, for those not living around Sydney there has been a recent spate of nice suburban houses which, upon investigation, have been found to have ginormous crops of wacky weeds either in the garden or growing hydroponically inside).
I did manage to get in some Broad Beans and snow peas.
But, I didn't get to putting in my winter seeds. So instead I took the expensive lazy option and bought some onion seedlings. (Oh, and there was a four for $12 deal going so I got some lettuces as well...
And some celery).
Now I just have to plant them.
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Hubby went in search of a jacket in the sales. He ended up with his very first man-bag. Awww. I'm torn between encouragement for thinking outside the box and buying something that isn't boring black, and taking the piss unmercifully.
Naturally I will be wearing MORE than just the shoe's and the hat.
Monday, October 13, 2008
So for me there's one main thing that says Winter is over and its Spring. And that's Lemons.
My lemon tree goes mad this time of year producing fruit and flowers at the same time. Go smell a lemon, that's what those flowers smell like. So beautiful.
These are the last of my home grown lemons.
We had an outstanding crop this year. Hubby claims that its because of all the fertilizer the tree is getting. (Yes, its kind-of an Aussie tradition, men drink beer then pee on the lemon tree - I know. I try not to think too hard about that either - I started saying it when I was six and I haven't really changed my opinion - boys are so gross).
Anyhoo, just forgetting the above paragraph, the main thing I do with my surplus lemons is make lemon self-saucing pudding (or Lemon Delicious). This is my recipe. Its awesome (and not as complicated as some out there).
2 tablespoons self raising flour
2 tablespoons butter
¾ cup sugar
2 cups milk.
Cream the sugar and the melted butter.
Add lemon juice and flour.
Add milk and beaten egg yokes
Whip the egg whites and fold in
Bake in a moderate oven, over a dish of water, for 20 - 30 minutes.
This is a bit like a self-saucing souffle so it should not be cooked too far ahead of time.
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
You see I didn't have a TBR pile and felt that, as an author I really should have a TBR pile. Also I am sick to death of re-reading all my Diana Gabaldons whenever I run out of things to read in the evening.
SO. Being in the midst of a plot melt-down with the Bunker, I decided to skew towards Romantic Suspense, but with a few others just cos.
- Overkill - Linda Castillo
- Tag, You're it - Penny McCall
- The Darkest Evening of the Year - Dean Koontz
- A Soldiers Homecoming - Rachel Lee
- Duty to Protect - Beth Cornelison
- Fearless Fourteen - Janet Evanovich
- Pregnant by the Playboy Tycoon - Anne Oliver
- The Power of Now - Eckhart Tolle
- A New Earth - Eckhart Tolle
- Three Cups of Tea - Greg Mortensen and David Oliver Relin
- A Thousand Splendid Suns - Khaled Hosseini
Oh and I'm also having a bit of a Donald Maass swat up in the reading about writing department.
- Writing the Breakout Novel - my favourite book about writing
- The Career Novelist - which can be downloaded in pdf form from his website
Friday, October 10, 2008
|You Are 75% Pirate|
Oh, its scurvey. That explains the bad breath, falling out teeth and thinning hair. I was sure it was old age.
Pirates seem to be a bit of a theme with me at the moment. You see I've just been writing a scene in The Bunker where everyone talks in Pirate. Yes, it is a romantic suspense, yes compter hackers are involved and a nuclear bunker. But this doesn't mean there can't be a bit of pirate-speak. No. Not at all.
Thursday, October 09, 2008
Wednesday, October 08, 2008
Had a jelly snake stuck in her fur...
Rather than ask questions - some things are best not to know - I went to get some scissors to snip it out.
But when I returned it was gone.
Miss Two and a Half was chewing.
"How does it taste?" I ask.
Tuesday, October 07, 2008
Anyhoo, what did it mean to me, this long weekend. And NO, I am not about to launch into yet another detailed description of both times I have given birth. I do that every year on each of the small screamies birthdays. No what this long weekend meant to me was three entire days in the company of my husband, his parents and my children.
And it rained.
So you're going to understand why, as I sit here, I really just want to stare into space and ...
Sorry was staring into space.
Wednesday, October 01, 2008
Am being all posh and know it all (hiding my inner shy side that you guys get to see ALL the time). After a spot of googling have even made witty up to date references to the current financial crisis, so they think I'm extra clever over there. (sigh)
And here is the photo of the exploding pumpkin soup that I was so reluctant to put up on her blog. I'll share it with you guys cos, you know, we're mates, and good friends never laugh at other good friends misfortunes. Okay, well not to their faces.
Facebook has a lot to answer for. That is all I have to say. The subject is now closed (although I am still getting pumpkin out of the extractor fan in the ceiling and shall be for some time from the looks of it).
You see, I don't get them. I just really don't.
I KNOW. I'm almost ashamed to admit it. They do nothing for me.
I do get why other women love them so much. Kind of. And I have days when I look at the mouldering pile at the bottom of my cupboard and promise myself that I'm going to become a shoe lover and have thousands all arranged in a custom made cupboard like Goldie Hawn in Overboard.
But then I see a pair like this and go all WTF again.