Saturday, January 31, 2009

I recieved this award from my dear friend Libby over at Neas Nuttiness...
So, Thank you, Libby !
Man, I just love getting awards, don't you?
But most of the time, I just don't have a clue as to what to do with them!
Now I think that I'm supposed to "choose" a couple of people to pass the award on to, but you know what?
I just can't pick!
See, each and every one of the blogs that I follow, are "favorites" of mine
and I can't pick one or two or ten and leave the others out.
Because I love ALL those blogs.
So, what I'm going to do,
(and just shoot me if I'm going against protocol here)
is pass this award on to each and every one of you on my blog list - as well as anyone who just pops in for a bit of a look-see.
Your mission
- should you choose to accept it -
is to share the love.
So pass this award on and tell your friends that you
LOVE their blog too!

Friday, January 30, 2009

The Concert

I know I promised to share my thoughts about the Neil Young concert with you, but I'm finding it hard. I'm still kind of speechless and I'm still processing it... if that makes any sense?
Like a treasured memory or gift that you just want to hold tight to yourself and not share, because sharing it will cause it to be diluted or lessened in some way.
Is that nuts, or what?

I can share the external parts, like what the concert was like, and the people watching part that I was reveling in, but the internal parts about how it affected me, well... that's a little harder to do, I think. I just don't have the words. I'll try though.

Neil Young is simply... Neil Young. His voice was instantly identifiable, with no change whatsoever in the last 30 years. The minute I heard that voice again, something inside me just panged. I was transported back 36 years - all in a heartbeat.
It was bittersweet.. it hurt... but at the same time, it just felt so damned good, you know? I felt raw and exposed, but soothed by the balm of changeless-ness at the same time. I went "home" again.

Some of the highlights for me included, Cinnamon Girl, Words, One of These Days, Cortez, Mother Earth and Unknown Legend. I would have loved to of heard "Old Man" or "Hey Hey, My My", but he couldn't have crammed in everything I was hoping to hear. What we got, was perfect in every way... and to be honest, I'm still floating.

He still "looks" the same, although it's been decades and he has aged a bit. But not in a bad way at all. He seems to have a "patina" now that he didn't have 3+ decades ago, and if his classmates didn't know that he was a legendary musician, he would be instantly identifiable at his high school reunion - because he's mellowed a bit, maturity-wise and looks-wise, but he hasn't changed at all. The man is, and will always be "the man".
He was dignified, relevant and honest, just like he's always been... but wow, he threw in some doozies and arse-kickers on Wednesday night, that just took my breath away.
I've never in my life seen, or heard, him do any song less than exquisitely, and the concert the other night was no exception. I just love how he can slightly "change" the delivery of a song, but the meaning and impact is always the same.

Neil Young, to me, is just one of those rare, enduring, musicians for whom the term “ music legend” is more of an under-statement, than it is an over-statement ...and I still love him to pieces.

I've heard that CSN&Y will be doing an Australian/ New Zealand tour later in the year, and I will definitely booking again! I don't know if it's true... but if it is, it would be fantastic!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Hi honey's... I'm home!

The old guy and I got back from our trip to Melbourne a few hours ago, but I've been busy putting things away, sucking up to my cats (none of which are talking to me right now) and having a couple of cold showers and just trying to cool down.

"Trying" being the operative word here.

It's hot as hades here in Western Victoria right now and the air con has been battling to cool things down. It seems we're breaking temp records right left and center and if it gets as hot today as they've predicted it will get, this is the hottest and longest heatwave in Melbourne's history.

If the weather predictions are correct, it will be the first time since records began in 1855 that the city has had three consecutive days of temperatures above 43C. (109.4)

It hit 44.2 (111.56F) at 2:47 this afternoon just as we were going to the grocery store to get milk and bread... and my shoes were sticking to the bitumen just walking across the parking lot. Literally sticking.
Like if I didn't keep my toes curled, those shoes would have been left behind, leaving me to walk on boiling lava...
But it dropped to 43.6 just a few minutes ago, so hopefully it'll keep on dropping and I won't have to sleep on the cool linoleum - or in the bathtub - tonight.

I'll tell y'all about the trip to Melbourne to see Miz K and Neil Young, but it's gonna have to wait a bit... It's just too darn hot in here to keep the computer running.
I'll try and fill you in a little later tonight - when it cools down a mite, okay?

And besides... right now I need another cold shower.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

How much am I worth?

Okay, Libby over at Neas Nuttiness has mentioned to me, that I must be paying y'all to be my followers - because I'm always one ahead of her.

Now, I like to think that it's because you think I'm the "cat's pajamas" and the "bee's knee's" all wrapped up in one, but I guess I have to be honest and admit that it just might be because you're strange and have nothing better to do with your time.

Libby thinks it's because following me is like watching a train wreck... You don't really want to watch, but you just can't tear your eyes away.
She didn't actually say that, but I like putting words in people's mouths and giving them a hard time. Especially with people I like.

Or maybe I'm one up on her, because you just haven't met Libby yet. If you haven't, get on over there and check her out.
I mean that.
You'll thank me.

But now I have a question.
What is the appropriate renumeration for getting someone to follow you?
How much would I have to pay you, to "follow" me on my blog?

I promise I won't share your info with Libby.

It went for a good cause...

Remember that leg hair, from shaving my legs yesterday?

Well, you'll be pleased to know that there was enough to :
Donate a chest wig to Tom Selleck,
(Tom was so pleased with the results, that he immediately had a photo taken, which he then sent it to my cousin Larry.)
Decorate a birthday cake for my cousin Emma,
(Emma, has always wanted to sink her teeth into Tom... and now we've given her the chance)
and then I knitted up a pot scrubber, to boot!
I think I'm going to have to start shaving my legs on a more regular basis, instead of just doing an annual or bi-annual shave.
I'm much more aerodynamic now... and I swear I lost a good 14 pounds.
But the donating to a good cause and making several people happy in the process... well, that's what really made my day.
I'm just made that way...

Monday, January 26, 2009

I can't go anywhere !

Today's my last work day (and my final day of school holidays...YAY!)
and then tomorrow is the day we head to Melbourne for the concert ... and some sweet, sweet time with Miz K.
But, as I was drinking my first cuppa of the day and gazing at the fading stars up in the sky, it hit me.

I can't go anywhere.

I have heaps (and I mean heaps) of laundry to fold, another load or two of washing to do, vacuuming, dusting, scrubbing down the kitchen, legs to shave and feet to chisel the dead dry skin off of.
I have cat boxes to wash and disinfect, cat litter to buy, tissues to stock up on because this chest cold has moved to my head and although it''s basically run it's course, I don't want to have to use my guys' shirt tails in an emergency.
I have floors to mop and bills to pay and time-sheets for work to still process and drop at the office, if I want to have any hope at all of getting paid in the next month.

I still have the spare fridge sitting out on the middle lawn, that needs to be given a final wipe-out and put back in the shed and a 4 foot tall Gum tree to plant because with the upcoming 2 days of 40C /104F temps, the poor little thing will die if it's left in it's plastic pot, with no water.
Which reminds me... I'll need to leave extra water outside for the cats and to leave a note to remind Kay that she'll need to top it up, when she comes to feed the cats and let them out.

And on top of it all, today's a work day and I will have 6 little rug rats expecting me to act like I'm doing my job. The parents tend to think that while their littlies are here, I should forsake all personal stuff and dedicate myself to their progeny. Funny, that.

I think I feel a headache comin' on.

Well, I got the tree planted and and it's happy as a clam... and everything got throughly watered. But Shhhh... don't tell the water police. I figure I'll be saving 2 showers worth of water while I'm gone, so I decided to share it with the plants.

I also got the ol' legs shaved while I was in the shower and discovered that while I have a perfect left leg, the right one looks like a Rand McNally road map. What's up with that?
I walk on both legs and both legs get the same amount of exercise, so why does one have varicose veins and the other look like the leg of a 20 year old? It sucks weinies, I tell ya.
And I saved the leg hair too. I figure if they ever need to make a chest-hair wig for Tom Selleck, I might be in the money.

One load of laundry's folded and another couple to go, but I will get there.
Or die tryin'.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Australia Day

Leading up to the weekend, I spent an interesting couple of days asking random visitors:
"What is the meaning behind "Australia Day" ? Because I didn't have a clue.
Evidently, they didn't either.
(And actually, I didn't really just "ask"...I interrogated those visitors. But I'm cute and can get away with it.)
I heard:
"It's the day we celebrate by having barbies".
( as in throw another shrimp on the barbie... otherwise known as barbeque's)
"It's a day when we have piss-ups with our mates."
(which means drink lots and lots of beer and become drunk and obnoxious and call everyone within cooeeee your mate.)
"I don't know the meaning behind it, but it's a public holiday"
"It's a public holiday, so all the shops are closed."

Okay, but why is it a public holiday and what are we celebrating?

12 random people were "polled" (well, actually they weren't just random people, but my guy, parents of my daycare kids, 3 friends, the Avon Man (yes indeedy, we have "equal opportunity" in this country), a guy trying to sell me Austar and the meter-reader) and not a one of them could give me a definitive answer. So I went googling.

And found this :
"On 13 May 1787, a fleet of 11 ships, which came to be known as the First Fleet, was sent by the British Admiralty from England to Australia. Under the command of Captain Arthur Phillip, the fleet sought to establish a penal colony at Botany Bay on the coast of New South Wales, which had been explored by Captain James Cook in 1770. The settlement was seen as necessary because of the loss of the colonies in North America."
(And those damn Yankees just wouldn't accept convicts from England anymore.)

So anyway... it seems that one Major George Johnston was the very first officer that came ashore to establish a penal colony... and that was cause for big celebration.

However, it wasn't his own feet that actually carried him ashore - they were somebody else's feet.
Major George Johnston had the honour of being the first officer ashore from the First Fleet, having been carried from the landing boat, on the back of convict James Ruse.
Because, James Ruse had to carry (well, I don't think that he was actually "asked" per se, but was forced to carry... thereby making it "HAD to carry") Major George Johnson piggy-back style through the surf, so the good major wouldn't get his feet and his expensive leather boots wet. So James Ruse really got there first, didn't he? But of course, the major got the pats on the back and had tankards of ale hoisted in his honor.

20 years later on January 25th 1808, they celebrated not only the landing, but the survival of the the people who made the "First Landing" ... and all because Major George Johnson first stepped ashore on Australian soil after someone carried him there.
And they celebrated because they had all endured hardship, deprivation and starvation.
Anyway, that's the story in a nutshell.
I'm going to go out now, fire up the barbie and have me some snags and hoist an ale.
Happy Australia Day, everyone !
I hope you all have a wonderful, relaxing day!

Friday, January 23, 2009

Neil Young in Concert

Guess who we're (the old guy, Miz K and myself) going to see in concert in Melbourne, next week?
Neil Young! (geez, I kinda gave it away with the title, didn't I? Duh Doodley!)
I haven't seen Neil in concert ... or otherwise ... since about 1973.
Lookie here! This one always gets to me. Still. Even after all these years.

We bought our tickets months and months ago... and I was beginning to wonder if the day would ever come... But we'll finally, finally, finally be heading to Melbourne next Wednesday.
I was always a fan and I introduced my guy to his music about 10 years ago, so now he's totally hooked as well. He's systematically bought anything and everything "Neil Young" related, but thankfully, he's held off on playing any CD's lately. I want to wait for the real thing.

There's history there for me... and for years I was totally ticked off with this guy on a personal level, but I guess I've mellowed with age - and the things that used to matter just don't matter any more.
The music has always moved me, because I've always known the cost and effort that goes into his songwriting... and as a musician, he's one of the best, enduring, all-round musicians that I've ever had the pleasure of knowing.

And Sherri ?
This one's for you.

Ppppbbbbbbttttt !

Rats! FOILED (never) again... and other things

You know how when you go to use your aluminum foil, Glad Wrap or waxed/greased paper the dang thing does it darndest to jump right out of the box and it ends up rolling all across the floor?
So you have to sweep everything off the kitchen table or benchtop/counter to make enough room to lay the mess out flat, so that you can attempt to roll it back on the tube? And you can never get it "just right" ever again, and it always wants to rip crookedly once it's been re-rolled?

Well, over on My Siberian Kitties this morning, I found out something I didn't know!
There are instructions on the end of the box... and I never even knew it! I mean, who reads a box of aluminum foil or Glad Wrap, looking for directions on how to use the stuff... right? We all know how to use it! It's pretty self-explanatory, isn't it?

So when I read "My Siberian Kitties" post, I thought to myself, nahhhh... it must be something new they've just come up with.
So I did what you're all gonna do. I went and checked every single box in the drawer, and every single one of them had the same information. From the favorite brands, right down to the "no name" stuff I buy because I just don''t use much waxed paper, so why pay the high price of the good stuff?
It says, on the end of each and every box - clear as day :
Press Here To Lock End.
Don't just take my word for it though... go check it for yourself.
I'll wait.

See? I told you so!


Now don't you feel dumb? No? already knew this?
Please don't tell me that I was the only one who didn't know this!
Now... on to other stuff.
Just as stupid and just as inane... but I'm addicted to keeping you filled in on the boring in's & out's of my sad life.
The good folks in my town owe me big time. We're on stage 4 water restrictions here, due to the drought (and IMO, some pretty stupid decisions from our local council, but we won't go into that here) so we're not supposed to water our lawns or gardens and keep our showers down to 4 minutes a day. 4 minutes a day... YOU try it!
Well, last year, I lost 6 beautiful Birch trees due to lack of water, so I had them removed and I put drought-friendly trees and plants in their places. But even thought they may be drought resistant, they still need to be watered occasionally during their first season.
So baby did a bad, bad thing last night.
I watered certain plants and trees. I watered them with a bucket, but still...
Then I did a final 2 loads of laundry at 7pm last night (the rinse water goes on the lawn) and then I hung the laundry out to dry.
So what happened during the night?
It rained.
Thanks to ME !
If I hadn't watered and washed... we wouldn't have gotten the good soaking that we did.
I might even wash the car today and see what happens. :o)
Never mind... the water police will get me for sure.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Be Careful?

I read the post about the American Idol judges over-reacting to a contestants parting comment, over at Little Mountain House... and I'm just flabbergasted!

See, they had a contestant by the name of Mark Mudd on the show, who auditioned with a pretty "iffy" rendition (hey, gotta be honest here) of George Jones "White Lightning". I mean, he wasn't too bad, but he certainly wasn't too good either.

But to back up a bit...
When Mark first walked on, the judges asked if that was a gun on his hip - when it was clearly a (I don't know the correct term here, so excuse me) a "holster" on his belt, for his Skoal or Copenhagen tin.
They were in the South for Pete's sake... and this was the first one they had ever seen? They were even common in California and I've seen 'em in the South, all of my life.

So.... eventually, Mark introduces his song and proceeds to sing it - and instead of the judges simply saying "Thank you Mark, but that's a "no" from us"
they just sort of sat there, stared at him and waffled about. The silence was painful for me to listen to, and I know it must have been agonizing for Mark.

They looked at him... he just stood there looking back at them... just waiting for a definitive response - one way or the other - and when Randy finally (decently)said something along the lines of, "Sorry Mark, good lookin' out Dawg - thanks for coming out baby."
Mark thanked them all and as he was walking off, he said "Take care, and be careful". And that's when the judges (particularly Paula and Simon) started in over-reacting.

They said things like "Was that a threat? You don't say things like "be careful"... "normal people don't say things like "be careful"... and IMO, they carried on like ignorant jerks. But then again, we're talking about Paula and Simon here.

Now, I don't know about you, but I was raised with the phrase "be careful" and it simply means "be careful". It's not a threat and no one I have ever said it too has ever taken it as a threat. Not fellow Americans and certainly not any Australians I've ever said it to... Australians who would have every reason in the world to misunderstand some of my American phrases.
When I've said "take care" or " be careful" no one has ever asked me if I was threatening them.

Now, just taking this at face value, it's sort of understandable that they were unsure of what he was saying. But they were auditioning in Louisville Kentucky, for goodness sakes. They had folks from Kentucky and other parts of the South in and out of there... auditioning all day.
I'm sure they had heard terms and accents that may have been confusing to them all day long and seen other people wearing Skoal holster thingies. I mean, you can't go much of anywhere in the south and still be that insulated.... can you? Or can you? Maybe if you're chauffeured around and your every whim is catered to, you can.
BUT... think about it. If it was a gun or a holster on his hip, don't you think that someone in the production crew, or even security - tight as it is -would have worried about him packin' a gun?

Maybe those 4 judges are used to big city ways and big city phrases... but there is a whole wide world out there, that doesn't think or act like big city people. Not that there's anything wrong with big city phrases or people - because we're all different, But hey, a little tolerance, decency and understanding goes a long way.

Mark was simply using his manners... and normal, every day Southern hospitality. But he was left to look and feel like an idiot - by a couple of ignorant, 'insulated from reality' jerks.
I felt sooo sorry for the guy.

You can see Mark auditioning for American Idol here ... and then I would love to hear your opinions.

Ya'll be careful now.

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Where did I get my blog design, you ask?

I got it from a total sweetheart of a woman named Staci, over at Blogalicious Designs.

I owe this girl. I owe her so much that I was almost tempted to name my first born after her. But since my "first born naming" days were over 34 years ago and I don't even think she was born 34 years ago, she'll just have to be happy with me naming a puppy after her or something. Or shamelessly plugging her design site and praising her virtues.

See, I knew what I didn't want when it came to my blog design, but I didn't have a clue as what I did want, either. I first went with a standard template, but it wasn't what I wanted. I tried other templates, and I still couldn't get what I wanted. I tweaked here, I tweaked there, and still... Nothing... Nada... Zilch.

I tried so hard to do it myself, that I was giving myself headaches and ulcers... but no matter what I did, or how hard I tried, I just couldn't get "it"... you know what I mean? I wanted a specific "yeah, that's IT!" blog design - and in the end, Staci gave it to me. Almost instantly!
Bless her sweet little pea-pickin' heart!

I'm still totally in awe of those women who can cook and sew and decorate and reupholster furniture and home-school and birth calves and castrate bulls and teach dance or photography in their spare time... and still manage to find the time and the talent to come up with a gorgeous and appealing blog design - all on their own.

All I know is... I'm just not one of 'em.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Obama's Inauguration

Okay, okay... I didn't exactly vote for the guy, or the other guy either (due to religious reasons) but I'm just totally rapt with the going's on right now. I would truly, dearly love to watch the inauguration of Barack Obama tonight, but I just don't know if I can hold out.

The thing is, here in Australia, they'll be showing the inauguration of the 44th president of the United States of America - starting at 11pm tonight.
That's like... an hour off midnight and it's slated to last for approximately 4 hours. Which is all fine and dandy, but I start work at 7 am tomorrow morning and as anyone who knows me can attest, I'm the kind of gal who needs my beauty sleep. Desperately. So 2 hours of sleep just won't cut it.

I'm going to hold out as long as I can and may even have a bit of a cat nap in my chair, so at least I'm pointed in the general direction of the tv set. I figure by 10:55, the stiff neck and drooling all down the front of myself will set in, so between the excruciating ache in the neck and the soaking wet chest, I'll wake myself up... and then catch the big going's on. How's that for a plan?

But... if anyone is going to record it - or knows where I can get a copy, would you mind sharing? I'll pay costs, postage, whatever is involved, because I want to watch this historic, long awaited day in America's history.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Oh yeah Baby! Dutch Babies pancakes that is !

I've been looking for this recipe for "Dutch Babies" - or as they're sometimes called... "German Babies" - for over 20 years now, and luckily, I found it over at Angie's place at Half Assed Kitchen !

We used to get these pancakes when a group of us would stop at a local restaurant on the way home from work, after working graveyard shift. I don't remember half of the old workmates now, but the memory of these pancakes has always lingered in my mind...

My favorite way to eat them was with lemon wedges squeezed over the top and then sprinkled with powdered sugar, but you can use maple syrup, thin jam, cut up fruit or just about anything else that strikes your fancy.

Thank you Angie, for allowing me to post this on my blog...

Dutch Baby w/ lemon wedges and powdered sugar

As Angie says:
"Here's what you need and how you do it:
4 eggs
1 cup flour
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups milk (or soymilk)
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon cinnamon
Butter or margarine
Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Put an iron skillet or 8x8 baking pan in oven.
Beat the eggs until frothy. Mix the flour, salt and cinnamon together. Then alternately add flour mixture and milk to eggs. Whisk in vanilla.
Pull pan from oven and coat bottom of pan with butter. Pour in batter. It will be thin, but creamy.
Bake 12 to 15 minutes at 500 degrees. Turn down oven to 400 degrees and bake another 12 to 15 minutes.
Serve with jam or powdered sugar, or your topping of choice.

Just counting down the days.

I had the day off yesterday because I'm still feeling pretty much like crapola, but I'm back to a semi-full house today and I have to be totally honest with you and admit that I'm dreading it.
Dreading it with a capital D !!

It's been a very hectic round of school holiday's (summer vacation) this year and I'm so thankful that it's beginning to wind down. I only have 4 more days to get though and like the little engine that could says: I think I can, I think I can, I think I can.
I've come to the conclusion that I like children just fine, but I wish some of my parents had practised birth control a little more rigorously.

I'm beaded out, because I've beaded until my eyes cross.
I've colored/coloured in until my hands cramp.
I've glued sh** on paper, cardboard, card-stock and toilet paper rolls and then covered it with glitter. Enough glitter to make the entire house look like it's a fairy garden and you know that stuff doesn't vacuum up at all.
I have shoveled enough sand to make a 10 story high sand castle and have the blisters to prove it.
I have grass stains on my knees from attempting to run 3 legged races or from playing kickball with extremely short and uncoordinated little folks.
I've got scrapes on my legs from being plowed down by tricycles
and I've had my toes run over by training wheels.
We've cooked and baked in the oven, done bake-less biscuits. (cookies)
Sliced enough fruit for fruit salad to feed the populations of small countries
and the children even had a go at making butter with paddles.
(note to self : Don't EVER do this again!)

We've bird watched.
Identified plants around the garden.
Planted seeds and cuttings and have weeded the children's garden so well, that there's barely anything left but bare dirt.
Just dirt.
No worms.
The worms have all been carted away in pockets or used to scare little girls at the lunch table.
Some may even have been eaten.

And that's not even getting into the normal ,daily, day to day stuff.
Puzzles, drawing, counting, threading, reading, story telling, free play, structured play and bribing/coaxing irritable little ones into having a nap so that I can have a bit of a breather.

The problem with school hol's is that even when the littlies go down for a sleep... IF they go down for a sleep, you still have the older kids to contend with... and they refuse to go down for a nap at ALL. And "quiet time"? You're joking... right?
Even bribery doesn't work on 8-11 year olds. Unless maybe I had a Wii. But I'm not cool enough to have a Wii, so the little darlin's are just out of luck and are stuck forevermore with the Nintendo 64.
Deal with it, sweetheart.

The older kids tend to look at the time while the little ones are down, as their time and they just want to party hearty. And talk about whining ! An 8 year old can whine louder, longer, more consistently and more constructively than even a 3 year old can. And they know how to get your goat... every single day.

And they're doing all this, when I still feel like I've been run over with a Mack truck and I'm still barking and sweating like a demented seal with menopausal hot flashes?
WHY? Don't they care that I feel sick?

Hey, I can understand fully, why some species eat their young.

Thanks to Barb at A Cowboys Wife, I've found that you CAN teach an old dog new tricks!
I'll remember this for next time !

Saturday, January 17, 2009

I'm Jammin'

Remember the little cherry plum trees I discovered a few weeks back?
Well, I was feeling half-way human a few hours ago and I decided I had better do something with the plums before they all went bad... Or the birds ate them.
So I made one little pot of jam out of about 30 teeny plums.
I couldn't be bothered to actually "can" the jam, so I just filled a yogurt container from last nights dinner.
There's just enough jam for maybe a week - for me and the old guy - so even though I kind of wish I had had more plums, this is really the perfect amount.
I might even see if I can't muster enough energy later today, to make some biscuits to slather this good ol' jam on !
But right now... I'm off for a much needed "nana nap".
Geez, it's hell feeling old.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Someone just shoot me please.

With all the weird "up and down" weather we've been having lately - with temps of 39C (102.2F) one day, and then down to 19C (66.2F) the next... and after 2 nights of sleeping with the fan blowing on me, I've come down with the mother of all chest colds.

I ache.
I'm burning up.
I cough dryly.
I'm flat as a tack.
I'm sobbing pitiously.
I'm sick.
I want my Momma.

Several people have recommended drinking whiskey, lemon and sugar or mixing up some ginger tea... but since I didn't have any whiskey or ginger on hand, I figured Tequila would do just as well.
Well....right? Alcohol is alcohol, isn't it?

Tequila (particularly José Cuervo Especial) is my drink of choice and I can (or I used to anyway, before I got old) easily handle a whole bottle of the stuff with little or no effects, while 3 or 4 glasses of wine, makes me want to dance nekkid on tabletops.

Not that I even think about drinking a whole bottle of Tequila anymore, (I outgrew that stage 2 or 3 decades ago) but I did have an inch or two left in the bottle from the last little get-together we had... about 3 years ago.

So, I just had a small shot glass of José, with a bit of sugar and lemon, and...

Woooooooo dawgies !
I sputtered
I hacked and gasped for air.
I fell asleep for 10 hours.

And you know what? I still feel like death warned over, but at least I was practically comatose for 10 hours and I don't remember a thing. I don't know that it actually cures a chest cold, but it sure makes you forget all your troubles.

I still want my Momma though.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Costco is coming to Oz !

Costco is finally coming to Oz !! From what I've heard, the store in Melbourne is due to open shortly, and I've got to tell you...
I just can't wait!

Now we don't know yet, exactly what items they'll be carrying... but I've got my fingers crossed that they'll offer some American goodies, (I'm down on my knees here) along with the standard Aussie stuff.... We think.
No one knows for sure, but I'm a "the glass is half full" kind of a girl, so I have high hopes that there will be a smattering of American products in the mix somewhere!
Just imagine.... they might even offer 5 gallon buckets of Vegemite!
Or... Dr Pepper ! YEAH ! Dr Pepper !!
Hey, maybe they'll even have Crisco... which would save me the embarrassment of going to adult shops, just to fry some chicken!

Regardless of the 'nationality or origin" of the items they will be carrying, it's going to hopefully knock some sense into Woolies and Coles, who have been running an overpowering "duopoly" in the grocery store sector, for far too long.
And that's a good thing... no matter what they'll carry, or what we'll buy.
Prices WILL be cheaper!

Check out the video below... and see some beautiful Australian scenery. They did a fantastic job of catching the "flavor/flavour" and beauty of Australia.

For my Australian friends, Click >>>here <<< to see the various departments and the types of items that Costco typically carries.

Check this out:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

National De-Lurking week...You're invited!

Did y'all know that this is Nation De-Lurking week?
Well I didn't either, but I think it's a great idea!

With that little feed-jit thing on the right side and the counter right under it, I can easily see that folks from all over are poking their heads in and having a look at my blog.... but the numbers - when it comes to "commenter's" - just don't add up.
With 20 or 50 hits - or whatever the total is for the day, there are quite a few "lookie-lou's"...but most of them never say a word.
Well, I don't have a problem with lurkers at all, because I've been one (and still am sometimes)...but hey, why stand outside and just peek in the window? C'mon in and join the fun!

So I thought I would have a little party and invite you all to come on in, set your sweet selves down, have a cuppa and we'll have a little visit.

You're welcome to say as much or as little as you want, but it would be nice if some of you lurkers just said something as simple as "hi" and where you're from. Share a little something... from just a quick hi, to what delectable goodies you would bring to the tea party. (I'm partial to watercress sandwiches, myself. )
Plus, there's the added bonus of giving me new blogs to check out and to follow as well... Because I just love discovering new blogs and making new bloggie friends!

See? There is a method to my madness. :o)

( That's a LOT of cups up there and I hope we use them all... but who's going to volunteer to do the washing up? Hands up anyone?)

Friday, January 9, 2009

My Water Tank Trick

Y'all know what I do for a living... right?
I'm a daycare provider, working from home. Which means that 4-7 kids come into to my home on a daily basis. Small, smelly, sometimes unruly little individuals come into my home to be cared for.
I love them, I really do, but there are days that I just want to tear my hair out and crawl under the covers - never to surface again.
Unless Sam Elliot was knockin' on my door. But then I would probably just want to crawl back under the covers again.

Anyway, I use this "Water Tank trick" on several of my children with Autism and it works well. But then one day, I thought, hey, why couldn't I adapt and use that technique on myself and see what happens?
And it's been a life-saver.

Anywhooo, I shared this technique with a dear friend of mine and she said why don't you share it here on your blog? So here it is.

Tatersmama's Water Tank Trick

Think of yourself as a water tank - you know, one of those corrugated ones. It doesn't matter what size you imagine yourself to be, but it should be corrugated. Not one of those fancy-schmancy straight-walled, "blends with the environment" ones.
But hey... it's your water tank. Be who you want to be.

Now.... In the bottom of the tank is the sludge and leaves and things that make us who we are.
This is our "essence" and it never alters. It's always there.

But as your day goes on, your tank starts filling up with water - with the stresses, pressures or whatever.
Little Tommy won't sit in time-out and keeps getting up - so your water level rises a bit.
You have to pay the car insurance and it's going to be a tight squeeze... so the level goes up again.
Your boss asks you to work late and your mother-in-law is coming for dinner tonight - and the level rises again.
You planned on taking the ground beef out of the freezer and making meat loaf for dinner, but it's now 5 o'clock and you just realized that you forgot to do it.
The dog barfed in your shoe, or your kid still hasn't cleaned up their room.
Up Up Up Up Up goes your stress level ... and your water level with it.

Whatever happens during the day, all adds to the level and some things only raise the level one or two corrugations... but others can half-fill your tank in one go.
So, at the end of the day, all that water is starting to slosh around at the top of the tank - or it can even start to overflow and spill down the sides, making a mucky mess of everything around you... and you need to drain it away somehow.

I just sit down when it's quiet, in a place I know I won't be disturbed... close my eyes and "feel" where the level is at... Really feel it.

And then I pull the plug. Or you can turn the tap or spigot... or even turn the Davey Pump on. It doesn't matter
(I like to imagine that I'm swimming down to the bottom... all mermaid-y like with flowing hair and a flickering green tail, but it's not necessary. I just like to swim.)
Once I pull that plug, I start to "feel" the water level start to drain away. At first it goes slowly, but then it speeds up 'til it's all gurgling away... like water going down the drain in the bathtub.
And as it's going down the drain, it's taking all the stress and worry with it. Sometimes I can almost drain it all away, but at other times, I don't have enough time to fully empty the tank.
But hey... a half-empty tank is a lot more bearable than a full one.

And once the pressure's off... that's when I pray. I'm calmer and more relaxed and I make a lot more sense when I talk to God... and I bet he's just grateful as all get-out, that I'm not jabbering my fool head off ! I'm more focused.

But, you can pray or not pray... because let's face it, we're all different. It's not necessary to do anything other than let your troubles drain away. And besides, I don't judge people on what they do or don't do.
But no matter what you do when you finish draining your tank, I can almost guarantee that it will make a huge difference in how you face the rest of your day.

So do me a favor?
If you decide to try it, could you tell me (and everyone else) how it makes you feel?
Partly because I'm nosey, but mainly because I just like hearin' from ya !

Thursday, January 8, 2009

The pressure is on...

I just realized something.

This is my 100th blog - the big "One Zero Zero" and I'm feeling the pressure to write something noteworthy... something momentous and memorable.

Something to sort of celebrate with y'all - to mark my even getting to this point.
After all, this is a big milestone for me.
I want to try and write a memorable, historic, meaningful, memorable, pivotal, significant, epochal post, to celebrate even getting to this point.

And all I can think of is:

Geez... I sure can dribble on, can't I?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Eat like a cat

I noticed something strange a few days ago and it got me to thinking.

I get up early,
and the first thing I do after heading to the little girls room
( if trying to run with your legs crossed and saying "oh cr**, oh cr** just let me get there in time", can really be considered "heading" - but I digress) is turn on the coffee maker and the computer.

It says a lot about the inadequacy of my percolator that the computer actually comes through for me first - and this region of Australia has the slowest Internet connection that I've ever seen. I almost have time to get my legs waxed and do a load of laundry before either one of them graces me with it's presence.

Anyway I'm digressing again....

While I'm getting my coffee cup ready, the cats are always twining' and rubbing around my legs, begging for something, so I usually give them a morning shot of milk, while I'm doing my cup.

Then I noticed something.

When I gave them my favorite milk - the organic non-homogenized milk,
or milk fresh from the farm,
they lapped it up like there was no tomorrow.

Yet when I gave them the regular cheap store-bought milk, they might have a lick or two,
but there was definitely no licking the bottom of the bowl like "this is so darn good ,that I want to finish every last drop" stuff going on.
And I usually had to pour what's left, down the drain.

With the organic milk, they lick that bowl so darn clean that I could almost put it straight back in the cupboard.
Not that I would - but I could and no one would even know the difference.
I mean, that bowl is that clean.

So, I mentioned it to my guy.
And he said "Well, maybe they know something we don't"

But maybe we do.

I gave up drinking regular milk - or rather using it in my coffee, years ago... because of the permeates that they add to store-bought milk.
Oh, it's still milk, but anything that has to be artificially blended, heat treated,
added to or altered for consistency and profitability, is not plain old "straight from the teat" milk as far as I'm concerned.

I thought it was just me and maybe a bit of an obsession with me... but obviously, it's not.
Even the cats can tell the difference.

So, my guy decides that maybe we should watch the cats and eat what they eat - because cats are so discerning.

Yeah right.

Have you ever seen a cat stalk and kill a moth?
Or a lizard?
They even like the tins of Jelly-meat, whatever in the heck that is.
Chicken necks, the fat off a steak or the skin off a chicken?
For gawd's sake.. they even lick each others bottoms.

Those are all things that I have absolutely no desire to eat...
let alone put anywhere near my mouth!

But I just find it interesting that they will choose organic,
totally unaltered milk over the store stuff.
Every single time.

It kind of makes you wonder, doesn't it?
Or maybe I'm just nuts.

Here's the culprit !

Thanks to Kurichan and her librarian friend, I have an answer to the question of "Who's Poos" !

The little critter is a Ringtail Possum and supposedly... they're pretty common in urban/suburban environments - I just never saw one before. Probably because I'm in bed long before they come out to party! Hey... does that make them party poopers?

I'm just relieved, knowing that it wasn't a snake or rat ... because I was starting to get seriously stressed, thinking about the children being at risk from something dangerous.

But just look at them! Aren't they cute little critter's?

(Geez...I feel like Ellie Mae Clampett from The Beverly Hillbillies, saying stuff like "critters"... and I only wish had some way of working "ce-ment pond" or "howdy" into the conversation!)

The Common Ringtail Possum is a shy animal that has adapted its behaviour to live in urban environments with humans and their gardens, making use of ornamental native plants and introduced fruits and flowers.
A smaller animal in size, the fur on the Common Ringtail Possum is not dense but light to dark grey with a creamy coloured belly. It has a softer looking face with rounder ears that have a white patch behind each ear. It has a tapering white tail, which is not bushy like the Common Brushtail Possum.

The Common Ringtail Possum is found in a variety of habitats where trees and shrubs have dense foliage. This species builds a nest, or drey, in amongst the dense foliage of trees or shrubs and several metres above the ground. These spherical shaped nests are lined with grass, shredded bark or leaves. Common Ringtail Possums rarely enter a building roof.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Let's talk shh...ugar

Warning Will Robinson !
There's a picture of poop down there!

I was considerate enough to move it waaaaay down to the bottom of the page for those of you ( well actually, it's probably all of you) who have absolutely no desire to look at poop/feces/faeces/scat/excrement or droppings of any kind.

While I was having a wander around the yard this morning, I came across this little "poop"... right?
Laying right there at the edge of the pathway. And because I had absolutely no idea of what could have produced it, I went googling.
Did you know that there's a dearth of information on anything animal, lizard, snake or rodent poo related, out there? No pictures of what I was looking for - and even descriptions were few and far between. What's the world coming to, eh?

It's not that I have any overwhelming desire to look at pictures of "deposits" per se... it's more that I want to know what or who left it. Who was in my yard? Is it dangerous or friendly? Do I need to worry because of the children, or should I just bury the stuff and forget I ever saw it?
I have a problem doing that, though. Burying it and forgetting, I mean.
Not the worrying part. I do that constantly, because my charges (my daycare children) are important to me and I would hate to think that there is something out there lurking, waiting to pounce. Or bite... or even infect them with something. I just can't risk it.

Is it snake? Because if it is, I would then be afraid. Very afraid. Snakes in Australia aren't known for their nice-ness and most of them are poisonous.
Is it rat? Maybe (slightly) better than snake, but way high up there when it come to the "ewwww factor"
Is it rabbit? No.. it's not a pellet exactly.
Is it possum? Who knows? I've never had the pleasure of seeing possum poo.
Is it frog or toad droppings? Now, neither one of them are a worry... and it would be rather cool to just know that there's one lurking about.
Is it lizard? *sigh* I just don't have a clue. Big lizard? Little lizard? Biting/attacking lizard or just a quiet, gumming his prey to death, lizard?

Your mission , should you choose to accept it, is to scroll on down and see if you can give me a hand with identifying this poo plop.

I put an Australian 5 cent piece next to it (an Aussie 5 cent piece is comparable in size to an American dime) so you can get an idea of the size. It's about one and a half inches long, (3.81cms) and looks broken or bent. The coin is still out there ...because I don't have any idea if the "depositer" is still lurking in the nearby bushes or not.

If you've followed along this far... and can give me a hand in identifying what's left this poo pellet in my yard...
All I can say is, "Bless you" !

Monday, January 5, 2009

The art of living joyfully...

I've got this friend.
Let's call her Lee, for want of a better name. ( well actually, her name is Lee-Ann but I'm trying to retain her anonymity here) She's also known as Old Chook, Lee-Lou-Belle, The perfume bottle woman and a whole host of other names as well.
But we'll stick to Lee for the purpose of this post, so no one will guess who she is, okay? Okay.
At least she won't guess.

Lee's, ummm... different. She's an old bikie chick - which is "biker chick" to you northern hemisphere-ers.
She's skinny as a rail and she eats the most unimaginable diet I've ever heard of. See, she eats chocolate.
That's it.
Chocolate and coffee.
Mostly chocolate, because too much caffeine is bad for you.

The first few times I met her, I knew she was a bit different, and I thought that maybe it had something to do with the large lump or growth in her cheek. You know... maybe some disease that caused her to walk all wonky, slur her words, have huge purple swollen hands and have this huge sticky-out bulge inside her left cheek.

Until I found out that the cheek thing was just a hunk of chocolate.

The chocolate doesn't cause her to walk funny or to slur her words (but to be honest, a lump of chocolate it doesn't help much when you're trying to understand her either.) but it's the after effects of the stroke she had when her youngest was born 30 years ago, that causes those things.

She dresses like a bag lady, but I have to be honest and say that if anyone could pull off wearing a hot pink bra with a brown singlet and a size 6, short gray halter-neck maternity dress, my old Red-Hat granny bonnet on her head, with fuzzy white socks, old lady clunky shoes and legs that haven't seen a razor in 30 years, it's Lee.
I would never be caught dead in some of the things that she wears, but somehow Lee just has a way of making you want to try wearin' that stuff. Because it looks cool.
She's cool.

She drops around for a visit and says she was "just in the neighborhood". Which is a lie, because we live no where near each other and she has no other reason but me to even be in this part of town. But it always makes me feel good... you know?
Besides, there's no talking on the phone for Lee and I, because her voice is...ODD. So it's basically talking face-to-face, or nuthin' at all. Her voice is all raspy, whispery and shaky from the stroke... and when she rings me on the phone in an emergency, I always have to call her husband and ask him to translate. In person, it's fine. On the phone ? Well, it's another matter entirely. She sounds like Donald Duck with a speech impediment... and on quaaludes, to boot..

When she comes around, I'll make her a cup off coffee, which I can only half fill and have to carry out the back for her. Because she's so clumsy with her swollen purple hands, with fingers that look like bloated sausages - that she can still spill even half a cup of coffee, leaving nothin' but dregs - before it even gets out the door. Or even to her lips.
And while we're chatting, she gets so worked up and excited, that her false teeth keep popping out, so she just shoves 'em back in with the hand that's precariously holding the coffee cup... and keeps on a-yackin' and wipin' at the coffee stains that she keeps sloshing down the front of her clothes.

She brought me a small box of chocolates last week, telling me that she had gotten 2 beautiful expensive boxes of chocolate for Christmas and a cheap one... so she brought me this cheap one. And then she proceeds to eat it most of it herself and when she leaves, she puts what's left, back in her purse.
But that's Lee. And I don't mind at all.

I've gotten on to her bazillions of times about her diet ...and I've told her she needs to start eating healthier foods and more variety. Eat some grains. Eat some greens, or maybe some fruit or meat. Even a few eggs would do you a world of good.
Because as good as chocolate is - and we all know that it's good - well, it certainly isn't a healthy diet if you're not eating anything else.

"Lee, you need to go to the doctor and have a check-up, because your "Nuthin' but Chocolate" diet isn't any good for you."
So, because she loves me, she goes to the doctor... who proceeds to tell her that her blood sugar is perfect. Her heart and her blood pressure is perfect. All her blood work is perfect.
He tells her, "Lee what ever it is you're doing... keep up the good work."

Lee should have died 30 years ago. But her spirit and her joy for life and her children - and now her grandson, has kept her battling and conquering, long after most other people would have given up.

I have no worries at all about her ever reading any of this, because she's one of those people who will concentrate fully on whatever it is she likes to do, but when it comes to the other stuff, she's absolutely hopeless. She buys stuff all the time on eBay, but when a seller sends her a message, she always has to come around here, so that I can show her how to reply.
Reading blogs about people she doesn't even know? Nope. Reading my blog, just because she loves me? Nope again. She just couldn't care less. Oh, she would if I asked her to, but I know what her likes and limitations are, and I work with 'em.

Lee is one of those people who just naturally teaches you love and tolerance. Who shows you how to be the best friend you can be - by example. Who opens you to the beauty of just loving someone for who they are inside and not letting the external part influence you in any way. Who opens you to all the possibilities of living joyfully, no matter how hard things can be.

When she leaves my house, I always get a big, squeezey, "rocking-back-and-forth" bear-hug and she always tells me how much she cherishes me.

Lee Lou-Belle-Kadiddlehopper... I cherish you too.

Sunday, January 4, 2009

Oh My Gosh !

Do you have any idea of how very blessed I feel? That so many of you would even offer to send me some "tastes of home" and go to so much trouble, on my behalf?

As I was reading through those comments and sweet offers of American goodies, as well as your lovely emails... I was just flabbergasted (and more than a little teary) that you gals would offer to do such a wonderful and selfless thing... for me !
I appreciate it. I really do ! For goodness sakes... I cry at toilet paper ads, so can you begin to imagine the snifflin' and snortin' that was going on around here today - all because of you?

But, the thing is ... as much as I appreciate the offers, I want you to just stop and think a minute. Yes, American goodies can be expensive here in Australia - and I do miss them, but most of them ARE available here, if I just look hard enough. Even if it means braving Adult stores !

And yes, American products can be a bit expensive to buy here... but the postage within Australia is far cheaper than sending things from the US.
It kind of gets expensive and a little unwieldy from your end... when you send a 69 cent Reese's Peanut Butter Cup - and it costs $10.00 and a ream of paperwork, for you to do it! That's just not right !

And then there's customs. I'm not sure which end the problem is often on, but food packages especially, have been known to go missing or have things rifled through. So some customs inspector somewhere probably enjoyed those chocolate Bilbies that I sent to my grandson's, year before last. And I don't want that to happen with you ...especially if you had gone to the expense and trouble to do such a kind thing for me.
Milk products, meat products... the list of banned products goes on and on ...and can change in a heart beat. Things that may have been okay a few months ago, could end up on the banned list at any time, so it's just not worth the risk.

So please, as much as I appreciate the kind thoughts, please don't worry your pretty little heads about sending me anything, Okay? Like Gloria Gaynor said : " I Will Survive" !

It's just too iffy and too expensive... and although I really appreciate the kind offers, I have to say Thank You... but please save your money.
I just can't believe how lucky I am, to have found such caring and thoughtful friends and that in itself, means more than you'll ever know !

Now... Where did I put that darn box of Kleenex?

Saturday, January 3, 2009

That letter to the parents thingiemabob...

Well... thanks to you gals, I've just about gotten the letter to the parents worked out.
You were ALL such a big help and I have to honestly say that I couldn't have done it without your input! All of you!

I took points (some really excellent points) from all of your suggestions and have tried to meld it all into one document, so I think it's about ready to print off. I'll just do some finishing "tweaks" and then I can get it run off and in their folders - and relax. WHEW!

Tomorrow is the start of the new week, and I just know that several parents are going to be ticked-off... and they might even decide to move on... But you know what? I don't care anymore! This is MY business and it will be run professionally from now on - they can just take it or leave it !
I've even got the debt-collector all lined up, so do what they will... I will still get paid !

Thank you again, everyone!
I really owe you all some big {{{Hugs!}}} or maybe even some Tim Tams.
You can slam-dunk 'em.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Response to " Look What I Found " comments

I was busily typing a response to you girls' comments, when I realized that I was gonna end up with a novel, so decided to move it on over here and make it easier on us - and on the old eyes.
Sherri and Lib...
You know what? I would move back home in a heartbeat, if it wasn't for my Old Guy. Even IF I could convince him to move (and I really don't think it would take much convincing) Immigration is another matter entirely.

For one thing, I would have to have BIG bucks in the bank (an American bank) and prove to the gov't that I could afford to support him for 2 years. AND he has to stay here until we can get the paperwork dealt with - and I'm earning enough money to support us both.

I just love him too much to leave him on his own. Usually.

Plus, he probably wouldn't pass the psychological test. See, when I told him about your kind offers, he said, "Well, if we lived in the States, it wouldn't cost them as much to send you food". Well HELLO Mr Einstein... if we LIVED in the States, no one would have to ship me anything! DUH! Obviously, the man has attributes, other than brains, or I wouldn't be with him.
I will let you know what they are, when I find out.

Thank You for the offers, girls... and it means a lot to me that you would even offer to do womething so sweet! I'm a bit worried about the postage, but if we could find a cheap way of doing it, I would LOVE to be able to do some swaps with y'all !

Nancy... No, most of those foods on the website aren't popular with Aussies at all. Even finding something as simple as bacon can be a total headache. Their version of bacon is more like Canadian bacon, and it just doesn't have the cured/smoked flavors I'm used to. I miss getting the grease off of (what they term here) "streaky bacon"... but because it just isn't popular with Aussies, it's VERY hard to find - and it makes it stinkin' hard to make country gravy. *sob*

And Crisco ? You probably don't even want to know about Crisco, but I'm going to tell you anyway. Crisco is only available here, in sex shops. Now I don't know about you, but when I'm in the mood to make a pie crust, the last place I want to shop is "Dildo's R Us". Can you just image saying "Hey momma, lets stop in at the sex shop on the way home and get us some fixin's for a crust for some pecan pie tonight." ?
Needless to say, I don't buy Crisco anymore.

And IF you're lucky enough to find Dr. Pepper in the stores (usually Asian markets in the bigger cities), they charge you $2.50 a can and up, and a little 2-pack of Reeses Peanut Butter Cups is almost the same price...
So when I do find them, they're like finding gold and they get hidden in my underwear drawer, so no one will find them and eat them ! My guy can polish off a Reeses PB Cup in about 15 seconds flat - and that's just so wrong - ya gotta savor the flavor... so I keep them hidden !

I do have to admit that Aussie food is all good, but it's just different to what I'm used to. And a girl gets cravings, ya know?

Now before you go thinking that I'm just craving junk food, let me tell you ....I'm not.
I miss Farmer John bacon. Jimmy Dean sausage or pork sausage made by the butcher. I miss proper tortillas and pinto beans. Black eye peas, collards or mustard greens. I miss Vidalia onions. Beefsteak tomatoes. The taste of corn-fed beef. Monterey Jack cheese. I even miss hearing the name "Piggly Wiggly"!

W.O.W. ... Hey, I think you're right on the money there! Maybe the way I'm seeing things has changed ! I dunno. I know that with this New Year, I'm feeling so much more optimistic - it's like I'm seeing things differently or something. Or maybe I'm just seeing things through my friends fresh eyes, eh ? :o)

Up until last year, there was a lovely old Birch tree right next to that purple plum tree - and I think it may have overshadowed the plums a bit. Maybe shade-wise or even just seeing them-wise ? I'm always finding little volunteers popping up all over the yard, so maybe the birds had already gotten to them and dropped the seed before I even knew they were there? I dunno. At least I have plenty of new baby trees starting out!

I lost 6 giant old Birch trees last year ( I have a HUGE backyard, so it's certainly not bare now) due to so many years of drought - and it just broke my heart to lose them. I just had the dead Birches removed in June - which is winter here - so I probably just missed seeing anything else in that area, for one reason or another.

I've even got a Hibiscus that I didn't know that I had, growing against the fence ! Once the Birch tree came out and the undergrowth was cut back... voila ! There she was! Pretty as a picture, but leggy and in need of a good cut-back.

It's going to be a gorgeous day here today, so I think I'll head out and see what else I can find... :o)

Look what I found !

I've been living in this house for a little over 4 years now, (4 years and 4 months) and just look at what I discovered yesterday ! I knew the trees were there, but I didn't have a clue as to what kind of trees they were... other than scraggly ones. I kind of suspected that the purplish one to the right was some sort of ornamental plum, but I was never quite sure.

Then, when I went down the back yesterday afternoon, I saw something reddish glinting against the tin shed next door, investigated.... and I found cherry plums !
Fat, sweet, juicy cherry plums!!! They taste just beautiful!

I think that maybe because we got some good late rains this year, it may have kicked 'em into gear a bit... but I don't know. Maybe because it's been so darned dry since I moved in, they just haven't had enough moisture to produce fruit ? Or maybe they're just tempermental?
Does anyone know?


Our New Years Dinner.

And just look what we had for our New Years dinner last night !
Cornbread, Hoppin' John, Black-eyed pea and Collard greens, :o)
We had ham with it,but I forgot to put it on my plate before taking the pic and my guy
had already half eaten his... and his plate just looked too nasty to take a photo of.

I had to pay an arm and a leg for the can of black-eyed peas...
Bush's black-eye peas 15.8 oz (448g) $3.99

I mean, just look at these prices at USA Foods, and then tell me you don't want to weep !

But ... while I was chatting to Miz K tonight... she did a quick dash to her neighborhood IGA and found bags of black-eye peas (375 gms) for $2. - and they're product of the USA ! WooooooHOOOO!!!
I can't get them here where I live, but you better believe I'm gonna stock up on them pretty little peas, when we head to Melbourne (and Miz K's) for the Neil Young concert at the end of January !
I can just smell them cookin' with a bit of ham hock right now... *slurp*

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Just because I can

That's all I've got to say.
Other than...
Oh, never mind. I don't want to embarrass myself again.

Look to your left...

See my "followers" section in the sidebar? Those are all women who bring me joy - in one way or another, every single day.
There's nothin' better than waking in the morning, turning the computer on while the coffee perks... and then sitting down with a steaming cuppa and the company of some good friends.

If you haven't already met them, please go check them out ...Because I know you'll like them too!
(and why not become followers, while you're at it? I want you to feel the joy too !)


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Thank you Libby!

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