Sunday, March 29, 2009

My (not so ) Secret Crisco Obsession




I have to thank Libby at Nea's Nuttiness for this post. Whether you thank her by the time I'm done, may be another story altogether.

I like Crisco, okay? I like baking with it and nuthin' but nuthin' beats it, for making a flaky pie crust, as far as I'm concerned.
I used to use regular and butter flavor Crisco all the time... and the butter flavor was perfect for Nestle's Toll House Cookies.

But here in Australia, Crisco is rarer than hen's teeth and unfortunately, I haven't made a good flaky pie crust in almost 14 years. You can buy Copra here, which is classed as a solid vegetable shortening, but it's made with coconut oil and flesh and has a definite coconut-y taste. Plus it's not just solid, it's hard, (think refrigerated butter) so even when you use it in cooking, once it cools, it hardens... and becomes almost brittle. There's none of the wonderful velvety texture or smooth almost non-existent flavor of Crisco brand solid vegetable shortening.
I just don't like the flavor, the texture or the waxy feel that Copra leaves in your mouth, because it doesn't really blend... you know?
Here's a definition of Copha:
Copha is a form of vegetable shortening made from coconut oil and flesh. It is popular in Australia - it is used in many recipes for children, such as chocolate crackles, made from Kellogg's Rice Bubbles, copha, and chocolate.

Now, to get back to the Crisco story...
I've never seen Crisco ( other than Crisco oil, which is readily available) in the grocery stores, but I can order a can from USA Foods in Melbourne.
See?
Crisco 1lb
1lb
$6.99
Crisco 3 lb
3lb
$14.99
Crisco 6 lb can
6 lb
$24.99
Crisco sticks - Out of stock
20 oz
$6.29

Now, those prices aren't too bad ( although I have to admit they give me severe heart palpitations) but when you add the exorbitant postage costs on to that, we're talking BIG bucks and I just can't justify it.
So I carry on. I whinge and grizzle and I come right to the very edge of obsession.
I admit it. I love my Crisco.

However...

I've been told that Crisco is readily available here in Australia... but you just have to go into Sex Shops to get it. Yep, you heard me right.
Here in Australia, Crisco is a sexual aid. It's used for errmmmmmm.... I dunno. I think if I allowed myself to think hard enough, I might come up with an explanation, but I don't even want my mind to go there!
(When I googled "Crisco photos", suddenly I saw more than I bargained for... and had to quickly divert my poor eyes.
Go on...go for it... I dare ya)

Somewhere in Australia right at this very minute, 2 guys are sitting around the breakfast table... and 1 guy is saying stuff like " Dick, I'm feeling romantic, so why don't you stop by Dildo's R Us on your way home from work tonight, and pick us up a can of Crisco?"

No offence boys... but just just the thought of Crisco being used for anything other than flaky pie crust, well... it kind of puts me off my cookies, you know?

So there ya have it in a nutshell.

I miss my Crisco.
But I'm NOT obsessed.


I need a stress free life !




I need a life. I really do.



This has been my "off" weekend and to tell you the truth, except for a lovely long drive yesterday and a treat of some nacho's, this weekend has just been a major pain the the hiney.

People dropping in... the phone ringing off the hook... dusting vacuuming... washing window sills and scrubbing the floor on my hands and knees... And of course I can't forget scrubbing the toilet. Who can ever forget scrubbing the toilet?

I tell ya, if I knew how to go about it, I would join the witness protection program, just so I could disappear off the face of this earth ! I mean that.

See, I have a safety inspection for work coming up some time during the next week and I've got my fingers, legs and boobies crossed ( I can do that, ya know) that I won the Lottery on Saturday night !
I would soooo love to tell the fieldworker when she shows up, that she can " Take this job and shove it!"

It's getting late, I'm exhausted and I'm heading to bed for some much needed beauty sleep.

G'night all !

(Oh... and my boobies? Nah, I can't really cross 'em. I just said that. )

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Peekin' in the Pantry

I've been accused of having a "bulk-buying" mentality... like that's a bad thing. I just think it's just common sense, don't you?

If you can find a product that you use constantly, on sale somewhere, isn't it more economical in the long run, to buy several... or in some cases, lots of those items?
Whiska's cat food is usually around $1.27 a can here, but when it's down to 88 cents, it just makes sense to buy enough for a month or two... doesn't it?
Same thing with toilet paper, pasta, rice...
And besides, the ol' budget just works better this way.
This way, I'm only running to the store once a week or so, for milk, bread and fresh produce.
And with 4-7 children to cart around, running to the store is something I dread. Seriously dread ! I wouldn't shop with my own... so why would I want to shop with other people's children? Not that we're allowed to take them to the store anymore, anyway...without filling out
reams of excursion forms.
Besides...it gives me even more reason to "think ahead" and buy up on what I need, while I can.

So anyway....
I thought I would give you a peek at my outside pantry. I have a huge under-cover area and this cupboard is where I keep my *extras*... things that I don't really use on a daily basis, but it's stuff that I always have on hand for back-up.
I wish the carpenter (noooo, not the Old Guy - he's hopeless with a hammer) would get up off his arse and get the shed finished so I can put these pantry's back inside the shed where they belong ! There's actually another cupboard on the other side, but I'll do those photos later.

I just don't want you to get too excited all at once, you know?
I'm thoughtful that way.

Clever little me did the photos back arse-wards, going from the bottom to the top... but if I moved them around, you would lose the ability to look at them all blown up, so I decided to leave them as they are. I just knew in my heart, that you would want to see giant-sized photos of my pantry crap, and besides.....I'm just too lazy to re-do them, doncha know?


Cat food, bird seed rings and baby arse-wipes
This shelf is now FULL, since the sale on cat food lasted another week - so I bought 30 more cans , 6 more packs of baby wipes and we found HUGE bird seed rings at the market, so I bought 6 more to keep my parrots happy!

Pasta's, rice, instant mashed taters and bits and pieces of Mex stuff


My "American" stuff.
I'm down to one can of Collards....*sob*
and I don't have the heart to open the Crisco yet!

Odds and ends.

There... don't you feel better, knowing that your pantry looks so much nicer than mine?

Okay, I showed you mine.... so it's your turn now.

*hint hint*

Hmmmm... tried to enlarge these, but they won't.

Oh well, I may not be good... but I had good intentions.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Great Depression Cooking videos

Times are tough all around... and a lot of us are wracking our brains trying to come with simple, economical meals.
So while browsing YouTube today, I came across "Cooking With Clara" which is a series of videos featuring Clara, a 93 year old woman who shows how to cook the actual meals that she and her family ate during the Great Depression.
Some of the recipes and meals sound pretty good, but they've also given me some of my own ideas about how to make the dollars stretch a bit further !!

Check out the entire series... there's some good stuff in there... and Clara is a joy to listen to!




You know I love my Old Guy... right?


I DO love him, but I'm sad to say that he has... ermmmm... QUIRKS.

Irritating Quirks.
Maddening Quirks
Now I understand why I never want to get married, Quirks.

See, my grass is knee high and he's been promising to mow it for like the last 3 months.
I need it mowed because of work regulations and it's driving me batty.
Well, batty-er than usual, anyway.

Well, first he claimed that there wasn't enough grass to warrant dragging out the mower.
Okay, I'll admit there isn't much grass there, but there are knee-high dandelions and cape weed... so the lawn is looking like a messy flower garden with brown grass mulch! And I know there are snakes and tigers out there, just creeping around.

Then he claimed it was too hot to mow.
Fair enough.... 115F is too hot to do much of anything.

Then he claimed that it was too nice a day, to spend it mowing.
And when the weather is too nice to spend mowing, he prefers to go shopping for totally useful items like rice cookers and battery operated potato peelers. In enclosed malls where he doesn't even know what the weather is like, outdoors.

Yesterday, he promised faithfully that he would mow the lawn today, before the children end up getting swallowed up in the jungle that used to be my lawn. Or bitten by snakes and tigers.

And today?
Today it's raining.
Glorious, glorious rain... but he can't mow when it's raining!!!

The rain started about an hour ago and it's a good drenching rain... so all that he will get accomplished today, is using the battery operated potato peeler to peel some potatoes.
He'll say that he can't mow the lawn for at least a week, until the ground and the weeds dry up.
Yeah.... right.
Sooooo... I'm thinking of getting him a tattoo for his birthday.... What do you think?

At least someone will be using a lawn mower around here !!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Salmon Patties... Take Two ;-)

I tried posting this the other day... but I ended up making a total schlamozzle of it, so try as I might, I just couldn't "fix" it, you know?
So I opted to just delete it... and then had every intention of immediately re-doing it.
But it's funny how "life" can just get in the way of our best intentions, isn't it?
I had a young boy with severe disabilities for four days, including over the weekend, and once he was out of bed, I didn't have a moment to scratch my arse, let alone do anything like re-post the recipe.

Anyway...

I've had a real craving for fish lately, but since the Old Guy hasn't been fishing in a while ( he's been tied up going shopping for little boys jocks and clothing for me ...Bless his pea-pickin'-little-heart!) but since I was bound and determined to have some fish, I whipped these Salmon Patties up in just a few minutes. It's not my usual recipe, but to tell you the truth, I doubt if I'll ever do them the old way ever again! These were delicious!!


Salmon Patties

Ingedients

I used the last green onion before taking the photo!

Salmon Patties

* 1 can of Salmon ( or you can use mackerel, tuna or the like, to the same quantity)

* Seasoned bread crumbs ( here in Oz, they use seasoned stuffing mix to make stuffing...which is just crumbs...not cubes)

* One egg, beaten

* Finely minced green onion ( spring onion) or any finely minced onion

* Salt and Pepper

Pick through the salmon to remove any bones and finely flake it. Add the minced onion, beaten egg and salt and pepper to taste... and then add a small-medium handful of seasoned crumbs to sort of bind it together. If it seems too loose, just squeeze it a bit, or add more crumbs.

Once it's thoroughly mixed, form into small patties, and dip lightly into some reserved crumbs. You can either shallow fry, or spray the patties with oil and broil/ grill them until golden brown.

You can't really tell it from the photos, but I divided the batch, and did some under the broiler... and the other half in the frying pan. I honestly couldn't tell the difference! (it made about 9-10 smallish patties)

I served these with oven-roasted pumpkin and a big green salad... and they were perfect! They really hit the spot and they'll definitely be on the menu again this week!!

For $3 or so for the can of Salmon and just bits and pieces of other ingredients, it's extremely economical as well !

SLURP!!!






Saturday, March 21, 2009

I have a favor to ask...

I've made so many wonderful, delightful, friends through blogging...
and part of the delicate art of friendship - to me, anyway - involves caring about what the other person is going through.

My friend Jan Mader is a case in point.

She's got an issue going on right now... and all she's asking from me, is that I encourage other bloggie's to head over to her site, check out her story and then leave a comment.
Jan is a writer.. and if she can get enough interest through comments, she could possibly write subsequent stories to sell to another publisher.

So please, head on over to Jan's blog and leave her a comment.
You can go here to see Jan's blog post. >>> My stolen book.....

Pretty Please?
With sugar on top?

Friday, March 20, 2009

Meet the Old Guy.



The Old Guy.
Hmmmm...
How to sum him up in a few short sentences?

Never mind.

I can do it in one.

He is the gentlest, kindest, most loving, caring, honest and decent man
I have ever met in my life.

Really.

And now....
I'll tell you how we met.

See, I had come over to Australia to marry a man who had been one of my pen-pals for close to 20 years.
( I would go in to this further, but I dislike even thinking about the jerk now,
let alone talking about him.)
Anyhoo...the relationship with "pen-pal guy" didn't work out and here I was, living in Oz,
and lonely as hell.

Our little local paper has a column that used to be called
"Country Connections"
where men or women can place an ad...
You ring their message bank, leave a message and then they get back to you.

I found a guy who sounded ideal, who had listed stuff like
"Country boy at heart, Likes fishing and camping , and the quiet life"

Wooo Hoooo ! That sounds like my kind of guy!
This could be Mr Perfect!
But when I went to make the call, I couldn't get through.

So I waited a few weeks...
and checked the paper again...
But sadly, the ad from "Mr Perfect" was no longer there.

So I picked another ad that didn't sound quite as ideal as the first one, and I managed to leave a message this time.

"Hi, my name is Tater, I'm 45 yrs old, 5'9" and I love fishing and camping"

Which was totally enlightening and was almost guaranteed to elicit a return phone call from a love-starved male, you know?
Most men would drool over this kind of in-depth information.

The problem was, after three weeks, no one had gotten back to me.
Well darn it !
There went my one-and-only attempt to use a dating service to find true love...
I think I might just have to start ringing around and see if
the nunnery was accepting new applicants.

But then... I got a phone call!

The guy who was calling, apologized profusely to me and said that I had actually called and left a message on his friends message bank,
but the other guy had decided that I was too tall for him...

So he had passed my number along to the guy who was currently on the phone .

To tell you the truth,
I was less than impressed with the whole passing my phone number along thing
but I figured,
what the heck...
This guy has a nice, peaceful voice,
so I might as well talk to him for a while.
At least he was more fun to talk to than the cat.
And he was marginally more entertaining than spending the evening
picking my toenails yet again.

About 5 minutes into the conversation, this guy tells me that he had placed
an ad in "Country Connections"
several weeks previously,
but he hadn't met anyone he had "clicked" with.
So when I asked about his ad, it turned out that his ad was the very same one I had tried responding to in the first place!
The one I had circled with a red heart!

Is that destiny, or what?

We ended up meeting....
And the rest is history.

On June 1st, we'll have been together for 10 years

Almost 10 tears ago, I thought that he was
the most gentle, kind, loving, caring, honest and decent man I had ever met.


And I still think so today.
(insert cute little cupid-y, falling hearts here)
The End


Thursday, March 19, 2009

Gotta love my Old Guy.

Last night, the Old Guy and I were watching 20 to 1 on TV.

Now, 20 to 1 is an Aussie TV show where they they count down "Australian Pop Culture's" most defining moments. ( which kind of makes me scratch my head since they seem to feature (and make fun of) America, quite a bit.
It's kind of hard to explain, so check THIS out and then come back. I'll wait.

dum de dum de dum...

Okay, you're back now?
And you get the basic premise, right?

Anyway, Last night was " Sexiest Movie Moments ".

When they got to the infamous scene in "Basic Instinct" where Sharon Stone very tantalizingly crosses and re-crosses her legs, flashing a bit of ermmmm... "yahootie" in the process, the Old Guy turned to me and said:

"You can tell that she never had babies".

WHAT? How could you tell that? Besides, they flashed a "Rude Bits" sign where her errmmm, "rude bits" were, so you couldn't actually see anything anyway.

His reasoning? Are you sitting down?
His reasoning was:

"Well , if she ever had babies, she would have to be wearing granny knickers, because she would have...
(wait for this!)

*
*
*
Urinary INCOMPETENCE !!!

I don't think he appreciated my laughter. ;-)

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

I know you're dying to know about my visit to the dentist...

Well, maybe not... but you're going to get the story anyway.

If I have to suffer, you have to suffer.

Look, the dentist I go to is a good guy and very likable, plus he's most definitely eye candy, but still... How can you really trust a person who likes fiddling around in people's mouths for a living? I mean... isn't that kind of weird? I have this vision of a little boy growing up liking the smell of fetid odors, poking tender bits with sharp objects and scraping slimy gunk off of stuff.
I'm sorry, but it's just weird.
Anyway...

I ended up opting to have both teeth pulled out. Not that I really wanted to, but there were some very definite cost considerations.
To save the one tooth would have involved doing a root canal ( at approx. $1,200) and then doing a crown ( another $1,200- $1400), so all up, it would have cost almost $2,500.

Now, that wouldn't have been too bad, if the deal came with a 100% money back, lifetime guarantee, but Dr Eye Candy warned me right off, that I may only get 2 or 3 years out of that tooth. For that kind of money, I want a life-time guarantee... guaranteeing that the tooth will still be going strong when I'm 90 years old!

So... I opted to have them both yanked.
Cost for 2 extractions, barring any complications ? $520 !!!
But... He gives you the teeth in a little bag afterwards. How cool is that?
That was the deciding factor... I've got to be honest here.

I warned him ahead of time that that those numbing injections don't always work too well on me, so he gave me enough numbing sh**, that I was totally numb to my eyeballs and my nose felt like an icicle.
(Did you know that if your nose is as dead as a doornail and you have to sneeze, you don't know it? I didn't either, but me and Dr Eye Candy found out the hard way. I think he had to surgically remove his little poky thing from the roof on my mouth.)
And why is it that when the dentist has you totally numbed to the gills and has 18 sharp implements in your mouth at one time, he suddenly wants to engage in idle chit-chat?
Not just grunt "yes or no" idle chit-chat, but stuff that requires you to respond with 8 word sentences?

Dentist: So how are you enjoying Australia? Have you been here long?
Me: Gnnnnnnch goooot. Ah eeen ha ha uteen eaehs.

Dentist: Wow... that long? Do you like footy?
Me : GNOOOOOOOO! Errrr uuuuufik ut a wak uh oooohfers.

Dentist: So what are you going to be doing with the rest of this lovely day? You have the day off, right?
Me: Hooofff anggee fannnnns, ut esssssss, I hoooooo huch uh ayyyeee ock.

And the part that gets me, is that he seems to understand it!
Maybe it's like when doctors are going through med school, they practice scribbling their handwriting so that no one but the pharmacist can decipher it ?
Maybe it's the same in dental school? They take a course in "sock in the mouth linguistics" and can understand every little uggghhhh and fuuuuggts we utter.

Anyway, now that the swelling has gone down a bit, I've come to the conclusion that I never really had a chubby face. I just had very big molars. I've now got this cool "super-model, cheeks sucked in look" going on and I think it helps highlight my cheekbones. How cool is that?

But the list of "things to avoid" afterwards? My lan ! Why don't they just tell you the 3 things left in life, that you can do?

Post Operative Care:
*If your lip is numb, be careful not to bite it. It may bleed.
*Don't drink hot beverages.
*Don't drink cold beverages.
*Don't suck through a straw.
*Avoid swallowing liquids for 4 hours, so the clot can form.
*Rinse gently, but don't spit. Allow the residue to dribble from your mouth.
*Bite down on the gauze for 20 minutes, or until the bleeding stops, but don't remove the gauze until the bleeding has ceased. ( figure this one out !!!)
*No hard foods until the gum heals. (there goes my plans for Corn Nuts and beef jerky)
*Maintain a diet of soft nutritious foods. (Hello Tapioca, you are a friend of mine)
*Avoid smoking or drinking alcohol , as well as taking part in strenuous activities such as running, jumping or competing in marathons for at least 24 hours.
*Avoid sex for 24 hours. (I've been doing that for years, and had no idea I was just trying to maintain my gum integrity!!)
* Contact your dentist immediately, if you have excessive bleeding, if you have pain, fever or prolonged swelling. Surgery phone no: 555-5555
*If you think you may have any problems after surgery hours, please contact us beforehand, as the phones are only manned from 9-5.
(what do you do? Contact them at 3 o'clock and say "I think I may have some swelling later on tonight"???)

I feel fine today.
I really do, but Holy Molars ! I'm so hungry, I could eat a horse!!

I might just go see if I can use my *whizzy stick* to blend up a Big Mac or something...

Libby's having a giveaway !

Libby over at Neas Nuttiness is hosting a giveway chock full of fun and exciting prizes,
(well they're sort of lame, but she's been ill and I think she's still on pain medication)
so head on over and check her out.
Go to:
And tell her that I have dibs on her whoopie cushion!!!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Intruder alert

I had a heart attack / intruder alert this morning.



I was sitting on the computer this morning at 5am, happily drinking a cup of coffee and reading blogs, when I heard the door squeak in the laundry room.

Now, the laundry room is in the back of the house, and just inside the back door. This is the door that from the moment I get up in the morning, until the last thing at night, is always unlocked and usually open.

At first, I thought my young part-time permanent care lad had gotten up to go to the toilet... and my heart leapt in joy at the thought of no more night time nappies (diapers), but when I glanced down the hallway, I saw that his door was still firmly closed. Uh oh.

Then I heard the door squeak again, but this time there was some thudding going on as well.

So I did what any self-respecting woman would do.

I grabbed the rubber spatula out of the dish drainer and snuck off down the dark hallway.

I mean, if there's a balaclava wearing, machete wielding intruder in MY house, I'm certainly not going to turn the light on so that he can see me better and aim for my jugular vein, am I?

Let him take a few non-lethal, "I can't see in the dark either" swipes first, so that I can judge the best time to smack him with my rubber spatula and put him out of commission...right?

So as I round the corner into the laundry room, 2 of my big cats jumped down off the washing machine and they went barreling off, skittering sideways, into the hallway... like the hounds of hell were after them.

It scared the bejeebers out of me, because these are brave cats and they only act like that when they are sh** scared of a Doberman or something.


So someone IS here and they're hiding in the toilet waiting to wield that machete!

With that... the door to the toilet squeaked again, something thumped again, and I knew it was Do or Die time...

So rubber spatula in hand, I tried to fling the toilet door open, but I met resistance!

Oh S**T Oh S**T !! He's IN there!! Someone is in my toilet waiting to murder me!!

Do I call 000 (911) and let him hear me, so that he knows he has approximately 56 minutes to kill me and still have time left over to steal my TV and snow globe collection, before the police respond, or do I just go for it, and teach the arsehole a very valuable lesson?

I decided to teach him a lesson he would never forget. I'll teach HIM not to mess with an abscessed-tooth-crazed, high on Metamucil and antibiotics menopausal woman. Enough is ENOUGH, and it's time to stand up and take charge!

So... grasping the rubber spatula just a little more firmly, I reached out and flung the door open again, screaming YEEEEEEEEHAAAAAAHHH, don't mess with ME, you scurvy bastard!!!! And THIS is what I found...

*
*
*
*
*
*








Did you know that if you scare a kitten bad enough... by screaming and whizzing a rubber spatula right in front of his face, little poops shoot out his back end?



It's true.
They do.

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm gonna do some weeding

Or is that "weading"? Or Reading to weed?

See, I've got a list of blogs that I follow, that's as long as my arm... and although I do enjoy reading each and every one of them, it's got to be reciprocal, you know what I mean?
I mean, it's GOT to be!

It just gets a little irksome when I comment on other peoples blogs and never, EVER get anything in return.



Oh, I know that we all get busy and that sometimes we read but don't always have time for a comment, but I'm talking about blog people who don't even seem to realize that I exist.

I follow them, I comment on their blogs when I have something to say, even if it's just to say hello... yet I never get a darn thing in return.

Not that I expect to get something in return (know what I mean?) but it's kind of like sending Christmas cards every year and then suddenly you realize that Mary hasn't sent you so much as a raspberry in 5 years. So you strike Mary off the Christmas card list...

I can leave a comment on a blog based out of Hoboken Mississippi, and when I check my little feedjit on the sidebar, there has been NO reciprocal checking my blog from Hoboken Mississippi, or there can be a reciprocal checking, but they snuck in and out like shadows in the moonlight and never left so much as a comment.
And they don't come back for months.
And they never say a word, which is kind of creepy.

Believe me, I see each and every comment that you leave for me and I do my darnedest to follow up on them, but sometimes all I have time for is checking your blogs . But if you've got feedjit, you can see that I checked in for a few moments of peaceful reading. And you know that I'll be back when I can "set a spell".

Because to me, friendships are worth nurturing. It isn't about the numbers with me or the amount of followers following me...
It's about the relationships and friendships that can ensue, from this wonderful world of blogging.
I like reading other people comments, checking them out, then checking their favorites out and then their favorites out... and it just keeps rolling along. I love the idea that a "friend of a friend of a friend..." can become a friend of mine, too.

I sometimes comment on PW or Cake Wrecks, knowing that nothing will eventuate from it, but sometimes other commenter's on those blogs pop in for a look-see, and stop and say hello. That I can deal with. I can be a Curious George myself.

So, sad to say... but I'm going to be weeding through the blogs I'm reading on a daily basis, down to a more manageable number. 51 just isn't too do-able on a daily or weekly basis, and believe me, the housework is suffering around here because I'm reading minutia about people who don't even know I'm alive.

I'm not going to stop following them, I just won't be wasting my time on people who don't seem to care that I exist. If they haven't commented or at least said "boo" since I added them to my reading list, it's gonna be "bye-bye birdie" time

If you've ever commented or sent me an email, you're still on my list... have no worries! At least you know I exist.

Gosh, I sound so needy, don't I?

Ooopsie's, Giveaway's and Toofie's


Oopsie, me bad!!
I woke up at 4am this morning and had one of those "light bulb" moments.... which of course meant that I couldn't go back to sleep. *sigh*

I realized (at 4 am!! - why couldn't my conscience kick in at 5:30?) that when I posted about Grandma 2 Many yesterday, I may have sort of inferred that she was a friend of mine. That wasn't the case at all. I came across Grandma 2 Many's blog through my dear friend
Homestay Mama.... liked what I saw there... and became a follower just yesterday. The giveaway is a bonus - I'll admit that I love a giveaway - but I just plain like Grandma 2 Many's attitude and I would follow her anyway!
I've found that if Homestay Mama recommends a fellow blogger, I would be wise to check out what she has to say - and so should you!
~~~~~

And now... on to other stuff.

My dear friend Libby, over at Neas Nuttiness is planning on having a giveaway in honor of her 1st blogiversary, which was back on Feb 26th... but poor Libby has been laid low for awhile.
She's been sort of out of commission due to knee surgery ( and out of her head too, at times, but we won't go there) so it's just taken her a few extra weeks to catch up on things. But when it comes to stuff like a Giveaway... better late than never, I always say.
Now Libby seems to have a bit of a Crisco fixation, but she's a pretty cool woman in spite of that, so just check her out, okay? And while you're there, why not become a follower?
Just tell her I sent you. ;-) She'll send me a check.
~~~~~

Toofie update:
I've been getting by with the pain pills the dentist gave me, but they're just taking the edge off. I was hoping once we got the abscess sort of under control, the pain would sort of begin to ease off... and it has a bit, but not enough to suit this little brown duck!
It's wrecking havoc on my speaking abilities (which if you knew me in person, you would know that I never shut up) because every time I open my mouth, the air causes me agonies... but if I look on the bright side, I haven't eaten much of anything other than mush since last Friday... and that's a good thing.
And my old guy seems to be a much calmer person since the toothache has caused me to keep my mouth shut.
Funny that... I take copious amounts of pain pills and antibiotics, and he is the one who gets all mellow?
I wonder why that is?

Do you want Happy Feet?


No.... not the movie, Happy Feet.
I mean honest to goodness, toasty warm, contented little tootsies?
Grandma 2 Many
has a little giveaway goin' on over at her blog,
to celebrate her 200th blog post, so if you're interested in some beautiful hand knitted socks,
head on over and check 'er out, for a chance to win!
The socks are made using Panda Silk by Crystal Palace Yarns.
52% Bamboo, 43% Super-wash Merino Wool and 5% combed Silk, they're hand-knitted by Grandma 2 Many... and they look and sound divine !!
(And tell her that Tatersmama sent you!)

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Project "Bra Babes"

Sharon, over at The Queen's Blog posted this on her blog today, and I wanted to share her wonderful idea and hopefully encourage y'all to do something wonderful for this cause.

CENTRAL MAINE MORNING SENTINEL SATURDAY, MARCH 14
PITTSFIELD --


Brassieres as art?

That's the idea behind a fundraiser to support breast-cancer research under way in central Maine and the organizers are looking for some creative, artistic entries.
Each entrant is asked to decorate a bra -- one of their own, a thrift store find or possibly one from a breast cancer survivor, in any outrageous manner, said event organizer Sharon Mack of Pittsfield.
And the more creative and unique, the better.


Go HERE for the complete post, and the rest of the article ... and please contact Sharon for further details...

~~
My step mother Lee, died of brain cancer on Mothers Day 1995, after having survived breast cancer for almost 15 years...
Her passion was wearing beautiful bras, but because of her prosthesis, her choices were pretty limited... so she used to embroider and embellish every bra she owned!
I just know that she would be backing this wonderful idea and I'll be attempting to decorate a bra, in her memory.
I have no creative talent at all, but I'm going to give this a go!

Oh... and don't forget to get your Mammies Grammed !

Friday, March 13, 2009

Imponderables

Why do women hate beauty pageants, but then enter their dog in a dog show, to see which dog is the best looking?

If you butter a piece of toast and drop it, it lands butter side down. If you drop a cat it always lands on it's feet.What would happen if you buttered the back of a cat and dropped that?

Why do croutons come in airtight packages? It's just stale bread to begin with.

Where does the tread that wears off tires go?

If a stars light takes millions of years to reach us, how do we know it didn't already blow up, a million years ago and we just don't know it yet?

Why isn't there mouse-flavored cat food? Or given that cats like to lick their butts, why don't they make butt-flavored cat food?

If nothing sticks to Teflon, how do they get Teflon to stick to the pan?

If I don't water my plants and they die... do they go to heaven?

Wool shrinks, doesn't it? So why don't sheep shrink when it rains?

Men's and women's shirts button on opposite sides. And dry-cleaners charge more for women's shirts, because their equipment is made to do men's shirts. So why doesn't someone invent a machine that does women's shirts, cheaper?

Why is there an expiration date on sour cream? Does it go sour-er?

Why is lemon juice made with artificial flavor, but dish washing detergent is made with real lemons?

If ignorance is bliss, why aren't more people happy?

How do they keep all the raisins in a box of cereal from falling to the bottom?

If we're here to help others, then what exactly are the others here for?

If they squeeze olives to get olive oil, and corn to get corn oil, how do they get baby oil?

Do dogs ever get hoarse from barking all night? Have you ever heard a dog with laryngitis?

If shampoo comes in so many colours, why is the lather on your hair always white?
Where does the color go?

If Snickers satisfy, why do they make King Size Snickers? Do you then say "I'm more than satisfied" ?

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Update on the dirty rotten toothache...



Remember when we were kids, and if we were good at the dentists office, we used to get a small toy, candy, stickers or a toothbrush?

Well guess what they give out, now that we're older!
Free falsies!! You just reach in the goodie jar and grab some!
Here are mine...
(don't pay any attention to the hair. I forgot to comb it)




Just joking...
The dentist visit went okay, but unfortunately, I have to go back next Wednesday, to have a root canal done on one tooth, and have the other one yanked. (way in the back, thank goodness!)
Hopefully, he won't do both procedures on the same day, but we'll see how it goes.
At least he packed the teeth with some lovely pain killing stuff and the pain is about all gone. Plus he gave me sooper-dooper pain killers and a weeks worth of antibiotics.
The bad news is, I can't eat anything solid until tomorrow afternoon.

Oh, and I need to call the bank to re-mortgage the house... so I can pay for all this!

Hey Boo Boo... It's a pic-a-nic basket!


Ya gotta love my friend Anita ! She just has a knack for always getting it right and knowing exactly when to send a care package! And believe me, I needed this little moral booster yesterday !


So now, dear readers, without further ado....
THIS is what I recieved yesterday !!



An Americana picnic basket (oooh, it's goin' to look so darn good on my pantry!)
and a lovely, lovely little pillow for my bed!




And HERE are the goodies that were packed inside!

Duncan Hines Red Velvet Cake mix
2 pkt's of Buffalo Wings mix
a can of Collard greens
2 boxes of Velveeta (regular and Pepper Jack)
2 boxes of Ranch Dressing mix ( be still my heart!!)
Rice a Roni (The San Francisco treat!)
A box of Tapioca (this is on the menu for after the dentist visit !!)
Hush Puppy Mix
Comstock Cherry Pie filling
and a gorgeous little chicken figurine !!




And Libby? Libby, are you paying attention? Libby.... LOOK at this !

I GOT CRISCO!!!
LMLAO!!










Cool Stuff !!!

I was feeling like warmed over crap yesterday and just about the time the tears started flowing from the tooth pain, I got a knock on the door.
It was my gorgeous, spunky, parcel post guy... and he brought me a box full of riches!

I still feel like lukewarm crap this morning, (I'm pretty sure I broke a tooth, and that it's abscessed) but at least I'm into countdown mode and the dreaded, yet longed-for dentist visit is only about 5 hours away. I can't wait to see this guy... and this time it isn't simply because he's cute as all get out and sounds like Billy Connolly when he speaks. I usually just close my eyes and drift off to the sound of his voice, but today may be another matter entirely. With needles and implements of torture. {{{shudders}}}

Anyway.... I was glad to see the goodies I received yesterday, but I had a hard time working up much enthusiasm... you know what I mean?

But this morning? Wooooo Doodleys!! There's some cool, cool, stuff there and I can't wait to take some pics to share with y'all !

That's all I'm sayin'...

(Ooopsies... Hey, Boo Boo! I forgot to say that this goodie parcel thing involves a pic-a-nic basket ! My friend Anita, is waaaay smarter than the average bear!)

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Toothache. BAD toothache

I have this.

I WANT this

But instead, this is what I'll get.

12:30 tomorrow.
Can I last that long?
Pray for me.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Easter... The time for roast chickens??

I got busy this morning, setting out the things for our craft project today... and I had everything all arranged to perfection.

Yellow construction paper, orange construction paper, feathers, googlie eyes and doodads... all laid out, with a larger sheet of paper to glue cute little Easter chickies on... and I had printed
"Spring Is Coming!" on the big sheets of paper.
Like, used the printer and the very last of my black ink, to do the printing.

Very organized, me.

And then the light bulb went off.
(Yes, I have a light bulb in my head, but unfortunately, I think the little filaments are reaching the end of their lives. )

Easter. Spring. Right?
NO! I keep forgetting that I'm in Oz, and in Oz, Easter time is more Autumn-ish.
Easter, the time of re-birth and new growth, a fresh start, eggs hatching, new bulbs and Easter Bunnies leaping through the tall grass ....is actually the time of year in Australia, where everything is slowing down.

Things dying.
Drying.
Shrivelling up.

Cute little fuzzy spring chicks are now half-grown chickens, just ready for the roasting...


Maybe we'll just cook, instead.

Just don't tell the kids.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Fridge Challenge



Pam, over at Sidewalk Shoes, posted a photo of her fridge and I thought I would play along. I mean, what single thing says more about us... about who we are and what we like... than our fridges?
Well, except maybe our underwear drawer.
But I'm not going there. Unh huh. No way Jose!!
You'll have to be content with just the fridge.

Now Pam only posted a single photo.
Me? Well, let's just say that I'm the Queen of Over-Kill.
I do nothing by half-measures.

Yeah, yeah, yeah.... I hear you saying "But you posted boring photos of your fridge ages ago"... and yes I did. Thanks for noticing.
But things change, don't they?
Tastes change. Lifestyles change.

But in my case, nothings changed at all.

So, for your viewing pleasure, here we go....
A photo of my fridge.

Oh, that isn't what you had in mind?

Then how about this one?

Or this?



And THIS one?
Well, yes I DO have a fruit and veggie drawer. But I have two of them, so this one has a special purpose.
Can you guess what it is?



I seem to have a plethora of cans of coffee, cheeses, sliced Jalapenos and minced garlic, and a tub of margarine that I don't even use... but what can I say?
I'm serious... what can I say??
And the Hershey's chocolate?
That stuff has been in there since our trip to Melbourne in late January...
so I think I need to be congratulated.
I showed you mine... now you show me yours!
Just be grateful I didn't ask you to show your underwear drawer.










Saturday, March 7, 2009

Mrs Tweetle. Up close and personal.

I know you saw this photo of Mrs. Tweetle in the last post, but I wanted to share her in a "clickable" version.
She's simply gorgeous when you can see her large.
Can you see why I consider myself so very blessed to have dozens of these little beauties in my yard???


Thanks to Bz, over at The Mosquitos Buzz for always selflessly sharing her tips and ideas...
I never knew that if I moved a photo, it lost it's clickable-ness - and thanks to her I've learned something new!
It goes to show, you CAN teach an old dog new tricks !!

Friday, March 6, 2009

Photo Challenge.

I decided that if I didn't move my cute little arse, I was going to sit here like a bump on a log and fall asleep, so I decided to take the 100 Step Challenge.

Now, with the "100 Step Challenge", the idea is to take your camera in hand, walk 100 steps and then take a photos of what's there right in front of you. Good, bad or indifferent.
Sounds good in theory, right? And I've seen some wonderful photos on other people's blogs.

So, camera in hand, I suddenly thought, "where do I start the 100 steps from?"
From right here at the computer desk? From the back door? The front door?
Just walk in circles around the house? No one told me where to start from!

Anyway, I opted to start just outside the back door and this is what I came up with. The photos were taken down the yard, approx 20 feet from the back fence
("Oh Grandmother, what a big bare yard you have." said Little Red Riding Hood)
(now I think that if you click the photos, they'll enlarge.
But I'm not sure. They wouldn't for me.)



One of my 3 beautiful huge old Gum Trees. I just love the bark on these beauties!


Rose hip.


I can see a lovely pot of rose hip tea eventuating from these babies!


Old birdcage / yard decoration
NO birds have ever been in this birdcage,
but the wild birds are always so curious!


Mrs Tweetle.
Her babies were in the tree too, but were too bashful to come down and say hello.
(click to enlarge... She's gorgeous up close!)




And THIS?
This is what was ON my camera when I downloaded the photos.
That's Jasmine on the left and Willow on the right, sleeping on my lap.
The old guy must have taken a couple of photos
(and poorly executed ones at that)
when I was going through the migraine.
Jasmine hates Willow, so I'm glad he got this special shot...

I decided to spare you the pic of me sleeping with my mouth wide open and drool down my chin.
Gotta love my guy.
He knows a photo op when he sees it.

Now how about you doing the same? Grab your camera... take 100 steps and share whatever you come across !




The well has run dry.

I'm too pooped to pop, I'm flat as a tack and my well has run dry.
I'm worn out, wrung out like an old dish rag and I'm petered out.

I've got nothing in me. I didn't have anything in me yesterday and I don't have anything in me again this morning.

My Mojo ain't a-working anymo.

Oh, I have thoughts and I have ideas. I think of something and I think "well, I'll blog about that!"
But when it comes to crunch time, I wonder what in the heck I was thinking. That idea was certainly a stupid idea.

I've read through all my favorite blogs looking for inspiration and then checked out their followers as well.
I even went cruising with the "next blog" button and ran across some very uninteresting blogs in foreign languages. I knew they were uninteresting even though I couldn't read them... because they had pictures of soccer players or sparkly shoes. Or groups of dark-haired girls smiling prettily for the camera.

And do you know what I found? What inspired me?

Nothing.
Nada.
Zip.
Zilch.

I even thought of taking the 100 step challenge. You know... where you take 100 steps and then take a photo of whatever is right there in front of you. The problem is, I don't have it in me to walk 100 steps. And besides, I would have to take the camera down of it's shelf and unpack it.
I mean, how hard is that?
Well, in the mood I'm in today, even that is too much of an effort.

Oh, there's nothing wrong with me at all and I feel just fine.
I just feel flat as a tack.

My get-up-and-go has just got-up-and-went.

When it comes back to me, I'll let you know, okay?

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I missed out on "this" - for a rubber dummy?

I had to do a combined CPR/First Aid course for work last night and I'm so ticked off at their timing! It sucks wieners!

I mean, y'all know how hard I work, right?

I quite often work 24 hours a day, with emergency care kids, parents who do shift-work, plus my regulars and 2 permanent part-time boys.

Like the Donna Summer song says : I "Work HARD for the money."
I LOVE what I do... and I do it well.

But....
I think working 120+ hours a week with the children... planning, scheduling, paperwork and case notes is asking for more than enough. Then on a night when I have absolutely no children, no worries , no dishes or cleaning up to do...and the much-needed chance to kick back with a TV program (in my clean house) with a few nibbles and a drink... I have to attend a course.

At the office's discretion.

I don't get to choose what night/nights are more convenient for me. I'm required to do as I'm told to do. AND I'm expected to pay for the sucker, myself. It wouldn't be half bad if they were paying for the course, or at least paying me for my 4 hours of time.

Unfortunately, it just doesn't work that way. Like I said, it sucks.
I know it's necessary and I know that it's good, but still.... I just wish it was up to me when I have the training.
I know my schedule... like no one else does.

See, what's brought this all on is that the Australian version of "Farmer Wants a Wife" was on last night... and it was the episode where the farmers ask one of their potential partners to leave. Or whatever it is they do. You gals who watch The Bachelor probably have a better idea of what I'm trying to say, than I do.

First there were 10 suitors, then there were 5 and then 3 were invited "home"... and then last night the farmers were paring it down just a little bit further. Down to 2.
Now, it's count-down time. We're heading down to 2 contestants.
Last night, I should have been biting my nails, pacing the floor and screaming at the TV set :
"NOOOOOO! Don't pick her to stay! She brought high heels, for crying out loud! To your FARM! No boots, no sneakers, only 37 pairs of sandals and high heels. SHE'S not the one !! And the make-up? My Gawd, does she LOOK like she could shear a sheep, bare-faced? Pick the other one who looks at you with puppy-dog eyes! She's the one you need to keep!!


I missed all that last night.
Now, I know that I can watch it on-line today, but that's not the point, is it? I wanted to watch what I wanted to watch, when I wanted to watch it. It's all about me, you know.
(well, not really)

While people's future lives were being decided and some of the farmers potentially finding their wives/husband, I was forced to practice putting my entire mouth over a rubber, pretend dummy child's nose and mouth. Not that I would have any qualms whatsoever about doing that... because it's the right - and necessary - thing to do.
I would do whatever it takes to save a child's life... and there are times that I know that I could even sacrifice my own life, if it would make a difference to theirs, you know?

But c'mon...

Kids have boogies. I have never met a little kid yet who didn't have some sort of mucus emanations going on with their nose, most of the time.
Runny, drippy, crusty, watery... it's just so yuck.
And I'm just not into the whole swapping spit, not to mention boogies thing anyway.

Unless it's on "Farmer Wants a Wife".
There would have been some serious spit-swapping going on last night... and I missed it!
Darn it all!
I just want to choose my own time.
Is that really too much to ask?


Leave my worms alone!


We've been getting some heavy-drizzly type rain for the last few days and it's been wonderful!

The problem is, the moisture is finally soaking down to my poor thirsty worms that have been living about 113 feet underground, trying their best to avoid being dried and fried by the heat we had been having. ( Oh my...I just love saying "had" It's such a nice word. The heat we HAD!!)

So, when I woke up this morning, I went on a "worm rescue".
You know...I don't think I'll ever fully understand why worms come *UP* to get out of the water, when all they have to do is go back down, because it's dry as a bone just a few inches down, so there has to be a happy medium there somewhere, right?

WHY do they commit hari kari by crawling onto the cement where you would think they would know they were going to get shrivelled up into chow mien noodles? Am I right ...or what?

I mean, I know they're just worms and have itsy bitsy little wormy brains, but you would think that they would do a little evolving or learning somewhere along the line, wouldn't you??
Sometime in the last million or so years, you would have thought that the light-bulb would have gone off for at least one of them, don't you think?

Anyway... when I find the little wrigglers crawling piteously across the cement, on a one-way trip to fried noodle time, I pick 'em up and put them back in the garden. Where they can do whatever it is that worms do and enrich my soil or whatever. I feel so virtuous afterwards. Like I've contributed something during my lifetime, you know? It does my heart good.
So what happens after I put those worms back in their rightful place? Back with their little wormy families?
The bloody starlings discover a veritable "worm smorgasbord" in the grass, dirt or whatever I've put the worms... and they eat like there's no tomorrow...that's what happens.
They put it out on the birdie grapevine and before you know it, I have dozens and dozens and dozens of starlings all making happy starling noises as they do the spaghetti slurping thing.

Those skinny little starling's eat ...and eat... and eat... Until they're looking like bloated pheasants or Thanksgiving turkeys in the making, or something.

I chase the birds off time and time again, yet they keep coming back by the hundreds and feasting on their little birdy version of spaghetti noodles.

But you know what? A bird will NOT look at a worm crawling across the cement. They will not eat a worm that is attempting "suicide by shriveling". They just won't.

But if I pick that worm up and try and save his life, suddenly it's "noodle buffet" time for our feathered friends.
I have never seen any other birds - other than the starlings - seriously eating worms.
Oh, the magpies eat them, but I have never seen a Magpie party-time going on on my lawn... ermmm, dirt.
And what used to happen before the starlings were introduced into this country? They were "introduced" into Melbourne in 1857 and then into other ares of Australia... But in 1895, the import of starlings were banned. Because they ruin everything.
So my question is ..."Who or what, ate the earthworms before 1857?"
Was the country a giant earthworm farm? Or rather, a giant farm with heaps of earthworms? Is that why the worms in certain parts of Victoria are so huge - which puts new meaning to the "giant earthworm farm" concept?
Did they evolve into snake-sized worms, just to outsmart the bloody starlings??
Probably not, but still... it's interesting as all get out.
If you like worms, that is.
I think I need a holiday.
Or a life.

Monday, March 2, 2009

I was married to this guy.

Well, not really to this guy... but still. Close enough for government work.

If I close my eyes, the memories come flooding back. As sad as that is.

Lovely, lovely Kit over at Gizzards & Calf Fries sent me information on how to post video's... and when I ran across this one this morning, I just had to share it. I was laughing so hard that I just about fell off my chair. Well I did fall off my chair, but it was because the chair rolled out from under me. Honestly.

Be warned though. It's "sort-of" adult content-ish, but funny as anything.
If you've ever been in a relationship with someone, I'll bet you dollars to doughnuts that you can relate. ;-)

Oh... and put your coffee DOWN first!

I hope I'm doing this right... fingers crossed.


Name Meme

I've been tagged by Sue, over at Home To The World, in a game of Name Meme.
Now here are the instructions for this meme...

Directions:
1. Copy the questions from my post and paste them in a new post on your blog. Then erase my answers and replace my answers with yours.
2. Use the first letter of your first name to answer ALL of the following questions.
3. If the first letter of your name is the same as mine, use your middle or last name.
4. You CANNOT use any word twice, and you CANNOT use your own name for the boy/girl questions.
5. After you are done, tag 5 people......

So, here we gooooo:

1. What is your name?: Kate
2. A four-letter word: Knot
3. A boy's name: Knute
4. A girl's name: Kendra
5. An occupation: Knitter
6. A color: Khaki
7. Something you wear: Knickers
8. A Food: Kale
9. Something found in the bathroom: Kotex
10. A place: Kansas
11. A reason for being late: Knocked out
12. Something you shout: Keeps!!
13. A movie title: Kill Bill
14. Something you drink: Kahlua
15. An animal: Kangaroo
16. A song title: King of the Road
17. A verb: Kiss

I now tag.... anyone who would like to play. ;-)

Sunday, March 1, 2009

The Work Song...

Guess who's back at work...
(weekends are just too darn short !!!)

Mop Tater Mop
(sung to the tune of Hoe Emma Hoe)

Caller: Mop Tater's Mop, you turn around clean a spot on the floor, Mop Tater's Mop

Chorus: Mop Tater's Mop, you turn around mop that dirt, Mop Tater's Mop.

Caller: Tater's, you from the country.

Chorus: Mop Tater's Mop, you turn around clean a spot on the floor, Mop Tater's Mop.

Caller: Tater's, get down on the floor to pick up those crumbs.

Chorus: Mop Tater's Mop, you turn around clean that spot on the floor, Mop Tater's Mop.

Caller: Tater's work harder than two grown men.

Chorus: Mop Tater's Mop, you turn around dig you a hole in the ground, Mop Tater's Mop.
Caller: Tater's work harder than two grown men.
(repeat)
(repeat, repeat, repeat)




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