Sunday, May 31, 2009

YAY! I got goodies! / & it's our 10 yr anniversary!

A few weeks back, I entered a giveaway over at Frugal Maven's Hip and Stingy ... and I won a fantastic Amazon gift voucher!
Thank you, thank you, thank you, Frugal Maven! I'm happy as a clam in chowder!
(Erm... that is a good thing isn't it? Because winning sure was, but I'm not how sure a clam would like being cooked with potatoes...ya know? Or even cooked at all. Poor clam!)

I have to admit... it did take me some doing and checking back daily... but I managed to make that voucher s-t-r-e-t-c-h ... and I got not only the book that the Frugal Maven had recommended, (Animal, Vegetable, Miracle) but I managed to squeeze in another book as well, (Olive Kitteridge) and a DVD too! (Clatterford, with Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Sue Johnson & Joanna Lumly) - and it only cost me a further $4 over the value of the voucher!

And they were delivered today!! Wooo Hooo!

Check these out!!
They look so good!




(Now, these photos should enlarge, so check out the back covers... and tell me what you think of them!
I took a pic of the back of the dvd as well, but it was all glarey and too hard to read, so I didn't bother posting it.)


So, now I have a question for y'all...

The Clatterford DVD says that it's season 1, but when I was checking the dvd's out on Amazon, I noticed that it's also called Jam and Jerusalem... but neither set (Clatterford or Jam and Jerusalem) seemed to have a season 2.
Is there more, or am I going to have to be content with just the 1st season? I need to know!

Anyway, I just can't wait to go to bed with a good book tonight.. and I've got just the right books to go with me! Yippee!

Ummmm... except that it's also our 10 year anniversary today (yes, me and the Old Guy - who were you thinking of? Sam Elliot?) and although he seems to have totally forgotten about it and he's chosen to stay home today and sand his stinking, flaky ceiling with a few of his mates, instead of spending time with me.. well, I'm just sure, that he has something exciting planned for this evening.
Because, if I'm really lucky, we might get take-out... which would be heavenly!
Hopefully Chinese... but I swear, even Macca's would be better than having to cook tonight.

And THEN, I can go to bed with a good book!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

A photo tag... and other stuff.

Kathy over at My New Beginnings, tagged me in a photo tag... and since I had no idea in the world what the 6th picture in my 6th folder was, this photo was a bit of a surprise to me.
Mainly because I don't remember saving it in the first place.
But I guess I did, or it wouldn't have been there, now would it?



This is just a pretty typical picture of a pretty typical day around here.
Playing.
That's what I get to do for most of the day.... so is it any wonder I love my job?
(and doesn't my carpet look clean? It looks so clean, that I think I'll look at it through the lens of a camera more often!)

Here's what Kathy said about the photo tag:

You have been tagged. If you would care to play, open the sixth folder of "my photos" (your photos) and choose the sixth photo, post it on your blog and tell something about it. Then select 6 other bloggers to tag.


I'm going the lazy woman's way and choosing the first six bloggers on my current reading list, but if you haven't been chosen and want to join in anyway... well honey, just go for it!

I'm passing this tag on to:


Libby over at Neas Nuttiness


darsden over at RamblingsAboutWhy


Marilyn at Marilyn's Money


georgiafarmwoman at Life on a Southern Farm


And finally, Terry at Lady Liberty Patriot

Have fun!
~~~~~~~~~~~

Now there was other stuff, (hence the "and other stuff" in the title) but blogger has somehow in it's infinite wisdom, saved parts of yesterdays draft, but completely deleted others... so what can I say? It started flashing "cannot contact blogger" just about the time it went down... yet again. *sigh*
And now I've plumb I forgot what I wrote about in the first place.

Knowing me, it probably wasn't worth talking about anyway, but if I remember what I said, don't worry.
You'll be the first to know.

Anyway, I'm pushing this darn "publish post" button right now... before it has the chance to delete anything more - and screw me up again.



Friday, May 29, 2009

Time? Who has it?

With one thing or another, this has been one long week...

My server has been giving me nothing but headaches all week and it's driving me around the bend.
It's on.
It's off.
It's on and off.
That page isn't available. Server error. You don't have permission to view this site....arrgh!
I mean, I pay the bills, so as far as I'm concerned it has no right to tell me what I can and can not do!!
How dare they!

Blogger itself has given me nothing but headaches all week as well, refusing to let me load photos, it won't save drafts, the screen goes blank at the drop of a hat. Probably all related to the damn server problems, but still.
I'm feeling very conspired against.

And my head? Well, it's been giving me nothing but headaches all week as well. I've had daily headaches since last weekend and it's getting me down. I know it's time to see the quack.. but who has time?

And then Thursday night? Thursday night I had nothing better to do with my time, than go to a business meeting for carers. I could have relaxed. I could have enjoyed myself by catching up on blogs - maybe even written one. I could have gone to bed early. I could have gotten caught up on paperwork or done a hundred other things.
But no... I attended the meeting.

The meeting was called so that they (the higher-ups) could explain to us how they can stand down a carer and potentially fire her, based only on the allegations of a just-turned 4 year old.
Of course, we all understand that that the safety and well-being of any child is their priority, but what ever happened to "innocent until proven guilty"??? Whatever happened to common sense or our good reputations?
You can work in this industry for 5-10-20-30 years and have an absolutely impeccable reputation, and all it takes is a disgruntled parent who's looking for a way of avoiding paying their bill, or a lying child. Or sometimes (as in this case) both together.

I'm sorry, but kids do lie.
They lie for all sorts of reasons and even when they're caught in the act of doing something they aren't supposed to do... they're literally caught red-handed, some of them will try and blame it on someone else.

Anyway, we were basically told that their decision is a final one. They weigh up the evidence and even if there is no clear cut answer, they will always err on the side of the child.
But all the while, the child's and the parents identities must be kept confidential.
Which means that any other carer can potentially end up caring for this particular child - and none of us would be any the wiser. We could potentially be the next carer in the firing line, but they feel that they have no responsibility to disclose anything to us.

And what do they do for the carer herself, while the investigation is going on?
Nothing.
She's out in the cold and on her own.... regardless of how untrue this allegation may be.
Oh, they do give us access to counseling ( maybe to see the error of our ways) but there is no support given whatsoever.

The whole thing has left a very bad taste in my mouth - and I'm not the only one. We're all feeling pretty vulnerable... because each and every one of us could be in this carers shoes at any moment.

The thing that gets to me, is that a friend has recently been dealing with the sexual abuse of her two grand daughters, by the mothers new boyfriend. The evidence was there, the doctor concurred and gave a statement, the girls ( 4 and 6) had given statements to the police, but the eventual outcome was that everyone knew that he had done it, but because these were young children, there was no actual case. The courts won't take the word of a child, in spite of knowing that they were telling the truth.
Legally, the police can do nothing... the courts can do nothing...

But when it comes to my employer, they can make any decision they want to... and their word is law.

So yes... it's been a helluva week.

I'm off to take a couple of headache tablets and drink a big glass of water... anyone want one?

~~~~~

Added info:
I just realized when I re-read this, that it almost sounds like the issue with the carer is a sexual issue - which it's NOT.
The carer is merely accused of spanking a child who was in her care.
Which for those of us who know her, is something totally out of character and in our opinions at least... untrue.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

What a lovely weekend !!!

We had a lovely weekend away... and it did my heart good to be able to spend some time with great friends... and to get my COSTCO card!!!
As excited as a I was to get the card though, the visit with Miz K is what what made the weekend so special... I just love that girl to bits. :-)

We headed out of here on Saturday morning, and eventually manged to get on the road after a few false starts. We actually headed out from my house at about 10am, and then managed to get half an hour down the road before the Old Guy remembered that he had left the charger plugged in at his house... so we had to come back.
Which when you consider a bladder like mine... well, I couldn't complain too much, now could I? I know every public toilet on every route we take, because no matter where we go, well, I just gotta...you know.
I'm menopausal and stuff.

Anyhow, we eventually got to Melbourne, settled down for some visitin' and catching up with Miz K and her other half, then we all headed to COSTCO. Yes, I know I don't need to type capital letters when I'm saying Costco... but I just love the way it trips off my tongue, ya know? And it truly IS larger than life!



COSTCO is coming!

Opening in July, 2009 !!!



Weeks back, when I read the information that only about 40% of their products here in Oz would be American products... well, I have to be truthful, and tell you that my heart sunk a bit. But after thinking on it, I just imagined a huge, HUGE store with only 10 aisles in it - and FOUR of those aisles would be nothing but American goodies! I don't think it will dim my shopping experience too much... because just being able to buy anything for far cheaper prices than the damn duopoly of Safeway and Coles currently rip us off for... well, it's gonna be better than good!

(Just as an aside...did you know that we pay just about the highest price for groceries of anywhere in the entire world, right here in Oz?
And why? Simply because they can charge us an arm and a leg - legally. Gotta keep those stockholders happy, ya know. And man, do they love to stick it to us.
It's about time that the rip-off duopoly of Safeway and Coles learned a hard lesson - and it's time that we as consumers have some choice in the matter.
My grocery bill has stayed just about the same for the last year... but that's basically because I've been forced to buy less and less and less each month - simply to make ends meet!)

Anyway, I was thrilled to see that large grocery cart sitting at the sign-in area, and I almost got all misty-eyed just looking at it! They had:


Cascade ( I need to buy a dishwasher now)...Bounce Fabric Sheets (now I have to buy that dryer!)...Folgers coffee ( maybe not the best, but MY particular favorite!)...Normal sized paper towels (why are the ones here, several inches shorter? They don't fit on my wall holder thingie)... as well as the traditional Kirkland signature items.... *sigh*

Me with my Costco bag!!

The Old Guy with his Costco card!


Oh, I can't even remember all the goodies that were in that basket (trolley) and I'm seriously regretting that I didn't ask Miz K to take a photo of me and the basket ... and maybe even the cute little Meat manager. Even though he couldn't guarantee me that we can get regular American-style bacon, I won't hold him personally responsible.
I could have kissed him anyway. Hearing that someone handles USDA Choice meat, well, it just affects me that way.



Miz K and I are happy little Costco-ites!




Miz K brought these back for me, from her recent trip to the US!


Hershey's Eggs and Reese's Bunnies... Oh my!

Then while I was working on this post this morning, my kitties were looking just too darn cute to not take photos of.... and I promised them I would share...


Wally (daughter -bottom of pic)
Willow ( Mother- above her)
Bear (Wally's son, sitting above)



Wally washing her momma's face
and momma looks none too happy!

Hey,Miz K?
Could you run back to Costco, and take some more photos for me?
Pretty please?
I'll even share my Reeses Peanut Butter Cups, when I get them, okay?

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Dear Bosch Tool Company

To whomever it may concern,

You may think that I'm nuts... and you may be totally correct in that assessment, but I recently wrote to your customer service department in the USA, to tell you of the wonderful experience I've recently had with your cute little Bosch Prio.

This may come as a surprise to you, but we women use tools too - albeit sometimes for a different reason than men - and we occasionally use them for different purposes than which they were primarily intended.

Alas, within mere hours of sending the email off to your customer service department, I received a return email, recommending contacting a representative of Robert Bosch Australia Pty. Ltd. here in Australia.

And that's where my quandary begins.

Yes, I do live in Australia, but as you could see from the blog link I sent you (detailing my recent wonderful experience with your product) my readership is largely US based, with a smattering of European and Asian Pacific readers. Oh... and one lone reader in Brazil.
Now that one lone reader in Brazil may have a handle on how to keep her feet totally soft as well as her body hair-free, with all the Brazilian waxing and buffing and all that stuff going on, but my extended readership in the US and various other countries have little or access to Brazilian techniques.
Nor does a large percentage of my extended readership need access to, Australian sanding tools.

Admittedly, some do, ( I have a wonderful group of Australian readers as well) but most don't... and with the difference in electricity and all, trying to plug an Australian tool into a electrical outlet in Duluth Minnesota or Hiawassee Georgia - well... honey, it just won't work.
I don't quite understand why, but I'm sure someone at your company knows.


See, as I explained in my initial email (keeping it to the recommended 1000 characters) I'm interested in having Bosch assist me with a little giveaway on my blog.
And seeing as how 92.8% of my readership is US based, it just made perfect sense, (to me at least) that when giving away products to readers who primarily live in the US, it's kind of helpful to at least have a product that's usable in their country.

So, with that in mind... and in all fairness and everything, maybe it would be best if we extended the products given away on my blog, to products that are usable in different countries, keeping in mind the different electrical cord/plug configurations and all. Or the electricity differences or whatever.
To tell you the truth, that stuff is just beyond me.

Now, taking into consideration the speed with which my initial email was read and responded to... and the recommendation that I contact the Australian branch of Bosch Tools, I'm beginning to think that my blog link went unread... and that saddens me.

I may not be in the same league as Pioneer Woman, but I have had 11,504 people read my blog since I first started 6 months ago. Like I said, I'm not in PW's league at all... but 11,504 readers is nothing to sneeze at.
And do you honestly think that it stops there? When an idea or a product is mentioned on a blog, friends tell friends... who then tell their friends... So the possibilities of getting the "word" out there, are endless.

I do (very sadly) suspect that my blog link went unread, and if so... well, you simply didn't see the potential for a line of power tools made primarily for women.
Made for women who have smaller hands, and in some cases, bigger imaginations than men when it comes to alternate uses for your products.

I'm sure you have engineers and whatnot who have done exhaustive studies and measurements of men's hands, coming up with a product that fits the typical mans hand.
Why not do the same for women?

And the possibilities? Oh my... the possibilities!
Most women do not venture into hardware stores alone. They go shopping with their men - or in some cases, with other women. In some cases, gaggles of women.
However, if I were to head into my local hardware store, in search of the perfect tool for sanding my rough, dry heels, chances are, I would have my man with me.

And when he sees me buy a cute little hand-held power tool for sanding my rough dry heels - my man, being a manly man, will have to "one-up" me.
So he will buy a tool that's bigger and badder than my tool.
It's human nature - at least where some men are concerned. My man being one of them.

So, theoretically, when I buy a tool, chances are, there will be at least two tools sold. One for me... and one for him. And I can almost guarantee you, his tool will be bigger and more expensive than mine.
And if a gaggle of women went into a hardware store looking for the perfect hand-held tool?
Oh my...the chances for multiple sales could be staggering!
Especially if those tools are shaped and sized to a woman's hand...
(and before I forget, the color is a HUGE consideration, when it comes to women as well.
Think pink.)

You have the potential here to make the difference to possibly thousands of women. And when your boss learns of your success, (how could he or she not.. with sales skyrocketing?) it could do nothing but amazing things for your possible "rise through the ranks".

That is, if you have a desire to rise through the ranks.

You may be content to simply put your 8 hours in and then head home to the family, or head home to the myriad of things that need doing around the house.
Maybe you're lucky to be single woman, and have the chance to go out with the girls for a night on the town.
Just think of the shoes you could wear, if you had smooth, silky heels... like mine!

So please, sit down ... take a moment to read the blog link I sent you ( I will enclose it again, seeing as how you may have deleted my last email) and please consider helping me sponsor a giveaway of the cute little "Bosch Prio" on my blog.


Two small products is all I'm asking for - no... make that four - keeping in mind the different electrical outlets / power wattage thingamajiggies... so that women everywhere are able to have the chance to win your wonderful, wonderful product... and to have heels that are as soft and smooth as mine are.

I've been contacted (both through my comments form and by private email) by women who are interested in purchasing your "palm-sized sander" -- The adorable little "Bosch Prio".
Now I'm sure that you've heard of the poor global economy - and how people are having to squeeze a nickle until it screams.
But women being women, no matter what our finances or our personal heartaches, we all want to feel and look our best.


I was contacted by one woman who said she was going to start saving her pennies to buy herself a Bosch Prio. But with the current economy, how feasible is that?
Another said that she used a drimmel to cut her toenails. (as do I for lack of a better tool - but only one toenail)
Yet another said she hadn't worn cute shoes in years - simply because of the dry cracked skin on her heels and the embarrassment it caused.

See? The need and the want is out there.
By giving away a few products on my blog, women will talk. Women (if they're not lucky enough to win the giveaway) will go out and purchase your product.
They will take their man or other women with them.

In the long run, you'll thank me for even asking you to sponsor a giveaway

Dear Bosch representative... we need a line of products tailored to a woman's needs.
A multi-purpose product that can be used around the house... but as a personal care product as well.
Think of the possibilities :
A product for removing dry and cracked skin - as well as paint on a windowsill.
A product for trimming our personal *lady gardens* - as well as the flowers on the front porch.
A product that gently exfoliates and gives us the skin of our youth back - as well as smoothing rough spots around the house.

The old saying that "No man is an island" needs to be updated to
"No woman likes to look like she's been living on a deserted island."

And I think you're just the company to do it.

By sponsoring a small "giveaway" on my blog, you could be doing a favor for thousands of women... as well as getting your name out there, to to a huge, un-tapped percentage of the population.

Just tell me that you'll think about it.
Think outside the square for just one minute, and I'm sure you'll see the endless possibilities!

Thanking you for your time and consideration...
And I'm truly looking forward to our future partnership.

Kate
(aka Tatersmama)

(the blog link I told you about :
http://tatersmamastakeonthings.blogspot.com/2009/05/industrial-strength-beautifying.html

plus, I'm also enclosing before and after photos of my heels, so you can see the amazing results of one lone woman "thinking outside the square")

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Industrial strength beautifying...


You know that nasty, dry, cracked skin you get on your heels, from wearing slip-on's and flip flops during the summer?

That painful, horrible, unsightly skin that catches on everything and grabs at your sheets in the night, so that when you turn over, you end up wrapping yourself up like a Mummy in a B-grade movie?

Well, I'm here to tell you that I wear slip-on's year-round, and my heels had nothing on horse hooves. I could have by-passed shoes altogether... and just nailed some iron on my feet.

But I didn't want to do that, for several reasons.
Mainly because wearing horse shoes would make me look like an ass.


So I bought one of those cute little cheese-grater type callus removers.


It didn't work


I bought pumice stones, I bought razor trimmers and creams and lotions and potions and heel balm.... I bought just about every product I could find.
And although some of them worked somewhat, none of them worked completely.

Until I had a brainstorm.
See, I had been sanding my window sills outside, getting ready to paint... and the little hand-held sander I was using, was doing a great job of sanding the flakes of paint as well as the little bumps off the window sills.

You see where I'm going... right?
I thought, " Why not?"

So yes... I used it on my heels, and once again, my heels are as smooth and soft as a baby's bottom.
Pink, smooth, healthy looking and soft as silk.


This is one fantastic little sucker, and before you start thinking OMG, this woman is nuts for using something like an industrial strength power tool on her heels... let me tell you how it works.
This isn't one of those nasty-arse orbital or belt sanders that use sandpaper.
It's a hand held, re-chargeable, vibrating sander with removable, plastic-y velcro pads, that just jiggle at an incredibly high speed, but doesn't hurt at all.
It sands... but it's gentle at the same time.
I swear.

I tried it on my hand first - mainly because my mama didn't raise no fools... but it just vibrated... and I felt it, but it didn't hurt at all.

So I used it on my heels, and the end result is... those cracked dry heels I have been fighting all summer long, are now a thing of the past.

Bosch Prio, I love you !!


(pssssst... Anyone want to buy a miniature cheese-grater?)

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Check us out! ;-)

I know y'all have been hanging, just waiting to see what the Old Guy and I look like...
So now the waiting is over !!
Thanks to Libby over at Neas Nuttiness!


Create your own FACEinHOLE


The Old Guy... Pretty darned handsome, eh?








Create your own FACEinHOLE

Patrick Swayze, Tatersmama and Sam Elliot...

Now it's your turn... just click on the label above and show us YOUR stuff!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Talkin' funny... or funny talk

You know, the whole "falafel" incident had me stopping to think about some of the strange words that the Old Guy uses... and my strange words as well.
The whole Australian/American thing and the roots of where we come from.

The Old Guy accuses me constantly of talking with a stiff upper lip - and droppin' my "g's"... and he claims that's the reason that he has trouble understanding me at times.
I know that he's right on the whole droppin' my "g's" thing, but I think it goes a lot deeper than that. I think he has a bit of a hearing problem... well actually we know that he does... but being a man, he denies it, when it's convenient for him. It's always my fault.
But that's not as deep as it goes.

The Old Guy uses funny words. Yep, my funny little man uses funny little words... and before you go thinking that I'm making fun of him - I'm not.
I find it endearing and I find him endearing.
He uses words like "conversate" - and he used it long before it became trendy. He's always said conversate.
Whereas I might say that I was conversing with someone, he conversates with them.

He uses words like strides, daks or trousers for pants.
Which is no big deal... but it confuses the hell out of my little ones, when their pants are slipping down and he admonishes them to pull their strides up - and they just look at him funny. He then gets flustered and tell me that "so-and-so won't listen to me."
Well, for one thing honey, so-and-so is only 2 years old and she doesn't know how to pull her pants up... but she probably doesn't understand the word "strides" anyway.
Ask her to pull her pants up instead.
And he does... but ten minutes later, he's telling someone else to pull their strides up.

Teaspoons are "stirrers", unless you want to eat cereal with them.... then they become spoons.
"Hand me a stirrer, luv... and I'll make you a cuppa."

Then there's the whole Australian vs American words for things - which is no big deal, but it can get confusing at times.

Words like:
bonnet, for the hood of a car.
boot, for the trunk of a car.
jockey box, for glove box
cereal packet, for a box of cereal.
jug, for pitcher
jug, for kettle
bottling, for canning
tap, for faucet
esky, for ice chest
singlet, for undershirt
wellies, for rubber boots
daks or jocks, for underpants
knickers, for panties
fly wire door, for screen door
cooker, for stove
wood heater, for wood stove.
griller, for broiler
knackered, for tired or worn out

No big deal... because they're just different words, but the meaning is the same.

I just never imagined that I would be learning another language when I came here.
I never imagined that people would have a hard time understanding me... and me, them.
We both speak English for pete's sake... but between customs and dialects, it's been harder than I would have imagined it to be.

See, I was born and raised in San Francisco California. But my mama came from Ada Oklahoma and my daddy came from Obey City, Tennessee. (that's pronounced as Obee, rather than Obey)
They had Southern accents and even though I grew up basically speaking "Californian" I pronounce lots of words the way my parents said them... and I've always had a bit of Southern "twang" in my speech.
I occasionally say rang for "ring" - as in "I lost my rang and I knew I should have kept it on my danged fanger!
I was raised with words like flummoxed and afeered, flustered and sweetnin'

"Child, go put some sweetnin' in Aunt Poadies tea", or
"My Lan' child, you've growed... I'm purely flummoxed at how much you've growed - com 'er and give us some sugar!!"

Then to top it off, daddy's side of the family are Quakers. Grandma and grandpa were both Quaker ministers and my daddy was for a time ...until he joined the Second World War.
There was a lot of Plain speech goin' on when I was a kid... so I was also raised with words like "Thee" and "Thou" "Thy" "Thine" or "Ye"... and I find myself slipping into that pattern of speech quite regularly.
There's no rhyme or reason for it - I just do it. Usually, Plain speech is reserved for "Friends" - as in other Quakers (or Society of Friends), but with entire summers spent with grandma and grandpa and all the relatives in Tennessee, it's just ingrained in me. It just pops out at the unlikest of times

"Can I come to the store with thee?"
"Thou should not have said that to Tom".
"So-and-so, thy socks are slipping down - pull them up please".
We're going to the movies, would ye like to come too?

Mix Plain speech with a California/ Southern accent... and it's a wonder that anyone can understand me at times!

So who has it harder... me or the Old Guy?
I say that he talks funny and he says that I talk funny.

But the funny thing is, after 10 years together come June...we don't even need words most of the time.
He knows what I'm thinkin', and I know what he's thinkin', and no words are needed.
We speak the language of love.

It doesn't get much better than that.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Something GOOD... and something Fu**-awful

Something GOOD...

OMG! You should see the beautiful, beautiful gift I received yesterday, from Muddy Boots Dreams!

I won a set of five gorgeous cards, featuring her photography... and I was simply blown away with how absolutely gorgeous they are !

They're breathtaking ... and there's no way I would ever use them as "mere" cards!
These babies will be professionally framed and hung on the wall, just so I can see them everyday ....and smile!

Now there's no way that my photos could even begin to do justice to Muddy Boot Dreams photos, but just look here at what she sent me!
I almost feel embarassed to show them like this, because there's no way I could begin to do them justice... but you just have to see what I recieved!!!


LOOKEE!!!










Aren't they simply stunning?
Thank you so much, Muddy Boot Dreams...
You're a sweetheart!
I absolutely LOVE these cards !!!
~~~~~~~~~


And now, to something fu**awful....
Last nights falafels were good - really good... and they reheated wonderfully !
It's just a pity that I was too tired to enjoy the meal like I wanted to.
After the day that I had had, even chewing was almost like too much of an effort... and I fell alseep in the chair at about 7pm and woke up with a crook neck.
Which is neither here nor there, I'm just tellin' ya.
Now, the first night I served these falafels, I served them with store-bought Tzatziki, (cucumber sauce) which I think tasted just fine... but last night, I was lazy, so I just drizzled them with lime juice ( from my very own lime tree...YAY!) and I think I preferred them this way.
The Old Guy preferred the Tzatziki, which he kept pronouncing as "Tahiti sauce".
So I guess the Old dear ate Fuc-awfuls with Tahiti
(why do I keep hearing a chicken clucking when I say it that way?
Fuc Fuc Fuc-awful...)
And now, ladies and gentlemen, for your chewing pleasure, I present to you....
"Fuc-awful Balls!"

Or better known as the
"Recipe for Falafel".
Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 cup chick peas, Soaked overnight (or you can just use a can of garbanzo beans like I did - but I used 2 and doubled the other ingredients)
  • 4 green onions / spring onions, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons water
  • 4 large parsley sprigs
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cummin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • Salt and pepper
  • Oil for deep frying ( I shallow fried)

1. Drain the chick peas and mash thoroughly or place in a blender/food processor with the green onions, garlic, water and parsley. Blend to a puree.

(I semi-mashed them with a potato masher first, then used my stick-blender thingie... and it worked just fine)
Mixture should be cookie-dough-ish in consistancy, but if yours is too wet, simply add some flour

2. Stir in the remaining ingredients, with salt and pepper to taste, then turn into a bowl and leave for 1-2 hours (To dry out slightly)

3. Form the mixture into walnut sized balls (I did mine larger - more golf ball sized) and flatten slightly

4. Heat the oil in the pan/deep dryer, add falafel and fry for about 4 minutes (Or until golden)
(I just shallow fried them, and carefully turned them when they were brown)

5. Drain on paper towels and serve hot.
They were a bit of an effort the first time, because I had never done them before, but I think that now that I know what I'm doing, they'll be easier to make and I might even experiment a little.
But NOT with the diced celery that the Old Guy suggested!
See, he's got a "thing" about celery ... and he thinks that any recipe can be improved with it.
Lord help me...
I would definitely do these again and again - and they do freeze wonderfully!
Falafels are pretty darned versatile, and they can also be used as a filling in pita bread, with salad-y stuff and condiments of your choice.
I'm not a big pita-bread person, but I know the Old Guy would like them this way!
Especially with Tahiti sauce....

Is my cooking THAT bad?



I made Falafels last week, and they were so yummy! A bit of a pain to make, but definitely worth the effort.
Now, I don't know if they freeze well, but I froze them anyway and when I was debating what I would make for dinner tonight (my first child-free night all week) the Old Guy said:

"How about the things you made last week?"

what "things"?

"The things in the freezer"

Hun, there are heaps of things in the freezer... what are you talking about?

"Those round things."

What round things? Chicken parcels?

"No"

Meatballs?

"No"
Which freezer? For heavens sake ... Do you mean the one in here or the one in the shed?

"The one in here - where you put the balls."

What are you talking about then?

"You know, those things... Those f-ing awful things."

WHAT f-ing awful things? I don't have a clue what you're talking about!!!!
Are you complaining about my food?

"Noooooo ... I like most of your meals... well some of them anyway.
I just just think we should have those round ball things you made last week, with the peas in them!"

Peas? PEAS? I didn't make any... OH !! you mean the chickpea things?

YES! The chickpea f-ing awful balls ! That's what we should have!

Ohhhhhhh... you mean Falafels!
"Yeah! That's what I said! Those Fu**awfuls!"


So... I guess we're having f-ing awful things for dinner tonight
Which from the sounds of it, is nothing new.
And I think it's time to get the Old Guys hearing tested too.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

I haven't disappeared

I've just been busy... as well as feeling a titch under the weather.
Probably thanks to the weather.
One day it's lovely and the next it's rolling fog... or constant drizzle.


And speaking of weather, this is definitely going to be the year I invest in a dryer.




Not that this is my house, but you get what I'm sayin'... right?


I've been arguing with myself over it,
because there's a huge part of me that hates the energy-wasters
and I love drying clothes on the line.

But no matter how many times I list the pros and cons...
(and the cons always win)
I still hate living with my tiny dining area looking like that picture.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Just want to share...LOL

Look what my dear friend Chris sent me this morning!
This has been all over the news... and I didn't even know???

Thank you from the bottom of my heart... and all I can say is
"I want to thank the little people... who made all this possible!"



I'm LMAO!!



Go >>> HERE <<<

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Mothers Day...what it means to me.

Now, I'm going to go against the norm here... and tell you what Mother's Day means to me.
It's not all sweetness and light, so if you don't want your day ruined, stop reading right here.



I want to start out by telling you that I have great memories of my Mother... and that she was the best mother any child could have hoped for.
She raised us, yes.
But in addition, she uplifted us.
And therein lies the gift.

We weren't always given our hearts desires, we got our bottoms spanked when we needed it (I, more than my sisters I'm afraid) and there were times when I thought (and I'm sure she thought the same) that I was born into the wrong family.
But my mothers unconditional love, support and understanding made my childhood a wonderful time.

That's not saying that I was always, totally thrilled with her hands-on approach.

It was great that she was room mother during my early years in school, but by grade 4 or 5, it had started to pall a bit, you know what I mean? She was an embarrassment.
No one Else's mother had wrinkles, wore red lipstick or did her hair the way mine did - or baked actual home-made cupcakes.

Part of that could have been because my mother was an "older" mother - seeing as my baby sister and I didn't come along until she was 34 and 36. So by the time the "room mother" thing started, she was well into her 40's.


Other kids had young mom's who brought delightful packaged goodies and candy for their room mother duties...and jugs of Kool Aid.
My mother brought cakes she had baked herself and freshly squeezed fruit juice and homemade goodies.
Healthy stuff.
I appreciate it now... but back then - not so much.


She was the President of the PTA for more years than I can remember ...and she took her duties seriously. She talked to our teachers endlessly and helped out in the classroom constantly.
I appreciate it now... but back then - not so much.


She was wise in the way of girls... and she always encouraged us to be anything that we wanted to be.
I had no doubts that I was pretty and smart and talented in a myriad of unknown ways... but it was never allowed to go to my head. I was no better than anyone else - and I knew it.


I gave my mother grief during my teenage years and it was amazing to me, just how dumb she was - and what silly out-dated ideas she had.
But she welcomed my loser boyfriends (some of which were chosen simply for their shock value, I'm afraid.) She became friends with my boyfriends - and with my girlfriends as well.
I don't know how many times someone would tell me that my mom was *groovy*. And I would die of embarrassment.

She would put on our bell-bottom pants and tie-dyed t-shirts and dance to sweet baby James and the Beatles, with her waist long hair flying around. We would laugh... but we would cringe at the same time... and make her promise to never do it in front of our friends. But did she listen? No.
And now, I'm glad she didn't . Back then? Not so much.


But by the time I married and the babies started coming, she seemed to get smarter with each and every passing year. She became the same wise mother I had known in my youth.


She could calm my crying babies, alleviate their rashes with corn flour and burnt flour.


She knew the sweet spot to rub, to make the burps come up and she taught me to watch my babies hands.


If their little fists were clenched, all was well with the world... but if their tiny little fingers were splayed, there was a painful burp in there somewhere and it needed to come out.


She was a doting Nana, and she thought my children could do no wrong.
She thought *I* could do no wrong. Or at least she made me feel that way... which was a real gift in itself. She would move heaven and earth, to make sure that I had whatever I needed to succeed. She was endlessly patient, and she gave from her heart - constantly.


When my last baby was born, she moved in for a month, just like she had with my first two.

And 5 months later, when I needed to have a hysterectomy at the age of 28, she and daddy moved in for a month again. To take care of my baby... and to take care of me.
I had my Mama by my side... and I would be okay.


They were due to go home on February 16th... but the night of the 15th, my Mama had a stroke... and she died 5 days later. 15 days short of her 62nd birthday.
I had always had the thought in the back of my head, that I would get to nurse her and my dad when the time came ... when they were too old to live on their own.
I planned to bring them into my home and care for them in their old age... just like my mom had done for my Nana.
But I never got to do it for my Mama.


My children kept me sane... and caring for them kept me focused, but it was the hardest thing I had ever had to go through. Suddenly, I was a mother-less child and all I wanted was my mama.

I've missed her more and more with every passing year... wishing I could go back and re-live the safety, security and unconditional love that she always gave me. I miss the touch of her hand, the warmth and love shining from her eyes. I miss the smell of her perfume.

So, for so many years now, Mothers Day has always been hard for me.
But in 1992, it got even harder.

See... in 1992, I lost my daughter Jennifer. My first born... and my only girl.
This year, she will have been gone for as many years as I actually had her in my life.
And to this day, it still doesn't seem possible that she isn't here.
She was only 17, and in August, she will have been gone for 17 years.
I still keep in touch with her best friend Mary, and as much as I love the girl and celebrate her children and their accomplishments, it's still bittersweet...
I want my Jenny in my life... and I want to see her children growing up.

Then in 1999, I received another blow that dropped me to my knees.

I lost my last born - my sweet little Jake - at the age of 18. This year in October, he will have been gone for 10 years... and I still haven't completely gotten my head wrapped around the fact that he's gone as well. My baby... my sweet boy... the little guy who made us all laugh with his crazy antics. Gone.

It's a comfort to me to know that he's in heaven with his sister, but I miss them both so much that I literally drop to my knee at times.
We also lost Jake's girlfriends brother Mason on the same day... and it still doesn't seem real that we lost 2 such beautiful boys in one freak accident.
One day, life was good - and the next... it was turned upside down, never to be fully righted again.

I still have my cherished middle son, Josh in my life - and he is the glue that holds me together...
But he's so far away and busy with his own life and wonderful little family. He's given me my *daughter of my heart* - Becky... and 3 gorgeous, sweet grandsons - and the chance to be called *Grummie*, but I miss them like crazy and I cry at the thought of everything I'm missing.
I love my boy with everything I have left in me and I worry sometimes that I may tend to smother him with my affections.
But life can be fleeting, as I know too well... and I want him to know - while I still have breath in my body - just how very much I cherish him and love him.

So Mother's Day?
It's an extremely bitter-sweet time for me... and every year, I tend to go into my cave and just stay there throughout the day.
I wish I could handle it differently, but I can't.
I've tried... but I just can't.

So please.... Cherish your Mothers.
And Mother's? Cherish your children.
None of us get guarantees.


(I debated posting this, because it seems a bit maudlin... but then I thought that this blog is a way of getting my thoughts down on paper - as it were.
My memories and feelings and dreams and aspirations. As well as recipes and the boring minutia of my life.... This is Tatersmama's life.
Maybe someday, my beautiful grandsons will read this - and have a little clearer idea - and understanding - of who their Grummie was.)

Friday, May 8, 2009

It's the weekend!

And yeah baby... its a 3 day weekend for me!

Well, every weekend off, is now a 3 day-er for me, but I'm tellin' ya true, I could get so used to this!
Just see how organized I am already... and this is only the second one!

I'm up and at 'em this morning and I'm dressed already.


In clean Jammie's,



fuzzy slippers and my hair is plunked haphazardly on the top of my head, looking like a demented birds nest.


(This looks nothing like me. I wear glasses.)
But, I feel so good!



I even had my breakfast.
4 Chips Ahoy cookies and a cup of coffee.
Just because I could.

Do I feel guilty? NO!

Do I feel lazy ? NO!

Do I feel embarrassed at sharing and baring my total lack of get-up-and-go with y'all? NO!

My get-up-and-go, has got-up-and-went, and I'm loving this.

And dinner tonight?
Well, let's just say, if we were meant to cook every night, they wouldn't have invented pizza deliveries, now would they?

Gotta run... It's time for my nana nap.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Inspirational!

Miz Becky sent this to me in a email this morning... and I just had to share.

See, I'm a crier. I admit it.
I need to attend some sort of 12-step program for folks who can't keep their emotions in check.
I cry at cute toilet paper commercials and babies doing funny things... along with any and everthing else, but some things just get the ol' waterworks going with a vengence... you know what I mean?
Some things just move me and this is one of them.

After watching the video, go to the link (below) and read the wonderful, heartwarming story behind it.





Now that you've watched it, please go read the inspiring true story that explains the making of the video...
You'll be glad you did!

A Bite Of Life

And Miz Becky? Thank you for making my day!

Monday, May 4, 2009

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

I'm finally back on-line and I've got to face it... I'm addicted to the Internet.
Bad.

My computer went down last Thursday night and after many sleepless nights tossing and turning... and days of headaches and hassles, I'm finally back on-line.
I spoke to techie support guys in India and the Philippines so many times and for so many hours, that I'm developing a serious accent.
Really.

I had one local techie out on Saturday... and after 2 hours of fiddling and farting around, he said "well, I've replaced your modem, which obviously has died and gone to heaven... done scans and got you this far, but now, you have to take it from here.

So all you need to do is contact your service provider and find out your original password that you received within minutes of setting this baby up back in 2005.

Then enter this address on this screen I'll leave up and running for you.
Just enter "jurlosneufhg" and then go to menu and enter "goudljgu" in the highlighted box, click on the red box at the very bottom of the screen... tell them what you ate for breakfast back on July 2nd 1957 and voila... Bob's yer uncle".
You should be back on-line.
That'll be $130, thanks.

Which might have worked - I dunno. The problem was, about 3 hours after he left, my monitor decided to sh** poop itself, and it went totally black.
I could hear music, so obviously I was still on-line in some rudimentary, teasing, half-arsed fashion, but I couldn't see a darn thing.

So I called another guy at random out of the phonebook.
Well, actually, I called about 10 guys at random out of the phonebook, but none of them were answering the phone at 9am on a fine Monday morning.

So, I did what any self-respecting, computer-less woman with time on her hands would do.
I went shopping.

For a new monitor.
Oh, and some killer speakers to go with it.

But I still didn't have any Internet and there was no telling when I could get back on-line, but when I did manage to get back on-line, I would at least be able to do it in style.

And I mean Style, with a capital S.

This baby is so big and so flash and so amazingly *in yer face* that even the The Pioneer Woman would be envious of me. I mean that. Ree would take one look at my brand new screen... and turn green with envy.
This is big leagues stuff, baby. I wanna play in the big leagues, and this is the equipment to do it with, let me tell ya.
This monitor is like trading in pitiful little Peewee Herman for Sean Connery... in a tuxedo, no less.

So while we were ( me and the Old Guy) battling to get big-arsed monitor and his little speaker buddies out of their box... and doing our best not to kill each other whilst doing it,
someone actually called me back from one of those 10 desperate, wasted phone messages I had left to any and everyone in the phonebook... begging for help. One guy out of ten called me back.

And this guy promised to be out within an hour and to do everything I asked him to do...
Like install Sean Connery and his little speaker buddies as well as get me up and running again.

I had never spoken to this man before in my life... but I loved him already.

He showed up within 50 minutes... and he walked in the door dressed in black and charcoal grey striped dress trousers, a beautiful glittery black jacket and a mauve shirt... looking like a young version of Elvis crossed with a Mafia boss on his way to do a financial deal with the Prime Minister's minions.
But as long as he could get me back on-line ... despite his highly somewhat inappropriate clothes, he was still The Man for me.

Now I don't know about the rest of you, but I do clean my house.
I have to - to do what I do with the kids and all.
But I had never ever thought to get down behind the desk and dust the damn cords and cables and little black boxes that are back there - or the little shelf that they sit on. I mean... who thinks to do that stuff?
Out of sight... out of mind, ya know what I mean ?

So within 5 minutes, my guy wasn't quite as pristine and glorious as he was when he walked in the door.
There were dust-bunny dreadlocks hanging from his knees and elbows, he had smears of dust in his beautiful jet-black pompadour and cobwebs hanging from his earlobes - and his striped trousers were now a uniform sneeze-inducing gray.

But he worked wonders for me.
He spent literally 5 and a half hours fiddling and farting around in the guts of my computer, talking to.. and having me talk to heavily accented techie support guys halfway around the world and doing my utmost to translate techie gobbledy-gook for him...

But eventually, he got me back on-line.
He got me back on-line, talked me through everything he had done, did some funny stuff with ram sticks to increase my memory.
(which made me feel like I was channeling Gladys, because I kept saying "honey, I'm sure that means something").
He got Sean Connery here installed in pride of place on my desktop and got these killer speakers installed and doof-doofing away as well.
I love this boy!

He brought me back to you...
And for that, I would have paid him twice what he asked for.
And he only asked for $180!!
Does that make you feel cheap?

I missed my computer and I'll admit it...
But more than that, I missed you guys!

*sigh*

Honey's... I'm Hooome !


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