Role reversals

Thursday, September 30, 2010

When it comes to most things, Hubs and I have a fairly typical boy/girl relationship. I don't mean to stereotype, but Hubs looks after all the technical gadgets in our possession, he takes out the rubbish, and opens tight jar lids, whereas I do most of the cooking and washing etc. There are a couple of things, however, where we have taken on each other's roles.

The first of which is watching sport.

I can't get enough of it!! ("sport sport sport sport sport sport sport sport") whereas Hubs can take or leave it. There is nothing more exciting to me (well, sometimes!) than sitting at home on a Friday night or Saturday afternoon to watch a game of AFL, Rugby League, Rugby Union, cricket, hockey.... hell I'll even watch golf!! (well, I would if we had a TV.) I love a good game of footy - a close match that's battled out into the dying seconds, and as long as "my" team plays well, I don't even mind if we lose.

Hubs is not like this. He does not have much inclination to sit down and watch a game of footy, and he finds it very stressful when "his" team is involved in a close game. He would much rather watch a game where he's not particularly going for either team, or one that he already knows the result of. We're just different like that, and I often exclaim that my love of all things sports is wasted on him! :-)

The other role-reversal is when it comes to our sleeping habits. Many of my female friends complain about how their partner keeps them awake at night with their snoring, and how their men go to sleep straight away so there's no chance of them getting to sleep once that chainsaw starts up. I'm sad to say that I'm the snorer in our relationship (though, I prefer to use the term "heavy breather"). I've even been known to wake myself up from a little afternoon nanna nap with my own snoring. Hee hee.

But that's not the only thing that keeps Hubs up at night. I'm a restless sleeper - when I'm not snoring my little heart out, I'm tossing and turning and waking Hubs up a few times a night in the process. I know that Hubs always sleeps better when I'm not in bed with him - like if he's away for uni - but I can't sleep very well at all if he's not there beside me. And unfortunately being pregnant has only made things worse. I'm not sure we'll ever get a good night sleep again!!

The only saving grace is that Hubs is a fairly deep sleeper so I'm sure I don't wake him up nearly as much as he'd wake me up if it was the other way around. Aaaaaaah. The things we do put up with for love :-)

The jury is in...

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

... and cloth nappies it is! I've been umming and aaahing over this decision for a few months now, but we have decided to go for cloth over disposables. Hubs didn't really mind either way, saying helpful things like "well you're going to be the one changing the nappies so it's up to you. Hee hee." Yeah right. We'll see :-) A few of my close friends have used cloth nappies from day one, so there were plenty of sources to seek great advice from, whilst not having the pressure of them saying that I had to do it. Thanks guys!! You've been a great help.

And cloth nappies aren't what they used to be. We're going to invest in some of these types of nappies and have a few disposables on hand if and when needed. I'm actually quite excited about this venture, which just goes to show it is the right decision for us at this time. The most helpful thing that one of my friends said was that if you make it a part of your baby routine from day one, it doesn't seem like such a big task. And having a summer baby, at least for the first few month we won't have any trouble getting them dry!

I'm over 7 months pregnant now, and the reality of having a little baby soon is hitting rather close to home. I still feel like there's so much to do, but I also know that no matter how much or how little we do to prepare, it will be enough and we will manage. Littlefoot has been making some pretty extreme moves lately, getting ready to make his or her grand entrance into the outside world I'm sure. I can't wait to meet you little one!!

Oh what a game

Even if your life doesn't revolve around AFL, that is, you're not a Victorian, you would have heard about the drawn grand final on Saturday between St Kilda and Collingwood. Hubs and I were with friends at their friend's place in Melbourne, so we only knew 3 other people out of the 30-odd who were there, but that didn't stop us from cheering like mad. As I've mentioned, you either support Collingwood, or you hate them, so most people were hoping the Saints would win.

St Kilda were behind for almost the whole game, and at one stage by 3 or 4 goals, but we were never out of it. We never lost hope of being able to come back. And in the 3rd quarter, named "the premiership quarter" we came back and kept Collingwood goal-less. It was incredibly exciting and certainly the best game of football I've ever seen in my life. When we hit the lead for the first time, the room, bar the 3 Collingwood supporters, went absolutely nuts! But it wasn't won yet. Both teams stepped up to the challenge and played like they've never played before, and to be honest, a draw was one of the best results possible. What I mean by this, is that you just couldn't separate the 2 teams on the day. They were both deserved winners, and Hubs thinks they both should have been able to take a trophy home and be done with it.

But that's not how it works in the "real world." When the final siren blasted with the scores deadlocked at 68 all, we assumed extra time would be played. But no. That's not how they do it in the AFL. They started talking about "coming back next week to battle it out again." Say what now? I have to go through this all over again??? I barely avoided labour this time around!!!! (People at the party kept looking at me and a few asked "when are you due again??")

So that's the way it's going to be. This Saturday at 2pm they will have a re-match. In a lot of ways, it's no big deal. Another game of footy to watch - what's wrong with that? But if you consider all the things that are planned for the week after the AFL grand final, Victoria is a mess! All the grooms who have said to their brides-to-be "as long as the wedding isn't in September, that's fine" to which they reply "okay honey-bunny. We'll make it for the first weekend in October."

Oh boy. There would have been a lot of nervous brides at full-time.

Anyway, the main point of this post was to say how amazing the game was and how much Hubs and I enjoyed it and how it was all people could talk about afterwards. We witnessed history and it was great to be a part of that. Now we just have to go through it all again this Saturday. GO SAINTS!!!

Favourite lines from songs

Sunday, September 26, 2010

I have a lot of favourite songs that I've blogged about before, but I also have some favourite lines from songs that I will share with you...... now!

      "She was one in a million. So there's five more just in New South Wales."
           The Whitlams, Up Against the Wall.
Oh my gosh this is one of my favourites. I mean, it's kind of sad as well, saying that she's not as special as "one in a million" would, at first, suggest. I guess I find it amusing for that reason.

And an honourary mention from another Whitlams song called Melbourne:
     "If I had three lives, I'd marry her in two."
I love that sentiment. It's like, he knows how amazing she was so he'd want to live that life with her all over again, but also would like to give something else a try. Honest and sweet.

     "Life is a series of hellos and goodbyes, I'm afraid it's time for goodbye again ."
           Say Goodbye to Hollywood by Billy Joel
I know I've mentioned this song before, but it really sticks with me.

     "When you love someone but it goes to waste."
           Fix you by Coldplay
Another heartbreaker. I love this type of song - the type that starts small and intimate and ends with lots of drums and electric guitars and harmonies and other BIG STUFF. The Crowd is very much like that too.

These are a few of my favourite things lines from songs!

It's that time of year again...

Friday, September 24, 2010

FOOTY FINALS WEEKEND!!! You may recall that 2 years ago we watched the Grand Final between Geelong and Hawthorn at our friends place. In that post I wrote something along the lines of "St Kilda are unlikely to deliver the goods for us" and last year, I had to eat my words when I posted about the Grand Final between the Saints and Geelong. I don't know if I ever actually mentioned that St Kilda lost the grand final last year, and it was a little devastating. Being the supporter of a team who has won every grand final they have played in (Brisbane Broncos) this was a little heartbreaking, but we were beaten by a better team on the day and we were able to get over it (eventually).

This year is a different story. St Kilda have again made it to the grand final (woo hoo!) but our opponent is Collingwood - the most hated, yet most supported team in the competition. Collingwood supporters are scary. I went to a Collingwood vs Bulldogs game this year and feared for my life - no one was safe! They abused the opposition players, the referees, the Bulldogs fans, AND their own players! AND THEY WON THAT GAME!!!!

I don't know how I'll cope if we lose to them, but worse still, I think there will be rioting in the streets if Collingwood lose. I'll still be cheering the Saints on like crazy though. We're watching the game with some friends and friends-of friends, so of course, I wanted to bring some baked goods along. I was busy last night making this recipe (with a slightly different to-die-for frosting) and, as usual, a) it took longer than I thought; b) since I don't regularly make cupcakes, I overfilled the patties and my first batch ended up looking like mushrooms; c) I realised (again) I need a bigger mixing bowl and d) the decorating was the best part!!

Note Wifey's "concentration tongue"... (and piping goods!!)

What?? I was obviously concentrating really hard!!!

Oh when the Saints
Go marching in
Oh when the Saints go marching in
Oh how I want to be with St Kilda
When the Saints go marching in.


Pop culture in our marriage

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Hubs and I have many running jokes that we just don't get sick of, and I'm sure people think we're quite strange when we start one of our "runs". And I'm sad (and happy at the same time) to say that Beached As Bru changed our lives. We can't get enough of it. And we refer to it almost daily, even if it's just an "Aw noo" here and there.
Have I lost you? Don't know what I'm talking about? Well clearly you need to spend some time on youtube :-)

Here are some other pop culture references that we throw around on a regular basis:
- Beached as bru - "Want a chup bru?" "Can't chew bru!" "Aw shut." "I noo."
- Withnail and I - "Ching ching"
- Boston Legal - "Denny Crane" and "Lock and load"
- Hercules Returns "eh eh eh eh", "I love classy lines like that." "Ooooh you could pick the bones outta that one."
- Rowan Atkinson LIVE - too many references to choose from!!
- Scrubs - see above
- Eddie Izzard - "Cake or Death" "uuuh cake please" "Well we're OUTTA CAKE"
- Eddie Izzard - Death Star Canteen - "You'll need a tray" "Do you know who I am?"

I may have lost y'all very early on in this piece, but I've been wanting to blog about this for months now, so that in 20 years time, Hubs and I can look back and go "Aw noo!" and remember these silly things that always make us smile.

Quite Interesting

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

I'm about to go on one of my "you HAVE to do this thing which is so awesome" rants, in this case, watch a particular TV show, where most of you will be thinking "yeah Wifey, I've been watching that show since it aired in 2003 and have told you before to watch it, and now that you've discovered it, you need to give me some credit for already telling you about it." Or something along those lines.

I'm talking about QI, or Quite Interesting; a British panel comedy that Hubs and I have fallen head over heals in love with. (Here's the Wiki link that gives a great run-down on the show.) We've been watching it on IView (something ELSE a friend told me about AGES ago that we've only just tapped into) the last month or 2 and it really has become one of my favourite shows. I think we'll have to look at acquiring the earlier seasons as well. We get great belly laughs and Mutley gasps every episode, and no matter what mood I'm in before I watch it, I'm always in a better mood after.

So if you haven't already checked it out, I can highly recommend it. If you've been watching it for years, tell me if the novelty ever wears off!

Back to Woolies for Wifey

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

It's not my fault. It just kinda happened. It doesn't mean that I'm not still annoyed at Woolies for what they did to me, but the thing is... well... The Coles at Wang is rubbish. It kind of just crept up on me how rubbish it actually is. In the mean time, Hubs and I decided to give the Commonwealth Bank the flick and have changed all our banking to ING. And lo and behold, Woolies accepts our ING Direct Debit as you can choose the "savings" option. Go figure.

Do I lack commitment to "the cause". Yes. Should I continue to shop at Coles for the principle? Perhaps. Am I going to? Probably not. The Woolies down here is just SO much better and nicer and has the products that I want and is right next door to work and church so I can swing by on my way home if needed, or do my "big shop" after church on a Sunday.

I know, I know, I'm justifying myself to make myself feel better. But hey. What are you going to do?

You can't catch me...

Sunday, September 19, 2010

... I'm the GINGERBREAD MAN!!!

I didn't think I liked gingerbread bikkies. I don't really know why to be honest - maybe the bought ones are a bit too gingery for my taste. For this reason, I've never ventured into baking Gingerbread Men, but being married to Hubs means I often broaden my culinary horizons. Oh, and I had just bought a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter, so clearly I had to bake some!

What I didn't realise, was the the cookie cutter I had bought was actually quite large!

And that I much prefer 3-step-recipes (mix, bake, eat). This was more an 8-step recipe - mix, stand in fridge, roll, cut, (and repeat 3 times) bake, cool, decorate, eat - which took just over 2 hours! It did however, also give me another opportunity to use my piping set that was given to me by the lovely Liza and family and any opportunity to use this set is warmly welcomed!

I tried to decorate the first tray a bit manly-like since Hubs would be eating most of them (or so I thought):

I got a bit more creative with the second tray, adding a Charlie Brown zig-zag shirt, a Superman logo (use your imagination dammit!), a muumuu and an "I(heart)U" Gingerbread Man.

We had one with a cup of tea for afternoon tea and I discovered just how much I actually LOVE home-made Gingerbread Men! Which is a shame, cos they really are a lot of effort!

Not as much effort, however, as macaroons, which I will blog about next.

One ingredient Wifey

I get bursts of inspiration from time to time to bake or cook something a bit different, and often it will start with just 1 ingredient in my cupboard that I "want to use and not waste" so I end up buying a whole lot more ingredients just to get rid of one of them. Or I'll find something on special at the supermarket and wonder what I could make with it and it will start from there.

Let me give you a few examples.

- I was known at College for cooking ANZAC bikkies. How did this come about? I had leftover rolled oats from making roo burgers.

- I started making my own tomato pasta sauce because one week while I was shopping for clothes on Sydney Rd, I stumbled in to Woolies and they had 2 bunches of basil for $2 and the fruit and vege shop around the corner had 1kg bags of tomatoes for $2. So I phoned Hubs and asked him to look up a recipe for me and I bought all the other ingredients. (Incidentally, $2 for a bag of tomatoes that you have to dice yourself is not worth is when you can buy a can of tomatoes for 79c). And so my pasta-sauce making began (and has continued.)

- We were visiting Hubs' Aunt and Uncle just before we left Melbourne and 2 of Hubs' cousins had made Macaroons and mentioned that they were filled with ganache. "Hmmmm" thought Wifey. "I have some leftover ganache from Hubs' birthday cake. Maybe I should make some too!" So I did! But that's another story.

- I made Gingerbread Men because I had bought myself a Gingerbread Man cookie cutter. So I actually had to buy all the ingredients for that one!

- Today I made banana muffins because Woolies had "fill a bag for $2" in the fruit and vege section (yes, I'm shopping at Woolies again - I'll explain later) and there were ripe bananas there so I thought they would make great banana muffins (and I was right - yummmmmmmm)

- I bought 5 of the biggest lemons at the Swap Meet last weekend and I'm trying to decide what to do with them. Any ideas???

To Do

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Hubs is away on a retreat this weekend for med so it's my opportunity to "get organised". I've written myself a TO DO list (one of my favourite things "to do"! ha ha ha ha...) and blogging isn't on that list, but boring things like vacuuming and washing and cleaning are, so it's no surprise to find me here. I've prepared myself for doing lots of the things on my list - I have 8 hours of music lined up (currently listening to The Panel Live), I have a belly full of breakfast, and I have a speck of motivation which will hopefully be enough to at least get me started.

I'll be good and keep it short (for now... I'll probably be back later) and share with you a belly shot in a skirt that our good friend Mel made me. The photo doesn't quite do it justice, so let me tell you how comfy and cute it is, just in case you can't tell!

The Swap Meet

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Ever been to one? Even know what one is? Any interest in attending one? Before Sunday the 12th September 2010, my answers to these 3 questions were "no", "not really", "not overly, but Hubs is excited so that's good enough for me." Hubs has been working very hard for the last few weeks to get the kombi up and running, and his hard work was rewarded on Thursday night when he had completed all the jobs he thought would fix it, and the beast started. And it hasn't stopped since!

Over the preceding days we had been talking about buying another car - something a little more "family-friendly", and one that... you know... was working. But as we were taking the kombi for a test-drive around town on the Thursday night, Hubs with a big grin on his face, I turned to him and said "We're not going to be getting another car now, are we?..." His response? "HELL NO WOMAN." And seeing that smile was all the convincing I needed. We were due to head down to Melbourne over the weekend and come back through Shepparton on the Sunday to attend the Annual Goulburn Valley Swap Meet. We still need a few parts for the car (including a centre seat) and thought it might be a fun way to spend a Sunday.

Up until Thursday night, we were thinking we'd have to hire a car, but thankfully I have a brilliant Hubsband who fixes stuff, so we jumped in the kombi on a sunny Friday afternoon and headed down the Hume towards Melbourne. We caught up with friends on Friday night and the Saturday, and loaded up the kombi with all sorts of marvelous baby furniture and paraphernalia, thanks to our wonderful friends the Baileys and the Bakers. We then caught up with Hubs' uni friends for dinner on Saturday night and watched the end of the Bulldogs vs Swans game - a great night was had by all, and it was so lovely to see all our wonderful friends.

Sunday morning was an early start with the alarm going off at 5:30am. "We" (Hubs) wanted to be at Shep by 8am ish, but ended up getting there closer to 9am. (I slept half the drive.) I was quite intrigued about this whole "swap meet" thing and Hubs was telling me that it was a "Classic Cars Swap Meet" so I was looking forward to seeing lots of restored vehicles and, well you know, Classic Cars!

I was to be frightfully disappointed.

The reality was more like this: Every August, wives of Goulburn Valley start pestering their husbands to "clean out all the junk in the garage" to which the husbands respond "it's not junk! This stuff has a lot of value!" The wives say something along the lines of "I don't care what you do with it, just get rid of it!" So the husbands cleverly think to themselves "I know - the annual swap meet us coming up! I'm sure I'll be able to sell my junk there." And that's 80% of what we saw. Junk from people's garages. The "classic cars" were few and far between, and it became evident VERY early on that we weren't going to find what we were looking for.

Add in some soft rock playing on a loop in the background (80s and 90s baby - I was in heaven!), some sausages on bread, the odd mullet or 2, more than enough ugg boots, and 1 lone kombi (a 1977 model - one year younger than ours*) and you're pretty much looking at 3 hours of Wifey being very good at not complaining but wishing she was lounging around somewhere else. Anywhere else!!

Here are some examples of what we saw:

Now to be fair, there were SOME classic cars. They seemed to be either looking like this:

(believe it or not, this one had a "SOLD" sign on it)

...or this...

...or this! (NOW we're talking!)

(For more fab photos, visit Hubs' flickr page here.)

So we arrived with the desire to buy a couple of carburetors, a center seat, and a new engine :-). We left with a "new" saucepan ($10), 5 lemons ($1), 2kg of nuts ($20), 2 cook books ($2) and some snow chains ($5). I was excited with my little treasures, but Hubs was annoyed he didn't get to buy anything manly. The snow chains were a bit of a "I want to BUY SOMETHING" purchase, but hopefully they'll come in handy.

Hubs has since heard through the grapevine that there is a VW Only Swap Meet in Melbourne in a couple of weeks time, so we're heading down for that one too, and will hopefully find what we're looking for. Although, if the last one was anything to go buy, it might just be a whole lot of non-car-related junk from VW owners' garages. Only time will tell...

*technically the kombi we drive still belongs to Hubs' family, but Hubs adopted it 10 years ago and has never left it's side.

The force is strong within me

I don't know what it is about being pregnant, but it increases the earth's gravity both within me and around me. Things that used to stay in my hands are now spontaneously attracted to the floor at any given moment. (Especially pens, my hat, vegetables, pots and pans, tubs of yoghurt... you name it...) Getting up is becoming hilarious, with me giving signals to Hubs to give me a push every time I want to leave the couch. If we were still sleeping on the futon, I would never get out of bed. Bending over is becoming an Olympic sport for me, and often when I drop things, I just leave them on the floor and either ask Hubs (very nicely) to come and pick up after me, or do a big emu parade at the end.

Pregnancy has also increased my clumsiness, though I didn't think this was possible. It's gotten so bad that Hubs is actually noticing all the clanging and banging that goes on when I'm in the kitchen, whereas before, he would just tune it all out. Though, he may just be more concerned as he knows that these days, dropping a few carrots on the floor can reduce me to a puddle of tears, snot and incoherent babble.

Having said all this, I am absolutely loving being pregnant. I have had a seemingly very easy pregnancy, with no real unpleasant symptoms or side effects that I've read all about. I do still have 9 weeks to go (is that it??) so anything can happen, but while things are going so smoothly, I'm just going to enjoy it.

And be okay with constantly dropping things.

What part of "NO THANK YOU".....

Monday, September 13, 2010

....don't you understand?

I filled one of my asthma med scripts yesterday at the Chemist Warehouse, hoping that I would "save up to 50% on prescriptions" but it turns out that that particular med isn't on the list. I don't even know what "the list" is or who determines what gets on said list, but I know that my meds felt like a social outcast, and my purse felt lighter after the transaction than I had hoped.

Anyway, as I was signing the script and picking up my drugs, the Pharmacist told me that I had been "selected" to participate in the Asthma script reminder program and all I needed to do was fill in my mobile number on the form and sign it. I asked what it was about and he again said all I needed to do was fill out my mobile number and sign the form and I would get an SMS telling me when I was due to come in and get another script filled. I said I didn't think I needed the service and AGAIN he said "Please, all you have to do is fill out the form."

This is when I informed him that I have had asthma since I was 7 and that I had been filling my own scripts since I was 18 and assured him that I didn't need reminding. Yet he still persisted! I was getting so annoyed. I felt like they just wanted my details so they could harass me and that I should have felt privileged that I had been "selected." I politely refused once more and as I turned to walk away, I saw him make a face like "Okay crazy lady. Whatever."

It just really annoyed me. I'm quite sensitive when it comes to matters of privacy, and I feel that he just expected me to hand over my details for no good reason, AND he got all weird when I wouldn't. I'm sure Hubs thinks I was being paranoid or whatever, but I just feel like we are asked for our personal details so often that we rarely question it anymore. Well not this little asthmatic. No siree. If you want my name and number you'd better
a) have a good reason or
b) be trying to pick me up which case you will have my Hubs to answer to...

Another baby shower!

Friday, September 10, 2010

I headed up to Brizzie a few weeks ago to visit with my family and friends to share this whole "growing a baby inside my belly thing" with them. A few of my girlfriends were really keen to throw me a baby shower, so how could I possibly say no? Hubs wasn't able to come up with me for this visit, so I went solo. It takes longer (obviously) to get to Brizzie from Wang, than it does from Melbs. Throw in a cancelled flight and more delays, and you have one tired Wifey arriving in Brisbane at 6:30pm, after getting on the bus from Wang (to Melbs) at 6:30am. It was totally worth it though!

We went and visited Nanny in hospital (she's much better now) on the Thursday night after I arrived, then I had a lovely sleeeeeeep in on Friday and had a nice day with Kate and Alex (mmmm..... baby cuddles) and then had a nice relaxed evening at home with Mum and Dad. Dad and I watched the footy and had an early night. Then I had brunch with Ma and came back to Mum and Dad's place for lunch before the showering began!

It was so lovely, as always, to see all my girlfriends and rellies. We played a couple of games, but mostly I just got to hang out with the most amazing women I know. There were lots of belly rubs (which, as you know, I don't mind!) and oooohing and aaaaaahing over delightful gifts. I felt quite overwhelmed by all the love and support, and it certainly made leaving the next day harder.

Some happy snaps from the day:

The Belly Shot

Two Mums
Another 2 Mums! (Nanny's still not happy that we live in "Victoria")

With Ah-del and Bethie

The Nappy Cake (guess how many nappies!!)
(Bethie, you'll have to leave the answer in the comments section cos I can't remember!!)

I have some other photos but am having uploading issues, so I'll hopefully share them another time! (And if you have any shots from the day, please feel free to email them to me!)

We then headed over to my bro's birthday party at his place which was lots of fun. I got to catch up with a few of his friends whom I haven't seen in a long time, and I met some lovely new people as well. It wasn't a late night, and I was certainly ready for bed when we got home.

The next morning I had a leisurely brekky with Mum and Dad and then I had to sort through the 4 vacuum-sealed bags of clothes that Kate had left for me! That was quite a task! I picked out a few things that I thought might come in handy early on, and left the rest for when we stay in Brizzie over Christmas. There was just so much!! We left for the airport for my 1pm flight and arrived with plenty of time to spare. I was trying not to think about the actual leaving side of things, but as we walked to the security gates I lost it. I couldn't stop crying and didn't want to let go of Mum and Dad. The security guards told them to come through with me, which just meant I had to go through it all again once I had to board the plane!!

I managed to somewhat keep it together until I got on the plane, and then the waterworks began again. I was trying to be discreet, but it obviously wasn't working as a flight attendant came over to me while everyone else was boarding to see if she could do anything for me. I just told her I was just a little bit sad and she looked at my bulging belly and said she understood.

Anyway, I made it home safe and sound around 10:30pm that night and was utterly emotionally and physically exhausted, but oh so happy as well. Hubs had texted me to say he had made me something and this is what greeted me on my arrival home:

I do love this man oh so much. If I remember correctly, it may have started the tears again, but in a really lovely way. Thanks again to everyone who came along on Saturday and sent their best wishes for our family. We know we're a long way away, but I feel so close to you all and can't wait to share more special times with you.

Those pesky magpies

Thursday, September 9, 2010

It's been over 2 years since I've worried about being attacked by a magpie, but it looks like those fears are about to re-surface. In Melbourne, I never got attacked, and apparently it wasn't that common for people to be swooped, for whatever reason. Growing up in Brisbane, spring was always a stressful time for me. I could hear the magpies calling out in the weeks leading up to their nesting, and my ears would prick up, my hairs would stand on-end, and the sweats would begin.

I had a few terrifying magpie experiences walking to school. One in particular that I remember was when I was about 16 and I was carrying my bass guitar to school along Herston road. I heard it coming and I turned around as it swooped past my head, so I started running. I ran all the way to school and had a massive asthma attack. As you can imagine, I walked a different way home.

If you've never been swooped, it's really quite traumatic! My Dad cut out black and white cardboard eyes to put on the back of our hats or helmets to try and deter them, and I think it may have worked. I'm going to make some for my little hat that I wear to work each day cos I pass HEAPS on my walk to work. Apparently if you look them in the eye they are deterred, but I have no intention of trying to stare one down as it's shooting towards my head.

Here's hoping they're too busy looking after their eggs to worry about little old me. Otherwise I'll have to find a different way to get to work...

Gone shootin'

Okay. So this is a post that I started writing on the 2nd of February 2009 (yes, 2009) about an activity that took place on the 2nd of January 2009 (yes, 2009). I know I know. I've been busy! So the story goes: Hubs wanted to do some shooting at the rifle range while we were on in Brisbane for Christmas holidays almost 2 years ago, so Dad offered to take us. He owns a few (registered, legal) hunting rifles, so we invited Lsl and NephNath along and headed down to The Queensland Rifle Range at Belmont.

After a (very brief) safety demonstration, we waited for a break in the "traffic" and set our targets up.

Ready Hubs?

Ready Wifey?

Ready Lsl?

Aim NephNath and Dad, and FIRE!

We even managed to hit some targets! I think this was one of mine?

I didn't like to use the animal-looking ones... That's so mean!

All the gun shots left me quite on edge and to be honest, I was quite happy to leave. We had a great time though!

A new rule... with Peanuts on the side

Monday, September 6, 2010

No more post-apocalyptic movies just before bed-time. We watched The Road last night and to be honest, it was rather a disappointment. It reminded me a lot of Castaway which I also didn't much care for - just lots of scenes and not much of a story line, but rather, just a story. Does that make sense? There was no purpose (in either movie) other than to "stay alive" which is probably a good purpose I suppose.

This apathetic view of the movie didn't stop me from having some ridiculous dreams though. A bit scary, but mostly annoying.

Do you find it annoying when people tell you about their dreams? If I'm going to tell anyone about my dreams (specifically), I'll tell Hubs and he'll tune out as I'm doing so. If I dream particular things about particular people, I'll mention it in passing to them, but would rather not bother them with the details.

It reminds me of a very funny Peanuts comic strip I read the other night. If you don't want to go to the link, here's the general gist: It's from the 27th of February 1952. Violet (an old character who didn't stick around) is telling Charlie Brown, in great detail, about a dream she had, and Charlie Brown is getting increasingly annoyed and is making his feelings known. In the final frame, Violet says "Do you suppose all that means anything Charlie Brown?" to which he replies "Absolutely! It means you were asleep!"

I laughed and laughed, and reading it again I'm laughing now. It's so true! What do dreams mean? It means you're asleep. Brilliant. Classic Schultz. I can't tell you how much I am enjoying reading his comics.

Check out another one of my favourites so far, here.

Rusky Business

One of the things I was most looking forward to about having our own place was all the cooking and baking I was going to get to do. And it has been fabulous! I have been baking up a storm of pumpkin choc-chip muffin cookies, ANZAC bikkies, macaroons, and last weekend, rusks. Being married to a man with South African blood in him, rusks were always something that I wanted to learn how to make. So armed with a recipe from his uncle, and assistance from his Ma, I went to work.

On a side note, I had gone to a garage sale that morning and seen one of those huge ugly silver mixing bowls and thought "hmmmm.... might that come in handy? Naaaaaaaah..." As soon as I started mixing the ingredients (which included almost 2kg of dried ingredients) I was kicking myself for not buying it!!

Anyway, back to the baking. I had to mix the dry ingredients together, then the butter, sugar, eggs and buttermilk.

Note to self: need larger mixing bowl so as not to spray buttermilk mixture everywhere while mixing

Next I mixed the dry ingredients with the wet ones, using my hands and making a huge mess. FUN! Again, I had to mix in 2 bowls and then combine the 2 at the end. I lined 3 baking trays but only ended up needing the 2.

Then I pressed the raw mixture into the trays

The recipe says to bake for 50-60 minutes but after an hour I smelt the goodness and checked it out. I really should have swapped them over half-way through, cos one of them was VERY well cooked and the other wasn't done in the middle so I had to put it back in.

Then you let them cool for an hour or so and cut them up. The next process dries them out to crunchy-goodness.

Pop them in the oven for 4 hours at 100 degrees with the oven door slightly ajar to let the moisture out (thanks Ma)
In the meantime, cook yourself an awesome omelette with your farm-fresh eggs you got for $3 a dozen from a lady at work who has her own chickens. (see the rusks cooking below?? The smell was heavenly.)

And bring them out, nice and dried, and wait impatiently for Hubs to get home and be mega-impressed!

Remember for next time: don't have the oven open so much, to increase drying-out; use bigger bowls; buy a bigger tin (this one only fit half of them!); let them cool more before cutting them so they don't all crumble on me; cut them into longer pieces.

I'm hoping these last us at least a couple of months, though, the way Hubs has been going through them I might be making the next batch before too long. The idea is, you make a whole bunch (I probably made about 100) so you don't have to make them very often. It was lots of fun, but I'm not sure I'll be lining up to make something like koeksisters any time soon. Not without the expertise of an experienced SA cook at least!! :-)

Wang floods

In case you haven't heard, Wangaratta is experiencing some pretty crazy flooding right now, but thankfully we are unaffected. I'm going to go for a wee walk at lunch time to check out the rivers near by, as apparently they are quite a site to see.

Meatloaf, squash and...

Sunday, September 5, 2010

...tricolour mash! Who knew you could mash peas??

Bargains galour

Saturday, September 4, 2010

As I have also previously mentioned, Mum and I did some great shopping in that first week while Hubs was away and got some absolute gems! Like....

A $20 couch!

 A rocking chair and bookshelf (pictured here with Wifey and sewing table)

Fold-away sewing table in all it's glory, and lovely chairs

A Queen-size bed

A totally awesome upside-down fridge (and one of the chairs)

We also got Hubs a couple of tables to set himself up with a little study, and of course, we have the data projector up and running - it's sitting on the top of the fridge - and the media PC with all our movies, TV shows and music in prime position. I might even get around to taking some photos of them at some stage!

Today has been a bit of a struggle for me hormone-emotion-wise so I'll leave it there for now. I'm going to go and have a cup of tea and a rusk, and do some more blogging later.

Songs for Labour

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

No, not Labor, Labour. (click if you dare!!! :-)

Here's what I've come up with so far:

The Paul Simon Anthology
5 Disc set of the 80s that Lsl gave me
Everything I own from the 80s and 90s
A bit of David Bowie
A few dozen (or hundred) They Might be Giants songs (I know we're a little late, but we are SO into them right now)
Cyndi Lauper (could be categorised in 80s and 90s but she deserves her own mention)
Roxette (see above)
Somewhere over the Rainbow/What a wonderful world. (On repeat.)
Some Miles From Nowhere. (Okay. All of it. With Hubs' permission :-) ) (Is there a better link than that one??)
Lily Allen (I'll try and limit the potty-mouth songs. That should be easy. Not.)

Any other suggestion? How many hours do I need? Do I just pick it all and chuck it on shuffle? Maybe I should add some calming, soothing tunes in there as well...