Sunday, September 28, 2008


I have not weighed myself for nearly 2 months. I've been eating what I wanted, when I wanted. I've been walking the dog but not doing much else by way of exercise. I haven't been thinking about food all the time.

Last night I was out with friends having an awesome meal at Chinta Ria, followed by a thoroughly decadent chocolate overload at Lindt Cafe and then a quick visit to the Pumphouse pub all accompanied by liberal quantities of wine.

This morning I decided to have a look at the numbers. I was a little apprehensive, surely all this not worrying about food and exercise would have to translate into consequences on the scales?

I weigh exactly what I did last time I stood on the scales.

(Bet my cholesterol levels haven't changed much though :P)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Link-fest No. 6

Feel like reading something silly? There's a new post up on yogabeans!

A review of Deadwood on Heroine Content.

Train your goldfish with a training kit from ThinkGeek.

Ninja cat comes closer without moving

PhysioProf and Dr Isis are engaged in a recipe war. I find it oddly compelling.

The Vorkosigan Companion will be mine.

My lovely friend Susan has a new blog featuring cats and vegan food porn for your reading pleasure.

And lastly, The Rotund has managed to convince me that taking the kids to Disneyland/Disney World might not be a completely terrible idea. Caitlin will be ever so grateful! LOL

Friday, September 19, 2008

Beautiful plumage!

Our back deck has a number of regular visitors.

There's the rainbow lorikeets who cling to the fly screen and screech at us demanding breakfast.
Rainbow Lorikeet

There's the possum who comes every evening to clean up anything the birds leave behind.

There's the crimson rosella who with great daring braves the wrath of the lorikeets to try for a share of the apples and bird seed (it never works, those lorikeets are fierce!).

And very occasionally we get the King Parrots who are regulars at our neighbour's back deck and rarely grace us with their presence. One of them dropped in yesterday when the kids were doing their homework and for once the camera was in a sensible spot.

King Parrot on the back deck

We also get plenty of cockatoos - one year we had 2 chicks take up residence in the backyard and persecute the cats. There's nothing funnier than a huge cat being chased by a half-naked bird. A tawny frog-mouth can sometimes be seen perched on the clothesline, Kookaburras hang out in the pine tree in the back corner of the yard, and just a few weeks ago Adam saw a huge owl sitting on the gutter at the front of the house. We even had the brush turkey drop in for a visit, Clara was intrigued but wary, she wouldn't go out into the yard with it there - not that I wanted her to! The door was open and at first I didn't know why she was refusing to go out.

Birds make me happy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Spring has sprung and Summer is just around the corner

Tonight we celebrated the approaching warmer weather with something that has become a bit of a ritual in our house over the last few years. The exact date on which this ceremony will take place cannot be predicted, instead we must wait and watch for the signs to appear and with careful judgment pick just the right moment. The reward must be worthy of the sacrifice that will be made. There must be time set aside for proper appreciation.

And what is this monumentous occasion?

It is The First Mango of the Season.

The first mango of the season

Now, it's not like we grow these, no this is just a perfectly ordinary and hideously over-priced (that'd be the sacrifice referred to above) supermarket mango. But it represents the weeks ahead during which, upon opening the front door, our house greets us with the aroma of entire trays full of mangoes and we're allowed a WHOLE MANGO each whenever we want.

Doesn't that look good?


I bought this particular mango yesterday and when the kids discovered it nestled in the top of the bag of fruit there was unleashed the ravenous clamoring of a trio of veritable mango monsters. But I was cruel. It wasn't quite ripe enough yet I said. Wait till tomorrow.

So after dinner this evening our inaugural mango of 2008/2009 was carefully divided into strictly equal servings. I claimed my right to the seed on the basis that I was being very generous sharing it at all. The seed of a shared mango is a hotly contested prize and I stand no chance of scoring one for the rest of the season.

My share.

My share

I was hoping to document all participants partaking in this celebration but the boys were too quick for me so I have only the one Mango Monster to show you.

This girl gets seriously excited about fruit.

Mango monster

Now we just have to wait for the prices to come down.

Monday, September 15, 2008

*Takes a deep breath*






Today was going so well till this evening. I'd got the kids to school on time (instead of our usual by the skin of the teeth thing). I'd been to work and done useful things, picked the kids up and then come home for the kids to change clothes and to let the dog out for a bit. We'd done a quick dash down to Marsfield to visit Great Grandma and made it back to Caitlin's dance class on time thanks to an incredible run of green lights all the way along Pennant Hills Road (that NEVER happens). The kids had played together happily, we'd eaten dinner without me wanting to murder anyone and everyone was in their pj's ready for bed.

I put the dog downstairs. I ask the kids to go to bed. I tuck Tom in. I tell the other two to go to bed. Caitlin lets the dog upstairs.

I ask Dave to let the cats in. I get distracted and I'm not watching Clara as the cats came in (she will sit on the lounge and let them come in undisturbed as long as she knows someone is watching her). Clara goes for Jack who makes a mad dash downstairs. All 3 kids yell at Clara.

Wait a minute, wasn't Tom in bed already? Tom gets hysterical over being "disappointed at Clara's behaviour" (apparently he doesn't lose his vocabulary even when traumatised). I yell at the kids to stop yelling.

Clara gets told off but I can't send her downstairs because that's where Jack is. Caitlin goes to retrieve Jack. I tell Tom to go back to bed, he goes, sobbing quietly. David goes to his room. Caitlin discovers Sam downstairs also, we bring the cats upstairs and banish Clara downstairs.

Tom is still letting out the occasional sniff/sob. David announces that his bed is wet. One of the cats has pissed on it. I have NO IDEA how that happened, as far as I know the cats have been outside all day.

Tom gets up again, still snuffling, to refill his water bottle. I send Caitlin to her bed and tell David to strip his bed. I put Tom back to bed.

David's mattress is wet. Of course.

So now David will be sleeping the night my bed (Adam is in Brisbane), there's bedding strewn all over the bathroom, Tom has just fallen asleep and I can hear David and Caitlin talking to Clara downstairs in my bedroom.

And it's only Monday.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Hell NO!

Thomas is being asked to do his homework. He is not happy about this and has come up with a novel and very scary solution to the problem.

"Muuuum, I don't want to go to school anymore. I want to do homeschool instead."

"No way!"

"Oh pleeeeease?"

David interjects, "She was serious when she said no, Tom."

"But Muuuum, I really want to do homeschool."

"Not happening, Tom. Do your homework now please."

Sulking, "No. I want to do homeschool."

Beginning to get irritated, "Fine, then I'll make you do 2 lots of maths and spelling every week."

Perks up, "OK!"

"I was KIDDING!"

Sadly we're not being permitted to enjoy the funny side of this, he's gone into a full-blown sulk and is stomping around the house saying "If you won't homeschool me, I'm never going to do my work."


ETA: Adam decided to prove to Tom that he needed to do his spelling homework. Putting on his stern voice he said, "Right, spell September."


"....That's right. But you still need to write it down!"

At least now we're laughing. And Tom is doing his homework.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

My hands are still cold

I spent nearly half an hour standing outside in the cold from 9pm tonight talking to one of Dave's teachers (who is made of awesome) after the School Council meeting. I was explaining to her why Dave had come home this afternoon from their 2 day excursion to Bathurst, got in the car with me and alternated between telling me how much fun he'd had doing gold-panning and meeting farm animals and fighting back tears as he told me about the bullying that he and his friends had endured at the hands of a certain group of extremely unpleasant children. It never bloody stops.

Then I came home and went for a walk with Bren and the dog, answered emails, wrote a P&C report for the school newsletter and drank two cups of tea. Most of me is warm but my fingers are frozen.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Menu plan 8 Sept 08

My challenge to myself this week is to actually stick to this plan, just for a change you understand. Last week's plan suffered the usual fate of changed plans and tail end of the week exhaustion. I still didn't get my Japanese takeaway. I wound up cooking a huge beef casserole in the crockpot on Saturday to use up some meat from the freezer that was looking a bit worse for wear (freezer burn), we'll be having that re-heated on Tuesday, and the Father's Day baked dinner turned into a visit to Flavour of Brazil (which I discovered through this post on Grab Your Fork) with my brother and his family and both my mum and dad. My parents are separated but quite happy to be together for family stuff, in fact Dad was the one who invited Mum along to his Father's Day outing.

Oven baked crumbed chicken, noodles & steamed veg
Fruit & yoghurt
Beef casserole & rice
Fruit & yoghurt
Seafood risotto
Bread & butter pudding
Crockpot chicken curry with sweet potatoes and coconut rice
Fruit & yoghurt
Baked leg of lamb etc
Apple crumble
Dinner out with Tom's soccer club
Hamburgers & oven wedges
Fresh fruit

Sunday, September 07, 2008

And a fun time was had by all

Tonight was the P&C Trivia Night. More a social occasion than a fundraiser so not too much organising needed to be done, I bought a few prizes and we decorated the school hall with some token balloons and tealight candles on the tables. Ariane's sister was our trivia master for the night and she did an awesome job, everyone was very appreciative.

So, we sat around eating cheese and bikkies, drinking red wine, answering trivia questions, attempting to burn down the school...


Um. You know those tealight candles on the tables? Turns out it wasn't such a brilliant idea to have candles around when you're going to be passing multiple sheets of paper back and forth between people. Or maybe that was just our table, no-one else seemed to have a problem :P

Once we'd finished the trivia part of the evening we turned on the music. Some of us even got up and danced. You know, the ones with a defective inhibition circuit. At least The Time Warp got a few extras on their feet and joining in.

Oh, and our table won the trivia :)

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Samantha vs. the laptop

Sam: Right, just let me get comfy here *knead knead knead knead knead* You weren't using those boobs for anything important were you?

Me: Sit down you loopy cat, I can't see the keyboard.

Sam: I only sat down because I wanted to you know.

Me: Fine, just don't move, I'm blogging this.

Extra points if you can identify the Giant Microbes in the glass bowl behind me.
(photos taken with my laptop's webcam)

Brush turkey

We've had brush turkeys hanging around near our place for a couple of years now and this year they've chosen to build their nest in the front yard of one of our neighbours.

Cats and dogs beware!

There's an access path that runs down between their place and the next to the bush reserve behind our houses (we're a couple of houses further down), so there's plenty of material for the birds to work with and the mound is quite an impressive size.

Brush turkey on top of mound

Brush turkey on top of mound

The nest

Brush turkey nest

The rest of the nest

The other half of the nest

I took a short video too, nothing special but I thought I'd throw it up here anyway.

The turkey scratched its way to the fence and then headed on up and over into the backyard of the next house.

Over the fence

As I was coming back from taking these photos I feel into conversation with the owner of that backyard. Apparently the turkey had been doing some heavy duty work in her yard and had done a great job collecting all the fallen debris from the lawn with the clear intention of adding it to the nest. Of course there was the minor detail of a fence in the way so after all that hard work it'd had to leave the mulch piled up against the fence. My neighbour scooped it all up and chucked it in her green bin (for garden waste), she's quite pleased, it saved her a whole heap of work :)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Down Under Feminists Carnival Sept 08

Blue milk is hosting this month's edition of the Down Under Feminists Carnival and she has done a fabulous job. I was slightly disconcerted, and then inordinately pleased, to discover my kids and my garden have been included - it's a nice boost after a hard week, thank you to whoever submitted my posts :)

Menu plan 1 Sept 08

Let's not talk about how things went last week. I think only 2 nights went according to plan, it's all a bit of a horrible blur really. However, one of the on plan nights was the crockpot coconut beef and it was good.

Spaghetti Bolognese
Fruit & yoghurt
Honey lamb casserole & rice - it's in the freezer ready to reheat
Fruit & yoghurt
Oven baked crumbed chicken, noodles & steamed veg
Ice cream & fruit
Japanese takeaway - last week we ended up with KFC instead of Japanese so I'm still craving this
Fruit & yoghurt
Oven fish & chips with steamed veg
Fruit & yoghurt
Lamb Rogan Josh & rice
Ice cream & fruit
Baked dinner
Apple pie