Friday, July 30, 2010

my man rocks

A little known fact about me is that I am married to a man with, not one, but several supernatural abilities.
(So I guess this is actually a little-known fact about him, not me.... but this is MY blog, dammit. I won't be shoved to the side, even by my super-hero husband.)

What's that? You want proof? Well...

Take today, for example.

Fabio leaves tomorrow for 5 weeks overseas. {Except 5 weeks sounds endless and awful, so I'm saying 'its35days' and hoping it will be slightly less. And although he will be frolicking in the tropics (more or less) it's still winter in BeachTown} so we went wood-cutting.

We found a little-used track deep in the wilderness which had lots of ideal timber lying about, only it was cut-off by a fallen log. Fabio leapt from the HeroMobile and flexed his muscles at that log, and it fairly jumped out of our way.
Not bad.
Then he went to turn the trailer around so we could drive straight out when it was loaded (thus demonstrating some remarkable forethought) and a silly little tree stopped him from making a complete circle, JUST getting in the way of the trailer by an inch or so.
Fabio flexed his muscles once more, and LIFTED the trailer off the ground and moved it sideways. I should point out that the trailer weighs like, half a ton so it was pretty impressive. I went wobbly in the knees with lust admiration nah, definitely lust.

It rained for a moment, but that didn't stop him. He went right on chainsawing logs, and after a minute or so, I saw his head begin to steam.
I got the giggles so bad that by the time I got my act together and got the phone back out to take a pic, he had stopped doing it but I gotta ask, hands up if your husband is so hot his head steams?

Then he did the most impressive thing of all. He sparkled in the sun just like a Cullen.

Except better-looking. And not so bitey.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


My name is Toni, and I suffer from PMS.

Well, actually my family and friends and acquaintances suffer more than I do. FAR more.

One day a month, I get crabby. But every now and then, I get a 6 million dollar bionic version of crabby that has me plotting physical harm against anyone and anything that gets in my way. It doesn't last long but it doesn't need to -- it drags me around raving and screaming like the Tasmanian Devil in Bugs Bunny cartoons. Destructive. Fast. Ugly. And I hate it.
I fully get why women can find themselves on murder charges and use a PMS defence. (not that I've actually TRIED to kill anyone. Except my ex. I stabbed him with a kitchen knife one time. But that wasn't PMS, it was because he's a dick. True story.)

What people don't realise (unless they're fellow PMSers) is that you can't always control the moods. I've tried loads of recommendations, swallowing supplements and oils and all sorts, but they've about as much effect as chanting in the lotus position.
Personally, I find tequila to be a much more effective solution. And so I'm off to medicate. And hopefully calm down and re-friend those people I dropped from Facebook.

Monday, July 26, 2010

iHappy today

Normally, I post a Moanday whinge, but nope, too happy today. Just hanging out with my man and doing not-much-at-all. He won enough on Lotto to take me out to lunch and then we window-shopped for a while -- all with NO KIDS.

Potato, leek and bacon soup with chorizo... MMMMM

Want to see more iHappys? check 'em out here.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Sunday sights....

It's lovely to live somewhere pretty again. Our Sunday drive today included the following:

gorgeous scenery

wattle everywhere in full bloom

roadside fruit stand

picking our own citrus from a friends' orchard

sweet sundae....

Todays' sweet things are:

1. man farts -- yes, those noxious clouds that can strip paint and burn your eyes are, today, sweet to me.

2. huge shoes that look like overturned canoes for the vertically challenged, left lying near doorways with sand spilling from them.... they are sweet.

3. the blankets being pulled out from the bottom of the bed every night, requiring a complete strip and re-make every morning, because of a too-tall-for-the-bed man -- that's sweet.

4. damp towels on the bed/carpet, whiskers in the bathroom sink, water splashed all over -- sweet.

5. yesterdays' newspapers, covering every available surface -- sweet, sweet, sweet.

No, I haven't lost my mind. My priorities have changed. Having your man work overseas for a month at a time will do that to ya.

Have a sweet Sunday, y'all!

Friday, July 23, 2010

the July Chronicles in BeachTown

Maxabella has this awesomely fabulous idea about fridges chronicling our lives. You should totally check it out. I'll wait.


So how clever is that? I'm sure she'd be stoked if you want to join in!

Anyway, without further ado, here is my fridge as of July 23.

Having recently moved house, it's pretty nekkid.

the HandsomeSons' first b'day invite from his new school

(the birthday childs' mum wrote out the invites late at night and got some of them into the wrong envelopes so that caused some confusion)

the $10 scratchie that won $10

a freebie notepaddy thing from the letterbox

artwork by The Princess

I think one is a farmer and his cow, the other features a charming rainbows-and-hearts motif which is pretty much her signature style.

flier for the new Local Scrap Shop

my fave ever fridge magnet

PS GO ME! I finally figured out how to do captions. There is no stopping me now. Next stop, Total World Domination.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

the worst day

Not the best day of my life.
But not the worst, either. THAT was exactly 14 years ago today, when I woke up in the morning with a healthy, happy 48 day old baby, and before lunch, was sitting in a doctors' surgery trying to come to grips with the fact that the baby was now dead.
After that one, came the funeral - pretty close second - and really, everything else pales by comparison.
For the first time in 10 years, I'm living again in the town where it all happened. I drive past the house I was living in, the surgery where they tried to revive him, the funeral home, the shop where I bought funeral outfits for my other kids (now THAT'S a surreal experience) -- and of course, the cemetery. I've been past it a few times but I haven't 'visited' yet. Later today.

I can't wait for tomorrow.

bye-bye baby....

Fabio, also known as the LoML, has taken a job overseas. He swears my hairy legs had nothing to do with it, but since he will be home in just 2 more sleeps, I think I will be spending some quality time with the depilatory cream today just in case. Even though it's winter, and the cream is freezing cold and smells funny.
What was I saying?
Oh, yes -- overseas. The Philippines, to be exact.
Not knowing much anything about the Philippines, I Googled. I found some official looking website, which was enormously confusing and utterly failed to mention the Muslim extremist kidnappings which are a real concern and not made up by a disgruntled Billy Graham fan. WAY TO GO, Official Website. That is a very handy piece of information to have if you're going to be travelling, in my view.
So I gave up on Google and went to the library.
I found travel books on every country you can think of, and some you may possibly never have heard of, rows and rows of them -- and not one on the Philippines.
So I think I'll be searching LISWA and calling up some useful books in the near future.
But I digress (again)(inevitably)

Fabio heard about this job, and was actually promoting a friend for it, but was asked to submit a resume himself, and got it.
He's running the underground operations at a small gold mine, and although it's an enormous challenge and could all go south at any minute, he's loving it!
He'll be working a month-on/2-weeks-off roster - that's the bad part. I'll miss him terribly!
But, oh boy, won't the reunions be Something!

Monday, July 19, 2010

it's Moanday again.

I am not happy about having bigger-than-average boobs. I know lots of women who think they would love to have DDs, but I think they're crazy. I would like a trim, tidy C cup. And if they could be perky and upright, that would be just fine too.
However, short of a major Lotto win and a Yummy Mummy tour to Thailand, that aint gonna happen.
So the next best thing it to wear bras that minimise cup size, offer support, and are comfortable. Pretty would also be nice.
The problem is, on a limited income, you have more hope of catching a glimpse of the Easter Bunny relaxing down at the beach.
ALL the DD bras I've looked at for the last couple of years have been PADDED. Now while this may be highly desirable if you have smaller boobs, I don't know one single DD+ lady who is looking for MORE. The only way to get an unpadded bra is to order on-line (expensive) or go to a specialist shop (also expensive)

This is as bad as only offering low-cut jeans, or only offering T-shirts that come to just above the belly-button.
Ladies Of A Certain Age (like me) don't WANT to dress like a 20 year old (it looks odd) but I don't want to be getting around in an Osti frock and a half-slip just yet either.

So could we, please, for the love of Cotton, just have a little bit of choice?

Sunday, July 18, 2010

sweet sundae....

Because I am planning to write grumpy posts on Moanday, I thought I should balance the sour with some sweet. SO -- the inaugural Sweet Sundae! in which I will post about some of the sweet things in my life. (and you just KNOW that my husband and kids are gonna feature here often, but not today)

1. friends who forgive
Ever done something bad to a friendship and really regretted it? I have. Fortunately, some of my friends are forgiving. Even when I didn't deserve it, they gave me a second chance. That's the definition of grace.
(this goes for sisters, too)

2. a beautiful, peaceful place to live
It won't always be this way, so I'm making the most of it.

3. Elmo pyjamas, with long sleeves and a long top that actually covers my kidneys, and cute flanny pants that keep my butt warm.

4. blue skies and sunshine --- however brief, they lift my day!

5. gingerbread men with M&M buttons. MMMM. Now THAT'S sweet!

PS the sundae pic came from here

Friday, July 16, 2010

it's FYB time...

First time I've done this hop thing so I hope it works.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

the best laid plans of mice and bloggers....

I had planned to write a brilliant, funny post today that would ring in the hearts of all who read it, gain me a ton of new followers, and perhaps win me an award. I had the dress picked out for the ceremony, and almost perfected the humble and grateful smile with which I would receive both my award and my new followers.
Sadly -- I forgot to plan the actual post.
Story of my life. I'm great on the grand plans, but the details? not so much.

Anyway, I just started writing THIS post instead, only to discover I have a migraine aura looming. If you have never had one of these, I get the classic 'diamond-back python' which looks like this:

< image from >

The colours flash and the black zig-zaggy lines flash and I'm blind in the entire area that the snake takes up. Makes for an interesting life if I happen to be trying to see at the time.
You know how in the movies, blindness is depicted as blackness? Well, being REALLY blind isn't like that (at least in my experience) It's just -- not being able to see.
And thus, not being able to DO much until it passes.

It's definitely weird and a little disconcerting -- BUT I am so incredibly grateful to have the auras and not the actual migraines!

BTW -- altho the image is from a menopause symptoms site, this is not a menopausal thing. Sadly. I wish it were. But that is a post for another day.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

I feel like chicken tonight.

Firstly, a thousand apologies if you now have that dreadful jingle stuck in your head.

I promised my stalker sister that I would post this recipe today, but I got busy and forgot, and she's sent me dozens several one e-mail demanding it -- so here it is, in all it's Yummy Goodness.


1 large onion, peeled and quartered
3 cloves garlic, peeled
4cm piece fresh ginger, peeled
2 tspns garam masala
2 tspns turmeric
1 tspn ground cardamom
1/2 tspn salt
2 tblspns oil
2 Granny Smith apples, peeled and cubed
1 kg chicken thighs, sliced
270ml can coconut cream
1/2 cup water

* process onion, garlic and ginger till finely chopped
* using half the oil, gently fry spices till fragrant
* increase heat, add apples, and cook 2 minutes
* remove from pan, brown chicken in batches
* add all ingredients back into pan, but reserve 2 tblspns coconut cream
* simmer over low heat for 20 mins or so

This is flavoursome but not chilli-hot, and delicious with jasmine rice.
For extra flavour, combine 2 sliced bananas with the reserved coconut cream, and serve with the curry.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Things that make me go MMMMMM

a new blog to follow....

So my sister has a blog. It's tiny and new and I would really really like it if you could stop by, maybe with flowers and a bottle of champagne, and say hello.
BUT if you see that her followers count is getting close to mine, close the page and walk away, K? cos she has more Facebook friends than me already, and I have to win something.

That is all.

Monday, July 12, 2010


I have a Certain Stalker Follower who checks my blog compulsively for new posts. What I'm thinkin' is, her boss needs to give her more to do...
So anyway, to keep the family peace, I thought I should make an effort to post every day. (Yes, of course she's Family, you don't seriously think I believe someone NOT related to me would be so interested in what I have to say?)
And here I am, waiting for inspiration....

oh, wait! that wasn't it.


gee, folks, how hard is it to write under pressure?

Accordingly, I've decided (just now) to make Monday -- MOAN DAY. Because, you know, it deserves it.

So, for my Inaugural Moan (it may be the last too, if I forget next Monday)

People Who Don't Bother To Have Their Mail Re-directed.


EVERY house I've moved into, I've spent the first couple of months re-addressing other peoples' mail. We're not talking Coles brochures, we're talking mail from banks, insurance companies, govt depts -- stuff that could be important. Might even contain cheques for all I know.

So far, and we've been here for 2 weeks only, we've had literally dozens of letters addressed to about 5 different surnames for the last tenants here, and I am NOT A FREAKIN POST OFFICE!
I resent having to make special trips to a post box in stormy weather with kids in the car, just to return YOUR freakin' mail. A re-direction service costs about $40 for 6 months, and then you contact the senders as the re-addressed mail comes in.
Now how hard is that, really?

So that's my moan for today; I have to go re-address some more mail now. TTFN.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

in breaking news....

The scarf is done, and I am the best scarf knitterer ever.
So, one thing crossed off the list, 19 to go.

Our lazybones dog is 6 today. We're making a cake. Because, you know, cake.
As a bonus, this means I get to wear my fab spotty apron again. I'm looking for some vintage 50s aprons, but haven't found any I love yet.

Life at the moment revolves around one thing -- the fire. We're always fetching wood, chopping wood, checking the fire, putting wood on the fire, or banking the fire. The thought of it going out overnight terrifies me. I don't cope well with the cold. Roll on SPRING!
I do enjoy wild weather on the coast and I've been standing out in the driveway looking down on the beach, watching the grey choppy waves and listening to them crash onto the beach -- till I realised I was in my Elmo jammies and the neighbours were all out walking the dogs.
So wild and grey and crashing are all good, as long as I'm warm.

Jammies -- want to hear a funny story about jammies? Too bad, I'm telling it anyway.
My husband strangely does NOT think pyjamas are acceptable day wear. (he actually isn't keen on me wearing them at night either but that's not a story suitable for my blog)
Anyway, he has all but forbidden me to wear them outside. (think Stern Victorian Gentleman here, although deep down, he knows that 'forbidding' would actually have the opposite effect)
He especially wasn't keen that I would frequently drive the kids to school in my jammies (hey, if you're not getting out of the car, does it matter?)
"You'll get a flat tyre one day!" he would say.

So one day, as I was returning home at about a quarter to nine in the morning, I spotted a woman standing beside a car with the bonnet up and doors open, so I stopped to ask her if she was OK.
Nope. Car was buggered.
She had tried phoning for help on her mobile but no credit so I asked if I could maybe drop her at home?
"Yes that would be fantastic thank you."
So I jumped out of the car to help her remove the valuables from her car. In my pyjamas. In rush hour traffic. Didn't worry me, but I knew Fabio would have a fit when I told him.
I explained his whole "you'll get a flat tyre one day" attitude.
She laughed.
"Check this out!" she said -- and unzipped her hoodie to reveal -- PYJAMAS!

So my theory is that there's actually a whole Sisterhood of the Travelling Pyjamas thing going on round the country in winter.
How about you? do you ever go out in your pyjamas?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I knit like a mother.

My mother says it's painful to watch me knit. This, while not encouraging, is true.
She knits without looking, and the needles sound like a machine-gun.
I knit slowly, with much cursing, and my tongue poking out of the side of my mouth. I drop stitches, and make up new ones. I get bored very easily.

So, about 3 years ago, I started knitting the Princess a scarf. "HA!" I thought. "This will be easy! Big needles, thick fluffy wool, plus it's - you know - a scarf. Knit 12, repeat. Pieca-cake."

Note I said 3 YEARS ago.

You see, I started well. I got a few inches done quickly, and while I wasn't looking, Handsome Son found the needles and thought they would make great swords, and pulled them both clean out.
I unravelled and started again.
This happened a couple of times, till I trained myself to put the knitting properly away.
You know that old saying 'out of sight, out of mind'? Yeah.

So last night I took it out and knitted up almost an entire ball of wool while watching Bones.
True, there is a wonky bit where I discovered I had 13 stitches and had to knit 2 together so one edge has a small dewlap, but at least it looks like a scarf now and Handsome Son no longer needs to make swords from my needles, so there is a small chance The Princess will actually get her scarf before she leaves home.
She better freakin wear it every chance she gets.

PS I started knitting it last night so I could cross it off my TO DO list on the side there -- and realised just now that it isn't even on the list. Sigh.

Friday, July 9, 2010

my BFFs

Sisters annoy, interfere, criticize.
Indulge in monumental sulks, in huffs, in snide remarks.
Borrow. Break. Monopolize the bathroom. Are always underfoot.
But if catastrophe should strike, sisters are there. Defending you against all comers. ~Pam Brown

Like all sisters (if they are telling the truth) we fought a lot as kids. And teenagers. And, yes, even as adults.
Some of it was even my fault.

OK, most of it.

But, the older I get, the more I love and appreciate my sisters, not only as sisters, who share the childhood memories and family history, but as individuals.
Both of my sisters have a lot of guts and determination. Neither of them sits around, waiting for someone to rescue them; they are clever, hard-working,and capable.
They both have a fantastic sense of humour (inherited from Dad) and are very sharp. If you say something stupid, you WILL be sorry for it.
They are warm and encouraging, but have a low BS tolerance and they'll let you know about it.
And they're LOTS of fun at a party.

Plus -- I can borrow their shoes. What more could you ask for in a best friend?

PS that's me on the right.

Monday, July 5, 2010

I am.... Master Chef.

Tonight, I cooked dinner while Fabio dealt with a large pile of paperwork. I made Middle Eastern style lamb. (recipe below)

"Mum!" said the Princess. "This is so good. You should defintly open a restaurant. On the days when Dr Who is not on. You should open the restaurant tomorrow, Mum."

Handsome Son chipped in. "Poor old Dad will have to get some cement and some bricks. And some tiles. And build it tomorrow. He's gonna be worn out."

"Well," said The Princess. "The restaurant is going to be a big hit."

So here is the recipe:

750 g lean lamb strips
2 tspns olive oil
1 clove garlic
1 onion, sliced
1 x 425g can crushed or chopped tomatoes
2 tspns honey
2 tspns cinnamon

gently fry the onion and garlic together till soft.
fry the lamb in batches till browned all over
add tomatoes, honey and cinnamon, and a little water
simmer for about 15 mns

serve with rice

1 1/2 cups quick brown rice
250g frozen spinach
2 tspns lemon juice
small handful chopped coriander
1 tablespn sesame seeds

cook rice, drain and return to pot
add spinach, juice and coriander, cook for 5 mins

serve with lamb and sprinkle sesame seeds over top

If you make it, and like it -- let me know (:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

my blood ran cold....

We went out wood-cutting today. And this is what I saw:

Tell me that photo doesn't make your blood run cold! Frightened the heck out of me but a boy's gotta do what a boy's gotta do.


A cup of tea and a lamington. Can you get any more Aussie than that without a BBQ?

The road:

I wish I could post the smells of wet earth and leaves, the sound of the trees in the breeze, and the perfect birdsong (till the chainsaw started up anyway)


The end result. This means a toasty warm house for the next few weeks (:

* The Handsome Son was NOT allowed to actually cut the wood, either with an axe OR the chainsaw. And his dad was supervising carefully. Just sayin'.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

living beachside....

A few people have been asking to see the new house. (including my poor 17yo who is in boarding school and hasn't seen the new house yet) so I thought I would upload a few pics.

The poor front garden needs some care.

The view from the street.

The view from our driveway.... an OCEAN GLIMPSE! That there, folks, is the Indian Ocean.

My new scraproom -- not unpacked or sorted yet, obviously, but ALLLLL MIIIINE.