Blog

Grocery Store Delights

Bright lights… gleaming counter tops… aisle after aisle… row after row… variety… choice… options… stretching as far as the eye can see.

O. M. G. Grocery shopping… at Woolworths*… You really don’t understand the unadulterated joy of shopping in a big supermarket until you have lived without access to one.

images.jpg

Now don’t get me wrong,  I am not a fan of the supermarket giants. They have too much power over their suppliers etc. BUT when you live in (or near) a small town with a teeny tiny IGA and an even smaller Foodworks and a large body of water more commonly known as Bass Strait between you and anything larger… well it doesn’t take much to get excited walking into Woolies. Or any shop for that matter.

It’s hard to put into words the excitement of a large deli, green beans that cost less than $15 a kg and won’t be slimy and gross in 24 hours and of the availability of more than two brands of ANY one thing,  neither of which is Black and Gold. So I usually go a little cray cray. 1kg block of haloumi.  More fruit than you would normally expect to eat in a month. Ingredients that don’t match like parsnips and smoked salmon. And if you think I’m bad in the hated supermarket,  don’t let me loose in a greengrocers…

This is a photo of my latest ‘loose in a big grocery store’ purchase.  Given that I make everything Arlie eats (cooking up a fresh batch of milk while I  type, multitasking at its best) I was still sucked in by the 6 for $9 bargain.14642605048071268482822.jpg

It’s a bit like a day in a theme park. Even the kids get excited. Like really excited. Where their attention span is maybe 5 minutes in our home town shop** in a big Woolies their eyes glaze over and there is excitement in every aisle. And usually a fair amount of shrieking . Actually there is a fair amount of shrieking in any given activity 😨😨. Wear ear plugs at all times is your bet.

And that ladies and gentleman is how you waste 504 words on the joys of grocery shopping. Sorry, no you can’t have the last 5 mins of your life back.

This one is for you Rissoleimages

*I don’t shop at Coles unless everything else has burnt down. I don’t approve of their play on peoples ignorances with sow stall free pork, HGP free beef and they were the first (I think, from memory) to introduce  $1 a litre milk. But I think we can save that rant for another post.

** Who am I kidding. 30 seconds, max. They fight over the pink kids trolley at IGA (the blue one having broken 18 months ago and never fixed). Then they run up and down the aisles and mix the open bins of chook and dog food up. And in Foodworks there is a kids trolley each and a slope at the start of each aisle.  Either way I recommend shin guards. Especially if one of their friends happens to appear at the same tine.

Spring is in the air!

I must be on  a roll. Two blogs in two days. That or I need a life (netball is over, got my nights back).

It is a beautiful day today, the sun is shinning, the birds are singing, there are calves and lambs running around everywhere, the ducks have disappeared presumably sitting on a clutch of eggs and the F*&king blowflies are hatching. We live in paradise. We do however have share the place with some of God’s dirtiest little creatures.

download (1).jpg

So while I sit here, quietly doing some computer work, while my youngest 2 munchkins have their afternoon nap, I am being serenaded by the distant (and occasionally not to distant) buzz of flies. Why are they in my house you ask? Good freaking question. The Screen Man is supposed to  be redoing my screens (because there isn’t a lot of point left in  the old ones). April just gone. Now it is August. The second last day of August to be exact. And  I still don’t have my screens.

To his credit, I know he has been. He came back to measure the same doorway about 4 times. I mean it is possible it could have grown. It’s winter, we have had a lot of  rain. And it is a wooden doorway. But where I come from wood does tend to stop growing when you chop it down and turn it into chunks of house. 25 years ago…

I rang him this morning. Blank silence when I told him who I was for a few minutes (you know, that lady with all  those kids who kept screaming when you would suddenly appeared at her backdoor to measure it for the second/third/four time in as many weeks without letting her know you were there). Then it dawns on him (you could nearly hear the cogs turning over the phone)

‘You are ringing about your screen doors’

‘Yes I am. You were doing the windows too weren’t you??’

‘Oh yeah, yeah I am’

‘How long do you think  they will be?’

‘Well, they are here’

‘And when can they be here instead’

‘Oh yeah, I’m really busy, maybe in the next couple of  weeks I will try to get there’

Needless to say I am not filled with confidence. I am, however, determined to ring him every bloody week until they are in. I am about to become like that niggling prickle in your favourite pair of socks that doesn’t rear its ugly head until after you have left the house  and there is nothing you can do about it for the rest of  the day. Translation: I am going to annoy him until he puts the dam things in or leaves the island in frustration.

I know what you are thinking. ‘For a girl from Western Queensland, traditional home of the fly, you are getting mighty upset about having a few flies in your house’. But until you have experienced the King Island Blow Fly, you really haven’t experienced flies. They are prolific maggot layers. And while they do a great job of cleaning up the roadkill* – the maggots knock those suckers right over so you don’t even usually have to smell them – I do object to maggots in my house. For example:

  1. Opened a glass cabinet that is fly proof and hadn’t been opened in weeks and there is a maggot squirming in the bottom of a glass
  2. Bait rats in ceiling, rats die, maggots drop through down lights…. it is so gross
  3. DO NOT even consider defrosting on the bench
  4. Too tired to wash the roasting pan before you go to bed? Well by morning it will be crawling even if you get up at 6 to do it.
  5. Having your evening meal in summer inside? Don’t leave your meal unattended if you think there is a stray fly insight. By the time you return with that glass of water they WILL have laid live maggots on your food.**

download.jpg

On another note, I know he had to order our screen doors from away, so I assume he had to pay for them. And he certainly won’t be getting paid until they are actually installed here so why wouldn’t you be putting them in ASAP? I know I much prefer other people to be holding onto  money they owe me…

 

*King Island also has an amazing amount of suicidal Possums and Wallabies

** In two and a half years, this has all happened to us

Number of unfinished blog posts – still 10. I must be doing something right.

 

Stay at Home Mum & AgForce

Wow I just watched the Landline program about Ag Force employing Sarah from Stay at Home Mum as an advocate for Australian Agriculture. It was so heartening to see to the positive reactions from not just Sarah but from her followers (all 1/4 of a million of them).

Australian Agriculture is starting to realise that Social Media is going to be one of the largest factors in bridging the city/country divide and as much as us farmers can expend lots of effort promoting what we are and what we do on Social Media, having an advocate that is not from rural background and who can explain everything in laymen terms makes a hell of a lot of sense.

So good luck to them all and may she have some awesome positive impacts on helping our city cousins understand what really goes on!

For article or to watch the landline clip click here.

To have a look at some of what Stay at Home Mum has to say go to her website and google AgForce click here.

It was a very positive experience especially since this disgusting piece of junk just popped into my news feed. A prime example of how uneducated our city dwellers are becoming on where their food and fibre comes from.

14068284_10150675632854950_8034333284947499912_n

Number of unpublished blog posts 10

 

Rio 2016

Like a lot of people I am thoroughly enjoying watching the Olympics. On those random occasions our TV signal is actually working. You know what my favourite part has been so far? After that poor bugger from France broke his leg in the gymnastics on Day 1, watching the look on relief on the faces of every other gymnast in the comp land and realise that they DIDN’T snap theirs in half. Classic.

hqdefault
In case you missed the stomach turning event

I can’t even begin to imagine what went through his mind when this happened. But if he is anything like me and given the injuries I have sustained (mainly through my own clumsiness but a few doosies inflicted on me by other members of my team this season) RETIREMENT is definitely on the card.

But we are not here to discuss my less than mediocre netball career. It is not all blood and gore and the chance that you will get Zika virus or take a shower in the Athletes village in  your own excrement* in Rio. Don’t forget that as an Athlete you get 42 condoms each and only a very small window of opportunity to use them all up. Don’t want those babies weighting your luggage down on the return journey when you need to fill your bags with Brazil nuts and your authentic outfit for the next Mardi Gras.

But I think I am missing the point. I was fortunate enough to tune in as the Australian Women’s Rugby 7’s team took out gold against New Zealand. It sure beats the last couple of years of watching the All Blacks thrash the Wallabies. Plus one of the girls is from the suburb in Brissie where I went to High School. So in true Aussie fashion, I shall claim her as my own.**  And now they not only get a medal to take home but they have been immortalised in a stamp.

download

This popped into my Facebook news feed the other day.

13925699_1195172397193632_8939598340826537872_o

And lets face it America, what was the point of the last few years of daily shootings if you can’t at least win a gold medal from it?

You can’t beat the raw emotion from the Athletes when they win gold. But this clip of Kyle Chalmers grandparents here watching him win gold from back here in Oz strikes a bit of a cord.

Now I am off to perhaps watch some more Olympics (though is it really worth it with 2 boys in my ear saying over and over again ‘I WANT TO WATCH BOYS TV!!) or maybe I will do the washing up.

Cheers from Rio from the couch.

I will leave you with this photo. To me, it is what the Olympics are really about. Take from it what you will.

36FBD12C00000578-0-image-a-1_1470641618986.jpg

*Lets face it, what is an Olympics without something going wrong with the Athletes village??

** Russell Crowe is actually from New Zealand as is Pavlova but then the Kiwis stole the Kiwi Fruit (Chinese gooseberry) and made it their own so we are just getting our own back. Mind you they can have Russell back.

 

Number of unpublished blog posts 10

 

Not a happy blogger

One of the things I am always lamenting about having the kids is I always miss the news. It is such a terrible time of night. Anthony getting home, dinner prep, baths and the occasional Arlie melt down since after all, it is the witching hour. Occasionally I will be sitting down to feed Arlie and I will catch the last few minutes. Except in Tasmania only the first few minutes of the news is devoted to what is actually happening around the state, country and world. The rest is about the entire population of Australia’s Southern states obsession with bloody ALF. But that my friends is another story.

So now we are on holidays. And while we still don’t catch the evening news because of the above reasons still apply (except that Queensland doesn’t give a rats arse about ALF, thank god). We have however managed to see some news on the morning programs. And quite frankly it makes me pleased I don’t get to watch the news more often. Because what I am seeing and hearing makes me want to flee back to my beautifully peaceful and remote island and bury my head in the incredibly clean sand.

In the brief half hour this morning I heard about babies dying, people shooting kids outside blue light discos, people in a home for the disabled being stabbed, people wanting to vote for Donald Trump, people being tortured in Australia detention centres and the latest terrorist attacks from around the world. I have three children. I love them dearly. But these days I have no idea why I wanted to bring children into this. What does the future hold for mankind? Famine from global food shortages, rapidly changing climatic conditions, fear of being shot, bombed or  stabbed just after you step outside your door – if you even have to go that far.

So if you were looking for another light hearted bedtime story to put you to sleep with a smile on your face, I am sorry my friends you will have to keep looking. I don’t feel light hearted today. I feel sickened with humanity and the way the world is turning out. I look at my three beautiful children and I hope they lead long, happy and fulfilling lives because as must as I want too, I can’t protect them from everything in this world. I hope they stay the beautiful innocents they are for as long as possible.

Until next time, when I hope I am in a happier mood. Oh and to explain my lovely feature image, the state of Australian politics gives me the heebie jeebies as well.

13567314_585267724978171_162469679625375496_n

Number of unfinished drafts…. 10

 

Crafty mum fails…

Ever seen a crafty blogging mum that has great ideas, does lots of activities with her kids, has a perfect house in the background and still has time to write about it so total strangers can read it? Yep, well you are safe cos that is totally not me.

Honestly I think I just try and do crafty things with the kids to make the rest of you feel better. Certainly never turns out like the Mothers who’s blogs I get the ideas off. Plus I hate cleaning up. Or finding a home for the stuff until I came throw it out without the kids noticing.weather

The dam over our back fence is rapidly becoming part of our backyard. And apart from the horror that we might get washed away in a water flood* fun that is my 5 year olds imagination, being cooped up inside with three kids is a barrel of laughs. Not.

So I hoped on trusty Pinterest to find a great kids activity. Actually I was looking for my go to Playdough recipe (despite my aforementioned hate). I love it. Actually that is a lie. I hate playdough. It makes a mess that I have to clean up. I have to yell at the kids to put it away. You find it in everything for the next gazillion years after making it. But, in playdoughs defence, it does keep them entertained for hours. Or at least an hour, the day you make it. So yes, sidetracked again. Playdough recipe – I like it because it is easy to make, doesn’t contain a huge amount of salt that dries your skin out, doesn’t contain enough Cream of Tartar to send you broke and lasts for ages if you can convince the kids to put it away before it turns into a rock.

best playdough recipe link (look I worked out how to link stuff!!)

Just a side note – if it does dry out a bit, knead through a table spoon of oil – veg or olive or whatever you have lying around though probably not some form of really expensive EVOO with garlic and chilli infusion unless you want your children, table, chairs, floor and probably the cat to smell garlicky. Unless you are afraid of vampires, in which case go right ahead.

Anyway while searching for playdough recipes, I found a post I pinned years ago and actually bought the ingredients for but never got around to doing with the kids. Make your own bouncy balls! How much fun could that be. Turns out, really not that much fun. Here is the blog how too, I hope everyone else has more luck than me.

bouncy ball tutorial link

I got the kids hyped up (not a difficult job), found all the ingredients (that took a while) and proceeded. I don’t know if I didn’t use the right kind of glue (PVA for those that are wondering), or if it was because my warm water was actually cold by the time I got around to plopping the goo in or if it was because my cornstarch (or corn flour us we Australians like to call it) was gluten free or if I put way WAY too much food colouring in but these balls are as bouncy as lead balloons. If fact they are so hard they may be the only thing that can survive into the post apocalyptic world.

2016-06-23 10.24.34.jpg

2016-06-23 10.33.41

Fergus’ effort. He even took the photo himself. And we tried to be creative and make it pink and green. This is the result of over reaching our very mediocre talents.

2016-06-23 10.33.53.jpg

We knew better by Lachy’s. Just plain blue. He didn’t want to let go enough that you could see it for a picture though.

And don’t forget the mess. 2016-06-23 10.33.47

Cuppa tea anyone?

Also where the instructions say disposable plastic gloves optional, I really recommend you view them as not optional. Happy bouncy ball making!!

2016-06-23 10.33.18.jpg

 

*I am unaware of other types of floods, but please feel free to enlighten me.

 

 

The Mouths of Babes #1

 

Kids. Sometimes they are great.  Sometimes I feel that they may not make their next birthday. Seriously, any parent who has raised a child to adulthood without stuffing them in the wheelie bin deserves a medal. Or a really big glass of wine. Or both. Assuming that they let you have these things in the nut house. Just to be prepared, when our eldest was only 6 months old, we bought an investment property. It is just across the road from the mental hospital in Toowoomba. Forward planning at its best. Not sure who will live there though since we will both be safely ensconced in the loony bin, rocking back and forward in our padded cells wrapped in a lovely straight jacket. I’d like mine in navy blue please. It’s my favourite colour. Or maybe sun shiny yellow.

Once again, I digress. So kids. They say some funny shit. Today’s blog is devoted to the strange and wonderful things I remember them saying at one time or another. Mainly so I can look back one day and chuckle.

Mr F bought home his first school photos today. SomeFergus_Rosser_2016_ZT7HABFG_66 (1) how I was prepared and bought a photo frame on the weekend. So I popped it in this evening.

‘Mummy that can be our table photo’

‘Um no, we don’t need it on the (kitchen) table’

‘Oh but I want to look at it all the time’

Not even a little bit conceited huh?

I heard him telling one of his friends while watching a Disney movie that I used to live in the Disney Castle. Yep, I married for love and had to move out of my castle. It was a shame but that’s how much I love Daddy 🙂

download
Yep, this one

Walking in the park with a friend. They were holding hands (sorry Stella, it was Maggie, not you).

Maggie: ‘I love you Fergus’

Fergus: ‘But I like Alice’ (sorry Stella, again not you)

Maggie, totally unphased: ‘I like Alice too’

I had no words. Actually I was rather pregnant so I nearly had no dry pants.

And then last week. This.

‘Fergus do you play with any of the girls at school?’

‘Yes’

‘Which one’s?’

‘Stella and Lilly’

‘Do you have a girlfriend?’

‘Yep Stella’

Which lead to this conversation

Screenshot 2016-06-20 21.11.55

That’s all we can ask for from our sons right?

 

 

 

The Indifferent Veggie Gardener

No ducks or children were harmed in the writing of this blog.

The snails, wallabies and cauliflowers were not quite so fortunate.

Woohoo! Today marked that loooong period between the summer and the winter crop. 2016-06-05 14.07.56Autumn doesn’t really exist here. Unless you count that that time of the year that is sometimes warm, sometimes cold, occasionally raining and often windy period from December through to May… Anyway, I digress (and it’s only the first paragraph, saddle up peeps, it could be a long one). So what I mean by a long period is the couple of weeks between when I get sick of picking Tomatoes and Zucchini and the harvest of the first cauliflower. The fruit and veg here are crap (and by crap I mean in the rest of Australia you wouldn’t feed them to the pigs*) so having to fork out money for something that may go off before I get it out of the car and into the house offends me. Especially when you see the amount we get to pay for our nearly off, pig swill veggies. Hence the veggie garden. Plus I get a great sense of pleasure from growing my own stuff. And it keeps the kids happy and busy and most importantly OUTSIDE**.2016-02-26 12.08.05

I subscribe to neither the commercial chemical filled Veggie garden nor are we Organic or Biodynamic. I like to describe it as Indifferent. Whatever the hell works. Or that I have time for or can be arsed*** doing. And living on an island, my favourite is getting seaweed from the beach as mulch. When you water it in the sunshine it smells like your very own beach in the backyard. Or I prefer to use fertilizer from the cattle yards or chook pens to that store bought slow release stuff.  But that is cos I don’t like forking money out for stuff I can make myself either****.

I tried crushing egg shells to spread around plants to keep the snails away. It works brilliantly but since we don’t eat a couple of dozen eggs a day we couldn’t keep up. Plus I really like killing the little blighter’s so on goes the snail pellets… and yes the idea turns my stomach but not nearly as much as growing things just for the snail to eat. These guys (ducks) are great snail and slug killers (and provide lots of free entertainment for our littlest Jellybean).  But they also like cabbage and cauliflower so while you are hard pressed to find a snail in our yard, it is because they have all moved into the safety of the veggie patch. I tried the environmentally friendly snail traps that you dig into the ground and fill with beer. It would have been more effective if I had spent a morning drinking beer and squashing snails. Incidentally I don’t like discovering them in my gumboots in the morning either. While the crunch of a squashed snail shell is satisfying, I don’t like having to pick the shell out of my socks. 2016-05-20 09.14.41

This week I have been also harvesting indifferently grown Rhubarb to make my own Rhubarb champagne. That’s right kids, grow your own garden, brew your own alcohol! Does life get any better??? The trick is you have to let it sit for a couple of weeks.The longer it sits, the more potent it becomes. Who could ask for more? The problem is of course in the waiting.

This is my first time brewing but the stuff my neighbour makes always goes down rather well. I just didn’t realise it was actually alcoholic. So the neighbours son and I sat down to share a glass or two (his wife declined as she was pregnant and suspicious of the home made quality of the brew) and we generously poured the kids a glass each as well. A few sips in and you could feel a slight buzz starting. We looked at each other at about the same time and started yelling ‘Get it off the kids!!’. Parenting 101: if it has the word ‘Champagne’ in it’s name, assume some form of alcohol content.

2016-06-03 11.24.54

And to top our week off with some more home growed goodness, who can say Wallaby Stew? Old Slim Dusty would have been proud. And for the Queenslanders reading this, the Wallaby down here is really quite tasty, not the scary deep red of the old roo, limited in the wormy goodness and actually has a bit of fat on it and doesn’t stink when you cook it. Goodnight!

2016-06-05 14.11.19

*Actually it is now illegal to feed pigs household scraps. Goodbye bucket of pig swill, many a piggy grew fat and delicious on you but no more.

** I spend most of my time coming up with reasons the little treasures need to debunk from the house and explore the outdoors before I throttle them for being constantly under my feet.

*** Apparently I am spelling arsed wrong but it won’t give me any other options.

****Blog by a tight ass would be more appropriate I know.