You’d think I’d twig to the coming of my birthday month.  I couldn’t find the calendar page, but I decided I liked this one even better.  Boy, fetch me my cudgel!


145 Responses

  1. Perfect, especially when you consider that the school holidays are coming up 🙂
    Dear Dog, sudden horrible thought – do the private schools go out earlier?
    I am surrounded by them, after all….eep!

  2. I’ve got no idea. Google their websites?

    • Clever! yes, the Jesus folk go on school holidays this Friday, for the next three weeks. This’ll be interesting. I wonder if the gay divorcees nearest to us will be surrendering their children to their husbands so that they can go off & enjoy themselves. I think that’s the pattern.
      In view of that information, I have decided to head off to Ikea.
      Pray for me?

  3. Yup. That’d be Lyn. Taking up the cudgels on my behalf. Though she had a very nice scotch waiting for me last night after I drove Jen home.

  4. She’s a fine, fine woman.

    Ooh,IKEA – can I envy you, instead?

  5. Ikea is wasted on me, MM. I snuck in thru the registers, made a beeline for the collection aisle that I wanted, and bolted the hell out of there.
    I contemplated taking a photo & tweeting ‘Thus opened the Gates of Hell’ but even that was more than I could bear.
    I have chairs. Now the Bloke must endure the hell of assembling them.
    Let’s hope the rain is plentiful this weekend & he can find his allan key.

  6. I’ve found a bed on a Facebook sell-swap-buy site, so we need MK’s loft bed disassembled. I don’t like my chances of getting the Boss to do that. You might have to send the Bloke down here when he finds that key.

  7. Remind me to find that photo of the tap that The Bloke fixed by reinstalling it upside down, so you can rethink that suggestion, Catty love. 🙂

  8. He’s just the man for the job – if you assemble a bed upside down it should make getting them out of it in the morning much easier.

  9. Having a tap on the bed would also help get them up. No more traipsing to the fridge for a jug of ice water.

  10. Sold!
    I’ll have him express posted while he’s passed out on the pain killers tonight, Catty. he’s all yours.

  11. I’ll send the Wildebeest up. A fair swap, yes?

  12. Absolutely.

  13. The Boss is losing his touch lately, too. He just helped me to clean out the Tupperware cupboard, so we now have extremely creased and bubbled contact lining the shelves. I’m kicking myself for not insisting that I do that bit of the job, but it’s a small price to pay for being able to open the cupboard without being showered in Tupperware. I half-filled a garbage bag with assorted plastic crap which we are about to take to the op shop. It has to be done before I… uh, I mean, the kidlets… try to salvage any of the discarded items. As it was, the Boss grabbed three different things as I was trying to stuff them in the bag. And I had to force him to put my favourite jug back on the shelf instead of tossing it. Yes, I know I’ve never used it, but I’m going to. One day.

    Let’s start a book – how many days before the cupboard looks exactly like it did before we started? I’m guessing 2.

  14. My money’s on your judgement call, Catty.

  15. Indeed. We were on our way home from the op shop drop off, when the Boss spotted a junk pile. Two tubs and a green bag full of crap managed to make their way home with us.


  16. You seem to be stuck in a recycling cycle, Catty. Arson may be the only answer.

  17. I have often thought the same thing, but the mere idea of incinerating my precious crap is too much to bear. I’ve decided instead that when I die, buried under old magazines and rickety furniture when the teetering mounds collapse on me, there will be no need to search for my body. They can just drop a match on the house instead. Instant funeral pyre!

  18. With built-in lighter fire fluid.
    That’d be quite a warming blaze, Catty.

  19. I might not have enough crap to crush the life out of me, yet. Better start hoarding newspapers and magazines!

  20. I don’t feel the need to hoard to compete with you. El Niño & a couple of chain smoking delinquents on trail bikes should keep me ahead in the Arson Challenge. You’ve seen all that wattle & scrubby gum beside me, right?
    Speaking of horrors, I think I need to go to Helensvale. My mouse has died & there’s a JB, a Target & Howards there.
    The mouse is a life crisis, and I suppose that when it comes time to unpack my kitchen boxes next week, I’ll probably need some storage racks for my baking tins. And knickers. Because, Pants.
    So probably I should stir myself & go to the dreaded shops.
    Stupid death wish mice. They should be far more resistant to smackdowns by cats, especially since Miss Kitteh’s fave place to sleep in the new house is on my computer chair.

  21. You know what’s even less resilient? Laptop and mobile phone chargers. I’ve had to replace several already this year. Good luck on your mission!

  22. Yes, kittehs do like to kill mice.

  23. I might go to Robina…I do need my mouse, but the kitchen storage isshew is hardly a crisis. I’ve got discount vouchers to use up, it will just have to wait till school holidays. After all…how many under 15s can there possibly be in a home storage shop?

  24. Can you turn spice racks into a bong?

  25. Speaking of bongs, there was a beautiful frosted glass bong on the junk pile yesterday. It had red skulls and smoke tendrils drifting up from the base. If it hadn’t had stupid cone and tube holes in the side, it would have made a wonderful vase.

  26. Couldn’t you put a few little sprays through the holes… hang on a minute, who puts a bong out in the hard rubbish?

  27. A teenage boy’s mother.

  28. I’m thinking yes. It looked like his entire bedroom had been arse-ended onto the street. There was even a box of letters with his name and address on them, and a pile of clothes still on their hangers. Tell you what, if the Teenie doesn’t pull his pubescent head in soon, he’s going to find his bedroom in the gutter too. The little [redacted] threatened to stab me in the face with a fork yesterday. I’m still not talking to him.

  29. Ah, the joys of adolescence.

  30. Joy. That’s an interesting word for it. One I didn’t use at the time, but interesting nonetheless.

  31. He what? Bloody hell, I wouldn’t be feeding him either. I hope The Boss took him aside and explained in 32 different ways why that shit is totally unacceptable.

  32. Moments like these make me profoundly grateful that I am not tasked with the job of civilising teenage boys.

  33. The Boss did have a word with him. Apparently the Teenie believes that saying “Violence against women is unacceptable” is sexist.

  34. Tell him that every week in Australia there are two men who murder their wives who wholeheartedly agree with him.

  35. No worries, just change it to “violence towards all sentient creatures is unacceptable”.

  36. I dunno. That leaves a lot of leeway for the interpretation of ‘sentient’.

  37. I once read a study that said plants are sentient and can experience fear and love. Given the frequency with which my rose bushes attack me, I’d have to agree with that.

  38. Some plants are just vicious by nature.
    I’ve been gradually getting rid of all the spiky succulents that PBW shoved into the ground. They are popular in the suburb because the soil is so bad & the ‘architectural’ plants will survive in the harsh conditions.
    I hate the spiky things, their sole purpose in life seems to be to impale the gardener’s eyeballs.
    I was hoping there’d be room in the skip for a few more of those but alas, no. They’ll just have to go in the green bin, one week at a time.

  39. Maybe they’re just trying to wrap you in their vicious thorny arms and give you a big hug?

  40. They must really love me, then. Every smurfing time I go near them! Bloody things.

  41. Maybe you can show your appreciation with a nice spray of Round Up?

  42. It didn’t work with the Triffids, so there’s no hope of it working with my rose bushes – even if they did let me near enough to spray them.

  43. Maybe they’re hybridized with the Whomping Willow?

  44. Hehehehehe.
    I gave the nut grass a good whalloping with the super strength round up last week & it’s looking happier than if I’d dosed it with dynamic lifter.
    Mongrel stuff. I’ll have to get out there & dig up the nuts one by one with a screwdriver.

  45. Now we know how nut grass gets high.

  46. Mmmm…. nuts….

    I’ve been doing some reading on Google, and although I haven’t self-diagnosed yet, I’m finding a recurring theme that’s telling me to stay away from nuts. At first I panicked, thinking that I can never eat peanut M&M’s again, until I remembered that peanuts are technically a legume. At least, I’m hoping peanuts are a legume, because I’m not sure I want to live in a world with no peanut M&M’s.

  47. Catty I think the only reason you should avoid nuts & seeds would be the diverticulitis – all those pointy little edges will set up lots of nasty little pockets of inflammation in your bowel.
    Nuts are such a wonderful source of nutrition that I wouldn’t turn them away on a food sensitivity suspicion.The naturopathic way is to support the digestion first, and eliminate stuff as a last resort. If you’re going to ditch anything, get rid of the ciggies and the booze before you eliminate a food group. Those two will create more inflammation all over the place than anything else you could poke a stick at.
    If you want to test any suspect foods wait a few months longer until you’ve recovered from your surgery & then do a proper elimination diet with tests & challenges. If you do it now you won’t get a true reading, because you’re insides are still all over the place from the stress of the surgery.
    Once you start eliminating stuff it sets up a whole horrible dynamic of nutritional deficiencies so that then it’s the next thing, and the next thing, and the next thing.
    Ask Mrs. Damian, I think she’s been reduced to hot chips and vodka.
    The other thing is that I reckon all the adrenalin in your system is what’s provoking your symptoms, and it’s just going to take time for it all to settle down.

  48. And you can always roll smooth peanut butter into balls and coat it with chocolate.

    This recipe might cheer you up – a co-worker makes redskin fudge and musk stick fudge, among others – in her slow cooker! Bag of confectionery of your choice, condensed milk and I think 400g of white chocolate. So delicious – and no nuts.

  49. That sounds wonderful, Madam. How long does she cook it for?

  50. It is delightful. There was a war over the last piece, when I brought some home. I’ll find out for you.

  51. Thank you. So, who won the war?

    • I did!

      500g white chocolate 2 packets of musk sticks, teaspoon of vanilla, tin of condensed milk. break up the chocolate and musk sticks. put everything in slow cooker on high NO LID. stirring every so often until its all melted together. musk sticks seem to take a little while to melt down.

      • You could probably smash up the musk sticks in a plastic bag with a rolling pin, same as you do to make crunchy biscuit bases for condensed milk cheesecakes.

  52. That sounds wonderful! You wouldn’t think musk and vanilla would go together, but I’m keen to try it.

  53. You really should try it. It’s divine. And the texture is exquisite. Do you make normal fudge in a slow cooker?

  54. I suppose the slow cooker process would fix the problem of sugar bubbling up the sides of the pot, and you wouldn’t need to brush the sides back with a wet brush – they say it only takes one grain of sugar to ruin (crystalise) a batch of fudge. Very inventive of them, whoever worked that one out.

  55. Oh, is that what makes it grainy? I suppose one crystal encourages others to form. Crystals like to flock together.

  56. Yes, apparently it’s the curse of the competitive fudge cooks at the agricultural shows.

  57. I like crystallised fudge. When I was a youngun, I would buy little bags of rock-hard chocolate fudge from school fetes, and it was all crystally but tongue-melty at the same time. Like chocolate flavoured sugar cubes. Mmmmm…..

  58. Speaking of melting sugar cubes, I’d quite like a champagne cocktail.

  59. The breakfast of champions.

  60. Brr, it’s too cold for that. What I want is soup. I might go down the local sushi haunt later on & get some miso.
    The first thing I’ll be doing when this gas cooktop gets installed is chicken stock, so I can make a great batch of winter soups.
    Huzzah for plumbers, I think ours will be here for most of the day.

  61. Mine too, tomorrow. Benchtops might also be involved.

  62. Not Morgana’s plumber, I hope. That might upset the kittehs.

  63. And startle the horses.

  64. At first glance I thought that said ‘hoses’.

  65. Boom tish!

  66. Hehehehehe
    go Catty!

  67. #faketradie

  68. I’m so confused now it turns out the fake tradie is a real tradie. I guess he’s a real tradie, but not a real actor.

  69. I’d bet pounds to peanuts he’s not a real landlord.

  70. He probably is, given that the first thing they got upset about was the $7000 watch he was sporting on his wrist. Lots of our tradies have been landlords and investors.
    When you think what they charge, it’s hardly surprising that if they’re smart, and they get vasectomies early on to stop their finances bleeding out, they’d build up a property portfolio.

  71. If they’re smart…. so, not NTO’s tradies, then?

  72. If ever anyone earned the title #faketradie, it’s one of her minions.
    Nat (girlclumsy Nat) was grumbling about the uproar in her neighbourhood thanks to the fooooobaawl last night & I was happy to report that we had the customary blanket of silence covering the neighbourhood.
    I’m still not quite used to it.
    We get the occasional yippy session from the poodle cross next door, if she’s passed out on chardonay & she turns it loose in the yard, but for the most it’s just blissful, blissful silence.
    I couldn’t live in the city again. Ever. Urgh.

  73. Between three years solid tinnitus and several years of living next to an arterial road, I’ve forgotten what silence sounds like.

  74. But on the upside, at least you never get spooked by how quiet it is.

  75. Yep. For a parent, silence is the most nerve-racking thing of all.

  76. We’ve now got two guinea pigs: Chestnut and Truffle. A few dozen fish, two cats, two guinea pigs and one dog. Maybe I should open a petting zoo?

    • that or you could just give them Gerald Durrell’s ‘my family & other animals’ to read, and let that be a template for how they live their lives.

  77. Let the popcorning commence! Weeeeek weeeeek weeeeeek!

  78. Do you give yours Ribena once a week? The breeder said they tend to be Vitamin C deficient.

  79. I hadn’t heard that one. What, do you just put Ribena in their water?

  80. Yup. Same dilution as you would give a child, she reckons.

  81. Does Ribena make their teeth fall out, like it does with human children?

  82. Ah, so that’s where I went wrong.

  83. I’m sure it’s not the cake.
    (says she, eating leftover tea cake for breakfast)

  84. I did wonder about the effect on their little fangs, until I remembered they’re not likely to live long enough for tooth decay to become an issue.

  85. Tea cake? Where? Bring it on!

  86. I was taken to High Tea at Silva Spoon yesterday, as a delayed birthday treat, There was tea cake, but it’s all gone. Would you like a cup of Jasmine Dragon Pearl tea instead?

  87. OMG look at that cake gallery – do they use real roses for the garnish, MM?
    Actually a cup of their masala chai would be just the thing, right now.
    6C…I hope to Dog this isn’t a baconing weekend.

  88. Mmmm… bacon cake… that should keep me going until it warms up to 6º.

  89. There was a pork bun & dim sum cart at the Mudgeeraba show that was so good that we went back for seconds. If I’d had my wits about me, I’d have asked him where he normally hangs out on weekends.
    I suppose I can always ask the show society people.

  90. When do you get your blue ribbon? More importantly, when do you get your jellies back so we can eat them?

    • I’m off down there now. They don’t give perishables back to you, and the leftover jellies plus the barm brack I baked last night have gone off on the train to work with The Bloke. I’m in baking frenzy mode & while I’m waiting for our kitchen tiles to arrive this arvo, I want to cook something else.
      Such bliss to have a proper oven again.

  91. Yes, when? And also – mmmm … pork buns.

    Yes, they do use real roses. And little silver spoons with crystals on the ends. I had the Creme Brulee Spiced Chai, it was divine.

  92. That sounds gooey and marvellous, Madam. Can I lick the pretty spoon?

  93. Why not? I saw several ladies licking the icing off their roses.

  94. I’ve licked icing off worse.

  95. I’ve licked worse things off worse.

  96. You win.

  97. I’d comment, but I’m busy licking my trophy.

  98. Liiiiiiiiiiiick!

  99. Why do they call licorice by that name? You don’t really lick it.

  100. Um, that should be my area of expertise, being I’m the potions queen.
    But I have NFI. The flower is very pretty, but the part that has the liquorice flavour & the medicinal properties (very good for sore throats) is the root.
    The Chinese herbalists add a little bit of it to every single herb mixture, it’s considered a universal tonic & it seems to make the other ingredients work together better. Synergistic, they say.

  101. Those are gorgeous flowers. Like masses of orchids!

  102. I wonder how the flowers taste?

  103. That was the best bit about studying herbs – so many beautiful & exotic botanicals that we plunder for the medicine chest, and then reduce them down to stuffy anthraquinones & glycosides to shove in a pill somewhere.

  104. Foxgloves are lovely. And also deadly.

  105. I know, check out the wolfsbane (aconite).

  106. Speaking of deadly, have you all googled your street – or the address of a mortal enemy – on the Independence day/my street web site?
    I’m waiting for our tiles to arrive & as I was getting antsy, the Bloke told me to chill out by googling NTO’s address & watch her garden get blown to buckshot by the aliens.
    It’s very cool, I’ve just spent the last half hour blowing up blue chip properties on the shore around Burleigh & Fingal.
    Morgana, don’t you have some deadbeats you’d like to sic the aliens on?
    for best results, google the house to the right of the one you’d like to see transformed into a smouldering crater.

  107. Ooh, I’d like Wolfsbane on my bedroom walls.

    That’s a great idea. I’ll do it at work as I’m waiting for them to answer their damn mobiles.

  108. I never answer my mobile – there’s no point, as there’s no reception up here anyway. I just let it go voice to text & then I sms back in response. Promptly, mind. There is great peace to be had from being out of range.
    Hey, I just remembered the snow thing is back on in King George Square? Are you taking the kids?
    Catty of course will be able to take hers into the back yard for the arctic experience. I gather it’s still icy down there?

  109. Freezing. But I will warm up by running eBay errands for the Boss and helping MK fit three tonnes worth of crap into a one tonne bedroom.

  110. I don’t think we’ll be venturing South this holidays. TGP refuses to leave his pigs to their own devices.

    Catty, if you work out the 3T -> 1T solution, can you please share it with me? Asking for a friend.

  111. Good gracious, I have no idea how she managed to fit so much crap in there! Admittedly she’s making an effort to get rid of stuff, but I don’t understand her sorting process. She’s just thrown out a gold plated necklace and a sterling silver bracelet, but kept a papier maché snake she made in primary school. ???

  112. You never know when you might need a papier mache serpent.

  113. A child after my own heart, at last.

  114. She’ll probably get a job at Australia Zoo. Or Play School.

  115. Heh heh heh… I saw that episode of Play School where Noni Hazelhurst had her knickers on display. She never wore a dress on the show again.

  116. Knickers is a lovely word. I’m going to try to use it in a sentence today.

  117. That shouldn’t be hard. Preface it with ‘Don’t’ & follow it with ‘in a twist’ & you can use it everywhere from school drop off to the queue jumpers in the tea line.

  118. It is the glorious school holidays, so no drop-off. The children are going rabbit hunting today. I’m not sure whether to be more worried for them, or the rabbits.

    • Put me down for a fiver on Elf Boy returning home as an only child.

  119. Yay for holidays!

  120. How’s the bedroom clearout going. Catty?

  121. My nice Scottish neighbours are celebrating the school holidays by moving their kids out of the (sold!) family home. They haven’t bought a new place yet but are going to stay with her elderly parents while they hunt around for a suitable unit. I suspect they’ll be waiting until their post-uni students are well settled in their new establishments before they find a new home – in a location where the children aren’t likely to join them. They haven’t said as much, but from what the Bloke’s workmates tell us, it’s the only way you can get adult children to leave home.

  122. Sorry to hear you’ll be losing your nice Scottish neighbours, Q. Have you met the new owners yet?

  123. They’ve said they’ll stay in touch & will be interested to see what we make of the place so that’s sweet of them. Even sweeter was that she gave me the heads up on who the rest of the really good neighbours are & who to discretely avoid.
    The new owners are Canadians & are planning to dump all the stuff from their Melbourne household inside it & then go traipsing off to Canada until December, if the real estate agent can be believed. They are in their 60s so unless they come back via Africa with a passion for the Bongoes & an inclination to join the fire twirlers at Burleigh on Sunday evenings, I’m sure they’ll be just fine.

  124. Oh, you’ll be fine with Canadians. They seem to spend at least 6 months a year back in Canada, form my observations.

  125. Canadians are very sensible, no-nonsense people. I love them!

  126. They’re usually cheery, too. Like Canada is one big Sesame Street.

  127. COOKIE!!!

  128. Mmm … cookie.

  129. Isn’t the maple leaf the national emblem?
    What’s not to love about that?

  130. Well, the leaves are OK, but I prefer the syrup.

  131. The Boss makes amazing maple syrup muffins.

  132. Yummo!
    Does he make them on buttermilk, Catty?
    I saw something like that recently when I was skimming through a cookbook. I can’t think where.
    I’ve got Nigella out at the moment & she has a fab looking recipe for maple & pecan biscuits…they sound rather tempting, this chill winter’s morn.

  133. That does sound fabulous! A pot of coffee and a plate of those biscuits sounds like the perfect breakfast for voting day. Have at it, Q!

    No, the Boss doesn’t use buttermilk. The recipe was from a home reader one of the kidlets brought home from school many years ago, so it’s very basic. The simple things are often the best – I think that’s why I like Nigella’s recipes so much. They’re rarely pretentious.

  134. Election day must have affected my sensibilities, because I wound up making Anzacs.
    I haven’t made them for ages. I did the WW recipe, but I fished out my old Amy Schauer cookbook & she said add 2 teaspoons of ground ginger. Which I did, and they have turned out delicious.
    I also used the really dark brown sugar – which has the highest molasses content of the brown sugars – so somehow they are both crunchy and chewy.
    Still getting a feel for the new oven, so it’s good to start with staples, like Anzacs and tea cake & barm brack.

  135. Oh poop. I’m allergic to ginger. Tea cake sounds good though. What sort of tea do you use?

  136. Good grief Catty. If you keep this up, we’ll have to discount the veal.

  137. I’m here all week, folks.

  138. We’re going to need a lot more veal.

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