Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Bringing in the bacon.

On Saturday morning, Mr. H popped down to our local supermarket to get some bacon for brekkie. We had my parents staying down from New South Wales and a yummy hot breakfast/brunch was on the menu.

Mr. H returned with a confused smile on his face, and bacon in hand. I asked him what the look was for.

Whilst standing at the deli of the supermarket, waiting for the bacon to be wrapped, he noticed another sign on the bacon stating "This bacon was made from Australian and imported products." What the???? My imagination ran wild and I had a vision of someone in an abattoir somewhere joining the forequarters of an Aussie pig to the hindquarters of a Mexican pig (yes Mexico is one of the world's largest pig producers along with the U.S, Canada and Denmark).

May be Miss Piggy has been Down Under peddling her wares?

The saucy swine!

Mr. H questioned the deli girl who was just as perplexed. The best explanation she could offer was that they had no idea where the piggy wig came from, and the little statement was to cover their bottoms.

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Conditional Love

I'm sitting here at the computer, catching up on some of my favourite blogs, with The Bear hanging over my shoulders.

The Bear: "Mum, can I please play the Barbie games?"
Me: "No darling. It's a lovely day. We're going outside."
The Bear: "Awww, please Mama?"
Me: "No darling."
The Bear: " If you let me, I'll still love you."
Me (trying not to laugh): "You'll love me anyway."
The Bear: "No I won't."
Me: "Well I still love you."
The Bear: "Oh dear."

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Listography - Last week? Can barely remember this week!

Kate Takes 5 wants to know what we did last week. So I am going to take her lazy lead and show you in pictures.

I didn't achieve much last week as my brother and his partner had a baby girl which made me a first time aunty. Well, on my side of the family. I'm already Aunty Jeans three times over on Mr. H's side. But it's so exciting when it's your own family. So off we went up to New South Wales to have a cuddle. So here's how my week went.

1. Continued with my Spring Challenge with my personal trainer. There was a lot of tummy work.

2. Baked some biscotti .......

.......... and cooked spaghetti bolognaise.

3. Met my beautiful brand new niece.

4. Spent seven hours driving to and from the gorgeous little bundle.

5. Worked all weekend.

Pop over to Kate's to see what everyone else got up to.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Bath Time!

I have hot water! Endless hot water. Yay!!!!!!

The day before we moved back into our house, our brand new, instant gas hot water system decided not to function. "What the #@*??? Urgent phone calls to the company were made, they sent out a service man (a plumber) that afternoon who was unable to fix it there and then. He rigged up a temporary electric system and said he would be back in a week with parts. He came back and still could not fix the problem. So he ordered a replacement unit (what he should have done in the first place). What he didn't make clear was whether he was requesting the current model or the one down from that. Attempts to contact him, by myself, Mr. H and the company, were futile. He didn't return any of our calls or emails. The girl I was speaking to at the company was terrific. She was patient, listened to my venting, persistent, and consulted management when necessary. Long and the short of it, she ordered the replacement unit, arranged for a different, more reliable plumber to come and install it, all the while keeping in constant contact via email.

So, for three and a half weeks, we have been putting up with a set-up that only holds fifty litres of water, and heats up on a needs basis. That is, The Squeeze and The Bear bath in three inches of water. We then wait an hour for the water to reheat before Mr. H has a shower, and then another hour before I have a shower. If I rushed, I could just have enough hot water to wash my hair. Not to mention timing washing the dishes so we don't buck the bath/shower system. Terrible isn't it? Oh the drama!

Until today. I have just been very un-waterwise and had the longest shower ever. Heaven! Looking like a raisin never felt so good. And my bossy, bolshy, pushiness has paid off. Actually, I have been quite patient and diplomatic which has even surprised Mr. H. He is quite proud of me.

Sunday, 21 August 2011

Silent Sunday

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"Here comes the sun, di di doo da"

It's Sunday morning, and I have been happily folding laundry while the rest of my family sleep in. I can imagine there are a lot of puzzled faces out there so let me explain.

First, yes I have trained The Squeeze and The Bear well and they sleep in on the weekend, most of the time. If only they would do this on the weekends I don't work. But then, if they did, I would have Mr. H nudging me instead!

Explanation number two: it is my weekend on deck at the hospital. Hence me being awake and out of bed early on a Sunday morning. I could be out of bed early on any Sunday morning just so Mr. H would LEAVE ME ALONE! (Menace.)

Finally, it's sunny!! Not foggy, damp and chilly. Well, it's still a bit chilly but I managed to get four loads of washing done yesterday, and hang it out in the sun to dry. And it dried! Most of it, anyway but that's because Mr. H forgot to bring his work clothes in off the line - his fault. At least I'll be able to answer "yes" when he asks tonight "Have I got any clean work clothes for tomorrow?" I just can't guarantee they'll be dry. We have the same conversation almost every Sunday night.

Mr. H: "Have I got any clean work clothes for tomorrow?"
Me: "I don't know, have you?"
Mr. H: "Well have you washed any because I'm out of clean work clothes."
Me: "How am I meant to know you're out of clean work clothes if you don't tell me?"
Mr. H: "Because,... coz,... you just should. It's your job"
Me: "Hmmmm, is that so?"

Back to my sunshine. I love it when the weather starts to warm up, and not just because the flowers are blooming, and the trees are blossoming, and the air smells like freshly mowed grass. It's also because my house can cease to look like a Chinese laundry and go back to looking like a home that has been recently renovated. Ahhhhhh.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

The Gallery: Black and White

I'm very excited to be joining The Gallery at Sticky Fingers this week. This little amateur photographer has been inspired by all the other photos posted by fellow bloggers, and not just from this week.

I love the theme for this week because there is a certain nostalgia created when looking at old black and white pics. So I have chosen some oldies to share with you.

I think this was taken in the late 1920s. That's my maternal grand-mother in the pram, "Winkie" with her mother, my great-grand-mother "Gran" standing behind her (check out the hair!) And how about all those cloche hats. Aren't they fabulous! I think the other women are various aunts and rellies.

This is Gran in her younger years as a nurse.

One of my favourites - Mum and I.

And lastly, something a little more recent. In a time before babies, when Mr. H and I had time to do things like go fly-fishing (one thing I am keen to get back into this summer).

Pop over to Sticky Fingers and have a look at all the other fantastic entries.

Monday, 15 August 2011

Listography: Guilty Pleasures

Oooo Kate Takes 5 is challenging us again this week to open up and bare all. Guilty pleasures, I have a few of those. But let's face it, don't we all deserve to indulge ourselves periodically? I need to indulge myself in certain pleasureables, otherwise I become quite unpleasureable! So let me pleasure you by sharing my guilty pleasures.

1. Chocolate. Dark chocolate to be specific. I have been a chocoholic since I can remember. I once vowed to myself on New Year that I would go twelve months without chocolate (and anything chocolate flavoured) just so I could prove to myself I could do it. I did it. I didn't enjoy it but I did it.

2. Shoes. I LOVE gorgeous, pretty shoes, new or vintage. I don't own a ridiculous amount of pairs of shoes, but when I buy a pair, it's a splurge. Earlier this year, a friend of mine asked me if I could help her list some vintage shoes on Ebay.

Friend: "I have these red, Ferragamo wedges that used to belong to my grand-mother. I thought I'd sell them on Ebay."
Me: "What size?"
Friend: "Seven."
A look of absolute excitement takes over my face, and I check my balance by holding onto Friend's arm.
Me: "Bugger Ebay, I'll buy them from you."
Friend: "Oh no, I'll give them to you. You don't have to buy them from me."
Again, I recheck my balance. But I try to insist on some sort of payment.
Me: "Really, I'll pay you for them. You were going to sell them on Ebay. I don't want to ruin that."
Friend: "No, seriously, you can have them. I insist.
Me: "Thank you sooooo much!"
I then skip off with glee. A few days later, friend gives me said shoes. They fit perfectly and they are gorgeous. I give Friend a tiger print, high heeled shoe made entirely of chocolate!

3. Sleep. I mentioned in last week's Listography that I don't handle tiredness very well, so any chance to stay in bed a wee longer is a treat.

4. Having the house completely to myself for any number of hours. I do love Mr. H, The Squeeze, and The Bear, but ahhhhh, a few moments peace is always bliss. I think you would all agree?

5. This last one is a bit deep and may sound a bit egotistical. Loving myself, and feeling worthy and deserving of all I am and have, and all I aspire to be. It was a long journey to achieve this sense of security and conviction, so I own it and I flaunt it with glee.

Whatever your guilty pleasures are, own them. You deserve them, guilt free. Pop over to Kate Takes 5 to indulge in other people's guilty pleasures.

Thursday, 11 August 2011

And now, a Frock It!

No, I am not obsessed with the new Miss Universe Australia 2011. I know I have featured Miss Biggs in a previous Frock It, but I couldn't help but share with you the wardrobe Scherri-Lee (I still can't get over the spelling) will be taking to the finals of Miss Universe in September.

The evening gown has created a bit of a stir because, apparently you can see Miss Biggs' bottom cheeks, and some think the dress is too revealing. Unfortunately, this photo doesn't allow us to decide for ourselves.

And the Australian National Costume is......

Not too sure about this. She looks like a tropical bird. What do you think?

Before and After Pics

The hallway before...

...and after. The third rug is where the bathroom was.

The loungeroom before...

...and after.



Before the wall is knocked out,...

...and after, with new window (am yet to make the blinds).

Old bathroom

Deep set shower in which we used to bath the girls in.

New bathroom! (Lamp there because pics were taken before lighting was hooked up.)

Lovely big bath,..

..and lovely big shower.

We moved the laundry to the shed and turned it into a.....

...study! I can look out into my garden from here.

Old kitchen.

The wall on the right is the one we knocked out. Noice lino wasn't it?

New kitchen!

Isn't it just gorgeous! And see, I have a pantry. (Where the fridge & dishwasher is, is where the fireplace was in the old kitchen.)

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Salut The White Mouse

I would like to take a moment to pay homage to Nancy Wake who died on Monday morning.

What an extraordinary, remarkable woman. Ever since I read her biography when it was first released in 2002, she has inspired me in so many ways. My favourite story that stuck in my mind is how she rode a bicycle just over four hundred kilometres, in seventy-two hours, through German road blocks, and over mountains to arrange a new radio. Her inner thighs were rubbed raw. She never got on a bike again.

What a pity it took the Australian Government so long to recognise her valour. And, how gracious and lady-like of her to accept her medal when it was finally bestowed upon her.

If I was given the opportunity to host a dinner party for anyone I chose, Nancy Wake would have been the first guest I would have invited.

What a treasure we have lost.

Monday, 8 August 2011

Listography - Things I'd change about myself

This week's listography is Things I'd change about myself, courtesy of Kate Takes 5. Now Kate has stipulated that this doesn't mean our looks. Well, that's good because I wouldn't change anything there. HA - just kidding! No, Kate is talking about our characteristics. Alright then, moment of truth and honesty.

1. I wish I could handle hangovers better. It doesn't take much for me to get drunk. Two wines and I'm tipsy, three and weeeeeeee! And no matter how much water I drink before stumbling into bed, by morning, OMG. Seriously, I think I'm dying every time. Ask Mr. H. He'll tell you how bad I am. I can't get my hands on as many painkillers to attempt to be rid of it quick enough. I have to stay in bed and lie very, very still and hope I can sleep it off.

2. I don't handle tiredness very well either. Not a good characteristic when you work night duty. I become irritable, intolerant and emotional. I try really hard not to be but I don't always prevail.

3. I wish I didn't interupt. I really became aware of how much I did this when I met Mr. H. I come from a family where we talk over the top of each other, and as a result we aren't always very good listeners. However, Mr. H assures me that I much better at not interupting compared to how I was.

4. Think before I open my mouth. I always have good intention behind everything I say, but occasionally my timing and my delivery give the recipient a different perception.

5. Finally, I need to learn to finish projects. Mr. H calls me 'Harry Half Job'. I have a habit of starting something and not finishing it. It seems I get side tracked easily. I started digging up the front lawn for a bigger garden two months ago and I still haven't finished. It will only take me an hour to finish the job but other stuff gets in the way of me doing it (like renovating the house.) It's on the 'to-do' list for next week, weather permitting.

So there you have it. There are other characteristics that need improvement (there always are) but I think I need a glass of wine or two before I share those with you, and frankly, I don't think the hangover's worth it!

Friday, 5 August 2011

Jelly Legs

I can't feel my legs. I know they're there, but they seem to disappear every time I attempt to stand up. This is a bugger, really because the last piece of coconut cake with pretty pink icing sitting on its stand in the kitchen is beckoning me and I will have to stand up to get to it. Torture!

As I have mentioned in previous posts, I enlisted the help of a personal trainer to lose weight. To date, I have lost 15kg since June last year. Yay me! Anyway, my PT has inflicted a nine week challenge on all her clients willing to participate. I said yes and I'm beginning to wonder why, and it's only the end of week one. Jelly legs.

So here are the specifics of the "Swing into Shape Nine Week Challenge."

1. I have to set myself two personal goals, and I have to reach or achieve my goals to be eligible for a prize.

2. My weight and measurements are recorded initially, week five, and week nine.

3. I have to choose three physical challenges to participate in. I am scored on these challenges at the beginning of the challenge, and then again at the end. Now get this, my PT will give me homework cards so I can strengthen and practice my challenges. And here I thought I would be able to collapse at home with exhaustion after each training session, and indulge in some chocolate.

These are the challenges I chose: Wall sit (timed) with a fit ball, 500m row (timed), and the Core Blimey Challenge - 50 sit ups, 50 Seated Russian Twists, 50 Elbow to Knee crunches (timed). I know, I can hear you say "Are you nuts??!!" Apparently, yes. But hopefully I will shift these last, stubborn five kilos. The greatest improvement margin wins a prize. The other prizes are for greatest weight loss and greatest centimetre loss.

At the end of the challenge, our PT is taking us all to Circus Oz Spectacular for a three hour circus training session. I've always wanted to be a clown (Mr. H has just informed me I already am one. Suppose it takes one to know one.) Plate spinning could look good on a resume. They're going to have to put chocolate at the end of the tightrope if they want me to walk it.

I know there will be dark days ahead, but I hope the cyper-cheersquad will egg me on. Now, where's that cake? Come on legs, you can do it.

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Home Sweet Ghostly Home

We are back home, and I am back in the land of blogging living! I've missed you too.

Our house looks beautiful, and it is so lovely to be home. I keep wandering aimlessly around the house, feeling very proud at our achievement. And, I can't help but feel smug at having such a brilliant husband. He is so clever! Mind you, I'm not so bad either. Modest aren't I? Over the last four weeks I have mastered the cordless drill, I can cornice, sand, insulate, assemble a kitchen, oil floorboards, paint windows with enamel paint (bugger of a job but I'm quite good at it), and I have discovered I am stronger than I (and Mr. H) thought. My nail hammering is improving, as too is my ability to use a roller. The vision we had for our house, and then seeing the end result has exceeded our expectations, and Mr. H has conceded that he and I make a good team.

And we're warm! What a difference insulating your house makes. No chills or draughty breezes, except when our ghost is busy. Yes, we have a ghost. I'm not sure of her name, either Joyce or Maisie. She's not intrusive like rearranging things. She seems to come and go, and she wears a nightie. I haven't established the history of the house prior to the previous owner to us. All I know that there used to be a lady called Maisie who lived here, and I think she was the original owner. I sense there was some feelings of animosity between the previous owner, Merle, and Joyce/Maisie (I hope her name is Maisie). She seems to like us though, and I get the feeling she likes what we have done to the house. Why wouldn't she?

I have been having fun decorating the house and arranging our bits and bobs. Today, I will be testing my oven's capabilities and baking for a "Show Off" morning tea for Wednesday. Please come, but if you are otherwise engaged, stay tuned for some 'before and after' pics.
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