Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Procrastinating. Who? Me?

Little Boozle 2011

It seems a long while ago since I posted a giveaway.
It seems a fair while ago that I was thinking about how to find a winner.

Little Boozle 2011

It was a fair while ago.
Spring's blossom has arrived
and I got distracted.

I think that every person who entered
probably knows me well enough to know that 
1 I get easily distracted
and that
2  I am prone to procrastination.

Little Boozle 2011
(Seamless Kimono sweater- Jacki Kelly)

So, yes, I might have gotten distracted by knitting, sunny days, Spring cleaning
(well, cleaning might be a wee bit of an exaggeration. Spring pottering perhaps)

Little Boozle 2011

I might have thought every day
that I really should get on with that giveaway draw.

Little Boozle 2011

I didn't get any positive feedback on the toilet paper idea.

(I might now take the time to explain that the idea was,
given that my daughter might use 1 sheet of toilet paper per visit
or she might use 57...
who would know?...not me...
whichever number was left on the roll
would have been the winner.
It wasn't really that icky a concept)

But there was some interest in the lemon idea.

Little Boozle 2011

So now we have a weird lemon tree covered in numbered lemons.

This could take a while
so hang in there.

It is up to the girls now.
Ma Nature might well end up being the power of fate
but my money is on the 4 year old who is likely to run in
with an armful of numbered lemons
saying "mummy, mummy, guess what? We have grown some lemons with numbers on them
so I picked every single one.
No. I don't know which one I picked first."

Little Boozle 2011

So sit back; relax;
crack open a beer/wine/cooler/ iced coffee whatever is your nectar of choice in the warmer weather;
read that book, watch the footy finals (then the cricket), have a snooze;
I'll wake you when there is news...
(They should start dropping in an Adelaide heat wave in February 2012
worse case scenario...)

Monday, August 29, 2011

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Best Ever carrot cake icing recipe.

Little Boozle 2011

I haven't posted a recipe for yonks
but this icing is the best.

Oh, and if you feel the need to put it on cake,
here is the recipe for that too.

(It is a seriously easy and fast cake.
The longest part is the time it takes to grate the carrot)

Carrot cake icing:

90g cream cheese
60g butter, softened
2+ teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 and 1/2 cups sifted icing sugar

Mix first 3 together till smooth then gradually add icing sugar.
Eat with a spoon or put on a cake if you care to.


Carrot cake:

1 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarb of soda
1/2 teaspoon mixed spice
1/2 teaspooon ground cinnamon
1/2 cup castor sugar
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 and 1/2 cups grated carrots
+- 1/3 cup sultanas

Sift flour, baking powder, soda and spices into a bowl.
Add sugar, eggs and oil and mix well.
Stir in carrot (+- sultanas)
Spoon into paper lined loaf tin
Cook at 160 degrees Celius.
Recipe says 1 hour and 10 minutes but in a loaf tin in my oven it takes about 40 minutes till
the skewer comes out clean.
Cool on rack and ice.

Gotta love a good one bowl recipe.

Friday, August 26, 2011

This week...26th August, 2011

....rainbow shoelaces made me smile.

Little Boozle 2011

...I got distracted by pretty yarn.

Little Boozle 2011

...I finished knitting some pretty yarn.

Little Boozle 2011
(Cassis cardigan- Thea Colman)

...and wore my new cardi with my newly "naturally darkest brown" hair.

...for the first time ever, an Australian Prime Minister took the time
to meet and listen to advocates for same-sex marriage.
Let's hope this is the start of political reform when it comes to
the law regarding gay marriage.

...I learnt that ghost ants are very cool
because they have transparent abdomens
and you can see what they have eaten.
(geekologie.com)

(todayilearned.co.uk)

...I also thought how lucky it was that humans weren't the same
because the full visual of a gut full of beer, junk food and coffee might not be anywhere near as cool.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Careful. He (or she) might hear you.


(retrolife.typepad.com)

If you were asked where our young children are learning unrealistic and negative body image ideas,
what would you say?

I would immediately jump to the overwhelming and (mostly negative) impact of the media.

Then I would consider influence from school, classmates with older siblings or perhaps with parents
showing their kids different values to what I am trying to teach mine.

Then I would spout forth about how much consideration I give to my kids' self esteem at home.
That I wont let them put themselves down.
That I don't encourage emphasis being placed on external beauty
over that ideal of inner beauty.
That they don't see a mother standing at the mirror 30 minutes each morning,
preening and primping and refusing to leave the house without full makeup in place.

Today I learnt that apparently 97% of Australian women
will comment negatively about their body every single day.

That is a lot of women.

Though I am not happy with my body,
I would have said that I was in that 3% who don't air their body grievances on a daily basis.
But I am hesitating and thinking that I might be one of those 97%
if I really stop and think about it.
Then I start to think about my children hearing such self-deprecating remarks on a daily basis.

I am just going to shuffle down off my moral podium for a while
and think about it.

Are you in that 97%
or those 3 in a hundred who either don't have anything negative to say about their body
or at least keep it to themselves?

Monday, August 22, 2011

Thinking.

Little Boozle 2011
While the Spring-iest of non-Spring day
offers forth the newest of blossoms
and weeniest of baby caterpillars
and freshly structurally-approved bird's nests,

Little Boozle 2011

I am contemplating the best way...
no, wait... make that the funnest  (that isn't even a word, is it?)

Little Boozle 2011

or possibly slowest

Little Boozle 2011

or even the most likely to go horribly wrong

Little Boozle 2011

 way to draw my giveaway.

It's not too late to enter
and, at the going rate,
I am not sure when I will get around to drawing the winner
without making a great big mess.

Friday, August 19, 2011

This week...19th August, 2011

Little Boozle 2011

...I think that the Scouts really need to skip the "Buddy"  and "Sharing and Caring" badges
and go straight to the "I can sew my own badges on my Scout shirt" one.



(guardian.co.uk)

...We said goodbye to Bob and Thomas
(the builder and the train respectively)
Too babyish for the older boys
and not compatible with princesses and fairies and all things pink
says the girl of the family.
I am sorry but they are dead to us now.
We wish them well in their futures.
They will be sadly missed.

..I have to admit myself that
there are 2 things that never fail to make me laugh.
The first is if a bloke takes a hit to the goolies
(that doesn't mean that I am not sympathetic to the guys though.
But they can't seem to understand that a woman doubled over laughing
can also feel sorry for them in their time of need)
The other is inappropriate laughter from professionals.
(think newsreaders, actors,...)
Makes me laugh too. Every time.

Little Boozle 2011

...I did some sewing.

A lovely summery poplin, lots of care taken, plenty of pressing, even some hand sewing.
I felt like I was learning to sew again,
taking my time,
doing everything by the book;
no cutting corners.
It was unusual for me yet oddly satisfying.

...I found out that hair dye labelled
 "naturally darkest brown; will cover even the most stubborn of grey hairs"
actually means " so close to black it isn't funny but we'll label it naturally dark brown
'cause that's the colour you think that you are buying;
oh, and your grey hairs must just be super-stubborn, that's all.
We never promised that we'd cover super-stubborn grey hairs so just suck it up, princess"

...I had a bit of a niggly throat and a slight cough
and a touch of a headache.
It was one seriously bad case of man-flu.
(redbubble.com)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

I wish that I knew the answer.

I like my blog to generally be a place of light-hearted fun,
maybe some inspiration of the crafting variety
and perhaps something here and there to make you think.

But I woke up this morning to another child's death from a dog attack.

This morning, as a mother to a 4 year old daughter,
not as a vet,
 not as an educated person having a rational thought process,
I said "I wish someone would ban those bloody pit-bulls"

My husband,
as a vet,
as an educated person having a considered opinion,
perhaps not speaking as the father of a 4 year old daughter,
said that is not the solution.

I have seen pit bulls during my career as a vet.
At least two.
Neither were anything more than friendly, non-threatening dogs.

I have been threatened at work by any individual of any breed that you could name...
Beagles, Labradors, Chihuahuas, Blue Heelers, Dobermans,
Staffordshire Bull Terriers, Poodles, cross breeds, Daschunds, White Highland Whites, Dalmations,
Cocker Spaniels.
Get the idea?

I could go on and on.
You name a breed
and you can find someone, somewhere, who has come across a nasty individual.

We are the owners of our second Staffordshire bull terrier.
We constantly defend our breed choice to people who consider Staffies to be dangerous dogs.
Neither our children nor anyone else has ever been threatened by her.

But my comment as a vet to an owner was always that
no individual dog can or should ever be trusted completely.

It doesn't matter what their track record is.
There could be some provocation that could make a dog hurt a person,
either accidently or on purpose.
You can find reports that state the higher incidence of some breeds' involvement in attacks.
While I believe this to be true,
then the question comes- do we ban all these breeds?
Do we get rid of German Shepherds? Rottweilers? Heelers? Bull terriers?
Where is the cut off point?
Where do you draw the line in the sand?
How many (reported) attacks need to occur before a breed is considered
inappropriate for location around people, around families?

And what consolation is it to you if you or one of your family members
are attacked by a dog that isn't considered a dangerous breed?

If you want to own a dog, be responsible.
Have common sense, chose appropriate breeds for your family and living situation,
desex and train your dog,
be aware and be proactive if you have problems.

Fighting dogs were bred to fight other dogs.
As good as our Staffy is with people,
we know that she doesn't get along with other dogs
so we never put her or ourselves in the situation where that is a problem.

Make dog owners aware of the consequences to them, the owners,
as a result of their dogs' actions and the decisions that they make as an owner.
Make them face the law.
Hold them accountable for their decision to own that animal.
Thinking about manslaughter charges might make ownership of that cool but dangerous dog breed
not quite so attractive.

No-one could tell the mother or family of that little girl a single thing right now
that could offer any consolation.
Even if that dog owner did everything he or she was asked to do,
it didn't protect her child.
Negligent dog owner or not, she has lost her child.


So the debate has started yet again about dangerous dog breeds
and responsible dog ownership.
As a mum or a vet or a person debating the issue,
I don't know what the right answer is
because I know how I would be feeling if my family
was threatened or hurt by one of these dogs
that shouldn't be anything but locked up securely on their property in the first place.
So I find myself asking if it should be there at all.

Someone else's happy space.

That lady in the supermarket this morning, to be precise.


(centrumkukow.com)

I looked up from selecting my gourmet tomatoes
to see a lady smiling brightly at other customers in the supermarket.
My heart immediately lifted,
as it tends to do in the face of a smile.

I had the thought that I often do.
That this world would be so much nicer
if people could make eye contact, smile and say g'day to people
just because.
Not frown at them.
Not look away.
Not bump you, hurrying past to that place that they need to get to so quickly
so that they can run on to the next.

I left the fruit and veg section with a smile on my face too.

Then, to be honest, it got kind of weird.

I passed the lady again in the dairy aisle.
Right where she was bestowing her magnificant smile on the cheeses.

Then again in the bread section where her beaming face was greeting the crumpets.

Apparently the light fittings deserved a big, bright toothy grin.

Oooookaaaayyyyyy.

This was one happy lady.

Granted, she might have had tetanus and it was beyond her control.
Or maybe someone slipped some happy pills in her morning cuppa.

But apparently she was happy to smile at anything,
living or not,
pasteurised or baked to perfection.

I don't know what it was.
But I am hoping that she was in her happy place.

And you know something?
If I hadn't run into her repeatedly and seen her imitation of Jack Nicholson in The Shining,
she would have made my day a better one.

So I expect that she is overall having a positive effect on the world.

There are probably only a handful of us that will be having nightmares...

Monday, August 15, 2011

100.


(guardian.co.uk)

Followers, that is.

Now how did that happen?

Gradually, over the past couple of years
I have attracted 100 people who apparently want to read what I say
or read about what I am doing.

Go figure.

I will admit that #100 was a ring-in.
Mr Boozle has steered clear of my blog
as I have apparently made him feel unwelcome
but his resolve has waned.
Mainly because he knows that he gets mentioned now and then
and I reckon that he wants to be able to complain to the editor as necessary
or initiate a defamation lawsuit.
So, quickly, before I lose any of those 100 followers
(as happens along the bloggy yellow brick road now and then)
I am having a giveaway.

You don't have to be a follower of my blog to enter.
But if you are here because you have googled
"freebie" or "competition" or "giveaway" or "meat tray",
then go away now.

Don't comment because you won't win.
If I don't recognise you
or you aren't an established follower
or have a blog,
then sod off.
My most frequently hit blog post was a giveaway one
(though Elle Macpherson is giving it a run for its money.
I do have a little giggle at people stalking Elle who end up at my blog post)
It was the end of my idealistic beliefs (= naivety) to find that people out there just
stalk the giveaways.

If you are a regular reader or a quiet follower,

feel free to say "hi".

I will post out something to the winner depending on their interests and tastes.

How to win?

Leave a comment telling me your qualifications...
For example,
"I have followed your blog for ever. I too covet gorgeous fabric.
Yes, coffee makes the world go round.
Geeze, your cats suck.
I also adore Audrey Hepburn and John Barrowman"
would definately get you an entry.

However "I have no idea who you are but I am a political fanatic from Kyrgystan
who would love to discuss the health merits of tofu with you once
I enter the 2678 competitions that I found by googling giveaway today"
will have me hitting that "delete" button right after I hit the "block" one.

Just show me that you know something about me or my blog.
(Preferably something nice but I promise I wont lick your prize before I post it
if you win after a critical comment)

I will post anywhere
and will pick a winner randomly
sometime in the near future.

Oh, and Mr Boozle, you can't enter.

PS Thank you, 100 fabulous people. I appreciate the time you take
to be part of my world.


Sunday, August 14, 2011

Raising a nation of wimpy kids.


(itsbitingme.tumblr.com)

Vegemite single-handedly raised us and, until now, our children to be tough,
able to tolerate a slathering of black, tarry, salty yeast extract
on their morning toast.


(flickr.com)

Vegemite Cheesymite is making our kids wooses,
no longer able to tolerate that great Australian delicacy,
now an affront to their delicate taste buds.

Fair dinkum.
Where will it end?

Next thing we know,
they will be wanting to put real meat in the great Australian meat pie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

This week...12th August, 2011

...I put down my knitting and turned on my sewing machine with a serious game plan (or two)
for the first time in yonks.

Little Boozle 2011
Style Arc Twiggy dress

(...I decided that a smile might work better in a photo
but ugh, it was glary and husband-photographer was trying to be husband-talk on the phone-I can't multitask-photographer and it all just got too hard)

...we had to decide if it was appropriate to explain the whole "Uranus" double entendre
to our 8 year old bookworm son who is apparently reading books that might be a little old for him.

(getprice.com.au)
...I was distressed by the thought of how easy it is for anarchy to take hold
and found myself trying to imagine it happening here, in my street, in my city,
...but I couldn't.

(iuhuru.com)
...I decided that "a parenting tool" is actually another name for a husband
who inadvertently undermines my disciplinary action by eating the object
which was the source of the disciplinary action.

...I chose to consider soursob less of a noxious weed
and more of a beautiful flower
when presented to me by my youngest to "make me happy".

(australian-insects.com)

...I decided that this body was not put on this earth to do Pilates.

(dherbs.com)

But given that I thought the same thing about Zumba two years ago
but have now achieved some level of competance,
I might give it another week before I
(or more accurately my abdominal muscles)
 send up the white flag.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Home Truths

There are two types of people in this world.

(pigpentoparadise.blogpost.com)

You are either a person whose fridge is a shrine
 to the cover of Home Beautiful
or a person whose fridge is a shrine to your home.

Little Boozle 2011

Which one are you?

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Lighten up, ladies.


(adnews.com.au)

A letter to the entertainment guide of our local newspaper
was a letter of complaint regarding the Libra feminine hygeine pads advertisment.

The one where someone's boyfriend is acting out with pads as props.

You know the one, don't you?

(designculturelab.org)


Mrs Adams is annoyed as she considers this ad degrading to women.

I have assumed by the formality of her signature that Mrs Adams may well be of an older generation.
With that may well come a more conservative viewpoint.

But I still think, given the limited range of options that advertisers are willing to use when it comes to
menstruation ads, this is a beauty.

I think it is one of the most amusing ads on telly in a long time and I cack myself everytime it comes on.
I never get sick of it.

I think annoying is seeing another "let's pour some bright cleansing blue fluid
onto our products so that women (and probably men) everywhere won't be offended
by, hmmmm, let's say, red fluid" ad.

Mind you, I am a woman who wasn't too upset by the "beaver" ad.


(mockingwords.blogspot.com)

But I can see why some people would be.

I was more puzzled by the idea that Aussie woman would identify
with an American slang term for their pink bits.

Someone, somewhere, sitting in an office, obviously thought it was worth a try.
(Bet it wasn't a woman)

Annoying is when they try to sell chocolate-coated sugar as a healthy breakfast cereal for kids.

Degrading when a woman in a bikini is hovering over a bench to sell frying pans or power tools.

I can see why men might be interested in that power tool
but I am not going to run out and buy that eight litre anodised saucepan
because a leggy blond wearing red lipstick and not much else
pouts at me.
I will admit that I am a marketing person's nightmare.
I rarely see an advert and actually register who is selling.
I make a point of noticing if that advert is annoying or boring or dumb or patronising
so I know whom not to buy from.

So, I'll put my hand up and say that this advert is one of the best.
In this day and age, I think that it is as good as we are going to get at the moment, ladies.

(campaignbrief.com)

Do people think the same?
Or does Mrs Adams have a point?

Census night tonight, fellow Australians

Question 19: What is your religion?

I know that people just wont be able to help themselves.


(webtales.us)

So the real question is, just how many Jedi Knights reside in Australia this year?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

A kick up the you-know-where.

I am a bit of a materialistic person.
I like having things.
Not pretty things that sit around just looking nice.
But I like cool functional things, nifty crafty stuff, gorgeous fabrics and yarn.

I do appreciate that I am lucky that I can afford to have a lot of these things
but it is good to get a kick up the butt
to remind me that, not only am I blessed to live in this country,
there are things that I can do to help other people who aren't as lucky.

As a family, we do make regular donations.
But we could easily do more.

Cath gave me a solid shove this week with an email about Kiva.
We have been meaning to sit down with our kids
and invest in this for months
(I should really say years but I am too embarrassed to do so)

This week there have been numerous reports about the Global Food Crisis,
worse than anything since "Feed the World" was launched back in 1984.

We, as a family, are fortunately in a position where we can make an extra donation
and hope that the politics in Somalia doesn't get in the way of it making a difference.

But, as a sewer and a parent,
another campaign that has appeared in the last few months is

The premise is simple:
Make a simple pillowcase dress (or two or three or a dozen)
and each one will be delivered to a girl in the world who have little of their own in the world.

You can chose to make a doll if you prefer
or an outfit for a boy instead.

The website provides all the information that you need,
including patterns.

I am also time-poor because I am such a great procrastinator.
I can always find other projects to do.
So I am putting it out there in this space, in writing,
so that I am accountable.

We will do what we can for Somalia and the African crisis.
We will sit down with our children,
explain Kiva and get involved.
I will make some dresses.

I wont be changing the world.
But I may change my self-worth,
my self-indulgent ways
and imrpove my contribution to problems in the world outside my own house.

I know that you may not be as materialistic as me in the first place
but feel free to join in, spread the word and
maybe sew up a dress or a doll.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Get a grip on reality. Pretty please.

Dear people-who-make-animal-documentaries-with-cutting-edge-photography,

You don't know me but I am a woose.  A sooky-la-la.

I am the person you find rescuing water-logged snails and worms after the rain
and taking them to the safety of higher, dry land.

I am that person apologising to each and every ant that she has to spray
when her kitchen gets an infestation of (innocent, hard-working and generally all round good guy)
ants invading.


(blogs.discovermagazine.com)

I am the person who choses to believe that Old Yeller
went off to Grandpa's farm.


(rankeverything.blogspot.com)
I am the person who rescues any spider that needs to be located from indoors to outdoors.

Well, OK, I am the person who hands the jar to her hubby and says "bloke's job"

(disclaimer- any spider with a little red spot on its butt ends up in spider heaven,
even if it is outside minding its own business)

I am the person who cried in an episode of "Walking with Dinosaurs"
(OK I was all types of pregnancy-hormonal at the time)


(tvguide.com)
Get the idea?

I saw my fair share of horror stories during my veterinary years as I did a lot of RSPCA case reports.

I know what "the food chain" is.

I know what "survival of the fittest" means.


(wildlifedtv.blogspot.com)

So when I watch a migration documentary,
where some hoofed mammals need to cross the crocodile infested river
as part of their journey,
I know what is coming even before the narrator says
"The hungry and waiting crocodiles know instinctively which members of the herd
are those that they should target"

Yes, the crocodiles
(Which also need to eat to survive. I get that)
are picking off the littlies.

But, in case, you missed it the first time,
let's show you another example.

And another.

And here's one close up.

And here's one in slow-mo.

Oh, and just in case you need more,
let's show the croc pulling back one that thought it had made it safely to the other side to its mum.

Really- I got it the first time.

I don't care if it is Sir Richard Attenborough narrating.
I don't care if this is "never-before-seen" footage
that took 6 and 1/2 years and 5 million dollars to capture on film.
I don't care if this is the harsh realities of life.
My kids certainly aren't ready for such a brutal version of real life yet.
It is hard enough explaining exactly what happened to Nemo's mum and gazillion siblings
or to Bambi's mother
or to Charlotte
without causing distress.

(listal.com)

Give me a Disney happy ending any day.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Multiple choice question.


Little Boozle 2011

If you had a choice, would you prefer to:

(a) have skewers inserted under your fingernails

Little Boozle 2011

(b) listen to nails scratching down a chalkboard

Little Boozle 2011

(c) listen to Black Lace's "Agadoo" over and over for hours on end

Little Boozle 2011

(d) finish edges with bias binding


Tough call.
I really don't think that I can chose between a, b and c.
 
 
(Melly and Me- My Folio
wtih adjustment made to left inner pocket)

Monday, August 1, 2011

The Innocence of Youth.

Enjoy it while your kids are young enough to think that the "S" word is stupid,
the "C" word is crap
and they don't even know that there is an "F" word...