Thursday, April 28, 2011

"Wicked"? Wicked!

Little Boozle 2011

Last night we went to see Wicked.

I bought the tickets so long ago,
I forgot that we were front row and centre.


I didn't know a lot about it and hadn't been that interested in it.
But given how few musicals reach Adelaide and given the hype,
I wanted to go.


I had a good working knowledge of "The Wizard of Oz"
and I knew a few of the songs
but otherwise decided to "go blind".

A wise decision.
It is clever and surprising if you don't know what is coming.

The show was such fun.
The costumes exquisite.
(Mr Boozle wondered how many vintage curtains died in the making of the costumes)
The music fabulous.


One of the best.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

"You can live to be 100 if you give up all the things that make you want to live to be 100."

 (Woody Allen)


Have you ever googled "How to live a long life?"

Well, to save you the effort of reading through the 44 million results,
I have summarised them here.
Well, most of them.
OK, a few of them. (44 million is a lot, you know)

Genetics contributes about 30% to our longetivity.
The rest it seems is up to us...

Be persistant. Avoid carcinogens (no shit, Sherlock). Keep your mind active.
Use sunblock. Be optimistic...but not too optimistic.
Continue to work or volunteer. Be well organised.
Meditate and relax. Marry well (applies to men. Sorry, guys. I am taken) Avoid heavy lifting. Eat garlic.
Squat when you poo (who knew?).  Get regular exercise. Avoid constant fear or worry.
Freeze your head. (Just seeing if you are still with me)
Have consistent sleep patterns. Avoid simple carbs and processed foods and yeah, of course, avoiding junk food is on the list. Have annual medical checkups.
Avoid working in the service industry (and enforced jolliness) Be grateful.
Floss your teeth daily. Gets those fruit and veges into you. Get rich. Don't get rich.
Find a role model and aim to achieve more than they have.
Don't drink super-hot tea.
Own a pet (disclaimer- my cats do not relax me. They are pushing my blood pressure through the roof)
Consume anti-oxidants (this is a good one- dark chocolate, tea; drink some red wine, people!)
Increase water consumption...but not too much. Fear the Lord.
 Don't fixate on material things- you can't take them with you.
Don't smoke (duh!)Think before you act. Be flexible and move on. Maintain a healthy weight.
Indulge in hyperbaric oxygen therapy. Increase your leg strength.
Don't oversleep. Have self confidence. Be prudent. Have proper hygiene.
Be well educated. Develop and maintain a strong and healthy social network and relationships.
Have a reason to live. Think before you act and avoid dangerous situations.
Plan ahead.
Smile. Laugh. Hug. Kiss. Bonk.
Eat more fish, soy, rice, seaweed. Eat less red meat. Eat more apples. Eat Acai berries.
Eat and drink purple things.
Increase your omega 3 fat intake and decrease your omega 6 fats.
Don't try to be happy. Don't overindulge. Be conscientious. Have an infra-red sauna.
There is one that seems to advocate eating semen...but if that interests you,
google it yourself. Be a bit obsessive. Stop drinking Coke and cola.
If you get nominated for an Oscar, win it. (You will live longer than if you lose)

...and so on.

So, there you go, people.
Let's meet up for a glass of red and some dark chocolate when we turn 100.
We'll square up details a bit closer to the time...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

I choose.....

AMJ 2011

I don't like summer,
especially in Adelaide.
I grew up in Tasmania where 28 degrees was a scorcher
and, after 18 years here, I still can't get used to
5 days in a row over 35 degrees
or waking to mornings that are already too hot to go outside.

AMJ 2011

I don't mind winter but I am not sure I love it.

I love the snuggle-down, comfort-food, movies-and-hot-drinks-on-rainy-days,
electric-blanket-warm-bed-if-someone-remembers-to turn-it-on side of it
but I don't love the get-out-of-bed-to-nippy-air mornings
or the-days-end-early-too-early afternoons
or the get-into-a-cold-bed-and-argue-over-who-forgot-to-turn-the electric-blanket-on
side of things.

AMJ 2011

I love Spring.
I love Autumn.
Not too hot. Not too cold.
Just right.

AMJ 2011

But how do I choose my favourite?

AMJ 2011

One is beautiful as Mother Nature awakens again,
ready to face the next cycle.
The other is stunning as she prepares to sleep
until the sun warms up again.

AMJ 2011

In Autumn, I know that I can snuggle into all those thick, warm knits
that I have been busy making
whereas in Spring, I know that they are headed for hibernation.

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

Little Boozle 2011

So for now I chose Autumn.

But come Spring...ask me again.

I am nothing if not fickle.

(Pattern: Splash vest by Wendy Bernard.
Yarn: araucania-copihue) 

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Quote of the Week

"Mummy, my legs are so tired"

Little voice from the 3 year old diva in the bike toddler seat behind me after I have just huffed
and puffed the two of us up a forest track to the top of a hill.


(OK, maybe it wasn't a 30 degree slope
but try telling that to my legs)

I signed up for childbirth. Not this torture.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Nature Series: Natural predators- part 4

Little Boozle 2011

The natural predator of the Easter Bunny's stash is the Felis catus.

Little Boozle 2011

Bloody cats.

Little Boozle 2011

(The absolutely only tiny, teensy point of redemption that I can come up with
is that, in the massacre of two little, innocent eggs,
they have left a number intact and unscathed that be evenly distributed between three children.

Unless they strike again...)

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Parenting for dummies: lesson #62

Think really, really long and hard about what is suitable for show and tell.

AMJ 2011

It may seem a great idea to let your 7 year old
take your work's dog skeleton to "show and tell" in class when they are studying bones,
especially after you have had "the talk" about how it is not a toy
and that it cost a lot of money.

AMJ 2011

However, you should sense that there will be problems
if he gets named (and actually labelled) "Doggy bones".
(Come on, you know kids will adopt and name anything...
a rock, a piece of toilet paper, an old, mouldy, forgotten piece of fruit
that they find under their bed...)

AMJ 2011

It will end in tears...
...if not a broken back.

Disclaimer: No living dog's skeleton was harmed in this "Show and tell"
(It is made of resin)

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

"When were you a princess, mummy?"

...asked the 3 year old child.

Mummy was puzzled.

Her memory was abysmal these days at the best of times
but surely she'd remember having been royalty.

Little Boozle 2011

Turns out that the little one had been looking at the wedding snaps down the corridor.

All a bit reverse-Cinderella-ish really.
Except that the prince hung around to help with the chores and the nappy changes.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Beige, daaah-ling. It's the new black, didn't you know?

Little Boozle 2011

As little as two years ago,
I didn't "do" natural colours.
I was a "wear black or grey as your neutral colour" girl, all the way.
Browns didn't rate a mention,
whether we were talking about wall colour, car colour, clothing colour, shoe colour or accessorising.

Little Boozle 2011

But something, slowly and insidiously, has been happening.
First we painted the walls of our new extension a beige tone.
It actually looked great
and let us use any colour scheme that we wanted in furnishings.

Little Boozle 2011

Then I bought some tortoiseshell hair clips rather than black clips.
Then some brown shoes instead of black shoes.
Then I started on clothing.
After browns, I started wearing natural blues and greens
that I have never dreamed of wearing before.

Little Boozle 2011

After more than forty years on this planet,
I find myself still evolving significantly in my tastes.

Given my penchant for all things pastel in my early teens,
this is a good thing.
The thought of swanning around in pale pink and lilac now
induces the "fight or flight response"
and I break out in a cold, cold sweat.

Little Boozle 2011

It keeps life interesting, don't you think?

Pattern: Adult ruched yoke tee- AnneLena Mattison
Yarn: Cleckheaton Country Naturals (colourway 1828)

I made this longer and slightly larger than I would for a summer tee
as I wanted a neutral (beige, come on down!), easy fitting tunic for cooler weather layering.
It has a beautiful shape.
The bodice is very loose and I would look at a snugger fit
if I were making this as a summer tee.
I changed the finish to the front opening.
I crocheted around the margins and made a loop and button closure
instead of an icord.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Book ends.

Little Boozle 2011

This is the pile of "to read" books on my bedside table.
Of course, it would be teetering even higher
but for a family rated blog,
I removed all my *cough* naughty books ;)
(yeah, 76 bodice rippers stacked up on the floor, people)
I have always been a book worm.
I have always loved books and loved reading them in abundance

But since starting a family,
I have struggled to prioritise reading.
I got a lot of books read while middle-of-the-night breast feeding
but beyond that, I have had limited access to quality reading time.

I am the first to admit that this is partially self-inflicted.
If I didn't spend time blogging, sewing and knitting,
I'd have heaps of reading time.
You know, going to bed early,
snuggling down into the doona
and being surprised at how quickly 2 hours can disappear
when you are in the middle of a great book.
That guilty pleasure of being able to stay up reading till 2am
because this book is so good, I have to finish it now!

But the fact is that there are only two times I can rely on having the time and inclination for a good solid read.

Firstly, on those rare occasions when I am bed-ridden with illness
(poorly enough that I don't want to knit
but not so ailing that I can't hold a book up)

Secondly, if I am "in the bathroom"
(if I lock the door from children-
who seem to need your undivided attention as soon as you pull your undies down)

Now, I know that I have just alienated half my blog readers with that statement.
You are either a "read on the loo" type of person or you aren't.
But I can multi-task so why waste the opportunity to use this skill?

At the moment, I am accumulating books faster than I am reading them.
I can't afford to cut back on the 5-6 hours sleep per night that I currently get
in order to knock off Oprah's latest recommendation.
And I need to wash and cook.

So maybe I should just cut back on my fibre
and increase my "bathroom" time...

A little known fact.

Little Boozle 2011

The domestic cat is capable of taking a bite out of a bread roll
without putting a hole in the plastic bag.

I am not sure what possible survival function this ability gives the cat
but I was impressed.

Pissed off but impressed.

Monday, April 4, 2011

Helpful and horny = happy and healthy

A science lesson today, people.
But a fun one.
And not too many big words.

Just one.


Who knows how to spell that?
Can anyone tell me what it is?

I want to talk about Immunoglobulin A, to be specific.
This little protein helps fight disease in our bodies.


Everyone understand the diagram?

Did you know that altruistic acts increase the levels of immunoglobulin A in our bodies?
So helping someone does not only make you feel warm and fuzzy,
it also betters your health and improves your immune response.

People who are helpful and giving to others have less disease
and a less stressful life with a greater sense of well-being
compared to people of the same age who aren't as generous.

If that doesn't want to make you run out and do good deeds,
then it might perhaps interest you to know that sex once or twice a week can have the same effect.

So go forth, help people...or bonk them...or both.
It's up to you.
But you will be healthier for it.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Before I got married I had six theories about bringing up children; now I have six children and no theories.

(John Wilmot, Earl of Rochester)


My first born son and I butt heads.
I clash more with him than I do with either of my other offspring.
It is not due to him being a certain age.
It is not because I am harder on him being the oldest.
In some areas, I do expect a little more of him as the elder sibling
but I explain why and I am not unfair.

We have always been like this.
Ever since he learnt to communicate.

It is no matter that I love him as equally as my other kids.
No matter that I would do anything for him.
We clash.

Because my daughter is the youngest,
the older boys and daddy tend to do things together
and the little one and I tend to pair off.

My one-on-one time with each of my boys ended a long time ago
as siblings and the education system demanded more time of each of us.
Even one-on-one time with their daddy is little and far between.

So hubby and I have decided that we need to make an effort.
Because right now I don't feel like I actually know my boys very well at all.
I don't feel like they are going to have many specific "mummy" memories looking back.

Today I took my oldest out to a play,
"Escape from Peligro Island"


It was an interactive affair where we got to make decisions as the play went along.
(Do we want Calloway to chase the man with the strange glove
or dive in and rescue the box which is needed to save the world?
Who knew that we were chosing between a vampire story and a spy story at the point in time?
Do we want him to escape from his prison cell using the bed or his eye glasses?
I'd still like to know how he would have used the bed but amazing what you can do with
a pair of glasses and a mobile phone, isn't it?
Should he pulls karate moves on the tiger, squish it with a move or shoult really loudly at it?
No tigers were harmed during the administration of the squishing manouvere...)

It was fun, amazing to see the actors know where to go with each decision
 and it was great to share that time with my son
and discuss what the story could have been.

We went to a sushi train for lunch
where my son got to try some Japanese foods that he had never had before.

And no trip with me is complete without gelati.

What a difference it is to spend time...
 ...leaving the rituals and mundane familiarity of the home environment behind
...a child removed from the pecking order with his siblings
...doing things that were stimulating and suprising and new to him.

I loved being able to share some adventures in his life.

I hope that it is the first of many such chances for my husband and I
to bond more strongly with each of our children
and to create some special times for their memories
-and for ours.

I hope that these "special" occasions will become an expected part of our household routine,
while we have kids who still want to spend that time with us.

Friday, April 1, 2011

1st April, 1995

Little Boozle 2011 

This day,
16 years ago,
was our wedding day.

Little Boozle 2011

I am forever grateful that I have found my life partner and best friend.

Little Boozle 2011

(Just as I am forever grateful that we didn't get married in the 80s.
I am not so sure that I would be happy sharing wedding snaps of an 80s wedding dress stunner
given the type of things I chose to wear in that decade!...)