Monday, January 30, 2012

Fishy business.

Little Boozle 2011

Those of you who have been hanging around this blog for a while know that this household is home
to 2 (crazy, perpetually starving) cats and 1 (not-very-intelligent-but-well-meaning) Staffy
(with a keen attraction for offensive smells*)

(*I'll get back to that later)

They shower us with love, affection, body fluids and disdain
in varying amounts
but that affection, that tactile love, is what makes them part of our family.

When our 8 year old decided that he wanted a lizard,
I decided that Mr Boozle was in charge.
I am not scared of lizards and I don't dislike them
but I just didn't want to have to take on the whole...well, lizard-business-thingy-stuff.


The oldest of the Boozle offspring was told that he needed to save up $50
and then we would look into it.
That would give us a few years, we figured,
giving his lack of willpower when it came to the lolly aisle at the supermarket.
But I will admit he surprised us.
He got $2 per week pocket money at the time,
and he dutifully (some may say anally) started saving.

So he didn't seem to take long to reach that magical $50 mark,
meanwhile reading library books about frilled-neck lizards.
To our credit, we ignored the urge to tell him that 
every pet shop in Adelaide had closed for the next 10 years
and off he and daddy went to suss things out.

Two hours later they returned,
muttering "lots needed to set up" and "500 bucks for the lizard alone"
and there it was.


I just don't get the attraction of fish in a tank.
Yes, they can be pretty pretty pretty
and it can be relaxing to lie back and watch them.
(You know, as your three offspring are running around the house screaming hysterically
and causing each other to bleed or projectile vomit)

But you can't pat them.
They wont curl up at the foot of your bed of a night.
(Well, they would curl up...literally...while agonal gasping)
You can't really name them- if you have any decent numbers.
And they die.
...Well, short of some fishy CPR, each one only dies once
but you know what I mean...

I did my best to talk my son into an axolotl (Mexican Walking Fish)
I love them and they are cool.
At least they have a bit of personality.

(Look at him. What's not to love?)


Plus they are meant to be hardy and difficult to knock off.
(I didn't tell him that, as a veterinary Uni student,
I killed mine in about 2 weeks.
Sorry, Rupert, buddy.
I still think of you often)

But I think the idea of 12 fish beat the idea of 1 amphibian.
Quantity over quality.

So we (yes, the royal "we". Actually they) got everything set up and waiting for the tank to settle.
Bought home some fish then a week later, we bought home some more.

Then, 3 days later, it happened.

My son woke to multiple fatalities.
Dead and dying fish.
Specifially 2 dead fish sucked onto the filter, 1 dying fish upside down near the bottom
(never a healthy stance for fish, I have found)
and 1 devasted 8 year old who was still crying through his 3rd helping of French toast.

It turns out that we didn't have a net because
"daddy said that we weren't going to have any dead fish"
Lucky for daddy that he was at work or he would have been bruised.
Very, very bruised.
No dead fish?
Pragmatism and desperation (certainly not a veterinary degree)
played some role in creating a makeshift net using muslin, rubber bands and a pasta server.

There was never going to be any Nemo-hollywood-cartoon-flushing-burials happening here
(which surprisingly was not even suggested by any of the kids)
and, after launching into a poetic speech supporting my son's obvious choice of a lovely garden burial,
it turns out that he was going to go with binning the deceased.
So he got a life lesson in what mummy considers appropriate in such circumstances
and we decided that they should be buried in the garden.
Really, really deeply.
On a cool day.
Just in case the not-very-intelligent-but-well-meaning Staffy with a keen attraction for offensive smells
(as mentioned above)
got an attack of the munchies.

It turns out that we had gotten 2 lots of dodgy advice about our first fish purchases.
One type of fish were too sensitive and shouldn't be put into a newly set tank
or they might die.
(Yeah. Really? Couldn't miss that little weakness)
The others were too big for the tank
and would eventually grow big enough to start eating the other fish.
Obviously only they hadn't already died from being put into a newly set up tank.

So we have started again.
We have new fish (which seem hardier. So far. Touch wood)
Plus I now know far more than I want to know about fish excretions and ammonia levels.
(As a vet I didn't treat a single fish)
The novelty has waned a little and the 8 year old is already forgetting to do the nightly feeding routine.

I have concern that, with repeated deaths,
my son might become a little immune to pet mortality
and, while that would be less scarring for him,
I would find that loss of emotional response to be distressing.

But, for now, if you go poking around in our freezer looking for icecream,
you might just find a little, rahter ornate fishy iceblock.
It has been so hot here,
we haven't had an official burial yet.

It has cooled down now
so we can get on with things.

(...And while we are at it,
we really should scatter the ashes from our other pets
whom we have lost over the past 8 years.
We said that we would do it once we had the garden finished...
which happened about 3 and 1/2 years ago.
I must go find them...)
Little Boozle 2011

Oh, and because I just know that someone will ask...
The cats don't seem too excited by the fish yet
They have set their sights on that lovely smelly fish food and have been trying to run off with that.
My 8 year old and I can live with that.

Sunday, January 29, 2012


Buoyed by Wagon Wheels
(That's me. Not the kids)
Oh- and lots of coffee
(Too early in the day to get buoyed by alcohol)

blog 2012

A practice run first.

blog 2012

The 8 year old was focussed.

blog 2012

The 6 year old was...creative.

blog 2012

The 4 year old was vertically challenged.

blog 2012

Any loss of patience or enthusiasm from me
was counteracted by the oldest sibling,
who, after one practice run on the machine,
knew absolutely EVERYTHING about sewing.

blog 2012


~Pick a legless softie.
(Maybe one leg would be OK.
A short stumpy one.
And even a short stumpy tail.
But not 4 legs)

~Using chopsticks is pointless if a limb has been sewn narrowly almost to the point of amputation.

~As teacher, it is your job to keep stuffing well after the kids have
moved on to a game of Monopoly.

~In spite of this distraction,
you wont be able to sew them up fast enough to keep those same kids happy.

blog 2012 209 (Small)

But everyone seemed happy in the end
and I can cross that one off the list.
(Once is enough, isn't it?)

blog 2012 217 (Small)


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

It's all about pacing yourself.

blog 2012

I have mentioned before that,
in spite of being a mum and being crafty
and hoping that my kids will enjoy creating things too,
I just don't want to be the one to teach them.

I am not patient by nature.

I am a bit of a perfectionist, a "colour within the lines" sort of girl.

Teaching others does not come naturally.
I make things complicated.

But I like to feel like I give it a go
...every now and then (=rarely)

I have a small, slow sewing machine for just the occasion.
I have a book titled "The Best of Sewing Machine Fun for kids"
I dream of Walton-type moments
with comfortable laughter, huge productivity and warm fuzzy moments all round
as we use sharp instruments and machines that could electrocute or maim
or at the least puncture a fingernail.

blog 2012

So near the end of last year I bought some softie panels.

I thought "Take a deep breath, Tas, and jump in.
This could be a school holiday activity with the kids,
teaching them some of the very basics of sewing.
Go on.
You know you want to...

(...uncomfortably long silence...)

OK, then, well let's say you know that you should..."

blog 2012

It is now the last week of the school holidays.
I can't put it off any longer.
So yesterday was THE day.

blog 2012

We did the cutting and the pinning,
with only one minor cutting injury.
No-one even called for a Disney Princess bandaid
so I consider it a success.

I sat my hands, bit my tongue and counted to ten...over and over.

But time disappeared along with my patience
and I decided that lesson 2,
actually sewing with a machine,
should be designated to a second session.

blog 2012

However, today is my birthday
and the Official Handbook of Birthday Rules (239th edition) clearly states
(where I wrote in the back cover)
that I don't have to craft with kids on my birthday.

So tomorrow we will get back to it.
Unless I can find another reason.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Fairy Tales

What magical beings do you have at your house?

At our house it's a fairy.
Not a useful fairy.
Not an invisible presence who cleans the loo,
does the washing and ironing
and cooks tomorrow's dinner while we sleep.

No, our fairy is a right royal pain in the you-know-where.
She is the one who makes a mess,
spreading out pieces of a 1000 piece puzzle across the middle of the loungeroom.
She hides mobile phones in boxes so that we can't find them.
She writes on the walls in texta.
She leaves empty toilet rolls on the holder and the toilet seat up.
She grinds plasticine into the carpet.
She breaks toys and rips pages out of books.

All those things that you think your kids have done
but no, cue poker faces: "it wasn't us, mum"

But, since Christmas,
her company to moved to a new level of unpleasantness.

Now she frequently wees on the bathroom floor.

And apparently she farts in mixed company.
 (and, in spite of what you might think,
fairy farts are not pleasant, let me tell you)

Anyone know any magical spells that might help exorcise a smelly fairy?

Thursday, January 19, 2012

A real Hot Potato.

(I know, I know, but it is the obvious pun for this story, isn't it?)


The news of the week in the world of children's entertainment is that
Greg Page has returned to reclaim his yellow skivvy.

While the medical condition that sidelined him is still present,
he says that it is manageable and that he should be able to
meet the commitments necessary to return to the super group.

Sam Moran,
after 5 years as the Yellow Wiggle
and part of the Wiggles "family" for nearly 10 years,
has gone.

A usually media savvy group of men,
there was some uncomfortable pauses and responses in interviews
given on this morning's entertainment shows here in Australia.

When other groups members were asked (in Sam's absence)
 how Sam feels and what he is doing now,
well, Anthony, Jeff and Greg just didn't seem to know.
...his contract was up,
he'll do his thing,
 haven't spoken to him since he left,
you'd better ask him...

They just didn't know.

How does that happen?

I have always liked the Wiggles.
There was worse stuff to listen to with your toddlers,
they had worked their way up from a questionable pop group
and they are, while very wealthy, philanthropic.
Unlike Hi-5, the group didn't get upgraded to ever younger personalities
every few years.
(Indeed, we are all asking what succession management the Wiggles have in place.
Old men in skivvies is not the most marketable commodity for the kids' entertainment market)

Basically, they seemed like nice guys.

But today I feel like I have just found out that the Wiggles
aren't my friends anymore.

I am not commenting on media reports that Sam was called the "salaried" Wiggle around the office.
The founding members of the Wiggles worked hard for a long time
to get where they are
and they essentially run a business.
(The emotional business of kids' entertainment, admittedly)

The kids will bounce back.
When Greg was sick 6 years ago,
the stand-in was a short blonde guy
and my then 3 year old was still very excited to see "Greg Wiggle" on stage.


But I wonder if us parents will cope anywhere near as well.

Sure, the basic facts are that Sam was on a contract,
Greg was asked back
and the deal has been done.
I don't know what else may have gone on behind the scenes.

But surely the PR department would have been well aware of the inevitable questions
that were going to be asked this week.

The cold, dismissive and impersonal nature of the Wiggles in the media interviews so far
has left me with a bad taste in my mouth.

After spending 5 year recording and touring with an associate,
unless he is a complete wanker,
why wasn't Sam offered some respect from his peers?
Really, calling him a "hired hand"?
My love for the Blue Wiggle just disappeared in an instant.

Sam did the best job...well, the best job that any grown man
wearing a bright coloured skivvy in public
can be expected to do...
and kept the Wiggles Big Red Car moving smoothly.

I am glad that my youngest is 4 and has really outgrown them
so that I don't have to wrestle my conscience at the moment.
For once, I am glad that my daughter is Fairies-mad.
Let's hope that they all have long contracts.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


blog 2012

Interesting in that he got in there all by his little self.

The question is-
can he extricate himself without strangulation of life or limb?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Risky business

So maybe my blog can be a bit risque
for a crafty-mummy type blog,
with the occasional use of words such as porn, boobs, testicles and pink bits.

Heck knows that I get some interesting "Search Keywords" when I check my stats-
such as "my boyfriend wears my clothes"
(though how in heck a search for "woman with 2 vaginas" brings up Little Boozle
is quite beyond me)

But when hubby installs some softwear to prevent the kidlets getting more than they bargained for
when spending time on the net
and my own computer then stops me from accessing my blog page
categorising it as a gambling site,
I wondered...what the?
(But yes, OK, first I panicked and wondered if I was a victim of a hacker)
It would seem very (=overly) efficient as far as web-nannies go.
I wonder if the kidlets will be able to access the Wiggles website
or if it will be restricted after being categorised as an offensive use of skivvies.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Sending out an SOS...

JFM 2011

Mr Boozle turns 41 this week.

For the first time, I think ever,
in our almost 22 years together,
I have nothing.
Not a little something set aside.
Not an idea.
Not one thing.

What do you buy a turning-41 year old veterinarian
who can whip up a mean paella and sushi,
has the occasional long stray eyebrow hair
and has a passion for bike riding?

At the moment, I may just be desperate enough to whip one up...
I have never yet resorted to socks and jocks.
but I think a knitted willy warmer would not strictly speaking fall into this category.
...and after all, he does complain on those cold winter mornings
that his testicles have retreated so far up that he might never see them again.

There would be the issue of measuring up.
Sizes as you can see are only in Large, Extra large and humungous.
(do you think that this pattern was written by a man?)
When is the best time to measure?
Before or after a very cold ride?
What room for...fluctuation is there?
And 3 inches is large, isn't it? (That's what I've been told)

Anyone got any ideas?
Or will anyone (obviously my male readers)
admit to having worn a willy warmer
and having an opinion?
Or know someone who has?
I think Mr Boozle will thank you from the bottom of his heart
(which is about the same location as his freezing testicles apparently)
if you can offer something which protects his pink bits
from possible carpet rash or claustrophobia.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Cause and effect.

JFM 2012

JFM 2012

JFM 2012

With this comes the realisation that we are perhaps not just fighting birds and Staffies for our fruit.
It also possibly explains that nocturnal noise in the back roof section of our house for the past 2 weeks.
Plus Mr Boozle now has to find a way to seal up those little gaps at the top of the cat run that he left hoping
that the cats would never find.
Apparently we are having a bit of a surge of suburban wildlife visitors this summer.
Possibly another koala in our front gum tree some time soon...

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

This week...4th January, 2012

OND 2011

...2012 arrived-
and  I actually stayed awake long enough to welcome it.

JFM 2012 8 year old son  announced that you had to kiss your girlfriend to make a baby.
Um, well, no, you don't actually.
I mean, it is nice to,
and a big part of the process if you like,
but techincally, nope, no amount of kissing by itself is going to get you up the duff. 

But, considering what I am going to be dealing with when the hormones appear in, oh, about 5 years,
when teddy bear pancakes for breakfast will be no more,
I am going to let this bit of misinformation go uncorrected for now.

...I found that I laugh everytime I hear someone with Nina's (Offspring) ringtone.
I find myself wondering if they are uptight as her.
...and do they have all her crap to deal with too?

OND 2011

OND 2011

OND 2011

...I discovered that 1 minute games are THE best fun that you can have with your clothes on
at a New Year's Eve party.

JFM 2012

...Wally continued to chew the Christmas decorations,
right up until we closed the box on them for another 12 months.

Little Boozle 2011
(Nae wrap- Anat Rodan)

Little Boozle 2011
(Queenie beret- Woolly Wormhead)

...I found that I knit over 25 kilometres of yarn in 2011.
No wonder I didn't get anything else done.

(though I might have snuck one in quick crocheted project to round out the year)

Little Boozle 2011
(Granny Square to Wear- Amanda Tipton)


...I am in heaven as Dr Who repeats are being played 5 nights a week.
No complaints about a bit of David Tennant and John Barrowman
with my summer gin, lemon and limes.
Who said that non-ratings period were a write-off?

Sunday, January 1, 2012



Today the temperature reached 41.1 degrees Celsius
as a part of Adelaide's official first heat wave for this summer.

We have been hibernating inside in the air conditioning
but I have been very jealous of my 4 year old daughter
who has been running around in a pair of knickers and nothing else.

Yes, I know that I could do the same
but I'd rather wear the physical discomfort of a couple of days of feeling overheated
than the financial discomfort of years of therapy payments
for the help that my children would need after that vision.

At my advancing age,
a fully clothed family game of Twister can be unpleasant enough.