Friday, August 31, 2012

Bear necessities

blog 2012

Interesting priorities emerge as packing for an overseas holiday for a family of five
draws closer.

Mr Boozle is reaching for his bike riding gear as his first priority,
practically salivating at the thought
of tearing wildly down mountainsides in the vicinity of the Grand Canyon.
(Yes, we have travel insurance...
though I reckon there is a clause which prevents middle aged men hurting themselves
doing stupid things from making a claim)

Eldest of the Boozle offspring is working out which books will
give him the most hours of reading time
and how many we can put on an e-reader.

blog 2012

Middle Boozle child has been persuaded that his rock collection
is perhaps not needed,
which is more than I can say for the littlest,
who is, at this point in time, insisting on packing her maracas.

(As you do when you are five apparently)

My first packing priority,
even before knitting,
(Yes, let me repeat that:
Even. Before. Knitting)

JS is a little bear that I bought from a Finnish kiosk in 1987
when I was an exchange student.

He is my travelling buddy.
My other travelling companions may fluctuate
but he is consistently by my side
(well, in my luggage)

He is a great companion.
Not too big, not too small.
Doesn't snore or fart or have toilet emergencies.
Doesn't complain about being snuck into hand luggage 
rather than getting his own seat.
Doesn't whinge or demand lollies or constantly ask
"Are we there yet?

He has climbed the Eiffel Tower and walked up to the Colosseum.
He has seen St Paul's cathedral and the gondolas in Venice.
He has seen Barcelona and the Norwegian Fjords.
Indeed, he has backpacked around Greece
and Combi-vanned around Europe.

He has been to numerous family visits home,
sewing weekends,
hospital visits,
school reunions.
You name it.

And, as a true cliche, he gets his photo taken whenever he comes across a famous land mark.
He has been photographed with the Leaning Tower of Pisa and Big Ben.
Amongst our (still yet to be sorted) 2001 overseas photos,
he was with us every step of the way.

So Jean Sibelius is my first priority.
He is out and waiting patiently.

blog 2012

Now, onto my knitting...

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Meat for non-vegetarians

blog 2012

I wouldn't make a good vegetarian.
I am a butcher's daughter and I don't like mushrooms. 
Not a good start.

If you don't like meat recipes, look away now.

This is seriously good.
I used to make it a lot when hubby and I were D.I.N.K.S,
before we lost our enjoyment and passion for cooking
as seems to happen when you are needing to feed 3 children
and try to get at least 2 out of 3 of them to eat what you are cooking.

I am a have-to-have-precise-amounts of ingredients kind of gal
If you are too,
tough cheddar.
You will have to forgive me as this is a throw-in-to-taste recipe.


Season Frenched (or not) lamb shanks with salt and pepper
then seal in a hot pan and remove.
(I don't use salt at this point as the later sauces 
cover any salt cravings)

Cook in a large pan:

chopped onions
chopped garlic
julienned ginger
whole chilli, sliced in half
chopped coriander roots
Stem of lemon grass, edge chopped

Add oyster sauce and ketjap manis
(and then some more)

Return shanks to pot.

Add chicken stock and kaffir lime leaves.

Cover and cook an hour till tender
(I cook for hours.
I have tried this in a slow cooker and it doesn't work as well.
Best on the stove top)

Serve with rice (or even mashed spuds)

I serve with a side dish of stir fried healthy things 
like snow peas, capsicum, bok choy, baby corn etc.

blog 2012

Sorry that you can't photograph taste.
Lamb shanks are not the most photogenic food in the world.
They have a face only a mother shank could love
but man, they taste mighty fine.


Monday, August 27, 2012


Little Boozle 2 2012

Unpicking seams and re-sewing a green op shop dress so that it fits.

Little Boozle 2012

Knitting more hats.
(Rikke hat- Sarah Young. Rav'd here)

Little Boozle 2 2012

Finally finishing a green skirt cut out months ago.
(Nicole Mallalieu's A Line skirt.
Fabulous pattern)

Little Boozle 2 2012

Sewing granny squares instead of crocheting them for a change.
(Ottobre women's tee 303)

Little Boozle 2012

Wearing my hat-that-looks-suspiciously-like-a-snail-having-a-snooze-on-my-head.
Cos everyone needs a hat that looks like a snail, right?
(Slouchy beehive hat- Flora Cheung- Rav'd here.)

Little Boozle 2 2012

Making clothes for holidays in the American desert.
(Hot Pattern's Cool, Calm and Cowl necked top)

Little Boozle 2 2012

Knitting a green jumper with lush, lime-ish yarn
that is beautiful to wear.
(Chandail cardigan- Triona Murphy. Rav'd here.)

I like green. 

Thursday, August 16, 2012

This week..16th August, 2012...Oh, who am I kidding?

This month...the past 4 weeks...

...My children are being overly gracious and very forth coming
with their "thank you"s for taxi driving them,
letting them go to the school disco
and even for their dinner.
All that whinging about not being appreciated
seems to have finally paid off.

JAS 2012

...We can attest that yes, indeed, live in Australia
and kangaroos will hop down the city streets.
Well, at least, koalas might climb (and pee in) your gum tree.

Little Boozle 2012

Little Winifred tunic-
Sarah Ronchetti

...Doing Zumba with a chair somehow makes me feel like I am pole dancing

...I am wondering if you can get banned from entering California if you arrive
with tan-free legs.


...My oldest asked "Who won the Olympic Games?"
It is so good to see the end of that stupid Olympic Medal tally
where nothing counts but how many gold have been won.
How can society and the media dare make these athletes who are the best in their countries and the world
feel like a failure because they haven't won an Olympic medal,
let alone a gold one?

blog 2012

blog 2012

...I went on my annual interstate road trip
complete with op shopping, loads of wine and chocolate,
late nights and the company of gorgeous like-minded crafters.


...I am bemused that a fabric line called "Down Under" (Mint Blosssom Studio) has prints of  Kiwis
and, according to one review,  "spiny ant-eaters" on it.


...the more that I think about my family in a 30 foot RV travelling around the Grand Canyon,
the more I worry that we will end up channelling the Griswolds from a National Lampoon's Vacation movie.

Little Boozle 2012

Liesl cardigan-
Ysolda Teague

...I finally beat my nemesis in the knitting pattern world
but I never want to make it again.

Little Boozle 2012

Little Boozle 2012
Funky Pants- Crafty Mamas

...I have been sewing. Lots.

...School bullies suck
and I want to take my beautiful boy,
smother him with hugs
and turn back time
so that he (and I) don't have to face the crap that comes with growing up
out there in the big, wide world just yet.

Thursday, August 9, 2012

50 Shades of Reality


As you may know from a previous post,
I have been reading the 50 Shades trilogy.
I am now wading (a good description I think) my way through the last (and definitely the least) book.

I can honestly say that I have realised a few things about myself from reading the books.

I have learnt that I never want to be so wealthy and self-absorbed
that I would expect my housekeeper to clean my sex toys or bondage room.

I don't find the thought of someone feeding me wine via their mouth
after they have been eating cold dolmades
at all titillating.

I have realised that my favourite tie of my hubby's is the one that I bought him years ago
and is still his favourite,
even though he has never used it to tie me to the bedhead.

Someone, somewhere, may be enjoying multiple orgasms multiples time a day
just from having their nipples tweaked
(I should be so lucky)
but really, as a mum of 3 kids and with a hubby working full-time,
I can't see it happening here any time soon.
Christian and Ana Grey may be able to fit repeated frequent sex romps
in to their busy, billion dollar empire
but I know that I can't.
I doubt I could even if I was 20 years younger and child-free.
Even a quiet night in front of the telly or a game of pool for them
ends up horizontally.

As much as I love and adore Mr Boozle,
he is never, ever going near my pink bits with a razor.

(And I am sure that as much as Mr Boozle loves and adores me,
he would never, ever want to go near my pink bits with a razor either.


But the thing that I have realised most is that
reading books with so much full-on sex in them is not necessarily a good thing.

It is like repeated exposure to violence.
You get desensitized.

Apparently repeated and frequent exposure to hot, graphic, perfect sex
has the same effect.
At the end of a reading session,
the last thing that I want is nookie.

Not what Mr Boozle was hoping for when he found out that I was reading them, I might say.


Friday, August 3, 2012

Such is (my current) life

blog 2012

This evening just past,
as I washed cat's vomit from my child's hair,
I was thinking about how this time 10 years ago, I was still a practicing veterinarian.

On any given evening at about this time,
I might have been taking radiographs of a cat hit by a car
or having a lengthy discussion about all things "new puppy" with new pet owners
or even doing an emergency Caesarian on a pregnant dog or cat having difficulties.
Maybe I would be calling real adult people on the phone 
to have a real adult conversation about their pet.

Yes. That's what I said.
Washing cat's vomit from my child's hair.

Let me explain.

My daughter, prone to not finishing her cups of milk at dinner-time,
had left it on the bench
where, no surprise, Wally (the cat) helped himself.

My daughter has been told a gazillion times not to do this.
This would be one reason why.

My oldest son, prone to being over enthusiastic when playing with the cat,
was flipping the cat around the room Olympic diving style
attempting a two and a half back somersaults with two and a half twists
when, somewhere between the twist and the pike, no surprise, Wally threw up.

My son has been told a gazillion times not to do this.
This would be one reason why.

Neither of them at first realised 
why my daughter's face, hair and toys were wet.

To her credit, my daughter did not have an utter meltdown
of epic proportions,
mainly because she did not quite realise the horror
of being covered in cat vomit.
(She was simply overcome with relief that it wasn't cat's wee.
Personally I'd prefer cat wee on my head than cat's curdled milky vomit
but I'm not going to burst her bubble.
At least, not until she is celebrating her 18th birthday.)

So, yes, this evening just past,
 as I washed cat vomit from my daughter's hair
 (and giggled. A lot. Because it was actually hil-aaaaar-i-ous
and because it wasn't my hair) 
and as my son washed cat vomit off his sister's toys,
I reflected on how my life had changed in the past 10 years.

I also realised that I quite enjoy those life lessons that kids learn without us parents
having to lift a finger.

If Wally could talk,
he'd probably call it karma.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Then there is my OCD...

Little Boozle 2012

also had a tendency towards OCD at sporadic intervals.

Little Boozle 2012

Bag challenge finished on the very first day.

Little Boozle 2012

The Two Zip Hipster by Dog Under the Desk 

Little Boozle 2012

A well written little pattern.

Little Boozle 2012

Perfect for quickly approaching overseas holidays
and a good size for carrying all those things that you need to keep close
on such holidays.

Little Boozle 2012

Look, Cam. I actually did it this time.

Little Boozle 2012

Little Boozle 2012

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

The sins of the parents


My boys now choose to get a buzz cut each and every time
they go to the hairdressers.

I am a little uncomfortable with this.
I think that it stems back to growing up in a small country town
with the Brown family.
The Brown family men consisted of Mr Brown and his 3 sons
 All had crew cuts, seemingly getting their first buzz cut somewhere
between the delivery room and going home from hospital.
You could always pick out the Brown boys.

My boys love it because it is low maintenance.
I love it because getting their hair done in the morning is one less thing to nag them about.
Plus I figure that those dreaded head lice beasties are more reticent
to infest heads with no foliage to hide under.

My daughter doesn't chose to get a buzz cut.
Needless to say that I am happy with that decision.

However, like all little girls,
she wants gloriously long tresses without the daily maintenance 
required to stop such tresses becoming gloriously long dreadlocks.
(and I am sure one day I will find out just how much those beasties love such gloriously long tresses.
Touch wood. 3 weeks into her school life, we are nit-free.
Only another 13 years to go...)

We are still growing out my daughter's fringe,
18 months after that debacle,
and quite frankly, as a mum to 2 boys with cranial stubble,
I am not yet up to creating a neatly presented and sweet hairstyle 
in the middle of the pre-second-coffee mad house that is a school morning
and repeating this 5 mornings a week.

At the moment she thinks lop-sided pigtails are cute
and my possibly weird, combed-over creations "beautiful"
(bless the innocence -and trust- of a 5 year old)
but I am telling you that I am going to need a steep learning curve
 if she wants something presentable other than a pony tail every day of her future school life.

I still have horrific visions of one particular year of school photos
where my mother managed to send me off to school
with those sticky-up bits that you wake up with.
I don't think that I actually had a mullet
(though it was the 70s so anything is possible)
but in that photo, I certainly looked like I did.
(I was honestly going to be brave enough to post a copy of said photo
but I don't actually have one.
I suspect my mother is keeping it for future blackmailing purposes)

So I am somewhat (somewhat? Not somewhat. Try very bloody) relieved to find out that this year's school photos are happening while we are away on an extended family holiday.

Quite frankly, on that day, I turn into a pageant mother
It is no mean feat to get 2 young children to their respective photo shoots
(somehow always at the end of the school day)
with clean uniforms, decent hair and no Vegemite on their faces or uniform.
I will own up to licking my hand to wet down a wayward piece of hair
on the way to school one year.

It is a far greater pressure than the one I place on myself to get the nice photo with Santa each year.

Imagine me trying to do it with 3 kids,
one of whom  has dicky -growing -out -fringe stuff happening
and often has her school skirt half stuck in her stockings.
...cute at home; not so cute in print.

I blame my mother and that school photo for the obsession I have about this.

We all swear that there are things that were done to us
that we will never do to our children.
We will never hit them with a wooden spoon.
We will never force them to play football or eat brussel sprouts.
(We will never lick a hand to pat down wayward hair)

I know that when we actually become parents, we end up doing half of them anyway
but let me state for the record:
I will never send my children to school photo day with anything but a decent (and hopefully fabulous but I will settle for decent)  hair-do.

If I can offer them a  future embarrassment-free album of school photographs,
I have achieved some level of success as parent.

But when they get their driver's license photo,
they are on their own.
Unless they have a sticky-up bit of wayward hair...