My weekend – sorry it’s long (drink and patience possibly required)

Where did my weekend go? Zip - disappeared, vanished.
Possibly because when you are busy it flies and the times when you are bored out of your brain (not that that can happen) the time drags.

Friday night we went to dinner Mr. S and I - just the local Chinese and we started with San Chow Bow (lettuce cups with mince and veg) followed by garlic prawns and cantonese beef and special fried rice (as let's face it, no chinese meal is complete without it).

Saturday hmm shopped for my penguins at the Deli for their small goods and then went shopping for nibbles (dang I didn't take a photo of my fantastic nibbly platter) which consisted of prawns, fresh salmon, cheeses, Kabana, dips, watercress, crackers and fetta stuffed baby bell peppers (tiny little red peppers that cost $32.99 a kg! - but so yum)

Two dogs arrived for dog sitting in the morning - 2 extremely obese dogs that I had previously minded 2 years ago. One a Staffy and one a bull-dog. The poor poppets, the bull-dog already has a hard time breathing due to her squashed in nose, but the weight this poor old girl had on her..well it got me angry, because in truth dear readers, this is abuse, just as much as my insane neighbours and how they treated their dog.

I took them for 3 walks each about 20 minutes each. They weren't dragging on the lead in fact the opposite, but when we returned home, the drink bowls were emptied, drooled and dribbled all over the kitchen floor and they sounded like steam trains. I 'gently' told the owner (when she phoned asking how they were) that she was pretty much killing them with kindness. Her reply "I know", said with such a who cares attitude (which shocked me as she seems quite lovely - though possibly a tad ignorant when it comes to 'how much should I feed and walk my pets).

We are due to mind them again in 2 weeks, it will be interesting to see if she cancels. I honestly feel like saying to her, let me have them for a month - Mumsy's boot camp and I shall have them fit again for you! They have chicken and steak for tea a normal portion, but she also gives them breakfast and treats throughout the day and they get walked for 30 mins each morning, but she clearly needs to exercise them more or put them on a stricter diet.

A friend of the owners came to pick them up this morning and he said "yes I have told them to stop feeding them, but I do the same with my dogs". I said why, his reply "well when do you know when they have had enough".

My jaw dropped readers, let me tell you.

Maltese Shitzus, he said that he leaves 2-3 bowls out of food ALL DAY, he also gives them treats, he even takes treats when he takes them out walking!! I simply don't understand, I said "you put one bowl of food down for each, if they haven't eaten it within half an hour, you remove the bowl". I got a dumfounded expression and a "Oh..really, but I feel so bad".

Anyway enough of that, Saturday night we tottered (well drove) to pick up the penguins as we were celebrating Fathers' Day (which technically for us down under is today 1st September) but we were doing the dinner at my brothers as he was working today…I am raving here aren't I? So anywho..the night went well, plenty of wine and food consumed. Speeches for Pop, more food :-( more wine :-) and I walked away with the button of my jeans undone because I ate..then had cake… oh dear mybad.

Today we went over to Mr. S's dads, as it was his first Father's Day since his wife passed (Rose). R.I.P Rose 29.6.2013. We had a BBQ lunch as it is the first day of Spring for us ( I am SOOOO excited) and the temperature was 25degC.

Today was also the day that us ladies (Mr. S's 3 daughters and Mr. S's sis-in-law and I) decided it was time to clear out Rose's wardrobes and cupboards etc. Armed with garbage bags, we all tackled different spots and it took us a good 3 hours to remove everything. What we didn't choose for ourselves, some now 'retro' clothes, make up etc, we have bagged for the Charities.

It was a little surreal, as if we robbing the grave as we held up items and then agreed to keep or to give away. The charity people will be very happy I am sure, as many clothes still had tags on. Rosy loved to shop though wheelchair bound, she had 2 wardrobes full of clothes and shoes and bags, many not even used.

So Rosy I thank you for letting us take your belongings the items that you loved - we shall put them all to good use.

On the way home we called in to see my Pop and mum again to officially wish him Happy Father's Day.

So that's why it went zip folks, before my very eyes, thank you if you actually read any of this. So now here comes the question which is a subtle way of saying you have to read to answer - or take the fast way and just scan down to this part - how was your weekend?

Our Sunday Drive

There was a photo of the main street (20 mins from home) that was taken in the 1800’s. The spot is called Belgrave. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Belgrave,_Victoria. The photo  (that no longer is on my post) and apologies for the clarity, was on a wall in a little cafe we go to for breakfast or brunch some weekends. It was a little difficult to actually stand on the bench seat to get a better shot without me being dragged away, hence the size and lack of close up.

This is how the street is now, (well it was)  ahh yes the empty can on the road says it all really…

The above left (can’t see it?) very hard to get shot is what Belgrave is renowned for – its steam train The Puffing Billy,  which shuttles, and puffs its way up the mountain full of people to Emerald Lake. Where everyone enjoys paddle boats and BBQ’s.

To your right (yep over there) is the inside of this little Cafe where the food servings are of enormous proportions.

This is the over-sized bacon & onion omelets Mr. S and I consumed (and yes there will be no dinner tonight!) Hmm believe me it was BIG.

It was a drive with incidence however, we were meandering up the winding hills seeking a destination (before we settled on Cafe above aptly named The Puffing Billy) when a dog ( a blue heeler cross ) started crossing the road. Without a word. Mr. S pulled over to the side and I jumped out. “Here boy/girl/whatever your name is”. “Now where’s your mum and dad”?

Luckily a neighbour came out from 3 doors up and said he is well looked after, but keeps escaping. The two of us then took 5 minutes trying to open the gate where “Denim” lived (thankfully he had a name tag with two mobile numbers), finally in the heat and flies buzzing round my head I let him in – no one was home. I checked around the side of the house, there was a bucket with water so I emptied and refilled. Locked the gate and we phoned the owners – no reply went to message bank.

Two minutes later about to get back in the car Denim was at my side again. “Grrr”, another neighbour was then called upon and asked if she had a rope, the only solution was to tie Houdini Denim in the yard. So that is what I did, made sure his water was there and went on our way an hour later. I got in the car smiling saying “Aren’t you glad I’m a dog lover”? Mr. S just nodded….

The owners finally phoned when we driving back to Belgrave saying thank you so much and asked us if we saw where he escapes from and that they have barricaded every spot they knew. Um no we didn’t, perhaps a little more investigation is required however….

Denim lives to enjoy another day and we were ablet to eat our somewhat late lunch.

Oh and this last pic (well it was) spotted in an art shop along the main street?  – This is for knocked over by a feather – Merby who is a Beatles nut 🙂

APOLOGIES to those who read and cannot get the gist for the lack of pics. I think I have solved the vanishing issues but sadly I have deleted them from my phone so I cannot re-enter 😦

This was posted some time back & thought it more appropriate now..Tis The Season

Yes that’s right my friends. 81  11 argghhhh!!!!! more sleeps till the jolly slightly ’rounded’ man in his red suit awkwardly alights onto the suspension robe hanging from the slay to jump onto our roof, stealthily making his way across the tiles or tin & jumps feet first down our chimneys (for those that have a chimney that is).

For those of us who don’t, well sshhh we have to pretend.

It’s Christmas at my place this year, the family takes turns (well individuals do within said family) which got me thinking….

How does everyone’s Christmas Day pan out…how does it start? How does it end?

I already have beads of perspiration on my forehead just thinking about it. This is how mine goes.

Whoever has the blessed event at their home does the “Mains”, then one is usually in charge of sweets and the entree . The veg is distributed to whoever puts their hands up.

1. Lists that have been written a month or so prior are finally disposed of.

2. Either time has been taken off work to shop (usually 2-3 days before the big ’25’) with the hoards of other totally maniacal Christmassy folk in the Supermarkets, grocers, butchers trying to get their hands on whatever is on said lists (yours truly included) or I leave EVERYTHING to the last minute and panic ensues.

3.  Everything purchased (don’t be silly of course you need double or triple the amount you actually end up eating!) and as for the alcohol list (being the most important) half the bottle shop is purchased. Then it’s onto the table setting – do I buy nice linen serviettes this year? Or stick to the bright coloured paper jobs (yep they’re cheaper and only used for wiping grubby mouths on anyway). There are the obligatory bon-bons, again the cheap version where you are lucky if they actually to pop when pulled apart and you may get a nice poem or something not too nasty inside (or the cheaper ones where you get the ridiculous paper party hat, plastic toy and jokes (yep you guessed it the party hats win).

4. Do I have enough wine glasses, champagne glasses, beer glasses? Do I have the full set of white crockery (heaven knows you can’t serve Christmas lunch on a patterned plate!) Did any of these break during the year and forgot to replace?

(More beads of perspiration)

Twas the night before Christmas…

5. The table is set, table cloth pristine & ironed, serviettes, glasses, Clean SS cutlery (without left over dried food) bon-bons, candle Christmas centre pieces. Stand back admire, move fork to the right a bit, towel dry the water marks of any glasses. Nods head…smiles.

The big day…..

6. Ah yes up at the crack of dawn, nerves already kicking in, hoping that I time the cooking of turkey, chicken, pork correctly. Usually turkey done in the BBQ (turns out a treat it does by the way).

Is it too early for a drink?? … 6.30 am yep possibly.

7. Prepare the rum egg nog (they did so like it last time) though note to self careful about how much I consume before meal is actually served.(Of course I have to do the taste test – something to calm the nerves).

Pacing….I do a lot of that I pace, I re-check, I pace.

8. Ok so all should be good, veg is being brought, salad too and sweets. All I have to do is put the meats on and dish up the nibblies.

Sounds easy??  Pace ..pace another try of the egg nog (just to make sure).

9. Ok nibblies now out – checks the time I do that a lot also checking the time and pacing.

10. Meats in, chicken in the oven, turkey in the BBQ (you did remember to fill the gas cylinder honey??)

11. Ham glazed wrapped & in the fridge.

The moment arrives….

12. Hi Hi, yes yes Merry Christmas my other half greets at the door. My family knows I’m a stress head, so I hear them cautiously walk into the kitchen. Hi Hi Merry Christmas, yes yes kiss on cheeks, hugs, yep same to you (how’s the turkey going?)

13. Egg Nog anyone? (Don’t mind if I do) whoops slight case of vertigo there…

14. Right good the gangs all here (the day has begun). Champagne and strawberry time (yee-ha I say). “Please go sit in the lounge get comfy” (in other words PLEASE get the hell out of my kitchen why I have my panic attacks).

15. Pace – go out to BBQ, lift lid, cooking nicely. Inside check oven yep yep chicken doing well. Take ham out to get room temperature (champagne gulped). 5 minutes? I have that..into lounge so how is everyone etc, my look at all the pressies under the tree (our tradition is to open after mains). Then there’s the weather talk in Australia we can have 40 deg C or we can have rain and hail..(be prepared for either).

16. Right entree time (can relax for another 5). Yum yum, fresh salmon or trout or antipasto platter or prawns whatever head Entree Chef prepared.

Back to kitchen pace pace timing it’s all in the timing.

17. “Won’t be long I yell” (another champagne gulp). Meat retrieved from BBQ, looking crispy and golden and delicious. Chicken from oven also looking yum. Veg have been re-heated or crisped, gravy made. Other half checks in on me and does a U turn seeing my expression.

18. Sit down (wait for the compliments of how beautiful everything looks) ..what come on..someone has to say it??

Ah there we are, thank you- thank you it was nothing (bloody hell it wasn’t nothing do you know what time I’ve been up?)

19. Onto the presents – the giving out by the selected party, the unwrapping, the oooh and the aahhs and the you shouldn’t have (no REALLY you shouldn’t have).

20. Then a small break (more alcohol consumed) before the sweets. Usually consisting of a huge bowl of fresh berries in season or pavlova or christmas pudding or all 3 (do not think of your waist line Mumsy.. not today).

21. The day comes a close. Our bellies sated our chatter drawn to a close. Another Christmas passed.

IF we are lucky there will be no family tiffs or tempers or words raised (usually due to the nog and other drinks). We shall talk about whose turn is it next year, what the weather will bring and slowly one by one (after I’ve had helped cleaning and washing up that is) each family member will bid their goodbyes.

aaah yes Christmas in our household …it’s a day full of prior panic..it’s a day of nerves, time checking and pacing, a day full of hoping all goes well, a day when all said and done passes with smiles and laughter and maybe some tears…

How’s yours???

PS: Sorry for the length of this post – I swear I was stone cold sober when writing it …possibly  😉

81 more sleeps …..21 easy steps….

Yes that’s right my friends. 81 more sleeps till the jolly slightly ’rounded’ man in his red suit awkwardly alights onto the suspension robe hanging from the slay to jump onto our roof, stealthily making his way across the tiles or tin & jumps feet first down our chimneys (for those that have a chimney that is).

For those of us who don’t, well sshhh we have to pretend.

It’s Christmas at my place this year, the family takes turns (well individuals do within said family) which got me thinking….

How does everyone’s Christmas Day pan out…how does it start? How does it end?

I already have beads of perspiration on my forehead just thinking about it. This is how mine goes.

 

Whoever has the blessed event at their home does the “Mains”, then one is usually in charge of sweets and the entree . The veg is distributed to whoever puts their hands up.

1. Lists that have been written a month or so prior are finally disposed of.

2. Either time has been taken off work to shop (usually 2-3 days before the big ’25’) with the hoards of other totally maniacal Christmassy folk in the Supermarkets, grocers, butchers trying to get their hands on whatever is on said lists (yours truly included) or I leave EVERYTHING to the last minute and panic ensues.

3.  Everything purchased (don’t be silly of course you need double or triple the amount you actually end up eating!) and as for the alcohol list (being the most important) half the bottle shop is purchased. Then it’s onto the table setting – do I buy nice linen serviettes this year? Or stick to the bright coloured paper jobs (yep they’re cheaper and only used for wiping grubby mouths on anyway). There are the obligatory bon-bons, again the cheap version where you are lucky if they actually to pop when pulled apart and you may get a nice poem or something not too nasty inside (or the cheaper ones where you get the ridiculous paper party hat, plastic toy and jokes (yep you guessed it the party hats win).

4. Do I have enough wine glasses, champagne glasses, beer glasses? Do I have the full set of white crockery (heaven knows you can’t serve Christmas lunch on a patterned plate!) Did any of these break during the year and forgot to replace?

(More beads of perspiration)

Twas the night before Christmas…

5. The table is set, table cloth pristine & ironed, serviettes, glasses, Clean SS cutlery (without left over dried food) bon-bons, candle Christmas centre pieces. Stand back admire, move fork to the right a bit, towel dry the water marks of any glasses. Nods head…smiles.

The big day…..

6. Ah yes up at the crack of dawn, nerves already kicking in, hoping that I time the cooking of turkey, chicken, pork correctly. Usually turkey done in the BBQ (turns out a treat it does by the way).

Is it too early for a drink?? … 6.30 am yep possibly.

7. Prepare the rum egg nog (they did so like it last time) though note to self careful about how much I consume before meal is actually served.(Of course I have to do the taste test – something to calm the nerves).

Pacing….I do a lot of that I pace, I re-check, I pace.

8. Ok so all should be good, veg is being brought, salad too and sweets. All I have to do is put the meats on and dish up the nibblies.

Sounds easy??  Pace ..pace another try of the egg nog (just to make sure).

9. Ok nibblies now out – checks the time I do that a lot also checking the time and pacing.

10. Meats in, chicken in the oven, turkey in the BBQ (you did remember to fill the gas cylinder honey??)

11. Ham glazed wrapped & in the fridge.

 

The moment arrives….

12. Hi Hi, yes yes Merry Christmas my other half greets at the door. My family knows I’m a stress head, so I hear them cautiously walk into the kitchen. Hi Hi Merry Christmas, yes yes kiss on cheeks, hugs, yep same to you (how’s the turkey going?)

13. Egg Nog anyone? (Don’t mind if I do)

14. Right good the gangs all here (the day has begun). Champagne and strawberry time (yee-ha I say). “Please go sit in the lounge get comfy” (in other words PLEASE get the hell out of my kitchen why I have my panic attacks).

15. Pace – go out to BBQ, lift lid, cooking nicely. Inside check oven yep yep chicken doing well. Take ham out to get room temperature (champagne gulped). 5 minutes? I have that..into lounge so how is everyone etc, my look at all the pressies under the tree (our tradition is to open after mains). Then there’s the weather talk in Australia we can have 40 deg C or we can have rain and hail..(be prepared for either).

16. Right entree time (can relax for another 5). Yum yum, fresh salmon or trout or antipasto platter or prawns whatever head Entree Chef prepared.

Back to kitchen pace pace timing it’s all in the timing.

17. “Won’t be long I yell” (another champagne gulp). Meat retrieved from BBQ, looking crispy and golden and delicious. Chicken from oven also looking yum. Veg have been re-heated or crisped, gravy made. Other half checks in on me and does a U turn seeing my expression.

18. Sit down (wait for the compliments of how beautiful everything looks) ..what come on..someone has to say it??

Ah there we are, thank you- thank you it was nothing (bloody hell it wasn’t nothing do you know what time I’ve been up?)

19. Onto the presents – the giving out by the selected party, the unwrapping, the oooh and the aahhs and the you shouldn’t have (no REALLY you shouldn’t have).

20. Then a small break (more alcohol consumed) before the sweets. Usually consisting of a huge bowl of fresh berries in season or pavlova or christmas pudding or all 3 (do not think of your waist line Jen.. not today).

21. The day comes a close. Our bellies sated our chatter drawn to a close. Another Christmas passed.

IF we are lucky there will be no family tiffs or tempers or words raised (usually due to the nog and other drinks). We shall talk about whose turn is it next year, what the weather will bring and slowly one by one (after I’ve had helped cleaning and washing up that is) each family member will bid their goodbyes.

aaah yes Christmas in our household …it’s a day full of prior panic..it’s a day of nerves, time checking and pacing, a day full of hoping all goes well, a day when all said and done passes with smiles and laughter and maybe some tears…

How’s yours???

PS: Sorry for the length of this post – I swear I was stone cold sober when writing it 🙂