I’m No Turkey This Thanksgiving #NaBloPoMo

If you are a turkey in the United States of America and are currently reading this then congratulations not only have you achieved a level of intelligence that is most fowl, but chances are you will survive the next twenty four hours.

As I write this most of you are catching your final moments of peaceful rest before Thanksgiving preparations begin in earnest and the feasting begins. And then when you finish saying thanks there will be yet more feasting and probably some football watching and/or discussion. At least that’s what Thanksgiving to a non American who is far, far away seems like.

Australians don’t have a Thanksgiving, but I’m not going to let that stop me getting with the programme.

So here are my tips for a trouble and calorie free Thanksgiving:

1. Purchase only fresh, quality ingredients

turkey in a cab

2.Be sure to review the nutrition information panel to ensure that you have bought the best for your family

turkey can nutrition panel

3. Examine the produce and verify its freshness and suitability

deflated turkey

4. Toil away for hours weaving your magic to create a memorable feast that your family members will remember for years

front on turkey

5. Admire your handy work which looks even better in profile

turkey side view

Enjoy. And don’t forget the accompaniments like I did. Next year, I’m definitely scouting for inflatable potatoes, gravy and the odd vegetable or two.

Happy Thanksgiving to all my readers.

Today I Give Myself Permission to Indulge #atozchallenge

Letter I“Indulgence”, even the word itself sounds a bit naughty, much like a piece of contraband blowing in the wind. Maybe because it connotes an element of excess or avarice.

However, I’m here to advocate for a little indulgence every day, indulgence that is neither excessive nor avaricious. As indulgence is often linked to the concept of self consciousness, we often feel that we should not indulge ourselves or that we should indulge everyone else ahead of ourselves. There is often guilt associated with our indulgence, often diluting what could be positive outcomes and effects.

Indulge doesn’t have to be time consuming, lavish or expensive. The key to indulging is to pursue whatever feeds your soul and nurtures your spirit. It could be for as little as 15 minutes out of your day, it could be for an hour. We all need to take time for a little self-care, so that we can carry on for those who count on us.

So, let me introduce you to some of my favorite indulgences:

red sox at Fenwaypeanut butterfoot massagebushwalkinghabit of reading

cleaning laughter







No raindrops on roses or whiskers on kittens here.

Rather, and with apologies to Julie Andrews:

Baseball with Red Sox

And peanuts with butter

Massage for footsies

Makes my heart a flutter

A great stack of books all tied up with string

These are a few of my favorite things

Laughter and smiles

And tears of pure joy

Walking the bush

With hubby and my boys

A road trip to somewhere

Adventures it brings

These are a few of my favorite things.

By the way, who really needs bread with peanut butter? Or a knife? Or a plate?

Give yourself permission to indulge your soul without guilt daily. Fifteen minutes just for you. It could be something as simple as enjoying fresh air after being stuck in air-conditioning all day or catching the sunshine on your back and face after a cold spell. The best indulgences are probably free.

dominant thoughts

Today I give myself permission to indulge.

What are some of your favorite indulgences?

My post on Company for Christmas. I really am dreaming of a white Christmas. What are your Christmas dreams?

Springtime is Bloomin’ Wonderful #blogboost

Image from flikr
hokkey’s photostream

If you’re anywhere near my vintage, you remember the immortal classic, Tip Toe Through The Tulips by Tiny Tim. Sung in a high, shrill voice and accompanied by the ukulele, it was a song that became popular despite itself with lines that you just couldn’t forget.

Tiptoe through the window
By the window, that is where I’ll be
Come tiptoe through the tulips with me

Oh, tiptoe from the garden
By the garden of the willow tree
And tiptoe through the tulips with me

With the temperatures pushing upwards and the days becoming longer I decided to take a mid-week minivaccay and do some of my own tippy toeing through the tulips. Every spring, our nation’s capital, Canberra hosts a major garden event, Floriade. Commonwealth Park comes alive with carpets of tulips in a myriad of colours. The flowers are planted to create designs which can be viewed from up high in a ferris wheel.

The festival runs for a month and includes various activities such as gnome painting, circus training, music, wine tasting and eating. It signifies the coming of the warmer months and is a celebration of the good times ahead.

Below are some of my photos from Floriade which I hope convey the colours and the visuals of the display. It was a wonderful day in the sun, filled with warmth and the beauty of good friends and nature.





The view from atop the ferris wheel




Wishing you all a bloomin’ wonderful  weekend!

Sockcam: Calling All Venture Capitalists

Living in a house full of males makes laundry days very dull affairs. A serious yawnfest and study in homogeneity.

On laundry days, I peer into my laundry basket and all I see is a sea of black and gray. Mind you, I am eternally grateful for that sea because it actually means that by some extraordinary miracle, the laundry of my children has made its way into the room where laundering takes place. I am assuming for the minute that the laundry didn’t crawl there by itself, although anyone who has teenagers would know that is a real possibility, especially when the laundry has aged waiting for the bus to arrive.

Back to the sea. For some unknown mystery male reason, the males in my house only ever wear black or grey underclothes. Colourless socks and undies, all uniform, all designed to drive the laundry lady, aka me, spare. Washing I can cope with, but when it comes folding and matching those little suckers, I’m definitely thinking life is too short. If some person of the male species reading this could enlighten me as to why colours and gasp…a pattern or two are a no-go zone in the male underworld, then I would be forever grateful.


Guys, you need to have pity on those of us who do your laundry!

As if the lack of colour does not increase the degree of laundering difficulty enough, when it comes to matching and folding clean socks I always have less than I started off with. It’s almost as if these individual socks have had enough of toeing (get it?…toeing) the shoe line and wait for the minute they can escape to I know not where. Presumably, there is a single sock bar somewhere just waiting for escaped socks or they go and sign up for e-sock harmony or go out to fight at sock club waiting to heel (get it?… heel) or something.

This mystery requires in-depth research and hence my proposed invention…..


That’s right, a mini waterproof camera that could be fitted on top of the toe of a sock to track its every adventure sending images back to basecamp. We could witness the spying of the escape route, the brush with natural predators up the pipe and the foraging for a mate and finally acceptance in the sock’s natural habitat so that it can ditch its footloose (surly you knew that was coming) status. The footage so exciting that  it would be turned into a three episode mini series with David Attenborough commentating.

This has got real legs, a sure winner.

All I need is come capital. Any takers? Any suckers sockers out there? Be a part of this ground-breaking research, amaze your friends at parties and help revolutionise laundry day around the globe.

In the meantime whilst I wait for my venture capitalists to appear, I’ll continue running my co-op for disenfranchised socks and hope that I can integrate these single socks back into their drawer societies in the not too distant future.


T is for Taste, Texture and Tone: Flunking Interior Decorating 101 (#atozchallenge)

photo from flikr -

I was talking to a friend earlier about the topic for today’s “T” blog post because I was not really happy with my initial topic choices. It’s every good woman’s right to change her mind and I must be a very good woman today because I’ve changed my mind about my blog topic a hundred times. But enough about my blogging angst….

I have always pictured living in a house with personality – one that’s warm, personal and says a lot about its inhabitants. Understandably, this personality is not created overnight and requires something more than just a professional interior decorator’s touch. Our naked rooms are just begging to be dressed and I would like nothing more than to dress them. But I am looking straight into those oncoming headlights, just like those cute little rabbits that end up as someone’s rabbit stew.

Coordinating taste, texture and tone just seems like an impossible task. Scanning ads and the Internet for furniture pieces I like is easy. I’ve got a pile of torn out newspaper pages all depicting wonderful buffets, sofas and display cabinets. But matching pieces to decor, pieces with each other, pieces to fabric and having the vision to put it all together is beyond me. No number of trips to IKEA or items with really cool sounding nordic names will teach me the art of home decorating. Just digressing for a moment: those IKEA design names are so great, I wonder if they design first and wait for inspiration to name it or some manager at IKEA says make me a “pysslingar” or a “raskog”.

As a result, our rooms echo, our walls are bare, our sofa is old and our knick knacks are homeless. This friend I was talking to has so much talent in this area, I want to live in her house…. heck, I want to be her house! She decorated it herself and it screams “welcome” and this is a “home” from every angle. Thankfully, she has offered to provide me with some much needed advice, hopefully enough to overcome my decorating inertia.

Another tool I am going to use is the website, design-seeds.com. The site has delicious colour cards, presented in such a fashion that you mostly want to eat them. I am hoping to find at least a few cards that will give me some ideas on what matches with what. One of life’s little mysteries has always been that I cannot transfer my ability to colour co-ordinate my wardrobe to furnishings and wall colour. They are not so different, are they?







Maybe it’s the thought that getting it wrong has big consequences. The possibility of having to stare at an olive green coloured wall next to pink skirting for the next 20 years of dinnertime does not bode well. But they looked really good on the colour card and that small postage size sample we tried out before committing. They did officer, honest…..

The time has therefore come to bite the home decorating bullet. My knick knacks need a home, the rooms need to be dressed and I need to get over myself. My tones will now learn to match my textures so that I can telegraph my taste. Onwards and upwards to furniture swatch, colour palette and wood grain hell heaven!

Have you had any interesting home decorating experiences?

D is for Dinner Time: Why I Won’t Budge

photo from flikr - chrisinplymouth photstream

You gotta love dinner time. It’s that time of the day when all you want to do after a hard day’s work is wind down, destress and sigh with relief. But alas, the battle is about to begin. You know the battle, the one to make a meal that all family members will eat, is regarded as even remotely nutritious, that won’t require three years in chef school to put together nor end with a mound of pans to wash. Yes THAT battle.

I have never been a natural cook. That hasn’t stopped me from having the goal to build up an exotic repertoire of edible meals which my family will eat. Alas…this has alluded me for several reasons, including the time factor, the shopping factor and the children factor. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve looked through recipes that to me look delicious and not too complex and discounted them out of hand because of my children. You’ll know what I mean if you have ever had a meal rejected by one of your offspring because “of the green things in it”, “the weird smell” or because “it has onions and/or mushrooms in it – ugh”. Then there’s the children and the universe factor. This is my term for when one of my children suddenly decides they don’t like a dish anymore after eating it without complaint for 10 weeks straight just because Mars is no longer in line with Jupiter or whatever.

One thing I do regard as sacred is eating around the dinner table and engaging in conversation (schedules of course permitting). As a family we can manage this about four times a week and despite the aforementioned battle, it is one of my favourite times of the day. To me the dinner table is the family board room, where all line managers report and debrief. On a good day with messers 12 and 17, we move beyond the teenage script:

“How was school?”  – “Good”

“What did you do?” – ” Nothing”

and we laugh and engage. Decisions are made. Strategies are discussed. Timetables are coordinated.

My dinner time rules are:

    • eat only at the dinner table
    • no mobile phones, computers or other digital devices to be present
    • no distracting television in the background
    • all participants are to stay seated at the table until the last person finishes eating – I have no wish to be seasick by the end of the meal with all that bopping up and down
    • every member pitches in to clear the table at the end of the meal.

My kids are great lobbyists. Over the years, they have tried to lobby to bend these rules. Each rule has had its great lobby moment with number two getting a work out at the present.

In this hectic world we live in and given the ages of my children, dinner time is one of our last remaining opportunities for face time as a family. Engagement and communication is essential to the knitting of the family fabric. I often marvel at these times just how witty and articulate my offspring can be – even if their wit is directed at my cooking or my person. There is no amount of text messaging or fantastic television shows that will convince me to give up this ritual.

Through this, I hope I have instilled in my boys the art of conversation and value for each other. I hope they continue with these rules when they move to the next stage of their lives, some of which were passed on to me by my own parents.

Now, if I could only teach them the art of eating a chicken leg gracefully with utensils and that sometimes green stuff is actually edible….

This post is part of the you know what Challenge