Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. immaculate
2. moratorium
3. flash
4. spendthrift
5. miscellaneous
6. squirrel

and/or: "grungy, grotty globs of goo" I left my (true story) contribution to this phrase in Delores' comment section.

Here is my story:

I thought about getting another deadbolt installed on the front door, three didn't seem to be enough. The back door had newly installed ceiling and floor bolts, perhaps I should get those on the front door instead. 
I'd speak to the security people tomorrow. 
I'd had the windows wired yesterday, anyone trying to get in that way would be met by screeching alarms and the speedy arrival of the police. 

I'd declared a moratorium on the ex and any of his mates just barging in any old time as if they owned the place. 
They didn't of course, I'd inherited this house from my grandparents. 

But Antony hadn't listened to my ban and since he still had his keys and refused to hand them over, he and the sleazy low-life mates, Raffles (Richard) and Buster (Brian) waltzed in to raid the fridge and pantry whenever they pleased, day or night, as well as leaving both bathrooms a soggy mess of wet towels and splattered soap. I hoped the new locks would take care of that.

Those two had managed to coerce weak-willed Ant into a life of petty crime and in a flash of inspiration, I'd divorced him after bailing him out of jail for the third time this year. 
The three of them were wasteful spendthrifts, every ill-gotten dollar disappearing almost as fast as they'd acquired it. 
Hence the raiding of my grocery supply two or three times a month. 

Most of the emergency money I'd managed to squirrel away while married to Antony was now gone, having paid for his latest bail bond and the new deadbolts. I rather hoped their next foray into criminal activity would see all three of them sentenced to jail, bail denied.

I scooped a stack of miscellaneous receipts off the kitchen counter and locked them in the desk, then set about unpacking and storing my groceries. 
When I was finished, I glanced around at my immaculate kitchen and living room, satisfied they would stay that way now that Ant, Raffles and Buster could no longer get in.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Thursday Thoughts # 39

from One For The Money by Janet Evanovich

"....I shuffled into the kitchen and stood in front of the refrigerator, hoping the refrigerator fairies had visited during the night. I opened the door and stared at the empty shelves, noting that food hadn't magically cloned itself from the smudges in the butter keeper and the shriveled flotsam at the bottom of the crisper."

"I flopped onto my bed, spread-eagle on my back. This was my thinking position when things appeared to be futile. It had obvious advantages: I could nap while I waited for something brilliant to pop into my mind."

today's thoughts 

I'm giving up eggs. 

Not entirely, so perhaps I should clarify.
I'm giving up fried eggs and scrambled eggs, both of which I love, but I'll still use eggs to make pancakes and other yummy things that need eggs. 

Chocolate cake for instance. 
Chicken Schnitzels.

Sometime ago, here in Australia, there was a problem with chickens on the farms that supply the egg companies. 
I don't recall what it was, but many chickens were destroyed and this caused an egg shortage.

The shortage wasn't immediately apparent, millions of eggs had already been laid and were available for our consumption. 

A few weeks later there were gaps on supermarket shelves where once there had been boxes of deliciousness. 

Now the egg supply appears to have recovered, the shelves are once again filled with many different branded boxes all claiming to be fresh eggs.
But are they? 
Fresh, I mean. 
How fresh? 
Have these eggs been kept in long term storage?

I ask because they taste different. They taste wrong. They taste stale
Not "off" exactly, but not nice and even after coffee or tea, (whichever you drink with breakfast), the stale egg taste lingers in the mouth. 

The white of the egg when fried is the stale (awful) tasting part, the yolk has no flavour at all. Certainly not the yummy richness I've been used to. 
Scrambled, the eggs just taste stale-not-quite-off, but very certainly not fresh. 

How long do we have to put up with this? I've tried several different brands of eggs and all are the same. 
The one exception was the dozen I'd bought at the local market held on the third Saturday of each month. Free range, from his own chooks.
But I often forget to go there, or just can't be bothered, or I'm too busy.

So there's a lot less eggs being consumed here in this small household. 

Let's move on to a completely different type of egg.

Chocolate eggs. 
Sold by the million every year at Easter. 

For many, many years, my preferred chocolate bunny was the Red Tulip brand. 
The 'giant rabbit' dressed in foil designed to look like the toy soldier on a Christmas Tree. 

Then I discovered the Lindt bunny and bought those for a couple of years, but they're a bit pricey so I switched back to the Red Tulip giant rabbits which had now increased in price to rival the Lindt, but were larger, so the kids got more chocolate for the money.
Then the kids grew up and no longer expected chocolate bunnies from Nanny, so I bought Lindt bunnies for myself. 

Then, one year, Gubor bunnies appeared on the shelves at Coles. I tried one and was hooked.
 Best chocolate ever!! 
So those were what I bought for myself each Easter for several years. 

At some point during those years, Red Tulip was sold to Cadbury, and the chocolate changed.
Still good eating, but less rich, the kind of blandness I'd become used to tasting when eating anything Cadbury. (less cocoa solids in the mix, I no longer buy Cadbury chocolate)

This year, I discovered my beloved Gubor bunnies are no longer available in Australia. I searched online and discovered they are available in New Zealand supermarkets, but that's a long way to go for a silver/blue wrapped chocolate bunny.  
And they don't ship to Australia :(

Last week I was shopping in my local Woolworths and noticed Red Tulip bunnies on special. I thought to myself, "Hmmm, will I or won't I?"

I did. 
I bought a Red Tulip bunny. Took it home, smashed it up, took one bite. 

And threw it away.
Yes, that's right. I threw away chocolate. 

That chocolate tasted like the very cheap nasty stuff available in the $2 shops. 
The stuff with foreign lettering on the label near the English lettering. 
I got the wrapper out of the bin and checked. 
No foreign lettering, but the Cadbury website is listed. 
So they still own the Red Tulip brand, but what have they done to their chocolate? 
It is awful!
So this is another area where I am giving up eggs. Even if they are shaped like bunnies.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Whimsical Wednesday # 168

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

The day for you googled giggle that gets you over the hump that is Wednesday and sliding down into the weekend.

Something to think about.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Musical Monday # 52

Musical Monday

I was introduced to Musical Monday by Delores who copied the meme from another site.

I think it’s a fun way to show off some of the music we like and brighten up our Mondays at the same time. 

I’ll be finding my clips on you tube, so will simply credit that site since there are often so many versions of everything and I wouldn’t want to accidentally credit the wrong artist.

Today’s clip is: Kay Starr with her #1 hit from 1956 (according to you tube)

Rock and Roll Waltz

Sunday, March 22, 2015

Sunday Selections # 216

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, as a way to showcase some of the many photos we all take, but don't get around to showing on our blogs.

The rules are very simple:-
1. post photos of your choice, old or new, under the Sunday Selections title
2. link back to me, River, somewhere in your post
3. leave me a comment so that I know you've joined in and can come over and see what you've posted.
4. hop on over to The Elephant’s Child to see more of her wonderful photos.
  Andrew often joins in too.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week I'm back in my garden.

when I had the grasses removed, I found my cheery little welcome gnome again. I'd placed him near the front corner of that garden and he was very quickly lost under the grasses as they grew. I cleaned him up and now he stands on the porch table by my door. 

I collected seed heads from the french marigolds in the garden and put a couple of dozen in the empty pots that had once held bulbs. Here you can see three lovely healthy plants developing. Buds, but no flowers yet.

in the other pot, only one seed grew and has now flowered beautifully. I put more seeds in there and about eight of them have now sprouted the first two leaves. So more flowers are on the way.

out in the garden the rest continue to flower and I am still collecting seed heads. 
I've filled half an envelope with seeds now and will start them in pots at the first sign of spring. 

I like the colour mix available in the dwarf French marigolds. 

red, gold and ruffled. What more could you want?

pretty maids all in a row.

see the chewed petals? That caterpillar must have had a sweet appetiser before he moved on to my mint.

I've since been to the garden centre at Bunnings and bought more marigolds, there's a lovely red and yellow striped one, but I haven't photographed it yet.

the mint is beginning to recover, but I've bought another plant and put it in the same pot. 
Hopefully the caterpillars won't find it until it is better established.

Now, for fishducky, a couple of my favourite T-shirts.

well of course it is!

this one speaks for itself. (*~*)

Friday, March 20, 2015

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

On Wednesdays, Delores, from Under The Porch Light, has a word challenge meme which she calls “Words for Wednesday”.

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, or a poem.

I’m hopeless at poetry so I always do a story.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. parsimonious 
2. misshapen
3. traction
4. brass
5. blessings
6. investigative

Here is my story:

Ellen sat in the passenger seat muttering quietly to herself. Nathan, in the driver's seat, was doing his own muttering about the lack of traction as he slid on the icy road. He slowed down and righted the car, then glanced at Ellen. 

"What are you muttering about?"
"My word of the week," Ellen said. "You know I've been going to classes trying to expand my vocabulary, well this week's word is 'parsimonious'. We have to try to use it in conversation at least three times this week."

"Parsi-what?" said Nathan.
"Parsimonious,' said Ellen.

"What the devil does that even mean?" asked Nathan.

"It means miserly, mean, stingy, penny-pinching, cheap. Like those old jokes about Scottish people where they won't pay a nickel for anything if they can get it for a penny."

"Huh," said Nathan, "sounds like my old man; wouldn't even fork over a penny if he could get something for free." 

"Yeah, I've heard the stories," said Ellen. "This is like some of the other words we've had in class, really old fashioned, long-winded stuff, like 'obstreperous' last month, it means unruly and disobedient; I'm glad we don't go around speaking like that now-a-days."

Nathan laughed, "imagine the paperwork after a bust, we'd be sitting for hours longer than usual writing things like the parsi-whatsit became obs..obs, whatever, when we informed him he would be spending the night in the lock-up."

"There'd be no-one left on the streets to catch these guys, we'd all be in the office typing up reams of paperwork," said Ellen.

Just then, the radio crackled to life, calling any car in the vicinity to Papa's Cookhouse on Third Street where a fight had begun and a crowd was gathering.

Ellen replied they were on their way as Nathan turned the car around and turned on the flashing red and blue. No siren though, didn't want to attract even more of a crowd. 

Two blocks away, in Papa's Cookhouse, things were looking ugly. Chairs had been broken, tables overturned and crockery had been smashed. 

Two men, red faced and snarling, faced each other across the open buffet. 
Ed brandished a large kitchen knife in one hand while holding his other hand to his misshapen nose, trying to stop the blood which was dripping into the potato salad. 
George, on the other side, waved a long, heavy soup ladle at him.

"Come back around this side you sissy!" he screamed at Ed. "Coming in here with your fancy certificate, telling me I'm doing things wrong. Arrange it on the plate he says, make it pretty for the customers he says. I've been putting ribs on plates for ten years here, never had a single complaint!"

Ed grabbed a handful of napkins and burst into tears. "I didn't mean it like that, I just...I just meant.." he couldn't go on and stood staring at George. 

Around the edges of the room, huddled into corners were the few customers who hadn't run outside the minute the fight had exploded out of the kitchen. In one corner, Ronnie and Vince, with daughter Katie, sat under a table and kept as quiet as possible. They'd come for a celebratory lunch after Katie had got all A's on her school report. The barbecued ribs at Papa's Cookhouse were legendary, the  best in the state, no one knew why, Papa didn't have a secret recipe or anything, but people came from all over to eat barbecued ribs and potato salad at Papas. 

Papa himself had tried to calm things down when the shouting had started in the kitchen, then called the Police as soon as George broke Ed's nose. It had been an accident, Ed said something about garnishes on plates and George had swung around in a temper with that big soup ladle, Ed's nose had just been in the way. But then both men lost their tempers. 

The string of brass bells above the door tinkled as Ellen and Nathan walked in, looking around to be sure no customers were hurt. There seemed to be no injuries apart from Ed's nose. Nathan walked towards the open buffet, while Ellen began ushering customers outside, where the local investigative journalist, Bull, was taking photos and asking questions. 

Most of the crowd out there had gathered from nearby shops and homes and the people had no idea what had been going on. The few customers who had run outside earlier had already given their versions of the story to Bull. 
Bull's real name was Richard, but he was well-known for being bull-headed when chasing a story, so the nickname had been given and stuck. Everyone had known him as Bull for years now. An absurd nickname, as Richard was thin and stringy in build with red hair and freckles, yet suitable as he was as single minded as a bull after a red flag when he scented a story.

With Papa's help Nathan had managed to disarm the combatants inside and each one now sat in a chair on opposite sides of the room. Ed's nose had stopped bleeding and a spectacular bruise was forming across his face. George scowled at him from across the room as Nathan took his statement. 

Papa tried to cheer things up a little. "Count your blessings," he said to Ed. "The soup ladle was empty, at least you didn't get hot sauce in your face." 
Ed thought of the hot sauce George had been about to ladle over the ribs and promptly fainted. 
Papa eased him gently to the floor and pushed a folded tablecloth under his head, then began righting tables and sweeping broken crockery towards the kitchen. Three broken chairs were set aside and Papa surveyed the rest of the damage. 

"Not too bad, " he said to himself, "not too bad, would have been much worse maybe if George hadn't been taking those anger management classes." He turned as Nathan called him and walked over to give his version of the story. Papa's would be closed tomorrow as cleaning and repairs took place. "Thank heavens for insurance" thought Papa. 
Tomorrow all three men would be down at the station, answering yet more questions and signing statements.