Sometimes on the way to your dream,

you get lost and find a better one.

Saturday, August 31, 2013

oh dear....

Two days ago I had to endure a bus trip with a woman seated across the aisle and one seat behind, who coughed, sneezed and sniffed the whole trip.

Now I'm a bit headachy and sneezing and desperately hoping this is a hayfever attack and not a cold.

I'll know by tonight.
If the hayfever medication doesn't work, then it's a cold.

Possibly the woman on the bus was also having a hayfever attack, all the jasmine has started blooming this past week, so all of us hayfever sufferers are suffering.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

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

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, if we are able.
Sometimes I look at her words and nothing at all comes to mind.
Sometimes a story suggests itself immediately.

It’s a fun challenge…why not join in?

This week's words are:

1. drugged
2. scandalous
3. frying
4. clerk
5. entrance
6. hidden 

Here is my short story:

The entrance to the newest hideout was well hidden, JJ would have never found it without the smell of frying bacon leading her on.  She cautiously rounded the rough boulder and squirmed through the narrow passage to the larger cave within. 

Her brothers were there, sitting on flat rocks surrounding a campfire, where the bacon sizzled on a discarded old barbecue plate. Morgan and Asher weren't happy to see her, but soon forgot their annoyance as she excitedly told them the latest news.

As the  newest  journalism clerk in the Herald building, she overheard a lot of things and! this was a doozy!

The scandalous story would be on the front page of tomorrow's paper. Pages were being printed even as she spoke, the headlines were two inches high!

The new principal of the high school was found to be drugged after being caught speeding through red lights and almost driving into the lake! Three baggies of a white powdered substance had been confiscated from the glove box of his car!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

how much is the fine?

How much is the fine for not voting?

I'm a little concerned here.
I don't like Tony Abbot's views and I straight out don't like Kevin Rudd at all.
I think he is childish and has a mean streak. 
So I don't want to vote for either of them.

Not voting incurs a fine.
So how much is this fine?
Have I stashed away enough dollars?

This year, for the first time ever, I'll be collecting all the leaflets handed out near the polling booth entrance and studying them carefully before deciding where to make my pencil mark.
If I make one at all.

I've been reading the views put forward by journalists in the papers, but I've never understood politics. Each article says good things about the party they're spruiking in a way that I could almost believe they're the "good" party, but they can't all be the "good" party.
 Equally they can't all be the "bad" party.

None of the "promises" I hear on TV are convincing me they are trying to do the right thing by my country, all I really hear is "vote for me".

The whole shebang is turning my brain to cottage cheese.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Whimsical Wednesday #88

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

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

there, that should take care of the chocolate cake I ate yesterday.
and the day before.....

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

you'll never guess what I've been up to....

then again, you're all pretty's a clue>>>>

do you need more clues?

you're right! I've been cooking.

Here's stage two>>

clean up time.

much better.

Stage three?

coffee, cake, and a couple of chapters.

Now I know what you're thinking....all that mess just to make a chocolate cake?
Well, yes...and no.
I also made a beef casserole, a batch of mini meatballs ready for the next batch of spaghetti sauce and a couple of mini meatloaves.
My freezer is full.

Monday, August 26, 2013

what I did when I was, no, not that. I was a good girl.....

Last Friday, Delores, from Under the Porch Light, wrote about the frenetic activity experienced at harvest time on the farm when she was young.

It brought back memories of one of my very first paid jobs.

I'd spent the summer lazing at the Port Pirie beach and had met a boy who'd come to town on holiday.
He worked at a sheep station as a Jackeroo.  We became good friends and a few months later I heard from him, via mail, (snail mail in those days), that the current housemaid had left for life in the big city and the position was open. Would I like to try it?

Yeah, sure, why not? How hard could it be?

My dad drove us up there, a few hundred miles north west of Port Augusta, met the family and took off for home again.
I was alone in a crowd of strangers, except for ****, and far, far, away from "civilisation", aka the nearest town.

The homestead was well stocked, with supplies and mail being brought in by the "mail train". Ordering was done by mail or telephone. I don't remember how often this mail train came along, I think once a month....and the siding was quite a long way from the house acre.
The main house was large and cool inside, with a big farmhouse kitchen, a shady verandah all around the house, a garden  and over to one side a second house, far enough away for privacy,  with  other family members. A daughter, her husband and children.
There were outbuildings, quarters for the hands, laundry rooms and  a small flyscreened enclosure for butchering and hanging a sheep, for family consumption.

The farm dogs loved butchering day!

Meat was stored in the cold pantry off the kitchen and any that became "flyblown" (maggotty), was thrown to the dogs.

I was told the routine and learned the way things were done fairly quickly.
In this big kitchen I learned to make rock cakes with lard as shortening, sultanas if there were any available, with currants if the sultanas were all gone. My very first attempt at these was pronounced excellent by the matriarch, Mrs. ** , who told me the previous girl never did get the hang of them.

The routine was fairly simple, up before dawn, start the fire in the kitchen stove and put the big frying pans on to heat. Now when I say big frying pans, I mean BIG. These pans were about 40-45cm across, one was for frying the two dozen eggs needed at breakfast, the other was divided between sausages, bacon and chops.  A full loaf of bread was toasted and kept warm in the oven.
I made two of the biggest pots of tea I'd ever seen each morning.
I turned out to be hopeless at getting the fire going, so each morning **** would sneak in and do that for me. Then he'd skedaddle so as not to get caught.

After washing up the breakfast things, and sweeping the floor, I'd scrape all the scraps into a bucket and take it out to the dogs.
Then it was time to prepare the "smoko", which is what morning and afternoon teas were called.
I'd make a huge batch of rock cakes and sandwiches, then get busy baking whatever Mrs ** decided we'd have for the afternoon smoko. Most often this would be a Victoria Sponge, two layers of cake sandwiched with jam and sprinkled with icing sugar.

The family men would have their smoko in the dining room, while the Jackeroos (two of them) and me would eat in the kitchen. I never saw sandwiches and cakes disappear so fast, along with another of those gigantic pots of strong tea.
Lunch followed a few hours later and after cleaning up from that, I had a couple of  hours to myself before starting dinner preparations. Time for doing my laundry, reading a book, going for a walk...

In between all the food prep and cleanup, I also had to vacuum the carpets and dust the "good" rooms.

Dinner was a big affair, with mountains of vegetables and often a leg of lamb or a few dozen chops fried in one of those big pans. And always gravy along with a full loaf of bread again. Beef and Chicken were rarely seen. It was a sheep station, after all.  Thousands and thousands of sheep over (I think) 200,000 acres. May have been more, I'm not sure of the size of the spread.

I remember one night after dark, Mrs ** coming out onto the porch where I was enjoying the cool of the evening, wondering why I wasn't in the kitchen cleaning up. I explained that cleanup was finished and we went back into the kitchen because she hadn't heard any banging of pots or silverware etc. She told me then I was the quietest housemaid she'd ever had.

I didn't stay on the station long, about three months, but I managed to save almost every penny I earned, since there was nowhere to spend it except for the mail train.
I only got to go along on a mail run once and bought up big on magazines and lollies.

I left because Dad had a letter from Mum saying that she had a job lined up for me in Murray Bridge where she was living. (They'd separated when I was seven and divorced when I was eleven).  Both Dad and Mum would have preferred me living in a town and I wasn't fussed either way, so off I went to Murray Bridge. 

The promised job didn't happen though, I had a Polish surname then, and the proprietress of the hairdressing establishment decided she couldn't hire me after all.
She wanted someone "more Australian".
I'd lived in Australia since I was 9 months old, how much more Australian could I get?
That's when she mentioned my surname was not suitable.  Pfft!!

So I went to work in the milk-bottling /cheese-making factory down on the river bank instead.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Sunday Selections # 134

Welcome back to Sunday Selections!

This once-a- week-meme was originally begun by Kim of Frog Ponds Rock, (who now writes over at "The Shake"), 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.

Kath and Andrew often join in as well, although Kath has been quite busy lately and unable to join us.

I usually go with a theme for my Sunday Selections and this week I'm continuing with some photos of the recent holiday I had in WA.

the first few photos are from the Fishing Boat Harbour area that has the bronze fishermen statues featured a couple of weeks back.

this plastic dog intrigued me.
Who made him? Why?
Is he part of some art project?
He was quite friendly, standing very still for the photo shoot, not even wagging his tail....

I saw a Ferris Wheel across the road from the boats, it's part of a small amusement park, with a grassed area next to it. Apparently there is talk of bulldozing the green area and creating a carpark....

I loved the look of Joe's Fish Shack which had a sign painted on it...

urging all and sundry to "Eat at Joe's"
We didn't....we were on our way somewhere.

Out the front of Joe's was this....

brightly painted old row boat.

pretty isn't she?
Can you tell I like boats?

Further up the coast is Hillary's Boat Harbour,

with resort apartments for rent. Holiday accommodation.
I'm not sure how far in advance you would have to book for these, they're right on the waterfront and probably very expensive.

back view of the apartments. I like the symmetry here.

there are two rows of apartments, this is the front view of the ones right on the waterfront.

The second row faces the parklands on the other side.

 long distance (sort of) view of the back row that faces the parklands.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

mmmm, breakfast for one

I love breakfast, not only because it is the most important meal of the day, but because I'm usually hungry first thing in the morning.
When you're hungry, everything tastes good.

Craisins, Dates, Dried Apricots.

The apricots are Woolworths own "Select" brand and they are really nice.

chop some of the fruit, I like to chop it pretty finely....

add the fruit to a half-cup of rolled oats in a saucepan.

add just enough water to cover the mix...

and leave to stand overnight.

In the morning....

add a splash of milk (or water), however much suits you, Half a cup for me, and simmer gently about 3 minutes.
Serve (with a spoonful of Malt Extract for me) and enjoy.

Friday, August 23, 2013

Wednesday's Words on a Friday

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

She puts up a selection of six words which we then use in a short story, if we are able.
Sometimes I look at her words and nothing at all comes to mind.

This week's words are:

1. kindling
2. frenetic
3. visible
4. plot
5. doorstep
6. clapping

Here is my short story:

Orlando locked his door, pocketed his key and buried the spare under the third rock in the garden plot beside his doorstep and headed to the showgrounds.

Just an hour later, sweat was visibly flying, with the crowd roaring and clapping their approval at the frenetic pace as Orlando and the other woodchoppers reduced the centre portions of their logs to kindling.

Orlando's axe swung sweet and true, the blade biting deep and releasing easily. 
He knew the trophy would be his again this year. 
Next year, he would have to watch out for young Mac, down at the end there, his swing was much stronger and more confident than it had been last year. 

Thursday, August 22, 2013

seen right here in Adelaide

Rundle Mall....

......ripped up and under reconstruction.


while over in a high-end department store........

two bronze statues enjoyed a cup of coffee.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

what is a WASP?

I've come across this term before and never given it a second thought.


Is it an acronym?
What does it mean?

Here's a passage from the story I'm currently reading:-

"She was a sophisticated New Yorker and a brilliant young lawyer with no place to go but up.
There were two things she wasn't though.
She wasn't an international beauty and she wasn't a WASP".

Can anybody out there enlighten me?

Whimsical Wednesday #87

Welcome back to Whimsical Wednesday!

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

multi - tasking, Caveman style.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

the pots of jade from the previous post

Yesterday I showed the flowers on the plant I call jade. In comments, Delores said she had never seen a Jade tree flowering, so here I am setting the record straight.
These aren't trees.
They're a succulent plant that can grow to the size of small shrubs when planted in the ground. I've seen some about as tall as me and probably as big around as they are tall.
The older they get, the better they flower. Especially in drier conditions.

these are my four pots, marching up the steps. The biggest plant at the top of the steps is 40cm from the lip of the pot to the highest leaf tip. They are all a little under 18 months old. The three smaller ones are too exposed to the winds that come from that direction along the side of the house. They'd grow better and flower if I moved them, but the only place is along the front and that is too close to the lawn. The mower man would shred the pots with his whippersnipper.

here is a close-up of the leaves. I love the red-blushed edges.

the main trunk is becoming quite thick, these smaller ones are about halfway up. One of these broken off and planted will soon grow, I gave one to a neighbour. Even a leaf pulled off and planted,  or one that has dropped off, will grow roots and eventually form a new plant.

this is the green pot with my three tiny new rhubarbs. The fourth crown appears to have died.

up on the table, my angel and lucky leprechaun are watching over the porch.