Sunday, December 30, 2012

Balancing a late dinner with a shitty girl

The husb. disappeared more than an hour ago to take one girl to the dairy (where she can join her uncle in the pit and get covered in shit for it is slippery and she is in worn gumbies) and to take the other girl (lets call her "cleany") for a chat with his mother.

Now before he left he said he would be back in time to finish making tea.  He did mention tea would probably be late.

I could stop dribbling to you and pop off and start tea.  Really, I could.  If only I felt like it to any extent.  It is probably a false impression but I feel like I have been cooking non-stop for weeks.  Mind you, this means my husb. has been washing up and hanging washing as an alternate.  Nevertheless, I am just not in the mood for making quiche.  The next step would be to wash a vinegar bottle and use it as a rolling pin to roll then blind bake the pastry.  Doesn't seem appealing.

Perhaps I will just volunteer to de-shit the girl when they get home.  That sounds nicer.

Addendum:  It is now 6.30 pm, the estimated time of arrival of the "late tea" and there is no sign of the husb., cleany or the shit girl. Do you think he will be disappointed that I have not started without him?  Bloody husbands.

Further grumblings:  The husb. returned.  The cleany was clean and shit girl was truely shitty.*  I showered the s.g..  Apparently I should be fine with the revised dinner estimate well after the girls bedtime.  I am not sure why he thinks the s.g. will still be capable of eating that late.  She never has been before. Under the full force of a grumpy wife he made the girls an impromptu meal.  I am currently expecting tea around 8pm.**  Bloody bloody husbands.

* After several visits to the pit in the dairy where she fell into shit every time we threw out that set of clothes.  The smell was never coming out.

** Reading this back later I had a laugh.  Think Sinatra:
     She gets too hungry, for dinner at eight
     She likes the theater, but never come late
     She never bothers with people she hates
     That's why the lady is a tramp

Peace in our time (with some bull)

Lordy lord, I am at peace.  By which I mean for the first time in several weeks I am actually alone.  (Ignoring the many cats and chickens and one dog in the garden and the bull bellowing* in the lane waiting for his lady friends to emerge from the dairy.)

I have just finished a book by Jenny Lawson.  I was going to send her an indemnifying email half way through to ensure she should not face any legal problems in the event of my sudden death.  As it was I survived with several heavy drags of ventolin.  I can now see how improper disposal of wet towels could lead to cat leg amputation, making it more important than ever to keep nagging about them (towels, not cat legs).  Mind you, then I would have one less purple footprint all over the tub.

Possibly I have been holidaying so hard my mind has turned to jelly (definately without carrot).  I am sure I used to make more sense.  Bad luck.

*Bulls do in fact bellow but they also make a huge range of other noises - they can sound like a whole barnyard of animals who all happen to have a husky cold.  Before the husb. I never knew they are the lyre birds of the ruminant world.**

**This is not to suggest the husband is some sort of minotaur, rather that before him I had not happened to sleep less than 15 m from a paddock full of bulls who were living in a malestrom of testoterone as several hundren cows were walked past their fence 4 times per day.***

***Now this is sounding like some kind of bizarre sexual torture for livestock, but the cows were going to and from the dairy.

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Last lap, pant pant pant.

Tonight is the last lap of the family Christmas marathon.  Around 40 adults, most of whom I either don't know at all or last met when I was pregnant with my almost 7 year old.  I am making 2 giant salads but that is a minor sneeze compared to my amazing (and at this stage very exhausted) mother-in-law, who is assembling a BBQ for 40 (plus children).

The husb. is cooking the meat.  I may bring him home in the boot depending on how greasy he is. Mind you, the boot is carpetted.  Maybe he could perch on the bonnet.

The children are excited to participate in a cousin fest.  There may well be 20 or so of them.  A few first cousins and a flotilla of seconds and removals (or is that removeds? - frankly I made that up).

This will be our big opportunity to deliver the last of our Christmas presents and the delightful home made cards, complete with remarkably accurate spelling, courtesy of Monster1. 

When packing for the holiday I included some homemade cherry jams as gifts then packed a tiny jar of raspberry for us*.  Having demolished the raspberry, the jam addicts (husb. and Monster2) have started on their first jar of commercial jam in several years.  It is low on fruit, absent of texture, lacking brightness of flavour, strangely pip-less and has a strong acid aftertaste.  Pretty typical commercial jam.  I should have some willing helpers in the picking and cutting department for the rest of the jam season (heh heh heh).

After tonight's fandango our holiday will officially begin.  We will hit the pools, beaches and volcanic lakes with gay abandon and several tubes of sunscreen.  The new boards may well hit a wave rather than their current impressive work on the lounge carpet.  I doubt if you can sing a surfing song and dance in a fairy dress on a real wave.

*Well, not me.  I like to make it but don't actually eat it as I can't resist the call of the vegemite when faced with toast. 

Sunday, December 23, 2012

How to cause arachnophobia

We have arrived as houseguests.  The girls are exhasted and look like coming down with bugs.

The little one did not want to go to bed because there were daddy-long-legs in her room.  The husb. told her she would be fine mainly because the house is spider heaven and he did not want to have to de-spider the whole joint.  I told her they hang around near the ceiling and they will eat the mosquitos that otherwise will bite her with joy.

She went to bed in tears.  We put the other monster in our room to get a warm-up sleep before they were put together.  Ten minutes later I still heard sobbing so I asked the lovely husb. to investigate.

It wasn't the little one.  She was lying in bed in exhasted terror because the two daddy-long-legs were less than a foot from her head.  No, the crying was the other one because she was scared of eventually being put into the room with spiders.  I didn't tell her about the webs down the side of my bed.


Friday, December 21, 2012

Family shenanigans in the usual style

Current shenanigans - combined list:

One sibling is not coming, ensuring that our unbroken run of never having met their children continues.  Goodness knows why. 

We are not to provide any admonishing words to another sibling's child because it makes the parents angry.

Number of siblings currently undergoing a dental crisis because their new caps have come adrift - one.

One Aunt has recently been diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer, and an Uncle (her brother) with another form of cancer.  Much sadness and good wishes to both.

Number of family events currently booked - approximately 4.

Current excitement level of the children - stratospheric.

Number of toys they are getting that they claim they have grown out of - most of them.  (Though they were fine on the Christmas list prepared 6 weeks ago.)

Number of bottles of gin the husb. and I may need for the ordeal - probably one but we will keep our options open.

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

It is still a week til Christmas and I am already zonked

Though to be fair, I did stay up til 12.30 last night reading the trilogy of novels I picked out for my husband to take on the summer holiday, because a bored husband on a holiday is a grouchy, bloody annoying specimen of humanity.

Further, I did go on an emergency jaunt to the doctor last night with Monster2.  It was not a remarkable success.  A low point is when I had to carry her back to the car, then get her out again so she could throw up in the car park (sorry about that car park).  Several hours later she improved remarkably.

The dear husband slept on the floor in her room for the purposes of bucket cleaning, etc.  What a lovey.

Then the Monster fought with her sister all morning, in between bouts of high grade surliness.  I considered calling her exhasted and keeping her home but frankly it is her last day at this school and it would kill her not to say goodbye to her friends.  So I gave the teachers a warning (sorry teachers) and packed her off.

And now I have all her bedding on the line.  Good thing cheap quilts like a regular washing.

Looking back on her year at preschool, I am bemused it took me so long to realise that the plot formed between the Monster and two other vague sweet little things at the beginning of the school year (they were all 4) to dig under the school and blow it up was my sweet pip's idea.  The other two are even vaguer and sweeter than her.  I should have realised straight away.  It only became blindingly clear as I got to know the other two girls.  I blame Wild E. Coyote, or the parents.

The books were good, though.  Pity I am babbling.

Friday, December 14, 2012

For Christmas I would like some nookie, dear husb.

But failing that, I have put down a few fanciful thoughts.

Let see now, possibly a device where you press a button and your hair fundamentally changes nature for ever, from say, frizzy and thick as a hedge, to say, pretty much anything else.  I am a bit sick of hedging.

Alternately, another device with a slightly larger button where when you press it every person in a position of power in the world has a startling perspective change and stops focussing on the aggregation of power and instead considers what could may be done to help those in need, possibly by trusting and working with others in power.  It might need to be a big button.*

A small feathery miscellaneous thingie that inexplicably reminds you of baby ducks or sleepy kittens or furry rocks** and makes you smile and feel calm whenever your gaze falls upon it.

A mute button for children, or better yet, a freeze frame that you can leave on for, say, a long weekend without causing damage. 

A big pile of funny books.   I am taking a Wodehouse and "Lets Pretend It Never Happened" on holiday so if I should die of an asthma attack brought on by laughing, know that I died happy.  Mind you,  I am also taking several Graham Greene books so possibly I could read an antidote before I cark it.

A device that inexplicably tempts the cat to insert each of her four feet as she passes through the laundry, whereupon each paw is gently cleaned and dried, guarenteed to remove grit, burrs and mulberry stains.

More gin and a stack of limes. 

All we need now is ice and tonic and Bob's your Auntie Jean.

*Reading this back later I feel like a beauty contestant playing the "world peace" card but with better adjectives and less pertness.

** The rock thing was my husband's suggestion - I have no idea what it signifies - nobody ask a Freudianist.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Further bad habits of the feline

You know that when one of the branches on the Christmas tree is shuddering, little bits of tinsel are falling onto the floor and one of the shiny balls flies across the room, the cat is mollocking (though none of the farm servants get pregnant so possibly that is the wrong word - is it Seth-specific?).

When you have purple/black paw prints in the bath, around the bath, in the sink, on the toilet seat, in the bowl of the toilet (!!!??!!!!), on the window sill and over the floor, you know the cat has been under the mulberry tree and is continuing to refuse to sip from anything so common as her drinking bowl.  Possibly she objects to the frog bowl.  Not bone china, you know.

When she gets trapped under the house and the husband rescues her, she comes to give you a loving rub in bed.  The rub brings the items she collected in her fur, whiskers and paws.  This includes grit, webs and the occasional spider.  We have red-backs under the house.

Redback Spider, Latrodectus hasselti
Best avoided. Or you could pop off to hospital if bitten.

Lastly, and it is somewhat Christmassy, she likes to do some happy laps of the house early in the morning.  Quite early.  So the mornings start with the crazed tinkle of two little bells on her collar.

Friday, December 7, 2012

Right of reply from extant husb. re selection of replacement

I would like to make one comment about my strengths that seems to have failed to be included.  That is, the ability to back a trailer reliably.  With that I need to say no more.

PS My wife is lovely.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Character traits I would aim for in my next husband (mythical)

Not that I am considering disposing of the one I have, but would I pick a similar husb. a second time?

For the purpose of this analysis, please assume away the children.

I think I would first have to consider whether I would bother a second time.  I mean, the husb. is very nice and all that, but the thought of having my life back to myself but for the patter of little paws with as much reading and bike riding time as can be imagined - well, that would be a tricky one.  I will be buggered for a blog if I continue down this path so assume I will dip my toes into the marital swamp again.  (I am getting to be a natty assumer.)

While in the neighbourhood I will also assume (in my simple and unaffected manner) that I can attract any type of chappie I fancy.  It is OK, George.  You are safe.  I must be the only straight woman over 40 who doesn't have you on her "exception to general policy of faithfulness" short list.

So, what sort of character traits does the extant husb. have and would I go for something similar?

Let us start with geekiness.  I speak fluent geek.

When I was younger my brother (a geek king) would throw big parties.  There would always be a clutch of sad lads too socially inept to speak to anyone.  My brother would drag me over and introduce me to one, whereupon I asked them several questions til I discovered a topic they were competent to converse upon (encryption algorithms, online gaming, collecting interesting mathematical t-shirts), chat to them for a bit then dodge out and hide somewhere.  Then my brother would find me and drag me off to some other malnourished brainy dude with stunted social skills.

Don't even think the brother was doing it on my behalf.  No, no.  He just knew his friends would feel they had some degree of success if they spoke to someone at the party.  I did not mind too much because it is nice to make a stranger a little happier, in smallish doses.  If I kept clear of my brother for a while I could meet more interesting people, like a couple who told me in graphic detail what happens if you attempt to use your penis as a vase for a solitary rose.  (To summarise, it doesn't end well.  The folks in casualty laugh and the medical students take photos and spread them around the uni.)

Anyway, back to the topic at hand.  The current husb. comes fairly high on the geeky scale.  Not as high as my brother and his troop of deeply involved coders, mathematicians and engineers.  High enough that before meeting me he would have no idea what you were talking about if you mentioned Austen, Machiavelli, or Stalin but he would recognise Maxwell, Pascal and Watt.

You know, it would be tempting to go for someone who would be happy to converse on the religious aspects of the 30 year war, or at least have some chance of knowing when you are making a reference to something, say, cultural in general conversation.  But on the other hand, such bounty may bring terrible sacrifices.  If the new husb. was ignorant of Mr Georg Ohn and his work, you may end up having to pay an electrician for minor electrical work.

Go Georg, you sexy thing.

Mind you, if I were to assume the next husb. was considerably weathier, we could get his assistant to supervise general repairs and tradespeople while we were holidaying for several weeks each year somewhere of historical, culinary and cultural interest.

To postulate further, such a refined type is unlikely to have any curiosity about storm water drains, or what would happen if you tried to electroplate an annoying shop assistant (without actually killing them, of course).

Hmm, I can see this is going to be tricky. I cannot really expect any type of genuine hybrid,so in balance, I think I am happy to go for a reasonable amount of geekiness next time as well.

Jeez Louise.  It is past bedtime and all I have considered re husb. #2 is optimal degree of geekiness (43 - 68% with 5% error).  I will have to continue this bit of fluff another day.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Embarrassment cleaning

Hem.  Well, I was so embarrassed to reread my blog I decided to tackle the laundry floor.

This involved removing:

  • mud from the last rain - a while ago now - further hemming in embarrassment
  • mulberry stains from the feet of girls and cat - at least the girls wash theirs in the laundry
  • scunge that appears from under the washing machine - I hope this doesn't mean it has started spraying oil - surely it is too young for that sign of decepitude
  • dust devils that roll about between the sink and wall and behind the door, evolving into higher lifeforms and planning a takeover of the house
  • zero - zip - nuthin' in the way of overflows from the litter tray.  The usual litter was unavailable several weeks ago and she hates the replacement.  Now she just crosses her furry legs and waits for the back door to open so she can dig up the seedlings.  The litter is for emergency use only.  Great result.

Monday, December 3, 2012

It's probably not hygenic but ...

... I spend quite a lot of time on the toilet pulling burs out of the cat's tail.

... on an average day, exploration of the girl's hair would yield several globs of jam and 1/2 cup of sand glued in with sunburn cream.

... my darling husband once let our crawling baby eat duck shit.  When questioned about the wisdom of the practice, he said "she only ate one bit."

A wood duck.  Not so tasty poo, apparently.

... I haven't cleaned the laundry floor in so long it seems too dirty to attempt.

... in the time of my previous cat, a close examination of the area around the back door would reveal several dessicated mouse noses, because apparently they weren't that tasty.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

5 things I don't want for Christmas

I incline to the Tim Minchin view of Christmas gifts (the socks, jocks and chocs approach).  I also rather fancy the idea I don't need any more stuff so nothing is fine.  Failing that, if it isn't covering in chocolate or enables me to purchase a book of my own selection, please don't.  Or you could buy someone a goat - I hope it is not a stroppy one.

Nevertheless here is a list of things that could be given to me that would give me the roaring heebies.

1 Clothes.  You are unlikely to get my size right.  If you did, it will probably be designed for someone shorter.  I am particular about colour, cut, fabric choice and pattern (generally no to the last point).  Essentially, I am a fussy fussy bastard.  Please don't buy me clothes.*

2 Books.  I have no idea what I am going to read next.  How could anyone else possibly know?

3 Small electrical kitchen implements.  Do I look like I am made of bench space?  I am happy with the current toaster.  I do not desire one that has egg-cooking pretensions.

4 Jewellery, scent, makeup, skin goop, etc.  See 1. re  fussy bastard-ness.  Further, I am one of the least adorned people on the planet.  I am clean and I try to keep my hair from looking like I just crawled out of a bush (its natural style, along with some seasonal fuzz).  That is pretty much the limit of my endeavors.  Take it or leave it people.

5 Cookbooks.  Now you would think you are on a winner here.  I have 2 shelves of them and I do like to cook.  Possibly a trap for new players.  The last two big, expensive cookbooks I have been given I have given away.   My shelves are full.  In order to take on a new book, it has to be more interesting and desirable than the ones I already have.  Not an easy ask.

Interestingly, I will probably get at least 3 of these 5.  Oh well, it is the thought that counts and someone will enjoy them.

That is one giant chocolate doobie for the top of the Black Forest Cake

*That being said, a friend's mother bought her something that didn't suit her so she gave it to me on spec.  I had a peek and thought, "not my colour: I hate sleeveless".  But I took it home and tried it on.  For exactly the same reason it didn't suit her it suited me flawlessly.  I wore it on a rare date with the husb.  He had to take a moment to get over my more sophisticated look.  He also probably breathed out when I told him I had not been out buying expensive ensembles.  This is the first time in my life (43 and counting) a gifted item of clothes has worked out for me.  It may happen again but I doubt I'll make it to 86.

Stained fingers and thighs

The early stage of the jam season is all dark fruit.  In the last week I have pitted 4 kilos of cherries and murked about with several kilos of mulberries.  Dark purple juice all over my hands, down my arms and over my thighs for hours on end.  It is a lot less erotic than it sounds.  It takes days to wear off.   I look grimy and the acid is not great for the skin.  The jam is good, though.  Back to a dry season and the fruit quality is up.

Mmmm, cherries.

In other news, the oldest monster had her first sleepover last night.  The husb. and I nearly died laughing as we fielded a series of questions and comments from the guest and Monster1 after the official bed time.

Apparently they were having trouble going to sleep and they trialed a number of remedies including changing beds, reading in bed, turning out lights, turning on lights and reading again, etc.  At no time did it occur to them to stop talking to each other.  We did suggest it.  Really, we did.

Meanwhile, their upsie-downie-ness and discussion kept Monster2 awake.  The poor little mite felt very left out from the bigger girls (though technically she is quite a bit bigger than both of the others).

We finally got a result at 10pm when we went for the old fashioned method of threatening the girls with moving Monster1 to the lounge room if they didn't stop nattering and get to sleep.

They were up pretty nippily this morning so I harnessed the adrenal rush and had all three out picking berries by 8.30 am.

Monster2 paid the heaviest toll.  She started her afternoon nap at 10.30 am on the sofa. She couldn't face lunch even though it included a salami sandwich (heavens to Betsy - a Christmas miracle).  We just decanted her from the sofa to bed to finish the job.  She was snoozing again through dinner time.  She will probably need an extra apple for breakfast tomorrow.

[Late breaking news - Monster2 is sporting a jaunty new virus, hence her sluggedlyness.]