Friday, July 31, 2009

Trials of pet ownership

If my life had been a movie, last night it would've been called:


This is my old girl, the last of my girls actually...and on the face of it she looks pretty harmless.

I've had her since 1991 when I found her while driving to work very early one morning.

She's been a wonderful companion. She has a lovely nature, has easily settled in when I've continually changed addreses and has travelled with me interstate without any hassles when I was transferred for fact she probably clocked up more frequent flyer points than I did.

Unfortunately, last night though, she must've had a few problems controlling her bowels because when I got up in the middle of the night I was confronted with what can only be described as a stench that would makes your eyes water...and a sight that certainly got the juices in my stomach wanting to make their way up past my tonsils.

Think projectile vomiting coming from the nether regions. Her poo was up the walls, across the floor and, unfortunately, over my towel. She can always get out if she needs to relieve herself through the night, but it was raining and she doesn't like the wet. So she used the stand-by tray in the bathroom/toilet. And that's what I was confronted with...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pretty Happy Jan!

Blood pressure. Check

Weight loss. Check.

Yep, a pretty satisfying trip to the doctor this afternoon

Janet Hill Beauties

Janet Hill's Beauty Sleeps

I've fallen in love with the gorgeous paintings of Janet Hill. She's a Canadian artist and you can find her work here

This is the latest one I've ordered and I can't wait till it arrives. When it does, I'll have it framed and will hang it with the other two I have in my sewing room, wheree I spend a lot of my time.


Monday, July 27, 2009

Give my regards....

I've always been a bit of a Broadway Musical tragic. I love the songs, the dancing, the music and the talent of the performers

So, last week when I read that Mandy Patinkin and Patti LuPone were in Australia and doing two shows in Melbourne, I jumped at the chance of getting tickets...

...and I was not disappointed.

I remember some years back watching Patti LuPone on Television, singing Don't Cry For Me Argentina. I think it was an awards ceremony show...maybe not. But I distinctly remember what she was wearing: A white, one shoulder dress and she had a large white flower in her hair.

She looked gorgeous.

I also remember sitting there in front of the TV crying as she sang that song...and so it was last Wednesday evening as I sat there in Hamer Hall and cried as she sang the song that I will forever associate with her. She is brilliant... and so is Mr Patinkin. A great voice and a great presence on stage.

Friday, July 24, 2009

I guess this is the way it's going to be

A small loss one week, a larger one the next

Just 300 grams off the weight this week, which brings my total weight loss to 5.3 kilograms....just as long as the losses continue

Slow but sure said the tortoise.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Front Porch

I've always loved weatherboard houses, in fact I've always loved WHITE weatherboard houses. They just appeal to me. Maybe because they have a bit of character, but I always thought I'd end up in a white weatherboard house....and I have.

I've lived in quite a few places around the country... Tasmania, Sydney and Queensland...but back in Melbourne I feel at home and I think this is probably the last house I'll live in. It's me. It's us.

It is a house though that is forever changing. Sometimes the changes have been huge, with new rooms added...sometimes, subtle.

But changing nonetheless.

I bought the house back in the late 90's before I was married and it looked nothing like this. It was a mustardy/yellow colour. It had bottle green trim. It had an old cracked concrete driveway and a front fence that was made of a strange roofing iron that had been painted bottle green. There was no front porch or deck, just a small concrete landing at the front door...and lots of prickly bushes scattered around the front garden.

The roof was probably the worst though. It was a moulded metal type of thing that was supposed to look like tiles. It didn't. It was ugly. It had to go and it did.

The insides were painted yellow. White ceilings, yellow walls, stained wood trim. Noice!

Now, everything is white. Or off white. Antique White USA to be precise.

There was no heating and no insulation. In fact the walls consisted of a weatherbopard outer layer and a fibrous plaster internal layer. That's it. It was bloody freezing!

This is the latest change. A new front porch. Until recently it was just a deck, and Hubbie was reluctant to "close it in" with posts etc. But he saw a neighbour's efforts and decided it looked good, so off he went and voila. A new front porch

I like it

Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday Weigh In - Woo Hoo

A loss of 1.2 kilograms this week. Gotta be happy with that!

That brings my total weight loss so far to 5 kilograms

It's a slow process....but I'm getting there.

Masterchef or Master Food Stylist?

I admit it, like millions of others, I've been tuning in to watch Masterchef almost every night. In fact I think we've only missed one episode in our house since it started. It's been a fun ride and interesting to see what sort of dishes the various contestants have come up with.

I haven't had a favourite contestant though. I really don't mind who wins the "big prize" It could've been Josh, who got voted off ages ago, or Tom or Justine, Lucas or Chris...or even Poh, who's come up with some amazing dishes.

What I can't fathom though is what happened last night.

A lot of people were against Chris, the Beer Merchant, winning because of his arrogance/hat/hair/beard...whatever..but he was a damn good cook. Consistently good in fact. So was Justine. A great cook. But she was evicted the previous night.

But I still don't quite understand what happened last night, when the judges allowed Julie to stay, even though she failed to get her entire meal plated...and continued to sweat and cry and make an almighty mess right through the preparation of her three meals.
Another thing I'm a little perplexed about is the new innovation, where the contestants not only had to cook but "STYLE" their food and come up with their cookbook concept.

Donna Hay is a favourite of mine. Love her magazine. Love her cookbooks. But give me a break. She has a test kitchen, cooks and food stylists to do a lot of the work for her. She does not style every food pic in her mag alone...and we all know that food styling involves a lot more than just "food". Think glycerine, glue, polystyrene, dyes, paint and various other things not remotely related to food.

So, last night was probably the last night I'll tune into Masterchef. I thought it was a cooking contest where the contestants were judged on the food they delivered. Not on how good that food would look in a photograph on the front of a cookbook or on their cookbook concept.

So, I ask the producers of Masterchef...If you've kept me interested until now, despite little rule changes mid-stream, do you still consider it a raging success if I no longer care about who wins?

Friday, July 10, 2009

Friday Weigh-In....Meh

200 grams.

That's all I lost this week. 200 grams.

I spent ages on the treadmill...did the regular weight and cardio sessions and watched what I ate and drank.

200 grams?!

Ahh well, I suppose it's a loss, which is better than a gain....But 200 grams?

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Ooh La La

I covet!

Hello you little beauties!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Blowin' in the wind

I've never been a big fan of clothes dryers. Sure I have one and it gets used occasionally, but I can't remember the last time I put something straight from the washing machine into the dryer and switched it on.
I generally use mine to finish things off, like towels, just to fluff them up a bit....and I have four clothes airers...or as my Mum calls them, clothes horses to put the washing on when it's too wet outside.

This morning, I was checking out A-M's blog, TheHouseThatA-MBuilt... and she was lamenting the fact that she hadn't allowed enough room for a clothes line to be installed at her gorgeous new home.
Well, I don't have one either, at least not a conventional one. Mine is a straight piece of cable, similar to the stuff used on a hills hoist, that's connected to the carport and the back deck by a couple of large clips, like the ones used on dogs leads .
It works just as well as any rotary clothes line, or retractable one.

In fact, It's long enough and strong enough to hold a couple of queen sized sheets, towels and other assorted odds and bods...I mean, why pay to use a dryer when there's perfectly good sunshine and wind outside?

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Saturday Vintage

More shots from "19" circa 1974

I wonder how freaked out the girl was when she learned she had to hold a chook for the shoot...or for that matter, how freaked out the chook was when it was corralled into it.

Friday, July 03, 2009

Friday weigh-in

Another successful week...

I lost 900 grams this week, which brings total weight loss so far to 3.6 kilos.

I thought my weigh in would be disappointing, but I have to say that I am again, a happy camper.

It's funny because a few years back I was at the weight I am right now and was almost nearing depression because I weighed so much. Now I'm happy because I've got down to this weight....what the?
OK....Bring on Christmas!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Keep on keeping on

We love a good renovation around much so that we just keep doing it. The entire house has been transformed. Walls and ceilings have been replaced, walls moved, lino tiles lifted, floors sanded and polished, bathrooms gutted and re-done, roof replaced, chimney's demolished, kitchen gutted and rebuilt, rooms's never ending really

This photo shows the newly reduced wall between the kitchen, dining room and loungeroom. The lounge is a strange sort of shape and is quite small, so opening it up by making the dividing wall a little smaller, seems to create the illusion of a larger room.

This photo is from the lounge looking through to the kitchen with my new bench tops and cook top in the alcove.

The lounge room/kitchen renovation is now completed...well, as completed as it will be till we come up with another idea and decide to "tweak" it again

These were taken on my mobile phone when my camera was out of action.

When I bought the house there was no heating and no insulation, so you can imagine just how damn cold it was! I moved in in the middle of Winter, so the cats and I slept on a mattress on the lounge room floor under two doonas! All the walls through the house were painted a lemony yellow...quite bright it was too. The kitchen was black and yellow, with a bit of white thrown in...not nice, unless you're a Richmond supporter.

There was no dining room and no study, so I had them built on.

The ceilings right through the house were sagging terribly and needed replacing, so that's what I had done. I thought I'd be able to live with the crackly fibrous plaster walls, but they eventually had to go too.

Ahh if I'd known then what I know now.....famous last words.

After replacing the ceilings and installing all lovely new cornices, as well as putting insulation right through, we then decided to replace the walls. The task was how to do it without completely destroying the cornice.

We got there...just... A big job, but it gave us the opportunity to put insulation in all of the walls and get some in the ceiling too ... then I had the floors done again, just to tidy them up a bit.

This house, like many others, is a work in progress.... a money pit. But I love it and I love the transformation we've been able to make.