Saturday, March 31, 2012

We missed you, Mr A!

I think that it's quite possible my girls have been missing Mr Accident. I know I have.

He walked home yesterday from three weeks of work, lugging his pack and bag and backpack and laptop case, tired and hot. I got a message "look outside!" and I looked and looked.... and saw!

And I have no doubt the neighbors saw me, too, running down the road towards him in my bare feet and apron. There's nothing nicer than that first hug after a long absence.

The girls were still having their afternoon naps, exhausted after a busy morning of play school and play group. Mr Accident snuck into their rooms and woke them up one at a time, Bug leading.

Bug has been missing her Daddy. If she sees someone (anyone!) pass us in uniform she yells "Daddy! Daddy!" and gets cross if I don't let her run to them. (Because, obviously, running across a busy street to smooch a lady who looks like Daddy would be a good idea, and not at all unsafe or offensive to said lady... But at least it's better than trying to pin the Daddy tag on a guy walking with his wife!)

Bug and I had discussed giving Daddy a cuddle when he came home, but what with the whole just-waking-up business and being one, shyness overtook her and she buried her head in my shoulder, not his.

Peanut was another matter. Even with her sleep-flushed confusion she knew EXACTLY what was going on. She threw herself up out of bed and into his arms, and clung on like a very large, messy haired limpet. Half an hour later, she still hadn't let go, and Bug was clamouring for her turn, too. Actually, so was I!

But I had my time after they were in bed, with a glass of wine and a proper, uninterrupted in-person chat.
I HAD been missing Mr A!

{I have added a "comment of the week" feature down the bottom of the page - head on down there to read a very amusing tale about hedgehogs and beer from Anon!}

Friday, March 30, 2012

Welcome, down---to---earthers!

A big welcome go everyone who has found their way over here from Rhonda. I was so excited to wake up this morning and find out that I had been linked! She is a massive inspiration to me, so to have her read my work (and like it!) is a very big deal for me.

I assume you will all be looking for this about hair. But you might also like this, about housewifery, and this about bread. Of course, the rest is pretty good too! ;)

And when you've finished reading and left lots of lovely comments (I blog for free, no ads here. The chatter in the comments is what keeps me going) then you can head on back to down---to---earth here.

Thanks for stopping by!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Slug slugger

I'm on a slug offensive.

We had a surprise pumpkin grow in our courtyard. We gutted the Halloween pumpkin on the concrete, and some of the seeds washed into the small garden bed. A few weeks later and there was cute little pun'kin plant growing. I felt like a farmer. An accidental farmer. (Get it? Oh I crack myself up...)

Unfortunately, that wee vine grew from a sweet baby into a hulking teenager, and started to belligerently take up all the tricycle riding space in the courtyard. I chucked the offending runners over the seven foot high concrete wall, thinking that would be the end of it. But instead it happily grew up, and over, and down the other side, then started to make a mad dash for the garage. I hear "Jack and the Beanstalk" was originally titled "Jack and the Pumpkin Vine."

This vine, however, did not provide a me with conduit for riches or random genetically modified geese. Instead it brought a slug invasion. They must have been lurking on the other side of the wall, wondering how to enter our pristine, pest free courtyard, but too short to unlatch the gate. That dastardly pumpkin opened, for us, the portal to the underworld, and for them a route to an embarrassment of greenery. They've eaten my geraniums, my pansies, my petunias and now my hydrangea. The hydrangea was a step too far! I bought that at Woolworths for $19.99! It was an investment! Damn slugs.

So, with the success of my recent spider decimation fresh in my memory, I have again gone on the attack. The pumpkin is gone, the portal is closed. At dawn and dusk you can find me out in the courtyard wielding a small red plastic children's spade, mercilessly flinging them back over the wall to the badlands beyond (and by badlands, I mean the driveway, but it's a pretty bad place for a slug. I'm not trying to impugn my neighbors yard work or anything.)

I'm finding fewer each day, but it's a vain hope that I actually catch them all. Perhaps carpet bombing with epsom salts will be in my near future. Either that or I rip out my bedraggled investment hydrangea and adopt a literal scorched earth policy, letting nothing grow for months until they are starved out. Has anyone tried starving a slug? How long does it take? I'm sure someone has written a scientific paper on it at some stage, people have researched the most bizarre topics!

If you have any slug eradication techniques you use at your place, short of a bucket of petrol and match, I would love to hear them. Actually, if you have used a match, I would like to hear that too. I'm really peeved about my hydrangea, and very willing to listen to vicarious stories of revenge.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

A hairy concern

Mr Accident will be home soon...*cue mad scramble into the shower and the application of numerous blades and creams to mimic neck down alopecia*

But during the extensive hours it took to render me hairless, I got to thinking. What message am I sending to my daughters by primping for their Daddy? And specifically, my scorched-earth hair removal policy?

By letting them see me prune, am I saying that in order to be considered beautiful (or even socially acceptable) they need to change their appearance and forcibly remove something that grows naturally and unavoidably from their sweet, chubby little bodies? Or worse, that they need to be hairless to keep a man happy (and by extension, that he would somehow be justified finding a "better" model if they don't keep up the maintenance)?

And what if I don't let them watch? Then am I encouraging the idea that everyone is effortlessly hairless except them? That they are somehow abnormal, even compared to their mum?

Should I stop altogether, and submit poor Mr Accident's delicate sensibilities to a whiskery onslaught?

Scary thoughts.

But there has to be a balance. I don't want my girls to be socially outcast for choosing to keep their hair, but I don't want them to feel pressured to remove it, or consider themselves less than perfect if they don't. But in our looks obsessed culture, where society feeds on a steady diet of hairless, airbrushed models and we hold each other and ourselves to generally unattainable physical standards, what am I supposed to tell them?

I do have a plan, however.

I will teach them to be wise, so that they can choose their own path. I will teach them to be witty, so they can defend their choices. And I will teach them to be wonderful, so whatever they choose to do in their lives has true weight and depth, enough that their mother's daft concern about their responses to a razor becomes a trivial issue.

The end.

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

On chooks, hair and sooking

I've put in a vegetable garden. It may well be the world's smallest in-ground veggie patch. I don't think it would even be half a metre square, yet I've managed to cram in onions, carrots and some marigolds as a companion plant. I'm expecting some very miniature vegetables, or else some kind of carrot - onion hybrid to develop. I shall call it a carrion... or not! Gross!

I'm trying to teach Archibald to round up the chickens at the end of the day. He is trying very hard, but his learning is thwarted by Bug and Peanut "helping". They race around after the poor chickens, flailing their arms and squealing. The hens are no doubt severly traumitised by this, so I am not expecting them to start laying until Christmas. Poor chooks. Can a chicken get a psychologist? I'll have to look into that.

I've let the ball drop on washing my hair with bicarb soda. I was all for it, and thought my hair was looking fine, until I was in a blind rush one day. I gave in and washed my hair with normal shampoo and conditioner. And blow me down if it didn't come out the softest, silkiest, shiniest and most manageable it has ever been. So now I think I'll go crunchy for normal days, and use the bought stuff for special occasions. I will just have to try and remind myself that "washing my hair" or "Tuesday" or "playgroup" doesn't count as special. And before you try to convince me to use the bought stuff every day because every day is special (cause I know that, I really do) I think it worked so well because I used the bicarb before it. So I have to bake my cake in order to eat it, and put up with occasional bicarb days. (Hair aside, the oil cleansing method for my face is still working a treat. Hooray!)

In other news, I'm having a sook because:

a) there is a big bloggy conference on in Melbourne this week and I'm not going, even though it seems like every other Australian who owns a computer will be there. (If you're not going either, let me know, we can form a splinter group and sit around at home eating bonbons and pretending that we don't care what the cool kids are doing.) Although my not going is actually kind of a silver lining, because no doubt I would come across as a creepy stalker, knowing all these people and them having no idea that me or my tiny blog actually exist. That would have been awkward!

b) Mr A is away. This would be ok, but rather than doing it tough out field like normal he keeps messaging me about the latest pub he's visited or the cool movie they are about to see. Meanwhile, I'm rocking a whinging Bug (who is cutting four new teeth) and telling Peanut to put her pants back on. It's heinously unbalanced.

c) my back is keeeeeling me. Three years of ungracefully lifting two hefty children, and it has had enough and is finally making me pay. I am considering amputation at the neck, but Mr A might miss my nice... legs. I have an appointment with an osteopath next week. Has anyone been to one? Did it work or was it just expensive quackery? Even if it does walk like a duck, it's a health fund covered duck, so I figure it's worth a shot.

d) there is no d. My life is not that bad, actually. I really should put my big girl pants on and stop sooking. I'm loved, fed, warm and happy, I have great kids and some very funny chickens. Who can be sad when they have chickens?

Monday, March 26, 2012

Tutorial - a play mat sack

I detest picking up blocks. It drives me absolutely bonkers. Since "losing" the blocks isn't an option, I came up with a solution - it's a play mat that can be drawn up into a storage sack.

I thought I would share how I made it here, in case you have a similar problem and would like to make one too. It also makes a great present if you have someone small in your life!

So to make this you need:
  • 2 meters of fabric, cotton is great
  • matching thread
  • 3 meters of cord
  • a scrap of matching felt
  • 2 grommets
  • a cup of tea and a biscuit (not necessarily required)

You will also need a sewing machine (or a lot of patience), a hammer, pins, a safety pin, string, chalk, and an iron and board.

I chose a "cheerful red spot"
Make sure your cord can fit through your grommets!
Fold your cloth in half, right sides together, then in half again.  You are going to cut out two circles by measuring out a semi circle and cutting through four layers of fabric.

But how to make a huge semicircle? Easy. First find where the middle of your circle will be.

Then tie the chalk to the end of your string.

Use the chalk-on-a-string to draw in a semicircle. Pin the string in the middle of the circle to hold it in place. Make sure the circle-middle is on a fold! Otherwise you will end up with four semicircles when you cut it out.

Pin the four layers of fabric together before you cut out the semi-circles. It will hold everything together and stop the layers slipping. Once the two circles are cut out, pin them together right-sides-in.

Sew around the outside of the circles about a 1/4 inch in from the edge. (Too big of a seam and you will have trouble turning it the right way out.) But wait...

Be sure to leave a gap for turning it the right way out! I leave about a six inch gap.

Mind the gap!
 Now turn your mat the right way out and iron it flat, all the way out the the seam. Turn in and iron where the seam will run across the gap, too.

Now it's time to make the holes for the cord to run through.

Your grommets should have come with a punch kit. You will need your hammer and a firm surface to hit on.

Make a hole for the grommet, and tuck the grommet end through the fabric.

Then assemble the punch around the grommet and give it a gentle whack. I like using the felt to hold the grommets because it is stronger and thicker than the cotton, and if you mess the grommets up you haven't ruined your whole project. Not that I did that the first time or anything... ahem.

When you have put in both grommets, it should look a bit like this:

Trim around the felt and grommet to give a neat rectangle. Be sure to leave enough space on the edges to sew it on. Pin your grommet rectangle in the middle of the gap, to ONE SIDE of the cotton fabric only.

Pin to one side only
Now sew on the felt down the short sides, as shown, on to just one piece of fabric. Don't sew the long sides yet.

Just sew these ones for now
 Then flip the felt over and use your scissors to chop out a hole for the cord to get to the grommets. It doesn't need to be too neat (no one will see it) but it does need to stay well within the bounds of the felt rectangle.

Now it's time to sew around the outside of the mat again, this time with right-sides-out. Again, sew about 1/4 inch in from the edge. This will help hold everything together when you need to wash the mat. Don't sew over the gap yet!

Sewing long circles can be tedious - don't forget to take a break to snuggle your muse.

Ok, now it's time to make a channel for the cord to run through around the edge of the mat. Because your felt rectangle is wider than the channel will be, you will need to pull in from the edge when you approach it, and push out again on the other side. For the tricky rectangle bit I just sketch in where I am going to sew freehand with chalk, so I have a guide to follow. For the rest of the mat, my seam is about 3/4 inch in from the edge. Don't make the channel too small, or it will be difficult to bunch up your bag later.

Once you are happy with your chalk line, sew around the whole mat again. Don't leave the gap this time - sew a complete circle. Make sure you catch the bottom of the felt rectangle in this seam. Your rectangle should now be sewn on three sides.

Now grab your cord and attach it to a safety pin, then thread it though the channel. Make sure to keep a hold of the other end!

 Once you have run it the whole way around, thread it through the grommets and tie the ends together. You can tie it outside the bag, but I prefer to hide the knot inside.

 You're almost done! Now it's time to close the gap. Pin it first, then run a seam along a 1/4 inch in from the edge, just like you did for the rest of the mat.

While you are there, sew closed the top of your rectangle too.

And you're done! Your mat is ready to be played on...

...and ready to be packed away.  

Feel free to make these mats for you or for gifts, but please don't sell them. If you make the mats a little smaller, it is also a good idea to add a handle. Just sew a rectangle of fabric from right under the felt to 1/3 of the way across the circle. Then when you pack up, you can pick up and go! This project would also be improved by a toggle on the cord, I just didn't have one today.

I hope you found this helpful! 

Sunday, March 25, 2012


Go on, have an internet detox. Find something else to do -  play with your kids or your dog. Bake cookies. Go for a walk. Create something away from bits and bytes; draw or paint or sew. Read a real book. Or pick your favourite Pinterest pin and actually do it! Then come back here, tomorrow, and tell me what you got up to...

I'll be going to a very special little boy's third birthday party, then coming home for lunch, a nap, and home made pizza. Lovely!

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Lunch. It's hard. And I'm not even impoverished.

I seriously suck at making lunches.

Dinner is easy, my family thrive on meat and three veg. Breakfast is easy too, cereal and toast, with bacon and eggs on Sunday.

But lunches? Lacking.

Sandwiches are too boring to have everyday, sushi is too complex. Two minute noodles are delicious but not anywhere near healthy enough to be eaten regularly. Baked beans go down well after playschool, but don't count as a complete meal and leave more mess than Krakatoa.

And don't get me started on actual lunch boxes.

This is probably the best one I have ever made. It was yesterday, and it was so good I took a picture. Proud, much?

Strawberries, blueberries, grapes,
a carrot, snowpeas, a vegemite and cheese
cruskit sandwich and three tiny teddies.
And not to forget, an apple for the apple slinky machine!

But it's the exception. I am usually heinously uninspired and hopelessly under-stocked with lunchy goodies.

But, of course, no matter how bad I get there is always someone worse. I have seen chocolate milk given instead of water as a daily lunchbox staple, fairy bread as sandwich on a normal day, and a kid given nothing but a box full of cheetos. Oh the humanity! I haven't sunk that low.... yet. Never say never.

Care to share your inspired lunch ideas, to keep me from feeding my poor kids total dross?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Cooking with kids

We're off the the neighbors for dinner, so I thought I might share with you an old post from the archives. My best mate had a great childhood development blog for a while and asked me to write some content. This was my first effort...

Imagine if someone told you there was a magic pill to help develop your kid’s numeracy, literacy and common sense, encourage her to eat her vegies, and give her a sense of achievement all while having quality fun. You’d want to know where to buy it, right? The answer? Your supermarket!

Ok, so it’s technically not a pill, more like a basket full of groceries. I’m here to encourage you to cook with your children.

By 15 months she already knew cookies taste better as dough

Before you call me mad, and ask if I understand just *how* much mess your little one can make with cake mix, hear me out.

For starters, it is a great way to spend quality one on one time. Waiting for the pot to boil or the scones to cook is a great time to chat. It also encourages patience (yours and theirs!)

Cooking together cultivates healthy eating habits. I have found my daughter eats more vegetables pilfered raw off the bench than she ever has from her plate, and I use this to introduce her to new flavours and ingredients that she would be dubious about if they were served up unannounced. She is also more likely to eat what she has helped prepare.

Cooking provides a vehicle to teach your children about food provenance. I want my daughter to understand the linkage between the chicken on Old McDonald’s Farm and the drumstick on her plate. We have also started a small vegie patch in the backyard as a practical demonstration.

I am sure you all have an anecdote of your kids learning something amazingly quickly if they realise it will be useful. (Personally, my daughter could pronounce ‘chocolate’ long before her own name.) I have found cooking is helpful in demonstrating the importance of numeracy to my toddler, for both measured quantities and simple things like counting the number of eggs to add. I know that in the future it will also show the importance of literacy – nothing like getting the sugar and salt mixed up to drive home the message! For the older child, it is a practical lesson in following instructions and processes.

Sugar or salt?

Children who are genuinely helpful are usually proud to be of assistance, and I love seeing the delight on my daughter’s face when she is complemented on her kitchen skills. Cooking is a skill set for life, but in the short term it also provides a child a positive role to fulfil within the family. My daughter is only 2 years and three months old, but I can honestly say that she is a real asset when I am preparing food. She has become a competent assistant, and I look forward to her developing further skills as she grows. I know when it comes time for her to prepare her own food, she will have a solid grounding in the basic skills and nutrition required to remain healthy and independent.

As my daughter and I both enjoy cooking together, we started to look for excuses to cook. An unexpected by product of this has been a budding sense of altruism. She will happily give her cooking away to someone who might need it. (After a sizeable taste test, of course!) It could be to anyone from dinner for a bereaved neighbour, to morning tea for a friend, but it is teaching her that her actions can help her community, and that even on a small scale she has the power to create change.

Now, isn’t that list of positives worth cleaning up the occasional inevitable cake mix explosion?

Before you get all fired up and rush into the kitchen, a couple of warnings:

Please cook to your child’s capability, not above it. Adult supervision and assistance is critical when using heat and sharp implements.

While it is great to encourage your child to taste the various raw ingredients and mixes as you cook, please be mindful. For example, raw chicken is not a safe ingredient if your little one still whacks everything they touch in their mouth.

Be aware that your little learners may attempt to replicate cooking on their own time. A friend of mine came in to the kitchen to make her 2 year old son a hot drink, only to realise he’d already boiled the kettle!

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Sleep - apparently it's necessary

It's like waking from a fog. Having the cobwebs brushed off, and feeling like myself again.

Peanut had a rough night, she's cutting four teeth at once. Well, really that should read I had a rough night - I was the cranky one, she was just rolling around, singing, giggling, putting on a show. She had more pizzazz than the mardi gras. She was **AWAKE!!** I tried to sleep, but since I had brought her into my bed and she spent the night purposefully rolling perilously close to the edge, and pulling my hair, it was not going well.

So, a bad night. I didn't realise what the problem had been until I brushed her teeth before bathtime. The thought of a repeat had me quaking, so I cracked open the medicine cabinet and dosed her up. Then to be on the safe side, once the kids were asleep and I had watched Dr Who (required viewing, I'm a new convert, it's really hilariously badly awesome), I took my own little self off to bed too. Eight thirty bed time - it's the new midnight.

But what about Bug? Well, she slept. And slept. And slept (and woke and fed) and slept.

And I did, too. Until 8am. Let me say that again. EIGHT IN THE MORNING!!

Holy mackerel.

Peanut woke up at 0615 on the dot, as usual, but a bowl of dry cheerios and her Human Body book* and she was set for hours.

And now, since in one fell swoop months (years?) of sleep debt have been repaid, I'm feeling human again. I have my brain back. I have my energy back.

The worst thing is that now I have the drive to do something about it, I notice how dirty some bits of my house have become. The back side of the washing machine is horrendous. I really ought to stopping rambling here and do something about it...

*it's been five months, and still no waning in her obsession with human biology. And poo. It's science!

Wednesday, March 21, 2012


He pushed his wet nose against the screen door, drawing in huge sucks of air scented with wet toddler nappy and peanut butter sandwich. She ran into the kitchen. "Mama! Mama! Puppy! Woof woof!" I came out, wiping my buttery hands on my apron. Sure enough, there was a dog. He was a black and white quiver of excitement, a beautiful specimen of border collie. He appeared to be unaccompanied.

I negotiated the delicate juggle of toddler, puppy, dog and screen door, and stepped outside alone. Peanut chose this moment to join me, letting Archibald and Bug out in the process. Dog realised my intentions to restrain him and bolted across the road. Archibald streaked after him and Bug followed, arms flailing. "Woof puppy, woof!" In my sock feet I ran too, catching the escapees as they milled around in an ecstasy of butt sniffing.

But now I had him, what to do? I was mired by indecision. The street was busy but no one was stepping forward to claim him as their own. I waited, the wet grass soaking through my socks, keeping two toddlers and two dogs in a holding pattern. But no owner. Dog wiggled against my hold on his collar, initially resentful but eventually relenting and sliding down my leg to lie sprawled on the ground, legs in the air, tounge lolling.

I gave up waiting and dragged everyone inside. A few minutes later, piklet batter wiped off the children and the dog firmly leashed, we set off around the neighbourhood searching for an owner. It was surprisingly easy. I asked a young girl riding past on a bicycle (our population of free-running local kids know every pet in every house, I often find them hanging over our fence eyeing off our chickens). She knew the owner's house, and after a brief stroll we were there.

I would love to say that the owners were ecstatic with joy, thankful to have their beloved pup back, but they were remarkably prosaic. It must be a common occurrence, having a fence jumping dog as they do. Still, I like to feel that I banked some karma points, and next time Archibald slips through the unlatched back gate perhaps he will find his way home safely too.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Chores for Kids

She may sweep willingly, but clearly picking
up the bits from the Guess Who game
(in the background) is just a bridge too far.

Now that she's three, I've started giving Peanut chores. She's always helped me around the house but she now has proper responsibilities.

All her jobs are still closely supervised, and usually prompted, but I firmly believe that kids are part of the family team, and need to pull their weight. Which in her case, is all of about 15kg.

I ask her to make her bed and dress herself in the morning. That's pretty simple because she has a doona, and she is easy-going about her clothes. I can just pile a suitable outfit next to her bed at night and she will put it in the morning without complaint. (Well, except for shoe choice. But if she forgets her favourite shoes out by the trampoline and they get rained on and are all sopping, Mummy is NOT going to let her wear them. Lesson learned, Peanut. Lesson learned.)

Anyway... she has to set the table before meals, especially dinner, and she does a great job. Sure, the knives and forks end up a loooooong way apart, and usually on an angle, but she is contributing to the meal preparation and lightening my load, and that is what really counts.

Speaking of lightening the load, she had also started helping out with the dishes. She begs and begs and eventually I let her wash the plastics. She has even learnt to stack them so they drain. Since we have a dishwasher, all that leaves me is the knives and the pans. Win! I really can't explain how tempted I am most nights to let her try to wash the giant saucepan, but that would just be mean and discouraging, and I don't want to metaphorically kill my golden goose.

Something that doesn't help, at all, is Peanut sweeping the floor after meals. She is so enthusiastic that the crumbs fly everywhere, hitting the walls and scattering under the fridge. But I am looking on this as future skill, and hopefully in a couple of months she will have it mastered and I can permanently retire from that five-times-daily chore.

One thing she loves to do is her own laundry. She can fill the machine (it's a front loader), put in the powder and set the dial. When it's done she drags the laundry basket outside and hangs her clothes on the clothes horse. She started out using about ten pegs per tiny shirt, but she has become more efficient with practice.  This is lucky, as ten pegs crowding on a scrap of fabric ensures that it will never, ever dry, and  this can be upsetting for a toddler who wants to bring her clothes back in to fold them. Poor poppet.

Peanut also helps me out with my chores. She can clean the lower half of the windows and mirrors, dust the low shelves and wipe her little table. I'm hoping she will keep it up as she grows, slowly taking over more cleaning real estate without noticing, and eventually be willing to do the whole house!

If you have little ones, I'd love to know what jobs you've given them. Any ideas will be enthusiastically trialed in my house too!

Monday, March 19, 2012

A Kuwait Facial

I flew into Afghanistan on my twenty fourth birthday. Huzzah! Happy birthday Mrs Accident!

However, after seven months of a high altitude Afghan winter, spent shuffling between freezing shipping containers on a building site, full of broken sleep (damn rocket attacks) and unfamiliar Dutch food (rollmops with horse meat and cabbage slop, anyone?) it was time to head home. The only problem was, I may have been twenty four, but I now looked at least thirty. I was far from glowing.

So, when we hit the bright lights of the American base in Kuwait, I booked myself in for a facial. It was my first ever. I wanted to arrive back home in Australia looking pampered and restful. I was aiming to look like I had spent seven months on a cruise in the South Pacific.

A facial in Kuwait, you say? Sure, why not...

The girls at the tin hut of a "beauty centre" were all Vietnamese expats, flown in to Kuwait to live for a year with the sole purpose of supplying a hair and beauty service to the base. English was not a prerequisite. Still, I managed to exain what I needed and they fitted me in as the last appointment for the day.

They probably freaked out when they saw me. They probably cancelled their summer plans. I do know they took took to my face with something resembling an icepick.

Since it was my first facial I was kind of hoping for some ambience, but being extracted is just not restful. But that's ok, you experienced facial-ers say, because after the exaction comes the creams, right? Sure, that was restful. Well, it would have been, except my lovely therapist and her friends had a massive crush on Robbie Williams. They also had a giant video screen in the waiting room, cranking out his greatest karaoke hits. In Vietnamese. Which they sang along to. WHILE VACUUMING. Oh, the ambience!

I should mention here that I had snuck away from my platoon to get this facial. Not as bad as it sounds, I was the boss, I just didn't want my boys to know. They would think I had gone soft. However, I didn't count on their protective attitude, or their reliance on me during touch footy matches. They had been invited to play a scratch match, and started to look for me to play, too. When they couldn't find me in the usual haunts (mmm, I love that Timmy Horton's) they freaked out, branched out, and started to sector search the camp.

And they found me. I had my face lathered in green goop, my hair pulled back in a towel wrap, and cucumbers on my eyes. I didn't hear them come in over the sound of Vietnamese Robbie Williams. One cucumber circle was gently lifted up, and I found myself staring into the wondering eyes of my lads. "Boss? Umm.... Are you.... Okay? Cause.... Ummm... We're going to play touch footy, if you want to come too?"

I did. I left, grabbing a cloth to scrub my face on the way.

So that is the story of my first facial, Kuwait style. (And we won the footy game, too.)

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Shhhh... It's Sunday

Have you ever stared out the window of a moving car, listening to a melancholy song, and felt like you were in a movie? (No? Ahem... well, moving right along then...)

Music exerts considerable influence on our emotions. I know most of my smallish city listen to the same radio station I do. It's the only decent one, and I see people grooving along in their cars to the same song I'm belting out in mine. But since we are all listening to and being affected by the same music, this means everyone is sharing in the same mood. Creepy thought! But I don't like the idea of the repetitive Top 40 hits from my local radio station having a say in how I feel.

And don't get me started on tv. Some shows are awesome, but the ads annoy me, always implying I need to be fitter, skinner, prettier, and own more stuff in order to be successful. It stinks.

Even my old pal the Internet can be overwhelming. So much to do! What if I miss a Facebook post? Or a particularly relevant tweet? There is fresh content on my favourite news site! Don't miss my blog! DON'T MISS OUT!!!

It all gets a bit much. It's stressful. I need some peace. I crave stillness.

So I'm having a media free day tomorrow. No tv, no radio, no newspapers or magazines, no Internet. I'm switching off, unplugging, going quiet.

It's a purposeful Accidental blackout.

I'm expecting to be a bit twitchy to start with, I like a good web fix first thing in the morning, and the girls rely on their recorded half hour of play school while I cook dinner, but I am absolutely certain that by the end of tomorrow I will feel better for having a detox.

So that's me done, I'm off! Shhhhhh....

(P.S. If you want to join in, just drop me a line. But don't expect a reply until Monday!)

Bread Making

I love walking past the bakery in the early morning, smelling those wonderful fresh-baked bread aromas. It is carb heaven! But bakery bread is expensive, supermarket bread is limp and unexciting, and I didn't know how to DIY...  until recently.

I'm happy to say I've hit my straps with this breadmaking business. I wouldn't say I'm a master baker (far from it!) but I'm turning out reliably edible loaves and rolls. As my mate reminded me yesterday, a bread-making apprenticeship takes a full three years, so getting decent bread after a few weeks 'aint bad.

Here's why I bake my own bread:

1) It's cheap! I haven't done a detailed price comparison, but the good bread we used to buy is about $5 a loaf, and now I am turning out a replacement for about $1.

2) It's quick. Sure, it takes time to rise, but that doesn't need supervision. I probably spend around five minutes of my actual time making the bread from start to finish. Since I used to make a trip to the shops once a week just to top up our bread, this is actually saving me time. (This only works because I'm home a lot. If I worked away from home I think it would be much easier to buy.)

3) It's flexible. Burgers for dinner? Make rolls... and why not make kid sized ones for the littlies and some chunky ones for mum and dad? Peanut doesn't like sesame seeds? No worries, only seed half the loaf. And don't get me started on the stuff you can add TO the bread. (Seriously, don't, we'd be here for hours.)

4) It's healthy. I know what's in it, and what's not.

Speaking of what's in it, I thought I would share my recipe here, now that I've tweaked it into submission:

4 cups of bakers flour
1.5 teaspoons of yeast
1.5 teaspoons of salt
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tablespoon of sugar
1 to 2 cups of warm water.

Adding the water is the tricky bit, it's flour and weather dependent. It took a while to learn how the dough was supposed to look.

I make my bread in a KitchenAid mixer, then oven bake. One massive downside to moving house so often is having to learn the peculiarities of a new oven. (My oven three houses ago turned out PERFECT pork crackling, but I haven't been able to make it properly since. I yearn for that oven every single time I make a Sunday roast. Clearly my life is a miasma of hardship.) My current oven is blissfully ignorant of the expected convention of the dial temperature correlating with actual interior cooking temperature. It is a petulant thing, full of hot spots and cold spots and damn it, the more I write about it the more I want to take to it with a baseball bat. But it can make bread.  

And now here's a bit of encouragement - if you are new to this bread making business and you get the first few quite wrong, keep on trying. Don't be discouraged if your first couple are a bit mushy or could be mistaken for door-stops. It won't take long before you get the hang of it.

I think the next step for me is to keep an eye out for some decent bread tins, so I can make nicer loaves, and more than one at a time.

Now, gentle reader, here is my question for the day - If you make bread, how much do you knead yours? Gently and quickly, or do you beat it into submission like I want to beat my oven?

Friday, March 16, 2012


Our playgroup last year was hard work. The mothers were nice enough, but the majority had husbands who worked together, so they socialized together outside of playgroup too. They had a very insular friendship group and it was tough to break in - I tried for a year, and still half of them couldn't remember my name! I know it's not my fault, I'm pretty gregarious and usually have no difficulty making friends, but they had no reason to exert the effort to reciprocate attention. I was left hanging in a metaphorical friendship high five.

But, as is usual in our line of work, a big exodus occured over Christmas and now we have a whole lot of new faces. And they are lovely faces! I know that they know my name because they use it as I arrive. And it is a very rare day I leave now without at least one playdate lined up for Bug or Peanut. It makes such a difference!

So much of a difference that I have volunteered to run the new Saturday playgroup that is starting up.

I have a blank slate of playgroupism. I can organize the running how I like. Outside play first, or arts and craft? Snack time before or after story time? I'm going mad with power!

So I'm on the hunt for cool playgroup inspiration. I want to make Saturday morning playgroup The Place To Be.

Got any ideas?

Thursday, March 15, 2012

They're Here!!


Lovely, red wattled, brown feathered chickens.

The girls are so excited. I am so excited! And Archie just doesn't know what to do with himself. He spent the afternoon trying to warn me that they were in the backyard, and guarding the backdoor in case one tries to sneak in.

Not that they would. They refuse to leave their coop. I can relate

I'm sure they will venture out tomorrow. Peanut saved her dinner scraps as an enticement. We tucked them in to sleep tonight, and as I was bathing the kids we heard them bok-boking as they went off to sleep. It was such a lovely sound.

We collected the chickens this afternoon from Bellchambers Produce. It is THE quaintest shop I could ever imagine. 

It has a totally unassuming entrance, way back from the road in an industrial area. Inside, there are huge bins of grain, sacks layered on pallets and a couple of cats lazing around to keep the mice down. The calenders on the wall date from the 1940s. The floor is covered in wisps of straw, and your bill is totaled on scrap paper by an elderly country gent who knows everything there is to know about chickens.  (He was very kind to me when he realised I had no practical experience with chickens. I chided Peanut for playing with some stuff in a tub, while asking him if he had shell grit. He did. It was in the tub... There is only so far books and internet videos will take you!)

So we loaded the hens up into a box and brought them home. Bug and her best mate Archibald were desperate to get into the pen and have a poke and a sniff, respectively, but after a quick meet and greet they were banished outside the fence so the hens could settle in. Bug kept tapping the gate and saying "knock knock Mama! Knock?"

The really nice thing about the chicken pen location is I can sit and watch them from my sewing room window. You know, if they ever come out of the damn coop!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Fighting Oil with Oil

I've ditched my old skincare routine and gone crunchy. (Surprised, regular readers? No? I didn't think you would be...)

I first heard about the oil cleansing method from Simple Mom.

She writes:

"...good-quality oil is the perfect substance for cleaning sensitive skin, such as on our face, because it helps gently remove the dirty oil and replaces it with good, nourishing, healing oil."

The oil doesn't dry your skin like soaps or other cleaners can. Olive oil has been used throughout the ages in Greek, Roman and Turkish baths to anoint the skin to protect it and keep it supple, so it is kind of surprising it had fallen out of favour - so many cleansers are advertised as "oil free".

I figured that if I experimented, the worst that could happen was a shocking breakout, and since I have absolutely zero special occasions looming in the near future I have nothing to lose. Also, Mr Accident is away again, and you know how I love a good project! (The chickens arrive tomorrow, yay!)

The recipe is simple, it's just a castor oil and olive oil mix.

Simple Mom suggests a 1:3 ratio of castor oil to olive oil for dry skin, and a 1:1 ratio for normal skin. I hedged my bets and went for a 1:2 ratio, with one tablespoon of castor oil to two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil. (Castor oil is NOT canola oil, ok? Don't forget to write it on the shopping list, and then just grab the one that happens to start with the same letter. Anyone want a spare bottle of canola oil? I don't have a clue what to do with it...)

The general idea is that you rub this mix onto your dry skin with dry fingers and give your face a good massage. Then get a hot wash cloth and steam off the oil and the impurities with it. I usually find I need to give my face a good rub to get all the oil off.

After a week I can happily report that my skin hasn't freaked out. In fact, it looks better than it did before. I have always battled blackheads on my nose, but they are getting smaller every time I wash with the oil. However, I am not sure if this is a result of the oil method or that my nose is getting a good washcloth scrub every day. Either way, I'm not complaining!

I keep my oil in a little recycled juice pop-top bottle in the shower. I am only going to make up a little at a time to stop it going off in the warm, moist shower stall. The smell of the castor oil is a little... oily, but it didn't take me long to become accustomed.

Here are some other related sites. I can't vouch for them, but it's a good a place as any to start your own research if you are interested.

Simple Mom Oil Cleansing Method

"The Oil Cleasing Method" website

If you use the oil cleansing method I'd love to hear from you, or if you give it a try let me know how you go!


When I was a kid, I used to have a recurring dream about walking up rickety old wooden stairs into a spider infested house. I was never really frightened, instead I recall a faint whiff of resignation. I knew it was bad, I knew I was going up there, I knew there was no way around it.

Surprisingly, this hasn't particularly scarred me. I don't mind spiders, and I never saw their presence as a personal affront. If they were brazen enough to scutter in front of me in daylight, they would get squashed, and I swept their webs from the windows (well, the front windows, anyway... ) but otherwise we held an easy truce.

Until today. Peanut woke with a bite on her arm. The spiders brought the war to the Accidental Household, and made it personal. But I plan to end it.

They have been massing their interior forces for some time, probably because the backyard flooding required an exodus to higher ground. I have been squishing more daylight runners and cleaning more webs. I even cracked out the lemon oil to try and dissuade them. But now tipping point has been reached. I threw out my mostly-crunchy ideals and cracked out the bug spray. It's Total War, Accidental Style. The bedrooms are marinating in chemicals as I type. In a few minutes I'll throw open the windows, set the air conditioner to "tornado" and try to make them habitable again (for us, not the spiders).

Hopefully they're decimated and beat a hasty retreat. If not, I'm coming after the rest.

Run spiders, run!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Why I call myself a housewife

I'm not married to a house, yet I call myself a housewife. Why?

It's a term that has fallen out of favour, generally replaced by Stay At Home Mum.

While I am a technically SAHM, I consider myself a housewife first and foremost. My children are my number one responsibility. However, instead of building my world around only their needs and wants, I put the needs of the whole family unit first. This means that I will turn down a developmental activity for the girls if it means that I won't be able to get dinner on the table in time. It means that instead of playing ponies as soon as it's asked of me, I will prioritize the laundry. And it means that I try to put my relationship with Mr Accident absolutely first.

This may sound harsh, but I have sound reasoning. I believe children thrive in a safe, secure environment, surrounded by love and with a routine that they can rely upon. So making sure that dinner is on the table at six every single day is providing them that security. And doing all I can to make sure that Mr Accident and I have a solid, loving relationship not only models successful partnering, but also keeps our home calm and happy. I am trying to take a longer term view on the girl's needs.

Additionally, calling myself only a "stay at home mum" ignores the hard work I do to maintain the home and support the family apart from the work of raising the children. My grandmother used to say "a penny saved is a penny earned" and I work hard to earn my pennies! There are a thousand ways I save money for the family through my labour. (In my imagination, I actually hear a tiny slot machine "cha-ching!" every time I hang another cloth nappy on the line.) Besides childcare costs avoided by my staying home, there is the home made bread, yoghurt and laundry powder, having the time to use the washing line instead of the drier, being home to open and close the windows and blinds to make best use of our homes heating and cooling capacity, making Mr Accident lunch every day instead of him having to buy it... I could go on and on (and I think I just did!) I am the cook, laundress and cleaner. I am the planner, the driver, the personal shopper. And I do a bloody good job.

So, because I put the family needs over those of the kids, and because I am so much more than just a mother, I wear my slightly unfashionable "housewife" tag proudly. I earned it. Do you want to borrow it?

Monday, March 12, 2012


There is a lovely age, somewhere between one and two, when a baby starts to walk, and to talk, and suddenly a whole new little personality develops. Watching it is just magic. I feel so privileged.

Bug doesn't cry when she wakes now. Instead she rolls around in her cot, chuckling. after a while she will start up a "Mumumum... Mumumum... Mumumum..." and when I come in? A big laugh, and a "MUMUMUM!!"

I lift her up, she throws her arms around my neck and buries her face through my untied, early morning hair until we are cheek to cheek. Then she lets out a contented sigh and clings on like a monkey, refusing to be dislodged until I sit down on our usual chair for her early morning feed.

I watch the light from the rising sun creep across the lounge room floor, read the news, and marvel at the tiny, blonde curls that wrap around her ear. It's my favourite way to start the day.

Sunday, March 11, 2012


We are getting another dog!

A female bulldog pup, just born this morning. Here is a photo:

We don't know which one will be ours yet. We can go and meet the puppies in a few weeks, and we will have the pick of the litter.

I'm so excited!

Anybody have a good idea on how to pick out the best pup from a bunch? 

Dogs don't ride the swings

We are dog people. We have a dog, we are getting another dog, we like dogs in our life and dogs in our house.

But I do not like dogs at the playground.

Im my view, it is the ultimate in self absorption to think that bringing a pair of adult rottweilers, (or any large dog, in fact) into a fenced children's park is an acceptable thing to do. Doubly so when they are brought in and let off the leash. TRIPLY when the lady bringing them in had no kids, so no other reason to come into the park. (It's a small, fenced park, with footpaths around the whole outside.)

There is plenty of space to walk dogs around our house. Lovely tree lined avenues with excellent footpaths. Open grassy parks where they can run off leash. A golf course flanked by a pine forest full of smells that send a dog into an ecstatic frenzy. So why did this lady bring her two large dogs into our tiny community playground? It's not like they can ride the swings.

I don't think I would be so worked up about this if, when approached about leashing her dogs, she hadn't replied "oh, it's ok, I'm not worried about the kids hurting them." Seriously?! I wasn't worry about the kids hurting them either. I was worried about me getting my mummy lion on and tossing them over the fence one at a time. Owner leading.

I think she must have seen my face. It's expressive. She left quickly.

Chalk up a win for people-who-like-dogs-in-dog-suitable-places-that-will-not-result-in-their-dogs-being-banned-by-the-local-authorities, i.e. "dog lovers"

*end rant*

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Honestly, it's not like this normally... but do come in

I love drop in visitors. Absolutely love them. I am touched that people would be comfortable enough in our friendship to come over unannounced and hopefully accept us as we are.

However, on a day like today, it can backfire...

Although I keep a clean and hygienic house, I often find myself keeping a very MESSY house. It does get tidied often, several times a day, but just never all at the same time. I think most mothers of toddlers will understand just how quickly two little tornadoes can transform a formerly orderly room into a bombsite in minutes. Sometimes it is like fighting a force of nature.

Let me paint the picture:

Our playroom is right next to the front door, and it is usually mid-adventure. The hatrack, too, is right next to the front door. It occasionally gets pulled over, spreading hats and jackets and ephemera across the hallway. When we get home from an outing, backpacks and bags are usually dropped briefly at the front door, next to newly discarded shoes and socks and lunch boxes and perhaps a stray stroller. And finally, the girls are still quite messy eaters, especially yoghurt, and especially when we came home in a starving hurry having just dropped our gear in the front hall....

And sometimes these all coalesce into a perfect storm of front door messiness, which is, of course, when the most judgmental people I know decided to drop by. It's Murphy's Law.

And I hate the looks on their faces. The barely muted disdain, as they step over the fallen hatrack, glance into the ankle deep playroom, skirt the dropped bags and see my babies yoghurt covered faces. It hurts. And it takes a great deal of internal fortitude to remind myself that no, this isn't life here normally, and that my family are all happy with the way I do my duty as a homemaker.

They haven't any children, yet. Perhaps I can lend them my whirling dervishes for a day and see if their front hall remains immaculate then?

Thursday, March 8, 2012

Poor sick puppy

I adore my puppy.

He was with me before Mr Accident and I were married. He started out as "Archie", when he was a wee little fluffy pup, but as he grew longer (and wider!) and started to snore like an old man, "Archibald" became a more fitting title. 

He is my shadow during the day. He trails me from the laundry to the kitchen to the backyard and back again. Every time I turn around and look at him he appears to be napping, but he must sleep with one eye open, because if I try to sneak past him out of the room he's on to me, and tags along too.

He is incredibly patient with the kids, and is generally happy to play along with their crazy schemes. He loves to be included.

He knows the house routine better than I do. When I give the girls their bath, the second I lift Peanut out of the tub he shuffles next door and settles into the bedroom beanbag, ready for a story. And he expects me to make room on my lap for not just Bug, and Peanut, but Archibald too! I think he likes to look at the pictures, but he's yet to successfully achieve what he believes to be his rightful position of front and center. That doesn't stop him trying to squeeze in there every night.

Bug is his Best Friend. They have formed a relationship based almost entirely on food. Bug is the supplier, Archibald the eager customer. Bug has been known to search the house for a sleeping Archibald, with the sole aim of waking him up to feed him a corn cracker.

But my pup is sick. He had become increasingly listless. I thought something might be wrong when he would still follow me round, but would hide in the room instead of sitting thoroughly underfoot. Have you ever seen a dog try to hide behind a toilet? It was a challenge for him, I will say that. 

And then he stopped shadowing me entirely, and retired instead to his rarely used kennel in the backyard. He stopped eating (even corn crackers!) and stopped drinking. He was physically ill every hour or so. We rushed him to the vet.

My Archibald has pancreatitis. We think it was set off by a peanut butter sandwich. He spent a full two days on a drip under observation at the vet, trying to regain his fluids and reduce his inflamation. 

But good news! Bug, Peanut and I were able to pick him up this afternoon and bring him home. The medication has worked amazingly well, he looks and acts like his old self, apart from the horrible shaved patches on his legs and chest. The bad news is he can't eat anything but dog food for the rest of his (hopefully very long) life. The fattiness of many human foods could cause a relapse. Even a small cube of cheese could be the end. So, poor Archibald, no more sausages snuck off the highchair by the baby. No more stealing vegemite toast from the kids morning tea table when they forget to clear their plates. And no more bacon!

It's a dog's life.

Ten Accidental Facts

I kind of breezed right past my one hundredth post. It's somewhere back there last week, and it's probably about chickens. Never mind. I know it's usual in the blogosphere to share one hundred things about yourself at this momentous juncture, but I'm just not ready for that level of commitment... so you can have ten things, instead.

1) my fish are called Bread and Milk because Mr Accident and I went to the supermarket with the sole intent of getting bread and milk. It was all we needed, and we were clean out. We came home with two fish, a glass fish tank, a plastic model army tank, and no bread or milk at all. So we called the fish Bread and Milk.

2) my favourite joke is "there were two fish in a tank, one turned to the other and said "I'll man the guns and you drive". And that is why we bought the little army tank for our big fish tank.

3) I make carpet coloured play dough. My cousin gave me this idea. She is as wise as she is beautiful, and she is stunning. All our carpets are brown. That is not so stunning. My kids get pink and green play dough at playgroup and they think it's Christmas.

4) I am more in love now with Mr Accident than I was the day I married him. We've been together eight years this July. It just keeps getting better.

5) Mr Accident can remember the day we met. I cannot. This is a source of some embarrassment to me.

6) I made up for it by asking him out, because he was funny, and because he had the nicest, smiliest, bluest eyes I had ever seen. That is, until I saw the amazing eyes he gave our daughters.

7) I drive a Jeep. It's maroon. I have a coat, heels and wallet to match. No matter how recently I tidied and vacuumed it out, there is always a strata of discarded hats, toys and coats littering the floor in the back seat, interspersed with old corn crackers. I swear they crawl in there themselves overnight.

8) I don't feel right in the morning until I've made the bed. WITH the throw pillows, thank you.

9) I very rarely run late. I get nervous if I am late and worried if others are late. I am trying to relax about this, but being five minutes early for everything was ingrained into me for ten years, and it's not something I can easily shake.

10) I love high heeled shoes, but I wear my black converse low tops the vast majority of the time. This is soley because Bug is a runner. I'm hoping that once she starts to pay attention to frenzied arm waving and shouting, I will have to run less and I can dress up more. I will probably change my mind about this when I remember how uncomfortable my high heeled shoes actually are.

So that's me in a nutshell ("Help, help! I in a nutshell! - name that movie).

Right now Peanut is pulling Bug down the corridor on her tummy, by her arms. It's all fun now, but I'm off to intervene before someone loses a limb. See you all tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

I'm unschooling my three year old. It's called "life".

I was a bit worried. I was suffering from mummy-guilt. You know, the kind that creeps up on you when all your Facebook friends with similarly-aged kids are posting about how their three year old is learning subtraction or taking Montessori inspired nature walks then painting about it to classical music in the nude, but all you've done that day is dig weeds in the garden, crack out the play dough and walk the dog.

So I went online and printed off some random preschool homeschooling materials, determined to catch Peanut up. (if you're looking for the good stuff, check out 2 Teaching Mommies, they have printable themed units on dinosaurs! Yay!)

But after I had cut out all the number peg cards, and the 1-20 puzzle, and made the size sorting game, and asked Peanut to play... I realised that she was already great at this stuff. She'd picked it up through osmosis. Because when we walk the dog, we say the street numbers, and when we dig weeds, we study the worms, and when we play play dough, she learns that if she makes three little balls, and her sister steals one, she only has two left...

So we're off to the park today. Worksheets are for suckers.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Kids say the darndest things

Peanut made a pretty big call today.

She's been into Rapunzel lately, and as much as I find the whole Disney franschise painful for their shocking portrayal of female role models, I let her watch this one. It seemed to have a strong female lead. She has a couple of neuroses, sure, but she has her own impetus and is capable of rescuing herself. However, this feminine empowerment might have taken a step in the wrong direction in Peanut's young head...

Her take on the story? "No, Mummy, Rapunzel didn't live happily ever after, she went to live with a MAN."


Monday, March 5, 2012

He's home

Mr Accident is home from his course a full five weeks early. Not injured, as I feared, and so far from failing that it's laughable, but he's home nonetheless.

He went for two reasons - he wanted the job, and he wanted to know he could do the job. It was about proving himself.

But, while he was away doing just that, and doing exceptionally well at it, too, he realized the job sucked. Really, truly sucked. And he didn't want it anymore.

It turns out that all the cooking, and caring, and cleaning, and laundry washing and support that I offered in the preparation has backfired. He just wants to be home with his family, safe and comfortable, where he belongs.

So now he's had his questions answered. He is good enough. He can do it. And his family is well worth the sacrifice of his dream career.

And I couldn't be happier.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Like (my) mother, like (my) daughter

This never ending rain is causing tension in the Accidental household.

I like to relive my misspent youth by blasting my teenage angst CDs and dancing madly around the living room. Peanut does not approve.

I just threw on some Blink182 and went to make afternoon tea. I heard a heart wrenching wail from the playroom, and a "Mummy, I Do Not Like That Loud Music!"

And when I walked in?


She was wearing her baby industrial strength earmuffs.

I swear, it's like I never left home... Mum, are you coaching her??

Meeting Rhonda

The book signing went really well yesterday! I expected a lot more people there, I guess I expected the whole world to love reading Rhonda as much as I do, but it was very quiet. I had a chance to sit and chat with Rhonda and Hanno about their travels, and important details about who is looking after their chickens while they are away. Rhonda was as delightful in person as she is in print, but perhaps a bit tired from her hectic schedule. She was very nice to chat to though.

However, it was Hanno that stole the show for the Accidental family. He absolutely charmed the girls. He even admired and had a quick play with Bug's "kitty" hand puppet. Peanut woke up this morning and asked to see him again!

The book itself is huge. I didn't expect it to be so thick (so many household and lifestyle manuals are not exactly meaty). And there is so much content!! It will take a fair while to get through it all, which is lovely, because from what I've seen so far it is easy to read, and the layout is very pleasant. it's going to be a keeper, I can tell already. I actually wouldn't be surprised if I end up buying a twentieth edition copy for the girls when they move out of home.

Well, I'd best be off, Bug has been up since 3am this morning (I think she's getting sick too) and she's about two inches from the end of her tether. We're just about to stroll down through the rain to pick Peanut up from the kinder around the corner, have homemade pea and ham soup with fresh rolls for lunch, then tuck everyone up in bed for an afternoon nap. Myself included, today!

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Welcome to Autumn

I woke this morning to dark skies and pounding rain. The children and I had slept in an extra two hours. (Well, except for Peanut, she woke quietly at six and played in her room with her dollhouse.) It was so dark that we needed to put the lights on to see our late breakfast, and for Peanut to do her reading practice.

There is a huge puddle that surrounds our house, we are living on the Accidental Island today. My poor potted mint is under two inches of water, and the chicken pen is a swimming pool, far more suited to ducks.

So there is only one thing to do, really. We've bunkered down. It's the perfect day for craft, stories, and playdough. The girls will probably watch an episode of play school, I'll get stuck into the ironing, and then we'll have homemade rolls for lunch.

After nap time, however, we're heading into town to meet Rhonda Hetzel. She's written a book based on her wonderful Down To Earth blog, so we're going to get our copy signed. (If you are not familiar with her blog and you are interested in simple living it's worth a look. It's so damn good that it is included in archives of the National Library of Australia.) I've been reading her for about four years now, so I'm very excited to actually meet her! I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow.