Sunday, 27 July 2014

Panic!! Such a bad Impression

Oh No, I've just been linked in Blog Hop Around The World by Jessie from (Rabidlittlehippy) which means not only is a post expected from me next week, but also there may be some new readers visiting my lowly blog.  Since this blog hop is about creativity, they are likely to be wondering "What The' given some of my recent posts.  I don't think that my hubby's flatulence or my going bald is considered to be creative.  Or perhaps my creativity exists in being able to take such subjects and create posts that have generated a surprising number of views.  What does that say about my regulars?

Creative? I Think Not!

Well, before you leave thinking that Jess got it wrong, can i take a rain check and get you to pop back next Monday because I'm mid project at the moment and its really cool, if i do say so myself.   I've taken a packing crate from work and I'm waving my magic wand over it and creating something unique for my garden.  No its not a garden or compost bed.   Even better, if you join my rather jolly band of followers the post will find its way to you all by itself.  If you cant wait, check out the goings on in my Projects tab.

The crate is actually quite large - 1200 mm W X 800 mm D X 1000 mm H and with a solid wood floor, its as heavy as.   Such size means that its going to take two weekends to complete instead of the usual one and so you are all going to have to wait.  Monday to Friday i wear my accountants hat and move paper from one side of the desk to the other many times and deflect creditors (politely)  and hunt down debtors (not so politely). Some might call me a "Creative Accountant" but then aren't we all to some degree.  Definitely not boring she doth protest.

In the meantime, enjoy some of my garden highlights from this week.  The winter sun came out to play on the weekend and i enjoyed it so much that I've taken another day off today.

Tom's little RAV4 is a great gardening cart, on L Plates

We've been looking for a feature pot for a while for the front garden and this was on sale from $190 to $80.  I've gifted it to myself and can see it as a water feature.  

We both rewarded ourselves for great bargain shopping with a cappuccino .  Cool Coffee Art.  
The daffodils are out already.
Beautiful blooms in a bird cage.
Where are my cauliflower hearts?
I was going to throw this little ornament out as clutter but it found a new home on my potting bench.  

Radish and Lettuce coming up in abundance.

While we've been chatting (because to me it is like I'm talking to you) I've baked a spinach and feta quiche for tonight's dinner.

So till next time,

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Thursday, 24 July 2014

New Flash!!! Teenage Son Makes Dinner For Parents

Now before you think so what , its just pasta, he actually made the pasta from scratch.  Holy Moly, what a surprise.  Well almost, he did call me at work during the day saying "I've made your dinner tonight, its a surprise".  Then a couple of minutes later the phone rings again and its "You are really going to be surprised, its good".  Waiting, waiting, because i know he cant hold it in any longer, and the phone rings again.  "Mum, I've got to tell you, i cant hold it in".  OK, so tell me, and so he does, to the nth degree, until i actually have to stop him to say i have to get off the phone, people want to be paid today.

Tom bought this pasta machine for me several Christmas' ago and it has remained in its box and found its way to the back of a kitchen cupboard.  Several times he has asked to make pasta and I've put it off.  Don't i feel guilty now.  I should have known that it was something he wanted and wasn't really for me.  He is an Aspie through and through and i love him anyway.

I always thought that one day i would engineer an Italian Momma into my life and she could demonstrate how to use it and we'd be making every variety, better than restaurant quality, and by the end of the day I'd be known as the Queen of Pasta throughout the land.  Well this hasn't happened (where are you, you must be out there) and so i haven't done anything about it.  I have run away from it, why? Because i am afraid to fail.

It has taken my 17 year old Aspie son, who is afraid of nothing, to open the box, go online and get a recipe from Taste and find the ingredients (or near enough as i don't stock 00 flour) and just do it.  I feel humbled.

On one of his many calls to the office today, he told me he had hung the pasta over a coat hanger and hung it in the laundry with a blow heater going as it needed to be in a warm dry area.  There was a stage in his life (around 5 - 8) when he watched cooking shows like Hughie and an old recorded series from the BBC called Travels Al La Carte with Sophie Grigson and her husband making their way around Europe.  Those tapes  were played 24 hrs (yes, even while he slept) and so i think this is where his desire to make pasta came from.  I loved that obsession and we would watch them together (hence my own memories) but now it is 24 hrs of military history, weaponry and gaming.

As you can see he made two types.  He remembered (gosh his memory is phenomenal) that in Sicily they rolled the pasta around long bamboo skewers to make spaghetti and so this is what he did.  He must have really struggled as i think he was missing a few of the finer details like oiling the skewers and having a dry floured surface etc but he did a good job none the less.

The pillows, as he called them, were stuffed with plain cooked mince which was left over from the taco making session earlier in the day.  Even Tilly got a share of it. I explained when i got home that it was called Ravioli and that he needed to remove the air around the stuffing or it would burst in the hot water and found the little crimp wheel to cut the excess pasta off.   Looks pretty good.

Forewarned i had grabbed a pre-made carbonara sauce (that is a first) as i knew it would need to be on the go the minute we reached home.  I'm surprised he wasn't jumping up and down in the driveway waiting but i guess he is now 17 and he waits just inside the door.  Ambush!

So here it is again.  You don't think he ate it though, do you?  This is Dad's dinner.  Tom doesn't touch sauces (anything wet on his food) and if he did eat pasta it would be plain with cheese sprinkled on it.   I cant eat it either as it get stuck in my band and so it was all for Dad tonight and for tomorrow's lunch.  Tom doesn't mind, his job was done.  He made it and that was all he cared about.

This is my dinner, i could eat salad everyday.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Wednesday, 16 July 2014

What is it with Men and Farting?

I know, its an indelicate subject but this question has to be asked.  I'm going to tell you an extremely funny story shortly but first you must know that this subject was so totally out of bounds when i was growing up that even now my usual response to The Boy's (husband and son - can i call them anything else?) indiscriminate flatulence which is usually accompanied by laughter and funny comments like "if it had more choke it would have started" is some stern eyebrows or a total blank stare. The fact that I'm even bringing this matter up shows how desensitised I've become to it over the last 20 Years.  I have no memory of what appears to be the normal response by most and that is to laugh uproariously as if one had just accomplished an act so comedic as to deserve an applause.

When i was growing up, all bodily functions involving the nether regions were to take place in private in the bathroom or in the "little girls room".  At best you could get away with it outside if you were totally on your own and knew that you were not going to offend anyone.   If you happened to burp by accident then you politely covered your mouth and excused yourself.  There were no burping competitions and pretend flatulence by making noises with your armpit, that was just gross and silly.

SO, this story begins with pumpkin soup.   Made in the usual way (onions, garlic, roasted pumpkin, bacon, chicken stock - all pureed and then nutmeg and sour cream added) and served for dinner on Tuesday night.  Yesterday when i came home my husband was in fine form and commented that he had flatulence all day.  Do you think he stopped there? He started describing how long it lasted and what tune he was playing.  By this stage I'm started to get offended and i try to ignore him.  Its hard because like i said, they usually come with a commentary and a comedic performance afterwards.  Gross Gross and SO immature.

They actually do!
In bed, the performance was still continuing when i had had enough and told him to stop.  I mean, if we (women in general) feel the urge and its not an accident, we get out of bed and go to the bathroom, don't we?  I even go to the other bathroom rather than the ensuite because i don't want to offend anyone and i don't want to be embarrassed by any noise.  Right?   So, the next time he feels the urge he lifts the blankets on his side of the bed to let the offending foul air out and it is immediately sucked up by the air intake on his CPAP machine and it floods his mask which is attached with Velcro firmly to his head.


I'm sorry, but no amount of correct upbringing could stop me from giggling for the next hour.  It was so so funny, and even now, as i type this I'm laughing out loud.   There is no help for me, I've crossed over to the dark side!

PS.  I did ask his permission before posting this, as i did think he might be embarrassed but do you know what his response was


Yup, still going today. Good Soup. Renewable energy perhaps?  LOL


Got to luv 'im

Oh, i already know which female blogger is going to comment that they are a farting machine!

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Welcome to Olivia

The Land of Oz grew a little bit brighter last week on the birth day of Olivia Daria, first child of Karolina and Janusz.

Birth Day            7th July 2014
Time:                  9.50am
Weight:               3.29kg
Length:                51cm

Janusz is the Production Manager at my work. I've known him now for 7 years and in that time he has worked extremely hard to create a life for himself in Australia, having immigrated from Poland. That life now includes becoming a Australian Citizen (not an easy thing to do), a beautiful new Polish wife, and a daughter. Olivia is being an extremely good baby and Karolina is a natural Mum.  It must be very hard for her not to have her family around her and i hope that she feels she can reach out if she needs help or just a friend.

I've got a soft spot for Janusz and have spent years encouraging him to find a wife and settle down.  I think i just didn't want him to be lonely.  I cant imagine what its like to live in another country with only a few friends. Well, he will be lonely no more and its lovely to watch him become a Daddy and to see him soften (though he wont admit to it).  He has very strong views on how a baby/child will be raised and im quietly watching (with much amusement) to see Olivia wrap him around her little fingers.  I see a princess in Daddy's future.

I hope i got this poem right and that I'm not saying something completely stupid.

Trochę zielony 

Ona jest trochę słońca,
Ona jest uśmiech na światło swoje dni,
Ona kradnie serce i utrzymać go z jej ciepłych ujmujący sposób,
Ona jest Twój cenny córeczka,
O słodkości z góry Kto wypełni swoje lata ze śmiechu i wasze życie z partii miłości

A LITTLE BIT OF SUNSHINE      (that was born in Sunshine, how apt)

She's a little bit of sunshine,
She's a smile to light your days,
She will steal your heart and keep it with her warm endearing ways,
She's your precious little daughter, With a sweetness from above
Who will fill your years with laughter and your lives with lots of love

So Welcome, little Olivia, a new little Aussie (with a twist of Polish).  

Thanks For Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Friday, 11 July 2014

Help, I'm Going Bald

....or so my son is telling me.   I was relaxing on Thursday night, reading your blogs, when he walks up behind me and tells me I'm going bald.  Really?  I cant see it, so he helpfully takes a photo just to prove it. Nice one, son.  Now I've got something else to worry about.  Will worrying make it fall out more?  Oh No, how do i stop worrying.   Information, that's the key, so off i go researching as usual.

First call, phone a friend, a hairdresser no less.  She ran through the list of possible causes:

Medication  -   blood pressure tablets, the Pill, etc.   Nope, not on any meds other than my happy pills and I'm assured that these are OK on the hair front. They certainly keep me from pulling my hair out.

Hormones -     well, I am getting on a bit, fast approaching menopause, maybe this is the cause?  I do know that my oestrogen levels are dropping as I'm starting to grow hair on my chin.  Wouldn't you know it! Losing it on my head and growing it on my chin.  Arghhh  Who would be a woman?  I use to wax every 6 weeks and now its getting up to once a month.  Good Lord, i am sharing secrets today, aren't I?  Anyone who sends me a razor and shaving cream for a joke will be written out of my will.

Weight Loss -  I WISH!

Hereditary -     my Dad (from what i can remember) had a receding hair line (AND A COMB OVER WITH BRILCREAM - UGH) as has my older brother but i think all the women are pretty OK for a full head of hair.  It is more typical for women to have thinning hair rather than a receding hair line.

Millions of women all over the world have an inherited condition known as Androgenetic Alopecia. This causes either full or partial hair loss and under a microscope the follicles of the hair are seen in different patterns of thick or thin.  It usually happens when women are in their 50's (Gulp) and 60's but can occur from a young age. When a hair falls out (usually 50-100 a day or 250 on wash day) it is usually replaced by one the same size. In those with female pattern hair loss (AA) , the replacement hair gets thinner and thinner until it eventually stops growing.  This is very common.

Chemicals -      Have i changed my diet, used a new shampoo, change the brand of hair colour? Well, yes, the last time was a different brand of dye but Glenda and I have just shared a box of my old brand tonight and we are back to our auburn best (as nature intended).

Illness -            Do i have a problem with my Thyroid Gland or perhaps its Autoimmune Disease or Rheumatoid Arthritis?  A blood test would rule these out.  I must check with my Bestie, she has RA.  It would be really nice to have something else to blame for my being overweight than simply overeating so fingers crossed its a Thyroid problem - Only Joking (truly this is no laughing matter).

So, on with my research.   Now this is interesting.   I came across a site that explains that growing hair is like gardening.  How apt as I and my friends are gardeners. Apparently how well our hair grows is mostly due to what's going on underground.  Now we all understand this concept.

Somehow, i don't think this is what they mean.  
Oh No, now I'm picturing worms in my head! Arghhh   All those castings, well i have been told on many occasions that I Am Full Of It!

Did you know that hair has a cycle?  There are three stages in the hair cycle:

Anagen - The growth stage which lasts from 2-6 yrs.  Hair grows up to 15cm a year.
Catagen - this is the transition phase which last 1-2 wks during which the hair follicle shrinks
Telogen - resting stage which lasts 5-6 wks.

90% of your hair is in the growth stage and only 10% are in the transition or resting phase.   Anything that messes with any one of these stages of the cycle can cause hair loss.

So what to do about all this hair loss or thinning?

Observe    Check your pillow in the morning regularly for sign of any increased loss.  Part your hair and visually (or take a photo) note the line of separation. If it starts to increase in width then you are losing hair. Take a look at your hair comb, brush or the shower drain (make sure it is your hair not someone else before you freak out).    Wait for your observant son to point it out to you, several times.   He'll even take a photo and go show Dad and say "Look, Mum's going bald".  How to keep the romance in your marriage, not!

Seek Some Help.   Once ruling out any medical condition by having a blood test you have several choices:

You can do what many do and go down the Ashley Martin route.  They are professional hair care specialist very well know for their celebrity endorsement for laser hair treatment and implants.  If you have plenty of $$$ and would like the opportunity to run into a famous cricketer or actor then make an appointment today.

Personally, I'm not so keen on lasers being fired at my head.  At the end of my working week its already fried.

OR, as all us gardeners know there is always the organic route.


Studies show that an increase in blood circulation to all areas of the body, including the scalp can assist in stimulating the follicles to begin to produce hair again.   Another way to increase circulation to the scalp is through head massage.  Do I need another reason to book in with Sharon from Miss Townmouse for an Indian Head Massage?  I think not.

Herbal Remedies  

There are a number of natural herbals, most of which are applied in a solution directly onto your scalp.  They help open up closed follicles and increase the chance of hair growth. It depends on the individual and the application how effective these are.
Cassia auriculata: The reason for using Cassia auriculata or Senna auriculata or Tanner cassia as the main ingredient in herbal hair products is that it stimulates natural hair growth by increasing the blood flow in the scalp and thus preventing hair fall. This medicinal herb is antibacterial in action and treats the scalp disorders and acts as a tonic for making hair black, shiny, voluminous and filled with beautiful fragrance. 

Hibiscus rosa-sinensis: Hibiscus is commonly known as China rose and has been used for stimulating the hair growth. This medicinal flower works wonder in the prevention of hair fall and pre-mature greying, and also helps in treating scalp disorders.

Henna: Popularly known as Mehandi, Henna has been used from many decades by queens and kings in hair colouring, cleansing, conditioning and giving it a shiny appearance. It soothes the scalp, reduces hair fall and adds volumes to the hair.

Curry leaves: Curry leaves not only add flavors to the food items but also do wonders to your hair. Filled with essential nutrients it rejuvenates the hair by strengthening the hair follicles. It acts as natural anti-oxidant and promotes the growth of new hair.  Hmmmm  hair that smells of curry! Instead of nibbling my neck, my hubby might be chomping on my hair while I'm asleep.

Chrysopogon zizanioides: This herb stimulates the circulatory system and nourishes the hair shaft.
Rose petals: Rose petals are great for soothing, nourishing and removing flaky skin from the scalp. It increases blood flow, reduces hair fall and adds volumes to the hair.

Neem: For thousands of years, neem had been used in the treatment of hair loss and stimulating hair growth. Its high fatty acid content helps in the promotion of healthy hair.


My hairdresser friend, Kym, went through a period of hair loss in her early twenties and for a hairdresser, that just wont do.  She sought professional help and was prescribed Silica supplements.  These obviously work but you should be mindful of some of the side affects and monitor it closely.  Kym has long straight hair that is reminiscent of those hair ads on TV where they shake their hair and it looks like a curtain of black silk. Arhhhh.....  wouldn't that be nice.

This is not her but she is just as gorgeous and her hair look exactly like this.  
Be careful that any supplements that you take is not causing a toxic build up in your body causing all manner of problems with those really important bits, like kidneys.   One of the side effects of taking silica is increased peeing.  Every 50 year old woman knows that we don't need help to hasten this bodily function.  LBL does a fine job all on its own.

Ensure that your diet is healthy and full of all the vitamins and minerals that your body requires so that there is no deficiency in anyone area that might cause hair loss.   Perhaps just taking a general multi-vitamin will be all you need.

All research must come to a conclusion of sorts. Unless i start seeing clumps of hair on my pillow that don't belong to Hubby or Tilly then I'm going to stop worrying.  I might look into one of the organic measure and visit my local health store for a chat to the Naturopath.

I know that many of you probably have your own home remedies and therefore have your own version of a Pantene ad going on in front of the mirror each morning.  Feel free to share your magic.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land Of Oz

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Oh Blue, How I Love You!

Gorgeous, isn't it?   How many times over the last year have i shown a photo and apologised for the grey ugly fence in the background.  Oh, how it spoilt my day (First World Problem, right there).  Well, no longer. Instead I'm going to be pointing it out.  "Hey, never mind those veggies, check out my fence!"

Flash Back - I'm trying to erase it from memory, but here it is.....

Isn't it awful?  The fence, not my husband, though he is trying his best to pull a Rambo face with his blower vac, which is not working but don't tell him.   So you tell me, which looks better?   Imagine plump red tomatoes on green vines against that blue. Imagine berries and apple trees espaliered against this fence.   Its going to be awesome!  Im going to have real trouble harvesting now, as it will spoil my art.

Things have been moving along this week despite being out of action (yes, i am still whinging about my tennis elbow - grip strength now a pathetic 17) and my hubby being away all week.  I've hired in some help using my pocket money.  I dont need stuff, i need help.  My new hero is Joe.  Everyone should have a Joe.  As an older gentleman he has a strong work ethic and I'm very comfortable leaving him at home with Tom to do his thing.  He's kept Tom company and is making his way through my list of home maintenance that keeps being added to.  Joe is happy to work for just a few days a week and that suits my ability to pay him.

I wish my Mum was online because she has been telling me for years to get this laundry door painted.  The tread board had no paint on it at all and was as grey as the fence.  Well, check it out now, Tilly is.

On Monday, the front door will be painted the same colour as this and the surrounding door and window frames will be repainted a more modern cream.  Our house was built 19 years ago and back then cream and burgundy were the in thing along with heritage green.  We haven't changed our pallet as it works well with the bricks but have opted to deepen the burgundy (Colorbond - Headland/Manor Red) and the cream (Colorbond - Paperbark).  We also chose, back then, to do everything in timber, no aluminium.  As you can imagine we are more than ready for some sanding and repainting.

Hubby is still up in Cairns and has worked 10 hr days all week including Sat.  Today he got to have a day off where he has done his washing and hopefully he will chill out somewhere for the rest of the day.  He's having to readjust to being away, as have we, though he is doing it in 28 degrees.  Nice!

My sister and our little Chelsea popped into work on Monday and surprised me with chicken soup and a lovely bunch of flowers for my desk.

Her son, wife and children came down from NSW and stayed with us on Thursday night before taking the 3 kids to see Thomas the Tank at the Melbourne Arts Centre in the morning and then later Disney on Ice. What a great day for the kids and when i checked in with them afterwards, there was only one word muttered from both parents "Exhausted"! They were following this up with a visit to the aquarium before heading back home on Sunday.

Little Hunter
I might have mentioned in our previous trip posts that we love open fireplaces.  Rather than spending alot of money staying overnight somewhere Tom and I bought one on the weekend and he's been happily making fires all weekend.  We had visitors for dinner last night and we finished our meal with melted marshmallows outside before coming in to play games.

Yummy rich pasta sauce is the easiest entertainment meal ever.  Lots left over for freezing for future lasagna.  
The bottom of my potting bench has become a wood store.  
As all post must include at least one obligatory photo of Miss Tilly (reflection in door not included) then here she is having just had a bath and a little haircut (to uncover her eyes).

Its a work in progress - she's a moving target.  
Hope everyone enjoys their week and doesn't forget to water, even though it is winter.  There has been only a little rain and I've just done the finger test and its quite dry in my raised beds.

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz

Food For Thought!

I started this post thinking how cute these photos were and wanting to share them.  As i was looking at them i started to ask myself "if animals of different species can put aside their differences to help each other then why cant we humans, of so called higher intelligence, do the same?   Did these animals say to themselves, "I cant help you, you are not the same as me?"  Food for thought people!

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