Sunday, 15 March 2015

Catch Up Post

I ask you, what kind of friend comes back from holidays and hands you this and says "i saw this and thought of you".  Is it a compliment?  In truth, this bathing beauty looks much better in a bikini than i would and so i can only take it as such.  Still, I'm not so sure......    Each day i was sent texts and photos showing how beautiful her accommodation was, the wonderful meals she didn't cook or clean up after and the lovely ocean views out her window.  That week was a particularly gruelling one for me and so i wasn't feeling so enamoured of her daily reminders that she was on holidays, and i was not!

This morning saw my weekend visitors (Angela and Sam from home) and I meeting up with my two besties (one could be heading for Ex - see above) at the Victorian State Rose Garden for a morning walk.  We had planned to make our way around the rose gardens and then into the extensive grounds including the lake at the Werribee Park Mansion.  The connecting gate was closed as there was a Multicultural Event on today. It would have been fab to attend but we had already made plans to go into the Queen Victoria Markets in the city (here).  So many things to do and so little time.

Both my besties have FitBits and are focusing each day on getting those steps up.  Ella, as of today, has lost 20kgs, and we are so proud of her success.  A few months ago she couldn't move with pain and yesterday she did 30,000 steps.  Go Ella!!!   My birthday is Thursday and i know that I've been given one, so watch out, the challenge is on.  I bought a brace for my ankle this morning so i can walk without my ankle falling out of its socket.

Ella glanced at one of the grassy slopes in the gardens and said "Look, its a Teletubby hill" and promptly started making her way up.  A few months ago, she wouldn't have dreamed of being able to do so.

There they are, Tinky Winky and Dipsy (with her walking stick).  I'm going to be in so much trouble.

Last weekend saw Tom and I taking off on a weekend drive home to NSW.   He needs to clock up some more driving hours on his Learners and so it was a good opportunity to go home and pick up one of his gifts from his Aunty Glenda - a treadmill (very generous).  I was planning to take the work Hilux but when Daniel heard that was my intent he lamented about how uncomfortable it was going to be (not the most comfortable vehicle especially unloaded) and so he offered his own newly purchased XR6 ute.

Can you imagine the look on Tom's face when i turned up with this and put his L plates on it.  He was in 7th Heaven and feeling really grown up and cool.  Its such a long drive (5 hrs) but it was very comfortable.

Being a long weekend in Victoria, we battled to get out of town with the traffic but once on the open road Tom revelled in the 110km/hr speed limit and his newly found skill of driving with the steering wheel using almost solely cruise control.  It was an uneventful trip (one we have done many times) until we reached the open plains on the other side of Jerilderie and had to deal with kangaroos jumping around in the darkness and the frustration of being limited to 90km/hr in NSW while all the trucks coming up very fast behind us were doing 110km blinding him with their lights. Still this is what its like to drive in the open country and so its all a part of his learning experience.   He handled it very well.

On Saturday we ventured over to Griffith (the food bowl of NSW) to visit my brother Geoff and his lovely Filipino wife, Gwen.  All week she had been telling me she couldn't cook, and yet i knew that i was in for a treat.  What a banquet.  I should have reminded her that there were only five of us eating?

I must, absolutely must introduce you to Hamonada.   It is divine.   Its made using a shoulder of pork, marinaded in pineapple juice and lemonade with soy, peppercorns, brown sugar and bay leaf.  It is then cooked in a pot until cooked and the liquid reduced to a thick syrup.  It was so tender and sweet.

There are many variations on this traditional Filipino holiday recipe and so i suggest you start Googling.

Will you just look at this cheeky girls hair!  It looks like a Pantene ad.  So long, strong, and glossy with health. Hi Gwen!

Such a beautiful home
That rather strange looking veggie below is a Bitter Melon or Ampalaya.

Ampalaya is a highly nutritious vegetable that is very low in sugar and fat, but high in fiber. It contains vitamins A, B1, B3, B6, C, E and K as well as iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc and also antioxidants BUT it is bitter and an acquired taste.  Gwen tells me it is yummy served with egg. 

Bitter melon is best known for anti-diabetes effects. It contains a chemical known as insulin-like peptide that is similar in shape and function to animal-produced insulin. Other chemicals, including vicine, in bitter melon may also have blood-sugar lowering effects.  

Of course Mum was in attendance and dressed to kill.  My sister Sam has taken on the role of stylist and bought this for Mum for Christmas.  Not bad for an 85 year old.  

Tom and i drove home on the Sunday.  Two days away from home seems to be Tom's limit.  Routine, routine, routine is the Aspie's mantra.  

Since home, I've been trying this week to keep up with the cucumber glut I'm currently experiencing.  

I"ve eaten, gifted and preserved and still they come.  I'm sure i complained to someone last season "I cant grow cucumbers".   Gods playing a little joke on me.  

The tomatoes are nearing the end of their season but I'm still getting bowls of them every few days.  I'm taking them to work and putting little "Help Yourself" signs on the kitchen table.  They are usually gone by the end of the day and snacks for the guys in the factory. 

Time for my visitors to return from having seen "Dirty Dancing" as the Princess Theatre so I'd better go clean the kitchen.  

Thanks for Visiting Living In The Land of Oz


  1. I think I am going to get a Fitbit with my birthday money as well.

  2. Happy Birthday for Thursday! I hope you have a wonderful day. Do you have anything special planned?

    1. No, not really. Perhaps a meal not cooked by me. Last year was my 50th so i guess this year is a bit of an anticlimax. Wouldnt it be nice to gather all your friends together for a big shin dig every year.

  3. Hope you do something nice for your birthday, Lynda! How about going out for dinner?

    1. Yep, probably will and i bet you can guess where - Turkish Grill. I dont mind, so long as they are happy its less stress and more enjoyable for me.

  4. The roses are pretty. Tom must of loved taking that car for a drive, what a kind boss you are very lucky. Your garden is producing well. My tomatoes have just started coming in now.
    What absolutely beautiful hair.
    I must say your Mum is looking fabulous.

  5. Thanks for everything and have a Happy Birthday. Wish you all the best in life. Just enjoy and see you guys next time...

  6. It just so happened that we were having shoulder of pork for Sunday dinner yesterday, so I did what you said and Googled Hamonada, it was delicious, many thanks for the tip, we will be making it again.

    1. How cool is it that someone in Melbourne, Australia, travels to Griffith to eat a Filipino dish, recommends it on a post and then someone in Ireland makes it.

    2. Is that what they mean by globalisation Lynda?

  7. Let's see, if your birthday is Thursday, and today is Thursday, then today is your birthday! Happy, Happy! I have to add that the roses are stunning and so is that feast. What a wonderful way to spend time with friends and family.


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