Saturday, 13 August 2011

Fake Tidy: The new trend in Interior Design

Its about time I introduce my new blog readers to an old theme from my old blog (read #an excuse to get some new laughs from old material#)

Word for word posted from my 'anonymous' blog. Please don't underestimate the courage it takes to post this as me.... I am not proud :)

Emma from Emma's Brain has written a great post on not doing housework, complete with photos of her top three half-arsed attempts to clean. (You know, shove the clothes in the wardrobe and quickly close the door type stuff.) Check it out, but don't forget to come back here to receive my words of wisdom on the practice I like to call 'fake-tidying'.

Oh great, your back. Thanks, now I can start my real post. Here's another title to make it seem more like a beginning:


Fake-tidying is definitely one of my fortes. I may even be the world's best (or should that be worst?). In a house of two Aquarian's it's actually suprising that we do anything at all. But in an effort to keep up appearances (and keep having guests) I've found many shortcuts through the years.

Here’s a few of my best ideas (worst habits?):


Problem: Wardrobe door won’t close anymore, too many clothes shoved in. There’s also a big shoebox about halfway up that is stuck awkwardly on a fallen coat hanger and the coat hanger is clinging for dear life to the twisted strap of an old cocktail dress (I think its the dress I wore on NYE 1999, but I can’t be sure)

Said box and coat hanger are causing frequent avalanches and any attempt to remove either item could prove to be life threatening.

Solution? Move the bed to another room. I chose the lounge room, and now regularly experience the joys of watching TV, eating dinner and entertaining guests all from the comfort of my bed. My clothes are also much happier now they’re free range.

DODGING DIRTY DISHES: (contents may be offensive)

Problem: Dirty dishes pile spreads from the sink across both benches and has started to work it’s way onto the floor.
Solution? Now for this I have many, listed here in order of preference/frequency:

1. In the early days of the dirty dish cycle, there is relatively no offensive odours and by restacking the mess into neat piles, its possible to clear enough bench space to cook a meal. I then wash all the dishes I need to cook and serve, plus enough for the next night, and before you know it I’m back on the couch/bed enjoying a tasty meal. Resting is justified because the kitchen is in a slightly better state than before. That counts as housework right?

NOTE: Not really a suitable method if you have guests for dinner, but if its done every second night the kitchen remains operational. Plus, from here it’s possible to pass the kitchen off as tidy in next to time by following method 2.

2. A similar method to Emma’s follower Sarah, who hides the dirty dishes in the oven. Now my oven isn’t big enough for ALL my dirty dishes, but my cupboards are empty.... Wow, look at all that instant bench space!

NOTE: This is the preferred option when you have guests, however it’s best to ensure none of them try to help you cook or serve.... they probably shouldn’t even enter the kitchen.

3. For when method 1 and 2 have failed and you’re past the point of overshoot (no going back).

This would be a good time to point out that no-one has ever gotten sick from eating at my house, ever. And it’s really only gotten this bad a few times, honest.

*Key indicator that step two and three have failed*
You walk in the kitchen and something is smelling really funky....
*sniff* it’s not the bin.... *sniff* it’s not the fridge,.... OHHH, gross there it is, that green fuzzy stuff coming from that pile! Uuughhh, what is that? Last weeks Chicken Pie?

This level of filth is going to require careful planning to minimise the health risks and in some cases financial damage.
Rinsing and washing is no longer an option. The tiny chicken-pie spores are smarter than you think and will quite often take flight when they sense their impending doom.
It is also imperative that the pile does not get separated in any way.
No unstacking, no taking off lids, nothing. The smell that has only started to creep out the sides of the cluster will be a whole lot stronger upon contact with fresh air, and it will linger in the house for DAYS.

The stench from an advanced culture (when the spores evolve enough to build cities and form governments) can be so potent that it may even follow you to work (I suspect by this stage its an organised attack by the spores defence force, deploying their teeny-tiny Weapons of Mass Destruction). Proceed with caution, we are yet to learn the extent of their powers.

The offending combination of crockery, cutlery and cookware must be removed from the house as one complete unit. Clear the path from the kitchen to the door, and remove all children, elderly and animals from the vicinity. Hold your breath, pick up the pile and don’t stop walking until you’re outside. If the contents of the filth are not valuable, throw them straight in the bin. Otherwise you will need to hose them down from a distance and see if anything is salvageable. (I still have one pile out back that no amount of hosing could clean, so I left it out to get some air, sun and rain. About a year ago.)

Still with me? Good, this ones my favourite...


Problem: You want to tidy up but every shelf, bench and corner is cluttered with bits and pieces that have no real 'spot'. Things that you might need one day, but not in the foreseeable future. Like batteries that may or may not be flat, magazines that you might want to read again one day, old Internet modems, spare parts for the old fish tank, you know, crap.

Solution? (Now patent pending on this one, I’m sure its a money maker.)

Step 1. Find an empty box, crate or any form of receptacle. Size and shape is irrelevant.
Step 2. Fill it with the crap.
Step 3. Repeat steps 1 and 2 until all crap is adequately contained.
Step 4. Make yourself a cup of tea/coffee (or why not pour a glass of wine, this is hard work!)
Step 5. With your chosen beverage in hand, channel your interior designer and wander the house in search of good spot for a new table.
Step 6. Stack the boxes right were you would like your new table.
Step 7. Grab a bed sheet and throw it over the pile of boxes.

Voila! A new table!

Who needs Ikea? I have so many of these awesome tables that I’m down to a two sheet rotation on my bed.

My proudest monument stands taller than me and spreads pyramid-esque to a base of 2m x 1m. It has a solid foundation of good quality moving boxes, still waiting to be unpacked from when I moved in 2.5 years ago. Over the years, more boxes, a few bags and other odd items have been slipped quietly under the sheet and no-one is ever any wiser. I think my group certificates from 2009 are under there somewhere, too. I was in a rush that day.

So there you have my top three bad habits and household secrets exposed. And that's only the tip of the laziness iceberg. I feel so dirty..... ashamed even... but strangely liberated. Maybe Emma and I will be the catalyst for a new trend in acceptable household hygeine. The next Martha Stewarts...

Now for some comment love:
Will you use any of my techniques?
Have you ever done the similar?
Do you have other tips of your own?
Or perhaps you have your own household nightmare and would like my expert advice?
Any one want to come for dinner?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Yabbie Goodness

I'm not sure what I love most, catching the yabbies or eating the haul.

I won't let anyone use cray pots in my dam, I think that's cheating. Instead we use the good old meat on a string method, with a net and a bucket. 

There are so many in my dam at the moment that I can still get a good bucket load of mid-sizers in the middle of winter, even in the rain!

This was my latest catch...

I let them swim around in my bathtub for 24 hours before giving them a good nights sleep in my freezer.

Then I cleaned them all up to look like this...

and kept aside the claws.

Then got the boys onto the production line.

Mmmm, home-caught, home crumbed yabbies :)

Sunday, 7 August 2011

Sunday Selections - Chairman Meow

This weeks Sunday Selections is all about my cat. When I bought the cute cuddly bundle of fluff almost 8 years ago, after much deliberation he was named Chairman Meow. If only I had've realised he'd grow up to just as much of a ruthless dictator.
These days he has many names (Mitten, Mitty, Meow and numerous variations of the aforementioned) and has many a funny tale to tell. Like the time he chased the BF's friend back to his car because he was trying to get into our house while we weren't home (he had permission, but Mitten didn't know that), and the time we lived in a unit and a visitor of my neighbour threatened to call the pound and have him put down (he pounced on her from the bushes, and although no physical harm was done, she completely lost her s#!t and I thought I was going to end up with a black eye!). Any visitors that come to my house are very quickly advised not to pat the cat, but he's really a big softie at heart...
Here are some recent shots of my big monster....

Snuggly Mitten

Mitty eating a mouse :)

The last six were taken by the BF (Copyright- Nuzzi 2011). He went out one morning to take some frosty shots and Mitten turned it on, photoshoot style. Complete with the aftershoot release :)

These shots are proudly (I hope) brought to you by Kim at Frog Ponds Rock as part of Sunday Selections, a great excuse to post some unseen shots.  Even if they're not yours, as most of these aren't mine, but they are on my hard drive, and possession is 9/10ths of the law :)

Friday, 5 August 2011

Ghosts, Gremlins and the Boogeyman

I don’t watch scary movies. I don’t want to deliberately put myself through the suspense, or be caught off guard by a sight so gross it makes me want to see how far through the digestion process my dinner is. Or keep me awake for the next three nights wondering if there is an alien looking at me through the window as I sleep.

I’m scared of the dark. If I’m walking outside in the dark I shine the torch above my head so there is light all around me (because everyone knows the scary stuff in the dark can’t actually step into the light).

Ghosts and Boogeyman exist. When I’m walking through a door, I squish through really quickly and close the door so that the ghosts can’t follow me through (which is a little illogical, because everyone knows ghosts can float through walls). And I have to have the wardrobe doors closed while I sleep.

I never reach under a couch or bed unless I have checked it for Gremlins, or miniature witches that eat toes.  Yep, you heard right, miniature witches that eat my toes. They are the reason I still run and jump to the bed from a metre away after turning off the light. (I could explain, but the miniature witches deserve a whole post of their own….)

Where did I get these phobias? And why do they still haunt me as a grown adult? The only thing I can put it down to is watching the actual movie “The Gremlins”, when I was about 5.  Before you spout off about irresponsible parenting, I wasn’t actually sat in front of the TV and allowed to watch.  We were staying with my Uncle Garry. He is an ambulance officer who gets posted out to regional locations, I think this time it was Mt. Beauty…

I was put to bed on a mattress behind the couch. The adults wanted to watch a movie, and Gremlins was relatively new and much hyped.

It must have been the cute Mogwai that sucked me in, I wanted a Gizmo! I shimmied myself up the length of the couch, just enough so that I could see the TV screen without being seen by the grown-ups.

The instructions were simple; No food after midnight, No bright lights and No water. Perhaps the Peltzer family would have taken them a little more seriously had the shopkeeper explained the consequences fully.  Woops, a little water on Gizmo and bang 5 more Wogmai’s appear. Not so bad, more cute pets. Charming little buggers who convince Billy to feed them after midnight. Woops.

I will never forget how disgusting those cocoons were, and how utterly terrified I was when Stripe and his buddies emerged as Gremlins and chaos ensued. Stripe was a relentless breeder with a penchant for building armies and attacking innocent people that rivals George Bush. I hated that movie, and I hated that Stripe. I do recall some funny moments, like when they took over the local movie theatre, but every other part of that movie shocked my innocent little brain and I have never recovered.

And I never feed my pets after midnight, just in case…

This post was in response to my Indie Ink challenge for the week... I was challenged to write "a story that you experienced as a kid, that you haven't forgotten to date" by "Disease", I challenged Billy Flynn to write the words to a childrens story book.  Mostly because he is a damn good writer, I had no idea how to challenge him but a childrens story is completely the opposite to his normal tone...  I was completely blown away by his response, you can read it here.

Monday, 1 August 2011

Sunday Selections #30

I'm a bit late with my Sunday Selections this week, but right now I'm stuck in the airport AGAIN, because my flight was delayed AGAIN, so I figure I'll share my favourite pics from my holiday...

Sunday Selections is hosted by Kim at Frog Ponds Rock.  Hop on over to check out some more great photos...

Friday, 29 July 2011

Cat breath...

From where I lay I can see him sleeping.  A deep sleep, so I know I have a few hours respite.  I’m not surprised he’s so tired after today’s tousle, which was one of the worst in a long time.  It happens everyday, to varying degrees. Sometimes it’s just a tap, a little push across the room.  But today he really got stuck into me.  The memory of it haunts me, and I try to assess the damage.  I can barely hold myself together, my outer layer is starting to give, and I’m not sure how much longer I will last. The smell of his breath still lingers, and I get shivers as I remember how disgustingly close his face was. I have a bruise from where I hit the floor, after one particularly big swipe sent me flying across the room.  I can feel a warm moist patch where his teeth bit through, and I wonder how deep it is, how long it will take to dry out, and whether the mark it leaves will stay, making an easy target for further damage.  It seems that’s what he is aiming for. A slow painful torture, leaving me weaker and weaker with every cruelly measured blow.   I pick through the threads of my being, trying to understand why I have been dealt this fate.  Why it was me, it could have been anyone of us.  Why did I end up here, I would have made such a pretty beanie.
This post is my first time participating in the Indie Ink Challenge.  I was challenged by Carrie, to write 250 words from the point of view of a ball of yarn being chased by a cat.  I challenged Flaming Nyx to use the prompt "and this is your father having breakfast with an orangutan".  And I'm really close to the deadline and about to check out of my motel, so I will have to come back later to edit!!!!

Friday, 22 July 2011

"She needs help!!!"

Embarrassing moments...

I don't get embarrassed very easily.  I don't know whether that's more to do with not acting in ways which could lead to embarrassing situations, or due to a lack of shame on my part, but either way, I rarely blush.

But this week I had two absolute crackers that I have to share.  Here's part one:

Yesterday, shopping with my Grandma, we went through the customary hand slap game at the cash register about who was paying.  Then the cashier said "I have to choose someone here, you're making it hard"  to which my dear old Grannie replies rather loudly (I'm assuming due to the adrenalin from the preceding hand-slap war),

"Don't take money off her, She's unemployed, she's got nothing!!!"

A quick glance around told me that yep, everyone in the line, the other lines and the front half of the shop had heard and had started to have a look at what all the fuss was about. I very quickly attempted a reprimand under my breath, "Grannie, don't say that" and to the cashier "really it's fine, just take my money, it's my stuff" but Grannie only seized the opportunity to get her money in front while my guard was down, and passed the cashier her note with an even louder and strangely triumphant cry of


I felt the colour in my cheeks slowly turning the same shade of red as the cashier's shirt. 
I. Was. Mortified. 
I stood there open mouthed and watched Grandma proudly complete the transaction as though she was my carer and my lack of employment left me unable to complete such purchases unaided. The cashier and surrounding customers were finding this all quite amusing. Grannie topped it off nicely by ceremoniously handing me my bag of goodies as though she was endowing me with necessities I hadn't been able to afford for years. I stammered out an incomprehensible mix of "resigned...  my money.... don't need help" as I backed out the door looking around at the surrounding customers.

After we left the shop, and I'd regained my composure, I kindly and calmly explained to her the importance of not making such announcements in the future.  That I didn't 'lose my job', nor do I 'need help', and that how, especially in a small town such as ours, the impact of such a statement could jeopardise my chances at gaining work in the future. You never know who is lining up behind you...

Initially she brushed it off, still rather gloatful. I had to make her understand...

"Next time you won't let me pay, I'm going to say "No, she's a pensioner, She eats cat food for dinner, She needs help!" I imitated her pitch and volume for extra impact...

This got through, "Oh dear, I'm sorry!"

Then we laughed our heads off as we walked arm in arm to the next shop, where she promised to keep her money safely in her purse.

I love my Grannie :)

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Meady Chicken


Wine made from honey.  The oldest fermented drink known to mankind. The Ancient Greeks called it 'The Nectar of the Gods'. Vikings beleived it to be an aphrodisiac.  I reckon it goes good with Chicken. 

Here's my recipe from last nights dinner.  It was a bit of an experiment, but it was damn tasty, super easy and I will be definitely making it again.

Grab some chicken.  I used two breasts and left them whole, but I think I will cut them smaller next time.  Strips the size of the tenderloins would go well.

Preheat the oven to 180C. Sprinkle the chicken with flour, S & P and some mixed dried herbs (thyme, rosemary, tarragon) whack it in a oily pan and brown it off slightly.

Transfer to an oven dish, add some chopped carrot, celery and spring onions.  Crush some garlic over the top (I used 4 cloves) and a few knobs of butter.  Drizzle a little honey over the vegies (not too much, just a drizzle).

Now poor in enough Mead to cover the bottom of the dish by maybe 1cm or a bit less. 

It should look like a little like this:

In hindsight, you could probably add a some ginger at this stage too, either crushed or grated, or even in beer or wine form?  Actually, you could make the whole dish with Ginger Beer or Green Ginger Wine instead of the Mead and just use a bit more honey..... yum.

Okay, back to the recipe. Put it in the oven.  After 1/2 an hour give the vegies a stir and flip the chicken over.  Back in the oven for another 1/2 hour.

Cut up some green beans, and put them in a microwave proof bowl.  Add the juice from 1/2 a lemon and a little water, cover, and microwave for 3-4 minutes. 

Tip the beans and the juice from the bowl in with the chicken and veg.  Check the flavour of the sauce and add more lemon juice to taste.

Now serve in bowls over rice and cover with all that yummy sauce.


The smaller bits of chicken were absolutely 'melt in your mouth', and the vegies were cooked perfectly. The only problem with this recipe is that there were no left overs! 

If you want to try it yourself, you can get Mead from your local bottle shop. 

I used "Maxwell Honey Mead" from Dan Murphy's.  Here is their website: Maxwell Wines.

Now I'm hungry...

Sunday, 17 July 2011

... live Aussie bands #1

Did anyone else see Triple J's 'One Night Stand Live @ Tumby Bay' on ABC2 tonight?
I caught the last two bands, Art Vs Science  and Birds of Tokyo  


Thanks ABC2, you turned my living room into a festival for an hour!

Just so happens that these are two of my fave Aussie bands. I had the pleasure of seeing Birds Of Tokyo earlier this year at the Big Day Out in Melbourne.  I'm yet to see Art Vs Science but they are definitely on my must see list :)

Clearly not taken with my DSLR :)

If you haven't heard of these bands, click on the links to their sites and check them out. No excuses like "Oh, they would be too loud" or "too modern for me..."

You'll never know unless you try :)

Peace, Emma xoxo

Sunday Selections #28

In my old blog I loved to take part in Sunday Selections hosted by Kim at  FrogPondsRock

Kim says: "I take a lot of photos and most of them are just sitting around in folders on my desktop not doing anything. I thought that a dedicated post once a week would be a good way to share some of these photos that otherwise wouldn’t be seen by anyone other than me."

And she's nice enough to let us all join in! 

So here are my selections, taken with my brand spanking new DSLR that I bought myself as a consolation prize for unemployment :)

If you want to join in, go and visit Kim and post your link.

Emma xo

New beginnings...

Have you ever given so much of yourself and become so consumed in one aspect of your life that it becomes 'who you are'?

Sure, some people have good reason and just cause for their consumption, like caring for an ill-family member, or raising a brood, or moving to a third-world country to build water-wells. 

My obsession was nothing so worthy. It was my job, and it wasn't even that great of a job. Sure I found it interesting but my family and friends certainly didn't, especially when it ate up so much of my time and it was the only thing I ever had to talk about...

There was just something about it that sucked me in. I ate, slept and breathed my work and I was stuck in a 'half-life' state while the best of my years passed by and 'OMG I'm 30!' went by without a second glance. I tried to find other pastimes to drag my mind away, like my sporadic but semi-successful blog that I was quite proud of, but even that fell on the wayside every time work got a bit 'hectic' again.

And now I'm not there anymore.

Poof! Just like that. No more job. I'm not that person anymore. I'm just plain old Emma.  And my old blog lies dormant, with lost friends and followers and an extended absence that makes it too hard to go back to. I'm not that person anymore.

So this is my new blog, documenting my new life, my new loves and hopefully keeping the best parts of the old Emma along for the ride....

and maybe some old friends and followers would like to come too???