Monday, December 31, 2012

Get lost 2012! Get your dirty hands off me!

Happy New Year to you, wherever you are. How are you celebrating? This is how we are celebrating.

It's Mr BC for the hospital corners again!
Yes, Mr BC is back in hospital, god he must love that place. It is not a clot in his lung this time, so please don't be alarmed. About a week ago, he went fishing and caught a catfish, that struggled and fought long and hard before being hauled into the boat, and then proceeded to spike the brave fisherman before being thrown overboard. (honestly, who wants to debone a catfish? Not me!)

Anyway, the spike went directly in between the bones in a finger joint. A bit of antiseptic on a band aid and all seemed well, until yesterday when the finger suddenly turned into a painful balloon. A balloon that needed surgery. On New Years Eve. To complicate everything, he has been exposed during the week to golden staph (OMG!) so they put him in a ward opposite a lovely but sad man who has had golden staph for many years (OM FREAKING G!!) Anyway, I can relax now because the surgery is finished, and there was no staph of any colour in the annoying balloon finger. I know Mr BC is fine because he sent me a text to say he was out of surgery and could I please go to Subway and get him a meatball sub and a chocolate milk. Which I did, because I am a good wife.

So it seems that 2012 was a bit of a bastard year, and managed to give us some drama right up to the very end. GET LOST, 2012! And get your dirty hands off me and my family! I am not a pessimistic person by nature, so lets have a quick look at the year.

January Iron Man This post was written in 2 minutes, but it taught me a huge lesson about SEO.

February Getting Shit Done My ode to Pinterest.

March 10 Things I've learned from Blogging Blogging got me all sorts of inspired about life.

April Pulmonary Embolism The one where my husband almost died. I don't like to read it but I can't leave it out. (you can skip it if you like, we can still be friends.) Or read this one! Funny rant!

May Diversionary Sewing Tactics I made a skirt! And I still wear it!

June Dragging Crap Home one of my favourite upcycles.

July Puppy Love We welcomed a new family member!

August Lamp Love (Whats with all the love?) I do love this lamp.

September Moon Tan Embracing my pale skin! Sort of...

October Compromise Cake  Revolutionary cooking. So freeing.

November Tetris Rant I share my planned house projects/squirrel mind with you.

December Christmas Ham Monkey Boy demonstrates his love of pork products.

So, there you go - the year wasn't allll bad. Still happy to see it go. Hope you are celebrating the turn of the year in suitable fashion, with (or without) loved ones, with a champagne (or chocolate biscuit, choose your poison) in hand.

Happy New Year to you! See you on the flip side.


Saturday, December 22, 2012

Hello Richard Parker!

Last Monday, Rachel at Redcliffe Style asked me to be her date at the Brisbane Preview of 'The Life of Pi'. OK, I said - but no kissing on the first date. Even observing that rule, I am so glad I went. The movie was incredible! The tickets had been given to her by Nuffnang, so thank you Nuffnang, and thank you Rachel!

I had not read the book 'The life of Pi' previously but I wish I had. Not that the movie is unintelligible (at all) it's just that the book has so many layers it would have enriched my understanding of the movie considerably. The movie is not just about a boy stuck on a lifeboat with a tiger, and I suspect the book is not either.

The movie was in 3D, and it is no understatement to say that the movie is so visually stunning, it is a veritable eye-gasm. If you don't like movies with layers blah blah blah - just sit there and enjoy the spectacle! There where alot of funny moments, and also a few times when I had to dig deep under my glasses and 3D googles to wipe something out of my eye. At times I gripped my seat and once I even whispered to Rachel 'no freakin way!'


So what is the movie really about? There is a twist at the end, and I don't want to give it away, but I think it is safe to say that the story is about an extraordinary boy's understanding of himself, and how he copes with unimaginable trauma.


The boy's name is Pi, so who is Richard Parker?

He is the tiger.



Sunday, December 16, 2012

The Christmas Ham

Christmas wouldn't be Christmas without the Christmas Ham. Actually we have ham most days in the Chaos Household. We have the ham love, and I blame Irish ancestry. Monkeyboy has a particular love for pork products.
Last night we watched Christmas with the Kranks, a family christmas comedy with some funny moments, entirely suitable for young children. It is about a couple that decide to go without Christmas and go on a Carribean cruise instead, much to the ire of thier neighbours, including the delightfully creepy Dan Akroyd. At the last minute they change their mind and opt to have a traditional Christmas instead. Mrs Krank must by a Hickory Honey Ham, which is difficult at late notice. She finally emerges from the supermarket victorius, only to drop the tinned ham and have it roll down the hill onto the road.

At this point, the Chaos loungeroom is dark, cool and peaceful; everyone is almost asleep. Monkeyboy suddenly sits upright and yells at Mrs Krank on the TV 'GET IT!!'

She can't get it, it rolls away from her into the path of a truck! Her arm stretches out, but she pulls it back to avoid getting run over. So close and yet so far! Monkyboy is beside himself and gasps in horror as the can is flattened.

He comes over for a tearful cuddle. Poor Ham, he says. He is seriously upset and needs some consoling, while Mr BC and I chortle quietly.

I just want to eat that ham so it will be safe. Safe in my tummy, he says. Why didn't she just grab it? She could have just put her arm out and taken it.


In the end I had to tell him it was TV magic, and the ham was really ok. Bloody hell!

Do you have a Christmas ham? Is it tinned? I haven't eaten tinned ham for maybe 30 years. At Christmas I buy a ham on the bone, but if I buy it too early it gets mysteriously eaten before the big day. I am now seriously considering buying a tinned decoy ham for the fridge.

How do you cook your ham? I think this year I will be trying this recipe. And trying not to let it get run over by a truck.

Recipe here

Friday, December 14, 2012

Chaos Notes - Pre Christmas

This is not really a Christmas post. It is a rambling catch up as are all of my Chaos Notes.
OK, it is a little bit Christmassy but not really. Just don't expect any elves on shelves.

So, we kissed another school year good bye. The Gentleman came home with a very decent report card, even after having 2 different class teachers (and a lot of relief teachers). He gave the teacher a strawberry plant in a pretty strawberry pot, with a card saying 'Thanks for helping me grow'. (Thanks, Pinterest!) Instead of traditional Christmas Cards, we made some photo cards and stuck a marshmallow on each one, which was well received because the School Principal had emailed the parents requesting No Candy Canes be distributed! I know! it's catholic school, a teacher gives them lollies at least once a week, for heavens sake! Well, technically these are not candy canes, and I bought them before I received your email, so suck on that, Captain No-Fun. Enjoy your retirement.

We took the boys to meet Tigger from the 100 Acre Wood, which was super awesome! Tigger had bounced into town to get everyone excited about Disney Live! Mickey's Rockin Road Show, which will be in Brisbane on January 6th and 7th, before heading north to Townsville, Cairns and Darwin.
The Gentleman dourly drank his tea, sure that it was all going to be terribly boring.
But he got over that quickly ...

A lovely lady from Oklahoma really cheered him up and got all the kids excited! She had everyone singing and dancing, and she answered lots of questions from interested children and their parents.

She must have over excited Tigger as well, because he ran out and gave her this hug that really knocked the wind out of her! Maybe they are just very close? Very cute! The kids look a bit non plussed and Danielle calls for her 5LR to get back.

I think Tigger is in a permanent state of excitement, he was certainly very bouncy the whole time! I tried to get photos of Danielle having a little dance with him but I wasn't fast enough - I think they where doing the bump. Doesn't she have a lovely smile?

I harvested the last of the first summer corn. I can plant at least another crop before the season ends. I've been thinking hard about a Paleo Diet, but I don't think I can give up corn. Or rice. I can give up white bread though, but maybe not pasta. Baby steps people.

I think I have gone into the rack business. (No, not Hooters!) I really like making these and they are so expensive in the shops. These where picked up today, I've made a lot more that I will share with you soon.

School holidays weather has been all over the shop! Super hot, very windy, rainy, storms, blue skies again. During one rainy day we made ..I don't know what you call it. You stick uncooked spaghetti into frankfurters then cook them until the pasta is soft. The boys had a lot of fun making and eating this. (Thanks again, Pinterest!)

At the boy's request I dug out this nativity scene, which was bought years ago from a deli (!!) I haven't decorated the house for Christmas yet, we always get a real tree about a week before Christmas and decorate then. If the tree went up on the 1st of December it would be a crispy brown fire hazard by Christmas Day. I will start decorating tomorrow, I promise - please don't send that evil looking elf to run havoc through my kitchen, it took me years to get over Chucky.

It's a Lego Christmas! Apparently.

I'll leave you with another rainy day activity - melting crayons into heart shapes. (Take a bow, Pinterest!) Surprisingly, this encouraged Monkey Boy to actually draw something. (I'm so grateful, Pinterest, feel free to take my firstborn!!)

How do you feel about a real tree? If I had a fake one I would have to decorate it with pine scented car fresheners, and that's not very festive.

Do you elf? I just cannot....


Linking up to FYBF at With Some Grace!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Random Monkey Talk


No! It's not scissors, paper, LASAGNA!
Well, you are playing with your feet.

Mmmm, Mum! Do you want to smell my beautiful armpits? They smell delicious!

Captain Jack Sparrow has to watch out when he steps on razor mindys.
(me) Oh, OK. I suppose he does. What are razor mindys?
You know! Those things that you step on in the rainforest water!

Whoah! That is a BIG lump of hair!

(groaning) Ohhh, I think I broke my karma.

Oh, look up in the sky! I can see the planet 'Penis'!

NO, he isn't meditating, he is sensatorising with gods.

Hello, Hello, Hello Mr King. I'm going to punch you in the KIWIS!!

What sort of interesting chat do you overhear in your house?


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Make it easy for yourself this Christmas

Recently Coles Online asked me to write some posts for their blog (you can read one here). This involved using Coles Online to order grocery and other items, and this is the post where I tell you about my experience.

Fact: I am an emotional shopper.

I like to look at items, hold them in my hands, read labels, and look at them with my eyes. Of course you cannot do that with online ordering, so I took a deep breath and logged on, sure the experience would leave me feeling unfulfilled and disappointed..

Fact: I am now a converted online shopper. True story.

  1. You choose the time and place that your groceries are delivered. You can have it delivered to your office, to your infirm and unwell great aunt, before school, on the weekend or after hours. Very flexible.
  2. The small delivery fee was much more palatable than braving the stores at this time of year. Not to mention the joy of skipping the cut throat experience of the car park! I might be an emotional shopper but I am not emotionally equipped for that!
  3. The website is very easy to navigate, much easier than using a trolley with a dodgy wheel. You can take as long as you like in the virtual aisles, with no other shoppers annoying you.
  4. Online aisles mirror actual aisles in the store, so if you have a mental map of where everything is, it will still be valid. There is a handy search function too, so you don't have to wander around looking for something tiny and obscure.
  5. Anything you can buy in Coles, you can get at Coles Online. 50g of shaved ham from the deli? If you insist. Promotional items? No problem. ALCOHOL? Why yes!!
  6. I loved that you can peruse items by cost. This was an eye opener for me because I like to think I am pretty good at getting the best for my money, but when I sorted by cost I was surprised to see my regular item was not the top result..
  7. You can pay for your groceries, change your mind, and go back and change your order. I may have done this several times...
  8. You can pay with a credit card or with eftpos at the time of delivery. You can still use your flybuys card and you will still recieve a discount fuel voucher.
  9. My groceries may not have been delivered by Curtis Stone, but the delivery drivers where super friendly and pleasant, and they carry your groceries in and put them on your kitchen bench. Which is more than my family do, generally.
  10. Everyone I spoke to in relation to this experience was remarkably friendly, polite, helpful and intelligent. FOR REAL. I was astonished too. I think the call centre has won some awards for customer service, and rightly so. Phone and utility companys should take a lessons.
Now for the few things that went wrong. Chin up, there is a happy ending.

Some of my first order wasn't included in the delivery, it was only a few items. I phoned to advise them and there was no drama, no denial; just a calm, friendly person who put a credit to my online account without any fuss or nastiness whatsoever. Which made me very happy!!

There is a minimum order of $50, so if you needed those missing items in a hurry you would need to go into the store to find them. But if you can wait until your next order, no problem.

I think I will be using Coles Online alot from now on, especially to buy everything I need for Christmas day. I am so looking forward to having someone else lug that ham and turkey into my kitchen for me!

And that's it. If you want to save yourself some angst this Christmas, pour yourself a cooling glass of something nice and head online. Much more pleasant than heading into the Christmas crowds!


Disclaimer - Coles Online provided me with online credit to enable me to experience their product. All words and opinons are entirely my own.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Hello Summer

Summer storms.

Drinks on a pontoon, wearing thongs. (On your feet!)

That is a teacher wearing a dress in the pool. The kids loved it!
It was just so hot at the swimming carnival.

Fireworks at a local christmas lights festival by the beach.
(Excuse the blur)

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

A1 Flooring

Do you remember a few weeks ago when I was was complaining of The Corner of Shame?
It was actually a section of flooring that used to be a small veranda until it was closed in, opened up and became part of the lounge room.
Cast your mind back..
So ugly! Despite being the section you enter via the front door, many people claim not to have even noticed the floor, covered as it was with a rug and furniture. But I knew it was there, and looked at it every day.
Don't be distracted by the men in the family, look beyond them to the ugly chipboard.
At the back of the room, do you see it?
Well,'s gone!
The part of the floor that needed covering was less than 7 square metres, but it took us a looooong time to decide what to cover it with.  

Our floor boards are hard to match. They are a mix of all sorts of hardwood, and are pretty common around here. I think that when all of these houses went up in the '70s, the builders used whatever they had, and this was it. I think they look great actually, but no one makes anything similar these days.

We considered vinyl, new hardwood, lino, tiles....even material that semi matched didn't work, as it had the wood grain running the wrong way. In the end, we went with teak looking bamboo floating floorboards. We didn't use an underlay, because it really wasn't warranted for this tiny area that would be covered with furniture anyway. There are no rooms underneath, so noise wasn't an issue; plus we wanted the level of the new flooring to be as close as possible to the original flooring.

It was installed in a matter of hours, but the lounge room looked like this for a while...

So completely worth it. I love that Mr BC is so handy, he is willing to give anything a go.

Almost finished! It does look slightly different, but I can live with that. It just needs a joining strip and some beading around the edges to be complete. The difference in levels ended up being less than 5mm, which is not enough to trip on.
After: Look at the 'Corner of Shame' now! It's still missing the beading, but at this stage I am so happy with the new floor I don't even care!
Before: Old 'Corner of Shame'. Yuk!

Ta-da! (excuse the Lego, there is no escape..)
I'm not completely happy with the joining strip being bronze metal, but the alternative was wood finished metal that came in 1 metre strips, meaning there would have been 4 joins in the strip. Which I thought probably wasn't a great idea.  Because the area we needed to cover was so small, the whole things came in at less than $200, and took approx 3 to 4 hours.

Yes the difference between the original floor boards and the floating floorboards is visible, but the improvement is so great that I honestly don't care. Like everything else in this renovation, it's a compromise that turned out great. It's not perfect, but I love it.


Linking to IBOT today!

Sunday, December 2, 2012

A Morning at the Australian National Maritime Museum

Today, my guest poster is my sister, Cheryl Ann! Recently the Australian National Maritime Museum invited me and the monkeys along to the Mini Mariners Adventure, and having a love of all things pirate I immediatly said yes, and then realised that this was actually in Sydney. I was dissapointed, but the lovely pirate lady at the museum was more than happy to have Cheryl Ann and her minions attend in my place. This is her account. (you should know that she calls me Cheryl Ann as well. It's a sister thing. Just go with it)

Take it away, Cheryl!

A Morning at the Australian National Maritime Museum

I was thrilled when my sister Cheryl Ann asked if we would like to attend a Mini Mariners Morning Tea at the Australian National Maritime Museum on the 31st October. A family outing to the big smoke is always exciting. The morning started with the lets-get-the-hell-out-of the-house stress (that old chestnut), and almost finished on the freeway to the City with Husband telling me I was in the wrong lane, which resulted in me getting all flustered and missing the lane to the Bridge, and then going through the Tunnel instead.  After a scenic detour through Kings Cross (Look Kids!!) and lots of choice banter to Husband, we finally got to Darling Harbour.
We were met in the foyer by a Pirate and her assistant shaking a tambourine. Master 5 and Miss 3 were a bit gobsmacked (are you a REAL Pirate??), but soon got into the swing of it with the other dressed up Mini Mariners (Cute!). 
We were taken on an interactive tour through the Museum by our Pirate Guide who pointed out special Pirate Artifacts while the Mini Mariners looked for hidden treasures.
Miss 3 was happy to get on all fours and and look for treasure while dodging sharks.


Once we finished the Tour we were taken to a special Pirate Room for Morning Tea. There were Pirate Books, activities - making a pirate hat, dress ups, puppet corner, story time and some awesome morning tea.
I thought Master 5 and Miss 3 might sit down quietly and do a pirate activity? No, it was straight into an all-out sword fight..

After Morning Tea we headed to the Pirate's! Adventure Land which was amazing! There was a 2 storey pirate ship with real sounding cannons.
Master 5 wasn't scared of a cannon.
A spooky pirate cave,
a treasure map with interactive games - clues were in the skull heads. 
Master 5 with some pretty freaky dummies. 
A hanging man (yes Husband, take a good look!)


On the way out we saw a REAL Pirate ship which we convinced Master 5 and Miss 3 that the Pirates arrived on!
We even got a goody bag! (345). Overall we had a great morning thanks to the Maritime Museum. The kids loved it and so did we.. 

Mini Mariners includes an interactive tour led by costumed guides, free play in the themed activity space, and entry to Pirates! Adventure Land.
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