Wednesday, 30 November 2011

A Pet is Not Just For Christmas (especially if we own it)

In our little family, we have a couple of pets. We have our super wonder dog, Charlie, the Golden Retriever, who is now 5 1/2 years old  ( I don't know what that is in dog years, and what the hell  is a dog year anyway) and a couple of fish.

Charlie - I said NO MORE PHOTOS!!!!!!

OK, But I'm not smiling. I am going to show my scary fang face!!!

I always wanted a Red Setter when I was little, who knows why!!! But I wasn't allowed a dog, and for that I completely blame my two big brothers! Something about before I was born they had a dog and it got ran over or got a tick, or self combusted and they were so sad that we were never allowed another dog. Boohoo for them. And they reckon I was the spoilt little princess.

No we are NOT just for Christmas

I got to have fish and a bird or two - have you ever tried to take a goldfish for a walk?????

Really must get my legs waxed (or cut off!)

So, when our little family was broken a bit, and there was the three of us, we decided to get a puppy. I think I was more excited than the kids, well actually I was because I didn't tell them we were getting one.

Little Charlie was just SOOOOOOOOOO cute and we were very excited bringing him home. I remember driving home and we were discussing names but after a few dodgy ones, we came up with Charlie Charles Evans (yes, that kept everyone happy...don't even ask!!!).

When embarking on our country change, the first house we rented came with four chooks! We were  very excited as we felt it really meant we were going to the country.

The day that Sam and I came down to pick up the keys we were met by a very sad looking real estate agent. Thinking that we were going to be homeless again, I went into a little panic, with a little bit of sick at the back of my throat (sorry, but you need visual cues for this). But, no, worse than that.
A fox had got in and killed three of the four chooks. So we were left with one!

Mr Meaney Fox!!!!

We decided to name the remaining chook- Lucky. Well, she was wasn't she.  We were very excited to have Lucky and although we had no idea what we were doing, we did love "Lucky". Fortunately, she came with her own chook pen and little chook house which was lucky!!!! (see, she really was!)

Something like this except about 85 % smaller!!

Not long after we moved down, we arrived home and our wonderful neighbours came over with a box. Thinking that perhaps they were giving us a house warming present, or possibly even a case of champagne, because let's face it, I deserved it, we excitedly walked up to the fence.

A lovely neighbourly welcome gift???

Oh no, it wasn't a box of bubbles, or even a food hamper, but a poor little Lucky who had unfortunately got out of the chook pen and Charlie the Wonder dog had decided to play with. Well, poor Lucky came off second best and ...well... Lucky survived (just) but went and stayed at the Retirement Home for Chooks, next door. We did ocassionally see her looking through the fence, thinking what if..... what if these neighbours didn't rescue me and I ended up stuck with those city folk who had no idea about chooks!!!!!

Chook Retirement Home!!!

So, we did what we do best, we went and bought some more. Now the whole chook story, in fact the whole Dr Evans Doolittle saga is a little long so I shall just have to keep you in suspense. Let's just say, we not only got more chooks, we also got a bunny or two.

I am so amazed at what I find on google images!!!!

But alas, there will be more tears involved, so best I give you a little break for now!
Stay tuned for Episode 2 of The Evans Family Zoo.

Not that bloody zoo...and when will Lara Bungle stop using my body!!!

This Zoo ...

Here I am with one of our many pets!
Yellow is so flattering!!!


Lisa xox

This Much Water!!!

So, tomorrow is the OFFICIAL start to summer. Woohoo!!!!

Time to strip off and pop on that bikini, swimmers, head to toe bathing suit!
I must admit, I used to love summer heaps and heaps but some days it does get a bit much (How old am I with that statement).
I would actually like this beach umbrella please Santa!

However, as we seem to be having one nice, sunny, warm day followed by 10 cold, wet and rainy days at the moment, I am hanging for it.

So I began the annual get fit for summer quest...yesterday. Now, it may take more than just 24 hours (let's try 24 years) to get this body into tip top shape but we went down to the pool and I swam some laps. I love swimming, and used to swim up to 2 kms a day - yes I really did - about 20 years ago- so I wasn't quite up to that speed yesterday but I did enjoy it.

Although I have cheated a little. I bought some 'you beaut' flippers (just as well they are 'you beaut' because the price wasn't) but am I a champion swimmer in them or what! I was up and down that pool like an Olympic champion on steriods.

Just me doing a bit of swim training!!!

Although the weird thing is that overnight I had the weirdest pains in my forearms.  So maybe I was doing something a little wrong there but anyway, it was lots of fun (except for the strange lady next to me who every time I stopped she started talking to me about how I should become a vegetarian).

Got a few of the guys down at the pool doing a bit of sychronised swimming with me

I have always believed that swimming is really important and that our little kidlets should be taught to swim, even from an early age. Both mine started swimming lessons at 6 months - not because I wanted them to be Olympic Champions (maybe just a little - NO, not really) but that in our society there are too many opportunities for kids to get in trouble in water. We love swimming and especially at the beach and although I still watch my two in the ocean like a hawk, I am pretty confident that they know what to do and when etc. But I am still ALWAYS watching.

This is me being a hawk!

I also know that not everyone gets that chance, nor enjoys it. When I was studying a million years ago, I did some volunteer work with a little boy in our neighbourhood. He was only 11 months old when he drowned in a nappy bucket with a teeny tiny amount of water in it. This boys parents were amazing, and had a routine going at home with a whole bunch of us who would come in and help exercise this little one's ruined muscles. I can tell you honestly that I got so much more out of it than he or his lovely family did.

I won't go on about this.  I still see him in my mind with his gorgeous smile. I get very emotional when I think about this little fella and his family.  Unfortunately, he has now passed but one of the many things I learnt from him was that kids can drown in a tiny amount of water. At the pool, at the beach, near a river, or even in a nappy bucket like little Jeremy.

I now see that there is a program being promoted at the moment called "This Much Water" with a whole bunch of celebrities (and some hangers on) telling people just that - you only need this much water for a child to drown.

If you haven't seen this yet, click here for the you tube link.

And please, share this with everyone you know. The link is on my facebook page.

And please please please - teach your kids how to swim, or ask someone to.

No child should ever drown in our beautiful country!

How cute are these two! Hope they slip. slop, slapped (well I don't want them actually slapping each other!!)

Lisa xox

Tuesday, 29 November 2011

I'll Never Get That Hour Back

I. Won't. Ever. Get. That. Hour. Back.


Can you guess where it was wasted - yes, that's right - The Motor Registry!

My car was due for registration (again!!!). I can only do 6 monthly as I never seem to have the three million dollars I need to register it for 12 months.

And because the car is old, I have to get the green slippy thing.

That was ok - I went to a lovely place where Kieran the Irishman booked me in (well I actually couldn't understand a word he said but he seemed nice so I just smiled and said thanks, and kept my fingers crossed that we were on the same wave length). I did then have to explain that the car may need a little bit of oil as when I got the last green slippy thing done, the goose mechanic broke my bonnet release and so I can't open my bonnet, so I may need some oil.

Oh I hate it when I spill the oil everywhere!!!!

Getting 'that look' of - "typical woman" which I gladly allowed myself to relish in, he then told the mechanic who thought I hadn't opened the bonnet for 12 months. No, even I am not that silly - it was only 6 months. Needless to say, I needed a litre of oil (not really Dad - I am just kidding (not).

All good there - although I do always have a sick feeling they are going to tell me I need $5000 worth of repairs to the car to get it passed, but it was a happy day.

I then came home and tried to pay my CTP by credit card over the internet. Now, I know I had credit on THAT card, but it kept declining. I even rang the nice lady at the credit card place who told me I had HEAPS of credit (now that did get me a little bit excited).

Now I know I had some credit left on one of these

SO I phoned the CTP people - well, robot - who then gladly took my credit card - no probs Bob!

Next step - pay rego. So, online I go again, same story - wouldn't accept it. Tried phone payment - nope, I needed to talk to a person but of course they are only available on the third Wednesday of each month between 12.58pm and 12.59 pm and I am 345th in the queue.

Now, here is where I wasted that hour (well all of the above was a waste as well but at least I was doing things).

I drive ever so carefully to the RTA, not first thing because I know that is going to be crowded. So I make my way in to the car park thinking - yep, looking good, only a handful of cars here.

But as I walk in and get my automated number (which makes absolutely no sense whatsoever) I am aghast - there is probably 20 people in there. Where did they come from and how did they get there? It's not like our little country RTA is next door to a major shopping centre. SO I sit myself down in a chair which could not be any more uncomfortable and think - well I will make the most of this time - I'll check out facebook and post some very witty mediocre remark.

Getting a ticket does not make me feel welcome.... Handing me a coffee would!!!!

ONE HOUR LATER - yes people read it - ONE WHOLE HOUR they call up R008. And only two minutes before that I had the most interesting time eavesdropping on a telephone converstaion the man next to me was having (well, he WAS speaking loudly) about he had a couple of spots left on the yacht for the Sydney to Hobart Race on Boxing Day and did the phone call recipient know anyone?

OK, I understand R is for Rego, what does T stand for - Totally Over It!!!

I was just ready to extol the virtues of my own sailing career (ballast anyone??) when they called my number.

Of course, the whole transaction with Mr I Am So Boring But I Could Do ANy Job I Just Want To Do This One At The RTA  took approximately 2.5 minutes....and of course the bloody credit card worked a treat.

ONE WHOLE HOUR I sat there, looking at the other riff raff and thinking that if I think about exercise will that make me thin.... ONE WHOLE HOUR thinking about the noise coming out of the chimney in my bedroom last night and whether Santa had got his days mixed up....ONE WHOLE HOUR thinking about whether my hair was too long and whether I should get some of it cut off....
ONE WHOLE HOUR thinking that I had to go to the butcher because we are going to try out the camp cooker tonight in the backyard and do I want sausages or kebabs....
ONE WHOLE HOUR bemoaning the fact that while working last night the remote thingy for my car fell off my car ring and will I now need to unlock the car with the key or do I actually remember where the spare might be ...or do I indeed have a spare????

Anyway, the good news is that the car is now legal, and I am once again confidently driving around thinking - just what is the bloody point of car rego and I WANT THAT WASTED HOUR BACK!!!!

And I am the only one in the world who has a mind that quickly changes from one thing to another????


Monday, 28 November 2011

The Preparations Begin......

We are getting excited about our upcoming camping trip. We still have a few weeks to go, but it will be on us in no time (and Mr Robber - if you think you are going to come and steal all our wordly goods I have three things to tell you...
1. We don't have any
2. Could you give the house a bit of a tidy up whislt you're here...and
3. We have someone looking after our house and pets so they will be here)

I thought I should have a look at what we have and what we still need.

There are like 3 gazillion checklists for camping on the www. so I had a bit of a read, then got a bit bored
so went and made a cushion instead - to take camping of course.

Oh well, if we can't get there, at least we have the cushion!!!!

Anyway, we do have a few things.  Here is a pic from an earlier post when we gave the tent a trial run in the backyard
Oh sorry, it looked almost like this

Yes, have to cut Georgia's legs off so she can stand up, but LOOKING GOOD!

And this is what the tent looks like today

Yes, it is still in a bundle on the back deck because we can't quite fit it back in the bag yet.  Oh well, am sure we will get it sorted out soon.

Now as I was going through my checklist, I got some of the stuff out so I could check it off.

Let's see...

Cute coloured bowls -  check
Very cute washing up gloves - check
Pretty gingham tablecloth for the camp table - check

Champagne glass that glows when you flick the switch - check and check (I got two!!!)

Ok, so I may not have the groundsheet, the extra poles and pegs, gas bottle, cooking plate, billy, port a potty, floor mat for the entrance of tent (oh, for God's sake), jerry can, Ducth Oven (no idea), tent repair kit or annexe.

But, I do have the collapsible water bucket, which will no doubt come in very handy.

So, all in all, we are looking reasonably organised, bar one or thirty major items. But am I worried, no! Did I tell you that where we are going even has their own coffee shop- how hard could it be!!!!

Any tips (have a feeling I may need them!!!)?????

Lisa xox

p.s. I have no idea why half my post is in green - maybe someone is envious of my camping preparations!!!

Thursday, 24 November 2011

White Ribbon Day 25 November 2011

Tomorrow is White Ribbon Day, and we want all the men to swear!

Yes, that's right - off you go with your profanities...

oh, no, sorry, hang on a minute.

You are going to swear that you are against domestic violence.

White Ribbon is an organisation that is working to prevent the most common and pervasive form of male violence – that towards women. All forms of violence are unacceptable. White Ribbon believes the prevention of violence against women will change society for the better.

White Ribbon believes in the capacity of the individual to change and to encourage change in others. It believes that our generation can and must work towards stopping violence against women.

Through primary prevention initiatives and an annual campaign, White Ribbon works to change the attitudes and behaviours that lead to men's violence against women.

Most of us know someone who has been the victom of domestic violence, and some may have even been victims of it.

And domestic violence is not just about hitting women, or being physically violent.

There are a number of ways in which people  can harm their partners including emotional violence as well.

It is very difficult for someone who has been emotionally abused, or even financially abused. Yes, believe me,  this does happen even in today's society and while you may think you know someone, or that they seem to have such a 'good life' or that they always seem in control, the truth is they might be far from it.

So, like R U OK day (I think that should be everyday), swear against violence against women.

Here is the link - all you have to do is click on it, then swear the oath - couldn't be much easier than that!

And if you know somone who needs help, call Lifeline on 13 11 14.
Believe me, they help

Lisa xox

Wednesday, 23 November 2011

International Very Good Looking Damn Smart Woman's Day

Happy IVGLDSW Day!
    Now  I know you find it hard to believe that I am not the very witty author of this damn fine piece of literature - it does the email rounds and was sent to me  by VGLDSW Friend Katie B  but I thought it was worthy of a post to share to all my 7 followers (yes, 7 - can you believe it!)

   This is a damn fine motto to live by: Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, wine in the other, totally worn out and screaming 'WOOO HOOOOO what a ride!'

To the Girls !!  Oh, ok, and the boys as well -you'll get  a laugh.
And a few of my favourite quotes

Inside every older person is a younger person -- wondering what the hell happened.
~ Cora Harvey Armstrong ~

Inside me lives a skinny woman crying to get out. But I can usually shut her up with cookies.
~ Unknown~

The hardest years in life are those between ten and seventy.
~ Helen Hayes (at 73)~

I refuse to think of them as chin hair. I think of them as stray eyebrows.
~ Janette Barber~

Old age ain't no place for sissies.
~Bette Davis~

Thirty-five is when you finally get your head together and your body starts falling apart. So true!!
~ Caryn Leschen ~

If you can't be a good example ~ then you'll just have to be a horrible warning.


When life hands you lemons, ask for tequila and salt and call me over!


Lisa xox

Tuesday, 22 November 2011

OMG, How Will I Get To The Polo????

As I start my working day, I often have a leisurely quick read through of the newspapers.

 So today, after a not very good night's sleep (that's another post) worrying about how I am going to pay a few bills that have come in - including gas, electricity, car rego, car insurance, 2 x school fees and a few other incidentals, I was most interested to read the article on some Sydney socialite who has debts of $18 million.

Now, although I may feel that mine are about that figure, I can assure you that they are not!!!

So upon further reading, it appears that this 'socialite' who earns $360 000 per annum (I won't earn that in my lifetime!) told the court that her husband 'made' her sign papers etc etc and that she didn't really mean it...and that she is really pretty...and that her husband made her cry...and that how will she maintain her lifestyle...and that she might have to sell her BELOVED three level penthouse...and that they might even have to sell the Rolls Royce.

OMG, how will we travel to the POLO?????

Oh, sorry, I just have to get some tissues as my heart just won't stop bleeding.

This makes my blood boil - where do these people get off and why don't they go and work with a charity or some homeless people and see just how tough life really is.

And now, I am off to pay a credit card so that I can pay more bills on my credit card - the phrase robbing Peter to pay Paul comes to mind (and who the bloody hell are Peter and Paul anyway and why am I robbing them!).

Oh and an update on an earlier post...remember when I got the gas bill for $5600???
I now have the updated one - $285- no apology, no explanation, no worries - that one I can pay...I think! 

So, my words to poor Karin hyphenated name because that makes you even more precious - TOUGHEN UP PRINCESS!!!!

Lisa xox

Monday, 21 November 2011

Good Karma Prevails!

I have never been one for a lot of train travel. Growing up, we didn't live on the train line (which constituted being a 'westie' living on Sydney's North Shore), I went  to school by bus.
Had a bit of train travel going to teachers' college, till I convinced the boyfriend that it made more sense for him to get the train to work and I would drive his car (ah, young love)

Catching the train to uni

In my working life in the big smoke, I always tended to need my car for work purposes so always drove and had parking available.

Something like this - well almost that long ago!

But the other day, Sam and I, after extensive research on the rail website, hopped on a train at Bowral to head up to the city to see my eldest brother in hospital.

So, after parking at the station (and I mean, right at the station - for free!!!!) we then went to the correct platform (finally - after asking about 5 people which platform we needed - only had two to chose from so shouldn't have been that bloody hard) and then went to buy our tickets.

Now I do see myself as a fairly modern type of Mum, I know how to make the Wii work etc but coming up to an automated ticket machine for a train ticket did make me hyperventilate, just a little.

Lucky, there was a lovely man who had done this previously, and helped me. To find out that Sam and I could go to the big smoke and return for $15 for the both of us did make me get a little excited and question my lovely helper as I was worried I was going to be carried off by the ticket police for not paying enough.

I think we are going the right way, Mum!

Obviously I was a newcomer to all this as I did not arrive at the station with Sydney Morning Herald and takeaway coffee, but never mind.  And I then did take a photo of the timetable so I had it on hand with me at all times!!!! Truly!!! Here's proof!!!

So, along came the train. It was one of those Countrylink type ones, which our good friend, Michael T - who has expert knowledge on all this- told us to get. We got in our seat, and off we went. It was a very nice train, although the three nanna's sitting behind us were VERY VERY VERY loud (and they talk about young people - tut tut!!!)

Shirl, Merle and Pearl getting ready for the train!
And even though we only had 5 stations to stop at until Central, and we were on a very comfortable train, it was seriously that hot that I thought we had inadvertently got on the Indian Pacific and were travelling across the Nullarbor instead of going from The Highlands to the Big Smoke. Come on, Country Link - do we not have air conditioned trains???

Air conditioning anyone???

Never mind, we coped...just. Hopping off at Central Station, we were seriously the country hicks, looking up at all the big buildings ever so amazed at how people could actually live here (yes, yes, I know I did until 3.5 years ago but I seriously don't know how I did it).

Anyway, we were gazing about when we realised we had to go to another platform to get the inner city train to St James Station. So, whether it was divine intervention, or just bloody good karma, we managed to find the correct station just as the train was pulling in so we hoped on it, gazing once again at all the big buildings.  We were just like the country folk who only ever go into the big smoke when "The Royal' is on (I have always wanted to say that - so now is my chance!!!), wearing our Akubras and RM's!
Yes, we all look like this in the Country!!!!

We got off at St James and still gazing around a lovely young man (OMG when did I start talking like Nana?) asked us if we needed help. The fact that I said - Where the bloody hell are we (a la Lara Bingle may have been a giveaway).
Oh Lara, where the bloody hell are ya????

So we said we needed to go to that big hospital in that busy street just next to where Bazza O'Farrell has his office. And off we went at a pace that would have left Usain Bolt dead and buried. Once we had climbed the equivalent of Mt Everest in stairs - I thanked the lovely young man and then asked if he didn't happen to have a pure oxygen tank in his backpack so I could regain some type of oxygen in my lungs. And off he!
He ran very very fast!

We walked in to the hospital, asking a not so lovely older lady where we could locate my brother. Advising his name, I was then asked whether he would be in the hand hospital (do they seriously have hospitals for different body parts now???). I replied that her comment had me a little concerned as he was having an operation on his eye - she didn't think I was as funny as I obviously did!

Anyway, we finally found him and my 86 foot tall eldest nephew and spent a few hours with them which was fun (well, no, the hospital bit wasn't althogh his tales of the United Nations ward was).

Scotty, Lil Sam and Pirate Pete (aka Uncle Bob)

Then, Sam decided he had not eaten for three minutes so off we went and found the world's most expensive, and least tasteful, fish and chips.


I then managed to convince Sam that if you ever get off the train at St James Station, you can only get back on by walking through David Jones. So, after a little bit of reminiscing by me as we wandered through DJ's (ah, the time spent shopping..the money..the size 12 figure - all just mere memories) we then raced to get our train home.
Here I am doing a little bit of shopping at DJ's

And here is Sam enjoying the shopping experience

And once again, good karma prevailed...we got air conditioning on the way home!!!

So when was the last time you travelled by train???