31 October 2010

Que Sera Sera

I would love to go to the Que Sera Sera art exhibition on Monday.  I know the organisers are busy and very excited, and I know that the town is hearing about it because it was announced in the Community announcements this morning on a local station.

Only one problem - the announcer pronounced it "Queue Sarah Sarah."

I'm thinking that if you didn't do high school French, surely you've heard of Doris Day?  Failing that - Normie Rowe?  Nope?  Okay, whatever.

22 October 2010

Toy Story Trouble

Playing Toy Story Trouble with Jessie is tedious.

When we play, Buzz is Buzz, Jessie is Jessie, I am Woody and Mr de Elba is Zurg.  Jessie is happy with this because (a) she is Jessie, and (b) she is opposite and not adjacent to Zurg, of whom she claims to be terrified because he's a Bad Guy.

Tonight, thanks to a large number of freak sixes, Jessie was streaking away to an early lead.  All was going well until her counters started making it around to the half-way point in the board.  "I don't want to go to Zurg's house!" she moaned with a theatrical tremble.  And she took her counters off and put them back at the beginning.

Okay, I thought.  She will just lose.  That's fine.

Mr de Elba aka Zurg convinced her to leave a counter in his quadrant a few times, on the strength that Jessie liked Buzz and Zurg was Buzz's father, hence Zurg was her de facto father-in-law and they had to learn how to get along.  Once a few of her counters were in the dreaded purple quadrant, any roll of the dice apparently allowed her to high-tail it out of Zurg territory, all the way back to her starting quadrant, skipping about 15 spots as she did so, gleefully announcing, "I'm getting away from Zurg's house!  Yay!"

Okay, I thought.  She will just lose.  That's fine.

Half-way into the game, her fake fear of Zurg overtook her desire to win and she removed her counters from the playing board, saying she was going to "hide" from Zurg.

Okay, I thought.  She will just lose.  That's fine.

However, "hiding" from Zurg meant getting her counters to cower on the opposite side of the - you know - don't make me say it - oh okay, the jolly Pop-O-Matic Bubble.

This meant that her counters were, technically, in her "home" zone.

And she'd "won."


Good guesses!

First winner past the post - Selena!  Yes, two days after an expensive steam-clean, there was an accident on the couch.  There have been no similar accidents in the past, so to have it happen right after a professional cleaning was demoralising.  Out into the sun for a day!

21 October 2010

What's on my camera card right now

Buzz and Jessie found some streamers and so we had to have a party. No food, no music, no games, and no CAKE! What  a disappointment.  Just a big mess of streamers in the kitchen. Of course.

Woody is into everything. Here he is in my "second drawer" - do you have a "second drawer"? Random weird kitchen things mostly the fault of the Evil Tupperware Empire? Where is your "second drawer" in your kitchen? In your third drawer? That would weird me out. Anyway, Woody is in the second drawer so that ...
... he can suck on sharp things, like this nasty pointy corn cob stabber thing. How glad am I that I spent money getting soft-close drawers in my kitchen reno in the old house, and moved to a new house with easy-to-open drawers? Oooh, so very happy, yes indeedy.

See the red skull and crossbones? That marks the spot where a magpie has built a nest. Everything else in the foreground is MY domain ... my roses, my lawn, my flowers, my shrubs. The magpie doesn't see it this way. You think that perhaps my garden will become very run-down over summer? I put it to you that we may be having a very small-sized roast chicken sometime soon.

On Sunday before we left for church, we put our lovely blue couch right here and we didn't take it back until the end of the day. Guess why.

20 October 2010

The bathwater was yellow. With bits in it.

It's mango season. We are very happy.
And the best place to eat them is in the bath, of course.
Hence yellow bathwater with bits in it.  Why?  What did you think?

19 October 2010

Phone Messages from my Sister

You have ... two ... new messages.

Message received ... Monday at ... ten ... thirty-seven ... am.

Hi!  It's me!  I've just invented a new MOP!  It's great!  You're related to someone who invented a new mop!  Anyway, have a great day!


To call back, press  2,2.  To replay, press 4.  To delete, press 5.  For help press 8.

Next message.

Message received ... today at ... eleven ... fourteen ... am.

Hi.  It's me.  It's all very depressing.  My new mop isn't all that great.  It sort-of works, but not all that well.  So ... yeah.  Bye.


To call back, press  2,2. To replay, press 4.  To delete, press 5.  For help press 8.

I mention it because it reminded me of this:

Ooh ... an update!

18 October 2010


We're using some of Grandpa's old mathematics printouts as scrap paper for drawing on. Some of the graphs make awesome dot-to-dots!

15 October 2010

Thankful for three blessings

1. Eats sand

2. Has pretty hair

3. Melts my heart daily

14 October 2010

Jessie puts her hand in a tiger's mouth

And so do I.

13 October 2010

Excuse me

I, who cannot burp on command, have produced offspring who are pretty good at it.  Especially that sweet small pink one - even as a newborn, she could belch like a fat man in the pub on a Friday night.  At times, Buzz and Jessie sit on either side of Mr de Elba at the table, and take it in turns to take a swig of lemonade, extend a finger commanding him to "Pull-my-finger" and then burp on cue.  Not terribly charming, but really quite cute.

At our house, we accept the following 'Pardon-mes' following a burp:

  • Excuse me
  • Pardon me
  • Pardon (in a French accent)
  • Pardon a Piglet
  • and I once mentioned to Buzz, "Pardon me, it was so rude, it was not me, it was my food" but he doesn't often say it.

Recently, I asked Jessie what she said after doing a burp.  In reply, she took a swig of milk (milk!  milk?) and this is what happened next:

"Burrp!  Burrp!  Burrp!  Burrp!  Burrp!  Pardon a piglet, Pardon a piglet, Pardon a piglet, Pardon a piglet, Pardon a piglet."

Which I thought showed remarkable auditory memory, counting and one-to-one correspondence.

A few days later, Jessie tried to combine some of the family's accepted "Pardon-Mes" after a particularly loud belch.  It wasn't awfully accurate and I hope she doesn't bring it out at Grandma's house:

"Pardon a Piglet, it was rude, it was not my bottom, it was my mouf."

12 October 2010

Some friendships weren't meant to last

It all started a week ago when Jessie found a visitor in her room.  It was one of those huge dark brown moths that sometimes come, sit in a corner of your room for a few days, and then disappear without explanation.

Knowing her fear of all small animals, I immediately gushed over the moth when she found it, knowing that if she took exception to its presence and I was unable to relocate it, attempting to continue living life inside our home would be impossible.

Before she had a chance to become frightened of it, I gasped in mock delight, "Oh wow, how wonderful!  That moth can be a friend for you, sitting there on your wall!"  And being the impressionable little thing she is, she took the idea up and ran with it.

Since then, I've heard, "Dad, my friend is there!  Isn't she lovely?"

"My friend is lost!  Oh no!"

"My friend came back to my room!"

"I love her!  She's my friend!"

"Maybe one day my friend will have babies and they will all come to live in my room!"

And so on.

Fast forward to today.  I was settling Woody into his cot for an afternoon nap.  I held him, sang his sleeping song and put him down in the cot.  I moved out of his room and closed the door behind me as quietly as I could so as not to disturb Woody.

Cr-r-r-u-u-n-n-ch!  The soft crackle coming from where the door shut into its frame sounded worrying.

I looked, and saw a dark brown wing-shaped object sticking out from where the door had closed into the dark brown wooden door frame.

Oh no.

Please don't tell Jessie.  Forgive me, but I have killed her friend.

11 October 2010


Sometimes, you fill up your clothes airers
 and there is still more laundry to do, so you attempt to dry it on the trampoline
 and then the clouds start looking like this
and that's a mighty amount of laundry to deal with in an emergency.

05 October 2010

Bus-ted, yet again

Every year on camp, there is some major disaster with the buses.  I'm not sure why bus companies and churches still voluntarily lend us their buses for the week of camp.

On the first year that Mr de Elba was leading these camps, one of his Chaplaincy buddies drove a bus full of kids under a bridge for which he didn't have the clearance.  He gave the bus a haircut.  They had major delays as they unloaded the kids and their luggage, located another bus, loaded the kids and their luggage and took off for camp.

The next year, two minutes after leaving the pickup zone, the same Chaplain was driving when the bus broke down.  It completely lost its clutch and stopped, right on a very busy roundabout in the middle of a very busy suburb during peak hour on a Monday morning.  Again, there were major delays for unloading, locating a new bus and re-loading.

A few years after that, a huge lockable covered trailer was behind one of the buses - big enough for all the campers' luggage with some room left over.  It was only when the bus and trailer had been driven the 90 minutes from the campsite to Brisbane to pick up the campers that the driver realised he had left the key to the trailer back at the campsite.

Strange things seem to happen to buses on these camps.  So it came as no surprise that there was yet another bus drama this year, albeit a more substantial one than usual.

One of the leaders (who I will call AT because that's what we really call him) had the job of picking up a bus in a very small country town (VSC Town) and bringing it to the Bigger Smoke.  The plan was to park it outside our house overnight, load it with thirty excited teenagers in the morning, and drive it to the Even Bigger Smoke for a week of fun.

The bus was one of a few that were lent to us by a man who owns a small bus company.  He had told AT that the bus would be outside an address in VSC Town, unlocked and with the keys inside, all ready to drive away.  That's the way they roll in VSC Town - there's not much need to lock houses and vehicles in friendly little country towns like that one.

So AT went to the address as directed, found the bus, started it up and after trying to call the owner with no success, drove it to our house.  He parked it out the front and slept at our place that night, ready for camp the next day.

In the morning, Mr de Elba, Buzz and AT drove to a local highschool to pick up the campers.  Once they were all packed, the owner of the bus drove up in one of the other buses he was lending the camp.

He walked towards AT's bus, wide-eyed open-mouthed.  Mr de Elba told him that he didn't need to worry, everything was in order and that both buses could now roll off together with all the campers, but the guy just kept staring.

"That's not my bus!" he laughed.

It then dawned on Mr de Elba and AT that their camp had, in fact, stolen a bus from the streets of darkest VSC Town, they realised that they would be late getting to camp yet again.

After an hour and a half was wasted while driving the stolen bus back to VSC Town and driving the correct bus back again, it transpired that the wrong street number was given to AT in the initial text message informing him of the time and place of the bus pickup.  The correct bus had been parked only a few houses away.

And although you'd think the chances would be slim-to-none of having a second unlocked bus with the keys in it directly outside that incorrect address in the backstreets of darkest VSC Town, you'd be wrong.

02 October 2010

A Holiday from my Holiday

In Queensland, we're coming to the end of a two-week break.  The first week was taken up with following Mr de Elba on one of his secondary school camps.  We spent a [rainy, overcast] week at the beach and Buzz had the opportunity to be involved in the electives that the teenagers were doing - Extreme Fishing (catching fish and then barbecuing and eating them right there on the boat) and Laser Force.  Buzz and Jessie went to a late-night session at the bowling alley and enjoyed it immensely.  They also followed Mr de Elba to the beach and discovered a love for the surf.  Woody and I stayed close to camp but we did go down to the beach one day.

But for the mother (that's me), the days have been long.  I sarcastically tell myself that although the holiday has been good, I just haven't had enough time to spend in the laundry or the kitchen.  I've kept on being interrupted from my joyful washing or sweeping to be forced to sit down and take it easy, to drink cups of tea made for me and to listen to interminable monologues on how grateful my family are for my tireless 18-hour efforts on their behalf.

For some reason, I inexplicably feel the selfish urge to ask for another little holiday - a real one this time.  I have in mind to take a break away from the laundry and the kitchen I so love, even away from the clamouring of those people I love most dearly, and spend some time receiving cooked meals and not having to clear up unreasonable mess.  A holiday where I wouldn't have nine random items heaped up into my personal space by my dearly loved ones.  A time to rest.  A time to focus on me.

I don't have a lot of money available for such a break, so here's what I have in mind.

What would I have to do (i.e., what crime could I commit) to receive a light custodial sentence of, say, six months to a year?  I should clarify here that I'm not asking for a parole period, and I need to make abundantly clear that I'm talking white-collar resort prison here, not the other kind.

Please bear in mind that as a first time offender, leniency could be a real danger.  The ultimate disaster would be to be given Community Service.  It would be in no way satisfactory to be asked to pick up rubbish beside the road as well as picking up rubbish at home.  The whole point of this exercise would be to avoid the current interminable Community Service I've got going on already.

Please comment with suggestions, and also let me know if you'd be interesting in being involved in the scheme (if you're thinking of some "minor" (ha!) bank heist, I'm going to need some help!)

Bring on The Holiday!