One man’s bargain is another man’s waste of money or the chair that got away

It’s Sunday and as such I figure it’s either the end of the week or the beginning depending on your outlook. We spent last night watching a few episodes of “My Name is Earl”. El Chupacabra’s name comes from our love of this show. It’s one of those shows that just hooks you and keeps you wanting more. I guess it’s a bit like that older show “Northern Exposure” or “Sea Change”, it strikes a small town chord in all of us and just like small towns, you can’t hide much and I guess that’s what makes these shows worth watching, life under the microscope with a big dose of humour. Steve bought it for us. I had mentioned previously that I really wanted to get the boxed set of all of the episodes. There aren’t many shows that I would love to own the complete series of. Friends was great but after about series 6, it started to get laboured and tired. That’s where you should stop. Stuff the profits; it’s all about the integrity of the show. The Simpson’s didn’t learn but there’s another show that I would love the entire set of and that’s Futurama. I LOVE that show. They should have canned the Simpsons and just kept making Futurama as due to the premise of the show (future…DUH!) it could have had just about anything in it and we would have laughed. There are only so many times that Lisa Simpson can be prissy, Bart can say “don’t have a cow man” and Marge can pretend that she is happy before it loses its essence (way lost by the look of most of the latest episodes) but its labouring a dead horse to get the last dregs of profit where its integrity and life is long gone.
Talking about Futurama (how’s that for a segue?) I was talking to Steve this morning about how people hide their feelings. As we get older we shove them all over the place rather than ‘feel’ them. I am a HUGE softy underneath my sometimes grouchy, often bossy exterior. I figure that this skin that I made (bossy, grouchy, and obtuse) is due to my soft marshmallow interior and it’s my way of stopping myself from being squished by the world. Do you want to know what makes me cry? HEAPS of things make me cry. I usually sniffle into my hand so no-one knows but I have been known to cry at the Lithuanian national anthem and all of the other national anthems at the Olympics. I want to share with you now, something that makes me cry EVERY TIME I watch it and even think about it. My daughter Bethany is a big softy like me. She isn’t afraid to cry and if we were to watch this episode together it would be like Niagara Falls. It’s the episode of Futurama (Called Jurassic Bark) where Fry adopts a stray dog when he is working for the Pizza place back before he gets cryogenically frozen (anyone who hasn’t seen Futurama at this point needs to rent a copy from the DVD library before reading any further or none of this is EVER going to make sense!). Here’s the plot straight from Wikipedia (obviously the place to go…)
“When Fry takes Bender to a museum exhibit, he is shocked to find a fossilized dog on display, which he recognizes as his pet from the 20th century, Seymour. For three days he protests in front of the museum by dancing to “The Hustle” by Van McCoy, demanding they give him Seymour’s body, which proves successful. Professor Hubert J. Farnsworth then examines Seymour’s body, and concludes that, due to his unusually rapid fossilization, a DNA sample can be made to produce a clone, and it would even be possible to recreate Seymour’s personality and memory.
Fry begins to prepare for the dog and Bender becomes jealous, especially when Fry refers to Seymour as “my best friend”. Just when the professor is ready to clone Seymour, Bender arrives. Angry that Fry will not spend time with him, he grabs the fossil and throws it in a pit of lava, believing that destroying it will restore his friendship with Fry.
Fry is furious at Bender and extremely upset at having lost Seymour. Bender realizes how Fry could love an inferior creature and apologizes for what he did. The professor explains that the fossil may not have instantly melted, as it was made of dolomite. With this in mind, Bender, claiming to be partly made from dolomite, dives into the lava and recovers the fossil.
The professor begins the cloning process and his computer informs him that Seymour died at the age of 15, meaning he lived for twelve years after Fry was frozen. Fry has a change of heart, and aborts the cloning process, believing that Seymour must have moved on with his life, found a new owner, and forgotten about him, saying “I had Seymour until he was three. That’s when I knew him, and that’s when I loved him. I’ll never forget him. But he forgot me a long time ago.” A flashback then shows that in the years that passed after Fry left, Seymour had faithfully obeyed Fry’s last command, which was to wait in front of Panucci’s Pizza until he returned. Seymour stays there as the years pass and he, the pizzeria, and Mr. Panucci begin to show their age. In the final shot, Seymour lies down and closes his eyes”
I was crying just reading that! It’s the background music where Connie Francis sings “I will wait for you” that clinches the deal. I wouldn’t care if it was his girlfriend, or a friend waiting for him, but it was his loyal and faithful dog and that makes me bawl my eyes out every time I watch it. I went to Youtube and watched that bit and you can as well if you like, just don’t say I didn’t warn you though…
We went to the Exeter markets this morning after walking the dogs. It’s a pretty small market, but there are usually lots of car boot type stalls so you just might get something interesting and so we headed over to check it out after putting the boys back in the car. We found a metal sieve that was more like a colander, very useful if like us you do a lot of baking, we bought some chicken crumbles, for feeding chickens when they are teeny. We are ‘expecting’ next week and hopefully at least a few of them hatch out to be eating these crumbles…we also bought a toy for the boys that was even too weird for them and its laying in the lounge room for later on when they don’t care how weird it is, they will have great fun de-fluffing it all over the carpet. I was walking past a stall and saw an old Australian day bed/couch that was simple, made of wood with the spring base. Many of us over 40 will remember our Grandparents furniture and this was akin to something that my nana would have had in her house. I loved it. It even had the upholstered mattress and a matching bolster pillow. The most amazing thing about it was that they person selling it had “$20 or make me an offer” on it! I loved it, but on looking at Steve, realised that he didn’t have the same delight that I did. Being opposites that is somewhat inevitable…I stood there looking at it. We don’t really have the room for that sort of thing, we could have bought it for the dogs out on the balcony, I could have stamped my feet and Steve would have bought it for me, but as I looked at it, knowing that it was the bargain of the year, I also realised that someone out there deserved this bargain more than I did. We have had an amazing stroke of good fortune when my father left us what he did. Someone else will look at that day bed and will feel incredibly lucky to have picked it up for $20 (or if they were cheeky, perhaps less if they haggled). I don’t think that I was meant to have that piece of furniture and Steve most definitely didn’t like it so hopefully someone came along that fell instantly in love with it, had some way to take it home and has somewhere to put it that will give them absolute pleasure every time that they walk past it, sit on it or simply remember picking up the bargain of the year…

It looked somewhat like this but it was wooden all around the back and sides…

We are baking bread. We have 6 loaves proving at the moment, in 2 sets of 3 bakery pans. We bought the bakery pans from the Beaconsfield tip shop. A veritable treasure trove of ‘stuff’ and we ended up buying 5 sets of 3 pans that had obviously come from a bakery somewhere. These pans were dirty, black, and heavy and had obviously been used for storing screws and nails but Steve cleaned them out for me and baked them on the bbq to ensure that they are totally sterilised and now we use 2 of them to bake our week’s bread. There is something very therapeutic about baking bread. I think it’s the kneading and making it do what you want it to do. Your kids won’t, your dog wont, your husband won’t but at least the bread will! It’s also the “made it myself” factor that gives you a deeper satisfaction than many things that you can spend your weekend doing. I think it harks back to past generations where people lived hand to mouth and there is nothing more satisfying than making someone that you love, something that they appreciate. I was listening to the radio this morning and heard someone talking about how we, in the Western world, have the greatest amount of depression when we have so very much. Isn’t that something? We have most of the world’s wealth, but it most certainly doesn’t make us happy. We are constantly being told that we are not good enough, that we don’t own enough, that we are behind the times (unless we spend “X” amount of money ) and it all boils down to us being hoodwinked by the media and by advertisers into constantly wanting “more”. We don’t need more people; we can be more than happy with a whole lot less. It would do the world a power of good for us all to be happy with a whole lot less, but there are a lot of people out there with vested interests in us being happy with less. That’s why there are people protesting in New York, and around the world about corporate greed and our governments allowing these massive companies to make money hand over fist at the world’s detriment. We all need to learn to live more simply so that others may simply live. I am not a “do gooder”. I don’t like many politically correct people because they forget reality and allow themselves to be manipulated by unscrupulous people with vested interests. It’s just a pity that there are so many of them in power and making our decisions.
Back to our bread. It’s rising up nicely. Steve made a batch of rock cakes. Somewhat akin to ‘foods last chance to be eaten’ in my books, not my most favourite thing, but apparently something that Steve used to love, so rock cakes it is. It’s lucky that we bought the oven that we did, because the 2 bread pans are massive and both of them need to go into the oven at the same time. One of the ovens is a bit cooler than the other one, but that doesn’t matter, we just swap the bread over halfway through cooking it. I will see if I can’t get you a picture of the bread coming out of the oven. You won’t be able to smell it, but you can imagine that smell. It’s like coffee, toast, bacon ALL the smells of happiness rolled into one.

Heres a photo of what the bread looked like in the massive big tins just before we put it into the oven…

and here are three of the loaves after we took them out of the oven…

and here is a loaf after Steve, Bezial and Earl have had a couple of slices slathered with butter…


There is something very grounding and levelling in living out in the sticks, growing your own food, collecting your eggs direct from the chicken. Making your decisions depending on whether it’s raining or not. Taking your queues from nature and not from the artificial world that we have all created for ourselves. It’s really hard to do that when you live in a large town or city because there is just so much going on to distract you from that base need to be close to the soil and interacting with nature, but the further you get away from the city/town, the quieter it gets and the more you start to hear yourself think. That’s what got me started with my love of plants. As a child I spent hours out in the bush watching nature just ‘get on with it’. I remember being extremely happy on my own, looking for orchids, watching the changing seasons and just being part of it. We all need that sense of belonging that we don’t seem to have any more. We are all disenfranchised with the world that we live in and it’s very hard to find anything to feel happy about when we have no control over ourselves or our destiny, but we can all get our hands dirty, we can all plant something, we can all pat a dog or smile at someone that we don’t know. I guess I am trying to say that we are all here together and that’s what makes all of this so very special and us so very lucky to be living here right now. When you start to think like that, how can you be unhappy or depressed? Life is precious and we are the lucky ones who have been given today to spend in it. I don’t know about you, but I really do feel lucky :o)


5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Mum
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 18:11:47

    Yum, I can taste it already Pen! They look great.


  2. kreebard
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 18:18:23


  3. Kreebard
    Oct 17, 2011 @ 19:44:50

    Ma, please delete the comment with my blog address on it. I sent that so you could find it, not as a real comment.


  4. athursdayschild has a long way to go and much to be thankful for.
    Apr 05, 2013 @ 02:01:05

    I, too, can even cry at a commercial. We don’t really watch much tv. Currently we are watching all the Andy Griffith shows. The bread looks fantastic.


    • narf77
      Apr 05, 2013 @ 04:10:11

      Thank you for taking the time to read back posts. Not many people do, and I admit, with 325 blogs that I follow, I tend to only be able to manage posts present, rather than be able to wade through the annuls. I guess if you really want to get a “feel” for a blogger you need to take a walk back into their blogs. One day I might just read some back posts of my dear constant readers blogs like yours. Most of them don’t waffle on like I do (my muses are relentless 😉 ) and I should be able to get a really good “feel” for my friends then :). Blogging is GREAT fun and you meet the best people 🙂


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