Reality Checker

Hi All,

I came up with the premise for this blog post while I was walking Earl dressed in 3 layers of mismatched clothing with a “Dad’s Army” (look it up, better still head over to YouTube and watch an episode…) beanie pulled down over my head and when I looked in the mirror (after reading this post YOU tell me which mirror I looked in 😉 ) I looked like a man disguised as a bag lady…NOT a good look! Here’s the haiku that I used to remember everything that I wanted to add to the first part of this post while I walked the 5km home…the bag lady/man and her dog…

“Mirror on the wall

Fabulous Dorian Grey

Reality Check”

It pays to have a system whereby you can remember something you really REALLY want to remember if you don’t have a pen and paper handy to write it down or, like in my case, your fingers are frozen stiff and you can’t feel them enough to get out the pen and paper and even if you could your dog is champing at the bit to forge on ahead and one hand stretched out at right angles to the body is NOT going to let you write anything easily…I don’t usually affect haiku’s, just this time I didn’t want to sing it loudly all the way home (my preferred method of memory booster) as Earl was hunting wabbits and was giving me evil’s …



One of the lovely abalone shells that was left over from Steve’s happy abalone meal last week



A much more humble but just as delicious meal consisting of the above (cooked pasta and scrumptious slow cooked bolognaise sauce) and topped with a very rich cheesy sauce and baked.

Have you got a reality check? You know…that friend/husband/dog that won’t let your head swell up too big and are able to ensure that you remain a stable and useful human being without expecting the world to bow before you as you walk down the street and strew rose petals at your feet. My reality check is a mirror. I have 2 mirrors that I regularly look in. I have a large mirror on the lounge-room wall that I stand on a sofa to see how I look all over in but that’s just for going out and as I tend to only go out once in a blue moon it’s not to be included in my “regular” viewing  for the purposes of this post.


This is Jemima. Daughter of Hildabooch. Note her aunt Jemima headscarf and the scull and crossbones was to warn guests at a very upmarket wine tasting evening that Jemima was NOT to be imbibed, well not yet. She has some fermenting to do for Ms Florida her new owner and mistress. Long may she ferment!


My first mirror is a simple wooden framed mirror that hangs in the bathroom. I call this mirror my “FABULOUS SWEETIE” mirror as when I look in it, I AM fabulous. I wash my face, I comb (who am I kidding, I need a stiff broom to get through these locks!) my hair and I slap on some olive oil face cream and all the while this mirror soothes my ego. “Not looking too bad for an old girl (said whilst winking at myself and cocking a finger  in my facial direction). Not bad at all. I look for signs of grey hair, nothing obvious, I can’t see many wrinkles and can’t see any big ones (not that I have had my eyes checked lately) and after brushing my teeth and seeing how sparkling clean and white they look I head off full of possibilities and all is right with my ego in Serendipity Ville


I didn’t realise that Steve had taken this photo. I almost deleted it but realised that this is me…saggy bottomed track pants and all and so for the sake of honesty, here is narf7 completely unaware that Stevie-boy is on the prowl with his camera

The second mirror is a bollocks. I have NO idea why but every…single…time that I look in this mirror I come away feeling deflated. Even a quick glance (because I forgot to “NEVER LOOK IN THAT BLOODY MIRROR AGAIN!”) Yields mild depression. I appear to have been taken over by a middle aged woman with wrinkles! I can see grey hairs alright and they seem to have been joined by their best friends split ends (not the band…just sayin’…). For the record this mirror is also surrounded by a simple wooden frame so it can’t be the frame that is acting as some kind of torture device. It’s not like I am vain. I have never been able to trade on my looks to win me friends or influence people; it’s just that this mirror is so VERY frank. No muted edges to soften the blow. No pat on the head in sympathy as I blow my nose just “it is what it is”.


Here we have brownies…well technically apple blondies. I would like to say that they were the terrible “M” word that food bloggers are not allowed to use any more but I can’t it is verboten, so I headed off to good old Google to look up a synonym for the “M” word and got “damp, steamy, humid, muggy, clammy, dank, wet, dewy, dripping, soggy, sweaty, sticky…” err…not entirely sure that muggy or clammy or dank brownies are going to sell a recipe but you get my drift!


Here is a closer shot of them in all of their dank glory…emmm 😉

That second mirror is my reality checker. The mirror that should be locked away in a wardrobe or better still in the roof cavity (note to self…”put that bloody mirror in the roof cavity!”) While I gaze adoringly into that first mirror that tells me that everything is hunky dory on the beauty stakes and I am GORGEOUS sweetie. The problem is that I like to be honest with myself. I COULD take that mirror off the wall but there is a strange beauty in knowing the truth. In being able to look at yourself wearing a dad’s army hat with your greying temples and your wrinkles waving back at you (are those frown lines?!) and STILL be happy with yourself. When you can accept that you look like a bag lady/man and can still be happy with your lot who can burst your bubble? Honestly? 🙂


These two could care less that I look like a bag lady/man, all they want is a W.A.L.K. STAT!

I had best head off and make myself some breakfast. I am STILL PROCRASTINATING. It’s 8.52am and the sun is shining and the sky is blue and I am SO tempted to just head out into the veggie garden and shovel that whole trailer load of horse manure into wheelbarrows and ferry it back and forth and make a new garden bed but I promised myself that I would finish off my swatch sticking today and a promise is a promise, even if it is only to yourself. Wish me luck folks…I am going in!


Another batch of Friday calzones gets made. Here they are in all of their raw glory. Note the coloured flecks in the dough. That’s because I add dried Italian mixed herbs, chilli and Parmesan cheese to the dough to make them extra tasty



This is what they look like cooked…and sideways…that’s what happens when you ask your impatient husband to re-size an image for you. Technically he did re-size it, just didn’t turn it 😉

I did it! It took me over a week of procrastination but it’s done and dusted now. Finito…until the next study thing that I have to procrastinate about. Why am I procrastinating? Because I reckon I can’t justify the waste of paper, time and energy spent sticking little bits of coloured paper onto more paper for absolutely nothing. It’s not like I am learning much about colours, I learned most of what I know back in kindergarten, but it’s the complete waste of time and energy doing something that means absolutely NOTHING to me that makes me want to roll my socks, move the furniture and take up the drink. Steve is the most creative out of the two of us and he proved it yesterday when he took his paint swatches and cut them out into shapes. We had to do a “mood board” of “Our Lifestyle”.  I just took colours and stuck them together in clumps to represent things like “river and soil and sun and sky” and “the colours of our dogs and our water tank and my optimism (which is apparently butter yellow according to the swatch)” etc. but Stevie-boy knocked it out of the ballpark. There are little green wine bottles and small brown beer bottles and the mumbly cumumbus and his river has layers of colour and looks like ripples…clever bollocks! 😉


I took a few photos of the duck because I am a sentimental old duck myself. As you can see she has a problem standing up


That didn’t stop her from dragging herself more quickly than I can run into the agapanthus

Well the sticking is finished but now I am up to my dry eyeballs in research. I mean who needs to know how the flash in their camera works for goodness sake! Me apparently… anyhoo, after this we are getting onto the meaty stuff…more design culminating in making a booklet and THAT is where narf7 sits up and takes notice…”Booklet you say eh?” yup…booklet. I am quaffing booch in order to keep me awake. It keeps me awake by igniting my need to run at regular intervals to the loo. The house is lovely and toasty warm thanks to Brunhilda and her ability to convert her food into latent heat. Bezial has been lulled into somnolence but Earl is sitting next to me beseeching me to feed him. No point even trying till Bezial could be bothered to wake up so I have one asleep and one sulking. You are never child free when you have dogs


On the floor in the car just before I handed her over. The bag was to stop her from getting scared but she certainly doesn’t look scared


“Goodbye duck”… even if she was euthanised her sacrifice might mean that her brothers and sisters get liberated. I feel like I am in Le Miserable!

Well the weather has certainly changed. So I should have, we are in the last month of autumn. This morning I walked Earl in 0C temperatures and we headed over the Batman bridge at a fast trot in order to maintain our body temperatures and not succumb to hypothermia. I haven’t been over the bridge since I last took grain over for the chickens that had been dumped in the park on the other side of the river and found the mother chicken had been killed by a quoll. I took some grain today just in case any of her babies were still there and looking down from the bridge I did see some small dark shapes running around but they might have been swamp hens. When we got to the park Earl stopped dragging and started insisting. Insisting is fast dragging by the way, just sos you know… I skated behind him down the steep descent and managed to pull him sideways into the car park and bbq area where I thought I might have seen those small chooks. Whether I did or not, at least the swamp hens could have some grain. As I was tipping it out around the rubbish bins (as that is obviously where they would check on a regular basis) I caught something large moving around in the undergrowth out of the corner of my eye. I moved over to the other rubbish bin that was a bit closer to the area that the movement had been and peered (myopically) into the shrubbery and realised that I was looking into the beak of a large peacock! At least something will eat that grain!


Jan (in the blue) and Kim (the other one) who I attempted to show how to blog to the other day. We had a lovely afternoon and although Kims blog was up and running and raring to go in about 15 minutes, Jan’s was a bit more trouble but we sorted it all out in the end and everyone can now blog to their hearts content


Kim blogging to her hearts content…Jan…not so much…

I just squealed on someone. Aussies don’t do “squeal” lightly…again…just sos you know. But this man deserved a very loud squeal and a half. He lives up behind our property and keeps poultry. He has taken to not feeding his chooks and ducks and they have been wandering around in search of food and getting killed on the roads. I was walking back on Monday with Earl from our early morning walk and noticed a duck on the side of the road. I was surprised because I thought that they had all been killed off but no, there was a duck but it looked like it, too, had been hit by a car as it couldn’t stand up. I knew that I couldn’t do anything with Earl with me so I raced home and deposited Earl on the deck and drove back up to where I had seen the duck with a cardboard box and an old cloth to cover the duck. If it had been hit I was going to bring it home and if it died at least it would die on Serendipity Farm with a nice view surrounded by chooks, not on the side of the road. I pulled over (should have checked my rear view mirror as the school bus almost hit me 😉 ) and headed over to pick up the duck and it bit me. A good sign, as that means it still has some chutzpah left. A good duck needs it’s chutzpah.


Kims wonderful locally made little wood fire. It was made 18km away in Exeter. Can’t get more community supportive than that. If I had known that we HAD a fireplace maker here in Tassie, let alone in Exeter, I may not have purchased Brunhilda. This lovely fire has a very large pizza type oven at the top and is gloriously good at warming Kims gorgeous eco home


I am dead jel. Kim has a wonderful composting loo! It has 6 chambers underneath and by the time it has finished it’s cycle (takes about 2 months) they end up with wonderful compost that they can use in their garden.

After noticing that the duck couldn’t walk I picked it up and was shocked to note that it weight nothing. It was like picking up a skeleton with feathers. The poor thing was starving! I brought it back home and deposited it in our outdoor enclosure. None of our lot are in there at the moment as they are all free ranging and giving Frank apoplexy with their crowing so I put lots of straw and food and water near a stand of agapanthus and the duck moved in. That night I was worried about it so I put lots of hay into Earls carry case (that he arrived in Tasmania in from South Australia where we bought him from) and deposited the angry duck (anger, like chutzpah is also a good sign in a duck) into the cage where it settled down. I didn’t think that it would last the night but it did and the next morning I made up my mind to report this man to our animal welfare society for animal cruelty.


Who needs a moth eaten sock under the bed Brunhilda needs her gustatory platter and this time, it was delivered right to the top of our driveway. I LOVE you Mr wood delivery man (just so he knows 😉 )

After I had reported him an officer came to take the duck. They needed to take it to the vet to check it out and to see if there was a case against the man. When the officer picked the duck up to place it into a carrier she remarked about how light it was and how unhealthy it was. When people take on the responsibility for animals they need to be aware that the word “responsible” is the key here. If you can’t afford (or just plain don’t want) to feed your animals or care for them then DON’T GET ANIMALS! People have been rumbling about complaining about this situation for about a year now. He used to have a lot of ducks. I think that the poor emaciated duck that headed off with the animal welfare officer yesterday may just have been the last. All the rest of them have been killed on the road. Some people just shouldn’t be allowed to have animals…ever.


This is what real love looks like. Real love is when someone is walking up the driveway after checking the mail and sees a flower on a shrub and decides that he is going to pick it and give it to his wife because he wants to make her happy. Guess what Stevie-boy, I am going to let you off your past transgressions for this 🙂



This is what real love looks like on steroids. When a man goes into a shop full of women and stands in front of a large collection of wool in order to buy his wife 10 balls so that she can “make something” as he knows that she loves to be creative and even though he is INCREDIBLY impatient, he has been shopping all morning and is completely OVER the city he stopped off to buy me some wool because he knew that it would make me happy. Now THAT is real love. None of that mushy stuff with chocolates (can’t eat them) and roses (can’t eat them) and fluffy kitties (Earl eats them) and such, no THIS is what love is down at the coal face where 2 imperfect people learn how to tap-dance around each other for the rest of their lives without killing each other and slowly learning just how amazing it can be to hold someone elses heart in the palm of your hand (and that ISN’T the end result of me watching too much Crime Channel…)

So here I am back to having 1 duck who thinks that it is a chook. I thought that I might be able to train her back into duckanese but apparently not. Even if the poor emaciated girl doesn’t get put down (:( ) she will be taken to a foster home for ducks. Not entirely sure what a foster home for ducks is but anything is better than where she was. The dogs just had their dinner (I was like a stealth ninja, you didn’t even realise that I had gone did you) and I think I might put this edition to bed now folks. I am thinking that tonight might be a good night to create something scrumptious for Stevie-boy who has been an absolute trouper about chopping wood when I have been doing my level best to burn it all as fast as he chops it. From the blog posts that I have been reading lately it would seem that we are all in winter now. Most of my northern readers are complaining about cold, rain and even snow and we are revelling in frost and the joys of dripping noses. I guess that means that we can all have a HUGE communal worldwide weenie roast! I bags the vego weenies…





One last teeny post I promise!

Hi Folks,

I seem to be the queen of teeny tiny little posts and reposts at the moment but it’s not my fault there are quality life lessons and excellent writing going free for grabs…I need to share it! Here’s something that I found in today’s RSS Feed Reader inbox. I can’t help but share when there are fundamental truths twitching behind my eyes and this little baby set off jangling bells. Wise words to live by and something to aim for. We often forget to really live and make do with merely existing. Remember…we only get 1 ride of this crazy careening carousel we call life and we had best enjoy that ride to the max because once we get off at the end there aint no more folks!