Sunday, 21 February 2010

Relaxing weekends...

... Are so few and far between, so this one has been wonderful.

This last week was very quiet at work, so I spent a lot of time doing nothing but surfing the web. I also got to watch a couple of DVDs. And to top it off I had a lovely weekend organised too.

Originally on Saturday I had planned to go to Castle Plaza to buy mum a birthday present, my friend's son a birthday present, and my husband an anniversary present. And I planned to do it by myself. Alone. Just a couple of hours with no time limit, with a stop on the way home to have a cuppa with an old friend.

But, as we all know, my plans don't always work out do they? First of all Dobby put on such a performance because SHE was supposed to pick out the son's birthday present (afterall, the invite was in her name).

As I lamented to Fluffy that I was looking forward to having a couple hours to myself, he pointed out that I get 8 hours every day to myself. Not quite the same but I relented.

Then, he asked if I could pick him up a plastic set of drawers for his side of the caravan, matching the one in mine. Problem with that is, the shop is several kms across the other side of town, and nowhere near the direction I was heading.

So I was not quite in the best of moods when I left home. I picked up the offending set of drawers, plus paper, cards etc. Then as I didn't want to go way back the other way I thought it would make sense to stop at Harbourtown to find the other things on my list.

Well, the dress shop I was looking for to purchase mother's birthday gift from doesn't appear to be there anymore so I had to improvise. I did find her two lovely pairs of pj's at $15 each (and I hope those who know her and read this don't tell her!). One errand out of the way.

A stop at The Book Boys solved present number two. Dobby found a story book and CD set reduced to $15, and I found a cute little pirate book (the party theme is pirates) to add. Second errand out of the way.

Now for Fluffy's gift. I wanted to go to Target and buy him a decent set of electric clippers. I had budgeted about $30-$40. At one shop down one end of Harbourtown, the cheapest set was $100. No way!

Way down the other end was another set for $59. As they were my only options I went with the $59 set. Problem, and isn't there always one, it was battery operated. And the store didn't sell them. Who did? Woolies, all the way back down the OTHER end of the complex.

By this time I could barely walk as my hip and back have been playing up terribly lately (the joys of getting older I suppose) so back we walk to buy them. That done we had to go all the way (again) up the other end to where the car was parked. Dobby knew I was not happy, and tentatively asked for lunch. Nope, I snapped, got no money left. Drink? No change in my wallet.

Of course, as this was now $60 (including the drawers), over my allotted budget, I decided that I would miss the trip to the cheesecake shop for Fluffy's other gift. Plus, instead of a lovely relaxing cuppa with my friend, as I had Dobby with me, I just stopped in to say hello and collect my housekey. Bumma. She did give Fluffy and I a gift though, a box of my favourite Lindt chocolates. Mmmmm!

So by the time I got home I was tired, sore and thoroughly p'eed off. Fluffy asked me what was wrong so I told him I was $60 over my budget and he was not getting the cheesecake I planned to buy him. To top if off, I was supposed to buy milk and sugar and totally forgot (despite my trip to Woolies!)

I wrapped his gift, wrote in his card, stuck stickers on the gift and made it look pretty, and wrapped and boxed mum's present ready for postage, then when I did the son's gift I realised I had forgotten to buy him a card. Luckily, mum had given me several packets of printed paper, one of which was a print of a scroll of paper. So I improvised. I got out my calligraphy pen and wrote:

Ahoy Cap'ain Cooper!

It be your birthday!

You'd better enjoy it or there be mutiny!

Happy Birthday from your crew

Fluffy, Froggy and Dobby the Wench (using our proper names of course!)

Then rolled it into a scroll. Problem solved. Of course, on writing this I realise I should have written Yer instead of Your... never mind.

Anyway, a little while later Fluffy asked me did I want him to go to the shop and buy the milk and sugar. Nah, I said, don't worry, we can make do for a few days. No, it's okay, I'll go he says.

And promptly disappears.

About half an hour later he came back - with milk, sugar, a bunch of red roses, and a whole caramel cheesecake and a white chocolate mud cake! Bless him! I had told him that I couldn't decide between his favourite vanilla cheesecake or a chocolate mud cake so had planned buying half and half but didn't have any money left. What a treasure!

So after our cuppa and cake (we tackled the white mud cake first) I gave him his gift. He was suitably impressed (specially because I had accidently left the price tag on it) and promptly went outside to try it out!

We had a relaxing afternoon doing not much else, although he did put his new drawers in the van and screwed mesh magazine racks up beside our bed too, and I read. We went to bed after 11pm....

Today, we slept in till just before 8 and the cat woke us up. We wished each other happy anniversary, then he brought me a cup of tea in bed. Aahhh.

I got up, changed the sheets, did two load of washing, and he vacuumed the floors. I had mopped the kitchen yesterday so the housework was done. He pottered around outside and I pottered around inside.

A friend from the caravan club and his daughter came around to pick up an old washing machine we had, and brought Fluffy a carton of beer. I told fluffy he should have asked for a carton of softdrink so we all could have some! Anyway, I did a cheese platter and we sat outside munching away. The landlord came over to collect some figs so we gave him a beer too.

The rest of the afternoon was very slow, relaxing and just what I needed.

We had a lovely tandoori marinated roast chicken with baked potatoes and salad for tea, cheesecake, ice-cream and orange jelly for dessert, and now I have run a bath. If Fluffy comes in later to make coffee I'll have a cup of hot chocolate with him then early night I think.

Yep, this is how anniversaries should be spent I think! Looking forward to the next one now!

Oh a sadder note, while I was having dinner mum phoned to tell me my sister's boss had passed away last night. And the she is the one who found him. Very upsetting of her I imagine. I did try to phone her but she didn't answer her mobile. If you read this chicken, be strong and remember to prepare yourself for a rocky road for awhile till decisions are made and directions taken. With your experience you will be fine! Love ya! xxx

Sunday, 14 February 2010


So this week has flown by again. I swear, I must be sleeping half the week cause it seems to go faster and faster each month!

I decided on Wednesday to try the Steamboat, but like everything else I try to do it didn't work according to plan.

I shopped after work to buy ingredients at Woollies, cause I needed other stuff. So I found chicken breast, prawns, frozen dim sims, noodles and carrots, and raced home to prepare them. I asked Fluffy to fire up the heat bead for the steamboat.

He added one and a few firelighters. A few more firelighters, a wad of scrunched up paper! Nothing! We could not get those beads to light and eventually he had to give up. It just wasn't going to happen.

Dobby, as a typical teen, got the shits when I suggested we could have stir fry with the ingredients. Why do I only think of what I want and not what others want blah blah blah. Fluffy was so thoroughly cheesed off by now he just said he wasn't hungry.

So, I decided to go inside, put a pot of chicken stock on the stove, and make my own steamboat.

And I did. Dobby wandered in. Whatcha doin? I told her. I asked if she wanted some. She did. So I got two bowls ready, put some noodles and a little stock in, cooked some chicken, prawns, carrots, and 2 dim sims each, then put some chilli, soy and honey/soy/ginger and sesame sauces into bowls. Very nice meal indeed.

Fluffy stayed outside.

The next night I used the last of the chicken and prawns and carrot and made a stirfry with a combination of the sauces as well. Very, very tasty and with the little cubed baked potatoes I put with it, everyone was happy.

The rest of the week passed in a blur and suddenly it was Friday again. Fluffy took the van up to Kapunda Friday morning while I was at work. I got to leave early and when I got home we grabbed the last minute stuff and fed the cat, and were on the road by 4.45pm. We got up there about 6.15, grabbing fish and chips on the way to the park. Very nice spot we had. No grass but a lovely park, quiet except for the thousand or so resident cockatoos. Right next to the sports grounds so the outside road was very busy.

We had a great weekend, and I have even found a white wine I can drink. Usually wine gives me a horrible aftertaste in my mouth and irritates my reflux but this one didn't. Very sad that it is a french wine... another couple said they would go halves in a crate if I ordered any more. Very expensive though. But I had two glasses on Saturday afternoon and evening!

Saturday we went for a picnic lunch to the playground with the group, and a lot of the youngun's went swimming after so Fluffy and I came back to the van. Some other members joined us and we had a lovely afternoon there. Then games at 4.00 when the prodigals returned wet and happy. After games we made burgers (on the park bbq so we didn't even dirty ours this weekend) and back to the group for a social with a difference. All the guys gathered at the camp kitchen for cards, and us girls sat around staring at a building wall, upon which a very clever member of the group was projecting Mamma Mia! We had popcorn, cat calls, kids sitting on top of utility canopies, and throwing of skittles. Very, very funny night.

Although this morning was valentine's day, we didn't do anything as we don't usually honor the day. But we packed up early and took our time coming home after morning tea. Home just after lunch, unpacked the van, did two loads of washing then sat in the lounge with the air conditioner going munching on a cheese platter we three were. Very relaxing.

Now, I am about to go put a try of kids treat things (all chicken nugget type things, with fish fingers and vegies) for dinner (to use them up).

Then I think a bath, headache tablet to shake off the last of this thing, and an early night. One thing that makes these weekends away with the club tiring is that they are rarely in bed before mid night. Then there is always something to wake you up. Oh, Saturday morning it was the alarm on the phone Dobby and her friend found. Fluffy took it to the office for collection (one of the group phoned a number in the phone and they said they would collect it from the park office next day). No sooner had fluffy dropped it off, but the lady was there picking it up literally as Fluffy was leaving the office!

Later on Saturday a young kid comes to our van where a group had gathered with a six pack of beer! Lovely. So, because it was Dobby and her friends who found the phone, we kept the beer and gave them $5 each. Ironically, at games, they made an announcement congratulating the honesty of the club kids (last rally they found a camera and handed it in) and the two girls involved this time weren't there - they were off running an errand! Dobby would have been embarrassed anyway....

Monday, 8 February 2010

Chinese markets

... are a world unto themselves, aren't they?

After getting up early on Saturday, putting through 3 loads of laundry, scrubbing the bathroom and weeding the back garden, we took the tram into the city to the Central Markets.

Man, those places smell and are crowded, but a real eye opener! I was looking specifically for a steamboat, an Asian cooking utensil similar in design to a wok, but with a flue up the centre. After a few false starts I found the Asian supermarket down the back and there I found a little steamboat which one puts a bbq bead inside. This creates the heat, then you fill a moat with chicken broth, and when it's hot you place chicken strips, prawns, vegetables, pork balls, dim sims and wontons in and let them cook. Everyone helps themselves, and dinner lasts for a couple of hours. Everyone sees to be looking forward to trying it out anyway.

When we got home we didn't do much, the weather was lovely so we just sat around.

Sunday was a hot one. I slept in, did some washing, Dobby packed for next weekend away, and that's about the extent of it.

Last week at work was horrific. Our DME plant is experiencing production problems so we are in shortage of stock, and it's end of month. I did not get home on time at all last week, one night working 45 minutes overtime.

I hope this week shapes up to be better...

Monday, 1 February 2010

Weekend side trips

...Can prove quite beneficial.

After a slack week at work (the boss was away and it was pre-end of month rush), I quite looked forward to a slow weekend. We seem to be always away and I quite relish my weekends at home lately.

This weekend, we decided a trip to Marion shopping centre was in order. The lovely little dust buster vacuum we bought recently wouldn't charge so we toddled off to Harvey Norman to get it swapped for another, which they did no problem, and then wandered over to the shopping centre. Dobby had the last bit of her gift voucher to do away with, and I wanted to find a Steam Boat cooking pan.

Dobby bought herself some hair bits and pieces and earrings, seeming to be quite happy with her purchases. We looked everywhere for a steam boat but it would appear Adelaide hasn't heard of them. No one has them. Fluffy found one later online at Deals Direct, which I think I will save up for and take the chance with.

After lunch we came home and veged for the rest of the afternoon. Aah, I do like to do that!

Sunday we did a spot of housework, with Fluffy chipping in nicely to help. On Saturday he decided he would like to take a drive up to Gawler to drop off his old bbq to new friends we made at the caravan club, whom I shall name Skeed's mum and Skeed's dad.

So, after a quick grocery shop (which was only a few bags but still cost $180) we grabbed the cheese platter we bought, a bottle of chilled white wine, and a bottle of red for a Bench Warming gift (they are getting new benches in 3 weeks) and threw the bbq into the boot.

We got up there just after 3 and they had only just gotten home! Their daughters had Little Athletics and both won medals - good work!

We spent a lovely afternoon up at Gawler, munching on cheese, Fluffy imbibing a few glasses of wine topped off with a couple of Ned Kelly's, and enjoying ourselves imensely. Turns out one of the daughters has a green tree frog as a pet (so jealous!)

Then, when we were leaving I checked my phone and discovered Nan had left a message. She was home now. I gave her a call and she asked did we want to stop in on the way home. They live about 15 minutes from Gawler on the way home. Sure, why not, we may as well.

Great, says Nan, I'll pop on a batch of scones! What a love! So, after indulging in cheese and crackers all afternoon we were being treated to fresh hot scones with jam and cream.

Gotta love lazy weekends! Needless to say I didn't need to cook dinner. Dobby ended up having an Easy Mac cause she hadn't eaten much, and I was a bit peckish and had a small piece of lasagne. Fluffy doesn't eat much so he was quite happy.

Wonderful, relaxing weekend and I actually feel somewhat refreshed. Amazing!