Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Crazy in the Kitchen

I've spent quite a bit of time in the kitchen today. It's cook up time!

I have oxtail casserole in the slow cooker as I type.

I made a variation of beef stroganoff this morning. I used plain coconut yoghurt instead of sour cream and, as a thickener, I used pureed vegetables.

Because I don't use flour, and I'm not keen on the consistency of tapioca flour as a thickener, I cooked up a big pot of sweet potato, zucchini, carrot, cauliflower and celery, then pureed it in the blender with some seasoning. It worked beautifully and added lots of extra flavour.

The added benefit of having so many vegetables in the sauce, is that if I don't feel like cooking anything to go with the stroganoff, I know that it has enough goodness in it, on it's own.

I made a triple batch of the vegetable puree, so it will help thicken the oxtail casserole and the curried chicken.

I made up a big pot of curry sauce for the chicken, before realising that I had put the chicken in the freezer last night, so now I have chicken thawing on my kitchen sink and a sauce waiting for it's meat.

Tomorrow will be fish curry, Hainan chicken and spaghetti bolognese sauce. I'd like to find the time to cook up a big batch of chicken and pork meatballs with sweet spicy dipping sauce.

We've had a whole duck in our freezer for a couple of months now, and I recently found a paleo recipe for spicy whole roasted duck, so I might do that on Monday or Tuesday.

It's also time to do a complete clean out of the pantry and fridge, so that might be a tomorrow or Monday chore. So much to do!

I hope you all remembered to vote today! If only we could fine the politicians for each election promise they break after they are elected. $100,000 fine for each broken promise. I wonder if that would keep them more honest?

Tonight, I discovered that there was a 50th birthday party in Griffith that I wasn't invited to! However, it warmed the cockles of my heart to see this group all together to celebrate The Big Little Man's birthday. I miss this group. We had such fun times together back in the day.

It was also great to see BGWLBH in attendance and looking so happy!

Congratulations to Adoring Husband, whose footy team, Cronulla Sharks won again tonight and broke their all time winning streak record! They are certainly looking solid this year.

Now it's time to stop watching the election results on TV and switch over to the tennis for some more enjoyable viewing pleasure.

Nite all.

Friday, July 1, 2016

Friendly Friday

It's already late Friday night and I'm watching a replay of last night's Wimbledon match between Tomic and Albot. Tomic won.

It has been raining in London, so the tennis matches were suspended for the last hour or so, and they've been showing replays of last night's games. Play will recommence shortly, but I'm feeling decidedly weary tonight.

I may have had half a glass of wine too much tonight because The Blonde Bombshell was refilling my glass while I wasn't watching.

I visited The Motivator this morning and bought six sand crabs and an ocean mullet. I've tasted river mullet before and wasn't particularly fussed, but I've been told that ocean mullet is much nicer, so I'll try it tomorrow and report my findings here.

I plan on spending the weekend cooking up a storm and freezing a stack of meals. I'll also take some to Mum H to hopefully help her get stronger and healthier. I have to write up a plan, so that she knows the best foods to eat and the best ones to avoid. If we can get her strong enough and healthy enough, her own immune system should slowly repair her body and she will quickly get back to her old self.

Meanwhile, I believe that I might just head off to bed and forego the tennis tonight. That comfy bed is a'callin' me!

Nite all.

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Lunch with the Man

Date day with Adoring Husband was both pleasant and disappointing.

We had lunch at Kondari Resort.

I've eaten there three times before. Each time, pork belly was on the specials board and classed as gluten free. It was delicious.

There was no pork belly today. When I asked what food was gluten free, the girl replied 'steak'. But I couldn't have everything on the steak menu because they couldn't guarantee that the potato mash was gluten free ... they buy it in bulk, already made, and they don't know what the ingredients are! There could be fillers that contain gluten.

The other issue I had with the steak, is that it was specifically labelled as 'grain finished' beef. Some celiacs are sensitive enough that grain (wheat is a grain) finished steak can cause problems. I don't think I'm one of those people, but nonetheless, I declined the steak.

There was one item on the specials board for entree, which was fresh Queensland king prawns served on a salsa of pineapple and avocado. They wouldn't serve a 'main' size, so AH ordered me two entree sizes!

There were four very large king prawns in each serve and about two tablespoons of salsa on each plate. The salsa was quite unpleasant. Whatever the dressing was, had an unpleasant after taste, so I only had one taste of it. I peeled and ate the bland and tasteless king prawns, which were very fresh, but had no flavour.

The nicest part of my meal was the glass of Monkey Bay Sauvignon Blanc.

AH had the grilled Barramundi which also lacked flavour.

Very disappointing.

We had earlier checked the restaurant 'Coast' which had nothing marked gluten free on their menu. We also checked out 'The Vineyard' menu, but it was the same - nothing marked GF - which is why we continued on to Kondari.

Highly likely we won't return.

Later, we were at Stocklands and while AH was purchasing tape in the newsagent, I went to order some takeaway coffees from Jamaica Blue. There was nobody sitting in the eating area. One lady was paying for her order and in front of me, were two ladies, who were together, ordering their lunch with coffee.

The girl who was taking orders, was painfully slow and way too friendly! Of course, customer service requires a happy and friendly attitude, but it was as if she wanted to be everybody's best friend and initiated and nurtured long, unnecessary conversations to the point that I stood there for almost 15 minutes, by which time she still didn't even look close to serving me. I said to AH "I'm sick of waiting. Let's go."

There were lots of EOFY sales on in all of the shops at Stocklands. I searched for a short sleeved, collared white shirt to no avail. Can you believe that something so simple could be so difficult to find? I bought a couple of necklaces at 50% off.

Earlier in the day, we stopped at Pillow Talk and I found some lovely photo frames at half price and two framed quotes that took my fancy. They will look great in my new study!

I wore all black today. When I lived in Griffith, I wore black most of the time. My wardrobe held very little colour. I had half a dozen pairs of black trousers, black or dark coloured tops, black shoes and boots, and black jackets and coats. I still wear a lot of black at night when we go out, but my day time attire is pretty colourful these days.

Today I wore black jeans, black boots, a black shirt and a black vest. Lots of silver jewellery to accessorise. Adoring Husband loved it and said that it reminded him of when we first met! On our way out of town, we stopped at the shops to get coffee and check the mail and I received lots of compliments from the girls who work there.

On the way home, we stopped there again and the second shift of girls all commented. I am surprised! I felt very 'out of place' in black .. you don't see people wearing black in Queensland very often.

Anyway, it was nice to spend the day with Adoring Husband, even if our restaurant choice wasn't a happy one and I'm glad my black attire brought back fond memories for him :)

Another night of Wimbledon with Sam Stosur playing right now (and has lost the first set). Bernard Tomic, Daria Gavrilova and John Millman all play tonight. One Aussie, whose name is not familiar to me, Matthew Barton, has already won his match. I think I'll change into my pyjamas and make myself comfortable. It could be a long night.

Before I go, if you have time before 2.30pm Friday, watch this movie "What's with Wheat?". It's free to view until about 4pm, but it goes for an hour and twenty minutes. Very interesting and educational. I have ordered the dvd, so anybody here in town can borrow my copy later if you wish. 

Nite all.  

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Lunch with the Ladies

Another good time was had by all.

We, the ladies, lunched at the RSL Club in The Bay today. Due to quite a few illnesses and a couple of holidays, we were down on numbers and only had fourteen women in attendance.

I enjoyed a Roast Pork and vegetables with extra crackle and gluten free gravy. It was a typical club meal. Nothing fancy, but satisfactory.

On the way out, I stopped into Shoe Frenzy and bought two pairs of shoes, which were on sale. They were down from $69 each, to $30 each, but the other deal was two pairs for $50! Bargain :)

Afterwards, five of us stopped at The Speckled Hen's house for drinks and a couple of other ladies, who weren't at the lunch, turned up to join us. I didn't stay long. Too many ladies and too much noise. Too many conversations going at once. Too much alcohol. Too many differing opinions. Too much biting of the tongue (on my behalf).

I left at just the right time, still loving the ladies (another 30 minutes and the love may have faded!) and I walked home with my shiny new shoes to Adoring Husband's waiting arms.

Thankfully, I had taken curried chicken out of the freezer last night, so dinner was nice and easy.

I am sitting on my couch in my Summer pyjamas and wearing ugg boot slippers, waiting for the tennis to begin. Last night's tennis was suspended due to rain, so I hope to see some more Aussie games tonight.

It's date day with Adoring Husband tomorrow. We were going to the movies, but we've discovered tonight that 'Independence Day' is on too late in the day for us, and the other movie I'd like to see, is 'Finding Dory' but it's school holiday time and NOBODY wants to sit in a cinema with a million kids to watch a kids movie, unless you're with your own kids or grandkids.

So we will do lunch together and decide what to do after that.

Time to focus on the tennis.

Nite all.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Blustery Day

It has been a cold blustery day.

Not as cold as down south, but for us, very chilly.

I left the bedroom window open last night, so that the very strong cold wind blew in over the bed, then snuggled down under the doona to keep warm and comfortable. Perfect sleeping weather.

It was too cold for me to get out of bed early, so I stayed there until after 10am. The only reason I left the bed, was to ride to the shop to get my coffee and check the mail, then I returned home and climbed back into bed!

I would probably have stayed there all day, except I'd made arrangements to go visit Mum H to find out how her medical test results went, so I got out of bed at 12.45pm and went for another ride.

Right now, I'm sitting on the couch wearing jeans, a t-shirt, a sloppy joe and ugh boots ... more clothes than I've worn for a very long time ... probably since the road trip down south last year, which is exactly a year ago today!

I'm glad we're not road tripping right now, with all that snow about in NSW!

The tennis is on and I'm watching Kyrgios play Stepanek. Kyrgios (the Aussie) is winning and next to play will be Bernard Tomic (also Aussie) against Verdasco. I hope to watch that match in it's entirety and then I will attempt to sleep.

The lady's luncheon is on tomorrow and I need to be ready by 10am, so I would really appreciate it if Tomic could win quickly.

I believe it might be dressing gown time.

Nite all.

Monday, June 27, 2016

He Returns

Adoring Husband has arrived home on a high. He had a good time in Sydney, catching up with his Mum, who, unfortunately has dementia and no longer recognises him - but it's important that he connect with her a couple of times a year and do whatever he can to provide her with the comforts of home.

She is 99 years young and even though she is looking a little more frail each time he sees her, she still possesses a very strong constitution and I wouldn't be the least bit surprised if she lived for another ten years!

AH also caught up with some old friends and had a good time with everyone that he contacted, including my youngest girl, Bubbles. He came home looking refreshed and happy after some good quality retail therapy too! We all know how invigorating that can be!

He is now the happy owner of some quality up-to-date Sharks garments. He always glows when he can wear current supporter's gear!

He was only home for about four hours when he had to leave to meet another mate in The Bay for dinner. Again, he had a nice time.

It's good to have him home.

It's also good to finally see the beginning of Wimbledon Tennis Championships tonight!

Aussie, Samantha Stosur has already won her first round match, and the only other Australian playing tonight is Sam Groth. Right now, I'm watching Djokovic play Ward.

I'm considering heading to bed. I don't think Sam Groth can beat the Japanese player, Kei Nishikori, who is seeded fifth and I'd really like to watch Nick Kyrgios and Bernard Tomic play tomorrow night. There are eighteen Australians playing this year and most of them will be playing tomorrow night, so I'm thinking that a good night's sleep will be helpful for me to enjoy tomorrow night's play.

I have fresh clean bamboo sheets to slide in between tonight, which is another reason am feeling enticed!

My morning was quite busy. I worked, bought my coffee, collected my mail, cleared out the back bedroom, washed three loads of bedding and towels, remade our bed, cooked lunch, cleaned the kitchen, fed the chooks, collected the eggs and swept the floors.

I sat down at about 2pm and wasn't required to move again until right now!

Nite all!  

Sunday, June 26, 2016

It's an Art!

I read a story today about 'The Art of Doing Nothing'.

People, especially women, feel it necessary to always be doing something. They feel it necessary to fill their day with activity. People feel guilty for just sitting .. and if they do just sit, they are watching the clock and thinking about what they're going to do when they've finished sitting!

When was the last time that you just sat, alone? No technology, including TV, phone or tablet.  No book or magazine or newspaper. No guilt. Absolutely no distractions whatsoever.

To sit alone with just your thoughts for unlimited time. No music. No clock watching. No thinking about what you SHOULD be doing. Slow down, look within, see and feel how you're doing.

Do less, feel more.

We're always doing for others or doing what we feel is our duty. Whether it's babysitting, caring for a sick loved one, being a wife or husband, cleaning the house, doing the washing, gardening, grocery shopping, visiting our parents, working, paying the bills, taking care of our personal hygiene, doctor's appointments, being a mother or father, grooming the pets, planning meals, fitness & health classes and the list goes on, there is rarely any time left for 'doing nothing'.

I'm talking about people of my generation and older, who don't have full time jobs.

It makes me wonder how, in my younger days, I shared myself between a full time job, three children, a partner, my friends, the house and all of those other duties mentioned above. What about people who have to travel distances to work? That cuts their time even further!

So basically, the whole world is running on empty. There is no time to refuel or gather your thoughts or think about the meaning of your life. The world is robotic. Working long hours to earn enough money to afford the house, the cars, the holidays, the kid's sports and education, the current technology etc etc etc.

I think I've 'almost' mastered the Art of doing nothing (just ask Adoring Husband!). My favourite way to do nothing, is to sit by the river, alone, watching the world go by, while thinking deep thoughts.

My favourite deep thoughts are the ones where I feel incredibly grateful for the life that I have. I consider myself to be one of the lucky ones. A great husband, healthy beautiful loving kids, a perfect grandchild, a roof over my head, wonderful friends and unlimited opportunities to practise any craft that takes my fancy, regular road trips with my BFF, living in a caring and supportive community... what more could a girl want?

It's almost 11pm and I need to be up early for work. Adoring Husband will return from Sydney tomorrow (Monday) at lunch time and my world will return to 'normal'.

Nite all.