Sunday, June 25, 2017

My friend Sam

I've got a story.  Its only the beginning of a story and my part of this story is only 2 weeks old.
I'm in the Fucked Off stage of the story.  The Cry cause life feels a bit shit and unfair stage.  The fiercely protective stage and I'm only the bystander in this chapter.  Imagine being the main character.  My friend Sam is the main character.  This chapter started just over two weeks ago for me.  Two weeks???!! WTF it feels like two months.
So my friend Sam has a cunty brain tumor.  There I said it and I wrote it down, does that mean it will get the fuck out of her head space now.  Nope cause that's a perfect world and that's not how this chapter works apparently, so says her medical team.  Part of me gets why that arsey tumor picked Sam's brain, if you had to chose one hers would be a pretty epic spot to hang in.  It's full of smart shit and good memories, great advice and big plans.  It doesn't go for bullshit gossip or getting hung up on the small stuff.  Its laid back and easy going.  Its kind and funny and clever, but its hers and you weren't invited tumor and your not wanted.  So get the Fuck out.  If I wrote this chapter, that little beasty would be in a jar on her mantle piece for us to do voodoo on it.  Or we would have had a bon fire on her beach and chucked it in the surf.  Instead we will have to say nice things to it and surround it with all the positive juju vibes so it stays small and then my friend Sam can stay with us a lot longer.  We're not finished with her yet, not by a long shot.
I met Sam through Niels.  You must know Niels, he knows everybody.  They live in their little piece of actual paradise in Whangamata with their two Divine dogs.  It's the whole white picket fence story without the lame picket fence.  Instead its surf boards, cool music, citrus trees, beach walks and styley shit.  I don't think they even own winter clothes anymore.  It's the lifestyle that we all not so secretly want.  We live through them.  Bonus of their life is we get a wicked pad to hang in and drink in and relax in whenever we can get our arses up there.
When all this kicked off Sam started a private message group on FaceBook so she could keep us updated on the hospital stays and the surgery and then the waiting for the results.  While all that part was going on the fb group evolved into Sam's Army,  this amazing safe place full of sunsets and sunrises, funny memories and kick arse love and support.  It wasn't even for me but I felt all of it.  I felt this heart connection with people I hadn't even met.  She had this and We had her.  Then we were all supposed to get the good news and start phase two of supporting her while she did some chemo or radiation or both, the story would then continue into recovery and a Fucken massive party.  That was my plan.  I had that story all written.
But Friday night changed that story.  Terminal.  Grade 4 Glioblastoma.  Don't google it she said.
I googled it.
Its Sunday now.  Two days later.  Two. Two. ironic that, that is our favourite number.  Not important but noteworthy.  Yesterday I told myself that today, was the day to get off the sad train and get on the dance floor at the positive party.  I think like Sam said its going to be an Emotional Roller Coaster.  No rules.  Go with it.  Hands in the air.  I'm going to write when I need too.  She is too.  Everyone has a chapter in this story, this is just mine.


Both these photos involve warm water and copious amounts of booze xx

Sam's beautiful friend Sara has started a givealittle page.  Its a no pressure way to be apart of Sams story.  Heres the link xx

Donate via Givealittle

Thursday, September 24, 2015

I turned 39 and died a little inside

I know I haven't blogged for ages, I'm just going to skip over that and pretend like I've been on here all year.  Lets not dwell on the past, onwards and upwards and all that shit.  Its cause I've just started a new proper adult full time job.  OK I only started that like a month ago so can't use that as an excuse...anyway I said I wasn't going to go on about it.

It was my birthday recently.  The big '3 9'.  and when you get to this age, presents aren't an expectation, more of a bonus when it happens.
But there are 2 people who always make sure I have actual presents wrapped to open.
One of those people is my lovely mother.  I say Lovely cause she is kind and sweet and all things Yellow.  I got the present out of the mail box a few days earlier than my actual special day and it said "Do not open til the 16th"... unfortunately while I was reading and heeding that warning message, the paper accidentally ripped, and before I could avert my eyes I noticed inside was a book.  Books are my crack.  Funnily enough I had just finished a book so what bloody good timing it was that the paper ripped that day and I had to start her book early.  Actually not my fault.
My mother has given me books in the past and they have generally been really different to what I normally would choose, but there's always some background behind the books she picks so I'm always really keen to check out what she sends me.  I have freaken loved all her past choices and have recommended them highly to every other book nerd in my circle.  Until now.......
I read the back, all pretty innocent.  Worked out it was going to be a thriller.  I'm down with that. Not my normal sedate genre but have dabbled in the past and liked where it took me.
Got half way through the story and all my insides curled up and died.  Pretty much just like the characters in this fucken SLASHER HORROR story I had in my hands!!! (Note to the author,: the graphic detail you used was highly inappropriate, disturbing and you hurt my brain.  You are obviously good at what you do and weren't hugged enough as a child?!)  Unfortunately I was far enough through that I had to keep going to make sure the psycho murdering freak show ended like I needed it too.  I literally didn't sleep for 2 nights.  Every time the dog barked, I fair shit myself and had to sleep with the light on.  I was exhausted.  As I was rocking in the fetal position I kept asking my self "Why Lynne Why?" I know I was a shit bag teenager but sweet jesus this is ridiculous payback.
I have now re-gifted it to my Father in Law so that it no longer haunts my beautiful book shelf.
If any one else wants to be scarred by this book you can search your kindles for 'Pretty girls' by Karen Slaughter (should've had half a clue after reading the authors name, I just thought that maybe she married one of the Slaughter boys?)
Anyway Thanks for the birthday surprise Mum, I'll send you my therapy bill xxx

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Foil bags will be the death of me

Help Me...Tell me the secret...
How the fuck do you get a Burning Hot cooked chicken at the supermarket into the silver foil bags they supply without losing your fingerprints or coming away with 3rd degree burns on your palms???
I totally get why they supply them, I'm all for a hot chook.  I'm happy to keep the squirty, crampy food poison away from my stomach but seriously how do you actually get them in the bag?
Obviously I'm not the only one who struggles with this ridiculously planned vessel. 
There were 3 ripped up bags when i got there and I added 2 more to the pile.
Whats the point if you have to rip the bloody bag apart to get it in.  Its not really keeping anything hot anymore is it?  The St John Ambulance could use my left over bags to keep hypothermic patients warm.  More blanket than bag once I'm finished with it.
Do they just do it to give the girls in the deli a laugh.

I get the chicken about half way in and then it just stops and won't go in any further, more attempts at pushing it in just results in ripping the bag further. 
At this point I'm swearing under my breath, through clenched teeth and chucking a couple of toddler tantrum stomps with my feet as well. 
The problem is that you literally can't hold them for more than 3 seconds at a time before you have to drop them or loose layers of skin.
There's also an unwritten rule about how long you can stand there wrestling with that bag without looking dodgy or that your trying to shoplift the steaming poultry.  Although I say if someone is gangsta enough to try and shove one of those down there pants, then they deserve to keep it. 
I think they should provide a hot chook concierge like they do at the petrol pumps at the service station. They could stand by the metal rack of death and put the birds in the bags for you. 
I'm sure they could supply heat resistant gloves for the poor bastard.
Come on Countdown there has to be a better way.  This is Stupid.  And it really hurts.  And you feel like a dick when you can't do it.  I just walk away with half a chicken sticking out of a ripped foil bag taunting me the whole way round the supermarket.  I end up having to run so the chicken doesn't cool down before I get to the checkout.

Is there a secret to this?  What am i doing wrong? Anyone else hate those fucken foil bags?

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chicken and Vege Soup for the Soul

So its pretty common knowledge that me and kitchens aren't super cool mates but its really just because cooking bores me.  I also have the luxury of having a chef for a husband so really why would I? Unfortunately for my children, he travels a lot which forces me to take on the job of feeding our offspring.  No ones died yet so I can't be that bad.
Anyway the one thing I can probably rate myself on is his Chicken and Vege Soup.  I use the term soup loosely because my version is more like a thick chowder.  The husband often says "Can you make it more soupy?" He showed me how to make it and I have most definitely run with it.  There is NOTHING better in winter than having a massive pot of the stuff in my fridge. 
I would eat that shit for breakfast, lunch and dinner.  And I do.

How we do it:

So I always make a big pot after we've eaten a cooked chicken from the supermarket.  I put all the leftover carcass, bones and jelly fatty stuff into a pot half filled with water.  I add 1 tsp of pepper corns, 1 tsp salt, 5-6 grinds on the pepper grinder and 1 tsp of powdered chicken stock.  I also cut up a carrot into chunks and cut up and put in the top part of a leek.  I then put in whatever raw chicken I will be using at the end and let it cook in the pot.  I usually use 4 large Chicken Breasts or 6 Thigh cutlets.  Let that sucker simmer for a good couple of hours.

After the stock has been doing its thing for a while, I put another massive pot (8.5l) on the stove beside it, which I fill to just under half with water.  Chuck in some Salt and Pepper and half a tsp of powdered chicken stock.  Empty 1 bag of Kings Country Chicken Soup mix and 1 bag of Kings Hearty Vegetable Soup Mix in, plus 1 diced onion and leave it on a low bubble for a good 30 mins so that its all nice and cooked before the other veges go in.

Vege Time:
I use about 6 potatoes, 4 Carrots, 1 Kumara, half a pumpkin, 1 leek and sometimes a parsnip.  We use our Food processor to whizz up the veges.  So much easier and quicker than grating them.  It makes the veges a really perfect consistency to cook quickly and become a thick awesome end result.
Add all the veges into the big pot, stirring lots.  Throw some more Salt and Pepper at it.

At this point the raw chicken should be cooked so can be taken out of the stock pot and put to one side for later.  I then drain all the other stuff and am left with a gorgeous stock.  I add about half the stock to the Vege Pot, (add more if you want it to be more soupy and less veges) I add more salt and Pepper and stir, stir, stir.  After a couple of hours of cooking I shred up all the cooked chicken into little pieces and chuck it all in with the veges.

After that its really all about keeping an eye on it so it doesn't catch on the bottom of the pot and just let it simmer for a couple more hours.    The longer the better. 
Soup always seems to taste better the next day.

Serve it up with some crusty bread rolls slathered in homemade Garlic Butter. 
The husband makes a mean Garlic Butter too, maybe that will be my next foodie blog

Happy Days

Monday, July 21, 2014

Bloggity Blog Blog Blog

You can spell so just write.  A friend of mine said that to me a while back and its kinda stuck in my head.  If we weren't dressed in 70s costume at a 40th, in the car park, after a few shandies it would've been a real Maya Angelo/Oprah moment. Thanks Emma.

My parents came to stay with us for a week to be here for my sons 9th Birthday.  His birthday is in Winter so Christchurch can be pretty chilly.  Me being the wonderful daughter that I am, decided to go out and get an electric blanket for the bed they would be sleeping in.  This isn't strictly true, actually if I'm being honest I just happen to pass a display of them at the Warehouse with a $39 sign and threw one in my trolley on the way up to the check out.  But whatever.
When I got home I figured I'd put it on the bed straight away, how hard could it be? Ummm...
First off I thought I had a faulty one cause it only had one control.  It was definitely a queen size but I guess when you spend $39 at the Warehouse it doesn't stretch to 2 controllers.
I laid the blanket on the mattress and then noticed the 3 ties which needed to be tied around the mattress in 3 places.  I think at this point the instructions should have written in bold letters 'Two person job' cause I nearly killed myself trying to keep my balance on the bed base slats whilst squished between the wall and trying to lift the bloody heavy mattress, and then to somehow throw each length of cord to the other side.  I looked like 'crouching hippo hidden Rhino'.  The mattress seem to get heavier and heavier with each passing minute.  I had visions of my family finding me in a very un-lady like position 8 hours later when they couldn't find the TV remote or where they put their shoe.  It was also once the ties were finally bloody tied that I realised the controller was on the opposite side of the bed to the wall socket.  Shit.  Luckily the cord was just long enough to stretch to the socket but it basically took the controller half way under the bed to get there.  I could just imagine Dad having to hold Mums legs while she stretched under the bed to turn it on each night.  By then I was at the 'too fucken bad' stage and chucked a fitted sheet over it and was done.
I explained the drama I had when they arrived, and thought maybe I should've provided a head torch for when they needed to start the controller finding expedition each night, but not 5 minutes later Mum comes out and says "I flipped the blanket over and re-tied it so its all fine now"  WTF Woman??!!  I couldn't believe what I was hearing? she did in 5 minutes what I couldn't in 2 hours.  She wasn't even breaking a sweat.  The woman is a machine.  I can only pray that those 'Super Mother' genes I hope I have inherited will kick in at some point in the near future.
Maybe I need to start taking those bloody Garlic pills she goes on about?!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

My Old Washing Machine was a dick

Nothing is more frustrating on a gorgeous sunny day than your washing machine deciding to be a complete dick.  One week and 10 mounting piles of dirty washing later, we made the decision to head to the shops, ten minutes before they closed cause that's how we roll, and get us a brand spanking new one.
In my head I figured it was going to be a pretty quick and easy purchase.  I just needed something to bung the clothes in, bit of powder, press a button and walk away.  Mistake number One was taking the husband.  Suddenly I was steered away from the cheap $500 machines with the sale stickers on them and found myself standing uncomfortably mesmerised in front of a salesman who really knew far too much about washing machines to be healthy.  At one point during his enthusiastic spiel, I interrupted him and told him how impressed I was with his knowledge of drum size and energy ratings.  He paused mid infomercial and gave me a weird little smile, like he gets compliments like that everyday, and carried on to explain the pros and cons of Front loader vs Top loaders proudly.  I don't mind admitting he was losing me at this point, I was starting to contemplate climbing into one, closing the lid and checking out what was new on face book.  As soon as I heard him mention Bosch and German engineering, I knew he had the husband right where he wanted him, and this guy was good, he never left us alone long enough for me to do that clenched teeth, side whisper about how bloody expensive these machines were and if we are going to spend that much I vote for a new lounge suite??   Next thing I knew I was at the counter with credit card in hand, husband had run out the door to drive the van round the back to pick it up.  He didn't want to pay the extra $50 to have it delivered and installed?! Oh no $50 is too expensive but $1500 for a new machine is a bargain apparently?!
I will say the new machine is earning its place in our laundry nicely.  The 8 yr old is constantly asking if he can put the powder in and turn it on.  If only he wanted to hang it out, bring it in and fold the bloody stuff too.  The clothes and towels seem to be pretty happy about the new appliance as well.  I swear they are lining up to get in.  They come out looking like they've been in a day spa.  If towels had limbs, they would all be climbing into the basket with jazz hands and tap shoes.

Friday, December 6, 2013

The Ghost Mower of Tuahiwi

The beauty of living on an acre in the country is that you can mow your lawns whenever you want.  Today was a stunning 30 Degree day in Christchurch which then continued into a hot awesome summer night.  Sitting outside having some ciders after dinner,  I was enjoying the tranquil distant sounds of all my neighbours begin the chorus of cutting their grass.  I soaked it in until 9pm and then the temptation got too much and I jumped up announcing I too would join the chorus and get my lawns done on such a stunning night.  It all started brilliantly until about 15 minutes into the cut when I realised it was getting dark.  Quickly.  I had not taken into account my neighbours were all on their ride-ons and since mine had been sitting unconscious in the garden shed for the past couple of months, I had been going old school and using the normal electric one.  I sped up to a brisk speedy walk as the grass became harder to see where I was going or where I had been.  I think I mowed the same strip 3 times and missed a substantial area over by the sandpit and along the hedge.  I won't actually know until tomorrow just how bad it is.  It's a bit like deciding to cut your mates hair when your drunk.  Its not til the next day that you realise what a fucken stupid idea that was.  I started panicking as the night set in and I still had half a lawn to go.  I was imagining my neighbours now sitting outside with a cold beer shaking their heads. Rookie Mistake.  I was becoming the Ghost Mower of Tuahiwi.  I had night bugs smashing into my face and at one point I went to pick up a Dog Bone which turned out to be a big squishy dog shit.  Luckily I had my trusty gardening gloves on so I just chucked it to one side and kept on mowing.  I wasn't giving up until the lawn was finished, even though I had now no idea when that was since I couldn't see a bloody thing.  I can't even sit back now and enjoy the satisfaction of a freshly mown law.  I'll probably just have to do the whole thing again tomorrow.  Stink One. What a Dick!