Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Cold and Hungry

Posted by MANDI at 8:49 PM 3 comments
You can tell the cold weather has set in. Oh it's been sunny and blue but the temperature only hit 20C today.  I spent the whole day being cold. Despite being inside my office. Despite wearing three layers - long sleeved shirt, vest and cardigan.

And what did I do to combat the cold? I ate. Everything I could find. Every. Thing.

And now I'm drinking a cup of tea and have just scoffed even more chocolate and cookies. And my tummy is really starting to protest. Urgghhh.

I really, really hate being cold but I'm gonna have to come up with a better plan for keeping warm.

Monday, May 21, 2012

Menu's, Musings and Mess

Posted by MANDI at 8:18 PM 1 comments
The mess part first. I know that all mothers feel this but... OMG I can't believe how much time I've spent cleaning the house in the past few weeks. Initially it stayed reasonable clean as I cracked the whip and everyone jumped to and put their stuff away but holy moly! I cleaned on Saturday and I swear that anyone who walked in right now would think it hadn't been done since we moved in. The first time.

And on to menu planning:
I've made buckets of quince paste this weekend and still have quinces to spare. I was planning to stew some, to be frozen, to add to pies and crumbles in the next few months but am not sure I'll get there. If anyone wants some quinces please yell out. Please!!

My menu plan started on Sunday this week. No reason, just the way it was...
Sunday: Roast rolled turkey breast (pre-packaged I bought it at Christmas and took this long to get around to using it) and roasted vegetables.
Monday: Cauliflower and corn soup, Oven baked lamb chops and steamed vegies
Tuesday: Herb and Mustard BBQ Chicken and steamed vegies
Wednesday: Slow Cooker Beef Goulash (part of the freezer cooking stash from a couple of weeks ago) and rice.
Thursday: Lasagna (probably with chips)
Friday: Homemade Fish and Chips
Saturday: Hmmm, don't know... might be able to get Hubby to take us all out for dinner?

Oh, just realised that means chips two nights in a row. Hmmm, might have to think on that a little more. What are you planning to feed your troops for the week?

And for the (semi) regular random Monday Musings...

I had a totally delicious Cauliflower and Corn Soup for lunch at work a couple of weeks ago. It was creamy and thick, spicy and bursting with flavour and I could have eaten it all afternoon. But I had to go back to my office and, despite begging the very French chef for the recipe I left empty handed. So fast forward to last week when I was home almost the whole time with my sick girl and I decided that soup was in order. Specifically Cauli and Corn Soup. So I did a bit of googling, read a whole bunch of different recipes and came up with something that we thought was pretty darn special. Unfortunately I didn't write down how I made it. So I had another go tonight - it's different to last week's effort but still pretty fab. I'll post the recipe later in the week but here's a pic.

I am loving the line up on tv at the moment. For me it goes a little bit like this: Sunday - Downtown Abbey (yay, it's finally back!), Monday - Revenge, Tuesday - Once Upon A Time (first ep was last week but I loved it), Wednesday - Offspring, and Thursday - Grey's (though I've missed the past few weeks because it has been on so late). What are you watching? Anything I should be checking out?

Monday, May 14, 2012

Isn't It Ironic...

Posted by MANDI at 4:25 PM 5 comments
No, not the Alannis Morisette song. My life. Or at least parts of it. What parts? These ones:

- The doctors discovering that I have a (mild!) bleeding disorder and then ordering lots and lots of blood tests to get to the bottom of it. It's to do with not clotting properly and today they took 18 vials of blood - 9 from each arm - to prove it. I'm thinking they're taking it faster than I can make it!

- Having a sucky headcold and craving fluids but most especially looking forward to a nice big bowl of soup for dinner and being told that, because of today's blood tests and the drug they were trying on me to see if it helped the clotting process, I had to restrict my fluid intake for the next 8 hours. Just little sips and not too much. And no, not soup for dinner. Sorry.

- Getting up at 5.30 every morning to walk, watching what I eat and cutting out soft drinks in an attempt to stay at the size I've managed to get down to then buying a face cream that has the term 're-plumping' in its name.

Got any major irony happening in your world?

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Trying For Normal

Posted by MANDI at 3:54 PM 7 comments
So, after the newspaper report on Betsy came the television reporters, then the local papers and it didn't take me long at all to work out that I'm not cut out for a life of fame. The stress levels have been through the roof, my OCD ramped up nicely (on the plus side, man my house is CLEAN!!) and paranoia set in at the grocery store. Yes, you read that right. It got to the point that every time someone so much as looked at me, or what was in my shopping trolley, I assumed they were going to make some comment about Betsy, the news or what had happened. Most of the time they did. But a few times they were just waiting for me to move or wanting to ask if I'd tried the product I'd picked up and did I like it because they'd seen it but hadn't tried it yet. You know, normal grocery shopping kind of conversations.

The phone calls seem to be calming down a little and though we're nowhere near close to giving up the fight to get the shire to face up to the fact that they didn't do their job properly, or the fight to make sure that what happened to Betsy never ever happens again we're trying hard to get life back to normal for the kids as well as for our own sanity. Hubby is still busy with politicians, petitions and people. And I'm supporting him the whole way. But I'm doing it a bit more in the background.

And I'm getting back to meal planning and grocery shopping. To running errands and paying bills. To cuddling my kids and regaining my sense of humour. To be honest the meal planning isn't going so well. And I'm sick with a cold so there's been no grocery shopping (and it's not great for the sense of humour either!). But I'm working on it. You could help by telling me what you're having for dinner this week then, if I think my kids will eat it, I can pinch your idea. So come on, share please!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

A Hell Of A Week

Posted by MANDI at 9:41 PM 5 comments
We've had a hell of a week.

Betsy's brutal death on Tuesday was a massive turning point in our lives. If you're squeamish just skip the next couple of sentences: The dog next door ripped a hole in the fence that had been deemed suitable by the shire to contain a dog that was listed on the dangerous dog register. He attacked Betsy, dragged her through the fence and then mauled her to death. But do you know what's even worse than that? This was the fourth time he'd attacked another dog. And the shire that we live in, the one that happily demands our rates every August, makes sure we adhere to its rules and regulations - especially the ones that make no sense - has ignored, covered up and generally not followed through after every single attack. The last attack resulted in the doggy victim needing 70 stitches. And the vicious dog was returned to his owner, listed on the dangerous dog register and we were all told to let the matter drop as the shire had done all that it could do and we'd be safe now. Well guess what? We weren't and Betsy paid the price. We would never had brought a puppy into our home, our lives and our yard if we had thought for one minute that this would happen. We believed the shire when they said the fence would contain the dog. We believed the shire when they said that the collar the dog had to wear under the conditions of the Dangerous Dog Act would stop it from going near the fence.

This week we made a firm promise that we would not let this go. That we would not rest until we had justice for Betsy. We have spent the week fighting to have the dangerous dog put down, to have the owner forced to take responsibility for her dog, to have the shire face up to its accountability. We've used facebook to get the message out and to help us get people making a lot of noise. Hubby was interviewed by one of the drive-time talk back radio stations. We've spoken to some politicians and emailed and written to others.

In the meantime the kids have been nervous, jumpy, having nightmares and wanting the lights left on all night. They have not mentioned getting another dog even once. And they've been close to panic every time the cat has gone outside, despite the dog next door having been impounded by the ranger. They don't feel safe in their own house. And I'm helpless to do anything about that. But I will make sure they never have to feel like that again. And that no one else's kids have to either.

The good news is that the owner of the dog has finally been given the destruction notice for her dog. And before you get up in arms about that, the dog has attacked one dog and its owner, another dog was attacked twice - 6 months apart - and now it has attacked and killed Betsy. So yes, it is good news. That said, she's still got seven days to appeal the notice so it's definitely not a done deal. And even if it does go through it doesn't mean the battle is over. Now we have to keep fighting. We want the owner to be fined to the full extent available. That's $10,000. It won't bring Betsy back but it might make the owner think twice about getting another dog. And then we're going to keep fighting until the shire gives clear and open disclosure about their mis-management of this whole situation. And then we're going to do our absolute damn best to get the Dangerous Dog Act changed. Because the way it is now? Just doesn't work.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Too Sad

Posted by MANDI at 8:13 PM 7 comments
I was planning a lovely bright and cheery recipe post for tonight but now my heart hurts and I'm too sad to post anything much at all.

Our puppy, Betsy, was killed today. She was 15 months old and just starting to calm down from the "I'm a puppy with waaaaay tooooo much energy and I'm craaaaazzzzzyyyyy" stage. She was starting to be a real member of the family, knowing who she needed to suck up to in order to get treats or pats or the ball thrown for her. She was developing the kind of lovely habits that make a dog so endearing  - like when I leave for my walk at 5.30 each morning she would stretch out and hop off her bed (just outside the back door), stop in front of me for a quick pat and then walk me halfway to the gate. She'd stop at the same spot every morning and look at me like she was saying "you can take it from here, I'm going back to bed." And then she'd meet me back at the gate when I got home again after my walk.

I can't go into much detail about what happened, partly because it was awful and partly because there's a whole lotta stuff that's going on because of it, but she was killed by another dog while she was in our yard.

We're all very sad here tonight and could use whatever good thoughts you can spare. Especially for the kids who loved that crazy, jumping, licking, wet nosed, rounding up, bundle of energy like the extra sister she was.

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