Easter Eggs Rule!

You know, I’m not sure why this is but whereas I could never manage to eat an entire block of chocolate on my own and have never had any real desire to do so anyway, I can happily scoff Easter Eggs until the cows come home (and may they take their own sweet time doing that).

Maybe it’s the shape or possibly because the chocolate is so thin but whatever it is, I have never outgrown my passion for them and you know what? I offer no excuse whatsoever for the mega indulgence but hey, I only do it once a year! But it’s just the eggs; the chocolate bunnies and chickens have no appeal for me at all.

But apparently I’m not alone in the Easter Egg passion thingy which also makes me feel a whole lot better about it. Like, I have a friend who stocks up on Easter Eggs for several weeks leading up to the event and then totally pigs out daily for the next fortnight, starting from Easter Sunday. Another has the “family” eggs and then she has her hidden stash which she visits when the kids are away on a sleepover or something and when her hubby works late and, like me, she doesn’t feel a shred of guilt.

Sure, I know this is only February and Easter is not until April so it’s a tad early to be rabbiting on about chocolate eggs but I can’t help myself. A lot of the shops here began stocking them in January (which is just ridiculous really) and it’s taken some amazing willpower on my part NOT to grab some on my way to the fruit and vegies isle and I suppose you’re wondering why, seeing as I’ve just admitted to being totally addicted to them but the thing is I’m a bit of a traditionalist and would rather wait until about a week before the Big Day…and then pounce. It’s more fun that way.

Besides, I love the anticipation but if I gave into it now I’d be all anticipated out by April which could spoil the moment and I refuse to let me do that to myself

It’s just one of those things and I flatly refuse to give it up. My friend with the secret stash also refuses to give it up and my stockpiling friend figures he may as well throw in his lot with us and egg shop till he drops… again. The only hassle now is that we have to wait until April this year! But hey, I Am Woman! I can do this!

I think…..




The Diner

This short story was the result of a task where writers were given a title (in this case “The Diner”) and asked to write a story within a specified word count. It was a great exercise in creativity and also my first attempt at writing something with a twist. It got some quite good reviews and I’m placing it here today because it came to mind through the week, and…well…just enjoy.


On such a pleasantly mild evening, it seemed almost sinful to dine indoors and Genevieve lingered before the open window, gazing out at nothing really as she breathed deeply of the floral green fragrance of the early spring dusk. She sighed inwardly and then flinched when the family clatter became too loud, fracturing her reverie and snapping her back into the room.

In the background a small voice whined that it didn’t like peas while another griped about having to set the table and Genevieve knew she had to take a break, if only for a little while. She moved away from the window and turned toward the door. “I’m going out” she called “but I won’t be too long. Don’t hold dinner for me though, I’ll get something while I’m gone.” She wasn’t sure if anyone had really heard or even if they’d notice immediately that she’d gone but Genevieve dismissed it all as she slipped quietly out into the twilight.

She was hungry and excited by the prospect of dining alfresco on such a beautiful evening and looking forward to a leisurely repast with just her own thoughts for company. The hustle and noise of her family had become difficult to deal with of late and she needed some space, even if it was only for a short time. She thought briefly of her own babies; an unplanned pregnancy that had resulted in twins and while she loved them and her family had been so supportive, Genevieve sometimes longed for those days when life was less complicated. The twins were well sated though and fast asleep but she knew her family would see to them if they woke.

The cobbled lane lead her away, a pretty by-way flanked with thick leafy trees that arched overhead, providing cool green shade for the traveler through the hot months of Summer. But now, in the early evening, the moonlight trickled through the canopy, splashing her path with silver and Genevieve was eager to reach her destination. The quail was superb and the fish a delight and she tried to decide on which she’d dine as she stepped lightly along the cobbled way.

On arrival she could smell the quail and so it was decided. She didn’t have to wait long for her meal either which was one of the things she loved about this place. Not for her the long wait for dinner to finally arrive. It was so peaceful and as she slowly savored every mouthful she looked out onto the ferns and the pond that nestled just below the natural stone terrace. It was such a lovely place and she’d missed it over the last months.

She was feeling at peace until an unbidden sadness intruded upon her thoughts, an old sadness, but no less poignant for that and Genevieve found herself remembering when she had come here with her lover. A dangerously handsome wanderer but she had been smitten with his song and his long dark hair and his compelling eyes of deep green flecked with gold. It should never have been but she felt powerless to resist the desires he had invoked in her. Theirs had been a swift wild passion that had burned as brightly as the sun…and then he was gone. Genevieve had hidden her grief from her family and then, not long after, had felt the first flickers of the new life within her. When her body began to swell her family had guessed but did not turn her out or speak harshly to her and when her time was upon her she endured the birth in silence and there was never any talk that she would have to give her babies up. Of their father’s whereabouts she knew nothing, but her sons had inherited his dark gypsy looks.

The veil of night was closing in quickly now and she knew she should be heading? home, yet she lingered a little longer on the terrace and let the memories touch her once more before finally setting them free and as they left her, she sent a farewell in their wake and wished them god-speed, a small part of her hoping they may find the wanderer and whisper something of her to his soul, if only fleetingly, before slipping forever away.

But she had been right to come out tonight for her spirits felt lighter than they had in a very long time. However it was time to leave.

It was now full dark? and Genevieve, having daintily licked her paws and washed her face, stood and fluffed out her thick golden fur. The night was still young but she took her leave of the glade and moved swiftly back along the cobbled lane. All felt well in her world and she was eager to return to her kittens.

Some things are actually better than chocolate!

The subject just happened to be snack foods. You know, the packet-to-mouth stuff that so many of us reach for when reading, watching TV or working away at something and it would seem that just about everyone I know has a particular favourite that makes them feel all warm and fuzzy if they know that have a store in the cupboard.

One of the most popular is chocolate in it’s various forms and I can go with that, having a couple of favourites in that range myself but when it really comes down to it, I have to be in the mood for chocolate or it looses its appeal. Except if it’s in the form of Easter Eggs. For some reason I can happily chomp my way through a pile of these and love it in a way I could not do with a chocolate bar. I’d offer a possible explanation for that except I don’t have one. Anyway…

Corn chips ( the plain original ones, not the cheese-drowned or other flavours) are my weakness and if I know I have a couple of packs stashed away then I’m a happy woman. It’s the same with pretzels. In the absence of corn chips I can cope with pretzels just as well and while some of my friends view them as a poor substitute for chocolate, I have to say that when ensconced with a good book or favourite TV show I’d much rather crunch my way through them than a bloc of choc.

In defence of chocolate snacks however, I have to admit that Peanut M&Ms run a very close second to corn chips and pretzels. I did admit it actually, during the snack food debate, and it did have a mollifying effect on my choc-snacking friends and lead them to agree that I may be a normal female after all. Well of course I’m normal! I drink frothy coffee don’t I? I also love shoes, avoid blokey sports on TV like the plague, have bad hair days and Facebook! Like, hello!

But snack foods are a funny thing. Sure guys will snack on stuff occasionally but on the whole it’s us girls who tend to reach for them more often which could explain why the snack food industry tends to be more female focused (that’s how it looks to me anyway) and also seems to be very canny about what women want when it comes to nibbly things. I’m just relieved they came up with corn chips and pretzels.

The subject took a brief detour to Hottest Guy on the Planet and we all agreed it had to be Johnny Depp and then someone spoiled it by asking if anyone had tried some new chocolatey thing that’s hit the market. Turns out they all have and immediately rated it to die for. I’ve tried it too but would die before I ever ate it again. Yuck!

To each her own I suppose.

Daily Rituals

I think everyone has them; those quirky little routines and habits that make their personal world go round. Some are so simple as to barely register a mention while others seem strange enough to be worthy of medication but the fact remains that most of us have them and stick to them like glue.

Mine is a cup of tea first thing in the morning (following the glass of water that is actually the first thing, now I come to think of it) but where as I can cope if I don’t have that glass of water, the whole day just feels wrong if I don’t get that first cup of tea. It’s just part of my routine and where as I’m happy to guzzle coffee for the rest of the day, it totally lacks appeal for that First Hot Drink of the Day. Look, I don’t know either, it’s just the way it is with me!

It’s rare that I vary from it and when I do it’s only because it’s been forced on me by an empty tea cannister. I get that moment of “oh no!” followed by an entire day that feels somehow out of sync and it’s all because I didn’t get that morning cuppa! By the way, why is it that tea is referred to as a cuppa but coffee isn’t?

Anyway, compared to some of the quirky behaviour I’m aware of in others, maybe my little tea thingy isn’t all that bad and I know other morning tea drinkers in the same boat here but there are others out there that strike me as more “bent” than quirk. Like one acquaintance from years ago who could not cope if any of the foods on his plate touched each other and as a result, he never ate out. Then there was another would have to hang out her washing using pegs the same colour as the wash items. “But what happens if it’s more than one colour?” I asked her one day “Lisa! How many times have you seen me in, or with something multicoloured?!” she replied. Even her linen was mono-hued.

At least I am not that extreme when it comes to hanging out washing! I may use pegs of the same colour for each item but they don’t have to match the item colour as well!!! I mean, really!

But I also remember the work friend who had a different sock colour for every day of the week. Like, he couldn’t wear grey on Mondays because that was the Thursday colour and so it went on. It drove his wife nuts apparently.  And another simply had to test the water temperature of his swimming pool before he’d immerse so much as a toe. It might be a lovely hot sunny day and the rest of the family in there having fun but he’d be at the edge of the pool, thermometer in hand and if the water temp had not reached whatever it had to be in his mind (and I don’t remember on account of it being his quirk not mine) then he was not diving in.

So there you go, my cup of tea thingy sounds almost normal now, doesn’t it! Even to me!

Why I don’t Wii!

My apologies in advance to everyone who owns a Wii. That being said however, I find I am continually asking myself why anyone would feel the need to fork out for a game console thingy so they could get active/fit/whatever in their lounge room when they could just as easily pop out into the real world and do it all for a lot less and in many cases, for free!

It would be a safer for a start because there’s a lot less chance of flinging yourself into the TV, tripping over the coffee table, shattering the prized antique object, hyping the dog, scaring the cat or dumping an entire bookshelf on yourself  in the heat of the moment if you are not actually leaping around in the lounge room to begin with. Secondly, you get to meet real people when you go outside so you can up your social skills at the same time as you hone your fitness level. Seriously, this has gotta be a plus in most cases. Besides, going out and doing it for real allows you to get some fresh air, sunlight and a better sense of the world outside your door.

But my feelings about popping out to buy a thing so you can play tennis or something inside the house had me close to popping a gasket when I saw an article about putting them in classrooms so the kiddies could get “active”. Hello!!!  Playground outside with lots of play equipment and space to run around!!! So why the Wii???

Thing is, I know people who have forked out for one of these along with all the accompanying games and attachments and guess what? They got one hell of a workout to begin with but it rarely gets used now that the novelty has worn off (which happened pretty quickly) so I’ve come to the conclusion that if a pricey gadget fails to get people regularly off the couch then not much else will. Plus these things take up a surprising amount of  space. And collect dust.

Meanwhile, retailers are still plugging them as a great way to get entertained, get active, get fit and to get social (?) but the whole thing just bores me silly. Sorry but it really does and in all honestly, I’d rather watch grass grow and before anyone starts…yes, I have played a few Wii games at a friend’s place and no, I did not get all spaced out on joy and bliss as a result. I really was just bored.

Scrabble is way more fun anyway!


Why I’d rather read a book

I love books. I love the smell of them and the feel of them and sound of the pages turning. I can lose myself in a good book very easily and once I’m in I’m deaf and blind to things like ringing telephones, kids wanting things, repeats of repeats of The Simpsons etc, etc. It’s what happens when you’re an avid reader I guess and could explain why I get all fidgety when I don’t have one on the hop.

Fortunately I have a good library at my disposal in my closest town and a bloke who is also a big reader and doesn’t mind me casing his titles when I’m at his place and, to make it fair, I will happily lend him any of mine that he hasn’t read so it all works out even in the end.

I can’t say the same for films though. It’s not that I don’t enjoy them but they obviously don’t have the same all-consuming effect on me because the telephone and the kids etc, can actually break in, even when I’m really engrossed in what’s happening on screen. With a book you can pop in a bookmark to save your place and pick it up again whenever, whereas with a flick on television you can’t. Sure, with a DVD you can pause it and even go back to a bit you missed because of kids or telephones but it’s just not the same thing at all. DVDs don’t have that lovely smell either.

Fortunately, Twin I is also a reader so if I’m buried in a book he totally understands and will actually go and make his own snack (he’s definitely old enough to do so and food is usually what he’s after) whereas Daughter is only really discoving the joys of the printed word (outside of Facebook, emails, texts etc) now. She does like books though and despite her penchant for words on screens she is drawn to actual books for the same reason I am; the feel, the smell and the sound. At this rate she may actually read one from go to whoa one day, unlike during her school years when the thought of having to read an entire book almost sent her into a decline and then we all suffered.

Being a big reader though means I have to be very strong and resist the urge to pick up the latest one and start reading when I know I have other stuff I need to do because I know that once I’ve picked up that book…!!!  So it’s a great exercise in will power and I’ve found the exercise can even carry over to other areas of my life. I actually walked down the confectionery isle the last time I visited the supermarket and did not..repeat…Did Not…grab a couple of packs of Peanut M&Ms on my way past. That’s a biggie, I’m tellin’ ya!

Meanwhile, I have three unread books beckoning from the coffee table. I haven’t decided yet which one to read first but that’s okay, I can work that out while I’m doing the dishes.

If the world doesn’t end this year…

There’s a few things I think I’d  like to put in motion for the future and, assuming the world doesn’t end this year, they just might play out well over the next 12 months and hopefully, into the years that follow. That’s the game plan anyway.

For starters, having recently completed one book, a novella that’s currently under perusal with a publisher (fingers crossed!) I wouldn’t mind starting another and going for novel length this time and while one side of me is squealing “OMG Lisa! What are you thinking…!!!” there’s the other side that’s urging me to go for it and tossing ideas at me left, right and centre. Sure, writing a book is a challenge but if you hit the right formula and write a good one…

But anyway, that’s just one of the things simmering away there. Another is a move to a quiet coastal area with a more moderate climate and a pretty view. Right now a second book is looking a lot more likely than a move to the coast but where there’s life there’s hope which inevitable leads to where there’s a will there’s a way! I know I could definitely write a great book in a setting like that but if I’m going to be honest here I should add that I could write it just as well where I am so I have no valid excuse whatsoever for not getting stuck into it. (Sigh)

Manuscripts and house moves aside though, I am also on a feverish search for a hair straightening product that doesn’t require heat treatment via hairdryers and straighteners to “activate” it’s properties in order for it to actually do the job. Current treatments are pricey and don’t do the deed without the heat! Thing is, the heating gadgets will do it without the product which is raising a lot of question marks with me. All the same, I just know that such a find would definitely make 2012 and beyond just dandy for me, assuming the planet doesn’t go south on December 21, so I’m on the hunt.

But seriously, I would willingly tramp barefoot across a huge stadium liberally scattered with Lego for a nice, time-saving wash-and-wear straightening product so if anyone out there actually knows of one please, pleeeeeeeeeze tell me what it is!

I’m also planning a more practical layout for my home office, a general de-clutter (less to move if that coastal thing comes good) and to generate my own good luck. Sounds like a good life-plan to me!

Unless the planet goes kaput in December. I’ll be really peed off then!




Not another New Year’s Eve!!!

Okay, no doubt just about everyone out there is planning some sort of knees-up for December 31.  But are you planning the kind of Do where you will actually remember it in the morning or are you leaning towards the other sort where you could wake up just about anywhere and chances are you won’t have a clue where that is, let alone who all those people are that you must have partied so hard with?

The general assumption is that if you can’t remember a darned thing then you must have had a really good time. Pity it’s all a blank though. Ditto if you wake up so hung over that you just want to crawl into a hole and die as apparently that’s also a fair indication that you had a wow of a night.

Something to ponder though regarding the above. a) If you had such a great time, why is it that you have to feel so totally You Know What the following morning and b) is it really worth the blinding headache, fuzzy vision and the queasy tummy? If you think it’s definitely worth every painful episode you’ll experience upon waking than by all means knock yourself out!

But what is it about New Year that makes so many of us want to get totally leglessly drunk anyway? Sure, it’s definitely a drink-worthy occasion and I can appreciate that, even though I’m a minimal type drinker myself, but do people seriously enjoy taking unscheduled face-dives into floors/pavements/carpets/whatever? Having never ever drunk myself into a state of such oblivion, I find I’m unable to appreciate the attraction of falling flat on my face (or any part of my anatomy) so maybe I’m missing something here. On the other hand, I still have all my teeth.

Which brings us back to what you have in mind to see out 2011 and welcome in 2012 and even more to the point, whether you plan to remember it! I like to go outside with some nibblies, a glass of red and stargaze. It helps that I live in a rural area as there’s no relflected light to spoil the view and because it’s summer here in Australia, it’s very very pleasant to be outside. It’s even better if I can do it with a few close friends but it’s just as good when I spend it with the kids instead as they are old enough now to stay awake and not whinge. It’s just a laid-back kind of night and it’s lovely.

And I can even remember it in the morning!


Christmas again??!

I don’t know,  seems like Christmas 2010 was like,  just a month ago and yet here we are again in 2011! To be honest I haven’t even thought about it and then realised it’s about a week away and I haven’t even sent out a card. But hey, I have been busy with a lot of things at once so…

As a result I have nothing planned but maybe that’s not such a bad thing and I have also decided that I’m not going to run myself ragged trying to prepare for it because I just don’t see the point. To be honest I abhor the rabid commercialism that seems to get worse every year and am totally over the whining that I get lumbered with from a couple of aquaintances over gifts someone has given them. Whatever happened to “it’s the thought that counts”?

The good thing about Christmas now that I’m an adult is that I can choose who I spend it with. With my kids naturally and we have a really good time together but I can avoid those I’d rather…well…avoid! I know, that sounds terrible but who ever said that one must spend Christmas Day hanging with people  that one doesn’t really like? I don’t see the point in spending a day, or even part of a day with people I have nothing in common with and am grateful that these days I don’t have to. That’s the beauty of moving to a completely different and distant area. A lot of  the people I used to know have no idea where I am now. It wasn’t something I did deliberately, it just turned out that way and we all lost touch a long, long time ago. The upside of losing touch though is that surprise visitors are very, very rare and to be honest I tend to see this as a good thing as I can’t get caught in my daggy trackies and bad hair by the sudden appearance of someone on the doorstep who will pass it around to everyone else “Oh my god, Lisa looked a total mess!”

In my own defence, I don’t generally look a total mess but do have the occasional day when I just want to veg out and Christmas Day tends to be one of them. We eat casual and there’s no structure or rush or any other organisation and it’s just great! I love it! We can just relax and be ourselves and not have to try to please everyone at once. It’s definitely the way to spend the day. Doing absolutely nothing.

Just so long as there’s lots of chocolate.



A cat tale

I’m cat sitting this weekend. I know,  it’s not exactly news but this little cat’s story is an interesting one and unlike many stories about abandoned animals, this one has a happy ending…

A few years ago a close friend of mine (The Bloke) decided to get another cat, having lost his first in tragic circumstances and he figured the best way to go about getting a new feline friend was to pay a visit to a cat shelter and save a little life. He’s like that, which is one of the reasons he’s my friend.

Anyway, having made the decision he took himself off to said cat shelter to choose a new little mate to join him out on his rural property. He found several potential little mates there actually who were all affectionate and cuddly and one little tortoiseshell who was none of the above. The shelter didn’t have a lot of history on her other than that she’d had kittens and had been desexed but they were fairly sure they would never be able to place her in a home as she was very aggressive and unpredictable.

No one really knows for sure, but it’s my guess this little cat had a very bad start to life and her only exposure to humans had been traumatic which would explain why she would lash out if you got too close. Even if you didn’t get too close! Chances were she may have been just plain feral but everything about her screamed just plain cruelty case! The staff at the shelter added that the only thing they felt they could do was to have her put down. Anyway, her fate struck a chord with The Bloke and being the kind of guy who tends to stand up for the underdog (in this case, undercat) he decided to take her off death row and cart her home with him instead and the people at the shelter were probably relieved to see this pussycat get a reprieve but to be fair, they did offer to take her back if it didn’t work out.

And so began the process of showing her that life could be good after all and that there were decent humans in the world who would not hurt her or frighten her or do any of the things that we think must have happened to her before she ended up at the shelter and, over time, she started to believe it. It’s been a long road though. Sure, she still has her little ways but hey, what feline doesn’t, but she no longer sees everyone as a potential foe who needs killing and maiming etc. (We didn’t call her Lightning Paws for nothing, hon!!!)

Initially she was the hissiest, bitiest, scratchiest little bundly of feisty fury you ever saw in all your life! Admittedly she did have the odd calmer moment that could deceive the unwary but touching her was still akin to dicing with death and, well, it was often better to just talk to her in soothing tones from a really safe distance. We all did that for quite a while actually. But time can heal many things and it eventually began to work on this cute little cat.

Today she is no longer as inclined to take your face off as she used to be.  Still could if she wanted to but she no longer seems to see it as the only option. You can actually pat her now with no fear of losing an arm and even pick her up for a (cautious) cuddle! Pretty amazing for a pussycat who would kill you as quick as look at you when The Bloke first brought her home.

It’s all been so worth it though and to see her playing with toys, coming up for a pat or a cuddle with no fear in her eyes and generally running around like any happy puss does is really something. Right now she’s rubbing against my legs while I write this and I can’t help thinking that had it not been for The Bloke, she would not be here at all and I’ve come to the conclusion that “something” must have sent him to that particular shelter to find her. I believe in things like that.

See what I meant about the happy ending?