Monday, March 5, 2012

A word on the clean sweep....

When I first mentioned to my husband that I was using a straw broom to sweep our carpets in preference to using our vacuum cleaner I think he envisaged something akin to this great shot from a blog by a lady who seems to have similar ideas to my own...

When in actual fact, I was referring to this sort of model...

My Mum had one of these back in the sixties and seventies, and we used it until we wore it down to the stubble near the second last row of stitching near the top. It served us well, but was eventually retired for a soft broom and carpet sweeper.

This little thing seemed effective, but frankly never did anywhere near as good a job as the old straw broom.

Of course, nowadays, we've graduated to a Dyson vacuum cleaner in our home, complete with a little tray of attachments that look somewhat surgical in nature.

And guess what...the straw broom STILL does a better job.

Do you ever wonder why we use all these labour saving devices, and then go and join a utterly crazy!

My aerobic workout consists of sweeping every inch of our four bedroom house with my straw broom. It gets into all the corners, picks up lint, and removes dirt like you would not believe.

It uses no power, lasts for ages, stores neatly away without cords everywhere, and can be used by anyone at a moments notice.

And of course, I can use it as transportation on All Hallows Eve....mwah-ha-haaaa....

Try a straw broom...I bet you like it too.

Are you a Home Based Warrior?

If you are looking for this post, it can now be found at my original blog...

A Tray of Bliss...

Squishy Marshmallows...clouds in your mouth!

Okay, I've used someone elses photo as my camera is on the blink as we say here in Oz.

But can I say that dujour mags' recipe is not a patch on mine.

Mine is super easy and super yummy and my daughter says it's like eating a cloud...cute.

If you prefer more solid ones, add more gelatine. This is another thing that needs a bit of space in the fridge for storing so make sure you've got room before you start!


Measuring jug
Extra Large mixing bowl
Lamington tray and loaf tin lined with paper
Electric beaters
Large spoon
Measuring cups
Freezer bag for coating
Large container for storing. I use my Tupperware marinating container and an old biscuit tin lined with baking paper. Don't stack them in layers like in the pic for storage, as they will go gooey.

2 cups white sugar
2 tablespoons gelatine powder1 teaspoon vanilla extract
700mls boiling water
1-2 cups dessicated coconut, icing sugar or cornflour to coat

Put the sugar into your large bowl.
Measure the boiling water into the measuring jug, and add 500mls of it to the sugar and stir for a minute or two to dissolve it.
Add the gelatine to the remaining 200mls of boiling water left in the jug, and stir until it dissolves.
Add the vanilla extract to the sugar solution.
Now, you can allow it to cool slightly, but I don't bother. Add the gelatine mixture to the sugar mixture and start beating with your mixer.
You need to keep beating until it's shiny, white and thick. It usually takes about 7-10 minutes here. It will cool significantly in the process.
Once it's really thick, kind of like the texture of meringue when you make pavlova, or thick softly whipped cream, it's ready.
Quickly pour it into the lined trays and refrigerate it for about 2 hours. Sometimes, like yesterday, we put 4 or 5 random drops of food colouring on the surface and run a skewer through the unset marshmallow, to make marbled marshmallows. Pretty! That's an idea I pinched from Donna Hay :)
Then simply cut into large squares and toss in dessicated coconut or icing sugar or cornflour. We do it by putting the coating in a freezer bag, and adding 2-3 marshmallows at a time and tossing them around in the bag.
This makes about 40 large marshmallows.

Sometimes I find that the marshmallow separates slightly and we end up with a layer of flavoured gelatine at the bottom. I don't know why this happens. It could be insufficent beating, temperature, humidity or something else. Maybe someone knows?
But it's only a bare millimetre thick and doesn't affect the flavour of the marshmallows, and in fact if we marbled them, it looks quite pretty. So don't be concerned if this happens.


The Housework Fairy..songs just won't do it for me..

Are these guys SERIOUS???

I've seen these things from time to time. They're meant to make one want to do the housework. I guess the strategy is that singing along to some of these little gems will lighten your load. Let me give you a sample of some of the tracks...this is only some of them...

CD11. Queen - I Want To Break Free
2. Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - December '63 (Oh What A Night)
3. Dolly Parton - 9 To 5
4. The Bangles - Manic Monday
5. Bobby McFerrin - Don't Worry Be Happy
1. Katy Perry - Hot N Cold
2. Lily Allen - The Fear
3. Kylie Minogue - Wow
4. KT Tunstall - Suddenly I See
5. Corinne Bailey Rae - Put Your Records On
1. Cyndi Lauper - Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
2. The Weather Girls - It's Raining Men
3. KC & The Sunshine Band - Give It Up
4. Duran Duran - Rio
5. Kim Wilde - Kids In America
1. Wings - Let `Em In
2. Hot Chocolate - You Sexy Thing
3. Jean Knight - Mr Big Stuff
4. The Chiffons - Sweet Talkin' Guy
5. Freda Payne - Band Of Gold
1. Peggy Lee - Fever
2. Frank Sinatra - Come Fly With Me
3. Julie London - Fly Me To The Moon
4. Frank Sinatra Love And Marriage
5. Dean Martin & Helen O'Connell - How D'Ya Like Your Eggs In The Morning

Look...I'm sorry...but singing along to Don't You Want Me Baby by Human League or a bit of Hot Chocolate used to be my thing...about 30 years ago.

Frankly I would just find it depressing to be swishing around with my swivel head mop while reliving my mispent youth in my head.

Dancing with the Dyson is never going to live up to memories of Bus Stop-ing, or Nutbush City Limiting with the crowd on the dance floor of Mamies nightclub, when I was a teeny weeny girl with a waist size the span of my hand, and legs up to 'there'.

Sugar soaping the walls just isn't the same as singing along to Sugar Baby Love or Sugar, Sugar in the light of the mirror ball, so don't try and cheer me up.

A girl doesn't need Housework Songs. She needs a Housework Fairy. And preferably one like this... I said...don't try and cheer me up.

Housework's just not right.

A Home of their own...How the NDIS will help...

My son has a home of his own, as every young person should. It's not big and it's not grand, but he's put his stamp on it and it's his.

Now you might think that this has been an easy process when I say it 'just like that'. But you would be wrong. The hoops we've been made to jump through to get to this point would make a strong man weep.

One would assume in this enlightened day and age in a civilised culture such as we have here in Australia, that when a young person with a disability says that want to live independently, the corporate and government processes would wholeheartedly support them.

You would be wrong.

Because it's not just the physical 'roof over the head' for many of these young people. It's finding a way for them to live a supported life with the assistance of many others, who, by way of their involvement, need to be remunerated. In other words, you need paid support workers.

And for someone like our guy, that support does not come cheap.

Now, in some countries, this paid support is indeed a 'given'. It's just there. Not here in Australia, although that is changing. My husband and I have had to lobby politicians on all sides of the track relentlessly, doggedly and persistently for 5 years.

But finally it's happening. We've had word that a funding package has been approved for our guy, for him to be funded for the maximum amount on a permanent basis. The feelings of relief for him and for us are immeasurable.

Sadly there are many families like ours, who do not have the determination, werewithall or internal strength to do what we've done.

So please, when the time comes, support the introduction of the NDIS or the National Disability Insurance Scheme here in Australia.

For this is the only way that people with a disability and their families can seek to live out their lives with the dignity and choices that the rest of us take for granted.


Sunday, March 4, 2012


I've been absent for a while.

I needed some surgery and frankly, some serenity.

Bereft of a lavender field such as the one pictured, I resorted to retreating to home and hearth.

I've accomplished much in doing so and I'll be sharing some of it very soon.

Meanwhile, thanks for hanging in there with me.