Saturday, December 25, 2010


Ahh Christmas! Love it. Hate the preparation but love the day itself and all that wonderful thought-provoking stuff behind the Reason.  I also love the traditions that we have built up in our family over the years. My kids probably won't remember many of the presents they received growing up (except maybe for that terrifying walking, roaring lion with the flashing red eyes that my mum bought for Beloved's grandson) but I can guarantee that they'll remember the Christmas Eve customs that have been in place for the last couple of decades. Things like listening out for Santa's sleigh bells, preparing his supper, putting out stockings and knowing that in the morning they'll be chocca with goodies with snowy footprints all over the lounge (that seem suspiciously like baking soda dropped in the shape of Mum's jandals). But the one that stands out for me is....drum roll please....the annual CLEANING OF THE TOILET(S). When a large man of advanced years has to deliver presents right around the globe while being plied with milk, cookies and mulled wine, it makes sense that he just might need to make a pitstop once in a while.  After all, he is just a man.  Last year the kids were actually fighting over who would get to do which loo.
C making sure that T has completed the job up to her high standards

We have a new fostie this Christmas and it all seems a bit foreign to him. He'd never seen a Christmas stocking before last night so he wasn't all that convinced when he was presented with a toilet brush.

One tradition I haven't been able to come to grips with is sending out Christmas cards. They're not cheap, you have to line up for half an hour to buy a stamp, they usually end up in the paper recycling bin by January and...I'm just a bit too...lazy.  Shocking I know but sadly true.  If I give a card, I'd much rather deliver it by hand and preferably with a gift.  Consequently a lot of friends have given up on sending cards out to me so my cards tend to be more consipcuous by their absence. This inactivity of mine stunned Beloved when we first married and his suggestion that I make up one of those corny family newsletters wasn't met with much enthusiasm by me either. 
NOT my wall!
A few Christmas Eves ago we got a call that some friends were popping in for a visit. I wasn't totally prepared for this and realised that things were looking a bit sparse on the decoration side - this was in the days before I purchased my giant inflatable Santa and Rudolph. What can I say? I panicked. String was found and hung from wall to wall across the ceiling with sticky tape. You can fix just about any problem with string and sticky tape. Cupboards and drawers were trashed as I managed to pull out every pack of budget Christmas card Beloved had collected over the years. I had those babies strung up and all evidence tidied away just as our visitors pulled into the driveway. It was shaping up to be a brilliant plan as our string of cards was admired:  "Oooooh, you've got a lot of cards!" (which pretty much translates to "Ooooooh, you're much more popular than we are!"). 

I would have gotten away with it if not for the question that followed: "Errrrmmmm....why don't all those cards have anything written inside them?"  To which Beloved replied, "Ange will explain..."

Merry Christmas all

Friday, December 24, 2010

Don't think of an elephant

I have the sudden urge to grow a mango tree. Not because I even like mangoes, but because during a conversation with Zeeb I learned that it's not exactly within the confines of NZ law to grow a mango from the seed of the fruit imported into the country for the sole purpose of eating. I did not know that and for that very reason, I desperately want to give it a go, not because I have a criminal mind but...because I've been told NOT to. Zeeb confessed that she bought a mango and has been secretly trying to get the seed to germinate and I was quietly impressed. It seems that the apple (or in this case, the mango) doesn't fall far from the tree. I also just happen to have a mango seed that I've been watching closely. But nothing has happened and I'm starting to get bored with it so I think I'll stick with tomatoes.

Thoughts are difficult to rein in from time to time. When you know you shouldn't think about something; when you've been expressly told not to think about something, you can guarantee that the very something you're not supposed to think about will turn into an elephant that you're not supposed to be thinking about.

The other evening I was on my way out for a banana split with R - something I enjoy immensely because R is totally awesome and usually splits her split in half so that I generally end up with one-and-a-half desserts. Don't you just love friends that feed you? Anyway, I was driving along, trying not to think about R's half of a banana split that I was hopefully going to eat (it would be rude to expect it, wouldn't it?) and I was feeling quite pleased with myself for being so in control of that elephant when something caught my attention at the reserve on the corner. There was a group of kids playing "something-that-involves-a-rugby-ball" and supervising the group was a very fine speciman of Samoan manliness. This guy had a six-pack, pecs, a six-pack, biceps...did I mention that he had a six-pack?
It's not that I was distracted from my driving or anything, but it was pretty difficult to miss him and impossible not to appreciate...ummm...God's handiwork. Imagine my HORROR when I realised that he was one of our STUDENTS from SCHOOL! I had taught him the 9 x tables just a couple of years earlier. This kid in a man's body is younger than two of my own kids! Get that stampede of elephants out of my head!!!! In fact, while you're at it, could somebody please gauge out my eyes while he goes and puts a shirt on? Although not as unpleasant, the feeling was almost as bad as when our 2IC changed his shirt in front of me and I was exposed to a hairy snail trail working its way over his lint-filled belly button. *Shudder* there was no six-pack on that occasion and I wouldn't have objected to being struck blind then either!

So I'm giving up on mango trees and six-packs. I want nothing more to do with them!

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Confessions of a delusional housewife

Sometimes my mind is like my own little playground. I don't know about you but just once in a while (like - ohhh, I don't know - every day) my thoughts get a little carried away.  This afternoon I was dipping my pet chickens into a bucket of cold water, as you do, when something interesting happened. Well, it was interesting to me. But before anybody calls the SPCA perhaps I should clarify that my two frizzle hens are broody again and the cold water treatment is meant to snap them out of it. It's not working.

So I dunked my bird into a bucket of cold water (which considering it's a hot 30 degrees celsius outside, was quite refreshing for both of us) and gave her a bit of a cuddle (as you do):

Reconstruction with Pepsi: Not actual photo of actual wet chicken
Then we had a bit of a moment. I perched Pepsi the hen onto my outstretched arm and she actually STAYED there! Normally she's a very frisky bird who has given me a few good peckings but it appears that on this one occasion I had tamed the beast! That's when my thoughts drifted away. I straightened my back, stuck out my chin and thought of this:

Pepsi and Ange, the grecian huntress

I literally BECAME Diana the Huntress. It took a good ten minutes of posing before I realised that Pepsi had deserted me and was scratching about in the nesting area again. I don't think Pepsi would have made a good hawk afterall and besides, I would probably rescue any prey from her beak anyway. I guess that means I wouldn't make of a huntress either.  I'm not too sure if any of my neighbours saw me and assuming that they would have had no comprehension of  my dramatic transformation into a greek heroine, it might have seemed a little odd for a middle aged woman in suburban Rewa to be holding up a scraggy chook with such self-importance.

I decided to share my experience with Zeeb. Her comment was that she could imagine my life as a sit-com.  She wondered if I could actually hear the harp music and see the waves that usually occur in dream sequence.

So that's todays excitement. A bit of a slow day I guess.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Let the silly season begin

Once the calendar rolls over to December, it's officially the Silly Season.  Summer time. Skirts and shorts time. Leg and armpit shaving time. Time to erect my giant inflatable Santa and Rudolph on to the upper front deck. I feel the need to clarify exactly which deck because as you'll recall, the fart in the bucket (which Beloved refers to as a spa pool, even though it's about the size of a toilet bowl) is on the lower front deck - in full view of the street. So clearly there's not enough room for giant inflatables down there, although it could possibly make my night time dips a little less public. We also have a recently erected larger deck at the back. But who wants to erect a giant Santa at the back of the house.

I'm hoping nobody is noticing that I've overused the word "erect".

That Santa nearly caused divorce in our household a couple of years ago. When I get a bee in my bonnet I want things done NOW. I bought Santa and Rudolph on impulse, having decided that our house MUST be the best decorated in the street. It's not that I'm competitive or anything...but nothing else matters except that our display beats the Kumars' Diwalhi lights across the road! So when I bought Santa and his companion, I had nothing to actually plug them into. I did improvise and managed to blow up Rudolph by not having his vent fullly exposed but that didn't matter because Beloved makes a hobby out of taking things back to the shop and getting replacements.  I was extremely upset when I couldn't get everything going immediately and words ensued with my husband.

With the help of some bits of wool and sticky tape, it all worked out in the end and I don't think it really matters that Santa sort of leers over the balcony with Rudolph's butt in his face.  And I decided that the effort was worthwhile when children coming past my house on the way home from school stopped and gasped in wonder (or terror).

So with Zeeb and C's help, Santa and Rudolph are back in position, ready to celebrate the Jay-Man's birthday.  Christmas preparations can officially begin now that I have made it public that I'm officially preparing. No doubt you'll be looking forward to an update on how I go about wrapping the Christmas presents and why I own a Santa suit.

I'm a little disappointed that none of the lights I have hanging around them are working though. That couldn't possibly have anything to do with them being left hanging out there for the last two years - could it?

Maybe it would just be a whole lot easier - and cheaper - to sabotage the Kumar's Diwahli lights.