Winter’s log, earthdate 201509.20

So, our belated Father’s Day luncheon has ended, and my two favourite daughters and their respective spouses have departed (actually Lee and Neale haven’t – the last I saw of them, they were walking off down the street with Julian, following a trail of ants!) Yes, it seems we have a small ant problem here – we think there’s an ant’s nest in the garage roof, and there’s a swarm of them in our letterbox, which according to Julian are coming from the base of a tree about 50 meters down the street. [begin ominous voice over] They shall be dealt with! [end ominous voice over] Lunch was a success – Nando’s chicken tenders, chips, salsa, Perinaise dipping sauce, bread rolls, and a couple of dips and spicy olives. Julian made a salad with iceberg lettuce (the only type of lettuce that Neale will eat!) cherry tomatoes, button mushrooms, celery, capsicum, and baby bocconcini. According to the Optifast web site, everything in the salad apart from the bocconcini are on the “free list”, meaning that you can eat a cup full of it because it contains next to zero calories – so I did. I had about 4 small pieces of torn off lettuce, four slivers of sliced capsicum, one small button mushroom, and two x 1 cm bits of celery (one of which has now super-glued itself into my top right bridgework!) Well, it might be on the “free list”, but I feel very guilty about eating it. I probably shouldn’t have, and if my weight does go back up again tomorrow, I’ll know why 😦 But do you know, they were the first fresh vegetables – the first fresh anything, other than the half a banana I have on my breakfast every day – that I’ve put in my mouth since August 18th last year! (prunes don’t count as “fresh” 😛 ) The chocolate mud cake that Julian got for dessert looked so delicious! I hope they’re still making them this time next year, cos I don’t think that the remains of this one will still be edible by then. It was a layer cake, with orange and poppy-seed cake on the bottom layer, what looked like milk-chocolate butter icing in the middle, with a really dark, dark chocolate cake layer on the top. The icing on the top of the cake looked to be chocolate icing, between a quarter to a half a centimeter thick , and liberally coated with cocoa powder. The sides of the cake had been rolled in slivered toasted almond flakes… (quick! Where’s a tissue? I need to wipe the drool off my keyboard!) – as I said before – I do hope they still make these cakes this time next year! 😉 We discussed our garden at length – I think we’ve decided on two beds, each about the size of our eight-seater dining room table, and standing about as high, so there won’t be too much bending involved in planting and weeding. They’ll be made of sleepers bolted together to form a rectangular box (how handy it is to have a Carpenter as a son-in-law! 🙂 ) half filled with stones, similar to the river stones currently covering the side garden beds, and then topped with garden soil and fertiliser. We’re going to need to get a few tools, too – like a spade… and a rake… a trowel – I think we already have a hose – and various other implements of garden torture – and we just happen to have the largest Bunnings store in the southern hemisphere, just down the road! 🙂 Isn’t that nice! 😉 Conversation ranged between the difficult job that Malcolm Turnbull now has ahead of him, to the follies of putting too many trees in too small an area (like putting a fig tree, a peppercorn tree, and an oak tree in a smallish garden which already has a weeping cherry planted bang-smack in the middle!) and all-in-all, a good time was had by all participants! The next celebratory luncheon will be a joint BBB (Big Birthday Bash) for Neale and my favourite youngest daughter, Kate, on a Sunday sometime around December 12th. Neale’s birthday is on December the 9th, Kate’s is on December 12th – and our wedding anniversary is on December 14th, so we’ve always tended to roll them all into the one big celebratory luncheon. We used to go out to dinner (or lunch) to either our favourite Chinese restaurant, The East Empress in Glen Waverley, or The Tender Trap in Doncaster East, another of our favourite places to eat. However, with both Lee and I out of the eating competition at the moment, it’s become kinder and easier to eat at home (besides, the East Empress is closed for renovations at the moment, but should be re-opening soon!) For minor things like Birthdays, Anniversaries, and Easter, we generally either have a “cold cuts” luncheon – a variety of cold meats, several salads, including the most delicious home-made potato salad you’ve ever tasted (which I invented!) assorted bread rolls, and some sort of dessert – usually a store-bought cake of some kind, as Julian doesn’t make cakes (yet!) or else we go for something like the Nando’s lunch we had today. Christmas is a bit more special – home roasted turkey breast with all the trimmings, ham, cranberry sauce, gravy – and of course, Christmas pudding with brandied whipped cream. Sometimes we make our really yummy Christmas ice-cream – basically good quality vanilla ice-cream, softened to room temperature, then mixed with diced Christmas cake, chopped mixed glacé fruits, and a good dose of Cointreau and brandy – then re-frozen or churned in the ice-cream machine. It really is to die for, but I’m afraid we won’t be having that again until Christmas 2016, when maybe I’ll be able to sniff it – it’s très full of calories! :/

Speaking of calories:

Weigh-in this morning. It took three weigh-ins this morning to get two the same, but I ended up another two points down – from 74.1kg to 73.9kg. However the scales hovered between 74.0kg and 73.9kg, and it took three goes to get 73.9kg twice, so I won’t be at all surprised if I do go up again tomorrow… and I only have ten days to the end of the month and those horrible fluid retaining pills! 😦 Anyway, here’s hoping I go down again tomorrow (though after eating that salad…. :/ )

I’m not quite sure what’s happening tomorrow – I have a Podiatrist to find, and Julian has a Clarke to get in touch with, so we might not be able to get a full day of Rifting in, though we should be able to eke out a half day’s worth 🙂 Of course there’s still heaps of work to be done around the place – boxes to unpack, and places to find for all the things inside those boxes. As it turns out, we don’t have all the furniture (apart from bookcases!) that we need – we’re short a display case, even if we do send most of the knickknacks and ornaments off to Auction *sigh* so that’s something else we’re going to have to go looking for (and what do you want to bet that it’ll be another flat-pack!) We have been working hard though (well, he has, I haven’t, lazy sod that I am!) and we deserve a bit of a break for a day! The Podiatrist though, I really do have to get on to – my feet really need working on – they’re starting to fall to pieces on me! :/ I’m going to ring the Podiatrist I had in Doncaster – I’m pretty sure she won’t come out as far as Vermont South, but you never know your luck in a big city – and besides – even if she can’t come out here, she might know of someone who can! There’s no harm in asking, anyway! And now that’s about it from me for tonight! It’s almost time for me to waltz off for my evening Treadmilling session, but do drop in again tomorrow night to see what’s happening around here – did we get any significant Rifting in? Did we die? More to the point, did I find myself a Podiatrist? And what happened with my weight, after the forced triple weigh-in this morning, and all the salad that I ate at lunch time?! You can be sure that there’ll be lots to tell you all, but until then, please bee good, don’t forget that experience is simply the name we give our mistakes, and always remember to keep warm, to drive carefully, and to look after yourselves – but most of all, remember to stay safe! 🙂 ciao, all! 🙂