Sun Trap

If you are looking for some weekend reading, I am finding the North Korea trip of Dancing With Frogs incredibly fascinating so you might want to drop over and check it out. North Korea is not somewhere I would have considered travelling but after reading this I would, now.

I am also loving the trip of Kay from Musings, who is blogging about one of those river cruises through Europe which you always see advertised on teevee here for seemingly obscene amounts of money. :)

country life

An Aussie Visitor

On Easter Monday there was a kitty commotion. Grumpy is our door guard, and sometimes she behaves like there is a cat outside and there *is* and other times she behaves that way and I can see nothing at all. But this time, there was quite a sight to be seen! And she was freaking out. I looked out the window and dropped everything I was doing, ran out the back and told The Other Half to put down the hose and follow me.

I’d read on Facebook that a property nearby had a resident Echidna and it had dropped in to visit.

It climbed up on the windowsill to stare at Grumpy, and you can see Grumpy was Not Amused, or perhaps just not sure what the heck this was. But it did not just want to visit us in the front yard, and promptly went and dug under the fence. Seeing what was likely to happen, we had already locked the chooks up. The minute this thing climbed under the fence, the girls went crazy, side eye-ing, bagerking and clucking up a storm.

It was starting to get dark, so something had to be done. Lucky we have a country farm boy living here, and lucky he is a welder and had some serious gloves handy. You do not want to handle one of these creatures without major protection.

The first thing they do is try to dig themselves in. They are very determined creatures, but so is The Other Half.

This lovely creature was relocated back to the property it lives on. :)

Aussie Culture, country life

Last Friday Was Good Friday


They’ve locked us out, Happy! What now?

A few years back we had an influx of white tailed spiders in the house. We believed they were mostly living in the ceiling and on days when it got too hot they would find a way to enter the cooler house, and then walk around the cornices like they owned the place. This was Not Cool. So one weekend we packed up the cats and went to visit my parents for a few hours while those pest bombs fogged the house.

The cats were Not A Fan of this concept, and Happy hid in the kitty litter tent or the cat carrier for most of the time we were there. Grumpy spent her time sniffing the house, perhaps looking for scents from other cats. Sadly my parents do not have a cat. When they go away for a trip, we often drop over after they leave and pest bomb their house.

It is not so easy in Chez Snoskred. At least, it wasn’t. Until we added on our Delicate Nirvana. We’ve been planning a pest bombing for some time, and we figured Good Friday was as good a day as any to “lock” ourselves and the cats out of the house.


These Humans Be Crazy, Grumpy!

So what does one need to take out into the Delicate Nirvana when one knows one will be stuck happily ensconced there for at least two hours? The cats need very specific items.

1. The Kitty Litter Setup. Our eventual plan is to have this out here all the time, once we work out a safe and secure way to install a 24/7 cat door. We would like to put this inside a box but we find these two will lay in wait for each other unless there are multiple entrances and exits – that is also a difficulty we have with the cat door.

2. The Kitty Food Setup. Our cats have access to kibble 24/7, though one of them perhaps should not have. They already have a water bowl out here but we brought a second one just in case. It turned out to be popular, perhaps because of the novelty factor.

The humans required –

1. Lunch in the form of protein shakes – not pictured as we drank them fast, it was warm out here! – and snacks just in case. I brought all my vitamins, too.

2. Laptops, tablets, phones. I had actually suggested we leave all of this inside and bring out actual books, but The Other Half was not a fan. I am writing this post out here right now, and we are 45 minutes into our two hour exclusion from the house.

3. I did bring an actual book. I am not the slightest bit interested in scuba diving but this book is amazing and you should seek it out and read it. I wrote about it on the blog before.

We don’t need to bring drinks because we have a fridge out here filled with all our favourites – for me, that is San Pellegrino mineral water and teeny tiny Cascade ginger beer.

On top of the fridge – which used to be a freezer but The Other Half reprogrammed it – is the favourite sleeping spot of Grumpy.

About 15 minutes before we were due to be “allowed” back into the house, I felt a blast of cool air approaching. A cool change, just in time for us to open all the windows in the house and let the “fog” out. The kitties were left outside for another hour while we vacuumed and wiped down surfaces. The minute we put the cat door back in, they lost all interest in going back inside and found themselves warm places to remain in the Delicate Nirvana.

After that, I got a head start on dinner = spinach, bacon and ricotta canneloni. I wanted to cook once this Easter weekend and then eat leftovers for the rest of the weekend. First I made The Bolognese Of Snoskred. While that bubbled and simmered, I cooked bacon and fresh spinach, and added that into 1kg of ricotta to make the filling, which simply gets placed inside fresh lasagne sheets and rolled up.

Aldi have fresh lasagne sheets now, and a much better price than the Latina Fresh ones. $2.59 VS $5.17. I found the Aldi ones much easier to work with as well. The Latina ones tend to be easily breakable, the Aldi ones are far stronger and much easier to roll up once you have placed your filling inside.

Not only did this cook once feed us for the rest of the weekend, but we got 6 lunches out of it, and I made Fake Lasagne the following Thursday with the leftover sauce.

While this was going on two loads of washing and two loads of dishwashing were done, and overall we got Shiznit Done. Dinner was delicious. It was a great day.

Delicate Nirvana

Currently In Snoskredland

READING: All of the Agatha Christie mysteries in the order of detective and when they were written. I’ve completed the 12 books of Miss Marple and am just a few books away from completing the 45 books of Hercule Poirot.

WATCHING: Every Sunday night 13th Street presently is airing one episode of Agatha Christie’s Poirot with David Suchet. I am not sure whether I enjoy them or hate watch them. A few of the episodes take well known stories and changes them for unknown and seemingly zero reasons at all which makes me side eye this show so hard. Some of the episodes are true to the original story and some of them feature quite the cast – Murder on the Orient Express was one of the better ones with Jessica Chastain.

HATING: myself for getting sucked into Married at First Sight this year. This is truly trash television, it is so bad but I can’t look away. Thank the deities it finished last week and I can “reclaim my time“.

COOKING: I made a version of Chicken Cordon Bleu which was epic. I coat the chicken in Dijon mustard and pan fried, then towards the end I placed Beerenberg Cheeseboard Chutney spread underneath some very sharp cheddar that was left over from a cheese platter we had in February which needed to be used up. On the top I placed freshly cut smoked ham from Aldi.

LOVING: This Cordelia Street dress from TVSN, but #yobn2018 means I cannot buy it. There are some dresses which are the essence of me put into a dress and this is one of them. It is sold out in my size now. I feel like this is a great price and I probably would have bought it, if not for my current challenge.

CREATING: More choc-honeycomb no-bake cheesecakes.

WORKING: out very hard with the workout I have nicknamed “Yvette Hell” – I have chopped it into bits with Handbrake, so I can repeat the bits I most love until I master them. I just started on the Jenny Ford Hawaii workout last week and with any step workout it takes time for me to get the steps right.

MASTERING: There are some super challenging combination steps in my workout videos and every time I get one right I feel like I am winning at working out. Coordination has never been my strongest thing but I am getting better at it every day. I do enjoy these workouts.

MOURNING: The loss of my afternoon coffee mug. I was taking it out of the dishwasher and it hit another mug, and the game was over. I could go and buy another one from Few and Far for around $7, but we have plenty of other mugs I can use, and #yobn2018.

PLAYING: Diablo 2 with The Other Half. I am old school when it comes to games and this is one of my favourites. I am not a fan of the newer games. I prefer to play the older games that I know.

CLEANING: out the freezer in preparation for autumn and winter.

FREEZING: all the mushrooms. That has to be the best thing I ever learned to do.

country life, stuff

The Day Of The Lizard

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Many days now if we are not planning to go somewhere, we put the cat door in the doorway first thing in the morning so the cats can experience the Delicate Nirvana anytime they feel like. The cat door usually stays in right until bedtime. One day there was a large lizard which was discovered by Happy. She chased it around the BBQ. Luckily I was sitting out there and was able to intervene fairly quickly.

That lizard was smart enough to find a new home. But Happy kept looking for it, for days and days. Not unlike Dudo and Moose over in Spain, who have an obsession with balcony birds.

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A couple of days later I ventured out into the Nirvana to discover Happy was obsessed with one corner of the Nirvana. I soon worked out why – a new lizard friend had arrived. I placed a shoe there hoping the lizard would crawl into it.. and that almost worked. But in the end any time I would approach the lizard would run back into the hole under the drain pipe.

zzlizard1

So then I thought, maybe if I fill the hole with paper towel, it will look for another exit – this hole has an exit on the other side of the nirvana as well, though it had a couple of leaves kinda sorta blocking it. This failed on every level – it failed to prevent Happy from being obsessed, and it failed to prevent the lizard from pushing the paper towel out. So after a while I gave up on that and just put the shoe back.

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This nearly worked again, because Happy had lost interest and moved to sleep on a chair. I went inside to empty and fill the dishwasher and I heard a scuffle so rushed back out to find this..

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The lizard is up on top of the drain pipe. Happy is waiting patiently and watching. Lucky for me, The Other Half arrived home soon after this, and talked the lizard into leaving.

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But Happy spent a few days watching the hole near the drainpipe, just in case. :)

Delicate Nirvana, kitties