Nice to see you!

Three major events occurred for me last year (2010), all in the space of about 2 weeks. I turned 50. The following day I got married. Two weeks later, my oldest daughter became pregnant with her first child and my first grandchild.

Most middle-aged people will tell you that in their minds, they still feel 20 something. It's the same for me.

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was planning a night out with guys from the surf club? That gorgeous new perm. Flaired, cuffed denims and the red t-shirt with the off-the-shoulder frill. Corked platform wedgies. **sigh**

Suddenly I'm looking in the mirror and wondering how 30 years can flash by so damned quickly!

So here I am in cyberspace, sharing my genuine shock and horror with anyone who'll listen and maybe I'll even meet some other over 50s who find themselves in the same predicament!

Welcome to my dilemna!!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Footy Finals


Up! Up! Cronulla! The boys in the black, white and blue.
Up! Up! Cronulla! The name of the Sharks fit you.
Sharks! Sharks! forever. Go out and play without fear.
Now's the time to see good football, cause the Sharks are here!
Up the Sharks!

That was for Adoring Husband's benefit :) His beloved Sharks defeated the Canberra Raiders tonight in their first finals game! One down, two to go.

As I sit up in bed typing this, the rain is pelting down outside. There are a few storm cells passing over us this evening, but I don't expect it to last for more than an hour or two. I'm looking forward to falling asleep to the sound of the rain tonight.

Minecraft update: We only played Minecraft for about twenty minutes today, when Chicklet's iPad went dead. She'd used up all the charge on her battery!

Right at that moment, she decided that she was starving! So I made her a snack to eat while I prepared dinner.

Our Day 6 envelope contained a Superman lego figurine and the requested drawing was 'Bozzy Wozzy flying a kite while standing on the roof of our house' - I still didn't take a photo of it! I must remember to do that.

The colouring in sheet was the Triumphal Arch (I think). There were cardboard press outs of 'camouflage woman' and 'abracadabra' (I've never heard of them before) as well as a cityscape by night.

For lunch today, I created Wonder Woman (kinda/sorta) ...

Note the star on her headband and the lasso, which is made of a long bean and an egg ring. I never tell Chicklet what it is before I give her the plate. She doesn't even know I'm doing it, til she sits down to eat. She saw the star and knew immediately who it was!

I seemed to play a lot of the Minion game and Plants v Zombies on my iPad, while Chicklet lay on the bed watching and encouraging. The rain prevented us from going to the park, but hopefully we'll have a clear day tomorrow.

Today, Vegan Chickie flew to Vienna ...

She's having a great time and loving every second, although her feet are sore from so much walking and she's quite tired from fitting so much in to such a short period of time.

Tomorrow night, she flies to Amsterdam!

Sleep time for me ...

Nite all.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Mine Mine Minecraft

Minecraft update: Today, she sent me to the other side of our Minecraft world to build my own house. I was happy to do this, because I have not built or created anything yet, due to little miss minecraft's control issues! I was looking forward to the experience and the practise!

So I begin my walking journey, when she snatches my iPad from my hands and begins to build a railway line for me to follow to the other side of our Minecraft world. It took about ten minutes, to build a line long enough that her house disappeared on the horizon behind us.

She hands the iPad back to me and says "There you go. You can build your house there."

I take the iPad from her, keen to finally be able to build something of my own. I put my first building block on the ground, when once again, she snatches my iPad away from me and says "Here, I'll do it!"

She then spends twenty minutes building a house, complete with flowers in the corners, paintings on the wall, beds in the corners, a caldron and a chest to store weapons and food.

You must understand that she has her own iPad and we are both in the same Minecraft world, but using separate devices. Well, 'we' aren't really using separate devices ... Chicklet is multitasking on both of our devices, while I look on in awe and amazement!

Our day wasn't only Minecraft.

Unfortunately, it was too wet to visit the park today, but we spent a lot of time on various crafts instead.

There was some catching up to do from yesterday, when we failed to finish the activities in the Day 4 envelope from Mama. The Day 4 picture request - draw a baby elephant on a tall mountain eating spaghetti. I really should take photos of these drawings shouldn't I?

We coloured in the picture of the 'Louvre Pyramid', completed the 'join the dots' picture of Bad Bot and did an amazing colouring in job of that one too. The word for the day was 'outside', so we practised that.

The picture request for Day 5 (today) was - draw three frogs playing musical instruments in a boat on a chocolate river. The lego figurine was The Joker. The tattoos were Minecraft dogs. We coloured in the Picasso painting 'Girl Before a Mirror' - I feel that ours is much better and brighter and more lovely than Picasso's version! The word for the day was 'dishwasher' so we practised that one too.

Chicklet then had to draw what two people look like when they are NOT superheroes. A picture was provided, of these people in their superhero costumes and Chicklet had to use her imagination to show them in normal clothes. There was a lot of giggling involved in this process.

Next, we painted the plaster seashell fridge magnets.

That was a lot of fun!

By now, it was time for lunch. As Dadu suggested last night, I created a Batman lunch that was incredibly successful.

Finally, and much to her excitement, it was time to play Minecraft!

I am pleasantly surprised by my energy levels since I arrived here. I've made a concerted effort to avoid potato chips and I'm not including white potatoes with meals. I've eaten delicious, nutritious, healthful food for every meal. I start my day with warm lemon water, followed by chicken bone broth with a teaspoon of collagen powder stirred through it.

The Bare-chested Chef has kindly bought me a coffee every morning before he goes to work, so I'm drinking one coffee every day. I'm eating lots of organic green vegetables with a small amount of protein and including half an avocado with each meal.

I'm feeling much more energised and haven't felt sleepy in the afternoon since I got here - which was starting to creep into my afternoon regime because of poor food choices.

So I have kept up well with Chicklet for the entire day every day.

We followed our usual routine from dinner onwards tonight and my 'warm and fuzzies' were brought to the surface with three beautiful expressions of love from my little Chicklet as she fell asleep holding my arm.

Chicklet - "Bozzy Wozzy?"

Me - "Yessy Wessy?"

Chicklet - "I love you"

Me - "I love you too my perfectly wonderful little Chicklet!"

Two minutes later ...

Chicklet - "I love you Bozzy Wozzy"

Me - *giggles* "I love you."

Two minutes later, as she is dozing off ...

Chicklet - *whispers* "I love you."

And with that, she was fast asleep.

Now I shall do the same!

Nite all.

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Out to Get Me!

Minecraft update: She trapped me in the outside pen with the sheep, chickens and bunnies until night fell. This is when the creepers, skeletons, zombies and deadly spiders come out to play. I had to fight off a skeleton (with her help) and she finally built a step for me to escape and seek refuge in our house!

I swear this girl has evil within .. and I can't figure out where she could possibly have received that gene.

She follows me around in our new minecraft world that she built today and steals my meat and wool when I kill the sheep (which she thinks is hilarious!). She called me to the door of our house, and within an instant, she broke the door and bricked me up inside what became my own personal tomb!

She is definitely taking advantage of her 'slow to learn' grandmother and has discovered hilarious ways to amuse herself, while causing me no end of confusion and frustration!

I will be happy to see the back of Minecraft at the end of this three weeks!

OR *insert evil laugh here* I will practise until I become so good, that I can beat her at her own game!!

Anyway, my brain hurts.

We had some fun park time today. We played hide n seek - in a park that literally has nowhere to hide - and played 'tag, you're it' .. the only way I could win that one was to run around and around the bench seat. My super power in this game, was that I could run in tight circles, while she ran in wide circles, which meant she had more ground to cover.

Eventually, she threw herself down on the ground and lay flat on her back, huffing and puffing, absolutely exhausted! I laughed a LOT.

We spent about twenty minutes pretending to be robots. Chicklet was Robotic Bird Woman and I was Robotic Whale Woman. She showed good robotic stamina, not coming out of character even once.

There was some REALLY HIGH swinging to be had and some 'follow me' time.

We had so much fun and activity today, that we didn't even get to draw Mama's picture request. We'll have to draw two pictures tomorrow.

Our tattoo for the day was Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, but The Flash was still looking good, so we decided to wait another day for a new tattoo.

Lunch was a fire breathing dragon ...

The plate was completely bare when she'd finished! We left the adzuki beans off the plate this time.

We read her current favourite storybook about a year on a farm and within thirty seconds, she was sound asleep. 7.20pm and all was peaceful in my world.

Vegan Chickie ticked a few more things off her European bucket list today, one of which was 'eating Belgian waffles in Belgium ...

... how delicious does that look?

I reckon I could almost suffer a bout of my gluten intolerance sickness to experience that gastronomic delight!

It's time for me to rest up for my next big day of Chicklet frolicking.

Nite all.

Wednesday, September 7, 2016

I Killed a Pig!

Another typically full-on day with Chicklet today.

She slept well, with no nightmares last night, so I got to have a lie-in. I woke at 7.30am but stayed in bed for an hour and eased myself into the day. The Bare-chested Chef was kind enough to buy and deliver my morning coffee before he headed off to work. I couldn't have asked for a better start to the day.

Chicklet and I opened the Day 3 envelope from Mama and found the Wonder Woman lego figurine, two temporary tattoos (Chicklet chose 'the flash' today), a word to find in the house (Vegan Chickie has stuck words over different items in the house and Chicklet is given a word every day that she has to find and match), a colouring in sheet, a puzzle sheet and a letter from Mama with a drawing request, telling us what she will be doing in Europe today and also telling Chicklet how special and how loved she is.

So we put together the lego figurine, adhered the temporary tattoo and matched today's word. We played Minions, then Plants v Zombies, then we created sticker pictures with the superhero stickers. We made a delicious lunch ...

She obviously is not impressed with adzuki beans!

We coloured in the picture from the envelope, did the puzzle and drew Mama's requested picture (draw yourself, dressed as Wonder Woman, in space, with a pet giraffe).

We went for a walk to the park, where she climbed the slippery dip, played on the swings, climbed under, in, and on the cave. We played hide n seek there and took a heap of selfies.

The afternoon session was for Minecraft. I think I have improved by 0.03%, although I did die twice today .. and not because Chicklet killed me off. A 'creeper' got me both times and I didn't even see one of them coming!

I killed a pig and a sheep all on my own! It was to get food and wool .. because I almost died of starvation. Chicklet hid the 22 golden apples, one of which would have saved me, so I had to go murder some animals ... and the worst part, is that they run when you hit them the first time, so you have to chase them to kill them off! Barbaric!

We talked to Mama on the phone. It was only 6.30am in Paris and she was preparing for a tour of the artist Monet's house, among other things. She sounded very sleepy, but happy!

Monet's yellow dining room ...

Vegan Chickie on a red bus ...

After our chat, we played some more Minecraft for a while, until Chicklet's iPad battery went flat.

Next we wrote a letter to tell Mama what we did today. We do this every day on the back of the letter that Mama leaves in the envelope. Mama will have her same 22 envelopes to open when she gets home, containing pictures, letters, words and any other interesting things that we do while she's away.

We had a nut bar for afternoon tea, then a boiled egg for dinner. Tidying up time. Bath time. Story time. Bed time.

When all was quiet in my world, I washed the dishes, hung BCC's work clothes out to dry and did a load of Chicklet and my washing. Gave a very tired Adoring Husband a quick phone call - he'd been working on the lawns all day - and now here I am!

I'm not sure yet what tomorrow will bring.

I found this last night and wanted to share it with you.

I want to be Dr Amy Myers. She is the best of both worlds and is so articulate and intelligent. As a qualified doctor, she knows that modern medicine is failing us .. if only there were more like her. The health of the world would be in a much better place.

She explains it all so clearly. Please watch .. even if you are not a Pete Evans fan, you need to listen to Dr Amy Myers.

I guess that's enough for one night. I need to recharge, so ...

Nite all.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Rude Awakening

As you know, for months now, I have had lazy starts to my days.

Even if I wake at 6am, I still stay in bed for hours on end, reading, playing, writing or listening to something.

This morning was quite different!

At 4am, I was woken from a very sound sleep by my bedroom door opening and a little voice saying "Sorry. Sorry. Sorry. I had a terrible, terrible nightmare." as she ran to my side of the bed and threw herself into my arms, which, at the time, were wrapped around a body pillow.

She spent the next three hours in my bed and at one stage I heard her say 'You are such a kind Bozzy Wozzy'.

It was well after midnight when I fell asleep, so it meant that I was functioning on 3.5hours of sleep - not conducive to calm and peaceful grandparenting.

Thankfully, the Bare-chested Chef bought me a coffee from the bakery before he headed off to work, so at least I had a heart starter to help ease me into the day.

Chicklet's big plan for the day, was to teach me how to play Minecraft.

A fruitless exercise, to say the least.

She is so fast at swiping and tapping and poking and prodding and manipulating the features of the game, and while doing so, leaning across in front of me, obscuring my vision, that I haven't got a snowball's chance in hell of learning anything about the game.

She also gets so excited about playing, that she talks ten to the dozen, so she is virtually impossible to understand!

Her frustrations were obvious when I was 'killing' sheep, instead of shearing them. Smashing windows instead of looking through them. Adding concrete blocks inside the house, instead of opening doors. Falling in the water because I had no control over where I walked. I even killed one of our pet cats, much to her horror!

In the space of an hour, she had created a whole world for me and built a two storey home made out of bricks and glass, with a pig killing area in the garden, a bunny enclosure, sheep yards and cattle yards, chests full of items that we might need in case of an invasion by 'endermen', 'zombies', 'creepers' and 'skeletons' to name but a few.

She was constantly yelling at me to 'Control your pig Bozzy Wozzy!' 'Stay out of the water Bozzy Wozzy!' 'Stop killing the sheep Bozzy Wozzy!' 'Shut the door Bozzy Wozzy' 'Hurry inside, the sun is setting Bozzy Wozzy!'

I had no idea how to do (or stop doing, as the case may be) any of those things!!

So she simply snatched my iPad from my hands and inside three seconds, had fixed what I had broken, and surprisingly, still wanted to continue playing!

This went on for six hours.

Yes, you heard me correctly.

Six hours.

My only relief was a couple of toilet breaks and a water bottle refill.

And still ... after six hours, I was none the wiser.

BCC saved the day when he returned home on a work break at 3.30pm and I was left alone in my room to breathe and doze for half an hour.

It was just what I needed.

After BCC returned to work, we did some drawings for Mama, practised writing some words, did some sticker art and some colouring in. Chicklet ate a bowl of raw bok choy, snap peas and carrots for dinner before having the mandatory bubble bath. Then we read the new farm book before finally dozing off to sleep at about 7.15pm.

One thing I did learn today ... that I need to put a cap on the number of hours we spend on Minecraft!!  If I had any mental energy left right now, I might even practise for an hour or so, but I am well and truly Minecrafted out for the day!

Vegan Chickie is in Paris ...

... happy as can be.

Nite all.


Monday, September 5, 2016

The Journey Begins

Day one and Vegan Chickie landed in Hong Kong on her way to Paris. This is sunrise over Hong Kong ...

She checked the first thing off her bucket list for this trip - 'eat a dumpling in Hong Kong'

Meanwhile, in Australia, the Bare-chested Chef had a day off, so I took it pretty easy. Enjoyed a late morning in bed while BCC and Chicklet played Minecraft on their iPads.

Eventually, I decided to go for a walk to the local shopping centre for my morning coffee. I made a deal with BCC that if I didn't feel like I could walk back, I would call him and he would come and get me.

The day was quite nice. Overcast with a cool breeze. Great walking weather. I chose to take the road route to the shops instead of the forest walk. The forest walk is too remote for me to feel safe walking there alone - unfortunately, in this day and age, it's something that needs to be taken into consideration.

It's not as far as I remembered, only fifteen minutes each way, but it's quite hilly, so the walk is a touch more strenuous than the flat roads at home. When you have a five year old dawdling along beside you, the trip takes quite a bit longer too, but today I was alone, so the walk was quick - even for my little legs.

The coffee was delicious and well worth the walk.

As soon as I arrived home, Chicklet decided that we needed to go to the park, which is only a two minute walk from the house, so me, my coffee and she, walked to the park and played on the swings, climbed the timber cave and while Chicklet successfully climbed the slope of the slippery dip to the top of the tower, I attempted several different access points to the tower without success!

I swear that they made this park for giants or acrobats, because you need to be incredibly lithe and agile to be able to stretch your legs to reach every climbing point!

We played for almost an hour and then I cleared all the litter from the park. Three empty cans of bourbon and coke, two broken and melted cigarette lighters, an almost empty packet of cigarette papers, three empty lolly packets, an empty packet of chips, a dozen cigarette butts and a plastic bag.

My good deed for the day complete, we wandered home.

BCC and Chicklet went for a drive to get some lunch and I returned to my room for some more quiet time.

They played Minecraft all afternoon, while I dozed, read, played and drank kombucha in my room.

At 4pm I chucked the organic chook that I'd bought at the markets yesterday, into the oven, stuffed with lemon, garlic and coconut oil, lightly coated in himalayan salt and pepper. Next to it, a good portion of sweet potato to be shared between BCC and I.

I made up the most delicious salad to accompany our chook. A couple of different varieties of kale, finely shredded. Some torn lettuce leaves. Finely chopped fresh mint leaves. Roughly chopped snap peas and fresh beans. Julienned carrots. Diced avocado. A handful of adzuki beans. Diced cucumber. Roasted slivered almonds. A small sprinkling of crumbled basil pesto feta. A good splash of coriander/lime dressing.

Even BCC commented about how tasty it was!

After dinner and after Chicklet put away her toys, I gave her a bath and then BCC read to her before she quite quickly fell asleep.

I think Chicklet struggled a little bit today and was in the mood for a fight, but some quick side stepping, some momentary distractions and some gentle persuasion curtailed most collisions.

BCC has six long days of double shifts from here on in, so it will be Chicklet and I conquering the world together.

I need to make a concerted effort to take photos!

I was introduced to this webcam today ... White-breasted Sea Eagle nest ... there is a chick in the nest. There were originally two but one of them disappeared at about the 2 or 3 week mark. There is a Facebook page with lots of photos too.

There is an amazing woman by the name of Kym Bradley, whom I only know through a photography page in Facebook, called 'Birds of Oz', where more than 10,000 bird loving photographers from around the world gather to share photos of birds.

She spent a few hours taking photos of a Wedge-tailed Eagle in Canberra today and shared those absolutely amazing photos on Facebook. I have messaged her to get permission to put a couple of her photos in here, but she must be in bed by now, so I'll have to wait til tomorrow.

She is the one who introduced me to the White Breasted Sea Eagle webcam today.

Kym is a wonderful nature photographer and is one of a very few among those 10,000 that I truly look forward to seeing her work when she posts.

Ok, well, it's 11pm, so I'd best get some sleep in preparation for a big Chicklet day tomorrow!

Nite all.

Sunday, September 4, 2016

No More Sleeps!

It's been quite a day!

We planned on leaving home at 7am and we were both awake and out of bed before the alarm even sounded.

In one hour, I finished packing, finished clearing out the fridge, had a shower, tidied up a few odds and ends, checked off my 'to do' list and as we walked out the door, Adoring Husband asked me if I needed a hat ... lucky! Because I forgot to put that on my packing list!

We left the house right on time.

There were a few lunatics on the road this morning. Overtaking illegally, overtaking and cutting us off, trucks overtaking legally but without enough room left on the overtaking lane to get past and plenty of others taking unnecessary risks.

No wonder that stretch of the highway is notorious for accidents. There is nothing wrong with the road. The real problem is the stupidity of the drivers.

We made the mandatory stop at Sexie Coffee. Adoring Husband ordered his usual Jumbo Cappuccino and I had a large latte, which, as always, was delicious.

Our next stop was Gympie for a GF Beefy's Meat Pie - my last indulgence before commencing my three week kick start to better health.

The final stop before arriving at the Chicklet destination, was the Noosa Farmer's Markets.

OMG! Why didn't I know about these before now??? What a fabulous market. So much goodness in one market!

We were there for perhaps 30 minutes - a speed shopping expedition - and I bought (all organic):

  • A bag of mixed kale leaves.
  • A bag of romaine lettuce leaves.
  • A bag of carrots.
  • A bag of snap peas.
  • A bag of green beans.
  • A large punnet of strawberries.
  • A large bag of apples.
  • A bunch of spring onions.
  • Half a cabbage.
  • Four cucumbers.
  • A hand of lady finger bananas.
  • Five avocados.
  • A bottle of chilli, lime and coriander dressing.
  • A tub of basil infused feta cheese.
  • A tub of sprouted Adzuki beans (yum!)
  • Three bottles of ginger kombucha.
  • An organic pasture raised rump steak.
  • A packet of organic pasture raised pork sausages.
  • A whole organic chicken.
  • Four organic lamb loin chops.
  • A packet of slivered blanched almonds.
  • A packet of pine nuts.
 I think that's all. I've already made up two big salads today with the kale, lettuce, cucumber, adzuki beans, avocado, snap peas and a sprinkling of basil feta with a splash of the dressing. SO delicious!!

I don't even know how much I spent at the markets, but after just those two salads today, I feel energised and ready to take on the world!

We left the markets at about 10.45am and headed for my final destination - the Chicklet family home!

After a warm family greeting, it took Adoring Husband quite a while to unpack the car of my suitcase, camera bag, laptop, esky full of food and drink from home and then all the shopping from the markets. Anyone would think I was staying for a month!! Oh!! Wait!! I am!!

Much to Chicklet's dismay, the first few hours were NOT all about her because Vegan Chickie and I only had a few hours til she left for the airport, so we had lots of news and gossip to catch up on, as well as instructions and explanations for the coming few weeks.

It was very frustrating for Chicklet but we eventually farewelled Vegan Chickie as she climbed aboard the airport shuttle bus, and this meant Chicklet could have my undivided attention. Mama had left her a little box of goodies to open after she left, which had a tiny lego figurine and four kinder surprise toys inside it.

We spent some time putting the toys together and playing with them. Then we joined the dots on the dragon picture in her new dragon story book.

She decided that she did not want dinner, but instead wanted to lie on the couch eating grapes and playing on her iPad. She did this while I ate my second salad of the day.

We cleared all of the toys and mess out of the lounge room, had a bath, read the new dragon book, talked about our day and after a while I had to get tough with her and tell her to be quiet and go to sleep! Which she did!

That was my cue to tidy the kitchen and unpack my suitcase, climb into my pyjamas, phone Adoring Husband to wish him good night and then get comfortable in my cosy bed. It's quite chilly here on the Sunny Coast. I even had to search for a jacket earlier in the evening.

I now have all of my electronic devices plugged in and charging.

I just looked at the clock. I thought it was about 9.30 - 10pm. It's 11.15pm! I'm off to get some sleep. I have a feeling that I'm going to need it!

Vegan Chickie should have boarded her plane by now. Her flight is due to depart at 11.30pm.

Happy and safe travelling my lovely daughter!

Nite all.