Tag Archives: The Kitchen

Why I Love Guns.

At the risk of sounding like a trigger happy maniac, I’m putting it out there.
I love guns.
Don’t leave hate, hear me out.

 

 

Guns take me back to when I was a little girl. Not joking.

 

Back before the gun laws were in place, well before the tragedy of the Port Arthur Massacre in 1996…  In the very early 1980s, my father had guns. They were stored upright in the back of his wardrobe, behind the 1970s winter coats he couldn’t part with.

 

As kids, we’d sneak a peek sometimes. We’d show our friends when our parents were chatting over coffee. Although my dad stored his guns as safely as possible for the era, bolts removed and ammunition elsewhere, we knew never to touch them. We would only look.

 

 

In the mid-1980s I recall my brother spending hours on a year 8 assignment about his new rifle. A Benelli I think. He loved that gun. He stood on the front verandah while the 8mm camera whirred, engaging and disengaging the bolt and reading his speech off butcher’s paper, passionately explaining every feature of that gun.

Self-guided education can be  so powerful.

 

 

It’s no wonder that boy became an excellent educator himself – a teacher of visual arts, mainly photography and his students are engrossed in learning as he incorporates his love of the Australian bush into his lessons. He also became the most passionate hunter I will ever know.
I wish I could see that little film again and show his sons.

 
When my dad bought that Benelli rifle, guns featured more prominently in our home. A carpenter by trade, he crafted a beautiful wooden gun cabinet and mounted it front and centre on our living room wall. The living room. It was locked up but ironically it had a front glass panel…

 

 

They say you end up with partners who remind you of your father or brothers, so it’s no surprise that I also married a mad keen hunter and gun enthusiast. They usually find something to talk about.

 

 

My father handed in his firearms in the first major amnesty and my brother followed suit – bidding farewell to his much loved semi-automatic rifles among others. Between them, all of their remaining rifles are locked away in safes, as per the requirements of NSW law.

The world has changed.  My kids won’t get to show their friends shotguns in the back of the wardrobe.

 

 

Hunting and gun sports have received a bad wrap recently. It goes without saying that in the wrong hands, any weapon can be lethal. There is nothing worse than turning on the news and seeing yet another tragedy involving guns, unfold. With this, I have personal experience.

 

 

Yes.  It is very sad to see people interfere with our State Forests. Shooters, motocyclists, campers, 4WD enthusiasts, bush walkers and conservationists are some of the people who make this list. To my knowledge however, shooters are the only group in this list of users who register, obtain a license and book in to use our State Forests.  Despite the bureaucracy, these same registered, licensed, shooters are blamed most loudly, for leaving their foot print.

 

So where does it leave responsible registered hunters? The ones who operate in accordance with the law and dare I say, more importantly, in line with unwritten hunting etiquette. Where does it leave the experienced hunters who shoot, not just for the sake of shooting, but for honourable reasons. For conservation. Yes it’s a blood sport but the men I know hunt for good reasons.

 

 

Without delving into this argument further, it’s another blog post, a series of blog posts, I understand that we all have different opinions. But before forming your opinion, I urge you to do your own research. So many people get on the media bandwagon where nature or killing animals is concerned – they miss the whole other side to the argument.

And there are many sides to this argument.

 

 

But the point title of my post is Why I Love Guns. I went off on a tangent and I haven’t told you yet.

 

So why I love guns is this. For one whole long weekend over Easter My man disappears deep into the Australian scrub, with enough food and water to last a year. I am left behind to do WHATEVER I WANT for an entire weekend. Nails at Nhung, lazy shopping, dinner with a friend, an extra glass of wine, cheese on toast for dinner.
You get me?

 

 

My Man usually emerges come Sunday or Monday, masculinity rejuvenated, bubbling over with stories of the one that got away and photographs of the one that didn’t. Soon, in a few more years, Mr currently 4, will be joining his dad on these expeditions.

 

Until then, My Man will continue to captivate our son with his stories and instill in him the responsibility that gun ownership brings.

Hopefully we’re raising another generation of responsible hunters.

 

Hopefully there will be more blissful weekends.

 

Robo X


Officially freaking out for DPCon13!

I’m officially freaking out for DPCon13.

Hard.

 

I’ve been working like mad woman; getting washing done, organising uniforms, lifts and lunches.  I’ve cleared out the toy area and I’ve packed away everything humanly possibly.  Tomorrow I’ll head into work and probably work like a mofo there too, preparing my classes and leaving lessons for the next two days.

 

The over-organising is a nervous reaction.

I’m scratching at my neck too – I think I’ve developed anxiety hives…

Hard.

 

 

I’m not the type of person who deals well with meeting people for the first time.  I’m awesome in front of my classes at school but with other adults, I can lose it.  I’m not an introvert but for reasons unbeknownst to me, I become a tongue-tied mess – especially in situations like this.

I’m officially freaking out for DPCon13,mainly because I blog anonymously, which you can read about here . I seem to also have this underlying identity issue happening…  Gah!  I’m still working it all out…

 

And in all the panic, I completely forgot to organise cards.  Idiot.

But before this becomes an even MORE purposeless post, I’ll stop.

I’ll get myself over it somehow.

 

 

So if you spot a blotchy brunette scratching away in the corner, please say hi.

 

She’ll probably hand you some dodgy excuse for a business card and blurt out something that sounds wrong. Be patient, just quietly, she’s already shitting bricks

 

Are you, or were you a nervous newbie?

 

Image

 

Posting for this week’s #IBOT

 

Robo X


Good Eggs?

On Sunday I was up at our local IGA.  I didn’t have time – it was 7.30pm and I was popping in to get the basics for the next few days of meals and lunches. Even though our local IGA is exy, it’s a better option to takeaways…

I digress.  Already…

 

Anyway, I was buying eggs because they’re involved in at least a couple of midweek meals when I stopped in my tracks…

I’d seen a battery hen scene in something I watched the night before and the shelf of egg options suddenly made me uncomfortable.

 

Quickly I scanned the carton prices…  They ranged from $2.50 through to $7.35

 

I looked for the words “Free Range” and two brands popped out.

 

Pirovic Family Farms and Pace Farm.

 

Pirovic Family Farms had a lovely image on the carton and words saying something like, ‘our hens get to roam the grounds by day but they sleep in a barn at night’.

The Pace Farm carton said that their hens got to roam free as well – but it made no mention of a barn to sleep in….

 

I was confused.

 

I bought the Pace Farm Eggs because frankly, the Pirovic description was a bit fluffy for my liking.

 

 

My parents keep chickens.  I would call them free range because their three chooks are kept in a very spacious and safe part in their yard, with a ‘barn’ that has its door left permanently open.  My Dad calls out their pet name, ‘Bibi’ and they scurry over to him for feed.

 

 

I thought about the ‘barn’ I had seen in the documentary and to say the least, it was not the red wooden, bale of hay and windmill kind of barn.

 

 

Later that night, I read this on the Pirovic website in relation to Barn Laid eggs:

“Barn-Laid (Cage Free) eggs are from hens that live in large barns and are not raised in cages, but on floor systems usually in an open barn. The hens on the floor have access to perches and nest boxes to lay their eggs. However, they may still be at close quarters with many other hens, just not in cages.”

 

Close quarters hey?

 

For me to stop my regular Sunday and Monday night television viewing to research chickens and eggs meant this issue struck a chord.

I kept researching…

 

 

I found a major body concerned with the eggs we eat:  The Australian Egg Corporation (AECL) – a producer owned company.

One of the Directors of this body is Frank Pace, of Pace Farm.

 

 

Upon doing a little more research I found that standards exist for these Free Range Farmers, that is how many chickens they can keep per hectare in their Free Range fields.  Standards.

 

 

Another item of interest I read on the Animal’s Australia website was this:

“AECL wants to increase this to allow a staggering 20,000 laying hens per hectare and to call eggs produced under these intense conditions ‘free range’,  to attract a premium price.”

 

 

Now, I’m not an alarmist, nor do I wish to upset or offend any of the organisations mentioned.  I don’t claim to be an expert in this area either.

I’m just a concerned citizen and a mum who thinks that the treatment of these fateful animals should be on our moral responsibility radar.

 

 

Pace Farm and Pirovic Family Farms, your marketing looks great, and from what you say, your chooks seem happy but…

 

WILL YOU PLEASE PROVIDE ME AND ANYONE WHO CARES WITH CURRENT IMAGES AND CURRENT FACTS ABOUT YOUR BARNS, HENS, NUMBERS AND FREE RANGE AREAS?

 

I want to know that Free Range is as Free Range sounds.

 

 

Thanks,

Robo X

 

Pace Farm and Pirovic Family Farms do not seem to be on Twitter so in fairness, I will email them a link to my post.  I will also tweet this to Animals Australia.

 

Hooking up today with #IBOT


A little bit of help

I chucked a sickie today.

Admittedly, I woke up with a shocking headache.  I couldn’t get it together for long enough to even get dressed.  So I called in sick, took two Panadol and went straight back to bed.

An hour and a half later, on my second attempt at waking up, I felt like a million bucks. Headache gone.  You Little Ripper!

On Fridays, Mum looks after my kids while I go to work.  She arrives early and spends the whole day here, at my place.  On Fridays, I often return home to happily exhausted kidlets and a pot of dinner bubbling away on the stove.   Sometimes she’ll run a quick vacuum, or fold a basket of washing.

My kids adore their Grandmother and love her visits.  My mum is gold.  I don’t know how she does it but this weekly gift she gives me and my family is priceless.

Today, as usual, she was here right on time.

She fed the kids breakfast before the fun started.  All morning, I could hear squeals of laughter, silly stories and lots of songs.  The TV and tablet were off but the imagination was in overdrive.  Sometimes I wonder if I’m doing my kids a disservice with all the technology they access but more on that in another post.

For my kids, Fridays are obviously all about talking teddy bears and going outside to play in the garden.  Good old-fashioned Grandma FUN.

Mum being here today and my not-so-sickie-after-all, allowed me to get to two things I hate doing.  Packing away clean laundry and cleaning up the little area where we dump backpacks, handbags, shoes and jackets.

Now they’re done!

I even got to shower and blow dry my hair without interruption.

4.30pm and I’m sitting on the lounge.  The kids are playing with their toys on the rug.  I feel pretty good right now.  Invigorated, uncluttered.   Ready to tackle the weekend of birthday parties, swimming lessons and grocery shopping.

A little bit of help goes a very long way in Mumhood.

God bless Mental Health Days but more importantly, God bless our Mums.

Thanks Mum.  I love you.  X


Blogger’s Block

Writing is something that comes naturally to me.  It always has.  I can’t speak publicly, nor can I think on my feet very well but give me pen and paper and I’ll generally knock up something pretty interesting.

Years spent reading other people’s blogs always made me think I could do it.

I could blog.

I prepared by making a long list of things I wanted to write about.  Easy.

I set up a neat little area in my front room and called it my ‘writing space’.  Too easy.

Admittedly ‘writing space’ felt a bit ostentatious but I was, after all, starting a blog.

Blogger.

So when I finally sat down to start, the reality of my new, self-proclaimed title hit me.

My great ideas suddenly seemed pointless.  My neat little writing space was ineffective, evidently better used as a parking lot for Matchbox cars.   And time.  Time slipped away so incredibly quickly.  I would no sooner open my laptop before a child would cry out and the lid would close again.

It became abundantly clear that blogging was not as easy as it seemed.

I don’t know if it was the pollen from my fresh flowers but I suddenly became anxious about my writing ability, about what I had to offer.  I was choking, stifled.

Something I had set out to do for Me, for that all important quest for clarity, was starting to stress me out.

Something was wrong.

I snapped.

I scrapped the romantic version of writing that I had conjured up in my head.

I binned the vase of now, not-so-fresh looking flowers .

My workspace moved to the living room, in front of a blaring ABC2.  I wrote in my lunch break at work because I felt like it and blogged on my phone on Tuesday afternoon.  Yesterday I wrote on the front porch at home and today, I’m posting from upstairs, while Mr 4 plays with a new packet of clothes pegs on the rug.

My ability came back, naturally.

Natural.

This afternoon I tweeted a question about blogging schedules and a wise Tegan said to forget schedules.  ‘Quality over quantity’, she said.

I completely agree.

Right now the only blogging schedule I can keep to is, ‘when I can’.

When I’m not Robomumming.

When I feel inspired, I’ll sit for a bit and see if I can knock up something interesting.


I Heart Chrissie Swan

Re-posting to show my support to the wonderful Chrissie Swan. 

Yes people…  She is human!

As always, just the awkward excruciating truth.

All the best Chrissie

Robo X

 

I have a girl crush on Chrissie Swan, so at the risk of sounding stalkeresque, unstable or both, I’ll try to explain.

Maybe girl crush is the wrong choice of words. I have a deep affection for her.  An admiration. When Chrissie talks, along with thousands of others, I listen.

The Teacher in me has created this simple flow chart detailing all the reasons for said girl crush:

She’s a real Sista!

I’m not on TV or radio but (and here’s my long bow), I am a mum, wife and writer so I feel as though I share an affinity with her.

Here’s why:

  • All of our kidlets are similar ages so we were pregnancy buddies together, via the TV, (which she doesn’t really know about).
  •  She’s famous.  In my capacity as High School Teacher, it could be said that I have a certain claim to fame too.
  •  In our respective roles, we are both required to give as much of ourselves as is conceivable to make a difference and achieve pleasing results for others.
  •  We’re busy, worn-out mums-on-the-run who get through the day slowly, crazily and theatrically, with lots of coffee, of course.

Chrissie Swan

Mother, Wife, TV and Radio Presenter, Writer.  A busy, everyone-wants-a-piece-of-her woman.  To use a cliché, I don’t know how she does it.  Or at least I didn’t know, until I read this article.

Having it all

I laughed when reading Having it All, but I shed a little tear too.  It was a strange comfort to realise that someone like Chrissie has the same daily dramas as me.  And it was a breath of fresh air to read what she shared about her life.

Here’s an excerpt.  And my reaction too.

My alarm goes off at 4.45am. I sneak out of the marital bed and get dressed in the kitchen because everyone is still asleep. I lay my clothes out the night before and sometimes forget my shoes or undergarments, so at least once a week I turn up to the studio with no shoes/a floppy maternity bra/no undies 

I hear you Chrissie!   I’m tiptoeing down the stairs of death, (they’re deathly steep), at 5.45am to shower.  While trying to rouse myself from slumber, I’m thinking about what I have in my limited, ill-fitting wardrobe that will conceal my butt and gut on this God-given day.

I could probably get up a bit earlier and run a straightener over my hair, but I opt for the extra 15 minutes sleep. The drawback of this is that I spend the majority of my day looking like an escapee from an asylum.

Two words…Pony tail.

I always forget to make sure there are enough bananas. We run out of them – often. And they’re the only fruit my one-year-old will eat.

 The only fruit I bother to buy is bananas.  Not lying. Other fruits are either ordered at day care or provided by my dear Mother-in-law when my kids see her.

 

Last week, I put my three-year-old to bed and quickly read him a story. I confess I skipped every second page and invented The End when I felt like it.

 When exhausted, I summon my most animated voice and tell Little Man this: “Sleep right away because tomorrow is going to be so exciting you’ll need all your rest and energy!”

Weet-Bix and blueberries can double as dinner.

 Weet-Bix + banana = dinner

 I just measured a hair on my leg and it came in at an impressive 1.2 centimetres. Clearly, I need a Post-it note in the bathroom that says “shave”.

In the winter months I’ve been known to visit random waxing salons in faraway suburbs. I don’t care that they converse in a foreign language, even though I’m convinced they’re saying, “Get a load of this hairy bitch!”

Last week my gas was nearly cut off because I forgot to pay the bill. I had to call them and beg for an extension, spurred on by visions of my children in layers of clothing huddled around the cat for warmth.

I moved house a few months ago and forgot to cancel the electricity. Now I have to pay bills for both old and new homes.  Apparently there is no recourse for stupidity.

 

I made a terrible waldorf salad and chicken spare ribs for dinner and I couldn’t even talk about how foul it was. Later that night, I heard my partner stirring up a glass of Fybogel to make up for the distinct lack of edible anything in the meal department.

 When I read this I had a revelation.  My man goes through Mylanta like they’re lollies. They’re permanently on the fridge. Fark!

The “service me NOW” light has been on in my car for about four months – but, seriously, how can I survive without the car for two days? I will probably drive it until it explodes. And work it out then.

Same here!  Well different really but car issue all the same.  I’m so terrified about my Crapastra dying that I service it ALL THE TIME.  I won’t drive it at the weekend and insist on using it only for short trips.  The Crapastra has given me OCD but I can’t afford to replace it at this point.

My three-year-old knows 15 types of dinosaur and I have no idea who taught him. Where have I been?

My 4 year old son can download games on the Samsung Galaxy and navigate YouTube like a pro and I know I didn’t teach him that.

This candid honesty is what I adore about Chrissie.  She’s not afraid to admit defeat, admit the eff ups, admit the unfortunate, raw, embarrassing truths that so many of us Mums pretend do not exist.  I love her for this! And I wish to goodness that more well-known Australian women would bite the bullet, stop glossing over the fucking truth and call a spade a spade.

So as new as it is, I’ve committed to a blog of candid honesty and embarrassing truths.  I will not succumb to a Sham blog.

No lies.

No make-believe or gloss.

Just the awkward, excruciating truth.

So that’s me for this Post.  If you are yet to meet Ms Chrissie Swan, grab Google, a coffee and acquaint yourself.

She really is one of the most inspiring women of our generation.

Love X