Wednesday, February 05, 2014


17 Fern Street, Gympie...showing middle and rear flat.
17 Fern Street, Gympie Circa 2014
17 Fern Street Circa 2014

Each and every one of us has habits, some good, some bad, and some, perhaps, that are better kept secret!  All right then…if you don’t wish or want to own up, that’s okay with me. 

I’m a creature of habits and traditions.  Traditions of my own making, that is; just my own little personal traditions that have grown throughout the years; so there are quite a few of them because I’ve been strolling, and at other times running along the pathways of my life for a number of years now.  No…I’m not confessing how many years; not today, anyway.  It is enough to admit I’ve not yet reached “three score years and ten”. Whether I confess when, I shall ponder upon over and over again – so until then, I refuse to be browbeaten, and it shall remain unwritten!  

Pondering is habit of mine, too.

Have you noticed a lot of people have the annoying habit of “knocking” everything and everybody?  They’ve done it for so long it becomes second nature to them.  So easily they’ve slipped into the habit of rarely having a good word to say about anything or anyone.  It’s not a very nice trait to have. 

With "rehab" being the word of the day, I wonder if there is rehab for bad habits!

“Tall Poppy Syndrome” is alive and well, unfortunately.  No antidote has yet been found to counteract its venom.  It’s like a vicious virus that can’t be eradicated. Instead of admiring, and perhaps doing one’s best to aspire to the achievements and talents of those who have genuinely accomplished greatness in their chosen fields there are far too many others who prefer to tear down like rotting undergrowth or white ant-infested walls those who have succeeded .   

Envy comes to mind as one of the reasons; a feeling of personal inadequacy is another.  The “knockers”; the “tear-downers” enjoy a false feeling of power when they rip apart those who do well in life. It's a shallow way of behaving, in my opinion; and it’s probably the only thing at which they’ll succeed in doing! That's not much of an achievement...

Sure, we love the “underdog”. We admire humility in a person.  We should also cheer for greatness.  Who knows, some of it might rub off on us!

Jealousy/envy is a wasteful emotion; and it's one that can lead to much destruction, personally and to the welfare and lives of others.

Negativity is very frustrating, but let us not dwell upon it, or we, too, will succumb to the habit! 

When my brother, Graham and I were kids growing up in Gympie we had a neighbour, Mrs. Weller. Mrs. Weller had a habit of adding “you know” after everything she said, whether it was a question or a statement, you know!

We lived in a block of three flats. They weren’t flash. It was a highest construction at the front; and the land levelled out at the rear of the block. From the street it looked more like a single dwelling rather than a set of three flats. The building’s exterior was clad in weatherboard; the interior walls were unpainted tongue and groove. Linoleum covered the floors. 

The premises are pictured above, as it is nowadays.  Some changes, naturally, have been made since we lived there. The two bedroom windows at the front when it was my most modest home (for a period of 17 years) were adorned with window boxes bearing colourful portulaca. 

Along the wall beside the front stairs, my brother, Graham, having caught the gardening habit erected a shelf there; and upon the timber shelf he placed many pots filled with various cacti and ferns (the latter being appropriate, now that I think about it...after all, it was "Fern Street).

A couple of palm trees grew down the side of the property beside the garden path; and a fence separated our dwelling and the house on the lower side. 

The neighbour to whom I refer herein lived in the rear flat with her husband, Mr. Weller – “Audie” to the adults. However, they were always “Mr.” and “Mrs.” to my brother and me; as were all adults, without exception.

Our flat was at the front of the house/buildimg.  To reach the front gate and letter-box our back neighbours had to walk down the garden path that ran down the side of our flat. However, as our front flat was high off the ground there was no chance of them seeing into our home because we actually looked down upon the concrete garden path from the height of our verandah/sleep-out. We didn't look down upon our neighbours, though, other than physically if standing on our verandah!

Sometimes, when passing, Mrs. Weller caught us out on our front verandah and a conversation would ensue before we had a chance to escape…you know!   

We were trapped…you know!

Kids being kids, every time Mrs. Weller stopped for a chat on her way to or from the letter-box Graham and I fell into the habit of uncontrollable giggling fits. Covering our mouths with our hands, we'd almost smother ourselves trying not to be heard, or our mirth be seen. We’d duck down behind the wall on the verandah, out of sight.  While we were collapsed on the floor in hysterical, silent laughter, Mum or Nana or both kicked us (not in an abusive manner) in an effort to shut us up; all the while themselves trying valiantly to keep straight faces,

And every time Mrs. Weller dropped a “you know” into her conversations no amount of kicks from our Mum and/or Nana could stop our muffled laughter.  Poor Mrs. Weller - she didn't have a bad bone in her body.  She meant well; she was a simple soul.

Any time Graham and I went a bit too far with our mischievous behaviour, Mum and Nana, of course, got into the habit of glaring at us and/or kicking us under the table, out of the eye range of others, in an effort to control our childish behaviour.  Graham and I always knew when we’d gone too far; stepped over or gotten too close to the demarcation line; when it was time to pull our heads in and behave ourselves.  

I don’t recall ever being slapped or spanked.  I remember the threats; they were enough to stop my brother and me in our tracks, quick smart. I do remember the glares and the nudges under the table, too!  It became a habit of mine, and, no doubt, Graham became similarly afflicted, as well, to do some under-the-table-kicking, too!  It was a family trait.  It was part of our DNA.

Immediately after finishing dinner, Nana had a habit of asking us “what do you feel like for dinner tomorrow night?” 

In reply, our habit was to groan loudly while rubbing our full stomachs!

Querulously, I ask the following questions –

When does a habit become a tradition?

When does a habit become an addiction?

When does a habit become piece of clothing? 

Of course, not all habits are bad. However, the habit of having cream doughnuts for breakfast every day is – I guess!

Doughnuts can easily become a holey habit, you know!

Basic Doughnuts: Beat 2 eggs until creamy and lemon-coloured. Add 1/2c sugar, 2-1/2tsp baking powder, 1/4tsp salt, 1tsp hot melted butter, 1/2tsp nutmeg, 1/2tsp ginger, 1/2c milk and 1-1/2 sifted plain flour. Dust surface with flour and a little ginger; roll out dough to ½-inch thick; cut with cutter. Let stand 1 hour, covered with tea towel. Deep fry at 185C; drain; shake in a bag full of cinnamon and caster sugar.  

Sour Cream Doughnuts: Cream together 1c sugar and 3/4c thick sour cream. Beat 3 eggs with a fork; add to mixture. Sift 1tsp each baking powder and baking soda; add a small bit at a time to 1c sour milk.  Sift in 3c plain flour; and then add about 1c or amount necessary to make soft dough. Chill a little, then roll dough out on floured surface; cut with floured cutter. Don’t handle dough more than necessary because it will become tough. Fry in hot oil. Drain; roll in sugar. 

Honey-Dipped Doughnuts: Sift together 3-3/4c plain flour (sift before measuring), 2tsp baking powder, 1tspn baking soda, 1tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp nutmeg and 1/4tsp salt. In bowl, beat 1c sugar, 2 eggs and 3tbl butter with hand-held mixer at med-speed. Blend in a little milk; stir in dry ingredients until well-blended to a soft dough. Wrap; chill 2 hours. Place dough on lightly-floured surface; roll to ½-inch thickness. Cut out with floured cutter. Drop doughnuts 2-3 at a time into hot fat. Fry, turning once, until golden; drain.  Heat 1c honey to just boiling point. Dip doughnuts, one at a time, into hot honey, coating well; then dip half of each doughnut into flaked or shredded coconut. Place on racks to dry.  

Apple Cider Doughnuts: Make a glaze from 2c icing sugar and 1/4c apple cider; put aside. Boil 1c apple cider until reduced to 1/4c; cool. Beat 1c sugar with 1/4c solid vegetable shortening until smooth.  Add 2 large eggs; mix well; add 1/2c buttermilk and cider. Stir together 3-1/2c plain flour, 2tsp baking powder, 1tsp baking soda, 1/2tsp cinnamon, 1/2tsp salt and 1/4tsp nutmeg in another bowl. Add to liquid ingredients; mix until just enough to combine. Transfer dough to lightly-floured surface; pat to ½-inch thickness. Cut with cutter.  Fry doughnuts a couple at a time, turning once, until golden. Dip doughnuts, while warm into glaze; serve warm. 

Spudnuts: Put 3pkts dry yeast into enough warm water to cover; let activate.  Combine 1c sugar, 1c butter and 5 eggs; add 3c mashed potatoes, 1/2tspn nutmeg, 1tsp salt, 1tsp lemon juice, 4c milk and activated yeast; mix. Add enough flour to make a soft dough; let rise. Roll out; cut; let rise; then fry.  


  1. Lee, i hope you got my message on A-man's blog. I thought it was funny sending out the search party. I am just tired, really tired with going back to work. I have heaps to blog about but no time and no energy. I need a secretary, a masseuse, a chef, a house cleaner ~ a nice man would be nice too, if I am making a shopping list.

  2. Yes, I did, thanks, Carol. I was just a little concerned...hoping all was well with you.

    Take a breather...I imagine the start of the school year is a very hectic time for you. Don't take on too much.

    Stuff the won't go away, even if you do it all today, it'll be there again tomorrow and next week and the week after and so on. If anyone complains tell them to leave and come back when it's you they wish to see...not the dust on the shelves and the cobwebs in the corners! They are superficial...those kinds of visitors, as well as the dust and cobwebs! ;)

    Thanks for dropping in.

  3. You have some mighty pretty photos girl. I love the flowers. And the donuts can definitely be a bad habit - that is so good.

  4. I wouldn't mind one or two of thos donuts right now, CC! :)

  5. I quite agree with you regarding negativity, Lee. I've culled negative people from my life...they drained too much of my energy. I can be negative all by myself without anyone's help, you

    Of course, with some unfortunate souls the more extreme habits are often associated with obsessive compulsive behaviour.

    You've given us something to think about, Lee, and we can all do with a reminder of the more negative aspects we may indulge in at times.

  6. Yes, I'm with you on that one, Robyn. I have enough negativity of my own that I am at all times doing my best to be rid of without the help of others to drag me down! ;)

    Thanks for coming by.

  7. Oh lord don't talk to me about doughnuts. I just saw a TV programme showing they were scientifically proven to be a really addictive food, not that you need a scientist to say that.
    I loved your reflections on habits and poor Mrs. Weller. I remember that feeling of getting the giggles sometimes about something an adult said or did. It lasted up to the teens in my case!
    I think I'm getting to be more of a creature of habit these days. I used to try not to be,'s so easy just to slide into a habit. One habit I have got lately is using three or four dots instead of a full stop.....

  8. You forgot inherited habits. The things within us that react as did our forefathers.
    i suppose that's where I get the habit of being sweet, thoughtful and nice.

  9. Jenny...I still have to control myself when in the presence of some people! But these days added to the nigh uncontrollable giggles, in some cases, a desperate desire to throttle some folk has become a habit I desperately try to keep under control!! ;)

    And see...I, too, have the dotty habit!!

  10. There you go again, Adullamite...blaming others! ;)

  11. Oooh, now I want doughnuts.

    I hate getting trapped by people like that. There is a guy on my board who always has something negative to say. Once, he made a comment about the photo on our organization's Facebook page, and was even negative about that! So I replied, "Well, it's not up to you, is it?" And he promptly shut up ;)

  12. And it's such a satisfying feeling having shut such a person up, RK! :)

  13. "Kitchen Connection" has been included in the A Sunday Drive for this week. Be assured that I hope this helps to point even more new visitors in your direction.

  14. G'day to you!
    Ha! I recently started humming a song after trying to get away from someone and the song's first words are "I know you want to leave me, but I refuse to let you go"! (Ain't Too Proud To Beg)
    Funny, how those songs are firmly planted in our brains and they come to the forefront when you least expect them, you know?

  15. G'day, Jerry...thanks for adding me to your Sunday Drive List. Much appreciated. :)

  16. Yes, I know, Kay G, you know!

    Thanks for dropping in, Kay...nice to see you. :)

  17. Yes - I actually let a couple of negative friends go out of my life. They couldn't believe it and still can't believe I did that. It was a group of older adults - all of us single, who used to rotate to each other's homes for "game night." So much fun and I loved it, until the talk turned critical and negative. I was pushed a little too far one evening and cut those friendships off.

  18. I'm a terrible person for picking up on people's talking habits. Maybe that's why I don't have friends anymore. Oh, you had to put up doughnut recipes. Growing up, St. Pauli Girl had a Sputdnut shop in her hometown and swore they were the best ever. They closed down before I ever got to try them. But now that I see a recipe...

  19. Good for you, Lynn! A step well taken. :)

  20. I guess Spudnuts will be on your menu for a while, Dexter! Glad to be of help! ;)

    Nice to see you, as always.

  21. You-all have trailer parks?

  22. Yes, we do, Jerry...but we don't call them "trailer-parks"....they're called "caravan parks".

    Why do you ask?

  23. I was just trying to be funny by inferring that you-all are too classy to have them like we do. In fact, I have spent a great deal of time living in a trailer park over the years, and you are already well aware of high-classed I am.

  24. I live in a very simple, humble rented cabin, Jerry. There ain't nuttin' high class about me!

    There are some very nice, well-placed caravan parks parked about the place. A good friend of mine lives in one...and he has a terrific water view of an expansive lake...he's caravan/cabin is right on the water's edge.

    There's nothing wrong with well-run and well-maintained caravan parks. The only trouble is these days more and more hungry developers are trying to take them over so they can build condominiums or the like.

    I managed a motel that was part of a larger property up in Cardwell back in the Nineties...I wrote an post about it last year, I think...and the large parcel of land included on-site caravans and villas, plus caravan sites for travellers as well as a beachfront covered just about everyone's even had a few campsites for those who enjoyed the tent life.

    If I ever have to leave this cabin I could very well become "an old fart in a caravan park!" ;)