Friday, December 30, 2016


I’ve no unexpected expectant news to announce.  As would be expected, I’d expire if that exceedingly weird miracle existed! 

I’m expectantly living in hope; hoping 2017 expands into a far better year than 2016. 
Beyond ridiculous, 2016 was excessively marred by excruciating events; mostly caused by the hands of Man.  And, please don't go all "sexist" on know what I mean; and I how mean it without me having to explain....

I’ve two exes. I’m on friendly terms with both my exes.  No “Xs” are ticked off in the boxes beside their names and mine. There’s nothing extraordinary in that. It’s how life should be, in my opinion; and fortunately, for me, it is.   
Through the years, my exes and I have exercised goodwill towards each other; never having reason not to do so. 2016 has been no different.

My first ex and I both spent our childhoods in Gympie.  Coincidentally, he and his family lived in the street behind where I lived. We could see each other’s home from our respective verandahs.  We didn’t need expensive binoculars to spy on each other, not that we had any interest in doing so when we were kids. Mervyn was, and still is, five years older than me.  And when he started working, it was off to Brisbane he went!  My No.1 ex was an ex-Noosa Heads Lifesaver, as was my late brother, Graham.   

Ex, No. 2 Randall and I are in regular contact.  We’re good mates, and I believe it’s excellent that we are.

How the years are rapidly slipping away, but fortunately many friendships remain as the past expands.  Some friendships have exploded through the years, but I guess that is to be expected. Not everything remains the same, nor do some people.  However, there are exceptions to the rule.... this I do sincerely believe.

2016 has been a shit year in so many ways, for far too many people.  It’s been a year overflowing with too much violence; too much hate; too much heartache; too much stupidity; too much short-sightedness, selfishness and envy.

I know I’m not alone in having experienced sadness during the past year.  On the scale, mine is minor to that experienced by thousands of others.  My fluctuations in emotions pale into significance when compared to what many have had to deal with here in Australia, as well as with our kindred beings in other countries throughout our exceedingly mixed-up world.   

Thousands upon thousands were exposed to far greater, unimaginable heartache; to unexplainable losses; too many were/are victims of extreme violence.  

Sadly, and disturbingly, there are no signs the behaviours exhibited are going to cease any time soon, if ever. 

I’m not a religious person, but I think the world needs an exorcism to rid it of the over-riding, wide-spread evil that exists. It’s expanding as rapidly as a pandemic.  An excerptor is desperately needed to do some culling! 

2016 has been an extravaganza of hate; an exhibition of foolishness, violence, avarice and disrespect; sadly lacking decency and dignity.

What is wrong with humans that they are so filled with extraordinary hate, ignorance, stupidity, greed, envy, vindictiveness etc., etc., et al, and more?  

With no exception, they need their heads examined! The problem, of course, is there’s little or no brain matter in there with which to work.  A team of expert excavators could be sent in and they’d still come up empty-handed!

You might think I’m being excessive in my expressions of my thoughts; exchanges upon which, perhaps, I’m expending too much; exposing myself, so to speak. 

However, following due consideration, me, myself and I made an executive decision.

After extracting excessive, redundant cogitation; exercising a little restraint, I might add, I, myself and me decided to make an explosive announcement. 
I, me and myself exclaim loudly for everyone to hear –not only on our own home front, but all areas far and wide – “Roll up our sleeves! Let’s expel and expunge negativity from the world!”  

Me, myself and I wish everyone an exceptionally excellent 2017. 

May happiness, good health, peace, positivity and love like manna from Heaven shower down upon all of us.  May humans take pride in themselves and others; may they respect themselves and others....

Let’s exalt our standards of behaviour, thinking, being and caring.
It’s time to exhale....Happy New Year! 

Exceptional Egg Salad:  Whisk together 6tbs lemon juice and 2tsp honey; slowly drizzle in 1/2c x-virgin olive oil, whisking constantly; season. Cook 8-10 bacon rashes until golden and crisp; transfer to paper towel to drain and cool; then crumble into bite-size pieces. Preheat oven, 190C. Toss 2c diced sweet potatoes in olive oil; season; roast, 20-25mins; cool briefly. Carefully shave 30 Brussels sprouts with a mandoline; use fingers to separate layers; fluff the sprouts. Toss Brussels sprouts with the other ingredients and the vinaigrette; divide among plates. Shave some Parmigiano Reggiano into shards; place on top of each salad along with a soft-poached egg on each.

Extra Special Pasta Salad: Cook 240g whole-wheat rotini, fusilli or similar pasta as directed; drain; cook; transfer to large serving bowl. Add 1-1/2c small-cut broccoli florets, 1c halved cherry or grape tomatoes, 1 small yellow capsicum, diced, 1/3c sliced pepperoni, quartered, 1/4c diced red onion, 65g pitted black olives, 1/2c crumbled feta and 3tbs chopped parsley. Italian Dressing: slice 1 small tomato in half; rub inside edges (non-peel) against coarse grater over small bowl; grate all tomatoes interior (juices and flesh) into bowl; discard peel. Whisk in 1tbs red wine vinegar, 1tbs Greek yoghurt, 1tbs x-virgin olive oil, 2ts Dijon mustard, 1tsp honey, 1/2tsp minced garlic, 1/4tsp each salt, oregano and dried basil and 1/8th tsp ground black pepper. Pour dressing over pasta; toss gently.

Exemplary Egg & Spinach Salad: In saucepan heat 6tbs olive oil; add 1 thinly-sliced onion; remove from heat; stir in 2tbs white wine vinegar, 2tsp grainy mustard, salt and pepper. In bowl combine 2 trimmed bunches spinach, 240g ham, sliced ¼-inch thick and into small sticks and 6 thinly sliced radishes; drizzle onion mixture over salad; toss; garnish with 6 quartered hard-boiled eggs.

Eggscellent-Quinoa Salad: Rinse 175g quinoa in sieve; place in pan; pour over 40ml vegetable stock; bring to boil; cover and simmer, 20mins or until liquid is absorbed. Drain any excess liquid; return the quinoa to pan; leave it covered for 5mins.  Boil 6 large eggs for 7mins; remove from heat; drain and rinse under cold water; then shell eggs. Cut each into quarters. Blanche 175g broccoli florets for 3mins; drain and rinse under cold running water; drain. Toast 4tbs pumpkin seeds until they start popping; place in serving bowl; add quinoa, broccoli, 4 sliced shallots, green and white parts, 150g halved cherry tomatoes, 3tbs chopped flat-leaf parsley, 3tbs x-olive oil, zest and juice of half lemon, salt and pepper; mix well. Gently stir through the hard-boiled eggs.  

Extreme Egg Avo-Go Salad:  In bowl mash until creamy 2 ripe avocados in bowl with some lemon juice, salt, pepper, curry powder.  Hard boil 4 eggs; peel then dice. Gently fold the eggs into the avocado along with 3tbs diced red onion and 3tbs finely chopped fresh chives.  Re-season with lemon juice, salt and pepper (and curry powder) if necessary. Serve on rocket/arugula and rye bread.Top of Form

Excellent Smoothie: Blend until smooth, 2c honeydew melon, skinned and de-seeded, 1 large, seeded, quartered pear, 1 medium, de-seeded apple; add 4 ice cubes or cold water, as needed/desired.   Whack in a Kiwi fruit or two, too, if you like...a little extra will make it extraordinary extra special!

Thursday, December 22, 2016


Merry Christmas from Remy and Shama

I heard that Christmas is nigh.  Is this true? I don’t believe everything I hear, read or am told.  What happened to 2016?  Did I sleep through it? Did I, perhaps by accident, tear the months off my calendar, leaving only December?  Surely 12 months can’t have passed since last Christmas!

From the moment the Christmas seed was planted melodies have been swirling around in my head non-stop, e.g. “Just hear those surf bells jinglin’, ring-ting-tinglin’, come on it’s lovely weather for a surfboard ride together with you.  The heat is descending and friends are callin’  ‘Yoo-hoo’! Come on, it’s lovely weather for a surfboard ride together with you.” 

Listen up!  Tinsel is a-glistening; balls are a-baubling!  Whoo-hoo! Stop your dawdlin’!

It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Christmas so I guess the stories I’ve heard are true.  

I’m not dreaming of a White Christmas.  Not overly-fond of the heat, I’m hoping for a cool Christmas, though.  

With no intentions of going anywhere I’ll Be Home for Christmas.  Do You Hear What I Hear?  Hark!  The Herald Angels Sing!   

I won’t be Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.  I’m not putting up a tree.  

Rudolph’s nose is still red.  Has he spent too long under the sun, or could it be he’s been hitting the rum again?  Drunk leading a sleigh is not a good look!  

The Little Drummer Boy has a brand-spanking new drum and pair of drumsticks.

Here’s a bit of trivia for your Christmas bonbons – the popular song was written in 1941 by American classical music composer Katherine Kennicott Davis.  It was recorded in 1951 by the Trapp Family Singers.  Yep! The Von Trapp family who later were made even more famous by “The Sound of Music”.  

The Little Drummer Boy had been busily drumming long before Julie Andrews brought the hills alive by dancing to Jingle Bell Rock.  

It’s never a Silent Night when he’s wandering along the streets, but no one ever complains.  Some even call out to him, “Baby, It’s Cold Outside!”

I never saw Mummy Kissing Santa Claus.  On Christmas Eve Santa was too busy for any hanky-panky.  As soon as Santa Baby filled the pillow cases hanging off the end of the beds of my brother and me (no measly stockings for us), Santa yelled out – “Run, Rudolph, Run!”

Fortunately, Rudolph always allowed Santa enough time to leap into his sleigh before he did as instructed.  

Be prepared! Joy to the World!  Don’t have a Blue Christmas! Santa Claus Is Coming to Town!  It’s Jingle bells, jingle bells, jingling all the way! 

Last Christmas I had a Jolly Holly Christmas.  I intend doing similar this year.   

I won’t be All Alone On Christmas – my best mates, Remy and Shama will be sharing Christmas with me.  Do They Know It’s Christmas?  Yes, they sure do!    They love the Silver Bells, the Mistletoe and Wine. - well, I like the wine - and they hang around the mistletoe.

Frosty, the Snowman will have to remain holed up in the freezer.  Sandy, the Sandman can take his place on the beach throughout Christmas.

My thanks are extended to everyone - friends, acquaintances and strangers alike – for treating me kindly during 2016; to those who were never miserly with their smiles.

Last, but by no means least, my special thanks go out to you - my blogger friends...for sticking with me through 2016, and for taking time to respond to my ramblings.  Your friendship through this medium is as valued by me as our friendship would be in the “real” world.  There are times, oft times, I prefer our world within our blogosphere to the “real” world.  We frequently make more sense!!

We Need a Little Christmas...each day of the year.   

If you’re Driving Home for Christmas - stay alert; be safe.  

All I Want for Christmas is peace on earth, happiness and good health for everyone. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Prawn-Melon Salad: In a large salad bowl gently combine 750g cooked, peeled, deveined, tails intact king prawns, ½ honeydew melon, peeled and chopped, ¼ watermelon, chopped,  1 small red onion, halved and thinly sliced, 200g crumbled feta, 4 grilled prosciutto slices, torn and 1/2c fresh mint leaves.  You can add some chopped rockmelon, too, if you like.  Make dressing:- ¼ cup x-virgin olive oil, 2tbs red wine vinegar and 1tsp Dijon mustard; drizzle dressing over salad just before serving; toss gently.

Christmas Citrus Pork: Remove rind from 2.5kg boned pork loin; rub salt and oil into rind for crackling.  Seasoning;  combine 1/2c  cooked wild rice, 1/2c brown rice, 1c chopped pecans, 2tsp butter, 1 finely chopped small onion, 1 finely chopped celery stalk, 1 crushed garlic clove, 1/2c stale breadcrumbs, 6 shallots, chopped, 1tsp grated fresh ginger and 1 lightly beaten egg. Open loin out flat; place seasoning along centre; roll up; secure firmly. Place seam side down in dish; bake in hot oven 30mins; reduce heat to moderate; bake 1hr. Brush with combined orange juice, marmalade, honey and soy sauce; bake 30mins. Place rind on oven tray; bake on top rack until crisp while pork is cooking.  Citrus Sauce; chop 1 peeled orange; combine with 1c orange juice,  zest, 1/4c orange marmalade, 2tbs lemon juice, 2tsp French mustard and 1/4c water. Over med-heat; cook; stir until thickened and still a bit chunky; chill. Serve with sliced, cold pork. The pork can be cooked previous day.

Mango Salsa:  Cut 1 large, ripe, peeled mango into 2cm pieces; place in bowl with 1 avocado, cut into 2cm pieces, 1 finely chopped fresh red birds-eye de-seeded chilli, 1/2c fresh coriander leaves, 2tbs finely chopped red onion, 2tbs lime juice and 1tbs x-virgin olive oil; toss; season; serve with your Christmas ham.   

Stay happy - and love the ones you’re with! 

Saturday, December 17, 2016


Puff! Whew!  I’ve just finished my morning exercise.  Every morning and afternoon I run around the block.  Last week I upgraded; expanded, so to speak; which in turn increased the distance I have to cover.  Because my ice block kept melting I replaced it with a Besser Block; now I run around the Besser Block.

I bought two pairs of Nike Air Zoom Pegasus 33 running shoes.  One pair airs while I wear the other pair.  I’m a rebel; my Lorna Jane high performance, active-wear wardrobe is bursting at the seams. Draped over the racks I have trackie dacks in colours of the rainbow, ready for winter’s re-appearance.  Winter is some time off in the future, I know, but I’m hanging out for it; just not on the racks with my dacks. 

A thoughtful, unexpected gesture can change one’s mood within a split second.  And, boy, I could use one of those right now. 

I’ve had no home phone since Friday 9th December, and was informed Tuesday morning, 13th December, it won’t be up and working again until 22nd December.  (Hopefully, the problem whatever it is is fixed then)!   The only strand of hair I had left was yanked now I am bald!

I bit the bullet...altered my standing in the world...I am no longer the Last of the Mohicans...I bought a cheap little, no-frills, no bells, whistles and streams Telstra movile phone.  That is all I need to see me through until my landline phone service problems are fixed.  

Famous last words....

I live alone...I need some kind of phone access.  If I fell and did damage to myself...I need to be able to have a phone service!  No one would ever know if I'd cracked a bone, a hip...or whatever else...and so on....

I received the mobile phone Tuesday morning.

Tuesday morphed into a very long, frustrating, exhausting day...I spent from around 10.15 am through until 6 pm on Telstra 24/7 Support my information and all details of said problem over and over and over and over again, in order to have the mobile activated. 

I “spoke/wrote” with many different people.  And each time before our dialogue I waited on know how it goes...

One clown, towards late afternoon, after we’d had about 20 minutes of dialogue told me he could no longer “talk” with me because he didn’t believe I was who I said I was. 

I raced off and had a look in the mirror to confirm that it was, in fact me.  By that stage, even I was confused!   However, yes, it was as I suspected....I was me...and I still am me!

I copied and pasted every chat that occurred on Tuesday...and below is the portion where the idiot said he wouldn’t “chat” with me any further.  If he’d been within arm’s length of me he would’ve ended up on the it was just as well he wasn’t!

LEE  Why can't you proceed??

After a careful examination on the account I have confirmed that you are not part of the authorized contacts. We want to continue assisting you. To accomplish this please call 132200 and say 'faults' so we can further continue with the account authentication.

Who is going to help me?
After a careful examination on the account I have confirmed that you are not part of the authorized contacts. We want to continue assisting you. To accomplish this please call 132200 and say 'faults' so we can further continue with the account authentication.
No one? This is not good enough...not by a mile!

Dexter has disconnected.

LEE has disconnected.  End Quote

That chat with that little chappy made me very unhappy...very angry, to be precise!

Finally, as the time crept closer to 6 pm, my new phone was activated by a very helpful 24/7 Telstra Support fellow.  I thanked him very much and said if he ran into Dexter to give him a good kick up the backside for me!

All went reasonably well until Friday morning when was on a call to a friend...a friend who is not well, and who I call every other day, if not every day to see how he’s getting on.  His situation is the main reason I was frantic not having any phone service.

Matters on the home phone front and the mobile phone front have not gotten any better!

Mid-call with my friend the mobile phone died!  Nothing! Zilch! Nada!

I'm not fond of phones...and I don't make a lot of unnecessary calls; and I hate receiving unnecessary calls; but not having easy, constant access to one I hate more!

So back to the drawing board I went...back onto 24/7 Support Chat...I think by now I’ve spoken to everyone in the Support area of Telstra!!

After much to-ing and fro-ing, checking etc., the conclusion was reached that the mobile was faulty.  I was advised to print out a PDF form...take it with me to the Post Office; and return the phone to Telstra, who hopefully, in turn, will replace the faulty product.   

The situation I’m presently in is I have no phone contact whatsoever...and the status quo could remain until this time in 2017!!!!

Of course, the one strand of hair I had left has disappeared.  I have pulled every last strand out...I am totally bald!!

On the bright side of life...the kindness of strangers came into play....

One such moment happened to me the other day.  I was on the brink of losing my block.  I was teetering on the edge, not of the block, but the threatening brink of my composure. 

Feeling somewhat out of sorts, as you can imagine - everything was getting on my goat, and I don’t even have a goat!  My hip was thoughtlessly playing up and had been for a while.  I couldn’t blame the weather for my hip’s misbehaviour because rain was nowhere near the horizon at the time, nor was it hovering above.  The fact we’d had no rain for ages (and the heat) didn’t help my mood, either. 

It’s beneficial to one’s being to be able to blame something or someone when feeling cranky. 

My grumpy disposition was made worse by a yanked muscle in my side, something that surprised me because I didn’t know I had any muscles to yank! 

Happy days definitely weren’t here again! 

There I was in my local supermarket car park - juggling with and about to drop what I was holding under my arm while ungracefully struggling to open my car door, when, as if by magic, out of nowhere a hand touched my elbow and another reached across to do the deed at which I was failing miserably. 

A mellifluous voice said: “Here!  Let me help you.” 

The stranger’s soothing tone and generosity of spirit caused me to promptly recover my long-lost equilibrium. 

Turning my head I discovered my smiling Sir Galahad was a fine-looking fellow, in his mid-40s, at a wild guess. 

In a day (a couple of weeks) when I’d not been feeling the fittest, brightest, most cheerful star in the galaxy one kind gesture by a total stranger altered everything within a moment. 

I hope karma really does exist.  I probably will never see the thoughtful stranger again, but my wish is for him to be caressed by the positive wings of the “butterfly effect”, which, in turn, will bring only good things his way. His consideration certainly restored my faith in human kindness and human nature.  I bet he is a chip off the old block. His father must be very proud of him; he taught his son well.

When I think of blocks and chips I’m reminded of the first time I cooked potato chips en masse. An exaggeration, but at that endless moment I felt as if I had a thousand, unforgiving, impatient eyes boring into me, and 500 hundred hungry mouths champing at the bit. Late Friday afternoons in a fish and chip shop can be hell over a deep fryer, and as hot, as well; particularly when, within minutes, you also have a nearby restaurant to open for business.   

With a crowd of starving people queuing from Noosaville to Noosa National Park my very first effort at cooking a basket chock-a-block full of potato chips ended up being as dense and solid as a Besser Block. With no time to practice, it was an on-the-spot lesson I learned quickly.  I had no choice. No way was the converging, hungry crowd going away!

PS....By the way...try though I Skype won't work properly for me.  I've uninstalled and reinstalled a couple of times.  I can see and hear the person I contact...but they can't hear me!   Any new growth of hair doesn’t stand a chance at the moment!

Barbecue Potato Chips: Uniformly slice 3 large potatoes (peeled or unpeeled, your choice) lengthwise and about 1/16-inch thick. Put them into bowl of ice water for 30mins; drain; spread out on paper towel to dry. Combine 1tbs chilli powder, 1tbs paprika, 1/2tbs each -sugar, mustard powder, garlic powder and onion powder, 1/2tsp each cayenne, cumin and freshly ground black pepper. Put 2-inch depth veggie oil in deep sauce pan. When hot enough work in batches; fry potatoes until golden and crisp; transfer to lined bowl; season; toss with spices.  

Crispy Crisps: Preheat oven, 200C. Carefully slice 2 med-sweet potatoes into thin 1/8-inch slices; toss in 1tbs olive oil; layer evenly on lined baking sheet; don’t overlap. Bake flipping every 5mins until centres are soft and edges crisp. Remove tray from oven; sprinkle crisps with salt; let sit to cool and crisp. Repeat process with 2 beetroots and 2 Swede turnips. Spicy Nut & Seed Dip for Chips/Crisps: Process until smooth, 2c assorted nuts and seeds, 2 med-tomatoes, 1tbs tamari, 2tsp cayenne, 1tsp turmeric, 4tbs lemon juice and about 1/4c water (if needed). You can vary the herbs and spices to taste. 

Mango –Yoghurt Ice Blocks: Blend until smooth, 2c natural or coconut yoghurt, flesh of 2 large ripe mangoes, 1 small can coconut milk and 1tsp cinnamon. Pour into moulds; stick a paddle pop stick in centre; freeze until set

Fruit Smoothie Ice Blocks: Blend strawberries and/or blueberries, 1 banana, 1c orange juice and 1 cup yoghurt until smooth; add honey to taste; pour into moulds; freeze.