Tuesday, November 20, 2007

What's lying under the floorboards?

It almost seems in bad taste relaying this tale (or should I say "tail"?) to you after my previous entry. But knowing how much Mop loved a funny story, I am sure she would have been happy to listen, so here goes:

On Friday the Beehive began to smell. No, not that leftover cooking/doggy/fire embers/washing type of smell that you get the morning after the night before, but STINK! as in rotten, festering, gagging type of smell. It was traced to our cupboard in the dining room where we have a false ceiling as well as many, many boxes.
This is actually my "Monica cupboard". The place in the house where I shove everything so that I can fool people into thinking that I can have lots of small children AND a clean and tidy house!!

On Saturday, the stench was so overwhelming that I set Mr Beehive and Father of Mr Beehive about seeking out and obliterating the cause. Of course, we all knew that it wasn't the smell of a child's diaper that had been missed somewhere, nor was it the smell of a peanut butter sandwich slowly petrifying in a lunch box, it wasn't even Mr Beehive's sneakers with his socks still in them from the gym. The owner of the smell was in fact, now deceased and it was his rotting little corpse that we were privvy to sniff.

To cut a very long story short - some three hours later and all the contents of the cupboard as well as all the contents of my boxes had been removed, searched and replaced, including the ceiling coming down (I did get a free tidy up out of this so am not actually complaining!). All of this was to no avail. The critter was still somewhere in the cupboard.

In the end FOMB, who has somewhat of a bloodhound sense of smell, came to the conclusion that it was coming from behind the wall!! Dontcha just LOVE wooden houses ??

The suggestions all pretty much led to one conclusion by now, that was to smash a great big hole in the wall............hmmmmmm riiight!
This house is rented, so we knew that was out, instead Mr Beehive decided to fill all the cracks he could find in the cupboard with some "Ug- Me-Man-sealant" you know the kind, rather like the Pringles advert - "Once you've popped, you can't stop" . We are now living in tropical climates as every hole he could find in the house has been filled with this expanding filler that he enjoyed playing with so much.....

However, twenty minutes later there are two sheepish looking grown men standing in my living room with their fingers stuck together..............yes............BOTH of them! The intelligence of men, still defeats me beyond belief!
Did I have any nail varnish remover? They needed the acetone.
Problem is, I only buy acetone free..........

Ten minutes later sees Mr Beehive and FOMB driving off up the road adorning pretty pink marigolds to buy - yes, obviously, nail varnish remover! I just hope they met someone they knew!!

As for the mouse, well he was never found and the smell is diminishing thanks to good old tea tree oil and Bicarb of soda! I just hope that Mr Beehive and FOMB at least find their ermaining dignity!!!

Sunday, November 18, 2007


It has been rather a mixed weekend.

Today was Little Miss Beehive's third birthday but unfortunately this morning we were informed that Mr Beehive's grandmother had passed away. It wasn't totally unexpected, but it is always a shock, however much in advance you know. We have my in-laws here at the moment, so as a mark of respect this evening we lit an extra candle on the birthday table.
R.I.P. Mop.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Aah, ga-waaan you know you wanit, so you do!

They can take the girl out of the city......but they can't take the entrepreneur out of the salesman!

MB the elder is proving daily to be just such a stooge! His latest venture is his theatre group. He and some friends are practising the Lion King to perform to the parents early in the New Year. In all reality, it is a fantastic learning experience for them. The couple of parents that are "supervising" in the loosest sense of the word, are watching them direct, choreograph, sing, write lines, learn lines and work as a team with minimal adult intervention (okay gush over!) However, my darling boy is already working on the math involved - if we charge $2 per ticket. Of course, Mr Beehive da daddy, being the sceptic he is, is joking about just who is paying whom for the privilege to watch (only he is not entertaining this scathing to MB of course for fear of his marital and coital future!).

His previous venture before that was the one of publishing his book and selling it to his pals at school. This book is about 7cm by 4cm in physical being and roughly 6 pages length, with wording increasing in size by the page, so that by the last page there is nay but one word! It has helped me immensely with some surreptitious home-edding - "If you sell 6 books at 50c how much will you have?" yaddayadda - you can take the teacher out of the school........blah blah!

He is currently doing "Chores for Christmas". He wants to buy me a Christmas present - ahhh! But of course this means he will only perform his daily chores in the holiday period for a monetary reward !!! So either I forfeit the impending bubble bath in order to have a few more cleaned tables, fed dogs and dollars in my purse - or I give up and jump in the spirit of entrepreneurial endeavour!

So one of his more inventive ventures is a tag sale. In the US, a 'Tag Sale" is basically a garage sale, you sell the crap you don't want onto some unsuspecting sucker who is prepared to pay for it. MB the elder announces the other morning that this is what he wants to do..........NOW! This is November people. My fellow human beings are not even arisen from their slumber, the temperature is near 20F and he wants to stand in our drive selling crap for cents! Naturally I am not over enamoured with this suggestion and decide to see the pile he has gathered for this event before I pass comment on the continuation.........................

In the room is a pile of his sister's toys, along with his sister standing proudly mid piece!! I only hate to think what he has told her and whether she is actually part of the sale and I must only presume he has assigned himself a massive cut???!!!!

You've been Tango'd!

Look at this! It is like waiting for a number 11 bus. Nothing for days and then two at once!

Okay, so:
It is a fact of life that children learn language by repetition of what they hear. Problem is, when you start to hear yourself talk back to you.

I should have learned my lesson when Master Beehive the elder was just learning to speak and his first words pretty much were "Bloody Nora!"
Aghast and horrified I related this to Mr Beehive later that evening declaring indignantly I had absolutely no idea where he would have picked that up from, only to find myself not two days later using that exact same expletive when something fell from the cupboard. MB the elder was of course standing behind me giggling "Bloodynorabloodynorabloodynora!"

Over the years however, I have learned something and these days the mini-me-isms tend to be a little less Fishwifey!
We have been making brownies this morning and Little Miss Beehive and Master Beehive the younger have been helping me whilst Master Beehive the elder has been working on his magazine on the computer. As I was explaining to LMB why she needed to take off and hang up her apron after we had finished I heard:

"One!- it's dirty, Two!- mamasayso, Three! - wear my apron, Five!-wear my apron!" as she twirled around the kitchen, mimicking me and still wearing the apron.

Do I really sound like that?? I think I liked it better when they just used to swear!

Life at Speed!

If you have been wondering where I am, then obviously you haven't noticed the wonderful site change thanks to Mia at Blogcafe! Naturally I have been too stunned with the new graphics to get my brain to function rather than just too busy !!

So what has been going on in the Hive? We are currently anticipating the arrival of Grandparents today. This of course translates to hyper-over-excited-children-who-seem-unable-to-do-anything-for-periods-longer-than-a-nano-second this morning, without coming in to ask "Are they here yet?". To which I have to seriously restrain the sarcastic comments which would be lost on them: "Have you seen them?", "Wait, I'll just have Scotty beam them down" "They came, they went, you missed!" and all the other pathetic Chandleresque unwitty baggage I have stored up!
I have still to discover a solution to this, not the pathetic Chandleresque unwitty baggage (that, my friends, is where I am a lost cause!) but the Are they/we/he ....? questions, which, in my opinion, goes happily hand in hand with the other old chestnut the "Are we nearly there yet?" mantra!

I remember when I was young, my maternal grandmother often used to say "don't wish your life away". Of course as a young girl desperate to be older, do the things older people got to do, the world ahead of me, this just seemed like some old biddy talking nonsense and just trying to make me feel like a little girl. Of course, now I AM that old biddy, I wish time would just slow right down.

When Master Beehive the elder was a baby, I remember in the January standing in my kitchen with a friend and we were discussing how much we found the month depressing. Diaries were bare, we had nothing planned to do for the year - ohhh how would we cope.

Today, however, I find my diary tends to be booked up rather like a Broadway show. I may have a seat or two for a matinee 18 months down the line but it'll cost ya!

Life is flashing past so quickly and the three hours I have "free" each day when LMB is in school, tend to be choc-a-bl0c with errands, chores, appointments and meetings etc.

Of course, I nearly forgot! Last weekend was LMB's party. She is three on Sunday and so we had a small gathering of "pwincesses" to celebrate. As I mentioned, LMB had firm ideas over her cake, so being her mother, I felt it necessary to at least try to oblige! I am not a cake maker and, the very same friend who stood with me in my kitchen in January 2002 IS such a person, but unfortunately a nice Victoria Sponge doesn't tend to travel so well!! So I was resorted to my own exceedingly poor ability. This was the end result.

Luckily it remained standing just long enough for people to eat it before the landslide set in, so I guess the proof really was in the pudding that it didn't taste so bad! Or maybe people are just too polite to say anything!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Writing at Associated Content

So my latest venture is trying to earn a tiny bit of moolah for this drivel. Someone put me onto writing at associated content on t'interweb. Now, it would appear I am published .... yes, I know I have been published before, but this time there is wonga involved - enough for a tea bag and a cup of fingerless gloves to keep the frostbite away at least lol! Please visit my page for my more serious writings. You can subscribe and read other people too.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Trash talk

Apparently I am a bin snob!! - that is to say, according to Mr Beehive, I have quite an eye for a good trash can! I am not a fan of the plastic bin, end of! I know, they do their job, it is only a trash can after all but....weeellll.....it's a Feung Shui thing (kinda!) I have tried to explain Mr Beehive to the importance of "the right fit" by associating it with nylon versus cotton underwear........you know exactly what I mean - the static versus that smooth, fresh feeling.........but you can also fathom his male response.

We have been somewhat unlucky in our choice of garbage apparel over recent months, first finding that Peter Pedal bin's plastic mechanism was not compatible with his metal counterpart that he had to work against, the metal eroded the plastic, hence the lid stopped lifting. From there we moved onto Sally Snapper; a spring loaded lid opened by just a mere press of the hand.........three kids' enthusiasm and plenty of trash later, Sally's spring was engulfed by a mysterious spring illness and she too died a death. From there we moved onto Freddy Flaps.He would work by all means, no pedals, not a spring in sight - okay, so that was half the problem, he had a push front opening with a spring loaded close that ate your hand at first opportunity. Occasionally after a rather frenetic off load of garbage, his head would fall off entirely leaving not only that, but also a plate of leftovers all over the floor (and possibly a hand injury to boot!!). Not wanting to subject children to loss of limbs from this over enthusiastic garbage guzzler he was relegated to recycling bin!

Today, in his place, in shining finger-smudge-proof glory is Oscar!!! Our new-you paid WHAT? -perfect brushed chrome-Feung Shui-Buddha of all bins. I just hope he lasts the show! Otherwise he better have a good lawyer!

A scientific study into the similarities of toddlers and hobbits!

Don'tcha just love toddlers!

This afternoon Little Miss Beehive has had an accomplice to play! I use the term accomplice for that is exactly what they are together - Mastermind and accomplice lol! To be perfectly honest, I am really lucky that they get on so well, bear in mind they are not quite three yet and her little pal is happy enough to play here with LMB without her mom.

So, I picked them up from Montessorianaland and brought them back for lunch. They decided they would like pasta, so I set about preparing. Meanwhile, LMB has already set the table (there are sometimes perks with Montessori!) for herself and her pal and between them, filled themselves up with carrots, apple sauce, yoghurts, bananas and water You can guess what's coming - they didn't want the pasta (.......and sometimes annoyances lol!). Never mind, I thought, I will just save it for LMB's dinner.

Not an hour later and the house suddenly seems much quieter, where have they gone? I go to look to find the pair of them, huddled in a corner in cahoots, trying desperately hard to shove in and swallow as much of the pasta as they can muster. Second lunches!!

I had to laugh as their eyes are watering in the vain attempt to pretend they haven't eaten it!! Pippin and Merry you have met your match!

Talking of birthdays, LMB has her third birthday in a couple of weeks, so this weekend she is having a few friends over for a 'party'. I think that probably translates as having several smalls over to ransack the house, jump on the beds and smear food all over everywhere, the joys of finding petrified food months after the party has ended delights us parents the world over.......so, nothing new there then!!
Her brothers have been encouraging her to pick which cake she would like me to make from my limited cake book collection, the choices of which are usually quashed by my even more limited cake making abilities! (The stoned loch-ness always rears his ugly head at birthday times!) However, this time, she has excelled in her choice.......basically it is a cake with a doll stuck in the middle - imagine an edible loo roll dolly and you would be pretty much there.
So I have lots of scope for error and making a total hash of it and it still looking like it should!
As for what I am going to do with seven two/three year olds for two hours, well I think I will take a leaf out of Little Miss Beehive's book:

Start with an appetizer.

Jump on the bed.

Have second appetizers

Do a craft - got that bit organized at least!

Eat party tea and cake

Run madly around the house wearing a Belle dress, smearing cake on the walls and possibly vomiting (one child normally does don't they?).

Second teas

Go home!

As long as I have enough refreshment stops in there it should be easy peasy!! (Watch this space!)

Monday, November 05, 2007

I digress.........again!

How much of your day is spent not actually doing the things you set out to achieve? 10%, 25%, 90%?

I know I am in the higher percentage.

I always start the day with good intentions, but somehow along the way things always seem to deviate from the original path. Take this morning for example:

Main tasks of day:
Empty washing machine
Do washing up
Finish mincemeat
Do bread
Feed children
Help dress children
Make beds
Quick tidy up
Feed and exercise dog
Have shower and wash hair
Dry hair
Put clothes away from drying
Take one child to playdate
Pick up child from playdate
Feed children
Take children to school for babysitting whilst in conferences
Supervise piano practice
Prepare evening meal
Listen to reading
Feed children
Feed dog
Wash up or fill dishwasher
Bathe children
Read books
Put to bed

Thing is it looked like this:
Empty washing machine
Do washing up
Go around house and discover cups in bedrooms
Re-do washing up
Finish mincemeat
Realise jars have grown mould over the summer. Clean jars thoroughly and re-boil them
Burn breakfast whilst scrubbing mould.
Put dog out to exercise himself in the yard.
Re-start breakfast
Bring dog in due to barking at neighbour
Pour cereal
Put oatmeal in microwave
Pour more cereal because by the time child's oatmeal is ready other children are on round two.
Stir mincemeat - still smells burnt from yesterday.
All children finish, clear table, load and run dishwasher
Feed dog
Children all sent off to dress and clean teeth
Attempt to make phone call as it is quiet, no children.
10 seconds in, first child back wanting toast.
Second child in wanting to know if at 7.30am it is time for the playdate (this will then continue to happen every 10 minutes until 10am!!) Do very quick lesson in time telling (falls on deaf ears!!)
Hang up phone call and promise to call back.
Sort out issues
Notice toys strewn everywhere. Put in pile on the stairs ready to take up later.
Go back to kitchen, get out bowl to put bread mix into.
Call back person
Wash bowl as dog has chosen to lick it!
Notice star wars figures in the bottom of the soapy water and a trail of water out of the kitchen.
Find child #2 giving Star Wars storm troupers a bath in the sink in a concoction of handsoap, toothpaste and Aveeno.
Clean mess
realise haven't eaten, gone cold, forget it, give it to dog!
Go upstairs to supervise dressing of children - find they are all dressed - Belle costume and her brother's underwearfor LMB , shorts and nothing else for MB the elder and shorts and t-shirt for MB the younger. Decide to pick my battle and ignore this for now!
Download e-mails and answer important ones, but this is not before removing a pound coin from the disc drive and re-starting the computer saying a prayer it'll work and isn't f***ed!!
MB the elder finds me and asks if he can have a tag sale NOW! Debate this issue with him at 7.40am in the morning. Come to a mini compromise. On talking with him, realise he and his siblings have made a huge pile of random toys in the middle of his room to sell. Give up on e-mails to tidy up the toys and re-explain why a tag sale now is not an option.
Have shower. Get locked in the bathroom (LMB is up to her old tricks!). Yell profusely for 5 minutes for resuce, until one rugrat finally hears me and opens the door for me!
Put away clothes in various rooms, picking up odd socks and toys as I pass. Return to bedroom to put away next pile to find LMB has dutifully rearranged all the piles for me. Start again!
Look at clock realise that it is now only 15 minutes until the playdate and haven't dried hair. Quickly show my hair the dryer and pull a hat on!
Realise bread is still 'rising' in the cupboard - ignore it, it'll stay there until lunchtime! ***

And so the day continues!!

I read the otherday that the average wage for a SAHM has gone up to around $139,000 and over $80,000 for a working mother (ex. her salary!). Shame it's just monopoly money!

*** ETA: Don't EVER leave bread longer than the recommended rise time....my washing machine was wearing it! Remember the story of the magic porridge pot.......nuff said!

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Arty Farty Monkey Business

Today has been a crafty day.

I have made mincemeat ready for pies at Christmas and then have made some of these little guys for party favours for Little Miss Beehive's party next week.

I really struggle to find affordable, non-candyfied, non-plastic toys to go into bags and was put onto this really simple pattern to make some felt mice. See he even has a little sleeping bag to snuggle into!

I only have to make seven by next weekend!!

On other subjects, today has surely been a conspiracy!

Little Miss Beehive has managed to sniff me out of any area I have managed to hide in meaning I have actually managed to make no phone calls and the one exception I began, had to end due to a kerfuffle breaking out in the ranks (Tell me, despite two parents, why is it the only name ever used is 'Muuuuuuum'???!!!!!!!) and I am struggling now to string two words together! Whilst I was trying to make dinner at midday, she also decided that the piles of leaves from the front step would look much nicer inside and up the stairs. This went unnoticed for a good ten minutes, so you can imagine the amount of serious work she managed to get through in that time! I managed to quickly clear it up in between stirring gravy, only to have Master Beehive the younger step on a bee that must have come in with the leaves which I had missed!!!! Fortunately this Bee was not allergic to his own kind, which was a mighty relief!!

The bread I started to make for tea this evening turned out to need 12 - 15 hours to rise........hence we are now eating a different recipe tonight and the ciabatta will be ready tomorrow! I decided to make this ciabatta after sampling the most delicious ever last night at a supper and presentation/discussion I went to. The daughter of the host had made the best tasting bread I have ever eaten. The crust was really crunchy and the middle, just perfect!! So I felt the need to try some of my own.......hmm, I think I will just have to get the recipe from Margaret instead!

Mr Beehive the spaz, has managed to burn the bottom of my pan in which the mincemeat was nicely marinading in Brandy by trying to make a cup of tea and turning on the wrong ring under the kettle.....fortunately I have managed to salvage most of it, but I have no idea if the nice burnt flavour will get into the rest.

Whilst at the discussion last night, one thing that came up is that the brain of the man has more in common with the male chimp than with the female human and the same is true of the female brain........well, I guess it's better to know who you're dealing with! Pass the bananas!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

A little nuttiness

On weekends I like to cook. There is nothing more relaxing to me than pottering about in the kitchen trying out or making up new recipes. It also comes to the rescue when I am suffering from writer's block due to lack of sleep.

This was self-induced this time!! Last night I went out with some of the ......hmm, ladies makes us sound old and believe me, we were far from that in mind and soul last night; girls.....sounds condescending and mums.....well we went out to escape that word for a while, so perhaps I should just rephrase it to 'some good friends from school'. We went out to dinner and then later the restaurant was hosting a band, the lead singer of which, one of our group knows personally. It was fantastic fun, I had no idea how much I was in need of a night like that, I was even up on the dance floor (yup! regretted that this morning lol!) 'finding my funk' (apparently, according to Heather, I have one to find but I think it might be a lost cause!). The night didn't really begin until 10pm so by 11.30 some of us olds with young bedhoppers back at base station, decided to call it a night. I have no idea what time the rest of the group finally abandoned ship, but we left them shaking their booties - you know who you are you stop outs!!

So hence, today I am not able to do much. Instead here is a recipe that I made this afternoon, just perfect for a windy, cold autumnal day with a roaring log fire:

Veggienut loaf

2 large carrots (diced)
2 sticks of celery (diced)
1 onion (diced)
2 cloves of garlic
2 handfuls pistachio nuts (unsalted and not roasted)
2 handfuls of plain cashew nuts
2 handfuls of raw sunflower seeds
3 oz (ish!) Gorgonzola cheese
2 eggs (beaten)
salt and pepper
1/2 tsp oregano

Lightly fry the onion, celery, carrot and garlic until golden brown and soft.
Chuck the nuts (NOT the seeds) into the food processor and give them a couple of quick whizzes to break them down into smaller pieces. Don't turn them into breadcrumbs though!
Put the nuts, whole sunflower seeds into a mixing bowl and add the fried veggies. Add the sunflower seeds and chopped pieces of cheese. Stir well to combine. Add the two beaten eggs, salt, pepper and oregano and mix until all the food is coated with the egg and it makes a soft consistency.

Grease one large or two small loaf tins.
Put the mixture into the tin/s and press down well.

Cook in a 375F oven for around 25 - 30 mins until the top is golden brown.


Thursday, November 01, 2007

Wherever I lay my brain......

Have you seen my nosey-parker tool?

Scroll down the toolbar and there is a world map.

It shows me where you lot are bored so are plugging in to read my blog. I am not entirely sure it shows everyone though as I know I have a friend in Singapore who reads my blog and she doesn't appear to have a nice red blob. The bigger the blob the more views (now it doesn't determine whether it is just the same person or not though, but it is good to see that there are more folk out there than my mum who read this drivel!)

Hello in Chile, Australia, Cape Town Turkey, Canada, US, UK, Norway (?)this is where my geography is getting a little sketchy.

Tonight I have been to school (yup again - I swear I attend more now as a parent than I was ever required to do as a kid!). It was an information night for Elementary (upper and lower) and Middle school. Each teacher was required to give us a lesson on something and later we were able to ask questions. I always love these events because I find I learn so much, not just about Montessori, but about things I never knew. Did you know, the first dinosaurs had two brains? One in their head and the other in their bum!!?? Quite obviously a prototype of man, from which some have evolved faster than others!! It gives quite a delightful meaning to the phrase, talking out of his hole !!

Talking of design, I am getting a new look!! As of Monday I will be quite unrecognizable! My blog is getting a make over so prepare yourselves - sorry, nearly wrote 'self' but on checking on my infinite readership (ho ho!) I appreciate I am rambling to more than one now!!

Anyway, I digress! My question for the evening, had a hidden agenda, not that it would have been remotely obvious to even the most asleep person on the planet (ho hum!) was about the child who may be slow to move through his work cycles, be more of an observer and dreamer (didn't use that word, didn't want to GIVE myself away after all, that would just be silly!) than participant and how they would become self motivated. The question, as usual, beautifully answered, was about capturing the imagination with the materials in the class, developing the curiosity to enable them to want to research and explore more. Of course, to be perfectly frank, the question had been answered for me not 20 minutes earlier..............

Who could not resist researching on dinosaur brains, knowing where they hid them!!!??

I don't think I will have to worry that Master Beehive the younger won't be self-motivated!!