Friday, June 29, 2012

Hot June nights

I didn't sleep well last night.

Bug had a fever (not of the disco variety, unfortunately) and decided the only acceptable solution was to bring her hot self into bed with Mummy.


I tried to harden my heart and steel my resolve. I wanted her to sleep in her own bed, for purely selfish reasons - Mr A was away and I had the hankering to build myself a gigantic pillow fort and sleep sprawled inside it. But my willpower was melted in seconds, when she tucked her chin into my neck and whimpered "oh Mumma no! Sheep you!" I truly am a sucker.

For the first few minutes it was wonderful. She was tucked in the crook of my arm, sleepy face smooshed against me, fingers twirling my hair while she drifted off. A feverish toddler on a frosty night makes an excellent hot water bottle. (Note - do not use on your feet. Oxygen required for successful ongoing operation.)

However, I soon realised that even after the liberal application of panadol, Bug was hot. REALLY hot. Burning with the heat of one thousand exploding suns hot. And the hair twirling soon turned to full on fast-asleep hair yanking. And the adorable smooshed face started expelling itchy drool down my tender white under-bicep.

By this time I was only half awake, trapped in semi-lucidity. Too afraid to move and risk breaking her hard won sleep. Far too uncomfortable to maintain the status quo, yet not sufficiently alert to devise a reasonable solution.

It went on for hours. Or maybe minutes. (Seconds?) I'm not sure. That fierce half-land between waking and sleep runs to a different clock.

Eventually my tiny tyrant rolled off me, sprawling herself across the majority of our bed, living out my solo-sleeping dream. I spent the remainder of the night alternating between concerned temperature taking, head stroking, muttered lullabies and catatonically clinging to what was left of the mattress.

I've just tucked Bug back into bed for tonight's retest. Wish her luck!

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Of course you know what's for dinner! (Right?)

"What's for dinner?"

Do those words send a shiver of dread down your spine?

I used to hate them. I never knew. I was always winging it and then rushing to the shops for last minute supplies. (Last minutes supplies like "a takeaway kebab", ahem...)

But that last minute rush just isn't as feasible with young ones. Once you fit in a couple of daytime naps and add in an absent husband, I can no longer just duck out. So instead, I meal plan. It saves me cash, stress and time. We eat more healthily, and have a greater variety of food. And fewer kebabs (is that an upside? I do like a good kebab...)

Meal Planning

Here's how I do it:

1) Check the calender. No point planning meals for times you're eating out; no point planning a six course degustation on soccer night. Unless you're super mum, in which case by all means carry on.

2) Peer hopefully into the fridge and see what's left after Mr Accident has done his daily "hoard of locusts" impression.

3) Check the "Peanut and Mr A approved meal list." Do not check the Bug approved meal list. It includes dog food and licking her own shoes.

4) Slot meals into spaces on my meal planning sheet, trying to use what's left from last week first (i.e. "not much").

I use the Kikki K meal planner (this is not a sponsored post, I just do.) The planner itself is nothing special, just a magnetised notepad where each page has space for a week's worth of meals, and daily snacks. Never forget the snacks!

5) Write out the ingredients for each meal under the headings. This sounds like a pain. It is. But it comes in handy in the next step, which is:

6) Peer again into the depths of the fridge, trying to memorize the contents. Then write out the shopping list.

If I don't list the ingredients in the previous step, I always miss something in this one. ALWAYS. Chicken salad tastes sad with no chicken, coincidentally. Also, if Mr A decides to cook, lovely man that he is, it stops him constantly running in and asking me what sides he should be making. Curse him for disturbing my relaxing bath while he slaves over a hot stove!

7) Season to taste. Meal planning isn't a contract. If I don't like what's for dinner today, I can shift it to another, but it's nice to know I have the ingredients I need to make a week's worth of food, regardless of when it actually gets eaten.  

Giveaway **now closed**

And now I want to share the love. It's my 200th blog post, and I reckon it's high time we had a giveaway! So, if you would like the chance to win your own Kikki K meal planner, read on.
No hoops to jump through, no need to follow (but I do love it when you do). Just comment on this post and you're in the draw. I'll get Peanut to pick the winner out of a hat at 9am EST on Sunday 8 July, and announce it here the Monday after. You'll need to come back and check if you've won, so I can ask you to email me your address. **The winner was VANESSA! Email your postal address to theaccidentalhousewife(at) to claim your prize. Congratulations!**

Blog Award!

Now on to other things: in the spirit of giving, Beccra from True Blog! has awarded me a blogging birthday surprise: the Sunshine Award! 

It comes with caveats, of course, but they fit nicely into the "facts about me" expectations that surround  hundredth blog posts, so I am happy to oblige. But before the questions, let's pass on the love.

I hereby award the Sunshine award to:

Charlotte from The Old Milk Can. Her posts recently have been just lovely. Really, truly delightful. Thanks for writing them, Charlotte. They make me happy.

The Old Fashioned Housewife. A girl after my own heart.

Katherine from Girl World. She still makes me laugh every single day. I'm suspect she thinks I'm some kind of weird blog stalker, and I always hope I don't make her uncomfortable, because I heap her with as much gushing praise as I can manage. I freakin' love her writing.

And now, finally, what you've all obviously been waiting for with baited breath, let's get on to the bit where it's all about me!

Favourite Colour: Maroon.

Like this:
Maroon. Lovely.

Not to be confused with this:

Maroon 5.
Image from here.

And CERTAINLY not to be confused with THIS:

Queensland's Rugby colours.
Image from here 

Favourite Animal: Chicken. Both as a food and a companion animal (writing that makes me feel a bit like Hannibal.) Before Milly and Tilly came to stay, I had underestimated chickens as a species. They are not in the least bit "chicken". Instead they are brave, amusing, intelligent, eternally interested pets. And delicious. So delicious!


Favourite Number:  I'm apathetic towards this question. If I had to pick, I'd choose 8. She's sassy, look at those curves! Nice belt, too. And so divisible! Oh la la...

My Passion: Yes. Well... Besides the children, obviously, and my handsome husband.... my love of aprons and the written word.... I'm not sure. I wish I knew, it would make selecting a new career to train into so much easier!

Facebook or Twitter: Both. I love that on Twitter I can ask anyone anything, and they will probably answer. And once I was retweeted by Hamish Blake. I'm pretty sure that was me reaching my social media pinnacle. I'm done! But I also love keeping in contact with old friends on Facebook. We would have drifted apart if we weren't able to lazily watch each other's lives develop while we grew from relatively uncomfortable-with-communicating-and-showing-affection teenagers into functioning adults. (Hi Joel! Hi Stu!)

Giving or Receiving: Give give give. I love giving away a well wrapped present or a basket of cookies. Or a meal planner. Ahem.

Favourite Pattern: Well, stash THIS in the "things I've never considered before" drawer. Looking at my wardrobe and homewares, I'd say stripes. Especially blue and white. In the right tones and widths, they are kicking fresh.

Image from here.

Favourite Day of the Week: Monday. Yeah, I said it. Peanut's at school in the morning, so Bug and I have a chance to spend quality time together, and I can catch up on laundry after the weekend's madness. So "Monday so I can clean the house". It's sounding worse and worse, isn't it!

Favourite Flower: The freesia. So simple and they smell so nice. They grew wild on the hill behind my house when I was growing up, I used to come home with armfuls. I have a pot of them growing on my kitchen window sill right now. Roll on spring!

White ones, please!
Image from here. 

And that concludes this epic 200th post. Thanks for sticking with me, both through this post, and through my blogging journey*. Now head down below there and comment, so I can give you the chance to win!

{*I put that in for you Mr A. I know how much you love a good reality TV "journey". Just don't make me pay "the ultimate price" at the}

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Mrs Accident can be a cranky old broad.

Sometimes I get cranky.

I got properly cranky this afternoon. 

Panzer had weed on the floor again, and I had stepped in it. Again. 

While I was cleaning my long suffering foot, Peanut decided to tip out three mountainous days worth of folded laundry and spread it around my bedroom. She wanted the laundry basket to be her boat, and the clothes to be water. And just around the corner, Miss Bug trod in the dogs water bowl and wet her leather shoes (probably out of sympathy with her mother's damp foot.)

I stomped around for a minute or two, furious. And I cursed (not the *big* curses, but there was definitely an "oh, flipping hen!" and a "what the barnacles?!" in there somewhere. 

The kids stared at me in confused consternation. The dogs quietly backed out the door. 

But after I had plonked the little ladies at the colouring table and made myself a strong cup of tea, I felt terrible. I don't want to be *that* kind of mother. Not a cursing one. Not a cross one. Especially not a mother who gets riled up when puppies and kids are just doing what comes naturally.

Oh crockpot, had I irreparably damaged the little ones developing psyches?

But then I got to thinking. And I remembered how, when Bug is fidgetting in the shopping trolley, Peanut will come around and peer up at her from under the handle, and sing her Old MacDonald, with pauses for Bug to insert her animal of choice and do all the noises (and everyone knows they're the fun bits. That's a very generous concession from a three year old.) 

And I remembered Bug's conversation with (at?) Archibald this morning "Oh, luffly puppy! Good boy! Here tuddle, here tuddle. Awww, yushyou! Good puppy!" ("Yushyou" is "I love you" in Bug.)

I have two little girls who have hearts full of love for each other, and everyone around them. They get that from watching their Daddy, and they get it from watching me, too. Perhaps I'm not doing too badly after all. 

Perhaps we all aren't doing quite as badly as we imagine? 

For women of a certain age and mindset, I think we are our own harshest critics. We want the well kept home, the emotionally developed and educationally extended children, the home cooked meals, maybe even our food home grown and our clothes home made. 

And we would prefer all this without a stumble. Without a slip. 

And I think it's totally fine to want these things... but it's also totally fine to understand that when everything falls in a heap (and it occasionally inevitably will) then as long as the heap-falling is followed by a deep breath, a re-focussing on your aims and a heft back up onto the horse of "doing all you can", then it would be counterproductive to spend too long kicking yourself. Taking a long term view, chances are you're doing just fine. 

So, do you unnecessarily criticize yourself? Please stop it. Right now. 

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

This is what happens when blogging is cheaper than therapy

Well hello there!

It's been a while, huh. Twelve whole days. I'm sorry about that. 

I had some thinking to do.

It can be hard having a blog sometimes. Normally I just come here and blather on about whatever is in my mind at that particular moment, and it's wonderfully cathartic.

But sometimes there are things going on in my life, and brain, that I don't think are particularly suited to a public forum. Especially one where people, like you lovely readers, usually come for nice chats and pleasant company. And especially thoughts that haven't been given enough time to coalesce and develop into a reasonedcoherent, fair argument. So, since I couldn't write what I wanted, I abstained. And I sulked, and Mr Accident suffered, because I need somewhere to vent that isn't at him, poor man. 

Now, the things I didn't want to write about... I am going to write about. Briefly. I suspect it will be good for me, but mostly because I detest the "everything is wrong but I can't tell you" posts some bloggers throw up - it's a bit rude, really.

So, to sum it all up as succinctly as I can, I went to my grandmother's memorial, and this entailed seeing my family. And my family (as I suspect all do) come with some considerable baggage.

At the memorial I saw my brother. (Yes, I have a half-brother. And a half-sister too, somewhere. They are much older.) He has a very checkered history, and has been in, but mostly out, of my life for years. I think the last time I saw him I was 17. We occasionally email, but only seem to cover the really serious family topics, like sexual assault, mental illness, drug use, divorce... you know, the usual. (!) I actually know nothing about him as a person. It was both confronting and reassuring to see him. We hugged. He was pleased.

I saw my dad. I dislike him intensely, for a multitude of reasons. I was relieved when he arrived late  because then I didn't have to see him before the service. (20 minutes late! To his own mother's memorial! And he didn't take off his hat in church!) However, all his nephews and cousins look so very similar that I was a nervous wreck every time a male relative walked in, until I could be sure it wasn't my father. Grandpa had strong genes! After the service we all had tea in the foyer. I was hyper-aware the entire time, just praying he wouldn't see me. I had even worn my hair differently that day, so I would be less recognisable. It turns out I am a complete sook when it comes to emotionally charged confrontations in completely inappropriate locations - we didn't have one.  I evaded successfully, then fled. To say it was stressful would be understating it. (Remember, I've been in war zones. And frankly I preferred them.) 

And I finally saw my beloved cousin. We were thick as thieves growing up, two only children of the same age, with parents who were best friends. But three years ago I had a falling out with his wife and as a result I hadn't seen him since. He missed my wedding. He's never met my girls. I always thought, growing up, that he would be like an uncle to my offspring, but they don't even know what he looks like. Devastating. But to finally get to hug him again? Priceless, and very emotional.

So that's what's been stewing in my head.

It's a relief to get it written down, now perhaps I can move past it all and start thinking and writing about more normal things. Like laundry, and walking the dogs.  Perhaps tomorrow, hey?

In the meantime, I'm off to catch up on all the blog reading I missed. It's really good to be back.

Thursday, June 14, 2012


If I were a superhero, I would chose the power of uninterruptability. 

Picture this: me nonchalantly folding laundry, when a stray child wanders in, asking for a snack. 

BAM!! Mummy-pause! 

The child is frozen in hyperspace, unable to move or talk, happy in their stasis. I can finish my folding, blissfully uninterrupted. Everybody wins!

Way back when I worked for money, I was once complimented on my ability to concentrate in the face of willful distraction. This was remarkably handy, as I worked in an open plan office full of boisterous soldiers. There were regular games of office football (Terry Tate had nothing on this mob) and nobody batted an eyelid if a conversation was conducted well above the decibel level recommended for ears unencumbered by protective muffs. Yet I could stick my head down and carry on, regardless. 

But now? 

It's futile. Nothing cuts through my task focus faster than a small child of derivative DNA. 

"Mummy I want a snack please! My tummy is Really Rumbling!" 

"Mama, dink? Dink?"

"What time's dinner, darling? And have you seen my shorts?"


And of course, the devastatingly quiet yet fearsome "uh oh...."

Well, my darlings, do you know what Mummy wants? The ability to finish a chore, a craft, a nap, a book chapter... hell, even a thought uninterrupted. 

I'm going to Sydney in a few weeks for my Grandmother's memorial.* The girls and Mr A are staying home, so it will just be me. Alone. And I'm flying.

It will be bliss. An hour of uninterrupted plane-reading, followed by an hour of uninterrupted train-thinking, followed by a solo lunch at a cafe where I won't have to pretend that a sugar sachet is a lamb that sings (unless I want to.)


I know that, in time, the girls will grow. They will make fewer and simpler demands on my time, until one day they leave home and Mr A and I will be left with our empty nest. We will probably sit together on the same couch we sit on now, and reminisce about the days Bug was too short to reach the apple crisper, so opened the more accessible freezer and brought out the lamb chops every time she wanted a snack. I guarantee we'll chuckle at the memory of Peanut constantly asking us to watch her ballet shows, using the brown woollen mat as a stage and introducing herself with great gravitas: "Daddies and gentlemummies! Welcome to my ballet show!" 

But now? 

Right now? 

I just want a sleep. 


{*she had a good run, she passed two weeks before her hundredth birthday, and her life was indeed a LIFE. Packed to the beam ends with worthy and exciting living.}

**If you're wondering why this post shows up twice in your feed, Blogger ate up the original while I was sleeping. Yep. My post was interrupted. Where's that superpower?!
We had a couple of comments on the original, and since I sincerely appreciate every comment in our conversation, I'll repost them here.

RoarSweetly said: "It's not so much a superpower...but I'd love a super remote control that I could point at my children and press mute, whenever I pleased."

Becky Bee said: " I would have that power too. Oh to drink a whole cup of tea whilst it is still hot! Instead I find a trail of half drunk, cold cups around the house, which have been hastily put down to deal with whatever 'drama' has arisen "

So, gentle readers, what super power would you choose? Are you uninterruptable?

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Twilight zone. Now with cheese.

Where have I been?

In the zone!

The zone diet, that is.

Mr Accident is a great one for jumping on the latest diet and exercise bandwagon.

Unfortunately he is an excellent band-wagonner. He's not the kind to quit on the first day. He has guts. He has determination. And that means, as the chief food preparer in the Accidental Household, I'm in this for the long haul.

And seriously, it's a haul. All meal and snacks are broken up into blocks of protein, fat and carbs. Everything has to be weighed or measured to make sure you are getting the right balance. It's a major hassle. And there is so much food! Most of it appears to be cheese.

Mr A convinced me of the benefits of the diet (it actually looks a lot like what we were already eating, but through the lens of multiple measuring spoons) so I've jumped on this shiny new bandwagon too. I might as well, if I'm already measuring for him.

Mr A is so excited we're doing it together. His quote? "This is the biggest thing we've ever done together! (You know, besides getting married and having kids...)"

All the counting means I have had to meal plan like a pro. I have a weekly plan on the fridge, meal menus written onto laminated, colour coded cards, even a laminated shopping list for what I need to buy each week. It's intense. I'm pretty sure I'd win the Extreme Meal Planning reality show (you know, if there was one. Anyone else want to enter?)

My fridge is stacked with prechopped vegies and "blocks" of measured protein. I had to buy so much food that the second outside fridge has been roped in to manage the overflow.

Unfortunately, the outside fridge also holds the chocolate. Which I now can't eat.

I'm not used to this! It's my first diet ever! Previously, when I found I was getting a wee bit pudgy, my plan was "eat less" and it worked a treat. But now I'm dieting, when I stroll past the fast food outlets near the supermarket, instead of barely noticing the multitudes of food I was allowed to eat but didn't much want to, now I turn into a fried food fiend, slavishly wishing I could eat a greasy noodle entree, followed by a chili potato and then a pancake chaser (hold the cheese). I want what I can't have. And I really miss my chocolate!

Well, only time will tell if this diet is going to deliver on the usual promises of increased youthful  vitality, more visible ribs and an aversion to cheese (there is SO MUCH CHEESE). I'll keep you all updated. Because, as we know, there is nothing more interesting than listening to the rambles of the diet obsessed.... *yawn*

Do you diet?

Saturday, June 9, 2012

The Accidental Housewife's Link Party!

Well hello!

Welcome to our party!

Come on in, grab a drink (Annie made mojitos) and have a mingle!

Here's how to get your link on the list:

1) Go and pick a "housewifey" post from your own blog. 

We decided yesterday that a housewifey post is anything about the work that is done in the home. Extra points if it could be improved by the wearing of an apron! So this includes housework, recipes, home organization, pets and small livestock, opinions and views about the same, and any other subject that might be helpful or interesting to women (or men!) who work in the home.

2) Copy the web address of your specific blog post

Please don't just copy the general address of your blog, otherwise people will get lost when they try to find your post later.

3) Click on the blue "Add your link" button below.

Then follow the instructions. The name you put in the title will appear on the list. Don't worry, if you get it wrong you can delete the link and have another try. (To delete a link you've added, click the red cross next to your link on the list.)

4) Add the button. 

It's like a party hat, so everyone knows where to come to join in!

Copy the code in the box below the LinkLove button.

Then either:
  • add an HTML widget to your side bar and simply paste in the code, or
  • open the edit mode on your post, change to the HTML mode, and then paste the code in. (At the very top or very bottom is easiest!)

The Accidental Housewife

5) You're done! 

Now head on over and mingle with our other party guests. Leave plenty of comments as a thank you for coming! And if you're interested in what they have to say, why not follow them? It's a great encouragement.

Thank you so much for coming to our party!

Friday, June 8, 2012

Hey you!



Yes, YOU!

We need to talk.

(Yes, it's serious, is there any other kind of "we need to talk" talk?)

It has come to my attention that you have been commenting on other blogs.

Even other blogs from my blog roll!

And you know what? It's high time I told you...


We're building a community, here.

You, me, and the rest of that motley crew that visit daily.

It's an accidental community, in more ways than one.

An "Accidental" community in name, obviously, but also in nature - we were all floating around the the huge old net haphazardly and then came across each other at random, stumbling in the dark, bumping the walls and looking for like minded souls.

It's a big world out there, on the internet.

Lots of people you've never met. Lots of people you'd never want to meet.

But this corner here is nice. It's ours. We are starting to know one another, to form friendships, to forge bonds. To get connected.

I love coming across a comment from one of my regular readers on another blog I read. I like to think (because everything is obviously All About Me) that I brought them together. That I am some kind of super-blog-matchmaker. Now, since more is clearly better, I have decided to be a bigger and better matchmaker.

Starting tomorrow.

(And no, that's not a facetious way to say "never".)

I seriously mean tomorrow.

We're having a linky party, and you're invited!

(Well, obviously, since by "we're" I mean "me and you" so it's implied. But I'm kind of hoping some other nice, like-minded people will show up too, and give everyone lots of lovely comments.)

Now, every good party needs some prior planning. Here's where you come in.

Could you please have a look through your old posts, and dig out some housewifey ones? Or perhaps you would like to write one especially for tomorrow. Then some across sometime in the next week and link on up.

The more the merrier!

I'll make a little linky badge tonight, for your side bar or on the post, and we can have us a proper party!   (I'll be the lady dancing on the table in a lampshade.)

See you there!

Thursday, June 7, 2012

DIY laundry detergent

Laundry detergent!!!

(I thought if I wrote it like that, you might all get excited...)

Everyone uses it in some form. Well, everyone except the trolley man at my local shops. It's expensive to buy, but easy to make cheaply. Here's how I do it:
{I have to stop here for a second. Mr Accidental hates these tutorial posts, he would much prefer for every post to be about him. So I will keep everyone happy, and interject interesting facts about Mr A throughout the post. You're welcome. Now, back to your scheduled viewing... }
First up, collect your ingredients.

You'll need:

  • washing soda (not baking soda), 
  • borax; and 
  • pure soap. 

The basic recipe is 50% grated soap to 25% washing soda and 25% borax, by volume.
{Mr A wears large shoes. And you know what they say about large shoes...   Yes! Large socks!}
Grate up your soap. Keep the ends! (If you have them, so not you, Sorcha.) I find that two bars of grated soap make up three cups. Put them in your container.

I usually use sunlight soap, but I'm trying the Woolworths brand this time - it has the same ingredients and is far cheaper.
{Mr A grew up in Perth, and as a result he calls face washers "flannels".  I do not.  This causes some tension.}

Then add in 1.5 cups of borax.

And also 1.5 cups of washing soda.

I keep mine in a cereal container - the mouth is big enough to get my hand in, and it seals tightly but is easy to open single handedly.
{Mr A and I sometimes dream the same dream, even when we are apart. This is very distressing when we both dream we are getting divorced, and wake up cross at one another. But not all our dreams are bad! *Cough cough*}

Give it a good shake, add in your scoop, and you're done!

Well, almost...
{Mr A has salt and pepper hair. He's only 28. He started going grey when we started dating... ahem. Sorry darling. It makes him look very distinguished and wise, which is great for work, but doesn't it help him a jot at home - I know what he's really like. Hint: it's not often distinguished.}
Make sure you label any containers that hold home made cleaners with the contents of the cleaner. Then if someone ingests some accidentally you can summon the correct help, and it's also handy when it's time for a remake.

Finally... what to do with those soap ends?

Pump soap, obviously!
{Mr A is tall. A full 6'2", more in his boots. I can always find him easily in a crowded room. People also tend to move out of his way, which is handy in shopping centers on a Saturday. He's also really really good looking.}
So then, dear reader, reckon you'll give it a try? Or, if you make your own laundry soap already, is your recipe the same? Let me know, I love comments!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

DIY Pump Soap

Do you make your own laundry detergent? It's a simple process, very cheap, and makes the clothes smell absolutely lovely - once you've experienced clean, fragrance free clothes it's hard to go back!

But this post isn't about laundry detergent.

It's about pump soap.

Lazy pump soap.

But what do they have to do with each other, she asked expectantly? Well, young listener, wait and see....

When you make laundry detergent, if your really cheap (like me) instead of buying pre-grated soap you go for the hard bar stuff, which is less expensive.

Then you grate it yourself. Since I don't have cast iron hands and can't grate to nothing, I am always left with teeny soap ends.

I use these to make pump soap.

Grab the ends and throw them (or place them gently, I won't mind) into a small container with a lid. An old jar will do.

Cover them with water, and let them sit for ages. Aaaaaages ages. A month should do it. (Told you it was lazy. Find something useful to do while you wait. I wouldn't suggest just watching it, you'll get hungry.)

Every so often, give it a good shake. After a while, it will start to look like this:

When most of the soap lumps are lovely and soft, decant them into a large jug. Add a dash more water, then get those hands in there. Smoosh the lumps until they are mostly gone and the mix is starting to become a uniform consistency. It's fun! Be sure to stop and admire the soap webs between your fingers. Hello, aquaman!

Ready to be smooshed (it's a technical term.)

After a while, you will be tempted to crack out a blender. DON'T. Well, unless you want your kitchen covered in bubbles, in which case by all means, carry on.

Instead, grab a strainer and a bowl, and run the mix through it. I push the soft lumps through with a wooden spoon. If there are any hard lumps remaining, don't worry, just put them back into the soaking jar for another month. (See? Lazy.)

Now take a look at your mix. Does it need more water to run smoothly? If so, add it now, and stir it in gently. Then pour it into a pump bottle. I wanted to use my funnel, but Panzer found it first. (I used the jug instead.) The pump bottles I use the are ones left over from buying commercial pump soap.

And there you have it! Lazy, easy, cheap pump soap, made with nothing but time and leftovers. I will be sharing my homemade laundry soap recipe tomorrow, so feel free to follow along if you're interested.

Thanks for visiting!

Nature's Nurture

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Panzer ate my everything

Poor Mr Accident returned home to a scene of puppy created devastation. The list of things Pan ruined in his absence had grown by the day.

The most notable probably being the library book she shat on. (Seriously. Who poops on a library book? It was right in the middle of the cover of "The Aussie Nutcracker". Perhaps she is a blossoming literary critic? Or more likely, just sharing her views on castration.) She also made short work of my watch band and several DVDs.

I eat flowers like you for breakfast!

We received a folder of delightfully!!!! over punctuated!!! instructions!!!! from the breed's secretary explaining that all we need to do to prevent her chewing is simply keep everything out of reach, which is very wise advice, but clearly not suited to a family who also includes Bug-the-poltergeist. 

Things are rarely where we left them, and we could deal with that, but now things are rarely-where-we-left-them-and-chewed. That's more challenging. Vale leather watch band. Vale TV remote.  Vale shoe after shoe after shoe.

Also, vale investment hydrangea. I had bought it as table flowers for Bug's first birthday, then planted it out into the courtyard. She was thriving! As happy as a hydrangea could possibly be, sitting with her feet in a bed of high quality potting soil and well aged fertilizer. 

But every good story needs a villain. Enter Pan, stage right, (then left, then right again - she's bouncy.) 

After ripping the new flowers off my winter bulbs, she decided she had room for dessert. And now my hydrangea is just a gnawed twig, poking from the ground like a skeleton hand from the grave where gardening dreams go to die. Well, she would be, except it turns out Pan moonlights as a grave robber. When she was done chewing she dug up the root ball, too.


Mr A returned to a wife who was a wee bit annoyed.

Luckily, he owns both a credit card and a sense of humour. 

Enter the "gift of forgiveness".

Now, Mr A is a thoughtful lad, but thus far he's never been accused of finding the perfect present. In the not-too-distant past I seem to remember receiving an anti-snoring pillow as a pregnancy gift, and a saucepan for a birthday present. Not that I snore. EVER. Ahem.

So what did he come up with this time?

He was very pleased with his choice, it was so hard for him not to let slip what it might be....

Was it a winner?


Flowers in a hanging cage!

They came with an explanatory note, too.

And I tested them against the wiliest flower puller I know.

Success! That's one very safe pot plant.

Aren't they gorgeous? I've loved cyclamen for years, they remind me of the time Mr A and I met up in Rome for a whirlwind week, halfway through our deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. (You want romance and hand holding? Had it in spades.)

Well done, Mr A - all is forgiven.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Nice things

Nice Things have been happening in the Accidental House.

Mr Accident arrived home yesterday after three long, looooong weeks away. Usually I am superwoman while he is gone, but this time it was just hard. Damn hard. Two small kids and a new puppy, with no backup, is a challenging proposition to even the most aproned housewife. But time finally passed (as it does tend to do) and now he's home again. Hooray!

He was excited as I was - he ran the whole way home from the bus lugging more gear than I could get inside in two trips. Seeing his face again, all lit up at seeing me, made my entire month. And since the girls were napping (I told Peanut that she had to sleep to make Daddy come home - apparently he's channeling Santa Claus now) Mr A could scoop me straight up and take me to the back of the house, to chastely hold hands and talk about the state of the economy.

Not my children's father
Another nice thing was buying new clothes. I didn't mean to (I never do!) but I went into our local chain store to find new trackies for Bug, and there was a remarkably nice, dark blue, knitted, cowl neck dress for a very cheap $20. The only hitch was the nasty black shiny plastic belt, held on by over sized loops. Two minutes with some scissors and the bin, and it was fixed. So fixed, that when I wore it to help out at playschool another mum asked me if it was FCUK. Ahem. No. It was BIGW. Win!

Nice thing number three? Panzer is growing up, both in size and maturity. She is still strafing my floors with her "presents" but now at least she has the dignity to look ashamed when I catch her in the act. I count that as progress! And she hasn't nipped a small finger in at least an hour. This is good, as if she didn't stop soon, I suspect the girls would have difficult learning maths with only three fingers between them. Size wise, she is growing like a juicy story. Mr A reckons her growth is exponential, but I bloody well hope not, because we can't afford the kibble to feed a forty foot dog.

The last nice thing is that the chicken eggs are coming in at an average of 53g. (Wikipedia says this is a medium sized egg, but the chooks reckon they feel quite large coming out. I'm going to take their word for it.) The reason I know this, is because I have a lovely new electronic kitchen scale. It's bright red, and even looking at it makes me feel cheerful. I've been weighing everything. This makes my recipes accurate, but they actually taste worse. I think the "oh, 170g is close enough to 150g of butter" devil-may-care attitude my previous, wildly incorrect scales encouraged made for more delicious cookies. I will have to spend a joyously long time weighing the amount of ingredients I actually use in my recipes and then update my secret recipe book.

So that's the happy happenings here. (Ughh, alliteration, so twee. Apologies.) What's been happening in your neck of the woods? (Do you actually live in woods? That was very presumptive of me. We can't all be Eeyore.) Do tell...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

No exploring today, thank you

While I was making dinner, I heard Peanut having an argument in the next room.

There was a polite: "Do you want to?" from the other little girl, that was met by a delightfully sweet "No, thank you" from Peanut.

Then there was a "come on!" from the lassie, met by another demure "no, thank you, I don't want to" from Peanut.

And finally, undeterred, an "everybody! Let's go!" from the which Peanut responded by having a complete and utter meltdown. There was foot stomping, there was screaming, there was a particularly loud "I said NO! I said I DON'T WANT TO!!    *huge pause for breath*      MUUUMMMMYYYY!!!!!"

I should probably explain to Peanut that the kids in the TV can't actually hear her. But that aside: Dora the Explorer really is a pushy little broad!

Friday, June 1, 2012

Tempus Really Truly Fugit

It's that time of year again.

Time to rake the autumn leaves.

Before they turn into winter leaves (lazy yard keeper that I am.)

We love a good jumping pile here at chateau Accidental.

Peanut stuffed Bug's hood.

And taught her how to undo all my good raking.

Remember last year?

Sometime, when I wasn't looking, my kids grew.

Bug 2011
Bug 2012

And became more leafy.

Peanut 2011
Peanut 2012

I blame the little sister in the gang. 

I'm kind of sad there won't be a 2013 picture out the front of the same house,
but my arms won't miss the raking. (I'm sore today, the big sook that I am.) 

Bring on winter....