Wednesday, 30 May 2012

Poisonous mushrooms, anyone?

Picture the scene - we're spending the day at a friend's house, and the kids (Darling Son (7), Darling Daughter (4) and their equally darling friend (8)) are playing over the road at an open neighbourhood garden.
Me: Lunchtime, guys!
Kids: We've already had lunch today, Mummy, we ate things from the garden.  We've had peaches and nectarines and mushrooms.
Me: Mushrooms?  Are you serious?!?!?!
Exhibit A: the mushroom in question

First I had to check they weren't kidding - they weren't.  Then I had to get them to bring a sample of the mushroom - they did.  Then us adults frantically got on the internet to Google 'poisonous mushrooms of Adelaide' - and there are plenty!
So the Poisons Hotline was called, and the mushroom in question described.  Verdict of the Poisons person was that it was 50/50 harmless/harmful identification, hard to decide over the phone.
How do my family get into these situations?!?!
After much parental wailing and gnashing of teeth (and consumption of lunch by 3 very un-bothered children) it was decided to 'wait and see', given that the kids had been over there for a couple of hours, and the Poisons person said that ill-effects would show 1-2 hours after consumption.

So we popped them in front of a movie and kept an extremely watchful eye on them for signs of fainting, vomiting, seizures, etc etc.  And by tea time it was decided that they had got lucky and eaten mushrooms that had sprung up from mushroom compost on the vegie garden.  Phew!

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

'A recipe for disaster' or 'How the great are fallen'

the kids have been taking roller skating lessons at St Clair's, in Woodville.  It's $3 for an hour-long group session on the rink with an instructor who gives you tips, helps you improve your technique, etc.  The kids love it, so I decided I could do this too - I skated many eons ago in my distant youth, with the skates you wore over your shoes - remember them??
They're pretty smart looking for weapons of wrist destruction!
I was really stoked to pick up this pretty pair of purple quads at the junk markets this week for ten bucks - awesome!  I thought I'd practise for a bit at home to get the feel of them.  And then suddenly - BANG!!!!!  I go arse over tit and land hard on the kitchen floor.  A trip to the Emergency Department later, I have a small fracture diagnosed and a lovely cast.  Must remember to wear pads next time!

Oops, how embarrassing

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

A great artist captures the feline gaze - meow!

Every cat owner has experienced this patient, hopeful, polite but persistent feline gaze, so beautifully captured in this sketch by Australian artist Norman Lindsay.  I love this funny little sketch because it really is a cat-lover's POV,watching two little heads popping up over the edge of your tray or table, just waiting to see if there are any tasty morsels to come their oh so deserving way.
A greeting card of this scene is framed on my wall, because these two pusses are very like our handsome lad Lister, and our previous tabby girl Gemma, who died in 2010.  I love the contrast between the black cat's slightly disdainful frown ('haven't you finished yet, selfish human?') and the saucer eyes of a really rotund greyish cat who doesn't need any extra calories ('I'm visibly wilting here, please feed me').

Lindsay's cat sketches are gorgeous, and just a small part of his body of work, which included sculptures, books, articles, cartoons and scale models (check out this for a potted history of this creative bad boy, whose prints and novels were often banned as pornographic).  He was also a boxer!

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Damn you Siri...

After several years of languishing in 'crap phone land' I've recently got myself an iPhone, and it's fabbo (thankyou Mr Jobs).  Easy to use, keeps me and/or the kids busy on long trips, etc, etc, I adore it.  However, the autocorrect leaves something to be desired (in an often very amusing way, thankyou Damnyouautocorrect), and as for Siri, the voice to text assistant, well.

Shall we just say that she obviously needs to clean out her little electronic ears (recently I asked her to 'find shops' and she heard it as 'find sharks') and she has a tiny bit of trouble with my British/Australian accent.  As you can see, when I tried to tell my friend B to look for 'loo paper the walk-in robe' (we were out of paper in the main bathroom and ensuite at the time, ya know), Siri came up with the above case of grave digging and porn acting.  'Cos Siri is classy like that!

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Eggs, eggs, eggs, eggs!

"Well they're round all around and they're bigger at the bottom,
they're smaller at the top and we're glad we've got 'em.
They're egg shaped- cos they're eggs!
Every bird you've ever heard, it lays eggs"

(with thanks to ABC TV's Play School for this classic kids' song)
Here's the lovely selection our girls are laying at the moment:

Is it totally sad that I can tell who does which egg?  Well, maybe a little...

The really brown ones at the bottom right are from the ex-battery hens,  the pale-ish ones at the top are from the white hens Hetty and Justine, and the bluey/grey one in the middle on the right is from the Aracaunas (these are tiny eggs but very yolky).

There unfortunately aren't any duck eggs in this lot, but Rosie's eggs are large (larger than any of these), and very white, and have a very thick shell - you really have to whack them on the side of a pan to break them, whereas the battery hen eggs have quite thin, delicate shells. 

And even the egg basket we collect them in is hen-shaped - but that is another post!