When I was little I remember learning that you had to restrain how much you fed goldfish. This was because they would just keep eating, even if they were too full, and would die. I always thought how stupid that an animal didn’t realise how dangerously full they were …
<Enter Cinco De Mayo>
I was so excited all day about Cinco de Mayo. I told everyone at church about it. They were confused until I explained that it’s kind of a Mexican Holiday. That left them even more confused. I then let them know that it’s really only celebrated by Americans, by making Tex-mex. That still didn’t help. Robbo and I got together with some of our friendo-s here and had a big ol’ Tex-mex potluck. Trying to pull together this fiesta was a little more difficult than normal given lack of Mexican food ingredients available in Perth. Luckily us ex-pat women have become very well versed at muling food back with us on our long haul trips. The ability we have of schlepping velveeta, nilla wafers, rotel, reese’s peanut butter cups, spices, dressings, crystal light and any other imaginable food is epic. It always freaks Robbo out when I bring food back with me because he’s watched too many episodes of Board Patrol – but I assure him that my 20 packets of ranch dressing and 144 single serves of Crystal Light is NOT the same as the dodgy guy bringing in 700 cartons of ciggies.
For our fiesta we had 67 types of dips, fajitas, beans, rice and of course banana pudding with nilla wafers and chocolate dipped cream cheese oreo balls. We also managed a real classy pinata.
With all the yumminess around me I found out I’m part goldfish. I’m lucky someone finally took my plate away from me.
In 2012 my new year’s resolution was to make this ridiculous quilt. It was the Farmer’s Wife Sampler Quilt that heaps of quilt bloggers, flickrs, tumblrs, and instgrammers were all doing. Not to be outdone I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon. The quilt consists of 111 6″ blocks and the plan was to make two a week for the entire year. Sometimes I made two, sometimes I didn’t make any and then had to make 10 later, sometimes I made 8 to make a ahead because I had the time. As neurotic as I am I did manage to finish all of the blocks in time. Then I had to put it all together and was going to send it to the quilter which would’ve cost about $300 to get quilted. Thankfully all of the start aligned and my trip back to the states coincided with my mom’s purchase of a long arm quilter. I decided to haul the queen size quilt with me there and back. I think I scared the guy next to me on the long haul flight back in which I pulled out the giant quilt so I could hand sew on the binding. He was concerned about me bringing needles on the flight, I was concerned about him trying to drink himself through the alcohol list …
After the quilt was all finished ’twas time to take it on the photo shoot – which happened in Margs during the girls weekend. This year I came up with a much better New Year’s Resolution, employing the word ’twas. So far I’ve been successful.
A few weeks ago some gal pals and I went on a much needed girls weekend. My husband was confused on why I needed a get away considering we had just been in America for the two weeks prior to my trip, but as usual he just doesn’t understand how hard it is to be me. Rather than have me go into detail of this hardship he quickly acquiesced.
The nine of us planned a weekend to the Margaret River region, just a few hours South of Perth. Wine lovers, food lovers, surfers, and anyone wanting to “get away” all love the area. I’d write more about it but frankly I’d just be copying from wikkipedia so click here . If this isn’t convincing enough to go there Hugh Jackman called Margaret River the best place he’s ever been to – and if you can’t trust Wolverine or Jean Valjean than who can you trust?
We rented a great holiday home in Yallingup borught a ton of food and proceeded to eat and laugh and eat some more (and laugh). For our full day there we went on a wine tour. Before you get any crazy thoughts, there is a LOT you can do as a water drinker on a wine tour – I managed to eat my weight in olive oils, dukkah, chocolates, yummy winery lunches, bought a bunch of stuff, and took heaps of pictures (and sometimes pictures of others taking pictures, and some on my camera and some on my phone for instagram, and some of my camera with my phone for instagram … there are a lot of pics …). I would talk about all the pretty places we saw but I’ll just show you pictures … The weekend wasn’t full of self indulgence, there was some learning too. We managed to teach our fellow friends what #hashtags are. (and by the way, no, they are not just your inner monologue).
okay, so something funny actually happened at the crab festival, not on the way, but it sounded more lyrical as the play title … a play title in which I was actually in. I have quite the stage experience to be honest, in high school I was in a Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum. My friend Gina and I were
biblical prostitutes courtesans to be exact at the production at a local all boys boarding school … hey, they needed girls, we fit the bill. We also got to sing and dance. Looking back I can’t believe people had to listen to me sing – let alone pay to hear me sing … and I digress …
Anyway, on this gorgeous Autumn day (read 85 & sunny) we hit up the Crab Festival in Mandurah. In addition to crabs they also had all sorts of motorbiking, skateboarding, and water sports to check out. Amongst all the crabbiness there was an appropriately positioned random kitchen appliance tent. One glance inside I realised that I needed to keep Rob away from this place. I turned around and before I knew it there he was standing with “our” new purchase … *drum roll* … a mini pie maker. Yup, at a crab festival.
Knowing that I’d have to immediately put it to use I started frantically looking for acceptable mini pie recipes. My recipes were quickly set aside once “we” decided that we should make peanut butter, banana, and chocolate pies. I’m not one to ever say no to that combination of flavours so we heated up the pie maker and made us some gooey pies. Let’s just say we have a few bugs to work out and that they taste better than they look … for now …
When we go stateside we try to do things besides just eat a lot. This time I finally learned geography and realised that Memphis Tennessee (where I wanted to go) was only two hours away from Searcy Arkansas (where we were going to be). The only reasonable thing to do was plan a road trip to the home of Elvis Aaron Presley.
Graceland was in a word, AWESOME. Granted, it’s a bit “In The Ghetto” <sung with Elvis twang> … we opted for the super tour which came complete with tour of the house, cars, AND aeroplanes. We also had a plethora of gift shops in which to select Gracelandia merchandise from. I’m pretty sure my favourite part of the tour was the jungle room, wait, no, the trophy house, wait not, ’twas the lady crying who laid down a bouquet of flowers and very long letter on The King’s grave. (I think I need a trophy house now …)
The tour left us a bit hungry so we did the only thing reasonable and found some grub at Central BBQ. It was greasy, and saucy, and onion ringy, and all things wonderful, which dropped us right into a food coma for the drive home.
I always swore that we’d never watch the cricket. Never, ever. Well, it turns out it wasn’t the same never, ever that Taylor Swift uses. Apparently it means give us year or two and we’ll be season ticket holders … We started out small with T20 Big Bash League and learned all of the rules and even bought some shirts. Our season included some amazing games including a real nail biter, playing Elizabeth Hurley’s fiance, and making it to (and subsequently losing) the series final. My absolutely favourite part of it is that I now have a whole new world of puns at my disposal! (Wicket has turned into quite a pun word – and not just the adorbs Ewok). It also turns out that our stadium (the WACA) is internationally known as having the fastest wicket. I learned that from an overly excited Britt who was on the stadium tour with us.
I know you’re all mocking me with this whole cricket thing now but all you Downton Abbey lovers will be singing a different tune since they play a friendly game at the end of season 3 and I actually knew what was going on!
I finally finished this quilt. I say finished but I’m pretty sure Rob says finally because it’s been looming all over the house just begging to be completed. Once the new year came and went I finally did it. If you are curious about the details the pattern is On A Whim by the wonderful Camille Roskelley and the fabric is Washi by Rashida Coleman Hale.
As you know I like to take my finally finished quilts out for their own little photoshoot. It’s just that I really don’t like standing there holding up my quilt and having someone take a picture. I feel like after spending so much time and effort into these darn things they deserve a little more love than that. And by love I obviously mean taking the quilt to a less than desirable area of town containing ample amounts of color coordinating graffiti, dragging it on the ground wrought with dirt, stank, and cigarette butts, avoiding the glares of the shoe & shower challenged onlookers and taking photos. It turned out quite nicely, and then it started to rain.