Sunday, July 31, 2011

All class

Regular readers will be aware of my husband's huntin', shootin', bush-goin' ways. But he's also talented and creative. Where these characteristics intersect is with his part-time hobby/home business of making custom knives. And, if I may say so, he's pretty damn good at it. His knives are top notch. And they are beautiful.
Here is one of his latest masterpieces, almost at completion:

Paul's talents also extend to making high-quality sheaths for the knives. Customers have these personalized with, say, their initials or a particular pattern stamped on them. Or they can have a picture carving. One guy provided a photo of his beloved great dane and had Paul carve it onto the pouch.
Now, most customers are hunters too and so go with a hunting-themed image. But what do you think the guy having the above-pictured knife made wants? In his own words: 'a massive pair of tits'.
Bags not doing the Google search to find a photo for Paul to copy from for that one. My own assets are far from fitting the brief ('massive', remember), so I thankfully won't have to pose, either.

The heterosexual male's fascination with boobs still takes me by surprise sometimes. What well-documented male traits amaze you?

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Too busy to read. Too lazy to shave my legs. And other random bits of news

What my stack of neglected books would currently look
like. If I hadn't got with the times and
started reading with an e-reader.
Image source:
There's been a spike of activity in my corner of desert land lately. Nothing super exciting (well, apart from us buying a house. WE'RE BUYING A HOUSE!) so I'm afraid I'm a little low on things of note to report.
But the blogosphere likes to be fed. Often. So what to do but do a busy-but-boring post? Ergo, what exactly has been going down in desert town:
Work has been busy - though thankfully the run of 14-hour shifts appears to be over for now. Home has been busy - as it generally is around tax time, winter (extra washing, running about after firewood seemingly every second day and so on) and sifting through the waffle generated by a house purchase.
Even my near comatose social life has drawn a few fresh, shuddering gasps and got a little colour back in its cheeks.
In a bid to get done the things I currently need done, I decided prior to my last lot of days off that I wouldn't start reading another book until this lot of days off. Reading is my main form of distraction, so I hoped abstaining would free up a lot of hours. I initially floated the idea of giving up cooking and sex for the same period. Let's just say that was not well received. So, it was my reading habit that had to go. Temporarily, anyway. We are still busy and, with great effort, I've extended the ban.
So much for life in a sleepy little country town. I guess, compared to the hectic pace of a city, it is sleepy here. The traffic certainly is. One thing is quick though - word. Word gets around FAST.
I should be used to it by now, but it's still a little bit scary. Probably because everyone knows everyone and we all live virtually within shouting distance of each other.
For example, I'll replay a conversation we had with a nice young couple we'd just met while attending a BBQ the other night. The couple had mentioned they lived just around the corner from the host's place.
Me: Oh right, so where are you guys?
New guy: We're in X street, number YY.
Me: We're in X street! You must be in the block just down from us.
Paul: But we just bought a house and are about to move to Z street, up the end, in the house next to Old Mate's* son.
New guy: Ah, me old man's up there. You'll be two down from 'im, then.
See? There's about 0.0006 degrees of separation between everyone.
This was the second BBQ we'd been to in as many weeks. For a homebody like me, that is enough to constitute a spike in social activity. A welcome spike, however.
We were lucky to make it to this one, because just before we left for it, I was pulling on my favorite boots and took the opportunity to show Paul the carpet-like state of my winter legs. He almost had a heart attack.
I tend to think that if your legs see the light of day so rarely even your husband doesn't notice the forest, you shouldn't need to bother with deforestation. In the interests of maintaining his cardiac health, however, I'm rethinking that theory.

* It had previously been established that both Paul and New Guy knew Old Mate. And his son. Not that it had really needed to be established. You can almost always assume that, like I said, everyone knows everyone. Or, at least, knows of them.

What do you give up when you need to dedicate time to more pressing, if mundane, matters? And can anyone tell me who's fool idea it was to decree leg hair on women shocking and undesirable?

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Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Nugget necklace

It's Wednesday, so once again I'm joining in with (the currently road-tripping) Trish from My Little Drummer Boys for Wordless Wednesday. And, once again, it's not entirely wordless.

Mr Desert Rambler actually did some desert rambling a little while ago, when he headed off for a prospecting trip. And got rained in and had to spend an entire week miles from anywhere - fancy that happening in the desert! (And yes, I will post about his adventure, some time). Anyway, much to my surprise, he prospected up these items:

He was overjoyed. Because the biggest piece was his first ever real find, it was very special to him. So he wanted it to be worn by someone very special to him. Me. I was touched. Cue the purchase a gold chain (on sale, thank god!), taking nugget no.1 to the nugget people to be fitted to a hook, and me being 'encouraged' to affix it around my neck at every opportunity. So, the finished product:

Do you have an item of jewellery of significant personal value? Have you ever had a man advise you on accessories?

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Some days, most days

Today I'm linking up with Cherry Blossom Adventures for a 'Some days are Tuesdays' post. Thanks Lulu!

Some days I am personally affronted by people in awful outfits. I rarely get the chance to wear nice things anymore and have started to believe that every opportunity to do so should be taken, and not wasted on three-sizes-too-small leggings and a Jim Beam jacket. Most days I just cringe though.

Some days I'm convinced 80 per cent of the staff at the local Bunnings are thicker than the four-inch planks in their warehouse. Most days I don't go near the place. Thankfully.
Shame about the dimwit staff, though.
Image source:

Some days hearing someone say 'I seen' when they mean 'I saw' has no effect on me. Most days it makes my teeth hurt.

Some days I gossip at work. Most days I keep out of it. Unless it comes with extra juice.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Blast from the past

A little patch of my current home town.
I've posted before, here, about my thoughts on this place - Coolgardie, by which I really mean the general area and surrounding countryside - and its appeal. Which, to be fair, may be rather limited in some people's eyes, given it's a tiny little place on the edge of the desert.
But I love it here. Positively love it.
Despite having no history here, and it being on the opposite side of the country to my original home, I feel a connection to the place. And I'm pretty sure it's, in part, because it reminds me of my childhood. Visually and socially.
For example, the other day Paul and I went to pull down a shed. (No, I did not pull down a lot of sheds as a child, but bear with me).
We were doing the shed pulling-down thing because we are in the process of buying a house. A little house that sits on a huge block - they are all huge here - but which lacks the requisite man-cave. Fortunately, it does have an existing concrete slab of substantial dimensions - sorry, adequate dimensions, according to the man requiring the cave - on which to place a shed. Also fortunate was the fact our real estate agent needed to remove a hay shed from a horse block her hubby had been leasing and offered the iron and framework to us for a very reasonable price, providing we removed it.
This suited us, so on one of our recent work-free days we gathered our shed-dismantling gear and got to it.
And, to get to the point of the story, it was on the drive out when I felt a piece of my childhood return.
To clarify, I grew up in a pocket of western NSW where the ground is a rich red, the trees low and scrubby, the sky wide and bright and winter mornings crisp and sparkling. Unless they're foggy and damp, which is also somewhat romantic, provided they're experienced from a fire-side or within a deep, insulating coat.
I saw all this again that morning. Once more, I was driving down a country road of red dirt and pot holes, past stretches of grey-green shrubs huddling among the mist (as it was a foggy affair, rather than a sparkling one, that particular day), stopping to open a gate and breathing chill, fresh morning air.
There was even a piece of Tupperware containing a home-made cake on the back seat. Just like there always was when our family was out for the day.
The Tupperware in question. Who doesn't have a
childhood memory featuring Tupperware, really?

I had a very happy childhood out in 'the sticks'. And I have a very happy life here, out in the sticks. Which is occasionally made all the sweeter by these little blasts from the past. I may not have ever set foot in the place until about nine months ago, but I feel like I belong.
Would you believe I took this photo at the local tip one afternoon last week?
Does your tip look this pretty in the afternoon light?

Do you have a connection to a certain place? What aspects of your current home do you love? More importantly, do you have fond memories of Tupperware?

Friday, July 22, 2011

I'm not a female version of my husband. I am myself

My husband is a very interesting man.
Except when he's boring me to death.

Image source:
A few weeks ago I was delighted to wave my husband away on a weekend camping/prospecting trip. Delighted because I was staying at home, and it was the first time in months I had more than a couple of hours to myself.
(As it turned out I had a lot longer than a few hours because the weather turned wet and nasty but the group of hopeful prospectors decided to risk it. And got stranded. In a place adequately referred to as woop woop. For a week. But that is not the point of this post.)
Today I'm talking about the number of times fool old men people asked me why I didn't go with him. They were genuinely surprised I preferred a weekend of solitude (boring and lonely, and a bit aloof of me, according to them. Blissful, according to me) to traipsing athrough the never never in the cold with my husband and a metal detector. My very credentials as a wife seemed in question.
So, can I ask what is with this assumption wives are to toss away their own interests and trot around professing a fascination with anything their husbands deem halfway entertaining?
It certainly doesn't seem to work the other way. They wouldn't be surprised to hear Paul has no intention of accompanying me to the musical Wicked next month. And he won't be considered neglectful and a little too independent/selfish for his own good for not doing so. More eyebrows would be raised if he was actually coming.
(Come to think of it, these particular fellows would probably be surprised to hear even I'm going. 'Whadya doin' that shit on yer holidays for? Why don't you just go the beach and get pissed?' would more likely be their response.)
I've come up against this attitude this ever since we've been together. No matter his hobby, there's always someone - or several someones - who think I too should immediately take it up. But no such expectation is placed on him to, in return, share in my trips to art galleries, stage shows or concerts.
And while it shouldn't bug me - they're presumptuous old farts, after all - it does.

Have you experienced similar expectations? Can anyone tell me why on earth a couple would want to do every single thing together?

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Wordless Wednesday - Beautiful bows

I have wished, on many, many, occasions, that this was a wordless topic. But sadly it's not. My husband talks about it endlessly. Over and over again. The topic is bowhunting. 
Anyway, he had a fellow bowhunter visiting on the weekend and while it's really not my thing, it reminded me how beautiful and well crafted these bows are. Both of Paul's were handmade by Queensland bowyers.

I'm playing Wordless Wednesday with Trish from My Little Drummer Boys. Head on over and join in. 

Monday, July 18, 2011

Confessions from a dirty house

Image source:
I have something to confess. My house is in a right state. It's never been the tidiest or cleanest of homes, but lately it's taken a turn for the much-worse. In fact, these days it probably rivals my renowned for chaos sibling's sister's place for mess (sorry Katie).
We used to clean every week. On Saturdays, like much of the population. You know how it is - work Monday-Friday, do the household chores Saturday and chill out Sunday.
But now it sometimes goes a month without so much as a squirt of Spray & Wipe. Because our routine has changed from weekly to fortnightly. Now, for both of us, it's work Wednesday to Thursday (of the following week) and do the chores and chilling on the ensuing days off (Friday to Tuesday). But for some inexplicable reason, there are times when the housework still doesn't get done on those five days.
"WHAT?! How can you have five days and STILL not get any cleaning done?" I can hear you - and my mother - shrieking.
Well, I don't know. I've often asked myself that on a Tuesday night when getting ready for work the next day and noticing the dust bunnies piling up in such numbers they could have a parliamentary debate between them. What the hell did I do with those hours that meant there was no time for a spot of vacuuming? Honestly, I've no idea. But it does mean that the housework doesn't get a look-in til the next lot of days off, taking the time between cleans close to four weeks.
Strangely, the place doesn't get as disgusting as I'd expect during that time. Well, the verandah does. Traffic from four human and eight large dog feet, and the kind of red dirt more insidious and sticky than a True Blood addiction (cough) ensures that.
My back verandah not half an hour after being swept.
And Razz, who has to be involved in everything.
Or maybe it really is grossly dirty and I just don't notice anymore. Maybe my husband's near blindness to grot and mess until it obscures his path to the beer fridge has finally rubbed off on me. Or maybe because compared to work - where we process ore, an intrinsically grimy activity - home is actually pretty clean.
Whatever the case, I reckon I can handle the occasional four-week gap between proper cleans. Just don't tell my landlord.

What's your tipping point when it comes to cleaning? The appearance of one tiny cobweb in the corner? Or do you only drag out the Jif when your parents - or inlaws - are due a visit?

I know, I can't believe I just blogged about housework either. 

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Caturday: My couch, got it?

Today I'm making a quickie return to my blog for Caturday. This furry blog-link thing is hosted by Rainbow Tatt, and we share pics of the subjects of our cat-doration (even when they are thoroughly undeserving of such attention following launching an unwarranted attack and breaking the skin on your arm even through a jumper that very morning).
So here is Mr Toby on the couch he has declared his own. Every part - the back, the arm rest, the seat - is his and woe betide anyone fool enough to eject him.
I is already beautiful, but more sleep can't hurt.

Next post: Confessions from a dirty house >
< Previous post: What floats my boat. And what doesn't

Friday, July 1, 2011

What floats my boat. And what doesn't

Jensen Ackles. AKA Dean Winchester
from Supernatural.
Image source:
I'm ripping this idea off another blog, the fabulous Good Golly Miss Holly. Basically, it's a get-to-know-me list (and I'm sure you're all gagging to learn more about me), featuring things I like and things I think people should be shot for. OK, being shot is a bit harsh, but you get the drift.
So, what floats my boat? An abbreviated list: 
  • Sleep-ins. Which means anything past 5am these days. 
  • Toasted marshmallows. Warm, sugary goo. Am addicted. 
  • Marian Keyes books. Mammy Walsh, hilarious characters, lovable characters, the wonderful Irishness of them all.
  • Pay day. Obviously.
  • Watching TV shows on DVD instead of during normal broadcast. Benefits: No ads. Rewinding the bit in Supernatural where Dean takes his kit off and gets down with the angel and ... well, you can see for yourself. Another advantage is that when you get to a cliffhanger ending and bleat out 'Oh it can't finish there! What happens next?' you can simply press a button on the remote and find out. Even if you should have gone to bed three episodes ago.
  • Pretty pictures/designs. On cards. In magazines. Wrapping paper. Art galleries. Other people's blogs. These can be found in lots of places, really.
  • Comments on my blog (hint hint).
  • Foot rubs (hint hint someone in particular. That would be you, Paul).
And what sinks it:
  • The bothersome 'woooOOOoooOOO' of air whistling in through a minuscule gap in the ute window during my morning drive to work. By the time I drive home the warmth of the day (if you call 18 degrees warm. Which I most certainly do not) has gummed up the seal and it is blessedly silent. But it returns again the very next morning. 
  • Radio news bulletins that give you only two stories.
  • Radio news bulletins that play a rock beat in background.
  • Radio news bulletins that give you two stories and recite them with a rock beat in the background.
  • Not being able to get another channel on the radio.
  • When people don't finish their sentences. And then give you an odd look if you finish them instead. WTF?

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