31 January 2009

The earth keeps shifting, subtle in her ways

And the revelation?

Came as I drove 'round one of the many, many bends descending into the valley. You do two hairpins and if you look up you can see where you've come from, across an expanse of long, thick grass.

At the end of summer it's usually a deep golden yellow, and when the wind comes up towards the end of the day it ripples like water. Utterly mesmerising - hard to keep your eyes on the road (oops). It's a marker, one of the signals that weaves together in a journey which means more than roadsigns or street numbers. It's a marker I haven't seen for several years, because the trip home that way takes about an hour longer and the road is getting crappier.

I drove the two hairpins.

I looked up.

The field of golden water wasn't there...

...trees had regenerated.

Over half the area was covered with small to mid sized bushes and trees. I could catch a quick glimpse of the grass between, but no more ripples on the hill now. How recent was this? Was it on purpose, planted out by a new owner? Or was it natural, because it had been neglected, or purposely left to regenerate itself? I was disappointed for myself, but how exciting to see regeneration happening.

About twenty years ago, I wrote a poem about that grass, and about a boy I was in love with. About four years ago, I wrote it out and gave it to the Millstone, and told him it was about him. Gah. How to spoil memories, eh? At the time, though, I was trying to appease and keep him from one of his many foul moods. He was touched... he shed a tear... I found the poem a few weeks later on the floor covered with dog hair, red wine, and tobacco. Pfft.

I'm still in love with that first boy. He was the only one I ever went out with who treated me with genuine respect and admiration, and thought I was fucking fantastic. I, of course, in my utter lack of experience, totally failed to understand how very, very special that was. I've had about half my life so far to grasp that, now. Derr, Toasty!

And yet the earth has shifted.
She's changed.

My turn?


Boots and Saddles!

Coming back from the coast yesterday arvo, had a frustrating time but a small reflective revelation of sorts... Who'da thunk?

The reason I went down for a couple of nights was a touch of sanity time and to go to the Berry Show. I'm a bit (lot) of a sucker for the ol' regional Ag Show. I got there early on Friday morning but lo! there were no stalls open, only the cattle and horse judging.

I shouldn't say 'only' because I can watch this for quite some time. It was quiet, and cool in the shade, and even with the megaphones announcing results there was a lovely contemplative nature to the morning, especially after I moved away from the people with bratty children who were so loud (children, not adults) even the judges looked askance at one point. Didn't help that one of the non-parental adults thought this was hilarious and was egging them on. Sigh.

After a while though, it was getting hot. The Grand Parade wasn't on till 1pm and the Pavilion didn't open till 1:30pm. So hied me back to the cottage to tidy up, pack the car and get back to see the parade of shiny, perfectly groomed prize-winning animals being led by a bloke riding an enormous Brahman bull.

Local eccentric, or a new category at the Easter Show next year? Time will tell...

The Pavilion opened a bit late but there were some good exhibits, and of course some hideous ones. Much as I have no objection to Andre Rieu (the Toasty Toddler thinks he and his orchestral hijix are the ants pants, thanks for asking) the two entries portraying him were EUGH. Just as you'd expect. One was a framed rectangular ceramic plaque, and one was needlecraft - cross-stitch I think, my subconscious is suppressing it as I type. Some of the other items, ceramics, weaving and cake decorating though, absolutely stunning.

Needed to get back to Sydney at a reasonable time, though, so I set off from Berry around 2:30. Almost to Gerringong, there's been an accident and the highway is closed till about 5pm - found that out from an exasperated mum from Bateman's Bay who had called the Police to find out more.

Back to Berry an hour later, stop for petrol, decide to come back via Kangaroo Valley. Which is a truly beautiful drive when it's:

a) not friday afternoon,
b) it's not hot, and
c) the road is not full of NONGS.

Nuff said.

27 January 2009

25 January 2009

Threadless tees

so a couple of my peeps (yo!) have asked where I get some of the Toddler Toasty funky tees from. they're from Threadless.

a couple of times a year, they do really good sales, with shirts at $5, $10 and $15 dollars, so even with postage you get a tres funky shirt for about the same as a normal one that other people might have.

and if you use me as your referral, I get points to use towards my next order. let's do some back scratching, eh?* use the logo above, or this one -

Toasty's link to Threadless

who knows, maybe one year I'll get off my arse and submit a design. they pay in real money and everything!

* no, that's not a euphemism. not this time anyway.

23 January 2009


TDN(tm) bought me a Pandora bracelet for my 40th/Xmas pressie.

totally doomed, I tell you.

19 January 2009

a different sort of brave

driving to Currarong this morning, I saw the little body of a wallaby lying on the opposite side of the road.

it's a 100km zone, but I tend to scan the surface continually as I drive. it's why I'll hopefully never run over a lizard that almost looks like a twig, and have saved about 5 turtles/tortoises (yes I still get confused), and recently, a $20 note.


I always notice road kill. I can't help it. especially since I hit a kangaroo when I was about 19 - when I got to my brother's place, being a total sooky-la-la, his first question was, "Did you go back and kill it properly?"

I hate that, because that's not my sort of brave. I try, but I'm really crap at it.

so I saw the little fluffy wallaby, and being early in the morning, it didn't look long dead. it was in exactly the wrong spot on the road, too, and I just knew that if it was still there when we drove back, I'd want to move it off the road.

more to the point, I'd want to check it to make sure there wasn't a joey if it was female.

problem is I've never done it, because I'm crap at things like that. but it's always in my mind whenever I see roadkill, and like I said, I always see roadkill. maybe I'm the Haley Joel Osment of roadkill.

it was in the back of my mind the whole morning.

on the drive home, someone had already done it. thank goodness. the little body was tucked into the bushes.

but how do you stop being really bad at these things? I just go all woogy and teary. it's not the fear of touching a dead thing (ick, but you know, possible). it's the emotions.

08 January 2009

Toasty's shit-easy baked meatballs in saucy goodness

rummaging around in the freezer this arvo, looking for inspiration and finding none, I stumbled across the last of the baked meatballs my Kind Auntie Nettie gave us a while ago.

I'm not a big fan of meatballs and/or hamburgers. mince has to be browned on all sides and then some, or I think it's kinda grey and anaemic and ickily textured. when I make spag bol, that mince is pounded and slapped about in the saucepan until it's been dead at least half a dozen times and crumbled finely with NO LUMPS. but a while ago I had meatballs at K & A's and it was really easy and very yummy indeed. so here's my take on them.

1. get your conveniently premade-by-an-Aunt-and-frozen meatballs and space them out in a casserole/pyrex dish. I used about 15, which makes two meals for two and a half people.
2. let them thaw a bit while you make the sauce.
3. tip a big tin (800ml I think) of tomatoes into a bowl.
4. add a jar of salsa (medium gives a nice amount of zing). if you don't want to use salsa, more tomato is fine, say another small (400ml-ish) tin.
5. add whatever you like to add to pasta sauce. this time round, I added garlic, mild paprika, parsley, basil, oregano, and some roasted capsicum finely diced. if I was just making it for me, I'd add olives and artichokes too.
6. spoon over meatballs. you can pour, but they tend to go sliding a bit more, and being the sort I am, I like to Know Where My Meatballs Are (and that can be taken as a euphemism if you like).
7. bake for a while. this is where things get nebulous. I think it was about 180-200C for about 45 mins. the sauce should be not-quite-finger-burningly-hot in the middle.
8. pull out of the oven, top with whatever grated cheese you like (this time I couldn't be arsed grating, and I like the pizza mix which is mozzerella, parmesan and cheddar. I think it's Perfecto?).
9. whack it back in the oven on about 160-180C until cheese is melty, and the edge of the sauce is bubbling. I keep cheese in the freezer so it takes a little longer, and I like it to just start browning on top.
10. serve on top of rice or pasta. it's really good with rice, in fact I think I prefer it.
11. be careful as you start to eat because it's frigging hot.

I'm secretly thinking of trying this with some Ikea meatballs. just don't tell anyone. actually, I suspect TDN(tm) would be thrilled to bits because she's been trying to find an excuse to buy a pack of them.

and now, A Real Post.

so what is it that I want to be able to write about?

probably stuff that's of no particular relevance to many people. but that's fine. I'm still a bit uneasy with the public nature of blogs. part of me is just as much a peacock as everyone else out there...

but partly by nature and partly by circumstance, I'm not interested in being overly recognisable. just acknowledged, really, in the same way I think you want to be acknowledged every now and then. go on, admit it.

so, even if you know who I am, please call me Toasty.

or M'am if you prefer. I charge extra for M'am, but it's heaps more fun ;-)

no, really.

I gave up - that's how easily I can be stumped when it comes to Things Technofascist. I tried uploading two other very lovely templates but they both gave error messages. this will just have to do until I can bribe someone with pizza and alcohol to make things look prettier for me. or, you know, I decide to be a masochist for another couple of hours...

edit: also failing to be able to arrange things on the left hand side, just there. I've put them in the order I want them, but does it appear that way? noooo. pffft!

07 January 2009

yet another test

I'm wondering if I get to see the 'Friends and Links' column at the side if I post enough to make the page longer. worth a try.

here we go, will post a photo of... erm. something.


of course! what else!?

Edit: but it didn't do what I wanted it to... not surprised. bum.

so, this layout business then...

have found a pretty template, but not being too successful at making it look the way I want. and what's with the 'undefined' box on the left hand side? or can only I see that?


hello world, Toasty Warm Hamster here.

just wanted to have somewhere to have a wheeze and a rant sometimes, and not under the usual moniker.

sometimes, and I don't know how much is real or imagined, the idea of the Millstone being able to read everything I write really pisses me off. I know he reads the main blog I post on, and I have to presume he knows how to follow links. after all, he's not stupid, just a complete arse. I'd like to be able to write about things I do with and without the Tiny Toasty, with the freedom of not being monitored.

so I made this blog... I hope people I know drop in every now and then :-)