Archive for June, 2010

Hot Stuff

June 25, 2010

This morning I had a lovely sleep in, as I was headed to the office that is only 1 suburb away rather than trekking into town. (Sidenote: The staff in that division must wonder why I am always so open to come out to their office to work. I tell them it’s because I care. Really, I just like sleeping in and getting home early.)

I made a cup of hot milo at 8:15am, just before I left for work. (Sidenote: And was at my desk by 8:25, suckers!) I put my milo in this travel mug.

At 11am, I finally finished that milo. That cup works so well I could hardly drink it for ages. This thing is magic – it keeps a drink hot for almost 3 hours!

Sad really that these are the highlights of my day.

Not Too Crummy

June 23, 2010

I don’t like stale bread. Toast? Fine. But really, you can’t beat a nice sanger for lunch, can you. I don’t think bread tastes the same after it’s been frozen. Given that I tend to do the grocery shopping once a week, that doesn’t leave much time for fresh bread to make sandwiches from.

Tidying the kitchen recently, I rediscovered my bread maker, which had been used all of about 6 times before being shoved to the back of the cupboard. I was pretty excited to buy some good quality bread flour and give it a go. I was less than pleased that the darn thing would knead the bread for a while, then stop. Oh, not in a quiet, fizz out of a way. No, more in a way that all the house plunged into darkness, all power lost, and trips out to the fuse box type of stop. I guess the silly thing is broken.

I haven’t let it beat me – how’s this for a first attempt – real bread, kneaded by hand, baked in a real oven rather than a fake bread maker! I’m pretty proud. Of course, I also have a funny feeling the ease of a bread making machine might make me buy another one soon, but in the meantime? I’ll be baking it.

Word to the Wise

June 22, 2010

Helpful hint for the day:

Never diss your cleaner online. Never even hint that you’re tempted to sack her. For one Tuesday, when you’re least expecting it – in fact, when you’re expecting to go home to a clean house because she cleans your house every Tuesday – you might find that she sacks you.

It’s true. I did hear a rumour at The Local the other day that my cleaner had been offered a full time job somewhere, which I assumed might mean she could soon no longer need the money OR have the time to clean houses on the side. I did kind of expect her to let me know rather than just not turn up though.

This afternoon, The Boyfriend sent me a text to let me know there had been a no-show in the cleaning department at my place. Damn, you know what that means? It means I did my pre-cleaner clean for nothing! (Yes, every Monday night I run around like a madwoman doing a fast clean before the cleaner gets there. No, I am not mad. Really. It’s just a little tidying in fact – for if I left all the junk lying around the house that ends up there after a week, it would be impossible to clean anything. Hmm. Interesting thought – I might just pretend the cleaner still comes every week, at least the house will still get tidied weekly if not cleaned!)

Of course, on receiving this good news, I sent a quick query text to the cleaner in question. It’s been a good half an hour and she hasn’t responded. So I did what any sane lazy ass would do – I sent The Boyfriend a text saying “$20 for every hour it takes you will be on the bar tab for you if you get the cleaning done before I get home”. I’m not sure yet if he can be bribed with money. I’m kind of hoping the words “bar tab” jump out and grab him…

Trivial Pursuits

June 7, 2010

On Wednesday, The Boyfriend, my brother and I are going to a trivia night at a nearby pub. I actually met The Boyfriend at a trivia night at The Local, so happen to know that he is a fantastic team mate for these types of functions. I, however, also have a special secret weapon! A few months ago, in a mood of something related to extremely poor decorating skills, I replaced my shower curtain with this little beauty:

It’s already come in handy – a group of us were recently sitting around at The Local, waiting for the footy game to start, when someone read out some trivia questions from the newspaper. The Boyfriend and I were the only ones who happened to know what country was bordered by Algeria and Libya. I am contemplating only one change to the routine – I might have to turn the shower curtain inside out. Sure, it’ll look a bit funny for visitors using the bathroom to see a back to front world map, but think of how much time it’ll save me in the morning, no longer straining my head around to read backwards what that country is.

Housekeeping 101

June 2, 2010

I work pretty hard. (I also play pretty hard!) That doesn’t leave too much time for much else. I tend to get home late enough that most people would have already eaten their dinner long ago, then I do a mad dash to eat and QUICK, QUICK, must RELAX, and FAST – there’s only 19 minutes of relax time then bed, HURRY. No wonder I sometimes don’t sleep well, huh.

Food wise, I look forward to weekends – this is when I make yummy food that takes hours, like the big roast beef and roast veg I did for Sunday lunch this week. The weekdays are planned out carefully to include slow cooker meals that can be popped on in the morning and ready by evening, or quick meals like grilled veggies and lamb rumps on the BBQ.

Not that I meant to start carping on about food – clearly I should not have skipped breakfast in my tearing hurry this morning! I am simply trying to explain I have very little free time through the week. I don’t mind, in fact I enjoy, spending a few hours cooking up something tasty, but I don’t really think I’m getting the best return on my limited weekend time if I spend half a day cleaning the house.

A few weeks ago a friend (friendly acquaintance more like – lovely girl but not on my speed dial, when I see her I am happy to talk to her but don’t tend to catch up other than randomly when we’re both at the same place) told me she’d started doing house cleaning with another couple, and was after a couple of places she could do on her own, on her days off, as she didn’t get quite enough hours. I jumped up and suggested she could do my place – how could this go wrong!  I’ve wanted a cleaner for years, but have not gone ahead with it mostly as I am a little nervous about letting someone I don’t know into my house when I’m at work.Here was someone I trusted, brilliant.

Well of course it could go wrong! Not dreadfully wrong, but it did start getting a little awkward. You see, even if you’re not close friends, it’s sort of awkward to say to a friend of any level that you don’t think they did a good job cleaning your toilet that week. Then The Boyfriend happened to get home from work early one day, and caught her leaving about half an hour early. Another time he mentioned she’d been on the phone for quite a while during the hours I pay her. I started wondering if I was getting ripped off.

Yesterday I left a note for the cleaner/friend. I tried to be as light as I could, and just stated I wanted to make it easier for her to work out what to do on top of the usual every week tasks when she had the time, so I made 2 lists – one of “Weekly” items, and one of “Extra” items for her to get started on to make up the time when she finished the other jobs with time to spare. I tried to make it sound like I was trying to help rather than preach.

She left me a note in reply saying that she was already doing all the weekly tasks, and they took up about  2 1/2 to 3 hours (I’m paying her for 3), and that she’d get onto the other items as she could with that up-to-half hour left. Phew. Sounds like I managed to word it all delicately enough to not make her take offence at my suggestion that she could do more. Plus, my house has never been more clean than after yesterday’s cleaning session.  I must have given her a gentle but well earned kick up the bum to remind her that I can tell if she slacks off, because my house today is sparkling.