Saturday, March 24, 2012

To Russia with love.

2 weeks ago, for no good reason, I took the preposterous step of not blogging for 10 days. Even for a blogger who aims for 3 posts a week, not blogging at all was a bit of a heart attack occasion.

I stopped reading other blogs. [Sorry.] I stopped checking for comments every other hour, on the bus, in bed and on the potty.  I stopped signing in to Blogger the 1st thing after waking up. After 2 days of withdrawal, my brain happily went blank.

What did I do to fill those 240 hours? Here is a shortlist.

I vacuumed, mopped, dusted, wiped every surface including walls slimed by dog drool, then vacuumed again until the poor machine died. Considering it's a good brand and just 2 years old, I'm a little miffed about that. It's been sent away to get fixed. I don't know when it'll be back but I hope it's soon because I'm over sweeping a whole house with a dustpan. Thank goodness there are no tradesmen scheduled to come over.

I tackled the garden, weeding and pruning just about 2/3s of it. The constant rain has made everything overly lush.

We severely pruned back our flowering plum tree that's been sick, straggly and falling down on 1 side. Maybe we should just have taken the whole thing down, but it's our lucky tree.
"You guys DO realise I'm here, right?"

On a stormy night almost 10 years ago, A Really Big Dead Gum Tree at the corner of our tiny backyard fell on the little plum tree and broke it in 1/2. Without that sacrifice, the fence we share with our side neighbour, and the back neighbour's then brand new wall, would have crumbled. How could we put a fearless little tree like that down?
So we've tied it back and now hope for the best. Maybe it'll get some good sleep over Winter and bounce back in Spring.

While out walking Georgia, The Other Half also spotted some plants that had been left by the roadside, including this monster staghorn. 
He's promised to hang it up on the back wall this weekend. Seeing as how it took 2 grown men [and 1 grown woman] to haul it back on a blanket, I see a sore back and neck coming.
I picked up some cheap autumn colour for pots that have been sitting idle on the balcony. Given my green thumbs, they should thrive.
till the end of the month.
at the very least.

With my new found freedom from blogging, I caught up on my pile of outdated Time magazines. Then I watched a lot of terrible, addictive TV including [in no particular order of preference] American Idol, Project Runway, Wife Swap, Amazing Race and [since I read about it on another dogblog], Dancemoms too.

Ooops. I do so hope you won't think less of me for admitting that, but I never said I was clever.

I also managed to train capoeira 5 times a week until my other [good] knee collapsed. Enough said.

In those 10 days, Georgia started her new diet based on your welcome and helpful thoughts, experiences and advice [thank you!] and all the reading I'd done.

Raw meals are now separated from cooked. 
"That looks mighty skimpy. You're not going all frugal on me, are you?"

Just 1 big bone, every other day, instead of 2 little ones every day. We've tossed the unsuitable bones out and are now experimenting with new ones like chicken carcasses and turkey. Anyone out there has any advice on roo bones?
"Me like!"

So far, so good.

Having read on some dogblog or other about the possible dangers of eating out of plastic [sigh], we've even swopped her 12 year old plastic bowl [handed down from Jordan] for a ceramic one [handed down from Tiger Lily who used to live a few doors away and who, as I recall, was found dead in her backyard by her owners, having choked on a bone].

Still on the food front, we discovered a fruit we'd never ever seen or heard of before!
It's called achachairú or achacha [Garcinia Humilis]. Since the silly people at Paddy's wouldn't let me try one, I thought I'd share the experience with you here.

CLICK HERE if you want to read about this Amazonian fruit and learn how to open it. The white flesh is soft and has a texture and taste similar to mangosteen, a little sweet, a little tart. [I'm hoping you know what a mangosteen is, otherwise this information will be as useful as a freezer in Nome.]
The only downside, it has large seeds. So with a hard skin outside and a big seed inside, this is NOT what you would call a value-for-money fruit. I also just read in Wikipedia that the skin is traditionally used in Bolivia as a hunger suppressant. I wish I'd known that before I threw the lot away! Next time. Maybe if I publish this post quickly enough, The Other Half will read it and pick some up for me from the weekend market.


A few days ago, struggling to get back into blogging, I attempted to write a post. A few drafts later, I deleted the lot. Boring. Boring. Sad. Oh oh. Writers block. Truth be told, if it wasn't for some poor man found dead in our local park on Thursday, I doubt I'd be here today. [Last I heard, the police are still not sure if it was suicide or foul play.]

But here I am, back in the proverbial saddle. So, of course, I thought I'd have a look at the dreaded stats counter. To my surprise, the [very modest] numbers were still holding! despite my absence! How was this possible?

Well, here's my best guess.

Apparently! this blog is being read in Russia! In fact, twice as many Russians [apparently] read this blog than Australians. For shame! [Note to Self: Must write more stories about possums, Bondi and damper.]

I have no idea who in Russia might [apparently] be reading a silly dogblog. I can only hope it's not anything nefarious. I decided to click on an unfamiliar link this morning and, rather like falling into Alice's rabbit hole, found myself at...


...oh my! a digital spyware site? I'm not sure it's Russian since it was in English but still.

My mind is boggling. I am equal parts confused, nervous and inquisitive.

Just to be on the safe side, I'd best state here that, despite being anonymous, I am truly who I say I am -

A plumpish, not particularly sociable, cream cake-loving, menopausal housewife who has a bad knee [now 2 bad knees], lives in a small crowded house with an overly-bathed, opinionated dog and a grumpy equally menopausal man [though he doesn't want to admit it] who snores.

I am not a sleeper. You understand?

Meanwhile, let me take this opportunity to say to anyone in Russia who might be reading this - 

Hi! Привет! I hope you're enjoying the stories. If you like, you can say hi! Привет! back! [In English, if you don't mind, because I don't really understand Cyrillic.]

Whatever you do, please please don't spam me, okay? I beg of you. Do it to one of the other big and important blogs on my side bar instead.

Thank you! Спасибо! Have a nice day! Хорошего Дня!

[I do so hope those phrases are right. If not, please write a stern note to Linguanaut.]


P.S. I leave you with this spam that I just received -

"Very soon this web site will be famous among all blogging and site-building viewers, due to it's fastidious posts."

Why, thank you Anonymous. You must really be reading my posts.


What Remains Now said...

It's always good to take a break but we're glad you're back...Americans and Russians. Sounds like you made good use of your time. I hope it wasn't me that was responsible for you spending your time watching Dance Moms.

georgia little pea said...

Was it you Lori? LOL. I couldn't remember. What horrors those moms are. Love it! Hubby is appalled of course ;p

Rose from Oz is Back! said...

I've been doing paperwork nearly all morning (tedious, boring etc) and have just read your post, there is so much to respond to but nearly all of it I could relate to......I'm still drying my tears of mirth :)Hahahaha
Hope those sniffles dry fun.
You could send me a rambling "How to" (put that link in the middle of your post to take you to another post) It's totally got me beat....... PS ....couple of years 'post' menopausal is easy-peasy....

Anonymous said...

Oh my!!! My SAHH is having a heart attack at the thought of your SAHH walking in through our front door, (after your SAHH's attack on house and garden). She has been extremely neglectful of late when it comes to house and garden. You can only imagine the state in which we live!!Your friend Tara xoxo

Ellen said...

Well welcome back! You did indeed accomplish much during your "vacation" from blogland. A lot!

When I get behind...which I seem to be all the time, I just let it be...I know I can't keep up but I do try. Sometimes I sacrifice reading for writing because when I need to write all else must remain idle. So what happens? I just fall out of the loop. Oh well.

I'm impressed with the Russian though I have no idea what you wrote!

Jan said...

Welcome back and i hope that you don't need another break soon, but if you do consider coming to my house which would appreciate having your services.

I remember one reader from Russia who came to my post about Martha Stewart's dogs. ???!!!

georgia little pea said...

Rose - I will tell you How To in my soon-to-be-written email :)

Tara - this is what you would term a once-in-a-blue-moon occurence so tell your SAHH to have no fear! i shall close both eyes when i come over to swing on your tree yay!

Ellen - i hear ya, sista! btw, i don't speak Russian either. the words BEFORE the Cyrillic are what i said :) those internet translation sites are really handy.

Jean said...

In your wonderful self-description, you forgot to mention your witty sense of humour!
Given the state of my house at present, I should take a break from blogland. I sometimes stay away for a day or two, but unfortunately the computer has long tentacles that reach out and grab me when I'm on my way to the kitchen or the laundry or the broom closet or wherever.

Kolchak Puggle said...

Funny that eh? Our blog sometimes gets a lot of russian traffic. It thrills the Daddy (who wishes he was russian) to the very core.

We are terribly jealous over the 'roo bones. We very, very rarely on special occasions get a piece of 'roo tail. It might be Felix's favourite ever.

the Mama watches Dance Moms avidly, as she was once a competitive dancer and Ms. Abby reminds her very much of her own competition teacher. She thought she was the dragon lady at the time, but looking back? Now the Mama realizes that she was the only of her dance teachers that pushed her hard enough to make her not only realize that she could be a professiional dancer if she wanted to, but then to give her the talent to back that up. Sometimes, those that make us grow aren't our favourite people, eh?

georgia little pea said...

Jan - I get it that an enquiring Russian might want to know about MS's dogs. I'd be interested in what she feeds them and if they have matching bed and table linen myself.

Jean - thank you. so kind :) i know, it's amazing how very long those tentacles are. right now, for example, i should be sleeping off my flu, yet...

Kol - what a relief! i'm so glad you get Russian traffic too. it means i'm not the only one under investigation, and since you're a big fish...hahaha.

how very cool that your mama was a dancer. i bet she dances around the kitchen when she's making your treats! i like to do that when i'm cooking and i can't dance at all! it's true what you said - i think it's called tough love ;p

Karen Friesecke said...

I get a lot of visitors from India & China, probably because I sell stuff on the website.

My favorite not-a-value-for-the-money-fruit is Star Fruit. They sure taste yummy, but there's really nothing to them. If I ever see an achacha, I'll have to try it.

georgia little pea said...

Karen - starfruit! now, there's a flavour that's hard to describe! the ones i've seen here are quite small and shrunken compared to the ones in Asia. isn't it wonderful how we get so much more variety these days, wherever we live? sure beats eating apples and pears all year long ;p

verobirdie said...

You have been quite busy! And inspiring me to do what I've planned for the weekend now: leave my couch. Head to the farmer market, then start cleaning the garden.
You have a very courageous little tree.
Ps: so glad to read your posts again

Anonymous said...

Well in my absence you have been absent too. Although not as absent as me as we have had to read back through a zillion years worth of posts OK, a months). I'm glad The Typist took a break or we would still be reading through now, searching for that pesky tag.

It shall be posted later today, but Misery now has a headache :D

Good to see you. Loved the vid. Bit windy was it?

georgia little pea said...

Thank you Vero. It is a very courageous tree and I hope it survives to bloom again next Spring.

Pippa! About bloody time you got back, Ms Gibraltar :) looking forward to the tag but please don't feel compelled to do it. Only. If. It's. FUN.

H and Flo said...

Dasvidaniya comrade

You don't bugger your knees up blogging you know. I hope you've learnt a valuable lesson there Typist!

houndstooth said...

I loathe spammers! They are a pain in my...neck! At least you get friendly spam like that. Mine has to do with sites to watch girls live and other eyebrow raisers that I have no intention of ever letting get seen on my blog. All I know is that people in Russia have a lot of extra time on their hands! *grumble*

georgia little pea said...

H - you almost gave me a heart attack! I thought someone from Russia had really posted a comment. LOL. Thanks for that knee bit. Now The Other Half is going to say "I told you so" ;p

Houndstooth - I get those too. They're hilarious. The ones I really hate are the strings of urls. Those spammers are so lazy. They didn't put any thought into their spam at all.

Leslie said...

Oh I'm so glad you're back! I love reading your posts. And I LOVE your sense of humor.

It is nice to take a break though, isn't it? I fear with spring upon us, my blogging efforts will be relegated to the midnight hours. Oh well, sleep is over-rated.

You have an incredibly lush garden - I'm quite jealous. And OMG that staghorn is amAzing!

I went through a pretty popular in Russia phase a while back, which is curious because I'm not really popular anywhere yet. In fact, Germany, Russia and Ukraine take 3 of 7 slots in my highest traffic sources. (I just know I'm going to get arrested one of these days...)

georgia little pea said...

Haha! I have a very lush postage stamp of a garden. But the rain has been keeping me busy. Isn't it just ODD where the traffic comes from? Maybe it's rerouted from somewhere else. Maybe I watch too many Bond and Bourne movies.

chandra said...

I still haven't bought a vacuum. Still. I was about to do more online research but decided to click on the achacha link instead. Oh, much more fun! I think that's the happiest website I've ever visited. And I like mangosteen - I buy an aloe juice that has bits of mangosteen in it, yum!

love marigolds, i think they're going to like it in your garden.
-c at ddy.

Sister 2 said...

If it is a species, it is Garcinia humilis and not G. Humilis. Mangosteens are Garcinia mangostana, and that lovely "asam bei" that gives the tang to duck soup is Garcinia atroviridis - the fruit is plucked unripe, sliced and dried.

Throwing the skins away: Eat your heart out - one of the "latest" anti-oxidant health drinks is the entire mangosteen blended into a juice / pulp. The skin contains the most anti-ox! The Indians have been doing this forever, apparently, but to the health-food crowd, it's "new".

Spam: "fastidious" blog. I think the spammer may have been vocab-challenged. Fastidious means Picky. Perhaps he / she meant fatuous? How's that for making you feel better?

georgia little pea said...

Ms C - aloe juice with mangosteen. Wow! I can't imagine what that tastes like but it sounds very healthy. How DO you clean your house? ;)

Sister 2 - it's now clear who got the brains in the family. I used "H" instead of "h" because I thought it looked better and completely forgot about the scientific basis of it. Silly me. So much for aromatherapy studies. If Blogger allows, I will change it.

HOWEVER, "fastidious" was the right word in this case because [if you read my blog], I am also known as The Fastidious Housewife. Nyeh nyeh nyeh.

Pamela said...

I'm glad you enjoyed your time off. But, since you didn't use it to cure cancer or bring peace to the Middle East, I hope you won't feel the need to take too many extended breaks from blogging.

However, if you have plans to cure lymphoma or get Israelis to stop building on Gaza, I guess we'll just have to understand and let you go for a while. :)

georgia little pea said...

Dear Pamela, I like a bit of a challenge, so will get cracking on the Middle East situation ASAP.

Elizabeth said...

If I stopped my blog for 10 days, I fear I'd never come back, making me very grateful that you are (back). :) (Not that you should worry about what others think if/when you need to take another break.)

The fruit looks really interesting (and too bad I can't get some of it here; I'd chew the peel like cud :).

Funny that you like Dance Moms. :) My girls watch that show. I don't because I used to be the mom of two dancing girls (they quit this year) and I have already seen all the dance mom drama I ever want to see in my lifetime. That sh88 really happens!

Julie said...

It is hard to get back into the routine once you take a break, isn't it? It's nice to see you back . . .a clean house is the sign of a broken computer :) If I take a couple of days off, I have 300 spam messages when I log back in . . I'm so glad I have Akismet to block all of it!