Friday, December 11, 2009


Tonight we all went to watch Courtney's high school dance class perform little dance ditties (with a 'D', Mr Show) on stage.

We watched as young Australian high school girls krumped, popped, puppeted, Bollywooded and jazz handed around the dancefloor. A new style was even created that was a combination of hip-hop, puppetry, jazz and.... calisthenics.

One girl did a modern dance solo. She pushed herself out on a wheelchair, fell to the floor and rolled around a bit until her "inner desires" willed her to use her legs and do a few jumps.

It started at 7pm and ended around the year 2054.

Courtney was excellent in the peice that closed the show. It was a group dance to Beyonce's 'Single Ladies'. Her long blonde hair was flowing freely as she gave attitude and demanded that we put a ring on it.

Overall rating: 83% less slutty than the Mid-year High School Dance Recital.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009


It is 12.30 in the morning and I am baking a pie.

Strawberry rhubarb pie. Not just any strawberry rhubarb pie, but Cindy Crawford's very own recipe.

I must admit that I was exceptionally inspired earlier in the evening to bake this fabulous pie, but then I had a few Hard Lemonades and well, I am am just lucky to still be coherent enough to type this post.

For about an hour I just stared at the kitchen counter as I lounged out on the couch.

What kept me from baking the pie was not so much the cutting of the strawberries or the slicing of the rhubarb, but rolling out that bloody dough!

I hate pie dough. I hate when it falls apart, and when there isn't enough flour on the counter and it adheres there for days or when it appears as an almost perfect circle except when you put it in the pie pan there is one spot that just doesn't quite make it to the edge...

Who needs the stress?

As I started to think about it, the angrier I became.

Was I really defeated by a pie recipe from Cindy Crawford? I mean... Cindy Crawford?

What has my life become if I can out do The Mole in pie baking?

So I did it. I am listening to jazz and baking a pie.

I was even feeling so competitive with Cindy bloomin Crawford that I decided to do my pie top as latticing!

That's right! Top that, Cindy.

Well, actually, it shouldn't be too hard since I could not see straight enough to cut the strips into even remotely reasonably even peices. My pie latticing looked like arts and crafts hour at the methodone clinic.

Latticing scrapped.

So I know what you are thinking, How can I top the bitch now?

Ha! I use the normal pie crust top, but with cut-out hearts scattered on it. Only I don't have a heart shape cutter, so I improvised with my knife by cutting the best little heart shapes I could muster.

So here I am happy in homoland decorating a pie thinking "A heart here, and one over here and another one here and wait a minute, these do not look like hearts.. they look like... OH MY GOD!"

Hearts scrapped.

So what I am left with is a pie that appears just as called for in Cindy's recipe.

But can Cindy say she used strawberries and rhubarb freshly picked from her garden?

No I am sure she cannot... and neither can I.

Outfoxed again by Cindy Crawford.

Sunday, November 8, 2009


You may remember that I wrote a post a while back about my tedious ability to murder animals with my car.

Whilst I am busy running birds and animals down, Stuart is busy collecting them from the side of the road. Not the dead ones, but the injured ones.

The first bird he brought home was a galah (also called a 'pink and grey' cockatoo), whom we rushed to a avian vet. That bird started bleeding out of his nostrils and did not make it the night.

The second bird was a rainbow lorikeet. This bird was hit by a car. We put him in a cage and kept the conditions safe and warm. Within a few days he was lively and did not have any broken bones or injuries.

Stuart wanted to keep him, but at my insistance, he was released into the wild again.

The third bird was love bird, which was either released or escaped from being a household pet. Stuart was sitting at the outside table on his laptop when this love bird suddenly landed on the keyboard.

Of course love birds cannot survive the wild, so it was placed in a cage to live a happy life with our resident cockatiel (which prompted some concern as every bird that has a shared a cage with this particulat cockatiel has ended up dead within a week).

Now for the fourth bird rescue which just happened last night. Stuart came home from the local farmer's market and walked through the door with this thing clutched to his chest.

I, of course, remained calm. Not recognising it as a bird when I noticed this thing I screamed and jumped back a few feet.

It was a baby pink and grey which was hit by a car.

I got the spare bird cage out of the barn and grabbed a towel to wrap it up in and keep it warm.

The couple minutes it took to get back from the barn, the bird had gotten worse. His head was just hanging there, as if the spine had been severed. In fact, as I walking back up to the house with the cage and caught a glimpse of him, I thought he had passed on.

I made a nest with the towel and gently covered him to keep warm. I figured that when he dies, at least he would be comfortable.

Last night I wrapped the cage with a thick blanket to create a dark warm and quiet space for him.

This morning he was doing a lot better, sitting properly and head movement came back.

Then a few hours later he let out a soft "caw".

Just before, I was out there giving him fresh water in a very small dish and he then climbed on the side of the bowl and went to sleep.

He looks healthy, as in no broken wings, legs or spine. Just seems a little bit subdued and sleepy. Which is expected after such a trauma.

We will see how he is tomorrow and then next couple of days and if all is well then he will be released back into the wild.

Monday, October 26, 2009


At this time, Hula Hank will not be taking on any new commitments.

Instead, Mr Hank will be focusing on improving and streamlining his existing commitments.

That is all.

Friday, October 9, 2009

DEAR ________________ ,

Dear All,

You have been jipped big time.

The last gathering I left you early to get more booze and I never came back. The reason is I swerved to avoid hitting another wittle wabbit when suddenly a kangaroo with a bazooka jumped in front of my car.

The little bugger was out for revenge!

I was driving as fast as I could, but there he was hopping behind me the whole time. Luckily he was a bad shot. He blew up a picking shed, a hen house and the mayonnaise factory before he got tired and gave up.

The good news is that I have a new bottle of chocolate liqueur, so today we will be having Chocolate Martinis.

Dear Mr Show,

A ‘windscreen’ is the same as a ‘windshield’ only a windscreen has bird beaks stuck in it.

The death lily, as I know you and Pumpkin were dying to know, is from South Africa. It is also called a calla lily and arum lily. I looked it up and the real name is Zantedeschia.

In regards to the name “Death Lily,” Wikipedia says it can be poisonous to livestock and children, but I have never heard that. Plus when I gave it to my kids to eat, nothing happened. So in probability the name “Death Lily” came from it being the flower of choice at funerals.

Here in Western Australia, it was brought over to be used in home gardens, but it got a bit out of control and now it is Plant Gone Wild. It grows everywhere there is a winter creek, dam or marshy paddock. It was declared a weed, which means that… well, I don’t know.

Someone told me that it was no longer allowed to be sold in nurseries or picked to be sold commercially; however the past few weeks I have seen small bunches of them for sale at $8.00 each.

There are hundreds of thousands growing in my winter creek… $8/bunch multiplied by hundreds of thousands… I should really set up a table on the tree lawn.

Dear Mom #1,

Can I have some of the pills you are on? My blog has been the same-o, same-o for the past year. Obviously I should change it again.

Actually that is a good idea. I mean how long can one live with the new drapes before changing the carpet?

Don’t worry! You are safe walking in my neighbourhood. I don’t aim for people only kangaroos, wittle wabbits and native birds. You will, however, need to watch out for the snakes, scorpions and poisonous spiders.

Dear Grandma J,

You want me to write about my childhood adventures under the bridge? Make me sound like I was troll trying to trap people who crossed the bridge.

So I should clarify that technically it was a viaduct and we never went inside because the water would wash us away and kill us plus satanists had rituals in there plus ghosts called it home plus Bloody Mary would appear if you said her name three times.

I have troubles remembering events from childhood (well, the good events anyway) unless I am prompted. Like when I went back to that viaduct and looked out over the river, I was flooded (no pun intended) with memories and feelings.

Possibly if I started to write about them, I would remember more, and even get the answers to many unanswered questions.

Dear Pumpkin Delight,

That picture was entitled “Self Portrait – Creek Crotch Shot” by Hula Hank. You should have seen the photos before I ate the banana that was in my pocket.

Thank you for the wonderful lemon recipe ideas. Here is the problem; most recipes only call for the zest of one lemon or 1 tablespoon of lemon juice. As I sit here and write this, I have 327 lemons sitting on my kitchen counter.

Maybe I just need to get over it and move on.

I did find an article in the LA Times of 101 things to do with lemons. It was quite informative. Did you know that using a lemon instead of a ball to play fetch with your dog, will freshen their breath?

I got it! Switch mayo with lemon butter, the sound might be more similar than thickened cream.

Dear JLO,

Where the hell are you?

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


I asked and you voted.

The post you most wanted to see was "Goodbye Winter, Hello Spring - A Photo Essay on the Seasonal Changes at The Farm"... or something.

Technically it was a tie between this and My Day as a Hot Dog, but I thought I would torture Pumpkin Delight by doing that one after this.

When we moved to the Hills I was unaware that it is actually a few degrees colder up here than down on the flats. I was thrilled about this as I do so enjoy cold weather (oh how I wish there was a dry sarcasm font).

After many blizzards with knee deep snow and Medusa-like arctic gusts which immediately froze one in their spot, I vowed that I never wanted to experience any weather colder than 70 degrees.

So you are telling me that it is colder up here by at least 5 degrees Celsius (which is like 100 degrees in Fahrenheit), frosts, has heavy fog and rains more?

... and hails???

With the winter comes the rains. Perth get absolutely no rain between November and April. However when it rains in the winter, it is heavy.

These heavy rains fill up the dry creek beds and life springs up in otherwise barren land.

Do you see those green plants on the side of the winter creek?

They are called Death Lilies. Another common name is Arum Lily and Canna Lily. Technically, they are a declared weed in Western Australia, however I consider them cut flowers free from the wild.

Every weekend I grab my secateurs, put on my wellies and head into the depths of the creek to cut a few vase full of these flowers.

In case you don't believe I really do go wading in creek here is the proof:

Actually, one of my favourite activities this winter was playing in the creek. Hey don't Tiger snakes love the water and marshy areas like the winter creek?

Why yes, they do. However they hibernate in the winter so it is safe. However now that it is warming up, the snakes will start to come out of hibernation, full of venom, grumpy and desperate for a feed.

Stuart says that my wellies would be enough protection from snake bites. I am not so sure. I asked a country friend of mine if this is true and she took a long pause, pulled in her face and said, "Well, it would definitely help."

So I may just let enjoying the lilies from afar for the rest of the season.

Good thing the lemon tree is bursting with about ten million lemons.

So far I have made many jars of preserved lemons, many many jars of limoncello and have four thousand cubes of frozen lemon juice. The kicker is, there are still nine million lemons left on the tree.

Any one have any good recipes for lemons??

The roses are all pruned sticks in the ground, the maples are barren skeletons lining the driveway and the flame tree has been extinguished. However in all of this barren forest the azaleas took the opportunity to put on a spectacular show.

It's an old lady pink, but still stunning.

However the show stopper of the spring was when the plum trees decided to turn from dark silhouettes into rows of graceful white blossoms.

Friday, September 25, 2009


I live in an area of Perth known simply as “The Hills”

It is a range of hills that surrounds the city not dissimilar to the Hollywood Hills in LA. However my hills are peppered with national forests, water catchment areas, orchards and wineries. All of this nature brings with it an abundance of wildlife at levels not seen down on the suburban “flats”.

One night I was driving home from work and suddenly this big brown speckled mass of feathers flew into my windscreen, creating a gigantic THUD! and then disappeared.

I started to freak out. I turned around to look for any beings lying on the side of the road but there was nothing. My mind started to wonder what it could have been that I hit.

This may come to no surprise to many of you, but I have a bit of supernatural paranoia when it comes to driving through rural forest areas in the dark. I think that ghosts are going to pop out, aliens are going to land and crazed murders with hooks for hands are going bounce my severed head against the car roof.

Naturally my first instinct was one of fear.

“Oh my god, I just hit the Mothman! I just set off a prophecy. I don’t even have a signal on my phone to tell everyone I love them before I die!!!”

When I pulled my self together I deduced that it was not the Mothman, but was in fact a Kookaburra.

Yes, I just killed a Kookaburra. The guilt set in and I wished it was actually the Mothman.

A few days later, Stuart and I were driving home around midnight, going at full speed (90 km/h) I turned a bend and there were three kangaroos lined up across the road. Papa, Mama and Baby, in that order.

There was a slight space in between Papa Roo and Mama Roo, so I slammed on my breaks and aimed for that space, however Mama Roo kept bouncing forward and the space grew smaller and before I could say “Get out of the way”… THUD!!!!

Yes, that is right folks, I am the Australian equivalent to that hunter who killed Bambi’s mother.

For the next week, I felt awful. Those big sweet eyes and that poor orphaned Baby Roo, the widowed Papa Roo. I cried into my martini six times that week.

I cried into my martini so many times that I had to head down to the bottle shop to get a new bottle of vodka.

On the way home from the bottle shop, again at full speed, a wittle bunny wabbit comes wacing out of the woods and wight into my front tyre. I will spare you the details of how the wittle wabbit went flying through the air, but just know that I am still, two weeks on, having nightmares.

When I arrived home (and for the record I was not drunk driving that night. I was picking up the bottle of vodka because I ran out the night before) I asked Stuart,

“How many animals have you killed since we moved here?”


So it is just me. I am an animal murderer.



OK, as it turns out most of you (and I dare say ALL of you) are actually voting for every single topic. Who was the idiot that allowed for multiple selections?

Despite the relatively even number of votes for each tale, the current leader (by one vote)is "Why PETA Hates Me - and other tales of attempted murder".

Even though the poll is technically open for another 6 days, I am going to shut it down at an unspecified time and equally random which could be in 5 minutes or 5 hours depending on when the martinis kick in.

Thursday, September 24, 2009


...and you are just the Nurse Nancy to give it to me!

Crazy and wonderful things are happening that I would love to share, but for a week or two every time I sat down to write about them the best I could come up with was

"Today I saw a cat. The cat was cute. The cat was black. I like the cat."

Now, so many things have happened that I don't even know where to begin.

So I am leaving it up to you to decide.

Over there on the right is a poll with many topics that I would like to share. Just vote for which one you want to know about the most. The topic with the most votes gets written about first.

Without further ado, vote..... NOW!

PS - Happy Birthday to Pumpkin Delight.



Friday, September 11, 2009


I teach "mature" adult education courses.

I cannot really explain how I got involved with this part of my career as it really has nothing to do with any role I have had in the past, I think it had something to do being bribed by homemade shortbread cookies.

This teaching experience has introduced me to, how can I say, some of the most awful people I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. We won't focus on them now,in the scheme of life, they don't matter.

Instead let's talk about the ray of sunshine that appeared in my classroom. The current semester has brought me one of the most fabulous people I have ever met. Everyone in class hates her, but that is why I like her.

Her name is Mickey. She is around 85 years old, wears only pink hats with roses, pink gloves, bright pink blush, blue eyeshadow and pink lipstick. Last week, she was carrying around a coffee mug full of lavender she picked from some one's garden.

I was 10 minutes into the lesson when she walked in the room and said, "Sorry I'm late. I've been so goddamn sick."

Did I mention that this particular semester is being held in a church?

After class, she pulled me aside to give me this advice, "Why are you doing these classes? You have volunteered yourself to help the community... You're an asshole! Why would you do such a thing?"

"You have become a slave to these commitments. I am a butterfly that floats on the winds of life. There are people who like to pull the wings off of butterflies, but fuck 'em."

How true.

Friday, September 4, 2009


I need to interrupt the exceptionally long trip to the bottle shop for a very important post on things I overheard while golfing yesterday.

It was my first time golfing without a windmill and clown's mouth, but we will go in to that during a later post.

First I want to share with you why I was unable to keep a straight face the entire day.

The following was said in true golfing sincerity:

"Did you bring your balls?"
"I've lost my balls."
"My balls are covered in sand."
"Hey guys do any of you have yellow balls?"
"I just kept dropping my balls in the lake."
"You put your balls in that and it washes them for you."

And finally, the winner is:

"My balls kept disappearing in the bush."

Monday, August 31, 2009

DEAR ____________

Dear All,

I know it may seem unusual to have a few manhattans on a Monday, but that is the way we roll.

The real truth is that I purchased electronic tickets for Stuart and I to go to a Saturday night female impersonator show at the casino, however on Friday I left my print-out tickets at work. Which meant we were screwed on a night out. (J-Lo bite your tongue!)

You are probably asking, "Why couldn't you just print out the tickets out at home? After all you have have three laptop and two computers between the four you."

You are correct, however we do not have a printer.

So now you are probably asking, "Where are you going with this story? Can I have a refill now?"

Well, I went out on Saturday afternoon to buy a new printer. A wireless one so we can print from where ever we happen to be in the house.. like on the toilet, for instance.

What? Did you just say, "Aaaaannnd???"

Well, when I set up the wireless printer to connect wirelessly to the wireless router which provides wireless networking and wireless internet for our wireless computers, the wireless internet went down, however we could wirelessly print family photos while going to the loo (which cannot be done wirelessly).

At the last minute, the internet came up for a few minutes and I was able to print the tickets (from the toilet) and the night out was spared.

Wake up!

The moral of the story is: My internet went bye-bye and said hello again Sunday night so now we toast on Monday... from the toilet.

Dear Queen of Phrump,

I really like the idea of "Murder Mystery of the Week".. Well I don't actually like the idea of having to deal with a weekly mystery murder, I can see the appeal.

Speaking about dead animals, I was asking Stuart what was normally done when horses die. Apparently there are two options. The first one is to illegally bury it on your property. Of course, this means that as the dead horse bloats, the ground above it rises out, until the gas comes out of the horse some way (I beleive he said the horse exploded, but I am not sure convinced of that), then it collapses back down.

The other option is to have someone take it away where it is processed into blood & bone for the garden.

Both options sound a bit gruesome to me.

Which reminds me that your Addams Family theme is totally awesome! You would make a fantastic Morticia.

Dear Mom #1,

Congratulations on your twin additions!

I do remember Ripley's Believe It or Not tv show. I hated that show. They still try to bring it back every now and then, but that show is just nasty! I can only think of that woman who can pop her eyeballs out.

Now I got the shivers.

The only thing scarier are those plastic ponchos at Niagara Falls.

Possibly a little sinching with a belt an a sequin or two would make them a bit more attractive... Also thinking about it, why were the Walk Behind the Falls ponchos yellow and the Maid of the Mist ponchos blue? If someone fell off the boat, wouldn't they be spotted easier in the blue water if they were in yellow?

What iF that Ripley's woman was on the Maid of the Mist and fell overboard and popped her eyeballs out as she fell?

See that is why I cannot watch or even think about these TV shows!

Dear All,

You are drinking like a fish tonight! I will just "pop out" to the bottle shop to up more bottles. Any suggestions?

Friday, August 28, 2009


You sickos were on commenting fire this month!

You covered all the perverse bases from butt plug kisses to 32 foot motor homes to peeing of one's pants to dead horse dump trucks and Tinker belles laughing at dead wood.

I sense a pitcher of Manhattans and a "Dear _________" post coming on!

...And JLo I know you are going to say and it is too easy!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There are lots of other attractions around Niagara Falls to keep you occupied and dry.

For instance there is Hershey World!

And Mounties:

Large thermometers:

Giant plates:

And giantic wooden moose testicles:

Monday, August 17, 2009


How can you go to Niagara Falls and not go on the Maid of the Mist?

Part of the whole Maid of the Mist experience is wearing a beautiful blue plastic rain poncho, obviously designed by Dolce & Gabbana

Although it is popular for people to ask, "Did you go on the boat that goes under the falls?" the boat does not actually go under the falls.

It does come pretty damn close.

Also lots of water is sprayed on your face, it was like being back at Universal Studios!

Note: THAT shirt was with me every step of the way!

Saturday, August 15, 2009


It had recently come to my attention that I never actually finished The World's Longest Slide Show on my not so recent trip back to the U.S.

I know what you are thinking. "Who told?" Am I right?

Just sit back enjoy a nice cocktail and nod your head.

We have been in Cleveland over a week, and it was getting well due for a little divertisment. So we all piled into a tiny little Chrysler 300 and headed off to Canada for a few days.

After a 3 or 4 hour drive along Lake Erie through Pennsylvania & New York, we were finally welcomed to Canada.

Isn't it lovely??

So much has changed about the Falls. First of all, there is now a casino, and high rise hotels and high class shopping malls and 4 star restaurants. This is a shame because it took away from the natural wonder of the reason people even come here, The Falls!

After we checked into our decidedly not 4-star hotel all of layered on our warm clothes and walked down the Falls to catch the evening light display.

Although the lighting is a bit low tech, it is a spectacular sight. Still, would it hurt to upgrade the light show into the 21st century and start doing image projections?

Just hanging around the edge of the falls, we had a good time and managed to take some fantastic shots of ourselves.

This is my mom and uncle.

The boys.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


I hold a long-time fear of aliens.

Blame it on ‘Unsolved Mysteries.’

That show was so creepy! Everything from the theme music to dulcet tones of Robert Stack’s voice… even the episodes that were about wonderful miracles were somehow creepy.

Often I wonder how many people developed serious phobias all because of that creepy show.

I am one and I know of one other. Are we alone?

Ever since my sister forced me to watch that first episode back in the late 80s, I cannot sleep next to an uncovered window because aliens are watching me through giant telescopes whilst I am sleeping.

My feet must also be covered and tucked by the covers at all times. It is common knowledge that when one “covers and tucks” with the sheets one becomes invisible and aliens cannot grab exposed limbs and pull you to the alien starship for probing.

This technique also works on the ghosts that live under the bed.

You are thinking that I have lost it, but I tell you with my fingers uncrossed, that I have had an alien encounter.

One night last year, I was in fast asleep (covered and tucked) when I woke up to the sound of the bedroom door slowly creaking open.

As the door opened it revealed a dark shadowy silhouette of a being, standing tall and thin, arms hanging down at the sides.

I once read in a book that stated if one is visited by alien (or “greys” as the author called them), to force them to flee one should send the alien thoughts and feeling of love.

With this knowledge I spent many hours preparing myself for this exact moment. I knew I should send love to the extraterrestrial shadow, but all I could do was act like a stunned mullet.

The shadowy being made an odd noise and I could hear bursts of strange alien liquid hitting the tiled floor.


I started to scream at the top of my lungs “ALIENS!!! ALIENS!!!”

Stuart wasn’t waking up so I started to whack him… hard! “ALIENS!!! ALIENS!!!

Stuart leapt out of bed, ready to pounce! He raced over to the shadowy being but was foiled when he slipped on the alien liquid.

The shadowy being turned toward Stuart, opened its mouth and said, “Daddy, I don’t feel good.”

It was the son. He came into our room in the middle of the night to tell us he needed had a sore tummy. He got scared when I started to scream and just stood there, frozen with fear. That is, until he actually threw up all over the floor.

Ever since that night, my fear of aliens has not been as strong as it was in the past but the other day I received an informal, unspecified and definitely classified invitation to sit in a certain Area-51 adjacent Royal backyard to watch the night sky for alien starships.

It royally gives me the creeps just thinking about such an evening, but I am oddly intrigued to accept… I am even thinking of creating a special Alien Starship Martini for the event.

I think I could handle it. Just so long as nobody hums the theme tune to “Unsolved Mysteries.”


Wednesday, August 5, 2009


I came home from work to be greeted by two council cars, two more councils cars from the neighbouring council, five FESA (Fire and Emergency Services) three SES (State Emergency Service) trucks, three ranger cars, an RSPCA truck, two unknown SUVs, a big digger tractor, a local news crew and about 50 people standing around the front paddock.

What the hell is going on?

Numerous things passed through my head. They found a dead body! An electical explosion started a fire! The council is here to take away the horse because we haven't yet applied for a permit! The horse caused an electrical explosion and blew open a hole in the ground that exposed dead bodies... on fire, and the council was here to arrest the horse for suspected murder!

I parked my car and raced down to the paddock to find out what was actually going on.

I found Stuart and he explained that the horse got stuck upside down, all four legs in the air, in the currently dried up winter creek ditch.

Noone knows how long he was stuck there, the daughter only found him when she came home from school.

In a panic, she rang Stuart and then some friends who have an orchard right behind us on the other side of the national forest.

Their whole family came rushing over and rang everyone they knew to come and help.

While all of the rescue crew and RSPCA were standing around arguing over who was in charge and what they were going to do, Stuart arrived home and told everyone that the horse needed to be dug out of the ditch.

The friend's father rushed down the street to a farmer, who had the flu and was sick in bed, and asked him to come down with his tractor digger thing.

They dug the horse out, the horse is fine and they lived happily ever after.

The End.

Friday, July 31, 2009


From the afternoon reports received via a 16 year old girl, when I got home I was expecting a gigantic jackalope carcas that was ripped to shreds...  blood on the walls and intestines hanging from the ceiling fan.

What really happened was this: wanting to avoid having any part of cleaning up a mutant 300 pound giant bunny, I stayed behind at work hoping that Stuart would get home first and clean it up.  Evil plan successful.  When I walked through the door, he had already steam cleaned the rug and was washing down the floors with bleach.

What Stuart discovered was a tiny wittle baby wabbit, no blood to be found anywhere although the wittle wabbit was without a head, or so I heard.

At some point between receiving the distress call and arriving home, my cute wittle puppy wuppy took the headless wittle wabbit from the family room and brought it into the daughter's room to share with her.

She grabbed some "house tongs" and picked up the dead wittle wabbit and threw him out her window into the garden bed.  What are "house tongs"?  I had the same query, so I asked her "What are 'house tongs'?"

To which she responded, "You know, those things we use to pick up food."

To which I said, "You mean the salad tongs?"  My eyes glanced around the house and I was frozen with terror, "Where are the tongs now?"

"Don't worry, I put them back in the drawer," she says.

"Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! Ew! EWWWWWWWWWWWWW! Bluch!!!!!!!!!!!" I scream as I bounce around the kitchen shaking my hands and making vomiting faces.

"There are dead wabbit tongs contaminating my kitchen drawer!  Get them out! Get em out!!! Grab me the bleach and throw everything that was in that drawer away now!  Just throw away the drawer, we'll get a new kitchen!  EWWWWW!!!!!!!"

They just laughed at me and Stuart put the tongs in the dishwasher.   Now there are dead wabbit tongs in a dead wabbit dishwasher.  The same dishwasher we just bought last Saturday.

Oh my goodness.  I just had a realisation.  There were dishes in there at the time.  Oh my goodness.  I have dead wabbit dishes.  Ew! Ew! Ew! 


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Thursday, July 30, 2009


You know how dogs just love to find little treasures to give you?
Since we moved to The Farm, my cute little indoor puppy has turned country.  Today I was called on the phone to be told that he brought into the house a huge dead rabbit. 
There is blood all over the family room floor and no one is going near it or clean it up because "it is not their dog."
Not that I wasn't to think rationally, but rationally I suppose it is only that fair I clean it up. 
When he brought home that dead rat, S cleaned it up.
When he brought home that kangaroo leg, S cleaned it up.
Although in my honour, when my dog brought home whole lemons he found underneath the lemon tree, I cleaned that up.
So maybe it is someone else's turn.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2009


I thought you might like to know that two weeks ago my modem went kaput.

When we ordered a replacement modem, the phone company sent us a USB modem instead of the wireless home network modem. When we rang to get the correct wireless home network modem, we were told that we never order a replacement modem in the first place.

After being transferred from various phone company call centres in Australia to India back to Australia then to the Philippines then back to India then India again then Australia then India, we finally got someone who ordered the correct wireless home network modem.

So two weeks with no home internet... and of course I never ever ever go on the internet at work.

What? You don't believe me? It's true! I never go on the internet at work... when I am at home.

Now that I am online again, I can put away the chisel and stone slab.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009




Last week, I asked someone to save me from the roses.


No one did.


I did get an offer to swap my roses for one noisy cricket. I would have taken the cricket if you would have included your gardener in the package.  Better luck next time.


The second offer received was an invitation to send a certain Tinkerbelle look-a-like a dozen roses.  I would normally oblige, but I am sure she made the offer from Disneyland whilst riding on the tea cups and laughing, and that makes me jealous. 


The third offer was one of confusion but genuine hope for my rose salvation.


Let me better explain the situation.


Down here on the bottom side of the planet it is the middle of winter and that means it is time to prune roses.

 Over here on the western side of the bottom side of the planet, it does not get cold enough to snow or even to wear more than a warm sweater.  This fact depresses me because a cold winter is a fantastic excuse to go overboard on the accessories and layer on the scarves, gloves, hats, boots and fabulous wool jackets.


I digress.


For this warm weather reason, one is technically not required to hard prune or even prune roses at all outside of  keeping shape and removing dead wood.  Of course I say this, and anybody who has roses knows that every mother and their dog have an opinion on rose pruning and that opinion is the always right one.


I may have mentioned somewhere that there are 175 roses on The Farm.  Most of these roses had not been pruned or dead headed in several years, which means they were full of dead wood, criss-crossing branches and large bunches of clover.


It is not an easy task to prune 175 roses. Strike that, I found hidden rose bushes this past weekend and the total reached 180.


It is not an easy task to prune 180 roses.


One particular almost ancient weeping standard rose, took me three days.  Three days. Three days on one rose. It was that bad.


The final task was to start on the roses which line the little garden circle in the middle of the driveway.  


These particular roses have an over abundance of thorns on every square centimeter of the branches.  These thorns I can only compare to tiny little ginsu knives.  I could use these thorns to filet fish.


Even with my special rose pruning gloves, my arms appear as if I stuck them down a  garbage disposal.


Most traumatizing of this whole event was that every time I closed my eyes I saw rose branches.  In fact, last night was the only night in the past two weeks that I did not dream of pruning roses.


Can anyone tell me what it means when one dreams of having lunch with Liza Minnelli?


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Friday, July 17, 2009

Friday, July 10, 2009


Today is Friday. 


In most offices around the world, Fridays mean people can dress casually to work.  I, personally, have never been a fan of the casual Friday policy and for my staff, I revoke this privilege.


My dislike is not for the phony employee work-spirit reasons behind the policy, it is for the people who take advantage of the "casual" part.


Over the years I have seen flip flops with cut off jean shorts, striped socks worn over acid washed jeans (and this was not in the 80s, folks), tank tops and hot pants.  What threw me over the edge was when I noticed people wearing sweat pants with old t-shirts and uncombed hair… obviously still in their pajamas.


You might be thinking, "So what?"


If that is what you are thinking, you are obviously one of those people who wear your pajamas to work.  To which I ask "Are you a professional pajama. model for K-Mart?"


If you answered 'yes', then you may have a martini. 


If you answered 'no' then I have these words of wisdom:


When you walk through the office door and think you can pass your sweats off as legitimate day wear… you would be wrong!


Honey, when your sweatshirt has images of Winnie the Pooh holing a blanket…  THOSE ARE YOUR PAJAMAS!!!


When your pants have pink cupcakes on them and are made from flannel… THOSE ARE YOUR PAJAMAS!!!!!!


If your skirt has a border of marabou feathers… THOSE ARE YOUR PAJAMAS!!


If your overcoat has an uncanny resemblance to a blanket with arm holes… THOSE ARE YOUR PAJAMAS!!!


And babycakes, I have never heard of power suit pajamas.


Now you might be thinking "It is obviously that time of the month for Hula Hank."


To which I respond, "You are right, it is that time of the month… The time of the month to get some new clothes."


To which you reply "Now it all makes sense, you are obviously upset because you are tired of all the clothes in your closet and are left with only pajamas to wear."


To which I respond, "You are cut off of the martinis."


To which you reply "So what is the matter Hula Hank? What is with your rant on the power suit pajama wearers in the world?... and get to the point, this post is long and boring and I need to be drunk just to have read this far."


To which I respond, I have always worked in jobs which require public and media interaction, sometimes unexpected. 


One day, several years ago, comfortably dressed in a black turtle neck and natural hair do, I arrived at the office straight from a cross country red-eye flight.  I was in my airplane pajamas.


That very same day not one, not two, but three local TV stations all had to have on-camera interviews with me regarding an incident that happened overnight.


You are thinking, "Stop being so prissy and go home and change into a beautiful suit."


What I failed to mention is when I arrived at the office they were already waiting at the door and my airplane pajamas were broadcast on the 5 o'clock news.


Additionally, what if I was to die that day?  Do I want to die wearing my airplane pajamas at work?  The last image of me being one of uncombed hair and an old black turtle neck sweater? 


I think not. 


From that day on, I only wear suits and ties with all the proper accoutrement (ie man bling) and perfectly polished shoes. My casual Friday means not wearing a jacket.


However, today, in the middle of a meeting I noticed that one half of the front of my perfectly pressed shirt is still wrinkled. There is also small hole on the shoulder.


So today I thought, "What is the point?"


I would have looked better in my pajamas… and I don't wear pajamas.


Who wants a martini?


Find your next place with Ninemsn property Looking for a place to rent, share or buy this winter?

Saturday, July 4, 2009


Have you ever been to a 7:00am meeting that begins by toasting the Queen (of Australia, not Phrump, although technically they did not specify which Queen)followed by a group sing-a-long of Yellow Submarine?

No? Well that is what I did this morning.

How about you?

Thursday, July 2, 2009

DEAR ________, DAY 2

Dear Everyone,

Well I burnt/burned the scones. Never fear whilst I was in the kitchen I whipped up some chilli/chili mussels instead. Chilli/chili mussels are not quite as good with apple butter as scones are, but have another bellini... it won't matter.

Dear Mom #1,

What exactly is an 'apple smoke'? Is it what I am thinking it is which I may or may not have done in my wild teenage days?

Vegemite is the vilest spread I have ever tasted. It is actually made from discarded yeast extract used in making beer. I have never met anyone that wasn’t Australian born and raised who will even give it a sample taste.

Australians claim that Americans don’t like it because we use too much when spreading it on toast. They claim only a minuscule amount should be used. What they fail to realise/realize is that Americans (and every other country in the world) don’t like it because, in large or small quantities, that shit is rank.

Although I once had one too many bottles of wine and I developed a strange craving for a toasted Vegemite and cheese sandwich… and it was not bad. Though subsequent tastings have justified my original dislike.

To its credit, Vegemite is exceptionally high in the B vitamins and certain amino acids which, as we know, are essential in maintaining healthy brain function.

So maybe that 1 out of 3 was not eating their Vegemite?

Dear Grandma J,

You are seriously returning to nature in The Spa… Blogging naked, spotting Bambi and hosting ant parties in your bra! Before you know it you will grow a beard and start talking to armadillos.

As you stated, you may be the oldest blogger, but you are the most beautiful.

I tried my best to try and figure out how ice cream could possibly qualify as brain food, but I just can’t come up with anything… unless is it made with dark chocolate and topped with fresh berries (and no, strawberry syrup does not count).

Dear Mr Show,

What exactly is your issue with persimmons? They are delightful. Of course I am referring to the non-astringent variety that has edible skins and are chock full of sweetness. If I ever perfect this whole persimmon butter thing, I will send some to you in the post/mail and you will be totally won over.

This whole Martha Stewart phase that has been happening to me lately is just to balance out all of the butch things I have to do around the farm... or at least the supervision I do of the butch things.

When Stuart brought me home a surprise gift of a plaid flannel shirt, I new it had gone too far and I had to take drastic gay action with cocktails, cookbooks and kitchen tools.

I know you and Giancarlo must have some tools that would make any gay jealous... um, wait... I don't think that came out right.

Dear jambuku,

Did you remember to bring the lamingtons this time? When you start your WA road trip, are you still going to blog about finding socks? Or wait, have you left already?

Dear Everyone,

Next time I propose that we meet in Italy.

Love, Hula Hank XX

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

DEAR ________, DAY 1

Dear Everyone,

I am glad that everyone has gathered together once again to enjoy a drink (or three), have a chat and feel the love.

This time I received some inspiration from Pumpkin Delight and thought it would be nice to serve peach bellinis.

You can buy Bellini in a bottle, and I remember a Miami inspired club that opened up on the beautiful Cuyahoga River in Cleveland's industrial district (yes, the same river that once caught on fire). Bottled Bellini was the signature cocktail and on some wild nights, the bartender would pour it directly into your mouth.

But no, this bellini is not that Bellini. This bellini is made from Italian sparkling and white peach puree.

Put it down the hatch!

Dear Queen of Phrump,

Jackalopes! That is right. How could I be so silly? My dad grew up in the Montana and whenever he would return home from a trip out west, he would bring back postcards featuring a cowboy riding a gigantic jackalope…and Big Hunks, because you couldn’t buy Big Hunks where we lived.

The whole family would spend the next week gnawing at these giant candy bars. Eventually we would get sick of them and would find half gnawed bars stuck under the couch cushions, inside underwear drawers and even under a pillow or two.

Which brings me to your 14 carat cake….. I am intrigued and must have some immediately!

Did your mother pick up a jar of apple butter yet? It seems that apple butter is an item that we all forget about until something comes along to conjure up strong childhood memories.

Big Hunks, apple butter… why are all of my childhood memories of foodstuff?

Dear JLO,

Is Arizona that state that has all of the aliens and new age healing spots or is that New Mexico?

Whilst I was reading your previous comments on my possible overuse of the word “whilst”, I was thinking that whilst I do tend to use the word “whilst” in writing, I never actually say “whilst” in speech. I am not even sure I know 100% what ‘whilst’ means and even how to use ‘whilst’ in a sentence.

I reckon it is one of those weirdo British terms and spellings like using ‘spelt’ instead of ‘spelled’ or ‘spilt’ instead of ‘spilled’ or ‘learnt’ instead of ‘learned’ or ‘burnt’ instead of ‘burned’… ‘tyre’ instead of ‘tire’ or even more wacko, ‘aeroplane’ instead of ‘airplane’.

PS – Your skin looks so radiant. Did you get a facial?

Dear Pumpkin Delight,

Venice looks so magical. I hate using the word “magical” but I can’t think of any other way to describe it.. Fantastical? Opulent? Enchanting?

One can almost imagine Casanova riding the canals to the doors of all society women around town.

I am putting together a list of US to Aussie word translations. As I flip over the third notebook page of words, it is more complicated than I thought.

Does the list only include the different words for the same object? Does it continue on with words that are pronounced the same but spelled/spelt differently? Does go even further to contain words that are spelled/spelt the same but pronounced differently?

To get a rest from the mental spin that is the English language, I decided to experiment with another type of fruit butter, this time with persimmons.

I wish I could tell you that the results were an execution of culinary brilliance. Well, it did look and smell like someone was executed.

The problem was not in the fruit or the idea, it was with the, uh, execution.

I believed Stuart when he told me that if I put the slow cooker on ‘Auto’ I could leave it on overnight without the persimmons burning, because when the slow cooker is on ‘auto’ it can sense when something is going to burn and shuts off.


The next morning I was left with dried, burned and shriveled pieces of persimmon which were permanently glued to the pot with a sugary glaze the same consistency of that used to coat pottery... after it went through the kiln.

I am not going to give up though, I just need to get some more persimmons before they go out of season.

There is this great orchard around the corner where the guy sells fruit out of his barn… Do you think that is the country equivalent to getting acupuncture in the back of van?

Dear Everyone,

I am still working my way around the room... I keep getting sidetracked by an empty glass. I am going to take the scones out of the oven and will be right back with hot scones and fresh apple butter.

Love Hula Hank

Thursday, June 18, 2009


To take a short break from 'Apple butter mania', I turn today's focus to a more important cause... not martinis or food or naked picnics in the grass.

I spend my career educating people on neuroplasticity and ways to keep our brain exercised and healthy in the hopes of delaying, or possibly preventing, Alzheimer's Disease, other forms of dementia and cognitive decline. Everyday I hear forever life changing stories of the effects of dementia.

These stories come from people who are carers for family members, watched their parents eventual dementia related death or even have been diagnosed with early on-set dementia. Think that dementia doesn't effect you?

With current statistics showing that 1 out of every 3 people over the age of 65 develop dementia, you better believe that it will effect you in one way or another.

Meet Team Hot Dog

'Perth'onality socialite, Sarah Swan
Blogger hunk extraordinaire, Hula Hank and;
Independent brand identity specialist, Julie Hill.

Team Hot Dog... three members.. chances are high that one of us will develop dementia in the future.

This frank and startling reality check is what inspired us to choose to raise money for Alzheimer's (Also, the fact that I work for AAWA may have had a little something to do with it).

You may be asking yourself, "What the hell is a Team Hot Dog?"

On 20 September 2009, my organistaion is hosting the state's first ever Memory Walk. The 2009 Memory Walk will raise much need funds for dementia public awareness, education and support for for families, carers and those how have dementia.

The three of us (Team Hot Dog) have created a "My Hero" page to raise money for this event. You can find it online here:

Ok, so what is with the "Hot Dog" part?

Well, if we exceed our target fundraising goal, Team Hot Dog pledges to complete the walk dressed as GIANT HOT DOGS!!!!!

That is right we will dress as GIANT HOT DOGS, if we exceed our fundraising goal. So tell everyone you know to stop by our Everyday Hero page to 'relish' us with your support and provide much needed help for Dementia Awareness.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Due to the popular demand, I hereby share with you an apple butter recipe you can make at home or during a block party. It is almost summer in the US, so you have plenty of time to plan and gather all the ingredients before October!

If you are in Australia, well, you are too late. The apple harvest has just finished for the season. The good news is that you have an entire year to plant apple trees, find a copper kettle and sew your very own bonnet.

If anyone happens to have a bunch of Pennsylvania Dutch people lying around, here is a traditional recipe from 1839.

“Cider for apple butter must be perfectly new from the press, and the sweeter and mellower the apples are of which it is made, the better will the apple butter be.

Boil the cider till reduced to one half its original quantity, and skim it well.

Do not use for this purpose an iron kettle, or the butter will be very dark, and if you use a brass or copper kettle, it must be scoured as clean and bright as possible, before you put the cider into it, and you must not suffer the butter to remain in it a minute longer than is actually necessary to prepare it, or it will imbibe a copperish taste that will render it not only unpleasant, but really unhealthy.

It is best to prepare it late in the fall, when the apples are quite mellow. Select those that have a fine flavor, and will cook tender; pare and quarter them from the cores, and boil them in the cider till perfectly soft, having plenty of cider to cover them well.

If you wish to make it on a small scale, do not remove the apples from the cider when they get soft, but continue to boil them gently in it till the apples and cider form a thick smooth marmalade, which you must stir almost constantly towards the last.

A few minutes before you take it from the fire, flavor it highly with cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, and cloves, and when the seasonings are well intermixed, put it up in jars, tie folded paper over them and keep them in a cool place.

If made in a proper manner, it will keep good more than a year, and will be found very convenient, being always in readiness.

Many people who are in the habit of making apple butter, take it from the fire before it is boiled near enough. Both to keep it well and taste well, it should be boiled long after the apples have become soft, and towards the last, simmered over coals till it gets almost thick enough to slice.

If you wish to make it on a large scale, after you have boiled the first kettle full of apples soft, remove them from the cider, draining them with a perforated ladle that the cider may fall again to the kettle, and put them into a clean tub.

Fill up the kettle with fresh apples, having them pared and sliced from the cores, and having ready a kettle of boiling cider, that is reduced to at least half its original quantity; fill up the kettle of apples with it as often as is necessary.
When you have boiled in this manner as many apples as you wish, put the whole of them in a large kettle, or kettles, with the cider, and simmer it over a bed of coals till it is so thick, that it is with some difficulty you can stir it: it should be stirred almost constantly, with a wooden spaddle, or paddle, or it will be certain to scorch at the bottom or sides of the kettle.

Shortly before you take it from the fire, season it as before directed, and then put it up in jars."

If you are without a spaddle or bed of coals, I have altered the above into a 12 Step recipe:

Step 1. Grab your Golden Girls DVD and put into DVD player. If you are looking for more of a pioneer atmosphere when making apple butter try watching Little House on the Prairie.

Step 2. Take two kilos (about 4.5 pounds) of apples, peel two of them and then sigh “Oh my god, there is no way I am peeling all these apples!” Fortunately, peeling the apples is optional.

Step 3. Quarter the apples and dump them in the slow cooker with ½ cup of apple cider, 3 cups sugar and a dash of cinnamon and nutmeg. Then stir to mix. I cannot get apple cider down here, so I used an organic and freshly pressed apple juice, with no added sugar.

Step 4. Put your slow cooker on high and cook apples for three hours.

Step 5. After three hours, turn the slow cooker on low and let cook for another 9 hours or so, stirring occasionally.

Step 6. Now take a small amount of the cooked apples and puree in blender or food processor until smooth. Put the processed apple mixture in a bowl and continue until all of the apples and juice are pureed.

Word of caution: When I made a pineapple panna cotta, I pureed the piping hot pineapple mixture and was rewarded by a blender exploding boiling hot pineapple all over my face (Note to Mr Show, JLo and Pumpkin Delight: No jokes please about hot liquids exploding in one’s face). Avoid this horrific experience by blending only a small amount of apples and lifting the lid every few seconds to let the steam escape.

Step 7. Once all of the cooked apples have been pureed, put back into the slow cooker and add more spices. I really enjoy the spicy bite of cinnamon so basically I dumped in an unspecified amount until I was happy with the taste.

Step 8. After the mixture is perfectly seasoned, cook on low for about 2 or 3 more hours, stirring occasionally.

Step 9. When finished, the apple butter should be extremely thick in texture and a deep brown in colour.

Step 10. At this point, you should realise that you failed to obtain any mason jars. Quickly dump out the commercial pasta sauce and strong pickled onions from their jars, thoroughly wash and dry said jars and fill with apple butter.

Step 11. I set the filled jars upside down for about an hour or two and when I turned them over, the lids miraculously sealed! This may work for you, although I cannot guarantee that this technique seals well enough to store outside of the refrigerator.

Step 12. The final step is to proudly announce your culinary achievement to your ungrateful family, who will then refuse to even take one small taste.

I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by orchards that produce fruit year round. Peaches, Nectarines, Persimmons, Pears, Apples and let us not forget my own orchard’s specialty: Plums.

My intention is to attempt a butter out of each and every one of these fruits as they are harvested.

Do you think I should start a local apple butter festival?

Monday, June 15, 2009


…or least a slightly-plagiarized-from-the-disappointing-Wikipedia-version-of the complete history of apple butter.

“Apple butter was a popular way of using apples in colonial America.” – Wikipedia

That’s it! That is the total history of apple butter according to Wikipedia.

Further research has led me to discover a few more details. Whilst apple butter is generally accredited to New England, many historians actually believe it was brought over by the Pennsylvania Dutch (you know, the Amish folks) and then further rose to popularity in the Appalachia (you know, the Hillbillies).

Wikipedia goes on to describe apple butter as a “highly concentrated form of apple sauce.” I suppose that yes, whilst apple sauce and apple butter have the same beginnings it is far too simplistic to use such a description. It is like saying a ‘red wine jus’ is just a highly concentrated form of your favourite merlot.

Apple sauce is lumpy and runny and falls off your spoon if you check your watch whilst eating it.

Apple butter is smooth and spreads thick over toast. When you take that first bite, one should taste crisp autumn mornings and hay rides through the changing trees.

Traditionally, the preparation of apple butter was a weekend long community event. It all started early in the morning when the men would harvest several bushels of apples and then, as far as I could find, their work was done.

The boys would gather firewood to heat the large copper kettles and then, as far as I could find, their work was done.

The mothers peeled and sliced the apples. These were still the days when knives were used instead of peelers. My mother used to peel apples this way and told me that whatever letter the discarded apple peel most resembled was the first initial of the person whom you will marry.

I reckon that when the women were busy cutting off their fingers from peeling the apples while the men were lounging in hammocks, the women were secretly checking out the letters made by the peels to see who they should have actually married.

The cut apples were then thrown into the heated copper kettles while the girls took turns stirring with large wooden paddles and gossiping about Helga’s new bonnet.

It was important that the apples be stirred constantly or else they would burn and the whole town would take the girl in charge and put her in a stock and throw cream pies at her face.

The women would then spice the mixture with cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. Requiring to be stewed all day, I imagine the aroma filled the town air with sweet incense comforting the souls.

When the sky was overcome by the colours of the setting sun, the apple butter was done and all the men got off their hammocks to come down to the copper pot for the first taste.

In October, many “historic” towns around the US have apple butter festivals where they roll out the copper kettles and throw a party. There was a big festival in a country town close to where I grew up.

They had two big events a year, one when the maple syrup was harvested and the other when it was time to make apple butter. My memories of apple butter come from when my family attended this festival. Memories so strong that, despite not having apple butter for at least twenty years, I still fantasize about it.

A few weeks ago when the kids came home from a walk through the bush loaded with apples they had picked from the neighbouring orchard, apple butter nostalgia took the best of me.

I pulled out my copper kettle (a.k.a. the slow cooker) and set out to peeling the apples with a knife (a.k.a. the peeler) and gossiping about Helga’s new bonnet (a.k.a. watching Golden Girls).

Sixteen hours later, the apples morphed into a deep golden brown butter with a slight hint of red. It was so thick it could be cut with a knife and the smell of cinnamon filled the kitchen.

I was so excited and proud to share this memory with those I love, however the three jars still sit unopened in the refrigerator because those I love are too afraid to try it. Those I love that smother bread with the foul Aussie tradition that is Vegemite won’t spread their toast with the sweet memories of my childhood.

Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that I used jars labeled “Strong Pickled Onions”?