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?


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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