Desperately seeking Stan

Posted November 22nd, 2007 by Penny Wise

Egads I sincerely hope nobody recognises me today - I'm wandering around in cut-offs with hairy white legs and a glorious display of pimples on my chin! Yes, it looks as though summer has finally hit our shores, hooray! Unfortunately it has caught me a little unprepared in the leg-shaving department but I suppose I can always tell people I'm trying to save the planet by not using disposable razors if I get too many disdainful looks; they expect strange things from me these days anyway! Before we go any further I have a confession to make. I have just gone and done a real Sad Sally - I tried and tried to resist but I just couldn't. You see, Ali and I went to see the Queen musical 'We Will Rock You' at the weekend and we're still recovering. I have never seen or heard anything so mindbogglingly brilliant in my entire life, it was simply amazing! As soon as it finished I thought 'oh nooo! I have to see it again!' So I am. I know I shouldn't, I know it's extravagant and I have struggled with my conscience since Sunday but I've just gone and booked so that's that now. I don't care if I have to go totally without birthday or Christmas presents and live on soup for a month as penance, I just HAD to see it again or I knew I would regret it forever. So I'm going again this weekend. Do I feel guilty? Yes! It's going to haunt me for ages I know but what's done is done. At least as a Simple Saver I can find plenty of ways and means to make up for my splurge. Besides, Ali now knows every single word to Bohemian Rhapsody, which I reckon is pretty good going for a 21st century kid!

Noel on the other hand is being ever so good at the moment. While Ali and I were getting our eardrums pounded at the theatre, Noel and Liam toiled the entire day building a huge two-storey hut (cubby/playhouse/den depending on where you're from) in the trees, made entirely from recycled materials. My mum needed part of her roof replacing and the builder kindly asked if we wanted the sheets of iron for anything. The boys have wanted a decent hut for years and this was perfect for the job! Spacious, weatherproof and kidproof, they've been having a ball in it ever since and it didn't cost a cent! Unfortunately all the hammering and crashing of iron greatly upset Stan the sheep, who took off at great speed and hasn't been seen since. We're still scouring the countryside for him but there's no sign of him so far and it's been six days. I reckon it's a pretty smart move on Stan's part, as Noel reckoned he was almost ready for the freezer. Whoever said sheep were brainless was wrong! Still, I do hope he's safe and munching grass somewhere, as I don't want him to end up as a freebie in anyone else's freezer either. The search goes on!

As well as drooling over Mig Ayesa last weekend, I also managed to get around to decluttering as planned. I managed to completely empty NINE toy boxes (from my Sad Sally days remember) and sent the whole lot to the local church to keep for their annual garage sale, along with a huge sackful of clothes. I filled up two rubbish sacks with broken toys alone! I still haven't finished yet, I'm trying to do a little each day but there's certainly a lot more room in the house already and I'm hoping it's going to be a lot easier to clean too. Once that's all over with, I'm going to have no choice but to move on to my next mission - CHRISTMAS. Am I the only one who just can't get into the festive zone yet? I have absolutely no idea what to get anyone for Christmas but at least I have made a concerted effort this week to get some of our festive food and drink requirements organised. For example, yesterday Mum and I were in the supermarket when we spotted turkeys on special for $47 (reduced by $15). At first I thought this was a great bargain - then I remembered the extra large chickens we had seen on special at the other end of the aisle for $10. Needless to say, it didn't take a rocket scientist to work out we'd be a lot better off with $20 worth of chicken than $47 worth of turkey. I mean, let's face it - who really notices the difference once it's all carved up? I also picked up all the soft drink we need for $6 thanks to some great specials. For everything else however, I am going to rely on - ta daaa! My $100 Christmas Challenge!

Ahh, don't you just love challenges! Remember how I recently won $100 worth of grocery vouchers from Mr Patel's? Well, I've decided I am going to use them and only them from now on to cover all our food and drink requirements on Christmas Day. That's the four of us, plus grandparents and any other number of rellies who may turn up throughout the day. My vouchers have to cover a traditional Christmas dinner for at least seven, plus a slap-up barbecue in the evening, not to mention all kinds of decadent munchies one can only get away with pigging out on at Christmas and of course BOOZE. I am going to do it - I'm so determined! We alternate hosting Christmas every two years with the in-laws and in my efforts to impress I just about give myself - and the bank balance - a coronary but this year I am not going to let that happen! Watch this space. Actually, while on the subject of Christmas food I stand corrected - That's Life didn't print my recipe for truffles after all as stated in the last blog, so I had better write it here. You HAVE to try these!

Penny's Truffles

Crush or process a cheap packet of chocolate biscuits until they resemble crumbs. Combine the crumbs with a 250g tub of cream cheese. Chill until firm enough to handle, then shape into balls. To finish, dip in melted dark chocolate and leave to cool. I recycle plastic strawberry punnets and line them with tissue paper or cellophane but they also look great presented in a $2 gift box. They taste divine!

Has anyone else noticed the weekends are really starting to fill up between now and Christmas? While Liam and I head to the theatre (again) this weekend, Ali and the once-again-saintly Noel are heading deep into the bush for a blokes weekend of huntin' and fishin', camping out in a hut in the middle of nowhere. I just hope one of their companions, Jon, has better luck in the bush than he did out on the water a few days ago. Noel, Jon and a group of other colleagues went out on a 'team building' fishing trip earlier this week, out to the beautiful Alderman Islands. Whenever you hear about us eating fresh crayfish and the like, it's almost always thanks to Jon, our intrepid and fearless diver friend. Anyway, there he was, standing on the steps of the boat just above the water, minding his own business, when a huge Mako shark came out of nowhere and leapt straight at him! Upon which poor Jon squealed like a piglet and did a magnificent backflip into the rear of the boat, fortunate to still have both his arms. Far from being sympathetic, Noel and half a dozen other colleagues were all bent double over the boat in tears of laughter. I do hope the experience hasn't put him off diving, I've become rather fond of crayfish...

As for next weekend, I can't wait! Our first ever Waikato Simple Savings Group meeting! It's great to see the Auckland group is already off the ground too. For anyone else in the Waikato interested in coming along, it's next Saturday, December 1st at Hamilton Gardens. I'm so excited! I feel as though I have so many SS friends already, even though we've never met!

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