Dear beloved and most valued Readers,
I am taking this blog post to a whole new level, by writing it in the kitchen. Normally you can find me pounding away the keys with a determined, almost borderline angry expression on my face as the words start to pour out of the box they are kept in. Which for this out posts are normally written in my bedroom, with me having blankly looked out the window and then “bang” the urge to write is upon me.
The urge to write this blog post for the past couple of days has been in the back of my mind but not knowing where to start and where to end, has been leaving me quite frustrated at the least. Not including I have been planning someone’s 21st birthday for the past several days: buying cakes, planning areas of destinations in Toowoomba has been fruitful while attending Uni and trying to catch up with six weeks’ worth of lectures. Have not only been keeping me on my toes and at a running pace but I have once again found myself in the kitchen, cooking the Birthday Girl’s dinner/lunch.
Oh be right back as the potatoes are having a fit and now have decided to pour water all over the kitchen stove top. Bloody typical.
I am back after that fit with the potatoes and the eggs that have decided to split open and hearing the hissing and popping of things hitting the element and least I forget, the water that was all over the floor because of said potatoes. All I can say is and no doubt shall be asking myself this on a constant basis throughout this: Why did I decide on cooking lunch for?
But then the reason I cook and it is not because I find it mind stimulating half the time or because I enjoy being covered in flour. Watching and waiting for the right minute to release the cookies from the oven and watching the horde that seems to “run” to the kitchen for the baking. And in the end, standing there covered in floor, eggs, baking powder, bits and pieces of things that I dread to find out what they are with no baking left. Welcome to O’Chunkys’ household. Where I spend four or five hours cooking, sometimes with Lois’ help and nothing is left but a few crumbs and the family having to try their hardest to walk normal back to wherever they came from.
I remember being little around 13 or so and I was first taught how to make simple things in the kitchen. And for the life of me, I cannot remember what they were. But every time I used to get the eggs out and wait for them to be at room temperature, my sister always used to come up and say “Whatcho baking?” and I would no doubt reply with, “something to eat but you won’t be having any of it until I have iced it and let it cool down.” Knowing me I would always bake a cake, biscuits and patty cakes which are my sister’s favourite things to eat when they have just come out of the oven; and would always ask me if she could have one. And the answer would always be without fail, “No!” and the little shit would then go off to Mum and say in her most sweetest and littlest innocent voice, “Mummy, can I have a ‘whatever it was’”.
And my mother being the sucker for the big puppy dog eyes and the little blonde hair that would fall to my sister’s shoulders would always make her say, “Of course you can.” This would of course bring her skipping into the kitchen, stand still waiting for me to turn around before grabbing a handful of cookies and then smirk at me like ‘sucked in bitch. She is wrapped around my finger’. Me being a miniature version of our Mother would make me abrupt and yell out “Mum, I said she couldn’t have any. Why don’t you listen to me when I tell you no Kate?”
Just remembering things like that over the past few years which she continues to do without Mum sitting there saying ‘of course you can eat the whole entire cake without leaving crumbs, darling’. But now it is the boys who sit there, hoovering like a bunch of unwanted guests and eyeballing your every move as if waiting for you to stand there and spread your arms wide and say “of course you can eat the whole damn thing.” It also brings back the burnt cake which seems to be a popular thing to be thrown back into my face, which by the way I was 12 and the oven was notorious for either under cooking or overcooking things. Which is not doubt always brought up by my brother when it is someone’s birthday in the household. And for my own benefit at protecting myself for being a baker on the house, if I hadn’t made the blasted “burnt” cake then he would not have had any cake at all for his birthday so darling brother if you are reading this: consider yourself lucky and loved.
Speaking of cake and therefore birthdays as it seems to be a massive part of our birthday parties that well only a few turn up too each year, Lois’ humdinger was a well planned event. Even if I might say so myself as I was the psycho who planned everything. It first started when I had this idea of hiring a helium cylinder and blowing up 100 or so balloons that when Lois returned, she would have to go swimming through streamers that would be hanging off the balloons. That was all and well until I looked at the price of hiring a helium cylinder and almost died, which did not include the idea of how can someone my height and size, lug one of those massive things to my car and then return home?
So instead I enlisted to the talented and most perfect set of hosts/victims that I could muster. That featured my sister who had no way of getting out of the house and taking off with the car because I had hidden the keys and my sister in law. Who when Lois had found out was coming to stay Thursday night, I made up some cock and bull story about wanting to be home for when the youngest brother got home because it had been a while since they had seen each other. No, I really just wanted her lungs and I suppose her company as well to blow up the 250 or so balloons I had brought.
5 hours later, twine in our hair and our fingers resembling cheerios from the amount of balloons we had put into bunches with the twine and tying of the balloons, I had this crazy idea. Instead of tying the other 60 or so balloons, why not put them onto Lois’ and Red’s bed? So then after driving six and a half hours back home, going out to dinner and driving another two hours back home; they would be ultra tired and would have to fit their way into bed. After standing there and thinking that their bed didn’t look pretty enough, they needed some extra special treatment because who turns 21 again? After thirty minutes of curling twine and talking too my sister in law and my sister had given up and returned to her studying, we stood at the edge of their bed and threw the twine.
Not knowing that they would be waking up the next morning with twine imprints in their back and Red resembling someone had hit him with a glitter bomb. Code Balloon had been a success and now Code Brothel had to be put into effect.
Poor Lois who had no idea that any of this was happening in front of her face and behind her back, thought that nothing had been actually planned for her birthday and that NO ONE was going to do anything for her. Alas, she was wrong and I thoroughly enjoyed proving her wrong for once in my life. The two weeks before the rest of the family bar my sister and I packed up and relocated to Gympie for a week, I had booked a restaurant that is a particular favourite of the families and asked where Lois wanted to go for dinner all the while knowing it was done and dusted.
As I normally tell myself, one thing to be less stressed about.
Wednesday comes, just a few short days off from the 21st and I call Lois on the verge of crying…well fake crying. It is then that I confess that I had just tried to make a booking at our favourite restaurant but some bitch who had just gotten married, had booked out the venue and we were forced to go somewhere else. Lois being the person she is, says “why don’t we just go somewhere else?” hence how I told her that we would be going to a brothel because there would be no other places available.
Friday is here and my anxiety levels are beyond the roof. I swear I almost need to take myself to hospital because it feels like any minute; I am about to either have a serious freak out moment or need to be sedated for hysterically laughing. Lois and the gang return from Gympie, covered in paint and who knows’ what else, when I show Lois her “little” surprise that is waiting for her on her bed and of course: starts to hysterically laugh. Rather than complaining that she will not be able to sleep, Lois turns to my sister in law and myself and tells us how much she loves the fact that her bed from top to bottom, and about eight inches high is covered in balloons.
However during the day because of the amount of rain that had hit Crows Nest, Lois’ wanted to know if we could have dinner at home, grab a couple of pizza’s and be safe at home because someone upstairs had decided to turn on the ‘let’s rain option’. After saying “No, we are going to the brothel for dinner tonight”; I then proceeded to get everyone from my sister in law ready to the birthday girl. While telling my brother’s to start getting ready who were standing there like they were stoned and had no idea what was going on. Before finally finding a few minutes to throw on a dress while everyone was busily walking in and out of my room like it had some type of revolving door and raced out the door.
After almost breaking the door handle off on the car as no one had thought to unlock the bloody thing. Lois is not listening to me and I informing someone they need to blind fold her; I do a mini Lois and have a screaming sesh in my backyard. With no doubt the next-door neighbour peering at us, well me in particularly, but at that point I didn’t give a flying fuck if the Pope was standing behind me. I was annoyed, frustrated, angry and ready to go off the flying deep end. As once again, everything that I had planned was NOT going to plan. That was with backup plan C going into effect.
Going through the road works which are happening in the SAME SPOT for the 12th time, I had to bite my tongue and resist the urge to scream “Green light, you wanker!”. Which now has just proven to me while I am typing this, I either had serious anger management issues or serious road rage. Which I think is the later stage of that sentence because clearly compared to what it used to be like: I am one cray-zey kind of lady behind the wheel. Which reminds me: for those who live in the country, city and out in the middle of nowhere of Australia or overseas and drive a piece of shit…(jeep). Here is some friendly advice for you when you see a truck and have no idea what the next step of process is:
WHEN A FOUR WHEEL DRIVE NEEDS A RUN UP A FUCKING DAMN HILL; DO NOT SLOW DOWN AND DO FORTY UP FOR THE MOUNTAIN OF A BITCH HILL.
In fact you speed up to a hundred, overtake the damn truck while pushing metal to the pedal and when I go to overtake you because you are going slow and speeding up like a moron. Because I happen to like being alive and not six feet under the ground with a lovely bouquet as my flowers which are dead; do not speed up like a crazy bat woman you are and try to run me down.
I drive a four wheel drive with a bullbar and a invisible sign that says to everyone else “Fuck off or I will hurt you!”. Also I admit that I have anger issues when it comes to wankers like you and I am not afraid of running you down. Remember: I am scary, I am dangerous and I will laugh when I am bed led away to jail for manslaughter or attempted murder charges. Because you, my dear, are once again a crazy bat woman who should not have a drivers licence.
Anyway, we finally get to a slightly drizzling Toowoomba and the kids have taken Lois on a detour. And even though that woman is blinded folded, I curse her father for having her taught how to drive. Because that woman knows where she is going without seeing and it is frustrating for us in the most part. However during this time I do not know that the kids are telling her that she is going to get some guy with serious amount of back hair that can be used as hair extensions, wears a baby diaper, sells drugs and prefers to call the Ladies “mama”. Because all Lois knows is that she really is going to the Brothel for dinner.
We pull up in front of our restaurant and with a minor freak out session from Lois who is afraid that she is not only going to bump into something but we are going to let go of her; we release the blind fold and it starts to click that we are here to have dinner and are no in fact going to a Brothel. After discovering that my booking had not been listed by the lady who had taken my call which I have to admit, annoyed me; we were seated and we let the drinks flow.
I couldn’t personally figure out what drink I wanted so I went for two as I think by this stage, I needed two or preferably the whole bottle. And I loved my screwdriver which was fantastic and my lemon, lime and bitters which reminds me, I need to get a recipe of that so then I can make one for myself each day because they are fantastic. Dinner starts to flow along with the birthday celebratory wishes, dreams and speeches and clearly the booze is starting to kick in for me because I am feeling 100% in love with everyone. We start to eat our gorgeous dinner and start to joke around with one another which to be honest, is a typical O’Chunkys’ dinner party. Which everyone wants to attend one but very few are invited.
By this time, everyone has finished their dinner and is talking about dessert and I am starting to look around for a waitress. If only I could get to the waitress before one of them gets up and starts to hunt down one, finally someone takes pity on me and asks if we want dessert. And before everyone jumps in and starts ordering, I responded with “we would like our dessert please”, which was code for: Can we have our cake brought out please.
The waitress takes off before anyone can ask and they all turn to look at me like ‘how dare you?’ Being the smoother operator I am at this stage because the vodka has certainly calmed me down a hell of a lot, I smile and saying casually that I had orderly ordered our dessert before arriving. So no one thinks that there is a birthday cake coming on its way and then BAM! Our little and amazing waitress is bringing over Lois’s cake and when Lois sees this, starts to hysterically cry. I felt at that moment of time: My job was done and I was complete.
I had not only made Lois cry which always makes me smile and laugh because she seriously tries to prevent herself in doing so which never seems to work but also because I had topped everything that she had wanted: out of the ball park without a foul ball in sight with only one home run to go before winning the game. And we had just gotten that home run and we had won the game.
Winding that back to where the thought originally started was where I am sitting today. In the kitchen at one of the stupidly built benches that doesn’t even reach hip level, holding onto a jar of tomatoes. And then it all started with a thought of “I would wonder what a ceiling full of balloons would look like?” I think if I don’t make a great nurse or a doctor, then event planning is the next route to go. Clearly I won’t be able to contain my road rage levels at stupid and dangerous drivers, but I sure do pull off one hell of an amazing birthday.
And also the thing that topped the last two days off apart from being trapped in a kitchen cooking; is that I was the first person in the family to call Lois and wish her a Happy 21st Birthday. Even though that technically I was in the same house as her and I was in the next room; I was the first person to call. Just proves with those who have a number and can easily dial the bloody number, a true family member could unselfishly make the effort and call her on the actual day of her birthday.
And without thinking as I love Lois so bloody much, if I had been living away from home and lived in the same country: I would have willingly taken the trip if I didn’t want to call her and surprise her with a visit. Even if it was for the day. Because I am spontaneous, a little crazy in some eyes to drive 5 hours to visit someone I love and spend a few hours with her and the family before driving the distance back home.
So with that, this week’s rule is simply this as it is Sunday: Pick up that bloody phone, dial those numbers and don’t lie to the person about not having called because that person isn’t stupid. And actually have a long, decent and well deserved conversation because guaranteed, they could possibly not be there one day and when you realise, it will be too late.
Until next time,