Thursday 29 January 2009

Ruby Red nearly does my head!

Take one Ruby with ideas of grandeur, one Lilly suffering heat exhaustion, one Aussie Giveaway and six hundred and seventy four entries and what have you got?

A production that is worthy of a Baz Luhrmann extravaganza minus the big budget, Nicole Kidman and an enviable wardrobe.

My big thought for today was how to draw January's Giveaway winner? After all, everyone is getting so hi-tech these days. Take a look at Nikkicrumpet with her ingenious Crumpet Strumpet Wheel.

What was I to do?

I consulted the neighbourhood guru, five year old Ruby.

Yes, I am on speaking terms with her again after she insulted me months ago by asking me if I was normal (you can read it here if you need the background).
Ruby felt that a Giveaway of this magnitude deserved some careful thought. She held the belief that we should slowly whittle down the entries until a winner was selected.

She announced some big plans including outdoor locations and some outlandish ideas for on set catering involving frosting and sprinkles. I was in no fit state to argue. I needed all the direction she was willing to give.

First, we had to cut up the entries into neat strips. Well there was less of the we, and more Ruby than me. Did you know that children who are musical do damn fine work with a pair of scissors? There's a rhythm to using scissors, a coordination of the fine motor skills, the thumb and pointing finger, working together, yet separately. I just lay on the couch watching her work.

Gotta love a girl who likes to cut out tiny pieces of paper for hours on end! She was a little disturbed by some of your names though. "Why would their mummy and daddy call them such funny names?" "That's easy, Ruby", I replied, "they arent normal." She understood.

I eventually got off the couch to attend to the catering demands of the little Director. Cupcakes. In pastels.

After we finished 'cutting', we put all the names in Des' Aussie hat and asked him to do the honours of drawing out 30 names. Now I don't want to hear any complaints about favouritism because as Des says, he is nearly blind. Couldn't see a thing. Besides, he was a bit upset that he didn't draw out Barbara and Ugich and he wanted a redraw. Ruby pulled him into line. It's so hard to get good help these days.

The 30 entrants who progressed to the second stage drawing were -Peggy, Queenie Jeanie, Matt, Dee from Downunder, Yellowdog Granny, Eric S, Alyson (New England Living), Wheres My Angels, Sandi, Robin Easton, Shelia, Saundra, Mike Smith, For Myself, Joanie, Surharita Sarka, McAllen, Teri, CarmenSinCity, Christine, Judy, Darsden, Rocksnowhite, Julie, Braja, Mmm, Tashabud, June, Riyan and Simplicity.

Ruby then demanded in no uncertain terms that the names be laminated before we moved on. She had some serious ideas and was dreaming up some rugged outdoor pursuits to find a worthy winner. This girl has been watching some serious reality television.

It was at this point that I found out that musically gifted children aren't so clever at laminating. She kind of lost it when the laminating machine tried to eat the entries. She spat the dummy, I got the blame and she demanded a cupcake break. "Right Ruby, you little one trick pony - off you go and leave me in the lurch. I know you will be back when you see it all taking shape", said I as she stormed off. What was a girl to do but keep going......even when the Director walked off in a huff to stuff her face with pink confection.

Next, the production moved outdoors to the sands, for the sand gropers leg of the contest. I buried the 30 chosen ones in the wet sand pie that Ruby had made. All the time wondering how my life had come to this. I too used to like mud pies....... when I was five. Ruby finally got her act together after a hit of sugar and came back in time to unearth 20 of you from the soggy sand.

The 20 she unearthed to make it to the next leg of the contest were, Queenie Jeanie, Matt, Yellowdog Granny, Eric S, Alyson (New England Living), Wheres My Angels, Robin Easton, Shelia, Saundra, Mike Smith, Joanie, Surharita Sarka, McAllen, Teri, Judy, Rocksnowhite, Julie, Mmm, Tashabud and Joanie.The third leg of the contest involved water. This was the most fun as today was sweltering! Entrants had to swim from one end of the pond to the next. The first five that made it to the finish line progressed to the final leg of the competition. I have to say that Eric S and Sucharita Sarkar sank straight away so I am not sure if you guys are really into water sports.

There was a bit of intense tusseling to get to the front but the first to finish were Matt, Rocksnowhite, Robin Easton, Yellowdog Granny and Mike Smith. Two Texans, one New Mexican, one Scotsman, and one Romanian. And my question is, where were the Aussies?? Yes, don't tell me, too much Pavlova on Australia Day, because you all faltered at the first leg of the contest.

The final five then moved to the most difficult test of all. A test that provided an unbelievably sticky and somewhat heated finish. A test that would see one winner rise to the top in triumph.

The final five were cooked in a traditional Aussie damper.

When the damper was cooked and broken open, the first competitor found was declared the winner. (This should not be attempted at home. And even though Ruby protested, and chucked another dummy spit, this time with tears and flaying arms and legs, the damper has to be thrown away afterwards).

After a huge effort, and after having to face unparalleled challenges, the WINNER of the Giveaway is.................

Rocksnowhite from Romania (email me at with an address so I can send you your prize ).

Here is what you win Rocksnowhite.

Pack includes: Emily Kame Kngwarreye black bag (aboriginal artist), Aussie slang tea towel (slang words and their meanings), Aboriginal boomerang magnet, aboriginal art postcard, Waltzing Matilda bookmark, Steve Parish Wild Australia note pad, red leather kangaroo keyring, BBQ Aussie apron, No flies on Me Australia t-shirt, Aussie Homesick Pack containing a recipe card for pavlova, Australian tea bag, gum leaves, koala sticker, vegemite sample. Australian flag. All products come from Australia's National Museum.
Thanks Ruby, you little treasure. You are a genius even if a temperamental one at times. You creative types are all the same! The cheque is in the mail and you can take the cupcakes home with you. When Mummy asks you what you've been doing just tell her you're going to be Australia's next Nicole Kidman. Without all that botox of course!


  1. I want Ruby and the Cakes. BTW, Ruby was the girl name I didn't get to use for my firstborn! LOVE IT! xo

  2. Beautiful lil red-head Ruby. Love the contest drawing how original-all the steps that is. Dang it I want all those goodies. LOL Happy Day to you and Ruby

  3. That was quite some method for picking the winner. Fabulous!

  4. Lucky winner! You sure made yourself a lot of work, but it was fun to read/see!

  5. Well, I must say its been simply a great honour to be swirled in Des's Australian hat, with 673 other bloggers .....

    Next time you do a giveaway like this, maybe the selectors will be > 80 , agewise , that is.....:-)

  6. Dang! I came so close, but I guess I'm not as good a swimmer as I thought. Congrats to Rocksnowhite!
    Next time, maybe I should send Ruby a dozen cupcakes. I bet she can be bought! (she's a beauty that one!)

  7. How fun! No doubt you guys had a great time! And Des surely did his thing well, too! Such a fun read, Lilly, you are a talented gal! Sure glad I found you in this wild blogging world!

  8. This is hilarious! Congrats to the Romanian! What a fun post and such fabulous goodies! I'm impressed. Someday, could you post a recipe for the Pavlova? I remember having it in Australia and loved it. They don't have it here.

  9. I was just thinking today of the selection criteria for the Oscar nominees and I should think they're not as witty as these tasks. Although, I must admit I fell like having won an Oscar so a speech comes in order:
    OMG! It's my first nomination and first win! I am so excited!
    I would like to thank the sweet ginger head Ruby, Des's hat, the sand pie, the pond, the Aussie damper, my fellow nominees (the honor is all mine and the prize is as much yours as it is mine), and of course the lovely-gifted-funny-alwaysputtingasmileonmyface Lilly who made it all possible!!

  10. Ah, those cupcakes are mouthwatering, Lilly!

    That was so much fun. Reading your post, I felt as though I was in all the fun stuff you and Ruby had done in selecting the winner. Very entertaining.

    Ruby is sure a cutie, especially in that raven hair of hers. I'm glad you're in speaking terms with her again. Hee, hee.

    Congratulations to Rocksnowhite.

  11. great looking cupcakes and congrats to the winner!

  12. Now I'll have to say that was a fair draw if ever there was one!

    Great prizes too.

  13. Oh what a hoot! Gorgeous cupcakes.

    That Ruby sounds exhausting!

  14. @ Ann's Rants - I will pop her in the mail today. Her mother has more where she comes from. It's a great name and suits her so.

    @ Darsdan - well you got in the final draw and all. Next Time -February is coming.

    @ Rachel - it was quite some method and I had to have a good lie down and a headache tablet afterwards. Thank god she is at school tomorrow.

    @ Betty - oh yes, she had a ball so it was kind of fun - good job I dont look after her much though. I would be dead.

    @ Ugich - yes Des was insistent - ha, ha - maybe February will prove lucky!

    @ Joanie - yep the wee one can be bought by anything pink and sugary. She doesn't hide the fact either which is why I kind of like her style.

    @ Sylvia - sometimes its fun to be silly and see the world through rose coloured glasses and a haze of sugar. I'm not sure Ruby' mum is thanking me though.

    @ Kay - of course I will Kay and glad you had a laugh.

    @ Rocksnowhite - well of course you are a deserved winner. Who else would have made such a gracious acceptance speech. Bravo!

    @ Tashabud - if you were closer I would send you some. Yes, Rube is a real red head and comes with all the typical personality traits that we normally associate with redheads, namely a lot of spunk and get up and go. And a temper when unleashed!

    @ Dawnie - thanks Dawnie

    @ Christine - yes I dont think anyone would accuse of us bias with this one. Even though many of you suffered from dirt, water, heat and dough.

    @ Mike SMith - I know, nearly there. I think I should have given the finalists something - maybe I will give you free entries to February's competition. You are a great swimmer Mike!

    @ Leslie - listen her mother often needs a babsitter. Give you are close, what do you think? I may be unavailable for a while now until the Ruby factor wears off. She is easy - just give her a pair of scissors, paper and whip her up some cupcakes.

  15. Wow, what a great prize! Grats Rocksnowhite!

  16. Lilly -- what does "chucked a dummy spit" mean?

  17. @ Maelstrom - is kind of cool that someone will be walking around Romania with some Aussie stuff!

    @ Jeanne - mmm, do you know teh expresion spit the dummy? In other words it means she had a tantrum. LOL

  18. Dammit, always bridesmaid, never a bride. Someday I'm gonna win a giveaway!

    Can I just get a cupcake? C'mon, help a sister out here.

  19. Lilly, I think this give-a-way, especially the selection process, must have been much more enjoyable for us than for you.

    Ruby, though an absolute doll, must have been a real handful. I can't believe everything she put you through (and the fact that you put up with it).

    It was a hilariously funny post, as usual for you, and I had a blast reading it, anxiously anticipating the winner of each "event" until we finally had a winner. Too much fun!

    I have to give you kudos for such a well-run contest. I hope you get some rest now, after the day you had!!

    Congratulations Rocksnowhite!!!

  20. @ Julie - honey, its like this we, meaning you and I, are on a health kick right? I had to not only cook those gorgeous little morsels, but ice them in beautiful frosting, then watch Ruby as she stuffed herself silly. Something tells me she would have been running around her house all night and today will be suffering from a sugar binge. I am going to avoid all eye contact with her mother for the rest of the week.....

    @ Matt - I dont have much to do with little kids I have to say as my nieces are in the UK. It was so much fun even though exhausting. I am a sucker for a cute kid with big ideas. I love ideas!! Unfortunately her mother may be non too pleased about the sugar overload....well you nearly made it Matt - you got baked in the final five. I think I will give the final five, entries into the next giveaway - it would only be fair. You won the swimming leg if any consolation! LOL!

  21. What a marathon! The winner really deserved it, and that's one way to get something to post about!

  22. By the way that was a very impressive drawing a lot of planning went into that. Thank you Lilly and Ruby :-)

  23. @ Hippomanic Jen - yep just steal Ruby's ideas. I will give you her address if you are looking for any ideas. I often hover near the fence to hear her and her sister play - you know searching for ideas I can steal as opposed a lurker! Although my own grown up baby gives me plenty to blog about on an almost daily basis still lol!! Only problem is she understands what how to sue me.....

    @ Darsden - aww thanks, yes it was involved to say the least. Thank goodness I wont have another one till the end of the month! Lol

  24. So much for my hi-tech wheel! You just kicked crumpets strumpets to the curb with your awesome marathon of a winnerpicker! I especially appreciated the swimming phase...That Ruby is a little genious! Totally fun even if I didn't make the first cut! I'll be training for this marathon for the next time. I'm gonna be buffed, pumped and ready to kick ass!

  25. oh and thanks for the linky love!!!

  26. @ Nikki - ah hah - nothing my dear can beat Crumpets Strumpets. I have never laughed so hard in all my life!!!

  27. This was so cute, that kid should be on stage, she certainly is a girl on the move. Congrats to Rocksnowhite too and all the finalists. You sure put them through their paces. Something tells me the both of you would be tiring to live with. Lilly I have never known anyone with so many ideas as you and now theres Ruby as well.

  28. Those cupcakes look delish. Very creative way of choosing a winner. :)

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  30. @ Mandy - thanks, well given I am off sugar I can only assume from my memories prior to January lol. I am just killing everyone else with too much sugar instead!

  31. Sheesh!! You mean to tell me that I withstood cutting, hat pulling, lamination, wet mud, swimming to the end of the pond, and god forbid...being baked in the oven....all for nothing?!!!! LOL!!!

    All I can sat is this: I am one tough bugger!!! And proud of it! LOLOLOL!!!!!!! :) :)

    Wonderful way to do a contest. She must have had a blast. Love her and you! Beautiful Lilly! Just great! Robin

  32. Ha, ha, ha Robin I know! I have decided its totally mean. All the five finalists get five more entries into the next giveaway! You expressed it so well yes when you look at it you poor guys went through hell. But look at what kind of story you can tell everyone now - what an adventure ha ha. Ruby is going to do something great in life, you can just tell!! Thanks for your comment as always, you make me smile.

  33. @ Sarah - yeah the kids should be on stage, its true.

    @ Mariafer - yes a one and only I can assure you! LOL

  34. This is so funny. I like the idea of putting the entrants into an Australian Iornman contest to see who would be the winner for an Aussie pack. Great prize. I laughed at Robins comment. The torture those finalists went through. Ruby is a tough task master and I think she has you wound around her little finger somehow.

  35. Pure brilliance! It was like a Ruby and Mom decision-making documentary!

    Great giveaway ideas too!

  36. Wow. That was some intensely random ways to get a random winner.

    I am doing a giveaway on Friday and I'm not sure I've got the chops to pick a winner now!!! Could you send Ruby over?

  37. Oh, my! That is too funny! You have to have a lot of energy to keep up with that one, don't you? You should buy her parents something nice, out of sympathy.

  38. @ Banoffi - yes, she is so hard to resist!

    @ For Myself - not sure it was brilliance but it sure was draining and a good laugh.

    @ Amy - yeah - it was intense. Amy will do anything as long as you let her do it her way and as long as you have anything pink and sugary nearby. In other words she can be bought.

    @ Tiffany - thanks!

    @ Rhonda - yeah - the reality is I think the sugar jsut keep her afloat and crazy. She is very, very smart - you can see her mind ticking over. Scary for her parents it is true! They are young, they will deal with it or send her to boarding school!!

  39. Leave it to me to not make a bake off..ha..
    Tell Ruby Red in Texas we have a grapefruit that is called a Ruby Red and it's my very very favorite juice drink..
    Plus in my family red headed children are worshipped..we are gaga over red haired baby's...

  40. @ Yellowdog granny - you cracked me up - never made a bake off - too funny. Will pass this on to Rubyroo! Never knew that about the grapefruit either.

  41. Well PRAISE be...yeah !!!!
    Rocksnowhite is fab!

  42. PLEASE come visit my blog. A young women with cancer needs prayers/good thoughts.

  43. @ The Muse - yes she is!

    @ Awake in Rochester - done!

  44. Actually you're insane. Or I am, because I read that whole damned post :))) lol....:)

    I wanna cupcake. An unspitted one :)

  45. good morning, Lily! I love seeing your lovely pic every morning when I check in at SITS! It makes my day!!

  46. @ Braja - insane, easily manipulated and Ruby is a freak. In a good way of course. Cant tell you how much fun it was lol!

    @ Vodka Mom - back at you!

  47. How exciting, I was a "chosen one" in the first draw - but got buried in the sand...... like most aussies at the beach.

    What an epic drawing, the winner should feel extremely honoured.

  48. Rocksnowhite withstood a lot of competition to get that win under her belt. Hilarious. Why don't you and Ruby organise the Olympic Games in future. London calling...

  49. Ruby is a gem :-) She has a natural sense of dramatic, Iron Man-like story arc!

  50. So I missed your giveaway but am totally impressed by your drawing technique. That Ruby...what a girl! :)

  51. Sorry I haven't been able to keep up! It's been fun today reading your posts. I always learn something new.

    And Ruby! What a gem of a girl. You're so lucky to have a friend like her!!

  52. @ Dee - yes we need to hide under the sand with this heat!

    @ Stacey - yes she is dramatic - its hilarious!

    @ Rebecca - she is a sweetie.

    @ ashley b - she is a great girl, just in ever so small doses lol!

    @ Kanani - yes its hard to keep up with reading blogs isnt it - thanks for your comment I appreciate that.

    @ The blonde duck - thanks!

  53. Lol ~ I loved Ruby's question about our funny names! And perfect response from you as well.

    From a hat to mud pies? Oh my! Then from water and damper ~ a winner surpasses! I feel as if I read an episode of Survivor!

    Congratulations to the Winner!

  54. Oh my gosh – you are not only funny and an brilliant writer; you have a heart of gold – getting through that marathon to make that red squirrel happy! What an idea! I missed you, and now I am off to read all the other blogs you wrote while I was gone – it’s a treat!

  55. @ Aleta - yes tht is what it was a survivor series. Obviously Romanians come from hardy stock to survive all of that.

    @ Fida - I was wondering where you were and missed you too - thanks for your comment!

  56. what a great neighbour you are :) the damper bit really had me laughing le xoxoox

  57. Now that was a production! LOL

  58. Oh my goodness! How elaborate! Now, I think that was all fair and square. And what a beautiful reward for your red-headed friend. Mmm.

  59. LOL, at least you had help. It does not surprise me in the least that I sank in the water competition. I swim like a rock, and water is one of my true fears. Kind of weird huh.

  60. @ Eric - that my friend is too weird because I couldnt work it out at all! LOL!

  61. DAng it :(

    Why does two of the photo's look like piles of Crap?

  62. you aussies trying to claim pav as yours ;)
    funny thing is that the link you posted to wikipedia says:
    "The exact location of its first creation and the nationality of its creator has been a source of argument between the two countries for many years, however more serious research into the matter indicates New Zealand as the source of today's pavlova." LOL love it.


Thanks for your comments.