Wednesday, December 24, 2008

T'was the night before Christmas....

and we got two stitches. If you can believe it. But, he was SO brave!!! Riley is now rather proud of his war wound.

Merry Christmas to all; and to all, a great night!!


Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Tis the season to be busy, falalalala..... (and a tag!!)

I have been so very very busy these last few days; I've barely had a chance to scratch myself!

It's been a lovely lead up to Christmas this year. There has been no stress, no issues; everything in my world has pretty much been lovely.

Having it so nice really makes me appreciate just how wonderful my life is; and how NOT about the stuff I want my entire life to be. Because it hasn't been about stuff this year; it's been more about friendships and laughter and fun, joy, excitement and family.

I did some baileys for presents this year; they went down a treat! With some home made christmas chocolates and a nice handwritten card; all said it was one of the nicer things people had done for them! Odette, my pregnant friend, was so overwhelmed at me even attempting to make her something special that she could enjoy, there were even a few tears! Far more valuable than some stupid trinket.



Saturday was G's sides christmas do. I made a cheesecake (but forgot to take photos!!!) and it was delish. And, what's more, we even had a really nice time!!

G's immediate family are great. Love each and every one of them to pieces. But. The inlaws (i.e. sisters in laws) drive me barmey 90% of the time. They are rude, selfish and arrogant; both of them. G's eldest brother finally bought a nice normal future IL here and I heart her; but the others; I try so hard to smile and nod; but sometimes.....
It was a really nice, simple day. BBQ lunch with salads we'd all bought; some music and, of course, dancing. Even my little dolly neice got into it!



I hope to get back here Christmas morning before the kids get up - but if I don't, I want to wish everyone a very very happy Christmas; and I hope 2009 brings every dream you have, true.


Whilst I am here; it appears I have been tagged by the delightful Jodie!
Christmas menu is, like Jodies - EEEEASSSSY here. I make a noodle salad (and I am NOT getting off my butt to go get the recipe tonight!) and take it to mums.
Mum is a christmas nutter.

Seriously. She goes waaay over the top with presents and food and...everything. She's already done a test batch of potatoes for dogs sake!! So, we're not to bring anything.


For us though; Christmas goes like this.


Breakfast - usually a big cut up plate of fruit; sometimes pancakes. G has been known to do a 'big breakfast' for him and the kids. We do the Santa thing, eat our fruit whilst drowning in a sea of paper and then get ready to do it all again at mums.


Mums is usually a big traditional cooked affair; the whole roast turkey, ham, chicken, potatoes, cauliflower with cheese sauce etc; then the only dessert served is the belle of the ball - Christmas pudding.


Dinner is usually a cold affair, with cold meat, seafood and salads. Hence, my salad. We either stay, or drive home, depending on the mood and whether I drink or not. We tend to go away first thing Boxing day up to the farm, so usually, we all trundle home with sleepy, but absolutely delighted children.

Tag you're it Jayne, Lex, Colleen, and anyone else who hasn't been tagged!!!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Friends

It has been said that there are 3 types of friends. Reason friends; who come into your life for (duh) a reason; season friends who (duh) are in your life for a season and real friends.

I tend not to do 'reason' friends or 'season' friends. Hence, the amount of friends I have you could just about fit on one hand.

I said goodbye to a friend not long ago. A very VERY old and dear friend. Nothing bad happened, no arguments were had; we've just simply grown apart. And, not too long ago, another friend left. Again, no issues, no tears; just life and the changes that come with it.

25 years is a long time to have a friend; but it is also very hard to let go of because of that. But, walking into 2009, I decided to just simply say goodbye. And it feels nice to go with the ebb and flow of life, instead of fighting it (which, I'm more than used to doing).

I really believe that you only have room for xxxx friends. That fate (or whatever you want to call it) will, as a result of new friends, yank that door open and take one away as compensation. Sometimes it will hurt like all hell - other times, you look around 5 weeks later and realise that that friend in particular has been gone for far longer than you thought.

Now I've said goodbye, I feel much better. Not hurt, not angry. A little sad; but on a whole other level, I feel as though my past is more and more just that. Each little thing that 'knew' of Shel all those years ago is drifting off into the cosmos - leaving me with less and less crutches to stumble through. And, instead of being scared I've lost that crutch - I feel stronger and more accepting of what life is going to throw next.

Next year will be a big one for me. Not literally, but mentally. And, I'm glad I'm doing so well.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Tis that mad time of year.....

Well, the cold has just about dissapated (thank GOD), and I've been racing through my 'to do' lists like a madman.

We put the christmas tree up way back on the 1st of December - as you do - and talk about an anti climax. The kids were all "ooooh put the lights on, put the lights on". So, after talking them up, making them stand back whilst I do the big 'Power on' thing - and zilch. No lights. I have no idea what happened, but they no longer light up the tree.

So, more lights it was.
You can't see them now, because I haven't turned the flash off. Hey, it's 5am!!!

It looks much better with the lights on though. So much so, that I'm going to work out how to drive this new camera and turn it off to show you all.

I have officially completely, 110% finished Christmas shopping - which I'd have done 2 weeks ago if I didn't 'oh, I should just get that' with things. Yesterday I was at the shopping centre TWICE (and given I barely set foot in them anyway, this is a big thing). Riley is getting some Ben10 bits and bods, and will need a container to store them all in; plus I wanted a new big container for the Christmas decorations. So, Riley and I whizzed in, got them and were home by 9.15. MY style of shopping.

I have finished both sides of the train table. Thank GOD. Polyeurathaned the other side yesterday. Now, given I measured this table, it'd want to fit. If it doesn't fit, it's going to be smashed up in a fit of rage.

Riley; finishes kinder on Monday. Forever. And, he's really excited and happy about going to school next year. Before we finish kinder on Monday, we go up to school to meet his new teacher etc. He's not "oooh woot" about it, but he's very pleased to be going. I'd be happy too, given he's been in the same place for three years now!

I am so proud of him. The distance he has travelled this year has been astounding and I am just so pleased at the little boy (well, not so little anymore!!!) he is. His nature is a beautiful one, he has many friends and he's just happy being in the moment. I'm actually quite chuffed that he's such a good kid. Obviously Connor will show me how much it's NOT me; but hey, at the minute, I'm pleased.

Connor -


my little pocket rocket. We ordered him a bed a few weeks ago. Please, kill me now. I'm positive I am, when the bed comes, up for the rest of my life. I know, I know, he's three and should have a bed. But, with G in Bendigo for half of this year, it kinda got downsized on the list you know? And the fact it's going to be very interesting made it more so. He'll probably turn me into a liar and be really easy. Pfft. Surrrreee.

We decided to buy him a little bike. Yesterday. So, after I got my hair done last night, I trekked out to the shopping centre again. Can you believe it was $41? For a BIKE?? Rileys stackhat was nearly that.

He has a trike thing; but he's riding that like he stole it already. And, because he takes after me in the height department, Rileys old bike is just not going to fit him for another 12 years at least, so we decided a little 12" bike would be what ails him. I will certainly be sitting in prime position this year for a photo of his face.

My homemade presents are going well - I've made and bagged up the chocolates and gotten the bottles and made the labels for the Baileys. I'm actually doing something a little different this year; I'm going to try a non alcoholic Baileys.

My darling friend Odette is pregnant. After spending half her life trying IVF, miscarrying etc; she's fallen pregnant by herself. So, no risks have been taken. None. So, rather than me giving her Baileys with the 'ha ha, you'll have to wait' thing attached, I'm going to try my hand at the non alcoholic Baileys. I'll keep you posted. And then, I'll wow you with photos.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Bitch and moan

I have a cold - yes, I know. We're 2 weeks from Christmas and I have a cold. IT'S MEANT TO BE SUMMER!

I hate work. I would like nothing more than to spend tomorrow alone at home being a hermit. But, it's not worth the guilt trip.

G is going away again - I have had a hair appointment booked for 12 WEEKS and, of course, he's going to be away for it; and ONLY FINDS OUT TODAY.

Days like today I think of people who are less fortunate. And stop my fucking moaning and get on with it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Christmas bits and bods...

Tonight I spent the evening finishing off my Christmas cards. Which was nice. I like doing Christmas cards; I like knowing that people will know I'm thinking of them.

I also made some chocolates which are getting hard in the fridge.

I organised the bottles I'm going to use to make my baileys and started on the labels to put on them.

We have 5 birthdays before Christmas and each present is wrapped and ready to go.

One trip to the shops tomorrow will finish me completely. Then, I can kick back and enjoy the festivities.

It's times like these I love being organised. It's nearly all done and I have 3.5 WEEKS to enjoy.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Dreams 101

What is your take on them? Do you think they are nothing more than excess headspace? Or, is there more to them?

A friend of mine thinks that it is highly possible for two people to share a dream, so to speak. That would be....interesting to say the least. But, imagine if it were possible?!! Talk about invasion of privacy.

I ask, because I dream lots. Sometimes they are beautiful dreams that I wish would never end; other times they have lead me on all sorts of sleepwalking adventures. But, do I give them any credence? Do I believe that a dream tries to tell a person something?

Yes and not sure.

Yes, in that the persons own headspace will influence what they dream about. If they are having issues at work, for example, maybe they'd have a 'work' dream. Which, to me, makes complete sense.

It doesn't make sense that two people, (or more for that matter) can share the exact same thoughts. How could it be possible for two people to share a dream?

But, every so often, a dream comes along that makes me think 'Woah. Surely that wasn't just me and my headspace'. The sort of dreams that make you think that there's more to it than excess headspace. That the universe is making contact. Good, bad or ugly.

What is your take on dreams? Do you give them any credence? Or just wake up, smile (or have a teary, depending on the dream) and get on with it?

Friday, November 28, 2008

Check it out!!

I don't know whether it's just me, because heaps of people weren't happy with their photos this year. But, either my kids are really photogenic; or they are bloody good photos.

I'm going with option 2.



Beautiful kids; even if I do say so myself.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Learn to say NO!!!

AGM at kinder last night; I vowed to walk in, pay money, walk out. I've done my bit for that kinder; we've been there three years. Each year I've been something specific - Vice president, President & this year Assistant Treasurer. I thought, 'you know, R starts school, someone else can do it etc etc'.

Then the president bailed me up, desperately seeking people to fill roles.

Meet the new 4yo enrolment officer.

Saying no? I can't do it.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Christmas photos and a neice

I cannot believe it. We got a Santa photo.

We went to the shops after work tonight to get a present for our new neice / cousin (Harper; I will tell you more about that shortly).

Anyway, Connor noticed him first.

"CHRISTMAS IS HERE!!!!"

Ok. So, we meandered over (because, at this point, I am SOOOO not expecting anything, especially after the 'no way, piss off' we got last year) and Riley walked straight up to Santa and asked to sit on his knee.

So, of course Connor wanted part of it. Although, he wasn't as impressed with it.



But I was. How GOOD is it!!???

Anyway. This week, my SIL gave birth to a beautiful little (well, not so little, she was 36w and 8 POUNDS 10 OUNCES!!!) girl before ending up in a diabetic coma. She seems to be slipping in an out; according to what I know, her body is having issues deciding whether it wants insulin or not. So, she's either constantly overdosed or underdosed. She's meant to make a full recovery, but it was a little scary for awhile.

Anyway. THE morning. G rings me.
'K has had the baby. Wanna know the name??'
'yes yes yes!! Is it Anderson??"
"Nup: it's HARTHER"
I was stunned. "HARTHER?? Surely you mean HARPER"
'Nup!! It's H and then Arthur".

I should note here that her choices in baby names are...interesting. Anderson was the second choice for the girls name and, quite frankly, far better. But, Anderson didn't get a look in and she called this one HARTHER????

I couldn't possibly believe it. So, instead, I checked with MIL.

"no, it's Harper". She sighed. "I'd have much rathered Anderson"

The sigh of relief was palpable.

Funny - it's starting to grow on me. Far better than 'Harther' anyway.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Technophobe....

Technology and I have never been friends. I'm the idiot that rings my sister in a tizz because the computer is broken, only to find a cord has fallen out.

So, instead of realising that, accepting that, and moving on, I decided to text all my friends.

I meal plan. And Monday night, I had no ideas whatsoever. Sick of the same, boring old thing. So, I had a brainwave. I sent a message to selected people (I thought) asking them for one receipe. Just one, to give me some ideas.

And, on the plus side, I got heaps. Lots of ideas, which was great. I'm going to put them all on an email and send them to everyone.

The downside. Somehow, I sent it to every single person in my phone book. Except Jenn. Because, Jenns number in my phone isn't Jenns number at all. But, all my work contacts, all the boys at work....every single person in my phone book. Embarassed much?

But, I didn't realise this at the time. And, Tuesday morning, I got a text back from 'Jenn' (amongst all the electricians, service managers and clients who decided it was rather funny) and it certainly wasn't something I expected from Jenn. 'She' replied, and that was that.

Except, it wasn't Jenn. And, I don't know how it wasn't Jenn.

And, again, I've started something.

But, I finished it just as easily.

I'm not asking for receipes anymore.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Martha Stewart 101

Until Christmas, I have an uninteruppted, 3 hour period ENTIRELY TO MYSELF on a Thursday. Never, in 6 years, has this happened with any sort of regularity. And, readers, be warned - next year is a WHOLE DAY!!!

For Connor for Christmas, I had absolutely no idea what to get him for Christmas. Given my firstborn son has everything he wants, and there is a galaxy of stuff here, and he won't be home a heck of a lot - nothing exciting came to mind as a present for Connor for Christmas.

Until, that is, the train table top.

We have a train table. Very whacky-doo; the kids have disintergrated the top of it and the dog has chewed a great number of the wooden tracks. So? Big idea - 'I'll paint him another one'. Under no circumstances did I consider doing this because it's near impossible to build the train track without going over the road, or some water at some point and it drives me nuts....

Anyway. Here is the 3/4 finished result. Forgive the photo, but A. it's on my mobile, and B. I'm a crap photographer.






This side is the racing track side. I am yet to put the white lines in. And then, I'll polyeurathane the top to try and make it a little more durable. I've also made a 'pit lane' which I am also making a 'pit shed' for. Well, Grant is making the shed and I shall paint it.

Lightening McQueen and all his friends can race forever.

On the other side, will be nice green pastures for Thomas and his friends to drive, unrestricted by roads and water, wherever I damn well feel like pointing the track.

People have asked me 'oooh free time!! What do you do with it?? Answer? Have stupid ideas and turn them into a reality.

It's not great; even I can see that, as a painter, I make an excellent accountant. But, he's going to love it. And I've had a really nice few Thursday afternoons alone painting it.

In other news; the cake.

For Connors birthday, we had a little 'invite some friends over (i.e. my girlfriend with her 3 kids) and we'll have a party'. Because the oldest is Riley, I thought 'you know, I should make a cake for them. I've already got one sorted for the family thing; maybe I should just whip together a dinosaur mudcake. They'll lurrvveee that'.

So, I did. Big mistake was made pretty early on. The receipe (because, I made it from scratch) said 'put one 450g block of chocolate and a ton of butter in a saucepan and melt'. Cool. So, I did that.

Before reading Step #2 - I put all the fatty chocolatey mixture into the dry ingredients. Then I read; 'Put HALF of this heart attack inducing stuff into the cake - the rest is for the icing you dumbass'

Ooops. I should've ditched the cake at that point. Precisely that point. But, nooo.

Think 'meh. It's a cake. It's chocolate. They are chocolate sucking vampire-children. I'll cook it and deal with the fallout'.

Except chocolate, when there is too much of it, won't go HARD in the oven will it?? Nope, FYI, it BOILS.

Get cake out. Stick cake in fridge for a day. Still not hard. Ok, you stupid cake, in the freezer you go.

Got it at least half frozen, so I can at least cut it into a semblance of a dinosaur. Ice cake with butter icing (hence the reason for me not even considering the chocolate for the icing) and bung it back in the freezer.

Get it out;

I can't get it off the plate.

It is so damn fudge like, it's STUCK to the plate.

Apparently, it tasted wonderfully. Me? If I ever eat chocolate again, please kill me. The amount of mess even touching this sludgy excuse for a cake was astounding. I am suprised that there was enough to turn into a dinosaur.

The real cake? The original cake that I had planned to make and executed perfectly??

Perfect. And he whacked it good.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Today....

Today.

Today, my little baby, my pocket rocket, turned 3.

Today, we all remembered the lives of those lost - so that we could live the way we do today.

Today, I cried a little. Cried for the loss of my baby metaphorically; and cried for those mothers who lost sons literally.

Today, I laughed a little. At my little boy holding his own, at last, amongst his big friends.

Today, I changed a little.

Happy birthday my darling boy. I think of you and my heart aches. I hope that you never ever lose that cheeky charisma. Ever.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Control and lack thereof

When I say 'control' I do not mean psychotic like control. I mean, in charge of my surroundings, as much as one can be.

I have big issues with control. I like to have it, do not like to lose it and lose my way incredibly easily when I do lose it.

Lately though; I've been losing control of my world; just a teensy bit. The couch cushions have not always been the correct way, and I have even slept well.

It sounds so utterly pathetic when I write it down; but it has been such an ingrained part of me that, now I feel as though I am losing it, I don't quite know which way to look next.

But, I don't feel sick about it. I don't even feel really badly about it. I, rebelliously, am actually liking it.

Obviously there is a line somewhere between utterly controlling and completely uninterested and I don't feel as though I am uninterested. It's not like before, when I was depressed where I didn't care about anything. I *do* care about it; but am not so….life or death about it.

For those who don't know, I have had counselling on and off for many years. My old counsellor has actually retired, I've seen him for so long. 23 years is a long time to have an 'official' psychologist. I do have a new one now, who I tend to see monthly. He thinks it's fantastic that I am learning the ability to let go of things – even just a little bit.

But I'm not quite sure how much I'm prepared to let go yet. Do I just brazenly bugger everything? Or, is it a take it step by step approach? Learn to laugh and let life take it's natural course? Or freak out and try and shove everything somewhere so it appears that I have everything sorted? At the minute, I am kind of in the middle. How do you work it out? Is it just something that comes naturally? Or are you like me, actually having to fight the urge to not control everything?

So, I'm kind of floating around the middle at the minute. Not apathetically, not enthusiastically; just floating about. And I quite like it and want more of it; but my neurotic, controlling nature starts to stir up in my gut and winds me up – 'you haven't done the cushions ORRRRR the folding before a new load of washing today, you're losing the plot, you'll lose control and drown again….by the way, the kids beds aren't made and there's bits and bods evverrrywhereee…you're losing it again Shel….' But, I'm doing my utmost to tell it to jump on it's head. Because, at the end of the day, when I'm dead, it AINT GOING TO MATTER that the beds were made everyday. And G often laughs that he's going to put 'Here lies Shel – she had a clean house' on my headstone. I start to fear that it's all there is of me.

It's a massive day in the world today; Barack Obama is now the official US president. And I am thrilled. It feels like a whole new chapter is ready to be written – for the entire world.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

And, in other news....

This weekend has been a catching up kind of one. It was spent pottering about, getting garden beds ready for mulching; planting bits and pieces and starting to organise my kitchen.

Since we've started talking about this move, I've been thinking a great deal about what I need. Stuff like Jars, boxes, containers...all that type of thing. And until this weekend, I've not really had anywhere to put them.

So, I started re-arranging my cupboards. And, so far, I have entire cupboard to use for storage of jars etc. Hopefully we'll get a decent lot of tomatos this year, and I can start making sauces and things.

We figure if we start living the way we want down here, it will be easier to continue when we get there. Instead of 'starting', we'll be 'expanding'.

G was working all this weekend, so today I took the kids to R's big school fete. He was so very excited to go to his 'big boy school' so he could show C around. There were people and facepaint and fairy floss; the boys had a ball.

They went down this enormous slide and loved it. I was terrified C would lose a limb on the way down, but he was very pleased to be able to say he'd done it.

In other good news; I WON A COMPETITION!!! First thing I have EVER won.

Eileen had a competition about whacky chocolate tales. Well, maybe not whacky, but tales nonetheless. And that tale has never given me anything but embarassment. Embarassment that A. I sleepwalk. B. I thought I'd had a slight accident at 19 years of age and C. that I'd actually dreamt of chocolate.

But, it has won me a pack of fair trade chocolate! Thank you so very much Eileen!

Friday, October 24, 2008

I got my back fixed...

And then burst an ear drum.

If you can believe it. I can't. It's unbelievably unfair. Two different health professionals in the SAME DAY seems a bit wrong somehow.

I am currently feeling 110% better than I did 12 hours ago. But I'm very lopsided and when I cough I get dizzy.

I went to the manipulator yesterday morning - sorted. I'll have some decent bruises, but hell. Where's the good without the pain anywhere in the world??

Get home and potter around, feeling on top of the world because I CAN MOVE AGAIN!!!

Right ear feels like I need to yawn to pop it. No go. Continue on.

An hour after that - I am thinking 'something HAS to be stuck in here because it's starting to REALLY hurt'. Get friend to pick up R for kinder and organise a doctor appointment at a strange new place (hey, beggars can NOT be choosers, but the new place turned out to be lovely). And, hindsight; I am SO glad I booked this appointment; because, I'm sure it saved me.

Two hours after the initial 'ooh my ears need popping' - I am at the chemist, SOBBING, whilst they make up my 1000mg antibiotics, eardrops and panadeine FORTE prescription. Painful much??

I heart my mother though; kids were sorted in about 10 minutes. She came, she picked up, she dealt with.

Me? I died.

I've now had three rounds of AB's and this morning it only feels like it's incredibly blocked. Until I cough and nearly fall over because I've lost my balance.

Hands up if you want to be ME this week!!!?????

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Disability

I've always thought that everyone has some sort of disability. Some are easy to spot, whilst others, much like myself, are a little harder.

Well, not this week anyway.

I've done my back. Well, no, I correct that. My muscle in my lower back has twisted and is causing THE most awful pain down both my legs. Like Sciatica, but both legs and all the time.

Crutches are fun with two kids. NOT. But, it shall be sorted today by the manipulator. She's so good it's scary - I often feel like an evangelist walking out. I hobble in with crutches; and walk out tall, tossing my crutches exclaiming 'oh thank the lord'. Picture Sunday morning TV and you've got me. But, the feeling of having a muscle of four untwisted is something I cannot explain, and something I find very difficult to subject myself too. But, for those 5 minutes of unbelievable; the end of the constant 'zzzt' pain comes. Straight away. Then, for about 3 weeks, I have bruises that would put Rocky's opponent to shame. In the weirdest places.

Anyway. Back to disabilities.

I cannot believe how differently you are treated. Hey, I know it's only crutches today; but the day before I was limping around like nobodies business through the supermarket. It's disgusting. Truly beyond me just how disgusting and awful some people are. I'm lucky; mine is sorted today; but to imagine living with this behaviour of other people just shows me how remarkable those with permanent physical disabilities really are.

No one could care less. And that scares me.

My general disability is emotional. I am emotionally retarded; I have this lack of ability to make myself vulnerable. Something that no one sees unless they are close enough to notice.

I think I prefer my disability to that on the outside.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

The morning after

I hate the morning after. Really do not like the morning after.

We had some friends over last night who we haven't seen for agges. They are our camping buddies; when we go, they come with. All the time. Every time.

You can only camp with certain people I reckon. Otherwise, after awhile, the other party can reeallly start getting on your nerves.

But not this family. Anyway, I digress.

In the midst of a beautiful afternoon yesterday, we thought we'd invite them over. They weren't busy either, so they made the big drive across and spent the evening with us.

We had so much fun. Laughing, joking, debating all over crappy games of cards where Georgie and I would try and care we'd lost a hand.

E - traipsing around the back yard picking flowers and leaves for her wedding (don't know who to) and K - wanting so much to be the teenager he just isn't yet; that awkward stage between child and teen.

We all had a ball. We all had a late night and we all had a good night. Few too many wines, far too little sleep, but just enough laughs.

Then; the next day.

I hate the next day. I had such good intentions too.

Monday, October 13, 2008

What did I do this weekend??

We had an utterly delightful weekend here; something that (I felt) was long overdue. No plans, no schedules; just 2 whole days of blissful weather and a backyard.

Friday night was mine. And, as much as I love my family, I crave alone time. Time for me to just listen to my music, potter about, read my cards if the feeling strikes, or go to bed with a good book. That was Friday night.

Saturday was a busy one. From the vegie patch, where I planted out Tomatoes, chillis, capsciums, lettuces, more strawberries, & spinach, up to Bills cage where it got a complete and utter clear out.

Then, it was onto the decking.

Alongside our decking, we have some pretty tall james stirlings that, for reasons unbeknownst to me, have thrived in the rock hard clay ground that is their bed. They are extremely well established. But, when it came time to work out mulch, white pebbles were what we used. Only because normal mulch is so messy, and the fact that the bed was completely viewable whilst on the deck nailed the option. But, I also cut up some polypipe and made it into 'pot art'.

For the last 4 years, they have been orange. Not because I like orange (as a matter of fact it's my least favorite colour); but painting them??

Well. Saturday, I did. And they look pretty cool. In them, I put some impatiens . They will look so pretty against the green!!

Back to the rocks. They are really great (but do NOTHING for the soil) as a mulch; but the bad thing is, all the leaves and stuff the wind picks up leaves them ontop of the stones. Making it look really quite messy.

So, I turned over all the pebbles (trust me, I have a cool right bicep!) to try and get the leaves down to the bottom. Eventually, they will compost, giving their owners some nutrients at the same time. But, geez it came up nicely!!

Then, I went off to work on my pots. The sweet peas that darling Jenn had given me awhile back had finished, so I cut off all the dead bits and just generally tended to the newly forming buds and shoots of my spring pots. I have a few pots on the deck; most of them are double planted; i.e. bulbs etc for different seasons are planted together to get full use of the pots/space and I have colour all round. Some pots hold perennials and some hold little shrubs.

I transplanted my gardenia awhile back and I don't know what is wrong with it. It used to be a beautiful, showy, glossy showpiece; these days it's looking like a dirty, plastic fake plant. I've fed it, I've watered it....on googling, they are apparently pretty hard to keep; so I should consider myself lucky that this was 5 years old!!

Yesterday was much the same as Saturday; but a lot more easy paced. Watered the plants from the washing water, the kids jumped in the spa (which they use as a pool) whilst the car racing was on.

Where was G?? Bathurst. And his team won, so he was pretty happy. And the camera? up there with him; wasted on car racing. ;)

Friday, October 10, 2008

Just a few random thoughts….

Things are going relatively well at the moment. Nothing riveting is going on.

Apart from losing internet connection that is.

And moving to the farm.

Mum took it as I thought she would. Well. She quietly chuckled when I asked her to anticipate my fathers response, but I think we both know that he'll be ok in time.

So, by the looks, we're doing it. Slowly though; none of this rushing up there and regretting it type stuff. We half aim to be up there when Connor starts school; so 2011. A year to ponder, a year to *do* and then we're off.

Obviously in that time we have many discussions to have, agreements and disagreements included. But, the way I see it, the more we agree/disagree and bring up issues, the more prepared I feel we'll be.

My fathers reaction is probably the biggest thing holding me back. Not in a sense of 'ohmygod I can't do anything because of what my father says' but because it WILL upset him and I don't like upsetting people at the best of times; especially not my dad.

But he'll deal. It just might take a little while.

I will be back soon – hopefully my innerwebs will be fixed shortly.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Beautiful day (weather at least!!)

It's early(ish) and it's raining. Definately Melbourne; it was an absolutely beautiful day yesterday. Except for two incidents.

#1 - Got the boys up yesterday and wondered why R wasn't bounding out of bed. Assuming he'd done an accident, went in to sort him out.
"Mum, I did an accident" was the first thing he said.
"Ok mate, lets get you up"
"No mum, I did an accident in the toilet"
*suprised* (and wonders how one has an accident in the toilet)

I wander into the toilet, expecting to see a wee that has missed; but noooo. #2. on.the.floor.
Apparently he had a dream. Ace.

#2. Whilst dressing the younger one, R comes in panicking. I thought he was choking, so grabbed him, got down on his level and said 'mate, can you breathe???'

He nodded his head.

Then vomited. All.over.my.face.

Lets hope this week goes better hey?

PS: R seems fine. He's eating, playing, doing all of the normal things so....????

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

That gnawing in my gut

Obviously there must be bad parts to leaving. One will definitely be this place. For 13 years I have been here and for thirteen years I have helped create this place. I will miss what it meant to me; and what I meant to it.

It's not the case now. I am not needed anymore and I feel I have paid my dues. Two people are going to be very angry with me initially. One; my father. At least, I think he will be; and I'm almost 100% positive at one point I will receive the 'after all I've done for you' spiel.

I am grateful for all the opportunities that this place has given me; both workwise and otherwise. But, am I forever to remain here living my life by paying dues? Or, do I stop existing in this world and start living in it? He will also be gutted about his grandchildren leaving; but on the flip side, us leaving will give him more of a reason to get up off his butt and come visit us.

My sister will also be angry; but more of a vengeful, selfish type of angry. My leaving takes her 'power' (if you will), away. She won't be 'my boss' any longer and I will no longer have to abide by 'the rules'. She will be where I am at some point in time, and no doubt blame me for leaving her with no other option. But, there is a choice. There is always a choice.

I am excited about moving; but very fearful of telling my family. After all that is said and done; I've never really left them before. And, more and more, I am feeling I need to. I need to live my life.

Today, I will give my mother an idea as to our plans. She will be my strength and my ally against the forces that are my father and sister. She'll understand, although she'll be sad; she'll understand and she will fight for my choice as much as I would fight for my choice. My mother is a person whose opinion (on most things.. ;) ) I respect immeasurably; so to have her opinion on what we propose to do might just do something to alleviate this raw energy swirling around my gut.

Grant wants to build a house on some of his parents land. Not close to them, mind, but close enough to remain a support to us. But, I don't want a McMansion on some acreage. I want an old farm house, with sheds that have so many stories to tell. Haystacks that have replenished themselves over decades of hard work. Old crevices and nooks and crannies in a house that make it a home. I don't want new and perfect.

This, and many other topics have and will be covered in the coming months. But, until I get my mother's blessing; or, if not her blessing, her advice; this gnawing in my gut will continue.

But, hope springs eternal. And, when I get too wound up, I just tell myself that I can always 'do nothing'. Nothing has to change unless we want it to. But, more and more, doing nothing inspires almost as much fear in me as moving. I cannot live another 13 years like this. I will not live another 13 years of this.

And, as a sidenote; see Wall-E. Show your kids, teach your kids about the realness of this. Whilst I cannot imagine us being on such a ship in space; us not being able to live here anymore is a very real one. It brings tears to my eyes that there is a possibility that even our grandchildren will never see what we have taken for granted for so long.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Country life...

I've always loved the idea of a small farm. A few chickens, a few ducks...a goat maybe and definately a horse or two.

Massive vegie patches and decades old fruit trees. Space for all our friends to come and stay; but small enough that it's cozy.

That 'ideal life' cog is starting to turn.

My whole life has been based around work. Not 'work' per se - but being close to it, being part of it. But, more and more I don't feel I belong there anymore. I'm not needed anymore. Which, is not in itself a bad thing; but I don't feel as.....tied to the place anymore.

G has always wanted to go home. He is a definate country boy; he'd go back there in a heartbeat. And, as he said; you'd have a hard time bringing him back if he ever did move.

But, there are so many positives. House prices for one. Sustainable living for two. I won't have to work for 3. The kids would grow up in the country for 4.

People have mentioned the lonliness. And, I probably will get lonely from time to time. But, I've never been social butterfly material; a few close friends is all I need. And, they will remain close friends.

G wants to go back home. Which is pretty far away (2.5hours); but closer to his parents. Which means, we'd still have support - and we have a few friends up that way. So, not completely isolated.

I have more and more moments of 'I'm 30 years old and I've barely lived. It's time to live'.

Petrol would be a problem; but with the relaxing of the finances due to a smaller mortgage and the lack of daycare - I can't see it being such a big issue. We have savings tucked away; not a trillion dollars, but enough to easily get us started. And I can always work (not that I want to!!!).

The boys grandfather would drive them to school each day on the school bus. The animals would adore it and I would have the horse I've wanted for so very long. My days (if I'm not working) would be productive for the most part and I am so sure I would feel...... home.

My family (my father in particular) will take this hard. No doubt. But, do I live my life for the sake of my extended family? Or, do I take the jump, into the unknown (to me!!) to do something that I really feel would benefit us as an immediate family? There's no question is there?

One year. At the most. We're out.

Friday, September 26, 2008

All about me

Yesterday.... *sigh*.

My children are at the farm for the week. Which, they are loving. I will pick them up tomorrow - and I cannot wait.

I've been working full time this week, which has been nice. But, yesterday, I took the day off and spent it pottering about.

Talk about BLISS. I didn't do anything fun (well, I went shopping sans kids for a goldfish and I sorted the vegie patch) - but geez it was nice to have a day to yourself.

I lost my great grandmothers ring the other morning. My mother passed it onto me for my 30th birthday and it is the only heirloom I'll ever see. So, obviously, I was a bit teary. But, I knew it was in the bedroom somewhere.

So, when I got home from work that night, I systematically moved every bit of furniture. Even the heavy stuff. No ring.

Moved everything out of the wardrobe. No ring.

Started crying.

Pulled all the linen off the bed; pulled the cover off the doona, pillowcases off pillows....no ring.

Started going through each of our drawers. 8th drawer in - WINNER!!!

I shall never leave it lying on the dresser again. But, I vowed to move all that furniture again and get the vacuum in there. (It's ruddy heavy and doesn't get done too often. And there was NO WAY I was going to vacuum whilst there was an extremely beautiful ring in there somewhere).

Anyway; yesterday. I moved all the furniture again and vacuumed. Washed. Cleaned out Rileys fish tank again (I'm sure it's the amount of light it gets that is causing the issue), got him some new fish and some snails (to sort out the algea problem). Washed again - and then pottered about in the garden.

The winter vegies have finished - The broccoli was tremendous and the beets didn't do so great. I think I overfed them and the carrots; because this year we had little stumps of carrot with massive tops; and the same with the beets. But, I'm learning so it's good.

The snowpeas are going silly with the flowers; but yesterday I found four. Why everyone doesn't grow their own snowpeas is beyond me; they are easy and they taste oh so much better straight from the vine.

Then, we went out for dinner.

I feel really good. But, I'm ready for the kids to come home now. I miss them. (And, they are starting to miss me too - Riley asked how many more sleeps and when I said two, he was all "wowwww!!").

This is the back lounge room. It has stayed this way for the entire week.

Please excuse the stupid car photos/pictures in the background; Grant is a big fan and (before we lived together) I used to think that these types of things made great presents. So, really, it's entirely my fault. But, I've learned and I've given him one room. If we had a bar type room, I'd be pleased for no other reason except having a normal place to hang this....stuff.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Michelle

Isn't it weird.

About 6 months ago, my best friend of a hundred years called me and told me that, in three weeks, she was packing up and moving across the country.

No job, no house. Just a 'life change'.

Not weird for most people, sure; but Michelle??? The very girl who would colour her VCE subjects by colour? The girl who alphabetically organised her books? Move across country just like that??

I knew something was going on - but she didn't want to talk about it. Which was fine by me; but I did tell her that, regardless of what she said, I knew there was something else; and if she needed me, that I would always be there.

I did have my suspicions as to why she left; but I never voiced them.

Was I right? Oh hell yes. Smack bang on the money. Well, close enough to be smack bang on the money.

I called her last night.

"I think we need to have a chat, don't you??"
"What about?"
"Don't play dumb with me. Are you OK??"
**Silence**.
"How do you know??"
"Gossip - I have many connections in this world darling; even to the mafia!! ;) Are you ok??"
"You don't hate me?? Especially after what's happened with you??"
"Nup - I'd already guessed"
**Cries**
"I'll call you next week when it's a.....better time"
"Does he know?"
"Yes".
"And you're OK??"
"Yes"
"Good. I love you and if you need me, you know where I am".

In other news, my kids have gone to the farm for a week in the holidays. You'd think they hated living here for all the enthusiasm they showed.

They'll miss me.

Won't they????

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What if???

I've been tagged by the delightful Mel for a meme.

The rules are as follows;
1. Link to the person who tagged you.
2. List 5 things that could make your life very different should it come true.
3. Tag 5 other people.

I've played 'what if' for the most part of my life, for various reasons. What if xxx hadn't happened? What if yyy had??? Whilst I do like 'what if' games - I have also become acutely aware of the fact that, playing this game too much makes you analyse things far too much.

Something I'm good at. ;)

1. What if I hadn't gotten into the car that day? (This is the most well worn what if in my entire world, but it's not one I have considered for awhile).
This what if could change me completely. If I hadn't gotten into the car, there is not a chance in hell I'd be the person I am today. Even more scary - I'd probably be like my sister. This one choice changed my life entirely. And, for a long long time, not for the better. But, after a great deal of time, I have learned that this choice has moulded me (nearly primarly it was such an impact) into who I am and what I stand for today. I don't seem to really want to know 'what if' to this anymore.

2. What if the festival a friend and I were meant to be going to didn't get shut down that night? I often wonder this too - because it was such a chance meeting, Grant and I, that I often wonder (not so much where I'd be) who I'd be with. Would I have had children with this person? Or, would I have continued on my path of self hatred and dramatisation; not having that one (ok two, Amy is another) person who has that ability to pull me right out of that deep pit with real things - all the while me knowing just how much they care?

3. What if I hadn't spent the last 25 years blaming myself for something I couldn't do a thing about? I imagine that what if is a biggie; because I'm sure I'd be a whole lot more carefree and a whole lot less worried about other people and my impact on them. Which, is a good and a bad thing; depending on how you look at it. Would I have had the ability to command an entire rooms attention? Having that self esteem - that ability to not care (to a degree of course) how your actions and words affect others? And having that thought be, generally a dominate thought in each and every one of your actions - lest you somehow, accidently, cause something else awful to happen?

4. What if I hadn't met the Coven? I'm sure I'd have necked myself. Ok, maybe not entirely necked myself; but I'd not be the stronger person I feel I am today. These adorable, lovely, true people; all from different walks, perspectives and values - lend me their strength and thoughts so willingly. These people are some of the very few who I know I could say whatever I liked and they would never judge. I love them and I can't imagine my life without them. I don't want to play what if with them. Because I fear the answer.

5. What if I had taken that sliding doors option all those years ago? Well, truely? I think I'd be in the same place (albeit cosmetically different i.e. surroundings, location, children) as I am now. And it's great to see that. Not only that, but it's even better to feel that.

I don't even know who to tag who hasn't been tagged already. I will tag Colleen - who popped her head in to say hello earlier. So, consider yourself tagged.

Amy, muser & Shannon make four. Everyone else I 'know' has been tagged. If you want to be tagged; consider this wish granted!

I await the answers.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

New age definition of water torture

Is, every 15 minutes, a phone ringing. And, on the other end of the phone, is a recorded message of yourself telling you that xxx has no power.

Given a fair proportion of Melbourne lost power at some stage yesterday, this is A. not rocket science and B. torture when you are making a wasted attempt at sleep.

We had no power last night. Was an excellent excuse to hop into bed and read a book.

Until those freaking recordings started.

I'm going to get my sister to start recording them; surely it's not so bad if it's someone else taunting you for most of the night?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Start as you mean to continue

I said to a group of people not too long ago - 'It's not as if I woke up, decided to get things organised and just went from a hovel to this; it just is now'.

And it's true.

I have always been organised by nature. My sister, in contrast, is the most unorganised person on the planet. We used to share a living area when we were both still at home, and the headaches....

Being organised means having a home for everything. No matter what it is. If you can't find a home for it, then, in my world; it simply shouldn't be there. For me, it is about not wasting time on stupid things; and making life easier on myself in the process. I know the kids love it too - I mean, what kid wouldn't when every single toy they have still have all the pieces!!???
By simply finding a home for things and putting stuff back where it belongs, life is just so much easier.

This is the kitchen. We prettied it up about 3 years ago - but every morning I come down to flick the kettle on and it looks like this. Why? So that each day starts off new. There is nothing to bog me down in yesterday - no old dishes, no bits and pieces on the bench; everything has been put away waiting for a new day. Of course, it gets messy (especially when I get my baking basket out!!) - and at dinner time, the kitchen is not the best place to be. But, when I have finished with it - I put it back the way I found it.

That is the pantry - just so you know I'm not so severely anal that I require psychoanalysis. Because, really, I don't. It's not me that spends hours looking for things!! ;)

C's room. There are no sheets on his bed because he threw up the night before; but usually, the cot is made too. Nothing makes a room look more together than a made bed I don't think.

Connors clothes live in the tallboy. There is also a built in wardrobe in the bedrooms, but at present, they are mostly for bits and pieces. Extra nappies, wipes, boxes of clothes (only three of those though) and shoes. The ironing board currently lives in Connors wardrobe - I have nowhere to really put the ruddy thing!

This shelf is full of all the beautiful and sentimental stuff that C has received since he's been born. We've had thousands of teddies come through here - but, over time, the Salvos have received them. There are a few up there - one Riley got him when he was born, a beautiful golly doll, and a few other odds and ends. The trinkets are there too.

If I want to sort out a room.... actually, cancel that. I don't know how in depth I'm going to go with this - whether I pretty it on the surface, or whether I delve in and share exactly how I do stuff. I feel like an utter wanker - but people want to know this stuff.

Should I divulge or just keep it pretty?

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Catching up...

I've been meaning and meaning to post photos here lately; and I haven't. So, tonight, is a photo-spectacular.

I did it. I actually knitted.

Yeah, so it's not great. But my cat loves it and I am very pleased that I could actually cast on, knit the thing, and then cast off.

I don't know what my first official 'project' will be. Patterns seem to be written in some foreign language that I don't yet grasp; so any thoughts/advice about what to actually make that is easy would be greatfully received.

Not massive in many peoples worlds; but here, it's huge.

We played a game of 'Betcha can't draw...' and he did it. He's wanting to do it; and finally seems to be getting confidence enough in himself to do it. Big moment here.

Fathers day. Nothing big and fancy; just these and a homemade card. The frames were $6 from the reject shop - the photos were printed out and the paintings were done by the person photographed.


Pretty spiffy I think!!!

Today was a very blah kind of day. I'm all fluey, which is not too pleasant at the best of times; especially since it was a beautiful day outside. But, I didn't feel up to the gardening today, so spent the day pottering around the house. After a discussion with some friends on sterile living vs organisation, I thought I'd take you on a tour of my house. Just to show that organisation doesn't have to be a display home.

Firstly; our bedroom. This is pretty easy to keep organised; provided the drawers aren't overfilled with stuff we never wear. I tend to keep on top of our clothes; I wash pretty regularly, so there is not an incessant need for heaps of stuff. I have clothes in the camping trailer for when we go camping - any old stuff gets rotated to there, anything in there gets taken to the salvos etc. The teddy bear on the bed was given to me by G on our first Valentines day (with aftershave that he thought was perfume, but it's the thought that counts!!). Hanging around his neck is a pendant. It was my grandmothers. It's beautiful.

The picture above our bed is the bane of my existence. It is a combination of my two favorite colours; but try and find a quilt set / sheet set to match it!! I'm thinking about dying a white set to match them; but I'm not quite that worried about it.

The bedroom suite was my mothers. I quite like it, although it's very 'formal'. I'm more of a natural timber type of person - but it does the job it needs to do nicely. Notice the straightener hanging off another cord - it's off and it's cold!!!

Our 'formal' loungeroom. Because we are sooooo formal. This is the room that the kids stay out of. It holds all my trinkets and bits and bods that people have given me over the years. There is stuff there from my best friend on our wedding day, stuff from my great grandmother and photos of all of us. You will notice on this tour, that the recurring theme is photos. I love having them around and the more the better.

The study. Pretty simple, yet works. If you were to turn around, you'd see an inbuilt bookshelf full of all sorts of books. Mostly trashy chick lit at the moment; but some of my favorite books of all time are amongst them. Lots of refrigeration control manuals too - G likes to read up on how to fix things.

Lastly (for today) is the 'dining room'. We are not 'dining room' people. We have a big outdoor table (which will be posted in due course) and our lives are lived out there when it is warmer. So, when we moved here, I was not interested in having a shoebox area to stick a table and chairs in that we'll never use. We did contemplate enclosing it and calling it a study, but we thought, until we decide a proper use, we'll stick a couch in there and leave it. The couch folds out for our guests too.
And that is the same room when we have guests. I like them to feel welcome, and I think it looks nice.



I try and make a big point of leaving the house looking like this before I go to bed. Because everything in my house has a home, it's not a big job. I know you probably think that most of my cupboards must look scarily full of stuff, but I promise there's not.

The kids will get every toy they own out every day. We have playdoh out, painting and drawing. It's just that, instead of leaving it there; I make a big point of packing it away. And, truth be known, I've made life easy on myself in that way. But, I will show you that in due course.

Sure, the junk drawer gets messed up and the tupperware drawer ends up overfilling because stuff it dumped back in instead of being put back in it's spot - but for the most part, my cupboards are the same realm of organised as the rest of the house.

And having everything in it's place makes it really easy to clean. I don't have to move stuff around the house, I just lift what's there, dust/wipe under it and put it back. So, although none of these rooms have been cleaned in a week - there's no real impression of mess.

It's easy to get organised; it's keeping organised that is the hard part. I'm just so used to doing it, it's second nature.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Living the good life....again

This week has been a splendid week so far. For me, anyway. I have started back on the fitness/losing weight regime and I am feeling great.

It's easier at the moment because G is home; which means, at 5.45 each day, Harvey and I get out for a walk.

I have found, so far, that planning my meals works better than I expected. Sunday I wrote down meal plans for this week - and, honestly, it's been a breeze to follow. Whether it continues or not, remains to be seen.

I'm sick of being fat. I'm sick of being unfit. I want to be the best person I can be; in all manner of speaking.

Pics coming soon. I have taken a few, so it might be all one big conglomeration of organising, cooking & knitting.

Monday, September 1, 2008

First day of Spring...

*sigh*. That's all I can say. A new beginning.

And, I'm looking forward to it. Finally.

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Life goes up, life goes down. Life goes up.....

I am shocking with this blog. A week has nearly gone and here I am again. Life has just been too up and down for me to sit down and blog. I have a few things I've taken photos of, and hopefully today might even be the day where I update them.

We've been up and down this week. I had a 'statue' day on Thursday (you are ALWAYS either a statue or a pigeon - some days you might be the statue, other days you are the pigeon). Usually, when I have a statue day, I spend the day fighting the inevitable and attempting to somehow turn myself into a pigeon.

But this time, I accepted the statue and worked with it. Everything that could go wrong, did; but I changed the mindset. Instead of cursing all that went wrong; I was very accepting of it. And continued on. By the end of the day, whilst I wanted the day to end, I was pleased that, even after everything going wrong; I did pretty much what I needed to.

I was very disappointed yesterday. It was meant to be sunny and 18. But, it was cloudy and all day it looked as though it would rain. So, the mulch I was going to order didn't get ordered. But, Spring is not even here yet (MONDAY!!!! :) ); so I still have a bit of time.

My winter vegies didnt' work out as wonderful as I expected; my broccoli worked, my snowpeas are flowering - but my beetroot was tiny and my carrots were just little dumpy things. I expect that it was because I overfed them. But, soon, I'll start getting ready for summer crops and, from experience, they do MUCH better. Considering last year I got no broccoli whatsoever, I'm at least improving!!!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Learning new things

I have been very busy of late. Doing? Not a great deal. Well, no, I won't say that; but I've been pottering.

I've wanted to post sooner; but I wanted to have something that I have finally accomplished to show. It has taken me about 20 years to learn; but I can finally say that I can knit.

It's not great yet – but I can DO IT. I am ¾ of the way through what, I have decided, will be a new bed for our cat. Only because the colour of the wool truly is awful; and I have a few holes in it for it to be anything fantastic. Hopefully I will finish it in the next few days, learn how to cast off and then I will take a photo of it.

This weekend we went up to our friends property. T'was very nice to catch up after too long – they used to be our neighbours, but have moved out on an acreage 6 months ago. I wished I'd taken my camera, because there were some really pretty sights to see.

I got up early, as I always do, and went for a meander. It was a mild morning (which surprised me because it was bitterly cold the night before) and it was really clear. You could see for miles. All the farm animals were waking from their slumber, ready for a new day. And, it got me thinking.

Animals have no expectations. They don't wonder what is coming (at least, I don't think they do); they just take it as it comes and not think about things too much. It is something I think I need to learn from them.

On my way back, I saw a mother kangaroo and her baby, eating grass in my friends front yard. I'd have been, maybe, 5 meters from them and it was really humbling to see that these wild animals couldn't have given 2 hoots about me.

It was nice. Something that I really needed; a sort of rejuvenation, if you will.

I came home with a new purpose. To not think so much, to simplify and to stop worrying about what I cannot change. Whatever will be, will be regardless of how much I worry or think. To not worry does nothing except allow my mind to focus on other things. And, for me, at the minute, is me.

This blog has turned completely into what I never wanted. A verbal blah fest with me whinging and carrying on about all sorts of things. But, while I know that people read it, it's not about them. It never HAS been about them. So, on thinking whether I should say goodbye to blogland and hello to my journal – I have decided to not. If no one reads my blog, then really, I'm not worried. I wasn't worried when I started this, so I am not worried now.

People I have never imagined reading this blog have contacted me with regards to it. And, initially, I turn all shy. Because, this is *my* world and I am nervous that people I know are reading it. It makes me vulnerable. And god forbid Shel ends up remotely vulnerable.

But, on thinking – I'm not really vulnerable at all. They are my thoughts, feelings and stories; and I need to own them. Regardless of how childish, immature or personal they may seem. They are me.

So, that is what I have learnt this past week. Knitting, and to get over it.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Basement

Check this out;

It's like postsecret for bloggers.

Makes you realise just how lucky you really are.

I spoke to my best friend last night. She lives in Perth now, and has no kids, so it's even harder to catch up with her.

I told her everything. I love having a friend who I can tell everything. She is one of very few that knows the good, the bad & the ugly of Shel. And, she loves me anyway.

We've been friends for 26 years. Obviously not so close as young kids; but as older children/teens and adults, she is the sister that my real sister could never be.

I am feeling better; I ate a carrot and a mandarin yesterday and kept the whole lot. Was pretty happy with that.

Today will be sunny, so Mr weatherman says. R has the beginnings of a cold and C won't be far behind no doubt. It was meant to be a day of playing with another group of children, but today, I cannot be bothered putting on my facade. I want my day with my kids, in my house. To wear awful tracky dacks and potter in the garden. To play 'cuzzles' (C calls puzzles 'Cuzzles' and when you try to correct him he says 'P...CUZZLES') and build Buzz lightyears with my kids.

There is bullying going on at kinder. I thank christ it's not my child being the bully or the bullied; but the poor child who is, is just a lovely (but shy) kid. Part of me feels as though it's none of my business; but part of me wants to tear the mother of this feral limb from limb. Because, I'm not so fussed with any childs behaviour - it is how it is dealt with that is a concern. And, put simply, she's just not dealing at all. Laughs it all off - which would be nice if he wasn't kicking, spitting, punching and rubbing this poor kids face into the sandpit. Calling him all sorts of names that shouldn't be in a 5yo's vocabulary, let alone be aired.

Maybe I'm a horrible mother, I don't know. But, I have effectively banned Riley from playing with him. I know that Riley is easily lead (because, after his isolation from his friends last year due to his hearing any friend is a good friend); but I will NOT have him behaving in any way similar to this other boy. Bad mummy? Maybe. But, the more kids this feral has next to him, the worse he gets, and the more this other poor kid will get. And, his mother is a good friend of mine. And I will NOT have my child hand out the treatment that was bestowed on him last year; for no other good reason but he was a little different.

So far, I haven't had to follow through with my threat to pull him out of kinder for a session if I find out he's playing with him. It's probably not even the most effective 'punishment' either; but Riley is ready (thank god!!) for school; and because he repeated, I have little qualms if he needs to miss a session to learn how to treat people. Some have gasped at my decision, but they are my thoughts on the matter. I'll wear the consequences of such a decision.

Fundamentally, he's a great kid. He cares, he's compassionate and he's a whole lot of fun. But, like I said; he's easily lead. Which, is a massive step forward from the child who would just cop whatever treatment was issued him. At least he'll now say that he doesn't want to do that/take that/say that. But, he is easily persuaded. All in the name of friends.

Did all these politics really start this early when we were children? Because, I fear it's getting worse and worse, earlier and earlier.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Sunday...the day of rest

I swear that emotional illness will metamorphis itself into physical illness.

I have spent the last 24 hours in bed; and I'm not far off going back again.

Yesterday was meant to be filled with laughter and catch up with some of my most beautiful and dear friends over far too much food at the most delectable Yum cha in Victoria.

Instead, I am sharing my life with the toilet.

If you could see the state of this house at the minute, you could be forgiven for thinking that I am a feral who lives in a hovel. G has done really well considering; it's been raining pretty much non stop here. And C, as you know, is a whirlwind at the best of of times.

My aims for today.

To stop sharing my innermost secrets with the toilet.
To, hopefully, resemble some sort of normal person.

that's it for today.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Mistakes

I'm sure it was Frank Sinatra who sang 'Mistakes, I've made a few'. And that's about it too.

Everyone has buggered up in life one way or another; whether it be big or little, large impact or small impact. But, the common thread for all of us, is that we A. have to live with them. and B. the need to accept the consequences of these mistakes.

A wise friend once said to me that a mistake is only a mistake if it is not learnt from. And, I agree wholeheartedly.

I feel as though there has been a massive shift in my thinking. Kind of like what I 'would' have done and what I have done. And, the difference in those two outcomes is a really big jump. And, whilst it's a little scary; it's comforting to know that it is this that, for me, has confirmed my leap into adulthood.

How long should someone pay for a mistake? Should it be punishable by disintegrating their entire lives? Cutting off noses despite faces? Because, that is what it would end up to be. Cutting off my nose despite my face. And, I'm a lot of things; but I'm not stupid.

Things happen. They will forever happen. Stupid decisions, bad reactions and changes to lives forever. And, it is nothing but more decisions and reactions that will get me out of this. There is no set path to the end; the twists and turns along the way are bumps along the road. Really, if you think about it, it is the twists and turns that define character and turned a life into a rich experience. And, one day, I am nearly sure I will be glad of such an experience. Because, it has changed so much for me.

I'm sure people will chuckle at themselves at my reasoning and my decision making; but it is not they who have to live with and by them. It is me. And, because it is me, I get to decide what *I* think is the best course of action for, not only me, but everyone else this mistake has affected.

So mote it be I guess.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fake it till you make it

Today, I was busy. Extremely so. I kneaded, baked, prepared, cooked & then cleaned. I should've taken a photo of my kitchen during the cyclone that was Shel cooking.

First, I started with dog food. I used to buy the icky canned stuff for Harvey, mostly because I was a lazy sod. I used to have to make it all the time for Hoppy, due to his lack of intestine and stomach; but once he left, I got lazy.


So, for the better part of 2 months, my darling dog has been eating this;



An egg & a bit of oil for his coat and whacky doo. The meat is just a dog roll. I'm thinking about alternatives to that, but I figure with the rice and vegies, it's still pretty good.

Then, I decided to clean out the freezers. In them, I found all sorts of bits and bods; so I figured, what the hell. The kids are making food with the play doh, so I should do something constructive too.

Pizza dough. It's now in the freezer waiting for Saturday night when I am lazy and can't be bothered. I heart home made pizza dough; seriously, there is nothing better than a home made pizza. On these pizzas (once this rises, we'll get a large, a medium and 2 kids size pizzas) we'll put all sorts of yummy delights.

Then, the matchsticks. These are incredibly easy, and well reflect the culinary experience of my mother. These are about all my mother ever baked. She's an excellent preparer of food; but not so much in the baking. They are delicious too. Cut up some puff pastry, cook them; then sandwich them together with jam and cream. The kids love them. My hips don't. These will go to my mothers tomorrow; I'm scared to freeze the cream for some reason.


Good old fashioned sausage rolls. Except, I have a few more vegies in this one. Zucchini, carrots, onion and....for the love of god I can't even remember. I'm going mad from all this cooking!! But they are yummy. 48 of these for the freezer will make a few boys weekend lunches very enticing.

Orange and poppy seed cake. How good am I - I even put an orange on the top. The icing is that cream cheese and vanilla essence one - gosh how I heart thee. Again, something I won't eat; cake is not my biggest downfall. But, it will be good in G's lunch - and the kids don't mind it either.

You think that's all I baked today don't you?? Hah.


Banana loaf. Yum. Well, half a banana loaf anyway. I made it in an extra long loaf tin and cut it in half; as if the whole lot would ever get eaten at once. I omitted the egg on purpose. Usually, I unintentionally forget them and they've always turned out yummy. So, today, I had a no egg day. So, if you are allergic to eggs, this banana loaf works a treat. If I must post the receipe, please just ask. Because, unless someone cares, I'm not going to find the cookbook. I call it 'the cookbook for idiots', but I think it has a far more eloquent name.

And, last but by no means least - the standard spagetti sauce. Frozen in time until Monday - a work day. I was rather productive today wasn't I?? I got a whole lot done, and it kept my mind off a whole lot of other stuff.

Fake it till you make it - that's what I say. And, when you stop faking it - you'll know there's no hope of ever making it.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Black and white

I used to think some things were just black and white. Obviously, there were many grey areas in many things; but ultimately, some things are simply black or white. Yes or no, up or down.

The older I get, the more I realise just how many things have shades of grey running through them.

It hurts now. Not even as much as I thought it would; but that doesn't negate the feeling. But, I really think that, one day, this could be the best thing that has ever happened. You know, one of those things that needed to happen to end up where you do.

There's been a great deal of tears; but this path I have taken is not one I ever considered before. Maybe it's a grown up one, maybe it's a deluded one. I cannot know until I try; and if I don't move, this stagnation will kill me.

I think that's me at the minute.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Dont feel like dancing

I've been dancing around the subject of my blog this week. Not because I haven't wanted to say anything - but stuff has happened this week that I don't feel really comfortable posting about.

I can't dance around this issue. So, I must remain quiet.

But, things have changed forever. Good, bad or otherwise, I'm not quite sure yet; but I do know for sure that Shels axis has been completely tipped over.

Monday, August 4, 2008

6 Things

My first ever Tag!! I'm rather excited to say the least. Jenn has tagged me for 6 random things.

Here are the rules ...
1. Link to the person who “tagged” you.
2. Post the rules on your blog.
3. Write six random things about yourself.
4. Tag six people at the end of your post.
5. Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blog.
6. Let the tagger know your entry is up.

In no apparent order;

1. I howl and spit and curse and cry when animal rescue is on.

2. Toasted cheese and vegemite sandwiches are nearly my favorite Sunday Lunch

3. I cannot abide rudness

4. When I am tired, the slightest thing sends me into a melodramatic scene of tears.

5. I adore time to myself

6. I am scared I'm not doing it right. 'It' being 'insert word here'

I hereby tag;

Lex
House n baby
S over at a little bit feral
Amoir - who won't do it, but hey
Sunny side up
Muser

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Growing up

G's away job is coming to an end. Three more weeks (at best), and he'll be back full time again.

I have changed so much in the time he's been away. It has been a great time for me to reflect, think; and put my priorities back into place.

It hasn't been incredibly difficult this time - the time has sped by without too much of a drama. Obviously the foot, Him, Craig, work...all of the bumps along the way have happened - but overall, things are good.

I love Winter, but it makes me sad. It's beautiful to watch, but I miss the hours left in the day. I miss a wine out on the deck while the kids play together. I miss steak and salad.

When I look back at it, Grant and I married far too young. I was 23!!! If anyone were to ask if it is a good idea to get married at 23, I'd say no. In a heartbeat.

That is not to say that I am not happy here, or regret my decision - because I don't. Even though I married early, the husband I have is worth his weight in gold (most of the time).

But, you miss so much. I feel as though I missed out on that chance to 'grow up'. I went from a teenager to 'grown up' in a few years. A massive few years, but I think that I went from one to the other without 'growing up'.

Things that I thought mattered so much; don't. Ten years later, things that I had spent the previous ten years worried about, beating myself up about, fretting about - none of it matters. It barely hits the stratosphere. Yet, I worried.

In a way, I feel as though 10 years of my life has been wasted. I spent the last 10 years thinking I had grown up - when really, I hadn't at all.

I know why I married Grant. I don't know if I feel comfortable writing that down just yet; but *I* know. And, I'm lucky; because it could've turned out so differently. But, I *do* love him like a grown up now; and I guess, that is what matters.

My kids. My darling, love till it hurts, passionate, funny, quirky kids. I always knew they were the best thing that ever happened to me; but I never knew why.

Now I know.

I don't talk about them much. I think that's because I don't like to share them. But, I will share today.

Because I'm still a kid (and toy story is OH so cool at this house); the kids and I do a 'thing' at night in bed.

Me (snuggling them down in the bed): 'all nice and warrrrrmmmm???'
C/R: Yeeeeasssssssss
Me: Ok. Love you
C/R: Love you more!
Me: Love YOU more!
C/R: To infinity and beyonddd!!!

That is how I love my kids. To infinity and beyond. That expresses it so much better than any words I could chuck together. It makes my heart bump every time.

I hurt my foot again yesterday. At least it was the other foot this time; and at least it's NOT the shoe.

I think I'm ready. I've probably said that a hundred times already (so much so, that one day, I might go back and label all the times I have said it!!), but I am scared this time. I feel like I am real this time; not just a journal entry.

I think I am finally ready to be a grown up.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Blur

This week has sped by with ridiculous speed; it's all a big blur to be honest.

Craigs funeral was Friday. It was awful; but it was so comforting to see the sea of people whose lives he touched.

People in suits, people in leathers, mothers, daughters, neighbours, workmates, clients. Hundreds.

As we left the service, a sea of people waited for the hearse to take him away. Dead silence. Which, was ironic really, because with a silence that great; Craig would've been the one to break it.

When we got to mum and dads, dad took me around to where our childhood cubby used to be. Where Craig and a few other friends and I formed a 'club'. The Cobras. Why the cobras, I don't remember, but our motto, one that Craig had thought up, was the most poignant thing for me that day.

The motto? Written in blue texta on my fathers garage wall. Now far more sentimental than ever before.


Live or Die.

And by christ did he live.

Rest in Peace Craig. You lived well, laughed often and loved many.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Craig

When we moved house, I was 8. My annoying sister was 5.5. I remember pulling up in the garage and seeing a rough boy sitting on his bike, just looking at us. He was a short, stoutish boy who had a round face, freckles and dirty blond hair.

'Hey' he said. 'You moved in?'

I just nodded. Anyway, he kept talking and eventually, I found out his name was Craig. He lived four doors up (his house was the first house on this estate you know, so he was like ruler of the world), had a brother and a sister. His sister had a horse, which pleased me no end.

Both of our parents got along too, and they are still friends to this day.

Craig introduced me to the wonderful thing that was 'army crawling'. Land and Hyacki were another two.

I will never forget his pale, sorry face when he was sitting next to me in emergency. We'd been playing Hyacki you see, and Craig and I were racing to get to the same hiding spot the quickest. I fell over and hurt my ankle - Craig came with me to emergency because it was 'his fault'. Of course he never said that, but you could just tell he thought that it was.

As we grew older, so did our friendship. His great uncle died when we were 11. That was the first time I'd ever seen him cry. He was devastated. But, only I saw him cry.

We spent hours and hours together after school and in the holidays. Talking rot, ribbing each other and laughing mostly. Although, there was the 'great waterslide incident' of the year when we were 12, and the time the pool got broken because we were doing a hurricane; life was pretty ordinary. But a whole lot of fun.

As we got older, our friendship seemed to change. Between our other neighbours and all of our school friends, time together wasn't so common anymore. Although, I had an incident with a girlfriend who had cheated on him which caused me a broken nose...but, again, it was Craig who tenderly punched it back the right way.

As we got older, we started heading our own ways. Craig went off into his family business and I went off to Bendigo for Uni. We still talked, but not nearly as much and time seemed to just go by so fast.

Our 21sts came and went with promises of catching up and having a drink. We did, a couple of times, but time tended to zip by far too quickly.

He had gotten together with a mutual friend and was so happy he could burst. I'd never seen him like that before and it amazed me that she gave him so MUCH. Although it didn't work out, I'm sure she was in his life to teach him how to show his feelings. He changed after that and turned into a really REALLY nice guy. A little rough around the edges, but nearly perfect.

I got married, and again, Craig was there. He picked on my dress and my dancing; while I poked fun at him in a suit. We danced together, he kissed me and wished me well, and proceeded to seek out my sister.

During this time, We'd pass each other in the street, waving and sometimes stopping for a quick chat. Life had taken on a life of it's own these days and we were turning into those people who only had time for a quick chat.

The kids came and Craig, while still single, was there again. He elbowed my father and kissed my mother. He congratulated G and I and gave me a big hug. He got Riley a Brisbane Lion and promised to show him 'all of lifes ropes'.

Life went on like this for a few years until all of a sudden we heard that his father had died. Of cancer. It was quick, and it was awful. I called Craig and I will never forget those sobs. He didn't want to see anyone, but we talked for awhile, reminiscing about his father and the axe; teaching us golf and scaring the neighbour up the road when we put an ice cream on his windscreen because he stole our basketball.

We went to the funeral of his father and I was so proud of Craig. He was gutted, but stood tall for his dad - and gave his father a beautiful eulogy. I was unable to stay, but promised we'd catch up soon.

They moved out of the house in Mum & Dads street not long after the funeral. I still find it odd that someone else lives there.

Craig & I caught up once more in that time between then and today. For a drink at the local pub. He was happy, he really was. And he was looking forward. He was ready to go on again.

We laughed, we reminisced and we chatted about life in general. And, again, we promised to catch up soon.

But, we can't anymore.

Because Craig died today. An annurism. It was his 31st birthday tomorrow.

There is so much I wish right now and so much loss that it will never be fulfilled. He meant so much to me; and we both took it for granted that the other would always be around to rib and stick fingers in the others ear.

I miss you already. Don't cause too much trouble up there, because I AINT bailing you out again. xxxx

Friday, July 18, 2008

IS number 1 the lonliest number?

Considering I am not walking very well, C is sick, it's raining and G is not coming home this weekend; I'm doing really well. Seriously - I have actually suprised myself.

I enjoy my own company. A.Lot. Some people can't stand being alone - I crave alone time if I don't get it often enough. So, this stretch of G being away was, while hard in some ways, something I nearly looked forward to.

At the minute; from the time the kids go to bed, I am alone. Completely alone. And I love it. I don't call anyone, I don't often do anything - but me, Harvey & the Ipod just potter about. Sometimes, we (read: I and Harvey lays right in the wrong place all the time) clean up rooms, sometimes we bake; other times we just chill out in the lounge and write in my journal (well, I write and he watches). But, I love it. So does our cat. He gets G's half of the bed.

But.

I'm starting to get sick of being my own company. I miss G. Not just anyone, only him. Someone who I can veg out with, laugh with and be 110% entirely myself with. Someone who will laugh at my dramatics and give sound family advice. Someone who doesn't take himself too seriously. Who will get me drinks and comiserate with my sore feet.

I heart G. And I love him to the ends of the earth and back too.

As a complete aside, I found this today and I had a nice old giggle. 'Tis actually rather funny.