Tuesday, 31 May 2011

$25 for a Tooth?

It seems the global economic crisis is yet to hit the Tooth Fairies HQ, kids around the globe are cashing in on their discarded molars and parents the tooth fairy is coughing up top dollar all the way.
I was informed yesterday by a rather proud wobbly-toothed Buzz that a kid from school received a whopping $25 for his most recent tooth loss. $25! Are you F’ing kidding me!!??  In my day I got $1 for the two front ones and 50c for the others if I was lucky.
 After mentioning the substantial tooth-inflation to a friend I was sent crashing off my high horse when told that yes $25 is a bit much for just any tooth, perhaps best reserved for the front ones and $10 is much more fitting for the regular ones. Um I’m not too good at maths but the kids lose 20 teeth each right, I have 4 kids and at $10 a pop that’s a massive $800. If I had $800 to spend on teeth I’d get that cavity fixed so I can eat ice cream again.
Buzz’s tooth finally fell out at school today, after losing it from his mouth, he lost it from his bag then to my dismay found it again. When we got home, he handed me the slightly discoloured looking eye tooth complete with traces of blood and dirt in the centre so I could place it in the jar on the window sill as to prevent further misplacements. I also set my iPhone to “remember the bloody tooth” so I don’t make that rather awkward mistake again...
Buzz ran off joyfully telling his brothers about all the things he is going to buy with his tooth fairy money. I think he is going to be sorely disappointed in the morning when he only finds a $1 coin and that this tooth fairy is a bit of a cheapskate!
How much money does the tooth fairy spend in your house hold? Is $25 ridiculous or do I need to get with the times?

Monday, 30 May 2011

What’s in a name?

I was looking at all the blogs out there and was wondering how everybody came up with their blog names, and I thought I’d tell you about mine.
 I once wrote another blog, where windmills were mentioned as a metaphor for Holland, or more aptly a poem called ‘Welcome to Holland’ by Emily Pearl Kingsley, which is a beautifully written piece describing the emotional roller coaster of becoming a parent to a child with special needs.
The poem touched me deep at a time where it was very relevant to my life. I clutched onto it like some sort of shield and it calmed me, a comforting reminder that I was not alone but most of all, it inspired me to write and through that writing I made lifelong friends.
I am one of the lucky ones, my child has transformed in ways that could have never been imagined, things could have been very different, but instead they ended up ok and life goes on. Recently old issues had been replaced by new more minor issues with a different child, ones I tried not to see coming for a long time as denial is a comfortable place to live. Ironically, the place that I now live as those issues have come to light is surrounded by a wind farm.  I looked up after a particularly bad day to see the windmills towering over me and it felt like a calling to write again.
I know I will never truly leave ‘Holland’, I have made too many friends and the next part of my life seems set to play out here, but I am able accept it and I am familiar with its peaks and valleys. So now my days are spent under the windmills breathing in the scent of freshly mown grass enjoying the tulips and watching their majestic blades turning in the wind, the fear is mostly gone replaced with acceptance and I feel strangely nostalgic. I think windmills will always hold a special place in my heart as they are the symbol for many of my life lessons, the good and the bad.  
So, how did you name your blog?

Friday, 27 May 2011

Dear Aldi Lady....

I have been a customer of your store for some time now as I like your low, low prices compared to that of the competition and while I appreciate your dedication to become ‘scan rate champion’ of the southern hemisphere, I am writing to let you know that the next time you hurl the canned tuna into my trolley with such gusto that you break both my biscuits AND my eggs, I swear to God I am going to throw said Tuna squarely at your head.
 Due to your scowling demeanour, I can only imagine that you have a deep seeded issue with the human race in general and although I do feel that deep down you may in fact, not be cut out for the customer service position that you currently find yourself in, I do prefer to offer constructive criticism rather than just plain hate mail and as a result I have compiled a small list of things that may help you overcome your current situation:
#1.) Attend a meditation retreat with a dreadlock wearing, marijuana smoking instructor named Rainbow until such time as you are able to find your inner peace. It may pay to pack for all seasons.
#2.) Take up some form of athletics, they say sport is good for the soul and I feel you would be likely to excel in either Javalin or Shot Put.
#3.) Sew a big yellow happy face to the front of your uniform, at very least the irony will help your customers smile and you are likely to receive less complaints to management.
#4.) Get a new career. I was thinking perhaps something along the lines of a warden at the gaol? Or as a night time cleaner in your local kids play centre? – Those people are all jaded too, so I am sure you will fit right in.
#5.) Take up drinking. It works for the rest of us!
I hope some of my suggestions will help with your journey to self improvement. Otherwise I will start buying larger cans of tuna and perfecting my aim.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Deal or No Deal?

This photo is of a couple I dont know at an event I went to recently, they danced together in the sunlight, looking so much in love.

The lovely E over at Whining at the World wrote a post recently about relationship deal breakers that got us thinking about what exactly constitutes a deal breaker. How for some people little annoying habits might signal the end and for others years of mental/ physical abuse might not be enough.
I started wondering what it is exactly that keeps people together when they probably shouldn’t be. One reason is fear. In the case of people I have known suffering mental /physical abuse, some have stayed due to the fear of being hurt or even killed. Another type of fear is the fear of not knowing what to do without your partner, I have seen a women in her 60s, married to a man she has never loved, stay in the relationship unhappily out of the fear of being on her own and the feeling of being unable to survive financially without him. Another friend finally left an abusive relationship believing for much too long that she was not good enough for anyone else and that nobody else would have her.
Another reason is ‘staying together for the kids’. Some people even choose have a baby as a way of improving a marriage or trying to get someone to stay with them, these people have no idea how much more complicated leaving a marriage is with children involved.  Personally can’t understand why this would feel like the right thing to do, I remember my best friend growing up listening to her parents fight day in and day out she used to wish they would just divorce already so they could all get on with their lives without the fighting. Her parents did eventually divorce but not until the children left home. Another friend’s mother didn’t call it quits with her husband until he was sent to jail for stabbing and nearly killing her – previously these years of mental and physical abuse were endured “for the children”. Wouldn’t our kids be much happier growing up in two separate happy environments, than one unhappy one?
The husband and I have dealt with things through our 10years together as most couples have, some of these things would probably even be considered ‘deal breakers’ to people.  I am pleased to say that we very rarely fight and our relationship is stronger now than ever, the divorce rates these days are just plain scary, something like 2 out of 3, and I admit we have even joked nervously every time the relationship of somebody around us ends, that our own odds have statistically improved.
I suppose everyone is different, I personally HATE confrontation and fighting, I don’t recall my parents ever fighting and I just can’t handle it. The Husband is more the silent type who gets his point across by NOT talking, his parents are still together as well.  I know one couple that fight like cats and dogs loudly ALL the time (even on the phone in the middle of Kmart), but they genuinely do love each other and despite their volatile natures could never be a part from each other. Both their parents are divorced and I wonder how that impacts their marriage and influences the way they deal with situations .
Did your parents divorce? What do you consider to be a deal breaker? Has your relationship overcome the odds?  

Saturday, 21 May 2011

So, shall I rename this blog ‘The Raptured Rambler’ perhaps?

Are we still here? Has the world tilted on its axis? Am I still here?
I don’t actually know as I am writing this yesterday. While I am quietly confident that the rapture will be postponed as usual, I felt it best not to take any chances and to schedule this post heaven forbid cyberspace should become void of my eternal journal and diary of a dead women. It would be however, somewhat ironic if I should  get hit by a bus or killed in an unforseen accident that this post would still be out there in the world tomorrow without me.
 I wonder what will happen when all of those anonymous bloggers out there are taken from this earth, will they simply disappear into oblivion, their followers never to learn of their fate? It’s like that, cyberspace. Perhaps that is part of its appeal, we can come and go as we please and have always got the choice to disappear....
If I never return, then it was lovely to have met you all – I will send some sort of sign from the heavens to signify the existence of an afterlife. If you see a donkey wearing sunglasses and eating an ice cream, you will know I’m right beside you.
Till we meet again...

Friday, 20 May 2011

House Porn

Linking up with the lovely Glowless today for Flog Yo Blog Friday

So It appears that I have become somewhat addicted to House porn over the last few years, no I don’t mean naked pictures of Hugh Laurie (although...) but Real-E-Stalker style, hardcore, house porn. I get behind my computer screen late at night when the children are asleep and I fantasize over the curvaceous staircases and hot little saunas of the prefect properties I will never be able to afford. My searches begin at 6 zeros and move up from there, a patron of high class houses of the night, dreaming and dribbling at the mansions far beyond my means.
Image from here (this one's for sale!)

Barely legal giant townhouses on tiny blocks will try to tantalize you with their clean lines and provocative architecture. But I must confess, I am more of a country gal myself and I have a bit of a thing going for the sweet innocence of shabby chic and French provincial style. This below is my all time favourite and was designed to perfection by the talanted A-M, fellow blogger from The House That A-M Built.

Click this to see the rest of this magnificent house *swoon*
I know I’m not the only one with this addiction – there are blogs full of us. We masochistic types drool day after day over the stylised images on our computer screens and in our magazine racks, despite knowing they are all photo-shopped to the hilt. I also know deep down that even if I did achieve this magazine perfection our children would come home from school and spill creaming soda on our brand new $30,000 rug, draw on the Monet’s and generally sticky up the place before The Husband even got home from work.

I entered a shop in the big smoke recently and was shocked at how utterly consumed I became with this provincial paradise. I imagine it was somewhat akin to a red blooded male walking through the playboy mansion. I got all hot, flustered and giggly – It was like walking around inside one of my internet dream homes. Thankfully the children were around to ground me or there is a good chance I would have blown our life savings on French scripted cushion covers, chandeliers and the like.

image from here
At this point I am undecided if this house porn is a good or bad addiction, on one hand it encourages you to want to improve your current abode and gives you ideas on how to do so, but on the other hand it tempts you to pull out the old credit card and hide the bank statements until you and your high class furniture will have to move in under a ¼ strength ‘Hogs Bristle’ painted under pass.

For now I will continue to fantasize, setting up little vignettes around my renovators delight and imagining where my white dream kitchen will one day stand.

Do you Real-E-Stalk or partake in the secret viewing of house porn? What is your style?  Are you even lucky enough to own one of these amazing properties that people like me love to drool over?

Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Crazy Crazes

So last night I left the farm amidst cries of 'what's for dinner?' 'where are you going?' and 'He hit me!!'.
I kissed the apprehensive looking husband goodbye and headed into town, music up full volume. I managed to get approximately 800 metres from the driveway before narrowly avoiding killing a neighbor on his motorbike whilst speeding and swerving a Kangaroo who then ran infront of him, thankfully he was fine and skippy will live another day. Ok re adjust self, turn the music down to a tad more age appropriate levels and back on my way, somewhat more cautiously this time.

I made it into town without fur on my bumper and proceeded to a restaurant - that nice kind where you are NOT supplied with coloured pens to beautify the table cloth and nothing on the menu started with a 'Mc'. I met up with the staff from the retail outlet I work for. The staff consist of The two owners (in their 50s) two 17year olds the birthday girl (21) and me.
So over the best Chinese I have ever eaten the girls started talking flash mobs and after a quick you tube explanation and example of what that is to the bosses and I, they moved onto discussing this new craze of "planking" that they and "everyone"are getting into, I had never heard of it before so they then proceed to show me photos of people doing plank of wood impressions on a number of bizarre surfaces like on one of those parking meter ticket boxes or this plank on a rock example:

Image from here

Back in my day we got our kicks riding shopping trollies down hills, with those wonky wheels who knew which hospital you would end up in?
So thanks to the wonders of the interweb, this impersonate a piece of wood 'craze' has spread around the globe with lightening speed and has recently turned deadly when a bloke 'planking' actually died falling from a 7 story building. Jackass eat your heart out.

image from here

We left the restaurant after the mandatory richest mud cake ever and pointed out things to potentially plank upon on the way to the cars, including walls, signs, milk creates and police cars. One of the bosses got into the spirit and even performed a 'vertical plank' for us ie standing upright.

It makes me wonder what the 'in' thing to do will be when my kids are teenagers. As people we seem to be constantly on the lookout for a thrill and something different to do to 'express ourselves'. So is 'planking' a form of arty self expression or just another way people are trying to 'get noticed'? Have you 'planked' or become caught up in one of these "internet crazes"? How do you think people will draw the line between craze and crazy?
In the meantime:

image from here

Tuesday, 17 May 2011

Panic Cleaning

Whilst I love it when friends and family come to visit, I absolutely dread those phone calls of “I’m just on my way over” I am kind of house proud but rather bad at it and these calls mean I have to pull my anti domestic goddess butt into gear quick smart.
I am lazy someone who tends to procrastinate a lot bit when it comes to house work and have been known to hide pretending I'm not home when the door bell rings unexpectedly. This has become even more of a problem since I moved approximately 1.5hrs from civilization as I tend to put domestic duties off knowing I have an hour and a half of panic cleaning up my sleeve once that phone rings.
Panic cleaning is becoming a speciality of mine, I can have all rooms including bathroom roughly tidied ( ie stuff shoved into nearest cupboard) within 15min, I can vacuum the house top to bottom to acceptable standards in 10 min, have dishwasher unstacked and re-stacked in 5 and I can sometimes even manage to squeeze some last minute window-de-fingerprinting in  providing of course I don’t  get distracted by the lure of twitter/facebook or someone’s new blog post in between. The problem my husband is noticing here, besides the cupboards full of junk, is that I can ‘panic clean’ rather effectively in 60 minutes, but then I can’t so much as manage to fold a basket of washing through the course of an average day. I was always a last minute kinda gal, all through school my assignments were done very late the night before they were due, and I do tend to be late to most places I go, but of course that is due to my total disorganization having four busy children and a husband to get out the door.
I have grand plans of organising myself by setting up a bench and basket system near the door so I don’t have to run back to the car 20 times for school hats/bags/drink bottles and where the hell are your shoes?  
So here I am, prioritizing well as usual by typing a blog post with visitors due in an hour. Let the panic cleaning begin!

Monday, 16 May 2011

Suicide and guilt

image from here

I have had a lot of memories stirring recently, when I sit down to read RRSAHM, Lori’s blog, they come back at me full force and I find I am never too far from tears. Suicide is fucked up. Unlike Lori, I was lucky, the person concerned was not my husband, but my friend and her heart is still beating today, badly broken – but beating.
When these memories started resurfacing, stuff that I had moved on from bubbled to the top, stuff I had blocked out. I then came to a realisation, a bad one. Where Lori is struggling with unnecessary guilt, being blamed by people she used to call friends for something that was absolutely not her fault. I realised the events of two years ago were indirectly but conclusively MY fault and I hadn’t been blamed when I should have been. The guilt cut me like a knife.
 My friend, she still thinks of me as a true friend, someone who sat by her in her darkest hour, someone who never gave up on her when many others did – she hasn’t made the connection yet, she’s probably too drugged up on prescription pain killers and those depression meds that turn you into a zombie. No, she hasn’t made the connection of how my own stupid teenage problems influenced her so much all those years ago, how I grabbed onto that need we both had for friendship and unintentionally changed her forever. I started a ball rolling, a big destructive ball that would almost squash her life and repeatedly mess with the lives of everyone around her. Carrying that guilt around hurts like hell.  Of course I will be there; I have to be there, since I fucking put her here in the first place.
I wrote the following two years ago, the night after it happened and long before I consciously realised the part I had played in it:
As I walk quickly down the corridor, the smell of disinfectant is overpowering and I am deeply aware of the fluorescent lights bearing down on me in a somewhat threatening manner.
I don’t want to be here. I had made a promise to myself just two days ago whilst clutching my baby girl tightly as we headed home after 4 days of seeing her attached to a NG tube and various monitors whilst words like ‘surgical consult’ had been thrown about somewhat carelessly, yes I had decided then that I would actively avoid the place for as long as possible.
I continue down the corridor passing the sterile metal food trolleys lined up next to a door patiently waiting their turn to be stocked. My heart beats a little faster as I turn right and venture up a vast stairwell, my every move echoing loudly up its cold concrete steps until I reach the top and another long corridor working my way through the maze to the main lobby.
I reach the information desk and give my friends name. I am directed to level 7. Holding my breath as the elevator reaches its destination, I ponder what to say for the 100th time, I don’t think there are any ‘right’ words for this situation, part of me wants to hug her and the other part wants to slap her silly. The elevator doors slide stiffly open and another maze of corridors is waiting for me, I weave my way through to her room and take a deep breath I walk in and peer through the curtain,
there she is slumped face down on the bed sleeping heavily, her eyes have shadows darker than I have ever seen. I mutter her name, no response, I go in and sit on the bed she stirs and looks up at me with a half smile, I opt for the hug over the slap and we make light banter for a few seconds, both of us seeming to be avoiding the obvious topic at hand.
Her mother then comes into the room and smiles to see me, her face pale and worn with worry and grief, I feel awful for her, I can’t begin to imagine how it must feel to see her daughter like this, being a mother myself changes the perspective somewhat.
She had apparently taken several packets of a number of opiates just to make sure the job was done right. Anger spills out of her toward her mother for coming home early and calling the ambulance, just another half an hour – that’s all, then I could have had peace, she says bitterly. The detail of the planning was chilling.
I think the saddest part about this whole situation was that we all knew there was a problem, and there had been for years, we did what we could at the time, but it wasn’t enough.
She had tried to get help, she had tried quite hard to get help, but had been stonewalled every time one psychologist labelling her a hypochondriac attention seeker. Eventually somewhere along the way she gave up, what’s the point? Nobody will listen anyway. She sank so deep into depression that she became isolated and dissasosiative.
She says she is so tired, so very tired, she doesn’t want to suffer anymore. She can’t understand and wants to know the reason why we find this acceptable in a terminal cancer patient, yet we can’t seem to find it acceptable with her, she says it’s her body, her decision. She doesn’t want help anymore, she says it’s too late; she just wants to go home so that she can finish the job properly, take the pain away. Her attitude has become sarcastic and numb, she’s not sad anymore, she is way past that.
Depression is such an incredible problem society today, although as a community we are improving our understanding and acceptance of mental illnesses, I am terrified that someone could actively seek help for a period of years and be turned away, having simply given up. Another person failed by the system until suicide seems to them to be their only way out.
The doctors lacking a bed in the correct psychology department were planning to discharge her from the hospital, they actually gave her a card with an appointment scheduled to meet with a hospital psychologist in a week’s time. Luckily her mother put her foot down and for the time being she is still under observation, but I can’t believe that the system has cracks so deep that they would plan to send a suicidal women home to come back in a week for a “chat” with someone.
I don’t know what to do, what to say, in many ways it feels like it’s too late to help her, she has completely made peace with dying and nothing that has been said to encourage her otherwise has even rippled the surface. I just hope that someone can find her the help she needs to recover from this; it’s a long journey ahead one I hope she can be convinced to take.

Two years later and recovery is still slow, she still has potential to follow through with it. I freak out on her birthday, I freak out at Christmas, and now it’s been two years, I am freaking out again – She likes anniversaries, and would quite likely use one to send a message to people, the wrong people, It pains me to think such a message that should come to me could end up on the shoulders of her mother. I find that recently I have detached from her a lot either from subconscious guilt or self preservation, I’m not sure which, but it’s been 4 months since I last saw her and she doesn’t return my or anyone else’s phone calls or texts very often. I must try harder, but its draining, this guilt. This friendship, it takes a toll on my family too, the husband says to let sleeping dogs lie, let her come to me or find her own way, we have done all we can. Have we ever done all we can? Is it possible to make good for what I have done? I don’t think it is.

Sunday, 15 May 2011

The Sunday confessional

Well, since I am not someone who attends church, I feel it is important for me to cleanse those deep dark sins of mummy/wifey-hood from my sole and so I decided to lay them upon the general blogging community 3 at a time. So here goes this week’s Sunday Confessions:
Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinned...
My dear husband, I drank the last of the coffee, the last of the coke AND ate the last of the marshmallows even though I knew perfectly well that you were trying to give up smoking and these little items were quite important to you... I do realise that I must pay penance which will most likely be additional cm’s on my butt & thighs.
Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinned...
To my daughters day care teacher, I may have kinda maybe forgotten that she was booked in for a session and upon remembering the next morning I rang you up and claimed that I was supposed to bring her that day but wouldn’t be able to as she was unwell, to which you thought that you had made the mistake. I do believe penance has already been served as she is now actually unwell and I must clean copious amounts of snot from everything within nose wiping range several times per day.
Forgive me Bloggers, for I have sinned...
In an attempt to keep Felix quiet and my sanity intact whilst waiting for an appointment, I may have let him continue to play with the poker machine style game on my iPhone for around 30 minutes after realising he was doing it.
I am aware my penance for this poor act of mothering will most likely be paying for a life time of psychology bills and will result in me accompanying him to Gamblers Anonymous every week of his adult life.

Do you need to cleanse your own sole? Feel free to play along and confess to us your own weekly sins.                               

Saturday, 14 May 2011

Muse Wars 2011 Challange 1

Muse Wars, sounded like a bit of fun so I thought I would give it a try, so those who dont know what I am talking about I have copied the following text from the lovely madmother:

Originally started by Melissa @ The Things I'd Tell You, the Muse Wars continued through eight challenges and then faded into oblivion. I did attempt to kick start it again but failed dismally. But I'll try once more.

  • Open to all and sundry, you need to link below in comments. First to list sets next challenge. Anyone can join in, you just need to write a story as your interpretation of the photo in 500 - 1000 words. Can be of any genre - let your mind fly free.
  • First to link sets new photo for next challenge. Or can pass it on to next on list but MUST be passed within 24 hours of previous challenge closing.
  • Next challenge must be set within seven days of completion of previous challenge.
  • Will allow 5 days to complete - so starts Sunday evening, ends Friday night.
Thankyou Madmother :) If you wish to enter too you can hop over to madmother's and leave a comment and she will add you.

Now here is the picture for the first challange:

And here is my story:

Forbidden Love
Alina watched her body bend and flex in the mirror, racked with an almost smug satisfaction as she remembered the previous night, where Raul had held her body tight against his, the feel of his warm breath on her cheek, the comfort of his deep brown eyes staring into hers and she shivered.
It was just a few minutes until the wedding and Alina was expected to dance with the grace and dignity only a virgin could. She quickly revisited herself in the mirror, her make up was perfect, not a hair on her head was out of place and her stunning beaded dress was envied by all the young women in the village, still she looked different somehow, guilt washed over her, surely Raul’s mother would know.
Alina’s sister appeared and quickly ushered her towards the awaiting ceremony, as Alina approached she recalled Raul’s secret visit the night before, the way he had caressed and kissed her virgin body until he caused it to shudder and moan uncontrollably in ways she had never imagined. For a woman to experience such divine pleasure before her wedding day was simply unthinkable.
Alina and Raul had known each other since they were small children and she had been in love with him for as long as she could remember, but as was the custom in their village the decision to marry was not one often made by the bride and groom themselves, but in fact, the grooms parents.  Raul’s mother was a stern woman with unforgiving eyes who was desperately hard to please. She did not like Alina and Alina was terribly uncomfortable in her presence as a result she and Raul had hidden their desperate love for one another over many years.
They had arrived at last, the room was beautifully decorated, flowers filled every crevice and the air was heavy with their fragrance.  Alina’s friends and family were overflowing the room, their excitement causing quite a din, she glanced up as she entered to see Raul standing nervous but composed at the front of the large room. She carefully took her place opposite him, their eyes met for a second and he shot her a guilty smile, he too filled with blissful memories of the previous night.
The crowd hushed suddenly and they looked up, Sharinda, Alia’s oldest sister had arrived. Sharinda entered the room and with the grace and dignity of the perfect bride and took the hands of her groom, Raul. The ceremony was long and words spoken were beautiful, but Alia had heard none of them, her thoughts pre-occupied with guilt and a pang of jealousy, Raul’s touch was embedded in her sole. The crowd suddenly burst with cheers and Alia watched as Rauls mother’s stern face lit up with pride. The love of Alia’s life was now married to her sister.
Alia swallowed the deep sadness for her lost love and took a deep breath in, she let the memory of the previous nights forbidden love bathe her in a warm glow for a moment as she prepared to dance for them, she let her breath out and began to dance, her sister filled with joy, smiled blissfully and she knew she must take their secret to the grave.

Wednesday, 11 May 2011

The other side of the hill...

image from here
I look around me and I am surrounded by subtle signs of being about to turn 40:
The ever increasing furrows in my brow,
The 4 growing children rampaging through my house,
 The people mover in my driveway that ferries us to weekend sporting events,
Thoughts of career paths less travelled, and what the heck am I going to do when I grow up?
The fact that I eat dinner by 6 and go to bed by 9pm most nights,
The wondering who I really am.
 I commented to a young whipper snapper of 21 at work the other day that I only have one friend that’s almost my age (4yrs older) and most of them are a good ten or more years older than me.  I recently had quite a lot of fun at a 60yr olds birthday party (see I even blogged about it here).
 To this I got a raised eyebrow look followed by a look of pity and she said “Oh, wow that sucks, it means all your friends are going to die way before you!”  Well.  Isn’t that just lovely, mutter mutter... kids these days... Thank you very much, I now have a mental image of myself alone in a rocking chair with many cats and a collection of funeral dates on my calendar.
I think that the thing that possibly gets me the most about these signs of turning 40 is that I’m not even bloody close to 40 in chronological age. I’m only 26 damn it! Somewhere along the line I boarded a time machine and skipped to the future. I mean does working as a casual between babies at the same retail outlet for the last 12 years constitute a career?  Nope, didnt think so. I pretty much skipped the whole career thing and jumped straight into marriage and babies. People tell me I still have time, but the thought of going back to uni when the kids leave just seems impossible and too far away. Besides, by the time I actually do hit 40 I will probably be much too busy playing bingo down at the hall with my friends.
 My grandmother decided that she was not long for this world when she turned 65 and promptly started dressing like a stereotypical granny and not doing much of anything anymore because she was too old. She lived to 95. I sure don’t want to spend 30 years of my life waiting around to die.
I guess this crossroads of life moment comes from the having already achieved pretty much everything I set out to achieve in life, short of a nice cruise through Canada and Alaska on that pretty looking boat that is anyway –see I’m being old again, where are my dreams of piss ups in Paris like most people my age?
So what do you do when you’ve done it all? I think it might be time to create me a bucket list and start crossing those suckers off – or maybe instead of the typical things to do before 40, I should do a things to do AFTER 40 – just to make sure I still have a reason to live when I really am over the hill hey?

Tuesday, 10 May 2011

The Important Things

I worked on Sunday, and in order to make it into town I had to leave early, before the kids had time to realize it was Mothers Day. So my mother’s day was spent in the company of adults with the bonus of being payed for my time, which was quite enjoyable really as I like my work and the people there so it feels like a bit of a break from the mundane.

After work I was supposed to meet The Husband and kids in town and go to my SILs place for a Mother’s Day dinner for my MIL. The Husband called me at lunchtime and said that the bonfire we had been burning hadn’t gone down as much as expected so he and the children wouldn’t be able to leave it to come in to town. (How convenient) I thought that I had better go anyway, MIL and I get on quite well.

After work I trundled off to SILs place, it’s the first time I have seen their new home and it feels odd to be there without The Husband. It’s a gorgeous house, modern and artfully decorated like a page from a magazine. My other SIL arrives with their 4 children arrives, I have technically been part of their family for 10yrs now but I always feel so awkward. I was never good enough, just that girl their brother knocked up. They chat about all of the Mother’s day gifts received and luxuries bestowed upon them. They are all very comfortable in each other’s presence and I am the odd one out. MIL arrives, I’m glad to see a friendly face and we eat. I make my long drive home excuses and leave, they seem relieved. So am I.

I spent that drive back reflecting on family and the important things, wishing I had just gone home straight after work, home where I am accepted for who I am, home with my husband and children who love me, where mothers day means more than lush gifts.

I arrive to a humongous mess clothes and toys litter the floor, dishes overflow the sink and the smell of bonfire smoke is stale in the air. The Husband is reading a story to the kids as I walk into the lounge and they all jump up, shout “Mummy!” and hug me.

It feels good to be home. I survey the bomb site again and smile, the mess just reminds me of why I am needed and the homely feeling beats the perfect magazine style environment any day.

Just as I kiss the kids goodnight one of them asks ‘Is it Mother’s Day mum?’ Yes honey, I reply and quick as a flash the three boys run to their school bags and produce little cards they have made for me. “love you mum” they say , the princess gives me a snotty kiss on the nose and they hop in to their beds with smiles on their faces. “Want a coffee love?” asks the Husband giving me a hug. And as I start unstacking the dishwasher to find a clean cup I think about how much I love them too, more than they could ever know.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

Life Without Television

image from here

Imagine, in today’s world, not having a television. Well shock horror, we live it every day.
We lived in the suburbs of a small city and we watched TV like everyone else. The kids came home after school and turned on ‘ABC Kids’, which stayed on until it was time for dinner. I didn’t go out Tuesday nights because I didn’t want to miss ‘Packed to the Rafters’. I never missed an episode of ‘House’ on Wednesdays, I loved Fridays because that was when they played back to back home renovation shows. Our timetables and lives were governed by the network’s programming schedules.
 When we first moved out bush, we had TV reception, then one day after a violent wind storm, a decision was made by the storm gods and it was gone. Just Like that.
No amount of antenna jiggling and tweeking could fix it and each time we pressed the On button, nothing but a black screen stared back at us.
The first week was the hardest, it was like giving up smoking. We paced and grew cranky. Shouts of “there’s nothing to doooo...” rang constantly across the lounge room. For the 3 of the four children that had been partially raised by the television (not something I am proud of) their world had been suddenly turned upside down. 
The Husband eventually came to the realisation that there was a time before TV, and people had survived and were perfectly happy then, so why couldn’t we be?  I had images in black and white of little boys running after hoops with sticks playing over and over in my mind for a while there and was a tad harder to convince, after all he went to work all day and so the lack of TV’s effect on the children and my mood after not having my daily fix of Dr Phil, wasn’t really his problem.
 He said ‘for heaven’s sake we live on a farm now and there is 100 acres to play on.’ He was right of course. So we dug out the bicycles (you know the things with the pedels they say you can’t forget how to ride – a total lie by the way.) We made campfires and ate marshmallows, the kids built teepee style forts out of sticks and dug in the dirt. The family worked together to collect firewood, we built a chicken coop together and now collect fresh eggs every day as a reward. The 8 year old can reverse park a trailer on the back of the ATV which is a skill most TV watching city kids couldn’t do in a pink fit.
So now we thank the storm gods for playing their hand, the kids are better behaved, we spend more time together as a family, we get a lot more done around the farm and The Husband and I have more quality time together after the kids are in bed. So even if the opportunity arose to get television again, we would turn it down in a heartbeat.  After all, we still have the internet!
Does the TV control you? Have you mastered the art of moderation? Do you think you could live without TV for 1 week and would you be prepared to take the challenge, and blog about it?

Monday, 2 May 2011

Dancing Around The May Pole

Yesterday was the first of May here in Australia, it also happened to be a family friends 60th Birthday.
These friends have the most beautiful property with lots of gardens.

and hidden gems around every corner...

So being that it was the 1st of May we danced around the May pole, of course! Well they did anyway, someone has to take the photos. It was hilarious!

We feasted on breakfast foods

and Buzz learned how to cook toast the old fashioned way.

A gentleman brought his new 'old' car and parked it next to my neighbours service station prop and so I took the oppertunity to take this photo:

The kids loved feeding and watching the horses.

 The Princess enjoyed wandering down the garden paths

 Until we eventually wandered home, full of food and ideas for our own gardens.