Wednesday, May 30, 2007

What Is Your Quirk?

I was reading Jeanie's blog recently where she mentioned that she matched her clothes pegs. Now, this came as a surprise because I am the only person I know who does that! In fact, my family always give me heaps about it!

Then, on the radio on the way to work this morning they were discussing this exact same thing. They got people to ring in with their own little quirks and guess what.....another peg matcher!!!! :O And she was just like me....not only do the pegs have to match on the line, but they also have to match the colour of the item that you are pegging. For example, pink pegs with a red top just makes me cringe.

Now I am not a fastidious house-cleaner by any means. In fact, my house often (ok, mostly!) looks like a bomb's hit it but my pegs have to be perfect! Now Dear Husband has worked out that this works to his advantage. The few times he has ventured into the laundry and offered to hang clothes out, he's made sure that he mismatches the pegs. He knows that it unhinges me! I have to then go behind him and redo the pegging (and yes, I'm ashamed to say that I do!), really making him realise that he needn't have bothered offering in the first place! Ok, point taken, I'm my own worst enemy sometimes!

So this has gotten me thinking....if my peg matching is my biggest quirk, what do others have? On the radio they had one surfer guy ring in saying that he had to match his board shorts with whichever surfboard he was taking out that morning! peg matching seems rather innocuous now!

We all seem to know someone of the quirky variety. A certain in-law of mine (who shall remain nameless here cause I still would like to do family bbqs together) is infamous for his alphabetising of his spice rack and for his carpet laying on the bottom of his tool box (can't let those tools scratch it, can we? ;) )

And how many of us, when buying a newpaper from the local shop, always take the one that isn't from the top of the pile? Ok, putting my hand up for this one, too! And the fact that there's a successful advertisement out there asking whether you are a 'scruncher' or a 'folder' makes me suspect quirkiness is not uncommon.

I was asking a wonderful friend of mine today what his quirk was, but he couldn't think of one! So does that mean that there are people out there without quirks? Or is it just that some people won't admit to theirs? My friend said he'd have to think about what his quirk was! Perhaps his quirk just isn't quirky to him.....yet! Lol!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

In Honour of the Finger.....Powderfinger that is!!!

I love 'The Finger'. They are one of my favourite bands! The fact that they are Qlders is just an added bonus! Their songs are amazing! So imagine my delight to discover that after years of no new Powderfinger cds, they are finally releasing a brand new one this weekend! Woo hoo!

Ok, ok, I know that the Powderfinger drought has been tempered by the Bernard Fanning cd of 'Tea and Sympathy'.....probably one of my all time fave cds actually.....but this is the whole band with new songs!

So the new album is titled 'Dream Days at the Hotel Existence'. I have been listening to a few sneak peeks of the album on their myspace page and in my opinion it sounds fantastic (I think Nobody Sees is my favourite at the moment but this might change by next week!) I can't wait until Saturday so I can buy my copy. I even thought about trekking into the city on Friday-week to wait with the thousands for their album signing but decided that an old woman like me amongst all of the screaming teenies would be pretty sad! Lol! Even my 11 year old told me that I needed to get a life when I told him that he could join me! ;)

And just to keep up the Powderfinger theme, here is the clip for their first single, Lost and Running, off the album:

To Dream A Nightmare!

Have you ever woken up to the vivid memories of a nightmare still playing on your mind? The type of nightmare that has you waking up with a start, your teeth still clenched, your neck aching and it feels like you haven't slept a wink? That is how I woke this morning at exactly 6.10 am!

No, I wasn't dreaming of goblins and scary monster. My dream involved a train and not the steamy, comforting Harry-Potter-off-to-Hogwarts type train either. It began with me at a station and the children were doing what they usually do...the 11 year old racing ahead to get to the required destination and the 7 year old dawdling behind - with me caught in the middle as usual! The 11 year old had raced over to station seat and was waiting for us to catch up when the ground beneath us started to move. It turned out that what we thought was the station platform was the outside step of the train that was now pulling off from the station.....effectively separating the 11 year old from us. In my dream I was in a panic. I dragged the 7 year old into a train carriage and found out that the train was headed to northern!

All the time I was stressing about my poor boy who I'd left at the station without money or supervision. I was terrified that he would have no idea how to get help for himself. I was terrified of the unknown! I desperately tried my mobile but it was out of range. That sick and panicky feeling was indescribable. Finally, after dark, the train pulled into some very small township and I finally had mobile range.....and of course, at that point I woke up in a huge sweat!

So what does this mean? Apart from meaning that for the rest of my day I felt like going back to bed, I wondered if this was my inner sub conscience trying to tell me something. So of course, I googled 'dreams' and this is what I found:

To see a train in your dream, represents conformity and go along with what everyone else is doing. You have the need to do things in an orderly and sequential manner. In particular, if you see a freight train, then it refers to the burdens and problems that you are hauling around.

To dream that you are on a train, is symbolic of your life's journey and suggests that you are on the right track in life and headed for the right direction. Alternatively, you have a tendency to worry needlessly over a situation that will prove to work out in the end. which one am I? My first thoughts were that I am feeling frustration with the fact that my 11 year old is coming into that age where it is suddenly the done thing to question your parents....his life journey is altering paths with ours and I am certainly feeling frustrated by it.

But as the day has progressed, I am also thinking that it has to do with the stress surrounding other parts of my, parenthood, uncertainty over some volunteer work that I am doing. And not all of my children are coming along for the ride! I certainly didn't feel like I was on the right track in my fact I felt like I had lost control.

So are there any dream experts out there who can do a better interpretation? Anyone who can offer an insight into my inner self? Or maybe I am just needlessly worrying. One thing is certain though...tonight I will sleep well!!! Someone pass me a warm Milo and my comfy slippers please....but keep the Thomas Tank jokes to yourself! ;)

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Why, oh Why Did I Get Out of Bed Today?

1) Wanted to sleep in, only to be woken by 3 (yes...3!!!) text messages on my phone!

2) Tried to get back to sleep but was again woken by arguing males in my house on their way to footy game!

3) Backed car out of driveway on my way to hairdressers. Got about 10 metres from my front yard when noticed that car was driving strangely. Sure enough...flat tyre! Had to postpone haircut till 1pm while waiting for motor repair service to come and fix tyre (which, btw had a nail in it, of course!)

4) While waiting for motor repair service to come and fix my car, Miss 7 year old takes dog into front yard and lets go of lead! Yep, imagine me running down the street chasing after speedster dog!

5) Got to hairdressers. Had arranged to meet rest of family at the end of haircut time so we could then scoot off to movies to see Pirates of Carribean 3. Miss 7 year old comes in at the end and announces at the top of her voice and in front of the hairdresser, "Your haircut looks disgusting"! Great! If ever I wanted a hole in the ground, it was then!

6) At dinner tonight, asked 11 year old to move down a place at the dinner table as he and his sister were arguing. Somehow, this erupted (after his refusal) into an all-out war between him and me with him declaring that he hated me after I confiscated his Play Station indefinitely! Of course, I am such a terrible mother cause I don't accept disrespectful behaviour in my house.

So after a few tears. a chocolate biscuit and a wish that I didn't feel like I was getting the flu so that I could have a glass of wine (darn, should have added that as #7!) I have been cheering myself up by watching the music clip to this song. Dear Husband and I watched it on tv the other day and thought it was fantastic ( may have to turn off imeem player at side before watching this). Apparently it is the singer, Ben Kweller's grandmother in the clip dancing. I keep looking at her and thinking that if I ever get through these childhood years and am a dancing, singing, fun-loving grandma like her when I'm her age, then all will be ok! What a cool granny and a great representation of how fantastic women of all ages can be!!!

Saturday, May 26, 2007

Work, Work, Work!

At the moment I am feeling surrounded by work! Paid work, housework, parent work, general work. When I'm like this, I tend to go into 'exhausted' mode. This means that I either live off adrenalin for a few days (and then crash and burn afterwards) or just feel exhausted all the time!

So yesterday morning at about 15 minutes before the necessary leaving time (you know that time....the time that, if you leave any later, you will definitely be late for work!) I realised that I hadn't cut up veges etc to pop into the slow cooker for tea that night. Eeeek! So in a mad rush, I peeled and chopped potatoes, leek and carrots and threw them into the slow cooker with a semi-frozen chicken and a heap of stock to make chicken soup for tea. Ok, I was running slightly behind time but nothing I couldn't make up for.

Then the 7 year old went into her usual screaming match because she realised that it was her teacher's birthday and she didn't have anything to give her. Picture me doing a mad rush into the garden looking for any flower with child crying at doorway. Of course, in the middle of a drought, flowers are not something that we expect to find anymore! So I promised to race into the local servo to buy a chocolate bar for very lucky teacher!

Now running definitely late as I backed the car out of the driveway. Got to servo to find a queue of about 6 people in front of me......all doing eftpos! Typical!

So very very late, I drop child off at school (the other one went earlier with his father thank goodness!) and tear off to work. Halfway to work I realised that somewhere in my brain the previous night I had decided that I wasn't going to worry about chicken soup for tea because I still had leftovers in the fridge that needed reheating! Der me! Oh well, would juggle meals around anyway I decided.

Get to work about 10 minutes late! Not too bad given the morning's events but still I was weary and brain-numb and I knew it. Still, I didn't have to worry about getting home and cooking tea...that was already stewing at home!

So at about 6 o'clock last night I romped into the kitchen to the smell of beautiful chicken and veges cooking.....ummmm....beautiful veges and beautiful chicken with the plastic wrapper still on it, all beautifully cooked!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Toilet Trail

I hate public toilets. They are smelly to the point that you feel ill, filled with germs and ugly. Even the clean ones leave you with a feeling of suspicion.

Why is it then that my daughter seems to be having a love affair with them??

It doesn't matter where we are or who we are with.....checking out the toilet is a top priority in her book. Many's a time that I have dropped everything in the middle of the shopping centre to cart her off to the toilet. And half the time I'm sure that she didn't need to go that urgently.....she just wanted to have a gawk at the loo!

Now how on earth did this child come from me? BK (before kids) I rarely ventured into the porcelain jungle (ie public toilets). Now I suddenly have many stories of waiting there for a child who does a 'go-slow' as soon as we enter their stinky domains.

And we have a routine. She suddenly does the toilet dance at the most inopportune time (this is where you squeeze your legs together, put a pained look on your face and point to the affected area all whilst doing a jig up and down). Then we go in search of the toilet, inspect it and then do the paper laying on the seat in the hopes that all affected germs with get the message that seat to skin contact is not allowed! Then it is a waiting game. Me complaining loudly for her to hurry up and she taking as long as she possibly can! And once the whole saga is over, I usually race for the nearest exit for a breath of fresh air.

Now mums of little boys know that this dilemna is slightly easier once they learn to 'stand and point'. But with a little girl, sometimes it's just all too hard.

So please someone tell me that she will grow out of this fascination! Cause I'm sick of seeing the inside of public toilets!

Monday, May 21, 2007

I Love My Slow Cooker

I have recently become the proud owner of a slow cooker. Originally, I worried that purchasing one would be a waste of money but now it has become an essential item in my kitchen.

When you live in a household of people who work, go to school, do evening sports training and have other appointments, you either start to live on a diet of take away and toasted cheese sandwiches or you eat at midnight! Not anymore here! We now have gourmet meals available at all times of the evening for those hungry little nippers! It's a simple arrangement. I cut up the veges the night our last minute rush of the morning, I dump them in the slow cooker along with the meat and sauce base (usually a tin of something!), turn the thing on and in the evening I come home to the smell of a cooked dinner in my kitchen! Woo hoo! And I also have a rice cooker so there is not a sticky saucepan or fried-on fry pan to wash up! Double woo hoo!

And it's not just limited to casseroles. Soups and roasts are other family favourites from the magic slow cooker here!

Now my friend Lynda over at Lulu's Bay tells me that I have to add recipes when I do these cooking blogs so just for you, L, here is tonight's dish of Mango Chicken (hmmmm...or maybe I'll freeze it and have it later in the week):

1 kg chicken breast pieces
1 large tin mango in natural syrup (reserve some syrup and add 2-3 teaspoons cornflour for thickening)
1-2 carrots, peeled and sliced
1 onion, diced
1/2 teaspoon curry powder
2 teaspoons chicken stock powder
3 dessertspoons tomato paste
1 teaspoon crushed garlic

Place all the above in slow cooker and cook on low for 6-8 hours

About 20 minutes before serving add:

1 tin light evaporated milk
1 teaspoon coconut essence

Serve with rice!

Sunday, May 20, 2007

I Have Been Tagged

I have been tagged by a couple of my cyberspace buddies (Jodie and T!). Both with the same meme, too. Here are my answers:

1) Four of my favourite jobs

* My favourite job of all time is being a wife and mother. Nothing could prepare me for it but if I didn't have this job, my life would be on a downhill slide, I think.

* I love my paid job. I work with kids and have been doing so for most of my working life. What more can I say?! It's rewarding yet frustrating at the same time!

* I spent a school holiday once working in the mail room at Medicare. I love the idea of going into the city every day and working in a big building. I loved the idea of not taking work home - just showing up at 9 and finishing at 5. And having a whole hour's lunch break to wander through all the city shops! Ahhhh, bliss!

* I worked as a checkout chick in a chicken shop once. I can't say that I loved this job, but it helped me to pay for a car, social life, etc and made me appreciate how hard those take-away food shop people really work!

2) Four of my favourite local places

* I love Coolum Beach. I love the waves, the sand, the lot! My dream retirement place would be there somewhere.

* The Redcliffe foreshore! Heaps for the kids to do. Anzac Cove lagoon is a place where the kids can swim for free. You can set up a bbq in one of the parks or buy fish and chips and eat on Suttons Beach. There are boardwalks all over the place so taking a bike or scooter is ideal and there are plenty of parks along the boardwalk for the kids to play on. A great place for families!

* I love Westfield Chermside! Who wouldn't?! All those shops under one big roof. And I'm sure that if you walked fast enough from one end to the other it would be considered as some type of exercise, too. It's so long. It would have to be a few kilometres round trip, wouldn't it? Not to mention that there are both Myers and David Jones (well it's coming) there....and 2 (yes, read two!) Gloria Jeans! In fact, there is a coffee shop at every turn but give me a Gloria Jeans anyday. Although the French Twist bakery do a mean hot chocolate! And despite its size and the fact that you have to stalk people to get a car park, I rarely fail to run into someone I know there. Today I ran into 3 people that I knew, all in the space of an hour!

* I love the Glasshouse Mountains. I can understand why the Indiginous tribe of the area had great Dreaming stories about them. And I can understand why Captain Cook, on his exploration down the Queensland coast named them as he did. They are like beacons of welcoming IMO. And to think that they are extinct volcanoes makes you realise how old this land really is. I have in the past, climbed Mt Beerwah (on a class excursion in high school) and Mt Tibrogargan (a few years ago when I was thinner, fitter and somewhat healthy! :P) and both were such amazing, special experiences. In fact, I have added a picture here taken by us in 2004 from the top of Mt Tibrogargan looking over to Coonowrin and Beerwah.

And not to mention that a trip to view these great mountains could also co-incide with a trip to another favourite place.....Australia an added bonus!

3) Four of my favourite foods

* Seafood.....especially shellfish. One dear friend told me that whenever she went out with me I always ordered the fish on the menu! Hmmmmmm! I love prawns, bugs, crab, lobster, oysters, name it!

* Mango! What Queenslander doesn't?!

* Chocolate! What good woman doesn't?!

* Thai! Anything with coconut milk in....yum!

4) Four of my favourite international places

* Dublin
* Africa.....on safari preferably
* London
* Vanuatu

5) Four names of people I'm tagging

I think that everyone I know has been tagged already so if anyone else would like to take this honour on, let me know!

Saturday, May 19, 2007

AFL Footy For Dummies

I seriously dislike football. I always have cause it seems so full of aggression and too much testosterone in my opinion! In the past I've always been the one in the kitchen on grand final day talking to the other non-footy-lovers! In fact, give me a good game of cricket any day!

Imagine my surprise (read shock, horror) when the 11 year old said that he wanted to play AFL. I was torn between my predisposition to the sport and my need to fulfil my supportive motherly duties! Thankfully Dear Husband committed himself to do all the running around to games and a lot of the running around to trainings. So I was basically outnumbered and the football-loving males in this household got their wish!

So today I went to watch my dear son play. Now, I'm sitting here contemplating what I've now learnt about AFL. Footy lovers reading this are probably rolling their eyes back into their heads by now, but just to shock you more, this is what I can say about the game in general:

* The idea is to get the ball between the goal posts at your team's designated end of the field.
* There are 2 big goalposts with 2 smaller posts at each end of the field. If you kick the ball through the 2 big posts, that is worth 6 points. If you kick it through a big and small post, that is worth one point. And if you hit it through any posts it is only worth a point apparently (confused yet?)
* To get the ball down the field you have to either kick it, pass it (with that fist under the hand movement thingy) or run with it.
* If you run with it you have to bounce it after so many steps and then hope like hell you can catch it again.
* If you kick it and someone catches it on the full, that is called a 'mark'. That means that you can have a go at kicking it further and everyone has to stand back until you do.
* You stop the other players with the ball by either stealing the ball from them or tackling them.
* You can push and nudge the player you are playing near to get in front to get the ball. am I doing?

Now IMO spectator observation is more of a sport. Watching grown men and women cheering, howling, ranting, screaming and offering very vocal opinions to the players and ref was a bit of a culture shock. And not all of it I could understand. Imagine my surprise when some poor little kid was lying in the middle of the field having been winded, with tears running down his eyes, when the folks behind me were cheering the perpertrator (ummmm....I mean 'other player') for doing a great tackle! What is that all about?! If it had been my son, I would have had to restrain myself from running out onto the field to rescue him.

So maybe I'm not cut out for this footy mum stuff! Perhaps I'm better off saving my energies for the summer cricket season where I understand the whole 'hit the ball down the pitch with your bat' stuff.

Oh and for those interested, 'our' team got flogged today but my dear son did score the only goal that his team made! Pretty good for a first-timer with a non-footy loving mum, hey!

Friday, May 18, 2007

The Dramas of a Working Mother

Ok, I only do paid work for half the week so really should I be complaining? Hmmmmm! Why is it then that my house looks like a bomb has hit it? I know that I shouldn't be sitting here, typing this, but the thought of getting up and cleaning makes me kinda want to puke at the moment! Ewwwww! There are floors to vacuum, a dishwasher to pack, an ironing basket that my friend and I have both labelled 'Mount Ironing' given its size, bathrooms to clean and general junk to sort, pick up and file! Arrrghhh! Why oh why doesn't the cleaning fairy visit my home some day when I'm at work and just fix up the lot. What a marvel that would walk home tired and brain-numb after a long day's work and there before me is a sparkling clean house! Yeah right!

But there is one place that annoys me the most. That is the pile of papers, notes and assorted leaflets that always clutter a spot on the kitchen bench? I read somewhere where someone called it a 'bilge' and since then, that is what my pile has been nicknamed. No sooner do you sort it, shred the bits you don't want and file the bits you do (not to mention find that missing bill that you've been looking for for ages!) then it reappears like the nasty scourge on our living environment that it is! Does anyone else have one of these?

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Cooking Like Mum

I have very fond memories of coming home after school, as a child, to a house smelling of my mother's cooking. She has always been the queen of sweet cooking in our family. Cakes, slices, biscuits, desserts....all are possible in my mum's kitchen.

I, on the other hand, have had little inclination to run out and whip up a batch of fresh scones or the like. My standard 'bring a plate' to bbqs etc is usually a quick Coles-bought dip and a pack of Jatz! As a working mum (albeit part time) who spends a lot of time running around after kids, I really just don't have the time or the energy to do that 'production' stuff.

But I'm going to change! I keep telling myself this! So today I pulled out the mixing bowl and recipe books and found a recipe that my mum used to make when I was a child, that I had obviously copied at some stage when I was younger and more motivated to cook. They are her Coconut Crisp Biscuits. What do you think? I am pretty impressed with my end product!

So today my kids will have their afternoon tea of milk and home cooked cookies....just like their mum used to do all those years ago!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

The Random Peeps

'How was school today'? I asked my rapidly growing 11 year old. 'Good' was his single word reply. 'So who did you play with today?' I ventured gamely. 'Random peeps!' was his answer. There was stone cold silence for about 15 seconds. 'Ummmmm...' (I didn't want to sound like some really old and uncool parent but I had to ask), 'Who or what is 'random peeps'?'
'You know', he rolled his eyes and looked at me like I had just stepped off the mothership, 'Random people'!

Oh well der to me! Suddenly, I have been thrust into the 'next generation'. The one that is uncool and knows nothing about anything. And I'm sorry to say, it seems to have happened overnight. One minute I am a hip, up-to-date being and now I am not. I have to have things explained to me by my pre-pubescent son. So I didn't know who 'peeps' were. I don't know how to load an ipod or work the remote on the fancy smancy tv. I wouldn't have a clue what the lyrics to the latest Wolfmother song are (does anyone?) and not surprisingly I have no idea who is going to win the football this weekend.

But I do know some things. I know, for example, where that missing shirt is that he always seems to need but can never find. I know my son's shoe size so that if I see any shoes that I think he'll like, I buy them for him. I know that his favourite home cooked meal is roast with gravy although he really likes my Mango Chicken. I know that some of his 'random peeps' are really nice kids and some I could take or leave. I know who is going to drive him to his beloved footy practice next week and who will wake him out of bed tomorrow to prepare him for his day. I know who will check his homework before it gets to the teacher. I know who will explain to him everyday why he shouldn't be mean to his sister and what the consequences of his actions are. I know who loves him unconditionally and who will be there to support him no matter what happens. Hmmmmmm.....perhaps I'm not so uncool after all!!!!

Sunday, May 13, 2007

Mother's Day!

My Mother's Day started off beautifully. I woke to the sound of my kids making me breakfast in bed. No fighting, no arguing....them working together to create a simple yet loving concoction. All done at their own initiative....a bowl of cereal, a mug of tea, a piece of peanut butter toast and a piece of Vegemite toast. Too bad that they put too much milk in the cereal and forgot to butter the toast. It was the most beautiful and loving way to wake up on Mother's Day!

After the breakfast came the pressies. The 7 year old went crazy at the school Mother's Day stall and bought me a butterfly pendant, a home-made beaded bracelet and some black bead earrings. This was followed up by a small make up bag and a mug from both kids! And the school-made pressies (God bless teachers!) were a note-pad and some coconut ice! The most delightful things though were the cards. From the 11 year-old, I got the usual, 'To mum' and 'love'! He is a boy of few words. The 7 year old, however went all out which, hopefully the photos will show!

Lunch was spent at the Samford Patisserie with my parents. Delicious burgers, scrumptious cakes (Dh and I went halves on the berry mini cheesecake and the lemon tart! Yummo!) and lip-licking hot chocolates all meant that I have no room in the tummy for dinner tonight. After that it was a quick trip to the nearby park to attempt to kick the soccer ball around (thanks to the passerby who was giving me tips!) and hoping that the mid-air leg swinging was burning off a few calories. Of course, I also spent time inspecting the local craft hut! ;)

Finally, we ended up at my brother's place for a cup of tea.

A lovely day with family and the first Mother's Day ever without my dear dear Nanna who passed away mid last year. Thank goodness for family on Mother's Day!

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

In My Daughter's Eyes

Little girls are precious. Sure they can be feisty, stubborn and dramatic and they can make your life a living hell, but they are also so much more. My darling daughter is creative. She loves openly and with affection. She sees the best in people and has a love for animals that goes way beyond a nurtured trait. She likes the things I like......flouncy pink dresses, playing 'hairdresser', drawing and colouring, smelling fragrances, trying on shoes! But she is very different from me. She is much more confident. She says exactly what's on her mind. She can manipulate people to get exactly what she wants without them even realising that they've been had! She knows exactly where she is heading and doesn't let anything side-track her. She can be loud and demanding one minute and shy and quiet the next! She is a strong, strong girl.

Sometimes I look at her and just marvel at how we could have created such a magnificent being. How someone so small could bring us so much joy (on most days, of course!)?

So when Miss B came home from school and declared that she had practised her dance for the upcoming Mother's Day picnic to a song called 'Through My Daughter's Eyes' I immediately jumped on the internet to find out more. I'd never heard of it before. But now I have. And I just love the lyrics. I hope you enjoy them, too.


In my daughter's eyes I am a hero
I am strong and wise and I know no fear
But the truth is plain to see
She was sent to rescue me
I see who I wanna be
In my daughter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes everyone is equal
Darkness turns to light and the
world is at peace
This miracle God gave to me gives me
strength when I am weak
I find reason to believe
In my daughter's eyes

And when she wraps her hand
around my finger
Oh it puts a smile in my heart
Everything becomes a little clearer
I realize what life is all about

It's hangin' on when your heart
has had enough
It's giving more when you feel like giving up
I've seen the light
It's in my daugter's eyes

In my daughter's eyes I can see the future
A reflection of who I am and what will be
Though she'll grow and someday leave
Maybe raise a family
When I'm gone I hope you see how happy
she made me
For I'll be there
In my daughter's eyes


What Makes A Mum 'Special'?

Miss B's school show-and-tell this week seemed simple....."Tell us 3 special things about your mother'. At least I thought it was simple! 'Well', I asked, 'What do you think?'
"I don't know!', she screamed back at me! I was stunned. I started rattling off the favourite colour, my favourite food, etc etc. 'No, no, no!' she continued. 'That's not special enough!' So I thought harder! I didn't want my child to be the only one in class who didn't have a 'special' mother. What on earth made me special? What followed was the mother-of-all-tantrums (hers!), a particularly dented ego (mine!), a quick and desperate note to the teacher to ask for more information and a day's delay on the task and the kids being 15 minutes late for school!!!!

So throughout the day, that question has been playing on my mind? What makes me a 'special' mum? Am I a special mum? Is anyone? If there was a competition for all the special mums in the world, would I come last because my own daughter couldn't even tell me why I was special? Am I a failure??!!

She did, after much prodding, offer the statement, 'You look after me when I'm sick'. Does this make me special? Gee, I thought it just made me a typical mum.

So I have pondered and pondered this all day. I don't think I have the answer but I have come to the realisation that all of us are special mums in our own way. The sacrifices we make to raise our children are testimony to the fact that we are all special. The unconditional love that helps us to undertake circumstances with our children that we wouldn't dream of going through for anyone else. The day-to-day unpaid work that is never acknowledged yet is questioned if we don't do it. The constant 'on-the-job' learning that makes us double check everything we, as mums, say and do in the hopes of raising a successful adult into the world. The worrying, the anxiety, the stress! The dreams that we have for our children's futures. They make us all special.

And when I found Miss B's scrunched up piece of paper, I realised that I must be doing something special. At the bottom of her rejected 'Show and Tell' notes, she had written: 'My mum is special because I love her'. Sometimes it is the simple things that make life special.

To all the mums reading this....have a fantastic Mother's Day on Sunday! I have posted a picture for you all of one of the few drought tolerant flowers that I have left in my garden.....Grevillea Robin Gordon.

Monday, May 7, 2007

Meet the Mutt-Dog!!!

Here is the newest member of our family! Yes, yes she looks cute, but beneath all that cutest lies the biggest rogue I've ever met!

Dear Husband arrived home with her one night to a very startled, somewhat excited family. You see, it had only been about 7 months prior that we'd lost our beloved 10 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel. Were we ready for another pet? Would this dog fill the heart-breaking void that our 'Will' had left?

Well, it has been a couple of months now and I'm pleased to say that it is lovely to have a little dog around the place. But she (we named her 'Ruby') is a whole different personality. For a start, she jumps like a gazelle. She spots something, we put it up and next thing she is jumping up to retrieve it. I've never seen a dog leap like she does.

Secondly, she chews and chews and chews. They tell me to buy doggie toys for her to chew. Well, we did and she does, but she also chews anything else that is within mouth range. That is what the peg is doing in the pic. She had dragged it up to the back yard to chew. In fact, everytime I turn around there are more chewables lying around the house. It's no longer the kids that make the biggest mess!

Thirdly she is a fussy eater. No tinned doggy food and dry dog bikkies for this madam! No sireeee! It has to be fresh. Chicken necks are a personal fave.

For those of you who haven't already figured it out, she is half Silky Terrier and half something! We were told that the 'something' was Maltese, and she does have fine hair around her face, but the body is purely fur. So who knows exactly what the 'something' is. She is slowly coming through the toilet training stage (although she does still have accidents). She loves nipping when she's excited! And she follows me around wherever I go.

Slowly, slowly I can feel the pain of losing our beloved pet starting to ease. All because of a little tiny dog with a big personality who simply arrived one warm February night!

The Genre Princess

My 7 year old has discovered writing genres! How do I know this? Well it all started on Friday when I bought her a new set of felt pens (she'd been nagging for a new set for ages and I finally got around to getting them!). By Saturday, she'd become a permanent fixture at her kiddy table, creating all kinds of interesting pictures and stories. But on Saturday night, tragedy (of the 7 year old kind) struck when the purple pen went missing. Now, with all the enthusiasm we could muster, we did a quick scout around the house, looking for the mysteriously vanishing purple, but to no avail.

A little time after that, she asked me what 2 colours made purple. 'Red and blue' was my reply, not thinking much of it.

The next morning I awoke to find these little 'Missing' notes blu-takked in strategic places around the house.....all in the ideal place for us to see.

I had to have a little chuckle to myself. Not only had she perfected the 'Lost notice' genre in her own innocent way, but she had done her very best at working out how to spell the words.

I've decided that it's the little things like this that make us adore our children even more!

The Big Dry

At the moment, the area that I live in is suffering from a terrible drought. Now usually, when you think of 'droughts', you picture images of cattle dying, animals looking for water, etc. Yes, that is happening to all those out of the city, but even in the city areas, we are feeling the effects! Plants are dying and we are not allowed to water them. Dams are diminishing. Our cars can no longer be washed effectively. And I have actually given up my favourite thing of all....the long shower!

That's right! 4 minute showers are all the go here! No longer do I day-dream, ponder or reflect under the hot water. Now it has become a business-like affair! Get in, get wet, wash, scrub, rinse and get out! It's a sad state of affairs when you have to think twice before you grab the loofah. When you quickly try to work out how long a quick exfoliant will take. And when the thought of doing a 'quick leg shave' leaves you with guilt! The bathroom accessory of choice now is a little hourglass that suctions onto the shower glass and measures out 4 minutes! And if it runs out and you still have shampoo in your hair then you are in trouble!

Today I ventured out into my once flourishing front yard. What used to be a blanket of green is now a prickly underlay of dead grass and dirt. I don't know if the photo shows how bad it really is, but it is bad. And although I have been pouring the recycled washing machine water on parts of it, there is just not enough to give most of it a good soak. Even the plants are starting to yellow and lose leaves. We just watch in despair.

Now while writing all of this, I am mindful that in parts of our country there are people whose livelihood is being affected by this drought. The farmers are the first that spring to mind. There are also business people who are struggling because of the drought. My heart goes out to them. My dying grass kinda seems trivial compared to what they are going through.

So we are praying for rain.....and lots of it! Let's just hope that the skies open up on us before it gets any worse!

Welcome to My Blog

I have been told by a number of friends that I should start a blog. So far I have resisted but the temptation has been too great. Here I am! At the moment I have no idea if it will continue or if I'll reread all I've written, be totally embarrassed and decide that it's all too hard! Who knows! So bear with me while I get my bearings and learn about this blogging biz!