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That is no good reason to lick your brother...

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Mixed Feelings

Since being invited to attend Christmas dinner in mid-December, we've seen a considerably more of Erik. Part of me is very happy about this, but part of me is uncomfortable, and even a little annoyed. It pains me to feel that way, but I guess it's hard to control how one feels.

I found out what it was that Erik told 'them' in order to move in with them. Some of it is true, if taken out of contest - or rather the context was very skewed to minimise his behaviours and overstate my own, but that is not surprising. He also seems to have forgotten the less desirable reasons he moved in with them, he's forgotten things he said to both his father and me about them being financially better off than us.

Some of it is misunderstanding. We had a conversation a couple of days before he took off where I had said if he didn't like the rules in the house then he could find somewhere else to live - I didn't think he would find somewhere else to live, honestly. He had said …

Without Harlem...

Tomorrow is going to be a stinker, and Friday is going to be worse. This means it just wouldn't be fair to bring Harlem out. I have worked him in 32-33 degrees, because we only walk out in the sun for two times two minutes all the way home. But 37-38 degrees is beyond the pale, so he'll be staying home tomorrow and Friday.

I loathe using my cane. The other option would be taking a taxi home, but over two days that would end up costing $60, which is huge.

Before we get a dog at Guide Dogs, we have be competent with a cane for just these situations. I'm competent with a cane, but I loathe using it. It jumps up and stabs me whenever it hits uneven ground - I swear the thing is trying to kill me. I also feel it brings attention to me in a way that is isolating, where as people just love to see Harlem working.

Mostly though, I can't talk to the cane. It won't look back at me with those askance eyes. I definitely use Harlem to get around safely, and more and more, I nee…

Management...

It's an ongoing struggle, this being a working wife and mother. On the one hand, yay for working, yay for extra income, and yay for feeling that I'm contributing to my community. On the other hand, FFS, what is with my husband and children being blind to the house becoming a tip piled on top of a bombsite? I have always said that if anything happened to me, they'd get lost in their own detritus. I was, of course, counting on nothing happening to me.

I did not consider the effects of me working and therefore being out of the house for twelve to fourteen hours a day. It is stereotypical, but the guys will - if I give up and leave them to their own devices - let recycling pile up in bags on our kitchen table. They'll use every dish in the house and only wash a sink full each day - wiping down benches and sweeping floors are just a waste of their time because, 'It's only going to get dirty again'. Well, duh!

Clothes, toys, discarded mail, endless piles of empty…

Iceland...

I'm in the early stages of planning a trip to Iceland for Luey, Bryn, Ari, and me at the end of this year or early next year - it might be early next year because I wouldn't want to leave Dave on his own for Christmas. Dave won't be going because he doesn't like the idea of flying, but also because of his mum. He can't just leave the country for a month and leave her on her own, especially over an Aussie summer with the heat we've been experiencing lately.

The reason I'm planning this now though is that I feel the boys will not internalise Iceland as a part of themselves if they don't go during their childhood. Luey is already at an age where going there will be basically the same as going to any foreign country for a visit. I'm hoping though that Bryn and Ari will be able to feel their roots in the country. I have mentioned the trip to Erik, and his first reaction was to say there was no way he could afford to go as he's putting all his money i…

Saving...

Almost two weeks into the year. So far, still no unnecessary spending. It's been, not a challenge exactly - but, eye opening. The number of times I've thought, 'Oh that looks good, and it's pretty inexpensive, too.' or 'If I had that I could get rid of...'

I've checked myself each time, but seriously, the impulse is very strong to be on the lookout for something new to buy. It really highlights for me how far my shopping impulse had gotten out of hand.

Meanwhile, my savings have increased, which is what I'd hoped they'd do. It means going out this weekend to get Bryn completely ready to go to high school is easy. I'm looking forward to paying off all the boys fees at the end of the month. I don't have the funds just yet, but then the school offices don't open until the 29th anyway. I'd really like to be in the office on the 29th to pay those fees off. I can't remember if the high school uses Eftpos or if I need to bring cash …

Let me tell you a story about marriage...

Dave and I have been happily married for 19 years, in November it'll 20 years. Now you're probably wondering why I crossed out the word 'happily'. Don't worry, we're not splitting up. It's just an idiosyncrasy of mine to be plain about the reality of things. I'd say we've been happily married for something like 16 years of the past 19 years because there have been patches that just weren't that happy. We went through a particularly rough patch back in 2003 which lasted at least a year. The rest of the time has been a couple of months here and there. Marriage is very rarely a storybook thing.

But that's not actually what this post is about. It's about how over the years, through the thick and the thin of the marriage, you get to feel like you know each other quite well. You know each other's great attributes and then there are those things which sometimes make you wonder what exactly attracted you to the other person. Sometimes those …