Saturday, May 29, 2010

Simple Pleasures...

I don't know too many people who can resist taking photos of children blowing bubbles...



Bubbles are truly one of lifes simple pleasures when you have children. They incredibly inexpensive, they get kids out of doors, the don't require electricity or batteries, and they don't make noise!

And yet they seem to provide endless joy to children of all ages, as the following photos show.

This morning Luey (9 next month) and Bryn (4) let me take some photos of them enjoying the bubble mix they got in their lolly bags from a friends party last night...

Action, reaction!

Check out the concentration...

The wonder!

Look how big this bubble is mum!

Bubbles, one of lifes great simple pleasures!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Starting to get back into the writing groove.

I've been doing some reading for my thesis research. Not technical reading... Fiction reading. As part of my research I'm supposed to read works marketed at the same market of readers that I'm shooting for. Admittedly, I've only read one book (yes, I realise I've been working on this Masters for nearly three years now.), but even that one book has been inspirational for me.

From there, I decided to follow the author on Twitter. Then I decided to follow a bunch of other writers on Twitter.

Twitter has been a place for me. I have a love/hate relationship with it. I love the light entertainment it offers, and I love being able to catch up with friends via tweets. Sadly, the medium has not been all love and light. The nature of it being that you can dip in and out of "conversations" between all your "friends" on Twitter has meant that I've gotten myself into trouble on Twitter more than once. I've read back on conversations which have turned into debates and as the tension escalated, I've invested more and more emotionally in my pov and not been able to let go of my frustration. Recently, I deleted my original Twitter account after a particularly upsetting interaction because I was unable to cope. After a few days of cooling down, I started a new account and added people I don't find myself tempted to get into debates with.

Then I realised something else, Twitter could have a whole new emphasis in my life. Not one of second hand socialising, but one of information gathering, of learning from people with more experience in an area where I don't have much experience (and therefore no strong opinions or emotional investment). It could be a way to put my finger on the pulse of Australian writing and publishing.

I added the Emerging Writer's Festival, the Melbourne Writer's Festival and the Wheeler Centre to my "friends", from there I've discovered a range of local and not quite so local Aussie writers!

I'm feeling enthused, excited, inspired, all over again...

As my Cert III is drawing to an end, I'm feeling the energy returning to get back into writing - and not before time!

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

The second half of the year is going to be BRILLIANT!

I'm getting a little excited now!

Some good things have happened this week that give me a bit of hope about the second half of the year...

  • Dave's driving instructor told him that soon he'd be booking Dave in for his driving test and Dave would receive a receipt in the mail (I'm assuming that'll be in the next month or so).
  • Bryn went on his first ever play date to a mates house without a parent or sibling for support, he's making friends at Kinder!
  • I found out I've completed my placement hours for general placement and only have 20 hours of Kinder placement left.
  • When I let the director of my placement CCC know I wouldn't be coming back for placement now, she was very encouraging about keeping me on the books and calling me when they needed relief work - she double checked that she had the right contact number, so I'm hopeful of being called in in future.
So, right now the second half of 2010 is looking bright! This is what I'm seeing for us.

  • I am working two days a week.
  • Dave is working two days a week.
  • Dave has his license and drives with confidence!
  • Bryn is full of confidence about starting school next year and transition from kinder to school is smooth.
  • I'm much more involved with Bryn's kinder, which leads to them offering to let me do placement there next year when I do the diploma!
  • I'm also more involved in the boys classrooms, which smooths over some of the rough bits created at the beginning of the school year.
  • With all the extra money Dave and I are earning with our part time work each, we're not only getting ahead with the utilities and have surplusses on those accounts, but we've started saving money as well!
  • I'm visiting my mum, on my own, for a weekend!
  • I'm feeling inspired to write and my writing will BE inspired!
  • I'm finishing my thesis on time!
I can feel it all coming together, the sunshine's rays are spread around the dark clouds and burning them away! All the hard work is being beautiful, plump, sweet fruit!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Getting hits...

I was watching House last night... Love House, the irreverence and all that... It was an episode about a woman who blogged her life on the net (where else do you blog) and insisted on being completely honest about everything, sharing everything about her life, tho especially the stuff that most people might be embarrassed to blog about - her period, fighting with her partner etc...

Her partner was not impressed with all this frank blogging or how the comments on her blog seemed to be influencing her choices more than her own reflections on the choices she had to make. For example, the doctors found she had a very weak heart valve which needed replacing, they told her she could either use a plastic valve which would also require her to go on blood thinners for the rest of her life, blood thinners known to cause foetal abnormality (she'd blogged about how she didn't want a child but her partner did). Alternatively, she could opt for a pig valve which wasn't as durable, but would allow her to conceive safely if she changed her mind about wanting children.

The woman wanted to consult her blog readers for feedback, but her partner felt she would be influenced by them and as a percentage of them were vegan, she would opt for the plastic valve - to asuage them so she didn't lose readers...

House also commented on how she posted very personal things about her life on a public forum because that got more hits...

I've been thinking about this stuff myself a bit recently. It's certainly true that I get a LOT more comments when I post contraversial stuff. Hell, if I wanted to get a mass of hits, I could say what I think about the education system, the birth choices situation here in Australia, parenting choices, dietary concerns etc. and so forth...

The truth is, the boring every day details of a person life (that people wouldn't generally broadcast from a soapbox in the town square - where they had to meet people in the eye), those things never rate comments.

Recently there has also be a lot of contraversy over the sharing of personal information on Facebook. One commentator said, "If you wouldn't stand on a street corner showing and telling people these things about yourself and your friends and family, you shouldn't be doing it on the net"...

Using that yard stick, I think I'd need to delete at least 50% of what I've put on my blog and on facebook and on forums.

I have seriously considered dropping off the net altogether in recent weeks. However, the internet is (sadly) my main source of social interaction outside my family. Yes, this is true. I know some amazing people who I cannot realistically catch up with in real life, except once in a blue moon, so the net is how I keep in touch with these people.

At the moment, my thinking is that people also thought cars were extremely dangerous, and certainly they are not without their dangers, however, with experience we've developed (mostly) mutually agreed up and adhered to rules that govern how cars are used to minimise injury. It's far from foolproof, but the benefits of cars have certainly been shown to outweigh the dangers in most cases, and cars are constantly being modified to make them even safer to use...

I have decided though that I need to let go of the need for commentary on my blog. Contraversy for the sake of attention is no longer where I want to come from with my blogging...

Friday, May 21, 2010

The things people say...

Today I was talking to my room leader about being nearly finished with my Cert III and going on to paid employment. I mentioned that I was a little concerned that my vision impairment might turn potential employers off hiring me because having a legally blind person "watching" a group of kids might make people anxious. I said I understood this, but also that I felt the biggest issue would be that these potential employers wouldn't have had the opportunity to see me work, and to see how capable I am.

Anyway, the roomleader asked me the same two questions 100s of other people have asked me over the years, first, "Have you had this vision impairment all your life?", and second, "And there isn't anything you can do to make it better, like glasses or something?"

I really can't help but laugh... The first question is reasonable, and yes, I've been like this all my life (which is why you can't immediately tell when you first meet me that I have a vision impairment).

Seriously though, in answer to the second question. If there was something I could do to improve my vision, don't you think I would have done it by now? Especially if it was as simple as getting a pair of glasses. Why do people ask me this? Is it just to make conversation? Maybe, faced with something they can't relate to, they just don't know what else to say?

Ah, OMMMMMMMM, it'll be ok, someone will realise that I can do the work, that I've learned to work with my disability and that I'm a fully capable worker.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Unpainted paintings...

Sheesh, it's Wednesday night already!

Running into the final weeks of this Certificate now. Two more weeks of classes after tomorrow, and then Kinder placement, then one more week, then we're done! I'm starting my kinder placement a week early because the kinder I'm going to only does morning sessions and so two weeks wouldn't be quite enough for me to gain my 40 hours of experience. Only tomorrow and two more days next week at the Early Learning Centre where I've done all my workplacement to date - WOW!

We have an anaphylaxis training session on Saturday, which tickles my funny bone a bit because for two year Erik had an epipen, and I knew how to use it, but it's been nearly a year since he was cleared for his peanut allergy and here I am finally doing an "official" certificate in the use of epipens! Irony much?

Today, Dave put in two job applications for "casual freelance" positions. Fingers crossed please (everyone who cares, that is) that he gets one of those jobs and there is plenty of work, and he can start immediately and work from home!

He has a stall at the Emerging Writers Fest this coming Sunday, which will be good for him!

Next Sunday, my brother is coming over for another visit. So, half of next weekend is booked up already, and this brings me to the title of this blog post...

As you can see, life is no less hectic than last time I posted, and this evening as I sat down to my computer (in my freshly tidied study! ~ we had a house inspection yesterday, which meant lots of unusual cleaning from me), that the large canvas I bought three weeks ago is still sitting in it's cling-wrapped pristine-ness next to my desk. I had meant to paint it for the bedroom, but life ha been so crazy I just haven't had the time to set aside to do anything in the way of self-expression. I also still have my belly cast (from when I was pregnant with BRYN!) sitting in my bedroom wardrobe...

I'm itching to get these done, but I feel like I need some breathing room to let my creativity flow.

Today in class we had a kinder activities class. I walked in to find my classmates sitting at various stations around the room doing jigsaw puzzles, sticking stickers to paper, cutting, gluing and drawing. We spent the day doing these things, as well as singing children's songs, playing games and creating fun stuff like coloured salt bottles and ironed crayon stained windows. These things meant that I left class today feeling relaxed and rejuvenated, instead of harrassed and tired.




Tomorrow, we're going to Reverse Art, as well as some other art suppliers (I think, or it could be $2 shops, I was too blissed out on creatiing stuff to listen properly)...

It just reminded me that I really need to prioritise a little me time to paint those canvasses that are crying out for my attention!

Friday, May 14, 2010

Towards the end of the week...

It's Friday, and it feels like Friday, too...

I woke up feeling flat and unmotivated this morning. I said to Dave that I might skip this mornings walk and he gently suggested that maybe this morning I should stick with the shorter walk. I did. I'm glad I did because I now I know I've walked and I know that's something I've done today to promote well being for myself. I still feel flat.

The weeks are slowly counting down to the end of this course. After today there are only 6 weeks to go until it's all done. Only two more weeks at the Child Care Centre where I'll have done most of my placement. It'll be a struggle again to get in there today. Not because I hate the work, or because the people are unfriendly, just because I feel a bit like a fifth wheel. There's always plenty to do, but yes, I'm a student, not a paid worker and I feel like the centre is doing my a favour, not the other way around. I really hope employment feels differently.

I've decided the next two items I need to tackle with regard to promoting my own well being are getting enough sleep and drinking enough water.

That said, I have most definitely felt better this week, on the whole.

We have an extremely busy weekend ahead. MIL is coming over tomorrow for mother's day. She was going to come over last weekend, but on the day she felt tired, so tomorrow will be a nice catch up. Then on Sunday, my brother is coming over. I have to remember to call him tomorrow might and remind him of our tentative plans for Sunday. I'm going to do something I've never done before, and I'm excited about it - and a little apprehensive - but I'll tell you more about that after the weekend!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Grinning in the rain...


As I set out for my walk at 6.30 this morning, I noted that it was cold and there were a few puffy clouds around. There was evidence that it had been raining not so long ago, but there seemed to be no more rainclouds on the horizon, so I set off.

I got about halfway through my walk (so had walked about 3kms) and noticed the clouds gathering. By this stage I was nicely warmed up and enjoying the cold breeze. Then it started to drizzle. Ok, drizzle isn't too bad, a nice little spray of cool mist on my face was refreshing and I powered on.

Soon though the mist turned to drops and then the drops turned to sheets of pelting, ice cold rain.

This is where I remind you that Winter and I are not friends. Moreover, I loathe rain. Even on hot Summer days, I still loathe it. I'm not a fan of getting wet. Once in water, I love water, but the process of getting wet is less than pleasant for me...

So, you'd think once it started pouring, I would have been cursing the gods for not rewarding my efforts to improve my fitness by let the sun shine.

Oddly enough, I felt exhilarated! It could have been that I was really hot, and my cheeks were flushed to the point of feeling hot and tight and so the cold water on my face felt good. It could have been the feeling of complete surrender that came from the knowledge that I had no option but to keep walking because I hadn't brought change for the bus and I didn't have time to wait it out under a tree (that would have been quite a wait, anyway). It could have been the thought of how entertaining the sight of an oversized drowned rat huffing and puffing along the road side must have been for the early morning commuters...

Whatever it was, it felt good, and it surprised me to feel good under those circumstances. Lately, I've felt a whole lot of bad, and so feeling good at 7am out in the 7 degrees celcius rainy day, seemed hilariously ironic to me in the moment.

So, as I marched onward in the rain, I passed a couple of Tafe students huddled under a bus shelter, and passed my grin onto them, and they grinned right back at me!

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

No shortage of churches around here!

So, I've been walking around my suburb in the past three days. I have two routes I've mapped out for myself; a 4.5km walk, and then a 6.3km for when I'm feeling up to a bit more. The first couple of days I walked I did the shorter route and was quite surprised to pass 4 churches! I tend to walk most main roads in this area and those four churches were found on two of those roads. The were all traditional looking churches and belonged to the Uniting church (1), the Catholic church (1), the Salvos (1) and the Anglican church (1).

Then this morning I did my longer walk (mostly to see how much long it actually takes and how taxing it is). This walk doesn't pass any of the four churches I'd passed before, but I found two more churches on another main road. These two were modern, penticostal churches with playgrounds for the children and full "convention centre" type facilities.

Besides these 6 churches, I also know of at least 4 other churches in my smallish suburb. Ten churches in one suburb... You'd think God lived here!

Monday, May 10, 2010

I'm gonna walk, walk, walk my SADness out...


So, if you haven't been reading my blog lately - and let's face it, there hasn't been a lot here to want to read - you may not have picked up on the fact that I'm very stressed at the moment with various committments. On top of this (mostly) self-inflicted stress, the season has been turning towards Winter. Winter and I are not friends. For me, Winter is a cold, bleak tunnel between Autumn and Spring. I suffer from Seasonal Adjustment Disorder (SAD - which oddly is also my initials) as do many of my Scandi relatives and this time of year always sees me feeling more depressed than other times of the year.

This year has been particularly tough. The SAD crashed down on me like some sort of Perfect Storm colliding with the pressures of studying, doing workplacement, being a parent to four and the person in the household who takes care of the finances (which are scarce, to say the least)...

I've felt desperate in this last week, if I'm perfectly honest. The only thing keeping me from coming apart at the seams has been the knowledge of how that would impact my children (and their father, but mostly them).

So, I've had to really put some thought into how I'm going to cope with it all in the coming weeks and months until the sun comes out again and the pressures ease a bit and things turn for the better.

I gave eating better a go, but seriously, cutting out sugar made me more depressed than ever (probably because of withdrawal), so I've come to the conclusion that what I need to do is get exercise.

Exercise is supposed to alleviate the symptoms of depression because it stimulates the production of seratonin. As well as this, I'm thinking that some physical exertion is a good way to release tension that I'm holding in my body from a lot of the fear based anger and resentment I'm feeling. AND if, as a side effect, I lose a few kilos, that wouldn't be a bad thing either for my general health and wellbeing (and hip pocket, because I can't afford to buy ever increasing sizes in clothing to accommodate my expanding body)...

So, for Mother's Day I gave myself the gift of a 4.5km walk, and then I did the same this morning, and I'm planning to do the same each day. I'm hoping the increase in seratonin levels will help me cope with the SAD symptoms, and the exertion of the walks will wear out some of the tension stored in my body. It also gives me time to think without kids and partner talking at me. It helps me get some sunshine on sunny days, and some freshER air than I'd get sitting inside stewing.

Saturday, May 08, 2010

In the process...

Change is hard. Change is also inevitable. Even as I write this, even as you read this, we are changing. Subtle changes happens all the time and because we often don't take much notice of them, they don't seem to bother us too much. Sometimes we suddenly become aware of a change that has been happening for a while, but that we haven't notice and it takes us by surprise - not in a good way. The, "OMG, how did I manage to put on 10kg overnight?" change, that wasn't really overnight, but just so subtle we didn't notice...

Other change, even when it's slow, and sometimes because it seems TOO SLOW, can be very painful.

Labour is a pretty dramatic change which is also very painful and in the midst of it all, more often than not, seems to be taking FAR TOO LONG! Painful change always takes too long.

Labour tells us something about slow, painful change, though. It tells us that slow, painful change can lead to something equisitely beautiful. Something we couldn't imagine having ever lived without. Something we'd go through all the prolonged pain in the world for, if we had to do it again...

So, I think that's how I need to view this brief period of my life (that doesn't feel so brief at this point in time when I'm sitting in the midst of it all). I need to view this painful state of flux, of change, as the process of gaining something I will later consider something I couldn't imagine ever having lived without...

The little things...

I'm struggling a lot at the moment. More than I have in many years. I'm at a point in my life where it feels as if I'm carrying a lot of responsibility without much support. I'm not trying to have a pity party here, just stating my reality. So, waves of overwhelming sadness wash over me frequently right now, and sometimes I feel like I'm drowning, and other times I wish I could drown so I could stop struggling to stay afloat.

I'm an optimist at heart though, and so I know this is just a period in my life that will pass. Things will inevitably get better, as they always do. I'm not sure when that is going to happen - just when I've thought it was going to happen in the recent past, another wave has crashed over me and I've gone back to flailing my arms in a desperate search for oxygen.

There are things that keep me going, little things, and I thought I'd post them here...

  • Hugs for my boys.
  • Watching Ari sleep.
  • The sun coming out when it's not expected.
  • Laughing with a friend.
  • The kindness and understanding of my placement director.
  • A warm doona.
  • A hot, hot shower.
  • The awareness of the passage of time.
At this point in time the strain is likely to last another 6 months or so. Things that will lighten the burden include,

  • Finishing the certificate three and thereby actually being able to be home with Ari more, and participate in Bryn's kinder activities more and focus on finishing my Masters - which I haven't been able to even look at being of the pressures of this Cert III...
  • Dave getting his lisence. He is so close and we now have a car - though not a people mover, it will do the job to start with. His instructor is going way out of his way to help us. He spent last Sunday at MIL's charging the battery in FIL's car (which will be Dave's to drive) and then taking Dave for his first ever drive in that car. He's said that whatever lessons Dave has in that car will be free, so that means extra lessons for nothing. I know there have been doubters of Dave's ability to get a lisence, one person even said as much to me point blank, but this is happening and Dave will have his lisence soon, and I'm really hoping that will take some pressure off us all timewise.
  • By Erik's birthday, all the monies I had advanced from Centrelink back in December and January (before Centrelink told me I wasn't eligible for the pensioner education supplement because I've previously completed a Masters) will be repaid. This means we'll have $300 a month more than before (still $400 a month less than when we lived at Killara St, but it's still some pressure off).
Those three things are things I can count on to change and hopefully change life for the better.

Things I'm still hopeful about changing, that would make life easier, include,

  • Dave getting a job. (honestly, I don't have much hope about this, I'm just putting it out there, but he can't get a job if he isn't even looking, and he isn't looking)
  • Me getting a two day a week job. I really can't be out of the house more than that because I have to finish this Masters and I have to spend some time with Bryn and Ari. It's Bryn's last year before school starts, and Ari is still so young - even though he spends his days with Dave which is great, I miss him terribly. My heart aches from missing him.
  • Buying a house in this area so that I can stop worrying about the owners of this house giving us notice in November or December and the whole moving thing happening again.
But now I have to go and shower and dress and do the grocery shopping and clean the house from top to bottom because tomorrow is Mother's Day and MIL is coming over. Then the week starts again on Monday. That'll be the start of four weeks of being out of the house every day for either school or unpaid work...

Thursday, May 06, 2010

I understand people who cut themselves...

I don't cut myself, but i understand the motives of people who do.

When you feel pain and you have no control over how and when the suffering is inflicted, it makes sense to inflict suffering on yourself because the pain will come anyway but at least this way you are in control of it.

Purposeful self inflicted suffering feels more dignified because it is a choice and you can stop (though, why would you?).

So, yeah, i don't cut myself, but i sympathise with those who do. When you realise how very little control you have over your own life, self inflicted pain becomes about reclaiming control.

Tuesday, May 04, 2010

The Inner Good Girl Phenomenon...

I know a group of women who believe that most women in our society were handed an inner good girl at birth, and that they've been trained to listen to this inner good girl over listening to their own feelings, their own needs and desires. Women who listen to their Inner Good Girl often won't stand up for their beliefs if those beliefs don't reflect the most common societal beliefs. They certainly never say no to other people, in case other people might not like them. Basically, they try to always be nice, and always be GOOD. Always say and do what pleases society.

I'm not sure where the hell I was when they were handing out these Inner Good Girls. I was probably off daydreaming, or maybe I got sidetracked by something glittery or fluttery - it happens a lot to me that I get side tracked. There is so much out there that others don't seem to notice because they're always so focused. They miss the things you can only see out of the corner of your eye when you're not really listening, or not really focusing on what you're supposed to be focusing on. I've found many wonderful things by being sidetracked, like the time I... Oh, um, sorry, I've done it again, haven't I? Where was I?

Oh yeah, I don't think I got an Inner Good Girl. Or maybe I did get an Inner Good Girl, but like so many other things in my life, she ended up with a bunch of pretty, glittery and silky scarves at the bottom of my wardrobe, wasting away in the darkness...

I've suffered for a lack of an Inner Good Girl. I know some people will consider that a weird thing to say, but it's true. I knew something was wrong but it wasn't until I came across this concept, the Inner Good Girl, that I realised this is what has been wrong in my life.

Due to not having any boundaries on the things I will say or do, I've offended so many people. I let my anger and sarcasm show far to often. I GET angry far to often, and about stuff that is so, so minor (others have told me). Anger is all about fear, of course, I know that, I've researched anger a lot! But fear is not acceptible in our society. We're not allowed to show fear. We have to be nice and make other people feel nice all the time, and fear doesn't make people feel nice.

I fear that I don't understand humans. I am one - although, I didn't believe I was until well into my teens - but I don't understand them. I think this is because my Inner Good Girl is trapped in the closest. I suspect I didn't just throw her in there decades ago. I gagged and hogtied her as well. Now I have to try and coax her out into the light and fatten her up a bit so I can stop being so ridiculously offensive in society with my lack of boundaries and my too loud voice and my funny ideas that women don't need to fight for equality, we just need to recognise that we have it and have always had it.

What do Inner Good Girls eat, and where to do I get it? Is there a manual, I can't find mine...

Sunday, May 02, 2010

My first ever blog post...

The lovely Jen at Jemikaan has tagged me in a Meme and asked me to re-post my first ever blogpost...

I love looking back at old posts of mine, trying to remember how I was feeling when I wrote them, but am a bit dubious that the first ever blog post will offer anything in the way of enthralling reading...

January 13, 2006
Where to begin?
I've been meaning to blog for the longest time, I used to keep a fairly consistent diary all through my late teens and twenties, but it went a bit slack after Erik's birth, and was all but forgotten after Luey's birth. Since having Bryn, I've realised I spend too much time at the computer to realistically keep up with a written journal, so online will have to do... Besides, friends have been showing me their e-scrapbooking efforts and I'm keen to give it a go as well...

I've titled my blog "At the bottom of the Garden" because I'm liable to come out with some rather strange musings on life, and spirituality and what not. Really, I'm not crazy, but I do firmly believe that everything is connected on a molecular level and everything we do affects the world around us...

If I seem a bit "out there", well at least you can feel more sane by comparison, right?


Yes, well, hmmm, at least in the last 1099 blog posts (yes, this is number 1100), I've been fairly consist(ently crazy)...

Ok, so now I'll tag three unsuspecting bloggie friends...

Kate - because her blog got me started...
Jayne - because she just recently threatened to be away from the keyboard for a while!

And... And... Oh damn, the other blogger I wanted to tag has a private blog, so no point tagging her. Ok, two will have to do!

Saturday, May 01, 2010

Samhain Blessings...



Today marks the new year in the Pagan calender and I'm using it to have a fresh start on a few things.

Most of my pagan friends LOVE Samhain, but I find this a difficult Sabbat because it marks the departure of the Sun. I love the Sun, and I miss him when he's not here as much. As a special parting gift, the Sun came out in all his glory over Melbourne today. He kissed my forehead and filled me a lightness I sorely needed. I will miss him in the coming long Winter months.

In preparing my mind and home to welcome the introspective months of Winter, I went out and bought a couple of tourines today, so that our little family can gather around the dinner table on cold nights and share steaming hot slower cooker meals and homemade soups straight from the stove. I've been feeling, for a while, that there is something special in serving directly to the table and people helping themselves from a communal pot, rather than serving to plates (which also speeds the cooling process, and cold hot food isn't very palatable).

Tonight I'll do a new years ritual to clear out my weaknesses and rebuild my strength for the coming year. I'm also recommitting to making better choices in all aspects of my life this coming Turn of the Wheeel. I've let a lot of things slide in recent times that I shouldn't have and now all my hens are coming home to roost.

So, here's to the darker introspective weeks, cocooning, growing, changing and bursting out into full flight when the Sun returns with his warm embrace next Sabbat! The rest of Winter, introspective still, will be preparing for warm weather and enjoying the clarity of mind that crisp cold days are wont to bring...

Kicking goals...

Today, after two months of daydreaming, I finally had enough money to
get those tourines, water jugs and the canvas I wanted. I had hoped
to source them from the local opshop, but unfortunately it was closed
and I do have free days during the week atm to go when it's open. So,
we got these from our local $2 shop. The canvas was from the Reject
Shop and only cost $20. I have paints and brushes at home, so I'm
going to have fun making some cheap and cheerful homemade art (Dave
wants to join a support group for Tara Dennison-esque artist wannabe
widowers)...

Teenagers and the failing parent...