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Showing posts from March, 2011

Making Monday...

In review, it seems today was a day for making...


Bryn started it off by making a good enough impression on his teachers in his endeavours to be helpful in class as to have a class award bestowed upon him - his first! He was happy about it, despite the lackluster expression on his face (must be quite a view looking out over the entire school assembly and all the teachers and parents from that new perspective!). He looks so odd to me in this picture, suddenly his neck is very long, and his face is longer, too. I see more of Erik in him - but somehow I hadn't noticed it until right now.


To show he does smiles, a picture of him before proceedings, um, proceeded - just as he spotted me right up the back with my telescopic lens!


At home, Ari made some beautiful pictures...


Bryn had made plans for a school friend to come over after school, so Dave made some mini-mini muffins!


And I was suddenly overcome with a need to knit (probably because I have editing I should be doing). So, I start…

I'm no helicopter parent, but I'm not THAT cool!

For some time now, I've been allowing my big boys (aged 11.5 and 9.5 now) to take themselves off to the park, or run quick errands to the shops for me. They have certain restrictions laid upon them, including an agreed upon route, and estimated time of arrival home. They do not carry a mobile phone with them because I don't believe it would protect them in an emergency, and where they are allowed to go is always close to residential housing. There is also another reason I don't allow them to have mobile phones, and the following example will help to illustrate this.

Yesterday, Luey had just come back from the park when there was a knock on the door. It was a girl from his class, her sibling and another friend. They said they'd been wandering around the local streets for a while and had seen Luey and his younger brother when I'd ask them to sweep some leaves and seed pods off our footpath and driveway, so these kids had stopped by to say hi.

Luey went out to the fro…

Things that have made me smile recently...

Even when the weather is getting darker and more gloomy ever day, it's important to smile! Smiling not only relaxes your face muscle - relieving them of tension, but it's messages the brain to release feel good hormones, so smiling actually makes you feel better! Smiling has been shown to strengthen the immune system, and going into winter, we all need that! Here are some things that have made me smile recently...

Every time I walk past this carseat for 4-7 year olds, I find myself smiling for many reasons! First of all it was a generous gift from a friend, whose son had outgrown it (that boy is turn 8 soon, and was only a little baby when I first met him and his mum, awww!). Secondly, because it was a gift, that's $100 or so that can go towards our trip to Adelaide - for which we needed this carseat in the first place, instead of into buying a carseat for Bryn! Finally, it reminds me we'll soon have a licensed driver in the house, and a car of our own!
Dave been told he…

Reading... How, When, and What? (Tell Me!)

I had set myself the goal of reading 52 books this year. I know if I tell you I've read two, you won't fall out of your chair, because let's face it, we're talking about me here...

I used to read a lot. A LOT! I've read thousands of books in my 39 years (more specifically in the past 35 years), and I mean literally thousands. Most of these were reading in my adolescence. I did read a lot in my twenties, but sadly, most of the books I read then were textbooks, and I say sadly because reading textbooks is probably what killed reading for me.

Kind of a terrible admission from a writer, isn't it, that they don't like to read. Was it Elle who said the only book she'd ever read was one she'd written herself? I'm sure she was trying to say something about finding the truth within yourself, but that didn't stop people thinking she was just stupid, did it?

I don't know what it is, but there are very few books that catch my imagination any more. M…

Things I know...

On Monday, Friday always looks like a long way away, by Thursday night I always wonder why I commit to getting things done by FridayThat job you secretly hope your husband won't get (and then doesn't get) will be the one you'll be jumping for joy about when he get a second interview (for the same job almost a year later).Sitting on a green lawn, in the sun, eating hot chips with someone who really "gets it" is the best pick-me-up!Korma with aniseed ROCKS!Even if burping makes you want to hurl and scream abuse at the offending performer - when it's your two year old, you'll laugh all the same.Mint Chocolate Aero ROCKS!I may only have a 1/16 million chance of winning the lotto on Saturday night, but if I don't buy a ticket, I won't have any chance at all.Linking up with Yay for Home.

Friday Fiction Link-up: Battle Wary by Sif Dal

It's Friday!!! As I said at the beginning of the week, from today Fridays will have a Fiction link-up here At the Bottom of the Garden! So, here's my contribution for the week - I really hope to see others link up to their own short fiction or poetry (hey, write a haiku!). Link up at the bottom of this post!

Battle Wary 
by Sif Dal
The cafe in the narrow city side-street was surprisingly well lit by the sun’s rays that performed Olympic-like rebounds off the wall of glass across the way. Gnarth sat in the darkest corner of the cafe, away from the windows, where he could watch the comings and goings. His suit was clean, but worn and shiny in places. He had considered getting a new suit some time ago, but decided he had no need to impress anyone these days. He’d long since lost the bright hue of youth in his skin. He was more pallid grey than iridescent puss green these days, and yet when he spoke, which wasn’t often, there was a self-assuredness that could not be mistaken or igno…

I had a mini-breakdown this morning - aka, beware getting lost on the net...

I have been on a HUGE learning curve over the past couple of days.

This may seem a little "late", and certainly that is how I felt this morning, but after many years of studying creative writing the best way I know how (through haphazard academic plodding), I recently decided that if I want to get my novel published - and you know I do! - I probably need to raise my profile a little on the internet and, you know, build a bit of a following (yes, I do feel like a complete arse even typing these words, but you've gotta be brave and bold, right?).

I finally started doing a bit of research about the Australian writing scene - why don't they teach this stuff at Uni? I also finally started actually reading the various writing newsletters I'm subscribed to and checking out the websites they constantly refer their readers to.

THERE IS SO MUCH OUT THERE TO KNOW ABOUT!

There are so many opportunities to get involved.

I know nothing and I'm not worthy!

Hence the mini-ner…

Suffering from Redactaphobia...

I have to admit I'm writing this blog post purely for procrastination purposes...

I need to edit my manuscript and my exegesis. Like many graduating research students, my work needs one final tweak (at the request of the examiners) to make it the very best it can be - without actually editing content too much.

As well as this, I've been informed a publisher is taking submissions for unsolicited manuscript in a category my manuscript would slip nicely into. Before I'm ready to submit it, I need to make a few small changes to emphasise certain aspects and polish it so it looks all shiny and tasty.

I'm afraid of starting. Not because my manuscript is so precious to me I can't stand to change a single word, but because I'm afraid of changing the wrong words. What if I accidentally make it less appealing? What if I fail to see what is working and delete the magic bits? What if I add something to a scene and slow down the pace too much, or make it awkward? Like a pa…

Introducing Friday Fiction!

Showers always fill me with inspiration!
I was in the shower before, thinking about editing my novel again, which led to thoughts of how I always seem to struggle to make time for writing, and then it came to me!
I'm going to start a "Friday Fiction" regular link-up on my blog!
I'm pretty sure, I've heard the term "Friday Fiction" somewhere before, so my apologies for not being terribly original. It's just kind of catchy, and Friday is the end of the working week, which means I can work towards something each week - I'm planning on writing a 500-750 word piece each week. It also happens to be five days from now, so a bit more convenient than "Monday Mutterings" or "Wednesday Words" considering I now have to produce something in time!
Starting this coming Friday (March 5th), I am going to publish a short-short story on my blog each week!
And you can join in - because I know so many of you are itching to exercise your writing muscle…

Things that have made me smile recently...

Here are some of the things that have made me smile this week.
The beautiful rich textures of velvet and brocade clothing...

Silver jewelry with meaning behind it - these four hearts represents my four children...

A gorgeous full moon, and capturing it without a tripod and long shutter speed!

A trip to the city with my second son...

Sunny, warm Autumns days after a mild Summer...

What has made you smile recently? Tell us by linking to your blog below!

Going on a Moon Hunt!

After dinner tonight we took the boys for a walk to see if we could spy the biggest full moon in almost two decades! Up at the corner of their school we finally found her rising up beyond the smog on the horizon!


I decided I really wanted my telephoto lens, so we raced home and I was able to get the following shots - she's so very beautiful, our Luna!



I was quite pleased with this last shot considering I don't have a tripod, so can't take any decent long shutter shots...

Biggest Full Moon in Almost Two Decades!

Happening tonight!

The Autumn equinox officially took place yesterday, but we'll be celebrating it in a couple of days time, and at the same time we'll be experiencing the full moon at it's closest position to the earth tonight, so she'll be bigger than ever!

The Moon was at her fullest about two hours ago, so she's actually already begun her wane, but this won't be enough to ruin the effect of tonights show (assuming we have a clear night for sky gazing!!!).

I'll be doing another loo paper ritual tonight - New Year's Eve's ritual really got things moving in the right direction, but this blockage is a doozie and I can tell another hefty push is necessary to clear out all the old debris that is providing obstacles in our path.

So, if you haven't read about the loo paper ritual (sounds delightful doesn't it?), it goes like this...

Get a roll of loo paper and a pen - preparing a ball point because it'll roll over the paper without dragging …

Things I know...

Joining in Things I Know! at Yay for home!




To be a mum of four is the essence of Sink or Swim. If you don't run your home like a well oiled machine, everything grinds to a halt and you find yourself awash in UNorganised chaos!Just when you think you can't possibly bare anymore, another thing will rain on you and you'll realise you're still standing.Knowing your rent and your utilities are up to date goes a long way to soothing the pain of all the wants you feel you're missing out on.A good belly laugh with a friend is the best kind of entertainment on a tight budget.Even though I lived to regret splurging when I kidded myself we had a little extra money... I LOVEHoly Clothing clothes! I received an order I put in 10 days ago today and it's all so lovely and so flattering and not all that expensive, really...

How do households manage without a computer nowadays?

We used to have two computers in this house. Actually, let me restate that; we used to have one computer and a boat anchor in this house. Then the boat anchor up and died on us, so now we have one computer. I consider us to be quite fortunate to have this one computer, I know many families don't have any computer. This makes me wonder how they manage, though.

For the final quarter of last year I put a ban on our children using my computer because their father's computer had died as a result of a deadly virus collected online, and I was in the final throws of finishing my thesis (I'd already had one PC and one laptop die during the course of the degree and was quite paranoid about this one solitary remaining computer) and couldn't risk losing all my data and my only workhorse.

Since getting my results, I have allowed them back on my computer for homework research and to do Mathletics. There have been some disgruntled grumblings from at least one of their teachers over t…

Money isn't everything...

Ever notice how it's the people with money who say this? Or the people with options, in any case.

I've been told by people that they were "in some ways" happier when they had less money. I've been told I'm "lucky" not to have a mortgage hanging over my head. I've been told my children are lucky because they get to see their parents all the time (hey, I totally agree that parental presence is a huge boon to children, not saying it isn't).

Apparently, Dave and I have it great! We don't realise just how fortunate we are that he doesn't have to be at work until late at night, and we don't have to stress about having two incomes to meet the house and car loans.

What gets up my nose is that when people are busy telling my how lucky (and obviously ungrateful) I am to be a renter with no job, they refuse to acknowledge how they could be as lucky as me! How they actually have the CHOICE.

Hey, if you don't think your kids are seeing th…

A most important question...

What colour should the cover of my thesis be?

I received an email today addressing the matter of getting my thesis printed and hardcover bound before the graduation. I had completely forgotten I had to do this. It seems I need to have at least four copies printed, five if I want one (and you know I do!).

I have no idea how much this is going to cost. Too much, I suspect, considering our significant lack of ongoing funds. Oh well. It'll be nice to have it in print.

I can't seem to find any pricing anywhere but that's okay because I managed to distract myself with a question of utmost importance. Namely, which colour to have the thesis bound in.

Traditionally, theses are bound in sober, academic colours like navy or dark green or maroon, but you already know I'm not going to go there, don't you?

So, help me choose - which of the following colours are *Me*?



































































What's your vote?




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Traversing the Void...

I have a real sense of floating in a vacuum at the moment.

I usually have some goal I'm working towards and that I have control over and can see daily progress on. For the past 14 years it's been:

Finish my undergraduate degree; a Bachelor of Arts in Communications (1997)Finish my post graduate diploma in Vocational Education and Training (1998)Have Erik and work on my Master of Education (1999)Work on my Master of Education (2000)Have Luey (2001)Resume working on my Master of Education and complete it (2002)Move to Bendigo, and then to Upwey (2003)Move back to Box Hill (finally) and try to get pregnant (2004)Have Bryn (2005)Lose 32kg (2006)Start a Master of Arts (Creative Writing) and research gender swaying and convince Dave to try for #4 (2007)Have Ari and work on Master of Arts (Creative Writing) (2008)Work on Master of Arts (Creative Writing) (2009) --> This was also the year I had my gall bladder out, Dave was made redundant, Dave's dad died, my Nanna had a stroke,…

Things that have made me smile recently...

I've decided to start a regular link in - here it is!

The weather has been gorgeous the past couple a days!  It's been a tad humid, but other than that it's been so lovely!  I know a few of my friends are not fans of warm weather and they should rest assured this weather won't last, but in the meantime, for the rest of us it's a delightful change!!!  When it is cold I only ever want to hyperbenate, but when it's warm and sunny I find myself filled with enthusiasm for life and a need to expend energy - isn't this the way with most creatures?

A number of things have filled me with joy lately and I thought I'd share a few of those with you all!

As I've mentioned before, I'll be shaving my head next month - and I'm raising money for Cancer Research, you can click on the banner there over to your right and donate if you wish. I've mentioned it a couple of times already this week but so far haven't been able to inspire anyone to donate. I&…

Things I know...

I'm joining in 'Things I know' at Yay for Home.
Going out to dinner is never just about re-connecting with your partner - it is also about making sure the toilet, the bathroom, the kitchen, the lounge room and the bedrooms are all spotless so the babysitter doesn't feel compelled to call in a Hoarders rescue team...No matter how much you love and accept your body, when the sleeves of your OOAK handsewn vintage replica coat start to feel too tight, you'll find yourself vowing not to gain any more weight to actively attempt to lose a few kilos...A dinner time that ends with the entire family in fits of laughter is always the best kind...Even if your husband - who you've nagged and bitched at for 13 years to get his licence - fails his first attempt at a driving test, you'll be so proud of him for attempting it!If you have two children who are a handful and then a third who is easy, you're destined to have a fourth like the first two just to remind you that…