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Showing posts from April, 2011

Thankful Thursday!

I've been inspired by Kate at Kate Says Stuff to post my own Thankful Thursday post today.

I have so much to be thankful for today, I just couldn't resist posting about it!

I'm thankful today is payday, and therefore we will be having spagetti bolognese for dinner tonight, instead of the toasted cheese sandwiches we've had to have the past three nights!We've had a full week of glorious mid-autumn weather this week, it's been mild and warm with brilliant blue skies and light breezes - if I could bottle it, I would!Term two has started so the kids are busy, busy, busy, and at night they are tired, tired, tired!Having broken my phone and discovering it'll cost $240 to repair it, which I won't have for at least another month, I've discovered I'm coping very well without it - I'm not as addicted to it as I feared I'd become!~I *may* have organised a walking partner for my weekday morning walks (at least some days), which will make walking all …

It has nothing to do with being a Royalist...

Yesterday, it was announced that the Queen had banned The Chaser from providing commentary on the upcoming royal wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton. Most of my friends are pretty upset by this announcement, they should probably not read this blog post (because it might offend their sense of democracy further) <-- That's it, that's you're warning ...

I cheered when I heard The Chaser commentary had been banned!

I have never been a fan of The Chaser's brand of humour, even when it was directed at worthy causes.  Satire is defined as:

1. The use of humor, irony, exaggeration, or ridicule to expose and criticize people's stupidity or vices, particularly in the context of contemporary politics and other topical issues

The Chaser claim to be satirists, and possibly they are when it comes to political or celebrity figures, but I fail to see how Prince William or Kate Middleton have managed to draw such attention except that they happen to be either born into th…

Wordless Wednesday

The last day of our holidays...

I was going to post a post yesterday about the very, very, extremely long weekend we were still enduring, and about how flat and lethargic I'd felt these holidays due to a number of things, but by the time I reached the final paragraph of that post, I couldn't stand to listen to my own whinging for another minute - so in the bin it went, and I vowed I'd make the most of our last day of these holidays...  In the morning we played Monopoly and then later in the day we all walked down to our local park. I took a bunch of photos - it's a beautiful park! - so here they are (out of order, because Blogger images stuffed it up). Enjoy - we did!

Good Ol' Monopoly

We're big fans of board games in this house - some people call them bored games - but for us, they're a great source of fun, challenge, and well, FUN!

Monopoly is the all time favourite - we play on the board my husband and his parents played on (it's about 40 years old). We only ever play the short game (that's on a timer, usually 90 minutes, but we have been know to play a super fast 45 minute game), but one day we'll do a marathon game - when Ari is old enough to play, too!  The recommended age range for monopoly is 8 years and up, but our Bryn (who is currently 5.5 years) has been playing it since he was three years old and now at five, he's an old hand. When he was younger, we'd let him get up from the table and go do other stuff if he got restless and one of us would play his turn (which helped the older boys learn about putting themselves in someone else's shoes and playing as if it was their turn instead of their brother's turn - so learnin…

Things that have made me smile recently... The Easter Edition!

I have fond memories of Easter from my childhood. Mum always made a big effort with all the holidays, and we would decorate egg shells and hang them of native branches and there was always a wonderful chocolatey surprise on Easter morning as well. When we took the boys to visit my parents (mum and step-dad), they organised an egg hunt for the boys - which we tried to replicate last year.

This year has been fairly low key. We had hot cross buns on Friday - and were pleasantly surprised when our neighbour across the road came and gifted us her excess buns because she thought, with all our kids, we'd enjoy them (and we did!).

We almost didn't have anything to give the boys on Easter morning this year due to tight finances (and needing to eat real food), but MIL came to the rescue and bought the boys a bunny each! Thanks Nanna! So, things that have made me smile recently...

1. The generosity of a neighbour!
2. MIL saving the day
3. The way Luey is so organised with his Easter choc…

It's going to be great!

The future that is...

When Dave has a job and I'm a sucessful writer with a job as a lecturer, and we have our own house (with no landlards or house inspections, or impending development of the site), and Dave has a licence and we have a Kia Carnival.

It's going to be awesome when the boys can do extra-curricula activities like drawing classes and tennis, and guitar and dance!

It's going to be fantastic when we can book a holiday to Queensland and stop in and visit my rellos there, and send the kids off to the resorts kids activities while we have a massage and a soak in the spa!

It's going to be wonderful when I can buy that leather lounge I've been dreaming of for so long - the one with matching recliners - to set in front of the massive tv that I can see from fair across the room like a regular sighted person!

It's going to be terrific to be able to fly the whole family over to visit my parents in the Barossa, and hire a bus for us all to drive up to Whyalla…

Friday Fiction Link-up: The Parts We Play

The Parts We Play by Sif Dal
‘Roy, please come and sit down. We need to finish this script by Monday!’ The strain in Sarah’s voice was irritating like the squirt of lemon juice in your eye. Roy dragged himself over to the breakfast bench and slumped onto one of the pedestal chairs.
‘I don’t think it’s fair to make Jim the patsy,’ Roy said letting his bottom lip jut out like a sullen teen.
‘He’s not the patsy; he’s just the weak link, the one they can use.’
‘Yeah, but he’s basically a good guy – he wants to be a good guy, and we’re going to make the audience hate him – what if he thought about doing it, but decided not to in the end, you know, like he had a weak moment, but came good?’
‘Okay, let’s look at that for a minute. He thinks about betraying Richo, but doesn’t and they live happily ever after, and then what happens to Lloyd, who saves him?’
‘I dunno, someone else?’
‘But what if there isn’t someone else, what if it has to be Richo?’
‘Well, maybe it does have to be Richo, but maybe Jim …

Things I know...

You might even manage to protect your mobile for 11 years, but sooner or later, one of your child is bound to break your phone...Self-doubt is not my friend, but certainly is my regular companion...A mobile phone screen never shatters when there is money in the back to fix it.Hot cross buns with melted butter is the food of gods!No matter how prepared you are to receive one, a rejection letter from a publisher still smarts.Even though you may be completely devoted to your darling husband, it doesn't hurt to be chatted up by a younger man!Band-aids are a walking girl's best friend.They can be at the park, they can be in the back yard, they can be napping but your kids will still manage to descend upon you with eardrum splitting screams the second you try to sneak a phone conversation.The fact my son managed to break my phone in the shape of a love heart is kind of NAWWWW! Joining in with Things I know at Yay for Home!

The P.I.T.A. that is self-doubt...

In this day and age, we often get to see biographies in movie form, and in recent years there have been biographies about women writer's such Beatrix Potter (Miss Potter - 2006) and Virginia Wolfe (The Hours - 2002), and I found I could relate so well to both those women - at least as they were portrayed in those movies.  Both women lived for their writing, and their characters and were awkward in society, but were sustained by their work. I can relate.

Virginia Wolfe had such strong ideas about her writing that she self-published (through the publishing company she and her husband built). She wanted editorial control over her words. Ms Potter was, likewise, headstrong and knew what she wanted. Both (in these films, at least) came across as standing a little outside of society, though, not necessarily having many friends, and suffering greatly from mental afflictions such as anxiety.

I can relate.

I was talking to Dave about this tonight because for the past few weeks I've bee…

How we talk...

I had a bit of a wake up call while on the phone with my mother-in-law last night. We were talking about family matters; health, money, you know, the sort of things that concern families. She and I were trying to work strategies for various things which would require me putting ideas to Dave that he might not necessarily be supportive of. Anyway, the conversation was coming to a close and I said I would talk to Dave and she said, "Alright, but don't let it come to words." I assured her I wouldn't and she said, "Sometimes you two say things to one another that [FIL] and I would never have said, and it upsets me to hear you both speak to one another that way."

She did, in fact, sound upset - which gave me pause.

This conversation has sat like a lump of luminescent lead in the middle of my brain space since. I've tried to push it into a dark corner somewhere so it wouldn't sit there shedding light on things I would rather not think about, but like lead…

Some days as a writer are EXTREMELY FRUSTRATING!!!

Yes, I am yelling. My apologies for that.

Today I received a rejection letter for my novel. It was the first one, and on the whole I'm okay with that. They said my novel didn't suit their list. That could mean anything, of course. It is the most polite way to say, "You have to be kidding, right? As if we'd publish THAT!" I'm okay with that, many fabulous writer's have been told the very same thing over and over and over again. The answer is to keep assessing and having the novel assessed by people who know, and to keep working on improving the novel. I found some lectures I'm going to sign up for in May to do just that!

Then I came across an announcement for a publishing competition, it was PERFECT for my novel! Unfortunately, one of the rules of the competition is that to manuscript should not be under submission anywhere else. Bugger! While I received one rejection letter today, I haven't heard back from the other publisher - but here's the …

Public service announcements!

I thought I'd better do a bit of housekeeping (I may post something else later today because I know how many of you loathe housekeeping... Gimme a B, gimme an O, gimme a R, I, N, G!)...

As many of you will have noticed, I've taken down the link to my World's Greatest Shave page. The finally tally was an AWESOME $281!!!  I'm so proud of all my friends!!! That was a great effort folks, and causes me to walk with my bald head a little higher than I might have had shaving it not contributed to such a worthy fund!

I think it's especially important to model charity for our children. Erik was wondering what his class mates might think about his mum shaving all her hair off, and I suggested to him that to avoid feeling bad if he was teased about my lack of hair, he could choose to take the stance that he is proud of the fact that I made this choice to raise money and awareness for people and their families who have NO CHOICE but lose all their hair because of the cancer tr…

Children who up-the-ante...

Is upping-the-ante a issue of personality or respect?

What makes some children do it and some children not do it?  I've always wondered about this as my children don't do it. Quite frankly I wouldn't tolerate it if they did. When my children do something I am not happy about, I let them know and I explain, but I never live in fear of this making them do the offensive thing MORE, and yet I constantly hear other parents say that they ignore behaviours that frustrate them because if they pay those behaviours any attention, then the child will doing the offending behaviour more often or with greater fervor.

Is this really a personality trait?

I guess I would view it as a lack of understanding or respect, or perhaps my child being so desperate for attention that even negative attention is worth upping-the-ante for?

Gun play is one behaviour I've heard several parents say they aren't happy about - particularly in boys - but when they have told their boys they aren't …

The bug that bit me...

I was just asked by Jen at Jemikaan which bug bit me to make me start doing all the walking I've done in the past week.

The quick answer is that I've always loved walking - I'm a Sagittarius and we're well known for our love of movement and particularly for our muscular legs (don't everyone fall over laughing at once, I have muscles in my legs, they're just well camouflaged so other people don't feel intimidated by my great sporting physique).

However, it is true that I haven't had this level of walking lust for a while, probably for about five years actually. Back in 2006 I went on quite the walking bender, and walked many kilometers every day - I lost about 32kg that year, too! In the intervening five years I've been less inclined to walk and have put all that weight back on (plus an extra 3kg, of course, because that's the law - google it and you will see!).

Mind you, I've also been pretty busy in the last four years. I found myself all c…

My happy place!

Today I went to my happy place.

I feel a bit guilty about it because it's not at home with my boys (who are fantastic and I cherish them!), and it's not with my husband (who is my rock!).

Today I went to Deakin Uni, and Deakin itself is not necessarily my happy place, it could have been Melbourne Uni or Canberra Uni, or almost any University really.

It was a sunny day, and Jayne and I had coffee and sushi (her) and an apple and cinnamon muffin (me) and we sat by a grassy lawn under a brilliant blue sky with a light breeze on us. Then we went into an auditorium with two huge white screens adorn with words projected from plastic sheets and listened to a man tell us what other men and women had thought and written about sociology.

The topic could have been anything, really - philosophy, law, communications, writing - okay, maybe not programming or physics - it was the act of learning that made me so happy!

I feel so at home on a campus amongst the young people trying to find thems…

Things that have made me smile recently...

I've had many reasons to smile recently, but here are just a few!

Getting back into walking and walking 25km in the past four days! I've been needing to do this for my health (physical and mental) for a long time, and this week I decided none of my excuses were good enough for NOT walking, so I just needed to get on with it and do it!

My youngest's screeches and giggles of delight over being tickled!

The sound of my eldest complaining about people making a mess in the kitchen - because he's been doing the dishes for the last few days - I knew the day would eventually come when he'd feel my frustration!

My second youngest's rich imagination - sticking a googly eye to his forehead so he can be a three eyes alien!

Hot showevers on cold days! Amazing!

The way my boys can (sometimes) be so sweet with each other - especially on cold days during the holidays!

My eldest helping me erect some shelves!

Said shelves standing in my hallway! These made me smile a LOT! I had…

Sydney Writer's Centre Best Blog Awards - People's Choice!

Something I hear often these days is that it is so hard, as an individual, to make a difference.

Well, here's your opportunity to make a difference! Over there on your right, you'll see a lovely, bright blue and yellow button, and all you have to do is click on it, and then tick the box next to my blog's name and vote my blog the best!!!  Go on, you'll make a huge difference to me if you do!

Thanks (in advance)!!!

Things I know... The Walking Edition.

Things I know about walking...

It's free! So, a person on a limited budget can afford it!You do it at your own pace and there is no obnoxious guy or girl in spandex yelling, "Go hard or Go home!" at you - well, unless you pay through the nose for a personal trainer.It's a great way to reconnect with older children - you know, by dragging them along!It's a great way to get older children out of the house, away from the screens, and using up some of that pent up energy during the holidays!Vanity doesn't pay when you walk - just ask my blistered and aching feet!It's a matter of putting one foot in front of the other and then repeating that process a few thousand times - it's a lot of like life, it can feel overwhelming at time, especially if you set yourself the goal of 6km a day, but in the end it's just one foot after another and each step gets you closer to the goal, so if you just focus on each individual step, you'll get there before you know…

Friday Fiction Link-up: The Cleaning Fairy

Marion cradled the glass in her hand as yet another guest bounced in front of her exclaiming how they had no idea how she managed it all.
'You have two children, a career and look at your house, it's immaculate! How do you do it?'
'I don't–‘ Marion started in a dry undertone, but the bright eyed red head in front of her wasn’t listening, and had already turn away to gush at someone else.
Marion glanced out the corner of her eye and there he was, her cleaning fairy, sitting in a huff in the corner of the room. He’d done nothing but barrage her with complaints from the moment she walked in the door this afternoon – No one had bothered to mention to her that cleaning fairies stood behind the door when God was handing out grace.
Somehow she had to pass him on to someone else, but this was not easily done because she couldn’t tell anyone about him. Someone else had to wish for him in his presence at the stroke of 1.23 a.m. Marion’s mission for the evening was to make that h…

No lady of leisure here...

With the graduation behind me, it's time to turn my thoughts to new ventures.

Mum was saying she envied me my options at the moment because she is working full time and trying to do a PhD full time as well - that's quite a load, especially considering social engagements as well (and there are always social engagements!).

On the face of it, I'm a free agent right now. I'm not doing any courses. I'm not working. During term I only have one child at home between 8.45am and 3.45pm. I could be a lady of leisure.

Those of you who know me personally are probably guffawing your coffee all over your keyboards right now.

Yeah, sitting around twiddling my thumbs is not my style.

No fear, things are not as they appear to be!

I have a few goals I need to achieve by the end of this year - all of which take considerable effort.

Getting Published

I need to get a few things published; short stories and poems mostly, because my portfolio is almost nonexistent and spread out over near…

Narcissism - a parenting concern...

There was an interesting discussion on Insight last night about Narcissism and Narcissistic Personality Disorder.

Apparently, narcissism is a normal phase of human development which peaks in toddler-hood, and then subsides for a while, and has another resurgence in adolescence before finally giving way to understanding of empathy and compassion in adulthood. In some adults, however, it lingers - sometimes only in areas where it is acceptable, such as in business and commerce - sometimes in many areas of the adults life. It is only defined as a disorder when it interferes negatively and destructively with the relationships of the sufferer of the disorder. At it's extreme it transitions in psychopathy. It is considered both a hereditary and environmentally induced trait or disorder.

The term "emotional vampire" was bandied about on the show, and it caused me to smile a wry smile because I thought I'd coined that term several years ago (yes, I probably have narcissistic…

Graduation - the trip...

We got back home from out epic coach trip last night at about 8.45pm, after getting up at 4.30am and being on the go from that moment on!

The first thing I want to say about this trip is that I was BLOWN AWAY BY AWESOME MY BOYS WERE!!!

I honestly thought travelling with four boys aged 2, 5, 9 and 11 on a train and coach for 12 hours was going to be HORRENDOUS! It wasn't. The boys were so considerate of everyone around them that we received many congratulations and much praise for how lovely they were! On the trip to Adelaide one young guy loaned Erik and Luey his iPad to play "Connect 4" on - can you believe it! I was very impressed with his level of trust for them with his expensive toy!

I did get caught unprepared when four hours into our Adelaide bound journey, Ari coughed up a fountain of Up'n'Go mixed with passionfruit yogurt muesli bar and scotchfinger biscuits. I sat there a-gape, confused and horrified that one of my children had just vomited RIGHT NEXT T…