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Showing posts from July, 2011

Blogopolis - WOW! - and some related housekeeping...

I did make it to Blogopolis today. A big part of that was thanks to Jayne summoning up what was left of her strength after several sleepless days and nights attending her daughter in hospital this week, and dragging herself along with me! Thank you, Jayne, you're a legend and you deserve LOTS OF REST now - and I don't know if I could have done it without you! Mwah!

I want to send out a big THANK YOU to everyone who came up to me and said hi! You guys have no idea what that meant to me, and I am endeavouring to keep all your faces and names in my head!

To say it was fabulous, well, that would be an understatement!

I am so happy I went!

I learned a lot today, and packed away a few presumptions about monetizing. No, I'll never be one to promote household goods or DVDs, I think, but I'm now thinking along the lines of being open to promoting those things I really believe in - particularly things, people, or events related to writing and the pursuit  of the word arts! Some…

My designer handbag - a.k.a. how not to wear a designer handbag...

July has been a massive month of acquisition for me. Most of the things I have acquired have been funded by tax returns and government benefit supplements, but a couple of other things have come to me via blog competitions. I've had a great month for winning blog competitions!

A couple of weeks ago I won a Microsoft Office for Mac (Home and Business, valued at $399) from the Nuffnang's Blog. The prize hasn't arrived yet, but I'm eagerly keeping an eye out for the postie everyday!

Then last week, just as I finished setting up my new computer, I discovered I'd won a handbag from FatMumSlim's blog. To be honest with you, I had no concept of Belle Bijoux handbags at all when I entered the competition. The bag depicted in the post looked pretty and colourful (I love colourful!) and it was an opportunity to wax lyrical about my inspiring mum. Once I entered, I actually forgot I had, until the email arrived! When I found I'd won I was pretty excited, but even stil…

In case anyone is reading this (and going to Blogopolis)...

I am a complete nervous wreck!

There is a very good chance my "security blanket" won't make it to Blogopolis after all - through absolutely no fault of her own. Life happens and you just have to go with it. So, that's okay, it's not as if I don't know anyone else going - but I kind of wish I didn't (don't worry, I'm about to explain that statement and hopefully it won't sound quite as odd after the explanation).

I've been avidly following all the Blogopolis talk on Twitter - problem with that is, everyone I *know* on Twitter is super-excited to go and to meet up with each other and hug and have drinks and so on and so forth. I don't feel part of any of that. Of course, the solution is to *make* myself part of it. Theoretically, I know that. Practically, though, I think I'd rather saw my own arm off.

This is the problem with anxiety. It isn't rational.

So, I'll "Suck it up, Buttercup" and get on the train in the mo…

Bedroom wrangling...

This morning the new loft bed arrived to make into a bunk bed for Viking and Blue in what used to be Viking's room. This move is happening so Lama can eventually move into his own bed at the bottom of a bunk he'll share with Buddha.

I promised before and after photos, but then I forgot to take before photos - duh! So, I'll endeavour to describe how things used to bed from the photos of what they are now...




So, these first three photos are from what is now Buddha and Lama's room (this used to be Blue and Buddha's room). Blue used to sleep on the top bunk, and Buddha on the bottom bunk, which used to be a full length single). The two drawers on the bottom bunk (which transforms it into a toddler length bed) used to stand where the green games table stands in the corner of the room. The green games table used to stand where the pine kiddy table is now - and the pine kiddy table used to be in Viking's room. 
The teal boxes in the top row of the bookcase, used to be i…

The newest residents of iLand...

Last week our Education Tax Return and Family Tax Benefits supplements A and B arrived. Each year those monies are invested into various larger purchases that we've needed throughout the year - topping up utilities account, white goods, or padding out the children's wardrobes - things to tide us over for another year. In the past couple of years this has been a particularly important time for us because the rest of each year has been so lean - living week to week.

This year, the money has gone into technologies. Specifically Apple MacIntosh technologies. In the past three years, I've had three computers die on my, and one come very close to death but is revived enough to keep limping along. This made for a very stressful period of uncertainty while I was finishing my Master degree, and led to me simply not being able to face the prospect of undertaking a PhD under these circumstances.

Late last month, after two viral close encounters in just three weeks, I decided to give …

Big week - exhausting...

First of all, my apologies for being out of touch for a while. It's been a huge week. Early this week I received the devastating news that an online acquaintance's baby had been born still, at term. I can't even begin to describe how awful this is. To say this baby was much longed for and anticipated doesn't do justice to the cruelty of this outcome (most babies are longed for and anticipated, but this family had been on a longer than usual journey with secondary infertility). It has fogged up my brain too much to be able to write anything. It is just too unfair and sad and horrible that this should happen to anyone ever.

Today's news is filled with the tragedy that has been the bombing in Oslo and the mass shooting of young people at a Labor Youth Camp north-west of Oslo. We have old friends whose children frequent this camp annually, and so we wait to hear if they attended this year and were among the 80 young people who were killed by the gunman.

In contrast wit…

Blind Faith...

I was watching Q and A tonight, and it was about religion and faith (well, I'm not sure if that was the title of this episode, but it certainly ended up being the subject matter).

The panel was made up of a self-professed Atheist/Agnostic (she started out as one and seemed to agree later she was more the other), an Irish Christian (I won't assume he was Catholic), a Muslim, a pratt Jon Saffron, and a Christian theologist. I wouldn't quite call that a broad spectrum, but I guess they tried.

The Irish guy - some sort of Academic of Science, said something I've been saying to people for what seems like ever. He said that essentially Science is also a matter of faith (remember he is a scientist and a Christian).

Quite a few people in my Twitter stream took exception to this, stating that Science can be proven (implying Faith cannot) and making flippant comments about allowing their children to decide which laws of physics they will believe in when they grow up.

This is all…

12 years of babies...

I think I'm safe to say that Ari is now fully weaned.

This means that period of my life where I was a nursing mother is over. Finally. Finally, as in it will never happen again, not as in thank goodness it's over. Well, honestly, maybe there is a little thank goodness it's over in there as well - twelve years is a long time in anyone's book, and if we start talking consecutive years of breast feeding, I actually breastfed for 16 years - so you can chuck in another 3.25 years of tandem feeding in there...

And now it is done.

Imagine that, no more maternity bras... Am I sad? No!

That is not the only thing coming to an end though. Ari is more and more determined to "hand" when we go down the street. "Hand" means to hold someone's hand and walk. Every day he asks to go one the buses and every day he stipulates, "hand". I'm still able to cox, bribe and cajole him into the pram, but I know my pramming days are numbered. This is sad to me…

The story of my vision impairment.

Trish from My Little Drummer Boys asked me the other day if I had a blog post on my blog about my vision impairment. It had never occurred to me to write an entire post about it before. Being vision impaired is a pretty big chunk of who I am, but at the same time, it is not something I'm all that keen to focus on  - probably because I buy into the stigma associated with disability. I know I shouldn't, but it's hard for me not to internalize a lot of reactions to my vision impairment (when people finally find out about it) from wider society - particularly prospective employers and people in positions of authority who tend to feel very self-conscious and responsible for my safety in their presence.

So, where to begin? At the beginning, I suppose. I don't remember the beginning, of course, so my account of it is reliant on what I've been told, mostly by my mum, and how I have remembered what I've been told - which may or may not be inaccurate, but I'm sure sh…

Yes, I'm a wowser...

I've been mulling over this for a week, really trying to be okay with it. I've read a lot of debate about it, and mostly that debate concurs it's just a bit of fun, it's funny. People of all ages think it's funny, so why don't I?

I'm talking about the book titled, "Go the f**k to sleep" which Text Publishing is releasing in Australia. There has been a lot of outrage that the video reading of the book by our beloved Noni Hazelhurst *cue collective AWWWW* was pulled from You Tube - while the same reading done by Samuel L Jackson was not. I'll state it here that I also find that outrageous, and also discriminatory (because it was just Noni).


Text Publishing proclaims it a book for real parents who know the frustration of trying to get a child to sleep (meanwhile, I have already read about parents planning on reading it to their children, and reference to it as a children's book - are people for real?). I am a real parent, and I have been frust…

How I ditched my self-loathing about fat...

A conversation I've been having with some people on Twitter today has inspired me to write this post.

I'm fat. I'm 163cm (about 5'3") tall and weigh - let me just check - 106.8kg (236.5 lbs) in light clothing. That makes me about a size 20 in Australian sizes.

I've always carried a little extra weight. I've never been "skinny". I remember mum had me put on a diet when I was ten and living at a boarding school which served desert every night (I'd put on a few extra kilos and was heading from rounded to rotund) - we didn't often eat desert at home. I guess that was the first time I thought of my body as being wrong. I don't blame mum for that - society informs parents what to be concerned about and society has long stated that anything more than a little fat on the body is always a bad thing - no matter how nutritious your diet is, or how active you are.

By the time I was 12, I'd decided I as a fat, ugly beast who needed to torture …

The C word...

It has six letters. Well, actually six plus three letters, the C word of this time is "carbon tax".

I have to admit, I haven't really been able to follow the debate very well. For a long time I couldn't figure out why so many Australians were opposed to doing something to try and prevent global warming and all the fallout that would follow from that event.

From what I gather, a lot of people are not convinced that global warming isn't a natural phenomenon that would have come to pass even without industrialisation and global population explosion. I know my brother believes global warming is a conspiracy and he has many convoluted explanations for why he believes this is so.

Me, I don't trust people with lots of power, but it still makes sense to me that in the past couple of hundred years we've become very efficient at digging coal and other fuels out of the ground, and at the same time the world's population has increased from 1.6 billion to 6 billio…

Who is responsible?

I just read an article (it's long, but oh so good!) where a therapist (Lori Gottlieb - also author of "Marry him, the case for settling for Mr Good Enough") was discussing how she had come to realise a lot of her sad, lost patients had been raised by loving, caring parents who put a lot of emphasis on supporting their child and praising their child in an effort to build their child's self-esteem. This therapist had realised those parents were doing what she and her colleagues were doing with their own children in order to prevent the kinds of mental and emotional damage they were couselling many of their patients over.

Anyway, this was all discussed on a parenting forum, and it wasn't long before someone said, "More parent bashing, always blaming the parents"...

Yes, well, as a parent I know full-well that feeling of standing in a shopping centre with an overwrought small person who is simply losing it because it's 4pm/we're not stopping at the …

I need a reading intervention - HELP!

Okay, let's say I haven't read a book in ten years... Yeah, yeah, don't everyone fall of your chair at once (I have read a few books in the past ten years, but I can pretty much guarantee they weren't on the best sellers list, or even in the "aspiring to be a best seller" list, or even novels for that matter)...

Where do I start?

What's good?

What's hot?

What's cool?

What has rocked your world lately???

I need suggestions, STAT!

I don't read horror or sci-fi (I read about 500 sci-fi books in the 80s, and kind of overdosed on them)...

Where, in the great wide word of all things bookish, do I start?

Please help - in fact, feel free to send all your mates over to help, too - I'm really desperate and at sea, and totally pathetic, you'll be doing your humanitarian deed for the month!

Stop Dissing the Net - reasons I love the internet!

If you hang around the net a bit, it won't be long before some smart arse will come along and tell you - via the net, mind you - why life is SO MUCH BETTER without the internet.

I've had more friends and net aquaintences, than I care to recount, tell me at one time or another that they're seriously considering cutting way back, or dropping this social network or that social network, because it sucks up so much of their time.

100% have never seriously cut back, or left any social network permanently.

Me, I LOVE the internet.

And I'll tell you, when it first came out - when my boyfriend at the time said, "You've got to come to the computer lab and see the chat rooms on the internet!", which then turned out to be hangouts for all sorts of perverted and seriously unattractive people, I was completely convinced I would never ever, EVER be a fan of the internet.

Well, times change, and the net has changed a lot since the early 90s as well.

Here are some of my to…

Things I know - the July edition

Joining in Things I know, at Yay for Home.



The biggest boys may have just turned 10 and 12, but I still think it sounds weird to have them refer to me as "my mum" when talking about me to other people!Waiting for tax money to return in July makes this month creep along at a snails pace.The combination of rain, no car, and school holidays make July creep along at a snail's pace, with the snail hauling a lead brick.My life will be rainbows and lollipops just as soon as that money hits my account and our household is transformed into an alter to the twin gods, "Apple" and "Macintosh".Or maybe not, but it'll be COOL!Dave will have a job next month!!! Yes, he will! After almost 2.5 years of unemployment, he'll be bringing in a pay packet that will see the end of begging MIL for handouts!!!Dave will have a licence next month!!!While life hasn't been a tip-toe through the tulips so far this year, nothing horrible has happened either - that officia…

You know what I was saying about contradicting myself...

Here I go again!

I had said in a previous post that I can't manage multiple blogs at once; I'd tried in the past and it was all too hard. Yes, well, never let it be said I wasn't the definition of an optimistic - someone who does the same thing over and over again, hoping for a different outcome - no, wait, that was Einstein's definition of a fool....

It all started when my friend, Jayne, decided to give her blog a face-lift, she decided to rename it "Non Domestik Goddess" - which is a great name, don't you think? So, she launched it on Facebook, and another friend made a comment about "untamed" being another good adjective for her. I immediately though "The Untamed Goddess" and fell in love! Suddenly, I just had to use that as a blog name.

Problem was, I love this blog's name, it's so very me! I love that my blog name answers my URL address ("where the fairies live"). I can't change this blog's name. So, that…

Erik the Red - Viking at large!

Erik Keith Michael:
Born 06/07/1999 at 4.50pm after just over 8 hours of induced labour - he was happy "inside", and even when we booted him out at 14 days past his estimated due date, he wasn't in a rush to meet us. The first time I gazed into his wide black eyes, I could have sworn he was not impressed at having been "pushed along".

Today the lad turned 12. He has officially started his final pre-adolescent year. Erik has always been young for his age. Very bright, very artistic, very sensitive and very innocent - it shows in his face!

I love that he is not in a rush to grow up. Nevertheless, the tide cannot be held back and slowly but surely he is leaving boyhood things behind and taking on the preoccupations of adolescents (music, technology and identity crises - so far)...

More and more these days he is interested in discussions on world matters. Tonight at the dinner table he wanted to know about the carbon tax, and whether it was really worthwhile. He wa…

Socially conditioned not to complain?

So, I've been playing around with the Beta version of Google+ for a few days now, and I like it for the most part.  I like that, like Twitter, you can follow people without them having to follow you back. I like that I can group all my Friends into Circles of "Close friends", "Acquaintences", "Bloggers", "School mums" and so on. I love that I can enter my interests on Sparks and have a bunch of interesting articles and blog posts listed for me to browse and share with my various Circles, and I love that in the future - when I have a webcam (that isn't shoved into a box because I can't figure out how to use it properly) - I will also be able to the Hangout with friends online via video conferencing - especially any family who might be up for that!

This will all be a boon to students for getting work done or discussing tutorial topics and so on in the near future because they'll be able to add their entire class in a Circle then Ha…

Great Gallifreyan Tramp Stamps... a blog about whmsy...

Tonight a friend posted the following image on Facebook...


The geeks among you may recognise this as Gallifreyan script. More specifically it is the inscription seen on the side of the Doctor's crib in the mid-season cliff-hanger of the 6th season. Most people assume it signifies the Doctor's Gallifreyan name - which is MASSIVE secret that all us Whovians are waiting with baited breath to have revealed to us. After all River knows his name, so it's about time we knew it, too!!!
Isn't it pretty? If you Google "the Doctor's name in Gallifreyan" you'll soon come upon this image - it has done the rounds on Tumblr. You'll also see that many a Whovian on this planet is planning on getting this tattoo'd on their person. I have to admit, I want it tattoo'd on my person because it's so me! It's all full of circles just like my other tattoos (well, two of them).
I was thinking it would look really nice on my inner left forearm...

However, it con…