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Showing posts from March, 2012

Oooh! A Signed Copy of My Book! (Giveaway)

A while ago, I had the great honour of being selected from a large group of flash fiction writers to participate in a charity publication. The book; 'Lost Children: A Charity Anthology', is being sold in paperback format at Amazon, Smashwords and the Book depository, and as an e-book in so many other places I can't really be bothered to list them all (if you want to know gohere!).




The proceeds of the sales go to two childrens charities; PROTECT, a US based charity, and Children 1st, a Scottish charity.

I was extremely grateful for this opportunity, not only because I had my story published, but because I feel so passionately about the need for children's needs to be recognised, acknowledged and met! For many years I've worked with children and parents to try and promote emotional responsiveness to children's needs. Often the greatest harm done to children is when their emotional and psychological needs for security and recognition are not met. Simply keeping a ch…

Hold my hand...

Today I've revisited the email I received a year ago on applying to do a doctorate at Deakin University. Unfortunately, the passage of a year hasn't magically made applying easier. I still feel a lot of anxiety at writing out this rather short proposal (500-750 words).

The angst arises mostly from the reaction I received when I verbally described the novel I would be proposing to write and the lecturer I spoke to baulked at the idea of me writing a 'fantasy novel'.

Of course, the issue is that this isn't a fantasy novel, but rather a contemporary folklore novel about Icelandic elves in an Australian setting. The fact that Icelanders, well most of them, don't discount the existence of elves and therefore elves form part of urban legend in Iceland doesn't translate well into the Australian context where elves are more or less considered fictional.

So, basically, I want to discuss the transplanting of another culture's folklore tradition into the Australi…

Manflu...

I have it!

I know, I know, it's supposed to only carry on the Y chromosome, but I just don't know how else to describe this thing... It's a sort of scratchy through thing, and a slightly headachy thing, but what makes it definitely manflu is the symptom of being rendered utterly useless!

I have things to do, damn it!

I have a house that seriously needs sorting! Oh yes, it looked neat enough on the photos from yesterday, but that was all just smoke and mirrors and completely avoiding photographing most of the kitchen, the kids rooms, the bathroom, the laundry... Argh, the laundry!

And I have a fridge to wash out and photograph and list on Gumtree, and a washing machine, too... And the weeds growing in the cracks of the patio out back are now up to my armpit - or rather they would be if they hadn't collapsed under the weight of their own legginess (legginess is totally a word!)...

But the thought doing anything makes me want to cry because I have this slightly sore thro…

Home, even sweeter home!

Well, hi there!

Not as many visitors to the blog today after all the commotion yesterday - I totally get that, of course, the drama of a possible fifth baby does whip people into a refreshing frenzy!

Jacob wasn't the only new arrival to our house yesterday - though he was absolutely the cutest!

We were also in receipt of a lot of new - to us - furniture!

As I've mentioned before, my parents have sold their house and are downsizing and so needed to get rid of everything! They had a couple of garage sales and did really well on both, but they also saw the opportunity to help us out in a BIG way by letting us have a considerable amount of their furniture - which meant we could sell a lot of our own furniture and sort out some finances! We cannot adequately express our gratitude!

I was over the moon at their extremely generous and helpful offer, not only because it has allowed us to breathe just a little, but also because my parents have the BEST taste and I have often admired the…

Boy or girl, can you tell?

Is this a boy or a girl? What do you think???




Well, I can tell you for certain it's a boy!!! That's what I do, afterall... BOYS!!!

So, meet our newest BOY! His name is Jacob!

No, not the one...

This one!





My apologies for the dark photo, it's getting on and we're all exhausted from a big, big day of moving furniture - more about THAT tomorrow! There'll definitely be many Jakey pics from here on in! I had to laugh when it finally dawned on me I'd gone and gotten yet another boy - I'm doomed to be girl-less!

Jakey was my parents dog, he's six years old and completely adorable! Unfortunatly they can't have him in their new home, so we gladly took him on! We were always going to get a dog one day but we didn't expect to get one so soon. In case you're wondering, the ultrasound depicted above is of Ari... Yes, I'm very cheeky, but if you seriously believed I might have a fifth baby, then you don't understand the depths of my contentment with fo…

Having trouble seeing beyond tomorrow...

Tomorrow is going to be a day. Huge, in fact. It's been looming on the horizon for a little while now, and I've lost track of the rest of my life because of it. No, it's not the Grumpy Old Man's next driving test - we're a few weeks off from that still. I'll tell you all about it tomorrow. Today I just need to get this disembodied feeling off my chest. I don't know why I do this, this hyperfocusing on a single day which becomes so big to me it almost blocks out the sun. The funny thing is, I think other people would just go, 'Relax, it's really not that big a deal. People do this all the time.' And they'd be right - just this past week I've seen three very similar announcements. It's no biggie. I'm just excited because it's unexpected and because it feels like a lot of responsibility, and maybe just a little because I think people might judge me irresponsible. Or maybe I'm just projecting my own fears because I know thi…

10 Things Tuesday: 10 reasons I shouldn't have put those office chairs on the hard rubbish three weeks ago...

1. The Grumpy Old Man said he didn't think it was a good idea at the time, and now he won't stop reminding me he said that...

2. My parents were going to deliver new office chairs to us within a couple of weeks, and we were going to use dining chairs in the meantime, but then the sale of their house fell through and I forgot to figure in needing to sell our dining chairs (to make way for the dining suite we're inheriting, leaving nothing for us to sit on...

3. It rained an hour after I put the chairs out - which was half an hour before my parents rang to tell us the sale of the house had fallen through. Sodden chairs couldn't be hauled back into the house...

4. Broken office chairs are always better than no chairs at all.

5. The 12 year old keeps hauling a kitchen stool into the study to use instead, encouraging poor posture (his) and much stubbing of toes (mine) at night.




6. It irks me that my kids can see my computer screen from the heady heights of that stool, but I…

Things I Know: About Anticipation...

It's late in the day and I've been debating posting because I still haven't finished this blog post project from earlier in the week (so there's still time to make a suggestion or three!)... But there are things I know and things I want to write about and well, I can't resist the urge to write... 
This week I've been living with a lot of anticipation, and so I've come to know a few things about it. Here's what I know about anticipation...Anticipation is delicious! It can be all-consuming and warm and fill you with tingly joy! Just delicious!!!Anticipation is also a double edged sword. While it is delicious, it's very deliciousness has these side effects that are a bit painful. For one thing, it makes everything else seem dull and boring and mundane in comparison. It causes you to wish time away. It also has the magical side effect of slowing the passage of time to an ab. so. lute. crawl... Oh my goodness, minutes last hours and hours last days and le…

Tips for buying second hand a.k.a I hate selling stuff...

Well, we're in the very fortunate position to be getting a few new (to us) pieces of furniture in the wake of my parents downsizing their life. To make way for the new, we're selling some of our old stuff.



The first thing I'll say is Ebay intimidates me (all those fee structures are bloody confusing!) and if it didn't intimidate me as much as it does, maybe I wouldn't hate selling stuff as much as I do.

So, I'm using Gumtree. Gumtree is simple and easy to use, and mostly free (though I have paid $2.99 to have my stuff listed as urgent because we need the stuff gone in the next 10 days).

Anyhoo... I've used Gumtree once before - a few years ago - to sell a pram. That's when I discovered that some people who buy through Gumtree believe in haggling. I know some people really enjoy haggling. I don't, so I try to price the things I'm selling at a very reasonable price; below market value.

This one woman said she wanted the pram and arranged to pick i…

10 Things Tuesday: 10 Characterisations...

I want to do something different today and I need YOUR HELP! I really hope this works because I'm hoping it will get my writing mojo flowing again...

I was tweavesdropping on a conversation on Twitter last night about unusual names for children and about the issue of judging other people's name choices for their children and how people sometimes feel hurt by other people's judgement of the names they've chosen for their children...

It got me thinking about how many people think certain names lead to certain kinds of personalities. You've probably read it or thought it yourself... A boy named Billy Ray will never grow up to be Attorney General and a girl name Pixiebelle will never be Surgeon General, that sort of thing.

So, I thought I'd get my readers - that'd be YOU - to throw out a few names; they can be very common or totally 'out there' it's up to you, and I will write a characterisation based on the name...

I'll characterise the first …

Here's what's new with me this month...

I've decided the time is right to recommit to eating vegetarian. Ultimately, one day, when I'm ready - and no, it's not as simple as 'just doing it' for me (and it was never that simple for most people I know who did it) I aim to eat a completely animal free diet. One day. For now, I'm a vegetarian.

I've decided this is easy, so so easy, and that is why there is no reason to wait any longer, to prevaricate and um and ah...

In the end it was the realisation I don't actually like the taste and texture of meat, that I try hard not to think about what I'm eating when I eat meat that occurred to me. When I realised this, I realised how silly I'd been trying to 'not care' for the last little while.

The truth is, I do care.

There were always many meats I wouldn't touch with a barge pole; pork, lamb, veal, most seafood...

I was really beginning to feel unwell (not so much physically - though I did feel clogged up a bit - more emotionally or …

Respect Yourself a.k.a Don't Be An Arsehole!

I think the phenomenon has existed through the entirety of human history, however, the advent of the internet and the ability to reach a great many people without ever having to reveal your true identity has just made this phenomenon blow out of all proportion...

The phenomenon I speak of is sometimes referred to as a 'troll', but the more I encounter or witness this behaviour, the more I'm inclined to feel the term 'arsehole' is far more appropriate. You see, trolls can be cute. Trolls can even grant wishes. Troll are a much maligned creature...

An arsehole is what it is. It spews shite and smells just as sweet. Generally speaking it's ugly and people most having an overwhelming urge to wash with a scrubbing brush any time they come in contact with one.

So, yep, your average interfering, judgemental internet busy-body is pretty much an arsehole spewing shite, in my experience.

People who do this have no self-respect. Why put yourself through typing out a comme…

Very Exciting Secret Squirrel Stuff...

You know, I've been doing stuff, but I can't tell you what I've been doing.

Some of the stuff I can't tell you because I'm just not sure what I've been doing. Stuff like calling the gas company out to fix a gas leak outside our property (on the nature strip), and stuff like calling the Family Assistance Office to see if my kids conscientious objector forms are on file... But I can't think what else. Just stuff, mundane stuff that comes along with living and running a household and being a parent.

Then there is other stuff, exciting stuff, stuff that isn't happening this week or next week, but that I can't talk about because it's all secret squirrel kind of stuff, but it's so, so surprising and exciting to me (not so much to the Grumpy Old Man, he's not excited - more just going with the flow because resistance doesn't change reality, but the boys are, or at least I think they would be if they knew)... But, but, but, as much as I want…

Important information for Conscientious Objectors of Vaccines receiving Family Tax Benefit A...

Hi guys,

Today's blog post is just a quick FYI for parents who receive Family Tax Benefit A and are not having their children vaccinated.

As you probably already know, the supplement which used to be eligible for all recipients of Family Tax Benefit A is now being included in an immunisation incentive scheme. That means you, the parent, have to ensure that your child is either fully vaccinated according to the schedule, or that you have lodged a conscientious objector form.



This blog post is not a discussion of the validity of such hoops to jump through (Family Tax Benefit A has never previously been link, in any way to the child's immunisation status, there used to be a perfectly good immunisation payment for this purpose, but I guess the stakes weren't high enough for the Government)...

What I want to make sure non-vaccinators know is that your Conscientious Objector form has an EXPIRY DATE. Please don't assume that because you lodged it yonks ago, you're covered…

I'm going to talk money, so if you're sensitive, look away now...

Money is hard work, isn't it?



It didn't use to be. We used to be okay with money. The Grumpy Old Man used to earn about 35K a year and together with my disability support pension (blind) and family assistance, we made ends meet and more. Our combined income was about 55K. Rent was cheaper back then (three years ago we were only paying $350 a week in rent), and electricity, gas, phone and water were about 144% cheaper as well (yeah, I'm only talking about 3-4 years ago).

These days our combined income is 45K, our rent is $390 per week, and our utilities are more than twice what they were.

I wrote last year about how much we were struggling and how much we were relying on MIL for financial assistance - MIL is an age pensioner herself. Some of my readers thought I was a self-pitying leech of an older woman. This did make me sit up and reassess how we manage our money, the things we thought we couldn't live without, and I made some adjustments.

So far this year we haven…

10 Things Tuesday: 10 ways to deal with anger that don't involve alcohol and a bullet...

This post is inspired by a friend's tweet which reminded me that I've tried many ways to relieve anger that didn't involve my first preference of just socking someone in the chops...

Yes, I've had a lot of anger in my life. It's hard, you know, when people around you can't see the brilliance of your insights or aren't as motivated to act as you are. All sorts of things make me angry:

the rubbish from the kids uniform pockets being deposited on a shelf in the laundry when you cannot leave the laundry without passing the rubbish bin, grrrr!victimhood - you know the people who go out of their way to be victims so they can feel bad when it all reality their lives are pretty spectacular compared to so many other people!inaction when action is desperately needed - sitting on rail tracks watching a train bear down on you and praying God will just stop the train, yeah that!Tony Abbott
So, I've tried many things to relieve my own symptoms of anger, here are some…

A response to the article; "Why I don't want my daughter to be just like me."

This morning a link to this article popped up in my Twitter stream. I can relate to almost all of the article. I can certainly relate to the symptoms, the report cards, the anxiety and the depression.

What I can't relate to - anymore - is the sentiment of not wanting my child to be like me. I say anymore because I worried about my child for a while there. I got all depressed and morose about the fact that he had so much difficulty communicating his thoughts and maintaining friendships - all parents want their children to be able to make friends and prosper socially, right?

Then I realised two things...

My life didn't suck because of my ADHD symptoms...

AND

My child will never be an identical copy of me...

I looked at my life, my achievements, particularly in the light of my own coming of self-awareness (being diagnosed and having counselling and therapy to help me work with my symptoms) and I realised I was in an amazing position to help my child, to teach him all the things m…

Things I Know: Right Now...

It looks like Things I Know has a new home over a Singular Insanity - yay for that! I find the things I know meme is a very good way to sum up my current erratic thoughts into one post when none of them are quite bold enough to have a post all of their own...

There's a new button, too!






If you want to join in, just click the button!

Here's what I know right now...
As much as I love salty things and creamy things I shouldn't eat them together (read biccies and dip) because they give me the most awful reflux! I definitely should not eat them several days running...Just because your first child screams the shopping centre down when he has his hair cut up to school age, doesn't mean all your children will do the same. Some of them may even enjoy having their hair cut... And some need a little bribing. Finally figuring out how to (do what everyone else seems to know already and) download movies and television shows from the internet is totally and utterly awesome! Especially i…

Thankful Thursday: A Reflection from 2017

First of all, this week, I'm thankful for the Thankful Thursday prompt Kate has suggested because it allows me to be positive and feel lighthearted where I usually struggle with seeing the silver lining of the present.

Today I'm going to put myself in my own moccasins brightly coloured patchwork suede mary-janes from 2017 and see all the things I'm thankful for then...

As I look around our home filled with many things made by family members young, old and gone, I'm filled with a warm sense of satisfaction. I laugh when I think of how much I worried about us ever having our own place, in the end it was obviously inevitable.


Just as it was inevitable that Dave would get his licence... 


I look at the clock on the wall - Bryn and Ari will be coming home from school soon, the same school the boys have always gone to, we've been there for 11 years now, and are well entrenched in the community.


Bryn is in his final year of primary school and looking forward to high school and…