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Showing posts from December, 2012

In 2013 I resolve to...

Step outside my comfort zone.

That's probably the best way to describe all the stuff that's been milling about my head in the past few weeks.

Earlier this month I mentioned that I feel my world has shrunk a lot over recent years. I think I've been waiting for someone to rescue me. Terrible, I know! 

I've been waiting for a hand to hold and someone to do my talking for me and maybe even just hand me my dreams on a platter. Wouldn't that be nice!

No very realistic, is it?

So, in 2013 I resolve to be BOLD.

I'm going to put myself out there and talk to people when I'd rather just hide away at home.

I'm going to put my writing out there even when I'm not sure anyone will appreciate it.

I'm going to offer myself to people, even when I feel I have nothing worthwhile to offer.

I'm going to paint because painting is fun and I'm tired of seeing paintings at the School Art Show that I'm sure I could have done - but didn't.

There are some th…

A quiet house...

We've had such a quiet week here this week.

Sounds a bit unusual, doesn't it?

Well, it is quite unusual and it isn't because my children have suddenly decided to become excessively well-behaved and co-operative and, well, very unlike my children. No Siree...

The main cause of all this quietude has been a bug.

Luckily - and despite Ari vomiting early on Box Day - it was not a stomach bug. A stomach bug you would have heard about long before now because I'm really not very good at dealing with them and I would have been lamenting my lot within twenty-four hours. Instead I've been enjoying the quietude which comes with a nasty cold or mild flu bug (depending on how you look at it).

It all started with Erik, on December 23rd, developing a case of the sniffles, which was accompanied by high temps and generally feeling under-the-weather and sleepy - which for Erik means he's really quick sick because nothing gets that boy down, really. He was having day naps and by C…

12 Things Happy People Do Differently - a self-reflection...

A few days ago a Facebook friend posted the above poster on her wall. I believe she got these points from this blog which she enjoys reading, and the bloggers on the Marc and Angel Hack Life blog derived their discussion of these points from this book, available on Amazon - you're welcome! I have to admit, I haven't read the blog or the book I've just mentioned but wanted my readers to have access to the sources of the poster for their own reflective purposes.
The New Year will be upon us in but a few days and I thought this a great opportunity to do a little personal assessment on how I'm playing the happy game. I'm often not very happy at all - I don't need to be happy all the time, let me just say that up front - I personally believe that life is a balancing act and those who seek euphoria often will also often feel desolation because in all things there must be balance. The great riches of the few on this planet come at the personal cost of the many as is …

Hello Boxing Day!

I'm amazed that people find the time to check blogs on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day but when I had a look at my stats this morning I was pleasantly surprised by the numbers! I hope you all had a fabulous Christmas!

We were very busy; had my brother staying over and MIL came over for Christmas Day. Lots of great food, and more importantly lots of really great leftovers!

We discovered that Ari isn't a big fan of Christmas food. The kid loves triple smoked ham, but passed on the candied potatoes (I know, unbelievable, right?) and of course, everything else was vegetables, so he wasn't having any of those either.

He didn't like the Turkey - strange child - (though, he liked it cold for lunch today - strangerer child!) and the rest was vegetables, so you can fill in the blanks.

Wasn't keen on the pudding, but loves brandy custard and cream!

Oh, my chocolate ripple pudding with cooked apple was a hit though! I really think that is going to have to become the tradition…

Is it Christmas yet?

Bryn just came up to me and whispered with much excitement, 'Tomorrow is our Christmas Eve and I can't wait!'... Doesn't it just make your heart melt?

I have to admit, I haven't even played one of my Christmas albums yet - though having written that I'm very likely to do so today - I just haven't thought about it. This week has been busy, busy, busy!

Mum and s-dad came for a visit on Monday night and left on Friday morning. Actually, they left on Thursday afternoon, but then after doing a computing workshop for work and visiting my brother, they realised they were just too tired for the drive home and crashed here one more night.

Having them here was wonderful!

We're all really looking forward to them moving back here at the end of January so mum can take up her new position and s-dad can build their uniforms business. It looks like I'm going to get some voluntary work doing administration duties in that business and I'm very excited about that …

Things I would think about if I could find the time...

Christmas is less than a week away (for those of us who celebrate it on Christmas Eve) and, of course, like most other people in our society, we're running around like hairy goats trying to get everything done around here.

My mum and s-dad are visiting us at the moment which is great.

As well as this there is Christmas shopping still to be done, including groceries, and on Friday it looks as if we're going to spend most of the day up at the boys' school running between junior school end of year concert and the year six final assembly before the school year come to an abrupt end at 1.30pm.

There are things, though, non-Christmas related things, that I feel pressure to think about.

The pressure is all internal. I'm really the only person who cares about these things, but it's there nonetheless squeaking at the back of my mind like the proverbial wheel.

The issues with Deakin have not been sorted and I'm beginning to despair of them being sorted before Christmas.

Why didn't God save the little children...

The shooting in Connecticut on my birthday has been in the media for the past day and a half and I've read and participated in debates about gun control, and shed tears over the loss of life and compared this horrific event to the mass knife attack in China, also at a primary school, where every one of the 22 victims survived.

For me the ugliest part of the aftermath has been the debate about God's role in the Connecticut shooting.

Yesterday I read about Bryan Fischer and Mike Huckabee's comments on the shooting and I was appalled and dismayed that this tragedy would be used to point the finger of blame at non-believers, or even at believers who did not fight hard enough to enshrine Christian religious instruction or prayer into the school's everyday schedule. Essentially, another blame the victims attack which has come to characterise right-wise conservative politics in the US.

There are so many things wrong with this attitude that I struggle to know where to begin.


Happy Birthday to Me!


I don't feel a day over 28... Well, most of the time.

I went and cut off all my hair again...

I jokingly told a friend, 'Other people give up caffeine and sugar, I give up hair!' I was going to grow it long, but in the end I just felt middle-aged with a neither-here-nor-there style and that's not really me. I'm growing old disgracefully, not out of a sense of rebellion, but because I love trying new things. The hairdresser who cut my hair didn't understand my instructions at first. She started trying to cut my hair into a layered short bob (think close fitting helmet!). I picked up a mag and showed her Jamie Lee Curtis and said, 'No, this!'

She looked at me askance, 'That's very short, are you sure?'

So, of course, I told her I've shaved my head three times. I think she had seen me waddle into the salon with 20 shopping bags of groceries, in my peasant top and black pants and thought, 'Middle-aged mum haircut.' It was …

The problem with judging books by their cover...

I have ADHD, and as part of this disorder, I do have a strong tendency to hyper-focus and to obsess or get stuck in a loop with my thinking. This post is about something which was written in the email I received explaining why my PhD application was unsuccessful. It may appear that I'm obsessing, but please bear with me; there is a 'bigger picture' thought process within this post.

Let me quote part of the email I received.

 The difficulty in your particular case was that bothmasters supporting entry into a research Ph.D. appear to becoursework only, namely, an M.Ed. from Melbourne (2002)averaging a low H2A (72%) and an M.A. (Creative Writing)from the non-university-accredited Tabor College (2009).

I have no issue with the bare bones assumed facts of this paragraph. They assumed correctly that the Masters I did at Melbourne University was a course work Masters. They assumed erroneously that Tabor is a non-university-accredited college, and based on this assumption they, ref…

The difficulty of people...

I'm constantly writing about not getting people. Today, I'm going to write three anecdotes; two about not getting people and one about finally managing to turn a potentially negative situation around using a technique I've often admired my mum for having perfected...

The first anecdote involves MIL.

If you are a long term reader, you will know we've been hoping MIL might be able to help us out with getting a car. It took the GOM three and half years to get a licence, and cost us many thousands of dollars - some of which my in-laws contributed - all because we knew FIL did not have long to live and MIL would need support and our growing family would also become more and more active as the children grew and spread their wings.

Finally the Grumpy Old Man passed his driving test in June and we thought MIL would sell FIL's old manual (which was in fantastic condition) and buy an automatic which the Grumpy Old Man could drive.

She didn't.

The more we tried to get her…

Are you one of those people who finishes other people's...


You did, didn't you?!

Some of you did it silently in your heads, but a couple of you said it out loud.

Yes, I heard you, because I'm a bit special like that...

Some people find it very rude that others have the compulsion to finish their sentences for them.

Conversely, it can be very frustrating being the kind of person who feels compelled to finish other people's sentences - I know, I fight this urge constantly!

But for those of us who struggle with this I just want to say it's not our fault!

It really isn't!

It's not that we are impatient or think we are smarter than those we converse with. It's simply that we have been conditioned to be this way, and it can be very difficult for some people to undo early conditioning.


What am I talking about?

Let me illustrate with a short anecdote from today which led to me thinking about this issue.

The Grumpy Old Man and I were on an errand with Ari. We were waiting for a bus at a bus stop. The bu…

Pleeeeeaaaaase! Call yourself a feminist!

This blog post is brought you thanks to many of my feminist friends who posted this article on Facebook this morning...

The article laments the fear of so many young women these days have about calling themselves feminists.

It argues - part in sarcasm, part in desperate pleading - that feminism is not about being angry or man-hating, although the author resorts to name-calling, despite this assertion.

What this article and its writer, Mary Elizabeth Williams, fails to understand is why so many women do not identify as feminists - its not just about not wanting to be perceived as an angry man-hater.

Busily and desperately trying to explain that feminism is not homogenous; that they do not all agree with one another, and that the true basis of feminism is only the belief that women are equal and have a right of authority over their own bodies, this article, like so many before it fails to see the forest for the trees.

You see, I'm not afraid to call myself a feminist, and quite fran…

The application wait is over...

So, if you have me on Facebook or Twitter, you already may have heard the news regarding my PhD application.

For those of you who are new to the blog, I applied to do a PhD in Creative Writing at Deakin University back at the end of August. At the same time, I also applied for a scholarship. Almost as soon as I submitted the forms, I regretted having applied for a scholarship because a) I was fairly certain I wouldn't get one and b) the Uni wouldn't process my degree application until after the close of the scholarship application round on October 31st.

One of the biggest challenges I was told to having a PhD application accepted was finding an appropriate supervisor, but I was very lucky in that regard, hooking up with a Deakin lecturer who was very keen to support my application.

The wait was a very long one, over three months of agonizing and fearing not being successful, but everyone was sure I'd get in. The lady who bought Erik's painting at the fair used to work in …

Never Gonna Give You Up...

On Friday I got myself all dolled up...

And went into the city to have dinner on Little Bourke Street (chicken and vegetables with fried noodles) with a couple of lovely ladies.

Afterwards we took ourselves off to The Palace for a concert...

Now, to put this in context, in the mid-80s I was living in Iceland ('82-'85) and Norway ('86-'89), so I don't really know the music of the Chantoozies or Wa Wa Nee. They weren't too bad, but the highlight for me was Rick!


Wa Wa Nee

Besides all the songs - most of which I knew off by heart - and the voice; which is still amazing, despite his 47 years, Rick Astley is a funny guy! He swears a lot more than I ever imagined he would, which was funny in-and-of-itself because of his ultra clean cut image in the eighties.

He talked a lot with the audience, got all the blokes in the room to sing (Aussie blokes can actually sing quite well), did an AC/DC cover (I know, who would've thunk it!), rocked some Motown, and…