Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Leap Into Books Giveaway: Win $20 Giftcard

Welcome to the leap year Leap into Books giveaway, usual blog posts will be going up below this one until it finishes on 5th March :)

Two awesome things to give away on 5th March
To the winner....
A $20 Samhain Publishing Gift Card
Value: $20
Your choice: Print or E-book
And to the runner up...
A stylish hand-knitted froggy dishcloth, no kitchen is complete until it has one
Made it myself
Four ways to enter...
  • Like my facebook page (Here or enter via rafflecopter below)
  • Follow me on twitter (Here or enter via rafflecopter below)
  • Tweet about the giveaway 
  • Leave a blog comment (Below enter via rafflecopter)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

My books

Yes I Get It Universe: The Wake-Up Call

Thanks all for your kind comments yesterday.  I didn't expect them when I wrote the post, and I was so touched to receive them.

As everyone could see, I'm a little over things at the moment.  After I wrote that post I took myself off to the doctor, as I've been feeling desperately exhausted since April (well I've been complaining about it since then) plus it was time for my turning 40 oil change.  Upshot of that delightful half hour was that I've got high blood pressure.  I'm 40 and I've got high blood pressure. Wonderful.

I still have to get the blood tests done (that's Saturday's happy job), but I'm putting money on high cholesterol and low iron (both hereditary issues that I've been ignoring for the last twenty years or so).

And don't even get me started on the heart-palptations.  FFS I'm 40, not 75.

But, enough of my inner working.

Its a wake up call. Life is out of control, unbelievably stressful, and its making me sick.

Change is hard, but it seems I'm getting to a point where the alternative is failing health and a drug regime to keep myself from having a stroke, heart attack, or, well... its a lovely list, and I don't especially want to dwell upon it.

So, on the day I bemoan the fact I have nothing to write, it seems I've been handed rather a lot to write about after all.

My journey, from chaos to balance.

Should have been careful what I wished for.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

I have no idea what to write anymore

I've been blogging for a long time. Six years in fact.  You could almost call me old school.  When I started to blog it was intended as a way of communicating with family and friends as I could not keep up with the number of emails I was having to write.  So my aim for this blog was for it to be an online diary of my little family's life.

Readers have come and gone, I've been voted 38th Best blog in the country (thanks Kidspot) and always, but always, I have taken pride and delight in the community that has evolved here.

As the popularity of blogs has increased so have the how-tos that float about, advice has included...

  • People only read the first paragraph, 
  • keep it down to 160 characters because that's all people think in now, 
  • include photos, 
  • be informative, 
  • don't be informative, 
  • No, you MUST BE FUNNY
  • Comment on everyone else's blog if you want them to comment on yours
  • Include your children,
  • Dont include your children unless you want to be accused of exploiting them,
  • Be real,
  • If you are real be prepared for nasty people to enjoy ripping you to shreds,
  • have a theme, 
  • have a press page, 
  • advertise, 
  • make money, 
  • get overwhelmed, 
  • give up entirely...

Mostly I ignore this bullshit and walk to the beat of my own drum.  I am a writer, and I write a lot.  I like putting up photos, even if they are of my manky apples, so that is what I do.  I have purposefully steered away from all but un-obtrusive advertising as I am not here to make a fortune (and who wants belly fat ads repeating over and over)... and so on.

Over time I've limited and limited what I write about here.  The kids got older, I battled PND, we had financial issues, marriage issues, I stepped back from my writing career, we lived (and still live) under incredible stress, and at the end of it all discovered that our child had aspergers.  I failed. I failed more times and in more ways than I ever imagined, and you know, I just didn't want those things hanging about on the internet for the rest of eternity.

Now I sit here and I don't know what to write any more.  Mostly in the blogging world I'm seeing either complete dross, with blogs spouting more bullshit than all the 'women's magazines' put together.  It didn't used to be here, that crap about how you 'must have a facial every 6 - 8 weeks - it will save you money, as blemishes are costly' (WTF??).  Or I'm seeing the other end of the scale, Bloggers gaily writing about themselves sitting on the toilet, how the kid saw the tampon string, and how the latest apparently hilarious blog topic is the subject of the camel toe.  Ug.

I suppose I just don't know where I fit into all this anymore.  I actually found myself stressing about how the blog doesn't have a theme.  Then I tried to convince myself that the theme is me and my life, then I stressed again because isn't that breathtakingly self-absorbed?  Then I ate all Miss 6s jersey caramels and had to go to the shop to buy more.

So does this post have a point.  Well, good question, I was just wondering that myself.
No. Not really.
I suppose I'm saying that this blog has become hard to write.  That I'm feeling directionless at the moment. That I'm working on it.  That I'm thinking of things.  That maybe it'll change, or maybe it won't.  But mostly that its hard to front up and crap on some days.  Yep. That's what I'm saying.

Friday, February 24, 2012

It was on the piss last night

When you are 41 and you go out on the piss, the next day is always, always nasty.
It stumbled home around 2.30am
I took it to Maccers when it needed feeding, and it ate...
1 Chicken scorcher burger
1 large chips
1 large coke
10 chicken bites
1 small chips
1 cheese burger, and
An ice cream.

It is now face-down on the couch, snoring.  Good thing I love it.

In other news our photo-bomber there on the left, is finally improving.  Temperature still going up to 39.5, but neurofen is keeping it down to normal, as predicted by the doctor.  She's also started eating again, much to my relief.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

Wow. You have the hairiest eyebrows I've ever seen...

Miss 6s temp is still above 38 and I am totally over having such a sick little one.  We've been back to the doctor and now she's on a stonking great dose of anti-biotics but he said not to expect much improvement until Saturday.  I'm hoping that's the case, as I'm so not in the mood for another Saturday at hospital.  Still no clear idea what the problem is either.  Thus far 'a virus' with 'a possible underlying bacterial infection.'  Bloody marvellous.

Being the outstanding mother that I am, I left my poorly cherub in the care of her father,  and buggered off to get a haircut this morning.  It was bliss.  Out of the house, sitting down, someone even brought me a cup of tea.

I had the in-house sadist shape my brows (which is beauty salon for pouring hot wax on your face and tearing your eyebrows off).
She was full of comments.
Like 'wow, you have the hairiest eyebrows I've ever seen,'
and 'no-way, I had to use double wax,'
and 'thank god you're not dark-haired, imagine what your eyebrows would look like then, monobrow LOL.'
Why yes. LOL indeed.

Still it was worth it.  The hairdresser forced me to figure out that the last time I'd had it cut was before Grandad's funeral, back in October, and even I was forced to admit I was starting to look pretty bedraggled.

Got home and baked a chocolate cake.  Which took the day from bearable to Not Bad.  Used Nutella as the filling. It was awesome. Nutella. Who knew?? :)

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Pancake Day...

What A Day.

It began early. Very early. With a meeting at school to discuss Miss 6 going on camp next week.  The upshot of it all was that I shall be loitering incognito in various locations around Sydney next week, ready to put Plan B (grab child, hurl in car, drive away quickly) into action should the plot become lost at any point.  Just between us, I know Miss 6 will be fine on camp.  Its the coming home excited out of her brain that triggers the meltdowns, and that'll only be shared between us and a block or so of neighbours.  You know. Discreetly. Our specialty.

Hubs and I then headed off to a cafe for a restorative coffee, and thence to Hornsby for another restorative coffee - yes, yes, we were suffering.  Only to have the phone ring... Miss 6 was lying on the floor complaining of a sore throat, and needed to be collected from school.  Now Miss 6 was rather poorly over the weekend, a rather nasty 40+ temperature resulted in an afternoon at Hornsby Hospital in the company of wonderful Nurse Jess and awesome Dr Hamilton.
Poor Miss 6
Neurofen, panadol and a dose of steroids finally saw things improving, but Miss 6 hasn't been 100% since.  So we hot-footed it back to school to collect the invalid.

And that was all before 9.30am

The rest managed to include sausages for lunch, two trips to the supermarket, capturing escaping chickens, inspecting a fallen-down branch, editing and rewriting, a trip back to school to fetch Miss 7, afternoon tea, homework, and then dinner...

I'd promised pancakes.  So when Sandra at $120 Food Challenge posted this link to Chocolate pancakes with berry sauce, AND we had all the ingredients in the cupboard, I knew that it was serendipity at work - and serendipity should never be ignored.
Stirring the batter
Cooking - look its a smiley face
Twelve perfect pancakes
With berry sauce and ice-cream
End result

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Bow Wow Chow

I agree, that was the worst post title ever.

A while ago I was doing a huge stock-up shop in Aldi and grabbed their cheap-as minced beef, instead of the low fat stuff. I've tried to cook with it twice. The second time being last night. After I poured over a cup of fat out of the 750g I was cooking, and the resulting meal was still greasy and vile, I admitted defeat.

 Today I turned the last of it into dog food.
Dog Food ingredients
 I have been using Down To Earth's dog food recipe for years. Sebby loves it, its a great way to use up ends of packets of pasta, its cheap, its so much better than bought stuff, and its very easy.

 Recipe here

Lots of vegies - I was doing double quantities
Into the stockpot
And it turns into this...
Super extra Yummy
That'll keep Sebs going for months.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

Maybe it'll turn into a coach??

The self-seeded pumpkin vine has taken over the pool fence.
Our million billion leeks in the garden behind,
and our pink christmas trampoline, being steadfastly ignored by the kids
You wouldn't have thought it was still summer with this autumnal scene...
That one is 5.6kgs
Methinks its going to be a very early autumn in these parts (in fact you could say its started already).

Thursday, February 09, 2012

Feral-ling Up The House

Not matter how hard I try, it always seems that my little patch of the world teeters on the verge of going feral.  You know, with rusting piles of wire and disused tractors littered around the garden, and a house that reeks of that musty dowdiness which takes years of neglect to achieve.

Hubs took us one step closer to achieving utter feral-ness on the weekend.  You see we've had an unusually massive amount of rain. Days and days of it.  The coldest, wettest summer ever.  Our chooks are so narked-off by the situation that they are now producing one egg a day, and verbally abusing anyone that gets near their enclosure.  So hubs came up with an attractive solution that blends in well with my carefully tended garden (see post of two days ago)
Nothing says classy like the old blue tarp
Yep.  I'm hoping the pools of water forming on it will provide enough weight so that when we get the next westerly gale it won't take off.  After all, when the photographers from Better House and Garden, or Architecture Monthly turn up, we don't want to disappoint them.

The ladies, however, are loving it.  Though not enough to have stepped up egg production.
Illustration 2: The Ladies, Loving It.
At least they've stopped yelling at me.

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Face-down on the Couch

The kids went back to school a week ago.

Since then I've pretty much done this...
Until someone set the dog on me, anyway
Owing to all the rain we've had, I haven't set foot in the garden (yeah, that's my excuse).  But don't worry, its been growing away without me.  This is the view out the front door...
I call it The Thicket
Yes the guard cat is in there....
Or a Panther, prowling through the rainforest
See, here is a close-up...


Thursday, February 02, 2012

Recycled: Going to get 'Bad Mother' tattooed on my forehead

Burblings from another time (ie an old post)...

I'm not good with hair or hairstyles.  I kept my hair mostly under a riding helmet until I was 20 and then, during my, "men must accept me as I am, and not how I look" phase, got a crew cut.  This style statement also marked the start of 'the celibate years.'

So here I am in 2010 faced with Miss 4 who has shoulder length flyaway hair that mats without even trying AND she has purple-faced screaming hysterics at the sight of a hairbrush.  And, Miss 6 who has the thickest hair ever, so thick I can't even get the hair elastics around it twice to hold it in place.

Suffice to say, the phrase 'neat and tidy' rarely applies to my children.

Given Miss 4s hairbrush issues and the fact I try very hard to pick my battles with the child, it is usual that she turns up at school with her hair scraped back into a slightly matted bunch, usually with bits of twig, toast crusts and the occasional small toy mixed up in it as well.

Hair washing is also a (purple faced screaming hysterically in a small echoey bathroom) issue, so generally I don't wash Miss 4s hair until it starts to smell funny, and when I do I slather it in conditioner and give it its fortnightly comb through/pick-over then.

Yesterday, when I sent Miss 4 to pre-school I knew that night would be hairwash night.  Dreadlocks were forming and I'd spent some time gently soaking a chupa chup stick out of it. However, when I arrived to pick her up her hair had been combed through and tied up in a neat hairstyle.

The teachers, bless them, unable to stand it a moment longer, had taken to her with a hairbrush.  And her reaction?  Calm and cheerful.


They are awesome wonderful ladies, oozing with tact, so they didn't say a word. But I could FEEL the thoughts. Oh yes I could.

I heard myself babbling; there was talk of miracles, and praise for their finely honed child management skills, and then I slunk away, mentally justifying my complete lack of motherly care all the way home in the car.

That evening I flung Miss 4 in the bath (she's always like baths its the hair bit that is the problem), and braced myself for the usual hair washing nightmare, only to have her calm and happy throughout, and spending a lot of time being a mermaid and asking meaningful questions about bubbles.

Brushed her hair this morning,  and she barely even looked up from her colouring in.

Have decided they're putting something in the water at that pre-school.