Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Taurus in Career Sector

There must be something mulling about in the stars for me at the moment...

My freelance work is likely to dry up very soon, if it hasn't already. Nothing to do with my work, more to do with contracts and deals with the agency I do work for and their suppliers and clients. I am not crying over it, as it was a project that needed more support from people who were determined not to, and as I was only a contracter I had very little push on it.

Anyhow, one of the promises to myself was to have some sound income before V comes down here so I can keep independence IYKWIM. I have been looking hard, but what I want (not full time and no time with my daughter) is not very thick on the ground, and using my skills fully is not going to happen with many places up here.

I was a professional temp for many years so I have very wide-ranging portable skills and I am basically willing to work at any level so long as it is not full on and I am treated with a certain level of dignity.

Anyhow, a few weeks ago I saw an ad for a part time job that looked goodish and applied through the agency. I had a good first interview and got onto the short list for the second interview.

In the interim, saw another ad for a part time job that looked goodish and applied through the same agency where I was put through to the client without interview as the rep knew my skills.

Yesterday I had the 2nd interview for the first job. Sounds like it will go from part time to full time in a hurry when the existing girl goes on maternity, they will be very inflexible on leave or time off and want to pay my lowest rate, so I am thinking even if it is offered I may not really want it.

Then I got a call from another person in the agency wanting to know my skills for graphic design and desk-top publishing. In the former I am crap, but have broad dtp skills so she wanted me to put forward for that. Its only 15 hours a week, but I could build around that, so could be good. I got a call back on that 10 minutes ago and am having an interview tomorrow on it.

The 2nd job I applied for is going to be interviewed next week, but it dovetails perfectly with my experience in administration - and is government so plenty of options to move sideways when the contract is up. A friend who has been looking for much longer has also been put forward for it so don't want to cut her grass, but I do have more skills and a faster typing speed.

Oh, and the supplier for my existing client is having a conference call with me tomorrow with their software developers to perhaps use some of my coding to create a flatfile for them as I did that for my existing client with reports from an outlet.

It is like all the stars are aligning to throw me opportunities - but I am also worried slightly that I will fail to grasp the right option. Hell, I may fall flat on my face on all options and just have to enjoy V's first days here with dd and keep looking...

But I have waited for 8 months for jobs to arise, and when they do there are 4? What is that!!!

"I've got a tummy ache" and other early morning bird calls

The first words spoken to me today was "I've got a tummy ache"

I don't know what these words do for you, but for me they strike a mixture of frustration, anxiety, irritation and pity. Because we have a l-o-o-o-o-o-o-n-g history with those words. A long history with:
  • real diagnoses (ah, giardia, we knew you too well);
  • hereditary failings on her dad's side(her dad was untempremental in most aspects except gut);
  • hereditary failings on my family's side(we have even got a pet name for ours - surname begins with a B goes so well with Belly, set off by fats, fibres, frowns and changes in the weather);
  • intestinal parasites (do you know that nightmares can be attributed to worms - as can grinding teeth, thrashing legs and, well, tummy ache); and
  • learned responses (hey, my daughter is no dumbcluck - she also knows how to milk it).

So anyhow, end to my early morning attempt to wrangle my desk into ordered piles, paid bills, gleaming budget and an awesome to do list (yeah, if your bs detector went off its because I was perusing blogs while - okay, instead of - doing all those worthy things).

I was also going to have a new link list up with lots of new blogs I have visited and maybe a blurb about who I visit on Wednesday (yes, I went anal a few weeks ago and have limited a lot of blogs to only once or twice a week on roster - otherwise I would have NO TIME to angst over my own life!).

WTH - here is the Wednesday list:

Oh, and I can tick off writing my own (very boring) blog! Good thing I got up at 4.15 - means all those other things still sitting around to do have time to be admired!

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


So many ideas have cropped up regarding blogs - but so little time, it seems.

I wanted to talk about being a solo mum and entering the dating game, in reference to two excellent posts by Kimberly at Sanity and the Solo Mom, SSM at Surviving Single Mom that got me thinking... but I don't have time, really. So note to self, think and write some time...

The reason for rush today is that in 1 hour and 25 minutes I have a 2nd interview for a job that I would like to get but won't be devastated if I don't.

I would love to get it because I don't like being unemployed (or rather, under employed - I find little bits to keep me occupied but it doesn't pay squat or keep me solvent) and I would really like to be employed before Easter because I made a promise to myself to be so before V is no longer my long-distance darling and he will no longer be my long-distance darling come Easter.

V will no longer be my long-distance darling come Easter - because he is coming at Easter (here, that is, none of your minds in gutters or biblical analogies, please).

And on top of that it (we are talking about the job again) would wake my mind up and widen the circle - and, perchance, give the bank account a refreshing new look.

I wouldn't be devastated because I am being put forward for another job this week that looks more interesting, use more of my skills and have more people in the workplace. Today's job also has the potential for 2 office moves in the next 8 months - but I would have more autonomy.

Oh well, enough crossing bridges. If I get it, it is meant to be. If not, maybe I will get the next one. And if not that, then maybe I will get to spend some time with V and 'Salina over the Easter Break.

Its just win, win, win really. (But do wish me luck!)

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Training Wheels

Isn't it funny how, as mothers, little things can become our report cards. When we moved up here, one of the reasons that I verbalised for our move was so that my daughter could learn how to ride a bike. (The others were to be closer to family and in a place that wasn't going to build a busway at my daughter's school's back gate OR a bus tunnel directly between home and school).

I know, I know, all you need is a bike, smooth ground and a willing child, and I sort of had some of all three in the big smoke. Bike was a wonderful pink 4th birthday present, ground was smooth in places and child was willing except when being extremely cautious. Her main drawback, however, was an overprotective mother. The first long word that my sweet child learned to mimic from me was "careful" - I look at myself some days and cringe.

In my defence, I will also mention heavy traffic, pollution, steep and cracked footpaths and fear of faceless strangers stealing her away. Up here, however, it is still unfolding, this whole cycling saga - because of a lot of little reasons, but I am afraid I must look to my report card and see an "F" beside "passing on cycling ability in a confident manner"...

When we first got up here, both she and I said "beauty" at the prospect of cycling away our free time amidst the delights of our new flat neighbourhood - but it didn't eventuate. One reason was the failure to take advantage of or make spare time - and the other is all my fault (again). Because I thought she was ready for the next step by wobbling on her wheels I took them off - and she wasn't - and she point blank refused to ride the bike...

So now we have new training wheels - ones that can be adjusted - and she is very, very keen again to go cycling so we do. We go to the shops, we go to the beach, we explore the neighbourhood. Last weekend, we put the wheels up one notch - and while very tentative at first, she has found she CAN ride with them up that bit higher and not touching the ground. I think that soon they will be more a hindrance than a help and she will be ready - but until I get the green light this time I will hold myself between pushing too hard and not pushing at all.

Darn, its hard being a perfect parent...

Friday, March 16, 2007


My week:
  • Recover from weekend, feel sick as a dog and swimming lessons on Monday.
  • Recover from feeling sick as a dog, rearrange 1/2 of house, do errands, volunteer at Girl Guides, be hostess for brother/sil and 3 kids on Tuesday.
  • Recover from visitors, chase work and invoices.
  • Volunteer at school, meet with sister in town for coffee, meet with girls in town for lunch, find prospective job and apply, have interview with job placement agency about course last week and go for a long cycle with daughter on Thursday.
  • Tuck shop lady at school, organise a job interview for Monday, organise freelance potentials and followups, courier for parcel collection for my brother and (separately) my sister and go for a long cycle with daughter today.

To do between now and leaving house tomorrow morning: pack for weekend, tidy living room/front room/bedrooms (don't want to leave it ALL for Jean), compost, washing up, wash floors (eggs broke on kitchen floor this morning and have not had a chance today), bath for my princess, chop meat for the cat, do a blog, colour my hair and, of course spend quality phone time with my long distance darling - second Friday without him about and pining horribly here (see him tomorrow though!!)

To do also tomorrow morning before leaving: reorganise car to fit all of siblings packages, port for weekend and daughter's bike, put throught the washing and put on inside lines, try and touch base with a friend, make cat feel loved, leave notes for cat feeding (and house ha ha) and see if I have anything for an 8.30 interview on Monday.

To do tomorrow morning before leaving town: buy sister-in-law a birthday gift, stress if gift I have for sister is enough, see if there is anything for an 8.30 interview on Monday, shoes that are comfortable, climatically suitable and suitably businesslike for abovementioned, sandals for daughter that may be comfortable, climatically suitable, meet with her desires and likely to not fall apart in 6 weeks and any last minute groceries that may be needed for the trip.

Then 200km drive West to my sisters 40th - a dinner party on the tennis courts for 30 people - I am the cous cous lady.

(There I also get to see my sweetie after 13 days and nights apart and spend one night in the quarters aka The Love Shack)

Then come back and maybe stress a bit more about a job interview, a quote I have to prepare, any other job prospects and what a slack housekeeper I am. I might even get around to my folding (ha ha ha ha)

Plenty to keep a girl busy!! (Now ticking off "do a blog" and, of course, "write list" - ah, the feeling of accomplishment!!)

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Now where did I hide my sense of humour...

Well, after my last little fiasco I thought I would outsmart myself. As you know by my previous missive, I had a wake up call booked for 2.15 but the taxi was due at 4. "Beauty" I thought to myself, "I shall wake with the call and get a few of those things that I have to do done then, and go to bed (relatively) early."

Well, that woulda been fine except for my psyche or whatever darn control I have over my sleep and dreams. Because I kept waking suddenly thinking I had missed the call or that the taxi was already here and I hadn't done stuff - see the time, roll to go back to sleep and dream I was busy, busy, busy doing all the things I had to do!!! So even my sleep was tiring... Don't you hate that?

So when the call came, I busily did all the things I had put off doing... As a side note, I had been (I thought successfully) fighting a UTI all week - well, I was wrong on the apparent success rate of my method, and it was nasty! And then the taxi arrived 15 minutes early so a few things I was going to do in that last 15 minutes got shafted - like burning the work disk and invoice to present in person - oh, and putting my train ticket into my handbag...

That got sorted (to the tune of $22) fairly easily. My excessively excited and independent Miss was soooo looking forward to the train trip!

Once the train started, she wanted to investigate the facilities. I could see the door from my seat, so let her explore. After a while, I thought she must be testing all those interesting little automated extras only a train bathroom can offer - but even that was taking a while. I did hear a child crying, but thought someone must have a toddler on board. When I finally got up to investigate, my daughter came out of the toilet in tears. She did not have the strength to turn and pull the handle of the door and felt she would be locked in for the whole trip!!! Bad Mummy moment there...

However, her other independent forays were more successful. She colected copious paper cups of water (handy with my condition), made friends with the canteen ladies and won the hearts of a few elderly ladies as she pushed the buttons to open doors for them .

Weekend was great - busy traipsing all over Brisbane sans car and the UTI developed into a kidney infection so maybe not so great. But my Dad is powering in recovery; saw some friends; and daughter had a great evening with extended family on her Dad's side.

Eddie was very, very glad to see us when we got home, as although Jean had done a great job tidying my house for me (done with the best intent, I am sure, and I must remind myself to put out vacuum cleaner for her next time I get her to feed the cat) the main aim - feeding Eddie - was a bit of a bust. She didn't find all the delicacies Eddie likes in the fridge, so gave him the emergency cat food - which Eddie only eats if there is nothing else to scrounge - but she also gave it to him in his water so the ants wouldn't eat it... He loves us for more than our winning personalities and looks, really!!!

My special someone was also crook over the weekend - and not just with longing thoughts of me, either. He is currenly sweating out the latest thing going around. I am so glad that Desparate was on as it did service a smile or two for both of us.

So two days later - daughter is massively tired, I am groaning with movement and have given in to taking some pain relief (am on antibiotics as well), have a ginger cat shadow tripping me up, have a long distance darling sweating in bed 330km away and whipping the spare room into shape for influx of brother, sister-in-law and their 3 kids for tonight.

Maybe I will find that sense of humour in there.

Thursday, March 08, 2007

I am amused

Well, I have to be really, as I have played quite a nasty trick on myself. I booked train tickets to go and see my father and his new knee in Brisbane this weekend, and the choice was leave early morning and arrive morning OR leave mid-morning and arrive mid-afternoon. As we are having a day off school anyway I went for the first option and get the full extra day experience.

Anyhow, when booking I noted the timetable had 2 early morning trains (not Saturday morning, however, hence the day off school) and had kicked myself afterwards for telling the train dude to go for the earlier one (4am) rather than the one after (5am) - I did the maths, failed to carry a 1 or something and thought it was shorter rather than longer time on the tracks...

So anyway, on my list today were many things, including book the cab and the wake up call. When I booked the cab, the girl was quite surprised that I was to go so early as people usually caught the 5am train. "Um, yep, that would be because the rest of the region is much smarter than I" I told her and she laughed (because what else can you do) and told me a cab would be here at 3 to allow for any time requirements at the station (and, you know, that 15 minute drive to town may take 40 minutes because of traffic at that hour).

Ugh - taxi at 3 meant I would have to be up before that point - so I rang the wake up call service and let the computer know when to book my call, and I know me pretty well so made it for 2.15am.

Well, I went on my merry way and ticked off lots on my list, and then tried to see if stopping the second last stop rather than go right into Brisbane I would be at the station near where my mother is staying any earlier.

So, I looked at the timetable to see when it would arrive in Caboolture.

"That's funny" I thought "but the 4am train only goes Mon-Thu and I am going Fri?" (I tend to think in abbrev form when reading timetables)

So, I looked at my ticket.

And then I laughed - one of those whinnying, loud intake of air, high-pitched laughs.

The cab girl laughed at me too, and wanted me to tell the world that she was right all along so I just did.

Unfortunately I cannot think of a way to tell the computer not to call, however...

Other things have made me laugh of late - for example this...

Oh, and today Moreena made me laugh: read this and then this.

A woman I have discovered recently with real guts is Tokyo Girl Down Under. here is a post about her real estate agent. I know, I know, they're not all like that!

There were more, but I have to pack, put the car away and look at my house throught the eyes of a stranger so I don't scare the lovely lady next door (another Jean - can you imagine?) who will be feeding Eddie - twice a day and a little milk if he is pining at times throughout (ha ha ha). Not much really.

However, first I have to call my honey, and that can take a little bit of my evening - its a ritual I enjoy for as long as I have to, but maybe one day there won't be that 330km and phone line between us on a Thursday evening...

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

I've Done a Bad, Bad Thing

On a blogsurf yesterday, I found a poster bemoaning the fact that the new Desperate episode they had watched would be the last for a few weeks.

Oh no, I thought (not being smart enough to look at the date or location of the poster) and went to see what her analysis of the latest episode was...

Well, of course, the date should have made me go Hmmmm... I thought for some reason she was from Perth, WA (that is Western Australia for those with different geography coordinates)... I swear, I knew not what I was doing...

Because, you see, there are rituals attended upon important programming. You get your core group of fellow devotees and you natter about what happened and what's going to happen and what you think might happen - and given my geographical coordinates, this takes a lot longer now.

Not like when my flatmate lived in the same house as me, my sister the same city. Not like when I didn't have someone special and I didn't have someone special away during the week and I didn't have someone special away during the week and hooked on Desperate.

No, now it is a long, drawn out process involving 3 separate phone calls over the next few days. And so I don't get my post Desperate fix as instantaneously as once upon a time.

(Also very much not like when I had someone special and no computer contact, phone contact or physical contact... Try a long way away and hooked on Desperate texting the analysis!)

Anyhow, so yesterday I saw the blog that mentioned Desperate and I was not yet saturated on Desperate and I saw a link



clicked it.....

Oh My Goodness.

My saving grace is that I have NFI what it was all about, as the date should have been in the future - long, long into the future according to Australian Television Programming Standards, where someone has a concept that a well aged Desparate should be considered fresh - a sort of Olive Oil of the entertainment industry.

(And no, I am not giving you a link to the post, because either (a) I don't want you to follow me down that path; (b) I wish to hold this little bit of kryptonite as my own; or (c) I have no idea on which blog I found it.)

Monday, March 05, 2007

What a Wonderful Weekend

We just had a fairly wonderful weekend. The cyclone did not hit - so wind was not unbearable and squally rain did not happen - but the waves were good enough to play in and we actually got some major "to do" issues dealt with.

Our Friday night ritual is fish and chips. When flush, we allow others to do the cooking for us - but when our moula has been flushed away, the trusty old stove top does the hard work. (If the darned oven worked it would be healthier but we are not big on the chip part of the equation generally). Always a large salad is concocted with a side dish for my super fussy child - I am a HUGE fan of salad with lots of veges and colour and fresh, fresh flavour.

Saturday morning, I set V the task of putting new trainer wheels on 'Salina's bike - I know, she is 7 and should not be on trainer wheels, but with the facts that until recently she lived in a hilly, smoggy suburb with an overprotective mother, until even more recently she still had that overprotective mother and no helmet AND that if they are not there she takes on learned caution and is not on the bike I am willing to take all admonishments with the knowledge that they will be taken from the wheels at some point in her life - it is a bit like toilet training and breast-feeding - IT WILL NOT BE AN ISSUE AT 16!!

This experiment (V putting wheels on bike) was also a learning curve - I found that he does like to have access to the instructions when dealing with mechanical matters, that graphs work better than very convoluted instructions with lots of references to (A) bolted on to (B) after affixing (C), that graphs work better upside down if the bike is upside down and that V doesn't need the help of a 7 year old to do his work!!

We also finally all had helmets that approximated our headsize, so pumped the adult bike tyres and pedalled across to the beach for a test run - it was so quick and easy!!! You could see the cogs falling into place in the little one's head - we then went further afield to a favourite playground and raced back home!! I was so proud of us all!

Well, after a morning like that, we had to find another "to do" item to be done immediately. And our chosen task was "The Bed Job".

Background briefing - when I moved up here, I gave my bed to a friend rather than add it to the large list of things for the removalist, as there already was a bed here - and I thought that it would do until I bought another.

Well, it did until another bed became available (unfortunately money gets frittered very easily by me on such frivolities as car repairs, groceries and fish and chip splurges).

The first bed was originally my parents bed, and they bought it when it was a top shelf item when they got married. They were married in 1965. Bed technology has come some way since then... For a start, there are less springs to squeak and pop as you (ahem) roll over in bed. I will miss the handy bedside tables attached to the bedhead, though!

The new bed is a double ensemble - bought in the 1980s and is a "large double" (in that straightlaced era there was not the option of a Queen available - no doubt a few people baulked at that). Okay, again is a parent's hand-me-down and the wheelie bits are fairly shot - we now have a complete set of bricks holding it above the floor - but oh, the bliss, the silence - the added luxury of testing a "triple ensemble" concept with the original mattress on top - very bouncy and liable to encourage tumbles from the corners!

We then celebrated by togging up and cycling over to the beach again for a splash, with the little one and I doing bike tricks on the old skating rink while V wet his surfboard. Upon arriving home, a disappointed child wanted to do more - so more was done, with finding a new playground, discovering new streets, casual waves at previously unmet locals and a few twinges in my very untoned rear end.

We arrived home to the aroma of the crockpot roast, and the trimmings were made and placed on the table - when the only spot of doom to mar the weekend occurred.

Let me just say that I have learned a few lessons in my time as a mother - some recent, some long ago, some very bad lessons and some apt. But I continue to learn. And there are many teachers - the child, other parents, innocent bystanders and books... I am in the process of reading one at the moment that, while not going to apply as gospel, has given me a few nuggets.

Anyhow, the lesson that had to be learned by my daughter was one concerning grace, consideration and eating what is put in front of you. She fairly well failed all three, and Mum applied a principle - I failed to placate and tolerate, instead, with the good doctor's words ringing in my ears that "children do not starve in 1 night", sent her to bed.

Of course, I am a wuss and she did eventually get fed, but she has now realised that she set off some consequences that may not have been triggered if she had just shown a little grace and consideration. Because I have now learned that by being ruled by her ever decreasing food preferences I am doing noone any favours - and so she has been assured that not only is a lot of food she has never seen before going to join our menu, from now on 1 item of everything will be on her plate and she will eat it with grace.

By Sunday morning we were all over it, and made pikelets as a friend was coming over for a playdate. Even if I do say so myself, I have finally cracked the pikelet code and I make pretty fantastic pikelets these days!! Not having an oven, the recipe gets a fair workout.

The other child and mine played wonderfully (even though I got some insight into a few factors that may be affecting my child's friendship skills) and we all got to frolic in the waves again.

So - the whole weekend was spent in swimsuits basically, we played lots, ticked our requisite 2 to do check boxes (well, more as we also tidied the house and did those chores that sort of seem to be required to stop the wheels from falling off) and spent most of the 44 hours available V time having fun!

How was yours?

Friday, March 02, 2007

Surf's up (maybe)

The rumour is that those two fluffy swirly things to the North East may join together and make themselves into a cyclone, travel South along the coast and look to land somewhere between Mackay and Maryborough - maybe... So there may be some real swell here - I know of 1 lovely gentleman that hopes so, anyway. And I also know of about 1 million (not personally) who would like it to hover a little further South and target catchment areas.

But if you have looked at and pondered over weather maps for as long as I have (I have known what a trough looks like since I could take notice of the television), you know its best not to count those chickens.

But hey - its a nice segue into what is on my mind this morning. I thought I would take you on a little surf of my own.

Since starting this blog I have gotten to know a few different sites to the ones on my blogroll, so I am going to use at least one tip given to me here: scribbit: Five Good Blog Tools (and Three Bad Ones) | A Blog About Motherhood in Alaska and update my blog roll - but before I do that, I will take you to a couple that have tickled me in the last week.

I will start with Crazy Trace - this woman inspires me as she does so much - I don't think I will ever get there, but maybe one day I can be a super mum too!!! She rides, exercises, is a committee bee and parents (for a fair bit solo) 3 children. I don't ride, don't exercise, have a lot of good excuses for not being on committees and am flat out being a mediocre parent to my 1 darling even with weekend assistance.

I love to check in on Semantically Driven, another Mum doing it alone in SA.

RootieToot at Because Its Personal seems to have it all together also - she may not admit to it, but she runs a pretty tight family (and blog)!

Baggage And Bug was one of the first blogs I started following, and Baggage remarkably looks after 3 foster children and her own adopted daughter!!

Adventures Of Teacup is a fairly recent blog I have been reading and enjoying - another mother who can do it all and be craft at the same time.

Miscellaneous Adventures of an Aussie Mum is dealing with a baby and a toddler and keeping a sense of humour and streams of consciousness running - more than I could do!

In Everybody Needs Therapy the TherapyDoc covers lots and lots of issues that can really affect, well, everybody.

Kill the Goat was one of the first blogs I came across and enjoyed - still do!

One of the first bloggers who ever commented on mine before I had found her was Strauss at The Brave - a very brave Aussie mum in Canada.

Shishyboo is another I found through the link to link to link method.

I first met Janeen at Diary of a Single Mum on the Edge through MomBlogs, and also read her "amateur" blog (as opposed to "professional") destinations - journeys of a restless mind.

At Kari's Couch they had a fun trip to ER this week.

I have just discovered Magic Bellybutton who has just discovered she is a nerd. lol - I may not have been long in the blogosphere, but my citizenship at nerddom is set in stone.

Slacker Mama seems to be having a fun March, already.

Mommy Has a Headache has just started giving advice.

Of the men, I have just discovered Rainy Pete; Geese A Plenty always gives me a chuckle (case in point - the sugar substitute post); and Single in the City is going to have a wild Mardi Gras!

Of the uberblogs I lurk at (hey, these guys get 50 comments for blinking - they don't need my statistics!), there is Suburban Blis; Where am I Going and why am I in this handbasket; Oh the Joys; And I Wasted All That Birth Control; dooce; Stay at Home Motherdom (among others - but you get the drift).

Believe me, this is only about 30% of what I read in the week - I wonder where all my spare time is? - but I am culling (about 15 are on the "notice" list) - however I keep finding new nuggets (about 15 are on the "check out" list). Sigh.

So, I have a question - what do you like to read in blogland - what makes you cull?