Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Attempting to find my tail

Thanks for the support and input yesterday. I spoke with her teacher and we are all on the same page now. 'salina actually has a playdate this afternoon - I am collecting her and a friend from school for a few hours of imagination in our back yard. Unfortunately this girl is also leaving the school next week, but it will still be lots of fun.

Am starting to stress at the mountains of "to do" items and the hours available in the weeks until Easter. Every weekend seems to be already mapped, and I am doing "time and motion" studies in my head at all times.

Today I am meant to be doing a course, but I have been given a reprieve as some files I have been waiting on for a freelance assignment have just come through so will be doing a big work push. Cat gets shots at 1. I also have washing (Note to self: I must buy more school dresses) and my house is tapping on my shoulder wanting a bit of attention. I also have to slot in (and save myself from shifting everything to tomorrow) a call to TAFE about training courses and a visit to QR to organise a trip to Brisbane soon.

So I shall away now and get started...

I don't know how my mum got the link, but here is an absolutely gorgeous story. Enjoy.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Advice Requested

Any hints in approaching a teacher about the possible start of bullying?

My daughter has had a hard time fitting in to her school (new since July last year) for a variety of reasons, and I am moving towards sorting some of that hopefully - but it seems that at school the problem is starting to escalate.

I don't want to be overdramatic or overprotective, but I want my daughter to have a childhood that doesn't make her cry.

And your peers telling you to go away, don't want to play with you will make you sad. And kids in the class knocking down your lunchbox and jumping on your sandwiches will make you very sad.

And a sunny beautiful girl withdrawing and not wanting to interact with life makes Mummies very sad indeed.

So help please, before it gets out of hand? It appears that the school don't have a bullying policy - or at least one implemented (was in the letters to the editor page in the local rag - seems my child is not the only one).

I don't want to change schools again, because I truly don't believe in running away from problems. And I don't want to be that mother who is always making waves. But I want to do what I can for my little girl.

Sunday, February 25, 2007

A day at the Gold Buckle

Now let me assure you, this would be a much better adventure story if I had remembered the camera - I promise, next time I go off to the bush for a real country experience, I shall.

As mentioned previously , my family has a long history with Campdrafting (and indeed, the Monto Gold Buckle has had my family's involvement since its inception) - and with the combined wants of seeing my immediate family (especially as it is last chance before my father goes in for re-kneeing next week); my daughter seeing lots of horses in one place and total immersion in a foreign culture that is my own, we decided we would do a day trip on Saturday.

It was originally intended that my beloved come along for a bit of a dip into my background - but due to many many drips from the sky in the last month, he has had to make use of blue sky opportunities and didn't make the long trip South this weekend, so it was just us girls.

We got on the road quite early and had quite a good trip across. If I ever get the opportunity to take a trip slowly, though, the Gin Gin-Mt Perry Road is one I wish to do - with a camera or a canvas - absolutely gorgeous, especially after a little rain. But as with the trip, I will have to rush the description - and I promise to take you along it one day.

When we arrived at Mum & Dad's, we got some sad news*, so we talked that through, refreshed (after a 3 hour drive - country roads = more than 1 hour allowed for 100km!) and headed downtown first.

Its funny when you come from a region but not really the local town - there are many faces you know from your youth but also many you have no idea about - and vica versa. I went into the local outfitters, where I have known the staff and owners since childhood - but yesterday it was only after I made the purchase I actually found someone I was not a stranger to.

You may think it strange to go to a small country town to get shoes, but my daughter had outgrown all her footwear last week (does that ever happen to you?) AND there are not many places you can get the value that you can there. Heilbronns even fill mail order from as far afield as WA!! (Got a plug in!)

We then went to the showgrounds - Welcome to Hat Town. My daughter was so excited - she kept recognizing people from a distance and I had to explain to her that that is the problem - you recognise the hats, but the people beneath are generally not who you expect - its best to try and take note of the shirt instead!!

The apparel is hat, shirt (and it doesn't matter whether you go plain, stripe, check or lair - so long as you wear it with a certain flair), jeans, boots and, if your status calls for it - a buckle. Before we get to the buckle, a note about the jeans - there are some fairly stylish pairs walking around, but the key to a good pair of jeans is the ability to be comfortable for the whole day AND the ability to hitch enough to get on a horse. Oh, and you have to earn your buckle - just make sure your pride doesn't get so big that it injures you!!

So many of the competitors travel with full teams and do a circuit these days - when my father was a boy, his own dad was accused of being "professional" (a very heinous crime in those days) as he took his string of 4 horses to the local campdrafts as he wandered Western Queensland looking for a property to buy. Today, there are strings of up to 14 horses and fullly equipped caravans so that the showgrounds was also a small town - and yes, as my daughter said, there was a pervasive odour of horse manure!!!

The first round I saw was Ben Hall, the renowned Northern Territory rider, and there were many from far afield as well as locals. A "local" (by virtue of marrying one of ours) pipped Ben in the final of the Open. I also got to see that girl (who I have known since I was a toddler) win the Ladies Draft (and another girl who I remember being born came second - all with different last names from my youth) - a very contentious event these days, as no longer are the Maiden, Novice and Open Drafts male only affairs.

The cattle put up a very good challenge. There is a "camp" of about 8 steers, where the rider has to "cut out" one (marks out of 26) and then the gates are opened and the aim is to take the beast clockwise around the first "peg" (a branch or sapling out and to the right in the arena - 1 point); anti-clockwise around the second (2 points) and through the "gate" (1 point) before the "bell" (1 minute from when you leave the camp). The judge will crack the whip for a variety of misdemeanours - turning tail in the camp, losing control of the beast, splitting a peg - but if you are not cracked off, will award "horsemanship" marks out of 60 - usually fairly stiffly. I still remember in my youth actually seeing a round of 94 - and it was a very exceptional round!

At the showgrounds in front of the pavillion is a sandpit under a few shady trees, so my time was alternated between watching many children playing and the drafting. My daughter was in her element - many younger cousins and their neighbours to corral into playing wild horses with her!!

The evening's entertainment was just getting under way when we polished off our dinners - several pigs were cooked on a spit, and served with buttered bread, corn, jacket potatoes, carrots, peas, apple sauce and gravy. I am not sure how that much set Mum back (she bought the meals), but I went and got 5 coffees and a slice of carrot cake after for $6 - and that slice of cake was enough for all of us!!!

I left at 8pm and did not see another car on the roads for the next 150km - despite part of that being on a hightway and through 2 towns - and got home in reasonable time for a phone call to my honey and zonk in bed by 11.

* Sad news: My sister's beloved Cosmo had died during the night. Cosmo (named for Kramer in Seinfeld) was their "firstborn" and a more adorable Great Dane could never be found. He was a puppy when my daughter was a baby and both were bundles of enthusiasm. The fact that he irreversibly catastrophised my sister's knee 6 years ago and has been forgiven for that breach of etiquette (and inability to negotiate changes in direction) is proof that this dog was very, very special and will be sorely missed and always have a place in many hearts. We all loved you, Cossie.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Moja Mala Djevojčica

This is the title of a song I sing to my daughter every night. It is a Croatian children's song, and I think it says a lot about paternal attitudes and socialism, don't you?

I am quite sure I don't sing it exactly right, but the words are:

Moja mala djevojčica
Zdrava i puna veselje
Kao bundeva kostica
Tako i puna jelja

Tata kupi mi auto
bicicle i romobile
Kupi mi meduli seku
Kulica Jugo Vinil

Tata kupi kolaca
Bon bon i ja nerenje dve
I jednu mali nu bebu
Tata kupi mi sve

My darling child
Full of life and love and health and happiness
as a pumpkin seed says

Daddy buy me a car,
a bicycle and a scooter
Buy me a push pram
Like the one by Hugo Venille

Daddy buy me a cake
Some lollies and two oranges
But most of all Daddy
Buy me a baby
Daddy buy me everything

I don't sing it the way that her father's family sing the song, and as my three semesters of Hrvatski mean that I can only misunderstand the asides his family make to one another I probably have my wording, pronounciation and translation incorrect - but I persist and it is a nightly ritual.

When my long distance darling and I started spouting our ancestry, he scared me by admitting to a Yugoslav in the woodwork - but he is purebred moggy covering the Northern and Eastern parts of Europe - via USA - so my Northern English/Scottish/Irish/German/anyone else that invaded genes all settled.

I realised last night as I got off the phone from the Baka (Croatian for old woman - or grandmother) that I have actually had a longer relationship with P.'s extended family than I did with him. It is possibly (read definitely) only through the virtue of my daughter that I stuck it out with them in a lot of instances, and they sometimes confirm my closet belief that the former Yugoslavia would be an interesting study for psychologists.

But I am not sure if it is age that has mellowed us all, or if we are finally getting used to each other's ways.

Baka now uses every opportunity she has to tell me her latest medical dramas (note to television executives - if you want a screamingly funny and poignant idea for a script, I have one with an elderly ESL patient and the public health system) and the current intricacies of her family (which now include some of the Croatian based chapter as Grandpa and her talk again after 15 years - to gripe about their children, no doubt).

I could actually see Auntie S as a girlfriend at some points, she is great value and, while volatile and vitriolic when in full flight, tempered with tea can be very charming. And as she is the mother of Cousin B, extra good value for my daughter.

Okay, one of the brothers I could cheerfully send to Guatamala with a one-way ticket, as has been my position since our first introduction. Umm - at least he plays soccer with the kids...

And the other brother, when not too drunk (where he thinks he is the life and soul of the party and unfortunately tends to be the death knell) can be great fun too.

The Croatians have special words for the different types of relation you are to one another - an aunt who is a father's sister is different to an aunt who is a mother's sister is different to an aunt who is a parent's brother's wife. And I wonder what relation I am now to them?

Even though P. and I were never married, and there is no shorthand way of saying "my daughter's father's dysfunctional clutch", I think that in a way I actually have another branch to my own family tree. One that creaks a lot, no doubt!

And then I think of my sister's husband's family - and how, although I made no vows or promises at their wedding (just had to look slender and elegant and try not to be upstaged by 3 girls under 7 in the same dress as me) I am now "connected" to them all in tenuous ways.

My brother's wife's family too, I feel a certain degree of kinship with and have some "connection" and another branch.

I come from a large family - not large as in 27 children, but large as in there is oral history for at least 3 generations, and every offshoot of those generations is kept tabs on, pride for, despair with and a little bit of judgement from. My poor long distance darling even discovered he worked with a relation of mine (my father's cousin's son) - its a large state but thick with family ties!

I suppose there are several points I sort of thought about while writing this - what am I getting my long distance darling into, what extensions are his family so far away going to give to mine, and also a lot of love and support for several of the creaking branches who are going through really, really tough times right now.

Again with a post with no point - anyone want to wrap this one up for me more saliently?

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Ha Ha Blooming Health Kicks

FPMSL here - or would be, if I wasn't as sick as a dog and stuff like that would make me throw up mere hours ago. The good news is - I am not throwing up any more (possibly due to the fact that I have no stomach contents and I think my bile duct has given all it had to offer); the bad news is that my contact with reality is sort of out of focus at the moment. So all insertions of pure lunacy are to be seen as normal, okay?

The worst thing about this is that yesterday, I was starting a health kick. I had received a few nasty migraines in the past week, and that combined with feeling quite unfit and wanting to get rid of a nasty habit or two made me all inspired and reach for the Leslie Kenton 10 Day Clean-Up Plan that I had scored at an op-shop about 10 years ago and always used as inspiration for the one day when I would try to get healthy.

So yesterday, it was on. The worst bit is, the first day is easy - just cut out carbs and caffeine (and anything else unhealthy) - which should be a piece of cake for me, as my caffeine load is limited anyway, carbs can be avoided by close perusal of the crisper and the anything else unhealthy gets tossed on a regular basis.

So I am fairly sure that my malaise yesterday was not related to any health kicks although it is a fairly easy target.

I had to do a course in the morning and was peachy. Got home to the effects of something starting but ate in an effort to thwart it, lay down a little when my head tried to tell me the something was growing, and then tried to blithely go on as if nothing was knocking on the connection between the spinal column and cranium for an hour (ha ha even did my 45 minute power walk)- when that knock became a pound, I lay down again to try and dissuade it as I had a parent-teacher meeting and both myself, my daughter and teacher are still trying to work each other out.

When the alarm went at 2.30 I thought I felt better. I got to school to discover I was wrong - but my timing is impeccable, waiting until the other 5 parents and teacher were assembled before bolting from the classroom and impressing the school cleaners downstairs with my almost forebearance, and giving them a glimpse of all the healthy food I had partaken.

We continued this pattern for the next 30 minutes - I would feel able to continue impressing the teacher, then I would not impress. The worst bit of it is that the teacher knew all of the other parents, as she had taught their children in Grade 1. I was the only unknown.

I got home, cancelled the moggy's vet appointment and lay in bed alternately groaning, sleeping and venting (isn't that a nice euphamism).

My 7 year old got to do whatever she darned well pleased - luckily she is a pretty good kid so that involved only about 8 changes of clothes and a few snacks. She almost jumped for joy when I said I would call a friend of mine to take her and feed her - she was ready and at the door waiting within 30 seconds - hmmm, she might be having 2nd thoughts about that nursing career she aspires to!

My wonderful friend Del came and collected her and her stuff for the day so that they could do a sleepover. My long distance darling fretted that he couldn't be here to take on that role (or even hold the hair out of my eyes). I just kept on alternating.

Last night was a very long night - I did actually manage to have a bath at about 8.30 and then collapse into bed, only to wake every 15 minutes or so.

Today, I could apply for the space cadets. Don't think I will embrace the fruit cleansing today, may reshelve Leslie until I am better able to embrace her again.

Maybe its just fate smiting me for trying to be cute and fit the detox across a weekend my sweetie and I won't spend together. I dunno.

Oh, and thank you for the comments on the last post, also. Both for the personal lift (people other than my immediate circle care enough to read my blathers) and for the psycho-social - I was cringing for a while after the schizophrenia post worrying if I had gone too far, because of the social stigma attached to the disease - and you guys pulled me back to what I was trying to say - thank you.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Life Interrupted

What happened to this week? I mean, really, I have no idea. I know I have added nothing to this blog (and possibly the world) during the last (gulp) 10 days...

It was not because something of massive import occurred in this neck of the woods - a bit rainy, a little bit of work on, a few appointments but nothing special - nothing to say THIS is the reason for slackness...

I would like to lay some blame on my organisational skills - not because they were so slack and therefore I never got around to the "blog" tickbox - rather because they were so good I got organised out of getting around to the "blog" tickbox!!!

Last weekend (seems so long ago now) my sweetheart came to visit - as with most of our weekends together, this was a pretty blissful 44 hours - especially as it was 48 hours, as nature gave him an early mark on the Friday! But additionally, we actually gave ourselves a goal of finishing 2 projects - and achieved them!!!

The week was fairly trouble free - I do some freelance work from home, and apart from the time factor, the sporadic phone calls from people who have no idea what I do, what I did, howI do it or why - only that it was once done and they want it done the same way again (they would be called clients) and the pulling my hair out when something very logical falls over this inconveniences me in no way.

As I had the "never got around to stuff last week" blues, however, I gave myself a timetable... And therefore, I was only allowed to "browse" for a very small portion of the day - and that limited time was further curbed by my internet connection deciding that, as I was not going to pay as much attention to it as I had done so in the past, it was going to sulk and work really, really, REALLY slowly - well, not so much slowly as not at all for whole 2-5 minute periods of my life - which led me to frustration and when I am led to frustration I do not cope with irritating factors in my life.

Anyhow, that was not really what I wanted to blog about today, and it offers me a nice segue into what I really wanted to blurge.

On the weekend just gone, I did indulge in a little reading (as I finally got to the library last week). The book I read over the weekend was Anne Deveson's "Tell Me I'm Here" - about her son's battle with schizophrenia and about her battle with trying to get help for her family and her son during that time.

It was a fantastically written book, and so very real for me. Five and a half years ago, my daughter's father died as a result of schizophrenia, and the nightmare that he had to live through due to the illness, and the nightmare that his family and my family had to live through due to the complete lack of support was a very horrible reality.

The worst part of the nightmare, really, is that it is an ongoing situation for many families.

You cannot get any support or care plans in place as they are adults who tend to refuse consent to getting treatment. Imagine for a moment that the thing you trust most in the world - your own mind, the organ that makes sense of the outside world - tells you that your family, your loved ones, the medical institutions - are all trying to poison or alter you. And then these people tell you that you have to trust them and allow them to do so.

You cannot get any support from health practitioners. For a start, it is amazing how lucid and sane a sufferer can seem when presenting to a doctor. Generally, people who suffer from schizophrenia are quite intelligent and sensitive people - and they can slip on the mask and twist a story to make it seem like you, the loved ones, are the ones in mental anguish - which you are by that time! This intelligence stands them in good stead twisting their reality to seem quite logical.

Generally it takes a sufferer to become a risk to themselves or others before they will get any treatment whatsoever.

Even if you do get some support from your local GP or your loved one is collected by the cops and taken to a mental health unit, underfunding and lack of a cohesive system of communication in the health system means that the hospital want to release a patient as soon as possible. Quite often patients are released into the "care of the community" without even notifying family of their prognosis, their treatment or even their release.

The complete lack of knowledge and understanding in society also affects a family's ability to reach out for any help. It was not until her son died that my daughter's grandmother said "if I had known he could die I would have done more" - the worst bit is that there is not much she could have done anyway.

There are still people in society that believe it is "acting out", "bad breeding", "drug induced" or even the result of "poor parenting". While a lot of mental illness does have an element of drug abuse in it, it is quite often a chicken and egg scenario - are the drugs used as self-medication, or did they trigger the illness? And while a child of a sufferer is 10 times more likely to be at risk, there is still a chance that 1 in 100 people in the general public will with no genetic predisposition.

A lot of people have many misconceptions about the illness. About violence associated with sufferers. About it rubbing off onto them. About it not really existing at all. Schizophrenia is real - and its probably happening in a family near you.

There is no real point but a ramble to my blog today. I know another family going through one of their loved one's episodes at the moment and wish them my heartiest support and sympathy and hope. And I truly truly wish there was a cure, that everything could be okay and that I could help in any way.

Friday, February 09, 2007

No more sleeps!!!!

(Written for my darling and Scribbit's Write-Away Contest for February)

My first thought this morning was "Oh my goodness!!! 5.14am - a sleep in!!!"

My second thought this morning was "No more sleeps!!!"

Because Friday is special. Friday is fish, calamari, chips and salad night. Friday is the start of the holiday. Friday is no more sleeps until my darling gets here.

It hasn't always been that way.

I mean, since my daughter has been old enough to voice opinion, Friday has been generally reserved for F&C.

Since my daughter has been attending school, Friday has been the beginning of the holidays.

And since July 15 last year, Friday has generally been "no more sleeps".

This time last year, I was happy with my life. I had a wonderful daughter. I lived in a marvellous house. I had delightful flatmates. My study was nearly completed. My freelance work was steady.

I had no care about being my child's only parent. I have had a very chequered relationship history, and I find it is better to be happy and single than to be partnered and stressed. Of course, it is lovely to be partnered and happy - but I was not quite willing to spin that particular roulette wheel.

It is not that I had entered a cloister since my daughter's father and I separated. There were a lot of issues at hand, ones that maybe I will tell another day - but the bottom line is it was not a horrid, wrenching, awkward or debilitating break-up. He died about a year later - that was pretty horrid, wrenching, awkward and debilitating , but again, another story another day.

I am your average 30 something woman who packed a heap into her 20s before doing the whole creative choice and baby route, so was (a) sensible enough to know that my child was my primary concern, (b) qualified enough to know that maybe there could be someone nearly right for me in the world but more likely to find anyone but, and (c) experienced enough to know that there are assets to even a bad boy - but, as I said to some girlfriends the other day, there are other avenues available if you don't want the problem with the attachment - if you know what I mean.

So anyway - no cloister. The fact that I never went anywhere likely to house eligible sane members of the opposite sex may have offered me a similar level of protection, however.

Several months later, I was still fairly happy with my life. My daughter was still wonderful. I was about to move from my marvellous house to Paradise, but my delightful flatmates were taking on the lease. My freelance work was going to the dogs due to client politics, which directly affected my study completion problems.

Yesterday, I mentioned that messageboards had helped me a lot in coming to terms with a lot of things in my life, and they were also a factor in changing my social life.

One member of one of my boards was feeling a little ummmmm - spritely and tried out an online dating service. Now, I would like to pretend I was naive to the ways of online dating services, but the truth is I had been on such a thing. I had exchanged emails with several slightly interested punters, I had spoken on the phone to a few and I had been on two face to face meetings - both, while not disastrous, did not exactly light up my life and coerce me into contemplating another shot at the "R" realm.

Anyhow, Clanc started a discussion about her efforts which led several members (yours truly included) to reactivate old accounts and do a spot of fishing ourselves - purely for research purposes.

Due to all the imminent changes in my life at the time, I thought I would try a new fishing hole - and set my geographic limits to within 500km of Paradise. A large cast net, I know. But in the interest of our investigation I thought it best to cast wide.

And as I REALLY wasn't that keen a fisherwoman, rather than entice with baits about what I thought might be tempting, I threaded my hook with absolute honesty. I workshopped it with my flatmate and wrote the things I was and the things I wanted.

Soon after I had dropped the line (my lure was "I was wondering, what is your creative outlet?"), I got multiple responses.

Two were easily eliminated - I mean, where in my profile did it say I would even contemplate watching motor sport as an activity? (Under sport, I had written: "I am a good one. Best at barracking and fantasty...")

One unfortunately was eliminated because he reminded me of Robin Williams - in Mrs Doubtfire (I am superficial occasionally).

One was eliminated because no matter how much spring in your step you have at 78, I am just not that into crossing the generational divide.

And several were eliminated by timing - because an early responses was very intriging indeed...

You see, he mentioned honesty and integrity, his love of reading, loving world music, his cat, poetry, compassion, lasagne - most of the page made me go "wow" - not in a girlie "I have found my man" sort of tone, more a "does this guy really exist or has my imagination created him" tone.

And he sent me his password to his photo - and again I went "wow" - not because of his rugged good looks, his smile, his shoulders and his eyes (well, not just because) - but also because he was NORMAL - he had that "this is me and I am not putting on a show for anyone" look about him - and for me, that is sort of important because I am that sort of woman.

Creating a long-distance friendship in the modern era is splendidly easy - no more writing letters and waiting for the steamer, no sirree - we could react, think and feel immediately the other person instigated the reaction.

And not long after I fished, I moved and was out of all communication range. Except for very erratic (and expensive) mobile communication our constant and immediate lifeline to one another was stymied. We dreamed of the moments where he would find a good signal, where we had free moments or cheap rates or when I could get online at a cafe.

Now, I am a bit of a hoarder so if you ever want to trawl through the archives of my computer, you will find all of our IMs, emails and even text messages.

This was good, as by then I had 23 pages of printed communications. I needed something to tether me to this earth and not enter dreamland - because I, the greatest non-believer in internet relationships, the girl who was very happy being on her own and self-sufficient, the woman who had the cares of her daughter and herself to put before all other matters - well, you see, I had fallen in love.

And it wasn't of the unrequited variety. I received poems. I received silken words. I received daily communication that said that wherever I was, that was where his thoughts centred.

He told me he was a diver - an all or nothing prospect. I had told him I did not necessarily believe in love forever, but you might as well shoot for the moon. He told me his faults - all the better for me, I said, I do not desire perfection. I told him of the importance of my daughter and he said that was the only way he would wish it to be.

We wanted to see each other immediately but did not. I had just moved, I had to settle in, I had to take care of my daughter and I. We agreed upon a strategy - a timeframe, a babysitter and a first date was set for a month hence.

Well, obviously the first date went very well, because he was keen on making the 350km (each way) drive again - as soon as possible, the next weekend.

And he was still keen after my daughter asked him to marry me because she wanted a sister - fairly soon. (That was week 1)

And he was still keen after my daughter decided she didn't like him because he didn't provide the sister straight away AND he had messy hair. (That was week 2)

And he was still keen after my daughter decided she sort of liked him and showed it by very physical combat while playing. (That was about week 10)

He was even keen after meeting my family en masse, my friends in small groups and my ex-family-out-law!!!

Hey - I am not starry eyed about this guy, nor him about me. We have had our differences, we have even had quite heated discussions and a dummy spit or two. We are real.

We are real enough to know that we have to work on all the mundane matters, all the family spotfires, all the petty gripes. We are real - we have both been where it was tried and did not work for whatever reasons.

But he is also real - and not a figment of my imagination (my biggest fear in the beginning).

Yes, I have been in love before. I thought I had loved other men unworthy of such prior to my daughter. I loved my daughter's father.

But my love for V is larger, realler, more immediate and more forever.

Because he is not flawless, because I have lived my life and know that I do not desire perfection.

Because we are suited on so many levels, because we both read and contemplate and because we both have our beliefs.

Because he wants to be someone my daughter could trust and respect.

Because we desire each other and fulfil each other and can trust and respect and love each other.

And because we both know the most important factors are honesty and integrity.

He is real - and he will be here any minute now...

Thursday, February 08, 2007

4.29 (and consequences), you are starting to freak me out!!!

I know, I know - I keep going on about this whole 4.30 wake up thing - I am not meaning to brag, its just something that happens - sometimes it doesn't work (hooray) and sometimes it works too well.

I didn't even mention it yesterday, because it was just wierd - I awoke, rolled over to look at the clock and as I was looking at it the clock ticked over from 4.29 to 4.30.

This morning, when I awoke and glanced over - 4.29 again - its Groundhog Day!!!

Not only did I get out of bed by 5 (I tried valiantly to resist), but my daughter also decided she would arise.

Now, I never watch morning television programs, and have a particular aversion to chat shows and those dubbed "current affairs" - I think they are more contriviality than breaking news - however, as I was sourcing the My Little Pony dvd the station the tv was on had NBC from America - and the next segment was going to be the sequel to the whole "Playgroup P!ss-ups" that has been peppering the blogosphere for the past few weeks. (Go visit Melissa at Suburban Bliss if you have missed it all - she was centre stage on the first episode - or Stefanie at Baby on Bored - she was the Mother of Drinking Reason today).

Me - I have the opinion that most mothers are reasonable human beings and tend to put their own children's needs first anyway - and so most mothers would moderate their drinking accordingly. At least they are there with other mothers who could cover for them if they got too stinking when little Dick or Jane needed a nappy change or trip to ER. Quite frankly, its better than drinking by yourself with just the cherubs for company - and I think that if your children are in danger from your alcohol consumption you have a bigger problem than playgroup.

Me - I have always believed that sleep deprivation is far more likely to inadvertently cause response problems in mothers - and my goodness, they have got to start imposing some sort of draconian regulations to get those darned children to allow their parents some rest!!!

But where was I - oh yes, my darling daughter who arose at 5am, interrupting my solitude.

She was very energetic until about 7, and then started with the "I've got a tummyache" and "I've got a headache". Now, my darling is as sweet as golden syrup, but she has had a history of both stomach ailments and malingering, so its a case of which policy to follow when such a call is made.

Her forehead was a little warm, so I agreed she could recuperate at home today. Straight after the bus went past, she was up and racing around chasing the kitten and wanting more breakfast - grrrr.

The car is at the panel beaters at the moment, but I have warned her I can still take her on the bus into school a little late. She has since made a film camera (complete with case) out of recycled materials, dragged me downstairs to her "treehouse" for some wildlife photography (of the rare chestnut tiger) and invited me on a picnic!!

Whenever I ask how the headache is going, she weakens, puts her little hand to her forehead and, in quavery voice, responds "okay - although the (insert noise here) is making it hurt"...

Oh, and speaking of noises, next door is getting their lawn mowed, and I am sure it is only a matter of time before they bring in the leafblowers!

Still, I actually have some work on at the moment, so she is going to be dragged to the post office to collect the data disk.

Also, I did get an inspiration on promoting myself for some more freelance work between 4.30 and 5 this morning, so will start creating a brochure.

Oh, and only 1 more sleep until my long-distance darling is with me again rather than 300km away!!! So I swear you will have the fishing report before he gets to my doorstep!!!

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Hortical Overture - or Haughty Overkill

Once upon a time, there was a voluptuous bush who went by the name of Cassia.

It grew until it had covered the wall, the rails and even the stairway beyond. (Would have been better with a before shot, hey?)

But one sunny afternoon, after games of softball, watch the kitten, imaginary steamboat cruises, watch the birdies taunt the kitten and fold the clothes from the line, the resident happened to notice something.

It seemed that the jacaranda tree housing the birds had also grown during the Summer and was now threatening the sunlight opportunities for the lady next door.

With that, the resident reached for her hand Hortex Hand Pruning Saw (a little bit similar to this one) and attacked - and then she turned and saw Cassia - and Cassia's irritating hours were numbered...

As you can see, this woman had inherited her pruning gene from her father, a fearless master of the chainsaw over the cowering roses of her childhood...

With concise and brazen strokes, she got rid of all that irritated her, and let sunlight and air into this part of the world.

Ah yes, and even though she knew the wisdom of moving the branches to the pile near the bins for the next time she got the man who has trailer ball, the friend who has trailer and the time, organisation and energy all in alignment to take this bounty to the local tip, she was gazumped...

You see, this woman had birthed a very imaginative and industrious child, whose soul cried out for a cubby - and who was she to stand in the way of such plans.

"Can I invite my friends over to have a party in here one day?" she asked.

Alas, the honest horticulturalist within the woman could not make that promise, and broke the sad news that the cubby's days were limited, their lifespan severely curtailed by such a brutal cultivation.

"Well, that's okay," she replied,

"because I already have a friend here to play with."

And so that is exactly what the adventurer and her friend did.
for the rest of the
happily ever

Although, I think the kitten was playing this game with the birds all afternoon, its just that the camouflage is more - um - becoming?

The Motherhood Slackrope

I read 2 blogs this morning - actually, I read about 10 blogs this morning, but 2 sort of reminded me (while hanging out the washing, if you must know) of a rant I once wrote . Tracey was discussing the guilt of not volunteering, while Beth had a problem with dealing with and 18 month old's naughtiness - and the guilt of using the TV.

Now, I am a solo mother, and have been for quite a few years now (although that status may change). There is a LOT OF GUILT associated with being a single or solo mother!!! How I actually got into using the internet as a community was through a messageboard for and by single mothers based in North America. Finding a community was a godsend, as it helped me to look at myself and empower myself and realise that I was not an island, other people had grief and issues (and frankly, some had much worse stories than mine).

Anyhow, this rant I once wrote was in for a woman who had become pregnant and decided to have the child and go straight back to work - as her ex had expected of her if she did not do whatever the alternative he wanted - which is not the issue.

She was finding it hard dealing with a baby on her own, working, childcare, trying to get some support from the father - hard enough to deal with - without the added stress of WHAT OTHER PEOPLE EXPECT - or more importantly, WHAT OTHER MOTHER'S EXPECT. And I am sure most mothers out there would agree, the most judgemental people in the world are mothers... Other mothers, that is.

Anyhow, thought I would find the rant and update it a little.

I remember how judgemental I found other people (and especially other mothers) when I had a young baby.

No matter what aspect of motherhood you look at, there are MAJOR judgement calls being made.

Do you breastfeed? Do you formula feed? Are you using fast or slow flowing teats? Do you use a dummy? Do you let your baby cry? Do you pick your baby up at the first whimper? Do you carry your baby everywhere? Do you leave your baby in the pram? Do you let your baby have the required amount of tummy time each day? Do you put your baby in the sun? Do you put sunscreen on your baby? Do you dress you baby warmly enough? Do you give your baby nappy free time? Do you use cloth or disposable? When are you going to toilet train? Can your baby roll/crawl/walk yet? Is s/he still using a dummy?

Can s/he climb stairs? Has s/he said their first word? Do you use a sipper or a cup? Does s/he like the water? Can s/he swim? Are you going to lessons? Do you get in the water? Does s/he sleep in a cot or a bed yet? (Your bed?) How come you separated? Is his/her father in his/her life?

Do you get child support? Do you have a job? Do you use childcare? A centre or in home? (A relative?) Do you go out at night? Have you got a good babysitter? Are you drinking too much?

Is s/he still using baby language? Are you toilet-trained yet? Do you leave a light on at night? Does s/he sleep in his/her own bed all night? Is his/her father in his/her life? Does s/he miss him much? You're still single? Are you going to have any more? Can s/he stand on one leg? Does s/he like The Wiggles or Hi-5? Do you let your child watch videos? Can s/he concentrate through a whole movie? Are you still giving him/her baby food? Do you feed your child junk food? Do you let your child have lollies?

Do you give your child softdrink? Do you let your child go on the rides? Do you have a pet? Does your daughter/son want a sibling? Oh? Is his/her father in his/her life? You're still single? Why did you separate? Does your child go to kindergarten? Do you work? What do you do for fun? Do you get to talk to any other adults? Do you reminisce about the old days? Do you recognize yourself in the mirror?

Is s/he swimming yet? Can't s/he control her anger/crying/words/body? Does s/he recognize the alphabet? Can you chase away the monsters? Do you know about Jesus? Why do people die? Can I have a new mummy? Does your child go to preschool? Are you on a committee? Do you work? What do you do for fun? Why do old people have wrinkles? Isn't it sad your family aren't nearer? Why can't you accept help? Do you always make your quiches runny? Why did you separate? How did he die? Does my nose twitch? Is Black Beauty a boy or a girl? Can I marry you? Why can't sons/daughters marry their mothers? Have you ever gone camping while s/he was younger? How do you do it?

Are you going to home-school? Can your child read? Can s/he sing? Play a team sport? Play chess? Play? Do you let him/her watch The Simpsons? Do you let them bathe and dress themselves? Do you make him/her cut the sandwiches? Do you give him/her full cream milk? Do you still have his/her bottle? Do you give him/her logo'd clothes? Does s/he tie his/her own shoelaces? Do you use velcro still? What do you do for fun? Have you ever wanted another one? Are you still single? Why can't the whole class come over to have a party? Why can't we have a kitten? Why is that man so short? Why can't I come in your bed? Do you work? Do you use Before and After School Care? Are you on a committee? Can you make something for a stall? his/her father in his/her life? Does s/he miss him much?

How come you know those people? Have you ever seen a triple rainbow? Do you speak English at home? Is your family close? Why did you chose that school? Should I say something? What should I do? Did you ever hear from that guy again? Why can't I have an icecream now? Do you let your child eat icecream? At 10 in the morning? At 9.30 at night? Do you have a bedtime? Can your child read? Can you spot a bully? Is your child a bully? Is your child being bullied? Are you a bully to your child? Do you let your child bully you? Is that the same outfit? Is that new? Can you afford that? Do you work? Are you on a committee? What do you do for fun? Do you drink? Do you find yourself drinking more? More often? Alone? Do you talk to strangers? Why can't we talk to strangers? Do you know that stranger? Do you recognize yourself in the mirror? Does your child do drama? Do ballet? Play team sports? Run? Exercise? Watch television? Talk to him/herself? Bite their nails? Pick their nose? Cry at a pinprick? Never laugh? Are you overprotective? Do you know where your child is? What is your child doing?

It doesn't necessarily get any better - but you train/trade in your friends, you ignore the obvious scolds and you get selective hearing.

Of course, these days I could add about a dozen more questions! What ones do you run up against?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Daylight savings - or sleeptime robbing?

Well, this morning I woke up again at 4.30am - Tasmanian time this time. And, you know, I cannot see the advantage of daylight savings at that hour of the day.

It is still the same amount of time until the sun comes up, it will still be the same amount of time until it goes down again.

Fair enough, we will all be so much more prepared if the Luftwaffe fly over. But I am pretty sure they have not attempted to bomb my part of Paradise in - oh, forever!

Okay, I am walking into a minefield with that opening. ha ha ha ha ha - folks, don't argue with me about it. I really don't give a toss whether you choose to fool yourselves or not - just don't try and peddle it to my parents. That is just plain foolishness.

Still, there were advantages to my wake up hour.

Its an extra hour to whirr on all those things that would have just kept me awake as it was. I have mentally prepared my order of the day. What is more, I have already executed several of the biggies at the top of the list - and it is only 5.11am (or after 6 down South).

The sky is just beginning to lose its evening hue, and the amazing purples and greys that you can only see at this hour of day are beginning to infiltrate.

Very few are around - there have been the usual pair of furtive dog walkers at 4 but nothing since. (In about 1/2 an hour it is going to be peak hour in front of the house with all the pedestrians).

I have got to have some valuable ponder time on my two darlings.

With my daughter, it is so easy to love her anyway, but there are moments when we have our challenges.

She is so similar to me in a lot of ways, so when we clash stand back and admire the fireworks.

Whenever any of the next generation have tantrums they all shake their heads and compare it to ones I displayed in my childhood (okay, and occasionally teenage years) (really - very, very few since I was in my 30s, I swear)... My daughter has equalled me, I am sure, at times.

I also believe that I have a niece that will give me a run for my money soon - she is only 2 at the moment, so is perfecting the black look, the sulk and the scream - once she has all the tools and a couple of lessons from my girl she should be prepared for the big league.

But I digress - oh, and I have to digress again, as the pinks that have just hit this sky are truly awesome - one minute while I regard.

She is so loving. I am always receiving little gifts and cards she has made. She is extremely creative. She has a fantastic vocabulary. She wants to please - just not at the cost of her independence and freedom of thought. She gives great kisses and hugs.

Yes, yes - there are all those other negative qualities, of which all but one I sort of have to put up my hand to passing on at least 1/2 of the gene pool on (the insistence bit came from her Dad's side) but they are for a blog written on another day. Today, she is the core of my soul.

And as for my other darling - well, you will get the fishing post later in the week. Early in the week is tinged too much with the longing of too many more sleeps and too close to the previous weekend's goodbye. Later in the week the anticipation of my 44 hour fix makes it a much more scintillating story.

Darn - it is still 3 more sleeps until I see him, no matter how early I arise. But hey - just noticed he is awake and on IM now - so will bid my blog adieu. Good morning all!!!

Saturday, February 03, 2007

This is not the blog I sat down to write

So it is the weekend and I am smiling and happy cause my darling is down for the weekend and my little one has a holiday (she has always called weekends "holidays" - I choose to encourage her in this delusion) and the rain came down until 6 this morning and then cleared up to a hot, blue (if blowy) day.

Yes, the day did start a teensy bit earlier than I would have voluntarily chosen. I could directly attribute blame to my daughter - but that would be being a bad parent, because that is a guilt I can take fully on the chin.

You see, I was a firm believer in co-sleeping - still am - for babies that is. The old "what it does for your relationship" argument didn't really work for us as (a) she was the centre of the universe and should be regarded first and foremost before the wants and needs of the adults in the bed (an argument which did not come from my side of the bed) and (b) what relationship (that one was from mine).

Anyhow - too much information, I know, but as my daughter became a toddler and, quite frankly, the above argument became moot, her sleeping in Mummy's bed became more an more an act of choice - hers - over convenience - mine. But as I said in the day, its not like she is moving in on anyone's territory.

Then she became a beautiful little girl, and I encouraged her more firmly to stay in her own bed. I would do the bedtime ritual in her bed of an evening and she would end it with "Mummy, when you come and check me can you get me and take me to your bed" - and I thought (ha ha ha ha ha) that I should promise to do this for her some nights, and actually follow through. My logic was two-fold. If I did what she asked, she would trust me at my word and sleep soundly in the knowledge that her mother always did what she said she would do, and then she would get used to sleeping more firmly and therefore on the nights that I didn't promise I would have the bed to myself - still a selfish act on my part as I had not filled the paperwork for the vacancy. Well, that worked and it didn't work. She got me to do her bidding, and on the nights I was vague about what I was promising she would come in any way...

Then she became a beautiful bit bigger girl, and mummy was starting to feel like it mightn't be such a bad thing, sharing a bed - although she was thinking of something a little bit different to the mother/daughter snuggles still enjoyed. It was still a very theoretical prospect, but realised that if ANY BLOKE stood a chance of filling the slot, it would be best if he didn't have a rival in place. So I did the reward chart - which is great, except (a) it means that eventually you have to cough up for something in return for her doing what you expect of her anyway, (b) you have to do that forever and ever and ever and (c) if you ever forget for a few weeks or lose the chart or tear the chart up in frustration over some misdemeanour or other or leave the chart at your sister's place or do something to the stupid chart so that it is not on the fridge monitoring progress, well then - all bets are off and the counter is reset to zero.

Sigh - not that I mind my darling girl feeling comfortable enough to sneak in to my bed when she has a bad dream. And it is always because of a bad dream! She can pull a bad dream out for you to analyse as quick as a wink if you call her on it. I secretly think that she either has a cache of bad dreams stored up for the telling if interrogated OR deliberately has a bad dream just to sneak in to my bed.

And I especially don't want it to be a "him or me" thing for her, now that I do have a contender for the other side of the bed. There have been a few issues with her dealing with sharing mummy as it is (especially as he didn't come equipped with the instant sibling she had in mind when spuriously discussing the concept of mummy's boyfriend long before he had been a glint in my eye), and there is no need to invite trouble.

At least she has now been trained in the concept of knocking on mummy's door if it is closed, even if it IS at 3 in the morning. And I musta gotten back to sleep, because I did actually awaken several times to her commands (cuddle me mummy) and the kitten joining us - but I swear, there is something about 4.30 that if there is a chance for the universe to wake me, it will. Being squashed by two loved ones can do that for you.

This is not the blog I sat down to write, but it is better in a way. My first blog choice, I swear, was going to be the ultimate love story, because Strauss at The Brave alerted me to Scribbett's Write-Away Competition, and I thought it would kill two birds with one stone sort of thing (as I DID promise to tell you how I hooked my darling yesterday).

And then my second blog choice was because that whole feelgood I had going got suckerpunched by an action of one relative that made me feel shitty because I knew it would make another relative feel awful and - well, you gotta be glad you didn't get that one.

So I will save the former for a day this week (entries close February 12), and the latter I will continue to whirr on and either blog it, ring the either of the relatives in question and interfere, or keep well away from it and just continue to angst to my darling about - he's good that way, as he will listen, and then hopefully he will distract me.

And he is a pretty good distraction!!

So - how do you get little ones out of the bed when the big ones want to sleep (or something)?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Early Mark, Poetry and How I Got My Man

Snuck in early to post today - cause, well, you know - I have SO MUCH TO DO and a little bit less time to do it in because not only is it NO MORE SLEEPS until my darling comes home to me, it is also raining.

Rain is great in itself without any additional perks, you know. I was a child of Central Queensland and, as any person whose family has relied on the weather and climatic conditions, the want for rain is a very debilitating condition.

When I was in my early 20s, I moved to Sydney. The first 17 weekends I lived there it bucketed down. Every Friday night. Every Saturday. Every Sunday. I had moved to Sydney because I had embarked on my (first) brilliant career so that meant that (a) I had no daylight hours during the week (workaholism immediately suckered me), (b) I did not get to experience any relaxing, exploratory walks through new neighbourhoods on my days off, and (c) the concrete backyard got a lovely sheen of green.

Still, I could not understand the negativity surrounding the rain. Unfortunately, Sydney these days understands all too well the want of rain - but in those days it was greeted with disdain.

But I digress. I love rain. Yes, there are instances when you can have too much rain. I mean, those poor schoolchildren in Townsville today can't go to school today. And I am saddened when the nightly news brings me stories of lost villages and mudslides and wiped out crops - I not a totally heartless bitch in my pro-rain stance. I am a moderate in most things (except when things really get up my nose or really tickle my fancy).

But you see - my honey doesn't get to work when it rains - which means he doesn't get paid which can kinda suck for him. But if he doesn't get to work, he can always do his housework OR he could study OR he could talk to me - or maybe come visit. We always have marvellous ideas and plans for rain days - especially those attached to a weekend. It will make the 3 1/2 hour drive more comfortable. There will be less traffic on the road (hopefully) driving more carefully (hopefully) so my angst about him being in a dangerous situation may be slightly reduced. And hey, he leaves his town early and we might get a longer weekend together - and those additional hours may include one or two of the child free variety!!! I love rain for that!!!

Well, I was going to tell you all about my long distance darling and how our wonderful courtship was conspired and I may have even said things that I should not - but darn, school bus is nearly here, I have so much to do before my darling gets here and I was going to give you a poem.

So instead I will precis it to saying thank you to my girls on my messageboards who suggested we go fishing, thank you to the internet for providing the waterhole, and thank you to my honey for taking the bait!!! Oh - and thanks for the rain!

And here is the rain poem - the first poem talked about in this post. Please enjoy.


Man - balding, fat,
Coldly casts gloom over the masses.
“Rain,” he intones
Oil slick roads
Fogged screens
Bedraggled hair
And yet it seems perhaps to me alone,
In this city heaving with despair,
Of the joyous jewel of justly deserved -
Of the gossamer gift of gladly received -
Of the opened arms and upturned face of my childhood,
Sadly lacking

So bless us,
This baked earth, parched its thirst,
Uplift the mantle to bear
The new life
And ever expanding cycle.
Come bless us.

© Sophie Jean 1990

ps - have not yet worked out the "getting poetry to show on the net the way it appears on the page". darn. It is much prettier in layout than that.

And if you want to find the poem that I mentioned in that other post that is on the internet, firstly a warning - it does has adult content. Poems of environment like prissy little Precipitate up there is about 1/4 of my output - I don't mind doing a bit of raunch now and then, and Teaser is the "-est" of that calibre!

BTW - I was going to link you to that site is in, but I have an issue with that I realise. If you want to find out why, maybe I will discuss it in the future. Am I bitter about something there? Probably. Not because of what happened, but because what happened was without consent. I will get over it. One day. May take a bit of counselling and a few blogs but I will get over that tenderness provoked.

Especially when my sugar man is due to arrive in about 4 hours!!!

So here it is:

Hey! You!
Yeah, you with that
“I’ve got nearly enough on my plate
but I’d like a serving of you
dressed in nothing more than massage oil”
look in your eyes.
You know,
I’d just love to kiss you.
I’ve got this kissing urge that goes way beyond
lips and skin and saliva and tongue.
You know, that sort of kissing urge
that just leads on and on to
all senses tingling
and screaming
and begging for more.
Yeah, I’d love to kiss you
Full, firmly on the smacker
so that our breath mingles
and the sweet secretions of
our mouths, open to each other,
blend and brew.
I’d really like to kiss you -
can you tell?

And then,
My hands as the servants of
an exploratory mind
would search your face, your head.
Phrenology a study that wants
examining further.
Your neck,
that smooth highway from your mind
to your physique
I would suckle and lick to find
Your pulse.
Your lifeblood.
I’d like to take the lobe of your ear
between my teeth
and tease your aural sensibilities
with the ramblings of my tongue.
I’d like to look deep down into your eyes
and open up your soul to
searing scrutiny.
I’d wrap my aura around yours
to form psychadelia.
I’d like to wrap my arms around
your shoulders
And hold your body from
clavicle to hip
Against the corresponding parts of me.
I’d like to feel the pressure of your
abs, pecs, thighs
As they fill and flow beneath
their smooth casing.
I’d like to watch them,
make them pumped
and play with them.
I’d like to use my nails against your back
and send morse messages
of lust and desire
through your spinal chord.
I’d follow each rib, each disc
serving as a sub-station
for my dictation.
I’d tattoo these thoughts and dreams
through to yours.
I’d like to massage your fantasies
into pliancy
and sculpt them into form.
I’d like to wrap your legs around
my legs around you
and pull you into me.
I’d like to make you climax so that
your brain loses all sense of
reality, time, rationalism and focus
and swells instead with a mantra
that means more.
I’d like to take you on that rollercoaster
where every loop is the crest of a breaking wave
that spirals down and around
and back until
ups and downs
seem no more like directions
but a never-ending montage.
I’d like to meld our bodies into one
joyous ball of energy
bouncing on the pleasurable see-saw
of ecstasy and bliss.

But I won’t.
I’m not that sort of girl
any more.

© Sophie Jean 1996
(Again, the issues with the tabs. Sorry folks!)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Setting the bar too high

Firstly, nods to Tracey for linking me!

I am so excited - the only link I have ever had before was one I coerced by virtually baking biscuits for Jenn's Cookie Drive at Christmas. (See, I have learned how to use the link shortcut!!!)

And I feel for Tracey. I really, really do - cause she hurt her back doing work in her garden.

Because, you see, today I can empathise.

Today I gave myself a blister - it is really annoying (probably not quite as annoying as the screaming agony of backpain). The most annoying thing is that I didn't even have it on the list - neither the blister attainment itself NOR the task I was doing to get the blister in the first place.

See, the problem with me (okay, one of the problems with me) is that I always bite more than I can chew - metaphorically speaking.

So, when I look at the day looming ahead of me and I think to myself "hmm, 7 child free hours in which to do what needs to be done" - well, that is about when my day starts falling apart.

Because where a normally sane person would go "seven hours - well, pick two of your big jobs that take about 2 hours a pop and maybe one or two quickies and that is sweet", I tend more towards the "oh my goodness, these are all the things that I have to do, and I have to do them today" and so write down the 12 things that average at 1/2 an hour each PLUS the 5 things that take about an hour each PLUS the 7 spring cleaning jobs I have been meaning to do for 5 months now that will take 2 hours each and the plans and ideas for my whole future.

And that is my problem, you see. I set myself up. I do my list. Tick. I look at my list. Oh My Goodness! Groan... And then I need a rest or a read - or I tick off a phone call or two.

And that is not my only problem. Another of my problems is the complete lack of discipline in undertaking these tasks.

So, that living room I was talking about yesterday? Oh yes, I didn't tell you the full story, really. I told you on where we were at at the beginning of the job to make you shudder. What I did not tell you was that I also took everything off every flat surface and did a completely back to the boards tidy. You can't do that when you have a million things ahead of you, apparently, but this lesson remains unlearned.

So the 72 million soft toys (I exaggerate - I did cull a few million when I moved) got taken off, dusted and reorganised (and I am sure they are much happier in their groupings of "teddy bears, dogs, monkeys, horses and wild creatures" rather than the throw them on top of the soft toy traymobile method in use before).

And today - with the Dining Room? A room that should be pretty bloddy easy to the normal person - well, for me I start with the eternal pile of crap that gets left on the table, then moved to the bags of things that get deposited near the walls.

And then - well - all that craft stuff that was piled in the corner belonging on the craft traymobile next to it? Well that too has been reoganised into equipment, materials and rubbish. And what is more, the latter ACTUALLY made it into the bin, out the door, down the stairs and into the big garbage bin before my daughter came home from school.

And you see - that is part of the problem - where I say "equipment", I mean all the equipment. I mean the stencils, the scissors, the rubbers, the glue - and the 61 colouring-in pencils. Yes, the 61 colouring-in pencils - that I sharpened - and got an obvious blister on my middle finger by about number 52. Okay, okay - I exaggerate - I did not have to sharpen one of the white ones - and I did baulk at the 17 lead pencils (but they are not counted in my above quota).

So - it seems that again I have failed in my quest to achieve my goals in a day - but I had a shot, I did okay - and I got injured in the process...

I think I have a second blister developing on my thumb. I will blame that too on the sharpening, and not on the fact that the little tick for "blog" could have been achieved in several paragraphs and has instead required 900 words and 1,000 spaces (that is actually hitting the spacebar with the thumb one grosse times...)

To quote Grover in one of our all time favourite read-along books "The Monster at the End of This Book: Starring Lovable, Furry Old Grover" -
"Oh, I am so embarrassed."

But it is NOT GOING TO HAPPEN TOMORROW. No sirree - tomorrow, I am praying for rain in a little town to the North of me so that a certain long distance darling maybe will get an early mark - and there are things that will be on my To Do list that I intend to tick off. (You know, like vacuuming) (the floor, the floor!)