Saturday, April 28, 2007

TV Gripes

WARNING: This post contains adult content, outrageous venting and references to sex. If you are related to me by blood or marriage; or not related to me but are likely to be offended and/or have a problem with me discussing, alluding to, viewing documentaries on or actually possibly thinking about engaging in the "s" activity, I recommend that you stop reading pretty soon. I mean, I will start innocently enough, but you never know when one of those references might just catch you off guard.

Anyhow, so we are fans of The Biggest Loser up (or down) here, for good reason.

For a start, it occupied a reasonable timeslot. I mean, I once did attempt the "watch news with my daughter" experiment, but the reality is that news is not child friendly these days. After 3 days of the opening being sexual assault and/or war it got binned - at least with TBL you don't lose too much innocence.

And then there is the message of obesity being shoved down our children's throats. (Was I wrong, or was there one moment in history where it was felt too much emphasis on body image might damage children? It appears that moment has passed.) Kids these days are being force-fed the anti-obese message. I agree that in many instances a wakeup call is needed - however I think that the junk food industry and the knowledge-wanting parents would be better targets.

Anyhow, some children reflect that message and equate it with their mothers (who I might remind you may be a little more generous than the average Jeanie, but then you have some skinny Jeanies out there to bring the bell curve back). So it pays for children to see people who are a bit bigger than their mothers getting trim, taut and terrific. Even if for no other reason than to give the mother the comeback "if I lost that much weight I would weigh less than you" - works all round really.

So anyway, as of last week, we got a reprieve from later bedtimes because this season is over, and the season of inane contriviality programming is upon us once again. I love it when Big Brother (Jaycee's take here) returns to our screens - because for us it means the tv is turned off and we can have a peaceful runup to dreamland.

However, extracting those last few pounds of flesh, Channel 10 aired the Grand Finale at the child unfriendly time of 7.30 - 9.30pm on Thursday (yes, a school night) - so we taped it, and watched it last night at a reasonable time.

Now, that all had nothing to do with sex - so far so good. I mean, if I am talking about child-friendly viewing I am not talking about sex - that bit comes later - that was the outrageous venting part of this post.

Anyhow, after our fill of TBL and a sweet dreams serenade to 'Salina, V and I settled to our Friday night rituals - which, in Queensland at this time of year, includes the football - and it appears, absolutely nothing else on television.

Now, background filler - V and I met due to the mighty power of the internet (hey, we thank other entities too, but the actual power was that of the internet). In the little portions of information you give to the world, there was one section labelled "Sport". V admitted to having a liking of many things sporting, especially where speed, biff and balls were concerned (my response was "I am a good one"). Hooray he didn't put any hands up to motor sports because that was a deal breaker for me!

What about my take on ball sports? Well hey, I grew up in Central Queensland - if you didn't know the basics of Rugby League from infancy you were a pariah in the school yard. So I don't mind the occasional viewing of biff so long as it doesn't incude santimonious silence and alcoholic guzzling. I am a closet sport watcher actually - just so long as it is not machines going Vrrrroom-Vrrrroom-Vrrrroom-Vrrrroom for hours on end. So I knew what I was letting myself in for.

While the "long-distance" portion of our relationship was in full swing, footy season was nigh finished. (It actually finished the night that he met my family - great bonding experience, meet the family and watch the Grand Final!) But his move down here has coincided with the season opening, and so Friday nights are no longer (just) candlelit dinners etc, etc (you fill in the details - I get a feeling that my family are still reading.)

So where were we - oh yes, child in bed and the Broncos were getting a hiding. So anyway, we did what we could to get them over the line and resultantly missed the end of the game.

As there was little to offer on Friday night television, I thought "beauty" when I realised that the tape with TBL had a Law & Order - Criminal Intent on it. Would you believe the tape finished before we had it wrapped up. Not sure what happened - we were on the cusp of the wierd detective finangling another twist on the twisted minds of who did what to whom and why. Now, I will never know - another 45 minutes of my life just wasted!!!

Back to real time tv (I read a blog this week about TiVo and wanting to pause or replay life - if you can find it for me that would be great - don't you hate that?) - the choices were: Rugby League (Bulldogs getting flogged by the Tigers - who cares?); Aussie Rules (Port playing someone and the highlight was the rain); Big Brother Up Late (and why would you stay up with them?); JTV (normally good, but had an Anzac feature on Hack about PTSD and suicide) or a documentary from Canada about teens and sex.

While watching it, we became uncomfortable - because in about 7 years, 'Salina will be one of those 14 year olds - and we may have to deal with the sex part. And while it is 7 years away, that still seems too little time to prepare us (oh, and her) for what that will all mean.

It made me feel really old and square, watching those 14 year old girls feeling pressured into doing things to fit in and conform. I went to boarding school during those years so cannot really know, and my "release" into the evil outside was a pitted with landmines - the only difference between those naive 14 year olds and the 18 year old me was that I could legally drink.

Nowadays I am much more secure in myself and my sexuality, and I am very thankful that I have reached that part of my life. Obviously I am still a prude about talking to the internet about it all, because I can STILL feel my mother listening in!

But I wonder how to be so confident in relating to my child/young woman what I have learned over that time.

I mean, which of my mistakes should I detour around? Which of my mistakes would be useful teaching tools? Which of my mistakes to slip to her so she can make those mistakes and learn those lessons through experience?

My mother just handed me a book entitled "Everything a Teenage Girl Should Know" (not this one) when I asked too many questions - which was pretty useless, as I had read it with my sister when she got her copy 2 years before.

who/what/when/where/how and why - and do we wait for her to instigate?

It was too much - the TV had to be switched off and we had to go to bed.

Friday, April 27, 2007

The View from Here

Okay, I may not have reached the zenith aspirationally speaking in terms of the pit to my right, but we have moved from Nadir - and (drumroll please):

I have found the piece of paper!!!!

Thats right, my phone message has been left on Beverley's desk by Donna (I know them so well) at the fixit station where my hopes of clean laundry can be realised, so I may be only a verse or two away from clean clothes happiness again!!

Add to that the fact that someone rode with her daughter to school today, was entrusted with the secret project for the kids to present to the mothers on Mother's Day (cause the same muggins is going to supervise children individually next week on the project) AND has cleared away the detrious of the 25% job I did on the black hole so that only a few neat stacks under furniture give away that any attempt was made on its monstrousness at all!!!

So what to the of loads of laundry, washing up and floor cleaning required. Bah humbug to the work crew devastating trees and tearing up dirt across the road putting pipes in (for the last few days and possibly the next few weeks). I have achieved and nothing can take away from the high of that!

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Thursdays Child

Actually, I wasn't one - I was a Wednesday's Child - how depressing is it to look at your future as being coined "full of woe"? Thursdays children have a better outlook, in that they can get away from it all, methinks.

That being said, we have been a long way this Thursday thus far, but I still can't see the end of the Thursday tunnel...

Besides the linen that I have to wash due to a head lice alert1 at school, I have actually (drum roll please) removed, folded and put away all the linen, clothing and plastic bags from one of the spare beds in the spare room.

In spite of bucket hole number 7 emerging2 I have almost managed to get all that linen washed and intend to hang it when the sun is past frying stages.

To offset facing my house's other black hole (to my right - laughably known as "the filing pile") I now have the most wonderfully organised pantry - I even used all spare Moccona jars to achieve the effect of uniformity and prosperity!!!

But that black hole is taunting me... It has a sinister sneer about my need to approach, and I have to have to have to - I have $40 riding on it, and finding that bit of paper will mean that I can get the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Front-Loading Washing Machine back into the loop which means I will no longer get angst, so although I have far to go, I WILL OVERCOME THE CHALLENGE it presents.

Just after I have made the beds, had a cuppa, checked all hair, got urgent groceries, made dinner.. I am sure there is nothing on TV there?

(Hmm, I think this post has proven, yet again, that I truly am a Wednesday's child!)

By the way - in order to avoid the black hole, I have learned things today (and last night - Anzac Day holiday yesterday meant long activity filled day culminating in meltdown, so last night's blog read was quite late!)

1 I know there are wonderful paragons out there whose child has never had one of the - believe me, if there is a hla within cooee of us my child's head will be targetted by the critters. This is despite ridding scalps and wearing deterrent for the past 6 months!

2 I now get a waterlogged laundry floor each time I wash and have to jimmy the clicky thing that says the lid is closed for the old machine to work.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Monday Monday

Having successfully avoided housework in any shape for some time now, I finally have a week fairly free where I can steamroll it - my best housework strategy.

On Friday, the only excuse I shall have is an exam as I have been reprieved of weekly tuckshop to every two weeks - hooray!

On Thursday, the only excuse I shall have is cycling 'Salina to and from school - we practiced yesterday and it is doable - just not always preferable, considering the free bus service picks up and delivers from one house away.

On Wednesday it shall not be done much, as it is a public holiday here and we are having a friend of 'Salina's for a few hours (on the proviso that both friend and she are on best behaviours for their mothers in the interim).

Tomorrow, the only excuse I shall have is Centrelink and Girl Guides.

We did our utmost to advise Centrelink in advance on my change in status - not because we have seen the ads but because we are honest people. Unfortunately their system cannot handle such honesty or efficiency. So on their advice we told them immediately V was officially in residence, tried to pry any more t's to cross and i's to dot that was possible and gave them as much paperwork as they requested at that moment in time. However, it seems their system cannot handle this courtesy either, and so have "breached" me.

I don't mind they aren't supporting my lifestyle - I have done my best for years to keep them happy, what with earning pin money and advising them so they would not find the burden of me too onerous. I am happy for them not to be intimate with all aspects of my life (even though they still want all of that and a pint of V's blood too). I do have a problem with them using such language toward me and blemishing my Centrelink career.

(I must admit, it is not spotless - I was breached once before, the week of 'Salina's father's death, as I had informed them and Child Support of this situation. My "breach" was that I was no longer enforcing the Child Support. Another statistic for Howard).

Oh, and the Girl Guides leader has learned I know how to drive a sewing machine, and miss Hand-Automatically-Up has a few sashes to put together for the Anzac Day parade.

Today the excuse I have is that it is my birthday, and my lovely V and gorgeous 'Salina implored me to leave the filth for another day to indulge in as much sloth as I could.

Saturday, April 21, 2007

Blog Dreams

I have been having some amazingly vivid dreams at the moment.

There was the one where I went to visit my gay friend in Sydney and he introduced me to his new partner, who happened to be a woman with a child. When I was surprised he told me that it wasn't just about sex - he was still gay - but that he had found his soul mate in this woman. Later on in the dream another friend of mine was trying to hide the fact that she was smoking spaghetti strands!

One of my dreams of last week I went to a party that was in the middle of nowhere in a small group of weatherboard houses, and some sort of meeting was taking place in a large CWA type hall. After that we went outside and Cecily from "And I Wasted All that Birth Control" and Charlie, her real life husband from "It Ain't All Pizzas and Cream asked me to look after their little girl while they and a few others from my real life went into a meeting in another hall. Do I spend too much time here?

Last night, I was walking through a park with 'Salina (do you ever have the same places that are not real in your dreams - well, it was a park I often visit in my dreams) and I looked around and all these trees had just begun bring forth buds of cherry blossom in the most vivid colours, and we could stand there and watch them bloom. As I looked up into the lemon yellow sky (it was pretty psychadelic - you should have seen the shades of the grass) I thought to myself "I must blog about this".

Over the last few days I am trying to catch up on all the blogs that I missed by being rather busy during the holidays. Some have inspired. cRaZy tRacE: Collector.. or hoarder? It's a fine line made me laugh as I have the Moccona collection. Today I actually converted some into storage in the pantry - so reading blogs is in no way a waste of time if it sparks reactions of that calibre. And Muppinstuff's "Hang it Out" caused me to contemplate my development of OCD with the washing line - oh, and I am sure the additional rub off is that all clothes previously adorning one spare bed have now been put away or hung, and all the laundry (that the old girl had to swish around yesterday - grr) hung, dried and folded (okay, okay, not yet put away but its neat)...

Brilliant day here in Paradise. We did not cycle, as 'Salina now loves it so much it can be used as a punishment and she was pretty feral last night but wore it pretty well!

Saw my sister-in-law and the cousins today quickly for her to give us our late Easter present - a very large can! We have been missing our fix, as their family did visit us during a rather hectic period after they had holidayed and accidentally taken ours - and our emergency supply ran out last week! My brother did not attend today, as he was woodchopping at the Mt Perry Show.

We still don't have an oven, but I made a mean pot roast today in the crockpot. All the veges were subsequently mashed and V did his thing with the steamed greens and corn and my gravy was de-vine. 'Salina promised that she would eat all the veges - and did - wants them presented like that again soon - music to this mother's ears, as she is more the "5 fruit and 1/2 veg" a day variety of eater. Once I had V where I wanted him, I whispered sweet enticements into his ear about how my roasts are so much better out of an oven. He is now dreaming about that - I am now going to awaken him from that, as it IS Saturday night here, and they were such precious commodoties only weeks ago, we can't yet get complacent!

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Bucket hole #4 & 5

I know, I know, those of you who have been really into my life via the blogosphere since the very beginning (ha ha ha ha ha ha ha) will be scratching your heads saying "but what about #2 and #3?" Suffice to say that some things that upset me in real life regarding this ongoing saga have not been blogged about. Don't worry, I will probably (and at great length) precis those dramas here.

Oh, and for you that found me post the very beginning, here is the drama that shall henceforth be referred to as

Bucket hole #1:
(abridged in case you don't want to wade through the 1,700 odd words)

Way, way back in my blogworld beginning, newly arrived at Paradise, I had a little laundry problem. To quote:
But now – well, Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine, thy name is DISENCHANTMENT. It seems that there is some little inner thingy that checks that the door is closed, and until that condition is met nothing happens – and that little inner thingy has decided that the door is always open, even when it is definitely shut, darn it.

Oh, I blathered on and on, but basically it was a bit about how disorganised I was that I had not found the paperwork and how I had to rely on a clapped out 20yo Simpson which worked 300% as fast and gave about 10% of the results. I must admit I also went into dramatics about phoning various companies and - well, it was pretty futile. End result - use the one that sort of works and procrastinate for 4 months and several days really on my Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine.

Bucket hole #2:
(previously unblogged and I promise not to extend to the grosse words on this)

Nameless Appliance Guy (who actually does have a very French name with a very Aussie accent I have found - and a wife who is a definite hand on the iron judging by his uniform) read the serial number on the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine but I sort of filed that as N.A.G. offered to track down a reconditioned spare part that will make the old machine smoother and more efficient (and who knows, maybe it will bring back the heady days of clean laundry of yore). Indeed, within 3 weeks (okay, it was over Christmas that he did the tracking) he had rung me up with a semi-reasonable price. And as it was over Christmas, it only took me about 3 weeks to ring him back and okay the installation of a reconditioned timer into the old girl.

Okay, probably wasn't a full verse in my Bucket Hole saga, but it was one of those long, drawn out interludes that I felt deserved a number all to itself. I probably could have padded it to the 1000 words, but you would have noticed the stuffing.

Bucket hole #3:
(also previously unblogged but something happens in this one)

So, upon the return of N.A.G. (which happened to coincide with a time of many visitors and little money here in Paradise) the part was duly installed, the moula was duly doled out (right down to several 5c pieces from 'Salina's stash) and he went upon his merry way.

Given my all over the shop nature at the time, it was not until the next day that I tried out the effectiveness of my friend, the Simpson.

Tick to the no longer working at 300% speed. The wash cycle time was again doubled, which was still about half of what the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine offered - but unfortunately there was a problem.

You will note the qualification "wash cycle time" - not the time it takes to dump in dirty clothes and extract clean clothes - because, well, the old girl just decided that all clothes would henceforth be dealt with as "drip dry".

This now means that the time it takes to do a load of laundry is dependent upon the person in charge of the laundry manually making the washing machine recognise that the spin cycle is now safe to be undertaken.

I rang N.A.G. and explained the matter. He made patronisingly sympathetic noises down the phone and said that I must have accidentally switched the washer to Drip Dry myself and to call me back only if it was not my stupidity standing in the way of me and efficient laundering.

Well, that was back in the weeks of headless chicken activity, so it was 2 days before I could connect the "check if I am not completely stupid" box, be near a phone and call him back - so really, part of the subsequent pain is due to my own ditziness - and he castigated me soundly for taking so long and he would swing by and fix it - some time...

Guess what?

I am still waiting...

Bucket hole #4:
(which is really the subject of this blog - all that blather above is just intro)

Anyhow, I now have another body in the house. A large body which needs clothing at least once a day in fresh clothes. Add that to the small body which can change clothes 4-5 times a day, especially during holidays and post cycling spills, and myself, who would really like to rely on (okay, really has to rely on) maximum options within my wardrobe.

This has increased the regularity in which I have to bound up and down the back stairs to do another pile of washing - which we must remember to double, given the additional step in my washerwoman life.

Now, as you know, I am as keen an exerciser as your average Jeanie (unless you know some really fit ones, in which case I am slightly below average) and so would have kept on doing that as procrastinating and not complaining about irritating things is much more my style than actually getting jobs out of the way.

But I occasionally saw glimpses of the woman who felt:
Anyone who doesn’t have an Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine (I should get them to sponsor me) or indeed any frontloader should know something – they really CLEAN your clothes. Like really, really clean. Like you have never seen in your life before your clothes/linen/plastic bags (okay, inherited from Mum and it makes environmental sense before you start scoffing) flapping on the clothesline so happily.
I tended to see her best when pegging out the laundry from the system in place currently, and I almost wept.

I almost wept when time after time after time things remained unpegged as they would need another soak, another wash, another spin before I could try and peg again.

It was the last straw when I saw the same pair of white socks for the 3rd time lying in the basket, begging me for a better chance in life that I decided I would take control of my problem and do something about it.

I rang the local Electrolux folk again (I think the same woman answered the phone - her technique has not improved) and they are willing to visit me for only slightly more than N.A.G. asked for his services - but unfortunately my the Electrolux EcoValve 6.5kg Frontloading Washing Machine is now definitely out of the warranty period (we will put that on the procrastination account) so any parts will be out of my pocket.

And within 3 days of that phone call they came. They pulled apart. They put the little prongy things onto metal things and advised me that the door switch was dead. They will call me back with a quote.

Sigh. I saw front loaders in the junk mail for 1/2 of what I paid on special only 2 (and a bit, according to Electrolux) years ago. The "a bit" is the difference between them and me footing the parts bill. The part may well be over 1/2 of what the machine costs these days.

This Liza is feeling stressed and STILL doesn't have the answer to her laundry crisis answered...

Edited to add:
Bucket hole #5:

Well, I have had the call - should cost around 1/2 of a new machine, which plus the call out fee for today would represent my net cash worth!! I then had a rant to the poor girl on the phone about whether 'twould be economically more wise to just budget to buy a new machine every 2 years and she eventually got so worn down she passed the phone over to someone wiser.

Wiser woman asked for my serial number - it appears the machine may STILL be in warranty - the only catch is that I have to find some proof of when I bought it - a bank statement should do it, and odds are I have every statement ever issued to me in the "filing" pile filling the black hole to my right.

So, theoretically if I attacked that pile and found that bit of paper, I would stand to save approximately 1/6 of the large amount it would cost to repair (including the call out fee). Or to put it another way, I could also pay another bill in the growing stack I am trying to ignore near my mouse hand.

Still, makes me want to be an Appliance Gal when I grow up - I figure the "labour" required to change this thing and test it would be near to the 15 minutes mark (I am actually being generous), and as they took approximately 7 minutes to locate the fault on the call out today - allowing for travel time, they are on about $170 an hour - I want that kind of pulling power!!!

Which sort of makes the amount I will save by undertaking the monumental task of tackling the filing pile divided by the time consumed by undertaking the monumental task of tackling the filing pile (without the factor of what if I don't find it) sort of miniscule - I think about $5 an hour?

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Jeanie's Tossed Easter Salad Offering

Ah 4.29 - and web-viewers - I have missed you and thought of you often. And so when I got to see good old 4.29am this morning for the first time in ages, I thought I should drop you a line also.

I had a lot of good ideas as to what aspects of life in the last 10 days that line would cover. Of course, a lot has happened since 4.29 so can only give you the bare bones rather than the inspired version.

The alteration of my long-distance darling to a close-at-hand one has been quite successful - perhaps moreso if we had more drawers and storage, but hey, you gotta take the rough with the smooth.

A sweet moment of success when my daughter became a proud 2-wheeler cyclist.

The breathtaking drive over "The Pinnacle" to the Bancroft Campdraft. I would give you links to both of these spectacles, but unfortunately there is a dearth of easily linkable information. Instead I will give you a couple of pictures.

We are going to have Thai Beef Salad tonight - which inspired the heading and the whirring at 4.29am (high tide does that) and I thought to write my shopping list, I might just give you the recipe, which is a favourite of ours (not 'Salina's but she will get a suitable compromise):

500g rump steak cooked to your liking, cooled, trimmed and sliced thinly.

In a jar combine 2 tbs fish sauce, 3 tbs lime juice, 1 tsp sugar (grated palm or brown), 2 crushed garlic cloves, thinly sliced white part of lemon grass and 2 small red chillies also thinly sliced. Shake well

Make salad of 30g red Asian shallots thinly sliced, 2 spring onions thinly sliced (I use 1/2 bunch of normal shallots for these two), 1/2 cup roughly chopped mint, 1/4 cup roughly chopped coriander, the beef and dressing. Let flavours blend for at least 15 minutes.

Add 1/2 punnet halved cherry tomatoes and 1 thinly sliced Lebanese cucumber and toss well. Arrange on platter of shredded Chinese cabbage.

I also tend to add some rice vermicelli and dry roasted nuts - delish and great the next day also!!!

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Bunny in the Headlights

I never wanted to be the type of parent to endorse fantasy apparitions - especially not EB given the context of the havoc wreaked by the bunny on the Australian environment. And while I applaud the efforts of the Bilby crowd to take EB's crown away, it seems especially paradoxical celebrating a festival of fertility with an endangered animal.

However, I have a child - and with that comes all the pressures of modern marketing and indulgences of extended family, friends and indeed certain sectors of society to lighten up.

This year was going to be different. This year there were additional resources at hand in the form of V to barricade the doors and keep the bunny from the picture. Add to that, the trepidation of allowing the fictitious beastie into our home in its current state of disarray - heck, EB may well never be able to find its way out again!

Yet despite the best intentions of the parental guidance instructions, it seems that the Easter Bunny has again stalked us and laid little chocolate landmines around the house.

'Salina arose early to make her own hunt, knowing the foibles of her mother, and weren't we all surprised when eggs she had not hidden came to light...

Ha - what a fool that Easter Bunny - does it not know that such an insidious ploy will only lead to heartache, as we are flat out finding the necessities in life in the hovel, let alone hidden devices. Our hunt was not helped by the fact that one of the adult figures miscounted the stock and so we were feverishly searching for eggs hidden by 'Salina that existed but were already in the basket - goodness only knows how many will remain unfound that were planted by EB!

Anyhow, the haul by 9am looked a little like this:

Surprisingly, this stash has grown more than it has diminished in the ensuing hours.

How is everyone else's haul going?

We have tried to instil the whole message of Easter into our holiday, and even endeavoured to join into an offering by a church - and yes, I know that our crack of dawn rise could have coincided with a service at one of the many churches on offer throughout the region. However, we have more invested in the spontenaity of our search for meaning, and had set our hearts and minds on a puppet show with a Circus theme advertised at our local IGA.

Message to the church in question - please either put more than a PO Box on any internet listing of your church or man the phones. We never did find out where it was, and so our chances of someone else telling us the story in puppetry fell by the wayside.

As a result, our search for spirituality outside of the house ended up with finding out a Mexican restaurant we wanted to check out is closed over Easter, there is a very expensive restaurant at the Port (which we menu-perused but did not succumb), some fishing options and investment opportunities exists not too far away and Jesus lives at a small weatherboard church that is closed on Saturday night.

That is okay, though. V and I know enough of the story to get the salient points across to the 7 year old and take some of the focus away from the chocolate.

The rest of our Sunday is going to involve rock-climbing (a temporary wall is set up at a nearby beach - and for a solid investment, 'Salina can emulate the stars of The Biggest Loser while we take photos), cycling (or "sicling" as was put in a note to me about it) and I am going to chose a room to start on...

On cRaZy tRacE: It's diabolical, really... there is a great link to what real mess is and I have worked out which level I am at on the Sloven Scale (she has the link on her post). So at risk of my occasional forays into Level 2 becoming crisis, I have decided that part of my holiday aspirations will be to at least wrestle some control over the house as we shoehorn V's stuff in with mine.

But where to start?

I have never been the sort of girl to have the bed made first thing in the morning, as you can see - and yes Mum, I do intend to put a cover on that doona (okay, just got up and did that) - but the sheer spread of it goes outside the scope of the picture. You do not get to see the lack of shelving that will have to hold V's clothes, the "mending basket", the "hand me down bag", the "swimming bag" and the "I don't really know where to put these" collective taking up the space where that shelving should be. Nor can you see the corner where op shop/garage sale items are piled into a removal box (one of several throughout the house), the piles created by lack of side tables or the dressing table.

Oh, but beyond the bookshelf my mess comes into its own. While I would love to lay the blame on the bookshelf itself, and its instability on Friday night, the scatter of its contents did not create all of this - some of it I may have to raise my hands to.

All the piles have a sort of inkling of order, but I think a new filing method (like, I don't know, actually filing) may have to be imposed.

Last time I cleaned up this area, I did stow the "to file" pile beneath the white piece of furniture to the right - and then further to the right, I hid a few more "to do" piles behind a screen. It is hidden so well that V didn't even know of its existence until I showed him this.

Hmm - I guess the decision has been made really, looking at those - although it is daunting, the bedroom/office must be done (and yes, I probably could have done 1/4 of it in the time it took to do the blog) - although I am wavering towards the spare room a.k.a. the folding room.

While the reality of the bedroom has actually improved with me making the bed and putting a doona cover on, the taking of the said cover from this room has created an avalanche making this historical record of that predicament actually better than my current reality.

Why can't the EB bring something more useful than chocolate - like a basket of House Fairies - who can lend a hand at resurrecting the house standards at Easter? Especially now I know that it will take nearly a lifetime of aerobic housework to get rid of the effects of his current booty!

The thing is, I think I may have passed the messy gene on.

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Counting the Hours

Until my honey gets here... Right now he is on the road after a clean up of a lot of extra clutter that he suddenly discovered (isn't it always the way) so we are not going to be blessed with the few hours of child-free settling in today. But hey, we got years of that ahead of us. I have got the biggest grin on my face.

I have not used the hours unwisely, however. The houseproud amongst us (and my family) will be delighted to hear that I have actually vacuumed, washed, folded and generally tidied - and am about to go and get provisions so we can actually eat something for dinner (and other meals) over the next few days.

While I was being amazing hausfrau, I had the tv going - what an eyeopener daytime television is!

Dr Phil had a mother on who had (to use polite terms) an anger management problem with her five children. It made me very, very thankful that I have only the one child, and that that level of abuse has been avoided by learning a few techniques. I can get upset and angry over the small things - or at least once upon a time I did - but I think having a child mellowed me to not sweat the small stuff. And there is nothing like seeing a worst case scenario to make you count your own blessings.

Then there was Wife Swap. These people obviously apply to go on the television program, I am assuming - but I wonder why? Although, the sucker in me did cry at the end when the partnerships all realised how good they had it (and they did all learn something from the other). But then, I cry at ads sometimes, too.

Right now, however, I am doing no applications to anything, television shows or otherwise, that means V and I are going to spend any lengthy amounts of time apart. Last night his phone had been cut off prematurely (thanks, Telstra) and so we were reduced to 10 minute incremental phone calls. Certainly ruined a part of our Wednesday evening rituals. When I first moved to Paradise, I was several weeks phone and internet free and it was both costly and sucked big time. We often overran our 10 minutes - last night we finally worked out how to achieve this - handy technique now we will not need it again (for at least a long, long time).

Have a Happy Easter everyone. I know that we will - we have planned on doing nothing except enjoy the holidays together as a little family, with cycling, beach visits and adventures as they come upon us. And hey - no more goodbyes at the end of the timespan. Blessings indeed!

Wednesday, April 04, 2007


Another beautiful day in paradise here, and lots of excitement building. Tomorrow, tomorrow, tomorrow is going to be fabulous - just gotta get through today.

I would like to blame PMS, but the P is out of the equation. I would like to blame a hangover, but the 2 bottles a girlfriend and I polished off last night were rather weary when we got to them anyway. I have nothing to pinpoint the exact reason for the case of "blahs" that I have today - and I am concerned that maybe this is my nature and my joyous moments I should cherish the more as I decline into a moody hag - or maybe I can just blame Wednesday. That would be good, as Wednesday's tend to improve towards evening.

Had a busy day scheduled.

Didn't get to the first appointment as it was not too pressing and I discovered I had no clean and dry bras and was not going to present myself with the headlights on (thankyou JJJ for that lovely analogy - as well as "white pointers").

All the bright stars in my work options sector seem to have fizzled. The first option (which I didn't REALLY want) went to another and I was happy about that as it saved me having to make any decisions. The DTP possibility ended up being a need for a Graphic Design artist - and while I can program and try to play with words and layout, I am not a visual artiste (as you can tell). The third job in government I didn't even get shortlisted for, which is a shock for me as I ALWAYS get shortlisted (too cocky by half, aren't I). I found this out as the friend who went for the same job who's skills are not as extensive DID - however all her experience is in government, so it must have been the selection criteria. Oh well, her needs are as great as mine. I am not too devastated, as my compensation will be having time to settle into life with V over the school holidays.

All the stars are not blown, however, as my morning has been a bit delayed by emails back and forth over the flatfile freelance work that may or may not happen - lol I am virtually telling them that they may not need my services for it, but have a conference call at 12 to sort out EXACTLY what my role may be.

I am also waiting on another email to do a quote on for my old clients...they will be getting a system that will work in a better way but that timeline is fuzzy. I am often too darned nice in my quotes/invoices - I need a negotiator.

The Red Cross wants my blood as my blood is of the very popular variety embraced by all, and with Easter here, their ever present need for stock is deemed urgent. Luckily they are open until 3, so can do that after I see how much of my blood the client wants.

Girl Guides also want my blood, as they have their Easter Party this evening - which is a fancy term for bloodletting. Imagine 60 girls of various ages and 3 elder ladies all begging you for more, more, more to play games that involve a lot of screaming and hullabaloo in return for trinkets (which I failed to donate due to 'Salina's mystery tummy pains last week) and handmade stuff. Oh, joy - I need to lighten up.

I have a sudden theoretical desire to have my house looking beautiful, but then the practical monster in me kyboshes that. The leap from where it presently is to beautiful is daunting, so I prefer to sit here and wait for the housework fairy.

Its not too bad - if you don't look at the dishes in the sink, the folding on the bed, the filing on the desk, the clutter in the living room, the fingerprints on the glass doors and windows, the recycling, the clothes in the dryer, the unmade beds or the crunching as you walk across the carpets!!!

Tomorrow will be a different day.

'Salina's school is opening its "multi-purpose building" (aka big green shed) with performances by all classes, so I have been advised by her highness that my presence will be graciously accepted.

V is due to arrive - and it is planned that his arrival will be prior to school letting out for 10 days holidays.

The start of a new chapter of my life is tomorrow. Just got to get through today to enjoy it.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Instead of doing my list

I have FINALLY updated the layout!!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Brain on notice - what (or who) makes me think...

Hey - I have received an award!! If I received it twice, does that make it 2 awards? Both Strauss at The Brave and Crazy Trace have given me this:

Isn't it cute!! Ah, but as with all good things, it comes with a price... So I am to share what blogs have made me think - of which there are too many!! So, I shall refine it to 5 blogs that made me think today:

I always love to read of the little triumphs that Christy and Elias make at From the Mountain Top to the Valley Floor.

I have recently discovered Foilwoman and she certainly gives me plenty to think about!

Deborah at Outtabodymommy spoke about an eating disorder that runs in my family.

TherapyDoc (who has already received this award 3 times but she can always use it for balance on the shelf, I am sure) is running a Carnival of Alcohol and Relationships over at Everyone Needs Therapy.

JC at Semantically Driven has some great ideas at the moment that I am going to implement here - one day!

There are lots and lots others - and I know I keep saying it, but I will update my blogroll soon to reflect all those wonderful bloggers. Now I have to go and write a report that I was going to put off until tonight - but I have just been reminded that tonight is Desparate!!!

BTW - 3 more sleeps! But no sleep counting yet until weddings, Strauss!

Ooops - I forgot - there are rules as this award is a sort of meme, but I won't rescind my giving of it if you fail to forward it!

The participation rules are simple:

1. If, and only if, you get tagged, write a post with links to 5 blogs that make you think,
2. Link to this post so that people can easily find the exact origin of the meme,
3. Optional: Proudly display the 'Thinking Blogger Award' with a link to the post that you wrote.