Monday, December 29, 2008

If you didn't laugh you would cry...

We are heading off to the big smoke for a few days of catching up with people who are in town, seeing 'Salina's father's family and old friends.

We are coming back on Thursday - a day I thought was New Years Eve.

So to that post where I said we would be at South Bank on Wednesday? Yeah, me and a million others.

Better luck with my organisational skills NEXT YEAR hey?

Cheers - see you next year.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Call to Brisbane

On Wednesday, weather being fair, we intend to make our theme park du jour South Bank.

If you want to catch up, email me at jeanie in paradise at yahoo dot com. Only leave out the spaces and insert symbols where they are required.

In other news, Paradise is cloudy, and it is not just because I have to finish the washing and pack everything by tonight. (Don't tell my inner environmental conscience, but I have a dryer).

I will be back before the year is through.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

'Salina and the Santa saga...

This morning, I actually awoke before 7am.

How is that for progress, a child who lets you sleep in until 7.30 on Christmas Day, and not because she hasn't been up from 5am!

And then she pulled the same again yesterday - Boxing Day - I am liking this 9 caper.

Great present.

But today I was up before all.

And I regarded the festivities we have had and are having.

Christmas is Summer is perfect beach weather here. We have been taking advantage of that.

As usual some presents are FAN-bloddy-TASTIC and some are duds.

What comes to mind is the fat red fella, and how he went this year (and years past)...

I was never going to be pushing the whole "Santa" boat when I had a baby. Unfortunately I didn't get that choice - not because her father was a Santaphile but because she was the first grandchild and there were many pushers who didn't want the flagship child to be thus neglected.

Unfortunately Santa has had to fit within my budget and so her Santa sack has not always been as brimming with material worth as those children in other households. But its the thought, isn't it?

One year Santa sent a carousel that wasn't set up before the morning of, and it took several hours for Nana and Mum to realise that not all pieces shown on the cover were included in the set - just the bits to make it all connect and work. I do hope those elves got a good talking to.

This year, Santa apparently made several visits.

On Tuesday 'Salina and I went shopping and she found an adorable (italics hers) stuffed toy dog that attaches to a harness and lead and by pressing a button on the lead (judiciously) it makes a cute (again, italics by 'Salina) yapping sound.

She bought it with her own money (due to some embargoes imposed by the adult members of the household regarding stuffed animals) and was very busy in her room afterwards wrapping the darned thing. Not an easy task - the lead is solid so the shape is not of the "easy-wrappping" variety.

She made herself a card - and signed it from Santa.

This brought a whole new dimension to the fable that is pushed as the jolly red guy.

Of course, the big guy also had procured other items for the indulged girl, so he cannily mentioned the "dog he had put into the real world for her to find" in his other cards.

But he didn't get her the right CD.

And the stocking stuffers were a bit hit and miss. The staples didn't fit any of her staplers. There were no decent toys.

The "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire" turned out not so much to be the DVD so loved (because it is the best of the Harry offerings) but a CD-ROM game - which she had seen and heard of and its reputation was one of "great" - except her computer doesn't think so (darned old-fashioned hand-me-down non-gamer machine) and so it again falls into the whole carousel category of Santa gifts.


Good thing she loves him and overlooks his inadequacies in the field of gift-giving.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

The update that wasn't

I have several draft posts in my dashboard.

One about going mustering after years of not.

One about working as a team in the yards.

There are also the unwritten drafts in my head.

One about the lack of preparation for Christmas.

One about rearranging 'Salina's room.

One about a rather intriging opportunity the new year may give me.

Yesterday I didn't write a post about the non-day I had thanks to the sort of migraine that makes you throw up all day.

And today I fear I will not write a witty and insightful post about failing to update you all on the minutae of my life and philosophy - because the "to-do" list is long and the time is short.

Just a quick reiteration of my apologies for not visiting and leaving comments, for not being that witty and insightful person that I aspire to be and for once again leaving you with a post that says - nothing...

As my reports cards always said "must try harder".

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

The town mouse in the country house...

Oh this country girl has become a bit citified, it seems.

When you go to the property, the unwritten rule is that you leave your keys in your car. That way, if it is required to be moved, anyone can do so.

I grew up with that rule and respect it to the extent of remembering to return my keys that I automatically palm on leaving the drivers seat.

My daughter is a city girl who loves to visit the country. But she has a different rule ingrained - always. lock. the. car. on. leaving.

Now, I am adamant that I have told her there was a exception to the rule once you hit the dirt, she is adamant that she understands this exception and did not do so - BUT she was the last to go to the car to get her purse out - so it was either her or Mr Nobody (who does have quite a record here on the property, if I remember my own childhood rightly) (or indeed the animals have not only learned how to hold the handle up but got over that whole opposible thumb thing) but...

You can see where this is going, right?

Indeed - the bad news is, there is no local RACQ to come and rescue the damsel, and in this day and age of cars being built to keep the people breaking into cars out of cars I am not as quick to reach for the wire coathanger as I once was.

The good news is, it only takes a few phone calls, the organising of my sister's brother-in-law's wife to rendezvous with V in a tyre store 200km away and then somehow get another hook up between my sister's brother-in-law's wife and my mother about 50km away for the spare key to get to me before I head back.

Easy, eh?

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Perfect Blend of Friendship Award Presentation

Many moons ago Trish gave me this little award.

It comes with questions and everything!

1. Do you have the same friends since childhood?
I don't really know how to answer this one. I very rarely get to see my friends from childhood, mainly because (a) there were so few due to sparse population and (b) I moved away. That being said, I have very, very rarely "dropped" a friend with deliberation as it tends to be gegraphically challenging rather than moving on on a friendship level IYKWIM.

I haven't seen my kindy friend since I was about Grade 1, but I often wonder how she is. I occasionally see some of my primary friends and some of my high school friends, but keep caught up on their doings (as no doubt they do of mine) through family. I have a few friends from Uni days, and they came to my wedding - as did friends from my time in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane.

2. What do you value most about your friends?

I love that each of my friends is unique. Some I love because they are just joyful to be around, some because we have interests in common, some are great at talking, some at listening. What I value most is they all add to my life and enrich it - I would be a poorer person without them.

3. Are your friends your sounding boards?

Hmm. Not really. I tend to be my own counsel, and I would probably turn to V, my sister or my mother if I needed another view.

4. What is your favorite activity to share with your friends?

Definitely eating - which is of course mixed in with talking and laughing and drinking.

As I love to cook, this is a great boost for me. As I am on average 800km away from most of my friends, this means I am getting fat.

So now - to pass this along to some of my favourite bloggers (and commenters) - Debbie, Melody, Jen and Elizabeth - because they have all become friends of mine.

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Chrissy Hols!!!!

Yes indeed, 'Salina has entered that no man's land that is neither grade 4 nor grade 5 and out in front of her stretches 6 weeks of play, imagination, horses, pools, travel, presents - oh and the interminable tidying of the room.

I know in other parts of the world it can get a wee bit chill around this time of the year, but for me and my whole childhood, Christmas equals heat and the holidays equals lots of hot and dusty work punctuated by cold watermelons and swims at the end of the day.

My father is exactly the same age older than I as I am to 'Salina, so it seems that much easier to understand my parents at certain times in my childhood now.

As a result, telling V the story of "going away for Christmas" to the Sunshine Coast during the year when we (hugely mistakenly) had a sedan, I now get swung around to another view of the trip and see the planning and promise that my parents put into this delight.

It still doesn't explain the need for all three children to lose 100% of our legroom and live with the fear of the balanced bundles on the back ledge, but it does put a bit of shading in that whole "don't give us your bellyaching" looks they gave us while we whined.

As the few months prior to Christmas is when all the baby calves hit the ground, Christmas is the ideal time to innoculate and brand the little darlings. Of course, I am sure it doesn't hurt that school holidays happen to coincide and the free labour force is utilised fully.

If ever we whinged about waking early every day of our holidays, Dad would say "best part of the day" and we would splash into the pool for our wakeup.

If ever we complained about callouses and tired muscles and saddling up again during our 13 hour days, Dad would say "people pay to do this" and so our muscles would relax into the gait of the horse and our hands would knit the reins as we rode through the hills with mobs of the most cute babies in our care.

But there were a few years where Mum and Dad actually organised for us to have a REAL Christmas holiday. One that involved NOT BEING AT HOME. One where we would be near the beach and seafood and seeing our parents outside their natural habitats.

The preparations would take a full day of packing - presents, clothes, eskies, artificial tree - and the morning of set off was always a frenzy of Dad packing the car with Mum supervising closely.

With a station wagon, which was generally our car of choice, this packing can be 80% achieved in the rear section (to the ceiling - who needs rear view) with some thought to placing 6 lower legs across the back seat between the detrius. With a sedan, there was a vast difference in the amount of thought involved in stealing this (and any other space) for the bags and boxes and "stuff".

Now, if we were say visiting the town only 50km away, it would probably have been bearable - but said coastal holiday at the time took place at the Sunshine Coast - nowadays possible to traverse in 4 hours (if my brother in law is driving) but then it took a full day and a few dodgy roads.

Add to that three children but only two window seats. As the older wiser members of the trio, generally we girls would nab them, but the downside to that strategy was little brother's ability to sleep the moment the car moved, and in lieu of a door to slump against would use a sister - we took turns throwing his hugely dense pumpkin from side to side.

In those days, there were no namby-pamby DVD players to enthrall the younger generation, so my mother would alternate her Val Doonican with music of our choice (from her selection) and we would all holler along to Charley Pride, Tom T. Hall, Olivia Newton-John and Slim Dusty. See a pattern?

We would play games - I spy, White Horse, shopping list, working out time and distance left to travel and taking turns making up fitting tall stories for creek and river names.

I was renowned for being able to "hold on until Brisbane" as I had a thing about going to the toilet at the servos, but there were generally a few stops along the way.

Ban Ban Springs, where my grandmother always filled her thermos on her journey as it was so pure and clear (not any more), Nanango where the park next to the service station had lots of shade and room to run around, Blackbutt where the local version of Yeti has been formed into a towering wooden sculpture, the Big Orange, the Big Cow, the Big Pineapple - all passing markers to our final destination.

We knew we were nearly there when the speed levels dropped. In those days, a two-lane road twisted and turned for many miles before reaching the ocean, and our noses would scent it far before we saw the blue.

The first job on arrival was taking the explosion of goods from the car to the holiday flat and fighting for the "best bed". Mum would open the sliding doors and windows and we would throw our belonging around searching for togs and water toys.

Dad would then walk us down to the water a few blocks away while Mum got "peace". I know now that "peace" would have been fairly packed with activity and how blissful it would be to complete such in relative quiet.

When we got home, Mum would have tidied up, done a grocery shop and assembled dinner - and then we would put up the tree and put our pressies under. (In Australia, 9 times out of 10 it is an artificial tree - or in our case, 10 times out of 10. Not big on rotting vegetation chopped down to disinitigrate in the living room, and given it is high summer that is the guaranteed process)

Then we would ask the big questions - How would Santa know how to find us? What time could we wake them in the morning? What were we going to eat? When would we be able to go for a swim?

After we were tumbled into bed, we children would chatter on (in increasingly hushed tones) our plans for filling the hours before we could wake the parents, generally involving creating a breakfast feast and turning little brother into that year's thematic Santa) until the sound of the distant waves would send us off.

Christmas itself I never really remember - sort of like all those times you are having such a great time being drunk as a young adult - you KNOW you are having a good time but all the stimuli overloads and crashes.

Christmas night when we were away always meant being taken to some relatives who we hardly saw as often as every 4 years and sent to play with the kids while the parents ate and drank with the other adults.

But Boxing Day was always a tradition - swim first, then feast, then cricket on the telly (while you played with your toys) then snacks, then cricket on the telly (while you napped) then a swim, then cricket on the telly (while you helped pack up and tidy) then toasted sandwiches and early bed.

It always seemed the holidays were that short, and the next day was the trip home again - as there was always mustering to be done, calves to brand, cows to dip, watermelon to eat and the pool needing a stir.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Why the term "School Concert" now provokes an automatic shudder...

We went to see the school concert last night. Can you see me hiding my delight?

When I began blogging, I reviewed the last school concert we attended.

It was not the main reason that I joined the P & C, but one bonus was my influence might work on the selection of fare available for such soirees.

Of course, a lot of water has passed under that particular bridge since that decision and me and the P & C aren't spending so much time together these days - but I still try to show an interest.

Apparently there was also steak with some onion was available last night - I wouldn't know, as circumstances are such (although the promise is it will change by Friday) that frivolities like buying crap at a School Concert is currently not worked into the budget.

Otherwise, sausage on bread, softdrinks, chips and chocolate was what was available for eats.

But that is not what bugs me today.

And it isn't the fact that for six months you can ask people "what can I do" to get a vague "nothing" and then know that if you ask on the night you will be working the whole night because anyone who asked got the same response until D-day. Is the term "put your name on the roster" that hard to grasp? Well, it is if there is no (expletive deleted) roster because there are control issues involved. Not, not that at all.

Don't get me started on the petty politics of the P & C either - now is not the time of the month to see such frothing at the bit - but that is not my whinge du jour either.

No indeed, it is the fact that a perfectly fantastic concert showcasing our children was ruined by longevity.

The theme was "Vaudeville" - and do you know how much I ached for a crook or a box of tomatoes for the last hour and a half?

The seeds of doubt were planted in my mind when the new principal decided to open with a longwinded speech, but kickoff was set for 6.30 and by 6.45 we had the green light for the real entertainment of the evening.

By 7, we were starting to get (expletive deleted) off with waiting for the show to start already.

To give them credit, the first hour of the show was okay. Its always fun to watch the little kids sing and dance, and they did. The 12 inch remix of a particularly boring song with two words may not have been the ideal choice. And they might have thought to concertina these three classes into one song and dance routine rather than give us the mental room to realise that there were another 12 acts to go, and given the timing thus far we might get out by midnight.

Unfortunately, then the creativity of the children and individual teachers began to shine through.

Word to the choreographers of the 8 year old boys division - a few classes explaining the term "preparation" wouldn't go astray.

Putting the child of the P & C president and staff teacher on for a full mime sequence may have worked - if he had a routine to work with, a chorus line to play to OR indeed less than 10 minutes to fill.

Oh, and the comedy skit featuring someone elses hands and underwear jokes - the clue to a good routine is making people actually laugh, and someone should have road-tested that one.

Not that it was all bad - I mean, 'Salina's class did brilliantly - and I am pretty sure that is not just because I am her parent but because obviously some thought had gone into three of the main rules of entertainment - keep it short, keep it sharp and get on and off the stage quickly.

So the second hour was a bit up and down.

The third hour took about five hours, I swear - even the kids on stage had that "get me the (expletive deleted) out of here" glaze to their eyes - mirrored by those of the audience that were left.

Still - it was an improvement on last time - it finished at 9 rather than 10 this time around, and I had enough foresight to have a stew ready for us when we got home.

What would you sit through for you child?

What is a polite way to yank them out of the auditorium early?

How the heck are any of them going to perform at the swimming carnival today?

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

I won!! I won!! I won!! I won!!

Can you believe it? I don't win ANYTHING (well, very nearly nothing) and so I am sooo excited!!

As I told you last week, Jen at Semantically Driven is giving away DVDs at the moment - and I won the first giveaway - which is fantastic.

Of course, now I am going to have to get V all commenty to enter her next giveaway - for Stupid Stupid Man.

Now, if you haven't had a half-hour to kill between Spicks & Specks and Life in the past six months, this little gem of an Aussie comedy may have passed you by - but although there are moments when you truly cringe there are moments when you - well, okay, V and I - crack up.

Stupid Stupid Man is set in Coq magazine, and if you can handle that snippet of humour you may be able to stomach the rest.

We did - and held our stomachs laughing.

The first time I remember ever winning was at the tiny, tiny town where I grew up. The local hall was renowned for old-time dances, and it seemed there was one held every other month.

As kids, we would gather at the end of the hall for the man to put out the sawdust, and it was our job to slide all around the hall spread it and make the floor slick for the promenades and waltzes.

Our job done, we would then gather outside and play games and spy on the teenagers sneaking away and blow their covers while the grown ups danced to the tunes put forth by the drummer and pianist on stage.

There was always a bar, with the men taking turns serving beer and shandies, but the main refreshments were served at half-time, when the plates the ladies had all brought in were put on trestle tables outside, and the urn was boiled for teas and coffees.

There were also softdrinks available for the kids - Creaming Soda, Sarsparilla, Lemon Squash and Fanta were things I dreamed of, although I had the sort of parents who limited our intake severely.

As the adults were still taking their last sips and chatting, again we would gather for the sawdust trick to be repeated.

Occasionally, we too would dance - our father's would walk us through "The Pride of Erin" or we would pair off for "The Gypsy Tap". We always made sure we made up the numbers, however, when there was a competition.

Now, the dances were more known for their access and fun than for the finesse in which they were performed at my former tiny tiny school town (despite the attempts for several families of very shiny shoes to make it more spectacular) and so the competitions were never about form or style - more about what corner you were in when the music stopped, and what card was drawn from the pack.

My best friend Hel and I teamed up and were ever so lucky to just escape the drawn corners time and time again this one time, and edged out our rivals by chosing the black corner from the red.

We won!! Yes indeed, at the grand old age of 8, we were the proud recipients of the prize of - well, the organising committee had obviously not thought this the whole way through, and we were rewarded with chips and a can of softdrink and the packet of cigarettes and six-pack were put into the prize cupboard for another day.

Have you ever won? What is the most unusual thing you have ever won?

Oh - or go to Jen's to win Stupid, Stupid Man and then come back and tell me about that.

Monday, December 08, 2008

Paradise Update

Thank you everyone so much for the blogiversary wishes.

Right at this moment, I am being serenaded by a magpie on my front window.

Magpies have a bit of a reputation, but also the most glorious songs.

We don't know if she (he?) is singing with delight at the rain and the nibblies it is washing her in the gutter, or if she is seeking old love or new love or children.

She (he?) has been at it for a good 15 minutes so far. I did try to take a video (is it still called a video?) of it, but long story short, (a) you get what you pay for and (b) there is nothing more unnerving than trying to get a good shot of a severely backlit magpie on your front window without getting freaked out by the intense eye contact she (he?) is directing your way.

Did I mention it is raining here? On and off since a thunderstorm last night we have had quite heavy showers.

Rain is a blessing and always welcome in my history, but I now live a life where there are direct downsides. Downsides which are also upsides, I might mention.

V is a bricklayer. There is something to do with the actual structural integrity as well as health concerns that require bricklayers to only work when the weather is clement.

Which is great for me, because the words "child free time" represent the sum total of our ongoing honeymoon it means I can concentrate on my work without having to think about any household tasks because ma'honey is around (cough).

It has been a perfectly tempered weekend, actually.

  • Saturday
    • was glorious weatherwise,
    • 'Salina's team won their softball match,
    • Santa visited the softball grounds (that guy gets around),
    • I discovered the proof to a theory that no woman my size donates to any charity shops - they all discard their "skinny clothes" when they finally realise that it is NEVER going to happen - which made me feel better in a way because that means I am a normal woman even though it also meant that I couldn't even shout myself some cheap clothes,
    • our groceries came to EXACTLY the budgeted amount,
    • I happened to find in the fridge exactly the ingredients I required to make a freaking AWESOME moussaka (with eggplant-free variety available for the immature palate) that met with the double-thumbs up and request as a regular menu item.
  • On Sunday
    • 'Salina and I cycled to the beach for a swim in the amazingly warm ocean,
    • then came home to 'Salina impressing herself and us with her fabulous room tidying talents with the added bonus of being HAPPY while she did it,
    • the skies darkened but saved their moisture until I had taken all the washing off the line,
    • we watched "Scrooge" and even though I slept the majority of the way through it (strict training in saying "yes" when asked "are you awake?" while asleep is required to attain this prize) I was awake and got a tear when Tiny Tim got his present,
    • got a light show with dinner to the accompaniment of thunder - but not in a scary way, more in an awe of nature but really really safe way (the upside to living in a really FLAT part of the country)
    • and saw 49 up with V before turning in and falling to sleep with a crescendo of rain.

So - how was your weekend?

Thursday, December 04, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday, blog

And you have hardly changed your look at all!!

That is right - I have been whinging, expounding and basically exposing myself on this blog for 2 years today!!!

I had a look back...

December 2 years ago I was whining about my washing machine, other people and young people today. Not much has changed...

I have been waking early for nearly two years.

I gave poetry, recipes and taught the world about tuckshops.

I told you about V when V was a new addition in my life.

I warned you about trampolines.

I finally broke ten comments when we bought some jewellery - six months after I had begun blogging (and 17 months before tying the knot).

I got stumbled when I taught the world my secret to folding fitted sheets.

I have whinged about shopping for bras.

I broke 20 comments for my tribute to 'Salina's father and again when I had my first kiss.

And yet - when being googled, the post that is found most often? All those strange people googling may be surprised by my version of a plastic bag fetish - although admittedly, a decent second is where people will find joy as the words to Moja Mala are indeed here.

I have met many wonderful people through this blogging lark, and over 20,000 people (probably the three of you several thousand times) have been to see my 333* posts.

So thank you, all those who do check in. Would you like some cake?

Technically, this is my 334th post, but I just found one I never posted...

This is not right...

Edited to add: I just noticed Jen has a competition up at hers for The Ellen Show DVD. If you want something to smile about, romp over there and enter!!!

Warning - what follows is a whinge.

Go to the post below that where we look at a photo which I have buried with my little tanty.

Go see the kitchens of Elizabeth and Pencil Writer (well, her mother-in-law's).

Wonder at the words of Woman in a Window as she watches her child grow up.

Flee while you can.

Waaaah!!! I got up at 4.18 this morning.

I would love to blame the cat, but really, the cat just confirmed that I was awake and made a request due to the angle of the sun on the horizon and the comfort of his bladder.

It would be fantastic to blame the heat - but it is nowhere near oppressive enough yet to use that chestnut.

Despite V's penchant for taking up real estate and pinning cover access in the bed, its not his fault either.

Its the economy. And yes, while the worldwide one is getting a look in, it is mainly the very local one that is stirring me up.

As in, the one I control right here.

And my goodness, I have learned to control rather well, even if I say so myself.

Back in my heady days when I was a career woman, I got done over very effectively by accepting an income that sounded like a lot to student me in a different city, and then tied up neatly by the term "wage freeze".

I learned how to spend to my limit and live on very little for the majority of each month, but I always ensured that bills were paid first.

As I moved up the ladder the money did get better - it could hardly get worse - but any employer I had always got a good deal out of me. A cheap workaholic, it seems, is a dream come true. But again, I learned how to spend to my limit without regard to the concept of "saving".

Once I jumped off that particular freight train, I worked for many years as a temp - which again brought out the frugalities, as without a guaranteed income I was forced to balance very closely the hours of work I needed with the lifestyle I was affording. Savings was a term I learned, and achieved in the sense that during the days of plenty some was salted for the days of lean - unfortunately those days came about as often as the other.

However, when I first had 'Salina, I DID HAVE a nest egg - which was effectively whittled by the outlaws unique microeconomy, and there were a few years where balance wasn't always achieved as smoothly as I would have liked.

I am ever grateful for the wonderful support that I got from my family and good friends during such times, but I truly hate being in debt, even if it is to ones that I love.

When I first moved up here, I had dreams of finding some sort of position that might give me a regular income, but it was not to be. They don't exist, and when they do it seems I am not the right person for the job - whether it be from their end or mine - but that turned out okay, because I now run my own business from home where I work and theoretically get paid for the hours I put in.

As you know, I have been working quite hard lately, and in the main it has been for one client.

I always operate on a 14 day payment policy, and for the most part only one reminder call is needed if that for my clients to even the ledger.

At the beginning of last month, the client paid for what was due to that date, and when the next one was due was advised that bill payments would only be made at the start of the month.

I changed the layout of my invoices and the 14 day policy, and therefore there is now an outstanding bill for 6 weeks work.

Knowing it to be resultantly a large figure, I put a "we can discuss" phrase in the note I sent with all my statements. In fact, I sent it twice as I was not acknowledged.

During a phone meeting, I brought it up again as I still had not had any indication that it was noted.

I was told that things were tight and payment would be made, although it may be a little slow and in bits.

Since then, I have been asked to keep doing more and more work for this client and its just peeving me more and more.

The amount I have done on this client's behalf has meant that I have not aggresively sought new business or followed urgent leads, because my plate was full.

I have not been able to do the volunteer work that I normally do because I was too busy.

I have not been able to help out at 'Salina's school to the degree that I normally do, because I had a paying job in my lap and I remain a cheap workaholic.

And man, you should see my financial systems. I know where every cent is - business, savings, household - for the next 6 months. I know how many hours I have to work to break even to cover the fact that V and I won't get a lot over Christmas, I know how much I have to have in which bank account to allow for electricity, phones, food and medical insurance.

It isn't always straightforward, as V also works and gets paid by the hour. That means every hour he can't work because of health or weather or the grossly incompetent organisational skills of certain members of the building industry impacts his economy, and therefore his ability to contribute.

But that is okay - because I have my little systems and can move things around so there is no red showing in any of my categories and I can economise where I can and we can maintain our lifestyle.

But the fact of the matter is - I have not been paid since before the wedding. In fact, I have not been paid for any of the work that stressed me during my preparation for the wedding either.

While there is still no red in all my ledgers, there is also absolutely no fat left to trim and the "are you going to have a honeymoon" question is getting quite irritating. We were going to, but right now honeymoon funds are what stands between us and Christmas.

But that is not what got me worked up at 4. What got me worked up was an email from this particular client wanting a phone meeting to discuss a project I am working on - or should be working on, but frankly I have to prioritise right now.

Today I have to call a friend who has been through a whole different version of hell and is now on the other side of that journey.

Today I have to do up the books for tuckshop for the P & C.

Today I have a project to finish for a paying client.

Today I have to go and see my daughter's class perform their end of year song & dance routine.

Today I have to take 'Salina to softball training and get briefed on being the dugout mum this weekend.

Today I have to feed my family, do several loads of washing, put together thankyou letters for the wedding and contemplate Christmas card lists.

Today I have to work out just how long we have before red shows on my books if an invoice or two isn't paid.

Today I don't expletive deleted feel like having a phone meeting with my client over what is perceived as timely or important to my client.

And today I feel really upset about that, because I am a cheap workaholic who would bend over backwards for anyone who needs me and because I am being forced into unkind thoughts when I really don't like to have them.

And what upsets me most about today is there are many others who are having a much tougher run than me, and I wish that I could give them strength, health, good thoughts and hell, even money.

And instead of being magnanimous and gracious and generous and full of goodwill to all mankind, I feel petty and nasty and angry. Three things I like least.

So today I will get myself and my daughter ready to go to school. I will collect the books for the tuckshop and buy petrol on the way home with my allocated petrol money. I will call my friend. I will do the work for the client that will pay me before the deadline for their invoice. I will do the books for tuckshop and drop them in for their meeting tonight, along with my polite note as to why I will not be at it (due to them not notifying more than 2 days out and my previous advice that Thursdays do not work for me due to softball training unless I am advised and can work out with V alternative arrangements) (I won't really put that in). I will enjoy my daughter's show and take her to practice. I will be gracious in my profuse thanks to those family and friends who gave such wonderful gifts for our wedding and businesses who helped me have a great day.

And somewhere in there, I will have to put together an email explaining to my client that I can't be the cheap workaholic unless some of the cheap is paid.

Maybe I should just send a link here.

Monday, December 01, 2008

Six by Six

Jen tagged me a little while ago for a meme. Which reminds me - I have three others to trot out soon.

Anyhow - the rules are:

1. Find your 6th photo folder (hard drive or online)
2. Find the 6th photo in that folder.
3. Share the photo on your blog and give the details of the photo.
4. Tag 5 folks to do the same.

As this is a relatively new computer, I went into the old one to dig out something of interest.

This would have been taken about 2 years ago, just after we had first moved here. You can tell by the tooth missing and the sandals worn.

We are at Turtle Park - a local landmark. It is a really cool park - firstly because ANYONE can find it, so it is very easy to meet people there. It also has a toy fishing boat, a climbing net, a huge percussive harp, water features, two slides in its flippers and a huge sandpit - which you can't see, because its all behind the turtle.

Paradise is a beach town, and in fact if you imagine looking over to your right, you would see lava (lavial?) rocks and white sand and the ocean.

While you are using your imagination, add some blustery sea breezes to whip your hair around. It smells good, as it doesn't combine the "beach" feel with the fishery smell - a blessing hey?

Within the turtles mouth is a cave for small children to play, with some steps up his throat and another entrance where his shell might have been, had it not been filled with all the other features.

I am passing the baton to Bush Babe because she is missing her camera at the moment but I KNOW there is an archive of unseen shots in her repertoire, Kari at "Hi my name is", Elizabeth at "Probably, but not likely", Rhubarb Whine and KB at "Being Me, Just for Them".

Good luck all!!