Thursday, 30 April 2009

Another week is over

Spent half a day at work Wednesday. Spent 3/4 day Thrsday and managed a whole day today and now the weekend stretches before me.  But before the weekend I lived intensely in each and every moment of today.

While waiting for the bus, I saw a kookaburra sitting in the fork of a blonde trunked gum tree, the pale feathers on his chest and neck the exact blonde of the paper bark.  There he sat, still, watching what must have been a potential meal, enriching my wait.  

A gang of arguing cockatoos took flight up the valley and flew low and  quarrelled loudly while low flying to ensure everyone in their wake was also awake. They circled once and headed north up the valley close to the creek.

I managed to complete and submit my network upgrade business case and reworked and reorganised the wording ( twice) and I am finally happy with the result.   I organised flu injections for all interested staff.  AND someone will come onsite and do it all here.   I wrangled a development timeline to complete the database redevelopment project from the database specialist.  And chased a few other bits and pieces; odds and ends.

Leonnie met me at work and travelled home with me, and we collected Geni and her friend Nadia where we catch the bus.  A quiet night is on the cards as we sit curled together watching chosen shows and movies and nibbling, sipping drinks all wrapped in blankets and quilts.

Monday, 27 April 2009


Do you sometimes feel a little blue or feel your dreams are moving away from you?  Here are some simple steps to help you embrace the positive every day!!

The simplest things can make our lives fuller, brighter , better and more joyous;
  • Everyone has imagination; use yours anytime you want and be creative!!
  • Remember every so often to touch someone when you are near them or talking with them - it makes people feel special.
  • Use money to empower not control you.  Make it a tool and not a driver.
  • Include rituals in your life no matter how small.  They are so important.  Even a cup of tea can create a ritual.
  • Always give with the fulness of your heart - whatever the response.
  • Find something sacred in each and every day.
  • Walk every day - it helps harmonise the mind and the body.
  • Don't let any season pass without an abundant feast to bring you close to nature and the season.
  • Unwind your body at the end of each and every day.
  • Passion doesn;t get lost- just abandoned!!  It is never too late to find it again!!
While you make your way through your life today, have a cuppa or a drink, turn the pages on a book, smell the food before you eat it and savour it, feel the texture of the fabric on your sheets as you turn down your bed, smile deeply and sincerely at those you love and drink them in with your eyes.  Treasure this and every moment as you live it.

Saturday, 25 April 2009

Images from the sleepover

AJ helping me ice cupcakes14 year olds

13 year olds

How to Make KIndness Your New Routine

I am committing myself to living a more compassionate life and I have found it is as tough as sticking to a new fitness routine.  The same strategies apply as well.  These basic lessons have risen to the surface in me again as I am living consciously more in each and every moment.   This decision of mine came when I asked myself what I thought people might say about me if I suddenly died, right now.  The next thing I asked myself was what I would genuinely LIKE people to say about me.  And this led me to ask myself what steps I need to take to become more of that ind of person.

Can you tell I am committed to continuous improvement?
  1. START SMALL.   It could be as simple as striking up a conversation in a friendly way with someone who looks lonely or lost in a banking queue or a supermarket.   Being aware of the nuances of feeling in the people we work with and around on a daily basis also provides opportunities.    I endeavour to listen not only to what people say, but also to what they don't say.  Sometimes, I have found, just asking if they are okay makes all the difference in the world.  
  2. CHOOSE AN ACTIVITY YOU ENJOY.  I thought about what I like o do in my spare time and I went from there.  Even those who LOVE to shop could volunteer for a service like Dress for Success which provides career clothing or counselling to women in need, or if you like chatting on the phone, the Red Cross provide a service where you would telephone each day an elderly person who lives alone JUST to make sure they answer and are still okay.  For some of these elderly, this is the only social contact they have, and should your assigned person not answer there are people to contact who will pop around and check on them.  I know each time I read about an elderly person found dead after an extended time, my heart just breaks.    If you want some good ideas try or or
  3. BE SPECIFIC.  Instead of saying to yourself, "I want to help children" say ( for example) "I want to read to children once a week".  How many primary schools need teacher's aide assistance with the slow learners?  Or organisaqtions like Big Brothers and Sisters who take disadvantaged children for outings or a weekend once a month to give parents a break?  This will help you figure out what you yourself can contribute.
  4. BUDDY UP.   Invite a friend to join you -it is always more fun!! Shared.  You also get the benefit of motivating each other.
  5. PUT IT ON YOUR CALENDAR.  Schedule it.  Even if the activity you chose isn;t a regularly scheduled volunteer gig you can still pencil it in.
The five steps outlined and bolded work for any routine you choose to undertake.  

What do you need to work on?
What would you like to do?

Picture this

Image the seconds ticking by and you are struggling to communicate the simplest of ideas to the person next to you.  You feel disconnected, hampered and frustrated.  You can see it clearly in your mind but you just can't find a way to convey this.  This could be a light-hearted moment from a game of Pictionary or for the 120,000 Australians living with autism, this is their daily challenge.

There is a new national campaign called Drawtism asking people to host Pictionary evenings with family, friends and colleagues this month.  Drawtism is based on Pictionary which has an authentic connection to the experience of autism, which not only demonstrates some idea of what autism is, but is a way to galvanise support.

Register you game of drawtism at

For those overseas of elsewhere on this planet, why not take these principles and do a little of this where you are?  There is fun and lightheartedness involved but it also helps us appreciate what others go through or live with and gives us a doorway into helping - what do you say??

Invest in a child's education

In Australia why don't you this year  donate to the Smith Family's Winter Appeal ( running from May1 to June 30)?? According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, about 680,000 children live in homes where neither parent is employed and this is expected to rise as the global financial crisis continues.  Many of these children are left with no choice but  to wear their summer school uniform through winter because the expense of winter uniform is unmanageable for the parents.  

Being dressed differently can impact on how the children fit in and are accepted by their peer group as well.  Supporting children to fit in and feel comfortable where they are educated can help break the cycle of poverty.    To support this appeal call 1800 024 069 or go to

Wherever you are in the world, it might be a good idea to explore what you can do where you are.

Post sleepover stunned state

Yes, last night saw the new house filled to the brim with 13 and 14 year old females.  Our fridge has been temperamental since we moved it; sometimes the fridge section works, but the freezer works al the time.  Yesterday it was JUST the freezer so maggie went into plan f, g, h.  Cooling small individual drinks in short sharp freezer spells, only cooking the mountains of food at the last moment and being creative in packaging and saving leftovers.

Needless to say, everyone ate far too much and there is enough food left over to feed the rets of us for the coming week.  

And I am relaxing and reading

Thursday, 23 April 2009

A kind act a day, can keep the doctor away - PLAN a Week of Worthy Activities

  1. Feeling overwhelmed? Lend a hand.  In a study completed recently researchers measured the brain activity of volunteers who dispensed cash to different sources as a part of a computer game.  When these volunteers "donated cash" to a charity instead of "keeping" it they activated the part of the brain that produces oxytocin , a hormone that relaxes you and helps you feel good.  This hormone also helps you feel more attached to others which is why the body produces it naturally when you cuddle a baby.  FIND a philanthropic activity you enjoy ( volunteer for a literacy program, help out at a soup kitchen or a charity depot/store, walk homeless dogs at an animal shelter) make it part of your weekly or monthly routine.
  2. Simply seeing people do compassionate things may help you get over a nasty cold faster.  I a study done by a behavioural psychologist students who atched a documentary about Mother Teresa and her work in Calcutta had significant increases in immunoglobulin A ( a type of immune cell).  SEE benevolence by renting Hotel Rwanda or I Am Legend or view tv shows about heroes.
  3. Many people cope with negative emotions by overeating, drinking or smoking.  Research shows that you can get a  healthier "helper's high" instead.  Pitching in actually raises endorphin and dopamine levels which brings you feelings of euphoria.  One of my ways of coping throughout my life is to stop and count my blessing and when I get my eyes off myself, I can see so many more less fortunate than I am.  That levels things out for sure.  In a study with AA, people who did not become sponsors ( helping others stay sober) were twice as likely to relapse in the year following the end of treatment.   One of the mottos of AA is "By helping others, I help myself. "  TRY working at a community garden or cleaning a beach park or playground.  
  4. Cholesterol and blood pressure aren't the only considerations when it comes to keeping your heart healthy.  Negativity - anger, hostility and resentment - have been linked to heart attacks and premature death.  So has self-absorption and self-centeredness.  Researchers in one University study surveyed medical students in their 20's and again in their 50's.  People who scored high on hostility in their 20's were four to five times more likely to have developed coronary heart disease in their 50's than those with lower scores.  Interestingly, data from a group monitoring volunteers shows coronary disease is lowest in area where most people serve as volunteers.
  5. If you are suffering from a chronic illness, it is easy to become depressed - which can make your health spiral further downwards.  Assisting others can help you stay healthy.  In studies of people living with MS or HIV/aids,  patients who got involved in helping others with the same illness stayed healthier, longer. Plus they were less likely to feel lonely or negative.  Reaching out improves self confidence and lifts depression that can compromise physical healing in the ill or injured.  HELP people facing similar challenges to yours, whether it is dealing with illness, or a special needs child.  Call a lcoal hospital and find out how you may help another patient in recovery, be a hotline volunteer or start a support group.
  6. Helping others can help you age gracefuly.  Researchers who followed 2000 people over 55 found that those who volunteered regularly had a 44% less likelihood of dying during the 5 years of the study.  Those who volunteered for two or more organisations had a 63% lower mortality rate than non-volunteers. JOIN forces with others whoa re volunteering. Help out t a church or centre.
SUNDAY:  Give something away.  Donate clothes or books to a charity.  The hospital which housed and cared for my mother for most of last year, takes donations of books and offers them to people who spend their long hours beside the bedside of a loved one.  When someone is gravely ill, it helps to have something with you as you sit and wait.  One can't always focus but sometimes it is a relief.  The Hospital asks for a gold coin donation for these.  We often take our books and donate them by the box load ( we are al great readers..)

MONDAY:  Shop consciously.  By fair-trade coffee and chocolate and eco friendly cleaning products.

TUESDAY.  Read for inspiration.  Subscribe to an e-newsletter of an organisation you admire.

WEDNESDAY.  Click for good. Do your online shopping at charity malls like and and prompt free donations at "click sites" such as and

THURSDAY.  Spread the word.  Tell your hair stylist about (a program that assists salon staff identify domestic violence victims) or encourage children to check out which teaches children about animal welfare.

FRIDAY.  Be a stealth Samaritan.  Leave flowers and a treat anonymously on a friend's doorstep, pull the weeds from a busy neighbours garden while they are at work, take the children of a single mum for a couple of hours so mum can have some "me" time.

SATURDAY.  Host a party with purpose.  Ask guests to bring gifts of non perishable food to contribute to a food bank. 

Wednesday, 22 April 2009

habits of morning

Dark drapes around me
I extinguish the light
gathering to myself
essentials - a book, glasses
hugging them close.

I pad across the floor
quietly to feel my way
around the bed
to you.
with hand I find your head and face

I lean my body down
against your sleep warmed form
kissing you hello
and goodbye.
You murmur and snuffle.

With your arm you reach around 
hauling and holding me tight
against you
to rest and lie there.
For a brief moment I give in.

Aware of time marching into the day
I let you settle back
into sleep carrying with me
the weight of your arms
anchoring me against you.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009


An army of twisted trees
stands at attention
beside me
grey green their uniform is
waving branches
in endless animated drill.

This army does not travel far.
Guard duty is its posting.


Someone took a paintbrush
dipped in pastel pinks
and salmons
and golds
and drew it across the morning sky

Someone dipped clumps of cotton
into gunmetal greys
and intense blues
with whisps of white
and stuck them over the watercolour dawn

I stood.
I reminded myself to breath
The beauty
immobilised me.

Morning when I would normally....

Now, usually I have my head down and tail p inside a CBD skyscraper facing NOT outward.    Here I sit at home, watching the rain drift across the uninhabited valley behind me and listening to the rain pater and whisper against the back verandah.  The valley is brimful of clouds.

Geni stayed last night with Nadia and Erin ( at Nadia's house) and today is at Erin's place ( 2 suburbs away).  We mothers have developed a group of safe parents who we know will be there with the girls as they are at such a precarious age.  13/14.   Not all the girls in their friendship group have parents who care where they are or what they are doing, so we who do are making sure we communicate to ensure the girls are cared for and always have a safe person there in some way.  The girls all play soccer together as well.   Geni we will collect from Hornsby around 4.20 this evening and we have not christened Thursday - yet!!

Today, Leonnie and I are home and Leonnie is still sleeping while I have indulged my Farm Town addiction and am finally catching up on email to those I have neglected over the time of the move and resettling and reading my way through their lives as I miss them so much!!  I am still pottering and puttering in sorting and throwing away and recycling.

Leonnie is having a birthday sleepover on Friday night and I am preparing menu and ideas for this as well.    Leonnie can sleep until she wants to wake - there is no pressure here and no need not to indulge. 

Even on holiday I have managed 7 loads of washing and even dropped into work to set up for a skype visual training session yesterday morning ( how does one spell brownie points??)   But the rest of this week is mine and the girls and I am extremely grateful for this.     

Sunday, 19 April 2009


Words spoken
laced with laughter
with wit
and humour.
The floor
paced away
beneath my feet.
The window looming large
and retreating
my pacing 
by words spoken.

I want.

While I slept
it sat
like a gift.
I opened and read
A great flower 
that could be hope 
slowly unfurled 
inside my chest.  

It didn't blossom, 
it did unfurl.

What am I?

Richest red,
I hold you
tart sweetness.

I bite
deeply into you
of intense sweetness

From the Train

Out there
the world is shrouded
soft whispy gray
just above
with individual sparkles
of dew.

Out there
the nearby sentinel trees
stark and clear
fading clearly
only haze
awaiting sunrise
calling the day.

Coffee with my friends

This week I am on leave and although no trips are planned, we are still cleaning, scrubbed and making this wonderful shell full of light and air on the very edge of the National Park and open bushland, into our home.

But before I continue with the work component and spend time with Geni and Leonnie, I shall enjoy my morning coffee with my friends, here.  And catch up.  

" A good friend is a connection to life - a tie to the past, a road to the future, the key to sanity in a totally insane world."  Lois Wyse.

This friendship is a comfortable place I place myself and just AM.  I trust those who visit me there.  Their loyalty to me and their advice and honesty has helped me weather so many of the storms life has laid on me and over my busy life.  Each and every one of you I treasure.

I wish to leave you with a quote:

"Pick a day.  Enjoy it to the hilt.  The day as it comes.  People as they come... the past, I think, has helped me appreciate the present - and I don't want to spoil any of it by fretting about the future."  AUDREY HEPBURN

Saturday we were enjoying our last lazy unencumbered morning and moving bits and pieces of furniture around and planning a change or two of placement when the phone rang.  It was Leonnie. In tears.  Geni took over and asked if we could go down and collect them.  It was around lunchtime so Tony and I grabbed our shoes and began to head  out to the car while reassuring them.  Kate, their dad's girlfriend, had made Leonnie cry.  Their dad was at the bowling club ( cheap booze, gambling on the horses -after all, it is the autumn carnival at the races and being Saturday even though it was his daughters last day with them, HE was absent and he left them with his girlfriend. )  I can understand her upset and resentment.

Geni went and suggested to kate that she understands that Dad and she may be fighting but Leonnie and she had just got up so they didn;t understand why she was "mad "(angry) at them?  I have no doubt whatsoever that Kate may have been confronted by her plain speaking.  Kate has an 8 year old daughter ( Faith) who takes every opportunity to hit and kick the older girls.  When the older girls ask her to stop or ask the adults to intervene, Kate denies her daughter can do any wrong and suggests my girls are making it up.  My girls do see Faith as a spoiled brat but feel they should be treated the same.  Kate apparently goes home to her mother every time Graeme and she fight.  So she and Faith left and left my girls in that house alone.

I asked them to get their things together.  Then we made our way down there.  Their dad told them from the bowling club - not straight back home - to tell us NOT to come. Too late. Plus if he has been at the Club he will have been drinking and even if he borrowed a car to bring them, he would be inebriated.  So, no.  Not good enough.

He didn't come straight home but he was there when we collected the girls.  he came back to emotionally LOAD Leonnie because he is afraid she will want to move into here with us now.  Leonnie and I talked and I told her that there is no way I would load her.  That I have full confidence that she will make her own decision but the thing I did say was that she needs to make her decision based on what is best for HER - not on making me happy or daddy happy.  That we are adults and therefore responsible for our own happiness, as she is for hers.

Both girls have emptied the fridge and the pantry so I suspect there wasn't much at their dad's place.  But that is expected.

The first thing we all did was sort through and setup each girls bedroom.  Tony and I hadn't done that as being teens we expected they would have their own idea about what they would like, so now the living area is completely arranged and there are only a few leftover bags and storage to go through.

We also spent most of Sunday sorting through and rearranging the downstairs section in preparation for Leonnie's slumber party this Friday evening.  What fun!!! 

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Unpacking my life

Finally, a full week after the move, this place is beginning to look and feel like home.  I still find myself scrubbing walls and skirting boards, as layers of life's leavings show up and as I "see" them, I scrub them into cleanliness.

Window sills, skirting boards and a farm of breeding recycle bags, folded within bags.  

The bedroom looks and smells and feels like mine.  My clothing and jewellery have their own places assigned and everything is where it should be.

The kitchen is unpacked and functioning, as a kitchen and the first meals cooked and demolished as fast as they came form the stove top oven.

The entrance hall has my flavour and little pieces of my paintings or ornaments welcoming any who arrive. Geni and Leonnie arrived back last night to a flurry of assembling and ordering their rooms and furniture and much list making as to what else they may need.

The longeroom is and has functioned as a lounge the entire time, but the dvd collection has been unpacked and the display cabinet is being used for sorting for the moment. The rumpus downstairs is beginning to find some order as the bits are moved elsewhere and the collection of bags diminished.

It will all come together, I am  sure.

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Easter Feast

Updates from a Busy Life

In the midst of packing, cleaning, hauling and unpacking, rearranging, more cleaning, we managed to fit in a wonderful Easter Sunday visit for most of us at Tess' place.  

Over Thursday evening and  throughout Friday.  My girls are as good and effective as any grown removalist and we had a barrel of fun in helping each other.  As is my usual practice I largely cleaned and scrubbed as we went so by the time Monday came it would only take a cursory once over for us to bring the place we left up to scratch.

Sunday saw a pleasant time for us all.

We are largely unpacked with some things yet to do and work ongoing.  Life goes on.

It is quiet out here.
In the morning the valley is full of clouds and everything is peaceful.

What a wonderful way to start the day.
Any day.

Abigail Easter Sunday - 5 weeks old

Easter Egg HUnt Much fun for everyone.

Tess and Lizzie and Pandy and Lizzie on Easter Sunday just after lunch and before the Easter Egg Hunt

Sunday, 12 April 2009

A breather, finally

This has to be one of the most hectic times I have ever had in my life,  over Easter break.  Absolutely everything is out of the old apartment.  It is bare except for all that it came with.  And everything is in the new place = NOT all unpacked, but in.

The kitchen is unpacked.  After moving our fridge I have let it settle and have attacked it with bleach and cleanser and it is having a good air.  So coffee is black and food is fresh or bought out as we need and want it for the moment.  The pantry is full of the dry food stores and baking supplies; the spice cupboard is as it should be; the crockery has been stowed as have the plastic ware and the pots and pans and bakeware; the glassware and coffee mugs are stowed.

The dining room was a sea of bags and boxes and is nOW a dining room with a few remaining boxes but they are diminishing each time I walk through, grab one and stow the items therein where they should be.  

We have a lounge room.  it only has three boxes of books that need a home but has a lounge area and entertainment area as well as a conversation nook - in fact I am curled up on the corner of the lounge listening to the birds sing in the morning and peacefully typing my first update in days.

The entry hall still needs the console body brought up fro downstairs.  The drawers eagerly await it and I have the vase for the flowers waiting also.  

The linen closet and the bathrooms are unpacked.  The wardrobe which is mine is unpacked and ready for my needs.  The girls each have their things in their bedrooms but as they are away this week, they can arrange their room to suit themselves when they get here.

We did a run up to storage an hauled out my easels and paints which we will set up in a corner downstairs. We brought down also the outdoor setting ( the small one) which sits on the back verandah just outside the dining room - a perfect nook to sit and welcome the morning over he uninhabited ( by humans) and bushed valley and watch the clouds call the sun out to play.  The valley fills with clouds to the brim each autumn morning - so I know where clouds are born.  But I digress.

We plan to go up to storage again and largely empty it ; this will be one less expense and we now have a large enough place to house the bits and pieces.  

There is a room downstairs adjacent to the rumpus area which Tony has claimed as his lock away office area.  This place is large enough that everyone need not get on top of one another and that will help ease tensions I suspect.   

In the downstairs section we will set up another television and hook up the x box and Wii as well.  The girls can disappear there with their friends.

Back to work tomorrow.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

why no Moving Blues?

It seems I hear moans and groans of "oooooOOOOOo I am not looking forward to this - insert big sigh here-" etc all around me, while as I demolish, empty and bag a lifetime of myself and others, I feel lighter and excited and more energised.

It calls to me and whispers possibilities and I spark and arch into it, ready willing and eager for the newness.  

A new palette for the domestic artist I am to hone my skills against and fill with tastes and morsels of we who inhabit, for a short time, this shell. 

I sip my morning coffee, times three.  Tony has gone to collect the van which we have in our possession from 10am today until 10am Saturday morning.    Geni is sleeping in - the first day of her Term 1 holidays ( a day earlier than the rest of her class and school. )  he is a good help hefting and hoiking and carrying.  I am chief box/bag filler and emptier extraordinaire.  

Tess is taking Mum to the hairdresser and shopping and then will come over and she and I together will unpack the kitchen and stow it into homely readiness.   The packing is calling me.  Again.

Pandy, Amy and AJ are coming over tomorrow after Church.  We will move the largest stuff then.  We have photographed the condition of the place as we move in and are completing the Ingoing Report.  So far, the only thing we agree on is that the blinds in the loungeroom are clean and working. Everything else we looked at or tested doesn't work and isn't as stated in the report handed to us by the agent. THIS should be fun!!

My mind is moving 10 to the dozen, planning and thinking.  

A big deep breath and I am back into it. 

The joy of this!!!
Home again.

Monday, 6 April 2009

Cordinating house moving on a budget

New views - kitchen and Geni choosing HER room before we all move in.  I have just sent a group text to family and friends asking for moving volunteers; Thursday and/or Friday.  We have taken one load up and left bags and boxes, now we are looking at a second one tonight, with more packing and boxing pending.  

On second sight, it is very seventies, but the potential is there to make it a spacious, light and airy and like a home.  Geni went into canvas/I want mode, moving between rooms choosing hers.  Then she began rearranging everyone else's furniture to make HER room as she would like.  I cannot believe how many time I said No or I will think about it OR wait.  

Along the wall in the dining room is the first clutch of bags.

Economy, personal penny pinching

As I raised the majority of my children as a single working mum with no money coming from missing dad, I have ALWAYS been conscious of pennies and being careful. My grandmother always said "Take care of the pennies and the pounds take care of themselves." Something we should all think about.

Geni is always asking me for new clothing, more money,, new this that and the other. In packing to move house, Geni emptied her wardrobe of perfectly servicable and fashionable clothing she no longer desired to wear. The first thought that went through my mind is that it is time for Geni to get an after school/weekend job so that she can fund her own fashion addiction. Onto my Action List goes drafting her first resume and printing several copies.

When I buy clothing I tend to shop around and watch the sales. I buy classics and each season pick accents ( a handful) that provide a fashion "flavour". I do not feel the compunction to have my hair done, or buy new shoes and a complete outfit each time I go out somewhere....

Also after living in India, I was impressed with the lack of waste there. Water is precious and I am almost dictatorial about NOT wasting this. At home, or at work - no matter. I firmly believe that which you may waste you will one day want.

I know when the fresh foods are marked down at the supermarket and often snaffle exceptional savings of good quality meat and fresh produce. We are about to institute a meal planning regime, where we plan a week - or two, and market accordingly. This will assist with nutrition, health and diet as well and really help the bank balance!!

When Geni first came to reside with us full time, she would ONLY ask and I would hand dollars over. She had an enviable social life, with no responsibility. Initially, because of where she had come from, I was delighted to be able to spoil her but then I realised she needed to learn about budgetting for what she wants, the basic savings concepts and decision making. So I made her an offer of $25 per week which she grabbed. Occasionally I will give a little extra at weekends, but largely she needs to buy her own phone credit and fund her own social life from that.

Some of the difficulties I have had with Tony is his idea I am TOO soft with Geni. I am what I am and have raised a batch of children already. I am employing the lessons I learned first time around to ease things. I can be tough when pushed but I am in no ways dictatorial. Geni is currently grounded for rearranging her plans at the 11th hour ( again!!) and disrupting everyone's lives with NO thought for anyone else. She has been grounded two weeks for this. In that two week period ( still not quite over) she has already asked 6 times for exceptions - none of which she has been granted! Just because I don;lt ruffle her feathers or get her back up does not in any ways mean I am not tough.

I am.
Trust me on that.

Pure steel wrapped in velvet and with a sweet smile.

Sunday, 5 April 2009

Monday Work Morning Post Daylight Savings Change ( back to winter time)

The alarm went at the same time it does every morning, by my clock, but it was just a hat bit darker and just that little bit colder.

Now I begin to feel winters' teeth coming towards us.

I am servicing my Farm Town addiction while I chat away here. I have people harvesting my ripe crops and will plough and plant before I head to work. The house here is silent as Tony and Geni both sleep. The house is also full to the brim of boxed and recycled bags filled with belongings and pieces of our active life.

At the end of my work day I will travel north and collect our keys to the new place. We have until next Tuesday to arrange an inspection, after fully moving everything. Instead we will take our time. We seem to have identified Thursday as the most likely day to move. So I look forward to this. I do.

I shall inveigle one adult daughter after the other to accompany me, first packing boot and seats with bags and boxes and begin to have some of the smaller things moved. We also have most of Easter to unpack ( thank you for the public holidays!!)

Saturday, 4 April 2009

Daylight Savings

To all antipodeans in the right states, please remember daylight savings changes in the wee small hours last night.

When I awoke at 7.17 am it was in fact now 6.17am. Turn back your clocks, adjust settings on your mobile phone and check fax machines. Hey presto, we are done again. Now the ramp down into winter will fall around us rapidly.

I spoke briefly to Tony asking him what his problem is and if he was going to speak. He pointed out he doesn;t like my reactions as it seems to be about my feelings. Well, yes. If I don't care for my feelings - who will? Since none else does, then I must! Needless to say I am not backwards in expressing myself.

He came out with some interesting statements - like HE wants me to get out and start doing things. All well and good if I am not paying my share and his share of expenses. Then I MIGHT be able to afford to do what I want to on occasion. Once the move is over and done with and I am settled, I will have a few dollars behind me (eventually) and then he needs to watch out because I SHALL be getting out and doing what I want to.

I did make the point that it is not his place to decide what I needed to do, to be or to learn. The only person who can do that IS me. And I am not a naughty 2 year old. I did suggest that he and I needed to sit down and talk about what OUR approach to Geni is and then the three of us sit down together so there was not such a disparity in handling things. Yes I know we have changed plans for Geni but I have also turned my life upside down for his plans with Nick with never a bad feeling or complaint.

Oh, I apparently have a Farm Town obsession. Yes, I know it is a silly little facebook flash game, but it has been fun and a focus for me. So I get a bit anal, planning, planting and harvesting crops..LOL.

He came to the soccer game today. He even enjoyed himself. I did too. Geni's team won 9-3 and it was the first game of the soccer season.

When we came home Tony asked me if I received the money he transferred. I did. It was only half the bond and half the rent we need to move into the new place. Plus within 2 weeks we should have the previous bond returned. he mentioned that had just about cleaned him out. Now if I payed his 1076 dollars from last months rent as well as my own ( since he walked out when rent was due) and DID have my half of everything( I just couldn;t cover HIS half this time) I must ask what his income has been?? Or perhaps that is why he sent out statements -to get his customers to pay so he does have income?

I suspect his anger and nastiness with me was because I have insisted he pay his half. I organised the bank cheque for the bond ( 1800) so that is 900 from me and 900 from him. So, I asked him for his 900. We each then come up with 450. Which we did plus 8 dollars for prep fee. What has changed is that I am not underwriting his flying lessons, his diving, his travel overseas...I will pay my way, of course, but nothing else any more. That has changed.

What else has changed? I am not taking any more shit.

Odd Saturday - whinge warning!!!

Bail now if you wish to avoid negativity, but/however, I need to lay things out in a way I can look at them so here is where I do this.

Over the last two weeks Tony has moved back in - sort of.
He has come by to visit and stayed, the first week and then last weekend moved some items of odds and ends in as well as his body.
largely it is business as usual.
We have been looking at places to move to. I have wanted this to be in MY name, after what he did last month and my own doubts as to where this will go, IF this will go. I do not want a repeat of the same.

Geni and Tony alternately snarl and snap at one another, but largely when I am NOT around.
There is nothing different, really in that - they have been doing that since Geni moved in a year ago.
Tony feels WE gave up everything for Geni and she is not suitably grateful/ respectful/ under control etc.
I see that you give to kids and for kids and do not expect a return. That you pick your battles and as she is 14 and so close to 18 and or independence, I am softer than he would like - on her and with her.
I am not autocratic but I can indeed draw a line in the sand and say an unequivocal NO when I should/need to.
largely I am open and understanding. I am not rigid.

In moving into this place, as Tony is moving with us and our finances are NOT shared ( and never have been) I have insisted HE pay half of everything. I have not always done so. Inf act I have underwritten his living and expenses while he got his business up and running and although I have the larger more reliable income, I also have larger outgoing, in that I am paying for leonnie's school fees, child support to leonnie's dad and all Geni's expenses as well as everything else.

When Tony left last month, I had to find an extra $1000+ to pay his share of the rental costs - unexpectedly.

On Friday in discussing via email the rental bond ( 4 weeks rent) and rent in advance ( 2 weeks) he mentioned he would transfer his half. I stressed the fact that IF he did not do so promptly that I would be unable to cover other expenses and live the next two weeks. He went very silent.

He transferred the money. I prepared and organised the appropriate bank cheques and have money to survive on as well for the next two weeks as we move. I fixed an appointment for 3pm Saturday to sign all paper work and hand over the cash.

I tried to discuss with him van rental; dates, times. I was told via text that he was "dealing with today and he would discuss this with me when he came home." Fine. Home I went and cleaned the current place top to bottom as yet again Saturday morning the selling agent had a viewing from 9.45am to 11am. For some reason I do not see WHY I have to be the only one doing this. But I was. But I ever have been. And I suppose if I want it done then I just bite the bullet and do it. So I did.

7.30pm he telephones and tells me he is sending out statements to his clients and he is up to R. 9.30pm he is still not home. When he makes it home I am somewhat tired so I just go to bed. In the evenign i had cooked up some chicken pieces in preparation for the weekend and five complete skinless thighs were cooling in the pan. As there was only Tony and I that would see/should see at least two meals. He came in and scoffed the lot. In one sitting.

Saturday saw me up bright and early finishing the bathroom and kitchen. We fled to Tess and Erik's (spending time with Lizzie and collecting Amy who was coming back to help me pack) and we collected a whole heap of boxes as well. The selling agent rang to compliment on how well the unit was presented.

On the way to sign the new lease, I initially tought I had left the bank cheque at home so Tony did a u turn. I then found it so he made a snide comment. I reminded him I needed to go to a Westpac bank to get the balance. I dislike paying an extra $2 per transaction to withdraw cash form another bank!! We pull into near the agency for our appointment and the bank he once believed was there is closed. How do I know this - he showed me this two weeks ago. I tromp off to find a bank and end up paying the extra.

We sign everything.
Amy and he are hungry and eat burgers and sausage rolls and we drive past the new place to show Amy. We drop her home and I emntion, on the way ( now two hours later) that I am hungry.
Tony snarls "well, you had your chance - now you can wait."
There were snide bitch comments, there was a plethora of this.

We deliver Amy and we stay a while and then I mention I would like to go as by this time I was feeling sick - it was hunger all right, but still. He sat there, and sat there... I looked at my a watch. I decided that if he did not move in 8 minutes I would walk out. Tess saw this and suggested it was time we left. Tony got the hint and we got in the car.

Driving along I suggested we stop off and I would pick up some chicken and prepare this. I suggested we collect a couple of dvd'sand he said money was tight so I suggested that was fine, I would just read. He said he didn;t want to pick them himself. he drove past the supermarket and stopped in front of the dvd store. I mentioned that he said money was tight and I he stormed off.

At this point I chose not to race off after him and instead turned left and walked home. Along the way I got a number of text messages asking what I wanted - all of which I declined. By this time I was over it.

He came back. I made myself something and asked him what his problem was. I pointed out he had been mean and cutting to me all day and that I was hurt and disappointed. He said only that he had things to say to me. So I suggested that instead of bottling things up he should just say them. He is holding back hoping that I will agree with his assessment of me and I don't. Suffice it to say he switched on the idiot box ( TV) and disappeared into that saying not one word. I took my book, after Ihad organised the soccer changes for today and went to bed.

What is his problem? I know he thinks it is me - but I don't beleive I am the problem.

Thursday, 2 April 2009

To do List

As tomorrow morning we have a "showing" at 10am, I need to be out of here with the unit looking pristine, by 9.45am. So, here I am on a friday night, vaccuuming throughout, dusting/polishing and the last thing I do is slosh over a wet disinfected mop. I have checked every room and it looks like a show home. Although I like being tidy and organised and I love coming home to an aestheticaly pleasing place, I have no illusions that living with a 14 year old will support MY wants.

They are NOT needs.
They are wants.

The bottom line is that she is more important.
Although there is occasional frustration along this journey!

I am updating and checking my Farm World crops ( facebook flash game which has become extremely satisfying for me these last few weeks!!) HOW DOES ONE SPELL ADDICTED???

I m checking through cupboards and bagging and boxing and adding to a large ( huge) bag for turfing. if the girls or I have not used it or worn it in a year WHY are we keeping it?

The lease is signed at 3pm tomorrow.
Then I have a week and a couple of days to move in.


And although not hot it is oppressively humid and I am turning into a humid puddle as I swelter and type this.

friday night.
Once I get settled, friday night will be a time to go dancing.

I yearn to dance.

What do you yearn for?

My new home

The outside does not do it justice, but this IS my new home!

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

a Quick intake of breath and an update

I should be beginning to dismantle my life and my house and pack it into boxes and bags to cart away to stow carefully and thoughtfully under the next roof I will make into a home but here I sit tapping away a little update just to let you all know I am thinking of you.

Winter lies in wait up ahead and I feel it in the early morning chill and the ribbons of rain driven at and through me these last three days. My shoes from two days ago are STILL soaked through and I feel permanently sodden ( not monsoonal and fungal - just drenched!!) Sydney gray winter...I feel you building around me.

I have been offered the house I applied for and a holding deposit has been paid and now I wait for a signing date. Once I have that - then I need to hire a truck and have the boxes packed. In two weeks, this place which has been my home for a year will no longer be my home.

And it is okay.
Back to packing and marking.