Tuesday, 23 February 2010

Warm Hands Warm Heart

Today didn't start well. Firstly I woke with a cricked neck. Then I had to say goodbye to Andrew as he is away for work for two days. The power went out. Then Jack and Hamish were in a weird feral place. By the time I got home I was a babbling mess feeling very sorry for myself and totally in need of something to raise my spirits.

The power finally came back on so I made myself a coffee and sat down to watch Buffy. But the crick in my neck was still making me feel aggravated. I decided to go to the cheap little man who gives good (albeit rough) massages in the middle of the shopping center and then I stopped, maybe today what I needed was something more nurturing than a quicky.

I ended up ringing the local day spa (see the post on the Bikini Incident) and booked in for a 30 minute stress reducing massage.

I have just written the paragraph describing the massage 6 times and every time I have had to deleted it because it came off either sounding cheesy or X-Rated. It was neither of these things. The thing is that the best part about a great massage is the touch. At the core it's quiet a sensual experience and thats something thats hard to write about without it feeling graphic. So lets all just pretend that I managed to find the words, or if you have had a really great massage just reflect and you'll know what I mean.

Once again there was a price difference but not as much as you would think. A 30 minute massage, through your clothes in the middle of the shopping center is $30. The day spa 30 minute massage was in a dim quiet room, skin to skin, beautifully scented oils, hot wet towel afterwards (that was the best bit), sweet caring words and a cup of minted water as you leave all for just $20 more. Best $20 I've spent in a long time !!

So now I'm wondering, when was the last time you treated yourself to something that refreshes your soul? Why don't I do it more often? Why don't we all?

Monday, 22 February 2010

Todays Haul (3)

OK I think that this whole second hand shopping might have taken a nasty turn. Not only do I wonder if maybe I am going a bit to often but the prices seems to be a whole lot more expensive at the moment. Although I picked up 12 books, 2 groovy T-shirts, and a new pot. I spent far more than I had expected. Is a bargain still a bargain when it goes over budget? sure each piece was cheap for what it is but still ...

Ok for the record, todays haul (in words not pictures because I can't be bothered taking photos and loading them up)

- 2 T-Shirts, 1 one from Deus Ex Machina, 1 new individually printed black chest bonds.
- 1 big pot, needed because I accidently burnt my other big pot trying to make popcorn and since then everything I have been trying to cook has started sticking to the bottom.
- 12 books: (listed for Treena and my records lol)
Gateway - Frederik Pohl
Here there be Dragons - James A Owen (the cover sold me)
Witch Week, Charmed Life, Wild Robert - Diana Wynne Jones
The Magic Finger - Roald Dahl
Tashi and the Genie - Anna Fienberg
Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell - Susanna Clark (on dads recommendation)
Harry Potter and the Philosophers Stone - JK Rowling (for a gift)
The Complete Homeopathy Handbook
Insects and Reptiles
Dinotopia - Beautiful hardback picture book

Each in great condition and very much wanted. I guess this is one of those times I need to just say budget be blown.

Sunday, 21 February 2010

Mornings in Action

We had one of those weekends. You know the sort where you were busy but have nothing interesting to report. So instead of an interesting fact/fiction filled blog post I am going to post a picture of the boys playing before school on Friday morning.

One of the upsides of Jack being at school is that he and Hamish don't spend enough time together to get annoyed with each other anymore. So although we still have the wrestling (oh my do we have the wrestling) we have far less bickering and the boys are generally really sweet together.

That's me!!! The woman who finds the silver lining *grin* 

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

The Chair in the Air

The woman who lives across the road from us is utterly and delightfully quirky (aka mad).  She is in her late 60s, I think, and an artist. She lives alone, her husband lives around the corner in another house.  Which I think I have mentioned before, sometimes sounds like a great idea.

The other day she invited Hamish and I over for a cup of tea on the chair in the air. I just figured that that was a euphemism. But after the tea was made we wandered outside and there, above her veranda was a deck chair. There was a permanent ladder going up between two sheets of that see through corrugate then a platform built between the beams and bolted on top was the deck chair, with a hole for the umbrella. (Hopefully pictures to come)

Why? Is the first question you may want to ask and I did.  To which her answer was "because I wanted to see the view and so I thought why not"

Well why not indeed!  It got me thinking why don't we put more passion and creativity into our houses? I mean we all put a lot of those things into the interior. So why aren't we more creative with the structure itself.

When we had our first meeting with our architect he asked me for the things that were on my wish list no matter how crazy so I said:

- Polished concrete floors
- A wall of book shelves
- An outdoor shower

The first two are easy and fairly doable but the outdoor shower (when you live in the inner city) is a bit more tricky.  Andrew mentioned that we could just put a shower in the backyard, but that wasn't what I meant. Picture the whole tropical holiday indoor outdoor shower thing and you've got the idea.

When we got the plans back, sure enough there it was. This little courtyard that my shower overlooked and a big glass door that would open out into it.  I don't know if it will end up in the final product (if the final product ever actually happens lol) but this little quirk is the thing that I am most excited about.  Its the thing that takes our potential home out of the norm and fulfills my little, albeit crazy, dream. Its my chair in the air. What's yours?

Tuesday, 16 February 2010

Where Dreams go to Die

I'm pretty open about the fact that I see a shrink. I started when Hamish was young and I was verging on post natal depression and still go once every 5 weeks or so. Sometimes I wonder if its time to stop going.  But then I'll have one of those weeks where and appointment overlaps with me needing a debrief and I decide for the time being maybe therapy is a good idea.

The thing is I have a love/hate relationship with my shrink. She is not your hugs and lollypops type of therapist. She is hard, she makes me work hard. Sometimes that is exactly what I want. Other times I really want someone softer, more in line with my ideologies who I don't have to explain myself to so much. Truth is though someone that makes me work might not always be what I want but I do think its exactly who I need.

The above picture is a photo of the waiting room. Its awful. It smells old, it has old faded pictures on walls that are painted a colour somewhere between grey and cream, it has talk back radio playing and the newest magazine is from June 2008. It could be the most depressing room I have ever been in. It just seems so wrong to have a waiting room like that in a Psychiatrist office. I mean really if I wasn't already in therapy that room could send me over the edge *grin*

(NOTE: pointless post really but it was written while waiting for my shrink.  Do these people ever think that leaving unstable clients waiting might not be the best of ideas?)

Monday, 15 February 2010

Overheard Conversations with a 5 year old

Today after school Jack and I went to preschool to get Hamish. Jack saw one of his old teachers that has been away for a while. She was asking him about school.

Teacher: Are you liking school?
Jack: Yep
T: What are you doing and learning?
J: They are teaching me how to read so that I can read books to other people

That's my gorgeous boy! He is so giving that even learning to read is so he can give to others 

(Look he sure ain't perfect, but oh boy does his heart make mine sing)

As for my little one. Of course he is gorgeous and loving preschool at the moment. On the way there this morning he announced loudly to the whole car "I love all my teachers so much mummy, I want to give them a kiss and invite them to my monkey birthday (which is apparently very soon)"

(Is it overkill if I tell you all what a lucky mummy I am again?)

Listen, Watch, Read

I often feel that I am behind the eight ball when it comes to pop culture. I blame this on motherhood most of the time, but really I didn't give these things a lot of time even before kids. I'd like to though.

But where to start when your this far behind? Where do the people in the know get their know?

Today I decide to blog about what I am currently reading watching and listening to but please note I am, as usual, behind the eight ball.

My external hard drive died a week or so ago so at the moment I am stuck listening to the few things that I popped on my iPod pre its death. Luckily they were my all time favourites and the few new albums I downloaded recently
- Portishead, Dummy
- Kate Miller-Heidke, Curiouser
- The Cure, Greatest Hits
- Clouds, Octopus
- Emilana Torrini, Fisherman's Woman
- Bela Fleck & The Flecktones, Live Art

The one good thing about the death of the external hard drive is that the kids movies are also currently unavailable. This means that we are both having to watch less kids TV but also looking at the video store again for kids movies and therefore adult movies/shows as well.
- House (Season 3), the first two episodes were fresh but I have to wonder if that was all the new stuff the show had for us this season.
- Howl's Moving Castle & Spirited Away, these are both brilliant and I'm loving how much both of the kids are loving them as well.
- Buffy (Season 7), an oldie but a goodie I love having something light, trashy and familiar to watch after I have woken up
- Dollshouse (Season 2), I lost the first few episodes that I had downloaded in the hard drive crash of 2010 but luckily it is playing on Foxtel.
-The Vampire Diaries, as with Dollshouse I have lost a few episodes but I'm now back up to where I was thanks to Foxtel
- 10,000 BC, so crap I turned it off after 1/2 hour cause I just didn't care.
- Big Love (Season 3)
- Lastly I have Defying Gravity and some Mystery Theatre 2000 to watch when times are tight. I'm so excited to watch them but I really need some quiet kid free time so I can pay attention to them.

I am trying some new things this year. Firstly I'm trying to catch up on some classics. Secondly I'm trying to get into some of the comics I have been wondering about. Both of which are lots of fun. The following are just the books I currently have on my bedside table.
- Sandman comics
- The Books of Magic comics
- Sense and Sensibility and Sea Monster
- Wonders of a Godless World
- We Need to Talk about Kevin
- American Gods

So that's my last week in a very large nutshell. What are you L/W/R? Anything your loving that I don't know about? Come on people in the know, share the knowing :)

Saturday, 13 February 2010

Communal Living

My neighbour with Hamish

I went out last night and got home late. My darling huz took the kids out for a few hours so that I could sleep in. I woke at the leisurely time of 9.30am, wandered downstairs, made my breakfast and then went to make my coffee. Horror of all horrors (except having to wake early) we were out of milk. In these situations I have two choices, I could get dressed and walk three minutes up the road to the corner shop, but that would require me getting dressed for a more public arena and it was raining OR I could go next door in my nighty. Its a no brainer!

Thats the best thing about my neighbours. Having me rock up on their doorstep begging for something at 9.30am on a Saturday is just a normal day. Just as it's normal is for one of them to knock on our door at all hours looking for a movie to borrow or rummage through our pantry for spices, borrow a can of tomatoes, a gurney or my car.

I often refer to her as my 'sister wife'. Sure we may not share our husbands but on a regular basis we share our food, childcare and generally live in a fairly communal way.

My kids will often ask to go and play out the front and I will find them hanging out nextdoor being fed lunch and making massive lego structures with the kids nextdoors amazing lego collection. At other times I will be lying in bed at 7.30am listening to my kids play out the back when suddenly I realise that there are two extra voices. When I stumble downstairs I find that the kids nextdoor have climbed the fence and they are swinging in our hammock, screaming as it almost goes all the way over generally running a muck ...

The good part is that after living next to each other for 8 years we have an understanding. There are times when we can walk straight past each other with as little as a a nod in acknowledgement and other times when I could be about to walk into my house but find myself next door drinking tea. We have clear communication so that the boundaries of this borrow and share relationship never seem out of balance and lastly we can both happily say no to each other.

Anyway this morning I was given enough milk for two coffees, offered some bacon and eggs for breakfast (damn me and my habitual muesli eating) and had a quick five minute chat before I came back home and snuggled back on the lounge with my hot coffee still in my PJ's and considerably more dry relaxed and comfortable that I would have been if I had had to get dressed and go to the shop.

When Worlds Collide

Most people have experienced the feeling .... you know your hosting a party and you decide to invite two separate social circles. You wonder how will they go together? It could be magic! everyone gets along, have similar taste in music and the next thing you know your all laughing and dancing. Or you could have the two groups sitting on either side of your yard while you frantically try and divide your time between them so that no one feels left out ....

Thats what I wonder when I see that Neil Gaiman is going to be writing an episode of Doctor Who. It could be magic and I imagine it will be but could I wind up frantically running between the two trying to figure out what went wrong?

Its an exciting prospect never the less!!

Friday, 12 February 2010

Lava ...

You might remember the ring that I had to give back because it didn't fit? And then I found exactly the same ring for a few dollars at my second hand trawl? Well today I was given the other ring that I picked. It was in a beautiful little white box and as I went to open it I started worrying that it may not fit.  Well I need not have worried it fits like a glove and I absolutely love it !!! Just had to show it off in the bloggershpere (is that how you spell that) oh and it was called a lava ring hence the post subject !!

Thursday, 11 February 2010

Home Sweet Home

Anyone who has been to our house knows that its old. Sure we have made some minor improvements to make it livable but mostly if you scratch just a little beneath the surface (and in some areas there is no scratching required) you can see we are living in an unrenovated extremely old house. The main indicators of this are:

- our toilet is
- at last count we have 9 separate leaks
- we have no insulation making upstairs hot in summer and downstairs cold in winter
- we have a bathroom with an unsealed brick floor which comes in handy seeing that there is no drainage so when the bath/shower leaks (which it does every time you use it) it just seeps into the bricks over the next few hours.
- the skirting boards don't meet the floor, which makes for an easy pathway for slugs and other crawlies to enter the house
- our front veranda is barely managing to stay attached to the house so we are not allowed to stand on it
- we have cracked floorboards and holes in the
ceiling and walls
- there is no where near enough space for two adults two growing boys and two large dogs

And trust me I could continue ...

Recently we got some plans back from our architect. They are beautiful:

- a large open plan kitchen, lounge, dining (seeing we have no dining table this is a huge improvement).
- not one but two toilets. Both inside! one of which is in a lovely bathroom that has drainage and a shower that overlooks the tops of the trees and opens onto a secluded (tiny) courtyard so I can finally have my dream indoor/outdoor shower
- an extra bedroom, so we have a boys room, adults room, play room, and study (at the moment playroom and study are both the same room, not really working for anyone)
- one wall dedicated to bookshelves
- most importantly unless we have picked
shonky builders it should be leak free, partially bug resistant and all together more comfortable

The funny thing is as much as I love a good whinge about the state of our house it is still our home. All of the things that get up my nose are still, even after 8 years, just minor irritations. Most of the time I can still even laugh about it.

We have been here before. Five years ago we also had beautiful plans that made me move from thinking and wishing for a nicer home to more specific thoughts about living here while it is done, what sort of flooring/sink/cupboards/cornice we would pick and generally wondering how we would live in a more streamlined house. The last plans were far more swish and far less us ... these new ones are 'family' plans.

Ask me again in two years and we may still be living in our house the way that it is and truly I would be Ok with that (maybe a little disappointed). As long as it keeps most of the rain out, has fresh running water, enough gas to heat it, enough power points to run enough fans to cool it then it is still home. Still sometimes I like to wonder and dream and imagine what if ...

Todays Haul (2)

Got to love a great second hand haul. I had another day of mini bargains;

5 tops - one with a babushka doll on that Andrew thinks is me going a bit far
1 pair of trousers
1 pair of tights - in groovy Scandinavian print
1 pair cherry boots - for Hamish
1 knitted bag - for going out at night
9 books - including 1 set of 3 that I am giving as a birthday present and 1 that I didn't realise that I already had 2 of so will probably sell
1 pair of pointy shoes with mid sized heels - for me to replace the ones I left by the fountain

All for under $30 :)

Monday, 8 February 2010

Conversations with a 5 year old (School, what else?)

Bedtime ...

Me: So are you loving school?
J: (wiggling in bed being a nutter) Yep! And I'm not even scared anymore.
Me: (slightly shocked as he didn't look scared at all) When were you scared baby?
J: A long time ago when you first started telling me I was going to big school I felt scared.
Me: What happened to make you not scared anymore?
J: I realised that all my friends were going to be there then I stopped being scared and just felt excited. I'm really liking school mumma (big grin)

After all the emotions of last week its these type of conversations that let me know, as hard as it was, we made the right decision for us.

Friday, 5 February 2010

It's Friday!!

Good lord what a week. There has been so much to get used to and process that I feel like I could sleep all weekend just to recover.

Jack on the other hand is doing splendidly. He has amazed me at every turn with how centered he is about this whole process and I can't explain how much that has eased my mind. In fact I haven't cried for two days now which is an improvement compared my teary breakdowns hourly at the beginning of the week.

They have finally figured out the classes and Jacks  seems to be filled with lovely children and very caring teachers.  All in all the first week has done a lot to ease my mind.

So all that's left now is to get my head around the 9am starts and missing my boy and were in clover.

Aliens The Rap Version

Just in case you have been off world for the last 20 years and haven't seen Aliens or are a bit of a scaredy cat and don't do sci-fi THIS is the perfect way to catch up.

(thanks Nick !!)

Wednesday, 3 February 2010

Todays Haul

The whole school thing is still making me a little crazy so today I decided that I needed a little retail therapy (it helped that I was paid by my last client today). First I went and grabbed Hamish a Jack a little gift each. Hamish got a special little red cup the same as one that Jack got for his birthday and for Jack I brought a little orange woven fish to go on his school bag so that you can tell it apart from all the other bottle green bags.

Then I popped into the op shop. I scored a few books, a key chain and a ring. They were all great but the ring was an amazing find.

For my birthday one of my friends brought me a ring that I had been coveting for a while but it didn't fit and was the only one left in that style. We decided that I would give it back and I found another ring from the same shop that I loved just as much. All great stuff but I was a bit disappointed I mean did I mention that I have been coveting the original ring for about 6 months . Then in the op shop today I found exactly the same ring for $2 and although it is still a bit small it means that I get to keep the first ring and get the groovy second ring as well.

So I still feel crazy and I think I have a long road to walk until I sit easily within my school mum schoes but at least now I have a few good books, I'll finally be able to find my keys at the bottom of my bag and not one but two very pretty rings to brighten my day ... its the little things

Tuesday, 2 February 2010

Chocolate Mug Cake

And now on a lighter note .... seriously this is TOOOO easy and looks so yummy. Im to scared to try it tonight, but Andrew is away over the weekend so while the cats away ...

Chocolate Mug Cake;
4 tablespoons flour
4 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons cocoa
1 egg
3 tablespoons milk
3 tablespoons oil
3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional)
A small splash of vanilla extract
1 large coffee mug

Add dry ingredients to mug, and mix well. Add the egg and mix thoroughly.

Pour in the milk and oil and mix well.

Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again.
Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes at 1000 watts.

Don't be surprised in the cake may rises above the rim of the cup.

Let cool and eat !!!

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