My life

Lurching from one disaster to another...just a suburban princess trying to get by!



Friday, 29 April 2011

The procrastinator....

I am the original procrastinator...I mean why do today what you can put off until tomorrow?... or next week...

Deadlines often don't mean much to me, you don't know you are alive until you are up at 2am completing an assignment!

I was given this at a seminar years ago; it always gives me a smile and once or twice has spurred me on to get something done before the due date. GASP!!!!!


Enjoy...

In my work life I am very different, have to be...so why can't I get my shit together at home?

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Here we go again...

As a young girl I eagerly anticipated the day that Lady Di married Prince Charles.  It was every little girl’s fantasy, the dress, the flowers, the horses...and the prince who would love and care for you always. The day didn’t disappoint...unlike the marriage.
Looking at the pictures of Diana that day you can see a young girl we all so desperately wanted to be, blissfully happy and in love...
I am sure Kate will be a beautiful bride, and the day as near perfect as they can make it...but the fantasy beyond the big day no longer exists...hopefully William makes for a better husband than his father.

So I will raise a glass to the newlyweds, and probably shed a tear or two...but it just isn’t the same.
And that’s sad...

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

A bastard of a thing...

...Rheumatoid arthritis that is.
MrQ was diagnosed with this disease in his early 30’s.
Life was good, our son was a few months old, MrQ didn’t mind his job and I was a SAHM.
Then one day MrQ did the mowing with our son in a back-pack carrier thing.  A few hours afterwards he could barely move his neck, he was in agony. 
Over the next few weeks he started to grow more and more tired, bone shattering, go to bed at 7.30pm and sleep 12 hours every night kind of tired.  He constantly had a temperature, was weak and ached all over.
The doctor’s couldn’t find what was wrong...we genuinely thought it was the “Big C”, used to cry ourselves to sleep at night...bad times.
He couldn’t do much for himself, was in agony and sleeping constantly. Depression had set in so he was not a joy to be around I can tell you.  I went from having it all to having to do it all. My active, sporty, happy go lucky husband became a shadow of his former self...it almost finished us.
Eventually they diagnosed RA.  We were surprised. Wasn’t arthritis something old people get, giving them another reason to whinge and ugly, bent fingers...it didn’t make you so ill you thought you were dying? No there are two types.  Osteo is a bugger but it isn’t in the same league as RA.
Do you know how hard it is to find a specialist who gives a damn, who seems to know what they are doing...bloody hard.  The drugs available to sufferers of this disease are brutal, and often ineffective.  The side effects can almost be worse than the disease itself.  Then there are the things they don’t tell you about, the painful cysts, the loss of eye-sight, the frozen joints, and the likelihood of osteoporosis...
Eventually we found medication that worked, it is horrible and necessitates frequent liver function tests but it holds most of the symptoms at bay.  They advised that it is usually effective for 10 or so years, it has now been 17 and things are Ok at the moment.  Problem is after this medication there isn’t much left, either drugs that destroy your heart or drugs used in chemo that destroy everything else.
Every week it seems the current affairs shows talk of miracle cures for Arthritis, don’t be fooled, it is nearly always Osteoarthritis.  The fact is, it is not in the drug company’s interests to find an effective treatment or even cure for this horrible disease, they make billions of dollars a years by selling the treatments they have used for many years, why would they bother with a cure? There are never new wonder drugs for RA.
We manage, life is good again.  The disease is there but no longer has a stranglehold on our lives...for now.

UPDATE: After writing this post I came across this article in the newspaper.  I guess for some the benefits may outweigh the risks!  If they can work out the kinks maybe this is a positive sign.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Planning ahead...


When my boy  was 13 he elected to sign up for cookery classes at school, he explained that if he could cook really well he “would get a better girlfriend in the future...”

If only it were that easy!

Monday, 25 April 2011

Thank you...

They shall grow not old,
as we that are left grow old;
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

Our family, like millions of others, have lost loved ones to war.
From the nightmare of Gallipoli to the mud of France, battles at sea to the scorching sands of Egypt and the jungles of Vietnam they fought, some died, the rest were changed men. 
Their women kept things going at home, through the constant worry and fear, the hard work, deprivation and loneliness.
The children missed their fathers, grew up too fast, saw too much. 
As a cadet I proudly marched through the streets on Anzac Day.  Back then there were still a fair few Anzacs and WWI veterans.  I remember the old men with tears in their eyes, medals polished, proudly determined to show their respect to fallen comrades.
There are no Anzacs left now, in fact barely any veterans of WWII survive, and the Vietnam Vets, so badly treated in their time, are now old men.  It is therefore up to us, the younger generations, to ensure that their sacrifice, strength, honour and mateship are not lost to history.
We must listen to the lessons of the past.  Too many young men and women are still giving their lives around the world in war. Families are still suffering. Nothing ever truly changes.
So today I attend the Dawn Service in your Honour. 
I will no doubt shed a tear for the young lives irrevocably changed so that we may be free. I do not pray often, but today I will.
Finally, I would just like to take this opportunity to simply say...
Thank You!

FYBF


Sunday, 24 April 2011

A worthy cause...

Update:  I wrote this post prior to last night's storm.  Flash floods went through the area a music festival was being held in town.  Luckily no-one was killed.  Conditions were terrible with driving rain and fog at the worst of it.  At least 5 helicopters landed at the hospital over the evening, proving the skills and courage of the air-crews.

We live near a major regional hospital.

We can stand on out back deck and see the hospital clearly, can even watch the helicopters landing on the roof.

15-01-2011 Navy Helicopter on helipad of base hospital (just above centre)
The flight path taken by the rescue choppers to land at the hospital is directly above our house.  You can tell things are desperate when they come in so fast and low that the house actually shakes.

You really know the shit has hit the fan when it is the army who fly in.  After the recent floods it was the Navy, not something I ever thought I would see!

Unfortunately, long weekends mean that people seem to hurt themselves far more than normal.  The first chopper  this morning is just coming in I think... they were coming in thick and fast late yesterday.  It is only a matter of time today I am sure as I can here multiple sirens in the distance...

We can tell when there has been a major incident in the area when the choppers keep on coming one after the other. 

Now I don’t resent the noise of the choppers, ever. 

The work done by the rescue guys, it is heroic and very necessary.  They see the worst sights, often working in terrible conditions.  It isn’t just accidents of course, they provide urgent hospital transports for the sick, for tiny babies, anyone needing more specialist care than our town can provide.

Relatives of people I know have been transported, their lives literally saved by these guys.

One of the major agencies operating in SE Qld is RACQ CareFlight.

RACQ CareFlight is a not-for-profit community-based rescue helicopter service which has been supporting the communities of southern Queensland for almost three decades.

With a response time as little as six minutes, RACQ CareFlight has helped more than 15,000 sick and injured patients.

After almost 30 years, RACQ CareFlight’s biggest supporters are still the communities of southern Queensland, who provide almost half of the charitable service’s funding.

If you are thinking of donating to a worthy cause this Easter please consider RACQ CareFlight or the equivalent in your State. Click here to read all about it.

Charlie the Chopper
You never know when you, or someone you love, are going to need them.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

I have a confession....

I have never owned a Barbie doll.

Now as a girl child in the ‘70’s I must have been one of only a few in the world. Everyone I knew had a Barbie doll...I used to go to my friend’s houses and marvel over the range of accessories and dresses and bits and pieces of plastic crap their clearly more stylish parents bought for them.

Barbie seems to be a bit of a slapper...or is that just me?

I had a Cindy doll...pfft. I pretended she was Barbie...

The only daughter I was blessed with came into my life when she was already 10 years old, so way past the Barbie stage. My eldest boy was 4 and obsessed with Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, so no joy there.

My younger son was always a real boy. He gravitated towards mud, rough and tumble and trucks from a very early age. Because I wanted to be the best Mum I could be and raise a well rounded child, one not weighed down with the sexist limitations placed upon children by society (or something), I bought him a Barbie doll when he was about 2. He took one look and then left her in the toy box for a week.

The next time I saw her, her clothes had been removed, her head pulled off and her remains were chucked in the back of a Tonka truck...

It gives you pause when you idly wonder if your son is going become a psycho... When people ask if there were signs of “off” behaviour when he was small...

But then he started to take apart EVERYTHING, toys, trucks, appliances, so I figured he was just a destructive little bugger and not a budding serial killer!

When he was about 4ish, Aqua released the song “Barbie Girl”. Go on, have a listen, you know you want to...





All the kids at daycare, he was friends with mostly little girls it seemed, were obsessed, and their carers let them listen to this song endlessly...

One day my son said “Mummy, I really hate that song...it is driving me crazy!” I suggested that he ask for a different song to be played occasionally but he said ”But Mummy, my girlfriend just loves it, and I want her to be happy...”

Awww...

Friday, 22 April 2011

Easter at home...

Easter...5 whole days this year...magnificent!

Not being religious types around here the focus of our Easter is family.  Hanging around without the normal stress and rushing around that our lives entail.
Time to do bits and pieces around the house, a bit of cooking, a spot of gardening.
As we live in a tourist town, one which hosts a major festival this time of year, there are always a LOT of visitors roaming around aimlessly, clogging up the bars and eateries, cinemas and parks...and the roads, OMG learn to drive people!  Our strategy is to shop early, be prepared, shut the front gates and bunker down.
There are a few Easter must-haves around here:
R  Cadbury Easter eggs – love them all but solid are my favourite.  Lindt in a pinch but none of that compound crap around here!
R  Hot cross buns – traditional fruit only please.  All else is a travesty.
R  Good Friday lunch – a get together involving copious amounts of seafood, chicken and salads.  Lovely.
R  Quite a lot of booze...nuff said!
R  At least one BBQ
A late Easter often coincides with the lighting of the first fire of the year.  Love that.  
This year, ANZAC day falls over the break so it’s off to the Dawn Service, back home to thaw out and then usually a day of TV specials on the history channel about all that was sacrificed for us.  Maybe a bit of footy.  Home-made Anzac bikkies.  Always a low key, sombre kind of day in our household, with thoughts turning to family members who didn’t make it.
How does your family celebrate?

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

Dear Woolies....

I had the misfortune of attending one of your establishments yesterday.
There were bugger all trolleys and those that were there had bits of rotting veggies and rubbish in them...FAIL
You had one of those annoying knife demonstrators screeching about how you can cut shoes and then tomatoes with their knives, or something, I wasn’t listening...  FAIL
Why is there often only one person behind the deli counter doing everything - raw & cooked meats and seafood?  Why do they always have filthy colds, why do I never see them change their gloves - if they bother to wear them at all, and why are there never any FUCKING numbers in the dispenser...FAIL
Why is there barely an aisle without trolleys full of boxes waiting to go on the shelves BUT NO STAFF, just a logjam of angry shoppers?...FAIL
How can you have 10 checkouts but only ever have half of them operating...FAIL
Express aisles.  These should be a crack team of staff, quick, friendly and efficient.   Unfortunately they tend to be the CRAP team. Slow, sullen and bored. Actually, that sounds like a good slogan for you, truth in advertising and all that... FAIL
And on another note, how come Coles gets the lovely Curtis Stone and you have Guy “who the hell is he” Grossi? ...FAIL
And whoever came up with “Easter Feaster” should be shot!
Finally, I tried to use your online delivery service but gave up...some tips about how to get it right here.
So do better please, 'cause I have always preferred you but of late you are letting me down!

Next on the hit list, equally crap customer service providers –
Doctor’s surgeries  -  Banks  -  Telco’s  -  ISP's  -  Airlines

Who gives you particularly bad customer service?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

You may find it hard to believe...

 I wasn’t always a domestic goddess...
...MrQ might suggest that I am not one now...what would he know?
I have curves, big boobs and dark hair; therefore I could be Nigella...if you squint.
My first real foray into the world of domesticity was in year 8 in the dreaded Home Ec classes with Miss Tweedy, she suited her name and I’m sure in earlier times would have been burnt at the stake for witchcraft...not a cool magical type of witch mind you, an evil, scary one with warts!
It was the early 80’s.  The WA education department was trying to overcome the sexist attitudes of the past and make boys cook & sew and girls do woodwork...not a happy time for any of us.
The only thing I remember of those classes is Miss Tweedy trying, and failing, to get the girls to behave like ladies...which we most assuredly were not! He he...good times.
The one thing that stuck with me over the years though is the fantastic cook book we all had to have, Cookery for Young Australians, by M.I Dawe. First published in 1970, it was reprinted, many times.  My edition is from 1981.   
Those of you who follow my blog and went to school with me (or even in WA in the 70's & 80's- for all I know they still use it!) would remember...
Well loved and treasured....
It contains all the classics- how to make a cup of tea, toast, a sandwich...slightly more useful things for young players - pikelets, apple crumble, stew, risotto and some supremely dodgy recipes such as Giblet Broth and Mock Chicken or Fish.

Some of my favourites, ones I still use today, came from the sweet chapters of the books...
Complete with notes from when I was 13...and food colouring...

Above and below...Complete with samples from the 80's, I was not (and still am not) a tidy cook!

I still use this cook book occasionally when my hectic life makes me want to go back to a simpler time.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Missing...

Can you miss someone you have never met?
In December 1999 we went through a lot of changes, new jobs, new town, we changed pretty much everything.
New Years Eve I got sick, really unwell.  I was not well for the next few days, eventually going to the doctor on 6th Jan, long story short, she sent me to emergency.
Turns out I was pregnant...totally unexpected but not unwelcome.
In the hour between the test coming back positive and that first ultrasound I had totally accepted the thought of a new baby...was excited at the prospect.
One thing lead to another and it turned out that it was ectopic.  They sent me HOME.
I made it two more days...ended up back in emergency.  I couldn’t sit, I couldn’t stand, I wouldn’t let them touch me, I couldn’t even pee...
I learnt a few things that day:
R  Morphine doesn’t stop pain; it just stops you caring about the pain
R  It really sucks to be scared and in pain and drugged out and to listen to the patient in the next cubicle having a psychotic episode.
R  You never want the radiologist who gives you an internal ultrasound the be the wife of someone your husband works with so that you will see her socially forever more
R  Nurses are strong!!!  Well, the one who had to lie across me to stop me leaving during the ultrasound was...
R  Even if it is emergency surgery you have to wait 3-4 hours for them to get to you  
R  When the doctor tells you they can do keyhole surgery, sometimes they lie.
R  Unthinkable as it may seem they will put you in a maternity ward chock full of new Mums & bubs.
Everyone was kind, but after a little while people move on.  They expect you to as well.

Over 11 years later and I think of that baby almost every day.  In my mind it was a daughter, she would be 11 in August...
So as I asked, Can you miss someone you have never met?
The simple answer is, yes, you can.

FYBF



Friday, 15 April 2011

I don’t know much....

...but there are a few truths I have picked up along the way.
If you drive a V8, morons in tiny, embarassing shitboxes will try to get you to drag them off at the lights. Resist the urge ...they are dickheads and there is bound to be a cop around the corner. Let them squeal away and have their “victory” and pass them 20m up the road...resist the urge to laugh or flip them the bird, I know it is hard!
If you park in a near empty area of the carpark you will come back to find some dickhead parked 6 inches from your driver’s door even though there was an entire carpark available...
Birds will only shit on a freshly washed car...

Bat shit eats through your paintwork if not washed off within 30 seconds...
If a loved one asks you what you think about their new “plans” and you just know in your heart it will not end well keep it to yourself.  They do not want to hear common sense, they don’t even want your opinion really, what they want is for you to nod and smile and send them to their doom with a happy wave. The when the shit hits the fan, which is inevitable, they want sympathy.... and possibly cash.
Which leads me to the next truth, resist the urge to say “I told you so”, or “it was never going to work/happen/end well.”  You will just be the bad guy.
If you have resisted the urge to both tell them what you think and then gloat afterwards you will still be in the shit for not warning them.
You will be the only one having sleepless nights about their recklessness.
You cannot win, so why even bother?

Thursday, 14 April 2011

A few of my favourite things...

After all of yesterday’s negativity I thought a nice, happy, non-judgemental post was in order.  Boring for some of you but the Seven Cherubs Happiness Project has made me think...
I do have a lot to be grateful for, sometimes I just forget in the day to day rush that is my life!
Here are a few of my favourite things, places and memories (I am not allowed to show pics of some of my favourite people):
My boy, now well over 6’ tall!
2 Weeks old and I'm exhausted!
My Home, my sanctuary – also my place of business, gotta love that!:
My Queenslander...
My cats, who are more like babies, but toilet trained:
Lilly & Max
This kitchen dresser we rescued and restored.  There is another patiently waiting for us in the shed:
There were a lot of hours devoted to this...
My wedding day (with my gorgeous niece, who is now a beautiful young woman):
A happy day...
The Sunshine Coast of Queensland, we usually end up here on holidays:
The Rock Pool, Kondalilla Falls, Montville
Of course this list isn’t complete,  just a few things I had photos of...
What are some of your favourite things, places or memories?

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Arrgghhh...

I am feeling stabby today! 

It is only first thing and already people are lining up to be on “The list”.
To my neighbour, who has two horrible little poodle things.  SHUT THE FUCK UP!  There, I have said it.  Your dogs give EVERYONE in the neighbourhood the absolute shits, barking if so much as a leaf falls.  They are horrible and pointless... But what is worse is YOU.  Your voice has a similar effect to that of nails on a blackboard, either shrieking baby talk at the dogs or shrieking for them to shut up, it doesn’t matter...and stop leaving your bin lid open so your rubbish blows over the fence into our yard...and to your husband, it isn’t normal to mow 3 times a week, and after dark, and in the rain!!!
To the tradies working on the house next door (not the same house mind, oh no, it is coming at me from all sides today!), I am working here, turn down your crappy music and stop yelling at each other...and a special mention to the fat, hairy one...FOR THE LOVE OF GOD PULL YOUR SHORTS UP!!!!!
To the hooker two doors up, take your bins in ‘cause if they end up in my drive-way again I will run them down...and ask your “guests” to park in front of your place, NOT MINE.
OK...and to my gynaecologist, who convinced me that leaving my ovaries in place when I had my hysterectomy, therefore condemning me (and everyone around me) to eternal PMS without the relief of a period...there is a special place in hell for you!!!

Now, with that out of the way I need to go and find something to put on my list for Seven Cherubs' happiness project...



Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Driving me crazy...

I love my husband, I truly do.  But there are times when he drives me up the wall.

Give us an example I hear you say.  

OK, here are my top 5 :

R  He is very  inflexible.  Things cannot be sprung on him, they have to be discussed ahead of time (like weeks ahead) so that he can "prepare"

R  He cannot just buy something or go somewhere, OH NO, he has to research it to death first, lots and lots of google and whirlpool searches, website comparisons and store visits.

R  He is quite handy at fixing stuff, but the fuss and bother involved in getting something done is simply not worth any savings you may make.

R  He would happily live in our local Bunnings store, looking longingly at dodads and whatsits, I will go for a specific purpose, in and out, I don't want to spend the day there.  Same for electronic shops.

R  He tries to tell me what to do.  This makes me crazy, I don't listen of course but nothing shits me more than when he says "I told you to..."


  
Now I'm not saying I'm perfect, but this isn't about me and luckily he doesn't read my blog....

What does your man do that makes you nuts?

Sunday, 10 April 2011

Failure...

I was surfing the interwebs and came across this little gem.  I am sure many of you have seen it, possibly even blogged about it. I refer to the article, The Good Wife’s Guide, Housekeeping Monthly, 13 May 1955.

Over the years these “rules” have caused much mirth between MrQ and me.  Seeing as he didn’t marry a doormat and I didn’t choose to spend my life with a sexist pig our lives don’t bear much resemblance to that of the “ideal” 1950’s household.
Some of our favourites include:
R  Prepare yourself. Take 15 minutes to rest so you'll be refreshed when he arrives. Touch up your make-up, put a ribbon in your hair and be fresh-looking. He has just been with a lot of work-weary people. I was a SAHM until my son was 11 months old, most of the time I was lucky to have had a shower by the time MrQ got home!  Once I went back to work all bets were off.

R  Arrange his pillow and offer to take off his shoes. Speak in a low, soothing and pleasant voice.  Isn’t that how you speak to animals, small children and idiots? Annnnd, there is no way I am going near THOSE feet!

R  Listen to him. You may have a dozen important things to tell him, but the moment of his arrival is not the time. Let him talk first - remember his topics of conversation are more important that yours. Yeah, of course they are *snort*.

R  Don't ask him questions about his actions or question his judgment or integrity. Remember he is the master of the house and as such will always exercise his will with fairness and truthfulness. You have no right to question him.  Oh dear, epic fail there!

R  A good wife always knows her place. Yep, front and centre next to my husband!
Now that our son is older the house is usually clean(ish).  As I work from home it is easier for me to shop, cook and clean – but this is my choice, not his expectation.
I do have nights when he comes home to a bombsite, I can be a cranky bitch and we often have, shall we call them, “robust discussions”.
So it would appear that by these rules as a wife I am a failure.  I believe that we have equal rights, a partnership. Neither one is more important; we have a good marriage based on mutual respect.

How do you “fail” as a wife?

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Ok...that’s it!

I’m sorry buddy but you’ve got to go...now.

You make my flesh creep....just so unattractive with your fat body and hairy legs.

This is just not working for me, with you hanging around my kitchen, always in the pantry!  Just waiting to leap out and attack me.

I never said you could move in.

It is OVER!!!

I have taken out a hit on you...




I want him to take you down!







Friday, 8 April 2011

One month in...

Well my little blog is 1 month old today, it has been interesting, but also more work than I expected.
I love that people from across the world have visited, I love even more that some of you decided to follow me too! Mwah

People who have known me my whole life are learning new things about me and I am making some new friends along the way.
As I get more comfortable with it all I am sharing more, but in this first month I covered some of the big stuff, Beginnings, the early years, My BIG Mistake, Hysterectomy, Sisters and Changes.
And a fair bit of the smaller stuff too – Princes, Cyclists, Hookers and Baby talk.
I hope you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing.