Monday, December 21, 2009

What Christmas means to me..............

Christmas, for as long as I can remember, was Dad in a silly hat, as opposed to his usual wide brim, under the tree, handing out the presents one at a time, then retreating out the back for a nice cold beer.

It is 5 years since he passed away, from a heart attack brought on by undiagnosed pneumonia, and I still haven't found anything to ease the hurt of Christmas without Dad.

So, I am putting my Tribute to Dad here, as my Christmas post.

He lived his whole life for his family, worked a job he hated, lived in a place he despised, and did all those things so that we would have a better life. Never complained, never let on that he was miserable. He wanted the best he could provide for us, right up til the end.

He wasn't perfect, far from it, he was a stubborn bugger (he was 63 when he died) and there was no way but his way, and if you did it any other way it was going to break down. He had some funny idea at times about who should do what (he and mum conflicted a lot over that one when we lived down South). But he was there when we needed him, he loved us regardless of our flaws and mistakes, and he endured tremendous heartache to achieve that.

He showed me the importance of always being true to yourself. The last time I saw him alive, was 8 days before he died. He was at the local supermarket, it was bucketing down with rain, a Friday night. He was in line at the checkout, and I walked in. Me, not thinking, hollered 'That's my Dad' and bounced across the supermarket to where he was. The sight of his 34 year old daughter acting like an overexcited 5 year old on seeing him, with no thought for how other people might view my behaviour, told him that I loved him. And his reaction told me he felt the same. I was just being me, and he loved me for it.

He showed me the importance of just being. We could sit for hours, not say a word, but have a wonderful companionship.

He taught me the importance of being able to tell a good story. Couldn't tell a joke to save his life (neither can I) but storytelling, now there was an art worth preserving.

He inspires me in that he made me realise how important it is to give your children a solid base, one they will have as long as you draw breath, and then beyond. Being able to offer support, without bias or judgement is very important, and makes for a wonderful relationship, if you can achieve it.

He showed me that loving someone, faults and all, can make them better people, even if you aren't around to see it. He loved my mother with all his heart, and she is a difficult woman, but since he has been gone, she has changed, more to what he was. His influence on her has reached it's strongest point, after he has left her.

He made me realise that you can only live according to someone else's needs for so long, at some point, you need to put yourself back into the #1 position. He died a happy man in that he knew his children would be OK, in that we are all capable of surviving whatever life may throw at us, but broken because he was living a life that didn't make him happy. He hated living here, but did it because it was what was needed for us, and Mum, to grow.

I loved my father immensely, miss him every day, and he will always be a huge influence on me, and how I deal with the world, and everyone in it.

There is no 'moral meaning' to this post - but please, if you take anything away from it, let it be that it is important to let those we love know how we feel, be it good, bad or indifferent. And always tell them you love them, be it in words or actions. It can all be over so fast......

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Cultural distances. Or not.

I have mentioned on here before that my husband has no hope of ever understanding me in terms of the background I grew up against. He is from a blue-collar Melbournian family, and I am from grey-collar Southern Tasmanian stock. If his family were lower middle class, mine were lower-middle lower class.

He spent his time with Greeks and Italians, a violent and abusive father, and a loving but helpless mother. Family heritage was not spoken of, and the only extended family he saw was when his grandmother would drag him and his sisters to see dying old people in hospitals. The family violence was ignored, and hidden - he grew up in an era where such things didn't happen, not in nice lower middle class families anyway.

I spent my time with my cousins. For the most part we were shunned by the local community, in the small town where we lived. Extended family was part of my day-to-day life. Our heritage, while not openly discussed (except by Nanna, who was To the Manor Born, and don't you forget it), was accepted as a fact of life.

Familial violence/abuse, while it never happened under our roof (gambling and alcoholism on the other hand, did) were, while not an accepted part of the culture, never far from the surface, and acknowledged as such. If a man beat or otherwise abused his wife/kids, stern words were had by his elders (often punctuated by other means) - so long as he was of a culture other than Anglo. Otherwise, it was swept under the carpet, just as it was in The Mister's world.

The movie Once Were Warriors opens up a lot of memories for us both. My family weren't like the Heke's, but we knew a lot who were, even some family members. We saw what happened, and could do nothing to change it - it was what it was. The violence and abuse of the wife and children echoes what The Mister lived through.

The similarities of our backgrounds actually drive us further apart, rather than draw us closer together. Because he experienced the physical side of the violence and abuse, he feels that he had it far worse than I did. And, in the regard of the things that were done to him, he is right. I am in no way attempting to diminish the horror of what his father did to him. The man was a sick, twisted monster, and deserves to rot in Hell for what he did.

On the other hand, The Mister has never known the feeling of coming home from school, wondering if you will be able to eat tonight, or has all the money for food gone on horses and grog? Or gone to school with holes in the soles of his shoes, because another pair is too expensive, and all the 2nd hand ones are too big/too small. Or if you will have a house next week, after the man from the bank has been around and yelled at your mother that if the mortgage isn't paid, you will be out on the street.

The same, yet different. It's all a matter of perception.

Sunday, November 22, 2009

I don't feel much like smilin'............

because tomorrow we have to have one of our dogs put to sleep. He is old, and sick.

He came home one rainy night with Mr17-at-the-time (now Mr24), he had been rescued. The people who had him mis-treated him horribly, and for quite a while, he was snappy and unpredictable.

As time wore on though, his sweet, happy nature shone through, and he settled into our family. Even now, as old and sick as he is, he is still generally a happy boy. Except when the pain is too much, but even then he tries.

My mum keeps telling me not to feel too sad, we gave him a good life, and definitely extended it beyond what he could have expected had he been left where he was. But it doesn't help much. Neither does knowing that this is the right thing to do, he is in pain a lot of the time - it's cruel to keep him like that.

Mr14 will be accompanying us, and will no doubt hold me up - I have no doubt that I will fall apart - as necessary as this step is, it still hurts.

I will miss my Rexy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Curmudgeons

Yep, curmudgeons. Well, only 1 actually. Gigdiary. Gig to his friends.

Gig and I 'met' quite a while ago on Mia Freedman's blog, Mamamia. He was the one who would pop up occassionally, with sometimes irreverent, always to the point quips.

There were occassions where his remarks upset others, but as a rule, any differences were smoothed over. It got to the point where a reply from Gig was one of the most watched for things on Mia's blog (besides Frockwatch). He was warmly hailed by many of the regulars whenever he cared to share his thoughts.

And then Gig got hisself a blog - where he could be as curmudgeonly as he liked. And he is. And I for one, love it.

Gig is one of those rare people, one of the very few whom understand that it is possible to disagree with someone's opinion, without it turning into a full-on brawl. Most times, we agree. Others, we don't. And that's ok. We agree to disagree, and respect each other the more for that.

So, if you have a spare moment of 2, check out his blog - whilst he IS an old cumudgeon, he is also very funny, and has a great sense of the ridiculousness of the world we live in.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Apologies.............

....... for being so lax with updates.

Work is going bonkers - as it does when the Spring Racing Carnival starts. Not to mention wedding season, and Christmas around the corner.

The Little Family move out this weekend - I am happy and sad all at once. I will miss them, and especially Mouse.

So, updates may (ok, will) be sporadic over the next month or so.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Up & down................

Not my moods, thankfully. A week and a half on the anti-depressants, and those have stabilised nicely. Which is a huge relief, I like having my equilibrium back. What I really look forward to though, is the day when I can have it naturally, without the need for chemical assistance. And that day WILL come, no question. There are a few reasons for that;

While the drugs are working, and I am grateful for the balance, I don't like being dependent on a chemical. I take natural HRT, and I don't even like taking that!

Side effects - of course, these hace to be factored in. They aren't nice; dehydration (which is the last thing I need to cop), upset tummy (water repeats on me ffs!) and physical tiredness (nothing new there). The first and last I can deal with - drink more/sleep more - but the tummy thing is giving me the sh*ts - literally! I am living on Weetbix with rice milk, dry toast, or plain jasmine rice. On the upside of that, I will continue to lose weight.

Cost; while I can get the tablets on PBS for now, the $$$ are still going to add up.

Mental lasiness - I am finding I lack the motivation to stretch my brain (where normally I am looking for opportunities to do so) - which is OK for now, but what about when I start Uni next year?

Hopefully these - or at least some of them, will drop off as time passes. I experienced all of the above last time, but only for 3 or 4 days, and only when I went to the stronger dosage. Maybe because last time, I was in such a deep, dark place that they couldn't drag me out.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

My thoughts on airports

I am working up to a mammoth post about my holiday. I am giving myself lots of distance, so I don't crumble into tears.

So, today I thought we'd start with airports. Love 'em, hate 'em, they are an essential and unavoidable part of modern travel.

Tassie airports; we have 4, I have flown out of 3. They are all basically the same - a concrete rectangle, with big windows on one side, and overpirced food and drink. Freezing at all times, and generally rather depressing.

Melbourne; means business. There's no hiding that this is a serious business, moving people from one spot to another. I quite like Melbourne airport, it's straight forward. The staff are helpful, and polite. And you can get outside, no matter which terminal you are in.

Sydney; I do not like as much - even though it is prettier. It feels more pretentious, and I don't like the layout. Also don't go much on the attitude of many of the staff I have met there. Some were fantastic, the majority had a "Stop wasting my time" attitude. No fresh air in International.

Honolulu; very pretty - open to the air in a lot of places, with live tropical plants all over the place. The staff are always friendly (even at 1 a.m., when all anyone wants to do is go home to bed), even Security were pleasant, and very helpful/empathetic. Lots of fresh air.

San Francisco; a lot like Sydney with the attitude of staff, and the layout is not great. Ovreheated horribly, and no chance of getting outside once you hit International.

Los Angeles; LA may be smoggy, but the airport isn't too bad. A lot like Melbourne in it's layout, and again, you can get outside. There are white hibiscus on the opposite side of the road - near the carpark, which help break the monotony of concrete. There are also huge colour-changing columns that you can see from the entry to International. Staff were great, even Security were relatively friendly.

Reno-Tahoe; An airport with slot machines in it - my idea of a nightmare. This is quite a spacious airport, and you can get outside anytime you want. The staff here were all friendly and helpful.

Monday, October 19, 2009

All plans to the backburner..........

The Mister's mum is unwell (she has Lupus) so we aren't going anywhere in a hurry. Which, while I understand, I don't like. This is not a new development (the lupus), but the sudden decline in health is.

Other reasons offered for this;

* My degree - there is 1 Uni, and 1 campus, that offers this. And he wants me to do it.

* Mr14 - it's not fair to uproot him in his final years of high school.

* If we go now, we may not be able to fulfill my ultimate dream, which, it turns out, has now become his also. He has 1 big move left in him, he says, and he wants it to be the ultimate, if we can do it. If not, well then we deal with it at the time.

* His health - he has doctors he trusts here, and until a few things are sorted, he doens't want to go anyplace.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Congratulations Beachy!!

Congratulations to the Adorable Beach Princess and Mr BP on their marriage yesterday.

I hope your day was wonderful, and that the years to come are the same.

It will be sunny one day.................

A friend sent me to this the other day, and it made me feel better. It's a letter from Stephen Fry to a fan, who wrote to him during a nasty bout of depression.

It is a lovely missive, and very heartfelt, and I thought I'd share it. It has been confirmed as authentic by the man himself in a Tweet, and the original post I saw it in may be viewed here at Letters of Note.

April 10, 2006

Dear Crystal,

I'm so sorry to hear that life is getting you down at the moment. Goodness knows, it can be so tough when nothing seems to fit and little seems to be fulfilling. I'm not sure there's any specific advice I can give that will help bring life back its savour. Although they mean well, it's sometimes quite galling to be reminded how much people love you when you don't love yourself that much.

I've found that it's of some help to think of one's moods and feelings about the world as being similar to weather:

Here are some obvious things about the weather:

It's real.
You can't change it by wishing it away.
If it's dark and rainy it really is dark and rainy and you can't alter it.
It might be dark and rainy for two weeks in a row.

BUT

It will be sunny one day.
It isn't under one's control as to when the sun comes out, but come out it will.
One day.

It really is the same with one's moods, I think. The wrong approach is to believe that they are illusions. They are real. Depression, anxiety, listlessness - these are as real as the weather - AND EQUALLY NOT UNDER ONE'S CONTROL. Not one's fault.

BUT

They will pass: they really will.

In the same way that one has to accept the weather, so one has to accept how one feels about life sometimes. "Today's a crap day," is a perfectly realistic approach. It's all about finding a kind of mental umbrella. "Hey-ho, it's raining inside: it isn't my fault and there's nothing I can do about it, but sit it out. But the sun may well come out tomorrow and when it does, I shall take full advantage."

I don't know if any of that is of any use: it may not seem it, and if so, I'm sorry. I just thought I'd drop you a line to wish you well in your search to find a little more pleasure and purpose in life.

Very best wishes

(Signed)

Stephen Fry

Better today........

The Mister had a Boy's Day (kind of, he and a mate went and visited their respective family members together) yesterday and last night, so I have gotten a bit of breathing space. Him stressing was doing my head in.

Mr14 has gone to Church, he was invited by one of his teachers, and thought "Why not give it a look?" I am rather proud of his open-mindedness, this being the child who is agnostic by choice since he was 6 or so. He is also looking at getting a job where Mr20 works. House rule is: Old enough to work legally, get theyself a job. Easier if he wants to do it though. Money is a great incentive.

The move I dream of is looking like it could now be a 12 months-away thing. The Mister wants to go o/s again next year, and unless we win Lotto, we won't be able to afford a move and a trip. The trip is top priority, due to a number of factors (health of various people being a big one), but I intend to tell him that if we can only afford 2 to go, it should be him and Mr14, they need to bond a bit. I'd LOVE to go see our friends again, but the reality is, 2 weeks is not long enough, and I refuse to take 3 weeks off, to have to sit here and deal withjetlag and depression for 1 of them. And realistically, saving for 12 months would make the move easier. Just means I will be miserable longer.

Also in Mr14 news (he has been a worry of late) I want to homeschool him next year. Aside from the financial burden easing (he is private schooled atm), the stress on me would be a lot less. I wouldn't have to worry every day about him making the bus, or getting home safely. No matter what happens with the feral halfwit, Mr14 will be at risk so long as he (TFH) draws breath. And as I will be studying myself, he can study at the same time. He will have set work hours, and if he fails to comply, there goes his social life for that day. 3 days of non-compliance, there goes his weekend. I just have to convince The Mister. And the Education Department.

Friday, October 16, 2009

(*^%$%#@(*&*#&(&$*&#

I think that covers it. Just barely.

I sit here, my first night back on the accursed anti-depressants, and wish they had kicked in already. I am tense, nervy and just generally stressed out.

Mr14 is being painful, as only a teenaged boy in Feralville can, The Mister is stressed out of his head, and I have to work tomorrow, doing something I am not comfortable with as yet (I need practice), on one of the busiest days of the year. Aaaaarrrrgghhh!!

Also not helping is the knowledge that, miracles aside, I am going to be stuck ehre for at least another 6 months - I want to be moved tomorrow - or last week!! But I am researching various aspects of the plan, and am manipulating it every way I can, to make sure I see all the angles.

The Little Family are getting antsy about getting their own place, and who can blame them? Miss and I had a chat about it today, I told her to hang in there, it WILL happen. One day.

I hate standing still, when I could be/should be moving. I can be quiet and still if the mood/need arises, but when I want to be doing something, I want to be doing it, not siting on my hands, waiting for it to happen. Because, if I have to wait for it to happen, it's obviously not going to.

Today I went to Kmart, and got my birthday present from The Mister - 2 pairs of running shoes. Before you shoot him for lack of romance/thought, he has been hassling me for weeks about what I want for my birthday. Apparently "For you all to forget it/ignore it" wasn't an acceptable answer. And I needed new running shoes....... and am NOT paying $200+ for them, when the cheaper ones (so long as I get the right ones) are just as good, and last just as long. I also bought myself 2 tshirts, 1 blue and the other green. For $12 each, I figured I can't go wrong.

Mr20 has organised himself somewhere to live next year, which is good. A weight off my mind. He is past ready to move out - it is time. I told him that tonight, and he agreed with me. I will miss him, but it is time for him to go and make his own life. I am intrigued by the thought of what sort of person he will be in 5 years time......

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Congratulations to Miss Pinkcupcake!!!

She married her dream man in New York on the 9th of October, and I am so very happy for them.

So, congratulations to the happy couple, and here's to a long marriage, filled with much love and laughter.

Urgh! I surrender.

I give up, I cannot do this anymore. I am applying for a transfer through the Housing AUthority. And if I don't get one, we are moving to Mum's. And then we will save like mad (even madder than already if we are at Mum's) and get the Hell out of Dodge.

This is not ideal, either way. I hate the fact that I am going to be moving because of the nutjob, but I am at the point where there is no other option. My mental health is shot to shit, and my physical health will soon follow. Mr14 is a mess, he is scared witless of this guy.

This is really just the final straw. Mr14 has been running feral for a while, and it's not going to improve. This place is like Feralville on steroids - the only things to do are drink, smoke, do drugs, have sex, drive like lunatics if you have a car, and maybe, if you are motivated, play a sport once a week. Oh, and knock stuff off, and pick fights with everyone you can. Not ideal, and it's getting worse. The majority of the kids in our area are his age, and they are truly feral - no parental control at all, parents who encourage the above behaviour, so what hope do we have?!

I am well aware that everywhere has these issues, but they are generally in smaller pockets. The good areas/people here are the smaller pockets. Very small, and often very isolated, because they are surrounded by ferals.

I have accepted my UTAS offer, now I need to enrol. I still have NFI what I want my specialisation to be - I thought I had to pick between 2 streams, but no, I have to pick from the whole of bluddy UTAS!!! Not helpful at all people - too many choices.

I still have a truckload of mailing to do from when we were away - I am just not able to go into town by myself, and I don't want The Mister to have to sit in the car waiting for half an hour while I mail out - might have to get the Little Family to come with me, Miss and I can take Mouse and go in, Mr can watch the car.

My new washing machine was delivered today - it is currently adorning the kitchen, as the old one is not being picked up until Thursday. It is so pretty, and I can't wait to use it.

Got orthotics for my work shoes today - the shoes themselves are in good nick, but the pain in my feet has been horrid. So far, so good, although I am wearing them in my sneakers, not my work shoes. But i am already noticing the difference. Sadly, orthotics and ballet flats are not compatible.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

I think.....................

...............that Spring might almost be my favourite season. If I ignore the wind, the rain and the hayfever, it is. The flowers are starting to peek out, trees are budding and blooming, the birds are out in force. The whole world looks prettier, on days when I am not getting blown away, or soaked to the skin.

I cannot wait to start Uni on the one hand, and that it is going to nearly kill me on the other. I have been away from formal study forever, and this is some serious hard yards - lots of research (soooo out of practice) and brainstorming(my poor noggin hurts at the thought of that), not to mention report writing (oh help!). I just have to pick my electives, and I am good to go. Of course, I have NFI what electives I want.

I am seriously over the idiot over the road. His campaign of bullying, destruction, and terror continues, and quite frankly, I am fed up.

The common cold is the worst thing in the damn world to have. It drags on, makes you feel like shite, and no-one thinks twice about going to work with it, as "It's just a cold". FFS people, you feel lousy, you have a highly contagious virus in your system - stay home!!!!!

My Kenneth Cole shoes are the best things I have bought in aaaaaaaaages. And not just cause they are comfy - they cost me $45USD, and are $400+ here. Go me. Although, my Bitten by SJP jeans ($3 thankyouverymuch), are running a close second.

That groceries here are outrageously priced. I mean I knew they were before I went away, but the prices just seem to keep climbing. Americans (at least where we were) are so damn lucky, they pay bugger-all for what would be premium goods here. And yet, they still bitch.

That a very long sleep is very much in order. I wish!

Oh, and my mental health update:

I had 2 very bad weeks, I was teary, angry and miserable in turn every day. At one stage, I was picking fights with The Mister, but had no idea what the Hell I was arguing about. It was like there were 2 of me, the one crying/yelling/accusing, and the one standing to the side going "Dude, WHAT THE HELL?!" I think it was just the come-down from the trip, and the fact that I had no time to re-adjust slowly, I just got thrown straight back into the mix within 24 hours.

I have been wearing e/l, lippie and mascara to work every day, except the one where my allergies made my eyes water so bad I couldn't see. It helps, I think.

I haven't been 'dressing' every day, too much work, when all I am doing is getting doghaired, and baby-spewed/drooled for the most part. Today I made the effort (kind of), and got a lot of lovely comments.

The healthy living thing is going ok, I had a coffee and a brownie today, and didn't really enjoy either. My excuse? I am sick, it's already been a long week, and it's only Tuesday. A mouthful of lemon squash the other day tasted lousy, and a cup of tea was vomitworthy. I am using rice milk with my cereal for breakfast, and it's not too bad. Must take some to the barista, so I can try a chai latte with it.

Work is full-on, the Silly Season looms larger every day. Add the Spring Racing to that, and it's ZOMG! Feh! But the money isn't bad (not as good as retail, but I enjoy the work more, and I LOVE the lack of workplace politics), so I will stick it out. Plus, my bosses support my Uni plans, which is a huge bonus. I also get to meet some interesting people, which I enjoy.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Eeehhhhhhhhhhhh..............

That pretty much covers the whole thing.

My allergies are acting up, so I feel lousy. Since we got home at the start of the month, we have had 3 rain-free days, otherwise it has bucketed down.

Idiot is still there - but we got the RO through, so hopefully that will help.

The Housing Authority are dragging their heels on moving him, or us (I don't care, I really don't), and have recently sent the Little Family a letter saying their application for a house had been cancelled. Due to no contact, even though Miss23 had been in the week before, and spoken to someone (I was there!) Tossers!

I go on Monday to apply for scholarships for Uni (Eeeeeeee!) and sort out what exactly will be required of me for the course. Mr20 has applied for a place in Law, which is at the other end of the island, but that's ok, it's time.

Mr14, well, he is 14.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The hip...........

............ is sounding more scary the more information we get.

The Mister and I went to the GP this week for investigations - she was honest enough to say that she knows very little about them, but was happy to ask her husband (a retired ortho surgeon) to look for information on both types, and make an appointment for us to get a 2nd opinion.

Infection is the biggest risk, as with any major surgery, and the local hospital is truly scary for it. Not to mention that of the 4 people I know who have had hips done in the past 2 years, 2 are going great guns, 1 is dead due to infection, and the other has had to go back in for 'adjustments'.

The recovery time is anywhere from 6 weeks to several months. I am not looking forward to that at all, he is cranky enough now. But the end result will (hopefully) be worth it. Hopefully.

A touch peeved...........

.......... just a touch you understand. Actually, monumentally pissed would be a better phrase.

The Mister and I went for a (much needed, and equally deserved) month away - we saved and went without for 4 years to do it (if it all fell apart, that was my Moving Fund). Before we left, I set up bill payments, everything from rent to the phone, all getting taken care of. The fridge, freezers and cupboards were stocked to bursting with food. Cleaning products and toiletries were stocked up, with backups just in case, and we still have the backups. I also still have a supply of dog food, the same stuff I bought before we went away.

Mr20 had $200 to buy school lunch makings for himself and Mr14. Mr24 & Miss23 had their board to buy groceries. That's $500 for a month, if we are being technical, even though they had a 2 week supply laid in.

The cupboards (and fridge, and freezers) are like Mother Hubbard's. They got paid on Thursday, I got back Sunday, and on Monday had to go buy groceries to get us through til I got back to work, and got paid.

So yeah, I am mad as Hell about that. The Mister isn't overly impressed either. And rather glad that I have this blog to rant at, as I know I am being a bit over-the-top, and no-one In the Real World would want to listen to me.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Sunny Day..............

............. so Mouse and I went for a walk to the greengrocer. And I introduced him to the plants in the garden, taking his mittens (he scratches himself) off, and touching his hand to the plant. He had a lovely time bashing the callistomen!

The sun has been out today, and so I went for a 2nd walk. Running is out - the ground where I want to run is too damn wet, and I will not run on tarmac or concrete, my knees would never forgive me.

Went back to work Thursday and Friday for a couple of short shifts - nice and cruisy.

Still have to get my UTAS scholarship application sorted, might give JS a bell this week to make an appointment.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Best laid plans and the like.....................

Ok, so, we are pushing back the whole makeup every day, and dress every day thing to next week.

We got home Sunday afternoon, and came out on Monday morning to our 'Welcome Home' from the nutjob. Thanks! So 2 days were spent dealing with that, and today was spent doing the stuff I was meant to do the pat 2 days.

Back to work tomorrow, so I will at least manage e/l.

The Mister and I have been fighting non-stop the past 3 mornings - up at 4, fight, then breakfast at 7.

Hopefully that will settle down now, I think the worst of the crash is over.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Heading back tomorrow.........

........... and on the one hand I am excited (see the children) and on the other not (all the wonderful people here, and the mountains). But we will be back.

Thanks to my woeful kidney (cracked up the other week) I missed my chance to see the Bellagio ceiling, as flying was definitely out of the question. I am now on a no dairy, no caffeine, no sugar, no alcohol, avoid salt and fats where possible diet. No, not a 'diet' diet, this is how I have to eat for the rest of my life. Minimum 3 litres of water a day. *sigh*

On the up side, I have lost an inch off my tyre - I know this by the way my shirt looks on me. This is due to the whole avoiding certain foods things. When we get home I will be starting up running again, or at least, jumping on the exercise machine in the lounge. It all depends on the weather. Raining, on the machine. Not raining; out running.

This eating plan is my idea, the doctor I spoke to backed me, as he (and every other doctor I have ever seen) has NFI what is wrong with me. The general consensus is that they will give it a 19th Century name, and leave it at that. I am allowing exceptions:

My mother's wedding. 1 glass champagne and whatever I want to eat.

Karen's wedding. 1 glass of champagne and whatever I want to eat.

My children's milestones; 18ths, 21sts, babies arriving, engagements and weddings, same deal.

If I am at someone's home, and they have gone to the trouble of preparing a meal, with dairy or whatever in it, I will eat it. Store-bought no. Homemade, yes.

I got an email from UTAS today, it seems that the Business course I wanted to do is being shifted to Hobart from next year - which will make doing it rather more challenging. As anything to do with Business is going to be challenging enough, I am looking at doing Regional Resource Management, which is available only at the campus closest to me (still 90 minutes each way by bus), and has components of Tourism in it, along with a truckload of business subjects. So that may be the way to go.

In terms of my mental health, I am 99% sure I am going to hit a bump when we get back, The Mister did last time, and I am pretty sure I will too. This place grabs you, and it doesn't like to let go.

My relationship with said Mister is much better here, he is like the man I fell in love with - I think it is almost purely environmental. His moodiness and general depression that is. I am somehow not surprised. I hope it carries over once we are back, but am not overly optimistic. At least I know he is still in there. There is hope.

The shopping here is great, but I didn't go too bonkers. I got a bit of B&BW Warm Vanilla Sugar stuff, a pair of shoes (Kenneth Cole), a pair of jeans (Bitten by SJP), a random T-shirt, and 6 eyeliners (2 M.A.C. and 4 Sephora brand). Mr14 did really well - 6 T-shirts, 2 pairs of shorts, a pair of jeans and a truckload of candy.

To help me get over the inevitable bump, I have a plan:

'Dress' at least a little every day - rather than living in trackpants.

Wear some form of makeup 5 days a week, even if it's just clear mascara.

Do something with my hair every day, even if it's just a pony with a quiff.

Take some 'me' time every single week. A couple of hours minimum.

Keep on top of maintenance - hair every 6 weeks, brows every 3. Always.

Get back into exercising.

This is a long-term plan. I am thinking that if I do this, it will help me beat this accursed depression. I am tired of dealing with it every damn day. And I will beat it. Because there is no other option.

Friday, August 21, 2009

Halfway through our holiday.

Weather glorious. We survived San Francisco, which was sooooooo foggy you couldn't see the Golden Gate Bridge until you were on it. Visited Japantown, Chinatown, Golden Gate Park, Fisherman's Whard, and saw the Samurai exhibition at the Asian Museum. Came close to getting mugged in the Tenderloin - we got (wrong) directions from our concierge.

The Mister's hip has eased a wee bit - we are going to investigate options for replacement when we get home.

The Nevada desert is just lovely - it's high desert, so plenty of water. We walk outside, and see blue skies, sagebrush, and the whole thing surrounded by mountains.

We went to Virginia City (Silver City) and I sent Uncle Tom a postcard with the Bucket of Blood saloon on it, I think he will get a kick out of that arriving at his nursing home.

I must say though, I really miss Mr14, horribly.

Friday, July 31, 2009

An unpleasant post.

Our legal system, we would all like to believe, is based on the precept of "Innocent until proven guilty". Bad guy gets arrested, goes to court, found guilty, goes to gaol. Victim picks up pieces, and moves on (hopefully). Sadly, that isn't the way it works.

My husband was charged with molesting his daughters (from his first marriage) - this allegedly happened 10-15 years ago. It took 6 years of turning up to Court every month, to be told 'Come back next month', chasing statements and documents, for someone to look at all of the evidence, and throw it out. Mis-matched statements, outright lies (even under Oath), missing or 'destroyed' records, it kept going. A juggernaut of deceit and destruction.

Child sexual abuse is a heinous thing, and anyone guilty of it should be - treated accordingly. We won't go down that road today.

But what about the wrongly accused? My husband did no wrong, but his name was repeatedly published in the local paper, along with a graphic description of his alleged crime. We, his family, who also did nothing wrong, are forever ready to fend off those who believe that because it was in the paper, it must be true, and that we are guilty by association.

If he had been guilty, the victims of his crime would have been offered counselling, and every form of support available. If he had been guilty, I would agree that, and much more, would be appropriate.

He isn't and neither are we. And yet, when it was all over, we got - nothing. Not even a "Sorry, we made a mistake." We have been left to find our own way out of the emotional mess that 6 years of fear and loss have caused. It is a long, dark, scary road. None of us will never be the same again, and the repercussions will sound through our lives for many years to come. Probably the rest of our lives.

We live in the same small town as we have for the past 30 years, where our children grew up. Every day we walk out the door, we face the spectres of his accusers, and those who accompanied them down the road to our devastation.

Every day, I make the commitment that I will keep my chin up, no matter what. And every night, I weep for the innocence that was ripped away from my younger children, and the victims of the monsters who walk around free.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Visited!

And while he is certainly looking frailer, and older, he is still fiesty and crotchety as ever. And desperately bored and lonely. I am going to visit regularly when we get home, and take him some pictures of the kids.

The home itself seems ok, it is a very new set-up, so still in the teething stage of things, but he says it's not too bad, as those places go.

The Mister is worrying about what the consequences of having/not having the hip replacement are. He is concerned that I will lose out on work/have issues with Uni. I told work from the get-go, that he had a degenerative bone disorder (I wasn't thinking of OA, rather the itis that starts with spo....) and that if he got to the point where he needed me at home, I was walking away. They won't be happy, but I was upfront from the word go.

We have agreed that we will assess the options once we get back from our holiday. The pain has been super-intense the past 2 days, where they had him manipulate it to a painful point so they could get proper xrays of it.

Feeehhhhhhhhhh!

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

So much..........

............ for a bright pink laptop detering the boys. Mr14 loves both the computer itself, and the colour. He is currently putting it through it's paces with a game of chess, set to the tunes of Madina Lake. *bless*

It turns out that Uncle Tom is not as bad as we were led to believe, which is a huge relief. I am not quite so terrified now.

And so, in the Universe' way of balancing good with utter crap, The Mister shared the rest of his bad mood news - not only does he need a hip replacement, the degradation is due to Osteoarthritis. He is depressed and terrified. Can't blame him.

The feral neighbour is still being feral, Mr14 is not coping well with that at all. So not fair to him.

Mr20 is still sick, this is the third week of this. He missed the Uni Entrance Exams today, but can re-sit later in the year if he has a Medical Certificate. No worries there. He has a lot of stuff to catch up on, but with some intense tutoring he should be OK.

The Little Family are doing well. Mouse is teething, poor little bugger. All he wants to do is snuggle, and of course, Nan is happy to oblige.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Mister.............

............ needs a hip replacement. Be fair!! Arthritis has eaten away half of the ball joint of his right hip. The surgeon wants to do it ASAP.

He is very lucky (The Mister, not the surgeon) that he told me this over the phone, because immediately after that happy news, I said I had moved a chunk of my tax return to his account (he has to go into the bank to get it out, we use it for savings) and he said "Why didn't you move it all?"

How about, because it's not the 1950's and I worked freaking hard for that money?! Fark! He is really cruising to get his head ripped off if he doesn't pull it in and damn soon.

ETA: he came home and explained himself - he has a plan, and it's a good one. Makes a lot of sense, and will save us $$$. And, he took me laptop shopping, and is setting it up as I blog.

Monday, July 27, 2009

This time next week.........

........ I will be on the other side of the globe, in Summer. Relaxing after 20-30 hours in planes and airports, and missing my kids.

I have about a million things to do (ok, not really), and a couple of *minor* decisions to make (take Parlux/leave Parlux at home). So yeah.

But we are almost ready to go, The Mister has to pack. I have to do the last bits of mine (the Parlux), my reading material for the flight. I have to (well, I don't have to, but am going to) pick up a few essentials for the household. Oh, and tomorrow we have to order a mobile phone to be delivered to the place we will be staying at, cheaper than Telstra International Roaming.

The 1 thing I have to do - which I kind of don't want to, is go see my Uncle Tom. He is in a nursing home, after being in a 'retirement village' for the past 18 months, which I had no idea how to get to. He was in hospital for 10 days before any of us knew, and we only found out because one of his nurses knew Mum, and rang to say "Did you know?"

He has had a toe removed. As a result of gangrene. So will likely not be here when we get back, and even if he is, his mind will be gone. I don't want to go see him, I want to remember him how he was, and it will kill The Mister, his Dad went the same way. But I have to, some part of me is insisting. I'm blubbing now, crap!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Well, the lawyer.............

............ is optimistic. And supportive. And expensive! But we can pay it in bits, which is a bonus, no way could we pay $200 an hour up front.

Everyone here is sick, except for myself, Mouse and Miss23. Yet. Mouse has a tad of a cold, thanks to a tooth. Miss is ok, and me, well I have so many antiobiotics running through my system, there is now way I should get sick. In theory anyway.

Today Mouse and I went into town, it was a beautiful day. We windowshopped, and had a coffee. It was great. He knows his Nan - the minute I went in to say Good Morning, he started smiling and wiggling on his mum's knee. So I 'stole' him. He snoozed into town, woke up for coffee, and a spot of shopping, then we ran all the way home.

We did make a purchase, we bought a Jeans for Genes badge/pin thing. And a Hissyfit clear tinted moisturiser (yes, that IS an oxymoron) because the U/C isn't rich enough, even with Ole offering a boost. And I only have the travel-sized U/C, which is packed, so I needed a daily moisturiser. No Buy is holding. Except for the bracelet and pin I bought for my friend L for Christmas (50% off) and the ring I got for Miss23's birthday ($40 - titanium). I plan on getting Miss18 a pendant from the same place for Christmas. All these things were/are on sale, so the saving in the end is quite good.

Oh, and Adore posted an article of mine, this one about my planned trip to the Mecca of all skincare/beauty junkies - Sephora!!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Well, it just keeps getting better!

Today was spent doing battle with The Law. I think I made headway. I am not sure. What I do know is that The Law does not know how to deal with a woman who doesn't swear, yell, cry, or try to throw her weight around by standing/slamming around the room while doing any of the former. I remained seated, I didn't yell or cry, and I didn't swear. I stated what I felt clearly, and passionately. The Law was at a bit of a loss. Mr14 was astonished, and rather impressed. The Mister was disbelieving, as was Mr20. I tend to be a wee bit fiesty when upset. What no-one realised is that I am beyond upset, I am well and truly mad. Not a good place to have me........

Tomorrow we go to The Lawyer - not The Awesome Lawyer, there's a conflict of interest issue, but recommended by The Awesome Lawyer, so I am hopeful.

And you know what really pisses me off about today? I had 3 items on watch on eBay - a top (well, a short dress I would wear as a top) and 2 actual dresses. Grand total they sold for was less than $10, and postage would have made it less than $20. And I missed it!!!! Gaaah! Now I have to spend hourrrrrrrrrrs trawling through the rubbish to find good stuff again. I might start now.............

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I got my chocolate.......

.... ate half and binned the rest. It was awful! He got me Cadbury from the servo, which was lovley, he knew Mum needed chocolate ASAP. But Cadbury themselves munted it - they now add in vegetable oil, and it's ruined the chocolate.

It tastes dodgy. Like el cheapo imported chocolate from the $2 shop. That sucks.

I salved my disappointment with The Departed, and Midnight n the Garden of Good and Evil. I love both those movies, great storylines, Midnight has great backdrops (all those old Southern houses/streets/gardens) and The Departed has Di Caprio (setting aside his age), in the only movie where I have ever even remotely gotten his sex appeal. I loved him in Gangs of New York, and Blood Diamond, but until The Departed I never got the rest of it.

Ho hum, I had best go clean up the driveway before work, someone (have a fair idea who) broke beer bottles all over it.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Great googly moogly! What a day!

Had a run-in with the neighbour. So over it.

And it's bucketing down. I hate wet, windy weather. Real cold - the kind with frost and ice, I can handle.

'scuse me, going for some soup............ where is my chocolate?

And it has arrived! Yes! He loves his mother!!

Friday, July 10, 2009

Oh, and............

.............. the reason the whole Make an Effort thing was waiting til 2010......

There's no bluddy room in this house. We are like sardines. I have nowhere to store my clothes (currently all in a suitcase in the lounge where I sleep). I am constantly in the garden/being thrown up on by a baby/the house is a mess due to crowding, thus my clothes will be wrecked. I am not mentally in a place where I am motivated to try that hard. Yet. Notice, I say yet.

It's been a long, hard road to get to the point where I can even assess the need for a decent 'robe. I am taking baby steps - I bought new earrings, a 'statement' ring, a bracelet, and I am of course, wearing my wedding/engagement bands every day, as well as my necklaces for Mum/Dad and Mum/Pete. And the one my sister gave me.

I have been totally unmotivated. My world was crashing down around me, and I was so busy holding things together, I wasn't worried about my appearance, just surviving. Then I had to give up my cat, and that nearly killed me. Now I am starting to think I need to look a bit (or rather a helluva lot) better. Effort must be made, but before I do it physically, I have to get there mentally. I am working on it.

I still have my bad days, where I want to hide. But I don't. The people who accept me in my Feral Bogan clothes will accept me when I try. And anyone who doesn't understand that clothes do not maketh the person, well, pity them. They are missing out. And no, I am not that conceited. Miss23 dresses in Feral Bogan clothes, but she is a wonderfully sweet, daft, vague, well-spoken young lady, with a huge heart and a gentle nature. And quite a powerful intellect. Judge a book by it's cover, or a person by their attire, at your own peril.

As promised..................

Here is a peek into my 'robe. I have not included the 2 pairs of knee length khaki shorts, half a dozen Bonds singlets, old (and not so old) trackies, hoodies etc. They aren't wardrobe items, they are comfort clothes, and should never be worn further than the corner shop. But they are. I also haven't included a pair of grey pinstripe pants, they are classic style, as are the tweedy brown pair I *hope* to fit into again - they don't photograph well.



The reason I have so little is - well, there's no single reason. After the legal battle from Hell, I tossed ALL the clothes I wore throughout - several pairs of pants and a couple of shirts. I kept the shoes. My weight was waaaaaay up throughout most of the battle, I was depressed, and when I am depressed, I eat and don't exercise. And I refused to buy clothes while I was the size I was, I was desperate to lose weight, but I wasn't motivated. Now I am.


Also, depending on the way things went (for the longest time it wasn't looking good) we may have had to move, and I didn't want to buy clothes here, to cart there, and them maybe not be appropriate.



Please excuse the wrinkles, current living arrangements make ironing an uphill battle.



Shoes=knee high black boots with a 3" heel, Caterpillar casual walkers (khaki) Gold & black strappy slip-ons with a 3" heel, Red and black slingbacks with a 2" heel, Gisele B Ipanema shoes, the ones with the back strap. Layne B sneakers.




The only thing in this whole list that was new when I got it, was the trench - it was a gift. The rest is op shops, family members hand-me-downs, or eBay cheapies. Except the shoes, they are all bought new. I have a thing about shoes.............

Ladies, meet Mr Sling from Deadly Ponies, in all his sexy glory. He comes out in at least 1 amazing colour every collection, as well as a granite/black or brown.










Now, I do love my Rocking Horse bag, I do, but I soooooooo want Mr Sling. Oh, and watch this space for a peek into my (extremely pathetic) wardrobe, minus the gardening clothes, and trackies.


For reference, the Rocking Horses:


Wednesday, July 8, 2009

What are you lot doing to me??

First, those (super stylish) Kiwis got me desperately wanting to find the perfect dress, and something that resembles a sense of style. And now, my lust for the bag to end all bags, A Deadly Ponies sling, has been re-awakened. Noooooooo...................

I fell in love with Mr Sling a couple of years ago, when he was purple suede. Then he was cerise leather. Both times, out of my price range. This time around, he isn't overly bright, unless he is orange, and I am not a fan of orange. That's IT! I am going to save up, and get me a Mr Sling, in whatever bright colour he comes out in next. Unless he decks himself out in acid green, or mustard yellow. Because they won't work with my wardrobe either.

On the hunt..................

.......... for the perfect dress. Black, or charcoal. Kinda fitted, but not showing lumpy bits. Not making me look pregnant or barn like, or like I am 38 going on 60 in the late 1950's. Just above knee-length. Day or evening wearable. Must look good with boots. Will only be worn with boots.

This is the bane of my existence, finding a dress that looks good. I have a long torso, short waist, and am quite broad in the hip and shoulder. Not to mention I was built with plenty of both T&A. And I stand all of about 5'4"...............................

Actually, finding anything that doesn't make me look try-hard feral bogan, 1950's granny, or barn sized is a challenge.............. Add to that the fact that I take offence at paying $200-$300 for an item of clothing, that isn't a complete outfit in itself and we have a big problem. Shirts, pants and skirts should not cost more than boots. Dresses may. Because, well, they are dresses.......

I wasn't planning on clothes shopping when I go away, but now, I think I may have to. The inspiration for this? MissLadyFinger, whose outfit in her blog yesterday had me drooling over her dress - it is gorgeous. It'd never work on me (those lumpy bits I mentioned) but oh! how I want a dress that looks that good on me.

To be fair, MLF does not have to carry this burden alone, I am also being inspired by Andrea, who also posts stunning outfits on her blog, particularly the jacket we are both in love with. And the fact that I made a deal with myself that in 2010, once I got my house/life in order, I was going to make an effort of some sort every day. Even if I still live in trackies, they will be *nice* ones.

Ah, dreams.......................

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Who's bright idea.............

..........was it to get an exercise machine? I mean, seriously! The Mister saw a late night infomercial the other week, woke me up to watch with him, and decided to order the machine in question. It arrived today. At least he might use this one, the home gym was used to store laundry, and the exercise bike became a toy for the kids. But deterioration of health may inspire a bit of effort. He is giving up smoking again, he went 6 months cig-free, got belted over the head, and started again. He is using the tablets to do it - they worked last time, although the first week he was a mess.

I can't vouch for much as yet, butthis machine surely gives a good leg workout, and the cardio part of it's name is true. ZOMFG!! Utterly buggered is me. Probably partly because in the past 2 days I have walked a lot, and moved 2m of mulch. As well as that damn machine. I can feel my legs, my back and my abs............. The Mister feels his legs and back when he is on it (both are munted) but not his abs - not even sure he has abs any more, gut yes, abs, maybe. Me, I have abs of steel, under a reasonable layer of insulation - I know this, because a gym instructor pointed it out. As did the ultrasound guy a few weeks ago.

At present Mr14 is having a go, and telling me how boring it is.

Oh, and the other thing that happened today (today is a good day so far) I got my Special Employees licence, so I can drive the Keno machine, officially. Now I just have to learn all the TOTE rigmarole, and I will be on!!

Apart from that, there's not a lot of excitement happening, f***wit being a f***wit, a bit of refinement of the Sephora wishlist, a touch of eBay dreaming. Oh, and I joined 2 groups on Polyvore.............. And my front garden looks freakin' awesome!!!

Monday, July 6, 2009

*Bawling in frustration*


So, tonight I lost my phone charger. No biggy, you say. Well, in the grand scheme of things, no. But, in my world, where everyone else and their crap comes first - always, it's a huge deal. If their stuff goes AWOL, everyone has to drop everything, and hunt til it's found. Without whining.

To be fair, they did help me look. But they all kept telling me to calm down. I DON'T WANT TO CALM DOWN!!! I want to yell and scream and rail at the world. I am fed up with coming last in everyone's estimation, including my own. I have no idea how I am going to get through the next 6 months without committing murder........

Anyway, now I have that off my chest - I am going tp put up a picture of my Dad's 'occassion/event' cardigan. He wore it through the '70's, on weekends. The '80's it didn't make an appearance, as he was in a 7 day a week job, except Easter and Christmas. It came out once or twice in the '90's, and not at all in the noughties - we talked about burying him in that, or his maroon suit, but went with his old, comfy work gear, slippers and the ever-present hat.

Anyway, here is the cardi - when I find a picture, I will show you the suit.



Notice the detail............





Do not get me wrong, stylistically challenged or not, I loved my Dad, and I miss him every single day. He played a huge part in making me who I am today, and, while I know that he knew I loved him wth all my heart, I just wish I could have seen him 1 more time, to tell him again. And then, to pour my heart out to him, and hear him tell me what a load of shite it all is, and that I'll get through it. And then sit, sip a cuppa (or a beer) listening to ABC radio, or just the silence, for hours on end.

Monday, June 29, 2009

Ehhhhhhhhhh......................

Onto my 3rd lot of antibiotics for this damn chronic infection.............. gargh!! I also have a $60 nasal spray script to fill, once I finish the tablets.

Miss23's kids were utter brats this last weekend, sooooo bad, and it's not just me saying it!! the doctor is going to write a letter to the Housing Authority to get the little family a new place, as the current arrangement is responsible for my being sick.

Work is picking up nicely, although if I never have to work or clean up after a 21st again it will be too soon.

My titanium ring is here and is gorgeous - I now want another ring and a bracelet. They don't have any rings that grab my fancy in my size, but there's a bracelet......

I am also lusting after a few Smashbox items, and the worst thing is, it's stuff I would use. I have to work out how to make it fit the No Buy!!

I just found half a bottle of Vanilla Coke I had on the weekend - it tastes so very, very good. Probably because it's a guilty pleasure, and it's room temperature.

I am going to buy some - chipbark kind of stuff this week, and put it on the garden this weekend, weather permitting. Or weather not permitting, depending on the brats behaviour. I am going to start with 1 metre, and see how far it goes. It's $45m, so not too exxy. I weeded last weekend in preparation for this. I just want the garden relatively weed-free and controllable before we go away.

Only 4 weeks til we leave!!!! The most exciting part for me at the moment, is the fact taht I will have a month of sleeping in a real bed!!

Web Design is sucking royally - I wish I didn't have to keep my brain active in preparation for Uni next year, but I do. I am having to write HTML in Notepad. Why I ask you?! Frontpage is for writing websites, and there's Google if you get stuck, so why do I have to make my head ache with this stuff? Although I did put in links, lists, headings and pictures by myself, without bothering The Mister - I am pretty stoked with that effort. Oh, and I have changed the background colour 3 times so far! So yeah, while I am hating it, it's not all bad, I get to play with the pretty colours.

Things to do before we go away:

Buy sunscreen
Buy earplugs
Stock up random grocery items
Do my tax return (and pray it comes back in time)
Buy some more Ole H Red Tea Mist (this is a replacement)
Notify Centrelink

As I wrote that, I remembered, I think I am going nutso - I have been stockpiling the esential items for when The Mister and I go away, stuff like toilet paper, laundry and dishwashing detergent, shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, soap etc. What is with that? Everyone here is capable of grocery shopping, but I am stockpiling anyway.

And on that cheerful note, I am off to - do something............

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Blergh!

So, I have a diagnosis - stress-induced fibromyalgia. A change of lifestyle is ordered bwahahahahahahahaaaaaa................

I am tackling Web Design - I have to write HTML code in Notepad - this is what Frontpage and Google were invented for!!

I am also proof-reading The Mister's Qigong system paperwork, and learning the exercises. My poor brain is going to explode!

Mr14 is home with head lice yet again! He is one unhappy camper, and who can blame him!

Mouse is now in a porta-cot - he is growing so fast! Won't be long and he will be crawling around underfoot - that will be interesting. He is still very much Poppy's baby.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Ah bum!!!

I have once again, been to the doctor for what was, for years, diagnosed as Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. And finally, I have a hope of a diagnosis that makes sense!! The doctor, after reviewing my files, thinks I have an Inflammatory Disorder! I have Googled (yes, yes, I know, self-diagnosis and treatment are bad) and the symptoms fit sooooooo well. I know the doctor explained, but I was trying to get my head around the fact that I had to have blood taken, and a shot of antibiotics, while my skin feels like 1 great big bruise.

Blood results will be back tomorrow, I am on oral antibiotics, and I go back Friday for another review and chat.

I think The Mister is feeling a bit guilty at the moment, I got home and told him what had been said and done at the Doctor, and his comment was "How can they say inflammation? you aren't sore anywhere." I didn't get angry, or even upset, I just looked him in the face and said "Actually, my entire body feels like a giant bruise, has done for days, that's why I got the appointment." and left it. So now someone is battling the guilts.

I am so tired, I just want to sleep for a week. Which is part of what is wrong with me. I have the electric blanket cranked up, a bottle of water, the TV. And no chocolate. Because it's been upsetting my tum.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Oh, and.....

I am doing well on my No Buy. Scarily well. Especially when you consider it was inspired by a friend (Miss Pink!) mentioning an article about not shopping, which appeared in a magazine whose whole purpose is to encourage people to shop!

I went on this months ago, to force myself to use up the samples and partially used skin and body care stuff I had about the place. Once I got that done, I kept it going so that I would have an excuse to shop up a storm in the States. Although things for my trip were then allowed (clothes etc), most of that I got on eBay, or at retailers on special.

The rules were simple: replacements for dead items only. Gifts for others. I even had a list:

What I am allowed to buy:
Eye cream
Night moisturiser
Hand cream for my bag
Cuticle balm
Shampoo and conditioner
Facial scrub
Razors
Cotton pads for toning after masks
My 3 times weekly cup of coffee/chai - this is my big luxury, and I am not giving it up.


What I am NOT allowed to buy:
Body creams/lotions
Makeup of any sort
Body washes
Masks
Clothes
Shoes
Books/magazines
Jewellery
General accessories
Candles
Chocolate/lollies/junk food generally

I have actually been remarkably good. I didn't give up chocolate entirely (sacrilege to suggest it!) but, I made a concious effort to be aware of everything I bought. And I am doing quite nicely thank you.

I haven't stopped with the non-essentials altogether - I am buying the ring I mentioned in an earlier post, and I bought a bin for next to my desk today, but I am no longer buying stuff (even $5 stuff) getting it home, and going "Why?"

I can justify the ring though - I am getting a new job, and a new job warrants a New Job Present to Myself. Which is how I get the ring.

My Body Shop at Home order? I am almost out of body moisturiser, I have no mascara (I use clear) and can't find any no matter where I look, I love their handcream and Miss Soon to be 4 killed most of the last one. So replacements. And, by sending the order with Miss23, and not going myself, I don't buy non-essential items.

I got my GoSmile toothpaste on sale for 50% off (and it was a replacement), and while the Ole Henriksen shampoo and conditioner I plan to purchase ASAP is exxy, it has eased my scalp dermatitis, at a time when my allergies are going nuts. SO I don't care - although THe Mister might if he saw the price.

My Natural Instincts order? I needed containers that wouldn't smash in my luggage, and this was cheaper than local options, even with postage. Plus, I got a $13 free gift with my $5 order.

I bought 2 sample sized tubes of U/C Daily Moist with SPF30+ for $15 (including postage) enough to get me through til I get home, thus saving $45.

I laybyed 2 pairs of Layne B trainers when they were Buy 1, Get 1 60% off. Got 2 pairs of slippers at a discoutn shop for $15 for the 2.

My plan for shopping in the States? Get me a Cash Passport (on the sly, The Mister won't know) and use that to make the bulk of my skincare/cosmetic purchases. I plan to stock up on Ole Henriksen, because even with the exchange rate, it's 30% cheaper to buy it there.

Now, the picture of this bag......... and my bin, cause it's pretty too.



Still stonkered.................

.............although I now know why. I have 2 people in quarantine - Mr14 and Mr20 have a lurgy. Mr24 and The Mister have nasty coughs. Mouse is 'ish' - but I think he's going through a growth spurt. Sick people wear me out. Not to mention TPN pulled more of his nonsense the other day - that wiped me out.

Also, The Mister has - what's the word I want here - enlisted, that's it - me to help him build a Qi Gong system. Which is great - Qi Gong is all about energy. But until my poor system is used to it, it's going to be hard yards. I get tired easily at the best of times of late, if I have to concentrate, let alone use my brain for 6 hours a day.......... and then have massive amounts of energy belting through my body. He doesn't get it, "It's supposed to energise you!" Yes, well, no doubt it will in the future, but for now, it's a battle. In some ways, I do feel better, I just need a wee kip after each session to gain the full benefits.

6 weeks til we go on holiday and counting. I have more of my bits and pieces for the trip, got given a white handbag to take - a friend gave it to me. It's very nice - I would never use a white bag here, I am a grott, but this one is nice. Will post a pic shortly.

Tomorrow is going to be full-on - Miss 23's children, aged 2 and 3 - Miss3 will be 4 on Monday, so we are having a wee party for her tomorrow. I am exhausted thinking about it - and when did party food get so damn expensive?!

Have decided that I am definitely doing a Combined Degree, Arts and Business. I have NFI what I want to pick in the Arts - I have my first year subjects picked out - Sociology A/B, Psychology A/B, Contemporary Indigenous (HATE that word) Australia, Historical Indigineous Australia, and something else. Probably Intro to Law-Legal Studies. Which gives me options in Sociology, Psychology, Criminology, Aboriginal Studies and Behavioral Studies. I somehow doubt I will go into Aboriginal Studies, I have huge issues with people who claim Aboriginality, harp on about how hard it is, but never in their lives copped any flak.

But I must get a dictaphone thingy for Mum, I want her to pass the stories to me - I need this. For myself, and so I can pass them to my kids. We are both so busy, we don't have time to sit down and talk like that, so I will ask her to record them for me. Modern technology keeping the heritage alive. Works for me!

I had an interesting discussion the other day with a woman from the Heart Foundation, and a couple of random stranger. THF were canvassing for people to donate. We got into a huge discussion about how a lot of people don't know their family health history, I don't know why you wouldn't. And then we got onto how people of different ethnicities (my big word for the week there folks) have different ideas on what is and isn't good for them. It was really interesting. I realised afterwards just how much I miss the mental stimulation of talking to different people. The Mister is super smart, but after 21.5 years, I am pretty sure how he feels about most things, so there aren't a whole lot of avenues left to explore.

Which is why I am super-excited about going back to TAFE - I will be doing a short (4 weeks) course on Evaluating Wines (I'd like to do viticulture, the science of it fascinates me, but I don't have the brain for chemistry), and Cert IV in Supervision in Hospitality *yawn* just to have some interaction with others. I am also doing Cert III IT - Web Design, which will bore me to tears, but it's a new skill, so.......

Monday, June 15, 2009

Ehhhhhhhh!!!

I am so stuffed! I went to Burnie today, to get some info on Uni - it's the closest campus to me. The campus itself was fantastic - oh, I was so comfortable, could have stayed all week.

And then, I had to go back to 'town' to wait for my bus home. It was soooooo depressing. The shops, the people. The whole damn thing. Or maybe it was just me.....

Anyway, enough of that - I am thinking of doing a combined Bachelor of Arts and Business - no idea what the Arts Major would be, but Business would be Tourism. I will start next year, and apparently I am going to apply for a scholarship - I have to apply for a place while I am away (online) and when I get back, go see them to sort out what subjects I want to do, and do the application for the scholarship I apparently want.

Too tired to share more............

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Survived...............

The Notebook helped. Although I think a large part of it was that Mr14 and I had a bit chat beforehand. He and I fight hard (and nasty) when we fight, and we had a bit of a barney yesterday; we hadn't patched it to that point - when he saw me setting up to Notebook, he realised that I was in a bad place, and made the first move. As infuriating as that child can be, he can be so sweet.

T and I are still wrangling, and it's likely to continue. Miss24 has 2 children from a previous relationship - 1 is quiet and well-behaved, the other is a rude brat. I will not tolerate rudeness (of the deliberate variety) in my house, so I step on her. If it's to me, straight away. To her mother, she gets away with it a bit more, but if it goes too long, I go crunch. He thinks I should leave it when she's not doing it to me, but I apply the theory that this is MY house, and MY rules apply to everyone. My friend's children don't get away with it, and neither will anyone else's. Them's the rules. So yeah, I think we will be debating that for a bit yet, at least until she gets over it - she is getting better with it - tends to only do it when she is tired now, as opposed to every time she opens her mouth like she used to.

I also think that at some stage in the future there will be a massive wrangle over me avoiding The Mister's younger sister. We had a bit of a falling out 5 or 6 years ago - I knew what it was about, and never told him about any of it. He knew we had a difference of opinion; obviously she mentioned it. No biggie, I wasn't phased a whole lot - although I thought it a bit petty.

So, yesterday, he called me overbearing, told me I need to remember my manners when we are o/s, as we will be living in other's houses, and brought this up. Now, I was shocked - we (Sis and I) had a difference of opinion, yes, but it had nothing to do with household stuff or manners. She was already embarrassed because Daughter #1 (16 at the time) had already had a go at her about behaving differently because I was there. Then she asked me about Government payments for children; she asked what we had done with our elder ones; I told her, and her older 2 started yelling and swearing at her. Asks me what I would do if they were mine - mine wouldn't dare. Bad move. She's pissed.

So, later on, some of the girls friends come around. Daughter #2 (12 at the time) goes to see some of them off at the driveway, and then leaves. At midnight we pack up Daughter #3, who is maybe 5, and go roaming around the streets looking for Daughters #1 & 2 - 1 went off to find 2, and now both are AWOL. We walk, in the middle of winter, in a very nasty neighbourhood. When I suggest I take Daughter #3 home, as this can't be good for her (and I am tired) I cop a big serve about how I think I am perfect. Since then realations are strained.

Anyway, he tells me that I was in the wrong with her, and I demand to know wtf he is talking about, I did nothing wrong, she asked my opinion, and got it. Nothing more, nothing less. Turns out she told him I was closing windows and doors all the time that she wanted open. Uh huh, I closed the front window when we left, it was wide open on a freezing night, she'd already yelled at the girls about it. And I closed the door of the bedroom I was sharing with Daughter #3, as the light from the hall was irritating me, and she was OK with it. Soooooooo terrible!

Don't get me wrong, I do do things that he finds wrong - at my friend L's, I fold the laundry, make the coffees etc. But that's the type of friendship we have. At our mutual friend F's, if he is rushing around cleaning up because we arrive earlier than he expected, I help him. I run used cups full of water. I stack the newspapers that are thrown all over the lounge. It's what I do. Get over it!!

So yeah, I don't think I will be visiting his sister any more. Hated her on sight, really unimpressed now. Too petty and childish to bother with. I know I am harping on, but I cannot believe she lied. And that he believed her! He knows she is petty, and prone to - exaggeration.

Men!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Notebook Night............

Oh boy, I am a mess! I have had a tough week emotionally - the heritage thing, and today the reality of the fact that we will have to put one of our dogs down this winter, and missing my cat. So yeah, tonight is Notebook Night.

I have Cheese & Bacon Balls, fake red wine (alcohol-removed Shiraz), chocolate (had to settle for Cadbury) and am about to dine on meat pie and vanilla coke.

I even went so far as to pick a fight with The Mister - he knows what happens when I am emotionally over-wrought, and even that didn't work. Mind you, I was a little restrained, seeing as the point of contention was his younger sister - stupid, selfish, self-centred, spoilt brat that she is. I cannot stand the woman, hated her on sight 20something years ago.

It's not just the stuff up there that has brought this on, which is why he didn't rip me a new one - weeks of TPN, a 2nd family in our tiny house, work shit, 4 years of legal bullshit, nerves over Uni, the fact that Mr14 hates his school, that Mr20 is going to move away next year, Mum moving away - these have all contributed. As has his health, and the fact that I had to give up my cat earlier this year.

On that subject though, I may have a breakthrough - I rang the RSPCA this week, to see about donating - and I asked about Puss - he went home with one of the volunteers and is very happy, and very loved. So anyway, what got me going on this was, I walked past the vet, and there were kittens in there - that was it, tears galore. Rang the RSPCA, then came home and told The Mister that I want a cat. I expected an outright "No!" but I got, "Let's wait til the New Year, when things are a bit more settled. And there will be restrictions."

I can guarantee that one restriction will be that it must be short-haired - Puss' hair was long and super fine, and caused breathing problems for him. I reckon he will want it kept out of the lounge and bedrooms - but I will go with no bedrooms, and not on the furniture. And if he says no to that, I'll cry. And get my way.

I never use tears to get my way even though it'd work every time - but this time I will. The waiting til New Year is fair, we don't have room atm, we are going on holiday for a month in 7 weeks, I have a new job starting soon, and plan to go to Uni next year. So yeah, fair call on his part.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Duck!!

Went to my new place of employment today - faffed about, took charge of the rose garden. Had a ball.

As most of you have guessed, my dilemma the other day was due my Aboriginal heritage. I do not, nor will I, use the word Indigineous (and I am sure I spelt that wrong) to describe my heritage. Pop was part Aboriginal, I copped 'Abo' when I was a kid, and I am NOT going to back down from that, to keep some politically correct drongo happy. I am what I am, and I will call it what I like. Rant over.

Or not, I am on a roll. I get sooooooooo angry when I hear people who have no Aboriginal blood, telling me that 'They are not Aboriginals, they are Indigineous Australians." Ummm, hello? I'm not a bloody Indigineous Australian, I am an Australian, with Aboriginal heritage THANK YOU VERY BLOODY MUCH!! Now get the Hell away from me!

Ok, now I have finished ranting. I feel better. Sorry about that.

So yeah, we are going to, for the first time ever, officially acknowledge our Aborignal heritage. Gah! Big step. F*ck me! I am feeling angry, guilty and emotional, all at once. I am entitled, I am more than entitled, my children are entitled by blood, and yet.............. it feels wrong.

We were raised to never take a handout, and this feels like that.

It goes back to where I grew up, Abos (yes, I know, shut up) were scum. Take anything that wasn't nailed down, sell their kids for a drink, plead poverty so they could buy their smokes/grog/have a bet, no idea of how to keep a job/look after their kids. Some members of my family did those things, yes. They deserved a good solid smack around the head, and those who haven't managed to kill themselves with grog, still do - I cannot forgive the things that happened to the innocent, due to their refusal to control their urges, or even make serious effort. And so, the rest of us were tarred with the same brush. In a small, isolated community (or rather, several small, interlinked communities) this made life very difficult. The rest of us, the ones who didn't do those things (the very few), were forever struggling against that negative image. And it sucked. So, I don't like to claim my heritage, because of the negative memories.

My husband has no idea just how far this went, I don't talk about it. He lived with mainland Aboriginals for a while as a child (as well as having the bloodline himself), and travelled a lot around the Outback, so saw a lot of the problems that these communities faced. He grew up in Melbourne, so his experience was more from the outside. He has no hope of understanding. And I have no inclination to try to get him to. Our world views are too far apart. And I get too worked up. You may have noticed.................

Case in point on that; told him Mum was going to take us out to the Centre, to get it sorted. His response? "You can do it, just tell them who you are, that's all you have to do."

Ummmmmmmmmmmmm NO!! I mean, yes, I could do that, but it's no the way it's done. That's like - I don't know, turning up to your best mate's wedding, at the most expensive venue in town, where black tie is the only look permitted at any time, in old thongs, faded Chesty Bonds bluey and ripped boardies, with a tinny in one hand, and a half-naked, three quarters pissed Ralph centrefold in the other. You just do not do that - there are (unspoken) rules. I would get away with it, but it'd be no less wrong. Thankfully Mr20 understands the etiquette, his response to the same thing was "Pffffffft, nah!."

So yeah, I am a bit up and down at the moment.

And for that reason (and the fact that I have been ranting no-stop in this post) we will no longer be discussing my heritage.

Thank you.

Monday, June 8, 2009

Feh!

I am stonkered, spent 6 hours in the garden today. It looks like a disaster, but that's because I ripped a lot of stuff out, and it got dark before I could clear it away. I am actually going to compost it, and if it decides that rather than rotting down, it wants to grow, I'll rip it up again.


I have a full day tomorrow; groceries, visit the law, and ring TAFE about a couple of courses I want to pick up later this year.


My earrings from a couple of weeks ago are no good, the posts contain nickel, and I am nickel-allergic. Boo!! I wore them overnight that 1 night, and they still haven't healed up.


I am going to buy these tomorrow - titanium, so nickel free. Well, actually, I already bought them, and tomorrow I am hitting the boys up for money - these are my (very early) 39th birthday present - we are going to ignore 40! I also want the ring, and I will have it!!







Sunday, June 7, 2009

Mushrooming


is the best thing! I love going out into a paddock (or in this case,the local high school flood basin), getting wet to the knees, and gathering 'shrooms. Not the pretty red and white ones - they grow out near my Mum's, and besides, they aren't 'shrooms, they are toadies. I remember when we were kids, wheneve we saw them, we were told to stay away, with the threat of getting really ill if we touched them.

So, anyhoo, I went mushrooming today, and I had a blast. I got a great heap of them, and delivered them to Julie over the road; I don't eat them, and neither does anyone else here. It was awesome because it reminded me of childhood, I get to be outside and alone, and there were birds everywhere. I counted a magpie, a crow, a pair of plovers, a crane, several seagulls, a few flying rats, and about a dozen galahs, along with assorted others. Awesomeness!!

And, to top it, I found a faerie ring!!! It was flaming HUGE!!I didn't pick any of the 'shrooms on it - there were only a few - because I didn't want to upset the faeries. We are approaching the Winter Solstice, one of the most important nights of the year for the Fae. The ring is an important part of their ceremonies, and should therefore not be disturbed if you can at all avoid doing so. And I sure as Hell didn't make the mistake of standing in the middle of it either - as much as I am sick of certain aspects of my life, I really don't want to actually go off with the faeries.

And yes, you did read right, I believe in faeries, but they certainly are not the Disney kind.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

I believe..............

You should treat others as you wish to be treated. Always. If you are having a bad day, and you slip, apologise ASAP - and mean it!

That giving up is not an acceptable option. As long as you draw breath, you fight.

It's ok to listen to gossip, but not to pass it on. By listening, you offer an ear to someone who wants to share. By shutting up, you protect someone else.

That respect is to be earnt, by going the hard yards. Age, superior rank in a workplace, a uniform - these things do not earn respect. Deference, yes, respect, no.

That there are a lot of shades of grey out there; not everything is so clear-cut as to be black and white.

We should all remember that being alive is different to living.

Any day above ground is a good one.

Skin colour and country of origin are irrelevent - we all share the same planet, and we all bleed red.

That it is better for an innocent man to go to gaol, than 1 child to suffer at the hands of a monster. Even now. Perhaps more than ever now.

War is evil. But something that the human race cannot seem to get away from. To quote The Boss - "War! What is it good for? Absolutely NOTHIN'!"

As evil as war is, those who fight in them generally aren't. War strips all involved of their humanity. And still, we ship our children off to fight..........

That people need to know you appreciate them/what they do for you. Never assume that they know, always tell them. A simple "Thanks for that" can make the difference in someone's day.

We would do well to remember we were young, 10 feet tall and bullet proof once, and will one day be old, crotchety and most likely frail.

Nothing is worth more than that which you earnt by honest labour.

That no matter what, the best thing you can do in any circumstance is to hold your head high, even when you want to slink away with your tail between your legs.

What doesn't kill you, makes you stronger. Although, some days, you will wish it would kill you. Quickly.

Love is not a given, and there is no such thing as a perfect relationship. Love changes and grows, just as we do. That's why it takes work.

That The Notebook would be close to the saddest movie ever. And that I will always cry when I watch it.

It is definitely better to have loved and lost, than to have never loved.

That you must live and die by your principles. These are the beliefs and morals that define you, and while they may change as you grow older, and experience more, anyone who does a complete 180 for no apparent reason, is not to be trusted. Ever.

There is no such thing as a fair fight. Especially with someone you love. We all say hurtful, nasty things when we are angry. The trick is, realise you do this, avoid it if you can, and if you slip (we are only human) apologise. They will forgive you enventually. In the meantime, let it go, there are only so many times and ways you can say "Sorry!"

It is sometimes better to walk away, than stand and fight. Apply this ahead of the above, and you will save yourself a lot of grief.

That your gut is always right. Always. Listen to it. And accept that it's going to have off days too, and will let scum slip through. Wear what happens, and move on.

We should all find at least 1 thing, every day, that is beautiful, and take time to appreciate it.

That criticism is often a mask for jealousy or insecurity. Take it with a grain of salt. Analyse it when the critic isn't around, work out if they were genuine, or if there was an underlying cause. If you can use their suggestion (as in, it's constructive), do so, and acknowledge their help. If not, forget what they said.

Nothing we do will ever be good enough for some people. That's their problem, not ours.

That being true to yourself is far more important than fitting in with the crowd.

You should smile at everyone who looks you in the face. It's amazing how much better that can make someone feel.

That you can't decide who your friends or family will love. And, even if you loathe the person they choose, you have to grin and bear it.

Sometimes, no matter how much it hurts your heart or your pride, you have to walk away.

That sometimes, even the strongest of us need to ask for help. And that there is no shame in that.

It is better to regret the things you did than the things you didn't. I want to look back over my life, and say "well, it wasn't perfect, but it was one helluva ride!"

That no matter what, there will always be some form of regret, most likely from something you did or didn't do when you were too young to realise that you and everyone you loved weren't going to live forever.

That whoever said, "The pain will pass" about someone dying was full of shit. It doesn't pass, ever. It changes, so that it doesn't feel like someone has ripped your heart out, but it still hurts. And in some ways, that dull ache, and the hole where they should be in your life, is worse.

Friday, June 5, 2009

One long day

Oh, I am so tired. I did a 10.5 hour shift yesterday, and while I've done longer in my time, this is the first one that long in a while. But, as tired as I am, I feel good. Great people, and I enjoyed the shift. Helps a lot.

Nothing hugely exciting to report: TPN is still being psycho, Mouse is still being unbelievably cute - he talked (as much as a 6 week old can) at me today when I walked into his room. He really let loose last night when his mum came in, he was tired and grizzly, she came in and he was all coos and smiles at her. My heart melted to hear him do that, and see her face when he did it.

Mr14 is being, well a 14 year old boy. Exhausting. The Mister is doing better, his cast is off, he has to wear a brace through the day for the next few weeks, but that's it. His physio is helping with the pain in his leg/hip. Apparently it has to do with damage to the nerves in his back. Won't be fixed, but there are treatments that will render him free of that pain.

Mr20 comes home tonight - I have missed him, but not as badly as I thought I would. Probably because whenever he got stuck, he'd send an SMS asking for help. So he still needs his Mum.

I have decided to go to Uni next year, study for a BA with a major in Tourism. I have 9 years to finish it in, I am sure I can manage that, even with work, Mr14 and The Mister. I am a bit excitement.

The big decision is, do I claim the reduced fees I can get? I agreed to back Mr20 in his getting them, because he is entitled, and it'll give him a great boost in his life. Thank you Adorables for helping me clarify my thoughts on that one.

I am no less entitled, but I am going to Uni for a very different reason - myself, not a career. I am most certainly eligible, and if I can be bothered I can verify my Aboriginality up the wazoo, but I don't know if I can be bothered to go through all the rigmarole for me. To do it for my boys is one thing, but for myself, not so much. Actually, Mum is going to do it for the boys, she wants to. She'd do it all for me if I asked her, she would be stoked that I am acknowledging it. But then there's all the ensuing bs, and that I don't want to be bothered with.

Feh!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Moving On

Well, today has been interesting. Actually, the past few days have been. But before we get into that; )(*%*&%(*#(#@*)(%+&!!!!!!!!!

Now we have that out of hte way (nutjob neighbour upset me earlier), lets get down to business.

As I said, the past few days have been interesting. Nothing hugely exciting has happened (nutjob excepted) but I feel like I have come a very long way on the road back to someone like who I used to be.

On the weekend, I think it was Friday night - I dreamt about 1 of the people who f*cked us over for 4 years. It was weird in that the person I was seeing in the dreams was A, but their actions were those of B. Totally odd. I woke up the first time, and had the clear thought 'But A didn't do that, B did.' 2nd time, I sat bolt upright in bed, and announced to the room (thankfully The Mister slept through it) 'I'm healing!!' I felt so elated!

Saturday, I got to thinking about it, and I realised that I might just be doing that. I am no longer angry, nor am I resentful. Indifferent - no, I have just let it go. I will never forgive or forget what they did, and I will always bear the scars, as will the rest of my family, but I am over it, for the most part. I hurt when I see the damage done to The Mister, Mr20, or Mr14 (especially him, my heart breaks), but for myself, and the most part, I am moving on.

The realisation of this hit me like a ton of bricks in the car on the way home from Launie today - Nickelback's If Today Was Your Last Day came on the radio, and the lyrics struck one helluva chord. It's the philosophy I used to subscribe to, before The Dark Time, and one I am regaining.

The other way this hit me was in the Keno course, while waiting for others, we got to talking about certain stuff we had done, and war stories came out. Well, mine did, the other 2 just looked at me in horror/amazement. Although, the lady who came in half way through one said she'd love to go out on the town with me one night, because it sounds like we'd have a great time. Ahhhh, mis-spent youth! I didn't have much of you, but damn! I made good use of you! Like Kelly Clarkson (more on-the-way-home radio) - I didn't hook up, but I lived damn hard. With friend-enforced sobriety (someone had to remember where home was, and as the baby of the group, and the only one under 18, I had to be 'protected' a bit, thank you very much boys), I was just enjoying the freedom.

The reason the war stories woke me up is that these people looked at me like I was nuts - I wasn't telling any nasty stories, just ones about when I lived in Hobart for 12 months, and worked as a barmaid at the fishermen's pubs, down along the waterfront, before it got all gentrified. And the fact that if they didn't ask me nicely, they got nothing, except told to pull their heads in, and that some of them still remember me (THAT was an embarrassing day!) was, to them - simply astonishing. Let alone that these were fond memories. (The funny thing is, my family (parents and sibs) and my husband know NOTHING of this - they all think I was the well-behaved person I was when I was in the NW. I behave here because I HATE it here - everyone is so bluddy judgemental, and they all know each other, and I have experience with tarring with the same brush as others. And I was/am stuck here.) Blah!!

So yes folks, these were WORK stories, not 'I went out and met this hott guy and......' stories, I don't have any of those, I was very protected in that regard, no booze, no drugs, and no taking anyone home/going home with anyone allowed. Because if I hadn't been, my ginormous cousins would have gone on the rampage, or so my friends thought - I didn't care, I was just having fun, booze/drugs/boys held no interest, for the first time ever I had the freedom to come and go as I pleased, with no-one to answer to. I was too busy enjoying that to worry about interrupting it with hormones or chemical stimulants.

Anyhoo, it hit me then that so many people really have no idea what life is all about - it's for LIVING!! You are here, make the most of it - it's one thing to be alive, it's another entirely to live.

So, here's to Nickelback, and also to Tim McGraw, because those songs pretty much cover it, so far as I can see.

So remember, tell your loved ones that you love them every time one of you walks out the door; tell your parents you love them at least once a week, and live like you mean it - regret the things you did do, rather than the things you didn't.