I remember when he was born. I was a few months off turning 10, and I thought he was just the cutest thing!
See how he loved me to hold him?
But somewhere along the line, he took up smoking. And for 20 years, he's been poisoning himself with crap like tar, ammonia, acetone, toluene, nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide, lead, nickel, arsenic, cadmium, DDT, methoprene, benzene and naphthalene.
Well, not any more.
Because, this week, he became a quitter. And I couldn't be more proud of him.
In just 12 hours, almost all the nicotine in his system had been metabolised.
In 24 hours, his blood levels of carbon monoxide had dropped dramatically, enabling his body to function more efficiently.
After 5 days, most of the nicotine by-products in his body are gone, and his senses of taste and smell are improving.
After 6 weeks, his risk of wound infection will drop dramatically.
In 3 months, his lungs will have regained the ability to clean themselves, improving his lung capacity.
In a year, his risk of coronary heart disease will be half that it would have been if he'd continued to smoke.
In 5 years, the risks of developing mouth and throat cancers will have halved.
In 10 years, his risk of lung cancer will be half that of a smoker and declining.
In 15 years, his risk of coronary heart disease will be that same as that of a non-smoker, and he'll have reduced the risk of stroke, too.
After 20 years, his risk of macular degeneration is that of someone who has never smoked.
(Twenty years sounds like a long time, I know, but every cigarette you DON'T smoke is doing you good!)
Hang in, there, bro. This is one time when quitters are winners in my book! And here's your medal!
In the last few days, I've started creating again. It's hard because I feel a real heaviness of spirit and I need to jolt myself into a space where I can make stuff and be happy. But it helps me not feel so sad when I can do it.
Anyway, here's a couple of things I've done.
I'm doing a set of tags called 31 Days of Music (or it might be 30 yet. Or 22. Or 14. Depends how fast I run out of steam.)
Anyway, this one I've very proud of, as I used bleach and inks to get the background. And also I totally loved David Tennant as the Doctor and cried like a big sook at the end of his reign.
I made this voodoo doll for my son, and I've posted it to him so I hope he likes it (might seem like a weird thing to give an 18 yo but he asked for one!) The pattern is very easy and if I don't faff around, I can make one over 2 nights of telly. Even though I am the Worst Knitterer in the World.
There is a special reward in Heaven for the mother of boys.
Or there damn well better be.
Only the mother of boys knows why you will hear yourself say things like,
"Why is Barbie pinned to the archery target with an arrow through her???"
"WHO put the redback spider in this matchbox?"
Boys love farts (actually they never lose this love, do they, Fabio?) and fighting and insulting each other. They drink from the carton and leave the lid up, and seem to be physically incapable of hanging up an item of clothing.
God love 'em.
Where would we be without boys?
*sniffle* I sure wish I had some boys to cook for and worry over and clean up after
My sister and I have both had BOYS. Not the normal, grubby but cute kind -- but BOYS who were constantly in trouble with school, creating havoc and mayhem at home, skating oh-so-close to trouble with the law....
.... and through many broken-spirited discussions over the years, we've come to the conclusion that BOYS need to know 3 things.
1. Who's in charge?
2. What are the rules?
3. Is it fair?
and they are happiest when they know that the person in charge is someone they can trust, the rules stay the same and are fair.
Boys need freedom AND fences. They need to know what the boundaries are, that the boundaries won't change or fall over when you push against them.
They need someone or something to strive against, that won't cave in or let them win.
Sadly, in this oh-so-modern society, we're so worried about being PC that we've removed many of the models and fences our boys used to have.
Here's an example.
Our karate teacher was asked recently to run an after-school activities program, but was then told that he couldn't tell the kids "no" or segregate the ones who were mis-behaving!
"Well," he said, "that's not going to be happening." and he went ahead in exactly the way he does at karate.
And the boys LOVED IT!
They WANT to be disciplined. They WANT to know there's a responsible adult in charge, to keep them safe. They WANT to be challenged, and pushed, and encouraged to try harder.
Our boys want to be boys. How about we let them? Even if they aren't like girls.
You know how some women pile on the makeup and then take a dip in their perfume? If you've ever stayed in a motel or resort, and smelt strong perfume in the pillow, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about.
On Saturday, the agent who's handling the sale of the house brought two couples through, while we took a walk on the beach.
I already felt weird that strangers were walking through my home and looking at everything, so you can imagine how I felt when I let myself back into the house to be greeted by the smell of Other Women -- in every room!!!
I had to open all the doors and windows, and light oil burners to get rid of it. But it took a lot longer to get past the creepiness of knowing I'd had Strangers in my home.....
This movie is just chock full of piratey goodness.
If you're not a fan of the Pirates of the Caribbean flicks, I don't know if you would enjoy this one.
But if Jack is your Captain, GO SEE THIS MOVIE. NOW!
No, no, I mean, put down that mouse and go NOW.... because this one is so damn good.
Whats-is-name and the shrieky girl are again absent (good) but Jack is his charming roguish self, and Barbossa is back, as bad as ever --albeit missing a leg.
Ian McShane is wonderful as the evil and infamous Blackbeard, and there are plenty of gags and stunts and one-liners.
Watch out for a particularly good stunt where Jack 'runs' away from the Kings' men through a crowded London street.
One time when Fabio and I were travelling through SE Qld, we came across some road signs advertising a FRUIT & VEG BARN. And MANGO SMOOTHIES!.
Our mouths watered. We pictured luscious, tropical drinks, served in glasses frosted with the cold, and since it was nearly lunch-time, we followed the signs.
The FRUIT AND VEG BARN was in the middle of no-where.
There were just two other shops and open paddocks of brown grass all around, and this huge shed with, admittedly, lots of fruit and veg, including mangoes, but the MANGO SMOOTHIES! were located at The Stardust Cafe about 100 metres down the gravel road. (Next to an antique store so dusty and forlorn I couldn't bring myself to go in.)
We walked into The Stardust Cafe, and I immediately wanted to leave. There were four or so of those heated glass-fronted display thingies for hot food, only they were all switched off and carefully filled with towels and plastic wisteria.
There was an empty bread-rack, carefully twined with plastic wisteria.
There was one small table and four rickety chairs.
And the counter.
Not exactly a going concern, then.
But Fabio wanted a smoothie.
He marched up to the counter, and A Guy came out from the back room. He was wearing a string singlet, and had the dirtiest feet I had ever seen, with utterly feral toenails.
Right then, my stomach and I made a deal that we weren't eating anything but Fabio wasn't fazed.
He ordered mango smoothies and fish'n'chips.
The Guy took his money then yelled out, "Mum!"
And OLD Lady came shuffling out from the back room. He handed her some money, and sent her off to the fruit barn for mangoes.
As she slowly shuffled out the door, Fabio and I looked at each other. We said nothing. We sat at the little table and waited.
After a long, long time, the OLD Lady shuffled back, with a mango in the pocket of her apron, and shortly after, mango smoothies appeared.
Fabio tried his.
"It's not bad," he said. But mine sat there, untouched, till Fabio drank it.
Then lunch arrived.
Fabio poked at it.
"What is that?" I whispered. "I thought you wanted fish and chips?"
He shook his head, mystified, but bit into it, undaunted.
The look on his face was priceless.
"It's fish," he said. "Wrapped in a bit of pastry, and deep-fried."
Just then, another couple of tourists walked in, and ordered MANGO SMOOTHIES!
The Guy shook his head.
"All outta mangoes." he explained.