Thursday, June 30, 2011

I'm dyeing here

I look old. Well, I probably look my actual age, and that's not a good thing, folks!

And here is why....

.... see the eyebrows and eyelashes? no? aha!

here's the solution.

It's a good look, hey?

Those of you with dark lashes and brows have no idea how much I envy you.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011


Last night, the kids did their very first karate grading.

So we had ironed ghis, and plaited hair (on the Princess, at least) and they did their stances and strikes and blocks, and then answered a bunch of questions, and next week they find out if they get a yellow ribbon on their belts.

But no-one is giving me a yellow ribbon, for the washing of those WHITE ghis, twice a week, and the ironing, and the plaiting, and the forcing-them-to-practise, and the ironing, and the quizzing, and the ironing.
I think I should get a yellow ribbon. Don't you?
And did I mention the ironing?

Afterwards, we went to Maccas (for a treat, if you were the kids, or torture, if you were me) and on the way home the Princess let out an excited squeal because she had just discovered


and she wriggled it and poked it all the way home, chattering away about wobbly toofs, and how some-people-in-her-class fink the Toof Fairy is real (can you imagine?) and how much money will Dad give her (which I had to reign in a little -- I think $20 is a tad OTT, would you agree? I'm sure Dad will thank me.)
And when we got home, she showed me the blood spots all over the front of her clean white ironed ghi.


Saturday, June 25, 2011

It's personal. And classified.

Many of you would have seen these before, but they make me laugh every time I read them.

Friday, June 24, 2011

a spot of rain

We had a little rain today.
my front verandah

the view from my bedroom

the 'patio' (which is actually a floodplain)

the drainage ditch on the way down to the beach, normally has a few inches of water in it.
Today, the tide washed back up it, as well as all the rainwater emptying into it. The white floaty things are mostly cuttlefish from off the beach.

the drainage ditch, looking back towards the house; it came within maybe two centimetres of overflowing.

our 'winter storm' beach, complete with weed.

the track back to the house, complete with high tide mark!

I was at the supermarket when the rain started. And it absolutely BELTED down. By the time I threw the groceries into the boot and got onto the double lane highway, the water was running gutter to gutter. It was a slow trip home! There was so much water I thought the car might conk out, but by staying back a bit from the car in front, I was able to see where the worst and deepest water was.

When I got home, my poor dog was huddled up against the back wall of the house, there literally wasn't a dry inch anywhere. So she's been inside in front of the fire all afternoon.

The whole street in front of the house was underwater and I was concerned I might not get out to pick the kids up from school, but it stopped raining about 20 minutes before I had to leave.
The good news is, the water drained away quickly. The bad news is, I'm not sure it's over!

UPDATE -- according to Weatherzone we've had over 43 mm since 9 am. (most of it between 11 and 2 pm)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

coughing and sneezing and snobbles, oh my!

I'm now in the third week of having this awful virus.

I'm not coughing as much, and I haven't had a sneezing fit so far today, so I figure I might actually be going to get better soon.

Also, the litres of snobble I was producing has dwindled to a mere handful per day (damn those cheap tissues)...

... all of which means that my blog could get back to regular transmission soon.

This may or may not be a good thing.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Monday, June 20, 2011

Sunday, June 19, 2011

it'a a miracle.

How do you feel about miracles?

I don't mean, the miracle of rainbows and unicorns-farting-sparkles type New Age crap. I mean, real, actual miracles, of people being healed of cancer or rescued by a random stranger who vanishes without thanks.

Do you believe that sometimes, miracles happen?

I do. I've seen them.

Let's talk about "Eddie". I'd known Eddie for several years, and he had the worst limp you've ever seen. Actually, you'd have hesitated to call it a limp, because he had one leg a couple of inches shorter than the other, and walked with a 'roll' so bad that he couldn't carry a drink.
Eddie came to church one night, and the pastor prayed for him.
And I saw Eddies' leg 'grow out.'
I watched it happen.

(In actual fact, although we say 'his leg grew out', it's really that his back straightened and forced his legs into alignment for the first time in many many years. It's just easier to say.)

No-one yanked on him or performed chiro. He sat in a chair with his feet up on another chair, and the pastor quietly prayed for him with his hand on Eddies' shoulder, and over about a minute, Eddie's legs aligned so that when he stood up, he walked without that awful roll. He's been without it ever since, and that was at least 10 years ago.

In the church that I used to go to, a crooked back is associated with bitterness and unforgiveness. If you have back pain or a limp etc, you'll always be asked if there's someone you harbour bitterness toward, and you'll be asked to pray to forgive that person. Most people find that really difficult, because we don't have a very good understanding of 'forgiveness'. It doesn't mean, 'you were right to do what you did'. It means, 'I choose to let go of this'.
And I've seen it work, time after time -- though Eddies' case was a bit more dramatic than most!

Now, whether you think that was the power of God, or the power of self, or even some amazing kind of sleight-of-hand physio trick, the miracle is still real. People healed of back-pain are genuinely amazed and so so grateful.

A man I know who was diagnosed with lung cancer came up for prayer week after week, until one day when he told us he'd just had tests showing his lung cancer had now been downgraded to pneumonia.

A woman I know had scans done which proved, beyond doubt, that her unborn daughter had spina bifida and might not survive birth. After months of prayer, the baby was born, healthy and with no spina bifida.

Another man, who we'll call Nigel, was involved in a serious mining accident, his legs crushed by a rock the size of a large dining room table. X-rays showed that he would never walk again. There was talk of amputation.
A prayer chain was set in action, with literally hundreds of people who I don't even know praying for Nigel. On the operating table, they found his legs badly broken but no-where near as bad as the X-rays had shown. It took him a long time to recover but he's working in mining again and apart from some serious scars, you would never know anything had ever happened to his legs.

These might be put down to medical errors, but let me tell you, everyone of those people regards
their story as a genuine miracle.

I'll tell you another little story about Nigel -- after he'd recovered, he came out to church one night. Our pastor called him out to the front to pray for him -- and keep in mind that this isn't one of those American evangelical churches where people get pushed over.... -- the Pastor put his hand up ready to put it on Nigels' head -- but hadn't yet touched him, when Nigel was literally hit by something.
He staggered backwards, his arms windmilling, and almost fell. With no-one touching him.
He shook his head, and stepped forward again, and it happened again. Three times.
And no-one had touched him.
Something happened to Nigel that night, and I saw it. He didn't convert, he's still the same cheeky ratbag he's always been, but something happened. He was touched by something. Or someone.

I know there are charlatans everywhere who take advantage of our desperation, our gullibility, our needs. They promise healing, riches, the deepest desires of our hearts.

But I still believe that there are genuine miracles performed every day. And whether they come from God or from within ourselves, they're still pretty amazing.

Just ask Nigel.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

swishy hair

The Princess has mad curly hair. (Think Shirley Temple on steroids).
It's thick and springy and we have to spray conditioner through it every day just to drag a comb through.
And forget brushing!!

Being six, she can't understand why strangers comment on how beautiful her hair is. She just wants it to be straight and shiny and swishy. And I totally get that, because my hair, unstraightened, looks like the stringy fibre you find inside a coconut.

Sometimes, she gives me the puppy-dog eyes. See?

note : image may differ from actual child

And what's a mum to do? I straighten her hair.

So now she's prancing around the house, swishing and flicking and draping herself on the door frames.
I know it's not good for her hair but she feels a million bucks. Hard to resist.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

a poet

Have you ever read Stephen Dobyns?

This is his poem, grief.

Trying to remember you
is like carrying water
in my hands a long distance
across sand. Somewhere people are waiting.
They have drunk nothing for days.

Your name was the food I lived on;
now my mouth is full of dirt and ash.
To say your name was to be surrounded
by feathers and silk; now, reaching out,
I touch glass and barbed wire.
Your name was the thread connecting my life;
now I am fragments on a tailor’s floor.

I was dancing when I
learned of your death; may
my feet be severed from my body.

Monday, June 13, 2011

on life.

I think I've discovered the secret of life - you just hang around until you get used to it.
(Charles Schulz)

Friday, June 10, 2011

So. You want to stay married?

Things to Never Say to Your Wife

Have you put on weight?

My mum didn't make it like this. You can't even get out of this by saying "Yours is MUCH better!" because if your mum finds out, you're dead.

I accidentally taped over our wedding DVD.

That's really not your colour, is it?

I bought you a cookbook. Unless it's personally signed by Manu.

I bought you a lawnmower.

I had lunch with my old girlfriend today.

Anniversary? Today? Really?

Birthday? Today? Really?

Why can't your mum stay at a hotel?

So, what did you do all day?

Well, I married you, didn't I?

Things To Never Say To Your Husband

NEVER ask "Do I look fat in this?"
Note to husbands -- if your wife asks this quesion, do NOT say "Yes", or "Not in that, no." , or hesitate for even a split second while you think about it. In fact, if your wife springs this question on you, it's probably best to pass out on the floor as a distraction.

Why don't you just stop and ask for directions!?

Are you sure you know how to do that?

Do you think she's pretty?

I'll try anything once! Because unless you really, really, really mean it, you're going to crush his hopes!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Monday, June 6, 2011


It's cold outside. Like, 4 degrees kind of cold.

And so (not unreasonably) I have the fire lit. Only now I can't think because my feet are hot.

I also can't think if my glasses are dirty, if I have an eyelash in my eye, or my hands are sticky.

I think my wiring was done by The Dodgy Brothers.

Sunday, June 5, 2011


Not much going on here at Chez ChickChat.

I made my bed and a tag and passionfruit jelly.

I kept the fire going and I read my book.

The kids played, they made a mess and then cleaned it up.




Saturday, June 4, 2011

the not-birthday

Life begins with such promise.

As parents, we look at our new-born babies, and we see the future.
A million possibilities stretch out in front of us, like a Yellow Brick Road that leads on through all the years that this child will have, signposted with goals and landmarks.

We anticipate the Firsts. First smile, first tooth, first steps, first words, first birthday, first day of school.
We dream of sports carnival ribbons, and lumpy clay Mothers' Day presents, and paddle-pop stick stars for the Christmas tree.

We tell ourselves to deal gently with grazed knees and bruised egos and broken hearts. We will walk beside them to protect our fragile children from the monsters of this world until they're strong enough to protect themselves.

Their birthdays appear along the Road as milestones, marked with balloons and excitement, an achievement and a celebration. Each one is a triumph. "You Have Made It This Far! Keep Going!"

The road, for my little boy, is empty. There are no milestones. There are no crowds to cheer him on. There are not even any footprints to show me where he's been. There are 15 years of nothingness behind us, and many more in front.

The promise of What Might Have Been still hurts my heart.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Excuse me for not caring any more.

Ever had one of these days?


Yesterday was a bitch.

Today, I just can't care any more.
Not 'don't' -- CAN'T.
It's killing me, letting this crap tie me up in knots.
ONE DAY, I tell myself, The Wicked Witch of the West will be out of our lives forever.
God speed the day.

Thursday, June 2, 2011


My boy turns 18 today.

And as weird as it feels to say it, he is now a young man.

He's been towering over me for years. He's well over 6 foot tall and has (fluffy) whiskers, his voice still squeaks a bit but mostly is quite deep, and he has the biggest feet you've ever seen.

But I'm his mum. And so he's still my boy.

You see?

And this is what he looks like now. I can only get photos of his back or his hand covering his face or a blur as he ducks under the table because he won't face the camera anymore.


He has the rest of his life in front of him. I hope he lives it well and lives happily ever after.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


It's woolly socks and hairy legs; flannie sheets and a snuggly doona.

It's the warm soft glow of lamps and a crackling fire, snuggling in a chair with a good book, listening to winter storms outside.

It's slow cooker dinners and hot chocolate (and sometimes, just sometimes, melting a few squares of chocolate in my chocolate melty-pot and spoiling myself for a little while).

It's the smell of Skin-So-Soft bath oil and woodsmoke; pumpkin soup with bacon and a good bottle of red.

It's fog in the mornings and frost overnight.

It's footy on the weekends and walks on the beach with stinging, cold rain and a wind that comes straight off the Southern Ocean.

Sometimes, I can nearly convince myself that I love winter.


This is where I want to be today.

I'll share with Kristin. We'll escape all the crap and dream of how things should be.

The image came from here