Friday, May 25, 2012

Twice yesterday, I was told I am an awesome mummy.

*cue sound of own trumpet*

This would be normally be welcome news, but I didn't actually do anything very marvellous.

I took a long-sleeved T to school for Mr 10, as he was going on a farm excursion and wasn't supposed to be in his uniform shirt. The school secretary told me (several times) what a great mummy I am for bringing him the shirt.

Mr Nearly19 rang me up from our favourite (INDEPENDENT) bookstore and asked for a set of TinTin books for his birthday, so I went in and bought them for him. The bookstore lady told me several times what a great mum I am for buying him the books.

It was nice to get the pats on the back, cos let's be honest, the boys didn't thank me.

But really -- how low is the expectation of parenting these days???

Fetching stuff for your kids all day is what mothers do. It's the only reason we exist, isn't it?


Tuesday, May 22, 2012


"Revenge is a dish best served cold" goes the old saying.

Not so, says I, on my Bad Days. Revenge is a dish best served on huge big mother-fucking platters, piled up, heaped over, spilling down the sides. In fact, bring it in truck-loads, why doncha?

When I was a kid, I saw a movie about a girl who was bullied and then somehow she had amazing plastic surgery that made her gorgeously unrecognisable.
She went back to school (because, of course, why would you not?) and began exacting revenge on those who had tormented her.
The only bit I remember with any clarity was when she tricked the Bitchy Cheerleader into cheerleading herself out of a window and splatting into not-so-pretty-any-MORE-are-we bits on the pavement below.

I wanted to be that girl SO BAD.

(not the cheerleader, obviously)

Sadly, I had no money for plastic surgery and Avon didn't seem to help as much as I had hoped.

So I laboured on instead.

I got older, and older, and older, and along the way I developed a life that I am mostly pretty happy with. More often than not, I know that the best revenge is a life lived well.
Fabio and I remind ourselves of this often. There are Forces of Darkness in the world who would rejoice at seeing us fail, would throw parties and light fireworks if our marriage fell over or our business collapsed.

But they will not Triumph.
We will.

By living with integrity, by truly being One even as we are two, by raising our kids to do better and be better than us, we will win.

That kind of revenge is sweet, indeed.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

bitten by the book bug

It's no secret that Fabio and I are big readers. We have tried to pass along our love of books and reading to the Children, with mixed results.

My oldest daughter reads, Mr 18 reads, two of the other boys read NON-fiction only. The Princess adores stories with princesses, kittens, rainbows and bunnies, and steals my Kindle frequently.

But Mr 10. Oh, Mr 10.

I've tried for years to get him interested. I tried to entice him with Roald Dahl and Harry Potter and Cairo Jim and the Deltora Quest books. (All of them.)
He would politely read a bit of a book for a while and then forget about it.

Until. He saw the movie Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief, and realised we had a couple of PJ books lying around, and he read 3/4 through the 2nd book, before begging me to PLEASE get the first one.
Luckily, my favourite bookstore had it, and he started reading it as soon as he got home from school, and we have to take it off him at night or he won't go to sleep.
This morning, when I got up, I found him propped up in bed, deep in his book.

I love it that he is so loving the books.

(except for the part where I get the endless plot recountings, though even that is bearable when I remind myself that HE! is READING!)

I just hope he finds a new bookish love when he gets through all the Percy Jackson books. Fingers crossed.

What about you? love books? ever pulled an all-nighter with a Good Book that you couldn't put down?

Saturday, May 12, 2012

Pinterest spam. Spin?

If you don't use Pinterest (I know there are still a few of you left) please feel free to click away now.

For those of you who do, you'll have noticed that over the last few days, there has been a LOT of spam pinning -- mostly for products (particularly fashion items).

If you want to help fight it, here's what to do...

click on the Pin so it opens (preferably in a new tab or window)
now on the RIGHT-HAND SIDE you'll see REPORT PIN. Click on it.


Now, click on SPAM and you're done.

I don't know how much good it'll do. Personally I hope the spammers immediately receive a shipment of flea-infested monkeys playing recorders, and that someone has the good sense to post a picture of the mayhem.

Be careful, though. Sometimes well-meaning people categorise your boards and so your pins end up in categories they weren't meant to be in.

You can tell by looking at the board the pinner has put the pin in.

Like this:

The crafty rose thing has been categorised wrongly by someone as HUMOUR.
The ring has been spammed -- it's been Pinned into HUMOUR deliberately.

Right. That's my Community Service obligation fulfilled for this week. I'm off to look at more Pinterest.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

thoughts on same-sex marriage

It's all over the news this morning -- Barack Obama supports same-sex marriage, changing his stance over the last few years.

I'll be honest -- the very thought used to make me feel uncomfortable. And I don't know why. Possibly years of church teachings, possibly because it's something 'new' and I'm not one who embraces change.

And this despite knowing gays, willingly choosing them as friends and embracing those who are related to me.

So why I thought the world might end if they got married I don't know.

You know what changed my mind? people speaking truth.

Truth like this:

In all honesty, straight people aren't so good at marriage that it should belong exclusively to them. How many straight couples do you know who have divorced, who have uncomfortable marriages, who bitch and snipe at each other instead of building one another up?
It's not like the institution itself is under more threat.

So it must be people who feel threatened. And we need to ask ourselves why?

This is what the Bible says about love.

Love is patient, love is kind.
It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.
It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.
It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.

Love never fails.

If two people love each other like that, then let them marry.

I've heard all kinds of reasons against, like
- polygamy will be next (what, you can't say ONLY TWO CONSENTING ADULTS CAN MARRY ?)
- think of the children (if same-sex couples can adopt children, isn't it better for the parents to be married?)
- it threatens marriage and families (how?)

None of it makes sense to me.
If my gay friends marry, it DOESN'T AFFECT MY MARRIAGE. In any way. Nothing happens to me at all. Nothing. I don't even have to go to the wedding if I don't want to. (though I would. I LOVE a wedding, me!)

The only proviso I can think of is that no law should force anyone in ministry to marry a couple if it contradicts his or her belief system.
And that's it.

*climbs off soapbox*

Now how about you? What are your thoughts?

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

clean the dirt off your soul

I was just reading a post on reverse graffiti. Heard of it? Me either.

Reverse graffiti is art made by cleaning the grime and dirt off a surface to create images. Like this

(click on the photo to go to the source article)

Being of a philosophical frame of mind today, I thought -- people are like that. When you clean off the dirt and grime caused by years of life and it's accumulations of disappointment and sadness and hurt, we are works of art underneath.


We all start out with beautiful souls. What happens along the way?

A little bit of truth and love in a person's life is like the power washer that cleans the filth off a city sidewalk. And we can all find someone who needs a little lovin'. A kind word, really listening to someone (even if it's boring), giving someone a little of your time and encouraging them when they fall -- these are little things.... but they're so big.

I forget to do this all the time -- even with the people I love the most.

Today, I'm going to make some effort. Ima make me some ART.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

meet my business partners

I'd like to introduce you to a couple of people.

This is Deus. He lives in Uganda.

"Deus has recently fully repaid his 700,000 USH loan and is very thankful to the Kiva lenders for their support. Deus has been running a retail shop for 4 years and has had much success, but often would face inventory and stock shortages.

The loan allowed for Deus to better stock his shop. Additionally he has begun to carry a new line of soaps that have proven to yield high margins. With the profits from the retail operation, Deus has purchase goats and cattle, thereby increasing his family's wealth. Additionally his children now enjoy regular doctor visits and are in very good health.

Deus would like to continue expanding his business and is very optimistic of what the future holds for him and his family."


This is Rosalinda, from the Philippines.

"Rosalinda Mabunga put up two businesses from her Php 30,000.00 peso loan. She bought additional grocery products, sacks of rice, charcoal and others for her variety store and bought fishing gadgets for her husband to use in fishing. What is important now which pleases the family is that both couple has business of their own to manage. In that way they were able to help one another in raising their family. Today because of the increase in family daily income their standard of living had improved and eases the burden of borrowing money from other people or relatives during inevitable instances. Their income is sufficient enough for the expenses of their children at school and daily consumption and sometimes she was able to deposit excess in her savings account. She is so glad for this development in her married life because of the financial assistance from KIVA lenders. To be able to put up a stable business is one great achievement in her life."


These are just two people Fabio and I have lent to through Kiva, a micro-financing organisation we've been with for quite a few years now.
We, along with a number of other lenders, lent Deus and Rosalinda just $25 each, which was re-paid slowly over a period of months.
That money has gone back into financing other businesses, but we could have chosen to take the money back if we'd wanted to.

I know I go on about this and maybe you're sick of hearing about it, but there are still poor people in the world and we, by comparison, are still wealthy beyond their wildest dreams.

Wouldn't you love to help your own Deus or Rosalinda?

You can find KIVA at

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

on my mining soapbox

Fabio and I own a little mining company.

And as soon as people find out about it, he gets hit up for a job.

"Oh, yes," They say. "I've been thinking about getting a job in The Mines." And then They look at him expectantly.

This happens to my sister, as well. And just about everyone else we know in mining.

And it drives us nuts.

Because IF YOU WERE SERIOUS, you would have made enquiries.

You would have made some kind of effort to find out what jobs were available, what you felt you had qualifications for, or what you might be interested in pursuing.
You would have looked into the different kinds of mining (open-cut and underground) and you might have looked into the pros and cons of working FIFO.

IF YOU'RE NOT THAT SERIOUS, why would we want to hire you?

'Mining' is not 'a job'. It's a fairly generic term, and could describe any kind of work, from minesite cleaner to truck-driver to air-legger to mining engineer to rehabilitation personnel to secretary to kitchen staff and the list goes on and on.

And 'The Mines' could be anywhere.
You might have to live in a camp up in the north-west of WA, or you might be able to travel home every day in Queensland.
You might be out in the sun all day or you might be underground for up to 12 hours at a time.
You might be working permanent night-shift or you might work a regular 9-5, Monday to Friday week.

Part of the irritation comes from unreal expectations created by the media. Reports of huge money across the sector often come with the words 'unskilled labour' attached.
Well, that's a mis-nomer. It certainly doesn't mean you can go from hairdressing in a little salon in Perth to earning $200k a year in a week.
Our guys are VASTLY skilled. We value their expertise and experience, and we know how hard they've worked to get where they are today. That's why we pay them so well. They're worth every penny of it.

I'm going to get off my soapbox now, before I start frothing at the mouth. I could actually rant about this (and other mining related issues) all day -- but I won't. I promise.
I'll save some for another day!