Saturday, June 30, 2012

the shirt off your back

How do you take off your shirt?

My guess is, you're a girl, and you cross your arms, grab the hem of your shirt, and pull it up over your head.

Boys, though. MOST boys (not all) will drag the back of the shirt up and over the back of their heads.

Ever notice that?

PS. do NOT Google 'boy/girl take shirt off'..... just sayin'.

Friday, June 29, 2012

stylin like a gamer

Remember when it used to be not cool to be a geek?

I do.

My older kids were bullied at school, and made miserable, because they weren't 'cool'. 'Cool' apparently included failing at school (or at least not trying at all), drinking and smoking, swearing, being rude to adults, and picking on other kids.

We did what we could to eliminate the problems, ably unassisted by the schools involved for the most part, and I'm proud to say that we grew us 4 Big Kids who turned out pretty OK. Three of them waited till they turned 18 to try alcohol (major win right there) and all of them are nice, smart and funny people who I enjoy hanging with.

Our two youngest are still in primary school and things have changed a bit. Gamers are now widely accepted and have their own clique. It's now OK to be smart and being good at sport is no longer the only measure of success.

I like the gamer geek culture. Gamers are by and large pretty smart and witty, and they DO learn social skills through gaming(stoners and griefers excepted, of course).
My son and his friends play Minecraft on-line, and they have to learn netiquette or risk being kicked. They need to co-operate, form alliances, and develop some strategy sense.

Of course, as with everything, you need to provide some balance. My kids do swimming and karate twice a week, and they play with actual friends most days. We watch what they're doing on-line -- the computer is on the kitchen breakfast bar -- and we're teaching them about the dangers of creepers and bullies.

Take another look at that photo up at the top. Says it all, really.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

soft vote

This story is doing the rounds on Facebook this morning, and attracting some comment from the 'mummy bloggers' who've been so callously summed and dismissed.


THE government's road to electoral recovery rests with a new demographic known as "mummy bloggers", Labor MPs have been told.

And they have been urged to get on Facebook to reach this new generation of "soft" voters.

In the last caucus meeting before MPs break for winter recess, Prime Minister Julia Gillard subjected her backbench to a one-hour PowerPoint presentation on how she would restore Labor's credibility.

But many MPs were unmoved.

One senior right-wing MP said Ms Gillard told them she had a plan and "not to worry". Asked what the plan was, the MP replied: "I can't remember. I stopped listening as soon as the PowerPoint screen came down."

Another MP said Ms Gillard appeared to get "narky" as many MPs seemed to be paying little attention.

Former PM Kevin Rudd was often ridiculed for using PowerPoint presentations to rally MPs. They were surprised Ms Gillard, with her leadership under increasing pressure, would use the same format for a caucus meeting that could define the mood for the next two months.
The PM told them the key to a turnaround was "learning how to communicate". She was reported to have told them that Facebook would be vital in helping the government crystalise its achievement.

Labor Party national secretary George Wright also addressed the caucus over disastrous polling.

"There is no need to tell you that things are rugged out there," Mr Wright was reported to have said.

However, he said Labor's hopes for revival rested with so-called "mummy bloggers" -- a new social demographic that needed to be tapped as they were regarded as "a soft" vote and could be lured to Labor.

Another MP said there was a feeling of "incredulity" about the meeting.


I've seen some lame attempts to pin the story on conservative journalists and I have no doubt that sooner or later, someone will claim it's Tony Abbotts' doing.

Let's not make any mistakes here. The story might be running in 'conservative' papers but the remarks were all being made by ALP MPs and the ALP national secretary.

That aside, let's think for a moment about the content.

Are mummy bloggers a soft vote? Are they so easily led that they'll follow Facebook as their political muse? Really?

In all honesty, I'd have to say that most of the bloggers I know wouldn't vote for the Coalition if they got an iPad and free internet for the rest of their lives.
Or more specifically, they wouldn't vote for Tony Abbott.

Having said that, no-one wants to be labelled in such a dismissive way. Is this man, the party secretary, telling us that we're regarded as being a bunch of sheep? that we can't and don't think for ourselves? that mummies (bloggers or no) are an easy target?
That's how it seems to me.

What are your thoughts?

Monday, June 25, 2012

Quick, catch up!

So. Let's abandon the pretense that I'm EVER going to get back to the photo-a-day thing, because I've blown it really.

This month has thrown a number of unexpected events at me, and I don't cope with the unexpected.

(Unless it involves a new iPad. Which I'm typing this on. Because my husband is awesome sauce, even without new iPads but especially so with.)

Anyway, I've had a Big Storm knock the fence down and the power out, had some bothersome health issues, and taken a trip to Melbourne.
(Melbourne is all very well as far as cities go.... But my idea of heaven is to not be able to see another light at night)

I have a good book to read (A Song of Ice and Fire) and a good game to play (Journey) -- no time for blogging!

There always seems to be plenty of time for Pinterest though, have you noticed that? I'm sure I could Pin in my sleep if I had to.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012


DAY 19 -- imperfect 

 OK, hands up if you're perfect?

 Yep, just as I suspected.
 So why do we feel the need to be perfect ourselves, and to criticise others for not being perfect?


There's a world of difference between 'imperfect' and 'intolerable'.
We all know people whose character traits (or lack thereof) make it impossible for us to have a relationship with them.
You can pretty much fill the the gap here ______________________ with several names, I'm sure.
But that leaves a lot of imperfect people who we could learn to love, yes?
Lots and lots of people that we could befriend, and learn from. Isn't that true?

And YOU are one of them.

No, you're not perfect -- but that doesn't mean unacceptable.

 Let's stop trying to be who we're not.

Let's just embrace imperfection.

Monday, June 18, 2012

1,2, skip a few, 29,30

OK -- I started this month with a plan to blog each day based on FatMumSlims' photo-a-day-June list.

I made it till last weekend, then we had a massive storm that knocked out our power for 2 days and since then I've not been able to pick up the rhythm again.

 BUT -- I'm back in the groove and today is
  DAY 18 -- something we don't know about you.

I had to think about this. I'm famous for inappropriate disclosure. There isn't much I haven't told SOMEONE, SOMETIME.

 However, Dear Internets, most of you haven't met me and so most likely you don't know that I have a sneezing issue.

 You see, most people sneeze at a socially acceptable sound level.
It's audible but not a problem.

 And I have had friends who sneezed like kittens.

 *tsh* *tsh*

 Tiny little kittens. Tiny little sneezes.

 Not me.
 I usually feel the sneeze coming for up to a minute beforehand, and can't think or speak coherently while it's on it's way.
I pull all the faces, hold my finger under my nose, push my tongue up on the roof of my mouth, close my eyes, open my eyes -- all the tricks.
 Then I explode with the loudest sneezes of anyone I've ever heard. It's embarrassing.

How about you? what don't we know about YOU?

Monday, June 11, 2012

enter here

DAY 11 -- door

Listen; there's a hell of a good universe next door: let's go.
e e cummings

There's something about a good door, isn't there?

Doors beckon to us.

They entice

and lure

and enchant,

they hint at mysteries contained within and without,

they surprise and delight.

But of all the doors I've ever seen, this is the one I'd most like to pass through.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

the best bit. (So far.)

DAY 10 -- the best bit of your weekend.

You know how sometimes the ordinary can feel so special?

Right now, it's pouring with rain outside.
Inside, the house is warm and smells like heaven. There are lemonade scones baking and the kids are watching The Emperors' New Groove.
Fabio is home and happy.

Everyone is at peace.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

room with a view

DAY 9 -- my view today

This is one of the very best sights in the world to me.


 Know why?

 Cos that big Pajero in the driveway? means my man is home.

Friday, June 8, 2012

Thursday, June 7, 2012


DAY SEVEN -- drink

Here's a little secret that hardly anyone knows (or cares about).
My husband drinks like the Solo guy.

(not my real husband)

Or like this guy

(also not my real husband) (or my fake one)

I don't know how.

I drink in sips, or middle-sized swallows if I'm desperately thirsty. But Fabio just opens his throat and pours it down in litres.

Thank God he doesn't drink beer that way.

Does your husband have a cool weird party trick?

Wednesday, June 6, 2012



My boy is a hat kinda guy.

He has a pretty good collection, considering that he only has one noggin to wear them on ...

He owns caps (Tony Hawk, West Coast Eagles, and mining suppliers) and bucket hats (his Milo cricket hat is a staple in summer).
He has a big straw hat for fishing, and a Hancock beanie.

But by far his favourite hat of all time is this:

He wears it everywhere, and he wears it with such panache that I think he must feel like the coolest guy in the world in it. 
Which he is.

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

does my piddle look yellow in this?

DAY 5 -- A SIGN 

My kids just WILL. NOT. FLUSH. I don't know why. 
They don't seem overly attached to their 'leavings', and the flush mechanism is not this complicated.

It's just a button, FFS.

But nope, they will leave hideous unmentionables in the loo, to the point where I have to go and check it when we have visitors.
Just in case.

 I've tried all manner of things -- a sign saying


pingpong balls

making them go back in to flush

 etc etc.

Now I'm out of ideas. Anyone else have this problem?

Monday, June 4, 2012

the colour of sad

DAY FOUR -- CLOSE-UP. Surely this counts?

Surprisingly, I am doing OK today. I wrote this truthfully and have been working on it all week, but this is not how I feel now. I decided to publish it anyway, but just know, I am OK.

All week, I have felt weighed down, heavy, sad and unable to float.

Because today is my sons' 16 th birthday.

In a normal family, there would be cake, and presents lovingly chosen and wrapped. There would be birthday wishes, and cuddles, and jokes and laughter, and candles and singing and a houseful of friends. There would be photos, at least one of the birthday boy looking both embarrassed and pleased by the fuss, and a whole album full of other photos, of birthdays-gone-by, with gap-toothed grins being slowly replaced by an Adams' apple and gangly limbs.

Not so here.

My son never had a single birthday. Not one. No presents, no cake, no wishes. Oh, well, that's not true, is it? No wishes? I have a whole galaxy of wishes made on stars. But he's still dead.

If you have never lost a child, you cannot know.

You can. Not. Know.

There is an emptiness, like the wind whistling round the corner in the dark, always. And at times like this, it's overwhelming.

People don't understand, that I don't miss HIM much. He was 48 days old. He had barely begun to develop, and I have next to no memories of life with him. What hurts the most, what I miss the most, is all that I missed out on.
I have no idea what his laugh would have sounded like. Whether he would have liked riding his bike or reading a book. What his favourite treat would have been. If he'd have liked frozen peas for dessert or refused to wear pink or hated my music.

Do you know the meaning of the word 'overwhelmed'? It means water rising up and up, over your face, over your head, completely engulfing you. Totally submerged. This is how I feel. Swallowed in the sea.

I'm shrouded in sad. It clouds my vision. It muffles voices. I can hear that people are talking to me, but I can't make sense of what they're saying.
It keeps me isolated, all alone in a crowd. I cannot connect with anyone. I cannot make myself care about the tiny meaningless details of everyday life. Not today.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

nom nom


Strictly speaking, this

isn't on my plate -- but it WAS last week.

(sorry you missed it)

Here is a recipe for the yummiest bikkies, it's from a Family Circle Junior Cookbook that's at least 20 years old.


1/2 cup milk
1 tspn vinegar (NOT Balsamic!)
125 g butter (soft) (do not ask if you can use margarine) (margarine isn't even food)
3/4 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tspn grated lemon rind
1 3/4 cups SR flour
1 tspn baking soda (bicarb)
1/4 tspn salt

1/2 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
zest of a lemon


heat your oven to 180 C (350 F)

pour the vinegar into the milk and leave it to go sour (it'll look a bit lumpy and gross)

beat butter, sugar, egg and rind till smooth

sift in the flour, baking soda and salt

add the sour milk and mix it together well. It MAY be very sticky, that's OK.

drop teaspoons of the mix onto a tray and give them some room to spread.

bake 12 minutes or so, one tray at a time. If you don't bake them till golden, they'll be delightfully chewy.

take the tray from the oven and leave the biscuits to cool a minute, then slide onto a wire tray to cool and crisp up.

mix together the icing sugar and lemon juice, and spread it over the bikkies while they're warm (not hot) -- the glaze will drip off the sides so make sure you can wipe the surface under the tray. Sprinkle with a little zest and allow to cool if you can bear waiting.

The recipe says this makes 48, but I don't actually know -- they've never survived long enough for me to count the whole batch.

These delicious babies are best served with a nice hot cup of tea.

Enjoy :)

Saturday, June 2, 2012


DAY 2 -- empty

This bed might not look empty, but it feels it. I much prefer it to be full of husband.

Friday, June 1, 2012

the challenge is on...


The whole concept of 'challenge' is made more -- well, challenging -- by the fact that when I swept up my camera the other day, the darn strap caught on a chair arm and hurled my poor camera onto bricks, breaking the little function selector jigger so that it now spins happily around and won't 'stick' on a setting.

So we'll just see how this photo-a-day malarkey plays out.