Wednesday, 31 January 2007

5 going on 15

James went to school today for only the third day of his primary school education, still the same little boy who started on Monday with the big hat, too big shirt and (now a little scuffed) clunky school shoes. Doug dropped him off at his classroom this morning and said "Now James don't -" and that's as far as he got before the now very worldly James said "Yeah I know Dad, don't go anywhere and wait here.  I knew that since yesterday".  And then James added "Dad where do the big boys wait for their parents?".  The little brain was ticking over because now he had been at school for two whole days and lets face it - you know it all by then and he had decided that he didn't need to be picked up or dropped off at his class anymore!  He wants to be dropped off at the gate and walk in by himself!  So quick thinking Dad has informed James that parents wait where his gran would be waiting that afternoon.  It satisfied him - for today anyway!  Why is he in such a rush?  He's still so physically little get in his mind he's now ten feet tall and bulletproof because he goes to school (yes, all 15 collective hours of school in his entire life thus far!).  I don't think I was prepared for the huge leap in sudden maturity that he thinks he has acquired by walking through those gates, although it did start a few days before in his mind.  The funny if it weren't true thing is that I can remember thinking exactly the same thing at that age!  It's almost as if he has transformed overnight into one of his brothers - the slothing on the couch when they walk in the door, not lifting a finger to help unless you as ten times and then threaten taking away TV, hanging out in their room watching them play computer games, just being with them instead of playing with his sister.  It's as if he has decided what makes a grown up kid and has decided to model his behaviour on that.  On the other hand it's a little exciting as he is so much his own little person now. Last week he was my little boy playing dollies with his sister to keep her amused and this week he's a teenager in a five year old's body!!!  Help!!!!  I have enough boy creatures in the house without my little man turning into one too!!!!
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Grrrrrr - no patterned paper!

Well that's not entirely true. I'm sure I've got at least 500 patterned papers here but I don't have the exact right one I need immediatley right now! lol Does that seem reasonable to you? If you are a scrapper then I bet it does! It's not like I even know which one I need. I've been shuffling a couple of page elements around (for a non-photo layout) for about an hour now and each different pp I try looks fine to begin with but after a moment my elements just say "No" in a little quiet voice. I'm starting to feel like a mother with a kid whose never satisfied no matter what you do. Do you want this? No. What about this? No. This one? No no no no no no no!!!! My page elements are having a screaming two year old hissy fit!~

Maybe I should stop letting the pages talk to me- I think I'd get more done.........

Blogspam - oh the horror!!!

I just got my blog up and kind of running yesterday and the very first comment I got turned out to be spam!!! I was shocked and mortified to discover that the comment turned out to be links to a software site (yay I guess I'm lucky it wasn't porn). I didn't even know you could have spam but I guess because I turned off the word verification this is what happens so apologies but I'm going to have to turn that back on. I despise spam with a passion and to coming stomping into my personal boudoir that is my blog is a little upsetting really. I expect to see friends, scrapping buddies, general normal people who might say hi, or agree with a post, not point me in the direction of free software downloads! It wasn't even a useful download at that!!! Inconsiderate spammer!!!

Went grocery shopping last night (without any children!!!! yipee!!!! - but had to have the MIL over to watch them - not so yipee......). I just cannot believe the price of food these days! Because our kids are mostly on a special diet with alot of additives not allowed we tend to buy the same "safe" things over and over again each week because we know they aren't a problem. It is horrifying to watch the price of same said things creep up every few weeks. The Woolworths at Forest Lake had their Home Brand eggs before Christmas for $1.99 a dozen and that's okay, then three weeks' later it crept up to $2.19 and then $2.32 and then $2.59 a few weeks after that!!! I worked out that with the number of eggs we use we'd be better off buying chooks!!!! But apart from that, to continue buying them would cost us an extra $100 a year in grocery money, just to cover that 60c increase in the price of a dozen eggs. The last time I checked our income didn't go up with the price of eggs and it didn't go up with the price of petrol either! It worries me how people are meant to survive - sure the government does provide support to a degree but things like Rent Assistance don't cover the huge increases in private rent and Family Tax doesn't pay for much these days either.

I am going to go now cos I can feel myself starting down the whole rant and rave path about how once you have kids and haven't adequately qualified yourself for a decent paying job you get stuck in the horrible situation of wanting to better yourself and your life by studying but becuase you have kids you can't afford not to work and can't fit in study anymore and can't apply for a better job with no paper qualifications and rant, rant, rant, rant.............

I'm going now, I'm going to try to fix my stupid slider thingy again today with my pitiful 73 mb left of download until midnight tonight. Ooops that's right, Dougie said no blogging today........ :)

Tuesday, 30 January 2007


Now breathe........oh yes dear reader as you can see I've completely intercoursed my blog here. I've lost my stupid slider thingly I struggled so long and hard to implement (well at least I know now how to get it back with min. fuss) as well as my Evermore clip, my favourite layout bit and a few other things! Another point of sadness is that I have skulled the only alcohol in my house (half a glass of two day old chardonnay) to drown my sorrows over my blog mishap and so far my sorrows aren't even feeling a little damp!!! See this is what you get for trying to be creative - don't do it!!!!

I'll persevere and see what can be salvaged but conisdering I know squat about HTML code I suspect it will be very little and over the next day or two - or when Bigpond gives me back a full month's worth of downloads on Wednesday - I will slowly rebuild again. I think I need a virtual brick wall to slam my head againast now...........

My DH just rang and said don't forget grocery shopping tonight. Doesn't he realise that a ruined blog is more important that food!!!!!!????? Foolish man.........

I broke my blog!!!!

I just set my blog up to email post and now I've buggered up all of the settings and the template!!!!! :(((((( So excuse me while the place looks like an explosion in a paint factory while I try to sort it what does this button do?.........OH CRICKEY WE'RE REEEEAAAAALLY PINK NOW!!!!! Oh that's like Cass's hair!!! lol I will sort this out eventually, cuss, swear, whine, complain, moan.............

Sketches make me sad :(

I'm trying to design an online class tutorial for really quick pages and have come to the ghastly realisation that I may have to use a sketch (gagging, sicky noises) to demonstrate where to place stuff on the page. I know some people love sketches and swear by them for perfect layouts every time but I HAVE NEVER USED A SKETCH IN MY LIFE!!!! They make me feel a bit ill quite frankly and I'm sure it's a reflection on my disorganised nature that I would prefer to let a layout take it's own course (the "talking to me" thing) than to have a pre-constructed sketch of where I'll put everything. I'm sure that in my mind I'll remember I've seen a page layout that I love and subconsciously I will think of placing stuff similarly to something I've seen somewhere but consciously I can't bring myself to sit and copy a picture. What do you do if you put it together and halfway through the layout doesn't look right? Or if you want to add some other things? I don't know what my layout's going to look like until I'm finished, even I don't know where it's going to end up sometimes! So I'm very new to the using sketches business and hope I don't become too familiar but for the moment I think it's the only way to get across my ideas because there are scrappers who far and away prefer to work with a template to guarantee balance and order and harmony for their layout, unlike me - I like to hop on the ride at the beginning and see where I end up, I'm not really in control and I don't always get a say in how my layouts turn out. They tell me what to do - I am a slave to paper!!!! Hey that's even better than life artist - PAPER SLAVE!!!!! How cool - I wasn't ever a life artist, scrapbooker is kind of non-explanatory and then people ask what that is, a paper crafter says nanna to me and memory keeper sounds a bit creepy like something that steals your memories while you sleep! lol I don't like the idea of being a paste eater though my kids are very proud of the fact that they do that and a geneological conservationist (please don't fall of the chair laughing cos I've heard someone use that! - though not the first time they said it because I thought they were kidding, started PMSL and fell off my chair and had to ask again!!!!).

Nope, I hereby declare myself a paper slave and proud of it!!!!

Screaming for more bandwith here.....

So I have tried to set up blogger so that I can post from my email without having to open my blog via the web. I'm scrimping for bandwidth at the moment and I'm going to be cut back to dial up speed any moment and I still have to work today and tomorrow before the month starts over! Doug assures me we are going to switch providers to get heaps more useage. He said we can get 10gig during peak time (like when I'm working during the day) and then 20 gig off peak (which is 9pm to 9am) and I said that sounds good but make sure we're not paying much more than we are now. Then he says No wait! We could get 20 gig peak time and 40 gig off peak for only $10 a month more!!! I'm sure we've entered into one of those male realms where an item equates to penis size!!!! We don't need that much bandwidth and to be honest I'm frightened of becoming an internet widow if he has that much allowable download!! He'd be on there downloading junk all the time!

So let's see if this works or not. Here we go...

Playing catch up and huge announcement that I can't actually make yet!!!

Well it is my first day of work after the kids have started school again and I am back into my safe, comfortable and secure routine! I am a VERY messy person normally and completely disorganised and a bit ADHD so when it comes to house cleaning I usually sit on the couch looking around and feeling overwhelmed. I end up not doing anything because my poor scattered brain doesn't know where to start. I found Flylady one day while cruising the net and she looked like she could help me. It is basically a system of building little routines each day to keep the house in basic minimum tidy order. Then from that it has weekly zones in the house where you focus 15 minutes each day on that zone, so for one week you might spend 15 minutes a day in the lounge and each day you get sent an email about what to do for that day, like dusting your knick knacks, or vacuuming behind couches or dusting above doorways and skirting boards etc so that you know that at least once per month those little jobs get done. Mondays are a home blessing day but I'm not home Mondays so I usually do it Tuesdays in amongst my work. That involves a more thorough clean that never takes more than an hour and involves changing everyone's sheets, cleaning mirrors, emptying rubbins bins through the house, that kind of stuff. I know it sounds really DUH basic but I am the kind of person who needs someone to point me in the right direction. I know all the stuff that has to get done but when someone points out the order I should do it in then I'm all good.

It's been six weeks since I have really done my daily routine properly. Holidays, having kids home and all that stuff really throws it out so I end up doing what needs to be done to make the house look acceptable at least without the normally more thorough cleaning. Clutter tends to amass by now and I forget how much I like my bathroom properly clean all the time, not just "visitor clean" which is just tidy enough so that they don't think they'll catch something if they sit on the toilet! So I've started that again and forgot how much good exercise that is too! Clean house brings my mind a bit of peace too so it's something I've embraced because I didn't realise that a messy house made my mental/emotional state so much worse. I like empty clean horizontal surfaces!!!! I'm still not an organised person and I'm still messy but I'm slowly learning to clean up after myself as I go (something Dougie hasn't yet mastered!). I know we mothers are meant to clean up after our kids but quite frankly I don't see why I have to do everything when the boys are perfectly capable of hanging up a towel after using it, putting the margarine away or putting a plate in the dishwasher when they're done! I want them to develop some habits like making their bed each day as soon as they get out of it (which I've only mastered in the last two months!! very embarrassing confession there...... :) ) and that if you have something in your room that moves or grows and it isn't you, a sibling or a pet THEN IT SHOULDN'T BLOODY WELL BE THERE!!!!!!

So that's my rant today. I'm not upset that I'm cleaning, I'm excited that the house is slowly becoming tidier as the day goes on but I wish a few more inhabitants of the house would give me a hand, or at least not make it harder by leaving crap everywhere!

Shhhhhhh I have a huge announcement to make but it's still a secret. No, oh sweet mercy I'm not pregnant - I am not that crazy!!!! Something to do with my scrapbooking but I'll post the second I'm able to, once some things have been finalised. Sorry to leave you hanging there but I've been told I absolutely have to wait for the go ahead before I spill the beans, or is that spill the brads??

Monday, 29 January 2007

Back to blessed normalcy (whatever that is)

Well after a crazy weekend of finishing off covering books (can't tell you how much I hate Contact!!!!!) for three kids and so much labelling but none of it on a layout, we left the house this morning with Blayd ready for Middle school (equiv. of starting high school), Lachlann going back to Upper Junior in grade 5 and Jamie starting his first day of Grade 1. He was all dolled up in his too big uniform, enormous hat that looked like a sombrero on his little blonde head and huge clunky school shoes with a bag almost as big as he is! He was very excited though and looking forward to his day. He wasn't at all worried either! So we dropped off in order of starting time - Blayd starts at 8.30am, Lachie at 8.45am and grade 1 starts at 9.00am. Honestly James wandered off to look around the moment we arrived and seemed happy for us to go whenever we wanted. I kept waiting and almost hoping he would have a little moment of dependency and want me to stay a moment longer. NOPE NADA NOTHIN!!!! He was chipper and happy and excited to meet lots of new people and kissed us goodbye and didn't even look back!!! I guess I should be happy - it would be heartbreaking to have one of those clingy kids who goes into hystronics when parents eventually disentangle themselves on that first day of school. He wasn't however so chirpy when I got there. His brother had finished already and collected him and I met them just as they were leaving his classroom. There were big fat tears because he was leaving all of his beautiful new books and pencils behind!!!! He wanted to take them all home again, not leave them at school, oh yes and he was devastated that he didn't get time to go to the tuckshop for an ice block at lunch like a big school boy. Other than that he seems happy enough to go back again tomorrow! Poor kid, little does he know how many tomorrows at school there will be for him!!!

Friday, 26 January 2007

ARGH the rubber band is stretched reeeeeaaaaally thin tonight

I had lots of work on this week and tried to get through it during the week but some clients made a last minute sprint for the finish line and wanted to get everything in before the long weekend so I have a huge pile of stuff to do and if I want to get paid tomorrow it all has to be finished by then. So I've been at this desk now for about twelve hours and haven't had more than a 10 minute break at a time. I was sure I'd be finished by now except it's been one of those days of constant interruption. The eldest DS comes in to complain about a younger DS or to complain that he's been asked to do a chore or something and wants me to listen while he moans. The second eldest DS is in desperate need of his ADHD med but I've been holding off because the longer he is off it the more effective it will work for him when he restarts it and I want to try to wait until school starts. So basically it is the equivalent of having an all singing, all dancing, jack-in-the-box voice over artist crossed with the most annoying kid you ever knew at school. He has come in about a million times today to ask about things of varying unimportance. The youngest DS has come in to speak to me about very important things, things so very important that he has needed a moment to think them up while I wait to hear what he wants to say! Lets not discuss how he also preferred that I come and sit on the edge of the bath to chat with him while he uses the toilet. He treats the bathroom like his office or something and likes a bit of company. HRH has now worked out that even though the door is shut while I'm working (and I hate having to close the door to my kids but you might get an idea now as to why I do it!) there are ways and means around a little pesky thing like a shut door. She now knows that if you are determined to get in then you should either drag a kitchen chair the length of the house or tip all of the dirty clothes out of the hamper and haul it into the hallway and up to the door to use as a ladder. Then you can precariously totter on top of said chair with a stepstool balanced on that, or on top of the flimsy plastic clothes hamper and reach the door handle. You may then fling the door open, dismount from said door opening assistance items and either climb the bed frame to holler out the window at the neighbours, grab tubes of paint and squeeze them into little hands and smear liberally over as many surfaces as possible before someone grabs you, steal jewellery, rip up Prima flowers or throw entire reams of paper or packs of envelopes all over the bed and floor. And that happens about fifty times a day. Then the ever helpful DH comes in to sit in the air con while he chats to his mates on the phone or brings screaming HRH in to change her clothes or wash her face, or to lecture one of the boys in front of me (you know "tell your mum what you did" type speeches) or wants me to look at something he saw on the internet, come and see something cool/funny/outrageous on TV or to repeatedly ask how much work I still have left to do!


Now if I was able to work and listen at the same time I wouldn't have a problem but - I'm a medical typist. I sit at my desk in my room with the door shut and transcription headphones on all day as that's how I hear what I'm supposed to type. Unfortunately I can still hear stuff that goes on behind the closed door let alone noise and distraction from people in the room with me! It means I have to stop and rewind what I'm doing if somebody makes a noise or speaks over the top of what I'm listening to. The longer I type the slower and more uncoordinated I get which I know is just normal fatigue from sitting so long and staring at a computer screen but it's very frustrating because I know I have a limited amount of time that I am as productive as I would like. I also get paid piece rate, not per hour, which means that the way my day's gone so far I'm working for the equivalent of the American minimum wage. Hey don't get me wrong, on the days when I'm feeling super motivated and I'm "in the zone" then I get paid very well for not too many hours out of my day but that wasn't today.

I'm having one of those moments where I can feel the rubber band stretching waaaaaaay too thin and every little thing that isn't going my way is making me angrier by the second. I don't know whether to scream at people or cry..... little things like nobody telling me we're out of dog food and I don't have money until tomorrow to buy more, DH bringing me home a chocolate bar and when I opened the wrapper it was all crumbly and spoiled from heat exposure, running out of Coke Zero, the children not even acknowledging me when I speak to them until the FIFTH time I have to say it, having a sore back because I've been sitting here for so frickin long now and knowing that I will be lucky to get four hours' sleep tonight before I have to get up again at 4.00am to start typing again just so I can get paid. Oh beloved blog readers I'm sorry to unload but Cass will probably be in bed by now and it's nice to know that Blogger is listening even if nobody actually reads it.

That was my whinge for Friday. In all truth and honesty there is nothing that bad that's happened to me today, just a whole pile of little upsetting annoying things coupled with having to work all day and night. I don't even know why I've let it all get to me either. I'm going to go take some of my own advice now and run a warm bath, light a nice candle and just chill for a little bit. It's not like work wont' be here when I get back but my sanity may well have buggered off!!! lol

If You're Happy And You Know It Vote For Cass!!!!

Okay completely blatant and undisguised ploy to curry votes for my best friend here!!! lol Cass has entered an amazing photograph in a comp to celebrate Australia Day and there are some great prizes on offer not to mention the excitement of being chosen as a winner or runner up. The competition site is called - they have spent the day taking aerial photographs of how we as a country have celebrated Australia Day all around the place. They had a big photo shoot at Kirra Beach this morning to commemorate the year of the lifesaver and in keeping with that theme Cass has taken a truly amazing picture of her daughter on the beach standing next to a red and yellow flag. She's so adorable in her little red swimmers, just like a mini Baywatch babe!!! If you have a minute or two could you have a toddle over and have a look at the site? Cass's picture is listed under the individuals gallery and at the moment is in the Most Viewed gallery as well. It's a truly unmistakable photo and you will know it the moment you see it. If you love the pic would you be able to vote because the first prize is a holiday and Cass deserves one more than anybody else I know! lol Now I'm looking for sympathy votes!

Thanks for being involved in Team Cass if you are able to and I hope everyone is having a rocking Australia Day so far!

Happy Australia Day!

I have to say that while I don't have anything planned for Australia Day except for a pile of typing that I have to have done by tomorrow, I'm still very mildful and grateful for what it means to be an Australian and to live in such a beautiful and diverse country that in today's terms is still very much "the lucky country". Sure we have the same social issues as many other places but there are so many people who care about those issues and dedicate time and resources to helping to solve them. We have that real mateship about us and how we deal with people we interact with every day. It's the whole fair go for everyone philosophy that I like. We welcome people from all over the world to share our beautiful country and to build on its future. We've come a long way from what was a British outpost for convicts a little over 200 years ago to an amazing place to live.

We weren't here first though, and I feel obliged to acknowledge that. The Aboriginal people loved and cared for this country long before our ancestors got here and it must be difficult to preserve that culture in such a fast changing world.

If work weren't calling me quite so loudly I'd be at the beach today I think. The sun, sand and surf are the epitome of what it is to me to live in Australia. I love the hot summer days and late afternoon storms like yesterday, I love thongs on bare feet, larrikins, bbqs, icy cold beer, criket, tennis, football, aussie rules even if I don't understand it. I love that Australians are passionate, loyal, proud of who we are and happy to share what we've got. I love this country and I'm glad my kids are growing up here. I love that Australia has an out there, alive and kicking scrapping industry with some of the best talent on the planet.

Have a corker of an Australia Day, whatever you do to celebrate! Throw a snag on the barbie, knock the top of a cold one, get some sand under your feet or kick back under the shade of a Coolibah tree. Listen to some Cold Chisel, go for a burn in a ute, pat a blue cattle dog, wear your thongs proudly everywhere you go, paint your face with zinc, go the backyard cricket match, spin a yarn or go troppo.

Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, 25 January 2007

A sleep-over for grown ups!

To celebrate Cass's birthday she has invited me over to watch Pulp Fiction, drink copious amounts of red, colour our hair and paint our toenails!!! Sounds like so much fun and I can't wait. I can't remember the last time I helped a girlfriend colour her hair. Most of us are working or being mummies so we either just go to the hairdresser cos we're pressed for time or scared of mucking it up, or we chuck a colour in that we picked up from the supermarket while doing the groceries or from the chemist while getting scripts and panadol. We're actually going to experiment a little. I coloured my hair this week to a nice red but what I really want is foils - pink, dark red and purple ones to be exact, and maybe a couple of blue ones!!! Now I'm not in the position to part with the dosh for a hairdresser job but I've always been pretty adventurous with my hair. There is only one taboo for me and that's going blonde. I have hazel eyes and dark, dark eyelashes and eyebrows and totally the wrong skin colour as well so I imagine it would look dreadful. But as far as cut and colour are concerned there aren't any boundaries. I've had it long half-way down my back but I've also shaved it all off for the Leukaemia Foundation. It's been everything from Wonder Woman blue-black to orange (don't was only a really short phase!) and everything in between and because I've been very lucky (or someone was providing divine intervention!) I have never had a disaster at home with colour, even when I have bleached down my hair for foils by myself. So there are pretty much no barriers and I'm not afraid to give anything a go. The only thing I truly hate is my natural colour (really dark brown and let's not mention the few greys I sometimes find and I'll even admit I pull out if I can see them!!!). So my hair is never left alone for very long. I'm also lucky it's thick and healthy and doesn't seem to mind a bit of punishment. It's funny but the more vivid my hair is, the more "me" I feel. I don't know if that makes sense but I guess it's a self esteem thing there. So tonight will be fun. It's only semi-permanent using the Fudge Paintbox stuff but I don't mind having to re-do. It will be a reason for another girly get together.

I finished my Aussie Dares layout finally!!!! Thanks to Rett for allowing me to use the idea - it panned out brilliantly for the topic I was working with! I've even finished a couple of CJs this week. I'm surprised I've gotten that much done. It's a lot for me anyway, I sometimes work 50 hours a week from home so I'm realistic about what I can achieve in the time that's left over after being a wifey and mumma.

I'll take along the digi tonight and get some photos of the hair adventure. I wonder if it would be more fun to scrap the "during" pics of that?????


Happy birthday to my best friend Cass!!! We won't mention numbers here - as Ngaire says, we should leave the numbers to the cheese!

Thank you for everything you do for us all year round. I hope you have a wonderful day, get things you want and realise how loved you are!

Wednesday, 24 January 2007

Dubbya, Iraq and TV that makes you think......

Okay I haven't really had much of an opinion until now about the whole "war on Iraq" thing. It's been big news ever since 9/11 and isn't going away any time soon so I guess our kids will grow up thinking it's normal. But tonight on Foxtel I have been watching a show on CI called "Bagdhad ER" (sp?) about the Americal military medical units who support troops fighting in Iraq. Let me get the kevlar suit on first before anybody flames me!

Firstly, I don't support Iraq or the human rights violations that have occurred there for years, the racial predjudice, the religious intolerance or the domination of women in that society. On the other hand, I'm not so sure I like the idea of quite possibly the dumbest political figurehead EVER invading someone else's country in the name of freedom. Yes, there are injustices and change is needed but at what price does that change come, and is the price acceptable regardless of the cost to families all over the world whose children proudly go to war to defend the principles of justice and freedom? So I am in a bit of a quandry here......I am in awe and admiration of people who are willing to leave their homes and families to defend the principles that make our country what it is, to lay their lives on the line to protect us and our way of life, and to strive for a world where everyone can enjoy the freedoms we take for granted. Please be clear about that before I go on. I very much doubt I have the courage to do what those soldiers do, and do willingly and proudly.

I guess I had never put too much thought into it all because it's too complicated, too emotional an issue, too messy for me to really think about in brass tacks terms. Yes it's going on around me and my family but I'd really rather not think about it. Choosing to be ill informed and ignorant is shameful and tonight I understood why. The doctors were discussing a soldier they were operating on, horribly wounded from shrapnel. He had celebrated his 21st birthday the day before and now it looked like he might die, in a foreign country, without family or friends around him, AND HE WASN'T EVEN OLD ENOUGH TO HAVE A BEER. He was deemed of age to fight and die for his country but wasn't old enough to have a beer. There was just something in that ironic situation that really saddened me. And made me think. And made me feel bad - not just for him and for his family, but made me feel bad for our leaders who have invaded that country, for the people whose country has been subject to such atrocities for just about forever, for people who are trying to make a living in Iraq amidst the unrest, for the families of soldiers who are so proud of their children (and rightly so) for making the sacrifice of becoming involved, and for those who so strongly disagree with the whole ugly mess that they would vilify people who choose, or by order, are involved. THE WHOLE MESS IS JUST WRONG, WRONG, WRONG and I have no idea what needs to be done to fix it except pray that God will sort things out and quickly.

That's my rant for today. It's a big mess that I have no idea how to fix, have no idea how to fully understand but at the same time I feel sorry for everyone involved - on every side. I still don't have an "official position" on the situation, even after that rambling post but it made me think about something that I would otherwise have tried to ignore because it's ugly, it's uncomfortable and it's terrible for everyone affected, which is virtually everybody on the planet. So that's something in itself - to have forced to the front of my mind an issue which I would otherwise have preferred to ignore because ignorance is sometimes, maybe alot of times, easier than knowing the truth because then you have to acknowledge it, see it for what it really is, and decide what you are going to do about it. I still don't know what I will do about it, but I will certainly do a lot more reading now, take a lot more notice of the news now, and do a lot more praying now. As Oprah said, "you can't unring the bell" - once you know what you know and have seen what you have seen, you cannot pretent you never knew and never saw. Knowledge is very powerful and everyone has to decide for themselves what to do with it.

I'm not sure why I shared all that here but I kind of sat down and the contents of my brain spilled out again! I don't mind if nobody agrees or thinks the whole post was crap but as long as you give it even a second of thought then you are more aware than you were a moment ago. Think and question. Question and pray. Pray and maybe this can be over someday soon for all of us. I don't want my kids growing up thinking that war is normal............

Finally maybe some rain and still no layout!!!

It's been really hot here today, by that I mean about 35 which for our Brisbane summer has been hot so far. We haven't had good drenching rain or even a storm for that matter in weeks and weeks and it's not like we don't need the water. At the moment though it looks like clouds are gathering outside and I'd love a big loud storm to finish off the day. My air con is busting it's bahookie and still doesn't seem to be doing much. It doesn't help that Lachie is home today and is in and out of my room about every five minutes to tell me something or other. I should be glad he wants to share with me I suppose! lol

I'm so wanting to do my Aussie Dares layout and it just IS NOT HAPPENING! Lots of computer troubles today from work (which is still going as I work a full day on Wednesdays) and thankfully from their end and not mine but it doesn't help when things that need to be done can't get done and just pile up instead! What I really want to do is just turn my back on the sodding computer and do my layout. I haven't even had a moment to print out the pic I want to use. My nice photo paper is still sitting waiting patiently in the printer for me. Because the work I type is real time, it means I can't just do it later, it has to get done now as there are people waiting for it at the other end and I do have other stuff that can wait but really I should get it done too as the week is one day shorter and doctors will probably try to catch up on their stuff this afternoon and tomorrow so it's done before the long weekend. Otherwise I'm going to end up spending my Australia Day typing my behind off and I don't think I want to do that! lol

Lusi I love your idea of listing what you're thankful for. It's a perspective thing and makes you realise that however little you think you have, there is always someone with less and luckily it's not you. So people should just bloody well cheer up cos there are nicer people worse off than me so I'll give this a go. This is my year to chill and to be grateful.

1. Thankful for having an air conditioner
2. Thankful that God kept Cass and her home and family safe the other day (check her blog for her near miss which was some careless idiot's fault!)
3. Thankful that I saw a bit of Dr Phil today which reminded me (after having a particularly bad week with Blayd in terms of his attitude and behaviour) that regardless of what he says or does, I need to be the one person who will always be 100% on his side. I will have a talk to him when he gets home and remind him of how much I love him regardless of what kind of week we've had.
4. Thankful for my favourite bed sheets. They were second hand hotel sheets handed out by some very caring people at a Church in the city. We got them at a time we didn't have a lot of cash and they are the thickest, crispest white pure cotton sheets I've ever seen and sleeping on them is wonderful. I totally don't care that they were slept on by a gazillion people before I got them. I could never, even now, afford to buy those kind of sheets. I think they are like 1000 thread count and will last for ages and ages no matter how often they're washed. Come to think of it I don't even know where I would find 1000 thread count sheets......but I'm sure they'd be expensive!
5. Thankful for the big beautiful tree in my backyard. It provides my kids with shade to play, a place to hang a swing, a home for countless birds each day and something lovely and alive to look at while I work (or should I say while I daydream and stare out the window while I'm supposed to be working??? lol).

That was fun. Going to try to make that a regular thing whenever I remember. In fact, when I have a crappy day I'll write down ten things I'm thankful for, because I think that's when I need the most reminding of the great things I have in my life, even if sometimes things go wrong.

On a scrappy note, soooo looking forward to all the new CHA releases that are coming soon. I got a great link off Mrs Positive's blog to a site with lots of sneak peeks and everything is just gorgeous. I often wonder how many new ideas are there out there for scrapping, just how many new things can people dream up? And then I realise that it is as limitless as our imaginations and the imaginations of the designers and manufacturers. I always get that little butterfly of excitement when I find something new or cool or funky to use for my layouts. The new Basic Grey looks gorgeous but isn't it always??? Hope you're having a nice arvo whatever you are doing and that you get the weather you need. Here's to a good storm here and some dam filling rain!

Yay for Cass!

A big shout out to my best bud Cass who has her first layout published in the current issue of For Keeps that went on sale today! It's issue 51 and her layout is on the contents page as well as on a full page spread in the Monochromatics Gallery. It's called Sunshine and Little Girls. The photos are of her daughter Lily and my daughter Caeligh prancing about in the spare lot beside Cass's house. It was a lovely spring day and the owners never mow the block (disastrous in fire season but you might want to look at the link to her blog to read more on that!) so the grass was lovely and green. We trussed the girls up in long white dresses and got snapping. We were kind of doing okay, as okay as you can get with two little girls who will only pose for so long, when poor Miss Lil got an ant bite on the bum and as you can imagine the whole shoot was over at that point! But the layout is fantastic and well deserving of being published. Cass has had an amazing six months in terms of acceptances, mainly from SM, but the For Keeps pub is her very first.

Huge congrats to ya girl!!!! Keep an eye out for Cassandra Glass - you'll be seeing a whole lot more of her amazing and very individual work in the next few months, esp. next month's Scrapbooking Memories! She's also on DT at Cyberscraps if you want to see more of her great layouts.

Tuesday, 23 January 2007

The one word thing

I've heard lots of scrappers this year getting involved with Ali Edwards' "one word" thing - choosing a word to use for the year, to think about, meditate on, to use in your daily life and reflect on. Don't even know why I'm drawn to the idea but the second I read it my word popped into my head - chill. Probably cos it's exactly what I need to do. I worry about the little things, sweat the small stuff and fuss over what will be, even as quickly as another hour, nothing of importance or even worth remembering! I guess part of it is a perfectionism streak (funny because I'm very messy and poorly organised) and I like things to be done a certain way. I don't even know why that matters as long as things get done and I'm slowly learning to let go of that. Mainly it's things like getting on the kids' case for not doing something properly. Sure there are some things that for safety, etc need to be done a certain way but not everyday crap like tidying up or helping out around the house. Lordy I should just be grateful they are willing to help! It's also stuff like Doug and I having a crack at each other over spending $10 here or there. I know money matters and there is never enough of it but IF HE WERE TO DIE TOMORROW WOULD I STILL GIVE A TOSS ABOUT A LOUSY $10???????? No no no no no no no no no! Money is transient and fluid, comes and goes, shouldn't be a biggie as long as we can pay the bills and eat every day. Childhood is transient and once it goes it's gone forever. Shouldn't bust my kids' butts or find things to pick at because one day they will not even want to stand next to me in the supermarket! I should revel in the fact that they are my babies, for however short a time, and do what I can to bolster their little often fragile egos with praise for helping, not pointing out flaws in things that DO NOT MATTER! Sorry to yell a bit, I'm just trying to emphasise and I'm sure you get what I mean.

Chill. Take a second, turn off the head and switch on the heart and see if it's still worth it. I'm betting most times it's not.

Chill - I like the sound of that, it's permission not to freak out every minute of every day and learning that I have to hand some stuff over to a power higher than me because I don't have to do it all on my own. It always seems to turn out better if I trust that there is a plan - I may not know what the plan is for today, maybe I don't need to know the plan, but it's the security of knowing there is defintely a plan.

Strange afternoon musings and time for coffee I think. It's so easy to get "lost" in pondering and my work is sitting quietly waiting for me to come back to it. Maybe that's the plan, that I should get some work done! lol

SM acceptance

The layout on the right "Cheeky Miss" was accepted by SM yesterday! Funny because I didn't even feel like that was my work. I like the end result but it just wasn't something I'd normally do but obviously it must work on some level so it's all packed up in a pizza box ready to go. I even had to sit and do a materials list because I hadn't bothered at the time because I didn't think any of the mags would want it, I guess because I wasn't even sure I liked it. It's nice it got accepted but I was pleased to see that to me I feel like it wouldn't have mattered if it hadn't been as I'm trying to be more chilled this year about my scrapping and doing what I want, not what I think I have to with my layouts. Shoutout to Sue here because yes, it's the whole validation of my inner me when a layout gets accepted (kick myself up the bum here for tying my self-worth to my scrapping but hey, sometimes we women have no other yardstick!).

It's Tuesday and everybody is cranky!

Don't ask me why but everybody in the house (for once not including me) woke up really cranky. Caeligh got up and proceeded to cause havoc and destruction from the moment her feet hit the bedroom floor, spreading toys, "making" her breakfast with an entire bag of sugar and a tsunami of milk across the coffee table, smearing foundation all over my computer screen, finding her reward stamp and putting big bright pink stamps all up her arms and over her pj's, unmade my bed for me, helped herself to iceblocks any time someone wasn't watching her every move, turned off Daddy's computer while he was burning a disc, tipped her brother's marbles all over the floor, dumped the last tub of moisturiser I had on the bathroom floor and smeared it around for good measure, threw a dustpan full of crumbs and crap onto the kitchen floor and generally hooted, hollered and made a mongrel of herself every second of her day until she left for kindy. The boys weren't much better. James also got on the hoot'n and holler'n bandwagon about not wanting to go to kindy even though he's only got three days left until he starts grade 1 next week and then didn't want to change his clothes and then wanted to wear only a dirty shirt and then NEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEDED to find the bag for his Blue's Clues sleeping bag so he could take that to kindy (you know, the kindy he didn't want to go to a minute before!) and threw a wobble about that because quite frankly I think I threw it away (but I certainly wasn't going to admit that, I just said we'd look for it when he came home, bad mummy.....). Lachlann and Blayd are at home this week instead of at holiday care at kindy becuase they didn't have many school aged kids last week or this week and thus no age appropriate activities so they spent the week at each other's throats at kindy and annoying everybody else so basically the teacher breathed a sigh of relief when I said they wouldn't be coming this week after all. I don't dislike the kindy teachers that much that I'd inflict those two upon them again after last week. So they're here and crabby because I've asked them to do some tidying up for me while I work. I think they equate being at my computer to playing because that's what it is when they are at their computer. They don't get that apart from a bit of mucking around on the net here and there I do actually have to get work done for 99% of my day while I've said they can't touch their computer until their chores are done. What a bloody hoo-haa that's turning out to be. They are excellent at making excuses as to why they can't, shouldn't, won't be able to do what I've asked them to. In turn after all the kerfuffle Doug has left for work in a crappy mood after refereeing, helping get little whingers ready and firing off job requests to the big whingers and he was late because of a burst water main near his work.

So I'm very much OVER IT!!!! Heaven help the kid who walks into my room now and says they can't do their chores. I told them if they couldn't do as they were asked then they would get to spend the last week of their holidays becoming intimately acquainted with the timber floor and a scrubbing brush and would be banned from all TV, stereo, computer and xbox. Well aparently that's like threatening to have them summarily shot or something - or at least you'd think so from the reaction!

I do hope everyone else has had a better day so far. I can't complain really, they will all get over it at some point and I'll get on with my work and try to fit a leetle beet of scrapping in somewhere. I still have my How Dare You to do this week after Loretta very kindly let me borrow her idea when the perfect situation arose in my house last week so I want to be sure and get it done. Plus the Cyberscraps Feb challenge too - it would help enormously if I could get an example one done BEFORE I expect everyone else to have a go! lol

Monday, 22 January 2007

I love the beach but not the inhabitants!!! (aka OWW OWW OWW)

Cass, Kelly, Doug and I went to the beach yesterday for Miss Lily's 3rd birthday. It was a bit windy but lovely warm day. We haven't had too many truly great summer days this year yet, it's been a bit all over the place so I'm glad the weather was great for Miss Lily.

I didn't go in too far as HRH suddenly had an attack of hydrophobia when we got to the water. I don't understand what happened as last time she went to the beach she had a fantastic time, running through the shallow waves and even coming in a little deeper when I carried her. Yesterday she stood rooted to the DRY sand, not even getting as far as the water, clinging to her Dad's leg and saying the water was "scaring at me". I tried to ask why she was suddenly so frightened but she's only a few weeks of 3 herself and just didn't know how to explain. Maybe she is wiser than I know because I should've stayed out of the water myself because.........

I got stung by a blue bottle standing in only a couple of inches of water!!! OWW OWW OWW OUCHIE OUCHIE OUCHIE!!!!! I didn't even realise until it skimmed the back of my left leg where the Achilles tendon and the pain was immediate and bloody awful and so I turned to see what was behind me just in time to see the nasty little creature get me right across the back of the other leg!!! I didn't even have time to move as it gracefully drifted past me leaving me in absolute agony. I got the little ones out of the water because they were standing in the shallows with us and I'm so glad it was me and not one of them. Apparently lots of kids have been stung in the last week or so and some have ended up in hospital because it's such a shock to their little systems. So I walk up to the nearest lifeguard for suggestions and we had to brush sand off and tentacles so he could spray Stingose on the welts (which does bugger all I can tell you!). Fine, fine, fine I mumble and walk back to the sun tents, quite convinced that I'm done with the beach for one day and so are my kids if those critters are floating around out there. Within a couple of minutes of sitting down I began to get THE MOST EXCRUCIATING abdominal cramps of my life. I can say with all honesty that within five minutes they became as bad as labour pain, the kind where that's when you start asking for an epidural. Oh I curled up on a ball in the sand and every movement made it worse. I'm worried now, wondering what on earth would cause it (and casually start thinking of horrible things like a ruptured ovarian cyst or something) and Dougie wanders back to the lifeguard to ask him if it could have been the jellyfish sting. He comes back and informs me that yes, blue bottle stings, if you get a bad one, can cause groin/pelvic pain because the toxins move up to the first port of call for your body's defence - your groin lymph nodes. The lifeguard said it would last probably about an hour - at that moment I wondered whether an epidural was a viable option and if anyone would give one to me! Honestly the last time I endured pain like that it was only for three hours and I got a baby at the end of it. Come on now, you have to admire my faith in medicine as that time I got an epidural too, except it only numbed my leg and nothing else but hey I was willing to give it another go!!!

So I've had to shuffle back to the car, for the drive home. I very ungracefully sat in the front with both my feet up on the dash so the air conditioning could hit the back of my legs and grabbed a few panadol for good measure. Thankfully by the time I got close to home the abdo pain disappeared to the occasional twinge but my ankles both started to feel like I'd broken them both and then stuck them under the grill for good measure! After stopping at a chemist for some stronger painkillers I went home and had a really hot shower (which surprisingly did help the pain but only until I had to get out) and then laid up on the couch with a soothing combination of painkillers and a big glass of red. Yes I know that's a dreadful combination but it was either that or a trip to the hospital because it took hours before it settled down.

Today I've got a bit of a sore stomach (like I've pulled my abdo muscles) and movement or touching makes the welts flare up a bit but other than that I am feeling normal again. So I'll probably have another panadol and get on with it because I've got to take the three boys to school today to get their uniforms - it's my only day off apart from the public holiday before school starts so there's nothing else for it but to just get on with it.

We got about 80% of their book lists on Saturday at Officeworks - and did it for at least 50% cheaper than the newsagent quoted price. Not that I have anything against the newsagent, they are a small business and have to make money while competing against much bigger suppliers but with having to send three kids to school this year as well as new uniforms and a resource fee for each of them, we had to find some way of making it as purse-friendly as possible.

I'm running late again with my challenges despite my best efforts. I suddenly had lots of typing to do late in the week when I thought I'd get time to do my scrapping layouts so not happened so far. I'm going to Cass's today so I might take a bag of supplies and see if I can't get something done. But with eight kids I can't be sure I'll do anything but act as a hostage negotiator, referee and activities co-ordinator!

Friday, 19 January 2007

DEEP DEEP DEEP Get Real Challenge #3 - February 2007

This is my post on Cyberscraps about my third Get Real Challenge. I've really enjoyed these so far and hope the people who have participated have enjoyed the "honesty" of it and the therapy of course. I'm telling you what, it's cheaper than a shrink!!! lol There is a full explanation right at the bottom of my blog which explains what the Get Real challenges are all about and why you should saddle up and give them a go! This month's challenge:

Okay, getting in early again because it's another DEEP one and some of you may want to take some time to think about how you are going to do this one! This month my Get Real Challenge is to write a letter to your 18-year-old self. What would you now, at your age, go back and tell yourself when you were only 18? Advice, warnings, encouragement, direction? Think about where you were at 18 and how the world looked to you at that time. Maybe you did things in that year that changed your life forever, for better or for worse. Maybe you were afraid of what the future might hold and now you would want to tell your 18-year-old self to feel the fear and do it anyway? Maybe you want to tell your 18-year-old self to listen to heart instead of head, or maybe the other way around?

It was the year that most of us started drinking legally and found a new freedom in terms of our social lives - I know I did.
It was the year that we were told to vote for the first time and I know I had no idea what I was really voting for at that age.
It was the year I had my first long term job, the year I was planning my wedding to my now ex-husband.
It was the year I tried to learn to drive and gave up because it was "too hard".
It was a year I spent mostly away from home, at a boyfriend's house, at a friend's house, shopping, working, partying.
It was the last full year of my mother's life but neither she nor I knew it.
It was the last Christmas I would spend as a child under my parents' roof.

They say hindsight is a wonderful thing and I know it's true. And I know you all have that as well, the abilty to look back and see the mistakes as well as the great decisions. I don't want or need to see anybody's letters and how you incorporate that letter into your layout is entirely up to you. If you have a photograph of yourself at 18 that would be just amazing if you could use it, otherwise you can use a recent pic of you, or no pic at all if you would prefer.

I know for some it will open a proverbial can of worms and for others it will bring back sweet nostalgia of a wonderful time in your life. Take your time, have a think back, recall those memories of a time when you thought you knew everything, could do anything and had the plan of your life mapped out (well I did anyway! lol). Maybe you will chat about it to any old friends you still keep in touch with, maybe speak with a parent if you can, maybe speak to your partner if they knew you at 18. Go back, look forward and from whatever age you are now look back again. Sit down with a pen and let the wisdom of hindsight flow ladies!

The due date for this challenge to be uploaded into the gallery under Get Real Challenge February 2007 album is 28 February 2007.

I posted this here so that anybody who thinks they might be interested in this kind of scrapping could have a look and participiate if you want to. I'm totally still doing my "cute", "perfect" and "life's wonderful" layouts but I now spend just as much time focusing on the real daily grind, my history of the good, bad and ugly that makes me who I am, and what my life is really like. I want my kids to look through my albums when I'm gone and be able to say they truly knew who I really was, as a mother, as a woman, as a soul. I want my albums to be a testament to who I am and I figured this was the best way to go about it!

OH very heavy, sorry it may be Friday and I don't want to harsh anybody's mellow but it's one thing, one aspect of my scrapping that I've become very passionate about. Join in if you like or just come and have a look at what others have done if you prefer. Either way I'd like to hope the challenges make you think. Have you thought about yourself at 18 yet, while you've been sitting here reading this? An excellent start! lol

Its just like but not really......

My desk where I work is in my room and as I had an early start today I've had a steady stream of small children coming in with vague and odd questions and requests, I guess just because that's how they get to spend time with me on the mornings I have to work really early. Today is no exception and James has been my conversationalist this morning.

James walks in, stops next to me:

J: Mum why do you scrapbook?
M: Cos it's fun?!?
J: Oh (turns and leaves)

James returns a half an hour later and picks up a Heidi Swapp edge distressor:

J: Mum what's this?
M: It's an edge distressor, honey. It roughs up the edges of paper. See? (I demonstrate on an old envelope for him)
J: Oh I see, it makes it a bit rough. Um that thing looks just like a lilypad Mum. Except that it's pink and lilypads aren't pink are they Mum? They're green.
M: No, you're right baby, they're green.
J: And it has one of those sharp things and lilypads don't have those.
M: No babe lilypads don't have sharp things.
J: And it has that writing on it too and lilypads don't have writing on them either.
M: No James they don't have writing on them (me laughing a bit by now at his seriousness)
J: So it's just like a lilypad except it is pink, and has that sharp thing and that writing and stuff. Yeah I guess it's the same...... (turns and wanders off again).

Honestly the conversations we have........!

Let's play hairshop Mummy!

This was my 2 year old daughter's request last night after dinner. I did try to explain that my hair wasn't long enough (not quite shoulder length yet) to put up in piggies or a ponytail like hers but she was, as usual, extremely determined! She sat and brushed my hair for me and got me to put in a tiny sticky-out bunch in a hair tie at the back with lots falling out where it isn't long enough. She was extremely proud of herself by that point. She then took EVERY hair clip and slide she has and put all of them carefully in my hair at the front. Very attractive I must say and thank you to my three sons who all sat (with a smartypants twinkle in each eye) and sweetly said how beautiful I looked. Caeligh was of course tickled that they thought she had done a good job but naturally all three boys suddenly were very busy when she asked if she could do their hair as well! lol

It made me realise that I don't think I'm doing too bad a job with Caeligh as she was very gentle, gave me lots of encouragement when I sat still for her and she frequently touched me on the cheeks and the forehead and told me what a good girl I was. I got lots of kisses and cuddles too. I'd like to hope she's learned from me how to be so affectionate but she was always very kissy and cuddly right from the start but I think it's probably the other way around. I think she's taught me how to be a very affectionate Mum. I don't know about other kids but I know my boys weren't particularly cuddly so to have someone so in my space all the time, constantly attached to my hip, on my lap, arms flung around my neck, that was hard to get used to at first but I wouldn't have it any other way now. It's made me show lots more physical affection to the boys and it's slowly teaching them that it's okay to do that and in fact it's normal so hopefully that will stick with them and give them something positive to take as they grow up. Any future wives can thank me later!!! lol

I didn't get any photos of the hairshop half hour but I think I will scrap it anyway as I felt really special that she wanted to sit and play just with me, when she could have been off with her brothers or watching TV or any of the other million things little girls amuse themselves with. And Ngaire you are right, she's also teaching me that it's okay to wear pink and skip if we want to!

Thursday, 18 January 2007

Always rely on Oprah for some perspective

I watched Oprah on Foxtel today and she was doing a show about poverty in America and about how some phenomenal percentage of the population lives below the poverty line - which isn't nearly high enough to reflect the cost of living. I know the situation is the same here, with many families being, as Oprah said, two paychecks away from poverty, meaning you wouldn't be able to afford to buy food/you would be evicted from your rented house/have the bank threaten to take your house off you if you have a mortgage/lose your job if you can't make the repayments on the car that they'll repossess so you can't get to the job that pays for the stupid car in the first place.

Perspective is a wonderful thing and there isn't nearly enough of it about. I hate the house I live in because I don't like the area and the house is so tiny but the crucial point is that I HAVE a house to live in. So many don't. I HAVE a job while so many don't. I HAVE the ability to know where my kids' next meal is coming from even if we have really tight weeks financially and we've never starved. I HAVE more than one pair of shoes. I HAVE money to get a hair colour at home even if I can't afford to go to the hairdresser. I HAVE petrol in my car to get where we need to go, if not where we might like to go. I HAVE four healthy kids, all alive and well under my roof. I HAVE a man who loves me and all of my children unconditionally, even though only two of them are his own biological children. I HAVE a hobby that I love, even if I can't spend as much time or money on it as I'd like.

I guess this is my version of a gratitude journal. For everything I have that I don't appreciate, there is someone in this world who would consider my life and all that's in it to be a dream to aspire to. I'm grateful for that moment of clarity today. Something else to scrap now.....what I am grateful for.....I think it's an important subject to think about in this day and age where nobody seems satisfied with what they have and everyone seems to want more but where does that end? Cass and I talked about it yesterday and it's true I think that the more you have the more you end up wanting. It's a life built around STUFF. No way to really live so I'll go off and ponder that some more. Let me know what you think.

Wednesday, 17 January 2007

OMG Had a huge hit of inspiration for a layout!!!

I have been tossing up the idea of a layout based on that really cool Evermore song called "Light Surrounding You" that just gives me goosebumps when I hear it. If I'm really keen I'll try to put up a music/vid element and I'll download it for anyone who doesn't know the song. I loved the music and the film clip just blew me away. I had the idea to use the title at least for a layout but then had this lightning bolt of inspiration as to how to create a feature on the layout that was a little beyond the page so to speak. So even though I've got typing to finish and stuff to do today, I've called dear sweet Dougie who is going to go and buy the necessary supplies for me to carry out the grand plan. I'll need to do most of the page before I can add this last element to it but I'll really try to get it done tonight while the excitement is still fresh.

Isn't it just the coolest thing when you come up with a great idea for a layout and you just want to burst with excitement?!?!?!? Not the "that's a nice idea, I'm pleased I thought of that" type of excitement but the "OH MY GOD I CANNOT BELIEVE I CAME UP WITH THAT IDEA BECAUSE IT'S GOING TO BE THE MOST AMAZING LAYOUT I'VE EVER DONE!!!!!!!"???? THAT kind of excitement. The kind of excitement just before you get on a rollercoaster. The kind of excitement before a big night out. The kind of excitement when one of your kids has accomplished something amazing. The kind of excitement when the man you love proposes to you. Oh yeah baby that's the kind of buzz I'm talking about! Wish I could bottle that stuff as it's so rare and beautiful when it happens.

Gee I hope it turns out the way I plan otherwise this was a big waste of fizz!!!!! lol

Tuesday, 16 January 2007

Blessed routine!

I never thought I'd say that but I've gotten into such a good routine since working from home that the holidays really threw me out of whack! I've discovered that I find comfort in the fact that I have the house to myself by 8am each morning, giving me about half an hour to do a very fast pick up and tidy up, quick swish and swipe of the bathroom etc. Then I have to start work but because I end up with little 5 and 10 minute gaps in my workflow during the morning I get to schedule in other things like throwing on a load of washing, unpacking the dishwasher, vacuuming a room or doing the wall patrol with the Spray-N-Wipe and a microfibre cloth. I have never been a tidy person but this seems to work so well for me and the house is cleaner now, after only one day of Doug being back at work and the kids being at kindy and holiday care, than it has been with all of us at home. Sure it will only last until five minutes after everyone has walked in the door - but at least I know it was clean during the day! The messier my house is, the more scattered my brain feels so it's in my best interest to at least do the visual clean. You know that one where you just clean off big surfaces and get the floor vacuumed so there isn't crap sitting on every horizontal surface! I get that whole sense of calm thing when the house is clean but it just never lasts long enough. I heard a quote which says "trying to keep a clean house while you have small children is like trying to shovel snow while it's still snowing".

I had a great idea for a layout yesterday so I'm just waiting for my work to be over for the day (I usually finish between midday and 1pm) so that I can put it together. I've also got about four comissioning letters that I desperately need to send back but I haven't been near a post office and I've run out of stamps of course! Cass came over to pick up my last two layouts to scan for me (so slack, haven't had a chance to get to her place so I can upload them and show you the freaky style change) and I sat and snapped a few dozen shots of her two little ones while she was here. Some great shots of her little girl and I might scrap one of those later too as she's a real stunner. A great subject makes for instant inspiration in my book!

Saturday, 13 January 2007

Invasion of the style snatchers!

Well I don't know what's happened but in the last few days or so my style appears to have taken a dramatic curve in a new direction. Lots of scrawling and doddling in black journalling pen and some other weird stuff. It's almost like watching someone else's work come from my hands. I know that might sound odd but Cass and I have got our theory about scrapping all worked out. Some people work with sketches, or some people work with product and some try to match pp with photos etc. We like to say that our layouts "talk to us". I choose a photo I want to use (I'm a moments scrapper as opposed to an events scrapper so mostly only one photo) and then I have a look at the papers I have and it's almost like the photo will tell me which paper to use. And then once I have that worked out I sit and look at the photo and the pp for a while and then the layout tells me where the photo should go. I have a look through my stash for things I think will coordinate or fit in with it and I pile them up and basically wait for the layout to tell me what comes next. I guess that's my way of saying how my ideas come to me. And no, I do not speak back to the layouts as I'm working!!!! lol I also don't discuss this at the LSS as I'm sure people will think I'm absolutely nuts. "Oh, your layout TALKS to you?!?!?" while they back away slowly........

So that's how the magic happens for me so to speak. But I guess it could be the broad influence Aussie Dares has had on me lately. I've been looking at that blog a lot and in turn checking out the blogs of those very talented gals who contribute to the challenges. I think I have seen such a wide range of styles since entering the blogging world, far more than in any of the magazines as I think certain mags tend to favour certain styles so you won't see so much of many "freestyle" scrappers who tend to go with the flow and just create whatever comes.

Anyhoo, I don't dislike the change in direction, it just surprised me a bit because I feel like I don't have much control. I just sit and that's what comes out, like I'm the passenger and my mojo is driving but I don't know where we're going. One big adventure!!! But best of all, ladies and gentlemen, IT HAS BEEN PURE FUN!!!!!! That's something that has been sorely missing from my layouts lately. I won't rehash the whole scrapping for the wrong reasons story (it's in the archives somewhere if you really want to hear my rant on that) but I guess it has coincided with basically just saying "screw it - I'll do what I want for a change" and PLAYING instead of treating it like a chore that has to be done.

I've discovered that sometimes, having to scrap for submissions, for DTs, for things like that, is like tying your mojo up and beating it with a stick for good measure. It's not happy like that. It needs to do the whole "Born Free" thing to give you the best results! So if you feel like your work is lacking the fun factor, how about cutting the rope and letting your mojo run amok for a while. You will probably be very happy with the results! I will post my weird/new/someone else's style layouts Sunday most likely as I need to get them to Cass to get them scanned but I promise to share as soon as I can. I can do a before and after type thing.

I'm enjoying a quiet evening at home. The little ones have gone to Gran's for a sleepover and Dougie and the big boys have gone to a lan party at a mate's place (where all the geeks link their computers together - yep they take them out of the house even - and play shoot 'em ups, or race cars or something until the very wee hours, oh yes, and drink Coke like there's no tomorrow and gorge on pizza). So I've had a glass of red, finished the strangely lovely but not really mine layout, I may catch up with some SVU on TV1 for an hour or so and then I think I'll get me some sleep. I hope you lovelies are all having a nice weekend. Thanks for stopping to have a look by the way. The company is always very welcome!

Guilty summer fun

Before we start here folks I'm very aware there is a water crisis and thus do as much as I can in my home to save water and use as little as is possible. I guess it's a stroke of luck really that I kill any plant that comes into my yard so I don't have to worry about watering them and I truly believe that watering the grass in times like these is just plain criminal. So I figure maybe I've earned a few brownie points.......

I read that you can still use your child's little clam or blow up wading pool as long as you bucket fill it and on your allotted day of the week. So today being our watering day, I took a big plastic storage tub downstairs and half filled it from the tap with buckets and just put the kids in their swim gear and let them climb in. Almost as exciting as Christmas it's been that long since we've done that! So the littlies took little lids and cups to play with and got their brothers involved and began to throw what ended up being a couple of drops of water at Doug and I while we watched. I'm always the pest so grabbed half a bucketful and made sure Dougie got a drenching! He made sure the kids helped him to return the favour and it was just one of those fun moments when everyone was wet and nobody cared! They are those moments that make you think "wow I love my life right now!". They are those moments that you try hard to recall when life is dealing you crap and you can't see past it. I like to remember so grabbed the camera for a few snaps.
On the other end of the scale I'm not a rabid greenie either but I can also see when we're in trouble and people need to pull together and make changes for the greater good. So I don't know if we'll do the backyard tub thing again but it was fun for a warm day.
PS. I used the leftover water to put on Jamie's birdseed mix that's growing in the tub on the patio and on the only shrub in my yard that manages to survive with the sun and rain God provides! I figured it deserved a treat for clinging to life in my barren desert of a yard for so long! lol

Thursday, 11 January 2007

I've got the blog bad

I've had the most unproductive yet fun afternoon and evening today! I do have typing that has to get done before I see my boss tomorrow night so I can get paid but the will to put fingers to keypad has not been there, especially as the wrist is less painful if I rest it on the desk and let my other hand click my way around the blog world instead! Found a great spoiler site for Days Of Our Lives (yes sad I completely know and recognise this!) but it's a good laugh sometimes. We are already nine months behind the states again - all because Channel 9 loves the cricket and then skips days of showing DOOL to fit in with cliffhanger storylines etc. So I spent an hour catching up on what happens later in the year. Honestly those people in Salem must run on a dozen different dimensions of time, some things seem to fly by, like kids growing up etc and other things crawl on forever, like the interesting story lines and the big secrets that could destroy everyone and the characters' ages of course, they never seem to move much! Honest to goodness half of the cast must look like the walking dead in real life! They are much older in years than their characters seem to be - always eternally handsome, beautiful, flawless. Marlena must be the most well preserved woman I've evern seen. Maybe she has a cryovacc face mask to use at night or she has weekly infusions of embalming fluid or something strange and bizarre so that she doesn't age!

Then I did a few blogging rounds over to Sue J, Ngaire (who is a better pick-me-up then Berocca!), Dares and caught up with the forum on Cyberscraps. Now it's 10 o'clock and I have to sit and actually get some typing done (the professional kind, not the recreational kind!).

OOOhhhhhh bitch of the day - the ex-husband who let our almost 12 year old son get SOOOO badly sunburnt on a day trip to Coochiemudlo Island that even a week later he looks like he has first degree burns and the skin has just fallen of his back from his shoulders to his hips. The worst part is that getting angry at the ex is like yelling at a tree stump - there won't be much of a reaction as there's nothing there but wood!!!!! So poor Blayd is going to the doctor tomorrow as the burns are so deep he is getting patches of infection and I'm sure it's gonna take more than ice and moisturiser to fix the mess. Makes me so mad as it was completely avoidable!!! FOUR LETTER WORDS!!!!!!! He must have been in agony the last week. I don't know how he slept. If I get sunburnt I'm feeling it for a few days and sleeping, sitting, moving is all stingy, but he is way beyond any sunburn I've ever seen. I'm going to look like a great mum taking him to the doctors tomorrow looking like that. How do I explain that it wasn't me? Sure, I've seen my kids get a little sunburnt occasionally when we are out at the beach or something, just because they've been in the water the whole time and even though I make them reapply the sunscreen, it occasionally happens and the next day they have a pink tinge. They don't however look like someone lined them up against a wall and tried to toast them with a flamethrower, as is the case here. Well I'll just answer any questions that I can, considering I haven't seen Blayd for the last three weeks, and see what we can do for him. I feel so bad for him and I had nothing to do with it. I told him I'd take him to the doc tomorrow and he sounded so bloody grateful! MORE FOUR LETTER WORDS!!! So that's my bitch for today - quite founded on this occasion I believe!

Need the rain but want the sunshine

There is a war going on outside my window as the sun struggles to break through the cloud cover. It's been overcast for days now and while lordy knows we need the rain, cloudy whether takes the spark out of my day sometimes. I'm totally a summer person, the heat, the humidity, the warm, brown skin, beach smells. Summer makes me feel really alive but this summer has been different so far. Not so much of those things I love and more like almost winter. As it is I really hate winter - won't go so far as to try on the Seasonal Affective Disorder that I've heard of because I don't actually fall into a horrible depression, winter just makes me grumpy and COLD! Don't have terrific circulation so my hands and feet always freeze at the merest hint of winter and then I spend months bundled up, not eating properly, not exercising, not taking care of business like waxing the legs and all that stuff so by the time summer actually arrives I feel like I spend half of it just catching up on the maintenance I can't be bothered with in winter. I can see more and more brightness outside now so even a few hours of sunshine would be nice. Can't we just agree to have it storm at night with lots of rain and then have beautiful sunny days? Whaddya say God? Sound good to you?

Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Just proving a quick point to myself here!

See, Lu, you really can type a short post if you actually want to!!!! lol Can you tell that every report card I ever received said "Lucinda talks too much in class!" lol I promise it's not a lie - my grade 5 teacher called me motor mouth for the whole year!

Done myself a damage

Being a typist I am at my computer for up to eight hours each day. Couple that with a newly formed blogging habit (so really only adding to my trouble there) and fluttering about the Cyberscraps forum amongst others, I have really aggravated a ganglion I have had on my wrist for about 18 years. Just in case you don't know what I'm talking about, a ganglion is a cyst filled with synovial (lubricating) fluid in a joint, usually hands or fingers and as the cyst swells because of use of the joint it then presses on nerves and tendons, causing pain and sometimes numbness. It first started when I was 14 and played a lot of basketball at school and broke my wrist twice. I did go to the doctor then and the only option suggested was surgery which at 14 I wasn't keen on and nor was my mum. So I left it and it has intermittently given me trouble but always settles down. Probably in the last year, because I spend so many hours in front of a computer now, and spread over so much of my day from when I get up until when I go to sleep, it has started causing regular problems and I think I've reached that point where I have to go back to the doctor about it. You know that point - it's the one where you'd rather go through all the crap of having a health issue fixed than live with the symptoms any more, or the problem of a toothache that gets so bad that even if you're terrified of the dentist (which I absolutely am) you will go just to get relief of the pain. The only reason I'm at this point I guess is that while I don't mind living with a bit of pain (I'm one of those "have a panadol and get on with it" kind of people), I do mind that it's slowing down my typing and thus my income. The options for treatment sound ghastly though. Either have the cyst aspirated (gross out here - stick a big needle in it and draw all the fluid out - URGH) or have surgery to have it removed. I don't like either option, especially as neither is guaranteed to fix it for good (recurrence rate of at least 20% or something but that's not too bad I didn't think). So I've bandaged up and am pondering my options. I've only started typing again yesterday after a two week period of only recreational typing (blogging, forum stuff) so I didn't think it would get so bad so quickly. If anyone else has had one of these I'd love to hear your advice. I've tried smashing a big book over it and have had it burst spontaneously a few times (I'm really, really sorry here if this is grossing anyone out - I'm morbidly curious by nature so it doesn't bother me) but it's always come back. I might go buy one of those sports braces for it to see if that helps. Apparently the less the joint moves the less swelling and thus supposedly less pain. So that's my bitch for the day- I don't have one every day, at least I try not to because worse things happen to nicer people.

What do I want to do with my scrapping this year?

Well 2006 was a big exciting rush for me - I joined the design team for Cyberscraps which really required me to ask more of myself in terms of time management, commitment and proactive thinking. I took submitting to mags a lot more seriously and for about five months solid virtually everything I did was for the sole intent of trying to get it published - with about ten acceptances, mainly from SM and one from SC. I entered - albeit last minute - the SM Masters Comp and my last minute attempts showed in that I didn't even make an honourable mention but couldn't be disappointed much as I hadn't given myself enough time to prepare. I started working from home which meant that I was surrounded by my supplies all day every day and Cass and I dedicated our Mondays at her place to photo shoots and scrapping, even if we got no other scrapping done all week. I seriously curbed my spending on supplies, partly because of the fringe benefits of being on a DT and the amout of free product I was given, and partly out of loyalty to Cyberscraps and purchasing the majority of my supplies from there which meant that I couldn't go to four different shops in a week and spend money at all of them!

My life has changed a lot in the past year too. My eldest son, who was once so behaviourally challenged and plagued by autism type problems, has been on a special diet for a year and has just transformed into an amazing young man who is starting high school this year and now the future literally holds anything for him that he wants. I don't have a strong faith (although I have been slowly working on that) but I thank God all the time for giving us that gift, not just for Blayd but for all of us who love him and want to see him happy in his life when we once thought that would never be possible. Lachlann is really "coming into himself" at age 9, realising it is okay to be who you are so he is slowly learning to accept and enjoy who he is and that's great to watch. James is starting school this year. Between his Dad and his Gran he is more than a bit spoiled (being Dad's firstborn and Gran's only grandson) and while he is a bright, social kid I think school will prove a culture shock but not for long. James has a way of attracting friends like a magnet so it will be fun to watch him and an exciting step for a little 5 year old. Caeligh has not really changed much at all except that she is fiercely independent now, resists help until the very last and is learning the different ways she can exert her will and test the boundaries in every direction. Some days I really worry for her safety as she has no fear and she doesn't seem deterred by failure, mistakes or injury! Maybe for this year we should invest in a straightjacket for her!!! (I'm so kidding here but she can be so fearless it's dangerous!). The working from home thing has been a blessing, allowing me to keep the house tidier and thus everyone is happier. Doug and I have been happier, trying to take time to do things together and enjoying our childrens' growing independence. I think there is life after little kids!!! Things are different these days but a good different IYKWIM?

So this year I think I want to invest time in my blog as it has already brought me new friends and new social interactions and I don't think you can ever have enough of either if you are a mum! I've enjoyed "letting it all hang out" on my blog and not feeling as though I need to censor or tone down anything I want to talk about. And it's fun - and we always need more of that!

I've decided that this year I don't want to be a one gal powerhouse scrapper - meaning that I'm not going to scrap everything with the goal of having it published. I'm going to enter SM Masters this year for reasons other than just winning.

I'm going to reach out in lots of different directions and find out what is going on in the scrapping community that is alive around me each day. Join new forums, read more blogs, share my thoughts, do more challenges like How Dare You and get down to the nitty gritty with my Get Real comp on Cyberscraps and invite others to do the same.

This year I want quality, not quantity, reality, not fluff (well not much fluff! lol), style AND substance. I want scrapping to be fun again because that's always when my best layouts happen. I want to have that easy, comfortable banter that comes from taking the time to get to know others and knowing that they "get" me. I'm going to take the time to reach out and leave comments, leave praise, leave encouragement, leave sympathy and empathy when it's needed. I really want to enjoy this year and I think as long as I'm enjoying things and having fun my scrapping will quietly blossom on its own. It's all a bit Dr Phil but there are days when I watch his show and he really does inspire me to be a better person sometimes and to want more for myself. More of the whole quality not quantity thing and to create the kind of life I want for myself and my family.

The recognition I wanted so badly last year is nice in the scrapping world but it isn't everything. My kids won't care after I'm gone that a layout of them was published, I like to think what they'll care about is that I took the time to create it for them.

I hope 2007 holds for all of you the kind of things you want, the things you need and the wisdom to know the difference (I'm right here Hallmark if you want to give me a contract to write your greeting cards!!!!! lol). It's a bit corny folks but definitely from the heart.

Monday, 8 January 2007

I'm going to soapbox here about something

Dougie and I went for lunch today at the local sports club, just cos it's nearby, it's relatively inexpensive and they have pool tables that are never in use during the day, oh and the Guinness is still less than $4 a pint! We decided just before leaving to waste $5 in a pokie machine and that's usually all we spend because I can think of other things to do with money than throw it away and as far as I'm concerned I don't ever gamble more than I could bear to put a match to and burn which I think is what gambling equates to. So.......we are sitting at our machine happily pressing our button and the promo guy is walking around talking about their Monday afternoon grocery grab. I went to have a look cos basically I'm nosy as well as uninformed and on a big trestle table in the pokie hall ther was a huge spread of groceries, even right down to basics like dishwashing liquid and tins of baked beans!!! Apparently, and this strikes me as both moronic and a bit sad, the punters get a token for each time they have a win of a minimum amount on the machine. So you get one token if you win a $1 drop and two tokens if you win a drop of $5 etc. And then at a designated time of the promotion you get to walk over to the table "in an orderly manner folks, with no pushing or queue jumping and no passing groceries to those further back in the queue, and you can only claim three items to start with so nobody misses out" and basically exchange the tokens you gained by pissing away your money for food that you could have bloody well spent that money on to start with!!!!!! Am I the only one who sees the stupid irony in that?????? Now before I get flamed by an anonymous post, I do realise some people have available money for gambling. I wasn't thinking so much about them as those who are there and can't afford to be. So I left feeling a little depressed actually. And the worst part was that these poor folks, mostly elderly, were excited like they were getting something for nothing. I know there are lots of people who like the idea of getting something for nothing and can easily talk themselves into believing that but it just isn't true very often these days. They've spent their grocery money on gambling so they could win tokens to buy even less groceries that they could have bought with their grocery money. Yes, I know lots of people need a social activity, and yes, I realise that some of them are probably very lonely and have no other opportunities for going out, and yes I also know that clubs are entitled to run a business and make money but I still think the whole shebang sux (how grade 9 is that for ya???!) and even though people have the right to choose where they go and what they do, I felt like I was watching them all get conned. I'm sure some know exactly what they were doing but it felt like a cheap, crappy stunt to watch. Sorry for the downer people, but that's what impacted me the most today, seeing that pokie promo and the people crowding around that table like a charity food giveaway when they had really paid for it themselves and for some of them it will have cost them more than a few bucks for groceries. I don't know anyone with a gambling problem and I haven't had one myself, but the whole thing seemed absurd, sad, and a pretty crummy yardstick of our society. Please somebody tell me I'm overreacting cos I don't know anymore, maybe it's would have been anything today that set me off, I don't know but there's my rant about something I didn't like, can't change and am not personally involved in. I can't be the only one who has those kind of tanties can I? lol

Sunday, 7 January 2007

Oops almost forgot something exciting in amongst the mess!

I got my commissioning letters from SM on Friday!!!! Yipeeeeeeee!!! I have parted with about ten layouts in the last four months or so and they are the first commissioning letters I've received for the whole batch. I'm assuming it's the May issue which will be available in April?? I think that's right. It's Vol 8 No 10 anyway and I have two layouts in that issue - Miss You Mum and Priceless. Priceless I didn't love, did it as part of a cybercrop challenge and only submitted it out of habit. Shocked is not the word when SM accepted it. But there you go - finally got the paperwork in my hot little hands. It's one thing to have a mag accept an email submission, its one thing to package your baby up and send it away but it's a different thing when you finally get that letter in your hands which confirms that yes they actually do want your stuff and which issue you'll see it published in. I have to say a huge thank you to whoever runs life, the universe and the whole shebang because Cass and I have had a hugely successful last six months in terms of our scrapping - both being on DT for Cyberscraps and receiving lots of acceptances. It's not the only reason I scrap but it's nice to see that I'm not the only one who thinks it can be more than a "hobby" IYKWIM? Can't wait to start seeing the issues come out as I think we've both got layouts in SM over four sequential months so that's very cool. And given the amount I spend in terms of time and money on scrapping it would be illogical not to reinvest my publication fees back into my work wouldn't it????

Something in the air......

So I don't know if anyone else has noticed it or whether it has just been confined to a circle of friends and family around me but yesterday for me was a great day. I stayed at home with Lachie and HRH while Doug took James to his friend's party and had a look around the shops over at Indooroopilly. I got a sudden burst of energy from goodness only knows where and spent the day cleaning, decluttering and did a huge purge of James and HRH's room, donating toys that were still clean, usable and complete to charity and throwing everything else that was broken, not able to be fixed or that was missing pieces. I half filled a trailer with rubbish and I sat back by the time Doug got home at about 3.30 and felt really happy with myself for achieving so much. Cass is right - decluttering and purging really is cathartic and therapeutic, and the fact that our house is so small that I can't afford clutter helps too!

The plan for the rest of the day was a kind of a business meeting thing for dinner which suddenly was cancelled in odd circumstances and then my Dad rang to see how we were all going. My mother died when I was 19 and my father and I have never ever been close although I've tried to keep an eye on him as I imagine Mum would have wanted me to. So I ring once or twice a week to see how he's travelling and he dispenses the odd bit of helpful info such as where to find something I might want on sale or where to find cheap car parts if we need them. That kid of thing. We're not at all close but he has really improved over the years. We used to have huge, but very short arguments because he had an opinion about how I lived, the choices I made etc so I don't speak to him more than I have to because (sadly I suppose) I'd just rather not speak to him at all if that's how it's always going to end with him. I can't be bothered these days with the drama of someone telling me what to do after thirteen years of having no parental control or input since my mother died. So he apparently rings to see how we all are and things went downhill at a great rate of knots when I told him about a house I'd seen for rent near the school. It's also near Cass which would be lovely as our kids seem glued at the hip anyway and they could all walk to and from school together each morning. Yes it's a budgetary stretch and no I don't have the bond right now but it is perfect size, perfect location, all that stuff as the stress of living in a tiny 3brm house with no storage space for anything is starting to build a bit. I know we should be grateful that we have a place to live at all in this day and age but I basically want more for the kids than the tiny house we live in, in what isn't exactly the nicest area. Let's just say I have a couple of issues with what my kids see if we walk around our suburb and I don't want them to think it's normal for some people to live the way they do. Now that sounds snobby but where I live is depressing, with lots of domestics, hooning cars using our street as a race track, kids getting belted and being called four letter names by their mothers while they walk up the street. I don't want my kids to think it's normal. I want them to want more for themselves. I want more for myself. We moved here for financial reasons and now our financial situation is a bit better I don't want to stay here. It is a 20 minute drive each way to school for the kids and to let them walk each morning would mean not having to rely on family to pick them up each day as we only have the one car and Doug takes that to work as I work from home and don't really need a car during the day until when the kids need to come home.

Lordy lordy I digress!!!! Anyhoo the whole thing went a bit pear shaped when my dad decided that I was getting "too big for my boots" and wait for it - "oighty toighty". I'm nowhere near sure I spelled that right! Funny coming from he who lives in a big house in a good suburb etc etc. Oh, and I've "changed" as well. So basically I told him to ring me back when he was feeling normal again because he hasn't picked a fight with me like that in years and years. I don't know what happened in his day yesterday to put him so off kilter but I wish he'd kept it to himself.

So Doug and I stayed in, drank red wine, had thai red chicken curry and had a good laugh about the weird day while we repeatedly burnt about half a dozen attempts at making popcorn on the stove because I didn't have any of the microwave bag stuff. He always makes me feel better just being around him - his company is balm for the soul IYKWIM.

And he's also a complete legend because while he was at the shops yesterday he went to Cash Converters at Indro (loves his Cashies he does - likes to rummage through the electrical stuff because often they don't quite know the value of some things so there are bargains to be had). He picked me up an A3 printer!!!!!! Yay yay yay! I've been wanting one for ages because it would be nice to be able to put 12x12 cardstock through it to print journalling onto my pages instead of having to print out the journalling on cardstock cut down to fit my A4 printer then have to find a way to make the journalling work on the layout. I haven't installed it yet but it will be fun to play with. That's about the biggest goal I have today. I'm going to play with printers and hopefully get some layouts done and Dougie is going to declutter his computer parts and electronic jiggery pokery. Oh and I think I have to go to the supermarket to get a few lunchbox things as the littlies start back at kindy on Tuesday. James however will now be a "schoolie" as they call them so he will get to go on excursions and have a different program to before he went on holidays and used to be a preschool kid. Now apparently he's a big boy and is using holiday care, not day care! I'm surprised he knows the difference let alone cares! When Blayd and Lachie get back from their dad's place at the end of this coming week they get to go to holiday care as well as Doug goes back to work then too and they will enjoy the holiday program at the kindy far more than having to hang out with me while I work at home. And if I had wanted to spend the last two weeks of their holidays settling arguments, rationalising complaints and sorting out major meltdowns I would have become a police negotiator!

Hope your week is off to a flying start whatever you have going on, cya Lu

Mmmmmmm Slider Love