Friday, October 31, 2008
We live on top of a volcano. Oh yuh. Didn't you know there was one in the foothills of Melbourne??
This volcano is active. It is prone to erupting anytime, without much warning. Let me tell you. Mt Kikitoa.
Ok, so I made that name up. And the volcano. It's all a ruse, to disguise the fact that I explode. Often. I am the volcano. And I explode generally over the same thing: my lack of (my perceived) support around the house from the MOTH.
We made a breakthrough two weeks ago. Yes, after about oh fifteen years now, apparently I've made sense. So Steve says.
The whole issue is that he says he doesn't understand why he "gets in trouble" for not picking up after himself when everywhere around the house he sees things I have left out as well. Let me just say, I have never denied that I do leave my papers around. I do leave hair ties. And bobby pins. And sometimes a plate. Or a wine glass. So see his point.
The fact of the matter is, I know those things I leave behind will be cleaned up by none other than me. I haven't got any slack-picker-upper who's got my back on these things like he has. I don't know how many times I've tried to explain myself to him. He hasn't seemed to hear me. That was, until last weekend when two planets aligned and I must have explained it in a somewhat more eloquent or non-confrontational way that enabled him to step aside and let his sensible self see what I'd been saying all these years.
I explained it thus: "Imagine your desk at work. It's up to you and nobody else to use and clean it. If someone came along and started dumping their rubbish on your desk, assuming that the mess you keep it in gives them clearance to do so (without realising that your desk is actually in some sort of structure that you have a handle on - you know where everything is on your desk, you know the piles you have to work on, you know everything that's in each pile, but on the surface to anyone else, it just looks unordered), what would you do?"
Steve's face lit up like the power supply that had gone off in his head was fitted with a 100 watt globe. "I get it. And I'd be, like, don't leave your shit on my desk. Leave it some place else."
SIIIIIIIGH. Huge sighs of relief. So I delicately pressed on with the analogy.
"And so, imagine your orderly messy desk (and let's not compare this house to your desk, I'd like to think this house is neater than that, we both know your desk is a complete disaster of a mess - but I accept that you know exactly where everything is, so what's mess when there's order?.... or something.... right?). And then think about what kind of pressure you'd be under if you had your production jobs to keep going, print runs to keep filling, people at you at you at you every minute of your day, and yet part of your job requirement - a big part of it - is to keep your desk spotless. Imagine if your boss made keeping your desk clean THE most top priority job, your most key of your Key Performance Indicators.
What would that pressure be like for you, do you think, especially when you're also not allowed to stop dealing with the people who are at you and the print runs keep needing to be filled?
Not only that, but these at-you people are dependent on you for their survival, their nourishment (mental and physiological) - so you can't give any half-arsed attention to them. It has to be top notch, the time and effort you devote to them. They too are your Top Priority. And you have to allow these at-you people to mess up your desk, even though you know you have to keep it clean because it's what you're being assessed on, as well as everything else that's apparently equally as important in your role. So you let them mess it, just so you can clean it, just so they can mess it again, just so you can clean it again.
You know there's nothing wrong with this picture - you have happily accepted this as part of your role and in fact realise it's part of their job description to do it. But it also means that while you're doing the cleaning of the messing of the cleaning, your other plates are not spinning so fast anymore - your printruns stop being filled until you can get back over there and fill them. Your desk is getting more cluttered because those other people you work with - the capable adult ones - just see mess (or say they don't, it varies) and think it's okay to dump theirs there. And always, they have this out-clause that states "You know your own desk and where everything is, I don't help because I don't want to do it wrong or tidy something you didn't want tidied" and other such valid but ultimately lame excuses. Point is, it's always up to you to think about it and organise and delegate, even to the people who are free-thinking and perfectly capable within their paid roles, to work things out for themselves - and yet, standing in front of your desk, they appear to lose all autonomy and need to be told what to do and how to navigate a desk. It's just a desk!
And all the while, those other people - the people you work with who you know are intelligent and more than capable of preventing more work for you - they keep leaving their shit on your desk. The shit you've asked them to be mindful of. Their same shit that you have to keep cleaning up. Would that frustrate you?"
I think I got through. By George.... I THINK HE GOT IT. It's been somewhat calmer around here. I don't feel like he doesn't quite get me anymore. He gets me. I heard birds chirping gaily. Call me Snow White and slap a ribbon in my hair.
I'd love to know, just once, that any parent anywhere around here has actually sat their child down and explained the origins of the ritual.
What I absolutely cannot STAND is when they turn up at our door, not even having bothered to dress up - no costume, nothing - and just say "Trick or treeeeat". Fark orf. Is what I want to say. I am such a bummer to them, though (although now we've moved house and they will be so glad of it). I used to give them all a cheese slice each. Stuff that lollies and chocolate shit. Not if you're not going to even attempt to go to some sort of effort.
Ba Humbug. I really detest October 31st.
Wednesday, October 29, 2008
BUT.... did you know, you can get frozen ready-made crepes? I did not know this. If you did, and you didn't ever tell me, cast thee OUT!!!!! For shame. They're gluten free, made by Creative Gourmet and in your local Woollies/Safeway (and most likely, other places?) in the frozen fruit section-ish.
Anyway, I had some of these in the freezer, to cut a long story short. I also had some fresh blueberries in the fridge. And some choc dots/melting choc.
Hmmmmm *drums fingers* what to make, what to make...... *gasp* TING! I KNOW!! A chocolate-blueberry-crepe-thingy. It. Could. Work. So I grabbed all those ingredients and read the pack. It's as simple as this:
Heat a pan. Crepe goes in, heat it for twenty seconds. Flip it over. Now you have twenty seconds to lay down a row of choc drops and a little smattering of blueberries. Plenty of time. Begin to roll it up, carefully. Some of the blueberries will roll out. Meh. Shove 'em back in, that's fine. The melting chocolate will catch them.
Oh. My. LAWWWD. You haven't tried anything this perfectly delectable that's taken you UNDER A MINUTE to make. Colour me delirious, I am brilliant. And possibly totally unoriginal, but still.... in dessert heaven.
Try it. I beg of you.
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Elbow angle is just as important and requires the intricate art of hovering the spoon beside your mouth while you do a chicken-wing type flap of said elbow. To ensure you achieve optimal spoon, and therefore batter, entry.
But one must remember the important part: do not close your mouth during this entire process.
Monday, October 27, 2008
A TENACIOUS terrier dubbed Leo the Lion-hearted is being lauded for staying loyally by the side of four helpless kittens trapped in a burning house.
The gutsy bitzer had to be resuscitated by firefighters after refusing to abandon the kittens even as thick smoke and flames filled a Seddon weatherboard home on Saturday night.
Firemen had to dodge fallen power lines to enter the blazing building in Pilgrim St after three children rescued from the blaze screamed for their pets to be saved.
"One officer returned into the blazing house and re-emerged carrying the near-lifeless Leo," said MFB western zone commander Ken Brown.
"Another couple of firefighters grabbed the resuscitation equipment and . . . were able to revive him.
"The dog had remained stoically guarding the box of kittens, even though their mother had disappeared."
A family of seven escaped with their lives but have lost everything they owned in the suspicious blaze. Their home was not insured.
Mum Janine Kelly was with children Paul, 18, Tayla, 11, and Jayme, 5, when a stranger ran to the back of her home, yelling at them to get out because the front of the house was engulfed in flames.
Neighbour Rob Easterbrook, 43, tried to douse the flames but rubbish stacked on the veranda of the double-fronted home ignited.
"I panicked initially, because I was worried the kids could have been trapped inside," he said.
"But then they assured me they were all out."
The Sunshine hospital chef said three of the five children were screaming for their menagerie of pets to be saved.
Tayla said she carried Jayme out and then rescued another pet dog, Barney, who was fleeing the fire.
"But Leo was still inside standing over the kittens, and we were scared he would get burned," she said. "We couldn't find Sabrina (mother of the kittens) and we thought they would all die."
The children sobbed with relief when firefighters rescued and revived 11-month-old Leo.
"Then we were told there was a box of kittens still in there, and firefighters returned to grab them too," Cdr Brown said.
He said Leo licked the kittens with joy when he saw them. "It was a wonderful sight," he said.
The kittens were unharmed because a cover on their box stopped them suffering smoke inhalation.
Tayla was taken to the Royal Children's Hospital with smoke inhalation and released yesterday.
The shocked family then returned to their gutted home to try to salvage what little was not smoke or fire-damaged.
They found Leo sitting on a burnt mattress out front, faithfully waiting for his family to return.
Last night they were looking for a place to stay and supplies.
Cdr Brown said firefighters would nominate Leo for an RSPCA bravery medal.
Now, days after I initially burst this onto my screen in a flurry of flying fingers, I'm not so hot under the collar about it. I can read it more objectively. And I'm going to keep it posted up here because, frankly, it covers a fair few important topics with regard to coping with other mothers when you've become one yourself and then lost your child. So, without further ado, here's Take II.
Gosh, I'm not even quite sure where to start on this one.
It's been a day of my indignation flaring, I'm afraid. Despite my better self, the one who knows better, to not get upset by an email I received, I find my thoughts pacing. I'm not. But my thoughts are.
I think it's because I've been thrown right back to the middle of 2005, the year we still had no baby. The year after four brand new beautiful babies came safely to their parents and into Steve's and my lives after we lost Ella. Six months after we celebrated with friends the first birth day of Ellanor, the mother of one of those babies (who had been invited to attend on that day but never committed, never replied to any of my emails or my phone message inviting them) suddenly contacted me with a "Sorry, but..." email.
I love the "Sorry, but..." email. And when I say "love", I mean really deeply despise.
It is the kind of correspondence that builds the sender's out-clause. Their trump card for them - I'll give you an example: "I realise you wanted us to be there and I'm sorry we weren't, but...". Normally, what happens in the dot-dot-dot section after the "but" is a long list of reasons by the sender, designed to build their case and usually comes off looking guilty as all get-out whilst at the same time is really an impassioned plea for the receiver's understanding. It really doesn't read as genuine because it jumps too quickly into the justifications and isn't that a pity.
A pity, too, for this particular sender, then, that I had by then weighed up my various duties to her and visits to her and her newborn in 2004 (not many, granted, but heck I wasn't really "up" for visits like that in that first year) and I decided I had done all I felt capable of doing for her. I didn't need that particular brand of flogging anymore, I didn't have to be there for every person who seemed like they wanted me in their life. I didn't need phone conversations whereby they were so comfortable with me now that I was told, basically, that she had never really been sure she wanted a baby, but rather she "just wanted to know I could do it and I got pregnant quickly." Ah, the old "I don't want to be a failure in the conception department, lest that make me somewhat less of a woman" thing. I get that. No, totally. I really do. However, it's not really something one wants to hear when still in the deep mourning period of losing one's own newborn. I'm talking, less than six months had passed.
But did I give her a bit of "Hang on a minute, can you hear what you're saying? And to whom you're saying it?" Perhaps stupidly, in hindsight, no I did not. I did what I always do. I allow that person to say anything because they are expressing their feelings. One thing that's most painfully obvious to me now, though, is that it's not too good if I do this and don't cross-check what feelings it brings up with me on the spot. What I would have been better off doing is simply saying "I understand this is how you feel and you most certainly don't mean to hurt me, but.. I'm not quite sure how I feel about you saying this to me. I'm going to have to go away and think about this now. Bye!" Maybe that way, it would have been flagged by them as an issue for me. Read that, though, because it's important: an issue for me. Not them. Don't need anyone to own it or change it, because it's simply my shit to work out.
Why, then, if I can see what is mine to own and sort out and work on, do others sometimes not know how to do the same? Why am I sitting here with another email burning a hole in my inbox? An email which is very clearly another attempt at providing me a list of excuses, which I understood the first time?
I fully appreciate and understand that some people, sometimes (or all the time or most of the time), were not going to be able to handle "me". Mine was/is an ongoing situation that in the beginning, very definitely required the donning of kid-gloves and a bit of taking a backseat to personal issues, particularly if those issues related to your own troubles with the bairns. However, I never asked people to do this. I simply accepted what was offered. I didn't force myself on people - rather the opposite - so I found it very poor form when certain members of my circle at that time would not only come seek me out, they'd dump on me (or overjustify themselves somewhere amongst their apology for "whatever" they felt they'd let me down on).
It's hard to be my friend, it seems.
So then we had a situation where I was diving straight into IVF after the pain of terminating a baby at ten weeks at the end of 2004 (a baby I had only told her about, by accident because I let it slip on the phone to her mere weeks before Ellanor's first birthday, and somewhat ironically, had to have that termination only three days after I told her I was pregnant again). Because of this, 2005 was pretty much taken up for us with continuing our grieving and healing and doing two rounds of very taxing PGD. Oh, and getting pregnant again towards the end of that year (more stress, stress, stress) with the good old LGBB.
I didn't know what this woman was up to. Frankly, her six-month-late apology/response for not attending Ella's birthday was not timely, to me. It was, by that stage, surely being done so that she could ease her own conscience because how could it help me, that late in the peace? Especially when it was buffered either side by excuses for where she had been. Okay, I conceded at the time, you're busy. You're "with your child". You're coping as best you know how. Okay. And it was also evident to me at the time that what I couldn't cope with was the fact that all her issues preventing her support of me were issues that, to me at the time, were not as significant. We were both in our own pain-filled bubbles for two different reasons - namely, I was depressed and grieving because my child wasn't here and she was depressed and grieving because she had a child. Something, again, with time I have been really able to appreciate more. But not back then. There was no way I could know what it was like for her. All I heard was someone who couldn't pick up and come to a picnic for a couple of hours with a 6 month-old. I get it so much more now, why that was not possible. I genuinely, sincerely mean that. When someone is consumed by what's in front of them, I perfectly understand they have to be in that place. I didn't ask any more of her, I never have. I do smart, though, at the thinly-veiled inference that what she was going through was tougher than what I was going through. That one's always very difficult to hear. But it's something that's been used to trump me (because i didn't have a child at the time and merely had to trust these mothers when they said, "Hey, you don't know how hard it is" - to me, it seemed a walk in the park compared to trying to mother without my child here... try that one on for size and see which is more difficult, I challenge any of my detractors now that I've done both).
But when I am then contacted, completely out of the blue, some three years later and told that it's "assumed" I am still pissed at her, I've gotta say... "Lady, I think there's some sifting of issues to be had here."
It seems, even in your own out-of-the-way head-down little world, you can still be sought out, contacted and had more crap dumped on you.
Eurgh. Just a big, resounding, sighing EURGH. Bitter, me? Noh, never. Although, with some things... I do have to say, I'd feel mighty justified if I was.
Sunday, October 26, 2008
The thought was on my mind yesterday because of things I said and saw and did and realised.
And today, swimming lesson day, I was watching them swim together. And I remembered again: we've created somebody. We've grown someone from a mere speck of dust. Someone who now demands I put on Mary Poppins or "Dorory over the rainbow" (of Oz fame). Someone who is beginning to make things up, imaginary "treasures" and dancing partners. Someone who becomes so engrossed in play that her immense joy for whomever or whatever she is playing with just HAS to get a kiss NOW and inevitably, if that 'whomever' is you, you'd get the smooch on your kisser and probably a big hug too.
Today, Steve had to go under the water at the same time as the LGBB, who was being held by her teacher. They came up beaming at each other. The same wide-mouthed lipless, tooth-hidden grin. And then, I cried. Just looking at them. She gazed so lovingly at her Dad that I couldn't help the blubber that escaped my big-girl mouth. Then she wiped his brow, his hair, his cheeks so tenderly, pushing away the drips. She leaned in and planted a kiss on his lips, threw an arm around his neck and gave a casual one-armed hug while she watched the other kids take their turn.
And I cried again. Just so privileged to be watching them.
Friday, October 24, 2008
And so to Lime I went this week.
When I arrived at Peace Space, I walked in the door and on the table were the relevant stones and essences for this colour. Immediately, one caught my eye. Putting my bag down and taking my seat (for I was a tad late - damn traffic is hard to judge when you have over 2 hours of country driving to do and have to tackle morning city traffic before the road opens up before you to get to your little place of solitude for a day), I grabbed it. It was beautiful. I turned it over and over in my hands - a gorgeous pyramid-shaped green olive stone with pieces of white circular rock of some sort mottling the outside. Imagine a slice of nougat and substitute the guey (yummy) white nougat part for a soft olive colour and you've pretty much got what I was looking at. Gorgeous. Maybe not as tasty though...
And then, as the class began, I glanced over at the centrepiece again and there it was. This ring. I leaned over and asked someone what the stone was. Moss Agate, was the answer.
Turns out, the other little stone that had first caught my eye and had also resonated in me a "need" to grab hold of this was also Moss Agate. Heh! And once we actually got to the section that explains what it's all about, er umm.... well I was most heartened by what I read. In part:
One of the most powerful healing stones, Moss Agate promotes moderation in your approach to life. If you have a tendency to be 'buzzy' and highly energetic (erm, yup), either overly expansive or else overly structured (uh... uh huh), Moss Agate can help balance and calm you and helps you mellow out and move at a slower, more comfortable pace. It balances highly female-energised or highly male-energised person. Moss Agate leads you towards agreeability (oh, Steve will be SO pleased), persuasiveness, strength in all endeavours, balancing and the strengthening of positive personality traits. It allows you to see the beauty within all that your eyes touch.
On the physical levels, Moss Agate treats dehydration and disorders of the eyes, ameliorates fungal infections, stimulates digestion, aids in the elimination of toxins from the body and in relieving the symptoms of colds, internal infections and 'flu (cough, wheeze, oh my God I hope it works then). It may be used for topical skin conditions and infections. Moss Agate has an impact on the colon, circulatory system, lymphatics, pancreas and the pulses. It improves capillary action and increases elimination of unnecessary proteins and viruses because of its impact on the sinuses (well, you could have blown me down with a feather by this stage of reading what it does).
Moss Agate helps you emotionally prioritise and learn altruism. Moss Agate balances the priorities of your left-brain with your emotions and interlinks your emotional and mental bodies so that they can function as a single unit, while your practical spirituality develops (this is something that comes from developing a sense of self-security then being able to extend yourself to others with confidence.
So. I'm a little bit more than a little overjoyed they had not one but two pieces there for me to take a shine to - I literally was moth-to-a-flame with it and had no idea why (it rarely happens prior to reading about a stone, more often it occurs to me after I read and assimilate what it's about that I realise I need a particular stone's vibration does a connection happen for me).
It is not lost on me one iota that I have a virus attacking me. I've become so depleted of energy - my liveliness, my spark, my joy are all verrrrrry close to zero - that I am now unsure what came first: the virus or the deficit.
I am working on changing things. At the end of this month, we are going on a family holiday. I am currently "enjoying swanning around" (read: gaining back some precious, precious time to do all the other bazillion and fifty-million things to be done) while one of my clients is away on a vacation this entire month. I've realised something - well, two things: firstly, you should never ever go away, lest The Bottom Drawer (where you hide all that paperwork you hope nobody ever needs you to action because you forgot to do it as part of that job 6 months ago) be discovered; second, if the first thing doesn't happen, you might just find that your subcontractor decides.... she dun't wanna do your work no more.
This is exactly what's happened. It's been a tough decision and one not made lightly. But, much like in the exerpt I recently shared when I just suddenly thought "Hey you know what? My sanity and spiritual health and wellbeing is far more important than dollars", I came to realise that it is okay to say you want to stop now. That something which started out as part of your survival mechanism could be severed.* How did I dare be so bold? Well, here's how: I just did. I'm going without the floaties now. I don't need them anymore. I've grown out of the skin I was in, newly bereft and rediscovering who I am. Four and a half years later, I have developed a name for myself as a reliable, trustworthy, awesome (if I may be so bold *sniff*) designer amongst my newest clients - and I haven't sought them out, they appear to have fallen out of the sky.
I love creating. I love designing. I love being productive. What served me well once (typing dictaphone manuscripts, hours and endless hours of them now over these past several years) is now damaging my soul. I know that. I've known that for quite some time. All I have to do is look at how burnt my candle is at both ends. I get up some days before 6am purely to make a dint in my client's typing - and still, no matter how many reports I did for him, he sent more and yet more again - and at night, once Steve got home, I am routinely forced back under those headphones (once upon a time, my solace, feeding my sense of professional self-worth). I don't need it anymore. I am actually shuddering having to take it back on just for the amount of time it will take my client to find a replacement. Eeek. Let's not think about that now though.
Damnit, I've prattled on so much about this (who knew I was THAT repellant to the typing??) that I have now created a mega-monster post. And my whole point has not even been reached. So I think I shall start a new one. Anew. Yes. A word of which to take heed *taps side of nose*
* for this is one of my very first "proper" clients, having set up and done his work since April 2004 - my business was officially started in March of that year...... I still reel at the timing, for it had felt like so very long since I had lost Ellanor, when in fact, it had been little more than a month... so bizarre, how drawn-out it felt at the time - in fact, I lost what "time" meant, in reality, for after her there was no concept of "time" to me, for the longest time
Thursday, October 23, 2008
Thanks for asking...
Stay tuned, peeps. Just got so much going on right now that you really wouldn't even wanna hear me bleat xx
Monday, October 20, 2008
And then I find it so hard to wade through. Murky, muddy, processing of blinding grief. This section is really... urgh. Maybe it's just difficult for me. Although, feedback I've received from a few now indicates it seems to "lack direction" once I get here. I love this feedback, I've decided, because it has highlighted to me just how honestly I am writing this account. I was lacking in direction right after Ella died.
Now my job is to reel it back a bit and make some sense and use of all the angst. Otherwise, I'll lose readers like flies as soon as they hit that first post-death chapter.
The realisation didn’t hit me on the first day. Nor the second. It was a fair time before one day it dawned on me that I would have to work so hard to make sure Ellanor’s time here was remembered. I vowed to myself and made a promise to the empty room I was sitting in that I would do everything in my earthly power to insure her life did not go by unnoticed. That 2004 would not close the chapter on the daughter we gave life to, only to suddenly say goodbye thirty-one days later and that was it.
It was not until I read about the Mother Turtle totem one day at Peace Space that I connected the dots and the penny dropped. When reading about this beautiful animal, I felt a great kinship to her; the survivor nature of Turtle, how they move slowly, embracing courage with faith, sticking their necks out in order to make progress. Above all, I was struck by the symbolism and symmetry in the way a mother turtle lays her eggs in the sand and then remains connected to them, no matter where they end up, fending for themselves in the ocean once they have hatched, falling prey to hungry predators. Wherever they go in the world, she still has a thread of connection to each and every one of her babies.
I discovered some peace for myself then. I did not have to strive to ensure everybody (or anybody) remembered Ella, for I remembered her. Me, her mother. And I did not just remember her, I knew her innately, would know her anywhere I went now. This was what was important. If others came to know her, through me, then this was the welcome and graciously accepted icing on the already glorious cake.
Sunday, October 19, 2008
It's interesting, I think, to occasionally look at who is in your life now and who's not, compared to, say, a few years ago. I know myself that everyone who has a conscious place in my mind (ie. the list of people I can reel off as being near and dear to me right now without having to think about it) are there because they bring more meaning and love to my life. They enrich it. One of the loveliest things to occur/come out of Ella's death, in my case, was this gift of being strong enough to detect who was toxic and do something about it. Those I couldn't do anything about, the universe seemed to take care of for me in one way or another and they are no longer in my life either.
There comes a point in your life when you realise ...
who never did,
who won't anymore...
and who always will.
So, don't worry about people from your past,
there's a reason why they didn't make it to your future.
'Be kinder than necessary
because everyone you meet is fighting some kind of battle.'
Saturday, October 18, 2008
We've danced before, the V and I. But I've never properly acknowledged its calming properties before last night. We had friends over and they brought their daughters (Miss 2.5 and Miss 4-going-on-73. No, that's not a typo). Wow, what a noisy bunch. I'd never quite noticed before. Possibly because we've never done it before. At least, not past 8 o'clock at night.
Still, that's approximately what time they arrived. I thought we were going to lose the LGBB - all afternoon I had been promising her a "party", for it was the only way I could explain the little get-together we were going to have with our closest friends ("It's called a soirée, Lolly, it's where you mingle and sit around the kitchen bench and eat little finger foods. You'll like it"). For good measure and to tide her over, I asked Daddy to help by blowing up some balloons. So he blew up.... three. WHO THE HELL ONLY BLOWS UP THREE BALLOONS? But that's another bone of contention not needing to be gone into here and now.
They arrived. The LGBB snapped out of her growing mood (at feeling like she was being told lies, all lies, about this party business). It was noisy. It was messy. Very messy. The girls played and played and played like there was no tomorrow. Except, I have discovered (at 6:30 this morning), ho ho there most certainly IS a tomorrow. And it's not one to factor in late-to-bed, late-to-rise laws, even if it did go to bed at 10pm (three hours past usual bedtime). Nor is it particularly sympathetic to its mother, who went to bed at 1am with three vodkas and a wine under her belt. Which was cast on the floor without a care in the world. A mere 5 1/2 hours before duty called. But did I mind? No. Because for one second there last night, I had a blast. Without having to leave my front door.
p.s. I love vodka. Especially vodka on special.
This is an easy, healthy way to make a quick dinner... or lunch... or take on a picnic, or to someone's get together. You can use any seasonal vege's you have, such as asparagus, tomatoes, leek, spinach etc. You can use some ham or diced bacon if you like. Add any cheese, such as fetta, grated cheddar, whatever you like. And it is also a great way to use up leftovers! Eat it cold, eat it warm, with a salad, or even for breakfast!
Mountain Bread Quiche
Using Mountain Bread (any type, they have several, though all have some wheat flour, you can choose their Rice or Corn variety, for lower gluten content) as the base. See their website if you don't know what Mountain Bread is... you can buy it in any supermarket, usually in the bread aisle, or perhaps near the deli.
Lightly grease a quiche, pie or baking dish... any shape or size is OK. A wider, shallower quiche will cook quicker. Layer the flat bread in a baking dish or pie dish, with the bread coming up the sides to form the 'case' or 'crust'. If you are using a round one, don't cut the bread to fit, as you'll waste the corners, just overlap it as best as you can and leave the corners out, as they get nice and crunchy when baked. You can just make use one layer of bread as the base (with overlaps) or use several pieces, if you need to use the Mountain Bread up.
The Egg mix:
Make a egg mix, using 4 to 8 eggs, depending on the size of your dish. I have been using up our sour cream, and have found by adding almost the whole tub of low fat sour cream to the eggs, makes for a very creamy, yummy quiche! You could, of course, just add a dash of milk (1/4 to 1/2 cup), cream or even water. I also like to add one clove of garlic, finely chopped.
Usually I will make the base in the dish, then put the fillings on that, but you can mix your fillings up in your egg mix. We tend to use some fresh spinach, 2 to 3 leaves finely chopped, which is lightly steamed. Some eco-bacon, 2 to 3 rashers, diced, if we have it. One block Australian fetta, chopped or crumbled. I also use asparagus (lightly steamed) when in season, slices of tomato if they are nice or need to be used up. The varieties are endless! Pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, zuchini, corn, grated carrot, brocoli, leek... lightly cooking or steaming them in the microwave beforehand means the quiche will def. be cooked through, once the egg mix is set and the cheese melted!
Putting it altogether:
Make the base, top it with the fillings, pour the egg mix on top, add a cup or so of grated cheese... sprinkle with some smokey paprika, or chopped nuts if you like. Bake in a moderate oven approximately 30 to 45 minutes for a smaller sized dish, up to 60 to 90 minutes for a large baking dish. Make sure the egg mix is set and the cheese is melted and golden!
With a side salad, some steamed vege's, crunchy potato chunks or wedges, or just by itself. Maybe some relish or chutney! It is also great for lunches the next day, and can be eaten cold! Enjoy!
Wednesday, October 15, 2008
I knew what happened on that walk must have been hilarious because when he tried to tell me the story, Steve did that laugh he does where he sounds like a 10 year-old little girl, giggling shrilly. It's the funniest thing. In fact... that may have actually been funnier, to me, than this story itself. Do you know any of those people *those people?* who don't audibly laugh at things they find amusing, so when you do hear them laugh so uncontrollably, heartily, that in itself is just hysterical to you regardless of whether their story is funny to you or not?
Hmmm... but to cut a longish story short, here's what happened.
The sun was setting and the light was shining right in her eyes. She protested to her Dad, whinging ever so slightly - "Issa bit bright." They went behind some trees as they walked and the problem was solved for the meantime.
But not for long, he knew. So Steve suggested to her that "The next time the sun's shining in your eyes, just turn your head."
Next thing he knew, his daughter had turned into one of those laughing clowns at the carnival - on the next big flash of sunlight, she tried what her Dad had told her and started to slowly turn her head. Left, right, lefffft...... riiiiiiight.
Apparently, he asked if it was working.
"Nah," was her matter-of-fact response. But she still kept trying for a while. And that's what I love about the LGBB.
She gives something a damn good go. Even if at first you don't succeed...
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
I think I'm creating a trilogy, frankly! I mean, I'm not even up to the year we did IVF. I haven't even started on the second year without Ellanor. It is such a fabric, literally has a life of its own. I get dragged out of bed at very uncivilised hours of the dawning morning sometimes, I'm merely the button pusher it feels like, in these moments. It's a feeling like, if I don't get it down, it will be lost. And sometimes the words and paragraphs form in my head like big waterbombs, all loaded ready to go. Perfect as they are. Who'd want to lose such good stuff? And if I don't get to a computer (or at least paper and pen to jot main points in order to pick up the threads), it's as if it all smashes on the floor of my brain.
I've come to trust that the good stuff will always float back to the surface and I'll think about it in the front of my mind again. I'm learning that what is ending up on these pages is really only the good, useful, tangible stuff. The peaks, the troughs.
An excerpt, I hear you say? Why, of course I can oblige :) Here's an early one:
I received my licence as an agent’s representative. But I never put it to good use. Four days after receiving the certificate, I felt an overwhelming and undeniable urge to resign. For the first time since being offered my first full time job by John, there was no alternative job to go on to. I was jumping without even checking if I was secured to the other end of the rope.
“Are you sure?” my boss was a bit shocked. Probably also somewhat concerned – I was leaving at a fairly busy time of year – but the doubt and disappointment on her face could not persuade me to change my mind for the sake of keeping her happy.
“Look, I’m only telling you this because we’ve become friends since I’ve been here and I don’t want you to read anything else into my decision,” I started to explain. “I’m pregnant again.” Sandra congratulated me.
“Well, if truth be told, it’s actually the fourth pregnancy I have had since I started here,” I said.
“Fourth?!” Sandra replied incredulously. “My gosh, I’m so sorry,” she added, as the realisation sank in that I had obviously had three miscarriages in the space of time she had known me.
“Thanks, it’s okay. I’m okay,” I assured her. “But it has been incredibly difficult. I’ve been lucky, I guess, that I can keep working through them.” I thought better of saying more, something held me back. Part of me wanted to lay on the table to Sandra that, despite the resistance I had always felt from her that she was doing me some huge favour anytime I had time off (which was extremely rare, as I was never one to take sick days), I had trudged on. Come in even though I could have stayed home. I realised in our meeting now, though, that it had all been my doing. My decision not to stay in bed under the covers and mother myself properly. My choice to push myself and put myself last, not as a martyr but in order to (I thought) make it easier for everyone if I did everything I could not to make waves or draw attention. This was not Sandra’s fault. The actions I took, had always taken, had always lain with me and my thought processes. When I became loyal to something or someone, especially in my work, it was difficult to stop me doing everything in my power to be there, to pitch in, to improve whatever I could to make it easier for everyone involved. And being that Sandra and I had genuinely become good buddies over the course of my two years there, it was surprising to me that I was still adamant.
“Well, we will be very sorry to see you go. You’ll be missed… I’ll miss you!” she said. “I’ll call Andrea in, she’ll want to see you.”
“Oh… do I have to?” I knew Andrea would try to convince me to stay. But it was the one thing Sandra overruled me on. A meeting was set up and so, later that day, I had to again face my Manager and now the Area Manager to advise of my decision to leave.
“I hear you’re thinking of leaving us,” Andrea started.
I felt a bit ridiculous as we all sat there in our black power suits around the beautifully polished boardroom table. In such a relatively short space of time, I had grown out of this corporate world where I used to feel so comfortable. Now, it was holding me back, I felt.
“I’m not thinking about it, I have actually made my mind up, I’m afraid,” I replied, somewhat apologetic. My conscious mind, even then, was thinking things through logically. It was as if I had it on one shoulder, counting on its fingers all the things I was giving up. A great career with a promising outlook – promotion appeared to be a given, it was just a matter of waiting for a position to open up in this expanding building corporation – a wage I had only dreamed of as a kid out of high school with no savings to my name and already trying to find enough for rent; a wide variety of people contact that never staled; a sense that I was doing something good there and really making a difference.
But on my other shoulder, here was this little presence. “Just do it”, she coaxed, very simply. “Be strong.” And that’s all she gave me to go on as I made a life altering decision in the presence of my work superiors.
“I’m actually almost six weeks pregnant,” I explained to Andrea. Sandra glanced at me and smiled encouragingly. “This isn’t the first time I’ve been pregnant. But this time, I have to give it a chance. I have to stop putting first all the things I can see in front of me and take a leap of faith.” I could not believe these words were coming out of my mouth, it seemed so flaky in contrast to the perfectly groomed power-dressers in the imposing boardroom. But I went on.
“This time, I have to put my family first.” I choked on the words in my mouth and uttered a tiny gasp. My family. In that instant, I realised something that gave me a tiny head-spin. It was not just a pregnancy Steve and I were trying to maintain here. Not just an accomplishment to rack up in order to say we had done it, had “beaten the miscarriage gremlin”. The flourishing of my family was being stunted and I felt, in no small part, that it was being prevented from coming in by me. I knew then, even looking at the uncertainty on Andrea’s face, that I was definitely on the right track here. Fear and all.
What do you think? Does it move anything in you? Is it relevant to you?
Saturday, October 11, 2008
What a LOT of expression Ellanor gave us in our minds' memories, to think that a 2.5 year-old can still be reminding us of her. Though I hasten to add, the two girls are different in so many respects: where Ella was reassuring and patient, the vibe from the LGBB was "follow me if you must but make your mind up, I take no passengers". While Ella was active and very driven, almost urgent, the LGBB couldn't be more laid-back if she tried. And so forth. Beautiful symmetries run between them too, of course, and their likeness is just one of these things.
My dear poppet of an angel. How funny and sweet she was. Is. I remain in awe of her, then and now.
The hand foot and mouth is back. For a third go. Four tongue sores in as many hours have come up. My mouth is so sore, I could cry. I don't want this again *sob* I'm too busy now!
Sort of explains the dizziness of recent weeks, which only cleared up this week and I'm still not completely feeling "right" (shuddup!) and this isn't even mentioning the nasty episode that gripped me in the middle of this week that lasted two days and had me thinking I'd caught some sort of bug out of some food.
It's all this H, F & M! I am telling you, please don't take it lightly if you hear of it around. Not in a life threatening, dramatic sense. But just a "couldn't be arsed being so under the weather/sick/debilitated for so damn long" sense.
Just trust me: You DO NOT want this thing. It's vile and it doesn't bloody leave your system!!!
Friday, October 10, 2008
Monday, October 6, 2008
Me: *mock horror* What was THAT!?
The LGBB: *straight-faced and with an air of knowing she needed to keep it simple for me* My poo.
She's no fun.
Sunday, October 5, 2008
It's going to be heavy going for Steve to read. Although he wants to, I know it will be hard, all joking aside. There's a lot of him in it. There's a lot of "the old us, before" and there's also the "us, after".... I realise it's difficult for him to read it all in one sitting. I've been reading him snippets out loud and he says it's perfect.
He says it's going to pan out like when Marge asks Homer to read her book she's written so that he's all okay with it and Homer attempts to read it, gets bored and falls asleep during reading. He tells her that he "LOOOVES" the book.
So I said to him that, given the content, if he professes how much he LOOOVES my work in progress, I'll be more than a little sus.
Me: Lolly, what would you like to do now?
LGBB: *pauses in thought* Mmmm.... watch Hi-5.
Me: You've already watched that today. What else would you like to do?
LGBB: *looks at me out of corner of eye* Watch. Hi. Five.
Me: (Ummm... how about) No. Something else?
Me: No. What else?
LGBB: Watchifi' *as if running all three words together and saying them really fast will trick me*
Me: *sigh* Well. I guess we'll just sit here and do nothing then.
LGBB: *nodding slowly and staring at me like Kenny Craig* We watch Hi-Fiiiiive.
I have to hand it to her, she's pretty convincing. Only the thinly-veiled cheeky smirk gives her away.
Urgh. Bloody Hi-5. I mean, I love 'em. But geez sometimes I really despise them.
Saturday, October 4, 2008
One of those.
I was dreaming when I woke up, actually, it was a dream that was going longer than my sleep. I looked at the clock beside the bed and it was 7.30. Oh my Gawd! An extra half hour, how luxurious. It did nothing to fill the seemingly empty tank, unfortunately, but there was some gooey delicious satisfaction at having lazed about that extra half hour.
My dream was about getting a recovering addict back into the workforce. How strange it was. This guy was FULL ON too. Really high energy, hyper kind of personality. It was so real. That must have been where the marathon feeling when I awoke has come from. There was also some sort of focus group in one of the offices there (and another office with glass windows with a bloke, back at work after finishing his 'program' - a recovery of some sort that I was not made aware of - asleep in a bed taking a rest so he didn't overdo it on his first week back... huh??) and the head of this group was the midwife who looked after me on my hospital stay last year with the LGBB.
This woman, Jan, was integral in me waking myself up and flying straight, that week I went to sleep school. I gained so much self-confidence in what I was doing with Lolly that it springboarded me, along with a few very timely and pertinent hints and tips, into getting on with the job before me - and not agonising so much over the one I never got to do with Ella. It was okay to have moments, I realised, but not okay to not be able to move forward with Lolly into the future. A tough time. And as usual, everybody around me was just saying "It's a new baby, you'll be fine!" when it was so, so, so much more than that, under the surface. Once again, as we are so liable to do as people relating to people, they were focusing on the iceberg and forgetting to look under the surface.
Aaaaaanyway, as I wandered past the door, Jan was speaking on behalf of this group in saying that they were all happy and thankful that I had come along when I did and that my help had been invaluable. HUH?? Who are you people!?
And then, the addict who was heading back to work that day found me and we made last-minute plans about how he would work out what he was doing and how he'd get home that day so it wasn't all overwhelming. It was so strange. So bloody real! I know, I've said that already.
And then I woke. The LGBB was overheard chatting to her toys - Bunny, Sherry, Scraps and Marley - and Steve stirred when I did and got up to her. I couldn't get up. I was so flat-knackered that I just lay there. And went back to sleep and the dream was right there, still before my eyes. Mostly, I think I wanted to make sure this guy was going to be okay.
Then I hear Lolly's trademark stomps coming up the hall. She sounds like we've taped two bricks to her ankles, her steps are sometimes so heavy. It's her funny-walk, the one she does when she's being "funny".
"MUM!" she exclaimed loudly in my ear. "YOU WAKE UP!" So I stirred and turned over and said 'morning and she left Scraps with me, announcing we were to "wait right here" and that she was going to come back after eating breakfast. So I did what I was told (if I must) and shut my eyes again, dozing, for I don't know about you all but I can't sleep once she's up - not with the bedroom door open and some two year-old merrily talking at a decibel level just below ears-bleeding as well - when she decided to march back in and say, her tone somewhat disdainful I might add,
"HEY! That Mummy. She's asleep AGAIN!" Like it's something I do ALL THE TIME.
Friday, October 3, 2008
Macadamia Choc Cookies
125g p flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp bicarb
120g roasted nuts (macadamias work goooood)
170g chocolate chopped
110g softened unsalted butter
1/3 c castor sugar
1/3 cup raw sugar
Mix flour, salt, bicarb, nuts choc
cream butter, sugar & raw sugar - pale & fluffy
fold in flour mix
form in 2 logs approx 4cm dia & wrap tightly in glad
chill for an hour
preheat oven to 175 deg
unwrap logs & cut into 1.5cm slices
put on baking tray w/ room for spreading (silicone sheet also good) & bake for
12 minutes (until they look golden enough for your liking - when frozen they take longer)
Cool on rack
Bye bye weight loss for this weekend. I'm sorry, but some things (and biscuits) are more important. My friend made a barrel of these when we first brought the LGBB home. I think it was milk n' cookies for her for the next fortnight. Or cookies in breastmilk. They are the most awesome self-indulgent pleasure and she's just given me the recipe and reminded me they exist.
Thursday, October 2, 2008
I recently rebranded my logo. I asked around some trusty close friends for their opinions and, taking into account everybody's "I think this needs to be darker, that needs to be smaller, why have you put that there" feedback and then utilising some of those opinions, I tweaked and finetuned...
...And out came my most fave card to date. I like 'em (if I do say so meself) and will be really proud to hand them out. In Ella's name *grin*
So a collective thanks guys for your input. You know who you all are.
Eight. 8! EIGHT!! Eight.
I had a weigh and measure today at the gym and I have shaved 8cm's off my E-cup bust in four weeks. I thought I felt more comfortable.
Okay, so I'm cheating here a bit and have to clarify that my boobs were after all expecting to feed a baby in 7 or so months at last measure (I was newly unpregnant and had gone back for a "let's go from square one" weigh and measure).
My last weigh and measure was done on June 12, just before I fell pregnant. And I was happy with those first results, having begun at the gym after the miscarriage before that (I put on fluid terrifyingly fast with a pregnancy and as The Guardian Friend said on seeing a bump shot I took this last time, at 8 weeks, "My God, luv, you look about 18 weeks along there already!" and then she gave me a hearty "Er.... good luck....").
So, this month on my two steps forward, one step back parlay through exerciseland, the results are:
8cm off bust
3cm off biceps
2cm off waist
2cm off hips
1cm off calves
1cm on thighs (noooooooooooooooo!)
... and a whopping great .9kg weight loss *lone cricket chirping* But hey, a loss is a loss, people.
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
So, to Part II.
A few weeks ago, The Guardian Friend* and I were on the phone. She said to me, somewhat confused, "I had a dream last night and I think it was for you." Oh, yeah? What about? "This bus pulled up, full of people, and I got on it. Funny thing is, one of my old teachers from high school was the driver... I don't think that's relevant, really, I think it just set the scene using people I know. Y'know? Anyway, he told me this was not the bus for me and that I should get off."
Curious. We were both curious, actually. I was mock-offended when TGF went on to say she had the feeling, in one way or another, this bus was for me and that I was either the bus driver or I was ("sorry luv!") the bus. Hmph. And I thought I'd been so good at losing weight lately...
So, fast forward a week from that phone call. I went to Peace Space for a day of writing, wandering around their gardens and just soaking up some weak Spring sunshine. I helped with their computers a bit, had long lovely chats with Neri (a woman of about 60 and one of my main confidantes these days) and even managed to have a consultation with Jen.
Like usually, these days, it was part me and part business. And the business of what I am heading into. Which is serious, Light work business - helping with the cleaning and clearing and lifting of dormant and ill positioned energy that's lingered for aeons around the Earth and that we are all contributing to feed into (and feed off of). Just picture me with a bucket, some Ansells on my hands (gloves, not condoms...) and a floral bandanna while I scrub the floor on my knees.
Jen said to me, in opening, "I was there in my house the other day and turned around.... and this busload of people just turned up!" Now, when you speak with Jen, you can never tell (unless you ask specifically) whether she means "people" as in real live people standing in front of her or "people" as in, she-sees-dead-people Allison Dubois style. I didn't ask her to clarify at that point. I was too intrigued by the (totally unprompted by me) reference to a bus load of people, just like TGF's the week before.
Jen continued. "They turned up and I was overcome by this murky, mucky, horrible feeling - I thought, this isn't from me, this is coming from them.... and I think it has something to do with you. You're going to be involved somehow with healing this collective energy."
Now, I sat there, doing what I usually do - which is, not owning up to the enormity of what I can do but that I play down/don't utilise/deny I have any right or ability to do. But then, I thought about it. Whoever these people were, on this bus, whatever it looked like (for I was trying to imagine it, I really was, particularly now that two people - who have never met - in my circle of friends/confidantes had brought it up), I was going to remain consciously open, this time, to helping however I could - consciously aware of it or not - to lift and lighten the load they seemed to be bearing.
I wanted to know who exactly was on the bus but I forgot to ask. We did talk about incest. "It's to do with incest energy," was all Jen clarified.
So, like I often do, I left the meeting with more questions than clear answers - mostly because I didn't come right out and ask (there's my fear of taking on any more "hard work", kind of like being an ostrich with its head in the sand) - and I simply drove home, all two hours' worth, in wonder that some bus full of "incest energy" was floating around and beginning to visit people I knew.
Let's not forget what I went through a few weeks back. Just wanted to add some extra credence to the story at this point, to hopefully illustrate how by going through something we think is sooooo personal that it could not possibly involve anybody else - whether that is bullying at work or in a schoolyard, or fighting non-stop with your kids or partner, or trouble with the in-laws, etc. etc. - we are actually connecting in to a big group consciousness... we are tapping in to that big collective, to all people who (for example) have been involved in an emotionally abusive relationship or bullying. Or incest.
It dawned on me that it was entirely possible, not that I knew how but I just knew it was possible somehow, that the pain and the grief that I felt was more than just mine. In fact, the weekend that it fully hit me, I had an over-reaction of sorts and felt very much like a little kid in someone else's house. This didn't feel like my house, I felt too small and insignificant and in no way felt like an adult at all. As if I'd literally been whipped back to the space in time when I was that little helpless kid, defenseless against an older man's abuse. Was I feeling more than just my horror? Yes... turns out that I was.
And this is what my work is about. In order that I am completely protected while I work, I still have to get better and better at my cross-checks and boundary/perimeter keeping, for I tend to be slack about it still, before I'm really initiated. So I think I am being spared the heavier duty stuff, although it's apparently starting to come in. But in the meantime, regardless, I am becoming far more aware of what goes on - and also where I fit in having these experiences. The best part is, I can help do something for the benefit of the Earth, like many millions of others doing the same thing.
Last week, during Indigo Ray, we were called to do a Passover. I had no idea what that was. Or who/what it was for. But I was willing to contribute my energy to assist the group. We all were. We're all kind of newbies to this, but have been brought together because of what we have to offer as Light workers, discovering and enhancing our abilities. Collectively, I guess we can offer even more.
We stood, backs facing the centre and nobody knowing what to expect, in silence. Our teacher - an awesome girl, I'll call her Tess - said nothing and so I just did as the others were doing. Stood there. All of a sudden, I felt like someone was pushing me in the back. Various places and nothing pointed or sharp - just dull, large shoves of force, kind of like being pushed by groups of fists or flat hands. It was strong, but it wasn't scary and it didn't feel harmful to me, standing there in the room. When I opened my eyes, the circle had dispersed and people had silently begun to take their seats. And I was all, oh, is that it then? Wonder what that weird pushing shit was all about. Oh well.
And that's when Amber, sitting next to me, goes "Uhh..... what the hell was that?? Pushing me in the back so hard I thought I was going to fall forward?" I just grinned and nodded, relieved someone had said it first, "I felt it too." All Tess said to us was, "It was something... not very nice. A big, 'not nice' ball of group energy that needed to be passed over. Removed from the Earth plane." (Tess has a 5 year-old daughter - I guess that's where the simplistic 'not nice' came from, because I'd kind of hoped for a bit more information but didn't want to ask in front of the wider group).
So until yesterday, I had no further clue as to what had happened during this Passover. That was, until I brought it up with Jen again. I asked her what that group energy had been. And she told me it was the people from the bus.
"The bus, who was actually on that bus??" I asked her, not even sure she was permitted to divulge.
"Paedophiles. And victims," she said in a matter-of-fact tone. What, dead ones? I pressed. It was a none too silly question, because as you may well know, a good many living people can leave their energy in a room to fester long after they've gone too!
"Yep, dead ones. And they've all been stuck here for a very long time, because of their sheer guilt. It needed to be moved, it was time. And you helped bring it to the Light, surfaced it with others back a few weeks ago, remember? That's when it started."
Apparently, I was one of many who phoned in to Peace Space that week, in a massive personal crisis over events from our pasts that had begun to come up. There's that collective consciousness happening again. I don't find it any coincidence at ALL, then, to learn that out of the nine people around that table at last week's class, there were five of us who had been affected by incest in one way or another.
- ► 2011 (182)
- ► 2010 (265)
- ► 2009 (289)
- The fact of the matter
- Ugh. It's That Day again
- Accidental yumminess
- They'll never know
- And today I cried again...
- Whose is whose?
- Today I cried
- Another day, another Colour
- The worm turns
- Full steam ahead
- I don't normally share these...
- Vodka: the new Early Grey
- Dixiebelle's Mountain Bread Quiche
- Literal Lolly
- It's been a while (Book Update)
- Oops, they did it again
- Don't walk... RUN!... from The Bug
- So I don't ever forget her
- Keep it simple stupid
- The Carpenter
- Diatribe of a Mad Housewife, Sunny style
- What's to do
- That Mummy *tut tut*
- The kind you make when you want to be kind
- They're here!
- Oh, Mr. Hart... what a mess
- ▼ October (29)