Friday, July 31, 2009

Finding out how 9 miscarriages can bite... the hard way

I have a lot I need to say about this past week. Being still in the throes of the most excruciating week (physical pain-wise) of my life, I'm not properly centred yet to go firing off about what's been happening.

Knowing me, as you may do by now, you'll probably have guessed correctly that I am throwing everything (esoteric, alternative, medical and otherwise) at this affliction I find myself in. It's made for some very interesting learning, particularly in the past two days.

An infection has now settled in the base of my face. I have a huge lump the size of an outstretched hand, running the length of my chin and right hand lower jaw. Now that it's manifested physically, I have to let the antibiotics do their thing while the Chinese medicine also boosts me from the inside out. I'm on homoeopathics to take the edge off pain in between times and I am most relieved to say that at least the Panadeine Forte now works when I take it. Not for long, but a half hour without a twinge of pain somewhere in my teeth, gums, jaw, cheek, forehead or temple is sweet, sweet relief and I'll take it.

I want to come back and properly fill in the gaps. This has been important. A huge chunk of learning and realisation that all comes back to the nine babies we lost between 2000 and last year. I have only done one deep meditation on it (this morning) and am still walking through it, cradling myself, if you will. Before I can post about it, I need to responsibly clear and protect my outpourings, in order to effectively protect you, the reader, from such heavy burden and "someone else's stuff", basically. The realisations I've had are profound, more profound than even I, on my journey so far, could have known.

It has taken this pain, this bolt out of the clear blue, to shake me, make me still, realise and release the pain I didn't know I was still carrying. So buried has it been by the loss of Ellanor and then the birth of the LGBB.

I am working through giving myself permission to be so affected by these losses. I am learning to release the guilt of trying again so soon, again and again and yet again, pushing and striving and yearning all those months. It was bound to take its toll. As I kept getting pregnant, I honestly thought it wasn't affecting or effecting me (or the outcome). I felt less and less emotional turmoil about them. I racked them up as one great big collective loss.

But they are not. They are individual. And until I unify all of this, I will not be whole. A birth is complete, and yet a miscarriage... a miscarriage, in some respects, is never-ending.

More later.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

That just proves it

I must eat far more than I need to. Not junk, just more.

I've lost 3kg since Saturday. I can only sip gently on Miso soup, other thin soups and sometimes I brave it and manage to slip a teaspoon in my mouth and have a tub of pureé fruit. I get Steve to make me banana smoothies, to keep up my potassium, because I can't hold the barmix - the vibration sets off an excursion to Excrutiation Village that I'd rather avoid. That's what I'm living on. The soup, fruit and smoothies, I mean. Not the pain excursions (although... they are a regular part of my day, I get dozens of these onsets and just freeze my body through them to avoid setting off stronger waves).

Everything else I can think of involves chewing.

Any suggestions? Temperature of food is also a byotch with this thing.

I sneezed this morning. It just about sent me out of my mind. I couldn't even cry about it. Not worth the ensuing pain to cry and feel sorry for myself.

Tonight, I'm going for acupuncture and to start taking a couple of strong herbal tonics. One of them, Magnol1 it's called, is for "vital exhaustion". Heh. I think I have vital exhaustion, fer sher! If you have a look at the symptoms, including patterns of pain in fibromyalgia, "Ultimate burnout / Vital Exhaustion (VE)" comprises of:
  • Feelings of excessive fatigue
  • Lack of energy
  • Increasing irritability
  • Feelings of demoralization
Well. I hadn't noticed that last one. But shee whizz, the others have been prevalent for so long I thought it was just me.

Isn't it just so alarming sometimes to turn around and realise what you've been living with and coping with for so long that it's become "you"? When it's not really you at all?

And I wonder, what have others possibly got going on, as a pattern of pain or fatigue or depression or otherwise, that they have incorporated into their being because "it's just been there for so long it must surely just be me"?

More later.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mandala Meditation Monday #7

I haven't the words or the energy to entirely put into words the weekend I've had. Suffice to say, I have visited the hospital three times in the space of about 17 hours for pain in the right side of my face (a misfiring trigeminal nerve - it's known as trigeminal neuralgia), had a shot of Tremedol, Panadeine Forte (both of which did ZIP for the pain), been put on a drip, had Maxolon to reverse the severe vomiting that started late yesterday - in front of dear Lolly, oh gosh - and now I'm onto Tegretol to begin to manage the pain. In a week or so, I am going to see a Neurologist to try and locate the cause of the nerve pinch/hyperactivity (it's basically causing my face to alternately freeze/lock and grip me in the most intense, crushing, shooting pains I've ever known).

I cannot chew, I can hardly talk (well, not for long) and am finding sleep and even holding my face very difficult. Who knew gravity was SUCH a bitch? It seems any change in position, once I am given a few moments' relief, results in a bout of shooting pain. But all of it only on the right side of my face and head.

Hey, you know you're in trouble if you can't even enjoy a coffee. Steve humoured me and walked me up to the café after visiting the doctor with me and my God. The pain was so severe that I got restless legs. I literally wanted to jump out of my body. It's the kind of pain that makes you look in the mirror and go, "Far OUT, it looks like nothing is happening in there!" And I took three sips and decided it wasn't worth the intsense pain that came with putting my lips around the vent on the lid. I've eaten just miso soup and a tub of pureé fruit since Saturday night because I just can't put a spoon in there. Teeth brushing? Don't even ask.

In giving you all that rundown, I want to say this. I am not focusing on the physical/fear aspects of this. As much as I can, I am going to be re-evaluating a lot of things. A big part of this is now standing in my true sense of self. Time to get seri-arse. Sorry. Serious.

I took myself outside in the (brief) sunshine this morning. I closed my eyes and attempted to gain some healing from the sun and whomever of My Posse was around to give me guidance. As soon as I closed my eyes, the familiar colours began. I was swathed in Turquoise. A really beautiful shade of Turquoise. I just let the colour wash behind my eyes, it was really intense. So was the pain! I had to go inside abruptly, before I could get too far into my meditation, because the cold was triggering more pain.

A few hours later, my dear friend Neri phoned me - I have had a lot of support from Jen and her since my ordeal began on Saturday night and have been offered wonderful insights and wisdoms to give me a greater understanding of why I'm going through this (remember: it's not just about you when something huge happens, there's always a deeper reason behind whatever pain you're going through! And once again, I could not see past it because it had already filtered in to my physical body and clouded my thoughts and concentration).

Anyway, Neri gave me a mandala to use today. It was a Turquoise one. Ho ho, fancy that! And the animal to go with that mandala is the Baboon, which I will also include here today. She explained to me that Baboon was about taking time out "in the trees" and just chilling. When I got to the doctor's later this morning, he said exactly the same thing. Just not in an etheric, "look to the Baboon" sense. Naturally.

"Rest, rest, rest," he said firmly.

A word I have hitherto detested but really need to begin to respect more. This is what I am sitting with today. Forgive me, I don't have the energy to put the image up. But I promise I will come back and put it in once I get a chance. For now, the text can suffice:

30. The FLEET of the FOLLOWING

the colour of...RICH TURQUOISE
the sound chord of …G 6
the essence of...MALACHITE...the stone for burnt-out healers as it opens your heart chakra, awakens your altruistic nature, and inspires healers to give more freely of themselves. MALACHITE aligns the etheric and emotional bodies and balances the 3rd chakra. MALACHITE treats mental illness, averts dizziness, vertigo and fainting, relieves cramps and rheumatism, and promotes sleep. MALACHITE aids co-ordination disorders (like epilepsy, autism, dyslexia and neurological discharges) caused by left-right brain imbalances, and visual disorders where it treats cataracts and generally strengthens the eyes. It aids self-expression, increases fertility and lactation, aids childhood dentation and treats childhood ills. For cardiac pain, MALACHITE stimulates the circulatory system, increases capillary action and invigorates red corpuscles. As a salve with honey, MALACHITE can staunch bleeding. It aids the kidneys and assists in cases of over-intoxification of the system and radiation-induced illnesses (such as cancerous tumours and leukaemia) and strengthens those working with video terminals and computers. MALACHITE promotes tissue regeneration, strengthens the pineal and pituitary glands, and removes toxicity in the fatty tissue. It aids the pancreas, spleen and stomach, prevents hernias and may be used for colic, intestinal infection, and gastric complaints involving nervous tension such as gastric ulcers.

This Mandala can give you a vantage point that is higher than your current one. From it you will be able to see into dangerous situations and access the reason and purpose of the learning these experiences have for you. This Mandala will address the turbulence you have created and that has continued to follow you. Your onus, now, is that of surrounding and containing this turbulence.

When the Mandala appears aligned, it will help you view from above whatever situation you are to take charge of. It will give you a 'birds eye view' of
• the ship (i.e., the container of your responsibilities),
• the turbulent seas (i.e., the emotional depths of learning you are responsible to—not only your own emotional depths, but the depths of those in your care, as well),
• the horizon of safe ground, or of wider objectives than the voyage you are on now).

You will now be faced with the necessity to forge new ground with the aim of moving humanity to create harmony and unity. There will be rough seas, so you will have to be sturdy and strong as well as flexible and flowing with your energy.

Growing from this experience does not necessitate fleeing from it. Rather it involves your melding the flight of your intuition with the stealthy integrity of your mature consciousness. This fold of experience will become a catapult to benefit the future. It will forge your ability to be intuitively responsible and it will be with this indelible responsibility as your solid foundation that you will build the future structure of new lands.

You are being helped towards this learning so that you will be able to keep a steady rhythm during your voyage. Certainly the predatory waters will warn you of risk, but if you travel beyond diving into worry about risks and, instead, gain insight about any possible surrounding danger from the vantage point of your Higher Sight, you will be far safer and much better prepared to encounter any challenging reefs.

Sailing this vessel will involve being vigilant for those who sail with you because you do have the gift of harmonising any ill-mindedness belonging to those in your care! This gift of yours carries with it the ability to adjust your etheric patterns to provide others with peace of mind. When you feel overawed by the crowding of your personal space, you will be given the Chalice of Dedication to drink from and its draught of Fresh Waters will balance your purpose with peace for your mind. You will be allowed personal time and space away from pressure and push to ponder new perimeters and to open them.


Baboons are found in most parts of Africa and are classified as Old World monkeys. They have forsaken life spent entirely in the trees for life spent mostly on the ground. Their heavy body and short fingers make Baboons better suited to foraging in grasslands than to swinging in trees as other primates do. However, Baboons do spend their nights in the trees and will also retreat to the safety and vantage point of the tree canopy when under threat. They are agile, resourceful and highly sociable—masters of survival—and can out-manoeuvre even the biggest cats, i.e., lions and leopards, which are their chief predators.

Baboon wisdom tells you to reach for a higher viewpoint when you deal with predator interference. If you do not seek the higher perspective of higher guidance, staying only grounded could endanger you at this time. Take to the trees with the Baboons for a time of meditation and wait for the turbulence, or dangerous situation, to pass. This will give you the space and time to find a wider perspective and access greater insight and will show you why and what you are to learn from your experience. Encountering Baboon energy indicates that now is not the time to get involved in external situations nor become overly reactive to them. Rather, it is a time to see your objectives within a wider perspective and discern how best to move on into greater responsibility more maturely. Head home to your sacred space within, then, and find calm and stillness there so that you can meld your experience and intuition and so encourage change and growth for your own spiritual future as well as the spirit family around you.

Baboons troops are close-knit and can number anything from 7 to 200. The dominant male is responsible for the troop’s safety and leads the way, keeping the females and young secure to the centre of the group. The other males act as sentries, barking warnings to each other and fighting with foreign rogue males should they try to join the troop. Baboons fiercely stand their ground against intruders whom they will force into flight, or retreat. When Baboon appears, know that you are on notice to be protective, supportive, energetically aware and responsible towards yourself, your family (physical and spiritual) and your community and steer away from threatening interferences and any incorrect experiences that may present themselves to you. Baboon medicine is about not avoiding your life experiences but rather about knowing how to deal correctly with their risks and finding the best way to respond to any threats. It is about connecting with Source (reaching “high into the trees”) to gain a higher perspective so you can find a better and safer way.

Baboons behave as if they spend much care and attention on each other. These very sociable creatures appear to enjoy each other’s company and spend a lot of time mutually grooming to remove ticks, fleas and debris from each other’s fur—a practice that cements the firm bonding of the troop. Baboon wisdom suggests to humans their need to show greater care towards each other and to be involved in removing unwanted energies attracted in daily routines. This wisdom is also about helping the younger members of one’s family to find the discipline required to grow and about learning, through all experiences, to lead by example. Baboon families are not prone to fighting, nor even squabbling, and tend to seek a peaceful and harmonious existence. They communicate constantly with many grunts and a variety of facial expressions demonstrating the disciplined maturity of their social behaviour within the troop. When Baboon appears in your life it could indicate a time for you to review how well you communicate with those around you. How harmoniously are you travelling and are you behaving in a mature and disciplined way?

Baboons are always on the move to find new feeding grounds where they graze on plants, many of which can be toxic to other animals. Baboons have the ability to find nourishment in a greater variety of plants than do others who find comparative difficultly in digesting. Baboon wisdom teaches how to use greater discernment in digesting thoughts. Baboons have been under threat from human agricultural methods which have sought to eradicate them as a pest to crops, but the Baboons’ vigilance has paid off. They have survived despite all extermination efforts and their populations continue to flourish. Baboon medicine is that of being prepared to meet the challenges in life by always seeking a higher perspective from which to gain expanded vision and so find another way. Baboon energy shows you how to allow each experience to deliver you new wisdom, to take ‘time out’ to find a quite space so you can become the catalyst that opens up frontiers and new ways for your future.

Experience Risks Challenges Higher Perspectives Higher Point of View Community Time Out
30 Mandala, The Fleet of the Following, Rich Turquoise, Malachite, Baboon, Sound Chord G6

Friday, July 24, 2009

Her very first

Three years and three days, it took, for the LGBB's first WEE ON THE TOILET!!!!! What is it with the three's?

"Just wait for the child," they all say. Which is hella easy for them to say when they don't have Miss I SHAN'T in their house. She has refused to even look at the potty or a toilet. There is an open-door "Toily Policy" here in this house. We seem to have learnt to go with her coming and going from the bathroom as she pleases. Makes for some interesting natural flight or fight responses on the old sphinctoral reflexes sometimes, I can assure you (as many of you could also relate to, I'm sure).

No, the LGBB has flatly refused to even consider the prospect of sitting on anything toilet-related. Then, every so often over the past few months, she's thrown me a bone. She'd sit on that throne and demand allsorts. Which she didn't get. So she'd get back down. And that'd be that, for weeks on end.

Today I was at my wits' end, I tell youse all. WITS. END. Just with everything in general. It's been very difficult finding that fifth hour every weekday that I've been asked to work. The straw today was the LGBB blatantly pooing in front of me in her nappy while shaking her head that she wasn't, while INSISTING on helping me with hanging out washing and then cracking the shites when she "can't do it" like Mummy and throwing it on the dirty, dusty decking!!!

Yes, today was the first time ever that I have gone away and cried like a howling Jazz on my bed. The LGBB came and found me, said, "I'm here, Mama. Don't worry. Look, Scrapsy's here. It's ok...." with an arm pat and a wipe away of my hair from my face. GOD. More tears.

And then in a moment of sort of nutty-calm Shirley Valentine-esque clarity, I did it. I just serenely went and got a bag, told her she was going to throw out all her nappies using it and marched her confidently around the house collecting nappies to put them in the bag and then garbage bin outside.

OMG. It bloody WORKED.

I set a timer for every 10 mins and made it fun. She did nothing all afternoon. She went for two hours (her record is a kidney-fearing SEVEN.......... when she flatly refused last time to either use the toilet OR put a nappy on and ended up flooding her carseat on the way home from child care that long, arduous day - I am TELLING you she is Miss I Shan't) and then as Stoive and I were chatting, we put her on the toily before the bath and there it was.

The sweetest, tinkly sound ever to hit my ears. The look on her face was priceless. Stunned, horrified, proud and ridiculously excited all rolled into one.

When you've gone so long with your child not even willing to be compliant about taking a pew on the poe, this is HUGE.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Stropfest of '09 is officially over

Can we still be friends?

I didn't mean to sound as though I wanted a love-in at every post. Gosh, I know how blogs work!

My sensitivity was coming from the recent health scare that is shrouding the family right now. I observed over 60 different IP's (computer addresses, basically) visit in less than two days when I posted about that. And while they're the sort of numbers this blog usually sees on a daily check-in basis (not including feeds) and the traffic was down, in the silence and lack of support equal to (or anywhere near similar) that amount of readers over that time, I felt a bit undressed emotionally. It's my Dad! It was not a TV show character I was talking about, not a distant relative or someone else's friend's aunty's boyfriend I am about to go and carry with my (somewhat fractured, inept) family. It's my Dad. The only parent I have any relationship with. The only person in my family, really, who I feel "leaves me alone" and takes me as I am. Truthfully.

It's funny, I sort of see my blog as a friend. Do any of you see your blogs that way? After this many years, which is longer than some acquaintances last in any meaningful fashion, it is ingrained in my daily routine. Certainly weekly "obligation". It is something I allow myself time to pay attention to. It is somewhere I come to voice things I sometimes don't get an opportunity (or desire) to do in my daily life. With real human beans.

So when so many pairs of eyes came and, I assume, read about the trial facing my father, I found it really painful to think that nobody would stop a moment to comment. It's one of those times when the reality of people reading your words, as if you were "simply" a reality TV show, hit me. I often forget "you all" are out there. As I said, I see my blog as one (collective) friend. And I felt let down by it.

Ironic, really, that the gorgeousness of those who have commented has come to the fore - you women are the ones who usually comment! There are four times as many of you reading... and, in the silence since my post last weekend, I have to simply accept, I see that now, that you just don't wanna show yourselves.

This hiatus has nought to do with the people who are regular contributors (and if you post once every 3 months, you are still counted in that category!) by way of comments. It was more to do with the faceless, nameless people who could well be my next door neighbour, recognising my daughter and having a grand old time reading about me when I know nothing about them ..... it leaves one with a rather vulnerable feeling. A bit short-changed too, shall we say, to not know who that is.

This is why I had to do lots of thinking about my purpose with my blog this week.

I've decided, meh, you can't really stop who reads you. You can't make people find their hearts and consciences and comment when they have never (but read avidly, regularly.... *taps nose*). All you can really do is decide what to give of yourself. If this means I have to take sunny palm-tree-filled holidays (in my mind only) from here/you occasionally in order for me to still write as I see it/feel it, then that is what I will do. Some of you many not see blogs as coming from real people, but I assure you..... this one does, at the very least.

Still. Shrug. Off we go! There is much I wanted to tell you, dear Blog-friend. I have just been so inundated with work (and attacks of the tireds) and this business of thinking, "Do I really need you in my life?" and it's all built to a crescendo.

I'll just leave it to Homer to illustrate where I was this week....

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Turning 3 has its perks

I never knew the job description also stated you could torture your mother with thinly-veiled sarcasm and wheeler-dealer moves barely 3 days after you blew out three candles on your cake.......

I'll just have a small piece from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

My favourite part? Her feigning realisation at the end that I wanted a piece (now that she'd scoffed it) and saying, "Oh, s.. so.. sorry, here, you can have all these bits" and handing me her crumbs.

What wasn't caught on film was the stashing of the plate after she'd retracted her offer of the remnants. I found it stealthily hidden on one of the kitchen stools a few minutes later.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

On Sabbatical

Don't be alarmed if I don't post here for a while.

Am going through a new phase. Working mother, friend, energetic worker, partner..... I'm finding the balance of my energy expenditure is requiring tweaking. I want to take time to look at whether I am comfortable giving energy here, in this space online, when I don't receive. I am a giver and not a receiver by nature. But sometimes, it smarts. I have to look at why. And what really counts.

I ran into a gentle-man today at Woolworths. I felt the energy* come in last night and was confused, hellishly confused, by it. When this happens, I go ape at the person closest to me: the husband. He pointed out, cryptically but tellingly, that I "always do this" after around 10pm at night. I guess that's when I start downloading the energy. And until today, I've never recognised that that's what it is.

The penny dropped today with such a thud against my thick noggin.

This man was in the fruit and veg section, poring over his shopping list. He looked up at me by "chance", I glanced at him and we both smiled at each other. It's rare to receive that. But then he said, "Good morning." Even rarer, really, in a busy supermarket.

"Hi," I replied. I wandered past him, keen to pick up my bananas and keep moving. Lots to do today. But he started telling me that his wife had made the list. "She's been in hospital over a week now."

End stage ovarian cancer. She's so far lived a year beyond her two year life expectancy. All she wants today is fresh fruit. He went through his day with me, how he'll not have breakfast, leave the dishes untouched in his sink and just drive straight there to see her. "It's an awful drive to the hospital, I hate the drive," he said.

We never dropped eye contact. I stopped still, in the busyness of my own day (I'm preparing for Lolly's 3rd birthday party tomorrow) and gave this man my time. How could I not stop? How could I not impart kindness to a stranger for five minutes?

We spoke for a bit longer, I mostly listened, and I walked away after he had gone, my eyes full to the brim with tears. It was a profound exchange we had. I saw in his eyes that he appreciated me taking that time, even when I hardly said a word to him. I realised as I went around the supermarket, that this is what I'm here for. It's not the people I know, so much, it's the people I don't know who I'm really "here" for.

So. These are the things that, if I am not careful, go unnoticed by me. Just flit past me in the course of my own inflated sense of self-hard-done-by-ness. I am still not well versed in recognising where my energy goes and how often, but I am learning. Fast. When those close to me take, take, take without so much as a "thanks" or other recognition, it's not that I feel indignant at not being appreciated, for this is what I do. I give.

But I have been looking to human nature to repay me. To fill me back up. I've been looking in entirely the wrong direction. I ought to be looking up. Or at least out. To my Source. My guidance and spiritual support.

If I don't, I will lose the plot and fall into a cynical, bitter, hard-done-by heap, wondering why people take from me and never give. Why they can read my blog but never comment, particularly when I'm writing about things so close to my heart. Why they can ask me for help but never offer it. I have to find the equilibrium where those things don't matter and I have enough in me to keep giving out while I continue to fill up with non-physical and, frankly, non-human gestures. I think it's called being responsible for one's actions. Or inaction, as the case may be. It's not good enough, for me, to continue sailing on and refusing to stop being so oblivious to what I give out, or not, and why.

I thought long and hard about removing my blog, as it all felt too much these past two weeks. But I have decided to keep it here. I just have to regroup, like I said, and feel the love again (as well as really consider how much of myself I want to continue expressing on here) before I can continue to give in this area of my life.

So, over and out for the time being. I'll catch you when I've got my head and heart sorted.

* healing energy, that is, for someone.... ie. for me to pass on. When this happens, it can be quite hard to take/accept and I often, often, forget that sometimes this extra energy I feel is not for or about me (it doesn't make me want to run marathons or jump around - it's not energy like that, it's more just like an over-abundant, fracturing kind of feeling.... because, as I said, it's not for me to do anything with but give out/pass on, and I am usually unaware I'm about to, say, bump into some bloke in need of some young woman to stop and take a moment to acknowledge his extremely difficult circumstances while he helps his dying wife get more comfortable). I am still learning to look out for it and wonder where this late-night mood swing comes from. Hopefully, now, this will stop happening more and more because I am becoming more aware that it's "not my mood" doing this. iykwim... at all.... LOL.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Totally the opposite to Arnold....

It is a tumour.

The not-so-great but not immediately dire kind. They won't know until they operate.

My father goes and says to me cryptically last Saturday, over a plunger full of coffee (so, a mere four minutes from plunger set, through description - with photos! huzzah! of the inside of my father's intestinal tract! - to coffee poured), "Well, it's cancer basically." He was quick to say, "But we don't say that. We say.... "It's a non-paying lodger and it has to go."

Oooookay. That's what we say, then, dear Pa-pa.

Apart from this, he never actually said that's what it was. He just called it "this thing". I asked him straight out, So is it malignant then? And he pulls out this printed brochure he received from his specialist (the one whom he says told him, "It doesn't look benign to me,") and says, "So it's basically like this..." and proceeds to point to this diagram of a colon. And the description of a stage II malignant tumour. And I'm all, like, it's cool. Maybe it's still not cancer. He's not saying it is.

But...... it is. Another email to us last night held quoted information (he's such a happy Googler) about survival rates and so forth. Alarming stat's that I'd rather not entertain right now, frankly. I also think what he's trying to say is, he's extremely lucky. It looks like it's been caught "in time". It's normally the kind of thing that spreads silently, insidiously, until it's far too late. He caught the one sign/symptom, the only one, and they were telling him a week ago that it's got to come out within the next couple of weeks or it starts getting serious. His surgery at that time was 3-4 teeth-gnashing weeks away! He thinks it's a "good sign" that when he tried to move it forward, he was informed his surgeon would be in Port Douglas, so it can't be that dire.... er, yeah, OR the surgeon doesn't want to miss his winter souljourn and waste those non-refundable plane tickets, is all!! *grimace*

I think I'm a little bit wetting in my pants about it all now :( Despite trying to keep the characteristic cool which I have inherited from the very parent who's facing his next big health challenge in these retirement years.

I'm glad we went and visited him on Saturday. This is the most crap-quality mobile phone video footage (facing in the entirely wrong direction) you're likely to see. But it's priceless to me.

Here comes the galloping Majooooooor! from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

Word up, Bloggy Peeps

The post I need to subtitle....

Twice On Sunday

Because that is the number of times I set this juggernaut of a new website up. Urrrrgh.

After seven hours' straight work on this thing (and a further two plus YEARS of shelving the concept as other things - and new people... enter Lolly, stage left!.... got in the way) last Saturday night, I left the computer at a little after 2am and headed wearily to bed.

The following day, I was nauseous with anticipation. Of wondering if it still looked good in the light of a new day, of whether it would take off, of whether it did Ellanor any justice for coming here and alighting again whatsoever.... It was an anticipatory feeling of many things. Oh, including angst. Great angst. When I discovered that my templates had CORRUPTED. My site, all that work, all those hours, all that pretty typesetting.... all went VOOSH and got lost somewhere. I tapped my iMac screen. I implored, I gnashed my teeth and, yes, I cried a little bit.

And then, along came Steve. With a swashbuckle here and a deletion of preferences and some other geeky shit bit there, I got it back up. I married my DNS with my host and said, "Genetic Factor? Meet your landlord. Host? Meet this latest concoction of mine. Do well!" and off they went into the cyber sunset.

Now. Here is where you guys come in.

I implore you as I have not done before: this is a site that really needs to happen. I don't quite know how to stress that enough. Far beyond any financial gain (for of course, I am in the red on it and haven't even considered getting any sort of funding or sponsorship), this is something that I wished was around when I was looking for somewhere to crash land. A truly safe haven, not one where I might run into *gulp* a pregnant person who had put their troubles in their old kit bag and turfed it, awaiting for the arrival of the next miracle child.

No, no. I yearned for a place where my partner-determined infertility (despite our high success rate of egg/sperm togetherness and lovey-doveys) would not be considered alien. Or misunderstood. Or something I just needed to relaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaax and drum my fingers patiently while I waited.

I needed ballsy, gutsy stories of determination and inspiration. I needed comfort. After Ellanor, I needed to know we weren't the ONLY couple in the world who had waited four long years and then, kissing that forehead one last sweetest of sweet goodbyes, farewell our dream and hope and reason for going on. After she had gone, we had nowhere. I then found Essential Baby, of course. It became my lifeline. However, as is all too often known or realised, it's a lifeline that can sting and sometimes, frankly, bite the big one. Like any forum.

So. To business:

I would like to introduce you all to - as well as being Ella's new "place" online, I have dear hopes for this project becoming a hub for genetic-related infertility, loss and high risk pregnancy stories and information.

How you can help:

Submit your own story.
Submit any poems regarding Loss, in particular, which you love or have helped you and you think may help/comfort others too.
Submit any information/links/articles, etc., about the area of genetic "hurdles" that has affected or interested you most.
Link to me (and let me know your website address, so I can link to you)
Let me know if you have any issues/joys navigating the website (give it to me, good and bad!).
Pass this email on! (or at least, the web address) To anyone you feel may be interested to know about it.
Any or all of the above would be really helpful please.

Obviously, above all else, this will only work if people know about it. (A somewhat scary concept in itself, on a personal level, cuz if it doesn't work it means.... well, it means I was totally wrong on it being "needed".... but let's move on!)

You therefore have my nod to go and spread the word anywhere you think would help. I want it to be browser-led. ie. I can go and fill it up with content that I find, but that would only go so far. It needs to be injected with many facets, as many as people can throw at me. And I am open to suggestion (not that I'm promising I have time to honour all the suggestions made!) on other ways/directions for it that I haven't thought of.

I need to give it a good, hard go. At least, then, I can say I attempted it and won't slip off the mortal coil wondering if I shoulda, coulda, woulda.....

Tell me what you think!

The most sneaky, elusive pancake I know

The Good News:

These, I am chuffed to say, not only tasted great but they were dairy free, gluten free, packed full of vegies AND went down, with yummy-sounds, a treat with both the LGBB and the Steve.

The Not So Good News:

I forget how I made them..... and the salsa-cream cheese spread I served them with.

Late-breaking edit: I remember! (I think... partially) Check the comments for a kind-of recipe! Huzzah!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Fruity! NOOOOOO!!!!

There is something slightly disconcerting about warming up, in the microwave, the new lavender-scented linseed heat pack shaped like a puppy dog. The one the LGBB named Fruity....

Monday, July 13, 2009

My say on M-J

It's been almost three weeks now since Michael Jackson passed away. In the beginning, I was trying to listen to or see any news information I could find. I was shocked. But I was also shocked about my reaction - one of shock! - because, well, I'm no avid fan. Mind you, I hasten to add that whenever I do a music playlist, at least one of his songs (the early ones or The Jacksons or Jackson 5) has always been included. I do love much of the music he delivered us.

After the first week had passed, a huge sadness came over me about it all. This culminated in me feeling like I really needed to .... well, quite frankly, pay my respects. I sat down last Saturday night and watched the public memorial from start to finish. After the rather uncomfortable (to me) duet with Mariah Carey and Trey Lorenz singing their cover of Jackson 5's "I'll Be There" was out of the way, I was swept up in the sentiments. The things the speakers said. I have read about all those who say it was a 'typical' grand performance and the family should be ashamed of themselves for 'cashing in' on Michael Jackson again and .... rah rah rah.....

My observation has also been that those who have said it was either distasteful or extravagant or otherwise just ghastly... didn't actually watch the whole thing!

Anyway. I'm not writing this post to those people. I don't think it requires an answer, for it is simply another (somewhat collective) opinion. Another misguided, ill-informed opinion about that family and their most famous brother.

Isn't that what we've all mostly been guilty of? Misguided, ill-informed, media-assisted opinions? Four years ago, when I saw MJ during that trial of his life, I thought ill of him for the first time. I wasn't sure. I did NOT want to believe he could be guilty of those things. I highly doubted he was. But I wasn't sure. Until I saw him speaking directly to the TV in that global-style address he performed. And by then, I had just become so confused and saddened by what he had done to his body and face that I was distracted by those judgemental thoughts of mine and didn't really hear anything he said. So indoctrined was I by this time, that year, that I went with the majority and just thought of him as "off the rails", "weird", "strange", "eccentric" and all the rest.

I sat and watched that memorial and I cried. Like a little, sorry kid, I cried and cried and couldn't stop. I sat and listened to beautiful memories, I saw the majority of those people get up there and speak from their hearts. And what I saw, most of all, was a fierce defending of MJ. How could so many different people have gotten him "wrong"? No, no, it was us who had him pegged wrongly. And how dare we assume? It was as if these people, mourning him and speaking about him, had finally been given the opportunity to tell "all those bastards" how wrong they had always got it. It seems that with even a world FULL of supporters and fans, he couldn't turn that media tide against him that portrayed him as so strange.

I have been listening to his/their music quite constantly for these weeks. The LGBB has "always" (if you can count 18 months of her 3 year old life as "always") loved him - another testament to the man's genius. I have said to Steve many, many times over the years that there is "something about Michael Jackson and I don't know what it is, but kids LOVE him." I first noticed this when I was working in child care about 18 years ago - kids adored him, I noticed then. I had a stint working as a babysitter - the kids I looked after also just loved him. I remember sitting in yet another house where children lived, these ones were about 8 and 6 (a brother and sister), and I sat there and listened to that bloody Black or White song about a trillion times as they perfected their "Concert With Michael Jackson" they were determined to put on. That was the first time, in 1992, that I really noticed this allegiance to him in youngsters.

As I said earlier, I have always really enjoyed a lot of MJ's music. I guess I am a fan! I don't know if I was really comfortable admitting that before - I did not know enough about him to consider myself justified in that label - and this says more about me than anything. That I probably didn't want to "go there" because I didn't want to read anything that made me not like him. And I didn't' want that to happen because then, I naively and ignorantly thought, I wouldn't be able to enjoy his music with as much free abandon. How narrow-minded have I been on the subject of MJ?

So I sat and I cried. I cried for him, for his family and his kids. I cried for those people who cried for him, knowing what turmoil and lockdown he was in - both inside his mind as well as physically, in the world.... he never led a "normal" life. He'd never have been able to go down the local shops for a carton of milk and some bread, now, could he?! Not even as a teenager or a ten year-old. There are very few people who would truly know what that would be like, and even then, those people would have some places in cities around the world where they are not recognised. He was a global phenomenon, in that regard alone.

Most of all, I cried with the guilt of allowing myself to level judgements at him that I had no right to make. I do not, will never have, all the facts about this man's life. Nobody will. They have died along with him. No, the most I have are these words from these people (Brooke Shields in particular had me really thinking, I thought her speech was divine), paying testament to their friend, their brother or associate.... they knew better than most. So I have taken those words and it has helped me form a more unbiased opinion of what I saw. And all I really saw was filtered through the media until now.

I have also these past few weeks let the words of Michael Jackson's songs be my guide to understanding him a little more. I realised what a humanitarian he was, listening to the sum total of those people speaking at his memorial. Watching his music videos as a young woman in the mid-90's, I remember thinking how self-absorbed he had become... Oh my God! How wrong could I have been?!? I had not been listening to him. I had been seeing him and then listening to what was being said about him. So very, very short-sighted of me.

And now, I am left with this feeling of heavy sadness and quite a lot of sheepish guilt. That I formed these assumptions without letting him and his lyrics be the proof and do the talking. Yes, of course, there were his fun songs - the songs that always kept him in the charts whenever he released an album. But the fame they brought were used by him to give back out.

This is what I would hope anybody would do. Just like with my experience of neonatal death and recurrent pregnancy loss - you cannot sit on that sort of ride and not give back out, whichever way you can, what you have learned. And so on and so forth, for all of us - this reaching out, this sharing of what we have (and MJ had money, so he also used that to give out), is what will keep this world from falling in on itself.

I am very humbled by the huge lesson I've learned from a most unlikely source: a person who was gifted and quietly generous (sometimes not so quietly), who burned bright and fast and left at the most gloriously timed moment in this Earth's history.

I will continue to think about MJ and all he did/tried to do. I focus on that and not on these slants and slights against him. I've done that already, for too long. Now it's time for me to responsibly accept the gifts he gave the world, using his crafts, instead of focusing on how he looked or allowing myself to continue to be caught up with other opinions (which are mostly hearsay anyway).

And above all, I will continue to love that music. Damn, he's good. Although, this morning was the very first time ever that I shed a tear while belting out Blame It On The Boogie in the car, turned up to 11. I hope in time I won't feel so heartsore about it all when I listen to his songs. But one thing is for sure, I will continue to enjoy them*. As I have always done.

* and now also with LGBB, my little boogie partner with me - I taught her the actions to "don't blame it on sunshine, don't blame it on the moonlight, don't blame it on good times... blame it on the boogie" and she thought that was great! Her favourites are the early Jackson 5 stuff and, for the moment, she is really loving Earthsong, which is beautiful - she is enraptured by the film clip (more humanitarian efforts by MJ).

Has the whole world gone mad?

I got a text message from a friend three days ago. It read simply:

"Have you ever had a huge crush on a fictional character?"

I didn't answer. I couldn't bring myself to admit that my last major crush on a fictional character was with John Gage. From Emergency! (Rescue 51). That, and, I didn't want to embarrass or humiliate my friend. I was, after all, eleven. She is in her forties.

You know what I am going to say, don't you, dear reader? It was that bloody Twilight character! Edward!

I am obviously missing something here. And now, well, I don't know if I'm too scared to read it or too defiant. Or a little of both.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

My hair appointment

The hairdresser I went and saw last weekend was a tad disorganised, if unprofessional. Mind you, I had no appointment. She propositioned me outside her "shop" and asked me if I wanted a haircut. I couldn't say no. She was too gorgeous to refuse.

So I went in and was confronted with the one thing a busty, somewhat bootylicious mother doesn't want to see: a chair that is way too small for you to fit in.

After that, it all went a little strange. The "hairdresser", when I told her there was "no way my derriére will fit in there", lost no pace when she whirled around to me and implored.... "You bruss my hair? I have a haircut and you be um, um, thaaaaa, um, hairdwessah??"

Again, I couldn't say no. I took up my cutting utensil (a swizzle stick from the Crown Hotel...) and had no choice but to snip away. I was putty in her tiny hands.

Halfway during the cut, I had to leave apologetically. Dinner was on. When I walked past later, it was to this scene, befitting of the hurried beautifying that I heard going on earlier, after I left the hairdresser in her salon....

Compact, keys, calculator, toe dividers (???), a credit card, comb, some random flash card, lippy strewn in a northerly direction.... What else could a girl need in her handbag?

Friday, July 10, 2009


My Dad is going in for surgery in the first week of August. I'm slightly alarmed.

I wouldn't say he's always been as fit as a Mallee bull.... well, I could have up until about six years ago, when he caught an astonishing virus that was insidious in its wounding of the pericardium - he contracted pericarditis (an inflammation of the muscle surrounding his heart) and it has affected him (for life, apparently) so that he has not been quite the fit, strong bloke I always remembered. But even so, he's pretty well downplayed its role in slowing him down. He still does far too much physical stuff than he should (I am soooo much like him in that regard that it's, literally, not funny....).

But, geez, I dunno. There's something about them getting poked and prodded around, isn't there? It's fairly major stuff (but not his heart this time, mercifully) and will see him in hospital recovering for at least a week.

They've found a lump. "A non-paying lodger in my colon," is how he put it in typical Dad-speak when he notified his children. Via email. Good old Dad (he doesn't like to use the phone and dial, for who would he call first? Email has got to be one of the best inventions for a long-distance parent!).

I don't know why, but I just don't like it. He's not old, although he's not a young man either, at 66. But it gets a bit sobering when you begin to see your parents ail.

I had no real idea. Well shut my mouth.

Just HOW cold is cold?

Cold is when you have condensation on the outside of your toilet cistern. In your ensuite. Inside your house.

is cold.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

And the times, they are a-changing

I've said it before, I'm sure, but geez my other blog used to be funnier. I'm SURE of it!

When I was searching it for some other stuff the other day, I had tears trickling down my cheeks while I laughed silently (the rest of the house wasn't up... and what does that literally mean? My kitchen rises at 9am? We have to tiptoe til the loungeroom gets up because it's on night shift?? What the? It's a strange way to say "the other people I live with weren't awake yet" really, isn't it?).

Namely, these two entries tickled my funnybone:

From this time we took the LGBB on her first family holiday, aged 9 months
• There was this man we saw sporadically while we were there and DAMN I didn't get to take a photo because I wasn't fast enough. He was impossibly tanned, a retiree we guessed, on a motorised cart. But not any old cart. Oh no, this was like a Rolls Royce of motorised carts. I swear, I reckon it had a better engine under the hood than the Tardis. And he had one of those plastic expressions, it didn't change. I decided his name was Bernie. And he had probably died about a week ago but his friends had tied him to his sweet ride and put it in gear and let him go off, in order to stay at his beach house. But the funniest part was, aside from the tinted glasses, the George Hamilton tan, the old-man bling (you know, watch, strange gold chain around neck, etc etc), he had this slicked-back white hairdo that, I swear, looked like he was clocking about 180kmh. His hair belied the fact that he was actually gadding about doing roughly 2kmh.

And then the time when I set the kitchen on fire and I just curled up in fits remembering Steve's pearler when he came back out (after my having danced around the kitchen screaming "SHIT! SHIT! SHIT!" and not much else:

Steve came back out, by the way, and giggled - yes, giggled - that he expected to come out and literally find a pile of shit. Such were my incessant and apparently convincing exclamations of said matter.

I love reading bits of my old blog. Just about every entry I ever come across has something funny in it. Yes, even AFTER/during the newborn phase! My, how times have changed....

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

They say an end can be a start

One of my all-time favourite bands is Phoenix. Love them, love them, LOVE them. Long before their current mainstream radio hit (and I hear some of their older songs quite often on Triple J and Triple R), I got into them about six years ago, via this very catchy tune (but with quite poignant lyrics... which are hard to follow because there are a lot of them!).

I give you....

My theme song:

They say an end can be a start
Feels like I've been buried yet I'm still alive

It's like a bad day that never ends

I feel the chaos around me

A thing I don't try to deny

I'd better learn to accept that

There are things in my life that I can't control

They say love ain't nothing but a sore

I don't even know what love is

Too many tears have had to fall

Don't you know I'm so tired of it all

I have known terror dizzy spells

Finding out the secrets words won't tell

Whatever it is it can't be named

There's a part of my world that's fading away

You know I don't want to be clever

To be brilliant or superior

True like ice, true like fire

Now I know that a breeze can blow me away

Now I know there's much more dignity

In defeat than in the brightest victory

I'm losing my balance on the tight rope

Tell me please, tell me please, tell me please...

If I ever feel better

Remind me to spend some good time with you

You can give me your number

When it's all over I'll let you know

Hang on to the good days

I can lean on my friends

They help me going through hard times

But I'm feeding the enemy

I'm in league with the foe

Blame me for what's happening

I can't try, I can't try, I can't try...

No one knows the hard times I went through

If happiness came I miss the call

The stormy days ain't over

I've tried and lost know I think that I pay the cost

Now I've watched all my castles fall

They were made of dust, after all

Someday all this mess will make me laugh

I can't wait, I can't wait, I can't wait...

If I ever feel better

Remind me to spend some good time with you

You can give me your number

When it's all over I'll let you know

If I ever feel better

Remind me to spend some good time with you

You can give me your number

When it's all over I'll let you know

It's like somebody took my place

I ain't even playing my own game

The rules have changed well I didn't know

There are things in my life I can't control

I feel the chaos around me

A thing I don't try to deny

I'd better learn to accept that

There's a part of my life that will go away

Dark is the night, cold is the ground

In the circular solitude of my heart

As one who strives a hill to climb

I am sure I'll come through I don't know how

They say an end can be a start

Feels like I've been buried yet I'm still alive

I'm losing my balance on the tight rope

Tell me please, tell me please, tell me please...

They are just brilliant lyrics, especially if you're really feeling low. And then the music is uplifting somehow at the same time!

The obsession I formed with that song led me to seek them out. The first year I set up my business and yearned to see Ellanor "even just one more time, just once", the soundtrack was this band. Unlikely and unusual choice, but there you have it. They were my healing tools, these crazy-cool French laddies.

Their music is so..... me. Dunno how. Perhaps it's just because I've listened to them over and over and over again. Because I am hardly male. Or French. Or that talented musically. Or electronically synthesized either.....

These are some of my very favourite other ones:

(I loooooooooove this, I vividly remember when working on my obstetrician's website for him - he was so good to us, that first year in particular after losing her - and listening to this song incessantly, I could never tire of it)

And ignore the images, but enjoy this actual song (I LOVE the melody and harmonies of this one, it's such a heartsore yet beautiful sort of sound - sounds great on a good stereo):

Monday, July 6, 2009

Mandala Meditation Monday #6

This one is a real goody. I am interested to discover that while this is the one that jumped out at me this morning, on reading I discover it isn't really anything I am currently walking through. In saying that, it is familiar and I can certainly recognise times in my life when it might have been pertinent to take heed with these meditative words.

Ruby, by name and appearance, to me is so gorgeous. My Grandma was a Ruby. Ellanor was named after her too. So if you have a Ruby in your life or feel particularly drawn to them (the stones or the people!), perhaps there will be something in this for you.

I also like to find extra meaning in the sectioning of some of the words in these things. The heading on today's Mandala, for example, is At-one-ment Wonder, which you could read as being in wonder with being "at one". Or you could also see Atonement in there, the definition is given (online) as thus:

1. satisfaction or reparation for a wrong or injury; amends.
2. (sometimes initial capital letter) Theology. the doctrine concerning the reconciliation of God and humankind, esp. as accomplished through the life, suffering, and death of Christ.
3. Christian Science. the experience of humankind's unity with God exemplified by Jesus Christ.
4. Archaic. reconciliation; agreement.

So this is another great way to find more, deeper, truer meaning for you. Another way to use them, if you like, and not just read the words as they appear on the paper.

the colour of ...BRIGHT RED
the sound chord of …E suspended 4
the essence of...RUBY... Creates leadership of a joyful, divinely-oriented intent and enhances intuition and devotion. RUBY activates the affection, power, passion and majesty that remove obstacles and promote tranquillity and assists with compatibility and negotiation skills. It cheers and controls the passions and reconciles arguments. It dissipates bad dreams, grief, disappointment and melancholia, and eases disorientation and procrastination so that decision making improves. A stone of physical action and honour, RUBY is primarily connected to the heart chakra and stabilises the heart circulation. Beneficial when vitality is low, RUBY may be used for infectious diseases and fever as it strengthens tissue, preserves the body and your mental health, strengthens the eyes, nose, ears, pituitary and spleen. RUBY addresses aspects of the spine, thymus and coccyx that are associated with self-esteem, and focuses on distress associated with the father image.

The most difficult lesson of AT-ONE-MENT is learning to face a past experience that has created anger within you and then viewing that experience through the eyes of someone else, or from a larger, higher perspective.

This Mandala will highlight and surface the anger within you so you can adjust your self-worth to a better level of self-preservation. As the anger within rises to the surface (once again!), you can “eat away” at yourself and so become susceptible to experiences with similar energy in the present. These experiences will cause stress and ill-ease within you unless you are able to soften your shield with the feminine ability to be still and self-assured.

This Mandala will help you by giving your perceptions the discipline to look at what your present responsibility is, face what you must change, and relinquish what you sheltered behind (or hid, or suppressed) because you felt vulnerable. This will clear the way for a more positive kind of protection to enter your life.

The emphasis of this Mandala, then, is its fine balance of self-worth and the incomparable product inherent within that self-worth. What was once your “shield shell” will now become a “Lotus Blossom”, containing you above and beyond your past hurt and allowing your hidden anger, caused by past persecution, to blossom as a flower worthy of being preserved.

This Mandala and the experiences it addresses are aligned to situations of Leadership that demonstrate reserve and example. This means you are to lead by example. When you question if your actions are correct, or when you become stressed in trying to discern if they are, you will find that aligning with this Mandala’s “star”⊗ and concentrating on your own way of performing a deed, or expressing an example, will allow you to atone for your anger. It will allow you to alter your Altar by dedicating it to applying correct action to whatever the need may be.

This Mandala will help you separate the aspects of an issue. It will also help you find the quiet wisdom with which to lift others from a situation of inherent crisis and shift them into a forthright and positive stance. When you feel you are doing battle with a situation, you should avoid force and blunt pressure. Here, you are to attend to the creation of an embroidery, the design of which is strong in the fine detail of your stable initiative. Bright Red and RUBY will ebb your mere coping and give you the energy to preserve your walk.

Instead of seeing yourself as the only petal within the growth of the Lotus Blossom, view your life as just one of its petals. Better still, observe the “All-intended Lotus Blossom”! Remember, you are the Geisha’s Kimono♣. . .

⊗ If this Mandala’s “star” appears mobile and in need of healing, it will indicate that your adrenal glands are ill-affected, and that your physical energy, emotional temperament and lungs also require care.

♣ …and not the Geisha! The intimate and subtle relationship between the Geisha and her Kimono is steeped in ancient tradition so that one without the other is unthinkable. Nevertheless, the Kimono is the humble, though exquisite, garment that robes the Geisha, in just the same way that the spiritually orientated human intuition should clothe the energy of the Peaceful Warrior.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

A new client

I have to say, it's not often I am really satisfied with a job first go. This one, though, was really enjoyable.

And to think that hand started out as the most crappy, godawful photocopy job you could ever be unfortunate enough to work with.... I love the ghosting, I love the colours. It all just sort of fell into place. Hah, maybe she did a Jedi mind trick on me before she left!

I only hope now the client likes it too! Nothing worse than liking something you've created and then having them go, "Hmmmmm errrr, nahhhhh.... scratch that. Can you try something else? Something completely different?"

From this..

Saturday, July 4, 2009

The most expensive thing we own

This bloody dog. The one we named Jazz when she was the cutest,
sweetest, naughtiest little puppy. Is she laughing in this photo or what?

Our beloved Hazmat is the "What did she do now?" individual in this house.

I wouldn't even like to add up on a calculator how much money she has either wasted (by breaking stuff around the place in her almost five years with us - awwww our little doggy's growing up fast!) or caused us to spend on vet bills due to her stupidity.

Have you ever come across a 28-kilo, bounding (literally.... she can jump to Steve's head height, he's 198cm tall, from a standing position.... I think if you listen hard enough you hear the Lee Majors-patented bwannenenenenenenen jumpy sound when she does it, although she doesn't do it in slow-mo) maniac of a dog who uses any solid surface to smack into in order to stop? No? Then you haven't met our Spazz.

She did this, this one time back in 2007, and looked like she'd somehow lodged a tennis ball under her skin, such was the resulting tissue damage she managed to inflict on herself by whacking into the pergola poles, instead of doing what any other normal dog would do and ... stop in time.

Then there was the time I had to rush her to the vet after she projectile-vommied what sounded like shards of glass (as well as torn bits of tennis ball, matted grass, quite possibly some of her own poo and the likes). That one was an overnighter, an xray, a stomach pump and some meds to prevent infection after she shredded her oesophagus from eating what turned out to be an extreeemely sharp plastic object of some description from our garage.

There have been others but, frankly, it's not a trip down memory lane I'd like to stay on.

Last week, I had to get the ducted heating repairman out. "I don't know what happened, it worked fine last winter," I told him, wide-eyed. What he didn't know was that Jazz got under the house, several times last year, and after one of those times and much banging, clanging and digging could be heard under the floor, the heater stopped working.

He came back out from looking at the heating unit. He couldn't explain it, he told me, equally wide-eyed. Something had happened to the ducting itself. We needed to replace about 6 metres of it. And it wasn't going to be cheap, even if we do it ourselves. "About $700 or more if someone comes out and does it for you, a couple hundred less if you do it yourself... is your husband handy?" I replied he was about as handy as a 6'5" Maypole could be in a floor cavity the width of one's head. But damn, he's going under that house if it saves us $200.

He then handed me a receipt for the $165 he'd just racked up in 20 minutes and bid me a cheery "Good day!".

Rud-dy dog. I can't even take this out of her pocket money. For the rest of all time.

Friday, July 3, 2009

The end of an era

On Monday, I start a new job. A proper, honest injin, regular five day a week permanent part-time, grown-up person job. And the most ideal one, for me: the home-based kind! The one that'll be easy to keep even once the LGBB starts school because the hours fall within drop-off and pick-up times. The kind you never hear about because it's not advertised but snapped up speedily from the inside. It's an inside job.... And what's more heart-warming is that I didn't even apply for it.

Two weeks ago, I came home from dropping the LGBB at occ. care to discover an email from a company for whom I have been doing some casual hours editing, offering this to me if I wanted it (well, duh!). I originally got this little cream casual job from services rendered to their company with the auditing work I've been doing on and off over the past year or so, having to top up the amount I was bringing in after our outgoings were expected to skyrocket with our building works this year. I had apparently stood out to them because of my anally-retentive spelling, punctuation, grammar and attention to detail. The Senior Editor must've felt done out of a job whenever she edited my reports because she continually had to correct nothing and, bless her, instead put my name forward (unbeknownst to me) some months ago to be considered for suitability testing next time they had an influx of work - they've just picked up two large national companies and so enter stage left.... me!

I couldn't believe my eyes when this job offer just fell in my lap. An hourly wage, four hours a day, five days per week. And possibly more exciting, I'm part of a team! A group of strong, business-minded women who are also WAHM's and have built a huge and competitive online business. It's astounding and they are growing all the while.

This is one of those organisations that I never knew existed. They pay people a fee to go out and assess the customer service of any given retail outlet you could possibly think of. Mystery shopping, some would call it. It's a whole other world, I'm telling you! The perks, if you do enough and are registered with enough companies, are really cool. But because I only half-did it and couldn't afford the time to apply myself to the six or so companies I signed up with, it only ever topped up what I was earning via the business.

Now, I have found my ideal. I don't have to go traipsing anywhere. No finding carparks in the rain in the middle of winter, no berating myself when I can't remember a detail about a shop I have just completed whilst I'm doing paperwork.... No turning up at the entirely wrong shopping centre to conduct an audit on the wrong outlet. D'oh. I only did that once.... And the icing on the cake is that I get to be on the other side of the reports - I think I must have always been a frustrated editor, perhaps I missed an opportunity to go to uni and make anything of my obsession for finding spelling mistakes in printed material, TV commercials, billboards and so on. It amuses Steve no end, he says I must be the only person he's ever met who can spot a double space at ten paces on a commercial that's up on the screen for only 30 seconds. "Who cares?" he says. Me, I say.

It's my first permanent position in six years. I can't wait to sink my teeth into something new, not to mention all that regular dosh. Whilst it's been fun carving out a living via my business, which I set up the month after Ellanor died (in her name, no less) and mostly because I just could not fathom meeting any new work mates or hunting for a job - both prospects that struck fear into me at the time, not to mention that it seemed incredibly indulgent and unnecessary having just lost my baby - I am now quite pleased not to have the feeling hanging over me that I must always keep myself available (as the song goes) "all day and all of the night" just in case a job comes in that I simply cannot refuse because it is income and I don't know when the next ad hoc job is coming in.

I did have a regular client until Christmas last year. For four years, I toiled under a set of headphones and worked this around the ad hoc design stuff. It worked well. Mostly for him because I don't feel I was ever quite recompensed enough considering the amount of time it took away, especially, when the LGBB was a baby. Steve would come home from work and take up the 6pm-9pm shift and I would get my work for that client done mostly in that time. It wasn't pretty.

And I'm quite amazed to realise that this will pay me in a week what I was earning with that client in a month. Hmmmmmm. I feel robbed! But ah well, it's in the past now.

The main thing is, with works due to start on our renovation-extension as early as the end of this month (EEEEEEK! WHAT?!?! So much to do before half the house goes out of action...), we have this regular cash injection that I just could not say no to.

It just plopped into my lap. Funny old Universe.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Oh, Mickey, you're so pretty, can't you understand

This is the 5th or 6th run-through for Lolly Basil and her cheerleading dancers. I filmed it on the sidelines and she was so involved with the choreography that she didn't even notice me (we've been going through a rather long "don't film me, don't take photos of me" stage lately, so I was surprised I got away with it).

Best viewed in full screen mode. So you can see every two-second delayed dance move the LGBB does, moments after "the girls" (Yes, that's what she's named this - she loves them, they're part of her team now)...

Hey Lolly! from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

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