Friday, April 30, 2010

She did it again

Okay, so I have spoken many a time on here before over the years about all that stuff in the ether that we cannot see. I know it unsettles some of my readers - they probably don't read anymore and that's for the best, I suppose, if it is something that doesn't sit well with them - but the irony is, I am increasingly aware of things that otherwise have no really good, solid explanation.

I've said before (I can't find all the posts right now, but here's one) that the little munchkin who shares the house with us, our LGBB, is telepathic. This used to freak me right out. I have been asked before - by other parents who themselves have children who display a similar, very open, natural ability to do things that the majority of us closed-down humans now find freakish or scary or downright impossible - how they 'should' raise their child/ren if they are "behaving this way".

I'm not sure if I have ever addressed on here those questions. The simplest thing for me to say at this point, I guess, is that I will continue to raise the LGBB to be respectful and grateful for her innate gifts. I will endeavour to not close her down, as was done to me (and my siblings - hey, three out of the four of us, at least, have experienced quite trippy moments of clairaudience, clairvoyance, ESP, a mixture of all of those, yada yada..), out of my own fears of what I am witnessing or how to cope with it, or wanting her to "fit in" with her peers and so not appear different in any way.

For I am convinced that is how it happens. My father has always said, "We come in knowing all." Meaning, children are the wise ones. And we are systematically shut down over the course of our lives.

Anyway. Phew. I've gone right off track. To the title of the post - what I actually came in to say, without all that disclaimer *up there*.

This morning, I was preparing Lolly's lunch for her half day at occasional care. I got out two slices of bread to make a sandwich. Then when I went to the fridge, I saw the leftover pie from last night and remembered I was going to pack that for her, seeing as she had enjoyed it so much. Not having had breakfast yet myself, I just popped the two slices in the toaster, absent-mindedly thinking to myself, "Don't forget to make the toast." I knew if I didn't commit myself to remember, those slices of bread might sit there for a day or more, such is the placement of the toaster in this out of the way corner of our vast kitchen.

During this whole lunch prep thing, Steve was in the shower and the LGBB was at the far end of the house, amusing herself with Abby's Flying Fairy School. At no point did I mention I was planning to make toast once Steve and Lol had left the house. Didn't even say the word toast. Didn't offer anyone toast, wasn't even sure I'd remember to have toast myself. Ok. That bit is important.

We went about the rest of the morning. It was time to go and I stood on the front step waving goodbye to them as Steve piled Lolly in the carseat. She wrestled with him and stuck her head back out the door.

"Don't forget your toast, Muuuuum," she called impishly. Steve frowned at me, an inclusive sort of "She's barmy, where does she get this stuff from?" grinning frown.

I wavered in my waving and thought, "........No WAY. There must be some other explanation."

But there isn't. She does this so often. And..... there's never any reasonable explanation!

So what do your kids do? Do they have little ways that show you their openness? If so, how do you nurture (or hinder) it, do you think?

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Country road, take me home

Possibly my favourite photo of the siblings:
Aunty Muriel (2yrs) seated on the knee of her big brother, my Grandfather Edward Kennett (aged 15), then standing is Uncle Tony (about 7) and Uncle Ron (aged 13).

My brother and I were jovial as we set off for the airport. The conversation was saturated with our hopes and aims of meeting up with family who had actually known our grandfather! (Our mother's father, he died two months after our older brother was born so we never met him ourselves)

We parked the car in the longterm parking "hotel for cars" just outside the airport terminal and were driven to our carrier. All good so far. The plane was delayed by half an hour, but being one of the budget airlines, there were no announcements to keep us informed as to why, or whether we were even lining up at the right gate. Funny thing about being around my brother; I always have this nagging suspicion that we're either a) doing something wrong, b) at the wrong place or c) going to be late. It's just how it's always been. It makes me nervous.

We were finally called aboard. And no one stopped us at the gate so we had obviously been lining up for the right plane. He read the paper the whole way and I continued separating my book into those sections I mentioned a week or so ago. We arrived in Adelaide, collected the car (don't you love how you hire a car for $29 a day and it ends up costing you over $200 for three days, after insurance, some sort of tax and the petrol?) and headed straight for Magill, the place where our granddad and his parents are buried.

I have been here before. With Tim. And Mum. But last time, I was a teenager and I didn't care much. I was bored. Mum hadn't been half as generous about him in her recollections so I also assumed I didn't have the connection to him that I thought I did with her mother.

We stood at the grave, we cleaned it up a bit, we left respectfully early as there was the end of a burial happening nearby.

The road to their town took surprisingly ages to get onto, given it was "sleepy" Adelaide. Man, what a lot of traffic we didn't expect to find! Roadworks were apparently funnelling everyone through the top of the city and it took us over an hour to get out onto the 110km/h road. So really, we set off at about 4 o'clock.

We drove without stopping and arrived at 8.30pm, eating at the local pub before making our way north again to the property.
Downtown on a Friday night. Where the street life almost blew me *yawwwwn* away

When we headed out of town, the scenery got suddenly black. Not a house or light or car to be seen. This was true farming country. We chatted a bit, Tim prepared me for some of the "delights" and smells that may await me at the house, which was apparently in some disrepair inside. Shame, I thought, given the history of the place for the family at large.

Suddenly, in mid conversation, he braked sharply and turned the wheel into a dirt track that was signposted.

"I think this is it," he hesitated, certainly not instilling much confidence in me.
"You sure about that, Tim?" I asked. "Heh heh...."

We were in the middle of nowhere and the only thought as we left the sealed road was There's no way of knowing where the road is if we get lost in this sheeps paddock. We started up the road and after a few minutes, Tim leaned forward over the wheel and squinted through the dust.

"Nahh, I don't think this is it."

Fuck. I thought. A little rising panic never hurt anyone, though. I shook it off. We're ok, I don't see a fecking THING, but we're ok.

"Maybe it's down here." And with that, he turned left down some diagonal track and zoomed along that for a time before we got to another cross road and he "just decided", seemingly on some whim and not through any accuracy at all, that it could be down that one.

My bearings were quite jumbled by this point. I mean, it sounds fairly straightforward enough now that I write it down. But at the time, the stars were as bright as our headlights (just about, minor exaggeration) we were so far out in the country, and we were just touring around in a bloody sheep paddock, on dirt roads, with dry grass zooming through our vision as the headlights sailed past it. That's all we could see.

Suddenly, Tim stopped. There was a gate to my left. He backed up, turned the car to face it and peered at the gate. Which had nothing on it at all. Just a gate.

"Is that a house up there?"

I couldn't be sure. The flickering light was just so small, so far away, that it was impossible to tell either where it was, what it was or whether it was moving or still. It could have been headlights as far as we knew. After a few moments, it hadn't disappeared or moved. We deduced it must be a house.

"What if it's a light from the town?" I offered, rather dumbly now I think about it. We'd left town about half an hour before. It couldn't have been.

"Open the gate," he said. "This is it...... Yeah...... This... is it."

"You're sure about that? You don't sound sure about that," I said, unbuckling my belt. And then to myself, Ah, to heck with it, what's the worst that could happen? We head through this gate and find ourselves at someone else's house. And they'll be happy, jovial country people who invite us in to warm ourselves by their kitchen fire and give us baked apple pie and turn on all the floodlights down their driveway that lead straight to the place we're supposed to be visiting! It'll be fine if this is the wrong house!

"Oh, hey," my brother called after me right as my foot touched the earth outside the car, "watch out for the guy with the pitchfork."


"And cover your face with your hands if he tries to hit your head against the windscreen."

I kid you not. My evil little brother actually said that to me.

The thought that crept into my mind as I opened the gate and let him drive through - and wondered if he was going to play that age-old joke of creeping forward every time I tried for the door handle to get back in - was..... Wolf Creek (and I swear, if you haven't already, please don't see this movie!), which was, coincidentally, filmed almost entirely in South Australia in kind of country we were now in. I shuddered and tried not to look at the darkness behind our car and the now closed gate. If there was a psycho in an F-100 pickup, waiting in the tall grass with his lights off, he'd better want to hope that it started up well, cos I couldn't hear it idling. Not over our car, anyway. I got back in the car. There was mention of John Jarratt. I will never look at that actor the same ever again, just as an aside.

We headed off up the driveway. This was it, Tim confirmed decisively. The house eventually came into view, rising up out of literally nowhere. My first impressions of this house, which I don't remember, save for a lightning fast snippet of memory stored in my mind from our first and last visit as a family of six was from the 70's sometime, was that it was more stately than I had imagined. The driver next to me had been in nappies then. Hey, I probably had been too. I was young, three or under. I was keen to see if I could find the image that matched this photo in my memory.

"Oh, it's gorgeous," I said, a flood of emotion melting into me. This was where my great-grandfather had lived for the last seven years of his life after his wife died. It was where his daughter, the youngest of his four children, had raised her two children with her husband the farmer - a city girl, opting for life on the land after meeting the love of her life at the end of her 30's. Her second child was born when she was 41, something not exactly commonplace back in the 60's.

We were greeted by a back porch light, a soft gentle breeze that had been partially thermally heated as it skipped across the empty, uninterrupted land around the house and a sheep called Izzy. The "pet" of the family, who had been a twin but had been separated from her sibling and mother and had had to be reared by bottle. Rather ironic that this one special sheep had endeared herself to the same family who ended up killing and selling the meat of her relatives and, indeed, probably the twin itself.... Something I find odd, but hey. We weren't in Kansas anymore.

Our cousin was bearing up well. She is now the sole occupier of the family home. I can only hope that our extensive family continue to visit and watch out for her - it's not exactly anywhere you can just "swing past" or get to easily, you have to really deliberately go there - because she is the type of character who has the potential to live out her spinster days on her own. Quite happily. A life I am not so sure I would be able to cope with.

The house was large and, well, would have been sort of inviting to any regular guest. To me, it screamed WELCOME BACK! I felt so incredibly comfortable there, despite the clutter, despite how rundown it was. I looked around the home keenly, gagging at the endless potential of the place. A lick of paint here, patching of the cracks in the cornices there. Decluttering aplenty. The ceilings were 12' high. The front hall was commanding. I kept imagining my great granddad walking from his room at the front of the house and down to dinner in the family room. Every single inch of the floor creaked. It was impossible to tread lightly. The heirlooms were gathering dust on every spare wall and shelf. An amazing house with a rich family history. I was rendered speechless that first night.

We talked for a couple of hours and headed to bed after midnight. The following day would be the funeral of our great aunt.

In the guest room, we were shown two beds. "That one was your great grandfather's." Tim chose that one. And I proceeded to spend the rest of the night giggling until sleep found me because my brother was not shy of being vocal about "how the old guy did it", sleeping in this bed that was probably a good few inches shorter than he. Great Granddad (ELB, they all called him) was a very tall man, well over 6 foot, even in old age.

"Oh... GAH.... How did ELB do this!?" Tim grumbled comically. I heard him wrestling with his sleeping bag and there were a few knocks and bumps to be heard. He had chosen that bed without giving me an option. After our cousin had left the room, he had snootily said to me that the double bed I had been left with was "really uncomfortable" - he had slept there on it with his wife only the week before when they had been visiting after hearing Aunty Mu was in hospital. So I had had to take the "awful" bed, which was quite fine when it was just one person.

"My bed feels like I'm lying in a cloud," I said, as drippily and cosily as I could. Mooo-ha-ha-ha, serves him right for not flipping a coin with me. Hey, I am always going to be his big sister, I can't help sinking the boot in at any opportunity.

When I turned out the light, I struggled with the blackness of the dark. Oh my god. So dark. So quiet!! Tim fixed that - not so thankfully - by snoring. Like a helicopter. Both nights.

The whole trip was emotion charged and I think I paced myself quite well, in all. We learned a great deal more about both our grandfather and his father. The family are full of brainiac boffins, which appears to have been rather diluted in this generation.... aherm..... gifted both in the sciences and the arts. Among their decendants (children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren) are an opera singer, a concert pianist with a leading place in the NY philharmonic, an engineer, a neuro psychologist, a few doctors... and so forth.

They themselves were:

A pastor (ELB, their dad), a CSIRO scientist, a gifted musician and specialist in x-ray machinery (my grandfather), and an electrics engineer.

Sadly, my grandfather (he's the one smiling!) and his brother to his right contracted cancers resulting from their pioneering work with their trades. My granddad ailed quickly and succumbed to Hodgkins within a few short months. His brother, Tony, had a similar fate, a decade later, and his demise was confirmed by phone calls he received during his final months (or was it years?) from a fellow scientist - of their team that worked on some project, they were the only surviving members.

His other brother - the one on the end there - built radar equipment for the war effort. Talking to his son and grandson, who were staying for the funeral as well, Uncle Ron was always tinkering. Making something. They told how he devised a catapult style slingshot to shoot a rope into the air so it would wrap over a tree branch to lop it down. Why didn't he just throw the rope over? Tim asked them. But where's the fun in THAT?! they both replied.

The amount of anecdotes my brain absorbed are far too many to divulge here. My diary is brimming, though, and on the first spectacular morning, I woke just before the sun. I still haven't the words to describe how beautiful it looked. How imposing, by its sheer vastness, the land and how much of it they own up there.

The garden path that leads to.....

The top of the hill, with more endless countryside....
(see the road? It goes down the middle of their property! They own either side of that road!!)

Heading onto the front porch for a family photo before the sun went down, after the funeral

Some driveway, huh! And to think, incredibly, this has only been "sealed" like this for three years - every year, since 1962, they have been housebound for certain parts of the year when the drive was impassible (the red dirt in this area - closest to the Red Centre of Australia that I've been so far in my life - clogs in wheels and bogs cars and farming equipment). Can you imagine, being this remote already and THEN getting stuck in your house!? Unfathomable to me, the life these relatives of ours have led.

A funeral procession with a difference....
(arty farty shot looking through the rear vision mirror at the cars behind us with their headlights on)

We drove at 110km/h (the speed limit) for half an hour to get to the cemetery....

Aunty Mu turned up in true country classic Aussie style: in a Valiant.

I'm only sorry I didn't get to meet not only my granddad now, but his exceptional father as well (who actually died after his son, something the elderly gent apparently never got over and, in fact, sped up his own death). Uncle Ron and Aunty Muriel are the only two I have any recollection of (Uncle Tony I probably met but don't recall). I loved my Uncle Ron, he was a character. And Aunty Muriel was so warm, the few times I remember seeing her and her family. Mostly, we stayed in contact by letter, which she and mum (and Uncle Ron's wife, Phyllis) would diligently do throughout the years to keep everyone up to date. There's not much of that going on anymore. At best, we get a Facebook shout out or "like" occasionally. How times certainly have changed.

I could bore you, dear reader, for days on this subject matter. Perhaps little anecdotes over time might slip out. In short, I have had an awesome, important, enriching and confirming journey. I am so glad to have spent it with Tim. There are few in my family I could travel with, I think, and he is one of those few. From my notes and my photos and my recollections, I know I have committed to memory a most wonderful event.

Oh! And one little bit of trivia before I go.... They're on dial-up there for their internet - 33kb a second. That's, like, 1994 speed, people! We get 1.5mb/sec here at home and think it's feeling a bit slow. My brother, in Japan, gets 1000mb (1Gb!!!) a second. A second!? And here they are, coping with 33kb/s. Unbelievable.

Back to our regular programming (and mindless musings) sometime soon.

More later...

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Taking the blog for a quick spin

I haven't got time for a proper catchup (and oh BOY, what a trip we've just had), but wanted to run past, wave and dump these couple of photos of the family homestead. A gorgeous house with 12' ceilings and so rich in family history that my mind has been permanently boggled, I think.

These guys weren't kidding when they said "remote". Every bit of land you see here, they own (save for the very far bluish coloured mountain tip you see in the far right corner of the landscape shot). There were several trippy moments when we'd be driving somewhere with our cousin and after 10 or 20 minutes, she'd confirm my query with a nonchalant wave of her hand and say, "Oh yes, this is all ours we've been driving past."

I guess that happens when you have 33,000 acres.

All I can say is, I was awed, humbled by the beauty of the land there. I caught sunrise on the first morning (when I took a heap of photos) and was mesmerised by the changing colours right before my eyes as the sun rose.

Back soon! Stay tuned....

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Learning the family pattern

Lots of things going on, so I am going to be off-air/not posting here/interstate until next Tuesday.

My mother's aunt - the last surviving sibling of her father, my granddad - passed away unexpectedly last week. She leaves behind her spinster daughter, who seems to have devoted her life to looking after her parents (her father died several years ago) and helping to run their massive sheep farm in outback South Australia.

The dimensions of this farm have always been something I cannot even fathom. One boundary alone is 70km long. Their driveway is some 5km or so from the road. So, yeah. We're talking a remote sheep farm.

My brother and I are flying in on Thursday and then hiring a car to make the drive north west for about 40,000 hours. No. I exaggerate. It's only about four hours.

I have no idea what to expect, but I am preparing for a rather intense weekend, emotionally. I went to my brother's place last night to catch up on the last from Aunty Muriel - he and my sister in-law only just returned from seeing her last week and also happened to bump into the travel plans of our mother's cousin's son (are you drawing the family tree yet?), someone we haven't seen since we were kids and they used to make the trip from Sydney to see us sometimes.

There's something really interesting to me about these converging desires to visit Aunty Mu, after all, we lead busy city lives. She and her adult children have lived in such a remote area for so very long, and we have been estranged from our mother as well for a decade, that it's been hard to keep in touch. But looking at all the old family photos again last night, seeing the deep likeness of the men in particular, who look identical to some of the cousins I grew up with, and also seeing cheeky toddler photos of my mother herself looking like a dark-haired Lolly... Well, I am just readying myself for some yearning "What if things could have been different" moments.

I'm particularly drawn to my grandfather. My mother's father. I saw candid photos of him last night looking through my brother's growing archives, which he received gratefully from Aunty Muriel recently, and I instantly connected to this guy whose wife went the way of my own mum: beyond batty-crazy and into downright spitefully insane. "The family sickness" is something that has come more and more to light, the more these subsequent generations begin to open it up and talk about it. It appears to stem from my mother's maternal side. So I have a growing awareness of what my father and grandfather went through, marrying in to this family that, although trying their best, were... well, very trying.

If I seem to be labouring the point or rabbiting on about something not remotely interesting to anyone reading, I do apologise. It's just that, when it is related to you, albeit not necessarily inside of you and something external but that which you know is always lurking, it's something I want to stop - I don't want the cycle to continue down my line, passed to the LGBB and any children she may subsequently go on to have. It's interesting because I can see how these things carry on through families - somewhere along the line, perhaps a chemical brain imbalance (something my mother certainly possesses and she wouldn't be the first in her family - there are stories of ancestors, females, being "not of sound mind" which I guess can be uncovered in many families the further back you go, depending on how good your documentation is... and oh boy, our family's documentation is astoundingly good, they knew how to string a sentence together - heh! that's where I must get my long-windedness from ;). But beyond these 'imbalances', I firmly believe that the good old Nature vs Nurture rule can be applied; that when raised by someone with this affliction, even if not wired this same inherited way, one has the predisposition to learn these behaviours that are not their own.

That's what I am seeking. And I find it no coincidence at all that all my study of energenetics has led me to this point. It's a symmetry I feel duty-bound to honour. For all the family's sakes. And the charge is being led by my little brother, his own personal drive and journey leading him to a fairly similar conclusion: I want to get to the bottom of this, as much as is feasible, so I can understand it from the grass roots and not carry it on.

So, off we go, little bro and I, on a road trip we haven't taken together since I was 3 and he was practically a newborn. Except that time, we weren't doing the driving, literally or figuratively speaking.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

And now for something not exactly completely different

I have decided, I probably should be sharing with you the monthly e-zine I subscribe to, seeing as they repeatedly invite readers to share with as many people as possible. I always find the information timely, interesting and affirming of what I may be going through in any given month. Me, I like to print mine out and read them, as I seem to be able to absorb words on paper more readily when it comes to things like this, when I want to really think about and integrate what they are saying.

I find these bulletins such timely reminders, to be mindful that I am part of the All and not just me, going through my shitty days or hard-working haze. We're all in it together. We're all affected, planetarily speaking, whether we stick our heads up every now and then and realise or not. So these notices become one of my many little tools and flags to self-check my reactions to people or situations and suitably pull my head in or stick my neck out, whichever the case may be.

The website is here. You can subscribe and get the newsletters straight to your inbox by sending a blank email to: Easy-peasy!

"New Millennium Being - opening a new window on Astrology - is a Free Ezine, containing a unique and fascinating synthesis of Astrology, Spirituality, Meditation and Kundalini Yoga."


From website: "New Millenium Being"
Planetary Wake Up Call 2010
by Guru Rattana, Ph.D.
April 16, 2010

This special issue contains

[1] A summary of the major outer planetary alignments in 2010 and their impact. This will help you understand the intense energies that everyone is experiencing at this time. Remember - you are not alone, and you are not going crazy! You are experiencing some of the most profound transformational energies in decades. More information was given in the previous issues and more will follow in the next issues.

The potent and difficult square alignment of Saturn and Pluto colors our reality for over a year - between Oct 2009 and September 2010.

The most intense moments are June through August when Uranus and Jupiter in Aries join the party and form a cardinal cross - squaring Pluto and opposing Saturn.

[2] Touchstones for how to deal with, reap the benefits from and align with these powerful transformational forces.

[3] Recommendations for your daily Kundalini yoga practice (1) to set your inner context for the day, and (2) to align your body, mind and emotions with universal forces and your soul. A short Pranayama meditation recharges you for the day. It is also an antidote to depression and gives you the capacity and caliber to deal with life.


APRIL 6 - PLUTO went retrograde

APRIL 7 - SATURN still retrograde, moved back into Virgo where it stays until it re-enters Libra on July 21. SATURN is retrograde from January 13 until May 30.

APRIL 17 - MERCURY goes RETROGRADE and returns direct MAY 11.

MERCURY RETROGRADE increases Mercury's sojourn in Taurus to two months - April 2- June 9. This gives us plenty of time to rethink our priorities and to examine how the status of our self-worth influences our ability to receive.

APRIL 19 - CHIRON enters PISCES where it remains until 2019. Chiron was last in Pisces between 1960-69 - the Flower Power era!


MAY 13-14 - TAURUS NEW MOON at 6:06 PM PDT. (May 14 1:06 AM GMT)

JUPITER is in PISCES January 17-June 5 for 4 1/2 months and September 8-January 23, 2011 for another 4 ½ months.

JUPITER moves into ARIES JUNE 6 - SEPT 7 and again January 23 - June 5, 2011

MAY 27 - URANUS moves into ARIES through May 16, 2018 for 7 years.

Jupiter moves into Taurus June 5, 2011- June 11, 2012.

Neptune moves into Pisces April 5, 2011 for 14 years.

NOVEMBER 15, 2009 through August 2010 - SATURN in LIBRA and PLUTO in CAPRICORN form a square at 5 degrees of their respective signs. Saturn and Pluto are part of the cardinal cross forming in June when Jupiter and Uranus move into Aries.

JUNE 25-6 the Capricorn lunar full moon eclipse conjuncts Pluto in Capricorn, opposing the Sun in Cancer, intensifying the cardinal cross. This is a very intense time!


2010 Is THE Year

For years astrologers have been anticipating the planetary alignments of 2010. Between October 2009 and September 2010 there is a rare pattern of outer planets (slow-moving) aligning at the early degrees of the cardinal signs (Aries, Cancer, Libra and Capricorn.)

The months of June, July and August will be the most intense. During this time Saturn, Jupiter, Uranus and Pluto form a T square, which means that they either square, oppose or conjunct each other.


In astrology squares and oppositions are called 'hard' aspects. 'Hard' can be translated as intense energies that demand change.

This means that inevitable transformation is the major theme. To interpret this energy in a positive way, we can think of these alignments creating gateways or openings through which change is actually possible.

We will feel both energized and challenged by these intense energies.


The important question is HOW we relate to and utilize these powerful forces. We can't turn down the intensity. We can however use these energies ? to be productive, ? to take special care of ourselves, ? to let go of old habits ? to take the opportunity to wake up and ? to enjoy participating more fully and consciously in our lives.


Both world events and our personal lives reflect the archetypical energies that are represented by the Planets, their zodiac signs and the nature of their interaction. This dynamic play sets the overall tone of our lives.

Astrological events are indicators that we can read to get clues about the energies that are affecting our personal and collective lives.

We feel the effects not because these far off planets are transmitting energy to our planet, but because the archetypical energies that they express live within us. The planets represent core aspects of life and the zodiac signs represent archetypical energies that express through all creation.


The interaction of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Pluto is a potent combination that indicates that we are dealing with irresistible transformative forces.

The outer planets (Uranus, Neptune and Pluto) move slowly around the Sun, staying in a sign for long periods of time, which means that they can be used an indicators of generational or long-term influences in our personal and collective consciousness.

Uranus represents the need to freely express ourselves. This energy becomes disruptive when we feel restrained or controlled and unable to express what we feel is true.

Pluto represents our need to be authentic, honest and in integrity. When our view of the truth is distorted, Pluto makes us get real.

The essence of Pluto is deep healing through penetrating clarity. This evolutionary dynamic forces us to release old programming so that we can excel in our lives and connect deeply with our truth and pure soul essence.

Neptune represents our desire to connect with the Universal Force to overcome the pain of separation. Neptune and Pisces connect us to Divine Love.


Two opposing dynamics are challenging us. Keep in mind that although we are being confronted to change, we are finding that we can release the past without resistance.

[1] Pluto/Saturn Square

The Pluto/ Saturn square is deeply confrontive in nature. We are challenged to seriously examine our beliefs, our attitudes, our path and the direction of our lives.

We are in re-evaluation and reset mode.

We have to wake up to how the state of our consciousness determines how we co-create our lives. We have to take responsibility and change our attitudes, beliefs and strategies to be more in alignment with our truth.

Major themes are accountability, self-examination, and doing the inner work required to authentically shift our consciousness.

[2] Jupiter and Uranus Conjunction

Jupiter and Uranus offer (1) a counterpoint of hope, (2) opportunities for expansion, (3) awakening of creativity and (4) useful and exiting innovation. They encourage us (5) to be optimistic, (6) to believe in ourselves and (7) to tap our gifts and innate capacity to excel and succeed in life.

PLUS! CHIRON enters PISCES APRIL 19 where it remains until 2019. Chiron was last in Pisces between 1960-69 - the Flower Power era! Whatever harsh realities we have to deal with, Chiron in Pisces' Divine love medicine is going to be available for healing!

[3] Innovation and Resistance

Innovation and resistance, idealism and harsh reality, desire to move forward and inability to proceed - these are some of the ways that we can experience the current energies.

Every time we think we are moving forward, we seem to encounter some obstacle. The restrictive energy of Saturn and the penetrating, probing energy of Pluto seem to be crashing our party.

But this fight is taking place within us. We are getting in touch with obvious (Saturn) and unobvious (Pluto) restrictions in our own psyche that hold us back from moving forward and fully expressing our soul.

The degree of resistance and heaviness that we are encountering at this time can be exceptionally heavy.

Running through Mud

Saturn and Pluto are in 'go for it, initiating' cardinal signs, Libra and Capricorn.

Libra's main theme is relationships. Capricorn's main theme is 'Who am I in the world.' The combination of Saturn and Pluto energy can feel like trying to run through mud to reach our goal, with the requirement that we wash off the mud to get the gold. We are simultaneously excited and discouraged. Sometimes we feel like we are in a 'survival of the fittest' movie.

With every bold step, we have to wash off psychological, mental and physical muck. We run into walls of fear and doubt. We encounter the dragons of anger, disbelief and disappointment.

Check it out in your own life. Can you feel these two energies simultaneously impacting your reality and affecting your psyche? These two energies can make us manic/depressive.

Now is the time we must use our neutral mind to avoid dramatic mood swings. Practically we must learn to work with both energies so that we can maintain a sense of personal equilibrium while we engage in our inner awakening and pursue projects that are both realistic and innovative.


Since we are unlikely to experience relief from the pressure until the end of August, let's do our best to maximize the benefits and grow from the challenges that we face. We have several strategies to choose from.

[1] Denial and negation are two strategies that we use to 'protect' us from the truth. If we were able to see 'the whole truth and nothing but the truth' all at once, we would probably incinerate.

So the Universe, as expressed through the Saturn and Pluto archetypes, feeds us small doses at a time.

Nevertheless, these master teachers are relentless. No one gets a free lunch. We are all served platters of the truth, which we must deal with and digest in order to gain access to greater levels of peace, power, freedom and love. Denial of what is happening is going to be very hard or impossible.

[2] Resistance

If we resist, we are going to experience pain, serious discomfort and mental, emotional and physical suffering. We can feel like victims of forces beyond our control. In the end we will change, but not because we want to. Forced change is the most painful and often the result of physical trauma and life dramas.

[3] Motivation

The pressure can motivate us to find new ways of being and innovative ways of expressing our creative energy.

We can experience that there is support available to do things we always wanted to do and never could quite make happen.

[4] Alignment

If we align with these energies, they can be positive forces that help us (1) release the past, (2) support new beginnings and (3) propel us forward in our lives.

We can feel like we are riding a magnificent wave.

[5] Opportunities to Change and Grow

These energies can loosen the glue that has kept us trapped in unfulfilling mindsets, endeavors and relationships.

We can be pulled out of our stupor and wake up to what seems (and is) a new world and a new reality.

[6] Unleashing Our Potential and Creativity

Our potential and creativity can be unleashed in ways that we could not have previously imagined.

Our capacity to love, to serve, to create, to manifest and to engage fully in life is magnified beyond our expectations.

[7] Quantum Shifts

We can experience profound shifts in consciousness and a beautiful awakening of our heart and powers to love and heal.


[1] It is not a time to cling to the old. And it is not a time to be reckless or speculative.

[2] Take the high road - Realistic, practical, honest, transparent, in integrity, responsible.

[3] Enjoy the ride. Love yourself!

[4] Do your daily spiritual practice!!! This is imperative and gives you the edge to cope, to excel and to transform.


Choose any Kundalini yoga kriya that makes you feel good and gets you going in the morning. The Warm-up Exercise Set on page 14 of Relax and Renew is a simple set that you can do in a relative short period of time.

Pick any meditation to follow your deep relaxation. If you have a very limited time, at least chant 2-3 minutes of long Sat Nams or repeat your favorite mantra for 2-3 minutes.

Directives during Kriya and Meditation

[1] Self-awareness ME and ME -- after tune in

Direct your attention and energy to yourself, to your emotional body and inside.

This is my special time between ME and ME - personal me and soul me

Awaken your neutral mind.

Switch your conversation between your dual mind and your neutral mind -

between your personality and your soul.

LISTEN, FEEL - no opinion, pure energy, non-verbal

[2] The context for my life today

I am creating the space in which I want to live my life today,

I choose Love over fear. I choose trust over doubt.

I love myself no matter what happens.

I choose my truth. I choose love and compassion toward myself and others.

I choose my soul self over my perceived limitations.

[3] Alignment with Universal Forces

I relax and let my body, emotions and mind align with universal forces.

I release all resistance and let universal forces support me and wash away the past.

[4] Inner Work

Identify your inner conversation and negative self-talk.

Identify HOW you feel - anxious, afraid, sad, angry.

Find the experience of love inside yourself.

Go deeper until you find silence, peace, sweetness inside. IDENTIFY WITH IT. My soul is love!

Focus on and feel in your body the calm, loving essence of your soul.

Don't reach out. Instead to reach inside yourself for guidance, approval, acceptance and comfort and love!

Find the love you need inside. Let that soul experience reassure and love you.

Feel safe and happy being inside with yourself.

The meditation 'To Get Out of Depression and for the Capacity to Deal with Life, on page 135 of Relax and Renew accomplishes a lot in a very short period of time.

It totally recharges you, is an antidote to depression and builds a powerful pranic body.

The arms are straight out in front of your body and heart. Right fingers are in a fist. Left fingers are around the right fingers. Thumbs are pointed straight up. Maintain this position has you (1) inhale 5 seconds, (2) without holding exhale for 5 seconds, (3) hold the breath out for 15 seconds. Continue the cycle with powerful breathing for 3-5 minutes. You can work up to 11 minutes, but increase your time slowly. You can also work up to holding the breath for up to one minute.

To end, inhale deeply, pressurize the whole body, pull the locks. Exhale and relax. Go deep within to your space of love and peace. Anchor this feeling experience in your body. When you feel contained and content, complete with 3 long Sat Nams. Say your special prayer. You are ready to take your neutral heart-centered space into the world!

Have a loving and beautiful day! Sat Nam!

Monday, April 19, 2010

Bit too grown up for my liking

The other day, I hurt myself climbing down from a chair I had just used to hang decorations for Steve's little kids' birthday party. These chairs have a deceptive wooden curved backrest and I misjudged where it was, corking my butt on it stepping back down to the floor. The result has been a big, elongated bruise at the point where my leg attaches to my derriere and it is quite vicious in its colour.

Yesterday, while we were getting breakfast, I showed Steve, for it is in a spot that I cannot quite see, and his alarmed face caused me to seek out a mirror. Don't ask me why I showed him casually over breakfast - don't worry, we were home, we weren't out at a café - and, moreso, there's no point asking me why I backed myself up like a truck to the mirrors in the kitchen to check the bruise out for myself. I just wanted to check it out for myself, I guess, and beyond that I don't know the reason why.

Nothing wrong with this, per se, save for the fact that the LGBB was sitting comfortably on the couch already, breakfast bowl in hand, enjoying her meal. It's a weekend 'treat' for her, we let her eat on the couch and she thinks she is Lady Muck for two days because of it.

Well. 'Lady' watched me coming towards her, as I was finding the mirror to look into, and I guess she thought I was presenting my bottom for her perusal. I don't think I will ever, ever forget (or stop laughing whenever I think about) the tremendously displeased half-snarl on her face, mid-chew, as she said to me, one hand up in the Stop gesture and shaking her head, "I don't need to see that."

I don't need to see that. Granted, what else are you going to say when you see your mum's bum coming towards your face (and isn't that a stand-out question that will bear some explanation if it ends up by itself as a preview of this post/blog in Google)? But does such a mature phrase, delivered so.... teenagerishly..... have to come out of my small child? So soon? Why can't she just remain a Fimbles-loving, Grandpa In My Pocket, Dirt Girl [and isn't THAT just about the freakiest show you've ever seen??] fan forever?

It's not what she said so much as her gesture and tone and 'tude as she said it. Almost as if I could really imagine what she'll be like as a mature lady of the world. Age 8.

It's happening before my very eyes. The aging of our smart-talkin' baby.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Ellanor at work

A book excerpt, from the time surrounding Ella's memorial and talking with Barry, the celebrant who conducted the service:

“Kirrily and Steve, when asked, will say ‘It’s okay’. But they know it's not okay. It's not okay in that it hurts like hell, and will for a long time. But in another sense it is okay. Ultimately, it will be. Ultimately, it is okay.”

Steve and I had stressed to Barry that despite the obvious horror if the situation, we had a very positive feeling that all of this, quite simply, when all was said and done, was “okay”. The word seemed so weak, for want of a more fitting explanation, and I recall seeing Barry’s almost disbelieving look as we tried to assure him how we were feeling. But it was simply that: okay.

Steve and I had had conversations already about the hopelessness, the unavoidably bereft feelings we had been dealing with, feeling so alone in our grief, yet standing side by side. They were far from the last discussions we would have about Ella and how strongly we missed her. But we had already gathered a certain strength, in instinctively accepting that it was how it was and energy would be wasted in trying to deny or not accept what had happened to us and to Ella herself. What we now had to do was graciously experience our lives with her having been in it, just turning headlong and going straight into those incessantly crashing waves. To not accept this would have been our swift undoing very early on.

I have been up since 4.30am today. Called out of bed to sit and work on this manuscript. Steve and I had a quick brainstorm the other night and the book has moved up in the queue on my Things To Tackle & Tinker With list ever since.

We worked out a bit of a model for the latter part of the book - I have been stuck on this for sooooo long, like.... a year - and I think it may just work. Basically, to bridge the events between Ella's memorial and the end of the book (it is inevitable, it has to end... eventually... SURELY!?!?!?), we have worked on a 5-pronged sort of branching. Separating it into parts or sections. Like acts in a play.

The first section of the book is long. It encompasses our beginning right through to the beginning of our new lives, post mortem. And then, the idea is now to write about the five main areas of our lives (Steve's and mine) that have become affected, writing each of them from the same starting point through to the conclusion of the story. If you get what I mean.

I hope this technique works! It is proving really tedious (to read and write) to continue the story in straight chronological order after Ella dies, because... well, I don't quite know why. It just is. Perhaps because there is just SO much that changes, none of the aspects of those changes is given the opportunity to be fully explored the way I'd like.

So I am trusting this will inject some much needed, long overdue inspiration into the work.

Thursday, April 15, 2010

The definition of love and other things

On Monday, it was Steve's birthday.

Last night, we had a host of regulars drop around for a really great, short, treat-filled party. Steve wanted balloons and cake, mostly for the kids. So he says, anyway.

In the afternoon, the LGBB and I set up, making a "Welcome to your birthday party, Daddy" poster (which she held up at the window for a good fifteen minutes before he fiiiinally drove up the street, awwww) and watching me blow up balloons.

Now, this is a treat for anyone who wants to see sheer agony on a balloon-o-phobe's face. For that is what I am. Yes, hi, I am Kirrily and I have a not-so-mild case of globophobia.

So I braved the balloon, thought, "I can do this, I'm always scared of them popping when someone's blowing them up but I've never actually seen one pop in the process of being blown up unless the blower has blown the thing up to a ridiculously huge size." I have faced my fears in the past years and actually blown them up, but you'll always tell which ones are mine. They have about three puffs of air in them and that's it, which looks kind of pissy in amongst all the other ones blown up by everyone else. So usually, I don't bother helping and I clear right out of the room.

You know what happened, don't you? The fecking thing EXPLODED IN MY FACE, mid-third puff. Stung me like someone had taken a switch to my lips. Not so good for the phobia.

But I have to ask you, is that the definition of true love? To not only go ahead and put aside your own fears for the sake of another, but do it after your fear is realised? Or is it simply stupidity? Or martyrdom, even? For you see, just before blowing up that balloon, I had just tied off and given to the LGBB a lovely purple one. She was so excited! I was so excited! I'd blown up the damn thing! And there was already the first one I'd blown up, floating around on the floor. Ok, so it was only the size of a rockmelon, but hey-hey! It was up and tied and floating and not popping.

Yee-haw, I could do this. I looked at the pack of 100 and had thought, I'll stop at 20. That should be enough.

No. No, as it turns out, one is enough. Because that one burst while Lolly was just holding it - the poor darl, she's not fantastic with loud noises and so the bang left us both a bit frazzled and giggling in that insane kind of "I'm going to pretend like it didn't bother me so the other person doesn't catch on", which was kind of funny, I had to admit. But after that next one blew up in my face, her fake giggles turned to real tears. And I just pushed aside the other 97 in the pack and said, "Daddy is going to do those ones."

Seriously, I am uneasy in a room with even one balloon in it, let alone several. However, I have discovered over the years that the fear is in direct proportion to the dimensions of the room and the number of balloons - for instance, if it were a grand ballroom and there were balloons on the ceiling, no problem. If it is an outdoor function, pah - almost not worth mentioning. It's the confined room space scenario, particularly if the room is fairly quiet, that gets me on edge. Add to that a few scurrying children and some toddlers who can barely walk, falling all over their balloons and biting them and...... shudder. My nightmare.

So. What about you? Do you, or anyone you know, have any uncommon fears or phobias? Are they debilitating for you? Have they lessenned in intensity or have you designed any work-arounds? Do tell.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Opinions please: Metal or tile roof?

Time for your good self to weigh in!

It's crunch time. Steve and I have to replace our tired old "biscuit" tiles with.... something. We are undecided as to precisely what. The choice is down to either a concrete roof tile OR a coloured metal roof and we are decided on one thing so far: We are going to get a dark charcoal colour, either way.

As you may have read in this post earlier in March, we got hit with a doozy of a hailstorm, which has completely annihilated our already disabled original old roof to the point of needing to be removed.

Now, a bit about aesthetics:

We live in an old suburb. Yes, yes, overseas readers can chortle into their cuffs at this point. "Old" to us here is late 1800's. Still, that's pretty old anyway, I suppose. This is an area of national heritage significance. Many new, young families have been moving in over recent years and are lovingly tending the old residences, retaining their character and charm [at least, on the outside... I am certain that past occupants of our house alone would be baffled to learn it could probably get to the moon and back if it weren't tethered to the ground, given the wiring and technology Steve has injected into the place with the help of our electrician mate].

We have an old weatherboard. Our extension out the back is a mixture of continuing this weatherboard and features of rendered flat wall. It's all very noice and luffley so far. Now, we have an opportunity to introduce the new external colours we have used at the back of the house and get away from the *cringe* overly-done heritage green and burgundy of its current facade. We want to get it back to more green-creams and deep charcoal tonings, with a sort of eucalypt shade of mid grey-green as an accent.

So.... with all that information (and it may not sway you at all, especially not without sample pictures - which I will get to in a later post, promise, but there is at least one here in this post).... can you please share:

• Have you lived in a house with a metal roof? (We haven't)
• Is there much of a difference, rain-noise wise? (we're thinking there must be) I must admit, I loooove the sound of rain falling onto a tiled roof, I find it so soothing....
• Would you sacrifice inside noise aesthetics for external profile?

And the all important one, which I am most interested in:

Which look do you prefer, given that this is an old house (early '40s)? Your opinions would be really appreciated. Do you need photos? Do you need to see what you're opinionating on? Or do you know, hands down, what you'd go for, regardless of brick or weatherboard?

Monday, April 12, 2010

My own fault, really

Because when my instructions aren't clear, this is the result:

I found myself in a compromising pozzy, on the loo, sans paper. WHY does that always happen to me? I mean, it's not like I use the darn stuff the most in this house *not looking at anyone in particular..... and the picture on the right is compleeeetely random.....* but apparently, I'm always in the wrong/right place at the wrong/right time and have to change the roll.

Except, on this day, I discovered that I hadn't even brought the spare rolls down to the cupboard in the bathroom. So I was stuck. Perched on my.... perch. And I had only a toddler to save me. Yes, it WAS that dire. There was nary a square to spare.

So I called the LGBB in. She raced up - how do they always make 5 or so metres sound like 100 really difficult ones?? sooo amazing - and stood at the doorway, eager to assist in that "Can-do" action manner that I love so much in kids her age. Hey... while they have it, you gotta love it, I say.

I tried to use as simple an instruction as I could.

"Mummy's run out of paper!"
"OH NO!" *cue horrified, desperate, suddenly serious look from child in the doorway*
"It's ok! But I need your help: Can you please get the toilet paper roll from the other toilet?"
"........OH....KAY!" She ran off.

Phew. It had computed. She had put the data in and it spat out....... the above piddly little scrap of frantically-torn paper. So desperate was she for me to be able to move from the throne and not be stuck there forever - for that is it for them, isn't it, I mean, now, this moment, is forever to them - that she didn't grab the whole roll. She tore off what she thought I would need.

I have to say, I do commend her for thinking my bottom is so dainty and delicate. I regret that I am going to shatter her illusions one day.

Er.... I finished this post and posted it, then realised two things:

1. Dear reader may believe that scrap of paper to be used, and
2. If not - for it is obviously unused - how did I dethrone?

Well. Let me just say, despite my apparent policy of full disclosure on this blog, that, dear reader, is one trick best left covered up. Like David Copperfield himself would say, a magician doesn't reveal his secrets. He'd just get a funny hairdo and make a ridiculous show about how marvellous said tricks are. And I'm not about to make a show about my bottom. kthxbai.

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Life with an action man

You know, it's tough. Really tough. He's always so busy. Fighting crime, defending someone or something or other. He hardly ever gets a night off.

Last night, our brief conversation before I retired to bed (I'm fighting a marathon cold, heading into my second week of the dratted thing) went like this:

Me: *calling out from our bedroom door* You coming to bed soon?
He: No.
Me: Wanna come watch the Sex And The City movie with me? [as if that was going to change his mind]
He: *very distracted and matter of fact* No, I can't. I'm on the side of a train, in a tunnel, with a helicopter chasing me and I just found my rocket launcher.
Me: *to myself* ......Ewwwwwkay then.

That's my husband. The Playstation floozie.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


My father. The one I've written about a number of times before on this blog (and my old one).

He has made mistakes, sure. He lives quite an individual life, as he has always done. It smarts a bit more once you have kids. But he hasn't changed. At 67, he's not likely to now.

Recently, Lolly and I spent a lovely four uninterrupted hours with him. Living on the train line has many benefits for us, one of which is when Dad travels down to the city and needs to kill time. See, it wasn't a visit he would normally have made, had we not been conveniently near the dealership where he gets his car serviced. I giggle now. That's just Dad all over. But.... we got his precious time for those four hours.

It was not long after this that I was cleaning out the filing cabinet when I came across an envelope with his handwriting on the front. To Lolly, it said. Inside the envelope were two cards, which I remember receiving from him when we were in Lolly's newborn stage. One card was to the LGBB herself, from him. The other was to us, me and Steve.

I feel compelled to share the sentiments of my father here, a man unable to voice such poetic feelings verbally. But still, the bereaved grandparent of another, lost little cherub. Something I often forget and take for granted in those moments when I sigh and wonder why he doesn't call me more often or make arrangements to come and visit (basically, go out of his way) "just because" once in a while. And not just when he needs to visit the city on other business.

The reason why I will always, always cut Dad a break is thus - Exhibit A and B, below.

Exhibit A:
(and please know that he doesn't write "Lolly", he writes her name, but I don't use that here... you may have noticed by now!)

"A message for Lolly from her doting Grandpa on her 4 week milestone:

My dear little girl,
One day, when you are older, your Mummy and Daddy will tell you the story of how much they longed for you to come into their lives and how much joy there was as you were formed and grew. Then the day came for you to be born, to leave the Safe Place and to become a unique person, the only (Lolly Gobble Bliss Bomb) in the whole world.
And you are lovely. We watch you grow and learn your little ways and give thanks as you reach your milestone - four weeks old.
You are surrounded with love and the protection of your family.
Blessings and may peace be upon you for all your days.
Your loving Grandpa."

Now, anyone who knows our story will realise that we lost Ellanor at 4 weeks. That four week milestone was one that came and went unacknowledged by EVERYONE in the family. Except me and Steve. Then my Dad visited, almost to the day Lolly turned four weeks (he was out by just one or two days, I recall, but he came early which counts for a lot!), and handed us these cards and a gift for Lol that she went on to adore - it was a soft fabric Peter Rabbit book, the kind of perfect heirloom that you would never pass on to anyone else. It is now in Lolly's small but growing stash of keepsakes.

The fact that neither Steve nor I said anything about that sacred passing point for our tiny daughter, so obvious yet unspoken by anyone else, will forever mean the world to me.

And Exhibit B:

"My dear ones,
We dared not hope for the best, nor celebrate too soon. But now, after these weeks, we can say that the "best" has truly happened. As the weeks go by and Lolly becomes more and more a part of your "normal" lives, you will be able to enjoy all those moments of surprise and delight (and, yes, even the anxieties!) of being the parents of a tiny person.
I am so happy for you both and give thanks that your big dream has come true. She is a precious gift, "Renee" (her middle name) indeed, and we celebrate her arrival.
Enjoy watching Lolly change and grow day by day, and all the things that lie ahead of you. Be strong when things get difficult, as they will, and know that all shall be well. Feel blessed, as indeed you both are.
Your loving Dad and Grandpa."

Dad gave me an enormous gift in this piece of writing. It seemed, as I read it now, years later with the massive mix of emotions and hormones long passed (but not forgotten), that one of our parents was able to impart useful wisdom after all.

You see, when you become the bereaved parent of a baby nobody ever got to know, you shift into a world of experiences that not even your caring, guiding parents can give you a map or guidance on. They can try - and they do - they can be willing and they can be so very, very pained for you, their child. But until that card, I had not truly felt like there could ever be a "normal" for Steve and me as parents.

My Dad gifted me this. And I remain grateful, for the rest of my days.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Heeeere, book-book-book

I received a most humbling email of praise for my book recently.

Rather unexpectedly, I have enlisted an old friend, one of my very very dearest (and a writerly sort herself, with technical wiz on the structure of sentences and whatnot), to read my latest book draft. She is making her way through, chapter by chapter, as I feed them to her. It seems it might make for a more hungry reader!

It's so wonderful - you are writing a book! A book about your experience. I'll tell you one thing - your first chapter - and the words - had that contageous energy that you have, that you've always had. That energy you project. The words grabbed me, gripped me and threw me into a space of yours and then my own... Brilliant.

Gah-dang...nabbit. I HAVE to finish this juggernaut if it kills me!

Monday, April 5, 2010

A Real Man

A real man is not afraid to cry. A real man came to me today with tears welling in his eyes.

Steve was cleaning out his (hail-pummelled) car today, in readiness to hand it over for being written off tomorrow. In the glovebox, he had found an envelope. On the front of the envelope, in my handwriting, were the combinations of names we had been discussing for Ellanor.

Ella Ruby
Eleanor Ruby
Ellanor Ruby

We settled on the last one, obviously.

I remember hastily jotting the names on this scrap piece of paper while we were driving somewhere. I was about 9 weeks pregnant with Ellanor at the time.

Steve was teary because, inside the same envelope, was a slip of paper. Printed on it was the Thank You I had written to our baby girl, about 2 days after she passed away. I wrote it, raw, straight from me to her, but read it out at her memorial. I must have folded it and, finding the same envelope still in Steve's glovebox (he doesn't clean his car out at the best of times), slipped it in there after the nauseating deed had been done, the day we publicly said goodbye to her.

A real man. One who can still stand. And, what's more, explain honestly and simply to his surviving daughter what his tears are for.

Thank You To Ella

Thank you for coming.

Thank you for arranging this meeting.

Thank you for your chubby cheeks and all that hair!

Thank you for responding to us differently to show us you really do know who we both are – for relaxing your face and sucking on your tongue when mummy held you and for actively listening, feeling your mouth and sucking your fingers when daddy talked to you.

For settling when mummy sang you your familiar songs or gave you a bath.

Thank you for letting us stroke your soft baby skin, for gripping our fingers and for so definitely pushing our hands away when you’d had enough!

Thank you for asserting yourself so quickly in life, to give us a glimpse into how determined and gutsy and real you are.

Thank you for your uniqueness, which makes you so special.

Thank you for making your caregivers at the hospital laugh. Some of them were a bit surprised at your “feistiness” and we love that you “asserted” yourself with them!

Thank you for your magnetic attraction – many people have expressed how interested they were in you after meeting you only once.

Thank you for your eye contact with us – truly the windows to your soul.

We were amazed, awed and completely entranced by the power in your eyes when we locked gazes.

Thank you for showing us how soft and deep you are – in the way you shared special private understanding when we were alone with you and in the way you caressed and explored us with your tiny fingertips.

Thank you for reaching 2kilos!

Your chubby little fingers and toes.

Your double chin.

Your cheeks finally hitting the bed with their beautiful pudginess.

Thank you for giving us hope, for making us parents after such a long struggle and for being the best and most memorable firstborn we could ever have dared dream possible.

Thank you for joining our family and becoming a big sister-in-waiting.

You would have shared special secrets with each one of your aunts and uncles, got up to mischief with your cousins, been showered with love by nanna and granny and melted the hearts of your grandpa and pa.

Perhaps you’ve already achieved all that and we know you will continue to do so.

And most of all, little sweetpea, thank you so much for loving us since your passing.

We know you, we feel you, we love you and we wish you safe travels

and a place to call home whenever you need it.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Hot diggety bedrooms, kids, it's a smash!

Just last week, the LGBB got up after we had said goodnight, for some excuse or other (one of the usuals - "I need a drink/to go toilet/my light on/my light off", etc.) and we had turned on the video monitor in the kitchen. We've always had it, it's something I am not exactly sure when we'll not feel the need to use anymore. It's been such a huge part of our routine in parenting Lolly. Watching over her. Waiting for her to leave too. Then relishing her growing, comical, sleeping and waking moments over these past years.

So she sees it switched on, peers at it suspiciously from across the room, then says, "What's THAT?" What's whaaat? we both say, as nonchalantly as possible and thinking dammit dammit dammit we are so busted. "THAT!" and she points, then goes over the monitor, inspecting the screen which clearly shows her bed and Scraps and Bunny as she's just left them to come out to us. "Is that for you to see in my room?"

Er. Yes. About that, we go to tell her... But she's distracted by trying to weazle another few minutes out of bed and it's forgotten and we get away with it. The monitor survives detection for another day!

Anyway, following on from my last post, little did I know that yesterday, I would be put upon to get not only the rest of the skirting board painting and the fairy done as well, but also the curtains.

I delivered.

The poster is a really cool retro-looking thing that Steve ran once on a job,
this was an over that was going to be thrown out so I said Yes please! I'll take it!

Last night, our girl spent the first night in her new bedroom. And the delight she had was matched only by mine as I watched on that same video monitor my dear little one wake up, early this morning, then sit up and look around her room for the first time. I watched as she lay back down on her pillow and listened as she sighed a really satisfied sounding sigh. Then she smiled. That familiar wide-mouthed smile that takes over her entire gorgeous face. And I smiled too, still watching her. She stayed like that, beaming and looking around her room.

And I heard as she whispered to herself, "It'th. My. Bedroooom!"

I tell you, I nearly dropped all my tears all at once while my heart burst. She likes it. She's comforted by it. I am so relieved. The lounge room where she has been for the past six months has been okay. But it's no little girl's bedroom. It's scared her, it hasn't been somewhere she wants to spend time on her own. A little kid needs somewhere they can feel like they can be alone. She hasn't had that since we moved here (so, basically, the entire time she has been able to walk).

Happy, happy day today.

The fairy commands the central corner of the room. Lolly's tall white shelf unit will go underneath (its top comes up to the knee height of the fairy... a new unit of measurement??? Knee-height to a fairy?)

Close-up so you can see the purple flower centres (of course) and also the kick-ass lips/facial profile... Man, it was a killer to keep my hand straight but I did it. And I think it looks good. If (ok here comes Ms Self-Critical ....again!) you don't look at the proportion of the forearms to her thighs.... she looks like she could be a contender for the East German Women's Olympics team (throwback to that classic line from Top Secret - don't shoot me! It's a movie quote!).

I love that by 12pm on Day 1, the LGBB was already treating this as her kick-about room.
Shoes kicked off, socks tossed, drink shoved to the side....

The curtains worked - I removed the pins from the backs of these delicate butterflies and sewed them by hand onto the curtain. The blockout fabric is the highest grade - I bought it from Spotlight and sewed it onto the back of these tab top curtains - giving a really deliciously dark room...
which is lit up, of course, by every little girl's favourite accessory: the Glitter Lamp.

Bought this from Ebay a couple of months ago and have been positively ITCHING to put it on the wall. I put it up this afternoon and tonight, Lolly was lying in front of it, feeling it and saying, "This is gorgeous." I love that we have stirred a sense of wonder within her with these finishing touches.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Painting the fairy

No. No witty euphemisms here.

I seriously am, today, going to finish painting the fairy on the LGBB's new bedroom wall.

Also on the list for today: just one thing.... Filling the 12m skip. For the rest of the long weekend, I gather, judging by the mess we have to get rid of.

Still, once it goes, we will have an area ready to be excavated (next Wednesday) and then it's Systems GO for garage and office/work room! Steve and I have already also begun discussing what we'll do for our entertaining area. Given the wildlife corridor we're in (and the backyard full of dogs and now a cat), we want to create another spot for a garden. We were going to go for the rather obligatory 5m deck, from door to fence. But now we're agreed that we want to incorporate a centre island of native garden - something we did at our last place as well, in the front yard, instead of lawn.

This way, we can move the 'entertaining area' off to the back side of the house, which will also mean the views are better. The area won't be directly in front of the doors to outside, but we think we'd rather look out over a lovely bit of garden than at an outdoor dining setting.... Besides, the view from the back end of the house is the money shot. And moving the decking/dining bit to here is a win-win, really.

I dearly love planning gardens. Properly, from scratch. It stirs and satisfies something in me. And what better time of year to plan than Autumn! We won't be up to planting til after Winter, and we need to put down the paving and decking first. We're planning a wide boardwalk with a shallow step down onto paving with the garden taking centre stage in the middle. This way, the deck/boardwalk will be able to hug the house and it means we can maximise our view (which is best over by the house - the closer to the fence, the more we lose because of the neighbour's garage and, of course, the fence!).

Looking forward to today. I love when combined effort sees great change in something that has looked the same for so long. Heh. Sounds a bit like a metaphor for something else! Perhaps it is.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

I think I am past it enough now to say I miss her!

I found this today while I was searching for some other photos on the timeline. And I remember there was an old blog post I had done about it (you can see the telltale post-tanty puffy eyes and cheeks in this shot on the LGBB, circa 2007). And I thought.....

Where did my baby go??

All the feelings I was feeling at that time of her life are long faded - the angst at her not moving, not crawling, the worry, concern and speculation (and that was just from my well-meaning but ultimately unhelpful mothers' group who, between them, had the earliest movers I've ever come across, just my luck), the bad case of tenosynivitis I'd been coping with but not wanting to make "a thing" of, yada yada yada.... It's all gone. And all that remains is the gorgeous, melting moments captured in the photos we have of her.

We are so blessed to have had our girls.

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