Monday, February 28, 2011

Like peaches and cream....

And a coach and a team....

I just put the total number of comments in to, hit the button and.....

We've got ourselves a perfect, perfect, per-fect match! If you don't know what I'm talking about, here - please acquaint yourself with some fine Ostrayan tv circa 1980's:

I can't tell you how super-excited I am to be giving away my winning ticket to someone. I WANTED TO GIVE ONE TO ALL OF YOU, promise!

And now, without further ado, the winning comment - with a compatibility score of 11 (percent?) - izzzzzzz....

Tenille from Help!Mum !


Kerrie, Greg and Dexter are very happy for you.

Facts and figures and close shaves

Do you know someone who has been diagnosed with leukemia?
Did you know, leukemia is the most common cancer to be diagnosed in children under the age of 15?

In 2010 it was projected that:
  • More than 4,700 Australians will be diagnosed with lymphoma
  • More than 3,200 Australians will be diagnosed with leukaemia
  • More than 1,500 Australians will be diagnosed with myeloma
“Leukemia is cancer that starts in the bone marrow which is the soft tissue inside bones. As the marrow starts working abnormally, it creates leukemia cells which grow faster than normal cells and continue to grow when they shouldn't. Eventually, these cancerous cells can spread to lymph nodes and vital organs. They can also impact normal blood cells and cause anemia, infections and bleeding.”

Right, now we have some of the facts, I want to tell you about our blogging buddy, Elizabeth from Whining At The World. Do you know what this fantabulous person is doing? She is raising money for the Leukemia Foundation during this year's World's Greatest Shave. Right now, she is dyeing her hair all shades of colours in the lead-up to her own Great Shave. And of course, she needs sponsors!

When I found out Elizabeth was doing this, I didn't think twice about donating. Frankly, she has done the hard part here, not her sponsors. She is going to shave it ALL off at her son's school assembly! Can you imagine doing that? In all honesty, I can't imagine myself doing it. And it was this somewhat shameful thought that made me give very generously.

Money raised during the World's Greatest Shave goes towards much needed research, accommodation near the treatment hospital, transport and as much practical and emotional support for patients and their families as can be provided. Let's just think about that for a moment.... that's over 10,000 people last year who received the crushing news of an illness they would need to fight aggressively to save their life. 10,000 families whose way of life was hugely altered. Many of those 10,000 were children.

Will you consider giving to this cause? Elizabeth is almost half way to her fundraising goal. And let me just reiterate..... she's shaving it all off AT HER SON'S SCHOOL ASSEMBLY!.... If that isn't deserving of support, I dunno what is.

Please click here to go to her profile page and make your contribution.

Information sources:

Thursday, February 24, 2011

I've got a golden twinkle in my eye

I never thought my life would be
Anything but catastrophe
But suddenly I'm beginning to see
A bit of good luck for meeee

Cos I've got a Golden Ticket.... to give away


One lucky person gets to take my ticket, now that I have won one as part of the prize for being voted Kleenex Mums Blog Post of the Year 2010 from the very generous Aussie Bloggers Conference Platinum Sponsors, Kleenex Mums.

This is the absolute last ticket you'll find up for grabs. And it could be yours. So this is your chance!  I mean, who wouldn't want to go? Check out these sponsors, once again. We're talking great networking, friend connecting and.... my personal happy-place joy of joys about things like this.... Catered Food!!! Oh yeah *slow head nod* Now we're talking.

Now, this is my 1,000th post -- on this blog, anyway (I got about half way there on my old blog - phew, I like to talk!) -- and as such, I've decided to throw a virtual partay!

Here's what you have to do to:
1.  Submit a comment below to enter the givewaway comp.
2.  If you want to leave a comment but you wouldn't be able to make it, just put a "No" at the end. Similarly, if you want your entry counted, put "Yes" at the end. Just to make it clear.
3.  This prize is for the Day Conference ONLY (not the dinner, no accommodation or flights or anything else). BUT see #5...
4.  Now here's the clincher: In your comment, I want you to describe to me what present you are bringing to this fictional virtual 1,000 Post party. If money was no object, what do you think I'd most want? (Let's see how well you've paid attention to my 999 previous posts....)*.
5.  This just in from Brenda at MummyTime (and conference organiser extraordinnaire):  "And if your winner wants to upgrade his/her ticket to include the Dinner and Dance they just have to let us know asap. They can email us at"

If you are kicking yourself because the conference sold out and you were late to the AMB community - or you were umming and ahhing and by the time you decided you'd like to go you realised they'd all been nabbed while you were deliberating - then 

Scrub your cheeks!
Comb your hair!
Shine your shoes!
Brush your teeth!

There's not a moment to lose! 

Get thinking and submit a comment here by 8pm next MONDAY 28th. The winner will be chosen using, so it's a true lottery.

And if you're already coming but know someone who missed out, send 'em over! More the merrier. And please help spread the word by retweeting and Facebooking this profusely all weekend to help the net reach wide. How excitement! I hope this is about to make someone in our community very happy :)

 * Don't worry, no matter what you bring, your vote will be counted. I'm just messin' with ya and interested to see if you're imaginative gifters. That, and Steve's always keen for some gift ideas he doesn't have to think of for me.

Here's the thing

There have been all sorts of thoughts flashing past my conscious awareness, my short term memory, call it what you will. And they're not enough to make a blog post out of, all on their own. And they don't fit together, really.

So I thought, stuff it. Here's a post of the grab bag that has been going on, in similar point form, in my head just in the past week. Feel free to ask me to expand on any of them.

•  I have learned, on this detox, to make some kick-arse salads. Sellable salads, they are! Mmmmmm. Salad.

•  Never rub your eye, even for a split second - in fact, don't put a knuckle near an eye - if you have gone anywhere near chilli flakes or chilli powder that day. Just.... don't.

• I LOVE that despite my gentle guidance to the correct pronunciation, there are a few persistent words that Lolly mispronounces. Namely, "constructions" (instructions): used in a sentence, "Where are the constructions, Mum?" and "Hopen" (open): used in a sentence, "Close your eyes and hopen your hands" which is what we are constructed to do 48 times a day, anytime she wants to show or give us anything.

•  Grapefruit = no. Just can't go there. Tried, failed. Done.

•  Ever since I was a teenager, I have been a bit of a wet sock where children are concerned. Any time I see kids learning or enjoying or discovering things for the first time, I tear up. Case in point: the LGBB's kinder at drop off time - the euphoria and pride about their own individual lockers with their names on them. I cry. Difference between teenager and now:  I'm not ashamed of being moved to excited tears that well up before I can stop them.

•  Love her or hate her (party or voice, whichever), I can't go past the fact that Australian PM Julia Gillard is a strong speaker. I like it.

•  I am officially now, after just 10 days, the lightest I have been in over two years - 5kg down. Go me!

•  I'm not missing coffee nearly as much as I thought I would. But I am missing the opportunity to have a glass of wine at night when I want one.

•  I think I can actually safely say, if I had to choose either coffee or alcohol to go without for the rest of my life, I'd choose coffee. Shock-horror! What a lightbulb moment...

•  Why did I promise to make a cake this afternoon with the LGBB for her Pa's birthday? Why??? I don't wanna. But you know I'm gonna, don't you? I'm weak.

•  Oh yeah, and last but not least.... I won the Kleenex Mums Blog Post of the Year 2010 this week. I am humbled, grateful and gobsmacked, frankly, that I won. But that does deserve a post all of its very own. And speaking of which,

Stay tuned, tomorrow is my 1,000th post!
And I have a give-away that you're going to want!


You'll never guess...  There's a post over at the other place. The usual...

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Cake request

I have received a request from Steve this morning for his next birthday cake.

It's not an unknown fact that in this house, many a day has been squandered when I've been in the throes of  playing Angry Birds. I finally reached the end of the levels, found all the golden eggs and unlocked everything..... I'm not actively seeking any more versions of the game because I simply cannot afford the time right now. Once I start, I can't stop. Those smirking little green piggy bastards are my downfall and I must destroy them all using the yellow triangle birds, they're the most destructive... Oh. Sorry. Are you still reading?


Henyway, suffice to say, I'd adore a cake like this myself. But I'm not anywhere near this level of cake artistry. This is madness, sheer brilliance:

Courtesy of Mashable

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Thank Maxabella

I'm going to turn off my word verification.... er, thingy. You can thank Maxabella and her commenters on this post for that.

I have to admit, I don't mind typing in my best guess in that little box on others' blogs. But it does take an extra ounce of time and, although I get comments (thank you!), I know it probably peeves some of you.

So let's give it a shot, eh? Now, I'm not making any long term promises. If I get slammed like I used to with spam, it goes back on. Oooh. Sorry. I got all sort of Mum-tone on you there. Pointed finger and raised eyebrow have been stood down. I'll save it for the spammers if they come back.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Do you Xanadu for fun or torture?

Olivia - aka Kira - can't believe the state of our living room

Snacks, mixing blue and yellow to make green, painting an egg carton to make a crocodile and Xanadu on the telly. The girl is in dark and rainy stay-home day bliss.

Xanadu has been an enduring favourite of the LGBB's. She loves her a bit of swooning to Gene and Olivia dancing a 1940's-inspired two-step.

But I have to ask you.... would you watch Xanadu with pleasure? I have to admit a guilty secret:  I just love the music in this. Especially 'Magic'. Nothing shameful in a bit of ELO. Twist my arm and I'll also confess to really liking 'Suddenly', but don't tell anyone. And okay, while we're at it, I'll admit to something else:  I used to want to be Kira. Scrap that, I used to think I was Kira. Nowadays, the acting makes me want to gag and laugh simultaneously. But for kids? Heaven. The LGBB can't get enough of it. So much so that, regular readers may remember, it's all she asked Santa for in 2009. What 3 year-old do you know has fallen so in love with an '80s music video on You Tube so much that they must have the whole singing, dancing extravaganza for their very own? And wants it above any other toy they can think of?

Here she is in her no-singing, lots-of-spinning, mostly-waiting cinematic debut, age 3 1/2 (to her credit, Lolly is waiting for her cue as one of the muses who unfreezes and comes to life in the wall mural..... again and again. She just had a lot of waiting to do, given that apparently she was the only one cast in ALL the roles of the sisters). Watch the unmoving facial expression of the one bemused audience member who's seen it all before. Over. And over. And over. During rehearsals:

I'm Alive! from Lolly Lovers on Vimeo.

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Good music

This weekend, I want to acknowledge one of my true, enduring loves.


I was brought up surrounded by it and have a natural appreciation for all sorts of genres. There are so many ways that music has enriched and healed and complemented my life - as with most people on this planet - that it's difficult to name all of them. But I thought I"d compile a list. So, dear reader, I give you...

Things you didn't know you were interested to learn about music and me:

•  Any rock music with piano in it has me riveted. Think Billy Joel (songs like Stiletto and Scenes From An Italian Restaurant fill me with sheer joy and I get lost in the solos) and Ben Folds Five.

•  One of my lasting memories of my father is his cheery morning disposition, coupled with ABC Classic radio playing in the background and my teenage self would find his loud "la-la-la's" as he sang along to everything both embarrassing and funny.

•  Mum and Dad met at a church choir. They were both excellent singers.

Image credit
•  I learned piano and recorder as a child. Recorder was my true love. I went from the smaller descant, which gets SUCH a bad rap because of the loud, nails-down-blackboard screeching sounds younger children make with them, but is actually a gorgeous instrument to play (when you're playing good music!). Then I progressed to the treble, a larger beautifully rich toned instrument and then had the privilege of playing both the tenor and the bass recorder, the granddaddy of recorders, which were my teacher's. The bass recorder is the biggest in this image (the descant is the smallest) and you use a funny brass mouthpiece to play it. I remember how huge it looked to me, as a kid, because the thing was so big it towered over my head while it rested on the floor.

•  I remember vividly the day Mum took me to a recorder maker to choose and purchase my very own treble recorder. There were all sorts of colours, each one unique and no two recorders alike. Each one had a slightly different tone to them. The recorder maker was passionate about recorders and I remember really connecting with him over his love for the instrument. I tried several and settled on the one that would be my constant companion for many years, for  I practiced for hours a day.

•  I dabbled with the flute but only lasted a term. I couldn't master it and expected to be perfect but it's a difficult instrument to play and has quite a different way of using the mouthpiece compared to what I was used to with the recorders.

•  Steve thinks I am a freak because of how I can pick out a tune on the piano without even trying.

•  Sight reading music (playing music you've never seen before) was my hat trick in exams - I think I have inherited this from my grandfather, who was a brilliant musician and had a photographic memory.

•  Music is in my blood. My cousins include an opera singer and a concert pianist turned conductor for the Philharmonic orchestra (oops... I can't remember which ones he's been in but I think the New York Philharmonic is one of them...). And my grandfather (Mum's dad) was a masterful and passionate piano and clarinet player - self taught, as I understand. Unfortunately, I never met him.

•  I was doing music exams at age 9. I got A's and a B. I did three exams in total over the course of three years and graduated to a point where my teacher advised my parents I ought to be studying at the Victorian Conservatorium of Music. Unfortunately, the timing coincided with my parents separating and then divorcing. And anyway, the college was in the city - far too far for a then 12 year-old to travel alone and impossible for my parents to do. I've always wondered how far I could have gone.

•  When I go to see a live orchestra, I cry with pure emotion at the beauty of the sound and cannot stop the bliss from bubbling over within me. Nothing else does it to me quite like a full orchestra.

•  It's not all classical. I love music as diverse as Stevie Wonder, Barbara Streisand, The Dooby Brothers, Steely Dan, The Carpenters and James Taylor... (I could go on) and all those 70's sounds, through the disco era, to the more rhythmic and largely computer-made sounds of Air and Phoenix (a French electronic outfit).  We love and play music from British rock bands like Deep Purple, Led Zepplin and Def Leppard. I think Django Reinhart was simply awesome and so talented.  And I thank my father for introducing me to, as well as countless classical composers, the true Ladies of Blues music such as Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holliday, Lina Horne and so many others. It has been the foundation for me discovering some gorgeous modern day artists who have sublime voices - Stacey Kent, Madeleine Peyroux and Kylie Auldist to name a few of my favourites.

•  On a lazy weekend afternoon, you can find me cranking up the stereo to one of my favourite CD's, Ladies Sing The Blues.

•  I love to listen to jazz music when I cook.

•  I may well get Lolly beaten up at school. For a time there, recently, her favourite video clip was this. We have very retro tastes in this house and she is never allowed to watch those video hits shows.

•  We owned all sorts of strange records. One of my favourites was The Wombles. "Come Womble with your partners, young wombles were told, if you minueto allegretto you will live to be old." I'd love to get a copy of that now.

And just finally, I would like to acknowledge the exceptional Etta James who is gravely ill and suffering not only Alzheimer's (which was diagnosed in 2009) but now dementia and leukemia. This woman's voice is remarkable and one of my favourites. Not only that, I love her because she came right out and said she couldn't stand Beyoncé. That's just classic. Awesome. She is 72. She can do as she pleases.

Here she is doing her stuff in her inimitable way:

This post is part of Maxabella's weekend grateful. What are you grateful for today?

I'm also Rewinding at the Pink Fibro today.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

I've got a secret

It's a weight loss secret. It's called excessive fluid retention.

You may well think that fluid retention couldn't possibly be a weight loss tool. Ah, but dear reader, I give you this little fact:  I can lose up to 3kg on any given day. Usually it's around 1-2kg, but the most I've seen is 3kg. That's a lot.

Okay and now it's time to confess that I also put on that amount (.5-3kg) that same day, or maybe the next. It's crazy. And that my cankles - mmmm, always a pleasure - and achey finger and hip joints are testament to the fluid I carry. So, it's not a really enviable way of experiencing "weight loss", I'll give you that.

No matter what time of month/year/moon phase, this fluid goes on and comes off as it pleases. And it's made rather more uncomfortable when I'm tipping the scales permanently now at the largest I've ever been in my life (sans pregnancy). It's also not really pleasant to find that what you wore yesterday is too tight today. And then fits you again tomorrow.... it's quite bizarre. Lately, movement has been an issue and my body has been feeling twice the age I really am.

So after a few years now of fooling myself that "Ooooh, look! I've lost 2kg!" while leaving out the all-important re-weigh either that night or the following morning which sees me put 2kg or more back on, I got myself to a GP a couple of weeks ago and asked for a blood work-up at the request of my naturopath (who just happens to be my sister inlaw, the lovely Nicole from Nurtured By Nature. The GP found my results "unremarkable". And that they were, largely.

Cholesterol normal
Celiac screen fine
Thyroid working like a beaut
B vitamin levels (surprisingly) good

In fact, everything was within normal range. EVEN (and this is big) my liver function! Whoa, Nelly, you mean I can drink more?? Woot-woot ;)

Except, there were two little things that, while the GP considered them unimportant in the scheme of my seeking to do something about this, were very interesting from a naturopathic point of view.

My iron stores were at anaemic levels - hello, couch at 3pm every day since Christmas (and here I was thinking my lethargy was post-inlaw-visit and ensuing festivity related, ho ho ho) - and my vitamin D was very low.

Not necessarily uncommon. But in terms of trying to shed kilo's and get rid of this awful fluid retention, extremely bastardy actually.

Typical lunch - tuna salad.

I do have bad eating habits. But none of them are dietary. In fact, if one more person suggests I "just lay off the crisps and ice cream if you want to get smaller", I'll biff them. The naturopath went through my food intake and summised that I was doing all the right things. The blood test confirmed everything I am consuming is converting as it should in my body. You know the main thing that got me off track?

Not eating

Yep. It was this one (wildly important) point that has finally triggered my body into this over-zealous storage mode and made my nutrient stores go all haywire as well. Extended months of not feeling like eating, being too busy to eat, not feeling like anything that's in the fridge, or simply being lazy about preparing something for myself have turned into a vicious circle somewhere along the line - I won't eat at all if I'm not going to eat healthy at home, and sometimes the effort of chopping up a salad or making a soup was too much for me to even contemplate because I was so tired. And I was tired because I wasn't eating. And I wasn't eating because I was too tired to make anything. Round your partners, dosey-doe.

While it's no surprise that not eating every day is a large factor - pretty much everyone knows by now that you are far better off eating small meals more often, where here I was skipping breakfast, having lunch at 4pm and forcing in dinner with the family at 6.30 - the no eating no-no was only part of my bad habit. The other thing I tend to do is eat my biggest meal at night. It's just the way I was raised, it's now out of convenience more than anything that I take my time and cook a meal for us all at night when really, the types of things we have at night are better digested at the midday meal.

I'm pleased to say I have been on not only iron and vitamin D supplements for a week now and feel mucho energised at that crucial mid-afternoon point, I have also been on a complete, properly prescribed liver cleansing detox since Saturday. So far, I've lost (and kept off for a week!!) 4kg.

I notice when I climb the steps to the deck in the backyard, it's no longer a strain. My body isn't screaming and I don't feel like I'm hoiking my body up, it's easy. My wedding band comes on and off again, something I've not been able to do for about six months. I am also relieved to report that everything feels looser, I look smaller already and walking the dog has become much less an exercise in sounding like I'm playing the bagpipes and more like a typical workout without having to lug around water balloons under my skin.

It's strange, you know, fluid retention weight. It's weight, sure, but it's not real weight if you know what I mean. It's not the same as needing to lose fat (although I have plenty of that to work on when I get bored of blogging...). I'm looking at myself these past couple of days and saying, Right, at least I can actually see my problem areas and there aren't nearly as many of them as all that nasty surface stuff would have had me believe last week. Honestly, I was a little like .. well, a beach ball really. And now, just a few days later, I look like someone I recognise again. Phew! It has been quite a bizarre, but uplifting and rewarding experience, this detox. And of course, the supplements are helping so my body isn't working hard anymore and energy is going where it should and, well,

It's all just sunshine and lollypops, really.

Mind you, I do still have about 10kg to go, so let's not get too peppy. But I am very pleased it's all going in the right direction - er, literally down the toilet... man, when a body is rebalanced it sure knows how to function like it should, doesn't it? Eh? Too much information? Anyway, I'm sure it's going to be a breeze now that we have found the culprits responsible for my lack of energy and inability to lose weight/uncanny ability to take on water like the Titanic.

Who knows, at the rate I'm going all this lack of dairy, coffee, tea, alcohol and wheat - which leaves fruit, vegies, fish, chicken and legumes (I don't eat red meat... whoops, hence the pasty anaemia finding) - will be well worth it.

My days of being tidal with the moon may just be over!

Do you gain and lose fluid quickly? I've heard that some people are more prone to it than others. And Steve just thinks I'm a freak.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

A Mass Attack of excitement

It is with great pleasure and huge excitement that I announce.....

I have a sponsor for the Aussie Bloggers Conference next month!

I couldn't be happier to have Mass Attack on board to help me get there.

Mass Attack's founder is a sentimental favourite of mine. In fact, Naturopath Narelle Stegehuis was my very first client way back when I quit my job to have Ella in 2003. Needless to say, Narelle was instrumental in keeping me afloat (emotionally and in a foundling business venture sense) that first year - she cheered for us on the sidelines when I managed to keep that pregnancy and I was actually under her care in the early weeks, and then was devastated for us when our NICU journey came to its abrupt end in 2004. We remained in contact in a business sense until the birth of the LGBB in 2006.

In the intervening years, Narelle's business has expanded beyond my small at-home business capacity. But I am very excited to say that there will be regular articles here with interesting facts and tips from Narelle and her team of dedicated naturopaths. I'm so proud to share them with you, dear reader(s)!

Monday, February 14, 2011


Today I'm going to share a section of chapter 8 from my book that is getting chopped.

For a while now, I have thought that it stems the flow of the narrative. Last night, when I received chapter 6-10 back from the editor, it seemed he agreed. So out it goes.

Rather than lose it forever, I thought I would put it here. For safe keeping :) It's not that these few paragraphs are irrelevant - they most certainly are - but it is a bit clumsy in the scheme of the story either side of it. It's completely unedited and very raw, so please look past the strange paragraph breaks and long-windedness (which I am sooooo good at!).

See what you think and, as always, please feel free to comment or share your own similar experiences (from either side of the fertility fence).

   “I miss my baby, she’s only eight months old and I’ve never been away from her for this long before,” cried one of the bridesmaids. We were at my aunt’s house getting dressed for her wedding. I was surprised when tears sprang in my eyes for this new mum who was crying because she missed her baby so much. I was really struck by the emotion in this woman whom I’d met on only a few other occasions. But I had never thought she would openly cry and now I saw a softening in her that wasn’t noticeable to me before she’d had her baby girl. It intrigued me further, this wondrous and as yet unattainable role of motherhood. That it could change a person so much beyond their control that it caused them to ruin their makeup when they were getting ready to be in a wedding. It was as if she could not help the tears. And it wasn’t that anything was wrong – her healthy baby was at home with her grandparents. It was just the simple fact that she missed her daughter so terribly much; I found it very touching. 
   Aunty Jo and her partner had a beautiful wedding. It was lovely to see them so emotional with each other and Steve and I were greatly honoured to play such an important part in their public commitment to one another. Towards the end of the night, I remember looking across the room and seeing the bridesmaid who had missed her baby so much. She was still there but was making moves to leave with her husband and I could tell from where I was standing that she really wanted to go home.
   All of a sudden, surprising me, I felt a sudden surge of jealousy and anger towards this girl. I don’t know where it came from and it was certainly not intentional, but the emotions of the day and the realisation that we had witnessed another couple coming together - no doubt also marking the beginning of the end of our friendship with them as we knew it - had taken its toll. 
   For this was how it was starting to take shape: our long-time friends and family were getting married and starting families. It was the natural progression of things, Steve and I were well aware of this. But because our family could not get started, we felt as though we were remaining the same “dual income, no kids”, perpetually socially available couple. Others around us were settling down, which was what we were so desperately yearning to do ourselves. 
   I sat at an empty seat at one of the beautifully decorated reception tables and mentally counted the number of years that Steve and I had been together. We had just celebrated our third wedding anniversary, having been a couple for over five years before that. I was suddenly gripped with fear that my previously single but newly wedded aunt and friend was probably going to beat me and have a baby first. 
   Was this what I had become? The stereotypical bitter, twisted childless woman? It was wearing me down, the weight of not being able to bear a baby I knew was surely out there for us because of some as yet still mysterious genetic factor in Steve’s chromosomal makeup. And I knew it was far more than feeling “beaten” to the post – it was the desperate fear of being left behind and not being able to completely share friendships with people once they had had babies. I felt lonely, like a perpetually little kid in an increasingly grown-up world.
   I suddenly wanted to go home. Why had my thoughts turned to babies? I had had such a great day with Aunty Jo and her family. I felt so guilty, standing there in my gorgeous dress with my perfect hair and makeup all intact, hiding my dark thoughts. After all, they were unfounded fears anyway. Jo hadn’t even mentioned wanting a family. It was a tiny glimmer of hope that perhaps, just perhaps, we could at least have our first baby at the same time as them, if not sooner. So I stood tall and shook off my sadness, this wasn’t the time or place to be thinking of myself.
   We waited to hug the newlyweds goodbye, bidding them farewell and safe travels on their honeymoon.
   Aunty Jo’s wedding triggered the onset of thoughts that had not previously surfaced but had obviously been there for a while, just simmering. It sparked a new awareness in me of noticing just how many couples had begun not only their relationships in the time since Steve and I had been together, but were now having babies as well. 
   It seemed nobody was safe from my critical observation. I envied celebrities in magazines right through to people in my office building. A young girl from one of the offices where I worked became pregnant to her boyfriend of five months and I felt like she was parading her blossoming belly and glowing pride and happiness in front of me whenever I saw her. Of course she wasn’t. But why did she have to rub her belly so often? It was like watching a walking glamour magazine ad. “How To Be Enviably Pregnant.” She was perfectly shaped, poised, absolutely stunning. And some days I wanted to gouge her eyes out.

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Crafty For A Cause

Well, I'm a month late (because I usually do this on Ella's birthday), but the cot sheets for donation to the NICU she called home are all ready to go.

This is something I have adored "giving back" and although I missed a couple of years in the past six, I daresay I will find it a very hard habit to break. When I was in the NICU, the day I had - as mother hoping desperately this nightmare of drugs and needles and doctors' orders would end very soon - was often dependent on whether someone had at least used "baby girl colours" for her humidy crib setup. The fact was, beggars couldn't be choosers and with the amount of soiling that went on, it was first in, best dressed when selecting cot sheets out of the massive clean laundry bins. Sometimes I got to go and choose, but most often, of course, it was a nurse's job. And I would often hear them mention to parents that they'd tried their best to "get her something pink" or "get him something to suit a little boy."

I remember asking more than once, "Where do these cute ones come from?" because they were fairly few and far between, the really nice ones. The reply I received was that they were mostly donated and that they used to have better ones but with the amount of washing they endured, the supply changed fairly often and was only as good as what had been freshly donated. Of course, at that point I couldn't have known that I would be pitching in to ensure they got new sheets if from nowhere else then from me. But I do remember watching pilled and frayed-edged sheets being unravelled from the better ones and thrown out.

So here we are. My 4th or 5th (I can't remember) contribution. Unless you have been in the Special Care Nursery or NICU with your tiny baby, you can't know what a difference it makes to have linen with baby prints on them. Not just any old curtain-fabric looking stuff. But the sort of cuddly patterns that you might have in your own nursery, on their own cots, if only they were home.

If ever you have wanted to do something useful and EASY.... I would highly recommend going to your local fabric store and picking out some lovely polycottons. Check with your local hospital first, but that's easy to do, and I can assure you they'll probably be very glad to accept new sheets! Run your machine around each edge to finish them, so the final size is about 90x75cm (no less) - they are tiny beds, after all! - and they will also be used for making "nests" and for draping over the top of the isolettes to reduce light for sleeping bubbas. Very handy. Vital. Such a lovely gift for a parent as they watch over their little one if they can see some cheerful colours.

I absolutely adore the fabrics I found this time. Then again, I tend to say that to myself every time. I actually picked these fabrics up months ago, but what with our house renovations/extension and the parents inlaw staying for two months at the end of last year... yada yada, I just didn't get the chance to get these ready to take to the hospital any sooner.

So. I plan to take them tomorrow with the LGBB, after dancing. I hope to see some of the familiar faces I haven't seen in over a year since we last went in, but that will really just be icing on the cake.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Dear Plato

I decided to link up to Maxabella's "I'm grateful for..." today with my latest post. I am grateful, although at first glance (or if you don't know me well) you may think there is nothing to bring cheer in this post or the circumstances surrounding it. There is. If nothing else, there is always that. Gratefulness.

“Tuesday 10th February, 2004:
I’m not sure about today. It feels a little unsettled. Our girl is still breathing very fast, around 100, and I’m just not comfortable."
Ellanor Ruby ~ snoozing comfortably in Daddy's arms, 10 days old, in a rare moment without CPAP.

That's all I wrote. My final diary entry. A diary that had lasted a mere month, one that was meant to chronicle Ellanor's early start so that she could one day read it.

Each day, I had written pages of details about the NICU. Copious descriptions of what it was like to sit and gaze at my child through a perspex screen, my arms aching while I had to consciously force my hands to stay in my lap. I was told not to touch her too often by a registrar one day. Can you imagine being told not to touch your baby "too often"?? Just pause and have a think about that.....

Today is the straddle day. The day between me having an inkling something was NQR on the 10th and her sudden death on the 12th. I think about what I was doing, seven years ago, on the 11th of February and am still dumbfounded at the clear memories I have. I was, of course, oblivious to what horrors tomorrow would bring and I had shaken off my mother's instinct of not feeling comfortable about her turn for the worse the day before. It was part and parcel of life in the NICU, where each hour can bring joy or heartache in stomach-lurching peaks and troughs, so I thought this was just one of the troughs I was waiting to come out of. I had brought in Ella's first grow suit to wear. It was size 00000. It literally swam on her. But she was out in an open-air cot. And things were feeling slightly more normal. We still held great trepidation about the heart operation she was scheduled to have sometime in the coming week or two, when she reached 2.2kg. She was teetering at 2kg. And that's how much she weighed when the virus (and my hell) struck.

That child, the child who slipped back out of my reach. She still cloaks me. Even though I don't take her to school of a morning - she would be in grade 2 now, well ensconced in school life - I still ferry her around with me day to day.

I was told off this week by the LGBB, when she asked me where exactly Ella was. I replied, "Well, I don't know. But I think she is far, far away..." "No, she's not!" Lolly snapped at me, adamant that her sister wasn't too far away at all. I stood corrected. I really don't know at the moment where she is. Sometimes I can feel her close in, sometimes not. It doesn't seem to correlate anymore with how much I am thinking about her, she flits in and out of my awareness as she pleases and it doesn't matter if I have been obsessing about her for hours or not. I used to be able to reel her in with a simple, "Are you there?" But not anymore. Not since she was born, actually, have I been able to command her reply.

I've long since stopped explaining myself to people when I talk like that. I say how it has been for me. Many simply give me a "If that's what you believe, then that's nice" patronising reply. So be it. And then, one day while I was browsing online, I found something written by Plato. One of the most important and influential philosophers in documented history. And I was riveted by the accuracy of what "this guy" wrote, so very long ago, and how much it resonated with what I had always felt. About Ellanor.

So thank you, Plato. I'll let you say it for me.

“The souls of people, on their way to Earth-life, pass through a room full of lights; each takes a taper, often only a spark, to guide it in the dim country of this world. But some souls, by rare fortune, are detained longer and have time to grasp a handful of tapers, which they weave into a torch. These are the torch-bearers of humanity, its poets, seers and saints, who lead and lift the race out of darkness, toward the light. They are the law-givers and saviors, the light-bringers, way-showers and truth-tellers and without them, humanity would lose its way in the dark.”

- Plato 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

You only ruin it for yourself


Bloody dog!

Jazz is very worried about the circus Channel 7 has made over the Tony Abbott interview

This dog. She drives me insane some days. I try and let her in, do something nice for her, and she comes straight in, dines on the cat litter box, snuffles up whatever she can find and cleans out the cat food as well, ignores me to finish off the delicacies she's finding and then tries to rub her snout on my leg affectionately to butter me up. Not bloody likely! So straight back outside she goes. She ruins it. For. Herself. Daily.

Besides her name, said usually "JAZZ!", Jazz most often hears "Libby" (short for Liberty-taker) and if we're being affectionate, "Stinky", which refers more to her demeanour than her odour.

If there is one thing this dog does well, it's drive me batty. She is the most self-indulgent dog I've ever come across (and I've owned/lived with a few in my life). Not until this puppy came along - six years ago now - did I truly appreciate what a stately, gracious and deeply loyal dog Pepper had always been.

Navigating Jazz's back end inside is no easy task, either. She has the most horribly waggy tail. It goes beyond joyous, happy wagging. This is maiming. Pepper has actually been heard to yelp when it hits her, she is so frail now and Jazz's kangaroo-strength tail is like a vicious whip (to all of us, not just Pep). So we have to quieten her down when she comes inside. We have a little 'foyer' outside the laundry. It works really well for having dogs, as it can be shut off on all sides and creates a small room for them if they need to be inside but we don't want them in the rest of the house while they dry off/cool down. This room suddenly becomes the size of a pin-head if you factor Jazz and The Tail in. Most of the fight is in trying to get her to "SIT!" because if she doesn't, she can hit you so hard in the legs that it actually causes blood vessels to burst. No really, look what happened this one time. And it's not the first time she's done it to me, the horror-head tail.

Now that Pep is unsteady on her feet we have to carefully herd her in and outdoors, ensuring she is not bowled over by Jazz and her over-exuberance to be "First! YES! I got in first! I win, I'm the winner, yeahhhh!" I can almost see the thoughts run through her brain, she is that predictable. Such a little turd, she is, always taking liberties and taking/doing as she pleases.

Jazz is highly intelligent. She knows what is expected of her. She knows what's right and wrong, in accordance to what we have consistently taught her over the past six years, and she goes right ahead and takes any advantage she can anyway. She is, quite simply, a little shit. It's lucky for her she is so darn joyful and gorgeous, or she'd be despised. She is a handful. A 28 kilo-full handful.

Oh the humanity. Dress-up Day. For dogs.

Despite all this, I love her. She is gorgeous. She is exceedingly good with the LGBB and they are firm friends. Funnily enough, she gets down low on the floor to play with the LGBB and there has not been one "tail accident" in 4 1/2 years. Jazz is also, quite simply, the most consistently happy thing to have been in my life. Pepper has always been rather an Eeyore type, dewey-eyed and both sympathetic/seeking sympathy with said eyes, she's a real feeler and has always been strongly connected to how I am, so she has had a huge job on her hands and I am ever so thankful to have had her around for the past sixteen years. Sixteen years! She turns 18 this year, good Lord.

But I digress. Jazz. Spazz. Libby. Mrs Babar (thanks to the line from Fletch, in the doctor's office, where the doc tells Fletch to "Just relax, Mr. Babar"... we are constantly trying to get our "Mrs Babar" to "just relax", so that's where this particular moniker comes from - oh yeah, I know, it's confusing living here, huh!?).  She is just crazy. Constantly hopped up on the joy of being alive. Half her luck, 'eh? I'd love to see how peppy she'd be if she had to go to a boring life-force-sucking office job, day in, day out. See how jolly she'd be then.


So come on, make me feel better. What do your pets do to wind you up? Tell me about the bad habits of your devillish hound (or cat, who must be obeyed at all times...).

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Tangled over Tangled

The LGBB went and saw this movie yesterday with her dad and me. We all thoroughly enjoyed it.

However.... I have a niggle. Just one. Okay, maybe two. Come on, this is me you're reading here. You know it's going to involve something deep. Sorry 'bout that *sheepish grin*

The story is about Rapunzel, of course, and it's quite entertaining. Certainly watchable. Funny. And a bit scary for the kids in places. All good. But what I am not comfortable with in these movies - Toy Story 3 did it, disappointingly, as well - is this focus on death. Moreso, the use of fear of imminent death being upon the hero/es of the story as a means of high drama or thrill factor.

Why am I uncomfortable with it? I haven't looked at it too deeply, so I don't know for sure. But I can bet it is something to do with our children being taught from such a young age to fear death. To even be vengeful over the death of another. In movies as far back (and further) as Snow White, death or the threat of it has been used as a pivotal plot point. And I could go the way of the majority and say I was raised on it. It hasn't affected me. Sniff. Except, has it?

I don't want my child desensitised to violence, aggression towards others, personal safety, death and destruction. There are few movies of this modern age for children that allow this. Tinkerbell and the Great Fairy Rescue was one that had bare little drama by way of villain at all (unless you count the cat, but it was minor compared to the likes of all three in the Toy Story trilogy) and I take my hat off to the makers for producing something I am happy for my child to have in her movie library.

Look, I'm not saying I want to cocoon children from these things. The LGBB watches many of these hero-villain-subtle violence movies - Lion King and Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs to name just two of her all-time faves - and I know it is all part of her integrating into society as it stands today.

But when it comes to death scenes like the one that is in Tangled - SPOILER ALERT! ha ha - then I think we're going a bit too far. Basically, the hero/friend of Rapunzel dies and is brought back to life by her tears falling on his cheek. On the surface, a lovely, magical happy ending that exudes all the hope and imagination of young kids.

On the other hand, they've mixed a fundamental truth with fantasy and I'm not comfortable with these movies pushing these boundaries more and more. Death is real. It is a concept that so many children have to encounter, too early in their lives. If I want my child exposed to death, then I'll do the teaching, thanks. The reality is, my daughter is already too familiar with what it means to die. Through her sister, she has realised her own mortality. In a real sense. It's really bloody scary as a concept and doesn't need to be added to by this fear of death factor in otherwise fun, entertaining childhood romps through fantasy land (all of which I'm very happy for her to have, as an escape for a while). Start mixing it with fantasy, or playing it down, and that's when the danger begins, in my opinion. Besides, this scene didn't teach anything constructive about death, it incorrectly conditioned: If someone you love dies, your tears will bring them back if you're magical enough, basically.

I sat in that cinema feeling really unnerved by what the little minds around me were absorbing. I know it's simplistic and children have a way of working these things through in their minds. But I had to wonder... How do they know - and how responsible do they care to be, as movie makers - how a child will react or what scenarios those children are going through? Do they consult with child psychologists around the world to ensure they are constructing something within that responsibility? What if a child just lost an aunty to breast cancer, for instance? Is he/she learning that their tears could have brought her back? Or that their tears were obviously not enough because she didn't come back to life? What line of questioning have their parents now been subjected to?

Some would say it is up to the parent/s to decide. But is it? I had no idea that scene/premise was in this movie. The LGBB has seen it now and fallen in love with the "girl with the long, long, long hair". She'll see it again. On the scale of movies of this type, it's a very good one, all said and done.

But why this focus on death? In Toy Story 3, the toys joined hands and faced their impending doom as they were being engulfed by the fire. NOT something I want my child to have to confront at the age of four, thank you! And so I have not allowed Lolly to see that one again. It's too much. I don't want her desensitised to that - accepting her fate when it is evident. I don't care what last-minute life-saver appears. Ludicrous storyline, if you ask me!

What are your views? Are the animated movies coming out of Hollywood starting to go too far? What other concepts are you uncomfortable with? Or are your views the complete flip-side? Do share in the comments, I'd love to learn from you.

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Here's me, getting going

This is not a Flamers Invitational. Not intentionally, anyway. But I am speaking to them, particularly after reading this. If you are squirmy in your chair as you read this...... then it could be time for you to assume some responsibility. Ready? Then read on!

You know, at first I wasn't going to write "to" this. But then, as the replies in my head that I wanted to write in various comments sections on several blogs amounted to post-size, I felt compelled to put it here (if for no other reason than to save other blogs' commenters from having to scroll so far to get past mine).

I'm sure whatever blog you read, in whichever community, you are going to identify with the scenario of death or similarly game-plan-changing event impacting a blogger's life so immensely that they do what they've always done:  they write about it. They write through it. In fact, they're compelled to write because they were born to write and as they have their blog already at their disposal, sometimes it's the only method of expression that does two things when they need to get it off their chest in doses: -

1) It puts a protective buffer between the writer and the receiver, mostly protecting the writer (as it SHOULD - it is, after all, their blog).
Case in point: It can be incredibly uncomfortable, for instance, for the mother of a dead baby to speak about the events surrounding the day her child died - they are captured forever on the movie reel in her mind like photographs that never fade, filed under "Archive Until The End Of Time" in her cellular memory, so it becomes sort of almost normal for her to describe the images her head and heart won't let her forget. Even though for her it is cathartic and healing to hear her own voice tenderly describing the final moments of her baby here on Earth, it can leave the person she's telling literally squirming in their seat or wanting to run out the door. Now, if the mother has reached a point where she notices this is almost always the reaction she is going to receive while she is doing her damnedest to heal (by communicating, as that is what comes naturally to her) and does not want to see the pain in another's face when they're hearing what she has to say, she'd rather just write it. From there, whomever chooses to read the blog has a choice (and a personal responsibility) to read or not.

2) It gives them a personal timeline through their (sometimes cruelly slow) stages of bewilderment out the other side to something resembling a normal life again. Some might say, "well, a journal on their bedside table will do that just as well, why blog about such morose stuff?"
Case in point:
There is no more isolating a place than in grief. Even when standing alongside someone who has lost equally to you (again, in my own situation I am just one half of the couple who parented a now deceased child so my partner lost just as much as me), the aloneness you feel is stifling. It creeps up and threatens to choke the life out of you. There is no happy. There is sometimes moments of laughter, but they are followed by "Oh SHIT, how could I ever laugh again?" moments, that seem to last months on end. Years, sometimes. It's a process that cannot be rushed. There is no time limit to this. But so many well-meaning people - who have NEVER lost what you have, nor the way you have - assume responsibility (incorrectly, I might add) to tell you and coax you, coach you, through your grief. Their impatience with you is harmful. And they don't even know it. When you tell them, they are defensive. This will never do. Writing in a journal just highlights the loneliness. But connecting with nameless, faceless others? Who have boundless capacity to support?  It is fucking PRICELESS, let there be no mistake. To me, it is better than the best therapist (although I hasten to add that the two in conjunction were what saw me through in various stages through my first 5 years from losing my daughter).

You know, what's next? Sueing a blogger because of personal injury or loss of life? Because apparently "sticks and stones will break my bones... and words too on your blog, you should have been more editorial on your own aching, bereft ass"??????

I don't think so. Come on, people. Get responsible. The world hurts. It doesn't stop hurting simply because a mother stops being real with her audience. If that is what she's always done, death and/or the destruction of her world as she knew it is not going to alter the nature of her bear-all soul. Why would it? Where would the tremendous gift be to everyone, including herself, in avoiding the hard stuff on her blog?

When I was down there myself, in that pit, so devoid of any will to live that I felt no pain, there were no tears, I had no rage, and certainly no thought of follow-through effects on my loved ones - I actually, honestly believed I would be doing them a great service by removing myself from their lives, seriously thought without a shadow of a doubt that I would not be as missed as my alarmed and terrified husband told me I would be, when I advised him quietly "I'll just be going now" - I would safely bet everything I own today on the fact that no blog in the blogosphere that had been writing about suicide, for instance, would have been the decider that brought me to do it if it had already been on my mind. In fact, it would have served to do the complete opposite.

I'm not sure I remember what snapped me out of suiciding in 2004. I think it was just a gradual incline out of that hollow hole. If a blog like Lori's had been around - I didn't get into blogging until I started my own in late 2005, and was a complete novice to such things as online support groups until a full year after Ellanor died and left me here to live what I hoped one day would be a very short life without her - I know without a doubt that it would have helped beyond any measure I have today, able-bodied and far removed from that scary pit of no-worth, no-pain, no-nothing to keep me anchored here. Even reading her words this week on those final moments for her dearly beloved husband, I have been snapped up straight. That was me. That could have been me. And him. My dearly beloved. Except I would have been the one he found. It makes my head spin... How close. How close I was. So accepting that I knew without any doubt what I had to do to make things right for everyone, least of all me.

So, what am I saying?

I'm saying, cut the crap and call yourself out on the masks you wear. If you feel compelled to write something that is genuinely intended to be compassionate and "just looking out for everyone" or however you have justified it in your own reality, I'd hope before you do write a comment that you have a water-tight reason/case. Simply sprouting off half-baked prophecies on how readers could be "triggered to do bad things to themselves or others" because of what they read is, in fact, incredibly irresponsible. It's not to say there is no validity at all, I won't go that far - mostly because I don't assume to know, either way - but it needs to be pointed out that all we have in this life sometimes (particularly when extremely, lower than low, low) is choice. If you have self-checked your reasons for meddling in such a fashion in someone's healing (for that is what it is), then why not also ask yourself these questions:  Have I got any power, let alone right, to alter the course of a stranger's life?  What am I really offering here that is useful? Is it just sensationalist of me and, if I think it's not, am I really being truthful with myself? Is there any possible way that this comment of mine could cause hurt?

And the big one: Would I honestly be willing to say this, with compassion and heartfelt care, to the person directly if they were right in front of me? I don't think many of these "do-gooding" (for I'm sure that's how they see themselves) anonymous angels of slightly-tinged malice would really be able to say what they seem so willing to do under the cloak of anonymity, if they were physically in front of someone already down there in the trenches of their grief.

Mind you.... I have met a couple in my time who have no Self-Edit button. So I wouldn't willingly suggest this as an exercise, not unless the bereaved had a cheer squad of clear-thinking supporters behind them to help them reason a case. For that is how it can be with blinding grief; it can render a previously level-headed adult to their knees, not know which god forsaken way is up. Despite their protests otherwise, sometimes they bloody well do need help and support and care around them. Hmmmm. Anonymous dissenters don't really fit that job description.

On the other hand, I'd like to change focus just finally. Let's not forget that whilst online it's easy to pass them off as "just trolls" or "flamers", saying all manner of hate-filled 'they can suck it's back at them in retaliation, we just feed the vortex. The lack of genuine care. From the outside looking in, we know they don't really care even when they have convinced themselves quite firmly probably that they do. I'm sure most of the comments of this nature, on personal blogs, are not done for fun or to inflame. They are done because they think it's clever they've thought of this twist that nobody else has mentioned yet. And I would also hazard a guess they'd be the first to feel shock and hurt (and tell you too, given half the opportunity) that you could have taken them "that way" and turn it all back around on you for calling them out on this when they were "only trying to help" or "think of other people" (where you obviously weren't... oh, shame on you for grieving so honestly, you dirty girl).

The crux of it, for me, is this - retaliation with venom is not how I prefer to do it. I'm not a hater. Even on the haters. It takes an inordinate amount of loathing for me to be moved to say I "hate" and even then, it will always be something not someone. Saint? Me? No fucking way. Seeker of truth? Yes. Believer in everyone's good? Yes, that too. Hopeful that delusions can give way to real, honest, soul-connected living? NOW you're on the money!

Look, call me naive but the only way to minimise this sort of pain - and it's been an incredibly painful lesson in family estrangement, etc., for me to learn - is to work on our own selves. Our own social masks and insecurities (there are plenty of them to choose from to start working on, privately). I'm a big supporter of lashing out when in pain, I really am. I advocate it and recommend it highly. Done it for years, myself, and not just quietly most of the time. I did it blindly once or twice and that's all it took for great offence (to me and the truth I had to speak about, as I saw it) to blow my life even wider apart. And all I had then, and now still, is my own truth and behaviours to work with - ie. I couldn't then and don't try now, to control or silence others (even though at the time I felt that was the obvious solution: they should just have shut UP ALREADY about how we were going about our grieving). But it'd be too easy for me to retaliate angrily. I've tried that one on in my early years, trust me, and it didn't sit well with me. To each their own, but I need to implore here that there are other ways than reacting with impulsive and sometimes (if I'm honest when I've done it myself) equally hidden motives, even if these are so hidden that they are hidden to me too - in my opinion, the best thing here is to say nothing in those times. Otherwise, if you're not sure where the depth/boundaries of whatever view you're expressing lie within you, chances are you're going to emotionally maim someone with it. So .... shuddup! Until you know better why you're saying it.

But there does come a point where the pain dissipates and you don't feel the need - and when that time comes, we're still just back to our living, breathing selves. Much better for the self if you hold true to your truth - that great sword of truth - without actually cutting swathes with the sword. If it is truly your truth, you don't have to go brandishing it about. It will act in genuine accordance with who you are: a brightly shining light standing as a beacon to others who haven't found theirs yet and who are too scared to look at your light.

Is this my (very long-winded) pageant wish for World Peace? Wonder if I'd be booed off stage if I were on one. Nothing like standing stark nekid in the light of your own truth. Far King scary, have no doubt!

So go gently, those of you who are writing through your rage and pain, whatever your situation and however well-read your blog is. But do keep going. And to those of you who are too afraid to stand in your own truth for fear of being cut down: Just do it. Speak it, live it. It is never wrong if you are really, genuinely speaking your truth from a correct stance (and not intentionally wishing to attract harm to yourself or others).

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Cloudy with a chance of cyclone

A live stream weathercam in Townsville that is (so far) online and working.

Facing south. Watch those clouds race by! I cannot imagine being in it. Mighty Mother Nature, 'eh? It is palpable and exhausting sitting this far away and just gnashing my teeth about everyone [and some family who have decided to evacuate NORTH just past Cairns.... Er, I thought SOUTH might have been better ??????? What would I know, though, I'm just a Victorian and don't know tropical weather at all - if I lived there and saw swirly stuff on the radar, I'd be so far out of there I'd be well into another state by now *shrug*].

I just pray it doesn't end up as catastrophic as it seems. But.... yanno. It kinda doesn't look good. Not to mention how it's looking for the poor darling wildlife and the animals who can't go with their humans. I could cry. And I probably will before this event is over.

Video chat rooms at Ustream

Looking ENE towards Castle Hill.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Look up in the sky!

I'll admit I have been a tad concerned for our Queensland friends - namely, my two step brothers and their young families who are right in the path of this monster Yasi - and have had the national radar loop screen up more than once today.

The LGBB had a little friend over earlier. They played in the pool and then set about being superheroes, running around the house with their hooded towels on as their 'capes'. I left them to it. At least I wasn't getting roped in to be imaginative.

The friend went home, I went about getting dinner on and took a glance at the radar image again. And Lolly, flashing past me, requested that I look on the radar for Super Bunny.

"Oooooookay," I said, not clicking at first, distracted by what I was going to cook. So I went over to the computer and searched the skies for Super Bunny. Behind me, I heard strange and exotic "whoosh"-ing and "zschooom"-ing sounds. Lolly was no longer in the house. But strangely, at the same time I started to spot flashes of pink (towel... or was it cape?) on the radar! Super Bunny zoomed this way and that, from Western Australia, across to do loops around Tassie, then up north to the Gulf.

"I'm gon-toooo saaaave the worrrrld!" Super Bunny cried as she whooshed past. No doubt, I think to myself. It's no surprise this little bunny has called herself to action again, if the recent floods and the strange illness that befell her for the crucial period of time is anything to go by.

NO idea where Super Bunny came from, nor the desire to be a super hero. It's all new to me. In this house, it's usually pink sparkle, fairy glitter, Tinkerbell-my-little-pony World. But not today. Today, Super Bunny was on a mission, apparently.

And then, almost as suddenly as she disappeared, the LGBB reappeared. Freshly "uncaped" (at the floor by her feet) and with a nonchalant "hello, Mum", she positioned herself beside me and asked flippantly what I was looking at on the radar. I tried to tell her about Super Bunny but she wouldn't hear of it.

God, I love this kid. Have I ever mentioned?

p.s. There's a new one over at the private one....

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