Monthly Archives: December 2007

Another Year

Happy New Year to everyone!

I know that many people use the new year as a time to look forward and make resolutions about personal behavioural changes. I don’t like to do this. It is just another way for me to feel disappointed in myself when I don’t manage to achieve those goals. Instead I like to look back. I like to think about the previous year and reflect on what I have learnt about myself. In actuality this contributes more to my future behaviours than any list of resolutions.

So…2007… This year I went back to work on a part-time basis. I learnt that I do like to work, but that this balance is just right for our family. I could easily work full-time and earn plenty of money, but it makes us all miserable. We don’t get everything done around the house; ferrying the kids around is inconvenient and makes me resentful; life is fitted in around work. I would much rather forgo the extra money for our peace of mind and emotional happiness.

I learnt that I do actually like to work in a group of people. **I have always thought of myself as a bit isolated from the masses because I don’t really do all the popular things. This makes small talk almost impossible. Did I see that reality show on TV? No, I don’t watch it. Did I see that story on the front page of the paper? No, I don’t read it. Did I see the results of the football game? No, I don’t follow it. Do I love that new song by (insert name of skinny, skanky girl here)? No, I don’t listen to it. Despite this I may not be quite the introvert that I thought. I enjoy working toward a task in a group of people, but here’s the thing… I always end up as the leader of the group.  I try to sit back and just listen, but eventually I have to state my opinions – not in a bossy way – and people agree with me. This causes me a lot of concern, because I LIKE to be the leader of the group. I am not a follower (I already knew this about myself), but I’m not sure if I am entirely comfortable with having people follow me. I LOVE to be involved in discussion about/with management and some part of me could easily move in that direction, but that causes my peace-loving, left-wing hippy heart some pause for thought. I find it quite a paradox in my personality.  It doesn’t need resolution right now, I am happy just to recognise it and live with it.

I learnt that I am not at all frightened to stand up in front of a large group of people and talk. I can present a prepared piece or talk off the cuff and be equally calm. I am very pleased to have this skill.

I learnt that I need to trust my gut reactions to people. Three times this year I have had a negative/nervous response to an initial interaction with someone. I have been harsh with myself over this for being too judgemental and allowed the interaction to continue only to have it conclude in an unpleasant way. I don’t want that to happen again. I have no time for that sort of nonsense.

I learnt that letting go is not easy. This is a work in progress. I have always encouraged independence in my children, they have never been reliant on me (they would have been sorely disappointed!). I have never held on tight, but I have maintained control. I am struggling through the re-negotiation of this control. This is not an issue caused by my children. They are well prepared to take on life on their own terms. I have to be prepared to find out about it later – when they let me in – and that is difficult for me.

I anticipate that 2008 will be a challenging year. My Pete was making up little family slogans last night – It’s great in 2008! (he has the soul of a poet), but I know that may not be the case. Lots of changes, lots of learning. I am looking forward to a few of these challenges though, but more on that later…..

** May I just state that, ironically, I never feel isolated when blogging. I think there are lots of people who blog who are sucky at small talk too. I like that, it is one of the appeals of blogging for me.


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We are going to the beach today to have some family photos taken.

Our family is in its last days in its current state.

Changes are looming large now.

Roll on 2008… there’s no stopping it now.


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Holidays Induce

Family time:


Sussanah has put together a montage of our family photos. You won’t find my son in any though. He sat in a corner protecting his broken foot and missed out on being in any photos. A Christmas Eve visit to the surgeon meant that he was able to get rid of the crutches and will not require any further treatment. Good news!

For the first time ever we held my family event a few days before Christmas. Our sister has gone out of town, so we wanted to get together before she left. WHY oh WHY have we not done this before? It meant that I cleaned, organised and vacuumed the house early. It meant that a lot of the wrapping was done early. It meant that the children all received their gifts in smaller doses, so they stopped to enjoy and appreciate them more. It meant that we had rested the night before, rather than the usual lack of sleep on Christmas Eve. It was an enjoyable evening for everyone. I am voting to do it again in all future years. My Pete said to me on Boxing Day that it felt like Christmas had just come and gone this year. It was so easy. I’m certain this is the reason.

The lead up few days to Christmas always seem a blur of last minute list making, sticky tape, cleaning and baking. We stayed well away from the shops on Christmas Eve, finished the shortbread and Mary’s chocolate ginger by 5pm, felt super-organised, then waited for our children to go to sleep. Damn teenagers and their nocturnal habits. When we finally snuck the presents out we found that the ungrateful little disbelievers hadn’t even left us a snack and drink!

Post Christmas lethargy:

Since all of the flurry and excitement we have done almost nothing. I have watched more DVDs than I thought possible. Mostly this, all three seasons. I love it! The weather has been highly supportive of my slovenly few days.


Cloudy skies and big, fat raindrops have made it very easy to lay on the couch and watch TV!

Last night I spent the longest time taking photos of the rain as it hit a puddle. (a perfectly normal pursuit and an excellent use of my time) It was just beautiful to see a still shot of the concentirc circles on the surface of the water! This photo is the one that I liked the most.


How cool is that?

Oh well, time to get busy… although one of the children received Heroes on DVD, wonder where that is….


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Retirement Plan

I’m looking forward to growing old with my Pete.

He already has a pretty good action



He may just need to improve his aim.



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Last week at a 6:30am meeting, my daughter was officially presented with her blazer to wear while on exchange. She apparently made a speech of thanks. I’m impressed that she was coherent enough to put words together – generally before 9am we find that grunting is her preferred communication.

SO, in January she will fly into what is arguably one of the most fashionable cities in the world wearing


a dark green polyester gabardine jacket with an orange emboidered kangaroo. To complete the ensemble is a mismatched blue and red scarf covered with grey emus, kangaroos, echidnas and kookaburras.

I hope she doesn’t get too close to an open flame…

PS Don’t even ask me how the foot is! In the ongoing saga that is my life we are trying to find an orthopedic surgeon to find out if a bone chip needs to be removed. Apparently surgeons like to go on holidays too. “This is a bad time to get an appointment.” Sorry – he should have kicked a girl months ago, then we’d all have a merry Christmas!


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Running Away

Today Alice spoke about her escape plan.

After today I need one too.


How can this be my life???

I asked the doctor if I should be concerned that my son has broken two bones this year. Is there a reason that he is breaking bones more frequently than he cleans his room? Could there be something wrong?

His answer? Yes, he’s an active thirteen year old boy…

He’ll be available on ebay later today if you want him. Just make sure you have good health cover!


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I realise that in my last post I made a promise to let you know on Saturday if you were to receive one of the Christmas postcards. What can I tell you…I’m fickle! I just changed my mind – not with great intent, I had a busy weekend.

I went to the my work Christmas party. After reading the thoughts of Sussanah about work Christmas parties I wonder why I went. It was not cheap, the food was dodgy…DODGY!, the venue was noisy and echo-y. We left fairly early, wishing that we had spent that amount of money on a cosy dinner for two. My Pete’s work party is this weekend. It is a barbeque, beer and bowling party. Lawn bowls, not indoor. I may just sit in the stands and sledge the attempts of others whilst sipping on diet coke.

I went to a baptism. The giraffe quilt was a well-received gift for a much loved little boy.


I notice that on other blogs people use a random number generator program to select the winners of give aways. In this spirit I wrote the numbers 1- 16 on a piece of paper (leaving out the numbers of my own comments and those people who made more than one comment) and asked my random son to circle three of the numbers. SO…. Aunty Evil, Maureen and Mary I will be posting one Christmas postcard to each of you this week.

Maybe…if I don’t change my mind….I’m fickle like that.


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Reality check

I am in denial about Christmas. If it never comes, then December won’t end. If December never ends, it will never be January. If it will never be January, my daughter will stay within hugging distance of her mother.

Reality says:



Christmas will not be denied.

When  I was rattling around in a drawer I found these:


I made them a few years ago and obviously put them in away for safekeeping (then forgot about them, I find that to be the safest of safekeeping). If you would like one you need only to leave me a comment here. On Saturday I’ll randomly select and email three of you for your addresses and post them out to you.

Ho, ho, ho…


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Fall in Love

I saw Jerry Seinfeld on Enough Rope last week. I always enjoyed Seinfeld (the show) and I found him to be a really fascinating interviewee. One of the philosophies that he holds dear in his life is to fall in love every day. Not the romantic sort of love, but love that makes you stop and appreciate that moment each day when something is fabulous, no matter how unremarkable it may be. This is a feeling that I enjoy when I get to the end of the quilt without the bobbin running out. It won’t impact the nation, but for that second it feels like everything is right with the world.

These are the reasons that I fell in love today.

  1. I shopped for dinner, refueled the car and picked up my son in just forty minutes.
  2. I went to the osteopath and she massaged away the knots in my back and shoulders.
  3. A thoracic surgeon with amazing credentials in Sydney has agreed to see my son in January. 
  4. My son wore deodorant without prompting. (if you collected a 13 year old boy on a hot day and brought him home in a closed car and you would know this is joyous)
  5. I saw a portly woman smoking right beside a sign which said, “Welcome to Settler’s Alternative Medicine Centre.” Oh the irony!
  6. My son asked me a question from his year eight maths exam and I got the answer correct, in my head! (If you wonder what it is – A pole is three times the size of a tree. The difference between the two is 15 metres. How tall is the tree?)
  7. I cut out this giraffe and plan to spend this evening quilting it.


   8.  We heard this song in the car by a British band with an Australian name and turned it right up and sang along loudly.

I hope that you fell in love today too.


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Insane in the Membrane

Do you sudoku? I love them. I often do one in bed, just before I go to sleep. (I know it sounds smutty, try to rise above it) My daughter steals my book quite frequently and I have to chase her down.

Recently my Pete decided to do one, a fiendish one. He had never done them before and that is how he started, with fiendish. He loves a challenge. He is very methodical in his approach to everything. So, being a kind-hearted wife, I bought him a whole book of hard puzzles. Naturally he started with the hardest, the one rated INSANE.

Now for the past three days he has been working on it with his weird architectural numerals.


It is has been 48 hours since he added a number with any certainty, but he won’t give up. I told him to look at the answers and just get one hint, but he won’t do it. I told him I’d look at the answers and just give clues, like warm, warmer, cold, freezing. He doesn’t want me to do that either.

He ….is…..going….insane.


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