Happy birthday to me

Remember when I turned 50? Well today I turned 51, so I guess that was a year ago which seems impossible to believe. 2014 flew by but I think 2015 is going to be supercharged and disappear before we know it.

I don’t get too excited about birthdays any more but I’m feeling grateful today for having another one. We have a funeral on Tuesday for someone we knew who died very suddenly and unexpectedly. She was only 53 and it really was the case of her being there one second and gone the next so today I’m just trying to be grateful for being here and being able to spend time with family and friends.

Here I am fresh home from the hospital and about to be dropped by my sister Min. That’s what happens when you’re the fourth child; your parents become very reckless with you.



School days

Here I am with my sister Min heading off to our school bus stop, probably about 1977.

I’m the one with long hair. Look how short my dress is!! And look at those big ugly ports we had to carry about. Big heavy things they were, everything sliding about in them. No wonder we all have bad backs now. And varicose veins probably from those long socks we had to wear held up with elastic that must have blocked the circulation.

school days

The driveway wasn’t really that long but it seemed to go on forever on a hot summer day. Sometimes there’d be a goanna in the tree on the right down the end that I’d run past. Dad always said not to stand still or they’d run up your leg. I never knew if he was joking but I wasn’t going to take the chance. I saw a brown snake crossing the road once and there was a magpie in the next paddock so sometimes it was a bit like running the gauntlet.

I loved that cardigan. I wore it for years, until the sleeves ended up around my elbows. I think my grandparents brought it back from one of their trips. Maybe it was a hand me down from one of my sisters, I think one of them had a red one.

Hello 2015

Goodbye 2014 – shut the door on your way out.

I didn’t do anything on new Years eve, I never do. I don’t make resolutions either but people always seem to ask what they are so you have to have something up your sleeve. Last year I said it was to do more colouring in, which I did but it didn’t turn out to be as much fun as I was hoping. Also I ended up with a colouring in injury so had to take a couple of months off. It seemed to exacerbate my tennis elbow which hadn’t really been a problem for a couple of years. Maybe I grip the pencils too tightly. Anyway I always seemed to stuff up a picture in some way. I’d slip out of the lines or be almost finished then decide to introduce a new colour which totally messed it up or just use so many colours it looked as if I must have been tripping when I did it.

This year I plan on giving up raw garlic. I really am just not enjoying that any more. A couple of weeks ago I made this nice (looking) little green salsa to go with some beetroot and feta puff pastries I made and that night I couldn’t sleep due to the smell of garlic. It was on my hands and I must have touched my face and then my breath was so bad I was up at 3 am brushing my teeth and eating breath mints but nothing helped. I even thought I’d have to have a shower and wash my hair as the smell just seemed to be oozing out of my pores, I’m sure the whole room must have developed a funky smell. It happened once before as well so no raw garlic in 2015.

I think it’s going to be a good year. I don’t like to get too excited about things but I’ve had five bad years so I think this one should be okay and a horoscope I read did say I was owed a good year. I haven’t had whole, terrible, depressing years but each one had a major event that took a few months to recover from.

I’m sure you’re interested so I’ll run through them

2010: Our best friends of twenty years separated and divorced and she took up with a new man and the friendship just turned to shit then became non existent somehow which was really sad.

2011: My husbands father died and after the police broke down his door to find the body they also discovered he was an epic hoarder. That took about six months to sort out and it was sad really that he ended up that way.

2012: My father died after twelve depressing months of hospitals and aged care homes.

2013: My husbands step father died – who was more a true father than the hoarder.

2014: We almost lost our business and our jobs when our business partner and supposed friend tried to shaft us and I lost my last bit of trust in friends, most of who turn out to be not that friendly.

So I’m happy enough to put up with the usual downs that come in a year but I can do without a major upheaval this time thanks. I’d like it to cool down a bit as well please, an early Autumn would be appreciated.

Another Christmas done and dusted

Well for me anyway.

I know some people here in Australia are probably gearing up for a night-time celebration and others on the other side of the world are so behind the times they haven’t even started the party yet but this year we had a breakfast get together which meant I was back lying in bed in my new pyjama pants by 11am. Seriously, why didn’t I think of this years ago!!

Now that my kids are all older they have boyfriends and girlfriends and friends and other things to see and do so I thought if we had breakfast/brunch together then they could go off and do whatever else they wanted. So I said to my daughter – what time will you be here  – and she said – 8am or a bit earlier! So it was an early kind of start.

I went to the beach for a while at lunch time as it was so hot and humid I figured a swim would be nice however it was as usual,  you drive 10 minutes to the beach and it’s about 15 degrees cooler and there’s no way you’re getting in that water. I mean the water temperature is sitting at 19 degrees at the moment so it needs to be pretty damn hot before I get in.

Meet ups with the family over the next couple of days then bring on the new year.

Merry Christmas and best wishes to everyone. Peace, joy and goodwill – spread the message people, it seems to be getting lost.


Letters to the dead

After someone in the family dies, you seem to spend a lot of time contacting various government departments, agencies and banks etc trying to convince them that the person really is dead. Sometimes it doesn’t matter how hard you try, they continue to send out bills and correspondence to the dearly departed. So I had to laugh yesterday when we received a letter from the bank for my father in law who died about four years ago as it was addressed to – The Late E.R. Smith – care of our address. So they acknowledge that he’s dead but think he still might like a bit of news from them.

No, our name is not Smith.

Val grows up

You may remember that my daughter has a rag doll cat. Her name is Val but I call her Bubba (the cat that is).  Anyway she grew up – and out. Most of it is fur but she has the softest, sloppiest tummy I’ve ever had my hands on.

She takes life pretty seriously and she stares at you as if she’s trying to suck the thoughts out of your head. Either that or drill into it that she needs food immediately.

She likes doing normal cat things like sleeping

sleeping cat

and sleeping in uncomfortable places trying to look as if she’s perfectly comfortable


She likes having a lick with the flag pole up


and attacking you over the top of the lounge with her crazy eyes on.


She loves her new play station


but enjoys sitting in a box just as much


or on an empty dinner plate left lying about


But most of all she loves cuddling her Mum.


The day my daughter turned into the Grinch

One day when my daughter was eight, she discovered (accidentally) the true story of The Easter Bunny. She was pretty devastated but decided life could go on and off we went to school. However during the ten minute drive it took to get to the school gates she realised that the same must have been true of The Tooth Fairy and Santa and that was really just too much for her to deal with.

I took her home for the day and she lay on the lounge devastated and disillusioned by the whole turn of events. Then she wrote this poem which just resurfaced during a clean up.

As you can see she took it hard.


Treasure Hunts

I’ve been doing some shopping for Mum lately.

It’s easier for me to zip about, find a park, get in and out of the car and the shop than it is for her to drive the hour into town, find a disabled car park near the shop she needs, wrangle her walker out of the boot then get into the shop, possibly dealing with steps or impossibly heavy doors that you need to pull open towards you while at the same time getting your disabled body and walker one-armed through them and then deal with some moron salesman who seems to think you’re feeble minded just because you’re elderly.

Honestly, whoever makes plans for disabled people in this town is obviously as nimble as a spring lamb and as hearty as an ox.

So anyway she sends me these random lists of things she needs, I go find them, then she drives in and we meet for lunch and I hand over the goods and she hands over the cash. I always feel as if I’m on a treasure hunt as she sends me a list but often doesn’t give clues as to where I should go to get the goods. Yesterday I set off to find:

2 nighties (with short sleeves, specific brand)
samples of four make-up foundations (specific brands)
LSA mix, psyllium husks and rice bran straws for her super healthy breakfast mix
macuvision vitamins (to keep her eyes sharp)
a dvd player that can also record two tv shows at the same time (she likes her crime dramas)

We met at a garden nursery up the highway today for the handover as she wanted to have a look about and they have a nice cafe. The whole place is beautifully set up and it was a glorious spring day. They have these huge garden sculptures that you can buy and I’d love a giraffe but we have a tiny yard and it would have to stand looking over the fence onto the highway. It’d probably become a traffic accident hazard.

local-wildlife heritage gardens nursery

I thought I could just get a little monkey but then I said to Mum that Chicken Little would probably think it was real and spend all day out there barking at it.


It was nice to see some sun and colour. I took this photo because I was taking photos with my phone and Mum asked me if it was good enough to stop the butterfly here from spinning (it was spinning around like crazy on that wire) and yes, I guess it was, it’ll do me anyway. Hello spring.

butterfly garden ornament