Mind Holiday

For most of my life, I have sat down and read a chapter or two of a book every day. Now I can’t remember the last time I picked up a book that wasn’t for the kids. Life got so full of responsibility and obligation that reading for pleasure suddenly seemed like an unproductive use of my time.

Sometimes, I’d walk past my bookshelf and my fingers would wander over the spines of my favourite worlds. I’d be hit with a pang of twofold guilt; the guilt of neglecting Fitz-Chivalry and his Fool, and the guilt of more important responsibilities that loomed over me while I selfishly contemplated reading.  When did I stop allowing myself to have free time? When did I let mother’s guilt become so all encompassing? I often find myself saying, “I need a holiday from my mind.” But that’s exactly what reading is. It’s brilliant.

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A few of my favourite things.

I had a moment in my kitchen today, when I looked around and didn’t know what I was there for.  The laundry was done. Dishes? Done. Beds were made, rooms were tidy, so what was I meant to be doing? A little voice inside me squeaked, “Read a book!” I heard it, it was quiet, but I heard it. I drowned it out with a louder voice that boomed, “DO SOME BAKING! START DINNER NOW! COOK EXTRA FOR THE FREEZER!” So now we have chocolate slice, cinnamon buns and three days worth of dinners. Which is great, but I could have made myself a cup and tea, put my feet up and read a book. How delicious does that sound?!

I’ve decided I’m going to make time to read. I even went to the library and chose three books. It wasn’t until I got home that I realised I’d fucked up. All three books were chosen because they relate to something I want to achieve. I was suppose to get lost in a world of fiction, instead I came away with “Rewire Your Overanxious Brain”, “The Power of Negative Emotion” and “The $50 Weekly Shop”.  Not exactly light reading, but it’s a start.

Thank You!

So this happened today.

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That, my friends, is one box of many that marched through my front door today (not on their own obviously, they were carried in by electricians). From those boxes came my new Ventilation unit!! My Givealittle page has raised $1195. The total cost of the system is over $4000 but I never expected to raise the entire sum. I never expected to raise $400! I’m absolutely over-the-moon with gratitude from all of you who donated or bought jewellery tutorials, thank you so much.

My parents are incredibly generously contributing the major portion of this bill. They’ve helped me out far more that they should since my separation. I know money is tight for them too, and they’re both dealing with serious injuries, so I’m going to leave the donation page up in hopes that it might reduce their costs as much as possible. Please continue to share and if you’re so inclined donations are hugely appreciated.

Boy-child was very excited to see the men clambering up in the ceiling today, and elated when I told him that it means he won’t get sick so much anymore. I’m sure we’ll all feel an improvement now that we’re going to be breathing cleaner air while we sleep.

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Desperate Measures

As we head in to our third Winter in this house, I remember how excited I was to finally have a home to call my own. Somewhere that I could have just the way I like it, and if I want to leave dirty dishes on the bench over night, I can without judgement. I loved this place as soon as I saw it, and I still love it now that I know all the quirks and issues it has.

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Except for one, that I just can not accept.

This house is a damp breeding ground for mould. The spores have worked their roots deep into everything. Walls, ceilings, wardrobes carpets and our own furniture. The smell hits you upon entering the bedrooms. The sunbeams do not linger long enough make a difference, and my efforts to remove the mould have been in vain.

My son has suffered from a constant cough since moving in over two years ago. He has had a lot of time off school because of illness and more recently has started to develop breathing difficulties, which can be very frightening. Something drastic has to change to prevent long term damage to his, and our, health. Our home is well insulated, but it’s not enough, we need ventilation. Because of the stud height, sunless-ness and layout of our house, the cheap off the shelf kit would be a waste of money. Money that I don’t have, and believe me, I’ve stretched every cent.

I’ve bitten the bullet and started a Givealittle page. This makes me cringe, it’s not a nice feeling asking for money, but I need to put my squeamishness aside for the sake of my boy’s health. Please, if you’re so inclined, take a look at our fund raising page. Any donations or page shares will be immensely appreciated.

If you prefer to have something to show for your donation, please check out my Etsy store and pursue the jewellery and tutorials. All proceeds will be used to get this system installed as soon as possible.

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Conversations With My Demented Spawn

Kids are never ending source of frustration, rage, strange insight and hilarity . These are just some of the best conversations that took place today.
Boy child is 6, and Girl child is 9

Me: “Boy-child, it’s time for your spelling homework.”
BC: “Ok, is the first word ‘Dank Memes’?”

Girl-Child to Boy-Child: “Did you know Americans use to call chips ‘French fries’, but then they got mad at France, and they changed them to ‘Freedom fries’.”
BC takes off his shirt and runs around the room, “I’m a freedom fry, I’m a freedom fry.”
GC to me: “Why did they get mad a France anyway?”
Me: “I can’t really remember, I think they wouldn’t agree to support them in a war or something.”
GC: “Ugh!” rolls eyes, “that is SUCH an American thing to do.”
BC: “Wait, what’s a freedom fry again?”

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GC with Stalin Cat

Girl-Child during a conversation about stereotypes and how we tend to judge people based on their appearance: “That makes no sense at all, when I meet someone I don’t know who they are just by looking at them.”
Me: “No you don’t, but most people do without meaning to. Your Aspergers frees you from a lot of that judgement because you see things in a different way from Neuro-typical people. That’s one of your strengths.”
GC: “Then I’m glad I have Aspergers.” (awwwwwww!!)

So This Is What’s Going On…

Some of you may have noticed that I’m sick a lot. Like A LOT. Well, lately it’s been worse. I’ve pretty much been sick for the last three months, with most of January (and most of the last week) spent in bed, and not in the fun way. There is a long history to my run of illnesses, which started when I contracted Glandular Fever when I was 15 years old, and became really problematic when I became pregnant at 23. I won’t go in to the hideous details, because quite frankly, they’re boring as hell.

So long story short, I seem to have suffered a resurgence of my old “probably” Chronic Fatigue Syndrome/Unspecified Autoimmune Disease. I’ve been in a “flare,” meaning severely unwell, for the last 3 months or so. I have the odd good day, like today, but other days are pretty awful. My mind is foggy and muddled. I get confused and frustrated easily, sometimes I can’t get my words to come out the way I want them to.  My memory is shockingly unreliable. I usually have flu symptoms and my muscles and joints hurt like hell. I fall asleep without intending to and I become extremely physically weak. The majority of these days is spent in bed.

In the first 3 weeks of January, I was on several different antibiotics fighting off multiple infections because my immune system was not doing it’s job.

I guess I’m writing this post as a kind of explanation for my absence and lack of productivity, but also as a check in because I don’t know when I’ll have the energy to write a post next; quite frankly, this is really taking it out of me. Bye for now x

Cheapskate

My daughter wails, “Muuuuum, I don’t like silverbeet,” as she stares in horror at her dinner plate.

“Nobody does, sweetheart,” I tell her, as I avoid her icy glare, “but we eat it anyway.”

She pouts at me, “Is this going to last forever?”

“Yep.”

“This” is our new frugal menu. I’ve decided that we spend far too much money on convenience foods, fruit and vegetable that go to waste and junk. So now, we use everything in the veggie bin, make our own cookies, cakes and muesli bars, and the only breakfast cereal I’ll buy is weetbix and rolled oats. Beans, lentils and pearl barley have become staples like they should be. Cheap cuts and offal are on the shopping list. Milk is bought in powdered form and made at home for a fraction of the cost. Fast food has been eradicated and replaced with freezer meals that I made ahead specially for the nights when I just can’t get my shit together.

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It was actually pretty damn tasty – leftovers for my lunch tomorrow.

For the most part, the kids have embraced it. The truth is, they whined about the food I gave them no matter how fried and cheesy it was. I could have offered them a slab of chocolate for dinner and they would have found something to bitch about. But now, the whining has lessened, because there are no other options available and they know it.

They were reluctant about trying the sheep hearts that I found for a dollar each, but quickly decided that it was quite tasty (and fun to pretend that they were zombies eating human heart). The next evening, they both chose to add chopped up heart to their homemade pizzas. Girl-child rediscovered her love for liver, while boy-child finally decided that beans were indeed the musical fruit that I had promised them to be.

That’s how you win children over, it’s not through persistence like they tell you in parenting guides, it’s with zombies and farts.

 

 

Goodbye Krankenstein

One Wednesday we said goodbye to our oldest kitty Krankenstein (Krank for short because that name to too freaking long to call out over the neighbourhood). Krank was only 10 years old, but had a number of health problems and she was at the point where her zest for life was gone so we had to make the decision.

She came from an abandoned litter of kittens and when we got her, she was still to young to be away from her mother and siblings, and so she spent the first few weeks missing out on those vital kitten lessons. I’m certain this was the reason for her strangeness and psychotic behaviour.

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For reasons known only to her, she had to sniff and lick the feet of everyone who came to visit. Thankfully this lessened as she aged. For her first few years, she would attempt to suckle on our blankets. Ex husband wasn’t safe at night because he often slept with his hands behind his head, and she became fixated on tearing out his pit-hairs with her teeth.

She was obsessed with our older cat Zakk, and harassed him constantly, which I think he loved because he would often nap with his tail swishing about while she stalked and wrestled it. Right from the start she felt compelled to clean him, to the point where he stopped grooming himself altogether. As she got older she would pin him down to clean his ears whether he liked it or not, sometimes while he was mid-meal.

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When Zakk died 3 years ago, she became a little lost, with no one to tend to. She once attempted to clean our younger cat, Lita. That didn’t go so well, as Lita had been conditioned through years of unpredictable behaviour to be terrified of Krank. During the ‘Torture Years’ Krank would attack Lita at random and without warning, other times Krank would approach Lita (who would be cowering, too afraid to move) and sit down as close as possible to her and start grooming herself. I’m convinced it was an intentional mind-fuck. But her attempt at badassery was a farce. She was a nervous wreck, she’d startle at the slightest whisper and once when she emptied her bladder all over my floor and I thought she was dying – she actually just had bad anxiety.

It took 7 years for her to decide to acknowledge our children after our eldest was born. She was bitter about their existence until she was so desperate for someone to scratch her head that she lay down on my frightened daughters legs and refused to move.

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Both of them were extremely uncomfortable about the situation, but both were too stubborn to do anything about it.

In short, she was a bossy, unstable, neurotic bitch with a demand and arrogant meow. And I loved her. Thank you to all of my customers who helped me to pay her various vet bills during my various KRANK sales.

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Krank’s final day.