No Photo on this Post. For Reasons.

Ahh, the Universe: so vast, old and wise. The energy and intentions we put out to the Universe return to us in ways that we might not always understand. Take this morning for instance. During my morning routine, I became aware that my fingers were feeling particularly chilly. I longed to take the time to warm them up on a nice mug of tea, but alas, I was too rushed. I needed to drop my son off at Kindergarten, and was running a little late. My freezing phalanges would have to wait. We hopped in the car and headed off.

That’s when the Universe stepped in and decided that this was a great time to warm my up fingers. Happily driving along past the primary school, we saw a commotion ahead. A semi truck and trailer was stopped in the road and a woman was next to it trying to get her dog under control. I stopped and got out to see the mangled remains of another dog between the two trailers of the truck. The woman had been walking her dog, when the other unleashed, unaccompanied dog approached her. She shooed it away, and it ran straight out in front of the truck. Then to make matters worse, her dog slipped her collar to follow. Luckily the truck stopped right away and her dog was not hit. But she was struggling to get the collar back on her and keep her away from the carnage that she so desperately wanted to investigate. Traffic was starting to back up. The poor lady was so distressed, that she didn’t think to just pick her dog up – she only weighed around 10kg. I carried her dog to the footpath and held her still while we got the collar on properly.

A little further up the street a police officer had pulled up a speeding driver, but was now running towards us, looking terrified. I think I felt most sorry for him; it was the morning school rush and he thought a child had been hit. Together we managed to get the remains of someones beloved pet in to a plastic grocery bag I had pulled from the boot of my car. Somehow, I ended being the one doing the bare-handed scooping, and he was the one holding the bag open. My hands were no longer cold, they’d been warmed by the insides of freshly minced dog. Thanks Universe. You’re a pal.

Employment!

And so ends my first week back in the workforce. Fifteen hours of minimum wage spread over two jobs. It’s a pittance, but it’s a pittance I’m incredibly grateful for. Sure it may not be enough to make ends meet, but it’s a start, and we’ve got to start somewhere. I can also count amongst my blessings, that both of my employers are extremely family oriented and understanding. I even got to bring my ill child along to one of my jobs where she watched her favourite movie while I worked – not that I intend to make that a regular thing, but it’s nice to know that the flexibility is there when I’m out of options.

My gardening job is very physical, and I am currently a walking mountain of jiggling flesh. My back aches and my muscles seize if I sit for too long, but I’ll get use to it; plus, it’s cheaper than a gym, so who am I to complain? I’m going to need to build some serious upper body strength if I’m going to have to trim hedges without turning to a pile of quivering mush. But, I’ve just spent $200 on tools and suitable clothes so I’m committed now; I’ll just have to tough it out.

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“Just give the hedges a trim, thanks.”

Next week, I move in to my new house, so instead of spending my first day off resting and relaxing, I’ve spent it packing my stuff and unpacking Ex’s new stuff. I think tomorrow will be just as relaxing.

Just one member of the household is having a hard time with the changes, and that is our dear kitty, Lita. When Ex began sleeping in his garage workshop Lita was only too happy to join him every night. This ensured that she was safe from our other kitties, whom she was not to fond of (read: petrified of), and provided her with a warm bed. But then, I went away to the Cooper/Crue concert and Ex spent three nights in the house. Lita has been pretty disgruntled ever since, and although she has finally rejoined him in the garage, she still won’t let him pet her and is growling at anyone who so much as glances at her. She’ll be staying with Ex when me and the kids move, so I’m sure she’ll feel much better once she’s the only household kitty and she has her Papa all to herself.

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Despite all my rage, I am still just a cat in a box

MINE, MINE, MINE!

With much string-pulling from my accountant, bank manager, lawyer and his lovely PA, I have managed to successfully exit my marriage and buy a house! A house that’s mine alone. Well, it’s 20% mine, 80% the banks, but close enough. The point is, the bank doesn’t care if I leave pots soaking in the kitchen sink, or if I do a 1000 piece puzzle on the dining table. MINE, MINE, MINE, MINE, MINE.

It's even got a white picket fence!

It’s even got a white picket fence!

MINE

MINE

MIIIIINE

MIIIIINE

MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE

MIIIIIIIIIIIIIIINE

In two weeks, I get to start moving in. Now I’ve just got to work out how to pay the bills. Ex thinks I’ve got my head in the clouds for believing that I can get away with part-time work. But I think it’s the right thing to do. He thinks I won’t earn enough for the kids. I think they need quality time more than they need luxuries. I have become accustomed to second guessing my decisions when he doubts me, and I usually just end up doing things his way to avoid an argument. Sticking to my decisions is new for me, but I’m fairly confident I can make it work. Maybe I’m wrong, but I’m willing to try, even if that means failure.

I suspect the main reason it bothers him so much is because he doesn’t like the idea of having to pay me maintenance when I’m not “pulling my weight”. But believe me, I’ll be pulling my weight. I’ll be working hard at making ends meet, and ensuring that our children grow up in a stable, secure environment, where Mum is there to help with homework, talk about problems, and celebrate successes. I’ll be there to supplement the learning of our ADHD/Aspie daughter, who struggles to focus in a classroom. I’ll be pulling my weight by hugging out the bad days and wiping away the tears. I’ll be there to ensure that discipline is being enforced in a way that is constructive and helps to mold them in to ethical, caring and confident adults. I’m sure that day-care and after school programmes are excellent; I intend to use them during school holidays. But nothing can replace having a devoted parent home after school, and I would be doing our children a disservice if I didn’t try.

I have a trial run gardening work day on Monday and I start my 4-hour-a-week job on Tuesday. Also my flyers for my pet-sitting/cleaning show up this week. I’ve heard murmurs of interest for my oven cleaning services, so you never know, it might just pan out. Or I might have my head in the clouds. We’ll have to wait and see.

We Can All be Dancing Man

I broke away from the stressy madness over the weekend and traveled to Auckland with my sister to go and see Motley Crue play for the first time in New Zealand as part of their final tour. What a brilliant show. First we were treated to NZ’s own Devilskin, who are incredible. (Seriously, check them out)

They’re just back from LA playing at the Whiskey, and had arguably the best sound of the night. Jenny Skulander’s voice is fucking amazing. I’m not ashamed to admit that I have a giant crush on her.

Next up was Alice Cooper. If I’m honest, Alice is the main reason I wanted to go. I’d seen him twice already, but I just can’t get enough of him. I adore the costume changes; ringmaster, mad scientist, mental patient. I wish I could have gotten a clearer shot of him, but my camera doesn’t cope well at concerts.

Alice Cooper - delightfully creepy, as always. But a little blurry.

Alice Cooper – delightfully creepy, as always. But a little blurry.

His band was incredible, and we were lucky enough to meet guitarists Ryan Roxie and Nita Strauss. My sister asked me how to work the camera, and then figured it out just as I was answering her. This resulted in a weird multi-chinned photo where I’m staring off in to the beyond. At least they looked good.

Don't pose for photos with beautiful people. You won't do yourself any favours.

Don’t pose for photos with beautiful people. You won’t do yourself any favours.

Motley Crue, were… well, they had their moments. They were ok. They started out with some sound issues, and a very frustrated looking Vince Neil. He can still hit all his high notes, but seemed to be struggling to hear and keep time. They got better as they went on. I was a bit disillusioned about the show – I’d heard rumours that the famous drum roller-coaster was going to be making an appearance.  It didn’t, and Tommy Lee was relegated to the back of the stage. They done an awesome cover of Anarchy in the UK (changed to USA), during which, a man behind me tapped me on the shoulder and asked me to sit down. He was promptly told to “fuck off”, and a I silently mourned the slow rotting of Punk. After the song, his friend yelled out, “Oi, sit down bro!” toward the two rows of people standing in front of him. I used the opportunity to remind him that he was at a rock concert, “bro”. After that they decided to stand as well.

People like that is why New Zealanders have a reputation of being boring audiences.

One guy, is an expectation though. I pointed him out to my sister before the show started. “That’s the guy!” she cried. She’d seen the same dude at Lynyrd Skynyrd, and we’ve since found footage of him at other concerts. He danced the whole concert, stopping only to rehydrate and to take selfies on request. This is him before the show even started. Dancing man is my hero. We should all be a little more like Dancing man.

Highlight of the whole show.

Highlight of the whole show.

Taking Charge, Sort of…

Instilled with inspiration from generations of tough bitches, I decided to take my destiny into my own hands. No longer was I going to wait for job opportunities to present themselves, or go begging at the doors of fully-staffed establishments. I said, fuck y’all, I’ll do it myself. To Vista Print I went, and made some attractive and eye-catching fliers. One for dog walking and pet sitting services, and one for cleaning, specialising in oven cleaning, ordered, and on their way. The oven cleaning idea was a stroke of genius from a friend who had a lot of success the same thing. I made glorious plans to market myself. I patted myself on the back, and congratulated myself for taking charge. I’m so damned good.

Then Ex rang to tell me about a job advertised on the local buy/sell Facebook page. Housekeeping four hours a week. Sounds perfect, I thought to myself. Something a little extra on top of what pet/cleaning work I can rustle up. I sent off a private message to the OP. I think almost every single mother in town applied for it.

The next day I saw an ad for ‘Part-time Gardener Wanted’. I called immediately and without thinking about what I was going to say I was presented with a machine. I left a bumbling message in which I repeated myself and mentioned that I don’t meet one of the criteria they had listed (stupid, stupid, stupid!) and promptly forgot about it.

At lunchtime, I got a message asking me to come in for an interview for the cleaning job. I was short notice, but I wasn’t doing anything interesting. I met a very nice couple, and their gorgeous little dogs, one in particular who liked me a little too much. I politely told him that i was only interested in being friends. By the time I got home, I had a message on my voicemail telling me that if I wanted it, the job was mine. I guess I interview amazingly well, because they had to cancel all the interviews for the following day. I GOT A JOB!! It’s small, but it’s a job!

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Then, the phone rang. It was about the gardening job. “You sound fantastic, I need to meet you!” said an enthusiastic voice. We chatted away for a while and she spoke about how important it is to have flexible work when you’re a Mum. We discovered that her grandchild goes to Kindergarten with my son. We spoke about my daughter having special needs and that sometimes I need to be home with her. She was not in the least deterred. I’m going to see her tomorrow. Could I soon have two jobs!? I don’t want to get ahead of myself too much, but things are looking up.

And if it doesn’t pan out? I’ve got 200 fliers and 500 business cards headed my way.

Cheer Up!

I made a mug. You can buy it.

In reference to this post, where I said “everything always works out in the end”, this mug can also help you and your friends feel better. Someone you love feeling down? Buy them this happy mug! Co-Worker feeling stressed about a looming deadline? This mug will remind them that deadlines don’t mean jack, because they’re going to die anyway!

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Click image to go to the store. Do it.

Use the “Customize it” button to change the background colour, maybe a cheerful yellow would be nice? Or pink for your mother? Don’t choose black though, because it’s gloomy and you can’t read the words on a black background, and then you’re just left with a poorly drawn casket on a mug.

Any Opinions Seeming to be Implied by the Chicken are Completely Coincidental

The vendor of the house I would like to buy has switched real estate agencies from company M, to list exclusively through company H. Because my offer was made through M , if I ultimately purchase the house, M receives the commission.  This means company M is calling me frequently asking for updates as I work on obtaining finance. I currently still live in the same house as Ex.

Its…… interesting.

The following conversation is an example of a typical interaction with Ex.

Me: “M is calling me every second day for updates, I think they’re in a panic because if they don’t sell to me, they don’t get to sell it at all.”

Ex: “Yes they do, if you buy it within six months,  they still get the commission.”

Me: “Yes, I know. But if I don’t buy it, M doesn’t get to sell it, H does.”

Ex: *in careful, measured tones* “No, if you make a offer through H, M is still entitled to the commission.  It’s.  The. Law. ”

Me: *in equally careful,  measured tones* “I know. But if they don’t sell it to ME, they miss out on the sale.  That is why they’re calling for updates, they need ME to buy it.”

We rinse and repeat,  then he twigs to what I’m saying.

Ex: “Well why didn’t you say, “if they don’t sell it to ME,” ?”

Me: “Oh my god, I did! That is exactly what I said!”

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Completely unrelated photo of a boy chicken

In hindsight,  here’s how I should have handled it.

Me: “M is calling me every second day for updates, I think they’re in a panic because if they don’t sell to me, they don’t get to sell it at all.”

Ex: “Yes they do, if you buy it within six months,  they still get the commission.”

Me: “oh yes, you’re right.”