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.

 

 

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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.

2016… I Guess It Was OK.

Ahhh, Christmas, it’s so good that it’s finally fucked off for another year. This summer I’ve been blessed with solitude. Three weeks with an empty house. Tasty-but-intense Flatmate, has moved on and taken Jealous McCuntbeak with him, and the kids have been staying with the Ex. And I’ve been… I don’t really know what I’ve been. Not lonely, just… in a state of limbo. It’s like being suddenly pulled from a busy, noisy train station and sucked into a noiseless vacuum. I miss Jealous McCuntbeak. Not her incessant squawking, but I miss her affectionate play-fighting, and the way she went ape-shit if you gave her a ball or a box to play with.

My immune system has taken a dive again, so I’ve been bombarded with colds and viruses, and a nasty kidney infection. Instead of enjoying my me-time I’ve been run down and my sleep schedule is all over the place. I miss the kids, but I know that their return is going to hit me like a ton of bricks. I’m looking forward to it anyway.

Last year was, frankly, horrific for so many people. For me it was a deep personal struggle, but for others it was more than that. Families torn apart, loved ones lost, and lets not forget Bowie.

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But then, tragedy strikes every year, and there is no such thing as a “bad” year, it’s just a matter of perspective. While 2016 was difficult, there are many things that I’m grateful for.

♥ From hardship comes personal development. I’ve got a long way to go, but I’ve grown.

♥Help from my community. Huge thanks to Rocky Steer, Gail Golding and Nicky Hughes (and co.) from the Kai Kitchen/Donation Station for saving my arse when I was falling apart. These incredible women and their friends provided me and my family with ready cooked meals, and home baking when I lost the ability to function. The food was a huge help, but what really got me through was the unreserved kindness and caring. I’ve never felt so loved, you kick-started my recovery. Thank you, from the bottom of my heart.

♥My daughter was awarded an exemption from school so that I can home-school her. It’s not easy, but it’s the best option for her and to see the change it’s made in her makes it all worth it.

♥My parents helped me financially more than they should have, as well as helping out around the property.

♥Love from unexpected places. Someone I would never have expected showed up on my doorstep and gave me a firm “you’re not okay and you need to get your shit together”.  She believed in me enough to give me the strength do make the changes I needed to make to get well. Sometimes we need someone with brass balls to call us on our bullshit.

♥Everyone who bought a tutorial or a piece of jewellery. Thank you all. It’s you who make ends meet.