thought overload

The Chicken Jinx

You know how people make jokes about things and they come true?

This is how The Chicken came into our lives.

Our friends are always laughing (and not behind our backs either) at the zoo that is our home.

Each visit is accompanied by the eye-roll when they discover yet another foundling has moved in and the latest joke was that they can’t believe we don’t have chickens. I did a mental count of all the animals we have had and have. It goes a bit like this. Cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rats, mice, tropical fish, axolotls, hermit crabs, horses, a goat (oh that was fun, not), a snake, a turtle, a Sun Conya, an Alexandrine parrot, budgies, and other birds. Then there are the animals we have rescued – kangaroos, a possum, a wedge-tailed eagle, a water-dragon, shingle-back lizards, blue-tongues, lorikeets, a pigeon, joeys, kittens, puppies, a koala and a guinea pig. And now, a chicken.

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I only came upstairs to make a coffee, that’s all I did, I swear. Just a brief study break and a chance to grab some sun. Sitting on the verandah, sipping my coffee, minding my own business. Well, trying to.

Next thing, The Princess lets out an almighty squeal, “Mum, there’s a chicken on the road”. My eyes squinting from the sun, I can only lay eyes on a straggly ibis, poking around in the neighbour’s garden.

“That is an ibis, not a chicken”, I tell The Princess. Insert eye-roll here. In fact, insert massive eye-roll accompanied by a clicking sound signalling that I had indeed lost my marbles this very fine day. “No, Mum. Can’t you see over there – a chicken”.

Sure enough, in the far distance, a plump little Rhode Island Red was strutting around the nature strip like it owned the place. Now, to understand living with The Princess is to know that we have to watch every animal show, wildlife documentary, Dr Harry repeat and the like. I swear The Princess has an in-built animal detection radar.

Next thing I know, The Princess is running out the door and down the street and to my absolute inability to say no (I’m working on it), we have acquired a chicken. Back up the street comes The Princess yelling “Muuuuuuum, I’ve got a chicken”. Wonderful. Could we at least try and find the owners? After half an hour of door knocking, The Princess returns. I am hopeful but, no. The Princess returns with said chicken and a cage, seed and bedding. Seems the neighbours are NOT on my side.

After her recent visit to The Ekka, I was duly informed by the father of The Princess that she wanted to bring home a turkey, a lamb, a goat and some baby chickens. She must have been 3 hours in that animal nursery feeding everything. Thank goodness for the distraction of show bags.

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Looking on the bright side, we now have fresh eggs and I am making a pavlova today. Thank you Cluck.

Bad Hair Day

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I don’t ever want to hear any of you say you can’t do a thing with your hair. Winter gives me the

best hair challenges. The wind we have had lately does not help either.

Next time you have a bad hair day, think of me.

I know I haven’t posted in a while, but things have been fairly hectic here.

Best news is…wait for it… I have finally finished my first year of university! I passed everything and

I just accepted my letter of offer into the full degree. Phew.

Oh, and The Princess ‘found’ a chicken. More on that later.

Did you say snake?

There has been a lot happening here over the last month, namely me trying to finish my last two units of study for my first year at university. It seems I have a new study partner too.

The man of the house has wanted a snake forever and I have emphatically protested against this, even threatening to move out. However, the snake has moved in and I am still here.

Thing is, this snake has taken a liking to me. Meet Cassiopeia, the Coastal Carpet Python who, at any given chance, likes to make a bee-line for me, my lap-top and my books. Her latest trick is to become my new hair accessory.

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Nice to be backūüôā

The Princess no more?

The Princess is growing up.

Gone are the days of tutus accompanying bikini tops.

Gone are the dolls and dress ups.

Gone are the times when she would throw herself across my lap and promptly ask, ‘ Can you tickle me, Mum?’, with hand outstretched.

Gone are the headbands.

No ‘frou frou’ for this girl. It’s no frills all the way now accompanied with cries of, ‘I’m too old for that now, Mum’.

Last night, however, a small glimpse of the little girl reappeared. My little pig-tail wearing, bunny slippered girl in the pink satin pajamas poked her head out for, what I believe will be, the last time.

The Princess had decided to give up her rather large room for¬† her sister and new niece, to accommodate everything needed for a three-month old baby ( did I really have that much stuff?). With the room exchange finally complete, and with several wrong turns followed by ‘Oh my God! That’s not my room anymore!’, night came and, there was a sudden realisation that set in. I watched The Princess avoid the ‘new room’ at all costs. Fussing and fiddling with her bed time routine¬†led to¬†mock-sleeping on the couch.

Finally, a whisper in my ear, ‘Mum, will you sleep with me tonight? I don’t like my curtains’.

I got my little girl back, even if just for one more night.

When I’m feeling down and stressed out about the chaotic life I live, I like to take a quiet moment (which, I tell you, is a rare find in this home) and focus on what I have. It’s a simple enough exercise, but in the midst of overwhelming feelings, hard to see.

It’s a bit like talking yourself into feeling happy, reigniting you inner drive and finding the joy. Focusing on the ‘haves’ rather than the ‘have-nots’. Putting things in perspective. A pep talk to yourself.

Sounding familiar? Then read on.

When I was in high school, managing the stress of study, peer pressure, puberty and all the other fun stuff thrown at you, we were taught to write a list. Two columns with two headings: positives on one side, negatives on the other. The negatives were then broken down into two lists: two headings; things I can change and things I cannot change. The challenge was to come up with ideas for dealing with the things that could be changed and how to manage the things that could not.

A cathartic exercise and a very valuable lesson. In the end, what you have is a plan. Your own words staring back at you, showing you all the good things in your life. Outlining the bad things, the things that weigh you down and rob you of your lightness and how to get it back. What you are left with, effectively, is a self-help guide.  A mind map works equally well. A diary is also a fantastic tool to help get those feelings out and reflect upon. I still have diaries written by my fourteen year old self and now and then I get them out and have a bit of a giggle at how the issues I was facing then are now  a distant memory. I was able to share them with two friends when we met up for a reunion after 25 years. That, let me say, was an incredible experience with a backdrop of  laughter, reflection, good coffee and bakery treats.

25 years is a lot to catch up on!

Today, I try to visualise these things. When my mind is spinning and I can’t get to sleep. When I’m having a roller coaster week and I can’t get off the ride. When I feel overwhelmed,I steal my moment and tune out. I could be washing dishes and doing it, much to the frustrated cries of¬† ‘Mum’s not listening to me again Dad’. I’m not there. My body is automatically performing manual tasks, but my mind is elsewhere. I am thinking of how blessed I am to have healthy children. Sometimes, I just think I how lucky I am¬† to have children, when so many cannot. I am thinking of how lucky I am that we have food to eat, when some do not. We have laughter in this home, when so many do not. Actually, even that we have a home,¬† no matter its chaotic state at times, we have a home and I am thankful. Then I am dealing with all the negatives, the stress factors. I have made this choice. I have chosen to be where I am and I can find a way to manage it. Some things cannot be changed and how I deal with them, well, that is also a choice too. Strength can be mustered.

‘Muuuuuuum!’

I return. Snapped out of the trance like a cold splash of water when you’re sleepy. I smile. It’s a knowing smile that is often met with looks of puzzlement from my family. Somehow, I can tackle another day.

Yep, I'm lucky alright!

What do you do?

Returning to blogging is like coming home. A place where you are welcome, people like you and, are genuinely interested in what you have to say.

The last two months have been a whirlwind of new experiences, change and like being a preschool child doing a puzzle; trying to make all the pieces fit.

I finally realised that sometimes, well, they just don’t. There are many pieces of my life that just do not belong anywhere and like a puzzle with missing pieces, unfinished. Nagging at me with its unrequited completion. I don’t know what to do about that but I will tell you this. Today, I am fine with that.

Since this little human has come into my life, I am experiencing things in a different light. A new perspective.

It’s like therapy for the heart and mind. The question arises in every conversation; how has becoming a grandmother¬† affected¬† me? How has it made me feel? Has it challenged the way I look at myself; as a woman?¬† A mother?¬† A partner?

Honestly?

Look for yourself!

How do you argue with this?

The becoming is not a choice. I have embraced it. So, it seems, has everyone else.

Can I hear you say...proud?

It has been 38 days since my last confession.

There have been drastic changes here at Chez Vix, the biggest one is the return of two family members. My daughter and new

granddaughter have moved in with us. They came for a visit and decided not to leave and I am overjoyed.

I like being a ‘hands on’ Nanna although, it presents a new set of challenges. We also decided to move The Princess to high

school as we felt she had outgrown primary and she is doing much better, more challenged and in her own words ‘it’s fun’.

I have just started a new semester at Uni and in a moment of what I can only call ‘unhinged’, decided that I would tackle two units. There are others doing three. I would like to fast track my degree but I fear I would end in a blathering mess, so for now, two will suffice.

How are you all out there? How are you managing the stress in your life? A lovely blogging friend of mine wrote a great post that I think you should check out:

Maturestudenthanginginthere   What colour is your parachute?

 

My motivation right here!

 

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