thought overload

Posts tagged ‘life’

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.

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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.

Coming home

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?

The story of the Chicken Tooth

One day, FOTH (father of the house) decided he would play a joke on The Princess. I had chopped chicken for dinner and came across this bit of goodness-knows-what. Before I could discard it, FOTH picked it up and called for The Princess,

“Look what Mum found in the chicken. A chicken tooth.”

The Princess: No way Dad, you’re joking.

FOTH: No, seriously, it is. They are very rare you know.

The Princess: I don’t believe you.

FOTH: Go and ask Jim. He’ll tell you.

Jim is one of our neighbours and has a wicked sense of humour. He is forever telling the children jokes, engaging them with his magic tricks and giving them lateral thinking exercises. His magic, disappearing, elbow, coin trick is the best I have seen.

Off trots The Princess at 6pm, pyjama-clad and carefully holding, in the palm of her hand… the Chicken Tooth. Jim, of course, has no warning of what is unfolding but the FOTH has unquestionable confidence in Jim’s ability to keep the story going.

Meanwhile, I turn to my husband and give him the ‘evil chicken’ stare. I know this is not going to end well.

The Princess returns, flustered from running excitedly across the street. I feel terrible but say nothing under strict instructions from FOTH.

FOTH: So, what did Jim say?

The Princess: (breathless) OMG, he said that it’s really rare and might be worth some money.

FOTH:  Really? Hmmm. Wow.

The Princess: Oh, and he wants to know where you got the chicken because he wants to go there. Chicken Teeth are rare you know Dad.

FOTH: I told you.

The Princess: Where DID you get that chicken from?

FOTH  tells The Princess about the organic chicken sold at the butcher near the local supermarket and off she trots again across the road. This time she returns even more animated. It turns out that Jim’s wife has chimed in, asking if Jim can take her to the butcher right this minute. The Princess is sure she’s got something special now. I can’t bear it any more. I know I have to say something. I go to speak then,

“I’m going to sell this on Ebay, Mum can you take a photo for me?” and there she is, sitting at the computer trying to find out if there is anything else like what she has. Oh for the love of….

Me: Princess, Dad is joking. It’s not a chicken tooth. It’s just a gristly bit in the meat honey. Look, here are some more.

The Princess: Awwwwwwwww.  You’re bums. You’re all bums.

At least she said that with a smile.

The Chicken Tooth that was almost listed on Ebay

Rainy days reconsidered

I have always dreaded rainy days. They make me miserable and I feel trapped. The January floods of 2011 even gave me  a reason to fear them.

Today, rainy days have been given a facelift via my children who are complete and utter nutters and my family as a whole, who are extremely supportive. I’m so very grateful and proud.

I set up my laptop this afternoon in the family area, among all the chaos and noise, to get a bird’s-eye view of the hilarity that was unfolding. My line of sight directed to the upstairs hallway and storage cupboard . The dress-ups are located in there. Rather than pull the box out, The Princess stepped inside and all I could see was a hand extending from the open door to Master 6, who was attempting to don all manner of clothing items. Considering the day’s entertainment began with Master 6 in nothing but boxer shorts, a pink maiden’s headdress and a fake beard, I knew it was going to be a cracker of a day. I watched him as he looked down at me giggling uncontrollably, looking like a fractured fairytale version of one of Snow White’s Seven Dwarfs. He attempted to drag the rest of the princess costume over his head, losing the beard and the headdress. It was like watching a butterfly emerging from a cocoon on video, except with someone continually pressing reverse, fast forward and pause. There was dancing and singing  including a final fashion parade. The Princess wearing a left over witches costume from Halloween and Master 6 as The Princess, complete with ‘fake boobs’ he described as really ‘soft and squishy’. No gender stereotyping here thank you very much. The Princess then chased Master 6 through the house demanding that he give her back her boobs (socks). I am so very glad that no neighbours decided to visit at that time, although I did notice there was a bag of cookies left by the front door from the elderly next-door neighbour who did not knock. Oh dear, I figure, he’s lived next door to us for this long that nothing should surprise him.

English: Half a dozen home-made cookies. Ingre...

(Image via Wikipedia) A bit like these...only...gone.

The ‘bag’ of cookies turned out to be several bags of home-made cookies; peanut butter, chocolate chip, jam drops, almond/coffee and Anzacs. I would have taken a photo of this lot sitting on the couch eating from their individual bags but the cookies didn’t last long enough. The memory is also sweeter in my mind. I looked at Master 6 incredulously who had almost devoured his bag while in full Princess regalia and he said, ‘What’s so funny?’ Indeed.

Bieber managed to appear at the most opportune time – he smelled food. The Princess and her father made Potato Scallops for lunch as I read out a recipe I found online, switching back and forth between it and study. They were really good and much appreciated on this dismal day. I even got ice cream in a waffle cone. I don’t know, some days the food just appears at my desk.Bieber made me a coffee before he disappeared back upstairs to his land of ’12 year old boy’.

Master 6, finally de-Princessed, decided he would sit on top of me and not next to me. I love a 6 years old’s lack of spatial awareness which is still developing and will one day make sure he doesn’t sit ANYWHERE near me. The boy looked rather Dr Octagonapusish attached to wires and metal which I realised was actually earphones and Bieber’s mobile phone. This, and the fact he was riveted to a show on TV meant he sat on me. The phone? Probably a bribe from Bieber to get peace and quiet.

Red has been away visiting his girlfriend all weekend up in North Queensland. On his arrival he did text me. Did I really not text back ALL weekend? Yep. Terrible mother. This is the text I received from his this evening:

Umm well seeing you don’t even miss me I have decided to join the monastery up here…You and the rest of the family will always be in my mind. But I seek enlightenment now…’

The Princess intercepted this text and came downstairs to tell me that Red was not coming back, he’d joined a monastery. Huh? This is my text back to Red:

‘I thought that I would practise being a NAM (new age mother) where my progeny are free to spread their wings without my constant over-shadowing. That, and the fact that my iPhone is not my own (read: The Princess monopolises it). I got your message that you are safe and that’s all that matters to me. The knowledge of where you are is enough to satisfy even my most outrageous parenting concerns. The Princess filtered your text before I read it thus: Red isn’t coming home, he’s joined the monastery. Good luck with that. Your lovely mother xxx

This is the text I got back (from the girlfriend):

‘I love you mummy xxx Also, I kept your son safe from the scaries 🙂

Not from the scaries here though. I love these.

The Queensland summer provides plenty of these shots

Hello? Is somebody out there? Universe?

Classical Planets

(Image via Wikipedia) Helloooooooooo?

I don’t know what you call it. The Universe reaching out to me. My subconscious rising to meet me. My state of being forcing me to make connections. Fellow like -minded bloggers in the exact same state of thought. Whatever it is, something seems to be happening this week even if I can’t manage a tangible description for it. I will try and explain.

Firstly, my dear blogging friend MJ Monaghan posted a poem titled A Minute which really ‘spoke’ to me. Check it out. In fact check out everything  on his blog- he is hilarious and so well- written.

My new blogging friend Jacqueline at maturestudenthanginginthere wrote a post about The Important Little Dash, the time that we spend here on earth, the quality of our time and our defining moments – the dash, the little line between the dates that signify our birth and departure from this world. The bits that matter. Jacqueline cites the poem called The Dash by Linda Ellis and there is a great video of it on her post. I urge you all to take a look. You will really enjoy reading through this blog as Jacqueline is very funny and you feel like pulling up a seat, cuppa in hand and relaxing, her writing style is that natural- like a conversation with a good friend.

English: A photo of a cup of coffee. Esperanto...

Make one of these then settle in

Lastly, the post on Gently Hew Stone about Managing time when you don’t have much left absolutely caused me to sit up and take notice. This post contains the last lecture given by Randy Pausch (called Really Achieving Your Childhood Dreams), a Carnegie Mellon University professor who died of pancreatic cancer in July, 2008. He was only 47.  I bet his ‘dash’ was and is incredible!  What an amazing man. The video is over an hour long but well worth the ‘time’ for it’s humour, strategies for time management and provoking ideas.
Dr. Randy Pausch

(Image via Wikipedia) Randy Pausch

I have just found Jamie Huston’s blog and his About page is a really good read. Jamie writes on topics from art to politics, education to humour. I really liked the post Why I Never Bothered Finishing Eragon which led me to his blog.

There was also this…Lift others up  and ‘I get knocked down,but I get up again…’ at Light and Spirit thank you Lindsay, you inspired me 🙂

What have I gathered from all this? Work on my dash, mind the minutes and live  each day like it’s your last because you don’t know when it will be. Time is something we can never get back once it’s gone and those defining moments are what make us. It has been a week of stress, bewilderment, feeling lost, lacking direction and drive. Some really low moments. There was also inspiration and humbling moments. Things to remind me of what I do have and give me an alternative perspective.

I also watched the video tagged Are You Going To Finish Strong? – best motivational video…EVER (Nick Vujicic) also check out No Arms, No Legs, No Worries! boy, that gave me perspective.

English: Nick Vujicic at Catalyst West, April 2009

(Image via Wikipedia) Nick Vujicic

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GrV_ZvwZRvw&feature=related ‘Something More’ by Nick Vujicic.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is possibly the most rambling, all-over-the-place post I have produced to date but then, that kinda reflects my state of mind at the moment. I’m ok with that.

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Semantics r us – A conversation with Red

Red's Dream

Meta troll

Teenagers. Need I say any more? Right, thought not. Red is at the very end of his teenage years and is no less annoying/mystifying/emotional/draining than when he was twelve. Except now, we have the added bonus of a well- developed sarcastic wit.

I have come to the conclusion that it is not possible to have a conversation with Red unless I am on full ale If you are not ready for it, the outcome can be disastrous. I often think it would be nice if I had a visual textbox to decipher Red’s communication. Something that would be helpful on the days when I am not tuned in to his brainwaves.

English: The "SarcMark" is used to e...

Sarc or 'snark'???

The level of sarcasm on some days has caused me to develop the quick witted response and to find new ways to remind Red which side his bread is buttered on. It is also directly related to if, how large or what type of audience he has.

I also have to remember not to lay traps for myself. It’s mental gymnastics, hostage negotiation and war strategy all rolled into one. I have strategies to deal with Red.

Testing the water

When Red comes up stairs from his cave (his siblings assigned that description to Red’s room) in search of food, it is helpful to test the waters to check on his state of mind. Lack of sleep and all night gaming will guarantee a red alert (excuse me). Empty cupboards will enrage the beast. Red needing a lift to the train station or wanting me to make sushi will ensure a pleasant interaction.

Knowing your opponent

You must know Red’s perspectives and ‘get inside his head’. It’s  a scary place but it helps to understand how he will react to what you say to him, why he does and how to avoid the pitfalls. It’s basic mental health preservation. There is no empathy here. Red takes no prisoners and don’t be fooled into a false sense of reality.

Be prepared

Yep, Baden-Powell hit the nail on the head there. If you’re going to go into conflict, wear the right gear. I prepare for battle with quick- wittedness and just the right amount of rhetoric. I’m talking strategy here people. Battle plans are important.

I often have little Facebook messages like this…/denied or the favourite…/forever alone. Then there is the incessant trolling. I have to assume that if he didn’t care, he wouldn’t bother. I have managed a few comebacks in my time.

Today was not too bad on the war front. Only one cutting remark. More of an aside really. Red was in the kitchen with a friend and asked me about something. I told him. He asked me how I came to know about it. I told him I had made an educated guess. Pause. Head down buttering bread. Oh, right Mum. You can do that now you’re at Uni. I really hope he does knows which side his bread is buttered on.  Smirk.

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