Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Why do I always have to diet?

So, once again I looked at my body and decide its too fat. I hesitantly stood on the dusty set of scales, to find that I'd absolutely stacked on the kilos over the last year.

Depressed, I looked online and signed up to yet another weight-loss plan. So here I am on day two, having followed it pretty well, knowing that the novelty will soon wear off and I'll be wondering why I keep on following the same old path.

Time to ponder the day ....highlights:

1/ The smoke alarm going off at a client's house as he burned the second lot of toast he was cooking for his couch-bound wife - struggling to breathe through the room of smoke and finding it so funny I almost couldn't stop laughing.

2/ Taking a 12 year old boy to the youth centre, with him being so polite and loving, and enjoying it so much - talk about appreciation!

3/ Finding a new Mr Tickle on special at Toyworld (large plush one, with book, in a display box), couldn't resist adding it to my collection!

Having thought about the day, I'm feeling better already, though the chocolate addiction is pretty strong here. Just have to track, and track and track - until I'm so bored with the journey I fall off the cart once more!

Saturday, 27 August 2011

BRING ME CHOCOLATE!!!

A little rough start to the night last night, due to hormones and being tired at the end of the week. My non-subtle hints for a decent box of chocolates were just not understood! The block of Whittakers would normally be okay, good for a week-day munching as I type up case-notes. But not last night! So I ended up trecking down to Ritchie's to choose a box of chocolate. Limited choice, I must say, but in the end a box of Cadbury's Milk Tray looked quite appealing. Took it home, and worked through some grumps, then watched a great DVD - Stranger than Fiction. Boy that was watchable, a really clever plot, great characters, touching romantic moments. Slept well and got up early - a beautiful day! Spent the first bit eating delicious pancakes cooked by David, spreading poo around the garden and planting bits and pieces, tossing a bit of Blood and Bone around, finding the dogs' disgusting old bones buried in a big pot. Lol. Looks like it will be an awesome weekend. :)

Thursday, 25 August 2011

Early musical sparks

Sitting in the car, waiting for a meeting that seems to have no-one arriving. I'm kind of hoping no-one shows, as I am TIRED! Last night I had a bit of an anxiety attack, I guess you could call it. I ended up going to sleep around 2.30am, I think. Not so many hours in between then and 6.00am. How I love listening to classical music. I have been playing relaxing guitar music at work, head-phones in, and am finding that in an open office set up it's so much easier to concentrate. Sitting here now I have ABC FM in the background, I work really well to it. Helps me focus - so much different to listening to other WORD flying around. Music is so soft for the ears, the brain. It excites though, too, it delights, it is a vehicle to transport you away. When I was little, we lived on a property in the Whipstick Forest near Eaglehawk Victoria. I spent most of my time outside there, making emu-farms and detective stations out of anything I could find. We had an old piano, and it was there that I started to pick out melodies and tunes by ear, and as i showed an interest, mum signed me up to piano lessons with Elizabeth McConnell. Elizabeth (Miss McConnell) and I built a strong relationship over the years, one which only began to unravel a little in my later teen years. Amazing that it lasted that long! But playing the piano was a constant in my life, the practice, the routine, the dreadful torture of piano competitions. But I loved it. I love music still - more for itself than the 'ego' side of it which takes away from its beauty.

Wednesday, 24 August 2011

Plans thrown from the window!

Why is it that so few of my planned activities happen after work? I finish just after 5pm, drop off something to a client on the way home, get home about 5.20pm. Dogs are panting at the door, so I drop my bag and folders, pop them on the lead and head off down to the beach. A fun walk, though when Ellie's lead breaks and she leaps at a car, it's kind of mortifying. Luckily she returns and I manage to get her back on the lead in some shape or form, despite the broken attachment. Back inside, I'm tired and tightly wound, run myself a bath and lay in it for a while, trying to relax. Starting to relax when the phone rings, it's David, have a quick chat then the mobile rings, Jordy coming over to play on x-box while Dad is at theatre practice, can I pick him up? Finish chatting to David. Make something half edible for dinner, pick up Jordy, eat my dinner. Stupid work phone wasn't turned off, client leaves a ten minute message about her woes. I have to listen now it's started. Worry. Turn off the phone. Ok, where is the camera cord - I desperately need it. Big hunt. Finally find it tucked under other rubbish. Look for a label so this doesn't happen again, can't find the stupid labels. I'm tired. Get on the computer, chill out at some emails, down-load some photos. Where's the time gone? I'm going to do my relaxation CD and then write something that's hopefully more interesting! Arrrghh!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Fire and Smoke

I smell of smoke? Why? A home visit and a big bonfire out the back, with smoke streaming inside around us.. that would be the reason! Smoke is such a pungent odour. Having the smell of it around me brings back memories of Black Saturday. My anxiety was so high that day as Victoria was burning away like mad. On the end of the phone was my mum in Bendigo, with reports that a fire was out of control in Long Gully and on its way towards them. I had the ABC radio on and reports of towns being burned out were flowing in fast. It was scary, and I wasn't even directly involved. It seems like ages since the fires were a topic of public discussion. I wonder how the people who were directly involved feel when they smell that pungent, ashy odour. A visit like today's for someone who had had their house burn down, their pets and livestock hurt or killed, or worst of all lost their children or families in the fires, could be highly traumatic. Scary stuff! And with the sunny weather is always that fear of fire as the sun blazes into the surrounding bushlands.

Monday, 22 August 2011

Contented Kitty

I am heading to bed shortly - but boy is it hard with a purring grey and white bundle of gorgeousness on my lap! He finally go his food delivered, after sulking all weekend and refusing to eat anything else. The creators of Hills Science Diet sure know their stuff - I think it's actually addictive! Lucky that when I was secretly pinching the dry dog food from under the tanks as a kid that they weren't full of that stuff! I know - yuck! :) Great day at work - boy is it quiet when I'm the only one in the office! Back to busy normal tomorrow. Not much to add tonight - changed my name at the bank and it's starting to grow on me now - no pun considering it's a tree. A new relaxation CD to try tonight - progressive muscle relaxation. I'm going to try and fit it into my work-day somewhere too. If only we had more hours in the day. Looking forward to a circus-performance tomorrow night by my son, should be a lot of fun. Off to bed now!

Saturday, 20 August 2011

On our way to Melbourne City!

Well how handy, I can write as my partner drives ... luxury! Had a good morning today, sorted out a few relationship 'glitches' last night. Took the very glam looking dogs for a walk to the pier and back. They were too glam for the beach - which generally ends in very wet, sandy messes and a wash back at home. No time for that today!

Pink on the radio - not a bad singer at all. I might get her CD one day. I know, CD's, old-school! We did have an Ipod at one stage, but it ended up being more hassle that it was worth. I like Pink's values, she's a strong woman who won't let anyone walk all over her. She's also not scared to have her own style.

This is the life - happy people, driving on the Peninsula, travel mug of tea to sip and choccie to melt in my mouth. Dogs being very well behaved  in the back seat. A beautiful, sunny, day. Awesomeness.

Yesterday, official notice of my name change arrived, so I changed my license details. It feels exciting, like change is in the air and the old me is now synchronising with the new me. I don't expect anyone to understand that - it does seem a bit waffly. I think I'm one of the luckiest people in the world. I have had some amazing experiences. Haven't been around the world or anything, but in the scheme of things have had the chance to do plenty of things.

For a start, some of the jobs I have had have included: check-out girl, deli-bird, old-people's carer and entertainer (playing the piano for them and helping transport them out), massage therapist at Hepburn Spa and John Curtin Hostel, secondary school teacher in Mildura and Melbourne at a range of schools (Catholic, Public, Lutheran), private English tutor in houses around Peninsula and Melbourne, Social Worker, writer! It's been amazing - challenging at times, but exhilarating at times. I've met so many people and continue to do so.

Will continue with other amazing experiences some other time!

Holly and Sue's train Blogging

cat

H: The cat man this morning - there were 5 cats following him down the road. All the cats come from other people's driveways and follow him down down the street. I don't know if he notices he's the cat man - he walks and all these cats just follow him. He walks really slow, and the cats one at a time just follow him. They are other peoples cats.

S: Hershey's mouth is healing, we're not sure what happened but most likely he had a burn, from trying to lick something on the stove top! He is very friendly with the next door neighbours cat. I was remembering how Puss would never accept another cat, but I think Hershey would be okay.

Hospital

H: Waiting for four hours for Danielle in the hospital. Then finally they said that nothing could be done for a broken toe anyway! She had broken it in a drain playing volley-ball. Poor love.

S: Last time I was in a hospital for myself was when I had a glass splinter in my thumb. The doctor said 'you won't faint if I give you a needle in your thumb to numb it, will you?' I said 'no, I've given birth three times, the last one was 11 pound 12 with no drugs' and of course i then proceeded to faint all over the place. I thought I wouldn't get out of that hospital - was still fainting in the foyer!

Swinging

H: We made a swing at the camp - it was in the trees. I made it for Laura and Jordy and you would jump onto it. Jordy fell out of the tree trying to go on the swing, it was funny. He was crying but he was fine.

S: My bum has often been too fat to fit in swings over the last 15 years. When I lost weight I ftted into swings for a while, but it's unlikely I would fit into one at the moment due to my renewed attraction to all things chocolate.

Coke

H: Auntie Polly went to Gold Class for the first time with her friends, and she spilt Coke all over herself at the start - so she had to watch the movie all wet.

S: I have not had coke for a while - have been off caffeine. So no coffee, no coke! But i've started to enjoy diet soft-drinks, like diet Ginger-Beer. Yum!

Love

H: A dessert that represented love would be an Oreo Cookie. I could fall in love with Oreos.

S: A dessert that represented love for me would be a rich chocolately pudding, with a creamy side dish and Baileys.

Bitch

H: Erica. She is just randomly being a bitch, she thinks she's too good for everyone now. She has a boyfriend and now she just flirts with anyone. Charmaine is upset cause she can't get a boy-friend and Erica just pretends her boyfriend is nothing.

S: Bitch was when I was bullied by some girls at school. Becuase i held hands with a guy she liked, she then set out to attack me at every opportunity. She and her friend would hide behind the toilet doors and attack me as I came in. They wrote mean graffiti about me on the toilets. My friends and I wriote mean graffiti back at them. It was stupid. The bullying stopped when i told a teacher about it. Yay! She's one of my facebook friends now, no names.

Kiss

H: When I was with Daniel and I didn't want to kiss him because of his braces. Then i asked him and he said he hadn't kissed a girl before - I ended up being his first kiss, even though he was in Year 10 and I was in year 7.

At Bliss n' Esso - a really good song was on, I was on Jackson's back so I was the same height as everyonee. I was leaning down and I kissed Nova, and it was really cute.

S: My first kiss was at school, next to the oval, with this guy - can't remember first name but surname was Bice. His mum was a country and western singer, Olive Bice. We were sitting on the edge of the oval, watching other kids run around, and he kissed me. It was cute.

Perfume

H: I wanted these apple perfumes for Christmas. Polly got me different apple perfumes and they were even better. Dansy never used me use her Curious perfume, for three years, then finally this year for my birthday she bought me my own.

S: my mum always wore the same perfume. She first got some duty free when we went to Fiji with Alison. Then when she married Jim, he bought her the same perfume each year. I had to laugh when David bought me a new bottle of my perfume when it wasn't anywhere near finished.

Whisky

H: Dansy thinking she was being risky and drinking some whisky at our house in Dromana, she took a sip then ran outside screaming 'Oh my God!', and spitting it out.

S: I used to drink Jim Beams and Cokes when i was in my late teens - the smell of it now makes me want to throw up immediately. Yuck. Whisky - not much experience. My favourite liquer is Drambuie - the most sugary alcholic drink ever!

Friday, 19 August 2011

Dogs' makeover

Well, two dogs do smell and look rather posh tonight! Picked them up from Peninsula Pet Clips looking rather divine... though I wish I'd remembered to tell them to lay off the perfume (eww.. ) Ernie had to be carried inside at the start - he's been there a few too many times, not a fan after having his ears poked over the years from ear-infections. Ellie looked inside rather curiously at all the other customers in their various stages of grooming! Probably won't need to take her again for 12 months, Ernie, though, will be ready to go in 3 months, if not before.

Getting ready for a special night with Holly tomorrow in the city, big shopping day then staying in a hotel. Can't wait! Will be exhausting but fun. Mother may need a couple of rest-breaks along the way, I feel! Teens have way too much energy, usually to expend on dodgy happenings. Anyways, will have an early night and report soon! :)

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Starfish saga continues

Well, it took three days this time, but my daughter has now been suspended due to her 'extreme lightening-strike hairstyle' (head of campus's words). Phone message - heart sinks. Call back - no answer. It's so obvious that she's in the wrong place. I stayed calm. So tomorrow I will be having a chat over at the school and we're considering some other options - one might be to live with her Grandma for a while and attend school in Eaglehawk. Will wait and see the outcome of that one.

I have set a date for my name change party and am starting to use the name Oaks everywhere. It's really exciting! I feel a lot of energy about me and it is amazing feeling. Is that selfish? Who cares. I haven't been selfish for so many years. Having kids young has been hard. I love them to pieces but keeping hold of who I am as a person has been struggle after struggle. I now am working in a job I love, and what a feeling that is, to go to work each day looking forward to it! Such a contrast to how I felt when I was teaching - when I couldn't let go of the anxiety, would wake with tension and go to sleep at night feeling the same or worse. It became so that I couldn't even recognise that it was not healthy. Of course this work has stressful days, lots of challenges and days when I think 'why am I doing this?' but on the whole I love it. It's amazing how much reward it gives me.

I bought a net-book today to help me get back into writing - plan is to carry it with me everywhere and do lots of blogging, lots of writing. I'm putting off completing the last two subjects of my social work degree until 2012, so in the mean-time will have lots of little spaces to fill with writing.! JOY!

Tuesday, 16 August 2011

savage on the outside, soft on the inside

I was driving home tonight and happened to notice a tough-looking guy being pulled along by a couple of equally tough looking dogs, ready for the kill. I pulled into the drive, shut the door, then a flash of white caught my eye - and boy did I laugh - one of the dogs had picked up a big white teddy bear in it's mouth and was trotting along with it proudly. The poor guy on the end of their leads looked mortified - we had eye contact, and he called out 'She just picked it up off the road up there' - it was hilarious.

One of the funniest things I ever saw an animal do, was when my dog Ernie picked up a pair of play false teeth (the ones they sell for Valentines Day), and looked up at me - it looked like he had this big geeky grin, teeth and all. SO funny. Pets can be a crack-up. These ones make me laugh every day, many times. Watching Ernie and Ellie (poodle x bichon and border collie) wrestling, with Ellie's legs in the air, is a sight to see. This cat, too, gets himself in the strangest positions, chases laser beams, drinks straight from taps and from the toilet - just the trick to bring out a smile.

Promotion of caesareans is scary!

On the weekend, the Age carried an article which was promoting an upcoming study sponsored by the Gynaecologists and Obstetricians Society. (non-biased, of course, not!) This study is to look at the birth journeys and follow-up well-being levels of 1000 women, 500 who have had natural births, 500 caesareans. The article basicaly implied that caesareans are 'the new birth'. I will paste my reply to that letter below (not sure if it got published, doesn't really matter, it was a good chance for me to let off steam - it's a hot issue for me.

Your article titled 'Caesarean births a better option for mothers?'
has made me very angry. Women are being pushed into accepting the
agenda of obstetricians and gynaecologists, (mainly men), who stand to
gain much financially if the rate of caesarean births continues to
increase (as stated in the article, a 20.3% increase since 1997). The
article deliberately pushes the bias of these specialists and gives
women themselves no voice. I was particularly peeved with the 'cheeky
guy' at a 'recent meeting' (of obstetricians and gynaecologists, I
assume), who spoke about doing away with labour wards to save hundreds
and millions of dollars'. Is this what women have become? Read your
facts women - natural birth is better for you and your baby, short and
long term, in most cases. How about an article which looks at the big
picture, including a time-line of the institutionalisation of women's
birhing experience and it's co-relation to post-natal depression? And
by the way, a study of 1000 women is not going to provide the
'evidence' you seem to be panting after so desperately.


Monday, 15 August 2011

Star-fish on my daughter's head.

My 14 year old daughter had a star-fish shaved in her head yesterday. As i dropped her off at her  school today, (late as usual - you try getting her out of the bathroom!!!), we were already anticipating the phone call that would come later. This follows recent hair-colours of bright red, black, brown, blue, a nose-piercing and a collection of mainly do-it-yourself ear piercings from top-to-bottom and before this, a half-shaved head.

She used to have long, brown, curly hair, which was amazingly beautiful. But hey!!! So far, no phone call, and i'm not at work so i've got time to ruminate. Some replies i've thought of so far to the phone call from the uppity head of campus?

'Yes, I agree, this child has broken your school hair policy. However, can you please show me where you are meeting the section on the school policy and mission statement which states that students will be encouraged to expand their knowledge and interests, will be extended if they show talents in different areas, and that you do not allow a bullying or harassment culture in your school? And I was wondering why, when I gave you sensitive information last year about drug trafficking which was occurring in the school-yard, did you refuse to take me seriously or follow it up, and it is still happening on a day-to-day basis? In fact, you have promoted the student who is growing and marketing marijuana around he area. Interesting?
And can you pelase explain why my daughter was reprimanded (and harrassed) about her nose-ring, when another student came in to the same teacher, at the same time, with the same nose-ring, and was ignored, and when the teacher was queried politely by my daughter as to why the other student was not reprimanded for the nose ring, the reply was 'I didn't notice that she had one'.

I am growing to hate this school, and in fact the entire school system is striking me as inadequate! Where is the encouragement and support that students need? The recognition of talents, such as leadership qualities which were blossoming in primary school but trodden on in secondary school? It makes me angry.

And that's my gripe for my first post! Bring on star-fish hair-styles in schools and whatever students choose to express their creativity and explore their developing self-image. Surely there's bigger issues to address.