Sunday, March 23, 2008

The Gargoyle did not help hide the Easter Eggs

The cats have had a long, difficult Easter

Shelf of Positivity

Here's my new shelf. Its got my laughing Buddha statue, the Unicorn cross-stitch my Grandmother made, a variety of stones including Jasper (to unite body and spirit), Rose Quartz (to see beauty in everything) and Pink Agate (for problem solving).

Plus a plaque saying...
Do not exist - Live
Do not touch - Feel
Do not look - Observe
Do not read - Absorb
Do not hear - Listen
Do not listen - Understand
Do not think - Ponder
Do not talk - Say something

Up the top are fairy prints that are going to go in the girls rooms when they're a bit bigger.

Monday, March 17, 2008

Oh a VERY nasty fright....

Googled Richard Armitage.

Wikipedia told me this was what he looked like.


Thankfully THAT is Richard Armitage the US Politician. NOT Richard Armitage the actor, who is below.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Finally, the girl gets shoes...

I don't get shoes. Never have. I live in a couple of pairs until they fall to bits (or start to smell so bad that even I can't stand it), then I go reluctantly shopping and buy some more. Actually, things have improved markedly since Marvellous Jill and I became friends. Marvellous Jill works in a fabulous shoe shop


Marvellous Jill notwithstanding, I just didn't get all this fuss about women having lots of pairs of shoes. Given that you cannot wear more than one pair at a time and they are just a pain to store, I could never understand WHY anyone would saddle themselves with more than one or two pairs.


Imelda Marcos and I would have had little to chat about.

But then, in reading about The Red Shoes, see my post below (no not the one moaning about my utterly horrid desk the one below that) I came across this...
Socially, shoes send a signal, a way of recognising one type of person from another. Artists often wear shoes that are quite different from those worn
by, say engineers. Shoes can tell something about what we like, sometimes even who we are aspiring to be, the persona we are trying out.

Suddenly it all makes sense. I get why girls love shoes.

Not to mention the fact that my shoes are saying...
  1. that I like old smelly falling apart things (like hubby for example),
  2. and that I am aspiring to be someone who wears sandals (Jesus perhaps? Ghandi maybe?)
  3. and that the persona I am trying-out is aiming to be comfortable and well-worn (downtrodden, if you will).
Yes, shall whip out my Manolo Blanicks for Mother's Group next week. That'll show 'em.

Speaking of Sacred Spaces...

Moved desks at work this week. Oh yes. NOT ONLY did it press every single one of my i-don't-like-change buttons. BUT ALSO, I was moved from a light, fresh environment filled with phones, chat, people, life, to a closed-in, airless, dark, stuffy hole, with noone around except for me. Just standing near it I could feel my soul being sucked away by the fluro light, peeling paint and air conditioning that seems to be funnelled directly from inside the microwave in the kitchen.

Have attempted to cheer it up with two plants, named Tory and Brian, bets are on to see which one dies first. Heh.

Even uber-boss is feeling guilty about making me move. She stuck her head around the corner (AFTER I'd spent all day wiping splattered food (I think - if not blood) off the walls and given myself a headache squirting bushflower essences 'space-clearing' blend about) and persuaded me to put in a petty-cash claim for the plants. Of course the receipt was in the bin nestling under several peoples lunch leftovers by that point, so needless to say I'll be bearing the cost myself.


Am presently trying to think of positive things about moving desks...

She who cannot howl, will not find her pack.

Its week two of GITB, and we've been looking at creating a sense of safety and self-acceptance.

As part of this we've been looking at an analysis of the fairy-tale The Red Shoes by Clarissa Pinkola Estes. Her interpretation of this tale is that the red shoes represent a woman's spirit (or soul, or inner creativity). The girl in the fairytale loves her scrappy handmade red shoes - ie, she is a child and she hasn't been taught to supress her own spirit and conform to the norms of society.

After the girl's mother dies she is adopted by a dusty old woman who burns her red shoes and forces her to behave like a 'proper' young lady. But the girl yearns for red shoes. Eventually she gets some red shoes, they are shiny patent leather and she adores them, unable to help herself she wears the shoes to church. - Or in other words, unable to supress her spirit the girl goes overboard and flaunts it, drawing the condemnation of the people around her.

The shoes are cursed and she starts to dance but cannot stop. Eventually she has to cut off her feet to stop dancing and spends the rest of her life a cripple. (I KNOW, horrible, but then most fairy tales are). But what this represents (according to Pinkola Estes) is that the girl supressed her spirit until it burst out of her in a delgue of excess. Once she gave herself the freedom to express herself she didn't have the experience to know where to stop. Pinkola Estes makes interesting parrallells with the life of Janis Joplin, who was forced by the strict environment in which she was brought up to firmly supress her musical creativity, eventually it burst forth and she was unable to control it or herself, and died of a drug overdose at the age of twenty-seven.

MORAL OF THE STORY: Don't let things around you supress who you really are.

I love Pinkola Estes' final paragraph...
If you want to re-summon the Wild Woman, refuse to be captured. With instincts sharpened for balance - jump anywhere you like, howl at will, take what there is, find out all about it, let your eyes show your feelings, look into everything, see what you can see. Dance in red shoes, but make sure they're the ones you've made by hand. You will be one vital woman.

Tuesday, March 11, 2008

GITB - Sacred Space

This week we're talking about our sacred space again, that is, our writing space. Last week we found (or in my case tidied up) our writing space. This week we are personalising it with odds and ends. So, if you were a Buddhist you might have your favourite Buddha statue there, or if, like me, you're not much of anything, you can fill it with things that are important to yourself or your writing.

Of course being the Queen of Change I embraced the whole idea immediately. "Not MORE clutter," I thought to myself. sigh.

But then I realised I already had a little collection of things happening in my writing space.

See there, those two shelves above my desk. Only one thing on those two shelves DOESN'T have negative associations for me (the Unicorn crossstich on the bottom right that Grandma made for me). I had my own little alter to past failures happening right above my head and I never even realised it.

Okay, so maybe the pile of books is pushing it. But every time I look at them I think "oh when am I going to have time to read them and if I don't read them I won't ever improve as a writer," - they're all writing books.

So its all going to go. I haven't much to put up there yet. But I love to collect treasures so I think it'll fill up over time. At least its going to be easier to dust.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Artist's Date

So, as promised I took myself on my Artists Date. Actually I really needed it. I'd dropped the small screamies at daycare, and true to form it was brutal. They'd both professed unfettered JOY to be going to daycare. They'd both claimed to be beside themselves with excitement over the whole thing (okay, to my question "Do you want to go to daycare?" They both said yes... after a few prompts... and a promise of hot crossed buns - yes, yes the chocolate ones).

So, all is calm. We arrive. Everyone feigns enthusiasm. But, as I slowly make my way to the exit, the screamies start to circle the gate. I won't go into details, but suffice to say one child had to be forcibly removed from the gate itself and I had to shake the other one off my leg.

THEN, I nearly got run over on the pedestrian crossing, yes, I was trying to wave to the now-not-howling screamies, who hadn't even bothered to press their little noses to the glass of the window and wave bye, bye, and were instead absorbed in the sandpit (not literally, which is a pity really - hmm).

Anyhoo, procured hot chocolate (full fat AND two marshmallows - just because I can) and took self down to the point to feel the serenity. Actually it was nice, had the place to myself, butterflies danced cutely in sunbeams, the wind whispered through the She oaks and rustled the leaves on the gum trees, mist rose majestically from valleys, and it was all jolly splendid.
This is looking south.

And this is looking north.

I sat for about half an hour, would've stayed longer but had to go and be pummelled by the physio again. Came to three stunning conclusions
1. I might or might not take up Yoga
2. Macaroni and Cheese for tea (actually I spent the rest of the day tidying the house - it was well trashed - and we had microwaved things from the freezer).
3. Hubby needs some sort of me time (as in not with me or the rest of the family. Then I realised that this meant more me time for me with the screamies and decided NOT to mention his complete lack of personal time. He works for chrissake, THAT can be his ME time.)

Friday, March 07, 2008


Finally a photo of the damn cat. Okay so its not the best. I've taken heaps, but he always looks in the other direction, or comes to say hello, so all I get is a blurry close-up of his nose.
Am still so glad we got him back.

GITB (that's Girls in the Basement)

What's working for me on the Girls in the Basement course.

1. Mindfulness - Barbara talks a lot about mindfulness. This is being in the moment. Not being distracted, and thinking about other things, but just listening to your own breathing and taking in everything around you. Just simply taking a breath has helped me a hundred times this week. What with the stresses of work, and the stresses of the Small Screamies I feel like my mind is going a million miles a minute every second of every day (oh how I love a cliche!) But I just take a breath, let the tension go, and suddenly life seems more manageable.

2. Doing one thing at one time - this has been a challenge. I always spend my time hurtling from one task to the next. Its ridiculous. I'll be going to put on the washing, but then decide to strip the kids beds, but then see clothes on their floor, so pick them up, then I put toys away, then the bathroom needs a tidy, then someone wants a drink etc... until they go to bed and then I realise the washing machine is still half full with its door open. I'm just as bad at the computer. I was writing this afternoon, and caught myself absently flicking to internet or email fifteen times in half an hour. I wasn't even realising that I was doing it. But now that I am, I'm feeling SO much more focussed, and getting more done AND feeling more in control.

3. Artists date - an artists date is when you get out of the house and do something, just go to the beach, but go by yourself, no distractions, no company, and simply experience it. I was horrified. Go somewhere? By myself? For no good reason? Not even taking writing to do? Nah. Can't. But then it occured to me that I now have monday's to myself (yes it occurred as in it wasn't immediatly obvious - sigh). So next Monday I am off on an Artist's date. Actually I'm planning on sitting at the end of the street and soaking in the view for an hour or so.

Given that this is the view from the end of my street, I think it'll do.

4. Readings - as I've mentioned before, there have been some excellent books recommended and I'm loving them (and trying to read them one at a time!) But I'll chat more about them later.

Whats not working for me
Surprisingly the whole Girls in the Basement concept isn't working for me. Its not so much the idea of a creative muse, or spiritual guide that I have difficulty with - I like the idea of a spiritual guide. But its the whole giving this guide an identity and personality that just doesn't sit well. I suspect its my sensible capricorn side coming out, or maybe a deep-seated fear of giving myself schizophrenia. But at this point I'm preferring to look more at the spiritual growth that is encapsulted in the course, rather than the creative muse concept.

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

Girls in the Basement - Week 1

I'm currently doing an online course called the care and feeding of the girls in the basement, run by Barbara Samuels, the keynote speaker at the Romance Australia Conference this year. On the blog, with Barbara's permission I'll be chatting about how I'm finding the whole things, what lightbulb moments I've had, and which parts are beyond me

Spent yesterday evening creating my writing space (whilst hubby lectured me on looking after my back.



That's my collage for the Bunker on the wall behind the computer. On the left, behind the Cavvy calendar (that's Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, which is what Ella is) and Miss Beanie's handprints lives my constant companion. Our boy possum. Yes he is a boy because a) he snores and b) when he isn't snoring he is scratching himself. We have a love hate relationship. He loves living in our wall, and I hate that he wakes up anyone sleeping at the spare room at around 4.23am. EVERY DAY.

Anyway, back to the Girls in the Basement.

We've been underway since Monday, and already Barbara has opened up a whole new world for me. First she has introduced me to Eat, Pray, Love, by Elizabeth Gilbert, an amazing book about a woman's 'search for everything, across Italy, India and Indonesia. I highly recommend it to everyone. Its funny and readable and I could so relate to it. It, and the other reading she has suggested has taught me to regard my own creativity as something that needs to be nurtured and cared for, and not taken for granted. Given my busy life; creativity, and frankly anything to do with writing come a very distant last to, well, everything and that is a constant source of frustration to me. But then, if I don't put it first (or at least higher up the list, given I have the small screamies), how are the people around me going to understand that it is one of my priorities?

So the desk is tidy, the filing is done, and I'm making changes.


The Bog of Eternal Stench

Just in case anyone thought I was after a pool-boy, rather than in the middle of a pool crisis...

Ella, carrots and going-to-seed lettuce

Yes, am obsessed with Pumpkins

Am just proud, is all...

Monday, March 03, 2008

Much Improved

I am, as the doctor predicted, improving rapidly. Am off the happy drugs (much to Hubby's and my mother's dissapointment!!) and just taking anti-inflammatories, and whilst my back is still sore I managed to pick something up off the floor without falling over this morning.

Last week was a truely awful week. What with the cat dissapearing and sick kids and all the rest. Lying in bed for two days has given me time to take stock and try to figure out where its all going so wrong. Alas I didn't come up with any firm answers, but one thing I did hit on was that there is way too much stress in my household. That stress is coming from me, being totally flat out ALL the time, and from hubby who is under much pressure at work.

So I'm organising some help at home. First I've ordered some ready made meals from Gourmet Dinner Service. Their stuff is delicious, low fat, lives in the freezer and can be microwaved. So, the pressure to be forever in the kitchen has been reduced. Next job for today is to organise someone to clean the house. Hubby and I often spend most of the weekend trying to keep the house in order. We're overwhelmed. So cleaners it is for a couple of months. Then someone to fix up the pool (which is bright green AGAIN). Someone to get the garden under control.

And yes, we're going to pay and pay. But okay, so what if we're paying off the minimum on the mortgage, buying the cheapest groceries, and forgetting about life's little luxuries. I'd rather do that than continue the way we are going. Over tired, overworked, barely communicating and with two small worried people.

I spent last night on the phone, connecting with people I should ring all the time but dont (like my sisters, and very pregnant best friend). I've invited friends around for dinner on Saturday night, I love to entertain, but barely have since Miss Bugalugs was born (that's two years now).

I think, at the end of the day, the Universe was pointing out to me that I wasn't noticing what was really important in my life. I've been caught up in the small stuff and allowed it to derail me.

Everything, as they say, happens for a reason.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Going from bad to worse

Further to my dog attack tale of yesterday. It seems that the combinaton of stress and the unusual movement (for me anyway) of twisting and kicking out at the dog has led me to slip a disc in my lower back. Am in so much pain I can't move, and that is after a pole-axing combination of anti-inflammatories, panadine forte and valium.

Wonderful parents have come to the rescue, but I'm out of action for at least the next few days.

Bloody hell.

My complete bewilderment at the Universe and its plans for me continues!