Thursday, January 31, 2013

Marshmallow tree

A couple of blogs ago I told you about my favourite unusual holiday tradition.. the Marshmallow tree.. its been in our family for 50+ years and every Christmas it was heavy laden with fluffy marshmallow.
I have since done some research and the the US it was known as a gumdrop tree. and they are much loved possessions in many bloggy families.
Ours have definitely seen better days, but ....

There are reproductions of this tree on Amazon - called Gumdrop trees. Of course they don't post to Australia :-(

What is your favourite tradition memory from your childhood Christmases? Have you continued that tradition with your kids?

Friday, January 25, 2013

Flashback Friday - My best friend

My very first Flash Back Friday!

I found this pic today. Sigh! When I was in 4th Grade my family moved towns, across 600km to a new world and I found myself in a new school, with a brand new set of people who totally didn't get me.

(don't judge the hair.. the Lady Di look was very 'in' back then)

 I remember my first months (years) being awkward, abrasive and defensive. I was a ridiculously bright little 10 yr old with way too much confidence in her abilities and not enough street-smarts to know when to hide it.
In all my awkwardness, as well as my ten-yr-old-ness, I did not recognise the gift that arrived in my life that week. because this little girl...

...became my safe place. My person. You know, the one person who I could run to no matter what I had done, no matter how crazy my world got. The person who has been and will be my friend in every sense of that word until she or I give our last. We have been friends since we were 10. 
Thirty years have passed. 

In that time we have both traversed the puberty deserts.

We have called each other at our moments of frustration and joy, we have had long months where we don't have much contact other than quick text messages. 

She still calls my parents "Mum and Dad".  I love her parents to bits.

We have dreamt about, puzzled over, despaired over and accepted the male species.

We have each stood slightly to the left at the alter, holding the flowers as our best friend said "I do" to their chosen one. Both of us also pulled the groom aside and threatened death if he didn't treat our friend right.

We have dreamt of our babies, planned our families, welcomed tiny people and said goodbye to angels who could not stay.

We have raged against, then accepted, and finally embraced our own parents for all the love and guidance they have given us.

She is my run-to friend. She is my safety net. Just knowing she is there is comforting.  I am so grateful that I was placed in Mr C's fourth grade class and that she raised her hand to offer to take care of the new girl.

Flashback Friday - a beautiful way to centre myself today and acknowledge the blessings in my life.

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Worse than ManFlu

I think it is safe to say that I have surpassed all male efforts at being the worst patient on the planet. Even in the midst of the Great Man-Flu Epidemic of 2007 no-one whinged louder than I have over my one week in plaster.
I am sooky and whiney.
I am a princess.
I am needy. 
I am grumpy.
I am not impressed.

This is partly due to the fact that no-one in my house seems to be taking this seriously.
On Monday night I had the following conversation with The Man I Married

TMIM: "How's your arm?"
Me: "Aching and sore"
TMIM: "Really (genuine surprise)? Why?"
 ..................................   Crickets chirping.........................................................

Me: "Because its broken and in a plaster cast."
TMIM: "Oh."


Friday, January 11, 2013

Mind Bump prompt

sometimes I have a bloggy wander through the cyber space looking for blog prompts and today wandered into that which is Mind Bump, a cute little website which describes its namesake thus :
» mindbump «

1. a remedy for blogger's block that also serves as a blog promotional tool;
2. the opposite of a "brain-fart"
so I'm taking a little quiz, then I'm gonna pass it on :

“What's the best piece of advice you have received?” 

Trust your inner voice. Trust your instincts, your sixth sense. Trust that you know what is right for you and your children.
Also Do NOT eat the yellow snow.

 “As a child, what did you want to be when you grew up? If that dream died at some point, explain why.” 

As a child I wanted to be a school teacher. Then I grew up and realised that I actually only like my own kids. If I did not give birth to a child, I have a very low tolerance threshold.  

 “Seconds are always ticking and flying away, time being wasted. What would you do if you could slow down time?” 

Can I go back in time? Can I un-say mean and silly things blurted out in the heat of a temper tantrum? No ? If could slow time down I would take time to really look at my kids and see the young adults who are almost here. I would kiss the still baby soft cheeks of my 8 yr old and never let her grow up. I would also scoff all the Twisties that I hid in the back of the cupboard.

 “What has your favourite website taught you?” 

My favourite website.. well that would be Simple Loving Thoughts! 
This bloggy space has taught me that I can write. That my opinion is valid and valued. It has also taught me that not everyone will agree with me, and that's okay. It has taught me the joy of reflection, looking back at the early years. And it has taught me that sharing my own stories, however humble, is important because somewhere on this planet another mother is struggling, is facing the same issues and is hoping for a voice that says," I've been there"

"Who are you when no-ones looking - describe yourself on a day when the shades are drawn and no-one is coming to visit"

I am listening to Country music, probably still wearing my pajamas. I don't wear makeup on my social days so if its a non-social day you'll be lucky if I've brushed my hair. I'm eating buttery vegemite toast and drinking instant coffee. I may be talking "mummy wuves you" gibberish to my puppydogs" You can't prove anything

 “What is your most unusual Thanksgiving/Holiday tradition?”

The marshmallow tree. There is a weird little bakelite tree that slots together that I remember from every childhood Christmas. It was my Grandmothers and has gone to live with my big Sis. It has branches which were carefully covered in marshmallows on Christmas morning...Ohh and canned asparagus spears in a little dish.... I guess you had to be there.....

 “Do you have a favorite fairytale? Who is your favorite character and why?” 

Favourite fairytale.. hmm well I do quite like the idea of a gingerbread house decorated with candy. But I don't love the whole child abandonment storyline of Hansel and Gretel. My favourite Fairytale is the Twelve Dancing Princesses and I would have been happy to be any one of them. I love to dance and I love a new pair of shoes every day.

 “What is the one thing you are most proud of in your life. ” 

Impossible to narrow down to just one thing. My kids obviously. And I make a kick-arse Chinese stirfry. I'm proud I earned my nursing registration.....
But also I am proud of who I am becoming. As I gain confidence in my ability and right to choose the path my life takes, I am liking myself more. And as I let go of the many, many fears that have held me back, I am discovering that actually, I'm an okay person.

So I'm passing it on, take the same questions and answer them... who are you?

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Ninja summer

Things to do in the summer heat:
- relax
-read a book
-have a picnic
-eat watermelon
-swim in the pool

Things to NOT do in the summer heat
- do not jump out on the side on the pool thinking you are a ninja warrior ( because you are not)
- do not allow your right hand to slip off the side of the pool, leaving your left hand to take the full and hefty weight of your water-logged body
- do not add a little twist at the end of your leap as this will make your wrist cry and curse you

 I know! These are the stories my kids will tell their kids and we will sit around and laugh but right now there are some serious painkillers calling my name.
Repeat after me Mumma's, mamma's, momma's and mummy's,
"I am not a Ninja warrior Princess and I should use the ladder.
 I am not a Ninja warrior Princess and I should use the ladder.
 I am not a Ninja warrior Princess and I should use the ladder."

You're welcome

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Go Me

When depression has its nasty tentacles wrapped around me, one thing I find to be immensely helpful is running. It is mindless and purposeful. It can't be involved as part of a multi-tasking activity and no-one actually expects me to hold a conversation while I'm doing it.
I will happily admit it has been SEVERAL months since I hit the treadmill, but lately I have been craving some me time.
I went back to the gym yesterday. A really quick trip. I managed to run for 20 minutes before I felt like my lungs were going to make a break for daylight. My old running shoes have finally given up all pretense of shock absorption and the asthma puffer needed replacing.
I went to Sportspower for a new pair of runners.
The salesman (also store owner and fellow parent from our school) nodded dubiously as I explained I needed Runners for Running.
"Not just walking around the block."

"No really, I run." - well as I just started it would be more correct to say I ran, but you are splitting hairs now.

"I know this arse doesn't look streamlined.. thats why I'm starting" Is there a law against wanting nice running shoes before you are able to comfortably cover 10 miles uphill on a 40 degree day?
"20 mins is my max right now." It's also my minimum based on my one and only run.

"No I wouldn't rather grab some K-mart specials" because my feet cried today and I need to feel like I am doing something positive for myself, not like I am punishing myself with every step.

After 20 minutes of me explaining and him nodding (and probably thinking.. lady, you are off your trolley!) I came home with a new pair of very nice running shoes.

they have shock absorbers in the heel, are cutting edge Nike running shoe technology and are a very pretty purple.
Today I ran 25 minutes.
Tomorrow I plan to run 30.
I think we can all agree it was money well spent.
Go Me!

Tuesday, January 1, 2013


it ticks by
whether we acknowledge it or not...
whether we celebrate it or not...
whether we sleep it away or stare obsessively at the moving hand...
whether we want it to speed up or wish we could freeze it forever...
whether the need to move forward is greater than the need to hold on to what was...
whether we wish for a fresh start or we wish for a few moments longer with the present...

I spent my New Years Eve in bed getting ready for another nursing shift.

Today on the ward a lovely lady passed away.
Just down the hall a brand new baby met her parents after such a long wait.
A gorgeous young man was told to put his life in order and make his final plans.
A determined man of 92 walked again for the first time in 3 months.
A tired woman was reunited with a daughter she hasn't seen in 8 years.
Today a 5 yr old held his beautiful grandpoppy's hand and whispered goodbye.

Today I was humbled, overwhelmed, in fits of laughter and reduced to tears.
For some reason today it was more acute.

I haven't got my new years resolution down to a cute sentence.
I think this year will be a year of absorbing and embracing, learning and growing and appreciating everything that I have .
I hope that I have an open and willing heart, the energy, and the grace to accept the lessons that come my way.

Wishing everyone a blessed 2013 xxx