Saturday, November 30, 2013

Snakes alive

Do You know what is really not fun?
A panic attack while you are driving.
All kinds of not fun.

Heart racing, adrenaline pumping,  rapid breathing, shaking hands, crying and cold sweats.
Because I ran over the biggest brown snake in Australia.
I am scared of snakes. 
Terrified of them.
Poisonous ones. Surprise ones.
I think we can safely call it phobia.

I hate walking past long grass, I hate messy overgrown gardens.
I do anything I can to convince my kids to not leave the safety of concrete footpaths anytime between the months of September and April. (yes I'm aware snakes can go on concrete but at least you have a fighting chance of seeing them).
I feel sick when I'm surprised by a picture of a snake, and have actually cried when they surprise someone on TV. 
I really dislike the letter "S".

So yesterday I dropped Miss 15 at her friends house in a nearby town and I was cruising home along the highway, singing at the top of my lungs to Tim McGraw when all of a sudden wriggling and coiling on the road in front of me was an enormous brown snake. 
I screamed like a little girl.
I didn't have any time to react really and I had to run over it. 

Thump thump. 

I was frantically looking in my headlights for signs of it on the road behind me. What if it flicked up and was under the car?
 I could see it in the rear view still wriggling and I struggled to hold myself together.
The only thing stopping me from pulling over and vomiting was the fact that there are more snakes waiting in the grass whereever I pulled over.

I know my reaction is unreasonable but then that is the very nature of a phobia. 

I wanted to call my daughter who I had just left and forbid her from going for any walks or out into the garden.
I was scared that the snake I just ran over was pregnant and that little baby snakes were now crawling around in the underside of my car. 
Every long stringy strip of bark from the ghost gums looked like more snakes and pretty soon I was driving along in my very own self contained Looney Bin.

If you have a small python and you can tell me that you have it and that it is not poisonous, I don't have a problem. I can even touch it... I won't enjoy it but I don't feel scared.
But the unknown snakes. The surprises, coupled with the fact that we lived in Snake Central Victoria where deadly King Browns and Tiger snakes are plentiful, are enough to make me want to pack up my family and move to the antarctic.

I made it home, after a long 40 minute drive, me talking myself around and around, knowing I'm being irrational and yet being completely trapped within my own cycle of fear and feeding the fear.

Hubby has gone to collect Miss 15 from her friends house just a few minutes ago. 
I told him to watch out for snakes.
He laughed. He doesn't get it.

I know that accompanying this story I should have a picture of a fierce angry snake but there is NO.WAY. IN. HELL. I am googling for that image so here is an adorable hedgehog baby. Because they don't jump out of the bushes and kill you.

image credit

Do you have an irrational fear?  How do you deal with it?

Weekend Writers Linkup is open. It you blog this weekend, please add your link. ...  xx

Please add your weekend post to the linky below, if you blogged Saturday and Sunday you can add each post separately.

Happy Blogging xx

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The end of the Buttons

In a previous life I was a crafty designer, designing and handpainting over 600 button designs for crafting - quilting, stitching and scrapbooking. I adored it, and it gave me a little bit of pin money while I stayed at home with my littlest girl.

I have a huge laser machine ( and may or may not be responsible for sending Fiona from Imogen's Angels into a Laser Love Affair) . I taught myself a complicated Art Program and had the very best fun making all sorts of crazy and wonderful things.

I have designed everything from cats and dogs, snails and frogs, to castles, angels, quilt barns and daisies. 

Over the past few weeks I have come to the end of my crafty designing road. My laser machine has cut it's last button.
I am eager for button free cupboards, for less mess, for space.
As I clear out the boxes ( adding the buttons to my website) I struggle to remember making them all, but there are soooo many. They are oozing out of the top of the wardrobes, and from under the beds. My linen cupboard has no linen in it, just patterns and boxes full of buttons and plastic bags. 

As with all things the desire to hang on because it's safe, and because it has, at one time, defined me, is strong, and yet I am quietly confident that this is the right choice, and the right time. 

If you are a crafter of any sort pop on over to and have a little look. 

New Adventures are waiting, not to mention some precious cupboard space xxx

Weekend Writers Linkup is open. It you blog this weekend, please add your link. ...  xx

Please add your weekend post to the linky below, if you blogged Saturday and Sunday you can add each post separately.

Happy Blogging xx

Tuesday, November 19, 2013


Once again I have got myself out of balance.
Working too hard, working too many night shifts. Saying "Yes" to everyone at work.

I've let my time and energy get spread so thin at work that I'm not being the parent I want to be.

Yesterday morning, I came home from my 8th night shift in the fortnight to find Miss 9 sitting at the table eating breakfast.
Her hair was fuzzy, fresh from bed. She had just pulled it back in a hairband without brushing it.

I was tired, so tired. I just wanted to fall into bed. 
I didn't say hello, or kiss her good morning.

I grabbed a hair brush and BRUSHED that hair, quickly, careless of knots that pulled at her little head. She just sat there quietly while her head got yanked around and I made it neat.

I didn't kiss my husband "hello". I didn't cuddle my dog. I didn't tell my kids to have a good day, or that I loved them as they walked out the door to school.

I haven't blogged in 3 weeks, even though I love it, I haven't seen my friends for ages. I haven't returned phone calls ( or library books) and I haven't cooked properly for days

I am out of balance.

I cancelled last nights shift.
I have given myself a few days off. 

I need to set some rules that I stick to, so that I can be the Mum I want to be.

How do you keep the work/family balance? 

Linking with Jess for  I Blog On Tuesdays xxx


Friday, November 1, 2013

An accidental Halloween

Yesterday was Halloween, which in Australia means.. not much really. Sure, in the $2 shops there is Halloween merchandise, but on the whole it is a non-event for most Aussies.


A couple of years ago a new family arrived in our street. On Halloween their two young girls got dressed up and went trick or treating.
Last year their numbers had increased to Six.
This year, as I was doing my shopping I had a thought, and threw a little bag of chocolate eyeballs into my trolley "just in case".

Yesterday at the supermarket there were 12 fat orange pumpkins on display for carving. I'm pretty sure they didn't expect to sell any, but at $1 per kilo, I thought "Why Not?" I've seen pictures on line and have been curious about how the whole thing worked...
I chose the biggest, and it cost me a whopping $4.87 .

After school. Sarah and I carefully removed its slimey innards - gross-  and carved our first pumpkin. It wasn't as easy as I thought it would be, we discovered the skin is as tough as boots, but the flesh inside was like slicing apples. Miss 9 drew a jack-o-lantern face on the pumpkin and we set to work. Grand plans for wonderful art got quickly downscaled as we realised how tricky it is to manoeuvre a kitchen knife around inside a pumpkin neatly.


But in the end we had a BLOODY GOOD pumpkin head.

We put a tea light candle in it and placed it outside our door so any little "Trick or Treaters" would know we would welcome them.

At 6pm there were 4 groups of kids dressed up in costumes ( to be honest I think I've already seen most of those costumes at the Book Week parade this year) .

This is what I saw -

Kids running around being silly and goofey and having fun. This evening they were allowed to walk up and down the street, they felt safe and they were laughing.

I saw big kids walking, holding the hand of little kids. Big kids helping little kids in using their manners .

I saw a big brother lift his little sister up in his arms so she could have a turn at pushing the door bell. Then he put her down and helped straighten out her long sparkly princess dress. In that moment, as she looked at him, she ADORED him.

I saw Mums standing at their letterboxes, watching from a distance, trusting that the neighbourhood would be safe and kind.

I saw elderly neighbours clapping hands for a little boy who performed a trick - a fairly impressive backflip !

Miss 9 had already put on her witch outfit for the pumpkin carving, as you do, so when she saw one of her friends at our door she asked if she could go with them. Off she went, mingling into a group of kids she didn't know, making new friends.

The kids were polite and respectful, they used beautiful manners at every door.

I have to say that it was a lot of fun, it was so nice to watch the kids just being kids. We need more of that in our very serious, locked down world.

There has been a lot of talk on Social Media that Halloween is Un-Australian. That we don't need, and in fact MUST NOT succumb to this American holiday. That allowing kids to Trick or Treat is begging and bludging off neighbours.

Never-mind the fact that we celebrate Chinese New Year ( and we aren't China) , the Queens birthday is no where near her actual birthday, the nation stops for a horse race , apparently those are all worthy undertakings... I really don't understand the opposition to something that is really just a bit of fun for children.

With all the negative talk about Halloween, how it encourages kids to beg, to be hoodlums running through the street, the only questionable behaviour I saw came from a 50 year old married man who came to his door, yelled and swore at small children and lectured them on being UN-Australian. Guess who I admire more?

Next year we will be carving two pumpkins :-)