Monday, July 24, 2017

The cup fence

One of my second week of school holiday jaunts to get the girls out of the house was to the cup fence. I'd been hearing about it for a while, but not knowing exactly where it actually was. 

I stalked the comments on a photo on facebook (someone I'm not friends with), and surely enough someone asked where it was (insert smiley face).

The cup fence is about half way down Walker's tin hut road, a few kilometres out of town, towards Adelaide. We came onto the road from the Adelaide Road end, and I told the girls to keep thier eyes out for cups on the fence. I saw htem before they did, but didn't say a word. They were a bit excited when they saw all the cups as I am sure they were a little baffled when I said we were going to the cup fence.

I'm not totally sure how long people have been hanging cups here, I don't think it's been too long.

When I mentioned it to Mum about taking the girls there, she offered some mugs she had in the shed, left over from boxes bought from clearing sales. I grabbed three and they sat in the car for a few days before I actually took the girls out there.

We hung our cups, and walked along looking at all the different kinds of mugs and tea cups. the girls ran up and down laughing and having the best time. I was great to be out as it had rained so much the few days prior. There were a few puddles laying about, and it wasn't long before they were getting muddy and wet. I made them strip down before they got in the car and it was in the bath straight away when they got home.

The fence has been vandalised in the past couple of months, and it is a shame for those that have come and hung a cup. It's a wonderful community thing to be involved in. I'll be annoyed as hell if someone breaks our cups!

Now to venture on another day to the thong tree and the bra tree, when I work out exactly where they are!

I was so busy strolling along looking at cups, taking photos, I turned around and Izzy had put plastic bags over her shoes to splosh in the mud. She should have worn rubber boots like her sister! She ended arse over tit, with mud all down her back, and legs and thought it was hilarious.


The three mugs we hung up on the fence. We used small cable ties, which should keep them hanging up.

Monday, July 17, 2017

The "it's as cold as ferk" garden edition

There's not too much excitement from around the garden in winter. Some rose pruning, loads of weeds, lots of rain.

I mowed the lawns yesterday and let the chooks out for a scratch around. They haven't laid any eggs for the last couple of weeks, and I don't blame them. It has been ridiculously cold. It is winter after all.

I was in awe of the rainbow I was blessed with as I drove down the driveway after school drop almost two weeks ago. We are in our last week of school holidays and so excited because our banana tree flower has opened to reveal a heap of bananas. The flower actually came out about a month ago, right before a week of severe frosts and I dreaded that any thought of bananas had been dashed forever. The leaves are severely frost bitten. We'll see how they go, surely it is too cold for any hope of a ripe banana anytime soon. I have a few friends who have these cool climate bananas that have had successful crops, just have to be patient I suppose.

There isn't much colour in the garden besides the camellias, hellebores, jonquils and surprisingly some gardenias. Rosemary plants are flowering now, and the mint is making a comeback from it's frosty die down. 

It has been raining a lot at night, with mainly sunny, cold days. I am watching the snow reports wishing I could lay in the snow and shape snow angels and catch snow flakes in my wintery gloves. Pat snow balls into snow men and poke twigs for arms and small rocks for eyes. We went to the snow with my neighbours last year, and I wish we were headed there this year. Ironic as it is, I am not a fan of the cold. I am longing for short sleeves and three quarter pants of the warmer Spring weather. 

We're off the warmer weather in a month or so, to QLD for this years holiday, which I will love to defrost my bones. I wish it was to sit back and relax, but we're off to the Goldie, to punish ourselves with the theme parks. Praying I don't need a holiday, from our holiday with kids and a hubby who is a huge kid without a responsible bone in his body. Thankfully we are not staying in school holidays, which will make our visit easier.

Do you go on an annual family holiday? Got any good tips for surviving the Gold Coast theme parks? 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Five crafty activites to keep kids busy these school holidays

Our school holidays here in SA have just started. Two whole weeks to try and not hate my kids company by the end of it! If the weather is crap I need to be prepared with things for them to do.

All you need to do all of these crafts is a printer stacked with a lot of paper, colouring pencils or textas, glue and your blinders on to the mess that might ensue! 

Busy kids are happy kids I say! Here's a few of the things I am preparing and printing out, so I am ready for when they say "I'm bored". Or in the case of my lovely girls, before they start picking on each other, hair pulling, or stage a fight bigger than last weeks welterweight world title bout. 

LET'S GET READY TO MAKE SHIIIIIIIT! Yes I did just slide that in... or in the case of my kids, who love cutting and making stuff with paper, replace shit with mess. Same diff really.

Fold a doll's house from Kate at Picklebums. I know my girls are going to love this one. This was Isabel's effort over the weekend.

Flextangles from Ana at Babble Dabble Do. This may be the very thing to keep those idle fingers busy these holidays, a certain rival for fidget spinners. It is amazing they way that they work. If you're kids are keen Pokemon fans they will love these  Pokemon evolution flextangles!

Toilet Paper tube puppets is one of my go to holiday activities. Toilet roll tubes are something we have a never ending supply of and there are tons of different designs. How do you like my toilet roll tooth fairy?

Twirly fish by Piikea Street. They really twirl when dropped from a height. If you have a few paper plates handy, these paper plate fish are EASY to make too. 

Over the last christmas holidays I printed out a christmas themed bingo game for the girls. They love it and still play any old time of the year. I have laminated the cards so they last longer. DKTK  have a Bingo card generator so you can let the kids design and print out their own game, which will hopefully keep them busy so you can sit down with a nice cup of tea.

I had forgotten all about the game of paddicks I posted back in 2014, so you get a bonus to keep the kids occupied. 

It involves each person take turns connecting the dots on a page with a line. When a box is formed, the player puts their initial in the box. When the page is full of 'paddicks', the player with the most formed is the winner.There is a printable page available to save you having to draw all those dots!

How do you keep your kids happy in the holidays? I might need some extra ideas!

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Half yearly round up for 2017

I was excited about this year. It was a new beginning, who knew what it would bring. I do believe that this will be a year I will never forget.

Summer started school at the end of January. I am so proud of her, she's a social butterfly and floats easily amongst her peers. 

I am still in awe watching my third child learn. Five year olds are amazing little beings.

In February, I started my gymnastics coaching journey, enrolling in the Beginner gymnastics coaching course with Gymastics Australia. At the end I was able to coach under supervision.

I followed with the Intermediate coaching course, with Kindergym for 0-5 year olds as my gymsport, which I completed at the end of March, with 20 hours experience at the club, and a two day practical course in Adelaide. This was the first time in about ten years I had been away for the weekend without all my people, being husband and kids. It was liberating, and I didn't miss them one little bit!

Back to the beginning of March, and I lost my Gran. She had been slowly fading away, and with a few snowballing health problems the previous few weeks, she passed away at the age of 87.

She actually died the same day my son Jake, was readmitted into the mental health ward at the Mount Gambier hospital. I had the holiday house to clean that day after and drove around with all the emotions bubbling on the surface. I drove around with Metallica playing full noise for that week, it helped me through the emotions and the motions. I cried a lot! 

We buried my Granny Wanda the following Friday. Jake wasn't there. I stood next to my sisters and my mums cousin Fay. I will never forget it. Her coffin was draped with her crocheted Crows blanket, beanie and scarf, and a fishing rod. She was well known for her fishing on the Southend jetty. Her only living sibling, Nora, was seated in front of us.

I cleaned my sons house while he was in hospital, there was spit on the walls, seemingly tainted with red wine, to try to dull the voices. Dirty surfaces. His belongings were all packed lined up along one wall of the lounge room. The psych said it was common with Schizophrenics to pack, ready to flee, from an imaginary enemy. She had known of them moving around the country, with kids in tow even, in the fear of someone chasing them.

I cannot the imagine the despair and turmoil going through his mind at that time. I wish he had been diagnosed earlier. I am ever so grateful for the police for understanding, and for their help along with the ambos to get him back to the mental health ward in Mount Gambier. This was the turning point in getting him the help and support he really needed. I could have never have done it on my own, and who knows what could have become of him and the further anguish that our family would have been through.

He had previously been admitted for two weeks. Forcably by the police, on request from us, his family, and diagnosed with Schizophrenia. Obviously two weeks wasn't enough, for him not to be in that hospital environment on a new medication. He took his first weeks medication out of hospital in one night, in an attempt to be rid of the voices.

His second admission, was for three weeks. The medication by that time had kicked in and I can see it working now, we have our boy back (even though he is a man). It has been a long road since he was a teenager when all of these behaviours started to reveal themselves. It makes me sad that it has taken this long to have a diagnosis. It makes me sad, and finally happy that he crossed paths with a psychiatrist that saw his psychosis first hand. Jake had become a master at hiding it away.

That it wasn't fobbed off as bad boy behaviour, or drugs and alcohol. Don't get me wrong, there were drugs and alcohol involved. I will never forget the insane back and forth from him that night when I got a phone call from the coppers to come and help to try convince him to get in the ambulance. One minute he was in defiance to go, because it was a waste of time, because they(the doctors) didn't do anything to help, and the next minute crying in desperation because he just wanted the voices to stop, so he could sleep.

He's now doing well and has a fellow from MIND that visits him every week. An appointment with a clinical mental health nurse every fortnight, and regular follow up appointments with a visiting psychiatrist and with the psychiatrist, who, when faced with a 24 year old who begged for help to get the people with microcomputers to stop talking in his brain, made the diagnosis. I can only be grateful.

The same week this all happened, I met with a holiday house owner in Rendelsham and started as her house cleaner. She lives in Adelaide, and lets me know when she has holiday renters, and I set up and go clean afterwards. 

To say that I begun 2017 with my feet hitting the ground running would be an understatement!

In April at the start of Term 2, I lead my first Kindergym class. I loved it and was so pumped up and excited to do the second class, and no one turned up so I had to wait unitl the following week. I did the lesson plan for the next week that afternoon, I was so in the zone!

I am about to finish my first full term of  Kindergym, and am so proud that I jumped over that cliff of uncertainty and just went for it. I you told me a year ago, I would be working at the gymnastics club I would have told you where to get off. 

It has actually come at the right time, and fit in perfectly. Both the girls are at school now, leaving me with some spare time, a small wage,  and I get school holidays off! My fellow Kindergym coach has just announced she is leaving at the end of year, so eventually I will move into taking Kindergym two days per week, and possibly a Tiny Tots (five year olds) class or two a week. Who would have thought?!

I felt like a rock star earlier this week in Woolies, when coming across a couple of sisters that take my Kindergym classes. It is lovely that they stop to say hello and have a little chat. 

Without further or do, here is a little video with some highlights from the last six months.

Sometimes I surprise myself and blog on a Tuesday. Linking with Kylie.

Monday, July 3, 2017

Taking stock - the July edition

This is my second Taking Stock post, inspired by many other bloggers who have taken Pip, from Meet me at Mikes' lead.

Making: Chocolate cake for school recess, because there is nothing except a packet of twisties in the pantry.

Realising: My wine glass is empty!

Cooking: Shephards pie made with the tunisian spice mix I posted last week. I added after browning the mince. It was good! Hubby is taking the leftovers for work. I used mashed potatoes on top of the mince, but when I make it again, I might try sweet potato.

Drinking: Not enough water. Have to get into the habit of drinking more water. 

Reading: Making an real attempt to stop wasting time perusing Facebook, and to connect by reading more blogs and linking up more places. 

A new blog I am enjoying reading is Extraordinarily Ordinary, by a former local girl, Jess. She lives in WA now with her husband Jeff. She writes about life with three boys, who are all on the autism spectrum. She is doing an awesome job with her new blogging venture.

Wanting: To order some more of Leanda Michelles', Write to Heal essential oil blend. She has just featured all of the oils and how they relate to the Chakras on her Facebook page, and it's made me want more after running out earlier in the year. My favourite place to roll it on was my neck and wrists, and am feeling the need for it's calming and relaxing qualities. 

Looking: At my newly cleared garden patch. We've managed to kill off most of the ivy, and hubby cleaned up one of the garden beds where it had taken over. It is so good to see the garden bones that I created about 15 years ago. It is also exciting because I can replant! Look out garden centres, I am coming!

Pondering: Running away for a week. I wonder if anyone will notice I have gone?!

Enjoying: Having the opportunity to take some time for me. I had a peaceful few days at home last week where I could catch up looking after myself. 

Waiting: Our holiday home is listed on the Stayz website, but this week I listed it on Airbnb. So waiting for our first booking through them! We stayed there over the weekend. It was bloody cold down the beach, so not holding my breath that anyone would want to come and stay. While I was down at Blackfellows Caves though,  fishing with Izzy, we met some tourists who were staying at a house there, so there is hope. It is pretty quiet during winter, holiday rentalwise.

Liking: That the cat has been desexed and we can let it outside without the fear of it getting pregnant. The cat we got for nothing, has turned into a two hundred dollar cat! We took it with us to the holiday house, the lace curtains have suffered. It's not coming again!

Wondering: If when I ring at eight o'clock, I will actually get an appointment at the doctors surgery for my son. He needs scripts. I rang on Friday and they are fully booked all week! So it's up to ringing in the morning to try to get one of the appointments that open up. You would think that a schizophrenic who needs a script for meds would have one of those appointments before having to ring at stupid oclock. Got me fucked.

Loving: The gorgeous winter sunsets and sunrises we are getting at the moment. It's keeping the hope of warm sunny days alive. It has been biting cold the last couple of weeks, I am not a fan.

Listening: Next terms Kindergym theme is 'Under the sea', so I am listening to songs for children that I can incorporate with warm up and cool downs. I have an old phone that I am purposing for music only, that I can stream via bluetooth to the gyms sound system. Makes my job a lot easier. Trouble is I keep misplacing the phone during warm ups! I am finding some good songs on You tube that I can use.

Considering: Going to bed and finishing this post in the morning! Summer has just come out of her room and wants me to lay down with her.  

Buying: More bandaids. I cut myself quite badly a week ago while preparing dinner, but I am running out of bandaids. I am relieved at how well it is healing. It was touch and go in my head whether to go to the ER, but it's all good now. Amazing actually.

Watching: The Voice finale. How awesome these young people get such a fantastic opportunity. Boy George was one of my faves when I was a teenager. I had a scrap book with pages and pages of pictures cut out of magazines of Boy George and The Culture Club. It was a bit of an obsession! Not just them either, all sorts of eighties bands, made it into the pages of that scrap book, not to mention the four walls of my bedroom!

Hoping: I remember the bucket behind my car in the morning, when I take the kids to school. Izzy caught two fish on Sunday morning. She wanted to bring one home in a bucket with sea water in it. It is still on the ground behind my car. She caught rock cod, which aren't the best eating, I don't mind them, but I think the cat will get this one. 

Marvelling: At my mad cleaning skills. After returning home from our weekend away, I managed to get most of the washing done and the stack of dishes I left on the sink before we went away. I usually like to leave the house clean before we go away, so that I can walk back inot a clean house. I just could not be bothered on Friday.

Cringing: at the look of my banana tree after the frosts. It looks so sad and dreadful. The fruiting flower was jsut coming out too. I wonder if it will last through winter, I hope so.

Needing:  To repaint my toenails! I guess it's one of those winter things that don't get done as often, like shaving my legs, which I actually did do a couple of weeks ago! 

Questioning: If I need to write when bills are due in my diary, as I realised earlier in the week, I had been driving around without a licence for 10 days. It happened last time too, for three weeks! Lucky the coppers didn't pull me over.

Smelling: Jonquils! They are flowering in the garden right now, and I am eyeing them off to bring inside. It's feels like ages since I had flowers from the garden on my table, and it has been!

Wearing: Ha. Right now. A black hoodie and aqua leopard print pyjama pants. Otherwise, mostly trackpants and hoodies with runners during the day. Easy warm winter clothes to throw on in the mornings. Not much winter style going on here lately.

Following: bronzfinepix on instagram. She is a local photographer, who took out the local council photo competition, with her autumn trees shot at Mt Burr. Ive been following her for a while and was stoked that she won.

Noticing: That the filters in my reverse cycle air conditioner may need cleaning. The heating has been on for a while and I still feel cold.

Thinking: I should make some more patch work blankets. There have been a couple that have perished because of age, and I love the look of a patchwork blanket. Would be a good excuse to visit the fabric shop. Plus I have taken a few of our blankets to the holiday house, for the renters and there's not enough to go around here ;)

Admiring: The fit people about the place who actually get out and exercise. I need to do that, probably just walking, and lose some extra flab. I am more likely to get more use out of the winter clothes that are a bit tight in my wardrobe.

Getting: Sick of feeling like I do everything around here. I have made a pact with myself, that I ask for help from the other half, that doesn't sound like I am barking orders. I think that is just it. I need to deligate responsibility to the person who should be helping me out, and not feel resentful, just because he doesn't know what needs doing.

Disliking: How quickly my floors get dirty. 

Opening: Well hopefully if I remember, a new tub of Gumption. My kitchen sink needs a good going over. I have found this the best thing to get it sparkling in no time.

Giggling: Facebook has been giving me some giggles via the Puns page this week. If only my Facebook feed was full of good stuff. I have just been through my feed and unliked the pages that post click bait, my feed is much better for it. 

Feeling: Sorry for my Mum, her falsies broke last week and she couldn't get an appointment til Wednesday this week. You should have seen the look on Summer's face when she saw her Nanna with no top teeth! I was trying hard not to laugh.

Celebrating: Surviving my first term of leading Kindergym at my local gymnastics club. My last lesson is actually Thursday. The best thing is, I get to do it all again next term. 

Pretending: My kids are asleep. I am in denial that one of them will come out and say they need something or for me to lay down with them. 

Embracing: The school holidays which start on Friday. I cannot wait to sleep in past 7 am. I hope my kids will comply!

Joining Denyse for #lifethisweek