a parting gift

Daughter2 presented me with a parting gift. A Christmas pickle.

Be still me little germanic heart, my life is complete!

christmas pickle

christmas pickle 2

During their childhood, each of our children would be taken to visit Santa and they would choose one tree ornament afterwards. Over the years we gained a variety of styles and colours acceding to their interests and passions at the time, so no designed, coordinated tree for us.

It has been a few years since new ornaments were added, but this year… we have a Christmas Pickle! Such excitement!

A bad Gran and a mischievous Aunt do their worst

picnic car

This city life is full of variety, but rather exhausting, I must admit.

Friday, we went shopping and as expected Petite Fille gained a musical bus with animals that popped up, a book about Two Bad Grans, which fits one particular Granny to a FD, and a pair of ladybug rain boots for visiting country grandma, me! We all ate sushi for lunch before retuning home for our naps.

cake samples

Saturday, the ladies went wedding cake tasting. Daughter2 had arrived about 11.30 pm Friday night, and so it was wedding planning, along with numerous cups of coffee. Some bakers delivered cake samples to our door, so while Petite Fille napped we ate afternoon delights. All texture, form and function, darling! There was no clear winner, sadly, so we may be forced to try yet more cake in the near future. Dear me, the efforts we go to for our children!

That night was date night for Petite Fille’s Mummy and Daddy, so Granny was ensconced with left overs and ice cream for a quiet evening of television. D2 was out catching up with girlfriends and flashing her gorgeous ring.

Sunday, we picnicked in a local park. Petite Fille is very car orientated at present, and so The Flamingo Dancer may have permitted herself  to be atop a playground car, beeping and tooting with total abandonment of all self respect. Damn good fun! We finished off the last of the cake samples before a huge Sunday dinner of roast lamb and vegetables prepared by Mr Boy.

Monday, Daughter2’s last day with us, she went planning with her wedding stylist, while Petite Fille and I got in touch with our creative side, al la play dough. D1 used a recipe with baby oil and so Petite Fille spent some time sniffing her blue play dough. A bit of a worry, as the night before Aunty D2 had tried to teach her to say “crack cocaine”, luckily out of her father’s hearing, who is never quite sure about the maternal influences of his wife’s family!

On a positive note for me, before my psychological hangup set in for good, Petite Fille learnt to say “Grandma” this morning.  She understand so much of what we say now, that, yes, we have started S-P-E-L-L-I-N-G words at times.

I shall depart Wednesday, having exhausted all, and added more than a few grey hairs to son-in-laws dark crown!

vie de la ville

city lady

Off to the city this day to spend time with Daughter1, Mr Boy and Petite Fille. Daughter2 is flying in for the weekend late Friday night to make wedding plans. Busy times. I shall be a very good mother and follow where led, nodding agreement as required. Well, I will try…

Visited my Mum in her care facility. We shared a  lovely morning tea of apple cinnamon muffins and tea. Her tea is now served in a zippy cup, and I had to break off little pieces of muffin to feed her. It was one of my saddest moments with Mum so far. She appears well, and in a happy place in her mind, but her conversation is unintelligible, making any real communication nearly impossible. Sad, sad.

Anyway…

I am off to the be a city lady, and a grandma, and a mother, until sometime next week.

Until later.

peace

The events of recent weeks have brought the all too real threat of terrorism to the streets of our Australian cities. “That which was a plane ride away, is now a bus ride away.” Once again, we have learnt nothing, and a violent, ignorant minority who seek power because they feel powerless seek to dominate that which is not their’s to dominant.

Go home and love your family.

dogs, foibles and the human condition

fence hole

The sun is shinning, the birds are chirping, Mr FD is still away…

The only downside of Mr FD’s absence has been Augie Dog.  Mr FD usually sees to Augie’s nightie toilet issues, but when he is away it falls to me. The uninterrupted nights I dream of become a bit of a farce when Augie starts whimpering bedside to go out for relief. A forty kilo Golden Retriever will not be ignored!

We don’t have doggie doors, as it would have to be the size of a small adult, and would just be an open invitation for snakes and other wildlife. Augie is more of an indoor dog as well, due to the snake issues, and limited fencing. That said, he does not suffer from his lack of independence.

stroll

Augie is also well trained. He knows exactly when it is time for me to rise each school morning. Sadly, he thinks I should rise at the same time on weekends and vacations as well! Sometimes, I just take him out to the toilet run before returning to bed, other times we take tea and toast together. He likes his toast still warm, buttered; peanut butter is permitted. So is vegemite, jam, honey and anything else Mama FD is having on her toast!

In the next couple of weeks, Augie will be getting a short back and sides trim for the warmer months, and maybe the piles of hair, full tufts, that he leaves everywhere will decrease. False dreams I know! Some days I do feel as though I just follow him about collecting hair. If only I was one of those women who turn animal hair into useful things like face washers or boot liners. As it is, I would probably vomit at the mere thought of it!

I did once in my earlier fashionista days wear a dress that had a portion of rabbit hair. That didn’t bother me until much later, but in the end I think I was almost relieved when I put on baby weight and we parted ways. And yet, I can tuck into a large beef steak with wild abandon. We are complicated individuals, we humans.

The issue I am grappling with today is : do I shed the pjs, or not?

greet

over hill, over dale, we hit the boozy trail

lunch duo

Friend and I had a boozy lunch, if one glass of wine can be called a boozy lunch. Then we set to fixing the ills of the world. If you were sitting at the table next to us, we would have sounded like two grumpy old ladies, as we sorted politics, society’s meanness to others, childrearing, religion, dietary habits… oh, world peace and harmony in general, according to us!

After the caffeine of our  meal’s end coffee wore off, I realised how incredibly tired I felt. No doubt a combination of being nice for too long and righting the world’s wrongs.

I thought of many intelligent and witty comments to write as I drove home, but now that I am here with laptop and fresh tea I can think of none of them.

One thing has resurfaced – how much I love living in the country. To reach our rendezvous at restaurant in nearby village, I merely had to turn left out of our driveway, drive to the end of the road, turn right into the main street, waiting for three car to pass, then a left turn and follow my nose through the countryside to the restaurant, parking right outside the door. 7.4km – less than 10 minutes at a lovely country speed.

Dolce Far Niente.

duct

budding affairs

training bra

Ladies of a certain memory bank, do you remember – training bras?

What exactly were they “training”?

Upwards, ever upwards?

I remember when I was “trained” in this way. My mother was sewing a funky new outfit for little Miss 12 year old Flamingo Dancer. It was the era of large psychedelic floral geometric fabrics and wide legged flared paints. I had a competitor’s birthday party to attend (yes, dear reader there were those who dared to compete in days of yoe, before wiser heads prevailed), an all girl teenybopper afternoon affair, but nevertheless one in which I needed to shine. Always a trend setter, dahling.

My chosen ensemble was red and white, with about a three inch vertical opening down the spine, held shut by a very wide band of fabric. Nothing was exposed, but it did mean I would not be wearing the “singlet” that my mother always insisted I wear even in heat waves.

This presented a real problem for my mother. I found her deep in conversation with my sister who is eight years older than I, and therefore more  woman of the world at that time. A major decision was made.

I swear angels sang on high when my mother turned to me and announced “You’ll have to wear a bra!” The ultimate status symbol – a bra!

Of course, I couldn’t allow my mother to know that my heart had jumped within my chest, and black and white stars flashed before my eyes. I stilled my breath and replied “All right,” sounding just a little put upon.

Now, let me just impart an important piece of information. There was absolutely no need for an over the shoulder boulder holder. Flat as. Also, the chosen fabric was a heavy, thick weave; not even Superman’s x-ray eyes could see through it. However, IT WAS DECIDED and I was powerless to object… as if.

Off to one of the two clothing stores in our small country town, where there were two changing booths with fabric curtains that the haughty female assistants loved to pull back to expose you to all as they asked “You right?”

Mother and Mature SalesLady had a heads together conference, with much tongue clicking and viewing of stick figure me and I held my breath when MSL muttered “…not sure we have that one that small…” Eventually a long white box was produced and there gleamed my precious. Virginal white, size 10AA. It was a little big (I think I was actually a size 8 but with broad shoulders) , and sagged over one or two relevant areas but it was a BRA!

My mother did not drive so as we walked home I held my paper wrapped precious as if it was a devotional offering. Mother was under the impression that I would wear it only on “special occasions” with the back exposing ensemble, silly woman. It was apparent from day one that Precious and I were now inseparable, to the point that a second was purchased just so the first could be pried from my stick form for laundering.

It was about four years before I needed to up a size for in those days my figure rivalled Twiggy’s without the held of a cocaine diet. In fact, if memory serves me right, I may have made it to a 12A, more due to wide shoulders than growing mammary glands, just in time to discard my bra to make my feminist statement a few years later. Such is life.

What was being “trained”; my chest or me? Was the whole concept of a training bra merely to enculturate me into my assigned place in society? And why did shop assistants get their big jollies from exposing women in their undies to diminishing gaze?

Sisters, have we progressed at all? Are we caring for each other? Me thinks not so much.

 

Women’s dress size conversions:

AUST

8

10

12

14

16

18

US

4

6

8

10

12

14

UK

8

10

12

14

16

18

EUROPE

36

38

40

42

44

46

JAPAN

7

9

11

13

15

17