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It doesn’t take much to make a good day for Mr FD and I, now that we are more mature. Today, we had to drive to the city for my appointment with the cardiologist.

No one tried to kill us on the road, and when we didn’t miss the turnoff to the hospital and wander around the suburb lost. In the car park, we found a free car park on the first floor. Then, I remembered to note the area we were parked in and that we had to go to the four floor to access the hospital entrance.

Once in the hospital we walked by the pharmacy and ohmygodohmygod there was the exact soft toy I had been hoping to find for months for our about to be born grandchild, to match his older siblings soft toy we had given her at her birth (Petite Fille). The coffee shop had lovely fresh food and pretty good coffee that we didn’t have to rush through before my appointment. The coffee temperature was just right, unlike the airport which always has coffee way too hot to drink before we have to board.

In the doctor’s office, I had barely to wait five minutes and I was in. The doctor remembered I was a teacher, well, maybe it was in his notes, but he cared enough to  read his notes and ask me how the teacher was today.  I received a fantastic report after months and months of blood pressure problems, so I am grateful for that. I don’t have to return unless a new health issue arises. YAY!

No problems with paying our parking fee on the return to the carpark. And when Mr FD broke a piece off a creeper growing over a stone wall, only one old couple saw us and had the grace to laugh. It is one of the joys of being mature, having the courage to break a piece from a plant and sneak it home. Well, maybe not sneak, but it did ride home with us and is not ensconced in six plant pots. Saving the earth, one stolen cutting at a time.

No one tried to kill us on the way home, and when we stopped by the local butcher we snared some great meat bargains.

As I said, it doesn’t take much to make a great day, and that is a good thing.

 

P.S. I off to the city tomorrow on baby watch. I will be with Petite Fille while her parents are in hospital.

 

 

 

The I don’t need it, I don’t want it, get out of my face revolution

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Maybe it’s just me but I need to ask: is anyone else not only tired of, truly exhausted by the sheer numbers of people trying to make money from every facet of our lives?

So many so called health gurus, education experts, lifestyle experts… Even people writing books to show us how to show our kids how to use Lego once they are tired of their kit style. Can’t we downsize for ourselves? Can’t we create and innovate for ourselves?

What is happening to us?

Today, I feel like one of those characters in those predictable Hollywood movies where in one day, a man has to face a job loss, wife leaving, kids moving away, car repossessed, locked out of all bank accounts and savings and he just goes mental and rejects society.

Today, I want to go mountain woman and reject capitalistic consumerism and this society that just wants to make money out of every aspect of my daily existence.

I don’t need anyone to tell me how to do anything or everything. I can do it for myself, and I don’t need to make myself poor making another person rich.

clearing skies

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The black mist is gradually leaving me after months of illness and exhaustion. It may have just been a series of winter viruses and work exhaustion, but it has left me depleted. Spring is trying to break through and I sense my mind and body are trying to lift as well.

Sunday morning, I was on the deck, trying to exercise on the bike for a few minutes, the first time for a few weeks, when Augie Dog came to sit in the sun nearby. A number of green lorikeets were feeding in the grevillea trees in our garden. The sound of their chirping and the energy of the community was just such a delightful form of much needed nourishment for me.

Thankful that we were guided to our tree change and we had the wisdom to follow our call to country.

oh just a morsel then…

I feel a bit ripped off by the weekend. It was very social. I find being nice exhausting and so by the end of the weekend I was feeling depleted. Happy but depleted as only an introvert can be!

Saturday we collected the exercise bike from a former colleague, a lovely woman who was so kind to me during my very first teaching job. It seems so long ago, and it was such a difficult time that I almost walked away from teaching before I even really started. However, Colleague and I have kept in touch through social media, and the gifting of the exercise bike meant a trip to the city and a good twenty minutes of polite conversation in her driveway as Mr FD loaded the bike into the back of our car.

To recover, Mr FD and I treated ourselves to lunch, something we haven’t done for months! We both chose the barramundi fish with pea mash and sweet potato chips. We were quite decadent and followed up with dessert. I chose the orange crème brûlée that was just perfection in a ramekin. I would have ordered a second helping without much prompting! Mr FD declared he would order something more “manly”; an apple and rhubarb crumble with vanilla ice-cream. How a dessert can be manly, I don’t know, but he was more than satisfied with his choice.

lunch 1

lunch 2

Sunday, I lunched with my favourite girlfriend, the one I have known since kindergarten. She and her husband have just returned from a trip to South America and climbing  Machu Picchu, as you do! Friend had news of a mutual friend who has had her foot amputated due to complications arising from diabetes. A lack of self care – so sad.

After the exhilarating  gustation of the previous day, I settled for a chicken soup with mushrooms and basil. It arrived in a bowl large enough to bath a small babe, and with a bread stick roll that was almost too large for the soup bowl. I have to admit that I had chosen soup as I was expecting a smaller meal! I did my best, but have to admit the soup defeated me. The glass of white, didn’t however.

Sunday going down

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The rain has been pouring down for the last couple of hours, and the fire is lit. Our family are all home, Petite Fille tucked up in her bed.

It’s Sunday night, so no hope of a cosy sleep in, but it is a pupil free day, so that is about as much as can be hoped for. Five days of work and then two weeks of semester break. Almost there.

 

psst, over here!

Claire McCardell

I can neither confirm nor deny, that I have been absent for some time. Well, I can, but I have been listening to so many politicians rabbiting on during our election campaign that I can no longer think in real speak.

One daughter and her family living with us during their house renovations, and then other daughter arrived with Peppercorn for a visit, so for the Flamingo Dancer nest has been brimming. As Son works in IT  and works from home, we have and the entire family minus one son-in-law home for a period. Happy chaos.

As most of the extended family had not met Peppercorn we had a parade of relatives marching through the door. We also took Peppercorn to visit with her Great Grandmother Flaming Dancer. Peppercorn has two great grandmothers, but the other lives in New Zealand and not is great health, so she may not get to meet her, but one great granny is a pretty good start. We posed for a four generation photo with all my girls.

Tomorrow I am attending an educational technology conference in Brisbane, and I am so excited it is ridiculous. I just love attending a good conference, where bright minds share. As well, I am overnighting in a motel in the inner city, so I shall pretend I am a high flyer for a day or two!

Wednesday it will be back to the real world and the classroom. We are into assessment period again, with just four weeks of semester left (yay for small mercies).

So despair not, I have not vanished, but family always trumps blogging. You need me, I know…

End of vacation blues

There goes those two weeks! New school term tomorrow, and I honest to the Big Whatever have done no preparation beyond wadding through my email inbox. Deleting emails took an hour, and by that time I was so over school that I closed my school laptop and put it in the car, where it can languish until tomorrow!

I am covering a colleague’s ICT class for four weeks so will be refreshing my coding skills. He is not a man to introduce anything new, so I can trust that nothing has changed in the unit since I taught it last year.

Over the break, I have had swarms of ideas running through my head for the library, but I need to sift and filter (do sift and filter mean the same, or is one more intense. I hope so, since my word choice!) I have neither time, energy nor assistance to do a lot of big picture stuff, but I will just try to do what I can do, one day at a time.

The manga and anime club kicks off this term with Manga Tuesday. Initial interest was about 40 students, but I expect that to be somewhat less when the day arrives. I am allowing the students to run it, as while I stock the graphic novels, I really don’t know the genre at all, so I am praying some of the older, or more enthusiastic students take up leadership.

Missing my Perth based Peppercorn.

four months

ready for swimming lessons!

However, home was where Petite Fille was waiting, with a butterfly cake that she had decorated with flowers. It was an earl grey tea cake with chocolate lavender icing. Yes, it was yum!

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Blessed.

looking back to the present

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Brisbane, Queensland, Australia, January 2011

It is five years since the devastating Queensland floods. Five years and the body of my cousin has never been found. Three people are still missing from that horrible day.

Life does change in an instant, a minute, an hour, a day. However, no matter how often we are reminded of that, we still forget to make the most of each of those days. To appreciate what we have, to show our love to the ones we too often take for granted. To be grateful and to live that gratitude.

A couple of times I have had major health issues – an eye tumour, cancer, and each time I know that I am lucky to not only survive, but to prosper. If I am honest with myself however, these intrusions in my life soon lose any impact they might have had on the intentions I might have had to live “a better life”.

I never stick with the healthy diet, or the bucket list, or stop to smell the roses more often. Just like every other person in the world, my life is soon sucked back into the drama of a very mundane every day life. A job I like some days and hate on others. Chores and a must do list.

Sometimes, at night in bed, I wonder about how I allowed myself to lose the plot so easily; but is it me, is it them, so many people who depend on me…

Sometimes, as night in bed, I wonder where the final resting place of my cousin may be. I wonder why the universe is so, and why we have allowed this world to be as it is.

I have more years behind me, than in front of me now. I try to tell and show the people I love that they are indeed loved. I try to nurture a peaceful heart, for I feel that if I can have a peaceful heart then I can judge my life a happy one and I won’t have regrets. I will have had it all.

The richest woman in the world

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No, I have not run away, I have been in the City visiting Petite Fille. One morning we went to the State Library and GOMA.

As soon as I walk into the children’s play area of the State Library I always have such a pang of desire to be a little person’s Librarian. I have such envy of what a large budget and a team of creative artists can do for a Librarian!

Petite Fille had great fun making peg people and playing in cardboard houses.

I am not one of those Grandmas who take over a child’s craft project. If Petite Fille wants to cover her peg lady in wool hair from top to toe she can. As well, she can wrap the whole lot tight in an arm’s length of sticky tape if the whim takes hold.

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We had morning tea in the garden cafe at GOMA and I walked with Petite Fille through the water feature. At first she was frightened and held my hand as we walked over the stepping stones. As we retraced our steps a few times, she gradually let go of my hand. I walked beside her, then behind her, until I quietly stopped and waited as she walked across herself, unaware I was no longer following. We both clapped our hands in joy as she realised “I did it!”

It might be a small thing to others, but it was a very special moment for me. It makes me happy just to think of her happy little face as she experienced overcoming her fear and experiencing success.

The next afternoon her parents went to the movies and dinner, leaving Petite Fille and I home alone. I wore pink fairy wings, a blue tiara and danced with my magic wand with Petite Fille. We also built a house with two chairs and a blanket under which we shared tea.

Petite Fille stopped mid fantasy and said,”Grandma, I like playing with you.”

Earlier, she had told her mother that “Grandma is my very best friend.”

The gift of a three year olds love – what more could anyone want in life?