Friday, December 10, 2010

Lesson learnt.

The greatest way to get what you want is to want what you have.  True story, peeps.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

admitting to temporary overload.  will be back when i recharge.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Camping it up....

Second son leaves for camp's his first school trip involving nights away from home.  He's looking forward to it, but is also slightly nervous.  I have today to organise clothes, bedding, medication and anything else that's on the "things-to-bring-to-camp-list".   Nothing like a little last minute panic to start the day!!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Interesting things I found down the back of my couch this morning

A straw with a skeleton attached to it
Half a museli bar
C3PO's head (eww)
Three drumsticks
A random remote control.   I've pointed it at everything in the house.  No dice.
A piece of yellow cord
Two USB's
Eight of those little stick things you draw on a DSi with, all thoroughly chewed
A little bottle of lavender oil
38 lolly wrappers
A plastic stop sign
3 bakugans
One pair of extremely ripe Cavendish Road High School socks (thanks, Kit)
Enough nerf bullets to start a small spongy war
and people think housework is boring.....

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Today is FF's social club usually involves a hotel stay somewhere and much drinking.   In fact, I'm not sure if I've ever seen some of his workmates sober.   This year, we've decided to flout convention by skipping the dinner and the drinking, and having our own getaway.....FF has booked me into the day spa, while he has a nap, then we've got a bottle of wine, some take out and some DVD's.   ( Just to fill in any gaps in  our one child free night, heehee. )   I feel relaxed just typing it.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The beginning of the end of Twentyten.

Jeez, we're here again.  November and the end of another year in sight.   This year has been a mixture....lots of good, tempered with a not so healthy dose of crap just to keep me balanced.   It's over six months since I stopped the second job in order to concentrate on second son, and the results have been mixed.  This has been by far the hardest year for him, and he's struggled healthwise and otherwise.  He's currently off school for a couple of days,(again),  dealing with some stomach problems that have been an ongoing deal throughout the year, so we're having a total revamp of diet and routine (again) to see if we can hit the right formula.  On the brighter side, Firstborn has sailed through the year with only a few bumps along the way, and he's dealt with those in a remarkably adult manner.  He's grown about 5 inches (not including his hair, which has a life of it's own) and has grown in maturity as well.  I try not to dwell on it too much, 'cos the whole transformation to adult thing is unsettling to say the least.  (The very least).  Nanna is mostly back on her feet after almost five very, very long months.  It's taking some time for her to get her groove back, and for me to stop hovering, but we're getting there slowly.   Plans for our medieval handfasting are starting to take shape, we've booked the venue, the caterers and got the guestlist organised, and are starting to deal with the all important costuming issues, lol.  The boys (including the biggest one) have chosen weapons of suitably lethal vintage, and Nanna and I are interwebbing our fingers to the bone in search of suitable patterns for them, as they all insist on Lord of the Rings style garments, as opposed to anything remotely Rennaisance.  As Sebi put it "Real Gondorians don't wear tights"  Be still my heart.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Close to home.

On a street corner two minutes walk from where I sit in my house stands a mannequin dressed in dark trousers and a white crop top.   She's supposed to look like a teenage girl who was found dead in a nearby house four years ago.  Police have reopened the case after new information was found.   There are signs on the street corner that read  "Can you help?".   I can't.  To be one hundred percent honest, I don't even remember hearing  anything about it four years ago.   You'd think something that close to home would leave an impression.  According to reports she was seen "in a distressed state"  close to where her body was later found.  If she was so distressed, why didn't anyone stop and help?  Maybe they tried, and she told them she was OK.  But she wasn't.  Otherwise her plastic look-alike wouldn't be standing by the corner asking for help.....and waiting for answers.


I'm seriously going to clean out HBC tonite.....'cos I have piles.  The kind that start as two pieces of paper and a pen and end up the size of one of those buildings Superman is always leaping over in a single bound.   I tried to do some editing work on my invitations and couldn't get close enought to my Pazzle to switch it on.  Piles, see??  Serves me right for going to Sydney mid-project.  Everything got left on the desk.  Or the floor.  And time is becoming a bit of a factor, so a couple of hours of hard graft this afternoon will pay off big time when I start work again tomorrow.  Which I will.  Soon as the piles are under control.  Miniskip anyone??

Monday, November 8, 2010

Scrapped Out/Ghost Train.

Back from Sydney and busy decaffienating after a flat out 4 days.  As usual had a blast, drank far too much coffee and bought things that I probably could have lived without.   Including the embossing tool for my Pazzles (yay!!).  As a result of spending far too much time handling large quantities of paper, I have developed what can only be described as Scrapbookers Leprosy, which I hope will clear up before I lose a digit.   Caught the train from Penrith to Mascot after pack down, and spent a very freaky hour trying not to listen to some guy with WAY too much time on his hands (and a serious interest in all thing nasty and criminal) decribe all the horrifying things that happened at various locations close to all the train stations.  Seriously...."This is where those guys kidnapped that nurse and killed her"   "This is where the train crashed into the bridge and all those people got crushed and died"  "This is where that guy shot a whole bunch of people at that shopping centre."    Not the slightest bit entertaining, OK???   Pair that with the fact that I spent the flight home waiting for the engine to fall off the plane, and it's not surprising that the bags under my eyes were down to my knees by this morning.  Yeesh. 

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Heinemann Conspiracy.

How many totally new words  have you added to the English language this week??  I'm talking completely new words,  not words that you haven't heard of before.   New Words.  Speaking for myself, I can truthfully say "none".  Not just this week, but EVER.  In forty coughsomething years of life, I have never managed to add  a single new word to my native language.  Nor has anyone I know.  Nor has anyone on Facebook.  (I asked them....all of them).  So, bearing that in mind, can somebody please explain why I need to spend upwards of $30 on the 7th edition of the Heinemann Dictionary for Second Son to use next year??   On the book list it specifically states that the older edition is not suitable.  Perhaps we've retired some words??  Have you noticed any unexplained gaps in your conversations recently, where a specific word used to fit??  Me neither.  All I know is, when I grow up I wanna be a Heinemann.  Words, people.....that's where the money is.

All good things....

are happening at the Sydney Papercrafts Festival this weekend.   Three days of too much coffee, not enough sleep and all the eye candy you can handle.   See you on Sunday!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

I told you....

I was sick. So there.  Directed at my beloved FF for trying to cure an ulcerated throat with vodka over the weekend.  Not that I didn't enjoy the experience.  I just knew it was doomed to fail.  So after ignoring my throat for three days and drowning it in Absolut on Saturday night,  I threw in the towel this morning and went to the doctor.   Who told me I had pharyngitis (??) and an ulcerated throat and why didn't I come in earlier.  (Cos I was feeling no pain, hic!!)  I was kind of expecting to catch something always happens any time  I agree to fly anywhere for work.  As soon as the Eticket arrives in my inbox, I start germing.   So, I got some heavy duty penicillin, some absolutely vile gargley stuff (shudder) and some tablets for my ears on the plane which I had to show my drivers license to purchase.  Seriously people, who wants to feel this bad for fun??   Bleagh.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

On the road again / Toilet tiggy and tooth tattoos.

This week sees me taking off to Sydney for the Penrith show, leaving FF in charge of all things domestic (God help us).   Once again, the offer of a few days work (and a change of scene) has come at the perfect moment.  After the last three days with Firstborn and Second Son, the idea of leaving on a jet plane does not exactly fill me with pangs of guilt (hee hee bad mama!!) and the money will come in handy for the Handfest, especially since I'm hoping to find a suitable dress at some stage.  I'm leaving Thursday and will be back sometime lateish on Sunday.
Friday was dental appointment day with both boys.  Second Son will need braces sometime in the next 18 months, which we were pretty much expecting so no great surprises there.  Firstborn has two small cavities that he's getting filled on Tuesday, and a strongly worded warning from the dentist to stop eating his pens.  He had two lines dead centre on his canine teeth and neither of us could work out what the hell they were, until they were examined under a strong light and found to be ink, from the pens he constantly chews on.  I'm triyng to wean him on to something less toxic like drill bits or galvanised nails.  Sigh.
Dentisting on Friday also gave Second son the opportunity to miss two lunch hours in the Principals office for playing (wait for it) Toilet Tiggy.  Seriously.  If they had nowhere else to play, they'd be sueing the Education department.   I really don't get boys.  At All.  Anyway, himself is in for a shock, cos the punishment is retroactive, so he's gonna have a long, dull Monday.  And hopefully an upgrade in his playground choices.  Dream on, mama.

Thursday, October 28, 2010


Today I embraced all things girly with my personal princess.  Complete with costume changes and much wand waving.    Much as I love my sons, the whole PowerRanger/Buzz Lightyear/Spiderman deal got old pretty quickly.  Whereas I could play Snow White for ever....

although the Witchy ensemble really did it for me.

Seriously, I would have a daughter tomorrow,  just for the chance to dress her in this....heehee, world's tiniest goth it!!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Cosmic Karma/ STOP is not a suggestion.

He who gives the Ladypop on Morella Street a mouthful of abuse in the morning shall surely have a long wait in the afternoon while the Ladypop on Colwyn Street crosses 26 kids slowly in single file. 
Don't mess with us, dude.  We're like the Mafia.  What you do to one of us, you do to all of us.

Just for the record, peeps.  The big organge sign is not a fashion accessory.  And the wording on it is not a suggestion.   All we're trying to do is get your kids safely across the road.   And get home in one piece to our kids.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Move over Howie.

Just when you thought cable couldn't get any better.  Last night I watched what has to be the highlight in my viewing week.  It was called All Worked Up (I think) and it was about these guys who run a towing recovery service.  IE if you don't make your car payments, they come and truck it away.  Which is highly entertaining in and of itself, but the best part....they live in a town called Lizard Lick!!!!   SERIOUSLY!!!  
Is that or is that not the coolest name EVER?????   Before last night I thought the coolest name on the planet was Howie-in-the-Hills ('s in Florida).  But we have so got a new gold medal contender.   Lizard Lick (chortle)
God Bless America.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Return of Fatal Friday/ I only do it in the rain.

Once again, Fatal Friday has reared its ugly little head and bitten me in the ass.   I'm totally not a big fan of the end of the week at the best of times, as every hour past midday on Friday automatically drops the average drivers IQ by 20 points.  Using my failsafe "Oh-shit-back-up-kids-he's-not-gonna-stop"  method, this puts the average pick-up-parent in the same brain tank as a tub of coleslaw.  Add rain to this, and you are guaranteed the NDE (near death experience) you never wanted to have.  And to all those people who think a short sharp shock is good for your system, I invite you to join me for the next round.  Same place, same time.  Wear clean underwear.  Just in case, y'know.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

It's all in the timing.....

For future reference....

11pm is not a good time to tell me that second son's computer and book reader are not in his school bag.  There's nothing I can do about it till the cleaners get to school at 5am and open the classrooms.  But thanks for keeping me up all night worrying about it.  It's not like I needed the sleep.

Anastasia was the youngest daughter of the last Russian Tsar, Nicholas ll.  It is not what the doctor gives you before an operation to make you sleep.  But I love the fact that you were watching something on TV that didn't include either Japanese animae or the Worlds Dumbest Criminals.

No mother ever born wants to see her child identify unknown marks on clothing by using the scratch and sniff method.  We find it disturbing.  And vaguely nauseating.

You are not going to see the latest Resident Evil movie.  You're only ten.  I don't care if you've seen way way scarier stuff on youtube.  Actually, yes I do care.  Did your father turn the net nanny off again??

You are listening to a recording of your mother.  I'm not here right now.  Actually I am.  But I'm hiding.  If there's anything you can't live without in the next 4 minutes, please feel free to take a deep breath and yell  "MUUUUUM".  A customer service parent wil be with you shortly.  Thank you for your call.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

L.O.L. / Mortality Bites

and no, I ain't laughing, peeps.  And this is why.....a few days ago I got a call from a very dear friend to let me know that her son would be up in Briz for a few days visiting his dad.   Tanya and I go way the birth of her son to be exact.  I was hired by her to nanny for Daniel when he was four months old.  We hit it off immediately and have been very close ever since.   She's a truly loving giving person with a personality best described as "happy manic".  I adore her.  And her son.  At least I did until he decided to do the unthinkable.  He grew up.   Which is bad enough without adding the fact that the little boy who used to beg for repeated readings of "In the Night Kitchen" is now six feet four inches tall and the proud owner of a (gag)  Learners Permit.   He told me about plans for his gap year.  He used to show me the gaps in his teeth.  He sounds like he eats gravel and he does that "man sit" thing that makes all fellas look like they're lounging in front of the TV even when they're perched on a cane chair at a cafe.  He's exactly 15 months older than my son.  Which is where the LOL comes in.  I have officially redesignated it as "Little Old Lady", 'cos that's exactly how I feel.   I love Dan,  I'm thrilled that I had even a small role in producing the exceptional young man he's become.  But.  I feel old.     Proud.  But old.   Ovaltine, anyone???

Tuesday, October 5, 2010


As you may or may not know, apart from holding the title of Supreme Commander of Planet Hartwell, I also have several alter-egos,  may fave amongst them being Ladypop, Guardian of the Crossing.
Ladypop is easily recognised by her very loud costume, including her Car Repellant Wonder Vest and her Incredible Traffic Halting Sceptre of Power  (that's a stop sign, for those of you who don't do hero-speak).  Ladypop spends her days defending Colwyn Street from the evil infiltrations of the Prado Squad and their minions of doom.  (and I make sure the kids cross the road safely, too).
As a general rule, I love my job.  Over the years, I've been given fan mail, a theme song and many dandelions, courtesy of the kids who use the crossing on a daily basis.  But I will admit to having some absolute faves amongst my little travellers.   They're the Siblings.  The little brothers and sisters who walk to the gate every day  with their parents/grandparents to collect older brothers and sisters.  Seriously cute enough to melt your heart and loosen your fillings.   I get to hear about Kindy and trips to the park and visits from the Tooth Fairy.  I get shown an enormous variety of scrapes and bruises and Disney-themed bandaids.  And we share a mutual love of these

which I am known to keep a supply of in case of emergencies.  You know....bumps, bruises, sore haircuts.... (heehee, I'm a total soft touch)
Well today one of my little Sibling Specials presented me with a sack full of these little goodies for me to "share with all your kids".   Bless her, her Mama found them on special and donated them to my crossing fund.    Little Miss R, you're a total sweetie. xox

Shoot me now.

Having one of those weeks and God help me it's only Tuesday.   Firstborn is dealing with issues that I'm not going into here because they don't concern anyone else.  He's not in trouble, not sick, just dealing with stuff that makes you glad you're  not a teenager any more.  So we're having some Emo time on the home front, which has cast a black cloud of Addams Familyesque proportions over the house.  Even with the lights on.  Second son has decided that he's had enough education for 2010.  Unfortunately as there are 10 weeks left in the school calendar, it's not really his call.  Which is making for some seriously short tempered mornings @ Casa Hartwell.  To add insult to injury, his Kobo decided to call it quits this morning without warning, leaving him "bookless" (his word) and obviously unable to attend school.  I gave him directions to the library.  He was not impressed.  I hauled my ass up to Garden City and had a meltdown at Borders  and was able to get his Kobo replaced, and since they've actually come down in price, they threw in a cover/holder thingy,  which means I get my cricut toolkit case back.  So not all bad.  Just mostly.  The mother of all mothers is now castless, but is sporting the latest in black plastic-and-velcro foot boots.  And still isn't allowed to do any weightbearing for the forseeable future.  So the home nursing goes on....and on.
My house looks like a bomb hit it, my laundry has taken over the garage and Bandit had a pepsi in the park this morning, and forgot how to walk so I had to carry him home.  Do-over please......

Sunday, October 3, 2010


Things are picking up again work wise, with a couple more shoots booked in over the next 3 weeks. I've slowly but surely been revamping my can see it here. It's still a work in progress, but is easier to navigate for those of us with terminal tech-savvy issues (me included).
The boys are back to school tomorrow which has me kinda bummed, I love having them at home, although it will give me a chance to at least attempt some housework. Firstborn has done a sterling job on his TAFE application...he has knocked himself out making sure it's the best he can do. Unfortunately there are many more applicants than places, but we'll cross our fingers and hope for the best. Health wise, things are mostly good, no medication problems for the boys and nothing immediately lethal going on with me, so I actually have time to take a couple of deep breaths before the next big thing hits. How does it go?? In the event of an accident, place your head between your knees and kiss your bum goodbye. Truer words were never spoken.
Leaving you today with an oldie but gorgeous goodie of Second Son way back when....Awwww. xo

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Kings Cross

at last, a photo from Mamafest!! This is taken from the alleyway behind the hostel where we stayed, looking down towards Darlinghurst Road. Five Star all the way, baby!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

If I ruled the world....

This is the man I would put in charge of the armoury.

Geof from Charm City Cakes. He's the most laid back person I've ever seen who still retains a pulse. Love him!!

KjirstenDS/ Goodies

Yes indeed, microchip peeps....I'm officially crashing and burning what's left of my hard drive on two screens simultaneously!!! FF finally made good on his promise two install my long awaited second monitor, and this is the result....

Impressive, no?? Shades of NASA live from downtown southside Briz. It's actually brilliant for editing, 'cos I edit like I open from one end of the screen to the other, fifty different layers going at any given time, and I can never find what the damn picture originally looked like at the crucial moment. Now I can lock the original on the second screen and attack any subsequent copies with a virtual it!! I'm a lot into virtual latest stocking filler is slightly less than really here, but I love him all the same...

Henry Mallett is definately someone who would have graced my teenage walls, along with Adam Ant and U2. MMMMmmm, feel that bad-boy eighties vibe. He's so fine!!
Love me a dead rock idol.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Canvas Art

One of the shots from our fishing expedition to Redcliffe....

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Return to H.B.C.

Yes, I will admit to being just a little gobsmacked myself!! After little or no time or enthusiasm for scrapping or even photography (!!) I have forced my way back into H.B.C. (Heaving Brothel Central) and scrapped. Two layouts in two days, can you believe it?? So, here we are....this is the shot of the kids at Fingal Head last week during one of the rare fine spells in the evenings. Not the best shot of the layout as it's already in a frame, and I don't do well with glass reflection...but you get the idea.

And one of firstborn and FF....the first shot that officially shows Kit is taller than his dad. You can't actually see it but FF is every so slightly on his toes in this shot, lol. Fifteen and one month, sigh. Mind you, he's been taller than me since he was 12, so I don't know what FF is moaning about, heehee.

We took the boys fishing at Redcliffe this morning with Melissa and Glen and their boys, which ended in some impromtu swimming (sans togs) for the boys, and more photo opportunities for me. Hoping to get some more scrapping done while FF is on holidays this week, as he has PROMISED to install my dual screens so that I can edit without going blind, but I'm not holding my breath. FF's track record in this particular instance is not good, so it's in the "wait and see" pile ATM.
Off to watch "Spirited" before the Tribe come in and kamikazi the remote. Later xo

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Back from Beyond.

and yes it was wet, thanks for asking. Although it cleared up occasionally so I got some nice sunrise shots....

plus some of the kids, this one being my favourite....

It got a little crowded with nine of us in the camper trailer, but the kids had a ball and there was plenty of vodka to numb the pain for the adults. Ahh, good times!!

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Over the Border

to Fingal. We're hoping for good weather, but are prepared for bad. Apparantly the surf is excellent this weekend 'cos they've put out warnings as the beach patrols don't start in NSW for another week. We've just got to load the last few things in the trailer and then hit the road. See you in a week!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Rain on my roof.

and I like it very much. I would like it even better if I didn't have to go out and play 'Dodge the Prado' at 2 o clock, but I guess everything has a downside, no?? Feeling a little better after my second doctors appointment yesterday....she managed to get the rest of the concrete out of my ears, and man does it make a difference!!
I can actually hear said rain on the roof, instead of having to walk outside into a damp surprise 'cos my lobes were down to 20% and fading fast. I had no idea how bad my hearing actually was till I got it back, lol. Heard (with both ears!!) from Luisa this morning, my Pazzles is winging its way North even as I type. Seriously looking forward to playing with my new toy over the holidays!! Those of you who drive down Colwyn Street on a weekday afternoon will no doubt have seen me sporting the latest in Magpie Repellant Clothing, as the little psychos are in full nesting mode and cranky with it. Does a bucket on the head work?? No, it just makes them more determined to give me a DIY lobotomy. Does a bucket on the head entertain the preps and stop them worrying about impending doom swooping from the power lines?? Absolutely. I'm not the most dignified person even on a good day, so the whole bucket on the head deal doesn't really bother I have closet bushranger tendancies, so it's kind of a win-win deal. Just ask the preps.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Counting down

till we leave for Fingal. FF in particular is living minute by minute, 'cos the two weeks in September are his "big" holiday for the year. We took him to BCF on Fathers Day and bought him much expensive foldy-type camping stuff, so he was very happy. I have my doubts that he was thinking about himself when he chose the washing up stand, but at least it goes with the camping clothline I got for the last trip. The boys, of course can't wait, especially since Melissa and Glen and the kids are coming with us, which makes for twice as many adults to cajole into pre 5am surfing and post 7pm fishing. Yeah. Good luck with that. On a completely different note, I am pleased (and slightly stunned) to report that Firstborn came home with a B on his maths exam. Which means that he gets to stay in his chosen strand for Senior and I don't have to try and pretend that I understand what it's all about. I'm currently on reasonable terms with the Husqvarna, which is just as well as Kit's quilt needs some major surgery before camping. I don't know what he does with it, (nor do I want to) but every third seam is in need of repair. Destined for a good life, not a long one, lol. FF managed to find a totally brilliant copy of a very recent movie online, so I'm off to make the most of my alone time before the boys come back from kicking and screaming @ Tae Kwon Do.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Fathers Day

Today is the day to look at the men in your life and appreciate them. Fathers, brothers, sons and mates. They drive you mad, they have strange obsessions with engines and dead fish, they don't listen, they won't ask for directions and they can't admit they're wrong. But they love and nurture us, they catch cockroaches and spiders, unclog drains and fix the mixer. Even if they were the ones to break it in the first place. And they raise their sons to do the same. With one teenage boy in the house and another getting there fast, FF is now the go-to guy, rather than yours truly, who is fast becoming a member of the opposing tribe. It was bound to happen at some stage, and all I can do is be thankful that my boys have a strong role model to guide them through the start of their manhood. While I sit and watch. With pride and joy. Happy Fathers Day everyone.

Thursday, September 2, 2010


Spent the morning communing with the Gods of TAFE and have managed to get firstborn on the list for the Companion Animal Certificate starting next year. Now I just have to rob a bank to pay for it.
Managed to get the red marks out of Firstborn's fave tshirt, although it's now cream instead of grey. If I was trying to turn it cream on purpose it wouldn't have worked half as well. I'm awarding myself bonus points for simultaneously bleaching the inside of the washing machine to a shade of white guarantted to detach your retinas at fifty paces.
Entered a photo competition with this shot of Second Son.

They're looking for heartwarming shots that make you smile. Hmmmm. Although second son can be moderately heartwarming when he puts his mind to it, this is pretty much the standard look for himself at the moment. The prize is an education fund which I'm sure will come in handy when he takes Advanced Lock Picking at whichever government secured institution he ends up doing 1-5 years at. I jest, people. Seriously. He hasn't got nearly enough hand eye co-ordination to pick locks. Wholescale demolition is much more in his line of expertise. So, we wait and see. Unfortunately it's not a "vote for me" situation, or I would be shamelessly grovelling even as I type.
Soccer season has finished, which means I get my sidekick back on Thursday nights. Parenting is all very well but it can seriously cramp your social life at times. Between band practice, tae kwon do, soccer, drum lessons, two husbands and 5 kids, Melissa and I haven't had a night out in about three months. So tonight we start making up for lost time.
I have now been befriended by more highschoolers on Facebook than any other parent in the universe. Not sure if that's a good thing or not.
The mother of all mothers has a fortnight to go before she is officially deplastered and allowed to walk. She's cooking up a wicked case of cabin fever, and it's getting very hard to stop her from trying to vaccuum/cook/wash/herd cats from her wheelchair. I have warned her that if she breaks a hip falling out of the damn thing while trying to paint the ceiling, I'm driving her to the nearest nursing home and leaving her there. One broken bone per year is my limit.
Anyone who knows how to get red hair dye out of a light brown towel can leave me a message here. That is all.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Danger Woman.

So far today I've managed to turn a load of white laundry pink courtesy of one of Kit's red t shirts, which was hiding in the ottom of the basket. After which I attempted to soak the red out, forgot to turn the taps off in the laundry and returned from drum lessons with Seb to find my studio two inches deep in water. And yes, I know it can always get worse. I just really really don't want it to. I'm a total menace to society when I'm tired. God only knows what's gonna happen next. I'm gonna keep well away from sharp objects, fire and heavy machinery until I get some zz's. I want to rest in peace, not in pieces.


This morning I hit the wall. After two trips away in a month, home nursing mum, dealing with all the associated crap that comes with two kids at school, I have run dry. I'm mentally drained and physically knackered. I'm doing the treadmill of housework/schoolwork/after school activities/ and I feel like I'm slowly being screwed into the ground. I really need to pick up the slack and get myself in gear, but the motovation is long gone. Hopefully if I can carry everyone through the next two weeks I'll get time to recharge while we go camping. It just seems a long, long, long way away.

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

In from the cold.....

yes, I'm back after four of the coldest days Melbourne had to offer. Paperific was great...lots to look at, although I didn't get much of a chance, being flat out behind the counter most of the time. I'm still buzzing from a caffiene high and from my latest purchase.....

After watching Luisa demonstrate it under my eyes for three days, I couldn't resist. It's a Pazzles Inspiration and it'll be winging its way to HBC in the near future. It does everything except wash the dishes (although there's a rumour about an attachment for that, lol) and it just what I need to do my invitations & decoration for the handfast. Oh yeah!! Love me some technology!!

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

On my way....

to Paperific tomorrow combining business and pleasure, lol. My feet are not looking forward to long days of standing, but my retinas are ready for all the eye candy they can handle. Bring on the goodies!! See you on Monday.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Death Defying

yep, that's me....almost out of the tunnel after a couple of the crappiest days on record. I'm not mended, but I am capable of sitting up for an hour without passing out, and driving and seeing where I'm going at the same time. Big improvement!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Scheduling conflict.

The bug-du-jour has hit Planet Hartwell with a vengeance this week....first Kit, then Sebi came down with high fevers and barking coughs. Then they gave it to me. Thanks, guys. I seriously can't remember the last time I felt this bad....I ache from the soles of my feet to the tip of my split ends. And where I would love to take several days, and get my money's worth out of my germs, as usual, I am flat out and will have to postpone death till another time. Kit has a job interview this morning, we are halfway through sorting the garage, and I have to fly out to Melbourne first thing Thursday morning. I'll just have to schedule in a few days of death later in the month.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

The best laid (SET) plans

I would like to start this post by thanking God for letting me do my teenage years in the '80's. I swear, I don't know how teenagers today cope without therapy. Maybe they don't, and that's where the problem starts. Firstborn is in the middle of Set plans, which is a cross between senior subject selection, future life planning and medieval torture. For a fortnight, there has been a steady background mumble of OP scores, uni preferences, HECS debts and thinly veiled inquiries about the possibility of car ownership if his first choice in courses comes through, since the campus in question is a two hour drive away. And it's only gonna get worse, the closer it gets..... I feel a sudden need to don a balaclava and make illicit withdrawals from some of our finer lending institutions.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

I could be working

on my trip canvas, but that would involve thinking. I'm really not up for it right now. You know how it is.....

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Bad Karma

Yesterday was friday the 13th and I should have just stayed in bed....I went to the shops to try and find a box big enough to post my OTP to Sydney and some rotten skank stole my purse out of my bag at the post office. Drivers License, credit card and $80. To cut a really crappy story short, my day went downhill from there. So today I'm hoping for an upswing, otherwise I'm going back to bed and staying there for the forseeable future. Bleugh!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

H.B.C. Illuminated/ Late Night Create.

These caught my fancy at the show today....they're Tibetan prayer flags with little lights in them. Perfect for late night creating, as they're not bright enough to start off a mid-evening migraine, but bright enough for me to work by, providing I'm not using a craft knife. Which I rarely do any more, once I lose daylight....I have got to get my eyes checked, or else blind scrapping is going to have a whole new vibe.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010


Back into the daily grind and I'm feeling the burn. Mum continues to improve, but she's got cabin fever and I can't blame her, I'm feeling that way myself. I'll be the first to admit, I'm not a brilliant nurse, and she's not a patient paient, so between us, we're a right couple of narks. I'm off to Melbourne on the 26th to work at Paperiffic, which will give me another much needed break, although there'll be no time for sight seeing or shopping, more's the pity. We're booked to go camping at Fingal for the first week of the September break, providing mum has been deplastered, Melissa, Glen and the kids are coming with, so it'll be full house by-the-sea. Kit had his birthday bash over the weekend, they all seemed to have a good time, especially himself, lol. Wedding plans are at a total standstill atm, I can't even think that far ahead right now. Maybe once things get back to (semi) normal I'll have a little time to spare but it's all too hard just at the moment. Too may details and not enough free time. Sigh.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Birthday Boy

Here he is....Pride and Joy @ 15. Excuse me a little mortality check as I wonder where the years went. My little six pounder is now eye to eye with his father, and still growing, if his feet are anything to go by. He lives in a cave and grunts at me as we pass in the hallway. He inhales whole boxes of cereal at a single sitting. His music is loud enough to rattle the windows. He has callouses on his thumbs from constant texting. but he still comes in for a good night kiss. Every night. Love you big time, firstborn.

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Today I dragged Firstborn and Second Son to a little alleyway and took these....

plus a whole lot more that I can't show yet 'cos they're part of a project.
Don'tcha just love the purple cello??

Friday, August 6, 2010


Have a few things on the go a commission for an off the page piece for SC Top 10 issue, which was a nice surprise. My piece is nearing completion, although every time I think about posting it I get heart palpitations. I have visions of it arriving in Sydney in 2000 pieces, yoikes. Second son had his clinic appointment this morning, he's fine with his meds, but has been diagnosed with something called "intestinal migraine". Which involves pain and nurofen in that order. It's often brought on by stress, and since both my cherubs reside in Crisis County, State of Disaster, that kinda makes sense. Fortunately it's neither life threatening nor furniture destroying-a-la-excorcist, so we continue with massage, yoga, meditation and his aromatherapy blends to try and keep his thermostat from corking off. To finish, a photo from Newtown where Melissa and I spent much money and bought many things. Unfortunately this wasn't one of them, as it was attached to a wall supporting a house. But I was seriously tempted.

to me!!
Older, definately.
Can't ask for more than that.

Thursday, August 5, 2010


I'll admit it...I'm a total magpie. I have an insatiable desire to collect little weird things. Just look at my kids. And the coolest things always seem to drop into my lap when I'm not actually looking at all. Like today.....
I was legitimately shopping for groceries when an unseen vortex dragged me into Lifeline, where these little treasures were begging for a new home.

The clowns are old curtain tie of them has lost a foot, but they're still beyond gorgeous. The globe was hiding on a top shelf and the cafe sign was hanging behind the counter. Second son has appropriated one of the clowns for his wall. Mini mother like son.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Return from beyond....

I'm back....overloaded, excess luggaged, tired, slightly grubby and windswept. I'll fill in all the details later, have mum arriving back from hospital any minute, and housework is calling. LOUDLY.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010


on a jet plane. On a Jetstar plane to be precise. Yes, I have made it to Mamafest, and not a second before time. Melissa and I leave husbands, children, pets and plastered parents for five days of hard core R'n'R starting as soon as we board the plane at 8.30 tomorrow morning. I have organised mum, she goes back into hospital on Friday for her next op, which is really sucky timing, but since I have 6-8 weeks of full on home nursing ahead, it was decided that I should still go, everyone will cover for me, and then I can take over again on Tuesday. My only problem is that I'm so tired I have visions of hitting the pillow tomorrow night and not waking till Monday. Although that in itself sounds like mannna from heaven right about now, lol. So, no posts for a few days, but I'll be back on line hopefully sometime Tuesday. If I come back. Which I'm sure I will. Honest.

Monday, July 26, 2010


I have just spent 4 hours on the phone with the Mater Hospital and I am pissed. Big time. I swear to God, I'd have gotten better results chewing straws with the Village Idiot. Mum has to attend fracture clinic tomorrow and after Thursday's fiasco, I decided to ring up and order an ambulance pickup. Which apparantly, you can't have, unless you've filled out the correct forms. Which we hadn't because nobody told us about them. After speaking to idiot #1, who asked me why my mother couldn't drive herself (??), I was transferred to the head idiot, who informed me that I would need to "pop out to your GP" to get the correct forms. I asked her what time she was arriving to look after my mother, while I "popped out". She transferred me to the Complaints Idiot. I got her voicemail, on which I left a very rude message. She won't get it for a week 'cos apparantly she's on holidays. I then got transferred to the Assistant Complaints Idiot, who offered to send a volunteer car to pick up mum. I very politely told her that unless it was a volunteer ambulance with a stretcher in the back, she could jam it up her wazoo. She told me I was upset. I agreed. She asked if there was something she could do. I asked her if she could tape the 6 O'clock news for me, in case I didn't get a chance after calling the media and holding a pre-election press conference about the state of Queensland Health. She offered to organise me an ambulance. I said thank you. 'Cos my mother raised me right.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Still here....

Mum is mending (slowly) and I am hopeful of getting a whole night's sleep in my own bed in the not too distant future. She's doing really well, but refuses to admit her limitations, which means I constantly have to check on her to make sure she's not trying to do something daft. Which she hasn't (much) although she did wheelchair herself to the door in the middle of the night to let the dog out, instead of buzzing my mobile. GRRrrr. See what I mean about checking?? The boys have been really good, fetching and carrying, plus walking the dogs and making squillions of cups of tea. I'm also rather keen on FF atm, he has cooked, shopped, cleaned, washed, parented and taxied without a word of complaint. MWAH!!! Knew there was a reason I married you. Going to try and have a power nap now, while I have a house full of people to keep Nanna under surveillance. Later xox

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Life on Ward 9

Well, to cut a really crappy story short, the hospital has discharged Nanna, and she's home with us, complete with plaster cast, wheelchair, and lots of really dangerous painkillers. She'll be readmitted some time next week for her next lot of surgery. It's been a really hard couple of days, but we're getting on top of things, although we still have some serious furniture moving to do so that she can access everything important, like her bed and the bathroom. I'm seriously not happy with the hospital, who discharged her and then decided to ring me and tell me, after she'd been sitting in the transit lounge for an hour. They couldn't even loan us a wheelchair so Kit and I had to carry her from the car to the granny flat, and she was only one day post surgery. She was very upset and in a lot of pain, but she's so glad to be home where we can look after her properly. Last night she had a good sleep and this morning she's eating better and looking better. Thankyou to you sweet people who left me messages here, lol Kerryn for thinking it was me in hospital, heehee. Will update again as time allows. xox

Thursday, July 22, 2010


Well there's good news and really sucky news. And since the sucky outweighs the good by a long margin, we'll start with that. Mum will be hospitalised for six weeks. She had the first of two operations yesterday, to realign the bones in her leg and ankle, and is now sporting the latest in toe-to-knee hard casts. She looks like she stacked her skateboard. She came through the surgery pretty well, and is concentrating on making life as hard as possible for everyone else by refusing to lie down and rest. Which is why she has to stay in hospital, as the doctors have realised that if they send her home after her second surgery, the first thing she's gonna do is get out of bed and try and answer the phone/ paint the ceiling/ scrub the floor. So she stays put until she's recovered and rehabbed. Which means on the (slightly) up side, I get to go to Mamafest next Thursday, providing I can organise a visiting roster in the meantime. I'm not 100% sold on the idea of leaving her up there but we've kinda had our choices taken away. So today I shop for all the little things she needs. You know....knitting wool, bourbon, poker chips....

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Danger Woman.

Just when you thought it was safe to go outside....
The mother of all mothers is currently residing at the Mater after managing to break her ankle in three places after slipping while walking the dogs. She'll be having surgery to put a plate and some screws in the joint and will be plastered for six weeks. Which is making Mamafest look like a long shot at best and an absolute impossibility at worst. There are no limits to the lengths my mother will go to to stop me spending money, lol. So, for the moment, we sit and wait. Updates as they happen.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Week One

Week one is practically over and both boys are still in one piece. Second son was not keen to go back, but has done amazingly well with lots of backup from his beloved Mrs Saal and her cast of several. I've got him on a really structured platform this semester, working things down to the minute, which seems to be the way he functions best. Firstborn, on the other hand, continues to do it solo, with very little input from me (sing halleluiah). He's had a slight dip in grades, which I am attributing to an overdose of girlfriend and far too much facebooking, but he's still on a B- average, so I'm not panicking (yet). I'll save it for the next round of face piercing arguements, which are due any day now. I'm gonna be 15 soon mum and you said when I was older....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


One day back on the crossing and I've managed to catch a mild case of death. My chest feels like there's a brick sitting on it and I'm working on a gold medal migraine. Which is all good as long as I get rid of it before the 29th. I have a failsafe remedy involving 3 lemons and a pint of whiskey, which I'm gonna indulge in as soon as I drop the kids off. Providing I live that long.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Back to school.

Firstborn and second son are back in the grip of the Dept Ed as of this morning, leaving me free to clean what's left of my house after two weeks of Manfest. I love the holidays, but domesticity has suffered big time. I'm scared to shift the couch in case something mutant and toxic reaches out from between the cushions and grabs me. I also need to complete a major grocery shop as the cupboards are completely bare. On the plus side, we are inching closer to Mamafest....just over 2 weeks till Melissa and I head to Sydney for some much needed down time!!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Anthem/ My life in sound

Music is powerful stuff. I was looking through some playlists this afternoon and found myself revisiting times in my life that I haven't thought about in a long, long time. Midnight Oil, when Peter Garrett was an icon and an activist, not a politician. Short Memory still gives me chills. The things I wanted to do. Change the world. March, shout, wave a banner....get arrested. Something, anything to show that I was here and I had a voice. I did what I could....sponsored a child in a third world country, joined Greenpeace, signed petitions, demonstrated at Parliament House. It never felt like enough. I look at my oldest child, weeks short of fifteen, watching the news, BP oil spills, young men killed in Afghanistan, and I see the same look on his face that I wore all those years ago. Frustration, anger, wanting to do something, to make his voice heard. Full circle. I hope his voice is louder than mine.

Monday, July 5, 2010

Man House.

Can you smell the testosterone?? Yes, Casa Hartwell has temporarily evolved into MAN HOUSE, where teenagers inhale entire boxes of cereal at a single sitting. Where you have a choice of TV programs as long as they start with WWE and involve much throwing of furniture and bad acting. Where the hallway is being overtaken by hoardes of teenyweeny tiranids from Planet Mongo. Where XBOX 360 apparantly means "playing video games till your head does a 360 turn a-la Exorcist". Where Pizza is a food group. Along with Coke and Betty Crocker Instant Frosting. Where 4 boys make 400 times more noise than 2.
Where am I going to hide??

Thursday, July 1, 2010


Counting the days till I open the gate and spread my wings for a few days of high calorie chocolate coated "me time". I love my kids. (honest) FF too. (seriously)
I am coming back. But I need this on a totally selfish me first level. So I'm having it. With a cherry on the top.


Well, I went, I watched and I wondered what all the fuss was about. It was OK, certainly something to rev up the average teenage girl, but I came away feeling decidedly 'meh' about the whole thing. Maybe I turned adult without realising it. Sigh.


Introducing our resident masterchef....Sebi "Crocker" Hartwell, King of the packet mix.

He decided to entertain himself by exploring the depths of the kitchen yesterday afternoon, and this was the result....

I'm hoping to extend his interests to vacuuming and laundry in the near future....

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Mama has a dark side.....

and she's not afraid to show it. On my list of things that REALLY tick me off are the following.

Stray Children. The ones who congregate at my place for hours, eating me out of house and home and fighting with/ignoring my kids, while they complain about how so-and-so has a much bigger/better/faster whatever. You know who you are. And never a parent darkens the horizon to find out where their kids have been for six hours. I have two words for you....VACATION CARE!!

Stupid shoppers. The ones who can't decide between two boxes of generic crackers and hold the rest of us up for six months while they agonise.

Close to God/Born in a Barn. I know winter is a fact of life but there's a reason behind me closing the door when the heater is on. Would you like a sample of my electricity account??

I'm sure the list will be extended shortly. That is all.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Holidays and all that.

I LOVE school holidays. Today we started by not waking up till 8.30, (myself and second son....firstborn had to be dragged out of bed at 10.30) then had a leisurely late brekkie and went out for a little retail therapy. The boys got to take some holiday money out of their accounts. Firstborn bought some seriously gorgeous earrings for his girlfriend, who is due up on Saturday ("just because"... gotta love a man who thinks like that) and second son bought a gun and some stretchy rubber frogs (why not??). Tomorrow, firstborn is off on another round of job hunting, followed by finishing off his history project, while second son and I have a little quality time. It's so relaxing not to have to contend with homework, band practice, drum lessons, tennis lessons, martial arts training and all the other stuff that goes along with school. LOVE me some down time!!

Saturday, June 26, 2010


How cool is this....

love the night sky.


Ok, just for chuckles, check this out.
Some people seriously have far too much time on their hands. And I for one am so glad they do.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Made it....

to the end of semester one and we're all still here (in one form or another). Firstborn returned from camp with a truckload of laundry and informed me that they broke the camp record by fitting 13 music students in the sauna, which only hardens my belief that education in 2010 really has to be experienced to be understood. They did find time to play some music, although I don't think they were in the sauna at the time. Second son and I attended the Kops In Kilts performance at the school, which allowed me to briefly indulge in my secret braveheart fetish, so that was all good (love me a man in a skirt). Firstborn's LDL is heading north for 2 weeks, so I expect to lose sight of him for several days as they make the most of their time together before education pulls a Romeo and Juliet on them and they have to go back to fortnightly visits. I intend to spend much time catching up on my crafting and finishing my monster quilt before I lose my mind and take a pair of pinking shears to it. There are also movies to be watched....Eclipse being at the top of the list (oh yeah, just me, a large coke and all the eye candy my retinas can stand!!) LOVE Gold Class. I'm also planning a couple of day trips, some bushwalking and much sleeping. Starting as soon as I post this...zzzzzzzz

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Close to home.

As I write this I am at that strange space between heartbroken and incredibly proud. I try not to go there too much, it's draining. Exhausting, both emotionally and mentally. But sometimes you see something, hear something that takes you there and all you can do is roll with it till you get your balance back. Today it was a movie. I just finished watching Temple Grandin, and the hairs on the back of my neck are still prickling. Watching Clare Danes as Temple is eerie, it gives you shivers. It is a mind blowing performance. Heartbreaking and inspiring at the same instant. And so close to home. I could have been watching firstborn. The stilted language "Hello-it's-nice-to-meet-you-my-name-is-Temple-Grandin" "Hi-my-name-is-Kit-K-I-T" The affinity with animals. She could tell the difference between the sounds the cows made. Kit knows every dog in every house on his paper route and they know him. He doesn't even notice the people. The clothes issues, the noise issues, the visual-literal issues. And the refusal to let it stop them from achieving their goals. "I want my life to matter" (Temple) "I have important things to do"(Kit).
She attended university and achieved amazing results in her work with cattle. Kit has his heart set on an associate degree in applied sciences so he can work with dogs. How can I do less than encourage him with everything I have, to be everything he can be? He has important things to do. You better believe it.

Random Weird Returns....

and drops a pile of goodies in my lap!! if you hang out here at all, you'll know that I got a couple of days work at the Brisbane Papercrafts Expo over the June long weekend, which I really enjoyed...saw a bunch of mates, bought some goodies, dressed up in Prima packages and generally had a good time.

Well apparantly good vibes are contagious, 'cos I got the offer to do the same thing at the Melbourne show at the end of August, which means a couple of child free days for me, plus some much needed cash for the Handfast kitty. Doin' the happy dance, peeps!!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Second son and I have been awake since 2am, following a combination nosebleed/tooth extraction. Tired much??

Monday, June 21, 2010

Captain Underpants and the Three Nurofen Headache.

Firstborn is leaving tomorrow. Not on a jet plane, but leaving nonetheless. He's off to band camp (insert soundbite...and this one time, at band camp....) for the remainder of the week, and after todays festivities, I will be waving him off with a song in my heart and an icepack on my head. He decided, for reasons best known to himself and not gone into in any detail by me, that a revamp in wardrobe was needed, prior to departure. To be brief (pun fully intended), I was instructed to go out and purchase some boxer-type undergarments a-la Calvin Klein and associated other style icons. They had to be a certain style, colour and brand, as well as organic, recyclable and indestructible in case of bus crash and ensuing ambulance ride. It took me TWO HOURS to find said garments, by which time my retinas were bleeding and my brains were leaking out of my ears and sliding down my cheekbones. Was it worth it???

Judge for yourself.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Sunday Stuff

Today has been a cross between quiet and chaos, with Marcus and Katie spending the afternoon with us. Marcus was happy to hang out with the big boys and play Xbox, while Katie came down to investigate my quilting. We ended up having an impromptu sewing lesson and she made herself a little cushion cover with some of my leftover patchwork squares. Did a pretty good job too, for a seven year old who's never been close to a sewing machine before. I always enjoy doing 'girly' with Katie, we scrapbook and craft, decorate candles and make cards. I have a feeling that sewing will now be on the agenda for future visits, lol. FF and I attended a 21st for our neice Melissa on Friday night. Barefoot lawn bowls....which was a riot, except for the Hartwell men and their 'win-at-any-cost-philosophy'. Sheesh. For all of their tactics and game strategy, they still failed to notice that we managed to 'acquire' several extra bowls that were lying around, giving us a slightly unfair but completely understandable advantage, heehee. Melissa's birthday cake was a work of art,(hot pink and zebra stripes...GORGEOUS) made by a friend of a friend whose number I have to get because I want her to make me a castle cake for the Handfast. After beating the Husqvarna into submission, I am powering through the flannel side of my monster quilt,
and hope to start piecing the demin side by the end of the week. Yes, the gods of sewing are finally smiling on me. Let's hope it lasts!!

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Second son is feeling a bit under the weather ATM, came home early from school yesterday, so I've decided to let him have today and tomorrow off school. It's sports day both days so he won't be missing much. He's tired, I'm tired, everyone's tired. Roll on school holidays!! Firstborn has a birthday to go to tonite, it's a girl mate from school so I've been left with the present buying. Apparantly she likes silver (who doesn't??) so I'll see what I can find without breaking the bank. Our house has been very quiet this week due to Firstborns's LDL leaving her phone in Brisbane. As a result of which she's been grounded for a week with no electronics. Firstborn is suffering mild to moderate phone withdrawal, and was not impressed when I suggested he send her a card to cheer her up, 'cos he doesn't know her actual address in Sydney, lol. Melissa and I had an extremely worthwhile trip to the Sallies shop at Carina, I picked up a whole bunch more table deccies for the Handfast, for only $8. Bargain!! On a whole different note, I bought a couple of OTP pieces for an upcoming birthday and was pleased to discover that my paints haven't petrified in the (at least) six months since I last did any serious scrapping, so I had a fairly productive evening sanding and painting while we flogged the Blues @ Origin. Two weeks from today will find me sitting solo in Gold Class watching the new Twilight movie....I've seen a few clips that people have sent me, and it's looking better than the last one (not that it would be hard....) so we'll just wait and see if it's worth the hype. Here's hoping. (I will admit to a secret fantasy that Jasper finally loses it and EATS Bella, but I fear it's a forlorn hope, sigh). Next week finds me down one child as Firstborn heads off to music camp leaving me and Second son to entertain ourselves for the duration. I see much Halo in my future. Panadol anyone??

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Long Weekend....

I am back, after a fairly big weekend, working at the Scrapbook Expo @ Southbank. Which I thouroughly enjoyed, although my feet may never recover. I was very good and bought next to nothing, so my spending money for mamafest remains intact. Saw heaps of mates and spent an interesting few hours watching the Scrapping Nanas Precicion Shoplifting Team in action. I swear there's a 140 year old Fagin somewhere, runnning a team of 70-something Nanas, and those chickies will nick anything that's not nailed down. One of them had a pram and I was seriously wondering if she'd flogged the baby from someone. Unbelievable. Really, people, if you're determined to embark on a life of crime, then up your sights a bit, y'know. Steal the Crown Jewels, kidnap KRudd, whatever.....but pinching discounted scrapbook supplies shows a distinct lack of panache. Yick. Big time. I got home on the Saturday evening and was greeted by second son with "thought you were in Sydney".(??)
Out of sight, out of mind apparantly. This week I am determined to wrestle the Husqvarna into submission so I can FINALLY finish the top side of my quilt. Otherwise I'm camping out at Melissa's so I can use her fancy pants Brother (machine, that is) when she gets through. Handfast plans continue to slowly take shape, you can see what I'm up to here , although there's not much to look at as yet. But there's more coming, I promise.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Today it is cold. Really cold. Thermals-under-my-moo-cow-pants-cold. In the interests of not freezing, I decided not to go to the junior sports day and watch the preps turn into prepsicles. Besides, I'm sure I'll hear all about it on the crossing this afternoon, when it'll hopefully be a few degrees warmer. We have a busy weekend lined up at Casa Hartwell, which always seems to happen when I'm not here to supervise. Kit's girlfriend is up from Sydney this weekend for the first time in a month, so Kit has invited a bunch of their mates round on Saturday to do whatever it is teenagers do when they get together. Eat and watch DVD's springs to mind, since we run a strictly G rated house. It probably would have been a good idea for him to announce the plans a tad earlier, as I'm not here at all over the long weekend. I scored three days work at the papercrafts festival, so FF will be left to man the ship. I pointed out that this would be an ideal time for him to prove that his vintage teenage cool is still intact, but he's not exactly brimming with enthusiasm, heehee. Second son is now on his full dose of medication and doing extremely well. He gave me a revised list of books he wants on our last trip to Borders, and after adding up costs, even with getting some second hand, it worked out cheaper to get him an ereader, so we did. We bought him a Kobo from Borders, and it's getting the workout of its life. His teacher has allowed him to use it in class for silent reading, and he's munching through his latest series at a truly scary speed. Firstborn, of course has shown absolutely no interest, and has his beady little retinas firmly fixed on the DSiDX which he has decided would make a totally cool 15th birthday present. Second Son is in agreement with this, because he gets custody of the current DSi. Even FF thinks it's a good idea, 'cos then he gets second son's DSL. What do I get?? Peace and quiet. Worth every penny!!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The week that was....

Week one with second son on meds has passed and things are looking good, so far. We were told that if there was an improvement it would probably show after 5-6 days, but in all honesty, things were picking up by day 2. I don't know if it's wishful thinking on my part, but we really seem to have hit on a winning formula. He is much less upset/frustrated, and much more able to keep on task. He's making connections that just seemed to buypass him before. Like I'd ask him to put his socks on for school, but I'd have to come back five minutes later and tell him to put his shoes on. He'd go in the bathroom and brush his teeth, but wouldn't think to comb his hair. I know a lot of this is typical kid behaviour, but now he just seems to make the jump between socks/shoes and brushing teeth/brushing hair, which is guaranteed to save me 20 minutes in the morning ;) He's also sleeping better and eating better, which is a godsend as he was starting tto get that skinny transparant look again. The only downside I've noticed is his obsession with the handball. It's never out of his hand. He's constantly throwing/bouncing/rolling it. He sleeps with it. If he can't find it, panic ensues until it shows up. To combat this, I bought half a dozen from Target, so we always have some spares. Plus some earplugs, cos the constant thud thud thud is driving me round the twist. Small price to pay for a happy settled kid, though.

In other news, FF has agreed to make an honest (middle aged) woman out of me (again).
We're gonna re-do our vows for our 20th anniversary next year in a medieval handfast ceremony. The boys are thrilled, as they get to dress up and carry weapons. FF is slightly less thrilled cos he thinks he's gonna hafta wear tights. (!!) I'm excited-slash-borderline psychotic about the whole deal, as I'm in charge of costumes. Which I have 12 months to make so I'm not thinking about it right now. Stay tuned for updates.

Friday, May 28, 2010

The longest journey

starts with a single step. So tomorrow we start the first step in the next part of our journey. After an emergency clinic visit today and some back and forthing with Seb's developmental specialist, we will be starting him on medication tomorrow. Which I was kind of expecting as he is just about the same age Kit was when he started his meds. What I wasn't expecting was all the emotional stuff that's been swamping me all afternoon. Part of it is thinking back to Kit at that age, and how hard it all seemed. How just getting up each day and putting one foot in front of the other seemed like a massive, unobtainable goal. How everything seemed to be at the top of this massive hill, and any kind of milestone seemed a million miles out of reach. And still we did it. We got over the biggest hurdles since he was diagnosed at 2 and lived to see the view from the top of the mountain. Now we have another mountain to climb, and I'm five years older, and fifty years more tired. The whole one foot in front of the other deal looks just as hard as it did then. And I'm worried. Make that "packing death big time"....I owe second son everything I can possibly give him, and even then I don't know if it's going to be enough. I would give fifty years of my life, my right arm and a kidney to be able to fix things for him. Spectating while someone you love is struggling is a killer. It sucks the life right out of you and leaves you feeling invisible and useless. And angry. Really angry. Shouting, screaming, throwing things angry. So that's what I'm doing. Inside. On the outside I'm dealing, parenting, coping, moving forward one step at a time. Inside, I'm fractured. I hurt. But he won't see it. Ever. I'm strong enough to keep it from showing. That much I can guarantee.

Adidas Mouth.

This week on "I can't believe I said that"

If you sneak up on me and shoot me with a laser, I'm gonna be really pissed.
No, football does not work better with the lights off.
I know it's harsh. It's punishment. The harshness is a neccessary element.
No, I don't know why. Ask your father. (omg, how desperate was I at this moment???)
Please don't answer the phone by saying "spit it out".
Can you Mortein the kids, I'm running late.

Mother of the year eludes me once again.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Mamafest update.

We are booked.....Melissa and I are booked into the Jolly Swagman backpackers at Kings Cross for the duration of Mamafest. The mother of all mothers commented that we'll be the oldest people there by at least 20 years (thanks for that) but I'm sure we'll cope. If it gets too loud I'll just take the batteries out of my hearing aid. All I need to do now is check and make sure my Zimmer frame counts as hand luggage.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Page!!!

I think I shall title it "Still Life of Teenager on Phone". Lord knows, it's permanently attached to his head. I'm considering getting a SIM card inserted in the back of his neck to save time.
This is the first page I've scrapped for myself in months. I was supposed to be quilting today, but the Husqvarna and I aren't speaking ATM, due to a disagreement over stitch sizes for sewing corduroy. Hmmm.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Saturday Afternoon.

My house is very quiet. Second son is spending the night at a mates place, so left earlier this morning complete with pj's, toothbrush and's essentials, lol. He'll be back tomorrow morning sometime unless he freaks out this evening and we have to go pick him up. It's an even money bet at this stage. Firstborn is still in mid-assignment....after argueing with me for several hours yesterday, he has decided that life really isn't worth living once your mother takes away everything except your breathing priveledges, so today he's been head down and hard at it most of the day. I knew he'd come round to my way of thinking. I'm making serious progress on my quilt.....I'm so tempted to change design midway and make each of the boys a single sided patchwork instead of the monster double sided insanity that I thought was such a good idea six months ago. I will finish it as planned, although the idea of stitching up seven million denim squares has me less than thrilled.
The Quilt That Ate The World!!!

Today also saw me donning a HAZMAT suit and sorting out HBC so that I had room to sew. With the cold weather, I had my sewing table moved from the garage into the bedroom, but it wasn't a great success due to the fact that every time I spread the quilt out, Gryffindor lay on it and bit me when I tried to move him. I tried sticking pins in his tail, but that cat is stubborn. And has mild-to-moderate mental health issues too. So, I've relocated to HBC where I have reverse cycle air con and control of the music. Works for me!!

Friday, May 21, 2010


Anyone else wanna share in my totally sucky morning??? Thought not.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Ramblings of an overworked homeologist.

Firstborn and second son are watching The House of Tiny Tearaways, which is kinda like Supernanny bring yourself, your partner and your feral offspring to the house and they lock you in with Dr Tanya and fire psychology at you for a week. The boys love it. The worse behaved the kids are, the more avidly they watch. Second son in particular is a massive fan, probably because the kids in question make him look like one of Raphaels cherubs by comparison. His constant refrain is 'hey, at least I never did that'.
How quickly they forget. His early years would fill several bookshelves in any child psychologists waiting room, and that's without the special edition sibling rivalry volumes.
In case you missed the subtle (like a brick) untertones, I'm a bit over parenting ATM.
I think it was the duelling book reports that pushed me over the edge. Firstborn is reading 'Tomorrow When the War Began' which is on the podium with 'The Boy in the Striped Pajamas' and 'Doctor Zhivago' as one of the most depressing books ever written. Small wonder we're raising a generation of Emo's when you look at the Year 10 reading list. Firstborn is not real impressed with it either, which probably explains why he was correcting his draft copy with one hand and MSNing with the other....ahh, the joys of being lefthanded. It also explains why the sentence "hey Jake, wassup w/u" appears in his latest rewrite. I'm thinking his right and left got temporarily misassigned for a moment. Don'tcha hate it when your mother proofreads over your shoulder?? Second son was allowed his own choice of book and settled on 'The Hunchback Assignments' which at was at least interesting without being morbidly depressing. The only downside being that it had 3 million chapters and SS has long since forgotten what happened in the first 3/4 of the book. So it was a real slow afternoon, involving much headbanging and hair pulling, followed by wholesale ingestion of Nurofen by the supervising parent. And I thought three days of Napalm was a pain in the ass. Sigh. So as a little reward to myself for not descending to their level and whining 'but I did that already' , I am treating myself to the ultimate in trash tv.....Toddlers and Tiaras, followed by Repo Men Uncensored. I can feel my IQ dropping even as I type. Love my Foxtel.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Guitar Hero


Not often that I get him in front of the camera. Although a shot where he's looking at me would be even better. Sigh.

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Mothers Day/Napalm/Romeo Must Die

It's been a bit flat out at Planet Hartwell which explains why I haven't updated in a few days. Mothers Day was on Sunday and it was all some lovely things, handcrafted silver jewellery, a wicked cool pilot's hat a-la steampunk, and some seriously loud PJ pants which will never be worn in bed cos they look so good. We saw both grandmas and had takeout for lunch. Nice. Second son announed that the school was having Napalm this week, which had me slightly concerned until I realised he was talking about Naplan. Personally, I'm thinking that they would have done better going with the napalm, but who am I to argue with the Dept Ed?? Firstborn was looking forward to seeing his LDL this weekend, but due to delayed flights, her plane was really late and it was decided by parental forces beyond his control that there wouldn't be time for them to get together, which has left a black cloud of napalmish proportions hovering over Planet Hartwell for the forseeable future. At least until her next trip up in a fortnight's time. God save me from teenage romance. On the random weird side of things, not much has been happening apart from my babysitting a placenta in my freezer while the owners move house. I was seriously concerned that FF might try and make bolognaise out of it, so it has been labelled "do not defrost or eat" in very large letters, and last time I checked it was still there. I've been lucky enough to score three days paid work at the June Scrapbook Expo, which will take care of my spending money for Mamafest in Sydney, oh yeah!! Both boys are grading in TKD tomorrow, firstborn is competing for his green tip and second son for his yellow belt. Just for a change they've moved the venue which will cut at least an hour off our travelling time and we may even make it home before the end of the world as we know it. I have been quilting up a storm since I got my last commissioned album out of the way, and I'm hoping to have one side finished by tomorrow night, if everything goes according to plan. Which it won't, but I'm not thinking about that yet. I never do.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Clear the decks....

It's finished!!! After months of truly painful editing, my last commissioned album leaves for it's new home this afternoon. Thank God. Now I can shut the door on HBC for the forseeable future and get started on my quilt. I don't wanna see another photograph for at least three months. I am totally pixelled out. I need several weeks of repetitive zen, sewing hundreds of identical squares until my brain unknots. Ahhh, feel the bliss!!

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Scream Ow/ Chick Stuff.

Back from the doctors, a little battered and bruised in places I won't mention. I'm seriously not on speaking terms with my girly bits ATM. On my next trip round I'm gonna be a seahorse....the males give birth and the females go to the pub. That's the life for me.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Roach Motel

Ye Gods !! What is the point of getting to Sydney for almost nothing if it's gonna cost more than the national debt to stay there?? I started at "Budget Hotels" (my ass!!) and worked my way down. I'm currently looking at a backpackers hostel in Kings Cross which has good reviews and very little 6pm news footage of body bags being carried out the back entrance while police cordon off the driveway. Apparantly I can get a twin room with a fridge, a smoke detector (!!) and a large padlock for somewhere in the region of my budget. Sounds like a winner. Bags I the top bunk!!

Mamafest 2010 !!!

Just when you thought the school year was gonna last for ever.....

I have been saved from the mid-year mankies!!! Jetstar are having a two for one sale, so Melissa and I picked up really really cheap return fares to Sydney. So come July 29th we'll be heading off for four nights of uninterrupted sleep and power shopping @ Paddy's Markets, sans husbands and kids, a-la Thelma and Louise, without Brad Pitt in a cowboy hat. This'll be my first time away from the tribe in almost 4 years, so I kinda feel like I'm due a bit of a break. I'll miss them, I'll think about them, and I'll be glad to see them when I get back, but the idea of a few days of totally doing my own thing was too good to pass up. I think I'll be Thelma....I totally rock a headscarf and sunnies.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Top Gear / L Plate Quilters

This morning Melissa and I are going to put her brand new sewing machine through it's paces. I will admit to being just a tad EXTREMELY JEALOUS 'cos it does all sorts of wicked stitches and fancy things, plus you can attach a quilting foot. But, I refuse to be a morlock about Husqvarna is plenty fine, so today it's all about the Brother. And whether we get it out of first gear. Stay tuned......

Monday, May 3, 2010


They're at it again. I just spotted two healthy but extremely stupid crunchy nuts jogging down the middle of the main road. Into the oncoming traffic, yet. In the dark. Jane Fonda has a lot to answer for. I always knew exercise was hazardous to your health.


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