Friday, April 30, 2010

And the award goes to....

Firstborn son is getting an award today. I think it's for music. I'll find out when he brings it home, as proud parents are apparantly seriously uncool at School Assemblies. It's all part of the "I Was Hatched From A Pod" thing that they go through. See if I give birth to him again any time soon.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Godzilla Vs Gravity

My house is full of faulty anti-gravity geckoes. They're ok up to a point, but they only make it about halfway across the bathroom ceiling before they drop onto your head while you're shampooing and singing really badly. I'm so not a nature lover.


God preserve me from fifth grade maths homework. This is my third time through grade five and I'm still getting my hundreds and tens in the wrong columns. Primary school sucks. Just ask my son.

Migraine, anyone???

Firstborn came in last night and announced that I don't have to worry about him going to Schoolies Week and getting into trouble. He and his mates have decided they're going to Thailand for the Full Moon parties, instead. I feel SO much better.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Fat Computer/Cookie Monster

I am so in demand at the moment. In the last three days I've had everything from Russian barbie dolls offering me marriage and everything that goes with it to personal messages from Niam, Queen of the fairies, who is waiting with bated breath in her ivory fortress for me to come and rescue her. I hate it when my computer gets sick. Although I could really see myself going with the 'rock hard abs in 3 days' deal that I was offered earlier today. Ahh, vanity, thy name is Krjsteien, which is apparantly how my name is spelt in Internet Cookie Speak. Sigh. Time to reformatt and put my fat PC on a cookie-free diet. It kinda bites that I'm gonna miss my chance to make millions from "Horny Housewives Adult Entertainment From Your Home" but those are the sacrifices you make. Although if I wait another five minutes I bet there'll be an even better offer up for grabs. God bless free enterprise.


Hands up if you forgot today was parent teacher interview day. There goes my Mother of the Year award.


Got me my ticket to the Eclipse movie!! A little Gold Class coming my way July 1st.
I so deserve it!!

Monday, April 26, 2010

Through the looking glass/Behind the washing machine

And you thought Alice had problems. Second son just came down to show me the little rubber bouncy ball he found on top of my fridge. I'm not a big fan of the top of my fridge, 'cos you could seriously lose an arm ferreting through the layers of very important stuff that gathers there, waiting to be dealt with. Archaeology for the new millenium. Second son, however has no such issues. He loves it up there. If he suddenly decides he's really really bored, there's nothing like a dig through the top of the fridge to find something that you thought was lost forever, or even better that you didn't know you had in the first place. Hence the excitement over the little rubber bouncy ball. Which was all good until it was followed by the inevitable "hey mum, check this out" . The one phrase guaranteed to make me cringe. The only sentence I fear more at this stage of my life would come from my Gynaecologist and start with "congratulations" *shudder*. So, I'm checking out and he throws the ball and it disappears behind the washing machine. Standard practice, so far. My kids are not known for their athletic ability. The next bit kinda floored me, though.....I live with the tribe of three. All men....large, medium and small. (second son being the small one). Their whole purpose on this planet is to shift heavy things. Like washing machines. So I will admit to being just a tad surprised when second son zapped me with his patented "aren't you going to do something" look. So I did. Do something. I called FF. And I took photos.

I see a distinct family resemblance. The other photos can't be published in case someone lipreads what FF said after second son managed to throw the ball behind the fridge three seconds after it was rescued from the washing machine. The recovery mission continues.

Green Day.

This morning we took the boys out for some enforced physical activity and ran them through the botanical gardens at Mt Coot-tha. It was nice, not too hot but lots of people, so after I got some nice shots of the Bonsai and the boys finished dropping seed pods on the lizards, we headed up to the summit for a look through the telescope. For once, FF took the camera and took a couple of shots of me and the boys, so this is probably the first and last look at me for 2010.

Yes, well I wasn't aiming for supermodel, so we'll just let that go, and I can sneak back behind the camera where I belong, lol.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

Pride and Joy

This is my son.
My firstborn. The one who officially made me a mother. He doesn't feature on here a lot because he's at that age. The teenage years. Where you disappear into your room and turn your music up way too loud and only come out for meals and occasionally to ask for a lift somewhere. He's permanently connected to the internet, and has unnaturally stumpy thumbs due to incessantly texting his mates. He likes Greenday, Linkin Park and Breaking Benjamin. He listens to jazz while he does his homework. I know, 'cos you can hear it all over my house. He gets impatient with his little brother and rolls his eyes when I ask him to mow the lawn.
He wants to run a boarding kennel when he finishes school. He's big into animals.
He's also autistic. Which used to be the first thing I thought about whenever I thought about him. Or looked at him. Or worried about what was going to happen to him.
Now when I look at him, I think about learners permits, part time jobs and girlfriends. Because those are the things that are uppermost in his mind. Autism has never been first on his list. It's just something that's stuffed in there with everything else. Like spare change in your pocket. You just carry it around with you, and sometimes you forget you even have it.
I am in awe of my son. He is growing into the kind of man that leaves a positive impact with every step he takes. He is my Pride and Joy. I love you, Kit.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Mail Call - Update.

So this....
is what was waiting for me at the post office. Not jewellery, but not bad, either. It's my first full page publication, so I was pretty stoked. It's in the latest Scrapbook Creations in the Bumps and Bruises gallery. How big are Sebi's teeth in that photo, lol. He's grown into them some since then. The photo is from when he managed to scrape the lens in his eye (who does that??) and had to have 2 hourly eyedrops for a week. A week that lasted 6 months. Not one of my finer moments. Cute pic, though.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Mail Call

I found one of those little green cards from the post office in my mailbox, telling me there's a parcel waiting at the post office. I have no idea what it is. I don't remember buying anything. I'm hoping for jewellery. Or chocolate. Or some funky new stamps. A book would be good, too. Or pretty much anything good to eat or fun to play with. I'm gonna be very disappointed if I rock up tomorrow and Australia Post gives me a box full of tea towels. Although I'm sure I didn't buy any. Stay tuned for details.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Intervention please.

Somebody stop me. So far today I've eaten 4 banana snackpacks, a box of double choc cookies and a spoonful of flaxseed oil so I don't die of guilt. I need the veggie police, STAT!!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Alien Pods/ What's in a name?

Today my driveway is alien free, after my sister, her partner and the giruvian pod child started their return journey to the mothership this morning. It was nice to catch up with them and spend some time with the pod, who turned out to be extremely cute and highly photogenic. (she's the little one....) She reminds me a bit of firstborn son at that age....I think it's the curls.

On the home front, things are OK....firstborn is deep in assignment mode, as well as training hard for his TKD grading next month. Second son is recovering after a couple of days of something nameless that involved stomach pain and a temperature. He is also grading next month, so the punching bag on the deck is getting a serious workout in preparation for the big day.

FF has decided that Planet Hartwell needs a name. (other than Planet Hartwell, I guess.) He's voting for "Twin Peaks" since our front deck is now wrapped in plastic, courtesy of the cafe blinds we installed a couple of weeks back. I'm scared to ask the boys for their thoughts.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

St Francis and the Short Circuit Emergency.

Welcome to Planet Hartwell. Home of the Supreme Commander, the Tribe of Three and the St Francis of Assisi Refuge for Mentally Challenged Animals. This week we played a new round of "What's Wrong With Bandit", after he decided to forget how to walk, midway across the lounge. The mother of all mothers decided that the best way to fix the problem was to go to the horse's mouth. Or the dog's rear end, in this case. Note for future can't jumpstart a Heinz 57. So she asked Bandit what the problem was. I had a fair idea that the dog not being able to speak english was a problem, but wasn't about to point it out, as I have a total Captain Obvious phobia. So after a presumptive "no comment" we rang the vet.
"Hi, it's Mrs Hartwell.....yes, that's right, with the nuerotic bitzer and the fat cavvy, uhuh. Yeah. Umm, look, I think Bandit's forgotten how to walk. Well he's sitting in the middle of the floor looking worried. Well, MORE worried than usual. Yes I can bring him down now. No, the cost is fine....we were eating three times a week, anyway."
Turns out Bandit has epilepsy....the boys are fascinated. Sebi refers to it as 'pepsi-lepsi' or pepsi, as in "hey mum, Bandit's havin' a Pepsi". Firstborn calls it 'flipping the safety'....Bandit continues to periodically sit and look worried. The vet has assured us that it won't kill him. The cat thinks it's fabulous.

What Every Girl Should Know.....

Obviously I've been doing it wrong all these years....what a waste of chocolate.

Friday, April 16, 2010


again, so I can take a few deep breaths and chill before the whole school thing winds up again on Monday. Seb has been a little out of whack this week, probably due to a combination of Easter Holidays and my sister and her family camping in our driveway for a fortnight. It doesn't take much to throw him off, and he was showing signs of returning to Earth by yesterday afternoon. He managed a B+ for his Indigenous Australians project, which he was mighty pleased with. He's finally starting to show a little more interest in schoolwork and grades, rather than just doing the bare minimum required, so I'm hoping with a few months of concentrated effort from him and me, we can get him into a decent school/home routine that'll work for us both. Kit is powering ATM....his interim report card arrived today, and it's all good....straight A's in music, which I fully expected, B's in English(!!) and Multimedia, and C's in Math and Historical Studies. All passing grades, with no missing assignments or incomplete homework. All done with absolutely no input from me. He's finally doing it all himself, from the organisiation/dates/planning to the writing/drafts and getting the completed work in on time. Brag on, Mama!! This weekend we are out and about with birthday celebrations for Marcus and Ingrid, plus some more editing work that needs to be finished as well as the finishing touches on my latest commissioned album. After that, I'm hoping to get to work on my quilt before winter gets any closer. My (ex) boss rang me today to see how things were going, and to let me know that if I wanted a couple of days regular work, to come back and see her. I am standing firm. No work for the forseeable future...Seb has to come first. And if the bank takes the house, we'll camp under my quilt, if I ever get it finished....god knows it'll be big enough.


This nifty little deal

arrived on my doorstep a couple of days ago. It's the Optica Mini Magnifier Lamp from Brilliant, and so far it's living up to its name. According to the box it's suitable for the Vision Impaired, Hobbyists and Beauticians. As far as the hobbyist part goes, they're spot on. The light is clear and steady without any of the little flickers that can drive you mad with some fluorescent lighting. It actually gave a better, more concentrated light than the adjustable lamp I am currently using. For fine work with a craft knife, the magnifier lens came in very handy, although I would advise stopping and resting your eyes every 10 minutes or so, particularly for delicate or intricate work. I also found threading my sewing machine much easier using the magnifier. The lamp itself is lightweight but sturdy, with a wide foot for balance...perfect for a craft table. The neck and head are both adjustable so you can aim the magifying lens to the particular area you're working on. And for dedicated planet people, it uses an energy efficient globe which reduces energy consumption by 75%. Not bad.

Other uses I found ....
Cross stitch, removing splinters, examining dead grasshoppers (my son did that one),
reading instruction leaflets.

It would be even better with....a slightly longer neck, although it is the mini version, and Buyster do have a larger model available. I just found that after prolonged use you do tend to get some back ache.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

More random weird.

In today's episode of Random Weird, our heroine gets a facebook message from a uni student wishing to interview her as part of a journalism project. She is apparently looking for "a range of perspectives" which I think means a lot of different people's opinions on things. I don't think I really have that many opinions, but I do have a seriously intriguing (spellcheck please) package from Korea in my lounge room which I know is part of my Mother's Month haul, since I am forbidden to approach it. I'm hoping for either a wicked funky piece of jewellery which I highlighted and stuck pictures of on the fridge and made frequent very subtle (wow, I really want THAT) references to for several weeks, OR an equally funky WW2 leather pilot's hat complete with goggles a-la Amelia Earhart (spellcheck again) which I fell in love with after Miss Marple wore one on her way to the Majestic Hotel. No, I will not explain, you'll have to watch the movie. I also measured my quilt after buying the wadding from Spotlight 'cos it was 20% off. I probably should have measured it before I bought the wadding, because the whole 20% deal got me terribly excited, resulting in enough wadding to make a quilt large enough to house a family of Bedhouins (spellcheck yet again.....I think I'm catching illiteracy.) So in order not to waste my bargain purchase, I am now in need of about 3000 more squares than I originally anticipated, which makes the deadline for finishing the damn thing somewhere late in the twenty-tweens. Nothing like a long term goal, peeps.

Photoshoot J

Princess from the waist down, fullback from the waist up....

Friday, April 9, 2010

procrastination in all it's colours.....

Today I have locked myself and Scott Joplin inside Heaving Brothel Central and we're not coming out until I can see the floor and possibly the pile of photos I was working on last night. HBC is definately living up to its name ATM, I have seriously got piles of stuff on every possible surface, and my "put-it-there-until-you-get-a-minute-to-finish-it" filing system has grown tentacles and is even now trying to take over the universe. And the fact that my attention span is shrinking by the hour is so not helping.....I'm like Danny Devito in that movie "I'm a bad person, I'm a terrible, awful....hey, cows!!" Except with me it's more like, "I'm filing, I'm sorting.... hey, email!!" I need an intervention. Or a maid. Or 2000 volts running through my keyboard so that every time I'm tempted to stop cleaning and hide in cyberspace, I get a short sharp reminder of how this place ended up on the HAZMAT top ten in the first place. She says while typing instead of cleaning....God, I really am a lost cause!! I wonder if Clean House have a branch office??

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Sneaky Peek.....

I could tell you what this is....

or you could check it out for yourself.
Buyster Lighting has some gorgeous things on site ATM. Seriously stunning gear, plus a crafter's best friend.....check here
table lamps and see what you think. Review to be posted soon. xo

Monday, April 5, 2010

Spontaneous regeneration/ Take a number, sister.

Is that what it's called when your appendix decides to grow back and give you hell 20 years after you had it removed ?? Ok, maybe it's not my appendix, but something between my ribs and my rump is giving me A grade toothache and I'm pretty much at the medicate-with-vodka stage now, which is not going to be a huge hit tomorrow morning, although right now I'm nicely anesthetised. And moderately hammered too, heehee. I hate feeling crook...normally I try to run off any aches but I'd have a job crawling to the driveway ATM. PLus, there's nothing to watch on TV.....fifty different channels and complete crap on every one. In despair I ended up watching Big Love, which is about Polygamists in Utah, and is pretty easy to get wrapped up in once you get past all the sister wives swapping nights and leaving post-it's directing Bill Paxton to the appropriate bed, lol. I don't know how he manages any sleep at all between the perfect housewife/zen mother, the compulsive shopper/daughter of the prophet and the big busted former babysitter. Boggles the mind. No wonder he's popping Viagra like they're tic tacs. Although I can totally see some advantages to having several husbands.....if I had a few in reserve, maybe the lawn would finally get mown. Nah... they'd probably all be in the lounge watching football. So we'll call that one vote for monogamy, and a reminder to leave FF a post it note about the mowing. I feel better already.

Sunday, April 4, 2010


Happy Easter to you and yours!! My lounge room is ankle deep in discarded tin foil as the boys chow their way through way too much chocolate. We had some brass players at church this morning, and the music was to die for....I really get where the Sally's are coming from. Love me a well played trumpet. Finally finished the last shots for the St Marks Anniversary Album, all that's left is the editing. Which I'm not gonna think about today. I'll do a Scarlett and "think about that tomorrow".
Little known useful fact....there are no calories in a cracked Easter egg. Later.

Saturday, April 3, 2010


Check these guys out.....

beyond gorgeous, and at the top of my Mothers Month wish list.....just in case the tribe are reading, lol. Heart me the dainty drops.....sigh.

Reading this week.....

So far this week I've managed four and a half volumes of the Black Dagger Brotherhood series by JR Ward....heehee, basically dentally enhanced pornography, but fun reads none the less. I'm trying desperately to get my hands on a copy of Robert Neill's Mist Over Pendle, but it's been out of print for about 15 years and is nearly impossible to find. FF reckons it's my fault for having such bizarre taste in literature, but is it my fault that I have eclectic taste?? As well as a mild-to-moderate fang fetish, lol. To get my mitts on Robert Neill I'm gonna have to put the Kindle on charge and check out some second hand dealers. My second fave thing to do.....
Next weeks list.....
The Vampire's Assistant (if I can get it away from Kit)
The Lancashire Witches (way old, but way good to come back to)
Some more Deltora Quest with Seb (in between easter eggs)
Eragon (again, first I have to get it away from Seb)


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