Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Recovery Mode

I'm back, after a fabulous Christmas, hoping yours was too.    We attended Carols service at St Marks on Christmas Eve, and Christmas Day Service the following morning, complete with a brass quartet to play the carols.  Divine.....I like my Christmas Morning straight out of Dickens, and this was as close as I was getting in 2011.   Was pleasantly surprised by my sons singing carols beautifully....made for a heartwarming start to the day.   Which was followed by much gifting, eating and general good times.   We're hoping to catch up with long-distance mates in the next few days, plus having a couple of days camping and seeing in the New Year with another group of mates this weekend.  Hopefully rain free, but we'll have to wait and see.....
Hoping to post some Christmas Pix before Easter, but don't hold your breath, I'm a little swamped xox.

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Merry

to you and yours from me and mine xoxo

peace and love.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Camo Kitteh....

Just in time for Christmas, the boys walking jackets arrived from England.  And yes, I know that sounds insane but they were cheaper than anything here, we got a choice of materials AND they were made to measure.  Couture kitties, lol.  They're a big improvement on the harnesses we were using, and the boys LOVE them.   Achilles (bottom pic) does look a bit pissy in the photo, but that's because I hid baby Jesus 'cos he kept stealing him out of the manger and burying him in the litter box.
Give me back my saviour!!


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

A matter of perspective.

So, as I may or may not have mentioned on here, we have been investigating why firstborn is on a slant.  For real.  Turns out he has scoliosis plus one leg is longer than the other (and yes I know that is true about everyone on the planet, so don't email me ok) as by longer, I mean longer enough to put him on a slant and cause his spine to curve, giving him scoliosis.  Which is fixed by chopping 1.5 inches off one leg to make it match the other.  I kid, I kid.  They actually break the short leg and then add a bit in the gap to lengthen it.
No, they don't.  In fact, I have no idea what is gonna happen, apart from having to get one of his shoes built up to compensate.  So I'm combination worried/frustrated.  Just for a change.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Return of Catwoman....

and no, I don't have a whip. I'm terrifying enough as it is. Especially since I crossed the line into Total Pet Insanity with my latest purchase.....


We bought a second hand twin pram on Ebay, because the Toxic Waster was getting a little squeezy for two extremely quick growing gonna-be-huge boy ragdolls. Then my way-clever best half "converted it into the CATMOBILE by enclosing it with catmesh. It's riveted at the bottom, and attaches to the top and sides with pop studs. The boys LOVE it. My mother does not. She was barely tolerating the toxic waster, and the arrival of the Catmobile has pushed her ever so slightly over-the-edge. To the point where she's back to walking the dogs 100 yards in front of me and pretending we're not related. She's just jealous.
Cos her dogs are covered in boring old fur and walk on a leash.

Hektor (age 7 months)
Achilles (age 7 months)

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Title Under Construction or this it all I've got, peeps.

Ok, so this week I found out that my eldest child is on a slant, which I kinda realised a while ago but sort of put to the back of the front of my mind because I had way a lot of other things to be dealing with.  But now I am dealing with it because my youngest child decided to announce "hey, Kit's nipples are on a slant" which they are, because his shoulders are on a slant, as well as his spine not exactly being straight, so it's an interconnected kinda thing, iykwim.  And after having it pointed out to him, Firstborn decided he didn't like being on a slant and if I was any sort of parent AT ALL,  I would take him to the doctor and get him straightened out.  If only it were that easy. Sigh.  So we had x rays taken, and now we have to go and see the orthopedic guy at the hospital.  I'm seriously hoping that whatever it is can be fixed with screws from Bunnings, since my emergency medical fund is residing in Second Son's mouth for the forseeable future.  I hate being financially challenged. 
I also went to the movies by myself, sing halleluiah, and saw Breaking Dawn.  And proved to myself that I'm so post teenage it's not funny.  Seriously, I never felt older than I did after trying to lip read Robert Pattinson and Kristen Stewart for two hours, because they MUMBLE.  ALL.  THE.  TIME.  And they don't move their lips when they mumble, which is a double whammy in the dialogue stakes.  It's like those mobile phone ring tones that only teenagers can hear.  Speak up or add subtitles.  And learn to act.  That is all.

Monday, November 7, 2011

You couldn't make this shit up. Seriously.

So, I was taking the kittens for a walk in the pram, which I do twice a day, cos I'm an animal lover and they're basically really lazy and don't like to walk and plus the dogs don't like it when they walk 'cos they have no road sense AT ALL and it all gets a bit chaotic and where was I....

kitten walking.  right.  So, the mother of all mothers (two days post cataract) and myself, and Firstborn (fresh off the school bus) and the cats and the dogs are strolling through the park, and through the trees we can see someone walking through the creekbed.  Which is not something you see as a general rule, and then we can hear this person saying  'come on sweetie, it's time to go now' and I'm seriously wondering who would be walking around in the creek bed with their sweetie because 1. it's wet and 2. it's sort of green and slimey, with guppies and stuff, which in my humble opinion does not enhance your walking experience. are walking your duck.  which she was.  Seriously.  A tiny little yellow fuzzy duck, which was following a little stuffed toy that she had on a string.  Ducks are seriously intelligent.  If I let Hektor and Achilles off the leash (or out of the pram) I shudder to think of the carnage that would follow.  All I know is that they wouldn't be waddling down the path after a stuffed toy on a string, and you can take THAT to the bank, peeps.  Firsborn was fascinated.  He got his photo taken with the duck.  Whose name is Jemima.  Just in case you were wondering.  True story.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Brace Yourselves......

Yes, the moment has finally arrived.  After trying not to think about it for 18 months, Second Son has finally reached the point of no return.....dentally speaking, that is.  His last visit to the dentist on Tuesday saw us leave with a referal for the orthodontist.  A visit to them on Wednesday saw me leaving with plans for robbing a major financial institution in order to pay for the braces that himself is having fitted next week. 
On the upside, Seb's teeth are perfect cavities....he just has too many for his face.  He has quite a long thin face and a small jaw, and since losing the last of his baby teeth, and having his 12 year molars come through,  there is definately a shortage of space.  So, he has to have top and bottom braces to straighten and align his teeth, a titanium retainer behind his top and bottom front teeth to keep everything in line, and at some stage he'll need bands added to the left side to correct his bite.   All of which comes at a price that doesn't bear thinking about right now.  Suffice it to say that Seb is now the most expensive thing we own. But it's not all bad.....we 're able to pay them off monthly, and he gets a choice of colours, lol.  Right now he's torn between maroon and yellow (broncos) and orange and blue (roar).   I'll post a picture next week to show the final decision...... 

Friday, October 14, 2011

In which FF buys a fog machine, proving once and for all that he's a total Hallow Weenie.

Oh yes he did......FF brought home a fog machine for Halloween.  The boys are rapt.....they're already planning alternative uses for it.   Stay tuned for "A Freddy Kruger Christmas" coming to a front deck near you.  We're goona crank it up at out Halloween night bash, so stay tuned for pix.  Which will probably look something like this

Tuesday, October 4, 2011


Achilles bushwacked the mother of all mothers, managing to slightly scratch her cheekbone, resulting in her cataract surgery being postponed for a fortnight.  Which is a total PITA but it was worth it to hear her trying to explain it to the surgery receptionist.

Firstborn has gone away to camp, leaving me one child short for the remainder of the week.  I'm sure I'll cope.  They may not, depending on wether or not he remembers to take his medication. 

I have the mother of all ear infections (middle ear and outer ear) which has completely screwed my balance and my hearing.  So if you're trying to ring me, try again....unless my good ear is pointing towards the phone, you've got no chance.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Did you miss me??

I have not been here much the past few days for many and various reasons.  But things have been happening, regardless.  BEST NEWS:  I have my handfast pix!!  Yes, finally, here in my hot little hands.  All I have to do now is get them in an album before everyone forgets it ever happened.  People who want one will be getting a disk shortly.  But, I have some edits to do, so I'm thinking end of next week.
OTHER STUFF:  Second son is back on meds :(   figured it was coming, but still kind of a downer.  He's OK with it though, that's the main thing.  Firstborn brought home a report card that showed that he's still on track for uni if he decides to apply.  Dance happy, people.   Achilles backed off the sink and landed on his head.  He's the most unco-ordinated feline in existence.  FF has two weeks of holidays.  Dancing again!!  Love having my man at home.  Later.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Alfred Hitchcock and the Literate Magpies

I just finished having a very pleasant conversation with the chief idiot at the Department of the Environment, and now I need to break something.  The local primary school (where I dice with death every weekday afternoon on the school crossing) has a magpie problem.  A big one.  They're literally forcing kids off the footpath into the traffic, which I would personally think is a pretty good reason for them to be summarily executed rehomed to a lovely place with no houses/kids/bikes.  So I rang the city council.  Who put me through to the department of the environment (who gave these feathered Hitchcocks their protected status in the first place) and they very kindly offered to put us on a "swooping register" and send us some signage that announces that we have swooping magpies.  Brilliant...all we have to do is teach the magpies to read, and they'll realise the error of their ways, and all will be sweet.  Time to don my "fuck beaurocracy" shirt and buy that gun I'm always dreaming about.  Today, the magpies, tomorrow, the bus zone.  Be very afraid......

Monday, September 5, 2011

The Mystery of Mister or Smokin Sexy Men vs Stupid Literature Heroines Vol 1

I have a total thing for the Misters.....I don't know whether it's the title, the time period or the fact that they're just so over-the-top-sex-on-a-stick HAWT!!!!
Probably it's because I just can't see myself referring to FF as Mister Anything.

                                                Mr Rochester, aka the smouldering bigamist. 

Who Jane Eyre leaves even though he's rich, handsome and completely smitten with well as wanting to make an (almost) honest woman out of her.   And let's face it peeps.....Plain Jane is being kind.  She's got that whole downtrodden-ill-treated-orphan-girl thing going, but there's a limit to how far the waif look will take you.   Silly girl. 

Yes, he's got a mad wife in the attic, but hey, that's a big house, peeps.......plenty of room for her and her nurse, and her lawyer and her civil rights advocate.   Hell, stick 'em in the west wing and give them a credit card, and I'm sure they'll make out just fine.   The man has jewels in the bank, and he was planning to take her to Europe anyway....wear the pearls, get in the damn carriage and let him take you to Paris, you silly cow.  He's smokin hot and he adores you.  Wake up and smell the 1830's, chickie. 

Next Time:  Mister Darcy and Lizzie Bennett

Saturday, September 3, 2011


                                Hektor                                                                           Achilles

Don't let them fool you...they're recharging before the next round of wholesale demolition.

Something in the air....

smells like Spring.   Gotta love that smell.  Warm concrete and green grass.  Birdsong and late evening light.   Makes me wanna strip down and roll on the lawn.  I won't though.  'Cos I have neighbours and my mama raised me right.   I can feel myself waking up after months of hibernating and existing.   Time to do things again.....starting with a glass of red and a sunset on the driveway this evening.  Start slow, and aim high.  Welcome back Spring....I have missed you.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

What?? No Walk??

We had to skip Adventures In Kitten Walking this morning as the Mother of all Mothers had an eye appointment.   The management were unimpressed to say the least.....

Monday, August 29, 2011

Adventures in Kitten Walking/ The Blue Streak......

As I write this Hektor and Achilles are alseep at the top of the cat tree, looking all fluffy and cute and all the rest of it.  It's all lies, peeps.  They're really small fat furry fiends and I live in a constant state of oh-my-god-what-have-they-done-now.  It's like raising identical twins on speed.   Their crowning achievement to date was last Thursday's epic toilet-diving extravaganza, resulting in two soggy blue rinsed moggies sitting atop the cat tree trying to look like nothing special was goin on.  Cue the Scooby-Doo style chase music, throw in twelve wet towels and you're pretty much living the Planet Hartwell Experience. 
Not to be confused with Adventures In Kitten Walking, now showing daily at a park at the bottom of my street.   The mother of all mothers refuses to acknowledge me as I truck the boys down the street in the lime green cat pram, fondly christened the Toxic Waster by my sons.  Thanks, guys.
  When we reach the park, she walks the dogs away from me as fast as she can so that no one realises she's related to the lunatic woman trying to leash walk two kittens full of redbull and no-doz down the path.  I've actually gathered a small but dedicated audience of superior dog walkers, who feel it's their job to stand on the far side of the road and point and laugh.  Just in case my mother wasn't doing it loudly enough.  Here, kitty kitty kitty......

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Kindred Spirits.....

Kit and Hektor

what can I tell you....they speak the same language.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

New Arrivals....

Planet Hartwell is at full capacity after both the weary travellers and the new additions arrived on Tuesday.
Both have been very sleepy.  But my boys woke up enough today to get some photos taken.....

Sebi and Achilles,  post nap, but too lazy to sit up.

Sebi and Hektor, contemplating another nap.....

Kit is working atm so I haven't had time to get any pix, but will post as soon as I do.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

I'm ready...I'm ready...I'm ready...

WHY does time drag so much when you're hanging out for something good??? 
The house is spotless (even by nanna standards....impressive, no??)
The dogs are washed
The laundry is done
The lawn is mowed
The calf is fatted (only kidding, we're gonna have tuna mac....Sebi's fave)
and yet.....
it's still Saturday.
I hate waiting.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Catching up/ Counting down.

At last....the end is in sight.   I can honestly say that the last seven weeks have been harder than I would ever have imagined.   I've always been pretty hands on as a parent, and to have a massive part of my parenting disappear for months has been both a lesson in patience and a wake up call.   I've started looking into some of my "later" options in more know, the things you plan to do when the kids are grown.  Although we're not at that stage yet, I can see it approaching, and I'm not going to sit in the middle of the empty space where the boys used to be, wondering what to do next.   I have plans, peeps.  The fact that I never thought I'd get to put them into gear is beside the point.  In ten years time,  I figure I'll be looking at some large gaps in my daily life, and I plan to fill them with all the things I planned to do before I did a crash course in Aspergers and full time parenting.   I'm really looking forward to it.  Time to be Kjirsten again.  But, not yet awhile.  First I have seven weeks of  second son's life to catch up on.  Starting with waiting impatiently at the international arrivals gate, with my heart on my sleeve and a song in my soul.   I have missed you, baby.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Happy 16th Birthday Kit

You're everything I could ever have asked for.  You're my pride and joy, the light of my life.  I love you more than I could ever have thought possible.  Happy Birthday Firstborn.
 Always and forever, love mum xox

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The remains of the day.....

I'm feeling ever-so-slightly seedy this morning, but it was all in a good cause, and I blame Melissa for presenting me with a pint wine glass last night, which turned my two glasses of red into a bottle and then some.   FF cooked a superb pork roast with all the trimmings in the weber, plus an apple crumble to die for....*slurp*.   Got some lovely hand cream/body lotion from Levi xox , so all in all feeling very special and totally spoilt.  Just as it should be, lol.  My birthday experience was completed with the welcome news that Kit's on weekend shifts again this week, which means no death-defying mad rush to Loganholme after school for a 5pm start.  Woohoo!!!
We're well into the final countdown now, with Second Son and the mother of all mothers due home in 9 days....not that I'm counting!!  After many discussions on the best way to elevate a kitten on to Kit's 6 foot loft bed, FF threw in the towel and ordered a 6 foot cat tree thing to stand at the foot of the all we have to do is teach Hektor to climb it.  In the interests of not fuelling sibling rivalry (with the cats or the boys) we ordered another one for Sebi's room, so that Achilles doesn't pack his bags and move to a more feline friendly abode.   Sigh. 
Off to complete my indulgent weekend with a nanna nap before a late lunch and a dvd of my choice this afternoon.  Total blissdom has been achieved!!

Friday, August 5, 2011

Pension Party.

I'm gonna be 43 tomorrow.  Meh.
Do I feel it??  Sometimes.  Sometimes I feel 93.  
Does it bother me?   Nope.  Bigger and better things to obsess over.
Am I happy?  Vague question.   Mostly, I guess.
Am I where I want to be?   Absolutely.
Bring on the candles.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

11 weeks/ The final countdown.

You might well look surprised!!

Things are finally starting to sheer co-incidence, Planet Hartwell will be receiving it's two latest members and welcoming home Second Son and the Mother of all Mothers on the same day....
Vera emailed me to say that the boys could be shipped on the 16th, which is two weeks today.  It means two trips to the airport, (not that I'm complaining) since the cat flight arrives midday-ish, and Second Son and Nanna come in the evening.  At last, a full house!! 

In case you're wondering, the top pic is Achilles @ 11 weeks and the bottom pic is Hektor, same age.

Friday, July 29, 2011

On destiny and other stuff.

I was watching Julie and Julia while folding laundry this morning, and found myself checking out the interview bit that they run while the credits are rolling.  Nora Ephron was talking about how Julia Childs didn't become "Julia Childs" till she decided to embrace French cookery at the age of 50.  That within a week of starting her "mission" she'd found her destiny. 
Am I the only one who finds that a little offputting?   That basically she was nothing, had nothing to show for 50 years of existance until she mastered wholesale duck butchery??
God help us, I hope people have more sense than that.   I'm 42, and have spent the majority of my adult existence  doing just that....existing.  Doing the day to days,  having ups and downs, exceptional moments that didn't last long enough and crappy days that lasted for weeks.  Does this mean that I'm yet to become me?  That there's some line in the sand, some prerequisite "thing" that I must achieve before I can stand up and say "yep, I'm definately Kjirsten Hartwell".   Bullshit.   I AM WHO I AM.  Beware.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Counting Down/ Scream ow!!

We are past the half way point....Second Son will be back at Planet Hartwell in three weeks.  I'm coping better than I did the first couple of weeks, but I miss him desperately....he's my constant companion and offsider, as well as the only member of Planet Hartwell to share my taste in television.  
With firstborn splitting his time between school/band/work,  he's hardly ever at home and when he is, he's in his room doing homework or sleeping.  Second son, on the other hand is happy to watch hours of River Cottage with me, while we discuss the finer points of cooking organic snails.   He's good company.   And I could use some at the moment....I managed to trip over an uneven bit of pavement last Thursday which has given me an ankle the size of a grapefruit and the colour of a plum, which has restricted my walking to hobbling.  I'm still working, but in between shifts I'm confined to the couch with an icepack.  I need entertainment!!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I've changed my mind about the gun.

So today I get another form from the Oracle (read as DSS or Department of Massive Wind-Ups) telling me that firstborn's benefits are being cut because "he is no longer continuing full time study".  
So, every morning when he moseys up to the bus stop in full school uniform, complete with laptop, school texts that cost me a small national debt in levies and a trombone, he's actually going to some top secret location where 15 year olds can apparantly hold down a full time job between the hours of 8.45 and 3.15, while using a government issued student bus pass.   My head hurts.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Another reason why I really shouldn't be trusted with a gun.

I am not on speaking terms with Centrelink.  I'm not even on friendly-type interwebbing terms with centrelink.  I'm on migraine inducing head-smacking breathing-into-a-paper-bag terms with centrelink.  And it's only gonna get worse.  It's my own fault for having a child that insists on getting older.  My optimum child-parent-relationship age is 2 years 7 months.  They're portable, still reasonably cute, and they can't really argue.    But I digress.  Firstborn is turning sixteen in a couple of weeks.  Which comes in and of itself with a whole bunch of things I don't want to think about "LEARNERS PERMIT" at this stage.  But something I apparantly do need to consider is the fact that centrelink are going to erase my child from the Book of Doom or wherever they keep their records unless he applies for youth allowance.  I'm good with this....he's a youth,  so I guess he's allowed.   The forms are online.  They start by asking him to type in his secret teenage decoder word so he can start filling out his "e-claim".   Firstborn looks at me blankly (happens more than you think) and gives me the all purpose I-dunno-what-that-is-and-hey-isn't-this-your-job-anyway look.  Cue migraine.  By the time we covered dependant children (HIS.....not mine), marital status (HIS....not mine, and BTW don't you love how they kinda expect that you'll procreate before you legally committ??)  and whether or not he's entitled to a share of the house I don't have, my brains were leaking out my ears and leaving trails on my cheeks.    I rang centrelink and asked for an interpreter.  She asked what language.  I said English.  She hung up. 
Friday is sports day at Cav.  Firstborn will not be attending.  Instead we will be enjoying a field trip to our local centrelink office.  Sans gun.   I'm not completely  unreasonable.  Yet.

Monday, July 18, 2011


The boys at 9 weeks....Achilles on the left and Hektor on the right.
They're due to arrive @ Planet Hartwell in 4 weeks.   I don't remember pregnancy taking as long as this!!!!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Art Journal 1

Finally got started on my Art Journal.....I've got a few pages in progress, but this is the first one I've finished so far.    I feel so much better now I've gotten my paints out again.   With everything that's gone on in the last 12 months,  I was starting to feel like my mojo had gone for good.....even if all it does it keep me occupied till Sebi gets back.  

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Copic Cutie.....

heehee, isn't he sweet??   Amour Luka, from the La-La-Land collection, coloured with copics.  He's got a special place in my Art Journal.   I'm still learning the basics, but LOVING the end results.  FF is just happy to find me doing something other than pining for second son.....although I will admit that I picked this particular stamp because it reminded me so much of Sebi, lol. 

Prolonged pining has also paid off in other ways....apparantly FF thought that cable hookup and a TV in HBC would give me something else to think about, so this morning he set up a little wall mounted unit, and I'll be honest.....I'm totally loving it.   Hopefully some long term creativity is on the least until Nanna and second son return in four weeks...and two days....not that I'm counting.....

Thursday, July 7, 2011

The coolest thing eva since Maccas handed out Winnie-the-Pooh's head as a happy meal toy.

See these guys??


I think it's the whole
 "I might buy a burger, but then again I might just leap across the counter and rip your head off and eat your brain" vibe.

Cute, fluffy and ever-so-psychotic.  Bonus.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

In which our heroine realises her White Knight is really a big green Ogre with no Facebook

Just shows you that even after 20 years you can know someone you've shared some seriously intimate stuff with (think 'giving birth and camping') approximately as well as the guy who walk down the street and stuffs your mailbox with junk ads.   Although I'm way into junk mail both as an advertising medium and an artform, I'm not really on intimate terms with the delivery guy, IYKWIM.   FF on the other hand, I'm supposed to know well.  We've been together for 22 years.  Legally shackled for 20.  And we just redebted outselves considerably doing it all over again,  medieval style, for the amusement of family and friends and aossociated nosey lookie-loos.   And now I find out the shocking truth......

FF has no facebook account.

It's true, people.....I am married to a caveman.  (I kinda knew that already, but the facebook thing was a SHOCK).    All his obsessing over achieving the speediest broadband in the cosmos and the man does not have facebook.  

Although, now that I have discovered this shocking fact, it does explain why he never updated his status. 

"FF is hard at work, supporting the love of his life and large hungry offspring"

Not that I needed the update....I had him micro-chipped on our tenth first, peeps.

So now himself can't show his workmates any wedding pix from our Big Fat Pagan Hoedown last week 'cos the only ones we have so far were taken by mates and posted on Facebook.   And I'm too busy trying to find my slippers before my toes fall off to work out how to get him an account of his own. 

Guess they'll have to wait for the movie.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Animal House

I'm typing this with a spaniel on my feet.  Since the mother of all mothers and second son left for places abroad,  I've been surrounded by a herd of spacially challenged geriatric housepets.  Every time I move they all give me the evil eye, get to their feet and follow me to wherever I'm going.  It's like troop movements on four legs.  And it's driving me round the twist.  especially since Benson has embarked on a protest sit in....or maybe "sit-on" is the better term.....he's taken to lying on my feet, abviously working on the theory that I'll be pinned to the ground and unable to escape to another room.....or another country on the other side of the planet.  Are we feeling guilty yet, mother???


what can I say?  he's 15.  deal with it. 

bet U wish it was scratch and sniff................

The candle fairy left a box of goodies on my front deck this morning....

apple orchard, wild rose, amber dream, black raspberry, spiced plum, ginger pumpkin.

Please don't lick the screen....

HBC is back in action......

After a major post-wedding pickup and 20 something garbage bags of crap removed, I am back in to print some pix!!

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Sneaky Post-Handfast Pix and an update

a small sneaky peek from last Saturday's festivities....


Alternatively titled, "The Pagans Shake Their Medieval Booty"

It was the Best. Day. Ever.

On a not so muchly awesome note, Second Son has been gone for a week.  I'm getting used to my quiet house.  But I don't like it.   AT ALL.  Although I'm feeling slightly better after hearing that Seb has found a kindred spirit in his cousin Nathan and they have been jointly ridding the world of all things alien via XBOX.

Will post some more pix at at a soon to be later date.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Final Countdown.....

It's almost at the to-late-to-do-anything stage, and I still have a lot to do.  The mother-of-all-mothers is making her final costume....her own, lol which is a big relief, 'cos she was really starting to embrace the whole 'Lady Godiva' deal.   I'm still up to my watziz in chocolate making, followed by gingerbread during the week.  I hope.  The kids pinatas are done,  the maypole is done, the decorations are ready to go on Friday.  Still have a few place cards to finish, and the photo booth to set up on Friday.   We picked up a few extra goodies for the munchkins yesterday, only to be informed by Officer Steph that she wants a bubble wand too.  We've run through the rehearsal a few times, and it's slowly coming together, barring a sudden panic-stricken memory loss, we should be fine.  There's just a few things that have constantly slipped my mind that I seriously cannot forget any more.  So I'm gonna write them down.  On my husband.

Friday, June 17, 2011


Time flies....

see how much they've grown.....



You can really see the difference in them now....Hektor is white with a defined grey/blue tail and ears and looks like he fell off a cloud, lol.....Achilles, on the other hand has a brown mask and a cream coat and looks like he's been rolling in the dirt.   They've grown so much since the first photo, and they'll be probably twice as big again by the time they come to live at Planet Hartwell.  I hate waiting!!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

She wore(eth) a Snuggie as she walked through the faire.......

Sanity has at last prevailed at Ye Olde Planet Hartwell, with the Mother of all Mothers relenting and making me a cape for the handfast.  It's not that I'm anti-Winter, but I'm hugely anti-freezing-my-ass-off-in a paddock.   Hence the cape.....which is beyond gorgeous, even though it's made out of tracksuit fleece, lol.  It's a sort of off-white and the M-O-A-M  has lined the hood with the leftover material from my underskirt (orange shot satin) so it actually looks quite gothic, apart from being totally warm, which was the whole point!!  And another plus...if I pass out and die from intense germ warfare between now and next Saurday, all they have to do is sew up the front and presto.....instand shroud.  Gothic and practical.  And while she was busy relenting, fave mother also made one for FF.  In Black.  Darth Vader theme song, anyone???

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Corpse Bride

Working my way through the last of the details now.  It'd probably be easier if I could breathe, but I'm getting there.  I'm fighting a monster cold plus ear infection, and a monster bout of apathy.  There are things that have GOT to be done and I don't even have the energy to raise my hands above my head to brush my hair.  I spoke seriously to FF about the possibility of hiring four buff guys and a litter, to carry me down the aisle Cleopatra-style, cos at this stage, I'm not sure I can walk that far, let alone stand unaided and remember my vows.  I'm thinking a generic chorus of "what he said"  is as close as I'm gonna get to meaningful promises.  I hate being sick.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

The Princess Return(eth)

With just over two weeks to go and things getting pretty much down to the wire, organisation wise, I can at least relax over the issue of the "big D".  As in Dress.  As in the one thing I really really REALLY wasn't looking forward to dealing with.  As a forty-getting-along-there rebride, I have no illusions about how I look.  Short, skinny, and twenty years older than the last time I dressed up like this.  I dress for comfort, and to feel good.  What generally makes me feel good is a mix of funky and functional.  Unusual patterns and feel good fabrics.  Preferably recycled .....and worn with converse sneakers.
My dress, on the other hand, is pure fantasy.  Princess to the nth degree.  It looks neither funky nor functional. (although it is both, in a sense)  It is most definately a dress for a one off occasion.  But still undeniably me.....from the underskirt found in a Vinnie's bin, to the reduced-in-price curtain fabric I chose for the dress. 
Feminine, functional, and fabulous.   Can't beat it!!

Friday, June 3, 2011


Hektor                                                                                            Achilles

As you can see they're still tiny and a couple of months away from joining us here at Planet Hartwell, but aren't they divine???

Hektor is a Blue Bicolour, which means he'll end up with a grey-blue mask over his eyes and quite a ghostly appearance.  Not that I'm biased, but I just love the way these guys look as adults....stunning!!

Achilles, on the other hand is a Seal Bicolour and will get progressively darker with a very dark brown mask and will look like a very large raccoon, or a bad seventies sit-com burglar lol.  Gorgeous with a hint of insane...just what Sebi was hoping for.  

Vera, who runs the cattery has promised to update the photos as often as she can, so I'll update as soon as I get new pix.   Love me some teeny furbabies.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Heads I lose....tails you win.....

It's been one of those 50/50 days today....the kind that comes when you have two kids so completely opposite in looks, nature and everything else, that whatever you do right for one kid is bound to have major negative impact on the other. So here's where we stand.....

On the plus side, my ultimate witchyness and refusal to understand that Firstborn would curl up in a ball and die without Facebook has paid off.....he's back up to straight B's and is on track for Uni, providing I don't kill him during exam week.

On the flip side, Second Son informed me today that I'm "constrictive and nagative"  ( yep, he's invented a brand new derogative term just for me) because I unwisely mentioned that 11 is probably a little early to get worried about not having a girlfriend.   

I'm gonna have a vodka float.....where's the icecream???

Recipe for a sleepless night.

If you have a hankering to see the sun set and the dawn break without closing your eyes in between, try this....

Invite your adult god daughter and recent intake police recruit over to your house.  Fail to notice that Second Son is listening as she describes the "field trip" they just took.   To the morgue.

Help Firstborn with his music assignment on Sweeney Todd by getting a copy of the movie for him to watch.  Fail to notice that Second son is very quietly sitting in the background watching as well.

At bath time, check behind the shower curtain for dead bodies/psychotic barbers at the request of Second Son.  (not that he's scared or anything).

7pm:  Bedtime.  With the lights on.  And your youngest child attached to you.  All night. 

 Tired Much??

Monday, May 23, 2011


Newsflash from the "you didn't seriously think I was pregnant" front.   Yes, we are expecting new additions, and no, they won't be the state educated surly teenaged learners permit variety.    After several specialist consultations about stress management and anxiety, it was suggested that a Ragdoll kitten would be an ideal combination of pet/companion/home therapist for the boys.  They're the breed that goes limp when you handle them, and are recommended for therapy with austim and aspergers cases. 
So we have taken the plunge and will be adding TWO new babies to the Planet Hartwell menagerie.  We decided on two so that they will keep each other company while the boys are at school.  We've paid a deposit (don't ask, lol) on two baby boys from a top breeder in NSW, and they'll be joining us after Sebi gets back from the UK in August.   They're pedigreed and come desexed, microchipped, vaccinated and have been DNA tested for all the feline nasties in previous generations.   Heehee.....better breeeding than their owners, lol.   FF is planning to enclose the front deck so that they can have indoor/outdoor access as they are not supposed to have unsupervised outdoor access at all due to their temperament, they're so good natured that they'll approach other animals and people and we don't want them mangled or stolen.   Which brings us to names.....we had a shortlist, for girls, boys and one of each....

Janis and Joplin for girls
Bonnie and Clyde for one of each.....
but it's official, we're getting boys and they'll be......drum roll please.......

Hektor and Achilles.

FF's suggestion was Visa and Debit after the cards that paid for them, heehee.

Will post some pics as soon as we get them.....stay tuned.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

It's a secret.....

but I can tell you this much.  Planet Hartwell is expecting.  Stay tuned for details.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Mothers Day @ home.....

So this is me and them.....
love me some early morning smoochy.
FF wasn't as impressed 'cos he had to vacate the bed in order to take photos, lol.
Got some vairy lairy leopard print pj's and some new slippers....
also a happy mothers day message from firstborn's gf.  Sweet.

they are blissfully comfortable, and I see myself living in them over the next three months.
The big ole horse blanket has come out of hibernation in the linen cupboard and is back on my bed ....a sure sign that the nights are getting cooler.   I like winter.  I just don't like feeling cold.

Mother's Day

As a mother of sons, I know it's the thought that counts!!!!

Friday, May 6, 2011

Witchcraft 101

The hills are alive with the smell of incense. And powdered basil and numerous other strange herbish powdery substances.  Firstborn was given a book on wicca by a mate at school, and has embraced it with his usual mania for all things slightly offbeat, resulting in a bedroom resembling Dumbledore's study and possibly a future university degree in Advanced Weird.   I will admit to a certain fascination with wicca and white magic myself (says she of the pagan handfast wedding), but himself has completely immersed himself in it, with candles of varying hues inscribed with wishes and prayers burning day and night, surrounded by dishes of herbs and  associated other neccessities crammed in between the laptop and the ipod dock.  And yes, it looks every bit as bizarre as it sounds. I'm hoping there's a spell in there somewhere to generate electricity....the bill's due any day.  Or perhaps a little alchemy to ease the mortgage payments???   Where's that candle??

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rain on my Parade/ Stealth Bus

This week saw me back on the crossing, much to the chagrin of the stupidparkers who thought they'd manage to scare me off for good.  Suck it up, losers, I'm not that easy to get rid of.   Naturally it rained pianos for all four shifts, making for some hair raising driving manouvres and much low volume swearing from yours truly.  The highlight of the week involved a regular offender parking in the middle of the bus zone, and failing to notice the bus pulling up behind her.  I swear, I never knew council buses had cloaking devices or a stealth mode.....he was just SO quiet, inching up behind her and then leaning on the horn at the perfect moment. Sublime.  My ribs are still sore from excessive hee-hawing.  Sometimes, I love my job.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Dreamworld Bootcamp

Attention all masochists.....I have found the ultimate in carb cutting ultra-high-impact flab-shifting anti-gravity workouts. Cleverly marketed under the guise of a family day out, Dreamworld is set to replace The Biggest Loser and Survivor as the reality disaster epic of the new millenium.   Your quest begins when the combined moaning of your children forces you to put aside your plans for watching the Buffy marathon and agree to battle holiday traffic in search of Nirvana.  Or Coomera, whichever comes first.   Sensibly, you shanghai your other half, by promising him many non G rated things upon your safe return to civillisation.  You also rope in your best mate and her progeny, so that you have a selection of ages ranging from two to fifteen, guaranteeing that you will be forced to queue for everything from Wiggles World up to the Giant Drop.  Add a packed lunch, a collapsible stroller  and an extra large box of orange tic tacs and start your engines. 
As you enter through the hallowed portals, you realise that one of your children is walking round with his eyes shut.  After hitting several poles and one roving face painter, you drag him off to the Very Expensive Gift Shop to buy him some sunglasses to replace the ones he broke in the car on the way down.  This is followed by the opening chorus of "I'm hungry", which is repeated at three minute intervals throughout the day.  Can be temporarily muted by applying orange tic tacs to the affected area.   After application of tic tacs,  you'll need to don your referees jersey to break up the arguement over "where are we going first'. 
This is easily solved by sending "token Man' to take all the large male children into Alien Vs Predator while you visit Wiggles world for the first of many, many times.  Remeber to eat a Tangelo at some stage...they have clown repellant properties.  Repeat formula until insanity rears it's ungly head, or the sun goes down.  
Is is wine o' clock yet??

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Kristian Unscrewed/ Captain Buszone and the Two Minute Warning.

Tomorrow is the last day of term one.  Thank GOD.  I dread to think what else Firstborn would have lost had school continued any longer.  Last week it was the trombone (left on the bus).  Today it's the laptop (left in the computer lab.  we hope. )  But the real killer is when he realises what he's forgotten. 
It goes something like this.....

Firstborn:  Hi mum.

Me : Hi sweetie.

FB:  How's things?

Me:  Fine thanks, how about you?

FB:  Oh, fine, fine......say, did I have my computer with me when I got off the bus??

We'll draw a premature curtain over the rest of this scene as I didn't post obscene language warnings at the beginning of this post.  SIGH.

Today also found me back on the crossing for the first time in 2 months after my Sebi-inspired sabatical.  I knew I'd been missed when a regular offender parked in the bus zone long enough to unload several children and yell  "Oh, bloody hell, you're back...thought they'd given you the sack!!"  Yes, I missed you too, asshole.  

Is it too early to unwrap my Easter eggs??

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Lost and Found.

Firstborn left his trombone on the bus yesterday.  Again.   I swore a lot.  (quietly).  The bus depot people said they would ring if they found it.  They didn't. (ring, that is).  They had the wrong number.  They did find the trombone.  It's at Willawong, which is very not close to my house, so they're sending it to the city so I can pick it up from there.  So then it will be found.  In the meantime, I have lost my mind.  I'm hoping it's temporary.  The end.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

I need sunshine on a cloudy day....

otherwise Second son is gonna be in it deep tomorrow.  His science experiments (of which I knew nothing, and you can tell the parent-of -the-year commitee that I don't care either, so there) are due tomorrow, and one of them requires placeing a jar of water in a sunny spot.  of which there are none because it's overcast and has been for two days.  If he'd done the work last week when he was supposed to, rabbit, mumble,etc.  So I am about to resort to placing said jar under my ultrabright magnifying headlice detecting lamp and hoping for the best.  I bet Einstein's mother never had to do this.

Dream a little dream......

Couldn't resist having a little play with one of the photos from last week's shoot.....

it still needs quite a bit of work, but you get the general idea, lol. be 12 and in lurve with a sparkly dead guy.....

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Chocolate Porn aka The Reason For My Existance

Eventually everyone works out why they're here.....

If you want to listen, you'll need to pause the music player on the sidebar.


and no it's not a mathematical formula, just a statement about my day.  This afternoon is PTI day at Cav....where the three parents with practically perfect children get to bask in their afterglow while the rest of us head for the assembly hall and ten minutes of ominous paper rustling and statements such as "I take it university is not playing a large role in your child's future".   Not that I'm expecting to hear that.....with firstborn the comments are more along the lines of  "I take it that your son wasn't expecting an interim report card which on arrival gave him a premature cardiac event, the result of which will be a marked increase in results by the end of the semester ".     He's one of those kids whose best efforts emerge under threat of death.    If only facebook was graded.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Email from Yoda.

As firstborn gets fully into the swing of a 'real' part time job as opposed to a paper route,  the House of Hartwell has morphed from innocent suburban residence to headquarters of the Gallactic Alliance, may the force be with you.  As part of his online training, Firstborn has to complete Jedi training, which will give him the ability to work more efficiently and possibly move burgers with his mind, yes, hmmmm.  In charge of the Jedi program is Yoda.  Of course.  He is supremely all powerful, yet has to resort to email when contacting my son who obviously isn't tuned in to the force.  Yet.  I sense a disturbance in the force, master......

Thursday, March 10, 2011


Second son came home mid morning (as did a few of his classmates) with what can only be described as pancakeitis.  The year 7's were making pancakes for sale this morning which unfortunately co-incided with a bug that was doing the rounds, making for lots of post pancake panic and not a little throwing up.   Himself has slept for a few hours, but is still feverish and seriously uninterested in food.   Which totally works for me on the laundry front.  Keep you posted.

Fingers crossed.

Second son is almost a week into his new meds, and things are looking good so far, touch wood.  He's more focused and his appetite has definately picked up, which are both good things.  He seems to be able to work things through to completion more easily, or at least to give them a proper try before asking for guidance.  We'll be going back to Dr B for counselling and ideas on how to lower frustration and improve concentration, and we keep trying to move forward.   Stay tuned....

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Second son had clinic yesterday.  It has been decided that we will trial some new medications along with his regulat doses to try and keep him functional and on an even keel.  A new med trial is always tense, especially when you've got kids that are known for their "unusual" reactions to medication.  So we started on a half dose this morning, and we wait to see if himself gets hairy palms or the top of his head blows off.  Neither would be the option we're hoping for.  Plans are well underway for Second Son and the Mother of all Mothers to go to England in June.  They'll be gone between six and eight weeks, depending on what airline they choose.   I am suffocating with envy, but am fully confident that himself will have the time of his life with Nanna, and will return home to us with lots to say and a more outward focus.  Fingers crossed.
We're moving along with the whole vow renewal thing....the fellas have got their costumes almost finished, Firstborn looks like a native of Rivendell, tall and slender and gorgeous,  whereas FF looks like he stepped out of Hagrid's Hut, (big and hairy) but I'm not despairing yet, heehee.   You'd be amazed what a little forcible grooming can achieve, lol.   Firstborn starts his first shift at Hungry Jacks this afternoon.  I have strict instructions to pretend I don't know him, when we drop him off.  It's the whole "hatched-from-a-pod" deal.  Sigh.  Although he doesn't realise we're all coming down there and they boys are going to have lunch while mum and I raid Lincraft.  I'll update later.

Friday, February 25, 2011

The light at the end of the tunnel.

If you've been a reader here for any length of time, you'll know about our many and varied struggles to get Firstborn and Second Son ready to face the world independant and hopefully self sufficient.   Autism is not an easy condition to live with, nor it it easy to live alongside it.   The highs can be oxygen depriving, the lows can make six feet under look like a day at the park.   I have walked so many angry frustrated miles, mostly up and down the footpath at the bottom of our street, while trying to work out the best way to do things that should come naturally but don't.  We've done button phobia,  food phobias,  waitng-for-the-traffic-lights-to-change-to-the-same-colour-they-were-last-time phobia.   We've tried medications that helped and others that were a catastrophic disaster.   And we've started again.  And again.  And again.   We've struggled with relationships,  school programs and bullies.   With organisational issues and bus timetable freakouts.   With unknown substitute teachers and unexplained classroom changes.  And today, Firstborn's case manager rang me to announce that she's going to have to jab him with a fork to elicit some bad behaviour from him, in order to set his next lot of IEP goals.   He's made the journey from frustrated, fearful and unwilling to face any change to a calm, responsible student in the mainstream academic program, looking at University placements.  And we rejoice.  And are thankful.  Always and forever.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Live from the Tipi.....

We had a major shift around at Planet Hartwell over the weekend....Second Son decided that he was in serious need of preteen privacy,  so FF and I swapped rooms with him, giving him a room with a view (and a door), and leaving us living in the Tipi.  It's not really a Tipi, but it has no door, no windows and the only daylight filters through a skylight in the roof, so the name kinda fits.  It's also the main inland route between Planet Hartwell and Nannaland, where the mother of all mothers resides in solitary splendour, so there's fairly constant traffic flowing in both directions.  And I love it.  I wish we'd swapped years ago.  The boys make frequent pit stops,  while on their way to nanna's to feed the cat/walk the dog/take the rubbish out.  The cat spends mornings with me, the dog does the afternoon shift.   In the evenings, I can guarantee at least one child and two animals will be perched on the end of my bed, learning their times tables and grooming their ears, while I fold the laundry and watch Bridezillas.  Space is in short supply....the mother of all mothers says it looks like a cross between a Lifeline Shop and a Moroccan brothel ( and she would know how???)  but she's just jealous, 'cos her room has four straight  walls and a door. 


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