September 27, 2013

Things I know about washing

As a regular reader you would know that the whole idea of this blog is to make parts of my life matter more. Or rather making the time to get on with the things that matter most.  I thought if I blogged about it then somehow it would matter and I would get it done. 

You see I realised that there were lots of little things that I would tend to let slide. On their own, it didn't matter so much but when they were all added together mattered quite a lot.

Image from here
Case in point. I thought that it didn't matter so much if I didn't wash every single day. Which to a certain extent it doesn't. However if I go two days without washing, or heaven forbid three, well all kinds of hell is going to break loose because by now chances are that the clothes everyone loves to wear the most are anything but clean and dry and ready to wear.

Now I know that on some levels it is all rather lame, saying that by blogging about I am more inclined to do it, but, when the same load of washing has gone through the machine for what seems like nearly a week without ever actually making it to the line something needs to be done. Lame or otherwise.

I know that the washing and folding of clothes is my most despised task as a housewife and mother.
I know that many of you will be suggesting I out source it to the eldest child.
I know that in theory it sounds lovely.
I know that in reality it probably wouldn't pan out so well. For a whole range of reasons. None of which need to be discussed here though.
I know that if I can just do a little bit every day it doesn't become overwhelming.
I know that since starting this post I have actually managed to get most of that elusive load actually on the line.
I know that the reason behind that was so that I could take a photo of some washing on the line.
I know that I quickly discovered this particular load of washing was not actually photo worthy. (Read as it was full of knickers)
I know I have three loads of folding patiently waiting on the couch. As it has done so all week long. By the end of the day it will probably have doubled.
I know that I have very little washing liquid left, which strangely excites me. 
I know I can't be expected to wash the clothes if I don't have liquid.
I know that last week when Tricia asked if we were washing our clothes too much? My heart was a resounding hell yes we do. 
I know that living in the tropics doesn't really allow for multiple wears of clothes due to the sweat factor.
I know that multiple washes of the same load is a terrible waste of resources.
I know that it will be the thought of that waste that will be my inspiration to stay on top of the blasted washing.

A Parenting Life Things I Know
I know that you should come and share what you know too

September 21, 2013

Procrastination at it's best

Despite having already written one post today I am here still trying to spit another one out. Or so to speak. I'm good like that when there are things I *should* be doing. I mean of course there are always things like Mount Washandfoldme or the dishes or whatever, that I *should* but today my procrastination is avoiding more than just that usual.

In my wisdom, and desire to push myself as a writer I have entered into a flash fiction writing competition. Which essentially just means I paid someone $39 to give me 3 prompts to write a piece of flash fiction in forty eight hours or less. Twice. I mean I get to do the writing bit twice, I didn't pay twice.

Easy as really!

The first round of the NYC Midnight Challenge kicked off about eight hours ago. That means I have less than forty hours left to write less than a thousand words of awesomeness. Despite not having really started yet I am quietly confident. Good omens have abound.

To start with I was put in group number 23. Which just happens to be my birthdate. While romance may not be my favourite genre it is far better than science fiction or mystery or a heap of others that I really don't think I can write well.

Being the organised on top of it chick that I'm not, I had actually forgotten that the challenge started today. Just by chance my mother offered to have the girls for the night. I read the email with my prompts just after I dropped the girls off. To think I didn't by a lottery ticket when I was at the shops this morning.


The weather is starting to well and truly turn now. The stickiness has begun, yet so far to go before there is actually rain amongst the sky. I don't really like this time of year. The waiting for rain is worse than waiting for Godot. There is rarely relief in sight. I much prefer it when rain is much more assured.

A romance, in an apple orchard, with a fake moustache. Almost sounds like a cliché.

Is rolling around under the shade of apple trees romantic. Heightened only when the fake moustache of the mystery lover falls off in the passion of the moment. Revealing....well that would be spoiling.

No, I have no idea how I will tackle this all. Ironically I am taking to pen and paper to work it all out. To understand the irony I guess you need to read that post I mentioned earlier. So I guess with that in mind I should be off.

There were things I thought I wanted to share. Stories that were not mine, but broke my heart none the less. Bad news and worry that was not needed, not for me as such, just those I care for. But since they are not mine to even discreetly mention in any way there is nothing I will say.


I have far to many tabs open. Things I want to read, or make comment. Things that have in some way provoked a thought or two. A possible blog post or even feature pitch if I was so inclined. Things like this.

The contraceptive pill has always concerned me. It just doesn't seem right to mess with nature like that. As much as I find menstruation a discomfort I would rather not endure it is not something that should just be dismissed with chemical alterations either. Everything, even our bodily functions, happens for a reason.

And then there is this about the mother who sold her daughter's One Direction concert tickets because she and her friends were caught lying. There is a part of me that wants to post it to Lovely's Facebook wall. I am sure it wouldn't to hurt her to know that I am not actually the worst mother in the world. Regardless of what she may think.

Please don't think I am inferring that this woman in question in this article is the world's worst mother, because that is far from my point. The complete opposite in fact. In my eyes I think this woman is a champ. I don't necessarily agree with the way some of her quotes were worded but her intentions were most definitely in the right place. Her children however, much like mine, may not appreciate her efforts.

Anyway time is quickly slipping away from me and there are some notes that need to be made before I head to bed.

Any plot ideas for me?

Joining in with some Weekend Writing over at the Button Brain 

September 16, 2013

I must confess to being an awful friend

My Home Truths

Possibly not what everyone is willing to admit to knowing about, but there you have it, today I must confess that I feel I am an awful friend. Perhaps even terrible. Not all the times, just every now and then. Though likely to be more now and less then.
I am probably not the worst friend you could ever have, though I have rarely  (if ever?) made it to the best friend status either. I am pretty sure that I fit into the good friend box, possibly even great at times. It's just that like the girl curl, when it's bad it's horrid. Which I guess at times might outweigh the rest.

Image from here

I have this friend. Actually I should maybe say I had this friend, because right now I am not sure if we really are still the friends we were. Which is pretty much what has brought me here today. Sometimes things seem clearer to me once I have written them out. (editor's note this has taken some pretty intense writing in order to get out as well, just in case you are wondering and sadly I am not sure yet whether I am any clearer. On the upside though I do have multiple draft posts on various aspects of friendship to slowly work my way through)
I met this friend, lets call her Franny, when Lovely was about four and a half. Franny's son went to the same pre school and since she was also pregnant we were kind of drawn together I guess. Actually our kids had gone to a 3 year old kindy together as well but I was way too shy to talk to her then. Instead I just kept asking the universe to bring us together in the hope that one day we could be friends.
Anyways fast forward seven years and by some amazing act we are actually friends and up until recently I thoughts quite close ones. The two eldest kids don't spend so much time together now, due to their age and the whole boy girl thing I guess. Though after an hour or two the ice has melted and you can see them enjoying each other's company immensely. The youngest children (of which there are four, two mine, two hers) get along like houses on fire. They are as thick as thieves and any other bonding euphemism that you want to use.
Only in the last few months I have done wrong by Franny. Well apparently more wrong than she can handle. Or prepared to put up with or something or other.
I know I am far from perfect. I run late, never know what I am doing, am almost impossible to make plans with unless it is the last minute and I have a tendency to ramble on and on and on.
Franny has a heart of gold. Franny never speaks ill of any one and has not mean bone in her body. Franny who is never late and always does everything she says she will.
It all started at the end of the school holidays. Lovely returned from her time with her other family and all I wanted to do was escape out bush and pretend that no one else existed. Which is exactly what we did and I loved every minute of it. In fact I think we all did. 

Only Franny thought it would have been nice if I asked her to come. And she is probably right it would have been nice for her. Possibly not so much for me though as it would have been an extra five people I would have had to consider at one point or another and that was the last thing I wanted. 

I could hear the hurt in her voice when she rang as we were already in our way. I felt terribly selfish and incredibly awful but I still couldn't bring myself to invite her along. 

Since then times have been more than strained. Particularly after the debacle at the local show that saw me decide to go with someone else and bumping into Franny at every stand we stopped at for the first hour. It all pretty much revolves around me being a terrible planner and not knowing what I am doing till beyond the last minute.
For the first month after the excluding camping trip I made an effort to call Franny once a week. Given that aside from Mr Awesome she is one of the few people I have known for longer than five minutes, the thought of her being cross or upset with me made me feel terrible. Knowing that I had hurt her as much as I did, whether I meant to or not greatly trouble me. Not knowing how to make amends only made me feel worse.
So I played on as if nothing happened. I mean she never really told me how hurt she was, I just assumed from the tone in her voice during our conversation and began the internal beating from there.
Last week Zany asked if I still spoke to Franny and would we please be able to see them again soon. I bumbled her off without any real answer. The thought of it all made my stomach turn.
Then in the week Franny called. She was in the neighbourhood but I didn't invite her in. Mr A was home from work, still coming to terms with his grandmother's passing. I was already feeling quite drained from whatever the day had so far handed me. I simply couldn't handle even the thought of a face to face conversation. Let alone one with someone I still expected to be reeling in pain from my actions (not that I am prone to over exaggeration or anything).
She then asked if maybe I might have time to catch up on the weekend. Under pressure I couldn't answer. I didn't want to commit and then not be able to make. At that stage there were no plans for the funeral or memorial or whatever. Aside from that I can rarely agree to make plans for the weekend on Tuesday.
Naturally my inability to answer caused angst for Franny and she was promptly reminded why it had been so long since we have seen each other.
As my stomach flipped and my heart pounded so hard I thought it was going to break through my chest, I called Franny and asked if it would be alright to visit on Saturday. The surprise in her voice once again confirmed the pain I had previously inflicted. My inability to commit to a time and I could feel her anger begin to simmer.
The better part of the morning was then spent in tears as I came to terms with the fact she has every right to be angry with me. Accepting that you have wronged someone, even with the best of selfish intentions for your own well being, is no Christmas party.

It is a feeling I have gotten quite accustomed to of late. You see I have this other friend who has a best friend who asked me to suggest some names of beauty salons for a facial massage voucher for our mutual friend's birthday. Do you think I could manage it?

I could come up with a whole range of pathetic excuses but at the end of the day I am sure the real reason lays behind my forgetfulness.

How do you rate yourself as a friend?

September 15, 2013

Things I Know About Not Going to #PBEvent and Other Random Stuff

TIK at A Parenting Life
As some four hundred bloggers descended upon the Gold Coast this week for Friday's start of the highly anticipated ProBlogger Conference, I was at home quietly tapping on my keyboard, or washing dishes or hanging out the clothes. Or perhaps even sitting in the corner of the room rocking while having a little sob. It all just depends on the time of day.

I should point out though that I think the rocking and crying is more to do with being incredibly pre menstrual more than not actually attending the conference. Though I am pretty gutted about that as well. Of course I will now spend the next three to five days hoping that the tears were premenstrual rather than pregnancy hormones kicking in because that is the joy of not wanting to use contraception and not wanting ever have another baby.

I know that was probably definitely far too much information. Sorry. I'll blame the hormones.
I know that if you are trying to conceive those comments may have been the last thing you wanted to read about. For that I am also sorry.

After moving mountains to attend the Digital Parents Conference in March I knew that attending the Pro Blogger event was never going to happen. A few weeks ago though I thought that the universe had other ideas and for nearly a week I held onto the slimmest of slim chances thinking I might make it.

Sadly by the end of the week there was a rather large part of me that just seemed to know that I wasn't going to make it. Stupidly there was a tiny part that wouldn't let go of the hope though.

When we got word of Mr A's Grandma passing, all parts of me knew  and accepted that the conference was never going to be a part of the reality I lived in. Strangely I seemed quite ok with that.

Now with the conference done and dusted and Grandma's celebration of life service tomorrow I can comfortable say that I know not going was the best idea ever. Particularly since Mr ProBlogger had the amazing insight to include recordings of all the sessions in the form of virtual tickets.

I know that is THE best idea EVER!
I know that I came close to actually purchasing a virtual ticket but wondered if my tight ass could really justify the cost.
I know thaw I am really looking forward to sitting down and listening to a heap of sessions and learning how to make my blogging better.
I know that the thought of learning anything really excites me.
I know I wish I could encourage such learning excitement in Lovely.
I know twelve year old girls are a creature all of their own.
I know I try to remember what it was like to be a twelve year old girl.
I know that is not easy. The remembering or the being a twelve year old girl.
I know that so much time has elapsed since the start and end of this post that I know actually have my period. Again possibly probably too much information, but I didn't want to leave anyone hanging

If there is something you know you should come and share it here

September 9, 2013

I must confess I think I failed my challenge

My Home TruthsA little over a week ago I started a squat and crunch challenge. It was organised by one of the few people from high school, that thanks to the wonders of Facebook I am still in contact with. Mind you she is all kinds of amazing, we were housemates for a while so maybe even without Facebook our paths would have crossed once again. But I am starting to digress.

Back in June this same wonderful lady hosted a thirty day squat challenge. Which was awesome. I had never been much of a squatter prior to the challenge but I was a quick convert. By the end of the month we were up to three hundred squats. I may not have got to the last two days in the month but I did manage to get to the target a few days later. I can't recall what excuse I had at the time, maybe we went camping or something but I am sure I have a totally valid reason for not making it on time.

Photo thanks to Tallia22
When the challenge was over I felt a little lost.

For some crazy bizaro reason, without the knowledge that twenty odd women would be squatting along with me via some virtual group I just stopped squatting. Just like that. After spending a whole month squeezing squats into my daily routine at the most random intervals I suddenly stopped. Which really took me by surprised.

I had thought that after doing something for a month it would have become ingrained in my daily pattern. But alas no, that was not the case.

Thankfully (well for me anyway) I wasn't alone. A few of the other ladies in the group were experiencing the same let down as I. Apparently there had been something about us all doing it together that kept us, you know, all actually doing it.

Now I suppose there was nothing stopping us from chatting amongst ourselves and agreeing to still do however many squats a day. But we didn't. Instead we whinged about how much we *missed* our squat challenge. Go us. (or not)

After a week or two of this incessant whinging my dear friend informed us that in the next week or two she would set up a crunch and plank challenge. The excitement was unbelievable. And the wait began.

What actually seemed more like a month finally passed and day one of the challenge was upon us.

I was so keen to get started and make a difference to this slightly flabby and non muscular body of mine that I decided to throw some squats in for good measure. Nothing like being committed and over enthusiastic now is there?

The initial few days I breezed through. The idea is to start small and then build up as the month goes along. This way your body is gaining strength as you go and each day you get to push yourself a little bit harder. There are rest days thrown in as well to give your muscles a chance to heal as they stretch and expand.

I am currently sitting on day 3 of the challenge. It was a rest day.

You see with the squats I could do them whenever I felt like it.

Standing outside the kids room as they went to sleep. Easy to pump out some squats.

About to jump in the shower. Perfect squatting time.

Waiting for children to (do anything). Do some squats.

If for some reason I got to bed time and hadn't squatted, well I could just do them before I climbed into bed.

Fitting in squats was easy. Fitting in crunches is not so easy.

To crunch you need a space large enough to lay down. You also need to not have eaten any time in the last few hours. Crunches on a full tummy are not fun. At all.

Are you seeing all the excuses I am thinking of making?

Well the excuses stop today.

The goals for today are 70 second plank, 50 reverse crunches and 50 ordinary crunches.

I want to scream kill me now but I am not going to because I want to be strong and muscly more so. Wish me luck.

September 3, 2013

Trying to get it altogether

So today I had planned to have an early morning post scheduled. It was all part of the new improved and organised me. Instead it is fast approaching dinner time and the day has somehow slipped away before I had a chance to do most of the things I had planned to do. Not exactly anything new there though. Some days my life is nothing more than a kerfuffle of mislaid plans. Other days it is filled with oxymorons and contradictions.

Today is both of those days.

You see I did get an early morning post scheduled, it just wasn't on this blog. It was here. The plan was to actually have two early morning post scheduled because I love to over extend myself. It is something I constantly do well. Over extend myself that is. As is making contradicting statements.

Yesterday I was blathering on about writing here again so as not to put off APL readers who were after something with a bit more substance than humdrum of me trying to bring some order into my life. Yet here I am today joining in all the fun and games of #IBOT over at Essentially Jess.

There will undoubtedly be plenty of gems discovered on this journey within, but there is bound to be plenty of tripe in between as well. There always is. Just sometimes it is hard to tell which is what and where. It is all part of the fun and games of life I guess.

The vision I have, is naturally one of grandeur. Though the exact details of it all are still so unknown. I have had a few glimmers of ideas and where to go.

It involves daily posts, highly detailed exercise diary keeping, positivity and moving forward in the best possible way. Plus a whole lot more, that will only be discovered with time.  But now I am just starting to ramble.

Creating some accountability

Is what I am trying to do. 

I am hesitant to go and run around setting goals because my inevitable failure will probably cause more damage and good. At the same time though I know that I need to have some sort of bench mark and record of where I sit on the bench so as to know that my efforts are not in vain.

Sitting here typing this all out and I am washed over by a resounding feeling of deja vu...

On Saturday I started a crunch and plank challenge. I had planned to add a few squats in as well but sadly that so far as not eventuated. Nor has the running. Or the little table I wanted to create to record all these numbers and stats of what I have (or haven't) done. Something I had hoped to help me push through the desire to sit around and do nothing.

The strangest thing about the desire to do nothing is that when something is done it is always enjoyed. Well most of the time, you know what I mean.

Before I continue on too much with all that I haven't so far done I should point out that there has been bike riding and walking with the family all in tow. Which in some ways is better than me just running alone. 

Remembering to keep a clear perspective on it all, 

is quite possibly the key

It sounds so easy when put in black and white. With purple as the case may be. The practise however... again only time will tell.

For now though there is dinner to made so children can be fed.

September 2, 2013

Looking back to move forward

I have been hoping to come here and write for nearly two weeks now. Perhaps even longer, but for the last two weeks have I most certainly been thinking a great deal about it.

Which naturally doesn't mean that I know what I want to say, just that there is something that needs to be said. Mind you one could possibly argue that there is always something that needs to be said...

When I first started this blog back in April '12 I harped on about ten things I needed to make matter. It was a bit of a rehash from a post I had posted a few months earlier over on A Parenting Life. Not that I usually republish posts from one blog onto another but this time I made an exception. After all I was talking about things that matter, so rule breaking was totally ok.

Only here I am September '13, more months on than I would like to count and not necessarily sure I managed to make any of my list items matter any more than what they did pre post.

So in a bid to move forward once more, I am taking the time to look back and see just how far I have come. Hopefully this will then help me see where it is I need to go next.
  1. Write regularly.  And by that I mean every day.  Like anything it improves with practise.  If I am going to be serious about being a famous writer I really need to put pen to paper, of fingertips to keys or something other than the current levels of procrastination and self doubt.

    Well I am still trying to write as much as possible and while the whole every day thing hasn't happened I have managed write more than what I possibly ever have before. So I guess that counts for something right? I mean sure I haven't written enough to get me that book deal yet but I have been writing.

  2. Being present for the children.  Making sure I disconnect from the electric world and spend time living.

    Hmmmmm. Well I have had large slots of disconnected time from the electric world, but I am pretty sure that this still needs some work. The incessant whining that I am sometimes faced with leaves me no choice but to retreat to the likes of Candy Crush some days.

  3. Ensuring that I am well rested and suitable fueled to tackle anything the treasures might spontaneously throw at me.

    Tick, tick, tick. I have been doing great guns at trying to regulate some regular sleeping patterns and it really has made the world of difference. Gone (mostly) are the ridiculous late nights I once  kept. I may still need to work on the fuel (food) aspect but it's all about small steps right?

  4. Providing interesting and nutritious food on a regular basis.  It is important to be aware of what works best for our bodies and provide it that, as much as possible.  Plus since eating is a part of life it only makes sense to get the most out of it.

    Oh gosh, maybe this looking back thing is not such a crash hot idea after all. Providing interesting AND nutritious food is bloody hard work and in my book possibly overrated. If I could hire any sort of help I am thinking a chef would be my best bet.

  5. Leading an active life.  Getting out and about in the great outdoors and making the most of the land that surrounds us.

    Ah yep. Well I did do this for a bit. I may not be doing it too much at the moment but I did do this well for a while so I guess that means I can do it again.

  6. Remaining true to what I believe in.

    Ok seriously? What was I thinking when I wrote this list??? Somedays I can barely remember what it is I believe in let alone remain true to it. Possibly need to do some serious work on this one.

  7. Letting others know they are cared for and loved.

    Yes I am sure I have this one under control. Please let me have at least one thing under control.

  8. Being on time.  Being late is rude.  Plain and simple.  Sounds harsh I know but as someone trying to curb a terrible (and I mean give her a half hour head start kind of terrible) habit of always being excessively late I need to be harsh.  I have little to no concept of time.  Never have.  But I want to.  I don't want my girls to grow up thinking it is alright to keep people waiting for you.  All. The. TIME.

    I have made great improvement in this area. I am still occassionally late, but generally speaking not as late as what I once was and not nearly as often.

  9. The housework.  I can't believe I got this far without mentioning the housework.  Maintaining a clean and tidy house matters more than anything.  It is the cornerstone of happiness for the modern family.

    Cornerstone of happiness for the modern family I said. Right. The less said the better perhaps?

  10. The washing.  Similar but not quite the same as the housework.  It is such a mammoth part of life it gets a point all of it's own.  (That and it's late and I am really struggling to think of anything else right now)

    Do you know why this one was so important? Simple really if the washing is done and under control, all put away properly and all that jazz mornings at our house are so much nicer. There is no shouting or screaming as we search high and low for the ever elusive missing sock. Which of course in turn means our chances of running late are greatly lessened and I am less likely to retreat to the online world due to the pressures of getting everyone out the door on time.

Sigh. Deep, deep, deep, sigh.

Of course now it is time to take the children to school. Or rather it is time to get the children ready to take to school because that is not yet done and the time to take children to school is just around the corner. Sitting here typing this post null and voids at least three things on this list I am sure.