Sunday, October 23, 2011

gratuitous weekend recap

Now that the weather is warming up and the football season is done and dusted, we spend a lot more time outdoors.  This weekend the girl child and I did a lot of walking while the rest of the family went fishing round the lake.

We started off around the Lake nearest our home were we came across a family of swans out for a walk...

The one closest to us started to run and the girl child for getting a little too close!

A little further down the track we met graffiti artist Joe, who was busy at his trade. This is his incomplete work....hopefully we'll get to see the completed picture on our next walk around the lake!

We decided to go out the river.  But it was the heat of the day and carp don't really bite much when it's hot.  Still, the oldest boyling managed to hook this one.

We had a jammed packed weekend.
So happy it's monday and I can finally relax!

I Can Fly

Todays Google shout out to Mary Blair has left me all nostalgic for the stories of my childhood.

When I was small, while other children were given lollies or smarties at the checkouts, I was given a little golden book, if I had behaved myself.  I come from a long line of bookish women so naturally, I behaved impeccably and as such, had an enormous collection of little golden books. (Back then, little golden books were cheaper than lollies and chocolate bars)

My favourite book was a short book called I Can Fly. (I did attempt a link. The link failed. The book was written by Ruth Krauss)

Mary Blair was the illustrator.

When it comes to the books my mother read me as a small child, I remember words mostly, the way she would say them, how they made me feel.

I remember the fear, the creeping fear when she read me the Jabberwocky....
Beware the Jabberwock, my son!
           The jaws that bite, the claws that snatch! 

I remember the tingling up my spine, the anticipation, the suspense when she read The Raven.

While I nodded,  nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping,
As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door...  

I remember the way she would bray like a donkey when reading I Can Fly,

I'm a donkey in the straw, Hee Haw   HEE HAW 

But what I remember most about I Can Fly, is the bright vivid pictures. They really captured my imagination far more than the simplistic words of the story. I can still see those images when I close my eyes, all these years later. Even after my treasured little book, so well loved and read its' edges were furry, worn paper, some tears, until finally it just fell apart, I haven't seen the inside of I Can Fly since I was about 12.  But I still remember those beautiful pictures. (A characteristic I remember being inherent in most little golden books by the various artists' who illustrated them. The Pokey Little Puppy, Captain Kangaroo and the Colour Kittens are the ones I remember most vividly from that time.)

I still remember being curled up on my Holly Hobby sheets, a crocheted blanket by my Nanny on top, my mother sitting beside me and that belief that 3 yr old girls can have when they are taught even the sky has no limits....that I could fly!  Because my mother, Ruth Krauss and Mary Blair told me I could.

(And yes they also told me I could be a donkey, or a chicken, the point was, I was only ever restricted by my imagination.)


NB: Image used without permission ( although I did ask the blogger) from  this visually gorgeous blog full of art that will make you squee. 

(this is the page the image above is from. if you scroll down the page you will see a girl with a donkey, that is from I Can Fly and every time I see that image, I hear my mother braying like a donkey)

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Ballad of Fuck Off and the broken glasses.

Once upon a time, there was a woman.
She was a married woman, and with her husband they had three charming children.
One day, it was a Saturday, the woman was in the bathroom brushing her hair.
Her husband rushed in, a twinkle in his blue eyes. He spun her around, picked her up
and placed her on the bathroom bench in order to give her a deeply romantic and loving kiss.
The woman felt something beneath her and heard a 'SNAP'!
The husband placed his hand beneath her and pulled out her hairbrush, which was unharmed.
The woman feeling foolish, smiled sheepishly at her husband and kissed him again.
He lifted her off the counter and she went back to doing her hair.
She reached her hand out to grab her glasses and place them on her face....
OH NO! That snap she had heard? It was her glasses!!
She showed her husband the broken glasses and he asked "What did you break them for?"
She gave him that look, you know the one that makes the Julie Bishop death stare look like a love struck Pepe Le Pew.
They rounded up their three charming children, they were going to the optometrist.  On the way there, the husband regaled the children with the story of how the glasses were broken. The woman reminded him that had he not sat her on the bathroom counter, the glasses would not be broken, to which the husband kept replying, "Did you or did you not sit in your glasses? If you didn't sit on your glasses who did?"
When the woman told him to Fuck Off, he decided that must be the new name she wished to be called. Because if Fuck Off sat on the glasses, and she sat on the glasses, then that meant that she was Fuck Off.
(Yes Saturday, it was a long day. )
At the Optometrist, there was no technician working that day. And even if there was, nothing could save the woman's glasses. They were beyond hope.  Without her sight giving glasses, there is only so much the woman's eyes can take before she cannot see anything but a blur.
She would have to wait to Monday for an appointment. And would probably have to wait a week for the  new glasses to be ready.  Which has bummed the woman right out because she has much reading, internet faffery and a football game to watch.  I mean, who goes to a Monday Football game she cannot watch because she cannot see????  I'll tell you who, FUCK OFF does!

Saturday, July 2, 2011

echo, echo, echo--gee it's empty in here.

I haven't written a post in a long time. My outrage quota has reached dangerous levels of late, so high that they make coherency near impossible. (The articulation motherboard is fried, sentence structure is suspect and grammar is no longer detectable)

There are several things I keep wanting to address. But the words, well, they just won't play nicely.
But I have thoughts on sweat shops I need to put down some time, thoughts on classism, thoughts on the blatant fear mongering that seems to be sweeping through the populace about people of 'other' origin. More thoughts on identity and in particular Indigenous identity.

Maybe one day this week I'll get my head around the thoughts enough to be able to apply critical thinking and analysis to them in a coherent enough manner to actually type them out loud.
In the mean time there's always my 140 character spurts of word vomit on twitter.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Why I am stuck at my computer desk and cannot move...

If I were Queen of the world I would make lunges illegal. Immediate beheading type illegal. Or perhaps I shall simply yell  "Off with his/her legs!" Yes, that makes more sense. No point in losing ones head over lunges.

Excuse me whilst I take the next hour to pull myself out of this chair. Every muscle is screaming at me, and they don't have very nice language.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Random crap

Having spent the morning at the library I now have a lovely little stash of YA novels to puruse.

I love YA.  I find it much harder to find adult fiction that I really like, I suspect due to the way in which we relate our stories changes from age to age. Perhaps that's why I gravitate towards sci-fi and fantasy, where authors take you by the hand and share a whole other world, where you hear the whispers  that reassure you fairytales need not be one of those childish things we put aside as our years advance.

Being the mother of teens has also meant that I spend a lot of time reading books at the urging of my children. They bring me these books like offerings and implore me with wide eyes and shouted whispers of how much they want to share this world with could I refuse?  In turn I place little tomes in their eager hands, classics, literature and mainstream fiction candy and they sit curled with hot tea, blankets and a cat who changes his allegiance  as often as a mug is refilled. 

YA reminds how grown up I am in some ways, and how in many others, I am not very grown at all. And since I have a wounded man home with me, there is nothing more wonderful than curling up on the couch with tea, blanket, cat and man.  If only it would rain...

Dream, Believe, Achieve.

The great thing about home schooling is the flexibility I have in how to teach my kids. Like all schools, I must adhere to certain rules and restrictions , but these restrictions and rules are limited to KLA’s. Provided we teach the Key Learning Areas, how we teach it is up to us. Which is great when you have a group of children who all learn differently and with only 3 kids to teach I have the fortune of being able to tailor their educational needs with not only their individual abilities but also their personal passions and interests.
It’s no secret that here in the Crayon Box we are all rabid Rugby League fans. (Red V is a part of me) So, finding a way to incorporate a family passion into their education was a bit of a no brainer. And thanks to my fabulous husband, (who did the leg work on this one) I have in my grubby little hands the Dream, Believe, Achieve program created by the National Rugby League.
I was reading through the Teacher Resource disc last night, and I must say I am very impressed with the program thus far. The resource I have is designed for years 7 and 8, and contains another program designed for years 9 and 10. (The NRL also have a resource for Primary Schools called Eat Well, Play Well, Stay Well which I hope to get my hands on soon.) My two oldest kids are (by age) grade 8 and grade 10. (My little guy is grade 3, but since he will refuse to be left out, he’ll do the program too, just with me adjusting it for his age and level of comprehension)
The program is divided into three units, (which I will talk about individually) with the fist unit being The Power of One. This particular unit slides very easily into a home school setting as the focus is on self. The rationale behind this unit is
“Healthy relationships begin with a positive image of one’s self. “
So the aim is to build a sense of self, Who am I?, What can I do? Whilst exploring why building self confidence and positive self belief is essential for not only attaining goals and dreams, but also the importance this has on our lives through self, relationships, individuality and community health. The most important lesson being the way we see ourselves has an enormous impact on our mental health.
The program focuses on students being able to assess the importance of responsibility, recognise effort and achievement and how these play a part in the development of one’s sense of self.
Next week, beginning Tuesday, we’ll be covering two lessons a day. The first of which will be Self concept and awareness followed by the second lesson which focuses on self esteem. The following day they will examine the influence of their own actions on other people’s self esteem.
These concepts are taught through the completion of statements on self (eg. What I like best about myself is…. My favourite TV program is…. If I could change one thing about me it would be….. I am special because…. Etc) The next activity is a shield activity where students learn more about themselves through their abilities to identify and write down their own values and think about what is most important in their lives. (I decided to add the G9/10 activity in here also where the students think about their dreams. The activity sheets focuses on immediate dreams with statements like This year… or While at school I…. My career/job/employment….. Personal health….Etc. Where they will fill in the blanks. They then design a football jersey that uses images, motifs, motto’s text, words or anything they choose to represent their dreams. I know my kids will love that activity. And I look forward to seeing what it produces)
Where I think this courses strengths lay is in the next lesson on examining the influences of their own actions on another persons self esteem. Whilst the lessons focus on challenging negative self talk, how to be a good friend to yourself and presenting self esteem facts, I will personally take it that one step further to examining privilege and how our language choices and actions can harm by not just damaging self esteem but by reinforcing otherness. Which ties in well with the following lesson which gives scenarios on stereotyping and reducing stigma. (These scenarios focus on mental health issues using examples of schizophrenia and depression as talking points. The activity is to develop a script or dialogue for a play, or puppet play. It’s also a group activity designed to reinforce the concepts of listening to others and remembering that your words and actions can impact on other people in either a positive or negative way, the choice is up to you.)
I am still just really scratching the surface of this program. It was written primarily for young men, although so far in my reading I think the bones f the program itself is fairly non-gendered. A lot of the talking points use examples from football. (Eg. Joe dropped the ball just before the try line right as the full time siren sounded. Joe thought to himself, “I am hopeless at sport.” Instead Joe should have said……..)
I haven’t watched the DVD yet. For this part of the course it’s not yet necessary to. But so far I like what I see. Putting the course into application will be the real test. I am looking forward to it.

It's also good to know that every once in a while, the NRL get it right.

Wednesday, April 6, 2011


I feel so craptacular I am pretty sure (even though I lack the male appendage) I have caught manflu.

Bug boy has a raging respiratory infection. At least the other two males in the house are on the mend (from their manflu at least, one of them has cracked ribs and a back strain from football)  So it's fun times in the crayon box right now.

The girl child decided I needed a picture to cheer me up. (as you can tell from her pic, she is currently revising angels)

Her manga drawings are getting better, she draws better when she's recreating a picture she can see....but her ability to create from her mind is improving vastly as you can see from this one.  (I know she created this one herself as the girl in the picture has no boobs.)

And now I must return to my laundry and try to shift the remaining stubborn stains in three football jerseys, before I collapse on the couch with the kids to watch documentaries on WWI. Because that's about all the schooling I can summon from my codral addled brain today.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

A quick review of The Book of Rachel.

So, biblical fiction that tells the untold story of women, is my kink. I love it. And The Book of Rachael by Leslie Cannold certainly delivered. 

The best thing about Cannold's book is not that she gives name and voice to the women of the Bible but that there's such a profound believability to them. Her women are flawed, deeply so, just like real women. Each suffering their own weakness, each revelling in their own strengths, each woman unique and though bound by the constraints of their time and gender each one defies these ties in her own way. 

The adage that well behaved women never make history is certainly true in biblical terms. One flick through the bible shows that very few "good" woman are named. Very few Good women are given voice with the most notable exceptions of Ruth and the idealised woman from Proverbs 31. There are more minor players, but the most infamous women of the bible are the naughty ones. 

History also shows us that there are always defiant women. Whether we record their defiance for prosperity or not. In Rachael's case, she did not bring down a judge of Israel or slaughter a band of men in their sleep,(and so evaded the history books) but she rejected the nominal place of women and girls over and over again, much to the chagrin of her mother, the haughty wonderfully arrogant Miriame. (And blessedly Cannold chose to leave out the virgin birth...Miriame, better known to us as Mary has her own secrets to which Rachael cannot guess. And so the very things that would have you condemn her, redeem her in the end.) 

Cannold really portrayed the mother/daughter friction perfectly. Your heart would break for little Rachael. 
The sister bond was treated with an equal amount of attention to reality. Parts of the story will make you hurt. Will make you angry. Will make you despair. 
Cannolds writing is anything but flowery or over reaching as is shown in her ability to convey the emotion without attempting to overwhelm us with prose, unlike Anita Diamant in The Red Tent. A book I also loved though in the case of The Red Tent it was purely for the relationships between the various women, not the writing itself. 

The tender sub-story of Joshua, as seen through the eyes of his sister, is touching and beautifully done. Cannold wisely focused on Joshua as brother, son and lover, rather than as the Messiah. As such, she was able to breathe into him a real soul. A man far more believable and probable than the man proffered up for us in the bible. 

And though the book focuses on the untold story of women, Cannold has not treated the men as shadows. Her supporting cast have dimension. Gentle yet commanding Joseph, brave and brash Judah and the somewhat snivelling Jacob. 

Unsurprisingly, the strengths in Cannolds tale lie in her ability to weave her non-fiction expertise ( she has two other non-fiction books The Abortion Myth and What, no baby?, is an ethicist, President of Reproductive Choice Australia, Ambassador for dying with dignity law reform among other things...) into the threads of her fiction. The grown up Rachael is mistress of her own destiny, as much as a woman could be in that day and age. As apprentice to the mystical crone Bindy, Rachael learns how to control her fertility, she learns how to heal and how to comfort when the body is beyond all healing. Through Bindy she learns who she is and that who she thought she was may not actually be who she wanted to be. 

At it's very heart, the Book of Rachael is the story of women in general, it spans the years, for just like Rachael did all those years ago, we still struggle to fight for the right to complete autonomy over our own bodies and the right to pursue and define our own destinies, whatever they may be and in this way Rachael's story is our own story.

Laundry as therapy- it's cheaper than wine but not half as fun.

We're still inundated with mucous here in the crayon box. As I type my chest tightens in reaction to hearing my youngest son hack up his little lungs. I keep waiting for the asthma attack, hoping to keep it at bay. It's been a long time since he had his last real full scaled attack. I have liked not visiting the hospital so much.

Football devours my days from Friday through Monday. Watching, playing, the laundry I do for 30 grown men. I have this perverse sense of achievement when I manage to budge the grass and dirt stains from 30 football jumpers...all white I might add. The husband has now realised what a mistake that was, and the has decided that the next set of team jumpers will be blue.  My bathtub is full of these once white jumpers, soaking.  They can wait.  A little longer at least.

Laundry is what I do when I have too many thoughts running through my head. Scrubbing at those jerseys is like attacking each thought one at a time, turning it around, staring it down.  They're (the thoughts) nothing personal and yet they are all too personal.  Like my brain waking me up because it couldn't shut out the Bolt saga. Leading to thoughts on identity, race, politics. Who am I really and how does that fit with different perspectives of culturally defined persona.  I am still turning thoughts over in my mind on that one.

Thoughts on Lent and how we've all manage to bend lent just a little this year, the two boys are fairing the best. Both made resolutions that would be hard for them.  Both are sticking to them very well.

Thoughts on the answers to feminist motherhood questions I am yet to finish...these ones are tougher. I don't know where to start.  But know that these thoughts are definitely linked with the identity thoughts.

and finally, thoughts about fish that fake orgasms. There is a type of brown trout, that when mating a female brown trout will fake orgasm, so that the male will think he's done his reproductive job, then she can swim away and mate with a more suitable male trout.

And I learnt a new term.  Penguin Guado. Which means penguin shit. This morning the husband informed me had the most satisfyingly huge guado....I need to stop telling him guado.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

More children's art spam

So the children have been creative in the crayon box.
The girl child has become obsessed with Manga lately and is drawing manga pics all over the place.
I couldn't help but share.

It's not her best one, but it's my favourite. She loves to draw pics for the Little League Magazine. Last year her picture of Scorch, the Dragons mascot earned her a football. This year, she decided to Maga-rize Big Dell, the finished picture includes the heading "Red V is a part of me." (She stuffed up the writing on the original, so she cut the picture out and stuck it to a new piece of paper to rewrite the writing. This is before the new writing was added.) 

When I find her other pictures, I'll probably share them too. I just can't help myself!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Conversations overheard and had...

Due to the man cold, man/boy cold doing the rounds in the crayon box, I haven't yet managed to get around to posting.  (Part two of feminist motherhood coming up. Just not today)

But Bluemilk has done it again with the inspirational overheard in our shower where I started remembering the funny shit kids say when learning about the differences in their bodies.  (There is a comment there were I shared an exchange between myself and one of my younger sisters. It's funny and cute to me...)

Got me thinking about my boys and conversations with and overheard about their own penis views.

This first one is a conversation I overhead my oldest son, who was almost 5 years old at the time having with his Nanna while they played on the swings.

M: When I grow up, Gracie and I are getting married. 
Nanny: Are you going to have children?
M: Yes! Loads of them at least 10! 
Nanny: 10? heavens that is a lot. What does Gracie think about that. 

short pause as he ponders this. 

M: Hmm, I think we'll get a dog instead. I'll have that operation Dad had on his penis so I won't give Gracie any children cause I don't think she wants any. 

It's about this time my mother-in-law falls off the swing as she digests the fact that her grandson just said the word penis.... out loud.

The next story happened in 2009. November to be exact. The husband was away on deployment and had been gone for seven months by this stage. (He was due home late Jan/early Feb 2010) We have a very pampered cat named Virgil, that the husband calls "The Thunderbird." (No I did not name him after a Thunderbird, but the husband finds it amusing to tease me by calling him that and threatening to get another cat and name him Nigel. Yeah, he thinks he's funny. Okay, he might be, just a little bit funny.)

Anyway, this cat adores the shit out of my husband. When he was a kitten, he somehow knew, shitting on my pillow was preferable to shitting on the Man's (and certainly ensured his survival). He misses the man terribly every time he goes away. The cat is not normal. He's like a dog. When he hears the car pull into the drive way he goes bounding to the back door waiting...

 Male cats are known fretters. So after seven months in a manless house and the cats bouts of neurotic bulimia increased, I figured he was just missing the Man and made sure to give him extra hugs (while not so silently cursing him for the lovely piles of vomit and thanking god I had completely tiled flooring.)

But then he started missing the litter box.  Which was pretty shallow. So I got one that was deeper and enclosed. Then he stopped eating.  (The peeing thing should have been my tip off, but he's always been an oddly eccentric thing and mistakenly I thought it was his way of showing me his disapproval that the Man was not yet home)  But Virgil not eating was not heard of. This cat makes Garfield look like a rank amateur.

Now I only have a learners permit. I don't particularly like driving and I am not very good at it. so I couldn't just run the cat down to the vet, and of course since it was a Saturday, my local vets were shut anyway. So I called the mobile vet, who was swamped and couldn't come to me, but urged that I get my cat to a vet ASAP. So I called a girlfriend who happily took me and the cat to the vet hospital. (He was so despondent, it was the first time I have ever gotten him in his cage without incurring lacerations akin to being attacked by a whipper snipper.)  I am grateful to M's presence that day and her kindness in taking us over. She assures me it was her pleasure with the support I gave her when her dog was sick and she was dealing with her first ever deployment. (Army wives aren't all back stabby bitches) But still. when the vet tells you if you hadn't brought your fur baby in when you did that he would have been dead by are thankful for the ride and the sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

My cat had a blocked urethra. So he couldn't pee. They tried inserting a catheter and giving him medication to break down the crystals he had formed in his bladder, but to no avail. As soon as the catheter came out he would be blocked again within minutes.  The only option they had was to cut his penis off.  (Honestly, the look that cat gave me when he got the cone off his head and was finally able to lick himself down there....*shudders* I now sleep with one eye open.)

As I explained this to my boys, my then seven year old starts laughing. (I am not surprised by this, we all have a habit of inappropriate giggling)  I said "J, why are you laughing? Poor Virgil!"  He just kind of looked up at me still snickering and said  "I know, but doesn't that make Virgil a Shim now Mum?"
In my head I am thinking where the fuck did my 7yr old pick up a word like Shim?  But I couldn't help but laugh with him.  I  spoke to the Man that night  as I explained the sudden $3000 hole in our savings account and he had decided that Virgil wasn't a Shim, Virgil has acquired a pocket.  (It once was a rocket, now it's a pocket)

I told him no, and explained what his foreskin was (neither his brother or  his father has one) and what circumcision was. Early this year the merry go round is back and he asked if he could have a circumcision.  I said I could make him a doctors appointment to talk about it to which he replied....
"No thanks Mum. I'd rather Dad did it. We all know what happens when you take male members of this family to the doctor. I saw what happened to Virgil. I'm just not willing to take that risk!"

The little smart ass does not fall far from the smart ass tree.

Friday, March 18, 2011

I can't believe it's not a post....

I have the brain fuzz today.

The News with Nipples asked us to play along with her inner artist. I would love to oblige, really I would if not for a couple of leetle problems.

Firstly, I can't draw. With or without a mouse. Actually, that's not entirely true. I can draw a hairy vagina wearing boots that I call Puss-in-boots. but that doesn't exactly describe my day in pictures.

Secondly, I am woefully inept when it comes to technology. I shit you not. Here's how inept I am. Do Macs even have a paint type program? And if so where the frack do I find it?

So in leiu of me inflicting my stick figures on the Internets, I present for you a portrait.

Meet Tosis. Our Rabbit. This is my sons drawing of him that he did yesterday during his "Go nuts" hour where I tell my children to just go nuts and create, explore, do something of interest.  (And yes our rabbits' name is Tosis, short for myxomatosis. ) 

so there you go Nips. A pic for your game. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Who are your fashion choices killing?

Most of us look at clothes and simply see an outfit. Something to cover up our nakedness and to make a statement about our own individuality. Rarely do we look at our tags  MADE IN CHINA, MADE IN TAIWAN, MADE IN CAMBODIA etc and really think about what that means. The thing we usually look for on our labels are brands, Armani, Gucci, Levi's, Sass and Bide, Peter Alexander etc. Not once do we really look at that MADE IN... label and give thought to the people who actually piece together the clothing that hangs in our stores and closets.

 Whilst from time to time I ponder the notion of where my clothes come from (beyond the department stores from which they are purchased) and how they are produced, I have never taken that pondering as far as where my underpants are made or by whom. I confess, I am not a very conscientious shopper when it comes to my clothing and accessories. I fantasise about being more ethical with what I buy, but I never follow through with the actual implementation and this bothers me greatly.

We've all heard about sweat shops. We've all heard about the appalling working conditions in factories around the world that employ women and children who work 12-14 hours a day most days for a wage of around $14-$20 a month. The conditions in which they work are horrendous. Poor ventilation. No real breaks to speak of. Unsafe conditions. No basic health  standards.   It's heart breaking. It becomes a cycle of poverty from which they cannot escape. No excuses. They simply can't.

Many of these factory workers start out as children. Often orphans forced into the workplace to pay for their upkeep. They work full time, (often working over time for no extra pay) which leaves no time for education. They don't have a choice between work and school. They work or they end up dying from starvation, from cold, from not having any money to support themselves and nowhere to live.  With no education they have no chance of finding a better job. So the cycle of poverty continues.

Aside from the above I had never really thought that my choice to buy clothing might actually put the workers who make them lives at risk.  But it does. Aside from the unsafe factories that often result in tragedies like this one in Bangladesh  (which seemingly happen far too often) there are of course things to ponder such as the way clothing is made that may impact on workers health in the form of debilitating and often fatal disease brought on by the processes used in manufacturing.

Something I didn't know until I started thinking about and looking at the ethics (and lack of) in the manufacturing of clothing is a technique used on denim known as sandblasting.  Clean Clothes has an awesome page on what sandblasting is and how it is impacting the health of the workers who do the sandblasting. They also have a great list of brands that either never used sandblasting or recently banned the practise of it as well as the brands that refuse to ban it and the ones who say they will but are taking a very long time to actually take action on banning.   For how your jeans can kill see this page here.

The great news is there are some manufacturers out there who do care. Who do want to change the world and create an ethically produced product that is pleasing to the consumer and benefits the workers who create them.

whomadeyourpants are a UK based business who make underwear.  Take a look around their fabulous site. The programs they have in place for their business and more importantly their emlpoyees are the stuff feminist dreams are made of.  Whilst 10 pounds  (about AU$16.50) a pair might sound a bit rich, walk into any Bras and things and you'll see similar prices. The question is, are they ethically produced? and which pair will make you feel better about you?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

One of those domestic type updates.

I didn't think my day was going to go very well today. After receiving an overdue notice in the mail for my husbands mobile, the idea of having to deal with Telstra made me roll my eyes like my daughter does when asked to do...well...anything really.

I ended up needing to call Telstra 3 times today. (I had a small brain explosion and couldn't figure out how to change some stuff and update some stuff and delete some stuff. Vague yes but my stupidity knows no bounds. Vagueness is the only mask I have.)  And pleasantly enough, all three calls were wonderful. Which makes me wonder why is it that as soon as I cancel most of my services with them their customer service standards seem to actually become a standard.  I haven't been getting my bills. Something I can verify as I am the type to start hyperventilating if a bill isn't paid the moment I receive it.  Because I am such a good customer they removed the overdue fee from my account. Yay for pecuniary responsibility.

Today is football training for the Biped. He's coming home to get the boys because this year they are going to be ball boys.  He's on his way home now. He just called to see if I wanted a large bag of prawns purchased.  Mostly because he wants me to make this again.

And because he's an all round awesome Dad, he's going to bring home feminine hygiene products for his daughter. Which is saying something for a man who would send me out to buy his porn for him.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

no words.

It's hard to sort my thoughts into words today.
So much emotional crap going on in my world.
So instead, I am going to go play with my daughters hair while the kids and I watch a Doctor Who marathon.

Monday, February 14, 2011

why my heart hurts

See that gorgeous woman in the swim suit?  That woman is my Grandmother.  Sadly, she passed away 11 days ago.  Typing that was astonishing. 11 days. 11 heart breaking days.  In those 11 days I have both laughed and cried more than I ever thought possible.  I want to tell you about her. I really do. But the hurt is still so raw.

My head knows she is at peace. I know she is in heaven because that is where she believed she would go with all her heart. She never feared death. She was always so certain of what was waiting on the other side.  I envy that.

It's my heart that continues to be selfish. It's my heart that refuses to let go. This woman is the woman who helped my mother raise me. Standing there at her funeral I realised of all her grand children, nieces and nephews, I was the lucky one who got to spend so much of my time with her.  She was my hero.

One day I will tell you why. One day I will tell you about the amazing woman she was and how much she shaped who I am.  But not today.

Friday, February 11, 2011

The nature of things.

There's so much swimming in my head right now I don't know where to start.

My daughter turned 15 this January, last week, she ducked down to the shops to get the paper and came back with a hairdressing apprenticeship. The poor pet is exhausted as she is working very long hours. (Voluntarily- she wants to prove to her employers how badly she wants this. ) We've been trying for a couple of years to talk her out of hairdressing, I thought we had succeeded when she started talking about becoming a music tutor... however, having said that, we had no dreams for her ourselves, we were just concerned that as a person who takes a while to warm up to people that hairdressing might prove to be tougher for her than it would be for someone more extroverted.  As it is I am immensely proud of her work ethic and her determination to be her own person.

The young lady starting her apprenticeship means her home school registration needs to change. I have temporary approval for all the kids, (they get full approval in six months time provided we meet the criteria- which D'Uh, we will)  but hers will be a little more complicated as legally she still has to be doing school as she is not yet 17.  So we have a vocational/schooling/TAFE thing to work out now.  Hopefully it means I can cut out a lot of stuff she won't need, can focus on the stuff she does need, leaving us time to focus on stuff she finds interesting whether it is useful or not.

Our first meeting with the Home Ed unit here in our new home was fabulous. Linda was great and I managed to get a really good overview of what each of the kids should know by now and what they need to work towards in the next phase of their learning.  It would seem my little guy is actually right on target, which is reassuring.  He learns differently to his siblings, and I thought he was struggling more than he is, seems I am just used to dealing with my competent daughter and my gifted older son.  (I have always hesitated to call him gifted, but truthfully he is. I just feel like that label carries so much weight and expectancy. For both him and myself as his primary educator.)

So now begins my days of compiling curriculum and writing lesson plans.  I get a little teary thinking about my baby girl in the work place already.  It makes me nervous thinking about how when we move on, she probably won't be coming with us, that these next few years are my last with us all under one roof is a bitter sweet mix of conflicting emotions.  Sadness, hope, relief, pride.  But that's a whole other post.

Now, you'll have to excuse me as I go kiss my beautiful daughter goodbye before she heads off to work.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Oh shiny internets... I have missed you so.

It's been quite awhile.

This is the  longest I have ever been without an internet connection and I can tell you, I do not like NOT having internets.  The move was drawn out.  A shortage of houses saw us living in a motel for seven weeks.  It took two weeks after moving for our ISP to connect our service and just for fun, the modem refused to sync. So after two technicians and a further two weeks, I have internets again, although, I still seem to be having some issues with it.  (For example, no matter what I do Twitter just won't play nicely)

I will update later. Right now I need a hot cup of tea and a cuddle from my favourite 8 year old.