31 October 2011

a spooky weekend . . .

Greetings all,
Many thanks for the heart warming comments yesterday, i finally heard from my husband last night, he couldn't say much other than he's Ok (physically).  I can not imagine the horror of being machine gunned by a soldier you are training to help protect his country, on your own base.  It has happened before to British & American troops, it's my greatest fear for my husband who doesn't patrol outside the wire as often as he used to.  War is war.  I went to the doctor this morning to start my carpal tunnel surgery journey - the lady ahead of me, hysterical, her nephew was one of the soldiers killed.  I felt like crying through my whole appointment, being painfully poked & prodded aside.
Halloween is not widely celebrated here in Australia but we enjoy a pagan festival.  My late mother-in-law was born on Halloween, but i can't say she was a witch, far from it, never heard her say an ill word about anyone. 
 The owl image above is borrowed from The Polka Dot Petticoat blog in Alaska, thanks Heidi.  I blew a few dollars on some treats, including these 3 new ceramic bowls from the 'imperfect' table at Bison.
 Saturday night, these two maniacs went to a Halloween disco, as a witch & a rag doll.
 This patient boy ran around the car park before the party started, for an hour!!
 We were early as we had to buy new Nike waffles (like spikes) before the store closed at 5p.m.  She's trying to drown out the singing from the hyped up twin sisters. 
 A basic pre-party snack . . . everything looks better served with flowers. 
 Saturday was wet, athletics cancelled, but it ended with a rainbow.
Enjoy Halloween if it's your thing.  Tomorrow i'm going to stock up on spooky goodies in the sales as my eldest would like a Friday the 13th Party next year, love Posie

30 October 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'our 2 year plan??'

Greetings all,
I am floundering.  My carpal tunnel ridden hands can no longer grasp things - i've gone down hill very fast - surgery is looming.  I type with flat hands & scoop things up to hold them.  Lately, i can only manage the basics . . . constantly dropping cutlery, keys & phones along the way . . . i have no sense of my grip.  Strange thing is, i'm Ok with this, my husband says i sound happy & relaxed.  I can't sew or design, so i'm taking a break with focus on our 2 year plan: finding a block in the country & building a homestead; getting my husband back home from Afghanistan/ then Brisbane; & having 3 children in high school.  Will i want to go back to designing??  Of course, it's my passion, but i will do business differently.      
We have a 'don't ask, don't tell' policy on where my children find flowers in da 'hood.  I'm glad to accept flowers from anyone, anytime, anywhere.  Sorry neighbours!! 
I'm still inspired to design, but at my age - how often do you hear of someone discovering cancer/ husband leaving them/ a child has an issue??  I don't want to take my eye off the ball, especially with teenagers.  My hands are my little nudge to make changes, mind, body, soul & work on our family's future. 

I've realised i'm a rare demographic, the housewife private high school mum without plans to resume the workforce, regardless of qualifications & options.  My husband is a soldier, not highly paid, we've just been sensible with our deployment money & property investments.  When my husband goes to war, we make plans for every scenario, horrible but necessary.  Days like today - we discover on the news that 3 soldiers have been killed & 7 wounded in Afghanistan, where my husband is right now, i cling to our plans & focus on the future, lucky we have one.  I hear the news as quickly as you do, when incidents happen, there is a total communications block, my husband can't contact me.  Yes we have planned how i would be told if something happens to him.  Simply the most awful conversation you'll ever have with your beloved husband. 
War is completely different now to how it was 12 years ago - he would call once a fortnight between patrols, now he can email, Skype & phone almost daily.  We are both using the farm dream as a healthy distraction - sending links to properties back & forth, ideas, plans for a pool & a pony.  We are forced into breaking up our life into '2 year plans' to match our postings to different cities (my husband posted to Brisbane on his own 2 years ago, we stayed in Canberra for a smooth transition to high school) & he still has 1-2 years to go in Queensland (so does my free holiday house bachelor pad!!)  
I often wonder if people in the real world, plan in small 2 year chunks like this.  A 5 year plan sounds a bit communist to me, or like we're ploughing fields, which we might very well be doing in the future too!!  As for the families of the fallen soldiers, my heart goes out to them.  I have already had several people ask if my husband is Ok, but those boys were someone else's sons, brothers, husbands & fathers.  It's a reality check & i will sigh great relief when i finally speak to my handsome soldier.  Love Posie

28 October 2011

i'm grateful for . . . 'breathing the same air as the Queen'

Greetings all,
Ok i'm dragging out my brush with Her Majesty The Queen . . . she's still on our shores Australia, soak it up 'subjects'.  After such a fantastic response to my 'Going to Canberra to visit the Queen' photo post earlier in the week . . . here are the details.  I'm so very humbled & grateful for the experience of breathing the same air as the Queen!! 
If i knew it would be SO easy to be THAT close to the Queen, i would have run to the florist, dragged my children out of school & twins off camp . . . to hand Her Majesty flowers!!  I was in tears & speechless just being there . . . imagine if my children conversed with her??  I was completely incoherent when i rang my father to tell him.  He has met & dined with our wonderful Queen several times, as lucky naval commanders do.  I know my Mummy doesn't know who the Queen is anymore (Alzheimer's) i still wished she was with me.  The Federal Police were excellent & very entertaining while gathering the children with flowers to meet the Queen.  Just like that - no nominations, ballots, screening or invitation-only-guest lists . . . you've got flowers, hop over the fence.
Here i am with flat wet hair & scarf, The Duke of Edinburgh an arms length away, just moments after the Queen passed me, thanks UK Daily Mail!!  
I lined up an hour before she was due to arrive at the War Memorial & pow, straight in the second row, front & centre to the stairs, behind one little 5' tall elderly lady.  Whether you are a monarchist or a republican, you have to respect this particular monarch, she's simply awesome.  I was surrounded by British tourists who said they'd NEVER get this close to her at home.  The atmosphere was electric. 
You know she's coming when this flag is flying . . .
 I'm a fan of General Peter Cosgrove retired, the director of the War Memorial.  He came over to tell us that the Queen would be arriving shortly & going straight inside, but . . . would then be coming out & walking along side us.  FYI that is not his pretty-ruffled-cream-umbrella, it's the lady in front of me.  Gorgeous, non??    
 I was directly on the other side of the car . . . i saw this on the news when i got home. 
 Apparently she had a little trip up this step but brushed it off & powered on.
I took my proper camera - the Nikon D70 SLR & didn't use/ need the enormous phallic lens, all pictures were taken with the regular one.  I didn't want to stuff up the camera (my lens changing skills are limited + it was raining) when i knew she'd be coming so close.
 Here she is inside the War Memorial, looking at pictures of herself from over 50 years ago.  She is still so beautiful, aged 85.  How 'bout the Duke at 90??!!
Check out my amazing vantage point.  The only thing i could have done better was bring a milk crate to stand on, or my tall husband & get me that fabulous man (in the grey suit) who followed the Queen around with a see-through umbrella!!  Sweet Julie from Mama of 2 Boys blog said my photos were better than The Woman's Weekly!!  Yay, thanks Jules.  I'm 'the people's photographer'. 
The engaging lady in jade is her Lady In Waiting.  The Queen passes all the flowers & gifts to her . . . 
who relays them to this guy, who fills up the convoy of cars with the flowers, which are normally shared around local hospitals & nursing homes.
I had time to dash down to view the motorcade leaving too.  Prince Phillip waved to me.  Such a shame it rained, Canberra is Australia's sunniest city with little rainfall.  It did suit the mood of this particular engagement as she was laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, viewing the Afghanistan exhibition & the names of the 29 soldiers who have been killed there.  I was thinking of my husband, in Afghanistan right now, the whole day.  I quickly emailed him the best photos & then he called me, super jealous but SO happy for me.  I love you handsome soldier, i'm so proud of you!!
  For more Gratefuls this weekend, check out Maxabella Loves, love Posie

27 October 2011

our creative space . . . 'while the girls were away on camp, i got busy decorating'

Greetings all,
My sweet twin girls were off on camp this week - bless their hearts, it rained every day, lucky they were sleeping in cabins!! 
 They packed fashion for all weather conditions . . .
 & yes, this is a mix of SAS sleeping bag with a vintage port + straw fedora??!!
 As is tradition in our household . . . while you are away on camp, i get busy doing bedroom makeovers . . .
 our middle girl has wanted her bed on an angle for ages (she has an angled 5th wall) & i thought, why not??  OMG, it's completely changed her room around, it's more spacious & looks fabulous.  Good call.  She was absolutely thrilled & loved the welcome home gifts on her bed.
 I need to make curtains & tidy up the book case!!  At night with the lanterns on, it's so pretty, a little like the glamping episode last week.
 Day 3 - i had a really awful headache & just couldn't finish 2 rooms in one 'camp' so i just cleaned up & hung the tissue fans & balls in the 2nd room . . .
 & put all her decorating goodies & gifts on her bed, so we can do it together on the weekend.  Yes, they each got a bird & owl teapot, just because, they look so cute on their shelves.  Anyway, she's quite particular this 3rd girl of mine, she left me standing by the bus with the firm statement of "do not go into my room while i'm away, Mother".
 They each came home to a little accessory from Alannah Hill too, squeals of delight.
So, it's still wet outdoors but i'm doing the camp washing anyway, including their wet-dog-smelling sneakers.  Oh mustn't forget, i'm doing a little Market today at Brindabella Business Park, yay.  Go visit more Creative Spaces, love Posie
PS last few days for the current handmade & Mollie Makes magazine giveaway, enter here.

26 October 2011

wordless Wednesday . . . 'going to Canberra to visit the Queen'

Ladies & Gentleman, Your Majesty, The Queen . . .
at the Australian War Memorial, Canberra.
For possibly less regal & majestic Wordless Wednesday images, take a peek at Faith Hope & a Whole Lotta Love.  I'm soaking it up ladies!!  Ok forget wordless for a minute . . . my head is giddy with pride to be part of the Commonwealth & the fact she was visiting the Afghanistan Exhibition while my husband is serving in Afghanistan, well, it's just perfect.  She was a few feet away from me, front & centre, waiting for a woman i have admired my whole life.  She did not disappoint, she is beautiful & graceful, look at that smile.  Check out how engaging her beloved husband, The Duke of Edinburgh is with the children!!  I will remember this day forever!!  Love Posie

24 October 2011

my weekend in images . . .

Greetings all,
Poof, after yesterday's post (thanks for your well wishes & sibling stories) . . . i thought i might enlighten you with all the lovelier things from my weekend . . .
a spot of screen printing . . .
mmmm, macarons in Spinderella . . .
thanks Donna Hay!!  Did you know she's doing a flourless truffle cake mix soon, oh you will, i'll have them in a giveaway a.s.a.p. . . .
Farmer's Market orangey goodness . . .
i got carried away juicing & overflowed the food processor (again) so out with the trusty straw . . .
4 children took turns sucking it up . . .
& wrapping up the weekend with a Sunday night Penang curry chicken . . .
with herbs from my barrel of blooming ingredients.  I was informed by the critics - i added too much dill, i just can't love children who don't embrace dill.  I know there are dill haters who read my blog, bite me, i mean, bite dill.
I picked the herbs after an hour of reading in the garden before making dinner & suddenly lost the ability to tell the difference between coriander & parsley.  I sniffed, i tasted, i compared . . . i picked both & tossed them all in the curry!!  I had herb amnesia.  If i inspire you to do anything, it's to grow your own herbs, chillies & salad fixings . . . a little effort with the watering can, will save you a fortune & fresh herbs are the hero of the dish.  Thank you, thank you very much, love Posie 

23 October 2011

social commentary Sunday . . . 'sibling rivalry - when you're an adult'

Greetings all,
Oh yes, this old chestnut . . . sibling rivalry . . . when you're an adult, really, will it end?? 
Today's post was triggered by my sister, who enjoys the role of gossip information conduit in the family.  It's easy when she calls our parents 3 times a day!!  As much as i love her, she was the sibling who would say "no offence, but you're ugly" . . . it's not constructive, it's plain mean.  She also starts every conversation with a passive aggressive "have you spoken to Mum & Dad lately" when she knows i only talk to them once a week or less.  I save up interesting things to tell them about my life, they know i care, i don't hassle.
Anyway, while i was recording the 'leaps' at the 13y.o. girls' long jump at Athletics yesterday, my mobile was running hot with SMS from my sister.  To wrap it up, I texted "hands sore, pressing buttons hurts, will have to have surgery soon".  My carpal tunnel has hit new heights of swelling, aches & numbness.  By the time i got home . . . Dad had already called twice, freaking out with worry (he has Mum's Alzheimer's to deal with, he's on a need-to-know basis about any of my dramas). 
I said to my father, this was my business & not for her to tell you, 2 minutes later.  I was going to tell him after i had confirmation of surgery options next week.  Ok, so you're thinking 'she's caring & worried about her little sister', but this is the millionth thing she's blabbed about before i've had a chance to tell my parents.  Flash back to when i was 18 & she delighted in telling my parents that i had sex!!  Was not in a rush to share that news, but it was my news.  Spending most of my adult life not living in Sydney, i've enjoyed my privacy & independence, especially raising our children.    
Don't worry, i've told her exactly how i feel, like i have the million times before.  I just can't believe it still happens.  Why!!??  I've suffered carpal tunnel since i was 28 & was pregnant with my son, it's no secret, everyone knows i sleep with metal hand splints, it's been 8 years & recently escalated thus considering surgery. 
I realised in our 20s . . . when my sister, Mum & i would get together, my sister would strive aggressively for Mum's attention.  So i backed off, i had my own relationship with our Mum, & with my new attitude, our get togethers would go swimmingly.  Seems like my sister has never let go of the sibling rivalry (my sisters-in-law tell me my brothers are the same).  Isn't that weird??  All grown up, we get on brilliantly, until our parents arrive & the competition for their attention is on.  Trust me, we all had plenty of positive attention from our devoted parents throughout our childhoods!!  We are all so different, careers, children, lifestyles, futures, i don't know what any of us is trying to 'rival'?? 
Do you notice sibling rivalry in your adult version of being a sister or brother??  What triggers it??  Are you dreading the upcoming festive season of enforced family events??  Love Poise
PS my crafty friends with sore hands . . . my surgeon brother said if i left my carpal tunnel any longer, i could do irreparable nerve damage. Yikes!!  Surgery here i come.  Edit: surgery can be done with a local anaesthetic, by a general surgeon in their office - who knew it could be that simple??  I didn't & i've put it off, suffered severe pain, now i feel quite silly.  You can seek out a hand specialist & a general anaesthetic if you wish . . . if you have 'the hands of a surgeon' or something special.  You can even drive an automatic car & continue on with your life immediately (as much as i'd prefer to be treated like the Queen & wave to my subjects - make their own bloody lunches!!)  Warning: if you do both hands at once, who is going to wipe your bottom??  Just saying.