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Friday, December 12, 2008

One Sweet Blog Award

Thanks again to Moonroot for this cute little number.

I have to list seven things in a number of different categories.

7 things to do before I die

1. Walk the Inca Trail.
2. Write a really good book. One that makes you laugh and cry, smile and yearn.
3. Learn how to make stuff – clothes, toys, anything and everything.
4. Build a mud brick/earthbag/adobe/cob meditation hut.
5. Awaken my Heart.
6. Become a Tantra teacher.
7. Have another baby.

7 things I do now

1. Swear. A lot.
2. Sing all the time.
3. Write.
4. Worry.
5. Procrastinate wildly.
6. Run wonderful events for women. I love my work. www.thedivinefeminine.com.au.
7. Read whenever I can.

7 things I can't do

1. Play piano any more.
2. Anything mathematical.
3. Read instructions.
4. Sew.
5. Prevent my daughter from repeating the last things she hears about a million times.
6. Understand myself.
7. Enjoy sport.

7 things I find attractive in the opposite sex (in no particular order)

1. Beautiful eyes.
2. A great sense of Humour.
3. Creativity.
4. Openness.
5. Honesty.
6. Intelligence.
7. A sense of Adventure/Musical ability (what can I say – I have a soft spot for muso’s).

7 things I say most often

1. Oh, For F***’s Sake!
2. Awesome!
3. Alright. See you later.
4. I love you. (To my mum, my daughter, my hubble, my friends – everyone I love).
5. D'you know what I mean?
6. Christ on a bike!
7. That's hysterical!

7 celebs I most admire

1. Cate Blanchett
2. Kate Bush
3. Emma Thompson
4. Claire Bowditch
5. Dalai Lama
6. Wayne Dyer
7. Daniel Day Lewis

7 favourite foods

1. Fish and Chips
2. Fish Pie (home made)
3. Chocolate and all chocolate related products both known and unknown in this universe and all others
4. Lemon Cheesecake
5. Mashed potato (especially when it comes with Bangers and Red Onion Gravy from the Bangers and Mash Café in Notting Hill, London.
6. Warm Pecan Pie….mmmmm
7. My mum’s Macaroni Cheese

I’m going to follow Moonroots lead with nominations. I've already done a fair bit of nominating in the last post, so for this one I'm going to just say I nominate everyone on my ‘Eye & Heart Candy’ blog roll, and if you read this and would like to join in - well, consider yourself nominated too!

Tree of Happiness Award

I know. A lot of blogging in one day. Still, when the mood strikes (even when the connection is s.l.o.o.o.o.w)...

I find I have been tagged by the wonderful Moonroot, who has gifted me a lovely Tree of Happiness. Ta very much!

The rules of the award are:

• Link to the person who gave the award to you.
• Post the rules on your blog.
• List six things that make you happy.
• Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them.
• Let each person know they’ve been tagged and leave a comment on their blog
• Let the person who awarded you know when your entry is up.

I think this has come along at just the right moment and is some Good Medicine to get rid of the Bad Mojo surrounding me right now. So without further ado, these are ‘Fings Wot Make I Happy.’

1. Peace. Quiet. Serenity. Ok. I’ll stop now. I promise.
2. My creative, caring and very loving hubble and my curious, challenging, tiring, wonderful, dramatic and adorable daughter. Really. Even when I’m angry and crabby, they are both amazing gifts in my life and I do know how very lucky and blessed I am.
3. Having my writing published. Makes me feel like I do at least one thing well in my life. Writing helps me stay sane. Stories feed my heart and soul and Reading helps me grow up big and strong.
4. A long lie in with a good book.
5. Nature. How I love thee – from the ripe bosom of the fertile Mother to the cold, stone hard ground and chill winds of the Crone – I am thy humble servant and my soul is an ever evolving Ode to thy Beauty.
6. My friends. I am blessed to have many good friends both in this hemisphere and the other. They have provided much support, love and happiness and I am terribly grateful for the wisdom they share and the joy they bring.

My six nominations are:

1. DocWitchy-poo at Dark Side of the Broom. Love her. Love her blog.
2. Griffin from Snapper and The Griffin – lovely stories from a lovely man.
3. Sew Mamma Sew (http://sewmamasew.com/blog2/) – a wonderful blog that keeps my creative yearnings alive.
4. One Red Robin (http://oneredrobin.com/) – such wonderful crafty stuff. I just love it.
5. Suse from Pea Soup (http://peasoupoftheday.blogspot.com/) – mothering, crafting and all things homely and special. Nurturing as a hot cup of tea and a biccie.
6. The Dance of Small Things (http://danceofsmallthings.blogspot.com/) – a blog that warms the cockles, fills the tummy and expands the heart.

Don't forget to share that happiness around.

How's The Serenity?

Well hello there Dark Mother. It's been, well, not long enough that's for damn sure.

I'll make this quick as I'm on the dreaded dial-up and it is so painfully slow that I may kill myself out of sheer frustration before this blog has been uploaded.

We are in our new home - Hurrah! We also have only one or two more boxes to unpack - double Hurrah! Our new neighbours enjoy playing loud Gangsta Rap - Boo! Hiss! Our other neighbours are clearly in a band and I have been serenaded with some seriously heavy drum beats and guitar solos. Surprisingly, this bothers me less than the horrendous 'duff duff duff' of the gangta rap. Being in a band suggests creativity and also, having dated three musicians in a row, I am aware that there is a finite amount of rehearsal one can do in a day. Thankfully.

I am someone who needs, nay, whose very life and wellbeing depends upon, certain levels of peace and quiet. I do not deal well with noise pollution of any kind. When you are merrily painting away with your IPod in your ears and you can STILL hear your neighbours music, then that becomes slightly worrying. I have to say in all honesty that moving in day was completely ruined for me by said musical accompaniment. Especially as on that particularly exhausting and difficult day it continued well past 10.30pm and it meant that I was trying to put my daughter to bed with that in the background like a bad smell. I do think it bothers her less than me thankfully but still. It does beg the question, why would you move to this beautiful area, surrounded by the verdant and abundant green of nature, with peace so possible, and then spend your daylight hours blasting yourself off the face of the earth with music. Any music. The fact that its gangsta rap and therefore horrible, negative and violent, is not so much beside the point as a whole different point all by itself. So - it was with a heavy and anxious heart that I began my stay here in this lovely new home that belongs to me.

I fretted and tossed and wore myself into a hyper-state of sadness and angryness all the while trying to think of ways to avoid, cure or simply deal with this unwanted aural attack. The Hubble very diplomatically suggested that we simply befriend the neighbours and see if we can cure the situation with sugar instead of vinegar. It may be that they don't realise that the sound carries from their house (at the top of the hill) to ours (at the bottom) or that sounds simply carries more here because of the nature of the valley and the trees and so on and so forth. It could be that they simply don't give a fuck. This is what I fear. That I have moved next door to people who have no regard for anyone else or their needs. On one level, I understand it. Really. I do. Why should we let anyone else dictate how we should live our lives? We shouldn't. I am not someone who enjoys confrontation. I'm not someone who wants to try and tell people how they should live. I'm simply someone who craves peace and hoped to move into this amazing area and soak in the beauty and majesty of nature, uninterrupted by such hideousness. Since then, I think I have been 'Woman on the Edge' - waiting for it to begin again, almost expecting it to happen every night. Thankfully it has not. It's been all quiet on the Western Front since Sunday - a fact for which I am extremely grateful. I know I should pull myself together and just deal with it less fretfully but I am not made that way and to do so will require an effort of will and an amount of psychological reprogramming that I am simply not capable of right now. I do intend to try and get myself on track, just as soon as I can get myself on track. I am exhausted and angry and irritable and my poor daughter has been harrassed by 'Mommie Dearest' all week - not a good start to our green idyll.

I can tell that this post is a little disjointed. It's totally how I feel. I also know that no-one can get me back into a peaceful frame of mind and heart but me. I also, also know that if one cannot seen the Divine in everything and everyone (everyone), then one cannot really see the Divine at all. I have the problem not them. I am the one who finds the situation difficult. Not them. I don't want to put them out of my heart simply because, at worst, they are selfish wankers. I think that the Universe is enjoying a great Cosmic Joke at my expense and it's up to me to find a way back to peace and equilibrium despite my current challenges. It's just funny (funny ha ha and funny strange) that in buying my first house, I have managed to buy into my worst nightmare. Well, actually, let's not get over dramatic - it's my semi-worst nightmare. I won't write my worst nightmare out. Don't want to focus my energy on that now do I!

I've been seeing a Homeopath and she reckons that when I am back in harmony, so will my environment settle. I'm hoping that this is true. I'm adrenally exhausted and my fight or flight stress levels are very high simply due to the fact that I can handle large amounts of stress without actually realising that I'm stressed. Early childhood and all that. So - she has got me on something or other to basically smooth down the ruffled Kitty fur and get me relaxed (or as relaxed as I get - think wooden board with a soft cover on) and then we'll start dealing with all of the other stuff. Deep joy.

Anyway - we are here. It's looking more like home. Much painting has been done (our bedrooms look awesome) and much more painting has to be done. The wood panelling has to go. I don't want to live in a sauna. We are also very definitely getting double glazing put in. Firstly to stop the noise and secondly to insulate and keep the house toasty. We are living in a house that was previously occupied by DIY bodgers and there is some seriously dodgy electrical oddments happening which means that when we turn on the dining room light all the upstairs lights go out. Yes, honestly. That made me laugh. That's a good sign.

Anyway - I am longing for the broadband connection to be re-established, so that I can once more live like a modern woman instead of a pioneer. I can then check in more frequently and read my favourite blogs in peace. Well, you know what I mean.

Until then I wait. It's what I do.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Home Sweet Home She Sang

Home Sweet Home
Well, it's been full steam ahead over here at Chez AH today. There's been packing, worrying about not packing fast enough and, dropping off many boxes of stuff at the new place. Yes, at long last, I now hold in my sweaty little hand the key to our very own hoosie. Life is good.

The shine was taken off the apple somewhat by the rather less than pristine state the house was left in by the previous owners. I was annoyed, nay very pissed, for at least two days and we were left with a lot of work to do to simply clean the place to a decent standard. And all of this before we could even start to move our stuff in. We decided in the end that we should try and paint the place before moving in furniture as it's so much easier to paint unimpeded by 'stuff'. So a lovely weekend of sugar soaping walls was enjoyed by all. We then painted most of Lily's room a lovely soft heathery dusky pink. We intended for there to be green feature wall but upon completion of said feature wall, we were both rapidly transported back to the late 80's, big perms, 'Back to the Future' and all. We speedily painted over it in white and now Mummy is going to add a little of the pink to a lot of the white and have a slightly lighter pink feature wall instead.

Tiny Rant. I complained to the estate agent about the state the place was left in (dirty unhoovered floors, dirty walls and woodwork, scuzzy cupboards etc) and was told that the previous owners had 'cleaned it to the best of their ability' and that they were 'honestly nice people.' Harrumph. I would never (ever) leave a place in that kind of shitty state. We would lose our bond if this place looked like our new house did. So, I was a bit cranky for a few days and I think it upset the hubble a bit. He wanted it to be all grinning and cheer because we do now own our own house. I am a glass half empty kind of girl. Sorry. I need to be allowed to experience my disappointment (and my fear of so huge a commitment) before I can enjoy the fruits of this intense labour of love we are undertaking. I AM honestly joyful that we now own our very own piece of Real Estate. I love our garden. I love that I can paint the place whatever colour I damn well please. I love that I am able to relax (in my mind at least) knowing that no-one can sell it out from under us because it's OURS. And I especially love sitting on the terrace and seeing nothing but green frondyness spreading out before me like an emerald ocean. It's pretty glorious. On the downside, the house is a little darker than I would like. It doesn't seem to get a huge amount of sunshine after the early mornings. Comes from being at the bottom of a very steep hill I guess. I'm thinking of cutting some more skylights into the kitchen and possibly adding in a window to both top bedrooms. Something small and slim like a bathroom window into the exterior walls perhaps. Of course, this will all come 'in time' but the planning is good. I'm also starting to put out little tendrils towards plasterers and am researching Eco Plaster of all things. Well, we are trying to be 'greener' and have gone with some pretty good green paint for the house. Anyway - once the annoyance of dirty house had passed, I was all systems go and got stuck into sugar soaping and painting with great gusto. So all was well in the end.

We have SO much stuff to pack up here it's not funny. I keep looking around me and whispering quiet prayers for a speedy, nay miraculous, pack-up in the next few days. The removalists are coming on Saturday at 8am (Ye Gods - don't these burly men sleep?) and we have to be R.E.A.D.Y. I made some small inroads into it today interspersed with ignoring Lily a lot in order to do a lot of Change of Address notifications with banks etc. That was long and very tedious but necessary.

Momentary aside. I have just looked out of the window to see the most glorious crescent moon hanging like a tiny silver charm in the blackness. Above it shines a single, very bright star. I used to have (and may still have somewhere) this tiny silver crescent moon necklace. I wore it almost all the time back when I was around 24. Tonight that moon looks like that necklace. Perhaps I should see if I can fossick it out of my jewellery box. Perhaps a girl needs a little lunar charm at times like these. I shall miss these views from on high when I am deep in the valley below. Yes I shall.

And now she is gone. Obscured by cloud once more. Think I'll play a little celtic music to soothe my tired soul. Maybe a little Mary Fahl - jeez but she's a pretty little thing. And you gotta love that dress!

I feel like I have so much to say and now that I am here I can't remember any of it. I guess there is just so much going on and my brain is full of all the things I am desperate not to forget. Heh heh.

by bcarlson15210

I've been a bit of an angry bunny for a few weeks. I get like this sometimes though I'm not entirely sure why. Every damn thing pisses me off so intensely - it's like I've lost a layer of skin or something and there is no buffer between me and the chafing. Some of it deserves my anger, some of it does not. Poor Beanie has had crotchety witch mamma for a while and although she's been enjoying pushing the boundaries quite a bit, (well, a lot actually), does not deserve my evil moods. So on top of the anger has been a fair bit of guilt and sadness too. All of this at a time when I am also happy to be moving into my own home and harvesting the bounty of broccoli, broad beans and beets that await me in my new garden. For that I can almost forgive the mess the previous owners left behind. I know. I know. Get over it puss!

Anyway - I shall not dwell - I shall steadfastly move on to 'Things That Save Me From Myself'. Nothing in this world makes me feel quite so heart achingly happy as my little girl, particularly when she suddenly decides to belt out impromptu songs such as 'I have peace like a river in my Soul' or, as Lily sings it, 'Peas in the river and a sword.' Her rendition of Bob Marley's 'Three Little Birds' is just so sublime I can't tell you. She is so wonderful and so funny and so wildly, passionately unselfconscious and I want so much to protect that quality in her, knowing, as I do (and despite my seeming confidence) what it is to be self conscious. Now and then I ask her to 'sing to mummy' and without so much as a breath, she launches into a song about whatever she has in her head at that time. This afternoon, as we prepared for a nap, she sang about me telling her not to turn the lamp on and off and encompassed 'the whole world' and threw in things like some shoes, a little girl and a toad. Oh, for that imagination. Mind you, it comes with a complete set of 'I like to cover my whole face (including my ears) with vegetable soup' extras. Tuck in and enjoy my friend.

Anyway - its late, my back is knackered and so am I. Time for a good (ghastly, ghoulish) book and a warm duvet. We are about to go onto dial up speed for the next week or so until our swanky new wireless broadband is up and running, so it might be a while. Still, next time you might get photo's of the new hoose and me hauling large boxes up too many stairs.

Bon Nuit.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

An Attitude of Gratitude

Dr Emoto - Gratitude Water Crystal

Not sure why I'm here except that I'm aware I haven't blogged in a while. Feeling the need but not necessarily the inspiration. Which is strange as there is a lot going on in my life right now. Ah well, we'll start and see where we end up.
Tomorrow is my birthday - ak! I don't know why but the last few years, birthday's have been singularly unimpressive affairs. Not sure if its to do with the 'getting older' thing or the 'no inspiration' thing but really, despite everyone's best efforts, I'm always left feeling a bit flat and, I don't know, sad maybe.

Then next Thursday is my 4th Wedding Anniversary. I know that we are in danger of completely missing that because the very next day, the 28th, we finally take possession of our very own wee hoosie! YAY! Very happy about it and yet also, a bit, um... I don't know... flat? We went for the final inspection today and the current owners have already moved out. It felt so empty. It was also a cold, miserable, wet and dark day, so that may have added to the somewhat flat mood we all seemed to be in. I just couldn't garner any enthusiasm for it all and yet I am very much looking forward to moving in. Does that even make sense? We also realised just how much painting the place needs. It is pretty badly painted in an awful cold looking pale blue at the moment, so white is the order of the day and lots of of it. Except Beanie's room which will be pale pink with the possible exception of a lovely green wall - to go with her pink and green bedclothes. I am possibly more excited about her room coming together than I am about ours. I don't know why. Maybe because children's bedrooms can be full of magic and sparkle and adults have to compromise with one another and be all 'sensible' about their colour schemes and whatnot. Not sure I can convince my hubby to have a red feature wall in the bedroom but I might get it for the dining room. You never know.

Anyway, we sped from room to room and I showed two of my girlfriends around the place (they had come up to go for brunch with me for my birthday). They love it. I was freezing cold and realising how much work will be involved in making it homely and 'ours'. Still, I'm not easily put off by such things though the idea of backing the van down the very steep driveway did make my insides go all wibbly a bit. We'll have to see if I can do it or not! I'll be pretty much moving the boxes and little items single handedly as the hubble can't take any time off from his very new job. I don't mind too much, it's more the sore shoulder thing that worries me and the endless lifting and carrying of heavy items in and out and up and down stairs that is making me feel a tiny bit blah... the hubble was also in a funny mood, so that didn't help things along. Neither did realising we had no - and I mean NO - TV reception. We might be able to get something with a settop box (which we have) but its looking more likely that we will have to get Foxtel (secretly ok with that!).

Sorry. I'm being a big ole birthday bore I know. I AM very excited about owning my own house but with it comes a tiny bit of terror. Commitment was never really my thing. I liked the idea of being able to disappear whenever and wherever. Now I'm 'commited' (or I bloody should be) and I had the last minute jitters like I did about getting married. What if I've chosen the wrong one? What if it all ends in disaster? What if I find another one I like better and wished I'd waited? That sort of thing. Actually, its kind of funny to compare buying a house to getting married - there a many similarities and I think there is a lesson in there for me.

This might seem a bit off topic but I had acupuncture at 9am this morning and we were talking about weight and my inner child and stuff (which, if I'm honest, always makes me want to run from the room screaming or possibly roll my eyes so far up into my head that I can see out of the back of it).


I'm not big into the inner child thing - possibly because I feel like whatever kind of childhood I had, I should be able to 'get over it' and just move on. Unfortunately, this does not seem to be the case for the most part. It seems that the more I try to just 'get on' the less I'm able to. I know that much of my anger at my daughter is more anger at what I didn't have. And I will state here for the record that my mum loved me and was a great mum for the most part. But I lived in a violent household with a violent man and was raised on adrenalin and fear. Ho hum. However, I now that when Beanie pushes my buttons, as she often does, I react from that place of child not from my place of adult. I actually wonder if I have ever really made it to adulthood at all. Certainly not all of me has. Anyway, I digress. The acupuncturist recommended that I do some inner child work and I told her that I have much resistance to doing it as I think it's New Age bullshit on one level and just so bloody annoying on another level. I mean COME ON! However, I did think about it afterwards and wonder if my reluctance to play with my child and my seeming inability to mother her the way I so dearly want to mother her, is in some way part of this bloody scared inner child thing. I mean, how can yu give to others what you didn't have for yourself? I find myself spoiling her with things and experiences rather than my time or my attention - just as my mum did. Guilty that I am not able to give her more of myself, I try to fill her days with activity to keep her happy and well developed. My beautiful, curious, challenging, funny, talkative, empathic daughter only wants my love and attention, yet she gets precious little of it on a daily basis. I just can't seem to bring myself to connect with her in the way that I want to. In a way that means something to both of us. Why?

And she's not the only one who gets the distant Kitty syndrome. Poor hubble gets it to. I explained to the acupuncturist that I wanted to lose weight and despite my best (aerobic) efforts, not a kilo had shifted and I wondered why? She asked me about other times that I had lost weight and I told her that I seemed to only lose weight when I was alone and that as soon as I was in a serious relationship, I started to gain it again. I offered up the idea that when I had nothing to lose, I lost! Meaning that when I was alone and not at risk of losing someone or something that I loved, the weight dropped off me. When I am happy and loved by someone, the weight stacks on like drowning people to a dinghy. (what a weird metaphor - what is wrong with me tonight?). I guess when I have nothing to lose, I have nothing to be afraid of and therefore don't need the extra layers of protection from the world. I am simply here and surviving. When I have something special, I distance myself from it because I can't stand the vulnerability of loving when it comes with the possibility of such harrowing loss. I think that's why I'm (a) fat and (b) have the emotional depth of Paris Hilton.

Dr Emoto Celebration of Love Water Crystal

Christ. What is this bloody post about I wonder. Sorry for the stream of consciousness writing but this is what happens to me when I am in mid-realisation and I can suddenly see the light at the end of the proverbial tunnel. In loving my daughter, I am vulnerable and human and fallable and crap and everything that I do not want to be. I want to be super-mom, crafty mom, loving, kind, gentle and patient mom who wants to spend nothing more than all of my days playing and loving and nurturing this wonderful blessed creature who has come into my life. I don't want to fail because to fail would be to not love her the way she deserves to be loved. In being with the hubble, a man who is so wonderful and caring and funny, I am open to losing him and that part of me that can't take any more loss urges me to keep my distance, so that when it happens, it won't hurt quite so much. Of course both things are impossible. Loving opens our hearts to the possibility of pain because it opens our hearts to another human (fallible) being and all the mistakes that we are capable of. My fear of commitment comes from not wanting to make mistakes and yet, I have learned so much from mine that I find it hard to think of them as mistakes at all. What is life without the possibility of deeper loving? Where is the joy of life but in the sharing of that love and in the surrender to those deep, deep layers of vulnerability? We cannot simultaneously love and be closed - love and be distant. We can only be closed and distant. Or we can love and be opened like a ripe pomegranate, dripping the red juices of our very souls into anothers mouth and being willing to be devoured by them.

Dr Emoto Love Water Crystal

I have always believed in true, deep and lasting love. I am a romantic at heart. A romantic who has let her cynicism take over because to be romantic is to be foolish and unrealistic. Yet realism is only coldness and closedness under a different name? Why not be foolish and romantic and dream of deeper connections with all human beings, all of life? Is that not a better dream than one of isolated seeming safety? I don't want all the power. I don't want to control everything (even though my head is screaming 'Yes. You do!.' I want to wake up in the morning and simply stand in the breathaking simplicity of life and of love and 'be' in it. I know we all waver in and out of it, of all of our good intentions, but still, wavering (not drowning)is better than standing still in our false notions of what life and love are or must be.

I'm rambling. I'm sure of it. But I'm equally sure of this. I do not want to live half heartedly. I do not want to constantly be looking for the 'something better' or the 'something more' I simply want to be grateful for what I have, house, husband, child and all and to learn to live more gracefully in this life than I have managed heretofore. And if I can let go of my fear and embrace all that this love has to offer me - scary or not, I can do anything. Even enjoy getting another year older.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Sensual World

Now before you start getting flushed with excitement, I'm actually referring to my latest obsession - natural buildings. Their sensual curves, their natural textures, their absolute beauty and their ability to blend into their environment like a wonderful new plant. Ahhhh - somebody stop me...


Yes - its true - Im talking about buildings that you create with your own two hands and a lot of dirt - I'm talking in particular about rammed earth buildings and I'm getting pretty damn excited about it to tell you the truth. I only discovered it today courtesy of another blogger but it's really lit my fire. I think I'm going to upgrade my Tepee for something resembling the building above. I now want a gorgeous rammed earth, arched windowed meditation room which can double as a spare bedroom for when guests come to stay! Who wouldn't love to meditate/sleep/anything in a building like the one above. I'm totally in love with not just the design but also the whole ethos of its creation. All from natural abundant materials that don't rape or deplete the earth. No toxic building syndrome for this little beauty AND we get the enjoyment of building it ourselves. I'm sure its much more enjoyable to look at the finished product that to actually do the digging and packing and creating but still, when the work is done and the building is there in all its splendour, the work will have been worth it. Maybe it's just another of my high and mighty dreams but it's a pleasant one and I'm enjoying it right now.

* If you got to Amazon to view this book and click on the larger image, you can see through the window to the outside of the house and it's got some amazing sculptures on the outside. I just LOVE these.

Dont you just love the carvings above the door of this house? There is something so sensual about getting ones hands in the dirt, creating beauty from the raw materials of the earth. I have always loved sculpture and pottery for this very reason. I like to create with my hands though I have precious little to show for it at this stage in my life. I'm a newbie to sewing but that's ok, I'm starting small with soft toys and such. I'm also no gardener but that will all change in the next 3 months when I finally get my hands on the veggie patch left by the last owner! Speaking of which, I covet this book - yes, the dreaded book slut strikes (yet) again. I just WANT IT. I would make good use of it. I promise.

Another piccie to calm and soothe the savage (book slut) soul.

* I love this house.

Slowly, I am being called back to earthwise ways, sung back home to the land that has become my home. I'm hoping that building and gardening and sewing will become a way of life for me and a good way of life at that. I feel ready for a change of pace, a different way of living and whilst I freely admit that I could not imagine life without my computer, I also know that there are many other ways that I can become less of a consumer and cut down on extraneous buying (not books obviously). This blog has become something of an inspiration to me. If you want to know what can be achieved when one 'drops out' of modern living and consuming, then this woman can tell you all about it! She's amazing. She also has some terrific links to other green blogs that are quite inspiring too.

Anyway, I have much to do (as always) and much more dreaming to accomplish before I move. We are knee deep in packing boxes and Things That Must Be Packed (and which are being studiously ignored) and we only have two more weeks before it all starts happening. I suspect there will be sporadic blogging in the next month due to all the shennanigans that are about to ensue, but rest assured, I will be WATCHING YOU...

Green Dreams of Witchypoo Goodness to all...
This will help.

Images from the following books:
*Earth Bag Building - Kaki Hunter (yes really) & Donald Kiffmeyer
*The Natural Plaster Book - Cedar Rose Guelberth, Dan Chiras, and Deanne Bednar
* Natural Building - Joseph F Kennedy

Monday, November 3, 2008

How Green is my Meme?

I was trying to hide but I got tagged by DocWitch to do this Green Meme. With much reluctance, (because this kind of concentrated thinking make me 'ead 'urt and), because I suspect I am spectacularly ungreen, here tis.

I guess its very timely because we are about to move towards a more self-sufficient kind of life here in these thar hills. I am about to come into my very own veggie patch and herb garden, so I'm excited about the idea of becoming Felicity Kendall from The Good Life. (I wonder if I'll look quite as fetching in wellies and dungarees?). Plus, I've rather rashly agreed to make everybody's Christmas presents this year.(This side of the globe obviously - can't imagine rancid rum balls would go down to well with my siblings!). It's also timely because I have become seriously covety of the more crafty orientated people out there and very inspired by my lovely DocWitchy because she rocks and creates and is clever and all that. I would love to be a bit more crafty myself and thus reduce my consumerism to a dull roar.

First, the housekeeping. Here art The Guidelines:

1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers
2. Link to whoever tagged you
3. Include meme number
4. Include these guidelines in your post
5. Answer questions (erm - that bits quite important)
6. Tag 3 other green bloggers.

Green Meme Namber Whannn!

1. Name two motivations for being green
Oh dear. It's not that I want to be a hemp knicker wearing, *yoghurt knitting, navel gazer or anything. It's more that I am becoming slowly more aware of how consumer based our society really is and I'm concerned that my daughter will grow up to inherit, well, nothing good. A spoiled earth with even more spoiled people living on it like parasites. I am awestruck by the beauty of nature. A rolling green hill or a clean ocean has the ability to bring me to tears and I think that I get more upset over the idea of us systematically destroying all of this natural beauty than just about anything else.

Secondly, I do feel that we have too much, in general. The 'bigger is better' and 'more is never enough' mentality of our culture is starting to nauseate me slightly. I wonder what happened to our sense of community, to our sense of being a part of some greater whole? I remember being part of a street party for the Queen's Jubilee when I was a kid - every household in the neighbourhood was out there in a riot of red, white and blue. I can't imagine that happening any more - everyone turning out to celebrate a common cause. I long to return to a simpler and more eco-friendly way of life. I guess this is why we moved up here in the first place.

2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up
My computer and my books. In fact, I didn't realise that books were such an eco-unfriendly thing until I read Doc's aside. I guess all those trees have to come from somewhere. Still, I do buy a huge amount of second hand books, so I think that I offset my footprint there a little.

3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?
Well - I couldn't run my business without my computer, nor could I do this, so nope - I'm fine with having a computer. Books - well I'm afraid as a terrible book whore and knowledge seeker, I can't help myself. I LOVE books. Besides, I wouldn't be able to grow my own veggies without a book to tell me how...
We can't return to the stone age just to turn the tide back again - we have to move forward and find new ways of solving the crisis.

4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?
Well - I'm willing to become more self sufficient and sustainable but I'm a complete novice. Hence needing my books and computer to seek out those that know. I'm also willing to replace all of my cleaning products with home-made ones of a non-nasty and chemical free variety. Does this get me brownie points?
5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?
I don't know what it is. I can't seem to find an australian website where I can calculate it - they are either English or American...
We compost, we recycle, use those special lightbulbs, my hubby is forever turning down the damn heating (despite his frickin cold wife), I buy from op-shops wherever possible (LOVE a bargain) and I'm researching non-toxic paints for our new house AND trying to get about more on foot.

6.What's eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?
I live in quite an alternative community - you know - all Steiner mammas and Natural Parenting types, so I feel right at home here. Almost everyone I know has chickens and grows their own (both sides of that pun are intended!), so I think it's pretty fabulous. There is good quality fresh air up here and much more room for kidlets to roam around and connect with nature in a much deeper and more nurturing way. It's frustrating for commuters I guess. My hubble refuses to drive in as it's wasteful and he enjoys using public transport. I (shamefacedly) admit that when I got to the city, I drive as I HATE long train journeys with my fractious and robust 2 year old. I prefer my own company and to be in a controlled environment. I know. I should be taken out and shot.

7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?
Well now. This is interesting. I was a dedicated vegetarian for 15 years until I tried to get pregnant. I was protein deficient and told to eat meat. It's been a bit of a struggle really. I do keep swinging back and forth between wanting to be a veggie again and enjoying chicken. It's a quandry as I can't bear animal cruelty. I am buying locally grown organic veggies more now that I live in the hills and am trying to find a good farmers market near me to buy from too. I will be growing my own very soon.

8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?
Geez. The amount of effort it takes to weigh up every single thing you do and consume in order to leave a lighter footprint. The mind simply boggles at how much knowledge you have to have in order to make substantial changes and I get so tired. It's also hard to accept that almost everything you do has some down side to it.

9. Do you have a green confession?
I love watching movies hence though I could give up TV, I don't particularly want to.
I also love nailpolish. Haven't found any that's eco-friendly yet.

10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?
My mum is very much into the whole green way of life (uses shower water to flush toilets, turns of lights (even when you are using them!) and all of my husband's family are greenies. His mum grows her own, composts and recycles grey water to keep her plants alive in this parched climate. His sister used to be President of Amnesty International in Melbourne and is now on the board of The Big Issue and several other 'saving people, saving the planet' type organisations. She also became a vegetarian because of how much land is used to farm cattle. So I'm in very encouraging company.

Ok, the 3 bloggers I'm tagging are Griffin from Snapper & The Griffin, Moonroot and Suse over at PeaSoup.

Hmmm - now I'm off to find out what size feet I have - carbonly speaking.

*sorry DocWitch - love this saying!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Irate Aerobics and Catching Up

Let's begin with a bit of silliness - just to get things started on the right foot (or the back foot in this case!).

You Are Cayenne Pepper

You are very over the top and a bit overwhelming.

You have a fiery personality, and you can give anyone a good jolt.

You can easily take things up a couple notches, no matter what crowd you're running with.

Well, yes. Quite.

Moving swiftly on.

I thought it's about time I did a quick catch up on things happening chez moi. Well, firstly, my daughter did indeed get her sock monkey in time for her birthday. She has shown him scant attention (preferring her train and her wooden farm for some reason) but we have hopes of coaxing her to love him. Eventually.
Here he is in all his monkey glory:

Cute face, no?

Very skinny arms - not sure what happened there. Perhaps he was overexercising while stored in the cupboard?

Secondly, I have been very slack with my meditation and my writers work. The meditation room is now full of my many, many (many) books - all packed and sadly unread while they await transportation to the new hoosie sometime at the end of next month. The house feels sadly empty without our bulging, overburdened (I know how they feel) bookshelves spreading wanton knowledge all over our living area and tempting us away from the idiot box.
It's true, I had been slack before it got full 'o' books but I haven't felt like dragging my sorry, very tired, arse out of bed at 5am for some reason. I can't think why - unless it's just that I don't get to bed much before the witching hour most nights and my little willow-the-whisp seems to enjoy a nightly waking still. Grump. Still, in the new house I will have no special room for meditation and that means I have to utilise some other area of the house for these needs. And needs they are. I do need to do it. Otherwise I'm just a grumpy old cuss with no hope of reform.

However, to redeem myself slightly (in my own eyes at least), I have been tackling the multi-headed beast that is weight loss in a more constructive fashion of late. I have asked hubble to give me two months off the baby making in order to attempt some semblance of weight loss and to ensure that I don't simply look fat when I'm pregnant. (As opposed to now where I look pregnant and am simply fat - and yes, someone did ask). So - every day for 35 minutes I am to be found sweating crimsonly into the TV as I huff and puff and lug my chubby-ness around on an aerobics step with Jillian Michaels (of Biggest Loser fame) and Susan Powter of 1990's fitness fame. Susan is as mad as a hatter and a platinum blonde dreadlocked and tattoed lesbian, but her workouts do the trick. I just stick to that stuff and leave the rest alone.

Can I say with hand on heart that its completely horrendous. It's so hard and it takes me every ounce of my self-esteem and willpower to make myself do it. And it makes me angry. Am I alone in this? I get mad when I exercise. I am not a natural when it comes to exercise - which is strange when you consider that I spent most of my early childhood and adolescence being a dancer. Still, I promised the hubble. And this is the thing - I can not do it for myself but for him, I'll do anything. I don't want to let him down. I'm not sure what that says about me but its easier to promise something to him than to promise it to myself. Nothing sweet has passed my lips in 12 days (save for a little honey) and I have worked out for 11 of those days. I'm allowed one day off per week. Plus, on top of the hideous aerobics I'm also doing 30-45 minutes of either stretching, pilates or yoga. Mainly the first two as my poorly shoulder makes it difficult to do the yoga - no upper body strength anyway! I think I may be one of those women that swings violently from one thing to another. Ah well. Better to swing than to remain stagnant.

So - here I sit with my liquorice legs (a new and delicious tea from T2 - not a personal comment) and wonder what next. I have oodles of packing to do and only a month to do it in. Geez that's come around quickly. I am looking forward to happily nesting in my own wee hoosie and so soon but there is a Yikes! amount of stuff to do yet. And the bulk of it will be left to me as hubble is in the first month of his new job and cannot take any time off. Deep joy. Ah well, tis but a small price to pay for the wonders of home ownership and, more importantly, own gardenship. I am currently plotting in all senses of the word.

Anyway, I have tarried too long here. It takes up too much of my free time and there is sunshine to be enjoyed and books to be read and tea to be drunk. I shall leave thee now but shall be back hence and when thou least expecteth it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Awards, Accolades and a tiny bit of Trumpet Blowing!

The lovely Griffin from blog Snapper & The Griffin has nominated me for the above award. I'm so delighted - firstly that anyone other than my good friend DocWitch reads my blog and secondly that those people like what they read. It makes a girl feel all warm and fuzzy inside. So thank you, kind Sir Griffin.

Before I get to the nominating of 6 other people and trying to figure out which 6 things I like more than the gazillions of others, I'd like to blow this particularly fine trumpet I happen to have right here. (Pause to wet lips and inflate cheeks).

Of late, several interesting and lovely things have happened to this little witchy-poo and I'd like to share them here. The most important one is that I had my very first article published in Living Now (October issues), a local well-being/new age magazine with a national readership of around 300,000. Not only did they love my article (on Rites of Passage), they made it the central theme of that month's issue AND they published my photo (the very one you can see at the top of my blog) as the front cover of the magazine. Not bad considering I've never submitted any articles for publication before! So - yes, I'm having a little G.L.O.A.T.right about now...


I'm back and much more sensible. It's just that though I love writing and sometimes believe I have a talent for it, I never quite believe it. You know? BUT when someone else wants to put your writing in print, then you have some objective validation. I know I shouldn't need it but I am only human.

Now I've got to nominate (only) six other blogs from the world of bloggery and then list six things I like. I wonder why six? I'm more of a seven type of girl and I do like a good nine.

First skeleton out of the cupboard would have to be:

Dark Side of the Broom - I know I've nominated her before but I absolutely love her blog and read it religiously. She has so much heart and so much art to her writing that I always leave with a big smile and even bigger ideas.

Acoustitch - a crafty mum of two whose kidlet clothing is simply gorgeous. Another opportunity to have craft envy.

One Red Robin - she makes cute cuddly things that I actually covet for my room, never mind my daughters. Plus, she's purdy.

PeaSoup because she's just so spiffing. Love the crafting and the recycling and on top of all that she's nice AND she loves red shoes almost as much as me!

This Vintage Chica because she's soulful, she loves her boys and she does taste tests of apples. I could just give that woman a big hug.

The Crafty Crow because she's just so damn creative. I have a little anklebiter and this woman has a never ending supply of cool and interesting things to do with littlie. Wonderful and colourful to look at.

Can I also just pop in a runner up? Visit BlueBirdBaby because she is my muse. I love this blog but I have nominated her for an award before. Still, you can't mention craft and not mention this wonderful blog. She cooks (gluten free), makes beautiful bespoke items of children's clothing, takes the most amazing photo's and farms.

I know most of these blogs are of the crafty sort but honestly, I have terrible craft envy and these people inspire me and make my day more joyous and colourful, so please go visit them and be inspired.

Things wot I like:
Storms - I love the thunder, the lightning and the rain - particularly at night. So primal and so passionate.
The novels of Dion Fortune.
An open fire and an accoustic guitar - tis the damn gypsy in me.
The smell of Jasmine, the Stargazer Lily (after which my daughter is named) and the blossoms on our Lemon tree - most especially exquisite at night perfuming the warm breeze.
Books, books and more books. One can never, ever have too many. All that knowledge just waiting to be absorbed, it just gives me an excited tickly feeling in my tum.
Belly Casting - getting my plaster soaked hands on the beautiful round belly of a preggie woman whilst creating a lasting piece of art to remind her of this wonderful time in her life is just so rewarding. And messy. And fun.

So, (places trumpet down discreetly) this has been me and I'll be back after this short intermission.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

I Can Feel It Coming in the Air Tonight

There is a hint of Jasmine rolling on the warm wind tonight. There is a sensual langour in my limbs and all my windows are flung open to the temperate breeze that caresses my hair and kisses my face like a lover. I am a child of Autumn's nostalgia and Winter's wisfulness but on nights like these, when the heat is still bearable and the breeze is kind, I feel a sacred silence descend upon my soul and quiet me. It begs me to let it in.

I collect the still warm washing in darkness, listening to the sounds of wind through the trees. It sounds like the ocean - her salty heart beating upon the sandy shore, keeping time almost with my own. On nights like this I feel like I am on holiday in my life. Everything has a wonderful yet unfamiliar silhouette. I watch and listen and breathe in the fragranced air, wondering where I am. Truly, this is my life and these are the days of it but am I not just holidaying here, in this place, in this body, in this life? Maybe, when the silence descends it is time to simply be present and be grateful for the joy of living this life, different from every other we may have known, and remember that we never know when our borrowed time will run out. We are all here on loan from the Mystery.

There are birds in the darkness softly talking to one another. Their eyes pierce the darkness that simply fills mine. I do not mind. I like that I am not alone in this sun warmed night garden. I am, for a time, a visitor in their midnight world and I am content to simply listen and allow a pause to shake me from my 'doings'.

It is bliss this simple summer night. I am falling into the arms of my Beloved knowing that we share some simple love that is deeper than time, and longer than that hungered for first kiss. How I ache for such simplicity and such tender caresses as are freely given on soft summer nights like these.

I hold out my hands into the darkness. And surrender.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

The Birthday Girl - A Retrospective

The newly arrived Lily-Bean - looking ready to uppercut the photographer! That's what 40-hours of labour will do for ya.

It's my beautiful wee girls 2nd Birthday today. Yes, Lily is 2 already!

I cannot believe how quickly the past two years have gone. One moment she was this tiny little newborn and I was a terrified new mother trying not to break her. Suddenly, she's this curious, funny, cheeky little toddler - demanding biccies and chasing the cat around the garden. How did that happen?

I know there are days when I wish for even 5 minutes to call my own, but in reality I cannot imagine now how my life was without her. I would not want to be without her now, she brings so much joy and laughter into my world. And beautiful? This daughter of mine is so completely adorable that I hardly know how to contain myself most days. I find it endlessly amazing that she is mine. Anyway, I decided to take a look back over the last two years and put in some of my favourite pictures of my darling Lily-Bean. Warning, this may end up being a looooong post with lots of piccies because there are so many adorable photos.

But seriously, all together now...'Awwwwwwww'

A very tired New Daddy with tiny morsel of daughter. Day two.

How tiny was she! Just one week old.

Blatant Anne Geddes rip off but soooooo cute.

Adoring New Daddy and tiny offspring. Week 2.

Week three. Love child. So true.

It's so damn tiring being a baby. Yup.

Mamma and Me

Our special little Christmas Pudding.

Happy little Bubba - 3 months old

Kicking back in the bath

Beautiful Beanie in a beautiful beanie - couldn't resist those blue ears.

Cheeky little Cabbage Patch.

Baybee in red...

Angel in the Grass

First Day at the Beach

Lily's First Birthday

Well, that's the shortest version of the first year I could manage. Now for the lead up to her second Birthday. Gird your loins people.

A montage of pictures around feeding time.

Stop! Hammer Time.

Most likely to change my world at the very least.

Oh hi, I buff your floors...

Our intrepid Little Explorer

First I steal your Teddy, then I take over the WORLD! Mwah ha ha haaaa!

Lily wins the World Yodelling Contest hands down (and nekked).

This takes us up to halfway through her first year. Only a few more, I promise.

Indulging her inner artist.

It's cold in these thar hills!

A contemplative moment in an otherwise very busy life.

Well - that's it. Some of the most beautiful photos of my little Beanie. Interesting only to me I'm sure but still. I couldn't let her 2nd Birthday pass without marking it and looking back at all the amazing memories we have created and shared.

I am a mummy and I am truly blessed.

Happy Birthday Lily-Bean - wishing you a wonderful new year of discovery and happiness little one.


Sunday, October 12, 2008

When in Troubled Waters, Choose your Vessel Wisely

I've had an interesting week.

I had a wonderful catch up with good friend DocWitch Op-Shopping and nibbling quality choc, followed by an absolute nightmare of an evening at a 'Sacred' Women's Group.

I was going to do a short version of what happened but I think that I'll risk sounding petty and simply record it in most of its fullness. Partly because I'd like to be honest about what's happening in my life and partly because if anyone who reads this knows this woman, I'd like to offer them a moments pause before they engage her services.

I had met our facilitator, Elly Jolly, a woman of 60+ with years of life coaching experience, only once before, at the recommendation of a friend as part of a women's group Elly was heading up. My second meeting with was scheduled for a dinner at a particular restaurant in Carlton for 6.30pm. I arrived at 6.15pm, asked for her by name, enquired about the reservation she assured us would be in her name and were told there was none. The restaurant actually doesn't do reservations. Tracey, my friend, arrived about 15 minutes later. I had already organised a large table (outside as requested, despite the cold), so we ordered a coffee and waited - continually scanning the horizon for her and the other women we were due to meet.

After about an hour (of wondering where on earth everybody was) I finally spotted her and went over to greet her. What I got for my trouble was a very rude greeting followed by an extremely aggressive attack. It transpired that despite my efforts at locating her at the venue, she had remained unfound and this was apparently an awful insult to her magnificence as leader of the group. Now, I can understand someone being upset if they HAD been kept waiting especially for nearly an hour but she had not been. We had simply not seen each other in a crowded cafe - that was all. As much as we had failed to see her, she had failed to see the two of us and our extremely large table! Even worse was that after we had met up, she said that she had been a regular of that restaurant for over 30 years - that all the staff knew her and yet, they didn't recognise her name or point her out when we asked about her.

Anyway, the upshot of this unfortunate experience was that she behaved like a spoilt, bullying child. She made the entire waiting experience our fault and proceeded to berate us for 'not looking' for her, 'not asking' for her by name and for making her wait. "I wait 10 minutes for clients, then I'm gone!" After this had settled down (and it took a while), she then went on the attack AGAIN - this time berating Tracey for her gracious offer of hosting the event at her house. All Tracey did was ask why Elly chose a restaurant to meet in, when she had offered her house at the last meeting. Well - boy did she ever wish she hadn't asked. Elly made the whole thing Tracey's fault. Elly said she'd called and left messages (she hadn't), that Tracey had said that she would confirm (which Tracey did by email but Elly didn't get as she has been having email problems her end) and then, started going on and on and on, over and over the same things while Tracey tried to explain her end of things. Elly did not give Tracey the courtesy of an opportunity to speak - she was simply intent on being right. I don't know if you have ever had this experience but when you catch someone out in a lie they sometimes start to furnish you with all sorts of extraneous evidence of their honesty. Usually it is little details that sound plausible but are in fact simply more lies. I watched as Elly did this to Tracey. Every time Tracey put up an objection or offered an explanation, Elly went into 'fact retrieval' mode only they weren't facts - they were just random details picked out of thin air that had nothing to do with Tracey or her circumstances. When I finally tried to diffuse the situation, Elly said 'No!' and continued. It was absolutely appalling. The atmosphere by the time the other women arrived was nothing short of hostile and they felt it. Elly continued to be short tempered, aggressive and rude for the rest of the evening.

Somewhere near the end of the evening, one of the other women pointed out that Elly's watch had been one hour fast for the entire evening. When told about this, she simply altered her watch and said nothing. She must have realised right then and there that her watch being wrong meant that she had actually been at the restaurant for 2 hours (arriving at 6.30pm on her watch meant she arrived at 5.30pm in actual time). So her long waiting at the restaurant was her own fault. The fact that we didn't spot each other was simply unfortunate and nobody's fault. She did not do the grown up thing and admit she had made a mistake and apologise to the two of us. She simply said nothing.

I was so upset by her attack (and very adrenalised by the stress) that I couldn't sleep when I got home. I felt angry and abused and extremely let down by the whole process. I wrote down everything I felt about the night and then sent her a very direct email the next morning. I pointed out that we had done nothing to warrant such an aggressive attack and that there was a very big difference between being direct and being aggressive, which she evidently didn't understand. I also told her how appalled I was by her behaviour especially given her responsibility to create and hold sacred space for the group. Her response was to avoid addressing any of my points, avoid taking any responsibility for the evenings events and to continue to avoid saying sorry for her terrible behaviour. Even though she must have known she was in the wrong.

There were several lessons in all of this for me. The first and most obvious one was that I will never again sit and let someone unload their (completely unjustified) anger on me. I will get up and walk away when it becomes apparent that they are not interested in the truth, they only want to be right.

The second is that I will trust my instincts when it comes to choosing people with whom I want to sit in sacred space. This is a very important lesson. When I met Elly, she seemed like a nice lady if slightly blunt. She had a 'this is who I am, take it or leave it' attitude which did make me wonder. Generally, people who have this attitude, have a problem with insecurity and when you have a differing opinion to them, they can often respond in an aggressive and beligerent manner. I was right to wonder - Elly is indeed insecure and beligerent.

The third is to never, ever trust that someone's experience or qualifications make them any kind of expert in their field. Experience and qualifications are a useful indication of someones ability but they absolutely need to be tempered with grace, kindness and compassion for them to be truly effective as teachers. I know that we are all only human and that people have good and bad days. That does not however, give people the right to spray their dissatisfaction and unhappiness onto anyone who happens to be in close range. My husband, who is very adept at getting to the heart of matters, was completely appalled by her behaviour when I explained the situation to him. When he found out how old she was and what she did for a living - he actually laughed and said, 'Who behaves like that? What kind of life coach can she possibly be when she talks to people like that? And at her age!'

Sacred space for women is a tricky thing to hold. I know, I do it for a living. I have also been fortunate enough to sit in sacred circle with some truly amazing teachers. These teachers can be focused and forthright but I have never felt or seen them to be aggressive or ungracious with their groups. There was absolutely nothing sacred about that night. Elly isn't capable of holding that type of space for people and, although she can be insightful, the confrontational way in which she shares these insights makes them almost impossible to access. I don't know about Tracey but I was very clear with Elly that I would not be going back to that group.

One of the other women that was present has suggested that we meet as a group without Elly and I would be more than happy to do that - we shall see what transpires.

I know the above might seem a bit vitriolic. I am still a little angry about the incident. Not just about Elly's behaviour but also about my own inability to stand up and walk away when something feels wrong to me. I don't like to cause a scene and I don't like to cause embarrassment to other people. However, as I said, the lessons contained within that awful experience were useful and I will learn from them. One day I hope to be able to maintain my grace and composure whilst still dealing with people like her. I want to be able to handle this kind of stressful situation without letting it in. Without letting it pull me off centre. A tall order I know.

Anyhoo, I said my piece - got the high handed and immature response I expected and have continued on my merry way. I only post about it here because I think its important to record the trials and the lessons on this rocky road towards enlightenment.

Here's hoping that the next lessons will be somewhat easier.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Op-Shop Bonanza

*Sleep Suits, Cuteness n Rock 'n' Roll

Well, it has been an interesting week. I have experienced a few firsts this week, not the least of which is I am now a proud home and third of a sheep owner! Yes, our (2nd) offer was accepted on a delicious house with a wonderful garden and we have now officially put our feet on the first rung of the property ladder. More to the point - we have our very own wee hoosie. I cannot tell you how happy that makes me. This last move will be our last for a long while (if I have anything to do with it!) and so I have suddenly found a new enthusiasm for packing boxes and planning clearouts and garage sales. It's so lovely to know that we have a home of our own finally. We really didn't think that it would happen this soon. Just three weeks after we decided to start looking, we bought a house. That's pretty bloody quick - especially for two such cautious souls as ourselves but this is a dream house for us and the Beanie, yet here we all are. All fresh faced and optimistically planning our veggie patch. And to be moving in Spring too. Just delicious. There is a gorgeous sun trap of a terrace which will be partially shaded by a couple of lovely trees, so there will be enough sun to enjoy but not to fry. Just what this pale skinned Celt needs. This and lots and lots of plants. Yum. (Deep sigh of contentment).

Now - in the last few days I have had an Op-Shop experience to rival any I have experienced in my life before. I have 'accidentally' stumbled upon two really good op-shops locally that have been the cheapest and the most exciting op-shops in a good long while. I have returned home with armfuls of stuff - literally - all for tuppence happeny or there abouts. I will attempt to document my ill gotten gains below in photograph form.

Terracotta Teddy Bear Lamp for Beanie's room. Can everybody say 'Awww'

Booksies including the very happy find of 'The Hungry Mouse, The Red, Ripe Strawberry and The Big Hungry Bear' which I actually had on order from a bookshop! The open book with the strange images is actually 'The Adventures of Baron Munchausen' for when she's much older.

A kiddy book bonanza including 'The Magic Finger' by Roald Dahl who I love. The 'How to Be Rich' book is all about self-esteem rather than materialism for toddlers!

This is a beautiful book of poetry. I just loved the silver tree emblem on the cover.

An example of the poetry inside this bad boy. Lovely stuff by Milton and Keates amongst others.

Can anyone say 'scary monobrow'? Yikes. Let's hope this isn't some weird side effect of attempting the crafty crafts within!

One of three bedside tables I scooped for a mere $2 each. No. It's not a mistake. I paid $6 in total for three bedside tables. Whoohoo~!

The third of the three bedside tables. (The second one is the same as the first - a lovely matching pair).

Some lovely booksies for mamma (love soup!) and for Beanie when she's a bigger girl.

Cute little Butterick patterns for even cuter little sleep suits. Now if only I could sew.

And this doesn't include the armload of clothes I bought (prices ranged from $0.50 to $2.50 for cardigans), the two fabulous little Teletubbies foam armchairs and poof set ($5) and the booster seat I bought from another shop the day before. I even managed to pick her up a hideously noisy guitar toy for $0.50 that works perfectly. See above for details.

All this and I haven't even gone on my Op-Shop tour with DocWitchy yet. This mindless glee spree is happening on Wednesday 8th as part of the Melbourne Fringe Festival and will feature two Le Fey's cackling wildly over small shiny objects.