Thursday, April 30

Thankful Thursday (of sorts)


After recent world events this week I have struggled with deciding what I am most thankful for. My heart is heavy and my mind confused and torn. Until now I have not mentioned the murderous actions of the Indonesian government. And even now I struggle to find the right words.

On the one hand they did choose to break laws in a country where they knew the penalty was death. However on the other...they are still somebody's son, brother and friend. There are hearts that have been ripped apart by this and that just doesn't seem right. What's more no one, regardless of what they have done, should have to stand in front of a firing line and have bullets rip into their bodies and then be left to just bleed to death.


So much sighing.

Back to being thankful.

I was going to write about being thankful for living in Australia. A place where there is no death penalty. A place where almost an entire nation goes into overdrive pleading for the lives of those facing the death penalty.

But somehow it just didn't feel right.

Yesterday I was speaking to a family who have recently moved to Australia from South Africa. They gave me plenty more reasons of why I was thankful to live in Australia. A place where our children are able to safely walk or ride to school. A place where you don't have live behind barred windows to keep the violence and danger outside your home.

But again it just doesn't feel right.

I mean I most certainly am thankful for all those things, but it just feels like that goes without saying, I don't need to harp on about it in a blog post.

So what am I thankful for?

The fact that it is nearly the weekend so I won't be left home alone?

Being a stay at home mum to school aged kids is not nearly as fun as people make out. No doubt though come Saturday afternoon when the girls are at each other over who gets to play with what I will quite possibly be looking forward to the solitude of Monday morning.

I was however super thankful that Monday just gone was a public holiday here. Of course come payday next week when Mr A's pay is a day less perhaps not so much.

I am thankful to have discovered the wonders of yoghurt dough. I first heard about it through the Pack My Lunchbox Facebook Page and then again through a recipe shared by Be A Fun Mum. I used it to make ham and cheese scrolls as was so impressed with how tasty it was and more importantly how easy it was to work with. Sadly the children informed me that homemade scrolls are no good at school but I guess you can't please everyone. Or somedays anyone. Thankfully Mr A thought they were quite edible though.

What about you? Have you got some thanks to share? Please do. Even if it is just in the comments





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Tuesday, April 28

Eighty Mile Beach

Even though it wasn’t a long drive from Barn Hill we decided that we would spend a couple of days at 80 Mile Beach. Eighty Mile Beach was on of those places that quiet a few people had said we must do. So do it we did.

It had been described as a beach unlike any other so we approached it with great anticipation. The description was incredibly apt. It was most certainly unlike any other beach we had ever seen before. However it was not necessarily filled with the beauty we expected from a title of unlike any other beach. That is not to say it was ugly either, it just wasn’t what we were expecting in any way.

The most disappointing factor was that the beach appeared to have a lot of similarities to a mud flat. The water was miles away from the shore line. It was at least a fifteen to twenty minute walk from hitting the sand to getting our toes wet. Which would have been a lot more enjoyable if the last half hadn't have been through a muddy slop that at times saw you sink up to your knees if you landed your foot too hard in the wrong place.


Of course it is fair to say that this is only the low tide experience of 80 Mile Beach. Sadly for us we managed to miss going down on the beach at high tide.

The real highlight of 80 Mile Beach though are the shells. 


Oh me, oh my. 


Never before have I seen anything like and it is certainly why it had been described as a must see place. There were so many shells in some places that it was physically impossible to walk without standing on them. I was tiptoeing around trying to make my footprint as small as possible because the crushing of the shells under my foot made me want to cry.




















It was hard not to walk down there with a bucket or ten and bring bucket loads of shells back. Mr A made it quite clear that this was not an option. His reasoning was that it was impossible for us to carry them all around the country side. Which was a very valid point however the fact that if everyone did that there wouldn’t be any left for the next person to look at sat a lot better in my brain. Much to the girls disappointment I might add.

After spending the morning exploring the mudflats, beach and shells we headed back to camp for lunch and some quiet time. The girls played and read while Mr A studied his eyelids and I caught up on some more blog posts.

The afternoon saw us spend some more time exploring the beach area and watching the wanna be fisherman. There are a large number of people trying to catch fish but from what we saw very few were successful.


The caravan park that we stayed at was nice enough, but after the cheap prices at Barn Hill felt very expensive. The sites were all very close together and even though it was off peak season the park was relatively full. I don’t think that I would like to be there in peak season. It did have a mini mart on site though which meant we were able to restock with fresh milk and ice, which was nice.

I am glad that we stopped in and had a look but I don't think Eighty Mile Beach will make to the list of places we will go out of our way to see again.





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Thursday, April 23

Thankful to be connected


It was about nine thirty last night when I sat down to write today's thankful post. I got as far as opening the laptop and a new pages document. I then stared at the blank page for all of two seconds before deciding I couldn't not face the torture of trying to blog with slower than slow internet. Total first world problem I know.

My intention was to get up this morning and quickly write something up while I had my coffee before the school rush started. I got as far as saying how I wished I could be thankful for having and ADSL internet connection. Only it wasn't quite in the spirit of Thankful Thursday so I decided to be a responsible mother and get everyone sorted for school. I sure do surprise myself at times.

Upon returning home from school drop of I was beyond delighted to discover that the highly anticipated ADSL was in fact now connected. Thankful doesn't even begin to explain how I was feeling.

Once again I surprised myself though, and rather than delve into the interwebs and neglect my housewife duties I started a long awaited update on the laptop and got to getting the housework out the way. Something I am pretty thankful for right now because it means I have been able to spend all afternoon guilt free flicking between writing this and scrolling through the Bunbury Bidding Wars page to see if there are any other bargains I can score for our new home.

Other and slightly more random thanks this week includes
  • reading that the lovely Miss Cinders feels a little better
  • discovering all these dinner suggestions
  • the girls all appearing to have settled into their new schools relatively easily, though 'twas not without a tear or two
  • Lovely having a great time at hockey and soccer, doing new things among people she does not know well is something she finds a little tough sometimes (don't we all?)
  • children that sleep in their own beds
  • making time to exercise
Oh and how could I forget the thing I am probably the most thankful for right now? Mr Awesome started a new job on Monday!!

What about you? What are you thankful for? 




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Tuesday, April 21

Time to be strong mum

"Ok time for mum to be strong, give you a kiss and get going now" the teacher said to me and Teapot as we sat on the mat trying to not be teardrops.

Try as we might though the tears were unavoidable. Her more so than me but there were certainly stain marks on my cheeks by the time I made it out to the car. 

After five years of constantly being by each other's sides it is only to be expected that we both greeted today with hesitation. Especially since recent years have seen me lose complete faith in the education system and the notion that we should send our children off to be institutionalised and the earliest possible moment.
left at home lunchbox
The offending forgotten lunchbox

Upon arriving home to quickly pick up Lovely and start getting her uniform sorted and have a tour of the school I discovered that somehow I had neglected to put poor little Teapot's lunch box in her bag.

I kid you not.

I had one job. To make lunch and put it in their bags. Not hard really, yet somehow I managed to fail the final step. FFS.

Thankfully school is an incredibly short distance away and I had plenty of time to stealthily return to the school and slip it in before any one was any the wiser of my short comings.

Her teacher seems absolutely delightful. A softly spoken woman who took the time to call me at recess to let me know Teapot had settled in just fine. Such a kind and thoughtful gesture my eyes started to leak once again. Ridiculously sensitive and overly emotional I know. Talk about feeling guilty about all the horrid words I thought of her when she was telling me it was time to leave.

My mind is still boggling at the fact that we have suddenly stopped living on the road and are now buckling down to a life of normality. Moreso that normality involves me being at home alone. It's a weird feeling after fourteen years of always having a child by your side.

All that time to myself. Whatever will I do? What would you do?

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Sunday, April 19

Rise and shine

Today has not got off to the start that I was anticipating for it. My silver lining attitude has been thrown into overdrive as I try to look for all the good in being out of bed on a Sunday morning as early as the sparrow farts. 
Not this morning's sunrise but a shot taken on another
morning I was out of bed when I thought bed was
were I wanted to be. You can read all about here.
I thought about that morning a lot this morning.

Well actually there were no sparrows farting, at least not any that I heard. Though I do wonder if you would ever actually hear a sparrow fart given they are such a small bird and all. 

There was however a beautiful songbird belting out a sweet tune. We are yet to confirm whether it is a magpie or a butcherbird but it is here every morning and I think most evenings. I saw it the first night we were here. Sitting on the street light outside our house looking into our garden. It made my heart swell and was another confirmation that this was all the right thing to do.

Mind you if my feathered friend wants to keep waking the girls up at such ridiculous times I am not sure I will be able to remain such a fan.

At least there is also coffee. Good coffee as well, from my fancy machine that I scored second hand for the bargain price of $15. 

 It is starting to feel like maybe this whole crack of dawn start to the day is not so bad after all. The children are quietly amused by the dreaded box leaving me to tap away on the keyboard and enjoy my coffee outside watching the sun rise over the fence. If it weren’t so crazily cold it would perfect really. Though I must keep reminding myself this is not crazy cold yet. For the locals this is mildly cool. Crazy cold is yet to come. Something this little tropical sun loving girl waits for with great trepidation.

I guess in many ways today is officially the last day of #ouradventureofalifetime. Tomorrow Mr Awesome starts his new job and the day after that the girls start their new schools. Well The Little Two do, Lovely has an interview with her school and will hopefully start on Wednesday. And me, well still not sure what is in store for this little black duck.

Ideally I would like to remain in the lifestyle of which I have been accustomed to for so many years. Being a stay at home mum really is the greatest occupation ever. Only the wages down here are ridiculously lower than what they were back in Darwin. Which I guess is only to be expected when every thing else is so much cheaper. Only there will not be enough for us to save for our next leg of adventuring so employment is on my horizon. Especially given that Teapot is going into full time school.

Sigh.

My mind boggles at the fact that she will not be with me all day every day any more. 

She is slightly nervous about the whole thing and really who can blame her. For five years she has safely been by my side and now I am just throwing her out into the unknown. Well not the complete unknown because she did watch her two big sisters go off to school every day but all of that seems like such a long time ago now.

Deep down I think I know she will be fine. 


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Thursday, April 16

Thankful to be back

From the moment I knew Thankful Thursday would once again be calling A Parenting Life home I started mentally going through all the things the different things I wanted to share my thanks for. Of course now that I am actually sitting down to write my post my mind is of course somewhat blank.

To say today (which is Wednesday) has been a long day is somewhat of an understatement. 

Monday saw us picking up the keys to our new home. A lovely 4x2 in a newish estate about fifteen minutes from the heart of Bunbury. Only Monday also so Mr Awesome have the opportunity for a day of casual labour, for which I am very thankful, so any moving of our things had to be done by yours truly. Thankfully Lovely is a rather strong young lass so with her assistance we were able to get a few things moved over. Mr A finished work earlier than expected which meant we were able to do another trailer load of moving.

It is crazy to think that in less than two weeks we were able to come up with enough furniture to completely furnish our house. All for an incredibly reasonable price as well I might add. I am so thankful that people are willing to sell their unwanted goods at such reasonable prices.

Tuesday saw the girls and I making a few more runs to our new house, while Mr A made the most of the opportunity to work a little. We were able to successful assemble Teapots bed. Sadly however Zany’s proved to be a little more complex. So complex that we had to take it apart and start again not once but twice and still failed to work it out. Thankfully we decided to walk away from it and wait till Mr A was around to lend a hand.

Which brings us to today. Well today for me as I am writing, but yesterday for you reading. Today (Wednesday) was all about cleaning the farm house we were house sitting and gathering the last of stuff to take to our new home.

I am so thankful we were able to spend the last week inside a house rather than in Edna because it has been all kinds of crazy wet and cold here in the South West. Of course having to clean baths and toilets and vacuum floors was not exactly the most pleasurable of activities but I guess they are all things I need to come to terms with as we return to the land of normal living.

Sigh.

Never mind though. I am sure there are women out there that would be thankful to have a house and even a bath and toilet for that matter to clean. I must admit this will be the first bath I have had in my home for nearly ten years.

Other things I am thankful for this week include


  • Mr A having a job interview for more permanent work. Of course my thanks will multiply ten fold if the interview goes well.
  • Beautiful friends to spend time with, who also happen to be great at catching crabs and getting marron, which just so happen to be some of my most favourite foods.
  • The most gorgeous birthday present from my little brother.


  • Having enough internet and time to regularly blog
  • Generous strangers who gave us more warm wool blankets than I could hope for.
  • A most wonderful daughter who this week turns fourteen.
Now you!




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Tuesday, April 14

Returning to a new normal

This time nine years ago Mr Awesome and I were patiently waiting for the May 8th to roll on by. For on that day we would be able to pick up the keys to our new home.

I was some seven months pregnant with Zany and we had just spent the last six months living with my parents in the hope to save enough money so we could put a deposit on a place to call our own. The thought of never having to move again excited me greatly. 

Fast forward to now mind you and I have just spent the last two hundred and seventy days essentially moving every three to four days. Oh how times change!

There is no doubt that #ouradventureofalifetime was beyond awesome. In fact my only complaint is that it didn’t go for longer. But I guess all good things must come to an end. And as the song rightly points out every new beginning comes from some other beginning’s ending. 

So while I am temporarily saying farewell to #ouradventureofalifetime I am also saying hello to #oursouthwestadventure as we settle into life in the south west of Western Australia. Which I must admit I am pretty excited about, saying that we now live in the South West has a certain ring to it that my inner cowgirl really enjoys.

Yesterday saw us pick up our keys to our new home. A small 4x2 that after living in Edna for so long actually feels like a mansion. The girls excitedly ran from room to room trying to decide who would get which room. They have never had a room to themselves before.

We will slowly move our things over in the next few days. It is crazy to think how quick we were able to accumulate stuff once we decided to stay in one spot.

Next week the girls will start school and hopefully jobs for Mr A and I will magically appear sooner rather than later. Life will slip into a new type of normal, though I hope to maintain some adventure feel to it all. Life should always be an adventure.

One of the great things about returning to normal and four walls is the return of large quantities of high speed internet. With that comes the opportunity to blog more and sharing stories on a much more regular basis.

Not only will I be able to actively rejoin #teamIBOT but I will also be back to hosting Thankful Thursday. A super big thanks to Sarah for taking care of it while I was adventuring. Please come over and share some thanks with me on Thursday.

Joining in with Jess for IBOT 



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Saturday, April 11

Goodbye Barn Hill


Leaving Barn Hill this morning almost felt like leaving home again. After staying for nine nights it is the longest time we have spent in our nine weeks on the road.

Before we departed though we managed to squeeze in a quick final walk along the beach. As I was heading down the stairs I was met by a young boy and his father, in his hand was a bowl filled with some squid like creatures. When I looked again I realised that the bowl just happened to be exactly like the ones I managed to wash away the other day!

I couldn’t help but ask as to whether they found the bowl or if it was theirs, explaining what had happened the other day. As it turned out they had found it right down the other end of the beach as to where I lost it. I couldn’t believe that it had come ashore, albeit looking a little worse for wear.

As I walked of giggling to myself about it all and wishing I had of done a message in a bottle thing the dad called out and asked if I wanted my bowl back. To which I happily declined.

It is hard to believe that it has really been nine weeks since we waved Darwin goodbye but apparently it has been. Which means we only have another nine weeks of pay left. An incredibly daunting thought indeed. I have thought on more than one occasion now how our savings is just not quite enough to cut it. Oh how I hope I am wrong. Though at the same time what will be will be and no matter what we will find a way to get by. 

Still the fact that the pay runs out at around the same time as Christmas approaches is not exactly the best way for things to pan out.

Today sees us heading a little further down the coast. About two hundred kilometres. Our destination is 80 Mile Beach. From what we have heard and researched the park is going to cost around fifty dollars a night so we will probably only stay two nights. Which is kind of a pain when the setting up and packing away are taken into account but it will have to be pretty special to make spending more money worth it.


As I type we are still about 100 kilometres away. I love that Mr Awesome drives as it is a great opportunity for me to catch up on the journal entries. Not surprisingly I am still days behind. Hopefully soon though I won’t be so many days.
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Friday, April 10

Things I Know About Being Gainfully Unemployed.

I know that suddenly being unemployed is not so much fun.

I know that worrying about our situation won’t actually change it.

I know that in the past week I have applied for more jobs than I have my whole life.

I know that prior to this I have never really known what it is like to be unemployed.

I know that I do not really like it.

I know that in the past getting a job was as easy as deciding what I I wanted to do and doing it.

I know that for every job interview I went for back in Darwin I got.

I know that I have really only had a handful of jobs. In fact in the last week I have probably applied for more jobs than jobs I have had.

I know that all of this applies for Mr Awesome as well. 

I know that the upside to having all this free time is that I have been able to catch up on lots of blogging.

I know that come Thursday 16th April the Thankful Thursday Linky will once again be found at A Parenting Life.

I know that it has been hard not to see the black clouds that have been hanging around all week as some kind of metaphor for things happening in my life right now.

I know that deep down I feel everthing will work out for the best.

I know that if feels pretty awesome to be joining in with Ann and sharing some things I know. 


Thursday, April 9

Doing nothing does get boring

Sitting around doing nothing is not nearly as easy as it sounds. It is fair to say that it is driving us batty. Well perhaps not the Little Two as they are oblivious to the worries of adulthood and are able to just play on. Literally. They really do play amazingly together and come up with the most interesting of imaginative play.

To break up the monotony of sitting around the farm waiting for our house to become available, which is still at least four days away, we headed over to our buddies’ house to look after their kids while Mum ran a few errands.
Life on a farm does have some appeal.
I don't think I will ever tire chatting with cuties.

It also gave me the opportunity to use her printer to get a few copies of our resumes printed. So far the whole applying for jobs online hasn’t worked out so great. Not that I am impatient or anything but surely after two days I should have heard something shouldn't I?

Sigh.

As we were getting ready to leave I got word via Facebook that I had scored another win in my beloved Bidding Wars group. A queen ensemble for $17 thankyouverymuch.

In the post the seller had inferred that she was rather keen for a quick pick up. Which I stupidly took as meaning the moment I had her address I should go round and pick it up. Imagine my surprise when we arrived there and no one was home. Who would have thought at the middle of a work day and she might not be home?

Sadly by the time she was home from work the weather was taking a turn for the worse and transporting a bed was not exactly practical. Pick up time was then arranged for Saturday which actually works out better because we don’t really have any where to store a bed.


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Wednesday, April 8

Jobs don't just fall out of no where

With hindsight, or rather just purely stopping to think about it for a nanosecond, expecting that we would be able to just walk into employment the moment we needed work was perhaps slightly naive. To say the least. I mean as employable as Mr Awesome and I know ourselves to be, I guess that might not transfer all that well onto paper to people who do not know us and have hundreds of other resumes thrown in their direction.

Today was deemed get a job day. 

I shared this photo on Instagram today with the caption
"Sometimes it can be super hard to see the light shinning
through when there are so many dark clouds overhead"
Mr Awesome had spoken to the regional manager of the company he worked for in Darwin as he happens to manage Western Australia as well. From the moment he heard about our trip he had said that the company would still look after him where ever they could. Which naturally we took as meaning there is a job for you in any branch you want, whenever you want.

Given how well things worked out in Karratha we just assumed the same would happen here in Bunbury. Turns out assumption really is the mother of all fuck ups. 

After spending all Easter waiting for the return call to say when to start, today reality thought it would be rather fun to slap us in the face with a cold fish. There is no job for him here. The store is just not making enough money to squeeze another employee in and that’s all there is too it.

Honestly after ten years of committed service I would have though they could have tried to squeeze him in. But no. 

Sigh.

Not to worry we thought. Our farmer friend who is kindly let us stay in his back paddock had told us of a job going somewhere else. Only when Mr A went into the branch they said they were filling it internally and maybe come back in June.

FFS.

It is so hard not throw a two year old tantrum. 

We desperately need work.

Someone, ok me, may have slightly screwed up when budgeting and left us a lot shorter of cash than intended to. My stomach starts doing back flips just thinking about it, while my head seems to develop a horrible throbbing sensation. It is such a strange feeling to be so highly strung up about finances having not really given them much thought for the last nine months.

And maybe that right there is the biggest problem. Had I thought about pesky things like money a little more while on #ouradventureofalifetime we wouldn’t be in this predicament right now.


More sighing.
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Tuesday, April 7

Happy Birthday Baby

Today my baby turns five!! Which just between you and me I find a little hard to believe. Mind you the fact that in ten days time my eldest will turn fourteen is as equally mind blowing. 

Where does the time go? And more to the point how does it simultaneously pass in the blink of an eye yet before their arrival seems like a lifetime ago?


There was so much more I wanted to add into this post when I started it this morning. However there were cakes to be decorated and children to be amused. 

Thanks to a sudden onset of constant drizzle intermittently broken up with slightly heavier showers our plans for a party in the park with our only buddies here in the south west quickly became as much fun as we could muster inside with a heap of balloons and five kids. Though given one of them is a teenager I guess there were really only four. 

Being inside wouldn't have been such a big deal if I hadn't have gone all out with a sugar and junk overload when I did the catering. I had expected wide open spaces and climbing frames to burn off the excess energy of the sugar rush. 

Sigh. 

Thankfully though the clouds managed to hold off releasing all over their drops for a tiny bit which gave us the opportunity to banish the sugar laiden kidlets out to the back paddock to madly chase each other with a bubble gun. Oh how I love being on a farm. 

As I tucked my little Teapot into bed she wrapped her arms around my neck and happily declared a most wonderful birthday was had. Which at the end of the day is all that really matters. 

Friday, April 3

Good coffee most definitely means a good Friday

It's Good Friday today. A day that has seen the Little Two and Mr A make very good friends with the couch and television. Excitement levels may have hit a new high when they realised that there was a Shaun the Sheep marathon on. Personally Shaun and his buddies do little for me. I need dialogue when I am watching television. Namely because when I am watching television I am actually doing something else and merely just listening to the dreaded box. A show without words is no good to a listener.

For me the day has pretty much involved sitting in front of the laptop. Firstly helping Mr A get his resume to a point where he could send it off to prospective employers. Then creating my own and doing the same. Job searching is a hard nerve wracking pastime. I hope that the powers that be send us employment sooner rather than later.


Too much of the good life has me suddenly worrying that our funds are in too short a supply. I keep trying to trust that all will be okay but I would much rather have some firm confirmation for my beliefs.

Sigh.

Of course now I worry about every word I write here. Being a "Top Blogger" is one of my most long standing jobs. Though of course it is not really a job, much more of a hobby. I include it mainly to show that I have been doing something in recent years, not just sitting around twiddling my thumbs. Not that being a mother is really sitting around twiddling my thumbs but since it is not paid employment either I wonder how I can make myself sound employable.

Double sigh.

On the up side it does feel nice to be writing again. With #ouradventureofalifetime coming to a temporary end life has been beyond hectic. I have missed just randomly sharing my thoughts and feeling here.

Thankfully we have a house sorted. Sadly we are unable to move in for just over a week still. We have one bed, a fridge and washing machine sorted though so it feels like all the big stuff is taken care of. Most importantly though a coffee machine has been sorted.

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