Friday, September 27

Things I know about deadlines and choosing story titles

The time has come, the walrus said to share of what you know! 
Image from here

A Parenting Life Things I KnowOk so maybe that is not quite what he said, but writer's license and all.

Hello and welcome to another week of Things I Know! Well and truly one of the easiest link ups to come and join in with because we all know something!

This week I know all about the joy of deadlines. Even though I had plenty, of time, well forty eight hours, to get my story written I was sitting there with less than five minutes to spare trying to decide on a title. And by that I mean I had texted a friend two options and was waiting for her reply.

I know that I should have gone with Love in an Apple Orchard rather than A Grandparent's Love as the title. My friend, totally oblivious to the urgency of my question took her sweet time in replying leaving me to make my own decision. I went with the grandparent love one on account of it being already saved to the file as that and there not being a whole lot of time.

I know that play centres provide me with a great place to sit and write. Though not necessarily the things that I need to get written most.

I know that being so consumed with writing for forty eight hours is pretty exciting. Though for as much consumption in that time there was also procrastination.

I know that waiting till the end of October for the results to come out is not going to be nearly as exciting.

I know that forgetting about it all until then is a brilliant idea, but perhaps easier said than done.

I know that there is nothing more I can do now. Just hope and wait. At the end of the second round I need to be in the top 5 of my group to progress to the next round. Oh how I hope I have written a better story than twenty other people. As much as first would be great I will be pretty pumped (and surprised) to make the top 5.

I know that I am a bit pleased with myself to have streamlined the appearance of all my blogs. I was chatting to a designer guy recently who was trying very hard to charm me out of  $6o a month so that I could give the blog a very professional looking make over. He rightly pointed out in no uncertain terms that I had a very disjointed look across the board so it pleases me to know I found a way around that without parting with my money.

I know that there is a part of me that wants to live in a world where I pay out $60 a month to make the blogs look pretty. Purely because I know if I lived in that world it would mean I would be earning way more than that expenditure. Why else would there be any expenditure?

I know that blogging is not about making money. But any I can get from it would be nice.

I know that I was stoked to see nine lovely people come and share all the things they knew last week.

I know you know something, and I know you should share it here!

Grab the button below (or just link back to this post) and tell us what you know.

A Parenting Life Things I Know

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Thursday, September 26

Love In An Apple Orchard

Image with thanks to gabriel77 found here
The winter of '83 had been a hard one for Sally and her family. Her beloved grandmother passed away leaving her grandfather alone for the first time in over sixty years. And while with spring came new hope, her grandfather was immune to any sign of new life. When his wife died she took with her a lifetime of love. Leaving only a shell of a man behind.

By the time summer arrived her grandfather had lost what little interest in life he had left. He had no desire to watch another season pass on by without his life long love by his side.

Sally had just finished school and was at a bit of a loose end as to what to do next. Logically she knew that she should find some employment and move out of home, but realistically that was the least thing she wanted to do. As much as she wanted to get on and live her life she wasn't really sure how to play it out. Instead she decided that spending some time with her grandfather at the old apple orchard was a much better option.

To begin with the old man made her feel less than welcome. Sally reminded him too much of his wife when they first met and fell in love. She was exactly the same age now as when he and his wife first met. The similarities between the Sally and her Gran were uncanny. It made the pain of his loss cut even deeper than what it already was.

Of an afternoon Sally would drag her grandfather out for a walk amongst the old trees. The trees that he had loved so dearly for nearly a lifetime. The trees that up until a few months ago he and Gran would walk amongst every day from almost the moment they met. Over the years their love for each other grew stronger just as the branches of the apple trees did.

In the middle of the orchard stood the oldest, tallest tree. It was one of the few left from the original plantation. Over the years some trees had to be replaced as their fruiting quality dropped, but not this one. This apple tree was special and not like the rest.

It's so beautiful at this time of day" Sally pondered out loud, more to herself than her grandfather. He always seemed to get extra quiet when they first sat down.

Yes that is what your Gran always said as well" her Grandfather replied. Sally glanced over at the old man. She noticed the tears quietly rolling down his cheek and instantly felt her own eyes well and begin to burn with the onset of tears. Blinking quickly she looked away. The pain of his loss almost too much for her to bare. As selfish as that seemed. She could only imagine how much his heart had been shattered in the last few months.

Today was day I proposed you know? his shaky voice continued. "I can remember it as if it were only yesterday. Right here under this old tree you know.The old man couldn't go on. His words stuck in his throat as he choked back tears."

Yes Gramps I know" was all Sally could manage.

She had heard the story a thousand times or maybe more over the years. As a little girl it had reminded her of a fairy tale, one where everyone lived happily ever after. There was never any denying the love felt between her grandparents. Blind Freddy could have seen they were a match meant to be. She hoped and prayed that one day she would get to feel a love even half as strong as theirs.

He had organised a picnic with all of her favourite fare. An apple pie he had even gone to the trouble of preparing himself. A crumbly base that he would never live down nor never make again. Not that he would need to once his love had agreed to be by his side.

If only men like grandad still existed Sally thought to herself.

She wouldn't say yes you know, until I took off that silly fake moustache" Gramps continued. His gaze far off into the distance, as if he could see it all before him.

Sally tried to imagine what it would have been like laying there sprawled out on the blanket looking up at the multi coloured leaves as the sun glistened down between them. Gentle rays filtering through the branches and engulfing the pair's love. She envied their ability to just know they were so right for each.

I only had it on because she loved Charlie Chaplin so much" he went on, "She was always going on about how wonderful he was and what it would be like to live with such a man.The old man pausing once more as the words got caught in his throat again.

She was a funny thing your Gran" he started again. "She wouldn't even give me a kiss while I had it on, reckoned it tickled her too much, and that it felt like she was kissing another man

Sally noticed the corners of her grandfather's lips start to curl up and a small smile crept across his face. Even through the pain of his loss the thought of his beloved wife could always bring him comfort in some way. 

That's what true love is Sally found herself thinking.

Tuesday, September 24

Love in an Apple Orchard.

Is probably what I should have called my entry for the first round of the #flashfictionchallenge. But I didn't and there is probably little point worrying about it now. Actually there is no point worrying about it at all because it is far too late to do anything about it now. As it was I only just managed to scrape in with mere moments before the deadline anyway.

Being the silver lining lover that I am though all is not lost and even if I don't progress in the competition I am super glad I decided to take part. The upside to having a looming deadline is that I manage to get lots of other stuff done. Especially when it comes to writing.

I took the opinion that as long as I was writing, something, anything, then I would be getting that little bit closer to the story that needed to be told for the competition. This essentially meant that at every opportunity I had to be writing.

On Sunday I found myself at an indoor play centre with no one to talk to. Oh the hardship I know 

Here are some of the thoughts that passed through my head in that time.

Sitting inside a play centre may not be the most quiet environment, yet somehow it still manages to create a space conducive for me to write in. As noisy as it may be the noise is not actually directed toward me. Instead it just surrounds me, leaving me feel not unlike an island. Which in many ways is quite nice.

Love is everywhere if you take
the time to look
There are a few large gatherings of various families and their friends. Birthday parties I imagine. Chatter and laughter filling the centre, intermittently pierced by screams and screeches of excitement, as it all becomes to much for some of the young participants.

Me - I just sit here oblivious to it all. Twelve years of parenting has taught me how to switch off even in the noisiest of times. 

I have only the middle child with me today. I marvel at her self confidence and ability to just go and play, despite not actually knowing anyone.  A friend from school asked if we could meet here to use the vouchers that the girls received from hockey. I couldn't say no. No matter how much I may have wanted to.

It is always with great reluctance that I venture away from the man I love when he is not at work. There could never be too much time spent with him as far as I am concerned. Never, ever, never.

This playdate however has been requested on numerous occasions. Each time I have managed to find some excuse not to go. Why that is I do not know. I think it is just so often I don't want to leave the house regardless of how much fun I think may or may not be had. 

With the voucher expiration date looming it could no longer logically be postponed. I took the silver lining as being some quality writing time.

Twenty for hours into the competition and not a word of a story has been written. Leaving twenty four hours for a thousand words to be found.  A romance, in an apple orchard, with mention of a fake moustache...

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Monday, September 23

Monday Mention - Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award

Since I have a little over twelve hours till the #flashfictionchallenge deadline for the first round it seems only natural that I take time out and write a blog post. Of course when I say take time out I don't necessarily mean from working on my entry. Oh no.

More like time out from gazing through my Facebook feed. I thought that some idle mind time might allow for the thoughts of my story to gather and develop. The jury is still out on whether it worked or not.

For reasons beyond my control #notreally I found myself at an indoor play centre earlier today. A notepad and pen were also present and I had nothing else to do. One would of thought that a perfect time for the story of a lifetime to unfold. Instead though a rambling recount of some random thoughts were set free. 

For those interested if all goes to plan this will be shared on Tuesday for IBOT, I may not have my entry done yet but I am organised in some ways. Which is also kinda why I am here now as well.

Anyways, for today's Monday Mention I want to mention some thanks to Emily from Emily Morgan Writes because on Friday she awarded me with

Which I gotta say is kinda cool. 

Especially when I read stuff like this

on a list that includes blogs like Have A Laugh On Me, Essentially Jess and Always Josefa. I can not begin to explain what kind of happy it makes. Though there are times when I question why I need such validation, but then is validation not the crux of life sometimes? Oh the thoughts we think hey?

Recently Circle of Moms was polling for their Top Aussie Mom Blogs. I signed myself up with great anticipation a few years ago but since then vowed and declared I would stay right away. I hadn't really been blogging all that long. I thought that perhaps it would give me some feedback on where I stood in the blogosphere.

Clearly I had no idea.

For those that don't know Circle Of Moms compiles list for bloggers to ask to be included in. To make the top 25 you must poll the most votes. It is one of those vote every day things so if you have a large and loyal readership pleading for votes is an easy way to make the top of the list.

Which really is all well and good and I don't mean to sound like I begrudge those that make the list because I don't, because just quietly I would have kittens with excitement if I made that list. Or any list for that matter. And I certainly don't mean to imply that I don't have loyal readers because believe me I know I do and I thank each and every one of you that takes the time to stop by and read whatever words and thoughts I have shared. Seriously it makes my day to know when people have stopped by.

It just gets back to that need for validation I guess.

Anyway part of the Sisterhood of the World Bloggers Award thing is that I should pass it on to 10-12 other bloggers and then go and tell them about it. Which actually causes me a bit of a dilemma in many ways.

The first is I am time poor and a tad lazy. Linking all those blogs in would be a pain in the you know where and something I am not very interested in right at this present point in time. Which in case you have forgotten is twelve hours away from a deadline needing no more than a thousand words for a romance, set in an apple orchard with reference to a fake moustache.

At last count I was 150 words down. But I am now doubtful as to their usefulness. But I digress.

The other issue with choosing people is that means there will be people I don't choose. It sucks being left out, I know from far too much experience, as I am sure most of us do in one way or another. I don't need to worry about someone feeling left out because they didn't make my list.

Yes I know this means I miss out on knowing I made someone's day by putting them on my list but that is just the way the cookie crumbles. And cookie crumbs I can deal with.

So tell me, who would you put on the list?

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Saturday, September 21

The Joys Of Handwriting. Or not.

Button BrainIt has been forever since I took pen to paper and wrote.

Of course that does not mean I have not been writing.

For I have.

Just not this slow old fashioned way.

And just between you and me, even after only these few short lines I have found it to be quite arduous. To say the least. There is certainly something wonderful to be said about keyboard typing and the modern computer.

Coming back and retyping my handwritten mess and all I can see are ways to have said the same differently. Which is nice and all but really slows the whole typing thing down. I guess that is just one of the joys of editing.

As I write my mind is having a thousand other thoughts at once. All of which it wants written immediately. If not sooner. There is a part of me which wants to jump up and grab my phone and Instagram the moment.

Because that is what people do these days. Instagram all that they do.

All I want to do is capture in time the beauty of taking the time to write by hand. So rarely it happens these days. I am disgraced at how messy my scrawl appears. A sign of how fast my hand was trying to write, I guess.

I don't on this occasion because in my absent mindedness I will more than likely forget about my original intention before I manage to find my phone. So instead I think constantly about it and decide to jot it down here only to find that my hand is unable to keep up with the speed at which my mind wants it to.

The end result of all of this is that my writing is less than legible and I am left wondering why I didn't just get up and take the damn photo because at this point I have forgotten what it was I actually sat down to write about. All the while my aching wrist is wondering for how much longer I plan to keep up this handwriting palaver.

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Friday, September 20

Things I Know

Hello Knowers and happy Friday!
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The first thing I know this week is that I was beyond excited to see three lovely Knowers come and join in the Things I Know fun last week. I know I would love even more to come and play this week.

I know that in a bid to create some more knowledge about the wonders of Things I Know I will be pimping myself all over the the Internets this weekend. FYBF and Weekend Rewind, I am looking at you. Anyone else know some good weekend linkies?

I know that I am trying very hard not to explode at Mr Awesome (who quite frankly right now is not seen as so awesome by my eyes) when he comes down stairs.

I know that he didn't really mean to delete TreeWorld from my phone. It was all in an effort to get iOs7 on my phone. Because you know clearly the world will stop spinning if you don't update the instant updates are available.

I know that he wasn't really hiding the modem cable from me but instead Lovely. The poor girl is currently consumed with an internet addiction (no idea where she might have got that from) and for her own good (and our sanity) it is best if we just remove temptation sometimes.

I know that typing this out without the distraction of the internet will probably be a whole lot quicker. And I am trying to keep hold of that thought rather than let my frustrations get a hold of me but some things are easier said than done, even when they are right.

I know that the peace and quite that comes with being up well before 6am is worth the early rise.

I know that by lunchtime I may well reconsider that statement.

I know that I don't know how long this post is so far because normally about now I would do a preview (I blog straight into blogger usually none of this draft nonsense for me) and see how it looked. Which is pretty much my basis for whether a post is long enough or not because let's face it, I know I could ramble on forever some days.

I (now) know that it wasn't actually that hard to find the necessary cords to make the modem work again. Turns out I just needed to put some lights on and stop and think about it all for a minute.

I know that I am sorry your links won't have a pretty picture to go with them today. I will try and look into before next week. Turns out the early hours of the morning are not my prime time for figuring things out. Well at least that is the case today.

I know I would love for you to grab the button and share all the things you know.

TIK at A Parenting Life

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Tuesday, September 17

Goodbye Grandma Awesome

Yesterday family and friends gathered at the Village Green to farewell a greatly loved and valued old lady. After ninety two years of making the most of everyday and giving everything her all Mr Awesome's grandma quietly slipped away from this life and onto her next adventure.

As heartbreaking as it was to see her go there was also an element of relief in the knowledge she did not have to endure a prolonged and drawn out death.
Grandma Awesome
on her 90th

Grandma Awesome had been adamant there was to be no funeral. She was not one to make a fuss. Nor did she get excited when one was made of her. Though secretly I am sure she did, as long as it wasn't over the top. With that in mind those that loved her most joined together to celebrate the life of an amazing and inspirational woman.

As I sat there listening to people from the gardening club, the local library, even the local Member, I marvelled at how loved Grandma was. I mean I knew she was loved and very active within the community, I just didn't know how loved or how active. Or how generous.

I also marvelled at the girls sitting there so patiently and quietly listening to every words spoken about their great grandmother. My heart filled with pride at their sense of respect for the moment. Perhaps there is room for me at the Mother of the Year awards after all...

Mr Awesome and his cousins filled one table. Sitting there together, related by blood but still relative strangers as well. Spread out all across the nation it is not often that they can all be found in the one place at the one time. It was interesting to sit and watch the interactions.

You see while I do have cousins, I have barely ever seen them. Mine are spread not just over the this country but overseas as well. I know not what it is like to really be around extended family.

Every moment that the girls spend with their cousins makes my heart want to burst. I try to impress into my memory in the hope it will somehow become stamped in theirs as well. It breaks my heart to think that so far their cousins all live interstate.

There is no doubt that when Grandma passed the world lost a wonderful woman. Being perhaps the least materialist person I have ever come across there are few possessions to pass on in her memory.

There were however these

They had been living at her house for as long as Mr A could remember. Being a rather green thumb, these little beauties would have meant the world to her. Just like they now mean to us.

Joining in the fun and games of blogging on a Tuesday with Essentially Jess

Thursday, September 12

Things I Know With Rhianna

TIK at A Parenting Life

The first thing I know this week is that I am super excited to be hosting one of my most favourite linkies. It was such an honour when Miss Cinders asked if I was interested in helping her out during her bloggy break. 
Miss C if you happen to drop by
 I'm sending some special
fairy wishes and butterfly kisses your way lovely
image from here
I know that #TIK really is one of the easiest memes ever to join in.

All you have to do is share some stuff you know. And WE ALL know some sort of stuff.

I had thought that this was going to be a Things I Know About Not Attending #PBEvent. Only now I am too tired and my eyes to blurred. On the up side though I am fairly certain I will have time to get it out tomorrow so please wait for baited breath for that.

I know that I still need to go and find the code that Miss C sent me for the linky generator. Mr Awesome was only telling me the other day what a mess he thought my inbox was so I am sure it won't be *too* hard to find.

I know that if I am not careful I am about to become completely overwhelmed by the enormity of what lies ahead.

I know that deep breathes will help me to take it all in my stride.

I know that over the last few days I have seen lots of ruok? posts in many forms. I know I saw one that said no one has asked me if I'm ok. No me either, I thought.

But then I suddenly realised I hadn't asked anyone if they were ok so what right did I have to complain?

Are you ok?

Are any of us ok?

Really? Do we even remember what ok is anymore?

But I am starting to digress.

I know that for now I am going to love you and leave you. I have found the required code containing email and instructions.
I know that I am eager to see if it all works, which I am sure it will because why wouldn't it?
I know that you will give me all kinds of goosetingles if you grab the button below and at it to your post or side bar.
I know that reading what others know is all part of the #TIK fun so please pop round to a few fellow knowers.

TIK at A Parenting Life

Dreams {Writers Reveal Prompt}

 This month's prompt for "Writers Reveal" was given to me by the lovely Becky over at Imagine Create Write.

You may have noticed (if you are super super observant and have very little else to think about) that there has been a slight name change since last month where it was called "Secret Subject Swap"

Apparently someone else somewhere on the world wide web had already come up with that name and wasn't overly keen on there being another one. Which I guess I kinda understand but can't help but feel there could very well be enough room on the Interwebs for two secret subject swaps. But what do I know?

Back to my post for now.

Picture via here
After searching 'dreams' at my favourite photo site this was the one that I liked best.
I had 703 to choose from in case you are interested.


Honestly the first thing that comes to my mind when I hear the word dreams is the song by Gabrielle. Well at least the chorus is 
Dreams can come true
Look at me babe I'm with you
You know you gotta have hope
You know you gotta be strong

Being a teenager in the nineties this song was almost like a mantra to me for a while. Actually now that I think about it maybe I can recall a boy and a disco and some dancing....but maybe I am just dreaming as well.

When I first received the prompt from Becky, my mind when into overdrive. The possibilities of writing about dreams seemed endless. After all dreams are something we all have aren't they? Naturally this meant I left it all to the last minute and probably won't take on any of my brilliant ideas over the last few weeks.

One of my current dreams involve winning the lottery and running away in caravan till the money runs out. While I am off galavanting around the country I will be inspired to pen words in such a way that publishers will be frantically chasing after me offering all kinds of amazing deals, which will prevent the money from ever running out and I can be a gypsy kind of gal forever. Only a very rich gypsy, or at least one that never has to worry about making ends meet.

If all goes to plan, this dream (apart from the lotto and book deal, so really just galavanting around the country bit) should come into fruition by July next year. I. Can. NOT. Wait! Mr A is due for his long service next year and we are going to use that time (plus some extra) to hit the road and show the kidlets this great land we call home. Beyond excited is what I am.

Generally I don't hold on to dreams and plans and what have you. I tend to over plan and not actually achieve anything so experience has taught me that as long as I am pointed in the right direction to just go with the flow and hope for the best. A trip of this magnitude though is probably going to need a little preparation to ensure it evolves from just being a pipe dream.


What dreams do you have?

Please take the time to check out some of the other writers taking part this month.
Emily Morgan Writes
Melissa Writes
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Tuesday, September 10


Wanna know something super duper exciting?

Of course you do, who doesn't want to know something exciting? The very nature of being excited is that people want to know about it...

Where was I?

Oh that's right super duper exciting news!!!!!

You know the easiest linky in the world? - Things I Know, because we all know something.

Well, it used to be held every Friday over at Miss Cinders place. Only life has become hectic for Miss C of late and blogging has to be put on the back burner. Being the totally awesome lady that she is she knows all about priorities and when to cut herself some slack to focus on what needs to be done.

Which means she needs someone to help her out keeping Things I Know plodding along.

And guess who only to happily ran in screaming offering to host.

Uh huh. You guessed it!

TIK at A Parenting Life

So make sure you grab the button (code is all in the box) and add it to a post to share on Friday on anything you know.

I know that I pretty excited and can't wait to share some more of what I know.
I know that I am spreading today's news via

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Friday, September 6

Voting Day 2013

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Today Australia decides who gets the next turn at stuffing up, sorry I mean, running this great nation into which I was born.

Mixed emotions is one way of describing how I feel about it. Bloody scared and fed up with lies and not knowing what to believe another.

There was a time when I was all over politics. And by that I mean I studied it in my final year of highschool and then in my first few years of university. In fact, just between you and me there was even a time when I briefly desired to be a world leader.

Then I realised how few people liked world leaders and thought a stay at home mum was a much better option. Everyone loves them. Well at least their kids generally do.

Actually that is not quite what happened, I got sick of studying and decided to just go and get a job. Why did I get sick of studying you may ask? Well because not too long after I started my arts degree the political powers that be of the time, started to cut funding to almost every subject I was interested in.

Image found here
Anyways back to today's election because as much as I may wish it weren't going to occur, it is. There is no way round it. My heart goes into palpitations just thinking about it.

Dramatic and quick change are not exactly something I am comfortable with and according to the latest newspaper poll in the know, that is exactly where this election is heading.

Excuse my while my stomach does a few flips and I regain my composure.

The thought of Abbot leading our nation really does turn my stomach. Aside from him playing for the wrong team (as far as I am concerned anyway) I just don't like the picture of himself that he portrays.

(I did want to say I don't like him but I don't personally know him so I guess I am not really in a position to say I don't like him. And while I am splitting my own hairs perhaps I would be better saying the picture the media portrays of him is what I don't like but surely he has some input into his media image?)

As far as I am concerned Tony Abbot and the Liberal party will bring nothing but doom. He is a short sighted homophobic misogynist that has no consideration for anyone outside his social class. Since I am most certainly not in his social class and not likely to get much consideration it is not likely that I will do anything to aid him becoming the Prime Minister.

Which is a shame because his representative for where I live is a great candidate. A woman even. Though given the redneck goose she was up against in the 2010 election it is not exactly surprising. It was disappointing to see that Labor failed to provide a more challenging opponent this time round as well. Instead giving the constituents another blokey bloke who I doubt has the brain capacity to adequately represent the view points of anything other than what the party demands.

The infuriating rage that the local Labor candidate elicits from me is of a somewhat intense nature. The mere mention of his name has the ability to send me into a frenzy of fury. Likened only to way I feel about Tony Abbott (and the Liberal party as a whole for that matter) I struggle to understand how there has not been a mix up?

To make my voting woes even worse the Labor candidate for the Senate was deemed a "Captains Pick" as she was chosen to stand for the seat over a long term and dedicated incumbent who had not announced her desire to not stand.

It is so hard to align my vote with my heart. How about you?
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Rewinding on the weekend with Maxabella

Wednesday, September 4

Complain I will not because blessed is what I am

The day got off to a flying start with Zany ensuring I was wide awake well before I was ready to. After the antics of bed swapping I went through at some ungodly hour of the night with her and Teapot I felt no need to be the early bird worm catcher but apparently that was not to be.

Complain I will not because blessed is what I am.

Rather than stew and brew over my earlier than I would like rising I tried to make the best of it. And by that I mean I tried to convince myself that it was a great opportunity to tackle last night's dishes. The grand promises of never having to worry about the dishes again prior to the purchase of the dishwasher at Christmas time have not exactly rang true. 

Complain I will not because blessed is what I am.

While I may not say it to Mr Awesome's face, he was right in saying a dishwasher would make the dishes seem easier. There is something that makes playing dishes Tetris for twenty minutes much more appealing than actually washing the dishes by hand. Even if the latter probably ends up taking less time than the former some days. What my lovely husband failed to mention was that I would still need to constantly nag at people to get the dishes put away. Or alternatively just do it all myself. But complain I will not.

Once I had made my way through the leaning towers of dishes it was time to start the morning drudgery of getting children ready for school. Having just passed the halfway mark of the term, feet are beginning to drag as the weeks begin to blend into one. The promise of after school electronic time enough motivation to ensure we are out the door with moments to spare. Leaving me filled with an air of smugness as I depart the school grounds before the first bell has rung. 

Perhaps Mother of the Year is not out of grasps after all? (Because clearly all it takes to be MOTY is getting to school early once.)

From there I whiz around the shops and return home to discover it is not even yet half past nine. I can't help but ask my Facebook fans who has run off with the real me.

More smugness as I have dinner under control before lunchtime even arrives. 

There is something nice about the whole being organised feeling. I can't help but wonder how long it will last though. Even as I type I can feel the enthusiasm for it all beginning to wane. A feeling that only grows with each blasted beep of the washing machine informing me that there is yet another load needing to be hung out. Of course the howling gale force winds that are currently blowing through ensure that all washing not pegged down will end up on the ground. 

Naturally pegs are no where to be found. Sigh. 

But complain I will not because blessed is what I am.

Blessed that I have a washing machine to beep at me upon completion of it's load.
Blessed that the sun is shining and even though the wind may be blowing a little too hard for my liking, at least it is blowing and there is no rain. (Though just between you and me even if it was raining on washing day I would feel blessed because it has been far to long since I last saw wet stuff fall from the sky)
Blessed that I can sit down and type these words.
Blessed that I can jump up and make muffins for an after school snack.
Blessed in all these ways and so many more, so complain I will not.

Do you have a mantra to get you through some days?

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Tuesday, September 3

Some thoughts on confidence

Now handing over the reins is not something that I do easily. Well not normally anyway. I can be a control freak just like anyone. Today however I have handed over blogging on a Tuesday, and I have done so with great pleasure.

Last week as I was trying to avoid actually doing something constructive with my time, I turned to my Facebook page with a whine of how exhausted I was feeling after a hard day of community building at the school. The reality of my day was that I had actually held someone else's baby (with glee mind you) while she (the mother, not the baby) actually did all the work serving the kids at the Father's Day stall.

Anyways, a loyal liker, who also just happens to an old high school bestie, shared that she had sat an exam that day. Knowing her like I do, I assured her that she probably had little to fear from the exam and passed with flying colours (or words to that effect). Which being the super modest chick she is, Angela politely deflected which then resulted in a brief epiphany on the topic of confidence.

Now I am not sure who said what, but before we both knew it, Angela had agreed to sharing a few of her thoughts on confidence in the shape of a blog post.

So without further adieu I give to you the wonderful words of Ms Angela.

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Having just finished a semester exam I decided to check out what was happening in the land of Facebook. Scrolling through my feed I saw an update from A Parenting Life, asking what I had been up to. When Rhianna heard of my exam she complimented me on my skills as a student. Which I instictively went to deflect.

I’d carried out the weekly work all semester and felt confident going into the exam, but instead of simply thanking Rhianna for her compliment I deflected it with the modesty that most women are trained to display from a young age. 

After I had written my response though I realised that I might be onto something: maybe confidence does stem from putting the groundwork in?

Academics has always been my forte; I do not have to ‘make’ myself put the work in, I just do it. That said, I can still fail the course if I don’t put the work in each week. I was confident about doing well in the exam because I did the necessary work.

Confidence comes from knowing your strengths, but it also comes from knowing your weaknesses and how to work around them. 

A person might prefer to plan ahead for a particular situation and might not like surprises or sudden changes of plan. In this case she can consider various scenarios that might derail her plans and plan for or visualise how she is going to deal with them. 

Someone else may be going somewhere new but is uncertain in new places. She can improve her confidence in various ways, such as asking someone who has been there, researching it online, or asking staff for assistance on arrival. 

Your preferred style of preparation may vary from mine; I prefer to do basic research and then plan what I am going to do. I like to limit the amount of input because I get ‘paralysis by analysis’, ending up with so much information that I can’t make a decision. You might like to talk to people whose opinion you trust. I prefer to keep positive thoughts running through my head, while you may prefer to get a pep talk from a friend or family member.

Obviously there are some people who are easy-going enough to walk into most situations with confidence, and I say that their confidence still stems from having put groundwork in, just in a less intensive way. These people are able to quickly draw on previous experiences, and it’s this that gives them confidence.

The takeaway:

Embrace your strengths and understand your weaknesses. Know how to work around your weaknesses.

Research and plan ahead in the way that you find most useful, but beware of ‘paralysis by analysis’.

Draw on previous experiences – preferably positive. If an experience is negative, focus on what you’ve learned, rather than on what went wrong.

And finally:

Confidence doesn’t always just happen, so don’t beat yourself up if you have to work at it!

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Monday, September 2

Planning in the pipeline

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After an early night, that happened to coincide with a reasonable good sleep I found myself bright eyed and bushy tailed at the rather ungodly hour of half past four this morning. Thinking a quick trip to the loo was all I needed to do to return the land of slumber I jumped up and headed to the bathroom.

Only after emptying the contents of my bladder and returning to my indredibly warm and squishy bed (thanks to two small misplaced beings) I discovered that returning to sleep was by no means a viable option. Thankfully I had somehow managed to waste a whole thirty minutes in the process which made five o'clock seem like a much more reasonable get up time.

As the two small misplaced being were still enjoying their sweet dreams while occupying the majority of my half of the bed, getting up and facing day really was the only feasible choice. Especially since such an early rise time equalled quiet writing time. While there were naturally jobs that could have been done, making a noise and disturbing the entire house is never the best way to start a Monday.

With all the excitement of Father's Day activities at the school, not to mention the actual event of Father's Day itself, it feels like forever and a day since I actually managed to get something written. Mind you even just not writing for one day sometimes feels like forever when there are words inside that I just want to get out.

Of course the words that I did get out today still weren't exactly the ones I had been thinking of but they were a start. I have decided that I need to go back to making things matter. Despite not writing there any more because my poor little ego didn't like not getting read I have now decided that is exactly what I need. And by that I mean a I need a place to openly express without worrying too much about losing loyal readers that aren't interested in knowing what mundane aspects of life I am trying to make matter.

Due to the crazy interior workings of my mind I seem to operate better when I put things out there to the world at large, regardless perhaps of whether or not the world at large is in fact interested. Anyway when I was making time to write over at MTTMIM I did actually feel as if I was making ground towards being the best me that I can be. So it makes sense (to me at least) to try and write there a little bit more.

Naturally I would love to have you along for the journey so feel free to pop in and see how I am doing. To start with most of the posts I expect to be a bit drull, lots of lists and tasks and what have you as I try and sort myself out a little more. There will also be some exercise related stuff as I try and bring that nemesis back into my life. Over time I hope that some of the posts will be inspirational and useful to others sick of floating around but not actually achieving more out of life. 

So there you have it. A very loose outline of my pipeline plans. 

Are you a planner? 
Any tips on how to plan my life a little better?
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