Sunday, January 30, 2011

'Worry' is a four letter word

Though no-one can go back and make a brand new start, anyone can start from now and make a brand new end.~ Author Unknown ~

I want to strangle him. No first I want to hug him and tell him I love him and then I am going to slap him around the head for causing so much worry and then I will strangle him. Eldest MM went out to a work show last night (yes he's got himself a job) and he hasn't gone home yet. His phone is going to straight to voicemail because it's obviously gone flat and his fiance is working herself into a state of worry.

The 'boy' is 22 years old and still acts like an irresponsible 2 year old. At this stage I am not worrying too much but there's always that run away imagination which imagines things being worse than they really are. Unfortunately I have a run away imagination, necessary I guess when you want to be a published writer but not the best asset when you're a mother of 3 boys.

I am hoping that he will walk through the door of his house this afternoon wondering what the hell all of the fuss is about. He will have to duck because I'm sure his fiance will throw something hard and heavy at his head in the hope of knocking some sense into him for causing so much worry.

I had him at a young age and he has always been the one who has been the hardest work. My story of our dramas with him is on the 'In my Words' tab of this blog. He causes me more concern and worry at 22 than the other two at 13 and 16 put together. This is the boy who in 20 short weeks will be a father himself. He is so not ready for the challenges and anguish that accompany parenthood. In truth I don't think any of us are ever truly ready.

I believe (and strongly hope) that this will be the making of him. Deep down he is a good kid with a heart of gold, who is awesome with babies and will make a good father. That's if his fiance and I don't end up strangling him with frustration.

I planned on writing more today, but as is the case when I'm worried or upset I am unable to focus and relax enough to write my story. On the positive side I pumped out just shy of 3200 words last night. Stupendous effort. I forced myself to go to bed just after 1am otherwise I could have sat there all night writing. At least this effort more than compensates for the pitiful lack of words this week.

I'm off to worry some more and prepare my right hook ready to give him a thumping. We never stop being mothers do we? Even when they've flown the nest and have families of their own - motherhood really is forever with all of its joys and frustrations.

Trying not to worry, Fi


Four hours since my post and he's home safe and well and wondering what all the fuss is about. He finished up late last night and was unable to get a train home from the other side of town so he stayed at his bosses house. His phone had gone flat so he was unable to call his fiance because he doesn't know her mobile number without his phone. Typical boy!!!

I've been around and given him a 'thumping' and told him that he better treat his fiance like a princess for the next week for all the worry he caused her. Now I can relax and do some writing.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

Change is as good as a holiday

Success is the good fortune that comes from aspiration, desperation, perspiration and inspiration. - Evan Esar

Not sure whether I agree that a change is as good as a holiday because I enjoy holidays a hell of a lot. However in the absence of a holiday, then I guess a change is okay. Not sure that I like the new design yet, but I'll give it a few days to grow on me before I decide.

Today has been a very slow day because it was 39 degrees (that's Celsius, which I think is about 102 degrees Fahrenheit) Too hot to want to do anything but sit inside in air conditioned comfort. Tomorrow is 42, so more of the same tomorrow and on Monday. Summer has finally arrived.

I took middle MM to work at 5am this morning, what a hideous time of the morning that is when you've had 5 hours sleep. I then took youngest MM shopping for shoes for school which is always a torturous outing. He is the fussiest child in the world when it comes to choosing shoes.

He has moved into men's shoe sizing which means a pair of Nike's goes from $80 last year when he was in kids sizes to $180 this year - not sure how the hell that works, surely they can't use that much more leather from a size 6 to a size 7.

We traipsed through 4 different shops in four different shopping centres before I put my foot down and said that he had to make a decision because I was not going anywhere else - it was getting too hot. Normally I buy them online from overseas for my older son and I get 2 pairs for just over $100, so who's the twit that didn't have her act together this year for the youngest.

He has his first day at high school on Monday and had to have a new pair to start school. He's growing so quick I can't keep up. It was a very expensive lazy moment for me and I will have to get my act together for the next pair. Hubby will have a coronary when he finds out how much I spent. Oh well, it's done now.

I've done no writing this week, between driving lessons and too many activities on after work, I've had limited time. Tonight the next few hours are set aside for writing and because it is going to be so hot tomorrow, I will be perched on the lounge with my laptop in air conditioned comfort for most of the day.

Stay cool (or warm) depending on where you are.

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Proud to be an Aussie

Like attracts like. Whatever the conscious mind thinks and believes, the subconscious identically creates.~ Brian Adams


Okay I'm writing quick today because our ride will be here in an hour for our dinner outing, there's a convoy of our friends going so it should be a good afternoon.

I realised something last night while watching the Australian of the Year awards and it was knowing that some people are just destined to be someone. I'm talking about Jessica Watson who was named the Young Australian of the Year last night. This kid is the most amazing individual and will be one of those 'somebodies' who do something special with their lives.

Don't get me wrong, we all do special things every day but you know when you see or meet someone and you just know that they're special. This is the girl who became the youngest ever person to sail single handedly around the world at the age of 16. There was some discrepancy with her not following quite the route she was meant to so she didn't make it into the record books but this is not of any consequence. She achieved her dream.

What is of importance is that she set a goal and achieved what she set out to do. Nine months on a boat in the middle of the ocean on your own. I don't think that I would be able to do it for a day let alone 9 months and I've got 20+ years on her. This is an outstanding feat for anyone, not just a 16 year old.

She is quoted in the paper today as saying that she's just a normal, ordinary kid and that 'You don't have to be anyone or anything to achieve something. You've just got to believe in it and work hard, so to all you Aussies out there, particularly us young guys, let's dream big. But more importantly, let's make it happen'

Amazing words of inspiration for all of us to learn from and heed. Words also from a now 17 year old girl who has the wisdom of someone twice her age. Her speech put the adults to shame because while they all might have been reading scripted speeches hers was the one that came from the heart and her words were spoken with the passion of someone who believed what she was saying and I am sure she will continue to do amazing things. Her next focus is climate change and raising awareness of it. Wow!

It was witnessing her speech that truly made me realise what being an Aussie is all about and made me proud to say that I am one. Every country has its own amazing individuals and I think that we need to do more to encourage our children to dream big and then go out there and achieve their dreams. It doesn't matter what their dream is as long as it's important to them.

So dream big everyone because I plan to.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Twelve months is a long time

Bravery is the capacity to perform properly even when scared half to death. ~ Omar Bradley ~

Middle MM turned 16 on Sunday, yes I feel old. So Monday heralded his pilgrimage down to the Motor Registration office to sit his Learners Permit test. He's only been counting down the days for 12 months. He made a silly mistake on the first attempt and hubby generously let him sit it again. This time victory.

In true male fashion (i.e. no fear) he took to the road yesterday with hubby in the passenger seat. Hubby has also been preparing for this day and bought MM a car 12 months ago. Licensing rules changed in September last year, so now he has to be on his learners permit for a minimum of 12 months and has to complete a minimum of 75 hours of supervised driving.

This requirement has an added benefit, I think I've seen more of him in the last 24 hours then I've seen of him all of the school holidays. We took him out driving last night - the family went for icecreams at McDonalds. Then tonight we went down to visit my in-laws for MM's birthday and then went out for dinner (MM drove the whole time). Two nights in a row he's gone out with his family, shock, horror.

We had an absolutely delightful meal, one of the best I've had in a long time. Good food, amazing service and reasonably priced. I didn't think there were places like this any more. The place had a constant flow of people the whole time we were there. It wasn't flash or fancy, in fact it was kinda dingy looking but what it lacked in visual appeal was more than compensated by the important things like good food and personable service.

Tomorrow is Australia Day, and what does this mean for me? A work holiday, yeah. Nothing better than a day off in the middle of the week, makes the work week go very quickly. Hubby is not so lucky, he has to work until 3pm, his job means he works public holidays and 2 out of 3 weekends on a rotating roster. Then in true Aussie fashion we'll be joining a group of friends for a barbecue.

I got a great amount of writing done over the weekend, I think I managed to write just over 3000 words, so I was very happy. I was frustrated that I haven't been able to write the last two nights, but quality time with family will always win hands down. I'm finding at the moment that I want to write and keep writing - I've never got that far before, I usually lose interest in the first couple of chapters. I'm worried that if I don't keep up a regular writing schedule that I'll lose interest. Grand total so far of 23994 words, woohoo!

My obsession with writing is playing havoc with my sleep patterns because I like to write at night (that's my best time - I have never been and never will be, a morning person). I get so caught up with writing that by 11pm I'm having to drag myself away from the computer to do the boring things like dishes and ironing clothes for the following day. It's usually close to midnight when I head off to bed and then my mind is usually spinning at a hundred miles an hour on what I'm going to write next.

So my plans for tomorrow are to take the two oldest MM's for a drive (oldest MM still has a number of hours to complete - he's never had the same urgency to get his license that middle MM has) I will put my life in their hands for several hours - as my post title says, twelve months is a long time especially when I'm in the passenger seat.

I'm usually a nervous passenger, having been in too many car accidents as a passenger when I was younger, but I manage to remain quite calm with the boys. Besides, they tell me that they prefer to go with me than their dad. Hubby gets frustrated and expects them to know instinctively what to do whereas I calmly explain and encourage them - must be that BLUE personality shining through.

Tomorrow is about driving and spending quality time with my boys, then a relaxing afternoon of writing followed by a meal with good friends. Nice!

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Simply inspirational

Inspired to dream, destined to win

Today the above is my own quote, inspired by Six Word Saturday over at Show my Face and thank you Louise for directing me over there. Loved this idea and couldn't believe the irony of what I found there.

Any of you who have been following my blog will know that I am doing the hard yards and trying to write my first novel and while scrolling through the people who had done the SWS challenge I came across a link to Lemons to Lemonade. The irony is that the catchphrase on this blog “When life gives you lemons, make lemonade” is the title of my story and also the basis behind the story idea. How amazing is that? I also liked the content I found at this blog so its now also gone on to my list of must reads.

My must read blog list is growing at a rapid rate because I've discovered some really good blogs out there, mostly through comments that people leave on those that I do read. I now look forward to my after dinner relaxation when I sit down and do my daily reading - and thanks to all of you who inspire and entertain me on a regular basis.

Before I go, you have to check out the True Colours website and do the free personality colour test. Louise sent me there after my cry baby post and I was amazed by how accurate the profile was. I need to do some more investigation on this website because this subject fascinates me.

Below is what my colour says about me - amazingly accurate

BLUE - To Love and Be Loved
Your heart-felt communication style creates peace and harmony in the workplace. You know how to bring out the best in others. As a Blue personality you are gifted with tremendous people skills.
You're a heart felt communicator who has a strong need to make a difference in the lives of other people. This strength is immediately noticeable in the way you make connections and bring out the best in those you encounter. People usually feel relaxed and comfortable in your presence.

You love to build self-esteem and make others feel good about who they are. You can easily motivate and inspire people to make changes in their lives and reach their potential. This natural talent makes you excel a counselor, teacher, social worker and journalist.

Today's thought - Remember we're all inspired to dream and we're destined to win at anything we put our minds to.

Cheers, Fi

Friday, January 21, 2011

Cry Baby

We do not see things as they are. We see them as we are.~ The Talmud ~

I wasn't planning on posting tonight because I was focussed on my writing and I've just passed the 20,000 word mark. I'm moving at a slower pace than when I was on holidays but I am still getting words down. Last week, first week back at work, was very poor but this week I'm back to about 1000 words a day which is a reasonable effort.

The reason I felt the need to write was to tell you that I'm a big baby. The Oprah Australian specials have been on television this week and the third part is on tonight. Oprah is rewarding some very special Aussies and every heart warming story brings tears to my eyes. I'm a sap, anything heartfelt or emotional and I'm blubbering.

I don't know why this is and sometimes it can be quite embarassing. My friends would probably describe me as focussed and driven except when something emotional happens and then I cry. Unfortunately it's not only touchy feely things that make me cry. When I get angry and frustrated, or even when I am really happy then I cry.

Am I the only person who suffers from this embarassing problem? Television shows, newspaper articles, hard luck stories, life - it all affects me.

Before I go, a further update to my last post and the drama surrounding our telco. The phone is finally fixed, not bad after 6 fault reports and this time I believe them. Why? Because they finally sent out a technician today and you'll never guess - he found that the lines were touching in the line pit and shorting out. You don't say? I'm sure this is the message that my hubby and I have been trying to communicate for the last three months, that there was something more wrong that required a technician.

Okay, it was always going to be a quick post because I am determined to squeeze out some more words tonight. Have a great weekend.

Cheers, Fi

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Customer service in the toilet!

The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it.~ Moliere ~

To say I am frustrated with the current level of customer service being provided by my telecommunications provider would be an understatement. I truly believe that every employee who failed 'customer service school' is now employed by this company. I'm also not talking about a smaller provider, I am talking about the biggest telco in Australia.

The first indication of a problem occurred several months ago when we began to experience problems with our home phone line. The phone had crackling on the line and to start with was not too bad just rather annoying. Hubby and I use our mobile phones primarily so we lived with the crackling line for a while. A time came when we realised that our internet usage was also going over our plan (the plan was also tied in with the home phone as a package)

So we did some research with the hope of moving our home phone and internet service to the same provider as our mobile phones (we also have our childrens mobile phones on this plan and have never had an ounce of trouble from this telco) No such luck, they don't service our area. So hubby contacted the home phone and intenet provider to organise an unlimited internet plan and also to arrange for the home line to be checked.

When you tally up the time, my hubby probably spent several hours in total on the phone to organise this which was painful but necessary. Never the less we got a better plan, a T box which allows us to view internet movies through our TV and we also got the phone fixed. No worries - all good. Several weeks later and the crackling was back in the phone and much worse. Another series of phone calls was necessary and this is where the frustration really started.

On two more separate occasions the phone was supposedly fixed but then we started to experience problems with not being able to access the internet or having it repeatedly drop out and then last week we lost our dial tone on the phone all together. Another call to them and so began the process of speaking to at least 3 -4 different people in one call, none of who could speak proper english or understand what we were saying and no-one who could fix the problem.

We are on our third case number this week alone because they say the problem is fixed and it works, so they close the fault record. Then within 24 hours the dial tone on the phone has gone again or the crackling is back. So then its more calls and another case number. Why the hell can't they send a bloody technician out to look at it? We've had our own technician check the house side but he's not allowed to go near their exchange. If I could reach down the phone and strangle one of them I would.

I have decided there are obviously several key characteristics necessary to work for these bunch of incompetent idiots.

1) english must not be your first language
2) you must stick to your written scripted answers, you are not allowed to think for yourself or actually answer any questions that the customer asks
3) you must apologise repeatedly but then transfer the call to another incompetent person
4) you have to ask the same question a minimum of two times (more is better), even when the customer answers the first time you ask it
5) you must frustrate the customer so much that they are swearing by the time they hang up
6) you must under no circumstances help the customer with any fault they're experiencing

My next step is the telecommunications ombudsman because I am ready to rip strips off someone otherwise. It would be so simple if I could just tell them to stuff their plan up their butts and then change my provider but this is not an option because they have all the coverage tied up in our area and other providers don't have the capability to service us. So frustrating.

How 'bout you, have you had to deal with a dropout from the school of 'customer service'?

Cheers for now, Fi

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


People who say it cannot be done should not interrupt those who are doing it.

Don't you hate when you spot your dream job advertised and you're not in a position to apply? I was trawling through the job listings on the internet tonight - always on the look out for my son and saw my dream job advertised. A job which involves travel all over Australia with a focus on communications and event planning.

Alas, I have committed to the project which I am working on currently and even though the project is not meant to get started until June, I just couldn't bring myself to leave. My current boss, who was my former boss at a subsidiary company rescued me from redundancy and I know that once this project gets approval, then the scope and possibilities of my job will be limitless.

I've nearly reached 10 years service and besides the fact that I would lose all my benefits and the professional standing I've built, it all comes down to principles. I'm not the sort of person who could walk away and leave them in the lurch when I've put in all the groundwork. Not that I believe that I am irreplaceable, but I have an excellent working relationship with my boss and value what he has done to get me where I am today.

Four years ago, I was working part time on the factory floor whilst finishing my uni studies. To turn my back on those that gave me my start just wouldn't sit right with me. So unfortunately my dream job will be just that, a dream. As the saying goes 'Better the devil you know, than the one you don't' - or something like that.

I almost forgot to mention, I got a phone call yesterday to let me know I've passed my Diploma of Management - yeah! Certificate is ready to pick up and is also another opportunity that my current company has provided me with. Just waiting on a response from my Project Management course and this is further proof that 2010 was a year of growth. These courses were the first I've participated in since I finished my uni course in 2007.

Now I have to give some consideration to what I want to study this year - I can't help myself, I'm one of those people who loves to study. If only I could get some of it to rub off on my MM's.

Well that's my news for now.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

A moment in time

Let there be more joy and laughter in your living.~Eileen Caddy

I love that small moment in time when everything is absolutely perfect in my world and I get an amazing sense of well being. This amazing moment is very fleeting and I have the need to immerse myself in it for its very short lifespan. The moment is now and I am revelling in it. It's the moment which follows several hours of massive cleaning in my house and it is now totally 'spotless'.

It's that moment when everyone is out of the house and I have banished every pesky dust mite from the house. Don't get me wrong, I am by no means a clean freak - life intrudes way to often for this to happen. I do the compulsory clean on a weekly basis, such as the bathroom and toilet and of course the clothes washing and the dishes but the rest is a little (okay a lot) more haphazard.

Today I achieved the miraculous and did it all, oh what a feeling. It means I can sit here and tap away on my computer with no feelings of guilt about all the little tasks I should be doing. It's my moment in time before the MM's arrive home and descend on the house with their own brand of chaos and mess. How is it possible, that an hour after they arrive home, the house will look like a bomb has hit it.

That's fine because I know that it was clean, spotless even for at least an hour. If this makes me sound like a sad case then that's okay - anyone who's a busy working mother will surely know the 'clean house moment of bliss'.

I'm off to enjoy the last vestiges of a clean house before the MM's return. Cheers for now.

Friday, January 14, 2011

No longer in control

Just as a rose can't live without rain, so too a heart can't love without the risk of pain ~ Author Unknown

I came to a scary realisation this week. Well this is not essentially true, because I guess it's something I've always known. Quite simply I realised, that as a mother (or even a father) you never quite stop worrying about your children, even when they eventually fly the nest. The truth is that as they get older, the worrying intensifies and it's because you no longer have total control.

Sure you still worry about similar things, but the control levels change. Consider for a moment the differences between being the mother of a toddler and being the mother of a teenager / young adult:

The food they eat.
Toddler - you can decide what they eat and when (to some extent). You can also largely influence their choices (so what if they only want to eat lasagne for every meal? You know that it won't last forever and besides, it's really not that bad because they'll never know that you've pureed at least 5 different vegetables and added them to the lasagne sauce. If all else fails, as a last resort, you can always slip them one of those orange flavoured chewable multi vitamins)
Teenager / Young Adult - they eat what they want, when they want and sometimes not at all (this is despite your best intentions. They are now wise to the pureed vegetables in the lasagne sauce because they tell you they can taste it, and quite often multi vitamins are no longer a consideration)

The friends they associate with.
Toddler - you have total control of who, how and when (it doesn't matter if nasty little Jimmy from down the street is a bad influence, you can simply monitor the time they spend together, or stop it altogether)
Teenager / Young Adult - they decide who they associate with and when (even if you don't approve and despite all of your best advice. Besides, the more you disapprove of a friend the more inclined they are to see them - so you quickly learn to keep your disapproval to your self - most of the time anyway)

Toddler - it's often a battle, but eventually you will get them to go to sleep; sometimes it's in their own beds (or in the cubby house, or in your bed or next to it) but they will always sleep in their own home where you can watch over and protect them.
Teenager / Young Adult - a set bed time becomes non existent and more often than not they want to stay somewhere else (where the rules are often quite different and you can't protect them).

When they're sick.
Toddler - you get to decide when to take them to the doctor. You can also cuddle and care for them until they get better.
Teenager / Young Adult - it will be a battle to get them to the doctor and it's unheard of that you would be able to cuddle them or fuss over them. If they do let you cuddle and fuss, then it's because they're really sick and this worries you more.

Advice on life choices
Toddler - you are seen as the expert on everything and if even if they don't want to listen to you, you can put them in their rooms and shut the door, they'll soon listen.
Teenager / Young Adult - as a parent they tell you that you know nothing because you're old and out of touch with life or they'll listen to your advice and will still make their own decisions (even if they're the wrong decisions, in which case you will have to be there to help them to overcome the results of the bad decisions)

I used to think that being the mother of a toddler was the most demanding, scary and worrying experience of my life. Admittedly it was also one of the most exhilarating and enjoyable experiences as well.

Now that I'm the mother of teenagers and young adults I find that it's more demanding, definitely scarier and twice as worrying. It's true that this age group also has the benefit of being exhilarating and enjoyable, but so are roller coaster rides and they scare the bejeesus out of me just as much.

Ultimately it comes down to one thing - I hate not being in control and not being in control means that I worry more. I know that being a parent lasts a lifetime and no matter who your children are and what they become, the worrying never stops.

So my ephiphany for this week. My children are my world, and I am destined to spend every minute, of every day, for the rest of my life, loving them and worrying about them (even when they turn around and say mum stop worrying, I'm fine). It's a mother's perogative after all.

Cheers, Fi

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Counting myself lucky

What does not destroy me, makes me stronger.~ Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche ~

I know I've talked about it in previous posts, yet I am like all fellow Australians who are absolutely horrified by the massive floods destroying Queensland, with almost 75% of the state now affected by floods. A flash flood through the town of Toowoomba yesterday has been described as an inland tsunami which claimed ten lives, with up to 78 people still unaccounted for. See video footage here - this is normally a road (not a river) and look at the speed that the blue car is moving (about 35 seconds into the video).

None of us can fathom these floods, some areas are expected to have flood levels reach up to 20 metres. Thousands and thousands of people have been evacuated and they expect it to get worse in the next few days. It just doesn't seem to be improving - all of our TV channels have live flood coverage at the moment and it is distressing to watch.

Seeing tragedy on a such a massive scale like this makes me realise that anything else that might be bugging or annoying me at the moment is so irrelevant and stupid. The televised fundraiser for flood victims which was held on Sunday night has so far raised 13 million, which when you see the extent of this devastation is just a drop in the ocean.

These people have nothing left to go home to; their homes are destroyed with many smashed to pieces or washed away, it's not just simply a bit of water inside. Hundreds of cars have been flipped over or carried away. Businesses have been destroyed, so it's not only homes and belongings that have been lost but the ability to earn a living also. That is of course providing these people are lucky enough not to have lost loved ones. Possessions can be replaced but not lives. Many of the lives which have been lost have been children, with much of the flash flooding occurring without warning or time to prepare or protect those who're vulnerable.

How do you begin to rebuild, where do you even start? Some of Australia's major industry is in Queensland with mining and farming being completely shut down. Roads are impassable and trucks with supplies can't get through.

Anything else that I was going to write in this post is now lost, none of it seems relevant today. My thoughts and prayers are with Aussies who're suffering at the moment and who have lost so much and have a hard road ahead of them to rebuild their lives.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Quiet day today

I wanted to change the world. But I have found that the only thing one can be sure of changing is oneself.~ Aldous Huxley ~

Have had a very slow day today, last guests didn't leave until 10 last night and then hubby played with his new shed??? Well he watered the concrete down anyway, so we didn't go to bed till almost 1. Was a huge day and consequently I am knackered today. I didn't wake up until 11.20 this morning which is absolutely unheard of for me and annoyed me immensely because half my day is gone and is not good when I have to get back into work sleeping patterns for tomorrow.

Did some washing and read my book then a few friends called around this afternoon for some nice relaxing drinks in the sun. Weather is beautiful at the moment so it was nice to just relax and chat.

Eldest MM and his fiance had some dramas yesterday, a baby on the way and financial problems are causing stress. (MM has an idiot boss who hasn't paid him since before Christmas - I have to resist the urge to find the jerk and throttle him) She ended up in the hospital with cramps bought on by stress but thankfully everything is okay and after an ultrasound they've discovered she's actually 16 weeks. Baby is healthy and kicking and is a boy. One more MM to add to my troop of males.

Eldest MM's present job is contracting work and he's on different building sites every day, so he can't turn up at a workplace and demand his money. His idiot boss is not answering his phone so my son is now on the look out for another job. This is the last thing they need to deal with at the moment and it makes me wild that there are so many disreputable employers out there that take advantage of young people.

He's now looking for something more reliable in terms of hours and pay, while it might have been all right before, now that he has a baby on the way and a fiance to support he needs something regular. I just wish I could do more to help them out and while finding his idiot boss and throttling him probably wouldn't help, it would definitely make me feel better.

I should be contacting the local ombudsman about illegal employment activities because it turns out that the boss does this sort of thing regularly which explains the regular turnover of employees he has. Son doesn't want me to get involved though and says he needs to deal with it.

We've had to do this before, get involved that is, with a former landlord who shafted them as well. Tried to kick them out of their last place with a weeks notice. They were good tenants and never missed a rent payment. I contacted the Rental Tribunal to see what their rights were and it turns out that the landlord had to give 60 days notice if there were no grounds. Turns out that the landlord knew the rules all along, he was just trying to pull a swifty on them, he soon backed off though when hubby got involved.

Why do landlords and bosses think they can get away with this hideous behaviour? Are the people who act like this, the same people who were the bullies at school? Do they get some sort of thrill from trying to shaft young people who don't have the life skills to know when they are being treated unfairly?

I have an extremely strong sense of fair play and will fight for those that I believe have been treated unfairly, especially when it's my family or loved ones who are being hurt and heaven help those who get in my way. I will eventually sort this idiot boss out, but in my own time and when my son won't know about it. If the idiot boss was doing the right thing and my son was in the wrong well then that's life, but when the boss is breaking employment rules and flouting the system then beware.

Now I'll climb down off my soapbox and take a breath. Send positive thoughts that my son can easily find another job and that my future grandchild stays safe and well. I'm off to do some more writing and to get myself into return-to-work thinking mode for tomorrow.

Cheers, Fi

Saturday, January 8, 2011

Beer Drinker Invasion

Here is a test to find out whether your mission in life is complete...If you're alive, it isn't.~ Richard Bach ~

Today the hoards have descended on my backyard, the beer drinking hoards that is, with every mate that my husband can lay claim to having passed through our backyard today. The concrete is being laid in hubby's 'taj mahal' today - 8 cubic metres of concrete to be exact (not that this means much to me) What it does mean is that they all come to observe and take advantage of the awesome amounts of food and beer that I've provided.

In reality what would potentially have been a $20K plus shed has in fact cost us less than $10K, so there are definite bonuses in Pete's network of mates who're all clued in when it comes to this sort of thing. Hubby and his best mate have actually designed the whole shed from scratch and have produced all of the scaled drawings and done all of the work themselves. This shed will still be standing 50 years from now and will outlive the house, so I don't begrudge the food and liquid refreshments that we've provided.

The MM's have been on the go since 4.30 am this morning and concrete arrived just after 6. All wheel barrowed in by 8.30 and now just the finishing work and of course the beer drinking to occur. I fed them a massive breakfast of bacon, eggs, sausages, mushies and tomatoes with the aim being to provide a lining for the beer still to come. I have the next course of steak, sausages and chicken wings to come later this arvo. I was told earlier this week that my idea of chicken and salad was girly food and that they wanted real food on the BBQ.

I will be so happy when hubby's shed is all done and finished, it has been a project four months in the making. The yard and back verandah still looks like a bomb has hit it with 'boys toys' everywhere, so I'll be glad when all of it can be put back in the shed and I can reclaim the back yard.

Writing has been on full forward for the last few days and I've reached 17,941 words, so I'm roughly a quarter of the way there. I'm on a real roll at the moment and want to take advantage of it while I can before reality returns on Monday with going back to work.

Well it's nearly 3pm and I've been told it's time for the second course of food, youngest MM is firing up the BBQ so I'd better go and assist. At the rate they're going, I think hubby will probably be asleep on the lounge by 6pm.

Cheers for now

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Be Amazing!

Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.~ Helen Keller~

I subscribe to a newsletter at Publication Coach and in Daphne's latest newsletter (view the content here) this week she talks about resolutions and one point is 'Be specific. Don't just resolve to become a "better writer." Instead, promise to write 150 words a day. That's the length of a typical email! You can do that -- right? At the end of a year, even if you take every weekend off, you'll have a total of 39,000 words. That's half a book! Double your output to 350 words per day and you'll have an entire book by 2012.'

Prior to reading her newsletter I was really disappointed on Tuesday, having only managed a paltry 500 words. Daphne's point made me feel 100% better. When you look at word counts in her terms then 500 in a day is a champion effort. For the record I churned out another 2000 or so yesterday, so not so bad. I think the key is just sitting down every day and writing something, I find some days it flows and some days I have to push myself - but I'm still getting it out there.

I have 3 and a bit days left of holidays and then back to the daily grind which will be when I am challenged with trying to maintain my wordcount, but now that I've created some sort of pattern I'm sure it will be easier. That's what I keep telling myself anyway.

I had to laugh this morning when I read Louise's blog Recover your Joy because it was so easy to identify with what she wrote about the memory getting thinner and the waistline getting thicker with age. Never have I read truer words. I too read so many things on blogs and then lose track of what I read where. Because of her post, today I have sat down and created some order with my favourites, I now have a must read blog folder and a visit occasionally folder so that I can keep track a little easier. Sad when it gets to that stage isn't it?

I've been keeping track of the flood crisis and reports are saying that water levels in the town of St George are expected to peak at 13.4 metres today. Friends and neighbours have helped one woman, who is living in a home that her father built many years ago, to build a sandbag levy of 13.8 metres to protect the family home which was inundated during the 1974 floods.

Aren't friends and neighbours gold? In times of disaster and hardship you find out who your true friends are and you also discover strength and courage that you may not have even realised you possessed.

We are all capable of being amazing human beings, so go out there today and show someone you care, the smallest most insignificant acts can actually mean the world to another person.

Smiling both on the inside and the outside,

Cheers, Fi

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Floods have hit Australians hard

Say what you mean and act how you feel, because those who matter don't mind and those who mind don't matter.~ Dr Seuss

I've mentioned briefly in previous posts about the floods in Queensland and how they will impact Riverland towns such as Renmark with the flows expected to hit the Murray River by the end of this month.

The first image in this post is of one town among many in Northern Queensland where hundreds of people have been evacuated, homes have been lost and up to 10 people have died in some of the worst flooding in years. Rivers have yet to peak in some towns with levels expected to reach 9.4 metres in some places (that's a shite load of water) The second image is of the rooftops of houses, keeping in mind that water levels are yet to peak.

Australia seems to be in the grip of some extreme weather patterns of late. Summer has only just arrived in South Australia in the last week or so, meaning November and December were very cool with large amounts of unseasonal rain. We've gone from extremes of drought throughout the country to flooding of immense proportions in a short space of a few weeks.

Mum and Dad are taking out flood insurance this week to ensure their home is protected and lets face it, Renmark will be nowhere near as badly hit as towns in the north eastern states. My heart goes out to the hundreds of families further north who have lost everything. The pitiful amount of money that the Australian government has donated to the disaster relief fund is laughable.

You can't even begin to fathom the heartache and work involved in the clean up effort, or the number of months that it will take for these towns to be back to normal. Every Australian will be affected in some way with stories that fruit and vegie prices are set to sky rocket and commodities will be affected also.
In the course of writing this blog I had a blonde moment and could not remember the difference between affect and effect, stupid I know because it should be simple, but I just couldn't think. I think I got it right but I'm sure one of you will let me know if I got it wrong.

Mother Nature is a curious beast and I feel guilty sitting in my nice dry home with my belongings around me and my family safe and secure. There are stories to be found of triumph and survival amongst all of this chaos. What about you, have you felt the full force of mother nature?

Would love to hear your thoughts

Cheers, Fi

Monday, January 3, 2011

Back in the groove

A life without dreams is like a garden without flowers.~ Author Unknown ~

I am very happy with my writing progress, got another 2435 words on the page yesterday, taking my grand total so far to 12504 words. This is the first time I have sat down and committed to writing and got past the first chapter other than writing assignments when I was at uni. So what's different this time, I've created a main character that I really like and who I understand. I spend each day itching to get back to my writing and frustrated when life gets in the way.

I gave the first few chapters to my sister-in-law last week (I know, I've probably committed the cardinal sin amongst writers of showing something before it's completed, but she talked me into it) The response was very positive and I know that my sister-in-law tells it as she sees it and doesn't sugarcoat. She wants me to email future installments because she wants to know what happens, but I've been strong and told her now she has to wait til I finish it.

My number one goal has always been to have a novel written before I turn 40, so I have 11 months to get my act together and accomplish my goal. 2011 is my year to achieve my writing goals and become a grandma. I'm on track to achieve my two most desired things in the world.

The other thing I aim to do this year is to take my boys overseas (hubby included of course). Hubby and I visited Bali last year and were enchanted by the place so we plan to take the boys over at the end of this year. Then next on my list will be Italy, a place I've always wanted to visit. This one will wait another few years though until the kids leave home, so that hubby and I can enjoy the trip alone.

So while I don't have resolutions for 2011, I certainly have goals which are on track. I also aim to give up smoking and get back on my treadmill, but I will need to put some timelines and parameters around those, oh and of course some rewards for when I achieve them.

Well I hope 2011 sees you all achieve your dreams and goals.

Cheers, Fi

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Happy New Year

Every man should be born again on the first day of January. Start with a fresh page. Henry Ward Beecher

Welcome 2011. Have just spent a delightful week in Renmark with my boys, my parents, my brother and my sister-in-law and her family. It was extremely hot, days above 40C and so many mosquitoes, but was time spent in delightful company.

I loved seeing all 3 of my MM's entertaining and amusing my nephew, they're so good with little kids and for a whole week restrained themselves from killing or bashing each other, which is altogether too rare for any of you who know and understand teenage brothers.

Eldest MM's fiance joined us, which I was very happy about. Poor kid is having a very rough time with her pregnancy though and the heat knocked her around a bit. I only found out this week that she suffers from an irregular heart beat (her sister was admitted to hospital in Adelaide last night with problems - they both suffer from it, which is when I fully understood the seriousness of her condition)

Once I knew this, I asked my mum what her symptoms were when she was diagnosed with the same thing. Turns out that all of the suffering the poor kid has been experiencing is more likely due to the heart condition than her pregnancy, so I have told her she must speak to her specialist about this and the possibility of getting medication to help her. For some reason her doctor has taken her off of her medication since she fell pregnant. Now I'm not a doctor but I can't understand the reasons for this, surely there is something to help her.

The poor kids suffers from shocking dizzy spells and nausea and has phases where she is burning up (even when it is cool) Plus she sleeps in the afternoon for 3 -5 hours. When she's not feeling well she is as pale as a ghost and the other night at my brothers place, her heart looked like it was going to jump out of her chest - literally. All symptoms that my sister-in-law and I were deeply concerned by because it didn't seem like normal pregnancy symptoms.

Hopefully when she sees her doctor this week then they will be able to do something so that the next 27 weeks weeks aren't as torturous as this week has been for her. She enjoyed her time away with us but probably would have enjoyed it more if she wasn't feeling disgusting so much. I had a shocking run with my second pregnancy due to blood pressure problems which put me in hospital twice so I can fully appreciate the feeling like crap but not really being able to describe what was wrong or how I was feeling.

New Years Eve was spent at a massive street party in the centre of town on the riverfront with live bands and food stalls. My boys saw in the new year together, the first time since my oldest left home 8 years ago. The only person missing from our enjoyable week was hubby who stayed home in Adelaide. I did however arrive home this afternoon to a spotless house and dinner simmering away - my hubby is awesome.

I love country life, Renmark is a beautiful town. Not sure if I could live there though, not that this is an issue because hubby has stated we will not be moving there. Seeing mum and dad's awesome new house and knowing the amount they paid for it and I could probably be persuaded. Life in the country is definitely slower paced and more relaxed, a concept totally foreign to what I am used to.

Did no writing this week, which was kind of annoying because I really wanted to get some done. This week ended up being a week for socialising and relaxing and the times when I did have free time to write it was so damn hot that it was hard to focus on anything other than getting and staying cool. Air conditioned houses and cars even struggle when the temperature is 44C. Contrast that with tonight, I am back in Adelaide and wearing a jumper and fluffy slippers co's I'm so cold.

Still have another week of holidays so will put my head down and bum up and get some writing done this week.

Well hope you all had an enjoyable New Years and that 2011 sees all your dreams come true.

Cheers for now, Fi