February 22, 2010

The boys!

Mum has watched her babies grow, like any other mother. Her blonde-haired baby who almost overnight turned into a brown-haired little man, and her big boy, bringing his girlfriend over for a play. They do have puppies though. I wanted to stay if only to play with the puppies!

This is another photo shoot that I really enjoyed! Watching their moments together, their interactions as a family, brought joy to my heart, and I thought of my girls and the fighting and giggling and of course, the pushing.

I didn't get the typical sit-pose-smile-shoot photos that I imagined I would, but what I captured was the essence of brotherhood. Closeness, distance, curiosity.

Mum is in there too, but I'll keep those between her and I...just in case she doesn't want photos of herself posted ;)




Life is what you make it!

Or is it?

*cue dramatic music*

Whoever said 'Life is what you make it' (before Miley Cyrus, that is) must have had a boring life.

'Mum, I'm so bored!'

'So go do something!'

How can we make life if we are constantly thrown curve balls? Ah, a baseball term. Unfortunately I can't think of the Aussie equivalent without mentioning sauce bottles.
Yeah, we can make the most of what we have, but we can't be held wholely responsible for the way our lives turn out!

For a start...we are raised by someone (or not) who essentially control the first few years of our lives (or not). Our personalities develop, yes, but they are shaped by those around us. Of course, if we consider that not everyone is born the same, some people with disabilities, some into families with stereotypes attached....then we all start off on unequal footing.

Then there is the word 'no'. Don't you just hate that word? But hating it doesn't stop anyone using it!

How can life be what we make it when others tell us 'no'?

No, you cannot study the Masters full time. I'm afraid you'll have to study it part time over 3 years like everyone else.

Um, I don't have another 3 years. I need to become qualified as soon as possible. My kids need a home, they need space, I need space!!! For that, I need money, and to get money I need a job. Alas, I don't feel like...and there is no other word I want to use right now...'fart-arsing' around for another 3 years trying to concentrate on TWO subjects per semester. It may seem strange, but that is not enough pressure for me. I work better with deadlines, when I KNOW that something has to be done by a certain time. This means that I have withdrawn from the Masters degree and I am now hitting the job seek websites and applying for whatever I think I could do with my Educational Studies degree. Not to mention furthering my qualifications through on-the-job training and also photography positions that are close by.

I do not believe for one minute that Life Is What We Make It.
Life is what society makes it. What our parents/carers make it. Our governments. Our peers. Our children. Then we do the best we can with what they have made it because it is all we can do.

Of course, that doesn't mean we can't still make it rock!!!

On a positive note...it is another decision that I made on my own. Something I am learning to do at last.

February 19, 2010


I haven't been blogging, I haven't been taking photos. Actually...I have been taking photos, just not many, and the ones I have taken I won't be blogging about until the subject has seen them & gives permission.

Sooooo I am just going to blah blah blah blog for now.

I don't have much on my mind. But at the same time, I can't think straight. I am upset because I just had to borrow over $1600 from my mum to get my car fixed. My only other option was to risk more damage by driving it for another 2 months while I saved up.
The only problem with having a 'good' engine is replacing the 'good' parts. Damn you Tickford!! (Just imagine me shaking my fist in the air...I remind myself of Dr Claw...except I hope there is no next time for Gadgets!)

On a positive note, I had my hair cut and coloured on Wednesday. I now have 'normal' hair. Nice milk chocolate brown with honeycomb highlights. I told the hairdresser that it is surprisingly nice, in a boring kind of way. Usually when I get my hair done, I go almost black, with bright highlights or blonde so I can put a pink temp in. However I promised my bride-to-be friend that I would be a regular person until after the wedding! Besides, fluro pink hair would have clashed terribly with the bridesmaid dress!!

Another positive thing...I found out that I only have to wait until November the 1st for the next installment of The Ranger's Apprentice which is terribly exciting for me! Because I have such an interesting life.....

Oh yes, I must update you all on the swimming! Ashlie is now a confident swimmer and attends squad training twice a week. Today at school, they did swimming for sport, and Ashlie swam 50 metres - Butterfly. A stroke she only learnt on Thursday. We're going to keep it up all season, and through Winter if we can, because she wants to win a race at the next swimming carnival. She came equal 4th or 5th at the carnival on Tuesday, in her heat, which I thought was pretty fabulous, as she was up against the two who beat her at school, plus the other school's fastest as well.

As for my Georgia, she did her homework today with little help from me, and when asked to finish the sentence 'When I get home from school I like to...' she wrote 'woch a moovie' with no help at all. She sounded it all out, and used visual recollection. Anyone in the education field will know that this attempt is one of the steps towards learning to spell. I'll leave it up to her teacher (who happens to be her grandmother) to point her in the right direction from here!

But that is all the blah blah blah blogging I can do for now. It's almost midnight, and I've got a pool party to go to tomorrow morning!


February 14, 2010

Valentine's Day

Here is me, here is the bandwagon.

My family have never really set much store in V Day. Mum and Dad are content with buying gifts on birthdays and Christmas, and love each other all year round.

It makes sense not to celebrate Valentine's Day. At least it makes sense to me. I've posted this elsewhere, but I'll post it here too.

If you love someone, show them everyday!

Love doesn't have to be store bought gifts, whether cheap or expensive.
It may be a touch, a kiss, a look, a gesture.

My V Day was spent outside, taking photos of two adorable boys and their mother (single, like me). If anything, V Day should be about showing love to everyone, not just one special person.
Maybe I am a little bitter. I don't have any memorable Valentine's Days. I hate being single when all of the lovey-dovey pink and red hearts are being thrown in my face.

I did get one happy Valentine's Day message though, from a fellow singleton. That is, we wished each other Happy V Day after both complaining about our handfuls of nothing...

Love is a feeling, an emotion and a way of life. It is not a commercial product that should be bought or sold at any price.

Happy Valentine's Day, my precious hearts!

February 11, 2010


Fibromyalgia, from the Greek 'ow' and the Pig-latin 'oh geez'.
Actually, it's closer to fibro - fibrous tissue, my - muscle, and algia - pain. Or so wikipedia says (but who really trusts that?)

It is a word I am getting used to, and a condition that has been suggested as the cause of my pain. I'm still not entirely sure because my doctor seems reluctant to give me a name or a reason why I hurt the way I do.
Getting to this point has been long and relatively expensive, and I am only here now because one particular pain became unbearable for more than one reason.

This particular pain occurred in my knees, but rarely in both knees at the same time. Worse in my right knee, I would wake up at night, unable to move my leg, with an excruciating radiating pain starting somewhere in my knee. To ease the pain I had to physically pick up my leg and roll over, or grip the edge of the bed and force my hips to turn. Somehow, this worked, and I would go back to sleep. The pain is not predictable, and it is irregular. Never the same time of night, sometimes a few days in a row, sometimes once every few weeks.

For this pain, I saw my GP - he sent me for an MRI of my back, to check for pinched nerves, and in the end he said to lose weight then come back and see him.

Dissatisfied, I saw another GP, who called in a colleague to consult with, then sent me to see an Orthopaedic surgeon. He in turn sent me for x-rays and back to the GP. I spent a total of 10 minutes with him. Well worth the $180 visits. Not.

One thing both GPs agreed on was my lack of muscle strength in my legs, my right worse than the left. I ended up being referred to a physio, who was and still is, fantastic. She spent a long time testing my strength, and a whole lot of other things. Prodding and poking, it was her who began to suspect Fibro.
Headaches, dizzy spells, tiredness, occasional memory problems...then tender spots across my legs and back....at one appointment she went off and came back with a body-diagram with dots all over it and began pressing me in the corresponding places. This is when she explained to me about Fibromyalgia and sent me back to my GP as well as enrolling me in hydrotherapy classes.She also said massage could be helpful, so thank you Megan!

I went back to my original GP, who still does not know why my knees do what they do, and only half heartedly suggested that Fibro may possibly be the cause of my pain.

I guess I am still in limbo. My knee x-rays show some minor cartilidge damage in my right knee, which was most likely a result of being hit by a car when I was 12. Yet nothing the physio did to that knee was painful even though she said it should hurt!
The MRI was clear and all the blood tests I had were negative for Rheumatoid Arthritis and whatever else I was tested for.

I don't believe it is normal to be in some kind of pain every single day without reason,  but I can't help but wonder is Fibromyalgia real? Ask any diagnosed sufferer that question and you're likely to get your head bitten off. Yes, the pain is real, but is it a name given to the 'too hard' basket? Or a name for people who have imagined their pain? Is it like ADHD, with the stereotype, label the kid because that's all we can do? The treatment for this condition makes me feel this way moreso, because any person should live by the treatment! Take pain killers for the pain, exercise regularly, rest and sleep regularly and eat a healthy, balanced diet for energy.

February 10, 2010

You make your Mumma proud

In the lead up to the school swimming carnival, my daughter Ashlie (who turned 9 in December) told me that she had signed up for the backstroke.
I try not to discourage my girls from trying...especially when it comes to sport and academia, but I couldn't help feel a little apprehensive when it came to this particular desire.
You see, my daughter has only had one round of swimming lessons, when she was 8. She has taken part in the intensive swimming program for school, but never really seemed to go anywhere. At the school break-up party last year, she squeezed out a 25 metre lap (the pool is half-size) so that she could pass to play in the deep end with most of her friends.

As far as we knew, she was confident enough to play and splash around, but did not have the swimming skills to do a 25m backstroke in a competition.

I was more discouraged when the time came around and I found out it was actually a 50m race. She had been practicing all week, but never more than 25m at a time. In the end, I told her just to do her best and try not to stop for a rest during the race.

Then an announcement came over the loud speaker that anyone wanting to do the 50m freestyle was quite welcome to go and sign up...so Ashlie did. Remember, this child had to squeeze out 25m only a few months ago, and has never raced before. I wasn't surprised that she came in last and had the help of a kick board thrown in to her. It didn't bode well for the afternoon backstroke.

But whatever - my girl gave it her best, and finished the race, which is all I ever tell them to aim for. I am proud of them no matter what.

The backstroke came around quickly...There were to be two heats, and the three fastest times from the two heats would go through to the next carnival. I watched Ashlie, grinning like a halloween pumpkin, drop into the water and take up her position. First heat, 4 girls. At least one of them had squad training.

You know that feeling you get when something unexpected unfolds before your eyes? Well, that's the feeling I got as I watched Ashlie power through her strokes the first 25m, and turn to keep going. No rest! Then I watched with awe and excitement as I realised she wasn't coming last. By this time I had made my way to the blocks where she would finish and watched with some kind of emotion that both choked me and made me laugh as she pulled further ahead of the fourth girl, and passed the girl coming second...Ashlie touched the wall a few seconds behind a squad-trained swimmer to come 2nd in her heat.

Utter amazement. I was proud enough that she'd entered the race, proud enough that she knew her swimming wasn't as good as some of the other girls. But now I felt her happiness as she was told she had come second. All we had to do was wait for the 2nd heat. If Ashlie's time was faster than the first one or two in that race, she would have a place at the next carnival.

Alas, we had to wait a whole agonising day for the results. I knew that in the second heat there was another strong swimmer, a girl from Ashlie's class, but I knew nothing about the other girls. The chances were not good for Ashlie.

But Mumma (as she calls me when overcome by nerves) was still proud, no matter what.

That afternoon, I took the girls back to the pool for swimming lessons. Ashlie was determined to go, so I reluctantly queried about squad training. The coach had Ashlie swim a lap before deciding that yes, she was good enough to join the group. Afterwards, I asked how she went. He said she was good, albeit a little tired. Then he asked if she'd ever been coached before. When I said no, he seemed genuinely surprised and suggested that she must just be a natural swimmer. This clinched the deal for me, swimming is our sport!

Everyone was so proud of her when she told them (and the messages I received on Facebook were wonderful, as I had updated my status throughout the day to reflect her progress). I've never seen her face so alight with self-confidence!

When I arrived at school to pick the girls up today, Ashlie handed me a note and said simply 'I got in'.
I almost cried, after the initial flash of disbelief. I turned to the page with the names on it and see the two girls who are squad trained, and underneath, my daughter's name, in the column for 50m backstroke.

My darling Ashlie, who has had sporadic swimming lessons and learnt a basic freestyle stroke from her grandmother, is now representing her school.

Go Ashlie!!


I had to throw this picture in. Two of Ashlie's friends picked up their champ and carried her around. They were all proud of her too.

February 07, 2010


I am getting a little excited and nervous now, because in just a few weeks my good friend Katrina is getting married! It doesn't help my nerves any that I am her bridesmaid...

As far as I know, everything is under control. Up to now, Katrina has remained cool, calm and collected, though it was a close call trying to fit my dress...The very talented Mother of the Bride made the bridesmaid dresses and I have an odd shape.

We're now down to nitty-gritty details such as the colour of the make-up and whether to all wear the same or wear similar colours that suit us best. My recent task was to try out the eye shadow we bought.

I don't really like photos of myself, and I go through a lot of pics trying to make a decent one for my face book profile! This pic is of me adorned in the make-up I will most likely be wearing on the day.

No idea why I am blogging about it. I think I just wanted another excuse to examine the picture and decide if the colours are okay!

The details:
Light eye shadow over entire eye. Darker brown over ball. Wet brush, paint on line of sage-green above eyelashes like eyeliner, same with under the eye.

The blush is just a light pink-brown (my skin tone dictates this colour, whereas Katrina will wear a pinker blush to suit her tones).

The lipstick again is a browner shade of pink. Whatever.

Our hair will be worn out, and straightened (properly, not as shown!) and pulled back on one side with a fancy clip. But that's all the details you're getting. You'll have to wait for the wedding photos to come back for the rest!

p.s. I haven't forgotten the groom! Joel is great, and I am sure just as nervous and excited as the rest of us!

February 04, 2010


What inspires you?

For me, inspiration comes in many forms.
For instance, reading my friend Carly's blog often gets me thinking about different things. She's one of those people who does things with her life...even if to her they seem completely mundane, they are so different to my life I can find myself wondering what I would be like in her place...like me dancing...? Hmm...
Tonight I started writing a poem/lyrics because I liked the flow and the sound of something she had written - and it was only two words!

I have also been inspired to write recently by an event that has taken place in the personal life of a friend. Darkness, despair...all that happy stuff.

Other times, I am inspired to take photos. There are two people who really inspire me to keep going with my photography. There is Peter Charlesworth, whose photos reignited my desire to pick up the camera when I first came across him on myspace many moons ago, and Vanessa, who continues to post her own & others beautiful photography that makes me never want to miss a moment!

I have never thought of one particular person or object as being a muse though. Yet I've always found the idea of a muse really romantic. When it comes down to it, I have decided that the world is my muse. Everyday something beautiful or sad or depressing or exciting happens, and  the emotions that it stirs want to burst from me through my camera or my words.

I remember in highschool I began to write a novel that was inspired by a song I loved, called Jimi Thing by the Dave Mathews Band. Unfortunately when my life changed dramatically, I felt it should be out with the old, so the new had room. This meant my novel of 131 pages ended up being thrown away. THAT my friends, is my greatest regret.

Credit must go to Carly for teaching me how to link to other places too...if you hadn't noticed, I've done that a little in this blog...

In the mail...

A package was delivered to my house this morning.
It was a small, thin box.
Ashlie and Georgia began a discussion as to what it might be - Georgia (with exasperation evident in her tone) suggested it was 'another Harry Potter thing'.

She thought so because for 2 years, every month, I took receipt of pieces for the Harry Potter Chess Set subscription.

As I pulled the contents from the box, Ashlie watched with eager eyes.
She decided it wouldn't be part of the Harry Potter set (wrong shape) but instead thought it was a special edition of one of the movies, as it looked like another I already have...she was close...


In just over a week, I will be partaking in a Stargate Universe half-season marathon (10 episodes) and this new DVD will be opened on the night. 
I'm happy!