I think the Gods are trying to tell me something, because I have now been awarded this twice (interpreted as "Get off your arse and do something about this, you lazy woman..."). Firstly, Jacintah over at Live life now! gave it to me, and now Melissa, from The Things I'd Tell You.... has passed it on also.
So now I have to dig deep into the memory banks and find ten more random things I have not as yet blurbed all over the net.
Ten? Ten, unknown little ad hoc facts? This is the bit where I kick myself for having a big mouth and posting my stuff all over webland...
Hmmm, what can I come up with?
Think, woman, think!
Okay, here goes:
I was a tomboy growing up. Guess I still am. Whilst my older sister cooked and sewed, and did girly stuff, I was mowing, edging, raping and pillaging the garden, stoking up that blazing incinerator and helping Dad in the shed. I was Dad's Boy. Really.
Following on from previous fact, I can re-tube a pianola! Ever seen the inside of those things? Comes from hours of sitting helping my Dad in his restoration work. In his shed. Him on one side of the mechanism, me on the other. Tube after tube after tube.
When I was twelve I saw AC/DC at the Civic Theatre in my little country home town. Got all their autographs, including the late great Bon Scott. And lost the damn piece of paper somewhere in one of my cleanouts! Not happy Jan!
For some bizarre reason, when I commenced my writing course in 2007, the instructor got it into her head that I knew exactly what creative writing was all about. She kept looking to me to validate her points, with statements such as: "You know what I mean." and "You'd know about that, wouldn't you?" when I had NEVER had any writing experience at all post school. And of course, I kept nodding as if I did...
In my youth I constantly changed my hair, was in hair shows, had weird and wonderful cuts and colours. Started in high school with the old pink food colouring in my strawberry blond hair for the school disco, progressed to black reverse streaks in my blonde hair, blonde bleach as my hair darkened, layers, cut short at back, left long at front (as someone commented, looked like I had been hit by an axe in the back of my head), blue streaks, purple streaks, flouro pink streaks (that was June this year). I even died it deep red once, and bought blue contact lenses - plus new makeup, new wardrobe... very expensive experiment that one was! Hated it even after 12 months, didn't look like me in the mirror.
I sleepwalk. Haven't for a few years, but that is more likely down to the broken nights with children, not that I have grown out of it. Have numerous funny stories I could tell, but will restrict it to a couple. When I was around twelve Wise Woman 1 and the Flame-Haired Hellraiser were in the kitchen having a late night cuppa. I walk out, smile angelicly and murmer "Fart number fourteen" turn and go back to bed. Didn't let one rip, merely made comment. The second tale is a little more embarassing. I was in my twenties, useless boyfriend of the time was staying as was his mate. I slept naked back then. Woke up looking out door of sunroom - still starkers. Having walked straight through spare bedroom where mate was, and realising I had to return the same way to get back to clothes in bedroom. I *think* he was asleep. I sure as hell hope he was asleep...
I used to skateboard. Blame it on Leif Garrett, or more to the point, my teenage obsession with Leif Garrett. Anyone remember the movie "Skateboard"? Boy 2 now has my skateboard. Numerous falls, but no broken bones, thank goodness. For either of us, touch wood.
Wooohoo - only three to go!
I am afraid of heights, but refuse to let it control me. Have done stupid things like rock climbing just to prove fear cannot and will not dictate my actions or choices.
I used to water ski! Managed to get onto one ski, but never conquered barefooting. Haven't skied in ten years, might have to give it another run soon.
Last but not least,
I am a friend collector. I have friends from all the stages of my life, childhood, school, Uni, all my various jobs, motherhood, and now my kids' school, and of course, the internet! One or maybe two, sometimes more, who have stayed in my life and been there by my side, as I am by theirs. True friends. I think the poem is right, and I am blessed to have many lifetime friends. Anytime you need me, know I am here.
People come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime.
When you figure out which one it is, you will know what to do for each person.
When someone is in your life for a REASON,
it is usually to meet a need you have expressed.
They have come to assist you through a difficulty;
to provide you with guidance and support;
to aid you physically, emotionally or spiritually.
They may seem like a godsend, and they are.
They are there for the reason you need them to be.
Then, without any wrongdoing on your part or at an inconvenient time,
this person will say or do something to bring the relationship to an end.
Sometimes they die. Sometimes they walk away.
Sometimes they act up and force you to take a stand.
What we must realize is that our need has been met, our desire fulfilled; their work is done.
The prayer you sent up has been answered and now it is time to move on.
Some people come into your life for a SEASON,
because your turn has come to share, grow or learn.
They bring you an experience of peace or make you laugh.
They may teach you something you have never done.
They usually give you an unbelievable amount of joy.
Believe it. It is real. But only for a season.
LIFETIME relationships teach you lifetime lessons;
things you must build upon in order to have a solid emotional foundation.
Your job is to accept the lesson, love the person,
and put what you have learned to use in all other relationships and areas of your life.
It is said that love is blind but friendship is clairvoyant.
Thank you for being a part of my life,
whether you were a reason, a season or a lifetime.
Now, to pass this on...
All of you are wonderful bloggers who I enjoy so much:
Six degrees of separation refers to the idea that, if a person is one step away from each person they know and two steps away from each person who is known by one of the people they know, then everyone is at most six steps away from any other person on Earth.
The social links and the complexity of the human web has always held me fascinated. My personal experiences of seeing people I know or meeting people who know someone I know in the most unusual and least expected places draws me even further into believing this theory to a degree. Coincidence or proof?
Sitting in a pub in Manly (NSW) with a group of friends. One of the people was a close friend of one of my close friends, we had socialised often over a three year period. I made some smart-arse off the cuff remark, to which the mutual friend sternly called me by my full name. His other friend started, having never heard my surname. "Your name is ******?" "Yes, didn't you know?" "No. I flatted with a Jodie ****** at Uni in Armadale, do you know her?" "I should - she's my cousin..."
Same close friend and I met whilst working together in huge organisation. His best mate from school was the younger brother of one of my closest friends from Uni. They grew up in another small country town on the North Coast many hours from my hometown. Found out well after friendship began.
Rocking up to McDonalds Bondi Junction at 3am one Sunday morning. Waiting to be served with best mate from Uni days, hear this yell from the front of the store: "Madmother... well the people you see when you haven't got a shotgun..." Friend turns to me and says: "*North Coast Town*?" Yep - someone I went to school with over a decade before
Checking out of a hostel in Florence, glance over my shoulder to the vaguely familiar girl behind me, she smiles as if she knows me. I figure "Meh, someone I have seen/met in my travels" as you tend to bump into people again and again. Wait for her to complete her checkout, smile, say "I know you..." expecting a "Oh, we stayed in the same place in yada yada", instead she replies: "I was the year below you at *North Coast Town* High. I was friends with T**** who is one of your friends still."
Staying in a wonderful hostel in Salzburg, Austria. Went back three times it was so good. Second time was talking in the common room with an Aussie and his Canadian girlfriend. It came out in conversation that he was close friends with a group I worked and played with at a huge insurance company in Sydney. Over 1500 employees in our branch alone, and I played squash with the people he grew up with. Were actually meant to have met, but the nights he was out with them I piked, and vise versa!
Checking into a hostel in Amsterdam run smack bang into a friend from Sydney. When I left the country he was firmly ensconced in his work and had no intention of travelling.
When we moved interstate the first two people I became friends with both had links to my country hometown.
Now what I am finding is that the bloggers I gravitate towards have children with ASD. No, I do not know this before reading and enjoying their blogs. It is usually revealed a little down the track, after I have become addicted. The universe seems to be sending me messages again.
Would you believe I made NO New Year Resolutions for 2009? Truly, I didn't. Not only were we midst the Wise Woman 1 crisis, but I also managed to tear all the muscles between my shoulder blades on the 29th of December. In the shower. Washing my hair. You can stop laughing now. Really, you can. You did know I managed to concuss myself on the pantry door quite a few years back... didn't you? Oh, well maybe forget I mentioned that one.
So there I was pumped full of valium and panadeine forte to begin with when Big Boy, in his infinite wisdom, picked up this massive cockroach to chase the kids with. Monster flew straight at my head, I instinctively ducked forwards, did ten times more damage than the original injury.
And if I had been able to move without screaming in agony, I would have torn Big Boy's testicles off with my bare hands and put them in the blender. And fed them to the dogs. Then we both would have been seeing this in our heads:
Does that count as a resolution I didn't keep?
And you can stop laughing. I mean it. STOP LAUGHING! NOW PLEASE.
Well, I am taking a little blog time off over the break. Big Boy is on holidays, Boy 1 and Boy 2 are restless, and I need to spend some family time doing family stuff. And blending... ah, no. Won't go there, will I?
I will be around, lurking, reading, commenting (oi - and where have all MY comments gone to????), and sometimes posting, but I wanted to clear up some committments, and this blog is one of them. I am also hoping to do some creative writing with my stories.
We laugh. A lot. Even when the laughter had diminished in this year of drama, we still laugh more than the average family.
So it was not easy to pick just one moment. Then I remembered: the time it took us over fifteen minutes to stop the hysteria. Tears were rolling down our cheeks from the hilarity of the reactions, Boy 2 and I gasping for breath, unable to stop laughing to draw in oxygen. We could not look at each other at all without getting more carried away.
So, what was the catalyst for all this mirth?
Boy 2 and I were lying on my bed waiting for Boy 1 in the bathroom, and Big Boy who was feeding the tropical fish. I turned to Boy 2 and said: "Hah, just let one rip!" He laughed and then replied: "So did I, and mine was well brewed!" We started to giggle, looked at each other, and decided to blend them. Picture this: Boy 2 and myself madly using our arms as paddles, mixing, merging the fumes. In walks Boy 1 from ensuite. Boy 2 and I pause, not daring to glance at each other. "Holy hell, what is that terrible smell?" Boy 1 grabs his nose, gagging, frantically fanning his face with his hands. Big boy then chooses this moment to walk in. He pales, turns and walks back to doorway. "What on earth is going on in here, it stinks!" By this time Boy 2 and I can barely gasp for air we are laughing so hard. We both stammer out: "We blended our silent but deadlies..." in between trying to breath, hysterical giggles, and now frantically flapping sheets to clear the air. Boy 1 joins in the mirth, Big Boy remains in the doorway, slowly backing out as the fumes spread his way, hand over eyes as he slowly shakes his head from side to side. "I don't know who is worse - you or Boy 2. You are both twisted."
Never claimed to be a delicate little petal, did I. Pull my finger is still one of my favourite lines...
2009 was the year I discovered Facebook, both a blessing and a curse. I am back in touch with people from my past, it is an easy way to organise my social life, and I can quickly see what everyone is up to in their lives. On the downside, I am now a Cafe World addict, and some have used FB in a not so nice way.
In the New Year I am making some drastic changes. If you are on my friends list you'll just have to wait and see what they are...
The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree: the presence of a happy family all wrapped up in each other.
The rain is tapping the windows in a frenzied attempt to enter our home. Its staccato rhythm blends with the joyous laughter of Boy 1 and Boy 2 as they explore the intricasies of new possessions, and wallow in the rare pleasure of not having to be anywhere other than here.
Yesterday was the best Christmas Day I can remember for many years. I think last year served as a huge reminder that Christmas in not about presents, or possessions. It is about family.
Twelve months ago I could barely summon the energy to put up the Christmas tree. Presents were shoved in gift bags, no attempt made to hide or keep surprises, Christmas did not exist in my heart. My mother was deathly ill. She bled every day and the chronic anaemia had taken chunks from her senses: of taste, her ability to swallow, her eyesight (not the best anyway), her concentration and worst of all, her desire to live. She cried daily, exclaiming: "Why do I have to wake up to this hellish life every morning? Why can't I just die."
Christmas day she was so unwell that she didn't even want to see her grandchildren. I packed up her baked lunch into an esky, took it to her, sat and watched as she picked, and fiddled, and ate barely a morsel. I then packed up the dishes and returned to eat my now cold meal, well after my family had finished theirs. And my heart broke a little more, as it had daily in the months since the nightmare began.
Fast forward to yesterday morning. We awoke to the laughter of our manic boys, the house a shimmer with lights, and tinsel, decorations and loudly caroling, jiggling, mechanical Christmas figurines. The boys opened a few presents, but most were kept to be shared later, as we calmly began preparing lunch. Soon glorious smells of roasting chicken smothered in bacon wafted through the rooms. Boy 1 and myself grabbed an umbrella, and set off. To pick up Nanna. My miracle Mum. The rest of the day was one of the quietly happiest days of my life. I floated, wrapped in a cloak of contentment and peace. Mum stayed all day, and when I took her home she was tired but elated. And full to the brim with her huge meal of chicken drizzled with gravy, roast pumpkin, sweet potato, potato, broccoli, corn on the cob, and carrots, consumed with gusto. She even partook of her old tipple of choice, port with lemonade (eat your heart out Esme Watson). A huge contrast to last year's dismal degustation. She even had some of the steamed, alcohol drenched, impregnated with rich, decadent dried fruit pudding.
What a truly wonderful family Christmas day, the way it is meant to be. Full up of love; laughter; life; joy. A Christmas of the heart. God, I love my life right now.
I learnt to step back and let the twits fight it out amongst themselves. It is quite amusing a spectacle when you no longer give them the power to hurt you. Like attracts like, as they say. Sit back, let them have their little dramas, intrigues and lies, and pass the popcorn around. I find it hilarious, now. I didn't before, it was too raw and painful. But recently, with the help of some real friends, I see just how ridiculous it all is. For fucks sake - isn't there enough serious issues to get het up about without adding blatant untruths and trivial crap? Some people really need to get a life.
I am a Madmother of two wonderful boys, wife to an amazing and tolerant man, daughter to an incredible woman whom we lost Oct 2010.
I have 4 blogs. Meandering is rambling, general, whatever takes my fancy stuff. Woven Words is for my short stories and creative writing, Nimbobulan Dreamings is my kids story. And my latest is Hellion on Wheels: my Roller Derby journey. Feel free to look at or follow all 4 if you wish.
Do note, however, all blogs are copyright of the author. They are not to be copied or printed and distributed without written permission from Madmother.