A Country Practice #IBOT

greys anatomy

It’s been a little while since any of my children felt the urge to throw them self upon an object with the intent of going to hospital.

A fact for which I am quite grateful.

Yesterday, however, Taylah decided it had been far too long between doctors visits, and concluded that propelling herself off her rip stick, and on to her arm, was the quickest way to remedy that.

Her timing, of course, was impeccable.

It’s Ava’s 4th birthday today and my night was already looking busy enough, with cake and present preparations, so why not throw in what might, or might not be, a totally pointless trip to the hospital?
(My eldest has a flair for the dramatic. I have no idea where she gets that from…)

Boatman, ever the optimist, and wonderfully supportive blogging husband that he is, found the lining in this ominous looking cloud.

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He knows me so well. :)

So off we set for our first official visit to Port Lincoln Hospital, me envisioning all the possibilities for real life hospital drama, Taylah just hoping for pain relief.

Would it be possible that Doctor Greg had somehow transferred down here?

Would there be some suitably un-loved up female doctor to catch his attention?

Would we hear the inner workings of dramatic love life’s, from the local McDreamy and Meredith?

Sadly, no.

Instead I think we were featured on an episode of ‘Welcome to the country.’
If that show actually exists.

The first thing I noticed, after a very relaxed triage system in which the nurse looked surprised to see people, was a sign, placed, I’m sure, entirely for my benefit.

no photos

There would be no repeat love montages this time.

As for people to photograph, who might be of some interest to me blogging wise, well that was questionable. There were the two small children behind me, whom I was actually scared to look at. Between growling at each other, fake burping and coughing right over the back of my seat, I was slightly concerned I would end up with vomit all down the back of my cosy crows jumper.
Thankfully they were moved on before I needed a change of clothes.

What I'm sure they looked like, if I was game enough to look.

What I’m sure they would have looked like, had I been brave enough to look

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Then there was the questionable trolley guy. He did look suitably sketchy enough for a photo, but that’s to be expected when you have a moustache, and push a trolley around with large white bags. #justsaying

He looked a bit like this guy.  But sketchier.

He looked a bit like this guy.
But sketchier.

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I also discovered a rather interesting assortment of doctors.
One Middle Aged gentleman with a kindly face and, what I assume, would be a lovely bed side manner, emerged out of the doctors only area in a driza-bone coat. No idea why you would wear that in a hospital. Unless perhaps he was catching babies?

He was followed shortly after by a slightly younger guy wearing a blue jumper with tweed elbow patches, and a golf cap. He looked oddly familiar, and then I realised where I knew him from.
Garfield comics.
He was the physical form of Jon if ever I’ve seen him.

Jon's hat's a little more colourful. And he a little more crazy looking. But otherwise the resemblance is uncanny.

Jon’s hat’s a little more colourful. And he a little more crazy looking. But otherwise the resemblance is uncanny.

Then there was x-ray lady. She was reasonably normal, although she kept looking at me like I was the sketchy trolley guy.
Well to be honest, everyone looked at me like that. Maybe it’s because I was typing away after any brief glance in someone’s direction.

I’d probably think I was sketchy too.

I've definitely got the crazy eyes

I’ve definitely got the crazy eyes working for me

Then came a very lovely looking family, whom I would have no concerns with bumping into in a dark alley late at night. (I’m being nice in case they stumble upon this.) They used exactly the correct volume when speaking, and did not appear to be constantly swallowing big balls of phlegm.

Like I said.

Welcome to the Country.

There was nothing Grey’s like about any of them. Not even the Steve Zahn look-alike, who walked past pushing an empty pram.

With this, exact expression.

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Eventually we were seen by two doctors. One who looked about 12, and another who asked Taylah if she had learnt to salsa. Which is possibly the closest we were going to get to an episode of Grey’s Anatomy, because of that one episode where there was a ballerina who was maybe going to get his leg amputated.

Dr Dougie Howser and Dr Talking about Latin dances with a decidedly British accent, agreed that the arm isn’t dislocated, but we need to go back today for an x-ray. Because of course it was after 8 o clock, x-ray lady had left,  and this is the country.

So today we shall have presents, and cake, along with x-ray’s and doctors.

Which, when you come to think of it, does sound kind of a lot like Grey’s Anatomy.

greys anatomy

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Just, you know, in the country ;)

Had any Medical Drama Show experiences lately?

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Let’s Talk About Encounters of the Personal Kind, Baby #IBOT

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Warning: this post contains all kind of gender stereotypes. I’m sure everyone’s different, but for the purposes of this post, let’s just go with it. :)

If, like me, you’re the sort of person who spends an inordinate amount of time on FB, you might have noticed an article doing the rounds, of a particular gentlemen who created a spreadsheet to show his wife how many times they consummated their marriage.
In their case, 3 times in 7 weeks.

Now I have no desire to get into a debate about whether he was a dead man walking as soon as the idea popped into his head. However I will say, I can see his point. I often rely on Boatman to (verbally, no spreadsheet involved), point out the time elapsed between ‘encounters.’ Often what I think was just the other day, has been a bit longer. That’s what happens when all your days bleed in to one another.

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Anyway what this argument has done for me, is really point out the difference between the genders. In short (and I’m making broad gender stereotypical statements as I say this), men are in the mood a little more frequently than women. (In other words, all the time.)
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Never was this more clear than the other day. Engaged in conversation, I casually mentioned to Boatman that the night before I had been ‘ready to go’ but he hadn’t seemed interested, so I let it slide.

Apparently this was the wrong thing to do. In fact the only thing worse I could have done, was compose a spread sheet of my own, of all the times I had been looking for some action, but let it slide on account of a hundred different reasons.

It was at this point he chose to (further) educate me on the finer details of marriage. Because clearly, I need the tips. ;)
And I, in turn, am here to share them with you.

Point One: Just because you don’t want to be bothered when you’re not in the mood, does not mean he doesn’t.
Apparently, it’s not offensive to fellas to let them know that a bit of nookie is on the table.

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These would be a lot more helpful

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Point Two: It’s not really a case of ‘I don’t want it,’ so much as ‘I’m just doing a great job pretending I don’t because I don’t want to nag you.’
Case in point.
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Point Three: When in doubt, shag.
I can’t make it any clearer than that really.

Bonus Point: Unless wanting to be an internet sensation, spreadsheets are rarely helpful.

So… Would you ever make a sex spread sheet?
Do you need a reminder every now and then, or are the tables turned at your place?
And on an aside, welcome to all our newbies.  Please make sure you’re linking a Tuesday post only. Thanks :)
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Multi-Thinking and Mind-Ladders #IBOT

women open tab mind

I had one thousand blog ideas to write today. (Ok that’s a slight exaggeration). And then I spent the weekend making an Olaf Piñata and I’m fairly certain that all my ideas disintegrated in much the same fashion as he did.

Which is a very random metaphor, and really just a way of me going looking at my piñata!

olaf from frozen, party piñata

But anyway…

I really did have lots of ideas but the only one I could remember was the most random one of all.

It started last Tuesday, when Kristen from Sustainable Suburbia made a comment about blogging being intimate yet distant at the same time, and I thought how right she is.

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Think about it, how many times have you met a blogger, or seen a full length pic of them and thought, ‘you don’t look like that!” When I suppose, they actually do.

Or you speak to them and they sound a lot different than you thought. Either in voice or intonation. Some bloggers also come across completely different in the flesh. They are quieter than you think. Or louder than you think.  Or strangely enough, more inclined to hug you than you would think….

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The fact of the matter is we are all actual people behind the screen, and who we are is not entirely obvious from our blogs.

Take our words for example. When I write a blog, generally speaking, I write it, then leave it for a few hours, and then come back and edit it. As much as possible I try to make sure there is a flow, and no not too much rambling, and that I don’t use the same words too closely to each other. A finished blog post is a polished (ha!) version of my thoughts, carefully put together in a reasonably coherent form.

In person,  I rarely make that much sense.

In fact I’m just as likely to start a sentence and not finish it, (because  I have jumped somewhere else in my head), as I am to actually end a thought. It’s entirely possible that one moment we can be talking about camping, and in the next breath I will be telling you that Bridie asked me if I was turning into a man because I had neglected to shave my arm pits. Both are related in my head, but the process of getting from one to the other is not dissimilar to one of those word ladder puzzles.

word-ladder

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Although in that case you probably have a better shot of working it out.

Basically, having a conversation with me can often be like having a conversation with a small child. You wonder if there is actually going to be a point. Or an end. Either is welcome. :)

And that’s just the way I speak.

Thinking is a whole other thing.

So many times, I can go from thinking the mundane, to changing the world in a matter of seconds. I’m sure the multitasking centre of my girly brain controls my thinking too (multi-thinking?), because my goodness, I can make a lot of leaps.

women open tab mind
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So then I thought, when I’m actually thinking, (as opposed to planning a blog post in my head,) how do my thoughts actually work? How does Jess really tick, when she is not polishing her ideas, or finding the perfect word?

Well, see for yourself.

This mind-ladder brought to you courtesy of a warm bath on a cold night.

I’m so glad Australia only has a mild winter. It doesn’t really get that cold here.

I mean that time in the Winter Olympics this year (was it this year), they were having all those warm days and it was the same temperature as our cold days.

Did people watching even wear t-shirts?

Australia could never have a winter olympics. I don’t think we get cold enough. Or enough snow. And we probably don’t have enough space. I think Thredbo is small. And the other places that get snow. 

I wonder if any countries in the southern hemisphere could host a winter Olympic games? Maybe New Zealand?

I guess that would change what month they held it in then, because of the seasons being all wonky.

Does the month of the actual Olympics change a lot?

Do they do that in summer?

No that would be too hot.

Maybe spring?

Australia could host an actual Olympics…

Oh that’s right we did! Sydney! What month was that in….?

Oh September that’s right because the opening ceremony was the day of Kas’ birthday. I remember now.

If we hadn’t had the Sydney Olympics, Princess Mary would never have met Prince Frederik.

Ha. There were all these people having these life changing moments that they expected, and then in some random bar an Aussie chick was taking the first steps to becoming royalty.

It’s amazing how one event can really change a whole bunch of things.

I wonder how many other people had their lives changed at that Olympic games, in ways they never expected….

 

And on I went. Thinking about Pippa Middleton suddenly getting to sit in the royal box at Wimbledon with Prince Frederik and Princess Mary, and how her whole life has changed, and on and on.

20 seconds of thinking is all it took.

20 seconds to go from weather to deep thoughts of ‘one moment can change a lifetime.’

mind ladder

Impressive even for me.

Now if only I could solve the world’s problems as quickly as I think.

Or even just talk a little better.

So tell me, how does your mind work?

Anyone else want to blog the random thoughts that pop into their heads on a daily basis?

How would your mind ladder look?

 

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How NOT to Plan a Party

olafcanvashoes-frozen

We are right in the throes of birthday season around here. Taylah’s was a few weeks ago, and in a few day’s time we will celebrate Miss Bridie’s, with BJ’s a couple of weeks after that. Ava then rounds out the season at the end of next month.

Anyway, I’ve been madly searching online for party game ideas for Bridie’s birthday, since she wanted a Frozen themed party. Like I’ve said before, I like themes for the guidance they can give, but I’m not an all-out-have-labelled- food-or-decorations-everywhere kind of person. In fact apart from Marshmallow snowmen, that I intend to get the kids to make, I’m not having any frozen themed food at all. Just the stuff Bridie likes.

Oh and a cake.

But I’m still yet to decide on that. :)

build your own olaf

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What I do have to admit though, is that I am secretly grateful to all you mums who do throw together elaborate birthday parties, because you have all the cool ideas, and it means far less thinking for this mum, who pretty much just wants to drink coffee, play with her three-year old, and write blogs.

So far, thanks to the internet, I have made these funky Canvas shoes for the birthday girl herself. I first saw these on FB, when Glowless show cased her Minion shoes. She’s got a post on how she did them, so I followed that, and voila!

olafcanvashoes-frozen

Olaf shoes! :)

The only think I did differently was use fabric markers and no waterproofing spray. Purely because that was easier for me. :)

Another idea I have been stealing is this one.

olaf piñata image credit

Bridie mentioned last Saturday that she wanted a Piñata, and I got quite excited because I love paper mache and it’s been years since I did it.

In hindsight, it’s turning out to be a lot harder than I thought, and the weather is not helping me get the thing dry. In fact at the moment, it looks less birthday party, and more adult party.

Don't worry, it will get better. Hopefully...

Don’t worry, it will get better.
Hopefully…

But hopefully we can improve on it.

Invitations, I got from here.

Usually, when I make birthday invites, it’s a dodgy A5 piece of paper with a ‘happy birthday’ clip art image and all the relevant information, printed from a computer rapidly running out of ink.

This year, being super lazy and sure that someone out there must have done Frozen invites better, I googled it, and came across these ones.

frozen free party invitation template olaf elsa anna sven #frozenmovie

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How cool are they?

I love the movie ticket look, and even better, I love that the website owner had made them free to download. I literally just uploaded the template to pic monkey and we were done in 10 minutes.

That’s lazy party preparation at it’s best.

Awesomely though, it didn’t look lazy, especially when printed on photo paper (I was all out of the ordinary kind), and all the girls (and their mums) loved them. Talk about failing up :)

Anyway, this week I set about finding similar invitations for BJ’s birthday, seeing as I needed to get them out before school finishes. He was being less helpful with a theme, alternating between lego and soccer and ironman.

A truly great mum would somehow combine all three, but I am not that mum, and was thinking I would just can the theme altogether.

Anyway, I went searching for lego invitations, and the frozen lady had a great one, but it was very Lego Movie focused, and also very red. And I was pretty sure that the computer was running out of red ink.

My printer seems to always be running out of ink.

So searching high and low, and finding a whole bunch of websites that promised free invites, only to direct to me paid pages, or no pages at all, I eventually gave up, and decided to make my own based on the movie ticket idea. I went searching for a lego image to use, and instead came up with one from Minecraft, and not thinking anything else, other than ‘oh that would work,’ I made Minecraft Movie Ticket Birthday Invitations.

DEMO-minecraft-movieticket-birthdayinvatation-essentiallyjess

I have to say, I’m pretty impressed with myself. For someone who excels in borrowing everyone else’s hard work, it’s nice to actually make something myself.

Of course it then backfired on me a little, because upon handing out the invites, I was  besieged by some very excited six-year-old boys, chatting excitedly about ‘Bailey’s Minecraft Party!’ One little tacker even asked if he could bring is iPad to play it. :) (The head of the primary school later asked me about the Minecraft birthday. A day after the invites were handed out, my un-themed, not yet happened party, was the talk of the Reception class.)

So like it or not, I have inadvertently set myself a theme, and once again, I’m back on the internet borrowing party ideas, and hoping to ride on the coat tails of all the super mums out there, who actually enjoy thinking of themed food   and bunting ideas.

But for those of you out there like me, who just want to borrow ideas, and get by without a lot of fuss, I thought it only fair to give back, and so I’ve included my Minecraft invitation here. It’s all downloadable and stuff so you can use it for your next Minecraft party.

minecraft-movieticket-birthdayinvatation-essentiallyjess

Just upload the image to Pic Monkey or another photo editing application and put in your details. :)

But just so you know, if you hand these out, you will be hosting a Minecraft party. Whether you like it or not. :)

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’ll be off on Pinterest for the next week and a half.

And planning a new piñata.

ghast-pinata2

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How do you go about planning kids parties?

How cool is my Invitation?

Any Minecraft Party tips for me?

Linking with Grace.

How To Be a Fashion Blogger

how to be a fashion blogger

Let’s be honest. There are some things in life, that no matter how hard we try, we are never going to achieve.

I, sadly, will never win The Voice.

I’ll never be an extra on Grey’s Anatomy. (Though I can still dream.)

And I’ll never be a professional netball player.

Somethings just don’t happen.

On the other hand, sometimes life does throw you a fun little opportunity, and you roll with it, just because you can. Which is exactly what happened to me the other week.  And so, with great pride, after this post, I will now be able to declare myself:

A Fashion Blogger.

Hold on to your hats people, EssentiallyJess just got cooler. ;)

Now I’m going to preface this post by saying, I received a shopping credit, and  I’ve also got the opportunity to win an all expenses paid trip to Melbourne, for the sole purpose of shopping. Thus solidifying my fashion blogger status, well and truly in concrete.

Having said that, I would never have entered the competition if I hadn’t had at least some interest in the fashion at stakes.

As a brand new fashion blogger, I’m determined to take clothes very seriously!

So seriously in fact, that I created a fool-proof way to become a fashion blogger overnight, (based entirely on copying other actual fashion bloggers, and making stuff up), and I’m sharing my tools with you today.

And with that, I present:

how to be a fashion blogger

Step 1. Fashion Bloggers know the Store.

Being new to the world of fashion blogging, and having lived under a proverbial clothing rock for, apparently, ever, I had missed out on the fact that there was a brand even called UNIQLO. But there is, and it’s huge. (That’s the technical term.)

UNIQLO (Short for Unique Clothing) is a Japanese  clothing brand, that has extended onto the global market, recently opening their first Australian store in Melbourne, with a Sydney based one planned for later this year. Their mission is to create  quality clothing that won’t break your budget and will extend from one season to the next.

They cater for the entire family from onesies for infants, right through to men’s and women’s clothing, underwear and accessories. Their range includes funky t-shirts with designs based on modern art, heattech clothing designed to always keep you warm and toasty, and the more demure yet classy styles that come with cashmere and extra fine merino.

When it comes to clothes, I’m reasonably fussy. I want things that are comfortable, affordable, reflect me personally, and don’t make it look like I’m trying to smuggle two small elephants in to my back pockets. I was really impressed by UNIQLO. Their online range could be bigger, but they have a lot of fun stuff that appeals to me personally, and the prices are fantastic.

The quality for price is even better.

The pants are warm and thick (but not ridiculously so), the bag feels as if you could carry half the weeks grocery shop in it, and the beanie makes your ears all warm and toastie.  Plus, seriously, you can't argue with those prices.

The pants are warm and thick (but not ridiculously so), the bag feels as if you could carry half the weeks grocery shop in it, and the beanie makes your ears all warm and toastie.
Plus, seriously, you can’t argue with those prices.

Ethical production is also something I take into huge consideration. I researched UNIQLO’s standards, and came up with one negative article, and three positive ones. I think, like most companies there are areas they can improve on, but the fact that they deliberately create clothes to last multiple seasons, is a huge positive in their column.

Step 2. Fashion Bloggers  understand that style is more than what’s ‘in’ right now.

I have no idea what I’m actually ‘supposed’ to be wearing right now. None at all.

Are Beanies in? Are Beanies EVER in?

Are Beanies in?
Are Beanies EVER in?

I do know however what I like wearing, and so I wear that. I used to say this just because I had no idea, but I now (especially since being a fashion blogger), wholeheartedly believe that if you’re comfortable in your clothes, and they reflect you personally, then you can be stylish.

And that may even extend to ugg boots, if you so choose.*

These pants are quite possibly the most comfortable things I have ever put on my body. Especially with buggies.

These  pants are quite possibly the most comfortable things I have ever put on my body.
Especially with uggies.

Step 3. Fashion Bloggers know how to take good pics of themselves.

(I may still be working on this point…)

The shirt says it at all.  At this point, anything would help.

The shirt says it at all.
At this point, anything would help.

Being a successful fashion blogger is all about being comfortable in front of the camera. It’s about knowing the right angles that make an outfit really flattering, and the best light to de-emphasise flaws.

I also like to believe that good fashion photography is just as much about interpretation as it is about skill. And my work…. well it’s very interpretative.

How does a fashion blogger get the whole shirt in?  Probably with an assistant. OR Take three pics to make it all seen!!

How does a fashion blogger get the whole shirt in?
Probably with an assistant. OR
Take three pics to make it all seen!

Pink pants just aren't complete without a coffee.

Pink pants just aren’t complete without a coffee.

Neither is a picture of a bag where the little man is screaming for coffee. Or maybe screaming at the coffee.  It's hard to tell

Neither is a picture of a bag where the little man is screaming for coffee.
Or maybe screaming at the coffee.
It’s hard to tell

Trying to get a good pic of all the elements of an outfit? Why not break it up with random shots.  Nothing says style like a messy bedroom, or a pic of your shorts taken from above.

Trying to get a good pic of all the elements of an outfit?
Why not break it up with random shots.
Nothing says style like a messy bedroom, or a pic of your shorts taken from above.

Step 4. Fashion Bloggers inspire others to find their own ‘inner fashion blogger.’

It’s not just enough to be comfortable in who you are; a good fashion blogger is always about sharing their tips, their ideas, and the love, in order to help you be more comfortable in who you are.

Which is why, in my first official gig as a fashion blogger, I’m giving all Australian Residents (sorry everyone else) a 20% discount off the already really reasonable prices UNIQLO has on offer, so that you too, can embrace your inner fashionista.

Just use this exclusive code, which is valid until 12pm Australian Eastern Standard Time, Monday the 7th of July.

JESS62007BL

uniqlo exclusive code

So tell me, how do you score in the fashion blogger stakes?

Do you have what it takes to take strangely angled pics of yourself in public?

Have you checked out the awesomeness that is UNIQLO?

*I don’t wear ugg boots in public, despite how good they look with these pants**

**Ok I’ve worn them to the fish and chip shop.

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I’m Late, I’m Late, to An Un-important Date

Punctuality-Demotivational-Poster

I like to think I am a fairly tolerant person. Whether I am or not, is probably better described by my husband and children, but I do try.

There are, however, a few things that really make me cranky at the drop of a hat. Things like blankets lying on floors (drives me nuts),  butter being left in the Promite (I don’t like butter) or one thousand cups (slight exaggeration) on the kitchen bench.

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I only wish they were lined up this neatly in my house

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But one thing I really hate, is being late.

Can’t stand it.

I’ve always been like this. I come from a  family of people who were always crazy early. Both mum and dad can be relied on to show up at least 20 minutes earlier than the time you give them. As such, I grew up believing if I was only 10 minutes early, I was actually late.

Pretty sure this is the quote by which my parents lived their lives.

Pretty sure this is the quote by which my parents lived their lives.

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As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tried to be more relaxed about it, and I think, in many ways I am. For instance, I now understand that sometimes arriving 10 minutes after a BBQ officially starts, can actually be a good thing. And being half an hour early for anything, especially if you arrive with 4 kids, is not ever always helpful.

Having said that, my moral compass is firmly set on punctuality. I whole heartedly believe that being on time is a sign or respect and honour for whoever it is that has organised the event.

Or, in the case of our everyday happenings, school.

I don’t know why we are running later these days. We have twice the distance to cover to get to school than we used to in Darwin, (which just means a 10 minute drive as opposed to 5), but school starts 20 minutes later, so we should be fine. Somehow though, we seem to be constantly arriving just on or after the bell. Which perhaps isn’t a total sin, except that BJ’s teacher is a drill master in punctuality, and she submits the electronic roll not long after the bell goes. As such even a 2 minute late arrival  ends up with a long walk to the front office at the other end of the school.

Not BJ's teacher

Not BJ’s teacher

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Which is exactly what happened yesterday.

Now being late, I’m sure, is not my fault. I’m perfectly convinced if it was just me, I would be at school an hour early every day. (Though it would be weird because I don’t go to school.)

No, it’s the little people and the most random of reasons that hold us back.

Like Taylah this morning, trying to evaluate the psychology of the cat, when she should have been making lunch.

Or Bridie, suddenly losing her reader diary, even though she assures me it’s always in her reader folder. (Which it often isn’t.)

Or BJ, deciding that he needed to take another drink bottle to school, because the one he had there was empty, and the idea of filling it up at the bubbler is too complicated to comprehend. Instead he should just debate with me the many merits of taking a full one, and then just using cups at home.

You can imagine how much I loved that idea.

And then there was the argument with Miss Ava, who after debating with her brother over whether she or Taylah owned a ball, and Taylah not caring about it, was told to ‘just let it go,’ (the debate, not the ball), when she had absolutely no desire to let it go at all. So instead of screaming at BJ, she screamed at her mother (who does not take kindly to being screamed at), that it was her ball, and he needed to know, and she ‘would not let it go!!!’

But despite that, we managed to make it out of the house, and onto the roads.

And then there was the traffic.

I swear, the roads are full of people who are completely inept at using them. And in turn I become a driver completely ept (as opposed to inept-totes a word) at using sarcasm to its fullest extent. “Oh great indicating there!”

“Please, drive slower.”

“Thanks for cutting in front of me! You have made my day.”

So-I-Heared-Youre-Late-for-Work

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Eventually, despite the arguments and the missing reader, and the cat that would not be understood, we arrived at school, I trekked all the way up to the office to do the sign in, handed in the late slips to three different teachers, and then bidding BJ farewell, and needing cash out, (and coffee) I headed to MacDonald’s. Ava had Kindergym, and I was $3 short, and Maccas was the easiest, quickest option.

Of course then it took forever.

Apparently all those slow people on the roads were also visiting Maccas, because I think I could have gone home and made a coffee in the amount of time it took to finally get mine. Instead though, I was standing in that store, almost bouncing on the balls of my feet in frustration because it was Kindergym day, and we were going to be 2 minutes late.

Exactly what it looked like. Except not at all.

Exactly what it looked like.
Except not at all.

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I don’t like to be 2 minutes late. Ever.

Turned out it was 4.

By the time we pulled up in the car park, it was 9:34.

Do you know what happens when you’re four minutes late for Kindergym?

73a70619f9a158e3e2447cec720257f547c68d05fb3eb6e1939ffddf6cbae6d2

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Nothing.

Nothing at all.

The line is a little longer, because of all the other late comers, but it doesn’t stop your child running in, and (bonus points) it actually gives you time to finish your coffee, and  8 minutes less of following an exuberant three-year old around an indoor obstacle course.

The world did not implode.

I did not fall apart.

And Ava had no idea that she had missed out on a whole 240 seconds of play.

So I am a person who hates being late, and I probably always will be. But I’m also a person whose learning that if you are late occasionally, it’s actually ok.

And it’s even better if you’ve got coffee.

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Are you a frustrated time follower too?

Or are you always a late comer?

Linking with Grace

SoapBox From the Heart #IBOT

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On Sunday I spent a good portion of the afternoon, looking over handwritten notes in an attempt to be able to use them in possible book form.

Or in other words I spent a good portion of the afternoon beating myself over the head with a metaphorical hammer, and wondering why on earth I ever wanted to be a writer. But you get that.

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Anyway, as I perused and painstakingly typed up the pages and pages of what I could only describe as complete and utter swill, I came across more than one phrase that made me want to gouge my eyeballs out. I mean it was as if my eleven year old had written it, and I mean no offence to her.

It was just so clumsily put together, that it literally made me wonder if I had missed my calling in life, and instead should perhaps take up brick laying or something. You know, actually be useful.

He looks fulfilled in life write?

He looks fulfilled in life right?

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But self-sabotage aside, as I transitioned those terribly written words (I actually should have been a doctor considering the state of my handwriting), on to the screen, I was a little jealous of the person that wrote them. As a writer I know I have grown in skill  over the years (my pink notebook of doom is the proof of that), but I think I’ve  grown in cautiousness too. And I’m still deciding if that’s always a good thing.

The words I had thrown across those pages were clumsy in their construction, but my goodness they were right. Even as I read it, I thought, ‘I would never say this now, but oh, how I wish I could!’ So many thoughts written down without a care, but that if put together differently, could hold so much power.

I took to Facebook (as you do when you have a mind-blowing revelation), all prepared to write something along the lines of ‘don’t you wish you could just say everything you wanted, and just the way you wanted to?’ That statement  in itself being testament to its meaning.

Yet I stopped myself, because I knew exactly what some would say. “Oh you can Jess! Just say what you want! It’s your space, you can use it as you like.’ The age-old (and by age I mean like 3 years,) generic response we give to bloggers when they have no idea if they can actually write what they think.

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There’s something to be said for it. A blog is the writer’s space. It’s born from their ideas, and opinions and heart. It reflects them in a way that others things often don’t. It’s a window into who they are and how they tick. In many ways it’s a stranger inviting you into their home for coffee and to have a chat.

Except that it’s also not. Because if you come to my house for a coffee, I’m not going to spend forty minutes talking AT you, but we will (hopefully) talk to each other. Really, a more accurate way of describing blogging, is standing in a room yelling at people.  And when you think of it like that, you have to be cautious about what you’re yelling, unless you really want to upset people. Or alternatively, if  voicing your ideas in a strong, opinionated way is exactly what you want to be doing, it’s your call. :)

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It’s why I don’t talk about my faith as much as some people think that I should. (Yes I’ve been accused of not believing in God enough.) Because let’s face it, if I stood in a room and shouted about Jesus every single week, that wouldn’t go down all that well. Unless of course it was church, and then that would actually be very cool. :)

I’m not a niche blogger, per se. This is not like a cooking class where you know to expect delicious recipes, though that happens from time to time. It’s not a drama or music class where I’m singing every week, though that’s also occurred. It’s not all philosophy, or self-deprecation or serious chats about body image, post natal depression and Grey’s Anatomy. If blogging were a University, and you were taking Essentially Jess 101, it would be one of those bludge classes that won’t change your world, but will give you extra credit. (Though credit for what I’m not entirely sure…)

And depending on the topic, it’s either going to be in the lecture hall with an impassioned speech, or I’m going to be channeling Professor Moseby and coming to class dressed like a Hot Dog.

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Either way, I’m talking at you, not with you. It’s not a discussion where I can really share my heart and say what I think and we can discuss things on an intimate level.  I can share my heart, but the words have to be so carefully constructed, and proof read, and analysed so that it comes out just right, because otherwise it’s not just an opinion that’s dissected, it’s actually me.

And because of that reason, there are so many things that I will never say on my blog. So many words I will never write.

So much of my heart that won’t be shared.

If you were to come to my house for a coffee however, and we had a real friendship, the kind that gives and takes and shares each other’s loads, then there are more things I would say. Then those words could pour out of me, or possibly stumble out in some hard to understand, haphazard manner.

More than likely the latter. Generally, I tend to write better than I speak.

Which is a slightly terrifying prospect really, considering the rubbish I’ve been reading lately.

But anyway…. the point of saying all that, in a terribly long-winded, possibly not entirely coherent fashion, was to say that yes, it is my space, and I can use it how I want to. And for me that means that the cautiousness I’ve learnt, or the wisdom I’ve gained (a much better way of looking at it), says ‘don’t shout everything that comes into your head. Instead shout what’s in your heart in such a way, that even if you’re not understood, you’re not offending those who’ve chosen to listen to it.’

Shout what’s in your heart, so that those who  hear it, can’t help but want to have a coffee with you and know you even more.

And for the love of everything ever written, don’t shout swill.

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The Do You Like Camping Quiz #IBOT

camp fire

We have just come back from a weekend of camping fun, which has been the first time we have got the camper trailer out since I wrote this 18 months ago. Boatman had initially said ‘no camping till summer’ but apparently he couldn’t wait, so the first weekend of winter we found ourselves alternating between warming ourselves next to a roaring fire, or trying not to freeze in a dew covered camper.

It was fun.

Now I get that not everyone is a fan of camping. And some would never even consider it. And honestly I used to be one of those people, but we had such a fabulous time camping I really felt inclined to come home and tell you all to pack your tents and head out next weekend.

Except that I know that a good portion of you would be like,

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and only even consider it, if it looked like this.

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And so,  instead of telling you to get your butt off the couch and go enjoy nature, I have put together a very scientific quiz to help you make up your mind.

Presenting the,

Should I Ever Go Camping Quiz:

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Question 1. 

Do you like being outside?

a. Yep love it. I would rather be outside than in.

b. Sometimes. If the weather isn’t too bad. Or it’s at the beach.

c. What’s outside?

Question 2.

How long can you go without showering?

a. I don’t believe in bathing. I think natural smells are the best kind.

b. A few days at most. So long as I can brush my teeth and change my knickers.

c. About three hours.

Question 3.

Do you like doing things with your family?

a. Yep. As much as we can.

b. Of course. So long as I can get a bit of adult time in there as well.

c. Yes. Especially in hotels.

BJ JETTY

Question 4. 

Do you have any interest in building a jetty out of seaweed and sand?

a. Heck yes. Though we have progressed past that and are now building entire civilisations.

b. I had never realised you could do that, but it sounds kind of cool.

c. I use seaweed in sushi. That’s all.

Very cool 'jetty' the kids made from compacting seaweed and sand. It was over 6metres long and you could walk to the end.  Very cool :)

Very cool ‘jetty’ the kids made from compacting seaweed and sand. It was over 6metres long and you could walk to the end.
Very cool :)

Question 5.

Do you enjoy watching your kids running around having fun, whilst you sit with friends and drink wine?

a. How is that even a question?

b. How is that even a question?

c. How is that even a question?

Question 6. 

How do you feel about seaweed fights?

a. I love them. Especially if you can roll around in it afterwards.

b. It would be funny to watch, and possibly join in on.

c. Again, I use seaweed for sushi only.

ava seaweed

Question 7.

Do you like wildlife?

a. I love it. Sharing the outdoors with the creatures there, makes the whole experience.

b. I don’t mind it mostly. Just keep away the ones that want to eat me…

c. Wildlife should not be where people are.

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Question 8.

What is the most likely injury you would sustain if camping?

a. Shark bite, from when I tried to wrestle one.

b. A few scratches and bruises from attempting to find somewhere to wee in the dark.

c. Breaking both my legs from climbing an impossible hill, whilst trying to get mobile reception.

Question 9.

How much do you rely on the internet?

a. A reasonable amount. But it doesn’t concern me if there’s no reception.

b. I like it. But also enjoy getting a break from its constant demands.

c. I can not be away from my phone for more than 30 seconds or the universe will combust.

Question 10.

How willing are you to put up with a few days of cooked snags, dirty faces, mozzie repellent smell, and dusty feet, to see your kids having an absolute ball, and making all kinds of great memories?

a. Totally willing. I rock the dirty face and mozzie repellent smell is my signature perfume.

b. I’m willing. It makes me happy seeing my kids happy.

c. I would prefer that we watched a movie about people on an adventure. Or downloaded a ‘safari app’ of some kind…

bridie and Taylah

And now the results:

If you answered mostly A’s…

You’re a camping enthusiast. You go every long weekend, know the best recipe for damper, and which way to pitch the tent to get the most protection from the wind. A lot of people don’t get how you can go all the time but you don’t care, because you love it so much. I’m kind of surprised you took a break from camping long enough to read this.

If you answered mostly B’s….

Chances are you’re slightly skeptical, and don’t know if camping is for you. You might have been once or twice, or you’ve just heard stories about and are unsure. Get out there and do it. Even just for one night. You might find you’re pleasantly surprised and have a great time.

Plus bloggers, it will give you something to write about. :)

If you answered mostly C’s…

You have two options. Either never go camping ever miss the joy of it completely.

Or find someone who answered mostly A’s and see if any of it rubs off on you.

Good luck!!!!

So how did you do? Are you a camping avoider or enthusiast?

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Back In My Day…. The Dilemma of a Snap Back Cap #IBOT

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In just over a week, little Miss Taylah will be celebrating her 11th birthday, and just in time she has presented to me a birthday list that is very representative of her increasing age. (Because 11 is so old you know?)

One of the items on the list is a snap back cap. No idea what that is? Well you’re not the only. My only clue was that ‘Eddie Betts (from the Adelaide Crows) has one,’ and so I did the right thing and googled Eddie Betts’ hat.

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Some nice guns there, for your Tuesday Morning Viewing pleasure

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I’m still not really any wiser. Apparently this is what they look like, and everyone wants one.

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Why, I have no idea.

Anyway I informed her that she wouldn’t be getting one, because I can’t see the value in the price, nor the practicality, since the kid only needs a cap for weekends (school has a uniform hat), and even then only when fishing. And considering that most of the fishing these days includes catching squid that ink everywhere, I don’t feel the need to buy a $40 that I have to wash every week.

Except that as soon as I said it,  I remembered being in year 6, and needing a Charlotte Hornets hat. Well needing an American Basketball team hat at least. I just liked the Hornets cause of the colour.

I had no idea where they were from (what state), or even what sport they played, I just knew I had to have one cause everyone did. And back then, unlike young people these days, we used to gently bend the brim  to get just the right kind of curve, because a flat brim was  not the done thing.

I also thought that a hat wasn’t complete without gross sweat lines on it as well, but that’s a fact I probably should have left out….

Anyway, it got me thinking that maybe I should get her one. And not because it’s a great purchase, but because I remembered what it felt like to have the thing you needed to have. And I also acutely remember the things I needed but never got. Like the illusive Hound Dog shirt…. sigh.  (Which is now so old, I can’t even find a pic of it.)

I’ve actually been thinking a lot about ‘my youth’ the past few weeks. I think it started when I got those purple pants that took me back to my mid teens.   In fact I’ve kind of become one of those bad internet memes with the whole ‘back in my day we played in the streets till the lights went out thing, and we didn’t have iPhones, but we played that tennis game on the Atari,’ saga. Which is cool, because honestly, how good was that tennis game?

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But anyway here are a few things that have been sparking a trip down memory lane just lately.

Doc Martens: I got these Lobster Red Docs for my 17th birthday, and I think it was just on the end of their run of coolness. (I was always late. Still am.) We were leaving that day for the Adelaide fringe festival for a school trip, and I wore my Docs all around Radelaide, and its hills. It was the coolest trip which included meeting Lano and Woodley, creating a giant hole in a hedge in Hahndorf (sorry about that hedge owner), and watching a musical edition of Much A Do About Nothing in a park. I barely wore my Docs after that because of the weather in Darwin, but I’ve donned them a few times since moving, and it always takes me back.

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Knock on Wood: I’m blaming Rhianna for this one. She blogged about it a few weeks ago, and since then it’s been on repeat, as well as a whole bunch of other 90′s classics. Think Aerosmith’s ‘Don’t wanna miss a thing,’ anything by Matchbox 20, The Goo Goo Dolls, or Powder finger, and yes, I’ll admit it, the entire soundtrack from Coyote Ugly. Each time I hear them I’m transported. Either to an imaginary stage behind my mirror where I practiced my Australian Idol debut (although that didn’t exist then), or to driving around in cars with friends, all singing the same song over and over and over again.

Those were the day’s people. That’s real music ;)

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I would have been Robin Sparkles given half a chance

Boston Bun’s: I mentioned on FB last week that Boston Bun’s needed their own blog post, because seriously how good are they? At church they used to get the left over bread from the bakery a few nights of the week and give them to struggling families. Sunday night, they would often hand stuff out at church, if they had too much, and I was always the recipient of a Boston Bun. I used to eat an entire one, in an evening. Which sounds disgusting, and I can’t imagine why anyone let me, except that I was painfully thin on account of a pretty tragic self-image. Back then people let me eat whatever I would eat, just as long as I was eating. Which was kind of awesome, and yet really sad at the same time.

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Leggings: In Darwin you don’t really wear full length tights EVER, so it’s been weird putting them on down here. When I do, it never fails to remind me of my awesome fashion sense as a preteen, which was a pair of long black tights and a huge oversized t-shirt with a orang-utan on it.

Why I wasn’t arrested by the fashion police, I have no idea, but I really should have been. The only thing that could have made the outfit worse (apart from the black and white foam sandals I had), was that sweaty Charlotte Hornets Cap.

You just know what I wore to the School Fete now don’t you? ;)

My shirt was surprisingly similar, except my orang-utan was bigger.  Of course.

My shirt was surprisingly similar, except my orang-utan was bigger.
Of course.

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All these moments of adolescent glory; all the shame and joy of being young and carefree and thinking you might actually change the world, or at the very least, became the next big rock star. All bound up  in great music, calorie free food and the very best and worst of clothing…

And so you see my dilemma with the Snap-Back. It could either be the biggest waste of money, or one of those perfect moments of adolescent definition that she will remember, and probably cringe about, for the rest of her life. And seeing as she will never get the glory of the Goo-goo dolls on the radio, Hound Dog shirts don’t even exist anymore, and she has completely missed the coolness of Atari graphics, doesn’t she deserve a really bad hat memory?

What would you do?

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For Never Was There a Story of More Woe…. #IBOT

Atale of woe.

It was the perfect romance.

He was a little bit country, she a little bit rock and roll. What he lacked in zest, she made up for in punch and enthusiasm, whilst his cool temperament kept her from being overbearing and a little too hot to handle.

They made me smile every time I saw them. And not one of those ‘oh aren’t they a cute couple’ type smiles, but a real, deep inner happiness that bubbled up out of me with reckless abandon. These two together, were what life was all about. They were the epitome of perfection.

I’m not entirely sure what happened.

Everything seemed fine; they were going along happily with their life, and no one could tell something was up, but clearly it was. Because one day, he just gave up completely. Threw himself into a big tub of soapy water, and then forced the main power switch to turn off, when he was plugged in.

And it’s at this point in the story that I tell you that ‘he’ was one of those awesome milk frothing machines, and ‘she’ was a coffee machine.

To say that I was devastated by their shock breakup was an understatement. Together those two had got me through some rough times, some tough times, some good times, and some fantastic times.

They had been there for Christmas morning breakfasts, before the bubbly was broken out.

They were there for me when Boatman was in Bing Bong and I could barely sleep.

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They were there when the house was being packed up, before being lovingly packed up in the shipping container.

a tale of woe. coffee when moving

Through entertaining, blog posts, and many early morning Bible readings, it was me and a great cup of pod coffee thanks to that perfect match.

I wish I could have saved them…..

Alas it wasn’t to be, and so I did the right thing. I let the coffee machine grieve. I didn’t want to push a new frother on her too soon; it would have been wrong. (Also I couldn’t afford it. ;) )

But after a few months of warming milk in the microwave before adding my freshly brewed caffeine hit, it was time to move on. And on Mother’s Day, we introduced the coffee machine to a new frother.

It seemed like it would work; I mean what could go wrong really? He wasn’t exactly the same, but he was good company. And they could sit next to each other on the bench and dream about making perfect coffee, just like it used to be. I was only trying to make her happy.

It was a bit of a bumpy start though. He just couldn’t get his froth mechanism right; it was neither warm nor particularly foamy. For several days I tried to make them sort it out, and it just wasn’t happening. They weren’t happy together, and frankly neither was I. His cold, flat attitude to coffee-making was not ok.

I was going to ask him to leave, and I had my speech worked out; ‘it’s not us, it’s you.’ I was discussing the whole problem with my MIL, and he must have overheard me, because he begged for a second chance. ‘I’ll try counselling,’ he said! ‘Just read my manual and you will see I can be a better frother.’ And so being the romantic that I am, and hoping for the perfect match between he and her, I did what he asked, and read the manual. And with the press of a button I never knew there was, suddenly, there was perfectly frothy coffee once again.

a tale of woe

I think, sadly, it was too much for her.

She tried to move on, I really believe she did.

She made two really great coffees before ‘it’ happened, and even now I’m not sure exactly what ‘it’ was. But it was the end of her.Working one minute, not working the next.

Just like that, she passed on to the great cafe in the sky.

I think it was the guilt that got to her. She was faithful to her milk frother and she couldn’t abide her betrayal with the new man. Like some kind of Romeo and Juliet story, they were fated to die their respective electronic deaths. Together on the kitchen bench in life.

And on the trash heap in death.

Her final moments. Marked by a flood of tears. Also known as leaky water.

Her final moments. Marked by a flood of tears. Also known as leaky water.

It was a sad day the day the coffee machine left us. I shed a tear and thanked her for all she had done, savouring every last drop of her last offering, by begging Boatman to let me drink his coffee.

Atale of woe.

When it comes to coffee, I’m not a complete snob, but let’s face it, no one chooses instant if they don’t have to. It seemed however, that this would be my fate, and I looked sadly at my new frother as I informed him that it would now be him and a jar of nescafe.

It was the worst of times.

By some miracle, even Boatman was repulsed by this idea, and, by a rare stroke of luck, or perhaps the knowing mark of Cupid’s bow, a cheap replacement machine was acquired in due haste.

Timidly, I introduced my new coffee machine to my still relatively new frother, and any fears I had were quickly laid to rest.

Some say that when it comes to meeting your true love, you just know.

And these two?

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Well they knew.

And so endeth this tale of woe, all bittersweet. The end of one great romance marks the beginning of another, and just like that we learn that coffee, like love, always finds a way.

  coffee like love always finds a way

 

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