Sunday, 30 November 2008

Some days are just a waste of make-up

and I'm having a string of them one-after-the-other. The storm damage is all much worse than we thought. We have a fan and a dehumidifier in our bedroom & the office blowing away for the next two weeks (they've already been going for days!). Our electricity bill is going to go through what's left of the roof (pardon the pun). 18 tiles on the roof need replacing, damage to under eaves where water has soaked through needs to be dealt with, walls and ceilings (or parts thereof) need to be replaced in the bedroom, walk-in-robe, the office and parts of the hallway. These rooms will also need repainting (I'd just finished them in the last year). The floorcovering needs replacing in the bedroom (fortunately, the rest was tiled & as long as the tile glue holds, all will be well).

On a professional level, my exams due to be sat this week have been postponed until February. My work computer & my books and notes got wet twice & I've had to get uni to send more stuff to prepare for them(for want of a better word). Assignments are almost finished, fortunately. By the end of the week, I'll be back to almost where I was 2 weeks ago. Recently, I didn't even make it to interview stage of a job I really wanted. It seems that I haven't got enough experience even though I've been doing the same kind of job since 2002. Of course, they then hired a grad with no experience at all! I don't know why I bother to try any more.

Consequently, long before the end of April comes, I will be renaming the blog to something like 'Life's a catastrophe'. I'm very down at the moment on some levels but continuing to shine on others. I can't see an end to the renovation nightmare & I doubt I will ever be employed full time again, but we are well & still very content with each other. I'm so over renovations! I can't stand the junk (furniture, clothes, books off the shelves, pictures from the walls) from the damaged rooms being all over the rest of the house while we wait for things to dry. It's going to be like this for about 4 months, I'm told. At least I'm still alive. Hope would really be gone, otherwise.

The MOTH, who is not handy at all, wants to go on holidays to get away from everything for a while. He likes the good life, not the maintenance of it. I'm glad that he has gone to Sydney for the week for work. I don't want to go on vacation until all is back to order again. I want to get jobs done around the house that have been waiting for a strong available man to help. Help from tradespeople is not gonna happen any time soon.

I'll send you a post from wherever we end up! The MOTH earns more money than I do & has had a busy work year. He needs the break.

Happiness & laughter to one and all. Next time I blog, I'll tell you about the crazy Christmas preparations that start happening next week. I can't believe that we're doing it all still. LOL


Tuesday, 25 November 2008

A Stitching Post, at last!

Thank you again, dear friends, for your wonderful support in these difficult times. I've been feeling a wee bit down about the whole sorry state of things lately (quelle surprise). Your wonderful & cheering messages have been much appreciated. I've moved all my non-stitching related entries over to my Daily Bliss site so that we can concentrate on some serious stuff: the stitching.

I went back to the family home to visit The Cadet Princess a couple of weekends ago, and snapped some stitching pics which hang on the walls and doors of the house. I did birth samplers for the royal family many years ago as well as door plaques for each bedroom. The crown prince took his cute door plaque with him, so it's hanging with his Bremen Town Musicians sampler I stitched a couple of years ago.

Meanwhile, the bathroom reno continues as if the floods didn't happen as it is on the opposite side of the hallway to the damage. I'll post those pics another time.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Sunday, 23 November 2008

Queen of the Sea - Update No. 1

I started the Mermaid about a month ago.
I've not done much but I'm enjoying doing some (as opposed to no) stitching again.

Out on the town with my fave people!

Last night, we celebrated The MOTH's birthday at the Ouzery at West End.
A great time (& lots of food) had by all!

The Crown Princess & Her Consort
(with The MOTH in the background)

The Crown Prince & His Fair Lady

The Living Doll & Her Man!

Saturday, 22 November 2008

My Daily Bliss


Lucy - aged 18 months

Harry 7.5 months

Lucy & Harry in the park this morning

Thursday, 20 November 2008

More Rain!!!

Updated about 2 hours after original post after discovering that the office and the master bedroom (in which we are not sleeping while the ensuite reno is in progress) are again flooded with yet more water running down the walls & even bigger puddles to sponge away.

Southeast Queensland has again been hit by more storms, with flooding reported across Brisbane, the Lockyer Valley and the Gold Coast and its hinterland. We live more or less right under the middle red dot!

More than 250 millimetres of rain (about 10 inches) have fallen since 10pm (AEST) yesterday, with police forced to evacuate people in some areas as water levels reached their homes' floorboards.

Unfortunately, we copped the rain-damage again, the roof is temporarily sealed and all is well. There's no extra water in the house. The roof is still leaking somewhere. We have puddles, puddles everywhere, but at least the laptop & the modem both work..

I've vacuumed up the worst of the water, but still the carpets and roof batts are being removed tomorrow to minimise the stench and ceiling rot. The MOTH pulled up the carpet in the robe because it was flooding everywhere else as it's so wet.

I hope all's well in your world.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Tuesday, 18 November 2008


Brisbane has been declared a natural disaster area, as soldiers and prisoners help repair damage caused by one of the biggest storms to hit the city in two decades.

The storm hit late Sunday afternoon, November 16th. About 30,000 properties across Brisbane, Redcliffe and the Gold Coast were without power on Monday afternoon after Sunday's storm brought hail and wind gusts of up to 130km/h, unroofed homes and toppled power lines and trees.

Emergency authorities said up to 4,000 homes were damaged, with 300 homes "significantly damaged" and 30 deemed unlivable.

My uni exams are damned! We're going to be rebuilding parts of Castle Bliss after a freak storm. We went to Townsville for the weekend & came home to puddles of water and water running down the walls of 5 of the rooms of our house.

How could this happen? A tree branch fell on the roof during the storm and broke five tiles, thus giving entry to the rain.

A deluge of water has wrecked ceilings and walls, carpets and clutter within. My stash storage was under the worst affected area. The home office, my computer & independent hard drive were awash.

Plumbers came in yesterday & did temporary repairs/actions to make the roof water-proof & I've mopped up excess water, but the loss assessors won't be out for another couple of weeks, so the rest has to stay the way it is. Yoiks! By then, there will be further damage from what happens while water sits in the walls, ceilings and insulation.

No lives have been lost, just a few dreams shattered. Lucy & Harry stayed in their kennel, and goodness knows where Gypsy went, but she's safe and well (& not suffering from a loss of appetite). I think it's going to be a lot longer than I thought until our lives are back to normal. We're going to be repainting a fair amount when we can.

It's still raining here today (Tuesday) and storms are predicted again for Thursday. Keep your fingers crossed that the silicone on the roof holds.

Friday, 14 November 2008

Thank You

Thank you, thank you, thank you for your wonderful support, dear friends.

Exams are just around the corner, so for the next few weeks I'm going to be burning the midnight oil with my nose in the books.

There'll be no time set aside for stitching or blogging (reading or writing). I hope you understand & don't think that I'm ignoring you.

Keep those stitchy fingers flying while I'm away. When all is done on the 5th December, I'm sure to be in the mood for a feast of blog activity.

Happiness & laughter to one and all,


Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Obituary of Common Sense

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years. No one knows for sure how old he was since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape. He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as knowing when to come in out of the rain, why the early bird gets the worm, life isn't always fair, and maybe it was my fault.

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don't spend more than you earn) and reliable parenting strategies (adults, not children are in charge).

His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a six-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.

Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job they themselves failed to do in disciplining their unruly children. It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer Aspirin, sun lotion or a sticky plaster to a student, but could not inform the parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.

Common Sense lost the will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband; churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims. Common Sense took a beating when you couldn't defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar can sue you for assault.

Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.

Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents, Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers; I Know my Rights, Someone Else is to Blame, and I'm a Victim..

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone. If you still remember him, pass this on. If not, join the majority and do nothing.

Author unknown

Friday, 7 November 2008

Un-bloody believeable!

I'm kinda depressed and at a loss as to what I should do.

The MOTH's son has set a date to get married. When Mic talked about getting engaged and then getting married way back in mid 2007, we were delighted. We reminded him at the time that we would be away during the school holidays of April 2010 because we had made plans to celebrate my 50th birthday at a cooking school in Europe. I am a teacher. These dates are not changeable. Anyway, why would anyone wait 3 years to marry after deciding to marry? They have lived together for a couple of years already. We thought we were safe.

Would you believe that despite having 120 other weekends outside of April 2010 to choose from, Mic & Tiffany have set the wedding date as 10th April 2010 which is smack the middle weekend of the school holidays? Originally, they suggest the 3rd April, so we changed arrangements to suit. Now Mic has sent Paul a text message and simply said that it was up to Paul to attend or not attend. If we come, we come. If we don't, we don't.

Poor Paul! His three sons have made it abundantly clear that they disapprove of his being married to me even though I've only seen them twice in the last 3 years. On Fathers' Day in September, one of them actually sent his father an email stating that Paul didn't deserve a gift because he was a crap dad who spent more time with me than them. Hello, these boys need to start acting their age. We are talking about men in their 20s! Of course Paul sees more of me. We are married and we live together here in Brisbane. The boys live, by their own choice, in Mackay, a city 1000km north of here.

Michael is the same young man who ranted and raved about my Christmas efforts of beading being 'cheap crap' and how dare I send such stuff to his woman. His fave name for me at the moment is 'fat slut.' It doesn't endear him to me, to be honest. He's out to make me uncomfortable about every one of the festive seasons of life. I try to give the boys as much time with their father as possible, considering the distance, and remain discretely in the background to keep out of the line of fire. I stayed here in Brisbane while Paul went to the engagement party in March (I was dis-invited to the party supposedly because of the beads, & told to sit on a local park bench, anything but come to the event) and I'm not going to stand in the way of a man going to his son's wedding if he wants to go (I will still celebrate my birthday whether it's in Australia or Europe), but I do have to comment that Tiffany and Michael are starting a marriage on very shakey grounds. Bridezilla extraordinaire! It's not a good omen.

Tuesday, 4 November 2008

Photographs of me

A friend from my teens said to me this morning that he had no pics of me when we were 18 that he could share - but that it wouldn't have made any difference because even if he did have a pic it would have been a photograph of a hand up to the lens, not a picture of my face. It seems that my aversion to having my photograph taken is nothing new. So, rather than spend quality time reviewing my psychology and statistics notes for the December exams, I spent today stuffing around working out why I don't like having my photo taken. The above picture is the reason!

This is a photo of me (on the left) at taken in 1969 with my older sister, AM, and my mischievious side-kick of a little sister, Lisa (mentioned in a blog about memories not so long ago). I look enormously fat - and I've been embarrassed about my round face ever since.

I remember well the day that this picture was taken. I was just over 9, Lisa was 16 months younger (so had probably just celebrated her 8th birthday) and AM was about 13. It was Lisa's first communion day. On that day, I also wore my first communion dress from October 1967. Our mother (who was obsessed with not getting fat) had told one of my sisters that if she got any bigger that she would have to wear maternity clothes! I saw this photo after it was taken and blind panic set in. I, too, was going to be wearing maternity clothes really soon. I don't think that I ever got over it.

The thing is, my mother was bird-like tiny in bone structure and ate nothing but chocolate and bananas! Everyone on planet Earth was going to be bigger than she was. Many of her offspring are taller than she was (I wasn't but I had a broader bone structure) smply because my father came from very tall Yorkshire English stock. On the day in question, I was wearing a dress that was 2 years old, so it's not surprising that it looked tight. I was also standing with Lisa who was long and skinny, kinda like Harry (and is, to this, day 4 inches taller and 2 stone at least lighter than me), and beside someone who was just about to have a growth spurt. I was always going to look chubbier than Moo and AM, even if I had no body fat because of broader shoulders and thicker bones.

I can almost tell you about every photograph I've had taken of me since. It's rare. In retrospect, it's a shame. The MOTH makes me have my photo taken nowadays because in years to come and when I am dead, my children won't have anything to remember me by because I was the one at every party holding the camera.

So, I leave you to enjoy a selection of warts and all pics of me taken over the years.


Bart Cummings does it again!

It took Bart Cummings a few years to figure out the right type of horse needed to win the Melbourne Cup but once he got it right, he couldn't be stopped.

Cummings claimed an historic 12th victory in the famous race on Tuesday keeping the Europeans at bay for another year, albeit only just.

Viewed won by a nose from English stayer Bauer with the much-hyped Irish trio from Aidan O'Brien's stable finishing in the last four after taking each other on in the first half of the race.

Cummings' first runner, Asian Court, was unplaced in the 1958 Cup but seven years later Light Fingers won the race. In 1966 Galilee gave Cummings a second and a year later Red Handed a third.

"It took seven years and in that time I did some research and found that 65 per cent of all Group One winners were New Zealand-bred," Cummings said.

"I went to New Zealand and had a look around. The next time I went I bought three or four horses for Group races.

"Then the next time I got Light Fingers, I couldn't buy her so we leased her but got to buy Galilee and Red Handed.

"Red Handed cost 870 guineas.

"He had a head like a violin case – he had an old injury and one ear couldn't go forward.

"No-one liked the look of him because of his head but I thought he's not going to gallop on that so I got him very cheap and he won a Melbourne Cup – my third in a row."

Cummings said the environment in New Zealand was conducive to breeding stayers although his latest Cup winner was bred in Australia.

Viewed is a son of Scenic, who died prematurely in 2005 aged 19 in Western Australia.

A son of European supersire Sadler's Wells, Scenic's best known offspring is Universal Prince the 2001 AJC Australian Derby winner who was controversially denied a Melbourne Cup start by vets who said he was lame although trainer Bede Murray thought otherwise.

Viewed was bought out of a paddock by Duncan Ramage, Dato'Tan Chin Nam's bloodstock manager, and almost lost to Australia.

"Chin Nam's son lives in Hong Kong and they wanted to race him there," Cummings said.

"I soon stopped that and I'm glad he didn't go."

Cummings is already looking ahead to next year's Melbourne Cup and said he planned to have "three or four" horses heading to the race.

-AAP (text)
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Monday, 3 November 2008

Weekend Wedding at Noosa

Congratulations to Stacey & Matt
(pictured here with the bride's parents, our very dear friends Margaret & Mike)

We wish you lots of love, happiness & laughter in your new life together.

Gorgeous bridesmaids, including Natalie (the bride's sister in the centre).

Randy Pausch