Friday, 23 September 2016

If Toys Had Feelings

It's another fabulous Friday! I'm joining in again for Friday Reflections with a lovely little poem based on the prompt:

If toys had feelings. Write a post or story and get creative! 


If toys had feelings, they'd hate the toy box
Barbie would emerge, shaking her blonde locks
"I'm free!" she would shout triumphant, and then
March off, leaving behind bland old plastic Ken

Toys DO have feelings, that delightful doll house
The complex jigsaw puzzle, the cute cuddly mouse
Huggable, lovable teddy bears sit all in a row
Their expressions hide all the things they know

If toys had feelings they'd be alive
Full of adventure, daring to strive
Round marbles gleaming ethereal hues
Ballerinas perched in glittering shoes

If toys had feelings, the little Lego Man
Would bustle about his magic Lego Land
Suddenly it's clear there's more than you can see
You'll fly the wishing chair, climb the faraway tree!

Toys have feelings, I believe they do!
Just open your mind, you'll see it too!
The rusty toy truck forlorn and dejected
Mr Five has left him alone and rejected

Building blocks scattered with abandon and glee
Played with by all day by creative Miss Three
A train set whirs along the track, chug-a-chug-chug
Match box cars weave around the pattern on the rug

Toys have feelings? Why yes, of course! 
See the quirky grin on the quaint rocking horse?
The rocket ship that blasts boldly to the moon
 A music box moves us with a melancholy tune

Dainty cups on jaunty saucers, a tea party for two
Don't hurt their feelings, whatever you do! 
Sip the pretend tea and sigh in sheer delight
Cherish those toys with all of your might!

Toys DEFINITELY have feelings, I have decided
This fanciful thought must not be derided
Toys recall the feelings we didn't think would last
Joy, innocence, childhood memories long past

Toys remind us of the playful side of life
To make time for laughter, cast aside strife
Enjoy those toys like you are still young
Their magic and mystery has only just begun!

Linking up for
 Friday Reflections and FYBF. 

What was  your favourite childhood toy? 

Do you make time to be playful? 

Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Life As A Dog

Every morning I stumble out of bed dazed and disoriented. I trudge out to the living room and peer outside. And there is she is: Queen Cookie, our beloved dog. Resplendent in the sun. She perches on her cushion on the back verandah in bliss. We adopted her from an animal shelter a couple of years ago and she's been an awesome addition to our family.

Meanwhile I blunder on, trying to coax reluctant children out of bed and off to school. I wonder: would it be easier to be a dog? 

Reasons I think it would be easier to be a dog: 

  • She gets to lie around in the sun all day.
  • Like me, Cookie is also a breast cancer survivor. Unlike me, she's blissfully unaware of this fact. She doesn't even have to go for regular mammograms!
  • She's completely unperturbed by her greying fur. 
  • While she's lying there in the sun I'm pretty sure she's not thinking: but what am I DOING with my life? 

  • She may have had puppies, we're not sure, but they're not her responsibility anymore.  Furthermore they're not going turn up for Sunday lunch, bringing their laundry and asking to borrow some cash.  
  • She doesn't have to think about housework. In fact, the dirtier the better! Like all the dogs I've known, her favourite thing is rolling around in the dirt after a bath.
  • She gets THE BEST pats, belly rubs and cuddles. 
  • Going for a walk can often seem like a bit of an effort for me, but for her it's the most exciting thing EVER. 
  • She doesn't even think about her age despite the fact that every year is supposedly seven (or something) in dog years. 
  • She takes the time to stop and smell not just the roses but every damn thing. (Okay, maybe that's a bit gross...)

On the other hand, it must get terribly boring being a dog. Which is why our Cookie Monster has tried to liven up her life by bolting out the gate and going for a wander a couple of times. Related: we think we know how she ended up in a dog shelter.

About a year or so ago she managed to wander off several blocks away, following another dog. Perhaps she had a tryst with her boyfriend. It turns out that the other dog belonged to a girl who knew Mr 15 from school. I was at home posting frantic messages on Facebook while Mickey Blue Eyes scoured the neighbourhood. Long story short: the girl eventually saw my posts and the local pound delivered a trembling Cookie back home in their van. She was suitably sheepish but seemed happy to be here again. 

Her adventure over, she was back to her favourite spot in the sun.

Yep, life as a dog is pretty darn tough. 

If you could be an animal, which one would you be? 

Monday, 19 September 2016

Favourite Family Meals

Meals are my favourite times of the day. It's a shame I have to cook them. But for some reason the pesky old dinner fairy refuses to show up.  In fact, my life pretty much revolves around eating. Sad, but true. 

The favourite crowd pleasing meal around these parts would have to be the old bog standard roast.

Otherwise it's anything chicken. Roast chook, drumsticks, schnitzel and the good old bbq chooks from the supermarket when I'm too lazy busy to make anything. 

In fact Mr 12 once referred to himself as Chicken Connor. But he probably wouldn't like me telling anyone that. Shhhhhh, don't tell him I told you. 

When I was growing up my favourites were baked chicken or spaghetti bolognaise. Clearly my boys inherited my originality. 

Well, actually only one boy out of my three will eat spaghetti bolognaise or anything with a sauce. My younger two detest all sauces. They don't even like tomato sauce with chicken nuggets or sausages, like most kids. Weird.

Truthfully my seven year old exists on chicken (which has to be the pure white breast part only; or schnitzel), potatoes, boiled eggs, tuna, fruit and the smell of an oily rag. That's another one of my Mum's sayings.  I forgot about that one. 

I'll pretty much eat anything that isn't nailed down and most likely have a go at the nailed down stuff as well. This is interesting because as a child I was somewhat picky. I only liked my Mum's cooking. Related: my Mum is a superb cook. There was even one instance as a child when a former family friend wondered if I may be anorexic. I can hear all the hysterical laughter. Sniff. How times change. 

When it comes to cooking I am this weird sort of dichotomy where one night I can make something fabulous and delicious, the next something even my dog wouldn't eat. I have fits and fancies. Sometimes I'm really motivated to cook and into it. Other times I'd rather poke my eyeballs out. I prefer looking up new recipes and trying different things. But the whole cooking-for-a-fussy-family-throw-some-sausages-in-a-pan-thing bores me shitless and makes me stabby. 

There is also the sad truth that my kitchen is approximately the size of a postage stamp. We also do not possess a dishwasher in 2016. What are we like? I'll tell you: broke economical. So ner!

And don't get me started on the other phenomenon where everyone insists that you should get your kids involved in the kitchen.  Not spectacularly easy when a) you have a tiny kitchen, and b) you're not particularly wonderful at the thing you're trying to teach some one else to do and c) the person you're trying to teach isn't totally into it. My boys enthusiasm for learning to cook is in direct contrast to their desire to eat, which is constant. Hmmm, wonder where they inherited THAT from...

I only really learnt a few bits and pieces about cooking during high school home science classes. The rest I made up as I went or learnt from The Women's Weekly Basic cookbook. It is exactly that. It tells you all the basics from how to boil an egg, cook a roast and make scones. My boys love my scones.

 Anyway, I used that book until it fell apart. Luckily I was able to get another one, but now that is also falling to bits. I'm hoping I can find another one on Evilbay. 

Apart from all of that there's always the true Dinner Fairy. Meaning, take away.  And I must admit, sometimes that is truly my favourite. 

Linking up for Life This Week , Open Slather and Mummy Mondays.

What are your favourite family meals? 

Friday, 16 September 2016

Letter to my 35 year old self...

Dear Ness,

Hello there 35 year old Ness. Greetings from your future self. I am the 45 year old you. Let me tell you, the next ten years are going to be one hell of a ride. If you knew what was in store for you it would make your hair curl. Related: something will make your hair curl*. It's probably better if you don't know what it is. No, mullet perms have NOT come back into fashion!

I will tell you this: you are much stronger than you think you are. Another thing: you're NOT FAT. In fact, ten years from now you will be wishing to be as 'fat' as you are now.

Enjoy your metabolism while you still have one, because shortly it will make a hasty exit stage door right never to be seen again! Sorry. That's just the truth. There's nothing you can do about it. Oh wait. There are a couple of things: 

1. Exercise!
2. Stop eating all that cake and crap! 

In five years time you will discover some very revealing and fascinating information about yourself**. The fact that this revelation will be a huge yawn to everyone else doesn't lessen it's significance to you. It's all pretty amazing. In some ways your life will be changed forever even though other things are exactly the same. I know I am being mysterious and enigmatic but let's face it you always have been.  A woman of hidden depths. 

A riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma. Or, you know, a woman wrapped in a dressing gown inside a suburban house. Details. 

While mullet perms thankfully haven't made a comeback, something else that you enjoyed as a teenager does. You know all those letters you wrote? Well, you're going to write letters (of sorts) again, but on the internet. There are also lots of fun times ahead. Oh and don't worry, Mickey Blue Eyes will be fine. He will be a long time cancer survivor and an inspiration. 

You will be the mother of a lanky 15 year old and a beautiful 12 year old. There will be another baby but not without a few bumps along the way. Then your family will be complete. 

There won't be any teleporting available and you haven't become a millionaire. You're still waiting for that  McMansion, but you've made peace with it if it never arrives (likely).  In many ways you're a different woman even though nothing appears to have changed on the surface. It's odd. Changes in life aren't always what you think they're going to be. They can be a change in attitude or thinking. A shift in the way you see yourself. Becoming more aware that the little things in life are really what matter, even though a McMansion would be nice. 

Plus, while there are things about yourself that you'll never exactly love (for example, you'll always wish you were less anxious), you'll be able to exist with them. And you'll also realise that there are other unique things about you that are pretty freaking awesome. Maybe they don't look they way they are 'supposed' to look, but nevertheless they're awesome. There will be times when you might not see this (your awesome traits), but others will. You're very lucky that way. 

Related: I'm not going to tell you to stop comparing yourself with others or over thinking. Time and again you'll fall into this trap. There isn't a magic age when this stops. But you're able to recognise it and move on from it faster. The best way to do so is to take some action. It doesn't have to be anything grand and monumental. Just moving is enough. 

Which brings me to my next point.  You love tapping away here but make sure you get up and move as well. You need to exercise whether you like it or not. (See above).

You also need a gentle reminder to leave the house more often. You're inclined to become a hermit. There's nothing wrong with being a loner and introvert, you just need to mix it up a bit.

So get on with it dear girl. 

And no, I am not going to disclose to you the current winning lotto numbers. There's no point. You never take a ticket. And even if you did, you'd just lose it. You're a scatterbrain. Funnily enough, having three children hasn't improved upon this fact. One of these days you will see that being a scatterbrain isn't the worst thing you could be, and what's more you're a funny and (mostly) lovable scatterbrain. 

Having said that, you do need to make some effort to be slightly more organised and to snap out of your dream world occasionally. And you will. It does get somewhat better, but you will never be one of these brisk and efficient, multi-tasking types. Sorry, it's just not going to happen! And daydreaming is underrated anyway. 

So anyway, I've got to go. I'm expecting a letter from 55 year old me any moment. I'll be so freaking happy to receive that letter. You have no idea. So happy that I'm not even freaking out at the sound of that rather mature age. Well, maybe a little...

Good things are coming! 

Curly hair is just one of them! 

Keep being awesome. 


45 year old Ness

*In late 2015 I was diagnosed with early stage breast cancer. Chemo made my hair grow back curly.
**In 2011 I was diagnosed with ASD, formerly known as Asperger's Syndrome. 

Linking up for Friday Reflections.

A big thank you to Sanch and the gang at Write Tribe for making me one of last week's featured writers for my story! Yay! I get a cocktail! You can read the story here

What would you tell yourself ten years ago (besides the winning lotto numbers)? 

Tuesday, 13 September 2016

Nine Ways I'm Currently Winning At Life

Life can be confusing, boring, difficult, full of unfulfilling tasks and frankly just plain old bullshit. That's why it's important to celebrate the smalls wins no matter how insignificant or ridiculous they may be.

Here are nine ways I'm currently winning at life: 

1.I went out for lunch at a club buffet with my Mum, aunt and their friends (all seniors) and was charged the seniors price. Despite my cancer marlarkey ageing me overnight, I'm not quite ready for a seniors card. You'd think I'd be mortified, but I prefer to look at the plus side. Bargain! 

Nanna Ness: Winning at life since 1971!

2. My post chemo hair is the gift that keeps on giving! I've become a foxy lady! In addition to 
scoring seniors discounts, all I need is a velour track suit to complete my Kath n' Kim look. Noice. Unyewwsual. 

3. Last Friday night I threw together some leftovers and created a yummy pasta bake off the top of my head. MasterChef here I come! Okay, not really. But considering my lack of culinary prowess, it was a triumph for me. The fact that my boys didn't touch it let alone taste it is also irrelevant. More for me!  

4.  My dodgy cheapo handbags are all falling to pieces. I had a bit of scroll through Evilbay to see if I could find one. Meanwhile, my parents set off to visit my aunt in Wagga Wagga. When they rang to say they'd arrived it transpired that my aunt had been given a beautiful leather bag and it had my name on it. Score! 

5. I've been on a de-cluttering mission. We went out for dinner for Father's Day. When we arrived home we apprehensively entered the house. It appeared to have been ransacked. Nope. It was exactly the way we'd left it. Related: the decluttering is going well. Ahem. Not really. But at least it's an effective deterrent for burglars! WIN. 

6. I have an impressive collection of colourful pens. This may not seem like an important achievement. But pens are very hard to come by in these parts. If I can actually find one when I need one I'm calling it a win. 

7. I have a superpower! Who knew? 

Image credit:

8. I became a creative genius! Well, I wrote a silly 
brilliant story and terrible touching poem! Plus I made a slice and scones that were eaten! By me. Details! 

9. Social media addiction saved me money! True story! There was some sort of local election thingy (I should probably pay more attention to politics..ahem) and we had to vote over the weekend. I totally forgot about it until someone posted about it on Facebook. See? Social media addiction isn't all bad! There is an eighty dollar fine for not voting. So I saved $160 dollars just by looking at Facebook (Mick had forgotten too). Yay! 

So there you have it. Facebook and seniors discounts FTW!

Linking up for IBOT.

Linking up for FYBF

How are you currently winning at life? 

Monday, 12 September 2016

Where do I begin?

Beginnings are HARD.

Image credit:

Writing one for this post is proving to be problematic. It's Monday (a bit of the old Captain Obvious there) and the beginning of another week full of exciting things. Using exciting in the sense of rather ordinary. Additionally, another week ended in which I did not suddenly become a millionaire. RUDE. Because I was all set to begin my new life of luxury. 

And while we're on the subject of beginnings, which we are. 
Just an FYI there. Because I do tend to waffle and have a short attention span.  I can't promise I won't meander onto another subject mid paragraph...

What were we talking about again? Oh, yeah. Beginnings. 

Life began for me one balmy day on January 15th 1971. Well, I assume it was balmy. I don't actually remember. That would be pretty impressive if I could, but I can't even remember five minutes ago let alone the day I was born. However, it's a fair guess, 
considering that January is summer time in the good old land of Oz. Also known as Australia. Which is where I was born. Each birthday I do remember has always been hideously hot. 

In a surprising coincidence I was born in a hospital in the same suburb where I currently live 45 years later. Yes, I've gone far in life. Winning! 

According to my Mum I was rather reluctant to leave the cosy cocoon of her womb. She spent hours and HOURS in labour. I finally arrived at around 6 pm. Just in time for dinner. Typical. 

Throughout my life I've shown a distinct lack of interest in beginning each day. Read that as I hated getting out of bed. Mum would be calling me and trying to wake me. When I finally surfaced I was grumpy and surly. Beware anyone who committed the heinous act of glancing sideways at me. Especially my brother. 

"Muuuuuum!" I would wail "Mark's 
LOOKING at me!"

As an adult I'm still not a morning person. I never spring out of bed eager to begin my day. 

In 1976 I began kindergarten. I remember clutching a red suitcase, unimpressed by the proceedings. 

Many years later I was terrified of the new beginning called high school. Even more scared when it ended. I had no idea what I wanted to do when I grew up. Still don't. 

But I trudged off to TAFE and a couple of years later I finally began working. It was a shaky start and I never really found my footing career wise. Enter Mickey Blue Eyes and the beginning of being a wife and then a mother. 

Without a doubt the scariest beginning was my breast cancer diagnonsense. I began the most challenging ride of my life. And now it's all over and yet only just begun.The start of a 'new kind of normal'. Adjusting to life as a breast cancer survivor. Have I mentioned that that I don't really like pink?  Yes, I WILL survive. Now let's all break into a rousing chorus of the old Gloria Gaynor hit.

Hang on, I prefer The Carpenters. And this song fits in with the theme of the post. Sorry, I couldn't help myself. 

I even tried to write an eloquent and deep poem about beginnings full of  my thoughts and feelings and shit. Totally nailed the shit part.

Check it out:

This poem needs to have a snappy beginning
To hook you and have you instantly grinning
Something unique, using words to entice
To make you read on, and then read it twice

So why do I sit and just stare at the screen?
How do I begin? And what do I mean?
There must be interesting words I can write
To make you a fan of this glorious site

All I have to do is simply commence
Just tap away, I don't have to make sense
Think about all the beginnings in my life
As a daughter, a sister, a friend and a wife

Even then my life had only just begun
When I was expecting son number one
The start of this thing called being a mother
Then soon I welcomed his cute baby brother

A family of two had now become four
But wait, said fate, there has to be more
Alas. our dear baby boy number three
Didn't survive, it just wasn't to be

Dismal days with housework a bore
The joyful birth of boy number four
Along the way, many shaky starts
Fears and struggles with heavy hearts

But for every beginning, there is an end
To make way for change and start again
Seasons change, days come and go
Learning to live with this constant flow

Decisions to make, life is curious
Emotions change, joyful then furious
Bored, elated, forlorn or excited
Impatient, determined, defeated, delighted
Battles fought and ultimately won
Playing The Carpenters We've Only Just Begun

Beginnings are hard, but so is the end
I fear you may never read here again
Through all our beginnings we're never alone
And that is the end of this woeful poem.

You're welcome. 

Linking up for Life This Week.

How do you feel about beginnings? 

Which song do you think of? 

Friday, 9 September 2016

Friday Reflections: Careful What You Wish For

Hello there shakers and groovers!  It should probably be groovers and shakers, but I thought I'd mix it up a bit.  Isn't it great to wake up and realise it's Friday? Until you remember that you're a parent and Fridays mean nothing anymore. NOTHING! No weekends off from this parenting gig. How rude! 

Anyway, today is exciting because I've decided to join in with the gang for Friday Reflections. 

Just for fun and something different I wrote a short piece of fiction based on the following prompt: 

Write a story or poem that begins with a character throwing a coin into a fountain.

Please note: I am not wonderful at writing fiction, but for the sake of pushing myself out of my comfort zone I gave it a go. I haven't written much of it since high school. So I probably write like a pretentious fifteen year old. But it's fun. So why not? 

Anyway, here it is:


She'd only closed her eyes for a nanosecond. The coin splashed. A wish was made. She immediately felt foolish. Ordinarily she didn't believe in such fanciful things.  

They strolled through the park at least twice a week. Every time they passed the fountain Ava would squeak "Mummy! Wish!" 

She  would shake her head "No." As soon as she agreed, that would be the end of it. It would become a ritual. They might as well save their coinage for something else.

Somehow today had been different. Spring had arrived,in all it's bewitching brilliance. Manda felt relaxed for the first time in ages. She wanted to make an effort to wander and linger. To be present with her daughter, instead of rushing to the next thing on her to-do list.  She paused near the fountain in the afternoon sunshine. 

"Let's make a wish." 

Her daughter's eyes lit up. Maybe she'd been wrong in denying her this moment of joy, of blind faith. It was only a coin. When she opened her eyes, the smile dissolved from her face.

Ava was gone. 

She scanned the park, her heart wild.

"Ava!" She tried to stop her voice from shaking.  She stepped closer to the fountain.
 Don't faint! She told herself. The water glimmered and gushed. Coins littered the bottom of the fountain. Nothing else.  
"AVA!" Stronger this time. Louder. Shrill. She headed back towards the swings, almost stumbling in her haste. People were staring. 

"Did you lose your daughter?" A man asked. 

No shit, sherlock! The thought slapped her. She didn't have time for pleasantries.

Racing towards the swings, she was hysterical. She was shouting now, uncaring about the perplexed stares of strangers. Ava was nowhere to be seen. She wasn't on the swings, the slide, or caught inside the complicated jungle gyms.

The wish Manda had whispered to herself just moments earlier lurked in the back of her mind, taunting her.

Selfish bitch, her mocking inner voice told her. See? Be careful what you wish for! 

But all I wanted was some quiet time! She wailed back inwardly. 

All she wished for right now was to see her daughter safe, unharmed. That was the only thing that was important. 

A crowd had gathered now. "What did she look like?" 

Shakily she pulled out her phone to display a photo. It was taken last month. What kind of mother was she? She didn't even take photos of her own daughter. 

In the minutes that followed, a million thoughts flitted through Manda's mind. Each one more horrifying. More frantic searching and shouting ensued, but still no Ava. 

"Maybe we should call the police?" A woman suggested. 

"Mummy!"  Ava was running toward her. "You left me!" 

A sheepish young woman with a dog on a leash gave Manda a nervous smile.

"She came over to pat my dog. Then we couldn't find you," she explained. 

Manda was in tears. Relief washed over her. She hugged Ava, but she struggled free. Clearly she thought the whole kerfuffle was Manda's fault. 

The crowd dissipated, losing interest now. The sun was starting to disappear behind the clouds. Manda thanked the young woman and began the slow walk home. Her most important wish had been answered. 

Linking up with Sanch for Friday Reflections.

Do you believe in wishes?