Showing posts with label IBOT. Show all posts
Showing posts with label IBOT. Show all posts

Tuesday, 25 October 2016

Conversations with Belief

Hello again.  Here I am with some of my disjointed, ad hoc thoughts about belief... 

When I was a girl I liked to believe that there really could be fairies hiding somewhere among the flowers in the garden, just like the ones I read about in Enid Blyton books.

I believed in the old 'they lived happily ever after...' myth at the end of every fairy tale. 

As an adult, one thing I hate hearing is the old 'everything happens for a reason' cliche. 

I  do believe in laughing at how ridiculous life can be.

I believe in a good sneeze. But only with my legs tightly crossed because otherwise.... Well, you don't want to know. Suffice to say I'm a 45 year old woman who's had several pregnancies. 

I believe that no matter how old you are you never stop learning, wishing, discovering things about yourself and life. 

I believe that so many things are overrated. And underrated.

I believe that I am just writing rubbish because I don't really know what I believe. I'm very confused. This will not be new information to anyone who has read this blog before. Ahem. 

I believe that what doesn't kill you does, indeed, make you stronger. And I'm strong enough now, thanks very much. 

Of course there is the whole issue of belief in one's self. One of my major core beliefs has always been that I'm weak and a scaredy cat who can't cope with the grittier side of life. Time and again this belief has been proven wrong. See above. 

Do I believe in God?

The short answer is NO. There is a part of me that would like to be able to believe. It often seems that some people who do believe are able to accept and cope with the most confronting things; even death. They genuinely believe that it's 'God's will' and they're going to a 'better place'. I would love to have some sort of belief that gave me such a sense of peace and comfort. But truthfully it seems like nonsense to me. 

Of course, there are always moments when I would like to keep an open mind. Keep my options open. You know, just in case. Emergency God, as the joke goes. The one you suddenly find yourself calling upon in desperation while in the depth of a crisis. Imagine yourself plummeting to your certain death in a plane crash or awaiting your test results  - begging and pleading with God. A God you're not even sure you believe in...

Weirdly, I don't remember doing this when I got my cancer diagnonsense. Did I? I believe I was more matter of fact. My attitude was: I have to listen to the doctors and get on with it have medical treatment. That's what will save my life. Not God. 

I've never been spiritual or cosmic or 'out there'. Although as I mentioned above, as a child I was much more whimsical. I am a mass of contradictions or dichotomies. I'm logical yet scatter-brained. See? That doesn't even make sense. 

I seem to have become more attuned to paying attention to my logical side these days. Oh, except when I'm catastrophising... That's another story! But there is room for being fanciful. Some things do require common sense, others don't. It's no accident that the tag line of this blog is: In my own little world...

It's a happy place with cakies and unicorns. And, of course, Carpenters music. Some people believe Karen Carpenter is an angel. Maybe she is? Who knows? Again it makes no sense to believe this and not believe in God... But nonsensical ad hoc, irrational thoughts and musings are my specialty. We all have our strengths! 

Anyway, one of my favourite Carpenters songs is called Look To Your Dreams... 

To say I'm romantic would be quite semantically true
But make believe passion has fallen from fashion's milieu
It's understandable why we're a little confused
It's asking for trouble just watching the six o'clock news
But for a moment, all things aside
Look to yourself, somewhere inside

Look to your dreams
Don't they still seem worthwhile?
Don't they still seem in style?
Aren't you glad they're still there?

Look to your dreams

There's a need for them now
When the world has us down
Aren't you glad they're around?

Once conceived, once believed
Fantasy's reality's childhood
And like a seed, visions need constant care
Like a child would, we should

Look to our dreams
We can still reach the stars
We can still break the bars
We have built here on Earth

Look to your dreams
And tomorrow may be
Better for you and me
The future may say, blame blind yesterday
For taking dreams away
They could mean more than they seem.
Written by John Bettis, Richard Lynn Carpenter • Copyright © Universal Music Publishing Group

You will either feel uplifted or slightly queasy after that. Or perhaps a curious mixture of both? You're welcome.

Right. I'm off to take my meds search for fairies in the garden. Enid Blyton and Karen Carpenter couldn't be wrong. Could they?

Linking up for Conversations Over Coffee and IBOT

What do you believe in? 

Tuesday, 18 October 2016

Organised Or Tidy?

A month or so ago I went to a de-cluttering workshop. It was quite interesting and worthwhile. So I thought I would share some of my thoughts about it. 

I've alluded to the fact before that I struggle with housework and organisation. However, I'm trying to be somewhat better at it.  Or, at least, as good as I'll ever be.

The workshop was held by my local council. There was a professional organiser who spoke for about two hours. Her name was Susanne Thiebe. You can visit her website here and her Facebook page here

One of the most interesting things I picked up was that de-cluttering, organising, tidying and cleaning are all completely different things. This should seem obvious, but to a scatter brain like me it was a revelation.

In fact, you could say I had a bit of a light bulb moment. I realised that while I am not tidy, (and probably never will be) I'm relatively organised. Or, at least much more organised than I originally believed. 

Now, I'm not saying that I'm organised in quite the same you may be. My version of organised probably looks like a horse's arse or dog's breakfast (or insert whatever hot mess you can think of) to the more anal efficient among us. 

However, I have to take into account the fact that I am an Aspie. This means that I struggle with executive function issues. Additionally I believe I have ADD.

Therefore I'm a person with ASD and ADD who is in charge of running a very small house with five people living in it. You could also argue that all five of us have varying degrees of ADD-like personality traits, plus a tendency to be borderline hoarders.

Not to the point where we need to climb over all the clutter or require a massive intervention, but still... we have semi hoarding tendencies. But I've always told myself it's NOT hoarding if it's books...ahem...

Anyway my point is, I now believe that I'm reasonably organised when all this is taken into account and I'm not comparing with others. 

The analogy that was used in the workshop to demonstrate how tidy and organised are two different things was this: 

If you have a bucket or crate full of shoes sitting in your front hallway, is it tidy or is it organised? 

The answer: it depends.  For some it would be neither. For a family who is always looking for their kids shoes, if it works and they can find them there most of the time; it's organised. Not particularly tidy, but organised. 

Another example Susanne gave was of her own mother. She explained that she uses her coffee machine two or three times day. Every single time, she cleans it and puts it away in a cupboard, only to have to lug it out again. See? Tidy, but not organised. 

She also voiced something I've thought in the back of my mind for many years: the lifestyle programmes (Better Homes & Gardens, The Living Room etc) do as much damage to our minds as looking at the supermodels in fashion or women's magazines.

Realistically you know that the model is a freak of nature to start with. Furthermore the images are retouched. But there's still that little part of you thinking: but wouldn't it be great to look like that? 

Likewise with lifestyle programmes. We're all seduced into thinking that our homes should always look like the homes we see on these shows.

According to her, (and she is an industry insider) these de-cluttering 'gurus' have a team working with them.When a segment is filmed it often takes input from the entire team and a good week (at least) of work. This is all edited into a neat little nine minute segment where we see before and after shots.

The infamous KonMari Method was also brought up during the session. This is a de-cluttering method that was invented by Marie Kondo. I had borrowed her book  The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up from the library and started reading it the day before I attended the session. I was trying really hard to keep an open mind about it, hoping to give the method a red hot go.

But only a few chapters in I was already beginning to see flaws in it. I know there's a whole community of eager converts who'll heartily disagree with me. I suspect there's a reason I never make any mum friends. Or any friends, really. Sigh. 

First of all, Susanne pointed out that Marie Kondo is a Japanese woman with no children. (Although a quick glance at her wiki page reveals that she does have one child). The simple fact of the matter is, the more people that live in your home the more stuff there will be and the more mess. In saying that, it doesn't mean that I totally give up and raise my children in squalor. But it does mean that any expectations of gleaming white perfection are unrealistic. For me.

Truth be told I'm not a fan (of gleaming white perfection) anyway. We visited some exhibition homes recently and I honestly didn't like all the bright shinyness. I don't know if it's a Ness thing or an ASD thing. but it makes me seasick and headachey.  Anyway, I digress. 

Secondly, some of the Konmari advice is a tad dubious. The idea is that you keep only the things that 'spark joy'.  The thing is, my boys passion for Lego has never particularly sparked any joy for me. But it does for them. So whose joy are we supposed to spark?

Plus, apparently when you're de-cluttering you're supposed to not tell your family or let them see. How does that work? They live here. Suffice to say, I don't quite get it. But considering that this book and method is a sensation and all the rage at the moment, I guess I'm the weird one. Oh well, nothing new there...

Moving on from the Konmari Method...

Another notable piece of advice during the workshop was that storage systems/solutions WILL NOT make you organised.

We were told DO NOT go out and buy more containers/stationery/pretty bits and pieces thinking they're the answer. Also don't buy any of the books out there on the subject.

Just like the Konmari method, a lot of these books are written by people in different circumstances and cultures than we have. For example, Americans typically have basements and attics which are generally not a thing in the majority of Australian homes. 

We were given an information booklet covering these areas: 










You can find out more about these workshops and where you can attend one over here. This is not sponsored at all, I just found it interesting and thought others might as well. 

Meanwhile, I suppose I had better actually take some of the advice and JUST START!

Right, I'm off to shift some stuff! 

Linking up for IBOT. 

What do you think?

Are you tidy or organised? Or both?

Do you believe they are different things? 

Do you have any de-cluttering tips? 

Tuesday, 4 October 2016

The Month That Was September

Another September has disappeared. It seemed to make such a fleeting appearance. Sexy old September seduced us into spring then slunk away into clouds and wet weather. Then became all sultry again. Make up your mind, September! Oh wait. You have. And you're out of here. Just in time for October. Funny about that. 

But we were talking about September. Right. So let's get on with it.

Insert exciting September stuff HERE.  

Hmmmm, I'm sure there was SOMETHING exciting. Sort of. Kind of. OK, not really. 

But there was all the usual boring life stuff. Maybe I'll do that thing where you add 'and shit' to the end of every sentence to make it sound all cutting edge and gangsta and...erm... shit. 

Here goes:

Read some books and shit.  Did the housework and shit. Did all the usual sleeping and eating and shit. Moped and mulled, loved and lived, plodded and planned. And shit. 

Totally works! That sounds SO EXCITING! And shit. Maybe a bit more emphasis on the shit part. Oh well, I tried. 

Sexy old September did, in fact, have it's moments.

It all kicked off with Father's Day. We enjoyed a meal out at a Chinese Restaurant. Let's not talk about the resulting MSG headache  the next day. DOH. 

The month plodded on and I did so many exciting and avant garde things that I can't even remember what they are. This may sound strange to you but it happens when you're such a social butterfly.

Ok, you caught me. I'm not a social butterfly. But I'm trying. And I did leave the house each week this month! That's something. 

There was usual shopping, plus a visit to the library. Always thrilling when you're a dedicated bookworm. Look, we can't all be party animals. I stand by my love of libraries. 

In contrast with my usual ad hoc approach to blogging, this month I blogged consistently two to three times per week! You're welcome! 

September was the month I decided that I'm totally winning at life. 

I pondered on some important topics such as beginnings and life as a dog.  

I joined in for the first time with Friday Reflections and attempted some fiction. I was thrilled to be chosen for that week's featured writer! 

There was more mundane stuff when I took Mr 7 and 12 for dentist appointments. I was a super proud mumma because they handled the experience so well while I was FREAKING OUT.  Yep, I'm such a mature adult. 

However, there was some mature adulting stuff related to another doctor's appointment. It was revealed that I have high cholesterol and I started medication. I also got a referral to see a dietitian and then proceeded to eat like some sort of crazed, deprived person about to be locked up in a dungeon and starved. As you do. OK, as I do. I'm classy like that. 

Related: I did quite a bit of cooking, but then I just ate it and didn't photograph it. SO weird. 

Oh yes, I also attended a de-cluttering workshop held by my local council. More information on that and I round up of what I learnt coming soon! 

We also enjoyed a night out without the kidlets thanks to my parents. We went to an Indian restaurant with a bunch of friends. The next day Mickey Blue Eyes and I wondered what exactly it was that we  all used to talk about a decade ago. These days it seems to be about all our ailments: deteriorating eye sight, hearing, knee operations, surgeries and, of course, cancer, just to name a few. Fun times.

Related: when did we go so freaking OLD? 

Now it's school holidays! We've enjoyed some chaotic quiet days at home. Pyjama days are THE  BEST. 

However, I did manage to escape the nut house last Tuesday for a girl's day out. My friend Julie picked me up and we headed to the Central Coast for the day. We had lunch and then visited our other friend, Kim who moved up there earlier this year.

The next day THIS happened: 

A bee hive. It was in a tree in our front yard.

The Bee Movie! Right there in our front yard! There were thousands and thousands of bees swarming, buzzing and scaring the bejesus out of the boys. We had to call a professional to come and take it away. 

It's interesting because my late Pop used to be an Apiarist. Some years ago my parents also had a hive in their backyard. Look, I know there's some sort of logical explanation why these things happen. Spring. Pollen. Bees. Makes total sense. But there's a possibility that it has something to do with my Pop as well, right? 

It's been such glorious weather that we decided to end September with an impromptu picnic. So we set out on Friday, which turned out to be conveniently blustery and freezing. Oh well. We had fun anyway! 

And that concluded another sensational September! 

Now bring on the countdown to Christmas! And shit. 

Linking up for The Month That Was and IBOT

Images: Pexels; Giphy

What did you get up to in September? 

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? 

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?