Thursday, 26 February 2015

Guess How Much Money Team Red and White have Raised?!

A little while ago, I told you about four women who were walking to restore blindness. Remember?

If not, you can read the original post here. In short, they're participating in Coastrek 2015, a 55km walk to raise money for the Fred Hollows Foundation.

Team Red and White. Love the caps girls!

For months now these remarkable chicks have been training, embarking on regular walks of 20kms or more like that's how everyone fills in their Sundays. Don't worry, I'm there to remind them that heading off for a 4 hour walk every weekend is NOT normal. Unless there's 8 pub stops in that time. Then, normal. (Who am I kidding? I haven't been on a pub crawl since The Internet. And kids. *Sigh.)

So, how are they tracking? Really bloody well.

Not only have then been training their fit butts off, they've also been actively raising funds. Whilst they've asked people to sponsor them for walking FIFTY-FIVE excruciating kilometers, they haven't rested at that.

The girls (as well as juggling work and family and training I should add) have managed to hold a yoga class, a dinner and most recently a trivia night, all in the name of fundraising. And guess what? They've raised OVER FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS for this fabulous cause.

FIVE GRAND. So very cool.

I am chuffed to say that one of  my very own paintings was auctioned off at the trivia night and now another Sydney-sider is the proud owner of one of my pineapples!

All this hard work comes at a price though. The injury list continues to grow, from hideous blisters (let's just agree that they often hurt more than full blown amputations) to tendinitis and all sorts of issues with hips, knees and feet.

I'm guessing some local physios and massage therapists could be doing well out of Team Red and White. As could shoe sellers. And, get this, gator sellers:

The glamorous way to keep crap out of shoes
With just one week to go, the girls are no doubt going over their game plan, finalising supplies and probably slipping in the odd prayer or two for decent weather. As those of us in Sydney know, they could get dealt all kinds of crazy shit next Friday, from rain-forest heat and humidity to torrential downpours and flash flooding. Fingers crossed girls, I'm praying for 23 and dry.

If you're as impressed by these girls as I am and you'd like to help out, you can still

Otherwise, please stop reading now and put your hands together, not only for these women but for all the other teams who are taking part in Coastrek 2015. They really are amazing people, doing amazing things for selfless reasons.

Go on, clap!!

Thursday, 12 February 2015

10 Minute Drawing Challenge

I came up with a rad little challenge this week. I decided to spend around 10 minutes each day drawing.

Why? Why not?

I used to draw a lot, particularly as a child but these days it's really just doodling. I don't tend to sit down with paper and pencils and make an active decision to draw. I usually just do it while I'm on the phone or waiting for computers to cooperate.

I decided that I would spend  that doodling time purposely drawing with the intention or goal of being quick and getting used to drawing again. I just wanted to see what I could do in a short space of time, without getting caught up in all the detail. This is hard for me; when I paint,  I can get really stuck on details that just don't need to be that way. Bloody Virgo.

So here's what I did in 10 minutes or so over the last 5 days. It's not mind-blowing but I'm sharing it anyway because I hope to improve, and sharing drives motivation. In the interest of full disclosure, I didn't time myself strictly and some drawings may have been more than 10 minutes. I think you'll forgive me. I should also point out that these are really small -  about as wide as an iPhone and about half as long. They were drawn with whatever pencil was close by at the time on scrap A4 printer paper. Quality gear.


Hmmm...I'm  quite happy with this one: Miss 5

Mr 9 Right Up in Your Face

Stepson.  Husband is convinced it's JFK. Just what you want to hear!


Mr 9 asked me to draw with him and use his new water-colour pencils. Ummm...sure!


Is EPIC FAIL too harsh? So not appropriate for 10 min challenge.
So there you have it. Five days, five tiny little drawings that will end up on the kitchen bench with school notes, bills and small plastic toys that nobody wants to put away.

Should the 10 minute drawing challenge continue? Wanna join me?

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Robo-Vac Has Competition of the Juicy Blendy Variety

So we got one of these babies.

Works a Treat

It was a gift from a very generous family member and I think this gadget and I are about to become besties. Watch out Robo-Vac, you have new competition.

I have only used it twice so far. The first was a breakfast smoothie for the chillun (sorry, I've gone all To Kill a Mockingbird since the news of Harper Lee's pending new release....but I digress).

Just your usual banana and frozen blueberries. Lovely, but nothing cray-cray.  Then I made an apple and mango juice with lemon yoghurt. Sickeningly sweet but entirely drinkable at the same time. Will definitely hit that again.

What I need to do is branch out. I know that.

I've been given some recipes, but I have to tell you, I'm scared. I love a V8 juice. I'm quite happy to add some ginger to an apple/carrot mix. But I'm pretty bloody freaked out by the thought of juicing lettuce.

I want to do it, truly I do. I want to be better at this whole "my body's a temple" shit. But right now, I look at lettuce and I look at the machine and nothing else happens. I can't make the two come together. This includes all kinds of other things too that, let's face it, belong on a wrap.

So please, tell me.

Do people actually do this? And if I take the plunge, do you have any suggestions to make the whole idea of this less gag-reflexy?

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Monday, 9 February 2015

Not ALL Robotic Vaccum Cleaners Suck

It's coming up to my one year anniversary. One sweet, sweet year.

It hasn't all been roses of course. There have been times when we've argued. You know what it's like. He's too tired, needing to recharge the batteries. He's too full to go on. Sometimes he just gets stuck. But don't we all?

Yes, it's been tumultuous at times, but for the best part, my robo-vac has been the love of my life.

On Valentine's Day 2014, I posted this pic on my personal Facebook page. Robo and I had a beautiful day together, cleaning in unison, him taking care of the floors while I addressed the bench-tops and furniture.

After a busy day, we settled down together with a glass of bubbles. He'd worked so hard, God love him, that he was too tired to enjoy his bevvie. I was OK with that. He'd earned his rest and I'd earned the whole bottle. Win-win.

Today I'm alerted to the horrible news that our kind of relationship is not bliss for everyone.

In South Korea, a woman was reportedly attacked while napping on her floor by her robotic cleaning partner. Paramedics were called to the scene (which I can only assume is now an official crime scene) and thanks to their quick thinking, were able to set the woman free from what she now knows is a monster of the Hannibal Lector kind. Sort of.

Police dusted for prints but were unable to find any. It's a dirty business and one can only assume that the victim will require counselling and support before she can be given a clean bill of health. When asked what the encounter was like, the woman responded "It sucked".

It's important not to tar all robot cleaners with the same brush. Does one evil, rogue robot spell the end? No, I think not. It can't. We've come too far as a society to let the haters get a hold of this one.

In my house, the love affair continues. I appreciate that some may be frightened by this vicious and unprovoked act in South Korea. Some will worry about what might happen if their robot dares test it's power.

But me? No. I'll nap on a bed and tackle that problem head on.

Have you ever been attacked by a robot? (I thought not)

Thursday, 5 February 2015

I Was Courteous in a Queue. Shame on Me.

I went to the deli in our local supermarket on Wednesday. As I approached the counter, the staff member, standing directly in front of me on the other side of the counter yelled "Who's next?".

I glanced to my left, knowing that the woman in my peripheral vision was there when I approached. I gestured to the other customer and suggested she was next.

The other customer gracefully waved, the one that says "you go ahead, I'm already being served".

I turned back to the staff member, to see her impatiently staring at me, sighing at my disgraceful display of courtesy, tsk-tsking for holding her up. My immediate thought was to tell her to shove her shaved ham up her apron, but I just placed my small order instead, knowing she wouldn't care and I'd be hamless, so what's the point?

Bitchy deli chick than slapped my package down onto the counter and walked away. At this point, I remembered that this exact thing had happened to me about 6 months ago, at the same shop, with the same girl.

Please, friends, tell me. Am I wrong to do that? Is what I see as a common act of courtesy actually a blatant disrespect for the abilities of service industry staff?

Was inconveniencing myself by suggesting that she's about to serve the wrong customer, a big fat slap in her face?

I don't think so. I'd really appreciate some feedback here, particularly if you think she has a point. I'm generally a very open minded, two-sides-to-every-story kind of girl so I can take it if you disagree. Except on the topic of offal. There's no need for that shit.

I'm struggling with this. For starters, if she really was confident that I was next in line, why couldn't she say "Can I help you?"  rather than "Who's next?" Sure, it's a minor detail but it would suggest that she was aware of who was next. And then, if I balked, she could have followed up with "that lady's being served already."  BOOM. Maybe I should work there? But meat and I don't really get along so....maybe not.

Given her reaction to my senseless kindness, I dare say she'd be the type of person who'd spear-tackle you if you dared cut in front of her in a queue, even if you had no idea you'd done it. So surely then she should appreciate queue courtesy?

Everybody has bad days. Deli workers at the local supermarket are not the exception. I have no idea what else has happened in her day or her life, so I didn't give her a hard time or sneer at her (not while she was watching anyway). I thought, what would Tay-Tay do? And I shook it off.

This wasn't a big deal, even if it seems like I think it was because I'm now broadcasting it to anyone who'll pay attention. It just puzzled me because unlike a usual encounter with a rude or unreasonable person, this one was weird, where I, thinking I was doing the right thing, was made to feel like the bad guy. Again. By the same freaking person.

I may need therapy.

Is queue courtesy not a thing anymore? Am I just stuck in 2014?

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

I Sent My Child to School in the Wrong Uniform. On day 5.

So this week I became that parent.  The one who sends their child to school in the wrong uniform.

Fortunately, Miss 5 found it quite amusing doing sport in her black lace-up school shoes and dress, but I was a little gutted.

Is this really that hard?

I don't actually think it is. I only have two children here to get to school. Step-son is not with us during the week and dog doesn't go to school. (Although she does wear a fabulous singlet during when the weather's stormy.)

There are only two types of uniform for each child. And I have a note, on PAPER, about which uniform is to be worn each day for one of my children - the one in question.

So if you did a calculation (some sort of statistic would suffice, happy for you to do that for me) you could probably conclude that I SHOULD NOT have stuffed it up.

What's more, husband was there too. So that's two of us getting it wrong.

Further to that, on Monday night, we discussed that Miss 5's sports day was Tuesday. Yet just 12 hours later, on TUESDAY, we both completely forgot.


I had prepared the lunches the night before so that wasn't an excuse. This was one of my New Year's Resolutions, one I've actually stuck with (after 5 full school days!) and seriously, I don't know how the hell I managed to get the kids to school at all last year when I was making them in the mornings!

The kids weren't exactly compliant on Tuesday morning, but they're only compliant on average, one day per month, so that's no excuse, I'm used to pushing through that (crippling) hurdle.

I don't know how it happened. I do,  however, know this.

It won't happen again. No way. We are SO onto this now that both children will wear appropriate attire each day for the rest of the term, I swear to you. I will take a sickie from work and keep them home for the day if I think for even a split-second that I may not have them dressed correctly.

I can't speak for Term 2. Any level of shit could go down then.

But for now, we're sweet.

Have you managed to get it wrong for your kids already?