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You can do it they said to me.

I looked at them mouth open. Really? Me someone who balks at public affection, being asked to address a group of people more than me myself and I left me in worse wear than the fat Scots man on a night out with a bike and they wanted me to tell her the bad news.

Me.

Was this candid camera I thought as I looked at my feet trying to come up with a answer that would get me out of this because we had all seen it we had all been there however nothing came to mind but that this had to be a joke but we agreed she should know but me?

‘Think of it as character building my husband’ said patting my bum all affectionate like. Like he was doing me a favour. I swatted him as hard as I could all whilst my step sister stood there grinning in unison with his ‘idea’.

‘Its best that it comes from you’ he said ‘she likes you best’.

She likes you best is what I sneered along with numerous other names including the less offensive and louder gutless wonders as I hopped into the car.

So as I drove to the ‘delivery’ that I learnt a lot about how to deal with a somewhat awkward situation and have a somewhat awkward conversation that if handled wrong could possibly become awkward forever.

Which in a large Italian family is the last thing you wan.t I value my fingers and toes.

So if you need to tell your hairdresser that you no longer want her services because you are tired of looking like you have wrestled a lawn mower. That your girlfriend isn’t getting any love because everyone is confused as to whether on a night out she is George or Georgina or that your best friends husband is less than honest then here is the how to of delivering of bad news.

  1. Don’t think of it as a negative thing. You are merely delivery information. That afternoon I knew once we had chatted the cards would be on the table she would do with the information as she liked and we could move on. Well that’s how it played out in my mind. So whilst it was ‘strained’ for an eternity while I like to think that whilst things have changed it’s not necessarily a bad thing.
  2. Don’t delay the conversation just get it over with. Like ripping off a literal band aid on your husband’s hairy chest as fun as it is to see them squirm it’s not fair and it makes you look nasty. So I walked in I sat down and said we need to talk. The delivery was over in 20 minutes.
  3. Have a general idea of what you want to say. Rehearse what you need to say rather than ramble. Arrange delivery and logical sequence of your sentences and words. I must have looked like an absolute lunatic as I drove to the delivery. Repeating what I wanted to say so as not to get flustered so that it would be what I wanted to say and how I wanted to say it. Getting my facts straight literally.
  4. Get to the point. There was nothing else but to say George and the woman next door….at the bar last night…no mistaking it she is not a man. The facts and only the facts.
  5. Watch your tone of voice don’t raise it nor lower it. You are giving news not starting an argument but nor are you in trouble you are the essentially the bearer of bad news. Sometimes it hurts to hear that your need to go back to hairdressing school or that you need to hit the gym or find a new husband but not all news is good news.

Good luck

Deb

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Next Friday is the 31st of October can you believe it? I can’t rather but here I am writing about Halloween. Now I know it’s an American holiday {although technically a Celtic origin symbolising the end of harvest} and each year I speak of how it is so and how I don’t actually like the custom of trick or treat I don’t like it at all.

However.

This is what I have found. Halloween and the other commercialised holidays think St Patrick’s Day, Thanks Giving, World Laugh day they provide the perfect little distraction to this FIFO life of mine and whilst I don’t allow the boys to trick or treat not now {and hopefully never} we do a Halloween party after dinner.

They look forward to it as do I. It mixes up the swing a little. It provides a welcome distraction for the swing.

For us how it works is like this after dinner I shoo them out to get dressed for bed to shower and I get to work like a mad woman decorating our little dining room with store and home-made decorations and laying the table with Halloween inspired desserts. As it happens this year I’m more organised  and so I’m already thinking of what new decorations can be placed out and what food can be done. This new lease on life it should be mentioned  has come about from having more time thanks to our wonderful education system lets be honest here so don’t feel like this is something I have done every year and nor is it done on a grand scale.

So these are the ‘crafts’ and I say that lightly because I am not a crafter. The glue gun and I will not be friends as you will see in the simplicity of the ones I have chosen and if you are keen to go beyond jelly snakes in the ice cream and fake spiders on the cakes consider some of these great little ideas here again we have slowly progressed from blood drinks {Ribeena} to brain shakes {milk shakes with eyeballs} as I have more energy and inspiration. I am no Martha Stewart or Donna Hay.

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Ghost’s milk bottles ..a texta some scissors and some fairy lights placed up through the base {or tea lights or glow sticks} with some sand to keep it stable. Original instructions I am unable to find but this was sourced from Pintrest with no further details of where it came from.

foam bats

Foam Bats or paper bats {I made paper}.. paper scissors and plain glue. Original instructions from here. This year I am going to do a wall of bats.

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Spider egg sacks. A white stocking with some plastic spiders from the $2.00 shop original source here. This year I am going to cover the windows.

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I am doing this to the entry to the kitchen..I have some black tarp {from the water slide last year} masking tape, paper plates done. Original source here.

Last year husband was home and well we went all out with costumes because obviously costumes are his thing..but this was last years efforts nothing crazy after all I have to clean it up .

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Oh and Im slowly getting into this Pintrest thing here.

xxDeb

 

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It was with realisation today that Big Boy the cancer drug trial dog is heading into the beginning of the last stages of his disease. He is happy enough still but has started the symptoms that they consider part of the final progression.

Naturally what do I do apart from cry? I get angry and well that makes me want to eat I know such a terrible cycle but I can’t help it well I can a run I could fix it with a run I know that but right now I just want something gooey sticky sweet and I want it right now but in that same frame of mind I don’t want junk so I made this instead.

Pure comfort I tell you.

Have it as a side with a roast throw in some salad leaves, pine nuts a soft cheese and well its a whole meal but I didn’t I ate it straight from the baking dish..like a sad and sorry mess.

Roasted pumpkin and balsamic and Maple Syrup.

What you will need:

1.75kg butternut pumpkin, deseeded, cut into 2cm-thick pieces
olive oil cooking spray
red onion sliced
1/4 cup maple syrup
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

How to:

Preheat oven to 250°C. Line 2 baking trays with baking paper. Place pumpkin and onion in a single layer on trays. Spray with oil and turn to coat. Season with salt and pepper. Roast pumpkin, turning once, for 20 minutes or until golden and tender. In the last five/ ten minutes pour in the maple syrup and honey and cover. depending how caramalised you like your pumpkin and onion will depending on cooking time.

enjoy.

{image with thanks to here}

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Do you know what its like to lose the family farm after its been in your family for one hundred and fifty years he said? Do you know what it feels like to be the generation the man. The family to lose what your father, your fathers father and father before that worked so hard for?

Do you know what its like to have tried your damnedest and still fail because farming isn’t valued enough and nobody wants to pay an extra 15 cents for the product you have work so hard for and yet they don’t even blink at the idea of paying extra for an overseas named brand t-shirt thats made in India no less?

I looked at him. I was holding the gate to the fence where his cattle had escaped and wandered out.

No I don’t I said. Nothing else was said and we went on to talk about how much he loved his cattle having changed from Brahman to Wagu hoping he could save himself.

I handed the flimsy wired gate back to him and continued walking his words striking me but not affecting me enough to consider it further until this past weekend and I had coffee with my friend Mel.

‘Deb you are serving me Woolies milk?’ she said.

‘Yeah’ I said why completely forgetting she is a dairy farmers wife. I forgot because she is a photographer, the wife of a dairy farmer and of a FIFO worker. Her husband has had to leave the farm to work in a mine four hours away because the price of milk has plummeted and they can’t sell off a farm that makes no money.

I tried to justify myself by saying that I go through 12 litres of milk a week and that’s on a good week.

“If you brought my milk it would be better for you its full cream not watered down and the boys would drink less” she said.
I rebutted with a laugh no they wouldn’t it would just cost me more money. She stayed silent and said no more because what is the point when fighting about the almighty dollar.

It wasn’t until she left that I stopped and thought about my local farmers to which there are many living around me being a rural area.Many have progressed into business as they need to trying to stay afloat and diversify. Some have succeeded and yet some have closed their doors and have started to sell off their land. As a result surrounding towns have gone quiet farming supply stores surviving just on hobby farmers coming in from the city to get a slice of what could be.

And it was a gut wrenching penny dropping that I realised the course of my actions my trying to save some bucks will indeed have attributed whilst not totally but the mind-set of those farmers closing. It occuered what a slap in the face it would be to the likes of farmer John and my friend Mel to not to even batter my lids at paying additional for a ‘good quality shirt’ that’s made in India yet not justify to pay additional for something that will stay here support my neighbour an and Australian business.

With the knowing of every door closing I have always thought oh how sad but the reality is that s someone’s livelihood someones heritage gone but I thought no more of it then.

Yet today I thought back to Mel and how tired she looked, how tired farmer John looked my neighbours my fellow Australians and so I made a decision this weekend to try to buy more Australian made and less imports where I can. I am not being unrealistic about it but the very idea that if I switch to paying an additional $1.00 for a bottle of milk might keep my friend Mel in business then I will. If it means paying 30 cents extra for tomatoes I will. Realistically I can’t buy all Australian made and I can’t make promises but I can do more than I am now.

So if I can change my mind if can change it just a little we might just save another Australian farming business going out of business and the flow on effect from that is priceless.

Do you buy much Australian made are you a conscious shopper?

xx Deb

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This has been a tough week. I knew I was in for a bit of ‘melt down’ today when I found my B2 walking with me this morning and not shutting up and me thinking does my laundry locks from the inside. I love my kids I seriously adore them but this week I have had someone clasped to my hip all week and that said person I have been wiping orifices of for most of it. The only down time I got was when he slept between vomits. And then my sleeping has been minimal with last night being my first full night in five days. My B1 he vomits in his sleep so relaxing isn’t a word I would use to describe this week.

So today I did what my body told me and I watched TV all day first time in a long time. I switched the TV on for B1 said knock your socks and I did the same and I didn’t even have to hide in the laundry but incase you’re not as fortunate as I am yet here are five ways to relax before the little cherubs can open the toilet door but it won’t matter even if they because you have had five minutes you have relaxed your refreshed and ready for round two.

1.  Eat some Chocolate
Just a square (about 1.4 ounces) of the sweet stuff can calm your nerves. Dark chocolate regulates levels of the stress hormone cortisol and stabilizes metabolism .I come baring only good news.

2. Give Yourself a Hand Massage
When there’s no professional masseuse in sight, try DIYing a hand massage for instant relaxation that calms a pounding heart. Massages can be especially helpful for people who spend a lot of time typing on a keyboard. Hands in general can carry a lot of tension. Apply some luxurious lotion and start kneading the base of the muscle under the thumb to relieve stress in the shoulders, neck, and scalp.

3. Look Out the Window
No spying on the neighbors allowed unless of course its worth the jail time. When things get hectic, take a five-minute break to do nothing but stare out the window. Looking at nature scenes like trees and public parks can be a lot more relaxing than staring at the TV screen.

4. Laugh
Laughter’s one of the sillier ways to beat stress, but there’s science behind it [20]. A fit of hysterics can increase blood flow and boost immunity. Keep a book of jokes handy in the desk drawer or check out a hilarious YouTube video for a quick pick-me-up. Consider these here and here.

5. Talk to a Friend
When something’s really bothering you, it can help to share your feelings with a friend. In fact, more talkative folks tend to be happier in general. So vent to a coworker or call a close family member and spill.

xx Deb

{image and tips with thanks}

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a fifo wife {fifo life: me: on falling in love}

by debbie on October 16, 2014

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They are saying that you can see the exact moment that Jennifer Garner falls in love with Ben Affleck here and whilst she does look smitten only she can say when she fell in love but it got me thinking about falling in love with my husband. And whist I didn’t tell him in that moment I remember thinking oh god things are about to change forever.

I remember the day it was Sunday I remember what we were doing I was sitting in a lounge chair reading a text-book studying, I was doing a psychology degree at the time. He was on the floor writing something a letter no doubt when a Garth Brooks song came on..One Night A Day to be exact. He got up from the floor grabbed my hand and slow danced me around my living room.

That was it. I was gone I was his. Forever marked by him. And I think of that moment a lot and play that song more than I care to admit. It’s what keeps me going some days some nights when the silence is too much to bare.

He left for deployment a week later but I didn’t tell him. I thought it would pass and that I thought I had plenty of time. Obviously neither happened.

So over the static of an old sat phone in the front garden of my childhood home I paced as I said I need to tell you something.. I mustered the courage that doesn’t come easy to someone who doesn’t like to hold hands in public and blurted I love you …

and I got nothing back..but thats okay he had told me ten days after we met {a week before} that he thought he loved me it’s just he thought I was sleeping.

So I guess we were even.

Do you remember the moment? 

xxDeb

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Mum can you make a cake. I hadn’t made one the previous day despite saying I would so of course first day of school it was the first thing they asked and it was the last thing I wanted to do. All I wanted to do was clean the house and revel in that controlled feeling for six hours but having a cake on hand is one less thing you have to think about putting in their lunch box. I hate school lunches seriously hate them its the one thing that I hate about the school morning routine; have I said I hate school lunches enough?

Anyway I found this recipe in one of the Woman’s Day Freezer cook books and so I by no means take any of the credit except for finding it eating it and presenting it here. Now occasionally I make it as a cake and occasionally I make it as cup cakes it really depends on how I am feeling {ie how much effort finding patty pans presents at the time} but the {cup}cake is quick to make super moist judging by the ingredients very much a in moderation treat and tastes like the {cup}cake version of chocolate crackles..well I think so and so do the boys.

So given that it ticks all those boxes give it a go serving it with a dollop of cream makes it even more ‘treat’ like but so good. I also add chocolate chips every now and then or nutella if being made on the weekend.

Chocolate Coconut Cupcakes

What you will need: 

110g unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
1/2 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 cup plain flour, sifted
3/4 cup shredded coconut
4 tablespoons good-quality cocoa powder, plus 1 teaspoon extra
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder

How to: 

1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

2. In a bowl, beat butter and sugar together until pale, then add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. 3. Add flour, 1/4 cup of coconut, cocoa and baking powder and mix well.

4.Pour batter into a 12-cup greased muffin pan. Place in oven and bake for 12-15 minutes, or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Set aside to cool on a wire rack.

xx Deb

{image with thanks to here}

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a few things {fifo life: a few things}

by debbie on October 13, 2014

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How was the weekend lovelies? Ours was good typical of an on swing weekend. Saturday was grumble grumble Sunday was so I am told the best day ever and I have to admit I did do okay for ourselves. I caught up with a friend for coffee heard the most amazing news regarding their health, took the boys to spend their $5.00 at Big W, an impromptu visit to the skate park finished off with a $1.00 frozen coke at Maccas, then without knowing made the best dinner ever?.

Win win without even trying really.

Yet this morning after a night of nursing a sick baby {they will always be our babies when unwell} I am tired and so as a result am in that phase of missing my husband and best friend so here are a few things running through my head because its all about distraction in the end.

1. Mum do you mind taking care of me when I am sick? No baby I don’t I said. Not even when I vomit on your sheets? No even when you vomit on my sheets…sigh..grumble grumble.

2. The Block? Omg how terrible were the results? I don’t understand how come the boys apartment went and yet the others didn’t? Anyone know?

3. Its week two of swing.. you can tell when I spoke with husband…you can tell by the way Murphy is hanging around.

4. Head down bum up is the only way to get through week two and week three..actually its the only way to get through any working week.

5. Famous women on ageing here.

6. I can’t stop thinking about Brittany. When I read about her last week I cried when I saw the interview I sobbed here.

7. I commented about her husband last week now I’m commenting on her I like her bump and all here.

8. 15 of the most romantic places to kiss here but I can tell you the ‘romance’ of being kissed whilst walking in the rain will always beat these hands down.

9. Life changing hair hacks? Hmmm have a go at number 4 not life changing but you know here.

10. Ellen and I could not be friends my husband her however would be thick as thieves. Children. here.

Where was the most romantic place you have been kissed?

xx Deb

{image with thanks to here}

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I’m having a wee mid life Chris. Well it’s not wee I think it’s ever since I realised I was grown up had kids a mortgage a husband and purchased health insurance so if we get technical it’s been going on for a while. And as I approach 40 which is just three years away I’m constantly thinking I have too much stuff both physical and mental, it’s suffocating me its weighing me down. There is just literal shite everywhere and I want to get rid of it before it’s too late and I’m not only carrying all that shite but my breast and jowls around in a Best and Less bag too.

{And it should be mentioned I don’t actually think of it as casually as oh it’s just three years and away it’s with hyperventilation. It’s with maddening thought I am approaching middle age it’s with a calm sense of neurosis that only I can conjure that I am half way through this gig called life and it’s just a few short years before I will be carrying both my breasts and jowls in a bag with me}

However the catch is I am married and I do have three children and I do see the battle unfolding with the husband whose favourite outing is a trip to the dump {sigh} and who never ever stops thinking more mental and physical ‘stuff’ to think about – we are doomed before even starting on this ‘journey’ {yes dripping with sarcasm I hate the word journey- a journey is sunny days, pina colads and laughter there is no pina colads and laughter when you’re driving home from the dump with yet another big screen TV to sit idly in your lounge room whilst waiting to be collected by the other step toe and son who lives four hours away and only visits several times a year working out how to get rid of it with out compromising realtionships}

However this isn’t about him I can’t control him and nor do I want to I love him to bits and his thinking is what distracts him long enough for me to recharge my batteries so I can keep up with him so typically as we all know what I can control is me and my shite so I am starting a series on just that..Simplifying. You can call it decluttering, minimizing whatever the fashion word for it is currently… but it will be a series on getting my life back on track, finding my Zen spot, my happy place, the back of my wardrobe, seeing our bank balance and go oh yeah that’s noice, looking in the mirror and saying hey you fine thing and being able to walk through my studio without a shovel.

Understand? Yeah I know I have made these threats before husband tells me all the time but that was before. This time I mean it seriously mean it because this time, this time I have sleep on my side. I have independent children who only require me to wipe their orifices when they are sick and they let me go to the toilet on my own so officially I am liberated and ladies and gents there is light at the end of that great big funnel; well until the teen age years begin I am giddy with freedom I am not naive. I have made it through the preliminary stages of parenthood. I can offically focus a little more on me. Me that sounds so selfish and naughty when you say it like that but say it again with a deep growl meeeee.

So that’s it that’s my promise to myself the reward of less is more so here is what I want to get a grip on this is part of my plan.

  1. My love life well this is currently under construction as you know from here and here which is why all this came about.
  2. Getting rid of ‘stuff’ don’t worry husband your stuff is safe. My stuff I want to walk into a room and not be frazzled by chaos.
  3. My head it needs some serious work done on in there that’s going to be a long process; although I think you know that already.
  4. My social life I kind of dont have one and the one I do have is not really healthy for head.
  5. My digital life I have emails, subscripitions 24/7.
  6. My health no brainer.
  7. Mine, his and our finances.
  8. My work life ie this blog, the shop and my other one.
  9. My family life I’m not sure what I can do more but let’s see.
  10. to be advised….

So we shall see stay posted I will come back every now and then with an update {of course} and let you know how I’m going with it all. I do promise it wont be Oprah there is only one Oprah but me and all the honesty I can give you. I have to do it and so it’s down on paper its a plan to the bigger picture and I have sent it off to the universe. And If I don’t do it I will end up looking like I have egg on my face ahh additional pressure of course why not? I work better under pressure and expectation? But the only expectation now is mine the only one that should matter.

Have you ‘simplified’ recently was it worth the effort? Did it live up to your expectations?

XxDeb

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So I announced last month I was going to take on a lover  and I told my husband I was going to have an affair {with him} and I’m not sure he quiet knew what I meant but he ‘prepared’ himself all the same. And by prepared himself I mean he got physically finer than what he was because obviously thats one does when hearing your wife is taking a lover. And so when he picked me up from the airport that Sunday afternoon I literally went weak at the sight of him. Skipping around the back of our red pickup truck to kiss me I looked around at who else might be spying at what I do claim as mine. Looking better than when he was 23 bare foot in his board shorts, nicely fitted t-shirt, bare feet and cap he was a sight to behold a great start if I do say so myself.

Ahem I regress the affair ahem so without going into torrid details that will leave me unable to walk the street of my small town…

Ordinarily we would have some loving every day and it was always good but like I said here it was routine and sex and routine shouldn’t mix bit like me and smith’s chips when husband is on swing yet when you have an affair you never know when or will “it” happen. There is instead anticipation. So in remembering our first few years together there was no scheduling and so no expectation…the cue sign of standing in a towel after the kids had gone to school went out the window and in came play, words, laughter and teasing and it all became part fun.  So the ‘”it” was when the mood strike and for those interested there was actually was less of ‘it’ funnily enough but here is the thing…it was longer {if possible wink win nudge nudge} and it was soooooooo good. Really really good I can’t emphasise that enough and the best part it was fun. It wasn’t routine, it was funny, it was hurried and needed, it was it was drawn out and passionate and it was good. It left you wanting more.

You know the sort of loving? The type before you got tired? Before having to satisfy one more person other than yourself was the objective. Before it became routine, a ritual and comfort that doing it meant your relationship was okay.

And the surprising spin off apart from the fact there was ‘less’ was that the best part of having an ‘affair’ and taking a lover, changing it mixing it up our relationship dynamic has or started to change. We started becoming much like the selves we were before becoming parents before we started having to listen for feet, making it through the cry or before my body was merely a feeding instrument for someone. I saw something and I realised how much I missed him that person and I and it was nice to see him again with me.

So this month I am working on myself more physically, emotional and soulfully I know very Oprah sounding but I mean I want to be more self accepting because I believe it will make my affair even better because I got a glimpse of some people I once knew and I really want to see some more of them both physically, emotionally and soulfully.

What do you think on taking a lover {your partner preferably} is it good for the soul to?

xx Deb

{image with thanks here}

 

 

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