Monday, July 30, 2012

Sewing in a Shoebox

Today marks a momentous occasion!  The first time I have ever sewn in the new house......and the newly named - Shoebox.

Picture this - I want to set up my sewing machines.  But in order to do so, I have to take boxes of fabric out that I don't have enough shelving for.  I don't have enough shelving because I have a sewing cabinet in above mentioned shoebox.  I now need to sell the sewing cabinet in order to make room for new shelving, which will then be filled up with the fabric that is now living in the space under the staircase!  Phew.

So, I basically did all of the above before I could even contemplate printing out the new pattern I had downloaded the other day.  I had Chloe home sick with me today, and really wanted to make her something special to wear on her birthday - which is this coming Sunday!  After clearing all the crap out of the way, I discovered my overlocker needed re-threading.  FARK!!!  Those of you who have overlocker's will understand my frustration.  Got it done though......I was on a mission.  I asked Chloe which fabric she would like for her new dress and her response was "Surprise Me!"  So cute...

I sifted through the few organised collections of fabric already neatly popped into the shelves, and found some gorgeous prints!  Although, they weren't purple - and I wasn't sure if it would pass her approval.

Needless to say, I cut out the fabric (on the dining table, because I have no room in the shoebox) and read through the instructions on the iPad (because I have no room for the computer in the shoebox).  And start sewing!  Only had a few hiccups - iPad was quickly running out of charge, and I had to set it up with the charger dodgy brothers style to keep up!  Chloe kept coming in to try and play whilst I was sewing - which used to be ok - but not in the shoebox!!

Anyway - a few hours later - this is the result!

I am extremely pleased with myself!  I have never used a pattern with a placket before (didn't even know what one was actually - it's the part at the back that forms the opening!).  I've also never done such detailed pleating......


My cheeky little monkey was very pleased indeed with her new party dress!  Although not so pleased she has to wait until Sunday to wear it!

Conclusion to the story - You CAN sew in a shoebox!  If you want to give this pattern a go - head over to PATTERNS ONLY and let the girls there know I sent you!  They are lovely!

Do you sew?  In a shoebox?

Friday, July 27, 2012

Internet Dating Pioneer

That would be....ahemmmm.....Me! 

Eleven years ago, I dipped my toes into a new and unknown way of meeting people - Internet dating.  At the time, Ninemsn had a site which was free and relatively easy to use.  So I uploaded a photo, wrote a few short paragraphs and waited to see what would happen.......

Months went by, I never used the site and was getting rather fed up with revolting old men emailing me and was just about to delete my profile when BAM!!  I received a very interesting email........from a guy called Andrew.

Now unbeknownst to me (because I obviously took it all very seriously - not) I had put an age range into the computer.  So he started off his email with "You said you're looking to meet someone 22-30, I'm a month shy of 22, can I make the cut?"  Made me laugh the first time I set eyes on him his words.  I can't remember the whole email, I kick myself that I didn't save it somewhere, but I honestly don't think I would have believed anything would ever have come of it!

I allowed him to make the cut, and we emailed back and forth for a while, before moving on to phone calls.  I had absolutely NO IDEA what he looked like, because he had no photo on the site.  I found out later why he had no photo - he actually only signed up to contact ME!  You see, he and his work mates would spend lunch breaks scrolling through dating sites laughing at the profile pictures, wondering which website/magazine the person had stolen the image from!  And one day, as he was scrolling through - he saw ME!  All together now - AWWWWWWWW......

Anyway, I digress.  I still had no idea what he looked like and had to trust him when he said he didn't look like an ogre.  I was a 26 year old, soon to be divorcee with a three year old son - I really didn't have much to lose!  So I trusted a point.   When the time came to actually meet face to face, I told the friend I was living with that she would answer the door, and if he was feral, she was to tell him I wasn't there!  Mature yes?  His car pulled up, I ran and hid and next thing I knew, I was assured he was OK and went to the door to meet him.

Now I'd like to tell you that it was love at first sight, that fireworks erupted when I met him - but no.  He often reminds me of the little old peck on the cheek I left him with that evening.  Gotta keep a guy guessing yes?

The fireworks came..... with the first kiss.

Needless to say, that kiss led us to here.  Now.  The future.

This story has been told many times over, and no doubt, will be a million times more.  In the early days, it was VERY uncommon for people to meet, let alone tell people they met online.  Hence why I like to think of myself as a pioneer!

I love that we have a story.  That our relationship was built on trust from day one.  That it still builds and gets stronger as the years roll on.

I would like to think that I can tell this story to a couple more generations of my family.  So they can laugh at the antiquated ways of the early 2000's.  And that when I'm telling the story, Andrew will be beside me, holding my hand.

Then - 2001


Tuesday, July 24, 2012

The new neighbourhood

My love of people-watching has been spoilt this past week or so.  I'm living in a new neighbourhood, with new people.  And given that I know NOBODY, the voyeur in me is out in force.  Eight years in our last suburb meant that we were used to everything.  Every sound, every sight, every person.  No surprises.  If the dogs barked like banshees, we just expected the psycho neighbour would be up in arms.  If we heard what sounded like a chassis being left behind on the speed hump outside our bedroom window, we knew it wouldn't be, because we had checked millions of times over the years.

So far, I have made a few observations:

Apparently, Motorsport attire is acceptable to wear to school pick up.  Paired with polar fleece, jeans and running shoes - it seems to be a uniform for a number of school Mums.

There is a Charles Manson look-alike picking up his child from school on a motorised scooter (not the type you hire from the shops for the elderly, the type you see at the skate park - minus the motor).  It's rather unnerving.  I would be lying to say I'm hoping our kids aren't friends with theirs!

The next door neighbour is a yeller.  Being the reformed yeller (well, I've had a slight relapse this week - more about that another time) that I am, realising the noise at 10pm, that makes you and your husband jump from your chair wondering who is being killed, is actually the neighbour losing her shit at her child, sort of makes you cringe..... and try harder not to relapse.

You can hear the trains.  I had never noticed this in all the years I have been a visitor to this house (if you're behind the 8-ball, read this).  Late at night when lying in bed, waiting for slumber to arrive, the toot of the train can be heard in the distance!

Discovering new shops in the local area, makes you realise how accustomed you become to knowing who is wrapping up your strass or baking your rolls.  It's unchartered territory.  But realising at the same time, that the likelihood of running into someone you would have to pretend not to see are minimal, makes up for the anonymous strass handler!

There's a lot of grass cutting happening.  Every day - I hear the whirr of a lawn mower.  Makes sense when you live in such a green enclave...

Walking to school pick up for the first time, you get to pass this: 

And dream of the months ahead when the weather will be kinder. See what I meant by green?

Looking out your study windows to see your kids playing in a safe court - bliss.

I am quite impressed that I don't really have any expectations of this neighbourhood.  I can walk in to the school assembly, blissfully unaware of any unsavoury undertones (Holden V Ford?) running through the groups of Mums there.  I can go in to the local milk bar, and not be surprised that they have no bread first thing in the morning.  And I can go to sleep at night knowing that we have moved to a lovely little part of the world, that will hopefully provide a great childhood for our kids, and a sanctuary for our whole family.

Do you people watch?  Did you have expectations of your neighbourhood?

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Words...when you have no words.

I have so much to say, but cannot find the words to articulate.  It is not often that I am lost for words, but this week has left me dry.  High and dry.  I've never believed in the "it's not fair".  But this week  - "it's not fair".  It just isn't.  Tragedy shouldn't happen to good people.  To good families.  It just shouldn't.  It's painful.  Painful for them and painful for all who love them.  It sucks.

I prayed.  Even when I said I didn't know who I prayed to.  But it didn't work.  So now what?  What do I do next time I need to pray?  Believe?

I don't know how I can make it better.  Help to take away the pain.  I'm running on empty, but don't want to admit it - because I know they are emptier than empty.  And it's not fair.

I love that they lived their lives together to the fullest.  That he soared higher because she enabled him to.  She lifted him up and he her.  I love that she will continue to lift her children up, to soar higher than the heights they imagine.  Her love is that great.

I love that I can call her my friend.  It's a privilege.  And in this most shittiest of situations, I hope that I can do our friendship justice by helping her in any way, shape or form.  However I am required.

I know, deep in the depths of my soul, that he is watching over her.  And will continue to do so - lending his strength to hers.

Be strong my friend.  But also be brave.  I know it will be OK.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Praying For A Miracle

I'm not a religious person.  I'm no Atheist either.  But I'm praying.  Praying to whoever it is out there that can align all the planets, move mountains, whatever it takes - to bring a miracle.

I awoke to the news yesterday morning that one of my dearest and nearest friends is awaiting news of her husband's whereabouts.  He is a helicopter pilot working over in PNG and his chopper has gone down somewhere in the forest.  We are still waiting.

On behalf of this most beautiful, generous, empathetic and amazing human being, and her family - I ask you to pray.  In her own words "Know that miracles happen, and one is going to happen today".

With all the love in the world
Me xxx

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bigger is NOT Best?

I love an epiphany.  Actually I love the word EPIPHANY!  Rather catchy I think.  I had myself an epiphany a few days ago.  Friday night to be exact.  And it happened in the most unusual of places - Harvey Norman.  For those of you outside the realm of Australia or anywhere else this big chain store has planted itself, then it is literally a big chain store selling all variety of goods for one's home.  From batteries to fridges, lounges to cameras.  They've got the lot.  And no, this is not a sponsored post - although, hey, I wouldn't knock it back!

So the family and I toddled in there, the aim being to find a new fridge and TV for the new home.  Which, if you haven't been following, you can catch up HERE and HERE.  Our new kitchen has a much smaller fridge cavity, which means our humungous, kick ass, LEAKING fridge cannot come with us.  Sad, I know.  Anyhow, found the fridge no worries - my new best friend, Vonnie, was very helpful in giving me an even cheaper price than the already reduced one plastered on the front of said appliance, so I was a happy camper.  Next stop - TV's.

This is where it gets tricky.  Remember only a few years ago when you went to buy a flat screen TV and it was a million dollars????  Well, times have changed my friends.  You can now get yourself a ginormous extension of your husband's penis plasma/LCD for under $1000.  The one that was on special was $696.  Great brand, great quality....blah blah blah.  Down the back of the entertainment section was the "little" 31" flat screens.  For half the price.  Given that this TV was going to be put in the kid's playroom, and its only purpose was going to be for them to play video games and watch "normal TV" - not foxtel - I was quite happy with the smaller version.  My husband - not so much.

To cut a not so long story short - he left the decision up to me.  Approximately two minutes later I told Vonnie that it actually made me feel sick to think that we would have THREE big screen televisions in our house!  THREE.  I thought it was rather extravagant, and really did not feel it directed her to the 31" at the rear.  When I rallied the kids to head in that direction, Lochie saw what I was getting and his reaction was:

"Is that all we're getting?  That little TV?  What about when we play split screen?"


I turned to Vonnie and said "Well that just confirms my decision."

I was actually quite horrified to think my kids just "expected" we would get a whopper with the lot.  All the bells and whistles.  I don't want my kids to think they need the biggest and best of everything in life to lead a happy one.

I relayed my epiphany via Facebook and was further miffed to hear people's opinions.....  All saying I should have got the bigger one!

So - is BIGGER better??  Do you worry about your kid's expectations?  Does a TV's size mirror your husband/partner's penis size?
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