Thursday, December 22, 2011

Yeah, Merry Christmas!

 

Take it from me - deciding to study two subjects in the middle of Christmas is the stupidest thing you could ever decide to do.  Not only am I furiously trying to finish an essay which is due on the 30th, I also have to read about a dozen sociology articles and maintain two online posts regarding those atricles, each week - as well as do all the Christmas shopping, wrapping, ferrying kids from one place to another (yes - I'm still the only driver), and pack for a week away. 

What sort of a course co-ordinator would decide NOT to have a break over Christmas?  Oh, I'm sure THEY all get a break, don't worry about the rest of us.  Granted, they have given us this week to finish the essay but I'm not like ordinary students - my brain's a lot older and probably greyer and I need more than a week to finish an essay.  Hence, my only option is to also pack my laptop and study paraphenalia (don't know if that's how it's spelt and I don't care) and work on it by the beach.  Actually, that doesn't sound so bad - I might even throw in a couple of drinks for good measure.  But as Nicki so wisely says, each day is a step closer to my degree.  For now, I have to try and get to the shops before the masses and finish my last little bit of shopping.

I wish you a very Merry Christmas and will be thinking of you all drinking your egg nog by the fire, while I'm sitting on the beach having a cold one.  Sounds ridiculous doesn't it?!!! XXX

Saturday, November 19, 2011

S...mother!

Yesterday, TD No. 1 graduated from high school, today, she's driven away with her friends for a week on the Coast.  I can officially no longer smother her with sunscreen, order her to wear a hat or demand she be home by a certain time.

Although the last couple of days have been quite emotional as I slowly come to grips that my little girl is no longer a little girl, I feel quite okay with it all this morning.  I think we're going to become better friends now that she's almost an adult and I'm proud of the fact that she's entering the big, wide world.  It is scary to see her driving away in someone else's car but unfortunately, I can't wrap her in cotton wool.

On the upside, SH No. 1 and I can start enjoy more 'us' time and I still have two other children I can smother and boss around!!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Catharsis

What would you say to your sixteen year old self if you could go back in time?  That's the premise for this great book by Joseph Galliano, Dear Me.  It features the letters of 75 well known personalities, writing letters to their sixteen year old selves.

Check out the website and make your own contribution.  I did and boy, what a cathartic experience!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Liebster Blog





 A big thank you to my mate, Sarah, over at The Secret Life of an Unknown Housewife for giving me a Liebster Blog Award and my apologies for not acknowledging this award sooner!  The Liebster Blog Award is given to blogs with fewer than 200 followers (I'm lucky to have 34!), containing good content and warranting more support.  Yep, that's me.  Although, I must also say that through my little blog, I have come into contact with some great people who I like to call friends!

The Liebster Award rules are -

1.  Acknowledge who gave you the Liebster Award by thanking them and linking back to them.

Thank you, Sarah!  I was happy to hear you say I reminded you a little of yourself, because I feel the same. XX

2.  Reveal 5 of your top picks and let them know by leaving a comment on their blog.  N.B. These are in no particular order - they're all entertaining!

1.  Diaries of a Neurotic Non-trad - Nicki is a straight talking New Yorker, studying for her Masters in Mental Health Counselling.  She tells it like it is and I love her!

2.  Rantings of a Middle-Aged College Student - Connie is also from the US and also a mature aged student, studying full time.  A fellow Libran, I love reading about her journey through college.

3.  The Non-Traditional Student Blog - Betsyanne provides some much needed and welcome advice about studying as a mature aged student and has given me some great tips about my own journey.

4.  Studying Parent - is from UK and was my very first follower and I have been following her since she was an undergrad.  Has just completed her Masters in Victorian Studies and is applying for a PhD!  Very inspiring.

5.  The Mature? Student - I've just started following The Mature Student, also a mature-aged student with three grown sons - another inspiring blog! 

3.  Phew...where was I?  Oh, right - the rules.  No. 3. - Post the Award on your blog.

4.  Enjoy the love and support of some wonderful people on the www!!! Keep posting, keep commenting and keep being positive.


That took longer than I anticipated but it was worth it to share some great blogs.  Like I said, as well as  making some friends through these blogs, they are a great read. Although I don't get to read them as regularly as I would like, they all provide me with the inspiration to keep going with my lifelong goals as a mature-aged student!  Enjoy.







Monday, November 7, 2011

Wrong? Moi?

In  my last post ''What's in a name?', I explained how my dog Bindi was named because I heard Steve Irwin had a crocodile named Bindi and I thought it sounded like a cute name for a dog.  Yes, I know his daughter's name is also Bindi, who doesn't?  He named his daughter Bindi Sue, after both his crocodile and a pet dog.  How do I know this?  An interview he did on ABC years and years ago called, 'Enough Rope' with Andrew Denton. So, basically, straight from the Crocodile Hunter's mouth.  Now, when I got an annonymous comment telling me otherwise, I became like a dog with a bone, or better still, a crocodile with a dog!  For any other doubters, this information can easily be accessed on the Crocodile Hunter website  under 'Did you know?'. 

Sorry, Annonymous but I just had to prove a point!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

What's in a name?


Bindi girl

This morning as I was sitting on the deck trying to get my required daily dose of vitamin D, I was watching my little foxy, Bindi, as she sat there turning her head from side to side at the early morning sounds going on around us.  Bindi will be 9 in December, which isn't too old but it's getting up there.  She's starting to go grey around her face and eyebrows but apart from that she's still as foxy as ever.  I don't know why but for the last few months I've been thinking about what sort of dog I'll get next and more importantly, what I'll name her.

I don't know about you, but I had the best time picking names for my children, although come to think of it, Supportive Husband won out in the end!  But the pets have all been named by me.  Bindi was named after the little prickles we get over here called bindis and also because I heard Steve Irwin had a pet crocodile named Bindi and I thought, what a cute name for a puppy.  Some of the breeds and names I've come up with for my next dog are - a German Shepherd called Hera, after one of Zeus' wives; a black and white Maltese Cross called Coco, after Coco Chanel; and this morning I came up with a black Cocker Spanial called Miss Ceili, after Whoopi Goldberg's character in The Colour Purple.  Poor Bindi - I wonder if she knows I'm already thinking of her replacement?

This got me to thinking about my own nicknames - I have quite a few.  When I was a little girl, my Daddy called me Urgs because apparently when I was a baby, all I said was 'urgle urgle'.  When I was about 15, he started calling me Tootsie.  Now, I don't think it was because I look like a man impersonating a woman!  I'm pretty sure it was after a horse that won him a lot of money!  My brothers called me Caz and this name stuck and eventually my closest friends started using it.  When I started uni, this is how I introduced myself and now, this is what everyone knows me as - even the lecturers.  My Mum, for whatever reason, has just started calling me Schmoopy - I don't even know how that started.  And Supportive Hubby calls me Babe, obviously because I'm a babe!

Now this brings me to my real name, which I'm very rarely known as or called.  It contains part of my Mum's name and is a derivitive of an extremely popular English name which means, 'little woman born to command'!  Even when I tell people my real name, I'm inevitably called the popular English version.  No, I'm not going to let the cat out of the bag and reveal it but you're welcome to guess if you like.

With all these names, it's no wonder I'm continually having an identity crisis!  How about you - what's your nickname?

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Sweet 16?



Yes, I know it looks lame but it was fun!

TD No. 2 turned sweet 16 yesterday - 'and never been kissed?' I asked her, which was met with her almost chocking into her drink.  Don't want to know. 

She decided months ago she wanted to celebrate with her favourite (American) tradition and have a Halloween party.  It continues to amaze me how sociable this current generation is.  Though it shouldn't surprise me at all when I consider the extent of current social media and the constancy of it all.  I remember when I was a teen, being so shy I could barely talk on the phone and my social life consisted of the occasional sleepover, a blue light disco every now and again and going into the city to see a movie was an adventure.

Anyway, where was I?  The Halloween party...this tradition has been slowly taking off over here in the last couple of years but TD No. 2 is mad about it and by American standards, I thought our level of enthusiasm for decorating and dressing up was pretty lame, but some of the costumes that turned up last night were fantasic.  I've spent the last couple of weeks searching for and hoarding as many decorations I could find - cobwebs (I could've just not cleaned for the past three months and had the real thing); spiders (ditto); bloody footprints (...no, had to buy those); skulls (I could've cracked a few) etc.  I then spent all of last week keeping the house clean for the 15 teenage guests we were expecting.  That's a feat in it's own, keeping the house clean with two teens, one pre-teen, a reasonably tidy husband, a dog and a cat living in the one place at the one time. 

Nevertheless, last night when they all arrived on our doorstep, the house was clean but decorated to look dirty.  We put red cellophane over the light bulbs to give off that eerie hellish glow; the ceiling was decorated with cobwebs and spiders; the floor was trailed with blood spatters and bloody footprints and we had a suitable Halloween soundtrack blarring, complete with blood curdling screams, chainsaws and evil laughter.  With No. 1 son set up at the front door dressed in his scream mask, holding his plastic hatchet and my wicked witch impersonation inviting them in through the intercom, we had a few of them who were even too scared to enter.  Everyone went all out with the constumes, though some were a bit questionable (a pimp?).  We served (human) meat pies complete with bloody tomato sauce and plastic flies sitting on top; sausage rolls and cockroaches; and for the odd vegetarian - samosa's and springrolls.  The birthday cake was an ice-cream pumpkin. 

They screamed, danced and talked the night away and when hubby and I went down to bid everyone a good night, we couldn't believe the state of the place!  It still looks like a nightclub at 5 o'clock in the morning.  Despite putting bins downstairs for rubbish, everyone just decided to leave lolly wrappers, plates, empty and half empty cans of drink and even toilet paper from someone's costume lying everywhere - even outside.  I don't know about you, but I have never taken something from a wrapper and just thrown it on someone's living room floor!!

Anyway, TD No. 2 had such a great night.  Hope she remembers that when she helps us clean it all up - again!!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Suck it up, princess!

Yesterday morning during breakfast, I went on a rant about how all I do is run around after everyone and I'm so tired and how on earth am I going to do anything over Summer Semester with the kids home on holidays - it'll be 'take me here, take me there' and why am I even bothering trying to get a degree, what's the point?  I'll never be able to use it anyway, I'll be too old, no-one will want me, my best years are over...whinge, whinge, moan, moan.  I then stormed off into my bedroom to have a little weep about how unfair my life is...whinge, whinge, moan, moan.

Little did I realise No. 1 son was in the kitchen making his breakfast, listening to every single gripe that spewed forth from my lips.  After about half an hour, he knocked on my bedroom door and told me he'd washed and wiped all the breakfast dishes so I wouldn't have to do it.  Oh, the guilt!  After giving him a big snuggle, I quickly explained that he wasn't the reason I felt this way to which he replied, 'I know, I just wanted to do something nice for you.'  Still racked with guilt, I dropped him off at school and again reiterated my morning pity party was not because of him.  As he shut the door and crossed the road, he turned and blew me a kiss. 

I sobbed all the way home, up the stairs and on my bed for about an hour.  Who am I kidding?  My life is great.  As No. 1 Son says, suck it up, princess.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Blue Skies

Usually all I do is walk around thinking about how much I hate being at home - driving kids everywhere, preparing meals, doing washing, cleaning, vacuuming and wondering WHEN IS IT ALL GOING TO END?!!!  Yesterday was my birthday and I went and had a two hour guilt-free pamper - facial, hot rock massage and manicure.  I walked out of that spa feeling as if I was walking on air.  Why don't I treat myself to something like that more often?

This morning I woke up and instead of thinking 'same shit, different day', I let go and decided to just enjoy it while I can.  I'm lucky I don't have to go out and try and find a job; I'm lucky I can be here and have my house clean every day - just the way I like it; I'm lucky I don't have to stress about my future.  At the moment I'm in a holding pattern; I'm in limbo until Summer Semester starts and I can get back to doing what I absolutely love (not the stress, just the learning).  Now I realise I'm not the only one who feels slightly displaced when uni has temporarily finished, after reading this post by Studying Parent.  Many of us academic types (no, I really don't want to be an academic, but you get my meaning), feel out of sorts when we're waiting for our turn to take off again!

And my new promise to myself is that for each semester I do well, I'm going to treat myself to a couple of hours in the spa and I'll be all glammed up, confident and ready to reach for the stars again. Ciao!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

It's not a mid-life crisis...



...it's just that I finally feel confident enough to do whatever the hell I like! Each star represents each of my beautiful children and I may add colour later but for now, I'm quite happy with its subtlety.  What's even cooler is that my 62 year old mum got one too - a question mark on her left thumb.  I don't think the tattoo artist knew what hit him when we walked in.  He was pretty unfazed though -he had an 80 year old getting his first one not so long ago.  Nowadays, it's just like getting your ears pierced and I'm already planning my next one - I'm taking SH No. 1 with me to get initials on our ring fingers for our 20th wedding anniversary.

Now I'm off to celebrate another year of life at a chocolate high tea with 10 of my favourite women.  Carpe diem.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Ho hum

In an effort to become a more disciplined blogger and make regular posts, I thought I'd fill you in on all the exciting projects I've taken up.  'Exciting' is a little tongue-in-cheek - I'm trying to build it up for you!

I finally finished my ballerina cross-stitch for my neice.  It only took me about two and a half years and in my haste to give it to her for her sixth birthday, I forgot to take a photo of it to share.  Nevertheless, it is finished, framed and at last, hanging in her bedroom.  There's nothing quite like the appreciation and recognition you get when you can finally display your handiwork.  My sister-in-law was so impressed, she gave me a big hug and sang my praises to all who would listen - which didn't include my brother.  When she pointed my work of art out to him, filled with brotherly love, he said 'Yeah, that's alright'.  Well, I didn't really expect that much to be honest!  Now I'm on to my next project - hangers and scented pillows for my 92 year old Nan.  I know she'll appreciate my craftiness, after all I get my love of needlework from her.

I have also rediscovered my love of gardening in the last couple of weeks.  Not that I have a very big garden but I do have lots and lots of pots which have been somewhat neglected since I started uni, so on Saturday I chopped everything back, gave them a fresh dose of potting mix and lots of water and sunshine.  On Monday, I went to the nursery and bought Geraniums for the poolside, Petunias for the verandah and a Mock Orange (Orange Jasmine) for the front yard.  I had forgotten how much I loved gardening!  Photos will be posted as soon as this unseasonably rainy weather has stopped and everything starts growing.  Oh, how I love Spring.

Don't you just love the way I've talked up my sometimes endless hours of boredom and despair?  Although I have enjoyed rediscovering these hobbies, I'm starting to feel like an old age pensioner and am hanging out for summer semester to start!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Bad Blogger Award

Somehow I've gained new followers and I'm not sure why - I've been so slack.  Sorry to all my fellow bloggers for not keeping up with all your posts.  I'm going to get in and read them all today, I promise.  Since my last post, I've been wallowing in self-doubt and resentment and feeling kind of gloomy since deferring last semester.  It just makes me realise how much I love going to school and using my brain.  My latest sacrifice has also made me realise how easily I give up for the sake of others and what a damn good mother I am!

Instead of Eeyore and his rain, I've been trying my best to become the bouncy Tigger I once was (I don't know why I'm using Winnie-the-Pooh analagies all of a sudden).  I've finally joined the gym  and am running and lifting weights again and I'm slowly beginning to feel stronger and more positive.  I've also enrolled in Summer Semester at triple the cost, which was a bit unexpected and I almost decided not to do it at all.  But thank God Australia has the HECS programme which allows us to defer payment and repay it all when we get that job at the end of study.  The Summer Semester is also done online, which I'm not sure is a good thing or not.  Just means having to be extra disciplined, I suppose.

Apart from that, it's been all go, go, go with the kids and family.  Not that I'm complaining.  There's only a small window of opportunity left for me to spend so much time with them before they'll all be off on their own in the wide, wide world.  Unfortunately, there's also only a small window of opportunity left for me to start living my own life...Eeyore!!

Friday, August 19, 2011

That's life

I knew it would only be a matter of time before 'life' and its myriad of problems caught up with me.  As many of you know, life with children and a partner can be quite challenging and in some respects, it gets more challenging as we all get older.

With one child just barely making it through year 12 and another one hot on her heels, formals (proms), semi-formals (semi-proms?  I know, how ridiculous), football training, football games, football camps, drama classes, part-time jobs and only one person driving at the moment (yes, me), the house and study, it has all caught up with me.  Despite constantly telling myself that I will keep going no matter what, even as late as my film class last night, I woke up this morning and decided that the only way I can keep my sanity is to take a 6 month leave of absence from uni.  With an exam due next week and seemingly no time to even look at it as yet, as well as financial and academic penalty cut-offs also looming, I decided it was better to do it today rather than wish I had done it next week. 

Yes, I feel extremely sad and p.o'd and more than a tad resentful but I refuse to be negative.  It's not forever - I am not quitting and if it takes me five, six or more years to finish this thing, I will.  I'm going to use the next 6 or so months to really be here for my children, to set some more goals and take the opportunity to focus on my health - to take up running again and another pilates class.  Yes, I refuse to be negative...but that doesn't mean I will not occasionally dwell on my decision.  I'm a Libran and no doubt I will swing to and fro and question my actions now and then.

That's life.




Friday, July 29, 2011

Not off to a flying start

Well, my 'I know I can and I will' mantra faded somewhat the day before my first class, when I suddenly decided I can't do four subjects after all.  I withdrew from Prose Writing the day before the class started, mainly because it meant an early start and conflicted with SH No.1's work commitments.  Anyway, I feel happy with the three subjects I'm doing and the first week back has gone well.  More or less.

Turning up for my Reading Fiction leccture, everyone wanted to know where I was the day before for the Prose class.  This set my mind back to thinking I could re-enrol and do four subjects after all - SH No.1 could work out alternative arrangements at work.  However, after the lecture, I decided that with all the reading involved, three subjects would be enough.

The next day, I arrived for my Fame and Celebrity class and met one of my old friends from last semester who wanted to know why I wasn't doing Prose.  Once again, I thought I would still have time to re-enrol and sent SH a text asking him to make alternative arrangements for the assigned day for that class.  In the meantime, I went to the lecture with my usual coffee heartstarter in hand and enjoyed the intro to the sociology-based lecture.  As I went to leave the lecture at the end, I lifted up my lecturn/table thingy and accidentally spilt whatever little cold coffee I had left at the bottom of the cup, onto the girl next to me!  It was a mininmal amount and it didn't actually land on her but onto the strap of her bag.  Well, you could imagine how apologetic I was!  I must have said 'sorry' a dozen times as I scrabbled around in my bag for a tissue.  And this girl didn't utter a word - she completely ignored me as she bent down and proceeded to scrabble around in her bag for a tissue, which she found.   I bent my head closely to hers and said once again, 'I'm really sorry about that'.  No response.  'Hello?', I said.  No answer.  Awkward!!!  She's obviously one of these people who can't accept an apology and want to make you feel as guilty as all hell.  'Alrighty then', I said as I left to go to my tutorial - hoping to God she wouldn't be in it!!  She wasn't, but this little episode made me think that no, I won't re-enrol in Prose, three subjects are enough.

After Fame and  Celebrity came Screen Analysis 2.  I did Screen Analysis 1 last year and quite enjoyed it and I had the lecturer for Ghosts and the Gothic last year and feel safe with her.  I surveyed the room and verified that I didn't know anyone in the class - not to worry, a great chance to make a couple of new friends.  My confidence was soon shot when the lecturer asked us to introduce ourselves and tell everyone who our favourite director is and whether we considered he/she to be an 'auteur'.  Now, I know 'auteur' is French for 'author' but I was a little confused as to the context in regard to cinema.  I also knew that I didn't know another soul and many of the students seemed to be real film buffs, so to ask the question would've made me feel, if not look, like an imbecile!!!  Anyway, I winged it and came up with a few, mainly Sofia Coppola (I'm probably the only person who enjoyed 'Lost in Trnaslation' and saw it twice) and after the film screening and tutorial, felt quite confident but decided that yes, three subjects is definitely enough!!


Thursday, July 21, 2011

I'm so excited

The mid-year break is almost over and I'm back to uni next week.  I don't know where the time went! 

Yesterday, I went to Officeworks and picked up a 4 lecture note book which for some reason I was very excited about.  Probably because it means I won't have to keep swapping lecture pads every time I go to a different lecture.  It's complete with pockets and I spent last night gluing relevant course information into it (nerd city!).  Today I went to the uni book shop and bought most of what I need, though I was a little more than peeved to find that not all the dossiers were available.  This puts my little plan of being super organised into slight disarray and means another trip into uni before classes start on Tuesday.

Nevertheless, the books and dossier I did manage to get have given me more than enough reason to start feeling the thrill and excitement of finally returning to the lecture halls and tutorial rooms, with novels such as Mrs Dalloway, The Great Gatsby and Death in Venice to study.  Ooh, I get chills!

Given that I'm starting this semester full-time for the first time since starting university, it may be only a matter of time before I'm feeling the pressure of double the assignments and exams I'm used to.  Athough I know it will be challenging, I'm going to stop second-guessing my choices and just know that I can do it and I will! 

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OMG - LOL!! :)

I don't know about you guys, but I'm having a hard time accepting abbreviations/acronyms.  Fair enough when sending a text or posting but now my TD No. 2 has started saying them out loud!  Instead of laughing she actually says 'LOL'!  Telling us a funny story someone had told her the other day, she said, 'OMG, I LOLled, so much'!    But most bizaare of all is that now she has abbreviations for abbreviations - 'B T Dubs' is the abbreviation for 'BTW', which is the abbreviation for 'by the way'. Is this normal?  I don't think she realises it's actually quicker to just laugh or say 'by the way'!!

As if it's not confusing enough, I'm also having a really hard time working out what smiley face means what.  Okay, so this :) means I'm happy and this :( means I'm unhappy - so does that mean I can use this :/ for being angry?  Is there a sign for being angry?  Sometimes if I'm really happy, I have been known to use :)).  Are there rules to these little symbols or can I just make them up?    I suppose it's just the way of the new technological world and maybe there needs to be an abbreviation user guide - 'Abbreviations and Symbols for Dummies' for dummies like me who are a little out of the loop.

Anyway, TTYL or as Winnie-the-Pooh says, TTFN!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

The dilemma


Why is it that every time I have a parent/teacher interview, I start thinking I should have done teaching?  I've just come back from my year seven interview and heard nothing I already didn't know about my son.  He is the politest, most well-mannered young man in the class; his presentation leaves a lot to be desired; and academically, he is capable of more.  Exactly the way he is at home!  Full of I beg your pardon's, pleases and excuse me's; his bedroom is constantly a mess and he's always in such a hurry, he can only ever give anything 50%.  No surprises here and if this is the worst I have to hear, I'm happy - he's an absolute angel!  But as usual, I've come home thinking about what a rewarding job teaching would be.  I've been seriously considering transferring (next year) to Early Childhood, which would mean starting again - so another 4 years.  If I stay in the degree I'm in, it means another two years to finish this one and then two more years doing a Graduate Diploma.  So...another 4 years.  Ugh - decisions, decisions!!!!

In the mean time I've enrolled in next semester's subjects.  As usual, over the holidays I've come to believe myself invincible and that I could actually do a full-time study load.  I've chosen - 'Reading Fiction', 'Prose and Essay Writing', 'Fame and Celebrity' and 'Screen Analysis 2'.  Subjects that all sound right up my alley but which will in no way be of any use to me as an early childhood teacher.  I can definitely see a pattern forming here.  Whenever things are going well, I change my mind and decide I want to do something else!!!  Although in my own defence, I have been thinking of teaching for quite a while.  Hmmm...it's not good for a Libran to be so undecided!

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Results

I wish the title of this post referred to my weight loss but alas it does not.  It refers to my academic results, which have been more successful than the latter!  I received a High Distinction and a Distinction, which would usually bring elation but even my husband commented on my lack of enthusiasm at such good news.  Hang on a minute - I don't want to sound so dull and ungrateful about it.  I really am over the moon and hopefully if I can keep these results up, I might actually consider doing a Masters.  Maybe.

It is usually true that when something in one area of our lives is going well, something else is turning to shit!  I've come to accept that I will never get back the body I had when I was in my mid thirties but what scares me most is that if I feel miserable about how I look now, how will I be in ten years time because it's just going to get worse!  I walk for an hour just about every other day, I've tried counting calories (boring), not snacking (even more boring), stopping the carbs (painful) and the dairy (not so bad, I like soy) and even after two weeks, I barely lose anything except the joy for living!!!  I remember a time when I could be good for two or three days and lose two or three kilos.  How I took those wonderful years for granted.  Middle-age has come barging through my door, with it's lumpy arse, rotund tummy and double chin and it's here to stay. 

On the flip side, I also remember a time when I thought I was too stupid to go to University but, hey, here I am!  According to the Buddhist philosophy, everything in life is constantly changing and an acceptance of this fact is the key to a happy life.  Therefore, I accept that I will continue to change and will not look 35 when I am 65 (at least not without the help of some major surgeries) but I'm going to make damn sure I will not look 55 when I'm 45!!  With hard work comes success, doesn't it?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Well bully for you!

Picture this if you will. 

It's a beautiful crisp winter morning with not a cloud in the sky.  I decide to take my son and his friend to the park for a kick of the footy.  The park is a hive of activity - people are everywhere walking their dogs; kids are running, cycling or scooting; the cockatoos are in their hundreds, screeching and swooping in their search for their favourite seed.  Okay, enough of the poetry.  At the park there are three footy fields with a goal post at each end, so that makes...six goal posts in total.  The boys find their goal post and decide to play a game of half-field footy while myself and my faithfull dog, Bindi, sit in the stands to watch.  We remain this way for half an hour. 

Suddenly an SUV pulls up and out hops a stout looking man followed by four small children who immediately congregate around the very goal post my son and his friend are playing at.  The father (presumably) is at the boot of the car busily unloading soccer balls, footy balls and footy tee's, while at the same time shouting instructions to I don't know who.  Now, at this stage as I watched silently on, I thought without a shadow of a doubt that obviously once this guy unpacks the car of this paraphenalia, he'll advise his brood to move on to the next goal post.  So imagine my surprise when he swaggered confidently to the very spot my son was playing his game.  In fact, he swaggered RIGHT IN THE MIDDLE of my son's game!

As I got up and silently muttered 'You have got to be kidding me', I felt absolutely certain that once he saw that these guys had a guardian, he would definitely move on.  Nope.  In fact, I don't even think he battered an eyelid in my general direction.  He and the kids proceeded to set up their little sports arena right under the posts, effectively pushing my boys out of the way.  Now my question for you is, did I
a)  Politely make myself known at which time the gentleman apologised and moved on?
b)  Politely show the gentleman the five other goal posts at which stage he apologised and moved on? or
c)  Say nothing and move my boys to another goal post?

Now, I really wish I could confidently tell you it was a) or b).  However, quite unbelievably (mostly to myself), it was c).  I called over to the boys to just move to another goal post and then spent the next hour berating myself, on the verge of tears!  Even as I'm telling the story I cannot believe this was my reaction!  I was and still am so angry at myself for not sticking up for the boys and telling that big bully where to go.  Now I have been known in the past to speak my mind at various injustices.  I once went right up to a car window in a parking lot and confronted a woman who called me a bitch ('Excuse me?  I'm a what?').  I also once yelled in a rage at a trolley boy for almost running me over with about a thousand trollies at the supermarket (how embarrassing!).  Have I lost my spark?  One very well meaning friend pointed out that I was a woman alone and the man in the park could quite easily have lost his temper with me if I'd have said anything.  This is the same well meaning friend who also incredulously pointed out that the lady in the car park could've pulled out a gun and shot me as I stuck my head in her window!!!! 

The boys didn't care, they just moved their game to another field but this incident has been bothering me for a week and I can't let it go.  What's happening to me?  Maybe I'm mellowing; maybe sometimes you have to turn a blind eye; or maybe (gasp) my new-found education has enabled me to think about and choose my battles rather than running in like a bull(y) at a gate.   

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

The Simple Life


Two years in the making and almost there!

Yes, I know - it's been a while.  With uni finishing two weeks ago (no results as yet!), I was a bit worried about how I would occupy my time for the next six weeks.  It seems I have more hobbies and interests than I once thought and boredom hasn't been a problem.

I love listening to my Nana speak of a time when vegetables came straight from the back yard and a simple picnic in the countryside was considered the best in family fun and entertainment.  It seems I have inadvertantly taken a leaf out of my Nan's book these holidays and have been enjoying the simplicity of life.  I've taken up a two year cross stitch project and am determined to finish it in time for my Neice's 5th birthday - some of you may recognise it from a year or so ago and I'm finally getting there!  I've been ditching the car and walking wherever I can - the library, the post office, the shops - and have been feeling healthier as a result.  And I've been doing lots and lots of cooking - soups, cakes, biscuits - not so good for the waistline but the walking will take care of that, hopefully!  I've had my mobile on silent and avoid the computer and the internet at all costs!  Yes, I am 42 not 72 but you like what you like and I've decdided this is the life for me at the moment.

However, I know that in a couple of weeks I'll be itching to get back to my study.  In fact, I went in today to return some books and I was surprised at how much I miss going to lectures and socialising with all my under 25 year old friends!  But not that much - I'm now off to make some Melting Moments to take to my Nan.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Guidance

Another busy weekend driving children here there and everywhere - sports, parties, work, classes.  Not much time spent reading unfortunately.  I have to finish Middlemarch by Thursday in preparation for a final exam in two weeks.  I'm not totally sure how to make the time to do this.  I seem to just manage snippets of time in which I read five pages. Reading at night in bed is impossible - I read two pages and I'm asleep!!  I'll have to lock myself away tonight, the coffee pot beside me, and just finish it.

In the meantime, I've been helping TD No. 1 research universities for next year!  Not an easy task considering she's once again changed her mind about what she wants to do and where she wants to go.  The guidance officer at school doesn't help by telling her that because she's quiet (?) she might be better off applying to a smaller university!!!  Unfortunately, she didn't think to tell her that the smaller university - which happens to be the one I go to - would require TD No. 1 to take two buses.  Me thinks TD No. 1 thinks that good old Mum will be around to drive her to and fro!  Me also thinks the guidance officer should be providing a little more guidance and telling students to apply to the uni that offers the best course requirements, not the best social environment!

To sign off, I would like to say a big congratulations to all my fellow mature-age bloggers who have recently graduated - and there seems to be a lot of you.  You all continue to inspire me to make my dreams happen.  Thankyou and good luck!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Calm before the storm?

I'm halfway through reading my very last novel for the semester and I feel so calm!  All I have pending are two exams coming up in four weeks and I'm not altogether sure how to prepare for them but I'm worried the calm I feel now will soon give way to stress! 

I finally got one of my essays back yesterday and was happy with a Distinction - but not jumping for joy.  Although I'm still determined to give everything 100%, I feel as if some of my passion for university has gone astray.  My new goal is to have my degree finished by mid-year 2013.  This means completing three subjects a semester - I know I can do it and I actually think it will be less stressful than doing two!  I have more time to think and worry while doing two subjects whereas doing three, I just know I have to get it done!

I'm really missing being in the workforce and came across a great job with a theatre company the other day as an Arts Administrator.  Isn't it ironic that I left my job as an administrator in order to find something better, only to be considering going back into the same field, albeit in a different capacity? 

I suppose it's taken this little journey of mine to realise what I'm best suited to but what I'm learning on the way is giving me the confidence I need to realise that!  I just hope I haven't burned all my bridges.

Friday, May 6, 2011

Mum's the word

Sometimes you get discouraged because I am so small,

And always leave my fingerprints on furniture and on walls.
But everyday I am growing, I'll be grown up someday,
And all these tiny handprints will simply fade away.
So here's a final handprint just so you can recall,
Exactly how my fingers looked when I was very small.

Today as I was rummaging through all my keepsakes (yes, I admit it, I am a hoarder!), I came across the Handprint Poem. I have, as I'm sure many of you also have, received this poem on numerous occasions over the last 17 years - for Mother's Day. I remember the first time I received it from TD No.1 when I picked her up from kindy. The card had her little handprint on the front and as I read the poem I distinctly remember becoming so overwhelmed with love and emotion, as I still am to this day whenever I read it.

Happy Mother's Day to all my fellow Mums and Moms. I hope your endless love and tireless devotion is duly rewarded with breakfast in bed!!



Thursday, May 5, 2011

Time flies


After yesterday's somewhat miserable blog (sorry people!), I was determined to post some happy news on the homefront.  Last Friday TD No. 1 had her Year 12 formal (prom to all my American friends) and doesn't she look absolutely beautiful?  Yes, of course I'm biased and for all of our many disagreements, I couldn't have been prouder.  I had to stop myself from bawling when she came home after having her hair and makeup done.  It wasn't so long ago she was a 3 pounder, spending many weeks in a humidicrib (not sure of the spelling!), now she's a beautiful, intelligent young lady- what mother wouldn't be proud?

I'm just reminded of what a big year it is for our family this year.  TD No. 2 has her semi-formal soon (more dress shopping - yeah), No. 1 Son graduates from Year 7 and I will be another year closer to my degree!  How the years soon get away from us - all the better to make the most of them I say.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

What's happening to me?

Well, the holiday's over and it's back to uni today for me.  I can't say that I'm terribly excited and I can't say that I'm overly bummed either.  I haven't had any results back yet but when I do, they'll either motivate me or depress me even more.

Now I know I said a couple of posts ago that my family is my 'passion' but as much as I love them, I really need a new passion.  I don't know if it's because I've been home for over a week but when I'm not stressing over study, I'm stressing over housework!  Not what needs to be done so much as what no-one seems to be able to do.  I think by 8 o'clock in the morning everyone is pretty much desperate to get to school or work - anywhere as long as it's away from me.  Hell, I wish I could get away from me!!  I think I've just come to a point in my life where it's just really hard for me to live with other people. When the kids were young, I suppose I could mould them and control them to a certain extent.  Now they're teens, it's like sharing a house with another three completely different personalities - five people, each with their own querks and irritations.

Anyway, it's not quite time for me to enjoy the bliss of living on my own just yet, so I've decided I seriously need a hobby.  I'm so envious of people who manage to find joy and fulfilment in a hobby e.g. Sarah @ Secret Housewife.  I love hearing all about her allotment but most of all, I just love the passion with which she tells of it.  I'm not exactly sure what my new hobby will be - probably something physical seeing as I think I need it for my body and more so for my mind.  I'd like to start jogging again and have my eyes on a 5km run that's coming up in September.  I don't have a running buddy but I think hauling my ass out of bed at least three times a week to go for a jog will do me and my family the world of good.  I wonder - am I going through menapause or am I just trying to find myself?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Pride, people!

I've just had another argument with TD No. 1 - this time about what she wanted to wear to the shops.  Since when did it become acceptable for young girls to walk around in public half naked?  It's not only my daughters who seem to think it's okay - it's everyone.  Some of the 'outfits' I've seen uni students walking around in - it makes me wonder about the pride some of these people have in themselves.  Obviously, they think they look pretty good wandering around with their butt crack hanging out of their jeans and their boobs hanging out of their shirts but do they even look at themselves in the mirror before they venture out?  A couple of weeks ago, I saw a student walking around in some sort of crocheted short suit, which left absolutely nothing to the imagination.

I remember when going to the shopping center, the city, the movies and even getting on a plane required a little bit of dressing up.  I'm not talking long skirts, gloves and corsets here people.  Take some pride in your appearance and cover up, because quite honestly, I for one don't want to see your bits hanging out, no matter how good you think they look, THEY DON'T!!!  Save it for the beach if you want to flaunt it around.

Having said that and maybe a bit more, my daughter has just fled the house in a dress.  She didn't give me a chance to actually see her but I guarantee, her bra was still showing and she chose flipflops over a nice pair of flats!  Is it just me or do they have too much pride?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Prospects

There is absolutely no relationship between this picture and my post!  Only that I mention the Kookaburra and it's my favourite bird!!

Yesterday while sitting outside the lecture room waiting for the lecture to start, the conversation turned to age.  One of my fellow students just couldn't believe she turned 19 on the weekend!!  Yep, 19 - I know how awful is that!  And what's worse, she'll be 21 when she graduates!  I can hear the sudden intake of breath - but that's not it.  Another fellow student...wait for it...will be 23 when she graduates!!  As you can imagine, I didn't have a hell of a lot to contribute because I don't think anyone dared ask me how old I'm going to be if I ever finish this thing. 

Anyway, talk soon turned excitedly to what careers everyone hopes to embark on once they've finished (mostly teaching).  One of the girls turned to me and asked me what I'm going to use my Degree for.  Still sitting there stunned because I'd quietly worked out that I'll be at least 46 by the time I finish, I honestly had to admit that 'I don't know'.

Up most of the night reading and writing, I woke once again at about 2.30am unable to sleep and ended up dropping off on the lounge at about 4.30am - once the kookaburras start, you know any chance of sleep is pretty much impossible.  I think I managed about 2 hours, so I woke up feeling down in the dumps as usual.  But isn't it funny how God or the Universe or whatever it is, can always send you some sort of sign - if you're listening, you might just catch it.  I logged on this morning to catch up on some blogs and the first one I read was Betsyanne's - all about, you guessed it, Non-trads/Mature Age students who finally made their graduation.  Tres inspiring.  Might just get me through this next week until my Easter break!  Thanks Betsyanne.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

A Vindication of the Rights of this Woman

I came up with this little gem this morning.  Feel free to use it or change it as you wish!

Dear ___________ Family,

I hereby resign from the position of housewife – effective 12th April, 2011. As of today,


1. I will no longer pick up after anyone. Wherever you leave it is where it stays.

2. I will no longer be washing anyone’s dishes. If you can’t be bothered to rinse anything and put them in the dishwasher, they’ll stay in the sink.

3. I will no longer be in charge of dinner. DO NOT COME AND ASK ME WHAT WE’RE HAVING. Suggest something and then help make it.


4. If you are capable of getting yourselves anywhere - get yourselves there. I will no longer be picking up or dropping off if there is an alternative. i.e. if you start work between 7am and 5.30pm – you can get yourselves there. If you leave work between 7am and 5.30pm -  find your own way home.


5. If you’re worried about getting to school on time – walk.


6. If you use the bathroom – clean up after yourselves. I will no longer be picking your clothes/towels up off the floor, cleaning water off the floor or toothpaste from the taps and mirror.


7. If you go to the toilet and dribble or make skid marks – clean it.


8. If you do your washing – hang it out. If you hang it out - bring it in.


9. If the bin is full – empty it.

10.  If you want to turn this beautiful house into a doss-house - I will move out.


IN SHORT – THERE ARE FIVE CAPABLE INDIVIDUALS LIVING IN THIS HOUSEHOLD. I AM NOT A MAID, CHEAUFFER, CLEANER OR CHEF.  I LOVE YOU ALL.

MUM

Monday, April 11, 2011

Ripley - believe it or not

I feel as if I've just mooched the entire weekend and today away.  I've done the final draft of my Northanger Abbey essay but have lots of reading to do for my Frankenstein essay.  We went and saw the play on Saturday, live from the National Theatre in London and it was fantastic, so I suppose I could kind of count that as research!  I actually forgot the kids start their holidays today (I swear they get double what I used to get.  Maybe teaching's the way to go), so instead of spending the whole day locked in my room, I took No. 1 Son to the park to catch yabbies for an hour and a half; SH No. 1 came home for lunch and then No. 1 Son and I decided to spend the afternoon watching Alien!! 

Yes, my son is only 11 and yes, I would've been scared out of my brains if I watched it when I was 11 - hell, I was scared when I first watched it at 19!!  But really, compared to what they watch now and the video games they play, I think it's fairly tame by comparison.  Anyway, I'll certainly know tonight if it was the right thing to do or not!  But I digress...I absolutely love Ellen Ripley.  I love her so much, I named my dog after her.  A gutsy, spirited, cool-headed heroine - God is there anything better?  The only bad Alien movie is the last one because, really, she's an original - you can't CLONE her!!  I'm clearly still in love with Ripley and she just makes me want to be a kick-ass gal.  All my whinging and moaning about uni - 'I want to quit' and 'it's too hard'...boo-hoo!  God, I make myself sick.

I would have to say though, that since studying literature, there are quite a lot of literary kick-ass gals from times gone by as well.  Mary Shelley, Miles Franklin and Charlotte Perkins Gilman to name just a few.  So I want to know, who's your favourite kick-ass gal? 

Thursday, April 7, 2011

I've been drafted

On Monday I did something I've never done before - I sent my tutor a draft of my essay.  Having worked on it most of last week and all weekend, I felt quite happy with the end result but as the tutor kindly offered to read a draft, and on the advice of SH No. 1, I went against my own intuition and emailed it to her.

I will admit that I initally didn't want to send in a draft because I had worked so hard on it and I really didn't want anyone giving me advice on how to make it better (putting my head in the sand?).  Anyway, it was extremely kind of her to read it but what little confidence I had before, has dwindled even further.  No, she wasn't unkind.  It just seems my opening thesis, which she's not clear on and the structure of the essay that needs work.  The problem I have is that I don't agree with her!!!!

I have myself in such a state at the moment, I think I'm best to just sit on it for a couple of days; clear my head, go for a couple of long, rambling walks and come back to it later.  But honestly, it would be so easy for me to just quit right now!

If my tutor for some weird reason decides to Google my name and sees this post - I'm sorry!  Yes, I have only just realised this is possible!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Thank heavens...


http://www.simplyartonline.net/MarieLouiseVigeeLebrun.htm

You know, there was a time when my two daughters were just the sweetest, most delightful little angels.  Older parents used to get such a thrill in telling me that once they were teens it would all change.  'Not mine', I'd say.  Well that day has come (actually it's been here for well on four years, but who's counting) and I can honestly say there has been many a moment and especially this very one, when I wish they were three and four again.

I used to have two gorgeous little girls who were quiet, polite and did what they were told, when they were told.  Now I have two, almost adult girls who don't seem to give a damn about anybody or anything unless there's something in it for them.  I remember when I was growing up, if my mother or father gave me 'the look', I would quickly avert my eyes and shut up.  Not these two.  Quick with the snide, disrespectful remarks, they answer my 'look' with, 'what?  what are you lookin' at?  what?'  Then they sit there snickering at each other like, 'Mum's lost the plot'. 

There's only so much I can take and I can't take being treated like a not-so-bright doormat.  Especially not by two little girls who once upon a time used to light up my life.  Thank heavens for little boys!

Sorry to be on a downer but at the moment it hurts to be a mum.

Thursday, March 31, 2011

The witching hour



Occasionally I have these sleepless nights - they don't happen often any more (maybe it was the coffee I drank and the essay I was working on before I hit the sack) where I lay awake, tossing and turning - my mind jam packed with all sorts of thoughts:

My essay - does my argument answer the question?
My day - Did I allow everyone else the opportunity to answer questions or did I take over the tute?
My kids - what have they all got on tomorrow?
Past loves - what if?
Future loves - will there be any?
Death
Dad - where is he now?
My husband - does he still find me attractive?
My body - what will it look like when I'm 50?
What am I going to wear tomorrow?  When will I do the shopping?  Is there enough petrol in the car?  What shall we have for dinner tomorrow?  What time should I get to uni?  Does my argument answer the question?  What have the kids all got on tomorrow?...

Yawn...did I put you to sleep? 

Monday, March 28, 2011

Passion

I'm seriously beginning to question the wisdom of  taking two literature subjects at once.  Not only should I be reading three books at the moment, as well as half a dozen selected critical readings, I now have two essays due within a week of each other.  As such, I've decided to work like a dog and get both essays completed well before time.  I got quite a lot done on one of them today but have had to pull up stumps, as now it's all beginning to sound like gobbledy-gook!!

On reflection of my previous post, Balance it's become obvious to me that at the moment, my one true passion is my family.  At one stage in my life, poetry was my passion and I was going to be the next Elizabeth Barrett Browning or Pam Ayres (loved her!).  At another stage, work was my passion and I was going to make it to the very top of the corporate ladder.  At this stage, they are my passion and each chocolate cake I make will be damnwell perfection for them!  Once upon a time, I never would have dreamed of admitting such a thing, thinking it would put me in an unfavourable light with women more ambitious than myself. How absurd!  I've come to realise that as much as I complain, I actually like being around for my family.  I like looking after them; making sure they're fed, clean and safe.  I also appreciate how lucky I am that I can always be here for them, even if it means I don't always get the time I want to be able to write.  But one day, I will have the time and one day my passion will change, but for today it's them.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Balance



Now that I'm down to two subjects - Romantic and Victorian Literature and Ghosts and the Gothic, I feel a little less stressed but almost just as busy.  I'm amazed at these lecturers and tutors who are seemingly able to devote their whole lives to their one true passion.  How does one do that?  At each and every lecture, I'm reminded of my love for literature but my world seems to be constantly filled with white noise - all the other stuff going on constantly in the background - the kids, the chores, the relationships...I would love nothing more than to one day lecture or tute or write but how do I find the time to do that?

How do you devote your life to your one true passion without losing sight of everything else?

Thursday, March 17, 2011

JOIN ME IN BOYCOTTING ALL DUMBASSES!!

Anyone who makes generalities regarding one's GENDER, RACE, RELIGIOUS OR SEXUAL PREFERENCES, you're a DUMBASS and I'm boycotting YOU.  I know IGORANCE is bliss, but please keep your IGNORANCE to yourself.

I shouldn't even dignify you with a response but I will not tolerate ignorance and prejudice.

To all my regular readers, please excuse my outburst.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Slow and steady wins the race

After much angst over the weekend, I have decided to drop my elective Italian course.  It pains me to do so but I really need to accept my limitations!  Any student, whether mature-age or not, can understand the stresses involved in balancing a uni workload on top of a life workload and at the moment my life seems to be tipping the scales.  So it is, with disappointment, that I let this subject go but with a sigh of relief that I can now concentrate on my two literature subjects - my shoulders feeling considerably lighter.  My only consolation is that I may be able to pick up the Italian during summer semester enabling me to devote the time necessary in learning this beautiful language.

I've also resigned myself to not having any time constraints as far as finishing my degree goes.  I'll be finished when I'm finished - said the tortoise to the hare!

Friday, March 11, 2011

Early days

I'm still trying to get back into the swing of uni life and swing it does!  I seem to be constantly swinging from the house to uni, to one place or another, to the house and back to uni again. 

I had my 'Victorian Millinery' presentation yesterday, which the lecturer deemed 'stellar' and I was quite happy with the outcome, although I think he looked favourably on us because we were the very first group to present!

This is one class I'm as yet not too sure about.  Not the content of the course - I love everything about this period and the lecturer is quite brilliant...he's just extremely unorganised - a trait that never seems to go down well with me.  It's only been two weeks and he's been late to the lecture both times, which means that instead of getting a quick 50 minute lecture, we get a rushed 40 minute lecture.  Last night, he actually asked us where the tutorial was being held, then when all 50 of us arrived at the seminar room, it was being occupied.  This meant that our 4.00pm tute actually started at 4.25pm.  Add to this somewhat controlled chaos the fact that myself and my group were supposed to present at the beginning of the seminar; a usual tutorial group contains about 25 people (if that), and you can just imagine how jangled the nerves were.

After our 7 minute presentation, we got down to looking at one of Wordsworth's sonnets.  Now, don't get me wrong, I do enjoy poetry although admittedly, I rarely fully understand it.  But isn't the ability of appreciating the meaning of a piece of poetry and literature dependant on your background knowledge of the poet/author as well as the history of the period?  Doesn't our perception and the subjectivity of a text change according to our knowledge of these factors?  Basically, I feel as if the foundations of the course are a little wobbly, mainly due to time constraints and tardy teaching but maybe, once again, it's up to me to conduct my own background research before the lecture.

I'm not feeling as confident as I would like and I was really looking forward to this class!  Anyway, it's early days yet.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Top that


My crude attempt at Victorian millinery

I've been back at uni for a week and I already feel like I'm snowed under.  The reading seems to be never- ending - which is what I should be doing now but to say I'm lacking in motivation is an understatement. 

On top of the novels I have to read for both literature classes, we also have selected readings - some of which are 27 pages long.  And that's digitalised!  Why they can't be given to us in a dossier is beyond me.  The last thing I want to do is sit in front of the computer and read for 12 hours!  Having said that, I have read the first two novels already but feel I should read them again before tutorials start.

Plus I already have a short presentation to give next week.  In our Romantic and Victorian Literature class, we had to get into groups and find a topic from the Victorian era we'd like to research and share.  I just happened to be sitting next to a pair of 18 year olds and for some reason I came up with 'hats'.  Each group had to choose a week in which to present and, of course, no-one wanted next week but before I knew it, we were up to week 10 and I just couldn't put my hand up quick enough.  I finally convinced my partners that to do it next week would be great because we'd get it over and done with!  As usual, I've decided to do everything to the 'nth' degree and have spent the last two days researching Victorian Hats for a 5 minute presentation!!!  Nontheless, I found a craft store which sold top hats and together with some some netting and a long silk ribbon, I've managed to make something which vaguely resembles a Victorian Riding Bonnet - did I mention we had to make it 'theatrical'?

And last but not least, there's Italian.  I am so enjoying this class but don't feel I have a lot of time left to practice which is a must when it comes to languages.    

By the way, on a totally unrelated subject, can anyone tell me how I can stop following myself?  In my effort to try and send someone a message, I've inadvertantly started following my own blog!!!  Technology and I do not a happy couple make.

One week down, 12 to go.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Stylish Blogger Award

Thankyou Studentmum for nominating me for a Stylish Blogger Award and thank you for your support in my blog!  You were my first follower!!!  As far as the four rules go i.e. 1.  Thank and link nominator;
2.  copy and paste the award; 3.  share seven things about yourself and
4.  nominate 15 of your favourite bloggers and tell them - some of these rules may be a problem, as you will see.

These are some of my favourite blogs - some I've been reading for as long as I've been a blogger, so I apologise in advance if you've already received an award!

Rantings of a Middle-aged College Student

The Secret Life of an Unknown Housewife

The Non-traditional Student Blog 

College Mummy

Back to School at 40 (or41)

Diaries of a Neurotic Non-trad

Going the Distance Three Credits at a Time

Seven things about me -


1.  I'm not really 'internet savvy' - hence the inability to copy and paste the award.  It won't work!!!!
2.  I don't have a lot of confidence
3.  I procrastinate regularly
4.  I love chocolate
5.  I can be extremely lazy one day and extremely hyper the next
6.  One day I hope to live in a foreign country for at least two years
7.  I'm obsessed with the zodiac and need to know everyone's sign when I meet them in order to suss them out!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

What happens in the shower, should stay in the shower


http://www.presentationmagazine.com/
After reading Diaries of a Neurotic Non-Trad's blog post, Famous Non-Trads, I was inspired to shout to the world about the trials and tibulations of mature age students.  I decided that our little minority group deserved recognition on campus and promptly emailed the uni newspaper and suggested doing a story on this phenomenon - the struggles we must face as we balance family, career and study.

This little discussion with myself continued as I hopped in the shower and I came up with the brilliant idea to start my own uni newspaper aimed at the mature age student.  As I whipped my hair up into a lather (but not back and forth), the possibilities of this idea seemed endless.  I remembered early last year in my film analysis class, a young student made the bold move of starting her very own film mag and it finally got off the ground with the first edition coming out in the last semester.  If she could do it, why couldn't I?  I must send her an email and see how she went about it, I told myself.

I jumped out of the shower as my creative juices seemed to be overflowing with ideas.  I could call it Mature Age Monthly - Mature Age Mag or The Non-Trad News.  I printed out a template of regular articles I could include such as, What's your story? - a monthly article on a mature age student which covers their life and motivations for studying and how they balance family, career and study; Movie and Theatre reviews, Book reviews; Cultural reviews of events around Brisbane; What's on around campus; Resources and Mature age trivia (inspired by Diaries of a Neurotic!)

Now, in the harsh, dry, light of day, I'm forced to reconsider my 'brilliant' idea as the usual thoughts of self-doubt creep over me.  For a couple of hours the possibilities seemed endless - now it just sounds ridiculous!  How would I even do such a thing?  Where would I find the time?  Who would want to read it?  It would probably get laughed at and thrown in the bin.  But even amongst the negative thoughts my mind is so capable of creating, there is a tiny voice inside me that still thinks it is a possibility. 

I wonder, did JFK junior have the same nagging doubts when he created George?  I know, I know - my piddley little idea doesn't even compare to a political magazine created by America's Prince, but from little things, big things grow. With a little bit of self-belief anything is possible.  Unfortunately, my big ideas and self confidence only occur either in the middle of the night or while I'm in the shower, which is probably where they should stay! 

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Bliss

At long last my course outlines for this semester are online.  With uni starting back in three weeks, I've been keen to see my booklist and assessments for each of my courses and I've got to say, I can't wait to get back into it!  I never thought I'd say that, but obviously the break has really helped me relax after the semester that almost broke me!  I'm beginning to see the different stages in my emotional and physical wellbeing, post-semester.

Exhaustion - For the first four weeks of my break, I couldn't concentrate long enough to even read a novel for fun.  I think I started about four books before I finally gave up and just vegetated!

Joy - After four or five weeks of veging, I became relaxed enough to actually start enjoying the time off.  I found a book I enjoyed and actually finished; I did lots of cooking, caught up with family and friends and was just generally in a state of bliss.

Excitement - Now, with just three weeks to go, I'm itching to get back to using my brain and learning.  Now I've been able to see my course outline, I've started reading the required novels in order to get a headstart.  And the books I will be reading is what has me in a state of excitement!  Frankenstein, Oliver Twist, Middlemarch, Northanger Abbey, Dracula - I get the shivers just thinking of analysing these fantastic novels!!  Yes, it's time for me to go.

Three things Feb (Three things that have made me smile today)

1.  Although we had a couple of hours of continuous, heavy rain early this morning, No. 1 Son's much anticipated first cricket game of the season was NOT cancelled and he played a great game.

2.  We have airconditioning and get to escape the stinking humidity outside.

3.  No. 1 Son tried to put my hair up in a hairband at the dining table and the feel of his broad, strong, growing hands in my hair was delicious!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Three things February

Because I feel I do have a habit of not always looking on the bright side, I've decided to try College Mummy's/Sarah Rooftop's "Three things February".

So...3 things that made me smile today -

1.  I woke up this morning and had breakfast with my BFF after a wild night of laughter, wine and scrapbooking.

2.  SH No. 1 came home and we enjoyed a leisurely lunch together.

3.  No. 1 son and I managed to forget about his ear infection for an hour or so while watching the totally absurd, but incredibly funny, 'Anchorman'.

Wow, that was harder than I thought it would be.  Definitely worth thinking about every day! 

By the way, if someone can tell me how to copy and paste Sarah Rooftop's 'Three things February' logo, I'd really appreciate it!  I must be old or something but I tried 3 or 4 times without success.  If only my Gen Why? was here!

Monday, January 31, 2011

Generation Why?

A recent article in The Courier Mail (30.1.11) suggests that 'Basic female skills' such as ironing, cooking a chook, hemming a skirt and baking lamingtons are becoming a dying art.  Acording to a social researcher, only 51 percent of women under the age of 30 can cook a roast.  How about juicing an orange?  I came face to face with this dilemma this morning in my very own kitchen with my very own Gen Y.

TD No. 1 - Can I go down the road to buy a bottle of juice?

Me - Why don't you juice an orange from the fruit bowl?

TD No. 1 - Oh, she replied as she pulled the manuel juicer from out of the cupboard and the orange from the fruit bowl.  So...what do I do? she asked, as she put the whole orange on top of the juicer, as if by magic it would turn into a glass of juice.  Do I have to cut it in half?

Hmmm....
Looks like she's in trouble!!!  For a split second, I began to question my parenting skills. Then I thought better of it.  How is it that TD No. 2 could be the next Betty Crocker with her amazing cookie-making skills and No. 1 Son can make a mean chicken curry, but my eldest doesn't know how to juice an orange?  When I questioned her about it she pleaded ignorance saying she had never juiced an orange before.  But she's seen me do it plenty of times - so I just don't buy it. 

I think she just isn't interested in knowing how to do it.  It's so much easier to just reach for a packet or a bottle...or watch me do it!  I don't have an ironing lady, a cleaning lady or a gardener.  We rarely have take-away and I make most of my own biscuits and cakes.  I ENJOY doing these things. 

Maybe these independant young women we are raising KNOW it's no longer a female responsibility to iron, cook and sew.  And don't worry, it's not just the females who seem to be lacking in certain gender oriented 'skills'.  A survey also found that 'Australian men from Gen Y were more comfortable changing a nappy than changing a tyre'.

Role reversal, modern technology and time-poor families all contribute to this new phenomenon known as Generation Y.  And although I wouldn't hold my breath while she makes a home cooked dinner, she's always the first person I call when I want to download songs onto my ipod or interpret slang such as LOL, TTYL or WTF - so it's not all bad!!


Thursday, January 27, 2011

Trust

I think I've finally figured out the trick to slowly letting your kids go...trust. 

Tuesday was the first day back at school after the ever-so-quick summer holidays.  No. 1 Son started year 7, and TD's No. 1 & 2 started years 12 and 11 respectively. Last year, when No. 1 Son started year six, I did the usual trek up to the school with him; helping him carry his overloaded bag, extra books, lunch box and water bottle - only to get all the way up there and be the only Mum there from his grade.  Needless to say, he was a little embarrassed (and I was extremely teary to think that my baby didn't really need me after all).

So this year, I was determined to just drop them all off in the two minute zone.  Yes, he had a bag AND a box of books and yes, the closer I got to the school, the more I kept questioning myself - Will he be okay with that big box?  Will he be able to find the classroom?  Will he unpack everything without dropping it all and losing something?  As he got out of the car, put his bag on his back, struggeld with the box, yes, I did want to get out and help him - especially when I pulled out and he turned to me and mouthed, 'I love you'!!

But then it dawned on me...I trusted that he knew what he was doing and that he'd be okay and I felt this weight lift!  It was quite amazing.  I started looking at everything differently.  What have I been instilling in my children all these years?  That I don't trust them to do things for themselves, so I have to do it for them?  Yes, that IS the message I must have been sending.

Suddenly I realise I've been bogging not only them down with my insecurities but I've been bogging myself down as well!  Yes, I trust that TD's No 1 & 2 are competent enough to find their own way to work after school, via the bus that leaves right outside the school! Yes, I trust that my son is capabable enough to make his own lunch in the mornings AND find his way to his new classroom AND unpack his new books and stationery.  And he did. 

Maybe this is the oldest motherhood trick in the book and I'm a bit behind the eightball but this new way of thinking is extremely freeing!! 

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Mall trawl

I just can't walk past a bargain
The summer holidays are once again drawing to a close and I just can't believe the kids are going back to school next week.  It seems like only yesterday they all came home delirious by the fact they had a whole seven weeks before they had to return.  We were all filled with bliss at the idea of sleeping in instead of the usual crazy morning frenzy; lazy days by the pool and late twilight bbq's! 

Where has the time gone?  I don't know but I do know that the great expanse of time I thought I had to buy stationary, shoes and replace lost lunch boxes and water bottles has escaped me.  Having spent the last seven weeks successfully avoiding the crowds, bright lights and musak of the shopping malls, the day finally came when I could avoid it no more.  Actually, it wasn't so bad.  The sales were on so I managed to get 20% off TD's shoes...and 50% off already reduced shoes for myself!!!  Well, you know, how can you walk past a bargain?  I don't know what was more shocking - the fact that I got a pair of Diana Ferrari saldals for $10 or that TD No. 2 is now a whopping size 9 and a half!!!  After that little surpirse, we ate sushi in amongst the crowds, bright lights and musak before heading home, via a stall of sunglasses which were also on sale - and I needed new sunglasses so...I bought a pair!  Okay, okay, apart from the sales, I really do hate shopping malls!!!

Now I think everyone is pretty much kitted out for another eventful year in the Mature Age Student's household.  But wait...I still have four weeks until I go back to uni, so I guess my visions of sleep-ins and lazy days by the pool will still be possible.  Sorry kids - ha ha!!

I've done it!!!

Well, I've finally done it!! Got accepted into Uni AND created a blog!!! After searching for insightful websites to help me tackle my journey into academia at my ripe old age and coming up with nil, I decided to start one of my own. I hope this blog will encourage anyone who has ever doubted their own abilities, to put one foot in front of the other and achieve their ambitions, desires, dreams...no matter what they are. If anyone has any inspiring stories to share, I would love to hear them. I love an inspiring story!!!