Finding time to relax again

Busy season is finally over yet another year.  There have been so many I’ve lost count.  It means the MoH is home before dark, and that it’s time for me to have an idea or two to plant in his mind before he heads for work in the morning about what we might do in the evening.  It’s so he can begin to feel like there’s actually a day — or at least part of one — to be enjoyed even though it’s not quite the weekend.

Or maybe it was that we were celebrating the beginning of the weekend — the first of many to come before the next string of late nights and work-filled weekends.

Continue reading “Finding time to relax again”

Still here after all this time.

It’s cold here today — even more so than it normally is in the spring.  The clouds are indiscernible, resembling more of a blanket cast over our heads.  There was drizzle on the patio this afternoon as well, and I willingly pulled a thick sweatshirt over my head wishing I had an excellent book to cozy up with on the couch instead of in bed at the long end of a day.

I’ve been thinking quite a bit about my days lately — this business of getting up and sort of “hop-to-it” attitude of being in front of my Mac.  It’s been over two years now that I’ve not been an active member of the employed crowd,  and yet I’ve created this sort of routine quite by accident.  It’s living and breathing, too, because it’s evolved into more than what it was even a year ago.  I’m not entirely comfortable with that.

But here I am, still.

Wondering and thinking.

Mulling over the options and possibilities.

Thinking.

You thought I’d given up, hadn’t you?

Not a chance.  In fact, I’m trying to figure out how to get a hold of a few more hours a day, still.  Just to do with them as I please.  Like  a shell you might find on the beach and turn over in your hand, wondering what you might find.

Like that.

If you’re reading this, I appreciate you.

Some day, maybe I’ll figure out how to write here again.

Truly.

Good Old Days?

1920s

One way I can tell the economy is rotten is by the increase in spam emails I’ve been getting. A portion of each morning is spent deleting yet another “You, too, can make money at home” message or invitation to “join me in getting out of debt.”  Most are automatically caught as junk and deleted, but a few make it through.

Occasionally someone I know will actually send me an email, and if it’s my mother or her sister, it’s one of those feel good messages with the giant multi-colored text.  You know, in case someone doesn’t know where her reading glasses are, she’ll be able to read it from a 15-foot distance.  Ironically, both of those factors cause me not to want to read the emails, but I did this morning, shaking my head the entire time I was reading.  I know it’s meant to be — well, I’m not sure.   Boastful?  Condescending?  Perhaps sarcastic?  Maybe funny.  Hmmm…

Maybe you’ve seen it:

The idea of a parent bailing us…
CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL THE KIDS WHO WERE BORN IN THE 1920’s, 30’s 40’s, 50’s, 60’s and 70’s !!
First, we survived being born to mothers who carried us and lived in houses made of asbestos.
They took aspirin, ate blue cheese, tuna from a can, and didn’t get tested for diabetes or cervical cancer.
Then after that trauma, our baby cribs were covered with bright colored lead-based paints.
We had no childproof lids on medicine bottles, doors or cabinets and when we rode our bikes, we had no helmets or shoes, not to mention, the risks  some of us took hitchhiking.
As children, we would ride in cars with no seat belts or air bags.
Riding in the back of a Ute on a warm day was always a special treat.
We drank water from the garden hose and NOT from a bottle.
Take away food was limited to fish and chips, no pizza shops, McDonalds, KFC, Subway or Red Rooster.
Even though all the shops closed at 6.00pm and didn’t open on the weekends, somehow we didn’t starve to death!
We shared one soft drink with four friends, from one bottle and NO ONE actually died from this.
We could collect old drink bottles and cash them in at the corner store and buy Fruit Tingles and some fire crackers to blow up frogs and lizards with.
We ate cupcakes, white bread and real butter and drank soft drinks with sugar in it, but we weren’t overweight because……
WE WERE ALWAYS OUTSIDE PLAYING!!
We would leave home in the morning and play all day, as long as we were back when the streetlights came on. 1930s
No one was able to reach us all day. And we were O.K.
We would spend hours building our go-carts out of scraps and then ride down the hill, only to find out we forgot the brakes. We built tree houses and cubby houses and played in creek beds with matchbox cars.
We did not have Playstations, Nintendo’s, X-boxes, no video games at all, no 99 channels on cable, no video tape or DVD movies, nosurround sound, no mobile  phones, no personal computers, no Internet or Internet chat rooms……….WE HAD FRIENDS and we went outside and found them!
We fell out of trees, got cut, broke bones and teeth and there were no Lawsuits from these accidents.
Only girls had pierced ears!
We ate worms and mud pies made from dirt, and the worms did not live in us forever.
You could only buy Easter Eggs and Hot Cross buns at Easter time…….no really!
We were given BB guns and sling shots for our 10th birthdays,
We drank milk laced with Strontium 90 from cows that had eaten grass covered in nuclear fallout from the atomic testing at Maralinga in 1956.
We rode bikes or walked to a friend’s house and knocked on the door or rang the bell, or just yelled for them!
Mum didn’t have to go to work to help dad make ends meet!
Footy had tryouts and not everyone made the team. Those who didn’t had to learn to deal with disappointment. Imagine that!!
Our teachers used to belt us with big sticks and leather straps and bullies always ruled the playground at school.
The idea of a parent bailing us out if we broke the law was unheard of.  They actually sided with the law!
Our parents got married before they had children and didn’t invent stupid names for their kids like ‘Kiora’ and ‘Blade’…..
This generation has produced some of the best risk-takers, problem solvers and inventors ever!
The past 70 years have been an explosion of innovation and new ideas.
We had freedom, failure, success and responsibility, and we learned
HOW TO DEAL WITH IT ALL!
And YOU are one of them!
CONGRATULATIONS!
You might want to share this with others who have had the luck to grow up as kids, before the lawyers and the government regulated our lives for our own good.
And while you are at it, forward it to your kids so they will know how brave their parents were.

Kind of makes you want to run through the house with scissors, doesn’t it?!

1940

Outside of this giving me a few interesting memories about my own childhood and that of my sons, being the born party pooper I am, I couldn’t help but think of a few other things as well.

  • Yes, many of us did grow up in houses with asbestos — right up until it was scraped off the ceiling about 10 years ago — well past my childhood.  No men in white suits showed up to remove it.  My mother and my oldest son used spray bottles and sheets of plastic, scraping it off with wide spatulas.  My oldest son has never been able to breathe to begin with, so Hell.  Why not take on this little Do-It-Yourself project?  Just because something was tolerated in the past doesn’t make it appropriate to ignore it today.
  • On the lead-based paint?  Absolutely many people survived — most noticeably the person who wrote this email.  But those who happened to have their cribs positioned near windows that could be chewed on when teething didn’t quite survive the same way.  They ended up with permanent brain damage and have needed medical attention, and special assistance in school to the tune of millions and millions of tax payer dollars.  They never had a chance, and their parents didn’t know, because lead-based paint is what was used. You could call Oliver Stone to see if he has a film in the works about a government conspiracy on this…

1950children2

  • Childproof caps were definitely a horrible thing to inflict upon the unsuspecting public. But I’m thinking it may have been necessary since the “If you touch this medicine, I’ll knock the shit out of you” threat to children had seen better days.  Anyone who’s been beat by a parent more than once will confirm this.
  • Seatbelts?  Well, just go back up to the lead-based paint issue.  If you survive a car crash but have injuries so severe that long-term medical care is required, ultimately the tax payer is paying the bill to keep you alive.  (Just think about all those “child-proof” caps you’ll have to deal with.) And if you survived that car crash even though you didn’t have a seat belt on, I’m thinking you should have to foot the bill for your own care.  I’m tired of paying for my health care AND everyone else’s.  How hard is it to just buckle the damn thing?
  • The reason there were no lawsuits from injuries caused from falling out of trees or needing stitches because the neighbor’s kid ran over you with a bike is because 1) there weren’t very many lawyers.  College was something most couldn’t afford — hence, fewer lawyers; and 2) People couldn’t afford lawsuits even if they realized that sometimes the losers in the world DO need to be accountable for their actions.  The tree I was in and fell out of when I was 8 was on private property.  I was trespassing and stealing fruit.  If anyone needed a lawyer, it was the farmer.

1960

  • Yes, I had a teacher who had a paddle and used it.  She was pissed because I wouldn’t hold hands with a boy during a game, so she lifted my dress (ahhh…remember when girls had to wear dresses to school?  So lovely to have to tolerate that while playing on the monkey bars…) and paddled my butt in front of the entire class.  Should kids today have to tolerate that to grow up and say, “Look at me!  I survived a teacher who whacked me!  Should any kid have to deal with a bully anywhere?  At some point, just sucking it up in those situations is weak.  Teaching kids how to stand up for themselves and to know what’s okay, and what isn’t matters.  Of course, today, bullies often have guns, don’t they?
  • Drink milk with Strontium 90?  And survive?  Evidently, the concentration is key to whether you end up with bone cancer, cancer of the soft tissues surrounding the bone, or leukemia.  It doesn’t just come from cows grazing in a field, it’s connected with weapons testing, which has decreased tremendously since the government was forced to realize that it was affecting people’s health.  You know, like benzene in drinking water.  Scary stuff.  And sure.  I’m totally angry that the government has regulated this out of my environment.  Not.

family1970s

  • “Mum” may not have to go to work to help Dad make ends meet today, either.  In fact, “Mum” may have a college degree, and realize that working all day, and taking care of her house and family after she gets home is like having two jobs for less than what Dad earns, so how stupid is that?  “Mum” can now choose to stay at home to raise her children instead of paying the childcare  provider her entire salary AND have a title: SAHM.  Some of us refuse to call ourselves anything of that nature, however.
  • Yes, the “Good Old Days” are gone, aren’t they?  Just think.  Without our beloved laptops, computers, Macs, PCs or however you lovingly refer to them, we wouldn’t be able to write and send emails such as the one above, would we?  We’d actually be getting the work done that our employers pay us to do!  What an interesting concept.

I could keep going, but this is way past the length all those You Too Can Make Money At Home Blogging gurus mention.  God forbid that whatever is on my mind exceeds a few paragraphs.

Goodness.  What a snarky woman I am today.

I’ll write about something pleasant next time, or just avoid reading those emails.

Fooled

Do you ever have days where you’re up early and feel as if you can do just about anything?  That was me today with the sun not more than a glow behind the mountains and everyone still fast asleep.  But that was three hours ago, and all I’ve accomplished is consume two cups of a very dark Brazilian coffee I found at a local Latin market, and a rather large bowl of Wheeties.

I’ve flitted from the website of a cooking group I belong to expecting to see this month’s challenge posted (it wasn’t…) to a photography site where I continue to read about how to improve the lighting in my photos and how to build my own lightbox, wondering if any of the boxes in our garage are large enough to work so I don’t have to get in the car before it’s absolutely necessary today.

I gaze through the stats on my food blog and wonder how it’s possible for the number of page views its recorded are possible since my last check and where they’re coming from.  That takes me to who is so I can research an IP address even though I know that never really tells me anything helpful.

All the while, I’m making a mental list of what I’ll accomplish today and the time is steadily ticking.  Always ticking.  And to make matters worse, I’ve activated the voice on my Mac to let me know the time on the hour and half hour because I lose track of it so often now, engrossed in too many things all at one time, wanting to do them all, and able to finish only one or two.  It’s truly annoying.

I’ve wasted at least a half hour searching for an article I saved not too long ago knowing I had something to say about it and now  can’t find it.  It’s no wonder since I bookmark extensively using delicious, Evernote, and Firefox.  I’ve searched, and it’s just not there.  So then the wind goes out of my sails, and I scan my sidebar to visit someone — anyone —  arriving there and marveling not only over their writing, but the lots and lots of people who comment there.  I even visit some of the commentors, thinking about the little community this person has built.  Or is it acquired?  No matter.  It exists.  People take the time to stop and say something instead of, “Nice.”  or “Looks terrific.”

I remember those days.

It’s what I get for defecting almost permanently to foodland.

Goodness.  I’m here so infrequently now I even get spam telling me they can’t figure out my posting schedule.  How hilarious is that?  Um, can you tell us what your posting schedule is so we can spam you more than we already do?  kthxbai.

It’s almost 10 now, and so I must make some decisions about this chilly, grey….wait.

It’s April Fools Day!

Clearly, the joke is on me.

Thinking I’d actually accomplish something.

Right.