Monthly Archives: November 2009

Blah blah blah

An interesting exercise. What do you make of that, eh?  (specially those last two words… *snorts*)



Filed under miscellaneous minutiae

Hot and bothered

The temperature has apparently hit around 37 degrees, which is about 100 in the old money. No wonder I was feeling all hot and bothered.  Usually we are spoilt with a bit of a sea breeze, which tends to tempers things a bit round here (like my MOOD!) , but it felt more nor-westerly most of the day. Hot flushes anyone?

I don’t do heat very well. (Read: she becomes a cranky sod.) On top of that, The Cranky was building up because I’m frustrated with myself over the state of the house.

So what do you do when the temperature has climbed over 30 degrees?

Decide to clean out the dreaded Cupboard under the Stairs, that’s what.

The Cupboard under the Stairs had got so bad, I’m too embarrassed to have even taken a photo of it.  It had become a dumping ground, where you opened the door, shut your eyes, and chucked stuff in.

Needless to say the difficulty factor of finding what you wanted in there was inversely related to the ‘input’ method described above.

I desperately need to get this house cleaned up so that I can a) spray for cockroaches, and b) start getting prepared for the renovations, but the size of the job meant that I have just continued to put it off, and off, and off.

But I am trying to get a grip on things. And to turn over a new leaf with all that needs doing around here. So, I wiped the sweat from my brow, and waded in.

So, yes, it’s done, more or less. With lots of stuff  being heaved into the garbage bin and recycling bin. I’m the worst hoarder. I can’t bear to throw things out that I think might have a bit more use left in them. So there were several old backpacks.  Heaps of old shoeboxes (they might come in handy to store things in, mightn’t they?). A kazillion “green” bags (of many different colours and sizes.)  Old paints and craft stuff.   Arrrgh.

What to keep? What to throw?

Well, I’ve done a reasonably ruthless job, and you wouldn’t recognise the cupboard, although I still have a couple of shelves to sort.

I’m feeling quite satisfied with the progress and achievement. I’m chucking so much out, everything won’t fit in the bins, so I’ve stacked some stuff in the carport. Once the recycling bin is emptied this Wednesday I can start ripping up more boxes. And I need to leave room in the garbage bin for the following week’s collection. (Our weekly collection is greenwaste that includes food waste – ie. biomass).

I’m in control, though. Well, I was. Until the comments.

Admittedly Himself is very frustrated, having spent most of the weekend trying to get two computers to work again.

But I would just appreciate a bit more faith (despite past misdemeanours), rather than criticism and disbelief that I will get on top of this job.

I am NOT going to pay to go to the tip for what amounts to a few things.

I WILL get the stuff in the garbage bins over the next fortnight.

I WILL take the other stuff to the charity shops.

And I’m, apparently, not handling properly the ‘clean up’ ultimatum for the two girls who want a sleepover party here next weekend (while Himself is away)..  but that is a whole other story.

I just WOULD appreciate some positive reinforcement sometimes.  Something like “Great job Trace!” That would do it.


Thankfully things feel like they are cooling down a bit outside now. I can feel the seabreeze coming in the back door now. And, I feel less like slamming the door each time I go in and out to the bins!

(Despite being told not to slam the door!!!!)

I’ve thrown on a wash of a heap of bags. I can’t bear to throw them out.

And.. anyone got any ideas on what I can do with two hessian carrybags? There’s got to be a good use for them… somewhere….


Filed under it's just another manic mum day

And so what have we learned this week?

I’ve learned…

.. that my desktop computer really hates me. (Or the universe hates me, or something…) This morning it froze with the wallpaper pic loaded, but no sys tray, and then subsequent rebooting didn’t even get me that far. [Computer Bloke tried a few things but had to head off to work.. so it’s back to the spare laptop for me.]  It’s barely a month since it mucked up BIG TIME before.  [insert sad face here]

.. that if I have to get up at 3.45 am to drive a daughter to the bus (for a Yr 11 student Brisbane universities reconnaissance excursion) that, even though I eventually get back to sleep, I’ll be much like a zombie for the rest of the day. And have really weird dreams between 5 am and 7.30am. Yesterday was thus a strange day.

.. that maybe the Universe is trying to send me a ‘get off the bloody internet’ message, because this laptop suddenly went into hibernation mode on me in the middle of typing this. (The fact that all this stuff was still here when I got back is, however, obviously a sign that it’s still ok for me to do a blog post..)

.. that I can cook something new after all. (Even totally-uninspired-over-cooking me!) With some donated kingfish fillets in the freezer, Himself had been expressing a desire to have a fish curry of some sorts. I looked up recipes (and went ‘arrgh, I don’t know about this curry paste lark’), but eventually I found a recipe that looked easy (with some twitter tips from a friend) and calculated the amount of curry paste juuuust right (for me and the kids anyway).  Took the opportunity to cook it  last night when the 16 yr old seafood hater was away.   It was a big SUCCESS all round, and we’ve decided when I make it again when Herself is here we’ll just pretend that it’s chicken.  (Sshhhh!)

.. that my husband can be a pain in the butt. (Well, actually that’s nothing new, this is just another example.) When I said ‘Aren’t I good to you, darling – you wanted me to make this, so Idid’, he said ‘No, I’m good to you, because I’ve helped you expand your horizons with cooking something out of your comfort zone.’

.. that I’m losing the plot, because I’ve picked up more tablets during the week from the chemist, and then realised this morning that I wasn’t out of them after all.

.. that I will never appreciate it when Himself says in the morning (like this morning) – “Um… have you organised dinner for tonight yet? Because, um… I have to go out for work.”  Well, in fact, I did have stuff organised, something reasonably nice, actually,  and I am more than a little pissed off about yet another night that he’s not home for dinner, and yet another time when he’s given me late notice that he won’t be home.

.. that if you go to an AGM, you’re bound to end up offering to do some executive position.  Duh! After all, the conscience that drove you to the meeting in the first place is going to ensure that you can’t sit there in a poorly attended P & C meeting while they list all the vacant positions and say ‘We’ll just have to list them in the newsletter and see if we get any takers…”  (Say hello to the Secretary of the primary school P & C.)

.. that it takes more than the annoyance of having to stuff around with a spare laptop to get the message that maybe I should be using today to GET SOMETHING DONE AROUND HERE.

OK.. not as funny as Rove, but it’s the best I can offer with my zombie brain right now.  Doing a post means I’ve now NO  excuse but to get up and do something constructive!

‘Say hello to your mum for me…’


Filed under it's just another manic mum day, lost in procrastination

And the relevance factor is…?

I had an appointment with a skin specialist yesterday – at an Outreach Clinic in town, where the doctors fly up from Sydney for a couple of days a week on a rotating basis. (That fact being totally irrelevant to my story, other than as an aside where I consider that it makes us sound like we live out bush somewhere, rather than in a “city” on the eastern seaboard…)

(As another aside, I was there to try to find a solution to my constant red, blotchy chin –  something I’ve put up with for years – but which also has nothing to do with my point!)

Anyway, this doctor says to me straight up – “So! What do you do for a living?”

Well, you know how I feel about this question!   Only this was even more specific. “.. for a living?”

I hesitated slightly, then came straight back with my “I’m a.. CEO Domestic Affairs” line.

He processed this, and then said “So your husband looks after you then..?” (or words to that effect.)

Woah! To the point, aren’t you? I thought.

I hesitated, and said “Yep, and I look after him too.”

Then! He asked me how old the kids were.  I wondered what his judgemental process made of their  ages, so before he could make any more comments, I added that I was starting out with freelance writing. That I’d had some stuff published.

“A book?” he asks.

Sheesh…When I then say I’ve had one article published in a magazine, it sounds like a bit of a comedown.  (Note to self – must say “freelance writer – feature writing, and travel articles” in future.)

Fortunately we finally got on to why I was there. (No definitive diagnosis yet – just a trial of antibiotics (more tablets!)  and creams, and I’m going back in January.)

So I’m rather undecided about his warm up patter. Is what I do ‘for a living’ relevant to the consultation? Is it relevant at that part of the conversation?  I guess he uses it as an icebreaker, but sensitive ol’ me always reads between the lines – or rather the responses.

What I have decided is that I still have some work to do. I’ve yet to come up with the perfect line in answer to that question.  Perhaps in this case I should have just reverted to the tongue in cheek line “Oh… for a living? Well – I’ve got this great set up with my husband. He earns all the money, and I spend it.”


Filed under it's just another manic mum day

Good stuff 25/11

Food court at the local shopping centre. Lunchtime. Just me.  (My usual M.O. – I spend a fair bit of my weekdays solo.) Carrying a tray with coffee and a sandwich.  Looking around for a spare table.

Suddenly I see an arm waving at me. Woo! Someone I know.

Someone to sit and talk to over lunch.


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Filed under awesome

Crazy little things

I don’t think I have many foibles. (OK, family, stop laughing and pick yourself up off the ground). No, seriously, I’m the total opposite of OCD – particularly when it comes to keeping the house spick and span, so it’s not as if I’m prone to fastidiousness or anything.

REALLY!!  (No, I’m totally serious here, stop laughing!)

But I’ve come to the realisation that, in my old age, I have developed a few .. possibly irrational.. um.. dislikes.

Two, that spring to mind immediately, are related to food  – but I’m not talking about general food dislikes as such, rather food combinations.

In Tracey’s World of Food:

  • The only thing that should go with a meat pie is potato (and peas).  The potato can be mashed, boiled in their jackets, roasted, chips or wedges.  You can eat a meat pie by itself, but you absolutely CANNOT  have pasta (or rice) with it, like the heretics in my family would, and do (with utter glee, if they are getting to have meat pies without me.) They think I’m crazy. I think I’m RIGHT.  (It’s…. just … unAustralian!)
  • I have this weird thing about cheese. I eat cheese. Not as passionately as some, and I’m not into the overly sharp stuff, or ‘mouldy’ cheese..  As a rule I don’t like it on a sandwich. Cheese on toast, yes.  On a sandwich by itself (with lots of butter – but the cheese has to be sliced really thinly), ok.  But absolutely NOT with salad and meats.  And it drives me NUTS when cheese is automatically included as part of the ‘salad’ on a sandwich, or in a wrap.  I argued once with a school canteen supervisor that cheese was NOT salad, it was DAIRY, it was PROTEIN, and thus should be considered an added extra.Have you any idea how hard it is to buy lunch when you’re out (ie. readymade rolls, sandwiches, foccacias, etc) without cheese?!

And not food.. but something that my family think I’m nuts about…

  • I hate using the sunroof in the car.  Firstly, I think, what’s the point to having it completely open, when you have air conditioning ?  Ours also has the double shutter arrangement – but  I can’t cope with the solid shutter being open, with the ‘window’ shut.   I just cannot handle the light coming from above. (Never mind the slight whistling noise you can hear as the window bit obviously doesn’t seal perfectly.)  Usually when I get in the car I’m grateful for the shade factor, so I find the light coming from above a total distraction.When I got in the landcruiser by myself yesterday the sunroof shutter had been left open. OK, I thought. Let’s try and get over this paranoia….

    Nup. Lasted a couple of kilometres, and then, I gave in, shut the bloody thing, and breathed a sigh of relief.

    (And started composing this post in my head.)


Filed under miscellaneous minutiae

Good stuff 24/11/09

So the awesome tag isn’t really ‘me’, somehow. Bit OTT and gushy really – which doesn’t really go with my image.

But I’m still committed to taking note of the good stuff each day, if I can remember to do it! (I’m sure that’ll be as about as consistent as, say, my housework….)

Today’s Good Stuff:

Would you believe there’s actually a good side to all the chauffeuring I do for my kids.  Sometimes it seems as if it’s the only time I get to talk one on one with any of the girls.   (These days when all are old enough to be left at home if not required.)  OK, sometimes they ignore me. Ms 11 has been known, on more than one occasion, to read a book. (Yep, in the car, don’t know how she does it.)

And the other two – well, it depends on their mood. But sometimes, just sometimes, you get to talk, just the two of you, with no interruptions. Like today, with Ms 16.

Which is good.


Filed under awesome