Sharing for sharing’s sake

I have a blog. That blog desires to be updated.

I’m also a mum. My brain is regularly drained to completely empty by the time I get a minute to go anywhere near a computer. Especially when you spend somewhere close to an hour reading a book especially designed to make children sleepy while your 1-year-old cries at you… So, you give up and let him cry for ten minutes. Go in, lie him down, let him cry for ten minutes more, and go in and lie him down and wait the two minutes it takes for him to finally fall asleep… Much faster than an hour of reading. Of course, I would prefer it if I could read my child to sleep, but he’s just not a fan of his cot. And I can’t leave him sleeping in the car over night. And he can’t sleep in my bed until I’m ready to be there, too (no safety sides). It’s just one of those “battles” I’m not winning at the moment.

On the bright side, Mr6 generally settles to sleep really easily, and sleeps deeply.

Anyway, enough about that. I thought I would type up a wee story I wrote in June 2014 during a writing meeting I attended (and Chaired). For this exercise, we had four images from which to choose as inspiration, and 30 minutes to write. No, I cannot recall the image that inspired the following, but so be it… you’ll survive! (Yes, you will!)

Here goes…

Dinner was to be on the table at five thirty.

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I needed that…

As much as I hate myself for checking, I do… I too often have a nosey over at Amazon.com to see if anyone is buying or reviewing my book. I know. It’s one of those things authors know they shouldn’t, but do anyway.

Writing is a funny business. If you get that chance to rest, zone out, chill, the dialogue, settings and character actions, along with the words to put it to the page can just flow… and flow smoothly.

This happens rarely when you’re a mother, as I’m sure many who follow can attest.

Somehow, I managed it last Sunday.

A got a peep this weekend.

The problem is, getting from that zoned-out space to your computer (or wherever you’re recording that tale) without breaking the zen…

Yeah… I haven’t found the magic bubble for that, yet.

So, it’s a struggle to get words down. Even more so when you know, you just know, you had better words to describe it while you were still snuggled in your bed while your child watched morning cartoons.

They were there.

Now they’re gone.

But you push forward anyway… even though

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My bliss…

When I write, and manage to get “into the zone”, I find my bliss. It’s cool. But it’s work. And when it’s work it can be hard to turn it into bliss as well.

But, I have another string to my bliss bow.

Because, not only am I a writer-mother (and part-time worker and wife and all that), I am a writer-gardener.

Yes. I admit it.

Gardening makes me happy.

And why wouldn’t it, with results like this?

Greenhouse
Greenhouse – Right hand side as at end of January 2014: strawberry plants at the top with a marigold to help keep insects down (not working). Tray attempting to germinate apple seeds at the top right. Below that is carrots in cut-down Coke and Pepsi bottles, with Rocket taking off in front (get it? taking off… ha!), and a tomato plant at the bottom left and more lettuce and another marigold…

Just wait… there’s more…

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Hippy Self-Sufficiency Stuff Update

So, a few weeks ago I told you all about how I had come into possession of some seeds and was beginning my own pot-garden…

…um, I mean…

Well, you know what I mean. I was beginning to grow edible plants in pots (because that’s how I roll when it comes to gardening).

So, I thought I might update you on progress.

Buttercrunch Lettuce
Buttercrunch Lettuce

Here is my first lettuce. Now, in that first sowing, I planted about 3 lettuce seed… yeah… this is the only one that did anything. Since then, I’ve sown another 3 or 4 lettuce seeds… no dice. However,

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My boy’s new shadow…

Chino Larry Miniature Horses Appaloosa Paint Pinto
Chino & Larry

Went out to visit Chino today, and I just had to share this pic.

That’s Chino, the “bigger” horse to the left (the dark paint in the background is called “Jigsaw”), and Larry is the six month old (ish) Appaloosa mini at the front…

Chino is a tri-coloured paint – he’s bay, white, and grey… but, well, he’s probably going to end up “white” with a dark tail and hocks… it seems to be the way he’s going.

Larry (he’s shown here halfway to losing his winter coat, heh heh) is a nice spotty Appaloosa type, with a nice dark grey face… an awful lot like Chino.

If Larry matures to a similar size to Chino, I think they’ll look great in harness together 🙂

No, Larry isn’t mine… but, well, we’ll see if he comes up for sale some time.

And… just for fun, this is what Larry looked like the day I met him (about 2 months old and just up to my knee!!). Cute, huh? Yeah, I think so…

Appaloosa miniature horse
Larry (2months)

Today, I tied Chino up for a bit to get him used to the idea (to date, I’ve only tied him to do his feet then freed him, but he needs to learn a bit more patience before we head out with a cart, once he’s trained). After a bit of standing around, followed by a good grooming, we put his long-reining gear on and practiced walking around so that he can get used to the idea of a bit and responding to the reins. Considering how little work I’ve managed to do with him over the years, he did fabulously. I’m so very proud.

Looking forward to eating better….

I thought I might share with you my new garden:My pot garden (o;

Now, let’s get one thing straight: I am not a gardener.

However, about this time of year (summer is coming on here in NZ), I do seem to get itchy green fingers. Don’t know why. I guess maybe it’s because I’m only a generation removed from regular gardeners. Perhaps it’s still in there, somewhere.

Actually, in the past, I have had quite an interest in growing Bonsai. I guess it’s my love of nature combined with my transient lifestyle as a university student. And, even now, I don’t feel a sense of permanence here. We bought this house as a do-up-and-move-on… some 10 years ago… maybe only 9, but it feels like so much longer.

Anyway, the point I wanted to touch on was that I’m sick of paying supermarket prices for lettuce, and I’m also sick of the rather tasteless “fresh” foods we have available now. I remember much yummier veges when I was younger — and I still had to be coerced into eating them. No wonder my son isn’t interested. So, I figured it was about time we started growing our own. It’s going to be a bit-by-bit process.

In April this year, we discovered a wild-sewn strawberry

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Six years old… yesterday

Someone's been rolling...
Someone’s been rolling…

I admit, I was in two minds about posting my latest pics of my baby, but, well… there he is in his natural state (o:

He hasn’t been all tarted up for photos. I went out to visit him in the weekend (just under an hour drive, now). I just took the chance to give him a brush down and look at his feet and re-acquaint myself with him. It’s been two months since he moved away. Where I had been keeping him (10mins drive away) wasn’t an option any more, and we still don’t own a property to keep him.

Was wonderful seeing him again. He’s such a lovely boy. Whenever I catch up with him I flap ropes and halters and whatever all around him, and he never reacts. He’s a really calm little man, and I’m so proud of him for that. (That being said, he’s got a little bit to learn when it comes to standing patiently while I work with him…)

So, yesterday (23rd Oct, NZ Time) he turned six. Well past time I started teaching him a few tricks. With a toddler to raise now, too, I haven’t done as much with Chino as I would have liked, but he’s now fully mature and ready to get on with things, so I’m pleased he now lives with people with experience in training minis for carting. So, this summer…. (o:  Good times ahead.

Some time when I go up and the weather is good – and set to be good for some time – we will give him a bath and see what his colours really look like. If you’ve seen my previous posts of him, you will have seen that, as a foal, he was strikingly bay/pinto… actually, more tri-coloured (he’s grey through the chest, bay at the rear). Even through his early years he kept these colours, and if I blanketed him over winter, he would be bold, too… Hard to know if he is roaning out or just dirty, now (o: So, bath time soon. There will be photos!

Really looking forward to having fun with my wee man (and my other one – the toddler – can come too).

Nothing much more to report. I shall keep you posted on progress, though!

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I’m no cake decorator, but…

… I made this for my son’s 3rd birthday (party tomorrow):

Tickety Toc CogsThere you go… Tickety Toc Cog Cake… A bit simpler than trying to cater to his love of Pocoyo. He also loves Peppa Pig, but it seems everyone has a Peppa Pig themed birthday at 3 years old these days.

Pretty basic. My sculpting talents have always been a little basic… here’s hoping my writing is better, eh?

Cake is chocolate (Edmund’s Cookbook) and butter cream icing… basic… simple…

Yes. My son celebrates his birthday on International Talk Like A Pirate Day… now I know why my labour lasted so long.

(Someone accused me of being a wuss when I mentioned I’d got an epidural… I set him straight pretty quick… I laugh that he took 48hrs to arrive into this world… try a week, buddy… — and if all I was having from the week before my son arrived were the Braxton Hicks contractions, they were frequent ones at 5mins apart, 60-90 secs long)

Keep Calm and Carry On

Contemporary rendering of a poster from the Un...
Contemporary rendering of a poster from the United Kingdom reading “Keep Calm and Carry On”, created during World War II. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow. I’ve seen this meme bandied about over the last couple of years… never bothered to look up its origin. But there you go. According to Wikipedia, the British Government popped it up on posters at the beginning of the Second World War, to help ease the concerns of the public… or rather, to tell the publc to “get over it”.

I was so sure it was a mother’s mantra.

It is, isn’t it?

Well, it sure was for me yesterday… and so I thought I’d share.

The inciting incident for this story happened back at the start of February… day after my book released, to be exact. I was heading out for dinner and a movie with a bunch of friends (absolutely nothing to do with my book launch, by the way, which I was very happy with… I usually like to quietly make my way in life until I can say BAM! Here I am!). It all started with my choice of footwear. Usually, when I go out, I wear my high heals. Lovely shoes (and I tend to only have one pair until they’re so worn I must replace them), but this time, I had decided to pull out an old pair of wedge-style shoes. Now, when wedges seemed to be all the rage last year or so I screwed up my face at them, because I think they look horrid — forgetting, of course, that I actually had a pair of my own. The difference is that the “classy” high heels with a filled in sole are just not my thing. These ones look like little pink sparkly ballet shoes; they are covered in beads (that were probably hand sewn on by some poor girl in India who didn’t get paid nearly enough, but I’m so grateful because I could actually afford them… I’m so sorry!), and they tie up my legs with pink ribbon… see… sometimes I’m a girl! Woah.

Anyway, recovering…

So, I was wearing these wedge-style shoes… I know, shoot me now.

After buying our tickets to Django Unchained, we crossed the road to the nearest Thai restaurant, and my wedge-style sole found the chipped edge of a broken bit of tarseal…

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Doing it for the love of it?

Salmonella Dub – For the Love Of It (not the version I was thinking of, but it will do)

Why do you write?

When I published my post the other day, somewhat jokingly bemoaning my as yet undiscoveredness, I did get a couple of reminders that we should be writing because we love it, not in order to get famous or (heaven forbid) rich.

Well, I just want to take a moment to be honest…

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