Wednesday, January 31, 2007

I was walking along, minding my own business when....

....I suddenly realised I'm going to have to come up with, and start practicing a new signature! I think BabyCakes would be upset if I didn't take his name, despite the fact that I quite like mine, it's served me well for 30+ years!

I think I'll use both names at different times, I certainly want to be Mrs BabyCakes, but might keep my maiden name for Stage Management stuff... I don't know. Maybe it is too much maintenance to keep two names.

The other scary thing about this revelation should be clear to anyone who has seen my signature - it gets comments from the checkout operators at Coles! It's very hard to forge given that if I spend too much time thinking about it, even my own attempts look dodgy! It is very loopy, scrawly, and mostly rushed...

I guess it will work itself out in time.

The cat is still trying very hard to make me live up to my moniker but trying to send me crazier.... I had a guy from across the road come and tell me on Saturday, that if he'd caught the cat on Friday night, we wouldn't have had one... He didn't like cleaning his garage of the spray SHE had stunk it up with at 9:30 at night. That's right, my female de-sexed cat sprayed... I'd be upset too if a neighbours cat did that to me!

I tried to keep her in again, and last night she bolted through an open window - the heat was just too oppressive not to have it open. I don't know what to do, she is fast running off with my sanity and calm, and that's just wrong.

The um, colourful lady next door also weighed into the the cat issue turning up on my door step to discuss it on Saturday morning when BabyCakes was out at work... She saw how upset the issue was making me and turned up later in the day with potted herbs and plants she had bought from a clearance sale, which was amazingly sweet of her. Maybe I should feel guilty for the uncharitable thoughts I have about her, all too regularly? Or maybe she's trying to build up brownie points to blackmail is with later.....

Sunday, January 28, 2007

The Future Mrs BabyCakes ?

I'd like to let you all know that BabyCakes asked me to marry him today, and I was delighted to accept!

BabyCakes snuck around to my Dad's place and asked my Dad for permission to marry me (which was granted, thankfully), and today he took me to the city botanical gardens, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. I was shaky and teary, but delighted to say yes. He then slipped a beautiful white gold half carat solitaire onto my finger and we snogged for a bit... (very predictable, but hey, I think that's in the contract!).

We have not yet set a date for the wedding, but will let the appropriate people know when we do.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Cat and mouse...

The cat and I have settled into a new pattern. She goes outside now during the day, or at least is allowed to. She sometimes comes back in through an open window (without fly screen) and hides from the neighbours cat. Once she is in to be fed at dusk, she stays inside. Sometimes she meows plaintively at the door but we talk back to her her and she usually comes and sits with BabyCakes and myself.

I still have to keep all the windows with screens closed enough that she can't get enough leverage on them to push the screens out, but this seems to be a workable compromise - at least she doesn't seem as manic as before.

As for the mouse? It was a gift from my brother resident in Texas USA. A few years ago he sent me a geeky gamers mouse (for my computer). It was a laser mouse which had a fan in it, to keep ones hand from getting sweaty. It was a bit odd to get used to, but I did use it in hot weather. Most of the time however, I had the fan switched off as it developed an annoying rattle in it and was disturbingly loud. Last week though, the laser died, and with it, the mouse lost all usefulness and I had to let it go (and buy a new one).

BabyCakes is off today to have fun at the Big Day Out.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Is there ever really a selfless action?

Julia Gillard (deputy leader of the opposition) stated that she believed that it would be ALMOST impossible to get to the top job in politics and be a mother as well. To say the public comment on it has been spirited is an understatement. Look at that comment again.... almost impossible, she didn't even say it cannot be done, she just said it would be very hard. You'd think she had said all women should stay in the kitchen and leave the work thing to men (which is pretty much a paraphrase of a comment I HAVE heard - from a woman). I honestly cannot see anything wrong with her expression her opinion this way.

I want to know why women who do not want children are labelled selfish, men do not seem to have the same expectation. I've seen plenty of women have children to fill a hole in their life.... that sounds selfish to me.

Does it also follow that people who can not have children are non-people?

This has been a bit of a ponderous thought for me for a while. Lots of people around me are having babies. Within my family it seems I'm a non-person as a childless spinster, everything revolves around the children in the family. (I'm sure this is not intended to be the case, but it sure feels like it - supported by the instance of my brother turning up for a family function without the children in tow as they had another engagement - the message was clear that he should not have done such a thing.) Do not get me wrong, my nieces and nephew are delightful children and they bring a whole new dynamic to the group gatherings and I love them to bits, but why are we no longer people worth knowing unless there is a child in our arms?

I suspect this is a very primal issue, procreation is a very strong force, and there are times when I desperately want a child, but there are also times when it scares the living heck out of me/I do not trust myself with being guardian over another life (but this has been the case for as long as I can remember). Why do people have to be so cruel in their derision for people who do not have children?

Why is it, in an educated society are Julia Gillard's comments so reaction provoking? Why is it that men do not seem forced to make decisions of career OR family in the same way women are? Why is it that teenage boys do not think about how to balance parenthood and a career? I'm not talking about pregnancy and birth here, I'm talking parenthood.

On the flip side, if either a man or a woman decided to that they wanted a family, as their largest priority, and did not want to work to be able to spend time with their children, why do we have to poo-poo it? "I want to be a parent when I grow up" is not an acceptable response on career day any more. I would love to meet a man who would be prepared to stay at home with the children and keep house.

Men and women are different. Celebrate it. Difference does not have to imply weakness, indeed our very differences should make us stronger, as teams.

Me, personally, I still oscillate on a pretty much daily basis as to whether I want children. When I knew I did not have an option it drove my every thought. Now that the door is open, I can walk past it without peeking in. (That I desperately wanted what I couldn't have is in my opinion just another way that I am completely human... I believe the human condition is to want what we do not have, it keeps us moving.)

I think Julia Gillard is pretty much on the money though. If you really really want the top job in anything, something has to give, there are only 24 hours in a day - and that goes for men and women. Why shouldn't she be able to leave her husband at home with the babies whilst she pursues her career? I think the witch hunt that would ensue would be of mammoth proportions.

People claim we are civilised and have moved beyond our primal urges, yet when someone decides to live that value, they are publicly vilified. People still make most of their decisions based on primal urges, and more women think with their genitals than would like to admit to it - another perfectly human trait.

If I (with BabyCakes), decide not to have children, it is a selfish decision. If we decide to have children, it will most definitely be a selfish decision. I know that I'll be better accepted with a child on my hip though.


My fur-kid is giving me enough grief at the moment, I think I'll stick to that for the moment. The damn cat will not stay inside at the moment. I relented yesterday and let her out during the day. Last night she was relentless in patrolling the fly screens until she broke one and escaped. Do I give in to her tactics and let her out whenever she wants, get another cat to keep her company inside or lock the flat up tighter than a drum when I go to bed so she can't get out?

Egads, she'll turn me grey she will!

Monday, January 15, 2007

Sun, sea, sand, snags and sore spots

I have an admission to make.

I mentioned in an earlier post that BabyCakes had bought a new (second hand) car just before Christmas. What I didn't mention was that it was a 4WD - in fact, if we lived in North America, what BabyCakes bought would be called a "truck". It's big and it's shiney. After some careful consideration, I decided that his all round decency and desire to take his new vehicle actually off road might be enough to outweigh the 4WD factor, and I wouldn't have to break up with him after all. (I've never dated someone with a 4WD, and in the city I resent being surrounded by them. The argument of "I love driving a 4WD, I can see over everything else and get much better sight lines" is an extremely selfish one, and makes my life in a sedan a hellish proposition at times.)
I am very happy to say though, that within a month of having the new Triton in his possession, it has been off road, and BabyCakes and I have had our first real taste of 4WDriving!

BabyCakes bought the "truck" to hold his work samples safely in the back, and not all over the back seat, to not have the joy of an un-lowered, un-skirted car that one does not have to wince at when anyone walks near. It is also his first 4 cylinder car he's ever owned... all be it turbo diesel....

As you can see by the size of his grin, BabyCakes kinda enjoyed it....... a lot! It was good fun, and we had a lovely day with friends.

A group of friends (4 couples, which shall be known as Rastas and Primrose Goddess, Mr and Mrs C and the new Mr and Mrs K) have been talking about going camping together for a few weeks now, there was talk of getting away before everyone went back to work etc. but that didn't happen.
It was decided amongst the group to go up to Bribie Island to have a look around at their camping sites, and generally have a nice day out.

On Saturday we met promptly at whatever time people could get there as close to 8am as possible at the jumbo service centre at Caboolture/Burpengary before we started our convoy to Bribie and all the little stops that needed to be made on the way (checking geocaches, permits, batteries, food, water, air etc.).

We made it to the car park before the access road to the beach at about 9:30 am from memory, and that was where BabyCakes and my adventure and learning curve really started.

The drive down the beach stopping a couple of times on the way to get to know the area and for Rastas to get some GPS way points, was pretty uneventful. We took it slowly, asked our questions and got our answers, were taught some beach driving etiquette and stopped for some morning tea (very important that!).

We then drove to the limit of our access (to the light tower) and once again Rastas took way points and we had fun looking at all the shells and pebbles on the beach.

I have to say at this point that the pebbles and shells were a high point in my day. The simple beauty of them, even the fact that one can still find amazing shells on the beach and the amazing colours we saw were a delightful antidote to a week where one night we turned on the news to have a story on murder, bashings, and a rape all within the first five minutes.

Nature has a special way of grounding me and giving me hope that sometimes I desperately need. It is almost always from simple beauty of light, colour and texture that I find that peace and awe for the world we live in.

Even the fact that there were

creatures in the shells, living in beautiful shiney homes. The pebble that Primrose Goddess found, with natural holes through it was amazing, and we were told it is also supposedly good luck to find such a thing... It certainly was a lucky find to see it.

We then headed off to find a spot to set up for lunch. Rastas had sourced us a magnificent and amazingly easy to erect sun shelter, and BabyCakes unpacked his much loved Weber Q and we had a very civilised BBQ once the wind was blocked from the from the Weber and it was able to be lit.

While the food was cooking Mr K set up his kite, which quickly grabbed Mr C's attention and they had a blast until it unfortunately got caught in a dead tree on the edge of the dune. I think the 20 minutes it took to free it from the tree, and untangle the strings kinda put a dampener on that fun. Rastas set up his high powered binoculars on a tripod so we could have a look at a passing container ship (I saw the caravan on deck first!), and once it had gone from sight, we could get a pretty decent view all the way up the beach to Caloundra, which was pretty cool.

After lunch Mr C could not resist the lure of Rastas' kite which was bigger and fancier than Mr K's kite (so Rastas tells us). There seemed to be a bit more control in this kite and Mr C spent quite some time keeping it in the air on a very very blustery day.

We all got a bit distracted by the kite and/or sitting around digesting our lunch and chatting that by the time we were all packed up and on the way back to bitumen we realised we'd left it a bit late to leave.

The tide was coming in, the beach was getting smaller and the sand we were driving on was quite soft. We followed tracks that someone had left before us, which was both a blessing and a curse. The track was not particularly straight and the ruts were getting huge. BabyCakes found it quite fatiguing on his arms to control the vehicle. When we had loaded up and headed out, we had planned only to stop at the service station to re-inflate tyres as necessary, but I can tell you we were all delighted to see the car park, which seemed to take forever to get to, and upon discovery of an ice-cream van there, we stopped for a celebratory ice cream cone. BabyCakes needed to unwind the tension a bit - not that the tension stopped him grinning from ear to ear.

On the way out we passed someone getting towed out and Rastas stopped to give water to a vehicle that had overheated, certainly not a day to be out and about by oneself.

The drive back to the city gave BabyCakes and me lots of time to chatter about the fun we'd had.

The new "truck" had got dirty, it had been off road and we'd been 4WDriving in probably the safest company we could have.

We had even been invited back to Mr & Mrs K's place to go for a swim in their pool!

The cars were all washed on the way home and we had an encore BBQ at Mr & Mrs K's for dinner. The pool was delightful for the pre-dinner swim, it cooled us down and cleared the grit of sand and sea spray from us. Mr K even helped BabyCakes out by using the high pressure cleaner on the Weber Q, making it almost sparkle (it would have been very sparkly with more de-greaser).

It was not really until we got home, and stretched out in front of the TV and promptly fell asleep during the pay-per-view movie we had ordered that we realised how tired we were. It wasn't until I woke up on Sunday (in bed) that I worked out just how all pervasive the muscular aches were. I'm not sure if they came from the tension of the drive off the beach, the general jostling of the 4WDriving experience, or from some kind of hypersensitivity to all of the above due to pre-menstrual hormones, but my goodness did my body ache - EVERYWHERE!

I'm glad we went on Saturday to give us Sunday to recover, and rediscover the sand that managed to find it's way into everything...

ohhhhhhhhhh..... is there anyone more bitchy than a group of boys discussing their 4WDs?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

No flies on us.... ?

On the weekend BabyCakes and I made fly screens....

It doesn't sound that exciting, but being able to keep the cat in and allow a bit of airflow - that's magic! There is also the added bonus that we should be able to expect that flies, mosquitos and bugs should stay outside...

It was satisfying to have a half day project that involved both BabyCakes and myself, that also makes a HUGE difference to our lifestyle. (The fact that it was a reasonably cheap project too also helps!)

Admittedly, it hasn't been 100% successful, yet. At the kitchen window, the cat has worked out a way to use her weight (presumably), to pull the fly screen away from the frame. The first night we discovered this, the second night we shut the window, the third she escaped again, but fortunately I managed to find her and bring her back inside (the neighbourhood is surprisingly quiet at 2am, and the cat surprisingly trusting...).

I think the problem can be solved with putting the screen in upside down from how it was previously installed, and hiding the spline join in a spot that a cat can't leverage easily.

Yesterday, BabyCakes' first day back at work after the Christmas fun, I had fun looking at the Ikea website, and I think I found the dining table I want. BabyCakes prefers this one though, so I guess we'll have to take a trip to Ikea soon (what a shame!). I think the light wood will be a mistake against the wood look floor I plan for the whole flat (that picture seems to indicate that it might though. I just wonder if it might all be too much wood), and the white table also matches a coffee table we both like - it has a display drawer under the glass top.

I have plenty of time to make all those sorts of decisions, not much of it is going to happen any time soon. The bills are making light work of the impressive bank balance I thought I had! Rates and Body Corporate fees have come in again, with Body Corporate finally working out that one bill cycle had been lost, so that doubles the amount due... BabyCakes bought a new (second hand) car before Christmas, and forgot/didn't realise the stamp duty cost when changing over registration, so I helped him out and covered that lump sum till he can afford to pay me back.

My youngest brother and his fiancé announced during their Christmas visit that they are expecting a baby, so their wedding plans have stepped up a notch, and it looks that trip to Perth for a wedding is imminent before the birth of my next niece/nephew.

Babies, babies everywhere!

Yesterday BabyCakes' cousin gave birth to the first child of all his siblings and cousins (who are so close in age and grew up so close to each other they might as well be siblings). There is a new baby boy who weighed in at 8 pounds 10 ounces, and is 50 cms long. He doesn't yet have a name, but proud parents and baby are all happy and doing well. The father of the new baby boy is also BabyCakes' boss just to make everything that little bit more circular!

BabyCakes gave me a bread maker for Christmas, and I can smell that a loaf is almost ready, and, I think that this might be my best one yet - it is looking quite spectacular. It has taking a fair bit of trial and error to get the balance of all the ingredients right (most of my loaves have been on the dense side). I have been making them all from scratch though, no pre-prepared mixes, which is quite satisfying.

This loaf looks like it'll be fantastic for my lunch!

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Resolution..... be less wasteful.

This includes:

recycling, even when it takes more time i.e. wash out the cat food tins and recycle them rather than being lazy and tossing them...

only putting the kettle on to boil when I really really plan to make the cup of tea, rather than boiling it twice for one cup....

turning off appliances when I'm not using them....

eating, or freezing leftovers, instead of storing them until they go incredibly manky, and then possibly throwing away the container it has been stored in....

that sort of thing.

I think that with some thought and commitment that none of this is impossible, and is something I should probably do anyway, which makes it ripe for a resolution.

I was among the very few who actually made a resolution at the quite cocktail and BBQ night that BabyCakes and I went to. We had fun, and saw in the New Year exactly how we wanted to. It was good.

Best wishes to everyone that reads, I hope you have had a great Christmas and New Year, and 2007 brings you everything you need.