About Me

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I am a full-time mama with a passion for writing and talking to fascinating people. I live in a one horse town with a Cowboy and my son. Thank Lord for cyberspace! I lived a colourful life in Sydney for a number of years. Working in advertising and journalism for FPC and the Sydney Morning Herald. During my time in Sydney I competed in a Dragon Boat race, choreographed a dragshow, used the Share Accomodation advertisements as a way to meet men and was told by Noiseworks frontrunner Jon Stevens that I was a bitch! Then came the decision to move back to country for 3 months to help out my Father with newspaper business while he was having treatment. Convinced I was a city girl I was caught by surprise when I fell in love with a farmer (and no, he didn't want a wife... still doesn't it seems!) convinced him that we needed to see the world, popped off to Vietnam to teach english in Saigon - before realising that the "food" in Nam didn't agree with me... turned out to be Monte - my son who is now with the Cowboy and I back in country NSW! I am in a wonderful stage of my life where I am focusing on the things that really make me tick. Including writing these chronicles.

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Empowered by the Blogosphere

I received two Best Blog Awards  today one from Tony at the Artisan of Spirit!
Thanks Tony, WOW you are a spiritual, worldly AND a hairdresser. Hello!

Just kidding Cowboy!

It is nice to know I have a man reader, aside from Cowboy... and my Dad. haha (and some that came out of the woodwork lured by the Wil Anderson giveaway probably never to be seen again)  

and the second one from Aine at the Evolving Spirit - a very inspiring and knowledgable lady - I am honoured!! Thankyou!

Two in one day was enough for me to break some funky dance moves around the kitchen table!
You know my favourites are to the side of me so I am not going to give them any more awards, just yet. 

So I'd like to take this opportunity to talk about different kind of blogging that I have discovered.

This week I was curator on She Writes , which meant I had to look in the members list of blogs and review some of them to share.

There is quite a gathering of bloggers on there - 800 or so, so I suggest you get on board if this is indeed your thang!

I'd like to share with you one that I discovered from this list and what I wrote about it: 

photo from here 

 Afghan Women Writers Project

An amazing blog to discover!

The Afghan Women Writers project began as an idea during novelist Masha Hamilton’s trip to Afghanistan in November 2008.

 Her interest in the country sparked in the late 1990’s when she understood it was one of the worst places in the world to be a woman.

The first post I read on this blog “Escape from the Taliban” is incredibly stirring. 

It feels very important that the women of and from Afghanistan are given a voice and I think blogging is a sensational outlet for this. 

So, for this reason I think this blog is a very important one to read and to support.
You can also make a donation on the site to help Online Donations to the Afghan Women’s Writing Project will purchase laptop computers and Internet access for female Afghan writers


 I was "introduced" to an amazing blogger and social media expert Laurel Papworth via an ex work colleague of mine recently.

While flicking through her website I became intrigued to read about the work she has done with women in Saudi Arabia.

She was invited over there to run workshops for Saudi Arabian women teaching them how to use social media.

The idea being similar to the Afghan Women's Writers Project, to help give these women who live in a patriarchal society - a voice.

I found this a fascinating read - check out her interview about her  experience here. 

Also thanks to Corinne for introducing me to My Marrakesh, some stunning imagery from Kabul in Afghanistan from an American lady living over there.

Some days I might sit down at the Chronicles and decide I am having a shit-house day, and I think to myself bugger it I am going to write a poem about PMS.

It is not until you see blogs such as these, that you take a step back and have a good hard think about the rubbish we sometimes rave on with!

Sure, some minor irritability that lasts 2-5 days can be annoying, and of course ,compleeeetely fascinating blogging material, but the women and websites I  have mentioned today have really inspired me.

They have really brought home to me that while blogging is indeed a great unclogger and social medium that can be used for rants about PMS - it can also be a liberating and powerful medium for so much more than that. 

Makes me love the blogosphere even more! 

Wil Anderson sticks it to Mrs Crabby

Wil Anderson is crude, rude, and quick as a whip.
His quirky sense of humour first came to my attention during his reign as Breakfast Host with Adam Spencer on Triple J’s morning show. 
My best gal pal at work and I would get through our hung-over work mornings thanks to his good humour!
Since then he has hosted ABC’s Glasshouse and Gruen Transfer and appeared on other radio stations, but Wil confesses his first love is Stand up comedy.
I was fortunate to be able to speak to the funny man and ask him some questions about growing up in the country and what it takes to follow your passion.
Love or hate him, he is definitely true to himself and you just have to admire him for that.
Here is our interview: 

How did you become a funny man? Are you from a funny family?

I grew up in a small rural area called Denison in country Victoria. I lived the first 18 years of my life on Anderson’s Rd, named after my Grandfather who built the road.

People often ask if my parents are proud of my career choice. I joke they are proud I didn’t marry my own sister. I mean we dated, but it didn’t work out.

My Dad is a dairy farmer and has lived on Anderson’s Rd all of his life. He has never drunk alcohol or smoked. (Although he did do a lot of heroin, we were forever finding needles in the haystack!)

My Dad also married the first woman that he ever kissed, which he refers to proudly as his Graeme Anderson 100% strike rate.

My Mum and Dad are still together today, and I have a younger brother Ross and a younger sister Susie. Of course as the eldest I simply refer to them as “the spares”.

My family have a good sense of humour, but they are not laugh out loud funny, but then again neither am I when I am at home. Being funny is my job, so I tend to save it for when I am at work.

Do you think growing up in the 'country' has been advantageous for you?

I don’t think so. I had a pretty normal childhood which is great for a kid, although not as helpful if you want to be a comedian.

So many times as an adult I have thought, if only I were adopted, my parents had a messy divorce, or they had locked me in the cupboard for days on end I really would have some things to talk about on stage.

I mean obviously a good childhood is preferable to being raised in an Austrian basement, but all I am saying is a little bit of Fritzl in my life and I would have won a lot more awards by now (and definitely would have been interviewed on Enough Rope.)

It sometimes worries me as an adult that I am way too happy to ever say anything too profound.

But I guess maybe the one advantage that growing up in the country had was it was much harder to do what I wanted to do, so I guess it made me fight harder for it.

What has been the biggest career risk you have taken? Did it pay off?

It’s all been on e giant risk, I guess. When I was growing up even though I loved comedy, I didn’t know stand-up comedian was an actual job, and if it was how you became one. As far as I knew there was no Humorversity or School of Hard Knock Knocks.

So I asked a teacher at school for advice. (For legal reasons let’s just call her Mrs Crabby.) Mrs Crabby told me I should give up that dream because “I was not funny and wouldn’t be able to make a living being funny.”

Being a kid I respected her opinion and put aside my dreams and decided to instead go to University and study journalism instead. While I ended up graduating first in my year, and scoring a great job in the Canberra Press Gallery, I hated it and always wished I had tried comedy instead.

It took me years to get her words out of my mind and have the courage to pursue what I really wanted to do.

Years later when we were putting together the project that would be become The Glass House on the ABC, I suggested the name “Stick It Up Your Arse Mrs Crabby” just so she would have to open the paper each week and see that she was wrong.

I guess the biggest thing was just having the courage to give it a go. To realize the fear of failure was nothing compared to what it would feel like to have never tried.

But at the time I felt like I had a lot to lose. I had a good job at the Financial Review (and it was also my life, friends, peers) it was well respected and I was ok at it, but I wasn’t happy.

Journalism is about telling other people’s stories, but I wanted to tell my own. Modern journalism had become so corporate and agenda-driven, I just felt you could expose a lot more truth through comedy.

I wanted to try it, but my friends and family (who I am sure were just trying to protect me) discouraged me. They would ask why throw away three years of study? I guess in the end I thought I’d rather waste three years than waste the rest of my life.

To this day I still don’t know if I will ever be as good a comedian as I could have been a journalist, but I would rather be crap at something I love than good at something I hate.

When I first started comedy, people encouraged me to at least keep my job while I was trying it. But I was watching Oprah one day when she was interviewing Roseanne Barr. Roseanne said something that really resonated with me. She said: “If you have something to fall back on, you tend to fall back on it.”

So I quit my job and decided to become a full-time comedian. That way I knew that if I wanted to pay my rent and eat I would have to get good at it as quickly as possible.

That said it was a hard slog. The first year I did comedy I earned a grand total of $4000. Less than Shane Warne’s monthly mobile bill. The next year it was $6000, which is still less than the dole.

What do you think of Twitter?

Like anything it’s a medium and it’s what you do with the medium that is important. People say: “I don’t like Twitter because why would I care if someone ate a sandwich”.

Well don’t follow them then. That is not the fault of Twitter, that’s the fault of the dickhead who thinks you are interested if they eat sandwiches. It’s like saying you don’t like books because you didn’t like Max Walker’s How To Hypnotize Chooks.

What is your advice to a no-name trying to build their persona in the media?

Don’t do it. Well unless there is a voice inside you that doesn’t give you a choice. It’s too hard a business for someone who just wants to do it, you have to need to do it.

(Plus I am not that good at my job and the last thing I need is young, talented, ambitious people getting into the industry and taking my jobs.)

Oh, you should never google yourself. I tried once but I couldn’t bend my head down that far. But seriously I think it was Tallulah Bankhead who said being famous means people you have never met hate you- and the internet proves this. I tend to live my life by the what you don’t know doesn’t hurt you principle;

There is no prize at the end. I have learned to judge the value of my life and career by my own measures. There are no amount of good reviews or golden statues that will fill an empty hole inside you;

And while we are on the topic there is no point wasting your time worrying about what some dickhead you probably wouldn’t like anyway thinks of you, just like there is no point getting angry when someone gets a job that you didn’t want;

Don’t let people tell you what to do. If a sign says don’t walk on the grass, fuck ‘em, get your bike and do some burnouts. Life is too short to not have some fun along the way;

Working in the media is like being a football coach. You will get sacked at some stage, it’s just a matter of when;

And it often has nothing to do with quality, in my experience the things that people liked the most and still remember were all jobs I eventually got sacked from. Every time I got sacked, I went away and worked harder and the next opportunity I got was always better than the last one;

What was Nicole Kidman really like? (he took her on a date to the Bondi RSL back when he worked on Triple J) 

Delightful. And much more funny than you would think. Although I did pay for all the drinks, apparently you can’t get change for a million dollar note at the RSL.

What is it about Stand up comedy that has you hooked?

I like having a job where I don’t have to go an office; can wear tracksuit pants and thongs more often than not; and can say what I like when I like; (and yes I realize this is one step away from being homeless and standing in a mall with a cardboard sign that says “Will Tell Jokes For Food”);

I think stand-up is the most pure form of entertainment there is. Can you entertain a room full of people with nothing more than your thoughts?

If you find something you truly love and you are willing to work hard enough at it, you will be able to find a way to make it your career. I still like showing people around my house and saying: “Dick jokes paid for that couch you are sitting on… now let’s go for a swim in the Shannon Noll pool”;

It is better to be okay at something you love, than be good at something you don’t (this also applies to my sex life);

But interestingly the reasons you get into something are not always the reasons you continue to do it. You can get into comedy because you think it would be fun to meet girls or have people know who you are, but you will soon realize how unimportant those things are. The work needs to be its own reward;

My friend who has a real job once said to me: “You know mate, when we are 60 we are going to be sitting on my porch, but we are going to be telling your stories”. Neither of those positions are necessarily better than the other, but sometimes in life you have to decide who you want to be on the porch.

You have worked across many mediums - what has been your favourite and why?

I consider myself a stand-up comedian. That is my trade. My day job. The others I just dabble in so that people will come and see me tell my jokes.

TV and writing I don’t really enjoy doing, but I enjoy having done. I find them hard, but rewarding when completed. Radio on the other hand is great fun to do, so immediate, but the downside is it is so all-consuming of new material that you never have time to get things how you would like them, and when you do they are gone in a minute.

What has been your greatest life lesson?

That it takes hard work to make it look easy. I don’t really think I have ever had a “turning point” in my career, it’s been more a series of minor successes and set-backs. Two steps forward, one step back.

I am not much of a self-help slogan guy, but it’s like they said in Batman Begins “why do we fall? So we can learn how to pick ourselves up!”

The biggest lesson for me has been to not be discouraged when you don’t get a job; someone else gets a gig you want; you have a bad gig; you get sacked etc.

The first time I got a gig at Triple J I was sacked after week because the presenter I was working for didn’t think my stuff was funny. A year later I was hosting The Breakfast Show.

I have always tried to do as many things as possible (stand-up; writing; TV; radio etc) so that when one of them falls over I have another to take its place and I don’t have to get a real job.

Sometimes it seems from the outside that one thing, or job is a turning point, but it is rarely like that in real life. It is more like a series of small things that reach a tipping point.

It’s like the fame thing. It never happened overnight for me like it does for some people, so I never had to deal with it.

It was more like when you have lost some weight and you see someone you haven’t seen for a while.

They find your weight-loss amazing, but for you it doesn’t seem so remarkable because you have lost a little bit at a time and have continually adjusted your expectations.

Thanks Wil. 
I really appreciate your time in answering my questions. You are an inspiration!
Particularly love how you have succeeded and went out on a limb to do so.

I have TWO remaining WILOSOPHY DVDs to give away to 2 lucky readers. 

To go in the running please tweet or update your facebook status with the link to this interview and then leave a comment when you have done so.

Please leave contact detail of some sort in the comment box so I can find you if you win. It will be drawn out of a hat next week.


Friday, January 29, 2010

Beauty is Advertising Deep

I was at a cafe today when I overheard some ladies next to me talking about what cosmetic procedures they were planning.

It was with shock that I listened to them swap botox stories and plans for boob jobs and liposuction.

They talked about it as though they were discussing what they were picking up from the supermarket.

Is it just me that finds this absurd and kind of sickening?

Is it just me that thinks the normality of this conversation among women makes a shocking statement about society and how women feel about ourselves?

I hope I do not come across holier than thou in this post. I am a victim of this as much as the next lady.

  I have felt and to some degree still feel, the pressure of this unobtainable perfectionism. It is just that thankfully, my awareness of this has really kicked in.

The pressure to be 'beautiful' peaked for me when I lived  in Sydney and worked in a very 'beautiful' corporate world.

My office was like a catwalk, even walking to work from Crown St to Sussex St I was bombarded by hundreds of messages on buses, billboards and other women - there was no escaping subliminal messages that I needed to purchase x, y or z to be good enough (read: beautiful enough).

Hey moving out of there wasn't a cure all.

I still obsess about my hair, but now can just laugh at the amount of stuff ups I have had with it!

Sometimes I think the universe has paired up with the hairdressers to mangle my hair each time I have it done as a reminder for me to 'keep it real'!

Instead of crying out of sheer depression when a hairstyle doesn't go my way (as I once did!) , I can now laugh at my patheticness (yes a word) about placing so much importance on ... hair!

 I, like every woman do have a thing about my weight.

Never happy.

But I am aware of why I feel like this, and therefore try to go easy on myself as much as I can.

 I am increasingly accepting of my body after having a baby and marvelling at what the purpose of my body actually is - * which newsflash - *  was not put on this Earth to go on a quest to match the bodies on the news stand - as deep and intellectual as that ambition may be.

To be honest with you, I am SO SO happy to be out of Sydney because it has helped me take a step out of the world where what you look like supercedes everything.

These days I view more tumbleweeds than billboards and that has been a healthy boost for my psyche that was drowning in the pressure to look a certain way when I lived in Sydney.

The Beauty Industry cleverly leads us to feel our worth as a human beings could somehow be elevated by removing the hair from our legs permanently or straightening out the creases from around our eyes.

I have had moments in the last year where I have looked in the mirror in horror!

I have a one year old baby and have had about 2 mins sleep in 2009 and crows feet have put down their foundations around my eyes and dug their heels in.

Heck I think I even have crows beaks!

I HAVE had moments where I wish I could have that fixed.

But then I stop.

I become present and I listen to that little voice in my head that for some strange reason sounds remarkably like that annoyingly sultry sounding voice from an infomercial.


Did I think the word FIXED?

Is something broken?

Is something not working properly because my body is doing what it is naturally supposed to?

What needs fixing here infomercial voice in my head?

My crows feet or the way my mind has been programmed by the media, shops, other women to deem them as ugly?

Sadly, I think as women we are always prone to these 'not good enough' feelings.

 It is what the beauty industry exists on.

I wish I knew how we could eradicate these feelings altogether, but until we do the key to fighting them is the awareness.

Aware why we suddenly feel life would be complete "if only we had (insert cosmetic/beauty procedure here)"

Easier said then done I know.

The beauty industry coupled with the media  is a mighty mighty force to be reckoned with.

Let us be smart enough to recognise this. 

We have grown up in a society obsessed with making money!

By keeping us women feeling ugly and not good enough keeps the beauty industry alive.

If crows feet were to be deemed attractive, heck how could we kick back and watch Nip n Tuck on Saturday nights? Julian McMahon would not have a pretend job as a cosmetic surgeon! ( probably the biggest tragedy of my whole debate actually)

We are brainwashed on what beauty is, and we constantly feel like we do not measure up.

Advertisers want us to feel like we are not worthy unless we have all this work done - because "we are worth it " right?

It really really really saddens me how many women (myself included) have led their complete lives feeling not enough, completely based on our outer shell.

Our body!!!

It is laughable!

When oh when are the women of the world going to work this out!

 WE ARE good enough and it has NOTHING to do with what we look like!

We are not worth it. L'Oreal!  We are worth a lot more! You are not worthy of us and your blatant preying on our sense of self-worth.

We have bigger fish to fry - stop making us spend our valuable lives worrying about whether we deserve to cake some crap on our faces and then buy some other hoohaa to wipe it off with!!

Are women ever going to outsmart this industry? 

The women of the world who are flaunted as being the sexiest, most beautiful etc.. are all women who have no doubt had some plastic surgery, their teeth whitened, hair removed, eyes enlarged, lips boosted -- so even our men view this as "beautiful" - we are told what is beautiful and we fall for it, hook, line and sinker.

Who made this list and then told the world about it?

Who has the authority to decide who is beautiful?

 Maybe the answer that question was in my question. WHO indeed.

Why do we all buy into it and suddenly believe unnaturally large lips and a constant surprised look is what makes a woman beautiful?

If someone said to you "who is the most beautiful woman in the world?" which one of you didn't immediately think "Angelina Jolie"

Huh? Huh?

And why?

We are brainwashed!

Sure she looks nice, probably enhanced to buggery, but what is it about her that makes her beautiful?

Or is it the fact that this is the way she is marketed that we just swallow it up and accept it as fact?

If you ask me there are a heck of a lot more beauties out there than Ange.

Why not throw the late Mother Theresa into the mix?

Sure she wasn't a badass bisexual who kissed her brother inappropriately and then hooked up with Hollywoods hottest man (again who decides this?)

 She had a bad set of teeth, an appalling hairdo - but to me, she had it going on!

She had an abundance of radiance and it wasn't coming from her Oil of Olay.

 It was the real deal.

We need more beauties like her to gracing the covers at the news stands.

But where would the money be in that?

Who is going to feel not good enough because they haven't completed a compassionate deed of the day?

The world would be a much happier place if we spent time obsessing that we are not good enough due to not giving to enough charities, or were not kind enough to a homeless person then wasting our precious lives feeling not good enough because our thighs have a little hail damage!!

My message of this post is to challenge you to at least question your true need when the inevitable " I need xyz beauty product" strikes you.

Is it your TRUE need, or a need that you have been so cleverly and subtly sold?

I am not telling you to cancel your facial or to quit your laser hair removal - but simply to have a big think about why you are really feeling the need to do it.

Don't  let the bastards win by booking in for these expensive procedures and starving ourselves.

Let us be empowered girls - realise this is how they want us to feel and rebel!.

 Stick our fingers up at them - embrace our crows feet and put our concern into leaving a legacy behind that is going to actually mean something.

What do you want on your gravestone "She had an immaculate complexion"?

 Hey that won't count for much when the worms get to it!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Stepping off for a bit

Things have felt a bit off the last week.

 Woah Mama's withdrawal from the blogosphere seemed to take a piece of me with it.

But not just that, I currently have so many projects on that I am a little anxious and therefore not productive.
I have also started feeling a little negative towards myself, down on myself for not keeping up with my exercise regime etc...

So I tapped into my intuitive voice inside, which I am having trouble hearing over Monte's protests to sleep.
"What do we want?" "No Sleep" "When do we want it" "Now! and 2am! and anytime really, unless you drive me around the OHT spending $50 worth of petrol and put me into the cot asleep!"

I know not as catchy as other protests!

Anyway my intuitive little lady said to take time out from everything - get myself some better eating and exercise habits and to be kinder to myself.

I need to listen to that voice more often, I have recently clouded it up with an extrordinary to-do list that I completely  blanked the voice out.

Thank God she got through!

So I am going to try (I say this with caution because I am addicted to this computer!!) try and remove myself for a week.

Going to Feng Shui the house so that the chi can run freely.

Going to spend more time playing with Monte.

And... I'm going to spend some time making my health and fitness a priority.

It will be for the good of all and sundry

Then I'll be back and I'll be able to tell you about some exciting things I am working on. But just have to take a little R'N'R first so that I am able to give them my best.

Sometimes we just need to write an un-do list.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

An Ode to PMS

You really have a chip on your shoulder
spreading irritability around the world
Why do you have to put a dampener on things
for every single girl?

We were minding our own business
happy with our lives
and then you waltz in with your dark grey cloud
and our partners are hiding the knives

Hey PMS take a chill pill will ya?
I've got heaps of stuff on my list
if you don't stop interfering with my mind about now
you are really gonna make me pissed

oh hang on , I see, that is just what you want
I'd be playing right into your hands
Well PMS I am not going to stoop to your level
because I have happy plans

Don't try and make me feel fat, ugly and tired
cos I won't let you convince me of that
go hound some other girl whose down on her luck
and make her whinge that she is fat

You have an attitude problem PMS
have you ever considered taking up meditation?
I wish you'd get some OMMMMS into your life
cos I have had it with your cranky infatuation.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Giveaway!! Wil Anderson DVD !!

I have been saving my giveaway for my website.... but dammit I will do it now and have another one later, plenty  to giveaway!!!

As you know any day (week) now, the most talked about upcoming website of this here century SHARNANIGANS will be launched!!!

 It is going to be lots of things from the mystic, to the silly, to the insightful.

It will contain  interviews with inspiring authors and celebs... tales of the OHT (one horse town) , mama things, spiritual things, observation pieces, tales from my young and crazy days...... you will have the chance to ask celebs a question and I will have a panel of intriguing writers advising you on all manner of things, oh and always leaving you inspired and chuckling.

I interviewed Wil Anderson, which was GREAT  and will be featuring his very funny, but insightful answers when I launch.

Now here is the "WHATS IN IT FOR YOU"  part:

For a chance to win a copy of his latest DVD "Wilosophy" please do the following with thought and care and one lucky person will be rewarded

Leave a thoughtful comment regarding what you like about the Chronicles of Sharnia and what about it makes you read, what your favourite posts are and what you would like to see more of. 

Not much to ask is it? 

I will then put the entries in a hat and get Monte to draw it out and one lucky commenter will win the much coveted DVD!

I need the feedback to make Sharnanigans a hit!!!

Thanks all!

Winner will be announced next week.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

An Ode to Woah Mama

She once dated Vin Diesel

Her blog was her canvas

her keyboard her easel

Her followers multiplied

like the Octomum

it doesn't surprise me one iota

cos sometimes I laugh at her so much

it hurts!

Dry as a dead dingos donger  (haha sorry)

Funny as the funniest.

Mother of four


Smart as.

That it Smart as

not Smart Ass

but that too

Her daily updates

with pictorials to boot

I became addicted to daily

she is such a hoot

we've become friends

though 2D at this stage

one day she will float with me on kayaks

in the OHT

When she killed her blog this afternoon

my heart skipped a beat

Her blog is gone

to me this is drama

is this bad Karma?

how will I cope without my Woah Mama?

And dearest Woah-iest of Mama's will you write on my website when it is launched? Please?  A public plea.


Ever since my mystical earring encounter of a couple of days ago, I have started thinking about other encounters from my life that have freaked me out and I have been unable to explain.

So welcome to Part Two of Sharnia's Mystic Files do do do do do do do do (that was the Twilight Zone theme, obviously)

Let me tell you I have had a few.

Mystical, unexplained things.... that make me wonder if my Aquarian / Pisces cuspy thing that is always telling me I have psychic abilities has something to it.

I usually just joke this away to my friends, writing these things of as freaky coincidences , but deep deep down many times, I do feel like I am conscious of more than meets the eye.

Not enough for you to start calling me Medusa, but enough.

One that has stayed with me surrounded a very sad incident when I was about 14.

My best friend at the time was having a sleep over at my house.

And as you do at 14 you stay up all night laughing and talking.

It must have been about 2am when our conversation changed to how we would feel if we lost one of our parents.

We were talking about how horrific it would be and how we wouldn't be able to cope.

Luckily, we both had healthy parents, we had said.

At the moment that we spoke of this, in my bedroom far away from any roads and in the dark of the night - my bedroom lit up for a split second.

It was like a flash going off in a camera.

It was not my imagination.

My best friend saw it too.

We fell silent.

Then broke out into "What the hell was that?" "Oh my God!"

We both ran to the window and looked out.

It was a dark, dark night - it was silent, the moon was no-where to be seen - but in that second my bedroom lit up and just as quickly went dark again.

"It was a sign!" we joked.

We joked ourselves terrified and both jumped under the doona and hid - freaking each other out.

A couple of days later my friend and I played netball in our weekly competition.

After the game we hung out at the park and we were sitting on the swings.

We noticed a kombie van turn up and some tourists had arrived.

One guy got out and wandered very close to us.

He was wearing a cap.

We both noticed that his cap had something written on it.

It was a black cap with the words "Suicide" on it.

As he walked off my best friend and I looked at each other in shock.

"Who on Earth would buy a hat with THAT written on it?" my friend said

"Who on Earth would MAKE a hat with that on it?"

This bothered us for some time. It was the strangest hat on a strange looking person.

We hung out a bit longer, said our goodbyes and went home.

The next day at school during English class I noticed the police wandering around outside.

I could see people outside hugging and crying.

There was a knock on our classroom door.

My best friend was asked to leave the classroom.

We later found out that her father was found dead.

He commited suicide.

A sad, shocking time followed and I will never forget it as long as I live. It was a pivotal emotional point in my life, being there for my friend in such a harrowing time.

No-one saw this coming.

Should we have? Were we warned? 
I promise from the depths of my heart this happened, as unbelievable as it sounds. 
Love to hear your stories of signs you feel you have received, or spooky unexplainable events.

Good golly thanks Holly

I have been tagged by Holly from Mama Dearest / Domestic Goddess , who I have newly been recruited to read, and very glad that I have! A little bit of Holly after the festive season never hurt anybody I say!

So this tag is to reveal 10 honest to goodness truths about me...

1) I am paranoid and neurotic about feeding my son. I think I give him too many snacks during the day always thinking he might be hungry - and while giving him lots of healthy things to choose from I don't even feed myself - ie - yesterday I ate a packet of BBQ shapes. Really bad. Obsessed with his health and neglecting my own. I know, I know. (well i made up for this later and had healthy dinner - but while looking after Monte during day tis all I ate -- I know its bad and I'm onto it, before you say anything - and I wonder why I am so knackered at the end of day!! I dumb)

2) I love word challenges. People often call me if they need to come up with a name for something / competitions etc... When I was pregnant and bored I started entering heaps of competitions, letters to editors etc.. I won a power drill, and book on the Melbourne Cup. I am thinking of taking up Competition entering part time.

3) I am not very good at reverse parking, and it makes me feel nervous if a car is waiting behind me. I would prefer to park down the side street then to make a car wait for me reverse park.

4) I am very friendly, and talk to strangers. Even though I was a city slicker for many years I never lost this ability and I am pleased. Though sometimes I think Cowboy wonders why I bother talking to certain weird ones....

5) I am currently in a pickle trying to work out how I can be an excellent Mother, organise something magical that I am working on AND be a domestic goddess at same time. Eternal quest for Mothers? Probably. I feel guilty for wanting to work on a project that I am and not being full time to Monte. I know, I know

6) I suddenly have a family, sometimes I pinch myself to check that I am here with a Cowboy and a Son - it all happened so quickly and life turned on its head. But I am absolutely stoked with our life. It is the Simple Life - and there is something sooo sooo magical and wonderful about leading a simple life.
Although having said that working on some projects that will inject a little bit of complication - which I also thrive on from time to time....

7) I prefer the river to the ocean for swimming purposes. I lived right opposite Bondi Beach for nearly 4 years and swam in it once, then Coogee for 2 years and ... never. I grew up in the OHT and I prefer water that doesn't move, thanks anyway.

8) I believe in reincarnation, recent recruit to the belief mind you, but totally jiggy with it. I now have moral dilemmas when there are flies in my home.

9) All I want is a room somewhere, far away from the cold night air, with one enormous chair

10) Wouldn't it be lovely?

thats it - have a crack if you want to... not sure who to tag and can't be bothered doing the link thing because I'm tired.

Friday, January 22, 2010

The Mystical Earring Delivery

Yesterday I was blow drying my hair (which I haven't done in eons) thinking to myself that I am going to make my staying at home mum'ness a little more glamorous.

Actually was inspired by Mia Freedman's book to try this on.

Because I am trying to work and Mama from home I  figured having my hair look nicer it might put me into a good headspace, or hairspace as it were.

While blow drying in the bathroom  Monte was walking around my bedroom .

After getting my hair half glam I thought to myself " I might wear earrings," I then went through my mind of the earrings that I own and decided why not go all out for the computer and wear my black dangly ones with the feathers on them.

I kid you not.

Not that I wear feathery earrings for the computer....

But what happened next...

At the very MOMENT this thought entered my head out strolled Monte from my boudoir with one of the aforementioned earrings in each of his hands and delivered them to me.

They were sitting on my bedside table.


Or are we telepathically connected?

Cowboy laughed at this suggestion.

Me? I think there was something to it.

And God Damn! What a great connection to have with my son.

Right now I am thinking latte, latte, latte........

Have you ever felt telepathy or a connection with your baby / toddler / child? Or do you think this was just a coincidence?

I am not sure about coincidences myself, not sure if there are such things.

I have an idea that we all come into this world a little more connected and that we lose this ability as we get older and the modern world eats away at us.... 

Love your thoughts.... 

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Look out Melbourne!

The Cowboy and I are packing our sausage rolls (cos its a long way to the shop eh Karls) and going to ACDC Concert in Melbourne in Feb. EEEK -

(disclaimer - I am a more Crowded House kinda gal - this is a Cowboy event)

I am hoping that the concert though will be good fun, and more than this I look forward to experiencing Cowboy's first live concert with him

We will be able to keep our colourful clothes at home, because apparantly - we'll be back in black.

We are hoping to stay in Melbs for a couple of days and do some other things more to my liking too...., this is the first time leaving Monte behind - so feeling a little anxious about it.

So it will probably only be a couple of days!!

Alex from Woah Mama sent me some good ideas for things to do in Melbourne.

Hells Bells ! there are some good ideas there, Thanks Alex - and I just wondered if anyone else had some good ideas for a couple who have just come through 1 year of parenting have a couple of days, a low budget and want to have a romantic, relaxed time in the great city?

I was thinking along the lines of dayspas and reiki treatments...

nothing too adventurous - low key, not high voltage rock'n' roll if you get my drift..

I am thinking or picnics and walks... if the weather is nice - don't want to be thunderstruck.....

movies in lovely cinemas, beautiful restaurants...

 we want to stick around the city.....as we don't have enough time to hop around much.

Any lovely, relaxing, budgety ways to spend a couple of days in Melbourne's CBD would be gratefully received.

Restaurant recommendations in the City?

Good movie?

Anything for us OHT dwellers to make the most of our time in Melbourne would be appreciated.

I don't want to be shook all night long, low key guys, low key... hahahaha

Pic from here

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

She has 90 years on him

Another reason I am glad I moved to the OHT.
My 91 year old Grandma (who still lives on her own) and my 1 year old son.
I never would have thunk it.
And she lives just up the road!
I love that they are so close
She is sharp as a whip, and still puts her own bin out.
Monte grins like a trooper as soon as we pull in at Grandma's
he knows its walking stick o clock

Monday, January 18, 2010

Thanks Blogosphere

I am very busy today - but I wanted to make my presence felt 

whatever that means!

I wanted to take a moment to say something from the bottom of my heart. Grab your tissues.

I am so grateful that I became one who blogs.

I can honestly say that blogging has done so much for me.

It has given me a passion, it has cleared out all the negativity that used to lurk within me and I'm seriously a new person since I started blogging!

Living out in the OHT used to be the bane of my existence - particularly because I missed socialising and the great connections with friends.

I have made so many friends through blogging - and honestly - I feel like these friends are going to be friends for life and I haven't even seen them in 3D yet! ( I say yet, because I will meet you dammit)

I could be living in Nyngan and I'd be happy, thanks to the Blogosphere.

I love the friends I have made on here, I think I have more common with the people I have found from all over the world and all over Australia than most of the people who I have met and actually seen! 

Thank-you for letting me into your worlds and for coming into mine

Keep writing your posts and hurry up with them 

I have OCD when it comes to checking blog updates

proper posts later.... i'm soooooo busy... lots of excitement in my life too.. reveal later

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Guest Post: Behaviour Modeling Montessori

And now for something different....

I'll preface this by saying this article is about Parenting. So if you are one of my mates that is without child...you might prefer to flick through my archives and read something else....  Hey, I was you once.. ;-) 

Right Mamas. 

I'd like to introduce you to an absolutely lovely gal from the UK who befriended me via BlogHer.

Her name is Laura and she blogs over here is a Canadian living in a small town in the UK with her husband and 13 month old daughter Ella.
It was amazing when we met because we have so much in common including our first borns were born days apart.
We have formed a friendship based on our motherhood experience and enjoying each others blogs.
Laura is a trained Montessori teacher and this interests me greatly.
Having been thrown into Mamahood head first I have had a lot of crash courses to get through. 
I started reading about Montessori and found it a fascinating and a 'makes sense' (for me anyway) way of raising a child.
Though, apart from googling I have so many questions about it, so I asked Laura if she could be my very special guest and write about some of the fundamentals for raising a child the Montesorri way - I thought there would be others, like me, that would take something of value from it! 

(makes sense since my boy's name is Monte .. eh?)

Over to Laura 

My original intention for this post was to help parents bring Montessori elements into the home for young children. 
How does one maximize the design of our environment so that it is most advantageous for a child’s natural tendency to learn? 
I found as I gathered my points, that I kept coming back to one main point that needs to be addressed before environment. 
As a parent you create your child’s environment with your behaviour. 
So, I want to address this first and come back to tips on your physical environment at a later time.

The cornerstone of being the adult in a Montessori environment is behaviour modeling. 
As adults we often underestimate the effects that our actions have on our children. 
Something which seems so minor to an adult that it would not warrant any notice, is a life lesson to a young child.
For example: I love my morning coffee. 
Almost every morning since she was born, Ella has seen me make, pour and drink a cup of coffee. 
At 13 months old, she is mobile enough and tall enough to get my coffee off tables, from my hands etc. Without intending to, I have taught my daughter that a morning routine includes drinking from a mug. 
Is it any wonder then that she is now attempting to make it part of her morning routine by taking an interest in my coffee?
How many times have we all heard someone say (or said ourselves) “Kids always try to get the things they know they aren’t allowed to have”, enter sigh and shaking of head. 
Ella is not trying to test her boundaries by touching something ‘hot’ and/or taking something that she shouldn’t.  She is trying to follow my lead by mimicking my habits. 
She is establishing her daily life routine.
Of course, I don’t want to give up my morning coffee, and I don’t have to.
 I simply cater to her interests to allow her to explore the routine safely.
 When she wants to sit and drink from a mug in the same way as Mummy, I get her a Peter Rabbit china mug out of the cupboard, put a splash of water in it and she drinks.

Ideally, in a Montessori classroom, the teachers do not exhibit any behaviour or actions that they would not allow the child to mimic.
 In our own home, it is not always that easy.
 You want coffee, you are obviously not going to let your toddler drink coffee. 
So we adapt the behavior for them. I don’t tell Ella no, and leave her confused and stunted in her learning about how she fits into her environment.
 I tell her that Mummy has a mug and Ella has a mug. We each drink from our own mug.

To sum up my coffee rambles...every small action that you take will be noticed and absorbed by your child.

The thing that bothers me the most when I see parents or caregivers becoming frustrated and angry with a child is when you can plainly see that the child is modeling the adult’s behaviour. 
I recently did some supply work at a nursery near us. The staff were unbelievably negative and told me right away about one child in particular whom none of them liked.
 Several staff members mentioned to me that they hated the way he always screamed at them.
 Sure enough, I heard him screaming from his classroom upstairs many times over the course of a few days. 
The next week I was working in his room.
 I watched  in almost perverse amazement as the ‘Trained’ staff of the nursery screamed at him to be quiet. Does it not seem bizarre to use a raised voice to ask a 2 year old to be quiet? 
And they couldn’t fathom why this little boy screamed back at them all the time.

I can relate a million examples of poor and good behaviour modeling, but I think you can tell where I am going with it.

The smallest action, reaction and emotions of an adult reverberate in young children. 

Be calm and your child will be calm.

If you and your spouse yell at each other and show hostility when you are fighting (even if you love each other most of the time!) then your child will learn to show hostility and vent anger the same way as s/he has seen you do.

Be polite and your child will be polite.

Many of us forget to say please and thank you when we address our non-verbal toddlers. 

Telling them ‘NO’ all the time teaches them to tell you ‘NO’ when they don’t want you to do something. 

Yet another behaviour that is met with bewildered head shaking and sighing from adults as to where the child learned to be so rude.

 It is easy to say “no thank you Ella” when I see her heading for the power socket or attempting to use the dog’s tail for a percussion instrument.

Take joy in even the smallest task and your child will learn the joy of completing a task.

Adults often think Montessori theory cannot work in practice because they anticipate the child does not want to do any ‘work’.  

This is a learned response that we are projecting onto our children.

A child enjoys a task for the task itself. 

The child is not aware of a loathing for ‘hard work’.

 The child is not thinking about what they are missing while doing their ‘work’ or rushing through to get to a leisure activity. 

The child’s leisure activity and work are synonymous. 

The child enjoys the task for the discoveries that lie within. 

Perhaps we could even take a lesson from our children here? 

I wish I could unlearn my loathing of housework and my desire to always be moving on to something more exciting.

Maria Montessori said “Knowing what we must do is neither fundamental nor difficult, but to comprehend which presumptions and vain prejudices we must rid ourselves of in order to be able to educate our children is most difficult.”

I am a believer of the old saying that you must ‘Be the change you want to see in the world’. 

Montessori showed the world that this is the way to teach children. 

We must try to be the person we want our child to learn to be.

 It is so simple an ideology, yet difficult when put to task. Then again, I can’t think of anything in the universe that would ever be more worthy of hard work than my daughter .

I got a lot out of this and really would love your feedback to see if you did too. Do you want to know more about this, do you have questions?

It is making me really look at what I am doing as a Mother and what I am teaching Monte... oh dear... he is going to need his own little laptop VERY shortly. 

As I am going to launch website soon hoping to have Laura as regular writer, among a lot of other things - but I know I have many mama's who read - let me and Laura!  know what you think!

(pic is of my MONTE ssori and his independent streak)

Saturday, January 16, 2010

The Face that launched a thousand footballs

My Dad is a man dedicated to all things football.

Personally, I can't stand the sport.

Cowboy - well.... somehow.... is also a man dedicated to all things football.

League and Union variety here.

I hate it with a passion, Cowboy plays it, Cowboy watches it - and it is ALL my Father and him talk about - even in the off-season.

Kill me now.

But, today an opportunity came around from the NRL (National Rugby League)  that could make me view the sport a little more favourably.

They are looking for a farmer to appear on their commercials for 2010.

They asked my Dad for his recommendations.

He put forward the Cowboy.

So today, in the crazy 40 degree heat, Cowboy put on his best Cowboy get- up, hat and all and headed over to my Dad's to do his screen test and audition courtesy of Skype.

Very Jetsons.

He looks so nervous and innocent here... I was nervous for him!! He did a great job!

Two other farmers from town came around and nervously waited in the loungeroom for their turn to sit in front of the webcam, introduce themselves and  spout the lines "Have your Faith tested"

One by one they went in and said their lines.

It reminded me of that Seinfeld episode when Kramer had a line in a Woody Allen film "These pretzels are making me thirsty" hahahaha - we mucked around with all sorts of variations of delivering this line.

I waited in the loungeroom as Cowboy delivered his first audition.

I say first because I'm convinced there is some James Dean in there and this will be the start of his new career.

When it was all over, I cheekily stuck my head in and asked "Does the farmer have to be a guy?"

"Well, no" they said diplomatically and then invited me to audition.

Oh shit!

 I hadn't even brushed my hair today !

Well that didn't matter because Cowboy plonked his Cowboy hat on me!! (laugh it up, yeah go on laugh it up!)

 I adjusted the webcam....

and next thing I too was auditioning for the NRL advertisement!

I would DIE if my anti-football head was to be associated with the NRL but oh it would be a laugh.

Talk about never a dull moment!

I am pretty confident I not only looked like but sounded like a complete goose!

We all laughed afterwards and we can definitely tick this one off the life list.

Who says you can't have exciting opportunities in a OHT?

 Cowboy and I felt very happy about our audition today.

I hope that Cowboy gets the gig.

If his acting career takes off maybe we will move from the One Horse Town to Tinsel Town.......