Tag Archives: gardening

To honour myself

I ironed pillowcases today. No biggie for many people. After all, why else would manufacturers make pillowcases that crumple like fine notepaper? But you should know that I am not keen on ironing either for myself or for others. I can’t remember the last time I ironed pillowcases.

The only person I did that for was me, and I am slowly remembering that while I honour my guests when they visit, I don’t probably honour myself sometimes. To show myself the same respect. So today’s big efforts were (1) iron pillowcases so that I have something nice to look forward to the next time I change the bed linen, (2) iron the supposedly-non-iron work shirts so I look more professional, (3) scrub the toilets rather than just cleaning them, (4) cook brownies which deserves a paragraph of its own, and (5) have homestyle linguine tricolore con pesto for dinner.

Now, family members would point out that having pasta on its own for an evening meal doesn’t count – after all, it’s a primo, not a secondo, but honestly, I went to the effort of making sure the pesto was carefully blended with some of the water from cooking the pasta, and stirred con moto. Delicious, and DD even ate it. (Hope she likes the leftovers for lunch tomorrow.)

I have to admit that this effort doesn’t come easily to me on a work day when my energy levels have been sapped well before 5 pm and my pain levels are ramping up rapidly. Today was a public holiday and I had spent my 60 minutes decluttering earlier that day while DD had some play time. We also planted some snapdragons which are in my top 10 list of favourite flowers, watered the pot plants on the patio and all the roses, willing the fertiliser to break down into the soil and decrease the lingering pong, and tipped lots of vegie peelings into the compost heap. The rubbish bin is nearly full and there are lots of old papers that have gone into the recycling bin.

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Posted by on October 4, 2010 in decluttering project, gardening, House, Life Matters


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So that’s where it went

That’s the feeling of the past weekend.

With help, I have gone through one of the garden sheds. The trash pack and the rubbish bin are now full and there are bags beside the trash pack. Way to go! I was horrified to see what was sitting on the shelves of the shed. Paint tins that dated back maybe 8 years. An oil can that had rusted out on the bottom. And, oh horrors, a redback spider that DD pointed out to me. Thank goodness she doesn’t like spiders and didn’t touch it.

One shed up the back is meant to be a children’s play house. It was used by DH to store some of his weather-proof things. Those have been taken away by his fellow hobbyists. Now there appear to be some aluminium shelving struts and so on there. I will phone the recycling company to see if they will take it for recycling. No sense in wasting metal. Besides, that will save me some space in the trash pack.

The lawn looks very neat. The gardener came on Friday and did an excellent job mowing the lawn and trimming the edges. When the strong wind abates, I think I’ll go out wearing protective gear and use glyphosphate on the leafy weeds that refuse to get a clue. Some are very resistant to my skills with a daisy weeder. We also have an invasion of sticky weed, blasted stuff. It’s in all the corners of the garden so I guess that the winter rains and wind and sweet spring sunshine have been exactly what that weed wanted.

There are two white irises blooming now. The blue ones are being shy. The tulips have shown foliage but no blooms. We have lots of star flowers and some brilliant daffodils. One lavender bush is in full bloom and it won’t be long before I can harvest it.

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Posted by on September 27, 2010 in decluttering project, gardening


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Mind your own business

Well, that’s what I feel like saying to people when they decide to “help” me by criticising my choices that I make for my daughter regarding food, entertainment, activities, bedtimes, sleeping patterns, clothing, and more. Sometimes it’s so-called experts (all that OMG your television will ROT your child’s BRAIN), sometimes it’s pretend-friendly acquaintances who want to guide me into the path of approved righteousness. Now comes the irritating news that childcare staff will check children’s lunchboxes for unhealthy nasties. No, I don’t mean cheese that’s going off, but rather, targetting poor choices of those awful adults who think that the occasional sweet treat is acceptable in a lunchbox.

And y’know? All this does is make me dig in my heels. Yes, I can see many sides to situations, one of those useful skills I learned at school and university. Equally, I learned how to analyse and test data and put forth my own propositions and findings.

Excuse me for taking my daughter to swimming lessons. I am not intentionally trying to ‘hothouse’ her into physical and mental excellence by providing additional activities. To be frank, I am not a brilliant instructor for swimming and though we have a fine time splashing about in the pool together, DD gets a better idea of how to move her arms and legs and how to float by some instruction from one of the lovely teachers at the swim school.

Excuse me if I don’t feel obliged to put my child in a woolly singlet because generations have done it in the past. Obviously my dereliction of duty in that area means that my child will freeze into a popsicle and I will win the prize of Fail!Mom.

Excuse me for letting my darling daughter watch Dora the Explorer on TV. Even if we spend time in the garden when we come home, exploring the plants, looking for birds and bugs, working on the compost heap, and pulling out weeds, that activity counts for naught because … DD watches TV for a while afterwards. Every minute she watches it, apparently she will get grams of fat wriggling from the screen onto her beautiful legs and arms. My care in creating meals from scratch doesn’t mean a thing – that evil LCD TV will grab hold of DD and take her over to the Obese Side.

Goodness, I could go on and on about this. I guess it’s my ornery nature. 🙂

If you want to read someone else’s rant on this subject, go to Susie O’Brien’s opinion piece in the Herald Sun. She reminded me of some points that I had forgotten.

Looking through the guidelines for kinders and childcare centres, which are being considered by the Federal Government, there’s a long list of nasties.

Besides TV, high on the black list are parents who drive their kids to kinder or child care, use food as rewards or punishments, give their kids “sometimes” foods sometimes, and give them treats in their lunchboxes.

Susie, you’re welcome to come over to me and join the ranks of Fail!Mom. 🙂


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Growing concern

It’s my garden. The grass is slowly growing taller, especially in the patches that are carefully watered with grey water. Some bits are going crispy in the sun, but it seems better now than it was maybe 5 weeks ago.

However, DH has mentioned that the grass needs mowing. Oh no! The guy who mows our lawn tends to take the short back and sides approach and that means not just a couple of bald spots, but patches where the grass gets crispy. Normally this doesn’t matter. In winter, it fixes itself quickly. But in summer, the bald spots will stay for ages.

I’ve asked the lawn mower man to cut it “long” but it seems the message doesn’t stay in place long enough for him to finish the lawn. He’s a good bloke in many respects, he is neat and tidy with his gardening and he works very hard. He just puts the lawn in its place so hard it shouts “Ouch!”.

It’s been so hot, I’ve done next to nothing in the garden. I should creep around in the pre-dawn to tuck mulch gently around the rose bushes’ feet, and wear my pink rubber gloves while squashing aphids. But instead, I’m revelling in the early coolness that creeps into our house, finally enjoying a restful sleep. Selfish, I know.

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Posted by on February 2, 2009 in Uncategorized



Time to myself

I have the house to myself. I was going to the movies but realised there was nothing there that I especially wanted to see. I’ll wait until the Bond movie is released next week. That can be a treat after my social psychology exam. Goodness knows, I need some motivation to study harder.

I am listening to the Dixie Chicks’ album Taking the Long Way. Sorry, it’s doing nothing for me. Not Ready to Make Nice is the strongest track on the album, and the rest seems like the same song re-written a few times.

Toilet training DD is driving me nuts. Just sayin’. We’ve done drills on how to get to the toilet in a hurry, including how to pull down undies and clamber onto the seat, how to hold a dress or skirt out of the way, how to not lose undies off one’s ankles, and (oh boy) the demonstrations by a formerly-shy mummy. The worst bit was when DD wee’d on me on Sunday. Highly unimpressed with that, and she screamed with horror and then cried herself senseless. Then there was the Beanbag Incident. Let’s say only that styrofoam beads are not at all absorbent, and the beanbag now has matching stains on either side. I hope DD has a good day of it at childcare.

I have been an industrious gardener this morning before the heat and sun drove me indoors. I planted three grevilleas, hoping to attract some honeyeaters with the promise of food and shelter from the more predatory birds like currawongs. I put fertiliser on the roses. I counted up 15 roses that are doing OK and two that have given up completely. The regime of soapy water seems to have conquered the annoying aphids. I have no idea where the ladybirds have gone. We used to have lots of them but I’ve only seen a couple this year so far. I don’t use insecticide in the garden so I don’t know what caused them to leave.

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Posted by on November 11, 2008 in Child Development, House


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Gardening and Decluttering

I decided to be brave and spend some of my hard-earned cash on a gardener. He has made fantastic progress with the front garden, aka Messy Anonymous Spiky Green Stuff Central. There’s a lavender bush that is still OK, a leucospernum which is still trying to flower, an anonymous shrub and two enormous gum trees to start with, and then there’s the who-knows-what mess in between, all knotty and scrubby and too hard for me to tackle on my own.

I am once again horrified at the amount of clutter that has invaded my family room and kitchen. I was pretty good about throwing out stuff, keeping on top of DD’s toys, my correspondence, filing, and so on, but another bout of illness threw me for a loop. I feel embarrassed to let people see the mess.

First thing is to sell the cot since DD’s in a big girl’s bed (her term, not mine). Plus the second car seat and the bottle steriliser. While doing that, I need to throw out a heap of out-of-date magazines, newspaper cuttings that weren’t used for a chapter I never wrote (a long, sad story), and there’s the back shed. Oh boy. The Back Shed – definitely needs capitalisation. It looms at me, stuffed to the gills with junk and maybe only 5% of useful things. I need to wear a cap for protection against spiders dropping on me, long-sleeved shirt in case of creepy crawlies jumping up my arms, sturdy boots in case I tread on something icky, and hold a phone in case I get bitten by something … who knows what is in my shed! Yes, I know. I’m making it sound like Indiana Jones and the Back Shed of Doom. If you laugh too hard, I’ll make you come and help me. 🙂

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Posted by on November 4, 2008 in decluttering project, gardening


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