Thursday, April 28, 2011

Please Let It Be Over

My brain is all over the place today. Every time I start a post, it turns into something else because it's just a maelstrom of emotions and thoughts. So I decided to just let it come out and be a little bit random. Bear with me.....


This past weekend, I watched my little sister get married. Not only did she look beautiful, but she looked happy. Her husband is amazing and balances her out brilliantly. The wedding was perfect and I didn't kill myself walking in heels....mostly because we abandoned that idea in favour of flats so that people would actually be looking at the gorgeous bride instead of her giant blueberry of a sister sweating like a roast pig and in danger of passing out. It's a bit surreal to think that my sister is a wife at the ripe old age of 20 but I've never been prouder. But I'm glad it's over.


Speaking of weddings, I'm beginning to think that I am the only one who doesn't really care about this Royal wedding. Actually it's a bit beyond not caring. I'm kind of stuck in the camp that would like it to please be over as soon as possible before I throw my tv out the window. If we were playing a drinking game where we had to do shots every time someone on tv mentioned the upcoming nuptials between Prince & commoner, I'd have been dead of alcohol poisoning a long time ago. Please let it all be over. Now.


We've been enjoying school holidays for almost two weeks now. I use the word "enjoying" loosely. I came into these holidays with optimism. I was looking forward to some quality time with the kids, playing the parks and having a great time. Thing is, the weather's been shit. Total and utter. Last week wasn't so bad but the kids spent most of that at a fun holiday program in the mornings and then we spent the weekend in Wellington at the wedding of the year. This week? Craptastic. In fact, we had some mini tornadoes touch down in a town not far from here and rip roofs off houses. So, needless to say, we've been cooped up. Also fairly obviously, I'm going nuts. The kids are stir crazy and they're doing everything in their power to make me go completely gray. Please let it be over.


When we moved here, we got a $2000 Honda Accord. It was a 1989 so, given that we aren't completely stupid, we knew it was an old car and was going to need some work. What we weren't prepared for was the amount of work involved. CV joints, brake lines, brakes, new tires, CV joints again, steering, alternators, blah blah blah....we fixed them all. We borrowed cars, we went without cars, we dealt with it. The latest in this long string of stuff is that the transmission is shot. Now, if this was a new car, we might consider fixing it. But it's not and I am past giving a shit, so we are giving up. We'll soon have a slightly newer car which, if the universe is at all smart, will not give us any crap. Please let it be over.


I don't usually pay tooooo much attention to what the celebudorks are up to, but I'll be damned if Charlie "I'm Winning" Sheen isn't hard to ignore. What is wrong with the guy? And people are buying into his crap! That's what's even harder to believe. People are paying money to go and see this douche-canoe spout his bullshit on a stage, half dressed, while his "goddesses" make out behind me. Excuse me, but is there perhaps anything better your money could be spent on? Maybe next time you have an urge to spend that much money to see someone rant on about ridiculous things, you could just hand me the wad of cash? Please let it be over.


Here in New Zealand, drunk drivers are a huge problem. Because of this, they run ads all the time that are meant to combat this. Some of them are ok. But there's one that they run all the freakin' time that is driving me and Hotty Hubby crazy. Please let it be over:




And because I love you all so much....I'm going to let this post be over. Right now. You're welcome.

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Thursday, April 14, 2011

Missing You

When I met your grandson back in the summer of 2001, I was smitten. We were together all the time. We spent hours walking around town, sitting in parks and coffee shops and staying up late talking. We talked about everything to do with our lives and within a week we knew we wanted to be together. But one of the things I couldn't wrap my head around was his distance from you...his grandmother.

He told me it just hadn't been the same since his mom, your daughter, died when he was 12. Well, we were now 12 year on and this distance wasn't getting any shorter. It just wouldn't do. No man of mine was going to keep his family at bay. So I told him he needed to start calling you more often. He did. I told him he needed to keep up to date on his life. He did. I told him he needed to go visit you and that if he felt like taking me with him to make introductions, that would be fine too.

So he did.

On Christmas Day.

Do you remember? I do. The looks on all your faces were priceless! He'd not only shown up when he was asked to, but he showed up with a girl in tow. Hmmm, maybe he was serious about this chick. But they'd only been together a few months.

Wait. What?!

Yeah...your expressions got even better after we announced we were already engaged.

And pregnant.

Holy crap on a stick....what was he thinking?! Um, I can tell you now that he wasn't. Neither of us was. I was so intent on getting him to mend his broken fences that I hadn't really thought through the whole process.

I have to hand it to you though. You were awesomeness personified. You welcomed me with open arms, made me feel like I belonged there and even ran around raiding other people's stockings so that you could give me something for Christmas. You fed me, you laughed with me (and AT me), and you hugged me as hard as you could when we left to go home.

I truly believe that on that Christmas night in 2001, I became a part of your family for real.

I never had a mother in law, she'd been gone for years...but you filled the part well. Over the next 9 years we laughed, we cried, we reminisced, we cried some more and hey...we laughed a LOT.

When Hotty Hubby and I separated, you didn't turn your back on me and the kids. If anything, you held on tighter. When we reconciled, you celebrated just as much as we did. You were there for birthdays, anniversaries, Christmas, Thanksgiving, Easter and many more inconsequential days.

I never told you, but you were a huge influence in my life and the way I live it. You gave me courage and made me realise it just didn't matter what other people thought of me. Your opinion was important to me.

When we started talking about moving to New Zealand, the biggest obstacle for me was you. I hated the idea of leaving you behind. We knew that you weren't going to be around forever and that if we left, we'd likely never see you again. We almost changed our minds but then you turned the tables. You gave us your blessing and sent us on our way. I will be eternally grateful for that.

Last week, we heard you were in hospital. Again. My heart started to break. Again. I prayed and hoped and crossed every cross-able appendage in an effort to convince whatever Powers That Be that were paying attention to just make you better.

Three days ago, I arrived home from work to hear that you were gone.

I know that you are in that better place that everyone talks about. I know that you're not hurting anymore. I know that you're happy to not be connected to all those tubes and wires anymore, because they just pissed you off. More than anything, I know that you're happy to be with your equally awesome husband, Art, and your beautiful daughter, Susan, again.

But that doesn't make it any easier for us down here. We miss you. Deeply.

I'm not entirely sure how Hotty Hubby is taking it. You know him, he's stoic. I know he's hurting, I just don't think he knows how to express that. Maybe I need to take him to the shooting range and let him blow crap away.

Boy Spawn doesn't fully understand the whole concept of death. He knows you're gone, he knows he won't see you again, but I think that's as far as it goes right now.

Girl Spawn? Well. She crumbled. You and her always had a very special relationship. I never fully understood the connection between the two of you, but I knew it was amazing. The two of you were...well, fantastic. She cried. A lot. She misses you so much and, like the rest of us, wishes she had been able to say goodbye.

As for me, it doesn't quite seem real to me. Or maybe I just don't want it to be. I continue to process, I continue to cry and I continue to wish it were all a dream.

Beth, you were an awesome woman who made us all laugh and smile. You gave the best hugs, some great advice and even taught me a few things. I hope that wherever you are, you're with Art & Susan and looking down on us. I'm sure that if you are, you're sitting there thinking "well, shit......that boy needs to shave, Maggie's lookin' good, and the kids are as bouncy as ever".

Rest in Peace, Mama Beth......we'll miss you forever. xxx

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Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Did you hear that??

If you were listening very closely last week, you may have heard a sound that was hard to identify. It may have been soft, it may have been very loud. It may have been difficult to distinguish from the everyday sounds around you. Then again, you may not have heard anything at all.

Last Tuesday, February 22nd, the city of Christchurch, NZ was rocked by an earthquake. Again. This time, much much worse than the one in September. You see, although the one in September was bigger in magnitude (7.1 vs 6.3), this one was shallower (5kms vs 33kms deep) and centred closer to the city. And with those factors in play, the city crumbled - in so many ways.

Buildings collapsed, buses were crushed, people ran screaming into the streets, only to find themselves confronted with more destruction than they could ever imagine. Within minutes, it was breaking news on TV. Within hours, our phone lines were tied up with people trying to find each other. Within days, the country as a whole had been brought to its knees.

We have watched hours and hours of media coverage. We have cried with joy and with desperate sadness. We have cheered as more and more Search and Rescue teams arrive in the country to help and cried as the realisation has set in that they are really more of a Search and Recovery.

Over the last week, the death toll has climbed higher than any of us had thought it would. As I write this, it stands at 155 people dead and still many missing. Many of the people I know have been directly affected, losing family and friends. Many more are just amazed that this is what we are dealing with.

We've read first person accounts of the terror that people felt and watched too many hours of tv broadcasts surrounding it. It's just all.....too much.

There has got to be a limit to how much this small country can take, and I think we are fast approaching it. Two earthquakes and a mining disaster in the space of 6 months is just.....enough. I don't think we can take it anymore.

From a purely personal point of view, it has certainly made me think. In my head I have mapped out every possible route from clients' houses, shops & libraries to get to my children as quickly as possible. I can tell you how I'd get there in my car, on a bike or on foot. And I can tell you that while I think running is the exercise invented by demons, I'd be running as fast as I could to get to my children.

I have compiled MOST of an emergency kit for the house and some stuff to go in the shed and the car.

I have talked to my children about what to do if it happens.

I have ...... become paranoid.

People, this country is hurting. I have heard talk of how "only" 155 people are dead. And yes, I can see how that would seem like a small number compared to Haiti or Chile or the tragedy of 9/11. But in a country like this where everyone knows someone who knows someone else, it hits very close to home.

Kiwi men have a reputation for being very stoic, very strong, very "she'll be 'right". Over the last week, I have seen more grown men cry than I ever hope to again.

That sound you may have heard a week ago? That was the sound of our collective hearts breaking. But Christchurch will rise again. They will mourn their dead, they will clear away the rubble and they will rise again. With the help of the country, the student army and the rescuers on the ground....they will rise.

In the meantime? Please keep this little corner of the world in your thoughts...Christchurch in particular. Our Prime Minister is launching a global fundraising campaign, but I am launching a global blog love fest. Send your love our way. Please.

"Kia Kaha Christchurch"
Forever Strong

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Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Summer Lovin'

One of the strangest/most wonderful/interesting things about this country that I now live in, is that the whole country virtually shuts down for two to three weeks over the holiday season. As a result, I sort of found myself shutting down. I was hardly online and when I was, I wasn't doing anything blog related. And it was GREAT! I missed you all terribly but, no offense, didn't feel guilty at all about not visiting your blogs or even writing my own. The break was great and now I realise why people here shut down. It's great for your mental health.

I'm back now, my sanity is still debatable, and I've got things to do and say. I'll still finish that "30 Days of Me" that I was working on, but in the meantime here's the highlights from this summer in New Zealand:


** The spawnlets finished the 2010 school year (our year runs Feb - Dec) with a bang. While they didn't get anything at the end of year Prize Giving, they did get to do their victory walk down the centre aisle to a round of applause and collect their report card.

** Lil Sis and her man were able to come and spend Christmas with us here and it was the first time in years that we had both been at HOME with our mum for the holidays. We spent the few days that they were visiting playing Wii, eating ourselves stupid and enjoying the sun. We even managed a beach visit.

** New Years Eve was great and it was the first one that we've allowed the kids to stay up for. After a short nap mid-afternoon, they stayed up with us and watched movies until midnight. We did our countdown, drank some sparkling grape juice and then got to make some noise with party poppers outside when my mother came to scare the pants off us.

** No resolutions were made in this house and that's just how we like it. I figure you just set yourself up for failure when you make resolutions.

** Hotty Hubby was laid off from his job after one and a half years of working his butt off for them as a labourer. He was not the only one, five other guys were given the ol' heave ho as well, but it was certainly poor timing for us.

** We moved. We packed up the old house that had been sold, brought a bunch of stuff over to the new place, and promptly discovered that it was infested with ants and cockroaches. YUM! After a couple of smoke bombs and some sprays, I think we've conquered them. The roaches are a big problem this year and especially in this part of town. It's like they've decided that in their quest to take over the world, they're going to start with my little town.

** Hotty Hubby found a new job. More pay, more hours, more training and learning opportunities. The only drawback thus far is that I have to drag MY fat ass out of bed so damn early in the morning to drive him to work. He's enjoying it so far so I really can't complain too much.

** School is back in session and the kids are excited for the 2011 year. Boy Spawn has moved on to Year 2 (Grade 1) and Girl Spawn on to Year 4 (Grade 3). They both have fantastic teachers and thankfully it's not awkward having a friend of ours be Girl Spawn's teacher.


Summer is almost over. As of March 1st, we'll be into Fall. I'm not entirely sure how they figure out the seasons here, I just go with it. Here's to a fantastic year, and I'll be sure to visit y'all more often!

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