Thursday, December 31, 2009

And we're back!!

Welcome back y'all. I'm sure, because it's New Year, that most of you didn't even notice the temporary interruption. But I'm hoping that you'll at least pretend to be observant enough to notice there's been a couple changes around here.

I'd like to thank Badass Geek and his awesome Badass Designs for my new site layout.

I'm so happy to now have navigation buttons up there. I hope you'll use them. At the very least you should check out all the great people on my blogroll. And if you're not on my roll and want to be, let me know.

Also? If you'll all look at the sidebar.....that's the very top.


A spectacular, beautiful, wonderful Mind of a Mad Woman button for you to take. Cos you love me. Which you do. You DO!

And on that same note...I think you all should get your own buttons too!!

Happy New Year everyone!!


Other places you can find me today - Looking For My Feet

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Monday, December 28, 2009

Bobbly bits bouncing .... but not for long!

I don't know if y'all have checked in on Aunt Juicebox recently but yesterday when I swung by her place she had a post up about the blahs. We've all had them. Those post holidays feelings of "Wow I'm glad that shit is over" and "Oh my gawd. I can't believe I ate my child's weight in chocolate" and "Is that it?!". Of course, being me, I denied all knowledge of said blahs and left a comment alluding to the fact that it was all her when in fact half the world is currently trying to decide whether to throw the leftover turkey and chocolate in the garbage or just eat it and get it over with. The truth is, I totally understand the blahs but somehow have managed to avoid most of it this year. I think it has a lot to do with beginning my trek to find my feet BEFORE the holidays. I maintained some semblance of self control (barely!) through the last week and for the first time in years I did not eat everything that wasn't nailed down or held in the clutches of my incredibly hot husband who would sooner die than give up his chocolate.

Another thing I did before the holiday madness fully set in? I fell under the spell of a couple of dictatorial bitches who will now have full control over portions of my life for the next little while. That's right, I'm calling you out Dual Mom and ZGirl! You have lured me in to your lair and there I will stay as I KICK YOUR ASSES at the challenge that you have issued. The lard laden gauntlet has been hurled and smacked me full on in the face.

What does all that mean? I know darlings, the post Christmas lull can slow down the brain cells a tad can't it? Well. What it means for me is this - as of January 2nd, a mere FIVE days from now, I will be taking part in the exercise/weightloss/kill or be killed challenge that the aforementioned "ladies" have issued. And we even have a smexy button to show off! See?

Excuse me a moment while I try and find my sanity. .........

Nope. It's gone.

I will be continuing on my path of eating well but I'll be stepping up the exercise about ten thousandillion notches because like I said a minute ago? I'll be kicking some ass. People from all corners of the interwebs will be taking part and there may or may not be prizes involved. Which will all be coming to me. Why? Because now that I've started the smack talk, how embarrassing would it be to ....shhhhhh...... lose?!!

And just for an added laugh, because I know y'all are just about rolling in the aisles by now, I thought I'd share a tidbit from Dual Mom with you. In my last post, I mentioned that the spawnlets had been given a trampoline for Christmas. DM read that and promptly said:

You know what that trampoline is good for, right? Exercise woman!!! It's perfect. Nothing like jiggling the crap out of your boobs to burn calories!!! Jan 2 is fast approaching!

To which I felt compelled to reply:

You know what the trampoline is NOT good for?? People over it's shamefully high weight limit! It's kind of mortifying!

Seriously folks. This bouncy contraption that is currently taking up space in my backyard, providing hours of endless entertainment for the spawn and will eventually be a source of fun for me when I watch Hotty Hubby try to mow around it, has a weight limit. It's a limit that would be high if I were at my optimal weight, but I'm not. The kids can use it. My mother and step father can use it. Hotty Hubby can even use it! (I'm not sure why I say that like this shouldn't be possible, it's not like the bean pole is a great standard of measurement for all things normal.) But I, sadly, exceed the weight limit. So there it is. The mortification. The fact that I cannot use it, even for exercise.

It's probably a good thing though. I mean, who wants to see that? Boobs and other bobbly bits bouncing around all over the place. It is (a) unattractive (b) dangerous (think black eyes and more!) and (c) too much fun to provide the rest of the family which means that it should be avoided at all costs. It was bad enough when mommy dearest asked me to demonstrate a jumping jack last night. It's hard to do when the temptation is to cross your arms to prevent a wayward boob knocking you out! point is that I have taken up the challenge. Wednesday will likely show a "Lost it Bitch" post here.....feel free to ignore but rest assured I'll know. I'm like Santa. I see you when you're sleeping. (By the way, I like that new negligee!)

So who will join us? You can check out the deets over HERE at Dual Mom's and grab the button over HERE at ZGirl's.

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Sunday, December 27, 2009

So? How was it?

Did you all have a fantabulous Chrismukahkwanzivus?? I'm sure there's other holidays out there that I'm forgetting but short of spending an hour looking them up and then creating a 100 letter word, that's about all you're getting. It was pretty low key here. Hot. Sunny. Beautiful. Laid back.

I went to the Christmas Eve service at church with my mom, stepdad and stepsister. Christmas morning I had to work. Yeah. Apparently old ladies still need showers even on holidays. Who knew? But I was home by 8:30 and we carried on with our morning. Stockings were opened and drooled over (because Santa saw fit to load 'em up with candy), and then we headed to the Christmas morning service, sans hubby, to sing some carols and let the kids share one of their gifts with the congregation. They loved it. Home again to open the rest of the gifts, because as their mother I reserve the right to drag out the morning as long as possible just to see them squirm and also because, as their mother, I reserve the right to temporarily cancel Christmas based on their sucky attitudes that would rival a gremlin at the best times. Call it what you will, but it totally worked. Their behaviour improved immensely for two minutes at a time.

By lunch time, we had all the gifts opened and there were big smiles in the Mad Woman household. Nannee and Poppa, separately, pulled off the two best gifts of 2009 with a trampoline for the backyard (as opposed to the bathroom, Mad Woman?) (bite me!) and a Wii, respectively. It was all I could do to get them to come down off the trampoline long enough to eat and then they were right back up there, bouncing until the sweat was dripping off them.

We had a lovely Christmas lunch over at my mom's house with nary a turkey in sight. The decision was made to avoid all hot stuff and we dined on cold ham, potato salad and coleslaw. It was perfect!! I'll admit I briefly missed the snow, the stuffing, the mashed potatoes and the turkey leg....but only briefly because after lunch we were able to flake out and let the kids play in the sun again.

It's a very different experience, this Christmas-in-the-Summer thing. Last year, we had a foot and a half of snow on the ground. This year I was melting. I have yet to decide which I prefer. I know that many of you are freezing your asses off and are likely shouting "Are you KIDDING me?!" at the computer right now, but I'm serious! On the one hand, it just doesn't feel like Christmas without at least a cold day. Snow is a bonus. A pain in the ass, need to shovel it out of the way, bonus. But on the other hand...SUN!!

I'll let you know next year which way I'm leaning.

So. How was your holiday?? Tell me all about it!

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Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Christmas....Kiwi Style

It's Christmas Eve here in New Zealand...even if it's only Wednesday for y'all. It's been very warm all day. Sorry. I wanted to wish you all a very Merry Christmas. A Happy Chanukah. A Kick Ass Kwanzaa.

We spent yesterday playing at the park.

Today we had a Christmas Eve sprinkler fest. The kids donned their togs and headed out into the back yard where Hotty Hubby and I tried to soak them. We had intended to break out the Slip 'N' Slide but it was a bit windy and, because I'm terribly unorganized and lazy, we didn't have any pegs. So we went the cheap way.

We had to forgo our usual Christmas Eve meal of Chinese food in favour of spaghetti and garlic bread but it was just as good. A few cheesy ass Christmas movies later and the kids are just about ready to head to bed and dream of Santa.

Because we love you all so much, we wanted to share a twist on "Twas the Night Before Christmas" with you.

A Kiwi Night Before Christmas
by Yvonne Morrison and Deborah Hinde

'Twas the night before Christmas,
and all round the bach,
not a possum was stirring;
not one could we catch.

We'd left on the table
a meat pie and beer;
in hopes that Santa Claus
soon would be here.

We children were snuggled up
in our bunk beds,
while dreams of pavlova
danced in our heads.

And Mum in her nightie,
and Dad in his shorts,
had just settled down
to watch TV sports.

When outside the bach
such a hoo-ha arose,
I woke up at once
from my wonderful doze.

And what did I see,
when I took a peep?
But a miniature tractor
and eight tiny sheep.

With a little old driver,
his dog on his knee.
I knew at once
who this joker might be.

He patted the dog,
and in a voice not unkind,
cried, "Good on ya, boy!

"Now, Flossy! now, Fluffy!
now, Shaun and Shane!
On, Bossy! on, Buffy!
on, Jason and Wayne!

Up that red tree,
to the top of the bach!
But mind you don't trample
the vegetable patch."

As my sister awoke,
and I turned around,
in through the window
he came with a bound.

He wore a black singlet
and little white shorts,
and stuck on his feet
were gumboots, of course.

His eyes, bright as paua shell,
oh, how they twinkled!
Like an old tuatara,
his skin was all wrinkled!

He had a wide face
and a round, fat tummy,
that looked like he'd eaten
lots that was yummy.

He spoke not a word,
but got down on one knee,
and placed a cricket set
under the tree.

A present for Sis,
one for Dad, one for Mum,
then he turned and he winked
and he held up his thumb.

He jumped on his tractor;
to his dog gave a whistle,
and away they all flew,
as fast as a missile.

I called out, "Thanks,"
as he flew past the gate.
He called back:
"Kia Ora to all, and good on ya mate!"

See y'all on the flip side!! Hope you have a good one!!

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Sunday, December 6, 2009

A Kind of Magic.....all we're missing is Freddie

At the risk of sounding like a scratchy, broken record....this is another post that mentions the Great Interview Experiment. Except this time? It's the actual interview! I know! You thought I'd never get there didn't you?

Last year when I did this, I interviewed someone whose blog I'd never read before. This year, the same thing happened. I kind of like it because I get to know someone and I get to go through their blog with a fine toothed mouse button and then think of oddball questions to ask them that have very little to do with their actual blog. On the other hand, it can be difficult to ask a stranger questions without knowing whether it will offend them or not. I seem to have come off lucky in this case though!

I'd like you all to meet Kirsty of Magic27. She's a British woman living in France with her husband and two daughters. And I think she's bloody fascinating...............


First of all, I’m incredibly glad that I have been given the chance to interview you for this whole gig, because now I have another blog to read and that makes me happy. Almost as happy as a pig in muck.

Now. First question - What are you wearing right now? I don’t ask in a weird stalker-ish way, so much as a public service for my readers who have certain tastes and quirks. I guarantee if you say anything other than a clown suit, you’ll have them hooked. They’re great like that.

Well, black jeans that are a little too big (feelgood factor!), a pale pink polo-neck with a grey cotton jumper on top, pink and purple socks and my (long, red) hair is tied back with a black and silver scrunchy. Oh, and if you're interested, a red bra and knickers, both much less sexy than they sound.

I was reading your “20 Vital Things About Me” and was kind of nodding my head as I went down the list until I got to number 12 which is pretty much when I went into weird happy convulsions because my husband thinks I’m the pickiest eater ever. And now I have proof I’m not. Except I need to know this… you eat green things now? How about bananas?

Yes, I do eat some green stuff now (but not all, oh no, not all). And I love bananas. If I were still in Britain I probably wouldn't be considered a picky eater at all, but here in France (where they truly do eat some unspeakable stuff, plus my husband will eat ANYTHING) I'm considered a real wimp. I won't eat shellfish, or snails (no surprise there) or frogs' legs, or andouillette (a horrible sausage thing made of unspeakable bits of animal), or many other things (like rabbit, horse, offal..., fish that still has its head on... I could go on and on). There are many, many fruit and vegetables that I never feel like eating (don't actively dislike them, just can't face the thought of eating them) - stuff like oranges (hate the pith and transparent skin stuff), grapes, tomatoes... BUT I have succeeded in deflecting attention off my habits by having a younger daughter who is infinitely WORSE than I ever was (though my elder daughter will eat, or at least try, most things). L is basically a fast-food junkie (in her dreams though not in reality), a carnivore and a pasta freak. No fruit, no vegetables without a struggle.

You have two girls close in age to my own two little spawnlets. My 7 ½ year old is a real cow a lot of the time right now. Do you find the same thing happening with your 8 year old?

My not-quite-8-year-old is actually pretty much OK. Yeah, she has her teenage tantrums and drama queen moments, but basically she's fine. L, on the other hand, can be a real handful. She's cute and bright and funny and charming... on her own. She gets on fine with her big sister for a while (quite a long while, even), but eventually the whining, sniping, kicking, biting, hitting or whatever will start. She's a real spitfire! I'm dreading her adolescence already!

Tell us a random (and perhaps juicy) fact about yourself. We live for this kind of thing.

This is tough! My life is quite dull, really... Hmmm... Let's go back in time a bit, to when things weren't quite so dull... When I was a student in Spain I was assaulted by a very over-eager Spanish guy. As I ran away (don't know how I managed to get away, in fact: he was a soldier and much bigger than me) I slipped on some stairs and tore the ligaments in my ankle. Totally craptastic day.

You spend a lot of time up in the middle of the night when us folks who claim to be normal are usually attempting to sleep. Are you a night owl by nature or is it a natural by-product of having children?

Oh, totally by nature. As a student, I chose courses by what time of day they were (when possible) and avoided morning ones. I've always liked working late at night and find it impossible to go to bed early. I can be exhausted at 7 pm, and ready to go to bed, but of course I can't as there's too much to do at that time of night. And then, by about 10 pm, I'm raring to go once again. It's terrible!

What do you think you’d be like if you lived in the 1800s? Personally I think I’d die a horrible slow death from starvation because there ain’t no way you’d get me doing hard work out in the fields or slaughtering animals (I leave that to the offence to the vegetarians).

Well, given my current financial status and "career" prospects, I would imagine that I'd have been a poor governess or something. Nothing rich and fancy, that's for sure. And I'd probably have died of some ghastly disease, too.

If I was to win a whole lot of money and decide to spend it on making a movie about you instead of frittering it away on booze, houses and clothes……what would the movie be called and which hot starlet would play you? And who would you pick for your leading man?

Obviously, I'd like to be played by a glamorous Hollywood star with red hair (not that there are many of those), someone like Julianne Moore for example. But I suspect the film would be less glamorous than that, probably starring the chubbed-up version of Renée Zellwegger with her hair dyed red. My ideal leading man would be Johnny Depp (swooooooonnnn). And the title? "Reasonably content but going nowhere". Not very snappy, I know, but appropriate.

This is a very important question. Do you like scary roller coasters? Do you scream like a little girl while you crap your pants or do you throw your hands up in delight and laugh at all the losers puking up the 12 corndogs that they ate before getting on the ride?

I haven't been on a real rollercoaster for about 20 years, but I loved them back then. Now, aged as I am, I suspect I'd barf. But I'm not particularly scared.

If you knew that there was zero chance of it resulting in a big fat fail, what would you do?

If success were guaranteed, I'd launch myself as a writer and artist. I've always believed I have some kind of artistic talent, but have never really found exactly what it is. My NaNoWriMo made me proud of myself, just for the fact of doing it, but I know I'll never have the courage to show it to anyone.

Why did you decide to start your blog? Do you think you’ll keep it going for years and years until your kids are starting their own or is it just a flash in the pan kind of thing? Will us bribing you with chocolate make any difference to your answer?

I started it as a kind of diary, knowing that almost no one would ever read it. In fact, I don't want anyone I actually know to read it (particularly my mother-in-law, I'm not very flattering about her!). But I enjoy it and don't intend to stop. I need to do NaBloPoMo every now and then to discipline me into posting regularly, though. And all bribes of chocolate will be accepted very gladly. Particularly Cadbury's Dairy Milk... yum!

I know it'll be hard to answer this one because I'm not sure even *I* could pick a fave from your blog after going through all your posts (I told you...stalker!) but what is your favourite blog entry from the past year and a half of blogging?

That's probably this one (Mirror, Mirror) because it's the one that rings the most true. I really don't look the way I think I look, which makes me wonder what other people must make of me. I buy clothes because I think they'll look good on me but in fact, I suspect that most of them probably don't. So the "Mirror, mirror" thing is horribly realistic. Mirrors depress me (my hair! my skin! my teeth! my wrinkles! my legs! my muffin! GAAAAHHHH).

What is your pet peeve? Like, what really annoys you, gets your goat, makes steam come out your ears like Wiley Coyote?

Oh, this is easy: the average French person's lack of civility. Sweeping generalisation, of course, but just try walking around a French city (I've tried several, they're all the same). French people won't step out of your way, won't hold doors open, won't use just one side of an escalator to allow people in a hurry to run up quickly, don't give up their seats for old people, can't queue to save their lives and are, in general, deeply, deeply selfish. That doesn't mean they can't be lovely people when you get to know them, but common courtesy and stuff mean NOTHING to these people and it drives me BATSHIT. I've lived in France since 1992 and STILL haven't got used to it!

I've often said, publicly, that my boobs are my best feature....what do you think is yours? And along those same lines (if you think on wobbly wiggly lines like I do), what is your worst habit?

I have pretty low self-esteem, so this is hard. Despite my hideous white skin, I think I probably like my neck and shoulders best. Quite a long neck, narrow and slender shoulders. In stark contrast with my muffin top and blubbery thighs. As for my worst habit: that's easier: chewing my lip. I've tried every lip balm known to man, none of them stop my lips from chapping and when I feel that little flap of skin, I just have to pull it off. Gross, I know, but hey, that's what bad habits are all about!

And finally....

If the whole world was listening (and a small portion of it IS right now), what would you say?

If the whole world were listening to me, I think I would say something either really pretentious like "stop fighting about religion and get to grips with keeping the planet safe" or else something totally daft like "make cakes no war". Yeah, I'm pretty anti-religion (even if my daughters are in a Catholic school - how did that happen?!) and very anti-war...

Thanks for playing Kirsty!! Now....go eat some green veggies and frog legs. *Gag*

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Thursday, December 3, 2009

Shock and awe

Wow! Before I get to anything else, I have a couple of thank yous to put out there.

THANK all of you for your lovely comments and thoughts since my last post about the painful truth when it hits you in the face. They've really helped me get through the last week and carry on into this one. It was a very difficult post to write, but in a way therapeutic. Some of you have even come over and started following my other cheers! Although I don't know the vast majority of you personally, I do feel like I "know" many of you. And you all rock!

Also, THANK YOU to Aunt Juicebox over at Bacon Is My Lover. Aside from the fact that a good few of you who made your way here for that last post came from her place, she spun off from my post and did one about her own journey of weightloss. These kind of posts are hard to do, for anyone. So thanks Aunty J for opening your heart. And an extra thank you for creating a list of folks who are doing their own now too. You rock! that the sentimental stuff is out of the way, what do I have to talk about? Not a lot unfortunately.

** I didn't get the job I was hoping for. But I'm applying for more. I guess I'm thankful that I do already have a job that is bringing in SOME cash.

** I lost 800 grams this week at the Rotund Round Up. That's 1.74 pounds for the rest of you. It's non refundable, so don't even try to give it back to me.

** Girl Spawn won Champion Penguin of the Year at St. John's Ambulance Youth. (Penguins are the 5 to 7 year old cadets). Hotty Hubby and I were shocked when we heard her name called at the Prize Giving and full of smiles as we watched her proudly march herself up on stage to shake the guy's hand. She's loving being part of the cadets and is very enthusiastic about it all, so we're glad she was honoured this way.

** I'm told Christmas is coming. I'm still rather in denial about the whole thing but the spawn are getting more and more excited about it all. I think it's going to be a bit of a sparse on this year, but you know what? I don't really care. Christmas is meant to be about time with family, with the people we love and care about. The kids are happy as long as there is something under the tree.

** I've not been getting much blog reading done lately. I'm sorry about that...I'll some done this afternoon...ish. I hope you're all well.

Over and out!!

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