Friday, 31 July 2009

"If today was your last day..."

I have been hearing this song a lot lately but today was the first day I actually listened to it properly.

'If today was your last day' by Nickelback

My best friend gave me the best advice
He said each day's a gift and not a given right
Leave no stone unturned, leave your fears behind
And try to take the path less travelled by
That first step you take is the longest stride

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had, if today was your last day?
What if, what if, if today was your last day?

Against the grain should be a way of life
What's worth the price is always worth the fight
Every second counts 'cause there's no second try
So live like you're never living twice
Don't take the free ride in your own life

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of?
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

If today was your last day
Would you make your mark by mending a broken heart?
You know it's never too late to shoot for the stars
Regardless of who you are

So do whatever it takes
'Cause you can't rewind a moment in this life
Let nothing stand in your way
'Cause the hands of time are never on your side

If today was your last day and tomorrow was too late
Could you say goodbye to yesterday?
Would you live each moment like your last?
Leave old pictures in the past?
Donate every dime you had?

And would you call those friends you never see?
Reminisce old memories?
Would you forgive your enemies?
And would you find that one you're dreaming of
Swear up and down to God above
That you'd finally fall in love if today was your last day?

I have bolded the bits that really jumped out at me and gave me the metaphorical kick-in-the-pants. Being a scrapbooker, I'm not on board with the whole 'leave old pictures in the past' thing and I'm not a believer in going against the grain just for the sake of it but the rest of this song is helping me get my head in the right place.

What songs/music/quotes/verses have inspired or appealed to you lately?

Wednesday, 29 July 2009

One room down ...

and fourteen more to go!

I decided in my infinite insanity wisdom to repaint parts of the house starting with the bathrooms. Before starting, I thought I would just check to make sure that neither of the showers was leaking into the walls again, which of course they were, so that resulted in us deciding to get both bathrooms re tiled.

The next step was to find a tiler who would do it for less than an arm and a leg and we ended up settling for one who only charged a forearm and a couple of grey hairs. Once again, we offered one of the children as payment, but had the offer very politely refused. His reasoning was that if he couldn't wrangle his own two kids, what chance did he have with another one. Chicken!

The job was supposed to take 5 days to complete but ended up taking 9 days, which I suppose was technically 4.5 days because he only worked half days. Apparently this is standard amongst freelance bathroom tilers because by the time they drag themselves out of bed, it is already 8am and then by the time they manage to get dressed and have breakfast, the housewives waiting for them, who have moved heaven and earth to have someone else take their children to school so they can be there for the supposed arrival time of said tiler, are so fed up with waiting for them that they go and do some of the other more pressing chores, like hanging out washing and can't hear the doorbell in the backyard, so the tiler has to wait until she comes back inside to make herself a coffee and down a few medicinal chocolate biscuits, that he figures he may as well turn up at morning tea time and hopefully score a choccie bikkie into the bargain. Unfortunately, my mother raised me to offer a cuppa to everyone else in the house whenever I make myself one, so he quite often scored a coffee along with some of the secret stash of choccie bikkies. Note to self: replenish secret stash post haste!

On the day the bathroom was finished being tiled, I rang the glass people to arrange for the shower screens to be replaced. They had cracked the month before the re tiling but I decided to wait to have them replaced so that I wouldn't have to find storage space for them away from the marauding hordes children and pray to the gods of shower screens to make sure they stayed intact while not fixed to a wall.

The last time I needed to have a screen replaced, it was done the same day. This time had to be different just because both showers were out of commission at the same time. I rang on Thursday to arrange replacement. They came and collected both the old screens on Tuesday of the following week. When I asked what time he would be back to fit the new screens, he looked at me as if I'd sprouted Jack's beanstalk from the top of my head and said "in a couple of weeks."

Once I had picked myself up off the ground, I asked what was I supposed to do for showers for myself and three children for a couple of weeks. His response was "have a bath. You don't need a screen for that." Obviously he has no children. You need the cone of silence or the entire bio-dome over the bath any time my boys go near it. I have found bath bubbles on the washing hanging on the line outside the bathroom on more than one occasion in the past. No mean feat considering the window is a metre above the bath and only has an opening big enough to squeeze an anorexic spider through.

I soon decided that taking a bath was not the supposedly relaxing thing all those chick flicks make it out to be, especially when there are three boys and a water loving dog on the other side of the door all clamouring to have their turn. Then if we throw in the fact that the bath in my bathroom was not made for a lady of, shall we say, ample proportions (and by ample I mean anyone over 40 kilos) and I was over it pretty quickly. Did you know that taping black garbage bags to the walls you want to protect from shower water over spray is fairly effective, especially if you don't care if removing the tape damages the paintwork because you are going to paint as soon as the #$%@^ glass man replaces your screens? Well, now you do. I'm all about sharing the knowledge people!

As we approached the end of the 'couple of weeks' with not a word from the glass people, I rang them to nudge things along. In my most sickeningly sweet, helplessly downtrodden, 'mere female' voice, I asked if they had any idea whether my screens would be ready for installation by the end of the week as I had someone coming to stay from out of town and would rather not have to direct them to the local YMCA to take care of their hygiene needs. (The fact that the person from out of town was my husband who works away was completely irrelevant!) I was assured that they didn't have the screens in stock yet but that they would ring me back that very afternoon to let me know a definite date. I'm still waiting for that phone call.

Luckily, I received a call the next morning, as I was trying to take a shower while fighting off some very fresh black garbage bags, to let me know my screens were being installed that day. I believe the exact words were "We'll be there between 11 and 12. If you're not home, we won't be back this way for another week." Due to not working outside the home at the moment, I was able to be home at the times specified. Mind you, even armageddon wouldn't have stopped me from being there!

Thank goodness I was able to be home at the times not specified because that is when they turned up. One guy turned up at 10:15, without the screens, had to go to another job and then come back. The other guy turned up with the screens at 1:10, but couldn't install them because he was only new and didn't have any tools. The first guy finally showed up again at 1:50, installed the screens .. incorrectly! .. and then had the nerve to shoot me evil looks as I questioned whether it was supposed to be on that angle and why had he attached the wall mirror to the shower screen with half a tube of silicone. He fixed those trifling little details so I recalled the dog and allowed him to leave with all his bodily parts intact.

With the screens installed, all that was left to do was the original task of painting the bathrooms. This time when Peter was home, we painted the ensuite and, while the paint turned out darker than I expected, it is done! Insert Hallelujah Chorus here!

Now all I have to do is psyche myself up for the painting of the boys' bathroom, the TV room, the kitchen, the family room, master bedroom, hallway, toilet ....

If you don't hear from me for a while, please send in a rescue team!

Monday, 27 July 2009

I finally cracked ..

and bought a new dishwasher. Or to rephrase, I allowed Peter to buy me us a new dishwasher.

Our old one gave up the ghost about two months ago and has just been sitting there taking up space ever since. Peter offered to take me out to pick up a new one as soon as the old one died, but I stupidly serenely declined his generous offer with the assurance that the children would help me keep the dishes under control .. which they did .. for one whole week.

I then managed to get myself into a routine, apparently like many other dishwasher-deprived people do, of doing the dishes twice a day or more often if needed. Then school holidays happened and the routine went to hell in a handbasket, as did the remaining dregs of my sanity.

I never realised how many drinking glasses we have in this house or that it was possible to use all 34 of them in one single solitary morning with only three children and myself using them. I mean, it's not like we had extra children in the house at any stage during that 4 hour timeframe, so I can only conclude that the boys each had a separate glass for every single sip of fluid they consumed!

Anyway, I have my whiz-bang, wonderful new machine with the full complement of bells and whistles, all in very melodic tones I might add, and it is even installed and working thanks to my wonderful, whiz-bang husband! Now we just have to dirty some dishes so Peter and I the children can learn how to use it properly ...

Wednesday, 22 July 2009

Playing around

Because I didn't have enough to do today (snort!!) I went looking for and found this word cloud maker thingy at Wordle and thought I'd give it a try.

Wordle: My life
Would make a pretty good header wouldn't it?

Have a go yourself and see what you can come up with. Some things to remember: if you want certain words to appear bigger, they must be typed more than the others; if you want to put in phrases, type a ~ between each of the words with no spaces; no punctuation will appear unless contained within a word (like the ' in Donna's) and don't forget to experiment with colours, fonts and layouts.

Have fun!

Monday, 20 July 2009

Taking a small step out of my comfort zone ...

Here's the page I did based on Lita's first sketch. (The comment about stepping out of my comfort zone refers to the flowers and the ink around the edge of the whole page.)

Not the best photo but overall, I'm happy with this page (or I wouldn't be showing you .. lol!). There's a few little things that bug me but if I don't mention them, hopefully no-one else will notice them either!
Please leave an honest comment letting me know what you think ...

Saturday, 18 July 2009

Confession time

I have been asked in the past why don't I post pictures of the scrapping layouts I have done.

Apart from the fact that I haven't actually done any new layouts in over 6 months and therefore have nothing to post anyway, it's due to me feeling that my work was not as visually appealing (and therefore not as good) as others' work or was boring because I'm not into all the flowers/ chipboard/ stamping/ inking/ sanding/ etc. I'm a very linear person (despite all my curves!) and like things to line up, be straight and balanced .. no randomness allowed!

I looked at work done by Debbie, Lita, and some of the people in their blog lists and felt that mine was just not on the same level of creativity. My pages all seemed to be lacking something when compared to other people's pages and I wasn't comfortable with putting anything less than my idea of 'perfect' on show. It made me feel vulnerable and I don't like not being in control .. what a surprise huh?

And then I realised that all of that doesn't matter one bit. It doesn't matter:
  • if I'm following the latest fads or ignoring them completely,
  • if my pages all start to look the same,
  • if I prefer using plain cardstock to patterned paper,
  • if I can't bring myself to write/paint/stamp on the surface of my photos,
  • if the idea of using 3D non-photo safe stuff on my pages makes me cringe or,
  • if a page takes five minutes or five days.

What does matter is if I like my pages and my family enjoy looking at the albums I create for them. After all, isn't that the reason most of us start scrapping in the first place .. to help preserve the memories?

So having freed myself (somewhat) from my self-imposed restrictions, I am going to start scrapping again, using Lita's first sketch as inspiration and hopefully posting some pictures of what I manage to complete. Wish me luck!

Friday, 17 July 2009

Despite the whingefest ..

.. and feeling rather crappy right about now, having this cold has been a good thing for me.

It has made me realise how lucky I am to have children who are, for the most part, caring and helpful people. They have all:
  • made me cups of tea or coffee as often as I wanted with no complaints,
  • left me to sleep in the past two mornings,
  • kept the fighting to a minimum,
  • made most of their own meals,
  • voluntarily helped with extra household chores and
  • just been nice to me in general.

So as much as they drive me nuts at times, I know I can count on them when the chips are down, or in my case, when the temperature is up. Love you boys!

Thursday, 16 July 2009

Of all the things I can handle ...

...having a cold isn't one of them!

Headaches - not too much of a problem.

Bellyaches - standard around here.

Actual bleeding wound - whack a bandaid on it. I'll be fine. "It's only a flesh wound!" (name that movie)

But a cold ... waaah ... stop the world; I want to get off!!

I started getting a scratchy throat yesterday morning and it had developed into a sore right ear by lunchtime and now is a full blown blocked nose, but only on the side with the 'diseased' sinus, that still manages to drip despite not being able to blow it, causing the ear on the same side to feel like it is packed with concrete and some little construction worker jackhammering away just for the fun of it, resulting in one very sore and lopsided-feeling head. Well, more lopsided than usual anyway.

I think I'll go ask Kleenex for some freebies because between my tissue use and Brad's toilet paper use, I sure I'm single-handedly keeping them in business!

Thursday, 9 July 2009

It has been 31 minutes ..

.. since I picked Alex up from his sleepover and I'm ready to kill him already!

It started before he even got in the car with him opening Bradley's door and harassing Brad until I physically lifted him away and made him get in the front seat. He did manage to thank his friend's mother for having him without prompting so at least he got something right.

As soon as we were out of the friend's driveway, he started spelling all the things he could see.


I could ignore it while there was variety but once he got to about t-r-e-e number 64, I asked him to stop and he did .. for a whole 4 seconds. Instead of screaming at him, I let it go figuring he was just hyped up from being at a friend's place.

Then he started again with a minor variance .. no spelling; just repeating everything 5 or 6 times before moving on to the next item.

We were only 4km into a 27.9km trip at this point, so I turned the radio up.

It didn't work.

He just got louder and more repetitive.

So I turned the radio up some more and started singing along, really really loudly, in the hopes that he would get the hint and shut-the-hell-up already.

That didn't work either, so now I'm sitting here with a headache from my own bad singing thanking the universe that he didn't decide to do that lovely little trick on the way home from Merredin on Tuesday.

I don't think the Main Roads Department would have liked 13.5 year-old entrails and body parts all over their nice clean road signs.

Wednesday, 8 July 2009

Dirt, rain and a blue-tongue lizard ..

.. my weekend in a nutshell!

We went up to the block on Sunday to try to work out the official boundaries, let the boys have some fun on the quad and be in Merredin bright and early on Monday to talk to the shed builders. Two out of three ain't bad.

The boys had a great time on the quad bike and were very good about taking it in turns. There was no fighting (about the quad anyway!), they all listened to the rules and they obeyed them! Even Alex had a go this time because "dirt is better to ride on than sand; it's less dusty." Luckily it had rained a bit before we got there or he would have figured out that dirt is just as dusty as sand when it's dry.

Despite the rain, it was quite warm and Peter found a blue-tongue lizard sunning himself in an out-of-the-way spot on the edge of the block. He had gloves on so he picked the lizard up and took him to show the boys. Brad thought it was a snake at first and ran the other way but soon came back to check him out. Once we'd all had a look, but not a touch, Peter put him back where he got him from and we didn't see him again. He also found an inside-out snake skin and lots of rabbit holes. Should be interesting in summer .. yikes!!

The shed plans are being submitted to council this week and I managed to talk Peter into getting the builders to do all the little bits like installing windows, doors and a concrete floor. He had plans to do the doors and windows himself and to try and get a contractor in to do the concrete after the shed was built, but changed his mind once he realised how much longer it was going to take before we could actually use the shed. The concrete would have ended up costing the same, if not more, and there wasn't really any savings to be had by doing the other bits himself.

Now the boundaries were a whole other kettle of fish. (On another note, why would you put fish in a kettle? Wouldn't that make the tea taste weird?) We managed to find three survey pegs, all on the same fence line, but there were no others to be found anywhere. Using the measurements on the plan we had, we worked out that, with the exception of the one with the survey pegs, none of the fences are in the right position. In other words, there are seven sections of fence and only two are in the right place. Yes, we are arranging for a surveyor to re-peg the whole block. Apparently, he may be able to fit us in around February of next year, unless he has a cancellation, happens to be in the right area at the time of the cancellation, we can part pay him in advance and his stars are in alignment but only if Mercury is in retrograde with a solar eclipse due exactly 24 hours from the cancellation. I did offer the down payment of a child or alternatively a limb, but surprisingly enough, he seems to prefer Australian currency. Weird people, these country folk! (No lynch mobs please ... I'm just kidding!)

While Peter and I were tearing our hair out trying to work out angles and linear measurements from an infinitesimal copy of a copy of the title plan, Alex and Brad went off to explore the lakes behind the block. 'The lakes' is an overly optimistic term as I believe 'disgustingly goopy clay mud flats' would be more appropriate. I believe the exact words I said to them before they left were "Go and explore around the lakes. Don't step in the bits that have nothing growing on them 'cos you'll probably sink." Of course, in kid-speak that means 'step in every part that doesn't have anything growing on it, sink about 5 inches into the disgustingly goopy clay mud before panicking and running through the only true water puddle for kilometres, thereby drenching yourself, and then come running back to the car expecting to get in, looking like some abominable mud creature threw up on your shoes and the bottom half of your body. Oh and then complain about how you now have no shoes to wear and your feet are cold.' Peter's response? "That's what the block is for .. to get dirty!" Then in the next breath .. "You're not getting in my car looking like that!"

All in all, a great weekend had by all especially the boys. They even voluntarily got wet and dirty riding around in the rain on Sunday and there were no complaints! I did check the back of their necks for marks left by the alien body invaders, but there was too much mud to see clearly. The trip home was uneventful as well but they soon reverted to form this morning with Alex and Brad coming to blows over a Wii game. Some things never change!