Tag Archive: child

Well we did it. The kids and I moved things around, created a space and organised the gym equipment in the garage into something approaching usability. We did this just before we rushed out the door to look for cheap, second hand, wooden picture frames that we could transform into paper making frames. Because I can’t just keep making soap constantly, much as I’d like to. Already I have a huge wire basket in my office, filled with Lemon Tea Soap and round cakes of Cinnamon Soap, coloured a reddish-pink with paprika oil. Then on the stove-top, large, rose-shaped cakes of Pure White Soap, sit on a wooden plate and next to them, the same soap but in a simpler, round shape. Stamped with my first acrylic stamp.

Tucked away in the laundry cupboard, I have the first and second soaps I made. The Peppermint and Eucalyptus and the Pure Oatmeal. 

So you see, if I make any more I’ll run completely out of space. Luckily there are only a couple of weeks to go before my first one is cured and ready to use. For other people to use. Because I’ve actually already started to use it and I completely love it. It makes my skin feel luxuriously soft and smooth and it lathers and bubbles so satisfyingly in the shower. The only change I’ve made in subsequent soap recipes, is to the proportions of oils, to reduce any ‘squeaky-clean’ sensation after I dry my skin. Altogether though, I’m completely hooked.

So. Paper making. I was looking at wrapping and packaging, with a view to Christmas gifts and things and I came across some eco-packaging, which I liked the look of. From there to DIY paper making was only a few clicks of the touchpad and I was fired with enthusiasm.

We stopped at an art shop, where Zac chose an air-drying clay set to play with and then at a couple of Op shops (charity shops) and bought some cheap wooden picture frames.

Later, we all sat on the tiled floor and, while the kids made clay figures and stories to match, Andy and I hammered and glued window mesh onto the backs of the frames. After I’d removed the glass and backings of course.

I used super glue and was careless…. I glued my finger and thumb together in the ‘OK’ position and then could not pry them apart. At first it was funny, oh how we laughed, but panic ensued when I truly couldn’t unstick them, not with methylated spirits or vinegar. Andy suggested hot water but I burnt my fingers and stopped quickly. Then he suggested cutting them and I decided not to listen to his advice anymore, though I did pick up the scissors….

In the midst of all of this and while we were still laughing, albeit with an edge of desperation in my case, Zac quietly went to the bathroom and filled the basin with warm water. He came and got me, and with much gentle and earnest reassurance, led me to it and instructed me to submerge my hand. I knew it wouldn’t work, hadn’t I already tried hot water?, but I was touched by his care, so I did it. Then he turned on the hot tap. “It’s going to be okay Mummy, just tell me when this gets too hot, alright?” I nodded, smiling at my beautiful, beautiful boy and then, lo and behold, it worked! He was so proud and I was relieved.

It was too late to make paper by the time we’d finished making the frames and having dinner but, before I came to bed tonight, I shredded some paper and put it in a bucket to soak and pulp overnight. I’m using white paper for this first experiment but after this, I’ll be recycling all sorts of paper. I can’t wait!

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Creating our World

Today, meeting the second of two new clients, I realised something about my supervisor.

It’s part of her job to liase between the people who need our services and the people who provide the service, and what I realised, is just how great she is at her job. Apart from giving me the information I need in order that I can do my job in the best way possible, she also makes sure she tells me something positive about each client. It might be how friendly they are, or how accommodating they’ve been. She might say “I think you’ll like them, they’re really lovely” and in turn, she tells them them positive things about me too.

It means that when I turn up at their home, we’re already pre-disposed to liking each other, which for me, means that the work feels easier and for them, makes it easier to have a stranger in their home. It’s something I really appreciate about her. When I mentioned it to her, she thanked me but said she would hope that it isn’t so out of the ordinary, that she’s really just doing what anyone else would do. But I know better.

Not everyone uses their words to create warmth and connection. What she does is out of the ordinary and it makes a difference to the people she comes into contact with. I’m very glad I get to work with her.

Driving to work, I had to stop and take a photo, it was such a beautiful day. Sunny and cool, and I got to drive along a long, winding, wooded road, listening to music.

Not another car to be seen.

Not another car to be seen.


Sports night tonight, for Sam and Andy, in a town an hour and a half away, so Zac and I played hide and seek a little, watched tv a little and snuggled a little. Then we had crumbed fish, wedges and a spinach and cherry tomato salad for dinner.

Tomatoes from our garden :-)

Tomatoes from our garden 🙂


That’s Day 7 of the ‘Posting my evening meal every night for a week’ Challenge. Time for something new.

I’m thinking perhaps to post whatever exercise I do this week instead. Day 1 tomorrow 🙂

Nourishing Our Space

Anyone who has lived with me will know that the road between me and mess is a short, oft-traversed one. It’s not that I don’t enjoy it when things are neat, or that I don’t tidy and clean, it’s just that I make the mess faster than I can tidy it up.

I think it’s that I’m easily distracted. I want to try things out and so I begin new things before I finish the last. Think kids at play, pulling out toy after toy as the mother stands behind them putting things back into the cupboard and you’ll get the general idea.

As we speak, I have a half-crocheted beanie sitting on the coffee table with a pile of three books. I can’t crochet but I saw a dress made from doilies and it looked so interesting that I started to look online for batches of them. Then I started to wonder how hard it was really, to just make them? The next day, after a trip to Spotlight, I was the proud owner of a crochet hook and a colourful ball of yarn. I spent a few hours over the course of the next few days, watching Youtube videos on how to make doilies and then, when mine turned out looking like a beautiful spider’s web, I decided to make it into a beanie instead. I put it next to my chair to do later…..

In my office there’s a cardboard box with a whole little scene, like the set of a play, inside it. I like miniature things and I like making things. Ta dah! I decided to build a tiny scene and then take pictures of it with an ipod set up on a tripod. So I did and it was fun, now it languishes until I can think of something else to do with it. On my desk, there’s a half-written novel, a guitar book sits next to my chair, or it did. It was recently moved to make way for the vacuum cleaner.

I’m not as messy as I used to be but knowing my limitations in this area, I keep looking for ways to improve it.

We have a timer in the shape of a hamburger that we use to do short blitzes. We made the ‘command centre’ in the laundry, to hang schoolbags and keep track of our weeks and various other tricky things. The boys would rather do anything else in the world than help to keep our house tidy but for the most part, they’re uncomplaining apart from the exaggerated shoulder slump. Sam’s a trouper usually but he’s a teenager now and it’s becoming harder to motivate him. So today’s conversation was about ‘nourishing our space’.

I have no idea where I plucked this particular phrase from but I like it.. We have a long weekend this weekend, so we’ve decided to balance our time between doing fun activities and giving attention to the place we live in, or ‘nourishing our space’. I should mention at this stage that Andy is already really good at this. He moves around the house and garden smoothly, easily, picking up, improving, making better, all the time.

We started in the garden, which Zac thought was the perfect time to try on the morphsuit he hasn’t worn for months……


Zac and his Morphsuit to the rescue!

Zac and his Morphsuit to the rescue!


Sam whipper snipping the veg garden.

Sam whipper snipping the veg garden.

Andy hanging out the washing. Handsome huh? :-)

Andy hanging out the washing. Handsome huh? 🙂

We got lots done. Windows cleaned, guinea pig cages cleaned and stocked with food and hay, vacuuming, car cleaned and polished, Andy put a mirror on the wall, washing. There was much activity and still time to relax and drink coffee, watch tv etc.

Then I made dinner and that deserves its own post because…..YUM! 🙂






So, Today Is Mother’s Day

“No it isn’t”

Yes. Yes it is. Tomorrow Andy and Sam will be far from home, playing more sport and they decided collectively that instead of missing out or panicking to rush home for the last hours of the day, that we’d have Mother’s Day a day early.

In fact, for me, Mother’s Day began even earlier than that.

Friday afternoon there were no computers, video games or ipads in evidence. We sat together while they practised guitar, we talked, hugged, created games to play over dinner and were generally present with each other. At dinner, we ate and played a game which probably already has a name but which I’m going to call Persuasion, since it was designed  after doing persuasive text stuff with Zac.

We wrote statements on pieces of paper, folded them, put them in a bowl and then while we ate, chose them one at a time, randomly. Zac and I were one team, Sam and Andy the other and the idea was for one side to be ‘for’ and the other ‘against’ the statement, whatever it might be.

They included ‘The Moon Actually Is Made Of Cheese’, ‘Dinosaurs Aren’t Real’, ‘The World Is Actually Flat’, and ‘Football Was Invented By Hedgehogs’.

It was all fun and games until Zac accidentally put tabasco sauce in his eye and the debate came to an abrupt end….

He was fine after a thorough eye rinse and hand wash and the rest of the evening was gentle and nice.

Then this morning, I was woken by both my boys and led, eyes closed, to the table. When I opened my eyes, it was to see the three of them smiling and a table laden with beautiful fruit, steaming mugs of coffee, fresh juice and various pastries. I knew Andy must have got up early and gone shopping.

The little bowls in front of each place were the beautiful blue and orange ones I’d seen and loved a few days ago.


The date's wrong, obviously...

The date’s wrong, obviously…

Zac brought out the presents he’d bought at the mother’s day stall at school, a pretty bookmark and some bath balls and after breakfast, they ran me a bath and left me to relax and sing until I felt like getting out.

In a few minutes, we’ll take a drive to a restaurant by the water and have lunch.

Today I am the luckiest woman on earth. Thank you family. I love you.

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