Wednesday, November 02, 2011

Something something

Some miscellaneous ramblings. In point form because that's how my brain is working these days.

- There are only two months of the year left. How on earth did that happen?

- Today I start my new job. Got here nice and early and am waiting for my colleague/boss to arrive to show me the ropes. Too eager!

- It helped that there is a stop work meeting at school today. The kids don't start until 11am.

- Speaking of school, we had our biannual fete on Saturday. A great effort and wonderful but tiring day. Lots of money counting since I'm the treasurer of the P&C.

- I'm still going to TAFE one day a week. There are only about 4 or 5 weeks left and then I'll get my Certificate. Joy!

- Yesterday we learnt about impedance and the effect frequency has on it in RCL circuits.

- We still haven't done enough soldering though, in my opinion.

- During the last school holidays we went on a family trip to Hong Kong! It was awesome. Kids were great (mostly) and loved it.

- We did an awful amount of shopping there! Lego, soft toys, clothes. Had to buy a bag to bring it home again.

- In August I ran the City2Surf for the second time ever. I was pretty pleased with my result! 84 minutes, down from 103 last year. Or something like that.

- I've not done any real running or training since then though! So lazy.

- And I went down to Melbourne to Craft Camp at the end of that month. It was absolutely wonderful. Inspiring people and sewing.

- I was so inspired I bought an overlocker. My birthday present from two years ago. (I never got around to choosing one at the time).

- I miss writing on this blog. These days you can find me hanging around Twitter more than anywhere else.

- I miss having a computer to sit at that's all my own and easy to access. My iPhone has become a (limited) substitute.

- Hmm. Hungry now. That will be all for the time being. Maybe I'll see you again another day soon.

- I might even post some pictures :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

A fresh start

Today is my first (week) day being unemployed. Yep. In the blink of an eye my 12 weeks' redeployment period has ended and my employment has ceased.

I have to admit that I was a bit of a mess last week. Especially my last day, Friday. I hadn't told many people that I was leaving - you'd think my boss would have kept track but he came to see me at 10am asking what was happening. Competence in action, huh? (A colleague told me that I should be careful not to "burn my bridges" but if I can't be frank on this here blog then where can I?) I was in a state of constantly being on the edge of tears - and all too often slipped off that edge, mostly at inopportune moments unfortunately. My closest colleagues brought in cake and we had a small afternoon tea. I went around and said 'bye to a few of the nicer people in the building and sent an email to the rest around 3pm.

I was exhausted by the end of the day - the stress of the last several months, weeks and days was draining. I got home and Dan mentioned an email that one of our best friends had sent to a mailing list of IT folk in the Uni. It was so incredibly sweet - I'd already cried when I read it that afternoon but just having it brought up again when I was trying so hard to be composed in front of the kids and my parents caused me to break down and I had to go to another room for a good hard sob.

After that, the weekend seemed to improve. Saturday I did NO housework. Just sat around crocheting. And the usual running around with the kids for their Saturday activities. Sunday was Dan's birthday. I bought him a new computer (27" iMac - yay for spending my redundancy money before it arrives) and we went out to yum cha with his mum and sister and her husband. The afternoon was spent chatting and eating cake with my brothers and co. who were at my parents' place for the usual fortnightly tennis day. It was all very pleasant. To top it off I dragged my mother-in-law (twisted her arm, I did) to Spotlight and bought a bunch of threads (floss) for this cross-stitch pattern which I am excited about starting.

And there it is... Excited. I realised after that craft supply top-up that I wasn't sad any more. Well, still a little sad but not crying and moaning and upset any more. I am starting to get excited. I'm making plans, to do lists, thinking about the future. Thinking about craft projects that I may actually complete in a timely fashion. Thinking about cleaning up the house, sorting and de-cluttering. Spending time with the kids. More time with the kids. Reading books. Writing! I feel like a weight has finally lifted.

Of course I will probably have to go back to work at some point in time, even if it's just to satisfy the lego habit, but for now I'm happy to be a stay-at-home-most-of-the-time (still going to TAFE one day a week) mum. Happy. It's a nice feeling.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Extreme knitting

I spent a good chunk of the weekend knitting, trying to finish a cardigan for Elora. And then this morning I was sent the following... All I can say is "Wow!".

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

The end of Easter

Our incredibly long Long Weekend has drawn to a close and it's back to work for me tomorrow - Dan and the kids still have another day off.

The holiday has been almost epic in its length, or apparent length! The kids have been on school holidays for nearly three weeks. And we've done so much. A trip to the Australian Museum, the Royal Easter Show, birthday parties, play dates... Jam packed, I tells ya!

I hope I'll get a chance to write more about it in the next short while. There are certainly a lot of photos to be processed and uploaded.

But today I think I'll just leave with a thought from a friend. A bit of a philosophy of life, and a good one I might add. Especially now that I'm a little bit out of my "job funk"... I actually finished my resume last week. At long last.

And thus I write:

Don't judge your success by what you haven't achieved.

I need to practise this quite a bit more!

Photo of the sunrise over our local park, earlier this month.

Thursday, March 17, 2011


Tomorrow my first born turns ten. Double digits! I'm in shock.

Tonight at dinner I looked across at my three munchkins and was shocked by how big and grown up they have suddenly become.

Elora turned four last month. She started preschool this year and is loving it, with only a couple of clingy days in the first week. She has her little group of friends, loves to go to music and the library and has such an incredible understanding of everything that goes on. She is observant and a little bit bossy, a little "mother" at times. Nearly as tall as her next brother. Smart, funny and gorgeous as all hell. I know we will be fighting off the boys when she is older. Or maybe her brothers will do that. In any case, it has already begun. The other day when I dropped her off she was almost immediately surrounded by three little blonde boys and yesterday she informed us that Matthew is her boyfriend.

Atti turned six at the end of January and is now a big Year One kid, loving school (with a terrific teacher once more). He is reading everything in sight and asking for more challenging maths problems. Our boy with hidden talents is coming out of his shell, academically speaking.

And that ten year old I mentioned earlier. Dante. He's only half a head shorter than me. Working hard this year with the prospect of high school looming not too far off in the future. Struggling with his emotions, causing me to struggle with mine (especially my patience, wearing thin lately). He talks and thinks like a typical teenager, to a certain extent. Or perhaps he just talks back. At times he causes me unbearable pain, somewhat like he did all those years ago in that labour room with the wood panelling and the hospital bed. (Room number 8, I recall. Lucky in Chinese.) At times, in all honesty, I just want to send him away to boarding school.

And yet at other times, I am bursting with pride at how clever he can be. Mature, gentle and calm. Patient, caring and helpful. Not always at home around me, but at school and around others. I want the world for that boy. I want him to succeed and be happy and everything a parent wants for their child. I want it more than anything because of his potential. I don't want him to waste his talents. Am I projecting my own regrets into him? Of course. Because I have the benefit of hindsight. I just hope that he'll appreciate it one day.

Monday, March 07, 2011


I've always been a bit of a world champion when it comes to putting things off. Seriously. My entire life I've never been able to shake this undesirable trait.

But I feel like today, this week, this month, it's getting a bit ridiculous. I've been trying to write my resume for four weeks now. At least. I have a shell but no details. The clock is ticking. I have ten weeks to find a new job.

Normally when I have something that big and important I find other more interesting big and urgent things to do. Like sewing quilts or knitting booties for newly arrived babies. Or any other craft.

However I'm so deep into my procrastination rut that I'm even putting off the fun stuff. Instead this weekend I did laundry. Every single item of dirty clothing or bedding washed, hung out to dry, folded and put away in cupboards. All in two days. Unprecedented.

The kitchen is clean. Dishes done and put away. I have even done the dishes from tonight already.

I rearranged some furniture in Elora's room. I vacuumed. I ironed. The house would be spotless if it wasn't for the very busy, very chaotic, very efficient little munchkins who reside in the house. And their three cousins who visited yesterday (but they did all get along so marvellously while they created havoc).

At least it's productive procrastination, right? Maybe I'll get onto the resume tomorrow.

Monday, February 14, 2011


This is my new home on Tuesdays for the rest of the year.

It is Building L at the TAFE Sydney Institute. The carving above the entrance says "Engineering".

I have enrolled in a Certificate II in Electronics!

Eight hours a week for one year. The "two" part of the title indicates how complex a course it is. This one has no prerequisites and few hours. It's not too involved!

Last week was our first day. Basic atomic structure and electrical properties in the morning and OH&S in the workshop in the afternoon. Pretty dry but a good easy introduction to get my brain in gear again. It's been nearly twenty years since I did any of that theory!

Gawd, I sound old. I feel it a bit. A couple of the kids in the class (and there's only six of us!) are fresh out of school. I'm nearly old enough to be their mother. They are certainly closer to my own kids' ages than mine! Eek. I think I'd better get off that train of thought. It can only lead to despair. Well, not despair, but something unhappy!

The hands on stuff in the workshop was good though, if a little scary. I would say that I have a "healthy respect" for electricity, especially after all the teacher's terrifying "anecdotes". It was great to finally get my hands on the equipment I've seen used every day in the mechanical workshop at my work!

So why electronics? I've been getting that question a lot.

Definitely fueled by work. Our electronics guy retired at the start of the year but before he left I started contemplating the possibility of taking on his role, or some of it. It turns out my work is looking for an "advanced" electronics person so I don't come close to fitting the bill (unfortunately) but the seed was planted.

My eldest brother always tinkered in electronics (how many boys do you know with oscilloscopes in their bedrooms) and eventually became an electrical engineer. I like to think (and hope) that some of that skill rubbed off onto me, and plus, it makes me think of him. I still miss him, after 12 years.

I was also inspired by another woman at Uni working in IT who did this course a few years ago. She told me about it with such relish that I never forgot it, and decided that if Jenny (that was also her name) could go do Electronics at TAFE then so could I. Perhaps I should email her to let her know how she inspired me. Perhaps I'll wait until I'm doing well enough to know that I won't flunk it!

Anyway, that's one of the many things that I've been up to of late. Getting my learnin' hat on. Gotta start somewhere!

Friday, February 11, 2011

Caught in the headlights

We are well into the new year already! Both 2011 and the Chinese Year of the Rabbit. It's my year this year. Jen the bunny. Turning a multiple of 12.

I feel a bit like a rabbit, lately. Caught in the headlights. Frozen in fear, trepidation, anxiety, worry, stress. You've heard me go on about it before. My life is still in limbo. My father's illness. Work (or impending lack of work) stress. Raising three boisterous children. Every day I think about blog posts to write, things I want to share or get off my chest. And the words, they appear in my mind and then flutter away before I can do anything with them. It makes me sad - I love to write and create - but I just haven't been in the write headspace for it.

Things are gonna change, though. I've found a new iPhone app called "blogpress". Allows me to write and save drafts locally and online. I could just use the regular blogger interface but this one seems a lot more user friendly, plus the font size is much kinder to my deteriorating eyesight (which is not really that bad, thank you very much). The main advantage is that I can now write anywhere, anytime because I carry my iPhone with me everywhere. So if a thought occurs to me while I'm in a lift or on the loo (is that too gross?) I can write it down straight away. A big bonus, in my books.

So expect more posts from me in the near future. There's been a lot going on and I want to write about it!