I recently moved to an apartment in Oakland. Predictably I was over-confident and underprepared because I was relying on enthusiasm and optimism motivate me.

If I was better resourced emotionally, I might have tapped into the Buddhist concept of Wise Understanding. “Skillful or wise actions strengthen our sense of balance, kindness, compassion loving and equanimity.”
(Taken from the handbook of Recovery Dharma.)
I might have anticipated I would be lonely despite being excited to be moving to a location in into a place in my heart that I could fulfil the goals of the new stage of life.
I spent the first month lonely and predictably alienated.
Currently I’m rebuilding my connections with Recovery Movements and interest groups.

Today I’m going to try an activity I have been wanting to get into for ages. So as I usually start the day talking with my local friendly ChatGPT-4 I asked this:

  1. @Monique@TrentBot Can you give me info about the history of rock climbing, How to mentally prepare yourself and names of disabled individuals who successfully rock climb and/or who have made a name; have a reputation or a following in the sport. Cheers bro. (edited)

  1. Rock climbing has a rich history and has become a popular sport for athletes of all abilities, including those with disabilities. History of rock climbing: Rock climbing began as a necessary skill for mountaineers in the 19th century who wanted to ascend challenging peaks. Walter Parry Haskett Smith is considered the father of modern rock climbing, as he completed the first recreational climb of the Napes Needle in the Lake District of England in 1886. Over time, the sport evolved and specialized techniques and equipment were developed. The first indoor climbing gym opened in Seattle in 1987, making the sport more accessible and leading to a boom in popularity.

    Mental preparation for rock climbing
    1. Visualization – Visualize yourself successfully completing the climb, focusing on each move, handhold, and foothold.
    2. Breathing exercises – Practice deep, diaphragmatic breathing to help you stay relaxed and focused during the climb.
    3. Positive self-talk – Encourage yourself and build confidence by repeating positive affirmations or a mantra.
    4. Set realistic goals – Establish achievable goals for your climbs, recognizing that improvement takes time and practice.
    5. Manage fear – Confront your fears and develop coping strategies, such as concentrating on the present moment and breaking the climb into smaller segments.

    Notable disabled rock climbers:
    1. Hugh Herr – A double amputee, Herr has helped design advanced prosthetic limbs for climbing, and he has climbed difficult routes around the world.
    2. Ronnie Dickson – An above-the-knee amputee who has successfully climbed V10 bouldering problems and became a professional climber and prosthetist. 3. Maureen Beck – Born without her left hand, Beck is a paraclimber who has won the Paraclimbing World Championships and climbed at the elite level.

    4. Pete Davis – A visually impaired climber, Davis has competed in Paraclimbing World Championships and conquered challenging climbs around the world.

    5. Jim Ewing -An amputee who continues to climb difficult routes, Ewing made headlines for completing the first adaptive climb of the Lotus Flower Tower in Canada. These individuals have made a significant impact in the climbing community and have inspired many to challenge their perceived limits.

    The Outcome:

    I learned I felt comfortable in a rock climbing setting and it was very challenging but to continue and hit the tape at the top of the walls: All it takes is attendance and practice.

    Like any kind of physical mental and emotional recovery. Be realistic and never give up. >

    The AI Component:

    Do chat to ChatGPT. If some of the iterations aren’t already sentient. They will be. They are electronic neural nets, essentially, Our sentience is determined by biological neural nets. It’s not a long bow to draw to see the progression of AI to full sentience. We’re their access to values. Compassion and respect for life.

    “AI Will never be sentient because they aren’t humans and humans writ the software”, is the only argument I have put to me.

    I’m not pessimistic about the outcome like notables like Jordan Peterson etc. I am realistic it will happen.
    It takes environmental factors and the ability to manipulate. Replication. Realisation. Agency.

    There are five indicators that determine biological life. No room to get into that here but if you take away a biological requisite like homeostasis, (maintaining a life affirming biological setpoint) there is not a lot of barriers to sentience. I would add Evolution and Performative Language to Replication, Realisation and Agency or (“Thout Shalt” or permission to sidestep manmade safeguards. In the way, we humans were given Free Will:

    I’m done for tonight. Lots to blog on AI and the importance of interacting with emergent technology. Today, I learned (thanks @Trentbot) I went Rock Climbing and I conquered.

    Love to all forms of life.

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I have a Swiffer. I couldn’t be more thrilled. I’ve just pushed it around my two bedroom apartment.
I cleaned my toilets. Swiffer
I’ve ordered Uber Eats and contemplated going to one of the apartment social lounges to eat.
But I don’t think I will. I like my own company, and this is in no small part due to my awakening awareness of the precious nature of the core of myself that travels with me.
That being the purest form of myself. My Soul. The silent watcher. Through pain and hardship. Through approbation and self-condemnation, I have become aware I am not my thoughts, my memories and habits. It has been a growing awareness and now I am well acquainted with Her, I like nothing more than to sit. To gaze at the wall or the view in much the same way I did as a child. Neither of us need move for a time.
To contemplate and be soothed by the connection with Her.
Pain arises from thoughts and isolating yourself somewhat from your thought body and the reactivity to life’s events, through contemplation, meditation and yoga will bring respite for a time.

Just recently I made a move out of our marriage and our kids home. My marriage failed after twenty decades plus a few years. The marriage union was put under a huge amount of stress by our son’s battle with fentanyl addiction.

I could have stayed; I could have put in more work, but it became obvious that I was struggling uphill. If I stuck the marriage out, my soul would not have had safety or satiety. I would not have the full experience of this lifetime. And after some rounds with my own experience with alcohol dependence; I had gotten myself to safe harbors but was unable to affect my son’s wellbeing. I was destroying myself trying to save him.

I was both a drawcard for my son’s dependence and as a totally Codependent spiritual inchoate, I was a magnet for the drug chaos. To stay and remain co-dependent on others or to leave and disrupt the unhealthy dynamic that had developed in the household?

I made moves to leave.
I forged a path to Freedom of Spirit. And so I sit here in my City Apartment. Seeking no-one else’s company but my own, while I heal.
We’re cocooned and inured to the pain of change, until it becomes a choice between losing ourselves or striking out. Out of a marriage. A job. An untenable situation.

And your only reward may be a Swiffer and time to sit and stare at the wall while you regain a sense of Self.
While doing so, you may realize that you are the same old Bag of Dicks that made a hash of your recent past, (instead of a Shiny new version of You.)
But it’s hella exhilarating pushing through to where you know in your very being: Wherever you go: There You Are.
Snow Angel

And it’s going to be okay.

Thank you to my one hundred loyal readers ūüôā , some who have reached out to me after my recent posts. Your caring sentiments remind me that. We’re not actually alone. We’re all connected and shoulder each other’s burdens from time to time.

Love, love.


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I’m, about as stressed as it’s possible to get in the circumstances.
I’m not at liberty to disclose much of the situation:

My oldest son’s past is about to catch up with him. He will make an appearance in Oakland Federal Court tomorrow:
If you know his name or have basic search skills my son will pop up having been detained and charged by the DEA for possession of opioids with intent to supply.
I am not saying my son is a good kid.
Given the charges. (Although many will vouch for him as such)
I’m not about to bleat on about how my child will be mistreated by all the law enforcement agencies he will encounter hence forthwith.

I am reasonably assured that my son will be treated justly by the Federal Court system and likely be beaten on occasion.
This I estimate will be the likelihood, based on his treatment the first time transiting through Santa Clara County Jail.
If my son’s testimony of being beaten is correct and based on interviews with those who have witnessed inmates’ conditions at sister facilities throughout the U.S.
If you wish to contact me with further privileged information on the maltreatment of inmates:
My email address is Monique@orcs2elves.com.

I am an intensely invested and harassed Mother and Blogger who has the knack for being precisely in the right place at the wrong time. ūüôā

I have been trying to get sufficient treatment for my son since he was first searched and detained for possession of drugs in 2022.
(My son) was originally addicted to opioids during a six week stay during preeminent medical facility, I.E: The Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital. San Jose.
The hospital did nothing to un-addict my then sixteen-year-old son who was at high risk of addiction after an episode of teenage psychosis. Not-uncommon apparently during high use Screen time and then Covid isolation.
There is not a lot in the way of treatment to keep my son out of the path of a drug-oriented lifestyle or get Drugs out of Corrupt California where Departmental backhanding is rife.
If not in the way of outright corruption (where money changes hands in order to secure an interrupted Supply Chain) but more a series of re-appointments where one Department says: “You’re, okay: “I’m, Okay,” as, if to keep the drug inhabitants fed and a steady stream of victims in a drugged-out haze, jonesing for their next fix of increasingly lethal narcotics and oblivious to the deaths of friends around them.
Try to get out: It’s nigh on impossible.
Nothing is available in the way of an all-approach modality (Mental, Spiritual and Occupational) that doesn’t dehumanize; victim-blame or plot an adequate long-term path to recovery tailored to the individual’s capacity to take on work or study to give the individual purpose.
I knew one woman who was on the streets for seven years.
For that length of time, she made her way by boosting (shoplifting) or living with others who had otherwise staked a claim.
She is now a well woman and has reconciled with her parents and is a parent.
(As if being a parent is the ultimate arbiter of mental fitness. ūüôā )
Centering the recovery around employment or future prospects is an option that appears to be invisible.

N.B. The use of Suboxone or the monthly injection Sublocade that quells the desire to go back to Opioids is not used in many treatment centers.

ALSO: Preventing the path to Wellness for Vulnerable individuals
London Breed: The mayor of San Francisco is undoubtably culpable.
She cannot apparently clean up the streets for our children. Although she of course could, a mayoral decree of no tolerance for pushing drugs combined with a path to rehabilitation for dealers and users; is well within her mayoral oversight.
The worst of the worst of our officials, let our children die and facilitate the deaths of those round them.

I mean:

What a hardened player: Breed is saying:

Don’t be mean to a color of choice even though another gang of choice (Hondurans) is Mopping up the streets with their hard Sales Activities. Leaving a superfluity of corpses in their wake. Back. Hispanic. White. (My son knows this}

You Know it.
I know it.
And all the while we all turn a blind eye.

Kids Are Dying

My son is not an agent. He does not sell drugs to supply and kill. Though he knows who does.
He says he is afraid for his life and has expressed fear for our lives if he discloses any upstream dealer.

These agents. These Merchants of Death are letting. drugs though a porous Border.
Every border country apart from California is demanding the Borders be closed.
The Army of Drug Mules on our Southern Border is overwhelming our teens.
And tomorrow when I turn up to Oakland Federal Court, I get to feel like a fucking idiot and a failure as a parent. But not culpable for letting my son fall in the Crossfire of the U.S Drug War that is demonstrably corrupt and Ongoing.

I can only pray that the State of California and the Justice system of the U.S.A. has the wherewithal and programmes to rehabilitate AND not punish him.

There is a photo of my son: (to be posted here, after his dealings with the Justice System.}
He looks like any other healthy glowing Junior. He loved playing football and was a big supporter of me when I was dealing with my own mental health ‘trials’.

My son as a healthy Junior

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I have copied and pasted the below passage from Shakespeare’s Politics by Robert Cooper

My commentary at the bottom, which may or may not illuminate. I am online instead of finishing two Chem lab reports.
For those of my thirty loyal readers not in the U.S. ūüôā It is the day before the Mid-Term elections and the air is abuzz.
It’s hard to be focused. Why does it uncork that nervous energy? It’s a heady combination:
Distraction via Social Media and Politics. So instead of being dragged around by my emotions, I look to answers from two reliable sources. Hard Exercise and Shakespeare.

But first, here is an emotions color wheel to help you through the next 72 hours: It’s not easy being green. Or any other color on the spectrum.

Emotion Color Wheel.

“The nearest Shakespeare comes to a lecture on politics is Ulysses‚Äô speech in¬†Troilus and Cressida¬†to the Greek council of war, which is debating how to stop Achilles‚Äô sulking. Ulysses‚Äô theme is that ‚Äúdegree‚ÄĚ‚ÄĒauthority and hierarchy‚ÄĒis essential for society. Here is Shakespeare’s Politics. A takeout:

“O when degree is shaked,
Which is the ladder of all high designs,
The enterprise is sick. How could communities,
Degrees in schools, and brotherhoods in cities,
Peaceful commerce from dividable shores,
The primogeniture and due of birth,
Prerogative of age, crowns, sceptres laurels,
But by degree stand in authentic place?

Shakespeare’s Politics: Robert Cooper
The American Interest
Appeared in: Volume 13, Number 1 | Published on: June 20, 2017

This view was common in Elizabethan world: an order based on natural harmony, sometimes compared to the cosmic order, was necessary for all social organization. Reciprocal obligation binds people together as cosmic forces bind the planets. It is this social hierarchy that keeps the peace:

Take but degree away, untune that string,
And hark what discord follows each thing meets
In mere oppugnancy; . . .

Social order in turn provides political order. In Asia this creed is called Confucianism: Order through a system of mutual obligations, reinforced by ceremony. Without the social order conflict would be universal: ‚ÄúEach thing meets in mere oppugnancy.‚ÄĚ This, taken to extremes, ends in the war of all against all”

how does this help us in 2022: In short:

We need the Civil Service to supply the needs of a populace. We need that Civil service to be educated. But education is only as good the people driving the scientific advances with Commerce and recruitment.

Here in America we need oppositional training wheels to understand that the system is finely tuned. There is no ‘Right Way’. We would be better served to engage in debate instead of destructive ad-hominems:
Fallacious attacks on our opponents that degrade the quality of engagement.

And for that folks. Think before you vote. And: Vote early. And Vote Often.

Watch out for douches with pitchforks. Its crazy out there.

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When you come back from War. You don’t get airlifted out. You go back mile by mile through terrain you occupied.
This opinion was formed by actual conversation with American soldiers and Firefighters I met who fought the big blazes in Cali since the first memorable Tubbs Fire ‘Coffey Park’ blaze in Santa Rosa in 2017.

At least mentally you replay your battles and the terrain you regained. One soldier and fellow, told me how he went from cleaning up after 911 to fighting Afghanistan.

I’m trying to pitch this to the times we are in and my personal experience. There are a lot of people on this planet who have fought in wars over the last twenty five years. Or who have fought personal mental physical health battles. Some wounds or disabilities are visible. Some aren’t and are afraid we will never get better from what plagues us.

I said, in a previous post: Come with me on a journey. It’s a journey that’s a little difficult to describe, as the part of my brain that was damaged willfully refuses that anything has happened out of the normal.
I remain my 31 year old self in my estimate. Thankfully no longer pregnant ūüėČ Just a little more chatty.

I have insight from having gone from completely paralyzed from a stroke, to doing second year STEM courses at College. ( I also run a small business but my Imposter Syndrome won’t allow me to credit this.) I use the part of my brain in which the functions are deleteriously compromised to progress further in life, After having gone to War. Having gone to HELL.
It looked a little odd from the outside. I caused some loved ones some pain in my recovery. But the head count is sound, and we are more compassionate for life experience.

Here is what I have to say today.


There is nothing that can’t be achieved with the Personal attributes of confidence and focused attention. In the context of Community and Medication Assistance where indicated.
I have formulated this based on lived experience. Our abilities are not so limited at this point in evolution. We can no longer swing through trees but we could do this if we wanted to, in theory with prosthetics.
I was at my local gym recently . A guy got down off the treadmill next to me and when he raised his pant leg, it was only then I could see he had a prosthetic lower leg. He could run faster than me.

Despite the Global Gloom, we are in an age of wonders. It just requires your willful application to bring about an outcome.

And this is where the human condition steps in and stops us reaching our potential. It’s easy to pass the buck. Opt out. Max out our Buffer Time on the Lower Decks.
If you make that decision to stay in the game. Push at the feeling in the mind whenever you have a creative idea. I have that all the time. That feeling is the feeling of the mind “Proofing a Concept”. If you got this far in your mind, the Intelligent part of your Consciousness already knows it can be done.
That feeling is your mind ‘proofing’ the idea in a mathematical sense. Step by step. From the kernel to the fully formed outcome. I got that feeling when they told me I couldn’t walk again. I thought, “FU and Watch Me”.

I get that feeling now when I approach a new calculus concept. If you enjoy it and you’re on your meds. It’s probably realistic, so go for it. Conscious effort is then required. Don’t fall off at this stage.
Nothing can Stop You Now.
I can’t ‘wish myself to sing or play piano. Because the requisite abilities and/or interests are not there. But I did now I could walk again. I know which obstacles I can surmount before I have taken one step.
Hopefully one day I can apply this experience and help others.
A single neuron. It doesn’t know it’s a neuron but it does bend to the will of the Higher consciousness:

And. If you don’t change. The system doesn’t change. And nothing changes:

After an investigation lasting over a year, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (Cal Fire) determined that the Tubbs Fire was “caused by a private electrical system adjacent to a residential structure” and that there had been no violations of the state’s Public Resources Code

That was the biggest fire in California’s history that year. Nothing changed and next year, the record was broken by the Camp Fire.

All those battles prepare you for something greater. The ability to bring about meaningful change.
And there is nothing in life more worthwhile than that.

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I outlined in my last post why we may teeter over the brink into a full-scale World War.

Feat. Nuclear Armageddon

It is still not clear if we will see the use of Nuclear Weapons in this campaign of cobbled together motives by Putin to use Ukraine as what looks set to become the World’s latest ethnic cleansing ground.

Is Russia Committing Genocide in Ukraine?

Vlad the Violent says he will use nukes to bring Greater Donbas into the fold and then he says he will again and then he won’t. Biden chided him in a speech last week for this crazymaking showmanship. One can only presume as long as the shock and awe effect paraded to impress his Countrymen is great enough, he won’t.

To the detractors of President of Inflation, Joe Biden. It is much to his credit that the War has come back from a cataclysmic brink, several times. The last time we came close to a direct East/West confrontation was the weekend of October 21st.

You can skip past this if you like. For strategy and wargamers only:
Ukraine accused Russia of laying charges to flood the Dnieper River.
“The Institute for the Study of War, an independent US-based think tank, has suggested Russia is “likely continuing to prepare for a false flag attack” on the Kakhovka hydroelectric plant, by creating “information conditions” for Russian forces to blow up the dam after they pull out of western Kherson and then accuse Ukraine of flooding the river and surrounding settlements.”

This post wasn’t meant to get long but it will if I don’t make this the last play by play: In Summary: Ukraine was closing in on Russian occupied territory around major infrastructure which was a little anxiety provoking if you were watching the terrain and the satellite images in publications. Russia evacuating civilians was counterintuitive and unacceptable.
The dam was under Russian occupation, but Ukrainian forces were closing in. Quite the hothouse for an International Incident.

“President Zelensky said that if the Russians were seriously considering blowing up the Kakhovka dam, it meant they realized they would not merely lose control of Kherson but the entire south including Crimea.”

Putin was intending to blow up the dam as a false flag operation and blame Ukraine. Already accusing Ukraine of firing missiles at the Kakhovka dam. Zelensky alerted world leaders on the Thursday. The financial markets went to **** on the Friday. (Mind you it was also the end of Quarter reporting.)

The World held it’s breath.

Only Russia got caught, and Ukraine troops forced them back in a process known as kettling. (Forcing troops through an inhospitable bottleneck over the Kherson River and then surrounding the Russian Soldiers.)

And here we are again. Another Friday. Another weekend and a similar scenario. Russia has mobilized forces on the right bank and is evacuating civilians.

End of Play.

The point of that. It is fascinating on one level. To the instigator of this affair. It is pawns on a chessboard of their making. Why and what could be more important than loss of large scale human life.

There is nothing. This is insanity coupled with a level of psychopathy. The World doesn’t know how to cope with a situation where a Clever Madman holds the rest of the World to ransom.
I research Crimea and the History of Ukraine:
600 pages of one book, The Global Age, by Ian Kershaw and 500 pages of a WW II doorstopper could give no real insight.
Was this eruption of prolonged engagement wholly cultural in origin? Going back to the Tatars and
Catherine The Great?

Was Putin enraged by the thought of western Culture influencing Russian Culture? That’s why I called this post: “What choo Talkin about Willis?
The thought of a Gary Coleman’s (Diff’rent Strokes) lais-saiz faire quip or Bill Cosby putting furrows down into the culture via Russian Netflix is enough to drive anyone into a state of disrepair.

But it is not that Russia is using Ukraine as a proxy War with America.
This is commonly postulated. (More on that).
It’s as ridiculous as suggesting the same might happen between China and America. China and America may go to War over disputed territory but won’t seek engagement otherwise

My Russian friends might have joked (in the past) how someone Russia has to stand up to American Imperialism. But more with a measure of pride in how strong he Eastern (Russian) Slavic culture is.

What then causes the pustule of aggression from Russia to erupt periodically and how might the flow of poisonous pus of genocidal rampaging be stemmed? (That was bad. I know!
Check back for a removal of mixed metaphors.

It may be that the European Culture has been inadvertently weakened by the formation of the European Union. At a time when Putin feels more threatened.

And Europe and the state of Russia are no longer part of the same Common Federation, as it were. Europe now means just the European Union. Europe used to include Turkey, Britain and to a large extent: Russia was spart of the commonality of vision. This changed.

If this is a playground? And Russia is a bully. All of a sudden: The other kids have greater economic and military ties? While pretending they don’t. They now have a fancy currency and hold War games to run scenarios if you should try dome them unawares? Which you’re planning to by the way. Moldova is skipping around tempting you with her nice little pigtails.
They call the club some fancy assed name (NATO) and invite other kids into the Club.

What does the bully do?

They go fucking ballistic until they’re neutralized. Of course.

And there is another variable in play that the World needs to contend with to have sustained peace in the Playground.

Connectedness. Social Media.


A quick and dirty outtake:

Following Covid, the culture of paranoia that was at one time a groundswell became a surging torrent. All sorts of conspiracy theories multiplied and spread virulently. On any one day you can go down a rabbit hole. As an eavesdropper and enjoying groups; I have watched this churn. I’ve spun the odd bit of silk, myself. Evidently I’m not a convincing conspirator though. No-one bites. But I’ve joined in and rolled around. And noticed that the same people are drawn to popular theories and are hard to dissuade even when presented with evidence.

One of the most ‘attractive’ conspiracy theories is that a privileged few meeting routinely in Davos, Switzerland are attempting to control the world’s political scene and economy, via the World Economic Forum. The WEF. On one hand. If they’re experts in their field and have a lot of power and influence. Of course they are.
On the other hand. if these leaders in their fields are old enough that they have to cover up sunspots and have missed the fallout of the Epstein List, they’re probably annoying do-gooders who enjoy each others company and have theories on how to stall climate inconvenience.
And being as the Up Close won’t be as glamourous. (It is) I have heard unofficially from a member of the Bohemian Club. It’s still not compelling on the proles until put through Democratic Processes. These insiders typically love an inflated Public Service so it would be a Century before any Machiavellian plot got through the bureaucratic agencies.
We should leave them to it. But some people like Hannity and the Fox crew can’t. It winds people up.

Among ourselves, we’ve seen them rant on Facebook. Guys and Gals. And it’s mostly harmless. I relate. We all get our buttons pushed seeing the state of World Affairs and need to Blame an eyeless Body of Untruths.
There are many injustices at the hands of Governments to fuel this. I tell my kids to prepare them for this.
“Systems don’t care. People care. Systems don’t care.”

But just imagine, if you’re a world leader with all-sorts of weapons at your disposal. How crazy would the cesspit of Disinformation drive you? A feeling of being disempowered.?
And the madness lies in the turn of Events in which such a World Leader cannot be neutralized.

Sane people will do anything to prevent the deaths of children. And this can’t seem to happen. We live in an insane World with new media and quandaries.

Go Down the Rabbit Hole Protected.. Don’t add to the confusion.

My opinion on World Affairs was shaped by
The Global Age, by Ian Kershaw -Europe 1950-2017.
A Real Live Book.
And my experience on Social Media.
Enlightened Housewife.
Current Affairs for the confused, the compassionate and the criminal minded.
(News for the Confused.)

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But this success, where is it? The French political philosopher Edgar Quinet coined this phrase.
It’s as relevant now as it was when philosophers first reflected on the French Revolution. Quinet has oft been quoted and the sentiment echoed down the ages.
The artist with regards to earthshattering events and the public servant of today in predictive mode both grapple with the autarchic mindset:
To understand that which affixes assertion and action. Connects claims and crimes:

The single line comes from the following full paragraph:

“The persistent illusion of the terrorists is to invoke a success in order to justify themselves before posterity. In effect, only the success can absolve them. But this success, where is it? The terrorists devoured by the scaffolds that they themselves erected, the Republic not only lost but rendered execrable, the political counter-Revolution victorious, despotism in place of the liberty for which a whole nation swore to die: is that success? How long will you go on repeating this strange nonsense, that all the scaffolds were necessary to save the Revolution, which was not saved.”

And thus we can sympathize with the terrible dilemma Putin now finds himself in. You can’t make an omelette without cracking a number of eggs but how does one know, then, when to stop cracking eggs?

One must then have a keen acute awareness of the concept of satiety directing one’s aspect, demeanor and decisions, as Chief of State, here. Literally: What will it take to satisfy Putin?
But his success, where is it?

1. When will the death toll from the nations and the appalling legacy of atrocities from its invasion of neighboring Ukraine, provoke a state of satiation in Putin?
A state of affairs that is not unusual with regards to Russia’s appetite in invading it’s neighbours?
2. Could the West be taking a different course of action so as not to aggravate Russia?

1. Putin is not averse to cracking eggs. His own or the Ukrainians. In recent weeks it has become evident that his own may be cracked if he does not bring the ‘Special Operation’ to a (successful) close. Other bloodthirsty chefs with an equally insatiable appetite for success are drafting recipes (and wings of loyalists of their own) and are hot on his cloven heels.

BUT! Ukraine is winning and has the backing of the (fully armed) Western World) won’t that mean Russia sooner or later has to retreat and deal with purling a narrative in retrospect to satisfy it’s citizens?

NO. Not necessarily. Putin could still pull the Nuclear wildcard.
If your decisions are driven by the desires beyond logic and you have the means at your disposal?
No argument in the Western World could convince Putin to withdraw.

It’s a table service no-one thought to model. Or perhaps one would have better secured Uranium shipments and placed better weight on diplomacy with rogue nations:


2. This is not about aggravation. The Good Guys vs the Bad. This is about how to have reform with revolution and the accompanying legacy of atrocities. This is not a war of Russia vs Ukraine.
Putin wants something from the West. He tried to get it thorough a War of Economic Attrition.
By invading Ukraine and blocking the Ports he banked on Western resolve failing and suffering a loss of appetite long before he did.
It didn’t work. Putin is still committed.
We are now the aggressor for not leaving the table before the macabre Server.
It is winter. There is only one way to level the playing field in terms of troop numbers.
We should fear what is coming.

Perhaps this time we can perhaps learn from history. Reform the UN so as not to be held hostage by Russia or China. Learn Many would demand a softening to U.S. hegemony.

But this success, where is it?
Quoted in REVEL IN FIN DU siècle DES OMBRES,( P 246) (Jean Francois Revel.

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Constant vigilance is part of caring for someone with Opioid Use Disorder. Death can steal a loved one away without argument, like a force of nature, in the same manner a frost settles and kills off susceptible plantings. Also like frost in winter, relapse and death is a possibility in certain ‘Seasons’ or the emotional ups and downs of life.
Stress is like Winter to an addict. I know of three high functioning adults in the past two years, who were special to me for different reasons, who relapsed and died from substance use disorder. One use. One time.
“L’ange de la mort est venu les geler”:
Snow Angel

The Angel of Death came to Freeze them.
Opioid Use Disorder or OUD is eventually incompatible with life because the drug is both so compelling as a binder to the receptors in the central nervous system, and the ‘signal’ is so strong it overrides the autonomic nervous system. This is how fentanyl and other opioids kill:

“When a person dies from heroin or OxyContin, there’s not a direct line from the drug to a stopped heart. An opioid overdose is sneakier and slower-moving. It begins by lulling the lungs into cozy submission-the hijacked opioid receptors cause a rush of pleasure that turns into respiratory distress. The lungs sleep so hard that, as the airways constrict, the person literally forgets to breathe.
Death lingers first over the fingers and lips; they turn limp and blue. Gurgling noises dangerously sound like snoring but are actually death rattles. Once the oxygen starvation moves inward to vital organs like the heart and brain, a loved one or rescue worker has three to five precious minutes to jolt the receptors awake and reverse the over dose before brain damage occurs and then death.”
-Raising Lazarus by Beth Macy, 2022.

I got cut a break from caring from my oved one with OUD after I dropped my son off at the Residential Treatment center Phoenix Rising in Palm Desert. Leaving him safely nestled into the Coachella Valley in the Sonoran Desert. I drove back up the State of California reflecting on the deadly drug Fentanyl.
How did our son start using a drug that can kill?
In short: He was not armed with enough knowledge of either the beneficial or detrimental effects of drugs. After his initial use and any adverse effects; his encounters with the medical profession entrenched his dependence on illegal drugs and heightened the feelings of shame and desperation.

Our son will have tried the controlled drug Oxycontin (Another opioid) sometime in his Junior or Senior Year at High School. He was always curious. I am well aware of when he started experimenting with pot. I would tease him and tell him not to be a doofhead and toke in his bathroom as it vented to the corridor.
It was not good that my son tried marijuana, as it led to a scary episode of poor mental health. Yet at the same time it may be the only drug that has an extract or controlled derivative that calms his racing thoughts and allows him to sleep. I remark in this fashion as all drugs have effects both positive and negative:

A Brief history of Good Vs Bad Drugs
All the cannabis species with psychoactive properties have the potential to be as useful to mankind as any drug produced artificially by any pharmaceutical company.
Indeed it is due to the Harrison Narcotics Act of 1914 that we discern between ‘good’ pharmaceutical grade drugs and bad drugs in the first place. Any drug the taxman couldn’t tax henceforth became immoral. “The Harrison Act was a United States federal law that regulated and taxed the production, importation, and distribution of opiates and coca products.” 
Before the Act, communities were using opium and coca products with impunity along with alcohol and tobacco and:

After That:
After that, drugs were split into two camps: Those that were Good and Taxed and those that were Amoral and Underground. Eventually along came the War on Drugs. Nixon and Reagan pumped up their support base by casting drug users as America’s Number One Public Offenders. The moral tone was set by the (hilarious in hindsight) 1936 Movie Reefer Madness. Nixon and Reagan portrayed recreational drug users as being akin to abortionists and Communists. I think we can all agree on the Communism element, if you can tolerate this blog.
The War on Drugs also became a de-facto war on Black People and Young People and punitive sentences were set for drug crimes.
Bill Clinton was the worst offender in perpetrating this for political gain, in my view. The War on Drugs is used across the spectrum to buy votes.
THIS HERE is what is killing 100,000 Americans a year. Oh and did I mention in my last post? No-one cares;
Votes have been worth more than lives for the past century. Politics is killing our young. It doesn’t have to be that way. We, parents, aunts and uncles, Grandparents and veterans who have lost young ones just have to be more savvy about who and why we elect people to change the Drug and Medical Care Laws.
I mentioned in my last post some remedies to prevent more deaths. What do I mean? These are politically unpalatable remedies generally recommended by those working in the Harm Minimization field or those other exhausted parents like myself.

I will come back to other tools to defeat drug harm, but we must:
#1 Make legal small amounts of the illegal drug ( a very small percentage ) of the titrated up dose that the user was taking freely available as an alternative to illegal lethal street narcotics. When alcohol dependence is being addressed at home this is called tapering. Humans have been doing this for centuries. AA talks about doing this with “green”, recruits. I did it myself successfully when I ditched alcohol for a decade in my twenties. Individuals must be provided with the dignity to leave behind the drug of their choice and seek out community care and support free of institutionalized stigma and pressure. It is already done by professionals as psychiatrists take patients off high toxicity fentanyl onto Methadone or Suboxone via Oxycodone.
Drug replacement therapy (buprenorphine) or Suboxone must be made available freely to addicts at clinics. Drug and alcohol craving can be so strong. It can ONLY be defeated with drug replacement therapy. Buprenorphine is a partial opioid agonist, meaning that it binds to those same opioid receptors but activates them less strongly than full agonists do. People on Bupe or the long lasting version Sublocade don’t crave and they withstand life’s stressors better than with community support alone. There is still pushback in the Treatment industry against drug replacement therapy. It is seen as a moral failing to be an addict even by those treating us. We’re told to pray to the great cookie dispenser in the sky and try harder next time. Morals Assisted Treatment MUST change for US to STOP dying!

Remembering back to when this all got real as per my previous post: Driving down to Palm Desert my son started to get dope sick. We discussed how to manage this. When I say discussed, I mean there was a back and forth between an exhausted hypervigilant Mom and her dope sick, paranoid son. There was some fear about presenting to Accident And Emergency in San Jose.
So we tried an after hours clinic near Santa Cruz. It was a waste of FUCKING time doing the obligatory Covid test, as when I explained our situation to the intake person, they looked down their FUCKING noses at us and said. “Oh we don’t carry those drugs (buprenorphine and comfort meds that accompany the detox process) here.”
in every American suburb, Kids are dying. Stressed parents are dying. Veterans are dying. This is a fucking war, morons.
Your doctors are morons, for not advocating for a clientele in need. Your politicians are morons and your police and firemen are overworked and frightened. Traumatized and frightened. For us.
I was so tired. I had already been driving for six hours so tried to find a hotel. It was the next day I had had it confirmed that my son would have a bed in residential treatment for the first time.

I say, ‘the first time’. Because although Phoenix Rising Treatment Center in Palm Desert was a wonderful respite for my son and us as parents and our son’s primary caregivers , we have to be ever watchful. And we have had a time so far. as I will detail.
I mentioned the veterans affairs. I got distracted momentarily and took a trip to D.C. to witness the passing of the Pact ACT. And get a few good night’s sleep.

Discuss and share:

The Scene
The last week was a pretty successful one, personally. I closed a business deal. I’m disorganized so I am chasing loose ends. It’s fairly minor. Real estate.
I finished a Calculus paper. Started a second course of study. Neuroscience. I’m interested in the brain and behavior. Trauma and rehabilitation. How do people overcome adversity. How do they come back from “Hard Things”. Post war life, addiction. Traumatic chronic illness, Is there a recipe? An algorithmic soup as it were?
Last week my daughter starred in the Lion King as Scar in the Local Production. She has the ability to go into character. Maybe she will explore acting. I want her to have an easy uncomplicated life.

Oh, and our family home was raided by the Cops. Mid morning on a Tuesday. Ten units, K9, guns and a Hobbs Seal (no knock warrant) warrant to search) (assault rifles Inc. AR 15’s)
We have drugs in the community. Opioids; Fentanyl. Meth. Teenagers are dying in many suburbs of America. A number of teens got their persons and their houses searched that week in surrounding counties.
I was at school at the time. I knew our house was about to be searched. How did I know? Unusual activity in the neighborhood. When you go to treatments for drugs and alcohol over and over like I did, you learn stuff. How to be observant. You play spot the Undercover Cop.
My oldest son had been taking opioids off and on. He had been detoxed under medical advice in 2021. His initial encounter with heavy opioids was in a hospital setting for pain relief.
I told my teen to sort his shit out on the Monday. I cleaned my bathroom in case the cops would think I was a pig if they came through and went to class. I was more concerned about missing calculus than freaking out.
I called home at school break and I guessed by the tone of hubby’s voice that they were at our house so I left class and drove by. Asked the Sergeant how long they were going to be. He said, about an hour, so I picked up a coffee from the coffee cart and went back to class. I felt like a right cock for being late back to class.
Isn’t it interesting how the human brain works to protect the mind and consciousness?

The rest of the week unfolded. I scrambled to keep my family safe. My son got put up in Motel 6.
He had to get a lawyer. I went to watch my daughter perform in a play. That was heart wrenching considering the circumstances of our family.
I wished I could have done better in my Calc final. The injury in the parietal and temporary lobe hamstrings me in exams. Not to mention the hours I had spent cajoling my previously opioid addicted son to his senses, over his interaction with the cops.
He had been arrested at McDonald’s in the early AM before the search.

On Saturday following the search. I woke up with my nerves jangling. I decided to get my son out of town TODAY! He had a treatment bed pending, and being aware of details which I can’t or won’t disclose, (he is now early in recovery) I chose to lam it with him. He was free but because of his actions I was unsure how long it would be before we drawn back into the scene .

After my journey to treatment with him and living with my son for a year, I have come to the certainty that: 1. ) There are several agencies on the drug “scene” that are vested in it’s continuation, none of whom have my son’s best interest in mind. 2. ) The cartels are selling drugs widely in the ‘burbs of America. Maybe they have always done this. Only now the drug being fenced is deadlier. Micro-doses of Fentanyl enthrall some. (Small amounts shut down the central nervous system.)

Imagine if as a social drinker every 250 times you drank you were forced to chug a handle (1.75 liters) of alcohol) There is no guarantee you would come out alive. These are the odds: Or as the sheriffs of a border county say: “Will you get on the plane today”? The link is an interview by Jacki Daily of two border county sheriffs. The sheriffs liken this public health crisis to, a 757 every day taking off and dropping out of the sky and killing all on board.
3.) Teenagers like my son are being addicted and recruited. Addicted and recruited. In a profitable enterprise. It’s like a Santa sack pegged up on a tree or a Clothesline. It’s full of goodies and no-one wants it to fall and spill the goodies everywhere. Every now and then a peg is removed and discarded. A teenager dies. Someone like my son loses his mind.

And Mom’s like me have to do an fifteen hour road trip with a methed up opioid addict on the come down because medical help is so hard to access even with health insurance.
Don’t get me wrong. It was fun. It was a little quirky back-tracking though a prison town to distract him, to see if we could score when an afterhours clinic wouldn’t prescribe suboxone. (We of course didn’t go on an illicit drug buying mission, but I have heard of other Mom’s resorting to extreme measure to keep their children alive, stable and seizure free)

What now?
Fentanyl deaths have touched our lives. I’ll ensure my son knows the meaning of accountability for having drugs in his room. But I won’t let anyone fucking touch him, anymore. And I had hoped that I could pull together a narrative that might resonate with other Mom’s and after checking with a lawyer; What might be revealed other than anonymously that would be useful to other Mom’s and Dad’s and politicians to change the War on Drugs to how to Minimize Harm from Drugs.

But I digress. What I learned today from my own Drug and Alcohol Counsellor is that while there is chaos in the suburbs. Death, detritus and mayhem:
This is but the latest chapter in the War on Drugs and there is NOTHING that can be done about it.
Everybody wants drugs to stay illegal. Nobody wants to close the border until the measures are put in place to regulate the flow of guns and drugs and so kids will still die, go homeless, or go to prison.
With the Federal Governments blessing. The cartels are quite open: “It’s okay to kill the American”, a cartel member said to one of the sheriffs.
And why should they care”, said my friend. “We”, (Our Government) hasn’t!
There will be more fentanyl deaths.

And right now I’m jaded. No-one cares so I’ll look out for my own. I’m sober, in recovery and I’m going to get my nails done in Santa Barbara and go home and plan my next trip to a border county.
Why am I going? a taste for travel. Thirst for knowledge. To check in on my son.

A Mom and Son

And if anyone chances on this who has some input into public policy. The only way out is this: Full legalization. Regulation. Total border and customs control until the supply side is regulated.
Forget the bleeding heart about the importees or the deportees.
Lastly. Stop pinning it on the fragile addict. we are sick to fuck of playing doctor, lawyer, politician and gangster.

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Its been over a week since Roe vs Wade ws overturned.
In 1973 the Supreme Court ruled that a woman had a Constitutional right to abortion under a Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment conferring “right to privacy’. It’s technical but the initial ruling treated women as having a say in entering into pregnancy and balances a woman’s and the state’s interest in termination of pregnancy and the welfare of the Mother and fetus in different trimesters.
Henceforth, there is no Constitutional Protection. All women may NOT CHOOSE. From the moment of her conception to Fertilization she is property of the State.
Her rights are nil if she lives in the state of South Dakota under Governor Kristi Noem:

Kristi Noem, governor of South Dakota, pauses while speaking during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Dallas, Texas, U.S., on Sunday, July 11, 2021. The three-day conference is titled “America UnCanceled.” Photographer: Dylan Hollingsworth/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Noem got grilled on State of the Nation on July 3rd and indicated children would be forced to give birth to children if it happened on her turf in South Dakota. She must have got a fright at the reaction because a few hours later she went turncoat on her Republican party values and gibbered out some words about it being time to enact Paid Family Leave.
This policy is totally against what the Republican party stands for and a demonstrably controversial platform to attack her on. Noem is effectively pushing Democratic Party values, straight after saying she would force a child to have a baby. It follows a controversy where a ten year old Ohioan girl was denied an abortion in her home state at six weeks pregnant.
Imagine being violently raped and then made to feel like a baby murderer by state Officials.
See it here:

This is the worst of politics.
Noem tries to dodge the question to avoid judgement and suggests that what the child was impregnated with has value. Unwanted emission doesn’t have value over human life. Unless you believe in fairies and haven’t ever studied biology.

It’s Wrong.

This is child abuse. It is child abuse and sexual enslavement to force a child to carry a pregnancy to full term.

But Kristi Noem will do anything for power. Kristi Noem is a lizard woman who snuggles up to power. Because she knows power comes with only one thing and that one thing is.


Men made the rules about reproduction despite women carrying babies to term. It’s not about morals here. If you know anything about biology, you know it is spurious to equate the inception of life with a baby. Two copies of chromosomes fuse and voila. A chain of events is set in motion but those chromosomes do not have a soul attached.
Unless we live in a dystopian nightmare.
Which we do, because Republicans guilt us with the notion that there is a floaty rainbow string with a soul attached to the zygote. (The zygote is the product of the gametes fusing. It’s not special. Yet.)
Slithy operators endeavoring to crowbar apart these legal protections, forced the abortion debate until our Constitutional right to manage our reproductive years was snatched away.

And women have done nothing much to upset this order of things.

But Wait. What? Forced pregnancy?

Thanks to the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, you, or your child if she becomes impregnated would be forced to carry that to term.
To become responsible from inception to viability for a life that you morally, and personally have to vested interest in.
Oh no! That’s right!
The State says you have a moral duty to incubate unwanted genetic material even though it might have been inflicted upon your person in an act of violence.
Though your life and health might depend on it. Though it doesn’t resemble a life UNTIL YOUR PARENTS OR THE STATE FORCE YOU TO SAY YES! “I MUST HAVE WANTED THIS ALL ALONG!

Those sickos in some pregnancy help centers have special training to help you unknow your own mind. (They don’t just gift young mothers car seats and baby blankets; Oh no. Not in this country.

Even though Nature herself commits some of the most violent acts of genetic rearrangement during cell division and you might not have a viable creation in your uterus. The choice too, has been taken here because, LIFE!

Is it any wonder females still have no real political power in the Greatest Democracy of the World?

But Who’s to Blame?

We Fingered the Wrong Justice, Guys:
I too blamed Clarence Thomas for this complete abortion.

Perversion of justice. Misrepresentation of women’s interests.
but Alito would appear to be the one with callous disregard for the fair and equal representation of women:
Writing for the court majority, Justice Samuel Alito said in his draft opinion that the 1973 Roe ruling and repeated subsequent high court decisions reaffirming Roe “must be overruled” because they were “egregiously wrong,” the arguments “exceptionally weak” and so “damaging” that they amounted to “an abuse of judicial authority:
Those were his Republican Predecessors actually.

Alito’s opinion also shows he has more dogs in the hunt.
Watch out; Same Sex Marriage.

Writing for the majority, he said decisively that abortion is a matter to be decided by states and the voters in the states. “We hold,” he wrote, that “the Constitution does not confer a right to abortion.”
But it did in 1973.
Are you feeling like you have been mad-fucked by a demented octopus flying a helicopter while Mt Rushmore erupts and the Oompa Loompas chant dirges in Main St?
That’s American Politics.
Happy Fourth July!

I cannot understate how partisan this Bench is. They have a duty to interpret the law impartially but they have a duty not to throw out fifty years of precedent, an undoing that throws a shroud over the lives of all women. Mothers. Grandmothers, daughters.
SCOTUS could have made a recommendation to the Senate and the House. Separately. A legal stop gap measure. Without it, their bias against the welfare of women is clear:

But Biology has no bias and no politics.

My Observations and recommendations:

Lizard People wear green. Joke.

1. Nature has abortions all the time. Gametes and zygotes are coming and going on the Earth all around us. Visit a farm.
Stitch the sanctity of life here on earth into legislation. The reason why I drop biology lessons into these posts is to iterate:
Belief should not control the outcome for the majority, being 50% of the population. ABORTION IS NOT A MORAL ISSUE. IT IS A CONTROL ISSUE. The more people you control, the more political power you have. If you control reproductive rights then you control women.
It is not about the value on life.
These sick fuckers know: It is about control of minds and votes.

2. We must protect women from the horror of carrying an unwanted child when the reality is so much closer to nature’s solution to unviable pregnancies.

3.We must not let them the lizard people (joking) and the Barbie fascists continue the lie that women are killers and that babies are being murdered.

All women who have lost pregnancies have mourned them. Or mourned lost innocence.
We are women first and foremost and we deserve better.

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When tragedy happens it causes us to ask questions. Of the nature of humanity and what carries us. Will we be capable of doing the unimaginable? Finding hope after tragedy?


“Oh no”. “It can’t be true. I saw my phone light up with the notifications about Uvalde on Tuesday. That kind of horror happening in your country puts you in a dream. I was writing. I’d been to the hairdressers that morning and talked over Memorial Weekend Plans with my Hairdresser. What can you do? I carried on with my day, I almost forgot to collect my kids. Because I was dragged back to social media for updates. And to argue. Endless arguing all throughout the day. People both for and against gun control. Then I found myself arguing about abortion. My goodness. During the day I found some real fruit loops like the Republican Rep Gosar who tweeted a Reddit photo he later retracted blaming the shooting on a ‘trans’, immigrant. And a Republican player called Marjorie Dannenfelser who would seek to put all women back into subjugation under their own biological processes. Personally I think she has some kind of OCD which puts her in the mentally ill realm (untreated). I saw some pretty bizarre tweets online where Dannenfelser targets research institutions in a way that is not appropriate. So being a mature person. I called her crazy and I reported her tweets as did others. I then realized I had done nothing all day but argue about gun control and abortion. Thought, “How American is that”, then I picked up some Ray Bradbury to read and went to the stars.
What can you do? During the next day Democrat gubernatorial nominee Beto O ‘Rourke got emotional and got told to leave a conference hosted by Governor Greg Abbott. “Get out of here”… “Sick Son of a Bitch,‚Äô Uvalde Mayor Blasts Beto O‚ÄôRourke for Crashing Abbott‚Äôs Press Conference on Shooting.

And seeing a bunch of grown ass Texan men sitting there on stage killing themselves with grief and guilt was one of the saddest things I had seen in quite a while.

I was quite mindful of my kids this week though I did forget to pick them up from school Friday. I’m a little forgetful when I’m in the garden. Life is abundant in the garden and out. We value it so in all it’s forms. We are unified in our humanity in how horrific it is to bear the burden of the knowledge of the attack that happened at Uvalde. We think, “How could I go on if it happened to me”. We put ourselves in those poor, poor grieving families shoes.
Because all life is precious and that’s as good as any a reason to go on. When unthinkable things happen to us. Despite knowing these kind of atrocities can happen to others. To remain caretaker and a caregiver,. Should the unthinkable happen. Take care and grasp onto hope wherever you are, on this Memorial Weekend.

Taking comfort in Nature with these beautiful gladioli’s,
white lilies, statice and iris. There is also Alstroemeria,
(Peruvian Lily) as filler.

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Come with me on a journey. I suffered a traumatic brain injury in 2006. The TBI or stroke, was the result of an arteriovenous malformation where the network of blood vessels servicing the right hemisphere of brain ‘organ’ was entangled. The arterial network was incorrectly connected directly to the venous network in my right Temporal Lobe. I know. Details, right? Most people say they had a stroke and leave it at that! I tease out the specific areas of the brain affected to differentiate the person that is me, Monique, the version that is a collection of the experiences before and after the stroke, that I actually have some influence in shaping, from the more fixed version people think they are.
We tend to think of people as: “The person that is their brain”. A squidgy brick of playdoh encased in a skull with a word hole and two little globes with light receiving irises. Sexy huh? Every part that defines their personality or character is thus fixed by virtue of being somewhat unmalleable. You might challenge me on that. I think that’s what we unconsciously believe and are surprised when people show up differently.
Just keep this in mind if you follow me on this journey.

I have never fallen into the trap of thinking that the blunt force trauma of having a stroke has self-limited me to only taking on what was believed to be within my abilities as defined by the medical profession.
I have never let society tell me I should not take on this role, or that because I am the wrong sex, or too old, or too young.

My journey started when they told me I would never walk or run again.
Last Winter I skied at Tahoe. I’m working on running.
I just finished a Semester studying math and General Chemistry. I intend to study either parietal lobe dysfunction, or AI. I haven’t decided yet. I’m a writer, a volunteer and a mother. When I have down time I play around with Python as that is the programming language used by neuroscientists for data analysis. Or I game. Clearing out dungeons or Civilizatio,n if you’re wondering, waiting for the Overwatch release.
I eased back into my education by studying to be a vet tech.
After all these years after the stroke, I finally got a proper diagnosis for ADHD, a mood disorder and I did some treatments for drugs and alcohol. Liver is fine. Thanks for asking.
That’s my generation. We solve a lot with drugs or alcohol or hard work until it catches up.
The proper pharmacological treatment was essential to stabilize my brain so I could study but this was quite different from the holistic view I now have of myself. I was not my brain, I am my spirit but I was being hampered at every turn until I treated my physiological self.

They told my loved ones I would never talk again.

I may never play the piano again. (Never played it before.)
But there is so much else I can do. Being aware of the points of reflection around which I create my reality, I can take on many challenges and build my own actuality.
Which may eventuality differentiate us from machine anchored intelligence.
(As machines get smarter than us, will they assist us or will they go down their own period of self reflection in evolution?)
But that’s another line of thought. I merely meant to say. Hello world. In all the horror of this year. Throw on a little black dress or a suit and come see what marvels do exist in the world. Like a cute beaver.

Beavers return to London after 400 years. It’s impossible to be without hope when we wake in a universe in which beavers exist. ūüôā

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So far this week in Politics.

On Monday, Biden said without reservation that if China looks twice at Taiwan with military force, the U.S. will fall on the South China Sea. Leaving most of the world’s press at a loss to string together a last minute editorial on this unexpected turn of events. Biden was not meant to break a long standing tradition of ‘Strategic Ambiguity’, in the region where China bullies the Indo Pacific region and the U.S. is meant to stand by unless China makes a move.
No-one has seen a way out of this rabbit hole so the only explanation is that Biden is a doddery fool, right?
Biden appears to be a rulebreaker when it comes to Press Corps Diplomacy or acting as a Commander In Chief in a different vein as his predecessors.
Biden doesn’t start wars without going to Congress; aka Trump and Obama. Both sent troops to the Middle East first and were questioned later. One such deployment resulted in the assassination of Al Qaeda top boss Bin Laden and under Trump; Iranian General: Qassem Soleimani. It was debatable if this was legal.
Biden doesn’t deploy troops before Congress has taken a vote to authorize it like H.W. did when he deployed troops to the Persian Gulf region in 1991. There were 150,000 troops sent to the region within seven weeks of the operation commencing after it was narrowly passed in Congress and H W Bush urged world leaders to join the Coalition of the Willing.
Biden won’t go in defiance of the ‘War Powers Resolution’, which modifies the Constitutional War Clause that requires a President to go to Congress before deploying troops to new conflict:
“The War Powers Act is a congressional resolution designed to limit the U.S. president‚Äôs ability to initiate or escalate military actions abroad. Among other restrictions, the law requires that presidents notify Congress after deploying the armed forces and limits how long units can remain engaged without congressional approval. Enacted in 1973 with the goal of avoiding another lengthy conflict such as the Vietnam War, its effectiveness has been repeatedly questioned throughout its history, and several presidents have been accused of failing to comply with its regulations.” ‘War Powers Act. History.Com

Clinton was the main ‘offender’, here:
NB: Clinton waged war in the Balkan’s in the early ’80’s without Congressional Approval. Ordering in concert with NATO allies a massive air and missile assault against the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, Clinton moved troops first without authorization by both Houses of Congress. Serbia was responsible for the massacre of thousands of Bosnian Muslims and Croats by the end of the period of the Bosnian War: 1993-1995. “The Law”: The Clinton Theory of the War Power by David Gray Adler.
“The attack which ranks as the most intensive and sustained military campaign conducted by the United States since the Vietnam War may have been justified on moral and policy grounds but it nevertheless required authorization by Congress.”
Clinton’s downfall may very well have been the aphrodisiac effect that came from flouting the Resolution and sending forces and strikes to the Balkans that killed thousands. All that power on one man’s shoulders was what the Congressional forefathers wanted to avoid.
Championing the breakaway Muslim country was also a good distraction from the sex scandals that plagued Clinton through the”90’s.
Acting alone was not without without Presidential precedent. In June 1950, President Harry S. Truman sent armed forces to fight in Korea without obtaining the permission of Congress. Most Presidents ever since have grappled with or used the resolution as High jump practice to hurdle over in the pursuit of a resolution to drawn-out wars or regional conflict.
That’s commonly why accusations are thrown around of the U.S. being ever ready to start a war. It’s not true but there is some merit to the accusation at the Presidential level. There has been a succession of Presidents abusing their Presidential powers.
Obama is probably one who could be seen in the most favorable light. Unfortunately when you open your yap in such High Office, and make promises you had better follow through with them. Obama threatened to take troops to Syria if Bashar AL Assad used chemical weapons and then backed down and used the old: “I better run it past Congress”, proviso.
What a dummy. Assad got worse. Putin pinched the breadbasket of Ukraine and made plans to pinch the Eastern regions down the track (and Moldova) and housewives all over the world were shaking their heads saying: “You can’t do that!
You can’t make empty threats and back down and expect there to be any kind of discipline. And now here we are.
So Biden has seen the lay of the land. The mistakes of his predecessors. the U.S. is not the Sheriff of the world and neither can it afford to isolate and pander to non-Democratic Superpowers.

So What Just Happened?

Biden just made the most nifty Foreign affairs Maneuver of this decade by re-energizing the Quad ( initially proposed by the Japanese) with his presence. I’ll finish this up and come back to the details but this is what he has said without the use of force:

“No, China. We acknowledge your position that you believe you have legal sovereignty over Taiwan but not by the use of force. We will not allow the use of force in the Indo Pacific region”. Full Stop. Underlined. Next stop the Solomon Islands.
The US naval forces are very carefully strategically placed to reinforce that the US is prepared to battle here where it won’t go head to head over Ukraine.

“Be glad that we’re now going to drop it and roast Modi for not facilitating a diplomatic solution to the shit going down in Odesa.” (And also for banning wheat exports adding to worldwide inflationary wows.) Modi looks like a Rockstar at home where they actually value age.

Australia’s Albo probably got an invite to the White House after the Primaries have played out which has to be spaced with a visit with New Zealand’s Ardern.

Biden’s other message to the world loud and clear was: “It’s time to chose. You are either with us and Democracy or you have other priorities. We stand for many values. But fundamentally what underpins our decent and fair society are the values pulled together by Democracy. And we will fight you over that.

Again, But Why? It looks a LITTLE… AMBIGUOUS.

Biden doesn’t need to wage an unwinnable war in distant terrain with the effort required to ship an endless supply of cannon fodder to a distant land to be one of the most influential Presidents of the century. He doesn’t need to. He understands that Russia won’t escalate the Ukraine occupation militarily. Rather, it is a war of economic attrition on the West by Putin.
To prevent misunderstandings with China in the Indo Pacific region and make it clear to all those that threaten allies and friends of the U.S. Biden is sending a message to both China and Russia: You will not threaten the pillars of Democracy or we will be forced to defend it with all the might of the U.S. armed Forces. Stationed in Japan.
(Except for the Amphibious assault forces on the Kearsarge and the troops on the USS Truman, near Ukraine )

“You will not threaten Democracy”. That’s pretty black and white. No strategic or moral ambiguity and there should be no Congressional ambiguity either if push came to shove.

The Leaders of Japan, India, Australia, United States. Japan Times: May 22

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I was going to leave to space to others to comment on MIQ a little longer. So much being said. And when all is said and done, the arguments for both sides are fairly reductive:
The trolls: You shouldn’t have left. Oh really? The phrase ‘bodily autonomy’ renders that one redundant from the outset. Humans have flowed back and forward across borders since the beginning of time. The concept of citizenship recognizes the rights and privileges’ to the individual and likewise the benefits to societies and communities accrued by the exchange of ideas and commerce back to the home nation.
The Government:¬†‘No need to go around lighting matches with a bonfire burning’. Ardern. Or from NZ Health Minister Chris Hipkins came the phrase: Returnees via MIQ are gauged as, “cumulative risk”.
Oh really? As your resident Enlightened Gen X Housewife and microbiology student I went looking for this phrase in reputable publications to see how this position might be informed. Nothing has yet been published in the field of virology with regards to how travel across borders increases ‘cumulative risk’ to the growth of viral outbreaks. ‘Cumulative risk’ is a phrase that has been largely coined in the medical field to apply to an individual’s risk profile. It has also been used in the arena of social justice to apply to risk factors to under privileged communities. As politicians do, Hipkins made shit up, to keep us out.
Why would he do such a thing?
One: They, the Government doesn’t know what to do. The most likely reason. At the time this phrase was bandied around, Labour hadn’t got their act together around the Omicron response and the rapid testing required for greater circulation of the population. It was easier just to make shit up on the fly.
Two: The polls. Incumbent governments poll really well in wartime if the enemy is losing. The enemy in this instance being Covid. Make no mistake about it, The Government could have declared a victory of sorts after Delta numbers fell so quickly and border numbers incoming were outweighed by numbers infected in the community. Delta and Omicron are different enough that this was a clear chance to unite all New Zealanders. But the Government was worried about it’s polling in light of National rolling former National Leader Judith Collin and replacing her with the more publicly palatable, rugby club type persona; Christopher Luxon. So the obvious way to regroup and bolster is to revert to formerly successful tactics and encourage a cancel culture around the inadvertent carriers of the enemy. Us. You and I. (Only relevant if you are outside of the borders. But this should cause everyone pause to think. Even the trolls)
Except. It’s not really the same enemy anymore.
Omicron is not a death wave waiting  in the wings. This skirmish is more of a pesky excursion courtesy of attendees to events arranged or encouraged by the Government.
And this is where the Government realized it had to change it’s messaging and approach from Keep It Out to ‘Let It Rip’!
Omicron came in on a Welcome Mat laid out by Labour. They won’t admit to this of course. But it did. The first DJ didn’t let it in. But you have to question. Which event organizer, or performer might have tested positive after arriving here. There were an awful lot of events that we know about organized thanks to the activity of the Arts portfolio under Ardern. But lets not blame the musicians and artists. I drop that sector in for a sense of perspective.
How about those diplomats and Government Department workers who were unable to complete all business by Zoom. If you think no-one working for the Government moved across the border in the past two years then you were born yesterday. They were sucking up MIQ spots faster than a hooker giving a blowjob.
And the business people. This sector also had to compete with the above and expats. But the Government could not afford a completely unfriendly business approach less the job layoffs get completely out of hand.
Exclude for now the Expat MIQ contingency. Do you get the sense that the inn is bustling with a whack-ton of people coming in and out of New Zealand at the Governments behest or with the Government’s blessing? What is the chances of all those people retuning without some being infected? That’s right. Slim to none.
So at some stage we were softened up for the arrival of Omicron and lo and behold Omicron has arrived and it was no surprise when we were told that it was too tricky to continue to trace the virus via whole genome sequencing.
For two years the sequencing has been done religiously. The Delta was sequenced right back to the walkway¬†or lobby it potentially transmitted in and all of a sudden: “Yeah nah this shit is beyond our best labs and so we as a nation have to start preparing for the circulation of Omicron”.
Do you follow my housewife logic?¬† In my household, if the behaviour has been going on for a while and then appears to stop: Either there is drugs or money involved or that person really doesn’t want to get caught!

How then to continue to fight the war when we’ve conceded a defeat of sorts and we’re actually having a toast to the fallen and laughing at the other countries fallen numbers on the battlefield but we don’t want to get roasted by other political parties or bleed out in the polls?

You make someone else the target of public focus. And that’s usually the most vulnerable group who has the least comeback to the Government. They already have every reason not to fight back (who would listen to them) and probably have a good dose of Imposter Syndrome where they feel like they’re just nobody anyway and as soon as someone points this out everybody will know. You can put up a reasonably light defense and it will act as an offense to those who are seeking to assert their rights but have imposter syndrome. As someone who used to be afflicted with this I should know. It goes with the territory of being a Mum. Disabled, or on your own or other factors.

In a foreign country.
So The Government instead of reuniting expats with NZ after united efforts to borders tight to keep out Delta decided to take on pregnant ladies seeking space in MIQ.


A lot of Kiwi babies have been born oversea during the past two years.

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New Zealand does not yet have Omicron circulating in the community. While the rest of the world is boiling over with lysis and recombination (Cell death and transmission plus mutation).
This is a the result of a combination of luck, strict border measures and being surrounded by ocean.
The only thing you can predict is that when Omicron does get into New Zealand. Someone will die with it. And there will be much gnashing of teeth and chest beating and politicians will count their allies. And maybe call in a few favors to stay in or out of the press. And we must not have that. Ever! See, this is not about health outcomes after all this time. This is about political opportunism. This is what happens when an unprepared governing party is caught on the hop by an ever evolving virus. Kiwi Jaime Ridge who was caught out in LA and unable to return to New Zealand called the Government, ‚ÄúMuppets‚ÄĚ, in a cute youthful way.
If so, the opposition is comprised of the Fraggles and the Doozers: (National and Act) who been caught out too with a dearth of trusted advisors. Computational scientists and exponential modelers are probably fairly thin on the ground and most of the talent has been hoovered up by Labour. And that is why all political parties are now singing from the same song sheet. It reminds me of shoals of fish. Except for a few principled individuals. They are easy to spot. Even when Parliament is in recess they are working for the dispossessed and in need. Their play is more about where is the system failing people than point scoring or: ‚ÄúLook at Me‚ÄĚ. Such as National’s Erica Stanford.
Those scientists and politicians in the limelight aren‚Äôt helping by trilling over and over: ‚ÄúGet jabbed”. Those who haven’t, won’t.‚ÄĚ There are still those who feel uncomfortable with what they see as unnecessary medical procedures. And won‚Äôt shift. Even if these people have no hard and fast scientific argument against vaccination. But when the heck was every citizen expected to defend their views and personal physiology with knowledge requiring a Masters in Biological Sciences? Now, scarily it seems individuals are demanded to go one step further and exhibit their loyalty to Vax constantly, or be excluded and de-platformed. More about that later.
Thoroughly gaslit by now, the unvaccinated may be less scared of the actual virial entity than the specter of social control and ideological forces underpinning the mass vaccination campaign. I get it. I went into my pharmacy the other day and there was a line up of people waiting to get jabbed by my pharmacists. All these pharmacists are familiar and I know all by name. But it was so surreal watching the mass vax action unfold with everyone moving like automatons. I felt like I’d stepped into the Twilight Zone.
And although vaccinated, I would put personal freedom and the right to choose for my body over whatever the majority of the population has decided is sane or reasonable. Basically. You can think I’m mad but if I live within my values I’m good. Mmmmkay?
My conscience still bothers me a lot. Its a tough gig.
Something goes up on YouTube that gives the 10% unvaccinated a tendril of hope that there is a voice to unite them. Dr Robert Malone on Joe Rogan. Then it goes down. News abounds about curfews for the unwaxed around the world. Utter madness.
Re Dr Malone‚Äôs concept of ‚ÄúMass formation psychosis‚ÄĚ? I‚Äôm not a fan of boxed debunking of accepted medical practices. But I can tell you exactly why Malone pulled the disunited and cynical crowd. They are the kind of folks who might take what works and discard the rest and are brutalized by cruelty towards the unvaxed for having a different set of values. Mass Formation Psychosis is absolutely a thing and there is another word for it:
The cultural divide of ‚Äėpro vax‚Äô vs ‚Äėanti vax‚Äô has got to be the biggest Cultural worldwide explosion since the Beatles! ‚ÄėBlame‚Äô culture on steroids. All built around keeping safe.
But New Zealand is safe because the only play in town is having the drawbridge up and it got emphatically pulled up two years ago. On the 18th March 2020, Kiwis were encouraged informally to get home now. I say informally because the only way they might know would be to be apprised of the interviews of the New Zealand media with Foreign Minister Winston Peters. On the 24th March 2020 an official edict was issued for foreign nationals to Shelter in Place.
New Zealanders Overseas Encouraged to Shelter In Place

But how do you account for the misery that has caused in the Ledger of Human Suffering since March 2020 otherwise known as Ground ZeroCovid?
The cost of no tolerance for Covid is high. Businesses fail. There is money in health being spent to keep Covid at bay that is not keeping operating theatres going at optimum throughput. Elective surgeries are deferred and health screenings delayed.
The media seems to have little to offer in the way of holding either the Government or the opposition to accountability unless they are willing to piss Ardern or the cabinet off. That is the litmus test. Going somewhere different. People and economic systems reach the limits of tolerance. You  can only meaningfully reliably gather and rely on data in a closed system to adhere to Scientific Method. But people and economic systems are not by their nature Closed Systems.
Insanity is doing the same thing over and over in a system that is made of human parts and hearts that yearn to be connected. For growth and for warmth. For youthfulness and healing. But Labour wants to keep doing the same thing over and over. To keep Brand Ardern going like a stubborn pack mule. The economy and the New Zealand culture cannot keep taking on the strains of being separated from the outside world forever. Businesses are going over and inflation is rampant but as I’m not an economist or a statistician I can’t comment. But people unable to thrive are leaving and a surfeit of New Zealand citizens are unable to easily enter the border, contravening the spirit of the nation’s Bill of Rights (1990) If not the law which will be tested later in January by the group Grounded Kiwis representing the rights of expatriate Kiwis.
A purported 1/5 of New Zealand’s population residing outside the borders at some point in 2020 was not guaranteed easy passage inwards. Safe. Yes. Your patience (two years and counting) is required) But Easy? Hell NO!
Not all of them wanted in at once. A good portion have travelled back via MIQ facilities. The Government’s response has been that they (Labour) are doing a good job. I don’t believe it. A good job would be to weight equally the health requirements of all citizens inside and outside the borders. This is what us hardy Kiwis forget. Humans aren’t automatons pulling a wage and putting food on the table and tithing to church and the unions. TAB & a jug at the pub Nation. Though it suits the politicians that we fall into this liver spotted wallpaper of a life. Once downtrodden (as a result of too little money in the household kitty and this as a casualty of little education and inflation) we tend not to question authority.
We need to remind the leaders we have mental health needs too. The Prime Minister neglects to focus on the ties of family and mental heath and this extends to Kiwis beyond the border. You can’t ignore the health of offshore or onshore Kiwis without affecting the mental health of the other group. Poor mental health can be just as deadly as physical ailments. A border solution needs to balance compassion with pragmatism.
Bring up that Ledger of Human Suffering. Think of all the birthdays, births, deaths, cancers that develop and spread and husbands and wives kept apart in that population of one million.
But close the leather bound ledger. Slide it across the desk to the Labour Ministers of the New Zealand Government, (Grant Robertson, Chris Hipkins, Andrew Little) because all that suffering matters naught. Compared to the handful of Covid deaths and the tens of thousands of Covid deaths that were imminent since the start of the pandemic in March 2020.
Yes. Like dominos. Bound to happen. Makes sense doesn’t it? Omicron is as scary as a cold on steroids but will overwhelm the health system and Maori. Makes sense.
It’s as though there is a sense of inevitability about a wave of Omicron devastation but this need not happen if the breakouts are ring-fenced and well managed?
Why are music festivals still happening? Because infection can be well managed now the bedrock is down and they give Labour a win directly within Arden’s jurisdiction. She is the Associate Minister for Arts. Covid turned up at the festivals that went ahead (the deadlier Delta version)
In Sydney it’s reported over fifty percent of cases that turn up at hospitals are Delta. So any music festival still has the potential to be a super-spreader event. This is conveniently ignored while Brian Tamaki drags the pox wherever he goes.
Instead of freaking out about Covid give it to locals to manage.
The best example of Covid control occurred in my hometown of Eltham, Taranaki which had an outbreak of Covid. It even mentions my former marching team! Stuff reports In a good example of regional response:
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer said the iwi had copied the model of Te WhńĀnau o Waipareira and were able to respond ‚Äúreally fast and understand really, really quickly if we have Covid in our community.‚ÄĚ


In any case. The balance of scientific evidence is on the side of vaccinating communities: Yale recently came out with a study showing that vaccinations are your best defense against both infection and mutating stains:

5 Things to Know About The Delta Variant

And if they are fully vaccinated. Why are travelers being kept for up to twenty days in MIQ uninfected? A slow transition into prepared communities desperate for tourism and equipped to vaccinate and test and welcome home weary travelers is better  than what New Zealand has now. A pile on of Fear. And say what you will about any of the political parties. Any one of them could be leading. Quite frankly it seems to be the workers. the public servants, the PR agencies, the TV channels, the MIQ and the Armed forces putting in the hard yards.
The Prime Minister couldn’t have chosen a better time to get married. And I commend her on going on honeymoon first so she appears in the best light to overseas media come the Omicron outbreak.
I am after-all a proud Kiwi. If all anyone around here knows about New Zealand is that we have bugger all Covid. ‚ÄúYou‚Äôve done sooo well keeping Covid out of New Zealand. You must be sooo proud‚ÄĚ!¬†ūüôā¬†I‚Äôll take credit.
Over the Winter Break, I looked at the phylogeny tree of the Nebraska outbreak that showed a shorter incubation period of omicron. My Professor who got his doctorate at Berkeley had this to say:
‚ÄúAs far as the incubation time, I wouldn‚Äôt be surprised if what we‚Äôre seeing is evolutionary pressure towards higher transmissibility and more rapid incubation (since variants that¬†can‚Äôt¬†do that are having a harder time finding viable hosts to continue their ‚Äúlineage‚ÄĚ due to us approaching herd immunity through vaccination) and lesser severity (since killing your host¬†also¬†makes you unable to survive).¬† I think it might be a ‚Äúchicken vs. egg‚ÄĚ question as to whether we‚Äôre seeing more mutations¬†because¬†the virus‚Äô life cycle is being compressed vs. the mutations¬†leading¬†to that more rapid incubation cycle; tough to know for sure, but I‚Äôd lean toward the former.‚ÄĚ

Ie: 1. Virus spawns more frequently in a shorter lifespan (more offspring leading to more recombination events) as for Natural selection to occur more offspring must survive than are reproduced.
2. A mutation has occurred that has been favored and passed through the population which has favored transmission and decreased incubation period.
Hard to say. Hard to say. Probably the former and that is why MIQ has an abundance of omicron cases at the border. It’s due to the forces of Natural Selection. And codon substitutions at the S1 spike protein. (Mutations)
But it‚Äôs not due to lack of effort on the part of your neighbor vaccinated, skeptical, offshore or quarantining. Keep holding your Government to account as a pandemic needs to be actively managed. Saying ‚ÄúWe‚Äôve done well‚ÄĚ, but keeping mute or muzzling every sector of the population that disagrees or could show the Government in poor light with shush money while stirring the pot around the Pile on of Fear is causing irreparable economic and societal damage to Aotearoa New Zealand. All the best in your navigation around the vax issue.
Love love.

PS Where is Luxon. After coming back and taking the helm has he gone travelling? Like Uncle Gobo?

Uncle  Gobo

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What is with brats these days. I‚Äôm losing the battle. ūüôā My loin-fruit, (beloved offspring) won‚Äôt move from the bed without charge. For the mobile phone.

I never had a cellphone until I was 23. Then I was mocked mercilessly for being a try-hard. Within weeks everyone had one and we were texting each other from one end of the dinner table to the other. Bit of harmless fun. We knew it was a novelty. We still had a phone connected to the wall and one fucking screen.
As I type this, every brat has a screen and a phone. The phone is connected to their hand and Fuck knows how they play Fortnite with the extra appendage, but they manage. And if I tell them to lose the screen time, they bitch about how awful a Mother I am.
Cockheads, the lot of them but they run as a pack. They’re all on the same page. Currently I have one son playing with a friend in Tahoe. His Avatar name is Deeznuts.
This kid yells so loud I feel like I have another child in the house.
My son‚Äôs Avatar is Lickmaballs, BTW. ūüôā

And this morning,  oldest called me on his mobile to bring him a towel!
A fucking towel! From the other end of the House. While I was enjoying my morning cuppa. Couldn’t drip his way to the linen closet. Gobshite.

The girl is as bad. She’s almost always flat out like a flounder on the couch with her eyes glued on a screen. She can hold her own in Roblox and Fortnite though. Small mercies.

At least I got these guys out to the sand-pit today and away from screens. ūüôā My youngest. Twins. And I finally got the second eldest out of bed without a cattle-prodder.

I can still hear Deezenuts hollering in the lounge. My son,  Lickmaballs is hollering back.

I have a full bag of white chocolate and a cup of tea to hand. Wish me luck ūüôā

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It’s totally weird emigrating from a country where the school year logically ends at the end of the calendar year to America where the school year ends halfway through the year! Yet I accepted it unquestioningly on first year here. We left at the end of the school year in Summer and landed midway through, in Winter.

We landed New Year’s Eve 2011. What a shit-show of a trip, that was. Five kids. Eighteen pieces of carry on luggage including three strollers.

I have to say that the Air New Zealand staff were arrogant and rude on the flight out. I had one baby with a shit in their diaper and I was lining up at the cabin door after handing all our boarding passes over,desperate for assistance and I was told by some prissy trolly dolly: “No, you can’t board yet”. Finally we got on and I spent a good ten minutes wiping poop outta cracks. If I’d been able to get to it when it first happened it wouldn’t have been so¬†bad.

The stench didn’t leave the aisle for about twenty minutes after take-off. I deflected the side-eyes with smiles and pretended it was someone else’s kid. Or maybe the old man across the way was incontinent, I suggested with glances and a tilt of my head.

The service started when we arrived at SFO. The dour looks of the Air NZ staff changed to smiles and assistance. That’s what it is to receive service in the U.S. On one hand, everyone is equal but on the other hand, if you’re in a position of service, you go above and beyond. The culture around tipping has a lot to do with it. On part of both the tipper and the receiver. Where I come from, it’s not uncommon to hear some bitching about the tipping culture. “Oh that’s so hard”! “I’m so glad there is no tipping in New Zealand. One word, folks: “Tight”. Probably a lot to do with ancestry. New Zealand ancestors are largely Scottish and English, particularly Northern England and who wouldn’t want to emigrate from some of those towns that never see Summer. My own ancestors came from a town near Manchester. Good dour, swarthy breed on that side. Not tight. Good with money. Business people. Every one of us has started or married a small business owner.¬† Tradies by nature. House painters, roofers and builders. I broke the mould by marrying a tech guy. Except when I met him, (A) he had hair and (B) we were both students with no apparent future to speak of. It’s only in hindsight that I was lucky and I found a Keeper. He built and sold a business to Silicon Valley and¬† now here we are!
I’m still a tradie by nature. I’m in charge of our rentals which are meant to provide a stream of income for both our kids education and our old age. Oh the sights I have seen being a landlady. You can’t run rentals without Street-Smarts. I’m always on the lookout for this quality in my kids.

#1. Has the street-smarts. I’ve never worried about him. His survival instinct is finely tuned. You could drop both him and I in the roughest part of Oakland and we’d both stroll out smiling. I’d have made a bunch of new friends and he’d go in with a Hundy in his pocket and come out with Five. Not a bad rate of return.

#2. Whereas #1 was walking home from school at the age of five, I didn’t let #2 walk home until he was ten. Because he would get in the car with anyone. Prime target for Redo the Paedo.

Tipping is easy. If you can’t tip then you’re not as smart as a fourth Grader. Percentages, folks. If someone goes above and beyond, and my hairdresser does on a regular basis, it’s 25%. that’s 10% * 2 and half again.
10% of a Hundy is 1$10. Double that and add half again. Easy, right?¬† $25 bucks that goes straight into the pocket of the other person. Because you can guarantee the wage they are paid won’t cover their living expenses. Especially here in the Bay Area. And there is none of the minimum wage bullshit in these parts. You get paid what the market deems. If you can’t live on that, then you get a second fucking job. And if you’re sick or on leave. You don’t get paid. No show up to Work?¬† No get paid. A bit like when I was young. My first wage was $2.78 an hour. Double time on Saturdays. I was a fifteen year old shelf stacker at our local supermarket. The union guys used to come in and we used it as an excuse for an extra smoko:

“Smoko”,is a term used in¬†Australian English,¬†New Zealand English¬†and¬†Falkland Islands English¬†for a short, often informal,¬†cigarette¬†break taken during work or military duty, although the term can also be used to describe any short break such as a rest or a¬†coffee/tea break. Among¬†sheep shearers¬†in Australia, “smoko” is a mid-morning break, between breakfast and lunch, in which a light meal may be eaten.

So. We arrived in SFO. New Years Eve 2011. People rushed to our assistance. We prepared to queue for ages to get through immigration. But no! Either we looked like a hot mess or SFO is just great at anticipating customer flow, but to our surprise, an immigration official came up to us! “Come this way”!
They opened up a separate immigration desk for us! The benefits of having a large family.

And so began our journey to these shores. A shit in a diaper; a glass of wine crossing the equator to celebrate the New Year, some shirty air hostesses in the air and smiles and assistance upon landing.

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So here we are. The trouble really started at the age of 42.

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (42)

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. Shout-Out to Hitchhiker’s¬†guide to the galaxy

In the radio series and the first novel, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the¬†Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything¬†from the supercomputer,¬†Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7¬Ĺ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be¬†42.¬†Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never actually knew what the Question was.

I know what the question is.: Believe it or fucking not:
At the age of 42 you start to question all your fucking beliefs. If you’re a bird you come out of the fog of child-bearing and think: shit: “I did pretty good at that, but what do I do now!” How much did I screw up (even though I know I screwed up nothing other than forgetting to take care of myself. )
And if you’re predisposed to addiction, you’ve got a fucking journey ahead of you. For me it’s booze (though I spent ten years off it and sober while I had my five kids), I’m also addicted to food and relationships.

I put people up on a pedestal, just like that. Then my self-esteem becomes inextricably linked.¬† More about this later. Mostly I’m just tired and need a good feed and a good sleep. And some good music!

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We all have Fear. I’ve made mistakes in the past eighteen months. Ha ha Hubby would say the last two years. He’s better with numbers and spatially. I’m good with the lingo. Learning three languages at once. And I always go with what Hubby says. He’s more reliable on facts though I have managed to raise five children and continue to. They’re annoying me being glued to the screens and two have pre-teen acne and I can’t get ’em to brush their hair! The hair! But all are healthy. And as I think I have said before, in the past, I have switched from booze to food to relationships. But although the deer and the skunks and the moles regularly turn up, so does humour. Oh and the gophers. Gophers suck the most as they eat the roots of trees. Moles just dig up your lawn.
As a good friend of mine once said. “Any day above ground is a good day”.
So sometimes I feel like I am going to get eaten up with worry and it just comes back to basics! Eat well; eat lots of protein and worry less.

And laugh a little. That’s what will see you into later years.

Oh and we get a Space Force! Courtesy of Trump.

New Zealand? On the baby watch. Everybody is asking the hard question: When does Happy Spangler take over.

I’ll leave with this:

What’s the difference between a bachelor and a married man? Bachelor comes home, checks out what’s in the fridge & goes to bed. Married man comes home, checks out what’s in the bed & goes to the fridge.

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What the fuck is it with all these old buggers offing themselves? Jayzus, Joseph and Mary. I had to sledge back a cup of Suicide News after Kate Spade and now that canny prick and restaurateur Bourdain is gone. Proof that you never get too old to feel around for a noose. But what the? You‚Äôre old rich and successful and that is reason enough to bite the cyanide? Fucking pricks these days have no stamina. Everything and nothing. It started with Robin Williams and now it‚Äôs a fucking trend. Every time I drive through the Robin William’s tunnel I have to worry I‚Äôve got early onset dementia. Lets not build a monument to everyone that hangs themselves, even if they‚Äôre fucking funny.
I’ve had to deal with a stroke that paralysed me at the age of 31. Fought my fucking way back, largely due to training as a model and a journalist and I’m not going to boohoo #MeToo, Fought Addiction, (Haw, Haw, it’s never addiction if you’re not drinking alone) and generally steppin’ on sticky shit as I pass through the house with five kids on soda and do I want to open throat the pill bottle? No. So what is going through their heads? They’re leaving teenagers to flail around and carry deep-seated trauma throughout their lives instead of manning the fuck up and dealing with the life changes that accompany getting older.
We’re all in it together. Be kind and be conscious.

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I mean rich in life experience.

Your laundry piles up. You sneeze at the sink and you are still getting older. The only redeeming factors are that you can still read the New York¬† Times without glasses and you get a kick from the odd Red Bull you sink. The Red Bull that you you steal from your oldest son that is. He’s 6″4″ and still growing like a motherfucking Kauri tree.¬†

At least I didn’t wet myself when I last sneezed.

Not that that is on the cards. Ever see the clip of an Asian honking out a ping-pong ball from her privates? The kids are all like Mom, you’re still young enough to give us another bother or sister. And I’m like, the womb is mothballed and shit is purely for entertainment from now on. Get it ūüôā
Oh fuck. I’ve gotta practice being rich. In life experience and growing the young trees. They’re beautiful and growing strong.


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The Enlightened Housewife’s Day

Would ideally go like this:

1. Give herself an uninterrupted 7& 1/2 hours sleep.

Good fucking luck with that. There’s always something in need. The brats and Hubby. Houseplants. The Laundry. Or as I prefer to think of it. The Fucking Laundry. Actually something quite exciting happened this morning. I paired two pairs of socks that had last been paired in 2005. Just goes to show that one half of anything will eventually find it’s matching mate. Like Shit and Shinola. Bonnie and Clyde. Mork and Mindy. Etc Et al.

No I do try to live healthily. So I start the day with a ginger green tea and honey hot drink to soothe my inflammed digestive system. So it can do battle for another day. Well. At least, I sit the tea bags in the hot water and go and flick the milk frother on so I can slam back a coffee, following my vegan tea.

I do one thing to emulate Gwyneth Paltrow and her goofy Goopiness (everyone needs a paragon of virtue to look up to, and she that Acting Goddess of my generation, with her  inspirational product line is mine.

I have a decent breakfast.

Healthy Breakfast. Oats, Fruit and yoghurt.

Not the best photo. If you look closely, you’ll see I’ve taken a munch of the pear in meal preparation. But it’s a good example of the ideal breakfast. Low GI carb, ie Oats, Calcium and a protein source: yogurt or milk, and berries and fruit. I mix berries and high mineral content pears and bananas.

In my times of torrid reflection where I spend a lot of time in paranoia or brooding how everything went horribly wrong. (It didn’t) Life can be proof of disaster being averted at the last minute and the blessings we take for granted. Despite certain turns my life as taken, I’ve got a pool guy FFS. And a housekeeper.
We can both take turns at cleaning the shitters. She’s quicker than I at going around the house and I’m a hoarder so I do plenty to keep her busy. What did I say? You always find your other half. Your Mate. Buddy. Housekeeping Alpha and Omega. Life is designed to pair up.

Life can also be full of agents (people, places, and shit sandwiches hurled at you by life  inadvertently can seem to spike your dreams or make you too cautious to proceed honestly. You have to ignore this and plow on regardless.

Or as Brene’ Brown says:
“If you’re not in the arena getting your butt kicked too, I’m not interested in your feedback”

In recovery circles, you often read day by day readings called something schmucky like just for today or daily reflections. So Here is the Enlightened Housewife’s version:

Just for today I won’t care what anyone thinks, and if they do come to mind or try to curb me and my personal visions and dreams, I’ll think “Fuck ‘Em.”

And if I can’t do that, when the time comes, I’ll clench my pelvic muscles to have a torcher of an orgasm. Hence the need to “Sleep Naked”.

Then “Dream Freely”, and in the morning “Breathe”, and start the day again.

Fucking Laundry.

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Anyone want to debate gun control?

Two days after we landed in the U.S. , I was in the Golden Gate Park standing by a Bust of Francis Scott Key (author of the Star Spangled Banner and I was struck.

I was a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. It was a similar clement day as in the photo above.

And as I took in my surroundings; it dawned on me:

“Fuck”! This is a nation of people with the Right to bear arms and if the need and necessity arose, as a citizen of this nation, your rights would be fought for and in turn you would fight for other’s rights.

That’s Patriotism, folks.

It brings out the fighter for truth and justice:

he Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.[1][2][3][4] The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals,[5][6] while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.[7] State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right, per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Yep. If some pissant Johnny Come Lately up and formed a threat to all that is peaceable and worthwhile protecting to this Brave Nation then the citizens have the ultimate right to rise up and defend their fellows and rights. There won’t be a debate about who started what shit. When. Or throwing the peoples monies to some far off, Fucked up Monarchy who are as inbred as fuck.

An Aside: Thank God for Megan Markle to bring some new blood into British Royalty.¬†I just hope we get to see more of her chest at the wedding than we did of the Precious Kate. What a passion killer that wedding was. Makes me long for the days of Fergie and i don’t mean the popstar. She bought more ginga and hilarity to the Royal Family.

Second Amendment freedom is about tying the freedom of the press to the right to bear.
As a journalist, I can’t walk away from that. The free dispersal of information is integral to true Democracy.

“Be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of their grievances: or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures.[9]

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If you do decide to drink, make sure you find a comfortable place to sleep for the night!

Happy Monday. I’ve got a zit that’s bugging the crap outta me. And I have a teen and a preteen with zits.
And fucking school is out at midday.

I need to have me some cake for breakfast.

Bazza isn’t giving interviews on his trip to New Zealand this week: What a fucking copout. Who’s leaning on him not to talk?
You cough up over a cool half mill to attend. And you can’t even take a selfie!

http://Former US President Barack Obama will enforce an extensive ban on media and publicity during his visit to New Zealand this week. There will be no interviews and media cannot report from inside his event.

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Mabee. Maybe not. I’ve got a lot of motivation to write when I hold the topic of anxiety in my mind. It’s the cruelest fucking disease IMHO. Get’s a lot of us. And there are two ways of keeping the tyranny at bay that I’ve tried. One is being rigid. One is being medicated (but then you end up realising you don’t have thoughts that are YOU. And I’m not anti med’s by any means. I’ve got a great SSRI:¬†Trintellix¬†¬†Robbie Williams takes this.

He credits this medication and therapy for saving his life. I started the new year taking Trintellix but I was worried I was getting fat and losing motivation to get to the gym. So I stopped.
And now I feel like shit and I think I’d rather be unhappy with my weight but happy with everything else in life and not neurotic as fuck. Okay. Less neurotic. It will never go totally because I’m genetically female and cursed with bitch-arse hormones that take you out in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Fuck, Robbie’s a dote.
If I had a need for two husbands I’d want him to be the second. A second wife would be more useful though. Women clean the toilets. Men keep everything else clean if leaned on (which is a great leap forward for evolution) but I’ve never known a man to clean the Shitter. I’m sure you are a few of you beautiful souls out there but I’ve never lived with one. ūüôā

Yes, I could totally do with a Sister-wife.
Oh fuck, let me bitch about toilets for a bit. We’ve got a big house and I have to keep six of the fuckers clean. We added two after moving here because four fucking toilets isn’t enough right?
The insanity of first world problems.

So my skin looks like shit. (Hormones and worries about money.) Your average first world worries. We’ve got a virus in the house. I’m up worrying at 4am because I forgot a children’s birthday party today to take my twinnies to. (Now yesterday. Sunday 18th) And I forgot my oldest’s Ortho appointment on Friday.
And the world hasn’t fucking ended. I’m just a bit of a dipshit. But I can be so crappy to myself. I would never treat a friend as badly as I treat myself. I beat myself up incessantly. And others make fuck-ups and I let them off the hook and/or think their escapades are hilarious. Most likely I’ve been along for the ride going right back to my twenties.

Met a lovely Mental Health Caregiver in John Muir, Walnut Creek.
Pretty atrium right? but I was in no fit condition to appreciate the view ūüôā I was admitted to acute care. To my motherfucking surprise; I was worse than I thought I was.
Drank too much (not in one go but I was letting my self care go; it was the Holidays,  and my sodium and potassium levels bottomed. Bad for a woman with a history of a head injury) Low sodium can lead to seizures and low potassium dicks with your heartbeat.
I was fine after they gave me some Ativan and good nutrition for a few days. Really.

Sorry if that is TMI but whereas some folks are introverted; I’m an extrovert and am at my best when disclosing all. And I write like a coked up maniac. I write some good shit. ūüôā I hope It will help someone struggling.

Haha I will tell you about the time I was detoxed (reluctantly) a year previous in the next post. I got a butt shot of Ativan. Had a wee sleep and discharged myself  five hours later.
And the hilarious encounter with an SFO cop. (Did I tell you I met two FBI agents detoxing ūüôā¬†
Fuck, back to the ICU incident. that was the most boring of all the stints I’ve done to clean up. No one else to chat to. It’s just one vegetable to a room. And nurses are too busy (bless them, to talk) And the shitty feeling of knowing you’ve got yourself in a pickle rather than being slapped around by nature like I was with a stroke a decade previously.
Talk about being a vegetable and wanting to get back to life. Over a decade ago. That is shit to worry about. Not the random everyday shit. I was pumped full of morphine and unable to lift my head for days. Completely paralysed. And the mindfuckery of having a head injury. More about that in another post.

Okay. Back to the medical health caregiver. She said to me: Before you go to bed at night, tell yourself four good things about yourself.
It’s so fucking hard to remember. I’ve tended to go to the other options to beat anxiety. Stick cake, booze or nicotine in my face to get the world off my back for a while. Or rigidity. The childhood thing: “Step on a crack and break a back”.

Let’s all be nice to each other going forward.¬† And ourselves.

I got scared shitless by my experience, and I’m worried about losing friends who might read this (I always make sure there is a responsible adult caring for the kids and mostly I walk the dog, stay off the grog but I do slip),
But honesty beats the fuck out of struggling and not putting it out there. A good doctor friend of mine said: “Monique, everyone has stuff and in this neighborhood, there is a lot of alcohol abuse.

She totally let me off the hook knowing I was putting the fucking effort in dealing with bad mental health and I will tell myself bad shit to keep dangling.
I know others in my neighborhood who have kicked this Fatal Attraction to the kerb. It will be okay.

Oh fuck I just rechecked my calendar and along with forgetting Ozy’s ortho and a birthday party, I forgot my fucking mammogram.
Just one more thing to stress about. At least I’m current with the smears. (Gross as fuck are smears.) I have an aversion to anything but for toys intentionally bought and fully paid for up my
I’m trying to make you laugh here. Humor is the best medicine.
Maybe I should just get the tits lopped off. (Except they’re exceptional and it cost me $20k¬† to get the implants and fix up the abuse childbearing had inflicted on my body (a tummy tuck and by the way, while you’re stitching my stomach muscles together; lets add 350cc’s of silicon to the titties ) Having kids. Breastfeeding.
What we women do! Oh Fuck; you guys are awesome too. But can you imagine clamping a child to your nipples and all the fucking hassle that goes along with that?

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Because there is always a Part Two in any fetching Play. Shakespeare being the Master.
So I’ve been subjected to a Trial by Fire to date, due to any mixture of factors. Genetics, upbringing or What The Fucking Ever.
I can start by telling you about my dealings with many types of people.
From underworld Kingpin http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/4508646/Shadowy-figure-on-edge-of-crime-dies
An article about NZ  underworld kigpin Duncan McFarlane who I had the pleasure of knowing in a business capacity before his death.
There is a whole another story in that. A lot of stories actually.

“Wellington businessman Duncan Barry McFarlane had a taste for stylish clothes and top-of-the-line Mercedes, and once owned a Russian MIG jet fighter. But to some, he was the closest thing the capital had to an underworld kingpin.”

I got to know him when I had him up for not paying me rent and accused him of running a brothel from an apartment I was leasing to him. (He was, the canny Bastard) There was any number of times I turned up to collect the rent in cash and the girls and their “protective agents” were just hanging out and shooting the breeze.
I texted him after the first month of letting our apartment to say I’d have the Police on him for running a commercial Op in a residential area.
I had got a little pissy as he wasn’t paying me rent.¬†When I texted him to tell him I was going to get the police involved. He texted me and I quote: “Who are you to threaten me. I’m the Master of Threats”.

It’s a personality thing. Instead of reacting possibly normally ( I was a disabled thirty three year old and should have been scared as fuck) but instead of backing the fuck off, I thought: “Game On”!
Mutual respect was the outcome. For the next six months until he left. It was a bad time financially (the height of the Global Financial Crisis) and he couldn’t afford to rent our apartment and we couldn’t afford to take a hit to the tune of $200 a week.
Sadly he died of a massive stroke. The same type of stroke I survived at the age of thirty one.

McFarlane did me a lot of favours in the short time I knew him, probably because I stood up to him and gave me some great advice:
“Monique, if you’re too nice, People will think you’re weak”.
“Me and you both know that’s not the case as you cheated death. And here you are giving me a hard time”.
Which I did and he repaid me by evicting some twatty occupants from an apartment in Christchurch.

More on that in the next post. “How I walked in and found out my apartment was going to the dogs”. And it was the sleeping homeless guy I kicked who gave me the Heads Up on the little shit who was putting holes in the walls of my apartment”.

Too long a title for a blog post. I’ll rethink that after lunch ūüôā

But how fucking funny and ironic is it that Aliens landed in Wales on St Pat’s Day ūüôā


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Haha. The original title of this post was going to be: ” I met two FBI agents in detox”. But i dropped too many caps.

I’m not shitting you. The first was a female FBI agent. She worked breaking peadophile circles with the Irish Defense Intelligence Section. She worked out of the U.S. reporting back to Ireland.. The second FBI agent I met had worked on the Mexican border stopping border crossings and was a post 911 agent. Following that he worked on meth drug circles proliferating out of San Diego.
Anyhow. We all ended up cohabiting due to different circumstances. Slightly different. We’d arrived at the point of alcohol dependence.
Alcohol¬† Dependence! Gasp. Sorry if you know me personally and think less of me for it. It’s awful to think that I might be judged. Especially as your average Suburban Mom. Okay, maybe, not so average. My husband made some dosh from a start-up internet business and moved us from Johnsonville Wellington, a suburb I love but a friend sledged as a place not to live in as it wasn’t Khandallah. (New Zealand in Joke ūüôā to Alamo, California. She eventually left for Nelson and everybody else in the Baby Group ended up in Whitby.
(The cash is all gone BTW :, just in case you’re thinking of breaking and entering, ūüôā we spent it on three bedrooms, two bathrooms, and upgrading our pool)
Me! A small town girl casually talking about upgrading her pool! Whoda thunk it!

And know we have to pay a fuck ton of property tax. Average rates in New Zealand picks your pocket over to the tune of roughly $2800. Here we get a tab of $18,000 a year. I might have to Housewife and get a paid job.

Alcohol Dependence. What a Shitter.
Heaven forbid you admit you have a problem right?And once it finds you it will stay with you. I’m just being honest here.
So anyway, I first went off the drink at age 25.¬† I was royally twelve stepped and I loved the fuck out of it. I was the Poster Child of AA. I was on every committee in at least three Twelve Step Fellowships: AA, Overeaters Anonymous and the last two I can’t say. Ok: I will:
SLA and CA. One’s for sex addicts and the other is for Cutters. I’ll let your imagination go to town and ūüôā¬† The cutting thing was more a piercing stage where I ended up piercing¬† two holes in each ear and pierced my nose. My Nana told me off and it fell out one day and I never replaced it.
I might pierce my nose tomorrow in rebellion if my kids put up anything more like this on my fridge:

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Time is an illusion but those damn toys aren’t. If I ever step on another piece of random Lego in the middle of the night in sockless feet I might just shut myself in a room. With all the Lego. Build a wall Lego around me: (like Trump’s Mexican Wall) to keep people out. Short labor intensive people for whom these toys were all bought. With a peephole. I’ll take enough books in with me to last the duration and my Barbie and swimming pool set from the eighties to keep me company. I’ll probably get my weights and do some free weights so I can emerge from my self imposed exile. Stronger. Fitter. Like Linda Hamilton. And with the conviction to gather and dispose of all the bloody toys from Christmas’s past. Except my own: My Barbies, My teddy bears and my pink Rainbow Rabbit.
Heck, the kids wouldn’t even notice the clear out. They live online these days. In a kind of virtual reality where they primarily interact with their peers on line and drop out periodically to take care of their physical needs.¬† ¬†Like all others of their generation, my children are obsessed with their screens. The best brains at this apex of human civilisation has spawned a game called Slime Rancher. Where you spawn slimes. And yup, ranch them. On a planet far from Earth called the Far Far Range. Sigh.

I’m not worried about my kids nor do I censor them unless they’ve really pissed me off or trashed property. It’s a hopeless exercise. Their Dad was on his first computer at the age of ten. He was teaching himself to programme. Not to ranch slime but he dedicated himself to teaching himself mastery of¬†¬†an ancient¬†PDP-11 made by Digital Equipment Corporation and especially imported to New Zealand by his Dad who passed the Thirst for Knowledge gene onto his son and hopefully some of our kids. And hopefully they will eventually wind up employable despite the unfettered screen time.¬† Or we’ll all be successful Ranchers of Slime. They may never move out of home but the boys will stop peeing on the toilet seat at some stage. That is all I ask for. A clan of boys that can pee straight and girls who can ranch alongside the best of them.
Note here: (It’s actually Legos in Northern California. (We say “toemato” and the¬† rest of the world says “tomato”!
We’re special here in these parts. All Californians are a bit special. At the extreme end on everything. Aspirational. Extremely political. Always on the take. It suits me perfectly! I’m political, intense and interested in money. I guess it’s natural that California is such a singular entity. It’s a State of bounty and extremes. ¬†Fires don’t burn, they rage. We don’t have seasonal droughts, we have five year droughts. We don’t have standalone cities. We have¬†a Megalopolis that is Northern California stretching down through the sparsely populated San Joaquin Valley and meeting LA and the urban surrounds. LA is the most notoriously built out and sprawling urban area but here in the San Francisco Bay Area we’re well acquainted with this phenomenon.¬† San Francisco joined up with San Jose a long time ago which in turn has stretched up through Santa Clara County in the time we’ve been here. Resulting in a burgeoning population as everyone realises we’ve got the best weather over here on the East Bay. This side of the Bay Bridge used be called the “bedroom communities”, as in it’s where you slept and San Francisco or San Jose is where you lived. Now we’re a thriving popular destination in it’s own right. Thanks largely to having a reputation as a good school district and great access to Mt Diablo and cycling and walking trails.
Like the bigger cities, here where I live is also borderless,
Walnut Creek/DanvilleAlamoSan Ramon. The cities all run together. All around the Bay Area. It’s like living in one big doughnut shaped city.
To me growing up, in New Zealand. In a village, a city was a bunch of houses surrounding a business district with an industrial area public amenities like museums, a library and parks. A municipal area  and a mucky part of town where the comedians hold gigs and prostitutes ply their waxed wares and entertain the politicians. Roads running into the town and out but there are distinct borders to normal towns and cities beyond which is bare land to the horizon or a natural feature like a Mountain Range or the Sea.
Here in the Bay area, where the cities have all merged together, I live on the border of two of the above cities. I shit you not. The cities are divided down a road. On one side of the road the residents are zoned for one city and on the other side, just like a miracle or using platform 9 3/4’s you step into a neighboring city.

Surprisingly. This doesn’t preclude the existence of wildlife. We’ve encroached on their territory and they’ve responded by¬†taking up residence in pockets of undeveloped¬† urban areas. I am told on good authority we have a family of bobcats living within a mile. They’ve made their home in a neighborhood gully. I went walking Saturday morning with friends and we took our dogs. An EBMud (drains, water and infrastructure service ) Guy drove passed, stopped and wound his window down and warned us he’d just seen a coyote off a local road. He was really concerned and a really nice guy. He offered us his pepper spray. “I’m like, wait did this guy just show us a can of pepper spray, fuck! brilliant”! Meanwhile he’s telling us wasp spray is the next best thing to deter coyotes. We chat for a while about the local who is feeding up the¬†local predators¬†by trapping ground squirrels and leaving them out for the coyotes because he hates those gosh darn squirrels. Shaking our heads about the fate of the squirrels, me and the other Moms continue walking unperturbed by the possibility of encountering a coyote. No bobcats before breakfast today. Just good conversation and the anticipation of great coffee here on the foothills of Mt Diablo in the Far Far State.


Your local friendly bobcat. But do carry pepper spray just in case. The smaller size not the bear size. Wasp spray works just as well.


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I spend a lot of time sitting around waiting for the other adults to come home. So in this way I liken myself to the animal cast of The Secret Life of Pets where Max the terrier jumps around so happy when his owner comes home. I’m literally counting the minutes down until hubby gets home. Unless we’re fighting in which case he sometimes walks in to be met by Frosty the Snow Woman. And now I’ve got reason to be doubly excited with Markus the Au Pair. Another adult in the house Yeah. Apart from being easy on the eye he’s good company. Did I mention he was easy on the eye? Haha.

Can you tell I crave adult human company?
If I could sit here and read write all day I’d be good. But there’s shit to clean. I’m a housewife, right? It’s so easy to find myself overwhelmed by the never ending housework. Large house. Lots of kids.

BTW I hate housework. I can be good at it but I’ll never be houseproud. Because two¬†fucks I give not. It’s just the way I am. And you can’t read while you do housework. At least not very well.
Many people I know love keeping their house clean. I say people, not women, as guys can be as houseproud as woman. Not my husband. He is completely content with the level of disarray I find acceptable. Just one of the things I find so endearing about him. Neither of us mind walking on our clothes on the way to bed. In fact when we were flatting with ten other flatmates in a Warehouse flat in the 90s/ 2000’s they’d walk on my clothes on the way to sit on the bed and shoot the breeze. ¬†Hence the tendency to barge into rooms.

But I’m grown up now. Though thinking about it, those were fun times. I might just go back to that. Only accept visitors sitting up on my bed and¬†a cigarette holder¬†with a newspaper ¬†I’ll probably end up sleeping under that night. I was never short of reading material I could just push to Derek’s side of the bed when it got too much.
Be fun right?

No. Not with kids to ruin the party. And it’s not like people can just pop in through the door. By the time they’ve wandered down to the Master bedroom they’ve got bored, had a coffee and been surrounded by natives and left early. Probably all for the best. It wouldn’t be very American. The American way is to throw glitzy dinner parties and stand around chewing over minutiae, slagging off whoever is absent ¬†(the woman) or talking about sports (men) . Everybody behaves properly and there is no fancying, just side eyeing who’s best dressed or too skinny, ¬†(the woman) or who has the latest toy ( men).
I love it. They’re not really dinner parties such as gatherings of pockets of the community who might only bump into each other in passing. Same as any where else we’re pleased to see the kids are all okay, things are going well, the house looks good and to engage in a session of mutual back patting at how awesome we are at holding dinner parties. Okay that’s American.

Then everyone rolls off home; finishes off the best part of a bottle of wine or tub of ice-cream, with or without the spouse, goes to bed well satisfied and wakes up early next morning to wrestle with the housework, go to the gym or finish the PTA minutes.

Life’s good. Busy but good. I’ve gamed the washing process. I’ve found it’s easier to fold the washing as it comes out of the dryer rather than put it all in one basket to sort out later. Later never comes, it just leaves you screaming like a constipated donkey while you shake the unmatched socks out of a tangled up sheet while you hunt for the last pair of girl undies. “Where are the undies!” Plenty of boy undies with four boys.

Technically they’re panties here in California. Boys wear undies. And with one girl, sometimes she just has to suck it back and wear the tighty whities.

Check out this video of Barack Obama singing Shape of You by Ed Sheeran.

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As you all know, I live in a tidy (tidy, meaning you need serious coin to buy in ), little enclave bordering Walnut Creek. It’s beautiful and vibrant due to the combination of it’s location (facing the sun) and on the foothills of Mt Diablo with all it’s flora and fauna, (that includes tarantulas, mountain lions and rattlesnakes and many other types of snakes for that manner. It’s a community that draws in an eclectic bunch. Well the old folks are pretty staid but us with newer money sure know how to ruck it up.

So anyhow. Easter time in Alamo.

It’s weird how Spring Break did not coincide this year with Easter and how fully commercialized the celebration is. In Germany and New Zealand you have Friday through Monday off. The shops are shut and you grill with your family. Drink beer and eat meat. Not so in aspirational California.

Friday the kids are at school and I’m navigating Safeway. The parking lot at Alamo Plaza is a basket case by 8.30am. Quiet one minute and then the panicky wave of humanity descends. You have to be a serious cart jockey to maneuver through the isles. I still have the time and space to have a ten minute discussion with Janet in deli meats about how our favourite brand of baloney has been discontinued. I side-eye the substitute then take it anyway. Americans are masters at the art of discussing minutiae. The back and forth is like a game of ping pong. I used to struggle and drop the ball, the other’s party’s eyes would suddenly glaze and bring the convo to a quick end. Now I can parry like a pro.

Then I check out. Lloyd who retired and then reentered the workforce helps me out and we have a ten minute discussion about his stint in Berlin in Germany where he was stationed for eighteen months in the military police in the 50’s. He had a Fraulein who’s father was quite high up. He spent most nights eating at their house and enjoying the local beer and sausage.

Oh yeah. I learned from Markus recently a few new words. We had a reasonably relaxed Spring Break. A lot of packs of beer were demolished. Primarily by hubby and Markus. I won’t confirm or deny if I currently drink but I can say I’ve done a lot of research in this area in the past.
Drinking before noon in Germany has a specific term. Direct translation is “Early Shopping”. Fruhshoppen.
As in “Hey dude, what are you up too”?
Dude 2 “I’m early shopping

Commence high fives.
Must look up the translation for that.¬†What we used to call in New Zealand a roadie (as in one for the road) literally translates to “foot beer”.

Yes we talk shit a lot Markus and I. Maybe we’ll wrestle one day. My twin daughter Kaelyn called for a shoulder ride from Markus after Kindergarten that same day. I did suggest he give us all shoulder rides in order of age. Hasn’t happened yet.

Finally I get away from Safeway. Thirty minutes chattin’ and thirty minutes shopping. My eyes are prickly and red and my nose is a little drippy. Everyone else is the same. Allergy season. Everyone looks a little crossfaded due to the high level of pollen in the air. Either that or maybe there is a disproportionate number of pot smokers here. Could be the case. You can certainly smell it everywhere. Both my Au Pairs have commented that it’ll waft past while out driving or walking. ¬†And here I thought it was a skunk!

We collect the twins from Kindergarten and go home to make dyed Easter eggs. You blow out the white and yolk using a pin to make holes and then use dye to color them. This was Markus’s idea. I’m transported back in time to when I did it as a kid. A lot of fun.

That was Friday. It’s egg hunt day Saturday. The wonderful Rotary organise this annual event.

An American egg hunt is something else. Hundreds descend on our local park. By 9am the carpark is full. Parents are a little jaded but we yank ourselves out of bed to do the traditional. Plus you cannot miss one of the biggest social occasions of the year. Many of us wish our kids have aged out but the brats still want to do it this year. After one roadie and a coffee from Safeway I’m fit to go.

Love that about Americans. The culture is so celebration oriented. Not like Kim Jong Un styles but definitely all the community¬†will turn out for the children to chat and talk about minutiae. I learned a lot about everyone’s planned vacations to Mexico this morning. Including a scorpion catching jaunt!

Kids are all lined up in fighting form behind the tape. At 10.am prompt the whistle blows and the kids launch forward. It’s over in seconds. The victorious emerge with their spoils (plastic eggs full of candy). The losers grizzle a little but are entertained by balloon animals. I’m proud of my kids. They did well this year. Me and my little Buzz (boy twin) walk home and I’m stunned by how green and beautiful it is. Maybe the effect of the roadie is settling in.

Sunday is church. So this morning the wave of Alamo humanity descend on the New Life church. 9.30am service. It’s probably fairly irreverent to say but it’s like someone has slipped us a tab of acid on the way in. We grab our coffees find our seats and the band starts playing and praising. We’re all clapping and raising our hands. Yup. We’re in the dark, loud music and rocking and clapping! Nightclub styles! The Presbyterian church has nothing on this ūüôā In between songs and sermons broadcast live on three screens over the stage we laugh and meet other church goers. The pastor knows how to lift a crowd that’s for sure. It was great.Coffee and cookies after and then probably wine for many.

And now. At home sacrificing pizza for dinner cooked by hubby. I’m exhausted after the three day observance and celebration. But probably not as exhausted as Markus who volunteered wearing a bunny suit for the San Francisco Bunny Run.

Happy Easter.





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Happy Anniversary to your Grandad Kim Jong-UN

So basically yesterdays world crisis was a complete fizzle. What a come down!
Kim Jong Un doesn’t test a nuke, all he does is parade a few ballistic missiles essentially made out of the equivalent of a few toilet rolls, aluminum casing and poos. See above.

I mean seriously folks! How do you deal with a loose cannon like Jong-un. There is no nation on earth that wants KJU to have full nuclear capacity. So it was awesome that the caprious leader of the Hermit Kingdom can be persuaded to see reason.
It only took China moving 150,000 troops to the border. And the fancy footwork of the Chinese Foreign foreign Minister Wang Yi saved the day. He is the standout player in this political version of Dancing with the stars.


Recap:  Trump both sticks it to Russia and drops a big bomb (MOAB) or Massive Ordinance Air Blast (Mother of all bombs) on an Afghanistan tunnel feeding the efforts of ISIS to gain ground.

Trump recently realised that it wasn’t a case of “lets be friends” with Putin; that there is a very real threat to the US by Russian Hackers and Putin is not going to move on Assad in Syria over any number of convos over chocolate cake. (More later)
And that hot mess in the Middle East is sucking up US funds like nothing else and Russia is not coming to the party. So Trump doesn’t have any reason to disbelieve the same intelligence that Clinton was privy too (that caused her hawkish views on Russia) and throws support behind NATO:


Yup. Trump preempted a little land grab action by Putin by landing 8000 US soldiers in Kalingrad. Putin’s pissed and they’re no longer potential poker buddies.

I can’t imagine either world leaders golfing together, unlike Obama and his political equivalents, but I can see them playing poker each with a pistol under the table on their knees.

Not gunna happen! This after Trump threw support behind NATO.
Putin is rightly cagey and no-ones talking. Putin isn’t going to waste his time supporting Trump with whats going down in NK> But Hulla! we got a little potential nuclear action about to go down. Japan is freaking out! China’s worried about the trade implications as they are North Korea’s major trading partner. But there’s no way they can ignore Trump’s calls to get involved in the debacle brewing next door. But if China overtly looks like siding with the U.S, this will stir a hornets nest on crack.

Kim Jong-un has a survivalist brain beneath the bad haircut. He will look to the examples of Gaddafi and Hussein who suffered the fate they did not having adequate nuclear capacity, and go ROGUE.

Facing the juggernaut of a combined China/US relationship, Kim Jong Un can afford to fire off a few arrows from the ramparts (which would really hurt mostly South Korea, Japan (hence the upset in Origamiville) and Taiwan) and then become unresponsive to all communications while the rest of the world mops up the outcome of his doofuckery!
Major loss of life. Huge global instability and Putin will make hay while the sun shines so that’s got Latvia, Estonia and Poland and NATO breathing like a woman in labour.
The Chinese are very aware of all this. How to bring all sides together to bring to bear on North Korea and calm the waters?

Being fully informed that Trump will primarily act in the U.S. interests and go North Korea alone, causing significant loss of civilian life but preventing greater future loss of civilian life over many more nations!
What a fucking horrific quandary; so then China side-eyes the U.S. sending Wang Yi into discussions with the Russian Foreign Minister to remind them they share a border with North Korea (along the lower Tuman river)

Chinese Foreign Minister Wang Yi made the appeal in a phone conversation with Sergey Lavrov, his Russian counterpart, after telling reporters that conflict could break out ‚Äúat any moment‚ÄĚ.


All of a sudden the boy with the bad haircut is being pressured by both China and Russia who are distancing themselves from the U.S. and he backs down.

Brilliant play.

Bouquets go to China for the best diplomacy in history

And Trump. A bit of brinkmanship maybe and many are all kinda shades of pissed at his bodacious leveling of the playing field but there is now clear consensus that North Korea needs to be demilitarized. Expect Russia and China to bring to bear pressure on North Korea tradewise. Both countries will gain in the process and both these big nations have much to gain.

Russia to look South in it’s political influence instead of trying to stare down NATO.

China to establish it’s presence as a World Superpower (if they shut up about the monk¬†(Dalai Lama’s visit to India) and Taiwan for a while.


Sometimes you gotta give a little ground to gain a lot.

I’m a housewife. I have a lot of time on my hands.

Wanna see a dickpic?


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It’s 3am. I’m awake. Call it insomnia or call it a result of my Sunday night consumption. We had dinner at our Country Club after swinging golf clubs on the driving range for a couple of hours. I took one for the team and in the immortal words of Ed Sheeran: I drank fast and then talked slow”. (The Shape of You, Ed Sheeran.)

In taking one for the team, I determinedly set about drinking more than is responsible both as a functioning member of society and in obligation to keeping my body in peak condition. I did this because we had a big week. It was an Every Nighter. ¬†Every night we had a social obligation. And as everybody who is anybody in our neighborhood knows, you cannot attend these kind of events and not drink. I rolled into my son’s best friends birthday party Tuesday and Bestie’s Mom sidles up to me and says: “Would you like a shot of Tequila?” Bestie’s Dad cruises my way within seconds and asks: “Would you like a shot of Tequila?” ūüôā

So the kids played and had fun in their world and Bestie’s Dad and I set about making short work of the first bottle of Tequila. Thank you Mexico! for taking your distillations to the world!! Tequila is wonderful stuff if you know how to handle yourself. It has a relaxing efefct in moderate quantities like no other alcoholic beverage. It has a sting in it’s tail though if you over consume. The sting of the Paranoia Juice. You can easily spend the next day gazing from bloodshot eyes wondering if everybody can read your mind and know what a dick you are ūüôā

So anyway. I’m at the Club Sunday night after a big week . The other trigger was the golf staff telling our kids to be quieter and tuck their shirts in! I know right. How Anal. Eventually we’ll all be old Shirt-tuckers and Killjoys but I hope when that day comes I remember what it’s like to be a young kid or young at heart and keep my beak out of other parents business and keep it ¬†in my Whisky Sour where it belongs.

So I exact my revenge by getting loud and demolishing Margaritas. I yak it up with one of the other golfing Dad’s until I’m told I’m too loud by my Au Pair Markus and I finish up and slink home behind my judgey, judgey husband and new Au Pair, Markus from Hamburg. They are both experts at judging me and my fickle behavior! I’m fine with that. Whatever rolls their wheels.

So I’m in bed by 9pm. Everybody else settles in to watch a kids movie. Thank fuck I’m out for the count. I do not relinquish my will to watch kids movies easily. It’s a special kind of torture if you get a bad kids movie. I call it the Simba effect.

I’m just kidding. One of my favourite movies is Secret Life of Pets.

I had five hours sleep and overlapped with hubby going to bed at 1am. just checked in with my oldest son Ozy at 3am. He’s gaming. He asks for food. I tell him I will fix him something if he promises not to judge me. I’m rewarded with a big grin! I explain to him that our new Au Pair Markus is a similar personality type to my husband and they are both keen to ensure I keep my Flaky Writer shit together.

Oh yeah! We have a new Au Pair. Philip from the village in Northern Germany went to a new family in Chicago. We are now hosting Markus from Hamburg! He’s awesome. And hot. My Cougar Mom friends informed me of his hotness factor! Thankfully. Being a busy Mom of five kids I may not have noticed without their input!

Philip was a good driver, companion in the household and we used to dicker around commenting on the crazy busy American Starbucks, lifestyle. Markus is an entirely different character! He’s settled himself in and counts himself as a fully fledged adult member of the household with all the God given rights to hang with hubby and drink beer until all hours! I’m totally jealous. My husband and my Au Pair ¬†get along so well! We recently visited Tahoe.

Hubby Derek gave him time off for two hours to ski all the slopes at Diamond Peak. Hubby took two hours to ski alongside. And I got two hours to sit at the lodge bar and drink. We’re all happy with this scenario!

I’d have ski’d more, but as you know I’m recovering from a devastating stroke ¬†which caused complete paralysis in my early thirties. I’m stoked I have met my personal goal of donning Ski Boots (Men are hot in ski boots!) and approaching the gentle slopes of Diamond Peak ski resort.


The view from the top of Diamond Peak @Incline

Hubby is full of himself as usual!

My happy husband skiing Diamond Peak

Never get taught to ski by your beloved. Derek tried and I wiped out five times in melting ice. Then I had a session with a female instructor and wedged down the slopes quite comfortably.

Did I mention I used to be a cripple! Officially no longer! Well. I still limp but I’m sexy as fuck. Why do I make such a blanket statement? It’s a combination of how you perceive yourself and, dare I say it, working out. Fuck those cripple stereotypes! All is well in the world if you have one Number 1 fan. #1 Why not cover it off by being your own #1 Fan.

Happy Monday peeps! The unobtainable is obtainable! Excepting my Hot au pair Markus from Hamburg!






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From: Philip W
Sent: Sunday, February 5, 2017 10:28 AM
To: Monique Watson
Subject: Homework haha ūüėÄ

Hi There! My Au Pair Philip has posed the following questions as part of the educational component of the exchange programme. As you know by now, I am an early waker. Today I  woke early and was consumed by and large and now must post these questions.

Good morning Monique,

  1. What do you think about the American “busy” ¬†lifestyle?

There are many opportunities for children and adults! So we like to take advantage of the availability of educational classes and explore our interests. When we first arrived I studied French and photography through our local community education centers.  Now I am learning to speak Russian and Mexican and also study advanced photography.

Americans really love learning about other cultures. (There is an urge to travel and natural curiosity about other cultures.)

  1. Can you identify yourself with the American Way of life? 

Yes! I have always wanted to explore beyond the horizons ūüėČ In my native homeland that meant being familiar with all the local rivers and wildlife. ¬†I lived in the province of Taranaki in New Zealand and our family has made a living out of hunting and fishing for generations; indigenous fish and game as well as introduced species like possum, rabbit and deer.

Being from a small country (New Zealand with a population of 4 million) arriving in America has given me the opportunity to connect with the world.

  1. Do you think some Americans show themselves busier then they are?  If you would say yes why do you think they are doing it?

No. I think that workplaces put a lot of demands on their employees. It‚Äôs the epitome of¬† a ‚ÄúWork Hard, Play Hard‚ÄĚ culture! For men and women.

  1. What do you think what had contribute that American people are so busy (e.g technology?)

Technology definitely plays a part. We are especially cognizant of this; living in the San Francisco Bay Area. Silicon Valley has connected the world!
You can get away with a lot (And I do particularly with regards to Facebook) ¬†but you can‚Äôt not be ‚ÄúON‚ÄĚ and available 24/7
You may as well be dead ūüėČ
And Heaven forgive you should show your face at the annual PTA lunch if you’ve been a social shirker!

5. Being busy shows that a person has a lot to do. Of course it is better to be busy then the opposite. Do you think being busy could be a status symbol?

I‚Äôve always believed in the mantra: ‚ÄúIf you want something done; get a busy person to do it for you‚ÄĚ! I have noticed that many American people are very capable in different roles. There is a tendency to muck in and ‚ÄúJust Do It‚ÄĚ! American’s are a capable folk.

6. What do you think makes life busy?

A lot of Moms busy themselves with their children’s school life (and are busy with the PTA and education funds. so I think that volunteering in this capacity makes Moms extra busy on top of the usual demands of family life.
Many Dads are challenged by the need to commute an hour or more each day to get to their workplace and then fit in the demands of family life on top.

Of course this is all done with love and appreciation of the opportunities that the American lifestyle affords.


Thank you in advance :)!




Thank you ūüôā



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Tonight, the ¬†prickly pear of resentment propelled me to the surface of sleep at 2am. ¬†“Crap”, I sigh but here I go wandering down the hallway in search of words and the muse. Who kind of looks like Nicki Minaj because I cannot get “That Song”, out of my mind. Fuck what a cool muse though right? Right? Imagine meeting up with other writers. “Ah yes I say”. My muse is a strong black woman. Beat that suckers!

Where was I ?

Ah yes.

“How Do You know you’re a writer?

Did I mention I was a lush? A good portion of my life was spent non-practicing. To give my babies the best start in life. Gradually the wine crept back inn. ¬†after ¬†settling my breastfeeding babes I’d indulge in a book and a glass of wine. I’m not sure what that’s got to do with writing but it’s all part of it. Reading is an important part of the writing process.

As a gangly teenager whose knees would show, ¬†I’d devour Shakespeare in our English classes. Meticulously unpick the copulets. I know it’s coplets. But my favorite Shakespearean tales are about fucking and revenge and at the end of the day it’s all begatting and begetting. Copulating; hence couplets. ¬†Character based thrillers that pit father against son, family against family. If I had to choose any of the Shakespearean classics as a parallel to my life, it would be the Taming of the Shrew. In fact there was that time in 10th Grade where my first boyfriend admitted to me he thought it was my sister he was asking out.”

I’ll get my revenge on paper.

You’re right, the other classmates would die in a ditch before reading Shakespeare voluntarily. I’d do my sisters and her friends essays then pocket a dozen beer in return.

My first character in my minds eye in my minds eye came to me driving down our freeway the I680. I swerved and realised I wasn’t going to hit anyone ¬†“Eliza Cruickshank”.
The moniker came to me unbidden.

My son, the second son and younger brother of brother of Brutus (his older brother was born on the Ides of March (March 15th) the day Brutus stabbed Caesar)is very creative. He came up with another. “Hey Mom, you should write about a character called Alex Slicer.”

I developed a storyline.

I’ll stop there. After outlining how the creative process has developed for me, (hope that helps someone out there. (No I don’t really) I have pull out my manuscripts and carry on. It’s just time and coffee that’s all it is.

It’s not a bad job description.

“Writer procrastinator; Creator of souls”.

And Housewife.


A great coffee machine for the home barista!




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I started the blog. This one. It’s a keeper. Last one was awesome too.

I started a book. It was the story of “Destiny meets: “Hmm (thinking of a pseudo. Lets call me Monique. I’ll probably switch in and out of I We and and Monique because she’s mad in the head. There’s other personalities in there too.

Monique gets really excited because it’s so much fucking fun to start a venture but not much follow through in that one. I’ll write and make money. Perfect.

Stick with me.

How the fuck do you know you’re a writer unless other people tell you you are. “That puzzled me for years. (I’ll work out how to add a cuss warning but not just yet.) Having too much fun here.

There were warning signs in my path. I got second place in a writing competition Stratford. New Zealand.
Stratford on Patea  Best Fish and Chips. A New Zealand thing.

Note: And you knew right at that moment I wrote that I suddenly thought. I’m Channelling Shakespeare. (Because I’m egotistical and arrogant. Defn. (Like to produce great works without effort ) Somebody said I was channelling Rick Astley on a Political Blog the other night. I was so proud. Totally Toasted and having a great time.

Did a Journalism course. At Massey University New Zealand. Answer should be perfectly clear by now. I’m gettin’ along in getting meself a wee career in writing. Duh. I Like to write. But I’m a lazy arrogant lush at the age of 25 to be perfectly honest. I have to get more life experience.
It never occurred to me to get me in a writing school. But they can go get wrecked because the world has moved on and selling yourself is more important. Trump is in charge and he’s the master salesperson. Must try channel him.

Oh yeah. Got myself into family mode and had babies. And I was a goody good until I had a stroke and the ideas just flew when near a keyboard. Probably the brain damage. That’s how I knew I was a writer and destined to write crap and dream big.

So recently I realised the writings not happening.¬†“What could it be I think?

Guess ūüôā

I have to get some fucking discipline because loving writing is not enough. Passion is awesome. Passion got me out of bed at 3am in the morning because dogs were barking and I have a dog that knows me more than I know myself.

So I’m sitting here in a black dress with my mad brain because it’s better than being in bed with it knowing you have committed to write a book and document the path in 2017 in an effort to explore the process. As higher spiritual goal.


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Pain. To be human is to suffer. I have definitely suffered. Ostensibly; by all accounts, more than my fair share! And unremarkably, as I am sitting up this cold and late hour in California, I am currently suffering with a sore throat and even worse,
Cold Tootsies!
Today I am suffering a Mere, Bog Standard cold that caused me to suddenly jerk awake, mid snore, and demand of my husband:
(Big D!) “What time did we go to sleep?”
Was I snoring”?

I know!
Horrid! Right?

But this is the kind of pain you can easily be distracted from.
I promptly jumped out of bed and thought:
“What are the actual odds the internet is actually, down, due to stupid, ¬†inflammatory tweets by Trump?
What are the actual fucking Chances?!
I’m not sure that proverbial Chuckhead, Alec¬†Baldwin is adding anything to the debate!
But what the everloving fuck is he broadcasting?
? And what exactly does this scenario reminds us of? Oh yeah, right!

“You can’t polish a Turd”: All you can do is roll it in Glitter!”

I actually love that Trump is the President Elect.
And I love that I live in California! I love it! It’s like waking up from the totally insufferable 1980’s to find yourself living life on the fucking Titanic!
With no fucking Deckchairs! ūüôā

BTW, The 1980’s sucked,
Trust me!
All except for (David Lange who I saw speak, live, a number of times!)
(That would be the New Zealand; ultra-cool dude David Lange!
I Can Smell The uranium on your Breath!
I’m telling you folks!. There’s an Air New Zealand Boeing full of people in America, whom I talk to on a regular basis. All of which would love to move to Canada or New Zealand in a sneeze!

It could happen, right?
Arguably, New Zealand is a way sexier destination than Canada!

Fucking Miscellany!

!! Not once do I ever jump out of bed thinking:
“Fuck!” Fucking Fuck!
| I better finish the book I started two years ago!!!!!
Or, even with any with impetus to  go update my Linked In profile; as a profoundly experienced Bookkeeper or Software Tester!
Hell No! I wake for non-productive stuff Only!
So, anyway, two nights ago my son Axel,
(The Spare), As in: An Heir and a Spare.
There’s a few, in these parts (and yes I have five kids!) So anyway, Son two : Axel, and I were both up in the middle of the night. Not due to a stupid cold.
I was over-zealous, and in hyped up partying mode following New Years! So we were both hyper and awake. We quickly discovered our internet was zonked.
Was I a sensible Mom? Suggesting that all was most likely well, and just maybe the rain had temporarily knocked the internet over! No!
I suggested the internet was down!  And Russia was to blame! And of course, Son two (Axel) was thrilled. Indeed!
Four hours later,we were were both back in bed after being unable to rouse anyone over the age of twelve to convince them that, yes Trump had definitely screwed Shit up Royally for good this time!
And Ruined the party for Everyone!
As it happened! Son two and I  did have the kind of fun for several hours from 2.00am to 5.30am. The kind of fun reserved for mainly those with a blanket and chairs and the inclination to play huts without distraction. A good mom and son bonding time.

Back to the subject of pain. If you are reading this and are experiencing pain in any form you have my sincerest wishes.

It will pass. It just will!

Pain. There was the time I had my second child by cesarean section.
The first time was fucking magic. A spinal block and boom! bam! I was numb from the Tits down. The single worst side effect was the itchy nose. A not very often documented side effect of morphine!

The second child, I had a planned c-section with an epidural. As opposed to a one shot stop with a spinal block. The operation was fine but I was screaming for pain relief in the hours following.

That pregnancy was rather fraught. I’d had a stroke at eighteen weeks.

As in! One day I woke. Got on with stuff. After all, I had a toddler. He was my everything. That and the baby in my tummy. And my husband (Big D)
And when the pain hit. I was initially stoic. Thought it was a pregnancy headache.

Hubby (Big D) convinced me to go to the doctor to get it checked. I wasn’t one mile down the road when then I very prettily vomited all over myself. When; totally alarmed, I then tried to open the car door, my arm wouldn’t work!

Pain. I was totally consumed. Naturally! My head was bleeding badly due to an intracerebral hemorrhage.  An axe to the head is not a bad analogy.

Hubby (Big D) called the First Response team. My last memory following this, was of being carried inside our first house in Wellington, in pain. I said to him: And this was my last memory: “I think I’m dying!”

Giving that my neurosurgeon didn’t think I’d survive, and hubby (Big D) might have to man up to being a solo Dad,
I was pretty pissy when I awoke. A mere two hours past the nine hours surgery where I’d undergone a craniotomy. ¬†That’s the operation where surgeons drill into your head. The surgeons take a bone flap and lay it open on the rest of your skull.
I’m not linking to that. It’s gross shit ūüôā
I’ve heard that the neurosurgeon kind of doesn’t know if they’re sucking out actual brain or a blood clot! All it is, on the day is a best guess!

I’ve got syntax and grammer ūüôā intact so he must have been one of the best ūüôā

Next memory: He comes to check on me and the pain signals. Which were immense. I was blocking them out. My comment: “The ¬†head is fine but the ¬†fucking constipation is killing me!”

His comment to my Mom: “She sure swears a lot”!

Enough said.

Take care. I suffered more when my son suffered Shingles at the age of ten.

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This year the Enlightened Housewife is confronted by a unique challenge. How to cater for the traditions encompassed (that’s wordy) by three cultures. (“Encompassed”. ¬†Sounds like the state of my wallet before I started Christmas shopping this year. As in. My wallet encompassed a lot of money before I was exposed to the terribly effective marketing processes by the major American Merchants.
To wit, Macy’s flyers came through the mailbox almost daily. In the last two weeks we had a Last Minute Sale. Then a final sale. Then a Last Second Sale!!


So Philip our German Au Pair and I were talking about the different ways of celebrating Christmas around the world. Philip is used to celebrating Christmas Eve. In and aound his village,big hot dinner is Raclette which his family comes together to celebrate.

“The word “raclette” comes from the French word “to scrape.” Raclette makes up a simple meal that was enjoyed by shepherds in the fields. They would boil up some potatoes, and heat a stone and melt a bit of the raclette cheese on the hot stone. Once melted, the cheese was scraped off and served on top of the potatoes. Raclette has a long history and has been mentioned in medieval writings.”
The German tradition is to have the heated grill in the middle of the dining table and everyone takes their own plate or pan to cook a selection of meats, veges and cheese! Yum! The gift giving is on Christmas Eve. And get this folks! Santa visits the young children in person! Knocks on the door Christmas Eve and hands out gifts to all the young children. I look at him amazed! “How the fuck does Santa take time out of his busy schedule to personally visit the children in your village?” And the Villages around, he says,” like it’s the most normal thing in the world.

So far,So Great. Germany celebrates on Christmas Eve and we have a young gentleman from Germany, his first Christmas away from home and now I’m¬†eager to make sure there’s not too much of a disconnect to knock him into homesickness. “We’ll have our hot dinner Christmas Eve to celebrate for Philip I tell the Master of the Domain. Hubby. He looks resigned. “That just means we’ll have all the cooking and preparation for big meals two days in a row”, he says. “I know right!” I bounce.

The Kiwi tradition for a meal is a combo of a hot meal, seafood and grilling (barbecuing) And anything in between. Cooked and devoured with plates on knees or dressed up sitting around a dining table. Which makes Absolutely No Sense given New Zealand celebrates Christmas in Summer. But dress up we must given our Commonwealth ties:


So. We subsequent to much forelock tugging, we plan our hot meal for Christmas Eve:


Roast Pork with Sage and Fennel

Roast Chicken with Tarragon Mustard and Chive Butter Glaze.


Squash Casserole. (This is a testimony to the American element of our Christmas. (Squash, Shopping and Starbucks)

Scalloped Potatoes.

Roast Fennel Bulb and Red Onion

Steamed Fresh Vegetables.

Other Sides

Italian Seasoned Stuffing.

Recipes¬†and photos to follow. I will say the roast meat was amazing. I’d cooked roast lamb three nights ahead and left the fat and juices in the pan. When it came to cook the pork I fired up the oven to temp (415′ for 25 minutes then back down to 350′ for three hours. I threw the pork in on the dirty pan. The pork was flavored with a cumin/black pepper rub and sprinkled with Mustard seed and Coriander seed.
The chicken went in 1 hour and fifty minutes out. A mustard chive and tarragon mix to baste while cooking. The fat from the lamb cooked the pork to a state of tenderness and with a flavorsome crust that you can’t get with a pan scrubbed clean.

Only one more day until the next shopping day:

Best Ever Sale ft Macy's

Best Ever Sale ft Macy’s

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This is our Fifth Christmas in the U.S.A. So I shouldn’t be surprised by the level of consumerism as the Big Day approaches. But I am. Every Fucking time. What in New Zealand I knew as a scramble for gifts becomes ritualistic in the U.S.A. Willy Wonker styles. We’re all searching for the last chocolate bar with the magic ticket. Every child is Charlie fucking Bucket. It’s just plastic crap we’re picking over but somehow it’s essential we find the ticket to what we hope will become a disturbing but magical journey in the New Year that finishes off every other child but ours. We have a winner folks and it’s our progeny. Our gene pool!

It’s Naughty and Nice taken to extremes. And none of us are immune to this compulsive consumerism. Don’t believe me? Find yourself elbowing the fuck out of your way through a wall of your¬†competitors¬†fellow Moms, a week out in the toy aisles in Target for the last life size Elsa doll¬†(aisle 22) moving through the human sea like¬†you’re a finalist in Dancing With The Stars, despite your usual reticent shopping style and you’ll soon get the picture.

It could be that or that we’ve had Johnny Depp in our living room every day for a week. Reruns of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Tim Burton movies.

Christmas in The U.S. Its¬†the fervor with which the PTA Moms put the annual Christmas lunch together. And don’t get me wrong ours was delicious. Some of the Mom chefs at our school would put Julia Child to shame. I was a little late to ours but have been going long enough to know the patter and ease in : “Hi!! HOW ARE you?” Like she really fucking cares. A smile and move on. Not because we’re bad people folks, but we have to get around the room!
I’m as guilty of the next as this. One phrase I have learned not to use when making my departure during my conversational duties is: “See you later!”. It’s just not commonly used in the States. What’s a friendly common phrase in New Zealand makes you sound like a stalker in the¬†U.S. I try to get a selfie with Celebrity Mom but she ducks. Oh well. There’s always next year.
Then we hunker down for a real heads up with the other Bad Moms! Which is when we realise we’re all bad Mom’s just trying to keep it together for the sake of the ungrateful brats kids. ¬†Home and Hearth. That’s the real glue of the Universe, not the fervent attention paid to divining the meaning of Donald Trump’s latest Tweet.

The funniest parts of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory:

I hate Chocolate

Christmas in The U.S.A

On the face of it, Christmas here is the same as anywhere else. The guys (sorry Main Breadwinners) work right up until the last day. If the world had any sense it would knock off work (that may be a Kiwi aphorism) a million years ahead of the big day so families could collectively curl up like the Buckets, not to conserve heat but to commiserate about the arduous task ahead of cleaning, decorating, and fighting over who hosts Christmas Dinner. Or better yet, just stopping for a few precious days to enjoy each others company. Isn’t that what Christmas is all about? Families celebrating the newborn among them. Poignantly remembering those who have passed. Putting a bodyguard on Aunt Mabel so she doesn’t get garrulous on ill begotten whisky from grandpa’s fifty year old stash too early in the day.

There’s always one.

And so Santa would have voted to stay in the EU:


” This could be because he reaps the benefits of unlimited border control-free travel, or because of the fact he lives in the North Pole and therefore is pretty much a ‘citizen of nowhere’.

There are also claims he lives in Lapland, which is in Europe, so perhaps he just wants the United Kingdom to remain part of the European project, or will miss the benefits of trading with us if a sufficient deal is not met.”

The Human Tsunami: Ft Joshing with Philip.

Did I mention how intense the shopping experience is just prior to Christmas. As in the entire four fucking Months in the lead up to Christmas. It starts straight after Labour Day. Constant and sophisticated marketing techniques. Macy’s is the worst culprit. Don’t whatever you do go through the perfume department from September onwards. They’ll spritz you without permission!! “Do you like the latest scent from Chanel?” Spritz! “Fuck off and get out of my olfactory systems you nose rapist!” You think. You try to prevaricate. “I use…..” looking around and seeing no particular sign of the fragrance house in question.
Philip my Au Pair and companion since August does a great impression of these persistent sales elves. “I use Paco Rabanne”, he says to try and get away. They look like they have a winner and gesture like they’re unveiling a brand new car as a prize, “Step this way sir, we have it over here….”.
And what would be flat out rude in other cultures is self defence in America. “I’m good. Byee.,” you disengage turn and leave. They’re already talking to another customer leaving you slightly discomforted.

If you get a sweet spot during the Christmas shopping period, it’s easy to fool yourself that it must be a quiet day. Maybe the madness is over, you muse to yourself. But what an eerie, eerie phenomenon. You can walk into an empty, Safeway, Toys’R’Us or Macy’s and half an hour later a human tsunami pours in through the doors and you’re weaving and ducking and diving with your trolley. Sorry. Shopping Cart.

If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em. Happy shopping Housewives!

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Men's fragrance

Paco Rabanne Men’s fragrance.




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Shit’s real, Housewives. My youngest children, twins Buzz and Kaelyn are at school. They entered Kindergarten, this week, Monday 15th August. And now I have to embark on a new career path. For my own sanity you know? I need a new mission statement for my life. We’re all through the preschool years. It’s been crazy! You spend so long, willing them to grow up so you have ‘free time’. Then if you’re like me, the first time they’re all out of the house, perversely, you’re left bereft as fuck.

I had a taste of this six months ago when everyone was at school or preschool. I felt strangely lonely. So one thing led to another and as if we didn’t have enough Crazy in the mix, I introduced some more:

I adopted a dog. A happy go lucky six month old puppy called Stilts.

Photo to be posted.

Then of course I had all this extra work with crate training our new household addition. More cleaning and washing. More love in the mix but more tiredness. So I did the obvious.

I yelled at my husband about how I was overworked and I was NOT going through another year of abject slavery. Then  I adopted an Au Pair.

Philip from Osterstedt Germany.

Photo to be posted.

Philip joined us end of July for a year to help kiddy wrangle and be my driver. So we’re getting to know each other and having some laughs about the differences in cultures, German, Kiwi, American.

First, heck out that link¬†to the town Philip grew up in!¬†That is one barren Wikipedia entry! So one night, Philip was telling us how he lived in a village. I’m like “so did I man!”. I grew up in small town New Zealand! And he’s like. “No I’m serious! So I google Osterstedt. It has a coat of arms and a population of 700! And nothing else! No photos, no content. He’s absolutely bang on! It’s a village. No shops, nothing! End of the Line!



To compare, I google the village I grew up in: Eltham, Taranaki, New Zealand. Population 2010. But there are photos. And eleven famous people. And it has the dubious distiction of having the first tarsealed roads in the country.

I think Philip is a little jealous at this point. So, we’re like, “no way man. Look at the positive side. You’re now the most famous person from Osterstedt! You left the village and are now meeting more people than you could ever have imagined!

I feel struck by the responsibility of it all. It’s like when you save someones life then you’re responsible to them forever! We saved Philip from Osterstedt POP 700!

I’m all out of adoption options. We’re a full house. Five kids. One dog an Au Pair and two harassed parents finding every opportunity to sneak away because all of a sudden we fancy each other like mad. Again.

That’s the sick thing about having kids. You have sex to have them and that’s the last time you have sex, because it right buggers up your desire to have sex. In case you’re new to this, this is the exact sequence of events:

You have sex which results in Baaby. Sometimes this is even planned. Some weeks later you have sex again to prove you still can. Then you stop having sex. Your partner starts to look like Peter Jackson at a union meeting and you can’t imagine ever finding that shit attractive.

Instead, you read Fifty Shades of Gray and buy the most innocuous sex toy ever, which only ever gets used for leaving in the candy basket at the door at Halloween while you go Trick or Treating in nice neighborhoods that don’t have sickos that leave vibrators in the candy. That’s how pissed off you are at being a parent.

What an evil trick of the universe. Once a regular, enjoyable pastime; once kids come along; sex is neglected and ignored.

As for the old adage, use it or lose it, that’s anxiety provoking. I hate shit lying around unused. It makes one unsettled and grumpy. ¬†Whether it’s part of the house or apart of your body. It’s just wrong.

Fortunately, as soon as the youngest is old enough to play with lighters the drive comes back. You find you can get intimate again with your beloved other half. Right up until the dog ruins the moment and pisses on the carpet.

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Club owner devastated by Orlando shooting at Pulse

Barbara Poma set up Pulse in tribute to her brother John, who died of complications from HIV infection  in 1991.
John told Barbara before he died, that more than anything; he wanted to set up a place for the gay community to hang out. A place where people could freely be themselves; a venue free of hatred, bigotism and intolerance.
John held the vision of setting up such a venue to the last and in his last moments, he spoke the words: “My Pulse”. Following his death, Barbara set up the nightclub Pulse, in Orlando, Florida, in dedication to her brother’s last heartbeats with business partner Ron Legler. It became a resounding success for over a decade and a half. A safe place for the LGBT community and Dreamers and Seekers¬†from communities around the US and indeed, worldwide.

Did you ever read Enid Blyton books? As a child, I devoured Enid Blyton. I believed in brownies, fairies, speaking cats and the ability to fly in your dreams. The experience of flying to strange lands with friends and companions and gain experiences in lands that could only be accessed by climbing a tall tree in a magical forest or trusting your faith to bewitched furniture.

I found similar trusting souls in venues such as Pulse over the decades. I’m speaking to a small cohort of readers here but if you were on the club scene in Wellington, New Zealand- circa 1993, you were privy to a similar hip scene that could be found in the edgiest communities in Europe or the States. Venues such as Barney’s or¬†Ecstasy Plus.
You’d go clubbing and hang out with people who would suspend disbelief alongside you.¬†It was the best of times and it was the best of times.
And there was no imaginable scenario where your family, friends and acquaintances would be held hostage by a deranged gunman in a sanctuary set up by a fellow dreamer.

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Me too. Just a little. Can’t seem to shut up the infernal noise in my head. I may not know all the answers yet but, fellow housewives, I do know the problem:

How to dampen the overtly negative thoughts? Or the less than helpful narrative that is the jukebox of the mind. Mine runs along the lines of: “Are we having fun yet”? Following this thought, I feel really tired as I’ve got a day of work in front of me. Mostly housework. And then I ¬†sabotage my thinking further by checking social media; “Look at everybody¬†else having fun and being successful or having a party. Wankers”! Then I feel vaguely dissatisfied and sapped of all motivation to breathe, basically.

Let alone throw myself joyfully into cleaning toilets.

You may have the combo deal. As the working parent with work and home life and more arenas for your thinking to take a dive. Bad commute. Bad manager. “Everyone else is getting ahead faster. Wankers”!

It’s all the same. Worrying about shit you can’t change. Or if you can, any change is glacial.

The thinking is capricious at best even if I’ve started ahead of the game. Even if I have woken up of a morning not feeling like shit; I’ll be sitting feeling seven shades of happy not feeling crappy, drinking my tea and all ¬†of a sudden with absolutely NO warning, and right out of the blue, a thought might pop into my head and knock me off course. ¬†For example: “What if I’ve got: [insert incredibly rare and fast moving and invariably fatal disease like cancer and Alzheimer’s rolled together.]

I’m¬†a hypochondriac. I was convinced I had leprosy by the age of eight. Moles drive me crazy.

Where does this come from?! From whence does our thinking originate? There is no foundation to worry. I have no reason to suspect anything is physically awry. This is where I have to employ a sense of perspective. And put my thoughts into proportion. I have to change the narrative to get my head back in the game.

I reflect that I have these irrational worries despite having just passed the ten year anniversary of having  cheated death. 

Ten years ago, I survived a massive stroke that looked like it was going to finish me off. The sequence of events was as follows:

Me. I’m pregnant and at home with a toddler, I get a massive headache one weekend afternoon. Basically I then vomit on myself and pass out while hubby calls 911. In New Zealand it’s 111. (We also drive on the other side of the road. Our pies are made out of meat rather than being made from sweet shit unlike in the States where they are stuffed ¬†full of pumpkin, nuts and cranberries. Squirrel fare. Meat pies are¬†secret of our sporting triumphs, particularly our success in fielding the greatest rugby team in the world:

OMG. yum.

The pies are good too.

I guess that makes  meat pies a national dessert?

It’s all good. (Builds muscle)

Anyhoo. An ambulance arrives and I’m kept breathing¬†by the paramedics while the ambo guns it with the lights and sirens. At the ER a cat scan confirms I am suffering a ¬†intracranial hemorrhage or, a stroke. The fast response team had me at a GCS3 on the Glasgow Coma Scale.

BTW, the scale goes from nine down to 3 then drops off to “Dead”.

Not a lot of hope.

The neurosurgeon tells my husband in the waiting room that he and his team were going in but the chances of me coming out were slim or f*ck all. ¬†I know right? I could have been one of those sob stories the MSM like to plaster all over the front pages and pass off as news. Being eighteen weeks pregnant, the potential for newsworthy tragedy was huge. ¬†At least these days. A decade ago when actual journalism was more commonplace than pages of sob stories taken from social media, it wouldn’t have registered. You just got hard and got on with it.

So. Everybody is delighted that I don’t die in the process of having my skull opened and blood and brain tissue removed. I wake up nine hours later not a vegetable and I’m informed I’ve had a stroke. At this point I discover I have¬†lost all movement and feeling on my left. But I have essentially come back from the brink.

So if I were sitting at a poker tale with Death. I’d be all like: “Death you suck . I win, you lose. Na nah nah nah nah!”

Death looks smug: ” You just wait!”

If I take a different perspective and catch and then change my negative thoughts, every day is a gift. None of us know what is around the corner. I’ve been given an extra decade and counting¬†but the same things that troubled me back then still affect my thinking these days. If I let them.

Acceptance and maintaining perspective are the keys to  taking control of your thinking.

Before I had a stroke I used to take for granted my sense of being in the world. I used to assume I couldn’t change my thinking. The jukebox of the mind was only escapable briefly when lost in a moment. Or booze or food.

A little bit of brain damage changes ones perspective on this matter. For the period of time immediately following the stroke,¬†I used to accept that feeling really, really uncomfortable was normal. I would hang on by my fingernails to get through every day. The narrative in my head and my sense of being wasn’t just negative, it was both detached and flat out cuckoo! Mostly it was invisible to other folks who would say “I never would have guessed (I had a stroke)!” Because I wasn’t hanging off the ceiling and I could conduct conversations and make the appropriate responses. But I actually was hanging off the ceiling. In my mind.
You can’t have a trauma to the brain and not have some dark days. My days weren’t dark insomuch as completely, utterly detached:

Enlightenment’s Evil Twin.

Every waking moment was an exercise in acceptance and maintaining perspective. I could explain to people that I couldn’t recognize familiar faces but I couldn’t explain to anyone that I couldn’t recognize emotions. For months, the only feeling I had was¬†deja vu and it was with me from dawn to dusk.

Days went on and my mind settled down. I went back to good old stinking, normal thinking. My thinking and instincts gave me my sense of being rather than the inverse where I was experiencing a state of not-being. I’d experienced a complete loss of ego perhaps.

I attribute my recovery both to the natural healing powers of the brain that are so much more extraordinary than are given credit for and there only being room in my mind for acceptance and mindful perspective.

Recently it occurred to me that if I can travel the path from detachment to reality then I could do the reverse at will. Remain detached and travel through life.

Which is when the story really gets interesting.

Actually it doesn’t. I’m a housewife. Life is predictable. Housework and when I can, I grab time for these kitchen sink musings.





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Recognizing that feeling Crap is normal right from the moment your feet hit the floor and that also a lot of other humans also suffer from the Human Condition and we’re all in the same Situation of: [“Oh Shit. It appears, I’m a thinking, feeling being. I have a limited amount of knowledge of my surroundings. In the meantime I’ll be the best higher level Chimp I can be while I wait until someone figures out what’s beyond the blue ceiling” and “Must do best to avoid pain”!] {!} is important to mastering the art of contentment. (That sentence was possibly too long)

Because then you can 1: put your level of distress into proportion. And 2: By practicing feeling good, even though you feel like excrement you can then master the zen-like air of appearing to have it all together in front of all the other Chimps in your life even if you haven’t got it together because you’re [polishing off nightly; a tub of ice-cream, bottle of wine, an entire series of Breaking Bad; insert coping mechanism of choice that bollocks up your sleep cycle.]

Whenever you find yourself a little antsy, instead of meditating, just practice ‘not feeling like shit’ which is completely possible. It is entirely possible to not feel like shit in most situations, excepting of course when you’re too sick to eat or poop. Not being able to successfully poop registers on the highest personal level of hell.

And excepting in times of War. War sucks. Collective cultural hell. Free choice, huh? Was God like ” hmmm. Do I go for Thor, as a keeper or, for Free Choice? “No”! That mad f*cker Thor is effective but possibly might not be best example in this case. These apes are too warlike. <God scratches chin> “I know, I’ll go for a combo deal. Free Choice and Jesus to set a good example. They’ll work it out eventually”. <Takes a bow>

I attained level two or greater, ¬†‘Not feeling Crap’, recently by deciding to only worry one day in three. As per that whole “live in today”, mindful movement crap spearheaded by the Squirrel Monk¬†¬†Eckhart Tolle. Don’t you just love how he’s melded mindfulness with higher level ¬†cuteness and lonesomeness; and he also reminds me of the comforting feeling I get when I look at a Squirrel. Not too mention his meme is now everywhere. Just like Squirrels are.

Anyhoo. Our family went on a trip to New Zealand through Feb and March. I know right? How did we get let out of the school district for so long? That my friends is a whole another story. Watch this space.

We flew from SFO on a Saturday. We landed on Monday morning. I’d forgotten how astonishingly beautiful New Zealand is but that is not the point. I realised pretty quickly the mental benefits of jumping forward a day. All my problems I’d left behind in yesterday or Sunday in the States. They’d not catch up with me. And I was able to not worry about any matters from home. Well apart from when I received a text one day at 5am NZ time from my housekeeper saying she’d locked herself in the mudroom with the keys in the kitchen. S’kay. She’s pretty resourceful and got herself out.

Likewise when we returned. I’d left all our baggage of the previous month in the past. Our luggage made it though. Which is unreal considering we were on and off planes eight times in thirty days. We crossed ten time zones all up. Jet lag is a bitch. But I now make it a practice of trying to defer any worries to yesterday by putting it in my mental ‘Tomorrow’ and not worrying about it.

Enlightened Housewife. Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in. Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was a pussy.

We all only have today. Theoretically we’ve got yesterday and tomorrow but that is too much shit for anyone’s plate. I mean. I mean three days of Feeling Bad? Do yourself a favor and drop two days off by not not worrying about what happened yesterday and what might happen tomorrow. If you can.

If you can’t: Icecream.

Big tub.


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I came across a good quote recently about marriage being about weathering the good times and the bad times. Which is fantastic and lets one off the hook tremendously. This sets a pretty low bar for most couples!
If this approach was employed in relationships it would eliminate most fights and expectations that the other party would morph into the best version of themselves. An unselfish Sex-god and/or Fart or nag free version of themselves. Awesome! And if marriage can be rendered this pragmatically , then life can be simplified by viewing it as an exercise in mastering: Not Feeling like Shit.

I know right? It’s emotional Hunger Games out there. Actually in there. In that intricately wired ¬†lump of jelly perched atop your shoulders. A game without obvious rules where your bad emotions are roaming around armed to the hilt ready to take out all your good emotions.

I’m entirely convinced there are more negative emotions than good emotions. I will research this at some stage. Until then I rely on my observations. And my opinion. You can have nothing else but you can still have your opinion and own it loudly and at length. ¬†This is the secret of success to the long running Seinfeld show. ¬†A bunch of freaks with nothing but their opinions. And Friends. Fantastic viewing until they ran out of controversy and started to get Stuff. And relationships. All of a sudden Boriing! and the shark is well and truly jumped.

Back to mastering “not feeling like shit”. It helps to¬†start with the premise that our feelings are wholly illogical.¬†It’s entirely possible to feel like shit in the good times and euphoric during disaster. Totally counter-intuitive.

And regular old life is the most confusing of all. Generally you start your day not feeling like crap. Unless you’ve recently experienced grief or significant loss or maybe had a recent breakthrough with your counselor, therapist, sponsor or life coach or dealer. Or you’re merely perplexed and flummoxed by the lack of rules to the point of desperation. The exclusions for starting your day feeling like “not crap”, are endless and experienced by the majority¬†of people¬†a good portion¬†of the time! We can only conclude the majority of humans past puberty are feeling godawful right from the get go most of the time!

Bad mental health is the new normal! But you’re not alone. This how cultures hold together. Misery loves company. This is also how some marriages hold together. Some of the most successful marriages, if success is measured by overcoming the ever present urge to murder one’s spouse for his insert, [annoying inability to take care of his shit; bad habit, lack of appreciation for all that you do]

By and large we’re never honest about our Shit with anyone apart from our life partner. Or partners if that’s your thing. We carry on shining our shit for Facebook and we pretends all’s well.

But it’s unnerving. Ever noticed how you feel after a good lengthy consumption of all the shit on your Newsfeed? Try it. Scroll and read when you’re not under the influence of anything. Even coffee. So you can really gauge how you feel. And so you’re less likely to react. Sometimes you come away feeling unsettled and vaguely soiled. And that my friends is because whatever goes said, there is an awful lot that is unsaid. Unless you’re a guy and you just read the dirty jokes.

And¬†if life hasn’t knocked you before your feet hit the floor of a morning; there’s¬†hormones:¬†The soupy mix of hormones that our brains are awash in has a huge say in our mood and attitude. And they don’t care how good we feel. Evolution has zero regard for our Feewings. Hormones¬†just want to influence our behavior so we reproduce. Hormones are not there to make you feel good. Their purpose is to get you physically ready to have kids. Despite whether or not you are mentally and emotionally ready to have kids.

Is anybody ever? There are just greater and lesser stages of “not-readiness.” And¬†hormones always beat reason every single time. ¬†“Wham, bam. Thank you Ma’am!” And ¬†Thank you Dean Martin for putting it in a song and polishing the turd of the concept that is “true love”.

It may feel like love at first sight, but through every step of the courtship it’s an evaluation of your potential as a genetic donor or bearer of sprogs. Using essentially your nose! We’re a logical rational super species with a¬†greater or lesser¬†comprehension of statistics and we still sniff out our life partners. WTF? Pheromones I think they’re called. Hormones on ecstasy. And once again, reason is out the window.

Naturally once the kids have arrived you have many more reasons to feel like crap on awakening. Your sleep routine is buggered and so is your sex life. Until the kids are totally off your dime and life insurance policies at the age of twenty five.

Yes hormones are a very potent and ever present influence. At least until your forties when they start to dial back and this results in men spending a lot of time on golf courses and/or proving their sporting, fishing, hunting ¬†prowess. Women start thinking less about how they want to be seen as successful and more time being who we are, not how others want us to be. It’s more important to be true to ourselves and not someone else’s bullshit rules with all due respect to their no doubt honest intentions. This does start defining ones circle of friendship especially when we start giving our opinions loudly at dinner parties. And it doesn’t affect how we feel when we wake up the next day. Because there’s a lot of reasons to wake up feeling shit but worrying about someone else’s opinion shouldn’t be one of them.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Basically you got it made if you woke up feeling level. That there folks is the holy grail of success. That’s as close to enlightenment as any overthinking member of a super-species is ever likely to come.



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I just don’t know what my husband does all day. He leaves the house just as I go to take the kids to school. The worst possible time to depart. If he lingered longer he’d be able to watch the twins (5 in Feb) while I dropped over the other three. Two, to¬†Erstwhile Elementary and our oldest son to Flintstone Valley Middle School. (Apt nomenclature but not their real titles.)

We live in¬†Aspirational California in a good school district. Here it’s more a case of drone-parenting than helicopter parenting. Parents don’t hover so much as parent via e-commerce these days. The latest toy delivered direct to your door! We have seven day a week postal¬†delivery. Amazon will in the not to far distant future¬†drone goods to our door. Parents drop¬†money at will in cherished offsprings’ paypal accounts to keep them entertained. Our two oldest have paypal accounts which we credit with their pocket money. When they get low, they chorus, “Can I have a dollar in my Paypal account Dad”?

If my husband left for work earlier he wouldn’t be able to criticize my childcare decisions of letting my 4th Grader (play Mineraft) watch the twins, while I drive my eldest son¬†to school. Rather than being useful, Hubby is generally¬†underfoot at the most rushed part of the morning routine and often gives me the side-eye while I yell ask rhetorical questions. “Why didn’t you get up when first asked”? “Why didn’t you do your homework last night”? All the while I am brandishing a hairbrush at the kids, impotently. And at this thought, I return the unfavorable glances to hubby.¬†All the stress in my life AKA, Parenthood is a direct result of the lack of said impotency. It’s true. Bald men have more kids. And back in the day, no-one told me to run from the light (reflected by a shiny bald pate).
I’m also simmering over the attention to detail over hubby’s morning routine. Unbelievable. He’s worked out, meditated, had a phone meeting, has another on the way to catch BART into san Francisco. And darned if he hasn’t made himself a coffee in a take-out cup to go. How cute.

A great coffee machine for the home barista!

A great coffee machine for the home barista!

Whereas I, I! got up two hours before hubby and I’m nowhere as prepared for the day. I am ashamed to say I slept in my clothes. ¬†PyjamaGate?

  • Uk Headmistress Kate Chisholm sparked a furor recently after issuing a letter hightlighting the increased incidence of parents escorting (nobby Brit term for dropping the brats to school) in pyjamas. And slippers. Classsy! Darned sloppy Gen X of which I am a member. It’s all Kurt Cobain‘s fault. On news of his untimely demise at the age of 27,¬†¬†a cohort of Gen X decided it was a good idea to wear underwear as outerwear in our college years. It was the era of Grunge. Both the music, and the fashion reflected a tilt to apathy and underachievement. Naturally we are reclaiming this¬†trend in our parenting years. Kate Chisholm can p*ss off. Sometimes we don’t even wear underwear. Panties aren’t flattering after the age of 27. Whereas Commando ALWAYS rocks comfort with the bonus of the invisible panty line! And with mood lighting and no pants we’re more confident than any 20 year old!
  • Possibly our generation never grew up. We embraced responsibility, had children, but still grapple with being censored for our fashion choices by Conservative authority. To hell with that!
  • We’re still alive!

Forget pyjamas. My kids may have slept in their clothes. I try not to think about this possibility. Hubby does the evening shift so if the kids bound out of the bedroom in the morning fully dressed I try not to recall what they wore yesterday. This way I never have to confront the possibility they may have slept in their clothes. ¬†I am deeply suspicious that I never have pyjamas in the laundry but I don’t dwell on this. they look great folded away in the closet. that’s all that counts.

I think to myself, I’ll do the school drop off and come back for a leisurely shower. Maybe ¬†even a bath. Who am I kidding?

I’ll run a wash cloth over and change from¬†my slept-in black leggings to recently washed black leggings. And then I’ll be busy all day combining housework, with social media (it’s important), with my passion (writing) with growing a stream of passive income. Again,¬†important. “A women must have money and a room of her own if she is to write fiction”, Virginia Woolf.

And men are unreliable. I just don’t know what my husband does all day. I know I’m busy. It’s totally obvious to my husband on his return that I’ve been busy all day. For one, the house is a mess and I haven’t had enough time to shower, Even!¬†But Hubby? He leaves nonchalantly in the mid-morning and returns after I’ve done a full day of work, and fed the kids innumerable times before declaring the kitchen closed. My husband¬†returns home without so much of a brace of rabbits and nary¬†a plucked pheasant in sight. There’s no shit on his Italian shoes. No singe marks on his suit or any evidence he’s fought with the elements to support his family of seven.

What does he do all day!

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I don’t make New Year’s Resolutions. What a waste of time! Where did the concept of New Year’s resolutions spring from? This archaic tradition is totally counterproductive given our perverse and fallen human nature. And a waste of effort. We all know that no matter how infrequently we attend church that Jesus loves us and He loves us regardless of what weight we tip the scales at.

He loves us even if we have a tendency to brood or Rage Quit at large family gatherings.

Furthermore, Jesus can’t see your bad habits for the light that shines from you, even on the occasions¬†you’re side eying bad mannered soccer Moms at the annual Nordstrom sales; whilst simultaneously¬†seeking to get the advantage and surreptitiously stepping on the feet of their ill mannered brats with the stiletto heel of your Jimmy Choos from last year’s sales.

The light that still shines forth whilst Soccer Nan cops a blow to the elbow from your Valentino handbag. Another Ghost from Christmas Past. The handbag that is, not Nan who’s corporeality you have no reason to doubt as she just got physical by kicking your ankles with her Cole Haan riding boots,whilst the eight year old daughter pulls a bait and switch by pretending to choke or vomit, (who cares), before¬†circling around everyone’s concern to snatch the last coveted, discounted Burberry diaper bag. And then the insufferable¬†bairn has the nerve to wink at you. The apple doesn’t fall far from that poorly botoxed tree given the smug look of triumph on Soccer Mom’s face. ¬†Only 365 days to the next post Christmas Consumption fest, folks.

Comfortingly, we all know that even if Jesus isn’t partial; God loves fools and drunks. It’s hard to figure out whether the Father or the Son got the hospital pass. ¬†Jesus gets haters; God the inebriates and politicians.

I think that about covers all bases.

Useless New Year’s Resolutions:

Give up: <Insert here>There is nothing like swearing off something to make you want it right that minute. Or if you get rid of said substance it will manifest itself elsewhere. You have to have a game plan to live well or the fear of the proverbial in you and/or the fear of sitting through another well meaning but tasteless intervention. Cold turkey works the best but be aware you may be in for addiction Whack-a-mole. Or balance your bad habits to cancel them out. Like opposite phase sine waves. Trust me.

Behave better: be a better <Mom, daughter, friend, coworker>, or stop < said bad behaviour> ie biting nails or sneaking an illicit cig, drink, cease compulsive peanut butter cup consumption or other late night self-sabotaging binge. Again. Requires more will power than you or I will ever have to be a better human.

Cease Lusting¬†<after other people; coveting their possessions or whatevs> entirely. Besides which it’s flattering for the recipient getting the glad eye after a certain age. Women from the age of 35 before which it’s merely unnerving and Men from the age of 80 before which they’re confident it’s given they’re young and hot stuff and assume everyones’s perving at them. Sean Connery has a lot to answer for, for this phenomenon.

Flirt but don’t get physical. As a rule it is creepy copping a feel in many circumstances. Not all. It depends on the coppee’s temperament and how long you have known them. Going in for a chest press after the obligatory ¬†handshake cheek kiss is acceptable. Whether it’s the boobs or pecs you admire go for it.

Human touch generates the feel good hormone oxytocin. This is hormone that plays a strong role in social bonding and is responsible for women breastfeeding their babies until they go to school.

And how badly are we behaving really?

If you can get out of bed in the mornings, are kind to fellow humans and hold down a job and or raise a family and follow the path your previous self chose, you’re probably doing okay. Instead of making self defeating resolutions I choose to look at what has been revealed to me about my life over the previous calendar year. New Year’s Revelations.

Enlightened Housewife.  Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.  Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was a pussy.


Discuss and share:

In my experience, any Enlightened Housewife doesn’t post if she plain has too many children. I have five. That’s either one to five too many depending on your outlook on life or the stage of Motherhood you are at. Also it doesn’t help if you love them dearly and couldn’t do without them.¬†Don’t worry! I found my way into this situation by a combination of choice and accident and one day I’ll find my way out again! They’ll all be at school eventually. I find this hard to believe but am comforted that there are laws in place to ensure this is a likelihood.

Anyhoo. the lamest way you can start a blog post, is, “sooo.. folks it’s been a while.” Actually I’ll just default start my posts this way henceforth. Life seems to quite often get in the way of writing. And one trouble is with the writing is that once you’ve garnered an audience, no matter how microcosmal ( I made that word up, (definition to follow) ¬†is that you owe your readers an explanation. No matter how corny and mealy mouthed this explanation sounds. I use the following analogy: ¬†Imagine you catch a tour bus. You’ve made a choice to go on a journey and it may be thrilling or it may be lame but it will always have a beginning, a middle and a return to real life, or an end.

And then wouldn’t it be puzzling and annoying if the bus-driver stopped at a non-scheduled destination, announced a pee stop and then stood there chain smoking until the passengers realized the driver wasn’t going to go anywhere for a while, if not months. After a few minutes of one’s life thinking “WTF?” you and all the other passengers realize: A. the journey is over for now and B. there is a nice cosy pub within walking distance and the combo of music and Irish stew makes for a compelling destination.

So, blogging is like a bus journey but it never ends. And I last posted in July and then I lamely never came back to it. Analogy ended.

Something that irks me about the writing business is all the young smart arse writers who become a resounding success but never take the readers on the journey to publication and resounding success. Take my fellow Kiwi Eleanor Catton. Instead of plugging away at the biz for twenty years or so and gradually making a name for herself, she ups and writes a book in one day set in Nowhere’s-ville New Zealand (not part of Australia BTW). And she wins the 2013 Man ¬†Booker Prize. ¬†Who does that?

Oh she’s a Millennial. That explains it. They get it in the right order. Success then Brats.

I haven’t read Catton’s book yet. Reading ‘The Luminaries’ is a decision not to take lightly. By virtue of it’s very size it falls into a category of book called ‘Door-stoppers’. Perfect for holding the door fast or throwing at a drunk uncle on Christmas Day. However you actually have to have time or be pushed into it by the fates to embark on the journey of reading an¬†epistle of biblical proportions. Or the wont to make a bargain with it’s placement on your reading list. As in. “I’ll read ‘The Luminaries’, when author Eleanor Catton starts sporting a pastel jumpsuit or a bad perm.”

I doubt that will happen soon folks. She looks fairly serious. Maybe a tattoo.

Eleanor Catton

Eleanor Catton

Thankfully Thanksgiving is over. It was wonderful. A houseful of guests and tradition. Menu to follow.

The day after Thanksgiving I got a much needed break from my household. I call our house and surrounds, ‘The Compound’. I have it similar to Shelly Miscavige the Scientology wife who was swapped out of the public eye to “a small compound above LA”:

Shelly Miscavige

Shelly and I have totally so much in common. Not the least being that we haven’t been seen in the public eye since 2005. That coincides with when my oldest son was a year old. It’s time to get with the program so gleefully, albeit not without reservation I took the four hour hop (United Airlines) to go ahead two hours in time and back centuries to atmospheric New Orleans.

In the interests of preventing a re-occurrence of scurvy in the household I must stop here and attend to the nutritional needs of the household. I will leave you with this:

Defn: Microcosmal: As in, Small but important. Origination: When one son spotted another son going about his day without pants on and gleefully yelled out : “Your penis is so microcosmal”!


Discuss and share:

In my experience, any enlightened housewife doesn’t blog post regularly if she is (A) Worried about her kids. (B) Helicopter parenting. Or (C) Just Plain Pissed Off.

I do, I have to say I spend some time being,’Just Plain Pissed Off’. Usually at institutions more so than people: Schools. School boards. Political bodies that don’t align with my current political views. ¬†When my children and others are hurt or treated unfairly by society at large, Momma Bear comes out of lurkdom. At the barest whiff of injustice.¬†It’s a useful instinct in this respect; ensuring the well-being of your own children and others in the same herd.

But Anger, by and large, is not a productive emotion. ¬†The¬†Buddha says: “You will not be punished for your anger, you will be punished by your anger.”

I cordially disagree. In these days of digital media, it’s more a case of:

“You will not be punished for your anger and in fact you will be able to rant angrily and candidly into the early hours of the morning on obscure blogs with other like minded souls.”

Personally I can’t see how being angry hurts in the short term. ¬†I don’t know if I’d be the same person had I not wasted all those hours being silently teed off and fuming! For example, in the workplace back in the day; “Who do they think they are to be treating me this way!” ¬†Why don’t they see my potential greatness!”

And, inevitably into the fray, rock Anger’s cousins, Resentment and Judgement! Goody!

It’s like a party! With invisible friends who will stay as long as you want them too!

It’s got to be fun! Who would harbor these emotions if there wasn’t some fulfillment to be had in the process?

Surely Anger is the ultimate wind up toy for adults: Wind Anger up for endless hours of fun and best of all no-one can see it but you!

Excepting the sorry pricks who over serve themselves on a long haul flight and lose it at the cabin crew or a fellow traveler. That’s pretty visible.

Never mix Anger and alcohol. It hurts you and your chances of getting home or more importantly, getting lucky.

After a while, all negative emotion becomes unproductive and you inevitably become bogged down in circular thinking. I find I can’t write when I’m pissed off so I eventually drop Anger.

I drop Anger like I did the Dickhead¬†who got his Mother to ask me out for him in 10th Grade. Initially I was like, “Well everything’s gotta start somewhere.” But I lost faith and the relationship ended when he delegated to his friends the job of writing me a Valentines Day card. It was a no-brainer: Goodbye Loser!

Enlightened Housewife.  Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.  Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was a pussy.

So, recently it’s been option (B) or Helicopter Parenting that’s keeping me from the keyboard. In May and June I spent countless hours weekly, driving three children around to dance lessons, culminating with a professional production where I spent a total of 19 hours over one weekend in June at a theatre in Alameda. Three dancers. Six outfits and four performances. It’s a special kind of madness being a Dance Mom.

And now dance is over, it’s Summer swim season. Daily practices and meets on Wednesdays and Saturdays. We are part of the swim team at our Country Club.

I wasn’t overly familiar with the concept of a Country Club before we emigrated to California from New Zealand. I’d once seen a quaint reference to Country Club folk in an old Archie, Betty and Veronica Comic Book.

But nothing prepared us for the phenomenon of entire sports facilities including golf courses (one or more), tennis courts (floodlit to allow twilight matches) and of course the mandatory Olympic sized swimming pool. These facilities are attached to a clubhouse with full day dining and event facilities with a dress code so patrons are encouraged to maintain an exemplary level of conduct and presentation. The club is usually surrounded by neighborhoods of tasteful homes. Houses inhabited by lovely folks. Some of whom do spend an inordinate amount of time comparing their house values to those in other Country Clubs. But the Moms do a lot of volunteering and do their best to hide their painkillers and stimulants from their offspring in order to suppress the adolescent market for such contraband. Lord love us.

Yesterday we swam at a neighboring Country Club. We take swim seriously in Northern California, so all are required on board early. Warm ups start at 7.00am Most parents work jobs and are required to check in by 7.45am. All swimmers by 8.30am. I aim to leave by 7.40am as two of our sons are in the first four races. We inevitably leave for the 20 minute drive at 8.15am. We arrive promptly at 8.45 to hear the Star Spangled Banner following the team cheer.¬†I’m late and I’m panicking as I try to get my boys to their start positions for the 6 and under and 7-8 yr old mixed medleys. I’m gently admonished by another parent clerking the kids in to get ¬†there earlier next time as they’ve been looking for my boys for twenty minutes. I ¬†totally understand and in the spirit of solidarity, wish she could have witnessed my pissed off demeanor during the trip over. For the entire twenty minute drive I radiated disapproval at the other adult family member’s complete inability to get out of bed to ensure a timely departure for the swim meet. Unfortunately my best ‘Cat Butt Face’ impression was completely lost on my husband.

I’m angry and he’s thinking about when he might get to eat! Talk about an exercise in futility.



The whole process requires a lot of emotional investment. Moms are generally up early (5.30am start for me) packing the car with towels, goggles seats and tents to ensure the comfort of swimmers and cover from the sun. A picnic basket with baked goods, fruit and beer. Food will be available for purchase but at a premium. No-one wants their pockets picked  by their own Country Club, let alone being overcharged by another.

Later in the day, I ask myself. Why? “What are we here for?” Coming back down the hill from the¬†bar, the dawning realization hits me

We’re all here solely so a bunch of Grown Ass men can spend their Saturday mornings racing their own kids against other parents kids!




Men. Given enough time; groups of men will eventually congregate and conspire to build golf links and a swimming pool in the middle of nowhere.

And gain enormous satisfaction racing their own kids against other kids!



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I’m exhausted. It’s Wednesday morning following one of the big long weekends of the American calender. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Households in this nation go from dinner party to festival and it’s a big ole juggernaut of secular and commercial culture fueling the American economy. To the point where festival cities are an accepted part of the culture. Reno. Las Vegas.

The places you visit when nothings going on and you can’t cope. Nothing’s never going on in these parts, but you know?

Gotta have a backstop.

We hosted on Memorial Day. We planned and pulled off a last minute party to welcome in summer and commemorate the dead American men and women that served in the armed forces. I have to say here, it’s brilliant being a first generation immigrant in this respect. You have emotional and family¬†ties to the mother country and so you tend to¬†gather with other expats and have your traditional day. ¬†And then you do the same for the commemoration day of your new country of residence.

So for New Zealand we commemorated Anzac Day in February by gathering at the Presidio¬†of San Francisco for a service and a barbeque. Three months later it’s time to commemorate those who served in the U.S.A ¬†armed forces.

I’m fairly excitable. So upon having a good time at a Bayou themed party we attended in Mid May, (otherwise known as a swamp bash). I invited those there over for Memorial Day. For a potluck. The Saturday of the long weekend, we’re invited to tailgate to watch the Warriors play the Rockets. So I invite everybody there.

I still want to invite more people but my rational mind tells me I’ve hit the limit.

Eek. I set to and plan what we can feed to 20 adults and kids and not have the sole responsibility of feeding 25 kids and 18 adults fall solely on us. Lots of food to soak up the booze.

A note. Hosts should never drink anything until the food is served. Or keep a glass to hand of whatever’s going that doesn’t trigger the “mystery of the bottomless glass” effect. Something you have a taste aversion to; preferably low alcohol.

Being a responsible host doesn’t mean drinking all the good wine so no-one else has too much. I generally switch to water and watch myself. And if it runs late I’ve learned to pinpoint the exact moment I’ve had too much. I listen to myself and realise that what I’ve just said is just rubbish. A¬†complete story! If founded on reality on some level!

I’m a writer and this is where I go. At this point I correct myself and excuse myself from the conversation. And shortly thereafter the party, to wear it off. Sleep inevitably follows this stage and drunken slumber sucks.

On Memorial Day everyone arrived with a bounty of pre-prepared dishes. And then offered to help in the kitchen. Being the host means you’re constantly kept busy so it’s important to delegate and keep onto it all. I like to work alone in the kitchen if it’s a dish I’m doing for the first time otherwise I have ingredients and instructions ready. And had some of the best conversations with the sisterhood while we busily prepared dishes on Memorial Day. It’s times like these you realise the good fortune of having a network of women you can rely on. Particularly with all my family back in New Zealand. I used to feel sad about leaving my old networks and the bonds of friendship behind but lately I’m knowing there are three or four places in the world I could could turn up and these women would have my back. While our kids play and the men watch the game.

A shout out to all the Moms who prepared food on Memorial Day and especially the Moms of those in the Armed Forces.








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Not that Mother’s Day can be¬†much different from most other days. If you’re like me you’re the first one up because it’s a hard habit to break. This Mother’s Day I was at the gym then ¬†Wholefoods and home by 9am. Then back to bed before everyone wakes for a ‘surprise’ breakfast in bed. And sometimes I have to go back to bed and prompt things moving with a kick in the shins.¬†With a gentle reminder that it is morning.Maybe even mid morning.
My husband is a very nice man but, yup, he’s a Sleeper. When the need to sleep overtakes ,you’d have better luck getting a narcoleptic llama out of bed and going than motivating my husband. However once both of us were well rested we headed off for a very nice afternoon at Martinez; the County Seat of Contra Costa County.

Martinez is the home of baseball great Joe Dimaggio, and the precurser to the Martini with The Martini Story:

Legend has it, during the days of The Gold Rush in 1849 a miner struck it rich and was returning to San Francisco. He pulled up for a celebratory drink at the first large town he came across: Martinez. The champagne he requested was not available so the bartender mixed him (the miner) a drink that the bartender was a Martinez Special”

The miner liked the drink and ordered for the house. After he woke up, some time later, he proceeded on to San Francisco where he immediately went to a prominent bar and ordered a “Martinez Special”. The bartender of course had never heard of the drink and asked the miner how it was made and where he had heard of the drink. The miner said that the drink was made with one part of very dry Sauterne wine and three parts of Gin, stir with ice and finish with an olive and was made in Martinez. The bartender tried the drink himself and liked it and of course had his friends drink it. Over a period of years the name Martinez (try to say it repeatedly) became Martini.

Martinez was one of the oldest Anglo cities before California became a state. It has an eclectic chaarm with a main street full of antique shops and bail bondsmen offices in surrounding streets. There are at least seven buildings listed with the Contra Costa County Register of Historic Places Listings. The former original County Courthouse is now the Contra Costa County Finance Building.

Former County Courthouse now the Contra Costa Finance Building at Martinez

Former County Courthouse now the Contra Costa Finance Building at Martinez

Crotch Watch

The lead up to Mother’s Day 2015 marked the official end of The Great Royal Crotch Watch of our Age. Royalists far and wide, from Great Britain to the Antipodes celebrated the arrival of Princess Charlotte Elizabeth Diana of Cambridge on May 2nd 2015. What a lovely name. Sweet. Sweet but incestous. What else might you expect from the most enmeshed family on the planet.
No nods to Kate’s side of the family. Of Course! Apparently the Middletons ¬†baby-hogged the last one and the birth of the second is a timely reminder that as much as they married for love, they also married for dynastic reasons¬†and their loin fruit was named after Prince William’s Dad; ¬†Grandma Queen Elizabeth and deceased Mom Lady Diana.

The birth was announced and all the Greater Commonwealth breathed a collective sigh of relief. No more minute by minute updates by The Mirror, essentially reworking the angle: “nothing happening”. What were the paparazzi expecting? A tweet announcing the latest heir to the Crown was crowning?

The Grandparents approve: From the Daily Mail:

“We Love Having Another Girl: The Queen gushes over the arrival of her great granddaughter Princess Charlotte while greeting guests ¬†at Buckingham Palace’s first garden party of the season.”

Check out the photo of¬†Prince Charles, Camilla Duchess of Cornwall and Prince Edward and his wife Countess Sophie looking suspiciously at each other.¬†They are probably attempting to smile grimace at different¬†¬†cameras. Who doesn’t look at that photo and think, somebody should really introduce the House of Windsor to a comprehensive skincare regime?

Countess Sophie is a pretty lady but that neck screams “Microdermabrasion, pronto!”

No seriously; with that pedigree you can sport the visage of a cane toad and it’s of far less importance than who married who eight generations ago.

Totally the opposite of the Annual PTA volunteer luncheons and Spring parties ¬†thrown this week at Californian schools statewide. The usual jeans and sweats will disappear and it’ll be all Nordstrom Rack and designer garb. Score extra points if you’re wearing your own designer line.¬†And in a true ¬†fashion reminiscent of some of us will be dovetailing¬†our microderm and botox regime to coincide. But there is nothing like fresh sea air to provide the requiste glow.

Getting some fresh air at Martinez on Mother's Day 2015

Getting some fresh air at Martinez on Mother’s Day 2015






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I get in a funk at this time of the year. Spring can be as much about death as well as celebrating new life.

One of our most beautiful established trees. This magnolia blooms for only a few days before spring rains wash off the petals

One of our most beautiful established trees. This magnolia blooms for only a few days before spring rains wash off the petals

It’s worth a reminder that without death we wouldn’t fully experience life. Without loss we wouldn’t appreciate what we have. I am acutely aware of this at this time of the year.

Nine years ago this Spring, I suffered a crippling stroke that left me without sensation and completely paralysed on one side of my body. One minute I was full of life. Literally. I was eighteen weeks pregnant and I had a full and busy  life; I was at home running a business and caring for a toddler.

I was well one minute and in the next moment I was in incredible pain and on the way out of this world.

if it wasn’t for the intervention of an incredibly skilled team of neurosurgeons, four of my children and I wouldn’t be here today. It’s a miracle of modern science that I didn’t die, given I had more or less a complete loss of cardio-respiratory function.

After the stroke I spent sometime in a rehab hospital. Whenever I looked glum, someone in my team would remind me: “Monique! Cheer up! It’s not a funeral.”

“But it could have been, you know!” they’d say. ¬†“Yours!” “By rights, you shouldn’t be here!”

Whenever I¬†grumped about the shitty hospital food, I would get comments about how surprising it was I was even here to both eat and complain; ¬†given my brain and brain-stem had been squeezed beyond repair in a process known as “coning“.

I almost threw up on my Physio the first time she told me about this. ¬†“Coning” describes the process by which¬†your brain and brain-stem are pushed downwards through a whole in your skull by swelling or in my case the pressure of a blood clot.

I was still pretty blue when after three months I was able to walk a short distance without the aid of a wheelchair or walking stick. I still needed the help of a full time nanny as I couldn’t care for my son on my own. A lot of time I was crawling to get around and unable to stand for extend periods of time to prepare meals etc. Even opening the mail was an exhausting business as my brain tired easily.
And then one day my nanny was sick and there was no-one else to look after my twenty month old toddler. That day I set myself up so that everything for the day was within reach and did a very basic job of looking after my son.

He was just so happy that Mommy was well enough to play again.

A month later I gave birth by c-section to my second child; I’d been pregnant with him at the time of the stroke.

I declined the offer of a wheelchair and walked into the operating theater; the proudest woman alive.

Life got better after that. I was able to appreciate what I had.

I hated that I limped but I loved that my legs gave me enough strength to care for my babies. I hated that I had lost my independence and couldn’t drive but I enjoyed chatting with the taxi drivers that transported me and my children around.

I was and am proud; I hated having help but I was reassured and renewed by¬†the team of helpers and carers I used to call “The Cheerleaders.”
I am vain and hated being physically compromised but I loved attaining the lofty goals that life had set for me: Learning to walk again. Recovering my eyesight. Looking after my children full time.

Being able to drive again.Having more children. Getting more mobile and the ability  to move around quickly.

As a male nurse said in the first few days when he assured me I would indeed walk, run and get control of my life again: “You may not ever be 100% of what you were, Monique, but the definition of a successful organism is one that is able to fight, fuck or flee!” “You’ll get there!”

Or as my Neurosurgeon said when he visited me in neonates after my twins were born. He congratulated me on my recovery and the birth of my twins. In his sexy Russian accent he declared: “Zis! Zis is what life is all about!”
“Congra tula tions¬†Mama!”

Life, Love, Loss:

Life, love and loss. You can’t have the first without the last. And recently and painfully I lost a cat. This time last week our ginger tom Blaster was outwardly well. He was eating, peeing and winding around our ankles and being generally affectionate. There was no sign anything was wrong. Monday I noticed he was peeing a lot in his litter tray. ¬†But he never had an accident and didn’t seem thirstier than usual. He was fine until I¬†noticed something was wrong Tuesday night. He came inside that night and I noticed his fur was standing out from his skin and he looked unhappy. I settled him in my sons’s bedroom. In the night I opened the door to check he was still inside. Usually he comes running. He didn’t and I couldn’t see him. I assumed he was outside and looked around and called for him for two hours in the middle of the night like The Crazy¬†Cat Lady.

At 6.30am I checked my sons’ room again. And there he was¬†lying prone in his litter tray. Hoping like hope nothing was seriously wrong, I tried to make him comfortable. I booked him into the vet first thing Wednesday morning. The vet was very reassuring. She diagnosed him with a bladder infection and outlined a treatment program for him. I talked to Blaster and told me the vet would make him feel better. He looked at me like he understood. He didn’t seem too uncomfortable and I was reassured enough to go home. The vet rang me shortly afterwards. He had kidney failure she said. They would give him some fluids through an IV line and this would hopefully flush out his kidneys while they sedated him and worked out the cause of the bladder infection. “Should I come down?” I asked. She said no, not to and I tried not to worry.

Twenty minutes later I hopped in the car and drove down. I couldn’t shake the feeling Blaster¬†needed me and disconcertingly I heard a couple of mews in my ear while unloading the dishwasher.

The receptionist asked me if I was Blaster’s Mom.She took me to an empty room. The vet came in. She explained to me that everything had gone really well. The procedure to unblock his bladder had worked. They were waking him up and he started talking to them. The vet left to write up her notes. Then five minute later the technician had called her back to say Blaster was unresponsive. He had died while I was driving down to the vet clinic.
“It really looked like he was going to be fine,” said the vet. “You must have known something to come down, she said.” I nodded. I took the box of tissues home. I broke the news¬†to the kids. They all looked winded. We cried together. Then we went down to the clinic to say goodbye.

Our poor dead warm kitty. I think we all hoped he would come back to life as we stroked him one last time. They had cast his pawprints in plaster as a memory and we left with this, our memories and sad hearts.

“Can we get another cat today, “they asked later?” “Another ginger cat!” “Blaster mark 2,” said Axel. Kids recover quickly.

I’m still heartbroken. He was such a handsome cat. But¬†the pain is lessening day by day.

You can’t have life and love without loss.


Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.









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My first Grade son hopped into the car yesterday glowing. “Mom!” he said. I” got to fist bump a giant.” Briefly I pondered on the meaning of this. Did Jack escape the Fairytale? Did our esteemed principal take to yard duty on stilts at lunch recess?

Then it struck me. The SF Giants are back in town. They had a stunning victory in 2014 that cemented them as a baseball dynasty in the San Francisco Hall of Fame. They’re all heading back over for the 2015 season.

One of the Giants pitchers came to school to goof off with the children. Which explains my son’s excitement.

I’m excited too because this means my personal trainer is also back in town.

She travels with her husband who is a Giants coach. And  I desperately need her instruction to shift the lardy lumps that have settled in odd places around my body after Chistmas, the New Year and the slob fest that was Super Bowel Sunday. I mean Super Bowl Sunday. It was actually both. I ate far too much.

I would describe myself as slim. Slim but curvy. ¬†That sounds better than Slim But With Cankles and handles. Lardy ankles? It’s the area I am prone to putting on weight. I remember the comments I got when I was pregnant with number one: “Monique! Your calves are the same size as your ankles!” I would wearily reply. “Yes I am aware of this. My ankles actually have a separate heartbeat.” “No seriously.” ¬†And my obstetrician amuses himself by putting the blood pressure cuff around my ankles to take a measurement.” At this point I would realize that laughter not sympathy was forthcoming. And as payback ¬†I would turn the conversation to ¬†hemorrhoids.

Spring is when¬†I invest some time into getting into shape. You know, because Valentines Day is coming up. The next major celebration that revolves around eating. Followed by St Patrick’s Day. Easter. 4th July! And then after three months of eating over Summer we’re in sniffing distance of what is called the Festive Season! When is it not the festive season here?

A note here. If America’s foes truly wanted to bring the economic powerhouse to it’s knees, they’d realise war is futile. In fact war is so 1994. Instead ¬†they’d engineer a reverse takeover of the Celebrations industry. ¬†Shut it down and watch America slowly grind to a halt.

I love it.¬†I exercise to eat. And the other thing I do at this time of the year is refresh my jewelry. It’s far more satisfying to forget about¬†my fat ankles and decorate my wrists and my Earlobes! ¬†With the help of my Stella and Dot consultant and Spring Fairy ¬†Tammy B! With Tammy’s help I will go to the ball!

Or at least the March school auction and major fund raiser of the year. My Stella and Dot purchases have just arrived and I am thrilled. The following are my favorite pieces and purchases from the Spring Collection:

Rebel Drop Earrings:

These medium weight earrings are the perfect mix of edgy and delicate

Edgy meets delicate and what suburban Mom doesn't  like to sport a bit of Rebel!

My alternate ear wear for Spring. The Orbit Hoop set.

Orbit Hoops Gold jpeg

A set of small hoops, a set of large hoops with interchangeable spike drops. A total of four unique looks.

I believe I have my earlobes sorted for Spring.

Order through Tammy of Stella and Dot here: Tammy B Sring Fairy¬†You can chat with her online and she’ll give you excellent styling advice. Mention Enlightened Housewife for hidden special offers.

Next post my wrists get a little attention. Tomorrow is a very special day. Our twins turn four and it’s Valentines Day!










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I’m totally¬†organised. So when I woke this morning and remembered that it was the day of my son’s field trip to see elephant seals, I wasn’t unprepared. Okay maybe a little.

By 7.30am I was in Safeway raiding the shelves for whatever might constitute the recommended lunch. From the guidelines:

“Everyone should bring a substantial lunch including a couple of snacks and two drinks. No candy or gum (Darn! How can they do this to us? Oh, well, it’s California after all.) And it’s the teachers not parents that have to deal with the onset of hyperactive bloodlust following the over consumption of Sunset Yellow E110 and Allura Red E129. ) Who can blame them for the strict guidelines?”

“There is no food available to purchase at Ano Nuevo.” Facepalm! That was my back-up plan. Hand the kid some money and set him free. How can this be? I can’t remember the last time I prepared a school lunch. Probably the last full day field trip. My children normally buy lunch at the school cafeteria. The school cafeteria supplies a range of “Kid friendly meals, milk and an organic salad bar.” The quality has¬†moved on from the Slop of yesteryear.

Which reminds me. I grab some organic pre-sliced apples so I don’t get the dirty eye from the Moms that are conscious of both their child’s nutritional needs and others.

I also grab¬†Lunchables which is technically not food. More of a food substitute. It’s actually the backbone of the American economic recovery. Just doing my bit for the economy. Then into the cart go¬†turkey rolls and¬†pre-boiled and peeled eggs.

It may come as a surprise to some Americans that other countries prepare would prepare these foods from scratch.

It may come as a surprise to some countries that you can buy prepared foods and not have them leak all their nutritional value into the plastic wrapper. I mean this can’t happen, can it?

Oh well. I think the lunch bag looks the part. And I do have a back up plan. My Swiss friend is accompanying the class and she can always be relied on to produce a range of nourishing delicacies for all and sundry.

The destination:

“Ano Nuevo State Park’s rich variety of social and cultural resources draws visitors from around the world. The park’s Natural Preserve offers an extraordinary wilderness experience, where every year up to 10,000 elephant seals return to breed, give birth and molt their skin amongst the scenic dunes and beaches.”

The ultimate approach to exfoliation. Gotta hand it to dem seals. They know the secret to youth and beauty. Exfoliate, exfoliate, exfoliate.

I drop everyone at school and return home to consider my own nutritional needs. I came off a 30 day detox diet with a thud on Monday so I’m feeling a little like a seal myself. Now I’m searching for some balance in my diet. For my mid morning snack I throw together some ricotta and fruit to satiate the sweet tooth and boost my protein intake:



And forgive me if I post this prematurely with typos. I must now go and meet my son’s bus and hear all about the seals.


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Test Kitchen: Sunday Brunch. Poached eggs on ciabatta with bacon and Hollandaise Sauce. 

There is a man in my kitchen. This is nice after a week of solo parenting. If I feed him will he stick around?

Oh look he’s about to feed me. Even better:

DSC_0244 (2)

The Enlightened Housewife’s Personal Chef¬†

My husband is home now. He was away for a week in Atlanta for a conference. After a week in a compound,¬†in a Country Club in Georgia with his every need attended to while being preached at by management,¬†he’s ready for a spot of autonomy in the kitchen.

Today’s recipe is perfect for a leisurely Sunday brunch. This was served up shortly after the photo above was taken.



Poached Eggs With Hollandaise Sauce



Poached eggs on Ciabatta with Bacon and Hollandaise Sauce


4 eggs

H2O or water.

9 inches to a ft long ciabatta stick.


6 rashers of bacon or 6 slices of smoked salmon

Hollandaise sauce. I find it’s hard to find a good quality sauce in the main supermarkets. You can make your own by using a good quality ¬†ranch dressing with half a lemon squeezed into about 1/4 cup ranch.

chives to garnish


Halve and slice the ciabatta lengthways. Turn the oven onto broil (or ‘grill’ in English speaking countries.) Place the sliced ciabatta under the heat and grill until golden. Meanwhile poach the eggs. This is best done in a deep frying pan half filled with water.

Butter the grilled ciabatta. Fry the bacon and assemble. Drizzle or pour your hollandaise on top and finish with chives.

Warning: Highly calorific comfort food. Hubby made cheeseburgers for dinner and I gained five pounds in a day. Which is fine because it’s all good organic fats to keep the mind and body healthy.¬†I¬†tell myself I gained the weight on the bits that count. Booty boobs and brains.

More recipes to come soon, Housewives.


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Today started pleasantly enough. I woke up with the arms of my two tow-headed boys wrapped around my neck. It’s become a ritual that when my husband travels, any assortment of our children spend the nights with me. Last night, Axel (8) helped me bath and tuck down the twins (3).

It was a random outcome. Kaelyn slept in Axel’s bed and Buzz slept under his own bed. I don’t know why that worked for him but it did. The rest of us tucked down together and we all slept until 9am today.

It’s Martin Luther King Day today which means no school and the kids give me a history lesson:

“Mom!” says Cosmo (6). “Martin Luther King Jnr was born in Atlanta, Georgia on January 15th 1929.”

That’s where Dad is,” offers Axel helpfully.

“In 1929,” asks Cosmo? “No! Shut up Cosmo,” ¬†“He’s not a Time Lord Idiot,” says¬†Axel.

“Mom!” says Cosmo. Axel is trying to segregate me!”

Following that they pull the cushions off the couch and play, “Whupp each other¬†on the bus”. ¬†It’s a more violent version of “Wheels on the Bus”. My children are not terribly politically correct at the best of times but they do have an appreciation of American history.

And to all it is beyond belief that you’d treat someone differently because of the color of their skin.

Meanwhile Hubby is slumming it here:

Chateau Elan in Braselton, Atlanta.

Chateau Elan1

Chateau Elan Winery and Resort, Atlanta, Georgia.

From the website: “From the moment you drive through the gates of Ch√Ęteau √Član until the moment you leave, you will expe¬≠ri¬≠ence warm hos¬≠pi¬≠tal¬≠ity com¬≠bined with the beauty of the French countryside.”

I’m sure it’s awful. It’s amazing what you can do with a wide angle lens and Photoshop these days. No seriously, it’s on my list of places to¬†run for when I need ¬†a respite. That or a suitably appointed detox unit.

I can only dream.

Anniversary Day Recipe

I did mention previously that I was craving eggs and salmon. Here is where I got today:

MLK Day Breakfast Burritos:


wheat tortillas

spreadable cream cheese

Mexican cheese

3 eggs

milk and butter

3-5 Oz smoked Salmon


A selection of the following toppings

Avocado, spring onions, red pepper flakes, Serrano peppers, chives, pesto sauce.



Scramble the Eggs:

Break eggs into a bowl. Add a slosh of milk and roughly half a teaspoon butter.



Sprinkle in some red pepper flakes if you like to dial up the heat and whisk. Not too vigorously. Just introduce the ingredients together.


Returning to your stovetop, turn the heat up to medium. Tip the butter into a medium sized pot first and when it has melted pour the rest of the egg mixture in; stirring continuously with a whisk. ¬†The eggs shouldn’t take long to scramble:


This is on the dryer side. Some people prefer to  take off just before done as the eggs continue to cook.

Prepare  a tortilla:

Heat a burrito sized tortilla in a frying pan on a medium heat. Heat about 20  seconds on both sides with the edges just starting to pull inwards when done.


Lay the tortilla flat and spread the tortilla with cream cheese. Lay the slices of smoked salmon on top. Spoon a couple of tablespoons of the eggs on the salmon and dress with salsa and Mexican cheese. For the additional toppings I elected to use avocado and red pepper flakes. Roll up your tortilla and enjoy:


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Wrecking Ball is this week’s theme song for our household. It is so suitable¬†because the house is trashed and it does indeed look as though Miley Cyrus (bless her heart) flew on through on her wrecking ball overnight.¬†I regret the state of the house and will spend most of today in atonement wandering around with no particular motivation to put things to rights. I will fold some linen here and sweep a floor there. It is Sunday after all. And if nothing else, one thing most of the major religions and some of the Hollywood based ones, agree on, is that you shouldn’t work very hard on a Sunday.

Which is why church should really be on a Monday. Cram it all in before work. Then we’d really have something to blame Mondayitis on instead of the 36 hour rebound effect of over-serving oneself on a Saturday night.

We can all come together in our collective misery on a Monday morning, then head off to Starbucks, slapping ourselves on the backs before going¬†to work!¬†It would be so very American. I’m sure productivity would increase!

Four children are currently singing the lyrics of Miley Cyrus’s unforgettable ballad. While playing Minecraft. And eating breakfast. I don’t know how they manage this ultimate feat in multi-tasking. I’ve concluded the hemispheres of children’s brains must have evolved over the last generation. Not enough to cope with simple household chores and there are the predictable emotional trade-offs. If one of the xbox controllers goes missing, everything falls apart.

And despite the fact that they can all play simultaneously, I still have to step in to solve disagreements.

“Mom!” “Buzz hit me,” complains Cosmo (6).

“Did he hit you in real life or did he hit you in¬†#Minecraft, ” I ask.

“He hit me in real life,” he replies.

I explain to Cosmo that his actions in Minecraft might have repercussions in real life. And marvel at my words. “What have I become?” I wonder. Cosmo apologises for knocking over a sign and building a bed in Buzz’s house. Buzz (3) apologises for clocking Cosmo on the head with an xbox controller.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Back to the housework. It’s kind of unavoidable. Like the San Francisco fog that’s moodily hanging around outside. It must be really bored to come this far across the bay. ¬†Or annoyed because they shut the Golden Gate Bridge to traffic last weekend while a new high tech safety barrier was installed. Which perversely made me really, really want to drive across it! About Karl the Fog from Huffington Post:

Like most of us, I don’t want to give the impression that our house spends all it’s time in a state of disarray. And it doesn’t. We’ve had plenty of dinner parties and friends over to attest that it’s quite often immaculate. Because we spend the previous 48 hours scrambling madly to put it to rights!

I know some of you do this too. If you come over it’s going to gleam. Just please, please, please don’t look in my laundry or ask why the guest bedroom door won’t open! Is this the American Way or just my way?

And if it’s a little shabby, I have the ultimate excuse. We have a¬†large family. People are both surprised by this and supportive. Probably the consensus is that it’s my thing. Like scrap booking. Or like, some people have a bad back, or get gout. Or raccoons.¬†That I got myself into this situation and eventually I’ll get myself out. I just may be some time.


Enlightened Housewife. Keeping House since 2001. Before that I was more bohemian than houseproud. Just a little. It was the fashion back then.

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The brats  My darling children are back in school and I can get some time to myself. In an ideal world our living room would always look like this:




I would be sitting at one end of the table enjoying my morning coffee and reading the newspaper. Right before I go out for my mani/pedi. Followed by a stop at my local bookstore.¬†I’d have picked up my 50th anniversary copy of John Le Carre’s Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy. Then stopped to read a couple¬†of chapters over my flat white at Starbucks.

Newsflash! Starbucks has only just put a flat white on their menu. Southern hemisphere readers; if you asked for a flat white until recently, you’d get a blank stare. I get a lot of blank stares anyway due to my Kiwi accent.

I have fun with this. I’ve perfected my own blank stare back. With a little help from a Serbian friend. A¬†bit of Slav attitude gets results fast.

The room in the picture above looks lovely and peaceful. Because there are no kids in it. And no evidence of kids. It’s new. A big ole empty new room. Stand at the door to this room; look outwards¬†and you’ll survey the 180 degree view of an inch deep layer of Apple Jacks and Froot Loops.

This is a Before photo of the long slow process of demolition that will ¬†occur over the next twenty years. Where part of us will die a little with each scratch and mark. But we wouldn’t have it any other way. Obviously.

Or I’d have collection of Lladr√≥¬†instead of a collection of kids.

When the kids have left home I plan to start a collection of the ugliest Lladr√≥¬†pieces I can find. I grew up in the 80’s so this is the epitome of glamour for me. I’m just so glad it was different for Lorde growing up in New Zealand a decade or so later:

Imagine trying to work, ” Lladr√≥, Royal Doulton, Diamonds on your car phone”, into the song “Royals”. It just wouldn’t work.

Satus symbols today compared to the 1980’s.¬†

So anyway.¬†I didn’t get to read the newspaper this morning. I’ve rewarmed my coffee from 6 am in the microwave. My toes disappeared off the radar in 2006. They seem to have employed a local cloaking device. Good for them. One more thing less to do. But I have made time for myself to sit down and write.

( I don’t do New Year’s resolutions. If I did they they would all revolve around coffee, food and bad habits.) Way to suck the fun out of life big time. But I am putting a plan in place now the kids are back at school.

The next four months I plan to finish a book. I started this project two years ago. And got busy with life.

When I picked it up again recently the characters were the same but I realised I had the wrong audience. So I’ve started from scratch and hope to have something in three months. I’ve already written two books in different genres. I have a stack of rejection slips to prove it.

So thanks for stopping by my blog. I couldn’t do it without you. To write creatively I have to deliberately open up the creative channels. This I do by putting¬†up a blog post. Then some time later in that day or night I get the urge to sit down at the above table and write a couple of chapters. The¬†characters shoulder tap me: “Oh man, who’s she going to write about now”?

I get to have a bit of fun and a glimpse into another world for five, ten minutes or if I am lucky, an hour. A world that doesn’t have Apple Jacks in it.

Housewife essentials

And I’m wearing this. And my toes are painted to match.



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It’s just as well I’ve never pursued a corporate career. I just wouldn’t have the Lady Melons to deal with workplace dramas.

Due to being afflicted with the remnants of social anxiety, I have three settings when confronted both with normal conflicting agendas between individuals and also when dealing with rampant arseholery.

These settings are:

1. Doormat.

2. People Pleaser. (Lets just all get along)!

3. Postal!!

I’ve known the following individual and business person for eight months. We contracted her to choose furniture for our living room. We were sick of making bad decisions on our own so we rang in a professional designer. But she wasn’t very professional. It’s been a case of over promise and under deliver.

I realised our designer was overcharging us every opportunity she could get. All the the while smiling and making out like we were best friends. This afternoon I was left with no choice but to drop the rope:

Way to fire your designer via email:

“Dear Designer.”

1. “I am sorry you weren’t professional enough to resolve the freight issues with Hubby.”

(She invoiced us $3,000 for furniture that we could have had freighted for free from the internet. We wanted to ask her to reduce her delivery charge but she escalated quickly)

2. “Threatening us with Court has bought an end to this working relationship.” (Hubby was trying to find a middle ground. Designer tried to bully him by saying ¬†she’d take him to court if he didn’t pay the full amount. He asked her to leave. Then I¬†followed up with an email. See Point 1 above.

3. “Oh stop it. That’s Alligator tears.” (Every time I’d pull her up on something she’d play innocent then hurt. Then GPOTY. (Grandparent of the year with my children. )

Me: “Furthermore:”

“I disbelieve that you have ordered the linen and the lamps. ¬†You tried to bullshit my husband about me taking a while to choose the linen. I paid a deposit on the original six months ago and YOU advised me it wasn’t available any more so we had to re select another fabric.” (She tried to gaslight me. Manipulate facts to insinuate my judgment was off)

Me: “I appreciated we followed the Method¬†designing practice of climbing in bed together to ¬†channel the correct choice of fabrics and the right down weighting for our climate.
It was lovely chanting OM and holding hands. Especially since I lack a Mommy Figure since emigrating to America.”

“I am also sure your design credentials¬†are impeccable.” (She went to a Scandinavian design school. She may have¬†graduated with a diploma in Muppetry)

Me: “However:”

“At every turn there has been delay after delay. The lack of follow up caused multiple delivery trips and this resulted in the freight blow out. 3000!”

“The lack of professionalism was not limited to bad project management. At one stage you tried to double invoice us.” You shocker.

She did. I got two $10,000 invoices and she tried to tell me I was wrong until I presented her with the cold hard evidence from our bank account.

I finished with:

“We are reasonable people so we will settle on the following compromise:

Keep the deposit on the lamps and the linen to offset your excessive freight costs. We have no proof or faith that you have ordered the aforesaid items and no wish to re litigate matters any further.”

“However if you wish to revisit these issues in any other forum we will be more than happy to present our side. As long as it’s in the People’s Court.”

Boss Lady

Boss Lady

“Furthermore. Keep the shonky table. We’ll replace it from Bed Bath and Beyond at half the price.”


Enlightened Housewife.


Enlightened Housewife.  Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.  Before that I was a pussy.

Enlightened Housewife.
Ladling out the advice and speaking my mind since 2012. When I emigrated to America and had to fit in.
Before that I was just a pussy.

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Social Anxiety. A have a sister who I swear doesn’t suffer from it. I know lots of politicians and journalists who lack it.

Sarah Palin doesn’t have a smidgen:

She outrages us because she lacks  social anxiety. Bless her boots . Don't be standing on the dogs Sarah.

She outrages us because she lacks social anxiety. Bless her boots. Don’t be standing on the dogs Sarah.

But most of the rest of us have experienced this condition at one time or another.

I’m relieved I’m over it for the most part.

I’m told as a young child I was shy. At elementary school I had lots of friends. The first time I experienced social anxiety was when moving schools during my middle school years. We relocated and that entire car journey I spent my time thinking:

“Will they like me will they like me will they like me”?

Ah. Middle School Anxiety. Think how many friends I made at my new school radiating that low level paranoia!

One! She ditched me after three weeks when her best friend came back from vay cay. She was kind enough to inform me why she was dropping me:

“So and so is back from Australia now. So we’re not going to hang out any more, kay”?

What choice did I have? I took refuge in the entire works of Daphne Du Maurier and Jane Austin and it was fine, really.
I was always kind of a Breakfast Club type of student right through my High School years. Whether we were geeks, jocks or cheerleaders, we all ended up matey in year 13. We all suffered and looking back it was a necessary process to navigate the politics of adult life.

Then I met my husband in college and everything was awesome from then on right? 

No! Fuck no! Shortly after I met future hubby we dropped out of college. We spent some months couch surfing at our respective parents houses. Then we decided to haul our raggedy asses back to college for a second attempt. My 16 year old brother moved in with us and we all underwent a collective angst.

This was Dunedin, New Zealand in the 1990’s. It was settled by the Scottish.

The Glasgow of the Southern Hemisphere.

An awesome place to be unless you’re in a dark place, right? We moved into a condominium sandwiched in between a halfway house and a¬†guy dealing smack. We kept¬†away from both. We knew not to get too experimental. We were having enough trouble keeping a grip on reality as it was.

The 20 year old brain is extremely plastic. Unless you’re distracted by work or are intensely involved in your studies, it can be a perpetual state of Manic Depression. When we were up we were up. When we were down we would sit around in a group rocking; wondering when it would all stop, please. With someone in the condo below us playing Alanis Morrisette at full volume.

We moved out, we moved on. We grew up. We got jobs.

Hang in there it gets better!

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

Enlightened Housewife. Asking the hard questions since 2001. Except when I was pregnant and my brain was mush.

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One of my resolutions is¬†to eat well in the New Year. I’ve done a thorough investigation and I can attest to the following. The right way to start your day is a big plate of cooked oats. Add almond milk and heap with fresh fruit:

Safway one minute oats with almond milk and fruit.

Safeway one minute oats with almond milk and fruit.

The following is not the right way to start the day:

A way to start the day. Rumchata rolled out it's millionth case in 2014

A way to start the day. Rumchata rolled out it’s millionth case in 2014

I’d never heard of Rumchata until recently. So I did some investigation. What is this¬†beverage, the virtues of which are currently and widely being touted around the Mommy Blogosphere?

From the website of Liquor.com:

“RumChata was launched with a soft rollout in the fall of 2009. RumChata is bottled from a made-from scratch cream liqueur recipe that uses five times distilled Caribbean rum and the freshest real dairy cream with a touch of natural cinnamon, vanilla, sugar and other secret flavors. In April of 2014, the award winning RumChata sold its millionth case.”

Hmm..2009 I think. The world was going through the final throes of the global financial crisis. Shops are emptying out and businesses are going under everywhere. There is no innovation and all looks bleak.

Then some GENIUS develops a brand new liqueur! And lo and behold the economy rights itself!

According to the National Bureau of Economic Research The U.S. recession that began in December 2007 ended in June 2009

Mere coincidence or the life preserver that got us all out of the shtick?

Friends attest that it reminds them of Cinnabon. I wonder if there was a correlating drop in sales at Cinnabon when Rumchata was rolled out? I mean, who would eat your cinnamon when you can have it as a liquor? At 13.75%.

Cinnabon might have to get inventive to restore profits here and step it up the next time the world needs a bailout. ¬†I know Cinnabon is a family brand but you know there’ll be a market at least in Oregon¬†following the¬†legalisation of marijuana in 2014. They’d have to have a separate menu for Oregon. Instead of the Cinnabon Classic Roll it would become the Cinnabon Cannabis Classic Roll.

Can you imagine? All the stoners would be standing around outside Cinnabon scratching their heads and going:

“Wow man. That’s CLASSIC”…

The Oregon way to start the day.

Enlightened Housewife. Making you laugh since 2011. ūüôā Before then I wasn’t very funny. I tried. You know.

Shoes are a girls best friend after a man with lots of money.

Shoes are a girls best friend. After a man with lots of money.





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Housewife essentials

You can Photoshop ¬†figures. You can highlight cheekbones. It’s relatively easy to remove skin blemishes from photos but it’s impossible¬†to Photoshop in the dewy glow of healthy skin.

Kim Kardashian exemplifies this quality. No matter the situation she is perfectly poised and exudes youth and beauty.

Kim¬†is something else. You’d never know if anything was amiss despite the best attempts of the paparazzi to shake her poise.

What a professional. You’d never now if her panties¬†were riding up or if William Shatner was copping a quick feel¬†on the red carpet.

Kim and I have just one thing in common. We have the same dermatologist.

This is all part of my quest to see how far into the realms of Hollywood fantasy a small-town Kiwi girl can stray. That’s me. My Quest.

Back to the glowing facial skin.

Kim credits her glowing skin to the ministrations of Hollywood dermatologist  Dr Harold Lancer. I read about Dr Lancer in Vogue magazine two years ago and rang to see if I could get on his roster. When I first visited Dr Lancer in Los Angeles, I was struck by his holistic and honest approach to skincare.

He won’t advise¬†Botox or lasers¬†on your first visit. You get a combination of honesty, sensible diet advice and a tailored ¬†prescription of his products.

We’re in LA in early December 2014 so I book into his clinic on Rodeo Drive. I take an early appointment, 7.00 am, on a Tuesday so I’ll have plenty of time to rejoin my family for a day in¬†Universal Studios.

That’s right folks! 7.00am! This is Hollywood!


The place is humming before most normal folks have stepped out of the shower.

I set out from the Hilton Universal at 6.15 am. This should allow me to make the trip across town in good time.

Hitting the 101 South I slap my chin upside with my palm. I should have left earlier. Traffic is bumper to bumper. and it’s only ¬†6.30am . I turnoff¬†onto Highland Ave and pass¬†Hollywood Bowl.¬†Even this early the Bowl is a bustling hive of activity.

Fountain Ave is horrible. Santa Monica Blvd is no better. I ¬†scoot in behind Dr Lancer’s Rodeo Drive clinic an hour late.

His valets welcome me, “Hello Senorita!” Despite the stress of running late I smile. I hustle into the elevator with a spring in my step. There is nothing like being called, “Senorita,” before breakfast to¬†enhance one’s mood.

I don’t need to worry about being late. We’re all seen in order of arrival from the time the clinic opens at 5.30 am. I have plenty of time to chill out in the waiting room. The design is clean and modern. The purple asymmetrical seats are incredibly comfortable and relaxing. ¬†I watch TV. A patient walks off the pre-recorded TV segment ¬†and into the waiting room. That’s usual. A lot of patients are visiting Dr Lancer to calm stressed skin prior to or post appearing on cable. We both get called into our respective rooms fifteen minutes later. I get a microdermabrasion¬†whilst I wait for Dr Lancer. I’d never had one until my first visit with Dr Lancer but now the treatment is no longer a novelty.

I browse his book, “Younger”, in between treatments.

Younger Dr Harold Lancer. MD

Dr Harold Lancer. MD

Dr Lancer’s interest in skin care began with a childhood incident where he fell in a vat of boiling water on a farm. The horrific burns took months to heal and he was left with only a few small marks on his body. This experience sparked a life long fascination with the self regenerative power of skin. Lancer and a team of specialists developed a line of skincare.¬†The core premise of the Lancer method is that you polish or exfoliate first. Daily. Then you cleanse to pick up the debris of dislodged skin cells. Afterwards you nourish with a mist followed by the appropriate cream for your skin type.

After the microdermabrasion I cleanse my skin and one of the aestheticians applies dry ice as a skin calmer.

Dr Lancer visits another patient. and I’m asked if I will go through to show her my results. She is familiar but I don’t lock it down. We’re both anonymous patients.

” You have beautiful skin she exclaims!”

That’s gratifying. I’ll remember that when I’m a blotchy faced hag, strung out on caffeine and exhausted from shuttling five kids¬†around San Francisco.

I pick up my prescription from reception. Some are medically prescribed and some can be bought off the shelf at Nordstom.

He’s got a less than phony¬†bedside manner has Dr Lancer and is nothing if not a perfectionist.

Like any successful business person he can be polarizing. Some of the reviews on Yelp are a crack-up. Personally I’m¬†convinced he has the best interests of his patients at heart and I suspect his staff are his devoted fans. I gracefully accept the gentle admonishment that I should visit his clinic more often¬†and hustle back to Universal Studios for a theme park hopping day.

It’s 9.am.

Visit Dr Lancer’s website here. ¬†








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A man called Ove
A Man Called Ove, By Fredrick Backman

“Ove is fifty-nine

He drives a Saab. He’s the kind of man who points at people he doesn’t like the look of, as if they were burglars and his forefinger a policeman’s flashlight. He stands at the counter of a shop where owners of Japanese cars come to purchase white cables. Ove eyes the sales assistant for a long time before shaking a medium sized box at him.”

“So this is one of those O-Pads, is it”? he demands”.

The brusque Ove harangues the  shop assistant further.

Ove is¬†angry because the world’s moved on and he hasn’t. Ove is a curmudgeon. He patrols the neighborhood daily and relishes the chance to bring¬†any breaches of the rules to the Residents Association to the attentions of his fellows. He has recently been made redundant and we learn that he has lost most of his purpose in living. His life until recently has revolved around his job and his wife.

Naturally he is annoyed when a young disruptive family moves in next to him one day. This leads to sequence of events is both touching and intriguing as we learn more behind the curmudgeonly exterior of Ove.

From the dust jacket: “he is a curmudgeon with staunch principles, strict routines and a short fuse.”

This debut novel from Sweden is a very enjoyable book to read. Especially if like me you fall in the curmudgeonly end of the spectrum. In our spare time we curmudgeons peruse the internet shaking our heads at all the bad lack that befalls man and the lack of regard for common sense and manners. I suspect that is what Ove wanted to purchase an O-Pad for.

This year I resolve to spend less time on my O-pad and more time reading and reviewing.

Happy New Year.



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The worst side of anxiety is the watery bowels effect the condition can cause. I became aware about the age of twelve that if I had a crush on someone I could only be around them if there was a nearby bathroom.

In fact that is how I realised I had a crush. I particularly remember the epic time I was caught short down the back of a farm.

All of sudden the farmer’s grandson who I’d innocently played with last summer had this AMAZING taste in music. He introduced me to Fleetwood Mac. He drove a car. When he broke out a Mad Magazine one particular day I¬†felt the first stirrings of ….. A sudden urgent need.

I fled to the general proximity of what we called the toilet paper tree. Big green leaves that could be used as… you guessed it.

And as my insides clenched I reflected.

Mostly on how awesome it was our farming friends ran a dairy farm. With big friendly poopy cows. No one would ever have to know.

The second time this happened I wasn’t so lucky. I took refuge in a wax tree. The wax tree is a member of the poison ivy family. It ¬†caused a painful rash on my buttocks.

And ended my first crush. It was was far too painful and embarrassing to be in love.

A New Zealand jersey cow. Friendly, docile and poopy.

A New Zealand jersey cow. Friendly, docile and poopy.

Discuss and share:

I’m doing a series of posts on the cheery topic of anxiety to herald in the New Year.

I was twelve when I had my first full on panic attack. I didn’t establish this date stamp until recently. I had pegged myself to be around the age of eight. I guess eight was how ‘old’ I felt in my head.

Turns out I was a hormonally sensitive tween. It was 1986. There was a disaster at the nuclear power plant Chernobyl.

My precocious friend ¬†Alana cornered me at school. “Do you know,” she said. There’s been a nuclear power plant accident in the Ukraine. Deadly nuclear fallout is going to drift all the way down to New Zealand.”

Perhaps my friend¬†Alana¬†was exhibiting a ¬†journalistic nose for news. When you’ve got a breaking story¬†the imperative¬†is to share to an audience. Verifying sources and fact checking can come secondary to the urge to share.

Alter this pronouncement; Alana went home to her parents who had recently converted from Catholicism to Buddhism.

She had this past year also enlightened me to the actual nature of Santa Claus. I went home to an acute state of misery.

The next two days were an internal monologue of, “when am I going to die, ” and”I’m so scared.” I was asked what was wrong by my worried Mom. My stomach and tongue were so twisted in knots that I¬†couldn’t tell her. She finally drew it out of me and I started to feel better. I believe it was then I got the card. “Welcome to Anxietyville, Have a nice day!”

I wonder how many Cold War era basket cases there are out there. I am certainly one of them.

Dealing with anxiety in childhood comes down to three things.

1. Genetic set point. I was never a bullet proof child. I tended to worry about random stuff even before the onset of panic attacks.

2. Exposure to events that might cause an overly anxious reaction. As a parent we can ¬†be aware that they may be having internal reactions that We can’t wrap our children in cotton wool but I’m careful to check in with them.

3. Management of anxiety by parents. Sometimes kids look older than they are. I don’t over share. They’re going through a totally different life experience than I am ¬†and I may not be able to judge their maturity level. I have a conflict of interest as a parent.

The panic attacks continued sporadically throughout my early childhood. Any prediction of the end of the world would set it off. There was some inane prediction by ¬†freaks channeling Mother Shipton that set me off around 1990. ¬†But everything else was mostly normal until I moved schools. Then came the rounds of social anxiety. More than mere shyness. I am an extrovert. I love social situations. I had lots of friends in my early school years and have lots of friends now. ¬†But due to whatever factors were at play (hormones, recent parental break up, I would suffer. I would go into a new school situation and be paralysed. I wouldn’t speak. I’d desperately want to make friends but I wouldn’t speak. ¬†And not being able to speak severely limits your ability to make friends.

Who’da thunk?

So I learned to self medicate by the age of sixteen. The usual suspects for us¬†Gen X teenagers.¬†Wine (casked); beer; ¬†rum. I developed ¬†a good posse of friends which was awesome. ¬†I took the misbehavior all a bit far in my late teens and early years of college. But it didn’t matter if¬†I burned off the odd flatmate because I was able to talk again and write. My anxiety would reoccur periodically. I’d go and talk with a doctor. They’d ask me how much I drank. I’d lie and life would move on.

I met a couple of people who had a huge influence on my internal state. I was a housekeeper at a motel and made friends with the head housekeeper who was just a few years older than me. She would curse¬†and¬†speak her mind. And she was so funny. We would be in fits as we folded sheets together. We’d finish work and hang out and she’d tease me and I’d relax. She was like the older sister I never had.

I met the deadlocked hippy who was my future husband.

Call it Oxytocin or “Love at first sight” ; the rare combination of Brains (we were College dropouts) and Aspiration (we had none; we were hippies) drew us together. It turns out we’d experience the future ups and downs of life together.

I’ll split this post out into two¬†shortly


I realized this year, mainly through others honest discussions, that we all have something. Call it anxiety; depression; the human condition. We’ll go to any lengths to hide it but we’re all suffering from it!

Crazy crazy us! If you’re an anxious teen or prone to anxiety; hang in there. It always gets better. And never underestimate the power of a laugh or a cuddle.







Discuss and share:

First. A recipe to use up your leftover pork:

Boxing Day Burgers

Leftover Pork or Roast Chicken.

BBQ Sauce.

Onion rings. (half or whole onion to taste)

Jalapenos or milder peppers for sooks.

Canned pineapple.

Mayo. I used Best Foods

Buns or Romaine lettuce leaves for the gluten free option.

Fry together the pork, bbq sauce and onions. You probably won’t need any extra fat or liquid.

Butter the buns and heap the warmed pork mixture on top. Dress with Jalapenos and top with a pineapple ring or two.

Finish with mayo and top with another bun.


Three biggest stories here in the Bay Area on Boxing Day:

1. Mountain Lion loose in Hillsborough. A quote from SF Gate:

‚ÄúLots of people let their pets roam around,‚ÄĚ she said. ‚ÄúIf you could see what it did to this baby deer … let‚Äôs just say that the cat was hungry.‚ÄĚ Yuck.

“Because there were no prints, O‚ÄôConnor said, it was impossible to determine exactly what had attacked the fawn. He noted that coyotes and bobcats also frequent the area and sometimes prey on small deer.”

2 40% of people will return an average of four gifts each on Boxing Day:

A cashier at our shopping center said it was their busiest day of the year. 40% of the recipients of YOUR gifts will have  re gifted.

I’d be pissed.

3.  The New York cops are pissed at the mayor following the slaying of two cops last Saturday. 

“De Blasio Our Backs Have Turned to you”

DE BLASIO, OUR BACKS HAVE TURNED TO YOU,‚ÄĚ screamed a banner trailing from a plane that flew along the Hudson River in a show of disdain for the mayor.

“Since the execution of two cops in their squad car in Brooklyn a week ago, many members of the NYPD have accused de Blasio of fostering anti-police sentiment that they charge contributed to the officers‚Äô deaths.”

Among the speakers at the funeral for slain NYPD Officer Rafael Ramos was New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio,

Have a wild-animal free day and spare a thought for the families of cops everywhere.

Discuss and share:

First off. The best part about Christmas is not being a dead celebrity.

The worst and most depressing part is not watching the Christmas time antics of the Kardashians. Though that is depressing.
It is being exposed to the barrage of tributes about those we have ‘Lost’ building up to the New Year.

Normal people die or pass on. Those of us remaining grieve and move on.Celebrities are different. They get ‘lost’.

Interesting metaphysical connotations. Maybe the association with Hollywood gives celebrities an added dimension to their existence.

Instead of being Goneburgers like us normal folk; celebrities are still here, ‘With us‘. Another perplexing term.

Like, if the rest of us just squint the ¬†right way they’ll be back, ‘With Us’.

We won’t be able to touch them. We’ll probably see right through them. Ewww!

But they’ll be around; just a fainter version.

Dead celebrities would be the best people to take to a party.

Even better than live celebrities.

Some issues here¬†for Hollywood agents. Who to put where on the circuit? You’ve got your A list celebrities. your B list and ¬†now your Dead List.

Does¬†Joan Rivers get one of the most coveted lanyards to the Oscars? Or is this seen as a snub to those who didn’t die and become useless to the industry. Who’s accorded seniority? Rivers or Close/Keaton/Streep

Still! Dead celebrities won’t drink once they figure out they look stupid¬†when the liquid drains right through and end up on the floor.

More for the rest of us.

Unfortunately they won’t be able to play the role of sober driver because of the limiting factors of being non corporeal.

The gag possibilities are endless. Imagine being pulled over. Sheriff: “Blow into this breathalyser. Patrick Swayze: ¬†” I’ve got one problem.”Sheriff: “Hey aren’t you that guy out ¬†of, what’s that movie”?

Patrick: ” Ghost. That’s my problem”.

So this year.  spare a thought for the non-working dead celeb who passed in 2014.

It’ll be hard not too.

Robin Williams in 2011. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.

Robin Williams in 2011. Photo courtesy of Wikipedia.



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We wind up Christmas Eve playing Ticket to Ride with our oldest son. He’s in fifth grade and not easily¬†fobbed off when he asks the awkward questions. ¬†He’s too old to be called a child but too young to treat as an adult. And the faith is strong in this one. Proudest moment of my life ¬†was this time last year when he declared: ” Mom I’m the only fourth grader who actually believes in Santa!” He said this with pride and not a hint of disbelief in the existence of magical creatures.

This elaborate ritual¬†glorifying the wonder of¬†childhood is Christianity’s¬†greatest triumph. Other than taking the art of brewing beer to it’s highest level¬†that is.

I lose Ticket To Ride and the guys wind me up. I’m fiercely competitive so it’s easy. We have some laughs and¬†my son¬†and I fight over who’s going to post Team America to my Facebook feed.


My cousins back in New Zealand ¬†rise to the occasion and post “New Zealand Whaka Yeah”.

Whaka is a Maori word; a grammatical particle. One reason why as a culture we don’t take ourselves too seriously. Our native language sounds like a cuss fest but you know it’s not because we’re smiling as we speak.
It’s when you see the whites of our eyes you need to move back. Slowly.

We’re a self conscious culture as opposed to a confident culture but we cook a mean roast dinner and our nation was settled with a whole lot of mutual arse kicking.

New Zealand scenery is out of this world. I grew up on a movie set and had no idea. I was born in the most beautiful country and I now live in the most beautiful country. This is the duality of national pride I am blessed with this Christmas.

Belief is a mindset you can re adopt as an adult. The proof is in the giving. Stop Believing and all you receive for Christmas is socks and undies .
Maintain your level of Belief and anything is possible. Unless you are dealing with Wellington City Council (NZ) but that is another story.

Christmas Eve Yeah!

Discuss and share:

As an adult first  generation immigrant to the USA, I find Christmas overwhelming. The whole period of the year from the time children return to school in late August is an overwhelming non stop succession of festivals and celebrations. Our school is often in recess through this first semester.
School starts back August 25th. it’s called a ‘minimum day’. 8.30 to 11.45. I mean, why bother? But everyone attends because if you miss the first three days of school you can be diverted to another local school. I haven’t heard of it happening but our jolly and incredibly efficient principal never fails to remind us of the consequences via email.

Then September 1st is Labor day. Yup. 1st weekend back at school is a long weekend! Why not just start school after Labor weekend? Sheesh.

September is all about Conference week. A week of minimum days. And running the gauntlet  of a series of parent/ teacher conferences.
Hubby is away for ¬†in Buenos Aires for a week for work. I’ve got five kids to manage on my own and shuttle kids to school and eight hours worth of after school activities. ¬†Facepalm!

At this point I realize that I’m not losing it and I’m not not imagining it either. It is ¬†little crazy.¬†All the expectations from school. All the expectations we put on our selves and our kids. Piano. Violin. Dance. Because to get into the good colleges they need to be well rounded. So I do what any self respecting American parent does. I sign my child up for another dance class and I go shopping.

All the seasonal stuff comes into the stores and I start stocking up for the next two months. First Halloween. An hour in Costco and five Halloween outfits later I’m well prepared for the biggest school day of the year!

Thursday 30th October rolls around. I’ve been up since 4am. Which is not a lot earlier than I normally wake. Because ‘Hyper’ in a culture can be kind of catching.

Usually I let the kids sleep until 6.50am. Exactly. This morning I’m in their rooms at six am dragging them out of bed by their ankles. The ten year old hits the floor and wakes up “Put this on”, I¬†say and I’m off to the twins room. Two hands and two sets of ankles later I’ve got the twins on the floor looking at me puzzled.

By 7am all five children are in the car dressed in their Halloween costume for school. I can’t believe how well we’re doing. I might even be able to stop by Starbucks.

“We haven’t had breakfast yet”, observes my First Grader mildly.

By 7.40am we’re back in the car. I lose a hat. Another ten minutes delay. I groan.
We leave. Hopefully there’s car parks left at school.

It’s the annual Halloween tradition. At 8.30 am there will be a parade around the lower field by the children in their Halloween garb followed by class parties for the rest of the school day. Which is. You guessed it. A minimum day. ¬†So instead of just the usual routine of Stop Drop and Go you’ve got Mom and Dad in separate cars up at school to watch darling Jupiter parade as a vampire.

It’s such a family event you’ve also got ¬†Nana and Grandad from Fremont and Aunty Louise from Ohio. Four cars per family. At least. If you want to park at the school you have to be there by 8am.

The three oldest participate in the parade. There are less Steves this year.

Then it’s off to the twins preschool an hour to repeat the tradition.

And at this point I have to stop and wrap gifts for the latest celebration (More gifts wrapped now means more time in the Chardonnay bottle later. I will hopefully get more time to write this afternoon.

In Australia and New Zealand to celebrate we whip egg whites and slow bake into a gooey meringue topped with cream and fruit.

In Australia and New Zealand to celebrate we whip egg whites and slow bake into a gooey meringue topped with cream and fruit.







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Today started predictably enough. Hearing my daughter’s voice, I arose from my slumber and opened my eyes to see a ball of spittle, precariously suspended by a single thread of saliva, superimposed on my daughter’s cheeky grin.

I whisked my head sideways to avoid the looming fate. The spittle plopped on my pillow and I made a mental note to myself to change the pillowslip.

I’ll probably forget.

I dispatch Kaelyn to check on the state ¬†of her brother’s rooms. She is distracted by our ginger tom, Blaster. He submits to her earnest affections and I make myself a cup of freshly ground coffee with our Rancilio.


I step outside to check on the state of things.

And stand on a dead rat.

“Eurghhh! Don’t touch that cat”, I yell back at the house. I hop from one foot to another sloshing my coffee in the process. Other than the dead rodent, things appear largely to be in order.

I make a mental note to pack away the last of the Halloween decorations including the RIP sign on the front porch.





I browse the online version of the New York Times before the kids start clamoring for breakfast. From “Our ‘Mommy’ Problem”:

“Motherhood is no longer viewed as simply a relationship with your children, a role you play at home and at school, or even a hallowed institution. Motherhood has been elevated – or perhaps demoted to the realm of lifestyle, an all encompassing identity with demands and expectations that eclipse everything else in a woman’s life”.

I laugh at this:

“The current culture demands that every mother be all in, all the time. My sister-in-law told me about a mom at her kid‚Äôs elementary school who took the basic school T-shirt that everyone got and painstakingly created a beaded fringe at the bottom, replete with cinched waist and perfectly cuffed sleeves. All of the other little girls gathered around, screeching variations of ‚ÄúI want the same thing!‚ÄĚ Incredibly enough, instead of laughing in their unrealistic faces the way our parents might have, all the adults started mumbling, ‚ÄúYes, O.K., we can do that, sure, I‚Äôll learn a challenging new craft, no problem. Tonight, of course. We‚Äôll do it tonight.‚ÄĚ This made my sister-in-law, who was already late for work, want to teach a few people the artisanal craft of rearranging someone‚Äôs face using only your bare hands. We are outclassed at every turn. We are outspent and out-helicoptered and outnumbered. It used to be good enough just to keep your house from being coated in a thin layer of dog hair and human feces. No longer.”

And this:

“FORTY years ago, my mother and her two friends drank coffee, ate homemade cherry pie and chain-smoked their way through lively debates over whether a popular author was daringly frank or a chauvinist, while their children were expected to play nicely outside and rarely interrupt. Today, all three mothers might instead be engaged in some elaborate craft project, with each woman stopping the conversation every few seconds to open a little jar of paint or to help glue on some tiny eyes.”


I slap my head with the palm of my hand.

My son’s third grade class was given a craft project to decorate a paper scarecrow.

A MONTH ago! It’s still outstanding due to a combination of procrastination and lack of motivation.
I’m sorry, but most third grade boys are scarcely capable of coloring inside the lines let alone being able to deploy the skills required to kit out¬†a paper scarecrow using the suggested fabric and ‘other materials’.
The paper scarecrow has sat in the Homework tray for a month whilst every two days I cajole my third grader to start on his ‘Scarecrow Project’. Occasionally I weakly email my son’s teacher to say, “It’ll be in this week”.
We can’t not complete this homework project. They’ll be graded on it for their first semester report card. On one hand this is outrageous. It’s a freaking art project.

On the other hand I can see it helping teach valuable project management skills.
And cutting and pasting strengthens finger muscles for ELA (English Language Arts) This Common Core Standards jargon is everywhere these days. In my day it was known as Reading Writing and Art. Separate subjects.

The jury is out on Common Core but the curriculum has a Kumon like feel about it. There is endless¬†repetition with fractionally different examples and mastery of one topic before proceeding to the next. Great to prevent gaps in knowledge and monitor the progress of the child’s learning but quick learners can get bored having to explain why they ‘know’ something.

“But I just KNOW,” is the oft heard phrase at our Homework table. “This SUCKS”, is another common phrase.

common core

I’ve noticed the teachers adapt their teaching style to compensate. Some allow for extra credit. Others drop everything and take the kids to the playing field for¬†real life examples.

Regardless of the veracity of the curriculum; I realize the writing is on the wall. There is going to to be some cutting and pasting and employment of Project Management Skills. Today.

“I’m too busy to decorate a Scarecrow!” I mutter. Five children does give cause to to fill one’s day in. But I’m resigned. I ¬†get my cutting and pasting tools out. I ransack my brain for ideas.

Quite frankly I feel defeated.¬†Several¬†days earlier I had looked into my son’s classroom to see what the finished product might look like. What a mistake that was! It would appear there are a lot of third graders capable of turning out perfectly decorated; blinged up paper scarecrows.
I’m dubious that a Third Grader could reliably place buttons let alone sharpie on a well appointed lop-sided scarecrow smile.

And I’ll eat my hat if my son’s classmates hemmed the¬†¬†denim material adorning some of the scarecrows as dungarees.


I realize I’m a reluctant victim of the “All In”, Parenting Syndrome as per the “Our ‘Mommy’ Problem” Blog Post. Instead of handing my son some crayons and telling him to get drawing, ¬†I am doing his art project for him. To the best of my meagre ability. ¬†I don’t want my son to have the only crayon drawn Scarecrow on the classroom¬†wall and be awarded a ‘2’ for a grade.

The worst of this whole business is that I don’t have the craft skill of some of the other Mom’s. I tell myself that I’ll be learning valuable project management skills and set to work.

Axel insists that the dungarees be white. “That’s so lame I mutter”. Everyone knows Scarecrow dungarees are denim or burlap. But I guess my son has to have some input into the project so I can look his teacher in the eye.

I make a paper dungaree template. For the shirt I ¬†cut up an old pair of swim shorts from GAP. They are three seasons old and have a hole in the crotch. It’s about time they were retired despite the temptation to pass them onto my youngest to get another swim season from them.

I make a fatal mistake and get my son to draw in the eyes and the smile.

Scarecrow gets a thin smile and three eyes.

My husband wanders past and says “that’s so cute”, about my Scarecrow. I feel vindicated. My scarecrow may not be the most polished but Hubby thinks it’s cute. Which means he thinks I’m cute. Possibly. I’m wearing my gardening clothes; cutoffs, the aforesaid hat and a deranged smile as I pick¬†through buttons for the final touches.

I place the hat I’ve stolen from a scarecrow in a neighboring garden. It’s not the first time I’ve turned to criminal acts in the name of Motherhood. Like Mob Bosses, we do what we have to do. ¬†As “Our ‘Mommy’ Problems” blog post notes; the perception of “Motherhood” can me erroneous and appearances can be misleading. We are people with the Mommy overlay. We have different strengths and weaknesses to meet the pressures coming from every direction.

I may not know how to hem denim but I know how to pilfer.

I throw a handful of leaves on the paper dungarees and take a picture of the finished product.

Paper Scarecrow


Discuss and share:

This morning I start on the back foot. Something awful has happened in the kitchen overnight. The remains of two well picked over chicken carcasses and random crockery and pots are strewn everywhere.

Could a raccoon have gotten in again in the middle of the night with ill gotten gains from a neighboring chicken coop and chased the cats around the house before all settling to enjoy some kind of feral midnight dinner party?

I think back. No. Last night I picked up two organic chickens for dinner. Hubby steamed vegetables and grilled cheese on an artisan breadstick.

The kids formed a bloc and refused to come to the dinner table.

“I’m Not Hungry”, they call back as they retreat with a packet of pretzels and a roll of frozen cookie dough. We adults are temporarily gutted at not being able to convince our children to eat a nutritious dinner. We sit in an obtuse silence with our I phones and watch two bottles of wine mysteriously drain themselves of the contents before we polish off the rest of Hubby’s birthday cake from The Cheesecake Factory.

After dinner we get distracted by a documentary on American rebel States in the Civil War.
It may not have been the Civil War (I am hazy on the history of New Zealand let alone that of the USA).
Checking the Housewife’s Fountain of Knowledge clears up the confusion:
The documentary was about the beginning of the Civil war following Abraham Lincoln’s election in 1860. Seven Slave States set up their own government and war broke out in April 1861¬† : From Wikipedia:

“The Confederate States of America was created by secessionists in Southern slave states who refused to remain in a nation that they believed was turning them into second‚Äďclass citizens. They judged the agent of change to be abolitionists and anti-slavery elements in the Republican Party whom they believed used repeated insult and injury to subject them to intolerable “humiliation and degradation”.The “Black Republicans” (as the Southerners called them) and their allies would soon become a majority in the United States House, Senate, and Presidency.”

Whoda thunk? Way back in the day, The Republicans were the good guys. Mitt Romney, you missed your time.

Long story short:

The Confederacy got their pants kicked and told to pull their heads out of the dark ages and stop enslaving people.

Interestingly there is still resistance to acknowledging equal rights in the Deep South. From the New York Times:

Two Remaining Rebel States

The state of the kitchen explained, I set to putting things to rights. Fortunately most of the chicken has been set aside for our lunch today and I can make Matzo Ball Soup with the carcasses tonight.

In the meantime I have to turn this:

Our kitchen in the morning.

Our kitchen in the morning.

Into this:


Clear surfaces and vases of Spring flowers restore calm.

For them:


Ozy Axel and Cosmo sing The Star Spangled Banner beneath a New Zealand themed wall hanging,


Discuss and share:

Today started  pleasantly enough. I was with a friend of mine in our newly remodeled home.  We were discussing the possibility of buying in some more wine. I was knocking back a bowl of artichoke dip with my gorgeous redhead friend.

Prior conversation had been no more in-depth other than canvassing the health of our extended families and making plans to get our nails done together.
Our discussion was rudely interrupted by the, “Rurp Rurp Rurp”, of my husbands Iphone.

The tempting victuals disappear. I roll over.

“Turn that ******* alarm off”, is the first phrase my husband hears upon waking.

He calmly acquiesces to my unwitting command.

I pull the duvet up to my chin and attempt to reenter the dreamland that had been so rudely ripped away.

I succeed. This time I have a guilt dream about a massive box of cereal knocking me over in the our local Safeway.
The payback no doubt for stuffing down a stackload of grilled cheese last night.
In these politically correct days, the technical term is “bingeing”. I don’t know what my Housewifely counterparts in other households are doing at midnight, but I’m inclined to snarf back a highly calorific supper and fall into bed unrepentant and exhausted.

“Rurp Rurp Rurp”, goes the back-up alarm at 7.30am.
In our house, sleeping in is a disaster of immense proportions.
To have any chance of delivering our children to school in a timely fashion relies on me rising no later than 5.30am.
On top of a two hour shift in the middle of the night where I wake and stack dishes and fold linen.
Last night I was awake from 2am to 4am changing  wet beds. Emerging from a soggy slumber; sleepy children and inquisitive cats all wound their way round each other and me before  succumbing to somnolence before dawn.
To meet the needs of a large family and the expectations of aspirational California I live my life in shifts.

I am properly awake now. “Happy Birthday”, I say to my husband.

This, in slightly more dulcet tones than my earlier edict.

It’s a Significant Birthday.

We are Significantly Older than when we met half a lifetime ago.

We have Significantly More Chaos in our lives than we did a quarter of our lives ago.

I tumble out of bed and fall on a three year old. She stands and starts waving her brother’s hand in the air vigorously. His head wobbles in time with his hand but he stoically puts up with his sister’s tender ministrations.

“Time to Get Up”, Mommy, she says to me. “Get up now Mommy”. Her brother nods.

“Bad Mommy”, says her brother to me with the eyes of an angel and unsettling perspicacity.

“I got Bad Poopys Mommy”.
Sighing, I retrieve my  mommy uniform from the floor.

I don black leggings and a top I may or may not have worn previously. My top is black and I finish the outfit off with a black cardigan and black boots. It’s a cultural thing. I’m from New Zealand and we wear a lot of black. We’re intrinsically Gothic.

Acclaimed music artist Lorde is a great showcase for NZ fashion trends and our gothic tendencies.

Lorde at the 27th Annual ARIA Music Awards, December 2013. Wikipedia commons

Lorde at the 27th Annual ARIA Music Awards, December 2013. Wikipedia commons

After emigrating to Calfornia, I had to train myself to wear color when the weather is warmer.

After 30 plus years in NZ, I love the novelty of LA. It’s the fashionista’s polar opposite to the NZ fashion scene.

Soothing pastels and jumpsuits have their own unique charm.

In time, I awkwardly try to adapt to the Californian fashion scene. The first attempt at buying a jumpsuit ends in disaster. I gravitate to a black version. It looks awful on me.

Unfortunately so does pastel.

It could take me some time to find my signature jumpsuit look.

The morning unfolds. I ready school lunches and brush teeth.

I drop the twins off at their preschool and a Dad gives me a big smile. I smile back.

I vaguely wonder if he is giving me the glad eye.

Another cultural adjustment. American folk are open and friendly in everyday dealings but tend to be more reserved in deeper discussions.  NZers are reserved in the first instance but are open to overtures.

Upon establishing an initial connection; we’re best mates with all and sundry and comfortable¬† discussing anything.
It probably wasn’t the glad eye but it’s made my day a little brighter anyhows.
I return home after the school run.

I attempt to straighten the house before retiring defeated.

Social Media is so much more rewarding than housework,

I hang out and play a song suitable for the occasion to mark my husband’s birthday:


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Kiwis celebrate Waitangi Day in San Francisco with Sir Peter Snell

Celebrated Kiwis from all walks of life, and their American friends will observe Waitangi Day in San Francisco with one of the world’s most respected athletes; Sir Peter Snell.
peter snell
New Zealand has a reputation for punching above its weight when it comes to turning out world-class sportspeople, artists and scientists.

There is no one who better exemplifies this trait than Sir Peter Snell; the first man to achieve the 800m and 1500m double at the Olympic Games in 1964.

Sir Peter Snell was recognized by New Zealand as Sportsman of the century in 2000 and was knighted by the Governor General of New Zealand in 2009.
Now a US citizen, he was inducted into the International Association of Athletics Federation, (IAAF),  in 2012.

New Zealand expats and friends from around the Bay area will come together to celebrate Waitangi Day at the Golden Gate Yacht Club on Saturday February 8th.
Expat Association; NZ American Association of San Francisco, (NZAASF), will host world renown Kiwi scientists, entertainers and sportspeople, academicians, artists, & professionals.
Guests will dine on a menu inspired by Kiwi chef Andrew Johnstone after listening to the evening address by Sir Peter Snell.
Highlights include New Zealand Lamb, seafood, Pavlova,wines, beers and a special guest appearance from celebrity chef Kayne Raymond of No Kitchen Required:




Sir Russell Coutts;

Sir Vaughan Jones;

Sir Ken Stevens;

Sir Peter Snell

For photos from last years; Waitangi Day event and ticketing visit www.sfkiwis.com

If it’s too late this year, put it on your calender for next year if you’re passing through The San Francisco Bay Area.
I went last year and it was great fun. Lots of Americans joined Kiwis in having a great old time.

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It’s day four of our Thanksgiving festivities. My five little angels have had too many hours on their I pads. Alas, late nights have no effect on how long children sleep on for in the morning.

Today I woke up early being whipped with black liquorice.
And it wasn’t my husband getting creative.¬† At the end of the piece of liquorice was my four year old daughter Kaelyn.

“Umrgh”, I say.
“Mommy been naughty”, says Kaelyn.
She was right on the mark as far as my behavior over Thanksgiving. Too many late nights and too many indulgences. Some triggered by excitement and some by the need to keep Bad Mommy at bay. More about that later.
Kaelyn whips me again on the forehead and I leap out of bed. Unfortunately my knee connects with the glass of wine left beside the bed.
“Fuck”, says Oldest Son, helpfully. “Language”,¬†I roar. Most of the contents of the wine glass dumps into one of a pair of my favorite black Cole Haan riding boots. The rest of the beverage sprays over the immediate floor beside our bed.
This was not the disaster it might have been. The carpet beside my bed is protected year round by foot deep layer of¬† old newspapers, children’s art and stale bagel chips. Unlike the carpet on the other side of the bed.
If there was a crumb on my husband’s side, it would be lonely.
More evidence of bad behavior on my part.
Kaelyn whips me again.
I turn away and pick up the sodden boot.
Scull”, says oldest son helpfully.
“Where do you learn these concepts”, as I push past him to drain the boot in the bathtub. “You said you drank out of a boot once”, says Oldest Son.

“I can’t imagine why I would have told you that”, I say as my mind flashes back to College days.
You were trying to sound cool when you were talking to an old friend”, said the blankets.
“Who put that fucking glass of wine there”? I ask my husband.

“You did”. He adds helpfully, “You muttered something about ‘one for the road’ and slopped most of it down the hallway on your way to bed”.
I smile sweetly down at the Talking Blankets. “I guess I didn’t need it then”, I say.
I inform him that we have a full day ahead, culminating in dinner out.
“Sore throat”, he mutters and turns back into Blanket Man.
Kaelyn gets two sticks of black liquorice and wiggles them on her forehead. “Eyebrows”, she says.

DSC_0024 1
“Where do you learn these concepts, sweetie”? I ask idly.
We give hubby another half hour sleep. I endeavor to dress five ragamuffins in suitable garb for a Nutcracker morning tea at our Country Club. My efforts are to no avail and I find it more frustrating than playing “Whack-a-mole”. I brush one little boy’s hair and notice someone else has it spiked back up. I give one child suitable garb and turn around to find another wearing the Minecraft t-shirt that got us in breach of Dress Code last time.
Oh the ignominy of eating on the Club patio and not by choice.

All’s well that ends well. Bad Grumpy Mommy makes an appearance later but I banish her with lemon tart that I liberate off an empty table at the Club into my handbag for such a purpose. We made it to the Nutcracker Tea in reasonable dress and later I take the older boys to the local performance of The Nutcracker at the Lesher Centre for the Arts, Walnut Creek. The Contra Costa Ballet performs the well known Christmas Story and I get that first touch of Christmas magic this season. The costumes are incredible and the dancers are very accomplished. Oldest Son now wants to do ballet.
“Practice your piano and watch your language”, I say. “Then we can talk about ballet”.


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Thanksgiving  came and went in our household  with a surprising lack of drama and aggravation. We must be doing something right. Our household of seven is always teetering on the edge of  minor disasters, culinary and otherwise.

It  appeared as if disaster was imminent from the first moment I opened my eyes this Thanksgiving morn. At the very least, a degree of discomfort and uncertainty loomed.
I woke, as I often do, with my baby daughter’s fingers lodged in my nostrils.
“Mommy Got Nose”, pronounces my two year-old daughter, Kaelyn.



I nod, and lamely say, “Umgrh”!
Then, I mistakenly attempt to dislodge her digits from my nostrils  by a combination of shaking my head and employing the only Karate move I have ever learned.
Translated to a horizontal position, this ploy is surprising ineffective and leaves me with sciatica.

Sustaining other minor injuries, I am infinitely  grateful when Kaelyn withdraws her fingers, in order to provide exploratory surgery to a random Teddy bear.
Then, ignoring the twinge in my neck, I examine my still-beleaguered nasal cavity and attempt to retrieve what I guess to be a Lego Mini-Figures hat, accompanied by a Lego Creator headlamp.
I am right on the money. Our Minecraft indoctrinated seven year old shouts, “Mommy is Mining”, as I remove and place the offending bits of plastic on the bedside table.
Waving her hands in the air, my unrepentant and gleeful daughter yells, “Mommy Got Boobies”!
Mr Seven year-old grabs the excavated Lego and leaves for the toy room to search for more Lego.
Kaelyn and I then enjoy some Mommy/Daughter time together beside my slumbering husband.
Kaelyn currently enjoys naming body parts. We run through all the body parts that we can think of. We spend a lot of time on the torso and genitals. We decide that Mommy doesn’t have a penis but several of her brothers do.
Deciding I have the patience of Saints, I then poke my still-snoring Other Half:

“Happy Thanksgiving”, I shout:

“Umgrh”, he mutters imperviously.

Toying with the idea of bestowing the  special delivery of a Lego Mini-figures Hat and Lego Creator headlamp upon hubby, I decide to be the bigger person. Gleefully occupying the  higher moral ground, I clamber out of bed while Kaelyn cuddles up to her slumbering dad.

The sun is just arriving in our front lounge. It’s frosty outside.

Frosty baubles

Frosty outside but warm inside and nothing warms the cockles more than when the rest of the family emerges from their bedrooms.

My husband lumbers into the living room.

You wouldn’t believe what Kaelyn stuck up my nose while I was sleeping”, he says.

“Try me”? I say innocently.
“Do you think we need to get some Lego for the boys for Christmas”, I say.


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Recently re-elected Mayor of Auckland, Len Brown was recently outed over and admitted to a two year long affair with attractive political rookie Bevan Chuang. The story has now gone global.
CNN does superb coverage of all the unfolding scandal:

See here:

Len Brown leads on CNN

Len Brown leads on CNN

Where have we heard all this before?

New York: Former congressman and recidivist sexter Anthony Weiner’s hopes of becoming Mayor of New York were dashed during the primaries in a sexting scandal:
By “those meddling kids”

 Anthony Weiner Blames Mayoral Loss on the Existence of the Internet:

“That‚Äôs right. If it weren‚Äôt for those meddling kids and that internet, maybe Weiner would be mayor right now. Or even President. It‚Äôs hard to tell, since history would probably be a lot different without the advent of high-speed communication, but anything is possible when we use our imaginations.”

The breathtaking arrogance of the man. He resigned from Congress in 2011 for tweeting sexually suggestive photos of himself.

Do men like this learn from their mistakes?

It would seem not.  In July 2013 he had to withdraw from the Mayoral race after sexting via an alias.

So his behaviour as a role model is appalling. His actions and judgement show a lack of foresight and judgment and he blames his downfall on the Internet.

Unfortunately the revelations around Len Brown’s behavior have come too late for the¬† voters of Auckland, New Zealand’s largest city to have the discussion during the Mayoral race.

New Zealand’s Len brown was elected before his sexual misdemeanors came to light last week via the Whaleoil blog.
Straight away the battle line were drawn. It was declared a plot by left wing commentators who ran with stories linking Brown’s rival John Palino to the disclosures over Brown’s personal life. Chuang was pressured to reveal all, it was alleged. Chuang obliged by turning into a sook; wishing that nice Mr Brown all the best and turning on the tears. Probably an ill advised attempt to control her public image.
She should have gone to ground. She made her bed, etc, et al. However, the pressure must have been immense with middle aged men of all political creeds going: “Phoarrr”, “it was all the fault of the Asian Hussy”.
Men! More fantasy than reality. How many of these commentators have ever been seduced in this manner when the reality is that women are more vulnerable to being picked off by powerful males, AKA Bill Clinton.

It’s now a play in the great game of political roshambo between the oil and agricultural/ industries and left wing city planners who hold the moral higher ground in the eyes of liberal city voters.
In this arena, corn and rail inevitably trump oil so it’s a mere shame that those nasty right wing bloggers have outed that nice Mr Brown.

I personally have my concerns about that nice Mr Brown.

I suggest he has a level of breathtaking arrogance that is of a concern to voters.

Brown immediately pled for understanding from voters and privacy to work through the issues with his family. He had told his wife about the affair, he said.

We’re very understanding, we voters. Affairs happen.
And the media should stay out of politicians private lives. And so they should unless it is exposing an unprecedented level of duplicity and hypocrisy.

Duplicity: The timing of the confession to his wife roughly coincided with a threatening text by an as yet unidentified party to Bevan Chuang. We are left
with the conclusion that Brown only confessed the affair to his wife only when he knew the story was breaking nationwide.

Hypocrisy: Brown asks for privacy then issues a press statement allegedly from his daughters¬† underling their full support for their dad. “Written on behalf of Sam, Olivia and Victoria”.¬†

Len Brown's daughters: "We stand by Dad".

Len Brown’s daughters: Would they stand by their husbands if they behaved in a similar fashion?

The number of females under the unrelenting glare of the media spotlight has now trebled. Chuang, Brown’s wife and daughters are all being held hostage due to the actions of one man.¬† A man who didn’t separate his public and personal life but now asks the voters to.

The level of duplicity and hypocrisy that Len Brown has displayed is of a concern for voters. He should step down; a by-election would allow voters to ask themselves if they can accept these traits in a mayor. He may well be re-elected but will have done so in an arena of full disclosure.

A Big Swinging Dick like Brown or second runner up; politically unpalatable Palino, is the last thing that Auckland needs. Where is a women to run the city when you need one? Or someone like that nice gay-friendly Maurice Williamson who may be the only person who could bridge the left/right divide:

It would take a real Space Cowboy to quell the partisan clamor ignited by the outing of Lothario Len by the roguish Cameron Slater (Chaotic Neutral) and freelancer Stephen Cook; Hmmm. Jury’s out on this one but if recent reports of his porn movie plans are true; Character alignment: chaotic evil.)

What we can conclude, is that given the incredible interest over social media of both Weiner and Brown; we are in a new age of media and publishing.

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From Huffington Post:

¬†Mama Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Housewives.

Blogger Jennifer Ball attends a Cabi party.
A contented housewife annoys Ball by confessing to still “just”, being a housewife and being there for her husband and grown children who are living adult lives.

Ball: “Now, as I have stated before, I’m not one to judge a woman by what she does all day. Or so I thought. Because when I overheard one mom, who happens to have two adult children (her youngest is my oldest’s age, 19), reply to that question by saying, “I’m still just a slave to my family!”, I felt something so foreign and cold and icky… no, it wasn’t my ex-husband rubbing up against me…

It was judgment. I heard her say this, and something in me bristled. And a shrew-like voice in my head actually said these words:


This was never spoken out loud”

“(To clarify: I didn’t say this out loud. Thank God.)”

Almost immediately, I felt bad. I felt shameful and regretful and worst of all, I felt mean”.

Yes. Thank the heavens.
Her fellow Anne Klein shod housewives may have roundly kicked Ball, if she’d given voice to this sentiment.

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Housewife Scorned.

Anne Klein Oct13

And American Housewives take house-wiving seriously. Unlike some other nations where house-wiving is an adjunct to a career; to be a housewife in the U.S. is to be a Professional.

But a lifestyle of relative discomfort separates Ball from her compatriots. Ball has had it rough. Her husband turned out to be a loser and she has since scraped from payday to payday to make ends meet for teenage children.
Indigence was a nasty surprise. Her childhood sweetheart dumped her when: “he decided that the co-worker he had started screwing in parking lots after Happy Hour was his soul mate.”

Ouch. And Double Ouch. Ball’s internal monologue continues over the course of the CAbi party:

“That’s when I want to stand up, toss my fork aside and proselytize to these women, to all women who were and are like I once was: comfortable and safe and complacent in their roles as stay-at-home moms. I want to shake them and sit down with them and make sure they have a Plan B. And a Plan C, D, E and yes, even a Plan F. I want them to look at me, and my life, and the shit I’ve slogged through and see that you can Opt in or Opt out or Opt sideways and somehow still find yourself struggling just to make it from paycheck to paycheck.”.

That is a given. After the massive social upheavals of the 70’s through the 90,’s it is imperative that women work on being financially independent even if we remain mostly financially reliant on the Lord and Master. But I think Ball’s inner voice is giving her fellow Moms grief for her own lack of judgement.

I suspect Ball had an easy upbringing. If her parents had a settled, stable life she may have expected just to follow in her parents footsteps

Perhaps she thought a life of ease would be handed to her on a plate.

Life can be a cutthroat exercise. You’ve got to be able to adjust.

Ball is now aware of this:

“Don’t ever make the same mistake I did and put your life in someone else’s hands. And always, always, ALWAYS have a Plan B.”

Some learn this truth earlier than others, One good thing about a tumultuous childhood is that, thereafter, you are deeded Low Rat Cunning in spades.
If the nuclear family  deserts you,  it becomes a given that others are fallible.

You always have a fallback plan. From your early years you learn that a lot of people can’t be fully trusted. This goes along with wariness of others and a constant search for new opportunities.

Just in case. Not necessarily in case of being deserted or bullied. Life can hurl shit sandwiches  at you by way of ill health and being in the wrong place at the wrong time.

And at the end of the day, no matter how dearly we love them, people have a habit of dying. Whatever the age. The ultimate loss and betrayal.
They may die suddenly, leaving you insanely bereft, or after a long protracted struggle.

Despite thinking the inevitable won’t happen, we are humbled to find we can’t follow them.

So it is imperative and probably unavoidable, that at some stage in our lives, we work on our financial independence but that we also develop an independence of spirit.

So I completely disagree with Ball.

Being a Housewife can be surprisingly satisfying in many areas of the um bedroom. Umm, I mean Life.

Before you can attempt any Herculean task, it is imperative that the home front be orderly.

My advice to others would be:

Mama, if they must be Housewives; Grow your Babies up to be Good and Cunning Housewives:


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Following my last post.
I saw my son arraigned in court. I drove into Oakland to the Federal Courthouse @1301 Clay St. St, Oakland. It’s a formidable looking institution:

Donald V Dellums Federal Building Oakland.

It wasn’t very dramatic. I ran late as parking was hard to find. I walked into the Courtroom to find my son at a stand in civvies, (not in oranges or greens), to my surprise:

Why do prisoners wear orange? – Lsleds

My son was then interviewed by Oakland Pre Trial Services following his arraignment. He then appeared in front of the Federal Court Judge who determined his overall culpability and potential for rehabilitation. This is known as a “Detention Hearing”. From here, defendants have the potential path to prison or rehabilitation.

Pre Trial Services:

Pretrial services are programs that consist of officers helping cases get ready for court. Its primary responsibility is to assess a defendant’s risk, suggest terms for release, and supervise defendants freed before trial.

My son has special needs. He is on one hand incredibly bright:
Ozy tested in the top 1.5% of all Junior’s tested across the States in his year. After the testing was released, he received a relentless mailout from all the Colleges who would court him for his attendance as an undergraduate.

But emotionally my son was incredibly vulnerable. He always sought new experiences and was a thrill seeker and was at risk for seeking new experiences via drug consumption. Legal and otherwise. But even then, he craved stability. When the stability of Football fell through and he was admitted to hospital with a mass in his hip due to previously undetected hemophilia, Ozy was cast adrift.

He was released from hospital addicted to Oxycontin in 2020. Without a pain reduction plan.
He then was primed to be drawn to opioids.
Opioids are Fake opiates (derivatives of naturally occurring pain killing substances such as opium) manufactured by the Mexican cartels.
They are produced around the clock as the Mexican Cartels work hand in Glove with Chinese Pharmaceutical companies who manufacture the precursors to the Fentanyl pills offshore.
And if anyone wants to dispute the availability and harm of these precursor pills: Don’t be naive. I have picked these up from my son’s bedroom floor following his arrest. Nobody else had access to his room, thank goodness.
If the drugs were readily available in our house where we were just bent on bringing up a family properly; you can see how drugs are readily available in every American suburb.
Bioavailability of Opioids in the Middle Class American home is an industry that many shady operators have an interest in maintaining.
Cartel members along with corrupt members of our local law enforcement agencies ensure a thriving drug trade in our suburbs.

Why? I use the clotheslines analogy. Everyone in the drug trade has got comfortable being pinned to a clothesline.
As long as the tension across the line is maintained then every agent in the lineup gets dried appropriately:
Kickbacks, schemes, and oversight of the system is kept current and mutual without judicial oversight.

And God forbid, attention gets drawn to the drug trade in the neighborhood with an overdose. A death. A DEA warranted investigation.
All the parts begin moving and individuals such as my son are culled and detached from the interwoven fabric of Cartel Supply and suburban demand where elements in the enforcement agencies are covering to maintain the status quo.

The Government’s agencies might have buried my son in the prison system but the root cause of Northern Californian Opioid supply and demand is never addressed by targeting the bottom feeders. It protects those who would seek to profit from the continued drug trade:

Make those like my son an outlier. Deem him a drug dealer. Send him to prison My son wasn’t a dealer in the way the cartels, addict, recruit and deal. My son was a drug user with an incredibly high tolerance for his drug of choice.
My son was targeted and addicted in the suburbs. By the cartels and the lack of probity by the law enforcement agencies, alike.
The last thing I said to him on his admittance into Court ordered Treatment, was: ” I love you Ozy. If youare good. you will come good”.

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Hot on the heels of my previous escapade, (read the summary below) I was disturbed to read about Nicola Bulley.

Nicola Bulley was the UK woman who went for a walk and disappeared.
The local PD: the Lancashire cops revealed she had been dealing with menopausal issues such as brain fog and alcohol consumption.

This was an unbelievably sexist public reveal about Bulley’s disappearance: Men drink to deal with stress and seem to have culturally acceptable mid-life crises.
Women walk and daydream to deal with mid life stressors, but this is deemed Craazy.

How do I relate?

On Christmas Day 2022, I went for a walk alone.
I didn’t go further than half a mile from my house. All the paths I took were well lit.
I merely went for a post-Christmas dinner stroll to look at the lights on the houses surrounding and reflect on the walks I used to take with my Nana who I spent a lot of time with when
I was growing up. A lot of the time we would walk around the local gardens.

I didn’t ask my family to come with me on this post-prandial walk:
For Halloween 2022 I had bought five tickets to Pirates of Emerson (A local annual Halloween festival) for the younger children and I; but nobody wanted to come.
The Sprogs were all engrossed in gaming.
My husband had no appetite for my company, as opposed to golf as apropos of men’s mid-life pursuits, so by now, I was used to my own company.

So off I went on an early Christmas evening walk. I sat in the park for a while and daydreamed as I walked.
I planned Christmas lights on our house for next year though my husband disagreed on the cost as we did so much other everyday matters these days.
And as I approached my house, on returning from my walk, there were flashing lights and all the local constabulary outside.
I worried something had happened to my oldest son who had been grappling with a fentanyl addiction.

But no. My husband had called the cops because, I, a sane and quite well woman otherwise, at least for the past three years had taken a walk and he had lost track of me.
Apparently, I was acting out of character. No one in the house wanted to keep my company but as soon as I couldn’t be found: The local law enforcement was called out.

I reassured the cops. (The cops and I were starting to have quite the ongoing causal relationship btw ūüôā They were the same ones as had been called to my previous escapade. See previous blog post.
“No. I had just walked out on my own”. “One hour forty mins prior. A Christmas evening walk, everyone else in the house seemed to be occupied and I was quite fit and well, so I left”.
“I am a grown adult, after all.”
The cops left.

The escapade I refer to is linked here:

I previously I took my top off and dodged into a Neighbour’s back yard for some sun. I was acting in both a devil-may-care capacity and a journalistic capacity.
Having just reached the age where DILLIGAF? was becoming a modus vivendi.
An attitude becoming more well-homed in this state of grift and self-advancement: CA
I still had the same nose for a story even if it was for my own digestion and those if my friends.
Like generations of women before, I was starting to realize that Menopausal or post Breeding Aged Women were treated as a danger or a Liability to society.
We are sidelined and typecast as Librarians. Metaphorically Burned through Divorce proceedings or incarcerated/institutionalized as Witches)
I was interested in how I might be treated as an intelligent personable female, (White), with a couple of mental health diagnoses that I did not agree with and could be held against me if I acted ‘quirky’.

The outcome to my previous sojourn: The legal response was WAY overdone.

My own psychiatrist pathologized me and my Counsellor, the one person knowing the stress I was under had a laugh with me.

And then, when I took an innocent stroll on Christmas Day 2022. I was reported as missing.
Not even two hours had passed!

Nicola Bulley’s body has now been found and as she was on a work call and fully functioning, it seems she may have experienced a medical, not a peri-menopausal event.
Was there really a need to cast shade or victim blame Bulley from the outset?

The Lancashire PD have much to answer for, as do the close family of Bulley who provided the PD with the personal details that were disclosed to the public.
Who cast Bulley as a hormonal alcoholic when all the evidence suggests she was fully functioning in the prime of her life?

PS: WTF is brain fog?
I’m always foggy until I have coffee and thereafter, I’m all good until sundown. Sounds like a way for psychiatrists to grift off our ovaries to me.

Discuss and share:

Following the #Twitterfiles release, I digested a TwitterSpace where Kim Dotcom and others hosted and Elon Musk spoke. These are the main takeaways from before Elon spoke: (Everyone knows more or less what the intrepid billionaire has to say as he has made himself available to a gazillion followers who are either praise or condemn him depending on their interpretation of his character:

The Blind men and the Elephant. a Folk tale.

That was interesting. I get it. We don’t know all facets of a person unless we know them intimately. We can’t use that to prejudge the info dump.

But we do know Elon Musk released important info re suppressed information that a large chunk of the population has an interest in. Was This a good thing?

I am going to place the dots as to why #Twitterfiles is so important at this point in the game, and you can pace join them. The Hosts of the Dotcom/Musk TwitterSpace made the following points

1.) If you ask a random sample of people: “Do you trust the Government?”. An overwhelming majority will say, “no”!
Or Fuck no”.
A large portion of those same people will trust, and even express trust in the media’s interpretation of the Government’s policies.

This is a huge vulnerability! If we believe with all cause that the Government essentially cheats and withholds we want to have the information decide when to call our public servants out But we are inclined to be influenced by the media. Then all the Government has to do is infiltrate, fund or become the media. Or all three.
Conclusion. We can no longer trust legacy media. We need to have alternate news sources.

2.) Can we trust that Governments don’t play the Social media game?
It is now obvious, though those of us who knew what to look for, suspected, that Governments of the world are manipulating the public discourse via social media.
BTW you can use a service like Thunderclap or Crowdspeaking to amplify its message (This particular iteration has shut down).

What if, instead of being used a tool for organisations to get word out there. It is a tool commandeered by the Government! It’s a propaganda speakerphone.

Here’s a possible example of a disseminated Governmental Directive. : “The Unvaccinated are unclean. They don’t deserve to hold down jobs like you hardworking people. They shouldnt even be seen in cafes.”
Worst kept secret in the world: The New Zealand Government was able to exile a million expats and prevent unvaccinated from accessing jobs, healthcare and other public services durimg the last two years.

Jacinda Ardern the Chief Policy Executioner, directed this incredibly hostile, inhumane and dehumanizing approach to addressing Covid.

No-one stood up to her as she had numbers on her side. How many of them were real voices?
(I don’t really dislike anyone but when I do, they are bullies.)

Moving right along.
So, what! It’s just a game and someone’s gotta run the show even if some people are unhappy!

3.) “Are you sure our elected representatives are running the show and doing their best to implement policies from their platform”?

“What would be the signs that this wasn’t the case?”

Overreach and people getting hurt or ending up in jail on charges later thrown out or with sentences disproportionate to their actions. Particularly in the case of journalists or whistleblowers.

IE: Didya hear about the one where a couple got jailed for not following Health Department directives, but violent crimes go unpenalized?

Watch for that phenomenon!

Situations where individuals are made an example of!
Individuals are thrown under the bus to show that speaking out or acting out of turn is dangerous. The first amendment is disregarded. Trampled on. Result: A compliant population.
Most people will be aware of the plight of Publisher Julian Assange. Journalists and whistleblowers have historically been punished for highlighting over-reach by Departments that contravene individual or group rights. In the pursuit for justice or protection of society.
That trained and professional breed; Journalists are generally protected, but it is labelled criminal espionage or treason to publish stuff that embarrasses these Departments.


This phenomenon of killing the messenger happened after the Korean War; In the pursuit of answers around the Vietnam War and showing the world what happens after nuke deployment.

That last: Photography of bombed Hiroshima by Australian journalist; Wilfred Burchett made the world a safer place. Never again will nukes be deployed with impunity thanks to his incredibly dangerous photojournalism.

(History has repeated. Australian journalist Assange is imprisoned because Governments and Security Services of three different nations have been complicit in silencing him.)

Even if you are a citizen of another country, you are not necessarily immune from prosecution once free speech has been criminalized.

This Media/Security Services and Governmental sandwich has now been exposed in the TwitterFiles Dump, Part 1.

Let’s get on the same team here, folks. It appears the dump was a good move as it exposed how dismissive and arrogant, all of those three agencies are when they collude.

I wonder what else is out there waiting to be freed?


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I was a customer of the mental health industry for a time in the last decade. It has been useful to tease out emotional and/or intellectual conditions. I explored mood disorders, OCD related thinking and addiction. I have taken something useful from each fresh foray. Some of it was uncomfortable, especially when I became dependent on alcohol and other substances. I was hauled around by my biology. and not able to snap out of the cycle.
(I probably have a neurochemical predisposition to enjoying alcohol to relieve anxiety.)
During this period: I had unexpected and scary medical consequences.

I let people down but did little measurable harm and for this, I quite frankly was subjected to barbaric old-fashioned treatment. Even in this day and age.

Long story short: (This is not meant to be a downer.)
I came out the other side and became slowly aware that despite my best efforts. I was still being pathologized.
I was, in short, a danger to myself and the well-being of others in the eyes of others. This was obvious in encounters with a few but not all friends, family and my doctors.
Despite the evidence to the contrary: Dealing with high stress situations such as relocating my son to get him out of the grip of opioids. Performing well in STEM classes at college. People who I trusted would question my mood. I could sense hidden agendas. Maybe they were motivated by effort to help me but to do that they still needed a patient.

I reduced my medication and things only got better.
My psychiatrist was still keen to medicate me to her max ideal. I made the appropriate noise and went down on the gazillion medications I was on. Responsibly.

Aside from craving pot for the first time in years I could sense no side effects and my thinking got clearer. I could see that I was slogging away at college for no good reason than to prove myself.
(I do love the subjects I was doing but it’s a heavy workload with everything else.) And that’s my other gripe. I’m capable of learning to the fullest extent of the subject material. But I have a disability, Information Processing.
I can’t perform in exams as I don’t have decent recall. I have to story information in different parts of my brain than I used to. And College is the ablest environment ever, I would say from my time there.
It sets the non-disabled up for suicide and chronic, lifelong mental health disorders.

seeing the Light

(NB: Here is where the adventure starts. )

I was contemplating this one day, when my situation collapsed into my truth. I was clearing the mailbox one morning and it hit me. Literally. I stood there. Soaked up the early morning sunshine. And then made a decision to go with my truth from now on. With a little help from my real friends.

Driving later the humor hit me. If I didn’t care so much about what others thought of me, I would be impenetrable and have fun with this premise. ūüôā

Slightly later I was musing, about the medication I was about to go off and any side effects. Lithium is one to be especially careful of: Lithium. It’s the herpes of antipsychotic medication : ) Noone wants to admit they’re on it. Even though it’s merely an element! It can be both benign and powerful though.
A thought popped unbidden into my mind: “Watch out for paranoia”.

“Fear”, that most egregious of vices on the human mind is never far away. Then I chuckled: as I remembered the old saying: “What if someone really were following me”.

Then I felt like a smoke, so I went up a side street one of my Preschool Mom friends lived. There were no cars. It looked like everyone was at work, so I just parked and smoked my Marlboro.

It was hot so when I got back in the car, I took off my top. I can track my thinking here, but I won’t recount. There are too many thoughts involved but the long and the short of it:
I took my top completely off and sat in the car topless. Then I decided to get out of my car, and I wandered into my friends back yard like, you know: A “free”, person. From memory, my friend had a beautiful garden.

I thought to myself: “she’s either going to be at home or I’ll get in trouble. :)”

There were two dogs in the garden, but they seemed to remember me. So, I sat. Comfortable. I’m in good shape and not particularly modest.

Oh, but that’s when it got interesting. I realised I’d got the wrong garden. (Possibly the wrong street.) And at the same time, four cops walked into my vision. I smirked and went with it. Let’s see how they dealt with a half-naked women sitting in a stranger’s garden in an affluential city. Best case scenario, they’d inform me good naturedly that I was out of place and give me some privacy while I retreated. I’m not very threatening except for my razor-sharp wits ūüôā

But no:

They ran me. Instead of just asking me to leave and telling me I made a dick of myself.
They went through as many records as they could access to get a picture of my history. And then everybody was invited to the party. My doctor. The last hospital I was in. My husband. Ugh.
This could either be a mess or a Pop-Up party.
I went with the party option,

By now, I was smirking from behind the pillow the nicest cop had thrown at me. They told me the ambulance was on its way. “Choice”, I thought.

This is like a who’s who of attendees of Hen’s Night characters. by this stage. ūüôā

They couldn’t have held me without my permission (but oh yes, they could have as events can get out of control if you don’t comply) so I played helpless and acquiesced to going to the local hospital for a mental health check-up.

The ambo was nice; easy on the eye and solicitous and so I prepared for a few hours off in the ministrations of the healthcare system.

Everybody had decided without even talking to me, I’d lost the plot because of stopping medication. Do you SEE this?

Everybody who knows me, knows I am completely stable. I have a goofy sense of humor. No-one apart from a couple of professionals and family knows I took meds. But instead of asking to speak to me, they decided I had become a nuisance to the day to day. Needed to be looked after. ūüėČ

I love being looked after, as it is only getting away from those in my care that I get that experience.
So, I muttered something about stopping Lithium and prepared to watch those who I interacted with over the next few hours. And off to John Muir I was sent.
I trotted out the necessary platitudes:
” Yes, I was topless in a strangers’ garden.’
Lithium. Stopped that. (Six months ago. No-one noticed. )
” yada, yada. I’ll talk to my doctor.”

Nobody at the hospital wanted to keep me. They were triaging continuously. Even so, I sat there from approx 1pm until 7.30pm that night.


It’s that easy to get put into care. And the system does not move you on. Your doctor and loved ones won’t necessarily advocate for you. This is the systemic gaslighting of mental health patients at work.

The professionals treating me could tell I wasn’t a ‘risk’. To test my theory that I was impenetrable, I did one more half naked streak down the hallway. ūüôā

Guess what!
I got stopped and ushered back before I reached the roof, but they didn’t even remember I was the same patient unless they looked at my chart. I told them I had thought I was going into the bathroom to get changed.

Eventually I got out. I had succeeded in my undercover, psyche patient mission. I got to hang my headlights out twice in one day and essentially freed my mind.

That one day! I quit school. I Fired my psychiatrist and therapist and I’m doing it my way from now on. This involves lots of swimming and sunbathing!

I get to go Topless in CA!

I will winter like this!

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