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Write hard and clear about what hurts.” ~ Ernest Hemingway

 

It’s all very difficult to front up and say this: I’ve been on a journey. If you know me personally, you will know this.

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Scroll to see the back story! It’s been six months in the making! Now I have some peace of mind. After an arduous journey, I find peace and simplicity in my garden and walking my dog 🙂
The hardest task is to write hard and clear about what hurts! I could say that I had fallen down the rabbit hole of addiction, again! I was well aware that I was physically compromised at the age of 26. I gave up drinking for an entire decade. All my children were born when I was sober. For a decade. Did this protect me, No! Asshole alcohol!
I moved to California after giving up abstinence and at first , my excitement and love of life protected me. Then I found myself on a roller-coaster. I was completely honest with my friends. I’ve had to sometimes medically give up alcohol in case I suffered bad events from giving up too quickly. This is hard to admit to. In America you are expected to be a cookie cutter Mom! On one level it is fabulous! Who doesn’t want to live on a screen set! And on another level I feel like I’m set up for high expectations This is not an excuse. This is me. I’m in my early forties, a driver today said I looked around thirty.  Even if I have a booze habit (receding behind me) I’ll take the compliment!

Haha!
From now on, once I lose the stupid craving and depression from giving up alcohol, I will strive to give you tips on living well.
I have met so many people. I have met fellows with PTSD. We sat around a table once and we were all shaking. I learnt that one had been airlifted from 9/11 to Kabul with five days notice. Thereupon after digging limbs from the rubble in 9/11, and upon arrival in Kabul, they were confronted with a canteen that had bullet marks head height.  A rain of them. If this guy had been there a day before, he might not have been alive. Another guy had to refuel bombers in midair. There was no room for mistakes.
I learned that PTSD can be caused by an absent Dad with mental health issues. My Mom was awesome by the way. But it takes one person in the wrong place to cause indelible harm. I want to speak to all of you. There are so many hurt and injured. From the girl who took off from treatment (trigger) to the Tenderloin and was raped at gunpoint.
It’s such a struggle.An everyday struggle. I love you all. (Trigger) My hairdresser who was raped at the age of four and all of the numerous friends who have recounted straight faced  their time when the big bad wolf got them. This includes guys. The Catholic church hung crosses around the necks of boys ho were vulnerable. They were marked as prey.
Dear friends. There is peace. And hope. The road is worthwhile.

 

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As most of us aren’t. I’ve cocked up in recent years but the kids are happy and doing well at school. I guess were I’ve gone wrong is from going from sober back to drinking. I have to say here that I have never drunk while pregnant or breastfeeding. Hubby is taking three months off work so I can be a cock-up in style bless his heart. 🙂 I am lucky to say I have so many people that down right love me or wish me well 🙂 I’ve just had my French cousin Chloe visiting and she is such a dote. And my Mom is arriving on Tuesday. To hold the fort lol I’ve twisted my ankle and to be honest am still fighting the battle with the booze but not as bad. Mostly I’m sticking to the beer and mucking around on the internet. I might have to go into Hospital for a few days on Monday. For my ankle and to get benzos to get orf the booze. Wish me luck. I’ll update. I’m fairly fucking resourceful when it comes to getting booze. Ha I managed to Uber down to get for bottles earlier. But I do want to get off.  I have my heroes Rob and Paddy. And Shaun from AA. I was the NZ poster girl for AA but got bullied. Other than that I loved it.

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I’m judging the idiot that Ubered me last night and couldn’t speak English. I was desperate for a piece of cake, some ice-cream and a bottle of booze. It was my birthday So I get an Uber down to Safeway as I’m old enough to know when I shouldn’t be driving.

I’d had three beers for lunch  At this stage, let others do the driving for me.
This wanker pulls up in a twenty year old Honda. Yammers all the way in down in pidgin to the Supermarket and then he fucking bails on me outside the trolley park. I told him I’d give him a tip if he waited and he drives the fuck off.

Mom made me edit this post. Hope you got the chance to read the first version 🙂

I’m gonna hunt out my male friends who can take my cussing. As my addiction doctor says when doing the rounds: “Are you eating pooping, cussing and praying 🙂 ”

 

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Mobiles.

What is with brats these days. I’m losing the battle. 🙂 My loin-fruit, (beloved offspring) won’t 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’s Avatar is Lickmaballs, BTW. 🙂

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. 🙂 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 🙂

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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 EnglishNew 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 7½ 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.

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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Wadda?

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’re 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’s a fucking trend. Every time I drive through the Robin William’s tunnel I have to worry I’ve got early onset dementia. Lets not build a monument to everyone that hangs themselves, even if they’re 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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Originally this post was going to be  be called “Parasols for Plants. Or “Sharpen the Knives and clean your closets” More on this. I’ll give you a clue: It’s what gives meaning to lives and pulls you back from the brinks. Housekeeping and gardening.
And then I realised I was dicking around because I’m a true procrastinator. The nature of a true procrastinator is not just putting shit off the point it bores you and your workmates to tears. It’s being an “Always Gunna”. Always Gunna pull off this, or that Momentous Kick Arse Move and finally prove to yourself and your Birth family  you’re not the no-hoping mong Burger you and they suspected you were all along 🙂 Family right? What’s the saying? Can’t live with them and can’t convince them to take a long sleep in a volcano 🙂 Or as one brother said to another recently and one of the best sledges I have ever heard: “Stick a million corgis up your arse and fight your way to the moon”!
And that there is true familial love.

You never quite get there. In your own estimation.
It’s the big achievement, promotion or making a shit ton of money. For me it’s seeing myself as a dedicated writer. And it’s not fucking rocket science. It’s just sitting and doing it. A little at the time. I realized recently I was still looking for outside approval.
Jayzus, no more. I’m just going to write a little every day. Whether it’s a Facebook post a blog post or finishing the book I occasionally dust off. I just need to get the words out. Otherwise hubby gets it all. And I quizzed hubby recently: “Do you deliberately leave the room when I start to speak. His answer: “Yes sometimes, when I’ve heard it all before.

As Kermit said: “It’s not easy being Green”. So he goes bowling and I do the gardening. Which at this time of the year sometimes involves putting umbrellas over my flowering plants to shade. And learning to delegate. So I get the boys to sharpen the knives and clean the closets.

The second side note, Just so I can get to publishing. :

I’ve made another mistake. I’ve been reading the book, “The 7 Habits of Highly Addictive People.”

I realize now that I should have been reading:
“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Boom boom!

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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 🙂
Duck.
Dive.
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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