Saturday, March 26, 2011

I live with mere mediocrity

Martin Luther King had a "Dream" and he got out there and told the world... And it changed not only how people around the country thought and acted, but it also changed history.

Last night, I had a dream... and in that dream both my eyebrows fell off, and I ended up gluing false moustaches in their place.
Which leads me to believe that I'm not really destined for greatness.
No, really... I'm not.

I'm just mediocre.
Now, I'm not saying that in any self-depreciating way. I'm just stating a fact.
Oh, when I was young - when I had my whole lifetime stretching out in front of me... I had dreams of being someone special.
I had dreams of making a difference... and dreams of someday standing on stage accepting a myriad of awards for a whole slew of wonderful accomplishments.

I wanted to be a writer, and move people through the power of my words.
I wanted to be a horticulturist and surround myself - and others - with the beauty of plants.
I wanted to be an archaeologist and understand and unearth ancient mysteries - and hopefully, find a few dead bodies in the process. (preferably old ones)

And I wanted to be a singer of ballads - like an early Joan Baez. (well, that one was mainly so that I could meet James Taylor... who would somehow be amazed at my soul-stirring ballad perfectness, and who would sing "Fire and Rain" to me... and then we would eventually launch into soul-stirring duets in front of a roaring fire.
(preferably a fire in a fireplace... and not a Smokey the Bear kind of fire.)

I didn't do any of those things.

I grew up, studied hard, and eventually found myself working in the field of medicine... in Oncology.
And I loved it. I really did.

But it all fell by the wayside when I had my children.
Suddenly, my dreams shifted... and it was all about them.
Encouraging and nurturing their own forms of greatness.
It was about giving them wings so that they could fly and find their own worlds... and by doing so, I was somehow leaving my small legacy to the future world.

Oh I don't know that I did a very good job of it, and I certainly wasn't the mother - or inspiration - to them that I wanted to be... but I think I did alright.
I raised 3 wonderful, caring, involved, and thoughtful children, but I honestly think it was more by the grace of God... than because of any overwhelming constant, prodding input from me.
And now I'm attempting to make a difference in the life of the Lad... and I think we're making wonderful progress

I guess that there's just something in me that needs to "give" to others.
And after years and years of soul-searching, I've finally realized that it's not because I want praise and adulation, (well, to tell you the truth, I knew that one already) or some fancy-schmancy headstone trumpeting to the world that I made a difference...
It's simply because I want to give children the key to their own futures.

I'm no saint.
I'm not special.
I'm just mediocre.
But I surround myself with potential greatness and I (hopefully) infuse small people with a hope for their eventual future.

And that's enough of a dream for me.
Funny eyebrows notwithstanding...

Some one just shared this with me and it really struck a chord...

"During your life, everything you do and everyone you meet rubs off
in some way.
Some bit of everything you experience stays with everyone
you've ever known, and nothing is lost.
That's what is eternal... these little specks of experience in a great, enormous river that has no end"
~ Harriet Doerr

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Date night at a dive...

I've had a battle on my hands, trying to teach The Kid some never-before-learned "life skills", and I'm happy to say that we've made some pretty good progress.
He's getting pretty proficient at doing his own laundry with all the sorting, soaking, hanging out and all that goes with it... plus he's cooking for the family, doing dishes, etc.
(Just don't tell him that today is "scrubbing the toilet and cleaning the bathroom day", or I'm afraid that he'll bolt for the hills and I'll never see him again!)

So anyway... last night I was too lazy tired to cook and we decided to go to The Royal Mail hotel just up the road from here. Now the last time we were there, I had one of the best meals I had had in a long, long time, (succulent, delicious garlic prawns) so when it came to choosing where to go for dinner, it was pretty much of a no-brainer.

Not only did I not have to cook, and I could have my fill of Garlic Prawns, but The Kid could practice some important life skills... such as calling and reserving a table, ordering the meals, table manners, paying the bill, etc. (unfortunately not with his money this time, but still...)

Now, I worked until 6pm and he had booked for 7, so I reminded him that he needed to shower earlier, so that I would have time to fancify myself when when my little charge left.

Unfortunately, he took the whole "date night" thing very seriously, and he spent almost 45 minutes in the bathroom... showering, doing his hair, brushing his teeth, slapping aftershave on his little peachy-fuzzy face and even cleaning his ears!

Which meant that I barely had time to change my clothes and run a comb through my hair, but I could do little else in the way of looking presentable...
But Ce la vie I guess.

Once we got to the restaurant, he did a terrific job of ordering, getting drinks (a pitcher of Coke)
and making conversation ... and asking me things about myself for a change, and not carrying on endlessly about Eminem - thank goodness!
All was going well until he took a couple of bites of his chicken parmigiana, and realized that it was still raw inside... and that there was a bit of stringy plastic stuff between the chicken and crumbed coating. He did well with going back to the waitress and requesting another meal.. and luckily, the next one was cooked to perfection.

Unfortunately, I was pretty well disappointed in my garlic prawns, (more like shrimps in a butter sauce this time) and the choices of "sides" was less than inspired, and since the raw chicken had basically put him off... we decided that enough was enough. He went up and asked for a doggy bag for meal, and then went back to the "sides and salad bar" to top the chicken off - "to eat tomorrow for lunch".
Once we got home, he made me a cup of Sleepy Time tea, and he even thanked me for paying for dinner!

I'm beginning to see a glimmer of hope here with The Kid.

At long last!

Monday, March 7, 2011

Just some updates....

I know that I've been slack lately, but I have to admit that quite a lot of you have been sending me private emails, and asking 'what's going on with ____ or ____ or have you heard any more about ____.
And so, I'm gonna do my best to bring you up to date.
Because we all know that I've been causing you a lot of sleepless nights, and keeping you from living life to the full.
And I apologise for that.

So here we go.

1. The Kid.
The placement with The Kid is going good. I would say it's going "great"... but that would be fibbing. Oh, don't get me wrong... he is a good kid, but because he's been in care for almost 14 of his 16 years, it's been a real battle teaching him "life skills".
How other carers could completely and totally allow him to skip showering and tooth-brushing... and allowing him to take the train to Melbourne on his own, at 15 years of age, I don't know. But they did.
And now I'm gettin' grey hairs because of it.
And I'm going hoarse as well, I think.

2. The Hay Bale garden.
Now this one did a lot better than even I expected... even though it took a while to take off.
Once it got going though, it's just going and going and going... kinda like an Energizer Bunny garden.
The tomatoes and eggplants are still producing, and showing no signs of stopping... I have peppers of every description still coming out of my ears and I've run out of room in the freezer, and I can't even freeze anymore!
So if you've though about giving this thing called "hay bale gardening" a try - I say GO for it!!

3. Moving Home.
Yes... I'm going home.
Soon. But how soon? I dunno. We're still waiting on the property next door to my sons place, although we're also still working on the manufactured home option as well. Because... I mean, who wouldn't want to have 2 homes? I guess most people would prefer houses in different areas of the country, but this 2-in-1 idea is going to suit us right down to the ground.
Because I have ideas...
One house will be for livin' in... and the other will be used as a B&B. And hopefully, (we're working on this one) the B&B can be used as a "get-away" once a month for a returned serviceman's family.... or a deployed serviceman's family - completely and utterly free of charge.
So, as you can imagine, even though things seem to be going slowly right now, there are lots of plans/decorating ideas etc, going on behind the scenes.

4. Cleaning out junk prior to moving.
Well, thanks to my friend Jenny, this one is just about under control. We cleaned out almost all the kitchen cabinets and threw stuff away and gave stuff to the Salvation Army... and to be honest, Jenny scored most of my Tupperware, because quite frankly, it's not worth trying to ship back to the US.

Then we hit the linen cupboard... where Jen also scored heaps more stuff. Along the lines of towels and sheets and doona covers and even a quilt or 2. And the rest is now sitting in the Salvos, so I'm down to next to nuthin'...
But just enough to do me.
Which will make the moving men happy, I'm sure.

Then we hit my bedroom... and I'm not going to say much about that mess, other than I was beginning to wonder if I was going to survive it. It was hot and dusty and never-ending and overwhelming... going through all the stuff that had been sitting in the back of the closets for years and years... and believe you me... I was getting cranky!
But we did it. Eventually.

So there ya go.
You're all up to date.

To be continued....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Oh happy days...I won't be missing out!!

I know I haven't been around much lately, but things have sort of been "happenin'" here.
Good stuff and bad stuff, as well as on-going kid problems... But I won't even attempt to go into that particular issue, because I honestly think that if I start thinking about it - or writing about it - I'll start pulling my hair out and gnashing my teeth... and I don't have the energy for anymore of that right now.

Plus, (and this is mainly why I haven't been around much lately) I've had LOTS of computer issues as well - but the pc problems now seem to be resolved thanks to my wonderful techie and a brand-new (well, at least to me) Bessie here.
I had no idea at all that my computer could run this darn fast !!
It's like greased lightning!!
(Jason? I love ya, honey!)

Blogs are now loading instantly...and when I type, I don't have to wait 20 seconds for the letters to show up...
So I don't have to sit idly by while the text loads, or kill time by doing the dishes or scrubbing the toilet or anything.
Yay me!!

Less time doing housework is always a bonus as far as I'm concerned.
*wink wink*


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