Thursday, December 17, 2015

Catching up

So it seems that time has slipped by again. And every time I do actually update it's a litany of complaints about Niece and her behaviour. Why is that? Maybe this is becoming my therapy.

We have had a wonderful day today. Until she wanted to talk about boys. And I've been busy telling her how wonderful she's been today. And then she wants to talk about boys.

I hate talking about boys with her. She keeps on and on about Brendan, and he's her boyfriend. I try to tell her that boyfriend/girlfriend stuff will be important for the rest of her life. But Brendan and she will be together for the rest of her life. As far as she is concerned anyway. And nothing I say will dissuade her. I'm trying to tell her that she will have many boys. Also, as her book *a thick tome called girl stuff* says, it's okay to be single. But nooooo, she will have a boyfriend. I try to explain that any girl who NEEDS a boyfriend to make her love herself is destined for trouble. A girl needs to be picky and part of that will be being single. But noooooo. Her face falls, she gets that thunderous expression, and nothing gets through.

And I told her, we've had such a wonderful day, I didn't want to spoil it by having a discussion that always makes her angry. She insisted and after a time I spent the next fifteen minutes telling her to find something else to do because I didn't want to ruin a lovely day. Eventually I had to say get lost, put the book away, and find something that will make you happy. In fact, I had to be very very blunt about it.

So, perfect day ruined. And I haven't even had a chance to finish my dinner.

Finally finished the last of my Christmas shopping today. I hope. It's not much but I hope Froggy likes hers. It's something special I found during Ekka time and I really enjoyed it. Yay!

I guess I should bring you up to date about my event. It seems to have gone off smoothly. I really did enjoy the opportunity to work on it even if it was a fancy way of booking a table at a restaurant. I decided to give the guests little bonbonnieres as a way of saying thank you for letting me organise your event. It was going to be a bit expensive to do this but whatever. And then the booking went from 30 to 56. Ouch! It ended up costing me a fortune to do this and decorate the tables. The client didn't pay for anything. And the College won't be reimbursing any costs. My fault for ending up trying to organise an event with a client who has no budget and all guests pay for their own.

Now I have to work that into a huge document and make it sound a lot more complicated than it actually was. That could prove to be a little troublesome. Progress is slow because procrastination keeps getting in the way. Much like updating this blog.

But I only have about 17 assessments left to go I think.

MOTH has been playing Santa for the local shopping centre. He's having an absolute ball. It's hot and sweaty work and he comes home exhausted but he's still loving it. He was told today that the centre was getting great feedback. He was to have job shared with another but the other man's wife fell ill so MOTH is doing the whole stint by himself. Minus a couple of days he couldn't do because of other commitments.

Obviously they do pet photos as well. And he doesn't mind those either.

Niece goes back home for about three weeks this coming Monday. She's excited about it, and so am I. She's then travelling home with Teen and Elder. Teen will be staying on for a while. Should be fun. Bring it, I say!

Monday, November 09, 2015

Ummm, where did that go?

*ahem* So it was pointed out to me that it's been a while since I last journalled. I guess it's because nothing much has changed and I'm so absorbed into the passing of the every ordinary day that time just flies by without notice.

As a result of the ditching of the support worker, I have withdrawn the privilege of a boyfriend. Niece is not happy. No letters, no phone calls, no visits. She was to tell him that he couldn't come over and to this day, despite assurances otherwise, I'm not sure she's actually told him. Certainly not the circumstances that led to that decision.

The support worker - another with the first initial T - went on holidays for two weeks and Autism Q were to arrange a replacement for the absence. The first week it got to half hour beyond the pick up time and I had to phone to find out where they were. Uh oh. Apparently the agency stuffed up. *i have heard that the blame game gets played often. even i've worn it behind my back apparently* And Niece didn't go out that night. We did arrange though that the next week she would only go to one of the respite houses for the duration. Nowhere near the shops. No take away either. She wasn't impressed but I believe that on the night, she wore it well.

So now she's busy harping on about having a boyfriend, particularly the one she had before she misbehaved. I have resorted to telling her that unless she behaves well, keeping to the rules of trust, honesty, respect *at least three traits of a successful relationship as per her book* then she's not worthwhile having as a girlfriend. All she will do is hurt the young fellow, and he doesn't deserve that. Cue the moaning.

I've also put up a whiteboard in her room with tips and lists of helpful and unhelpful behaviours. Along with the slogan "I don't want to hear it, I want to see it". I'm still hearing it plenty as she wants to talk about how she should be behave endlessly. I'm still yet to see it put into practice. She's also labouring under the impression that one or two days of good behaviour and she'll get her boyfriend and all her privileges back. Think again young lady! *yes, i know, mean*

I have managed to find an event. However, it's not what I was looking for but I've decided it will have to do. It has enough people, but they don't want anything fancy so I'm more or less booking at table at a restaurant and trying to make it bigger than it sounds. Hard work, I tell you.

I've come down with a nasty cold right about now. So tired but I still have to do my event stuff and the assignments that go with it, and the assignments that don't. So much to do!

Had a meeting booked with my guidance officer last week. I'm now about 75% of the way through the course. But. Got all the way over there ... and he's double booked himself and he's not there. We did manage to do it by phone though. Elder drove me the suburb over to the meeting. After the call, we drove over to another shopping centre and I changed over my phone.

Going to cost a packet which I can't afford but ah well. What the heck. I can't help it, I love my tech and I like to update.

Thursday, October 08, 2015


Another Thursday night that started out fine but I've just had a call from Niece's support worker. She's bringing her home because Niece ditched her again. I really don't know what to do with the girl. I really don't.

When I first moved into the suburb I could hear a particular bird call. A very distinctive one. I dismissed it because it was so out of place in a suburb. And I thought I've heard it several times since. I mentioned it to Ma just recently and she recalled that I had mentioned it when we first moved here.

But now I've found out that I was right after all!

I've heard them plenty of times since but not seen them. The neighbours on the upper side tell us they've been seen plenty of times. They were on our roof too that day, as well as theirs.

I've now managed to meet some of the neighbours too. A couple living further up the street are heading over to New Zealand so an afternoon tea was held to say farewell. Alas, that day it chose to rain. MOTH managed a few minutes before he had to be away to collect Niece from respite. They got back, sat down, and it started to rain.

I still don't have an event to organise for my study. I might have something in the pipeline but I don't know when I'll hear back. Hopefully I'll be able to work on that. If not, I might try for a neighbourhood afternoon tea/evening bbq. In December. But instead of Christmas I might factor in a Wiccan festival, Litha, the celebration of the Summer Solstice. Who knows. It's all still very much up in the air. A bit like the peahens really...

Monday, October 05, 2015

I need chocolate. Lots of it.

Wow. I didn't realise that much time had passed since my last posting. I guess because I chat to Froggy outside this journal I hadn't noticed.

We've managed to make it through the school holidays. School goes back tomorrow. I think she might be looking forward to it, it's difficult to tell. She has frustrated me as per usual but at the same time, her behaviour has been good. She's been "helping" me although she doesn't check first so a lot of the things she's done to be helpful I have to undo. But at least she's been using her noggin to take the initiative.

Did I mention that I have allowed her to have a boyfriend? As long as she follows "the rules". Which are the social etiquette guidelines she often ignored with her previous obsession. She seems to be following so far and keeps reminding me occasionally that I don't mind if she has one, as long as she follows the rules. I let him come over for about an hour or so one morning with instructions to stay out of her room. They did end up in there to listen to music but judging by the slurping noises that didn't last long. I did mention after he'd gone that next time they want music, it will be out in the entertainment area. She seemed okay with this.

I had the most amazing time volunteering for the Festival. I did three of my shifts at the Information booth, then was asked if I would change to Theatre Republic. Sure, why not. I wasn't sure where I was supposed to go. I knew the approximate area but had never been in that area before. It was an experience! A HUGE storm came through late that afternoon and the rain didn't really stop until long after I had finished. I arrived for my shift on time only to discover that everyone else thought it started an hour later. I spent my first hour reading some coffee table material at La Boite Theatre. I ended up at the door of one of the smaller performance areas, taking tickets. Loved it. The other volunteer on the door with me didn't even think to check the tickets to make sure they were valid. Oops! Just as well I did as someone presented tickets for a different night. When I looked again it was for a completely different show. She had them all bundled together so we had to sort them out to find the right ones. At the end of the evening I was told to sit in on the performance. I wasn't keen but didn't really have a choice. I really enjoyed what I did see. Before I nodded off... The show was called Dead Royal and was a small set with a solo artist doing a monologue from the point of view of Wallace Simpson and then Diana Spencer. It was funny.

Bestie asked if we would like to attend Riverfire with her. It is normally free but you have to buy drinks. This time though it was going to cost $10 each. Niece would be in respite so that would have been all right. They have kids entertainment, a DJ, food, drinks, and face painting. And a pretty good viewpoint. But we declined. Just didn't feel like going this time and I begged that I would be tired.

So no Riverfire. But I did want to go to the Artist Part afterward for volunteers. It didn't start till 10pm though. Rough call. But I want to gooooo. And then I was asked if I would work an extra shift. At Riverfire. So I did. Whoo! Right in front of QPAC on the riverside. Standing in front of one of the venue tents and answering spectator enquiries. I did that for four and a half hours. Loved it.

The party afterward was slow to start as we were sharing the venue with the great unwashed. And I knew no one there. I was nearly tempted to go home but then a couple of faces I recognised turned up so it wasn't a complete loss. I was going to have to stay till 1:30am when the buses started running again but ended up calling MOTH to come collect me around midnight.

Elder went home but came back so MOTH and I could attend one of the shows. Hot Brown Honey. A variety act with a bit of burlesque. Music, comedy, dancing, aerial acrobatics, and a strong empowering women message. I really enjoyed it.

Elder went home again. Then this weekend popped back with a couple of friends to grab some more stuff. And those friends decided they had a personal breakdown and went back north. In the middle of the night. And left her here. And one of them told her she could get a fare home for about $25. Well no, she isn't a student so doesn't get any discount at all for rail travel. So we have plane, train, and bus all around $130 minimum. Thanks, friend. And I can't drive her either because my car needs fixing with no funds to fix it. It's fine for around town but no further. And the registration is due. And the insurance is due for renewal...

So since I have no money and I have a role play for an assessment tomorrow, I'm off to console myself with chocolate....

Thursday, September 03, 2015

It's Good News Week ... or something

Dear Diary....

Seems a little time has passed since I last journalled. Remember keeping a diary as a teenager and starting each entry with that phrase? Yeah, I did. And mum found it and read it. Uh. Oh.

Wow Chris! Pottery. And by looking at the quilts and things you make it would have looked lovely too.

I've just had my study extention reviewed. Nothing drastic but it's only done month by month and it seems that the month is up. Already. I can't believe that. Though in the last month I think I've managed to polish off a couple more units. Or maybe one, and I'm working on another. This unit is about diversity in the workplace. You know, equal opportunity, harassment, and all that. I know my tutor is paid to give me positive comments but I can't help be a little chuffed at her comment regarding the standard of a rather complicated memo I had to write for my previous assessment. Apparently I could be a professional policy writer.

Wait. Is that something to be proud of?

Things with Niece are still stumbling along. She's still completely frustrating. She hasn't been out for her Thursday night outing with her support worker for about three weeks now so we're getting a little weary of each other. I think she and her support worker are getting a little tired of each other too. Her support worker is my age so Niece isn't positively impressed I think. There have been a few times they've come back early because Niece has either pleaded "tired" or from bad behaviour. Unfortunately, probably almost as many of these as there has been good outings. One evening about three or four weeks ago it was bad behaviour. Her worker had to go to the toilet and Niece went too. Except between entering the stall and Worker coming out, Niece had disappeared. Completely. Worker went through every area she could think of, scanning faces, and couldn't find her. For some considerable time, quite possibly more than 15 minutes. Worker called her boss and the boss said, call the police. And suddenly, there was Niece, walking toward her.

Apparently she wandered off to talk to a boy then bought herself dinner. At any rate, her money was gone. And now, she has to stand outside the stall door so Worker can see her feet and Worker holds her wallet so she can't spend money. Until Worker decides she can trust Niece again. This behaviour was so disappointing BECAUSE SHE KNOWS IT'S NOT ACCEPTABLE. And she'd never do it if she was with me.

I still don't have an event to organise. The one day seminar isn't being done this year, the fundraiser turned out to be something for a Church committee. I thought I had a birthday party but my contact never got back to me, nor did she give me the details of the person to whom she had passed responsibility. The school principle has said he'd pass on my information to the people concerned and get them to contact me directly. That was a week or two ago and nothing. I don't even know who the person was going to be. It's all just too difficult really.

In the meantime, Teen was on her way through with Bman's family, travelling overseas to visit relatives. We managed to grab a quick late lunch at the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet) complex between flights. It was good to catch up with them all again. MOTH hadn't met them before and he really likes them.

Elder has decided to flee again. Back north. *shakes head* But this time, I think I am really going to miss her company. It still feels like she's been here on holiday even though it's been about four months. All the laughs.

I did have a win today though. My credit card company phoned me today. I've been on a hardship agreement with them for the last 12 months. It's due to expire next week. They've agreed to extend it and I'm deliriously happy. I felt like I'd won the lotto. They have been so easy to deal with, an absolute dream.

And mixed in with this is my volunteering. I've received my roster for the local one, a school/library/reading festival and I will have an author to look after/introduce. His name is Michael Salmon. I'm nervous and hope I don't stuff up!

I scored a place with the other big event! YES!! I've been to induction and apparently there were over 900 applications to volunteer and only around half that number or less accepted. I was one of the lucky ones accepted. So stoked! I've got five shifts, each 5 hours long, over the course of the three weeks. The event is an international arts festival. My roster says I will be at the information booth, working with the Volunteer Coordinator. I had better be on my best behaviour, hadn't I?!

Sunday, August 02, 2015

Move over Square Eyes

I've been staring at a screen for so long it seems that my eyes are going square. Now I'm not saying that I'm actually managing to accomplish anything because it feels like I'm not. But there's a lot of screen time involved and it's not gaming.

Some of this *ahem* screen time has been the current craze for colouring. Okay, I admit it. I've been doing it for years. But until the craze caught on, it's been very difficult to get books suitable for grownup colouring. I'm guessing they will become scarce again when the craze peters out? As crazes often do. Maybe I should stock up...

I confess I'm not as good with it as I might once have been. The pictures are very, very detailed and my eyes aren't what they used to be. But it passes the time and it's a good way to relieve some of the stress.

From study. Too much study going on. I forgot that by asking for the second cluster of my studies to be released I brought forward my completion date. At any rate, I'm now running on a study plan and an extension. Which I do not like. Because study plan.

As well as the study plan, I also need to do my event. It has to be done the same time as the others. This is not going to be easy. Trying to find an event to run is difficult. There are no birthdays, weddings, engagements, christenings, on my immediate horizon so I'm having to source something else. The original plan was a neighbourhood meet and greet but my tutor is very so so about this one. A friend offered me a gaming day to organise but my tutor thinks that is too casual and I would have to formalise it. I'm not sure a bunch of geeks who attend a very casual function will necessarily want to have their day structured and formalised. A friend offered me the possibility of a one day seminar but that's in October and in Melbourne. I like that one. Another friend offered me a fundraiser in September. Which is more along the lines of what I want but she's a bit tardy on replies and the whole getting back to me thing. And I'm not sure she understands that I HAVE TO ORGANISE AND RUN IT, not just help her with it. So I will have to chase her up about it very soon. I don't even have any details yet so I can't even begin to look at that one. So it's all very stressful at present!

And on top of that, I've put my name down to volunteer at a couple of events. One of them is a local event and it looks like I just have to wait to be rostered. The other is much bigger and I have to wait to find out if I'm accepted. I hope I get that. It would be great.

Just as well I don't mind a bit of stress hey. Actually what am I saying? I'm so out of practice dealing with that stress stuff....

Saturday, July 18, 2015


Just recently I was talking to someone about Niece. Well, I say talking, but in reality I was ranting about something she had done. And I was told in no uncertain terms that they had no sympathy for me, I was ungrateful, and should feel blessed by any little thing that she does. The tirade concluded with comparing her behaviour to another mutually known child of the same age, quick to point out that Niece accomplishes so much more. And some words were exchanged.

And coming from out of the blue like that, it hurt. It hurt a lot.

But it's okay, I can understand their frustration and anger at their own situation and I can forgive them for that. But that didn't stop the fact that the words hurt.

But you see, being a carer is tough and while I may look like I live the life I don't. Not really. True, while she is at school I'm free to do as I please. And that means housework, study, going out to the shops, watching television, whatever I want and with far less restriction than a 9 to 5 job. But the whole point of being a carer is that while she is home she requires some sort of care. And here, that's constant supervision.

So it's a bit like that old adage of comparing apples and oranges really. One might CHOOSE to not think for herself, Niece simply CAN'T. Child A can be left alone to fend for herself. Child A can go out for a walk to the shops, grab a taxi/bus/train, go visit a friend. She can, if she chooses, cook herself a meal or do a task and you could expect that task would be done properly. And by properly I don't mean to a high standard, I mean completed and you wouldn't expect to have to go back to make sure you don't have to redo it from scratch.

Niece CAN'T do those simple everyday things. She can't cook herself a meal. She can make a sandwich of sorts, she can boil the jug and make a cup of noodles. She can use the toaster. But she can't use the microwave. Or the oven. Or the stove. She thinks she can microwave because hey pressing buttons, any buttons, will get her the result she wants. Because that's what she's seen us do. And she gets angry and frustrated when I pull her up and make her treat it with respect because she needs to remember that it's an oven. Porridge this morning took 20 minutes for a less than five minute task.

I can't send her into the supermarket to pick up bread or buy milk. She can't remember which milk we buy, she can't tell the difference between the use by dates, she has to be prompted to think about which is bigger, 2 litres or 3 litres. And she can't do money. She has to be prompted to look at how much, round up, collect the change. She doesn't know how to use coin because she can't count it. *i've a sneaking suspicion she can do more than she lets on because when it becomes clear after a time that i will not count it for her, she suddenly arrives at the answer*

She can't grab a transport card and jump on a bus. She can't call a taxi and go out. However, she can call an ambulance in an emergency so I think that, at least, is a blessing.

If it's part of her normal routine she can remember do it without prompting. Like wipe up in the morning and empty the dishwasher. But I still have to check to make sure the dishwasher is actually empty. Once she dried and put away all the dishes in the top shelf. But not the bottom because she could see they were dirty. It never occurred to her the dishes in the top shelf would be dirty too. She has to talk herself through whether or not the dishwasher is actually going before she opens it. Is that light flashing or not? Because if she doesn't, she's likely to open it while it's still running. She only needed to be told a couple of times to remember that Saturday is the day she changes her sheets. But every day I still need to remind her to use a hair brush and not her hands to pull her hair back into a pony tail.

She wears incontinence pads, and if I don't remember to check every day, she's just as likely not to wear one. Or even if she's not, she'll tell me she is. And it's just as likely I won't find out she's had an accident until I do the next laundry load and wonder why it smells.

She doesn't help with dinner preparation any more and hasn't for a while. Because I got tired of telling her she needs to wash the potatoes after they're peeled and before they're cut. And emptying the dirty water out of the saucepan, washing them best as I could, and redoing the water/salt. Every night. Without fail.

And every task is the same. Every day. Here at home, at school, and at work.

So yes, when I look at what some of the other carers have to do I do consider myself very lucky. But that doesn't mean the constant repetitiveness doesn't become frustrating occasionally. Especially when combined with all the preteen behaviour which - and I know this is part of the condition - is not at all charming in an 18 year old girl.

She appears to be high functioning but the more time you spend with her the more you realise she really is not. Most definitely not. Every day little things you could expect from someone high functioning on the spectrum are so far beyond her capability. Every. Day.

I've already been told she'll never be high functioning enough to hold a paid job with any of the providers. Not even one of the repetitive ones as she makes too many mistakes and can't be left alone to complete her task. When she does complete her task, she stands there without thinking to ask what she should do next.

So friend, forgiven for getting tired of my venting. I will try to remember that you have it tough too and not complain about mine so much. xxx

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

What a shame I have to go back to work

My my time flies. It didn't seem that long ago that I posted my last post *queue dogs howling*

Not a lot has happened here. Or maybe it has. I really don't know. It just all seems so ... normal. For here.

Niece and I had a big dust up, probably about the boy thing. She got really rude about being told off and as a result didn't get to go to Movieworld but sent to bed instead. The morning of her birthday the bus didn't turn up. Turns out she had told them not to pick her up as she wasn't going to school. When the bus came back to pick her up, Niece pushed past me and got on the bus, face like thunder, and slammed her seatbelt into the catch while I spoke to the lady who looks after the kids on the bus. I told her that Niece had sworn black and blue that she had not told them not to pick her up. In hindsight, I should have phoned the bus company the night before when Niece told me this. But ah well, I obviously wasn't switched on then. And as far as I'm aware Niece never apologised for that.

So she didn't go to Movieworld because she'd had the huge tantrum. *hey. just noticed. sometimes when i breathe out i fog up my own glasses. how cool is that??* After a time when I'd cooled down I spoke gently to her and pointed out *again* how bad actions get bad results. And *i think* because she didn't get to go to Movieworld she was on her best behaviour for a while after that. So. All is once again calm.

But yesterday she brought home a dress. One of the teacher aides bought it for her while they were out for school, a shopping activity looking at different types of clothes shopping. This wouldn't have bothered me too much but I got the impression from the letter enclosed with the dress that Niece had asked for it to be bought for her. And Niece tells me no other child in that activity had something bought for them. I made her take it back along with the amount owed for the cost of the dress. And told her that the money had to come from either her or me so she wouldn't be getting her money for dinner while she's out with her support worker. Harsh, maybe, but nothing comes for free. And she must learn that there are consequences for every action she takes. I've also emailed her teacher and left the final decision with her regarding whether Niece gets to keep the dress or not. Either way, someone still needs to pay for it. I hate feeling obligated and I've never met this teacher aide.

Study still goes on. I'm slowly working my way through it but I still have no idea what to do with the diploma when I finish. The field is very competitive *why do i always manage to choose the ones like that? it's impossible to get work doing this unless i try establish my own business. which is harder than trying to get a job working for someone else* Everyone seems to want to do weddings, festivals, parties. There are so many companies out there doing this. You only have to search the internet to see this. So I thought I would go the other direction. And that seems to be just as difficult. Funeral Celebrants are few and far between but funeral companies have their own preferences. Celebrants also lead the ceremony and I definitely don't want to do that. I only want to help the relatives plan the event. The funeral director *or whoever usually does that* can lead the ceremony!

So I'm at a bit of a loss as to what to do with that. And office work I can do is kind of scarce. I've been out of work for nearly two years now and I'm over 50. Things are going to be a little ... rough out there.

But Niece managed to get to Movieworld after all. Her behaviour had improved that much. Elder took her along and it seemed she had a good time.

Elder seems to be improving as well. I can see it in her attitude. And I think that's great. Now if we can just get her employed too...

Monday, June 22, 2015

Advice anyone??

Darn. My glasses need cleaning. But there is nothing I can seem to be able to do to get them clean. I don't know what the problem is, I have the spray and a cloth. But they won't clean. I'm at my wits end. Not that that takes much these days.

Elder has returned home. From the way she speaks I'm not sure how things went with Burrich. He's desperately in need of help as well but won't see the doctor. Why do these kids do that to themselves?

She's been for her review an is back on medication. It's only been a couple of days and she's not feeling well. I'm hoping that the meds and being here will help her state of mind. She doesn't like being on the medication but really it's a good place to start. She's not been able to manage by herself so now is the time for intervention.

And here's the crunch. I'm at the end of my tether where Niece's behaviour goes. Well, with boys. Despite being told many, many times by many different people she still persists in inappropriate behaviour. Flirting. Kissing. Telling everyone that she loves so and so. I think I mentioned in a previous post that she kissed a boy at work. I received an email from her teacher today letting me know that her behaviour still persists. She got hold of another student's iPad and recorded a message on it saying she loves Patrick and is going to marry him *STILL!* and something about still liking the boy at work. I've tried to point out to her that this is not on. But she just won't get it. The teacher in charge of the student who owned the iPad hauled her over the coals about it today.

Niece's teacher is worried. I've tried to point out to Niece that ALL THE ADULTS she has contact with have tried to tell her this behaviour is not on. All three of the support workers she's had, me, her teacher, her teacher aide, the other teacher today. AND SHE JUST DOESN'T GET IT.

I've even told her that the way she goes on, it's not if she'll get raped, but when. I've even toyed with the idea of making her watch Jodie Foster's scene from The Accused to show her how inappropriate behaviour can get her into trouble. Her teacher and I are both at a loss as to how to curb this. Anyone got any ideas???

PS Any ideas how to get my glasses clean?

Monday, June 08, 2015

Long weekend. Whoo!

Actually, now I think about it, all my days are long weekends. Or so it seems. Man, going to miss that when I have to go back to work.

Which I don't think is going to happen soon. Well, I'd like it to but the job market isn't so great. Despite all Government assurances. But what would they know? They have a 100% employment rate.

Why does the floor here always seem to be dirty? I really don't know. I'm sure it was only two days ago that I vacuumed. I've done it again today because it looked like it hadn't been done for ages. Darned cat hair. Darned human hair. It's cross breeding to make huge dust bunnies. I don't like those bunnies!

I'm thinking that I'm going to have to give Niece back her music. Since she doesn't have that she's been spending more time in front of the television. For hours if I'd let her. I've been trying to get her to do chores but she won't do them unless I ask. And I don't remember to ask because I'm usually *ahem* on Facebook or study. I have a list on the board for "bored people" but nothing much of that gets done. Typical really.

MOTH came home yesterday with a tale which made me laugh. While sitting with the club, he spotted an older gentleman whom he thought he knew. As a neighbour. He said hello and asked how the new house was doing. New house? Yeah, the new house. I'm sure you're an old neighbour of mine... The gentleman looked at MOTH askance *love that word* and said ... from *our street*? Oops! It clicked then. MOTH was talking to Wilson!

What colour is red MOTH??

Next weekend is the event that I'm piggy backing for my study. I'm supposed to organise it myself. And I did tell my friend that I needed to be involved. She's happy to have me piggyback but she seems to have completely forgotten that I'm supposed to be involved in the planning so I can put that stuff in my assignment. Bit of a letdown really. But I can't complain too much I guess. She's letting me ride along after all. It's going to be a bit more difficult if I don't know what went into it though.

I'm sort of looking forward to it but then again I'm not. Too used to being in one place I guess. It's an hour drive away, I think I am going to have to be there early for set up and such, I'm contributing food, I still have to pay $10 to attend, it finishes at 17:00 and I still have an hour drive home. Going to be fun...

Elder returned home to collect some things and see Burrich. He's not coping very well with the separation I think. And while she's there, they received a text advising they had seven days to move out. I confess I sort of thought it might come. They rent privately and the owner *from some of the texts i've read* possesses little by way of tact. And they aren't the tidiest of tenants, nor do they always pay rent on time. From what I gather the owner blamed it on back rent owed in one text to one of them, then another reason altogether to the other. So. It's all panic stations up there as they try to find Burrich and the pets alternate accommodation. And something to do with all their stuff. The owner has also landed them with two cats of hers she left behind so they are going to stay with the house for the owner to sort out. Finding someone to look after Penny and Sheldon is proving to be difficult.

But they can't come here. The landlord simply won't permit them. I even had to ask permission for Elder to move in this time. The other house they could come and go, but not here.

Teen even has to sit out in the gutter to smoke. No smoking on the property.

Soooo. My heart is torn for them. Finding accommodation is difficult as it is without having to do that in a week. But at the same time I am hoping this will help them get future priorities right. And get their sh*t sorted. We can't live their lives for them, can we...

Thursday, May 28, 2015

I think I blinked.

I don't know where the time has gone! I didn't realise my last post *listens for bugle* was so long ago.

The study keeps going. I know I should be working on one of my assignments right now but I keep putting it off. It's a multipage report for a risk assessment. Not the health and safety kind of risk but business risk. There are still some people I've seen on the group who say that the units aren't relevant to what they want to do, or are doing. But I think they are. They involve management, HR, risk, practical units, and role plays. I think I hate the role plays the most. Yes. Let me reevaluate that statement. I definitely hate the role plays the most.

And by multipage I mean about five. Including table of contents. Ha! Okay, so that's not many. For one of the other units, some people are submitting huge ones around 45 pages. I really don't know how. I have been putting quite an effort into my reports, working them like they are for work. I've tailored that back after realising that all I really need to do is demonstrate that I understand the concept. *lazy for the win*.

Elder has moved back in. Until she can get a job and funds for her own place. At least this time she hasn't brought all her things with her. We just don't have the space. Not in this house. And it's been about four weeks so far and I'm still enjoying her company.

Teen came to collect her car. It was only for a couple of days but the house certainly got louder. She seems to really like her car. She, Elder, and MOTH took it back home for an overnight stay. I tried to talk him into staying another night because that drive is tiring. He chose to come home the next day. They brought the old bluebird back. We're still not quite sure what to do with it yet. Probably keep it till the registration runs out then sell it as is.

Things haven't been going well with Niece at present. For some reason she's beginning to resort to the behaviours she exhibited while she was living with her mother. She does not do this while she is with me, but will misbehave for other adults. Two weeks ago I received a phone call from her teacher. Apparently she had kissed "quite passionately" a boy at her work place. I was so angry because she knows this is not acceptable behaviour. Her teacher was very less than impressed. I believe she waited for the bus to come in and spoke to Niece as soon as she got to school. She was supposed to eat her lunch in solitary and work in solitary at the workplace in future as "she can't be trusted". I removed access to her music and her favourite photos for a week. It was a long week and she sulked quite a bit over the weekend but at least I didn't have to listen to her singing.

I checked with her the following Tuesday but she told me that she didn't have to sit in solitary. I think I might follow this up with her teacher.

Niece has had a new support worker for the last four weeks. I think I've mentioned this before. But she doesn't behave well for this one. Two of the four weeks she's been out she has been badly behaved. Much as she used to do while she was living with her mother. And tonight she was bought home early as she was very badly behaved. Sulking. Wandering off. Poking tongues. So I have given the support worker the option of coming next week. She says she will but we have decided that they will go to the library. And Niece will not be purchasing supper or going shopping. I'm so very disappointed. I have again confiscated her music, her photos, and her makeup. Which was in her bag for her respite stay this weekend. And I'm not going to give it back in a hurry.

I really don't know where this behaviour is coming from and why on earth she thinks she can get away with it. And I don't know how to stop it either because she knows it's not appropriate. She well knows it.

At least though it goes toward the assessment the disability liaison officer and I worked on. We had a home visit a couple of weeks ago to establish behaviours and funding needs. Some of the behaviours we crossed off as to that point they hadn't occurred. And now possibly they may suddenly begin appearing. I'm a little worried about that.

MOTH wants her gone at the end of the year...

Thursday, May 07, 2015

Just when I think I've got it sorted....

I was out of bed earlier than usual today. I usually lie in till about 7am when I get up and check to make sure Niece is running to schedule. She's usually a little behind but the last couple of days she's been a little ahead. I just need her to be ready for school by 7:20am when she can put her shoes and socks on and head out to wait for the bus.

And she's been doing pretty well. I have noticed though that since I am not there to supervise, she's been sneaking things. Instead of her usual half a glass of milk *it's a tall glass* she's been pouring 3/4. Some mornings she's been mentioning no chocolate for breakfast which could mean that she's been sneaking a freddo. They're hers, but I've been trying to monitor the food intake. When making her lunch the night before I was actually watching and she's spreading a vegemite substitute *ozzymite, so not as salty* really, really thickly on the corn thin. This morning, she's trying to sneak TWO extra cracker/dip packs into her lunch.

Just when I think she's doing all right, she does this. It really is frustrating. MOTH isn't coping really well at present and is really looking forward to her leaving. I've still not sorted what will happen when she finishes school. That's only about six months away. I know that if I can't get her into somewhere she is going to be sitting around watching television all day. She used to spend all day in her room drawing, writing, listening to music but lately has been gravitating to the TV regardless of what we are watching. Or even if we are watching. It's on providing background noise for me but MOTH watches quite a few shows during the day. Most definitely something I am going to have to work at curbing. Again.

Jerome has been pretty good in the tummy department. Until two days ago. Right about when Elder arrived. Hmmm. Is that a coincidence? Heh. But it didn't last as long this time. And I just can't seem to pin the cause down. Might have to mention it next time he goes for a check up. I thought they would have called him in for his 6 month but they haven't. I shall have to keep an eye out for when he's due his annual checkup, just in case they've lost the address. Speaking of which, that postal redirect might run out soon. Hopefully I have notified everyone I need to!

Teen has bought herself a new car. I hope it goes well for her. It was a private sale, no nothing is really guaranteed. We went to pick it up for her yesterday. MOTH drove it home and I think he fell in love with it. He's always poo pooed them as a small car but I've travelled in one as a passenger. It reminded me of the Mazda 121 bubble I used to own. Looks really small on the outside but is very room and a good drive. So it is with this one. It's a Nissan Micra. It looks like the bluebird will be coming back here until MOTH decides what to do with it. Maybe he can sell it. I really don't know. He always did like it more than the BMW.

I'm still slogging away *slowly. very slowly* at my assignments. Nothing new there.

I'm not sure if I mentioned I had an appointment with the school in a previous post. I may not. The appointment was actually a job interview. And while I was really thrilled that I managed to get an interview, I was very disappointed that I didn't get the position. It was for a part time receptionist and the hours were perfect. I can do that job, and had the advantage of having worked with that employer and most of the systems before. I am worried about when I am no longer caring and will have to go back to work. The Newstart *unemployment* rate of pay is so small that I cannot envision being able to survive on it. MOTH would still get his pension but my portion of income would drop to less than half what I am receiving now and there would be no third income to supplement it. I've got plenty of experience but I'm reaching an "undesirable" age *i'm 50* for employers. They can say all they like about discrimination against age but it exists. I'd try selling MOTH but I'd have to pay them...

There is a card game. It's called Cards Against Humanity. It involves black cards with questions and white cards with answers. The aim is to ask the question then provide the funniest answer you can with the white cards you hold. Not sure how the winner is judged. I didn't get to that bit. BUT! Elder and I were looking at the cards last night, she holding the black, and I the white. And even without playing properly *you need more than 2 peeps* we were laughing so hard. I couldn't breathe and might have even wet myself a little... This game has promise.

And on another "up" note, Cadbury have released a new flavour. I think it's limited but it's salted caramel. It's dairy milk with little crunch pieces of caramel throughout. I like to let it melt in my mouth until the chocolate is gone and all that's left is little salty caramel flavoured crunchy bits. Love it. Shouldn't eat too much of it in case I get tired of it, right? ... nah ...

Wednesday, April 22, 2015

Oh my aching feet! Wait, I think the rest of me wants to come to the party too...

Supanova was last weekend at the Gold Coast.

Niece seemed to have enjoyed her second week of holidays. She went on her day trip to the museum and enjoyed her day out. Mon didn't detail a lot of what they actually did, although Niece did try sushi and really seemed to enjoy that too. Wednesday we travelled north to visit with Bestie and attend ceramics class. We met up at her place and drove from there. It was a lovely day. I did end up doing some work; one of the kids had started a piece but not finished it. So I worked a little on that. Niece worked on two frogs that Bestie had bought previously as extras for the kids. Niece finished painting them but they weren't quite dry when we were ready to come home. Then a quick vegemite sandwich before heading home. MOTH stayed home for the day.

Then ... Mon told us she had been offered a full time job. Thursday would be her last day. Not good for us, but excellent news for Mon. Late Wednesday night she sent a text to say she had come down with a bad cold and couldn't make Thursday. Niece was disappointed. So now we have to find another companion for her.

So. Supanova. I didn't enjoy it as much this year. Elder arrived on Thursday and I was really looking forward to it. We were travelling down on Friday and checking in to a unit with a couple of other volunteers we hadn't really met. But things didn't quite go to plan and we had to drop Elder off for her out of town induction before we checked in. The unit was tidy with an amazing view. About a block or so from the beach. Where I never went. Not enough time.

This weekend however turned out to be nothing like I had hoped. The vibe was completely different to me and the atmosphere seemed more toxic. I sensed from the first tour that there was politics *there always is, anywhere* but this tour I was really picking up that vibe. I couldn't really relax there, nor did I find I was able to relax in the apartment. I chose this tour because George Takei would be there, along with two other original Star Trek actors. Usually I work that area but this time the team I was assigned was summarily shuffled off to a far corner never to be heard from again.

The area I was sent to is part of the department but seems not to be considered so by the rest. I really did enjoy the area I was working in and found it a bit more fun than the other. But if I had known I would be sent there and not assigned to my usual area, seriously I would have saved my money for the Sydney one.

We usually have a debrief after the event, but this year I hung around and nothing seemed to be doing. Suddenly there was a group of liaison volunteers standing around one of the supervisors. Great, I thought, this must be debrief. I tacked myself to the group only to be looked at, and hear "okay, so you've got my email address so feel free to contact me any time. In fact, why don't you send me a photograph of yourself so I know who you are. So I can give you the better jobs." And there was no other debrief....

After pack up Elder and I returned to the apartment before we went out to dinner. By the time we had showered and changed, it was 9pm before we got to the restaurant. But we did arrive to clapping and cheers. We were told the kitchen had closed. That's okay, I said, the bar isn't. And not long after that, we had to leave the restaurant. Some of us went out separate ways, and some of us decided to go for ice cream. And we ate that and stood around on the street and talked. Some more left and some others joined and we stood and talked. Eventually we left to go back to the apartment. But I was hungry so we detoured via a Maccas. I had a caesar wrap and it was good.

I actually slept well that night. Awake early then I went back to sleep. And woke again at 9.30am! Check out was 10am. So hurry to pack. Elder bugged me to let her travel home with one of the other volunteers we shared with but I thought that rude and said no. Besides, if she got home before we did, she had no key. So there.

But, after this weekend and with the house full if/when Elder moves back and wanting all the volunteering, I might not volunteer for any more. Or maybe out on the trade floor or a different area. That's my "me" time and I seem to be losing it...

Monday, April 13, 2015

Waiting for dinner to cook.

And Niece is singing away in her room. MOTH comments that he can't see how the neighbours on her side of the house could think she has a lovely voice. But then, it does have to go through a window, across the grass strip, through the wooden fence, and through their window so they get a lot of filtering. Sometimes I wish we did!

It's been a busy week for her. her new AQ companion, Mon, is turning out very well. She's checked about the hours owed to us and has been working to use them up. She has taken Niece out to Mount Tambourine for the day. It was to be a walking tour but the track was closed so they did Gallery Walk instead. Niece loved this. We invited one of Niece's friends and they went bowling, then to the movies. They saw the latest Sponge Bob movie. When they got home, the friend didn't want to leave so her mother took them both out for another hour. At dropping them off as she reversed down the drive, she hit the lamp post. Oops!

Well, the post is in a stupid place. Right at the end of the drive which curves a little to the left.

I hope she didn't too too much damage to the car!

Niece will be busy again this week. Tomorrow is a trip to the city and the museum. She hasn't been there for several years. And then Wednesday is a ceramics class with Bestie and her kids. I'm looking forward to that. I'm not working but Niece will have a piece to work on. Thursday she is out again with Mon, and Elder arrives that afternoon. And we shall be having lots of fun.

Niece will be in respite for the weekend, and I'm hoping that MOTH remembers to pick her up on Sunday!

Saturday, April 04, 2015

Easter. And chocolate.

And there can never be enough chocolate! I'm trying to hold off until Easter Sunday before I eat chocolate again. It's ... difficult.

Like a lot of things. We are now four months into the new year and the old habits are beginning to return. Or worsen. Cupboard doors must be slammed. The toilet door must be closed hard. Too bad if there is someone else in that room! Elder complained of how noisy she is when she goes. She's found her old photos and the manic laughing, talking, and plain idiocy has resurfaced. Incontinence problems are becoming more frequent. And the lying has begun again. Even her new worker was caught out and so impressed that last time they went out, she felt compelled to lay down her rules about lying. Nice one.

Niece and I have a huge dust up about the lying. I confess I broke my taboo and swore. A lot. It's that frustrating. I am NOT like her mother and I can tell when she's not telling the truth. I simply cannot get her to see this and she continues on even when she knows she's been caught out. So. Eventually she tells me some story and I know this can't be right because I buy the "supplies" and I don't buy what she's telling me. And that's when I lose it completely.

Later that day I notice something in the bin and it seems that she has been telling me the truth after all. Eventually. Certainly not at the beginning. One apology coming up.

It seems she had been helping herself from the supplies I keep spare in the bathroom for emergencies. With nary a care about using them properly, reading the instructions, or asking for permission.

I can see why Ma was at the end of her tether.

This week has been busy! An appointment for something every day! Niece was sent to respite for three nights and I confess they were bliss. Absolute bliss. The shame is that when I eventually send her out I will have to go back to work and there will be no bliss. I've really really enjoyed spending my days with MOTH. Is that sappy? Surely is for me.

The following day I had an appointment with the Doctor. Nothing serious, just a script. But it was a good excuse to have a cup of coffee at our favourite Muffin Break. The barista there is excellent and always makes a good cup.

The landlords and the real estate agent came in for a look and a meet and greet. We'd been rushing a bit to do the final tidy up. For instance, there is simply no point vacuuming the floor the day before. I do that and turn around and there is black hair floating and it's like I never touched the place. Terrible! At least with the other place it wasn't as visible. More space probably. Then rush off to wash my hair and the agent turns up while I'm in the shower. Perfect timing. Thanks Fates. As usual. The landlords seem like lovely people. MOTH, as is his wont, went about asking can I do this, and can you look at the fans, and the oven was fixed but now it runs 40 deg lower than it should. There's an old antennae lying outside the back door. I ask what they want us to do with it and MOTH is busy telling them he can straighten it out and put it back up. WHAT THE HELL FOR?? Fool. See, always saying I can fix it when in my reality, there's no point fixing it, nor complaining about it, nor even mentioning half of it. I told him in no uncertain terms that he wasn't getting up on that roof. The agent laughed about the "domestic" and told him she wasn't having tenants on rooves. *and as an aside, roofs is now an accepted spelling. did you know that?*

Then that afternoon it's off to a new hairdresser. I've not been there before but they were recommended by someone I used to work with. It's about a 25 minute drive away. She says the drive is worth it. So off we go. The salon turns out to be just a little spot in a very small cluster of shops. It's old and there's nothing fancy about it. Two girls work it and both were busy. One was doing a customer's regrowth, the other, waxing eyebrows for two ladies. The stylist is chatty, I don't get my hair washed and the cut is quick and serviceable. But I'm not complaining for $19.95. I phoned and got a price before I made the appointment and just, wow. I've not paid that little for a looooong time. Think I'll be going there again.

Peace is shattered next day. Niece is due back home. But first I have a meeting at the school. It seemed to go okay. Niece is back home and begins to unpack. And here we go, rinsed out knickers. Again. And what's the story behind those? They didn't make the wash. The towel was wet and they got wet. *the towel was perfectly dry* I called her on it and reminded her of the trouble she got into the other day. Eventually she told the truth.

And sad to say but right now, the more she's here the more I wish she wasn't...

But on another note, HAPPY EASTER! Have a great break with lots of the things you like. For me, that's chocolate. Cheers!

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Someone has had three hip replacements....

... it was part of a news article. MOTH thinks he's overdone it. He's only got two.

Oh. I forgot to mention the GM got the boot did I? Well. How remiss of me.

He went. Last year. I had heard on the grapevine, then was told to check the company web site. Yep, his name was gone. I still don't know all the details but I've been gathering some of the information. On the day he left, he was called to a meeting with the Director. Apparently he was sacked on the spot and not allowed to return to the office until after 5pm. So the story goes. I was most joyous. The general consensus regarding his replacement is an improvement. The new one did restructure things slightly. But it seems to be for the better.

I still have too much fortnight left over at the end of my budget. On paper it looks great. In reality, not so good.

I did sacrifice some bills to have lunch with the GTs today. It was great to catch up. There was a different bunch this time. This was a replacement for the cancelled lunch last week. We didn't do anything special but ate at the shopping centre food court. This was a grand choice as no pressure to split bills at expensive eateries. I managed to catch a glimpse of a daughter. Find out how a spouse has been. Chatter about the latest *ahem* networking information. And eat. Lunch today was a chicken and prawn laksa from FantAsia. I haven't eaten the laksa from there before but by golly it was good. Almost as good as the noodle place up the road. Almost.

Niece met her new AQ buddy tonight. She seems all right. She's older than Tee with lots of experience so we'll see how that goes. They've gone out to the shops tonight. That's niece's favourite pass time. And it's quiet. I have missed that. Another hour before they get home.

But I know I'm ready for nappage right now. Right. Now. Damn.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Some are growing up. Others, not so much.

Poor Frustrated Froggy. Yes, I think I can understand you there. But both my kids will tell you that I've nagged them for years with the mantra "if a job's worth doing, it's worth doing properly" and that hasn't changed. I'm just frustrating myself I think because my standards are high and they are not being met.

I had a chat to Niece's teacher this week. We are on the same page and it's kind of reassuring to know that some of the behaviours I have noticed are not restricted to home. Teacher thinks that unless things improve Niece will never be picked for a job. She simply cannot stay focussed on a task. There may be other options we can look at for after school but I will have to look at following those up myself. These are places that offer some post school training and a little like work environments but they cost so we would have seek funding. However, Teacher has noticed the brain farts. I mentioned Ma's assessment of manipulative, and Teacher has noticed that too. Also the boys. Very much still focussed on boys and simply cannot/will not stay within the appropriate boundaries of male/female interaction. She's noticed that Niece knows it's not allowed but still does it when she thinks no adults are around. She agrees that Niece's behaviour is simply not safe but also has no idea how to curb it.

Speaking of funding I looked briefly at doing the paperwork for having funding paid directly to me instead of through an agency selected by a Government department. If that happens I need to have a dedicated bank account, keep track of all spending, and justify each expenditure to the funding body but it means that I get to choose how the funding is spent. I'm pretty sure I could handle that but I don't think it's a viable option if Niece is not to stay with me on a permanent basis. AQ at the moment are being quite slack regarding a replacement for Tee who is supposed to be finishing at the end of the month. In fact, she only has two more shifts with Niece but at the moment is having a great deal of car trouble and very little income so we are still owed those two visits. Hopefully that can be fixed soon.

Went out to lunch with a couple of my old workmates. No sooner did they get there then they had to go back. The manager of the GTs had to return because the new General Manager *have i mentioned previously the old GM i didn't like got the boot* had scheduled an immediate appointment. Since he'd given two of the others a lift they decided to return with him. Never mind. The one I baby sit for on a regular basis decided to stay and lunch and we returned him to the office later.

We've arranged to catch up again next Thursday. Plenty of time for someone to throw a spanner in the works between now and then. Heh.

Speaking of growing up...


Yes, you heard me right. He's bought a house. Settlement has gone through and they have picked up the keys. I don't know if Teen's name is on the deeds as well. But she's happy. And I think he is too. It's not new, but the yard is big, it's fenced and there is room for both cars. I think there are some things that need a little renovating but Bman is perfectly happy with that since that was the original plan.

Man, so grown up!! Dammit, next they'll be telling me they want kids *ugh*

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Exciting. And yet frustrating!

Welcome to the first day of Autumn. It doesn't really feel like it yet. The temperature has cooled down a little now but around midday it was a bit of a stinker. Actually mid morning. Of course, doing housework didn't help. At all. Yes people, that's right, I DID HOUSEWORK! Shocking I know. I vacuumed and mopped. Niece helped a little by vacuuming some of the space. Then I mopped.

She helped me with hanging out the washing this morning too. Another thing ticked off the housework list. And she wasn't too bad. But this weekend she has been distracted and it's so FRUSTRATING! I have visitors this weekend and even though they are out all day and far past her bedtime, she just doesn't seem to be able to hold her head together.

I'm at the end of my tether. She spelled a word wrong yesterday. It took some time to get her to figure out what spelling was correct. I had to write it a couple of different ways on the board, and then I get her to re-write it while leaving the word on the board. And she spelled it wrong. She didn't unpack the dishwasher properly. I asked her to bring the washing in, take her stuff off last so she didn't have to sort through it all, then put the basket under the clothes drying rack. So she brings it in, disappears to her room and takes longer than she should. I go in and she's sorting through the basket to get her stuff. Siiiiiigh. I'm short about 4 forks in the drawer. Ask her where they are. She didn't have them. But she didn't do her job properly when she unpacked the dishwasher. She's washed her hair this afternoon but hasn't shown me her shampoo measure. And she hasn't put her clothes away from when she bought the washing in. SO DAMNED FRUSTRATING!

But on the upside, Elder and Burrich are visiting for Soundwave. Yes, they only visit on the way through to the concert. They leave in the morning and don't get home till after 10pm. So really, there's no excuse for Niece to have brain farts. She had better not be late getting ready for school tomorrow.

Elder and Burrich arrived very early Friday morning. It had been raining a little and I thought she was a bit wet and bedraggled. Nope, turns out she's coloured her hair and let it dry unwashed while she travelled. Luckily it's a vegan dye so leaving it in does not harm the hair. In fact, it's recommended that the longer you leave it in the better the colour takes. So now she's lime green, darker green, turquoise, and magenta. I really like it. They go home tomorrow and I shall be sads. All sad panda on myself.

I look at the Supanova guest line up for Gold Coast, and again for Sydney. I want so much to volunteer but I don't have the Qantas points for discounted flights this year. Nor do I have a credit card I can rely on for accommodation. Ah well. It might be cheaper to buy a ticket for a day entry, but not half as much fun.

The study continues. Actually, that's what I should be doing right now. But I'm good at procrastinating. Maybe I'll have my second wind tonight and I can finish up the last of this assignment and submit it so I can start on number 3 for this unit. Yeah, maybe that's what I'll do...

Tuesday, February 24, 2015


Hopefully y'all enjoyed the Jerome videos. He's quite camera shy and it takes quite a bit of stalking to get anything that's worthwhile.

He's been sick again since I last wrote. I think. I had been trying the pumpkin cure as found while researching on the internet. Yes, I know, not necessarily a good thing. But this tummy trouble is beginning to become chronic in that it happens often. I can't quite tell if it worked or not as I didn't make him starve. Well, okay, maybe I did. If not having as much food as usual is starving him. At least though he was eating the pumpkin. It didn't seem to cut down a lot on the symptoms or lessen the length. But as I mentioned, he wasn't cut to almost nothing either which is how I would normally treat it. The interwebs also suggested that cutting his food out entirely wouldn't necessarily be a good thing either. But I was serving him pumpkin instead of wet food, and mixing it with whatever dry food he was getting. These days, I mix a bit of the pumpkin with the wet food at night. Only about 1/4 teaspoon but that might not be enough. Who knows.

I can't decide if I'm elated or deflated. Or just glad it's over. I finally reached resolution with the bank. The Ombudsman forwarded me a response from the bank. I emailed the Ombudsman with some questions I was going to ask the bank, then emailed the questions to the bank. Suddenly, BOOM! A proposal. They resubmitted their original offer, the one they recanted. Since I said yes the first time, I said yes again, and the dispute case is now closed. I'm happy that it's over, but the repayment amount may kill me. Then again, they've also agreed to freeze fees for the duration so that is something!

And that's my week virtually. Niece's teacher wants to meet with me after their camp in March to discuss some options. She doesn't think Niece will be offered a job. Which is a blow because now we have to decide what will happen when she finishes school. I certainly don't want to return her north as this is certainly not the best environment for her. And she cannot stay here forever. MOTH is eager to get back to empty nesting. I will need to get full time work before she is moved anywhere though.

One simply cannot survive on Newstart (Unemployment) Allowance. Did you know that it's less than $250 a week? How the hell does one pay rent, food, and utilities with that? Then again, I don't know how the low income earners manage to fund cigarettes and alcohol with it on a regular basis. I have a suspicion they don't eat properly and pool their resources. And beg. A lot of them beg.

Cyclone Marcia crossed the coast further north. We had very little wind or rain from that. I'm glad I wasn't in that region. Elder hasn't updated much but I gather she came through just fine. Teen was in a town that copped a fair bit of the destructive force however she and her housemates came through with very little damage. Except they lost power. And as of today it's still not connected. Poor things. All that subsequent heat and no power to drive fans, get a cool drink, or even cook dinner for that matter. They aren't expecting power back on in their area until tomorrow or Thursday. Teen did send me a video of the wind and rain during the worst of it. Through snapchat. So I couldn't save it to post here. I've only just realised how to save a photo in that app but no clue yet about video. Snapchat lets you view it for about 10 seconds and then it disappears. There's no history to go back through.

But I'm glad that everyone I know seems to have come through fine with only loss of power. It had the potential to be much worse.

Monday, February 16, 2015


I've only managed to take him out once since last entry. And I've done my best. But by request, here is Jerome doing his walk thing. He's so cute! Hopefully you can hear in the first one the song and dance he likes to make when he hears me get the harness out of the drawer...

Not much has happened this week. I think the most exciting thing has been a download for Sims4 which promises some extra functionality. Maybe not. I've been playing a game on PS3. The game is Grand Theft Auto V. I'm not very good. But MOTH loves to listen to me play. And watch. The detail of this game is amazing. But then I would expect so, it takes 8GB on the console hard drive. But you spend a lot of time behind the wheel of a car, driving around or running missions. And you only have the standard game controller to control the car. The left analogue stick controls direction. And it's either too sensitive *i swerve all over the place* or it's not sensitive enough *i crash into walls*. And all the time I'm trying to drive USA style *the wrong side of the road*. Apparently I swear a lot when I can't control the car. A LOT.

MOTH thinks it hilarious. Both the swerving and the swearing. The only problem is I can only play when Niece isn't home. Because of the language. Once I played it after she went to bed and that night she got up and went to the loo three times in an hour and a half.

I've actually managed to complete one whole unit this week and a bit. This unit was actually fun. It involved planning and building a promotional display. I chose to showcase a sample of some Valentine's Day products from our local supermarket. And the best part about it was I got to eat all the product. Yay!!

Monday, February 09, 2015

Oh sunny day

Made it through the first two weeks of school. Already. It's only been two weeks though so I have to hope that things will improve. She's out working "off campus" four days a week. I'm hoping that she will get used to this quickly and things will even out a little. You know, learn something new and you have to forget something to make room. Twice now in the last couple of weeks she's had trouble setting the table. And she's been setting the table for nearly twelve months. The first time I was like WTF? and totally frustrated. It took nearly ten minutes to get her to understand what was wrong with the setting and I had to tell her. Last night I changed where MOTH sits so he can have a better view of the television while the news is on. Earlier in the day I told her where he would be sitting. When it comes to setting table time I told her that only he was different and he would be sitting opposite her. And when I look, her setting is normal. Mine has been moved and MOTH had also been moved but not opposite. So it took the next couple of minutes to sort it out. Obviously she doesn't know what opposite means.

Took Jerome out for a walk this morning. It's something I've been doing occasionally while Niece and I wait for her bus. He wanders up and down the street at his own pace. I don't know what anyone things when they see us. A boy and his mum went by and called out a greeting last week. I think they were giggling about a cat on a harness. But hey, it keeps him safe. Although not this morning. Something spooked him and he tried to take off and dash back indoors. I put him in but have no idea what it might have been. He was still wary when I went to take him out the front again later so we went out the back.

He seems a bit happier now, sprawled out in the middle of the floor and sound asleep.

The study goes on. Think I'm still behind but what the heck. I've joined a Facebook group for students doing this course and most of them seem to be behind for one reason or another. So, seems I'm just part of the crowd. I still feel unmotivated though. Hopefully the unit I'm working on will prove a little easier. It's certainly been a bit more enjoyable and more along the lines of things I can do. Instead of, you know, face to face things and working with figures and doing research. Wait. All those things go with study. Why am I studying again? Oh, that's right. I'm a glutton for punishment....

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

One week left!

I can't believe the holidays are nearly over. Already. How quickly has that gone.

Niece has settled back in all right. I think. I haven't had to take her to task too often. Just for a couple of silly things mostly. I've replaced her shampoo with the sulfate free one she had been using. The last one was the same brand but not sulfate free. Sulfate free keeps her hair in better condition, and her scalp too I think.

We've had one small disagreement. About boys mostly. I walked into her room just in time to see her hide something. *why do teenagers do that???* I asked but she refused to give it to me at first, and then relented. I read it and then she had the lecture about boys. She thinks she's old enough but really she isn't. Nowhere near mature enough to have a boyfriend. I have suggested her behaviour is called flirting and is inappropriate at work. And with strangers in public. She doesn't understand this and thinks she is old enough for a boyfriend. I keep trying to tell her that her head isn't old enough and the way she behaves shows me this. We discussed the possible repercussions of inappropriate flirting and not being old enough to choose the right boy. Of course, I can tell her this but it will not sink in. However, she knows that it is inappropriate behaviour at work, and I shall remind her. She can talk to boys at school but she may not flirt. I've also told her she needs to concentrate on her school work. I shall have to remind her of this regularly as well. I have discovered a wealth of things in her report card that say she can do, but she certainly can't do them at home.

First thing will have to be coaching her to use the skills they teach her at school outside, in the wider community. For example, they say she knows her fractions and can follow a recipe. However, when she follows a recipe at home, 150ml of water in a measuring jug could be anything above or below that level. She can't judge that 150ml means filling to that line. 1/2 can be recognised when written, but she has to be reminded that half is two equal portions, eg, half a glass of milk with breakfast.

The saga with the bank continues. I've lodged a dispute with the Financial Ombudsman Service office but I doubt the outcome will be any different from anything else. After that, I guess I will have to approach a different financial service to find out what I can do and discuss bankruptcy. It will be the only remaining option I have I think. Otherwise the bank will take me to court to recover costs and apart from the car, I don't know what else I can sell. I need the laptop to study and it wouldn't fetch much anyway.

Jerome has been sick again. There must be something in this house. That's about four times since we moved that he's been sick. Either he's been eating things he shouldn't that I don't know about or he's just getting sick. Terrible green diarrhoea. He sleeps a lot but if you disturb him he's not lethargic. And his bottom in a terrible mess. I had to bathe him again. He almost got away from me this time. MOTH came to "help" and Jerome redoubled his efforts to get away. It was nearly a vet visit this time but today he seems to be relatively fine.

I finally have my half of the rental bond. ALL OF THE YAY! That's the last of the previous house. Not bad for a move on 28 November last year. MOTH received his payment last Monday but mine never arrived. I double checked the account details with my bank. And with the real estate agent. Oops. A mistype. But a call to the RTA confirmed it had been sent out by cheque. Now received and deposited. Whew.

Tee is back on deck after the break. She has now moved north, Autism Queensland has reorganised her shifts again so we have to figure out the fine points of Niece's hours. This might mean getting a new person in do take her out early in the week while Tee takes a couple of hours later in the week. This is going to be a king sized pain. Niece will be back at school so what can you do from 4pm on a week day? Not a whole lot that's for sure. Late night shopping is Thursday and three hours doesn't give much time to organise anything worthwhile.

I was going to pop in something funny MOTH did the other day. But now for the life of me I can't remember what it was. Ah well, rest assured I would have made it into a grand story....

Sunday, January 11, 2015

Nose to the grindstone

Annnnd I'm back. Back home from my trip up north. Catching up on my mail. And I had better make a serious effort to get back on track with my assessments. And that complaint. Better get that sorted. It's been a couple of weeks now and I still haven't managed to finish the time line and scan the supporting documents. Sigh. I really don't know where my life is disappearing to right now.

Hmmm. Thanks ladies, I hadn't thought of double bed sheets. I know they would work if I chose two flat sheets, but would Niece be able to handle making the bed up with them? There's no elastic to just snap on the mattress, and I don't have the time or the inclination to convert them. Something to think about.

I took the train trip up north to fetch her back. I'd forgotten how long a six hour trip can feel. Most of the way I shared my row with another lady. She was a good travelling companion. Chatted occasionally but spent most of the time attached to headphones and music. I spent my time in my seat, watching a movie because I didn't know how to attach myself to the sound. I knew there must be some way but I wasn't enthusiastic enough to try to figure it out. I read for a while, and bought lunch. Once I got past the fact that the "traditional gravy" was in fact some sort of mint flavoured sauce or gravy it was actually a very good meal. The meat was tender, and the veges still crisp. *for those not in the know, two flavours i hate with lamb are rosemary, and mint*

There was plenty of leg room. I confess, that's usually at the very bottom of my list of requirements! The only drawback was I had very sore shoulders and a headache. The arm rests are just a bit too high and I was actually unconsciously raising my shoulders to use them.

Elder met me at the station and off we went. Or at least, that was the plan. The car battery was dead. She called her father in law and he came to the rescue. Got mobile, back to her place out of town to swap cars, then back into town to join Ma and Pa *and the rest of the family* for dinner. Take away. They had pizza and I had golden chicken. I always get a 1/4 chicken and veges with gravy. Love it.

Mouse had a pizza called a "butchers block". I don't know what's on it, but even without cheese *one of her dietary no no's* it looked quite all right.

The next morning I spent with Ma and Pa again. Burrich joined us for a short time before he headed off to work. Then off to the next town to ditch me at Teen's place. She was excited, but more I think, for the fact that finally she had someone who could ride the passenger side while she drives. No one else in her group is legally allowed. You have to be on your "opens" for at least 12 months. Bman makes that mark in March or April I think. At one point during the visit, there was no honey. Let's go out and get some! Such excitement that she could just jump in the car and go. Hopefully the license won't be too far away.

I meet Bman's family at a bbq dinner. Everyone seems to be there - his parents, a grandparent, a cousin who lives in the granny flat, and his brother. The dinner was great. Especially since someone else cooked it. Lunch again with his mum a couple of days later and plenty of driving about and trying to teach Fennekin to sit while I scratched her ears. She's a very enthusiastic pup!

Then end of week and back to Elder. That week has just gone so fast! I offer to treat Elder to the movies. I want to see Into The Woods. She thinks she might like Big Hero 6 as well. We stop by the cinema and check screening times. BH6 isn't screening this late. *sorry elder, but i wasn't sorry* and it's Into The Woods. We grab some snacks with the view of getting dinner afterward.

I loved the movie. It's a musical like the original play. Fairy tale based but not necessarily happy endings for those involved. Some messages there in the story line for sure! I'd watch it again and again. Looks like that's on the DVD list.

And when the movie ended, Elder wasn't hungry and I couldn't decided. I eventually went adventurous and tried the steak wrap from Maccas. And found a cousin serving behind the counter. Excellent!

Ma tells me that Niece has been very well behaved this trip. I know there was some reversion to previous behaviour but certainly not to a huge degree. I guess I should be happy with that. But she's come back with her scalp condition. I'm hoping that a change of shampoo will help. The one she has brought back is not the one I buy for her. She needs sulphate free to control the amount of grease. And Ma commented on the fact that the scalp condition had all but disappeared. Her skin has broken out again too, and I think that may have something to do with not limiting her diet and eating too much oily food. I try limit that here too. Cause I'm mean like that.

The trip home was uneventful. Niece handled it well, listening to some music and dozing some. I was a bit peeved since our seat had no power point so I slipped to an empty chair to use theirs. For a few minutes before the next stop and boom. Someone was seated there. Dammit. But this time, the PA announced the correct channel for the movies. Thanks chaps, I could have done with that on the ride up when I actually wanted to watch the movie...

And home to my lovely, wonderful, darling MOTH. Whom I love to the moon and back. And, incidentally, has double paid the rent in my absence. Siiiiiigh....