Category Archives: Blog Posts

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Camouflaged Vegetables.

entertainment food

For some reason we had the television on the other night when we were eating dinner.  I blame the early onset of Alzheimer’s and we forgot it had even been turned on three weeks ago.   Also, when there are no kids home to boss around, you can do whatever you want to.  You can do that because it is your house.  AND, you are the boss.  So we were watching television and eating. Thank God all my children have blocked me on the internet and cannot read this.   A  commercial came on about a nifty new machine that could turn your vegetables into pasta!


I am not kidding.

And the commercial goes on to show how easy it is and how a zucchini put in one end comes out the other end looking just like regular pasta except it is green, has NO gluten, AND it is much healthier for you.  Continue reading Camouflaged Vegetables.

His Hugs.


I read this on Tumblr this morning:



For most of my life I’ve appreciated a certain level of decorum when meeting other people, or interacting with them.  I mean, not every exchange with a person has to be sanctioned by the embassy, it should be free and relaxed.  Well, with some of us it’s easier said than done, and I’m one of those people.

Recently however, something has changed for me.  I met an associate positioned overseas and it was like she had been starved of all human affection for months.  She instantly threw her arms around me and hugged me so tightly, I mean my whole body.  She did it twice, and cried when she did it, all in front of other people!  I’ve never hugged her before that day, and she continued to do it each and every time we crossed paths.  She says I look like her husband, that I have an air of authority.  She lost fifteen pounds in three months due to the stress of her assignment.  Being “alone” in a foreign country for the first time will do those kinds of things to a person.  I remember the first time I noticed my cheek bones in a mirror after two months “alone.”  I had never noticed them before.

Maybe it’s the walls falling down, I don’t know, but I’ve instinctively started touching people on the shoulder more frequently, patting them on the back.  It’s a safe gesture, nothing sexual, and it works with men and women alike, even children.  I think it helps me as much as them.

Today I was simply talking with a young mother, her eyes were warm, her voice welcoming, and I was about to rub her on the shoulder to support her for something she has gone through.  I glanced at the freckled flesh of her sleeveless shoulder, and she noticed where my eyes went.  Then I reached my hand up to touch her, and before I could even reach across the distance, she had thrown her arms around my neck and pressed herself completely against me.  My arms folded around her like the great wings of a bird, instinctively.  I’ve never even clasped hands with her before.  I read somewhere that when a person taps you on the back during a hug it means that they want you to let go.  I seem to immediately start tapping tapping tapping automatically, every time.  But… please don’t let go.  I tapped her with my wide open palms, but she buried her face in my chest for a solid ten seconds.  After five seconds I sensed that she needed something, so I stopped tapping and let my hands wrap around her.  Then it was over.

It’s strange that I don’t know what caused her to hurt, but whatever it was, I hope she found what she needed in my embrace.  I find that there are people who need this from me, and it’s surprising to me.  All this time I’ve been so straight faced and formal with people, because I’m more comfortable keeping my distance, playing it safe.  But when I think back to the most meaningful relationships I’ve had in my life, hugs were regular occurrences.  Some relationships began with a sudden unexpected hug out of nowhere.  I remember those moments, more than the ones where I was diplomatic and appropriate.  I remember pressed affection that happened in the spur of the moment, not the moments planned or the moments artificial.

You can’t fake a meaningful embrace.  You can’t forget it either.

I was just thinking the other day how many go through long stretches of life without human touch. No one should have to go without that.


I thought it was a beautiful post and reminded me of my one son.

From the time he could crawl he seemed to intuitively know the person, in any give room, that needed a hug.  He would head straight for them and climb into their lap and lay his head on their chest or their shoulder and hug them.  He would stay inert like that for as long as it took, and then he would sit with them, just spending time.

As he got older his little legs would propel him forward, crashing into people and hugging their knee caps.  He did not bother himself with whether they hugged him back, he was the tool and he knew what he was doing.  It was uncanny how he just seemed to know that this friend of ours had just left his wife, this stranger had just found out they had cancer . . .

I marveled at his open heart, but like we all do, after time, we just came to take it for granted that this was who he was and that is what he did.

And then, one day, he had to have surgery.  There was a hernia repair, some dental corrections and a couple of other minor things that they decided to do all at once.  We were fortunate to have a children’s hospital in the area that put the needs of the child ahead of schedules.  All the doctors managed to agree to be there and do their bit, with one anesthetic. In recovery, he was one sick little boy and he lay on the bed pale and lifeless, uninterested in much of anything.  I stroked his tiny head and stayed by his side.

A friend came to visit on her way home from work.  She was elderly and was really having a difficult time dealing with her life, unmarried, and now unwell herself.  She had been very depressed and I had not seen for some time.  She was always kind to the children and I thought it lovely of her to make the effort to check in on myself and my son.  She walked into the room and leaned over brushing  my son’s hair back from his forehead so she could plant a little kiss as he slept.  His eyes fluttered open and as he saw her, he leapt out of his blankets, jumped into her lap and hugged her.  It was so sudden and unexpected both of us were taken aback but I smiled as he clung to her and she held him tight and tears started to flow down her cheeks.

It reminded me that no matter how bad our life situation is there is still much that can be done with a kind human response. I had been so busy, too busy to visit her.  I had a million excuses that anyone would have supported me with.  But here we were with my own child putting those excuses to shame.  He was not thinking about himself and his own pain.  He only saw her need, and he answered the call with the one thing he could do.   As he comforted her, she comforted him, and he sighed in contentment and tucked his head onto her shoulder.

My son is a man now, often given the responsibility for many men in his line of work and I see his heart as if he were still that little boy.  I am not sure why people are not as comfortable with hugs as we should be; we certainly find it easier to accept hugs from a child than we do from another adult.  My son may not be as easily able to hug others, but he has found other ways to reach out to the people around him, to remind them that someone else is there with them.  He has never forgot the experiences of his childhood.  He honours his gift.

And I have to say, one of the nicest things for me, in going home to visit, is his hug when I see him.  It has been, and always will be, a reminder of the parts of my past that were filled with love and hope and a deep sense of family.  It was and is a wonderful gift for a man to possess.

I was so grateful for this post today and to be reminded that I need to put more effort into connecting with others around me.  Life is not just about when I feel like I need a hug.  It is about being aware of those around me who need one too.

Tony Abbott has Gifts

Tony Abbott said that the less said about the Bali Nine, the better.  Of course, he is saying that AFTER he has already opened his own mouth, inserted both his feet and a few of his other political winner friends.  He has already offended everyone in this case and made it worse with his comments.  I suppose we should thank him for that, in that, we don’t need to say a thing more, no need for us to toy with perfection.  Oh and in other news, he can eat an onion, skin and all, without shedding a tear.  No Tony, unique talents get you into the circus, not people’s hearts.  But thanks for coming out.

Perspective is a Good Thing When Someone Lets The Radicals Out of the Barn.


An Australian group just went too far.

We have been consumed with the fate of the “Bali Nine,” which is the name given to a group of Australians who  attempted to smuggle drugs into Indonesia.  They were caught with 8.3 kg (18 lb) of heroine with a street value of 4 million.

That happened in 2005.  What followed was a merry-go-round of sentencing, all in keeping with Indonesian law, and then tons of appeals, back and forth, and the final outcome where today two of the men are expected to be executed (shot) any day now.

The families of the two young men are devastated and outraged.  Both of the men are indeed sorry for their actions and have, according to many witnesses, transformed their lives and had become assets in the jails where they were housed.

Australians want their lives spared. Continue reading Perspective is a Good Thing When Someone Lets The Radicals Out of the Barn.

Every Child.

every child

The first time I met an adult who took the time to get to know me and thought I was really cool, made a huge impact on my life.  Up until that point I was the kid that everyone pushed into the back corner and no-one wanted to hear from.  Adopted by my grandparents out of a sense of duty, their existing kids resented me.  At least my brother was a boy, and boys had value.  I was just another girl.

I don’t remember anyone really spending time to get to know who I was as a kid, so having someone who did, seemed magical.

It was a moment of validation.  It was a shot in the arm and encouragement that I could actually be who I was, as different as I was from all the people I saw around me.  It gave me armour against the barbs and the neglect.  But . . .  Continue reading Every Child.

Near Death by Hair Dryer.

shave and a hair cut

My girlfriend, who owned a hair salon, got a call at closing time on a Friday night from an unknown man.  He was getting married in the morning, had forgotten to get a hair cut, and was desperate.  Please, please, please, cut his hair.  He would race right over, pay her so much money it would be worth it, and she would know she had blessed a marriage and saved his life.

My girlfriend struggled with the answer.  She was tired and everyone else had gone home already.   What if the guy was a pervert or something?   On the other hand, it was for a wedding, just a man’s cut, AND she could use the money.

She hummed and hawed and eventually agreed. Continue reading Near Death by Hair Dryer.

Be Kind. Guide for Step Parents to Avoid Parental Alienation Syndrome.

Be kind

Step parents are in an unenviable position.  Those who are doing an awesome job are often abused by an insecure parent who undermines them at every turn and those who are abusing a child with Parental Alienation Syndrome are destroying live, none more at risk, than the child entrusted in their care.

Adding children into a home, especially when they are not your own, is a difficult thing to do.  Well, it can be done, but achieving the goal that everyone gets out alive is a big undertake. Continue reading Be Kind. Guide for Step Parents to Avoid Parental Alienation Syndrome.

It Is Supposed to Tie In The Back.

ties in back

With all the medical advancements made over the past few decades how come no-one has come up with a better idea than the “tie in the back” hospital gown?  It has not evolved to any great extent, it is exactly what it once was, what it has always been, the description of which involves words I am not allowed to type here.

As if it was not bad enough with the cloth version, someone came up with the paper one.  If that was meant to divert our frustration it failed.  So now you can tell how high class, or not, your doctor’s office is, according to their choice to gown for you to wear.  Now you can say, I may look completely stupid, but at least I am sanitary and HEY, I can pretty much be assured that the patient before me didn’t also wear this one.  (unless of course there is a new university degree for being able to fold items, once used, in such a way that you can repackage them and they look brand new – which I am not denying could have happened.) Continue reading It Is Supposed to Tie In The Back.

First Aid For Dummies.

first aid

I went to a first aid course once.  It was mandatory for all of us in the department so we were attending with other people from the office and let me tell you,  when we walked in there and saw there was a dummy for each of us I didn’t even try to restrain my relief.  It is such a heavy burden to know that everyone would want to be partnered with me and that some would probably want to fight it out and others might become suicidal.  All that emotion gets tiring and I was already a little fatigued.  But when I saw those dummies,  I was so relieved,  I hooted and hollered and jumped up and down on the table until I choked on my candy and the instructor had to do the Heimlich manoeuvre  on me. Continue reading First Aid For Dummies.

Government Assistance and The War We Wage Against Each Other.


According to the Courier Mail, the Australian Government has another proposal to cut welfare payments. (see article here) I applaud the government’s efforts to look at everything and see where we can cut costs.  I applaud their seeming commitment to the idea that the solution has to help people, not just dump them and leave them off worse than before.  I admire that about the Australians, they seem to think a bit more before they jump, or at least make an effort to see the whole picture. Continue reading Government Assistance and The War We Wage Against Each Other.