Lazy Sunday

Look what I’m doing!

I joined this Swap here.  Did I do it right?  I must learn how to blog like a big girl.

Those RSS thingies really make my head hurt too.  Haven’t worked them out either.

We had a lovely Sunday today.  Took a lovely autumn leafy drive over to Red Star at Hepburn Springs.

I had Eggs Benedict (poached free range eggs, Istra ham, hollandaise) with avocado and smoked salmon on the side.  And coffee, of course!  Yum!  Popped into Temple Antiques and bought a couple of small things.  Will take a photo and show you tomorrow.


Been busy, but I’m back!

Wrote an article, just to get it all out.  Maybe I will try and get it published next year ’cause I wrote it too close to Mother’s Day to have a chance to get it out there.

So, take a read and I promise to post more about what I’ve been up to.

When asked by a nurse to sign a parental consent form to admit my stepson to hospital for a throat infection a few years ago, I made a remark that I was actually his Stepmother.  “Funny”, I said, I always thought I’d turn out to be Cinderella!  The nurse made no sign she thought my comment was amusing.  Maybe because it was 3am, or maybe she just didn’t think I was funny.

But it was funny.  It’s also frustrating, embarrassing and hard work living with the title of Stepmother.  Over the years, young mothers have asked me “Do you have children?” and when I answer “No, but I’m a Stepmother”, I know my answer makes them slightly embarrassed for having asking the question.

Julia Roberts played the main role in “Stepmom” and the movie made the job look cool.  The stepmom saved the day when the mother died.  The Brady Bunch was completely misleading.  I mean, did anyone ever mention the missing spouse of either Carol or Mike?  Did they die or just disappear?  Did one of the Mike’s 3 boys ever tell Mrs Brady that “She wasn’t their real mom”?  We won’t even talk about Cinderella because we all know how that turned out.  Stories of Sandra Bullock have been in the headlines recently of how she’s been a fabulous stepmother to her husband’s six year old daughter – whose mother is in jail.   Oscar award-winning love and care.   From where I sit, Stepmothers are portrayed as either evil witches or sweet angels.

When I met my partner, his sons (then 10 and 6) lived with their mother, a 5 hour drive away and visited every school holidays for two weeks.  It was like having interstate visitors.  The house was tidied, two course meals were served, cakes were baked, beds were made, visits to the movies and day-trips were organised.  Even though I was working and returning home at 7pm, Harry Potter books were read by me for hours before bedtime some nights. When the boys first arrived, they were like strangers.  By the middle of the second week, a routine was established, everyone was settled in and happy.  Then they went home again until the next school holidays and we would start over.

During difficult times when maintenance and access hassles escalated, my girlfriends used to say “I don’t know how you do it!  I couldn’t do it”.  I’d tell them – “If you fall in love a guy who has kids, you just do what has to be done”.  I would tell these friends “You do everything a mother would do, but at the end of the day, no-one is fighting to sit next to you on the couch”.

The youngest boy has lived with us since he turned 14 after an argument at home.  During these last four years, I have done all I can for this boy.  Some things weren’t fun – keeping white school shirts white every week, going to doctor’s appointments, arguing over chores, having my credit card used to buy phone credit, hassles over homework and discovering he’d visited 26 different porn-sites in 24 hours on my computer.

Other things were fun, like helping him develop a warped sense of humour, teaching him about tolerance, generosity and kindness, teasing him and having him tease me back and making some meals so tasty, he’d want seconds.

Last week we had a misunderstanding that turned into a horrible fight.  For a few weeks, I have been talking about being acknowledged on Stepmother’s Day, which I discovered last year.  A Google search told me Stepmother’s Day is either 1 May or the week after Mother’s Day (I decided I liked the first date).  My stepson misunderstood and was extremely upset that I had thought I should be acknowledged as his mother on Mother’s Day.  We cleared up the misunderstanding, had a good talk, but the hurtful things he had said made me very sad.

The next day while shopping at a large retail centre, I saw a stand at a newsagency filled with Mother’s Day cards.  I figured I would buy a Stepmother’s card for my partner and stepson to give me, as mothers of small children sometimes do.  I searched the headings – Mum, Mummy, Nanna, Gran, Grandma, To My Wife, From your Son, From your Daughter and To my Aunt but there was no Stepmother heading.  Finding myself on a mission, I scoured five other greeting card retailers.  Nothing.  Nadda.  Zip.  I could not believe there are actually cards printed with “From the Dog to Mummy” or “From the Cat to Mummy”, but the closest appropriate card for me would have been “To Someone Special”.  I walked out of the centre and sobbed in the car.  With such a high proportion of modern families being “blended”, I was shocked and surprised to learn that stepmothers don’t rate a mention at Hallmark or John Sands.  Realistically, if Stepmothers can be undervalued in their own families, it should not have been a surprise to me that society undervalues them too.

So, in the lead-up to Mother’s Day when you see all the traditional Cinderella-Mothers with 2.2 children advertised on TV, take a moment to think about all the other “Mothers”.

Whew!  See you soon, before the next full moon.

New Old Chairs

Grabbed these two emu chairs from a local vintage place.  Love them!

Will paint them ruby red to match the other two I have around my kitchen table.

My place

It’s about time I invited you over to my place.  It’s messy, but it has loads of potential!

I took photos of some parts of our house I’m prepared to share.  The rest…  well let’s just say my mum and sister is planning an Intervention for me!

My kitchen, above the fireplace

Pantry door off kitchen.  If Fatty doesn’t re-build it soon, I’ll divorce him!

One wall of my sewing room.

The opposite wall.

Bathroom.  Needs painting and mirror needs the ivy and aqua roses attached to the edge.

One of our spare rooms.  New antique bed, I love it.

The view standing at my bedroom window.

There you go.  Some corners of my place.

Last week was one of those harder weeks for a girl who would like a child in her life and can’t make it happen.

Why even one of my langshan hens is a new mum!  I wait until one of the hens goes “broody” and then either slip fertilised eggs or tiny chickens under her at midnight.  Seeing I don’t have a rooster at the moment, I bought some Barnevelder babies from Graham and Bill who sell poultry at all the local farmers markets.

Here’s a photo after they have grown a bit and stopped sleeping under her in the nest.  See she has her wing around two little ones?  Wish I could put my arm around a little girl while reading her a bedtime story.  Maybe one day, we’ll see.

Fresh Country

My mum’s been visiting this week.  Fourteen years ago when I bought myself a cottage 100kms from Melbourne, she was quite worried.  She said “It’s too far!  It’s too cold!”  I went ahead anyway as I had worked out the pros and cons well in advance. 


  • small house for cost of flat in Melbourne ($73,000)
  • half an acre of land with an existing chook shed, wood shed, fruit trees
  • small friendly town – when I was driving around house hunting, people would wave, thinking I already lived there!
  • commutable distance to my Personal Assistant job in Melbourne
  • 3 bedrooms plus a laundry and a washing line and a garden!  Living in a 1 bedroom flat with no balcony or garden for 5 years sux
  • not too far to visit family and socialise with friends


  • Commuting requires an early start – had to leave home at 7.10am  and arrived home from work late – 7pm
  • Being at the mercy of V/Line – bastards
  • Limited Video hiring (it was 1995)
  • No half-decent Asian food – especially not Vietnamese, which is my fave
  • Snow on a work day – driving on ice is a bitch

So you can see, I had everything worked out.  Now my Mum comes to visit all the time.  I tell her she is visiting a Resort, which she thinks is hilarious because my house is a mess and she pretty much helps me with housework the whole time she’s here.  One good thing for her is she sleeps a bit later instead of waking up at about 6am – it’s so quiet here, she doesn’t hear anything.

My parents divorced last year and I have enjoyed “looking after” my Mum as she has always looked after me.  I am even going to fill in the “Big D” Forms for her – I am the unofficial secretary of my family.  Mum brought up her kids to be strong, kind, independent, thoughtful, hardworking and crafty.  It’s made me feel proud to support her for a change.

Today we took a drive across to Daylesford which is a lovely winding 20 minutes away.

We went straight to Daylesford Organics and met the lovely Bren who was with Indy at the new Farm Gate.  We were the first to arrive!  Indy was very excited when 2 more cars arrived 5 minutes later.  Kate and Jazzy came down to say hi, bringing delicious berry muffins.  We bought garlic and fresh rocket, picked on the spot.  Even though I have my own chooks + fresh eggs, I have to say the size of the large organic eggs almost made me want to buy some – they are massive!  I forgot to introduce my Mum to Kate – I do that a lot.  We also met Danni who seems like a very interesting gal.

We enjoyed a fabulous lunch at Beer and Breakfast which is opposite the Daylesford Primary School.  It’s my new favourite place.  I had salmon gravlax, hash browns, lebna, rocket, lemon oil and a poached egg on top.  Mum had the corn fritters with avocado salsa, rocket and a poached egg too.  It was absolutely fabulous.  Wonderful exciting food – without the trendy wanker atmosphere of some of the more popular Daylesford eateries.  The guys who work there are fun and cheeky.

We also popped into Temple Antiques where I saw stacks of things I fancy.  I love this shop.  I might have to go back tomorrow and buy something I keep thinking about.

After Mum left in the afternoon – she likes to drive back before any traffic – I picked up Shorty from a friend’s house and while driving through Trentham, saw some cottage chairs outside a shop out of the corner of my eye.  We did a U turn and I took a look – laybyed 2 Emu Cottage Chairs.  I bought two earlier in the year and will paint them all ruby red to add to my small kitchen table.  Phew!  Glad I’m not working anytime soon, this lunching / shopping thing is exhausting!

I didn’t take any photos today – Mum doesn’t like having her photo taken – but here’s a shot of the rocket all ready to add to a warm salad of soft boiled egg, bacon, blue cheese and new potato.  Yum!

I am really enjoying Christmas this year.  This is the first time I have not been working right up until Christmas Eve.  People always used to say “So when are you finishing up?”  and I would say, Christmas Eve!  I only have to host a Christmas breakfast which is pretty easy.  Smoked salmon, cream cheese, breadstick, capers, onion.  Then warm croissants, homemade strawberry jam, coffee and orange juice.  Yum!  Fatty’s mum, brother and eldest son will be joining us.   Promise to add more photos to my blog!  Will have a look for some old ones right now.

Fatty and Shorty going to work.

My nieces Mila & Jelena with their “Aunty Simmy”.

Promise to show more soon.