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It’s totally weird emigrating from a country where the school year logically ends at the end of the calendar year to America where the school year ends halfway through the year! Yet I accepted it unquestioningly on first year here. We left at the end of the school year in Summer and landed midway through, in Winter.

We landed New Year’s Eve 2011. What a shit-show of a trip, that was. Five kids. Eighteen pieces of carry on luggage including three strollers.

I have to say that the Air New Zealand staff were arrogant and rude on the flight out. I had one baby with a shit in their diaper and I was lining up at the cabin door after handing all our boarding passes over,desperate for assistance and I was told by some prissy trolly dolly: “No, you can’t board yet”. Finally we got on and I spent a good ten minutes wiping poop outta cracks. If I’d been able to get to it when it first happened it wouldn’t have been so bad.

The stench didn’t leave the aisle for about twenty minutes after take-off. I deflected the side-eyes with smiles and pretended it was someone else’s kid. Or maybe the old man across the way was incontinent, I suggested with glances and a tilt of my head.

The service started when we arrived at SFO. The dour looks of the Air NZ staff changed to smiles and assistance. That’s what it is to receive service in the U.S. On one hand, everyone is equal but on the other hand, if you’re in a position of service, you go above and beyond. The culture around tipping has a lot to do with it. On part of both the tipper and the receiver. Where I come from, it’s not uncommon to hear some bitching about the tipping culture. “Oh that’s so hard”! “I’m so glad there is no tipping in New Zealand. One word, folks: “Tight”. Probably a lot to do with ancestry. New Zealand ancestors are largely Scottish and English, particularly Northern England and who wouldn’t want to emigrate from some of those towns that never see Summer. My own ancestors came from a town near Manchester. Good dour, swarthy breed on that side. Not tight. Good with money. Business people. Every one of us has started or married a small business owner.  Tradies by nature. House painters, roofers and builders. I broke the mould by marrying a tech guy. Except when I met him, (A) he had hair and (B) we were both students with no apparent future to speak of. It’s only in hindsight that I was lucky and I found a Keeper. He built and sold a business to Silicon Valley and  now here we are!
I’m still a tradie by nature. I’m in charge of our rentals which are meant to provide a stream of income for both our kids education and our old age. Oh the sights I have seen being a landlady. You can’t run rentals without Street-Smarts. I’m always on the lookout for this quality in my kids.

#1. Has the street-smarts. I’ve never worried about him. His survival instinct is finely tuned. You could drop both him and I in the roughest part of Oakland and we’d both stroll out smiling. I’d have made a bunch of new friends and he’d go in with a Hundy in his pocket and come out with Five. Not a bad rate of return.

#2. Whereas #1 was walking home from school at the age of five, I didn’t let #2 walk home until he was ten. Because he would get in the car with fucking anyone. Prime target for Redo the Paedo.

Tipping is easy. If you can’t tip then you’re not as smart as a fourth Grader. Percentages, folks. If someone goes above and beyond, and my hairdresser does on a regular basis, it’s 25%. that’s 10% * 2 and half again.
10% of a Hundy is 1$10. Double that and add half again. Easy, right?  $25 bucks that goes straight into the pocket of the other person. Because you can guarantee the wage they are paid won’t cover their living expenses. Especially here in the Bay Area. And there is none of the minimum wage bullshit in these parts. You get paid what the market deems. If you can’t live on that, then you get a second fucking job. And if you’re sick or on leave. You don’t get paid. No show up to Work?  No get paid. A bit like when I was young. My first wage was $2.78 an hour. Double time on Saturdays. I was a fifteen year old shelf stacker at our local supermarket. The union guys used to come in and we used it as an excuse for an extra smoko:

“Smoko”,is a term used in Australian EnglishNew Zealand English and Falkland Islands English for a short, often informal, cigarette break taken during work or military duty, although the term can also be used to describe any short break such as a rest or a coffee/tea break. Among sheep shearers in Australia, “smoko” is a mid-morning break, between breakfast and lunch, in which a light meal may be eaten.

So. We arrived in SFO. New Years Eve 2011. People rushed to our assistance. We prepared to queue for ages to get through immigration. But no! Either we looked like a hot mess or SFO is just great at anticipating customer flow, but to our surprise, an immigration official came up to us! “Come this way”!
They opened up a separate immigration desk for us! The benefits of having a large family.

And so began our journey to these shores. A shit in a diaper; a glass of wine crossing the equator to celebrate the New Year, some shirty air hostesses in the air and smiles and assistance upon landing.

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Become enlightened.
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So here we are. The trouble really started at the age of 42.

Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, the Universe, and Everything (42)

The Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything. Shout-Out to Hitchhiker’s guide to the galaxy

In the radio series and the first novel, a group of hyper-intelligent pan-dimensional beings demand to learn the Answer to the Ultimate Question of Life, The Universe, and Everything from the supercomputer, Deep Thought, specially built for this purpose. It takes Deep Thought 7½ million years to compute and check the answer, which turns out to be 42. Deep Thought points out that the answer seems meaningless because the beings who instructed it never actually knew what the Question was.

I know what the question is.: Believe it or fucking not:
At the age of 42 you start to question all your fucking beliefs. If you’re a bird you come out of the fog of child-bearing and think: shit: “I did pretty good at that, but what do I do now!” How much did I screw up (even though I know I screwed up nothing other than forgetting to take care of myself. )
And if you’re predisposed to addiction, you’ve got a fucking journey ahead of you. For me it’s booze (though I spent ten years off it and sober while I had my five kids), I’m also addicted to food and relationships.

Relationships
I put people up on a pedestal, just like that. Then my self-esteem becomes inextricably linked.  More about this later. Mostly I’m just tired and need a good feed and a good sleep. And some good music!

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We all have Fear. I’ve made mistakes in the past eighteen months. Ha ha Hubby would say the last two years. He’s better with numbers and spatially. I’m good with the lingo. Learning three languages at once. And I always go with what Hubby says. He’s more reliable on facts though I have managed to raise five children and continue to. They’re annoying me being glued to the screens and two have pre-teen acne and I can’t get ’em to brush their hair! The hair! But all are healthy. And as I think I have said before, in the past, I have switched from booze to food to relationships. But although the deer and the skunks and the moles regularly turn up, so does humour. Oh and the gophers. Gophers suck the most as they eat the roots of trees. Moles just dig up your lawn.
As a good friend of mine once said. “Any day above ground is a good day”.
So sometimes I feel like I am going to get eaten up with worry and it just comes back to basics! Eat well; eat lots of protein and worry less.

And laugh a little. That’s what will see you into later years.

Oh and we get a Space Force! Courtesy of Trump.

New Zealand? On the baby watch. Everybody is asking the hard question: When does Happy Spangler take over.

I’ll leave with this:

What’s the difference between a bachelor and a married man? Bachelor comes home, checks out what’s in the fridge & goes to bed. Married man comes home, checks out what’s in the bed & goes to the fridge.

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Wadda?

What the fuck is it with all these old buggers offing themselves? Jayzus, Joseph and Mary. I had to sledge back a cup of Suicide News after Kate Spade and now that canny prick and restaurateur Bourdain is gone. Proof that you never get too old to feel around for a noose. But what the? You’re old rich and successful and that is reason enough to bite the cyanide? Fucking pricks these days have no stamina. Everything and nothing. It started with Robin Williams and now it’s a fucking trend. Every time I drive through the Robin William’s tunnel I have to worry I’ve got early onset dementia. Lets not build a monument to everyone that hangs themselves, even if they’re fucking funny.
I’ve had to deal with a stroke that paralysed me at the age of 31. Fought my fucking way back, largely due to training as a model and a journalist and I’m not going to boohoo #MeToo, Fought Addiction, (Haw, Haw, it’s never addiction if you’re not drinking alone) and generally steppin’ on sticky shit as I pass through the house with five kids on soda and do I want to open throat the pill bottle? No. So what is going through their heads? They’re leaving teenagers to flail around and carry deep-seated trauma throughout their lives instead of manning the fuck up and dealing with the life changes that accompany getting older.
We’re all in it together. Be kind and be conscious.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Boom boom!

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I mean rich in life experience.

Your laundry piles up. You sneeze at the sink and you are still getting older. The only redeeming factors are that you can still read the New York  Times without glasses and you get a kick from the odd Red Bull you sink. The Red Bull that you you steal from your oldest son that is. He’s 6″4″ and still growing like a motherfucking Kauri tree. 

At least I didn’t wet myself when I last sneezed.

Not that that is on the cards. Ever see the clip of an Asian honking out a ping-pong ball from her privates? The kids are all like Mom, you’re still young enough to give us another bother or sister. And I’m like, the womb is mothballed and shit is purely for entertainment from now on. Get it 🙂
Duck.
Dive.
Oh fuck. I’ve gotta practice being rich. In life experience and growing the young trees. They’re beautiful and growing strong.

 

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The Enlightened Housewife’s Day

Would ideally go like this:

1. Give herself an uninterrupted 7& 1/2 hours sleep.

Good fucking luck with that. There’s always something in need. The brats and Hubby. Houseplants. The Laundry. Or as I prefer to think of it. The Fucking Laundry. Actually something quite exciting happened this morning. I paired two pairs of socks that had last been paired in 2005. Just goes to show that one half of anything will eventually find it’s matching mate. Like Shit and Shinola. Bonnie and Clyde. Mork and Mindy. Etc Et al.

No I do try to live healthily. So I start the day with a ginger green tea and honey hot drink to soothe my inflammed digestive system. So it can do battle for another day. Well. At least, I sit the tea bags in the hot water and go and flick the milk frother on so I can slam back a coffee, following my vegan tea.

I do one thing to emulate Gwyneth Paltrow and her goofy Goopiness (everyone needs a paragon of virtue to look up to, and she that Acting Goddess of my generation, with her  inspirational product line is mine.

I have a decent breakfast.

Healthy Breakfast. Oats, Fruit and yoghurt.

Not the best photo. If you look closely, you’ll see I’ve taken a munch of the pear in meal preparation. But it’s a good example of the ideal breakfast. Low GI carb, ie Oats, Calcium and a protein source: yogurt or milk, and berries and fruit. I mix berries and high mineral content pears and bananas.

In my times of torrid reflection where I spend a lot of time in paranoia or brooding how everything went horribly wrong. (It didn’t) Life can be proof of disaster being averted at the last minute and the blessings we take for granted. Despite certain turns my life as taken, I’ve got a pool guy FFS. And a housekeeper.
We can both take turns at cleaning the shitters. She’s quicker than I at going around the house and I’m a hoarder so I do plenty to keep her busy. What did I say? You always find your other half. Your Mate. Buddy. Housekeeping Alpha and Omega. Life is designed to pair up.

Life can also be full of agents (people, places, and shit sandwiches hurled at you by life  inadvertently can seem to spike your dreams or make you too cautious to proceed honestly. You have to ignore this and plow on regardless.

Or as Brene’ Brown says:
“If you’re not in the arena getting your butt kicked too, I’m not interested in your feedback”

In recovery circles, you often read day by day readings called something schmucky like just for today or daily reflections. So Here is the Enlightened Housewife’s version:

Just for today I won’t care what anyone thinks, and if they do come to mind or try to curb me and my personal visions and dreams, I’ll think “Fuck ‘Em.”

And if I can’t do that, when the time comes, I’ll clench my pelvic muscles to have a torcher of an orgasm. Hence the need to “Sleep Naked”.

Then “Dream Freely”, and in the morning “Breathe”, and start the day again.

Fucking Laundry.

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Anyone want to debate gun control?

Two days after we landed in the U.S. , I was in the Golden Gate Park standing by a Bust of Francis Scott Key (author of the Star Spangled Banner and I was struck.

I was a stone’s throw from the Pacific Ocean. It was a similar clement day as in the photo above.

And as I took in my surroundings; it dawned on me:

“Fuck”! This is a nation of people with the Right to bear arms and if the need and necessity arose, as a citizen of this nation, your rights would be fought for and in turn you would fight for other’s rights.

That’s Patriotism, folks.

It brings out the fighter for truth and justice:

he Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms and was adopted on December 15, 1791, as part of the first ten amendments contained in the Bill of Rights.[1][2][3][4] The Supreme Court of the United States has ruled that the right belongs to individuals,[5][6] while also ruling that the right is not unlimited and does not prohibit all regulation of either firearms or similar devices.[7] State and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing this right, per the incorporation of the Bill of Rights.

Yep. If some pissant Johnny Come Lately up and formed a threat to all that is peaceable and worthwhile protecting to this Brave Nation then the citizens have the ultimate right to rise up and defend their fellows and rights. There won’t be a debate about who started what shit. When. Or throwing the peoples monies to some far off, Fucked up Monarchy who are as inbred as fuck.

An Aside: Thank God for Megan Markle to bring some new blood into British Royalty. I just hope we get to see more of her chest at the wedding than we did of the Precious Kate. What a passion killer that wedding was. Makes me long for the days of Fergie and i don’t mean the popstar. She bought more ginga and hilarity to the Royal Family.

Second Amendment freedom is about tying the freedom of the press to the right to bear.
As a journalist, I can’t walk away from that. The free dispersal of information is integral to true Democracy.

“Be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press, or the rights of conscience; or to prevent the people of the United States, who are peaceable citizens, from keeping their own arms; or to raise standing armies, unless when necessary for the defence of the United States, or of some one or more of them; or to prevent the people from petitioning, in a peaceable and orderly manner, the federal legislature, for a redress of their grievances: or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures.[9]

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If you do decide to drink, make sure you find a comfortable place to sleep for the night!

Happy Monday. I’ve got a zit that’s bugging the crap outta me. And I have a teen and a preteen with zits.
And fucking school is out at midday.

I need to have me some cake for breakfast.

Bazza isn’t giving interviews on his trip to New Zealand this week: What a fucking copout. Who’s leaning on him not to talk?
You cough up over a cool half mill to attend. And you can’t even take a selfie!

http://Former US President Barack Obama will enforce an extensive ban on media and publicity during his visit to New Zealand this week. There will be no interviews and media cannot report from inside his event.

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Mabee. Maybe not. I’ve got a lot of motivation to write when I hold the topic of anxiety in my mind. It’s the cruelest fucking disease IMHO. Get’s a lot of us. And there are two ways of keeping the tyranny at bay that I’ve tried. One is being rigid. One is being medicated (but then you end up realising you don’t have thoughts that are YOU. And I’m not anti med’s by any means. I’ve got a great SSRI: Trintellix  Robbie Williams takes this.


He credits this medication and therapy for saving his life. I started the new year taking Trintellix but I was worried I was getting fat and losing motivation to get to the gym. So I stopped.
And now I feel like shit and I think I’d rather be unhappy with my weight but happy with everything else in life and not neurotic as fuck. Okay. Less neurotic. It will never go totally because I’m genetically female and cursed with bitch-arse hormones that take you out in all sorts of unexpected ways.

Fuck, Robbie’s a dote.
If I had a need for two husbands I’d want him to be the second. A second wife would be more useful though. Women clean the toilets. Men keep everything else clean if leaned on (which is a great leap forward for evolution) but I’ve never known a man to clean the Shitter. I’m sure you are a few of you beautiful souls out there but I’ve never lived with one. 🙂

Yes, I could totally do with a Sister-wife.
Oh fuck, let me bitch about toilets for a bit. We’ve got a big house and I have to keep six of the fuckers clean. We added two after moving here because four fucking toilets isn’t enough right?
The insanity of first world problems.

So my skin looks like shit. (Hormones and worries about money.) Your average first world worries. We’ve got a virus in the house. I’m up worrying at 4am because I forgot a children’s birthday party today to take my twinnies to. (Now yesterday. Sunday 18th) And I forgot my oldest’s Ortho appointment on Friday.
And the world hasn’t fucking ended. I’m just a bit of a dipshit. But I can be so crappy to myself. I would never treat a friend as badly as I treat myself. I beat myself up incessantly. And others make fuck-ups and I let them off the hook and/or think their escapades are hilarious. Most likely I’ve been along for the ride going right back to my twenties.

Met a lovely Mental Health Caregiver in John Muir, Walnut Creek.
Pretty atrium right? but I was in no fit condition to appreciate the view 🙂 I was admitted to acute care. To my motherfucking surprise; I was worse than I thought I was.
Drank too much (not in one go but I was letting my self care go; it was the Holidays,  and my sodium and potassium levels bottomed. Bad for a woman with a history of a head injury) Low sodium can lead to seizures and low potassium dicks with your heartbeat.
I was fine after they gave me some Ativan and good nutrition for a few days. Really.

Sorry if that is TMI but whereas some folks are introverted; I’m an extrovert and am at my best when disclosing all. And I write like a coked up maniac. I write some good shit. 🙂 I hope It will help someone struggling.

Haha I will tell you about the time I was detoxed (reluctantly) a year previous in the next post. I got a butt shot of Ativan. Had a wee sleep and discharged myself  five hours later.
And the hilarious encounter with an SFO cop. (Did I tell you I met two FBI agents detoxing 🙂 
Fuck, back to the ICU incident. that was the most boring of all the stints I’ve done to clean up. No one else to chat to. It’s just one vegetable to a room. And nurses are too busy (bless them, to talk) And the shitty feeling of knowing you’ve got yourself in a pickle rather than being slapped around by nature like I was with a stroke a decade previously.
Talk about being a vegetable and wanting to get back to life. Over a decade ago. That is shit to worry about. Not the random everyday shit. I was pumped full of morphine and unable to lift my head for days. Completely paralysed. And the mindfuckery of having a head injury. More about that in another post.

Okay. Back to the medical health caregiver. She said to me: Before you go to bed at night, tell yourself four good things about yourself.
It’s so fucking hard to remember. I’ve tended to go to the other options to beat anxiety. Stick cake, booze or nicotine in my face to get the world off my back for a while. Or rigidity. The childhood thing: “Step on a crack and break a back”.

Let’s all be nice to each other going forward.  And ourselves.

I got scared shitless by my experience, and I’m worried about losing friends who might read this (I always make sure there is a responsible adult caring for the kids and mostly I walk the dog, stay off the grog but I do slip),
But honesty beats the fuck out of struggling and not putting it out there. A good doctor friend of mine said: “Monique, everyone has stuff and in this neighborhood, there is a lot of alcohol abuse.

She totally let me off the hook knowing I was putting the fucking effort in dealing with bad mental health and I will tell myself bad shit to keep dangling.
I know others in my neighborhood who have kicked this Fatal Attraction to the kerb. It will be okay.

Oh fuck I just rechecked my calendar and along with forgetting Ozy’s ortho and a birthday party, I forgot my fucking mammogram.
Just one more thing to stress about. At least I’m current with the smears. (Gross as fuck are smears.) I have an aversion to anything but for toys intentionally bought and fully paid for up my
V-jay-jay:
I’m trying to make you laugh here. Humor is the best medicine.
Maybe I should just get the tits lopped off. (Except they’re exceptional and it cost me $20k  to get the implants and fix up the abuse childbearing had inflicted on my body (a tummy tuck and by the way, while you’re stitching my stomach muscles together; lets add 350cc’s of silicon to the titties ) Having kids. Breastfeeding.
What we women do! Oh Fuck; you guys are awesome too. But can you imagine clamping a child to your nipples and all the fucking hassle that goes along with that?
🙂

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