229 – a little variety would be nice thanks

Today I collected my Grandad to take him to see Nana in the hospital, and I had my littlest lad in tow because he came down with a fever last night and is not feeling great.

We took Grandad to have a speedy haircut and then went to a corner deli/cafe thingy to have lunch before we headed to the hospital. It was loud as those places are – coffee machines clanging, people chatting, doors banging and general white noise. My Grandad is deaf in one ear and wears a hearing aid in the other one so I have be QUITE loud for him to hear me. He was happily munching away on his ham, cheese and tomato panini – ‘There’s something in here I don’t recognise Kathleen what is it?’ (Did I mention he has macular degeneration and can’t see anything except for with his peripheral vision?). ‘THAT’S PESTO GRANDAD – IT’S BASIL AND STUFF’. After determining that Basil was a herb grown in the garden he seemed to like it. The little lad had a fizzy orange drink that he didn’t touch (and poured down in to the foot rest later in the car) and  a bucket of hot chips (which he didn’t eat and fed to the chickens at Mums place later).

I explained to Grandad that we would drop him off at the entrance of the hospital and go and park, he could go up to Nana and have some quality time, and then me and the little lad would join him but I didn’t think we would be long because he was feeling so tired. I said ‘WE’LL GO WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE IT GRANDAD’. Really loud because he couldn’t hear me. Grandad answered me in the rare silence that sometimes falls in one of those places;

‘It’s alright Kathleen, I won’t want to stay long, we are married in name only really now with your Nana being ill – although the last 20 years or so were pretty awful too’. Cue stunned silence from those around us.

Master 4 pipes up – I didn’t know he was listening – ‘You know Grandad you can marry boys too, so why don’t you not be married to great Nana any more and marry one of your friends?’. Too quietly for Grandad to hear – but not so for the tables who had tuned in on either side. I’m sure I heard a very posh lady snort.

But – actually the point of mentioning the cafe was the food thing. Because it is mere days before pay-day we are down to the last of our supplies, which equals no organised food prep for me and my special gut. So I was starving when we got there and thought fuck it, I’ll get whatever they’ve got that’s gf with my coffee. My delicious/so hard to give up/the only thing that is getting me out of bed coffee.

I scanned the food case and it was depressingly familiar. The only gluten-free option (nicely wrapped and on the top tray so no food crumbs could be getting on  it – can’t complain about that aspect of it) was…

You guessed it – Orange and almond friands! These consistently are the only options at most cafes that don’t pride themselves on being paleo or ‘clean’. It’s a little sad. Orange and almond friands or flourless chocolate cake. Always a sweet option. Don’t get me wrong – I love that is even an option – but why does it always have to be sweet? Dear Cafe owners – feel free to experiment.

Having successfully been off sugar for the last few weeks I was reluctant – but did I mention starving? So I bought one and tried to have it with my coffee. It was too sweet and gave me an instant gut ache. Oh well. I stole a few hot chips and we went on our way.

The littlest lad is not well poor kid, he’s in bed now with me sitting on the floor, the room lit up with a blue glow from my lappytoppy and every now and then he rolls over pathetically and asks for water. Not fair to feel crappy when you’re only little and can’t really and truly appreciate having to stay in your bed all day.

Nana Betty’s funeral is tomorrow, and Mum is back to look after her folks again. My life will start to gain some semblance of normality and I just might get back to work – that is if the bugger hasn’t passed his lurgy on to me!

On a – literally – lighter note; have you noticed it’s getting dark later and later? Spring is right around the corner! Yay!

209 – Hey hey hey three days in a row motherfuckers!

Good evening,

And first may I just point out to my lovely new readers (ha ha that’s so weird – that people I don’t even know are reading this – hi there and haere mai!) who are here thanks to the lovely Fee’s recommendation on her page Shineon – that I have a wee bit of a potty mouth. You may have figured that out by now but I just thought I’d acknowledge it. I’m not sorry – I like swear words – I think they punctuate and accentuate my otherwise fairly bland drivel – but I am aware that some people find them a bit much. Rest assured that my mother brought me up right ok? Although it IS a really good reason not to accidentally share my posts to my Deaning facebook page ha ha that wouldn’t be good.

Today! Three days in a row! Oh my goodness. I told some of my girls today that we could build a (good, studious) habit in them if we could sustain one thing for seven days. For them it was the fairly mundane goal of attending all of their classes for the whole day. They just weren’t ‘feeling it’. The yoof of today! I ask you.

Anyhoo I read somewhere that you start with seven days, turn that in to three weeks and there you have it – a habit. And it takes another 3 months to break said habit. But your heart has to be in it. I feel like I’ve been slacking on this here blog thing recently – and I value the reflection and processing that it gives me of an evening so am back on it. 3 days now. Winning.

Today was up and down. I think I glutened myself. I grabbed a roasted vege salad from up the road for lunch and I didn’t think to ask them if they had dusted the veges in flour before they roasted them – that is the best way to do roasted potatoes after all so I wouldn’t blame them – and I really and truly suffered. The annoying thing is that it also had roasted red onion in it – and I thought I was okaaaay with COOKED onion (I know raw onion cripples me with awful pain) but there is a chance it could have been that too. No way to know. Ugh.

What I do know is that by 20 minutes after I ate I had the tummy of an eight month pregnant woman (3 – really 3 girls asked me in my afternoon classes if I was pregnant!). I was doubled over and had sharp stabbing pains and felt really bad. Horrible bad,Horrible bad as the wee lad would say.

Nevertheless, I had boxing this evening and decided to do the class anyway – I suspected and I was right – that movement and a bit of twisting and stretching might make me feel better. It was slow going but by the end of the class I felt heaps better. Boot-camp this morning and boxing this evening – the grrls a fucking machine! Actually I’m fucking shattered but it’s that good whole-body exhaustion.

Enough of the complaining – I wanted to show you my current obsession;


It’s a bag. Yes. A gorgeous, truly unique GIANT bag. It’s mine and I love it for a special reason. See the weaving on the front, with all the woolly bits hanging off it? Well my Nana, my favourite old grrl, made that piece. Years ago, and my Mum pulled it out recently when she was going through Nana’s stuff to move them to Auckland this year. She offered it to me and I knew that I didn’t want it to moulder away in a cupboard somewhere.

So I asked around and was put on to a woman named Helen Miller who makes leather bags for a living, and I asked her to make it in to a bag for me. I am SO pleased with the result. I fucking LOVE the tassels. I love that you can see the ‘working’ of it and it’s not all slick and perfect. I took it to show it to Nana on the weekend and she was tickled too. She didn’t definitely remember making it but thought it was def ‘her style’ and entirely possible that she did ha ha. In her defence and dementia aside – it was probably 30 years ago and I can’t even remember last week! But she loved it too and that makes me happy.

So, I probably should go rest this weary body and mentally prepare myself for Parent teacher interviews tomorrow night. I can barely contain my joy.

Day 81

Satisfying day. I got jobs done, saw family and managed to fold all of the laundry on the laundry couch! It is amazing to see the rest of the couch. The animals keep coming up and looking at it, sniffing it and then sidling up to it suspiciously – they see it so rarely. The lads immediately took to leaping off the top of the couch on to the floor or each-other. Only one of them bled. And it wasn’t for long.

After lazing in bed until 8am (8AM!) I got up and fed all of the children and fur-kids. Eventually fed myself and threw myself in the car to head up the hill to see my grandies. I can’t take the three Dutchmen with me at the moment because both are in a delicate state, so I left them at home ‘cleaning’ which I think mostly amounted to a marathon Lego session on the Music lounge floor.

Nana has dementia and since Christmas has been in care, currently in a nursing home with lovely staff and fellows oldies. Grandad moved in next door so he could be near her and visit but had a fall a couple of weeks ago, and then because of a brain bleed has had to have neurosurgery. He is in recovery and is doing very well but will need to move in with Mum when he has finished rehabilitation. Poor Mum and her man have been basically taking care of the two of them by themselves since before Christmas – Mum’s sisters do try to help but they don’t live in the same city so they are mostly moral support. Anyway – long story short I head up the hill to see them twice a week to try to give Mum the day off where I can.

I love going to see them – I used to drive the boys up to see them every school holidays – because they were up north it was harder to get to them regularly. This way they are only 40 mins away so I can hang with my fave oldies whenever I like in theory. Nana is funny. She has built quite a comfortable world in her head, based on actual events, twisted all out of reality and all stories end with people adoring her, or apologising to her for perceived slights, or recognising her essential ‘right-ness’. She has had some very bad moments, and has said terrible things (to poor Mum mostly) which is difficult for people to deal with but she is ok with me. We have always been each-others favourite person. I am prepared for her to not be alright with me and when she is I don’t take it personally because I can see she isn’t in control anymore. It’s mostly like visiting a toddler now.

Grandad on the other hand is a totally different man but in a good way – he finally gets to talk! Nana always did the talking for him or over him, and it is really cool to hang with him and have him so chatty. He has always been a voracious reader and I knew he KNEW stuff but he lost his sight about ten years ago and got depressed. The one good thing that has come out of this whole thing is that Grandad will get to have his own opinion for the rest of his life now. And he will be with people who can encourage him to learn new stuff again and open new doors for him technologically – My mum and her man are techy geeks.

So, a satisfying morning hanging with my oldies in their respective situations, assuring Nana that yes indeed Grandad is still alive and yes that’s where I was going next, Talking to Grandad about how we both really like Hospital food and ordering his meals for the next day. Eventually I had to jump back in my car and head home to see what state the house was in – The GD’s parents came around for dinner tonight and we needed the house CLEAN.

We did the mad as massive clean. I folded washing like a BOSS. I dusted shit like organised people do. I hung up dresses and ironed and got ‘work clothes’ sorted for the week. It was amazing. The GD vacuumed, and did dishes and helped the lads tidy up their toys. Then I made a delicious and healthy dinner for the in-laws and the kids ate it all! It was a miracle. Spicy fish fillets, steamed asian greens and homecut fries (parsnip, potatoes and kumara). Delish.

AND THEN. As if I am not awesome enough – I baked pizza wheels for Master 7’s lunches, and another batch of bliss balls. Fucking homemaker queen.

In other news, the re-introduced dairy has caused the skin on my face to get red and peel off all over the place. I am SO pretty right now. Dairy is definitely a no go.