Rip off the band aid.

You know when you have a band aid on your arm, or leg, or wherever, and it's time to peel it off? Which way do you prefer - to peel it off slowly and carefully so it hurts a little for longer, or just rip it off so it's one short sharp pain and then it's over?

I rip it off. Almost every time.

And that's what I think we should do with this COVID stuff. Australia has been trying to stop the spread and eliminate it. But that's impossible to do. It's unrealistic to think that we can stop a virus that's (supposedly) very contagious when we can't even stop the common cold.

But people are afraid. I get it. Because all we hear in the news are the horror stories of people dying on ventilators. We almost never hear about the people who test positive and get through the virus on their own at home, with little or no medical intervention. The ones who say it felt like a cold or a flu, and not like they were going to die suffocating.

This is a virus with a 99.7% survival rate. Yes, SURVIVAL. The vast majority of the people who have died from this virus have been over 70 years old and/or had a compromised immune system already. And that's not to say they're not important, or that it's not sad when they die, but logically, of course a virus is more likely to kill people in these circumstances than normal, healthy people. That's just a fact.

And yes, we should do what we can to protect these people - within reason. Washing our hands, keeping our distance if we're unwell, making sure they have the supplies they need to get by without having to go to the shops, sure. Locking down 90% of society just so that the minority are protected? No.

If you're concerned about catching the virus, by all means, stay home and look after your health. Ask for help from friends, family, and community groups if you need it. But don't insist that the rest of the world should put their lives on hold just for you. That's selfish.

Rip off the band aid. Let's get on with life.

Knee jerk overreactions

So as of today, there's 5 new cases in South Australia. OH NO!

A mining family who's come back from Dad working in the mines, and they've all got it. One family. So they're using that as an excuse to bring in even more restrictions on everyone and telling everyone to wear masks and get vaccinated and social distance and work from home and spreading the fear.

I'm not buying into it. I'm so sick of all this crap. And it's all about a virus that has a 99.7% survival rate. Let that sink in, because our politicians aren't giving us the whole story. They never do. They want us to blindly obey what they say and not do our own research and make our own decisions based on that research. They want us to be sheep.

I refuse to be a sheep. Won't you join me?

Of late toddler naps and complicated board games.

Today I had to let my two year old take a nap. At 4 pm.

Let me explain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up.

Darrin was playing a game with Caleb & Chuckie. I took Elijah with me to the shops at 2:30 so he wouldn't get in their way. He woke up at about 6:30 this morning, so I figured he was going to nap. By the time we were driving home at 4, he was looking really dopey in his seat, and he fell asleep before we got to the other end of our street.

I know he's going to be up late tonight. But what else could I do? They haven't played this game in months. It's been a wet, miserable day, so taking the little ones outside for 2 hours would have been at least messy (not that they would have minded, but I would).

So we sat in the car in the driveway for about half an hour, then I started bringing the groceries in. I grabbed him after I had everything else in, and he still slept. It took him till about 6 to wake up.

Yeah, it's gonna be a late night, and I can't just let Darrin stay up with him because he starts work at 7 am. We've both lost sleep the last few days because we're not used to early starts, and even when we tried to sleep in this weekend, we couldn't! We were both up just as early on Saturday, and I've been awake since 6 this morning (at least Darrin got to sleep in till about 8:30, so that's something).

I'll try to sleep late in the morning, but no guarantees. If I can't, well...I can go hide in my room to have a nap while I let the kids watch TV after lunch. And then go to bed early tomorrow night.

But I've been missing being able to watch a TV show on my own since Darrin quit his last job, so now some nights I might have the opportunity to do so.

Everything I hate about this house

I need to have a whinge every once in a while about how crappy this house is, because we desperately need to move somewhere bigger, but:

  • Both of us only have Centrelink income at the moment, which is unlikely to look good on a home loan application.

  • The housing market is pretty hot right now. Even if we sold this house and had a decent amount to put down as a result, how can we know any of our offers would be accepted?

  • Yes, we've thought about selling and renting somewhere, but we have cats, one of which uses the lounge room as her toilet. It's hard enough to find a rental at the moment if you DON'T have pets.

So most of these things could be fixed, yes, but it's not worth it when we plan to move as soon as we're able to. A lot of these things would cost hundreds or thousands of dollars to fix. Which is hundreds or thousands of dollars LESS we'll have when it comes time to buy a new place.

    1. It's too small. Six people and all their stuff just doesn't fit in a house that's no bigger than 90 square metres (about 970 square feet).

    2. We only have two electrical circuits that actually work.

    3. The back door is literally falling apart.

    4. No garage.

    5. No front fence.

    6. Not enough covered space outdoors to hang washing during winter.

    7. The light circuit freaks out whenever a light globe blows and shuts off.

    8. The light fixture in the dining room (which we actually just use for computers) doesn't even work.

    9. There's a possum who lives in the wall between the bathroom and the dining/computer room.

    10. Louvred windows in the kitchen, bathroom, laundry, and toilet.

    11. Enormous concrete double sink in the laundry, which should be awesome except...the drain is blocked, so we just pile stuff on top of it.

    12. The heater can't be set to more than about 18 degrees (64 F) on the coldest nights (when it gets down to freezing or just below), or it'll throw a fit and shut off completely.

    13. Gravity fed hot water system.

    14. It's always either JUST too hot or JUST too cold getting the shower temperature just right.

    15. Separate hot & cold taps in the bathroom. So you either freeze your hands when washing them, or start by freezing them and then slowly work up to burning them.

    16. Tiles falling off the wall in the bathroom.

    17. Paint peeling off the bathroom ceiling, because there's no exhaust fan in there.

    18. I had to convert my built in wardrobe into a second pantry because there's not enough space in the two cupboards in the kitchen.

    19. Speaking of the kitchen, when we had 3 fully working circuits, I had two power points in there. We had double adapters on both to take it to four (one for fridge, one freezer, one for the microwave, one spare). Now that the third circuit has crapped out, I have zero power points.

    20. Because of where my Thermomix is, I have to run a cable from the dining/computer room into the kitchen.

    21. The kitchen cupboard doors keep falling off, because they've fallen off and been put back on multiple times.

    22. We have to run an extension cord from Caleb's room into the laundry room in order to do laundry, because - you guessed it - the two laundry power points are on the third inactive circuit.

    23. Oh, and we have to run another extension cable from Caleb's room to power the fridge and freezer.

    24. Because of the electrical circuit situation, I can't do washing at night or early in the morning when the bedroom heaters are on. Well, I could, if I wanted to trip the circuit.

    25. Everything about this house screams 'afterthought.'

    26. The side fences are falling down.

    27. The house faces southwest, which is great when the cool change comes in - the fresh breeze blows through the whole house. Well, it does the same thing with all the windows and doors closed when we have a cold northeast wind in the winter. And it's FREEZING.

    28. The oven door doesn't shut properly, thanks to a toddler who used to climb up on it and bounce. It's also coming apart.

    29. Chuckie & Micah's room has a sliding door, which Elijah knows how to operate, so he gets in and plays with stuff he shouldn't.

    30. This photo. See that corner with the bench space, next to the oven and the sink section? Do you know what's UNDER that corner bench? Scroll down to find out...


NOTHING! ABSOLUTELY NOTHING! What a complete waste of space.

Things I DO like about this house:

  • It's a great location. Close to public transport, shops, playgrounds.

  • It's a good sized block.

  • The neighbours are generally quiet.

So have we thought about knocking down and rebuilding? Yes, but...

  • We'd still have to rent somewhere for about 6 months, which would cost a lot of money, and see above about the cat with toilet problems.

  • We'd either have to have a LOT of money saved up to put down on the building costs, which takes a long time, or increase our loan to the point it's too big a percentage of our income and/or takes too long to pay off.

So yeah. We're kinda stuck right now. And it sucks.

Blogging again.

So I'm blogging again. Or I will be. I guess technically I am right now.

But yeah, here we go. Because I don't trust Facebook to keep the rules the same from day to day. Because almost all my friends are still on Facebook and Instagram. Because even if a lot of my friends do switch to something like Gab or MeWe, I still don't have control over those websites. So I can write whatever I want here and I'll never get cancelled or put in Facebook jail or anything stupid like that. The only person I have to worry about offending is my sysadmin, and I'm married to him, so he can just deal with it. ;-)

Social anxiety and home business: you CAN do it!

People have different reasons for starting their own biz. Some get sick of working to line someone else's pockets. Some want to be home with their kids. Others may have health or family issues that require them to be available at a moment's notice.

Why did I start my own business? Because I have social anxiety, and if I want to work, I don't have a choice.

Let me give you a bit of back story.

I grew up in the United States. I had various jobs there, in various places. Never had trouble getting hired for a job, even though I suffered from social anxiety and selective mutism.

Then I moved to Australia, and it was totally different.

Nobody wanted to hire me. Nobody. They thought my not speaking was just too hard to deal with - even if I could do the job!

I put my resume in at every employment agency I could find. And I can count on one hand the number that contacted me after. But as soon as they found out I couldn't speak, they just didn't contact me again.

I tell you, it was a serious blow to my confidence. I couldn't understand why nobody would hire me - even for menial jobs like washing dishes or cleaning offices. It's not like I was applying for jobs where I'd have to answer phones.

Eventually, one of the employment agencies offered me a job. But after a week, they told me the work had 'dried up' and passed on my case to a different office.

So I gave up on sending out resumes and applying for jobs through the paper. I resigned myself to never having a job in Australia.

I was able to get a couple of cleaning jobs through people I knew. The work was dull, but at least I was doing something, and earning some money, even if it wasn't much. And I was never going to get promoted to anything else in either job.

Then, after my son was born, I started my nappy business. I realised that if I sold my products online, social anxiety didn't matter. And so I started building my biz, and grew more and more confident.

Every sale gave me a boost. Even the little ones.

I realised that a home biz is perfect for someone with social anxiety.

It means I get to decide when - or if - I meet with people in person or ring them on the phone. And I can prepare mentally for it.

So tell me this. Are you, like me, frustrated at the lack of results in finding traditional employment? You don't have to take it lying down.

Do you know you do good work, but every rejection and every time you only hear silence from employers, feels like a punch in the gut?

You're not alone. And you don't have to keep doing it.

If I can start my own business - an introvert, with social anxiety, and selective mutism - then so can you.

Public Transportation for Dummies

I need to get my rant on! All my previous public transportation rants have been aimed at the system. This one's at the users. Funny how your perspective changes when you have insider information. Not that I don't think the system still has problems - it certainly does, but some of the users just beggar belief.

  1. Be at the bus stop on time. Yeah, we all run late sometimes, but it's how you handle being late more than the being late itself. If you're running for the bus as it's pulling up, and the bus stops for you, don't then slow to a walk. The driver's been nice enough to stop for you even though you aren't technically AT the stop hailing the bus, so at least do him/her the courtesy of hurrying up (at least a brisk walk) so everyone else can get to where they're going reasonably on time as well.

  2. Hail the bus. Come on, it's not that hard to stick your arm out for a few seconds when you see your bus driving toward you. It avoids confusion all around if you just let the driver know you do actually want to catch the bus! Your driver is (probably) not psychic. Simply standing by the bus stop as the bus approaches does not constitute 'hailing' the bus. It just means you're standing by a bus stop. Anybody can do that. And sitting on the bench talking on your phone just means you're talking on your phone. How is the driver supposed to know you want to catch the bus if you just sit there? My own rule of thumb is to hail until I see the bus's indicator start flashing. Only time you can get away with not hailing the bus? If you're married to the bus driver and you've discussed earlier the potential for you and your kids to be out at a particular bus stop at that time. ;-) (But even then I think I still hail the bus, if only for Caleb's sake because he's still learning.)

  3. Have your ticket or money ready when you get on the bus. It's a waste of everyone's time to stand there at the driver's seat digging through your handbag/pocket/wallet, counting out your money, realising you're 10 cents short, and then go rummaging through another pocket for the rest of the change. Your bus driver is often trying desperately to keep to the timetable. Every second you stand there looking for your money or your ticket is another second you're holding up everyone on the bus. And don't try to pay the driver with a $50 note, because you just look like you're trying to scam a free ride.

  4. Hang up your mobile phone when you're purchasing your ticket and actually tell the driver which ticket you're purchasing. Or you may just end up with the most expensive one on the list for failing to pay attention.

  5. If you throw up on the bus, don't laugh about it and then use your mobile phone to post on Facebook that you threw up on the bus, and then announce to the whole bus that you just posted to Facebook that you threw up on the bus. Head. Bang. On. Desk.

  6. Don't whine at the bus driver that the bus is an older one. Believe me, when given the choice, no driver picks the ones with stairs and crap air conditioning. They all hate them too - not only are they hideous to ride, they're hideous to drive.

  7. Be aware of which buses are express services. And then don't complain if you go to the bus stop, hail the (express) bus, and it doesn't stop for you.

  8. When it's time to get off the bus, do it expeditiously. (Yes, we watched Oscar this weekend.) Don't sit there playing with your mobile phone and wait till the bus starts pulling away (after sitting at the interchange for up to a full minute) to jump up and say 'Hey! I wanted to get off the bus!' because that'll just annoy everyone. If you're lucky, the driver will only mutter under his/her breath. If you're not...well, can't say I didn't warn you.

  9. Those signs on the back of buses that say to give way to the bus when it's pulling away from a stop? OBEY THEM! Seriously, your little Nissan Micra (or whatever it is you drive) against an articulated bus? Who do you think is really going to come off best in that match? It won't be you, I can guarantee it!

  10. Oh, and if you fail to give way to a bus (which in Australia you are legally obligated to do, by the way), you look like a complete idiot if you then honk your horn at the bus every time you go past it at another bus stop. Because you ARE a complete idiot who just can't let it go.

Pre-emptive strike

I am 26 weeks pregnant. Those of you who can do basic counting can probably work out roughly what week I'm 'due.'

However, I don't believe in due dates. I believe babies come when they're ready, regardless of what we'd like them to do. It's only in very extreme cases that we need to actually DO anything about making a baby be born at a certain time (things like severe pre-eclampsia and heavy bleeding come to mind). I have a friend who gave birth, at home, at 33 weeks, and her baby is perfectly healthy. I know of another woman who had a baby at around 45 weeks, also at home, and again, her baby is perfectly healthy too.

So far I've been 'lucky' in that my babies have been born before their 'due' dates, so I haven't gotten too much harassment about being 'overdue.' But I thought I'd write this all out in advance anyway, so that I can shove this in the face of anyone who starts harassing me when I get close to birthing. Because harassment is exactly what a soon-to-birth woman DOESN'T need, and I'm sick to death of hearing about other women going 'over' and getting phone calls, emails, texts, and whatever else asking them when that baby's coming, and all it causes is stress for the poor pregnant woman who should just be allowed to relax!

If the only thing you have to say to me is something along the lines of 'Hasn't that baby been born yet?' then DON'T bother contacting me. Yeah, because we're really going to forget to tell all our friends and family that we've had a baby. Get real.

If you're going to suggest that I should get induced because the stillbirth rate increases after whatever gestation, DON'T bother contacting me. Besides, you'd be wrong - the stats I've seen (which unfortunately I can't find at the moment! if you have that link please comment) clearly show that the highest risk of stillbirth is BEFORE 40 weeks. So suck on that.

If you're going to tell me horror story after horror story about big babies, long labours, dead babies, etc. - save it. I don't think you can compare anything with the horror story I've already lived. And how dare you try to scare a pregnant woman anyway.

And if you even THINK of mentioning that I should go to hospital this time because of what happened last time - GET LOST. You clearly don't understand the situation and I don't need people like you in my life.

End of rant. For now.

So just how hard is it to get your lawn mowed?

It's been ages since I blogged. I had to take it up again just so I could tell this long, twisted tale. And it ain't even finished yet!

So a friend of mine started a gardening co-op group on Facebook a few weeks ago. Basically we all go around to each other's houses and do some gardening work together and get heaps more done in one day than one person could get done over a longer period of time. And I volunteered to have the first one here, because of so many reasons. I'm pregnant again (did I mention that?) so I haven't been able to do much. And Darrin's driving a bus all the way at the other end of the city, and away from home for up to 15 hours a day sometimes, for 5 days a week, so he can't do much either. Things are seriously falling behind here. The grass is up to 40 cm high in some places, and the dandelions - you don't even want to know. And now the sour sobs are starting up for the winter too. So something seriously needs to be done.

I didn't think it was fair to have everyone come over and make them mow my jungle of a lawn, so I started looking for lawnmowing services to come do it. On Friday the 8th, I contacted one that slashed the lawn about a year and a half ago and was told that someone would contact me. And several days went past. So I emailed them again on Thursday the 14th, and the guy said that someone would contact me soon, and he did. He left a message on my phone to ring him back. Rang back immediately and got voicemail. Sent an SMS. Next morning I still hadn't heard anything more from him so I rang again. He said he could come over Saturday just after lunch.

Now here's the problem. My gardening day was supposed to be Saturday at 11 am. The mowing has to be done before anything else can be. So I postponed the gardening day till Sunday. So far, so good. Sunday actually worked better for some of the people who were planning to come.

Saturday came. I went out in the morning to do some shopping, came home, and we had lunch. And we waited. And waited. And waited.

The guy never turned up. Never even rang or texted to say he couldn't/wouldn't be here. I've heard NOTHING from him at all. That company has lost my business (and if you're in Adelaide and ask me nicely, I'll tell you who they are so you can avoid them too, but I don't want to post their name here in case they decide to sue me for libel or something).

Anyway. So that evening I looked up a few other local businesses. I contacted three of them and heard from two almost right away. One said he could come to do a quote Sunday afternoon, and I told the other one Monday morning. The Sunday guy texted me early in the afternoon to ask if he could come Monday instead, so I said that was fine, but it would need to be afternoon. No problem - at least he bothered to contact me.

And now it's Monday morning. About half an hour ago, I was sitting here at my computer, and out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone walk past the window. WHAT THE?! My first thought was that the morning guy forgot/neglected to text me before he came over, because he hadn't rung the doorbell or knocked or anything first. I went to get my keys and watched him write something on a piece of paper, just outside the lounge room window, then walk down the driveway and stick something in the letterbox before crossing the street back to his vehicle. I waited a couple minutes, then walked out to check what it was.

It was NOT the Monday morning mower guy. It was the third one of the three I'd contacted Saturday evening, the one I never heard anything from. He thought he could just turn up at my house, look at my lawn, leave a note, and it would all be okay. Yeah, because I like random strangers walking past my window and freaking me out.

Not that I'm going to hire him after the lack of contact, but his hourly rate is lower than others I've hired in the past. But only by five dollars. And he said to ring him after Wednesday NEXT WEEK. Okay, so he wants his Easter break, fair enough. Doesn't help me now though.

Now the original Monday morning guy turned up, and sent me a text beforehand! and came to the door! and told me a really low price! and said he could do it this week! Very tempting indeed. I think it's because he's just starting up and trying to get known - a general handyman business. I had to tell him I'm waiting for one more quote so I'll let him know later today. But just between you and me - I think he's going to get the job.

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