Saturday, August 30, 2008

Balls and ceiling fans..

Did you know that on average it takes at least ten throws to get a small rubber ball to hit the ceiling fan when you start trying. Once you have practiced a while you can get it every time. The level of difficulty rises as you slow the fan down.

Small rubber balls make small round marks on the walls where they hit.

Larger balls such as tennis balls hit the fan more easily and leave large marks on the wall, especially if you wet them in the cats water bowl first.

Sponge balls don't hit the wall as hard, but if you dip them in something brightly coloured like, I don't know, tomato ketchup, when they do hit they make a really big splat shape.

Mum hid all the cricket balls after you broke the window.
Mum hid all the golf balls after you broke your brothers head.

Bike lock chains padlocked to the ceiling fan make a loud noise that alerts mum to what you are up to, now is not a good time to forget the combination or lose the key.

Mum is quite cross, especially about the bent ceiling fan. Now proves not to be a very good time to tell mum about the hit rate with differing sized balls at different fan speeds. This is especially true at six in the morning.

Washing walls is hard.

Phone calls from the other side...

A few good phone calls at work this week...

Caller: I want to know if you have my insulin.
Me: What brand is it?
C: My insulin
M: What is it called?
C: Do you have my insulin?
M: What is your name?
C: Why, I want my insulin?
M: So I can see which insulin you use and see if we have it.
C: I get five boxes at a time
M: Yes, but which insulin is it? We have many different brands.
C: Look, it's Mrs X here have you got my insulin or not? ( She sounds annoyed)
( I have a name, I check her history and the fridge.)
M: Yes, we have your insulin.
C: How much is it?
M: Five dollars.
C: For five boxes?
M: Yes, for five boxes, the same as you always pay.
C: So, have you got my insulin?
M: crackles paper next to phone....sorry I can't hear you...crackle crackle...we have your insulin...crackle crackle....just bring your prescription.

Oh gee....

Caller: Do you sell blood pressure machines?
Me: Yes we do, we have several different ones.
C: Oh, what are they.
M: There are ones that fit on your arm and ones for your wrist.
C: Your where?
M: On your arm, around the top, like at the doctor, or ones that go on your wrist.
C: Your arms and where?
M: Your wrist.
C: Where?
M: Your wrist, like a watch.
C: Where?
M: The bottom of your arm, near your hand.
C: Where?
M: They aren't very good, you need the one that goes on your arm.
C: Where?


Monday, August 25, 2008

Spider bite

The next door neighbours small boy (SBND) got bitten by a spider yesterday. The boys were in a big group "exploring" the nearby bush when a spider "chased #4". The spider was probably madly trying to get away from all the noise a group of small boys can make and bumped into the next door neighbours kid but the boys were adamant, it was chasing #4. ( The spider must not be part of the warning net work that surrounds #4 every where he goes.)

Description of spider: As big as my hand, (that's all the hands present). Black, brown, hairy, fat,thin, red glowing eyes.

Fang marks: present, but at least an inch and a half apart. One big spider.

Who saw it: The victim, on close questioning no-one else had seen it.

Symptoms: None, other small children kept asking if he was going to die, he kept asking if he was going to die, but he wasn't going to die.

The ambulance was called, those fang marks were a long way apart, we were thinking but not saying snake. We gave an antihistamine and applied an ice pack. (Standard first aid for bites.) After a bit of discussion the ambulance driver said " Oh yes, next door to #4"...As I said to my neighbour at least they know the street. (Actually in defence of #4 the ambulance has spent quite a bit of time next door as well, just not as much as here.)

The ambulance pulled up on our drive-way, " Hi Eve, How you going, what's he done now?"
"No its SBND, "
"Oh," short silence as paramedic re-adjusts his view of reality, "Right then, where's he at?"

He was carried off to the hospital while the ambulance man tried to get a description of the biting thing, he agreed those fang marks were a long way apart. The thing was now at least three feet across, but wasn't getting snake like. Good news.

Long lectures were given on the wisdom of going bare foot in the bush.

It was probably a huntsman spider because the size of the bite. Luckily SBND was home again a few hours later. He'd stopped asking if he was going to die and started asking if they could go to McD's on the way home. Huntsman spiders are nasty, you think you're not keen on spiders and then you find one of them in your shower or car and realise that actually you're petrified of spiders. The biggest one I've seen was about six inches across, and that is way too big for a good nights sleep when you know it's in the house.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Number 4, 50,0000 : the Green ants nil

As I type #3 and #4 are in the garden up a tree. Typical boy behaviour. What the non tropical readers may not know is that trees in the tropics are where green ants live. Green ants are nasty little critters that attack anything and anyone any where near their nests, their nests are in trees....

#4 made a foray up there earlier and was attacked. He has gone back, covered in bites, to get his revenge. He is wildly beating the nest with a stick and the ants are wildly biting him. Don't worry nature lovers, the ants and #4 will survive. The picture is #3 showing me another green ant nest in the lemon tree.

#1 was asked to go on the roof earlier for some aerial adjustment so I could watch the diving and refused because there was one green ant on the fence...that is how nasty the bites are, and what a big jessy #1 is.

I know it is probably a reflection of my age but one of the men in the ten metre board diving final has a belly button ring. It just seems, well, wrong.

Friday, August 22, 2008

No-one will let me watch....

It's official, I'm the only person in the world who hasn't seen Usain Bolt's 200m run in the Beijing Olympics. I was at work for the final, I missed the replay, and the world has moved on.

I tried to find it on you tube, and kept getting redirected to porn sites. What's that about? (And the one site that wasn't porn was a Croatian travel documentary.) I tried the world news services. The BBC wouldn't let me watch because I was outside their area, the Americans wanted to install spy ware on my computer and the Australian sites only had videos of every Australian medal in recorded history.

I shall watch the 4x100 and hope no-one drops the baton before his turn. Croatia looked nice though.

PS It was too quiet after I sent #3 and #4 to bed the other night. #3 had shut #4 in the wardrobe. This is not the way things normally work, #3 is usually the victim. Maybe living close to #4 is teaching him a few tricks, ones I'd rather he didn't know. Number 4 was working on getting out though, he'd unscrewed the wardrobe door, but then it had jammed in the hole. At least I got to find the screwdriver after I'd rescued him.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Self improvement: attempt 2

In a massive fit of optimism I joined a weight loss program. I shall only post the results if they are good.

So far I had to fill in a questionnaire that included the question:

Only answer this if you are a woman: Are you pregnant? Y N

I was tempted, sorely tempted...I suspect if you were a man and answered it yes then they would be seeking to make money off you, or if you attempted to answer it you perhaps couldn't understand the program?

The program joining was part of my LSM (less slummy mummy) campaign. So far I have the hair and the good intentions. I am short the body, the clothes and the children. I am quite sure that non-slummy mummy's don't spend a fair percentage of their time dealing with my children. In fact yummy mummys probably only have to deal with the likes of #3, DVD king, and have a nanny to do that.

I am just aiming for less slummy, now what exactly is that smell and where is #4 in relation to it.

Later edit: Must go WW3 just broke out, #3 and #4 were fighting and one threw something at the computer screen and broke it..."it was him, it was him, he did it, it was him......" Silence as they realise mum hasn't come to adjudicate, she has come to punish. Two small boys are now in bed, very quiet. Actually too quiet, BRB.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Finally and at long last I've figured out how to download photos onto my computer from my camera, and find them again. Believe it or not this is one plant!

I call it the tomato tree. ( PS: if you need a smiley saturday post read the next one down!)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Raising #4

Put this child in camouflage pants and a red t-shirt, now sit a black cat on the back of the skate board. Now imagine that it's your child. Now you know what raising number four is all about. My sister sent me a series of these pictures because she saw them and thought of me. (I'm holding back the picture of the mother clutching a bottle of valium in one hand and a gin in the other.)

And you also find out interesting things when you have sons, like:-

1. A bath takes about half an hour to overflow if you block the overflow with your sister's best underwear. If you time it right no-one spots this until they step out of bed in the morning onto a wet carpet, at the other end of the house.

2. If you spray hair spray on dust balls and run over them with a skate board, they can ignite. This scares the cat and the chickens.

3. A 6-year old Boy's voice is louder than 200 adults in a crowded shopping centre, particularly if they are saying, " Why did you call that lady an interfering old bag mummy?".

4. If you hook a dog leash over a ceiling fan, the motor is not strong enough to rotate a 20 Kg boy wearing Batman underwear and a Superman cape. It is strong enough, however, if tied to a paint can, to spread paint on all four walls of a 8m x 4m room, especially a newly decorated bedroom following the insurance payout on the fire you started.

5. You should not throw cricket or golf balls up when the ceiling fan is on. When using a ceiling fan as a bat, you have to throw the ball up a few times before you get a hit. A ceiling fan can hit a cricket ball a long way, fast enough to go through a window as well. A ceiling fan can be relied on to cut your brothers head if you throw him off a bunk bed into it, or if he is hit by a rebounding golf ball.

6. The glass in windows doesn't stop a cricket ball hit by a ceiling fan, and its unbelievable just how much glass there is in a window.

7. When you hear the toilet flush and the words 'uh oh', it's already too late. (note for mothers: when sibling asks where his new action figure is play dumb, unless you want another uh oh moment.)

8. Brake fluid mixed with bleach makes smoke, and lots of it. (Enough to set off the smoke alarm, get the neighbours to ring the fire brigade, and the local fire captain to ring you and ask if your house is really on fire, or has your son set off the fire alarm, got another child stuck on your roof, another roof, in a tree, etc. etc.)

9. A six-year old Boy can start a fire with a flint rock even though a 36-year old Man says they can only do it in the movies. (Magnifying glasses given to small children as presents should be broken at the earliest opportunity.)

10. Certain Lego's will pass through the digestive tract of a 4- year old boy. When you ask if he's seen it he'll answer " Seen what?, where?"

11. Play dough and or worms and microwave should not be used in the same sentence.

12. Super glue is not forever, but it can feel like it.

13. No matter how many jelly crystals you put in the bath you still can't walk on water.

14. White baths turn pink when filled with raspberry, blackcurrant and strawberry jelly crystal solution.

15. VCR's do not eject Mars bars when you hide them from your sister in there. The insurance/warranty doesn't cover it. ( That was actually #1.)

16. Garbage bags do not make good parachutes. (#1)

17. Marbles in air conditioning units make lots of noise, as does gravel. (back to #4).

18. You probably DO NOT want to know what that smell is, but you are going to find out.

19. Always look in the oven before you turn it on; plastic toys do not like ovens. (see item 18)

20. The fire department has a 15-minute response time, following a phone call by them to confirm. The police will arrive some time today, we're always good for a laugh. The ambulance response is "Drive him in, we'll get a bed and some sutures ready, do you think he broke anything THIS TIME." They usually want to know if its the victim (#3) or villain (#4).

21. The spin cycle on the washing machine does not make earthworms dizzy.

22. It will, however, make cats dizzy.

23. Cats throw up twice their body weight when dizzy.

24. Bleach kills grass, and writing your own name is a bit of a give away.

25. Loosening the bolts that hold the seats in the car can be dangerous, particularly the driver's seat.

With thanks to the original version......(I know not wence it came, I just changed it to things #4 had done, my list is longer.)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Why do I work here?

I went back to work today after a weeks holiday. A weeks holiday with the children at school.....bad mother, but oh what bliss.

I went in , the eftpos was broken, the printer was broken, the dispensary looked like #1's bedroom (but I couldn't shut the door on it and walk away). Ah "Happy happy joy joy."

Mid morning the phone rang, and one of the girls answered, I overheard her say " Oh hi X". Now X is my phone stalker, he is a lovely man but he does like to talk to me, a lot, and after the morning I'd had I wasn't quite up to it. I knew he would ask if I was back from my holiday.

I madly waved at my colleague, saying in a low voice " Tell him I'm on holiday til tomorrow"

My colleague, " X, She says to tell you that she's on holiday til tomorrow." (I can feel the karmic wave as flows towards me now.)

Monday, August 11, 2008

So you want to diet.....

You know how they tell you to stick a picture on the fridge to help you diet. It's either a fat one to remind you or a target picture. Well this blogger may just have found the perfect picture to scare you into never opening your fridge door again. Now hold on tight and click here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Smiley Saturday

Just this morning I picked the first tomatoes of the year from my garden. Little bursts of red sunshine on my tongue. There would be photos but me and #3 ate them all. (There were only four ripe cherry tomatoes.) In about two weeks time I 'll be going, "Oh no not more tomatoes!", and if it gets windy Homer will be going, "Oh No! not more green tomato chutney"

Last week it was " How many chickens have we got? are you sure? cos there's a lot of eggs in here!" I still haven't worked out a way of preserving eggs except pickling them so I attempted a Cool Hand Luke approach..... (That is one of my favorite films, or rather the line " What we've got here is a failure to communicate" is one of my favourite film lines.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

The ultimate school trip

"Mum, mum, I need to 18 dollars to go to China"


"My teacher says if I bring 18 dollars we are going to China."

I think to myself that this is a school trip that sounds like good value. Maybe I should read the letter.

"Have you got a letter?"

"No, Give me 18 dollars.....pleeeeeeeeeeeeese."

I think I better ring the school to find out what is really going on. Does he mean they are being sold into slavery? Does he mean a trip to the local Chinese takeaway?

So this morning I ring the school,

" Hi, mum of #3 here."

"Oh hi," a few commiserations follow, everyone knows #3 is the brother of #4. They look very alike and on more than one occasion #3 was left holding the bag for #4 until the school realised that the small child on the school roof was more likely to #4 than the placid #3. #4 says the school roof is ace, he went up there because some one else had got stuck after he dared them to climb up. He was going to rescue his friend but then someone shouted at him from the office so he climbed down. The school have since lopped of the tree branch that caused that little incident. #4 got down fine and disappeared into the crowd, but the firemen had to rescue his small friend. Back to the point.

" Is #4 sick?"....I feel guilty when I hear the barely disguised hope in her voice.

"No, its about #3"

" Awwww, he's not sick is he, poor little lamb." (Every-one loves #3, he is sweet, and being next to #4 helps him comparison wise.)

"No, no, It's just he says if I send 18 dollars into school he's going to China."


"I thought that might be a mistake? and if its not can I come as a parent helper?"

" I would think its a mistake, hold on."

" Ah, here we are, year four trip to China town, the letter is coming out tomorrow."

Oh well.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

The revenge of #4

I have a house full of teenagers at the moment. The girlchild has her boyfriend over, and there is a small gang of teenage girls visiting #1. One (or maybe more) of them may be his girlfriend. He doesn't seem clear on this, but then he is not clear on much. The house is full of shifty looking youths and inappropriately dressed girls. I believe this is the normal appearance of teenagers.

Number four is a little put out by their presence, they are disrupting his disruptive activities, and he thinks one of them has his hammer. (Number 3 hasn't noticed, none of them have walked between him and his Stargate DVD.)

I was keeping a loose eye on the gang as they lurked in my back room, and realised I was one down, a male child, #2's boyfriend is missing. I walked up the corridor towards the back of the house and could here a faint voice, " Help me, help me please."

"Who is this? Where are you?"
"It's me, I'm stuck in the toilet."

Number four had loosened the handle on the inside of the toilet door, obviously he still has a screwdriver hidden somewhere. Next teen in had shut the door and the handle had come off in his hand. He was torn, should he try and fix it, cry for help, would "It wasn't me" work?, would we speak to him again? would he be allowed to see #2?, would we believe he hadn't done it? But worst and most horrible of all, All his mates were there, would they laugh at him?

Note to self: find screwdriver.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

More teenage woes....

One of my colleagues has a teenage daughter (TD) who is at "that age". Everything is a plot to destroy her social life, and the whole world has ganged up to make her life impossible. Oh, she knows everything as well. I know what she's going through, #2 is just the same.

Predictably this has led to conflict, last week at school with one of the teachers. I think there was a personality clash as well to be fair to the TD. She rocked up to school yesterday and was told she had detention. No, this didn't fit in with her plans, so she rang her mum at work and asked her to get the detention lifted.

Mum said " No, you got into the situation, you do the detention." TD is not happy. She has plans to go to McD's with her mates, not go to detention. TD asks teachers to lift her detention, answer is no. TD goes to principal and complains that the teacher is treating her unfairly ,she doesn't want a detention,she wants to go to McD's, they can't make her do it so there. The principal tells her she should do the detention or get suspended.

TD rings mum again. TD gets more detention for not going to class and using her phone. TD rings mum at work again. TD gets told by school she will be doing detention. TD becomes hysterical and locks herself in the school toilets and rings her mum.

Mum is with me at work and is getting a bit ticked off with all the phone calls, so she says she's not going to answer the phone next time it rings.

The phone rings and I pick it up.

" You have ruined my life, I will never forgive you, I hate you ,I hate you, I hate you, I'm never speaking to you again." etc. etc. etc.

" Sorry, I think you have the wrong mother, I am far to busy ruining my own TD's life to have time to ruin yours, would you like to speak to your own mother?"

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Smiley Saturday...already?

It's Smiley Saturday again, the weeks go faster as you get older. I am sure we get Christmas twice a year now it comes around again so fast. Number 4 is sure we don't ever get it, being as he doesn't have his motorbike, snake and chainsaw yet.

I've had plenty to make me smile this week. I got a new digital camera. Working out how to use it is fun. It has a self portrait feature and so far I have a picture up my left nostril, one up my right nostril and one where I look like I'm about to be attacked by a lion. The shock picture made me go and have my hair done. Do I really look that bad, apparently the answer is yes.

I got my roof for my undercover area, the second half went up a lot quicker than the first. Homer only had the blind chicken helping him which made the job go faster. It made me laugh to watch them though, he'd reach round for a spanner and the chook was stood on it, every time.

We rescued the blind chicken from a factory farm and she was blind in one eye when we got her. I think she's lost most of her sight in the other eye now and she sticks close to the biggest moving object in the garden. This is always Homer when he is out there. She used to stick close to the psychotic chicken but psycho chook kept leading her to the middle of the garden and taking off (you wouldn't think a chook could be a bitch but she is).

It makes me smile to see a chicken trailing Homer round the garden clucking as if in deep conversation. She got a bit of a shock when she went to lay her egg in the dead herb garden and I'd converted it to a water feature though.

More good news, I have three writing jobs to do this week, its a good job I booked the week off from my real job.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Self improvement

In a reaction to the news that if I visit China I may be gender tested on the basis of my appearance I decided a bit of self improvement was in order.

The easiest quick hair. I read Milla's description of the dog scaring possibilities of home hair dye so decided to spend money on a professional job, at the hairdresser. It has taken me twenty years to find a hairdresser I trust (yes, twenty, if she ever emigrates I will have to follow her, be it to England or Ulan Bator ) and she has been nagging me gently to get rid of the grey for some time, so I took the plunge. " Go for it."

She's done a very good job and paid attention to my hair care car windows to dry hair on the way to work, maybe use fingers to brush hair at week-end, maybe not, be able to get hair ready to open door to the police with fingers due to neighbours complaining about #4 (or most recently the cat). She gently pointed out that a tomato soup colour may be a step too far initially.

I'm very pleased with the results. Homer less so, " If I'd wanted to marry some one with short hair I'd have married a man." Girl child, "You need some new clothes now." This last is a double edged sword, it means that 1. She is prepared to be seen with me in public and 2. She wants some new clothes....see previous post on taking girl child shopping for clothes.

The main problem is that now I may have to do something about my eyebrows. The hairdresser offered to wax them, and I said yes, but left quickly when she forgot. Threading seems to be out having read the memsahib. My tweezers are looking at me accusingly as I sit typing this. I am hoping that they "get lost" while I am busy. The chances of this are high as #4 is eyeing them up to hold the small bolts he took out of his highly expensive remote controlled car. To his dismay this stopped it working so he is attempting to fix it.