Keeping your kids artwork

The lad was away on the weekend at a Scout camp and as I had Saturday free I thought I’d tackle tidying up his room while he wasn’t there. It’s very hard to throw out stuff if he knows it’s going as he’ll want to keep it.

I really wanted to go and see a movie but every time I walked past his messy bedroom I cringed and knew I could put it off no longer.

Another incentive I had was that the school were taking items for the upcoming fete and had a drop-off couple of hours on Saturday morning so not only could I sneak stuff into the rubbish bin, I could get rid of the non-throwaway items.

It took me three hours all up but every time I walk past his room now I smile. I was a bit embarrassed at how much dust I vacuumed up but I did actually move some things I don’t normally move.

I came across these paintings and drawings he’s done over the last couple of years that he’d put aside to keep but I don’t have that much storage space so I decided to take photos of them instead.

He doesn’t know it yet and probably won’t even ask me about it but here they are for posterity. They’re also on Flickr in their full form for him to look back on one day.

For the record, I do have a folder with some things he’s created that I’ve kept the hard copy of but I can’t possibly do that for everything so I think this is a good compromise.

What do you do with your child’s creations?

Putting it out there for a Thermomix

Thermomix demo. Day 247/366.

Oh Thermomix I would totally use you all the time yet you are somewhat pricy.

Oh Thermomix you are so versatile with your slicey and dicey.

Oh Thermomix, come to me – I would give you a good home.

Oh Thermomix – oh sod it I can’t continue this crappy poem.

One thing this Thermomix demo made me do was drag my food processor out the cupboard, dust it off, pull out all the bits and pieces I didn’t want to use to get ready the attachment I did want to use. Still not quite the same.

Good morning non-Wordless Wednesday.

I can’t wait.

We went for a walk to the beach last weekend and I got a glimpse of those summer days that come around each year.

It won’t be too long until we are wearing bathers and hats, and carrying towels and boogie boards down to the beach to go for a swim. I can’t wait.

Until then, however, the sea has to warm up a bit for me. I don’t have a wetsuit and like the weather and the water to be a bit warmer until I dip my body into it.

I love the summer jaunts down to the beach, and coming home while it’s still light to eat a late dinner after washing the sand and salt off. I can’t wait.

Cliffs along the coast. Day 239/366.

5 small ways to easily improve your social media experience

My work desk

There’s some things that I repeatedly see on various social networks that really grate at me.

Sketchy Twitter updates

On Twitter when someone has obviously uploaded a photo to one of their favourite photo sharing sites and the link that’s automatically posted to Twitter just says: “I’ve just posted a photo on *insert latest social network here*.”

Because I have to click to see what this photo is a description about the photo might make me want to click it, not the fact that you’ve just uploaded a photo. It’s lazy. Next!

Automatic cross-posting from Facebook to Twitter

Again on Twitter, automatic posting from Facebook to Twitter and the link that’s posted just goes back to Facebook. I never get why people setup automatic tweets from their Facebook updates. If you’re using Facebook as your website and need somewhere to post a longer version of your tweet, at least mention that.

Twitter and Facebook are quite different and should be used separately. Unfortunately this automatic posting also means that they’re not really following what their fans are saying on Twitter therefore don’t engage with them. It’s very frustrating, and not a good look.

Same updates on Twitter and Facebook

I’ve been guilty of this once or twice because I have most different friends on both platforms but when there is a crossover of friends on both, and I see they’ve made the same update on both platforms, I feel like I may have missed out on some of the conversation because there’s now two places that the conversation is occurring. It’s just a little thing, but a tad annoying.

Jumping on a Facebook question bandwagon

I often see this question in Facebook: “I’m cleaning up my Facebook friends. Let me know if you want to stay.”

Surely it’s up to the individual who they want to keep as friends and they can add and remove friends at will. I’ve never responded to any of these and if I’ve been unfriended – oh well, too bad. I  don’t think I ever have been though.

Make it easy for me to subscribe to your blog

Lastly, if you’ve got a blog I presume you want people to read it? Do you? Well have you got an easy method for people to subscribe to your blog updates? SO many blogs I read don’t have this and it’s dead easy to do. And by this, I mean a RSS feed icon, or a ‘Subscribe here’ link.

All blogging software automatically has a feed built-in and usually it’s a matter of adding a widget or something to link this feed to an icon. I use Feedburner to redirect my WordPress feed. This way you can track your feed subscribers and you can also provide them with a way of subscribing via email if they don’t use or know what an RSS feed is.


Do any of these annoy you, or any other things?

I will remember her

Jules holding Connie

The clock in my kitchen stopped today.

Time stood still for the time that Connie died. Connie was my mum and dad’s dog and she had become quite ill in the last few days and had to be put down late last week.

I found out while I was at work and it was a little bit hard to carry on as though nothing had happened.

I felt very close to Connie and her death day should also be a rembering day for the dog she was.

Dogs are an important part of many of our lives but unfortunately they’re only here for such a short amount of time. Then you get attached to it, it gets old and dies.

Why are dogs here for such a short time?

A six year old boy got it in one when he said about their dying dog:

“People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life — like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?” The Six-year-old continued,

”Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

I got to know Connie fairly well over the years even though she lived around two hours away and we didn’t see her that often.

She spent some time with us when Dad had his stroke five years ago and was in hospital and rehab for two months. As Connie was quite little, I had to make sure the little escape holes around the backyard were filled in as she could squeeze through and when I found her under my car hiding one day, and the wrong side of the gate it freaked me out.

She was great around people but put her in front of a dog she didn’t know she could be a bit vicious. In fact a friend nicknamed her Killer Connie. This was probably more to do with an ironic take on dimunitive stature than her personality, but either way it kind of fitted.

She had the typical small dog syndrome. At the park one day I let her off the lead and she ran straight up to a much much  larger dog barking at it. I don’t think she realised that this dog could have swallowed her as if she were a seed. Luckily that didn’t happen.

Monty and Connie

Even though she came to stay with her bedding, which was placed right near Monty’s, she would always take Monty’s much bigger bed. One time Connie was on Monty’s bed, and Monty tried to squeeze up onto Connie’s. That’s what’s great about Monty – she’s very giving like that.

Connie was a great lap dog and the only dog that comes to stay here that’s allowed on the couch any more. It probably helps that she didn’t moult like my other doggy resident and guests do. Mind you, Monty isn’t capable of hopping up onto the couch these days. I had to carry her down some stairs yesterday, but that story is for another time.

Connie no eyes

But while we’re on the subject of other dogs, even though Connie wasn’t very well socialised with stranger dogs, she got on well with her doggy pals like Monty who she’s known nearly all her life. Also, she got on well with my sister’s dog which was just as well as both Monty and my sister’s dog spent time at Connie’s house on occasion.

I’ve never been a fan of  little lap type dogs but Connie totally changed that for me. She was gorgeous and I’m going to miss her.

The clock in the kitchen started again two hours later, but only lasted for another couple of hours before it stopped again. I had to replace the battery. Time ticks on.


Remember when?

Jules loving his bug catcher in his stocking

On those days when you just feel like strangling them because they are giving you the shits, just look back through some old photos and it takes you back to how cute they used to be.

Last play before bed

You remember how chubby their cheeks used to be when they were a toddler.

You remember holidays you had when you didn’t have to think about when the school term was.

Happy birthday to me

You look back on the birthday celebrations that you’ve organised for him. The larger parties and the smaller dinners.

Dressed as a fairy

You remember when they didn’t mind going to a party dressed as a fairy because it was all girls and he was the only boy and the theme was fairy.

Drawing before the pageant

You remember getting up at the crack of dawn so that you could take him to the Christmas pageant. You also remember him asking you if he could go to the toilet just before the pageant started. Hmmm.

In bed with a shark

You remember how he used to go to sleep while he was playing in bed. He used to go to sleep with all sorts of things.

Waiting for fish and chips. Day 192/366.

But one day you’ll look back and remember how he used to be at the age he is now and miss it like crazy. You’ll remember that even though he’s nearly as tall as you he still doesn’t mind having a cuddle on your lap. You’ll remember that he loves being tickled before he goes to bed. You’ll remember that he shares all the details of his changing body with you. You’ll remember that he used to be a kid and was on the cusp of adulthood. You’ll just remember.