Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Crazy cat update.

So... I finally got him to go back on his old bedding last night - after hours of scratching and biting. I assume he slept on his old pillow last night as there was no scratching at our door or generally unsettled behaviour.

The new bed on the other hand... Max will walk the full width of the house to avoid going near the new bed. I have no idea why. Maybe the stripes? It is certainly not the smell as I completely cleaned all animal bedding throughout the house and aired it.

I rang the manufacturer of the pet bed and they were awesome. They have their own Dr Harry on staff to assist in the design of toys and bedding. Sarah, the animal behaviourist (Dr Harry), is also sending up some aromatherapy spray to use as a calming tool for him. So once we receive that I think I will bath him in it!

Mark thinks I am taking this all a little to seriously. Yes, yes... I know! I hate seeing Max upset and not knowing why. But what I hate even more is spending good money on a bed that my snobby little bugger of a cat won't go near!

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Monday, April 28, 2008

Public holidays.

This past weekend was a long weekend for us here in Australia for Anzac Day. For the first time in years I didn't attend dawn service which I am a little annoyed with myself about, but I did enjoy the sleep in all the same. The weekend was spent in a very lazy mode. I did get to the gym on Saturday for bounce class (aerobics on a mini-trampoline) and on Sunday for a weights class. So I didn't feel completely lazy. Next weekend is also a long weekend for Labour Day - so looking forward to that!

Yesterday afternoon all hell broke loose in our house. I was doing a wonderful thing and purchased a lovely new cushy bed for Max the cat for winter (below). It is made from this a great knitted material - really snuggly. I popped it into the lounge room and all of a sudden Max went crazy - and hasn't really settled since. We let him sleep in our room to try to settle him overnight - which is a big no no in our house.

This morning I picked him up to give him a snuggle and he scratching the living crap out of my stomach and ruining one of my favourite tees in the process. I cannot for the life of me work out why he has reacted so badly to the new bed. I thought it was smell and removed it from the room, but he hasn't really settled since.

I rang the shop where I purchased the bed from and they were dumbfounded as to why he would react the way he has. I asked if there was any chance the bed was returned and had a cat smell to it? Whether there was a chemical sprayed on it that they were aware of? If the dog smell from the dog cleaning service may have an effect? If they had seen similar problems with other customers? But they drew a blank. They told me I could bring it back if I wanted to and they would talk to the manufacturer.

Spoke to our vet and they are also equally flumoxed - they have never had a cat react in this way to new beddding. The only thing they can think of is a dog has laid on it in the shop or something.

Any ideas?

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Friday, April 25, 2008

A very quiet weekend.

Mark has left for a boys weekend with Ian and Paul. They are making the very manly journey to see Helmet play their album "Meantime" from start to finish in Bryon Bay.

The house is quiet. I am about to get stuck into cleaning.


Settle in for a night of cups of tea, girly movies and snuggling the cat! Bliss... Pure unadulterated bliss...

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Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I so very much want to be here: Camp Lake Fire
Camping, sitting by a fire, eating damper cooked over coals, toasting marshmellows and sausages over an open fire, hiking, sleeping, canoeing and generally away from a computer for a few days.

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Wednesday, April 16, 2008

05 - I felt grown up when...

I still don't feel grown up. Inside I still feel like a little kid.

In recent months I have felt more confident in a professional capacity that's for certain. While I see myself still as a "fresh faced graduate" I know my features are aging and changing.

Over the past year I see myself in a mirror and see a change. I have aged. I have laugh lines. I dress a little "older". Gone are the cut off army greens and doc martin boots - what a very sad moment that was!

I think the true "grown up" feeling will come with having children, but we will have to wait and see.

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Tuesday, April 15, 2008

04 - Did you ever know someone who had "everything"?

Regularly. I meet people all the time who seem to “have it all”. I meet people all the time who make me insanely jealous. However, the interesting thing is that when you get to know them you find out that they don’t necessarily “have it all”.

I think when I look at “having it all” I really don’t focus on material things. Don’t get me wrong, yeah - a nice house, a nice car would be great, but of all things on the planet they really don’t mean a lot to me. To me “having it all” is about family, friends and joy.

The people I am generally most jealous of are people with large networks of friends and family around them. I generally feel at my lowest when I don’t have a million social networks on the go at any one time.

Material possessions really don’t mean all that much to me. I am more than happy with a tiny TV rather than a plasma monster. I know Mark would disagree with this notion when it comes to kitchen needs – he doesn’t understand a girl’s need for cooking gadgetry. However even in this area I don’t have an exorbitant range – just a few of life’s cookware luxuries to make life easier.

Given my comments above and my “idealistic” view of life that hasn’t stopped me going out today to buy a lottery ticket nor did it stopped me from buying a ticket in a raffle for a house that is simply amazing last week.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

03 - What Do You Mean the Next Stop Is Hell?

Hmmm... What a weird topic. Sometimes it would simply be easier to skip a topic and make one up, but no... I will continue on this weird blogging journey.

I guess this can be interpreted your take on the after life. It could be that you have simply gotten onto the wrong bus. It could be that your life is going to shit. What take to decide on?

All religions, including Buddhism, Hindu, Mayan, Christianity, Islam, Jadaism and many other, have a notion of a place of eternal suffering for some following death. I personally like the Bahai version of hell which is seem as a "remoteness from God". Everyone has a soul in Bahai and it is linked to the character of that person. When a being dies, the soul lives on eternally - freed from the physical body. Heaven is seen, in part, as a state of nearness to God; hell is a state of remoteness from God. Each state follows as a natural consequence of individual efforts, or the lack thereof, to develop spiritually throughout their lives. So live a good life and you will be close to God. Live a "bad" life and you will be held remote from God after death. No fire and brimstone, no fires and devils - simply consequence for your life's actions.

I guess I have always been Christian in a way, but I don't think that description offered by Christianity is necessarily a reasonable description. I have always believed in spirituality regardless of the belief structure behind it. There is "something out there" but who knows what?

I am by no means a theologian in any way. However, I really don't understand religion from a "god" point of view. To me the bible is a great book of stories provided to the massess to give them hope in bad times and to give direction when you feel lost. As for the factual nature of this... I really have no answers.

I don't think I agree that is it facutal. I don't necessarily agree that "Christ died for my sins". I believe he may have well been a real person who was a great leader, but that would be my limit of understanding. I have difficulty understanding the miracle worker side of the story. However, I agree that it would have given hope to many in hard times to believe someone like that was out there.

During premarriage counselling we were asked what our spiritual understanding and belief structure was. I had to admit I couldn't bring myself to answer "yes I believe in God". I struggled to find the words for my beliefs, but I think in the end it came to - I believe there is a guiding force, an energy or a "being" who assists or guides us along our life's path. I read this the other day and I found it a really interesting interpretation.

God is simply a word, nothing more. God is a word that represents collectively all the fathers thoughtout all time protecting their children. God is an idea. God represents many thoughts. We all share the same great great great great... grandfather and grandmother so we are all children of the same father and mother. We are all children of the same tribe.

Maybe "God" is simply a being like the parent's of Turanga Leela in Futurama - Turanga Morris and Munda. In the episode "Leela's Homeworld" you see her mutant parents have always been with her. Protecting her from falling down stairs, pulling a blanket up to stop from being cold, etc.

Maybe "God" is simply an energy that directs you one way or another in your life's journey. Offers you paths and it is up to you if you chose them or not. I have to admit I stopped, for a long time, in my life taking notice of the pathways offered to me and as a result the place I ended up was a long way from my destination. It took me a while, but I honestly feel like I am back on my intended pathway - or at least travelling up the service road running parallel to it.

Artists have, for centuries, painted images of their concept of what heaven and hell. But what is hell? For me it would be a place without love, without hope and without direction.

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Saturday, April 12, 2008

02 - Describe Saturdays at your house.

Hmmmm... An ideal one or a normal one?

An ideal one would be sleeping in and then eating a big cooked breakfast of saturated fat goodness.

A normal one is a little less lazy.

In the past I have been an early riser - waking up between 5:30 and 6:30am religiously. For some reason recently I have been sleeping in whenever I have the opportunity and not waking up until 7:00am. I'm not too sure I like it... I think it is because we have been quite busy recently and I'm grabbing any chance for sleep.

Lately I have been getting up between 7:00 and 7:30am. I quickly grab the first movement clothes I can find that aren't too stinky and dirty and jump into them. This is done with my brain still slumbering, but body on autopilot.

I drive to Sherwood for an 8am Nia class. This is always "my class" to let go in. I normally stand up the back. No real reason - I sometimes like to dance "my body's way" which may be slightly different to Sophie's instructions. Leaving the house I am always quite happy to be on my way, but between getting up and driving there is a lot of "come on... go back to bed..."

The class goes for an hour. Some Saturday's a group of us will go to the fruit and vegetable / gourmet food markets at the Brisbane Fruit and Vegetable Markets for a coffee and some shopping. Lots of cheap fresh fruit and vegetables out in the open air. Hmmmm... Olive Sour Dough... I so feel like that now!

Other Saturdays it will be coffee at Threads and More at Sherwood. Home of the knitted sweets.

I love this place, but it does remind me of my inability to knit... Something I would love to do one day. I know I wouldn't have the patience to complete an item but the "idea" of completing a knitting project is cool.

Regardless Nia is normally followed with errands of some kind. Food shopping, picking up lunch items or whatever.

This morning it was off to the dentist. It was meant to be quite a simple procedure - I have a cracked tooth. However... once my dentist started the crack was much larger and I basically had to have two teeth demolished and reconstructed again. Bless MBF who covered this $300 bundle of fun and only charged me $25 for the fun. Makes health insurance worthwhile some days. My teeth are aching a little but all fixed now and I can actually consume cold food and drinks again!

Anyhow... I digress. I get home from errands and Mark is just getting out of bed or just finishing his breakfast. Some weekends I will get home and 2 loads of washing are on the line and breakfast is waiting for me to get home, but most weekend's it is Mark's sleep in time.

After brunch / lunch or whatever we normally chill out. Watch DVDs, jump on the net or whatever. Mark normally goes for a swim around lunch and it is off to soccer for him in the afternoon. Today Max the wonder cat and I alternated between watching TV and sleeping most of the afternoon.

Saturday nights bring a myriad of events from dinner and movie through to wherever the mood takes us.

So that is a Saturday in the Denman household. Very lazy. Very quiet. All good.

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Friday, April 11, 2008

01 - The first thing I remember. . .

So I am starting to work through this list of 20 journal topics. This is topic one.

The first thing I remember...

This is quite tough. You recall a lot from when you were a child, but thinking about it is a logical timeframe is quite difficult. What came first?

I recall being small enough to sit on my Grandad Fred's lap. I remember his smell. I remember his songs. I remember his huge hands. I remember how the house smelt - a mix of cooking and washed linens. I remember how the lounge room of my paternal grandparents house was really dark with a really dim orange light. I remember crawling under the dining room table to get out from the booth seats. I remember hiding in my paternal grandmother's sewing room and being amazed at the sewing manequins. I remember the sun lounges out in the back room that we would have afternoon naps on. I remember their toilet which was just about on the outside the house in a little room. I remember my grandmother, Olive, cooking soups and corned meat on an open fire in the back yard and being allowed to poke at the fire with sticks. I remember being scared of their chickens. I think my earliest memories are from my paternal grandmother and grandfather's home.

I remember the day my father stopped carrying me on his shoulders. It was at the Bunya Mountains and I asked to ride on his shoulders. He looked at me and said "but you are a big girl now". I don't know if I showed it at the time, but I was so upset.

I remember my first day of school and my Mum making me talk to a girl who was weird. She never stopped being weird throughout primary school. Not in a geeky weird way - heck she would have been just like me in that case! - but in a stinky wierd way. I never did like her. My Mum made me walk to school every single day with her for so long. I hated going to her house to collect her because her house smelt like pee. I remember in Grade One being really upset and crying because I saw my sister, Jill, eating salt and vinegar chips for lunch and I had something boring. She would have been in Grade 7. I remember tracking down my other sister, Col, who was a much older Grade 4 girl and asking her why? I remember thinking it was the most unfair situation on the planet.

We had a Ford Falcon with a bench seat in the front and sold it for a minivan when I was about 7 years old. I remember going on long trips in the Falcon and having to sit in the front between my parents on every trip. I remember lying down on the seat with my head in my mothers lap in the passenger seat. My legs would be stretched as far as I could to reach my father's lap. I remember my father letting me be in control of the windscreen wipers - that was my job. I remember my father tricking my sister that we had run out of petrol on Birkdale Road and nearly making her run to a friend's house.

Our first house we moved out of when I was about 8 years old. I remember my bedroom that I shared with my sister, Col. I remember my bunk beds. I remember funky smelling carpet. I remember purposely falling out of bed to get attention. I remember my father sneeking into my room one night to scare me - I thought he was a wolf and I thought he was going to eat me - I was terrified. I remember seeing witches in my bedroom when the lights went out. I remember seeing ghosts. I remember sleeping in my sister's bed whenever she wasn't there simply because it smelt like her and I loved that smell - it was comforting. Even now when I smell her pillow or clothes or something like that it takes me right back to then. I remember having a big birthday party for my 7th birthday and hand making all the cards. My maternal grandmother, Lillian, and I cut out clowns from wrapping paper and stuck it on cardboard. We wrote each card individually.

I remember the garage full of tools, wood and things to hunt through as a child. I remember the pigeons that lived in the garage roof. I remember tea-chests we used as cubby houses. I remember standing on a nail in the tea-chests. I remember a big mango tree in our yard but I can't remember it getting cut down. I remember lying on my trampoline in the back yard and looking at the stars with my father. I remember seeing a UFO.

I remember in preschool going to a friend's house and the swing chair falling from the roof and hitting me on the head. I remember going to Brownies with my sisters and wondering what happens when I pull the pin out of the flag pole... It fell and hit me on the head. I remember falling off the trampoline with my legs going either side of the springs and ... hitting my head. I remember diving into our above ground pool and... hitting my head on the bottom. Its a wonder I even finished high school with so many head bumps.

I remember before I was old enough to go to school waiting all day until my sisters came home from school for lunch. We would watch TV together for a little while then they would go back to school. Mum and I would lie on my parent's bed to have a sleep. The green bed cover - I remember that. It smelt little bit like a camphor-wood chest.

I remember my first ever sleep over at Kristy App's house. We slept on the floor of her parent's bedroom. I spent so many wonderful nights at her house having sleep overs. I remember dancing to the Smurfs, then it became Icehouse, then Melissa Ethridge. I moved to another state then. I would never have a friend like that again. We would spend so much time together as kids and I never appreciated what a wonderful friend she was until I became an adult.

I can vaugely remember coming home from living overseas at about 4 years old. I remember a workman building something - my maternal grandmother's flat in our house or something. I remember my father talking about the people living in the house while we were living overseas.

Sitting here and going through everything I remember has made me realise that I recall quite a lot about my early childhood. The smells, the sounds and the change in perspective as you grow taller. One theme... how unfair life seems when you are little and how the little things are almost insurmountable. Life never stops being unfair, but the little things aren't quite a big anymore.

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