Sunday, 29 April 2007

Just have to have a brag here...

Zachary and Stan went off to a motorbike trial today - left at 6am, drove for 2 or 3 hours, rode the bikes all day and arrived home about an hour ago - tired and dirty...
We went out to see how they went...shithouse said Stan - he came near to last and he said Z came 6th. I was surprised but he was grumpy so left it at that...
Anyway - after unpacking the car and trailer - Z and S came in and Z offered me a glass of coke...I said no thanks. They were both looking at me intently and I said is it poison or something? And they started laughing. I looked at the glass and said - where did you get that glass? from the side of the road? And they laughed some more...
I drank half of it - it tasted like caffeine free coke - no alcohol and I put it down. Zachary had to say 'look at the glass mum' and so I did and yes! He came FIRST Place in the Juniors and I was so excited. He was too.
The buggers hatched the plan to pretend they did badly (well Stan DID do badly) and to give me a drink in the glass.

Now, I am thrilled - don't get me wrong BUT a glass for a motorbike trophy?? How crap is that? Last ones we got for most improved etc were coffee mugs - I mean really - give 'em a proper trophy for God's sake! LOL

Uploaded some photos from the camera tonight

and really wanted to share...

Stan, Zachary Bronte and I went to Yarra Bend on Anzac Day. For those that don't know, the Yarra River runs through Melbourne and it is our main river here. There are beautiful parklands. We decided to go for a picnic - Samuel stayed at home and had his good friend Luca over for a visit.

Anyway, here are Zachary and Stan. Zachary decided to make a boat out of bark and sail it down the Yarra. He made a sail out of paper that was in my bag and proudly launched the boat. He watched it sail down on the current and laughed when two people in a canoe came past and the guy said, 'Boat Ahead!' Nice man!

Yep, here is Bronte on the same day at the same place, enjoying herself as usua

Finally, here is a photo
that I took just the other day of Zachary - I really love it ....relaxing on the trampoline!

What a life!

Saturday, 28 April 2007

A sure-fire way to make me cry...

Samuel made this video for me last night. Gosh I love that boy!
We were both sobbing as we watched it and I really would love the whole world to see how gorgeous Kiah was....

Friday, 27 April 2007

Injuries kids suffer while

riding their motorbikes....

Zachary loves Trials riding...a great sport - not too's the website that Samuel (aged 12) has made for our club.... Oakleigh Motorcycle Club.

Clever eh?

Here are some photos of Zachary's swollen leg - he fell and the motorbike fell on top of is still swollen - and this happened on Easter Monday! He has had x-rays - no breakages and now has to wear a pressure is about 3.0 cms fatter than the other one....and sometimes it aches....

I wonder about online life and real time life

and think - is it like this for everyone?

I tend to keep my online friends a 'secret' from my real life friends - although I don't like the term 'real life friends' as I consider many of my online friends real life friends as I have confused myself!!!

Maybe I should say, I tend to keep my online life a secret from my real life - that's not much better is it?

Anyway, I have shared so much about myself and my family with my online friends - I can think of only one or two real life friends who I might share as much with but really - my true online friends - well they know more than most. I love my online life. Really love it.

Love meeting up with my online friends too - spent some lovely times in Sydney and Queensland with my online/real life friends and I will treasure them and the memories.

Going to see Mean Girls was a highlight a few years ago with some of them. It was just pure fun.

It is awesome when you think about this technology that has enabled friendships not only 100's of kms apart but COUNTRIES apart. People whom I would never have known but for the internet. Lives I would never have shared.

Sometimes it can be a trial - these online personas - some people think or don't think before they say hurtful things. That is sad. But online life can bring great humanity. Humility and sheer joy.

Thank you to my online friends - you have enriched my life in many ways!

Thursday, 26 April 2007

ANZAC Day means many things to a lot of people

To tell you the truth, I had not thought about it in depth over the years. I think it might have something to do with my 'mixed' background actually.

Mum was born to Scottish parents who emigrated out here I don't know when! LOL I know that mum's dad (who died many years before I was born) was in the English Lighthorse Brigade - well I can't even truthfully say I KNOW that but I think he was. Saw a photo of him once in his uniform and with a horse. I should make that a mission of mine to find out more about that.

My dad was born in Berlin Germany and was a young boy when the 2nd World War ended. He emigrated out here to Australia at the age of 18 in 1952 I think it was. He never returned 'home' and he rarely spoke about his childhood. Even when I was growing up in the 60's and 70's we were referred to at times as Nazi's - those were the days when the word Wog was bandied around a lot too. I remember asking dad if we were Nazi's (I was probably 7 or 8 at the time) and he said 'No! We are Australians!' and that was good enough for me.

We didn't live life with the German culture which is unfortunate in hindsight. All traditions we had were English traditions. Mum didn't speak German and therefore everything was in English. I suppose at the time, being German wasn't popular either - and dad's thoughts were that he was Australian and therefore he needed to be an Australian - I remember him writing to his mother once and he was using an English/German dictionary - I thought it was to translate from German to English but NO! It was to translate English to German - he had forgotten a lot of his language and I was surprised at that....thought it quite funny actually!

War and conflict weren't discussed in our household from memory or maybe that is also because I was the youngest of 5 and if it was I wouldn't have understood it. Who knows?

Two of my brothers joined the Australian Navy at the age of 15 or 16 - went across from a country Victorian town to Perth - away from family away from friends. My mother found it very difficult to say the least. One brother loved the Navy life - one hated it.

My sister also joined the Navy but I think she was 18 or 20 or so. Had a lot of experiences up in Darwin - went up there to help the clean up after Cyclone Tracy - I think that was in 1976.

Me? I was just at home and went to school, rode horses, played tennis, squash, judo, swam in Mulwala Lake all summer - had a great growing up. I think it was easiest for me when I look back. Youngest - 3 out of the home already (although there is only 7 years between myself and the eldest - my sister - 3 brothers in between).

My mum and dad gave me a wonderful childhood in retrospect. I remember long summer days, taking my dog Dhoby who was a brown kelpie/lab cross with me wherever I went. Known around town as the girl in the red fluffy coat and the brown dog. Those days were full of fun and sun. Freedom and laughter.

Horseriding bareback through the town of Yarrawonga, going to Mulwala Golf Club and riding all day. Gosh I loved it. When Dhoby would get tired, he would jump up with me onto the horse and ride across in front of me. A sight to be seen now I reckon.

Anyway - I guess the ANZACs have helped me in this freedom of sorts. When I think about how much those young me lost - their lives, their freedom, their future - it brings me to tears now. More so than ever before. Probably because now I see the events through the eyes of a mother. I mean Samuel is 12, boys of 15 and 16, lied about their ages and went to war. How horrible is that thought as a mother?

Monday, 16 April 2007

Well the kids have gone back to school

and I went back to work today...

My boss (who is also my friend!!) was so happy to see me. I was happy to see her as well. She is just so so busy and so inspiring. She works really hard and often I wonder how she achieves it all.

She has three children - two teenaged boys and a daughter aged 12 (who is one of Samuel's best friends).

This is a bit about her.... MacBeth Genealogical Services

I love working there - I work 2 hours a day, 4 days a week doing office work and chatting with Sue, her husband Bob and the other part timers.

I don't get paid a lot but I don't have to work school holidays. It is no big deal if one of the children are sick to bring them in to work (or to even take the day off) and besides all of that, Sue and Bob are the nicest people - our whole family gets on really well with them! They are the ones that came out with us for Stan's and my anniversary not long ago.

Anyway - no photos of them but wanted to share how lucky I am!

Saturday, 14 April 2007

Friday the that was funny!

I went out for dinner. With Paula - my very good friend from my Highschool years. I love Paula. She is always there and always forgives me for not calling her. She is the kind of person who I know will forever be around and I am sure she knows I am there for her too.

Anyway, we went out for an impromptu dinner. With some other 'girls' that we went to school with! It was so much fun!

There was Paula, Mary, Trudi, Suz (who would like us to call her Suzanne now! Ha! as if we can!), Lesley, Karen, Mary-Ellen and myself.

Wow - what a blast from the past. Some I have seen within the last 5 years but I was looking around at these women who were just young teenage girls when I first met them. It was strange.

I came to the 'big smoke' in Form 3 (Year 9 as they now call it) and I think I was 14 years of age. Not only was I a born and bred country girl, I was appalled that I had to go to a GIRL'S School! Aquinas College in Ringwood, Melbourne.

Now, most of the girls had gone through Primary School together and here I came, a country chick who had moved from town to town every 2 to 4 years. A different way of looking at things.

I have great memories of Aquinas - even though I hated it for the first 6 months. The girls were welcoming and fun.

Paula and Mary were my best friends at that school. I only stayed there for 2 years and left at the end of Year 10 to go to Box Hill TAFE to study Art. ada, I stayed in touch with Paula and Mary...went to Paula's wedding and Mary went off to Canada and found a nice boy and married him!

Anyway - looking around the table last night, I looked at these women and truthfully - even though we are all in our 40's - there was no real difference to what they were like as teenagers. We reminisced about smoking and sex. About teachers. Boys. We talked about our marriages. It was surprising how many had failed marriages behind them. Paula - although she speaks to Bruce daily still and he plays a big part in their 3 children's lives; Lesley; Suz (oops Suzanne!); Trudi. Karen never married but has the oldest child I think - she is 17. Suz and Trudi have remarried. I just thought it was a lot but now that I think about it it probably reflects todays society.

Most have stayed around the same suburb. Paula and I are the only ones that haven't.

Anyway, we laughed and shared. It was a great night. I was nervous to go but am so happy I did!

Thursday, 12 April 2007

Oh and Kiah and Halley

the cat, are buried in the front yard....

Stan and Zachary made a large blue cross for Kiah (Halley has a large white one) and a plaque. Stan put it at her grave tonight as well. Will take a better photo tomorrow and put it here as well. They are buried side by side. Halley has one large colourful windmill on her grave, Kiah has five shiny windmills....sometimes I look over there and they are all twirling in the breeze. I like it when they are...

Tonight we had a late Easter Egg hunt

in our front yard. Courtesy of Joycey (our neighbour, friend and surrogate nana) and Joan who is Bronte's Godmother.

They came around at 5.30pm. Joycey hid the eggs and the kids had to search. Took them a while too! They really enjoyed it.

Here are a few snaps....

Bronte searching for the eggs.....

Samuel happy with one of his finds!!

All three happy with their bonus Egg booty!!

Here is a lovely photo of Joyce, Joan and the to treasure......

Tuesday, 10 April 2007

It was my mum's birthday on the 7th of April

while we were away camping. Unfortunately, my mum died way back in 1998.

Being away made it easier for me.

What made it harder was that my sister and I would normally chat on the phone the day/night of her birthday. That didn't happen either. I was hoping against hope that Christine would have rung me (and knowing that my mobile was out of range I was hoping for a missed call or message when we got back to civilisation.) None on the mobile....and when I got home - no message there either. Don't know why I expected one in retrospect....

Anyway, my mother's name was Patricia Margaret Geikowski (nee Lynch). She died on the first 0f June 1998 - just 17 days before Bronte was born.

She was a loving mum, kind hearted and always interested in her kids and grandchildren. She loved us all.

I remember her smiling face.

Mum had not been well for quite some time. She suffered from adult onset diabetes and was insulin dependant. She was a smoker. She wasn't a drinker. She was overweight but had been a lot heavier in her younger days. She had gastric banding many years before. She was never that happy in herself but as the youngest of 5, I never really knew that.

Anyway, mum and dad lived in Bairnsdale (country Victoria) where my sister Christine, her husband Joe and one of my brothers Michael, his wife Leonie and their two children Morgan and Daniel lived.

Mum had been getting stomach pains for quite some time. Apparently she thought it was cancer.

I went up to Bairnsdale with Samuel and Zachary for a week and spent time with mum and dad. We had a nice time, we took mum to Lakes Entrance for a drive, we walked along the beach. She laughed with the boys. It was nice.

Here is the last photo I took of mum. I love it. Don't forget to click on it to see a larger view. She loved my boys. She would have loved Bronte so much too.

We returned to Melbourne. Get on with things.

I get a call a couple of weeks later, mum is in Bairnsdale hospital. She is very sick. They have to operate on her stomach. It is a burst ulcer and it is really serious. I am eight months pregnant with Bronte. Anyway, she is critical and they Helicopter her down to the Royal Melbourne Hospital and I meet her there. When I see her I cry. I am there by myself - I think it was late at night. Stan is home with the boys. I can't remember details really but I remember feelings and kinds of snap shot images.

It doesn't look like mum. She has tubes everywhere and she looks not like mum. I stay for a few hours. They say to go home they will call in the morning.

Dad is still in Bairnsdale as are my sister and brother. I have another brother, Stephen who lives in Olinda - about a 50min drive from the city. He lives there with his wife Alicia and their 2 girls (now have 3), Imogen and Caitlin.

I can't remember when Dad comes to Melbourne. I think it is the next day. I can't even remember when Christine comes down. I know Michael doesn't because 'he wants to remember her as she was'?? I have another brother also in Sydney - his name is Mark. I think he flies down at some stage...

Anyway - I know I am vague on all of this and I am sorry. Maybe it is a way of dealing with the pain. Who knows. I know that I go in everyday to spend a couple of hours with mum. She is in Intensive Care and in a medically induced coma. I am heavily pregnant and it is boiling in there and nowhere to sit as the nurses are up to her every couple of minutes. She has a couple of operations. Her stomach is apparently falling apart - they try and suture and the sutures fall out? She then has a super bug. So whatever they seem to be doing there is something else that goes wrong.

Each day I go in. Friends from my mothers group look after the boys who are aged around 2 and 4. My dad stays initially for a few days and then goes back home as he feels 'useless'. My sister goes back too as she has work. Stephen - well he goes in at night time after work so that is great!

I am running ragged. I feel horrible. I am tired. Mum is the same everyday. Each day I hope that she will recover. I take in a gorgeous photo of her and the two boys that I took on my last visit there - just two weeks before. I want the nurses and doctors to see what she was like before. That she wasn't like this. That she is their grandmother. That we love her.

The doctors call me. We have to have a meeting. They want all family members there. Mark is there, Stephen, Christine, Dad but not Michael - he won't come.

Stan comes and so does Alicia. I don't think they are in the room. Oh hang on they might be. Anyway, they start laying out the options. A nice young doctor, an older one and some nurses. Basically there are no options. The young doctor looks at me while he is explaining this - he has tears in his eyes. I am thinking this is because he knows that mum won't see my baby. I start to cry. We have to decide to turn off the machines. We wonder aloud if they can bring her out of the coma beforehand. They say no, she would be in too much pain (well I think they say that.) We cry. The thought goes through my mind that this is like going to the vet to get an animal put down. But this is my mum. We all agree. They say we are doing the right thing. I think maybe when they turn all of that offm she will wake up.

We go out. They begin the process. Dad and 4 of her 5 children are in there with her. It is quiet. Someone cracks a joke. We all touch her. Talk to her. Laugh. I tell her I love her. A while goes past. I have to go to the toilet. I say to mum in a joking way 'I am going to the toilet. Don't wait for me.'

I go to the toilet. Come back and she is gone. I am so upset. She just stopped breathing. Apparently it was very peaceful but not only do I now feel overwhelming sadness, I feel guilty. I wasn't there at the very end.

We are ushered out by the nurses. They fix her up and after 20mins or so, they call us back in. I am shocked. She is very yellow now and bloated. She has an Iris placed on her chest. I start to smile (in shock I think) and I say "look! Her yellow face matches the Iris!" I keep asking the nurse why is she so yellow? Apparently it is the toxins in her system. I leave. It looks less like mum than she did before.

When I leave the room I also feel relief. I feel guilty for that too. Now I won't have to travel in everyday, organise the kids and be in the hospital for a few hours. How bad is that??

We all go back to my house. It is a surreal experience. My brother Michael comes down (not sure when). We all discuss funeral arrangements. My brother Mark needs to go back to Sydney and asks if we can hold off the funeral for a week. We all agree. Stupidly.

So, my mum is dead. Arrangements are made for the following week. Everyone goes home. Life goes on as it was but doesn't. In hindsight it was ridiculous to put off the funeral. It was a surreal week of normalcy and then it all descended on me again. I felt for sure that the baby would come a few days before the funeral or even on the day and that I would miss the whole thing. I was beside myself with worry. But no, Bronte was a good girl. She didn't do that to me. The day of the funeral came. It was held in Melbourne at WD Rose - just 5mins drive from my home. We got to the chapel. There were lots of people there. Family, cousins, mum's brother. Can't remember who else. Oh my friends from highschool and others. Joycey looked after the two boys at the back of the chapel. We were all sitting up the front.

The coffin was big. I was shocked at that. I mean, my mum was only like 5ft 1in. But the coffin was huge. I asked why. And they said that her body had swelled because of all the toxins. They said she would be too heavy to carry out. A final indignity.

At one stage, I heard a voice from the back. It was Zachary. He said 'Is Grandma in the Treasure Box?' I love that memory!

She was wheeled out - I think Stan was a pall bearer. I should ask him. Joe, Michael, Stephen, Mark. Can't remember who else.

She was driven away and cremated. It was sad.

Everyone came back to our home. Well we did have food at the chapel and then cousins etc came back afterward. It was fun but not.

I have views on cremation that I will share another time...

You know, some days even now, more than 8 years later, I still go to pick up the phone to tell mum something. I refuse to throw out my phone book even though it is in pieces because it has her name and number in there....

Here she is with Dad. Both happy and smiling. It was dad's photo. I took it from his house after he died a few years after mum. I took it because I don't have many photos as my sister has them all. I love this photo of both of them.

Dad has written on the back.....

5-2-98 Captain's Dinner aboard "Princess Murray"

Our Easter....

was spent in the countryside of Victoria, camping. Real camping. You know, the kind of camping where you have to take your water in with you, there is no power and we use portaloos. However, we do take our campervan so all comforts are not forsaken! I also take our super warm and comfy wool doona and loads of pillows. Love that cozy feeling on a cold night!

We left, all loaded up with the campe
rvan, one motorbike on the front of the van, one on the back and Bronte's PeeWee 50 on the roof! The load we tow is horrendous! All so that Zachary and Stan can compete in a motorbike Trial.

A 3 and a half hour drive, we arrive at Glenmaggie. Some of the loveliest countryside to be seen. All green and lush and large rolling hills and beautiful valleys. The nights are crisp and clear and the sky is full of billions of stars. The days were divine - not too hot but clear blue skies and no wind.

Each night we sat around a large campfire with friends that we had made the year before. Col, Jo, Gemma, Georgina (Georgie!), Harrison (H) and William (Will Will). The kids are aged 10, 8, 6 and 2 and they all got on so well with our kids it was marrrrrvellous. Other families came to our campfire at night and even some diehard bike guys with no kids loved being around the fire with us all too. The first two nights we played Chinese Whispers which was hilarious! Adults and children alike - 20 or so of us - all laughing our heads off! 18 year old boys who I thought would be way too cool for the game loved joining in was a great thing to see.

Of course we had toasted marshmallows everynight - half the fun was searching for the perfect marshmallow stick. Then everyone would put the two-bits in to try and educate on the best way to toast. Well I just like 'em burnt thanks!

Motorbike riding all day everyday...trials is hard work. Samuel, Bronte and I had to 'observe' both Saturday and Sunday - hard work out in the sun. Observing is where you 'score' each rider for the 'section'. We looked after section one (closest to the toilets!) and it is a spectacular section as the A grade riders and the Experts manage to jump there bikes over impossibly large logs. In fact, in the photo below where you see Bronte and Samuel sitting on top of a big fallen tree - well the bikes use a ramp and get right up there and over the other side! Very fab to watch! Not too many accidents in my section thank goodness and I only had to lift bikes of their riders 5 times!!!

Zachary was hopeful of getting a trophy this year. He came 4th though so missed out by 2 points. Bad luck really as he was in the running for 1st
place there for a while until he made a really silly error and was given 5 points. He was really upset but that is the name of the game.
Stan did well the first day and was also in the running for a place/trophy but he also did a couple of silly things and didn't place.

Easter Bunny came to our area which was cool. Bronte had her 'Easter Bunny Rocks' tee on in anticipation!

Only one super serious injury on the weekend which saw a 19 year old Expert Rider rushed to the local country hospital and then airlifted to Melbourne. Thank goodness it wasn't on my section! Not sure what he did but I know he was up a steep incline and somehow flipped backwards and ended up damaging his spleen and pancreas. Apparently that is super serious and he is a very lucky boy to be ok. Generally the sport is not too dangerous as it is not a speed based sport. The kind of injuries that happen are more your broken arm, fingers, bruising, scratches from the blackberry bushes and the like.

Monday, 2 April 2007

Late last night I was trawling through Blogs

reading so many wonderful and varied entries - it is enthralling.

I happened upon a link to iVillage - my old stamping ground way back in the late 90's! I used to live there (when it was known as Parent Soup) and it was my lifeline on many occasions.

Well I went back and had a look and the old playgroup that I belonged to - junebugs 1998 is still there and I was amazed to see so many familiar faces (names) that I became all nostalgic and signed up there and then!

I posted and yay! a couple have remembered me (or so they say!! LOL).

So, I intend on being a regular over there again...because they were an amazing bunch of ladies "way back when" and I am sure they still are.

So, here's to new OLD friendships - hopefully they will blossom once again!

Here's are two photos that I have put together lately

just for fun!!

The first one is Bronte in a new top I bought her that she loves. Taken today!

This is Zachary in his new top - one by an Italian label Ra.Re The Kid that he loves - also taken today!

Don't forget you can click on the images and they will open larger, so you can see them better.

Sunday, 1 April 2007

Today is April Fools Day

and my friend Lynda Loo (who's blog is fabulous - see her link) got us good!! I woke up to loads of emails because of that LL - loved it!!! Thanks for the laugh.

My three kids have gone off to Mass with Joycey - it is Palm Sunday. I don't go to Mass - really only at Christmas and sometimes school masses. Unfortunately, my Catholicism went by the wayside when mum died. I am yet to embrace religion again but am really happy that my children go to a Catholic School - well the two younger ones do and that they go to Mass with Joyce.

Here is a photo of Bronte and Zachary just before they left. Didn't get one of Samuel as he was running late (as usual) and still getting dressed. Last I saw of him, he was running down the driveway with his shoes and socks in his hand, yelling 'I'll put them on in the car!'

No, that is not a new dog for us. We are dogsitting Lexi for my friend Sue. She is a lovely dog and manic about tennis balls (see Bronte is holding a yucky one in her hand!)

Stan is off doing a 15km for The Royal Children's Hospital - his work entered in a team. He was a bit excited and worried about chafing. I am so pleased that he is doing this and managed to get him some sponsors through my friends at school.

The forum that I belong to...

well one of them organising a book to commemorate Ava and her life (if you don't know what I mean by this read way down below!!)

So, the cutoff day was today and of course I left it to the last minute as usual...I like what I did (I think!).

Check it out...don't forget to click on the photos for a larger view...

I chose that song because I just love it when sung by Damien Leith (the Australian Idol winner) and I can't get it out of my head. It seems so appropriate and it is just so beautiful to listen to.
I do hope that when the Rosemeyers get this book that it will bring them some comfort.