31 January 2010


Thankyou so much everyone who left me messages and who also prayed for me over the last day or so. You'll be glad to know I am feeling so much better, and I'm sure that a lot of it has to do with your prayers.

I wrote that post about the Black Dog, because I have never tried to put it into words how I feel while I am in that state... and I really needed those close to me to understand. I wrote it first in Word, just to let it out.
Then I decided to post it here.

From so many messages and emails I know I'm not alone in this battle... there are so many of us who have faced down the Black Dog.

I think the thing that scares me the most is what that mongrel may do to my family, what scars he may leave.

I thought a lot about Cat's comment: What would happen if you stopped running? I guess feeling of "running" is a sense of panic because everything around me seems to jar my senses, causing me to scream in pain and anger. Stillness is the antidote... a hard commodity to find in a house full of boisterous children.

On the practical side, I had run out of medication a couple of days earlier, and was seemingly fine... until Friday afternoon when all of a sudden I was Not Fine. I managed to call my doctor and get an emergency prescription faxed through to my pharmacy before the Long Weekend.

By last night I was calmer, after a quiet day.
Mr G was very supportive and seemed to understand better what was happening after reading my post. This morning I put on some Music, the kind that is like Soul Medicine. It soothed me further and I felt my heart lift and knew that the black thing was behind me.

I was thinking what I should have done in the moment was call in The Dog Whisperer. I called my mum... I should have called Jesus first.
I should have put on that Music sooner. Maybe I could have painted. I was alone in the house with the kids and Mr G was still at work with his phone off and I felt all alone with that mongrel.
But Thankyou, my friends who called out for me. Thanks for shouting at the Black Dog on my behalf.

That Mutt is safely locked away again.

The Songs that Soothed Me...

From My Redeemer Lives by Nicole C Mullins
The very same God that spins things in orbit
Runs to the weary, the worn and the weak
And the same gentle hands that hold me when I'm broken
They conquered death to bring me victory
Now I know, my Redeemer lives
I know my Redeemer lives
Let all creation testify
Let this life within me cry
I know My Redeemer lives...

Carry Me Away by JuliaGrace
i climb a mountain with no summit
i race without a finish line
test the depths of endless water
live out the sentence that is mine
i'm the waterfall that's burst and now we're drowning
i'm the heart that learnt to beat just as it broke
i'm the voice that's frozen into silence
i'm the song that my spirit never wrote
carry me away, carry me away

i know much more than I am feeling
i win more battles than i lose
i'm taller now than when i suffered
i've gained ability to choose
i'm the child that will not leave the hand that holds me
i'm the heart that learns to beat in time with truth
i'm the complicated picture of humanity
i'm the spirit that is full of you

and if i stay here, will you comfort me
if the tears fall down, will you rescue me

carry me away, carry me away
to a dream that was almost fading
carry me away, carry me away
i know you, you're strong enough to save me

Top Photo & Paintings from my Visual Journal
Other Photos from GoogleImages
30 January 2010

Downhill with a Black Dog Chasing

The black dog has found me again.
I thought he was safely locked away but I left a gate open and he escaped.
I am running, breathless and terrified with him nipping at my heels.
I am screaming but there’s no sound. No one hears, no one sees.
I am trapped inside my head with this ferocious black dog.

Thoughts pile up blocking my way, like cars in a traffic jam, each one shouting for attention…
“Why didn’t you renew your prescription on time?”
“You are a terrible mother person wife!”
“Your family husband children deserve better!”
"Lazy useless hopeless helpless!"

Peace Peace Peace! Quiet Quiet Quiet! Just leave me alone!

Arms and legs weighed down, everything is heavy. Breathing in and out just seems too hard. I am moving through cement, and the black dog is gaining. I long to stop running, retreat under the covers, bury my head, stay there til he's gone. Hide me from those angry thoughts. Hide me from that snapping black dog.

He always sneaks up on me. There is no warning. One moment I can be normal happy fine. Then the black dog comes crashing in, snarling and threatening to overwhelm me.

Leave me alone. Leave me alone.

That’s all I want.
29 January 2010

A Garden Tea Party

Miss Fab (a.k.a. Princess) had her first friend over for a sleepover last night... the lovely Miss O (Gail's gorgeous daughter).

We managed to ship big brother Dash off to a friend so the girls had a lovely time together, even wearing matching nighties (so sweet).

Come morning they were having such a marvellous time, I phoned Gail and begged for Miss O to stick around a little longer... long enough for a Garden Tea Party, at least.
By then Dash was back, so while they built tents and played mums and dads in his bedroom, I set up the front garden with a special little spread.

...a mosquito net hanging in the lilac tree; a picnic rug spread out, with cushions piled up

...a little table spread with white cloth & roses in a glass; juice in a teapot, and special china cups

...pretty cake stand holding watermelon, apricots, marshmallows, mini ham sandwiches and a bowl of strawberries.

When it was all ready I told the kids to get "dressed up nice" for their special tea party... never mind that I was still in my spunky PJ's and Scrag had a pooey bum!

Oh so picturesque, picnicing graciously under my favourite lilac tree.

Oh so genteel and tranquil (in spite of Scrag dipping his grimy fingers in the teapot).

The sun was shining. But storm clouds were gathering. As Dash hosted Miss O in a gentlemanlike fashion, pouring her juice, conversing wittily... Miss Fab got quieter and quieter.

I should have seen it coming. It was the old green-eyed monster raising it's head. Ever since a year ago, when a little girl preferred Dash over his sister, she has been ultra-sensitive about her friends playing with her brother. It sends her into a jealous spin. She comes out with statements like: "I just know what's going to happen! She'll fall in love with him and she won't be my friend any more!" I know. She's five. It's too scary.

So when she finally ran sobbing into the house and buried her head in the couch I quickly figured out what was going on. After much persuasion I wrangled her back outside. By now we had put music on and there was Garden Dancing as well. The sight of Miss O waltzing twirling spinning with Dash only added fuel to the fire.

"Ask your sister to dance!" I whispered urgently to Dash. Bless him, he did. He held out his hand to her, but she ignored him and buried her head - sadly he was not persistent enough and went back to dancing with Miss O (much more fun than begging your sulky sister to dance, aye??)

I was torn between empathy and frustration... we were having such a nice time and Miss Fab was ruining it with her oversensitivity!!

Sitting down on the (freshly painted) garden bench, I pulled her onto my lap, and called Miss O over. I explained to Miss O why her friend was acting that way: she gets a bit sensitive when her friends play with her brother, because she thinks it means they won't want to play with her anymore...

Miss O, bless her, put her arm around my sad little girl and said the magic words: "But Abby, I will always be your friend!"

That did the trick. They hugged, clouds scattered, sun came out and off they went dancing and twirling together on the lawn.

28 January 2010

A Post About Nothing

Here I am in my nice empty peaceful house...

Scrag is asleep, Princess is at the Zoo, Dash is away for a sleepover... fabulous! Some blogging time for me!

Um, I can't think of anything to write.

I am clean out of inspiration; I have no witty anecdotes, no towering aspirations or honest reflections to share.
It's just a hot sticky muggy cloudy thundery day. In my quiet peaceful blissful empty house.
And I have Zip.
No quotable quotes. No humourous one-liners. No arty pics.

Ahhhh, just give it a rest, Simoney, I hear you say.
Go and put your feet up, have long cool drink in the shade and read your book.
My book is finished.
My freezer contains no ice.
And I am addicted to blogging.
When I get a chance to blog, I must blog.
If I have nothing to say, I will ramble incessantly about nowt.
These moments are far too rare to let them just slip by, unblogged.

Surely there must be some mildly amusing event I could dredge up? Some slightly inspiring thought I could share?

I am coming up empty.
So I'll leave it there.
And go find some shade.
And something cool.
And maybe a book worth re-reading.

I'll keep hoping for inspiration to strike... but you can bet when it does I'll be far too busy to blog about it.
26 January 2010

Get Up Offa That Thang...

It's no secret that I am pathalogically lazy. It's true. Anyone who knows me will confirm the fact. But for a whole host of reasons it's really time for me to get up off my Wide Load  and get moving.

I have joined Gail's Walk for Haiti, a 16km Trek along the Auckland Isthmus. It's coming up on March 20th so I need to get fit, baby!
Then there's the constant squawks of "Mum I'm bored!" and "Where are we going today??" that echo through the house every blingin' day of the school holidays.
So today I took action.

"Let's go kids, we're going on an adventure!"

Kids on bikes, me pushing Scrag in his Geezermobile, fast-walking to keep up.
Around the neighbourhood, let's see who's at home??

We tried to visit Meg...

And Sarah...

And Karen...

Everybody's out!


Never mind, off to our favourite Cafe.

We spotted a school mum with her kids all on scooters. They must have had the same idea...

At the cafe we bumped into a coffee group mum who joined us for a drink and a chat (she thought my kids were very polite. We left before the illusion was shattered.)

...we took the long way home, because I like the view (and I really really need the exercise)...

...the kids begged me for a lollipop at the Dairy... and I caved...

We made it home, hot and sweaty. I have blisters between my toes from the Jandals (aka flipflops aka thongs) - a silly choice of footwear.

My training programme has begun... anyone want to join me?
23 January 2010

Random Loving... NOT Loving

LOVING: What Little Girls are Made Of
After the last few horrible weeks of watching my five-year-old acting like a miniature teenager with Attitude up to her eyeballs, it has been a relief to see that our new measures for eliminating "Miss Thang" from our house seem to be working.
The Measures: No lipgloss or play makeup, no High School Musical or other Disney Channel shows (again, we'd reneged), instant time-outs for Attitude, cheekiness or rudeness and definitely NO Pop-Star birthday party when she turns six.

She seems to have gotten the message: Teenage Attitude is OUT. Five year old sweetness is IN.

And here she is playing with her dollies, bathing and feeding them, playing mummies with her best friend instead of them acting like wannabe Divas. *sigh*

Long may it last. I am LOVING having my five year old back.
**BTW the surgical masks are "in case they have germs when they cough"

LOVING: This Guy...

Man he is so darn cute. Look at him. Even when he's up to mischief he's just the Bees Knees.

Covered in toothpaste, he's adorable. Smeared in yoghurt, he's divine.

Wearing his big brother's shoes: What a Card. Thankyou Jesus for my sweet sweet boy. Where would we be without him? He keeps us laughing. I LOVE that.

LOVING: DIY Projects...

Check out Mr G's masterpiece: Stage One of his Playhouse Project is now complete. We have a well-constructed deck in a previously wasted corner of the garden, which we have plonked the plastic cubby house on top of, temporarily. Mr G has grand plans for Stage Two. Future plans may include... a slide? a tower? a telescope? A ladder? A fort? It's a work in progress but Big Ups to The Man for doing such a great job. I am seriously impressed by his efforts and skill...

...So much so that I felt inspired to makeover our old garden bench, left rotting in another forgotten corner of the garden. 

Miss Fab (a.k.a Princess) helped me paint it white and I love the result. Don't you?

NOT LOVING: This Monstrosity of a Blue Tarp...

Isn't it hideous? I blame the birds. They are trying to steal our grape harvest - the subtle green netting was insufficient to keep them out, the sneaky buggers. They have also crapped all over our table and chairs... and the concrete is a mess of bird poo. So I am also not really loving Birds at the moment. Cheeky blighters. Hurry up grapes; ripen quickly so I can get rid of this ugly ugly tarpaulin and reclaim my outdoor area!

LOVING: My First Crop...

These lovelies taste divine. So sweet and full of sunshine. But they were lucky to survive, since I am in no way any kind of gardener (though I am trying). My poor herb garden had shrivelled and almost died after we returned from camping. My coriander had gone to seed. I thought it was All Over. Amazing what a good soaking with the garden hose will do for plants you think are well past it. Where there's life there's hope, as they say. So my garden is blooming again and now these lovely cherry tomatoes are the result. Next year I may have to branch out and try lettuce? carrots? beans?

LOVING: Time Out...

Extreme Measures are in place here in the G House. Two days ago I "read the Riot Act" to our kids: This is how it's going to be from now on, you lot! This bad behaviour will no longer be tolerated and these will be the consequences...

After the "fat letter writing" episode and the Camping Week of Shameful Behaviour, Mr G and I had finally had enough. We realised we had let things slide: Discipline was inconsistent and too often we disagreed on methods (which only added to the confusion). We kept trying all kinds of complicated ways to get the kids to comply... and the result has been... well. You know. Awful.

So we have taken back control (seeing that we are the adults here) and have gone back to basics: simple time-outs, effective immediately.
Any instance of fighting, arguing, meanness, rudeness, disrespect etc will result in the culprits being instantly banished to their rooms. Any squabbles and both parties get sent away, no matter who started it. This seems to have diminished the squabbling already, which makes for a much more peaceful home.

Things are looking up round here.