Thursday, May 19, 2011

Big decisions

There have been a few things that I have had to make a decision about or do lately which have left me feeling sick. You know that feeling where something just isn’t right and it’s not what you should do? Where you get the pit in your stomach or actually feel like you might vomit.

I have had so many thoughts running around my head the past few days and I know I have not been the best to live with as a result. I have been thinking a lot about my life, the direction I want to go in, dreams and ambitions I have, the things I want for my family, the way I want to raise my daughters etc... You know, just every aspect of my life in general.

When I was younger I made some decisions that weren’t what I wanted to do, but rather what I felt was expected of me to do. They weren’t wrong decisions, just different to what I really wanted. Ever since the second some of those decisions were made I have questioned if I did the right thing and have often thought I didn’t, but I can’t change them.

Today, I decided to write it all out. I wrote out how I was feeling, the decisions and circumstances which lead me to the point I am at in my life and what decisions I wish I had made and where I wish my life currently was.

I sat down with blank paper. Pages and pages of it, as I did not care how much I wrote. I was just writing anything and everything that came to me. All the feelings and thoughts that popped into my head. To me, it was all relevant. I wanted to see the real me. I was not seeking out thoughts. I was just sitting in the sunshine writing everything.

And what I discovered as I wrote and as my true feelings came to the surface was very interesting. I won’t say much about it all yet, as I need to discuss it with my husband and actually look into it, but it made sense.

It was quite an emotional thing to do.

I know many people who have just let go of what it was they wanted to do or just given up and I wanted to. Well, a part of me really wanted to let go of everything and just continue on with my life as is. A much larger part of me says I can’t. I can’t let go of it. I need to do it or I will regret it forever.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

How to overcome your fear of spiders

I grew up in Tasmania and spiders were a common thing where we lived. We had lots of trees which huntsmen spiders in particular loved. I do not remember seeing a redback, white tail, funnel web or other highly poisonous spider until we moved to the 'mainland'.

Incase you are wondering what a huntsman looks like its this...

Enormous huntsman spider
Photo by from dracophylla

As a child here is what my dad did to help me get over my fear of spiders.

One day, he was holding a small, non poisonous black spider. He showed me. Asked me if I would like a hold.

I most certainly did not.

He convinced me it was harmless and despite me saying no, put it on me. (I would like to point out, I was not screaming or really terrified and had I been, I am sure he would not have done it, so no like child abuse or anything, don't worry).

So it crawled on my arm, which felt funny, but yeah, was no biggie. We did it a few more times and I was no longer scared.

In fact I developed quite a keen interest in spiders, borrowed books from the library, studied what spiders there were, vowed never to live in Sydney as they have the wonderful funnel web and other such lovely spiders I had no intention of ever seeing. It was 1992 and I was 7.

Fast forward a few years and my sisters and I left our house to walk to school. Our house was on the diagonally opposite block to the school, one house down. So we walked across the road and were pretty much there.

This particular day we crossed the road and a lady screeched to a halt in front of our house and jumped out screaming. We asked what was wrong. She had moved the mirror in her car and a huntsmen dropped out. So I crossed the road and got in her car to pick it up. Yes, with my bare hands. I was either 10 or 11 at the time.

Meanwhile mum had raced out of the house having heard the tyres screech and a hysterical woman she thought one of us had been hit. Instead she sees one daughter on one side of the road and another inside this freaking out womans car. Once mum found out what was going on she did not come any closer. She was terrified of spiders.

I got the spider out, the lady was grateful, mum went inside and I went to school. Yes, my teacher loved me. I took it right into class to show her what I caught on the way to school.

"Look miss" I open my hands. She of course jumps back and tells me to take it outside.

It was not the first nor the last time I picked out a huntsman. They are pretty harmless.

I'm not insane though. I won't pick up bad spiders like redbacks and things. I just kill them.

One time I did catch a funnel web. I was about to go swimming, right after we had moved to Sydney. I am about to jump in the pool and what do I see? A freakin funnel web! WHAT? Damn you Sydney, I never should have moved here.

In case you didn't know, they can still survive in water for hours. Air gets trapped in the hair on their legs or something, so there is no point trying to drown most spiders.

We (my best friend and I) were living way out on a sort of farm on Sydneys far outskirts. I called out to her to get me a bottle or jar or something and a piece of paper or card since she was in the house. Meanwhile I scooped it out of the pool with the leaf scooper thing and dumped it on the ground.

I'll be honest. I was scared. I had no shoes, just my swimmers on and this thingscould probably run at me fast if it wanted. It was about 2 inches long as well. Gross.

Bec comes down towards the pool, "What do you need it for?" When I tell her and point to the spider the bottle promptly gets thrown at me, she screams and jumps back.

The funnel web is in a ready to pounce position but I am still not sure it is even alive. I had shaken the pool thingy when I scooped it out and it did not move. I had poked it with the pool thingy and it had not moved. I decided it's dead.

So I moved in closer, lay the bottle near it and get the paper ready to help slide it into the bottle. Just as I was doing this, it moved.


It was totally dead. I slipped it in the jar and took it inside with a lid on. The whole time it stayed in the attack position. I kept it to show the others we lived with as there were kids there and I wanted them to look out.

It was a good sized female too.

Basically if you want to overcome your fear, learn about which ones can actually hurt you or are aggressive so you will know what to do. Most spiders will leave you alone. Ones like daddy long legs are actually good to keep around, as they keep redbacks away. Just like a red belly black snake is fine to leave around as it keeps away brown snakes who are vicious and aggressive.

In case you are wondering, yes. In the same house as I found the funnel web, a red belly black snake lived under our porch. It was more scared of us and would slither away as we approached. Yes they are poisonous, BUT, since it had come, there was no longer the brown snake issue, which is much, much worse. They will attack you for no reason.

At this point my daughters have no fear of spiders. They do not touch them and I want to teach them so as they grow they will not be afraid of them.

I am ok with snakes and spiders, but cockroaches make me want to scream and vomit at the same time. They make my skin crawl and I cannot stand them. Same goes for rats and mice. Irrational, I know and I am learning to get over it, but I did not have exposure to them when I was young, so they are just DISGUSTING!

Sweet dreams tonight! lol.

Gardening - It wasn't easy (WARNING - spiders)

See this glorious picture of behind my garage? It was taken about 7 months ago. Yes, that is my 3 year old in the picture, in her favourite Tinkerbell dress!

Anyway, you can see vines galore right? Well, by the time I finally attacked them the other day they had grown to be covering virtually all the white of the garage you can see. Yeah, super fun right?

They covered 3/4 of the roof, all over one side, the back and part of the other side plus along the side of the fence and around back towards the palm tree. A LOT of vines.

I had been waiting on my husband to do it, but he has been quite exhausted from work. Also he is terrified of spiders.

I had already cut back our overgrown palm tree

This is after I half cut it back. I've done more since. I'll get an after photo soon. This thing wanted to stab me to death. It contained numerous spiders and I suspect I may have been bitten. I felt a prick on my neck, but I had been stabbed so many times by the palm tree I did not think much of it. After about 5 - 10 minutes I felt really nauseous and tired. I took my daughters inside, put them to bed (it was their nap time anyway) and fell asleep. I barely woke when my husband got home. It was enough to grunt at him and pretty much pass out again.

When I awoke hours later I still felt sick, but better than I had. It was only then it dawned on me it may have been a spider. I'm a bit slow! lol.

There was about 5 of these guys living in it and they aren't really badly poisonous

Back to the vines. I decided to pull them all down. Whilst I was going for it with my bare hands, it dawned on me "Oh, there's probably some spiders in here and I don't really need to get bitten again." (This was about 3 - 4 weeks after said spider bite, so you know, long enough to forget.)

As soon as I thought that, I saw one. He was a grey one and if he stretched out he was as big as my hand. So I went off and got my gardening gloves and continued hacking. I had to use the ladder to climb on top of the garage. I cut, raked and pulled that baby until I got all the wisteria and intertwined vines, spiders nests etc... off hte garage. Next I had the fence.

As it turns out, under all those vines, there was some wire fencing in there between the garage and the fenceline. It was nice and rusty and the vines had weaved themselves through it like no ones business.

So I decided to wiggle them out of the ground and hack the vines off there, then dig them out. As I was doing this I found a spider city. I am talking about the size of a soccer ball. Yeah, awesome.

I was so over this whole thing by now, I thought screw it. I shook the crap out of the vines, scared the spiders out and hauled that hunk of vine and rusty fence out of there.

I am proud to say this time I did NOT get bitten and this is why when gardening you should wear denim, gloves and cover up. (Too bad I forgot the hat and sunscreen and my face is now reminiscent of a tomato)

I piled it all up on the driveway, where I have the dozen or so palm leaves which are 2m+ ea in length.

You know what my husband noticed when he got home? The pile of crap. Not the clear garage, just the vines. And no, he did not put 2 and 2 together and go, wow, those vines must be off the garage since that is the only place on the whole property we have vines.

No. He thought, great, more mess!

Instead he should've thought "Thank you honey for spending 4 hours outside ripping the guts out of our garden so that it looks half decent and now I can paint the kitchen for you on the weekend whilst you visit your family instead of doing the garden. Gee I love you."

THAT is what should have crossed his mind. Not, great more crap on the driveway I have to clean up!

And FYI it is not him that has been cleaning it up. It has been me cutting the palm leaves into thirds so they fit in the green bin to be emptied each week. Me getting stabbed and being a feast for spiders.

Oh and in case you are wondering why I am not so scared of spiders, I'll tell you tomorrow. My dad was awesome. (ok, his method apparently only worked for me, not my other sisters)

Sunday, May 15, 2011

You're not like you used to be

My husband recently pointed out "You used to dress like xyz and wear your hair like xyz and your make up never showed pimples, your skin was perfect..." blah blah blah, it went on for a bit. I just smiled sweetly and thought 'Well, sunshine, YOU used to have 17inch fully cut biceps, a defined chest, no back hair, more hair ON your head, no pot/beer belly (he doesn't drink but he is verging on having a pretty damn good beer gut!), ALWAYS wore aftershave (it's like we got married and this magical thing happened, if it made him smell nice he stopped using it) and the list goes on, but I don't point it out. I said nonw of that.

Okay, sometimes when I am waxing (I have PCOS Poly Cystic Ovarian Syndrome, so have to do my face regularly) I have suggested I could do his back for him. I AM trained too, so it's not like I just want to, I can!

Other than that, I try not to point out what has changed with him, because that is what happens to everyone. We change. We get older, fatter, sometimes thinner, we get stretch marks and when you have children the time is not always there to take care of yourself properly.

So what did I say in response to all this?

"Honey, do you realise that when I did all that, I had no kids and worked, so had my wage to pay for my beauty stuff and it cost $10,000 or more a year. Do you have a spare $10,000 coz I sure as hell will use it if you do!"

This amount shocked him.

Now, I haven't let myself go completely. I am about 10kg heavier than when we got married, but am not in bad shape. I often wear make up , still make and effort with my hair etc... It just not as shiny as it used to be. The shampoo and conditioner I used to use costs $35 a bottle. Yes, $70 for JUST the shampoo and conditioner. Then add in the treatment, various other hair products such as this one

Alfaparf Crystralli liquid

It is my favourite ever product. It adds shine, makes my hair dry faster, smoother and is just the best product I have ever used. Being a hairdresser, I have used a lot of products.

Anyway, I decided I would go get my make-up done by different people to see what they recommend for me.

The first picture was one of these 'make-overs'. I was not trying to look away, I was trying to get decent light so my camera was propped up on a window and I am looking at the view window, because it is sideways.

I didn't like it.

My skin looks bad, I am not into purple eye shadow and its just not me at all.

My skin is bad to begin with, I am working on it. I need to drink more water and cleanse more often. I have gotten really lazy with the whole skin care thing.

As such I am going to give myself a complete make over. It is going to include everything:

It's not going to be cheap, so it is going to be a gradual thing, but I am experimenting. One thing I have noticed though...

Since I have been making more of an effort, he started wearing aftershave again!

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Privacy issues - but I am back

Recently I had some privacy issues and concerns, which left us feeling very vulnerable and a bit concerned. I closed my facebook and a few other things as it was quite worrying.

Over the last week my mindset has changed toward this whole experience.

Yes, it was scary. Yes, I am worried something like that could happen again.


I do not want to let others actions determine what I do or don't do.

I have missed blogging on here so badly. I have my other blog, but this is my more personal one where I do cooking, crafts, renovations, just anything. And I had no way to express that recently thanks to closing it down.

So now I am back. (Although after blogger issues, I may move to wordpress soon! lol)

Thank you to those who contacted me about my blog. You made me feel very loved. :)

Stay tuned, I have a few new things to post.