Tuesday, June 28, 2011

A painting for my best friend... and lover...

It was M's birthday at the end of last month. Among other things, I started a painting for him. Do you think I got it finished in time for his birthday... No, not likely - other things got in the way...

After my post I paint its been annoying more then ever that I hadn't finished it. So I gave myself a good talking to saying MAKE THE TIME VICKY....

Moon Goddess acrylic and pen on canvas

There is a quote along the side... my favourite 'What lies behind us and what lies before us are but tiny matters compared to what lies within us' Ralph Waldo Emerson. (I love it so much I have it tattooed on my side...)

I'm very happy with it. And I am pretty sure he will be too.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

I paint...

.. on paper, canvases, anything that can be painted. It feeds my soul. And I don't do it enough. I don't consider myself an artist (though others call me that, and I blush). I don't sell my paintings, I give them away... usually after they have adorned my own walls for a while or as birthday presents.

 dragon fly on stained glass watercolour pencils on paper

Blue leaves watercolour pencils on arches paper

And then there are others that I will never give away.

self portrait charcoal on paper

Irises oil pastels on paper

And I don't just give them to anyone. They are given to people I love, and care for.

Colour your world acrylic on canvas

Peacocks and reeds acrylic and mixed media on canvas

Unfortunately, some of my paintings have be given to people that are no longer in my life... and they have either been destroyed, or who knows what. That hurts me ... deeply. To me its the ultimate in rejection. Destroying, or whatever, something that I poured a little bit of myself into hurts profoundly. It feels like they didn't "get it". To them it was just paint on a canvas, but for me, there is a little bit of myself in there, a little bit of myself that is gone forever.

I wonder where they are now....

There is no rhyme or reason to my paintings. No magical "thing" ... other then a feeling I get inside and need to express in some way. I paint a lot in my head. Much the same as I write a lot in my head. I love to learn new techniques and ways to play with paint and mediums. Its like discovering a secret.

watercolour and pen on paper

Tapestry of Hope acrylic and impasto on canvas

watercolour and pen on paper

My best paintings are the ones I have done with complete abandonment. Have been seized with a fervour that doesn't stop until I have finished it...

When I think about it too much - I stall, and it sits on my easel waiting for inspiration to ignite me once again. Usually I am thinking about it too much because I have so much noise in my head, and instead of it being something to soothe my soul, it becomes a task, and painful. And I stop because it no longer joyful and soul feeding, but just another job that I have to do.

Sometimes Life children, bills, ex husbands, cleaning, cooking, 'flu, etc. etc. just gets in the way.

Think its time I told Life to wait for a while....

Friday, June 24, 2011

grateful for being alive...

Thank you Maxabella... nothing like a gentle reminder to sit back and reflect...


today my Aunt had open heart triple by-pass surgery. She had a heart attack on Monday. She is going to be ok. That is amazing... that we have the both the knowledge and technology to be able to something of that magnitude, that quickly....

after speaking to my mum and hearing that my Aunt was going to ok, I hadn't realised that I had been holding my breath until I let it out.

ever since hearing those words "she is ok" I have been sitting feeling waves of gratitude wash over me... that she has come through a major operation ok... that all those little things that have been pissing me off this week, are just that - little things! And I have far more to be grateful for, then to be pissed off about...

grateful for the universal shove in changing perspective...  see that glass - its half FULL woman!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

I remember... feelings...

This post is a writing exercise for Write on Wednesdays. Click on the button and join the fun:
Write On Wednesdays

I remember ... the feel of salty wind on  my face as I listen to the waves breaking on the sand, and feeling peace wash over me.

I remember ... feeling so awestruck at this tiny little being placed in my arms - this precious gift that was my daughter, and wondering how on earth did I get so lucky.

I remember ... feeling incredibly small as I stood on the edge of the Grand Canyon and drank in its magnifecence.

I remember ... closing my eyes while visiting an ancient Indian cliff dwelling and 'feeling' the energy of families long gone as they climbed up and down precarious ladders going about their day to day business.

I remember ... the disbelief I felt that 12 complete strangers believed me, and consequently delivered a guilty verdict.

I remember ... how wonderful it feels to laugh and laugh and laugh until you can't breathe, and the feeling of euphoria that washes over you. Oh how I love those good endorphins.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Hold on tight... we may hit some turbulence...

I can feel my anxiety raising and my throat closing as I get closer and closer to Sunday.

This Sunday marks a change in how Aston sees his dad. From two hour supervised fortnightly visits at an independent centre to supervised by Aston's aunt and uncle at R's house from 10 until 4.

If I said I was fine with it all, I'd be lying. I'm not fine with it. At all.  tentacles of anxiety are tickling in my limbic brain system. The desire to fight or flight is raising in intensity. The little girl who lives within is even throwing a few tantrums ... "I DON'T WANT TO!!!"

I hear words come out my mouth "Aston has the right to have a relationship with his father, and the right to work out who his father by himself. its my job to provide him safe opportunities to do that" and wonder if they sound as empty as I feel them to be...

Just gonna have to dig a little deeper, get out my resources, and remind myself this isn't about me, its about Aston.

Sunday, June 19, 2011

living on a shoestring...

When your a single mumma, with three kids - a teen queen, a "gangsta" teen, and a pre-schooler, two dogs, and a cat, feeding us all is an interesting challenge on a limited income and ever increasing food costs.

To some I'm known as frugal Vicky ... a title I like, to be honest.

so what does one do on a tight week?

Pen and paper .. and start opening cupboards, fridge and freezer and take stock....

And then plan the weeks menu, based on whats on that list.

as your writing down that menu, you are also writing your weeks shopping list.

This week I have managed to feed the five of us for $43 in all. Pretty clever eh?

Here's my six days of dinners all of us were out doing our own thing on Saturday night...

Roast Beef done in seeded mustard, garlic, ginger, olive oil and soy sauce, Roast potatoes, sweet Potato, and steamed broccoli and carrots, with butter and sesame seeds, Yorkshire puddings and gravy

chicken kebabs marinated in yogurt and mint, with cheese stuffed potato skins, stir fried vegetables

tuna fishcakes with lemongrass, ginger, garlic, coriander, salad and homemade chips

beef casserole, tomato, basil, onion, garlic, potato, sweet potato, corn, hp sauce, and rice

Pasta Bake (Pasta, Vicky style Bolognaise sauce, bechamal sauce) garlic bread

Moroccan pumpkin and chick pea soup, toasted cheesy french bread stick

Throw in baked goods - such as cupcakes, biscuits and pikelets for snacks, and there is the week done.

Thank god for Simple Savings. Made a huge difference to me!

How are you frugal?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Gratitude... a state of grace

"At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think with deep gratitude of those who have lighted the flame within us." Albert Schweitzer

As I lay in bed this morning thinking about how its far too cold to get out of bed, I looked out the window at the magnificent view that I have been blessed to see each and every morning.

How can one not look at this and not feel a sense of sublime gratitude? Yes, it is cold and windy, but I'm so incredibly lucky to be living in a beautiful part of the Sunshine Coast, have a home that has a view like this to look at and have peace wash over me continuously.

Yesterday afternoon, I was feeling rather lousy - its a full moon. Lauralei said to me as I moaned and groaned, "Mum, your focusing on the bad stuff. Focus on the good stuff and you'll feel better." (love it when my own words are thrown back at me....) 

So I shifted focus, and in doing so fell across things that were expressing gratitude like a new blog Maxabella loves. And my own internal spark was rekindled.

Not only am I grateful for the amazing view that I have, and the incredibly insightful daughter that I have been blessed with, this week I'm awash with gratitude for the feeling of peace that sits within me. When anxiety starts to make my heart race, my throat close, and I can feel myself leaving my body, I can bring myself back by shifting focus from what may be causing the anxiety to the abundance of beautiful people - things - experiences that fill my life... my heartbeat slows, my throat starts to re-open, and I land fully back in my body. To be able to do that, I'm incredibly grateful...

For me gratitude is a state of grace.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Drab to Fab...

interesting concept that one... Drab to Fab...

And I like it.

It has me thinking - what do I do to make myself feel better?

Last week I was sick with the flu, and quite happily wanted to curl up in a little ball and disappear. Doing anything to make myself feel better required far too much energy and effort on my part, when all I wanted to do was sleep, and for the yuk sick feeling to go away...

So come Friday, when there was no food in the house, and the house looked like several bombs had gone off in it, I couldn't stand it any longer. I had a long shower, washed my hair, got dressed, and put make up on and made a plan to do what I could, and rest in between jobs.

My little boy was an Angel when we did the grocery shopping, and cleaning up the house. While I was feeling pretty shattered physically by the end of the day, my head space felt better then it had for the whole week, because I had achieved what I had set out to do...

It was small... but I went from feeling very ordinary - and Drab ... to feeling accomplished and a little bit Fab.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

friend and lover...

Several people recently, that I hadn't seen in a while commented about how happy and well I look. Well, it got me thinking. I am happy...content. And feeling the best I have in a long time. Even as M and I navigated our way through the bumps of our new relationship I didn't feel like I was going to drown.

I recently had the first panic attack I have had since January... At M's house...we had had an argument...one that really had to happen, giving us both the chance to say..or yell how we were feeling... He went for a walk to cool off... And I  ... Self combusted.

I started to panic... I was in the middle of suburbia, surrounded by houses and I couldn't leave. I'd had a few drinks so couldn't drive and all I wanted to do was leave. I rang M and he could hear from my voice that I wasn't OK, and said he would be five minutes. I tried to do the things that I know help me come out of panic but I was too far into it for them to work, which only added to the anxiety. I rang him again and he said he was at the corner of the street. When he came in he looked at me and I gulped I can't breathe... And he did the most amazing thing. He put aside his anger, and came and held me, telling me to breathe, and held me until calmed down. He didn't yell, he didn't loose patience, he just held me. And I fell absolutely and completely in love with him.... Any last guard I had held up fell away....

Since that night things have been wonderful. I love him so completely. He is my friend and lover...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Nathan - 28 August 1998

I wrote this on the 28th August 2009. I wanted it here, on my blog with all my other "warblings".

11 years ago today, I gave birth to my son Nathan.

I had gone for a check up on the Wednesday, and mentioned that I had a pain. Nathan was fully engaged, and the midwife was of the opinion that it was scar pain from my csection scar with Laura. I was booked into have a c-section on the 9/9/98. On the the Thursday the pain was still there, stronger and more OUCH. plus I felt crampy. But I had very strong Branxton hicks through out my pregnancy so was pretty sure that was what it was.

I was chatting on line to my best friend on the Thursday night. Nathan's father was at work (shift worker) so it was just me and Laura who was 2year 8mths. I spent alot of time talking about when the baby come what would happen. That Grandma would be here to look after her for the day, and that daddy and I would go to the hospital and the baby would come, and she would come and meet the new baby.

The pain I was having was getting more intense and I mentioned it to Sam. As well as the OUCH pain in one particular area on my stomache, i had back pain. I tried to sleep, and tried to ignore it.... basically was in denial as this was NOT how it was supposed to be happening! This baby was scheduled to arrive on the 9/9/98 in a very civilized manner thank you very much - and besides the baby's room wasn't quite finished yet - there was no doors on the wardrobe, they had to be painted, and I hadn't wrapped Laura's present, and...and... and....

after not being able to sleep and the pain getting more and more intense, and me getting more and more freaked out, I called my mother at 4.30am to say I think there is something wrong. She asked my what I was feeling, and replied "its like the worse period pain I have ever had." I had not experience labour with Laura so I no point of reference, and I was scared to shitless. Mum replied, I think your in labour, I will right round. She was living round the corner at the time.
I then rang Nathan's father - it was 5am by this stage. he worked an hours travel away, and when I told him that I thought I was in labour, he replied "I only have an hour left of my shift so I will be home when I have finished" so that meant he wouldnt be home until 7am..... mmmmm. no wonder we aren't together anymore.

I also rang the hospital and they told me to come in asap. yeah right, that was possible. 2 year old sleeping, who suddenly woke up at 5am to see mummy walking around gasping in pain. granma there, me trying to pack my toiletry bag and explain to her that mummy was going to go to the hospital and that the baby might come today, but might not! This is not how it was supposed to be happening!!!!

Nathan's father got home, and we left for the half hour drive to the hospital. I spent the journey holding my breath, and apologising for having to go to the hospital after he had been at work all night. we went up to the birth suite, and they examined me eventually. i was in labour, and had dilated 1cm! this is not supposed to be happening!! they gave me a shot of pethadine to see if it would slow things done, but all it did was put nathan's father to sleep, and I just wanted to get up and walk around and try and get comfortable, but wasn't allowed to. the pain in my side was getting really bad.

4hours later they came and examined me again and i had dialated another 2 cm... the head of OB came and saw me because of the pain that I kept talking about. He was concerned that the placenta may have started to come away, and in 20% of women that can happen and there be no external bleeding, so they were going to do an emergency c-section. it was 12pm at this stage. thingshappened quickly then. I was shaved, and prepped. and had a spinal block put it, while trying to stay still during contractions! that's fun - NOT!!!

Nathan was born approximately half hour after the head OB guy said this is what is happening. He was so skinny - but still weighed in at 7pd 1 oz. I went to recovery, and Nathan's father went with him. While I was in recovery, his father came in and told me that Nathan had gone into respiratory distress, and was now in a humidcrib on oxygen to help him breath. I hadn't even held my son yet.

Nathan was in special care, I was legless and unable to get to him, and the midwife lookng after me when I asked if I could wheeled in to see him, said we are too busy. no. .....

One of the midwifes in special care took a poloroid of Nat, and that is what I hung on to for 10-12 hours until I got to hold him for the first time. Laura came into see him, which I didnt see happened. She said to me He is in a little box mummy. I still hadn't seen him again, or hold him.... didnt even see Laura meet her baby brother for the first time....

Nathan's Blood sugar level's dropped and a midwife from special care came and said that they need to feed him via a nasal gastro tube, and were going to give him some formula. I said NO. I am breast feeding. can't I express? I knew that at this stage it was colostrum but I had already felt like I had not been a part of my child's arrival in so many ways, and that they were going to refuse this as well. The midwife said to me that chineses woman dont even give their babies the colostrum. and said well I dont' care. I am expressing some and you can mix it with the formula if you need to. I still hadn't seen or held my son....

at around 11pm that night, the special care midwife brought him into me. his oxygen stats had leveled out and he was able to come out of the humidcrib. he had a nasal gastro tube attached to him. and I gave him his first breast feed...

I still hurt inside about so many things about the arrival of my beautiful boy... but 11 years on I look at this amazing child, who is on the verge of adolescence, and wonder in amazement how did I get so lucky to have him as my child. He drives me to distraction on occasion ... Nathan put the rubbish out... nathan put the rubbish out... NATHAN PUT THE RUBBISH OUT. but all the little things that drive me mad pale into insignificence when I see him reach out and take his little brothers had, or have tears of love falling down his face when he held aston as a baby, or ask me about girls and their periods, and how it feels so that he could understand - because in his words "I need to know these things mum so I can take care of my girlfriends" ....

Nathan is on school camp, and is home this afternoon. It makes my heart hurt that I can't get in contact with him just to say happy birthday and I love you. Of course he thinks that I'm a silly billy, and that "MUM your going to see me in the afternoon!!"

Where has the last eleven years gone?

Hold on tight to every little minute - even the bad sleepless sleep deprived moments, the terrible twos, the times when you feel like your going to pull your hair out from frustration. Rejoice in the joyful moments whenyour heart is feeling heavy and tired from the hardwork that being a mummy is at times. and remember that the gift of your child is just that - a gift. to be cherished, and loved. and that they grow up, spread their wings and start to fly before you know it......

.    28 August 2009


I wrote this on the 2nd January 2010... A letter for my daughter...

This time 14 years ago I lay restlessly waiting for tomorrow. Trying to sleep, but so excited with the anticipation of finally meeting this small child that lay within my womb. Who would they be? What would they look like? Was it a boy.. or a girl?

All through my pregnancy - up until 3 weeks before your birth - I was convinced you were a boy. I wanted you to be a boy. If you were a boy, then all the fears that I held deep inside me would never come to fruition... I could relax. Then just before you were born I had an incredibly vivid dream of a little girl about 9 months old sitting in the bath, with sandy coloured curls, with a gold bracelet on her wrist. And I knew at that moment that you were a girl. And I was afraid.

The moment your were placed in my arms, swaddled tightly to keep you warm, and feeling safe, my fear disappeared. You looked at me, and blinked with recognition. Your small face in an expression of rememberence... "oh yes, now I remember, I'm back." An old soul was my first thought, you had been here before.

I looked at you in wonder... amazement... that something so precious - so beautiful - so pure had come into my life, and I wept. Tears of the overwhelming feeling of what unconditional love means. It washed over me, pouring into my battered and bruised heart, planting seeds of hope where none had laid.
And now - 14 years on - I still look at you in wonder and amazement... at the person you have become, the passionate, stubborn, confident, campassionate, dramatic, intense, incredible young woman... and feel so blessed that you chose me as your mother.

Thank you for all the things you have taught me, and will continue to teach me. Thank you for helping me to truly learn what unconditional love is. Thank you for helping me to feel the fear, and do it anyway.Thank you for igniting within me the courage to speak the truth, and make a difference.

Thank you for being my daughter.

 3 January 2010

Nathan's birth
Aston's birth

Monday, June 6, 2011

bittersweet moments

My little girl (who really isn't little anymore...15 doesn't count as being little anymore does it?) has a boyfriend. A real one... not a "I like you" kind-a-boyfriend... but a falling-in-love-kind-a-boyfriend. and its a bittersweet moment for me...

it only seems like yesterday truly that this small beautiful precious child was placed in my arms and I fell completely and utterly in love with her... and learnt one of the greatest lessons I have learnt.. what unconditional love really is...

and now .... here she is standing right in front of me, experiencing all the good (and undoubtedly it will come - the bad) things about falling in love.. I oscillate from wanting to cry (and have done that...) to being excited for her as I listen to her speak about how she is feeling. I am incredibly blessed that she wants to talk to me - even though at times inside I'm dying a 1000 deaths and not wanting to know...

I'm so grateful that for her this is an exciting amazing time.... not one fraught with confusion and anxiety as it was for me. Somewhere along the line I seemed to have got something right.

Sunday, June 5, 2011

The Promise

M played this for me last night... it is truly beautiful and made my heart ache....

Tracy Chapman - The Promise

If you wait for me then I'll come for you
Although I've traveled far
I always hold a place for you in my heart
If you think of me If you miss me once in awhile
Then I'll return to you
I'll return and fill that space in your heart
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I'll find my way back to you
If you'll be waiting
If you dream of me like I dream of you
In a place that's warm and dark
In a place where I can feel the beating of your heart
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I'll find my way back to you
If you'll be waiting
I've longed for you and I have desired
To see your face your smile
To be with you wherever you are
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I'll find my way back to you
If you'll be waiting
I've longed for you and I have desired
To see your face, your smile
To be with you wherever you are
Your touch
Your kiss
Your warm embrace
I'll find my way back to you
Please say you'll be waiting
Together again
It would feel so good to be
In your arms
Where all my journeys end
If you can make a promise If it's one that you can keep, I vow to come for you
If you wait for me and say you'll hold
A place for me in your heart.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

every little bit counts...

Its funny how the universe works. I read a brilliant article about 100 gratitudes that lead me to 365 Grateful. Both the article and the blog have been rattling around in the recesses of my brain, highlighting all the things that I have to be grateful for. I am going to do the 100 gratitudes, and thought I would start with this one...because in all honesty but for the grace of god go I...

After reading last week about the ever increasing number of homeless I'm not only grateful for the roof over my head but the opportunity to find some small way to make a difference...

So I could only afford $10 right now, but I'm glad that I didn't let that stop me from making a donation... because every little bit counts.


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