30 May 2009
And so it is with my life. My family always shine brightly and therefore are a source of fabulous blog fodder, bless them.
Especially one in particular.
He never disappoints. And he likes to be the topic of conversation, so all is good.
While he was in hospital he was trying to play matchmaker. Ever since I parted ways with my ex I have not been overly enthusiastic about getting into a serious relationship. Given my Dad has been married for over 50 years he just doesn't understand this concept at all.
So, even though he was stretched out in bed, drugged to the eyeballs and in pain, he was determined to not only make the stay worth his while, but mine as well.
When I visited him one day he greeted me with, “Remember that doctor who was here last night? He asked me today if were you my daughter. He said you are beautiful and have a great personality”. “Gee thanks Dad, that's nice. However, did you notice that the doctor is around 25 and I’m not exactly the teenager you seem to think I am?” “Oh is he?” he said.
He makes me laugh. I could hear his mind ticking over, sheesh, back to the drawing board.....
The man, is dangerous when idle and drugged. It’s a lethal combination at any age but even moreso when you are almost blind and terribly well intentioned to boot.
Then, when I was collecting him from the hospital to bring him home, another patient, Bill, a Scotsman whom I'd had a few lively discussions with about Scottish football, (he's a Rangers fanatic, Mike Smith) was also leaving. He passed me a piece of paper. It was his email address. He said, “I think I might have to come back into hospital again soon, so email me your address and I will let you know when, so you can come and visit me.” “ Right Bill,” I said, as I ran out of the ward.
As I was wheeling Dad out of the hospital, I said, “Have you been talking to Bill about me?” ”Oh no,” he says, “although he did keep telling me how wonderful and funny he thought you were”. “Dad,” I said, “you do know Bill is 84, don’t you? Older than you.” ”Oh no, is he?” he mumbled, “I couldn’t see him clearly from the other side of the room. He sounded young enough.”
Thank God, he is back home again. The only blokes he will lay eyes on for a while are the parish priest and the postman. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t put it past him....or them...for that matter...
However, I have discovered that the older men are, the bolder they are, and age seems to be somewhat irrelevant to them (Christopher Williams wrote about this on his blog).
And, if I do get desperate one day, which I am not...yet..., I will just visit the retirement village. Given the green light though, Des will be all over it in no time and get it sorted. However, I think I will take my chances somehow, he he.
By the way, Des is available to line you up with someone if you are looking. It would help though if you have absolutely no expectations whatsoever! Is that OK?
Have a fabulous weekend everyone!!!
UPDATE: Ugich from the Gappa blog wrote in her comments that a certain Australian cricketer was now single and suitable partner material. She sent me this image she has created. Very clever Ugich!!! I like the fact Brett is on his knees grovelling BUT.. he is way too young, and there is a pic of George Bush in the frame so it is cursed. I am, however, truly loving my orange and hot pink sari - my two favourite colours and it hides a multitude of sins!!! Now I have both Des and Ugich coming at me from either ends of the world!!!! Oh and Barbara has just joined the frey!
28 May 2009
I was doing my facercises this morning and the phone rang (I so know you will click the link - if you are under 40, you won’t get it, so truly, don’t bother) .
I cannot reveal who the conversation was with, for fear I may be sued. It went like this,
Anonymous: I am going to make this great chicken soup recipe.
Me: That’s nice. Have you made it before?
Anonymous: No, and I need your advice. It says I need chicken legs and I have been searching for them everywhere and can't find them. Do you think it would be ok if I used chicken drumsticks instead?
Me: You mean I never ever told you that drumsticks were......
Clearly, I was remiss somewhere in her formative years.
It’s entirely my fault you understand. I've always had an aversion to purchasing and cooking dead animals. Not for the usual ethical, religious, economic or health reasons though. But then, you could have guessed as much, right?
Vegetarians please turn away now. There is nothing else to see here.
I do eat meat. I really like it but do not eat much. I do enjoy a juicy steak every now and then but only if someone else cooks it. I will not handle raw meat ever, under any circumstances. It worked really well when living with a Chef who had restaurants. At least, it did once we came to an understanding about what the term 'cooked' actually meant.
My aversion to raw meat and meat handlers in particular, grew from my first experience buying meat at a boutique butchers.
This is what happened. I was 17.
Butcher: What can I do for you love?
Me: Um, I’d like a leg of lamb please? (Aussies, I was into lamb before Naomi Watts chose a lamb dinner over a date with Tom Cruise). Butcher: Do you want the left leg or the right leg.
Me: Um, Um I am not really sure. What's the difference?
Butcher: Well this sheep came from the high country so it grew up on a steep hill. So that means the right leg is far longer than the left.
Me: Oh, I guess I’ll have the right leg then...I suppose.
Butcher: No worries.....as he goes out the back and nearly chokes on his laughter.
I had no idea he was 'pulling my leg'.
While it's funny, I've never gone near a butcher or bought meat since. Seriously.My question to you is this (no, Sarah it's not do you think I need therapy?) - how do you feel about meat. Do you eat it or not?
I try my best to keep your lives as superficial as mine for at least a couple of minutes a few times a week, just humour me.
1. Thanks to those who have asked about Des. He is out of hospital, doing ok and being waited on by slaves as a man in his position should expect.
2. Readers of Lilly’s life, yes the real readers and the lurkers who read and dont comment, go put in an entry to the Etsy giveaway on the right. It's a good one. I want it to go to a real reader but you have to be in it to win it. Because random.org decides, not me unfortunately. So far, giveaways have gone to the UK, Canada, USA, India, Estonia, Romania, Australia, Sweden – Lilly’s Life is an equal opportunities giveaway blog. No dogs allowed, though. We all have our limits.
25 May 2009
One week ago Steve was sitting at his desk in the Australia Post International Mail Centre sorting through some of the 150 million parcels that come into the country each year. He was looking for something questionable. That's his job, after all.
In his 20 years of working in the Centre, his most exciting 'finds' have been parcels containing plants, soil, wood, seeds, nuts and animal products. These are all prohibited goods because they risk introducing some of the world’s most serious pests and diseases into the country.
As important as he knew these finds were to the country, Steve was always hoping... for something more.
Steve loves his job. He carefully x-rays every package that comes his way and he uses Sebastian, a Labrador cross detector dog, to identify anything 'suspect' and to find items that contain a certain 'odour'.
Last Tuesday, as Steve was sorting the mail, he noticed that Sebastian kept circling one package in particular. Around and around he went, in a mad and frenzied dance.
Steve quickly jumped from his seat, gave Sebastian a treat and picked up the package.
He examined it carefully. It was posted from South America.
He turned it over. And over again.
From Betty. In. Paraguay. To Lilly. In. Canberra.
“I-n-t-e-r-e-s-t-i-n-g”, he muttered under his breath.
Something told Steve that this was going to be B-I-G. He could feel it. Even the hairs on his arms stood up in anticipation for what was to come.
Maybe, just maybe, this would be the big break he had been waiting for.
His mind started to wander. There were flashing images of guns, drugs, pink wigs and a shady underworld.
“Paraguay”, he murmured, “let me think. I know that’s the place that has long attracted Utopians dreaming of paradise but isn’t it also a major transit country for Andrean-soured cocaine?”
“Betty”, he said, shaking his head, “is more than likely just a cover for some Mr Big, with Colombian connections, who operates out of Ciudad del Este."
“And Lilly", he sneered, “is probably some machete wielding drug lord in the Nation’s Capital hiding behind some politician’s brazen bravado.”
He sat down at his desk, toying with the package for a while before slowly opening it.
Inside was a note. A Thank You note. From one 'blogger' to another.
“Blogger?” he said out loud, “Is this some kind of new fringe English for trafficker?"
He grew excited. Perhaps he had stumbled on a massive network of international ‘bloggers’ who were sending ‘suspicious’ packages from one country to another.
"These so called 'bloggers' are probably making the world a more dangerous place one package at a time. Well they're about to be busted!", he shouted to an ambivalent Sebastian.
He slowly pulled out a wrapped object from the padded package. And carefully unwrapped it as if it was an 1000 year old egg.
It was a beautiful wooden key holder.
That’s really top quality, he thought to himself.
But what was it hiding? And what did the name mean?
The note said the holder was 'made from Palo Santo which is only found in the Chaco'.Was that a special code for something more sinister, Steve wondered.
He lifted the holder closer. And breathed in deeply. It had a powerful, mystical aroma. One he had never come across before.
However, without another thought,
HE SNAPPED IT IN TWO. So certain was he of what he would find.
Except.........................................there was NOTHING. NOTHING!!!!!
No white powder, no termites, no bark, no insects, no larvae. Nothing.
A tinge of disappointment soured Steve's expression. He quickly repackaged the broken holder and note. He hurriedly inserted a leaflet into the packet to explain that the item, given it was wood, had been opened and inspected by the Australian Quarantine and Inspection Service.
He put the parcel in the collections tray and went back to processing the 10,234 other parcels he and Sebastian had to get through before they could call it a day.
However, he couldn't stop thinking...... about Betty and Lilly ......and wondering who the hell they really are .......and what the hell this 'blogging' caper is all about ....
Betty, A BIG THANK YOU FROM ONE BLOGGER TO ANOTHER. The parcel had an exciting journey it seems! I have never had AQIS examine anything ever before but they did it because it was made of wood apparently. This has to be the story behind it, surely. Bloody Steve! The bloggers werent busted but the key holder was! And a teensy tiny bit of glue was all it took to get it back into one piece. Yes, Australia has the tightest border controls in the world. I love the Palo Santa wood and love its aromatic incense and I read that it purifies and gets rid of evil spirits, misfortune and calamity. Let's see how powerful it is.
Note: Steve and Sebastion are fictional characters. Any resemblance to any persons or dogs working for AQIS is merely coincidental and is the result of the overactive imagination of a certain ‘blogger’. As for Betty and Lilly, well that is a whole other story...to be continued.
23 May 2009
22 May 2009
For the first time ever, Lilly's Life has a 'guest blogger' (no, Des you aren't a guest, you're family).In the last few weeks I've been avidly reading Joanna Jenkins' blog, Welcome to the Fifty Factor. It's fantastic and as Joanna, who lives in Los Angeles, has only recently started blogging, I would like to introduce her blog to you all. Please make her feel welcome and pay her a visit. I'm sure you will be following her in no time. This post is Chapter 3 of her ongoing series on Dating.
The Way To A Man’s Heart
It started innocently enough. My 50-something gal pal just wanted her house to smell nice when her 60-something blind date picked her up Sunday night. So she baked cookies 30 minutes before he arrived with the cover story that they were for a co-worker's birthday the next morning. You know how great chocolate chip cookies smell, don't you? So did her date. If the evening went well, maybe she'd invite him in for cookies and milk at the end of the night.
The date was great and the guy ate cookies!
Two weeks later, on their second Sunday night date, she literally saw him inhale when she opened the front door. A look of disappointment momentarily registered on his face when there were no baking cookies to greet him. She made a note of it.
Fast forward several terrific dates later. This guy always called a day or two before the requested Sunday night date. He never called in between and the dates are always on Sunday. What happened to the other six nights a week? She was feeling taken for granted-- like a "back-up" date, and couldn't understand what was going on. She really liked him and she thought he liked her too, so she decided to change course.
The next time the guy called for a Sunday date, my friend invited him to her house to watch the football game with dinner afterwards. She's an amazing cook and her not-quite-yet-boyfriend didn't realize the culinary delights in store. I'm pretty sure he was expecting take-out pizza.
To his delight, he arrived to delicious smells coming from the kitchen that continued to simmer, all day, throughout the game. When his team was victorious, they shared dinner on the sofa with his feet up, looking very comfortable. She sent him home with a doggie bag of left-overs to last the week. He was a happy guy and actually called her the next day to say thank you. After a 45 minutes of conversation-- a first for him, he asked her for another Sunday date! Again she suggested football and dinner at her place.
The following Sunday, same thing. Dinner simmering throughout the game with her date's anticipation of more mouth-watering food afterwards. This time though, she surprised him at half-time. They made out on the sofa like a couple of teenagers until the second half started. The guy was in heaven. Football, great food, a hot babe AND a doggie bag-- The perfect Sunday! A guy could get used to this.
Not so fast...
Mr. "Almost Boyfriend" was still only dating her on Sundays. So the following week-- She didn't answer her phone on Thursday. Or Friday. Or Saturday. Or even Sunday. No simmering smells coming from the kitchen. No "action" at half -time. No left-overs for the week. Nothing! She was completely unavailable to "Mr. Almost" and even went so far as to take her own voice off her answering machine. He was not going to hear a peep from her all week.
Monday night guess what? Her phone rang. It was him. She offered no explanation for missing in action. Nor did she offer her cooking skills or television for the next Sunday game. Instead, wonders never cease, he asked her out on a "proper" Saturday night date, at a fancy, romantic restaurant. He brought flowers when he picked her up and was the perfect gentleman.
This was a huge turning point in their relationship. Turns out, he was new to the dating game after having been married for many years, and had a bit of a confidence issue. He was afraid if he asked her out on a Friday or Saturday night, he'd get shot down. Guys can be such idiots sometimes. My friend wasn't dating anyone else and she never figured out where he got that idea.
They've been happily together for nearly three years now and are talking about marriage. We've all laughed over this story together several times, and each time, they coo at each other like a couple of school kids.
Why did they play the silly games that often go with dating? There are a lot of reasons and none of them particularly good-- other than dating is hard at any age and insecurities seem to bloom with new love. Thank gawd they are well past that part.
Whoever said "the way to a man's heart is through his stomach", was right. But to remind him of that piece of information, sometimes a girl has to take matters into her own hands.
Reminder: Don't forget to enter into the Giveaways on the right. Etsy shops need our support. Previous winners have been Ugich from Gappa, Lady Fi from On a quirky quest with Lady Fi and Dee from My Aussie Antics. It could be you next.
19 May 2009
Interview Rule No 1: Don't mention .....
I know you were nervous and that you had three strangers intently hanging on your every word on the other side of the board room table,
at what point in the proceedings did you think you were going to do yourself any favours by telling us that a smidgen of Viagra (no less) in the water of your cut flowers (roses in particular, I believe) makes them last for a good two weeks longer than they would have otherwise, because it "keeps the stems sort of stiff",
in case you had lost your mind for a brief moment, this was a formal job interview and no, it was not with a Florist, an Advertising Agency or the local pub,
while I accept that in these competitive times you have to differentiate yourself and make yourself memorable,
was neither the time or place to share this little gem nor dig yourself into an even deeper hole by following this up with such a questionable joke.
Note: I really wanted to say this to the person who I (amongst others) interviewed for a job recently. He kept going off on the most inappropriate tangents. Perhaps it was nerves....
Nonetheless, I thought I would share his flower tip with you even though I found it hard to keep a straight face at the time he was telling us. Who knew? Apparently Viagra does wonders for your garden and your cut flowers (seriously, I looked it up just to see if he was serious or not). And unfortunately, while the joke he told was incredibly funny, I didn't think it would be very PC of me to be taking notes at the time of its telling, so I cannot recall the punchline.
Perhaps, it's a reminder for those seeking a job that you need to stand out for the right reasons as opposed the wrong reasons. Otherwise, you may face some stiff consequences. In this case, REJECTION.
Have you ever had a job interview where things have completely gone off the rails? Either through your doing or that of the person(s) interviewing you.
17 May 2009
The Giveaway includes products from some wonderful Etsy artists:
1. A set of gorgeous Oh so Tweet cards from Sarah Emily Design .
These are the cutest ever. I have a set myself. The 6 cards are made on heavy linen cardstock. There are two different designs... three of each. Hand cut and drawn by moi! Sarah, who is based in Adelaide, Australia has some great craft products at her Etsy shop.
2. A print from Black Eyed Suzie
Black Eyed Suzie has given a gorgeous print as part of this month's giveaway. You can choose from one of these doll prints. Aren't they adorable.
Black Eyed Suzie dolls are inspired by Victoriana, Edward Gorey, Tim Burton, and many, many talented doll artists. See Black Eyed Suzie's Etsy shop here. And the Black Eyed Suzie blog here.
3. A surprise from Joo Joo land
TheToronto based Joo Joo etsy shop has especially made an owl magnet for the Lilly's Life giveaway.
Joo Joo has some fabulous one of a kind and colorful mini sculptues, jewelry, magnets, prints and more.
4. Little Itty Bitty hair accessories
Do you have a little girl in your life? I am sure she would love some hair accessories. The winner gets to choose which one you would like from Little Itty Bitty's great range. Each itty bitty piece is artistically designed and totally crafted by hand. Each piece is unique, quirky and created with a tremendous amount of time, care and love! Designed & crafted totally by hand!
5. Daisy Mae Designs brightly coloured magnets
Spice up your kitchen or office with these glass marble magnets, featuring fun, funky flowers in pink, blue, and green on a white background. Includes 6 glass pebble magnets sealed with Diamond Glaze. Attached to super strong Rare Earth metal neodymium magnetic disc. Approximately dime-sized magnets (image to show size, not design). Packaged in a cute metal tin for gift-giving or storage. See Daisy Mae Designs Etsy shop for more great craft ideas.
To enter giveaway, make a comment on any post from 29/6/2009 to 6/7/2009.
AND THE WINNER IS :
Your Cheeky Monkey blog. Congratulations!!!!!
And THANK YOU to everyone who entered and THANK YOU to all the Etsy traders who donated some wonderful giveaways! there will be another Giveaway at the end of this month!!!
Just because......we had so many entries, I thought we should have a runner up prize of a Mystery Australian giveaway. This one went to Sylvia from Over the Hill. Congrats Sylvia and you will have to hold your breath until you know what the mystery is. And unfortunately I couldn't get Hugh Jackman!
I am excited about this last mega giveaway for the month and I hope you will be too. There are so many wonderful international artists out there on Etsy.com and it is my pleasure to introduce a few to you with this giveaway. Given we all spend so much time online, let's support our local artists who trade online.
TO ENTER: Leave one comment. This giveaway is open to all no matter where you live in the world. Commenters who are also members of the Lilly's Life Blog Frog Community (see right column on this page), will automatically get two extra entries. The giveaway closes on midnight Tuesday, 2 June 2009. Don't forget to click on the images to enlarge them.
The Giveaway Package to be won by one lucky person includes:
1. A gorgeous crystal Jewellery Cuff by Simone Russell
The giveaway winner will receive this elegant cuff made from Swarovski crystal. The crystals catch and reflect the light with every movement you make.It is made from premium colour and silver plated copper. One size fits most. It sits about halfway up the arm, between the wrist and the elbow.
You can find Simone's Etsy shop, Coralia here. And her Trunkt wholesale listing here
2. Lemon Vanilla Soap and matching Lemon Vanilla Salt Glow from Inner Earth Soaps
Inner Earth Soaps from Bondi Beach, Sydney make the most lushious and incredible bath and beauty products. Their products are natural and all handmade. Visit their Etsy store here. Read their blog here and follow them on Twitter here. Just do not go browsing their site while you are hungry. Seriously, the bath and beauty products look good enough to eat. Almond Biscotti, Rose, Cranberry Fig....they are devine...
3. A Wall Decal from Decorette
Thanks to Decorette, formerly of Melbourne and now based in Singapore, you might just get to win a taste of the LATEST TREND in home decorating! Wall decals are a fantastic alternative to painting your walls and the best thing is they can be customised to suit your needs AND are affordable! They are easy to apply and absolutely removable.Included in the give away, is a pack called Flocked. It features 17 birds ranging in size with the smallest measuring 2 inches wide x 2 inches high and the largest measuring 5 inches wide x 3.5 inches high . Simply peel and stick to transform a room instantly. And when you are ready for a change, simply peel off and you are ready to start again. You can visit Decorette's website here. They have some amazing designs and can also customise something special for you.
4. Pocket Mirror and stylish handcrafted scrabble tile Pendant from the Iszles Store and the Pendant Factory.
For those of you who have read my Inspiration blog you will know I love black and white and these pieces are gorgeous. However, if you win, you get to choose a pendant from the Pendant Factory and also a gorgeous Pocket Mirror of your choice from the Iszles Store which specialises in mirrors, key rings, magnets & more. They have some great products! And I love the magnets. Go visit their sites to take a look.
5. Hair accessories from Vanilla Pixie
Vanilla Pixie, based in Sydney, has the most gorgeous handmade children's hair accessories for little girls and those who are young at heart. The give away is one set of Gingham Ribbon Bow non slip hair clips in the winner's colour choice of brown orange, green, blue or pink and one set of Neapolitan Dots hair slides. Adorable, and personally I think we are never too old to wear hair clips!
Go and visit their Etsy store here for more great hair accessories. They are having a sale until the end of May. You can also find their blog here.
The winner will be drawn at Random.org. The winner will receive prizes direct from Etsy sellers. All images are copyright and the property of the Artists featured. Lilly's Life does not receive any payment to promote these Etsy artists.
15 May 2009
I was having this debate with a few people recently as to whether it's ok to lie about your age. Some said yes, some said no and some said sometimes, i.e. to get a job or a date.
The strange thing is when we are younger we want to be older, when we finally get to be older we want to be younger. It seems it's only when we get to be 80 or so that we are proud of how far we have come and don't mind telling everyone how old we are.
I used to say I was older when I was a teenager, a friend remained 40 from 40 to 50, my grandmother would never tell her age because she was older than my grandfather, a boss who claimed to be in her early 30s had a 20 year old child, I once dated a guy who said he was five years younger then he was and I recall being crushed when an article in a newspaper referred to me as being 3 years older than I was.
Why are numbers so important to us ? Why do we glorify youth to the point people are ashamed to reveal their age?
On Tuesday's CBS Early Show (watch here), More magazine EIC, Lesley Jane Seymour, took on L.A.-based Dating Coach Evan Marc Katz to debate this question. While Lesley argued that you should own your age and help overcome the societal taboo associated with admitting your age once you’re past 40, Evan argued that there are circumstances when it might be in your best interest to not reveal your age.
I was intrigued about what Katz says about online dating. It seems that women give a younger age in order to find a man their own age and males give a younger age to find potential partners much younger than them.
I can see why people applying for employment will downplay their age and avoid mentioning it altogether so that they can get a foot in the door. It's the reality of our times.
However, the latin phrase falsus in uno, falsus in omnibus (false in one, false in all) applies here I think.
Personally, I just avoid mentioning my age until someone asks or I have to fill out a form. I could never imagine going on an online dating site trying to be younger than I am - surely the truth must come out at some point. The only exception was George. He didn't ask and I didn't tell, he just assumes all women are 25, lol.
What do you think, is it ever ok to lie about your age?
12 May 2009
Personally, I like to take the question on notice, until I know why they are asking.
Just in case he has done something ......err...questionable.
I know that if he is feeling anywhere near well he is likely to play practical jokes on the medical staff. He describes it as ‘getting his own back’.
He also likes a chat. Whenever. With Whomever.
Today, I was listening to some interesting conversations between my father and three other seniors all in their late 70s/early 80s. You can tell that they love good listeners simply because they all love to talk. I guess they’ve had a lot of time to figure out exactly what they want to say so it’s only fair they get to say it as often as they like.
The propensity of the elderly for telling stories about "the good old days" is frustrating for some but I think its a natural and normal part of growing and being older. It’s just the universal process of a life in review. Besides, it's these authentic stories that can help us gain perspective and a sense of continuity through this shared collective memory. It's indeed a shame that more older people aren’t blogging and firing their stories into the universe for eternity.
Things must have changed a great deal over the last 60 years for these guys. Listening to them today made me wonder what our future nursing homes will be like for today's teenagers.
I expect things will be far more revolutionary and innovative with many more gadgets at their disposal.
The seniors of the future probably won’t be talking to each other much because they will be obsessively tweeting and texting; naturally about the good old days. Hearing aids will be replaced by ear phones and they will still be listening, at full volume, to the music of their teens. Many will be disturbed that their many hundreds of Facebook friends are disappearing one by one.
There won’t be any dentures to soak but lots of nose, belly and nipple rings to disinfect instead. It will be hard to estimate exact ages because new and improved body parts, like breasts, noses, hips and hair, will have been added over various decades. There mightn't be too many smiles to share either because after 30 years of botox injections they may have forgotten how. And while every tattooed image will tell a story, gravity will mean that it may not be quite the same story it once was.
And you probably won't find old guys called Des, Fred, Douglas and Lester but more likely Ethan, Skylar, Cooper and Riley.
It might be a future that we cannot possibly imagine but I bet that the seniors of the future will still be talking about 'the good old days'. And their kids and grandkids will be the ones raising a few eyebrows and shaking their heads.
It made me think though. We need to make sure we are all making some 'good old days' for ourselves and those we love every day, no matter what stage of the journey we are on. Because telling our own stories is the most authentic gift we can give each other.
Note: This is a shout out for Henry (SoulMerlin in blogspeak). Thanks for your advice on the ‘butt exercise' you left me on one of my posts. I tried to leave my back heel on the ground a little longer when walking around the hospital today (its big...really big..the hospital I mean, not my butt). However, I got stopped by a nurse asking me if my legs were ok as I was dragging my feet and it looked odd. When I tried to explain that Soul Merlin left a comment on my blog telling me how to have a great butt by flexing my glutes, she looked at me quizzically in that she is f'ing bonkers kind of way. Thanks Henry but if you wouldn’t mind attaching a video example of your feet next time, I would appreciate it. I am kind of a visual learner which every purchase of IKEA has repeatedly confirmed. Written instructions do not work for me. Perhaps I will look into tattoos instead.
And THANK YOU Rocksnowhite!!!!
Image: At 71, Mrs. Isobel Varley was the first senior citizen in the world to ink her whole body (yes, whole body). She got her first tattoo at 49. Its never too late to start, see?
10 May 2009
You know the world is changing when you ask your mother what she wants for Mother's Day and she suggests that you might like to write a post on her blog, Lilly's Life.
Gone are the days when an apron would have sufficed, or some chocolates, or even a card.
What can I say Mum, you've always been a bit 'out of the box'.
I've never written a blog entry before so when I sat down to construct this masterpiece (don't snigger Mum, you know it will be), I thought 'how best to kick the proceedings off?' and then I thought, 'I know... I'll start with something plagiarised.' After all, Hallmark doesn't make 50 billion dollars each year on Mother's Day cards for no reason. Sentimentality is a bit embarrassing really, so if you aren't the author of the pathetically schmaltzy words on your Mother's Day card, it's much more comfortable for everyone involved, primarily you.
Turns out the same theory applies to writing a Mother's Day blog entry.
So I started searching the internet for Hallmarkesque quotes that sum up how I feel about you. I found a lot of lovely quotes about mothers, such as this one:
"A mother is a person who seeing there are only four pieces of pie for five people, promptly announces she never did care for pie." -Tenneva Jordan
Except, we both know that you would never forsake pie for anyone. Not your child, a dying relative, a starving Ethiopian. [Side note: it's wrong to make the token starving person Ethiopian, isn't it. Let's change to starving Canadian, (not that they deserve to starve either, but you know what I mean)]. Anyway, point being, nice quote, but not really summing up the essence of you.
Then I found this deeply moving Shakespeare quote:
"Thou art thy mother's glass, and she in thee
Calls back the lovely April of her prime".Beautiful words from The Bard. I totally agree. Err, at least I might, if could understand what the quote means. It's just in here to make me look smart.
Then I found this Aristotle quote which I found to be particularly 'emotionally stirring, pulling on heartstrings' type stuff ."Mothers are fonder than fathers of their children because they are more certain they are their own."Not sure if Aristotle was intending to crack a joke when he spewed forth this little pearl. I'm thinking not, because philosophers are usually pretty serious dudes, are they not? I thought this one was hilarious (is it meant to be funny?) because it was stuck in the middle of all these 'my mother is an angel from heaven' type ones, which by the way don't sum you up either.
I mean you are pretty cool but you aren't an angel.
In fact, at times I would align you closer to the.... (joking).
Then, I finally thought, Mother's Day doesn't have to be about me in relation to you, it can just be about you and what I think makes you amazing.
So I thought I would tell you some random things I admire about you.
Like you are artistic, for example. Kids at school used to say our house looked like 'one of those houses out of a magazine'. You are amazing at knowing what 'goes' with what, and what colours look good with other colours. As for me, as you rightly point out I can't even tell the difference between blue and green half the time. I just know that sometimes I put on clothes and you look at me in abject horror.
I remember being at a 'retreat' aka conference for work last year and we had to go to this formal dinner party thing and I was in my hotel room squashed up against the bathroom door trying to take a photo of myself on my mobile phone to send to you for feedback on whether everything 'went' together or not. The photo didn't get through to you though so I called you to give a blow by blow account of the outfit. What would I do without you?
I also admire you for being resilient and tough. You've coped with things that would have driven me literally insane.
You're funny and witty. Just like Pop.
You have a really incredible work ethic that I will never be able to emulate.
Also, my entire childhood (and adulthood thus far) I have never seen you leave the house without looking perfectly made up and beautiful. To people like me, who toss up whether or not they can get away with leaving the house without brushing their hair, this is a very admirable quality. As a child I remember looking up at you and you always looking so polished and smelt so lovely and all my friends thought you were beautiful. When they said that I used to scrunch up my nose and go 'whatever', but I was secretly proud.
Aaaand, you are a good listener and you are very smart.
And I did actually find you a quote by Washington Irving, which sums up the way that I feel about you:
Happy Mothers Day everyone.
True Random Number Generator Min:1 Max:32 Result: 4 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
A big thank you to Caroline at Patchwork Harmony for partnering with me in this giveaway and to everyone who entered.
I am hosting giveaways from some great Etsy artists and craftsman each week for the next six weeks. There are two new giveaways on the right - Pure Fiji products from Sweet Bula and artwork from Italian artist, Vincenzo Rizzi.
I have personally bought items from all the Etsy sellers who are featured and they have donated products for the giveaways to readers of Lilly's Life. I like to support online businesses as much as I can and these sellers come from all over the world so do take a look at their stores if you are able.
Please note I do not financially gain from these giveaways in any way nor are any bloggers email details shared with any third parties.
8 May 2009
Bill Cosby said that “once you find laughter, no matter how painful your situation might be, you can survive it.” I agree, but I've always thought that there’s a time and place for everything and when it comes to humour, timing and location are everything.
Take this week for instance.
On Wednesday morning, I had to take my father Des to the Hospital Emergency. He was seen by a Geriatrics Registrar. Apparently they now like to take an holistic approach to elderly patients who have multiple illnesses as opposed to allowing multiple specialists to have a free for all. In other words, Des now has his own Project Manager who outsources the work required on his 'sub selves' to technical experts!
The 10 year old Geriatrician (I swear her hair was in plaits/braids) tried to explain her role to us. She said that while they may use the word geriatric, she didn’t want my father to think he was “ancient”. Then she turned around to me and joked, “but to be honest, after looking at the length of his hospital records, he really is more like a crumbling ruin”. I couldn’t find it in me to crack a smile. Was she trying to be funny? It was hardly the time or the place.
Then yesterday I had to go and have a pap smear. Of course I was lying back wondering why the hell I didn’t do this more often just for the fun of it. Not. Clearly sensing I was not relaxed, the Doctor jokingly said, “well it could be worse you know, instead of having one of these every year you could have been Dr Papankolaou’s wife (he invented the test) and she had to go through this every day (she was his guinea pig during trials for a couple of years apparently).” I ignored him and thought, 'what is with you people trying to be funny?' It was hardly the time or the place.
Today, I had an online chat with an HP technician about problems with my laptop. The discussion went for 40 minutes. He knew I was from Australia. He finally said, “Well unfortunately I’m in North America", and then laughed, "so it’s a good job women like to talk so much because you are going to have to repeat the whole saga to someone else in Asia Pacific. Sorry, I can’t help you afterall”. If I knew how to stick two fingers up at him using my keyboard I would have. Did he think it was funny? It was hardly the time or the place.
I went to visit Des in hospital tonight. I walked through the corridor and could hear the laughter. When I walked into his room his bed was surrounded by an assortment of patients, nurses and doctors. The nurses were trying to pull his covers over him and he was trying to tell them that given he had such good legs he would prefer to keep them on show. There he was with tubes coming out of him and a monitor of some description tracking his heart beat and, based on all the indicators, he isn't well. Crumbling perhaps. Des, on the other hand, seems to like being in the care of a project manager. He now sees himself as a prized piece of heritage real estate which is going to be bought back to splendour after a considerable upgrade within budget and on time. He has a completely different attitude to me. By the end of an hour with him, I was laughing so hard I nearly had to leave the room for fear that I too would end up in a hospital bed. Perhaps not the time or the place.
Or was it? Maybe its all about attitude. Maybe the 'right' time and place to be funny are irrelevant. Humour can soften some of the worst blows in life. For you and those around you. It might not change the outcome but you can be happier in the present if you laugh about whatever irks you. Our humour might get jaded and fade when we are in pain, sad or scared but we can bring it back to life and use it any old time and place we like. Who knows, I might even bring myself to laugh at the gynecologist's 'jokes' next time. Provided he has warmed up his speculum first.
Have a great weekend. Go find your humour if you’ve lost it. Rent a movie, go see a comedy show, spend time with someone who always makes you laugh. Just laugh.
Don’t forget to put your name down at right for an entry into this week's giveaway. Every week there is going to be a new giveaway to support small online businesses. Some fabulous work from some creative people!! Oh and I am playing around with new headers and might change them every month just in case you wondered what was going on.
6 May 2009
I know germs are a bit of a sensitive matter these days but his performance was a little 'over the top'. I laughed and thought, ' he'll change his mind about girls soon enough'.
Later this afternoon I opened a book and out dropped a piece of paper. It was a song written by my seven year old niece, Caitlin, who lives in London.
She loves writing songs and poems. And very interesting ones at that. I am not sure where her inspiration comes from.
This particular song started off like this,
I got that far and thought about the poor little guy this morning. On second thoughts, some girls could be scary. I've forgotten how intense some of us can be. It's a good job we girls either grow out of it .....or turn to blogging instead...
1. Every week I am having giveaways from fantastic small online businesses who need our support to promote them. So keep checking (see top of immediate right column) to enter. The first one is from a gorgeous new online shop Patchwork Harmony. Go check out the shop and leave your name on the giveaway post to enter. The winner will be selected by random.org
2. Thanks for your ideas about exercising, I've decided to get a personal trainer. I just saw Loving Annie's trainer.....um take a look - it's got to be a good idea, right?
Posted by www.lillyslife.com
4 May 2009
Welshman Jamie Pugh, 37, follows in her footsteps by also choosing a song from the hit musical Les Miserables at a recent audition in Cardiff. Just before going on stage he says that he hasn't slept for three nights. He adds: “I suffer from severe stage fright, it has totally crippled me, and I’ve come today to see if I can get through three minutes.”
And, by now everyone must have seen the T-Mobile dance ad filmed at Liverpool Station, London in January. Last Thursday Londoners were asked to turn up at Trafalgar Square to film the next ad. Everyone turned up thinking they were going to be dancing. Instead, it was a giant karaoke with 13,000 people. The singing is questionable but the enjoyment is not. Maybe we could replace warfare with karaoke machines. Music has a wonderful way of uniting everyone and making us forget our troubles! Beatles music in particular. Can you pick which one is my sister? I would recognise her voice anywhere.....
Makes you wonder how many musical bloggers we have out there. I think we need a Bloggers Got Talent show. Wouldn't it be fun? Anyone who can sign or dance or play a musical instrument sign up here. Oh and if you want to enter a giveaway look to the post on the right and just leave your name!
3 May 2009
I'm thinking about going back. After all, Winter is on its way on this side of the world.
I signed up before with rose coloured glasses and lots of enthusiasm. We used to have a great relationship and I was a totally committed seven days a week.
The adrenalin rush was euphoric. In fact I became so focused on the magical 'first moments' that I was blind to the dark side of the relationship. A year passed. Then the gloss wore off and our time together became repetitive and dare I say it, a little boring. I lost interest. Eventually I chose to walk away. The break up wasn't taken well and there were accusations of broken agreements, followed by promises of better days and finally guilt trips to keep me entwined. It left me feeling bitter. I vowed to keep walking and to never go back to......the Gym ever again.
It seems problems with Gyms and their 'unfair contracts' are far more widespread than I realised.
I just finished reading CHOICE’s (a consumer organisation in Australia) expose on the gym industry I was interested, in particular, about international gyms like Fitness First. CHOICE names and shames the bad guys, highlights the pressure tactics used and outlines consumer’s rights. It even has draft letters that people can use to get out of unfair gym contracts. It's great reading for those thinking about joining a gym and for those who are currently trying to get out of contracts.
Nontheless, I think it's the right time to get off the couch and rejoin. Something. I walk a lot but need to do resistance training of some kind (more important the older we get).
Maybe I'll go to the gym really early in the mornings before my brain has kicked into gear and realises that I'm actually exercising. And no matter what, I will still keep wishing that some pharmaceutical company somewhere, someday, comes up with a miracle drug and puts exercise in a pill.....yeah, yeah, pigs might fly ....hey, wait a minute....
What about you? Do you exercise regularly? What do you do? Workout at home, at a gym or elsewhere.
Images - freeweb.com
Note: Reader giveaway at right for interested readers.
2 May 2009
A couple of weeks ago I was reading Cjane's blog about bloggers who had stolen her posts and used them as their own. She was understandably upset. Cjane is a very popular blogger and I guess it comes with the territory.
I never thought anything more about it and I certainly didn't think anyone would do the same to me.
I was reading Cjane's forum today and noticed that someone had mentioned that if you go to Copyscape you can check who may be plagiarising your work.
I just checked and only read the first entry - a UK site has lifted most of my posts IN FULL since January and used them on their site, photos and all. I assume their site is updated via a reader every time I post.
The site is http://grandtimes.co.uk/magazine/ There is no reference to me or my blog. The hilarious part is they have a copyright notice on their website yet the copy belongs to me and another site, Treehuggers. At least I am in esteemed company.
This site has no contact details listed and the comments are closed. I had to check Whois to see who owned the site. I found a name and an address and they are getting a 'sweet' note from me. Just to explain that in order to write my posts, I usually have to be embarassed, humiliated, laughed at and nearly chewed apart by dogs like Rosie. It doesnt come easy, lol!
I understand when we put anything on the Internet it is open to manipulation. However, the same rules apply on the net as they do elsewhere.
GRAND TIMES MAGAZINE UK - DO NOT TAKE WHAT IS NOT YOURS. IF YOU WANT TO POST SOMETHING FROM MY BLOG ON YOUR SITE, YOU JUST HAVE TO ASK OR AT LEAST GIVE ME CREDIT.
Beware everyone and go check out Copyscape to see if anyone is using your life for their blog or website. They have badges you can put on your site (on the right) and they tell you how to deal with plagiarism.
Let me know if you find the same thing for your blog - not sure I want to look at any more on the list but I am keeping the Copysafe badge on my blog (it means pinch my content or images and you self destruct, he he)!
Writer of this post - Lilly at lillyslife.com with strong connections to the Mafia, God, the Wiggles or whoever else scares you.