About Me

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NSW, Australia
I'm made it past 50! married for over half my life, have 3 kids all grown and I'm loving this part of my life.I was a nurse in my younger days but an unhealthy dose of rheumatoid arthritis put a damper on my career,so I'm at home with the internet.

Monday, December 12, 2011

More Meads

Sorry about that !
I'd been hanging out to share the news,but had to wait till the newlyweds did first of course.I was just about to go to sleep when my facebook wall popped up with their announcement.YES! Cats out of the bag now!!!Mind you I did let slip to a few people that didn't actually know Gemma or weren't in contact with other of her friends and family, me and secrets...not good.

Gemma is 11 weeks now, she found out at 4 weeks ,so it is going very slowly.

Its really been a whirlwind few months for them..and us. Stress mostly goes over my head these days, I still worry a little, but I've learned it's not going to change the outcome, but the young ones haven't so it's hard for them.

only 8 weeks ago :

A few weeks after the wedding Gemma came over later than I expected her and looked frazzeled,I asked what was up, she said "I don't know, but It took me ages to find my keys and I burst into tears". Hmmmmmmm....I told her the tears reminded me of when I was pregnant and didn't know yet. Later that evening ,she arrived back with Aaron a big big smile each and this:

A few days later ,morning sickness...... all day,hit with a vengeance and for Aarons 21st dinner, poor girl looked so pale:

FF another week, ultrasound :


and just last week she is already showing.......

Mood swings abound +++. Surviving this, they will survive anything I reckon! Makes me a little teary to see them bicker though as it's only a few weeks ago they were in the bliss bubble.
I believe a lot of it on Gemma's part is twofold, feeling constantly nauseous and exhausted plus fear. Fear of losing them, doing the wrong thing and losing them, doing the right things and losing them,then the fear of not being able to cope with a twin pregnancy, of not being able to cope with twins when they arrive, the list is endless in her head I imagine, and this swirls around in her head as a constant distraction, and then Aaron taps her on the shoulder for some reason and ROAR....Aaron...DUCK...quick !!!I remember well the feel of the red fog and sound of white noise during pregnancy, it ends thank goodness and I hope that next week being her 2nd trimester beginning,that it will be the beginning of the enjoyable part of pregnancy.I do remember enjoying being pregnant for most of it.In the meantime Poor St Aaron as I have dubbed him, continues to smile and ignore until his real wife returns and gives him THAT smile again and not the "you did this to me " smile.

Me: Gem I think you might be aneamic, I saw you stand still for a sec when you got up, were you dizzy?
Gemma: No, I probably forgot what I got up for.......

ohhhhh there are so MANY but I best not print...........or I may be dubbed Poor Saint Bernadette

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Motherhood- a whine from 1992

I thought as I had entered the Aussie mums blogging comp, I 'd write a bit about mothering, when I was in the thick of it.

I recently found my old journal from when the kids were little,in this entry, Danny was 2 days until his 1st birthday,Gemma was 21 months, and Chloe 4 and a half.

18th June 1992

Here's a snippet :)

I was horrible to the kids all day today.
Have the flu, feel rotten, but I guess all the kids could feel was I wanted them away from me.The two bigger kids especially kept hanging around bugging me and wouldn't do ANYTHING I asked.
I think I set a record for screaming to day..amount and decibel level.We don't have many day's like today thank goodness. or I'd be in the nuthouse, the white van would be in my driveway....motor running.
Les didn't help any , grrr, if he's crook he just lays on the lounge ask's Gemma to get him a pillow, Chloe for a blanket and me for a cuppa in that simpery I'm dying voice....and stay's there for 2 days.
The day went like this:
6.30 am kids up, watch some TV
7.15 brekky ,then played and watched cartoons, me up and down for drinks ,food and the baby
10am Baby asleep
10.30 urgh Baby awake...cmon... normally I get 2 hours :(
10.45 may as well stay up,showered..great... scalding then cold, Les hosing garden fiddling with spray pressure.Looks like he is going to mow lawns..
Kids would not play outside,
didn't want to watch a movie ,
didn't want to play in room,
didn't want to do anything.
I yelled a lot till they went outside.I vacuumed, sorted out the washing and put away.Washed up from dinner last night and breakfast.Now...guess what...
12md...time for lunch...all back inside, fed and ...they stay inside.
1.30 a break to rest and breastfeed Danny for his nap , other two fighting and jumping around.
2.30 finally a rest of sorts while baby sleeps and kids finally happy to watch a movie.
3.30 went up the street to buy nappies
3.45.get dinner on.
5pm Chloe and Gemma in bath Les and I eat dinner.Danny in bath other two out.Trimmed Gemmas hair.
7pm Put bigger kids to be half an hour early.Funnily enough they seemed happy to go down.Probably sick of the yelling.
7.15 B'fed Danny, he crashed quickly.
7.30 AAAAH on my own. Made Les and I a cuppa.
7.35.Phone rings..Work,can I work night shift tonight? ....NO
8.30Gemma wet the bed ALREADY,I'm sure I took her to the loo before bed, have to get rid of that bottle. Changed her and put her back.
8.45 sit and watch some TV, write this journal up.Was going to go to bed, but Les tiling ensuite,so will stay up have a cuppa, watch Vizard & Midnight Caller then AAAHHH SLEEP
TOMORROW IS ANOTHER DAY. Hope the kids don't remember this one.

The kids don't remember it, though they do remember my yelling in general ....

Friday, November 25, 2011


Slow couple of weeks,nothing of note to report,pretty unfunny really.Sold the last of the wedding bits and pieces,helped moved Chloe and Jess to the renovated big shed/grannyflat at Jess's parents. Seriously it is bigger than the living space at their flat.

To move them I had to drive one of these

when i normally drive one of these

I did ok, Chloe paid for insurance for the day...just in case...
I almost collected 3 cars changing lanes, luckily I had Gemma as the spotter.."MuuuUUUuuuuMM.....theres a CAAAAAR"

I don't know how, but am still not smoking :) , browsing youtube instead.....

During my browsing adventures of youtube while trying not to think about a cigarette, I came across a group I had totally fogotten about."Middle of the Road"
For me this was the sound of 1971,I have no LP's of this group. it was before my purchasing power , money was still in my future. Sally Carr's pretty voice was on the radio all day it seemed. They had a string of hits, these 3 my favorites.

Interesting trivia, Sally dated Sweet lead singer Brian Connolly! I wonder if they fought over the hairdryer?!!

see! the same hair!

I've entered the facebook circle of mums top 25 blogs,If you llike, can you vote for my blog here please. I have a link up on the side bar there, but you may not find me with that , you have to scroll...............................................right to the bottom. I can't win it, number 1 has over 12oo votes, but not coming last would be a be good look...........Ta Muchly

Saturday, November 19, 2011

International Transgender Remembrance Day 2011

Today is the day we remember with sadness and horror the lives of transgender women and men, mostly women, who have been subject to so much homophobia and hatred that they were murdered.Obliterated because the person holding the gun, the knife or wielding the fist or blunt object could not see the person in front of them as a person,they could only objectify them and dwell on their perceived "wrongness" until they did the unthinkable. This memorial day started as an online gathering,I just read the TDoR is observed in over 185 cities in more than 20 countries, that's great, support and awareness are growing.

Today I stand with all the other transgender folk and their families and friends against this irrational fear and dehumanization that somehow gets into peoples heads loud enough that they think they can justify ridiculing, hurting , bashing, sexually assaulting and even murdering people whose outward gender expression doesn't match their expectation of how THEY think things should be.
Here in Australia things are not as bad on the murder front, but discrimination, bashings , yes, it happens here too.
The Tranznation survey was conducted this year by the La trobe University, is a report on the Health and Well being of Transgender people in Australia and NZ.The results are pretty predictable really. Overall the participants had poorer health ratings than the general population and the rate of depression was much higher , in fact one in four people reported suicidal thoughts in the two weeks before they completed the survey. 87.4%)had experienced at least one form of discrimination because of their presenting gender. A THIRD had been threatened with violence and almost the same number had received lesser treatment due to their name or sex on documents such as ID and almost a third had been refused employment or promotion. Just under a quarter had been refused services and 19% had been physically attacked. These numbers are just way too high. Australia has made some great inroads with anti-discrimitaion laws, the new passport law etc, but there is a hell of a long way to go, especially in the area of healthcare And we need to keep educating the public. Recently I saw Chas Bono on Dancing with the Stars in the USA and I was so disappointed to see some of the hue and cry against him being on the show. One comment was and angry tirade which basically boiled down to "thanks a lot,I shouldn't have to explain transgender to my children!!!"
well ...duh! I thought, but she was truly upset that she had to think about it at all.

So today I take a minute to think about how far we've come, how far we still have to go to get true equality and that these young men and women deaths are remembered .They are all someones sons, daughters, brothers ,sisters and lovers and unfortunately those murdered were often killed by members of their own families.
My wish is for all transgendered kids to be able to have a family photo like this

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

obama's in town

The US president has graced our shores...I will leave it to my niece Rhi to give you the heads up from her birds eye view in Canberra click and enjoy !

Other than that , not much happening, all quiet again.
I'm helping Chloe and Jess move from their flat to the converted garage at the back of Jesss parent's place,so they can save to buy their own place. I have to drive a big hiace type commercial van which should be interesting after driving the bubble car for 3 years!

I've picked up some childminding work, a few hours a week so I'll be able to afford a haircut soon :)

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Tis sunday already

I can't believe how time is flying by, it's 2 weeks since the wedding!!! Not sure where the time has gone, chasing photos, and giving things back that I borrowed, sorting out what belongs to who...... funnily enough the accumulation in the spare room doesn't seem to be getting any smaller.


I week now, no cigs. I've gone cold turkey, no cutting down or patches etc. The hardest was making up my mind to actually do it. I've smoked for 30 years, since I was 18. So its pretty much a part of who I am: Bernadette smokes, have an ashtray on the verandah!

It hasn't been as hard as I thought,but that doesn't mean I don't feel like one, at least once a day I wistfully think of the smoke rolling across my tongue.
I stalked a smoker at Aldi on friday, her smoke smelled so goooooood, I was creeping closer and closer to her, deep breathing , luckily she was on what seemed like the "I haven't had a smoke all morning " high and didn't notice my .......interest. But that's the only, ahem.....incident.
I liken it to selling the bassinet once I had counted my blessings and decided "enough! I want to wear high heels and not wear breast pads."
It's the same mindset:I''m done, end of an era, onto something else.

What suddenly made me decide? I look so unhealthy in the wedding pics,I don't look like me. I've had a rough 6 months health wise with infection and steroids, and it shows.(I sound so vain) It shows like it did on my mum. My mum died at 62 yrs old, and her mum before her at 61.Umm I see a pattern here.This is a pic of my lovely mum about 7 months before she died.

I've already had rhuematoid and its various meds for 15 years longer than mum did but it's over 10 years till I'm 60, it was the meds and infections and her chest from the smoking that did her in. Nan was a different kettle of fish, her demise was breast cancer, radical removal of the breast and then pneumonia, this is back in 1966 before chemo advances etc. but anyhoo I'd like to give myself an even chance here.

When one of your kids get married , there's the chance of new life ahead and the happy couple have given up the cigs to be healthy for trying to have babies ,and I look forward to any that arrive.
I want to be the fun nanna,

dragging the grandkids off to picnics and parks etc, can't do that if I'm hooked up to medical stuff.

So there you go, finally thought about my own mortality.

Once I get used to being a nonsmoker, I'll get stuck into healthier food and............ some excersise......sigh..

Now I have to find something to do with my hands other than smoke, it took up a fair chunk of time that hobby, so I've bought 3 small pieces of old funiture to restore. One is a really small hall table, half round shape with pretty turned legs. Its been painted black so I have to strip it back. Today I picked up a tea trolley , that wont be too hard to sand and restain and also a lovely old table. The table is a funny size, too wide for a hall table, too high for a coffee table but too low to sit at,I'm thinking it might be a sample of a bigger dining table.None of them are huge projects, other than some sanding, really, so that will keep my idle hands busy.

Les is trying to get me interested in the garden,so I might poke my head out there a bit too. My gardening up to now has been."oohh that will look nice here Les, dig there!"

Another thing I want to do next year is make button and bling bouquets ,I've been inspired by this one, so I''m collecting buttons and broken brooches and making silk and organza flowers over the next few months,so I can make these in various themes and colours

Which brings me back to weddings..."HA! I see how she did that"

Time for another gratuitous wedding pic !!!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Boobie Boating

Hi there! This is Rhi from Loose Connections and Zebra Stripes and my awesome Aunty B has let me guest post on her blog - Hoorah!!!!!!

Here in Australia Dragon Boating is becoming an increasingly popular sport and we also have an amazing organisation Dragons Abreast, which are dragon boat teams around the country consisting entirely of men and women who are battling, or have previously battled breast cancer.

The dragons abreast teams are inspiring to say the least and the eye catching pink uniforms and equally eye catching pink dragon boats are always easy to spot on the water!

Every year, the state branches of Dragons Abreast host a corporate regatta as a fundraiser and our state branch hosted their regatta yesterday.
42 school, hospital, business and embassy staff teams, equalling 900 competitors in total arrived at the lake with enthusiasm bubbling despite the fact it was only 7:30am!!

Whilst it is a competition and there are some fierce rivalries between teams, we are all there for the same reason and the spirit involved in this event is amazing and very much contagious.
There's enough pink to outdo the Barbie aisle, bras are everywhere including on male team members and the gingerbread men at the cake stall have breasts made from M & M's.

Team camps are set up along the shore, adorned with decorations and mascots and the amount of food everyone brings is enough to sink several dragon boats.
Uniforms are worn with pride and war paint in team colours is applied while war cries are chanted and team mascots disappear under mysterious circumstances and held hostage at other team camps.

Lymphomaniacs, Breast Strokes, Can't Row, Can't Swim and USAwesome were some of the stand out team names this year.

The real fun occurs when you're on the water because most team members are not regular dragon boaters. In fact, each team is allowed no more than 4 competitive paddlers in the boat so what you end up with is no less than 16 paddles working out how to do it as they go along!

Dragons Abreast arrange at least one training session for all teams so that everyone can at least know how to hold the paddle and become familiar with the calls and commands.
If you want to see something funny, watch a team learn to dragon boat for the first time. 20 people paddling in time to the beat of a drum while listening out for the sweep's commands is harder then it seems. When you get it right, you look like a well oiled machine but when you haven't got it yet, you resemble organised chaos in a boat.

I love dragon boating.
Just saying.

Can't Row, Can't Swim's war cry "Can't row, can't swim, we're not gonna let cancer win, still can't row, still can't swim, we're still not gonna let cancer win" was adopted by many of the other teams and it could be heard being chanted by all 6 teams at once as they raced down the lake.

A Mini Field of Women was set up for people to pay tribute to friends and family who's lives had been affected by breast cancer and became a place for reflection, each pink lady a reminder of why we were participating in the regatta.

For safety reasons, the organisers arrange qualified Drummers (the people who drum the required paddle rhythm) and Sweeps (the people who steer the boat) and many were local school students from the school teams, including the school that I work at.

For our second heat, both our Drummer and our Sweep were our students. The Sweep stands at the boat, where they can see everything as they steer. The sweep tells the Drummer the speed required and the paddlers listen to both the drum rhythm as well as the Sweep's commands.

We were placed in a situation where the Sweep had 20 of her teachers in a boat and she was the boss. Needless to say, she had a field day...

"Heads in the boat ladies, eyes straight ahead... for God's sake ladies, CONCENTRATE!"
"Mrs Smith, stop perving on the race starter, I'll tell Mr Smith!"
"For the next 200m we aren't ladies. When that gun goes off we need to grunt harder than Anna Kornakov"
"Ladies, you need to paddle hard, harder then you've ever paddled before. Paddle like you've just spotted someone in incorrect uniform"

I honestly don't know how we finished that race at all because we were all
in absolute hysterics, struggling to breathe with tears streaming down our cheeks. The fact that all this was said in a very serious tone mimicking the PE teacher who happened to be in the boat just added to the humour - "at least she proved that they do listen to us occasionally!"

That race was the highlight of the day for me!

If you get the opportunity, get a team together and enter the Dragons Abreast Regatta (I know there are several DA teams overseas, particularly in Canada). You don't need to know what you're doing - all you need is spirit!

Maybe one day we won't just paddle to the finish line, maybe we'll paddle to a cure...

* Also, I'm just so excited to find a sport that allows my Ehlers - Danlos Syndrome affected body to maim and kill in a competitive manner again!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011


It came up so fast, and I tell you the time went faster on the day!!!

Running late: Here is me, bedraggled, no nails,no pearls and fake eyelashes still in the packet after a major dress malfunction.The zipper in my dress busted a few minutes after doing it up.Funnily enough the borrowed dress is a size too small and took 20 minutes and 3 people to get the zipper up, 2 holding the material together and one pulling hard,yet it held!!! I was literally corseted with one boob up and one down, and there was no room in there to drag one up,so my daughter found the jacket to make me 1940's and here I am,one of the Andrew Sisters !!!

Beautiful car.

Me again, I heard the music and Etta May, sing "At Last" and it was all happening.

The flower girl was my niece Molly, she had been avidly watching wedding movies and decided a flower basket and throwing petals was the ticket,so we got them and she happily threw petals down the aisle.

Gemma and her dad.He did not realise his hair was so silver , no mirrors outside !!Gemma looks beautiful and i have a big lump in my throat here. That's the top of the grooms parents heads by the way.

Gemma sees Aaron

Dad gives her away. Bigger lump in throat.

Aaron crying and its about then that Gemma asked for a tissue as she cried because he cried.Les had a hankie and took it over,then sang out he didnt w
The pearl and crystal detail is from Aaron's mums wedding dress.

The Kiss.

Mr & Mrs Mead.

We moved around with the guests so they could sign the register where we'd been sitting.I always love the signing shots,always nice.Judy Shae their celebrant was lovely.

Good choice Aaron, the car was fantistic, as was the car owner/driver Malcolm Chaplin, he was with them for 3 hours for pretty much petrol money.

A quiet moment.One of the guests took this shot,I stole it.

The not church wedding shot,the church they almost married in was across the road,and couldn't resist the pic

Cars and Canola. The conola is fading fast,and being harvested,so they were lucky some still from late planting.

Aaron's Hurry up and take the photo face.

Here's a kiss pic, definitely not for Molly though .
Chloe was worried about the sign in the photo,she took the photos, but it adds to the pic I think.

Here is Chloe, there are not many photos of her at her own sisters wedding,as she was behind the camera,the photos you see here are all her unedited work,she took some wonderful shots!!
I also forgot to bring the photo of Danny to hold up for the "us" group shot...


Big kids in the park.

The hall,almost ready.

The cake. I made the toppers,the bigger one was a revamp of my own wedding cake topper .

Mr & Mrs Mead

The end of the father daughter dance

The beginning of the My Girl/Temptations dance

Gemma's gift to me, 31 years just disappeared !!!!

1st dance

On a wall in a small utility room at the hall is a wall that has "we were here" messages going back to 1921. Gemma and Aaron added theirs.

All in all it was a pretty wedding, the ceremony beautiful, the reception fun. It was fun to help organise and I had a great time on the day.Chloe was the photographer and took around 1500 pics, these are a few of them.