#blogjune Life Review

Over for another year..

Hello again, dear reader.

This marks the final post for my 2015 #blogjune journey. It’s been different to what I had expected. I had *hoped* that I’d be able to post every day. But, just as in the last five years, that never happened. I still managed 30 posts – but because several days had two or more posts in them. And this post marks the 112th post in the #blogjune category – and that sounds pretty impressive to me πŸ™‚

So, to recap for 2015:

1. On the relationship between libraries, teaching and vocal nodules I lamented my not-going-to-Library-volunteering-due-to-laryngitis day

2. Keeping it at bay – the laryngitis, that is – related my happiness at getting so much editing done the day before, and also re-discovering the five (count them! 5!) folders of research that I’d done for a historical novel ten years ago, before Miss10 came along

3. Looking backwards, looking forwards referred to my experiences with #blogjune (cherubs traditionally picking up vomiting bugs during the first week of June) and my excitement about the #WritingRace I attend every Wednesday evening.

4. So I succumbed – Laryngitis got me, finally. It was the choir rehearsals that did it, I tell you!

5. Ask me why I’m happy – Hubby finished his CPA studies!

6.Β So it happened again – I was *so* hoping to get away with a vomit-free first week of #blogjune. But Miss7 changed that. Sigh.

7. Smiling – while sick : my 41st birthday!

8. Grateful was a post thanking my peeps for all the birthday love – and I finished reading Stephen King’sΒ On Writing πŸ™‚

9 – 14. The next few posts were a series on how I parent. I regularly get comments on the good behaviour of my kids, so I thought I’d blog about why. Things like Rewards First, Stuff Costs Money (understanding the value of things), Set Expectations, Consistency is Key, Make Milestones MemorableΒ and finished it with a post on Mummy: my kids’ perspective

15. This Saturday looked ahead to the Krav Maga grading I was to sit that weekend

16. whoops – where I realised that I’d missed a day of blogging. My first for the month. So I’d made it through to day 15 before misisng a day! Happy with that πŸ™‚

17. Predicting the game – the State of Origin rugby league match, that’s pretty big on the east coast of Australia during June. And I got it right πŸ™‚

18. Training – Miss10 had been giving me back massages all week, possibly in response to the hard training I was doing preparing for my grading. Which was absolutely beautiful!

19. On dreams – I wonder what “being suffocated by render” means?

20. I passed!!! (Still shaking my head in disbelief, actually…)

21. Sabriel – my thoughts on the Garth Nix novel of the same name, which I’d read that afternoon. Being unable to do much else but lie prone, of course!

22. Conversations with my younger children – in which both Miss7 and Mr6 surprised me.

23. Hat-less: a selfie. These are rare. But I felt that my first day without-a-hat since shaving my head for #WorldsGreatestShave back in March was reason enough to grin and bear that rear-facing camera…

24. four days behindΒ  because I was! And my reason why…

25. On socks and sewing – in which I recounted hopeful improvements in my ‘school socks’ system, and also my woeful sewing skills

26. sore – Some furniture was moved in preparation for the laying of tiles which had been delivered – which we had just discovered were the wrong tiles! (Am still seething over this one…)

27. Feedback from beta-readers – my take on the feedback I’ve received on my book to date

28.Β Tiles – part 2 : situation resolved (we can but hope) where the correct tiles will apparently be delivered next week…

29. Reading time – where I got to the bottom of why Mr6 refuses to read certain words

30. Over for another year – this one that’s you’re reading right now, the recap post where I’ve reminisced on the events of the past month.

Thanks for reading, and here’s wishing you a lovely day, as always!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune family anecdotes Reading Review

Reading time

I’m sitting at the dining table. Mr6 is next to me, reading to me. I love that!

He’s chosen his favourite books.

Bears on Wheels by Stan and Jan Berenstain

Go, Dog. Go! by P.D. Eastman


Inside, Outside, Upside down by Stan and Jan Berenstain

He’s just finished the last page. We had a discussion about the text on the final page. Mr6 refuses to read the first line: “Mama! Mama!” His coping strategy (typical autism here) – he runs away if he’s made to read it. He always has. Today we talked about why. I thought that it was because the word is different to what we use at home: he calls me ‘Mummy’ not ‘Mama’. But no, that’s not it. He said that it was because if he said it, the mother bear should be answering, “Yes, yes?”

Interesting, hey! Well, I think so, at least πŸ™‚

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn


Tiles – part 2

So after an annoying amount of hassle, rigmarole and general mucking about, it seems as though the correct tiles will be delivered next Tuesday.

Let’s hope that they’re right!!! Because this certainly is being far more disruptive than I had anticipated!!!

Hope your day’s going well, dear reader πŸ™‚

– KRidwyn

#blogjune my novel-in-progress Reading

Feedback from beta-readers

So I wrote a book, edited it, and gave it to some people to read. This was both exciting and scary! It was just over 25,000 words; an adventure story aimed at children aged 7 – 10. I’ve since had feedback from some of my beta-readers. One member of my writing group gave the manuscript to her two nieces. The seven-year-old wandered off after a few chapters, but the ten-year-old loved it, took some of it to school and showed her teacher – who also really liked it. I like that sort of feedback! Another member of the group gave me really detailed feedback on multiple aspects. This was more than I had expected, and incredibly helpful. He also made me laugh with this comment: “You write short sentences. My average sentence has 25 words. Yours has eight.” Another group member asked if he’d counted them; apparently he’d run the manuscript through a computer program. I didn’t even know that these existed!

Then again this morning,Β I spent a few hours with another of my beta-readers. A retired lecturer in Creative Writing, who gave me some intensive feedback. As in, two hours on just a couple of chapters. Which was brilliant! Mentally exhausting, but fantastic nonetheless. Β And this afternoon, a lady who I aspire to be just like, is planning to spend the next three hours curled up on her couch with my manuscript. She was looking forward to it, and had set aside the time – this time, this afternoon – weeks ago, because she knew she could have some interrupted time to herself, and that’s what she wanted to spend it doing.

I’m really very blessed to have people in my life who are so supportive! I just hope that my little story is worthy of their time! πŸ™‚

And to you, dear reader, I wish for you a lovely, lovely day.

Thanks for stopping by!

— KRidwyn



We extended our house recently.The new section was tiled, and Hubby and I had always planned – once the extension was finished and we were in – to tile the original house to match. So the first week of the school holidays was decided upon, and the tiler booked, the tiles ordered and the deposit paid.

The tiles arrived at 5.13pm on Friday. The tiler came over this afternoon (Sunday) to drop off some glue, tools etc, ready for tomorrow. And we opened a packet and checked the tiles. Only to find that we were looking at 95 square metres of the wrong tile. Not happy! Not happy at all!!!

Fortunately, the tiler is very easy-going, and has other work that he can go on with tomorrow, while we get this mess sorted out. And that’ll also give me another day or so to continue moving the furniture (man oh man, do we have a lot of it!!!) and rip up the carpet and the vinyl.

Yay for sore backs, is all I can say.

Here’s hoping that the tile-sorting-out-mess goes smoothly tomorrow – and you have yourself a great day too, dear reader!

— KRidwyn

#blogjune Life Random thoughts

On socks and sewing

I hate school socks. With an absolute passion. They are probably the one item that gets my hackles up the quickest. Sometimes I feel like school socks – especially the socks that get worn with a sports uniform rather than a formal uniform – are the absolute bane of my life.

‘What on earth?’ I can hear you thinking. ‘If socks are the biggest thing that she has to worry about, then omg she has it SOOOOOO freaking easy!’

And yes, I understand. I’d think exactly the same thing. And, to put it into perspective, sports socks aren’t REALLY the absolute bane of my life. I can’t think of what *is* the bane of my life, but socks probably isn’t it. They just make me mad.

It wasn’t always so. When it was my turn (many years ago now) to wear school socks, they were never a problem. It’s only been since my three cherubs have needed them, that the issue has raised its omg-I-hate-these-(insert swear word here)-school-socks head.

Let me explain, as I think my lack-of-sleep-addled brain is hindering me here.

I have three children: Miss10, Miss7 and Mr6. They wear a sports uniform three days per week, and a formal uniform the other two days. Now the formal uniform socks are white for girls, and grey for boys, so there isn’t too much difficulty sorting those out after my thrice-weekly wash. But the sports socks are the same for both boys and girls. And each of my children has three pairs, meaning that somewhere in my house there are 18 identical-looking (but not identical sized) socks.

The problem occurs because I’m not as vigilant with sock monitoring as I should be. I mean seriously, who wants to be seen to be the sock policeman! But most days, I turn into one without ever wanting to be.

I thought I has solved the problem around the middle of last year, when I bought three lingerie bags, one for each child. And because ‘lingerie’ is too hard a word to pronounce, we call them ‘mesh bags’ in my house.

So the idea was, whenever socks, singlets, or undies came off little bodies, they were deposited straight into the appropriate mesh bag. Tied up the top prior to washing (because those silly little zips broke during their very first trip through my washing machine) and then through the dryer, and then unpacked by the relevant owner. You’d think that would work, right?

Yeh. I thought so too. 

The trouble is, the mesh bags – when they *do* get used by children – are also identical. Can you see where I’m going with this? Socks, undies, singlets all get mixed up. Still.

Yes, now the majority of all singlets, socks and undies are all (usually) in one of three places, but the problem of accident sock-swapping remains… and not every sock necessarily makes it into a bag in the first place.

Add to that, the fact that it’s generally somewhere around the ’90 seconds before we need to be leaving’ that a child realises that they have only one sports sock – and that on a Tuesday morning – and my blood pressure reaches boiling point in zero seconds flat.

So yesterday afternoon. the kids and I went to Spotlight. They each chose a ribbon, and I used my majorly un-phenomenal sewing skills to make the mesh bags into drawstring bags. Finished the last this morning. 


Also yesterday, I received my patch for passing last week’s Krav Maga grading. (Yippee!) 

but I guess that means that there’s more sewing ahead πŸ™

#blogjune Random thoughts teaching Work

four days behind…

And I was so proud of how I’d been going with #blogjune this year, too! I guess I hadn’t really realised just how incredibly busy I would be this week. And how little time I’d get to blog. And I’m sad about that.

On paper, this past week seemed a fairly normal week. Sure, I’d have our school’s semester one performance night on Thursday night, but then I’d have Friday off, so I’d be able to recuperate while the kids were at school, and get myself ready for the two weeks of school holidays πŸ™‚

But the reality didn’t match my expectations. Two days of sports carnivals and not-as-helpful-as-I-would-have-liked colleagues meant that although I had *planned* that the performance program order was finalised by Tuesday 9am, so that programs could be written, printed, photocopied, and the powerpoint made… in reality, the program order was only finalised at 12.45pm on Thursday. Dealing with this caused numerous headaches – and the sleepless nights caused by a sick child, and stress over other work issues didn’t make things easier.

Cue swearing and throwing of inanimate objects at other inanimate objects, Β (discreetly, of course, where there was noone within earshot, no witnesses, and no harm came to any of the inanimate objects involved,) and a crazy-busy period between 12.45pm and 4pm on Thursday where I managed to get an insanely huge amount of work done WHILE running a choir rehearsal then two Year 3 lessons where the classes were learning and playing recorder (and, of course, fielding several phone calls during this time too) and also collecting two children from their various excursions that had happened that day, and getting Mr6 off to a doctor appointment with Hubby while Miss10 also decided to do a disappearing act on both Hubby and I… just thinking about it, two days later, makes me shake my head and wonder how on earth it all managed to happen! Still, it did, and by 5.45pm, Miss10 and Miss7 and I were fed, ready, and they had also helped me to set up the venue (including supper area, of course, and it was at this point that I realised that I had NO tea, coffee, milk or sugar organised. Whoops.) Cue more swearing (inside my head because students and parents were arriving for the 6pm performance) and some immensely helpful parents, and then it was 6.02 and I was on stage, welcoming everyone to our major evening for Semester One.

Home and collapse by 11pm. But you know those nights when you have so much adrenalin you can’t sleep? That.

And then Hubby couldn’t do the school run on Friday, so the kids stayed underfoot all day. But 95 square metres of tiles *did* get delivered at 5.15pm that day, ready for laying starting 7am this coming Monday, so from then til this minute, I’ve been attempting to empty 95 square metres of furniture out of my house so that the tiles can be laid. And that particular task hasn’t been anywhere near as successful as I’d like it to have been.

So. Four days late for my 24 of June #blogjune entry. Whoops. But I think my excuse is valid, yes?

Have a great day, dear reader!

— KRidwyn


#blogjune Life momentous events teaching Work


A few months ago, I shaved my head for #ShaveForACure. I raised quite a bit of money… but more than that, I raised awareness of blood-related cancers in the hundreds of kids I teach on a weekly basis.

Today, for the first time since I had my head shaved in front of them all, I’m hat-less.

Here goes!

Have a great day, dear reader!


#blogjune momentous events

Conversations with my younger children…

Yesterday, we went out for breakfast. Mooloolaba Surf Club – breakfast overlooking the water. All you can eat. And the food is always yummier if you’re the one not preparing it or washing up, don’t you find?

Miss7 decided to serve herself fruit salad. She ate some rockmelon, gushing, “This is my favourite fruit of all time! I love rockmelon just sooooooooo much!”

I looked at her. (We rarely have rockmelon in the house, because I’m the only one who eats it.) “Really?” I asked “Since when?”

She paused in her munching, and thought about it for a few moments. Then she turned to me, all seriousness, and said “Since I was six.”

It was hard to keep a straight face, but I managed. I think.

Mr6’s conversation, immediately after breakfast, left a different kind of feeling. He took my hand, looked into my eyes, and said, “Mummy?”

“Yes, my sweet?”

“I’m autistic.”

“Yes,” I said, my eyes tearing up. “Yes, my sweet. You are.”

It was a bittersweet meal.




I spent the majority of this afternoon lying down flat. Because I am SORE!!!! That grading yesterday gave my aches, aches! And I am the most battered and bruised I can remember in… forever! Self inflicted, I know, and I passed the grading, and I’m not complaining, but boy oh boy, that’s the last time I’m attempting a Krav Maga grading when I’m not at peak fitness level!!!

So this afternoon I was mostly prone. Which gave me time to read. That’s one huge benefit of not-studying-any-more: time to read for leisure! And now that the cherubs are older and not needing so much constant ‘mummy attention’, I’m finding that I can actually read more books, in a row, than I have in literally YEARS! And I’m incredibly happy about that!

So this afternoon, I read Garth Nix. I’d always intended to, but never found the time. So today was the day. Sabriel – the first in his “Old Kingdom” trilogy – and, in spite of hating anything zombie-related with a passion, I liked it. Very clever world-building, very clever story-telling. 

And weird, too.

Because a few months back, I read Paul Collins’ Dragonlinks, and I found the similarities disconcerting. The ‘adepts’ (far more developed in Collins’ work, but present in Nix’s nonetheless) who wielded power with a thin cord between them and the creature they have ‘leashed’ (my word, not theirs) and the presence of both clear fantasy world existing parallel to a world identical with modern-day Earth – this was unsettling. Even the presence of ambulances! Unexpected in a fantasy book, and far more ‘jarring’ than I had expected.

But, on the whole, an enjoyable read. I even thought the zombie-depiction quite tasteful – although perhaps I’m now ‘deadened’ (haha bad joke – I was going to write ‘desensitised’ but couldn’t resist) to the whole zombie theme from reading Dashner’s Maze Runner trilogy a couple of weeks back… But Nix’s zombie’s weren’t anywhere near as ‘oh-my-God-I-want-to-throw-up-now’ as I had expected. Nice zombie treatment. And I never imagined that I would EVER write that sentence. Ever!

And so now, it’s late and it’s Sunday so work tomorrow. Time for some Panadol and bed, I think. I wonder how sore I’ll be in the morning?

Sweet dreams, dear reader. And thanks for stopping by!

– KRidwyn