The packing list

I’m leaving home in 26 days. I’m leaving the country in 28 days, in a crazy, dream-come-true kind of holiday. It’s not that I’m stressed, not really. I’m breathing okay, see? In. Out. In. Out. Where was I up to?

Oh yes. I’ve got nearly all the accommodation sorted, which is a big relief. I’m slowly going through and putting all the details into a spreadsheet that we can share with family and friends, and so we’ve got a record of all our addresses/contact phone numbers/flight times/etc in one place. Sixteen cities. Two months. Sheesh! I ordered USA sim cards for our phones today, and the extra travel bed we ordered a fortnight ago should be shipped soon. I’ve started packing.

It’s okay. It is. It really is.

The shoes bother me a little bit. I am a woman, yes, but I’m not a “shoe girl”. Or, at least, I never used to be. I used to wear my Doc Marten boots with everything, and that was fine. Trouble is, I grew up, and I no longer truly believe I can get away with Docs and an evening dress at a gala dinner – even if the dress is floor-length. So I’m traveling with strappy heels, summer walking shoes, winter walking shoes (may be snowing in the Canadian Rockies), looking-nice-because-I-need-to-look-a-little-dressed-up boots and my everyday regular wear-everywhere Docs.

Swimming gear. Thermal underwear. Parka. Sunscreen. Woolly socks. Warm hat. Sun hat. Did I mention swimming gear? Vegemite. Milo. Enough underwear to survive ten days in the Canadian Rockies possibly without a washing machine. Possibly in the snow.

Remind me again why I’m driving through the Canadian Rockies with a floor-length evening gown and strappy heels?

Not that I’m stressed. Not really. Not that it bothers ME that I’ve been so busy that I haven’t done any laundry all weekend, nosireeeeee. Oh no. Clean socks are completely overrated.

I think I need to go buy a tumble drier today. I’m sorry environmentalists: I’ve tried, and I’ve failed. I wonder if I can buy a portable one that fits in my suitcase?

I wonder if I can buy one that washes and dries my Doc Martens?

So tell me friends, seasoned travelers, any great tips on what to pack, what not to pack, what to buy? I’m trying to keep it down to one suitcase, but I am allowed to take two. Thermal-lined formal-wear with detachable hood, perhaps? 

Why I hate my new kitchen

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It’s not that I’m stressed about it, not really. It’s not taking forever, the builders are working hard. I have a microwave and a fridge and running water. These are first world luxuries, even I know that. It’s okay, and more: soon it will be better than okay. Soon it will be beautiful.
It’s only a week. It’s just that a week is a long time when the room you spend most of your waking time in, the room you eat in, pray in, read in, write in, chat in and dream in is gone. I feel a bit homeless even in my own home.

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It’s gonna be good. It’s gonna be beautiful. It’s gonna be amazing and I’m gonna love it.
And I’ll keep telling myself these things because, to tell you the truth, it’s actually really stressful.

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Continue reading

blog post? What blog post?

Arrrrgghh…

There’s carpet going down! My study is empty. My lounge room and bedroom are so full I can’t even get into them.

I’m so tired I can’t even remember basic words like…like…oh you know what I mean.

See ya Monday folks. In the mean time, go be nice to someone who looks stressed and grumpy. If they ask why, tell them you’re doing it for your Tasmanian friend!

A change is as good as a holiday

This is a Christmas-newsletter-type post for anyone who wants to know what’s really going on in our lives right now, and for anyone who (like my dear friend Wanderer) has noticed the random nature of my blog topics of late. I do apologise. Feel free to skip this and come back on Thursday if you prefer, when I’ll (hopefully) have something interesting to say.

Or keep reading…

When my dad died in December last year we inherited a decent sum of money from him. This isn’t something we’d fully been expecting, considering he’d been on a pension since 1985, but stranger things have happened. And no, inheriting a decent sum of money doesn’t really make up for losing my dad, who’d only just moved back to our state after a 20 year absence.

So we’ve got money, and for the first time in our married life we can make choices based on what we want/feel is right, not on our financial limitations. We’re putting down carpet in our house for the first time (yes, believe it, the place gets COLD in winter!), and we’re upgrading the kitchen (if you’ve been here you’d know why. It has issues). We were already in process of purchasing a parcel of land and a garage from our next door neighbours, although the original plan for that was to build a granny flat for Dad, who no longer needs it. Any of you who have ever had to deal with council requirements for things like this in Australia (I can’t comment on elsewhere…hopefully it’s EASIER!) will know how hard it is. And, because we can, and because it feels like the right thing to do, we’re packing up the kids and going on a 2-month family vacation to the US and Canada, where I’ll also get to attend the American Christian Fiction Writer’s Conference in Indianapolis, and pitch my work to people who may…MAY just be interested in publishing it.

Yay. All this and a holiday to boot. We are blessed, incredibly blessed. We know this. There’s no way we’d complain about anything right now. No. Way.

So, I don’t like to talk about the huge amount of furniture I have to move and the difficulty in throwing things out and wondering whether it’s wrong that I’m adding to landfill with children’s toys I’d meant to fix or find the missing pieces for and now I have to get them out of the house…NOW…because the carpet people are coming. And how we’ll live with all our furniture stuck in a kitchen for a day or two, when there are still children who need school lunches and meals to be cooked…and doing it all again when we rip out the kitchen window, and a few weeks later the kitchen benches and stove for a week, it’ll be too late to worry about landfill then…and I need to book the tickets to the US, but first I need to finalise the dates, and make sure there’s somewhere appropriate for us to stay in each place, and convince the kids that yes, they may all be sharing a queen-size bed for a week, three of them together, and that’s just okay. I don’t want to talk about it because, really, this is seriously first-world rich-people problems, and I’m so grateful to have carpet and so incredibly grateful to have a new kitchen and so UNBELIEVABLY grateful to have a family holiday overseas, let alone the chance to pursue my dream of becoming a published author, and my husband’s dream of stepping into business full-time, and…

It’s all so good. So SO good. So good that I don’t want to even mention how incredibly stressful it all is right now.

We. Will. Get. Through. It. It. Is. ALL. GOOD.

But please forgive me if I drop the ball a little bit sometimes, or if I get a bit random in my blog posts, or take a while to reply. A change is as good as a holiday…change of any sort–including holidays–rates on the stress scale.

I’ll talk to you soon. I promise. I just can’t promise to make a lot of sense!