Writers Workshop: My Current Read

Here we go again, I love Kat’s blog prompts!  Today I have chosen…….

1.) Grab your current read. Let the book fall open to a random page and share two “teaser” sentences from that page, somewhere between lines 7 and 12.

“That’s why women with long legs and dyed hair, the bottle blondes of this world, travel hundreds or even thousands of miles to be in Cannes, even if only to spend the whole day on the beach, hoping to be seen, photographed, discovered.  They want to escape from the trap that awaits all women: becoming a housewife, who makes supper for her husband every evening, takes the children to school every day and tries to dig up some dirt on her neighbours’ monotonous lives so as to have something to gossip about with her friends.”

I swear that was a random selection!  A very poignant selection nonetheless considering that probably the only people who will read this will be a handful of ‘mommy-bloggers’ (like myself), so who’s going to be the first to get fired up about Coelho’s sweeping generalization?  Or is he right? 

Lets see how I fit the bill:

  1.  It’s 8.30pm I am in bed.  It’s too cold to be anywhere else when hubby is away and there is nothing on TV (no we don’t have a TV in the bedroom)
  2. I am wearing flannel PJ’s with sheep on them.  See above IT’S COLD….and I live in NZ people!
  3. I wore no make-up today :::gasp::: I know, I hear ya. It was wasn’t pretty but hey kiddo was home marginally ill again and we live on a farm and I am not The Pioneer Women.  Ethan tells me I’m beautiful anyway and I tell myself that surely this counts for something right?
  4.  I am sending kiddo to kindy tomorrow no matter what because if I have to endure another full day of Mr 4.5yo Perfectionist’s crying over everything he does that is less than worthy of hanging in MOMA I’m not sure all the happy pills in the world will be able to save me.
  5. I talk about my kid WAY too much.

So well, hmmm looks like I am definitely a housewife.  But trapped?  I have never thought about it that way (not since the days of breastfeeding when I was literally trapped and my life was segmented into the TWO HOURLY feeding cycle  – yes it is true and it lasted one year!).  All I can say is that we all have choices and claiming entrapment doesn’t really cut it if the only things tying you down are your apron strings.

So, do I like this book?  Yes, the reviews of it are shit, but I love Coelho’s writing.  This book rationalizes the behaviour of  each nutbar character in a very comprehensive and compelling way.  Can I put it down?  Yes.  It’s not as good as last months read ‘Our Lady of the Forest’, which I loved and highly recommend.  Unless you are a Coelho collecter I would say get this one from the library rather than buy it.

Dear Chicks with Perfect Lives as you portray them in Your Blogs,

From Mama’s Losin’ It, Ok I did it, I skipped last weeks blog prompts because, well they were boring and didn’t make me want to write anything and so I haven’t really until now.  Inspired by Dave, I am Writing a Letter.  I was blog surfing and looking at a blog I had never visited before, a single mum raising her kids in this amazing house.  Dave noted that all of the blogs I seem to read are written by pretty wealthy chicks with pretty, large houses.  Those who know us know that we don’t live this kind of life.  Life is quite often very hard for us, money is tight, I am frequently overcome with anxiety, worry and stress to the point that my heart beats out of time and I feel like I am going to explode.

Dear Chicks with Perfect Lives as you portray them in Your Blogs,

It is so nice to look at your ‘messy house pictures’, your bad day pictures  – I think this is your attempt at letting people know that under the acrylic nails and the perfect hair your are still human, but you only open this tiny window into your life.  That’s cool, that’s what blogs are for, you can decide how much or how little to disclose.  But what is really going on with you?  There is a reason why this morning you just didn’t give a shit and decided that instead of cleaning your kitchen it would just feel better to take a picture of it and hopefully garner some sympathy from other procrastinating mama’s out there.  What happened?  Was it that huge bill that just arrived?  Are you going to have to rape your meager savings to pay your mortgage this month?  Are your kids growing so fast that you can’t afford any new clothes this winter because you’re constantly shopping for your babies.  There was a reason why you didn’t load your fancy dishwasher this morning.  Lets hear it!

Why does no-one ever write about what’s really going on?  Are your lives really this golden?  Are there really that many people blogging out there with no financial concerns, no homesick husbands who want to visit their family ‘but too bad we can’t afford it”, no-one with friends coming to stay for 27 days and you’re worrying about how you are going to be able to entertain them and show them around NZ on a shoestring budget that is apt to break with the slightest amount of pressure?

Hello, my name is Melissa and we live on a budget.  We buy store brand groceries;


We turn all of our appliances off at the wall after we are done using them, and still I am scared every time we get a power bill, we cook everything from scratch there is NEVER a pack off cookies in our house because it is cheaper to make them, we eat every scrap of left-overs we have and keep our grocery bills under $140NZD per week.  All of this and still gas keeps going up, the cost of power keeps going up, food prices rise and you know what?  I want to have another baby but I am too scared that we can’t afford it.  This is our real life.  We are living in a recession, are you?

We are also lucky, we have an amazing son, our marriage is fantastic and we make the most of every minute that we have together as a family.  These are precious these days as Dave is working two jobs, but really, what a blessing that he has two jobs as so many New Zealanders can’t get one job in this climate of redundancies and unemployment.

Don’t get me wrong, I don’t envy your good fortune or your hard work that has paid for your beautiful houses, you deserve every blessing that you receive.  But what’s really going on?  That’s all I’m saying.  Why don’t you blog about the real hardships you face, the things that turn your stomach into knots?  Because we all know that the world ain’t just rainbows and unicorns that poop cinnamon buns.

I hope your manicure tomorrow is all that you hoped for,

Love Melissa

Writers Prompt

From Mama’s Losin’ It:

 List ten things that make you HAPPY, I skipped last weeks prompt which was 10 things that you are sick of, too bad I’m sure I could have rattled that list off in about 12 seconds.  Doesn’t that suck?  I wonder what that means when you have to think a little bit harder to come up with 10 things that make you happy?  Anywho…

  1. Sunny, warm-ish winter days (I don’t actually know if it is offically winter yet but god help you all if this is still AUTUMN, say it’s not so?).  The last two days have been so nice, my washing has dried on the clothesline!
  2. Hammering and fixing stuff – my vege garden at the new house had this crapola fence around it which served it’s purpose well in keeping the dogs out, however it blocked all of the afternoon sun from reaching half of the garden.  So I went and got The Tool Kit out of the hot water cupboard (that’s where you keep tools right?) found the hammer and some fence-ish looking nails and got to work.

Old Fence

  This is the only pic I have of the fence that is no more – not a lot of afternoon light was getting through that baby.





New fence

New fence!  SO much better.

     3.   Drop-in visits make me happy.  I was yelling for the dog this afternoon, wandering around in my gumboots with my hammer in hand when I realised I couldn’t find the dog because he was greeting surprise visitors at the gate.  Kris, Billy and Leon were actually too scared to come through the gate because Scooby was enthusiastically lunging at the gate with nothing but love in his eyes of course!

    4.  Kindergarten makes me happy.  We had a visit at Ethan’s new kindy this moring and it is nothing short of amazing.  The teachers and kids were so friendly, it felt like we had been there for years already.  Kids were baking muffins, making craft spiders, making paper mache finger drums, writing stories, making music and playing in the amazing playground; Ethan didn’t know what to do first so he pretty much did everything!  He was all about that nice little drill you see there, and yes he knew just how to use it, didn’t need Mama to show him ANYTHING.

Woodwork Bench

    5.  Pedro’s Roasts makes me happy!  6 x HUGE roast potatoes today for lunch cost $3.60 and he actually gave us seven.  Imagine roasted, soft potatoes with the KFC’s secret spice recipe on them that taste like you made them yourself?  I think I might become a potatotarian, easy.

    6.  Hermoine the Pig makes me very happy, and I’m pretty sure it’s reciprocal.  Her approx. 60kg of pigness comes cantering over at medium/slow speed which is like a sprint for her. as soon as she see’s us with her pig bucket of scraps.  It’s nice to know that our table scraps are going to a good home.  She is so pretty!


    7.  Warm, dry homes make me happy.  About the only good news that came from the depressing 2009 budget announcement was the non-means tested home insulation subsidy. 

    8.  Dave makes me happy, especially when he does his 4km run in 12mins in the morning!  More daddy-time for us.

    9.  Quick, minimum questions-asked refunds make me super happy.  The arrival of my much-anticipated Robomop proved a disappointment as it refused to charge, but 1-day deals have refunded me and told me to keep it.  I’m sure Dave can get it to work…..right Dave?

    10.  Blogging makes me happy.  I don’t know why, it just does.  Writing about silly shit that no-one reads  is fun.  I hope Ethan will one day get a kick out of his mama’s ramblings and comprehensive photo-annal of his life.  It passes the time on the nights when Dave is working and provides me an excellent distraction from boring housework and even more boring studying.  Hallelujah.