wings and things


When Ming was little he always talked to himself. Even before he said his first words, he would chatter away in that strange preverbal language that he’d punctuate constantly with sudden exclamations or wild giggles. I used to love listening to this so-called nonsense, knowing that even though it didn’t translate easily, it made enormous sense to Ming. He would play for hours with his blocks and his duplo and the house would be permeated with the highs and lows of his quiet little voice with its exaggerated intonations. It seemed never to cease – a beautiful sound, like a water fountain or soft music in the background.

I think even Ming found his own voice soothing because often, when there was a lull in the Ming monologue, Anthony or I would go and check only to find that he had either talked himself to sleep or else had put his dummy into his mouth for a bit of peace and quiet!

At the age of two, Ming still didn’t have the 50 words he was supposed to have (or so I was informed by two of the more experienced playgroup mothers), but he was pretty close. He treated each new word as something exciting and precious, rolling it around on his tongue like a lolly, or else jumping up on my knee and shouting it into my ear to give me a fright. Initially, he seemed to want to keep each new word as a separate kind of plaything, rather than joining his vocabulary together.

Eventually, though, Ming began to jigsaw his words into phrases and mini-sentences and it was around about this time that he began to talk to his stuffed toys in the same constant way he’d talked to himself for so long.

One night after I’d tucked him in with his Snoopy toy and put the light off, I heard the murmur of his little voice and, always curious, I crept up the hallway to his doorway with my ears pricked.

The hall light was shining into his bedroom and I heard Ming say, “Is it awight, your mouf like that, Snoopy?” After a short pause, he rephrased the question. “Snoopy, is your mouf comfy like that?” After another short pause, Ming’s tone became impatient and I heard the echo of my words in Ming’s reprimand: “Snoopy, doan ignooooooooooowa me!”

I ventured in and sat on Ming’s bed. He was trying to poke Snoopy’s red tongue back into his mouth but the tongue was fixed – sewed into the furry material at an angle.

“Oh, Mummy!” Ming exclaimed when he saw me, “Snoopy can’t unnastann me!” His little brow furrowed and he was gripping Snoopy’s tongue in frustration.

Then, just as I was about to break it to Ming that Snoopy was never going to be able to communicate with him, Ming’s eyes lit up as the truth suddenly hit him. Looking up at me from his pillow, as if I were an extremely silly person, he said, with solemn wisdom, “Oh, Mummy, you muss ‘member, Snoopy is oany a toy!”

“Oh, yes,” I said, feigning surprise and getting up to go before Ming spotted my barely disguised grin in the dim light. “Good night, Ming – I love you,” I said as I left his room.

“’Night, Mummy, I wuv you,” he called up the hallway, then, in such a quiet whisper that I nearly didn’t catch it, he breathed, “’Night, Snoopy, I wuv you too.”


‘Where is love?’

Oh no! Now it’s Zaruma singing that Oliver song, ‘Where is love?’

Zaruma: Tapper, as we are the only two Muscovy ducks here, I think we should get married.
Tapper: What?

Zaruma: Look I’ve seen the way Daffy looks at you and I know you are fond of him but, face it, Tapper, Daffy is an Indian Runner and he can’t even fly! I don’t like the way he chases you around and if I have to fight him I will. Tapper, we are meant for each other. I’m in love with you and even if you don’t feel the same about me, you soon will.
Tapper: WHAT?

Zaruma: I have tried not to overwhelm you with my feelings but I think you should really consider my proposition because I am sincere and reliable and I will never ever let you down. So, what do you say?
Tapper: ZZZ

Zaruma: (singing) Whe-e-e-e-re is love?



Lately we have had one of the many wild ibises (Australian white ibis), who are usually all over the paddocks, visit us. I often see him in the chook pen in the morning but he flies off as soon as he hears me coming to open the gates to let all of the chooks and the gang out for the day. Yesterday I managed to get a few photos of him but it wasn’t easy because he is really shy.

I took Ming to an 18th birthday party last night.

It was NOT a fancy-dress party.

Oh, give me a shy ibis any day!



I have just discovered that I made an unforgivable error in my post about Nicole Cody from when I blogged about her gift of the beautiful necklace to me. For some reason I had written Nicole Brody instead of Nicole Cody. I was very tempted to tell Nicole a white lie and say that I knew a Nicole Brody and that’s why I made the mistake, but then I remembered that she is psychic!

Anyway, as a way of making amends, I googled ‘Brody’ and one of the urban dictionary definitions was this:

A person you can’t help but love. Kind, loving, caring, and adorable.
And apparently, there is an expression: He/she is a brody (meaning that the person is a fantastic person).
In this sense, Nicole Cody is definitely a brody!
Here is another picture of the necklace she made for me in case you missed the previous post.
Thank you so much, again, Nicole!

It’s complicated!

Princess 2: Thor, how about a little kiss?

Thor: Not now P2.
Princess 2: Get lost, Rabbit!

Princess 2: Oh, there is never any privacy here!

Princess 2: Why do you have a name like ‘Thor’ when you can’t even scare a rabbit away?

Thor: Well actually, P2, I quite like Mr Rabbit. In fact he’s been giving me a few tips.
Princess 2: On what?

Princess 2: Oh I can’t take any more of this nonsense!

Princess 2 begins to sing ‘Where is love?’ (from ‘Oliver’, the musical).
Thor: P2 will you calm down – Mr Rabbit has been giving me some tips about breeding!

Princess 2: Oh! Oh, darling, I had no idea!

Rabbit 675: What a complicated couple!


Love story 120 – Romance

When Anthony suddenly transformed from a macho machine into a rose-buying romantic all those years ago, it was a massive shock to me. As a macho machine, he was never demonstrative or loving or generous and I was so used to this that the ‘new’ Anthony took a bit of getting used to.  In the nearly 20 years since we’ve been married he has given me the most beautiful gifts: pearls (a few strings), silver bangles (around 20), expensive perfume, a carriage clock, an Omega watch, a couple of other watches, an antique lithograph (well he had wanted this himself), my first ever electronic organizer, my first laptop, a min-tv for my office, a beautifully framed picture of me at my graduation, two antique cameo broaches and the list goes on. Most of these were surprises but over the last few years, since he became too ill with PD to drive, he would tell me to go and buy my own Christmas and birthday presents with instructions like “Go and buy yourself a nice frock” which is ludicrous of course since I haven’t worn a dress since I was around five years old so I would come home with expensive jeans or boots instead! It wasn’t as magical to have to choose my own presents but after a year or so I began to look forward to this. I would ring him from whatever shop and tell him I was trying to choose between this bangle and that bangle and he would always say, “Get the best one, Jules.” So I would!

Don’t get me wrong. When the dairy industry was thriving and I was working, we were comfortably off, but not wealthy and Anthony, having always been extremely scroogy careful with money, continued to astound me with his birthday and Christmas gifts to me. But perhaps the best and most extraordinary gift was his ability to say “I love you, Jules.” The first time he said this, a few seconds before he proposed marriage, I laughed because I thought he was joking. For him the word ‘love’ was a definite taboo and whenever I had used it on him he had shrugged and grinned, but never reciprocated. Since the first time he said these words, he has said them every single day of our marriage and they have not lost their power.

Lately, love has become the main topic of conversation for him. When I am in the nursing lodge, or he is on a visit home, or on the phone, he talks about this big love we have for each other and his eyes smile even though his mouth can’t. He loves talking about love, so much so that I sometimes say, “Yeah, okay, I get it!”

After months of rather mopey misery on his part, Anthony seems to have finally accepted what is, so when I see him, his eyes light up, and he almost yells, “Jules!” He does this on the phone too and seems to have stopped begging me for the impossible – to bring him home to stay. Our conversations are lighter. Of course the confusion and disorientation of PDD is still there but this love-talk seems to bypass that and now, when I leave the nursing lodge, I say goodbye with a smile because I know he knows that I am in love with him too.

A few years ago


Cauldrons and Cupcakes

Despite the fact that I don’t like cupcakes, or any cake for that matter, and I am a little nervous of cauldrons, I have been following this wonderful blog for some time. Cauldrons and Cupcakes is a blog about “creativity, spirituality & life,” written by a fantastic woman, Nicole Cody.

Recently I entered her ‘win a healing necklace’ competition simply by commenting on this particular post:

Well, I won!!!!!! The necklace arrived yesterday and it’s beautiful. Here is what it looks like:

In Nicole’s handwritten card to me she explained that the darker pink stones are Pinks Tarmaline “for joy and happiness – and to bring back your passion for living – it’s a great antidote to grief, depression and loss”; the light pink stones are Rose Quartz “for unconditional love, nurture, heart healing and emotional soothing”; and the Pink Pearls are “for spiritual guidance, Angelic realm support and connection, and acceptance of what is.”

I am crazy about the necklace and can’t wait to show Anthony.

Thank you so much, Nicole!

Oh and you can find her here:

And guess what? She is Australian, like me – yeeha!


Lady Barefoot Baroness

I have been following Lady Barefoot Baroness’ blog almost since I began my own blog last year. Apart from anything else I was intrigued by her name! Now I call her BB or CC (for Cheeky Cherub) and we have formed a friendship via the blogosphere that I value immensely.

Amongst all of her other talents, she hand-makes gift cards and yesterday I received two from her as gifts! When I opened the package and saw the cards I was overwhelmed, not just by BB’s generosity to me but by her talent. The meticulous detail of each card astounds me and these photos don’t do them justice.

I am going to frame them! There is no way I am giving them away hahaha! So if you want one, you are not getting mine and you’ll have to contact BB herself but remember, she is a baroness, so you must be very respectful.

Baroness, I cannot thank you enough for this beautiful gesture.



The word ‘kindness’ seems a little innocuous until you are a recipient.

Jen is someone who worked in a different area of the university from me and, over the years, she knew me best as the lecturer with the self-inflicted computer problems, and a fellow animal lover. She had never met Anthony but she knew about him from my blog. And she knew he suffered from Parkinson’s related temperature problems that affected his feet (either too cold or too hot constantly).

Well not only did Jen invite me over for coffee one day, she also made Anthony a lupin bag AND she visited Ants with me to give him this gift. I was amazed by her generosity.

Here is a paste of Jen’s description of the lupin bag:

Lupin bags:

Can be used as a heat pack or a cold pack.

Heat pack – heat in the microwave (turn while heating when using a larger bag)

Cold pack – leave in the freezer (I don’t get frostbite using a lupin bag as a cold pack straight from the freezer.)

Ways I have successfully used the heated lupin bag:

  • ·        Seated – sit with heated lupin bag under my feet or on my lap – keeps the whole body warm
  • ·        Seated at the computer with heated bag on my neck – back of the office chair helps keep the bag in place
  • ·        Bed – pre-warm bed or take to bed for extra warm toes/tummy/back//under knees etc
  • ·        Pain relief – sore backs, shoulders etc and applied to the area for any rectal pain from haemorrhoids etc.

Ways I have successfully used the cold lupin bag:

  • ·        On tummy or lap on very hot days
  • ·        At night in bed – assists with hot flushes
  • ·        My son sits at the computer with a cold lupin bag on his head as he says it assists in keep him cool.
  • ·        On injuries that need cold therapy

The lupin bag is in Anthony’s bedside cupboard for use when he gets the cold/hot feet syndrome (which is fairly constant), so this post is to thank Jen for her gift, her wisdom and her lupin-knowledge.

Kindness – you can’t beat it!


Living with a convicted criminal

This morning Ming and I were in court to face his charges. Are you shocked?

Well here is what happened: on the 29th of September, 2012, “the accused” was caught driving a ute without carrying his learner’s permit.

You see, I was sick at the time with that rotten kidney infection so I sent Ming and his friend up to the local shop (2kms away) to get some food. The friend has a driver’s licence but Ming drove because, despite the fact that he doesn’t yet have his driver’s licence, he can drive very well (he just keeps failing the tests on teensy little things – here you have to get 100%).

Unfortunately the police were spot checking people in our little country town (which is highly unusual) so he was unlucky.

So today, we fronted up to court and sat with a fascinating array of other criminals to await the verdict. Ming had dressed up as if he were going to a wedding so he looked a bit odd amongst the surly crowd. His case was preceded by a guy accused of driving recklessly twice in one night under the influence and without a licence. He didn’t plead guilty so his case was adjourned. He answered the judge’s questions in a defeated but strangely belligerent monotone. I whispered to Ming, “say yes sir or no sir and don’t smile” just as his name was called. He had to walk up and take the stand and his charges were read out. The judge concluded by saying, “Your reasons, according to this statement are that you were just going down the road to get something to eat. Is this correct?” Ming said yes and, when he was asked if he were pleading guilty or not guilty, he said, “Guilty.” He was then asked to sit down while the judge conferred with the two other judges.

Then Ming was asked to stand up again and elaborate on the circumstances of that day but he just said, “I did the wrong thing and I will never do it again.” I was delighted with him despite the snickering amusement of those sitting around me in the ‘audience’. The judge then said that instead of the usual $300 fine, he would let Ming off with a $100 fine. Phew.

We then had to sit at the front while the paperwork was processed so we saw the next person, a young girl, called up. She was charged with driving under the influence of drugs and also pleaded guilty. But we didn’t get to hear the rest as we were given the paperwork and dismissed.

I know this sounds strange but I was very proud of my little criminal today.