Sunday, April 26, 2015

There's no place like home...

Photos are property of 'SuiteXposure Photography' 
- taken Anzac Day, 25th April, 2015


Nature can be both beautiful and terrible!


This post was written during and after the storm we had on April 20/21st, 2015 -

I’m sitting in my room with a phenomenal weather event happening all around me! The wind is howling. It’s like a cat 2 cyclone outside, however the correct or technical term for this type of storm is an East Coast Low. 

Since 2 am I have listened to the wind shake the foundations of the house, the eaves groaning under the pressure like they were about to be sheared off at any moment.

These days we have a lot of weather events, one on top of each other – all the time…cyclones, earthquakes, volcanoes erupting and spewing lava forth after years of lying dorment, tornadoes and on and on it goes. This week it's been New Zealand and now Nepal's turn

Actor Hugh Sheridan's brother missing in Nepal. Our hearts and prayers go out for Zachary Sheridan and his loved ones, and all of those effected by this tragedy, suffering and struggling with the pain of not knowing if family members and friends are safe...and the long wait ahead for all concerned!

The wind here was so violent (and unexpected!); this ECL so devastating to towns like Dungog that it made me think – not just about climate change (which we ALL know about and some refute) ….but about how fragile life really is – we can  be here today, and gone tomorrow… Something as 'simple' as driving into a puddle that doesn't look too deep can be fatal! Remember - if it's flooded forget it!

There was a raging river behind my house. I felt sure the deluge was going to inundate our properties that surround this area! The drains couldn’t cope and the streets began to flood. It looked really bad there for awhile! But we were spared. Amen! We were so lucky! Looking at our surrounding towns I realize how blessed we were. Some months ago we had less rain and our garage flooded. This time, despite the conditions, we were okay! Fortunate does not begin to describe how I feel after such a major and catastrophic event. I look around at my little family and feel abundantly blessed!

My little crew and I spent quality time together - we played board games and hung out together chatting!
We had no power, no phones and no internet. Our power was restored quickly, yet many homes are still without it and many people are still stranded, surrounded by water! Our phones and internet service took a little longer - almost a week! At times I used free wifi where and when I could to quickly let family and friends know that we were all okay! I had many texts, emails and facebook messages to reply to! And I am forever grateful for those who were so worried about us. One minute I was in a conversation on whats app with a friend overseas and the next...I was cut off from the entire world! It would be days before I could get messages out to everyone!

Plans were halted, travel plans re-routed or cancelled, and things changed in an instant! An interstate trip I had planned on hold - so many roads closed - Sydney copped a beating, the Hunter and many parts of NSW did not come away unscathed.

This weekend is cold and rainy after two lovely days of sun! It's a true Autumn day more bordering on winter... And where we are declared a disaster zone running into the millions. Many businesses closed - some have reopened. Others are still mopping up or not operational due to damage or lack of power!!!

My facebook feed has been filled with weather alerts, or businesses letting everyone know they are either open for business or still struggling... And then so many families without food...power...and needing assistance! 

While rain was predicted, nothing of this magnitude was forewarned of. We were all taken by surprise!!! There was no escape!

For over 19 hours the wind raged around us! It was quite something... And even though I hail from QLD I have NEVER experienced a storm like it! That's two in 7 years for this region! I'm sure we'll be seeing more!

So why is our weather soooo crazy!??! Global warming? A sign of the times? Revelation in the Bible predicts wars and rumors of wars...and natural disasters in diverse places...

It also lead me to wonder about something someone said to me recently - What if the anger we are putting out into the world is creating these catastrophic weather events? More than ever before the world spews forth negativity and vitriol over the least things. People are punished and crucified for opinions, asking questions, photos they post, clothes they wear, the number of children they have, what they believe, who they love, where they live, job or no job, breast or bottle, the list goes on and on... What if, as a world, we are creating our own problems by sending so much bitterness and negativity out into the world!? Every thought is a vibration, so imagine if we could turn the negative into a positive - imagine the good we could do instead! Are we the victims of our own making?

I don't have the answers! I am just forever grateful that despite the craziness we are okay and many of our friends are okay! And despite the big clean up ahead for many, a lot of money to be spent and hard times ahead, I truly believe that if you have your life and your family, then you have everything! I feel so deeply for those who have lost loved ones - not just here but overseas too! God be with those in Nepal!


Here's a look at my week in retrospect...
my precious blessings!


My fashion bunnies!
#imsofancy #iggyazalea #newclothes !!! 

I'm so fancy!
You already know
I'm in the fast lane
From L.A. to Tokyo
I'm so fancy

#incognito


No power? No problem!
Bored? Break out the board games!


Love this shot!
My lovable, adorable, loving babies!

#mylittleroo 

#funathome! #pelican #incognito #motherandson

#love !


My little monkey!



#siblinglove #brothersinarms


I love to see my babies hanging out together
like this!

#chillinwithmommy !



#cookingday !
#mykitchenrules !



#buddingimagineermoviedirector #sixteen

MY MODEL SON! #jeanswestgear

and then...

The glorious sunsets after the rain!






#lovemynewtee !


A wine and chocolate kind of day!
#marzipan #australianwine

#rainbow .... #afterthestorm

#benandjerrys #mapletreehugger
Mmmmm my fave!!!

I love that my children love to cook!


#pancakes by master 10
baby #quiche by master 16



#iheartfall #autumn

Our babies are growing up fast!!!
#Licorice #Marshmallow



#yinyang




My sick baby had a guardian angel during the week!

My carnival cats!
They love my baskets...



#littlemeerkat !



#itsatoughlife ! 
It's a cat thing...you wouldn't understand


Despite the challenges the sun shines again!




Cheers til next time!



Saturday, April 18, 2015

We Can't Stop ... Having Babies (Parody)





This is just too good not to share. As a mother of ten...and having dealt with the haters...I can so relate to this parody!! I really wish this had been around a few years ago when I was having my crew! lol!!! I Love It!!!

Friday, April 17, 2015

RANT...VENT...ROGUE BLOG!



I see humans
but no humanity!


I’ve just come from the kitchen, where on this slightly cloudy Autumn day I have been creating comfort-food for my family! The little ones want to bake – chocolate slice, jam drops, cupcakes, pancakes – whatever they can get their hands on! 



Sometimes I think of cooking as therapy! It’s creating, it’s good for the soul! It makes me feel good to know that I can step into confines of my kitchen and warm it up with goodness – with nourishing food that nourishes with love. The kitchen is the heart of the home for me – I guess maybe I get that from my Dad (a very fine chef!) I cannot lay claim to fame to be even a third as good as he is – I lack the skills and knowledge because I didn’t grow up with it. I learned a lot from my brother, and from Dad, watching them, helping…but it’s not the same. It was such a short space of time to take it all in. It would take a lifetime to absorb what Dad knows… Anyway, I digress, as that’s not what this blog post is about! My cooking could use some help, I get by… But I did burn a pot of rice today! A watched pot never boils right? So I walked away for a minute and that was the end of that! Some days I hate cooking! I mean I can do it, but I don’t love it (I prefer to bake) and I especially struggle with the gluten free side of things – so I hang out in the domain of the GF Gurus to refine and hone my skills and find out more! I need all the help I can get. I find GF cooking a challenge. My brother mastered it….me, not so much! Even my kiddos are managing it better. I resent it so how can I be any good at it?

Anyway….the point of this post is that I was trawling for GF recipes – easy ones – ones that don’t require a Chef de partie (lol) and I came across an argument over Dragonfruit! Yes, an argument. I swear people can argue over anything on the internet. It makes me wonder how people would respond to each other if they were all in a room together having a casual chit chat about meals! It all started because a recipe was posted…simple enough yeah? You’d think so! And one cool customer complained about the ingredients being too hard to source. Ok so it wasn’t exactly eye of newt and dragon’s blood, but if you’re like me you don’t hit the deli very often (well those specialized places are hard to find in Oz – easy in the U.S – they are a dime a dozen – I went to many in Brooklyn!) Anyway, back to the issue at hand… Most of us want to walk into one of the BIG supermarkets and grab the stuff off the shelf without making it a mission! It's not a movie script it's just a shopping list! Am I right? Yes because we’re all time-poor and not to put too finer point on it, we can’t be arsed stuffing around… so it’s all about knowing your product. But what if you don’t!?! Well it slows you down and frustrates the crap out of you for starters! I get that!

So the conversation ensued and went something like somebody asking ‘what they could substitute avocado for as they don’t like it and what on earth is Dragonfruit and why is it that every time someone posts a recipe it’s a mission to find the ingredients!’ Well of course that was met with several vicious responses from ‘What’s your problem, if you don’t like something work out a substitute for yourself,’ to ‘entitled much!’ (WTF!??!) to things like ‘if you don’t like that recipe move on and find another one…’ WOAH!!! Put down your wooden spoons people!!! Ok so not everybody knows their Dragonfruit from their Kiwifruit, or that it is one of the most deee-lish fruits and is available in your supermarket same as every other fruit… I probably wouldn’t know either except my brother who refuses to fit the mold of dull and must always always be anything but boring in the kitchen, made me TRY everything!!! We ate well and we ate different and I learned to love things I hated before – like spinach and tomatoes – I know, I know, I was living dangerously on the edge, right!!! I just couldn’t do Octopus or oysters though….I tried….I even tried muscles but that salt water taste is just not for me people! I love the beach but that's taking it to the extreme! I ate the fish – weird looking fish, strangely-named fish… but I don’t do Octopus! So I happen to know a Dragonfruit from my ummm….when I see one… But it astounds me people can turn a recipe into a recipe for an argument… oh the joys of it… what a world, what a world…

Some of these wooden spoon wielding women are seriously scary! lol  Don't ask questions people, Google that shit! It's safer...at least Google won't make you feel stupid even if it does say 'Did you mean....' lol

Then…to get off the cooking topic for a sec, there was the poor woman (Jade Ruthven) who received an anonymous letter in the mail from her (so-called) ‘friends’ who had gotten together and decided she ‘overshares about her kid on Facebook!’ Of course she posted the letter on Facebook and the topic went viral. I had to laugh! It’s too funny – not funny they did that to her, it’s funny that it backfired. *More on Jade Ruthven's story here.  OMG!! What has the world come to when we have to fear 'The teething-rattle brigade!'

I am an FB over-sharer… photos more than comments. I instagram the crap out of my life!!! I post pics of my kids cooking, playing, their tattoos, playing a video game, kicking a ball, reading, chillin' together, I don’t much care – I’m a proud Mamma!!! You can either love me for that or get over it!

Then there are all of my scenery shots!!! And I went a little bit apeshit posting my NYC albums!!! It’s not about who’s going to object…It’s about who’s going to stop me!!??!! If you don’t like it – block and delete me! If you don’t want to see my journey, hide my stuff from your timeline. I don’t really care! My wall, my stuff! If you don’t want to see it and celebrate my joys with me (cranky pants) then move the f… on!!!! That’s my advice!!! What a cold-hearted miserable person to send a letter in the mail to that poor girl! It’s a bit like my Blog, if I bore you to tears, or tick you off, don’t read it! You can vote with the ‘x’ at the top of the page!!! No!?! Gee don’t let me inflict my life upon yours…. Sheesh!!! 

Everyone needs a cause to vent about. Everybody needs to be angry apparently! From Dragonfruit (God help me, seriously?) to venting about someone’s child…. Lordy, gimme a break!! Seriously!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

There are so many times I see this RUBBISH in my FB feed and I pass it by! I say to myself ‘Pick your battles…don’t even comment!’ I so badly wanted to say something about the Dragonfruit…but at the risk of further inflaming the situation…sigh…and then I factored in my care factor…err zero…and the time spent to reply (Yep there’s just not enough hours in the day to care about this nonsense!) Some people have wayyyyyyyyyyyy too much time on their hands. I’m too busy using that time to spend time with my kids, using the recipes I find (with or without bloody Dragonfruit, or a Chef on hand...), reading or writing or sleeping… or meditating, or catching up with a friend, or… Sorry Dragonfruit is great, but it just doesn’t factor up there with all of the other important things in my life…like peace and bloody quiet! Oh and being kind to people! Coz you know, that's kind of important too! 

How do you know the person you're abusing on FB isn't the sweetest person ever and if you'd met them you might have become friends...

Honestly I do wonder… if you were in a room with someone who was going on and on about their child would you tell them to ‘Shut the fuck up!?!’ I am pretty sure you wouldn’t! I’m pretty sure you’d grin and bear it OR find an excuse to walk away…that’s considered the polite thing to do! And if someone said ‘What’s Dragonfruit?’ and you knew, doubt you’d call them a Dumbarse and tell them to figure it out for themselves or similar… am I right??? SO why is it okay to do it over the internet? Ahh ya gotta love those Keyboard Warriors! Oh so brave when they don’t have to put their name to something, or they can hide behind an avatar, or a fake name… I especially LOVE the people with fake names - fake ID!

As someone said the other day, wouldn’t you love to get these fakes in a room with nametags!!! Their real names! You know like when you go through customs!!! Immigration frowns on you for being a fake. They assume you’re up to no good – strangely! It’s not an accepted method of doing business in the world. You are what you are. You are who you are! Married, single, gay, bi, female, male, whatever…from wherever you’re from!  My attitude is, if you’re going to say something at least have the balls to say it and put your name to it! You’d wanna have a pretty good excuse for pretending to be someone else!!! Like, your safety is in jeopardy! And even then… But sadly the internet is rife with people pretending to be something or someone that they are not! People will lie about everything and cause untold drama where they just don’t need to. I mean come ON!!! Dragonfruit and babies… REALLY!??!?  Do we not have bigger and better problems in the world??? I wish some people would get as incensed over World Peace, or the homeless and hungry, or the injustice of how immigration stops families being together and wages a war in the face of true love etc etc etc… I wish some people would step out of their fucking ivory towers and come down to the level of those suffering… Go out and find the underdog and fight for him or her! Find the guy who can’t see his kids because his ex wife won’t let him and he can’t afford to fight her in court, find the families that are separated and need someone to go into bat for them, find the humiliated and oppressed and wage a war in their name, fight against the evils & devils of the world… and when we finally conquer those, we can all celebrate with Dragonfruit and post it on Facebook with freedom!!!  Because presently none of us is free! There is no peace! We live in a world with borders we are not free to cross. We are exposed to negativity and misery and bombarded with jealousy and envy, and subjugated and tortured.

There is much injustice in the world but we’ll fight to the death over a bloody handful of ingredients…and crucify someone for how much they love their baby! In a world full of hatred, we fan the flames more...in a world full of hatred where people beat their children and even kill them...we dare criticize a proud mother honoring her child!?! 

This senseless bickering makes me crazy!!! Can you tell??

Maybe we could all try THIS and we'd be calmer & happier!

Found the above on FB - had to laugh!
Plenty would agree with that one!!!


formerly Michelle Hayward
and if you just joined us and wonder why I changed my name...
it's because there are a million and one Michelle Haywards in the world
and using Meekehleh makes me MORE identifiable and easier to find!
I also chose to use it as the Italian version of my name, because I never
particularly liked Michelle!