Living with boys…

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Raising four boys, I knew I had a big job ahead of me in regards to house training. But when Master 12 tried to open a can of tuna with a fork, even though it was not of the ring pull variety, it became apparent that the job in question may be bigger than I first imagined.

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People often ask me what it’s like to be the only female in a house of five males. My answer is that I don’t know life any other way. I grew up with three older brothers and shared a house, in my uni days, with three boys. I now have four sons. It’s my comfort zone.

However, it is my job to house train my boys so that when they leave the nest, they are able to look after themselves  and grow to be a fully functioning, efficient and effective young man who is capable of cooking more than spaghetti on toast, or living on take away.

Even though it’s gonna be a humungous job, I am committed to the cause and am tackling it one bit at a time, starting with the basics…

Hanging out washing …

Masters 12 and 10 have the Saturday job of hanging out the washing, something I thought was self explanatory, until I saw their work…

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We had a soldier’s five on how to hang washing so as to give maximum surface area exposure, which results in faster and more even drying.  I am proud to say that they now use a minimum of two pegs on all items other than socks and jocks. It made my mummy heart happy to see such improvement.

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However,  upon my next trip to the washing line, I was puzzled as to why nearly every peg was scattered on the ground instead of hanging on the line. It wasn’t until I remembered asking the boys to bring the washing inside the previous day that their method of clothes retrieval occurred to me.

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This was my conversation with Master 12.

Me: When you brought the washing in yesterday, did you take the clothes off the line by pulling them by the bottom, ripping them off the line and letting the peg fly into the air and land on the ground?

M12: wide eyed stare.

Me: Okay, I take it, from your deer in the headlights reaction, that my assumption was correct?

M12: wide eyed stare, tinged with a flicker of confusion – a kind of ‘how else are you supposed to get clothes off the line’ expression.

We all moved out to the line and had another soldier’s five on clothes extraction and the replacement of pegs either onto the line or into the designated peg basket. I am thrilled to say that they are now fully versed in the art of both hanging out the washing, and bringing it back in.

The importance of a balanced diet…

My boys hate vegetables. If it’s not pasta or meat, they aren’t interested.  There have been many a tear shed at the dining table over my placement of a corn cob or a few peas on their plate. Upon suggestion from a friend, not to make a fuss out of the necessity to eat vegetables by quantifying them, I now simply put the salad in front of them and say ‘everyone must have SOME salad’.

Of course, that means that the word SOME is a moot point.

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Having had three older brothers, I am well aware of many men’s aversion to the more fibrous elements of the daily diet. My brother’s response to my mum asking him to try mushrooms was:

‘If I wanted to eat fungus, I’d lick the bathroom wall.’

You can’t fight logic like that. However, when he fell head over heels– with a vegetarian  (oh, how we loved the irony)- he soon discovered the delights of vegetables in order to impress his new love, even eating raw cauliflower in the pursuit of passion.

Another brother, also wanting to please his lady friend, ate the garnish on his plate as he wasn’t sure if it was for decoration or part of the meal. It consisted of lettuce, alfalfa sprouts and tomatoes – his sworn enemy. But he who ate the garnish, also got the girl, so his sacrifice paid off.

So, based on the historical events of their uncles’ lives, and knowledge that my own hubby’s meal time consisted of two kilos of BBQ’d chicken wings, I know that my boys will one day eat vegetables. It may be in order to impress a girl, or in the hope of having sex with her, but they will eat their vegetables eventually.

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Being surrounded by boys my entire life has enabled me to understand the way they think, why they act the way they do and, like David Attenborough, how to live with a male of the species in his own environment.  As a mum, it’s my job, and my honour, to teach them how to fend for themselves . One day they will fly away from my nest and I need to pass on the skills of domestic life on to them the same way my mum did for me.  While we’re not quite up to tackling a béchamel sauce yet, they are making wonderful progress on the domestic grounds…one little step at a time and I couldn’t be prouder!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why S#!t is my favourite profanity…

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English is meant to be the hardest language in the world to master. We do battle with homophones, finite verbs, intransitive verbs, adverbial phrases and predicates daily, although most of us are unaware of their workings.

The one facet of another language we tend to master with expert efficiency is profanities.

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WARNING! THIS POST CONTAINS THE WORD S#!T IN ITS UNCENSORED FORM. IF YOU ARE UNDER THE AGE OF 18 OR ARE OFFENDED BY THE WORD S#!T IN ITS UNCENSORED FORM DO NOT READ ON…

 

Personally, I love the word ‘shit’. Shisse. Skit. Skōr. Many languages have their own variation.

Why do I favour this profanity above all others?

Because it’s the most versatile profanity in the English language. No other profanity can be used in such a variety of ways and still remain relatively inoffensive:

The query of disbelief – You’re shitting me?

Exasperation of disbelief – No way! That’s bullshit, man!

The social comment – And he was acting all tough and shit…

The culinary critique:

Part 1- Dinner tasted like shit.

Part 2 – Dinner looked like shit.

Part 3- Dinner smelt like shit.

The physical observation that no one wants to hear – You look like hammered shit.

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Thinly veiled sarcasm – No shit, Sherlock!

The confrontation part 1 – You’re full of shit, man.

The confrontation part 2 – You give me the shits.

The lesser known Myers-Briggs personality type – Shit head.

A summary of alcohol consumption – He was shit faced last night.

Religious exasperation – Holy shit!

A comment on one who moves without urgency – He moved as slow as shit.

Aussie speak for “don’t be sassin’ me” – I don’t have to take this shit from you!

The surprise of finding your conversation partner actually has a functioning brain that is capable of retaining more information than yours – ‘How do you know this shit?’

Australian comment on negative things in general – Shit house

Australian toilet part 1 – Shit house. (also called a Dunny in the outback.)

Australian toilet part 2 – Shitter.

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USA insult to someone who lacks nerve – ‘You’re chicken shit, man!’

A term of endearment used to describe a person of meaty physical stature – Built like a brick shit house.

A metaphor for the fear one experiences when things go bump in the night – I was shitting bricks.

How not to advertise a motor vehicle for sale – The car is a shit bucket / bucket of shit.

The answer to the comment ‘you look like shit’ – I’ve had a shitty day.

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A measure of another’s conceit – He thought he was hot shit.

One whose IQ is room temperature – He’s such a dip shit.

One whose IQ is below room temperature – You’ve got shit for brains.

Cinematic critique – The movie was shitful.

Irish for shit – shite.

Sudden disbelief that his wife has just found out about his mistress – Uh-oh, I’m in the shit now.

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Melbournian exclamation of surprise – Holy snapping duck shit!

Measuring 10 on a scale of 1-10 of exhaustion  – I’m shitters.

A polite version of ‘F^%k You!’ –  ‘Eat shit and die.’

A thinly veiled threat of physical harm – ‘I’m going to rip your head off and shit down your neck.’

Dope head’s critique of highly potent marijuana part 1- This is some good shit, man.

Dope head’s critique of highly potent marijuana part 2- This is some bad shit, man.

A mother’s internal dialogue during the 8 weeks of summer school holidays as her children constantly fight with each other – You’re shitting me to tears.

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What happens after over abundance of hot curry – Shit through the eye of a needle.

Wise Australian Army proverb for being an organised person – Get your shit in one sock.

Measuring 7 on a scale of 1-10 degree of difficulty –  Push shit uphill.

Measuring 10 on a scale of 1-10 degree of difficulty –  Push shit uphill with a stick.

Failure to read map coordinates correctly, or inability to assess the initial seriousness of a situation- Up shit creek without a paddle.

A nervous petty criminal’s answer to a police officer’s query of what he knows about a big time criminal –  I don’t know shit man!

What writers get asked all the time – How do you make this shit up?

The internal monologue of a parent after unwisely poking their head in a teenager’s bedroom – It’s a shit fight in there.

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An Aussie scolding for embarrassing someone else in public – You’re such a shit stirrer.

Thank you for asking me on a date, but I am busy that night – I’d rather eat a shit sandwich.

My suburb isn’t on the ‘suburbs set to boom this year’ list –  I live in Shitsville.

When your name has been taken off someone’s Christmas register – I’m on the shit list.

It can even be pronounced in different ways:

Fear – shiiiiiiiiiitttttt

Frustration – SHIT!!!

And that my friends, is no shit!

 

Guest Post and Cover Reveal: ‘And Then There Was You’ by Suzy Turner…

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And Then There Was You SMALL

And Then There Was You

Three years ago, Eve Brooke had the most passionate, memorable night of her life. Unfortunately, it was with a man who wasn’t her husband.

Can infidelity be forgotten? Not when her one night stand moves in next door, it can’t.

Eve has a pretty good life. She’s married to Matt, her childhood sweetheart, has an interesting career and lives in a nice house in the suburbs. If life is so perfect why did Eve sleep with a complete stranger during a trip to London? And why, three years later did he have to move in next door with his beautiful wife? As the attraction between them flares up again, Eve begins to question her marriage and wonders if it is fate or coincidence that has brought them back together…

Available exclusively at Amazon

 

About the author

Although Suzy is a Yorkshire lass at heart, she left her home town of Rotherham, UK, to move to Portugal with her family when she was ten. The Algarve continues to be her home, where she lives with her childhood sweetheart, Michael, two neurotic dogs and a cat who thinks she’s a princess.
Shortly after completing her studies, Suzy was offered the position of trainee journalist for a local English newspaper. Her love of writing developed and a few years later she moved on to become assistant editor for the region’s largest English language publisher. Since then she has also worked as the editor of one of the Algarve’s most loved monthly lifestyle magazines. Early in 2010 however, Suzy began working as a full time author. She has since written several books: Raven, December Moon, The Lost Soul (The Raven Saga), Daisy Madigan’s Paradise, The Ghost of Josiah Grimshaw, The Temporal Stone, Looking for Lucy Jo (The Morgan Sisters), Forever Fredless and And Then There Was You.

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You can connect with the lovely Suzy here:

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You’re invited to the Naughty Ninjas Christmas Party! Loads of prizes to be won!

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The Naughty Ninjas, featuring the talents of:

Rhyll Biest a.k.a The Lady

Georgina Penney a.k.a Glitterpants

Lily Malone a.k.a Beanie Queen

Cate Ellink a.k.a The Maneater

Sandra Antonelli  a.k.a Cookieface

Roslyn Groves  a.k.a Grasshopper Groves

Andra Ashe,  a.k.a  Madam Ashe

and,

Moi a.k.a Sizzling Yoga Pants

Are celebrating Christmas early, in a very naughty way full of inappropriate humour, megladons and tentacles. So, if you’re in the mood for a laugh and to WIN HEAPS OF PRIZES then come on over to the Naughty Ninja Christmas party here from 7.30pm (Sydney time) Tuesday Nov 25th to 8.30pm Wednesday Nov 26th.

 

New Release from Ros Baxter, ‘The Seek’…

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From the talented and versatile Ros Baxter comes the first full-length novel in her sexy, engaging, groundbreaking SF Romance series.

When everything else is gone, all you have is hope.

The year is 2098, and the people of New Earth have been homeless for seventeen years. Ruled by a mysterious Council and adrift in a fleet of space stations, their sole mission is to survive long enough to find a new home. They call it The Seek.

Kyntura is the first and only female Avenger — one of the secret, separate elite who stand on the frontline between the refugees of Earth and a universe that would do them harm. For Kyn, fight and pain are the only things that drive out memories of the Apocalypse…and of the boy she left behind when she enlisted. But a young recruit called Mirren and a deadly mission will bring her face to face with all she has tried to forget.

As she leads a squad of Avengers in The Seek, Kyntura will have to face her demons — and the boy whose heart she broke a decade before — to confront the truth about New Earth and save the future of humanity.

the seek

The Seek goes live today from Ros Baxter.  A hot, sweet tale of love, courage and apocalypse. ‘One of the best and most original post-apocalyptic books.’ Check out the book trailer here:

 

Watch

 

Buy the book here 

Choose Your Cast, Rhyll Biest’s ‘Unrestrained’…

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Hi Rhyll, and congratulations on the release of ‘Unrestrained’. I love that cover, in fact, I could look at it all day!

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Blurb: When the reclusive Holly Unthanks finds some very naughty photos, both the star—a muscular Teutonic god with some serious ink and a knack for knots—and the way he’s tied his lady friend to his four-poster bed, make her more than a little curious. But to get to know the big, built stonemason better, she’ll have to overcome his vengeful ex and her own inhibitions—and pray that the walls she’s built around her guarded heart and dark secret remain safe from a man who has a way with stone.

Holly Unthanks

Holly likes to think she’s really tough, but while it’s true she’s covered in scars and knows nine ways to kick a man’s ass, she’s really a softie at heart who thinks she’s unworthy of love. Plus she has more baggage than an airport luggage carousel. She’s my little pit-bull-with-a-heart-of-gold character.

Who would you choose to play this character?

Claire Danes would be cool because she was so bad-ass in Homeland. I adore smart, tough, edgy and slightly snarky heroines.

Claire Danes

 Burkhart Stein

Stein, a German stone mason, is a fearsome looking man who seems straightforward until you delve a little deeper into his past and some of his choices. He has his own scars and other things in common with the heroine, Holly.

Who would you choose to play this character and why?

Okay, confession time. My inspiration for the Stein character was Till Lindemann from Rammstein because he’s got a voice that can give you gravel rash and is built like a tank. A delicious man-tank. So I would definitely pick Till to play Stein.

Luisa

Luisa is the villain of the story and plays her role of über-bitch with style and relish.

Who would you choose to play this character and why?

Salma Hayek has the same sort of dangerous curves as Luisa and a clever, determined look about her. Luisa is an über-bitch but she also has planetary-sized balls, so she doesn’t lack determination. I kind of admire her in a way…

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Thanks Rhyll, I love a man-tank. Especially delicious man-tanks!

 

Unrestrained is available here.

If you’d like to connect with man-tank lovin’, Naughty Ninja Rhyll Biest, you’ll find her hanging out:

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Naughty Ninjas

How we should look in licence photos…

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My last driver’s licence photo was taken seven years ago when I was heavily pregnant with my third child. I wasn’t a the kind of woman who ‘glowed’ in pregnancy. I was the kind of woman who ‘puffed’ with pregnancy. Consequently, even though my large tummy was nowhere near the frame, everyone could tell that it was a photo of a woman whose tummy bounced off her thighs during uphill climbs.

So, when my renewal notice stated that a new photo was required – because they are now issuing new licences with whizz bang secure identity thingies embedded in them- I was happy because now was my chance to update the photo.

On the bad side,  I was approximately 20kg heavier in the last one than I am now. However, I was also 7 years younger, which created quite a dilemma. My new photo will reveal that I am now back to my normal size post baby, however, I have also developed wrinkles, tired skin and grey hairs at an alarming rate since having children.

This poses the question, which is better: rounded youth or slimmer maturity?

Anyway, I did as instructed by the RTA officer and did not smile when the photo was taken. There is even a sign that prohibits smiling during the photo taking process.

Consequently the photo on my new licence is hideous.

If it was more attractive it would be a mug shot.

On the good side, my grey hairs are well camouflaged amongst the blonde by the flash that had me walking into walls due to temporary blindness for five minutes afterwards.

On the bad side, my pupils are smaller than pinpricks and could lead any police officer viewing it to suspect that I am a long term, habitual crack head.

On the good side, there are no wrinkles on my face because my crow’s feet only come out to play during smile time.

On the negative side, I look like a career criminal who has just been charged with a crime that carries a life sentence of cleaning toilets with a toothbrush. My toothbrush.

My husband and I discussed my new photo and when I asked why no one is allowed to smile he said, ‘because the police want to be able to identify you when they pull you over, and make sure that the holder of that licence and the driver are the same person. How many times have you smiled at a cop who has pulled you over?’

It was a good theory. Certainly one worth investigating, which lead me to consider what types of facial expressions would allow the licencee to be identified quickly, depending on the situation.

The ‘was that a ‘Stop’ sign or just ‘Give Way’? What’s the speed limit around here’ expression.

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The ‘in no way did I break the law’ expression:

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The ‘Yes, I knew it was a 50 km zone and I was doing 55’ expression.

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The ‘OMFG was that a speed camera I just flew past?’ expression.

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The ‘No, Officer, I wasn’t texting while driving’ expression.

 

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The ‘I’m really, really sorry Officer. I promise not to do it again,’ expression.

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And finally, the ‘my bosoms are too big for this tiny top, and my lips are so big and red’ seduction expression.

 

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So, as you can see, the current licence photo protocol leaves a lot to be desired. It could be improved considerably by allowing people to have a range of facial expressions on their licence so as to accurately reflect that person’s expression at the time of committing an offence. What a pity they don’t have a suggestion box at the RTA.