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September 29, 2014 · 0 comments

Now that I can open all the pages to write a blog post about ordering Indian food online, I don’t wanna.

I’m too tired to think up something witty. No, I’m not tired. I’m drained. I feel flat, not perky or sparkly, not what I need to write a food most that is, afterall, mostly pictures, and a few captions here and there.

It’s the same on Facebook at the moment. I can share something, something political, or whatever. But I can’t craft the words for the discussion. THERE I can quip one-liners. But I don’t want them here right now, and, yes, I seem like I can ramble on the words, blurt them out on the page, but that is this. The personal ramblings that I reserve the right to do over here. By remembering to renew my domain name for its thirteenth year of service, and by knowing that my hosting allows me til the end of next month to remember to pay the bill for the upcoming year.

I reserve that right, just as you reserve the right to tune out once it’s not food porn or purple gay sparkles. Once it turns to me ramble and whether to hit publish. Once I know that too many hearts of people are hurting at the moment and I don’t know what to do with all that hurt and pain and grief and sadness without imploding myself. Without becoming another casualty of their pain.

Looking after those around me, while trying to keep moving on forwards myself. I have a good feeling on one job I applied for, but I can’t let myself get excited, because all it will do is crush me if it falls through. I have to keep trying, at least enough to get it on paper to be asked why it isn’t all working next fortnight.

Away this weekend, but I doubt it’s a real break. Too many family things to deal with for others for me to be able to relax, I need to be on guard. To look after others. To be the strong one. Because I can do that, it just takes a lot of energy. I used to always do it, but I’ve let my skills slide. Let myself be the one being looked after. I just need to have my own basket at least packed away for the weekend, so I can be alert, be in tune, be the one in control of myself and my emotions.

I’m okay. I’m keeping afloat. I’ve had my moments. I’ve run crying away from things, or retreated into a ball. I’ve allowed myself to sleep rather than think any more, I don’t want to do it all, just some, but I need to do what’s handed to me. I need to keep up with some things. I’ve failed at some, I try. I try.

Or I distract. With nail painting, with flowers, with … I don’t know.

I think about things, like on the BINGO list of things that would just fix it for me.

Bingo

And it would be okay. It is okay. I AM “okay”.

I’m gonna make it through to the next round.

Jim's Milkbar Icecream

Here is an icecream. Mint choc chip and Macadamia, from Jim’s milk bar. Because sometimes regressing to your childhood happies can be a good thing. And sometimes it isn’t, because you either can’t make the feeling last or it comes with other feelings. Like regret, or sadness, or anxiety or fear.

The crush. The weight.

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strawberries and ice cream

Week 609

  1. 20 :: 20. Shame our emissions targets for them are laughable.
  2. Spark :: alive
  3. Hangnail :: ow
  4. Distant :: future
  5. Muffin :: top
  6. Compute :: does not
  7. Bangs :: shoots
  8. Mattress :: protector
  9. Tense :: nervous
  10. Sarah :: Ferguson. The ex-royal not the “singer”

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This week’s HelloFresh delights!

HelloFresh Lamb

Amazing Lamb….

HelloFresh Lamb

With tangy potatoes and broccolini salad.

HelloFresh Chickepea Tagine

The vego meal – Chickpea tagine with couscous and Lebanese bread

HelloFresh Chicken

Marinated chicken with Asian greens…

All so yum and light! (though waaay too much per serve in the chickpeas!)

Use my code R3CDUQ to get $30 off your first box at HelloFresh

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Dear ASIO,

I am writing to apply for the job on Internets Stalker, as advertised in ********* on ********.

As a fan of the Internets, I am a skilled user of mainstream and lesser known stalking services, such as Facebook, Foursquare, luring people to meet me on OKCupid, using my SKILLZ to get their mobile numbers and freak them out, and getting people to reveal themeselves as THREATS TO OUR WAY OF LIFE by monitoring comments and retweets of suspicious images that criticize the Government, like the one below.

Having worked in an organisation with an unwieldy shared drive, I am skilled at using the search bar to track down a file that I SWEAR WAS JUST THERE but someone must’ve moved….

Unfortunately, I cannot get my webcam working, can you help with that?

(Oh and if Senna-link calls, please confirm that this as one of my forty job applications)

Sincerely

The Little Lioness

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On writing from the dark

September 25, 2014 · 1 comment

I’m putting together a post for Mental Health Awareness Week next month, for Tegan over at Musings of the Misguided. Not sure what I’m going to end up with – it could be experiences of therapy, or life, of medications, or acting out and self-medicating (could be an exciting ride).

I have chunks. Chunks from different periods of time.

From High School, from the HSC, from Uni. From last weekend, from last night.

From my seventh birthday.

From less pin-pointable childhood moments. Fuzzy. Sad, fearful, confused.

Unable to label.

From starting therapies and medications.

(The horror of admitting I needed help from these, that I couldn’t just will myself out of it)

Including shame at failing at things like work, or therapy, or relationships, or loving myself.

Moments of tears and laughter. Regression. Helplessness.

Disjointed and unclear, but vivid too.

All parts of my existence. Rejecting parts and re-embracing them.

On paper. To certain songs that are my soundtrack.

can’t you do it for me, i’ll pay you well
fuck i’ll pay you anything if you could end this

can’t you just fix it for me, it’s gone berserk…
fuck i’ll give you anything if
you can make the damn thing work

can’t you just fix it for me, ill pay you well,
fuck ill pay you anything
if you can end this
hello, i love you will you tell me your name?
hello, i’m good for nothing – will you love me just the same?

dresden dolls – perfect fit

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To Bowral

September 24, 2014 · 0 comments

Bowral Station sign

Went on a bit of an adventure (or epic journey) on Monday to go to Bowral for a job interview.

Train Ticket Bowral
ZOMG check it out, it’s a paper ticket!

Reasoning with myself that the $8.60 in train fare was about half of what the TOLL ROADS would cost me to get there, let alone petrol and having to stay awake for the journey, I got to Fassifern before 6am for the three trains there and three trains back.

Trainlink NSW purple train carriages to Newcastle

Settled in for a nap on the first leg, hoping all my connections would line up – which they did! Including the revelation that “Panania” is a place, and that people get excited to be getting on diesel trains, especially oldies on their excursion tickets who ignore the “quiet carriage” signage.

NSW Trainlink Cityrail diesel train at Bowral station

The interview was a couple of kilometres walk from the station, but as you see my feet were prepared (with heels to slip into on arrival!)

Daffodils Bowral

Springtime has certainly hit! With the gardens and wildflowers (weeds! and wanderers!) blooming

Daffodils Bowral

Wild flower bowral

flow bowral

red flower bowral

I got a tad pink from the sun, but it was lovely to be out :)

train board bowral clock

I had a latish lunch at Janecks Cafe and Bar

Courgette and Haloumi Breakfast fritters

Courgette and Haloumi fritters (all day breakfast menu – $17) and a lovely local Riesling!

All fuel for the epic journey home…

Janeks Cafe and bar
4/14 Wingecarribee St Bowral NSW 2576
(02) 4861 4414

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The Conversation
First published at The Conversation

How to tell if your child has a speech or language impairment

By Elise Baker, University of Sydney and Natalie Munro, University of Sydney

Babies are born communicating. Their cries and coos speak volumes. However, much-anticipated first words do not appear until 12 months later. By 18 months, the average child says about 50 words. By the time a child is ready to start school, their vocabulary will be an estimated 2,300 to 4,700 words.

Speech and language development takes time. Speech gradually becomes easier to understand; language gradually becomes more sophisticated.

Problems arise when speech and language milestones are not met. Left untreated, children who start school with speech and language difficulties face an increased risk of reading and writing difficulties, more bullying, poorer peer relationships and less enjoyment of school. So, what should parents expect of children at different ages?

‘Normal’ speech and language development

During the early years a child learns language – that is, converting thoughts and emotions into words. A child also learns speech – that is, figuring out the mouth movements needed to make speech sounds in words and deciphering the rules for how those sounds combine to form words.

For instance, children learning English learn that you can start a word with three consonants, but that the first consonant must be s, the second consonant p, t or k and the third consonant l, r, w or j as in splash, street and square.

By 24 months, a child should have at least 50 words and should be putting two words together. These two-word utterances should form basic sentences to request actions (“mummy up”), request objects (“more milk”) and make comments (“big ball”).

The child should also understand a range of words and follow simple commands (“Where’s your nose?” “Where’s Amy’s tummy?”). Approximately 50% of a 24-month-old’s speech should be understood by an unfamiliar listener.

Speech errors such as substituting easy speech sounds for more difficult sounds (saying “wook” for “look”), omitting sounds in words (saying “poon” for “spoon”) and deleting entire syllables (saying “getti” for “spaghetti”) are typical of this age.

Between 24 and 36 months, a child’s speech and language ability should show rapid growth. By 36 months, 75% of what a child says should be understood by an unfamiliar listener.

By 48 months, a child should be talking in much longer, grammatically correct sentences. The child should be joining sentences using words such as “and” and “because”.

As many parents will be able to confirm, children can ask an average of 107 questions an hour including: what, where, who, whose, why and how? A four-year-old should be able to explain recent events. However, they may struggle with some elements, particularly those involving time. “When” questions can be difficult for a child to answer.


By 24 months, 50% of your child’s speech should be intelligible to a stranger.
Shutterstock

Familiar two- and three-step instructions (“wash your hands and dry them”) as well as less routine-bound instructions (“show me the monkey sitting under the chair”) should be understood. Speech should be 100% intelligible to an unfamiliar listener by 48 months.

Errors such as “poon” for “spoon” should have disappeared. Some speech sounds may still be difficult: particularly “r” and “th”, so that “rabbit” may still be pronounced as “wabbit” and “thumb” may be pronounced as “fum”.

If your two-year-old isn’t talking, or your four-year-old’s speech is difficult to understand, seek the advice of a speech pathologist. Do not wait until your child starts school to seek help. Children can have better outcomes if they receive help before they start school.

Vocabulary and long-term outcomes

The amount and types of words addressed to children in the home from a young age correlates with their growing vocabulary. In an interesting longitudinal study of 42 children and their families, two researchers observed children at home once a month for an hour for 2 ½ years.

When they analysed their data according to family socio-economic status (upper socio-economic status, middle/lower socio-economic status and welfare) they noticed that the average child from a family on welfare heard 616 words per hour, the average child from a middle/lower socio-economic status (working class) family heard 1,251 words per hour while the average child from an upper socio-economic status (professional) family heard 2153 words per hour. When they extrapolated their results over four years of experience, they found that:

the average child in a professional family would have accumulated experience with almost 45 million words

while

an average child in a welfare family would have accumulated experience with 13 million words.

Not surprisingly, the children who heard more words, had bigger vocabularies and better language abilities by school age. Vocabulary size is important because children who start school with larger vocabularies develop superior reading abilities.

Children should be seen and heard, and engaged in conversation from a young age. If you are concerned about your child’s speech or language development, seek the advice of a speech pathologist.

The Conversation

Elise Baker has received funding from the Australian Research Council, and the New South Wales Department of Education. She works for The University of Sydney. She is affiliated with Speech Pathology Australia.

Natalie Munro has received funding from NSW SPELD. She works for The University of Sydney. She is affiliated with Speech Pathology Australia.

This article was originally published on The Conversation.
Read the original article.

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Not your kind of people….

September 23, 2014 · 0 comments

Cup of tea

Sometime I burn, more like whiskey than hot tea…

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Good Things

September 21, 2014 · 0 comments

(aka counters to the negativity)

Red lipstick
$3 BYS Red Liptstick for Liptember

Spring
Spring Flowers

Paper puffs
Puffy Paper decorations

Ez Ears
Mini-mes

Rainbow Jelly Cake
Rainbow Jelly

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Antipasto (From Grind)

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Hello Kitty nail stickers

Grind Cappacino
Hot Coffee

Ice latte
Cold Coffee

Sisters
Sisters!

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Barrio 2304

It’s birthday season!!! Last night I went for Tapas for Amanda’s birthday at Barrio 2304 – a Spanish restaurant on Maitland Road, Mayfield.

Barrio 2304 Olives

As we had such a group, we ordered to $35/head banquet. And were quite stuffed by the end!

Cheese puffs
Cheese balls

Labneh with eggplant
Labneh with Eggplant

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Delish Mushrooms

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Rainbow carrots and homous

SAUSAGE!
Chorizo mmmmmmmm

salmon
Salmon with pea puree

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Lamb and cous cous tagine

Almond, orange, dates
Orange, dates and almonds to top the Lamb

chicken
Chicken!

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Pork Tortilla

And then we found room for cake back at Amanda’s!

Raspberry Coconut cake
Raspberry Coconut Cake

and

Rainbow Jelly Cake
Rainbow Jelly Layer Cake

And we all rolled home. :)

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