Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Introducing *Mikaela's Dad*...

Her biological father.
She has two Dad's.
One who is her biological Dad... and one who is not, but is a Dad in every defining term of the word, aside from blood.

This is Papy.
Mikaela's Dad.
We met in Italy in 2000.
Today he is an Australian citizen.
He lives about 10mins from us.
And we get along as well as separated parents do.
Most days.

For many, many reasons our union was a difficult one... we faced a lot of prejudice. Mainly in Europe.
I remember when Papy arrived in Australia... we would stroll down the road holding hands.
He was so delighted and surprised.... he turned to me and said "Bek... people are smiling at us... they are actually happy for us"!!
I grinned and said "Of course Papy... this is Australia"

Many of our political and international policies - I do not agree with or support. Nor am I proud of.
But I am very proud of our muliticultural society.

It was difficult too because of our cultural differences.
Things that you think (or hope) wont matter.

Sometimes it is the very thing that attracts you to a person that tears you apart.
As was the case with us.

Papy walked into the room.
The instant our eyes locked I knew he was the father of my child.
I knew we would have a child together.
I knew.

He was attracted to my independance...
This "Aussie Chick"... she can do anything.. go anywhere.
He found it refreshing and liberating.

We were attracted to the differences in each other...

I had been warned.
People had told me that African culture was very different to mine.
Women are not regarded or treated the same as in our society.
I didnt pay much attention.

I also didnt know much about politics in Africa at the time.
And especially not the situation in DRC.
I really had no idea of what I was getting into.
I was living in Italy. I was an ignorant Aussie. Who met a gorgeous African man.
What more was there to know???

Papy was born of the Minister for Arts for the Mobutu government.
He had a very priviledged upbringing.
When Mobutu was ousted... well his live changed considerably.
And no doubt he as a lot of trama for his experiences.
Of which I can never comprehend.

Looking from the outside things are so crystal clear.
So very obvious.
When you are in it.... well, not so clear.

So we tried desperately to keep our little union strong.
To maintain the tiny family we had created.
We couldnt.
We didnt.

I tell Mikaela all the time... I love your Dad because without him, there would be no *you*
I will always love Papy..... he is my brother.
I admire Papy.
I respect him.
And I will always hold him in my heart and wish the very best for him.
He is a good guy.

There are many things we dont discuss often ... the situation of the people or politics in Africa.
We try sometimes... it always ends with us both in tears.

Nath and he get along well.
We all maintain a healthy respect for each other ... and the roles we have in Mikaela's life.
And I can ask for no more.
It is all that matters... Mikaela.

Live your life... with love towards your sisters and brothers.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Books, books, books....

Tagged by the lovely Leonie.... here are my books:

One book that changed your life? Alchemist by Paulo Coelho… actually anything and everything by Paulo. Eleven Seconds. Zahir. My two other favourites by him... but they are all brilliant. Totally.

One book you have read more than once? Time for Joy by Ruth Fishel... mmm can you tell how well read this is? This little gem is so lovely... somedays I read if for the day intended. Other days I just open up at whichever page feels right… the answers are of course always perfect for the circumstance.

One book you would want on a desert island? The Souls Code In Search of Character and Calling… this is my lifetime to read book.

One book that made you laugh? When in Rome by Penelope Green... this young Australian woman's account reminded me of much of the year I spent living in Italy. Fun. Lovely. Vibrant. Italian. Very much la dolce vita.

One book that made you cry? Family {Moments. Intimacy. Laughter. Kinship}... the most amazing photography... and also because my darling Naomi gave it to me as a gift.

One book you wish had been written? The Rough Guide to Tuscany and Umbria… and I wish *I* wrote it.. because that would mean that I had spent years and years combing the area ... tiny piece by piece… and would know the land like the back of my hand. Nath and I will own a villa in Tuscany one day *grin*… always good to have fantasies.

One book you wish had never been written? The flowers in the attic trilogy... oiw ~ I could not put them down, but they scared the crap out of me. So much ~

One book you are currently reading? Mmm I am not reading at the moment…not really ~ although permanent on my bedside table are:

One book you have been meaning to read? Women who run with wolves… I have been recommended this book THAT many times!

One book you loved as a kid? Blinky Bill. But now I love "Lukes way of Looking" for Mikaela.. it is the perfect budding artists story.

One book you loved in school? This is so very cliché… but I would have to say The Diary of Anne Frank… struck a cord with me.

One book that is your all time favourite? I read this when it was first published in 1995, I was approximately 23 years young. Holding the Man… about a 15 year gay male relationship. It is beautiful and moving… and opened my eyes. I am still inlove with this book and their story.

Maybe I will get down to the bookstore soon and get myself a novel to sink my teeth into.Last time I went to the bookstore was a couple of weeks ago for the launch of Carmen Lawrence's book "Fear and Politics"... if Nath and I were patient... and bothered with crowds.. I would be reading that now. Its fabulous.

I tag Darlene only *grin*... always makin' up rules of my own. Ha.

Happy Reading.

Saturday, August 26, 2006

Saturday = Soccer, Sanding & Movies...

Mikaela and I went to see Jake (Jode's boy) play soccer this morning. I was of course like papparazzi ... taking tonnes of photos. Jodes and I joked that Kaela was a "footballers wife"... big sunnies, velour tracksuit. Oh yeah... she fit the sterotype. Plus the cute footballer boyfriend {who even scored a goal} to boot (excuse the pun!)

Kaela hung with Jode and Jake while I ran around collecting furniture.

So my scrap room is getting a bit of a make-over... I have a beautiful new bookshelf... which I adore.

And this piece of furniture, a "buffet" of sorts... which cost me $20! Makes up for the amount we paid for this cute little electric cordless sander Nath picked up for me... such a dream machine. Fit perfectly into my hand and I have practically finished. Kaela helped me by removing the dust with the broom, which worked, but also resulted in her banging me in the head a fair bit. I was too into my sanding to care. Fun stuff.

Last night was mall-rat... usual spending on more scrapping supplies. I got a couple of mini card albums... looking forward to my project with those. Few stickers for Mikaela... she is into the whole wedding theme at the moment... a small hint to Nath and I *grin*. Cleaned my scraproom up a bit and an early one to bed *bliss*

Kaela and I have just now finished watching Fairy Tale - A True Story... and no doubt by now she is peacefully dreaming of fairies. She was so enchanted. As was I... cuddles on the couch with my girl, a blankie and fairies... life is gorgeous.

My guy is now patiently waiting for me to post so we can watch a movie together. Wimbledon. I have already seen it... and it is a sweet one indeed. Gotta go, its started!! Crap!

Enjoy your weekend loves.
Kiss kiss...

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Another Soul Sista....

I met this wonderful womyn the day of my brother, Brett's funeral.
She is an absolute soul sister.
We just clicked.
She rocks.
She is a Mama of 4 gorgeous souls.
She has a wicked laugh {remarkably similar to mine actually.... bahhahahahahah nihhhiiiihhhhhii}
She has a beautiful smile.
And a very warm heart.
She will be another lifer... this I know!
I *heart* her.
Oh... and S. I will email you soon sweetie. Yes I will.
Big kisses and hugs to you and your clan.
Oh... and dont ask me to remove this photo sweets. I wont *smile* !!

Introducing *Jodie*...

One of my hottie besties.
She is hot.
She is a bestie.
She is a wonderful, beautiful and inspiring woman.
Who I love much.
We have over a decade of friendship.
We have weathered BIG storms.
There have been times I worried... we would not recover from a rift.
But my Soul Whispers told me otherwise.
And I knew them to be true.
This girl.... she is a *lifer*
The best kind.
My kind.
I love you girl.

Today I am wearing some jewellery she made me and I feel like a princess. So I am taking my princess self down to doing reading for Mikaela and her class mates.

I LOVE having Thursdays off *work*... no demands. YEAH RIGHT!!! I only have about 87 things on my "To do list" this morning itself.
Bahahahaha - Fuuunnneee!
Peace and Love peeps.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

This angel...

is my friend.
A Goddess... a young woman so many years beyond her age.
Astounds me.
Makes want to 'tell' her things.
Ugly things.
Painful things.
Not things *I* did.
Things I have experienced
And she gets it.
And I feel blessed to share my story with her.
I am not a victim.
I am surivor.
I survived the worst kind of disease imaginable.
A toxic Mother.
A tragic, tramatic and temultous childhood.
How does one recover from that?
A fair amount of optimism... reprogramming the negative into postives.
With sheer determination, belief, and conviction.
I choose love and happiness.
I choose life.
My life.
I have a vision... it will crystalise.... to help young children born into the situation I was.
And teach them to see their very own beautiful souls.

We took this photo for Darlene... blowing our kisses to her because she was not feeling well.... I hope you are feeling better now sister Dar. And her post today... tells me she was with us at our lunch by the lake. Across the world... sharing the same thoughts and feelings about what we may consider a shitty hand dealt at times ~but which is in fact a blessing~

I am loving my life and my Goddess friends. So much. Thank you beautiful ones.
Peace and Love my commrades...

Me & Ali & Cathy....

Photos of me with two women who have done so much for scrappin'.
And inspire me daily.
Cathy doesn't look so enthused in our "cheesy shot" but its because the camera would not work!! And asides Aidan had just arrived!
Ali is just so kewl, so very nice.... I was squeezing her.. oh yeah! She rocks.
Both so sweet.
The memory of this weekend will last a lifetime. For sure.

Elsie IS coming to OZ.....

Thank God. Just in the nick of time too.
I was beginning to fall into the "downer" after the biggest scrappin high I can imagine.
I had to give Kyle a little pep talk about it yesterday.... Its all good, other great things will happen for us... yadda yadda.
But I was starting to P.A.N.I.C about not actually knowing when and where Elsie would be coming to Oz.
I heard the rumour.
I needed the facts!!
SHe totally rocks.
Found out about it here. Thanks Lee.
It will be held here.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

I love illy ....

My favourite.
Right here...
I have a bit of an obessession with illy coffee. Okay a LOT.
Nath doesnt even drink the stuff... but he goes on the net to check out where the illy cafe places are in any given town we are visiting ... I so adore him.

My obsession with illy began about 12 years ago... my sister Megan lived in Melbourne. ANd her love at the time was a distributor. A few years later I went to live and work in Italy... and the family I lived with ~they had illy by the box full~

I was in heaven!!

And I still am... on days like this... when I take the extra 10mins to get to work - I drive past the cafe...and get myself a takeaway.

The return to my desk... well it doesnt feel near as bad. *grin* Oh and the (only) choccie... well I have a few of them a week. Tis a bit naughty... but oh so very nice!

What is a little indulgence of yours?

Sunday, August 20, 2006

And today...

I got to catch up and hang with my two favourite people. We stayed at the Stamford Plaza in Double Bay last night... it was l.o.v.e.l.y.

This morning we caught up with two of my {three} sisters, Meeges and Lee for brunch.

Loving these pics of Kaela and Nath in the pool. They had a BALL.

ANd Kaela with her "Laura the Explorer Lion"** and the Lion mummy statue. Gorgeous! LOVE HER. TOTALLY. She was SO sweet last night... all cuddly and snuggly. Sweet.

** My other little sis Katie bought it her for her yesterday when all three of my sisters took Mikaela to the Zoo.
Peace and Love.

And I met my heros....

Of course!
And they were lovely, brilliant and so very down to earth.
Great women!
LOVED THEM. Still LOVE them.
Even more.
They made me CRY.... good, good tears. All weekend. Not just me.. everyone.
These gals have the GOODs!
And *Me and ALi*... we are tight now.
Oh yeah.
Friends and all !
Trick peeps... coffee.
Photo of me and Ali to follow.. Kyle has it!
Oiw and my sisterhood.... I have been friends with these wonderful women for 37 years in total... and they TOTALLY ROCK !! BEST Girly weekend EVER. Best weekend ever. ANd to share with them also. Was just pure bliss.

The Goods...

Here is a sneak peek at the items I created at Kiwi Scraps {if you are Aussie and have not been to one of their events.. get on their mailing list * you ARE missing out*} ... and my girlie weekend doing Ali and Cathy classes. SUCH JOY.

I cant believe that in two days I produced all this stuff.... and I LOVE them... I have always been a 12x12 scrapper... none of them little albums.

And I met this kewl chicky in Ali's first class... actually according to the evidence on my camera I met her in the bar the night before. NO WONDER she was being so nice to me.... she helped make my journal blocks, cut them and stamped them and all. Such a sweetheart. Check out her take on the weekend here and here.

And another high energy womyn... I did not actually meet {as such}... her account is here .

I think I have been converted. But not entirely... I will NEVER give up my 12x12s. Ever. Now I just have more to do. Ah yeah, okay?

What happens on TOUR....

...Stays on Tour.
But I can share this... "Rock Star Bek" made an appearance on Thursday night!!
And lets just say I have decided that she is now officially in RETIREMENT.

We met Dan (Cathy's hubby)... and had way too much to drink in the hotel bar!

But all in all an amazing experience, which taught me what gorgeous friends I have in these three woman.

There was MUCH excitement... and anticipation of a weekend of scrapping with our heros...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Two more sleeps peeps.....

***RANT WARNING..... *grin*

It is only two more sleeps...
Until I am doing THREE Ali Edwards classes.
THREE ! Oh my.
AND I am even almost ready!

You know that woman {who does so many things all at once, who is kinda like a superhero}.
Oh okay she IS a superhero.
We are all SuperHero's....
But some do it better than others.
And Ali is one-a-them.

Anywhooooo.... she sets homework for her classes.
Yep she does.
And its not... do in five mins type homework.... it takes TIME.
Bloody hell I says.
And it wouldnt be so bad... if she didnt change said homework along the way.
AND would be EVEN better if not ALL the photographs required for her projects are Landscape/Horizontal....
Think about this.... for just one second peeps...
How are MOST of your BEST photos orientated....
YES... YES >>> YES..... Portrait... Vertical !!
Rest my case.

So I am STILL really excited to be doing her classes and meeting her.
Probably get some photos... you know, probably!

Anyways lucky for me.... I am also doing TWO of Cathy's classes.
And if you check out her PodCast here.... I think you can tell/hear... we are in for a rockin' time.
Plus... Cathy loves Emily and Tara.
Says it all really.

So there you go.
Two more sleeps... and I will be in scrapping heaven.

Oh... and please DO NOT let my rant about Ali's homework... suggest in ANY way that it has anything to do with panic, or lack of preparation, or anything at all along those lines.
Nah- uh.... I like my chaotic artistic way.
I like to work under pressure...
Its me.
I ROCK (like SuperNova.. oh yeah Nath and I LOVE that show, its our latest fave).
Now.... just wait until Ali and Cathy meet ME.
I AM a nutter.

Oh dear... when I get excited.... I tend to rant, and digress alot!! and embarass myself (and my dear friends)...
I just get a bit N.U.T.T.Y with excitement.

Peace and love and a little self deluded greatness {for what exactly... I have NO idea} for all.

Monday, August 14, 2006

This morning....

I listened to this {link not yet available... will update then}... and it made me feel 100% ME and better. And even wanting to celebrate this CRAZY world of ours which I LOVE and adore. My favourite radio station Triple J.... Mel Brampton's morning show.... Culture Club segment:

And this was last weeks segment, equally interesting....

The Culture Club: 2006-07-17 (1.7 MB) 17/07/2006
In the words of Gnarls Barkley 'Yeah I was out of touch but it wasn't because I didn't know enough, I just knew too much...maybe I'm crazy'. It's common to hear this sort of connection made between 'craziness' and intelligence, Cee Lo had it, so did Vincent Van Gough. Would they have been so great without it? Listen to the Culture Club and find out.
So yeah... listen, enjoy and let me know what you think!
Does it make sense to you?

Peace and Love and tonnes of craziness....
Gotta LOVE a bitta crazy in your life.

Friday, August 11, 2006

My little Monkey...

She seriously rocks my world.
And Nath's too.
We just cant get enough of her....
She totally cracks us up.

This is She teasing Nath as he plays "brandings" with her...
I am SO glad he taught her THAT game (dripping with sarcasim there)..
Really its okay... they are gentle and have a fun time... and asides... teaches her some co-ordination (and lord knows she doesnt want my lack there of). And makes me laugh too.

I am likely to post again this arvo with some other snaps... got a couple of gorgeous ones of my girl in her ballet gear yest.
And She and He hugging.
ANd our new dinning table... my love surprised me with. Well not the whole thing. We had been looking... but I thought we were just LOOKING. Not actually buying. I think Nath has caught some of my shopping genes. Oiw... kewl.

Mmmmm what else?
Going for another mountain bike ride 2morrow.
KAELA totally LOVES Leonies painting.. tho, they are "princesses" NOT angels... Humpf. Yeah, yeah!
Practically finished my painting.. which is good cause it is cluttering my scrap space.. and I need to clear it to GET SORTED for KIWI scraps... yes it is finally almost upon us. This time next week I will be doing Ali and Cathy classes. Totally thrilled. Lost a bit of enthusiasm since I am not at all across all of ALI's homework.. but I will be. So its all good.
Nath played BasketBall last week as a fill in for Kylies team.. and is doing so again tomorrow arvo. JOY.
And Mikaela has decided she wants to be a Pro BasketBall player when she grows up. How very cute. She will certainly have height as an advantage.

Anywhoo... so much happening decided to skip "Mall Rat" experience for tonight.
Just want to hang and relax with my fam.
Peace and Love to all.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Today I am Celebrating....

I am celebrating my final lesson learnt from my mother ~ forgive but not forget ~

Forgiveness is important... and imperative for being able to move forward in our lives. But forgetting, or dismissing or blocking the intial requirement for forgiveness can be a dangerous thing.
And I found this out the very hard way when my little girl was harmed when she was only 2 years old.
I shall never forget again.

For a long time I thought to forgive my mother meant that I continued to have her as part of my life. This weekend she came to our home... she said something so despicable and disgusting. She confirmed that my daughter had been harmed in her care... and she tried to make light of the situation. She tried to pass it off as a simple accident....

Nath said to me "you are a bigger person than I Bek... I would have slapped her"....
I am not sure I am a bigger person.
I spent years being abused by her and her partner.
And conditioned.
Wanting things to be beautiful... and loving and just fucken normal....
She said it so casually in front of my daughter - I went into shock... and protective mothering mode... I wanted her out of our home...pronto. As I stood and waved goodbye with my jaw still on the ground... I turned to Nath and said "she is fucken crazy... and I wont see her again"...

I can forgive her for being the person she is...... but that does not mean I need to forget. And nor does my ability to forgive mean that I need her in my life.
Previously I found it difficult because she is my mother ... I was borne from her womb, surely for me to be a beautiful person, there must be some beauty in her ?
If there is I have not seen it.

My beauty is mine alone... my strength of character... MINE.... my determination.... My ability to LOVE, my natural ability to nurture and protect my child - totally all MINE.

The lessons my soul required to learn from choosing her as my mother..... are learnt and I no longer need or want her in my life.

In the past I have struggled with envy towards my friends who had nurturing and caring mothers.
Grandmothers who nurture and love.
A family of strong and united women.... who nurture and love. I wished for that... I wished for what I never had.
Mikaela and I do not have that with my mother. We never have and we never will.
However... I made my wish our reality.. because we have it with each other. And we will have it when I am a Grandmother and when Mikaela is a Grandmother...
For now and for always... together...we have a family of love to nurture and protect. And so importantly ... we have it with Him too. A family. United.
We also have a tribe of women to unite with.... the family we have chosen, our friends, our community.
ANd for this I am blessed.
As is Mikaela.
So today I am celebrating :
The person I am.
The mother I am.
The child Mikaela is.

On Saturday night... a friend of mine {Suze} turned to me and said of Mikaela "she has such poise"... and I turned to watch her. And I smiled so proudly. It is true... Mikalea is poised, confident, happy and sweet. She knows she is loved. She knows I honour her word. And she knows I will protect her and defend her until my last breath. She is a great girl who will grow into an amazing woman. And I did that. I broke the cycle. I AM proud. And I am happy.

Above is Leonie's beautiful painting for Mikaela... they live in her room and watch over her ... as protecting angels. The photo above also has a home on Mikaela's bedroom wall ~ Leonie and I were struck by the similarity to the painting~ Peace and Love

Monday, August 07, 2006

A lovely weekend.....

Friday night we went to the mall. I had two things on my list: canvas and long bike shorts (cause you know - I am about to become a super cycler... bahahaha).
Got the canvas.

Saturday... I met up with Kylie and Susie for a bike ride at Sparrow Hill. I DO NOT have a decent bike {yet... universe please provide}... So I took Nath's clunker that I bought him for Valentines Day ~its not a bad leisurely ride about the lake on a Sunday afternoon kind of bike~ But it is no mountain bike.... and has a very large sticker stating "this bike is not designed for off road use".... so it was a bit tough going, but I managed. I did better than I expected. Tho I did stick my bottom lip out and demand that Kylie let me leave at around the 3km mark. Surprisingly she refused. And the next 7km were compariatively easy.

Saturday night a few peeps {Sus, Sime, Neil, Kate, Us & McAvoys, naturally} gathered at Kyle and Jas's for dinner and some games... was a really fun night all round. And Mikaela had a ball. So nice to just hang with beautiful people. Really good fun.

Sunday - my little girl had her horse riding lessons.. then off to her Dads.
And I got to hang out with Leonie for our first of many.... "artists date" A totally blissful way to spend a Sunny (almost spring) Sunday.... I get giddy excited when Leonie is near me and act like a total freak *grin*
Like I did at her exhibition opening (where we met through Deni)... She is 10 years younger than I ... but I am a bebe to her spiritual depth and have much to learn... So I feel totally blessed and happy to have spent the day with her. Take a look at Leonie's post about the day. And as much as Nath considers it all "girly hippy artsy stuff"... he is so sweet and supportive... and prepared for us a beautiful afternoon tea, of dips and cheese, and pesto capsicum loaf... Bless Him totally. He is sweet how he gets excited for me... even though he claims not to actually "get" it. I think he does indeed. Its okay honey... your secret is save with us... you hippy!

AND I bought the most YUMMY painting from Leonie for Mikaela *I will post a photo tonight*
I keep walking into Kaela's room to sneak a peak at the lovely angels... Mikaela will LOVE it, I am sure... and I cant wait until she sees it.

So here is to: being grateful; for much growth; mountain biking; artists days; My Guy and Daughter; friends; and knowing what is best for me and my family... peace and love.

Friday, August 04, 2006

9 weeks to go....

And FEAR... deep FEAR has finally gripped me.
Its kinda the way I work !!!
SO I am ready to train.
MONT 24.... a serious mountain bike race is on in only 9 weeks.
There will be some 2750 riders competing.
Oh MY.... here is a blurb from the site:

This is Australia's premier mountain biking event and the biggest 24 hr race in the world. It will be held on October 7 and 8 at Kowen Forest, Canberra.

After Brett's death and funeral... for a couple of days afterwards I felt that I could conquer the world. ANd live my life to the fullest, as is meant to be. Then I sunk into the blue - the clouds in the sky here these past few days clouded my heart also. I felt crap.

But NOW... well I feel SCARED... and willing, and ready to pull my finger out and get started!!
SO from now on... all you are likely to hear about is my poor aching muscles.... and bruises *grin*

A few other things I am most excited about today:

  • Leoni is coming over for an artsy day on Sunday - My Goddess friend of JOY - I cherish her and our friendship.
  • My lovely Vanessa and I forming a Sacred Womens Group.... based on EFT. SOOOOOO excited about THAT!!
  • Meeting Ali and Cathy in less than 2 weeks. Really that will be so much fun, a weekend of creative bliss.
  • AND TONIGHT is my Mall Rat night with Mikaela... late night shopping at the plaza. LOVE hanging with my girl. She has been a delight these past couple of days.
  • Having some time to hang with Nath over this weekend (at some stage?)

I hope all is well in your worlds.

BTW... yes ~ I have chopped my hair off ~ I have had this style heaps of times... even shaved my head 3 times over a couple of years in my mid 20s - everyone should do that ONCE in their life. Trust me. It is great!
Love and Peace


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Brett and Mikaela...

I thought Mikaela would be wary of a man with a huge beard, cause we dont have many friends with facial hair.... but nope! She jumped straight up onto Uncle Brett's lap and made herself right at home. Christmas 2004.

Brett was 30yrs when these photos were taken, 32years when he died last week.

Kiddies are really apt at realising the soul of a person. I love that.