Life Skills for Teens

BW grocery shoppong228

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Progress Report

unsupervised bw102

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Forming New Habits


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New Year Resolutions–make your own breakfasts

New Year 2013

By the by, in case you’re in need of a light read, one of my short stories has just been published by Kind of a Hurricane Press in an anthology called “In Gilded Frame,” and is available to download or purchase a hard copy from their website.

It references this picture, Danse Macabre by Michael Wolgemut.

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Lazy Laundry


lazy laundry

“It is essential that all young people acquire basic living skills.”

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50 Shades of Greyish-White

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Danger Money

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Delegation, art or fiction? – Tackle it Tuesday

Tackle It Tuesday Meme


Several years ago, the freezer decided to live an independent existence from the integrated fridge above. It froze itself shut, never to allow the light of day to penetrate. At that time I had a number of more pressing concerns. Since we had more money than sense, we purchased a small freezer from Home Depot, parked in the garage and admitted defeat.

Now several years later I commence a great number of new campaigns. The first campaign is to defrost the freezer in the garage. It's all a matter of priorities. The second campaign shall be to conquer the freezer in the kitchen, because it's always best to start the wrong way around.

With the contents already loaded trash sacks, I should have an hours grace to defrost, clean and refill, to avoid the threat of food poisoning. I rush around with the dust buster in one hand and my electronic toothbrush in the other. These are my last two chores before commencement of the main event. I take care not to muddle my tools.

I am ready.

I leave Nonna watching Yogi Bear in the family room at full volume. I pause. Does this constitute elder abuse? I listen to Boo Boo chat to Yogi. I'm tempted to join her on the sofa. As the Park Ranger arrives I take this as my cue. I leave my children, their father, the train set and the i-phone in the garden which should entertain and engage the majority, one way or another. I dash into the garage with a cleaver, a wooden spoon and a bowl of boiling water. I begin to hack away at the ice. For once, I am responsible for the increase in noise production.
“What?” I turn from my position on the concrete floor to the speaker. Nonna.
“I'm defrosting the freezer.”
She steps closer, gingerly due to the lumps of ice and water. “Dat's bad.”
“I know.”
“Ow often do you do dat?”
“First time ever.”
“Ooo dats not good.”

I smell something odd, even though my nose is frozen. Something vaguely reminiscent of nail polish remover, which is peculiar since we generally avoid acetone.

I hear the doorbell, drop everything and dash to welcome our guest for the afternoon on the very last day of the Summer Holidays. I am surprised to see her mum dressed in attire to challenge Vogue but clearly I am ill equipped to advice on the appropriate dress code for a ball game, especially since I am uncertain which type of game the ball belongs to.

I meet and greet with frozen blue finger tips. I make mental notes in case the future requires me to attend a sporting function. I know that white is banned after Labour Day but we're not quite there yet. I only wish I could have been that well turned out for my own wedding. It seems strange to me that such a diminutive slip of a woman should wish to emblazon 'Giant' on her chest but maybe it's just wishful thinking. “My! your home looks so….”
“Messy. Yes I know, it's o.k. to say it out loud.”
“Oh no I didn't mean…..”
“That's quite o.k. It's not a dirty word.”
“Did you have a party here?”
“I suppose you could say that. Six people at home for six weeks, plus additional people here and there, now and then.”
She looks at me in silence because I am whittering.

We say our farewells and the girls flee in glee to their own recluse. I check the garden party, fine. I check Nonna, who has moved on to the comic book Baby Blues and then rush to the garage and the drips. I hurl bucket loads of ice out onto the flower bed together with silent prayers that the tomato plants don't get frostbite in August.

I hear agonized screams from the interior of the house and dash back to find who has been wounded with what? My youngest son hobbles on his heels with a bead of blood on one big toe. I grab towels and a damp cloth as Band Aides are banned for this child. Nonna appears with a handful of ice and a handful of tomatoes, my shadow. “Ere what I do with deez?” but it's hard to hear over the screams. Ice drips as does tomato pulp. He latches on to a ditty, considerably quieter, “talk about a space cadet, talk about a space cadet, talk about a space cadet.”
“What he is saying?”
“Nothing, don't worry about it,” I bellow.
“What is wrong with im?”
“TOE!” Nonna peers to see the microdot of blood.
“Ere put dis ice on it,” she offers and reaches as he jumps to his feet and scarpers at the speed of light. “So …….ees alright den…….”
“He doesn't do ice.”
“So I see.”
“Right. I must get on.”
“Oh…..I got im to elp you.”
“Who? Help with what?”
“Dey were too eavy for me, but I got him to take out all dah rubbish to dah trash can.”

Well I suppose that’s one way of crossing something off your list of ‘things to do.’

Excuse me, I'm off to IceLand, not to shop but to climb into a chest freezer and pull the door closed.

Nip over for a “nibble” if you haven’t already and make sure you leave your URL.

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Snippet – Sugar Coated

5 Minutes for Special Needs

“Come along guys, time for cereal!”
“Ooo I hate all dez chores!

Anyone needed further words can go over “here” to my other site “alien.”

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Different Strokes for different folks

We survive the first 45 minutes of her being ill, but then she follows me around like a rash.

She reminds me that she is bored at 3 minute intervals. This is my 'play with me, play with me, watch me, watch me,' child, not that I'm assigning a role of predestination for any of my children.

Perish the thought!

Although brothers generally fall into the category of 'pest,' when they are at school, somehow their company is so much more appealing.

“But I'm real bored Mom.”
“I know dear, but I'm very busy. Why don't you go and rest in your room.”
“But it's not like you're doin nothin.”
“Anything, dear, anything! As I said before, I have a great deal to do and the sooner I get it all done, the sooner I may have some free time. Why don't you go and rest in your room and think of three things that you'd like to do when I'm finished.”
She sighs and deflates against the wall, “whatya doin then that's more important than me an bein sick?” The tone of sarcasm isn't lost on me, but I decide to ignore it. It would appear to be an abuse of power to out sarcasm a sarcastic 10 year old.
“Well right now I'm putting all the boys' clothes back into the cupboard. I do it every day. It take about 20 minutes depending upon whether they accidentally tipped out the pyjamas too.”
“It sure is a big mess.”

I fold, refold, stack shelves and re-hang T-shirts under her watchful eyes.

“If I did that you'd be real mad at me, right?”
“Well it would depend upon why you'd messed up your closet?”
“It's not fair, they get to trash their closet every day and you just clean it all up!”
“Is that what you think?”
“It's always the same, you treat em different.”
“You're right, I do. Partly because you're older and partly because there are some things that they find a lot more difficult than you do. Sometimes they need more help.”
“It stinks.”
“Now I have a question for you!”
“Really! What?”
“When you were really little, we had a closet just like this one. Half of it was toys and half of it was clothes. Every day I would try and put you to bed for your nap. Instead of taking a nap like every other toddler in the entire universe, you'd climb the closet shelves and chuck everything out. Then you'd strip your bed. Every day. Now why do you suppose you did that?”
“Geez, I have no idea! What did you do?”
“Every day after your non existent nap, I'd come up here and you'd be sitting in your devastated room with a mischevious grin on your face. I would be so cross with you. Daddy and I decided that we'd just leave mess and put you to bed at night without the bed clothes.”
“I don't remember that either.”
“Well you wouldn't, because some time during the evening, once Daddy was home, I'd zip up here and straighten it all out. It took ages but I just couldn't put you to bed like that, it seemed too unkind.”
“Wow. How long did I do that for then?”
“What happened to stop it?”
“I gave up trying to get you to nap.”
“Why did I do that? It seems kinda weird.”
“Well, I think it's because you didn't have enough words to explain that you didn't want to nap and probably more importantly, that you didn't need a nap. You always were an energizer bunny.”

She slithers down the wall onto her hunkers, stares at the self portrait picture of her big sister. “Did she do weird stuff when she was little too?”
“Oh yes indeed. There’s not a child on the planet that doesn’t do “weird stuff” sometimes. The trick is to figure out the why? Once you know the ‘why’ it won’t be weird any more.”

Post script:-

Take one Lilo and Stitch video

Extract Elvis

Add birthday present CD and “Mix”

Alternative “Junior production.”

Cheers Debra!

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