The Cicada Shells

As a youngster I was an enormous nature lover – I spent most of my days looking under fallen leaves for beetles and breeding tadpoles every rainy season – so it’s no surprise that Harry Butler was one of my childhood idols. I believed he was magical because every rock or branch he turned over revealed an animal of some kind. I wanted to be just like Harry and never missed his show, In the Wild with Harry Butler.

One day my dad and I were in our backyard when he called me over and pointed to a small creature attached to a tree. It was hideous. It looked like a cross between a tarantula and a naked mole rat.

cicada in tree

To my surprise, my dad pulled it from the tree and held it out to me, as though I was supposed put my hand out to hold it. I looked at him like he was about to set me on fire and let him know, in no uncertain terms, that I would not be touching it anytime soon.

cicada shell

My dad tried to convince me that it was harmless, that it wasn’t even alive and was, in fact, just a shell. But it was the creepiest thing I had ever seen and I refused to go near it. I didn’t believe it was just a shell; I thought it was alive and perfectly capable of biting off one of my fingers.

After many minutes of trying to convince me of its harmlessness my dad gave me a choice: I could either hold the cicada shell or I wouldn’t get to watch Harry Butler that night. I was devastated – it was like Sophie’s Choice!

I thought about how repulsive the cicada shell was and how much I loved Harry Butler. I cried and pleaded with him, but he was resolute. I came to the conclusion that my dad was the meanest dad alive.

Harry Butler

My love for Harry was so strong that eventually I closed my eyes, held out my hand and waited for my dad to drop the repulsive creature in it. Suddenly, I felt the lightest touch on my palm, it was like a feather. I opened my eyes and took a closer look – it really was just a shell! I was instantly fascinated. From that moment on I was the cicada queen (and I got to watch Harry that night).

Not only was I no longer scared of cicada shells, I would seek out the live nymphs, put them on my shirt and let them hatch on me. I would then wear the empty shells on my clothes like badges. Cicadas were the most fascinating creatures I’d ever encountered.

cicada shirt

One day I found an unusually large amount of cicada shells on a tree in our front yard and instantly had an idea.

cicada tree

bucket

 

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door2

 

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Dad, thanks for making me hold the cicada shell. Mum, you can blame dad for that one!

My Cat Has An Eating Disorder

For a long time I thought my cat was just wonderfully cuddly or wearing her winter fur, but after being asked if she was pregnant by at least nine people (including the guy who came to fix our bathroom tiles) I began to think that perhaps my perception was a little distorted.

There were definite signs that she had a problem.

Like the day we realised that our fish tank was just a big, glass pot-plant holder.

fish_tank

It’s not like I haven’t tried to help her slim down, I really have, but she always finds a way to thwart my efforts.

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The other day I fed the cat and dog and, as always, I fed the cat on top of the dryer so the dog can’t eat her food. After a few minutes I heard growling and barking coming from the laundry. This is what I found:

food_bowl

That’s right, apparently her food was just an appetiser and the dog’s food was her main meal. This discovery left me wondering two things; firstly, how many times has she done this without me knowing and secondly, why is my dog such a wimp?

So, I put my cat on yet another diet yesterday and I thought she was doing pretty well…that is, until I went to take the clothes out of the dryer.

laundry

As I bent down to retrieve the toasty-warm clothes I heard footsteps thundering so loudly through the house that, for a brief moment, I believed it might be the four horsemen of the apocalypse.

laundry1

I was confronted with a full-on assault!

laundry2

 

My cat, in the mistaken belief that (because I was in the laundry) she was about to be fed, leaped through the air with such force that she butted me fair in the head, knocked me off balance and crashed into the box of laundry powder atop the dryer, spilling its contents all over the floor.

leaping_cat

She then attempted to look cute and ask for food.

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Although I know this diet is good for my cat’s health, I’m not so sure that it’s good for mine.

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Why Winter Sucks

Winter is approaching again and I am absolutely dreading it. Soon I’ll be rugged up on the couch, covered in blankets, while my whole family will be getting about in T-shirts and annoyingly insisting that, “It’s not that cold”.

For the entirety of the winter months my hands become like ice blocks and my skin turns to permanent goose flesh. In fact, I’m pretty much like that during the autumn months as well. Give me a hot, humid, summer’s day any day.

Here are some more reason why I think winter sucks:

My shoes don’t fit.

socks

The torturous decision each morning to end a steaming hot shower.

shower

The atrociously unsexy nightly attire.

romance

Getting into bed.

bed1

Getting out of bed.

bed2

Excruciating foot cramps brought on by the cold.

cramp

I did manage come up with one good thing about winter…I always win at “icicle hands”!

icicle_hands

The SpongeBob Costume

It all started when my son, Daniel, brought home the latest school newsletter. They were having a costume day and the children were to come dressed as their favourite movie or television star. Having never made a fancy dress costume in my life I was immediately consumed with all-too familiar feelings of guilt and inadequacy.

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Then I had an idea. Surely there must be a way I could make a SpongeBob costume without sewing!

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So I jumped online and searched…

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It was going to be brilliant!

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I was so excited about the costume and my son and I were going to have a blast making it!

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Yep, I was pretty much the most awesome mother in the world. (Even if I can’t sew.)

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I couldn’t wait for school to finish.

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At first Daniel was thrilled. He loves doing arts and crafts and was really keen to get started on a project.

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I explained the project to him…

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but was totally unprepared for his reaction.

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I tried to sell it.

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But I knew he wasn’t buying it when he said:

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I didn’t let go easily.

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It was brutal.

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Don’t worry, I’ll get over it.

Eventually.

Without my Cat and Dog…

Our pets drive us crazy from time to time, but things are never boring with them around. Recently I got to thinking, what would life be like without them?

Without my cat and dog…

who would stalk me and make me feel important?

stalking_cat

who would kill the really big spiders?

big_spider

who would create an obstacle course for me when I come home from grocery shopping?

obstacle_cat

who would kill the giant rat I didn’t know I had?

dead_rat

who would make my yoga practice more challenging?

cat_yoga

who would alert me to the fact that a car door has been closed, somewhere?

barking

who would prevent the house from being overrun by plants?

houseplant

who would make our boring clothes look like expensive fur coats?

cat_in_dryer

…and, goodness knows, those tissues aren’t going to get ripped up and spread all over the house by themselves!

tissues

Yep, life would be pretty crap without them.

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My Cunning Plan

I was a pretty naughty kid and got into my fair share of trouble. My real problem was that I just never fully thought things through. Like the day I found my little sister, Christie, emptying my favourite cereal onto the kitchen floor. She was having the time of her life.

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I was horrified! This was my favourite cereal in the whole world and it was being wasted! I was so mad! I was so shocked! I was so going to tell mum!

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I turned to go, when I suddenly realised that I had a real opportunity here to get my angelic little sister into a lot of trouble. The floor didn’t really look that bad, so the first thing I had to do was completely destroy the kitchen.

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I made a game of it.

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It was kinda fun.

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When I thought the kitchen looked bad enough I ran off to tell my mum. Christie was going to be in so much trouble. For once it would be her and not me; I would be the good child! Everybody would talk about the day that my sister destroyed the kitchen and wasted all that cereal. They’d talk about how naughty she was and shake their heads in despair. I could hardly wait for my mother to come and see what she had done!

I raced into mum’s bedroom and started shrieking hysterically about what Christie had done to the kitchen and how I had tried to stop her, but she was unstoppable in her rampage!

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My mother didn’t even look up from her magazine. She just said “Oh well, be a good girl and go clean it up.”

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Not only did Christie not get into any trouble, not only did I have to clean up what can only be described as clown vomit, but I was forced to eat boring, old Weet-Bix the next morning with the full awareness that it was my own stupid fault.