Hissy Fit Frenzy

Bull looking over back fence says Dont Mess With MeWarning: Do not read this post if you want to believe I am a nice controlled Christian woman. Because you will be sorely disappointed. This is the first occasion in my adult life where I have had a crazy uncontrolled hissy-fit frenzy. It may have something to do with “that time” of my life. Or not. Maybe it was just a bad tempered me.

I came home late from work on a Thursday night (about 11.00pm) and as I drove up the drive-way I heard the doof doof doof of VERY loud music. “If that’s my boys, I will wring their bleedin’ necks” I thought. But it wasn’t, there was a party happening over our back fence … on a Thursday night?? When we all have work the next day??

My husband said he’d already told them to turn down the music and they did. For 5 minutes. He said to me “You’ll have to do something about that music”. Me?? That’d be right. They all whinge when my assertive head emerges, yet call on it when the tough stuff has to be done and they don’t want to do it themselves. Yes, the three men of my house turn to the woman when the “big guns” have to come out.

But I refused. They could deal with it … for once.   They didn’t.

When I was in bed at around midnight, something happened to my little tired annoyed brain. Doof doof doof. It was getting louder! My eyes snapped open, staring at the darkened ceiling. I felt my arm lift up of its own accord and it slowly pulled the doona back. I arose; like a sleeping vampire that had finally tasted its first sip of blood and felt life pulsing through its system – and it was about to be let loose.   I put my glasses on. I put my slippers on. And walked to my back door. I opened it, and left it opened. Like a sleepwalker I moved towards the back fence. I climbed as high as I could. I scanned the crowd of nicely dressed young adults. Nobody had seen me. Yet.

I breathed in deeply and inflated my lungs to maximum capacity, then bellowed like a roaring hormonal beastie … “EXCUUUUUSE MEEEE!”  Doof doof.   I said it again. And again! Finally, the crowd of gaping young people had noticed the big woman towering over the back fence, bed-hair-bun piled crookedly and sliding down her head like a mammoth testicle (I haven’t perfected the messy bun look), in her billowing baby blue floral pyjamas, with the bright orange ear plug sticking out of one ear. I was glad about their shocked expressions. I had their utmost attention now, didn’t I? I should have realised that the two long loose escaped tendrils of my curls were not the only things that seemed to be swinging over the back fence. But I didn’t.

I pointed at two girls “YOU TWO, TURN THAT MUSIC OFF!” They didn’t move. “NOOOOOWWWWW!” They ran for their lives. The music stopped. I pointed to another “YOU! GO AND TELL THE OWNER OF THE HOUSE TO COME HERE – NOW!” I found I couldn’t stop. I seriously couldn’t stop. They were all looking at me. “WE HAVE TO GET UP AT 5AM IN THE MORNING. DID YOU HEAR MEEEE?? 5. BLOODY. O’CLOCK!” Yep, I lost it big time and even swore; much to my shame. I think I said a couple more sentences along the same lines, but I can’t even remember now. Two young men suddenly ran towards me with their arms reaching up.

They were jumping up and down with their hands extended towards me, telling me to calm down, it would be alright, and the music would stop now. As I was screeching at them like a crazed banshee I must have been trying to get closer to them; and these two heroic young men ran to stop me toppling into their garden bed. That would not have been a good sight for the young man on his 21st birthday. The old lady (compared to their age), with her head buried in their garden bed, with floral clad blue legs kicking in the air.   {Shudder}

A sense of peace then enveloped me. I calmly said “Thank you”. And like a retreating meerkat, my head descended, never to be seen again.

I now have to live with the shock (and terrible embarrassment and guilt) about what made me act like that. I’m supposed to be a Christian. Can people really go “crazy” and act out of character? Or is it our real character that breaks out because we can’t control it in a moment of weakness and vulnerability? I just don’t know.

Being a Christian now means I will need to make this right, somehow. An apology is in order, me thinks. Damn it.
©2015 CEW


An Aunt’s Reflection

3 hearts on clotheslineI am their Aunt.

I watched; as they grew inside their mother’s womb. I’d put my hand on her stomach and feel them move. I’d smile.

A boy. He was battered and bruised from a traumatic birth.   I watched his cousins say “he’s beautiful” to his Mum. I told them not to mention his injuries as they’d hurt his Mum’s feelings. I saw; the creation of a new mother’s love come into being.

A girl. I watched; as she entered the world and was gently placed on her mother’s stomach. She cried when she looked upon her tiny daughter.

I watched; when they were 2 and 3 years old and their dad left their Mum. Who would have known they’d grow up in a single parent household. Not I. Not anyone.

I watched; as their Mum struggled to bring them both up, on her own when they were so little. I watched; as she went back to work and put them in childcare so she could keep paying the bills. And I held her when she cried; because she didn’t plan for them not to have a dad living in the same house, like most of their friends had.

I was there for their first day of school. I watched; as they walked through the gate, struggling to hold those big school bags on their backs.

I watched their tantrums and I went to their home to be the “tough” one when they were giving their Mum a hard time. They could be little terrors at times! I heard; when then called me “The Commando”.

I watched; as the doctor told their Mum she had cancer. And I watched over them in the hospital as she had surgery. It was a tough year.

I watched a little girl; struggling with a big vacuum cleaner to try and help her Mum clean the house. I watched a little boy, who would lean close to his Mum when she slept, not wanting to wake her, but just making sure she was still breathing. I watched; as they both went through things that no child should ever have to go through.

But do you know what I’ve seen with all of my watching?

He – is one incredible and amazing young man. He has so much integrity and I’m proud of the man he is becoming. He is only 15, but he seems so much older. A true gentle-man. A man any young woman would be proud to take home and introduce to her parents.

She – is not just my niece, she is “my sister”. A 14 year old young woman, a nurturer, who cares about others with amazing empathy and compassion that most girls her age do not possess. She is beautiful and witty, smart and intelligent. Her heart for social justice and what is right is so powerful in such a young woman.

But I don’t just watch them. I pray for them; I encourage them; and I am one of their most ardent supporters. But more than anything.

I love them. I am their Aunt.

©2015 CEW

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I fought a bidet. I lost.

toilet bidet squirting waterI had a fight with a Japanese toilet and I lost in a most spectacular fashion!  I’m not talking about their public toilets that are a hole in the ground which one must squat over at one’s peril … and pray one aims in the right direction.  I’m referring to their technologically advanced electronic toilets.

Just before I went to Japan on business I had a crash course in protocols and Japanese customs.  I would be “home-stayed”, meaning I would live in the home of a Japanese senior official (of equal status to me).  I would bathe in the bathwater first as the honoured guest (before the rest of the family would use it), I should never write on a business card (an insult) and there would be an official exchanging of gifts (etiquette), just to name a few.    But nobody told me about their toilets!

I arrived at my host family’s home where the whole family greeted me dressed in their finest. There was a lot of bowing and head nodding.  They did not speak English.  I did not speak Japanese.  We spent the afternoon sitting in their lounge room.  Smiling.  Nodding.  And smiling more.  It was very formal.  I eventually excused myself to use the water closet, which they’d pointed out to me earlier.

The Incident

I opened the little door to the little throne room and stepped over the threshold.  This was no ordinary toilet.  This one had an electronic control panel!  Wow, I could be in the Starship Enterprize.  The only thing I recognised in this room was the toilet seat – ye auld familiar friend.  I took care of my afternoon ablutions with the deflating of my overextended bladder and took a moment to contemplate my day, chuckling at the electronic panel.  What were all the buttons for with Japanese writing on them?  I recalled being told that some toilet seats are heated in Japan so you could heat your toosh on a cold day.  I was at the bottom of Mt Fuji where is snowed, maybe it was a fancy heating panel, thought I.  I stood and righted my clothing and went to flush the toilet.  My hand suspended in mid air … there was no button.  I surveyed the top of the toilet, the sides, I even glanced at the ceiling {well, you never know!}.  I was baffled.  I couldn’t find the flush button anywhere.

I could hear the theme song from Jaws in my head as I slowly turned to glance at the control panel.  Oh please Dear Lord, not the control panel!  Was I supposed to push one of those buttons?  I thought…yes.  But which one?  I studied them carefully.  I noticed there was a blue button and a pink button.  My logic won out.  I deduced that if you are a boy you push the blue button, and if you are a girl you push the pink button.  Problem solved!  I am a girl.  Pink button it is!  I pushed.   Silence.

Just as I was contemplating my next move I noticed a steel rod descending from the back of the toilet bowl. What is that?  I’d never seen anything like it.  I bent and peered closely at aforementioned steel rod.  It halted.  I inched closed, and still closer, face peering at the alien appendage.  What in the …..

A huge gush of water under high pressure blasted me straight in the face, hosing my contact lens out!  I went into a panic because the water did not stop!  It was blasting upwards like a burst fire hydrant.  Without thought I grabbed it with my hand, and still, it would not stop.  Now the water was spraying all over the room and gushing out between my fingers.  The floor was flooding, water was running downs the walls, my hair was dripping, and my clothes were wet.  I COULDN’T STOP THE FLOW!  Should I wrench the rod out?  Using my other hand I began wildly hammering the buttons on the control panel.  Thank goodness … the water finally stopped.  My breathing was fast and shallow, a sign of my distressed state.

I stood there stunned for long moments.  Gathering my courage around me, and with a wildly fluttering unfocused right eye, I walked back to the lounge room where my host family awaited.  I walked into that room looking vastly different from when I left.  I needed to explain what happened, but how, when we did not understand each other’s language.  I was never good at Charades, but you should have seen the way I explained what I’d just done.  It was an Oscar winning performance!

I stayed with this beautiful family for the week.  I’m sure I will be remembered as the strange Australian who cleansed her face with their bidet.  They will be remembered as the family who made the strange Australian who couldn’t use a toilet feel at home, despite her most embarrassing moment.  EVER!
©2015 CEW


Originally posted on my old blog site.

Blogging and Why I moved to “Cat in the Cactus”

Pretty cat looking at cactusDear Friends & Followers,

I’ve learnt a lot about blogging that I wish I’d known before I started. But we all have to start somewhere.  Life is a journey about learning, growing, failing, persisting and maybe even hitting the jackpot … hopefully! And it can certainly be like this for new bloggers. Well, it certainly has been for me!  When I started I went to a self-hosted site, because I didn’t know any better. That was my first mistake.

It was actually Jason Cushman at Harsh Reality (a fellow blogger who I “Follow”) who inadvertently alerted me to a deficiency on my blog site. He said to me about one of my posts … I was going to reboot this, but dont see a reblog button for WP. :)” I investigated and discovered that self-hosted sites do NOT have a “Reblog” button. I could have cried. I lost my chance to have someone Reblog one of my posts, which is a big deal for bloggers.  So I started investigating about the differences between self-hosted sites and WordPress.com.

There’s good and bad points about both, but because I’m not an I.T. expert, being self-hosted had other problems I couldn’t fix. (Eg. I had to find my own plugin to do my own back-ups, and when they didn’t work it was a nightmare. I had to buy a plug-in to look at my stats. The scheduler never worked and the host-site said it was probably one of my plugins – and it was up to me to find out which one! etc). It was a lot of time and effort – and to be honest, money! It cost me about $300AUD just to get up and running. So I started looking at WordPress.com (apparently self-hosted sites are at WordPress.org). Bleeding’ confusing I know. I needed to seriously think about a change.

When I started I also didn’t realise how important a blog name was. I was “Ask Aunty Cath”, but it didn’t really represent my personality or sense of humor. I have Followers with fantastic blog names, like HarsH ReaLiTy and Katie over at fattymccupcakes – now there’s a great name that represents her personality perfectly! I’m sure you’ve discovered some ripper blog names too. So I started researching about what blog name would really reflect my personality and my style of writing. After a lot of research I finally decided on “Cat in the Cactus”. Cat is a reflection of my name – Cathy. And the term “in the cactus” definitely reflects me and my personality. I quite often end up “in the cactus” (an Aussie term) meaning I’m “in deep s^&t“. Unfortunately my bold and outspoken personality tends to get me into strife sometimes. Cat and Cactus are also total opposites, one is soft and purrs, the other is sharp and stings. Yep, two accurate representations of my personality. So “Cat in the Cactus” it is!

I don’t want to lose any of you as Followers, because I value our connection too much. So please “Follow” me at “Cat in the Cactus” – and I will come by and follow you too.

Cathy xox

ps: I will also republish some of my favourite posts on this site over the next month or so, as well as some new ones, as I don’t want to lose any of my blogs. Happy blogging!

Hello world!

Love Love Laugh medallionsThis is my first post on “Cat in the Cactus”!  My name’s Cathy, and I was born to tell stories.  I’ve loved creative writing and story-telling from when I was a little school-girl – and it’s time to put my fingers to the keyboard and start painting vivid pictures with the written-word about life, love and laughing lots – on WordPress.com!

My two young-adult sons and husband are my inspiration. Their pranks and ridiculous antics have caused me to cry with laughter {and just cry sometimes} and they have coloured what would otherwise have been a black-and-white life.

Thanks for reading my first “Cat in the Cactus” post.  I look forward to reading your blogs too, Liking, Commenting and Following you, as well as building up relationships over the Blogosphere.


ps:  My first attempt at blogging was on a self-hosted site, which was just too hard as I’m not an IT expert.  But that’s a story for a future post … until then!