What the hell is that on the floor?

Long brown balancing rock formationMaybe we had altitude dementia? Or maybe not. But at 3.00 am at 36,000 feet on a long flight back to Australia, my sister and I went absolutely stir crazy. Huddled under our little blankets giggling our noggins off, we woke our Dad sitting in front of us, as well as other passengers in our vicinity. We couldn’t help it. Have you ever tried to stifle hysterics? It only makes you laugh harder. That was us.

My sister needed to go to the toilet, and if you’ve ever used an aeroplane toilet and you are female, it’s not fun. If you are a male, I suggest you try this so you know what I’m talking about …

  • Grab a cactus in a pot and put it on the roof of your car on a gravel road, and have your mate ready to accelerate behind the wheel. (Not that a toilet seat is a cactus, but the pain of sitting in someone else’s urine puddle comes mighty close for a woman!)
  • Climb onto the roof of the car.
  • Now pull down your pants – no part of your clothing can touch the floor or it becomes soaked in a complete stranger’s filthy DNA. So you need to balance the clothing between your knees and ankles.
  • Now squat backwards and hover your nether-region just above the cactus, trying not to let your dangly bits touch the prickles.
  • Now … yell out to your mate to hit the accelerator on that bumpy road.
  • Then stay in that position for 30 seconds!

Now you know what it’s like for a woman going to the toilet in an aeroplane. Anyway, back to my story …

So my sister goes to the toilet and the “occupant” forgot to lock the door. She walks in to see a poor Indian lady “hovering” in the above position. She looks at my sister with sheer terror on her face as Sister quickly reverses and shuts the door. She scurries to the next toilet.

Now it’s my sister’s turn to be in the “hovering” position. Whilst suspended in that state she notices a vile stench permeating the cubicle. She can feel bile bubbling in her innards, but manages to hold it in. “What is that smell? It’s not coming from me”, she thinks. She looks around the tiny room and her eyes focus on an object on the floor. She focuses on the “log”. It’s a big brown turd! Just resting there. On its lonesome. She can’t help it and she starts laughing uncontrollably. She pictures this …

A poor soul high above the midnight clouds. Hovering over the same toilet in the same cubicle. And just when their “object” was about to leave their body, turbulence strikes! And the “object” starts swinging like a pendulum. Left. Right. Left. And all of a sudden it’s hanging by a point mid-swing, and then it’s released! It flings off and somersaults over the top of the stainless-steel bowl and lands on the floor. Intact.

My Sister runs back to our seat with her hand over her mouth. By the time she tells me her story, we are both out of control. We have gone mad. We are over-tired!

It was the funniest way to end our 4 weeks abroad.

© CEW 2015

He should be arrested for this!

Man wearing black business sock white shoes and shortsI thought it was just our local priest who wore socks and sandals.  I’d sit in church and notice Father Joe’s feet and think it was a statement in humility, that “Maybe he was trying to dress like Jesus”.  But I think not now.  It think it’s just … men.  I don’t mean to offend the male species but do they lose their dress sense as they lose their hair?

I include my own husband in this category now.  His hair is thinning as his fashion sense is waning.  This picture I’ve posted is my husband and how he wears his socks some weekends.  I kid you not!  I’d look down at his ridiculous pulled-up business socks with shorts and say in a high pitched squeak “Are you serious?”  He’d look down and say “What?”

I posted this photo of his calf-length black socks and weird-white-pointy-walking shoes accessorised with his nice big shorts on Facebook once and asked my friends “Is it just my husband, or do others have no idea either?”  The response was that my female friends felt my agonising paaaain.  And my male friends?  They couldn’t see anything wrong with it!

One humiliating week day my husband went to pick our teenage sons up from high school. He turned up early, got out of his car and leaned back onto the hood with his arms crossed in a relaxed pose.  Slick … except he was clod in his customary black socks pulled up his pins with his long black billowing shorts and white pixie shoes!   Son No. 2 and a friend walked out of class and noticed his Dad … in his “pet” socks.  Son quickly glanced left and right and contemplated a quick getaway. His friend laughed and said “Isn’t that your Dad?”  Son hesitated and almost denied him.    But instead {long slow sigh} “Yep … that’s him”.

So I ask you.  Is it just me or should this look be illegal? What is it with men and socks?

© 2015 CEW

Originally posted on my old blog site

How to pay the “Reblog” blessing forward

Master Yoda holding a Reblog ButtonToday my blog site “views” went up three-fold! Why? Because one of my Followers, that little voice, Reblogged my post. I am so grateful that I’d like to pay the Reblog blessing back … and then forward!

But firstly, I want to thank Jason Cushman over at A Good Blog Is Hard To Find. Jason Reblogged my 1st post on Cat in the Cactus a few months ago and helped to give my new site a little kick start. I’ve been Following him, and it is through his generous Reblogging of so many people’s posts that I’ve met some fantastic bloggers, and now I want to give back to others what he has freely given to me. I’m calling it paying it back and forward, which means not just taking what someone else has freely given then paying it back, but then doing the same for someone else, in the hope that it really blesses them.

So …

Once a week I will Reblog one of your posts (from my Followers list) with the hope that the views and Followers on your site go up too and make your day.  Hopefully you will meet some new friends along the way, as I have. I’m hoping you will be happy to then Reblog one of my posts too (your choice) and Reblog one of your other Follower’s posts. Paying it back and/or paying it forward”!

Here’s a call out to my Followers (both old and new) – If you have a favourite post that reflects the essence of your blog, you are welcome to send me a link so I can have a read, or I will just surprise you and Reblog something I love from your site anyway.

I’m starting off my Reblog tomorrow; with a post from that little voice, to say “thank you” (your Reblog made my day), followed up by one from A Good Blog Is Hard To Find next week.

I look forward to reading your blogs. It may take me a while to get through my list of Followers, but I’m going to do my darndest to Reblog a post from all of you {gulp}!

All the best with your Blogging and Reblogging! May the force be with you …

© 2015 CEW

How to be the shopper from hell and be proud of it!

Happy lady shopper carrying bagsHusband decided many years ago that he couldn’t stand going shopping with me. Son1 has jumped on this bandwagon. Son2 laughs hysterically when he learns of my “episodes”. I don’t really see what all the hoo-haa is about. I stand up, I speak up, and I stick up for myself. And … I’m proud of it!

Here are my 3 assertive shopping rules that I practice on a regular basis, saving myself lots of money; and saving myself from salmonella.  I wish I could say the same for  Husband’s sanity.

** Remember your prices and speak up when items scan incorrectly **

I bought a bottle of olive oil that was on sale for $3.99, but when I scanned the bar code it came up as $4.00. I told the store assistant that it scanned wrong, and I wanted it sorted out. She looked at me as if I had lost my marbles. She said $3.99 and $4.00 is the same thing.”  “No it’s not” I said. There’s 1 cent difference.” She said Are you telling me that you are doing this for 1 cent?”  Oh, I just love it when I am challenged. I’m a person who operates on principles, and this was about the principle of the 1 cent! But … I’m not totally doing this for 1 cent. I replied …

Oh no, I’m actually doing this for $3.99. Because when you do your price check, and realise I am right, you must then give me the oil for free. I wouldn’t say a thing for 1 cent, but I’m about to save myself around $4.00!”

She did her price check, and yes, the customer (moi) was right. Not many people care about remembering the price of items in their grocery trolley. But I do. And I call them out on at least 1 mistake they make almost weekly. And every time, I get the item for free. (It’s law in Australia.) Even a $30 DVD scanned wrong when my boys were younger, and I got that for free too. I save myself $hundreds$ each year!

** Don’t let anyone get away with poor hygiene **

Every hot day when I picked my boys up from school I went through the Hungry Jacks drive through to get them a treat – an ice cream cone. The assistant would, without gloves on, hand me the cones then collect the money with the same hand. How gross! I knew that they were supposed to put paper/cardboard around the cone and not handle it with their germed up money grubby hands. Every time I pointed this out, and refusing to take the ice creams, I’d say “Can you please get me two more cones, and this time, wrap the cones in paper the way your store policy says it should be done, and don’t break food handling laws?” Yep, it worked every time. One day as she was coming towards the open window with the 2 cones she stopped, saw it saw me, turned around to throw the cones away of her own accord, and I heard her say Oh shit, it’s her again!” She came back with 2 cones wrapped in paper. Haha, now isn’t that a cracker?

Ever asked for a cup of tea at a canteen, and watched as the worker squeezes out your teabag with her fingers? Saw this once too.

Oh yeah, and the time I was in a restaurant and my sister found a fly in her Chinese. It’s amazing that with a table of 14 people, my sister and I got all of our food and coffee for free that night. It pays (literally) to speak up.

So don’t be afraid to speak up on hygiene. Salmonella food poisoning and the spreading of diseases may be avoided if more people stood up and spoke up.

** Make businesses accountable for false claims **

This carpet is so exclusive to our store, that if you find it anywhere else, we will carpet your house for free!”  I actually feel sorry for the salesman who said this to me. Because it was now game on! I found the carpet elsewhere, then excitedly returned to the store with my great find, and asked when they could carpet my house for free. This is a round I didn’t win, because I couldn’t prove the salesman said it and I didn’t have enough knowledge and wisdom about how to take this matter further. However, the Manager rang to say the salesman only said it to highlight the exclusivity of their product {which obviously wasn’t really exclusive}, and he said it wouldn’t happen again. If I was older and wiser when this happened, I would have taken this matter further and possibly gotten my house carpeted for free.

It’s not okay to make false claims about products and services, and we all need to speak up to stop companies doing “whatever they can” to get sales. Luckily, most countries have laws established now to protect consumers.

Do you think I’m the shopper from hell? Maybe. But it’s a mantle I wear with pride.

© 2015 CEW

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The massive spider that scared us to death

Close up of big hairy spiderIt was a pitch-black night when my boyfriend and I spotted the massive hairy spider walking up our windscreen.  It stopped.  Our eyes focused on the big dark silhouette at the same time, yet neither of us spoke.  I kept driving, eyes darting from it to the road.  Boyfriend remained silent.   I didn’t think to put the windscreen wipers on to flick it off.  I didn’t know if it was on the inside or the outside of the car.  So I waited until it started to walk again, then I would be able to tell by its leg movements if it was “in” or “out”.

It started a slow ascent further up the windscreen.  OMG!!!!  It was on the inside of the car!  I heard a high pitched woman’s scream – then realised it was my boyfriend. I was driving and didn’t know what to do – I just knew I had to get out of the car.  I swerved off the road and managed to stop my car before it nosed into a ditch.  I left the engine running and headlights on, threw open the door and ran down the lonely road.  My boyfriend ran past me.  His bravery was … noted.

Hands flapping in anxiety and jogging on the spot I said to him frantically “Go and kill it!”  He clutched my arm “I c c c c can’t” he stammered in terror.  “Did you see the size of that th th thing?”  I’m not into violence, but I felt like slapping him upside of the head with a dead fish.  “What will we do?”  I asked.

We anxiously clutched each other.  In the distance we saw the headlights of an approaching vehicle.  Would anyone stop for two people in the night?  I thought not.  I told him to go hide himself in the ditch and I would pretend I was a lone stranded woman.  Maybe a “brave” white-knight would come to my rescue.  But my brave soul wouldn’t let go of my arm.  So we stood there.  Waiting.  Together.

We were lucky that my car looked abandoned and the two people clutching each other in the rays of the headlights looked terrified.  The approaching car stopped.  Two young men got out and asked if we were ok.  “Spider” I said, pointing.  They burst out laughing, showed no fear and went to inspect the mammoth hairy beastie.  It was a mongrel of a thing, at least the size of a dinner plate!  {Ok, not really, but you know how big a huntsman can get right?  No…well they are also known as “giant crab spiders” so just image a spider the size of a crab!}

I thought they would take the spider out of the car and spare its life.  But instead, one of them took off his shoe and smacked the spider.  Dead.  I watched as a big burst of puss-like substance oozed down the window.  The carcass suspended on the glass for a moment then dropped to the dashboard where it remained.

Oh, “What happened to the boyfriend?” you may ask.  Well, I married him.  And he has since learned to kill spiders.

© 2015 CEW
Reposted from my old blog site

Image courtesy of: stockvault--spider-web138344


Why being you is better than being me

Potters hands making clay potHave you ever wished you were like someone else?  Prettier, skinnier, stronger, or even wished you had talents and gifts like them?  I have.  I’ve wished I was quieter and more gentle-natured and I’ve wished I was more like my sister.  She has all those qualities I aspire to.

I heard this story that is simple, profound, and I have never forgotten it.

Two clay water jugs belonged to a family who lived in a little hut in an arid land.  The jugs were nothing alike.  One was beautiful – and perfect.  The other was well used, cracked, and continually leaked.  But each day, the water-bearer picked up her two clay water jugs and trekked a long way to the water hole.

She filled her two jugs to the brim and slowly made her way back to her hut and her waiting family.  And as usual, by the time she got back, the damaged clay jug was empty and put on the shelf until the following day.  It sadly watched as the beautiful clay jug was placed on the table and the water it held was enjoyed by a loving family.

The daily routine was always the same.  The little cracked jug watched and wishing it was like the beautiful perfect jug, and couldn’t understand why it had to endure the same sad routine every day.  Why wasn’t it thrown away?  It felt useless.  It had no purpose.  It just wished, with all it’s might, it was the other jug.

It couldn’t take it anymore!  So it asked the water-bearer “Why do you take me to the water hole every day, when I am broken, I leak and can’t hold any water?  Every day when we come home I am empty.  I am useless.”

The water-bearer lovingly picked up her broken jug, hugging it closely as she walked to the hut opening.  She faced the jug towards the path that led all the way to the water hole.  One side of the path was lined with the most amazing and beautiful flowers, and other people in the village were looking at the flowers and smelling them.  These flowers were the most beautiful things in the village.  She said “Do you see those beautiful flowers that line the path?  Every day when I walk back from the water hole, it is you who waters those flowers.  It is because of you that we have the most beautiful flowers in all the land.  Your job isn’t to bring water to the family table, it is to bring life to our village.  You are special in a different way.  That’s your unique purpose, and you are beautifully and wonderfully made.

I apologise that I can’t recall where I heard this story, so I can’t give credit where it is due.  But I believe that if you are reading this post, you may need to hear it – to give you hope and inspiration.  Whether it’s Karma, or the Universe, or God (or whoever you believe in) speaking to you, this one’s for you – to remind you that you are uniquely and wonderfully made, and have a purpose.

This is why being you is better than being me.  

©  2015 CEW

If God loves GLBTs, who are we to judge?

Happy people dancing under a rainbow around Tree of LifeI’m a happily married Christian heterosexual woman, and I’m publicly coming out of the closet.  Not to declare I am gay, but to declare that I am NOT opposed to same-sex-marriage (ssm).  I am even going one step further to say “God Loves GLBT’s”.  And by that, I don’t mean God loves “gourmet lettuce bacon and tomato sandwiches”.  I mean …

GOD LOVES GAY, LESBIAN, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER PEOPLE!  And I declare it loudly, proudly and publicly.

I would never win a theological argument on the issue, because the theologians would bamboozle me and confuse me with their intellect; and I would end up looking like a stuttering twit.  So I am going to put my views forward in a simple way.  My way.  The way I think God reflects his love for all people.

In the olden days I may have been burned at the stake for my views, and maybe even now I will upset some of my Christian friends or readers.  But that’s OK too.  It’s our chance to practice grace towards one another.

I’ve been a Christian for 10 years now, and my Church has done a lot of teaching on the love and grace of Jesus Christ.  They’ve taught that there is not one single Christian in our Church (or anywhere else for that matter) who is not a sinner, and still a sinner.  Most of us are private sinners, and because others don’t see it, we tend to get away with it.  So I thank my Church and Pastors for never coming across as being high and mighty and righteous.  Thank you for being “real”.  I also apologise in advance if my views are not “right”, but I know you will love me despite that.  Because that’s what the real “followers of Christ” do.  That’s what you have taught us.  Anyway … back to my post ….

I’ve seen some dreadful vision coming out of the USA since ssm was legalised.  One particular picture of a grown man bending down and shouting into the face of a 6 year old girl incensed me.  Maybe the girl shouldn’t have been supporting ssm in a crowd of supporters, as surely she’s too young, but the man was old enough to be able to contain himself and treat her, a child, with respect.  Would God condone any man treating a child this way?  Not the Christian God that I follow, that’s for sure.

I have seen many placards being held high by Christians over the years saying “God hates fags!”  Wrong again.  Not sure about the god they say they follow, but I know it’s not the Christian God.  He actually sent his son to die for “all” people, so their sins are forgiven, and all means every single GLBT person on the planet and all sins (yes, even the “judgement” shown by these Christians).

When I thought about writing this post {sitting at McDonalds having a coffee on my way to Church} a picture came to my mind so strongly from the Bible.  It’s the image of Mary (the adulterer) on her knees being stoned by a self-righteous crowd.  Then the feet of Jesus come into her view.  And his hand reaches down to her.  He loves her.  He then says “let those without sin cast the first stone”.

The “stoners” in the crowd – I see as the Christians in today’s world.  The self righteous ones that hide their sins but condemn others for theirs.  And Mary, to me, she represents every beautiful GLBT person, individually and collectively, that Jesus reaches out to and loves, despite anything they may have done that others don’t believe in.

To today’s condemning Christians:  Read this story in your Bible.  God doesn’t hate any sinner.  He loves them.  He loves the GLBT community.  He didn’t scream in Mary’s face, like the man facing off against a 6 year old in the USA, nor condemn her.  He reached out towards her with grace and love.  And she became one of his staunchest followers.

Also to today’s condemning Christians:  You are a sinner too, as am I.  It’s just that your “sins” are done in private.  And because your fellow Christians that you sit next to at Church on Sunday don’t know about your secret “sins” of greed, lust, sex before marriage, cheating on your tax return, etc., etc., etc., that doesn’t mean they don’t exist.  It just means you hide yours and are not publicly judged and condemned for them, the way you do to the GLBT community.  God is against greed, lust, worshipping of other gods, lying, adultery and judgement; but it IS legal under man’s law.  I don’t see you opposing these things that God opposes.  The GLBT community has their so called “sin” on display for all to see, and you treat them as if they have a target on their hearts that is yours to shoot at.  Please don’t.  God didn’t intend this to be your ministry area.  He called you to love them … despite that they are GLBT.  Then, there’s God’s definition of Marriage, and man’s which we in Australia call “The Marriage Act”.  Most countries have their own marriage act, that’s why some cultures allow a man to have two wives etc.  You may choose to follow God’s law for marriage, which I do, but the man made marriage act is legal and doesn’t transcend God’s laws.  Choose which laws you follow, and allow others to choose theirs.

To those that want to stone me for my views:  That’s ok.  I know we all have different views and it’s okay for yours to be different to mine.  But we are all called to love others as Christ does.  That’s why I will show grace to you.  Well, I will try, anyway.  God knows I’m not perfect either.

To the GLBT community:    G O D     L O V E S     Y O U.   It’s as simple as that.

Originally posted on my old blog site
© CEW 2015