Beezie the Beetroot

What happens when Sammi the crazy artist lady offers to give the Kewl girls a "practical art lesson"?

Beezie the mini foxy, becomes Beezie the mini beetroot!!!


Today, being Friday, is photo challenge day over at Mountaingirls Musings. Each week there is a new theme - this week's is 'bush' - and the challenge is to come up with a relevant image. It's turned into a great learning project for the Kewl girls (and me!), as we've come across new words, new places, new ideas and new concepts... And we've had great fun coming up with our photo this week.
First we thought about what a "theme" meant, then had a brainstorm about what could come under the theme of "bush". It was great to see the girls' minds firing as they tackled the photo challenge pretty much on their own this week.
They had acquired more than a few pretty typical images of various shrubs and bushes around our home, before Miss V has a somewhat spectacular brainwave.
Coming home in the car one afternoon, we turned into our drive way and began the descent to our home, when Miss V exclaimed, "Hey! We live in the bush!!!!"
Naturally I stopped the car immediately and we all got out and stood on the roof so as to get a good picture of the bush, where we live.

So thanks MG, for a great challenge, some great learning, and of course - great fun!

Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

Life has been pretty full on this week. It's been a good kind of full on though, with lots of forward movement and life embracing thoughts and ideas. You and I haven't had an outwardly spectacular Warrior moment, like the heart bubble last week, but lots of little things have let me know you are still around - Because even with all of this week's action swirling around in my head, you have never been far from my thoughts.
It was as I sat down to write this post to you that I realised how comforting this is.

For the first time since you died, I think I am getting a sense of what it is like to love you, to miss you, to think of you and to embrace life's forward movement, all at once.

I don't have many more words for you today - although my new found sense of life with you is quietly comforting, it is still somewhat shaky, and I don't want to confuse it with cold and boring head talk.

Darling Zy, thank you for always being here. I am so glad you are coming on this journey with me.

Love me.


Last night (Sunday) I re-entered two worlds that I haven't been part of for quite a while, and I entered for the first time, a new world that is waaaaaaay outside of anything I ever thought I'd experience...

I went to a bar.

I ran a performance installation piece (no - I'm not really sure what 'performance installation piece' means either).

And I spoke to a bar full of total strangers about the last moments of Daddy Kewl's life.

To put that all together (partly for my benefit as I am still not sure I understand exactly what I was thinking or doing!) - last night I went into a bar where total strangers were eating and drinking, I cut the lights at 20 minute intervals, and during those black outs I told the story of Daddy Kewl's last day with us.
It started off as a bit of fun - the black outs had people curious and the beginning snippets of the story were light hearted and fun. Right before the last black out I handed out free beers to everyone. Naturally, this was very well received.

Then for the last time, the lights went out and I began speaking...

"One second... he said. He sounded distracted. Worse - He sounded serious. There was screeching. Then crunching. Crackling through the phone line. Then nothing. Oh no."

An uncomfortable silence settled over the bar. The lights came up slowly as I continued speaking - getting voicemail, putting the children in the car, driving, the rising panic, seeing the flashing lights, the crumpled metal, finally, seeing M and finishing with the words, "He is gone. He is dead."

Once I stopped speaking, I took a moment to compose myself, then the lights went down again and a spotlight came up on a small stage where I was now standing. I explained that the man who killed my husband had been drinking, but decided to get in the car anyway. He relised his favourite TV show was about to start, so he put his foot down. He was one block from home when he ran a stop sign and hit M's car.

M was killed instantly.

He did not get to see our twin daughters turn one.
He was not there for the birth of our youngest.
He will never be here for birthdays.
For Christmas.
To hear the "I love you"s.
See the smiles.
Give the cuddles.

He'll miss every second.

The other guy was physically unharmed.
But he did miss his TV show.

I went on to mention the free beer people were holding, and the split second it took them to decide whether they wanted it or not.

I asked them to hold the bottles up and look underneath.

To the people with a black dot under their bottles - I'm sorry - You were just hit by a drink driver. But don't worry, you didn't suffer. You were killed instantly.

To the people with a red dot under their bottles - Opps - You just drove drunk and caused an accident. But don't worry, they didn't suffer. They were killed instantly.

To the people with a white dot under their bottles - Congratulations -
You have just won a $50 Taxi voucher, and you won't kill anyone on your drive home tonight.

Finally, I asked people to remember how easy it is to make split second decisions without giving them much thought.

And I asked that next time, when they have to choose, they make their second count.

There was a round of applause that was hesitant, as if people were not sure whether they should be clapping or not, then without me even realising what was happening, people started emptying their beers.

They tipped them down sinks behind the bar, over the veranda, down drains and gutters and into toilets.

As I watched the people around me emptying their drinks, I felt as though all of the emotions that had been bottled up in order to put together and present the installation were being released. I exhaled, for what felt like the first time in weeks, and just like that, it was all gone.

When the last bottle was emptied another round of applause erupted in the bar, and this time it was packed with energy and intent.


Tonight, I am absolutely exhausted... But I feel better than I have done in months.

One last thing... To everyone at the bar last night, and to everyone who helped make the installation successful, and to everyone who has put up with me while I've had my head so far up the proverbial backside of this new world -


To making every second count.

Upside Town

Another Friday, another Photo Challenge!

This week was a collaborative effort on our part.
First, I took the girls to our town market last Sunday.
Then, Miss V insisted we ditch the crowds for a while and roam free on the oval.
Then, Miss F put her photographer's hat on and captured eleventy-hundred more than a few images.
And finally, Miss J asked Sammi the crazy graphic chick to teach her how to make funny photos on the computer.

Sammi taught her the 'hysterical giggle inducing' trick of turning photos upside down, and when Miss J tried it on some of Miss F's town market photos, my 4yo sense of humor kicked in and dubbed this one, "Upside Town" (It's so lame, it's actually funny... Right?!)

Photo Challenge Friday is hosted by the gorgeous Mountaingirl from Mountaingirls Musings.


We had to go to the shops yesterday to get the Kewl girls a new t-shirt each. I don't particularly enjoy shopping and the girls don't particularly need new t-shirts, but last week we learned about "bets", and of course, being all about 'practical learning' I made a bet with Miss F...
I said, "I bet it will rain only 2 days this week, and she said, "I bet it will rain every day this week."

Apparently the weather God's like Miss F better.

It rained everyday and Miss F won a shopping trip worth a new t-shirt of her choosing for her and her sisters. To be honest, I was actually quite happy about Miss F's choice of betting stakes - Not the shopping part, but the part where she wanted to choose something for her sister's, too!

So yesterday we wandered into Miss F's favourite clothes shop, Miss F on a mission and leading the way, Miss J, Miss V and I happy to hang back and leave the expert to it.
Naturally, Miss F selected the most gorgeous and most expensive top in the entire world store for herself. (But it's not about the money, right?!) She then proceeded to hold various garments up to Miss J, making comments like, "No, this colour does nothing for your eyes," and, "Oh yuck, this cut is less than flattering," before finally selecting, "A rather elegant vest in a brilliant shade of aquamarine, because it makes her eyes look spectac-li-ar!"

Great! Two down, one to go.

Now, Miss J is quite used to her sister's rather, er - strong - passion for fashion. She is usually quite happy to let Miss F take hold of the reins and steer her toward particular clothing choices, and long as she can choose her own accessories, she is happy.
Miss V, however, is not quite so open to her big sister's 'direction' (well OK - Miss V likes what she likes and couldn't care less about Miss F's 'fashionable' opinion), so Miss F wanting to choose a shirt for her little sister was a lot like taking a recipe for disaster, throwing all the ingredients into a container and shaking it.


From the first shirt Miss F pulled off the rack, Miss V was determined to exercise her vocabulary of 'negative connotations'. Unless of course, Miss F didn't like something, in which case Miss V thought it was simply divine.
After about 20 minutes of conflicting opinions and Miss F trying in vain to make her sister surrender to her obviously superior knowledge, taste and overall supremeness find something they both liked - Miss F was over it.

She looked at her sister, then looked at me, then looked back at her sister, then looked back at me, sighed, and said, "You know, sometimes I just can't believe she's actually related to me."

Oh dear.

Just as I was about to attempt an intervention, Miss V pointed to a t-shirt on a manaquin and exclaimed, "Oh kewl! I want that one!!!"

To my complete astonishment, Miss F looked at the t-shirt for a moment, before a huge grin spread across her face and, matching her little sister's enthusiasm, she exclaimed, "Oh! It's perfect!!!"

To my dismay, this was shortly followed by, "And you can stand in our window when we get home!"

You see, Miss V didn't point to just any t-shirt... She pointed to the bright red one, with big, bold, white writing on the front...

The one advertising, "SALE - 25% OFF!"

And I'm almost certain that if she had been allowed, Miss F would have put her sister in the window, sold her to the highest (ie, first) bidder, and used the money to go shopping.


You know, sometimes I just can't believe she's actually related to me...

Warrior Wednesday

Dear Zy,

This week has been kind of an inside week for us - not because we've stayed inside, but because we've been ignoring the outside world. It's been all about finding joy again within our close family unit.

One of my favourite days was yesterday. It was a beautiful Queensland day - blue sky, warm sun and an abundance of delightful sights and sounds and smells. We spent almost the whole day outside celebrating our 'inside' week, and after lunch Miss J asked if we could do something to celebrate with you, too. There was a light breeze around that tickled my nose and whispered in my ear... "Bubbles..... Bubbles....!!" So I raided the kitchen for dishwashing liquid and found a couple of bubble makers, then we got stuck into cele-bubbling with you.

A smile made of love and magic spread across my face and my heart as the Kewl girls blew bubbles high into the sky, and the breeze carried them away to you. About half an hour into our cele-bubbling, Miss V called out, "Look mum! Zy blew a bubble back! And it's a love heart!!!"

My logical mind was about to kick in and explain why bubbles couldn't be in the shape of hearts, bla bla bla... But the brightness of Miss V's face distracted me for long enough to appreciate the moment, and cast my eyes skywards.

Then I called out, "Miss J, Miss F, look! Zy blew a bubble back to us! And it's a love heart!!!"

We all watched as a single bubble, shaped like a love heart, floated gently down from the sky. It danced around our heads long enough to tickle some tears from my eyes, then the Kewl girls blew some more bubbles to keep your heart company, and they all flew back up to the sky with you.

Oh Zy - Thank you so much for sharing your heart with us. I always love seeing you and sharing moments with you, and yesterday you helped me find my light hearted, joyful space again, too.
See you again soon.

Love me.


In an attempt to separate more of my thoughts into neat little boxes and have a place to put them outside of my pretty jam packed head space, I have created two new blogs.

One Second will focus on Safe Driving Awareness. With some time and energy I hope that this blog will facilitate discussion, help change the way we view dangerous driving and promote a zero tolerance attitude toward ourselves and others.
It is still in early development and much of the content is still in thought form, so if you are interested do keep checking back for updates.

The second new creation is more a spur of the moment kind of thing. In a moment of intense grief, I created a space to keep the boxes that are for Daddy Kewl. He will always be part of our lives, and I will still share our moments here on the Kewl blog, but there are some things that aren't child friendly or love light and bliss - and I need a different place for them.
Always Kewl is a private blog, but only to limit the arrival of Google Freaks and unwelcome comments - and mostly - just because when it comes to Daddy Kewl, I am a massive control freak.
I can't say it will be a fun blog, but I can say you're welcome to join us. Just leave a comment (here) so I can invite you.

Honestly, I'm feeling pretty exhausted at the moment. I'm hoping these new blogs will help me find some clear head space, but they could just as easily prove to be a result of puffy eyed sleep deprevation and not continue much past the first few posts.
Either way, we'll keep celebrating the moments and if they make it to blogland, even better!!!


Today is Photo Challenge day over at Mountaingirls Musings, and the theme this week is Domestic.
Our contribution is the result of Miss V's quest to read (and follow) a recipe by herself. She was going great, until she got to the line that said, "Add 5 eggs"....

My Dad vs Your Dad

We went to the park again today, and I think Miss J decided that if her twin sister could have a "death" moment - She could, too.

Miss J was waiting patiently (as patiently as 4 and a half year old's can be, anyway) for her turn to go down the slide. There was another child at the bottom of the slide making a sandcastle.
Miss J said, "Excuse me please!"
The other child ignored her.
Miss J, getting frustrated, said, "Move please!"
Still nothing.
So Miss J started sliding and said, "I'm coming down!"

Upon reaching the bottom of the slide, the other child stood in front of Miss J, stopping her from getting off the slide and most likely treading on the sandcastle.

Miss J, already annoyed, said, "MOVE!"
The other child, also annoyed at being interrupted, said, "NO!"
Miss J, now very annoyed, said, "Move or I will push you!"
The other child said, "You can't do that or I will tell my daddy and he will get you in trouble!"

Miss J said, "Yeah, well if you don't move I will tell my daddy and he will haunt you!!"

I believe Miss J's Daddy won this round...

Bang Bang - Your Spirit is Eternal

At the park today...

A boy comes running out from behind the slide with his hand aimed at Miss F, gun style, and yells,

"Bang! Bang! You're dead!"

Miss F looks up and replies calmly,

"No, you can't kill me - My spirit is eternal."

Confused, the boy says,

"That's not how you play. You're supposed to run away or I'll shoot you."

Miss F stands tall, and from the same calm space, she replies once more,

"I'm not scared of you. And I'm not scared of dieing."

For most of the girls' lives, Daddy Kewl has been with us only 'in spirit'. To us, this means that even though we talk to him often, we feel him close to us and we look out for signs from him, telling us the he loves us and he is here - He will only ever be here in spirit, because he died, and that means that he doesn't have a body any more.
Last year the girls' surrogate baby brother died, too, and even though we talk to him, feel him close to us, and look out for signs from him telling us that he loves us and he is here - He will only ever be here in spirit, just like Daddy Kewl.

Having two people very close to them 'in spirit' has effected the Kewl girls. There are many ways to think about this, depending on your beliefes, but I believe it has heightened their sense of spiritual 'connectedness'.

Sometimes this is hard and confusing, and it causes them deep pain. These are the times when I wish that the girls didn't have so much death in their life experience. I wish that they didn't have to be so aware or have such a developed understanding of what 'in spirit' means (to us). It's also at these times when I start to question whether or not I am doing the right thing by explaining my beliefes to them. Sometimes I even start to wonder whether they would be better off believing that when you're dead, you're dead. That's it. Lights out. All over.

Then there are the times, like today, that tell me we are on the right track. Times when I feel reassured and in a sense relieved, that I am doing the right thing. Times when I think that we are incredibly blessed to have the spiritual knowledge, understanding and life experience that we do. After all, we have some pretty magical moments thanks to our connections 'in spirit' - and even though it's not the same as sharing our lives with the living, breathing, physical beings that we miss so dearly - it is far, far better than not sharing anything at all.

Today has reminded me to trust myself a little more - to keep following what feels right and trust that I know what is right for my girls, too.
It has also made me quietly proud that in all the trauma and heart ache of Daddy Kewl and Baby Warrior dieing - Miss F stands tall - Calm and unafraid, with the knowledge that her spirit is eternal.

One Second

"Hey Al?... Al?... Wake up - I have something to tell you... Wake up Al... It's important..."

M poked me in the ribs, gently, but with enough force to be bloody annoying. I grunted an acknowledgment, then attempted to go back to sleep.

"So Al... I wanted to wait until I was sure, because it's a pretty big deal.. You know, with the twins and everything. OK, see, the thing is... Al? Al? Would you wake up! I'm trying to tell you something and it's really important!"

That's the trouble with being married to an actor. They always have something really important to tell you.

"Al? OK, here goes.. Al, honey, you're pregnant."

Smart arse.

"You are, aren't you?!!"

I was. At least, I thought I was.
He stood up and started jumping up and down on the bed, just enough to disturb two sleeping babies.... And be bloody annoying...

"Wakey wakey kidlets! We're going on a road trip!"

That's another thing about actors - They can be very melodramatic. By "road trip" he meant, "10 minute drive to the chemist"...


"Excuse me please, can you help me find the biggest, fanciest, most positive pregnancy test you have?"

While he was speaking he was also holding our 10 month old twins upside down and pretending he didn't notice. Eventually he followed the Chemist's stunned gaze, looked down at the madly giggling (and slightly red faced) children, swore loudly and returned the girls to an upright position.

Did I mention that actors also like to shock people occasionally..? Their idea of fun, apparently.

Back at home, and two pink lines later, I decided to have a little fun of my own...

"M, darling, do you know what the odds are of having two sets of twins?"

He studied my face, long and hard, but I was giving nothing away. He answered, "About 1 in a billion for identical twins. Something like 1 in 80 for fraternal twins though."
Not that he'd researched it or anything.

"Gee, we really like to run against the odds, don't we?"

Honestly, that shade of pale does nothing for his eyes.
What was I saying? Oh yes...

"How do you feel about Morgan and Charli - As names, I mean?"

Ahh, that's the colour I was going for. Less puce, more off white.
But I couldn't keep it up. I cracked under the pressure and couldn't hide my grin quickly enough.
So busted.

But I do like those names...


For the rest of the morning I was ambushed every time I walked around a corner. M would come up behind me, put his arms around my middle and ask if he could "rub my belly for luck".

Smart arse.

He left for work after lunch... Then he came back 5 minutes later to rub my belly for luck. He hadn't even made it out of the drive way before he came back a second time.
When he eventually got to work, he called every half hour. He'd start the conversation with, "So... What are you wearing..." Then as soon as I said something he'd reply, "Oh! It's you! ... I mean, Oh! Hi honey! So, what are you, er, doing?"

Once he did the whole 'silence on the other end of the line' thing. I said, "I'm wearing your tracksuit pants with no underwear, and I need to pee. So if you want to see your pants alive again, talk fast."

The telemarketer never called back.

He'd been pestering us all day and I nearly didn't answer the phone when he called on his way home from work.
He asked me what I was wearing, then he said he had something for us to have a little baby celebration. He asked if I could get the girls out of bed.. "And maybe poke them a bit... So they'll be happy to see me when I get home."

I asked him what sort of things he had to celebrate, and if chocolate would be involved.

"One second..." he said.

He sounded distracted.

Worse - He sounded serious.

There was screeching
Then crunching
Crackling through the phone line
Then nothing.

Oh no.

I called back immediately.
Voice mail.

I got the girls out of bed, I poked them a bit as I put them in the car, then I drove.

The phone was probably just broken so he couldn't call me and tell me he was fine...
If there had been an accident he would probably need a lift home...
Oh well, I hope he still has the chocolate.

No sirens, no flashing lights.
That's a good sign.
Down the hill.
Around the corner.
Still no flashing lights.
Hmm, left or right?
He must have been shopping - shops are that way.
Down the road.
Around the bend.

Oh no.

Broken glass.
Crumpled metal.
Bits of M's car.

Oh no.

Now I hear sirens and see flashing lights.

The front half of M's car is sandwiched between another car and a tree.
It doesn't look good.

I am on my way over to him when someone comes towards me.
I don't care who it is
But then they are stopping me from getting to M and that makes me care.

I get angry and panic takes hold.

I need to see M.
I need to see him NOW.

I get around whoever is stopping me.

Then I see M.

I see his body
But he is not here any more
He is gone

M is dead.

Earlier that day, a man was having a few drinks at his brother's house after work.
As they drank, the brothers exchanged work highlights and low lights, they made a preliminary assessment of their little sister's new boyfriend, they joked about their wives and their horrible cooking, and in light of this last discussion, they decided on going a third round of 2 minute noodles before dinner.

Then it was time for the man to go home.

The distance was not walkable - but he could easily have ridden the bike that was sitting, unused, in the shed.
A taxi would not have cost too much, nor taken too long.
Buses ran every half hour - they stopped right outside his brother's door and would have dropped him 10 meters from his own.
His brother's wife would be home shortly and she could have given him a lift when she went to pick up take away.
He could have called his own wife and asked her to pick him up.

But all these options seemed like such a hassle.
It was only a few blocks...
And he knew the roads like the back of his hand.
There were never any cops around... No cop, no crime, right?
And besides - He could handle his alcohol.

So the man chose to drive.

He pulled out of his brother's driveway at 7:24pm.
"Damn!" - His favourite TV show started in just six minutes.
At 7:25pm - He glanced at the clock and sped up a little.
At 7:26pm - He sped up a little more.
At 7:27pm - He came to a straight stretch of road and sped up a LOT more.
At 7:28pm - He was one block from home, on a road that he knew like the back of his hand. If he put his foot down, he might just make it.

He probably would have made it, too.
Except that at 7:29pm - The man ran a stop sign.

He was traveling at almost 120km/hr when he drove straight into another car.

The driver of the other car, M, was killed instantly.

M did not get to see our twin daughters turn one.
He was not there for the birth of our youngest.
He will never be here for birthdays.
For Christmas.
To hear the "I love you"s.
See the smiles.
Give the cuddles.

He'll miss every moment.

Every smile
Every tear
Every word
Every whisper
Every breath

Every second.

M's family -
His mum, his dad, his brothers, his children, his friends -

They'll miss him

And ache for him

Every morning
Every night
Every day

Every second.

The man -
He was physically unharmed.

But he did miss his TV show.

No matter who you are
No matter how invincible you think you are
No matter how much you love your television

It is never OK to get behind the wheel drunk.
It is never OK to speed.

It is never OK
For anyone

Not even for one second.