Archive for August, 2007

Basic Car Repair – replacing tail gate struts 101

I have been suffering with a headache for 3 days – whilst it isn’t severe it’s persistence is giving me grief and as such I indicated to the kids daddy that if he wished he could pick them up a little earlier than usual.

I then decided to either do some work, take a nap or start loading the car up with stuff for the car boot sale I booked space at tomorrow.

Whilst deciding I took some stronger painkillers that I don’t like to take if the kids are around in case they knock me out a bit. Then I decided to clean out the car a bit ready for tomorrow…you know take the seats out etc…then of course when I came across the new gas struts for the tail gate that keeps crashing down on my head – particularly in cold weather – so early morning and late nights mostly. So I decided to fit them as I will be out early tomorrow. Then I felt the urge to share my wisdom with the masses. And so ends the introduction of “replacing tail gate struts 101”.

General things to know before you begin.

It is a good idea to ensure that small children are NOT present – several things (including inappropriate language) may fly about.

You only NEED one person to do this job – but two would be easier.

You need a flat screwdriver or similar object to pry the little clips off – you need this handy even if you don’t need it for the first clip as you really are a bit stuck by the time you decide you need it for the second one!

There is a reason for having one strut on either side of the car. Even brand new ones will not hold up the car tail gate on it’s own – hence handy to have a 2nd person – mostly just important to be aware of before tail gate comes crashing down on you.

IF you have ever had the tail gate come down and have to hold it up before you won’t believe this but it is a LOT heavier with a strut missing – it appears even a dodgy strut takes some weight.

and onto the job – actually very simple if you are aware of the above!

Remove the little clip (with screwdriver) – you don’t need them as new struts come with new clips but do watch they don’t fling into your face etc.

If you have a helper – ensure they are holding the tail gate then remove strut – if no helper then hold tail gate and remove.

Of course it helps here if you have loosened the clips on the new one so you aren’t trying to do that whilst holding up the very heavy tail gate! Once the clips are loosened put it in place – I found for some reason it worked best when attaching to the car first and the tail gate second.

Ensure it is there properly and clip is clipped on securely before moving onto the next one.

Now you have finished – hope you have been working out – cause the new struts will test your arm muscles opening and closing the tail gate…but at least they won’t come crashing down on your head!

August 31, 2007 at 4:03 pm 1 comment

I know I know – slacker

I know – am slacker than slack!

Bretty boy is still sick. Really sick actually – this one just is really knocking him about. We get about 20-30min of our normal Bretty Boy two or three times a day – the rest of the day he is either sleeping or whining (I prefer the sleeping)!

Not been doing terribly much – just the regular boring stuff. Trying to catch up – dare I say get a bit ahead. Busy time coming up for the next few days before we head to Adelaide. At least I have the housesitter organised – that’s one thing…

really want to know how busy I’ve been…..? I’m officially out of coke zero – not any left in the house!

and Mr Owen who keeps getting up at the crack of dawn then watching tv and not getting dressed – two can play at that game -the TV has been switched off at the power point….lets see if he works it out!?

August 27, 2007 at 12:53 am 1 comment

Moving forward….

lots happening but mostly little things.

Divorce paperwork – well cause he is now unemployed he will get a health care card which means that we can lodge jointly without fees which will be less fuss and just easier – no having to ‘serve’ him and no need to attend etc so will be going down that track when he gets his card – hopefully next week yay!

Business – well I had a useful chat (I think) with hosting shop about the need to give me SOLUTIONS not just reasons for the site being slow at times. I think we have come somewhere now and they have mentioned something they have been working one which may be able to be applied to top50. Apparently it may be able to be tested on top50 soon so will await a response on that one. In the meantime lets cross our fingers it stays as fast as it is today!

Also on top50 I am today (long overdue perhaps) opening an actual top50 bank account! Its a small thing really but it feels BIG – like it is a business not just a hobby iykwim! Movin’ on up!

Bretty boy is home sick with the strep throat/strawberry tongue again feeling a bit miserable but at least that means he is happy to sit and watch Thomas while I get a few things done!

Just two weeks til we are off again to Adelaide this time – flying this time thanks to cheap flights (and parents with cars/car seats etc etc).

Snow – was great will do a proper snow post soon – promise.

Reclaiming the jungle – pictures soon promise …but am making some slow but sure progress on the back yard. The grass is stupidly high as I procrastinated too long as I didn’t have the tools to do it (ie couldn’t start the mower and didn’t have a whipper snipper)! Now I have an electric whippersnipper (thanks to freecycle) and a cordless electric mower (I love ebay)! IT is a hard slog but am trying to tackle it one bit at a time with no pressure to do it all at once. I found that getting one small part down right down to a good short height and raked up was satisfying – must more so than just trying to slash it all down a bit and then mow it later – at least this way under/around the swings is completely done – can keep on top of that while I work with the rest. Will get a skip in a few weeks after we get home but meanwhile have decided to focus on the back yard and drag the rubbish all out to the pile in the front ready for the skip. There is something very very satisfying about slashing very long grass…or maybe it is just a sense of power in being able to do it for yourself…I am woman hear me roar….lol….or i am woman hear me cut the grass quietly cause it’s all electric cause I can’t start the petrol stuff (or should I pretend I’m being environmentally friendly here)!

Well I think thats it for now…am working on a cookbook for kinder – it should be ready late September and will be selling for $5 each. It is nearly all typed now so yay!

August 22, 2007 at 3:23 pm 1 comment

Bretty Boy turns FOUR

I know it is cliche but man time flies! I can’t believe my boy is four already!

He had a great day and was spoilt thoroughly with all things Thomas the tank Engine, kombi’s and cars!

no big party this year as we were heading off the next day – next year he can have a party with his kinder friends.

hmm crappy phone camera picture


August 19, 2007 at 2:28 pm 2 comments

It is damn scary to drive in the dark with no lights….

ok so I confess the other day I did notice the battery light on and thought I should look into it. I didn’t, was busy and didn’t see it again for a few days so I forgot about it.

So last night driving down the freeway, light sprinkling of rain is falling and I’m singing very badly along with Adam Brand…the cd started going a little funny and I thought it might have been a bit scratched…kept going. I noticed the battery light on and thought – will have to get that checked tomorrow before we head off to Lake Mountain…..then the stereo dies completely….uh oh says Jude, tomorrow may not be soon enough for the battery light investigations. …

So the car keeps going and I’m thinking almost there and nowhere to turn off and don’t really want to be broken down on the freeway in the dark and the rain so I kept going….as I indicated to turn off at power street I realise that in fact my blinkers are gone too…..and the lights are VERY dim. So only two more turns to get to the carpark I figure the city is well lit and I kept going (perhaps I shouldn’t have but I didn’t want to be broken down in the city any more than I did on the freeway)! So I turned into the carpark and took my ticket and proceeded to head up to the 4th floor where there are non- reserved spaces….only half way up the ramp from the 1st everything stops and the car starts rolling backwards! Hand brake – real fast! then got out to warn the car coming up before me. 3 lovely young blokes got out and helped me get it safely out of the way. Anyone ever tried steering a commodore wagon with no power steering? Would not suggest you try it – bloody hard. So locked it up – stuck a note on the windscreen just in case someone decided to tow it or something for parking in a reserved space and headed over the road with my scrapping stuff. From there called RACV who called me when they were getting close so I didn’t have to wait by the car. He fitted a new regulator on the alternator then instructed me to take it for a drive for 30min or so….At Pams suggestion I drove it up and down the carpark a bit then let it idle for a bit before heading back over to scrap – well more eating and talking than scrapping – ahh the prawns, the crayfish, those delectable mushrooms….I could go on…the man can surely cook!

I even did the tiniest bit of scrapping.

Then today I was expecting to pick the kids up at 5pm so was about to get up at 10 (it was a late night) when they landed at the door. Well that through plans out the window a bit. Did the last minute shopping with the kids. Got the radiator flushed and anti-freeze put in – with the kids. Fed them, tried to clean and pack, fed them again, told them to put their pjs on – took them almost an hour – I am soooo over the pj’s/getting dressed fight! Now I am catching up just quickly but I really do need to go in and get that train cake in the oven. We decided to decorate it tomorrow – together as I was just too exhausted to cook it during the day today!

Still I got most of the packing done so the day not a complete write off…

Oh and the biggest plan the 10am thing threw out was Brett’s bday balloons. I had planned a trip down to lombards just at nearly closing time and bring home 4 balloons and hide them in here then was going to put them in his room on my way to bed so he would wake up to them in the morning. So I explained this to ex….asked if he could get them and bring them over after kids were in bed…. no problem he says. So tonight as i put kids to bed I sms – did you get the balloons…..he sends back….i have them on order will pick them up and bring them over when i come – yeah at 5pm so he gets them for what 3hrs then bed then we leave in the morning. I expressed my ummm ‘gratitude’ back and get ‘my bad you didn’t say’ !!!! I will never never never learn will I! I mean why did I think he would have LISTENED to the whole bit! why!!? I will try to pick them up with brett in the morning but who knows if they will let me or not grrr – I could have done that myself!

on the bright side – as horrible as it is driving in the dark with no lights etc it would have been 10 times worse with 3 kids in the backseat! Am sooo glad it happened then so that it could get fixed. Three cheers for RACV what would we do without them!

August 12, 2007 at 9:59 pm 2 comments

Wow suddenly I have a life!

who would have thought?!

I have plans for Friday AND Saturday night this week (one home with a friend scrapping and one out scrapping)!

Brett’s birthday cake will keep me busy Sunday then Monday it is his bday and last minute preparations for our snow trip! The snow gear is all packed. Catching up on the washing too, so I can pack the clothes. Kids are VERY excited – Brett ‘had’ to put on his snow suit one more time and it was a struggle to get it back off him to pack!

Going for easy food while we are there. Taking things like canned tuna and spaghetti with meatballs. Planning to invest in a new book so that when kids are in bed I can indulge with the book (and hey a spa too perhaps lol)! Exciting stuff.

Then we get back Friday and with ex no longer working every Saturday he will have the kids Friday night so I will get a well earned rest pretty much immediately when we get home! And that life again – I’m off out on Saturday – just booked in to the scrapanalia Classathon – awesome to get such cool events close to home. Had said that I couldn’t go as it starts at 1pm Sat but hey with ex not working it puts a whole new spin on things!

Its funny when he moved out one of my early thoughts was that I could have normal weekends back – of course it wasn’t to be as my weekends still revolved around his work schedule for the kids…now I really do get them back….but for how long who knows and hell he could end up on a 4 day rotating roster or something so I figure I’m going to make the most of it while I can!

oh and I so wish I had a picture but alas the camera was on the other side of the room so I missed a pic of Corey’s first full on temper tantrum (i took his garlic bread that he had been holding for 40minutes off him to put him to bed) feet kicking and all….very cute (i say this because it isn’t frequent – the same tanty with mummy more tired/cranky – not so very cute lol).

oh and I found my kitchen bench today – but not the confirmation letter for my accomodation booking or my mp3 player – so if anyone knows where they are I would love for you to share the knowledge with me lol!

August 10, 2007 at 1:02 am 1 comment

Emerging from the rubble

Well I guess sometimes you don’t realise how much time has gone by since you were last in touch with people. Just recently I started to be in touch with some friends I had kinda let go off along the way. It’s nice to have friends…I guess I didn’t realise how much I had been hiding ‘beneath the rubble’ so to speak since Steve and I went our separate ways.

I mean everyone who knows me knows that I am happier, healthier (hell even a little thinner) than I have been in many years and I thought all was pretty fine and rosy myself. Then I realised just recently that I had pretty much cut a few people out of my life just by not contacting them for months and months…I am now getting back in touch. I guess I thought I had picked up my whole life and marched on but it seems I had left a few bits behind that I had to run back for before I lost them completely. Man I’m rambling lol!

WEll life goes on…I am not sad at all for the life that left behind. I am sad for Owen who still says that he wants Daddy to come and live with us again, but even this is happening less often. The frustrations of being a single Mum are pretty much summed up in a conversation with Owen the other day…

“Owen I told you to put your pj’s on, so do it NOW please”

“I like Daddy more than you, Daddy never yells”

“Are you good for Daddy all the time Owen?”


“Well, if you were always good for Mummy then Mummy wouldn’t need to yell!”

grrr – he doesn’t get the logic! oh well on the most part they are relatively good – just LOUD always sooo loud!

Yesterday the boys and I cleaned out the car in preparations for our snow trip. OMG I removed a FULL garbage bag of rubbish from that ONE vehicle – I was disgusted! I vow to clean out my car far more often from now on. It was sooo nice to get into today without crap everywhere!

Yesterday some gremlins took possession of my brain and I allowed a door to door guy to talk to me about telstra and bigpond, in fact I signed up to transfer from my beloved optusnet cable to BIGSWAMP cable….then after the kids went to bed and I looked over the paperwork, my last few bills, my current plans etc ….and I filled out the ‘I changed my mind’ form and faxed it through….what was I thinking! *note nothing personal just I have heard not nice things about bigswamp and I have never had a problem with my optusnet*

I have also been literally drowning in paperwork and stuff for top50 of late. I am happily almost up to date now! woohooo! Well that isn’t the long term to-do list….just the ‘for immediate action to-do list’ lol! I will never never be caught up….it’s a bit like the washing really….you can never have everything clean (unless you wash naked lol) can you?

Ok enough of my silly prattle and back to work for me. Five more sleeps til my Bretty Boy turns FOUR!

August 8, 2007 at 1:53 pm 2 comments

a curveball…

just when life starts motoring along nicely someone throws you a curveball.

Can’t say too much but amongst other things it appears that the ex has lost his job this morning (by phone?)…..ah well less money but on the bright side I might just get my weekends back?! That way he can spend all his time job hunting….

hopefully he will find a new job before too long and hopefully that might even mean monday – friday and I could have my weekends back! Also hoping that I can still go to the getaway I have booked for November.

ahh well I guess life is unpredictable ….life goes on.

August 6, 2007 at 2:02 pm 1 comment

We ‘discovered’ a new playground

I have been a bit slack on the taking the kids to the playground front – although in fairness Owen has kinder 3 mornings and a week and daycare one other one so that rules out 4 days as Corey sleeps in the afternoons lol…anyway I felt guilty so I took them to the ‘new’ one at Werribee South – it was redone totally some time this year and I kept meaning to check it out….it was cool! well it was cold actually the wind etc brrr but it was a great playground – kids loved it and even the growed up got to have a play!

wbee south

August 5, 2007 at 2:02 am 1 comment

I scrapped!

ok so it is top50 cybercrop night again and the last time I scrapped was the LAST top50 cybercrop so that means a whole month with no scrapping (although I did have a bit of a card making frenzy in the middle for a weekend so I guess that counts as sorta creative stuff…I have been hanging and this one has been forming – or at least the journalling has been – in my mind for a few days now…

used another of the awesome pics that schoolpix took as a kinder fund-raiser in May…

Excuse Me Mummy

August 4, 2007 at 1:49 am 2 comments

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