Tag Archives: kids

another Easter egg hunt

This year, Easter has come early. Instead of the great Easter egg hunt being held on Sunday, it was today because my husband is taking them away tomorrow to visit their grandparents for a few days.

Last year I posted about how we make our poor unfortunate children solve puzzles and do maths to get their Easter eggs. No wonder they say we’re horrible parents…

The kids have to follow the clues, each clue leading to an Easter egg and the next clue, until the final clue leads to an Easter bunny.

Some of the clues need knowledge of the property, for example that we have a small hexagonal yurt with its own water tank, and a sitting tree, and a dam with a pump located at it, and the kids have a bark hut they built. The animal feed is stored in feed bins which are home to rodents no matter what we do, as is my greenhouse. Oh, and our only heating is a slow combustion wood stove.

With that in mind, here are some of this year’s clues if you want to have a go at them (answers posted at the end):

For the 9 year old:

Unjumble

Write the notes and fill in the gaps

Some maths

Some shapes

and word puzzles:

(my photo was too blurry, so I’m typing it out)
Busy as a _____
What horses eat, minus the aitch _____
What pirates are reputed to say _______
Turn it on it’s side (drawing of a sideways K)    ______
leave a space, and then:
Your age minus one, and add a “ch”   _____
Not me, or him, or her, but _____
You can put a small white ball on me  ______

 

For the 14 year olds:

More difficult maths, both simultaneous equations:

and some simple graphing (follow the directions):

Some science (physics, chemistry and biology):

I’m typing this one out because apparently my handwriting was too hard to read:

Rapid oxidation
occurs inside my tum
then CO2 and H2O
come flying out my bum!
My colon’s very long and tall
it reaches to the sky
releasing clouds in winter time
gassing birdies flying by

And some playing with words:
(this one was dropped and lost, so I’m typing it out too)

Say a mild oath, with a missing end,
are you feeling the pressure now, my friend? 
Solve this cryptic clue, then run
to get your egg before it melts in the sun. 

 

and here are the solutions (top to bottom) (scroll down… ):

.

.

.

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woodshed, deck table, gate, between the yurt and its tank, bark hut, yurt, deck, green house, wood stove (fireplace), feed-bins, dam pump.

 

 

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mum’s hairdressing salon II

It was 30C and humid here today – and try as I might I couldn’t channel coldness for Frank’s dVerse Haibun Monday prompt, “winter“. Maybe if we had air-conditioning I could have done better. 

 

She carries spring in her step, so what need could she have for its green in her hair? What need, when her hair is yellow-brown as a summer wheat field, and her skin stores the sun and the boundless, cloudless sky is in her eyes?

I offer pink, mauve, blue (roses and lilacs, summer blooms under clear skies).

But no, it has to be green. So, I take the small bottles from my own (winter defying, winter denying?) palette: apple green, electric lime, sweet mint. I twine the colours (tendrils, vines) through the summer of her hair. And in the end it is not so much like spring come to awaken winter fields (as I want to believe it is in my hair), as like rain-wakened ground after the drought ends. As she waits, I do my own.

 

The snow in my hair

will not melt away in spring.

But it holds apples.

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no, we won’t “see what happens”

Another day,
another dollar,
another week,
the kids are taller,
another month,
my figure’s fuller,
another year,
my mind is duller.

And so they flow,
future to past,
this present instant
cannot last.

All these years,
my face can’t hide,
all these months,
can’t be defied
all these weeks,
soon put aside,
as all these days,
wash away with the tide.

But I’ll face each one
head high with pride,
and I’ll choose the path
down which I stride.

 

I’ve been thinking about aging a lot lately, because I’m spending a lot of time trying to sort things out for my parents who never did any planning beyond “we’ll see what happens”, which is my mother’s catch phrase.  That phrase has become such a trigger for me – I just want to slap anyone who says it now, and yell “no! take some responsibility for your life!”.  My parents have always been irresponsible. They’re truly dreadful role models. But brilliant cautionary examples.  Anyway, trying to sort things out for them now, from interstate, in a pandemic, is a nightmare. Not that it would be much easier if I was there – they simply have no records, no paperwork, no plans, no ideas…  And it’s made me think about where I want to be after I retire, and what happens when I can’t manage on my own anymore, advanced care directives, administrators and executors. It’s a bit depressing. But at least if my kids do want to slap me in 30 years, it won’t be because I’m just waiting to see what happens, but because of what I’ve chosen to do. I hope they want to slap me for blowing their inheritance on a sports car and a toy-boy and really expensive champagne.     

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The adventures of Beaky McBeaky and Baby Barry I

A collaboration with my daughter:

Beaky McBeaky was ever so cheeky,
his brother, Baby Barry, less so.
Through the coop, Beaky sneakied,
and right after him Barry followed.

As Soup cock-a-doodled,
and the Meepers were cheeping,
right up to the foodles
the naughty McBeakies were creeping.

With their beaks in the trough,
they ignored pecking order,
until Cream chased them off –
the great fluffy-knickered coop warder.

But Beaky McBeaky, always so sneaky,
just hid ‘hind the back of a stump,
when Cream looked away, ever so cheeky
out of hiding McBeakies did jump!

Beaky McBeaky ran straight to the trough,
his baby brother behind,
beaks down see them scoff
at the pecking order defied.

 

The McBeakies, Beaky and Baby Barry, are the most recently hatched chicks and the Meepers (Laveen, Altona and Little Big Fred) are the previous clutch. Cream is one of the hens and Soup (what’s in a name?) is one of the two remaining roosters.  

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pork scratchings

It’s wonderful to be a pig,
with snout to dig,
and tail to twitch
at flies that itch

Sun-snoozing here, a human comes
to rub my tum.
My attitude
shows gratitude –

I lift a leg and roll a bit,
Ah, there, that’s it!
Nothing can match
a belly scratch.

Written for the dVerse “minute poem” prompt.

Grace describes a minute poem:
“The Minute Poem is a 60 syllable verse form, one syllable for each second in a minute. The theme should be an event that is over and done completely, as in a minute. Since the dominant line is short the effect is likely humorous, whimsical or semi-serious. It was created by Verna Lee Hinegardner, once poet laureate of Arkansas.

The elements of the Minute Poem are:

1. narrative poetry.
2. a 12 line poem made up of 3 quatrains. (3 of 4-line stanzas)
3. syllabic, 8-4-4-4 8-4-4-4 8-4-4-4 (First line has 8 syllables of each stanza. Remaining lines has 4 syllables in each stanza)
4. rhymed, rhyme scheme of aabb ccdd eeff.
5. description of a finished event (preferably something done is 60 seconds).
6. is best suited to light verse, likely humorous, whimsical or semi-serious.”

Great prompt Grace – what a fun form!

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a tear could attract birds of prey

I’m picking up on a line here from Ngina that really spoke to me “a tear could attract birds of prey”.  Although I’m not actually sure which homonym of tear she meant. 

It is not harsh words
or sad news.
It is unexpected kindness
in the midst of sorrow and cruelty
that tears a sob
gasping from my chest
and pours tears down my face.

Because tears could attract birds of prey –
honed talons spread
obsidian beaks waiting to gorge.
Or worse, carrion crows,
black rag-scraps fluttering and fighting
for a carcass morsel.

It is only in solitude
or in the company of kindness
that tears can be safely released.

 

Things are a bit shit at the moment. My father was recently taken into care because his dementia got so bad he started wandering and getting lost. My mother then had a fall and is now in hospital and doesn’t know where she is. One of my kids hates me and takes every opportunity to tell me how much – and it’s a lot, and he tells me continuously.  And we’re flooded in so I can’t get away from him. And most of my job is dealing with problems – people’s problems and problem people. I’m feeling assailed by negativity on all sides.

So at the campus end of year function today when a colleague thanked me for inspiring him I completely lost it and bawled my eyes out for the next half hour. Lucky it was online so no one could see me.

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Filed under musings, poem

not now

I shan’t cry now,
not in the glare and noise of the supermarket,
between the breakfast spreads and the cereals.

I mustn’t cry now,
not in front of the children, flown from their school-day,
chattering urgently away, of lessons, games and he-said then I-said.

I can’t cry now,
not when there is no time, no time of my own, just the stove,
the table, and dinner waiting to be cooked and served.

I won’t cry now,
not when I am so tired, that my eyes close before the tears fall,
and there is nothing left of the day, and nothing left in me.

And maybe tomorrow, I wont need to cry.

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fragments I: stones

I
Sun glitters on the ferry’s wake.
Its wash tumbles another cairn,
the clack of the stones
scatters amongst his laughter.

II
I gave my father a stone,
to hold him here,
to remind him.
I heard, yet I neglected to do the same.

III
Intricately wound and ornamented shells
shatter among rough glass and smooth stones.
Littoral becomes pocket kipple,
soon-forgotten, scattered and lost.

IV
The sharp edge planes the surface,
raising a glittering curtain, falling
as the stone skips onward.

 

Collected for the dVerse MTB prompt “picking up some pieces” – gathered partly from an old poem, with some new shards to form a fragment poem.

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shower power

Great responsibility belongs
to those who have great power,
and, so, likewise small responsibilities
must therefore come with my small powers.
So as (it seems) none but I can see the mould,
it falls to me (as always) to clean the shower.

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riding the waves

The pain wakes me,
swelling and rolling through me,
and then passing, as if it never was.

But another swell comes.
And another. Continue reading

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