Wait, is it Wednesday already?

It’s pretty late in the day to be working out that it’s WordPress Wednesday, but I guess that’s a good metaphor for how this week is going so far. Monday was such a mess I only made it to mid-morning before retreating to a darkened room with a migraine. Apparently there really is a limit to how many curve balls you can cop at work before your brain explodes just a little bit!

Backing up a bit, though, we had a lovely weekend because the kids came home for Father’s Day. I spent Friday up in Moss Vale at the Southern Highlands campus, where plans were afoot to farewell our Admin Assistant, Erin, who’s taking a six month break from her role. I spent the day working there and then came home to see the kids, and let the party people party in peace.

I did pick up a new family member in the process, however.

Meet my latest companion, Zoe.

Zoe had been living as a solo hen at my colleague Stephen’s house, and since she has a couple of boisterous canine brothers, getting more hens to keep her company wasn’t really an option. So after some negotiations, Erin and I headed into the chook pen to corner a single chook. I warned the chook that she might not like what was going to happen next but that she’d be fine, before grabbing her. And then I tried to reason with her (the chook, not Erin) that she should stop flapping and let me pin her wings so that she wouldn’t injure herself. At that point Erin retreated from the run and I heard her call out to Stephen, “I think she’ll be fine.”

I do remember wondering whether she meant me or the chook.

I placed the big cardboard box on the passenger seat beside me and popped a hand on it when we went around corners, and there are quite a few when you travel via Kangaroo Valley. The chook whinged the whole way, so I knew she was fine and had enough air. When we got home I transferred her to the cat carrier above, and popped her in the run to keep her a bit separate, but get the others used to her.

Previously unnamed, we of course had to go through the list of as-yet-unused companion names and while the rest of my family ignored me, my son turned to me very seriously and said, “I think Zoe.” So Zoe she is.

Zoe Heriot, companion to the second Doctor.

Day 2 we kept her in and let the others out, much to their disgust because they lost access to their nesting boxes. Day 3 I threw the doors open but Zoe was not overly interested in free ranging. She’s getting a bit more into it over time.

Day 3: Disinterested. (Above). Day 4, Ruling the roost (below)

In addition to socialising a chook, my daughter decided to indulge our indoor cat, Tinkerbell, who thinks she wants to be an outdoor cat and is forever trying to escape. As we learned when she has previously, briefly managed to do the Harry Holt, however, she actually finds Outside to be be Big and Scary.

When your new chicken matches your old cat …

While Jamie was here, and in between knocking out assignments, scholarship applications and lecture prep, she assisted with yet more painting and a bit of gardening. Earlier in the week I’d had a good go at Robert’s room, but left it to him to move the bulk of the furniture because my back is protesting mightily, at this point. The photo below is as far as I got on my own. About this time, my husband popped his head in and cheerily suggested that I sing out if I needed help, which left me pondering what on earth made him think there was even a possibility that this was finished and I therefore didn’t need any assistance?

No After shots yet, because we promptly moved half of Jamie’s furniture in there so that we could start on her room this weekend!

Relaxing at home (when you have a solid dose of McMahon genes)

I just have the touch-ups to go and then hopefully I can enlist some assistance to move the stuff that belongs in the kids’ rooms, into the kids’ rooms. At which point, there will only be the main bedroom to go. And fixing the door jamb into the ensuite that was replaced but not yet painted. But I’m definitely getting there.

On Sunday Jamie cooked up a pretty snazzy celebratory brunch. I will be forever grateful that she went into hospo for her casual teenage jobs, because she has learned a lot of useful things in the process. (I still think being a waitress is where/when I learned to actually cook!). Rob went into retail and it has fewer skills that are transferable to the household – although we do get some pretty impressive balloon bouquets on our birthdays!

I kid you not, there was an actual menu and this is what I ordered.

So, I theoretically should have been in a relatively good place to be dealing with curve balls this week after a pleasant, productive weekend, but I wasn’t. It’s been a long and difficult year, we have buckets of uncertainty at work–where we are losing staff (voluntarily at this stage, but it’s a loss all the same), and today we got word that Fair Work passed our EBA variation, which is nice and all, but it means our temporarily reduced pay packets cease to be theoretical very, very soon. Yesterday’s evening news bulletin was all about journalists who are household names seeking embassy refuge in the middle of the night before being hurriedly bundled out of China. It’s all very … 2020. Dystopic. And of course my heart goes out to my friends in Victoria, who are dealing with another layer of yuckiness on top of all this.

Please rest reassured that we’re not feeling very “gold standard” here in NSW at all.

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