Category Archives: White Dog

“Did you know that you’re my most prized person? I love you all the time. When you make me cards, I love you. When you help with dinner, I love you. When I want to take you by the shoulders and yell, I love you. When you won’t drink this bloody apple juice you insisted on having, I bloody love you.”

“Yes Mum.” Slurp.

Papa's Rainbow_23




This wee body turned up fresh about the time I put up my last post. We are transforming together, even thought we are moving towards opposite ends of the spectrum.

Slow down


Today’s activity was swimming sports. My oft’ repeated response to her invitation for any school activity is ‘I’m sorry, I have work. I wish I could, but you can tell me all about it when you get home.’

Today, I made it. She hollered at me from across the playground, like she had been on lookout duty since dawn. She showed me around, introducing me to her new friends. I was proudly told that her swimming heat was named the ‘Dolphins’ and unlike killer whales, dolphins don’t eat people. We sat in the shade together and waited for her heats to begin.

While she was waiting to get in the pool, she made frequent eye contact. Smiled, waved. When she entered the water, with a splash better suited to a jetty bombing contest, I was the first person she scouted around for. Waiting for the ‘ready, set, go!’she was aware I was there. At the end of each race, she would turn around and grin.

After the swimming was over, with her togs wrapped up in her damp towel, she came to find me. Could I please stay with her for lunch? Her friends wanted to sit with me.

She  chatted about everything, my work, how I am letting her take horse riding lessons, my travel dreams, and how beautiful I was. Me, the grumpy one who is never not rushing in the mornings, and was unnecessarily cross at her for leaving her lunchbox on the table after we had locked the front door. She was showing me off. She is proud of me.

This means more to me than anything else ever could.

A sense of pride

My siblings are awesome. I am referring to two in particular but the other two are also amazing.


Abigail is officially a play-write. Last night I attended a dramatic reading of her first full length play. I was amazed – I knew the girl could write but this was on a whole new level. Well done girl, the storyline and dialogue was well thought out and the actors gave such a great performance. You should be proud of both them, and yourself, because I sure am.


My only brother is also awesome. Surviving us four girls is an achievement in itself – doing so with panache is just showing off! Watching him attack my garden with Marlee yesterday was great and I am so grateful that he was happy to do it. Sunshine, weeds and pavlova. Marlee adores you and so do I. Keep at it, you wonderful little-big-brother.

Scorpion birthdays twenty13

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Food, wine, giggles, swimming, dogs, cakes, and four seasons in a day…

Drinks and talking while the kids swim and explore the farm, followed by the traditional Judson feast (wow, that artisan bread – all the way from Countdown darlin’).  Giggles when the miniature canine falls into the pool, then more chuckles when the collie cross catches half a glass of rosé on the snout. Abigail discovering the Lion Red is the “Least disgusting alcohol I have tried” and then transferring her statement to cover Apple Cider. Loosing layers in the sun, and hastily regaining them again when the clouds come to visit. Marshmallows roasted over the brazier followed by dessert (“Raspberry and lemonade ice-cream?! That is SO me!’ – Frankie V). Three cakes, the standard photo of the three faces blowing out the candles and that gorgeous, luxurious full feeling. Laughing at BEST Fails 2013 on Apple TV and making smores just before dinner time.  “See you at Christmas” accompanying the big hugs at home time and the inevitable sleeping child in the back of the car.

We are a large, loud, and loving Judson family who catch up far too little and make the most of it when we do. These big lunches that consume the entire day are part of my most treasured memories. See you all at Christmas guys.

A projected end game.

Do as I say, not as I do. I am still learning these lessons. I hope to pass them on to you kiddo.

  • Stay happy forever Marlee, never loose that innocent joy.
  • Chase your dreams, follow your instincts and always be curious.
  • Love openly and heed wisdom.
  • Read.
  • Be open to the world and everything in it.
  • Don’t put up with bullshit, but don’t condemn with haste either.
  • Respect your elders.
  • Be honest, with yourself as well as with others.
  • Cultivate a passion and a zest for living.
  • Don’t make light of other people’s feelings, and don’t let other people make light of yours.
  • Love your family.
  • Surround yourself with people who encourage you to be all you can be.
  • Practice compassion.

Listen to your Mother and remember, no matter her faults, she loves you to the moon and back.


A PHD in life, and other lessons from the Haven progenitors.

Ma and Pa KettleOne of Ma and Pa’s sayings when growing up was “If you’re not making mistakes, you are not learning.”

Well Mum, gee Dad, Dr Bethany Judson by the age of 23 – you must be so proud! I am pretty sure my PHD in LIFE is due to arrive in the post any day now…

A few more values the olds can take full credit for:

  • Is it true, kind or necessary? Still working on this one, sometimes my mouth will open without prior permission from my brain.
  • Family is important. Boom, this one has been mastered! No more eye rolling when we have to sit down for a family dinner with all devices off (Mum, no Facebook at the table). My new (spanish) word for today is ‘sobremesa’ (noun) meaning table talk.  This is now one of my most treasured activities; cooking for my sizable family before spending time laughing at/with (and daring to outwit) one another around the table…
  • “See this? Six pages. I will just finish my book and then we can go” IS an appropriate response to the child desperate to go to the playground.
  • A clean house is NOT a sign of a wasted life – no matter how many quirky 50’s style pictures claim otherwise. Mum, this is one you can take all credit for. My washing does not always get put away, my floors are not vacuumed every few days, and sometimes I am too tired to do the dishes after dinner – but when it is done I do feel that house-proud feeling I always scoffed at. Priorities vs. excuses vs. that good old CBF’d feeling… Time spent with Marlee will always win, but my house is never revolting… thanks Mum.
  • Good grammar is sexy. Full stop. (Mum, PLEASE do not point out any failures in this post.) 

    I hate people who mix up ‘there, their and they’re’. It’s worse than not knowing the difference between your left and write. unknown