Two things: Markets, and Not Having More Children

by Veronica on October 31, 2015

in Life

Two things:


instagram screenshot

I did a market last night and lip balms were SOHOTRIGHTNOW. One little girl bought a lip balm and then suddenly, I had swarms of girls at the stall, buying and smelling and chattering.

It was so lovely.

It’s really interesting to me how there are giant runs on things during markets. I won’t sell bath salts for three markets, and then suddenly, every bath salt will sell out during the next market. Often customers don’t realise that previous customers have bought the same thing.

It’s a phenomenon. Is it something in the air? Does everyone get infected with the “I MUST HAVE THIS ONE THING” air as they walk into a market? No one knows.

It’s the same with soap smells. Some days, everyone wants sandalwood. The next market, everyone is into the fruity smells. Then we’ll have a run on florals. But when a soap is hot, it’s so hot and I’d better hope I have it in stock.

(Unlike the market where everyone wanted woodsy smells and the new soaps were still curing. whoops.)

Anyway. Lip balms. I need to go restock all of my market lip balms because seriously – I sold so many. Montagu Bay Primary School is going to be awash in my lip balms for a while.

I also won fourth prize in the raffle, so it made it extra worthwhile. A 60 minute massage gift voucher. Very apt, considering my physical state lately.


My smallest child dressed herself this morning, including putting her own shoes on.

Then she used the toilet. Alone. Without my help. Including washing her own hands.

She’s not a baby anymore, and I am so so thankful for that. I can understand other mothers bemoaning the loss of their tiny babies, but I am not one of them. I have a smooshy baby nephew to snuggle, but my own children are growing up, growing into themselves. I feel like I can breathe again and it’s so very nice.

People still ask if I’m planning on having more children.

“But you’re so young! You’ll be desperate for another when you’re in your 30’s.”

Look guys, my husband had a vasectomy. MY HUSBAND. A VASECTOMY. We took permanent steps to remove more children from our future.

“Ah, but you never know what will happen, hey? Right?” wink wink, nudge nudge.

You’re either implying my husband is going to divorce me and I’m going to find a new man and have more children, or what? What exactly are you implying there? That my uterus rules my life and I can’t possibly just decide to not have more children? That not having more children determines my worth?

I don’t even know.

Last time I checked, sperm doesn’t magically fly through the air impregnating random women, so I think I’m pretty safe here in my sub-fertile little bubble.

Thanks though. Nice to know that whether or not I have more children is a burning concern of yours.


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Enforced time off. Boo, hiss..

by Veronica on October 29, 2015

in Life

Sometimes, I really dislike my body.

For those who have been reading here for quite a while, you’ll know that I have a disabling genetic collagen disorder (Ehlers Danlos Syndrome). The issue with this is, despite physio, despite eating well, despite attempting to sleep 8 hours every night, sometimes I have to push myself a little harder than I should, in order to do something I want to do.

This results in a health crash, which leaves me feeling like death warmed over, barely functioning. When my health is crashing, I count getting dressed and managing to feed myself to be an accomplishment. Having three children means I also have to feed them, which is doubly an accomplishment.

I’m on day three of enforced rest, which is probably going to drive me insane, but there you go. Turns out, when you spend two weeks running a shop in Salamanca (even though I wasn’t down there every day, thanks Mum) it’s a little damaging to already precarious health.

Shop sitting was ultimately quite productive, but exhausting. So exhausting. I finished the time there, knowing I would have nine days off, which weren’t really days off when I sat down and did a stock take, and realised just how much soap I’d actually sold.

(It was a lot of soap. A LOT.)

Nine days off is not many days when you’ve also got to catch up on soap making, packaging, and paperwork, alongside all of the family things I let slide while I was working. So I worked for the first five days of my “time off”, before my health went bottoms up and I had to sit down and stop.

It’s very clear that traditional work would probably actually kill me if I attempted it, so here I am, in business for myself. Or not, because I’m taking time off. Forcing myself to sit down, watch Netflix, catch up on paperwork and things I can do laying down, and letting my body recover.

(Side note: it’s not actually working so well, which is concerning considering I have a Twilight market tomorrow night.)

On the upside, I think, maybe, I should have enough stock to see me through the November markets. Probably. If I’m lucky. The curing shelves are (mostly) full, and other things can be made quickly in large batches when I’m feeling better.

On the downside, December markets are looking shaky, unless I magically feel better on Saturday, and regain all my lost muscle tone and manage to make it through a day without needing anti-emetics to make me stop wanting to throw my guts up.

So classy. So businesslike.

I keep looking at the things I need to restock, and the goat’s milk in the fridge which needs using, and having to remind myself that if I push through right now and do too many things, I’ll send myself out of commission for a month, rather than the three days I’ve made myself sit down and rest.

It’s a balancing act, and it’s hard work sometimes. Juggling the things I want to do, against the things I am physically capable of doing. There’s a disconnect and it’s a struggle to reconcile the two things.

But there you go.


Upside: The online shop is now incredibly up to date with soaps, so if you want to buy Christmas Presents, now is a great time.

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Tuesday night I got up on stage and talked about my experiences of PND following Evelyn’s birth.

The days leading up to the talk were filled with hyperbole, used as a coping tool to cover my nervousness. “I MIGHT DIE” is an adequate description of how I felt, right up until I stepped onto stage and everything was okay again, despite the bright lights and the audience staring at me.

Things are bothering me at the moment – a combination of busyness and Ehlers Danlos Syndrome, the discussion of disability, my inability to do things I want to do in favour of having to take care of my health so I can continue to operate a small business, but in the wake of Tuesday’s talk and remembering just how rotten my PND was at the time, everything feels like sunshine and smooth sailing.

However, disability is a tricky thing to manage when there’s little consistency to my particular brand of bendy/broken. Good pain control helps immeasurably, but there’s exhaustion and joints which refuse to stay in place on a regular basis.

And I do identify as a disabled woman, despite my ability to hide how broken my collagen is with braces and smiles, good painkillers and carefully managed activity.

Wednesday, the organisers of the Mental As forum called us, the speakers, to make sure we were all okay. And I am okay. I was on my way to bump into the Pop Up Shop, where my soap will be available for sale for two weeks, so I was stressed, of course, but I’d moved on to the next big thing. Speaking on stage didn’t kill me, I didn’t pass out or throw up, so it’s all good.

I’m alternating times in The Pop Up Shop with Mum (Kim Foale Ceramics) – who will likely do the bulk of the sitting, while I spin in circles at home, trying to manage the Christmas rush (which is a lot of fun), with stock levels and wholesale orders (also fun, and I love doing them).

It’s the last few days of school holidays, which is a beautiful beautiful thing. I’m going to be sitting in the shop during Salamanca Market on Saturday, which is also a beautiful thing.

Having my own business is the only way I could work. Being able to structure my work days around naps, paperwork while laying on the couch, and small children, is a good thing. I have to keep reminding myself that it’s all a juggling act. That I can’t actually do more than I am without paying the price down the track.

Right now that price is some tiredness and a bit of breakthrough pain, plus a lot of nausea.

Down the track that price tends to be catastrophic body shutdowns as I lay in bed and shake and tremble and try not to throw up.

I’m juggling, structuring my days nicely, and taking time out to lay down with cups of tea and my book.

So far, it’s working okay.

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Counting down til bedtime

by Veronica on September 18, 2015

in Gotta Laugh

Somewhere between the ages of 12 and 16, I fell into quite a lucrative babysitting business. I think most of us did, at some point or another. I find myself remembering this tonight, as waiting for bedtime right now feels remarkably like waiting for a mother to return home and save me from her children.

The difference is of course, I’m wearing my pajama pants and no bra, which would have been unthinkable at 15 (no bra? I’d be practically NAKED!), despite the rather large size difference between then and now.

Also if someone else’s three year old had been running around without underwear on, it would have been A Problem, and if said three year old had just hypothetically done a backflip on the couch, simultaneously knocking a mostly drunk cup of tea onto a computer keyboard, it might also have been A Problem.

I was probably a better babysitter than I am a mother, but in my defence, I got to hand the kids back then, and mine have spent the last nine years wearing me down to a tiny little nubbin.

I’m reminded of this tonight, because a) I’m hanging on bedtime and b) I’m vaguely unwell, with something reflux-y and nausea related, which my medication may or may not take care of, but in the meantime I would just like to lay down somewhere quiet and alone. Yet here I am, typing away at the computer, because every time I lay down the flippy three year old jumps on me.

Normally I would happily shout HALF TIME CHANGE SIDES, slapping my unsuspecting husband’s hand as I disappeared off to bed, alone, leaving him with bedtime, but tonight he is Very Unwell, with some kind of vague respiratory thing, which is worse than a cold, but not quite man flu. He’s been wandering around rather like a zombie today, in between our binge watching Mad Men, while I thought Very Hard about the work I ought to be doing, and wasn’t, because see above, weird refluxy nausea.

(I can feel my anti-puke meds kicking in, which is nice, even though they’re probably giving me Parkinson’s, but that’s a story for another time.)

I have two very large markets this weekend, and I am excited about both of them. I have a lot of fun at markets, even though my joints don’t like it, but eh, what can you do? They make good painkillers for a reason, and my joints are one of those reasons.

The Barn Market is on Saturday the 19th (tomorrow), between 10am – 3pm, at The Rosny Schoolhouse, and I will be outside in a marquee, so come and say hello.

The Market is on Sunday the 20th, 10am – 3pm, at The Masonic Temple on Sandy Bay RD (I think it’s number 3, but I’m not quite well enough to change tabs and go and look, but it’s across from St David’s Park and you’ll see the signs.) – I’ll be inside with a small half-table set up, so I’m relying on YOU dear Internet to help me sell out. Okay? Okay. Go team.

Bedtime is in 30 minutes for Evelyn, and sometime thereafter for the older two, but they rarely jump on me, so they get a (small) pass.

Tick, tock.

In any case, it’s an early night for everyone, because market days require me to have left the house by something awful like 7.15am (shut up, I am not a morning person).

Anyway. I really had better go and clean up the baby wipes someone has strewed across the living room while I refused to be a human trampoline, and I should probably check that the older two have actually finished eating their dinner.

Countdown is on.


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A little bit of everything, really.

by Veronica on September 7, 2015

in Life

Spring has sprung, which of course means everyone here is now unwell with whatever spring cold is going around. Everyone except Evelyn, who is disgustingly well – which I’m incredibly grateful for, because frankly, if I never see the inside of another hospital ward, it will be too soon.

ANYWAY. I digress.

I thought it was going to pass me by – the two older children are off school today with sore throats and ears, but by lunchtime the sinus headache had shown up and there wasn’t enough honey and lemon tea in the house to sooth my poor achey face.

I’m almost grateful that it’s today I’m sick – it will give me a chance to recover before Lazy May Market (13th Sep), which I’m quite looking forward to.

Amy 9th Birthday

In any case, it was a busy weekend. Amy turned nine, and had a sleepover for her birthday. I love children – mine particularly, but I find I am not a calm person once the clock hits 10pm and everyone is still awake. Luckily I have this amazing husband who took over the night shift, and eventually the girls fell asleep for a little while at least.

Heidi the puppy is 10 months old now, and spent the entire party poking people with her poky poky nose and being Incredibly Excited about the idea of CHILDREN ALL THROUGH HER HOUSE OMG and it was all I could do to not sit on her, in an effort to make her Just Stay Still FORTHELOVEOFGODDOG.

By the time everyone had been collected by their parents the next morning, I had spent a good hour throwing the ball in an attempt to wear off some of her OMG CHILDREN CHILDREN energy, and she had finally calmed down. Just in time for there to be no children to lick, poke, trip, or annoy.

Puppies always seem like a great idea, but goodness, I can see how so many 8-10 month old dogs end up at the dog’s home. Luckily for us, Heidi’s basic training and manners are great, we put in the time and effort when she was tiny, and while she is 30kg of EXCITEMENT and LOVE and HAPPINESS who frequently wags drinks off the coffee table with her exuberant tail, she is basically, at her core, a good dog.

Heidi 10 months old

This time last year, I was starting to worry a little bit because my fruit trees were blossoming nicely, but there wasn’t a bee in sight. Nor did we manage any fruit from the trees which needed pollinating, such was the bee lack. I still got pumpkins and zucchinis, but only because I pollinated them myself.

You can imagine how incredibly relieved I was to see my fruit trees dripping in bees this season.



So many bees that a few have mistaken me for flowers and tried to land on my face. Not sure why – maybe it’s all the soap I smell like.

Speaking of soap! God. BUSY. It’s so nice. I really can’t complain about being busy, even if I do have a sore throat, and still work to do.

I’ve just made and poured 6kg of dog shampoo bars, which will be ready by the middle of October, and I’m packing soap today (probably) – Green Apple and Shea Butter is ready to come off the curing shelves, as is our Honey Ginger soap.

But then there was this:

Rainbow Soap

Which I am rather delighted with. The bulk of this batch is for a wholesale order, but oh, it’s pretty and I am pleased with it.

Anyway Internet. How are you?


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