Maz (formerly Aussie Elv*): A South East Queenslander and the author of this blog, Maz lives a typical suburban life in the deep south of Brisvegas. Maz used to be a very busy person who worked long hours. In 2009, she experienced her first recognisable neurological symptoms and in 2010 was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She changed to a much lower-stress job to try manage her health, but otherwise continued life as before – saving the environment, one double-sided printer page at a time. In recent years, however; MS-based fatigue and heat intolerance have been kicking Maz where it hurts. Around the same time, other big things (a different job, new house, new baby, grown up kid etc) have meant less time for ideological pursuits and a simpler focus on family, friends and home.
While Maz still self-identifies as a feminist hippy tree-hugger vegan greenie freak, she no longer has the energy to puts this into practice with her eco-friendly everything. Instead, she now aims for balance, and comes up with strategies to get things done without collapsing in a heap.
Fortunately, she has a beloved and caring family, including…
Sita (formerly Yankee Elv*): Maz’s wife and a transplanted American, Sita is a stay-at-home-mum who spends much of her time taking care of other people, crafting and creating, and dealing with the cold in a land which she used to claim has no winter. Apparently she’s acclimatised. Although not vegan herself (she’s pescatarian), Sita does her fair share of the vegan cooking. At the moment she’s dairy and soy free while she’s breastfeeding, due to the baby’s allergy to both.
Jay (formerly Mr Teeny-bop and Mr Pre-teen*): The grown-up kid in the family, Jay is a typical teenage university student, who likes to write and philosophise. He’s a good kid, and very helpful to have around the house for an emergency babysit. We see less of him these days now he’s out and about and all grown up, although he still lives at home.
Lil (the newbie!): The baby of the family, Lil is our much wished-for daughter. We are so lucky to have her in our lives. Lil is a joyful, determined, independent monkey who is currently experiencing a little separation anxiety! She’s trying her best to walk and cruise, but when she manages to get to the other side of the room, she cries because she’s not near you. Then she laughs when you pick her up. She’s learning to eat (baby-led weaning!) and talk (there’s a lot of ba-ba-ba-ba-ba at our house lately) and she jumps like a champ in her Jolly Jumper. Basically, she’s the best baby ever. Even if she doesn’t sleep.
Old Man Fatso* (dec. 29/01/2011), Diva Princess*, Pou* and Fruit Tingle*: The three kitties currently in the household, these furry bundles of fun and sharp claws make the house a home. But before I introduce them, I’d like to remember Old Man Fatso (so called because of his respectable age and enormous stature), who spent his days sleeping, worshipping Princess and having the occasional psychotic outburst. We miss him very much.
Diva Princess, while not quite as thoroughly worshipped without Fatso, ensures everyone else worships her… but she’s so sweet and beautiful that you actually want to anyway. She has taken on a long-suffering mothering role to the slightly mental Fruit Tingle (who came to us at 5 weeks old), but still makes plenty of time to look cute, demand attention and pose for photographs, as is her due.
Fruit Tingle was found wandering a main road as a tiny kitten just in time for Maz’s birthday, and so she became an unexpected part of the family. Bigger now, but still not an adult, you can see Fruit whizzing by you relentlessly, chasing rubber balls and empty toilet rolls… until she wears herself out and drops in a heap to sleep.
Pou used to roam the neighbourhood and just come home to eat and sleep in weirdly contorted positions in tiny cardboard boxes. Now we’re in the ‘new’ house (for more than 3 years!), she has decided home is not such a bad place to be and spends quite a lot of her time here – though still typically in a cardboard box, the smaller the better. She misses her best friend, Loodle, but has decided the humans make adequate substitutes.
Loodle* (dec. 14/05/2011): Yankee Elv’s big American hearing dog (who went deaf himself), Loodle vascillated between grandfatherly senility and puppy-like exhuberance. He hated the heat, loved to swim and thought the best invention ever was a Kong ball filled with peanut butter. In later years, his arthritis is really affected him and he slowed down a lot… we made the best of the time we had left with him, but sadly had to let him go when his quality of life became too poor. He’s left a huge hole in our lives and we miss him everyday.
*Original pseudonyms used on this blog have been changed to real-life nicknames, for ease when writing. Pre-2014, you’ll find the original pseudonyms in use.