How to Be Useless Without Really Trying

Augustines 2013

This is Team Augustine

tax forms

So many tax regimes, so little time… Photo:

We all have our uses. When family or friends need help with their taxes, financial advice or someone to pour out their troubles and be completely assured of understanding and confidentiality, they ring my husband. (Hey, I blog – most everyone knows I can’t be properly trusted with secrets anymore…)


Yes. She really DID create this masterpiece! Photo by Just Jess, courtesy of Baking In Progress

When anyone needs a party planner, a fabulous wedding cake, designer muffins, culinary advice or a one-of-a-kind hand pieced quilt, they ring our daughter. She is extraordinarily useful in all things creative and is the best shopping buddy a mum could ask for. When I am reaching for some sparkly fashion faux pas, she saves me with a firm, “Mum, step AWAY from the glittery leggings.”


When he rooted my Android phone, it looked JUST like this. Almost. Image:

Problems with anything technological? Programming bugs? Phone on the fritz? Need to know what the latest and greatest new widget, gizmo or app is out there? Oh yeah – that’s when we call our son. Even Apple calls our son. He’s a bit of a tech wizard (not that I’m biased, of course). I always knew those geek lessons would pay off.

And if you need someone guaranteed to dive head first into any party, someone who will sing with the band and dance until the last note fades, someone who will throw herself under the bus and serve as a lightening rod for all possible embarrassing moments, that’s when they call me. Even my Inner Comedienne has her useful moments. Right alongside my Inner Whitney Houston – but that is a blog for another day…


Just add a rainbow wig and 20 years to the chick with the mic and you have me. Oh yeah. Still crazy… Photo:

As successful as we may be in our fields of expertise, actually, when you get right down to it, we are all pretty much useless.

Think about it. There are times when what you really need is someone whose sole ambition in life is to do the gardening. My flower beds bear testimony to the lack of said skill set. There are times when you just need a strong guy with a chainsaw. (We have such a friend, thank goodness! We love you, Mark!) Or somebody who knows how to pour concrete. A bricklayer – a roofer – an electrician, and soon, before our barn falls in on itself! A plumber – right now. Either our drain is blocked, or there are actual gremlins in the septic complaining loudly every time we flush. (I am really hoping my gremlin theory is wrong, because – eew.)


Hmmm… I wonder if there’s any good eatin’ in that dog’s thighs… Image:

In a post-apocalyptic world and forced to survive in the wild, we will wind up huddling in Homer Simpson’s doghouse next to a garden patch of half-dead cabbages and waist-high weeds. The chickens will abandon us before they end up on the menu. There I will be in my sparkly trousers, wishing I had learned some practical skills for survival. Why, oh why did I not become an electrician? At least then maybe I could charge up my tablet and put on some dance music… Dance music I could SING to.

Mother Hen

Originally published by motherhendiaries 31 March 2014

Since this was originally posted back in March, our septic issues have since been sorted, thank goodness! No gremlins were harmed in the repair work.

© motherhendiaries 2014 all rights reserved

9 replies »

  1. Can I join up? I have the useless market cornered here in the States. But I have been thinking of branching out. I would be an absolute credit to your team. I have a long resume.


  2. I am so excited about each of the talents in your family, MH! You have a wonderful baker, I loved that example of an exquisite cake! I have a baker of cakes and cookies, too! She is quite artistic with her cakes, but doesn’t do this for her livelihood. I love your family’s photo. Now, as far as fun times go, I am so glad to know what a party ‘animal’ you are! Ok, maybe I should be respectful and call you a ‘party girl!’ Smiles, Robin


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