Friday, October 30, 2009

New Home and Looking for Recipes

Tonight Ross & I went to see the unit we are moving into in 2 weeks. It is absolutely lovely. A lot smaller than where we are now, but lovely. But that we have seen it we have more of an idea of what we can take with us and what needs to go into storage. This weekend will be filled with packing and organising. I want to have everything that is going into storage gone by next weekend. We can then start moving the smaller things over to the unit throughout the week before we move the big things over. I hate moving, but to be honest I want this over with.

On to more interesting things, I have been busy looking for vegetarian recipes. The Taste website is amazing and has loads of great sounding, not to difficult looking, vegetarian recipes. If I have a chance to get to the supermarket on Sunday I will try one or two on Sunday night.

Tonight we were wickedly evil, and ordered pizza. I usually get a chicken one or, believe it or not, a meat eaters one. Pizza is the one thing I really enjoy a lot of meat on. However tonight I decided to try the vegetarian one. And can I just say, it was delicious.

Tomorrow night I have a Halloween Sleepover with my Girl Guide Unit. With everything that has been going on I am completely under-prepared, however my co-Leader has been brilliant and has gotten everything ready. As much as part of me feels I really don't have the time for this, another part of me feels that having a break completely away from everything that has been going on is exactly what I need. But, I have made a commitment so I will be there.


Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Bob's Farewell

Today we farewelled Bob, my darling Father in Law who we lost too soon. Ross, Di and I were all shown just how lucky we are today, with all the love and support we have received.

The funeral went really well, and I know Bob would have been pleased with how it went. Those that spoke did so with love and dignity. I read a story called Waterbugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney (see previous blog post). I made it through with no tears, and only lost my place on the page once. It was scary but I did it for Bob, and for Ross & Di.

Ross made it through the day with dignity. He has shown these last weeks how strong he is. I don't think he knew that he had the strength he does. I hope he can now see that he is stronger than he thought. We have talked about what happens now, and know that he needs to keep taking his anti-d's, as reality will hit soon and he may need the chemical support. He knows that it is okay to need this.

Di is doing well. She is surrounded by family and those that love her, and is doing well. When all the rellies are gone it may be different, but we will be here for her.

And lastly, I am ok. I am so far beyond exhausted that I think we need a new word for exhausted. But back to work tomorrow and I have a Guide Camp on the weekend, so no rest for me. But I am eating well, and exercising so hopefully that will see me through.

Again, from Ross and myself, I would like to thank you all. You are wonderful, lovely, amazing people, and I am so glad you are in all my life.


Waterbugs and Dragonflies by Doris Stickney

Down below the surface of a quiet pond lived a little colony of water bugs. They were a happy colony, living far away from the sun. For many months they were very busy, scurrying over the soft mud on the bottom of the pond. They did notice that every once in a while one of their colony seemed to lose interest in going about with its friends. Clinging to the stem of a lily, it gradually moved out of sight and was seen no more.

'Look!' said one of the water bugs to another, 'One of our colony is climbing up the lily stalk. Where do you suppose she is going?' Up, up, up it went slowly. Even as they watched, the water bug disappeared from sight. Its friends waited and waited but it didn't return. 'That's funny!' said one water bug to another. 'Wasn't she happy here?' asked a second water bug. 'Were do you suppose she went?' wondered a third. No one had an answer. They were greatly puzzled.

Finally one of the water bugs, the leader of the colony, gathered its friends together. 'I have an idea. The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk must promise to come back and tell us where she went and why.' 'We promise', they said solemnly.

One spring day, not long after, the very water bug who had suggested the plan found himself climbing up the lily stalk. Up, up, up, he went. Before he knew what was happening, he had broke through the surface of the water and fallen onto the broad, green lily pad above.

When he awoke, he looked about with surprise. He couldn't believe what he saw. A startling change had come to his old body. His movement revealed four silver wings and a long tail. Even as he struggled, he felt an impulse to move his wings...The warmth of the sun soon dried the moisture from the new body. He moved his wings again and suddenly found himself up above the water. He had become a dragonfly!!

Swooping and dipping in great curves, he flew through the air. He felt exhilarated in the new atmosphere. By and by, the new dragonfly lighted happily on a lily pad to rest. Then it was that he chancd to look below to the bottom of the pond. Why, he was right above his old friends, the water bugs!. There they were, scurrying about, just as he had been doing some time before. Then the dragonfly remembered his promise: 'The next one of us who climbs up the lily stalk will come back and tell where he or she went and why'.

Without thinking, the dragonfly darted down. Suddenly he hit the surface of the water and bounced away. Now that he was a dragonfly he could no longer go into the water. 'I can't return!' he said in dismay. 'At least I tried, but I can't keep my promise. Even if I could go back, not one of the water bugs would know me in my new body. I guess I'll just have to wait until they become dragonflies too. Then they'll understand what happened to me, and where I went'.

And the dragonfly winged off happily into its wonderful new world of sun and air.

Thinking about Vegetarianism

For the last few months I have been thinking about vegetarians. I rarely eat red meat (it makes me feel sick if I have too much) and have been eating less and less fish and chicken. So it started me thinking.... To be honest I am probably not getting the nutrients I need but just skipping meat as much as I do. With my bowels problems playing up of late (I have all the symptoms of IBS although I have never actually been diagnosed) and now with the vitamin d deficiency, my diet is clearly not meeting my bodies needs. So it is time to give this some thought.

I have discovered that there are 3 types of vegetarians
- those that eat dairy & eggs
- those that eat dairy
- and those that only consume plant based products (vegans)
I know this much, I would fall into the first category.

Ross and I have discussed it and he is happy to give this a go. I thought I would start by introducing vegetarian meals and foods into our diets. Start cooking vegetarian. I am a very picky eater, so I need to be comfortable that I would not be losing out on any essential nutrients by doing this. I have started researching about the foods I will need to incorporate to ensure we don't miss out on anything. This weekend I think I will do some shopping and start making different choices.

I would love any recipes, pointers, tip, thoughts anyone has, so please feel free to add links or recipes to the comments. It is time to take control of my body and treat it with respect, and who knows, this may be the way for me.


Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vitamin D Deficiency

I went to the doctors the other day to get something to help me sleep, as I have not slept a full night in several months. She decided to run full blood tests as well, just in case there was something underlying other than just the fact that my life has been in a chaotic mess for several months now.

Turns out my Vitamin D levels are low. Very very low. Strange considering I ride my bike for half an hour twice a day 4 days a week, plus walk and garden. But there you go.

Some of the symptoms of a Vitamin D deficiency are:
- muscle pain
- fatigue
- low energy levels
- sleep irregularities
- symptoms of depression
- mood swings
- and lowered immunity
Hello my life! This is me exactly. And now I know why.

There are also links between vitamin D deficiencies and insulin resistance and also studies that show those with very low vitamin d levels can have extreme difficulty in losing weight. It has something to do with calcium absorption. There is a good article explaining all of this on the Women to Women web site.

Treatment is quite easy. I need to take a super high dose of Vitamin D3 today, then in 3 weeks, then in another 3 weeks. After that I need to take it once every 3 months for a year then go back to be tested. Also I need to ensure I get at least 15 minutes of sunlight – without sunscreen – every day. That part should not be a problem now that it is not dark when I ride in the morning. I will still sunscreen up for my ride home, but I’ll do the morning ride sunscreen-free.

Although I don’t like having anything wrong with me, it is actually good to know why I have been feeling so blah of late, and to know that it is easily fixable. I will go and get my first dose tonight, then put a reminder in my phone for 3 weeks to take my next dose. Hopefully I start feeling the effects fairly soon.

On a side note, I just want to thank everyone for their love and support re Bob.


Monday, October 26, 2009

Difficult Goodbyes and Promises Made

On Thursday last week, my darling Father in Law Bob, passed away. His poor old heart gave up on him. Fifteen years ago he had triple bypass surgery, and all the grafts had clogged till no more blood could get to his heart. There was nothing the doctors could do to help.

The team at the Flinders Medical Centre ICCU were amazing, and kept him comfortable and happy until the end. We were called to go in, but got there about 15 minutes after he had passed.

The funeral is Wednesday.

Tuesday night I made a promise to Bob. I promised him I would start losing weight again. He had been one of my biggest supporters in my weight loss journey. He held my hand on Tuesday night and told me I had to start losing weight again. He said “It’s not worth it”. He knew then, that he was not coming home to us.

This morning I got on the scale, and I lost 1.1 last week. I haven’t had time to exercise really, but the second I made that promise to Bob I started making healthier choices. I am not saying I have been perfect, but I have not caved in to the easy option of fast food during this difficult time. I have made sure that not only I have had healthy meals to eat, but have been cooking for R & his Mum D as well to make sure they eat.

I am now doing this for Bob as well as for myself. He did not want me to go out the same way he did, at only 67 years old. I don’t want that either…

To everyone who has passed on their love and support throughout this period, I thank you. Our strength comes in part from those around us, so please know how very much it means to us.


Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Offline for a bit

Just wanted to post to let everyone know I will be offline for a little while. Monday night my beloved father in law had a heart attack. He is in the ICU in hospital at the moment. They do not hold much hope for his recovery. I am splitting my time between work and his hospital bed and have little time or energy for much else.

I will be back, but I don't know when.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Fur-babies, Packing, and Weight Talk

Our poor fur-babies know something is up. They spent the weekend watching us packing things up and shipping them out. They have been alternating between ignoring us and being mad at us, and being overly smoochy and affectionate, which is the bit I love.

This is Shiva after a long day of watching us pack.

This is Starr. He hates me normally, but has actually been allowing me to look at him this last week, which is a real sign of affection for him.

Kimba decided we weren’t allowed to take her photo this weekend….

Saturday was ‘packing up the craft room day’. I got nearly all of it done. Throughout the process I was ruthless with my de-cluttering. I filled one wheelie bin and then filled another 4 bin liners with things that I really truly just don’t need. I have 3 crates of fabric to go to Mum’s, who is SO excited to be adding to her quilting stash. The beauty of it going there is if I ever need any fabric I can just go to her place and go through her stash! I also have several items going to my MIL. The rest got taken to my friend E’s house on Sunday to be stored. There are a few things coming with me, but not a lot.

I was so exhausted in Saturday night. And my legs were absolutely killing me from squatting and standing all day. But we decided the best cure for the sore legs was to go for a walk. We haven’t been walking together for ages, and it was really nice. Although we were both quite sore so it was a fairly gentle paced walk…

It got me thinking though. My health, which 12 months ago had gotten so great, was up the crapola again. Going for a 2.5km walk took over half an hour. I can feel that I am gaining weight at a rate of knots. I have been dealing with the recent extra stresses in my life the way I have always dealt with things, but stuffing copious amounts of food down my gob.

These last few weeks I have been so tired and drained. I have started feeling like the old Kylie, who let’s face it, I hated. But I also know I am not in the right place in my head to be counting calories again. I also don’t want to go back to OA as I found the meetings quite depressing and also felt like the constant talking about food and food issues was fuelling my obsession with it.

This morning I got on the scales to assess the recent damage. Actually not as bad as I expected, but also not good. Not good at all. I jumped on the bike to ride to work this morning for the first time in 2 weeks, and I felt it. 2 weeks of no exercise and lots of food does a LOT of damage to your health and fitness level. I spent the ride thinking about my goals.

Last year when I was actively losing weight I was obsessive. Scary obsessive. It was all I thought about, all I talked about, all I dreamed about. I don’t want to go back there. But I do want to get back to where I was physically and even beyond. So I am doing this slowly. My first goal is to lose 12.4kgs (because I like to be at round numbers). The weight is not important so I will not record it, I just want to lose that amount first up. I also want to get my cycling fitness back so I can easily do a 20km ride again (I can still do it, just not easily). And I want to start jogging,

They are my goals. Timeframe is 3-4 months – no set date as that just freaks me out. Once I get there – and I WILL get there – I will re-assess.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

50 Things Project

I was reading the Simple Green Frugal Co-op Blog this morning and the latest post is about The 50 Things Project. The basic idea is that you get rid of 50 things that you no longer need/use/have attachments to.

Since I am being forced to pack up and move, I figure this is the perfect time for me to do this. I have slowly been de-cluttering for a while, but not with any real seriousness. Just random bits here and there.

So this is my chance to do de-clutter properly. The more things I get rid of, the less things I have to store/pack/move.

Off the top of my head, without actually going through things, here is the start of what I will get rid of:

1) Brown cabinet (top of the old TV cabinet) - going into hard rubbish
2) Old clothes that are too big/don't wear anymore - going to Goodwill
3) Old craft magazines that have been stored and not used in over 10 years - bin
4) Dried and half used paints - bin
5) Textas/crayons from when I was at TAFE - going to R's friend who has an intellectually disabled daughter who loves to colour in
6) Left over miscellaneous craft things from Garage sale - bin
7) Kids books - will give to friends who have kids
8) Old posters/wall hangings that have been in storage since I moved to SA - bin
9) White cupboard that is falling apart - Hard rubbish
10) White wardrobe no longer use - back to Mum's
11) Metal computer table - donate to the Lions
12) Unused craft stuff (things I haven't used in over 5 years) - bin
13) Taped videos - bin (I no longer own a video player so no point keeping these)

Okay, so that is not even close to 50 yet. But by moving day (now confirmed as November 14) I will have 50 things on this list.

Anyone else want to join me in this?

Friday, October 16, 2009

I officially declare that 2010 begins now!

I have decided that I am done with 2009. While there have been some amazing things happen, we have met some amazing people, had some wonderful friends form all over the country come to stay with us, tried new things, and learned new skills - there have also been some really shitty things occur, R's collapsed lung, R losing 2 jobs, my job changing, missing our Melbourne trip, S passing away, getting evicted to name but a few.

So, in order to move past the events of 2009, I need for 2009 to finish.

And I now declare it finished.

Today, October 16, is the first day of a 15 month year called 2010.

If anyone would like to join me in the 2010, you are more than welcome. I guarantee fun and good times! :o)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

One step closer

Well, I am one step closer to starting to jog again. I bought my new sneakers tonight. :o) I went there planning on getting a pair of Nikes. I have always had Nike jogging shoes (although never used them for running or jogging) and I have always loved them.
But the several pairs I tried on didn't fit my right foot very well. The arch sat just behind my actual arch and felt very uncomfortable. Although the left foot felt wonderful. So the lady in Rebel Sport - who was wonderfully patient and helpful - convinced me try venture out and try other brands.
My cross trainers (which I was wearing) are New Balance so she suggested a pair of them. Well, they felt great. :o) So I was sold.
Tomorrow I am catching the tram to work which involves 3kms of walking between home and the tram then the tram and work, so I will test them out. My fitness is shocking at the moment, so no jogging just yet, but I am ready to start working on it again.
I am feeling good.

Possible Solution...

Last week, when we first got told we had to be out of our house by the end of the lease, a friend of ours offered us her unit (that is conveniently about to be vacated by the current tenants) to use as a temporary measure in case we couldn't find anything in time. This unit will be available for us to use until February next year.

Then Mum rings and says that if we haven't found anything by February we can move into her shed for a few months (it's better than it sounds and I have lived there before). We can't go there now as my brother and his family are living there while their house is being renovated.

So we have all of this as a back up plan.

Last night I could not sleep. I am so stressed about money. R is still not working and everywhere we look the rent is a minimum of $20 higher than what we are paying now. And for houses that are half the size with no storage space. It is really freaking me out.

So I started thinking. Instead of using the unit and Mums as a back up plan, why don't we use them as 'the plan' until R is working again and back on his feet. Yes, it will be an adjustment going back to something so small, but if it means we are not struggling quite so much to pay the bills then it will be worth it. Hopefully it will only be a short term solution, and R will be working again soon, but it is still a possible solution.

I am all for it, but R is still thinking things over. He loves his space and his gardens. We looked at another house last night and have 1 more tonight, 1 tomorrow night and 2 on Saturday. Part of me is hoping they are as crappy as the ones we have seen so far, because then R will come around and agree to downsize for a while.

Yes it will be hard, but if we can get back on top of things financially (which has been a huge struggle this year with only one not very big income) then I think we will be happier, no matter where we are living...

EDIT: (a couple hours later) R has come to the party. No more house hunting. We are moving to the Unit. :o)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

House Hunting

So it has now been a week since we found out we have to move. This house hunting stuff is hard! We went and looked at a place on Monday night. It amazes me that people ask so much money for some little crap hole. Don't get me wrong, it was a nice enough place. And if it were $50 a week less in rent we would have applied. But we would NEVER pay what they were asking for it. The thing is, the Property Manager ran out of application forms in the first 5 minutes! She had to email them out to anyone else who was interested. There were at least 50 people while we were there, and more walking down the street as we were walking away. So the owners will get there money. It is definitely an owners market right now...

So we have 3 more inspections lined up so far. The one tomorrow night looks promising, the only problem is they want someone to move in now, and we need another month before we can realistically move as I can't afford to pay rent on 2 places for a month. Then there is another one next week, and another one the following week. Hopefully one of them turns out to be something decent.

In the meantime we are busy packing and moving stuff to storage to make the actual moving day easier. One thing I have noticed, is that in the 2 years we have lived where we are now, we sure have accumulated a lot of crap! :o) We start doing 'dump runs' this weekend. The plan for this weekend is to get the outside rumpus room and shed done. Then I can start on the inside of the house. The one good thing about Ross being out of work, is that he is doing a lot of this while I am at work. :o)

Anyone reading this, please send us good house hunting positive vibes. :o)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thinking About Tri-ing

The Tri Pink was meant to be in Adelaide at the end of November. Due to the venue receiving a government grant to do a major refurbishment, it had to be cancelled.

I was reminded today (thanks Mel) about it. When it was first cancelled I was relieved. I have done no training whatsoever and am completely unfit again. But I decided at the time to try and work towards the Melbourne one and fly or drive over for the weekend.

Since then of course, ‘life’ has confused matters and we are now about to move and are back to a one income household. This makes the option of going to Melbourne near on impossible.


She has a thought…

Maybe I can do the Melbourne Tri Pink in absentia. I can do it here, on my own, on January 31. Yes, it won’t be the same as doing the actual event, however it gives me something short term to work towards that won’t cost me any money and that I can actually achieve. It also means I don’t need to wait until November next year to do my first Tri.

So, Smudge has made a decision. She is going to Try to Tri on Jan 31 2010.


Sunday, October 11, 2009


This weekend R & I took our niece K camping. It was her birthday pressie - even though her birthday was in July. :o)

We went to Kuitpo Forest in the Adelaide Hills. It is a beautiful place. Normally... This weekend it wasn't so great, although we did have fun. The camping ground was full of families, which is wonderful, but it was also full of loud mouthed drunken yobbos who spent the entire evening setting off fire crackers and hooning around.

But the worst part was that the one and only long drop (camping toilet built over a very very deep hole in the ground for those of you not familiar) was full. Yes, you read it right. It was full. There is nothing more disgusting than having to go to a toilet where the 4 metre deep hole in the ground is filled with "toileting"... By this morning it was even worse with many of the drunkards having become "ill" overnight and using the long drop to vomit.

Moving on though, we did have a great time. K is 12, so she is at a great age. We kind of got a bit 'misplaced' heading there... As in, we didn't take a map and I picked the wrong turn off. I kept swearing that the roads looked familiar. And they did. Because they took us to a friends farm 30 kms further on than where we were meant to be. :o)

So by the time we got there it was quite a bit later than we had anticipated. We set up, then got the fire burning so we would have good coals to cook in later.

We spent the afternoon and evening talking, laughing, cooking, playing games (Uno and Pictionary the current games of choice), and just generally having fun.

After dinner we had to have Marshmellows, after all, what camping trip would be complete without roasted marshmellows over the open fire. Plus, fire ban season is about to start so we had to enjoy it while we could as there will be no more fires for several months.

We had a great time. This is the first time we have been camping with another person. It is one of those activities we really like to enjoy on our own, however it was great having an extra person there. We have invited her to join us again.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Interesting evening

I have had an eventful week, which has included among other things finding out we have to move, a new job (started 6 days ago), and a funeral today.

However this evening was interesting and I wanted to share it.

A few weeks ago I got sent the details of a research project that is being conducted by Adelaide University about women returning to cycling after a hiatus of some kind. I emailed the Researcher and said I was interested. Tonight I was interviewed for the project.

The interview lasted about an hour. It was really fun talking about why I started cycling and my thoughts and feelings about various aspects of cycling and the cycling community. It actually made me think about things in ways I hadn't before which was great.

The thing that really came of of it, is that I have found the inspiration I have been looking for to go back to training for my ride to Melbourne. Although I really have no idea when we are going to be able to afford to actually do the trip, I would like to start training again. It won't start in any seriousness until after we have moved as I won't have time, however once that has happened I am ready to start.

It is funny how these things happen. I have been floundering for so long, and it takes just one discussion for things to start to shift in your head...

Like I said, an interesting day...

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Life's Curveballs

2009 has been a ‘challenging’ year for my husband and I. I won’t go into details. Too long and too boring. Our latest curveball came by way of a letter from our landlord 2 nights ago advising us the owner wants to move back in to the house we rent. We have 5 weeks to move…

Tuesday night we were in a tailspin of panic. This morning we are at peace. While moving was certainly NOT in our plans (or budget) we have no choice in the matter so we may as well look on it as an adventure. A change is as good as a holiday they say, and we sure could use a holiday…

We have already arranged temporary accommodation (in case we don’t find somewhere within the prescribed time). We have use of a trailer for free for dump runs and taking things to storage. 3 amazing friends have offered us the use of their sheds for storage if needed. We found a new home for George the Budgie, and a temporary home for the cats if needed. We have started packing up stuff and already have a trailer load ready to go to storage. And we have some leads on potential new homes. And all of that in only 36 hours!

The next phase of our lives has begun. We had fallen into a rut and it seems we needed this to happen in order to see this and to get out of it. We have many options open to us and it is time to start exploring them.