Monday, 29 August 2011

Something's missing

via weheartit 
My blogging mojo is on the blink a bit lately.  Life feels a bit repetitive and my vitality is a bit drained.

I am on the whole feeling a bit blah.  

My tiredness has disappeared enough to mostly feel normal, except when I do something.  Heaven forbid.  I manage work okay for the most part but my weekends need to be nice and restful.  Doing something on the weekend leaves me needing a weekend to recover.  And by doing something I mean going out for dinner and having one drink and being in bed by 11.  Or walking around a street market for a couple of hours.  Ridiculous.  This illness is supposed to be manageable and I am supposed to be able to lead a perfectly normal life and no one is supposed to even be able to realise there is anything wrong with me.  Why am I not able to achieve this?  My specialist is not at all concerned by anything I am experiencing and I am left feeling lazy because I am feeling tired and blah and something that describes the feelings of confused/hypochrondiac-ish/annoyed-because-I'm-ill-but-don't-look-ill-and-therefore-can't-reap-the-benefits-of-sympathy .  How incredibly fucked up is that?  Yes, I'm ill and yes I look normal and yes it's great that you're treating me normal but I want someone to realise that I'm incredibly tired and everything is getting way toohardbasket on the two weeks I am home by myself.  (On the one week MR is home he is being super rockish as always and doing LOTS for me and being entirely understanding of everything and encouraging me to relax on the couch while he makes dinner each night)

I don't want to blog about feeling blah though, or about my meds for some reason causing side effects that are starting more than three months after beginning them.  This is not how it is supposed to happen.  After three months the side effects are supposed to disappear, not begin.  Namely a blotchy and (thankfully) nonitchy rash across my tummy and sides that my specialist thinks is caused by my drugs and not to worry about it.  But it's ugly!  I feel unattractive and Blah.  And then there's the occasional throwing up after taking my tablet so violently that that I burst the blood vessels in the skin around my eyes and have little red dots in a mask across my face for the next 24-48 hours.  Specialist's suggestion?  Take anti nausea tablets an hour before you have your medication.  Go and get this brand that is available over the counter.  But wait.  It is not available over the counter which means I have to go to the doctor and spend more money just to get a script written out. *Sigh* And I don't feel nauseous until after taking my tablet and not every day but I don't know what causes it so I am going to have to take it every day which seems like unneccesary drug taking to me.  But throwing up your dinner on random nights is not cool. And even uncooler is stupid burst blood vessels coupled with blotchy rash making me feel super unattractive and BLAH.


I don't want to blog about that.  And I don't want this blog to turn into an account of my life with Leukaemia because I am more than that.  Eventually. 

I am trying to keep in mind that there are so many people out there worse off than me.  That a rash and occasional throwing up is not going to kill me.  That my drugs are doing the job, even though my body is rebelling.  That I don't have to have chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.  That really I have nothing to whinge about. 

Because I don't.

But boy do I want to.

Note: If you got this far, well done and apologies.  This was not the post I started out to write but it turns out it was the post that needed to be written.  Perhaps it's time to actually ring the Leukaemia Foundation and find a support group?

Sunday, 28 August 2011

Things that haven't really changed in 20+ years

Me.  January 1984.  
How awesome is Picnik at making your old photos look like they were taken yesterday?


Available to buy today

Okay, so it has changed slightly, but Oh So Little!

What else can you add to my list?

Father's Day

This year my sister, Dad and I will be celebrating Father's Day (albeit a couple of weeks late because it was booked out) on the Etmilyn Diner train down in Dwellingup on the Hotham Valley Railway.  It's something we thought about doing a few years ago but with both my sister and I living in the country, driving to Perth and then driving to Dwellingup and then having to drive back to Perth and then back home was firmly filed in the Too Hard Basket.  However, with both of us back in civilisation this year I suggested it to Dad who was quite keen.

It looks like fun, we board the train in Dwellingup (about an hour and a half south of Perth) and ride through the forest while we eat our dinner.  The train has floodlights so we can have a bit of foresty scenery to look at while we eat our five course meal in a vintage dining car from 1919.  Sounds delightful to me!

Seeing as we can't do that next weekend on actual Father's Day we're going to head down to the local park with some nibbles for afternoon tea and feed some ducks, my Dad's favourite park pasttime and how we spent many a Father's Day when we were little.
What have you got planned for the special men in your lives on their big day?

Saturday, 27 August 2011

Things I'm loving

For my birthday I was very spoilt.  My family, MR and his parents all put in to get me my new pride and joy, a Kitchen Aid!!  I have wanted a Kitchen Aid for ages and thought it would be the perfect present for my 30th.  Hopefully it will still be going strong in another 30 years time.  

I love it so, even though I have only used it once.

Here it is in action making it's very first thing, blueberry and raspberry mini cakes.  I can't really call them muffins seeing as I used a butter cake mix as my base and to me cupcakes have icing so they are mini cakes.  I like to swap half a cup of flour for half a cup of almond meal, keeps them nice and moist for a couple of days instead of drying out after the first day.  My new baby (who I'm tempted to dub Blueberry Muffin after the Strawberry Shortcake character.. thoughts?) clashes terribly with the dreadful colour of the benchtops in the kitchen though, so excuse that part.  Just another motivator to renovate the kitchen sooner rather than later.  Although, with all the plans we have for the next few years already I think it will still be later.

What's floating your boat this week?   Share the love at PaisleyJade's!


Friday, 26 August 2011

This week I'm grateful for...

... overbudgeting - when MR and I moved in I was a bit unsure of how much the power bill would be.  MR is one of those people who likes the TV just for background noise.  He doesn't like the quiet.  So I was expecting a much larger power bill than when I was living by myself with him visiting occasionally.  So I almost doubled what I used to pay in my budget and have just been putting the extra into the bill as well.  And this quarter's bill came with no payment needed at all!!  Woohoo, spare couple of hundred dollars to put towards one of the 84 other things we want to buy for/fix/change in the house.  With all the medical bills (see below) I've had so far this year any spare/extra money is quite exciting!

No required payment! Yay! 
And still in credit $58 towards next bill, double Yay!

... morally conscious thoughtful and considerate people - such as the lady who very very kindly handed in my $100 worth of ink cartridges to the nearest shop when I left them sitting in a bag on a chair in the food hall at the shops the other day.  Eek, I have never hooned through a shopping centre so fast when I realised I had left them behind. Very grateful.

... private health insurance and finishing up dentist visits - for the next six months at least (touch wood).  A root canal and two fillings has had me visiting the dentist at least once each month since April.  My private health insurance is well and truly paying for itself this year.  And thank god I have it, I think I've had to spend close to $1000 on dentist visits this year and that was only paying 30% of the total price.  Pity all my other specialist bills are only covered by medicare and nowhere near the 70% mark.

What's keeping the smile on your face this week?  Go share with us via Maxabella Loves

Monday, 22 August 2011

When normal routines go out the window... and "ness" comes to rule

This past week has been a bit haywire for me.  There has been a lot of all-over-the-place-ness and not-getting anything-much-done-ness.

I think I have written about this before but when MR is home all my normal routines get punted out the window and life revolves mostly around spending time with him while I have the chance.  There are exceptions of course, important things like my current Tuesday night sewing class and my monthly Brown Owls group do not get missed out on.  Unfortunately I still have to go to work as well.  So life does go on.  Things that don't really happen though are blogging, facebooking, catching up on emails and reading.  When MR is home we tend do jobs together like I'll make a salad and he gets the meat ready.  We'll hang out the washing together, do gardening together and so on.  Of course we do separate things as well but those things above that I do a lot of when alone just lose their important-ness when I have the option of spending time with my loved one.  (Apologies to my regular blogs, I'll be there to comment happily sometime in the coming week!)

When we relax we have relax time together and watch DVDs.    We have just started watching Dexter.  Two episodes in it has been put on hold for a bit... do I continue?  Is it worth persisting with or is it just entirely too psychotic and disturbing?  I was fascinated, but in a slightly disgusted way, so much that I kept forgetting to eat my dinner.  I have heard it is good and Dexter is certainly delightfully distracting from the psycho-ness eye candy...  So for a lighthearted change we started Season 1 of Weeds.  I have seen a few episodes when I was up late enough but MR has never seen it.  Hilarious.  So up my alley in the humour stakes.  Big Bang Theory is another one we have recently got on DVD but seeing as I have seen most of them on TV, MR has been watching them by himself while I'm at work.  BBT has got to be one of my all time favourite shows.  It is proper funny, not lets make jokes about sleeping with lots of women, drinking way too much and making fun of others funny like so many shows out there. (Not that I don't watch those shows as well)

However, the DVD watching even got put on the back burner a bit this week it was so busy.  Last Wednesday was my birthday, MR flew in two days early to be there for it and we had dinner out at a fancy restaurant on the river with my dad and sister.  Thursday and Friday we were home but then Saturday we went to Fremantle for a day of wandering around the shops and markets and buying the first blueberries of the season, yay! Saturday night was dinner out with some of my friends and their partners, stressful as I don't really like the whole centre of attention business and most of my friends don't really know each other but it was a good night and everyone seemed to get along just fine (phew).  Sunday was sleep catch up, Brown Owls craft in the arvo and then birthday dinner at Mum's with MR and my sister.  I needed a weekend to recover from my weekend! 

My sticky date pudding with vanilla bean sorbet at Wednesday night's dinner*

MR went to visit his family for the night tonight so finally I have a chance for blog catch up, email reading and perhaps a quick bit of book reading before bed.  After I put all the clean clothes away... MR was very good while I was out yesterday arvo and did 3 loads of washing!

How do you cope when routine goes astray?

I can only imagine what it would be like for those who have kids and a partner who works away how crazy things get when they are home!

* the teacher in me did the best to ignore the alternating caps and lowercase... thankfully I was overcome by the loveliness (and tastiness) of it to be too concerned.

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Evidence of crafting

is starting to show itself at my house.  There is a corner of the craft room all organised and set up for sewing action.. pity about the rest, but I'm getting there slowly! 

Look at my lovely vintage bobbin holder.  It's currently holding some of my threads but eventually I want to collect some pretty vintage bobbins to store on it.  It was made my someone in my family, a great grandad or uncle or something but I forget who.  I'll have to ask Dad again. 

There are some fully finished placemats and a half finished table runner (no photo of that yet sorry) that I'm making during my Sew-along for the Table course with these ladies.  Excuse the poor ironing skills.

There is some attempting of a new crochet pattern from my extravagent magazine splurge, although somehow my second two rounds of petals only ended up with five petals instead of six.... shhh, we'll pretend that was what I meant to do!

And there is a nice big stack of giant pink grannies.  22 down, only 8 more to go and then the dreaded sewing together begins...

I'm so pleased to finally be actually doing some serious crafting.  Although, that is certainly not all from this week, more like about a months worth of work but still, creativity is creativity!

I'll be holding a giveaway in the next few days in honour of my birthday.  I was going to do it on my birthday but seeing as that was yesterday I have an inkling that might be a bit hard.  So keep your eyes peeled!

Sunday, 14 August 2011

Flea Market Finds

I was up early on Saturday for a chiropractor appointment so I was out of my pyjamas - quite unheard of pre-pm (otherwise known as am) on a Saturday - so decided to make the most of the day and head out for a wander around the local shopping centre.  It's been ages since I've been to the shops on a Saturday and I forgot how busy it was. 

I was on the hunt for a full length mirror and a new pair of shoes, no luck there of course, I was having one of those all too common no-chance-of-ever-finding-something-you're-there-to-buy-at-the-shops day but did find a nice cushion on sale that was just perfect for our couch.

After the shops I thought I'd head to the local oppies to see if there was any knitting needles to be had. 

And I found lots more too...

a crochet book, a knitting mag and two pairs of needles

a vintage lotto game and some books to put in my theme boxes at school, we're starting transport in a couple of weeks - perfect!

and some children's books for me.  I love Rene Cloke's illustrations so I was pretty stoked to find these three Tales of Oaktree Wood series for $3 each.  The small chapter book, No Flying in the House was one of my favourites as a child, I still have it sitting on my bookshelf to this day but couldn't leave it sitting at the op shop, now I have a spare.  Has anyone read it?  I spent hours trying to kiss my elbow after I read that book (because that would mean I was a fairy of course).  And the Leo the Lop story was another I had as a child, beautiful illustrations by Stephen Cosgrove.  I found the first one at a second hand book shop a while ago and this one is the second story featuring Leo.

Have you been op shopping lately?  What have you found?

Head over to Her Library Adventures for more op shopped delights

Saturday, 13 August 2011

This week I'm grateful for...

... my body reeaaaallllly liking the drugs it has to take. 

I went for my three month check up with the specialist on Tuesday to see how the leukaemic cells trying to take over my body are responding to the medication.  Because the medication I take is so expensive, the government sets targets that I have to reach for them to keep paying for 99% of it.  My levels before I started the medication were at 159% (I asked the specialist how this was mathematically possible but didn't understand her answer) and they need to get down to 0 for me to be considered in remission.  The target for the three month checkup is 15%.  And mine were at 0.277%!!  Go my body! This beat not only the 3 month target, but also the 6, 9 and 12 month targets.   Yay!

Just the one grateful from me this week because it's such a big one but there are plenty more over here

Monday, 8 August 2011

I am a 5 year old child.

At least, I am when it comes to going to bed.

Right now (well, 30 minutes ago) I finished watching the tv show I was watching and thought I should go to bed.  Since then I have looked at facebook, looked at blogger and thought about what photo to put as my little profile pic.  I'm tired of just being a grey silouette.  But I don't know if I want to be me.  I need a good craft pic to put on there.

So anyhow, here's the me shot that I thought I might put as the profile but then decided no.  But I've cropped it  down and everything now so I may as well share half of me.  I was going out and had had my hair and makeup done just for special.  Isn't it funny how getting ready quite often turns out to be the most fun part of the evening?  I had worlds of fun trying on dresses and looking at my makeup trying to work out what she did and how to do it myself. (No luck actually working it out though)  Peering from under my eyelids at the fake eyelashes they put on me.  Have you ever worn fake eyelashes?  It was a first for me, quite strange to get used to them at first and then it was like they weren't even there.

So now, 40 minutes ago, I thought hrm, should go to bed.  Such a procrastinator.  Do you ever use the little search box in the google bar as a dictionary?  I couldn't work out if procrastinator needed an 'or' or an 'er'.  I like how it just pops down below with the options you might be searching for and it generally has the right spelling of the word you want.  Really, I'm quite good at it (or bad, depending on which way you look at it).  Procrastinating that is, not spelling - although usually I'm pretty good at spelling too.  MR is not a bedtime procrastinator and he finds it quite frustrating at times to deal with it in me.  I do feel sorry for him.  I wouldn't like to put me to bed either.  I don't know why I do it, I really do love my bed when I get there.  Sleep is a big friend of mine.  And I am tired.  I just really am a 5 year old child.

Please don't let my children take after me.

Words I say toooo much...




What are yours?

Sunday, 7 August 2011

This week I'm grateful for...

... making it through the working week - it was my first full five day working week in about three months so I was quite happy that I made it through it alright.  Not only five days of work but also a professional development course for two hours Monday evening, an excursion with the students to AQWA on Tuesday and a 2.5 hour craft course starting on Tuesday evening.  Phew.  It was long, but I did it.

... quiet weekends - I think my big whinge on Friday was just me being way overtired.  I slept til 12 on Saturday and then had an hour nap later in the arvo.  Super slack, but I'm feeling much better today for it.  In fact, I even found some energy to do some gardening - it was a lovely sunny Winter's day here today.

I'm hoping this week will be a bit easier.  I only work four days this week (I'm doing five days one week, four the next) so I've only got to get through two more days until another day off, yay!

More gratefulness here

Friday, 5 August 2011


I am now an old hat at long distance relationships.  Well, I judge myself to be anyhow.  This year (our 5th year together) is the first time MR and I have lived together, prior to that we were living about 3 hours apart and he was also working out on the mines so we only saw each other one weekend out of 3, 4, 5 or 6 weeks depending on what shift he was working.  We are awesome at talking.  Well, it sort of goes without saying that I am awesome at talking, so more to the point, MR is awesome at both talking and listening to me waffle.  When we are not together we talk on the phone pretty much every night for between 10 minutes (when he is running late for night shift/really tired from a long day) up to an hour.  When he asks me how my day was he actually is interested and listens.  And then when I ask how his day was I listen carefully and try to understand what he is talking about when he says he was changing the bucket on the digger and the drive shaft came loose which meant they had to reconfigure the someothermechanicalterm and it took eight hours.     

Last time I dropped him at the airport we were reminiscing on how I used to have a few tears whenever he left.  Not a real cry; just a pain in the heart, a few tears and then lots of "humphs" and mopiness after he left.  Living together is wonderful, even though I still only see him one week out of three, it is still a luxury to me to have this large amount of time.  However, it does come with some new issues.

Previously, it was 'my house' or 'his house' and the other was just visiting.  Now it is 'our home' and when he is away it feels like he is missing and the home just isn't functioning right without him.  There is someone missing on the couch next to me, just me (and The Meow) in our bed, no one to cook the meat on the bbq while I make a salad, no one to talk to (The Meow is not a big conversationalist) and really, I'm finding it a bit lonely. 

You would think, after five years of living in a town where I had no family and for two years of it no friends around me that I would not feel lonely now but apparently I have some readjusting to do.  I'm back at the humphs and mopiness stage (although thankfully no tears). 

I've already rung my Dad, sister and Mum to chat and to see what they are up to this weekend (all busy) and my bestie is off holidaying and really I'm feeling rather broke so the weekend is stretching lonely (I feel like I should be saying lonelyly, although obviously not) and quietly ahead.  (Normally I love quiet relaxing weekends in my pyjamas so this is a very strange feeling for me)  I think a big long sleep followed by some comfort baking for a yummy breakfast and then an I'm grateful post to get me out of the doldrums and focusing on that silver lining (sleeping in, reading, crafting, blogging, sitting on the couch doing sweet FA and not feeling guilty) are definitely on the cards.

Winter cherries

At the moment I am totally loving cherries.  Cherries in Winter.  So very very awesome.  I do not care that they are from America and have no doubt been covered in chemicals and cold packed and whatever to get them here in good condition.  They are cherries.  And did I mention that I am getting to eat them in Winter?

This is a first for Perth.  Never before have I seen cherries here at this time of the year.  I am devouring them almost every day.  MR and I went through almost a kilo of them one evening.  He loves them just as much as I do.

It did make me think of the poor people in America who don't have cherries at Christmas though.  Imagine having Christmas without watermelon, mango, stone fruit and cherries??? How strange would that be!

I'm joining in with Paisley Jade for Things I'm Loving... for the first time!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

growing in my garden

The first of my bulbs are flowering!  I love snowdrops but have never grown them before so didn't realise how tiny the plant is, or perhaps thats just my plant.  Either way, there was much excitement when I found a few snowdrop flowers!

Aren't they beautiful!

Monday, 1 August 2011

A house guest

I have a Very Special Visitor staying with me at the moment.

Lucy brought me some delicious Haigh's choc mints, thanks Shay!

Her name is Lucy Rabbit and she is on her round the world trip visiting some of her Mum's (Jenni over at Baa-me Kniits) bloggie friends. My place is stop number five on what is turning out to be a grand adventure so far.  If you'd like to read about Lucy's adventures, head over to her very own blog, Lucy's World Trip.

impulse buys

Recently, I splurged on a magazine.  Now generally one would not put the words 'splurge' and 'magazine' in a sentence together, particularly when the former is referring to the latter.  But I did.

It was Mollie Makes.  A lady at my Brown Owls got issue one from a friend in England and brought it to share and we all ooh-ed and ahh-ed over it.  So much pretty, lovely stuff.  So I looked online at how much a subscription would cost.  And it was $222.69 for a year.  This seemed a bit astronomical to me so I decided that maybe I would just treat myself to one.  The cost of one magazine didn't seem like much compared to $222 so I hit buy and processed my credit card before I sat back and really thought it through. 

One magazine cost $20.95.

Ridiculous amount to spend on a magazine when you think of it.  I could have bought a new book for that and had 8+ hours of quality reading time instead of just 1 hour. 

It arrived the other day and I was excited in suitable proportions to the price I paid for it and it was a good one hour read but really, when you can't buy half the stuff in it without having to pay almost $222 in postage from England to get it to Australia, I don't know if it's really worth it.

I will take it to the next Brown Owls for everyone else to drool over though.

What was your most recent impulse buy?