Monday, 30 July 2012

He loves me...

I'm sure we all played the daisy love game as kids and teenagers. There's always (with me anyhow) been that doubt in relationships. That thought of 'but does he really?' Even with MR. He is six years younger than me, we've been together since he was 19. So that little niggle of doubt has hung around over the years.

Until last year. It's a pretty big thing, supporting your partner through finding out they have leukaemia and then 6 months later embarking on a liver transplant and recovery with them. Not to mention the supporting of said partner for the next ten months financially while they are off work. It's a fair amount for a 23-24 year old to take on board.

Of course, when things were starting to look pretty shit in hospital I did give him a free pass with my full permission to run screaming for the hills if he wasn't coping. He declined. (Thank god!) So now the doubting dust motes are gone. No longer tempting me to become fascinated by their glowing sparkle in the light.

I've been having some loving moments these last few days. The type where I sit in the glorious Winter sun and reflect on just how lucky I am. And seeing as the man himself is currently at work and not here to listen to me sing his praises I thought I might just do it here. He's on night shift at the moment and I know he reads my blog (hi honey x) when he has a quiet night so I thought it might be a nice surprise when he next pays a visit.

So it doesn't get all sickly sweet for the rest of you I thought I'd limit myself to ten things I love about him. When we first got together I prompted a bit of list making out of him, one of which was 5 things that make you feel treasured but I don't remember ever doing a things we love list. So here goes. Feel free to scroll past if you're not MR. But maybe it'll inspire you to make a list of your own. Because after all, we all like to be told how special we are sometimes.

Ten things I love about my amazing man

He is my solid, calm, strong rock who has supported me through so much and who makes me feel stronger and calmer.

He is a wonderful listener and talker. If there's one thing long distance relationships teach you, it's the value of a good conversation.

He has possibly the most gorgeous set of shoulders and arms in the world ever. (there may be some bias here)

He holds my hand whenever we're out, he tells me he loves me every day and he blows me kisses in front of his friends.

He loves the Meow as much as I do.

He puts up with my dreadful sleeping habits, even when I keep him awake til past 1am talking.

He likes to cook and he is good at it. No need to say more!

He is very clever. If I ask him a question about any old thing he almost always knows the answer and he is super clever with his hands as well. He can fix and make all sorts of stuff!

He hugs his mum and dad and tells them he loves them.

He pretends he's tough and rough and certainly does a good job at presenting that image but really he's just a big softy with a huge heart who is willing to help out friends any way needed. And who smiles at babies in the checkouts at the supermarket. Ok, he's not really fooling anyone.

I love you honey.

I could so easily keep going! I'd love to read your lists if your do the same...

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Nine months

My nine month liversary has been and gone, ten days ago in fact.  No cake baking this time, I was feeling a little bit slack.  But I did take the next scar photo in my series. 

one month, six months, nine months
 As you can see, you can hardly see the staple dots at all now, they are quite white.  A lot of the rest of the scar has faded some more as well.  I've also put on a few kilos.  Boo to that part!

I had a bit of a brain wave last night at the ungodly hour of 2am while I was beginning to drift off to sleep.  I've been thinking about what to do to celebrate my one year liversary and the idea of a cake decorating party popped in.  That could be fun perhaps.  Or I could just go the good old bbq.  The idea of celebrating my new liver with alcohol has some irony but everyone else can do that part for me.  My liversary comes exactly one week before MR's birthday though which does make it a bit difficult.  I don't know that I need a big celebration every year but I definitely want one for the first year! After the first year has passed the survival rate rises rapidly.  I like that!

In other health updating news, my latest leukaemia blood test shows that the levels have dropped from 1.77% to 0.084% since the last test three weeks before.  This is especially excellent news!!! That's the lowest it has ever been since diagnosis, so I'm very happy.  If it keeps up at this rate I'll be down to 0 before you know it... (touch wood)  It usually slows down a fair bit once it gets to the 1% and under mark so for it to drop that much in three weeks is pretty amazing. 

I started back at work yesterday and it went really well.  I got a bit sore during the day sitting down and leaning forward to write and while I was pretty tired afterwards and slept in til 11 today I didn't actually feel too tired while I was there.  Yesterday was a professional development day - no kids - so tomorrow is the real test, my first day with kids.  My side feels fine today so that is good, I imagine tomorrow it's going to get a bit more sore, what with all the getting up and down off the mat.  It will ten months since I stopped working this Thursday, can't believe I was off for so long.  It sure went quick but I am definitely glad to be getting back into normal life habits again. 


Sunday, 22 July 2012

Sunday Snippets

 This week has been a busy one for me in the lead up to going back to work next week - tomorrow!!

old movi faves watching and embroidering...

gingerbread creature making...

zoo visiting...

cubby making...

appointment waiting... and knitting...


play dough making...

Lots of fun too!

Playing along with Tinniegirl

Saturday, 14 July 2012


I've been a little excited about embroidering stuff at the moment.  The stitches coming together make me feel all pleased inside.  I can do it neatly, even around my medication shakes.  It is perfect for in front of the tv, no pattern to remember (or rather, forget) when I get too distracted by whatever show I'm watching or the conversation I'm having with MR.  It doesn't feel like it's taking too long either.  And I really like that it has been turning out the way I picture it in my head.  Admittedly that is because I'm just tracing around or filling in something already on a piece of fabric but that's beside the point.  I'm loving it quite a bit.

This is the second in my clock series.  I'm actually quite seriously thinking of setting up shop and selling these.  I already have one lovely blog reader interested in one.  This one is for my best friend who recently got engaged.  She gave me Pip's first book for Christmas a while ago and we were flicking through it and she said how much she loved this clock, which is where the idea first came from.  It was pictured in the same ink and spindle birch trees fabric that I'm using and when I went online to order it to make the clock I spotted the wrens fabric and the embroidery idea just popped into my head.  So then I thought about what I might be able to embroider onto this one for my friend.  I've almost finished outlining one tree now and then I'm going to toy with a turning the bird into a little red robin and perhaps a few autumn leaves hanging onto a branch or two...

This second piece is for a red work swap I'm in.  My partner loves cats and so it was an easy decision with what design to go with!  I haven't done any red work before and I hadn't used so many different stitches either.  I've used back stitch on the basket, stem stitch on the kitten, daisy stitch on the flowers, reverse double chain stitch on the ball of wool and satin stitch on the nose and the knitting needle ends.  Of those stitches I'd only done back stitch and satin stitch before, the rest are all new to me.  Yes, I'm a major embroidery beginner!

Next on the list is to finish off my sashiko piece and then back to the clocks! I need to find some more lovely hand printed fabric two or three colour fabric to use... anyone have some designer suggestions for me?

Linking in with Things I'm Loving...

Wednesday, 11 July 2012

Child acquisition

Next week, providing I have kicked the cold I currently have in the butt, MR and I are going to have his five year old nephew over to stay for a couple of nights, or as MR said on the phone to his brother "When can we acquire B for a couple of nights?".  I'm pretty excited.  B is an awesome little boy and I love doing fun kid stuff.  This will be the second time he's stayed at our place but the first time he's stayed when MR is home too.  Last time he stayed we were going to make gingerbread men but we spent too long at the aquatic centre going down the water slide so we ran out of time.  So gingerbread men are definitely on the cards for this time. 

I have all these ideas of stuff we can do.  MR is liking the idea of him staying but this will also be his first ever experience of 'parenting'.  He's spent time with B before but never looked after him.  So I think he's a bit wary of just what it will involve and how much time to himself he's going to get... (none).  I suggested we go to see the new Ice Age movie.  B lives in the country so doesn't get to go to the movies very often.  That idea was jumped on by MR because (just like me) he loves cartoon movies.  Only thing is, MR is anti regular seating in the movies so decided he will be quite happy to fork out for a gold class ticket for B just so he can have the comfty big recliner seats, a cheese platter and a couple of scotch and cokes.

We're going to have him for two nights so there's plenty of time to do lots of stuff.  My other ideas were the zoo and make a softie with him from one of his drawings (he is going through a big drawing phase at the moment).  I have a cool set of colour changing textas to give him as a little present as well.  My house is overflowing with picture books so there will be plenty of stories to read before bed but we need to buy some bath toys because last time he stayed he was quite astounded that we didn't have any.  I've been thinking of what other things we could do with him.  City things that aren't available in the country.  Like the museum or AQWA or ice skating. 

And I'm more than open to ideas - what fun stuff are you doing with your kids these holidays?


Sunday, 8 July 2012

Sunday Snippets

Just a few snippets this week...

Bread and butter custard, fresh from the oven
Pistachio brownies about to go in the oven

Getting back onto the exercise bandwagon (slowly)

Thursday, 5 July 2012

A recipe first

Do you know, up until two nights ago, I had never in my life made brownies.  In fact, I didn't even taste brownies as a child that I can remember.  If Mum was making something chocolatey she usually made hedgehog slice or caramel slice.  Brownies, to me, were always an American treat.  And until recently I hadn't realised quite how good they are. 

Quite often, someone will bring them to Brown Owls.  And I always have one (or two, or three).  So the other night when I was in the mood for a bit of baking at quarter to midnight and had realised I had no milk left, I was flicking through the Donna Hay Fast, Fresh, Simple recipe book for something I could make and found her standby brownies recipe and thought I'd give it a go.

Of course, I had to add something to my brownies and definitely not choc chips because there is more than enough chocolatiness to them already.  I had a bag of unsalted preshelled pistachios in the cupboard so that made the decision for me.  I used about half a bag, next time I think I'd use at least three quarters if not the whole lot. 

Pistachio brownies

150g butter
275g caster sugar (I used low GI cane sugar, just because it seems like it is healthier)
75g cocoa
1tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs
75g plain flour
bag of unsalted shelled pistachios

The recipe says to melt the butter, sugar and cocoa in a saucepan but I just chucked the butter in a bowl in the microwave and once it was melted added the sugar and cocoa after that.  Less dishes is a good thing.  Add the vanilla and eggs and whisk well (I just used a hand whisk, not much needed stirring in so no point getting out the kitchen aid).  Sift the flour over the top and whisk in.  Pour half the mixture into a lined square cake tin.  Scatter pistachios or other nuts over the top, as many or few as you like but make sure you hold back 16 to go on top.  Pour the rest of the mixture in and then lay your reserved pistachios in a 4x4 grid over the top (so there will be one on the top of each square when you cut it up).  Cook at 160*C for 30-35 minutes (my fan forced oven took 23 mins) or until centre is just set.  Cool in tin and cut into squares to serve.

I kept six for me and took the rest out for afternoon tea yesterday.  I met Amanda from Homely One who was kind enough to offer me a cuckoo clock of her dad's that she was going to give to the good sammies.  Aren't bloggers such generous people!  It is a very gorgeous cuckoo clock, it is just missing its pendulum stick so I need to order one from ebay and then work out where to put it and get MR to put a hook in the wall.  I can't wait to share photos when it's up and cuckoo-ing!!

Is there a fairly common recipe that you've never made?


K2 P2

Yes, you guessed right, I'm finally having some success at knitting!  I've worked out the rib stitch pattern and get it right more often than not now and I have about 30cm of a loopy cowl scarf thingie on the needles.

As you can see, there are a few lumps and bumps around and it is certainly not perfect, but I don't mind.  Why? Because I've actually almost properly worked out how to unknit and pick up dropped stitches!  Finally!! I say almost properly because I still haven't got it quite right I don't think but at least I know when I've done something wrong now and what I've done.  That was the frustrating part before, not knowing how to fix up mistakes.

This is a lovely soft 100% baby alpaca wool and it smells so good.  I can't wear sheep wool around my neck - my neck goes bright red and itchy - so I thought I'd give alpaca a try.  Unfortunately, it didn't do to well either so this one is destined for a friend's birthday present.

I know it wasn't any good around my neck because a month or so ago I crocheted this scarf for myself with the same wool and a nice soft bamboo and milk proteins yarn (the light grey).  I thought making it not entirely animal fibres might make it ok around my neck but no, red and itchy it got.  Very annoying, because I liked my grey scarf.  Next time I'm at spotty I'll have to get some nice soft synthetics or bamboo or something in greys and make myself one.  This one is also for a friend's birthday now, there's a couple of birthdays at the moment so I might as well make the most of the season and make pretty scarves for everyone with my massive overabundance stash of yarns!

What's been happening in your creative world lately? 


Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Exercise apps

So, I didn't make it to Liver Gym at 10 on Monday morning. In fact, I was just getting up at 10.  Woops!  After not getting to sleep until after three though I sort of gave up on the idea of gym anyhow.  I did end up making it out into the glorious Winter sunshine for a walk this afternoon though.  First time I've got my sneakers out since Run for Reason back at the end of May.  That really is a bit naughty!  Hopefully I'm back on track now though.  MR is on board for another reward at the end of the month if I make it.  It really is the best way to make me work! 

At breakfast with Dad on Sunday we were discussing the whole exercise thing and next year Dad wants to join me in jogging the 4kms in the Run for a Reason.  Great, you think... but my dad's idea of exercise is doing a bit of gardening.  Doing the walk this year was his only proper exercise so far this year.  He needs to lose at least 25kg.  So, I'm hoping this is the motivation he needs to get out and do something.  I've told him he needs to go for a walk once a week for the next few weeks and then after he gets back from an overseas business trip it needs to go up to twice a week.  I just have to jump straight back into the three times a week thing, but my fitness level is considerably higher than Dad's.

I've been looking at exercise apps for my phone to download and use.  Currently I use Runkeeper but I want something a bit more.  I've got the Nike app on my phone but I can't work out how to make it work, I press the button and it says 'walk around to activate the sensor' - so I do, but it doesn't.  What apps do you use?  I was thinking about the couch to 5k one but I don't really want to just go out and run all the time, I like to change it up a bit.  Gym, yoga, maybe some zumba...

Recommendations happily received!

Monday, 2 July 2012

Tough love

Nissa on the left, Princess on the right

At the moment I am feeding my neighbour's cats while they are away on a 6 week holiday.  They have two cats, one of whom is just out of kittenhood.  They mostly stay outside apparently and only go inside occasionally so the neighbours have just closed up the house so they can have the alarm on and left the cats to be outside cats.  This is fine (although I would never do that), there are many cats that are outside cats and they have a nice covered back alfresco area that is sheltered from the wind and their little nests where they like to sleep.

So I've been feeding them now for a bit over two weeks and the little one, Princess, is getting a bit lonely.  When I've been outside gardening she comes over for a play and some attention.  Normally there is a dog there to and they are good friends and play together but the dog is being looked after by someone else.  The other cat, Jay Jay, is older and runs away from me (probably because I shoo him when he comes over because when we first moved in he kept belting up the Meow).

Unfortunately, Nissa and Princess do not get along.  I think they should because they could be twin sisters, they are very similar looking.  I've been trying to encourage Nissa to be friendly to Princess but it just hasn't been working very well.  The best I've gotten so far is tolerance (yesterday) when they were both in the front garden with me (metres apart and glaring - but at least not snarling and hissing).

And this is where the tough love comes in.  A few days ago I felt so sorry for Princess so I let her come inside for a cuddle.  And she found Nissa's left over food and I let her eat it (Nissa didn't want it).  And I put her on my lap and gave her pats.  And she was happy.  But then, I put her back outside before Nissa came in and she came around the back and meowed at the door.  And then she found the cat door and came in herself.  And then, later on, when Nissa was back inside, Princess came in the cat door and Nissa leapt, spitting and snarling across the room to give her a good thwack on the head.  Since then poor Princess has been too scared to come inside.  Which is probably a good thing.  But I still feel sorry for her outside and lonely at night when its so cold.

So I have come to the conclusion (for about the sixty fifth time) that I am way too much of a soft touch and no good at all at tough love.

Luckily, Nissa is.

Are you a push over like me?


Sunday, 1 July 2012

Sunday snippets

I'm joining in Sunday Snippets for the first time today after finally getting my Instagram act together.  I've had it for ages, just hadn't used it much or added friends or anything.  So if you want another friend, I'm threadsofhappiness, please add me so I don't feel like a total loner and have more procrastination material!

razor claws kneading my belly :: Sunday brekkie with Dad :: starting to get the hang of this knitting caper :: the face of bliss while kneading my belly :: market fare :: the neighbour's cat, Princess is Nissa's long lost twin cousin :: first of the tulip bulbs :: Winter dwarf tea rose flowers :: learning the ins and outs of pruning rose with Mum

I spent a few hours each day this weekend outside in the garden.  On Saturday, Mum came over and we did some big pruning for the green waste collection and she taught me the tricks of pruning my roses.  She also helped me work out what I was doing wrong with my rib stitch knitting I was trying to do.  Sunday, Dad came around and we went to the Wanneroo Markets (thanks for the recommendation Sally!) for some breakfast and fruit and veggies and then we planted some ground cover seedlings and I did a bit of weeding and tidying up the garden as well.  This weekend has been glorious sunny Winter weather, one of my favourite types of weather for being outside in.  I'm a bit pooped now though, after four nights in a row not getting to bed/sleep before 3am I'm really hoping I'll be ready for a midnighter tonight!

I'm heading back to work next term too, just on Wednesdays to begin with and I'll see how I go.  I'm looking forward to a bit of normality!  Also in the plans for July is getting back on the exercise horse.  I managed my 3 times a week for the whole of April but May and June were pretty bloody slack so I need to get motivated again.  Starting tomorrow with getting up early enough to make it to Liver Gym at 10am.  That means leaving home at just after 9.  It's gonna be tough so wish me luck!

Also on the cards is a birthday holiday for me.  After we didn't make it down south back in May, MR and I discussed that maybe we could go over east for my birthday present.  We've decided on Cairns so I've got to chat to the doctors this week to make sure they have no problems with me flying.  I've got my fingers crossed tight!

And finally in my mish mash of news, I found out that my leukaemia levels are doing good things again, down from 23.4% to 1.77% in just one fortnight!  Such a nice phone call to get!!

What did you get up to this weekend?  I hope you had some lovely sunny weather wherever you were as well :)