Monday, December 10, 2007

On track

I like the core plan at WW. It is boring but easy. I lost another 1.2 kgs this week (as at last Thursday) so am still on track for Christmas.

Of course I have been a bit social lately so am not overly confident of another loss this week.

I went to the ballet on Saturday and saw "The Nutcracker" which was beautiful but trying to find something healthy for lunch was a nightmare. Settled for a ham and salad baguette which I cut in half and bought home for the eating machine that is living with us at the present. The ballet was summed up for me by the young girl I saw at the ballet and then again on Waitara station with her Mum leaping along like a ballerina (the girl not the Mum). Such exuberance was infectious.

It's raining again - it was actually hailing yesterday. I have pictures of our front lawn covered in white balls. I was gardening, in the middle of building a new stone wall for a new garden when I heard the storm coming. I just picked up everything and ran - thought it was the rain and wind I could hear but it was actually the hail. Luckily our cars were under cover and I rang the kids and warned them what was coming their way. Mark actually had red welts on his back where he got hit. Hmm, summer in Sydney.

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Summer rain taps at my window.........

Well last weeks weigh in was a bit of a fizzer. Only lost 100g but at least it was a loss and it counterbalances the 1.8kg loss the first week so I guess I am more or less on track.

I have been writing down what I have been eating this week to see where maybe I went wrong. The “CORE PLAN” is easy to follow – maybe too easy.

We had an interesting experience last week. Went out for dinner with friends to restaurant in Neutral Bay. It was a degustation menu and as we got to the final course we had to evacuate the restaurant due to a gas leak next door. Nobody could pay but of course they had a contact number for all diners so my friend was duly rang the next day and fixed up the bill minus a discount (after her husband had a word to them).

Am off to the rheumatologist today for an emergency appointment as my ankle is quite swollen and painful and I think I need a cortisone injection before he disappears on holidays. Very nice of him to fit me in but I am sure his secretary is pulling her hair out.

The wet humid stormy weather continues. The garden is really lapping it up and seems to be growing before my eyes. It looks perfect. I have a section that looks a bit so-so and I have decided to plant it out with waratahs and minature kangaroo paws as the soil is poor and I have been inspired by a friends garden who has planted native plants in her garden even though the majority of my garden is planted with buxus, gardenias, azaleas, jessamine, roses and magnolias.

Talking about inspired – I have spoken to two friends about their gardens and have discovered that both of them did the stone walls around their garden beds including terracing all by themselves. So I am going to attempt to do the same in the back yard to lay the foundations for a new garden bed to hide an ugly paling fence. But first I am going to pick their brains and one has even offered to help me but I think I want to try to do it by myself (body willing of course).

My baby turns 23 this Friday. She came into the world in a rush, induced out of the cocoon because of toxaemia. Mind you she had been trying to fight her way out for quite awhile. I claimed her as my baby just after she was born and, even though we have a love/hate relationship we are incredibly close and there is rarely a day goes by when I don’t speak to her, sometimes many times. She was a screamer and did it nonstop for the first few months of her life. She is the reason that we have only two children because we were so exhausted we decided that we couldn’t do this again and that was even after the firstborn being a copybook perfect baby. She never learnt to walk - it was a run from her first step. She spent her early life wanting to be a boy like her brother, wearing his hand-me-downs, scorning dresses (I still have them packed away) demanding the same things that he got and trailing after him and his friends with the plaintive cry “wait for me”. I look at her in constant wonderment that I produced (Mark had something to do with it too) this firey,fiesty, slim build (didnt get my hips), fair skinned, green eyed redhead whose determination to succeed at whatever she chooses never ceases to amaze me. In the constant paradox she is, she wanted perfume and a multipurpose knife for her work belt for her birthday. I hope she has a wonderful birthday and knows how proud we are of her always.

Less than three weeks of work before five weeks off. Yahoo!!

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

A small snapshot




The white hyrdrangeas are finally flowering - the last remaining bush. It was an experiment that didnt work too well but I may be able to salvage this last bush.




Keeping guard over the street. She surveys her domain either from our bed or with paws over the back of the lounge out the lounge room window. Woe betide anyone who ventures into her queendom.




The intrepid Lucy - my best mate (pretending I dont have a camera in my hand). She is at my feet at the moment under the desk, at my heels where ever I go and so much fun to have around I sometimes wonder what I did before she arrived in my life 4 years ago very soon.




This is called something like campanella I think. I runs riot and has just about consumed the front step and a couple of pot plants but I love it for its unruliness and the way it opens its purple little faces to the sun everyday. I know that when and if I cut it back it will come back with avengence as if to say - see you can't tame me.




The roses have been lovely this year. They are a mismatch of colours and scents but even though I think every year I may dig them out because they are very non forgiving if I weed too close to them I never do. I think they remind me too much of my beloved mother-in-law. She gave me the Confetti rose (orangey coloured one).

I hope everyone is having a good week. Am reading and trying to keep up with you.

Friday, November 23, 2007

Good News

After a week of following the "core plan", and remember it is the first week, I managed to shed 1.8 kgs.

I'm not sure I am doing it correctly but I must be doing something right. It is good not to have to think too hard about what I can eat or what I cant - it's either yes or no. Even with going out a couple of times I didnt use all my 21 extra points. Ive been managing about a litre of water a day (I can include tea, diet drinks etc for at least half but I dont count them in my water tally). At the party on Saturday night there was a smorgasbord/spit roast so I just had meat and mixed green salad plus a couple of glasses of wine, no nibblies beforehand and no birthday cake .

I have managed two alcohol free (maybe three) days this week. I really look forward to my glass of low cal wine while I am cooking dinner so even managing two days is a milestone for me I guess.

Except for one Lucywalk, one pilates session and one yoga session there has been no exercise this week to speak of. I have booked a session with a personal trainer next Monday afternoon so hopefully I will again begin to feel motivated.

Anyway back to the fray. I can hear those jatz biscuits calling me but I will be strong......

Friday, November 16, 2007

This week

I am going to have trouble keeping up with everyone. I have still been able to access and read everyone from work, but apparently now (or probably forever) my boss and people above him can access my internet usage and see what I have been doing and apparently even though I have been doing stuff in my lunch hour etc they don’t provide the internet for people’s private use. Not wanting to push the envelope I think it is better to keep my private internet use to home from now on which brings me to the other problem – Gareth is still there and monopolises the computer most of the time. He moves when asked but I still find it annoying that I cant just keep popping in and out of the study and have my computer whenever I want.

Now Jen, here is my reply to your tag

4 Dishes I like to cook (so many which to choose)
Lasagne (always better the next day)
Lamb Shanks and Mash
Crumbed cutlets and potato bake
Stir Fries

4 Qualities I Like in People
Friendliness
Kindness
Loyalty
Reliability

4 Places I have Been
Hawaii – Oahu and Mauii
USA – San Francisco to San Diego and lots of places inbetween
Melbourne (I love that place)
Hunter Valley (often)

4 Things in My Bedroom
My husband
My GHD
My perfumes
Lots and lots of shoes and bags

4 Dirty Words I use (definition hard because I don’t and it usually only in times of stress)
F**k (when I need to shock my children into listening because “Mum never swears”)
Damn
Dickhead
Shit

(All of the above usually muttered to myself)

I in turn tag whoever hasnt done this yet.

IMPORTANT ANNOUNCEMENT

Last night I went back to Weight Watchers. Jen inspired me to take the plunge and it took a lot of nerve because I felt like such a failure but I cant tell you the relief I felt after I had done it. Even though I haven’t been for yonks they remembered me which was nice (I think). I have decided that I am going to give the “Core Plan” a go. I actually like counting points and juggling them but time is my enemy and this time I think the Core Plan with its list of yes foods and no foods will suit better. Only 7 kgs to lose but they include 5 kgs that I have been trying to lose for years. I’d like to say that this time I will succeed but I know how unreliable I am but I am going to give it a good shot. I am going to recommit to the gym next week. I have only been going to pilates there lately but next Monday they are having a “sale” and I am going to buy 3 session with a personal trainer (after I read the conditions) which may help re-motivate me.

Now Catherine the low alcohol wine – I don’t think I am supposed to have it on the “Core Plan” but maybe I can include it in the 21 points. It is a nice light white wine not exceptional but still with enough taste to make me feel like I am having a real drink. I will let you know how I go with it. My problem, as always, is to stop at one. I am not one of those people who can sit on one glass of wine all night. I think the term is “guzzler”.

Well here I am today, feeling strangely optimistic about this week (thank you Weight Watchers). I feel less tired than I have previously felt in the past three weeks. Just goes to show that maybe it is all really in my mind.

I hope you all have a wonderful week too and I will be trying to catch up with you all soon.



Monday, November 12, 2007

Sun is shining and all's right with the world

The sun is finely back out and I am feeling a lot better already. Sitting in my study with a gentle breeze coming through the window - I feel so good (except for the damn itching still).

I realise that the weather does have a lot to do with my "wellness". I know we need the rain and my garden certainly does love the past week or so of rain but it gets me down after a while and activates all those extra aches and pains.

Daylight saving doesnt help me either. I love the fact that there is all this extra light at the end of the day now but I am jetlagged and in previous years I have been jetlagged for the six months (now seven soon to be eight) of daylight saving. Soooo, if anyone has any hints for coping with daylight saving let me know.

Damn, I just realised I am whinging again.

Food intake has good days, not so good days and extremely horrible days. Alcohol ditto.

Exercise has become almost non existant except for yoga and pilates. My yoga classes are run through the local community college and I have just realised that they will not be running through the summer holidays so I am going to ask the instructor if she can recommend a DVD similar to what how she teaches. I feel so good after Wednesday nights lately and I am hopeless at remembering the sequences so this may be the answer. I still do my stretching yoga some mornings but havent been doing the ones in the evening. Not enough hours and the TV and DVD is always being used which brings me to I have ordered a portable DVD player through Flybuys as I was starting to lose points and I like the idea of being able to follow the yoga DVDs anywhere. Hasnt arrived yet though.

The other thing I have ordered and received is a white wine from Trentham Estate called "Two Thirds". It is reduced alcohol (8.5%) and is okay for quaffing on a Sunday night with friends. Dont know the calories involved but know I dont get "merry" quite so quickly.

Biggest Loser (US one) has started again on Friday nights.

Hope everyone is travelling well this week

Monday, November 05, 2007

It has been a tough week or so. I became really complacent about my weight – I was doing okay, what’s the problem?

Well the problem is, if I’m not vigilant, I put on weight because I LOVE food and wine and everything and I will snack continuously if allowed. This week I have felt like “Gollum” from Lord of the Rings with a split personality. The good side says “no I will be good, I will cut back carbs I wont snack I will exercise and cut down on alcohol” the bad side says “it wont hurt – what the hell!” and we know the consequences of that.

Now my weight is not immense and I’m getting better at keeping it below 70kgs but even that is too much for my joints. I have rheumatoid arthritis and as I get closer to the 70kg mark the joints stiffen and swell especially feet and knees which makes day to day life a challenge and makes me distinctly crabby.

I’m not complaining (really I’m not) and I don’t want sympathy – it is completely and utterly my fault. I just needed to talk about it to people who are not too judgemental.

Gareth is home and my study and therefore my computer has been taken over and I am finding it hard to get time to read blogs and respond to emails. It is lovely to have him home except he is still jetlagged and cranky (especially at night) and we are back to me asking him to do something, him saying yes and just not moving. I end up nagging and cross and he ends up cross because he feels I am nagging. It is a no win situation and I guess it is easier for me to just do everything. He has two weeks at home before he needs to move out (or I may kill him) and he keeps saying he wants to move out. The lack of help, even clearing up after a meal, is driving me insane.

Oh well, it is back to counting points (or trying to) and trying to motivate myself to exercise. I am feeling stale at the gym and need to be assessed again but have never found that satisfying at my gym. I am waiting for a special offer for a personal trainer to happen and then I will do that as I have found out it doesn’t have to be every week – it can be once a fortnight or even I think, once a month and I wouldn’t mind doing some boxing.

A small highlight of the week was the arrival of my “swallow” necklaces from bomboulina in the US. They are lovely and I will be checking out more etsy shops in the future.


The weekend is here and looks like a rainy and stormy one. Sometimes nice to snuggle with a good book or maybe even an extra class at the gym.

Sorry for the whinge. I promise that this will pass and I will build bridges and move on. (How many clich├ęs can I fit in one sentence?)

Amusez-vous bien

Post Script: This post was written on Friday and stored on my thumbdrive which I Ieft at work. This is the first chance I have had to download it to my blog.

Its November and the jacarandas are in full magnificent flower against stormy grey skies. Stunning.
Yesterday did not live up to the weather forecasters prediction and was one of those achingly beautiful sunny slightly cool days that makes your blood sing and be so so glad to be alive in this time and space. Today is windy, rainy and cool but the light is still blindingly beautiful and everything has been washed clean and sparkles.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Term 4 - Back at work

Back at work now and the time is flying. Going to be a very busy term and I know Christmas will be upon me before I know it.

I have been shut out of my computer and study by a daughter doing a uni assessment which has finally been done and I can reclaim my possessions. I live in the hope that they get the internet on at home soon but there is some sort of problem about broadband not being available in their area and dial up is too slow. The funny thing was she was complaining about the lack of food in the house - no muesli bars or biscuits etc. I explained that since no child lives at home anymore I dont have to stock those things saving myself lots of money and keeping myself out of temptation. My only problem now is jatz - Mark loves them so we keep boxes of them and I have been known to attack the jatz container when I am having a munchy attack.

Mark home from France last Thursday night. So nice to have him back. Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. He came bearing gifts - a bottle of "Covet" perfume and another charm bracelet.

Gareth home from UK in under a week now! Looking forward to seeing him again. He is staying with us for two weeks max. Hope he settles back into life in Aus although I know he is planning on returning to London next April. I guess that will be crunch time as to whether he gives up his job here.

Okay Zanna, my top 10 things in my shopping trolley that work for me are:

Either some Lean Cuisine or Weight Watchers Frozen Meals (whatever is on special)
Weight Watchers Ice Cream - Berry mudslide is the current favourite
Rice Crackers
Weight Watchers cottage cheese
Weight Watchers cream cheese (to have with smoked salmon, capers, lettuce, bagels, onions)
Nestle Diet Yoghurt (Citrus and Pomegranate is new and yummy)
Lots of Fruit and Vegetables (hooray summer is here)
Weight watchers sour cream
Wholemeal crumpets and muffins
Diet Lemon Lime and Soda (brand escapes me at the moment but I think it comes from Qld)

I know that a few of the above have the dreaded 950 or 951 additives in them but I havent figured out replacements yet. And also note that this is my "healthy" trolley, sometimes there is an unhealthy trolley - unhealthy but yummy.

Weight seems to be slowly going down. Am not counting points any more just trying to make good choices because I know this is what I have to do for ever. Sometimes I fail miserably but I will keep slogging away. Am managing to drink at least 1 litre of water most days. 2 litres is a pipe dream I think.

Exercise has sort of settled down to
Monday - gym
Tuesday - walk Lucy
Wednesday - Yoga
Thursday - walk Lucy
Friday - gym
Saturday - Pilates and a good workout cleaning the house
Sunday - sometimes walk Lucy and yard and garden maintenance.

I dont always manage to do this program because I am listening to my body more and if other things crop up I am slowly learning to go with the flow and not sweat the fact that exercise doesnt happen.

Hope everyone is having a good week. Slightly cooler here today with a promise of some much needed rain.
Take care
J
xxx

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A Saturday night

It's Saturday night, I am finally tidying up my study, with a glass of wine listening to my iPod playing Abby Dobson and all the other new ones I downloaded from iTunes yesterday very loudly.

Have spoken to Gareth and Mark who are having a serious father/son bonding experience in Toulouse. Jess is calling in tomorrow morning early, on her way home from nightshift and I can make her some more of my rhumba juice and give her all the things I picked up for her today.

Pilates was wonderful today and yoga starts again on Wednesday.

Does life get any better then this? (Did I say that out loud.)

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Juice

I made the most beautiful juice for breakfast this morning. Raw beetroot, knob of ginger, stick of celery, an apple, a carrot and 1/4 of a lemon. It was the most heavenly colour and tasted divine. I am sure it will be good for me.

In all my cleaning and rearranging I found my juicer so dragged it out this morning as I have time to clean the fiddly little thing while I'm on holidays.

Didnt quite finish the pantry yesterday - I went to sleep knowing that if anyone broke into the house last night they would have killed themselves (or at least twist an ankle badly) walking through the kitchen. How many glass moccono jars does a person need? I have so many filled with dodgy things which have now been emptied and washed. Jess may want some, my boss may want some for his shack up at Bellingen otherwise it is off to the recycling plant for them.

Gareth rang this morning. Why else - needed a loan. The Bank of Australia is back in business. Mark has booked him on a flight to Toulouse on Friday which is great. They had a good time catching up in Richmond together on Monday night. Looks like Gareth will be coming home at the end of October now. Depends when he can get the cheapest flight. It was midnight over there and he said it was freezing. I mentioned that it was a beautiful day here and I was sitting in a sleeveless top having breakfast on our deck. Bad mother!

Okay back to the pantry and then my study needs a definite spring clean too! I have to start painting a Santa Claus that a friend gave me recently plus finish the starshape angels that I give my girlfriends each year for Christmas. I have been reminded that they didnt get one last year because of my hand op and while they understood not to let it happen again. LOL.

Take care.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

So organised it hurts

Mark has met up with Gareth in London and moved on to Toulouse. Gareth is apparently flying to Toulouse this weekend for more father/son bonding.

I have used this time alone (except for the beautiful Lucy) to clean and organise. Have gone through my plastic container cupboard and downsized it to a small cupboard. Three boxes of containers for Jess to go through before shipping off to Lifeline. Moved all my electrical appliances into the old plastics cupboard. Looks tres neat but Mark wont be able to find anything when he returns.

Went through the medicine/first aid cupboard and got rid of all the out of date medications (some were over 10 years old!). They have been returned to the chemist today for disposal.




Went through the linen press and threw out anything that wasnt needed or looked to shabby. Good stuff to Lifeline, old towels to the vet. Have repacked shelves and labelled them so that others (Mark) can also put washing away. Found this treasure wrapped in tissue and a plastic bag in the bottom of the cupboard. Made it eons ago - quilted, handpainted, old lace etc. Might hang it up for Christmas this year and see what Santa brings me. (I could have ironed it before I photographed it.)







Cleaned oven as best I can. Note to self (and I know I said this last time): do not buy another self cleaning oven because they dont.
Prepared all our tax stuff for the accountant. It was a mammoth task especially all the medical bills covering all the operations last year. I nearly died when I saw how much my being unwell last year cost us. Megabucks!

The pantry is next on the agenda.

Won some money in Lotto. The most I have ever won. Another charm or two for my bracelet. Jess bought me a silver suitcase with Paris stamped on it (my daughter knows me well). Maybe it will be an omen. Her partner is also going to buy me one too - picked out all by himself.

Ordered some beautiful necklaces from bombalurinashops on etsy (will try to add the proper URL next time). Had fun trying to set up a paypal account. Sometimes I feel so computer illiterate but I got there in the end.

Have bought an external hard drive to store my audiobooks on. This will be interesting trying to instal it by myself. Might have to wait for the beautiful Jess to wander through before I try to do it.

Had a look at her new place last week. She knows what she wants and it looks great. So chic. I think Marc just gets carried along in her wake. Mind you I think we all do! We had a wonderful day at IKEA and Freedom and a dozen other places. Plus she took me for a drive around Gladesville/Hunters Hill/Woolwich to look at all the places I remember from when I grew up in the area. A long special day and I slept like a log when I went to bed that night. We are going back to IKEA again this Friday - havent quite finished or maybe we are addicted. Plus a visit to Habitat because we are still looking for stools. I bought her her own retractable tape measure and a book "No tattoos before you're thirty" by Sam de Brito which has some hilarious advice which I wish I had had early for her. She has been threatening me with a tattoo since Year 10 (me not getting one - her).

Last but not least some more photos - my baby ducklings at work are growing so quickly by the time I get back from holidays they will be grown ups and the waratah that came into flower this year at the Centre. Amazing flower.

No food or weight news this week because I'm not managing it well. Exercise is okay but the rest is blah. BUT and this is a big BUT, at the moment I dont care - I'm accomplishing other things and feeling really good about them. Have even caught up all the posts on googlereader (there were over 100 waiting to be read).


If anyone has lasted this long - I had a strange comment on my last post from Mustafa something or other in Turkish. Can anyone translate for me. It was quite odd.
Have a great week everyone, I'm off to clean the pantry out.







Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Been a little while.....

Havent posted for a while because I keep running out of time but have been reading and commenting when inspiration hits me.

Fairly uneventful time lately.

Had my 54th birthday on Sunday. Nice day but missed the kids although DD did call in between shifts and DS called from UK. DH took me out for lunch which was nice. My two best friends had a surprise dinner for me (DH had forgotten all about the arrangements so I was watching the news eating vegemite toast when the phone call came wondering where we were!) and some lovely aloe vera lotion from evelyn and crabtree and a borders gift card.

I wanted a pandora bracelet for my birthday but I didnt quite realise how hellishly expensive they are but what I have just done is ordered one over the internet with some charms and from now on the children and husband will not have any problems finding something to give me - they can buy another charm. Good plan. I know I am hard to buy for as I tend to buy whatever I want whenever I want which leaves nothing for special days.

I also downloaded some new albums for my iPod -
Joni Mitchell's new one - Shine
Kate Melua
Amy Winehouse
I love iTunes!

Put my car in for its first service today and I have a hairdressers appointment this afternoon. Nearly had a serious accident on the way to service centre and it would have been my fault. Turned in front of someone and I never even saw him coming. I was a bit shaky for a while afterwards. While car was being serviced I went to the gym - is this multi-tasking? Trying to get all my computer stuff done before DD turns up to do her uni assignment. Still hasn't got the internet on at home.

DD and I are going shopping to IKEA yet again tomorrow to buy her some new stools for her breakfast bar plus maybe a few things for me.

Thursday is staying at home day waiting to see if Optus manages to deliver my new phone which was supposed to come last Friday.

Friday I am driving out to my sister's to see her new home and give her partner a big hug as he has just found out that he has bowel cancer and it has knocked him a bit (as it would). My first trip out west on all the motorways (me driving that is).

DH is heading overseas on the weekend I think and will be away for a couple of weeks. He hopes to catch up with DS in either France or the UK.

Next week looms large and empty although I havent really tried to organise anything as I have been strangely tired and always seem to have some sort of upset tummy and nausea. If it keeps up I will go to the doctor and have it checked out. I might follow Anne's lead and start eliminating food additive(?) 950 and 951 from my diet.

I have been promising my self a trip to the city to look for some more work clothes so that could be on the cards for next week and also I want to get down to lulumans at warringah mall to check out the yoga gear.

Have rebooked for my third term of yoga but have decided to give tai chi a miss next term. There is only so much you can fit in a week isnt there?

Time to start painting Christmas decorations and gifts - will try to post photograph of the Christmas elf that is going to sit in my front window this year.

Oh well off to do housework now - it is so nice to have the time to do computer stuff, housework and read as well. Bliss!

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Lack of oomph

What an up and down week!

Have been feeling, I guess, depressed lately. Don’t ask me why probably just hormonal – I can never work these things out.

I have been having trouble getting out of bed – missed taichi on Saturday morning – just couldn’t be bothered. Nearly didn’t go to breakfast or pilates either but managed to drag myself there, leaving the house like a bomb had gone off in it and was glad I did go. Got back home eventually to find DH in high grumpy dudgeon because he had to do some housework (mind you no one asked him to). Anyway, I just got stuck into cleaning the rest of the house and ignored him and he eventually got down off his high horse (which is just as well with all this equine influenza going around).

Same whammy hit me on Monday morning but I couldn’t take another Monday off so forced myself out of bed and made myself go to the gym after work and felt better.

Which brings me to the gym – I have gone from lots and lots of exercise to hardly any in a matter of a few months. Probably something to do with my mental state of mind. Realised yesterday that I had not been enjoying the gym because I had been continually pushing myself to longer and greater workouts so I sat down with my gym program and am back to basics and will try to get in an out of the gym in under 60 mins on the days that I go.

The other brightness has been blogs. I enjoy them so much. That “Lady in Red”
M has had a birthday and is so bouncy at the moment it is catching. Suzy’s new lunch box was inspiring and I brought yoghurt and frozen raspberries to work today and it was so yummy. Thanks for the idea. Her post on sleeplessness hit home as I too am experiencing being awake a number of times a night too. I read somewhere once about the legion of women who are awake in the early morning all over the world so I know that I am not alone.

APEC is over and our beautiful city is slowly returning to normal although I am sure that there will be repercussions for many months to come. DD was showing me the pictures that she took on her phone when she was patrolling and they mostly were pictures of the Opera House and the Harbour Bridge and of course the fireworks.

DS has been to Holland and Germany on a long weekend trip and has managed to lose his mobile phone yet again. He lost his SIM card last week in Dublin. He is exasperatingly hopeless. He plans to visit Poland next.

Here is a picture of a corner of my garden showing the azaleas and the port wine magnolia (which smells heavenly when the flowers fully develop). To the right is an azalea that my beloved late mother-in –law gave me for my 25th birthday. It is called “Silver Anniversary” and flowers every year on my birthday and reminds me how much I miss her. The tree on the right is a turpentine tree which are native to our area. Nasty tree but aparently a local landmark so it stays and it does give the garden shade in summer but that is about the only good thing you can say about it.

Oh well, the weather has turned sunny and warm again which certainly helps my moods. Lucy and I will do a tour of suburban streets this afternoon to inspect the beautiful spring gardens and all the renovations that have suddenly commenced.

Off to see “Menopause the Musical” with friends this Saturday (how apt) and maybe out to dinner in Glebe on Friday night plus we have to empty the storage place of DS’s things into the newly empty (or nearly empty) guest room. So much to do so little time.

Hope you all have a good one – enjoy.

My thought for this week: You live longer once you realize that any time spent being unhappy is wasted. ~Ruth E. Renkl

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

That bloody wagon

Fell of it again this week. It doesn't take much - a disruptive day, a conference, fathers day, too much wine and upset tummy and off I go but am back in stride again.

I am trying so hard to keep up with everyones blogs and I am reading them (thank god for googlereader) but I don't have time to comment which is what I really like to do. My god some of you are prolific - I really do have trouble but I wouldnt miss them for the world.

DD hasnt quite moved out yet but the house is definitely feeling emptier. She is working 7 or is it 8 days straight in the city and staying on her feet for 8 hours and wearing all the gear (she is very slight) is draining her so much. I want to tuck her into bed and look after her like I did when she was little and unwell. She looks so exhausted.

After some beautiful weather the days are cold again with a breeze that feels like it is blowing off the snow.

Looking forward to the long weekend this weekend (the only good thing about APEC I think). Am going to sleep in and take it easy and probably go to Trivia at the golf club with some friends. Also the world cup starts but I think that will have to be taped (thank you Channel 10 for going over to Foxtel).

I have to go and update my online weight watchers food planner (yes I have gone back yet again). I'm off to yoga tonight and really looking forward to that.

Have a great rest of week.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Home again

I had a wonderful time with some great women. Got to spend the night in a hotel in the city. Missed DH and Lucy but only a little.

Went for a wonderful 50 minute walk into the Royal Botanical Gardens. Lots of runners, wonderful harbour salty smells, beautiful gardens, an amazing number of people at Mrs Macquarie's chair waiting with cameras for that wonderful picture of sunset behind the opera house and harbour bridge. God, I love this city so much. Nearly got locked in the park for the night which would have been hysterical as I had left my mobile phone at home and would not have been able to ring the emergency number. Talking to DH tonight I told him that I would have probably been able to climb around the fence down near the sea wall and all he said was "tomorrows headline - woman found floating in the harbour".

Ate too much over the last two day but feel rejunervated and looking forward to reinventing my work wardrobe after I saw all the smartly dressed women working in the city.

Off to bed - sweet dreams. Looking forward to catching up with you all soon.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

I’m a buzzin’

Should be a cute picture of a bee here
but having trouble and dont have time.
Please visualise!


I’ve lasted 5 days. No not lasted that’s too harsh.
I’ve drank 2 litres of water each day
I’ve done some sort of exercise most days
I’ve stayed within my 18 points most days

DD has moved out, sort of. This could take a while.
She is happy and I am happy. Her house is interesting and nice and she is busy furnishing it (there have been several trips to IKEA already). I bought a plunger and big pack of ground coffee as a house warming present as she only had instant.

Off to a conference in the city for the next two days. Staying overnight and there is a dinner as well. Tracking will be hard (I know it will) but I will enjoy I, not stress out and I will pack my joggers so that I can try to get in a walk in the afternoon between end of Day 1 and the dinner. I think the Domain is nearby but if not I will just walk through the city.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

In a nutshell

Food not good - exercise kind of okay. Swelling is going down I think and pain not so much.

DH's birthday tonight and I have arranged to meet a group of friends at a local (within walking distance) restaurant for dinner. He is suspicious and Im sure will wonder why I have a huge cake with me but what the heck. Hope the weather holds off and we dont drown walking to and from.

DS now has an international phone card like we do so we get to talk more often. He mentioned that he will be home in two months.... Woohoo!!! Thank goodness for the job here that he wants to come back too.

DD is moving out finally. Only a suburb away so we will still be in close contact just not quite as close as it has been. My things will become my own again - yay! She and her boyfriend have taken a six month lease on a house so it will be interesting to watch how it unfolds. Everyone is excited (well she is and I am).

Renovations will start again and I will get my guest room back.

New rugby comp has started here and we drove up to the Central Coast on the weekend with friends to watch a game. It was so nice that the players came and talked to the crowd after the game. Reminded me of the old days of club rugby when there always was that mingling after the game.

Yoga and tai chi still going well. Yoga DVD is really good for gentle stretching in the mornings and nights when I can get out of bed or havent collapsed into bed straight after dinner. Actually, touch wood, am feeling less tired in the last couple of days. A wet Sunday helped.

My nutshell was a bit longer than I thought it would be. Oh well, I am a chatterbox sometimes. Have a great week everybody.

Monday, August 13, 2007

The Last Long Post

Well it has been a roller coaster ride lately, mainly going down but I am looking forward to the going up – I’m sure it will be coming around again soon.

Today’s news broadcasts and papers had items regarding the recalling of the painkiller “Prexige” due to a number of deaths, which may be attributed to its use. Guess what medication I was changed over to prior to my getting sick two weeks ago? It is going to be an interesting appointment with my rheumatologist tomorrow morning.
I guess I was lucky, I knew that something was seriously wrong with my body and after first thinking maybe it was just the flu, realised that it was probably the medication and changed back to my old medication. I’m still not good – bits of me are swollen but I am nowhere near as bad as I was two weeks ago.

I was part of the Field of Women at Telstra Stadium on Saturday night. I am now the very proud owner of a bright pink poncho. It was a moving, uplifting (so many emotions) experience. I was nervous because I suddenly realised that I was alone and everyone else was in groups but I found another women there by herself and we stayed together. Sometimes it is hard to step outside my comfort zone but when I do it is always rewarding. Our husbands were both there but in the stands and unfortunately on different sides of the field otherwise we could have directed them towards each other while we were on the field, waiting to get on the field etc etc. The singing of the rewritten song “Up there Cazaly” which Mike Brady had changed to “Up there Pink Lady” was a hoot.

The game was good. The first Swans game I have gone to but very interesting and despite the seemingly lack of rules very entertaining. The crowd was so vocal and passionate – makes a change from the rugby.

I have put on a kilo a week for the last six weeks. I start each Monday fully intending to control my eating but by late afternoon on sometimes day 1 or usually day 2 I have lost the plot again. I know I haven’t been well but this is not helping either. I don’t need the extra strain on my joints at the moment. When Catherine rang last week I had just finished eating this giant muffin I had bought for Mark for his morning tea, all the leftover baked potatoes, three-quarters a packet of rice crackers and it wasn’t even six p.m. and I had to go to yoga which is not good on a full stomach. How pathetic.

I haven’t been to the gym to exercise (cardio and/or weights) for nearly two weeks. I went on Saturday to do Pilates but got talked into a “pilates” fitball class because the pilates teacher was away sick. It really wasn’t pilates and I was pissed off by the end of it. If I wanted to do aerobics I would do aerobics. Anyway you live and learn and I will not fall for that one again.

Tai chi is good. We are learning “wind” (no jokes please) and Wednesday night yoga is still wonderful.

I have been walking with Lucy more and I have about 30 set walks that I have been doing for around 15 years (probably more). Don’t laugh but I keep records and what they show me is that I am slowing down. In 1994 I walked a lot quicker than I do now. Over the last couple of years I had settled into around 6 kmph but shock horror this is now dropping too. So, I am making a conscious effort to pick up my walking pace again.

I went into Borders and bought a DVD on Kundalini Yoga. Not that I know anything about this type of yoga but it has morning and evening yoga relaxation exercises. I couldn’t find the ones Mary mentions in her blog. I have finally got around to watching it today on my computer at work and I should be able to do them except maybe the very first morning one. It has modifications too for a lot of the stretches which is good. I will have to get up earlier, probably around 5 a.m. so that I can fit it in and I don’t think I will be able to do the waking routines as I think it involves too much moving around in bed and I can see myself getting evicted from the bedroom. I will try to get to bed earlier to compensate for the early rising time but I know I will find that hard too.

Rethinking exercise program as a result of all of the above. Have asked one of the personal trainers at the gym to help me which might happen within the next couple of weeks. Otherwise I will seriously rethink my gym membership. This is a major step for me as I have been going for 7 years and have made some great friends – the Saturday morning gym breakfasts are so much fun.

Gareth has moved into a flat near where he is working in London. The Club supplies him with three meals a day on the days that he works which must be a saving. He is planning on doing weekend trips to Ireland, Portugal, Poland and maybe Germany for Oktoberfest. One of his work mates just flew to Portugal for 2 p return (taxes included). His problem is that he doesn’t have computer access all the time so he can’t check out the cheap flight offers.

I bought a pair of gardening boots this week – Blundstones. They are great and I don’t have to wear my sneakers in the garden anymore. So impressed with them. I feel like I am a serious gardener now.

Have started a new folkart project. There will be a picture of the Christmas elf posted soon. I am so lazy about downloading pictures but I will get better at it I promise.

Spring is on the way and I am looking forward to it so much. A little bit of rain would be nice but I am not complaining. The warm days are a blessing and never fail to enthuse me into getting out into the garden on Sundays.

By the way, congratulations to Jodie on news of her pregnancy. A playmate for Zoe!

I will try to confine myself to short posts in the future as I know time is of an essence and if you have lasted to the end thanks for listening it has been strangely cleansing to put a lot (but not all) of thoughts in writing.

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Rest time

Things not going well. Am confined to bed for the moment. Poor old body has seized up again. Every joint is aching. Thought it might be the dreaded flu but have revised that diagnosis. Think it might be a mixture of things. Have changed my arthritis medication and maybe not working as well as the other poison I was taking. And/or I dont think that this extra weight I am carrying at the moment is helping. My body really cant take any extra weight (poor old thing). Anyway, sitting in bed catching up with everyone and waiting for the rheumatologists to open. No matter what I think I will go back onto my old medication as from tonight and just try to be very careful how I take it. Hope I can make yoga tonight.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

An Age Appropriate Waist

I read a newspaper article a couple of weeks ago about Martha Stewart and whoever wrote it said that she had “an age appropriate waist”. It really annoyed me. When have you ever heard a successful or infamous man (whichever way you want to look at her) described as having an age appropriate paunch. A small rant.

Well this week that has gone saw an improvement in my exercise regime. Not quite back to warm weather levels but a hell of a lot better than it was.

I started C25K again, running a different week every second day and am nearly up to where I was when it all went pear shaped.

Drinking water is still a struggle.

The amount of food I was eating didn’t really diminish unfortunately and I put on another kilo. It is so annoying that it takes so long to get off but comes back on so easily.

I made Suzy's egg and bacon pies (or a version of them) in my Sunbeam pie maker which I have had for years and never used. I had the last one today for lunch and it was delicious. I have downloaded some more recipes from her recipe site to use in my slow cooker which might help my “fright night” on Wednesdays. If anyone has anymore slow cooker recipes please feel free to email them to me or the name of a good recipe book.

I heard from Gareth last Saturday morning. We had a chat for a while and then when I turned my computer on and hopped back into bed he was on MSN so got to chat a little bit more. He sent me his site for photographs of his trip so far. There were 175. He sure was impressed with the British Museum and the Tower. Lots and lots of photos of those two places, inside and out. I don’t think he can get over how old everything is. The club house at the golf course where he has been working was built in 1780. In all those photos there were only two of him. One slightly out of focus and the other one okay. Taken by a “random” jogger for him on a bridge with the Tower Bridge glistening in the background.

I’m over half way through Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Enjoying it although the middle bit has slowed down a bit.

Very quiet today at work or maybe I am just a bit apathetic at the moment. Just want to go home and be apathetic there in the warmth but the gym calls.

Tai chi on Saturday. Looking forward to going but not to getting out of bed early on a Saturday morning again.

The weather is beautiful sunny winter days (23 degs C today) and cool nights. Maybe some rain tomorrow night.

Sorry if I have been whingey.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Week 1 Term 3

Ive been a bit busy lately what with finally having to return to work. The good life could not last forever.

Well in two weeks I have put on 2 kgs (probably more now). I virtually stopped exercising – from seven days a week to zilch. Amazing isn’t it how quickly it all goes pearshaped.

Every time the holidays come around I am amazed at how disorganised I become.
I realise why – something to do with not having the time to be disorganised when I have to go to work. I tend to put things off when I have stacks of time. Weird!

Since I stopped running and stacked on some weight, I have gone back to the beginning of C25K and I am doing one week every time I run until I get back up to where I was before torpidity and a hectic social life occurred.

It is funny with this weight business. I know I can do it but I just cant maintain it. I love eating all the wrong things, I overcompensate for sad, cold etc. I feel a bit like the person who says "it's easy to quit smoking, I've done it dozens of times".

It has been so cold here lately. I know, I know, it is winter but for a number of years we have had very mild winters and now seemed to have returned to the winters of old. Yesterday was the coldest morning in 20 years. Today while not as cold, has a wind chill factor. It is getting hard to get out of bed and I will open the next electricity and gas bills with great trepidation.

I’ve been watching a TV show on Fox for a while called “Fixing Dinner” with a Canadian, Sandi Richard. She is a mother of 7 and has turned into a professional meal planner since she sorted out her meal problems. I get a lot of handy tips from this show and quite a few short cuts in meal prep. To such an extent that I have ordered some of her books. I think they must be coming by slow boat as delivery is quoted at approx 12 weeks but I cant wait till they arrive and I can see if I can implement them. She has a night she always calls “fright night” and mine is probably Wednesday at the moment so I am looking for meals I can prepare ahead that will be waiting when I get home usually after 8 pm.

Talking about fright night – Yoga starts again tonight. Yah! A girlfriend is coming too. I will wear lots of clothes to keep warm.

I had my hair cut during the school holidays. It was cut as I asked but it still didn’t look quite right. Well last night, I cut some more off on the premise that “there is only a week in between a good haircut and a bad haircut”. I think I am a hairdresser’s nightmare – I know they say come back if it is not right but I just cant be bothered hence the hair cutting frenzy in the bathroom last night. Oh well, it will grow back I’m sure.

Have rebooked for tai chi but it doesn’t start until Saturday week for some reason. This will be my return after the back op and ankle problems last year. I’m a bit nervous.

My pilates teacher has finally given in (she is having a baby in a couple of weeks time) and last Saturday we had a new teacher. Whoo boy – what a difference but a change is supposed to be good for you.

Things I will try to achieve from now on:
· I have to work out how I can survive the cold weather and not turn into the Michelin man. (Salads and water are not appetizing at the moment.)
· I will try to remember not to complain about the heat in summer and just enjoy the warmth.
· I will try to get some sun each day so that I don’t suffer from S.A.D.
· I will try not to eat as much (oh I said that before).

Monday, July 09, 2007

With some trepidation...

Am back today from 4 days at the Hunter and will with some trepidation weigh myself tomorrow morning. You may, or may not, hear about the results of this.

I had a wonderful time but I dont think that I can remember eating and drinking so much food and wine and although I took my runners with me they didnt see the light of day. I actually feel like I need a good detox.

Will recommence C25K tomorrow. I didnt complete Week 5 last week because of above so will do it again this week.

Have accessed googlereader and have added all my favourite people to it but I dont think I quite understand how it works (how unusual). May actually have to read the instructions tomorrow.

It is raining fairly heavily yet again and I am glad to be home and heading towards my own bed again with the beautiful little Lucy in constant attention. I think she thinks I will leave her again. Bonus is that it's "Brothers and Sisters" night. Woohoo, snug in bed watching a great show. It only goes to show it really doesnt take much to please me.

Have a great week everyone and take care.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Unexplainable

Hopped on scales this morning and have lost a kilo. Have not been watching what I eat, have done very little exercise lately so I cant explain it why this has happened.

DS has gone and seems to be having a whale of a time in London although the security alerts are worrying (probably only to me and other mothers whose children are in UK - definitely not the children themselves).

DD is having a rocky time with romance. Know what I would like to tell her but have to be careful. It breaks my heart to see her so sad.

I am on 2 weeks holiday and am off to the theatre, a couple of lunches, coffee dates and of course our annual four days in the Hunter. The last day of work on Friday was spent with no electricity due to a transformer exploding across the creek so I will have to go down and finish up the reports but I dont mind doing that.

The weather is glorious winter weather again. The rain seems to have gone for the time being and it is crisp and sunny. Lucy and I will be walking to rid her of some puppy pounds.

The Wallabies won on Saturday night! Woohoo!

For my first day of holidays I have a very long list of things to do like Medicare etc and then I will be free to paint, read, do crosswords etc.

Have a good week. I am going to spend time catching up with everyones blogs and answering emails etc etc. It is so nice to have some time to do things.

Have a good week.

Friday, June 22, 2007

I surrender but I will survive to fight again

Well it has been a bit of a stressful week.

I finally succumbed on Monday to that tummy bug that is going around and even though I wasn't as sick as some people have been, after 3 weeks of feeling offcolour, I gave up and stayed in bed. I’ve still got it, it seems to linger, but at least the nauseousness has gone for the moment.

Of course, new car was arriving on Monday so DH had to pick up but they needed a copy of my licence so they could register it. DD found her printer and photocopied it for me and then I had to go over to the post office and fax it to the dealer. Not exactly what I wanted to do.

So I said goodbye my little white car which was kind of sad. I have had it for over 13 years and it has been wonderful. I taught both kids to drive (dents to prove it) in it and it has taken me lots of places. It was zippy and cute. Oh well, a girlfriends 26 year old daughter bought it for the price the dealer was going to give us as a trade in which was a bargain as it has nearly 12 months rego on it and it has been a very well maintained little car.

Anyway, new car is nice and I am getting used to it.

Had a farewell sausage sizzle for DS on Sunday night with a group of friends who are known as “the rellies”. It was a fun night with lots of reminiscing and laughter.

I have also surrendered the following this week:
What I eat
House cleaning
Exercise

I have two adult children operating out of the one bedroom (remember I turned DS bedroom into my study when he moved out last year) and it is like when they were younger. Each of them comes to me with complaints about the other. I guess they never grow out of it or else mine don’t seem to have. Finally on Wednesday, I got sick of it and ventured into the said bedroom and starting at the door, sorted clothes – dirty clean, folded, picked up rubbish until I made it around to the windows. Now as an extra job each morning before I go to work I go in there and do the same thing again but on a smaller scale just to keep the peace between two extremely messy and not a little bit lazy people. I can hear you now - yes it is my fault I guess, I lost the plot somewhere because they were not like this when they were younger.

Because of the extra work with having these two at home I have not exercised this week. It is like the bad old days when they were younger and I didn’t have a life of my own – it was just an extension of my familys. I have worked hard at reclaiming my life back to focus on me and it amazed me how quickly I lost that ground.

Except for yoga – nothing will make me miss yoga. Not even coming home all relaxed to find a family stressed out because dinner wasn’t ready when they got home and heaven help him, DH had to cook it. ##!@@@%%%!!!! OK, deep breathing, focus, relax.

Mentioned to DH that maybe he needs to get his hearing checked. After eons of working with aircraft I know he has a hearing problem but I feel it is getting worse and he tends to snap and accuse everyone of mumbling. I know it must be frustrating for him but it is really frustrating for me too, either having to repeat everything two or three times or getting no response at all. Anyway I suggested he might like to get his hearing tested with a view of maybe some sort of hearing aid and the answer was just a flat no. He was never going to have a hearing aid. I can see myself strangling him in the near future.

Been to rheumatologist today and he has upped my meds again. Yay! The joint swelling and soreness might subside a bit. He agreed that winter was probably not the best time to reduce meds and that that experiment hadn’t work. I think I may have forgotten to go and get my blood test done lately as he only had a result from March and I thought I had gone in May. Obviously another senior moment and I have gotten my Ms mixed up.

OK DS leaves next Thursday finally. Oh how my tune has changed over the last month. He is really good company and we get on exceptionally well but he is a bit of a nightmare to live with. I had forgotten, but I will still be very sad that he is not near to talk to and for hugs.

One more week of work before the next school holidays. Yay!! It is the Winter Solstice today which means .. ta da… the days are going to start getting longer again.

Busy weekend ahead yet again. I hope everyone has a good one.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Some new rules

Have instigated a new regime. Made a list (another one!) of 10 things that I would like to happen most days as follows:

No. 1: Restrict alcohol to nights that I don’t have to go to work. Effectively means that during term time only on Friday and Saturday nights.

No. 2: Drink more water

No. 3: Exercise everyday if possible, doesn’t have to be strenuous just keep moving.

No. 4: No snacking between breakfast and lunch and by snacking I mean no biscuits, toast or cake.

No. 5: No snacking between lunch and dinner (same as above). This is a really hard one.

No. 6: No snacking after dinner.

No. 7: No cups of tea

No. 8: More herbal tea

No. 9: More fruit

No. 10: 1 cup of coffee per day.

I have also being weighing myself each morning to see how either keeping to the above or not keeping to the above effects my weight.

The reason for this was Mary’s post about running and how she has put C25K on hold. She mentioned ideal running weight so I googled it and found a website and worked it out that I was a few kilos over my ideal running weight. I know a few kilos doesn’t sound much but with my dodgy joints a few kilos is a “mountain” and looking back on my running the easiest week was the one when I was at my lightest, still not at “ideal” but closer. So that is what I am aiming at.

It is getting harder to motivate myself with exercise because of the cold and wet but except for the slight hiccup last week have managed to maintain my exercise schedule.

Water or the lack of it has also been a problem. Since it has cooled down I haven’t been drinking much, if any, water. So now have a little bottle which I fill with water and try to drink lots of each day.

Minus 5 Bar last week was fun but cold. They give you coats, gloves and ugg boots if you want them, but after about 20 mins the cold begins to seep into your bones. It was actually -15 deg. The cocktails were yummy but don’t ask me what was in them other than Absolut. One was called “snowball” and the other was “frisky penguin”. We were the only “oldies” in the group and had a great night. After leaving that bar we went down to the Lenin bar for a few more drinks and then DH and I left the younguns to party and we went and had a light meal at City Extra before heading home. A fun night.

My new car was ordered on Sunday. A Subaru impreza hatchback. Should be here in a week or two. A bit sad to be losing my 121 (I do get attached to things) but a new car is always exciting. I’m looking forward to having an all wheel drive car again especially driving to work down a windy narrow road everyday. The 121 is fine in the dry but the wet is scary and I have to drive very slowly because it tends to slide on the corners.

(Edit: New car arrives tomorrow - instead of trading in Mazda have sold it to a friends daughter for what they were going to give me for a trade-in. She has promised I can visit.)

DS moved back home last night and you cannot move in my loungeroom or study because of the number of bags etc that are there. Hopefully they will not stay there too long. His job has fallen through or been delayed in the UK but he says he is still going but is putting the departure date back a week.

(He has now booked to fly out on the 28th. Damn him - I am going to the airport. He cant ban me - I'm his mother! I promise not to sook too much.)

Have rebooked my yoga for next term plus have managed to get back into my tai chi class. My new blanket and mat made this weeks yoga class snuggley warm.

Another wet weekend in Sydney. A bit of stress from having two grownup children living at home, masses of washing, a stressful message from my mother on the answering machine when I got home Friday night (not going there) etc etc. Sunday night feeling better, had drinks and dinner with the rellies tonight (rellies are close friends and kind of neighbours that we have known since our children were little and hunted in a tribe together (the children not the adults). Gareths farewell from them, a fun night of reminising(?) etc - our history goes back around 20 years.

I hope you all have a wonderful week.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

It's raining

Friday 8 June 2007
My next statements are going to make me sound like a terrible mother so let me insert a disclaimer now, I love my children unconditionally and would do anything for them BUT
My house is a mess and those of you who ‘know’ me will know what this is doing to my phsyce. Mess makes me unhappy. I cant help it. DS has dumped all his stuff in my lounge room and filled up my beautiful study with junk – I can hardly move in there and I cant see that he is going to take it all with him when he leaves for overseas if he still goes as his job offer has semi fallen through. DD lives in a continuous mess which is gradually spreading throughout the house despite my best efforts.

Anyway, enough of this – yogic breathing and peaceful mind.

We have had two days (so far) of beautiful rain. I can hear the garden groaning in thanks after my meagre efforts to keep in moist. It is the kind of weather that invites a “doona” day but I have resisted so far. I am trying to get through another term without any sick days.

Have booked “Menopause the Musical” for Sept 15. Turned out that with fathers day, APEC conference and one friend not returning from overseas until beginning September that this was the only weekend in its short season we could make it. The plan is we go to the matinee and then the guys meet us afterwards for drinks and dinner. Yes Zanna and Suzy, I wish you were here too, so that we could go together but you know if you are ever passing through let me know and we will work something out.

My thicker yoga mat, blanket and wedge has arrived! Ordered it on Monday and it arrived on Thursday. How’s that for service. Looking forward to using them next week.

Arrived at work on Tuesday and opened my curtains to find this on my window sill.



I don’t know how they got him out there as they would have had to take the window screens apart but he is there keeping an eye on me. The things that my work colleagues get up to after I get home.

The grass trees are all in bloom and I cant say that I’ve ever noticed them before but it is probably because the bushfires have cleared the bush and I can see them now.

Went to the soccer (oops sorry football) on Saturday night. Was looking forward to a vocal football crowd but honestly, they were as boring as batshit. Similar to an Australian rugby crowd. The game was less than riveting and I actually think I nodded off towards the end. A bit of a disappointment but luckily we were guests so it didn’t cost us anything.

Weight is yo-yoing at the moment like my eating. Have been off colour this week and I think we, as a family, are sharing a stomach wog around between us. Such a sharing caring bunch.

Did Week 4 C25K again and didn’t do it as well as I did it the week before. Am all aches and pains which I think is due to reduced rheumatism medication. Very tempted to up my medication again but will wait for two more weeks until I see rheumatologist.

Finished eatpraylove and will probably buy myself a copy for reference. So many good things in it. Am now reading Bellydancing for Beginners which has drawn a lot of funny comments. I think my family thinks I’m having a second childhood or second teenagehood. Quite funny actually but me bellydancing is not a mental image I want to imagine.

Tonight (Friday) we are off to the city to meet DS’s friends for a surprise farewell party (is he still going?) at the Minus 5 bar at the Quay. We will get attired in warm clothes (hopefully) have a cocktail or two and stay for 30 minutes. Then they are moving on to other bars probably so I don’t know whether we will go with them or just go and have dinner.

Quick update:
Beautiful rain turned into horrific storms with loss of life and much destruction. Remember the lines from Dorothea Mackellar's poem, "My Country":

I love a sunburnt country,
A land of sweeping plains,
Of ragged mountain ranges,
Of droughts and flooding rains.
I love her far horizons,
I love her jewel-sea,
Her beauty and her terror -
The wide brown land for me!

Kind of sums it up.

Due to weather and other things exercise has gone out the window this weekend.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Winter

“If Winter comes, can Spring be far behind?”
Percy Bysshe Shelley

First day of winter today. Clear crisp days, cold nights. No rain in sight. Getting out the coats, gloves, scarves and all manner of warm things. Prying Lucy reluctantly out of the house in the mornings when all she wants to do is stay inside. Drinking red wine more now rather than the light summer whites. Hauling out the cookbooks and contemplating stews, casseroles and thick hearty soups. Snuggling in bed in the morning and wishing I didn’t have to get up.

Woohoo! Last Saturday I finally moved on to Week 4 C25K and it was not as hard as I thought it would be. Kept it slow, even though Robert was urging me on with peppy music in the second half I resisted him. Might repeat it again so that I can pick up a bit of speed this week. On the treadmill at the gym for day 2 and 3 put a slight gradient so I pushed myself a little bit more.

Lunch in Chinatown on Sunday was fun. There were so many people around; it was so bustling and vibrant. So many little shops I wanted to peek inside. I loved it. DH hated it. Hence our retirement problems. Lovely meal though and good company. Put the finishing touches to planning our long weekend away to the Hunter in July.

When I was driving to work on Tuesday there was a beautiful cloud formation with early morning sunlight behind it but being on a narrow road there really wasn’t the opportunity to stop so I thought I would take a picture down the bottom in the valley if I can. Well as drove down I hit a bank of fog and by the time I got to the bottom I couldn’t even see the sky, talk about seizing the opportunity.

On Wednesday, the sky to the west just before sunrise was the most beautiful blue. A greeny turquoise colour that filled me with elation (that’s the best I can do to explain what I felt).

Something I realised this week is that it doesn’t hurt me to be slightly hungry. I don’t have to eat something when I first get hungry. Now I just have act on this thought.

Back to eatpraylove : I read the “plumbers from New Zealand’s” instructions for freedom to Liz and the basic instruction was “let go”. This has been my mantra for some time when some action or thought is gnawing at my mind and making me unhappy. “Let it go – don’t worry about it”. Nothing is achieved by worrying about something that I can’t change through worrying or stewing over some imagined or real slight. This personnel mantra has stood me well over many difficult periods of my life. It has allowed me to move forward rather than dwell (and I am a dweller).

DS received his visas this week so it’s all plans full steam ahead! Suddenly the refrain I am hearing is ”so much to do so little time”.

Have registered to be one of the Field of Women on 11 August. Darling DH refuses to wear a pink poncho but agreed to come as my guest. The only problem with the 11 August is that it is the city to surf the next day and come hell or high water I am going to do it this year.

My repaying this favour is having to go and see Darryl Braithwaite at the local club in a couple of weeks. Not that I dislike Darryl Braithwaite, I did like Sherbert when I was much much younger, much much younger, but I have moved on. Still it will probably be a fun night full of nostalgia and much alcohol with other likeminded people.

Wore more clothes to yoga this week. The room has been made smaller, heaters are on but the floor is wooden and it is still a large space. Looked at one of the sites Mary sent me earlier this year, iyogaprops and I will go back and buy a thicker mat and maybe a blanket. I actually have remembered some of the sequences from this week and will endeavour to do them every day. Must remember to rebook for next term as this is a very popular class and I know I would miss it if I couldn’t go. Also have to book early for tai chi as it got booked out this term too and I miss Jorge and the sweet older ladies who go. I guess I have been away from tai chi for a year nearly.

“Menopause the musical” is coming back to Sydney and I am probably the only one in Sydney not to have seen it so I am canvassing friends to see if there is anyone else who would like to go. I usually don’t mind going by myself but I think this seems like something to be shared with friends (not the long suffering DH).

Highlights:
Trivia tonight with friends
Soccer – Australia vs Uruguay (thought I had gracefully sidestepped going to this)

Exercise:
Today: Gym program
Saturday: C25K run & pilates
Sunday: Lucy Walk & Swimming
Monday: Gym program
Tuesday: C25K run
Wednesday: Walk Lucy & Yoga
Thursday: C25K
(Still in the top 50 @ Walking with Attitude)

Edit: I have been trying to post this since yesterday but have had inexplicable problems with links.

Friday, May 25, 2007

A nice week all up

Have been feeling oddly enthusiastic this week. Willpower has returned again maybe not as strong as earlier this year but building nicely.

Weight has returned to what is was a couple of weeks ago mainly because I sat down and did a menu plan for the week and so have got back on track. This plan is not set in stone and when I am hungry I have been snacking on dates or mandarins rather than cream biscuits etc. I feel that my personal “black dog” has retuned to its kennel for the time being. I know he will be back but I am finding new ways to counteract him.

The weather has turned colder in Sydney. Beautiful clear days but cold nonetheless especially where I work. It is so cold down here in the valley and I wear so much clothing that I look like the Michelin man.

C25K – chicken little rides again. Have done week 3 again. Last Saturday morning after the usual argument as to whether I should get out of bed (I surely deserve a sleep-in) the next debate was whether to go on to Week 4 or redo Week 3. I chose Week 3 again and while it was still challenging it wasn’t as bad as it has been previously. The cold air in the morning is like champagne and certainly helps. Mary talks about her yogic breathing helping her, I find the Lemaze childbirth breathing technique helps me but probably doesn’t sound as good. Her reference to dragon breathing sounds like it could be closer.

Wedding at Wentworth Falls last Saturday was lovely. It was blowing a gale so they could not have it outside on the lawns but it was a clear bright day and the house was beautiful. At the end of the lawns we could see all this water spray and it turns out this was actually Wentworth Falls. Incredible views.

As mentioned earlier, am having interesting arguments with myself lately.

Will I go for my run early Saturday morning or have a sleep-in?
Eventually got up and went for a run and thought to myself, I love early in the morning so what’s with the arguments.

Will I take Lucy for a walk on Sunday morning or again, stay in bed longer?
Late again, I procrastinated but we did walk and it once again felt good.

Might give swimming a miss. Ive got so much to do at home.
Am so glad I went. Feel I had a breakthrough with freestyle. First 3 laps hopeless, next three slowed myself right down and it help a lot. I think my breathing problems have something to do with the gag reflex problem. I just have to swallow sometimes and that puts my breathing off.

(Sorry about the red printing but I cant seem to change it at the moment - hope you can read it.)

Once again, I love the book I am reading Eat Pray Love. I am thankful to Philippa for mentioning it and piquing my interest (I also have a list of other things she has mentioned). M says she wrote a blog on it a while ago which I must have missed or maybe I just wasn ‘t ready to read it. I will try to find it if I can still log onto her old blog. It is hitting a point in my inner place – almost happy certainly contented.

Re the above –had a funny experience at the gym this week. Things were conspiring against me for my Day 2 run this week but instead of throwing my towel in and going home I powered on through. Forgot my socks – will I go and buy some? No just wear my work socks – looked daggy and were not cushioned but they did. Got on my ‘special treadmil’ iPod didn’t work – flat battery!! What will I do? Come on, stupid question - this is my third week at Week 3 I know this program so I just did it listening to the gym music and pushed myself harder. Got home – no beef strips. That’s okay can slice up a piece of steak – at least I think it is steak, could be lamb. Oh well, it will do. These probably seem like little things but to me they aren’t. I’m a control freak and I like things to be exactly right. Maybe, hopefully, I am slowly learning to let go and not be so pedantic.

I also won the argument against chocolate biscuits at folk art.

I tried to meditate before yoga this week but couldn’t quieten my mind. It was racing off at all tangents . Talk about “monkey chatter”. My class is in a church hall and even with the heaters on it was cold this week. So, more clothes next week and maybe an extra padded mat might help.

Am carrying my notebook and camera with me. I am writing down feelings, things I want to remember anything actually and it is proving to be a bonus. I have taken a few photos lately whenever I see something that interests me (interesting light etc) as photos have been requested but at the moment my garden is a bit bare but am looking for inspiration. Will see if I can get any decent photos of my folk art.

Had dinner with DS last Monday night as DH had gone to Melbourne for meetings. Finally got to see his apartment. Close to the train station and city. You can see that two young men live there. Took me on a tour of his fridge and freezer both stocked with alcohol and not much else. Actually it was quite an impressive array of alcohol and I guess it will all be consumed in one last farewell party before he goes. We went to a local pub for dinner and I only got teary once when he talked about leaving. BUT he has said that he will only be away for the summer (theirs not ours). His job is being held for him here to return to so unless he truly loves it he will be back. I am happier now. I am trying not to be a clingy mother and have helped him every step of the way so far and I am excited for him but I will miss him immensely. Nobody gives me hugs like my 6’2” DS.

Highlights this week:
Am having a night at home tonight – DH is going to rugby tonight and while I was invited other wife not going so I was able to dip out letting them have a boys night. Am looking forward to catching up with stuff (including the boring stuff like ironing).

Breakfast at gym tomorrow, shopping for new rug, a Saturday night at home (you know you are getting old when you look forward to a Saturday night at home).

Lunch with Hunter Valley holiday friends on Sunday in China town. Catching train in so we will be able to imbibe.

DD is looking at a house on Saturday morning so keep your fingers cross that it is okay but I don’t hold high hopes.

Middle sister returns from holidays tomorrow. So glad have missed her and she is hopeless with her mobile phone.

Folk Art – the Christmas elf is getting closer to being finished (I am so over it) and there will be a picture

Yoga – Week 4.

And tah dah – am finally moving on to Week 4 in C25K. God knows how long I will be at this level but am really enjoying it and it has made me reassess my gym program and walks with Lucy. I think I tend to slack off and get comfortable (read in a rut) but I am now pushing myself a bit harder. It can only be a good thing.

Enjoy your week.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Food Addiction and other things

I have began reading two books (more really but two in particular) this month recommended reading, to find one http://www.lizbyrski.com.au/reviews/gangof4.html had read already and http://www.eatpraylove.com/eatpraylove.htm I must have read an extract in a magazine because when I began reading it I thought this is familiar but I haven’t read it all, at least I don’t think I have.

Went out to dinner on last Saturday night to a favourite restaurant, http://thebuddhabelly.com.au at Terrey Hills and while we had a lovely meal nearly died when the wine bill came for $180 (3 bottles). We had left the ordering up to one person and he obviously is wealthy or trying to impress. Two points to remember in future
1. Don’t go there for dinner again
2. Don’t trust one person to order the drinks
This was the first time we had been to this restaurant for dinner, we usually lunch there, and it will probably be the last time we go there.
What is it with restaurants and their wine mark-ups!

Am investigating food addiction at the moment but the server is down. I seriously think that there is something wrong with me when it comes to food. I cant recall ever being deprived of food to the extent that I think that if I don’t eat what is on offer I will miss out but that is exactly what I do. I am even considering seeing someone about it.
Sounds drastic doesn’t it but it isn’t meant to be, I’m just curious.

Feeling lethagic and vaguely unhappy and I am taking no prisoners in the food department. BUT these feelings havent affected my exercise which is probably saving me from massive gains at the moment.

Yoga is still going well. Series of gentle movements and stretches which is just what I need to ease me in to this. The only problems being no balance at all, trouble sitting on my legs (kneeling?) and something else hurts to but I cant remember what.

Running Week 3 again this week has been okay. Ran outside early on Saturday morning and the cold definitely helps. Got half through program and was flagging so took off sweatshirt (reminder to self to wear jacket next time as it is nearly impossible to keep moving and take off sweatshirt without losing iPod and/or stopping) and when the cold hit me, it revived me and I was able to complete it.

When I was leaving the park, a little old lady rode in on a pushbike with a helmet, obviously going for a ride around the walking/bike path that skirts the park. I thought how cute and told DH when I got back. His response? “She probably thought, how cute. That little old lady has been for a run”. They sure know how to bring you back to reality don’t they LOL.

Other running this week has been at the gym because I can only go in the afternoons during the week as the idea of running in the dark doesn’t appeal to me. Luckily someone pointed out to me a treadmill that lets you run for longer than the normal 20 minutes the others are all programmed for so I try to snaffle that one otherwise I have to stop iPod, reset treadmill under the slightly disapproving gazes of others, and start again and I lose my statistics. Oh so many hurdles (minor but hurdles nonetheless).

DS has sent his passport this week to Canberra to get his visa. Plans to be in UK by end of June.

Mothers day was lovely. DD came home at 7:30 am from work, made me breakfast in bed and then went to bed. DS arrived straight from work too with atlantic salmon and oysters. I went and did a Body Balance class which I really enjoyed. We woke DD about 2 pm for lunch on the deck. All in all it was a lovely relaxing day. Much better than spending a fortune at a restaurant. My deck is one of my favourite places to sit and relax with good food and good company and good wine. Plus I got to do some gardening as well. Rang my mum and wished her a happy mothers day. That was another bonus – not having to put up with the normal unpleasantness that she usually generates on mothers day – my eldest sister has to. (Mum’s first mothers day in Queensland and true to form came to dinner, ignored my sister completely, not even a thankyou or a goodbye.)

Am thinking about registering for http://www.fieldofwomen.org.au/ on August 11. The only thing stopping me is that it is the day before the City to Surf.

Highlights for the coming week:
Friday afternoon (just because there is no work for two days – boy am I over working)
Pilates on Saturday morning if I have time
A wedding in the blue mountains on Saturday afternoon (I want it to rain but not then)
Gardening and swimming on Sunday
More running (C25K) don’t know whether I will move up to week 4 or stay at week 3 for another week
Folk Art (the Christmas elf is progressing)
Yoga

Things I must do:
Carry my camera with me at all times
Reactivate my written journal and carry it with me to jot things down in - reminders, inspirational things etc

PS: DD and I have just spent time going through my wardrobe trying to find something to wear to this wedding. How disheartening. She found some things she likes including a cardigan I knitted eons ago which she wont take off. Finally settled on a variation of the little black dress after trying on skirts and tops and more skirts and tops but it still doesnt feel right. I feel lumpy.

Wednesday, May 02, 2007

Last week's post

This post has been sitting in my draft box for over a week.

Last week: Running going well. It is still a struggle but the endorphins that seem to be released are wonderful.

This week: Failure. Tuesday's run was a failure. Just couldnt do it. After "talking" it over with Zanna (my guru) have decided to run indoors on the treadmill until I can get my stamina up. Did that this afternoon at the gym and it was hard but made it. Because of Tuesday's hiccup I am going to do Week 3 again, running early Saturday morning outside and the other two days at the gym on the treadmill. I am also going to change my gym program and concentrate on building myself up. Blood tests show iron levels down so have bought some iron tablets (which apparently wont give me other problems) and will try to eat more red meat (at least more than I eat now which is practically zilch).

Shortsightedness: I am shortsighted and it really is a blessing sometimes because when I look in the mirror at me in the distance I dont look too bad. Up close is another story of course. Not worried though. Love this time of my life just wish I had more time to enjoy it more.

Have let the cleaner go. It was irking me that I was paying for 2 hours and she was never here anywhere near that long and she seemed to be cutting more and more corners. Have decided the money I was paying her will now go to my super in readiness for retirement and I will just factor in cleaning the house into my week.

Last week: The Super 14's Waratahs home rugby games are over for another year. One more match to play but I dont think they have much of a chance of making the semis - oh all right not a snowflakes chance in hell. Weekends are ours again.

This week: They won their last game and our beloved barney rubble, phil waugh, was back. Solid as ever.

Swimming was great but am having the same stamina problems that I am having in running. Any ideas on how to increase stamina would be appreciated.

Last week: First yoga class was good. Teacher is very nice. Seemed fairly easy but that was probably because it was the first class.

This week: Second class was just as good. Remembered the blanket this time as it gets cool during the relax at the end. Must get a small pillow too (sounds like I am bedding down for the winter doesnt it). Seemed a bit harder this time but years of pilates, body balance and dabbling in yoga at the gym have prepared me for a lot of it. The 90 minutes flies by.

Last week: DS talking about moving to Europe after he finishes TAFE in June. Sad.

This week: Sad isnt really the word - devastated it more the word. Looks like it will be around the 20 June. He has lined up a job at a golf course in England (may southwest London).

Have finished reading Salvation Creek by Susan Duncan. Couldnt put it down. Recommended reading.

Walking with attitude challenge: Am walking around New Zealand but havent really been tracking my checkpoints. Every afternoon I check my pedometer and if it doesnt look like I am going to reach 10000 steps I grab Lucy and we go for a walk. I dont think I have left the top 50 standings since I started. Am finding the pedometer a wonderful incentive to achieve those 10000 steps a day.

Highlights:
Yoga
Hopefully body balance on Sunday morning before Mothers Day kicks in
Dinner at favourite Thai restaurant at Terrey Hills
More gardening, more hedging
Hairdressers (maybe more blonde highlights)

Thursday, April 26, 2007

Strange week

It has been a strange week. Have finally decided that I am not going to obsess too much about my weight and just try to eat well. Still following WW when I can but have had a couple of days when I have gotten the munchies around late afternoon but strangely it hasn't bothered me and even registered another small loss.

Have completed Week 1 of C25K. Had to do one of the sessions at gym on treadmill because of the weather but my running guru has assured me that it is okay and I agree Zanna, it is probably better for my knees although it still doesnt really feel like running unless I am outside. My heart rate goes through the ceiling but that could be a good thing????

DD's new car is gorgeous and IKEA was fun. She also took me out to lunch which was nice.

Parramatta Girls with Catherine and Sarah was wonderful. I really really enjoyed it. The seats were great, the actual show was incredible -laughing one minute crying the next and of course the company was wonderful.

The rugby was interesting. DH left me there at half time as he couldnt watch it anymore. Silly bugger missed the best part of the game. Luckily we were with other friends who made sure I got home safely. I was cross but I got over it.

The ballet was lovely too. My first time. Really enjoyed it. Looking forward to going again.

Work has been incredibly busy. I am doing my job and just working the hours I have to. After last terms revelations I am not going to put myself out again.

Have just heard that a friend has ovarian cancer - quite extensive. Has been operated on and they will find out more today. The news knocked me a bit. DD is definitely going to have the vaccination when it becomes available for her age group.

A friends son was savagely beaten over Easter by a group of 13-14 year olds 5 minutes away from where I live. I have always believed that my suburb was fairly safe so this has brought me up short and am now a bit hesitant about walking home from the station at night alone.

Have terminated (does that sound better than fired) my cleaner. It was a hard thing to do but I had to do it. Thank goodness I am not a person who has to hire and fire people. I dont think I could do it.

Highlights for this week:
Dinner on Saturday night at a favourite Italian restaurant at Glebe with friends
Week 2 C25K (my mind is telling me to do Week 1 again but onwards and upwards)
Rugby (last home game)
Will start swimming again this Sunday

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Changes

Times seem to be changing. I have been brought up short by other people's observations this week. Blogs disappearing, people moving on. Sad but inevitable.

I like to live by lists. But, they can be counter productive too because it opens you up to failure if you dont achieve everything you want to do in a day. So, have scrapped lists yet again and am just trying to find some sort of natural routine which leaves me open to changes.

I have managed to tidy, hedge, weed, prune two gardens in the front yard so far but have run out of green bin space. Have rung the council and asked if it is possible to have two bins and the answer was yes so I have ordered it and it should arrive next week. Ive still got lots to do but nowhere to put green waste. The compost is full (happy little worms), the worm farm is full, the green bin is full, the weeding bins are full and I wont get them empty until tomorrow so I am kind of stymied.

Have also had a massive cleanout of the family room and a rearrangement, bought some new indoor plants, rehoused the canary and am generally feeling happier with that room too.

Have been a bit off with my eating for the last couple of days (read... eating all the biscuits). A bit bored really with being at home. I guess I do like being frantically busy and cramming as much into the day as I can. This does not augur well for retirement does it?

Have discovered custard apples. They are rich and creamy and so so sweet. Love them. Also have been having smoothies for breakfast with raspberries I bought when they were cheap and froze. Such an incredible colour and the taste sensation is wonderful.

Highlights for the next week:
DD picking up new car today and we are going to IKEA for some retail therapy
I will finish my book and be able to start another one
Rugby (not really a highlight but the social side is okay)
Parramatta Girls
The Ballet and dinner with friends
Back to work (a four day week)
Plan to start my C25K running program - podcasts loaded on nano and ready to go (thanks Zanna)