Monday, December 30, 2013

Monday the second last day of 2013

Terrible night. Hot one minute cold the next.  The pain was bad, M was snoring. All in all I don't know why I bothered.  I am so tired.

Woke this morning at birdsong and the birds were going berserk which of  course set Lucy off.  Then she sulked because we ignored her and wouldn't let her out to defend the house against a probable cat attack. Life is hard.

My weight is in the very low 60s now.  I found over Christmas that I was continually asked what my secret was. How had I lost so much weight. What kind of diet was I on.

No one really believed my answers because I really didn't sound convincing I know.

I don't diet anymore. I don't really  know what happened earlier this year. It coul have something to do with the doctors changing my medication because of the kidney problems. I don't know.

What I do know is for the first time in my life that I remember when I eat I feel full and I stop eating otherwise I feel ill.

For years I have dieted and made special meals for me.  Now I just eat what M eats but just a smaller quantity and of course I don't eat gluten or dairy but I do substitute when I can.

And finally, exercise didn't make any difference to my actual weight loss but it does make me feel better and hopefully over time will tighten some of the saggy baggy skin. But I think this is just an age thing - my skin has lost all it's elasticity which enabled it to pop back when I was younger. Oh the joys of old age.

A positive over Christmas was J gave me a stylus and I now seem to be able to comment on people's blogs  on my ipad without stuffing everything up. I was typing comments and then losing them and giving up.  I have found I can be more accurate with the stylus.  Also M bought me a shredder ( just what he wanted) but luckily I bought him the Pink DVD. It always evens out doesn't it?
Went to the gym and had a good workout.  It's been a week since I last went because of  the holidays and different opening hours. It felt good to get back into the routine at the time but the pain is coming back. My left forearm is aching. Probably did too much.

Dinner tonight with the kids was enjoyable as always. M tried to get support for  less vegetables but the kids overruled him. My work is done.

Oh well have taken my extra pain killers and hopefully they will work soon.

Tomorrow is New Year's Eve and we have friends coming over. A few quiet drinks and an early night I think is planned by all. After all we getting on you know.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Sunday -a day in the garden

Have woken this morning to the sound of the wind roaring through the trees. The southerly buster has arrived at last.  Lucy must have gotten cold because she is snuggled in beside me.

The nauseous feeling is still here but not as bad as before. Breakfast should take care of that I think.

An easy day ahead. I have to water the rose garden this morning to give it time to dry out during the day so to keep the black spot down. The plants at the back will also need watering and I have to start thinking about the design for the watering system plus fixing the existing ones. I stopped using them in the drought years so there is a fair bit of maintenance needed before they are up and running. Looks like a trip to Bunnings is coming up again.

And just a general tidy up of the garden in between watching the cricket.

If the wind drops Lucy and I will walk again. She doesn't like the wind much but if I think she should go she will humour me.  It makes her skittish and there is more of a chance that she will trip me but the exercise is good for us.

I find a day in the garden so uplifting. I may have to take rests but ultimately just being outside makes me feel better.

I trimmed and weeded all gardens today. Probably doesn't look all that different but I know it is. A couple of wind related things happened today.

1.  A pot, a big long pot, with large lillipillies in in got blown down from the top level of the plant stands M built last summer. I don't know how it didnet damage the plants on the lower two levels but other than top dressing them more soil nothing else was damaged.  We repotted the lillipillies and left them on the ground until the wind dropped. Because they couldn't fall any further.

2.  A large branch came down from the turpentine tree out the front. M joked that he had sawed it half way through and was supposed to get me. Oh well, missed again. He might have better luck next time.

We won the fourth test against England today in Melbourne.   Now have to wait until early January for the last test in Sydney.

Tomorrow is pretty mundane things. The gym, pathologist and ironing. Oh and the kids are coming home as usual for Monday night baked dinner. I can't wait.

Have a good night everyone and sleep well.

Saturday, December 28, 2013

Saturday - the last one of 2013

Today doesn't feel like Saturday. It's all these public holidays. But M has gone off to golf so it must be Saturday.

Once again awoke feeling nauseated. It is a bit like morning sickness if I remember. I just want to lie in bed but eventually I dragged myself out of bed, put on my walking gear and Lucy and I set off into the mid morning.

Saw the usual cast of people I see in the mornings. Did my weed mantra and saw a different one which I think is a moth vine but it is in flower so I will hit the books later and try and pin it down. (Yes it was.)

Lucy and I were visited by the wrens - beautiful blue wrens and the slightly drab but nevertheless cute Jenny wrens. They seem to becoming more bold with us and we are seeing them more and more. They move like greased lightening but we know they are there in the thickets of lantana and privet (weeds do serve a purpose) because we can hear them.

We haven't seen the finches with red beaks again though.

One disturbing thing was at the local preschool which borders our park, the local idiots got in last night and moved some of the play furniture into the park. Hopefully nothing was broken. Probably under aged drinkers as there was broken bottles and rubbish there that wasn't there last night. I rang the police when I got home as I thought they would have the number of the owners of the preschool. I just don't understand this kind of senseless destruction.

Anyway am feeling better now, stomach a bit queasy still but better. Time for shower  and then cleaning and start to take down the Christmas decorations.

A typical Saturday for me. Back later I hope.

Nearly 2 pm and I am not feeling all that well. Have sort of done half  the house and am now sitting on the front verandah sipping peppermint tea and hoping it will settle my tummy.

Have swept and watered all the pot plants out here and have been rewarded by a beautiful black and white butterfly flitting around. I think it was an Orchard Butterfly.  The breeze is cool here and the cicadas are drumming along beautifully. I keep getting buzzed by a large orange and black beetle, maybe a rose chafer.  Lucy and I had to have a serious talk about the sanctity of life when it somehow ended up on its back a couple of metres from her. She was very interested in it but stopped when told to and I was able to turn it over and off it flew.  It was just in a life and death struggle with a spider but managed to get away. I wouldn't have interfered because that is just nature. I don't think it is a very smart beetle.

A small plant keeps appearing in the garden and it looks like wandering jew. I have been trying to eradicate it because Lucy is violently allergic to wandering Jew (the rash and discomfit she suffers has to be seen to be believed) but I have just checked my books and it might actually be a native called basket grass. Not that it matters because it is something growing where it shouldn't so it has to go but it sure is tenacious.

Oh well, I have to finish cleaning  - bedrooms and bathrooms to go. Stomach does feel a bit settled, maybe the peppermint tea did help.

Didn't last long. Lunch took care of that feeling of wellness but I finished the house and then slept most of the afternoon alternating with reading and listening to the cricket.

Time for bed really now. Hope tomorrow is better because I am planning more time in the garden.

Good night.

Friday, December 27, 2013

A new urge

The urge to blog has returned. A little bit.

Life has been trundling on as usual.

About 8 years ago this started as a weight blog.  Moved on since then with occasional revisits to the weight issue but it hasn't been an issue for months now.

Dragging myself to work 5 days a week has taken up a lot of my energy.  Whoever would have thought that going to work in a place I adore with nice people could become such a chore but it has. By Thursday night I am so exhausted. But anyway I am now on 5 weeks holiday and sleeping like a log.

Ate some wrong (for me) things at Christmas and paid the price on Boxing Day and to a lesser extent today. Will I never learn.

Want to spend my days in the garden and have become slightly obsessed with naming weeds that Lucy and I see on our walks.  Have brought home every weed identification book I could find at work.  So far so good. Now just have to remember their names. They have become my mantra as we walk.

Am reading a wonderful book by a man called Thomas Ryan called "Following Atticus" about a small dog who has changed his life and become his mountain climbing companion. Although I find myself reading through tears quite a lot it is an uplifting story.  He is also on Facebook and he has a blog. Not to forget his adoption of Will another minature schnauzer. He was 15 years old, partially blind, completely deaf with many health problems when he was rescued from a kill shelter and came into Tom and Atticus's life. Another great story.

Time for bed. I find typing on the ipad difficult but this is the only chance I have had today.
Good night.

Friday, September 13, 2013

Life is getting better

Today is quite cool.  Probably more like spring weather than what we have been having.  Temperatures have been in the mid twenties to thirty degrees.  A couple of windy days but that is normal for this time of year.

Walking Lucy everyday (nearly) is still a joy.  I take pictures of unusual plants at the park as we walk on my phone.  I'm sure people think "what is that crazy little old lady doing?" Not sure if they are native or weeds or both but I have been trying to identify them in my plant books.  We usually walk around sunset so it is not too hot and because of the bushfires (none near us yet) the sunsets have been quite spectacular.

My weight is still going down slowly.  This week it has gone down to the 64s but I dont expect it to stay there.  It is funny - the weight that went on around my middle and/or torso is still kind of there.  I am a bit lumpy.  Maybe when I can get back to the gym I might be able to tone it up.  I need to stress I am not dieting.  I had made up my mind that dieting never works in the long term.  My appetite has just decreased a lot especially since my medication changed so I can only think that is what the cause of the weight gain was.  When I look back on what I used to eat I really cant believe it.  I used to think I didnt have a full-level (or I never seemed to be full) that they talk about and I dont think I did but now I definitely do.  I still have my wine every night with dinner but the portion sizes are a lot smaller.  I cant tell you the number of times we have left restaurants lately with doggie bags because I couldnt finish my meal.  It is slightly puzzling.

Went to the hormone doctor the other day and she is concerned that my liver is sluggish.  Whatever the hell that means.  It has something to do with the hormone blood test because the normal blood tests dont show anything up. She wants me to give up caffeine and alcohol.!  If I did that there is virtually nothing left to enjoy.  I feel so good at the moment so I just said not going to happen.  She was not happy but I told her to just type difficult patient on my record and we would leave it at that.

I think my compression fracture must have healed by now so I will be back at the gym sometime after the 19th when my membership starts again.  Easy does it.

The garden is giving me great joy although my time is becoming limited as the social season seems to be hotting up but the days are getting longer and daylight saving will kick in next month so there should be some time in the early evenings soon.

The Japanese Maple is in flower and coming into leaf.  The flowers drive Fox mad as they fall into the pool but to me it is always a sign that Spring is here.  The buzzing of the bees is nearly deafening.

The orchids are all coming into flower.  We seem to be later than everyone else.  The gardening magazines are talking about repotting but mine have only just come into flower.

This little cyclamen was put outside last year and forgotten.  I have discovered the secret to these
beautiful but frustrating little plants.  Put them outside and ignore them and they dont die but seem to thrive.  Afraid to bring it inside as it seems to be doing so well although I did move it to this position so that I could see it more often.

The cliveas are flowering abundantly this year.  It also seems to be the preferred hiding place for the snake or snakes.  I actually saw it last weekend on the driveway so I can't say that Fox is hallucinating anymore.  He has gone out and bought 10 snake repellant things that send out a vibration that is supposed to scare snakes away and they are positioned everywhere.  You can actually hear the noise they make so I am hoping that they wont send me crazy this year with their little beeps.  Red belly black snakes are poisonous but they are also not aggresive unless cornered.  I am not too worried about them but I worry for the precious Lucy.

Well I think that is about all.  We are off to Queensland next week for my sister's 70th birthday celebrations.  We will only be there for 3 days (kind of) as once again it is the minding of Lucy that is the problem.  DD has stepped up once again.  She is moving out of her flat this Saturday and the hunt is now on for a house that she and her girlfriend can move into with her girlfriends dog.  The dog is the problem.  She is beautiful, well behaved but the people renting out the houses dont know that I guess.  They have found one so everything is crossed that the owner picks them.

Have a great weekend everyone. xxx

Friday, August 30, 2013

No Photos

I have photos and just went to download them off my phone and found I am nearly out of battery.  Damn.  Will have to wait until next time

The professional learning overnight stay last week seesawed between great and horrible.  On Friday it was blowing a gale and freezing cold.  Stayed at a place with no heating except in the bathroom where there was one of those heaters in the light. I think they are Fantastics.  The sight of three women standing in the bathroom trying to get warm was very funny.  I ate all the wrong foods and have paid for it in spades.

We had to walk to another building to have dinner and there was no lighting and it was pitch black and no paths.  Thank goodness for flash lights in mobile phones but I was deathly scared that I would fall again.

It was professional learning about cultural immersion and the two young Aboriginal men who performed and guided us were amazing.

If I could have gone home on Saturday morning I would have but as I had no alternative I soldiered on and I am so glad I did.

We drove out to Mount Yengo near Wollombi which is a very special spiritual place for local Aboriginals.  We didnt actually go to Mount Yengo because it is such a special place to these young men but we could see it and we also went to a map site where there were lots of Aboriginal engravings and Stewart explained what they meant to this people.  I did put a picture of Mount Yengo on Facebook and I will put it on here next time when my phone is charged.

Anyway, I got home about 3 pm and went straight to bed.  I was so tired.  And also, because I am slightly stupid, I got up the next day and tried to do everything that I normally do on the weekend in one day.  As a result when I woke up on Monday morning I was in so much pain and exhausted once again.  Ended up staying in bed all day Monday and slept until mid afternoon.  Have felt a lot better for the rest of the week so have decided that while I probably wont over exert myself to that extent again I will take a day off every 3 months to get my strength back.

I have started walking Lucy again.  Just a short easy walk every afternoon when I can (probably not today as I wont have time).  It is just a short flat walk but since the weather is so incredible at the moment it has been the highlight of my day and it is not something that I feel I have to do but something I really want to do and look forward to.  The fragrances from all the flowers blooming at the moment is quite heady.

My weight is now hovering between 65-66 but will probably go up this weekend as we have such a busy social time lined up.  Some weekends we have nothing (yahoo) and some weekends we are out all the time.

Tonight we are going to a concert at Chatswood and having dinner before hand and have just heard we are meeting for drinks before dinner.  It is getting earlier and earlier.  Not sure I will make the drinks but will try.

Tomorrow night Fox is going to a high school reunion and of course it is Fathers Day here on Sunday.  We were going to go out to lunch but he decided that it is too expensive so he cancelled the booking and we are doing brunch at home with the children supplying all the food.

I am going to make a dairy and gluten free pizza tomorrow night for my dinner.  Sounds weird I know but it is actually really yummy.  I am also going to make some of Lynda's wheat-free rolls.  Saw her recipe on blog the other day and they look yummy too.  I cannot for the life of my find the link to her blog (still having problems with Feedly).

As mentioned previously the weather in Sydney has been marvellous lately (except for a few windy days). No rain though.  Todays temperature is supposed to get to 27 deg C.  This is the end of winter would you believe.

J is moving home in a couple of weeks.  Shock horror!  She is going to move in with a friend but they cant move in together until October as the other girl is in a lease.  After yet another phone call this week bemoaning the fact that she had no money to which I pointed out that at the moment she was paying an outrageous amount of rent and she had just got back from 5 weeks overseas, I suggested that she put all her stuff in storage (because she doesnt want to sell any furniture yet) and move back home for a short period.  Paying the storage charge would have to be cheaper than weekly rent.

Anyway she has done that and has given notice at her flat and booked the removalist.  Our life will be in turmoil for a month but we have told her she has to be moved back out by the end of October as we have people coming to stay.

At the moment, on paper, it all looks good.

Fox's birthday last week.  I ended up buying him his own iPad and even though he said he didnt want it and it hasnt really been out of his hands since I gave it to him last Tuesday.  I bought the wrong cover for it though and Apple very kindly replaced it with the one I should have bought at no extra charge because I am such a good customer.  It made my day, no actually that made my week and just re-enforce why I love dealing with this company and buying their products.

I think that is all at the moment.  I hope everything is going well for everybody - you are in my thoughts often.


Monday, August 19, 2013

A Snapshot

Realised that it has been ages since I last shared. It is so easy to put off updating and I really must stop procrastinating and get on with it.

As my Facebook friends will know, on the first day of my holidays I sliced through my little finger on the right hand while cutting up pumpkin.
Luckily my doctor was still at her surgery so two stitches and a tetanus shot later I went home.
I will never complain about her being late again because I she saw me immediately that I arrived.  I know how the other people must have felt when I walked in with my finger wrapped up in a bloody paper towel.  They must have thought oh damn or words slightly stronger.  Anyway all healed up though slightly numb and I have been removed from pumpkin cutting up duty forever.  The things I have to do to get out of my jobs.

Something that I didn't share with the world via Facebook was that I had a bad fall about 5 weeks ago.  J has been going through a tough patch relationship and healthwise (thank goodness it seems to have settled back down now as I am getting too old for all this and it exhausts me) and this was a particularly bad night.  G brought her up to our house as he couldn't handle/placate her and after they arrived I went into the kitchen to get J a glass of wine.  From here details become hazy though spectacular.  

As I was walking back out, I started to fall backwards.  The children think I tripped over Lucy but I didnt fall forwards I fell backwards.  I don't know how it happened.  I remember the fall backwards and thinking this is not good but that is all.  Landed on my coccyx with the full force of the fall.  Then lay on the kitchen floor for the next 15 mins as they all wanted to ring ambulances etc.  There was red wine everywhere, nearly to the ceiling and all over me.  Really quite funny.  I was still finding splashes a week later.

Anyway I went and lay down and virtually stayed there for the next 36 hours.  Back has been really sore and eventually went to the doctors two weeks later and she sent me to get xrays.  Turns out there is a compression fracture at L1.  Not a lot they can do about it but she thought I should start getting some sort of injection (twice a year) for osteoporosis but she will have to check with the renal physician because of the kidney damage.

It never ends.

Since the medication has been changed the weight is dropping off slowly.  Now hovering between 66-67.  Exercise has been minimal.  Lucky if I walk Lucy once a week and I have put the gym on hold until mid September.  I really need to tone up a bit but not sure if maybe I am past that too.

Anyway, the weather here in Sydney has been wonderful most days.  I think the winters of old are no more.  Glorious warm days and cold nights.  We have had a bit of wind lately but that is normal for August.  No rain which is a shame as the garden could certainly use it and I wouldnt mind it if it rained at night, gently.

Sunday is my garden day and I have been having a wonderful time pottering around and pulling out weeds, a bit of judicial pruning here and there and planning new plants.  A nursery visit is coming on - I can feel it in my bones.

I have resubscribed to Gardening Australia and enjoy watching the TV show every week.  Makes me wish I had more time to spend in the garden but that time will come too - be patient grasshopper.  Have added a gardening blog to my reading too.

Yesterday was spent weeding the rose garden.  I started off by trying to use a long handled weeder that M has as I really cant bend anymore  but it was too difficult so ended up sitting, very carefully, between the roses and hand weeding small patches and I stole one of M's small buckets so that I didnt have to keep stretching to the big weed tub.  All in all it worked really really well and that garden looks so tidy.  I am glad that our garden is fairly secluded because the sight of me getting up, using a type of downward dog move, very carefully so I wasnt impaled on the roses would have made anyone laugh - but heck it works for me.

I also raked up all the spent camellia flowers that have fallen and the front yard is looking really good.

I have started repotting the inside plants - one each week.  I cant remember the last time I did this.  Poor little things.

There will be photos of the garden next time I promise.  I wish I could take photos like Jen does - she has the talent to know exactly how to take a great photo.  J has this talent too.  Am jealous but I will try.

Not much else to report.  Fox's birthday this week.  G seems to still be skiing down the snow but will make it home soon for the birthday celebrations I am sure.  J is in Goulburn finishing the last week of her detective course and will be back in Sydney on Thursday too so that is the day for the birthday celebrations.  Think dinner out would be nice.  Have to look for a nice local restaurant.

I am off for an overnight stay on the Central Coast.  A professional learning course for work visiting aboriginal heritage sites.  A bit worried about the sleeping arrangements but hopefully my snoring wont keep too many people awake.  Hey, its an adventure.

And on the topic of adventure am looking forward to my next adventure - retirement.  I have pencilled in early 2015 but have to talk to the superannuation guy first to find out the best time for me to retire - tax wise and with a bit of luck we might be able to wangle a part pension for Fox.  

I must admit our friends are leaving in two weeks for 5 weeks in Europe including a tour of Britanny and a river cruise - Nice to Paris.  Sounds blissful and I am feeling very envious.  The good news is that Fox is looking after their garden etc while they are away so I will be down there with my camera taking photos as at the moment their garden is magnificent with all the magnolias and orchids etc in flower.

If any of you are wondering why I dont comment very often anymore it is because I am having trouble with Feedly and the iPad.  I write long comments and then do something wrong and the whole thing disappears, sometimes twice when at which stage I give up.  The iPad is very unforgiving to clumsy people sometimes.
So I am reading your posts and have stacks of witty chatty comments to make but they are disappearing into the ether.  Will have to start reading on the computer instead.

I hope everyone is well and enjoying life to the full

Friday, June 14, 2013


Wow two posts in one day but it has just really hit home why I am so ill.

I am just about to finish up and go home because there seems a lull in the cramps and I can hear bed and hot water bottle calling.

Had a lightbulb moment and could have almost cried.

This lightbulb moment caused me to reread some of my highlighted parts of "Wheat Belly" and I am having exactly the reaction that he describes.  It has been so long I had forgotten but my body's reaction to wheat and dairy is not lying and it has certainly not forgotten.

Stupid me thought I could get away with it and I got lazy.

I wonder how long it will take to get this stuff out of my body.  Sigh.

A time for kindness and courage

I am so glad that today is Friday.  So very glad.
Only 2 more weeks of term left until next school holidays.  It has been a short term only 9 weeks but has really dragged.  It is winter and I think that makes it hard getting up and going in the mornings.

I am unwell yet again.  Some kind of tummy bug I think.  Keep getting really bad cramps but they pass which is why I am at work.  I may go home early today.

This weekend is really quiet compared to last weekend and hopefully remains this way.  I think I need time to recover.
Last Friday I think we managed to come last at trivia but not by much.  I think there was only a couple of points between first and last.

Had dinner with friends we have not seen for months at a lovely Italian restaurant in North Turramurra on Saturday night. Very nice but of course I ate things I probably shouldnt have.  Sometimes it all gets a bit too hard and it is easier to go with the flow.  I get tired of explaining everything but I must really learn to be stronger.  This is probably why the rash is back and my stomach is feeling like it is.

Last Sunday I managed to get out into the garden and do some winter maintenance.  Also managed to spread the lucerne that I had bought months ago around as mulch.  No more snide comments from the Fox about it sitting there doing nothing.

J left yesterday for Ireland and Croatia.  I miss her already.  J & her man, and G came up for dinner on Monday night and it was a lovely time.  Happens so rarely nowadays.
She has had a stressful week - not sure where her relationship is going to head but I hope this break helps them both clear their heads.  As mentioned before, she is a very strong minded individual and so is he.  Not ideal - can be very explosive.

Regarding the trip, I hope that their friendship (the 8 girls that are going) survives.  More strong minded individuals.  I think it must be the generation.

On a clearly unrelated note to anything - I have made the decision today to not listen to or watch the news.  It has never been easy to be a woman in this country but the things that have been happening lately have destroyed my faith that the good and honest people in the country will stand up for themselves and what they believe to be fair and right.  From the Prime Minister being harangued about her partners sexuality on drive time radio to sex tapes originating from the armed forces.  I feel that one of those people standing up is the Chief of the Army, Lieutenant General David Morrison.  The look of mortification on his face and the hard hitting words made that little candle of faith spark again.  I know there are good men out there - I know many - but my question is why do the ratbags get the airtime?  Why do people (men and women) have to attack other people personally over their race, religion, sex, political views.... the list goes on and on.
Sorry, I just cant stand the way things are panning out lately and I feel a bit crushed.

Anyway, another beautiful winter day today.  Looking forward to going home and having my wine and catching up with my sister.

Friday, June 07, 2013

This week in Wonderland

Actually got to spend last weekend at home.  Silly isn't it to look forward to not having to go out at all.  A sign of age no doubt.  Just enjoyed myself pottering around, tidying and cleaning as I went.

It was a really wet Sunday and I looked forward to catching up on some paperwork in the office.  I make promises to myself that I will do it every day but it never happens.  Things just get tossed into the in tray to await my attention.  Rainy days are perfect for catching up arent they?

Something funny is happening with my weight.  The good news is that I spend most of the week back in the 69 kilos but every weekend it goes back up to 70.  I look at what I eat and cant see the difference.  It is very puzzling especially  as I tend to walk Lucy more on the weekends so I am exercising as well.

My appetite has lessened since the change of medication I think.  A number of things can be linked back to this.

This weeks medical adventures have been the podiatrist (he of the magic hands and tools) who makes my poor old twisted feet feel so much better.

The GP to increase dosage of the pain patch.  (She doubled it).

The physio who checked me out and pronounced me 100% better than I was 8 months ago.

So all in all a good week.

My baby girl leaves for Ireland in 6 days.  Every day has had at least one phone call where she is stressing out about something.  I have had to use all my powers of calming to settle her down.  I know this is going to be a great adventure but travelling with 6 girlfriends for 3 to 4 weeks is really going to test their friendships.

The above viola is one of my treasures.  It has self seeded in a crack in the paving probably from a plant I potted out last year.  I think I enjoy these unexpected surprises more that the ones I have bought and planted myself.  I noticed that there was also lobelia doing the same thing.

Autumn has come to the garden.  The Japanese maple has turned the most beautiful colours and that little splodge of yellow in the left hand side of the tree is the first jonquil of the year.

 I was trying to photograph the contrast here.  I hate it when I can see something with my eye but cant capture it on film.  The late afternoon sun was hitting the tops of the trees and the sky behind was a stormy steel colour.  It looked quite dramatic.

Same day sun finally going down.

Went through Google Reader last week and deleted a lot of blogs that I haven't read for a long time and have no connection with anymore.  Also ones that people no longer seemed to be blogging on (no activity for over 2 years).  It was hard in some cases like losing an old friend.  Now I just have to import the remainder to somewhere else to save the links before Google Reader disappears.  Maybe this Sunday.

I have been feeling off colour for most of the week.  Not actually sick but not well either.  On Wednesday I was so cold, right to the bone, and I really dont think it was that cold but anyway I went off to Target yesterday and bought myself some thermal long johns.  I feel quite snug today but I sure looked funny getting dressed this morning.  Oh sorry, get that picture out of your mind - not a pretty sight! LOL.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend this weekend.  Ours has reverted to busy.  We are going out to dinner and trivia tonight and catching up with old friends tomorrow night.

It is a long weekend in NSW this weekend so I also get to sleep in on Monday.  I think I really need this.  Racoon girls farewell dinner on Monday night.  Might even make a dessert.
Have a good one.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Home alone

Or should I say at work alone.  Have made myself a coffee and am settling in for a catch up.  But, first let me read what I last posted so that I know where I am.

Okay now I know where I was at and such a lot has happened since then.

Healthwise, I have chronic kidney damage caused by the medication I have been taking or probably the mixture of medication I have been taking.  Honestly, sometimes I wonder what I am paying these doctors for.  I was told that I would never be able to take anti-inflammatory tablets again.  

For the past number of weeks I have been living in constant pain mainly down the left side of my body.  Fox is worried I am about to have a heart attack and is lobbying me to go and have my heart checked out but to tell the truth I am a bit over the medical profession at the moment.

Anyway, went to see the rheumotologist this week and my kidney function is back to normal and she prescribed me a very low dose anti-inflammatory but I had to check with the renal physician first which I did yesterday.  She also offered me a cortisone injection for the pain or tablets.  After discussing the side effects of these medications I opted for the pain.  The renal physician agreed that since my kidney readings had returned to normal I could take the low dose anti-inflammatory tablets so last night I had one with dinner and I dont know whether it is psychosomatic but the pain is definitely less this morning and it is the end of the pain patch so I am looking at the silver lining.  I am just going to take these tablets, drink lots of water and closely monitor my bloods.  

I actually feel like going for a walk again.  So different to how I felt yesterday.  What a difference a day makes.

Now the rest:

We went to the races in late April with a group of old friends.  Had a lovely day but those old friends are no longer really friends.  One of the men is a proper a***hole.  There is no other way of describing him and after putting up with him for over 20 years because Fox liked him and was willing to overlook his bad form he finally overstepped the line and upset the Fox so much we have kind of cut social ties with them all.  The funny thing was that he was the reason for my new years resolution this year - I was not going to take things personally, real or imagined, because it was not my problem.  That resolution was working really well too.  Sort of like a mantra I chanted to myself if things got too hard.  Any way, I believe in karma and I believe that his behaviour will come back to bite him eventually.

An aside from this event was that DS was there too and if it hadnt been for him, the day and night would have been even worse.  These people had left me standing in the middle of Randwick by myself and Fox, who admittedly had had a bit to drink, was blaming me for the fact that the others had left.  DS appeared out of nowhere, collared his father, and talked him down.  Honestly, it was rather like the knight in shining armour riding up on a white stallion to rescue me.  Made me realise how what a special man this boy has grown into.

Lunch with Zanna was lovely.  She and Bloss are very very special people.  After the previous days troubles they were like a breath of fresh air.  She has more energy in her little finger then I have in my whole body.  Fox was dubious about meeting people this way (as they all are) but he had a lovely day too.

We have been out to watch the rugby at Homebush (Tahs won) and down to Melbourne to watch the rugby (Tahs lost).  But we had a lovely time in Melbourne exploring the lanes, eating and drinking etc.  Mind you, after the game on Friday night we ended up in a pub where the cigarette smoke in the courtyard was stifling and the smoke from the wacky weed unpleasant too.  I don't know - young people.  Oh dear, I am sounding like a real grumpy old lady.

Racoon girl has a new man in her life.  He is Irish.  Stormy times ahead I think.  Both of them are stubborn people.  He bought me strudel on mothers day and we woke up one Saturday morning to find homemade tomato soup and soda bread on the front verandah.  He and Fox have very interesting rugby conversations.

Racoon girl is off in two weeks for a trip to Ireland and then to on to Croatia with 6 girlfriends. She will be away for about 4 weeks.  When they get to Croatia they are sailing from Split to Dubrovnik.  We had a mother & daughter dinner last Tuesday and I have never seen them so excited.

I think that is all for the moment.  This weekend we are actually spending at home but that could change at any moment.

You may have heard of all the troubles we have been having in Sydney with fog.  Today wasn't as bad as it has been but here is a photo of down at work this morning.

Also, for friends not on Facebook here is the link to Racoon girls latest youtube offering.

She is very talented.  This link has had quite a lot of views and I think most of them have been her father.  He is so proud of her.  I wish I had her imagination and eye.  

I told Fox I wanted a DSLR camera for my birthday this year (the big 60) and he thinks I should learn how to use the point and shoot camera I have.  Another retirement project will be a photography course I think.  By the way December 2014/January 2015 has been decided as my retirement time (at the moment anyway).

Work is calling, dammit.  Last day of autumn  today for us.  Hope whatever season you are going into will be wonderful. I feel so much better today then I have for ages.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


I just wanted to thank everyone for their kind thoughts.

Chronic pain can be debilitating and depressing and sometimes it does get me down.

Luckily last week I read an article in the May issue of Oprah (I think) about a woman who had suffered depression for many many years.

While she hadn't beaten depression she was battling on.  She had found she was letting herself go and the result of being frumpy wasnt helping her.

So she started forcing herself to get up out of bed every morning.  She hired someone, a stylist I think, to help her with her hair etc.  Luckily she found someone who would not take no for an answer and even though the first trip to the hairdresser was a nightmare for all concerned she got there and found it, as I know I have, uplifting.

Anyway, what I am getting at is that it would be so easy to let myself go especially since I am on a break from work but I am making myself get up every morning and do my hair and put make up on even if I am not going anywhere.  It does make me feel better.

Lucy and I have been walking as you may have seen from Facebook.  Yesterday, we may have walked a little bit too far, and I definitely did think of ringing Fox and getting him to come and pick us up but we kept going.  Mind you my feet were so sore when I got home that I had to take my shoes off and rest for 30 mins but then I was fine again.

Off to have a scan in a while.  The doctor gave me the referral so long ago that I have forgotten what it is all about.

Exciting news, Zanna is coming to Sydney for a visit and we are catching up on Sunday.  So so excited.  We have been blends for so long.

On Saturday, we are going to the races with a group of friends.  Hopefully I will survive the day.  It is hard - I want to dress up but know that I really should consider wearing sensible shoes so that my feet last.  Maybe I will just take extra painkillers.

Last but not least, can someone tell me what is happening with google reader?  It seems to be disappearing after 1st July.  What is the alternative?

Have a good weekend everyone.

Saturday, April 20, 2013


I can't write anymore I cant think.

I am so grateful for so many things in my life but I don't seem to be able to have the one thing I really want - my health back.

The pain is constant and stupid. Actually the pain i can live with but it is the ache. My muscles in my arms and legs feel like I have run a marathon or spent the day lifting weights.

I' m tired of being tired all the time.  I would spend all my time time in bed if I could but I keep forcing myself up.  When I am in bed the pain wakes me if I lie on my side and if I lie on my back I snore. LOL.

 A weeks holiday hasn't really helped.  I am a bit bored. I can't settle to read or watch TV or do puzzles.

But this will pass. I will always appreciate your support.

Friday, March 01, 2013

I Should Have Known Better

I really should have known better.

I have been telling everyone how great I felt, exercising lots even started back at the gym again.

Latest news - my kidneys aren't functioning properly and they (doctors) have taken me off all medication or downgraded the ones I cant stop taking.

No more arthritis medications at the moment.  The pain, swelling and stiffness has amped up in the last week. After yet another doctors visit last night I at least now have a "pain patch" that might help.  Also sleeping tablets for the nights that I cant sleep because of the pain.

Cant get in to see the renal physician for two weeks.

Also my HRT has run out and my hormone doctor is away for another week.

Can anything else go wrong.

I am so over this.  Sometimes it really depresses me.

Officially end of whinge.

Next post will be positive I promise.  Just needed to get it off my chest.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Down, down, Julie is down

(sung to that annoying Coles jingle. I think that it is an INXS song and I hope I havent put it into your head for the rest of the day)

I know it shouldn't matter but I weighed myself this morning and the weight has gone up again.  I have been exercising religiously and it really is as I always thought it was, exercise does not make a lot of difference to me.  I cant even say that it makes me feel better.  Probably just wears my joints out quicker.

In saying this about exercise, I look at Runkeeper and see that I have exercised more this month than ever before.  Racked up awards/badges in Fitbit too.  I will keep at it when I go back to work or I will try to but it wont be every day I think.  Maybe intersperse it with the gym and yoga.  To walk before work means getting up before 5:30 am and I have just had weeks of sleeping in until 6:30-7:00 or later sometimes.

I am going to try and track what I eat for a week to see if I can pinpoint the problem other than old age.  Mind you the minute I decided that I would track we made up our mind to go out to lunch today to celebrate my last day of holidays (the weekend and public holiday do not count as my holidays).  But I will just write down what I have and then review it next week.

My resolution is still working.  I am relaxing, trying to be pleasant all the time no matter if someone else is being unpleasant (their problem not mine), taking time to acknowledge everyone I see and not taking offence at perceived slights (my problem), being open to change of plans and others' requests and just generally chillin'.  Sometimes deep breathing helps when all else fails.

Back to work on Tuesday.  Those 5 weeks of holidays have just flown.

Cupboards have been cleared out and I have a guest room piled high with bags ready to go to charities.

M tells me apparently I am going to do it all again next holidays.  We will see.

We have got on surprisingly well while I have been off.  A precursor to retirement maybe.  Although I dont know who makes the lunches and cups of tea when I am not here.  He seems unable to.

On a friend's recommendation I have joined a co-op type organisation called "HarvestHub".  I have to pick up my first order this afternoon.  Hopefully in the long run this may save me some time and money.

Summer keeps coming and going here.  Last Friday was the hottest day since 1939 I think or it could have been ever.  The temperature got to over 46 degrees.  Even too hot to go swimming outside until later in the day.  I dont mind the heat in the day most of the time but I cant stand it at night.

Got my new sunglasses this week. Plus new lenses for my driving/watching tv glasses.  Over the past two months M and I have spent an absolute fortune at the optometrist.  Probably put a child through university.  I still have two pairs that need the new prescription in them but they will have to wait a little while until my budget recovers.

J is on her way to Goulburn next week to start her detective course.  I will miss her so much.  No daily phone call to make sure that I am alright.  I keep telling her that her father and I get up to so many dangerous things during the day (standing on ladders, climbing up on the roof, driving down windy narrow roads) that she has to check and make sure we are okay.

As an aside, our neighbour who is a bit younger than us, climbed up on her roof a month or so ago and as she was stepping off the ladder she kicked it away and was trapped up there.  She tried calling to M (deaf as a dormouse) and the guy who lives two doors down but neither of them heard her.  Luckily she go the attention of one of the teachers in the high school next door and he came around and put the ladder up again. I dont think she will be climbing on her roof without her phone in future.

Books read this holidays (not many)
The Snowman by Jo Nesbo
Enjoyed it but as it is set in Norway had trouble with their names and remembering who was who. Trouble when I read on Kindle I cant seem to see the book is long or short and I think this one was long.

Have started reading the first book in The Wheel of Time series by Robert Jordan.  Apparently the 14th and last book in this series has just been published.

Friend has also emailed me a list of books and writers to read.  So many books so little time.

Movies I have seen this month (some old some new)
The Hobbit
Les Miserables
Trouble with the Curve
Pitch Perfect

And that is about all the news I have.  To those in Australia, enjoy Australia Day celebrations this long weekend and everyone stay safe :)

Saturday, January 12, 2013

The Happiness Project

I am one of those people who sees something and thinks "what a good idea" and goes out and buys it without really thinking about it which leads me to the Happiness Project.

I got an email from Kikki.K, a stationery store, that stocks really lovely things just made for me.  Anyway this email was talking about the Happiness Project which comes from the title of a book and Kikki.K offers all sorts of yummy things such as:

  • Weekly Goals Pad
  • Quote Cards
  • Happiness Journal
  • Food and Exercise Journal
  • Happiness Project book
  • Happiness in a box
Following is a link to the website so that you can see what I am talking about if you are interested.

The Happiness Project

As I read the email I could feel the cravings begin.  I downloaded the offered first chapter of the book itself and thought this sounds like a great thing to do.

And then commonsense kicked in.  Whoa, I don't need any of these things to be happy.  I would be making someone else happy buying them but they wont change a single thing for me.  I dont need special, and oh so pretty, pads/cards/journals to help me be happy.

Nevertheless, I actually went to the shops yesterday with the thought in my mind that I would at least buy the Food and Exercise Journal.

Had a few errands to run first and all the while running through my mind was the thought "why do you need a special book to record what you eat".  I am really crap at tracking and lose interest after a few days so from past experience it would just end up another book that I have bought and don't use.  It always becomes too hard.

The good news to this long and rambling post is that I didnt even go into the store.  I bought two blouses instead.  Cost a lot more money but I needed them and they made me happy. And they weren't black (I am trying to stop buying black clothes). LOL.

So I've realised something - I don't need to waste my money on pretty journals etc to work out how to be happy.  If I need to record things, a cheap exercise book will work just as well and there are so many inspirational quotes on the internet for free I really dont need to buy specific cards which I would probably forget to look at.

Anyway, the rest of the week in a nutshell:
The Fitbit Zip, as mentioned in last weeks post,  is a wonderful little gadget.  I have managed over 10,000 steps on a few days and have just passed the 50km mark.  But it has made me realise that after entering in all the relevant details, even on the days I manage 10,000 steps I am not burning enough calories.  What I am achieving is better than nothing but it is not enough.

I went back to the gym on Monday for the first time in over 5 months.  After the girls had picked themselves up off the floor I went and did 20 mins extra walking on the treadmill and some lateral pulldowns.  Wasnt sure I should be doing weights but just felt I needed to start somewhere as the "fatback" is really irking me.  Anyway, physio on Thursday said I can go back to doing weights but to start slowly so that is what I am going to do next week.

Went and saw Les Miserables this week. Hmm what can I say.  I dont quite believe Hugh Jackman was nominated for an Oscar for this role.  Lovely man that he is I'm sure, he just didnt cut it as Jean Valjean for me and what can I say about Russell Crowe.  I heard someone yesterday describe him in this role as having perfected single every song in one note and this was true.

The movie went for nearly 3 hours and I felt slightly bored for the first 90 mins and Jess was definitely restless next to me.  The pace picked up when the young people arrived with their revolution.  Sacha Baron Cohen and Helen Bonham Carter were excellent in their roles as Thenardier and his wife.
Daniel Huttlestone who plays the street urchin, Gavroche, was excellent too.  Slightly strange were to cockney accents some of the cast used since this was set in Paris.

Anyway, glad I saw it, cried at the end but wouldnt go out of my way to watch it again.

Quickly, for some reason lost 500g this week.  Probably just water.
Have a great weekend and week ahead.  Only 2 weeks holidays left now.  Just flying by.

Sunday, January 06, 2013

It's been a long time

Well here I am finally.
Know I have a lot of catching up to do.
Where to start.
Down to going once a month to physio and if I do the exercises that I have been given religiously the pain is less.
Trying to walk Lucy every day since the summer holidays have started but as today was sleep in Sunday I haven't gone yet.  I am waiting for the temperature to drop a bit and the sun to get a bit lower in the sky.
Weather here is hot but not as hot as it is in other parts of the state or country.  You have got to love the weather conditions that keep coastal Sydney cooler than elsewhere sometimes.  My sister lives about 50 minutes west of here and the temperatures are always 7-10 degrees hotter than here. Colder out there in winter too.  Mind you we still have to get through the hot and humid months that are coming until the bliss of Autumn arrives.
I gardened today in short bursts until I got everything I wanted to get done done.  Ironing has been done and am just about to go out an water pot plants.
I am loving being on holidays.  Am just pottering along.
Christmas was great and New Years was fun.
Have cleaned out one of the linen press cupboards and a major part of my wardrobe.  Finally allocated all my high heels to Lifeline.  They have been hardly worn but my ankle wont let me wear anything other than flats now.  Also passed on a stack of jeans I am never going to fit in to anymore.  It was a hard admission, both the shoes and the jeans, but it is time to move on.
Mark wants me to clean out the other cupboards too and I have to reorganise my study.  It seems to have become the dumping ground of things that dont have a home.
Everyone is well.
Gareth has moved into a new unit down the lower North Shore and seems to be happy.
Jess has moved on in her life too and has a new man in her life.  (She finally told me yesterday but I knew there was someone or something making her glow.)  She starts her detective course soon. By this time next year she will be a detective.
Bought a FitBit the other day and it is a really great pedometer.  It has lots of other bonus things too and I have linked it to my iPhone and iPad.  It is tiny and bright green.
Comes with a little holder which I just clip to my bra and forget I even have it on.  (Have to remember to unclip every night - dont think going through the washing machine would be a good option.)  Ordered it on Thursday and it was here Friday morning.  So impressed with the delivery.  They have a set of scales I would like too but at the moment the scales I have a perfectly serviceable so cant really justify buying new ones.
My boss bet me that by the end of the 5 weeks break I would be sick of being at home with Mark and champing at the bit to get back to work.  Nearly half way and it hasnt happened yet.  Now, if someone would just pay me to stay at home I would be in seventh heaven.
Went to see  "The Hobbit" this week with Gareth.  I love the book so much and it was interesting to see how they have split it into the first movie in the trilogy.  Cant wait to see the next one but I guess that is a year away.  We saw it in 3D and I spent a lot of the time ducking things.  LOL.
This week I am going to see "Les Miserables" with Jess and my sister.  This is why I had children so that I have someone to go to the movies with.  Mark has opted out but if pressed would have come with me.  I dont think he would have made me go by myself.
Oh, and also I now how glasses for computer work.  I had been making so many little mistakes at work with numbers.  You know confusing 0 and 6 or 8 and 9s.  Frustrating and infuriating.  I was actually able to articulate this to my optometrist this time and he actually knew what I was talking about.  Everything was just a little bit out of focus.  It is now annoying to have two pairs of glasses (one for distance and one for computers) but as my eyesight progresses or changes I will probably get transition lenses.  Anyway off tomorrow to get new sunnies and the lenses changed in the glasses I use to drive at night/watch TV.  Apparently I was shortsighted which means I had my short sight but as my long sight is deteriorating the short sight is improving.  As I said, everything has been slightly out of focus for a while now which has resulted in tiredness etc.  Cant believe what a difference my computer glasses have made.
Time to go - sun low enough to walk Lucy I think.
Hope everyone has had a great Christmas and a wonderful New Year.
2013 is going to be awesome.  I can feel it in my bones.
No resolutions to speak of - just try to relax a bit and understand that it is not all about me when people say or do things that hurt me.  Not even their problem.  Breath deeply and let it go.........
Life is too short and there are so many lovely people to meet and exciting things to do.