Sunday, December 30, 2012

it's been a busy year

Regular readers of this blog (if I still have any left) will notice that this is my first post in over three months.

I'm not really sure where to take this blog now. In 2011 I achieved my goal of blogging my 365 Project every day, and earlier this year I managed to post semi-regularly, which dropped down to almost never.

As the year went on I felt like I didn't need to blog like I did last year. It wasn't as important, and there was no real incentive to do it. So I didn't.

Part of me says maybe it's time to get rid of it. I don't really see myself as a "blogger",  I don't interact with a lot of people's blogs (and those that I do are mostly people I know personally), and I'm not really into the blogging "scene".

On the other hand, I like having this space. I can post things when I want to get something out there, or share stuff with my family, friends and readers (and any random strangers who happen to pass by . . .)

The upshot is I'm not sure. If I do keep it, I want to try and post more regularly than I have this year.

So while I'm thinking about it, here are some of the things I might have posted about this year if I'd been blogging more often.

First up, we moved house in October, so from the time we made the offer on the new house in July to now, when things are almost as we need them to be in the new house, my life has been mostly packing, decluttering, getting a house ready to sell, more packing, moving, unpacking, moving stuff around, more unpacking, more decluttering. And that has resulted in me being six months behind in my Project Life album for 2012, among other things.

Just some of the packing that had to take place

 Following in Slabs' footsteps, both Juniordwarf and I started our own radio shows on the local community radio station.

We opened the bottle of Millennium Ale that we'd had sitting around since, well 1999.

I had a hair cut after about nine months of not being bothered to pick up the phone and make a hair appointment. Goodbye long hair (again).

 We chased a rainbow up the river.

 Juniordwarf turned six.

 We made the occasional visit to the Two Metre Tall Farm Bar, and Juniordwarf enjoyed the puddles.

I participated in the Walk To Work Day photo competition and my photo collage made the Top 20. I also participated in a 10,000 Steps pedometer challenge and (just) met my goal of 1 million steps in ten weeks.

My boy picked me some flowers

Juniordwarf continue to improve his swimming.

We had a weekend in Launceston to celebrate our wedding anniversary

Re-enacting our wedding. What?

Family snapshot

We saw a baby monkey at City Park

The Chairlift at Cataract Gorge

Stopover at Holm Oak Wines . . .

. . . and Moores Hill
Willow Court Open Day. This is the Barracks.

I got to know Mrs Spider (with seven legs), who resided on my kitchen window, until I had to move her so that we could fit the window screens, and sadly she never came back.

We got some chickens. Say goodbye to the vege garden.

A new local market was set up in December and I was the lucky winner of their first email prize. It's a great idea and I'm looking forward to seeing the market grow in the new year.

Merry Xmas from Juniordwarf!

Yes, it really is Xmas.

And that's the past six months in a nutshell.  As to where I go from here, well I'm still thinking.

Happy New Year everyone :)

Sunday, September 23, 2012

east coast retreat (sunday selections)

I'm linking up with River for Sunday Selections today with some photos of our recent getaway.

We went away for a few days to the East Coast of Tasmania. It's not an area I know well, though I have visited parts of the coast previously and I have vague memories of going to some of the north-east towns as a child.

We had a very quiet time in a beachside town called Beaumaris, which is between St Helens and Scamander. We stayed in a fabulous self-contained house that allowed pets, so Sleepydog was able to come with us.

Juniordwarf was delighted by the choice of beds (two double bedrooms and a kids room with a bunk) and the fact that the "play room" had a TV and a DVD player.

We deliberately didn't plan to do anything, just to get away and relax. The weather wasn't the greatest for a coastal holiday, but I like the coast on misty wet days, so I didn't mind too much.

I won't say much more other than I don't think I ever needed a break more than I did before we went away.

The house we stayed at.

Juniordwarf wanted to build a sandcastle.

Construction (mostly by Slabs) complete.

Moody closeup of the sandcastle.

I wanted to get some sunrise photos. 

Not very spectacular when the sky is overcast.

We went to Pyengana Dairy to taste some cheese.

This is really pretty countryside around Pyengana, just inland from St Helens.

Priscilla the beer drinking pig at the Pub in the Paddock.

Lunch at the Pub in the Paddock at Pyengana.

St Columba Falls near Pyengana. Stunning. Breathtaking.

You can see the top of the falls from the road.

The beaches at Beaumaris.

Juniordwarf attacked by a freak wave at Binalong Bay (this was very funny).

Near Binalong Bay

The Gardens

The Gardens

The Gardens

The Gardens

The Gardens

Attempted panorama at The Gardens.

The Gardens

Iron House Brewery

Ironhouse Porter and the view from the brewery.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

healthy heart challenge - week 6

This was the last day of the Heart Foundation's Healthy Heart Challenge, which I started six weeks ago.

You can see my results here.

I'm pleased with what I've done over the last six weeks. Apart from two days last weekend when I was feeling extremely miserable and stressed (which is probably the time I needed to exercise the most), and one day when I fell five minutes short of my target, I met the goals that I'd set. That's 39.83 out of 42 days. I think that's a pass.

I've also lost close to 7 kg since February.

I didn't set any huge life-changing exercise goals. The point for me was to try and establish some habits that I can carry forward. I think I've done that, and I intend to keep going on the path I'm on. I'm comfortable with it, it's something I know I can do within my current commitments, and it's working for me.

This makes me happy.

Friday, July 13, 2012

a tale of two chocolates

Juniordwarf has a lot of teddies. (The teddies are his vast collection of soft toys, ranging from my old panda through many different species including tigers, a frog and several actual teddies. This is as opposed to the animals, which are all his plastic animals.)
Different ones have been his favourites at different times, and their names have changed over the years as well.
He has a teddy called Chocolate-the-Girl and a teddy called Chocolate-the-Boy. I don’t know where these names came from, or why he thought Chocolate was a unisex name – or even a name at all – but those names have stuck.
Chocolate-the-Boy came from one of those grabby prize machines that they have in pubs. Juniordwarf somehow managed to win it when he and Slabs went to the pub for a meal one night when I was away. Slabs says he didn’t even see Juniordwarf do it (but he’s since repeated the performance in another machine and we still have no idea how he managed it other than pure fluke).
Chocolate-the-Girl’s origin is a mystery. We think one of Slabs’ cousins gave her to us for Juniordwarf when he was a baby. She is actually Zoe from Sesame Street , but Juniordwarf hasn’t watched much Sesame Street and doesn’t know the characters. When he found out she was Zoe, he said that must be her nickname.
I think he is particularly fond of Chocolate-the-Girl because she has long hair that he can twist around and put up (just like he tries to do with mine). Ever since he’s been very young he’s been completely hung up on particular women we know, and obsessed about whether their hair is up or down. The most important thing he reports back on each day at school is what his teacher was wearing in her hair that day.
I’m just glad he doesn’t know about those old Barbie hairstyling sets that were popular when I was younger.
Earlier in the year, when lots of his classmates were taking their teddies to school, Chocolate-the-Girl was the one Juniordwarf took to school every day. A couple of months ago he told me that Chocolate-the-Girl would be staying home with me on my work from home day. So I got into the spirit of this, and took some photos of her to show him what she did during the day. He thought it was great.
 A couple of days later, Juniordwarf wanted me to take Chocolate-the-Boy to work, so I did the same thing for him.
 After that, Chocolate-the-Girl became a regular visitor to my workplace, and Chocolate-the-Boy started to accompany Slabs.
Yesterday Chocolate-the-Boy was supposed to go to work with Slabs. Slabs told Juniordwarf to leave him on his bag. He didn’t, and Chocolate-the-Boy got left at home.
When Slabs picked Juniordwarf up, he’d been trying to think of a story to explain why Chocolate-the-Boy wasn’t with him. Last week, my reason for Chocolate-the-Girl having been left at home already being at home when we got there was that she’d got a headache at my work and had to come home early, on the bus. He was fine with that.
Juniordwarf saved Slabs the trouble of coming up with an equally plausible explanation. He said that Chocolate-the-Boy had gone to the moon and he wouldn’t be back until Monday. Problem solved.
Today Chocolate-the-Girl was meant to come to work with me. I decided to put her in the drink holder of my bag so she could see where we were going while I was walking to work.
This was all very well until I was almost at work and discovered her missing.
The absolute gut-wrenching horror that fell upon me at that moment is indescribable.
My reaction was sheer and utter panic.
All I could think about was how devastated my little boy was going to be when I told him Chocolate-the-Girl had gone and really wasn’t coming back, and how betrayed he’d feel that he’d entrusted me with his teddy and I’d lost her.
I was almost in tears as I started retracing my steps. I was hoping that she hadn’t fallen out on the road and been run over, or that someone hadn’t found her and decided to keep her for their kids.
It was an unbearable walk. I was getting more and more frantic as I scanned the street and the road for any sign on Chocolate-the-Girl. It brought to mind this blog post I read recently about a small girl who had lost her beloved toy dog, and the impact that had on her mother, as she realised that a day would come that her daughter wouldn’t need her teddy any more, wouldn’t want to hold her hand any more . . .
But I digress.
I was imagining what I was going to say to Juniordwarf, where I was going to go for coffee to calm myself down before I went into work, whether I’d even be able to handle going to work knowing I’d made this terrible mistake, and indeed, even trying to explain why I was so upset about losing a teddy bear, and why on earth I was bringing my child’s teddy to work in the first place, I mean who does that? Really?
I was on the last leg of the return trip when I saw a flash of orange. It was Chocolate-the-Girl. She was sitting on the ground propped up against a fence, so someone had obviously found her, seen (by the fact that Juniordwarf’s name was written on her tag) that she did belong to someone, realised that the owner would probably be back as soon as they realised she was gone, and moved her out of the way so she didn’t get wrecked.
 I was totally relieved. Beyond relieved. There must be a word to describe the relief. It was the exact opposite feeling I’d had when I discovered her missing.
I picked her up and gave her a hug.
Yes, I actually hugged a small soft toy.
I was so grateful to whoever found her and left her there for me to find. I thanked them on Twitter and I thank them again here. They will most likely never read this, but I’m sending them positive thoughts, thanks and well wishes for their honesty. It made my day.
The only other good thing to come out of this is that I covered so much ground, my day’s walking was done before I even got to work.
I didn’t let Chocolate-the-Girl out of my sight for the rest of the day. This included her sitting in on our staff meeting and coming shopping with me at lunchtime, much to the amusement of my colleagues.
When Juniordwarf asked what Chocolate-the-Girl had done today I decided not to mention her escapade. He was just happy knowing she’d been with me.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

the boy and the flower

I finished off a couple more layouts this weekend. Both of them, I can quite proudly say, involved using all products I already had at home, other than one sheet of cardboard.

The first one is a photo of Juniordwarf when he was at the height of his "don't take any more photos of me, Mum" period. He actually asked me to take a photo of him. I was happy to oblige.

Kaisercraft "Rewind" Collection
I really love these papers for boy layouts. This is a good thing, because I have a lot of them.

The second one relates back to a blog post I did last year.

Basic Grey "Infuse Collection"

One of the die cuts from "Infuse"

K & Co mini folder to hold the journalling

After I'd finished the layout I realised I needed to tell the story of why this flower gets its own layout. I was lucky enough to find a small folder that matched the colours of the layout that I could hide the story in - the story is the same as last year's blog post (you need to scroll past the Hipstamatic stuff to read the story there).

And I think this might be the first layout I've done that hasn't included any photos.