Sunday, July 31, 2016



A quiet weekend is a good weekend! Nothing to report, except I'm using the combination of a new week and a new month both starting tomorrow to inspire me. As I have been this year, my aspiration is towards a Mediterranean diet (lots of vegetables and fruit, and including meat, fish, eggs, full-fat dairy, nuts, a little dark chocolate and alcohol, very little processed food) and specifically because I'm trying to lose weight I'll restrict calories and carbohydrates. Restrict, not reject. See you tomorrow.

Friday, July 29, 2016

Scans and vinegar


I forgot to mention I picked up my pelvic bone scans the other day. The gyno had looked at them and said they were fine, so we're just continuing with the fibroid surgery whenever I come up on the waiting list. The report with the scans mentions that I have arthritis (I'm 46, I'm not old!) and also "increased blood pool activity, suggesting inflammation ... clinical correlation is suggested to determine if further imaging would be warranted" so I'm not sure why this isn't significant? Maybe the other imaging I've had already covers this? I didn't actually speak to the doctor.

In other news, after a couple of weeks of "giving up" on the plantar wart on my foot - after months of various treatments - I decided that giving up wasn't helping. I looked around on the internet and there are some really weird interesting home remedies (like burning it with a red-hot fork, banana peel, or (my favourite) getting someone to buy it from you, literally giving you money and the wart magically disappears) but one that kept coming up was using apple cider vinegar. I didn't have any, but I did have rice wine vinegar and decided to give it a try. I soaked a tiny piece of cotton wool in vinegar and put it under a waterproof bandaid. 24 hours later half the wart peeled off! This has happened before, each time after about three weeks of continuous acid treatment, but it's always grown back straight away. So I am hopeful but not too hopeful. I am visualising the rest falling off, mentally pushing it away. Yesterday, before the half came off, it was a really good day with not much pain but today it is extremely painful. Sharp shooting pains even when I am not walking. Definitely worth it if it's working! Imagine if after all that time and pharmaceutical treatment and pain, a bit of vinegar does the trick!

No way I was getting out to my park today, just walking around the shops was more than enough for one day. Very sore.

I wonder why reading a book is considered a praiseworthy, almost noble, pursuit; but playing a computer game - also sitting still and participating in someone else's imagination - is a waste of time to be frowned upon. Someone else mentioned in their blog (hi Martha!) that people wandering around outside playing Pokémon Go looked like zombies and that maybe they should try looking up at the real world, and (although I like the real world too) that made me wonder why is an imaginary world "bad" and the real world "good" to experience? If we take the exercise component out of it, compare someone saying they spent the weekend driving along the coast looking at the beautiful scenery, and someone else saying they spent the weekend playing World of Warcraft which has amazing and beautiful scenery too - on a screen. The first would (by many people) be considered quite nice and in no way a waste of a weekend, something you could even boast about a bit as if you achieved something, the second would (by many people) be considered a complete waste of time, something to shrug a bit shamefaced about, I "just" stayed home and played computer games. But why? And maybe I'm misrepresenting other people here, but seems that is how many people think. Both involve sitting and staring, enjoying what you are looking at. I often play WoW with my husband and children as a team, we are looking at the same things on our screens and co-operating and talking, no less interaction than if we were sitting in a car together - indeed probably a great deal more. Sorry for the rant, I am honestly trying to work out if I'm missing something.

I've been worried for a couple of weeks that my sister-in-law Ping was upset with me, though I wasn't sure and didn't know why. The only thing I could think of was that I didn't go to the movies with her, and took 24 hours to get back to her about it which didn't seem like a great reason, there was nothing obvious but I just had this feeling. Anyway, I just got an invitation to someone else's baby shower and suddenly remembered! A few weeks ago she asked me to host her baby shower (in a few months) and I didn't react with enthusiasm. It was a bad moment, I was feeling particularly wiped out with all the health and hormonal issues, I'd never had a baby shower myself and only been to a couple, and a friend of hers hosted her last one (I wasn't living nearby then) and it was magnificent and elaborate which really scared me a bit to compete with that. Although I said I'd do it, I know I was rather negative and hesitant. And then forgot about it. And since then have had this subtle vibe that she wasn't happy with me. So! I just sent her a much more enthusiastic text asking for details of when she wanted it etc and she texted straight back with a very lovely message. I feel so relieved. I don't think I was imagining things! We are very fond of each other and I'm sure she was very disappointed with my initial reaction after she showed her love by choosing me. Hopefully it's all sorted now.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016



This morning I set out to find the perfect spot to write. Sometimes I need a change from my desk at home. My criteria for the ideal spot were:

*Attractive view
*Table/bench for notebook or laptop
*Choice of sun or shade - or possibly indoors - for comfort in all weathers
*Neither too crowded nor too isolated
*Café to buy cups of tea
*Not too far away from home

I hadn't found a suitable café near home, so I went a little further afield (but not very far) to the river. I've driven over it many times on the long high bridge but never been down by the banks. After a little preliminary internet investigation, I crossed the bridge and drove down a winding road on the other side to the first park.

It was far from ideal. I felt very isolated, it was surrounded by bushland and there were only a few other people there; a guy packing up his canoe and a middle-aged couple who then left. There were benches next to the river, which looked muddy and unappealing, no tables for writing. Further back, behind trees, was a nice area with a playground and tables but scarily lonely. Also too shady. It probably has people on weekends.

This is the bridge I drove over, and the muddy bank.

I crossed over to my side of the river on a little low bridge because I saw a café there with tables outside. I ordered a hot chocolate and got a bit of writing done. It was very nice sitting in the winter sun. Then I started getting splashed with water. Another patron pointed out some birds (rainbow lorikeets) up in the gutter having a bath. My notebook got quite wet (very dirty water). I changed tables.

Although I liked the sunshine, it would be unpleasant in any other season but winter. And to get my view I had to look over a little road and a carpark first. The road wasn't busy, but the cars were fairly frequent and noisy. There was a shady park next to the café that might be nice in summer, I was considering it as a possible spot for the future.

With hopes of finding something better, I crossed the low bridge again and drove alongside the river until I came to another park. And yay! it fulfilled just about every one of my requirements (except the cups of tea, and I could always take a thermos). It was pretty, with lots of tables and benches in sun or shade. Not too isolated with houses both sides of the river and quite a few people there; parents with children in the playground, a group having a BBQ, an old guy practising his golf swings on the football oval, people walking dogs. I could sit with my face to the river and still have the murmur of human voices nearby.

There were ducks on the water, kookaburras in the trees, and a little footbridge to walk across. And quite decent public toilets. Having found the perfect spot, I didn't manage to do any more writing! I sat enjoying the sun and the ducks for a while then, my foot being quite good today, I went for a little walk around including over the footbridge and back. I enjoyed myself very much, and had a lovely morning. And I did get some writing done, after all, at the second place. It was approaching lunchtime so I left, but I will definitely be back there.

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Book club


Nothing much today. I realised I forgot to weigh myself yesterday, again, but I do every couple of days so I know my weight has continued to creep up. 82.9 kg today I think.

Today should have been my book club. I missed it for the third month in a row (after going once). This time it was a book I wanted to read but they didn't seem to have it for me at the library and none were available. Except today I picked up the book for next month and it was behind the counter instead of in the "reserved books" under my name like it was previously... so they probably did have it last month after all! Anyway, not having read Go Set a Watchman I decided not to go. I don't think it really matters, people turn up or they don't, it's not like it really inconveniences the other people either way. Although it's nice to have a robust reliable group. I will make an effort to go next month.

One of the other pool contractors called this afternoon to follow up and I told him we'd decided not to go with his company, Iguana. He asked which one we had chosen and I hesitated because it's none of his business but then told him Mirage because why not? He gave an odd sort of laugh and we said goodbye. I've been worrying about that laugh! But I think it was because people from Mirage went on to found Iguana - probably this guy and his son. So I chose his old employer instead of him. This guy was nice but at the end of the interview when he was here, he went into a bit of a tirade about a different company (Blue Haven) and how terrible they were. Maybe it was just a friendly warning but it seemed unprofessional and was one of the reasons we didn't go with him. He went on and on, and kept coming back to the subject. It made Tim and I a bit uneasy.

I was feeling quite unwell last night but am fine today, I think it likely was the radioactive stuff. Presumably it's all flushed out now.

We have been in this house about nine months now, I realised today that there is no place on the property to sit in the winter sun in the afternoon. It is all shaded. We plan to get rid of a couple of trees in the backyard so hopefully that will clear a spot. Of course we want lots of shade in summer, but it would be nice to have a corner somewhere to sit outside on clear winter days.

Last night a dreamed about the house I grew up in, and realised this morning that I left there 30 years ago, when I was 16. Thirty years! My goodness that is a long time.

Sunday, July 24, 2016



I spent today getting some scans done of my pelvis. It was a really interesting experience (although a bit ironic that I was there because lying down hurts... so they made me lie very still for long periods!). First they injected me with some radioactive stuff. Then they did a scan while my blood was radioactive. Then they sent me away for three hours so my bones could absorb the radioactivity.

I went to the local shopping centre and had a cup of tea and a punnet of strawberries. It was too early for lunch and besides I was feeling a bit nauseated and had a nasty headache. I wasn't supposed to feel anything from the injection so maybe it was unrelated, but I did later find a reference to headaches as a possible side effect on the internet. You can find anything on the internet if you try hard enough. I did a bit of shopping and wandering around, but still had plenty of time (I could have gone home but decided not to) so I parked next to the river and sat in the warm car in the sun and played with my iPhone.

It was a pretty spot.

I went back and they did four 5-minute scans in a row in the big machine. It was hard to lie still for so long, made my pelvis ache quite a lot. At night I lie on my side which isn't so bad, on my back is quite painful. Then I waited a bit more, then they used a different machine to do a 3D scan. It was swooping around me taking scans from all angles while the bed part also moved back and forth, quite fascinating. I can pick up the scans tomorrow, no idea if they show anything interesting.

I made it home just before the kids got home from school. Was driven to take painkillers for the headache which is pretty unusual for me. And of course was very hungry by then! Delicious sandwich with the fresh bread I'd just bought.

Just think, until I finish filtering and peeing it all out - I'm radioactive!

Saturday, July 23, 2016



My uncle (dad's brother) and aunt are up from the country, staying with their son who lives about an hour away from here. Last night we went over to have dinner with them at a restaurant. It's the middle of winter here but I thought I'd be fine in warm indoor clothing - I'd just be in the car or in a restaurant right? It turned out we were seated out in the courtyard! I suppose with 14 of us they couldn't fit us anywhere else. It was a very nice courtyard, with live music and a kid's play area and outdoor heaters, but it was still night time in winter and everyone was cold, even those who had wisely worn jackets and beanies. When I got home I soaked in a hot bath to recover.

The food was good, the company was good, the music was nice. It was great to have a chat with family I don't see often. I didn't get to talk to my cousin much, he has triplets who are nearly three years old and very active! He and his wife and the older child (I think she is 13) were running after them all night. At least they had the playground. But I got to talk to my uncle and aunt who I used to stay with on the farm (or at nanna's next door) every summer until I was about 21.

There was talk of them coming over here for lunch today but they said they would call to confirm. They didn't call until 1:15! I had long since given up on them. They'd decided not to come. A bit rude not to give me notice, I think. Actually it turned out for the best because the pool guy was still here.

We'd chosen a contractor for the pool build (Mirage) and the project manager came back today to do some more detailed measuring and planning, and for us to sign the contract. He was here so much longer than I expected. He came at 10:00, was outside for over an hour then came in to do paperwork. At 1:00 I cooked some pasta and fed the kids, and after a while longer ate a little bit myself standing at the counter while he was going through the paperwork with Tim. If I'd known how long he was going to be here I would have offered him lunch, or just eaten in front of him, but I kept thinking he was nearly finished and about to leave. I did give him tea and biscuits earlier but I didn't eat then. I was so hungry I was feeling quite nauseated. My blood sugar goes all wonky if I don't eat regularly. I was no longer paying any attention to what he was saying, my head was fuzzy and I just wanted him to leave. I left it to Tim to check the contract. Finally he went at 2:30 and Tim and I got to eat some congealed pasta. Four and a half hours the guy was here!

Should have a pool by Christmas though.

Friday, July 22, 2016

Risque review


For Christmas Tim was given a voucher for theatre tickets and last night he finally used them and we went to see "Risqué Review" which was dinner and burlesque cabaret. A cousin came over to babysit the kids, and I met Tim in the city after work. I was a bit dubious but it turned out to be really good. There was a singer with a very nice voice, three dancing girls in a variety of skimpy costumes (but no more revealing than you'd see on a beach and probably more modest than many music videos these days!) and one man who was mainly a prop for the ladies but then he took his shirt off and did a very impressive pole dance! Very strong. But he was kind of brooding and intense (which may have just been his stage persona), for attractiveness I preferred our waiter who was cute and always smiling.

The most memorable performance was one lady in a bath. They wheeled out a claw-foot bath on a pedestal, with a girl in a bikini (in real water). There was a trapeze hoop suspended above and she swung and flipped herself around very acrobatically. They handed out umbrellas to the patrons! I only saw one lady use hers though, most people didn't mind getting splashed a little when the performer flipped her hair or spun in circles with water drops flying off her legs.

The food was also excellent which I didn't expect at all. It was a great night. We got home 11:30 or so, way past my bed time!

Today I did the grocery shopping and some more book-thinking. Some ideas are coming together.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016



I saw the gynaecologist this morning. The summary is I am on a three month waiting list for surgery to fix part of the problem, then we'll see how I go before taking further steps. I'll go into more detail now, mainly for my own records while I still remember, so if you find women's issues TMI don't read on!

We decided a hysterectomy was a bit drastic while there were other options available, even though it would solve both problems at once. Instead we are starting with fibroid removal with newish MyoSure technology, like a tiny vaccum cleaner on a stick that goes in through the cervix, under general anaesthetic in day surgery. I have one small intramural (inside the tissues) fibroid tucked away that isn't causing any problems, which won't be touched, and a larger submucosal one sticking into my uterus (looks a bit like a grape but it has lots of blood vessels) which they will remove. It has tripled in size lately and probably causing most of the heavy bleeding and pain.

The second problem is my adenomyosis, I though I had one or the other but apparently I have both. Adenomyosis is where the uterus lining grows where it shouldn't, into the muscle wall. My muscle there is all riddled with pockets of this lining stuff. It's quite common (so are fibroids) but in my case it is probably causing some of the pain/bleeding etc. It's a bit hard to tell which issue is causing what problem! In a nine month period between ultrasounds my uterus has enlarged from 84 x 50 x 30 mm to 106 x 82 x 45 mm. The gyno can't do anything about the adenomyosis (except hysterectomy) until the fibroid is removed because the treatment is insertion of a "Mirena" hormone delivery system which releases hormones directly into the uterus. She can't put one in with the fibroid taking up all the space. So I have to wait.

The gyno came up with a third possible issue which had not been considered. The pattern of my pelvic pain does not quite match either of these diagnoses and she is sending me for a bone scan of my pelvis to see if I have an infection there. She did not say so, but this might be supported by the unexplained raised lymphocytes (white blood cells) in my last three blood tests. I have booked that in for Monday, it looks like it takes a few hours altogether, they give you an injection then do the actual scan a couple of hours later. I'll have to remember to take a book.

One funny/not funny thing today... My foot was hurting really badly today and the long drive made it worse so I was limping badly, you might say hobbling. It probably looked like my gynaecologist had been a bit rough with me!



Dreary rain today. I had planned to explore the area around the nearby river in a deep picturesque gorge, looking for somewhere to sit and write/think in the winter sun. But not today (or tomorrow, apparently). I find being at home quite distracting, I do my best thinking either walking or in the bath/shower, or else sitting somewhere with a lovely view.

Some writers like to do detailed outlines of the whole story before beginning, others (like Stephen King) start with a scenario (what would happen if vampires turned up in a small town?) and start writing and see what happens. Plotter vs Pantster (ie by the seat of your pants, I think); Architect vs Gardener. I am somewhere in between. A gardener who has a plan but then lets the plants grow out of control. My eventual story isn't much like the original outline! But I need some kind of sketch before I begin. I like to know how it will end, then I can work towards that with a few major plot points.

Not quite so much eating today, but no exercise either.

They are calling for contestants for a quiz show I like, The Chase. At home, I answer as well as most contestants, say a bit more than two thirds of questions correct. You don't have to answer a certain number correct in a row with no mistakes, it's ok to pass on a couple. A little bit of me is tempted. My mother went on a game show, Sale of the Century, when I was a teenager. She knew most of the answers but it's a show where you have to have quick reflexes to press the buzzer and she was bad at that side of it, she didn't win. I was in the audience and I remember every ad break they came out and put more lipstick on her and as they walked away she would wipe it off! Anyway there are two reasons I won't be auditioning for The Chase. One is that I was hate to be on TV at this size, I could never watch it without cringing. But more importantly I freeze under that sort of pressure! Give me a written exam and I'm fine, but put me up the front with people watching and even without the TV cameras I probably wouldn't be able to answer a single question. I'd be like a rabbit in the headlights. Total brainfreeze. I can still dream though. Yeah, I'd go on, answer every question correctly, win lots of money, they'd ask me to stay on and be a quizmaster...

So here is a question, if you were going to be a star on some kind of reality competition show, and your talent was enhanced a bit so you'd win, which would you choose? Singing? Dancing? Bachelor/ette? Quiz? Next Top Model? Masterchef? Home Renovation? What would you like to be  best at? I'd find it very hard to choose! But maybe singing.

Tuesday, July 19, 2016

Offending the Gods


The God of Nightsweats took offence at me saying I could deal with it, and I had a very unpleasant night due to His retaliation. Four or five in one night! So instead of saying I'm fine I can handle it, I will say oh woe is me I am so tired and headachy. That should appease Him.

I've started the planning stages of book two. Tim is still reading book one and I'll use his feedback to make some (hopefully final) changes but in the meantime I need to get to work on the next book. I did write a chapter ages ago but without really knowing where it was going... so far you could say my outline is "main characters track down and defeat the villain who was revealed at the end of book one". Not really very detailed!

My hunger dial is turned up to 11 at the moment. I am eating anything and everything, never satisfied. It rather disconcerting.

My doctor appointment has been moved up to Thursday, which is awesome.

Monday, July 18, 2016

Deal with it


Tim is back at work and Aiden at school today, Jasmine goes back tomorrow.

This morning I weighed 82.0 kg. Tiny bit up.

I've realised I just have to learn to deal with things as they are now. I have night sweats (often with bad dreams) regularly but I can generally just go back to sleep after they wake me. The herbal tablets don't always work, or I forget to take them. Wearing summer pyjamas, so I am too cold, does seem to help. It's one more thing disrupting my sleep, but I can cope (most days).

The pelvic pain, extended heavy periods, emotional roller coaster, well I'm seeing the gyno next week about the fibroids but if this is my life now well I can't keep turning to chocolate to save me. It doesn't work.

My foot: last night I decided to give up. I've spent months using every treatment available even super strong stuff I had to travel to get from a specialist chemist, the doctor has frozen it four times, nothing has worked. Several times the acid paint has made a chunk of dead skin with part of the wart peel off, but within about 24 hours it was back. It is twice the size it was three months ago. I'll just have to wait for my body to reject the virus, which typically takes a couple of years or more.

So what does that mean? It means I don't want to keep my life on hold waiting to be able to walk comfortably again. But just thinking that doesn't stop it hurting, so I'm not really sure what to do. One thing is that generally it hurts a lot more in the morning and less in the afternoon, so I can work around that. I can remind myself that I am not doing myself any damage - it's not like an injury that needs to be rested.

I put my plans into practise with a short walk in the afternoon with Jasmine. 20 minutes around the block included her trying to catch some Pokémon which slowed us down, the rest of the time she was zooming ahead barely within shouting range. I went slow. When we started I hardly hurt at all, by the time we got back I was very uncomfortable. The pain went again once I was home so it didn't set me up for hours of agony or anything. I will try to remind myself that it will only hurt in the moment then it will be over.

We also did the grocery shopping with no junk bought, only strawberries and cherries for an afternoon tea treat. Good day.

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Food pushers


I usually say I don't have food pushers in my life (thank goodness), people who try to sabotage my healthy eating when I'm really trying, if anything I tend to be a bit of a food pusher and I'm aware of that and have stopped I think. But compare these two days...

On Saturday lunch at a family member's house, the dessert served was not something I particularly liked. I ate a few bites of what was put in front of me, pushed it around a little then left it, someone else asked if they could finish it and I handed it over. No drama or embarrassment.

On Sunday lunch at a different family member's house. Male host told me he knew I didn't really like apple pie (which others were eating, Tim's family's favourite) so he'd got this other thing specially for me. It was Tiramisu. A coffee-flavoured dessert. Now it's true I don't like apple pie and usually if they have that I just have nothing and I'm fine with that, or a bit of fruit or ice cream, but I could eat it if I had to for some reason it's not disgusting. But coffee? Hate it. Hate it so much. I hold my nose walking past coffee shops.

I was a lovely thing for him to do but there was no way I could eat it even to be polite. I said no thanks politely. He seemed a bit miffed/upset after his efforts and insisted. He'd got it just for me! I claimed to be on a diet (not true). His wife got out the rather nice looking chocolate ice cream and offered me some. I'd just said I was on a diet so I continued to refuse politely, I was full from the lovely lunch, I was trying to lose weight, I really didn't need dessert, thank you so much for going to all that trouble but no. I was pressed so many times! Eventually I said yes to a tiny scoop of ice cream, maybe a mistake as I was still rejecting the special Tiramisu, but I thought it might get them off my back. The husband gave me a truly tiny scoop and a teaspoon to eat it with. Hmm. The whole thing was just awkward, and yet we all love each other. Arg!

Saturday, July 16, 2016



A very busy day. First had the third pool contractor come and inspect the site. We definitely liked him best, he really seemed to grasp exactly what we wanted and had solutions for issues. Tim is going to do a bit more research, checking reviews online etc, but it looks like we will go with that company and hopefully have a pool by Christmas! Christmas is of course summer here so that would be awesome.

Then we went to lunch at a cousin's house, they are in the process of building their house in the next suburb and wanted to rent near here in the meantime. They have a toddler and have moved from a tiny flat to an actual house with a backyard so little Eliza is ecstatic! Room to run around, grass to play on.

Finally after an early dinner we went to the circus with some more family. It was fun especially for the kids. The first few acts were a bit 'Talent Show at the local RSL' but it got better, some of the acrobatics were good. And the Wheel of Death made me feel sick with fear for the performer. No animals except for a few poorly trained Shetland ponies and terriers, I don't think anyone has exotic animals in circuses in Australia any more.

One thing really struck me while we were out. My father-in-law's partner is a very large woman and he has been getting bigger since they've been together. She announced that they are both going on a diet on Monday. While shovelling down fairy floss (cotton candy) and popcorn, saying she might as well while she still could. How often have I done that? I'm sure we all have. Starting Monday, but it's fine to eat as much junk as possible until then. Not on the diet yet, after all. But it seemed so incongruous to see someone else do it. Like it somehow doesn't count.

Thursday, July 14, 2016



I slept in this morning and feel a bit more normal today, thank goodness. I didn't do much, just grocery shopping in the morning. One strange thing was that I was physically bumped into by three different people - it was definitely them doing the bumping, not me - and that is unusual because Australians are considered to have very large personal space areas compared to most other cultures, we stay far enough apart that accidental touch is quite unusual. The supermarket wasn't particularly crowded. But three people bumped into the back of me at different times. Was I invisible today? Or is my butt now so big people can't get past it easily?

Jasmine went off to yet another sleepover. I allowed it because it is still school holidays (back to school on Monday) but I'm not really happy that she gets little sleep and eats a lot of junk food. She certainly enjoys them. They don't seem to have any playdates that aren't sleepovers these days! On the other hand, I am happy that after eight months here she has really settled in and made new friends, and she is doing better at school than ever before. Aiden has friends he plays with at school but has never had anyone over or been asked to a birthday party yet, and his recent report card was pretty average. He seems happy, but maybe he isn't as fully settled yet.

Speaking of making new friends, the library doesn't seem to have put aside this month's book club book for me. I only went to one meeting then missed two, but I had intended to go along again. I guess they've given up on me. I'll try to get a hold of the book anyway (Go Set A Watchman) and go along, I'm sure they'd be fine for me to turn up again.

We've talked of getting a swimming pool for a while, I had one contractor come out ages ago but Tim insisted on getting three quotes and the companies I contacted didn't build in this area or there was some other issue. So this week, with Tim home, I put it into his hands. One guy came yesterday and another is visiting tomorrow. They look at the site (solid rock) and the access (too narrow) then sit us down for an hour and talk about how expensive and difficult it will be! But possible. So they tell us about how their product (concrete vs fibreglass, chlorine vs salt vs mineral etc) is so much better than the others and worth the extra money. We can afford to get a pool, but whether we can get our tropical resort dream pool is another matter! An above-ground pool would be much cheaper but isn't really an option because our backyard slopes steeply up - if we perched a pool up there without digging we'd end up looking down over fences into our neighbours' back yards. Getting council approval can take ages so we need to get onto it now if we want a pool for this summer.



I am having the worst PMS of my life these past few months, days of misery. Less than two weeks until I see the gyro, I really hope she can help. I spent the afternoon leaking tears.

We've been watching The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings (extended version) most nights, only half of The Return of the King to go. The kids have been really enjoying it. I'm a bit worried about Shelob being scary.

Tuesday, July 12, 2016



We spent a big chunk of today out shopping. It was a very successful trip, clothes and shoes for the kids and Tim. Nothing for me, but I wasn't looking. I have plenty of clothes in my current size. I've had years to build up a collection.

We had lunch at a café and I ordered pasta. It was huge! Seriously, it was like they had given me the serving bowl. I ate about a quarter of it and still had indigestion for the rest of the day.

It was the most walking I'd done in quite a while, from shop to shop.



Life is much as usual. I forgot to weigh myself yesterday but today I was 81.9 kg, so any progress I made on weight loss at the start of the week was undone in the second half. I saw the doctor again today to have my foot treated (again); quite painful with scalpel and tweezers and freezing. We are "making progress". I really want that to be over!

Tim is home this week, which is nice.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Well behaved cookie makers


Didn't do much yesterday, it was pouring rain. The kids built a blanket fort, and in the afternoon we watched "Hotel Transylvania 2" on Foxtel.

The carb flu seems to be over, no more headache or upset tummy. I hope that is because I'm through withdrawal, not because I'm eating too many carbs again. I have continued to snack every evening, and last night had about 500 unneeded calories worth. So from today that is over! My birthday chocolates are finished, I eat plenty of food during the day, I do not need to snack while watching TV at night.

We did the grocery shopping and while at the checkout the kids were chatting quietly with each other. The woman behind me commented on how I had two children, but no junk food in my trolley. She was amazed! (I do get treat food quite often, but today I told Jasmine if she wanted chocolate chip cookies she could make them at home). The woman and the check out lady both also seemed amazed by how well behaved my children are. No fighting or screaming. I often get these reactions in places like restaurants and it worries me that my normal children seem to stand out as being exceptionally well behaved! Are everyone else's kids so bad? I guess some of them are, I've seen kids having tantrums in public places. I try not to judge too quickly - anyone can have a bad day (child or parent!) - but if I see a mother on her phone while her little son trails ignored behind her with his legs squeezed together obviously needing to go to the toilet, or a kid screaming for a sugary treat and the parent says no, no, no, no, shut up, no, no, OH ALL RIGHT HAVE IT! reinforcing the bad behaviour... well then I do judge!

Anyway I am very proud of my children and I guess we did something right because whatever faults they have, they are always kind to each other and everyone else. Once I reviewed a short story in which a child died and the sibling didn't seem to care much. I pointed out to the author that this didn't seem realistic. But based on his own children, he though that is how they would react! I can hardly imagine.

Jasmine baked her cookies in the afternoon and I had a couple. A couple doesn't sound so bad... but they were practically the size of dinner plates so I think I should have stuck to one!

B: cream of chicken soup, tea.
L: rotisserie chicken, cucumber, tea.
S: choc-chip cookies, peanuts, cheese. (my meals are ok, I need to work on my snacks)
D: steak, salad, cookie.

Kitchen is closed for the night.

Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Carb flu


It's amazing how much carb flu feels like real flu. I know it's withdrawal, even though I am still eating carbs (fruit, vegetables, quinoa etc just avoiding processed carbs) and even some sugar in chocolate. I haven't gone cold turkey, just reduced a lot. I've been through this feeling many times before. It's usually at this point that I decide it's not worth it, I can't cope with the headaches etc on top of everything else, I should just reduce calories without cutting carbs etc. But I know it only lasts a few days and it's the only way for me to reliably lose weight. After the withdrawal bit I have much less food cravings because I no longer have so many carbs turning to sugar in my system and continuing the spike and crash cycle that makes you want to eat more than you need. I can do this!

Today we saw "Finding Dory". It was a nice kids movie, similar to the first one in many ways. Good, but nothing to rave about in my opinion.

B: cream of chicken soup, tea.
L: quinoa "fried rice".
S: peanuts and a Chupa Chup small lollipop (in the movie).
D: chicken broth, roast beef and lots of vegetables.

The cup of chicken broth filled me up a lot but I ate my dinner anyway, now I feel too full. I need to learn that food will always be available, I don't have to eat just because it is officially dinner time. But I ate mostly vegetables and left half the beef. Apart from being overfull, I am happy with the quality and quantity of my meals today.

Water intake and steps need a bit of work.

Tuesday, July 5, 2016



Nature seems to be visiting the house at the moment. We have a resident skink (little lizard). I've tried putting him outside but he was back in the next day. And why not? It's warm, there is probably plenty of food (my kids are 12 and 9 but you'd think they were about 3 from their messy eating, there are always bits on the floor). He is cute. We call him skinky.

The last three mornings I've woken to ants on the counter top, and today it was an invasion. This is the cupboard where I keep the bin, under the sink. I don't use insect sprays much, but I did today! Only in the cupboard and I hope skinky doesn't go in there, they do eat insects. I cleaned up all the dead ones of course.

It rained heavily all night and was gloomy this morning, but in the afternoon the sun came out and so did this lovely Rainbow Lorikeet, eating nectar.

Today we visited the doctor where I had my foot treated again. Then I took the kids to the library. Jasmine got several books, Aiden none. He loves being read to but isn't that keen on reading. Jasmine would happily spent all day reading, curled up on her bed. I picked up one book on the ethics of keeping animals as pets. I flicked through it and it was engagingly written so why not? The back mentions the author does have pets so she's not rabid on the issue, but she does think a lot of people are not responsible pet owners and also that some animals should never be kept as pets. I've owned two dogs, one when I lived alone and was working full time and I felt so guilty leaving her home alone all day, especially when she was a little puppy. The other when I was home all day and I felt like a much better owner (although we had to give him up when my mum got sick).

In the afternoon we played Trivial Pursuit. One of my birthday presents was a version that has a box of kids' questions and a box of normal questions (I was going to say adult questions but that sounds dodgy). The balance of difficulty seems about right.

I also spent some time in the kitchen getting as many meals as possible out of two chickens. The legs went into cream of chicken soup that we'll have tomorrow, the breasts in satay for dinner, the wings I roasted in the oven (with veges to catch the delicious juices) and we had them for lunch with leftovers from the weekend BBQ, and the carcasses I also roasted then simmered with vegetables for soup/stock/bone broth.

In the spirit of full disclosure, I ate more after blogging last night. I had one of my birthday chocolates. Then two cold lamb chops. Then a little piece of cheese. I didn't seem to be able to stop myself. Way too much food for an unnecessary evening snack, I wasn't even hungry. But it wasn't too unhealthy, at least. And I still lost half a kilo overnight. I will try to control myself today.

B: raspberries and yoghurt, tea.
L: chicken wings, lamb chop, salad, tea.
S: cream of chicken soup (I couldn't wait until tomorrow).
D: satay chicken and vegetables with quinoa.
S: I plan to have one birthday chocolate later.

I still have two more glasses of water to drink this evening but only 21 steps to reach my 5,000 so I'm confident.

Monday, July 4, 2016

New start


I've had a few false starts with getting back into healthy eating, but I'm feeling strong and confident today. Starting weight 82.1 kg (basically the same as I've been the past four weeks). I'm tracking food using MyFitnessPal which syncs with Fitbit, I'm wearing the tracker and my walking goal is 5,000 steps at the moment.

The kids have started their two weeks of winter holidays, Tim will be taking the second of those weeks off work. Today we just did the grocery shopping (all healthy food!) and recovered from the weekend.

I am conscious of often wanting to eat when I am not hungry.

I discovered a new taste sensation this morning. I had cut up an orange and put some cheese (sharp cheddar) on the same plate, a bit of the cheese fell in the juice which had seeped over. I ate it dubiously, and it was delicious! I ended rolling all the cheese in the bit of juice on the plate.

B: cheese, orange, tea.
L: chicken and salad, tea.
S: banana, vegetable broth.
D: bolognaise with zoodles (zucchini spirals).

Currently 24 steps and one glass of water away from goals, so pretty confident.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

Birthday weekend


I started the day with Aiden hopping into bed for a cuddle. Jasmine was at a sleepover so I couldn't have presents yet; but Tim and Aiden made me breakfast (bacon, pancakes, and freshly squeezed juice) then we went and voted in the Federal Election, picked up Jasmine, and finally I got to open my presents! Then a couple of hours of house cleaning and cooking.

Caroline was my best friend back in Canberra but she hadn't seen the new house, it happened to be convenient for her to visit this weekend so it was a lovely birthday present to see her for lunch (lemon roast chicken, potato, salad, "mortal sin" chocolate cheesecake). Her children are the same ages as mine, we met at playgroup when our sons (born 10 days apart) were a few weeks old. So I've known her for a while. Actually she is the main thing I miss about Canberra.

After they had gone I relaxed with computer games and Burger Rings. The Burger Rings were probably a mistake, considering we were going out to dinner less than three hours later. One of my birthday presents was a couple of new games for the Virtual Reality headset. I tried one (an adventure) but have not yet tried the dance game. I don't think my foot is up to it right now, but I am really looking forward to it! I was also given four books and some music and a lovely afgan/throw for those cold nights in front of the telly and chocolates and face cream to keep me looking young (I asked for that specially) and lava lamp speakers for my computer that react to the music playing or exciting moments in computer games (haven't tried those yet).

We went out to dinner at the tapas restaurant we first tried quite recently, I started out a bit disappointed because my favourite dish from last time was no longer on the menu but we ordered six share plates between the four of us. They were all good and three were really excellent. We couldn't finish everything. I was so full. We didn't order dessert, even though it was my birthday and normally I'd treat myself come hell or high water. But even I knew it wouldn't be a treat to force more food into my groaning belly. We went home and I shared my birthday chocolates but didn't actually have one myself. At 9:30 I was literally asleep in front of le tour de France so when Tim inadvertently woke me I dragged myself to bed. Poor sleep the night before, busy day, and too much food combined to wipe me out. But it was a lovely birthday.


Unfortunately I didn't think to take my Harmony tablet and I had bad night sweats and worse pelvic discomfort than I've had for months. I was curled up in pain for a couple of hours in the dark of the night. I got back to sleep eventually and I ended up being in bed for eleven hours so surely I got eight hours actual sleep in there! I got up a bit tired and grumpy but a cup of tea helped me along. The election still hadn't been decided, so close than there was no final result even though 90% of votes had been counted (we have paper forms in Australia that I'm pretty sure are sorted and counted by humans, pretty archaic). We likely won't hear for days, and it will probably be a "hung parliament" so they'll all need to compromise with each other!

Most the cleaning had been done the day before so it was just a lot of cooking for a big family BBQ lunch. Tim did the meat on the BBQ/grill and I did all the sides. Not as many people as I expected were here for lunch, but some more came in the afternoon then stayed for leftovers for dinner. We played board games in the afternoon. And in the evening was the finale of one of my favourite TVs shows so that was a great end to the birthday weekend.

Leftover cake and snacks are now going in the bin. My body is really looking forward to healthy food tomorrow!