Friday, 24 February 2012


Linking in with Eden from edenland for Fresh Horses Brigade - this week it wasn't hard for me to write this blog to link in with Eden.

I'm sorry that I take my absolutely first class wonderful husband for granted on so many occasions.

I'm sorry that I didn't make myself available more for my daughter while she was growing up - now that she is nearly 20 I have realised just how much of her growing up I missed because I felt like I owed the company I worked for more than I owed her.

I'm sorry for not being a better daughter to my parents - for not doing more for them and making myself available for them.

I'm sorry that I never lived by myself before I got married - although sometimes I wonder if I could have - even so, I still regret not doing it to see if I could !

I'm sorry that I put more importance on buying our home rather than travelling overseas - I would have liked to have done more travelling by this time in my life.

I'm sorry that my brother and I have had a falling out and I cannot bring myself to put it all behind me.  It really doesn't matter if I was right or not but I just can't do it.

I'm sorry that my Dad is sick again - I am not ready for him to die yet.

I am not sorry that I am part of an amazing family who, even though I feel I have fallen far short of being the best wife and mom, love me unconditionally and accept me as I am and for who I am.

Where I Am Now

As those of you who have been following me for a while will know that I have weight issues - in reality and in my head.  No matter what I weigh, I generally feel like I am too heavy.  In the past I have always worked on losing weight without strengthening myself. 

Last year, K and I started working with a personal trainer who lives two doors down from us - it has been great. I cannot believe how much stronger I am now (physically) than I used to be.  But, this has not helped my weight loss much - in fact, while I have lost cms since I started, I haven't lost as many as I think I should have.

Last year, as a family, we did Lite 'n Easy and we lost a lot of weight between us.  I lost just over 25kgs and I was really pleased with how things were going.  But I got slack and I put about 15kgs back on before I got into the right head space to start pulling things back again.  I have since lost between 8-9kgs depending on the day of the week and that is where I seem to have got stuck.  No matter how good my eating was coupled with the fact that I was exercising (not just walking) for 1-1.5hrs per day 6 days per week - the weight just won't shift.  It is a cause of great frustration for me.  While I understand that my weight doesn't define who I am - it is a major part of my life.  Not because my husband doesn't love me if I am heavy or not - in fact he really couldn't care less how much I weigh - he just wants me to be happy.  I know that losing weight doesn't make my problems go away, it doesn't mean I will have more money, it doesn't mean everything will be hunky dory - it just means that I will be thinner when I am dealing with said issues.

I have been talking to my naturopath and doctor and they have both indicated that they thought the pill might be the reason for the stagnation of my weight loss so I have come off the pill.  The doctor also suggested a really strict diet.  I have researched this and still need to discuss it with A but from what I can see, if I can stick it out for the really restrictive time frame of 3 weeks, it could be just what I need to kick start the weight loss of these last pesky kilos that I can't shift.  The maintenance period is what I am really interested in doing because that is where I will find out whether it is the sugar/carbs or the fats which are what my body doesn't like dealing with and which are causing the weight to stay put.  If I do follow this eating plan for the three weeks, the whole process is going to be a really big learning curve for me.  Part of me is excited about the prospect of being able to shed these kilos quickly and part of me is nervous about the restrictive eating plan that I need to follow - but then I think - it is only 3 weeks - in the greater scheme of things, it isn't a long time and, if I put my mind to it, THERE IS NO REASON WHY I CAN'T DO IT.

The weather today is doing it's best to dampen my spirits and I am trying very hard not to let it - because I believe my TFTD from yesterday !!!

With A still working in Coffs and K rostered to work all weekend - I will have some time to myself on Sunday. I have some clients booked in tomorrow morning and then a catch up planned with a really good friend in the afternoon. Maybe K and I will go to the Suns game in the evening depending on the weather. Then Sunday is going to be a ME day along with catching up on the washing for the week but that will be OK to do - it isn't that hard !!!

I hope you all have a great weekend.

TFTD : Real integrity is doing the right thing, knowing that nobody's going to know whether you did or not - Oprah Winfrey

Thursday, 23 February 2012

Thankful Thursday : From Stress to Strength

Linking up with Kate for Thankful Thursday this week - there is one thing that I am extremely thankful for - not relating to "From Stress to Strength" and it is that my Dad's scan came back and showed that his cancer has not spread to any other organs.  He is booked in next Friday to have another radical neck dissection to cut out the melanoma in his neck before going on their holiday to South Africa that was postponed when they found the new lump in his neck.

Relating to "From Stress to Strength" I had a long think about it trying to choose what to write about.  Something that really sticks in my head is something that happened with K was about 6 months old.

Anyone who knows me will tell you I am not the most patient person going - in fact, I would probably have to be one of the most impatient people I know.  That aside, when K was about 5 or 6 months old - one night she started crying.  And she wouldn't stop.  She cried and cried and cried.  We carried her up and down the passage of our home trying to quieten her down.  She had a clean nappy.  She had been fed.  What was the problem ?  I had been walking up and down with her for about an hour when I realised that I had been patient with her - I hadn't shouted - I hadn't screamed - I had calmly held her and walked with her.  It is one of the times I recall thinking "So this is what being a parent is about.  Finding patience where there is normally none.  Walking miles and miles up and down the passage trying to quieten a crying child while having no idea of why they are crying."  At about 1am she started with a temperature and so A and I took turns sitting with her in a bath of cool water trying to get her temperature down.  Then she started to throw up.  At 6am we called the peadiatrican who had already left for the hospital so we called him there and he told us to bring her down IMMEDIATELY.  He tore strips off of us for not calling him sooner.  He explained how quickly a baby that small could suffer brain damage due to high temps and vomiting.  We were suitable chastised.  Luckily, K was fine - she spent 4 days in hospital on a drip before they sent her home as right as rain.

There have been other times when I needed patience with her but I have to be honest that as she has got older, my patience is probably not as in evidence as it was when she was little.  Having said that, I have found myself, on many occasions, being thankful that I am not as impatient as I used to be.  I draw on it when I need to - if I don't need to, I can be as impatient as I ever was !!!!

Thanks to Kate again for hosting - Thankful Thursday !!

Have the best Friday ever !

TFTD : If people and events can determine your happiness, they can determine your unhappiness.  Determine your own happiness and let people and events take care of themselves.

Saturday, 18 February 2012

Why I Blog

This may not be the best time for me to blog given the volume of Amarula I have consumed tonight,but will give this a go anyway so that I can link in with Edenland!

I blog because it gives me somewhere to vent - somewhere where I can just say what I need without someone trying to fix it. Somewhere I can say exactly how I feel without feeling like someone is judging me. Somewhere where I can get support when I need it and encouragement when I need that. There are some bloggers that I feel closer to than I do people that I see every day - just a quick how are you and a question about something relevant at the time makes all the difference to my day. The 'converstions' on twitter on occasions are fantastic and show me that I do have things in common with other people - especially as there are times when I wonder just how different toothers I am.

This time around with blogging, I seem to have come across a vastly different range of bloggers and, while I have found many blogs I enjoy reading - I still find myself looking for a couple more who are in the same place as I am, and, when the time is right, I will find them. To me it is all about the timing (just as it is in life - it is about the timing)

Have the best Sunday ever !

Friday, 17 February 2012

Things I Know

Today I know that :

- I am soooooooooooooooo glad it is Friday - it has been a week of horrors

- Al is coming home tonight - for definite - YAY !!!!!!

- I can deal with more than I thought I could

- I have an amazing, caring daughter who I wouldn't swop for all the tea in China

- I am ready to tackle whatever else is thrown sent my way - I can do this and I will do this !

I hope I am able to link in with KateSaysStuff and the BlogHop
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(Added later - clearly my computer skills don't go as far as being able to get this link loaded correctly and for that I do apologise.  If anyone can mail me with tips on how I can get this to work so that it looks like everyone else's Blog Hop page I would really appreciate it.  I think that Sass, who designed my blog, has given me up as a bad job in trying to teach me how to do things on here - other than posting, I really don't seem to have much success with adding or deleting anything !!!)

 TFTD : When you do nothing, you feel overwhelmed and powerless.  But when you get involved, you feel the sense of hope and accomplishment that comes from knowing you are working to make things better - Unknown Quote

Happy Friday everyone - have a fantastic weekend !

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Thankful Thursday

Linking up with KateSaysStuff with Thankful Thursday - this week / today / right  now I am thankful that my Dad is still with us. 

I am thankful that tomorrow they will do the scan and next week we will find out the results to know whether the cancer has spread.

I am thankful that for now Dad is still with us and I will honour, validate and appreciate every day that he is with us.

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

One of Those Weeks

Do you ever have one of those weeks that just seem to get worse the longer the week goes on ???  I am having that kind of week this week.

My weight was the first factor of the downward slide of my week because it was in an upward slide despite my tremendous efforts at eating correctly - despite my almost manic efforts at exercising - every day - for at least an hour - either working with a personal trainer or following the exercise plan of the MKC - despite the best intentions of making everything count.  But it didn't - the scales were up and in some cases my measurements were up to - how does that work I ask with tears in my eyes because that is the stage that I am now at.  How can I be doing everything so right and it turning out so wrong ?

Then A left for Coffs - which in itself I can handle - but on top of dealing with the stupid weight loss (or lack of) issue and my Dad's prognosis - I really wish he could have been at home this week. I need him more than I normally do because, as a rule, I am a big girl who can stay at home by myself without having to have someone stay with me - but this week is different.  This week I feel like I need him at home - and he isn't. 

Tomorrow we have our monthly board meeting - and I think it is going to be a doozy.  I think there is going to be lots happening - and not all of it will be pleasant - in fact, I would put money that most of it is going to be unpleasant.  I don't do confrontation well - not at all.  I would rather walk out of room that be involved in a confrontation - even if it doesn't involve me.  I anticipate a fair bit of confrontation tomorrow - so much so I am thinking of not going to the board meeting.  But then they may cancel it because there will be no presentation of the financials and then I will only have prolonged the agony.  Maybe I will go and get it over and done with.

On Thursday I have to go to the skin clinic to get checked.  It has been about 4 or 5 years since I last went - I am very naughty I know and given my Dad's situation, I have promised myself not to let it go this long between check-ups.

And then it will be Friday - the last day of the working week - with the possibility of A being home - or not - depending on how the sites are going.  The day of the week when I am in the office with only one director.  the day that either drags or flies by.  But it is good, no matter how it passes - because it means that one sleep from then it is the weekend !

TFTD : Love comes in all shapes and sizes and people who share it are very lucky.  They have a little halo around them - Meryl Streep

Monday, 13 February 2012

Date Night

This photo was taken on 29th Dec 2012 by a very dear friend
who was out from London and visited us.

On Saturday night A and I had a date night. K was baby sitting and although we had planned to have a BBQ we decided to go on a date instead. We had a great time. We had dinner at Charlie's Pizzeria in Labrador and then went to se J Edgar before coming home. It was so good to have the time to ourselves doing something special. We decided to make it our Valentine's dinner as A will be away on Tuesday. Celebrating Valentine's Day seemed a little strange as we don't normally worry as we both feel it is just a commercialised day which makes money out of people who get caught up in the whole thing.

This morning I said goodbye to my best friend and I look forward to his return whenever that may be.

Have the best week ever !

TFTD : Thought is useful when it motivates for action and a hindrance when it substitues for action - Bill Raeder

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Can you help ?

I seem to have lost the threaded comments that I used to have and I don't know how to be them back. I have looked but can't see where I can select this option. I have tried to look in the 'help' section but can't find anything there.

Can anyone help me get these back ?

Many thanks

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Funeral Song

Linking in with Eden from Edenland for Funeral Songs as part of the Fresh Horse Brigade meme - this one touches just a little too close to home for me right now given my post from yesterday and, it is something I have never really thought about much.  I remember watching the funeral of Hansie Cronje (South African cricketer) on TV after he had been killed when the mail plane he was travelling in crashed, and the choir of the high school he had gone to had sung Ava Maria and I had thought that would be a lovely song to sing.

I do remember once when I was going through an Enja phase that I would like Evening Falls played :

When the evening falls and daylight is fading
from with me calls - could it be I am sleeping ?
For a moment I stray, then it holds me completely
Close to home - I cannot say.
Close to home - feeling so far away.

I  may just have to spend some time with my music and have a look to see what I would like (and make a note every 4 or 5 years to update it !!!)

I know I have used this TFTD before but I am using it today because it has a lot of relevance to me and my family right now.

TFTD : It is a mistake to try to look too far ahead.  The chain of destiny can only be grasped one link at a time - Winston Churchill

Friday, 10 February 2012

Things I Know

Things I know this week - where do I start ???


In December 2010 my Dad was diagnosed with a very aggressive melanoma on his forehead - a little nothing that could hardly been seen.  He had it cut out but they didn't get enough from around it so he landed up having to have a full skin graft on his forehead when they went back in and cut out more aggressively.
In late January 2011, he found a small lump on the side of his face in front of his ear.  He went to the specialist and after lots of appointments with, it seemed like, a gazillion medical professionals, he had a radical neck dissection on 5 May 2011 where they removed the lump together with all the lymph nodes on the left hand side of his face and neck.  After 6 weeks of radiation treatment and more scans etc the professor said it looked like they had got everything and he was good to go.  About 5 or 6 weeks ago he had a PET scan and they gave him the all clear.

Since having the PET scan he has been back to the ENT for a check-up only for her to find a lump at the base of his neck just above his clavicle.  He was advised to go for an ultrasound.  He did.  They couldn't find anything.  He took the ultrasound to the professor who said it was a waste of money, palpated the lump and said it was a nothing.  He had to go for a follow up appointment with the ENT last week.  This was cancelled as there was some medical emergency.  As my parents are supposed to be leaving for a holiday in South Africa on Monday this coming week, they called to ask if he could see the ENT before he left.  They got an appointment on Wednesday this week.  There is a new ENT there now as the rotations have changed.  She was not happy with the lump and wanted to do a needle biopsy there and then but the pathology lab was closed and there was nobody available to take the sample.  So he had to go back yesterday.  They did the needle biopsy and the technician took the sample away to the lab only to come back a short while later and tell the ENT that it does not look good.  This message was obviously conveyed to my folks. 

This afternoon I took them to hospital to get the results and it is not good.  The cancer is back.  Dad has to go for a CT scan next week.  The results of the scan will determine the course of treatment that we should follow.  If the scan shows that the cancer has not travelled to any other organs - they will have to do another radical neck dissection to remove the levels 4 & 5 lymph glands (they removed levels 1-3 of his lymph glands during the last operation).   If the cancer has spread to any organs, they will remove the melanoma from his neck and send him on his holiday and tell him to enjoy what is left of his life - they will manage the pain when it comes, they will assist if he battles to eat or drink, they will supply oxygen if he needs it - think you get the picture.  Whatever they do will not be enough because there is no cure and the cancer will kill him - very probably, slowly.
I know that, at some point, we are all going to die - my Dad included - I am just not ready for him to die just yet. 

This is a locket that I keep on my key ring with photos of
my Dad and Mom taken on our wedding day.


Thursday, 9 February 2012

A Half Thankful Thursday

Linking up with Kate I am half thankful today - so I will start off for what I am thankful for and then move to what I am absolutely not thankful for.



Let me start by saying I am not an animal person.  I have never been an animal person.  I am the person that, when we visit people who have animals, their animals gravitate towards me like a pin to a magnet even though A and K would love to play with them, absolutely no go - they stay around me.  It drives me nuts.   There were a number of reasons we got Alfie and, I have to be honest, I was the instigator.  But, he accomplished what I wanted him to and that was the main thing.  The only trouble was that he made our garden look like we had a resident mole as we were forever coming home and finding piles of sand where he had been digging.  Everyone said he was lonely - get him a friend.  And I said - what's the difference between one or two dogs (famous last words !!!!!).  So we got Rosie and she did what she was meant to to (to a large extent anyway) - the digging mostly stopped and we had two happy animals.

These are photos of them.  Alfie will be 3 in March and Rosie will be 3 in October.  What I have noticed is that when I get home from work, they are both extremely happy to see me - it is like they haven't seen me in forever !  Sometimes they are more happy to see me that my 19yo !!!!!  I have realised that even though I am not the one who feeds them or gives them water or really does much for them at all apart from buying their food (and they don't know that anyway), they love me, unconditionally.  Even when I have had to shout at them, they will still come to me inside and say "Please give me a pat".  When I go to the bedroom from the loungeroom, Alfie invarably follows me, sits outside the bathroom and then comes back with me to the loungeroom.  If I am sitting in the single chair in the lounge, Alfie will come and sit at my feet and wait for me to pat him.  And I do - much to my surprise. I play with his soft silky ears and I pat him.  Rosie gets very jealous and will push her way in for a pat as well - her ears aren't as soft and silky !

While I never thought I would say this, I am thankful for what they have taught my about unconditional love and putting what has happened in the past away - they don't carry grudges, they don't snarl at me when I shout at them for whatever reason, they just come to my feet when I sit down and ask me to pat them - because they love me.  Why ? I have absolutely no idea !

Now to the bit where I am not so thankful.  I am really struggling to stay motivated with my weight loss.  I am doing L&E Monday to Friday and then being really careful over the weekend with what I eat.  On top of this I am exercising between 45-60mins, at least 5 times per week and walking for between 1-2hrs on the other two days of the week.  Now if I was losing cms, I would be happy but the bloody cms aren't really moving and the weight is certainly not bloody going down and I am getting frustrated and angry.  I am staying strong enough to say "No thank you" to the ice-cream and chocolates and chips and muffins and biscuits that are being offered around but honestly, if I am going to say no thank you I would at least like to see some sort of reward at the end of the week.  I know that I need to stick with this and I will see the results but in the meantime I am really battling to try to stay focused.  A is away for work until Saturday then home until Sunday afternoon or Monday when he will be away for another week and then home for the weekend and then, depending on what work is available up here, he may stay at home or be on his way back down to Coffs.  Between K and I hopefully I can stay strong enough to not eat while he is away - when he is not there it is like I have lost an arm or a leg - I feel lost without him - I feel like a part of me is missing.  Travel safe Love !

I promise myself to do the best that I can over the next few days and to try to hold it together until I can see the results that I am working so hard for.

Have the best Thursday ever !

TFTD : When you learn to say yes to yourself, you will be able to say no to others, with love.

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

My Handwriting

I am waaaaay late with this link in to Edenland's Fresh Horses Brigade about handwriting. 

I am a self confessed stationery addict - I LOVE pens - not interested in pencils or paper or crafty things - I just love pens.  I have a huge collection of different colours and types and styles and depending on my mood, I choose my pen accordingly.  Any paperwork at the office may be covered in a range of colours depending on when I wrote on it.

My hand writing changes depending on the pen I am using, the paper I am writing on and how long I may have to wait on the telephone for someone to talk to me. I doodle - lots - and probably use up half the ink in the pens doodling !!!!

Here are two lots of writing - one while waiting (not that long I might add which was a very pleasant surprise) to talk to the ATO and one my To Do List (another thing I love - LISTS - I always have a list going for something whether it is a shopping list, a to do list, a chore list or a tasks around the house list).

When I am scribbling while someone is talking I often do it
at an angle and ignore the lines

When I am writing with my fountain pen -
I always stay on the lines !!

Thanks Eden for the opporunity to see how we can all be doing the same thing so differently !

TFTD : The greatest barrier to success is the fear of failure - Sven Goran Eriksson

Thursday, 2 February 2012

The Finished Bathroom - Finally !

Finally - the towel rails and toilet roll holder are in and I can post pictures of the finished product !!!  Our other set of towels are post box red and they look really good too (well I think so anyway !)

The toilet was the first thing that threw our budget out the window - it was about $150 more than the one we originally chose (even though this was the one that I wanted) A didn't, but then he changed his mind and we got it - it would have to be one of the nicest toilets I have ever sat upon !!!!

TFTD : A single sunbean is enough to drive away many shadows.

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