Monday, June 30, 2008
The funny/strange/sadistic thing? While we were waiting I was thinking damn! I should have bought my knitting - could have gotten loads done!
On the fugal/simple living front I discovered a new wealth of information today - the down to earth blog with lots of other information and a recipe for homemade washing powder and other green cleaners which of course I discovered today because on the weekend I bought 10kg of commercial washing powder! I've also joined the Aussies Living Simply forum which looks like it's packed with lots of good reading material - yet another resource! Do you think the tide is turning? Away from materialistc/commerical ideas/values towards a more 'green' way of thinking? It just seems like there are so many people, so much information and so much interest out there about sustainable living. Anyway, I'm off to attempt to make a bag out of a teatowel thanks to tutorials here and here. Wish me luck!
Sunday, June 29, 2008
I also finally balled up the yarn that I dyed earlier in the week and I'm really liking it. I was trying to get more of a teal than the forest green that came out but overall I'm really happy and think that this *might* be a scarf clappy for myself ? any other ideas?
I didn't need anything but thought I might check out the 20% off at Spotlight today in case something caught my eye that I just HAD to have. Similarly to the toy sale issue I got there, walked in the front door and realised that I shouldn't have even gone. So we hopped in the car and headed off to The Shearing Shed for Noro for Mrs Toone's clappy v2.0. Not sure if I'm just slow on the news but the shop is for sale? They have a sign up in the window to say the business is for sale.
I went to the post office today expecting my power & gas bills which are due any day now but instead I got the most wonderful surprise - my Knitpicks Harmony interchangeable set arrived - woohoooo. I can't wait to get started with these little lovelies and I'm really impressed with the customer service I received from Kelly at Dyelicious - she was a pleasure to deal with and was really helpful. I'll definitely be buying from her again!
Izaak and I, celebrating the first day of our holidays, went to have lunch with my mum at her work and as we were walking into the staff room I spotted their lemon tree which is just starting to fruit so I am having lemon pie tonight with these little beauties...
After leaving Manuka with the Noro I thought we'd pop into the op-shop at Fyshwick where last time I went I scored a cone of 5ply Bendigo yarn for a bargain. Had a look at the upstairs bit of the shop but nothing took my fancy and then as we were walking out I noticed a sign to the 'bargain basement' so we went to check it out and as soon as we walked in the door Izaak spots a massive table of toys and is immediately off and checking them all out. I had a look at the kitchen stuff and found another cute little jug - we have HEAPS of jugs but the kids are constantly using them for water at the table, milk for their cereal, prentend tea parties - then spotted it - a lovely little dolls house. In my other posts I've talked about my challenge to make/buy handmade/buy 2nd hand gifts this year and it seemed perfect for Charlotte's birthday. It does need a touch of paint and I will put a new door handle on it and ask dad if he can put a new strip of wood on the top but in November, when the little lady turns 3 she will be unwrapping this on her special day...So I feel pretty happy at this point - a sturdy wooden dollshouse for $15 ;-) Then I spot a cardboard box on the floor underneath the table that is full of wooden dollshouse furniture. Again, it does need cleaning up but a good dust-out and it will all be as good as new. So by now I'm over the moon - talked to the op-shop guy and for $30 I bought the dolls house, all the furniture, 5mts of elastic, a toy for the boy, the jug and a plate. Not bad I say.
So it's 1:48pm and that's been my day so far - never a dull moment in this place!
I wanted to thank everyone who has been leaving comments on here too - it makes me feel like I'm 'talking' to someone as opposed to just rambling away to myself. This blog has been a great outlet over the past little while and I really feel like it's helped me move forward and into my bright, new, happy future - thanks for being part of it!
Saturday, June 28, 2008
For years (well, since I've been a mum) I look forward to the annual toy sales - Big W, Kmart & Target all have their sales in the same week. I have been known to stand in a layby line for more than an hour. It has been crazy but I have scored some real bargains. I think that the past 12 months have changed me though in many ways - I'm considering our ecological footprint alot more, thinking about how consumption influences our family etc. So this year the catalogues are out and one of the companies has a Ben 10 watch for half price. My son would give his right arm for one of them and I was sooo tempted but really - does he need it? It'll be the favourite for a week or two and then tossed into the dark, scary depths of the toy box never to be seen again. Similarly, there was a dolls pram that looked like a good bargain but I bought one last year for the little misses birthday and Stuart gets the occassional ride but otherwise it sits here unused for the most part. So I had one moment of excitement and then sat back and really thought about it. My kids have enough toys. More than enough toys and they really don't need anymore.
At the moment the favourite game is 'puppies' where each of them pretends to be a dog and the other takes them for walks to the park, pet shop for food & drink etc etc. I'll admit this keeps them happy for about 5 minutes but it's them playing together without any of that high-tech, expensive, 'must have' toys that makes me feel good.
So why do I get caught up in the consumerism of toy sales? Because as a parent, like 99% of parents, I want my children to be happy, I want them to have what they want, the best toys, the most toys, the things that they tell me they really want and the companies know that and play on it. TV ads lately have caught Izaaks attention and he is really taking advertising material in now. Yesterday I was told I "have" to go to ticketek to get tickets for the Dora show "because the man on TV said that we can't miss it". I worry about how Izaak will cope with these sorts of things as he gets older because he is autistic and takes everything so literally I'm concerned that he will be a prime target for con jobs and will get taken advantage of. I'm trying now to get him to see things in ads - he wanted to go to the golden arches the other day because of the toys that they advertise on TV. In the end I took him (which says alot for the pester power of 6 year olds!) and because of sensory issues he refuses to eat the meat patty or the bread and won't drink softdrink because the dentist told him not too (again, issues around literal meanings) so I went and bought him a happy meal for him to eat a few chips, a piece of cheese (which I'm not sure is even cheese - the colour is just all wrong!) and pickles. All because of the toy that they were advertising so we talked later about it and by no means have I broken the cycle but I think I may have planted a seed in there - here's hoping!
Anyway, back to my point - the kids are bombarded with ads telling them what they "need/must" have and so I'm trying to change my thinking from subscribing to those sorts of ideals to teaching them about why/how advertising works and ways we can get around it. This year my goal was to make or buy handmade for all the birthdays/holidays and so far (with the exception of a toy for my nephew) I'm doing well. We've had my grandma, mum, dad, 2 nephews and a cousins birthdays so far with my sister and both the kids to go as well as christmas.
So I've closed the catalogues and I will not be attending the toy sales for the first time in about 7 years and I will instead be trawling the net looking for christmas ideas which I can make for the little people in my life.
Friday, June 27, 2008
I think we'll be off in a few hours down to the park for a big bike ride - I'm getting a bit of cabin fever at the moment with the end of uni and all. I've just taken the training wheels off Izaaks bike so it might well be a short, frustrating, angry ride but I've got his scooter as well and Charlotte is still getting the hang of her new "big girl" bike. It's times like that when I feel so alone. When they have big achievements and I'm standing there with no one to share them with. Enoug of the whining and onto exciting news we are going to Circus Quirkus this afternoon - a circus performance which is presented by the Rotary club and the tickets are purchased by local businesses and then distributed to families with children who have special needs. This is the 2nd time we were lucky enough to get tickets. I haven't told the littlies though - it'll be a special surprise.
My family is going to be disowned soon - my biological father has torn the rotator cuff on his shoulder while at work so he will now need surgery and 6 months of rehabilitation. Mum has got a massive ear infection - to the point that the pain made her go up to A & E where they decided to put her on morphine! So she's pretty out of it at the moment and then I called my grandma who is sick with a cold/flu bug - Fingers crossed that they keep all those germs to themselves!
Last night I caught up on loads of blogs that I love reading and after following a link on quilting micks to crafty pod and from there to Eucalyptus Handmade where I found this cool little gadget which shows a new crafty site each day. Months ago I ordered a key fob off Ozebaby from a lady and last night I found her blog - yet another one to add to my ever-growing reading collection. I have started going to the Canberra knitters group - stitch and bitch - and I feel like I've discovered a whole new world of fantastic blogs, great people and a wonderful opportunity to get out and about without the kids for some crafty time, good conversation and a nice cuppa. And in other knitting news last night I finally finished the increase section of the clappy so am onto the straight repeats now and WOW the Bamboozle is so much easier to drop than the mohair! A big thanks to avalonne for trading me the rest of her Bamboozle - I'm not stressed about running out of yarn now!
To overcome this issue I've got a few strategies....
1 - Buying less. I have been a single parent for more than a year now and yet I still shop as though there are 2 adults and 2 children in my house. I know that I'm only minus one adult but when it's a big-eating, hard working man it does make a fairly big difference. I'm trying to lose some weight too so reducing the amount of food we bring into the house should help with this.
2 - Cooking less. Along the same vein as the above issue I still seem to think that I'm feeding more than I really am. I'm especially bad in this area with rice, pasta and veges that go with dinner. I've got a guide now as to general portion sizes which I know I've been going above and beyond.
3 - Leftovers. Hopefully the above two strategies will reduce the amount of food that is leftover but instead of keeping leftovers in the fridge with the best intentions of eating them for lunch the next day I will start putting them in the freezer straight away where they can be pulled out for FDC lunches for Charlotte.
4 - Less trips to the shops. I am reknown for ducking up to the shops for milk and coming back with at least $50 worth of groceries - maybe only half of which I actually need. This brings me to another issue which I have been pondering - need vs want. Sounds simple? I know it is but I'm good at convincing myself I NEED things when really I only WANT them. Back to the topic at hand... I do a menu plan but am not so good at sticking to it - especially if I get a craving for something in particular. So to reduce our consumption and in turn waste I WILL stick to the menu plan.
I'm not going into this challenge alone.... Oh no..... Thanks to Eilleens blog I've discovered love food - hate waste which has great ideas for leftovers, keeping food fresher for longer and portion sizes. I've also been frequenting destitute gourmet which has some super yummy recipes. tiKKi's mash potato cake which I've previously blogged has also become a frequent favourite and the other night when I had LOADS of mash left over I actually froze the mash in 1/2 cup quantities - just enough for another cake. I'm hoping less food = less waste = more cash as well but we'll see what happens. A friend from uni is taking up a simliar challenge with her family so we'll be able to bounce ideas off each other as well.
And on the kidlet front... Izaak has finished for the term and has gotten a wonderful report card. He is assessed against his ILP (Individual Learning Plan) and although academic achievements haven't been as much as I'd hoped, socially he has made leaps and bounds so I'm over the moon!
Wednesday, June 25, 2008
Monday, June 23, 2008
Now it's just a case of waiting for the 4th of July when results are released and then I'm a free and easy woman until July 27 when classes start back!
On the knitting front... I met up with a friend and her newborn last week and felt rather guilty as I was the only one in our group of 4 friends who didn't have something to present to the new bub. So I came home and had a quick squizz through the stash and discovered a nice coloured but ordinary ball of acrylic which I had actually bagged up ready for Vinnies. Next stop - Rav for a suitable pattern which was quick, easy and didn't require much yarn - queue the Confection shrug took a few hours, no thought needed and looks really nice. I can't find the charger for the camera so no piccies tonight but all in all a very productive day - finished the semester at uni, made a newborn gift for baby Hazel, caught up with a friend for coffee and had dinner with mum and dad.
Whew! After all that I need a good lay down....
Sunday, June 22, 2008
The exam is in approximately 12 hours, I am hopelessly unprepared and I'm sitting here blogging, reading, browsing, watching telly and cleaning the house. Why? I have completed my mental health unit and so I'm pretty sure it's called 'avoidance' but I just can't seem to make myself get into it. Tomorrow is multiple choice and case studies but it's a HUGE subject. In 12 weeks we have covered - aetiology, pathophysiology, pharmacology and nursing interventions for...
Respiratory - asthma, chronic bronchitis, COPD, emphysema
Cardiovascular - angina, athlerosclerosis (I still can't spell/say it!), infarct,
Oncology, Haematology and Immunology - cancer, haemophilia, anaemia
Endocrine - diabetes, thyroid disorders
Gastrointestinal - small bowel obstruction, large bowel obstruction
Nervous - MS
Operative care - analgesia, anasthetic
I can see now why I just feel like it's too big a mountain to climb. I figure that what I know now is what I now and I'm just going to hope and pray that it's enough to get me through this exam, this subject, this semester. It's also more important because this is the subject that is linked to my practical placement so if I fail this subject I will have to repeat it and that will put me back a whole year in my degree progession which I'm really hoping is not going to happen. Cross your fingers, toes, eyes - all bodily parts for me please.
A friend said to me the other day "P's get degrees" - I'm hoping that will be the case for me!
Saturday, June 21, 2008
BOOGIE IS FINISHED
To be honest, it took me about 4 days of actually knitting time to get it done but another 3 weeks of undoing, redoing, undoing, redoing, you get the picture. Anyway, she's done now and ready to be shown off at SnB on Tuesday.
Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Izaak has had Mrs Toone as his teachers aide for 2 years now and she has gone well above and beyond her job description with my little man. She knows his love of movies so last school holidays actually dragged her husband along to the movies to see Bee Movie so that she would be aware of the characters, plots etc for when he came back to school. She brings in her personal resources (books, videos etc) for him frequently. She is just lovely. Middle aged with grown up children of her own she just loves him and the feeling is mutul.
Anyhow, I digress. Today I caught up with her and was chatting away when she told me that she and her husband are going overseas. For a month. To Europe. They will travel from Australia to Germany, through Italy and France, over to Ireland and Scotland then through Britain on their way home. She loves history and so while the trip is for her husbands work she will be going to see Troy, the replica trojan horse etc etc. So I was thinking it would be nice to make her something to take with her. I'm thinking of Clapotis given that I've only got about 8 weeks and I've still got exams and school holidays which means I won't get that much knitting time.
I got home and realised I've dyed yarn before but always 100% wool. Layette is 20% cotton, 80% bamboo so I'm not sure how to go about getting some colour in there. Off to investigate...
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Friday, June 13, 2008
Oh and I was moving some furniture last night and guess what I discovered BEHIND the TV unit? Yep - the keys that went missing about a month ago!! At least now I've got a spare :-)
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Monday, June 9, 2008
Sunday, June 8, 2008
Complete with bikes, scooters, a mountain of food, drinks and toys we settled in for the afternoon. The weather was quite nice although a little chilly when the wind blew but it was a glorious Canberra winter day. The kids fed the ducks and then we had some swans come over and Izaak even managed to hand feed them which of course was just fantastic as far as he was concerned. The kids had a go and scooting and riding. I can't believe Charlotte is riding her big bike so well and is only just two and a half! Of course there was the obligatory wrestling match with granddad and being winter, throwing of the massive amounts of leaves at each other was also a must! I was feeling lucky, very lucky and attempted (which by now I should know better!) to get a piccie of my two together. I must add that pictures (*decent* ones I might add!) of my two children together are a rare event. So what happens when you get the two ferals who have been tearing around the park for a few hours together and ask them for a nice photo of them? See below for the results....
We arrived at around 12ish and by 3pm we'd all had enough. It was starting to get really cold and everyone was starting to get tired and crabby. It was home time. But what happens when you mix lots of food and drink, playing, running, scooting, wrestling, leaf throwing, duck and swan feeding and general craziness with an autistic six year old? Why meditation of course!