of sunshine

It’s hard to beat really! We have had so much rain this winter … we’re tracking with the average over the last two years up to date but it’s been constant and there has been little wind to dry it up so everything is just so soggy …. but today we have 15or so degs C at present with a light breeze – perfect for starting to dry out the ground so Mr Tasmania can get into the mowing this arvo (he’s already been around the boundaries with weed killer [we have 5 acres remember] and is now brushcutting all the edges. Also perfect for the 3 loads of washing I reckon I have – first one done and out (sheets and towels, can’t beat that beautiful sun drying, I hate having things on the rack or in the dryer, it just doesn’t smell the same!), second load on.

I’m also working my way around the house doing all the ‘ends’ of jobs – things that are lying around with just one step or two steps needed to get them tidied up and out of the way – this will clear the decks for the big jobs … which include cleaning the oven … I’m not procrastinating, I just hate that job SO much that I really do need to have literally everything else done in the house before I can make myself do it. I’d actually almost pay someone to come do it I detest it so much!

Hoping your day is wonderful!

of getting on with it and looking after ourselves

I’m trying to look after myself a bit more this week – rather than do all the stuff that needs to be done (albeit very slowly as the back is still a major issue) and then trying to stuff some relaxing time in there and feeling guilty I’m actually really making a decision to let a few things slide and get to them when I can.

I’m also managing to stop Mr Tasmania doing them as well – he’s supposed to be on school holidays and, aside from some time at the weekend when we actually went down to the shack and relaxed a bit, he’s gone like the clappers for the last week and a half. I really do appreciate all the work he’s been doing to make my life easier at the moment, but when you add that to the work he’s wanted to do, the jobs he’s had on his list, the schoolwork/assignment work he’s been doing (they have a new principal coming this term and he’s having to organise new timetables, teacher loads, etc etc etc), he’s not left much time to relax in there. At least today he’s relaxing .. sort of .. he’s taken off with a mate to drive a couple of hours to the West Coast of Tassie and then ride on their 4 wheeler motorbikes (known as quad bikes here) to the Pieman Heads .. and then back again by tonight! They’ll have fun but they’ll be absolutely cactus by the time they get back!

Anyway, I’ve bought 3 DVD’s (haven’t watched them yet though!) – The Avengers, One for the Money, and the Bourne Identity (yes, my viewing is eclectic), and also today picked up the new Terry Pratchett (Dodger), and another Kerry Greenwood (Heavenly Pleasures) which I’m looking forward to getting into! I’ve also realised how close the end of the year is – the new calendars are out and, instead of doing my usual inspecting and pondering practice, I bought one! It was the last one of it’s type and too nice to pass up J. Also bought the first Christmas present – book for my nephew – he’s really reading heaps so hopefully he’ll like it! We’re not travelling home this Christmas so they’ll all be getting gift cards but this is just a bonus ‘cause I saw it and thought he’d like it – I’m sure they’ll all end up with presents like that before I’m finished!

Still gradually unpacking the books into the book cases – ironic that when I FINALLY get the massive book cases my back is bung and I can’t fling myself into piling the books in at speed … but probably a blessing in disguise as I’m going through them and actually clearing some out (well, 7 or 8 so far .. but that’s good I think!!!!). The other down side (I prefer to think of it as a shopping opportunity though so it’s really an up side!) is that I’m finding all my series and finding out what books are missing … methinks I will have to be a good girl and jump onto a book website and see what I can pick up second hand rather than just leaping into the closest book shop – much my preferred option, I absolutely LOVE browsing in a bookshop but sometimes the budget must be thought of first!

of bookshelves, finally

Bookshelves in study/library were installed today hooray! The books in the before pics are not the half of it, I have quite a number of crates sitting out in the shed … guess what I”m doing for the rest of the afternoon on my flex day? Hooray!!!! 🙂

Before part 1

Before part 2

During

After!

Now for the fun part!!! 🙂

of updating, yet again (I will do better I promise, and stop being a lurker but become a contributor again!)

(I wrote this on Thursday)
So what’s new with me?

Well… spring has sprung and the flowers are out and looking fabulous … which also brings into view the amount of weeding and work in the garden that needs doing – argh!

Mr Tasmania is holding on by the skin of his teeth to make it to the end of term 2, the winter term, the last time he’ll work through a term this long as Tasmania finally goes (like the rest of the country) to a 4 term school year from next year. He has a list a mile long of things to get done during his two weeks off, not least of which is finishing off the welding of our new front gates,which he has been working on for a number of months now. Once welded they go off to be sandblasted and undercoated (dipped) and then we get out the bright red paint – yay!

We start the holidays (his, not mine, I’m still at work) with a wedding in Hobart Saturday afternoon – school teachers of course – which should be lovely – could live without the 4 hour drive but oh well, at least we’ve got a place to stay for free and a wedding is always nice. [as it turns out, I didn’t go, my back problems meant that I decided I couldn’t sit for the four hour drive up and then back].

Monday we have our bookshelves installed … which may not sound exciting but it is a 6.5 metre long bookshelf, just over 2 metres high, that will run the whole length of our study/library … and will mean that all my books, for the first time in my life, will be in the one place! Currently they are in crates in the shed, on random temporary bookshelves in the study, in piles on the floor of the study, and scattered all over the house in little random piles. CAN NOT WAIT!

Mr Tas has had an extraordinarily busy term and is in great need of some time off, usually at this time of year he heads off for a week at Byron Bay with some mates however this year he has decided that he has too much to do here – and he is also staying to keep me company which is lovely – due to the back issues I can’t walk the dog at present, and need someone for back massage duties (our house has a constant smell of liniment at the mo’).

I’ve been having a very bad go with my back, since before Easter, and in the last week or two have been barely able to walk and have spent some nights propped up with 6 or so pillows on the couch as I have not been able to sleep lying down. After much time on various painkillers and lots of physio things have still continued to deteriorate. I’m doing my exercises at the hydrotherapy centre as I can’t do them on land and got the results of my CT scan yesterday – bulgy disks, slightly degenerated, and some osteoarthritis – not very nice to hear at 41!!!!

Anyway, we now have an anti-inflammatory that my system will tolerate (food intolerances make taking anything a fraught process!) and hopefully I’ll be able to do the exercises more often, build up the muscles, and get some relief from all this. It’s been very very tiring and very very wearing, and Mr Tasmania is a champion.

of remembrances

It’s ANZAC Day today, in Australia, New Zealand, and on the Gallipoli Peninsula and various parts of the world Australians and New Zealanders (and Turks) are gathering to remember and honour the legendary ANZACS.

It is not a remembrance of war – it is a remembrance of those who died fighting for their families and friends, and a hope that all war will cease and a better way be found.

I haven’t been to an ANZAC Day service since my grandfather died, I find it too hard, I’ve always found them very emotional, even as a kid, but I loved going to the dawn services – the last post sends chills in the half light …

of dramas

I’ve been bashed up by the physio again today, in the ongoing (for about 2 months now) saga of my stupid back – the muscles down my spine are locking up in a seriously dramatic fashion and putting strain on the lower back in a very painful fashion – and it’s all a bit of a vicious circle! You know you’ve got locked solid muscles when the very muscular physio is practically bouncing as he tries to get his thumbs to make a dent in them! Still, bashed up I may be, but it does feel better – in a weirdly masochistic way!

Prayers, if you will, are humbly requested for my sister in law, who is one of the most positive women I know … after successfully fighting breast cancer last year she went in this morning and had the tissue under one arm and a breast taken – she only saw the specialist last week (trust me, in Tasm*nia that is SERIOUSLY quick surgery!). To give you an idea of the fighting joyful spirit of the woman, I turned up to work this morning to find an email she sent me last night – wondering if she’d be charged half price on mammograms now! A-MA-ZING! She’s inspirational!

Prayers also for my youngest brother and his wife – he’s still battling to find a good job (he’s had lots of bits of jobs since September but none have really worked out as a good long term prospect for him) and she has taken the big step of leaving the salon she was working in and stepping out with another girl to start their own hairdressing salon. I think it’s going to be awesome and have already told them to book me in for July when I’ll be home – she used to do my hair when I lived in NSW and I’m so excited for her!

Prayers also for one of my oldest and dearest friends, who has just seen her last, single, Christian friend married – she’s one of four kids, one brother married two years ago, her father was killed in a freak accident not long after, and her twin sister married last year … and she’s battling with trying to accept that she has a good life and will have a good life on her own. She’s an amazing woman, one of a number of my friends that I cry over as they are so deserving of what I’ve found with Mr Tasmania, and I would just ask, if you are so inclined, that you might bend a kind thought in her direction.

Sorry to dump that on you all 🙂 – we’ve been together for a number of years now and it’s nice to be in a praying thoughtful community – especially nice to know that even thought I’m literally on the other side of the world from most of you that we have a spiritual connection that sees no distance.

of luck of the draw!

I’ve just won two tickets to see the Melbourne Opera perform Carmen at the local Civic Centre! I wouldn’t have won them if Mr Tasmania hadn’t insisted, at 6.00am in the morning, that we ring in to the local ABC Radio quiz.

Question: On the anniversary of Bram Stoker’s death 100 years ago, who was the arch nemesis of his most famous character, Drakula?

Answer: Well, I knew it, do you? WITHOUT googling please 🙂

Anyhoo, will phone the mother in law a little later (she’s a later sleeper!) and see if she wants to go – if not, another friend will come. Mr Tasmania has informed me that he won’t go ’cause when he went to see Cats in Melbourne he fell asleep …. hilarious!

of extended summers

I’ve just planted out another daisy along the edge of the driveway garden as well as some pink nerines that mum/dad scavenged the forestry yesterday – they’re currently out possibly buying a slippery dip at a garage sale and then going to dig up the agapanthus which some ‘kind’ gardener has dumped in the bush – my plan was to bring some of the agapanthus from the shack up to the garden here but I’d rather remove things from the bush where they don’t belong – two birds with one stone!

It’sa brilliant sunny day, quite hot, which is fabulous – usually it’s quite a deal colder than this already in a Tassie autumn, we’ve had SUCH a long summer, it’s been hot since early November, it’s wonderful! If only I didn’t think the flip side is going to be a spectacularly cold winter …..

oh well, guess I’ll have an opportunity to see if I still fit into all the jumpers I brought down here with me that I haven’t been cold enough to wear yet …. 🙂

of being a hunter gatherer (or super ingredient reader!)

Much as I try to makea lot of food from scratch I work full time, as does Mr Tasmania, we have large garden to maintain, and a dog to walk/ look after, so quick and easy (or from the freezer) is often the order of the day in the evenings for dinner.

Having fructose malabsorption and an allergy to dairy does not make the grabbing of quick and easy foodstuffs all that easy actually. I am constantly on the hunt for things I can eat that he will also like, the ready meals, the quick meals etc – I like to cook from scratch but honestly, sometimes I just can’t be bothered!

Today I had a victory! I have just made home made pizzas using a prepacked Pizza Crust, spotted in my local supermarket today (which means they’re new in ’cause I scope out new and possibly edible food items ad nauseum- I am an ingredient queen!). BEAUTIFUL tasting and, while I was waving the box at my husband, I realised that on the front, along with the ‘gluten free’ icon, it had a ‘fructose friendly’ icon! He said I should’ve noticed that first, I said I read ingredients not the front of boxes these days! And I’m really excited as 2 work colleagues and I are driving down to Hobart for training tomorrow (overnight stay, Hobart is 4 hours away,, we’ll leave after lunch – no passenger trains in Tassie!) and I will now have something to take with me to eat cold (love cold pizza!) if the lunch provided at training does not suit (they asked for dietary issues … I can only imagine what they’ve come up with!) – hooray!

This goes along with my experimentation which has led to the development of a taco powder which tastes exactly likethe bought powders but without the onion powder (a HUGE no no for me is the old onion!), so I’m expanding my repertoire of quick and easy and healthy – I know, tacos and pizza are healthy? Oh yes they are, depends what you put on / with them 🙂 and how many you eat – and when so many ‘healthy’ foods are essentially poison to me eg onion, apple,cabbage, wheat, pears, peaches, plums, asparagus, peas, artichokes etc etc etc need I go on, something like a soft cornflour tortilla filled with lovely lean mince, onion free spicy powder, and topped with avocado, tomato, lettuce, capsicum, andpossibly somegrated goats cheese is heavenly! 🙂

of gardening, days off, and lfie in general

We had a lovely weekend, did some stuff on Saturday, mainly around home (includng more weeding – my goodness we’ve had a weedy summer/autumn!), then Mr Tasmania headed off at 10pm (yes, that’s PM) to Penguin to join his school kids (and another two or three teachers – and half the district!) in the Rel*ay for Life, a walk for to raise money for breast cancer research; Luckily it was not as bitter a night as it had been on Friday however when he slid back into bed at 6.45am, after driving for half an hour with the heaters on full, he was still frozen! I stayed for a while but decided to leave him to it 🙂 … as he was tired before he did the night shift we had a quiet day yesterday (Sunday), including visiting friends for a chat, coffee and cake at a local cafe/garden (well, it was lunchtime, but he hadn’t arise until nearly 10.30!), then home to the papers and some lazing about. He’s at work today I’m on a flex, still not quite used to having days to myself, feel like I need to run around and work and work and work … so I’ve done a bit, including putting in some plants (baby bunching broccoli, silverbeet, cascading lobelia, ivy geranium, pansies, and something else that escapes me at the moment). I’ve also caught up (except for the birthday that falls today of one of the great – nephews) with card writing and present posting, and am even two weeks into April! I’ve swept the floors but the cleaning stuff and the recipes I want to do today are still sitting on the kitchen island .. I decided it was time to sit and watch a cooking show and do a little net surfing 🙂 …

I really am just hanging out for my Easter hols – 11 days off in a row, hallelujah! and the parents will be here too, they haven’t been down since Feb LAST year (though we have been up, so we haven’t been completely deserted) … will be great to hang out with them! … only 6 1/2 working days to go! (I’m not counting the 1 1/2 days of training in Hobart – that’s a road trip!).