Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Haven't Died. Have been to heaven.

Happy Birthday to me!
Well not for another 22 days officially but I've received a wonderful gift this evening. One of my best friends F, who is down in Brisbane from Cairns for a work related course, took me out to the Gold Class Cinema at Indooroopilly for a special preview screening of Julie and Julia. As if that wasn't good enough in itself There. Were. Party. Bags. and free drinks and a free appetiser. Of course we both needed a serious de-briefing after the movie because it was fantastic so we had "supper" down at the Pig and Whistle.
There was so much to talk about that I seriously need that week in Cairns with F (yes that where E and I are headed in November!) Without giving out too much information we NEED to cook Boeuf Bourginonne while I am in Cairns. We were wondering if this was the first movie with a blog as part of the central plot. We think blogs have no doubt been mentioned on many shows and in movies but not central to anything.
We also talked about this blog and I shared how sometimes it is a challenge to think of the positive in my life which is what this blog is all about hence the title "What Works For Me" but how the very act of thinking of the positive is a good thing in itself. That is especially true now as I am in such a period of transition and change in my life. It is easy to become overwhelmed by the changes and forget the positives.
We discussed who might be reading this blog. I have it in my e-mail signature although not in flashing lights or anything but it goes out with almost every e-mail I send.
So if you are a reader please think about identifying yourself if you are comfortable with that. You could do it publicly in the comments or send me an e-mail at .
Either way I'd love to hear from you. I don't have Google analytics or anything very technical on my blog to track who's visiting although F might introduce me to that while I'm in Cairns. So if you area reader and you don't want to be identified you won't. So don't be worried or anything. I'm just interested.

Sunday, September 27, 2009


Some readers may know that A's Mum had a fall last year and broke her hip. Unfortunately she had another fall on Friday at the casino and has sustained another slight fracture at the top of the hip joint which the the doctor says will not require surgery but needs some extended "rest time". She has been in hospital for a couple of nights now and will remain there until the drs decide what to do with her based on two sets of x-rays. The boys went to see her with A yesterday morning and A went back tonight and was there when the doctor came around so that was good timing. She really likes her independence and her trips to the movies and the club and the casino so I don't think she'll take kindly to being cooped up for too long!
I've had a bit of time away from the family over the weekend especially yesterday. A hasn't had any time off work these holidays and it has been pretty full on with the two boys plus assorted visitors so yesterday morning I took myself off to knitting group at Threads and More (who are now blogging). It seems to have re-ignited my knitting mojo and I've been going hard at it since yesterday. There's a few more squares and rectangles needed before I can start putting together my patchwork top but I am well over half way there so I tipped out my knitting bag to take a picture of all the colours. I'm loving the Noro yarn - as well as changing colour every so often as I knit it is made a blend of 45% silk, 45% kid mohair and 10% lamb's wool so it feels just delicious!
Then yesterday afternoon I took advantage of the fact that Bowls was not on (for the first week in ages) and I went to the movies to see a "grown-up movie" (as opposed to G-Force which I took the boys and their cousin to and nearly fell asleep in). I saw the remake of "Fame" and I quite enjoyed it. It had good messages about following your dreams and accepting the obstacles that come up in your pursuit of dreams. Life may not always go as planned but you find a way to deal with it and just keep on going. There were some great songs in it and I walked out wanting to buy the soundtrack CD. That hasn't happened since Bridget Jones!
The dust storms, dryness and high winds have played havoc with my sinuses for th past few days especially today so it has been a quiet day inside for me today - in bed this morning with a bad sinus headache and wielding my "knitting sticks" again this afternoon. The dust seems to have settled (literally) for now so it looks like tomorrow could involve some cleaning projects. The boys will become well practiced at washing my car because they did it last Sunday before the dust storms hit!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Don't Waste A Day

We've just received news that my cousin's husband who was only 50 years old and in relatively good health has passed away at midday today from swine flu in Vietnam where he was working. We don't see all that much of that side of the family but in the 25 years or so that he's been a part of our extended family he was always a really nice, friendly guy with a good sense of humour. It is such a great loss and such a great shock for it all to have gone downhill so quickly. He leaves behind his wife (my cousin) of about 25 years and his son who would be in his early twenties. I simply can't imagine how they are dealing with all of this. At least they were able to be with him in Vietnam when he passed.
I guess it shows us that no one is immune to disaster and we never know what is around the corner. All our days on this Earth are precious and should have some purpose. I think that is something I can take from this tragedy - never waste a day because you don't know what is around the corner.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Still Stitching

I finished my Christmas Ornament for September on Saturday night with some serious beading withe seriously thin needle but I am very happy with the results. Just the finishing to be done now. And today I received the first of my birthday exchange parcels from Jenny - a beautiful beaded Christmas ornament! There is a lot of bling going on around here!

I'm Going on a Little Holiday

This is where E and I are going for a week in November. Dh booked our plane tickets today. Squeeeeeeee! D hasn't been left out on purpose - he didn't want to miss Prep and his best friend! So I wonder how many readers can tell where we are headed?
One more hint - we will be visiting one of my best friends in the world!

Menu Plan Monday September 21

Monday - Beef Strognaoff in slow cooker - I wasn't entirely happy with this. I've misplaced my slow cooker book and I used a recipe off the net from the Sunbeam site but it was for a larger quantity and it just tasted a bit too bland for my liking
Tuesday - Spaghetti Bolognaise - my 4 year old nephew is sleeping over and I know he likes his "psketti"
Wednesday - Chicken Fried Rice - just with D because E is having a sleepover so that I can take D shopping the next day with his birthday money and without the "advice" of his big brother who would not be able to stop himself giving said advice.
Thursday - I'll be having a caramelised pork salad from my favourite Vietnamese place at Indooroopilly and boys will have take away something
Friday - Roasted Pork Fillet with Plum Sauce
Saturday - Green Chicken Curry
For my lunches - Brown Lentil Salad with Tuna and Olives - hopefully I'll get this made for lunch tomorrow
For Snacks - Weight Watchers Mars Bar Slice - which is a "no bake" recipe ideal for the heatwave we are having

The Deep End

I think I will be watching a lot of this during the coming summer. My boys like to go in the slide pool where D hurtles down like a bullet and E glides gracefully down as slowly as possible. But what they love most of all is the deep end of the pool and jumping off the blocks. And today I allowed D to do it without me physically in the water with him for the first time. He does a very frantic dog paddle to get to the side (so much for the swimming lessons) but he makes it and he is so proud of himself, giving me a big thumbs up sign every time he climbs out of the pool. He then went on to his lessons today where he performed really well after I bribed him with more "slide pool time". He gets so excited at swimming lessons that he has terrible difficulty staying on the step when it isn't is his turn and he wasn't listening to his teacher or trying to follow her instructions very well.
I should mention here that E is always beautifully behaved and is doing very well. he's got good technique but not much speed. However in a couple of weeks when his lesson moves to the big pool I expect he will develop more stamina.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Week That Was September 19

When I look at my iCal page for the week it is bristling with appointments and things scheduled but I certainly didn't get to all of it. I did get to the medical appointments but not to the gym or Weight Watchers. I did make a big effort though to get things done here at home so that I can enjoys the two week school holidays with the boys and so that I am on the way to being organised for life as a relief teacher which begins in two weeks.
I've also been enjoying some individual time with Eric as we plowed through Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets. I was reading him a chapter a night but he's now finished on his own and I have to finish it myself tonight before we start tomorrow on HP and the Prisoner of Azkaban. We also did some craft together this afternoon. I suppose it isn't the most manly thing to be doing - ripping up floral rice paper and gluing it to a ceramic jug and bowl set but it is good for his fine motor skills!
I'm having sleep issues which are making my mornings extremely difficult but I'll be working on getting a good routine going during the holidays.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Planning for the School Holidays

I've got less than a week before my boys are home with me for two weeks and I've decided not to just let this holiday flow past and then regret the things I could have done with them. So this afternoon we had a little brainstorming session, I did some web surfing and we had another ideas session. We've come up with three lists:
  • Things to do at home
  • People we'd like to see
  • Places to go
We certainly won't do everything on the lists but it gives us more than enough ideas to go on with and we can have some of our days planned which gives us something to look forward to.
To share some of our lists:

Things to do at home
People to see
  • Nephew coming for a sleep over
  • Friends to catch up with who are not necessarily school friends
  • Some school friends
Places to go

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Happy Times

Here I am with the gorgeous flower girl!

I'm just home from the wedding of my godson Matthew to his beautiful Amanda. We decided not to take the boys as they are not really of the right age to appreciate weddings and it meant we had a nice relaxed time and were able to enjoy our niece and nephews. My niece was the flower girl and of course she was absolutely gorgeous. She is turning into a very poised young lady at the ripe old age of 7.

A Little Adventure (and Misadventure!)

One thing that fascinates my boys is bridges. They like looking at the view from them, from underneath them and from all angles really and since a new bridge has been built over the Western freeway linking ANZAC Park with the Mt Coot-tha Botanic Gardens they've itching to get onto it. It is a cycle and pedestrian bridge and we drive underneath it every day on our way home from school. I went looking for it's name only to find that it has been called the "Toowong Cycle and Pedestrian Overpass" (not very exciting considering the names of other bridges in Brisbane. Below is a video of what it looks like to ride over it.

Yesterday the boys packed their scooters into my car in the morning so that after school we could go to the park and ride over the bridge. We actually ventured further into the Botanic Gardens (Eric insists that they are the "BOWtanic Gardens") the check out the exact location for my godson's wedding which was today. We've decided that further exploration of the Gardens is needed during the upcoming holidays and set out to scooter (or trudge in my case) back over the bridge to the car again.
Poor old Dan "lost control" coming around one of the bends on the ANZAC Park side and had a crash. He got off lightly with just a few grazes but fortunately his "damaged" arm was better after a band-aid.
In all it was a good solid hour of walking for me which is just what I need so I'll have to think up some more little after school and holiday adventures.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Talking It All Over

It is a bit lonely being home, alone and unsupervised for days on end but on Thursday I spent time with two different friends talking about life, work, weight, housework and lots of other issues in between. One of the things I miss most about school is having the chance to have a good chat to other adults each day and being able to bounce things off people so Thursday was great. I've really clarified for myself where I am heading on my journey to better health and well-being as long as all the other things I need to do as a wife and mother.
I've set a goal at Weight Watchers to lose 5kg by December 3 and I think that if I can achieve that it will give me the forward momentum to keep on losing weight. I'd like to lose more than 5kg by then but that is the minimum.
Three main things I'm going to do to achieve this are:
Finding my 30 minutes - I can really relate to the ad campaign about finding 30 minutes a day to exercise. Contours is 5 minutes away and it takes 30 minutes so there is really no reason why I can't go there 6 days a week but we've set 3-5 days as a minimum for that.
Tracking my food intake - I use e-tools on the Weight Watchers site so I can do this quickly and easily each day - so there is no real excuse for not doing it. I'm actually putting it into a word document and printing it out to take to my meeting next week for added accountability.
Planning my meals - I made a pork casserole in the crock pot on Tuesday before I took the boys to swimming lessons and came home to find A with pizzas because "he didn't know I was going to cook" (I always ring him if I'm not going to manage dinner). He then announced that he didn't like the look of the pork casserole so it is still sitting there.

Edited later to add:
After I'd stormed out of the kitchen A did have the sense to divide up the pork casserole into containers and freeze it so when I got back from yesterday afternoon's adventure with the boys I had a packet of 90 second brown rice and my pork casserole for a nice healthy dinner.