Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Week That Was October 31

I think the "moral of my story" at the moment is that I need more structure in my days because I haven't got much done at all this week. I worked one day and drifted through the rest. Yesterday I had a routine dr's visit and was offered a swine flu vaccination so I decided to have it. I had a really sore arm last night and today I have had a few flu-like symptoms but I'm keeping up the fluids and trying to take it easy.
Of course, throw Halloween into the mix and I was creating two very "last minute" costumes this afternoon. We have a family in our street who come from Canada so they organised trick or treating for the street. The boys have a nice haul of lollies and we're having a late dinner. We're lucky to live in a very friendly street where we know a lot of our neighbours.
Tomorrow is a Pentathlon for Eric and in the afternoon he is going to a Sacramental workshop in the afternoon. Anthony is taking him to the work shop so that I can go to my once a month knitting group. I'm really looking forward to it.

Friday, October 30, 2009


A friend wrote on her blog today about things that she is thankful for or "blessings" and she was able to add some photos. What a great idea! This has inspired me to take more photos of everyday things and to "count my blessings" at the end of the day especially on a day like today when not much has gone right!
So no photos today because it is 10:27pm as I write this (after a Little Athletics meeting that ran LATE) but the following is what I am grateful for tonight:
  • My sore left arm because it means I've been vaccinated and am now safe from swine flu
  • The little boy curled up on the bed behind me watching his favourite Scooby Doo cartoons - his Prep class did an assembly item today about all the LetterLand characters they have learned this year and it was excellent!
  • The wonderful teacher that Prep boy has this year.
  • The other, almost 9 year old boy who has already passed out in his own bed and his wonderful love for reading. He's up to the 4th book in the Harry Potter series and just can't put it down. He was in the athletics clubhouse reading when it was time for his 400m tonight!
  • The Wii Fit because it meant I could squeeze in 15 minutes of exercise this afternoon even though I didn't make it to the gym.
  • The help that I get with recording at Little Athletics. I was really frazzled when I got there tonight because we were running late, I've mislaid the age patches that I'd ordered in the mail and the boys couldn't find their gear to put on but once I'd been there for about half an hour and had a chat to few people, registered some new athletes and started recording sprint times everything felt much better.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Learning in Communities

I've scored a couple of days work relief teaching. I did a day on Friday and I'm doing another day tomorrow. It isn't a lot but it is a start and I'm hoping to get my foot in a few doors.
In the meantime, I've been on another learning journey altogether. When I was a child we were taught to knit. We made coathanger covers out of horrible nylon yarn using metal needles. I think my sister was more successful than me and she went on to teach herself how to crochet but I just had that bit of knitting experience.
Since then I've taught myself to cross stitch and I've become reasonably skilled in that medium. I started going to Threads and More when they opened their store in Sherwood and doing cross stitch but the siren call of the beautiful yarns and materials they have there worked its magic and soon I was signing up for my first knitting class. I've done a couple of classes since then (last year) and alternated knitting with cross stitching.
I've learned and in some cases re-learned:
  • cable cast on
  • cast off
  • plain knitting
  • purl knitting
  • stocking stitch
  • moss stitch
  • knitting into the side of a knitted piece
  • changing colours
  • weaving in ends
  • assembling a garment
  • knitting "in the round"
I've made a garter stitch geometric blanket, a patchwork Noro top, a face cloth, a hand towel amd I'm currently working on the bath bag. And it has all been a pretty painless process. So what contributed to this being such a positive learning experience? And can this be replicated in schools?
Learning environment - I can go and do a class or participate in one of the social groups that meet at the store. There's good coffee on hand and the staff and fellow knitters are always friendly and helpful.
Just in time learning - I can ask a question almost any time. I've waited till Saturday morning but I've also dropped into the store during the week and there is always someone who can point me in the right direction. If I really can't wait I've been pointed to the Ravelry community which is like Face Book for knitters.
Encouragement for new ideas - there are lots of different people doing lots of different things and they are all willing to share what they are doing or what they have learned.
Empathy when mistakes are made - everyone has ripped things out and tried again and apparently I am becoming a "real knitter" if I can do so.
I'm eagerly anticipating new learning and thinking about how I might pass it on to others. I might teach Eric to knit but he'll have to tie his shoelaces first!

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


What Works for Me this week is trying to be patient but it isn't working all of the time.
Ok, I've had my time at home and now I'd like to split my time before home and school but I need ot have some schools ring up to ask me to work. I've mainly been hanging around at home, procrastinating about doing housework and not making too many plans for the day. Now, I'm thinking that if Murphy's Law is in effect I should plan some things for next week, especially my birthday! and then I'll be called into work.
I've got my bag of tricks packed up, a work outfit picked out ready to go and I am ready but them the phone doesn't ring.
So I need a very definite "Plan B" to follow around here so that things get done. Who knows? I may havea sparkling house with all the laundry up to date by the time the Christmas Holidays come around. Or maybe not.
And while we're on the subject of earning money, feel free to click on my Google Ads or I may never be able to buy any yard for knitting ever again!

Thursday, October 8, 2009


I find the days much more enjoyable when I get to spend them with people so I was glad to connect with three different people for coffee at different parts of the day today as well as to spend some time outside school chatting with the other Mums. I've also finished a small knitting project which is the first in series of three. I've done the wash cloth and next comes the hand towel and the bath bag. They are knitted with Jo Sharp Desert Garden Aran Cotton which feels absolutely delightful. I've decided the housework can wait till tomorrow and I'm going to start the hand towel tonight while I'm on a roll. I bought a book today called The Complete Idiot's Guide to Overcoming Procrastination so maybe that will cure me!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Beginning of a Journey

I haven't got much today because I was cursed with a migraine once again so most of the day wasa write-off. Tonight A and I attended the first parent meeting for the Parish Sacramental Program. Eric will make his first Reconciliation in November this year and then receive his first Communion and Confirmation on June 6 next year. And so it begins. Tonight was a lot of information about upcoming meetings and some things to do with our children to get them more acclimatised to the Church, Prayer and Sacraments. We have been very slack with attending Mass and we really need to improve in that area. Luckily there are two really good Masses we can attend in the school parish so that is encouraging. The program leader advised making it more of an occasion by going out for coffee afterwards or going to visit friends etc. She also discussed many ideas for bringing prayer into the home - something we are sorely in need of. So this will be another project for me in the coming weeks. I'll leave you with the parent's prayer that we shared tonight because I think it applies to all parents, teachers and people who havea role in the lives of children.

Heavenly Father, make me a better parent. Teach me to understand my children, to listen patiently to what they have to say, and to answer all their questions kindly. Keep me from interrupting or contradicting them. Make me as courteous to them as I would have them be to me. May I never laugh at their mistakes, or resort to ridicule when they displease me. Bless me with the confidence to grant them all their reasonable requests and the courage to deny them privileges I know will do them harm. May I not rob them of the opportunity to think, to choose and to make decisions for themselves. Make me fair and just and kind. And fit me, O Lord, to be loved and respected and imitated by my children Cary C. Myers

Sunday, October 4, 2009

My Inner Sanctum

It has air conditioning, my desk and computer, the TV that has Foxtel IQ and my bed. It is also a big mess most of the time because it is the command centre for laundry and many other things. So when Rachel-Anne put out the challenge on her blog I knew I had to bit the bullet and have a go at it. Mind you, not all the mess is mine but we won't discuss here the stuff that dh dumps and the debris that two little boys can leave when they camp out on Mum and Dad's bed to watch Scooby Doo or Pokemon episodes.
The photos don't show a good deal of progress however I have:
  • coralled all the clean laundry in one spot and all the dirty laundry to another
  • packed a bag with some resources for use at a school if I get called in tomorrow
  • hung up an outfit to wear if I work tomorrow
  • Put out gym gear to wear if I don't work tomorrow
  • Piled all the papers on one spot on the desk so I can deal with them in an orderly fashion
  • Put away two gorgeous knitted pieces I managed to pick up this afternoon (They were selling off samples that they no longer have the yarn for and they were $20 each or 3 for $50 so I picked up a jumper for a friend's baby and a couple of pieces for myself.)
This hopefully gives me enough peace to have a good night's sleep so I can deal with the great unknown of tomorrow.

Menu Plan Monday October 5

Time to get into a good routine this week so I've planned the meals and written a shopping list and I'm going to stick to it as much as possible.
Monday - Sausages for boys, frozen casserole for me
Tuesday - Corny Chili - probably cooked on Monday night as it is only 3 hours in slow cooker then re-heat Tuesday night
Wednesday - Grilled chicken with salsa verde - from WW magazine
Thursday - Take Away - I'll be having my usual Vietnamese Salad
Friday - Little Athletics - some sort of substantial snack for myself and boys in the afternoon then a hamburger during the meet if I'm lucky!
Saturday - Mexican Chicken tortilla wraps - from WW magazine
Baking - Chocolate Wheaties Biscuits (cookies for my American readers!) I'm working my way through two little cupcake and cookie books I got from the goodie bag at the movies last Wednesday night.
Apricot Cake - from the WW magazine again so I have a healthy option for school lunches.
If I am super organised I might be able to post a picture of something I cook!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

A Slow Week

I think the highlights of this week were mainly today!
(Aside from the super awesome Gold Class movie experience on Wednesday night!) We had a slow sort of week for the second week of the school holidays, pottering around the house and not getting much done at all. But in brighter news I have re-discovered my knitting mojo and I've been knitting up a storm in order to finish my Noro patchwork top.
This morning I did a knitting class at Threads and More and learned about the fine of art of putting knitting pieces together. I've sewn up 5 out of 14 sections of one side of the top and I've got 2 1/2 sections to finish knitting before I can assemble the second side. The pieces go every which way as they are joined together so it makes an interesting effect. It would take one good knitting night to get the knitting finished but for the sewing and weaving in of loose ends I'll need some time where I can sit at a table. If I don't get much work this week who knows what could happen! So knitting class was a highlight and tomorrow I'm going to a social knitting group where I might be finishing my top or starting a face washer (wash cloth) knitted in scrumptious cotton yard in teal and cream. That will be the first highlight of next week.
The other high point was this afternoon's Little Athletics meeting which was my first as Chief Recorder in addition to being Registrar. I was kept very busy all afternoon and we got nearly everything right. I just forgot to write times on one lot of 800m tickets but they'll live. One of the new parents was my assistant and we had a great time chatting in between recording times and registering people. I have met some of the nicest people I know at Little Athletics. The boys did alright at their events but they are still getting into the swing of things for the new season. E did his very first 800m this afternoon and ran 3:58.3 min which puts him at red level which is the second achievement level for his age group. I think he goes well over a long distance and if I were to attempt anything similar I'd need an ambulance to be called!

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Just call me the human pin cushion

I started having regular massages about three years ago. I haven't been every two weeks for the past three years but I find that life is so much better when I stick to the two week regime. I've had a couple of cases of whiplash in my time and my neck will never ever be quite the same. But the massage keeps everything moving comfortably just like oiling the joints of a machine.
After enduring almost two years of treatment for infertility in order to have my beautiful boys I was not keen on the idea of needles/acupuncture and I told them that when I first started having massages. However I was talked into it and the result speak for themselves. Tonight I've had treatment for my sinuses and associated headaches and they feel clearer already. If you'd asked me three year ago whether I'd care to volunteer to have needles stuck in various parts of my face I would have told you where to go. But it works. I can walk into that clinic, tell my massage therapist what is going on in my life and he can do something about it. It is mostly covered by our private health insurance and the out of pocket expense is worth it. So even with my income about to becoem more precarious for the near future this is one expense I'm going to keep on having because being able to move and feel comfortable in your own body is just essential.