Tuesday, October 2, 2012

On being a grown up

TheHusband has some leave this month. After working crazy hours (what, you've not heard me whine about this yet?) and crazy days, and going days without seeing me in sunshine, his job has changed. And he also has leave. How refreshing!

I have clients booked and a new one came to me for next year and I thought hey, we'll take a short holiday, combining the former with the latter. A few days in Queensland perhaps, sun surf and sand, hire a car and visit the grandparents and my parentals, and just chillax a little.

But then - reality hit. We are replacing/upgrading the kitchen in our house. What I designed was simple - 600mm 3-drawer cabinet, 900mm corner cabinet, 900mm straight cabinet, 900mm 3-drawer cabinet, maybe an infill if required, then the stove. Plus two end panels.

I used to do this for a living ;).

Oh and an 800mm wall cupboard with 2 end panels, and a 900mm wall cupboard with 2 end panels. Thus HUGELY increasing our benchspace, storage space and sanity for using our teeny kitchen.

So this is what I designed (A).
This is not what the company ordered (B).
What was ordered was also not what was delivered (C).
What we now needed to achieve The Plan (D).


So instead of spending yesterday ripping out the kitchen and installing bits of it, we spent 3 hours trying to work out A B and C above to achieve D. Which we did and were mighty cranky about.

Anyways, in deciding all of this I also realised that summer is upon us shortly. And while it is brief here, it is harsh and really we are going to want/need some kind of cooling system in our house. We have an old fashioned noisy, inefficient and ugly one. And it won't do much as one of the household members refuses to let it be put on as it's so noisy!

So instead of a trip, we're going to have a staycation, a night at a B&B and a new airconditioner.

Monday, September 10, 2012

In the garden

I just started to update my FB status with this:
Planted more this morning - squash pumpkins watermelon tomatoes sage basil rocket lettuce tomatoes basils to go with the radish chives and something else that are already going, the beetroots carrots sunflowers garlic spinach coriander rosemary and parsley already going in the ground out the back, the asparagus and rhubarb that are growing strong, the aloe and other medicinals, the peas going crazy over the side, and the orchard-in-progress out the front.
and realised it probably needed a blog post instead!

Gardening is not one of those things that comes easily to me I have to admit. Between a dodgy back, a string of rental properties in the past and other things on my mind, nurturing things and putting down roots has not been high on my list of things that I've done well.

So the fact that there are more than a dozen trees - mostly fruit but also a bay and some privacy trees - out front, and pots going with various plants that I've sprouted myself from cuttings, or free plants from people, or sad plants from the nursery that I've nursed back to health, makes me feel like this is Home. Which is ironic given that if TheHusband's job continues to be awesome, it is really not very sensible for us to live here. But in the meantime, we make compost and wait to see what grows out of it.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

For a Wednesday, it is surprisingly productive!

Yeah my plans for today were a week out of sync with reality, so I was suddenly faced with a free day. So here's a list of things to do:

  • go to supermarket and get something to slow cook for TheHusband for dinner (as I'm out!)
  • check out the quaint little nursery around the corner from supermarket
  • find rhubarb and asparagus
  • and a bay tree
  • and some medicinal herbs
  • order from Diggers
  • order from Pregnancy, Birth and Beyond
  • do some homework
  • update my business website
  • paint my toenails
  • get a chilli mocha
  • spray the shower with something to get the worst of the surprise orange mould off
  • go out for dinner with workmates
  • organise pickup of coffee table
  • organise collection of swing
  • organise collection of new bag
  • buy new shoes with voucher
  • buy Volley's
  • make quesedillas
  • call the electrician
  • washing
And a nap perhaps?

Monday, August 13, 2012

How is it mid-August already?

July FLEW by in a whirlwind of work, travel for conferences, and my first sleeps away from my baby girl. Who is not so much of a baby anymore but is still feeding a little. Yes, at 27 months the monster troubles that I had starting feeding her have not dented my commitment to breastfeeding. I feel like a secret agent for change when I offer her "bee boo"...

in public and continue with my latte-sipping, cake eating, life-living and life-giving adventures.

TheHusband is working stupid hours, so the past month has been full.on! He is doing 14 hours away ish most days, 1 week out of 5, 6 days a week. That means I do the wake-up, the morning, the midday, the nap, the afternoon, the dinner and the nighttime parenting and he misses out on it. I joke that I saw him once in the daylight last week (Saturday) - when I told a girlfriend that she laughed and said she'd seen more of him as she'd spied him *twice* on Saturday!

Hats off to single parents the world over. It is *hard* to run a house, run a family, work some, study and parent and keep sane. What falls down the list is me-things though, so I'm glad I fill my cup in a few ways:

  • Doing something for myself beforehand
  • Taking things REALLY slowly and leaving whole days unplanned, unfilled and unscheduled
  • Investing in a slow-cooker so I can put dinner on at 9am and ignore it for the day
  • Eating said-slow cooked meals over the whole week
That "something beforehand" was that I went to a breastfeeding conference on one weekend, and then the weekend after - I went away! I was meant to go to Hobart via Melbourne. Literally as I was boarding the plane I was informed that my flights were changed. Ok fine, that happens but I was not entirely thrilled with the 4+ hour layover in my home state's airport. I did not really plan for that so insisted on vouchers to spend on food. I had a laksa then an indulgent chocolate cake and coffee, killing time slowly doing some study. I then discovered that I was now going via Canberra, instead of the way I thought I was, which wasn't the issue - the getting in to Hobart at 9pm was though! So I missed the important part of the conference that I had planned to be at. That made me cranky/sad and tired.

I did get to meet the delicious Serendipity in Chaos though!!!! We had a total mutual stalking/appreciation club going on. I also re-met Kestrel from Bowl of Stones, who rocks in so many ways. It was an amazing weekend discussing homebirth and women and babies and birth and stuff and things. I also got to meet Rachel Reed of Midwife Thinking, of whom I am the biggest fan and who has re-instilled in me a love of the Welsh accent.

House wise - we are making great progress on the front yard. We now have 8 trees in, 4 more holes dug for something to screen and edge the front of our property, plans for a new path, a herb spiral and more fruit trees! Currently planted we have:

  • lemon
  • satsuma plum
  • blood plum
  • japanese mandarin
  • prune
  • peach
  • pear
  • something else
and we're going to put something deciduous in the front to give us a clear edge to our property and something else to look at other than the back of the houses across the road. 

In the backyard, the peas are going great guns, the beetroot and spinach are going well, the plot where the parsley, coriander and rosemary are was in need of a weed on the weekend because it's such a great spot for growing, and the ash is leafing at the moment!

Bring on Spring 22 September!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

In warming the cockles of my house/heart

We moved to the Adelaide Hills in January, which is summer over here in Australia. South Australian summers are brutal - days above 40C, weeks above 30C even overnight. Winter up here in the Hills though is cold! Not quite Canberra cold, or Alpine cold, or Tasmania cold but it is cold enough that in April we were struggling with keeping warm. In particular we indeed to keep the small child warm. She likes having pants off, and the house is up on stumps so the floors are cold. We looked into a few options and consistently came to the conclusion that putting in any heating was pointless without solving the heat loss issues that we have because of the huge windows we have in our lounge, dining area, and bedrooms. Anything that solves this problem is going to be $$$ though - quoted several thousand for curtains and pelmets, which also wouldn't fix the heating issue. The house has (well, had now!) an oil heater that burned fuel oil for heat. Not only did it stink, it also was a fire risk, a danger to anyone at that height, and it was f'ugly as sin. I pulled the mantel off it one weekend, and when TheHusband came home he went to work and cut the pipes and pulled it outside!! It was awesome and gave us an extra metre of space on the floor, and gave us another wall to it the couch of unusual length against. Ok so one thing down, now we were left with only a wall split system c1990. Noisy, inefficient and wasteful! Plus it needs to be said that it takes up a lot of the wall as well. Not ideal when we're trying to reduce our green footprint and again we needed to deal with heat loss as well as heat generation. So we did the only sensible thing and got a quote for double glazing. It is c-razy that it is not more common here in the Hills, and in Australia! It would make a huge difference to heating and cooling needs for so many people and I don't get how the family who previously owned our house coped with the cold. It is being installed on Thursday so I'm pretty excited about it all. We went with Magnetite as they were able and willing to come and quote, and custom make rather than only being able to give us what sizes were in stock. I'll let you know how it goes past Thursday. But for now I'll be very interested to feel the difference. I also did a lot of looking into heating options - a quote for ducted was a loss because we have insulation in the ceiling that does not leave enough room for the bits and pieces and ducting required. A new split system would be lots of money ($1200 times 3!), and other options were not much more appealing. I did consider using an off peak heat storage option but we're often not home for much of the day so it wouldn't suit our lifestyle too well. In the end we found eheaters - they draw a small wattage (400W) and them combined with a timer means we now have heaters for the house! They are not very big and are easy to install onto the wall. That with a new curtain hanging on the doorway and it's cuddly warm here today for the first time. And the double glazing isn't installed yet either! I have bought exciting new thermal unders the other day - Merino wool ones in fact. And have dug out my long socks, bought new shoes (lace up school shoe types) and knit a new host. I refuse to be cold this winter. Wish me lucky,

Sunday, May 6, 2012

On making soap

It's been a VERY long time between soap making adventures. I've lived here for 5 years and been with TheHusband for 7 years and I've not made soap in that time.

I haven't needed to buy soap though (though I do sometimes cause I love handmade soap!) because I used to make a lot of soap.

But on Friday I had some lovely women friends come over and watch me make soap. It was all kinds of fun! And I could feel that inner mental housekeeper walking into long-closed rooms, tossing aside the dusty curtains, pulling back the cover cloths from stylish furniture and saying words like "triglyceride" and "saponification" for the first time in a llloooooonnnnnnggggg time.

I also made a lotion. It was so easy and it is a gorgeous rose-scented one. I used a rose hydrosol though rather than essential oils and now I'm all an-itch to buy more essential oils and hydrosols and oils!

Monday, April 23, 2012

DIY kind of weekend

I bought some white rice paper lantern shades for some lights in our house when we moved in here in January, but didn't really consider that our teeny house is actually not the one with the vaulted ceilings I imagine and the previous owners for some reason put pendulum lights underneath the fans in various rooms and lo! you have yo watch yourself underneath them when the fans are on and you are more than 6' tall.

So these huge lanterns were just not going to work on the bare lights around the place. I bought some paper punch shapes - pond leaves and butterflies apparently - and glued them on with PVA.

So much fun.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Happy birth day

Well. Another circle around our beloved sun today for my daughter. And perhaps when I'm feeling less emotional I might post more about it. And when I get some photos from the amazing Billie I will definitely tell you about the AMAZING Very Hungry Caterpillar themed 2nd birthday party I had today.

But a little bit of reflection. Today was the 2nd anniversary of birthing my babe, at home, into my own hands. It's like an annual refresher in how amazing that journey was, how amazing the experience was and how amazing a person I am. 

Be warned - I am in it, naked and birthing and then swearing. And you may need tissues. I do *sniff*.

I also want to acknowledge and own the fact that I am now mama to what is becoming known as a "WHO baby" - one who is breastfed exclusively to 6 months, and then to 2 years (and beyond if we both want it which we seem to). 

I have breastfed for 2 years. 

Me. Who had a whole slew of challenges and nearly gave up in the first few weeks. Who cried more times than I care to think about over something that I'd assumed would come easily.

That is what is the biggest achievement in my head. My beginning breastfeeding was so tenuous in my head. The advice, to just "take each feed as the only one you have to get through" is really good advice when one is developing a major anxiety complex around breastfeeding. But it lead me to feel that the whole experience was tenuous, that any some stage someone (my midwife, my husband, someone close to me) would take my babe away and feed her something else. Wished for it at times, with cracked bleeding nipples and the most amazing pain. But I got through it and damn I'm proud of myself for that too. 

In other news from today, I also planted this:

My daughter now has roots in our home in a way that I hope make her even more aware of where she came from. 

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Now with monthly posts

Or so it seems. Not intentionally but it's crazy pants time around here.

Yesterday was 2 parties.
Today I slept for a few hours as I have a raging sore throat. Which has now gone.
Between now and the end of April:
- TheChild's birthday
- my birthday
- TheHusband's graduation
- my graduation
- our wedding anniversary
- a wedding!!!
- TheHusband's birthday

as well as a public holiday, and Hot Cross Bun weekend.

I'm also doing more of my Certificate IV in breastfeeding, working, juggling quasi-single parenting during the week with TheHusband's commute, as well as getting my own business underway and feeling like a blob and I'm currently hunting for my diary.

Excuse me while I go to bed so I can get up for a 6:30am gym class o_O.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

So many new things to share...

  • We bought a house. Settling on a house is crazy stressful, not helped at all because the bank misspelled my name. Karon anyone? I was not impressed but was impressed by our financial advisor reading them the riot act and forcing them to work long hours to fix the problem. Although if he'd not fobbed me off 3 days earlier it might not have been the stress it was in the end. It's done now and we're on the path of painting, decorating, and enjoying.
  • We moved house. I hate moving house. On the upside I don't have to do it again for a very. long. time. On the downside, I won't have the urge to purge my worldly possessions anytime soon.
  • I did paint a wall yellow, and TheHusband lovingly painted the kickboard from the 900mm pantry that was a BITCH to install the same colour, and then a friend made a wall decoration with the same colour, aptly named "Happy".
  • I won't feel settled until I have the internet at home though. 3 weeks without it is HARD. I'm in a cafe right now and am sick of telling people that no, I don't have the internet so I can't blog / read their email / write a long detailed message.