Showing posts from October, 2010

Rainy Day reflections

G'day all!

It is nearly the end of breast cancer awareness month. Yep, you read it, MONTH. Not day, not week. I guess that is how rampant this disease is. It needs a whole month.

Of course we should also have a month for cardiovascular disease because that is still the greatest killer or certainly in the top three for people in Australia, New Zealand, Britain and America (I'm guessing Canada is right up there too and parts of Europe as well, but I don't know about anywhere else).

I've read a few other blogs written by people with breast cancer. Some are angry with their boobs for being so naughty and trying to kill them.

On reflection, I am not angry with mine. It has put me through hell this year but I can't be angry with the poor thing. It is now scarred, has a chunk out of it between 9 and 11pm, parts of it are numb, and topping it off, it has a ripper sunburn, or so it would look. How can I be angry with it?

Now I am a little cranky with myself for not pic…

You are getting sleeeepy

G'day all!

It's been an action packed few days here at the Modest Manor. DH came home. We went down to The Digger's Club yesterday arvo with Nathan's parents. We replaced a fruit tree that never came out of dormancy and bought another, plus a bunch of seeds and a soil testing kit (handy to know if we have nutritious soil, at least as far as plants are concerned, and also for pH). So now we have a Blue Pearmain apple plus a Rome Beauty. I don't know where I'll plant one of them but the other has a spot.

Today Nathan went back to Sydney. As usual, I cried. I don't like it when he leaves or I leave. Then I get over it, sorta. I went to work and did stuff until my brain fried at 4:30.

One of the chooks is broody. Apparently that means that I am looking after them well. (I thought it meant she reckons she's laid enough eggs, now it is time to hatch some chickens!) I am tempted to get some fertilised eggs of a kind of chook that I want, then give thi…

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!

G'day all!

No pics today, just


No more treatment. A4 was a good machine again today, a trooper, taking on other patients as well as its normal load. OK, we ran late but by 4pm I was done, like a dinner.

Stick a fork in me! (I do look rather roasted - if it gets worse I have to go back and get the boost area in particular dressed. Imagine a rather red sunburn, but only in one particular square of the body, with an extra 10cm circle within that part.)

Hooray. So glad it is done, in time for my birthday next week (when I will be at my most scorched pretty much).

Much celebrating. And DH is home too.


Pink ribbon day

G'day all!

It was a lovely day today. Maybe not very warm (though in the car? In the little greenhouse on wheels? Oh my!) but lovely and sunny and warm enough that I could go about in a tshirt. I wore lots of pink and my pink hair drew a number of favourable comments at the hospital (which had a sausage sizzle fundraiser for Pink Ribbon Day, and also two people sprayed their hair pink - they said they would dye it but nah, just sprayed it pink. I've got the real deal on my head and it ain't going to go away quickly!). I forgot to wear my pink ribbon though.

I am in two minds about the whole pink thing and breast cancer. In some ways I think it is OTT and in others? Well breast cancer is a bad thing, and raising awareness and raising funds to provide services to women (and the few men) with breast cancer is a good thing. But I sorta feel sorry for people with other forms of cancer who don't have access to people like the breast care nurses who have been so helpfu…

Tank me

G'day all!

My friends wanted me to put these goggles on.

Then they practically peed themselves with excitement. Not one of them looked and said eh. Nope, all weeing themselves. They think I should drive a tank (not a very small Helmet). They are all geeks and nerds, the lot of them. Of course, cos they are my friends.

*sigh* (Look up Tank Girl, if you have no idea what I am talking about)

I had another successful day. I spent much too much money ($25 citrus? I want! I've wanted a tahitian lime for ages cos I use limes in my cooking. Also a seedless valencia orange looks good too - we have a similar climate, a bit wetter, to San Jose and various fruit trees do well here)($99 market umbrella in blue with led lights affixed? Yeah!). I pulled out a heap of weeds - see this heap?

It is nearly a metre high by close to a metre by a metre. It is big. (I guess that means it is pretty much a cubic metre, eh? That is a lot of weeding for one person, no wonder my back is sore!)


Now with added content

G'day all!

I feel like I've had a productive day.


I sat down and sewed the rest of my quilt top squares together, with sashing between them and sashing all round. 5 hours it took me to sew 5 more rows together, cut more sashing, sew more together, iron them along the way, cut more sashing and then sew sashing on all around the edge. And I think it was worth the effort.

Wouldn't you agree?

I love it.

I think it is the best one yet.

I giggled like an idiot when I hung it on the line and tried to take pics of it - it was a bit breezy today but at least the wind blew the clouds away. I am very happy with how it has turned out.

Alas, now I have to figure out a backing for it and then get down on my hands and knees (in the loungeroom, where I have plenty of space (!!! - the loungeroom only has a small amount of non-loungeroom stuff in it now, amazing, it's only taken me what 10 months since we moved back in....)) and bast the beggar so I can quilt it. And I'll have to wo…

No piccies

G'day all!

My bad!

I did get pics of some goodies today and you know what?

I went to tea at the parents' in law and umm, well, yeah. Today's blog is very short.

But we did have a good chat and caught up with Nathan's aunt and uncle (in sin).

To distract you from the lack of content, I send you to these boots, and these shoes, and these, and these. Not that I like them or anything cos I sure as hell can't afford them (DH needs a fridge and we can get one for a hundred more than some of those shoes/boots cost!). And to DH's blog, with a couple of pics of places he's been. And to this flickr list of pics generated by a program called hugin(link to flicrk group cos it helps more than the homepage on sourceforge) - be warned, there's over 20,000 pics on that page. Dunno about your browser but mine only loads the ones on the page I'm on or have been on. It doesn't load all of them at once... (I'm saying that cos someone whined at me about how man…

Very little to say

G'day all!

Today I pretty much finished my first work project. It is awaiting signoff.

Yay me!

Plus I tried to get better pics of me and my hair. I failed, though I can't blame the phone camera given it was under artificial light. Tomorrow! Tomorrow! There's always tomorrow...

I am getting used to seeing this freak with pink hair following me around everywhere. Well relatively used to it. Hey, who's got pink hair? I can see a reflection. They are wearing the same clothes as me. Oh, it's me!

Reactions are generally positive except for the people who just look at me. LOL

I guess I should've gotten sponsored to do it but I didn't. However I'm happy to chat to people about the various reasons why I've done it.
a) cos I've wanted to have pink hair for ages (also blue hair, green hair and purple hair)
b) it is breast cancer awareness month
c) I'm being treated for BC
d) I may or may not die of this but jeez I may as well have fun along the way 8…

In the pink

G'day all!

I'm in the pink today!

(and tomorrow and the day after and the day after and for however long this semi-permanent colour lasts 8-)

I'm very pink!

Still knitting mitten madly - amazing how much mitten you can knit whilst sitting with bleach on your hair then with pink on it. I've knitted a bit over half of it now. I was late to radiotherapy but that was ok cos they were running late too! I've now started boost, which means they irradiate a 10cm circle around the tumour bed. They don't line me up quite as carefully now and the linac has a weird apparatus attached to it to hone the beam on the right spot. And they loved my hair colour. LOL

When I got home, I put on some extra sunscreen, a scarf and a beanie (I don't want a sunburnt scone and neck) and mowed the grass. It is a lovely day today but I started feeling a bit crisped by the end of it.

And grr, I found out why the chooks don't seem to be laying much now. Boldie was desperate to get …

A week to go!

G'day all!

Only a week until I finish radiotherapy. I'm done with most of it, just have to have the boost part now (where they irradiate the tumour bed in particular). My neck is pin, looks like sunburn and my poor boobage is coming up redder and redder. It's getting a bit prickly too, just like sunburn.

I am so glad to nearly be done with treatment. And no it doesn't mean I am cured. I'm unlikely to be cured but I'll be happy to dance with NED (no evidence of disease). I hope to dance with NED for a looooong time but only time will tell. There's some things I can do to give myself the best possible odds of dancing with NED for a long time and I'm trying to put them into place (eg a half hour walk or some form of exercise every day - I'm not making it every day yet but four out of seven days I get a good walk in or some solid gardening. Yep, gardening at my place is certainly a work out - shovelling mulch and cow poo, levering out enormous wee…

Slow gangbusters

G'day all!

I am making slow progress on everything at present, or that is how it feels!

I have trimmed all the blocks to size for the new quilt. What do you think of this layout?

(OK, I'm lazy, I didn't do the white squares in the middle or the polka dots! And the black dots are there to fool the spreadsheet that I developed this on into cooperating and making the squares the right size...)

I have pulled a HUGE pile of weeds out of one of the old vegie and herb beds. The area is about 2m square and the mountain of weeds from it is massive. OK, some of the weeds are self-sown parsley plants but do we need about half an acre of the things? They were hiding the rhubarb and the special form of blackberry (a boysenberry? I can't remember what it is now, but no matter, I pulled half of it out by accident weeding around it!). Of course I did that whilst waiting for the weather to decide whether it was arthur or martha - was it going to rain or not? It spat a little but th…

A day of talking to real people

G'day all!

Today I talked to real, live people.

Or I am extremely deluded and passed out on the train after having to run to catch it and dreamed the whole thing up.

I don't think I could've dreamed up how normal it was to talk to people, so I reckon it happened.

I went to market, to market (but no fat pigs at the market and anyway, I couldn't drive it home, slaughter it or butcher it) and bought the weekly pile of vegies. Woe, I had to buy a cauliflower for the first time in a month - my caulies are finished. The chap that I bought a caulie from was bemoaning them all heading up at the same time - he's got truckloads of them. Corned beef this week, chicken and if I get really desperate, bangers :-)

I seem to be a bit asthmaticky at the moment. I've had a nurse and a doctor check my lungs and say they are fine. It is worse if I don't take antihistamines so I am guessing it is allergy-related. It is after all SPRING here, plus the things I hate about as muc…

A day of quietness

G'day all!

Today I spoke to noone. Not a single human being. Not with my voice anyway. I talked to the cats, I sang a little (hooray, I am getting some ability to control my voice back after taxotere butchered me), I talked to myself, I talked to the chickens (egads they are STUPID birds - I've been feeding them for three months and only Boldie will come when I shake the bag and scatter grain... and even she won't get within a metre of me)....

I trawled the net. I replied to a couple of emails and visited some new to me blogs...

I sewed a whole bunch of blocks and cut some more for the new quilt. It is going to be grand I tell you! Bright and happy :-) But it is too late to get pics now, it being half an hour before midnight and all. That took all morning. Chain piecing them made me ever so happy - the brightly coloured bunting looked great. But I can't leave them as bunting - I want blocks! Before I can start putting them together I have to trim them to a cons…

On being Melburnian

G'day all!

As a born and bred Melburnian, I reserve the right to:

whine about the weather
happily (or not depending on my team's winning status) discuss footy
whine about the weather
have the weather be the major topic of conversation
lust after things I can't get in Melbourne (though it is a city of about 4 million people, we don't get the things that Americans take for granted and of course we want, ignoring our own local versions of said things)
moan about the weather

I think you get the picture! Earlier in the week, it was lovely and warm, if a little windy. On Wednesday storms pushed through. Yesterday was windy but not too bad (as long as having things blowing away in the wind is ok). Today? It has not stopped raining all day. We've *only* had nearly an inch since 9am but OMG! Over it already! Tanks are full, rain rain go away, come again some other day! (Haha, since I wrote this, it has stopped raining. The sun of course went down an hour ago.) It is only…


G'day all!

Every now and then I go and read the blogs of some people I met in Colorado. And the blog of someone I never met. Susan's blog is interesting to me - she is very in touch with nature. I love looking at the pics on her blog because they bring back memories of our time in Colorado.

I look back very fondly at Fort Collins. It was the first time I had lived overseas. I was living a very easy life - cycling around, doing what I pleased, admittedly on a rather small budget. I was happy even though we had very little and pretty much no friends.

Why was I so happy?

Because I could immerse myself in learning about this new place. I could learn its seasons, I could learn its flowers and birds and critters, I had a creek running at the bottom of the hill from our place. There was so much new nature to fling myself headfirst into. (Thank heavens I never found out what poison ivy or oak looks like by experiencing it!)

I've lived in Melbourne pretty much all my life. I…


G'day all!

Well after a few lovely days, BRR! Cold! We've returned to winter, with a day of rain and drizzle and greyness (though it was quite pink at sunset, alas on the other side of the clouds).

I was meant to be working today but alas, the sprogs of my employers have a gastro bug and oh yuck, I don't need that at the moment! So instead I trotted over there and picked up some papers to read. I've only managed to read papers for a little over four hours today plus an extra bit of online stuff and my poor brain has had it for the day. Still I've learned a useful bit of stuff for what we need to know.

I'm running up an SMS bill on the mobile now - DH got to Paris and discovered that his brand spanking new corporate card doesn't work. The magnetic stripe on it has failed already - the card provider rang him up and said it will fail sooner or later but should be good for a couple of weeks. In this case, not even a day of use! So I spent a while ringing o…

The blogger returneth

G'day all!

Well I started Blogtober so well but umm, yeah. LOL I got caught up in work and DH coming home and suddenly time was at a premium.

Last week, I received my mug rugs from a swap I did online.

Aren't they pretty?

And I got heaps of yummies too. There's enough lollies there to keep me in them for about a year. But the thing I like most?

This little door on the back of the black and off-white mug rug:

Oh, what is a mug rug? An overgrown quilted coaster for putting your coffee or tea mug on. I'll probably be using them more for my water glass.

Had a lovely weekend - Saturday I went to the Melbourne Modern Quilt Guild meeting, the first one I've been able to get to. Of course I had to come home early cos I had set up a BBQ (hahahaha, cos I thought there was something happening on Sunday cos the guild meeting is usually on Sundays but it got moved to Saturday!) for people to come and see our garden, and also for them to catch up with me and Nathan. We ate lots…

Centrelink, the saga continues

G'day all!

I got two or three phone calls yesterday afternoon.

I didn't turn up to a work placement interview.

The reason why I didn't turn up is because I had NO IDEA I was meant to turn up. I received no communications, I had been assured that I would not have to report or search for a job, and then I get this!

It will affect my Centrelink benefits. The Centrelink benefits to which I am NOT ENTITLED because my husband is earning too much for me to get a benefit.

My goodness, Centrelink is making me VERY CRABBY. Very crabby INDEED! I am having to spend two or three HOURS EACH WEEK dealing with them. And yes I want to yell.

Argh, off to deal with Centrelink AGAIN! I have better things to do with my time, like clean the house or floss the cat.

At least they give me blog fodder...


Up at the crack of dawn, or not

G'day all!

What a weird saying that is.

Not that I was up at the crack of dawn today, oh no, not like waking up at first light on Sunday, listening to the blackbirds singing (the ONLY time I like blackbirds!) and then realising the corellas were screeching madly not too far away, but not as far away as I'd like! LOL

No, today I slept in for the first time for AGES. Of course today was also a work day. Whoops! But my employers don't really care - they are cool with me being a bit flakey.

I am looking forward to getting this first project out of the way at work so I can start on the real business of e-learning. I have to brush up some too on things because I've been out of the training loop for what four years now.

Oh dear. I just ruined my dinner. I was going to have a nice light meal of pasta and vegies, but I forgot that I was having rice pasta, not my usual rice and maize pasta, and I cooked it for too long (I got distracted trying to long in to a revamped website …

A dull and boring day

G'day all!

Be warned, today was dull and boring!

I did lots of stuff.


I got cranky - I'm still wrangling with Centrelink over the overpayment. I thought it was fixed but I was misinformed. So I paid the debt to stop them sending out debt collectors (over $210 mind you, compared to the people who rip the system off and get away with claiming many thousands of $$$ that they are not entitled to, and yes I used to work for them many years ago so I am not totally off the mark!). An hour on the phone, two different phone calls and they know I am peeved. I've had a different story each time I've rung them.

I got cooked again. Tomorrow marks halfway through Rad Camp. I will be so happy to be finished it - dragging off to the hospital five days a week is dull. Then again I'll be fussing like a fussy thing cos then I'll be on my own except for the three monthly check ups.

It was warm, sunny and windy early so I did three loads of washing. Then one band of rain c…

Three months after chemo

G'day all!

I just realised that yesterday was the third monthiversary of my last chemo. ie three months ago I finished chemo.

What has changed? Well this:

has changed. Yep, I have hair up to 3cm long now, and people keep commenting how dark it is. Well duh! This lot hasn't been sunbleached yet. I even have some white hairs (it seems that the thick red hairs I used to have are now white, thanks, chemo!) My eyelashes are regrowing as are my eyebrows. Think yourselves lucky that I am not showing you what other hair is growing back ;-)

I can now sprint across the road if I have to (and then I puff for a while). By the end of chemo, I could barely shuffle. It really attacked my legs (technically the neuromuscular junction). I can walk all day if I have to. I can walk up ramps - couldn't do that by the end of chemo! Just couldn't! My calves were too tight, felt like I had been wearing high heels all my life and had to walk in flat shoes again. I can garden - gettin…

Nom nom nom - a very nommy day

G'day all!

Choofed off to the gluten free fair today, and what a big day out it was! I met up with a friend and we munched our way around the fair. Lots of nomming. Lots of sampling of yummies.

Oddly enough I was hungry when I left. I was hungry after eating a good meal at home. I guess nibbling on the equivalent of two biscuits and maybe two pieces of bread during the day, plus one cob of corn, was not really lunch.

I managed to spend $100 on various packet yummies. They were all good prices - no point buying them at normal prices! I can do that in the supermarket or GF shop. I don't know where to put my new noms - my food cupboard is full of things other than food due to the kitchen remodelling. But I have some good yummies! I found a mix that reminds me of my once favourite bread (that I had forgotten all about until I tasted this muffin mix - the bread went off the market years ago), I tasted various things that I can get pretty easily and make up (but can one perso…

Will wonders never cease

G'day all!

Thank you all for your thoughts about persuading those who do not want to be persuaded. Interestingly enough, we've made some progress just by saying "Do you like being like this?" We've worked out a couple of coping strategies but there's a fair way to go yet.

I am vaguely thinking about doing Blogtober, though I know I can be a bit flakey about posting. I'm going to get flakier I think too - I keep running out of steam. Looks like radiotherapy is starting to take its toll. I've had 12 sessions so far, 18 to go.

Now in the wonders will never cease category, I actually took some pics of one of my current WIPs today. I give you the yoke of the eggplant cardi:

I thought this would be realllly fast to knit once I got past the yoke but umm, well you need to knit the thing before it is finished. And I'm buzzing round like a busy bee at the moment.

Before I even had breakfast this morning, I had cleaned out three drawers of clothes and rear…