Thursday, March 31, 2011

Settling in

G'day all!

Well we are starting to settle in, hooray!

I haven't managed to tidy all the Stuff away yet because umm there is nowhere to tidy it to. The cupboards are a bit musty and I don't want to put my Stuff in there cos it will get musty too!

I've vacuumed and sprayed (tea tree oil) and sprinkled (bicarb) to try to reduce the musty load in the flat. It is better than it was but if I shut the place up for a day, the mustiness increases, so I guess I will have to continue vacuuming, spraying and sprinkling!

This morning I was woken up by a) a baby have a very good, loud, long whinge and b) these.

Currawongs (plus a few rainbow lorikeets) (Scuse the boring view out the kitchen window! That video was shot on the phone so you can imagine how loud the currawongs really were!)

I left behind blue skies and sunshine

(Jerusalem artichokes flowering at last - I waited six months for those flowers and they finally started a week before we left, better than a week after!)

for a most wierd few days of weather. So far in Sydney it has been low 20s (Celsius), high 20s, stormy, humid, rainy and today completely gray for the whole day with the odd bit of drizzle.

I am yet to finish this cardi - I need to find the right size needles for the remaining button band then buy some buttons! I left all my buttons in Melbourne, well except the ones already on my clothes.... Buying buttons might be an issue as I will have to make a Grand Trek to Lincraft in the city (most of an hour's walk away or a $4.40 tram ride and a walk) or go even further to find a Scroatfight.


I am working on a different, wool cardigan. It almost seems appropriate.

There are many things to talk about but I've had a long day and now?


Monday, March 28, 2011

A new place

G'day all!

We are in Sydney. The flat is still here and is not as musty as I feared. We have done some food shopping and also bought me a clothes storage thingo so I don't have to live out of a plastic storage tub whilst we are here (was $120, now $86!).

The attached pic is from the phone, as is this post.  I shall fire up the laptop soon enough but am busy organising and cooking tea.  Doh, rice is boiling over.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Nearly done

G'day all!

Well with all slaving we've done this week, I am pleased to say that we are nearly there! No the house isn't finished by any means but the cornices are on, the toilet (room, yes we have separate rooms for toilets here) is painted a most startling couple of colours (not finished yet), most of the plasterwork is done (not sanded = not primed or painted) and things are looking much better than they did. Hooray!

One more load of washing has to be done. Some stuff is coming to Sydney with us dirty - we don't have a drier. We have to clean up the loungeroom and get all the tools out of it and the kitchen, and then we are done! The car is half loaded up with Stuff - we have a hybrid! I am not so keen on its boot (trunk) arrangement - yes the back seats fold down but ?because it is a hybrid? only one area actually opens to the cabin. Not much point having fold down seats in my book if they don't open to the boot! Plus the side that opens is right behind the driver's seat, where being behind the passenger seat would be more useful as you could fold it flat and put a longer load in. No way you can fold the driver's seat flat to get a longer load in! Anyway, the hybrid is a bit weird because it is so quiet. You have to check the speedo a lot because you can't "feel" what speed your are doing from the engine noise. But that is what cruise control is for, at least when the traffic is flowing. I'm expect it will flow quite well when we get on the open road 8-)

The fridge has a random assortment of stuff in it. Mostly it has cat food in it - I prefer our cats to have raw meat as it is much more like their normal diet. Cats didn't evolve eating crunchies and my opinion is that crunchies are bad for their kidneys. (But they do get crunchies in the morning cos the amount of meat they will eat is amazing!) There's lots of frozen fruit in the freezer, along with a heap of frozen GF pastry (alas I never got to try it out!).

My car is at the PiL's - they need a second car some days and the second car they often use will be here. The plants we bought recently are in the ground, as are two poor struggling fruit trees (one is in a most unsuitable spot but it has a chance of living at least, even if it does shade the greenhouse if it survives and grows...). The grass is cut, the garden a little better weeded than it was (with a rainy season that never ended, rather than our usual summertime drought, the weeds got completely away from me). The pome fruit trees are almost ready to pick, boo hoo cos my golden delicious has about 30 apples on a teensy tree and I've been looking forward to eating them, though I'm happy to leave the nashi pears....

So one final lot of tidying to go (HOO-BLASTED-RAY!) and some washing and the instructions for the house sitters and we are go go go! (We might pick up a tray of eggs at the market on the way out of Melbourne - the eggs in Sydney are vile. Truly horrid - the whites don't sit up and every time we've had them, one or the other of us ends up with a tummy wobble.)

Next time I talk to you, I expect to be in Sydney. Until then,


Wednesday, March 23, 2011



I am trying to hire a car for us to drive to Sydney.

hertz had a REALLY good rate.

Too Good To Be True Rate.


It was.

I can get that rate as long as I don't rent one way, even though I clearly stated I did not want to return the car to the place I hired it from.

Talk about bait and switch! They should not let me think I can book a car for a certain rate if I can't.

Grump. I never liked renting from Hertz and now I like it even less!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Creeping along

G'day all!

Well some good news at last. Hooray, the doc says there is nothing unusual with my innards. However, after getting my new sleeve for my slightly puffy arm, I now appear to need a gauntlet (or as knitters and crocheters would call it, a fingerless mitten) for my hand. Either that or the sleeve is a leetle tight for me. My hand puffs up when I put the sleeve on and things get a little tingly in my fingers.

Thank you to those of you putting up with my whining, and offering support (Dr Bones in particular!).

It has been an interesting week so far. On Sunday, we obtained house sitters for a month or two. On Monday night, DH had to do a sleep study. He did it at home. Wiring him up was quite a different thing to do - there were LOTS of wires. Then this morning we think he forgot to take his meds cos gosh, bear with sore head! (But oddly enough I found a copy of the Tao of Pooh this arvo and gave it to him to read and he lapped it up!)

Today I said goodbye to my workmates. I am sad to be leaving them. I will be working from Sydney but it won't be the same. I've gotten used to having people to talk to, having chats, participating in discussions. I am going to be a bit lonely in Sydney. I won't have a car, at least for the first month, and that will make it difficult to get to any meet ups. Whilst we live close to the tram, we aren't close to the train, and the tram and train tickets are totally separate (makes me think our PT system in Melbourne is wonderful - it has two zones but within the zones, you can take bus, train or tram, all on the one ticket). Nathan's work friends are lovely but some of them are young enough to be my kids.

I am getting closer to having the place nice for house sitters, and having all the stuff I need to take to Sydney with me. You would not believe how much paperwork I have to take (but you might believe how much stuff I am getting rid of! How does it build up so fast?). Oh, yeah, plus the stuff I accidentally left in Helmet, the car. Ooops. Umm guess I'd best get out there and get it out of the car!

We are hiring a car to get up there. Helmet is staying here for the nonce until we know if we are settling there. Going up will cost probably $500 all up including food and fuel and a place to stay overnight (cos I really don't want to drive to Sydney in a day). It is about a 9-10 hour drive and I'm just not up for that any more.

I have been managing to get some knitting done. I've almost finished a cute little cardigan - I only have part of the front bands to do and then the buttons. I am working on a new shawl but it will take forever as it is relatively complicated - no great swathes of stocking stitch, just pattern pattern pattern. But it is purl all the way back after each pattern row, not lace on that side too...

I've even finished a small quilt that has been lurking for ages. I won't say it is well finished - the front looks great but the back... well the back is off centre and umm the edges look really rancid as I've created a paralellogram... Hmm. I should just make it a hanging sleeve and pretend the back doesn't exist.

But I have no pictures. I have been taking pics along the way but Oh. My. Word. No time to download and edit them. I did a few the other day but it is all go go go here, and I truly wish it had went went went....

In a week, we will be in Sydney and Nathan will be back at work (major meltdowns excepted). We will see how things go.


Thursday, March 17, 2011

Almost freebies - yarn for scumbling

G'day all!

I have heaps of yarn in small amounts - stuff I've hand-dyed, stuff I've spun, all sorts of bits and bobs. It would be great for scumbling or crocheting free-form granny squares or any purpose that does not require gauge (heh, my spinning isn't always perfect). It tends to be bright and happy yarn of random gauges (mostly about 8 ply/DK/light worsted but it can vary from 4 ply/fingering up to chunky). Very little of it would be machine washable. Pretty much all of it is wool, some has some silk blended into it, a little has nylon. If you are into magic balls, it would be great for that though some lengths might be a little long!

Is there anyone out there who would like some for the cost of postage?

Within Oz, I can send a satchel with up to 500g of yarn for $6, or express post for $8.40. (Note that I might not be able to get that much yarn into the satchel.) 3kg bags are $10.30 but I quite frankly doubt I can get that much yarn in. I might be able to get a kilo of yarn into one of the big satchels. I squash the yarn into ziplock bags to make sure as much gets in as possible. Also it helps keep the yarn dry.

500g airmail to the US is AUD16 (plus $6 per 250g or part thereof). To the UK is AUD20 (holy cow! That has hiked up a bit!) (plus $7 for each 250g or part thereof over 500g). Note that the amount of yarn you get would be under 500g cos I have to account for the weight of the bag. I use bags not boxes because you would be paying for almost half a pound of box to be mailed to you.

We have just over a week to finish the house and get everything packed up for storage or moving to Sydney. I am a little panic stricken, to be honest. I can't do heavy work until my arm stocking arrives - I officially have lymphodema in my right arm, it isn't bad but it is enough to be diagnosed. With any luck if I back off on the manual work after the next week it won't progress further, especially with the sleeve.

With the argh, omg, so much to do come the panics. Nathan is worried about his job - will he cope, will he be able to do it now. He has calmed down a lot but the last couple of days he's started getting quite anxious (doesn't help that I keep getting not so good news about my health) about his ability to do the job. Plus we have So. Much. To. Do here.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

It never ends

G'day all!

Why is it the closer we get to the deadline, the further away the finish seems to be?

I have been jointing plasterboard (drywall) for two weeks now. You would not think we have so many joints to be done but they keep on appearing. It takes three days for each joint - two of undercoat, one of top coat then they have to be sanded. I can't find a mask that fits me well so I will end up with silicosis at this rate...

The house renovations are consuming pretty much every spare minute I have. Once in a while I get to knit or sew, like tonight when I decided that I needed to sew whilst DH and his friend tried to play The Swan (slightly beyond the friend's ability to play sweetly at this stage but practice will improve things). I have almost finished a new cardigan, short sleeved of course, just in time for the weather cooling down. Then again, we are moving to Sydney soon and it will probably be warmer there.

Tomorrow I have to go back to the lymphodema clinic cos my operated arm is playing up (no doubt because I've been overdoing things plus I am developing what my online buddies so charmingly call bulletboob).

On Tuesday I have to go back to the breast clinic to find out what they want to do about my thickened endometrium - I knew I had fibroids but now I have another problem.


They've never done me much good. Didn't pump out enough hormones to make me want babies. Went and got cancer. The endometrial problem could be precancerous. Had enough of cancer. I would say just take all the bits away but hysterectomies have their own issues.

Had enough of everything at the moment. Totally sick of house renovations. Sick of having a stupid crabby idiotic body that apparently wants to be wrong. I wish it was hormonal but umm, that was last week. I try to treat it well, give it exercise, feed it things it likes and are good for it. It looks reasonable, though we are getting a little wrinkly. Currently, I want a divorce from it! Bring me a new body. One without cancer. One that is not rebellious. One that lets me eat gluten and dairy and everything else that could possibly be yummy and maybe even some stuff that is good for me! One that doesn't object to various allergens. One that is generally cooperative and has no major or chronic illnesses.

I have to destash too but I am running out of time. We are moving to Sydney on the 26th. DH is going back to work. It is all coming waaaaay too fast. I need to get rid of some stuff.

No I am not defeated but y'know I do have to whine. If this is karma, I hate to think of what I did to deserve it. But I don't believe in karma, so I did nothing to deserve it, it is just The Way Things Are.


Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Android dreams

G'day all!

I've just downloaded a new blogger app for my android phone.  So far so good- it is a bit easier to use on the small screen than the usual interface.  Wonder if pics load into the right place?

Well that little experiment didn't me, so if a random pic of a pic on my laptop's screen loads in a weird spot, you can be sure I didn't intend it to go there...

Many pics to share but no energy to share them with! We got home after 10 last night, and I drove for nearly 11 hours on and off, mostly on....  But soon, soon now!


Saturday, March 05, 2011

Adelaide sky

G'day all!

Beautiful day here in Adelaide. Peoples are snoozing or reading books and YIKES,I am standing outside getting bitten by ants so I'll make this short...

Wanna see the blue sky?

Can you believe this tiny little post took 15 minutes to write on my phone because of blogger's insistence that pictures always go at the start of the post and there is no obvious way to cut and paste on the phone? Methinks blogger needs a bug fix and the phone needs a better way to move text around.


Friday, March 04, 2011

In South Australia I was (not) born

Gday all!

After quite some driving and sight seeing, like ten or more hours, we finally reached South Australia.

We've seen amazing stuff, places we haven't been in years. No pics yet cos I didn't use the phone for pics, just the camera.

I was completely freaked out about an hour after dark. The car's high beam headlights picked up some brightly glowing green eyes on the road. Whatever the critter was, it started running AT the car.

YIKES! it was not a cat or a dog or a possum (oz version not an opossum). It ran in a weird bowlegged fashion and had a really wide stance.

WTF? What sort of hellspawn was coming straight at the car? Like this thing was seriously weird with its funny gait and glowing green eyes.

Just as I slammed on the brakes, cos I was going to hit it, I realised it was a koala! Walking, well running straight at the car as if it was greeting a long lost love! I stopped in such a hurry the everything in the back slid to the front....

No pics as the camera was in my bag, which was hiding under dh's seat....but it was pretty amazing! I thought the koala was going to climb up on the car but some dodo brain had left the high beam on. As soon as I turned them off, it scampered off. Maybe it was giving me a hint?

Anyway it is time for bed.


Thursday, March 03, 2011

Away away

G'day all!

Things are better now. Good, eh?

We are away for a few days, but this time we have a house sitter!

Pray for his cat - he wants to bring him around. I doubt Cheshire will like it, Cheshire being the bully and Nut the scared wussy puss.

Our house is starting to look less like a bombsite, though we still have a long way to go. However with some sanding of walls, a little more plasterboard in a couple of places, and some paint and tiles, things should look almost finished! (Except for the issue of the new kitchen cupboards, sink, etc.)

Must go get ready to take off. I've paid the bills that need to be paid, I've cleaned up a fair whack of the Stuff on the couch... dishes are yet to be done but we are getting there. Oh, gotta change the sheets on the bed and deal with my dirty washing (hahahaha). Must hide my good cast iron pan too - don't want him cooking any gluten in it. Ah the paranoia of food issues.


Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Escapism and a big whine

G'day all!

Anyone got any suggestions for some good escapist stuff? I've found I am spending a lot of time online trying to escape from a half renovated house that has stuff everywhere. Yes I should be working on getting more of it done but y'know what?

I'm knackered (aka very tired).

I'm sick of it.

I've had enough.

I've been living with a kitchen that has a chopping board of bench space for 8 months now.

My husband has the idea that I will magically make him yummy and nutritious meals in a kitchen that he "can't stand working in." I have no idea why he thinks it is ok for me to struggle but not him! (When I ask him, he says "Because you are good at that." "Because you cope with things better than I do.")

Plus I feel totally ripped off by our lousy summer. Feb is usually one of our sunniest months, and we got almost 1.5 hours less direct sunshine each day than average. We've just had two whole days of no sun at all (thank heavens we got some sunshine today!). Plus we had half our average yearly rainfall in the first two months of the year.

Grump, whine, moan.

I often look back at our time in the US rather fondly. People said I would miss the place but y'know what I really miss?

No commitments and no responsibilities.

Being able to pack a bag and go away for the weekend "just because."

Not pouring every spare cent into house renovations.

Having most of my Stuff under control.

Now I understand if DH had gotten another job in the States, I would probably be dying by now. His old insurance would've ended and I would not have been eligible under the new plan, most likely. Even if we had paid for Cobra (extension of private health cover after the employee leaves a job that s/he had health insurance under), as far as I can tell, they could boot me off when they decided my treatment was costing too much. So my treatment would probably not gone ahead, or I would've had to come home anyway.

When I am feeling grumpy with the world, I remind myself of the Good Things in life. There are plenty of things I am grateful for.

Friends who have given me a job.

Friends full stop.

Cats (even if they drive me batty with their demands on occasion).

A garden (even if it is overgrown and out of control after a close to record breaking wet summer).


A roof over my head, bills paid (for the nonce) and food on the table (even if I do have to make it myself). (Takeaway is rarely an option - remember I have Food Issues.)

A heap more things but some days, you just want to run away, far away, go back to a simpler time and stop dealing with all the adult stuff. And I just want to run away.

Which is why it is good timing for a long drive to Adelaide. One of Nathan's cousins is getting married and when I went to book plane tickets, well $300 each one way is a LOT of money... especially when two weeks earlier they were advertising $55 one way fares.... I am rather looking forward to a drive. We haven't been out that way for years (ok, so we were in the US instead) and it should be amazingly green. If we had more time, we could go via the desert national parks (yes, we have desert in Victoria but it is the saltbush type desert not rolling sand dunes) and marvel at their greenery and the salt lakes that haven't had water in them for 20 years (because us humans like to divert all the water to Us! US! We are paramount over the environment. Or so it would seem from the way we behave...)