Some days….

Under bed security camera...
Under bed security camera…

From @emmalumpdogg ‘s Twitter feed this morning… (I was busy nursing yet another/the same migraine…Daddy was walking Emmalumpdogg and discovering that a clean desk policy is no longer optional)

#ThingsEmmaMustNotDo, 129: They are “The Morning Cycling and Coffee Group”, not “Meals On Wheels”.

#ThingsEmmaMustNotDo, 128: Paper recycling is GOOD. Using my tummy to do it is NOT.

#ThingsEmmaMustNotDo, 127: Regardless of their promise of long-lasting energy, batteries are not to be eaten before Morning Walk.

Photos mostly from this week….

I don’t often take photos of myself, but I did while I was waiting outside the supermarket while the wonderful Mr Belived did some shopping on Wednesday. (I’d just been to my psychologist appointment and was tired so I didn’t go in).image


Restless flycatcher, spotted on one of Mr Beloved’s walks with Emmalumpdogg.image The double barred finches think clever Mr Beloved’s bird feeder is the best dining spot in town!image image Rescued tortoise… Rainy morning, about 5 am, discovered by Emmalumpdogg. Poor tortoise had its neck stuck through fence but couldn’t walk any further of course, so Mr Beloved improvised rescue tools and released it down in a safe place by the creek.image Emmalumpdogg decided she is a hooman and therefore would like to try drinking out of water glass, thank you!imageMr and Mrs Superb Fairy Wren enjoy breakfast at the birdseed cafe.

The continuing adventures of Emmalumpdogg

I’ve had a three day migraine (so far) so poor Mr Beloved has been carrying the burden (again).

Tuesday was International Tiara Day, and we all played. ( why May 24? Queen Victoria ‘s birthday, apparently. There ya go.)

image image image image

Then, just to show she’s not all sweetness and light, Emmalumpdogg demonstrated  that she has hackles even on her tail!image

Of sewing, cabbages, and silly Emmalumpdogg things.

So I bought a dress pattern for the first time in years… The Eva dress pattern from Tessuti. It’s one you download and either print at home and stick lots of sheets together, or take to somewhere like Officeworks who do plan printing . I’m trying the “at home” method first (cheaper, and Mum has used it successfully with Style Arc patterns.)Tessuti "Eva" dress

We went to Spotlight yesterday and bought fabric, but I think I bought the wrong thing 😕 It’s a lightweight denim, and after one go through the washing machine, it feels a little stiff. Online friends have suggested a vinegar rinse, so I’ll try that… It was 30% off, so even if I don’t use it for this project, it’s certainly 3 metres of very usable fabric for something else at a good price. The Black and white threads were 40% off, so I saved $8 each, only $11.95 per spool! And the panda tape measure replaces my treasured little woolly sheep that I  foolishly left within reach of Emmalumpdogg on her first day here.image

I haven’t cleared the sewing machine area yet, or got my sewing tools out, but one step at a time… Especially since I’m dealing with bloody mastitis again. Yep, last June I first found out that any boob can get mastitis, and now here I go again. I went straight to the doctor and got antibiotics, and I’m to call up in two days to check I’m on the right antibiotic for the bug I’ve got. Any sign of this turning into an abcess again and you bet I’ll be knocking on the doctor’s door first thing, I’m not doing that again! *shudder* First person to mention cabbage leaves as helpful gets a cabbage inserted. Sidewards. There are many things cabbages are great for, I am sure, but treating mastitis is NOT one of them! (I have no sense of humour about this, do I?!)image

Meanwhile, Miss Emmalumpdogg enjoyed her late afternoon supervised stick chewing. It’s her second favourite time of day. (Her favourite time of day is her super early morning-well, sometimes they’re middle of the night- tracking treks with Daddy.)image

Hmmm, could we have another trainee flautist in the family? Maybe a less toothy embouchure would  help?!image


Cleaning out the cupboard

So. After folding the basket(s) of washing this morning, I couldn’t find any clean shorts.  I resorted to (gasp!) looking in the cupboard, where I keep my out-of-season clothes.

It’s been a while.

These used to be snug...
These used to be snug…

More pics to follow, but you get the idea… two garbage bags full of donations ready to head out the door already.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This weight loss has been over a period of 5 years, and mostly involved getting OFF a particularly insidious psych drug that (IMHO) NOBODY should ever be given.  In fact, the manufacturer of said drug has settled a multi-million dollar lawsuit in the US because of the damage it does (weight gain, diabetes, heart disease).

Really? This Early?

First sighting of Christmas Mince Pies in Woolies today.

The front page of the local paper had this image and headline: “Myer ignites the festive spirit”

Christmas decorations on September 13 at local shop

Mr B commented “I expect Easter Eggs can’t be far behind.”



Tuesday and Wednesday.

It’s Tuesday lunchtime, and  I’m sitting amongst the undergraduate cacophony in the commons, on a rainy day, in the covered downstairs area where we plug ourselves in at the library.  Little half height carrels of laptop enclosures, where we stare at our screens, absorbed in work or pretending to work… while chatter at our backs and the whirrrrrrrrrr of the espresso machine at the front reminds us that this is a place for socialising as well as study – or perhaps more for socialising than study.

I’ve just had another wasted hour of lecture time, and I am cross. Grumpy. Annoyed.  I am struggling with the real work of the course – what I see as the real work, anyway – while time is being eaten up on the trivia of referencing and “can you do an advanced web search?” ARRRRGH!

One of my dear (online) friends has pointed out that the lecturer is dealing with children with unformed brains, and the only way to get these ideas into their heads is to pound it in over and over again.  Ah.  Right. Yes. I hadn’t considered that.  Interesting to note, however, that attendance at the lecture was about a third of the usual crowd.

And now it’s Wednesday, almost time to start making tea, and I’ve had a lousy day… Mr Beloved was crook the other day and I think I’ve managed to pick up whatever it was he had.  Let’s just note that moving too far away from the loo would not have been a good idea, and move on.

I didn’t go to group today.  I did manage to check over my assignment (and catch a couple of silly mistakes in referencing formatting that would have cost marks – using ‘and’ instead of the ampersand (‘&’) for example when multiple authors are involved.  Oh yes, these things matter.)

I have the red one!

In happier news I am now the proud possessor of  Moleskine LEGO journal! For which I have to thank one of my oldest friends (not in terms of age, but in terms of longevity of friendship – in fact, I think only the girl I went to kindergarten with can claim a longer span.) Thanks, RF, I am only waiting on my new pen with a bigger nib to arrive before I start using it: all my life I have used fine point pens but now my hands are so sore, I’m hoping a larger point will force my writing movements to un-cramp and maybe let me write more than a sentence at a time.

And now it’s tea time.



Adventures in University Work – and it’s not even Week 1 yet

It took me over two hours to write a short three paragraph response to the”Introduction” thread for my university subject.  To be fair, there was a three part question that needed to be answered, and it involved choosing one or several of 14 headings at the top of a complicated diagram of “the genealogy of communication”, and the two hours included thinking time… but… *HEADDESK*!!

But I’ve now completed as much of the online work for Week 1 as I can until my other textbook gets here. WHICH HAD BETTER BE SOON.  Ah well, next time I’ll know to choose my subject further in advance and order the textbook earlier.  Yeah yeah, I know you probably don’t reaaaally do much in week 1, and I know I’m supposed to be all “P’s get degrees” BUT I’m trying to get a leeeetle bit ahead where I can just in case, you know?

First lecture is on Tuesday morning.  I hope I can sleep on Monday night.

I am nervous about being able to take notes  – but because the course is offered both on campus and as an external/distance subject, I should have access to recorded versions of the lectures.  My fibromyalgia has flared up again, and I can’t hold a pen to write for much more than signing my name (and even that’s a bit dodgy.)  Typing’s not too bad so long as I rest fairly often.

The university offers a LOT of disability support – it’s one of the reasons I decided to enroll at USQ.  And I have my shiny new laptop, which poor Mr Beloved spent 10+ hours getting set up and making backup disks in case of catastrophic failure, and getting my desk all organised with the laptop at the right height, additional keyboard below and a second screen for ease of reading texts at home – everybody say “awwwwwwww!” – isn’t he the best!

My (Summer) at home desk

[as always, clicky for biggy].  As you can see, a phone book brings the extra monitor to just the right height, and the hi-tech laptop stand is re-purposed floorboards from a long-demolished Canberra govvie house.  (Nothing in the shed is JUNK. It’s all  waiting for a use… well, most of it.  I admit some of my stuff needs to go.  Ahem.)

Shiny New Computer also came with Kindle for PCS already installed. Wheee!  I am rapidly learning to do more screen-based reading – and since my assignments for uni can be submitted electronically (and get marked more quickly if I do so) I’m going to have to get used to not even printing out a copy to proof read. Another tree (and more expensive ink) saved each time…

And now, as usual, I have to go eat.  I forget when I’m down here on the computer until I get reallllllly hungry.  So nice to have that change now – I’m very VERY glad to be off the horrible Ser0quel, but I still need to up the d0se of the new med1cation – which I can’t do until I see the Nice Psychiatrist on the 5th of March.

And did I mention it’s VERY wet here again? I am really considering that a clothes dryer is no longer a luxury but a necessity – unless we want to appear in public in bedsheets.

It never fails!

So on Monday we saw Our Lovely GP – I needed to sort out some scr1pts, organise some blood tests for h0rm0ne levels (about which more another time), get a letter to excuse me from jury duty and we had to pick up the latest test results for Mr Beloved.  (His cholester0l readings and other markers have improved considerably on his new meds.  Yay. All hail B1g Pharma for making our lives better and allowing us to still eat bacon.)

BUT – and I really should have thought about this – now we are SICK.  With charming head colds.  I am Snuffley, Phlegmy and Achey (Attorneys at Law. Or three of the Dwarves Disney dropped.)

It’s not just confirmation bias * (or hindsight bias)- we can go plenty of other places where there are people and NOT get sick – but one lousy trip to the !@&*^!@% waiting room at the doctors and BAM!  We get the Latest Lurgey.  Oh, thank you ever so much, you diseased and wretched people.   Especially you, unobserving parent, who continues to browse “CELEBRITIES DOING STUFF!” Weekly while your small child wipes its nasal secretions along every hard surface.  And you, Mr Coughs Into The Room, oh, thank YOU for our LOVERLY Christmas gifts.  That’s sharing the Ferkin’ Spirit of The Season, isn’t it?


So we have spent most of the last few days looking like this:

(Even unto the small pointy nosed dog on the bed, oh yes.  I have no idea where I stole this image from but isn’t it great?)

On the other hand, I have LOOK! Pretty nails! (although my nails seems to grow so quickly that there’s always a gap…)

This is the Sally Hansen stick on polish in “Girl Flower” that I mentioned the other day, with (freehand therefore wonky!) french tips in Hello Kitty blue – awwww! I wear out the tips of nail polish very quickly – too much typing and forgetting to wear the dishwashing gloves that are pegged above the sink, quietly perishing in the sun…)

I am drinking lots of water. And lots of hot tea.  And eating the occasional slice of Boiled Fruit Cake (mine is always a tweaked version of the recipe in Geoff Slattery’s wonderful 1991 book “Simple Flavours: Australian Home Cooking”.  This is the same book which taught me that making puff pastry isn’t hard, and in fact times perfectly with the quarters in an Aussie Rules football match.  He was a sports writer for the Melbourne Age before he was a cook…)

And shortly I shall head to the house to make zucchini slice (yes, again) and while the oven is on, the Strawberry Lime and Coconut Cheesecake from last month’s Good Taste magazine (but without the strawberries because they all looked a bit nasty when I hit the shops yesterday.  I might use some frozen raspberries instead or just go with the lime syrup as enough flavour.)

Happy Season to those who celebrate. And a hearty BAH HUMBUG to the infectious masses.


* If you haven’t yet grabbed/asked Santa/cajoled your library to order this book, you should.  Bloody brilliant.  The blog of the same name has some of what’s in the book, so read that first to get an idea, but it’s really worth the $Au 19 (or however much you want to pay – is showing this as the lowest price including postage.)