Saturday, July 30, 2011

Today I am thankful - birthday, friends and wishes

- for the most wonderful birthday yesterday! Yay - I am 48, what a lovely number :) Melissa popped around the night before with gifts as she would be working all day on Friday and gave my some goodies from Lush and an enormous Cherry Ripe :) Then the morning of my birthday, I got to have a lovely lie-in in peace and quiet. Luckily I was up and dressed when MIL & FIL turned up bearing a diary and small, glass elephants. While they were still here, Kaitlyn arrived for our arranged expedition - she, Molly and I were headed to our favourite Mornington for lunch, with some shopping thrown in :) First stop was Paper Squared to get supplies of a chocolate theme for scrapping her Hen's Day photos, then we went to a new pet store (huge) where Molly acted like it was her birthday instead. Then down to Main Street where we lunched outside in blazing sunshine - a first ever for my mid-winter birthday! Then to the second-hand bookstore before we drove to Mount Eliza to another second-hand bookstore, this time successful in getting the next two books in the Debbie Macomber series I am reading. Back in the car to Tully's, a local produce store, where we stocked up and savoury and sweet nibbles for the evening festivities. Back on the road and over to Kaitlyn's work to get some extra sweeties! Then home for dinner and red roses from my husband.

- for friends: evening came and so did my old NMAA group crew - they were the core members when I was group leader in the mid to late nineties and we formed a friendship circle that saw us at many trivia nights and other nights out. This was to be a night in :) With classic Countdown clips on DVD and a table groaning with cheese, chocolate and other temptations, we talked and laughed until after 11. I had requested balls of yarn for my friendship blanket in lieu of gifts and they brought riches in colours that are exactly right :) Genevieve broke the gift rule and came bearing much more than wool - also the most gorgeous orange cup and saucer from T2, which I have lusted after each time I visit, plus tea and as well as wool, a gift card for Lincraft which I discovered when everyone had left! Plus some books she was passing on and a set of LOTR on tape - we have the CD set and she thought us a fitting home for the set she had!! THANK YOU! I had the most wonderful time and we really must get together again soon.

- for birthday wishes: Remember that scene in Harry Potter, when his uncle tries to stop Harry's mail and masses of letters come from everywhere? That's how my Facebook Wall and inbox felt yesterday, as friends around the world wished me a happy birthday :) I felt awash in love and appreciate every single friend who took time to post such nice things. I think it quite made my day to look at my phone and see the stream of notifcations through the day :)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Today I am thankful -

- for thankfulness: I haven't posted for a week, but have had lots to be thankful for. Taking time away from the computer has been one of them!

- for reading: I am reading books by Debbie Macomber right now. While she isn't at the level of Maeve Binchy, her books are easy reads and hold interest, which is good enough right now!

- for partying: Melissa held her housewarming on Sunday afternoon, a High Tea!
Made by a friend from work!

tea cup biscuits

Just a small sample of the feast!

Note the pinkys!
 - for completion: my gallery wall in the lounge room is done! Right down to the last Scrabble letter on my canvas and the framed scrapbook layout of Kaitlyn's wedding and two photo books of her wedding photos. And I am pretty well done with my Scrabble tile labelling of my bookshelves and the corresponding tidying and culling of my collection. So when I enter the room now, it is with an "AH!" rather than a mental checklist of part-finished tasks!

- for empty: my wool stash is nearly depleted and my Friendship Blanket is moving closer to being done. I am hoping to get several balls of wool from friends this weekend as part of my birthday celebrations and I think once they are incorporated, I will add a final, decorative edge and call it done!

- for patience: every day I get through right now is another step closer to warmer weather and relief from fibromyalgia. This has been a difficult winter so far, health-wise, and I am just looking toward the light at the end of the tunnel and keeping it in focus.

- for anticipation: Friday is my birthday! And I am celebrating that evening with some old NMAA friends - Martine, Wendy, Suzanne and Genevieve  - and then lunch the next day with old school friends Karen, Jackie and Sue!

Saturday, July 23, 2011

I am LEO, hear me roar!

As the astrological calender moves into Leo and my birth-week, I am amazed as ever by the number of people I am friends with who share not only my star sign but whose birthdays are clustered around my own! Am I attracted to those born in the week out of 52 that I was or is it the most random of coincidences?

At one stage, I worked with a boss who was one year and one day younger than I and we shared our birthday morning tea with the EO upstairs! A few weeks ago the topic of birthdays came up at our MS group and the other leader has a birthday the day after mine and others in the group were just before or just after! Our ABA treasurer is also the day after mine and a board member is also this week! But what prompted this post is I just discovered my partner-in-crime in Dandenong ABA also has a birthday this week!

Facebook adds my friend's birthdays to my Google calendar and the upcoming week is awash with them. It is even a busy week for politicians and celebrities!

Just confirms that Leos rule the world and obviously like to hang out together too!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today I am thankful - post, planning and odd socks!

 - for post: I use my work address for online shopping delivery - if I use home, they take it to the post office if nobody is home, but the work postie knows the days we are closed and just keeps them in his van for me :) And today he came laden, like Christmas morning! A vintage Scrabble game with extra letters to complete my wall art; new cushions for the couch - now I seem to have a Scrabble theme going in the lounge room -  and the first of two photo books I have had done featuring Kaitlyn's wedding. I knew they were all coming, but there was a wonderful surprise as well - one of my scrapbooking/Facebook friends made the most incredible detailed mother-and-baby-doll (like the Mamamour ones I lust after) out of crochet! Be still my beating heart! I was having a blah mid-winter day and then the postman brought joy! You can see Kylie's work at her Etsy shop -

- for planning - I had an idea to do something with an occasional table that I have had since I left home and belonged to my parents before that - it has no value other than sentimental. It involves - you guessed it - Scrabble letters :) Itching for the weekend to tackle it!

- for socks! I cannot stand boring socks and have taken to wearing odd socks (much to my cleaner's confusion - I must explain why that aspect of my laundry has become disordered!) so I was thrilled to find this today on Pinterest (oh, how I love thee!) - - and wish I had yesterday, which was officially "Wear odd socks to remember Dobby" day :)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Today I am thankful - supplies, wool and food

- for supplies: Kaitlyn and I hit the wedding section of Paper Squared, our favourite scrapbooking shop in Mornington. I now have an album to fill, plus papers and embellishments - enough to make a good start. Now I just need to print the photos!

- for wool: we stopped in at the wool shop while in Mornington - so cold outside, we were eyeing off the knitted samples on show :) I bought a ball of mohair mix in a sort of muted rainbow of colours and have started some wrist warmers - it is coming out in perfectly spaced stripes!

- for food: we had lunch at The Boyz for Breakky - she had an amazing big breakfast while I had a chicken, advocado and cheese toasty. Warmed us enough to brave the cold to walk back to the car. I was torn between my sandwich and risotto, but decided to make a pot of risotto for dinner instead - chicken and bacon, with lashings of cream and Parmesan. Yum!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Today I am thankful - market, mojo and reading

- for market day: Molly and I had a lovely time at the farmers market today, the rain held off and although it was a little boggy underfoot, it wasn't too bad. I bought a bacon and egg roll, but I mostly ate egg roll, because the bacon seemed to vanish into my companion! I had a lovely chat with the lady selling citrus grown in Redcliffs - my father was born there! She asked if I had Italian heritage (with a bewildered look that suggests I do not look like I do!) and I explained that my family were there well-before the post-WW2 migrants.  I explained they were up there clearing the land in the 1920s and she exclaimed "Oh, with Big Lizzie!" I explained this was so and that my grandfather and others in the family were featured in a newspaper article that included photos not only of them, but of Big Lizzie too! I must scan the article to share - I searched the original newspaper archives at The State Library a few years ago and requested a copy. But Google found this for me for now!

 This massive traction engine is the largest ever built in Australia. So large and so slow that it took over two years (1917-1919) to make the journey from Melbourne to the Red Cliffs area. It weighs over 45 tons, is 34 feet long, 11 feet wide and 18 feet high. It was powered by a 60 horse-power single cylinder Blackstone crude oil engine weighing 8 tons. The turning circle was something to marvel at; it took 200 feet radius to turn it around. It towed two massive trailers, each with their own water and oil reserve tanks, and had an overall carrying capacity of 80 tons.

- for mojo: I spent some time in my scrapbooking room today, first in ages! While I didn't do any actual scrapping, I did some album organisation from last year and filled my memory stick with photos to print! I also installed the paper racks kaitlyn passed onto me from her MIL and that is also a great motivator! The wedding is obviously the main project I need to begin, so I sorted images from the lead up. Tomorrow, kaitlyn and I are going to the scrapbook shop to stock up on supplies with a wedding theme!

- for reading: I started a Debbie Macomber novel this afternoon and am up to page 91 already! It is A Good Yarn and is set in a yarn shop! The characters are knitting socks - this seems to be a recurring theme everywhere I turn of late, so perhaps I need to start a knitting project after my crochet one is complete! However, in the meantime, I plan to read all about it! My book collection is a vision of wonder right now and very inspiring to knuckle down and read! I have ordered additional Scrabble tiles so I can continue shelf-labelling and will take some photos when I get some decent natural light in the lounge room.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Today I am thankful - productive, ending and growing

- for productive: I had one of those days today where I got heaps done :) These days almost make up for the days when I get nothing done! I bought the last frames for my wall gallery and hung those photos and the last canvas, which was conveniently delivered this morning:) And I did a little more fine tuning of my book collection. Then it was off to the hairdresser (me) then the vet (Molly), then the chemist and home to change the kitty litter and bath the dog! Then a surprise visit from Kaitlyn bearing some fabulous paper racks for my scraproom (her MIL doesn't need them anymore) and the groceries were delivered and put away by Kieran. Then I made dinner and crocheted while it cooked! Now its jammie time and some of my favourite TV viewing :)

- for ending: last night we saw the final Harry Potter movie. Even before it was finished I was impatient to get it on DVD! It is the end of an era, as the book and movie releases have punctuated our lives for so many years - both the characters and the actors have grown older parallel to my own kids, so it feels like they were part of our extended family.

- for growing up: my hairdresser's baby boy, who is a month older each time I visit her at home, is now seven months and has two teeth!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Today I am thankful - scrabble, photo books and anticipation

- for Scrabble! My Ebay order was delivered - a bag full of wooden scrabble letters :) As soon as I got home, I hit the library in my living room and began labelling shelves. I am kind of OCD about how I store my books and have wanted shelf labels for some time and have been meaning to get around to doing the scrabble thing. I am about half done, so will share photos when finished. Also culled about 4 green bags of unwanted books to rehome :)

- for photo books: I have been compiling a two-volume album of wedding photos from last November, creating photo books online. This is actually helping me with the scrapbook planning so will have a two-fold benefit: give me something to share now and give me a blueprint to make my own creation.

- for anticipation: we are going to see the final installment of harry Potter tomorrow night - can't wait!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Today I am thankful - doing, books and more books

- for doing: I managed to get things moving in the scrapbooking room, rearranging so the second printer no longer sits on the floor :) and cleared the rest of the clutter from the rest of it too! Got to be a dumping ground during all the recent moving and shaking, but need to get back to purpose. (I over-did it, of course, and over-heated, leading to a MS fatigue flare up requiring about two hours recovery, but you know ...)

- for books: before I tackled the scrap room, I spent some time pottering amongst my bookshelves, reshelving and putting lost souls where they belong. And began my labelling project: for years I have hankered after shelf labels made of Scrabble letters and I have begun with the leftovers from my Family Names project. Thank goodness I discovered Scrabble letters for sale on Ebay! This is the canvas:
Waiting for delivery of missing letters!
- for more books: I spent some time in my Crime/Mystery section when I was tidying and thought to myself I really must continue to build my Agatha Christie collection. Later, after my chiropractor appointment, I popped in to say hello to my daughter at the Savers store where she works and walked out with a bag-full of Christie plus a couple of other books on my list!! Second-hand in near new condition, then with her 50% staff discount :) Life is good!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Why your baby won't let you put him down

Sometimes my daily blog reading hands me great treasures and today is such a day!

This just rolled through my Google Reader and I want to share it with the World as it explains exactly one of my own favourite theories!

Why you aren't covered in hair

"The fact that, like all other primates, our ancestors also grasped their mothers' fur is suggested by the grasping reflexes that are still present in human infants. If one places a finger in the hand of a newborn it will respond by firmly grasping the finger. Or if a newborn's feet are touched it will respond by curling the toes in what looks like a grasping motion. But why should a human infant have such reflexes? A likely answer is that they are the vestiges of an ancient reflex to grasp the mother's fur. 
Luckily, however, the infant's lack of ability to hold onto the mother could be compensated for by the mother's ability to hold onto the infant. For one of the remarkable advantages of bipedalism is that it frees the arms to carry things. 
However, the mother's ability to hold the infant was only part of what was needed. The other part was the mother's strong desire to hold the infant. This is because continually clutching an infant is hard work. One can imagine that many of our early ancestors found the task so daunting that they frequently put the infant down while they did other things, only to have it snatched by a predator or swarmed over and destroyed by insects. Clearly, anything that aided in strengthening the maternal desire to hold the infant would have been selected for. But what sort of factors could have strengthened such a desire?"
I have long-believed that we were over-looking a very serious conflict between the baby's need to be held and the mother's need to be free of the baby to work - as the gatherer part of the Hunter/Gatherer pair it was essential that mothers could have free hands. But putting the child in a bed on the ground is a high-risk behaviour, especially if the mother is out of arms reach. And so the baby sling was invented.

So you put all of the pieces of the puzzle together and it all makes sense:

  • Human has evolved to bi-pedal life. 
  • Human has evolved to hair-free state.
  • Baby can no longer cling to mother.
  • Mother needs to move about for food and shelter.
  • Baby is at mortal risk if left lying on the ground.
  • Baby needs to be within instant access of breast for frequent feeding.
  • Human designs baby wearing solution that allows mothers to have free hands and continue to carry baby.
  • Baby continues to have instinctive fear of being alone in a prone position. This distresses mother.
So our poor "stone age babies in a space age world" (Dr James McKenna) want to spent all the 24 hours in an upright position nestled directly between the mother's breasts, never laid on their backs, never away from body contact. But our space age mothers in a stone age body need to put the baby aside for the bulk of their day so they can do other things and despair the baby who cries in distress whenever laid in his bed, whether awake or in a light sleep and spends most of her time fruitlessly trying to do so.

It is so simple.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Today I am thankful - support, rescue and boobs

- for support: it was MS group again today and it is beginning to come together as a group, as opposed to random people meeting up. Quite hysterical though, all of us struggle to remember names - even if we just heard it - but battle on confidently inserting quite the wrong names as we talk :) "But you see, Anthony... David ..." Lovely to see you Mary." "JAYNE!" says the floor!

- for rescue: also meeting at the same venue were an animal rescue group having training. One rescuer was on duty, with two baby possums tucked up in a pink polar fleece pouch that she was feeding via dropper every few hours. One had only come in yesterday, a hairless, eyes-closed joey if a Brush-Tailed Possum who had been in the pouch when his mother died. He kept  crying for her at feed times. The other, an older Ring Tail not much bigger, scurried about under his carer's scarf, poking his tail out or peeping with wide possum eyes. We had a two year old and a six year old with us - entranced.

- for boobs: in honour of the myriad friendships I have had over 27 years in a breastfeeding support network, I crocheted two breasts to incorporate into my Friendship Blanket ;) I wish I could see the cleaner's face when she makes the bed on Tuesday while I am at work!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Today I am thankful - car, photos and supply

- for my car: it was good to be back on the road again, after the mechanic fixed my car yesterday, instead of today as first estimated.

- for photos: I spent some time browsing through photos making a selection for enlargements to get printed while I was out. My new photo gallery wall is progressing - just one canvas to be delivered and some frames to buy. Problem is, now I want to refresh the other gallery in the room!

- for supply: I stocked up on yarn, so am back to my candy-store stash to choose from! My cleaner is amazed by how the blanket grows between her visits and asked just how big it will be! I said I don't know ;)

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Today I am thankful - home, calm and update

- for getting home: driving my poor car home was an experience today, as she coughed and spluttered and struggled at low speeds. Got to the mechanics and left her there for some TLC.

- for calm: The message on my mobile from Melissa was simple - I have your son, I have your dog! The usual chaos that is she, her brother and their friends in full cos-play production was not at my house, but hers!

- for update: last night I got Kaitlyn to come around and help me add a wall decal to my new gallery wall in the living room. It is all coming together and I love it :) Will share when it is finished.

Friendship Blanket update: thought I would share some photos of my blanket, which is sort of taking on a life of its own!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Today I am thankful - recovery, fantasy, fame and progress

- for recovery: it has been a bumpy ride but I think it is almost at an end. I woke at 2am Wednesday morning with a headache and haven't been well since! Thursday I thought it was developing into a migraine but it revealed itself to be viral when further symptoms joined the party. So I left work at lunchtime Thursday and took to my bed and here I am still in it on Monday! Fatigue has set in and I probably won't have the most productive work week but things can only get better!

- for fantasy: to distract my brain while my body rested, I headed to Hogwarts! Over Saturday and Sunday, I watched all seven Harry Potter movies back-to-back and am now impatiently awaiting the last installment due in a couple of weeks.

- for fame without fortune: after more than a year, a DVD arrived in the post - Creating Resilient Families by MS Australia and featuring Melissa and I among other contributors! We filmed it so long ago I can't recall when and I had completely forgotten what we actually said, but all is good! None of the rest of the family were up for it when asked ;)

- for progress: even having restricted my time crocheting while sick, I have still made serious inroads into my yarn stash! The Friendship Blanket is close to covering the top of my queen-sized bed and will soon begin to pour down the sides. It's warmth is comforting.