January 2009

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I slept through most of Australia Day.  Don’t know if I ate something wrong or just picked up a bug – but it wasn’t pretty.  So – I’ve got nothing to report, AGAIN.  *sigh* Terribly boring of me.

Trying to get in to see a doctor tomorrow – should my back really still be hurting this much eight days after a fall?  Then I’ve got the psychologist AND the psychiatrist to see this week.

Psychology and Psychiatry

Yep. That’s always FUN.

Tomorrow HAS to be better, yes?

As I write we are in the middle of a wonderful fabulous heavy rainstorm.  Ahhhhhhhhhh!  I know this makes me sound like I’m 80 instead of 40, but the relief in my joints when a storm finally arrives is BLISS.

The other cause of happiness: Today a book arrived from my Mum and Dad:

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

On Food and Cooking - you NEED THIS BOOK!

I had the first edition – in fact, I have had SEVERAL copies, one I which I gave to my Dad – but somewhere in one of the moves I lost MY copy.  When I was at my brother’s over Christmas I was browsing his copy and remembered how much I enjoyed it – and so Mum and Dad kindly agreed to buy me a new copy.

So now I have the revised edition, with lots more info, I think I may have got the better end of the deal!

The charming and erudite Harold McGee continues to write about food and science – his most recent monthly column can be found at this link or by clicking the “news” tab on his website.

(*giggles* I might add that the book doubles as a handy weight for triceps and biceps work – you need strength to hold this up to read, or your nose will get smashed!)

Waving goodbye to his beautiful ringlets

Waving goodbye to his beautiful ringlets



Falling over at step class: free.

Supports to help heal the injuries: $120

Ankle brace

Ankle brace - not MY ankle, obviously!



An expensive lesson in not pushing myself QUITE so hard quite so fast.

Still feeling quite cross with myself, but I need to keep going.  Pilates class tonight – normally I would do this on Monday mornings, but my ankle and calf were not going ANYWHERE yesterday.

Not much else going on – just about finished reading this:

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher

The Suspicions of Mr Whicher: A Shocking Murder and the the Undoing of a Great Victorian Detective by Kate Summerscale.  Interestingly, the same Great Detective, Mr Whicher, was a key investigator in the case of the Tichborne Claimant – something of a celebrity connection with my home town of Wagga Wagga, NSW!

And now, I’m off to the libary, because I’m about to enter into that most dire of states: I HAVE NOTHING TO READ!! Then to Pilates class… ouch ouch ouch ouch….

But needed to be a post.  So here goes:

Annie said:

Egads you’re game, I cannot do classes anymore. Was totally addicted to them when I was in my twenties, but now I am just too self conscious, to say nothing of too arthritic to look graceful anymore!

Arthritis is still an issue for me, but the class instructors and my personal trainer take it into account – I do modified version of some exercises and leave some out altogether. But the pain management specialist I see is very big on building muscle to support arthritic joints, and he hasn’t steered me wrong yet…

Of course, it’s early days for me a the gym.  But I am SO determined!

“Self conscious” – I am at the point where I honestly don’t give a STUFF about what anyone else thinks I look like when I’m working out! Of course, it helps a LOT that this is a fantastic gym with friendly people and a wide range of members – there are women (and men!) bigger then I am, and people wear what’s comfy.

Also, I have noticed that the only time anyone really looks in the mirrors is to check their form – if they’re performing the moves correctly –  no skeezoids hanging about checking out the chickybabes of any gender! I think this might be because this isn’t a “trendy” gym  – yes, they’re apparently the only gym in Queensland to offer some of the classes, so they’re modern, and the machines and facilities are kept super clean – but they’re not like SOME places I could name which are owned by franchises and have sales targets and glossy advertising that they have to cover… *wink* I’m sure you know the sort of places I mean!

I’ll NEVER be “graceful” – I mean, you should see the Oxigeno instructor, she moves like a ballet dancer, only with even more amazing muscles – but I expect I’ll get less clumsy and klutzy as I learn the routines and get some balance and core strength. Even SHE falls out of balance poses and admits some days are better than others!

I guess what I’m saying is I’m not letting any of my old ideas about being “perfect” at everything I try hold me back any more. Note: i am NOT saying that “near enough is good enough” – what I’m saying is that I am finally at the point where I can do this for ME, at my pace, and with the expectation that there will NOT be instant results, it’s a long road and I’ve barely taken the first steps.

I’m a bit tireder than usual, but I think when I do get to sleep I’m sleeping better. Going to the gym everyday has definitely improved my mood: even when I’m sore, I still like getting into the workout, and so enjoy the feeling of accomplishment once I’m done!

That said, I’m off to the gym again now.  Just doing the two machines I know so far and some stretches – unless the Step class looks like too much fun!

OI! Hello! It's meeeee!

OI! Hello! It's meeeee!

Hello! It’s me, Caity!  Shocking you as I reveal the alarmingly unflattering arms-length self portrait to show you my even shorter hair and new green framed glasses!  Wooooo!

Yep, that is grey at the temples there.  The pink just fades too darn fast, so I’m going BLONDE next.  At the next haircut.  And I finally got to see my waxer today, so I’m no longer auditioning for any roles as “grotesquely bearded lady” – just “slightly spotty” one.  And given how NONE of you wanted to hear about my facial hair woes mentioned in the last post, I’ll just leave that there, eh?

Sewing: ummmmm – well, I’m going to Gardam’s to order velvet tomorrow after gym… does that count? And I’m planning on rethreading the @*&#!)&*(# overlocker (serger) tonight and replacing the needle that broke right before I went on holidays.  Provided the front room has cooled down some – our wee hoose has no insulation and the temp got up to 36 degrees INSIDE today. That’s 95 F… hot for Toowoomba, but nowhere near the summer scorchers of my childhood.

(In primary school in Dubbo, we all FERVENTLY believed that when the temperature outside reached 46 degrees (115F) we’d be allowed to go home.  I have no idea if it was ever true, but I do remember when the temperature sat at 44 or 45 degrees for weeks and we’d have our classes outside under trees instead. Back in my day, sonny, we didn’t HAVE aircon at school…)

And I will confess to ordering a couple of new Vogue patterns: I like this one from Sandra Betzina especially.


Once my stupid swelly belly problem is a bit more sorted, I’ll sew up some skirt patterns… in the meantime, it’s just easier to wear loose dresses and tshirts with jeans.

Quilting: After quite a long hiatus I actually feel inclined towards making some fibre/quilt art.  I’ve been so out of that loop that I haven’t even read the last few issues of Quilting Arts… horror! And I’ve let my subscriptions to most of the other magazines lapse.  In their most recent email, though, there were some books coming out this year that looked worthwhile…including this one by Melanie Testa:melanie-testa

Doesn’t that look inspiring?

And now I really need to go and get settled for sleep.  I’m trying a new gym class in the morning and I’m feeling very nervous…

… but for now, I’m still so thrilled with myself every time I get there!

I’m especially loving this Oxigeno class thing – did it Monday morning and I can still feel muscles waking up from their 20 year long sleep. “Hey! WHAT?! You want us to do WHAT?!?”

Not painful sore, just – yeah, I worked out, ooooch.

Skipped yesterday because I was SUPPOSED to have a full schedule of appointments.  Now, I HAD been syncing my phone with my computer before I switched to a Linux box (which I love)…but when I got back from my holiday something weird had happened to all my appointments in my phone. OH NOES!

I got to my first appointment for the day ok (the gynaecologist, see him again in three months if this new medication works) because that was written on the calendar in the kitchen.  But – embarrassingly – missed the next two, which I thought were an HOUR LATER than the booked time… oh dear.  I blame the auto time updater on my phone.

So – I have gone back to good ol’ low-tech writing stuff in a diary, dammit! I bought one that is a very pretty blue -called “aqua” by the manufacturer, but in reality darn close to Tiffany blue (a girl can dream eh?)

Low tech, but it works!

Low tech, but it works!

So – re-booked appointment with the waxer (have I mentioned recently my struggles with chin hair? If not, remind me later, I’m sure you’ll all be RIVETED…) and the hairdresser. The lovely pink of a few weeks ago has faded to a dull – hmmm, brownish pinkish? on top, and a purpley-pink for the rest.

I may yet shave it all off and start over – or get white blonde highlights – or go black and red… it’s only hair, after all!

Gym today again – I can’t believe how rotten I feel before I go (“mumble grumble, bed, tea, mumble OH NO MR BELOVED, NOT THE FROZEN SPINACH I’M GETTING UP, REALLY!!!”) and how good I feel afterwards.

But now – I must go clean off the table to trace out a pattern.

Jalie Lounge Pants Pattern

Jalie Lounge Pants Pattern

The annoying thing is that – even with the weight loss I’ve already achieved – the only workout clothes around seem to be for TEENY WEENY (already fit? Grrummph) people.  It’s not like I even want anything fancy – and I *know* I can sew it – but it’s finding the right sort of fabrics in retail amounts that’s difficult.  And I’m not even talking technical/performance fabrics that do fancy things like wicking, oh no – just plain decent quality knits with a bit of body, that’s all I’m after.  Oh, and in just about any other colour than “grey marle”- was whoever invented THAT having a bad day or what? Is there any (non)colour more depressing?

Must get on with the day….

First day doing gym by myself.  I asked the trainer yesterday about the quietest times, and she was spot on – no waiting for machines (I only know how to use two!) and no gawkers.

I think I’m getting the hang of the treadmill  it sound totally woossy to admit it, but DANG that thing scared me yetsterday!  I was white-knuckled at 2.2kms per hour.  Which is S—L—-O—–W!  Today I was more confident, even played about with the incline settings, and got comfortable walking at 5kms per hour.  Still much slower than I walk outside, but a big leap in confidence.

So  – I did an hour of weights/stretches/pilates/treadmill.  All at a very low level, but…I’ll get there.

The gym equipment looks quite a roomful of angular monsters with bright orange mouthparts! *chomp chomp chomp*  I think it would all look much more civilised as a steampunk gym… all brass dials and gleaming ebony – don’t you?

I have a question though: my iriver MP3 player is NOT a fancy beastie.  Basic black with white ear thingies (Dontcha love it when I talk all TECHNICAL!)

And so there are no super duper fancy schmancie armbandy thingummies  to buy to fit it  – and even if they were, I seriously doubt they’d fit around my arm.

– So  – does anyone else have suggestions for how to make something to hold the thing?  The gym music is okay but there are times when I don’t want to listen to “doontz doontz doontz doontz”…. (as I write this I’m listening to Mercy by Duffy – awesome – and appropriate for gym perhaps!)

So I’m thinking a cuff/sleeve MP3 holder, with velcro maybe?  Hmmm.


Duffy - AWESOME voice!

And I’m back to my food diary.  Tedious, but necessary.

Poor Connie J. Woodle was so excited that I was wearing shorts/t/walking sneakers… and then CRUSHED when I told her I was going to gym not to take her for a walk!  I’ll take her later to make up for it – but geesh, that disappointed puppy face – I felt like the world’s cruellest Mum!

Right.  Off to hang the washing and think about tackling …. THE SEWING ROOM ARCHAEOLOGY PROJECT…

Now, as I may have previously mentioned, I am in the process of trying lose weight and get healthy.

BUT for some time now I’ve been stuck.  On a plateau.  Frustrated.

And we all know why, don’t we, boys and girls?

Yep – simple equation that even your math challenged blogonaut here can figure out:

To lose weight: Energy OUT must be greater than Energy IN.

And even on as low as 1200-1400 calories a day – allegedly below the amount needed to fuel my resting metabolic rate – the weight isn’t shifting.  Plus I HATE how I look. Really hate the extra padding. And the painful joints and all the other miseries of being so overweight. (Yes, I’ll probably still have joint pain, that’s the nature of arthritic diseases, but putting less load on the bendy bits will help.)

And I know I don’t have to look like I do.  I know I can be healthy at a much smaller size – ideally, about 40-45 kilograms less than what I currently weigh. (That’s 88-99 lbs less than now.) When I was younger I looked like this:

Caity in 1968

Caity in 1968

AHEM!  Let’s be a leeeeeeeeeeeeeeetle more realistic now…

Caity in 1991

Caity in 1991

This was in 1991. Which means I was 23.  Now, while I don’t NECESSARILY want to be as thin as this, (and it is, after all, *mumblety* years later) I reckon I can go a lot closer to looking like THAT than I am now.


My dear friend Sue has been encouraging me to join the gym for some time now.  She’s worked hard to get trim and toned – and she looks great.  So  – I have my fitness assessment TOMORROW!  I’m so excited!

No big lock-in contracts, no poseurs – just a nice clean friendly gym. Run by nice people.  And a lovely  personal trainer I will work with  once a fortnight. And a goal for the year: 20 kgs less than I am now, with much improved fitness and sleekness!  I think that’s reasonable and achievable.

All the specialist doctors I see have been encouraging me to go for it – Mr Beloved is STRONGLY supportive – and my Mum and Sister-In-Law have weight loss goals for this year, too.

I know there will be days when I try to pike out – but I’m DETERMINED TO DO THIS.

(Just – if I do slack off – give me a gentle kick and tell me to get back in there, ok!)

So: tomorrow is full of good stuff.  Psychologist appointment, then the gym ,then I pick up my new spectacles and prescription sunglasses.  Oh, and I get to order  the silk/rayon velvet I need for my S-I-L’s bolero – good on Gardam’s, they’ve come through for me yet again!

So! Here I am home again.  I am still In Trouble with Her Poodleness for going away – she is quite determinedly “Daddy’s Dog” at the moment.  Flight was ok (and greatly enhanced by my earlier reading of The Cloudspotters Guide) and the trip home from Brisbane Airport to Toowoomba was better than usual (owing mostly to Mr Beloved’s familiarity with the back streets of Brisbane that kept us well away from the Milton Road traffic).

On to the Things I Now Know:

I need a MINIMUM of 12 hours sleep.  Any less than that and I am running a sleep deficit which eventually leads to my falling into bed and losing a day.

Despite all good intentions, I didn’t sew.  After Mum carted her machines all the way to Adelaide! But I did get Ju’s measurements, did the alteration, and Mum started the dress. I slept a LOT while Mum sewed!

Bantam Langshans don’t go cluck cluck, they almost purr. Bantam Australorps are also very pretty.

top: Berys; middle: Mrs Bantam-Langshan; bottom: Mrs Bantam-Australorp

top: Berys; middle: Mrs Bantam-Langshan; bottom: Mrs Bantam-Australorp

White Leghorns and Isabrowns act just like cliquey teenage girls. They like to do everything the “in” crowd is doing, but they are terrible gossips, and can spend hours chatting.

Mrs Isabrown: A good layer but a terrible gossip

Mrs Isabrown: A good layer but a terrible gossip

For some reason (possibly based in his troubled childhood ducklinghood), Adam (seen here sporting his trademark D.A.coiffure) Does Not Like the dominant white chook, Mrs Leghorn.  Who is now called Berys – for reasons which may be obvious in the photo of the three girls – if you thought “something’s not quite right with the bare bum of that white chook” you’d be right.  Adam “Drake” Khaki-Campbell was held in Duck Gaol for assault, and is currently on parole with a good behaviour bond.

Adam and Eve Khaki-Campbell

Adam and Eve Khaki-Campbell

(and watching Chook TV is a very pleasant way to spend time.)

I have also found The Hen of My Dreams: well, not found her yet, but I know what she is:

Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam Hen

Silver Laced Wyandotte Bantam Hen

pretty, yes? Wyandottes are a very hen-shaped hen, I reckon.  And If I’m going to enjoy them, I want them to be really pretty! They’re not brilliant layers, but we don’t eat heaps of eggs anyway – we mainly want them for their help in the garden and our watching pleasure.

After watching the chooks at my brother and sister-in-law’s place, I’m somewhat in awe of the digging capability of the bigger chooks, and like the amenability of the bantams.

Gordon: Not a Morning Person either

Gordon: Not a Morning Person either

My brother, Gordon, works as a fruiterer.  And has to start Very Early a lot.  Despite the fact that Not Being A Morning Person seems to run in the family…

(I didn’t get a single photo of Dad!  Arrgh! Or one of Mum and Dad together!)

We didn’t see much of my nephew, Hunneal, either.  He was either at work (extra shifts to earn money since this will be his final year at school, and he’s studying hard for the big UMAT exams in July) or like this:

My Nephew, Hunneal - too tired to move!

My Nephew, Hunneal - too tired to move!

3 pairs of shoes ( 1 flats, 1 heels, 1 walking sneakers) was just right.  Yay! Also – my white walking sneakers are Not Suitable for jogging. I need more bounce than they provide. Hmmm.

It is impossible to tire out a Border Collie, no matter how long the walk or how many sticks you throw in the river.

Bidgee The Indefatigable

Bidgee The Indefatigable

Some people DON’T EVEN OWN IRONING BOARDS, let alone good irons, and a sewist should take this into account! Packing one simple dress that needs ironing is not too bad.  Packing a dress that needs complicated ironing – not so good.  Lesson: Never assume your obsessions will be the same as your host’s!

IKEA =totally amazing. For just about EVERYTHING.

Shellfish and my tummy DO NOT GET ALONG. Ahem.  Ooops.

My great-great-great ( is that enough greats?) Grandfather built a heap of buildings in Glenelg.  I have stood at what was Miller’s  corner, where his timberyard business once stood. I have seen the grand building in the middle of Adelaide where he had his office. Gordon reckons that makes us practically locals!

Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg - built by David Miller

Bay Discovery Centre at Glenelg - built by David Miller

If the suitcase is full on the way TO the holiday, it’s going to be touch and go whether it bursts a zip on the way home… Thankfully it didn’t.

I miss Mr Beloved a LOT when I am away! Our phone bills will be huge, but it was worth it.  We had to talk to each other a couple of times a day, and 20 days was really stretching the limit of time away from each other.  I’m very glad I went, and I loved spending time with my family, but gee it’s good to be home!

So here we are, almost at 2009.  Wheeeee.

Goals etc: lose another 20 kg.  Exercise everyday. Join (and USE !) the gym.

A bit down today, for no discernible reason – except that Mr Beloved is a long way away and I miss him, a LOT.

Happy New Year, all!