Mental Health

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At long last – yesterday was THE DAY for the solar hot water installation!  We’ve had the unit and various boxes for SIX WEEKS but because of bad weather and then we were sick and then the installer was sick – well, it was THE DAY.  Things didn’t start all that well – the Blokes arrived (having driven up from Brisbane) a bit after nine and discovered straight away that VITAL COMPONENTS WERE MISSING.  Oh noes!

Boss Bloke got on the phone to the supplier.  Did I mention the AGONY we had already gone through getting anything done with the supplier?  Because our solar electricity panels were part of a government pilot program, we were assigned to a supplier who had won the government tender.  Had we but known…

The supplier has been just AWFUL to deal with.  At one point they even sent OUR information to another customer in Toowoomba (!!) and we received yet ANOTHER customer’s personal details – bad enough, right?  But add in the phone calls never returned, the forms not sent, yada yada yada… Anyway, we had already ordered the solar hot water system at the same time (last NOVEMBER, can you believe it?!) as the solar electricity, well before we knew what a stuff up they would make of everything.

So we’ve got Offsider Bloke getting down to things and removing the old hot water heater (which we then discovered had been leaking for quite some time..) and removing Lino of Renovations Past and (aha!) mouldy newspapers from 1976.  Which means our hot water heater was 33 years old – no WONDER it was getting sicker and sicker! They have a mean time to failure of about TEN years!

bathroom floor

(Floor is actually still pretty solid – looks worse than it is, and needs a good drying out)

Outside, Boss Bloke is ranting (quite justifiably) at the supplier saying “Vital Parts… you do this to other tradies but you don’t bloody well do it to ME… get it HERE!” and being told that the part was leaving on a courier RIGHT THEN.  (Which turned out to be a LIE on the part of the supplier – what a surprise, eh?)

Long story short – even after spending an hour for lunch and driving round various stores in Toowoomba, the tradies couldn’t get a replacement part.  Obviously made of pure unobtainium, that bit. More angry phone calls, drama, etc… and tradies standing around doing NOTHING  – which as you know, costs $$$.

I phoned the CEO of the supplier and had a rant. The courier still not here – a 90 minute trip had so far taken 6 hours, if we were to believe the supplier. Roadworks? Sure, there are roadworks on the Warrego Highway, but SIX HOURS? I DON’ THINK SO!!

Offsider Bloke is getting increasingly surly as the afternoon wears on… Boss Bloke is fuming but still chatting amicably some of the time… both Mr Beloved and I are EXHAUSTED from dealing with people in our space (and demanding people at that) all day… and at close to 5 pm the courier arrives!!!  YAY!!!

Eventually we get the paperwork sorted, I’m out of pocket a HEAP extra (well, actually, Mum and Dad are in the long run, since they have kindly and generously offered to fund the solar hot water, *mwah* Mum and Dad!) that I am going after the Supplier for.  The invoice from the installer notes that the extra impost is Due to delays caused by non-supply of parts, as discussed with CEO of Supplier.

Boss Bloke and Offsider Bloke finally get away at almost 6 pm.  Mr Beloved and I manage to eat something (hooray for about to be out-of-date filled pasta on sale at the supermarket!) and end up in bed by 7:30 pm. (although Mr B gets up and does his computer and online stuff, which is Good For Him.)

At this point, I am VERY glad that Supplier is so stupid about record keeping and paperwork – you see, THEY HAVE YET TO BILL US FOR THE SOLAR HOT WATER UNIT.  Which means that WE have the winning hand – and if we have to take them to small claims court it will still be worth our while.  Because as I said to the CEO – I can’t afford to have had tradies standing around doing nothing . So he’s bloody well gonna wear that charge.

solar panels

[See the solar panels? The one on the lower part of the roof is the new solar hot water one.  As you can see, it’s quite overcast today, so it will be interesting to see how much hot water we get.  Fortunately the hot water heater also has an electric element and a pump, so we ALWAYS should have hot water…]

what bird

The late afternoon thrill was my very first sighting and identification (thanks to our venerable 1963 edition of Mr Cayley’s What Bird Is That?)of red browed finches in our yard!!  I was lying in bed this morning just replaying the excitement when I realised I suddenly GOT IT – the thing that mad twitchers (birdwatchers) are about.  I’m hoping that today I might be able to get a photo, you really have to see the RED on these teeny birds, and the way they are totally fearless about hopping around in front of you!  (And I think I might have to treat myself to an updated bird book – this one tells me that the Latin name is Ægintha temporalis, but it’s now called Neochmia Temporalis.)

And this morning I also heard the wonderful “mooopmoopmoopmooop” call of the Tawny Frogmouth.  Ahhh! Birdy bliss!

Well, It’s now 10 am, I better get my day started… before I go, here’s some other birdy news: our cockatiel hen, Bolly, is spending all her time in the nesting box, sitting on at least two eggs! She has yet to actually get eggs to hatch (although the last lot did appear to have chick embryos well formed before she gave up on them) but this could be the year we get baby birds…

In a flu-dazed moment the other night…


[clicky for biggy, do I have to keep saying this?]

Luckily once I’d got the top off I realised the tube I had in my hand was TOO BIG to be the lip balm.

Am I the only one to have these sort of near misses? (Anyone? Bueller? Bueller?…)

I am getting better, slowly.  Yet again the solar hot water installer declined to come near the obviously germ-ridden House of the Beloveds.  Grumph.  Next week, we hope.  I had to cancel another specialist appointment because I didn’t want to sit about in a waiting room full of people even more vulnerable to this wretched flu than I was.

Time for my next cuppa tea (It’s important to get fluids in, right?!)

Well, today was the first day I haven’t actually felt WORSE than the day before. Yay?

For all that, it was still Another Bed Day.  *sigh* And our solar hot water didn’t get installed yesterday because – THE PLUMBER WAS SICK! We’ve rescheduled for next Wednesday, just gotta hope that the weather doesn’t work against us.

Ricë wrote a post today about the intrusiveness of muzak.  I started a rant in reply in my comment on her post, but here’s some more rant:

I’ve been rabbiting on at various In Real Life friends about the new growth industry (no, Dustin, it’s not PLASTICS) – it’s audiology.  Seriously, every time I go to the shops there seems to be a new one offering hearing tests and ever smaller hearing aids.  I think Toowoomba is up to about 20, for a population of 90,000.  And do you know why?


It’s because almost nobody can stand SILENCE any more. When and how did we become a culture that feels the need to be constantly immersed in man made sound?  Waiting rooms are drenched in either overly loud muzak or blaring televisions.  Supermarkets and shopping centres play their identifying jingles over and over and over.  We get in cars and immediately turn on the radio or a CD.  Those ubiquitous white dangly cords drape from ears to iPods, cocooning each wearer in their own world of individualised sound.

Our house is near the local railway yards, and surrounded by train tracks.  We expect a certain amount of noise each day from the coal trains and maintenance vehicles, and most nights we can hear the chiropractic clunks and crashes of carriages being shunted. Some of the train drivers are artists, echoing the horn of their diesel engine around the valley as they pass by the yards.

On clear  nights I can hear the “ping… Ping… Ping… pokpokpokpokpokpokpok” of the traffic signals over 150 metres away across the creek.  Some nights we are visited by the local owl (mo POKE! mo POKE!) and some nights the plovers scream from the vacant, weedy blocks.

Some nights we are woken by domestic quarrels; by neighbours who think that chopping wood after midnight is a perfectly reasonable thing to do; by dog fights, screeching engines and tyres sliding on the bitumen.  Or the ever-so-charming individual who believes that by renting a nearby industrial unit he has the right to super-amplified music at any time day or night.  I don’t think in the 5 years I’ve lived here there has been a single night without hearing at least one set of emergency service vehicles dopplering by on one of the main roads.

Oh, and I mustn’t forget to mention Bung Lung – one of the new neighbours who, although appearing to be in his mid 20s, has the emphysemal lungs and bronchial function of a 50 a day pensioner.  (We’ve started referring to their household as The Brueghels – because they’re phlegmish. (groan!)  Nothing like hearing a lugey hawked up outside your window at 3am to jolt you out of a dream. (The cigarette stench is a subject for another post…)

All of those are noises which are beyond my control.  When I can choose my audio surroundings, more often than not I’ll choose silence. Because it’s rare and I enjoy it.  I have quite enough trouble fighting with my head to get anything done, without inviting more noise in.

I’ll listen to Radio National, if there’s something good on.  My CD collection is almost exclusively female singers (loving the new Lily Allen album, and I never get tired of Kirsty MacColl)but I really only listen to music if I’m sewing or at the gym.

But Mr Beloved lives in a music centred world.  Where I find it VERY difficult to process two audio signals at once (especially if one of them is voice), he thrives on audio complexity.  (Not suprisingly, he’s a long time fan of Brian Eno.) I can’t read if there is competing audio – my brain just gets frustrated.  My Dad  can listen to radio, watch TV, AND read the newspaper all at once – I have no idea how he does it and even THINKING about it makes me feel quite ill.

My ideal world would have a soundproof room, possibly with squishy walls, and maybe a coat with arms long enough to actually fit me…

And now I’m off to take my medications.  Night!

Sometimes I like to think of my life as a giant game of snakes and ladders. No particular reason… but dentists definitely qualify as “snakes”, and they knock me back several squares every time.
Last week, I went to the dentist for my 6 month check up and clean. She found a CAVITY. *shudder*
So I made an appointment for Wednesday this week, and went home feeling pretty ok.

Until yesterday morning… when the tooth in question started feeling like it was about to explode. Owie. Didn’t help that my recurrent sinus infection was playing up…
A quick discussion before she starts on whether I should have white or amalgam fillings, The amalgam ones last twice as long as the less visible kind, so I opt for the metal, and she numbs me up. (Oooh boy was I numb! The appointment was at 2, it took ’til 7pm before I could feel the left side of my face properly!)

Drill, drill, whirr, whirrrrr grrrrrRRRRRRRiiiiinnd, drill drilll…
“OH.” She says. “The hole has spread to the adjoining surface. We might as well do that one today too, hmmm?”
“Mmmwrffgggl”, says the quivering wreck of Caity. (Did I mention that I’m not good at Dentists? No?! Well, I’m NOT. I didn’t go to the dentists for FIFTEEN YEARS and then I had to go every fortnight for most of a year. Hence the now religious 6 monthly appointments.)

(My Canberra Dentist, the wonderful Jo Newton, used to sing the Dentist’s Song from Little Shop of Horrors to me. She also had the Larson cartoon below next to the chair. I’m not sure if dentistry requires a certain sense of black humour to begin with or if you develop one as a result of spending your days looking at people’s teeth!)

I blame my dental phobias on childhood dental trauma (doesn’t everyone?) Imagine, if you will, that it is 1972, in a small town in rural New South Wales, and wee Caity is 4 years old. And there’s a GREAT BIG HULKING DENTIST with smoke stained fingers (this was waaaaaaay before gloves, let alone the anti-smoking movement!) like swollen sausages, trying to shove his fingers in my mouth. Without my permission. And then pulling out my teeth, because my teeth were too big for my mouth.

Oh shut up, I do so TOO have a small mouth.

Not Actually Me, But You Get The Idea

Not Actually Me, But You Get The Idea

Then we skip through time (insert wavery dream sequence thingy here if you’re so inclined) to my early thirties, where my sins are starting to catch up with me. A series of root canals, another tooth pulled, (which is when I had my appointment times restricted to “Last of the day ONLY” so I didn’t scare off the other patients) and then The Big Mistake: getting my wisdom teeth out in the chair. If you ever have to get wisdom teeth out DO IT IN HOSPITAL. The Temperomandibular Joint Disorder (TMJ) problems from those 4 teeth lasted years. YEARS!!

Of course, I already had TMJ issues as a result of my first husband’s propensity to connect his fist rather solidly with my jaw whenever he got really drunk, and add the fact that I grind my teeth when I sleep … well, each visit to the dentist tends to leave me rather. bloody. miserable.

Finally I hear the best words possible: “You can Rinse out now”. YAY! I didn’t scream, not even once! (I also doubt I could recognise my dentist out of her rooms, sine I keep my eyes scrunched up for as much of the whole procedure as possible.) The Health Fund only paid about a third of the cost.

At least I didn’t grind my teeth last night – I know I didn’t because I didn’t sleep. My face still feels like I’ve been stomped on by a soccer player, and I’ve taken every combination of painkillers I’m allowed to have, up to and including Lindt 85% Cocoa chocolate. Think I’ll just head back to bed and moan some more for a while…

WELL! Yesterday Sue and I ventured down the hill and into the big smoke – and right out of the big smoke again to the faaaaaaaaaar side of BrisVegas. We met up with a bunch of the girls from the Pattern Review Down Under message board – frustratingly, my camera didn’t work, so I can’t show you a picture!!

We started at East Coast Fabrics at Lawnton. A few of us HAD to buy this fabric:
It’s cotton, a good weight for a coat or a skirt, and was only $5.95 a metre!! (That’s my Magic Pattern Book on it for scale – the book is A5, which is 5.8 X 8.3 inches. More on the Magic Pattern Book soon.) I’m thinking it will become either this coat
106(#106 from Burda WOF 4/09 – because I have been in LOVE with this pattern wince I first saw it; and even more so when I saw Anne’s gorgeous floral version!

The other possible pattern is this “Hortensia” coat from Ottobre Spring/Summer 09.
Ottobre Hortensia

We then managed to get lost (It was the Magic Talking Lady’s fault! She kept blanking out her little screen map and tsking at us: “RE-Calc-u-lating!”) and find our way again to Indooroopilly shops, where we had lunch, and a shop at Sckaff’s Fabrics. I was VERY GOOD and though tempted (mostly by their hats!) I didn’t buy anything there – this time!

We were reluctant to say goodbye to the PRDU girls, but were late getting on the road already. Still, we figured a quick stop at Gardam’s (just around the corner from the Indooroopilly shops, after all!) was in order. Sue managed to find exactly what she’d been looking for; and I grabbed this 95% poly/ 5% wool tweedy/herringbone fabric to make a skirt.
poly wool

The trip home was looooooooong! It took us ages to get anywhere – major roadworks combined with the first night of the school holidays left us with plenty of time to put on a CD of ’80s favourites and bop along… two forty-somethings singing “my job is very boring I’m an OFFICE CLERK!” with great gusto, and “air drumming” along with Adam Ant… it passed the time, anyway!

We’d already booked for a girl’s night out with friends from the gym, but I was soooo tired I left early. I did manage to get a leeeetle bit squiffy and attempt to teach my favourite drunk tongue-twisters to a couple of the girls!

Bed day today. If it’s not drizzly tomorrow I hope to get my new fabric washed and the patterns traced – because I neeeeeed a floral coat, don’t you think?!

My memory is going.  Or rather, parts of it have already gone.  Anyone who knows me In Real Life will have already noticed the phenomenon – and I suspect, Dear Reader, I may have bored you with the same story more than once, too.  But I can’t remember.

My long term memory still seems to be mostly okay.  My short term memory is… ummm, what was I saying again?  And I feel like the transition between short term and long term memory just isn’t happening very effectively.

I don’t know if the loss is due to general anaesthetics (four in one year is NOT a good thing) – I asked my darling SIL (a super smart nurse, now cardio sonographer and probably going back for yet more study) about it and she said there is certainly a lot of anecdotal evidence for the link, but hadn’t read any peer reviewed studies about it.

(I also have to fight any tendency to think “Well this is it, the brain tumor”…. because there is NO evidence that my sister’s illness and death were caused by anything but a random rogue cell gone berserk. Still, I worry…)

Of course, there’s always the “major depressive disorder” diagnosis to account for memory loss as well.

Internet induced hypochondria is always a fun game to play.  I love this list of “some of the earliest signs and symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease” from the Mayo Clinic: (My typical responses in this funny green colour)

  • Asking the same questions repeatedly (What are we having for dinner? Was there any mail today? Did you go to the shops already?)
  • Difficulty remembering common words when speaking (You KNOW, the WHOSAMATHINGER!!  The WHATSIT!! THE DOOVERLACKEY!! Damnit, what’s it called? Oh yeah – the CAR.)
  • Mixing words up — saying “bed” instead of “table,” for example (I’ll just put this on the trouser, then, shall I? And mop the kitchen …. thingummyjig.)
  • Being unable to complete familiar tasks, such as following a recipe (Muffins need FLOUR? Oops!)
  • Misplacing items in inappropriate places, such as putting a wallet in the refrigerator (Isn’t that the first place everyone looks?)
  • Getting lost while driving on familiar streets (La la la I’m sticking my fingers in my ears, I only had to drive around the big block once…)
  • Undergoing sudden changes in mood or behavior for no apparent reason (I’M NOT GRUMPY! Oh. Is there any tea left in the pot then?)
  • Becoming less able to follow directions (“No, truly, the sewing pattern companies JUST DON’T MAKE SENSE.  And I’ve ALWAYS been left/right dyslexic. That’s not new. Hang on, this says do WHAT?)

alz-signI finally  – FINALLY!! After months of trying to remember – got a friend’s surname last night at about 2 am. The annoying thing was that his surname is also his nickname (as is the way with many Aussie nicknames – shorten and add an “ee” or an “oh”) and it was just… GONE from my memory.  I could see his face, hear his voice, remember his first name – but the surname? Nope.  I even sent an email to my Mum back on April 14: “What was the surname of S, that Nif used to share a house with?” – and that was a last resort, after wracking my brain for weeks.  ARRRGH!! (she didn’t know either.  But I’ve stayed at his house, had him stay at mine, written letters back and forth, etc!)

I recently bought a book that we already owned – a Bad Thing when our book buying is so limited – because I didn’t remember it AT ALL.  And I used to be the one that people were awed by, since I could remember whole slabs of reading.   I could cite names and arguments for academic debates and essays.  Now I get to re-read books over and over – because the plots and characters disappear between one reading and the next

There are patterns and fabrics in my sewing stash that I have absolutely no recall of buying.

And I often get things wrong because I JUST DON’T REMEMBER.  And sometimes my mind tries to fill in the blanks anyway – which means that sometimes my version of events is significantly different from what others remember.  I know that happens anyway – no one’s perception of events is the same as anyone else’s, right? I mean, we can’t even be sure that we’re all seeing the same colour when we label something as “red”.  Let alone more subjective and emotionally coloured experiences.

Old age? Sleep deprivation? Drug interaction? Just plain getting DUMBER? I don’t know.

Or maybe I just don’t remember. Am I alone in all this? And why am I writing this anyway? Who are you, I’ve never seen you before in my life!!

More on memory in another post…

(and now, I must go and play with the poor neglected Pfaff machine that only gets dragged out for classes or when the Goddess Pfaffalina is busy embroidering.  Got a class to go to with Sue tomorrow and I need to remember how to sew on the baby Pfaff!)

Apologies for my silence, Dear Reader.  I have been ill.  *sigh* Again.

The tummy pain is back with a vengeance… almost to pre-surgery levels.  It’s stopping me from doing things.  I hate that.

I haven’t been to the gym in WEEKS.  I haven’t trained, haven’t done weights, haven’t been to a SINGLE class.  Ugh.  And you know what? Not only do I feel awful, my skin has gone really ratty too.  Who knew that even my SKIN was benefiting from exercise? I know it makes sense, skin being the largest organ, etc, but sheesh!

(Fortunately when I was at the GPs today to get a coupla new scripts and a referral to Yet Another Expensive Doctor, I jumped on the scales: 98 kg.  I honestly thought that I would have been back over the 100kg mark, what with not worrying about calories AT ALL while I was away, and not going to work out. )

I have done no sewing.  Not even tracing patterns.  Or finishing off a dress that only needs armhole and neck bindings and a hem to make it wearable.

I have managed a small amount of house cleaning, though.  I get tired of living in my mess every so often and then tend to overdo things (does that sound familiar to anyone else?) so I’m limiting myself to half an hour a day of solid housework.

Mr Beloved, Constance J. Woodle, Miss Kit Tern and the birdies are all well, if slightly bored by my constant whining about my tummy hurting.

We watched a documentary yesterday about guitars (Mr Beloved is a talented muso, I don’t know if I’ve mentioned that? All self taught, and very fond of experimental music and mucking about on guitars) and he said:”Do you think I would be less depressed if I played more often?”


Do you think *I* would be less depressed if I actually sewed/made art more often?


It’s all about balance, isn’t it?

balancing act...

balancing act...

I couldn’t do it.  I just couldn’t make myself go to the 18 year old’s funeral.

Excuses included: my bones ache; I’m too exhausted; it’s about to rain (and the church is never going to fit in all the people who will attend); and the ever popular tantrum cry of “I DON’T WANNA.”

The real reasons I didn’t go include: the last funeral I attended was my sister’s.  And somehow, I’m still not ready to see someone else’s siblings and parents grieving.

Also, I’m a wuss.  When his parents asked everyone to “Please wear bright colours to celebrate his life” I had to fight back tears and a ginormous lump in my throat.

I’ll send a card, but I just couldn’t do the funeral.  Does that make a selfish bitch?




What’s that, you ask?

It is the sound of bubbles in a glass of soda water – when I have a migraine.  Yep, I get the full-on deal – pain and weakness down one side of my body, sometimes loss of vision in one eye, nausea, and extreme sound and light sensitivity.

Why thank you, Jeeves!

Why thank you, Jeeves! Silenced soda, just as I ordered!

Of course, today was the day the  neighbourhood’s neglected dogs decided to sit a foot away from each other across the fence and see who could make the most annoying barking noise for the longest.

I think the migraine started last night – I suspect that one of the fluoro lights in the gym group fitness room,was doing that ever so subtle flick-flick-flicker-flick thing that they do before they fail – I know that sort of flickering is a trigger for my migraines.  Especially if I’m tired to begin with.

So I’m heading back to bed, having been upright for a grand total of maybe 2 hours today.  Bleagh.

Also, humph.

So I didn’t go to the gym on the weekend – which would have been FINE had I not baked Peach Crumble Slice last night.  And eaten ALL OF IT with Mr Beloved. Oh dear.

Never mind – rather than dwelling on the mistake, I took myself and my new cross trainers off to the gym this arvo.

Asics Gel 580-TR cross trainers

Asics Gel 580-TR cross trainers

Did my 30 minutes of cardio stuff (Translation: panting on the treadmill while it makes whooshy up and down noises as it changes the gradient – so high tech!) and 30 or so minutes of upper body resistance training (Trans: Wobbly tuckshop lady arms struggling to lift teeny weeny weights).

Then home via the library (because as we all know, there is NOTHING TO READ in my house….) in time for Scrapheap Challenge.

Tomorrow I’ve got an Exciting Thing to do!  It involves the transformation from this old version of Caity….

Caity, June 2008

Caity, June 2008

… into the new (slightly more slimline!) short haired blonde seen around here lately… with more make-up.  Think I’ll even ending up wearing the same top (although we might have to pin it back slightly!)

More on that tomorrow.  I’ve know about this for a week, and kinda wish that I had known longer in advance, because then I would have attempted the stupid unrealistic thing of “how much weight can I lose before THEN?”!

Uh – maybe not, eh?  I’m where I am NOW. That will do.

I mean, I’ve come a long way already in the weight loss/getting fit/getting healthy stuff… I’m just feeling frustrated at myself because I feel like the results aren’t happening quickly enough.  I know, it takes time, it takes training – but my inner toddler says “WANT IT NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOWWWWW!!!”

Fortunately my inner surly teen whiner (“what’s the use, this isn’t gonna work, you can’t make me do this ANYWAY”) is securely locked in her room and is not allowed out.

So I’ll keep going.  And going. and talk to my personal trainer after Pilates class tomorrow night about re-focussing and what I need to do next.

Time for a (lo-fat!) hot choc and a few pages before I zonk.  Night all!


Now THAT’S What I call a chick flick!

  • Funny movie with lots of laugh out loud moments – check.
  • Cute boy? Uh huh.
  • Enjoyable minor characters? Yep! Especially Kristen Scott Thomas’s fash mag editor with her outrrrrrrrrrrrageous French accent, (which is doubly hilarious because she does speak perfect French)… and debt collector Derek Smeath is perfect, just PERFECT!
  • FABULOUS clothes? You betcha! The shoes!  The iconic green scarf! The plaid cloak!
  • Unexpected quirks? Oh yeah! (store mannequins that tempt, I’m sure I’ve seen those….)
  • Happy ending? OF COURSE!

What more could you possibly want from a Saturday afternoon at the movies?

And to anyone who has been swayed by the critics telling us that the heroines of recent chick flicks are “… brainless idiots, you know, with nothing more on their minds than, you know, getting a man or shopping” (thanks, Margaret Pomeranz – NOT!) Nope.  In denial about her out of control spending – yes, and I certainly can relate to that.

I didn’t get myself into quite as much debt as she did – but then, I don’t have access to the luxury outlets she did, nor did I have multiple credit cards.  Not for want of the big banks trying – the rotters just sent me another “you have been pre-approved for a credit increase” letter this week, which would have taken my credit limit to substantially more than my annual income – now, how STUPID is that?

(Mr Beloved insists that When He Comes To Power, any banks or financial institutions offering credit cards to those who clearly can’t afford them will be deemed to have given a GIFT of that amount to the offer-ee.  Fair enough!)

And to those who say that the film  is inappropriate during the Global Financial Crisis, I say: HELLLLLLOOO? Surely if we’d all been less shopaholic and not been living way beyond our means there wouldn’t BE a GFC?

And now, since we have just had a brief rain shower, my sinuses are acting up and insisting that all my top teeth are about to be shot out of my jaw, and that someone has punched me in the nose.  I’m off to lie down.

Didn’t sleep well last night, one of the mysteries of the universe, that…

So as I was lying in bed this morning debating whether or not to get up (Caity’s Conscience: “But you missed gym yesterday!” Caity’s Rationalisation: “But I can’t train EVERY day…”) when my BFF texted me: “Shoe shopping after gym?”

WELL!! Caity’s Conscience and Caity’s Rationalisation both got a swift kick in the behind and out the door!  Once I got there I *was* just going to do my weights program…but I’ve been dancing around the idea of joining the Ki Max class (group class with lots of boxing and kicking, 4 people to a standing bag) and when one of the other newbies I’d spoken to recently was doing I thought – why not?

Another newbie for the class?!

Another newbie for the class?!

IT WAS AWESOME!!  It really oughta be illegal to have that much fun while actually doing a good workout AND getting to smash the (imagined) anatomy of various people who have aroused my anger.

*side-strike side-strike back-hand* THAT’S for your pr0n collection, 2nd husband!

*jab jab hook* and THAT’S for your not processing my bank transfer in a timely matter, big bank!

*thingummy whose name I can’t remember but where you hit upwards  – body strike?* OOOMPH!  and TAKE THAT, rude checkout chicky babe!

aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhh. The release!!! The HIGH!!! The satisfaction!

I have never sweated so much in my entire life.  I had to stop and sit down a coupla times, but WOOOOOHOOOOO!!!!  Of course, it helped that one of the gym owners was giving us three newbies our own little tutorials – how good is that service?

The only baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad thing was that because I did the class at the last minute, I had to use the old sweaty gloves that are kept in reserve … omg, the PONG!!!  So before next Friday I will do as everyone else does, and buy my own gloves.

I am amazed how far I’ve come in that last twelve months – I do need to be reminded (perhaps LOUDLY, dear readers!) of that.

Now I am taking my sore shoulders and abs for a nice soak in the bath.

(I'll probably NOT be wearing my ruby lipstick, though!)

(I'll probably NOT be wearing my ruby lipstick, though!)

(hands up who now has a David Bowie earworm? You’re welcome!)

I have made a lot of changes in the last year.  Losing weight, starting exercise;  the TAHBSO (Total Abdominal Hysterectomy and Bilateral Salpingo-Oopherectomy and ensuing surgical menopause; taking better care of my skin, wearing make-up more; and getting more interested in clothing and fashion again after years of hiding in shapeless oversized clothes.

Not to mention actually getting real help with my mental illness(es?!), being in a stable and loving relationship (*mwah!* to the Teabot5000) and working towards not only getting out of debt but STAYING out of debt.

Most of these changes have been difficult, and especially so for the poor old Teabot5000 – He. Does. Not. Like. Change.

I mean, it would be hard enough for most men – but throw in the Asperger’s and you could have a disaster.

So far, we’ve managed to keep sailing. Mostly.  We’ve had a few instances where we’ve both had to bail water out of the bottom of the boat, so to speak…


But then today I was soooooo ANGRY!!!

Not really at himself. Just at  – well, EVERYTHING!  I’m tired of being broke.  I’m REALLY tired of that.  I’m tired of having to watch every single cent as it briefly transits through our bank account into someone else’s pocket.

I’m tired of being TIRED.  Still.  (although some of that may be due to not getting enough iron – see “watching every bloody cent” above…)

I’m tired of feeling like my life has no meaning.

Yes, I know we’re well off compared to many – we have the house, we have the car, we have each other, we’re not starving, we have clean water etc etc.  I know I should be grateful for all that and I am – but I am feeling whiney and miserable and I just want to know WHY IS IT ALL SO HARD?!?!

There are some luxuries in my life, after all – the gym membership is expensive (but nowhere near as expensive as staying fat and inactive); and I generally get help to see the medical professionals I need to see.  We have the internet, for gawd’s sake.

And I am fully aware that my former spending habits (and a few episodes of uncontrolled mania) are largely to blame for our current situation.

Maybe if I sell a kidney, I could afford some fripperies?

Maybe if I sell a kidney, I could afford some fripperies?

(you know I’m joking about the kidney, right?  But if you’re interested in second hand sewing machines, let’s make a DEAL!)

BUT – I would like to be well enough to work.  At something meaningful.  Is that too much to ask?  (Probably, given the economy – with so many able bodied/non-mentally-ill/more recently employed potential employees out there, who on earth is going to “spare a shekel for an old ex leper?”, to slightly misquote The Pythons.)

They all want the one advertised job...

They all want the one advertised job...

Congrats if you’ve managed to read this far without my whine turning into the noise Charlie Brown’s teachers make:

Wah Wah Wah

Wah Wah Wah

  • Made it to Pilates even though I woke up exactly 45 minutes before class start time
  • Remembered to pack both clean undies AND a clean bra to put on post-class-shower/ pre-going out
  • Went with Sue to our first time at The Australian Sewing Guild meeting at Highfields, which was worth the trip. And while there I  traced the pattern to make the tunic featured on the cover of this magazine:
Ottobre Woman 2/2008

Ottobre Woman 2/2008

(Now I just have to grade it up *very* slightly, add seam allowances, tissue fit, choose which fabric to use, and actually sew it up)

  • Did a VERY intense session with the psychologist, working with a technique that I have scoffed at previously but which today saw me burst into tears… I remember now why I don’t usually wear mascara to these sessions!
  • Managed to eat and enjoy two hot cinnamon donuts even though buying three would have been better value – I only wanted two, so that’s all I had.  And they were GOOOOOD!
  • Spent another couple of hours STILL trying to find these back issues of Ottobre Woman (so far without success, obviously, and it’s driving me NUTS)
  • Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    Ottobre Woman 2/2007

    (And then I asked the Teabot5000 if he’d seen that cover and YES, he’d saved a magazine called Ottobre  in a box that he’d mentally marked “Important Textile Magazines KEEP THESE”!!! YES YES YES!!) So now I just have to locate the 2/2006 issue somewhere in our house/shed/combined clutter and I can stop obsessing:

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Ottobre Woman 2/2006

    Why were these suddenly VITAL, I hear you ask?  Well, because I am now so very very close to fitting into some of the patterns that I adored in these but which would have been just too hard (I told myself) to re-draft to fit my larger size. Now I don’t have to re-draft, just trace, add seam allowances, tissue fit, and sew!  I suspect only another delusional sewing nut would understand the difference, but trust me, it’s VERY motivating!)

  • Watched the second auditions episode of So You Think You Can Dance – you all know I LOVELOVELOVE that show, right?
  • Did I mention that part of all the work I’m doing with the psychologist is clearing out unhelpful attitudes?  And that part of this is examinning what’s really important in my life?  So a lot of PHYSICAL clutter is getting sorted through, too; and I decided that the hugely expensive machine embroidery component of my fancy schmancy sewing machine is something  I want to  – hmmm, conquer isn’t quite the right word – perhaps – feel confident about exploring?  Yes.  So I *eventually* located the necessary bits and pieces (software, dongle, serial to USB converters and so on) and – TA DA – reinstalled the software and started to learn the programs over again.  Woo, yes?
  • Tomorrow: The physiotherapist.  And maybe some sewing.  And possibly a gym workout before those things.  So I must away to bed.

PS: Several LOVELY blogfriends have nominated for awards – I will get to them soon, thank you sweeties!

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?

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!

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!

… so back at my house, we have only acquired full length mirrors quite recently.  And I generally manage to avoid them by keeping them strategically filthy, so I can’t REALLY see myself in them, just a quick passing glance.

But here in my brother and sister-in-law’s house, the room I am staying  in has MIRRORS.

The ubiquitous "shot in the mirror" picture

The ubiquitous "shot in the mirror" picture

BIG mirrors. The kind you CANNOT AVOID.


Naked Caity is NOT something even *I* want to witness first thing in the morning, let me tell you!

And I just got out the scales. NOT GOOD. *sigh* I didn’t think I had been over-eating, but obviously I was wrong.   Thing is, I FEEL better.  I can walk more – in fact, as soon as it’s a little bit cooler, Bidgee is taking me for a rousing game of Stick in River.  I’m still tired all the time, but feeling a little bit stronger, y’know?

But the weight loss stuff needs to get back on track.  SERIOUSLY.  (Not that I’m going to be all prissy tomorrow – you should SEE the feast my lovely sister-in-law and Mum have been working on!)

My lovely sister-in-law, Eunju, peeling prawns for the feast

My lovely sister-in-law, Eunju, peeling prawns for the feast


Well, time to stop moaning about it and go out and do some interval training with the dog.  (In my interpretation, we walk for a bit, then run for a bit, then both stop and pant for a bit, then run for a bit….)


Caity the waddler

Here at Chez Beloved, we’re fighting a (losing) battle against these rotten little buggers:

!)@*(#&@*& PANTRY MOTH!!

!)@*(#&@*& PANTRY MOTH!!

They are EVERYWHERE.  And it’s going to be very expensive to get rid of them – not because it’s an expensive process per se – just some pheromone based traps from the supermarket, and a good wipe down of everything – but because you have to THROW OUT EVERYTHING THAT MIGHT BE INFESTED.

Oh sure, some of the food can be frozen, that kills the blighters. Unfortunately, even though we have an insanely large fridge/freezer, there is NO space in the freezer section at all.

So MOST things  –  like flour, spices, rice, pasta, etc etc etc – basically anything not in a TIN (although I believe the moths are secretly breeding a mutant SUPERMOTH to even get around that difficulty) have to be tossed.  *fume*



And the moths are, of course, in my sewing room as well.  Which is why my grabbing the lidless can of this

Spray Starch

Spray Starch

and attempting to spray it around the room -INSTEAD OF THIS



was inevitable.

However, those moths have the CRISPEST, MOST CREASE FREE WINGS you ever saw…..


Ok, just so we’re clear, I don’t mean THIS Pink -(tho I LOVE her!)


Yep, I was bored at the hairdressers today – bored with being grey.  So – if I’m going to colour my hair, I thought, why not COLOUR it?!

Pink! I like PINK!

Pink! I like PINK!

And although the weight loss is still slowed waaaaaaaaay down, I’m feeling better about it and back to counting calories.  I thought you needed to see me posing in front of our suburb’s emblem: the abandoned car surrounded by unmown lawn.  CLASSIC!

AND – I had the NICEST thing happen to me today!  You know I just ADORE our local fabric heaven, Gardam’s, right?  Well, I went in to pick up a layby (pics to follow soon, I promise) only to have the lovely manager hand me an envelope and explain that it was a gift certificate from Mr and Mrs Gardam!  YOU COULD HAVE KNOCKED ME OVER WITH A FEATHER!

Of course I spent it immediately on more yummy fabric, LOL!  Seriously, their store has the best service and fabric – there were some young things in there today making choices for bridesmaid dresses and I promise you, these would NOT be  “Bridesmaid Dresses” – you know, the ones that are so unspeakably awful that you look at the photos and cringe – no, these girls were playing with  gorgeous silk chiffons over some luxe duchess satins – soooo pretty!

And now I must go and retrieve my new fabric from the washing machine – by the time Miss Constance and I get back from our walk, it will be ready to iron, cut out and sew – wheeeeeeeeeeee!! Another iteration of the fabulous trapeze dress from McCall’s 5583, this time in a rayon/poly/nylon blend that has an interesting (almost looks like velvet but it’s not) texture in black – prefect in case I get to go out some evening on holidays.  And now I know that dress doesn’t need a zip, it’s even quicker to make.

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