About Me

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Living, loving, Laughing and Travelling as much as possible. Come along and join in my life and travels - I'll be happy to have you there with me.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Having a break

Am off tomorrow for a few days out of town - going to Mansfield, close to the High Country and The Great Dividing Range

Its about a 2 hour drive for us and is in one of my favourite parts of the state.

Read about it here and here and here and here

I'm taking my knitting and a new book called One Sunday by Joy Dettman and am hoping for a quiet time with fresh and warm sunshine. As we are staying at the country club which has a golf course I've 'allowed' DH to put his golf clubs in the boot of the car :))

Thanks to all those who have popped in recently - its been nice to see you all and read your comments.

Will be back early February

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bits and Pieces

It has been a quiet week caring for my aunt and having fun with grandchildren still on holiday from school. Lovely warm pleasant days and as the new school year starts next week they are trying to fit as much in as possible.

We went to see a fabulous film called The Water Horse and one I would recommend even if you don’t have children. Not really a film for little ones as there are a few scary scenes and war scenes that make you jump a bit but certainly for maybe 10 years and over. Story line has lots for everyone and the scenery is magnificent.

Oh and I did some unexpected rearranging and sorting out at home which all started when my unt wanted her linen cupboard tidied up.

When she moved to her new place others ‘put things away’ for her and for quite a while I’ve been itching to sort this cupboard out but needed her to ask so it didn’t look like I was interfering. To me it was obvious she couldn’t reach where the towels were or put her sheets in the spaces allocated but she kept on insisting all was well so I heaved a sigh of relief when she finally asked me to help. So after sitting her in front of the cupboard I started to take things out and ask questions about how often they were used, would she be using them again etc. This gave me an idea of which shelf to actually put the stuff back onto.

Anyway when we got to the bottom shelf it was fancy linen time and all of a sudden the tears started to flow. I got stories of traders in India (where she was born and raised and lived till 1947) and how they spread all their goods out on the lawn for the ladies to peruse and how her Mother always bought something as she didn’t like to hurt their feelings. Beautiful embroidered tablecloths, crocheted cloths, white on white cloths, making me feel guilty with envy cloths.

I was putting them away when she asked me if I’d like to have them – so as I say it all started when my Aunt wanted her linen cupboard tidied up.

Of course this meant I then had to sort mine out at home…………………….. Which was a good thing because it made me reassess storage and institute some changes here.

We only have one double bed in the house – the other is queen size – so the double linen is now in a drawer in that particular bedroom

The tea cloths were sorted and some given new jobs as I also came home with a dozen brand new never been used linen ones bought as souvenirs over the years. I left them in the same spot in the cupboard as they need room plus there is no drawer available in kitchen

Face washers/flannels are now in a drawer in the bathroom and not stored with the towels and folding towels in a different manner has also given me more space, which means I can see what I’m looking for – not always possible before:(

I took the spare single doonas off the floor of the cupboard and put them in clear storage bags on the very top shelf as these only get used if the grandchildren want to curl up on the floor in the winter – I want to hold on to them as they belonged to their parents, are in very good condition and still have years of use ahead of them.

All the new tablecloths and other pieces went into a chest of drawers in the spare bedroom. That’s where I keep all my table linen now so there was no problem there.

A little while ago I made a couple of other changes to a more personal routine and these have really worked out well.

Unfortunately I have to take some medication each day and these tablets used to be kept in a cabinet on the wall in the bathroom and (hangs her head in shame) would often be forgotten.

Now my morning tablets are on the bedside table and taken when I wake. I don’t worry about them being visible as the grandchildren who come to the house are all old enough not to touch the packets. The bedtimes one is kept in a drawer in the bathroom, the same one as where I keep my toothbrush and paste so now I see them when I go to clean my teeth.

Oh wouldn’t it be great if all changes came as easily and worked out as well as these few have:))

Friday, January 25, 2008

My new water bottle

Well after looking around several places I think I've finally found what I hope is the answer to not taking a commercial water bottle (as in a bottle that had bought water in it) out with me.

I found these in Coles the other day. Yes I realise its made from plastic and its imported - made in New Zealand - but in my eyes thats not as far as China and they are nearly one of us aren't they :))
Shaped like a spirit flask, its slim and fits very nicely into my larger handbags and will serve its purpose very well. Mine is a very nice lavender colour and cost me all of $2.80.

Only one problem as far as I can see, if the water is very cold when I go out condensation will form on the outside and make things wet, so I'll have to put it into a bag of some sort. Funny but that didn't bother me with the other water bottles but it seems a shame to have to do it with this one. lol

Its a screw type top which means I won't have to put my 'dirty' fingers on the part where I drink like I did pulling the old type up and then pushing it down to close it. And the little cup that fits on top will also keep the drinking top free from dust and dirt while its in my bag.

Will let you know how I get on with it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

The 7 things meme

Rhonda has tagged me to do one of these meme thingies so even tho I’m not too interested in them I thought I’d give this one a bit of a go.

Here are the rules:
*Link to the person that tagged you
*Post the rules on your blog.
*Share 7 random and/or weird facts about yourself on your blog.
*Tag 7 random people at the end of your post and include links to their blogs.
*Let each person know that they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their blogs.

7 random facts about Cathy

I have lived for more than 1 year in 6 different countries, 5 of those were before the age of 30. I have lived for more than 6 months in 20 houses.

I have travelled thousands and thousands of miles by air and am still petrified of flying. Lots of tension on days before flights – don’t even look at me before take off but funnily once in the air it all disappears till the next takeoff.

I was 35 before I got my drivers licence. I didn’t really need it until I went back to work after raising the children as wherever I lived there was always a bus at the end of the street.

In a previous life I was a registered breeder of Burmese and Balinese cats. DH still talks of the day he went to work and the feline population tripled. Six cats in the household when he left, 2 queens kittened on the same day delivering 12 kittens between them. Eighteen when he came home. This happened several times but the first time has stuck in his memory.

I love to tap dance. Took classes as a child and then went and joined adult classes where we had end of year concerts. Fun - Fun - Fun

I love to watch all sports except Soccer (can't stand it) bit if a shame as one of my Irish cousins played for Manchester United and Northern Ireland a while ago.

I hope one day to Walk to the top of Australia. Was going to do this or a similar walk last summer but the parks were closed because of bushfires in the area.

Bit run of the mill aren't I :))

The 7 bloggers I am tagging are

Lib at Lib's Private Paradise

Peggy at Hidden Haven Homestead

Lynette at Grace

Rose at Quilted Hills

Violet at Vi's Craft Corner

Catherine at Weight Loss Journey

StitchingGranny at Stitchery Nook

Bye for now

Sunday, January 13, 2008

New Challenge doing the rounds

In todays post Rhonda at Down to Earth is talking about a challenge she intends to takes.

Thinking about it made me realise that's something I could do as well.

There are 3 things where I think I could make a behavioural change.

Plastic bags are a pest and it’s when I don’t think ahead on my way out and I end up at the shops bag less that the problems start. I try to carry small purchases out of the shop in my hands or in any other bag I might be carrying.

In the boot of my car is an insulated cool bag and 6 green shopping bags as well as an assortment of other bags all contained in a much larger bag bright red from Bunnings All of these are for using at the supermarket or elsewhere when shopping,

Now the trick to reducing my use of plastic bags is to remember to take them out of the car when I go into the supermarket and also to return them empty to the boot the next day. That second action is the critical one as half the time they sit on the back deck outside the kitchen door where I have put them ready to take to the car

The green grocer we use has degradable ones so I use those for the rubbish but I’d like to get out of that habit as well. DH does that shopping so to begin with I’d have to keep reminding him about the boxes he could use that are available at the front of the shop Nothing organic (we composting and I have a worm farm) goes in the bin so much to my annoyance most of the household rubbish is plastic packaging in one form or another. Some of the cardboard could be put in the compost or used for mulch and any over could go in the recycling bin.

The issue of Plastic Water Bottles is a tricky one as I really need to drink lots of water during the day and I still haven’t found the ideal water bottle to take out with me. I don’t buy many bottles of water because I rinse and sterilise the ones I have before they are refilled from the tap but when I do its to take the place of one I have thrown away

We have lots we’ve been given as volunteers (sports type), but they are quite bulky and the tops taste awful. They have such wide necks it’s almost impossible to take the top off and try to drink that way. There are ones enclosed in an insulated fabric suit that children use for school and have a sort of pop top for drinking from but as I said both these and the sports bottles are quite bulky and that’s fine if I have a larger tote bag with me but they don’t fit comfortably or neatly into any of my handbags for when I’m out in the city and not carrying a tote with me.

I’ll continue to use the ones I have but will definitely be on the look out for a neater refillable one – I don’t intend to buy any more water from the supermarket.

My other change (and this is a personal one maybe not seconded by others) will be in the use of Paper Tissues for the blowing noses and wiping other things.

These days lots of people seem to be overly concerned with cleanliness - germs and hygiene are stress makers for some so paper tissues fit in well with a disposable way of life - use it, toss it and the germs away leaving someone else look after the problem. They don't take up much room in the rubbish but I don't know how long they take to rot down and even tho they are a paper product certainly don't want them in the compost or be fed to the worms.

Down side is once used they are no more and we have to renew the supply which can be costly in time and money and once in contact with liquid they disintergrate quckly - who has memories of that elusive one that tried to swim in the washing machine.

There are rows and rows of paper products in the supermarket and elsewhere all made from trees in a forest somewhere in the world and viying for our eye (or should that be nose).

Rhonda has said this challenge is to reduce the environmently challenging things we do so this is what I have in my mind.

Tucked away in a drawer in my bedroom are more than a dozen very pretty ladies handkerchieves. In another drawer in the same room are also more than a dozen very much larger gents handkerchieves.

None of these have been used for quite a while so next time anyone sneezes in my house I will be off to the bedroom for a hanky and not to bring out a box of tissues. :)

Hankies as opposed to tissues durable - they will last quite a long time.
They are reusable - can be washed and sterilised
They are economical in that as well as buying them new they can be made from soft recycled materials - to your own measurements as well.
Even tho we think otherwise they are more hygienic than tissues - we don't end up with germs from nasal discharge or phlegm on our hands or fingers
They are easier on the nose and skin than some of the paper tissues. Some brands promoted as 'softer than normal' contain chenicals that are not
They are easier to store - we need less space to store them than large boxes of tissues take

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Opportunity Shop Shopping

I used to do this regularly when our children were young. Money was tight and there were always good bargains to be had in our area. In those days the op shops were usually small in size and run by local churches or charities.

This was long before Trash and Treasure Markets, Garage Sales and Ebay became popular places for people to dispose of their ‘surplus goods’ - things were given in good faith hoping that the said charity would earn some welcome cash. Nowadays large organizations like Goodwill and The Smith Family have huge warehouses and charge the earth for rubbish.

Anyway last week while the girls were here we took a 20minute drive to Healesville for something to do. Managed to find a park behing the main street in the shade under a huge tree and gettingout of the car oneof the girlspointed to a sign painted on the back of one of the buildings - Op shop .

They asked if they could go in and look for books - sounded ok to me.

There’s not a lot of spare cash in their house so books aren’t on the shopping list, Grandma supplies most of their reading matter and if Grandma can get it at reduced prices she’s happy.

Grandma came out very very happy :))

She managed to snaffle several Morris Gleitzman and Paul Jennings books for less than a dollar each and some Babysitters Club for 10c each.

These days I willingly give all my surplus stuff to a small op shop but I might be tempted to start looking around the shelves again closer to home and see if there are more bargains like that to be had.

We finished off by walking down the street to the Ice Cream Shop with a spring in the step and I didn’t mind spending nearly $5 each for an absolutely delicious double serve (2 different flavours) in a waffle cone. :)))

Edited: Spelling incorrect Morris not Maurice

Friday, January 11, 2008

Summer is still making itself known

The bush fire season is well and truly in full swing, fire ban days one after the other and fires burning in several places in Victoria.

This week we have had some stinkers, yesterday was about 41c/ 106f again but then again we have also had a couple of those lovely lazy hazy days that are a pleasure to have around.

This week we’ve also have been minding 2 of our grand children (summer holidays don’t finish here till the end of January) and they also have been a pleasure to have around. Hot days mean trips to shopping centres and the cinema.

The afternoon we went to escape the heat in the cinema we saw Alvin and The Chipmunks, which was quite funny for a children’s film. Some of these so called made for children films are terrible and the trailers shown on TV highlight the small amount of funny bits so it’s bad enough when ‘I’ sit down in the cinema and don’t find it funny without listening to them grumbling all the way home.

Plus I always feel as tho I’ve wasted my money taking them:(

Another afternoon we did some food shopping and there were the inevitable questions about why I bought this brand and not that one – I did a little educating on why I felt the most expensive wasn’t always the best choice for me but I’m not sure if any of stuck. The other question from them is why I buy fresh vegetables to be cooked and not frozen or in a tin.

They eat an awful lot of processed food and don’t always ‘like’ what is put on the table at Grandma’s so it’s a battle of wits some days when they are here but they usually leave the table full and I try to have a special pudding on those days.

It’s funny but lately, as they have become older, it’s been easier to relate to some of the grandchildren and yet with others it’s becoming harder. Those who were quiet as littlies have now found their voices and opinions and the noisy ones seem to have become quiet and moody. Most of them are girls as well so enough said :)

Talking about food – after my pity party the other week I had another word with the GP and he suggested I take my thyroxine on a completely empty stomach so instead of last thing before I go to bed I am now taking it first thing before I even get out of bed and not having any breakfast for at least half an hour after that.

At that time I would have had at least a six hour fast and the stomach would be completely empty – and guess what – I feel so much better for it. I’m not eating any differently and because of the heat I haven’t started walking again yet somehow I have misplaced 2 kilos/nearly 4.5lbs since that time. I am not looking for it tho - whoever wants it can claim it:))

Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Hot time in suburbs this New Year

Yesterdy was New Years Day and I did nothing:)

I sat on the couch with the airconditioning going full belt and I read and watched the Cricket.

Not good for the environment I know but once things are back to the usual routine it will most likely have been the only time I was able to do that. I did enjoy that feeling of not actually 'doing' anything - shorts and tshirt day, rummaging around in the fridge day, if you want it you can help yourself day (within reason I said to DH), too hot to do anything day.

Yes it was as the kids say - a stinking hot day - another over 40c/102f this time it went up to 43c/109-110f in my back garden - yes stinking hot!! But then looking at what Rose over at Quilted Hills is putting up with I'm not sure which is the worst of the two!! 12f is about -10c not my idea of fun LOL

A cool change came through late in the afternoon and oh, the welcome relief that brought. All the doors and windows were opened and it was sheer pleasure to feel the cool breeze blowing through the house.

Today has been lovely. Mid 20's with a southerly (thats our cool wind - northerlies are the hot ones) The Weather Bureau says temps will start rising again tomorrow and we'll have hot days again. Loooks like I'll be doing some sorting out and cupboard cleaning.

I did actually get DH to go through his ties on NY Eve. Most of his working life he had to wear a tie and so has(HAD) quite a collection but since retiring as well as leaving his wrist watch in the drawer he's only worn a tie about 3 times a year in the past 5 years.

So we disposed of at least 20 to the local opshop/thrift shop and there are still another 20 to 'think' about. Whats to think about I said - a remark not accepted very well - so they are back on the tie hanger up the end of the wardrobe with all the business shirts he felt he had to hold on to:(

I was waiting for remarks about the number of shoes on my side of the wardrobe so decided as it was HOT I'd go and make drinks and not push my luck:) Sort of cool the air.

Tomorrow I'm going to look at what is stockpiled in the garage.

I have several large packing cases out there containing lots of things I've stocked up on, I know theres some large tins of Milo and several bottles of dishwashing liquid and don't tell anyone but I discovered the other day I have 120 rolls of toilet paper out there. Its about the only thing I can't skimp on - recycled just doesn't feel the same so when I see the 'good' ones on special I buy a lot. So 5 x 16 rolls and 5 x 8 rolls will last me a while .......................quite a while.......................but what am I going to do if I see it at a good price during the year or more this lot will last us LOL