Monday, 27 February 2012

Bits & Pieces

I keep wanting to blog more, but time seems to slip though my fingers and before I know it another few more weeks have past and I haven't written anything!  I keep up with all my blog reading via the Feedler app on my iPhone, but it doesn't make commenting easy.  So I am reading your blogs but only commenting when I really, really, really need to say something or I will burst!  So a suppose a few updates are in order :-)

The Princess has been continuing with her sewing and really enjoys it.  She even made a notebook cover all by herself as a birthday present for a friend. (like the ones I made as Christmas presents.  If you want to make one for yourself the link to the blog I got the pattern from is back in Nov last year)  These are the fabrics she chose from the ones she got for Christmas.  I am just a little envious as all of my fabrics are castoffs and I don't have anything as nice as that cute pink flower and birdie print!  I altered the pattern size for her slightly so that their school diary will fit in it and verbally instructed her in each step.  But she did all of the sewing and pressing herself.  Below are the photos of the finished cover.  I was a little nervous when it came time for her to give it away.  It is never a nice feeling when the receiver doesn't like the gift, especially when you have spent two days making it yourself!  But I shouldn't have worried as it was warmly accepted and now ALL the girls want one!

The cover.
The inside.  The cover of the diary slips in under the pretty pockets.

Her next project is a dress for herself.  It is the pattern we bought her for Christmas to go with some of the fabric.  It matched a dress she liked at the shop.  We spent three hours cutting out the pattern and marking all of the dots on the weekend!  I am trying to not do it for her but just explain each step.  I am quite impressed with how quickly she is catching on.  However, there is one step that The Princess does NOT like.  And that is cutting out.  I think I need to get her smaller fabric scissors as mine are quite big.  But I will not cut out the pattern for her.  If she wants to sew it is all part of the process :-) but if I am honest with myself it is the one step I don't like either.  However I would do all the cutting out in the world if someone would do all of my hand sewing!

The boys have both started back with Army Cadets this year and their first day of community service is this coming weekend.  They are cleaning up at the local weir.  It is forecast to be HOT and their uniform is so heavy that I do feel a little sorry for them.  The first camp of the year isn't until April when it has started to cool down.  The Thinker got heat stroke at the last camp of the year in December and it is far hotter now!  He drank almost 6lt of water that day but it wasn't helping replace his electrolytes.  From now on they take electrolyte powder with them just in case.

There are so many decisions to make in our lives at the moment that we seem to be living in limbo.  Every time we think we have taken a step forward we end up taking a few more back.  I always had a picture of how I thought my life would be and it is a far cry from where we are now.  Some days I am struggling to cope with it all and other days I feel positive.  I thought we had finalised what we were going to do, but then the next lot of information we received as caused a bump in that road.  So now I can honestly say that I have no idea what to do about anything ... and therein lies the dilemma.

But everything isn't all bad :-)  The work change around we did now means that we are all home together on Sunday every week!  We have been able to go to church again after over two years of working every Sunday, and we generally just veg out at home.  We even went to a friends house for a BBQ and had a great time.  I have been doing the Dukan Diet and am loosing weight by the bucket load!  I think it is important for everyone to find a weight loss program that fits their lifestyle.  With the very limited time I have at the moment I can't use a program that requires me to weigh everything, it just doesn't work.  But this one is working fine as there are 100 foods I can eat and everything else is off limits.  It means that there is one less decision for me to make everyday and I can eat the quantity that I want of those foods.  For the first time in my life I am not hungry!!!!!  Which is pretty rare for someone who is borderline hypoglycemic.  The first two weeks were the hardest with day 8 and 9 being AWFUL!  Although I didn't eat sugary foods or many processed foods before, the hidden sugars must have still been quite high as I had awful sugar withdrawals.  I had a terrible headache for two days but then it disappeared suddenly and I have never felt better.  Since Christmas I have lost about 12kg and have gone down two dress sizes!  I shall keep you posted as to how I am going.  My mom was very skeptical about me doing it as Weight Watchers had been working for her and she was almost to her goal weight.  But she has been stuck in a rut for the past few months and started the Dukan Diet last week just to get rid of those last few kilos.  Even she is liking it as that last bit of weight is starting to fall of.

Well that was one long post but I feel better now that it is all written down :-)  Join me on Sunday for the next installment of Storytelling Sunday with Sian.  I am still trying to come up with another story and maybe the craft ladies on Friday will help me again this month.  Unless of course I get the urge to photograph any layouts in between I will see you all on Sunday! LOL


Sunday, 5 February 2012

Storytelling Sunday

I have been looking forward to today all month even though I hadn't thought of a story to share.  It is Storytelling Sunday over at From High In The Sky and this year I am joining in.  While I will happily sit and write a bit of fiction for fun, a true story that I deem worthy of writing down often eludes me.  In those cases I am more of a verbal storyteller complete with expressions, actions and sound effects.  So on Friday night while catching up with crafting friends over a glass of wine, tales of past adventures whirled around us causing peels of laughter and the odd tear or two.  And now I am going to attempt to retell the story without expressions, actions and sound effects :-)

Be Prepared

Many years ago when The Extrovert and The Thinker were small we were a one car family.  For the most part this was fine as we lived in the suburbs of a not so large city and I was happy to catch the bus or walk. But every now and again there were appointments or social gatherings that required the use of a car.  On those occasions I would drive The LOML to work, use the car for the day, and then collect him when he finished.  Now if he had a 'normal' job this would have been very straight forward, but he worked shifts that changed constantly.

I am one who likes my sleep, I still rise early-ish but I am the kind of person who likes to sleep till the last minute possible.  I do not use the 'snooze button' as that would disturb those last few precious moments of sleep.  So on his early morning shifts we would have to leave the house at 4:30am.  The LOML would have been up since 4am getting ready and he would wake me up at 4:25am to leave.  We would put both sleeping boys in the car and I would hop in and wake up on the half hour drive, drop him off, and then slide into the drivers seat for the drive home.  Once home, I would carry both semi-awake boys into the house and put them into bed with me, and we would all sleep for about another hour or so.  This routine seems simple enough, and you might be wondering where the story is?  But I left out one important detail ... I never got dressed for those morning drives.  I got up, ran a brush through my hair and got into the car in my nightie, which just happened to be short and satin (it was summer and very hot!).

I couldn't see any problems with this routine.  We had a well maintained car, it was ludicrously early in the morning, and we were driving out past the edge of the suburbs.  It worked every time until the one day when we were running a little late for work and The LOML said "Oops, we are running low on fuel."!  There was only one lone early morning petrol station on the drive to work but HE wouldn't stop on the way to work as we were running late (I don't see why as he was the boss!), and with a typical she'll be right attitude told me to just stop and get it on the way home ... dressed just in a nightie!  Oh, but the indignity didn't stop there.

50m from the petrol station, on a empty main road, I ran out of gas!!!!!!!!!  The sun was just starting to rise and the street lights were going off one by one.  In another half an hour that road would be a major highway packed with cars on their way to work.  There was nothing to do except get out the stroller and put one sleeping child in there and carry the other, and walk to the petrol station.  In my short satin nightie and bare feet.  Little did I know that the most embarrassing part of this story was yet to come.

I can only imaging what a strange sight I must have been walking down the road.  As I walked into the car park I was met with what must have been EVERY local on-duty policeman having breakfast.  They were leaning on their cars enjoying a morning pie and coffee and not one of them batted an eyelid or said anything as I walked past ... barefoot and in a nightie, with two toddlers.  Well they must have been used to seeing strange sights in the morning for this one to not cause a stir!  The attendant very kindly filled up a jerry can for me and to his credit he didn't say anything, but you could see the sides of his mouth twitching every now and again.  I have worked shifts in fast food restaurants and have seen many strange things in the wee hours of the morning, perhaps I even made his list of crazy morning sights!

Walking back past the policemen with a jerry can in tow I was starting to get angry, surely it was obvious that I had run out of fuel.  Why couldn't one of them offer to help a damsel in distress?  But I bit my tongue.  A ranting lunatic in a nightie would probably be arrested!  I walked back to my car, and after getting it started once again, drove into the petrol station.  Filled the car up properly and drove home having learnt a very valuable lesson.  BE PREPARED!  Don't ever leave the house without clothes!!!! And I never have again.  At the very least I put on my robe :-)

If you enjoyed this there are plenty more where that came from over at Sian's, so head on over and have a read.


Thursday, 2 February 2012

When the world gives you lemons ...

I have sat down to blog often in the last month but ended up staring at the computer screen.  I was always taught that if you don't have anything good to say, don't say anything at all.  Unfortunately I haven't had anything good to say and you most certainly don't need to read about it!  Perhaps I should start a diary as it would be very cathartic to just get it all out but I don't ever want to read back over my own ramblings.  So instead I have always just screamed it in my head silently.  We seem to be caught in a never-ending tunnel that still doesn't have a light appearing at the end, and it is starting to wear me down.  But I do read all of your blogs often, and they bring me joy.  A few posts inparticular have really stuck with me.

This one was a turning point a few weeks ago and so I thought I would share.  I only started following this blog as it was in the Garden Girls file for google reader that I added to my subscriptions.  But I have found Wilna to be quite inspiring and I have thought on these scriptures alot lately. She wrote ...

I love these verses from the message:
Psalm 109:21
Oh, God, my Lord, step in; work a miracle for me—you can do it! Get me out of here—your love is so great!— I'm at the end of my rope! 
Psalm 116:1
I love God because he listened to me, listened as I begged for mercy. He listened so intently as I laid out my case before him. Death stared me in the face, hell was hard on my heels. Up against it, I didn't know which way to turn; then I called out to God for help: "Please, God!" I cried out. "Save my life!" God is gracious—it is he who makes things right, our most compassionate God. God takes the side of the helpless; when I was at the end of my rope, he saved me. 
Psalm 143:7
Hurry with your answer, God! I'm nearly at the end of my rope. Don't turn away; don't ignore me! That would be certain death. If you wake me each morning with the sound of your loving voice, I'll go to sleep each night trusting in you. Point out the road I must travel; I'm all ears, all eyes before you. Save me from my enemies, God— you're my only hope! Teach me how to live to please you, because you're my God. Lead me by your blessed Spirit into cleared and level pastureland.
These were all the things that I needed to hear right at that moment.  I was so encouraged. The past few weeks have been easier as I meditate on these scriptures.  The situations haven't changed, but I am changed.  I am confident that no matter what may lay ahead God will be with me and he will make it easier.

And then there was this post by Amy over at Sparkling Gnome which told me to "remember to sit in the sunshine".  Not only is the layout beautiful (and you should really click on the link and go look at it), but the message is an important one too.

I am finally feeling like crafting again and have been working on our Christmas photos.  So whatever happens I know that when the world gives you lemons, God helps you make lemonade!