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update time (& cute dog pics)

August 19th, 2011 at 05:34 pm

After a late Friday night (full of laughing and talking with our tattooist... well, we were laughing and talking and DH just grimaced for most of it Big Grin it was in a painful spot on his arm...) I'm up late after a nice sleep in (til nearly 9am!!)and about to start a weekend chock full of study!
Thought I would update, first though... Big Grin

The guy who bought the tyres has just picked them up and given us the $60 he owes us. The lady who bought the cabinet dropped by on Thursday to pay $50 off and buy 10 cupcakes she asked me to make for her. She asked if she could pay for the rest of the cabinet next week, as she is a bit short of money this week due to unexpected kids expenses (totally understand - my mum deals with this all the time), I told her it was fine. She is a lovely lady, single with two kids and I think she is doing it tough (obviously not too tough as she can buy cupcakes!). I have her address and phone number, and she has already given us $60 toward it. We could sell it again for no hassles if she changed her mind.

Also, she asked if I made birthday cakes Big Grin I doubt my abilities with cake decorating, even though that is what I am employed to do. (BTW, 'cake-decorating' as a term, when I use it anyway, actually means: making the cake, and then decorating it... in case people are confused!) I don't like making things for people I know, or people who seek me out as an individual. I am afraid they won't like what I do. I need to get over this, as I realise I can make some pretty good-looking and great-tasting cakes most of the time. (sometimes... most times... better than my boss Big Grin shh, don't tell him I said that...)

I just don't have any of the supplies or equipment to make them at my house. DH is always encouraging me to 'invest' in these things and I think it's an unneeded expense. Maybe not. I don't know? I could probably make some good side-money, and even if I just bought the decorating equipment and left the actual cake-baking to be done at work, in my own time and paid for the scratch ingredients from my boss. Things to think about, I guess.

Heard back from one of the jobs, unsuccessful. (what a surprise... not). I suppose I will not hear from the other ones. I do not always get an email saying I was unsuccesful, they usually just leave you hanging. Nice.

I have begun taking some pre-conception vitamins Big Grin (holy dooly, are they expensive! I don't take vitamins as our diet is varied and healthy, but I figured I probably should for this as it's recommended... even at a discount chemist a months supply is $20) DH had a doctors appointment on Thursday and has to get some blood tests done next week. I also have to find a doctor, and get a check up. And go to the dentist. Sigh. Next week...

Work update:
My best friend quit. It was the day after she had that guilt-trip from my boss's wife, and after I had that horrible phone conversation with her too. I did not work that day (worked at my other job), but the next day (thursday) I went in and my boss was SUPER nice to me. Almost too nice. I guess he is afraid that I will up and leave too, because of his wife. You know... even though he is a really nice guy (apart from the lying and obsession with his social status) I wish I was offered a job right now, just so I could ring up his wife and say 'I quit, and it's because of you and your unprofessionalism'.
I know, it's a bit low and immature. But look at what I have had to put up with! Would you really blame me??
My boss would survive. He's worked very long days before. Perhaps his wife will have to help out at the shop a bit more than her token once-a-month visit? Big Grin

DH has some work this week which is great. Even though he's had a few weeks off, our bank account is still looking healthy.

We have been doing the weekly grocery shop on Saturdays or Sundays, together. It is easier for me this way and saves time with DH coming. (Even though he usually wanders around looking at other stuff). This week looks like it will be a really small shop: we have so much stuff in our pantry it's ridiculous, even though I have not bought a lot of stuff over the past couple of weeks either.

We're doing the shop tomorrow (Sunday) and I am going to make our meal plan off what we have in the pantry, and just nip into town for the essentials, and fresh fruit and veges.

I'm thinking our meal plan will go something like this:
sweet & sour tofu with egg noodles
pumpkin & cashew stirfry with basmati rice
minestrone soup
vegetarian pasta
baked fish, salad & sweet potato
mexican beans & rice
steamed vegetables, tofu & rice

We ate our first bananas since January, last week!!! It was very exciting for us. Since the floods in January bananas have been about $15-$20 a kilogram. Doesn't matter if they are organic or not, price is the same. Well, shopping at our local organic grocer we spied them at $9.99 a kilogram so we bought four little golden, beautiful, sweet cavendish. They were lovely! The oranges have been delicious lately too...

DH is having sellers remorse on some of the items we sold at the garage sale Big Grin oh well. He sold a PS1 for $7 with a whole heap of games, a chip, two guns etc. His uncle rang him the next day to see if he still had it, and said he would have given him $40! Even still, last night our tattooist said he would have given us $60! What are the chances?! (But, it went to a young high school girl who is no doubt going to have a lot of fun with it... I personally think it went to a good home). In the end, we made $450 and I think the reason we made that much was because our prices indicated we wanted to sell the stuff, not have people umm and aah over the price, but instead go 'hey! I'm going to buy that! Right now!'.

The coffee table (the one I didn't want him to sell! lol!) he sold for $40. Then two people came back that had been in the morning to ask about it, and asked how much he sold it for. LOL. But like the PS1, it has a nice selling-story to it too: the guy bought it because he wants to teach his grand-daughter to play chess. I mean, could you ask for it to go to a better home?!

And lastly, my poor baby Banjo!!! Earlier this week, he kept licking his face and seemed to not be closing his mouth. (He is a dog that pants half the time... so I wasn't especially worried at first, but then it got to a stage where I was a little worried). We tried looking at his gums and teeth, nothing. His breath was a lot smellier than normal. I took him to the vet on Thursday. The vet looked at his gums and teeth (as DH and I did), couldn't find anything, suggested maybe he had a sore throat and got a flashlight to inspect the inside of his mouth. Opens Banjo's mouth and what do we find, but a piece of a stick jammed in the roof of his mouth, horizontally between the molars on the left and right side! (hard to describe...) The vet said 'ahh, this is your problem!' quickly reached in and pulled it out. Our poor Banjo must have had it in for a few days, two great big holes on the inner side right next to his teeth and huge cut across the roof of his mouth (and blood!). The vet gave us some painkillers and antibiotics to clear up the infection. He asked if Banjo had trouble eating or drinking. Nope! I had even given him a bone the day before. Our vet laughed and said 'This ones a tought nut!'

On the trip home he sat in the front seat and when I looked over, he was curled up in a little ball with his paws on his snout. Fresh pain after getting it pulled out... ouch. He was a brave little fellow. I feel so bad that I didn't know, but the vet said unless you knew what to look for you wouldn't have known - he said he didn't expect to find that at all, he just thought Banjo had a sore throat, and that you wouldn't have been able to see without a light, as the roof of Banjo's mouth is speckled anyway, the stick was pretty much camoflaged. Poor Banjo!!! Total cost $70.25 for short vet visit, A/B & pain meds. (worth every penny I should add!!!!)

Here are some pictures of the last time we took them out, to my little sisters birthday picnic in the park:

Banjo:



Jed:

garage sale, keeping & getting rid of things...

August 4th, 2011 at 09:52 pm

DH doesn't have a lot of work lined up for the next two weeks (and has already had a week off, save for a small 6 hour job), so for the first time ever he's actually been extremely motivated to hold the garage sale we've talked about having since we moved in (two years ago...).

My DH is a bit of a hoarder. He reckons he's not, but his motto is 'if I can use it at some stage, some day, possibly... then we should keep it, we have room after all!'
Yeah, right. That 'room' we had (the entire basement) is full of crap. Big Grin I'm sorry, I meant useful stuff *cough*. I have a few items to sell as well.

DH wants to sell our coffee table though. He made it about five years ago and I love it. It's solid hardwood with a parquetry top that you can play chess on. When he said he wants to sell it and use another one he has (that's in the basement somewhere) I said I wanted to keep it because everyone always comments on it when they enter our house, it looks nice, and also he MADE it. He says he doesn't want it BECAUSE he made it. Frown

Oh well. I guess we have to learn to let go. And I suppose I shouldn't be trying to make him keep it - after all he does have a bit of a problem with that anyway! Why am I discouraging him!?

I remember when my dad & stepmum had a garage sale years and years ago. I was about 13. My stepmum gently suggested my dad sell a few of his records (he has... oh... a few thousand...). After much thought and sorting he emerged with an entire milk crate, with about 20 he was willing to let go. Big Grin
He told me later, that when someone flicked through the crate and picked up a record for a closer look, my dad felt his stomach clench when he realised he just wasn't that ready to let it go. At that exact moment, the mans daughter threw a tantrum, distracting him. My dad whisked the milk crate away and put it back in the house Big Grin

updates, diets, outings.

August 2nd, 2011 at 07:09 pm

I just checked my account and my tax refund has been cleared. Yay! That means DH's will go through tomorrow.

(I had done mine and looked at the pile of reciepts for DH's and decided to post-pone it to the next night. And thank goodness, it took me nearly an hour!)

I have been inspired again reading Ceejays blog to start a short and sweet health kick regime. Even though we *are* much healthier right now than a month ago (and even then - we were much healthier than a lot of people we know!) I have found I haven't budged any weight that I wanted to. Frown I blame winter, studying, lack of energy etc etc. But, I only have about five weeks until TTC and even though some would think it's pointless (seeing as, well, I'll probably be putting on a lot more weight in the 9 months after...!) I still want to be as fit and healthy as I possibly can before pregnancy.

My aim is to take the dogs for a longer than usual walk/run (around an hour) on a different walking track. This one has a few hilly areas and gives me a bit of a workout. I'm hoping to do that five days a week, one day of rest and one day of yoga. Also hoping to slip a few sessions of boxing in there too, but that's only a maybe, depends on the time.

Diet-wise, I have cut out drinking coffee during the week, and only drink one or two cups on the weekend. This is for a few reasons: firstly sometimes I get weird heart palpitations, sweats and shakes when I have a cup of coffee (I haven't gotten them since I stopped, a few months ago). Also, because obviously I won't be drinking coffee while I'm pregnant, so this is me weaning Big Grin. And lastly, because DH had to give up drinking, I figured I'd do something too.

You should have seen us the first night! Sitting down to dinner, It went something like this:
---
DH: Can't I just start this tomorrow? I've had a long hard day working with dad and I want a glass of wine.

Me: What! No! If you do that, then tomorrow you'll say the same thing, then the next day, and the next, then there won't be any point at all. And besides, I haven't had a coffee all day and my head feels like it's about to implode. So you CAN'T have a wine.

---

Continuing on the diet discussion, I haven't quite figured it out actually. But I'm thinking along the lines of a few weeks eating steamed vegetables, brown rice, soups etc. Might have one day in there to relax a little and eat something naughty. But for the most part I want to eat fresh unprocessed organic food, mostly vegetables. Minimal dairy. Extremely reduced sugar intake (probably only my 'free' day). Etc Etc. We'll see how I go. It's so difficult trying to study though, with low energy levels. I find my concentration wanes a lot. Now I understand why my old flatmate used to eat 1kg of lollies every week - the sugar keeps you UP. lol.

We are thinking of going to Greazefest on Sunday ( www.greazefest.com ). It is a 1950's car/fashion/style/hotrod/music themed festival that we've wanted to go to for a few years and finally we have the weekend spare when it's on! Exciting. But, we are still deciding, because the day will probably cost $100+ ($25 each entry, petrol to get there, food etc). And DH is just about to spend a bit of money on some screenprinting paint and a bulk lot of blank tshirts. We have a friend who operates an art studio who has offered to sell some of DH's designs.

Even though we're about to embark on running the flooring business ourselves with less input from DH's dad, I think DH wants to find a way to make money without having to do physically draining work, use chemicals, and deal with pedantic clients. (Unfortunately the clients can't be helped, DH's dad runs a premium flooring business that is unlike the subcontracted ones you hire out from a carpet shop who do a usually sub-par job.)




hello everyone!

July 31st, 2011 at 12:44 am

It's been over a month since I last posted, sorry everyone. I have missed SA, and I find I think about a lot of you sometimes. Even though I've never met any of you, you all feel like my extended family. I've tried explaining this to DH once before, and he doesn't really understand. (I suppose, we do use the 'imagine-everyone-you-don't-know-on-the-internet-is-a-huge-fat-guy-sitting-in-his-underwear' example with my little sister when she decides to not use her brain and adds strangers on facebook, myspace, etc).

I see there are lots of newbies here too, welcome! (I was, once upon a time, a 'regular', however it seems I don't get time to scratch let alone write a blog post, and when I do, I find I don't have much content, so I delete it! I'm determined to post this one though.

So, for about a year now I've completely stopped recording our expenditure/earnings etc. The organisational freak in me sometimes has a spin-out and panics a little bit. I did think, about six months ago, that I felt like I had no idea where we were with our savings and expenditure. I feel like I'm walking on a tightrope very high with no safety harness. However, the bank account begs to differ. It seems that once we relaxed a bit with our financial situation, it did the world of good. Perhaps recording everything isn't for us; maybe doing that meant we had more binges and blowouts because we both always felt like we were pinching pennies. Whatever the reason, our bank balance is almost at where it was when we first bought our house and had a bonza of additional funds from settlement. Basically, the EF I've always stressed about having, is actually there for once.

We just submitted our tax returns for the 10-11 financial year too, and are getting a nice $2300 back. Where is it going? Savings, of course.

I passed my last subject, LAW1101. I'm now about to start my third week of STA2300 (data analysis) and CIS1000 (business information system concepts). I'm actually liking them a lot! Having been met with looks of horror and pity when telling people one of my next subjects was data analysis, I think I'm now shocking people even more by telling them I'm enjoying it. But... someone has to right? And if I didn't like it a tiny bit, then why the heck would I be studying accounting anyway?

I've been applying for a couple of jobs a week. So far, no luck, but I'm waiting on three recent applications I submitted. Fingers crossed!

On the current job front, well, things are still the same level of frustrating. Atleast ALL the staff are frustrated, and at the same person (our boss, and his wife). In some way, that makes it bearable. We are able to joke an whine to each other about it, and pretty much everyone is in some stage of looking for a new job.
Our boss seems to be doing a whole lot more lying lately, and is intent on talking himself (and his wife) up on the social status ladder. He goes through stages of doing annoying things. Lately it's this.
I am not the type of person that cares about what someone earns, how big their boat is, what car they drive, how prestigious their house location is, etc. But, I have to listen to my boss talk about his friends in this way. It actually makes me a little sad, as I've realised lately that I don't know his friends names, what they're like, what they do in their spare time (other than sail their yacht around), how well they get along with their spouse, if they're funny, or a little weird, or their quirks etc. When I talk about my friends, that is what I talk about. I talk about THEM. I've also caught him lying outright (to a customer he didn't even know, who happened to have a bank uniform on) about how his wife is a bank manager. First of all, she hasn't worked at a bank in about two years. Secondly, she approved loans, she was never a manager.
Little things like this, EVERY DAY, begin to drive a person insane.

That, and the wife still hasn't apologised for yelling at me after I told her my sister couldn't work because she was in hospital. So, I'm not really a happy chappy at work right now.

In other income-related news, DH's dad is partly handing his business over to us in a few months while he moves interstate to help his parents (DH's grandparents) fix up their house. Before that happens, I am working with our accountant to turn it into a company. I think eventually DH's dad will retire and hand the business over to us. Things are actually going alright in that section of our lives, for once. Normally it is all sorts of hell with the family's business, but not right now.

My little sister was diagnosed with PCOS last week. I am not really sure how they picked it up because she does not exhibit any appearance related signs (hirsutism, obesity, acne etc) but atleast she knows at a young age and can learn to cope with it now.

Tomorrow will be DH's third week of not drinking alcohol. He has struggled with it, but it is for a good cause. We decided long ago that when we wanted to conceive we would stop all drinking and unhealthy habits, for atleast two months before initially trying. So that is another bit of exciting news: we hope that by the end of the year we'll be pregnant. I'm hopeful, anyway. We're both relatively young and so we hope it shouldn't be too difficult, but have known people who have struggled, so at the same time we're not overly confident that it will be something that happens straight away. We'll see.
My sister having PCOS has made me worry a little bit. I'm not sure if it's something that is genetic? Should I be checked for something like that?

What else? Our dogs are well. I actually took them for their yearly check up and was told they are too fat! So, I have begun to feed them slightly less dry food and take them for walks more often. I did slack a bit with the walks during my exam preparation in June. They seem to have lost a little already (it's been a bit over a month).

I think that is all of my news. I have not had much time to scroll through everyone's regular blogs - so feel free to leave me a little update of what's been happening in your life lately in the comments section! Big Grin




test results, back to organics, exam times etc

March 30th, 2011 at 11:09 pm

I got results back for my first two tests for my law subject - 70% and 80%. So far, so good. Could have done better... but I am passing with a credit so far, which is good! I have two more online tests and the final exam to do.

I have tickets to see the Dalai Lama which is smack bang in the middle of the exam period - seeing as I only have one subject to do an exam for, and the exam period is two weeks, I am keeping my fingers crossed that it is NOT on this day. I also have a booking on the last day of the exam period too! Why! Anyway, with luck, it will all work out.

DH and I have made the decision to go back to buying organically grown fruit and veg - where possible. It is just something that we both feel strongly about. We decided to also begin reducing our portion sizes of meals too - so in the end, it will probably work out to be comparative in price anyway. Only thing is I get immediately tired at the thought of going to the market, lugging around heavy bags of produce. So instead I'm trialling a health food store that's local. It has been around for years, and a family member actually worked there a while ago. I have not been there in 10 years - but it's pretty much the same.

To be honest, most of the prices are very much the same that we would pay in a supermarket (that I have been paying, anyway - prices have been ridiculous since the floods...). $3.50 for a head of lettuce, 90c for a bundle of green beans, $1.50 for a bag of carrots. etc etc. Actually, some produce is cheaper because it is local, and much fresher. Produce prices have risen tremendously in the past few months - bananas are $12.99 a kilogram right now. Have not eaten one in about a month!

On the weekend I'm going to a babyshower for a friend. We are supposed to dress up as 50's housewives. I have put together some of my own clothes and think I can get by without having to purcahse anything. I have a black dress that flares from the hips & a polka dot shirt that I was going to wear over it & tie at the waist, and a headscarf. Any other ideas???





we have set the date.

November 21st, 2010 at 02:24 am

February 15th, 2011 - is the date that we are getting married. There was no particular reason for the date (though I just realised when typing it, that it is the day after Valentines day. ha!) rather, it depended on another persons availability.
I think he was rather taken aback that we were asking him to choose the date that we get married, but said he felt honoured to be a part - seeing as only him and our two registry witnesses (and of course the people at the courthouse doing their daily jobs) will share in that day. It is a Tuesday - which means I will have to organise a day off work.

We have also decided to have a 'Wedding Party' in the mid year (so - 3-4 months after we get married). This will give us time to plan it, invite family & friends and let them organise themselves, & save a small amount of money for it. It is not really what I want, but I do have to consider that we are GETTING MARRIED and that is about two people forming a union. And as I said, while it is not something that I necessarily want, it *IS* something that DF wants, and so we will do that.

When I pointed out that we were initially planning to do the thing in February to avoid what will *probably* happen at the wedding party (eg family feuds) I think DF's exact words were 'Yeah well, it's meant to be a day about us & family, so if they can't put their problems aside for one day, then they can go and get....'

Which is true. I am taking the stance that if *anything* happens, from anyone, even my own mother (which is highly likely) I am just going to breathe deeply and walk away from the situation. Like I mentioned in my last marriage post, no one is going to change, so I can't do anything about it. But I can choose not to be involved, and I can choose to stop caring about it. Because by caring, I waste my time, energy and life-force, and it gives me nothing in return - atleast in these particular situations anyway.

I will just have to do a whooooole lotta yoga that week, as it seems to be the only thing to keep my emotions at bay!

Atleast in this way, I can have my dad as part of the celebrations, which is something that I *do* want. I will call them in the next few weeks to tell them of the plans, anyway.

The second factor is of course, cost. After working through the 'family issue' I had a big meltdown about the cost of this thing, in which DF had to calm me down and singularly discuss each aspect, so that I could see that what we have planned probably won't cost a lot - but I still have to do research and find out exactly. But, our plan is to have caterers supply nibblies and fingerfood, most likely have guests BYO alcohol, and to rent a little hall somewhere close to home. My dad is rather traditional in these things (I think it is actually stemmed from my stepmum, who nudges at him and says 'you know, you're supposed to do this...'). For example, the father of the bride is meant to buy the alcohol for a toast at the engagement party - and that is what he did, last year. And so from that reasoning, it's possible he expects to pay for the alcohol at the wedding party. I will let him know that it's not required, but if he insists, I will probably only make it wine and beer, as that is pretty standard as to what we've seen at other weddings.

So, even though it seems like an about-turn from my previous post, I think it will be ok. We are still doing what we planned, but are basically having a big friends & family get together a bit later in the year. I do feel bad for planning to exclude friends and family that WANT to be a part - it is just those few who's unpredictable unwanted behaviour makes it difficult to imagine having a 'nice' day. But, I am going to not let it worry me. This thing is meant to be low maintenance, so I am not going to even think about it any more.
And I do feel bad because even though I am not that thrilled about weddings and tradition, it *is* something that DF wants, and just because I don't want to do something doesn't mean DF doesn't want to do it either, and I don't want him to miss out on something that we only really have one opportunity for, just because I'm being stubborn.

The other thing is, we are not keeping the February 15th a secret. DF's sister and BIL married a bit over a year ago, and it was all very hush-hush, as they planned to have a 'big' wedding this year, next year or the year after. The reason they married was because they wanted the same last names on the birth certificate of their daughter. But now, they are having a second child, have spent loads renovating, and buying a new car, and it seems the dream big wedding will probably never eventuate. But now it is kind of hard for them to announce that they have been married now for over a year. So because of that, we've decided to tell friends of our plans, and let them know there will be a celebration a few months later. This way, they'll know about the actual marriage date and can be happy for us, but know that they will be included in something that is special as well.

getting married

November 2nd, 2010 at 09:55 pm

We haven't completely decided yet, but are most likely going to get married some time early next year.

It's not going to be a big wedding. In fact, we are not having a wedding at all.

Why?
Recent events have made us realise that some things are NEVER going to change in our family. It wouldn't matter if we tried to talk it out, separate those involved, have group mediation, ignore it or turn a blind eye etc. People are going to remain as they are, and we have come to accept that we can't change them, no matter how much we plead.
It would be silly to expect things to run smoothly, and I don't want to have that burden on a day that is supposed to be fabulous and all about love and family.
And I don't want to save money and fork out for an event that is going to leave a sour taste in my mouth when I think about it.
We can't NOT invite the people involved either.
Also, I have had a couple of friends ask me 'When is the wedding date?' and then go on to say 'Oh, I love weddings...' etc. I have been feeling a huge amount of pressure to put on some type of show, which is really not my thing at all.

So we decided that, in the end, marriage is the unity of two people. When you pry away the layers of royal icing and lace, or whatever it is you have at a wedding, the bare-bones of it is that it's about two people saying they will be together forever.

And so we decided that instead, we will do something that is slightly alternative that WE enjoy as a couple, on the day, after registering the marriage, and that will be it. Maybe we will have a dinner out with some family members or friends, maybe not. Most likely we might make a quick weekend trip to see my dad - but that's it.

We have been talking about this for a couple of months now, and I think we have both felt a weight has been lifted. It feels so much better knowing that we don't have to do something solely because other people expect us to. I know it might upset some friends, but I can't help that.
My best friend is not fond of the idea. I'd go so far as to say she disapproves greatly. I think she thinks it's extremely unromatic.

Whew!