"Worrying about tomorrow means that you are missing some of today" Corey Allan of Simple Marriage

Thursday, November 08, 2012

Back on Facebook

Ah, yes, I have succumbed to the 'dark side' and I am back on Face.book.


Well it is due to the fact that I SUCK at sending emails.  It seems that I feel that my life is more suited to short twi.tter or face.book snippets than to warrant full length email catch-ups.  And lets face it, a face.book catch up is better than no catch up at all.

So I'm back.  The good thing is I do have to pretty much start over from scratch on the site.  I have no friends, well I have 3 already, but this time I will restrict it to true friends and I will NOT get caught up in the 'how many friends do I have?' game.  I am not a teenager, and face.book is not a popularity contest, it is a media device to keep in contact with friends and companies that I like.

And in other news, having had a HUGE break from photographing, I am now getting back into it, starting with the Waverley A&P Show on Tuesday.  Put that up on my PauaVision Photography FB page (which I never took down) and it already lead to a couple of requests to head to certain rings, and to another event.  Which is all good!  And it is about time I got back into it.  I might spend tomorrow having a practice day out with the camera, to re-familiarise myself, and to get all of my gear cleaned!

I have also been having fun with the chickens.  We acquired two new ones, due to the boss getting 6 news ones for his daughter-in-law who was going to kill their remaining 2 old ones (who, by the way, are not that old, only about 3 years old), so we got them.  Trouble is that the new ones are a bit bigger than 2 of our existing chickens (the 3rd existing chicken is ancient, like about 15, and she puffs herself up and pecks the new ones on the head so no worries there) and so the new ones dominate the old, and because the coop is a bit on the small side our old chickens won't go into the coop with the new ones for dinner, so I have had to feed them outside of the coop.  This means that I will have to go and lock them away later tonight, when they have all put themselves to be.  Our hens are the same age as the new hens, so I assume the size difference is due to the fact the new ones were cooped up all the time, whereas ours are only cooped up at night and travel quite a distance each day roaming around the farm, so they didn't get fat, just fit.

What a lot of random rambling!  I do plan on getting some more coherent posts done in the future, but then again, I am very good at plans, just not so good at executing them.

 I am a constant work in progress!

Saturday, November 03, 2012

I'm back ... so where have I been?

I have been, exactly, no where.  But I decided to take a blogging break because we were doing a frozen embryo transfer sooner than expected, and this time only ourselves and the clinic knew about it.

Results came in yesterday.

It didn't work.


I feel nothing. 

 I had a wee cry when I told Trent, but only because I feel I am letting him down as he would love to have kids.

But for me, I am truly over it.  I don't feel any loss, I just feel an opportunity to get on with the future.  My future.  Our future.

We have one embryo left.  We will use it in the new year.  

This time though, instead of putting things off until the results are in, my life starts today!

In the preceding years I have put off getting fit because once I fell pregnant all the training would probably have to stop.  Results are that I am 20kg over weight.  So training starts today.  I had planned on 'running', but I think that with my fitness level and weight I will begin with walking, and once I can achieve that comfortably-ish I will begin running.

And I have to say I feel fantastic, like life is kicking into gear.  The cool thing is that yesterday, the weather was terrible!  Rain, rain, rain, and more rain.  Today the sun is out, such a bright opening to begin the rest of my life.

What I have been busy doing over the last couple of months is gardening.

The vegetable garden looks fabulous - as in almost totally weed free, and plants galore in it - nothing ready as yet, but hopefully in a few weeks we will have more than old celery and radishes.

The flower garden is rather patchy, but I have plants that will hopefully fill in the gaps.  I also have a whole bunch of flower seeds to plant up, which I hope to get done today.

So that's what I have been up to. 
Boo Yah!

Friday, September 07, 2012

IVF #2 - BFN

IVF #2 is all over Rover, with a BFN.

I knew it was coming.  Period definitely felt like coming Wednesday, and it started Wednesday night, with full flow yesterday (Thursday), and the confirmation blood test today (Friday).

Exactly the same as IVF #1.

I think that the nurse was a bit surprised with my reaction when she phoned.  I was bubbly and bright, and just asked about the frozens.

Then I went to feed the calves and burst into tears.  And had a wee temper tantrum.  Poor TJL!

My body is a stubborn mule and it needs a kick up the waatoosie. With that said, my body is old and stuck in its ways, and aside from this whole infertility bull poop it actually functions pretty darn well, aside from my allergies of course, so I am actually grateful for this old body of mine.

There have been a few tears.  A few screams.  A few 'it's not fair's.  But I am not devastated.  Life as we know it continues.  I am happy to have gotten this far.  I am thankful to live in a time where we actually had the opportunity to even try.

So where to from here for TLJ and myself?

Well, we have two frozen blastocysts (I think that is what they are).  In a couple of months, once my body has re-regulated itself, we shall pray that they unfreeze well and get to transfer them.

And then I will pray that my body does the right thing and nurtures them and nourishes them and implants them, and we get a baby or two.

If this fails we will then discuss our final two options.

Home For Life/Adoption
In preparation for this I will actually get my behind into gear and get our profile done and to the CYF's office.  I am not sure if we will have to re-do the course or not.  If we have to re-do it this option may be out as TJL survived the course once, but I don't know if he can survive it twice.
I will also re-read all of the resources I have regarding coping with foster/adopted children, and how to deal with their associated 'issues'.

Living childless
In preparation for this I will get my behind into gear and get our plans and dreams of living childless down on paper.  What we plan to do.  Where we plan to go.
And we will get another dog.  And maybe a couple of cats.
And I might look into traveling to orphanages overseas (although TJL worries that I will either come home wanting to bring all of them with me, or I will never come home).

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Wellness - Two Week Wait

Yes, I have been AWOL for a wee while.  This has been due to the whole, full on, IVF process, which for me involves a wee bit of travel to get to the clinic.

This round went so much better than the last round as I only had to travel to Hamilton once for a scan, and when we are talking a 3.5 hour drive to get there, and then home again, I was rapt that I only had to go once.  That would be one benefit of doing a second IVF, the Dr's have tweaked your cycle, ever so slightly in my case, so that makes your next cycle that little bit better.

I also only had 3 blood tests before the trigger injection, which again, was totally awesome!

I got the call to trigger on Wednesday night at 9.40pm, which would be fine for 'normal' people, but TJL and I have a tendency to head off to bed around 8.30pm-9.00pm, so we had to stay up a wee bit later than usual, but again SO much better than last time which was a 10.40pm trigger (I think).

I phoned Mum and Dad Wednesday night to let Dad know that it was time to go.  Fortunately Mum could come as well, so I had a nice team of two to take care of me up in Hammy.  I wish I had teased Mum and told her that she had to inject me, it was something she had been worrying about and I know without a doubt that it would have been Dad giving me any shots, had I needed any.

Since I had decided to get a motel in Ham for this part, due to extreme stomach pain last time with TJL driving me home - not recommended at all!, Mum and Dad met me at the motel on Thursday to stay for two nights, I was possibly going to stay a third night depending on how I felt the day after egg retrieval.

The great thing about the motel was that it was around 50 metres from the clinic!  So so so happy about that.  

With the struggle to find a vein for the drugs needle last time, this time I sipped water for most of the night, each time I needed to get up and go to the bathroom I took a few sips of water.

Worked a treat!

So Friday, egg collection day, dawned and I was nervous, understandably.
The Dr mentioned my almost fainting last time, which was due to how long it took to get a vein, and then the relief when they finally got one.  So this time, with vein found first time, I was fine.

Egg collection went fine.  There was a bit of pain during the procedure but nothing too bad.  Afterwards I did feel nauseous after I ate a biscuit, so I got some anti-nausea drugs, and some oxygen, but all in all it went fine.  So once I was ready we walked back to the motel.

I had pretty much no pain afterwards, just sat around on my bed watching TV.  Because I was so fine, Mum & Dad went and visited my Aunt and Uncle.  They returned after about 2 hours, so it wasn't major time away from me.

And really, not much pain afterwards.  I did take a couple of panadol just as a precaution at 5pm, and then again at 9pm before going to sleep.

Woke up Saturday sweet as, so I drove home, and all has been fine since.

And now we wait, feed calves and wait, watch movies and wait.

Waiting, the worst bit mentally!

I do have to say my parents were fantastic!  I was so blessed to have them there!
And I am so glad that I live in an age where I have the opportunity to at least try and have a baby.

God, my Lord, my Saviour, my King, it is all in your hands now.  Praise be!

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Family Friday - IVF #1 v IVF #2

I have been thinking a lot about this cycle, and how it compared to my first cycle at the beginning of the year.  I'm thinking that a lot of things are different for us this time around, and I had a quick re-read of what I wrote during IVF #1, which was kind of interesting and surreal, mostly because I retain memories like a sieve retains water ... hahaha

Key differences in this cycle SO FAR are:
  • 1st cycle I sat around and did not a heck of a lot.  2nd cycle I am busy and working hard feeding calves.
  • 1st cycle I said I was happy with whatever God granted us but I don't think I really meant it.  2nd cycle I am actually pretty relaxed with what the outcome will be.  I have been learning that I will be a complete person whether we have children or not, regardless of what society says.  Not only learning it, but believing it!
  • 1st cycle I was doing acupuncture.  2nd cycle I just don't have the time or the funds to be doing acupuncture.
  • 1st cycle I was uptight and stressed out because I had no idea how everything worked.  2nd cycle I am so much more relaxed as I know that the clinic calls the shots and I have no say in anything, just go with the flow and do what they tell me to.
Having written it out like that has actually made me realise that THIS cycle is so much better than the 1st one.  I had been thinking that my 1st cycle was PERFECT.  
I wasn't working.  
I was going to acupuncture.  
We got to use TJL's fresh sperm.  
My stress levels SHOULD have been way down, but due to the unknown (which I strongly dislike, eg I enjoy watching movies a second time because then I know the outcome) I was actually very stressed.  My mindset was also one of woe-is-me, which just made me add to my stress by believing that it was poor poor me, why oh why do I have to go through this, hence the sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself.

This cycle, despite a terrible start with having to use frozen sperm, and now having to use ICSI, and TJL not getting a holiday off of the farm, I am relaxed.  I wasn't but now I am.
I get a bit uptight right before TJL gives me my shots, but not for hours in advance.  
I will be a bit uptight about going for my first blood test on Monday, but that is more because I am adding to TJL's workload (as he will need to feed the calves), not because of the blood test itself.

Of course, it is early days in cycle 2.  
There is plenty of time to get stressed out, and plenty of things to get stressed out about, 
but all 'n' all, I am mentally feeling pretty well so far.

Through pain and sacrifice will come the greatest joy!
While I hope that joy will be a child (or 2) if it isn't, I look forward to finding out what that joy is!

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Wellness - Sinus Trouble

So my weight today is 86.9kg.  Up by 200g.  Thing is we are right in the middle of IVF right now, so I'm not going to panic about my weight.  Yes I want it to go down, obviously!  I'm huge.  
I am still at the threshold of 87kg, so provided I stay at this point for the next few weeks, all will be swell.

What I am having a wee bit of trouble with, at the moment, is my sinuses.  

I get hay fever, and I get it badly.  And since I am spending around 2-3 hours each day feeding calves my hay fever is playing up.  No where near to the degree of how it is when I am around horses though, where I am sure at times I could actually die!
Sneezing, coughing, sore eyes, can all lead to my struggling to breathe, which usually hits me when I am sleeping.  True!  I can be fine, go to bed, only to wake up three hours later struggling to breathe.  It can be very frightening!

Normally I would take an antihistamine.  Or three ...


We are in the middle of IVF and I don't want to take anything that may negatively influence the drugs that are being injected into my system.  I did think about contacting the clinic to see if it would be ok to take a tablet (or 7), but I haven't.  I'm good like that!

Fortunately a couple of weeks ago, or was it last week?, I did a go.ogle search as I was getting terrible tooth pain associated with the sinus trouble, and
I discovered that steam inhalation might help, and help it does.

I now do an inhalation right before bed, for 10 minutes, which seems to see me pretty much right for the entire night.  I might wake up and need to blow my nose, but it is much better than a coughing and wheezing fit.

And I do an inhalation first thing in the morning for 10 minutes.  

And BONUS, what better opportunity to connect with God, than 2 x 10 minute phases in the day when my head is over a steaming bowl and under a towel.  Perfect!

I have also discovered my breathing is easier when I have 3, thats THREE pillows to sleep on.  Trouble is that 3 pillows can make my neck and shoulders a bit sore,  so from about 4am - 6am I get rid of one pillow, and sleep on my usual two.

I have to say I am so relieved to have found a God directed solution to my hay fever allergies while I am feeding calves and doing IVF.  I don't know what I would have done if I hadn't discovered such an easy, and FREE solution to, what could have been, a serious problem.

And the sinus induced toothache?  GONE!  I am so relieved because it HURT so BAD!

I did hear on the news that Dr Go.ogle was more likely to be wrong rather than right, but in this case I feel truly blessed by what I found.  So if you suffer sinus trouble, and didn't know about breathing in a bit of steam, give it a go.  You have nothing to lose!

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Total Home - Front Steps

Day one of shots done and dusted.  

I have finally got our front steps 'finished'.  It isn't really how I envisioned it, not really themed as such, but it is A LOT better than how it was originally.

So here is a reminder of the before.  Broom, hearth shovel, chairs stacked up on table, dog toys (and the dog).  Basically telling everyone to GO AWAY!

After.  Photos don't really do it justice, but I am hoping that once Spring gets into full swing the plants in the gumboots, pots, and tricycle will take off.  Table actually looks like it is set up for people to sit at!  If we had a deck to put the table elsewhere we would, but where it is now is out of the way ie off the lawn which makes for easy mowing.
The chicken is real, although I was looking for a chicken sculpture to add to my decorations.
I do plan to find a small 'Welcome' sculpture/ornament, just to finish it all off.

And yes, our front 'porch' is also our laundry AND where we store all of our wet weather gear, gumboots, you can see the dog's blanket and water bucket, and a basketball.

Lets just say that this porch area is my next fix-up, just to make the welcome complete.

I had planned to hang something on the door, but since it is a glass sliding door that is always partially to fully open (unless the rain is coming right in) there was nothing that would work. 

I have, however, just noticed that I could put something on the wall beside the door.  It is kind of a big blank space.  Something I can think about and work on!  Suggestions are more than welcome!

Close up of the left hand side.  Yes, perhaps I should have cleaned the gumboots before I planted them!  I can do that later, I probably won't though.
Close up of the right hand side.  Notice the junk in the porch/laundry area!  Nasty!

What I popped on top of the table.  WOW!  Look at the lichen/moss on the table!  Methinks it will require a water blast and a paint before Summer gets here!
And while I was outside with the camera, I took a quick snapshot of the seeds that have managed to sprout.  So far it is only the Beetroot and Pea seeds.  I am so impressed with the peas that I will plant some more.  
Why oh why did I not do this today when I was out potting up some of the other plants??!!

And in other home news, while I was searching for an outdoor ornament/sculpture for our front door I came across this enamel bucket.

I love, and I mean LOVE buckets.  Don't ask me why, I just do.
And and enamel bucket??!!  LOVE  IT.

TJL obviously wanted to know what the heck I planned to do with it.  Originally I thought I might use it outside as decoration, but I don't want it to go to wrack and ruin so ...

I'm using it to store our potatoes in!  So much easier than getting in and out of the potato bag,
and it fit in the cupboard nice and tidy.

Oh so happy!

Having lived here for the last 4 years I am finally getting it together home wise, for what is probably our final year.

Better late than never, ah?!

Friday, August 10, 2012

Family Friday - Last day of BCP

Today was my final day of BCP's ... YAY!!!
I always worry that I am going to forget to take them, but I did it, 
I made it through the month and remembered to take them all.

Next step starts Tuesday

Not really booooo!  
Reality is that they don't hurt too much, it's just the whole mental thing.
And to be honest, I am starting to get nervous now, I only just realised that.

Not nervous about injections, just nervous about the whole thing.

Will I have to go to NP for my blood tests, or will the local lab be able to do them in time?
Will I produce more eggs this time, and if so will I then be uncomfortable, which will make feeding calves, who bunt REALLY REALLY hard, a bit frightening?
Will I produce any eggs at all?
Will my Dad cope with being my egg collection buddy?
Will I cope with Dad being my egg collection buddy?
Will TJL's frozen sperm unfreeze and fertilise my eggs, if I get any?
Will we get any embryos to replace?
Will it work this time?
If it works will it stick?

Just your normal, everyday infertility thoughts.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Wellness - Mentally angry

Current weight is 89.7kg, that is a loss of 200 grams this week.  

It's better than a gain,  but I do need to work so much harder!  The Olympics has inspired me to possibly get back into running (off road preferably), but I definitely won't be starting that until IVF #2 is done and dusted.  I can, of course, go for off road walks, which I do daily over the farm, but I might just extend that to walking around the lake up the road.  Maybe.  When the weather is not so awful!

Or it's all just pie in the sky Olympics wannabe dreaming and my running shoes stay in my closet gathering dust.

Mentally Angry

The last couple of days I have just been so ANGRY.  I have been asking God to help me be calm, and I think I have been a bit calmer than I feel like I would have been, but seriously, I have just been so SNAPPY the last couple of days.

I have been AWFUL, no other word for it.

Case in point, I had planned to stay up last night to watch the mens triathlon at the Olympics.  This is the only event, other than the women's triathlon, that I could be bothered staying up to watch live.  TJL went to bed after putting Georgie Bird to bed.  We left the blanket that covers George's cage open so he could see me, but that wasn't good enough.  George screeched 'bloody murder'.  He was at full sound, and would not stop, so I packed a temper tantrum, switched off the TV, called the bird all sorts of unpleasant names, and stomped off to bed, where I proceeded to swear about the dang bird.

This was full blown rage.

I don't know where it has come from.  

And as I said, it has been over the last couple of days.

Can I blame being on birth control?
Can I blame it on the fact my period is nearly due (ie 3 BCP to go)?
Can I blame it on the fact that I have a sick calf in the shed that I just can't get to drink very well, so I am stressed?

Whatever the cause I should just not be this way.  No excuse is good enough.

No wonder the man won't pick a wedding date, I wouldn't marry me at the moment either!


I did feel quite a bit better tonight when my sick calf actually looked a bit perkier, had a 'solid' poop (parenting blog anyone??  .... hahaha) and managed to drink 1.5 litres of milk.  Trouble is, it takes him A  LONG  TIME  to drink that 1.5 litres.  Talk about muck around - he does about 10 sucks and then stops, which makes me think he may have a bit of trouble physically somewhere.  Sad thing is, he is 'just a bobby calf', so in a couple of days he will be trucked off, provided I feel he is well enough to travel that is.  He was old enough to have gone today, but I didn't think he was strong enough.  Hopefully he continues to drink now, so he can go on Friday.  He is definitely looking happier, so that's great!

So yes, I am feeling calmer, and I really, really, really hope and pray that it continues as I really, really, really don't like myself as an angry bird!  I am definitely asking God for his assistance every morning while I am like this!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012

Total Home - Why you don't want a cockatoo

George, the Sulphur Crested Cockatoo

As I have said before, he is deceptively cute.
He can be shockingly loud!
But I do have to say that for this visit, he has been pretty good.  
He does screech like a telephone when he thinks he has been left alone, ie every time one of us goes out the front door, or to the bedroom, or bathroom ...
and he screeches like a telephone when he thinks that he deserves some of what we are eating,
but for most of this visit he has been petty quiet.

He is, however, a lot like a toddler when it comes to food mess!

The photos really don't do the mess justice.  There is bird food, carrots, apple, peas, corn, crackers and POO!  ALL  OVER  this newspaper, (and the surrounding carpet).

If I was a decent housekeeper, if people other than TJL and myself lived here, or if we had George full time, I would clean this mess up regularly, however we thought TJL's Mum was coming on Monday to collect him, so I figured that I would just do a major clean up once he had gone.  Her collection day got pushed out to today, and now it is pushed out to Wednesday, so BLURCKY it is!  
It really is revolting!

And speaking of revolting, I shifted a pot plant (that is on a stool), from a sunny window position to a more shaded position, because I think it will do better, and 
THIS  is what I found ...

A fly graveyard!  Ewwwwww!
Thank heavens for my dust buster, that is all I can say!

Front door photos still to come.  It is almost done, but couldn't get it finished today as it was raining, and nasty, and I was also jolly tired!

So yes, my recommendation, don't get a parrot!

Monday, August 06, 2012

Meals & Munchies - Stuffed Chicken Thighs & Salted Caramel Pretzel Bark

I have got to say, I am loving internet free Sundays, even though I had to fight the urge really, really hard yesterday to not log on, it kind of makes Mondays a bit special, getting to do the catch up.  Who would have thought that I would go from having my computer on ALL  DAY, to barely switching it on at all!  

Tear up bread into small chunks

Add cooked onion, and a sprinkle of herbs, salt and pepper

Add an egg and mix it all up, should be nice and moist

Bacon for the outer layer

Chicken thigh on the bacon

Stuffing on the chicken thigh, on the bacon

Roll up and skewer together, add a drizzle of oil.
Bake in oven for around 45 minutes at 180 degrees celcius (until cooked)

Once cooked serve up with your favourite (or not so favourite) sides

Bread (I used three slices)
Favourite herbs
Salt & pepper
1 egg
1 onion
4 slices of bacon
4 boneless chicken thighs

Tear up bread into chunks.  Dice and cook onion (microwaved for about 1 minute on high).  Add herbs, salt, pepper and onion to bread.  Add egg to bread and mix well.

Place thigh on bacon, and then spoon a suitable amount of stuffing mix onto thigh.  Roll up and skewer well.  Bake at 180 degrees celcius for 30-45 minutes (until thoroughly cooked).

I found this recipe via Pinterest, how GREAT is that site by the way
mamasaywhat.com was my recipe provider
AND this is SO simple, and quick, and de.lic.ious

Lay pretzels out on the bottom of a sponge roll tin (I used a slice tin) covered with a layer of baking paper.

Spread caramel on top of pretzels

Bake in oven for 5 minutes

Recipe said chocolate chips, I used melts

Place chocolate on top after oven baking.  you can see where I put them on first as they were melting already

Once chocolate has melted, spread out a bit.

Break up into pieces after freezing - YUMMO!  Seriously!  Loved it! 

Mini pretzels
225g butter (2 sticks)
1 C Brown Sugar
Chocolate chips

Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celcius (350 deg. F).
Line tray with baking paper or foil.  Lay down a single layer of pretzels.
In a saucepan add the butter and brown sugar, and melt until sugar has dissolved.  Let it boil gently until it begins to stick to the bottom, and it forms a nice caramel.
Pour caramel evenly over the pretzels and place into the oven for 5 minutes.
Remove from oven and sprinkle over chocolate chips.  Pop back into the oven for a minute.
Spread chocolate chips around with a spatular (I used a bread and butter knife).
Sprinkle with salt, and let cool on bench.
Put into freezer for two to three hours, then break into pieces.
I then stored it in the fridge, until all eaten.


Friday, August 03, 2012

Snap-Shot Saturday - Today

This was my day today.  Real thrill a minute stuff.  I really, really must get onto taking my camera everywhere I go, to save these last minute 'whatever' shots!

11 of our keeper/rearer calves.  Quite a mixed bag - Fresians, Jerseys, Jersey X's ...

Another shot of the 11 with TJL looking on unimpressed with my 'faffing about'

A bit closer up, and one is having a poop, sorry about that.  And one was a twin, and she is so tiny you can't even see her on the far right - I think you can just see her ear tag, but that isn't her jersey bottom.

Springers herd
One of our 4 'herds' on the farm currently.  Once calving is finished they will all be back in one herd but at the moment we have a colostrum herd (cows who have just calved), a milking herd, a 'springers' herd (who are in the photo, and are indicating that they will be calving soon), and the 'main herd' who are over a week away from calving.

The crying tree.  I didn't use it today, but snapped a shot of it as I walked the dog past.  If I get really upset with TJL I head to this tree for a good cry!

The main herd.  It doesn't look like they have much grass but they are currently being break fed, so each morning they are given a fresh section of paddock

Walking the dog, this is pretty much how it goes

Another shot of George, I should have video'd him today, he was screeching like an old fashioned telephone at full noise, very unpleasant!

Now this bowl looks like it has a muddy concoction in it, but it's not, its just boiling water with herbs (for a nice smell) for me to inhale, thanks to Dr Google in regards to Sinus Toothache.  This worked ok but the following worked better

A hot flannel placed on my cheek where the sinus toothache was located, and it all went away.  Not too sure how it works, but stoked that it did!  Blue flannel is on my Red Calf Rearing folder, a folder used
EVERY.  DAY.  at the moment!

And that's it from me, tomorrow is computer free day - YAY!

Family Friday - Family dinner

I didn't get a chance to post a 'My Thoughts' post yesterday, I was a bit knackered during the day, and then TJL's Mum came over for dinner, and brought TJL's feathered brother with her,
our house guest for too many a few days.

Don't let his cuteness fool you, he can be super loud!  I do feel sorry for him though, as he is very intelligent and it must be boring just handing out in one spot all day, not getting to fly around.  I leave the radio or TV on for him if we are outside.

Anyway, because the MIL was dropping off the bird, TJL invited her to stay for tea.  No problem!  I would just chuck a roast beef in the oven.  Simple!  Except the vet arrived at 2.30pm to check on a couple of cows (as a side note, one was TJL's favourite, Sniffy, who had cancer of her third eyelid, which is now removed and she should be fine), and I popped down shortly afterwards to start feeding the calves.

TOTALLY forgot to put the roast in the oven!
Remembered about it at 4pm

No panic, I thought about takeaways, but decided to whip up some homemade Sweet n Sour Pork.  Got the pork slices out of the freezer.  

At which point I also clicked onto the fact that I got the frozen rhubarb out to defrost, but forgot to get the frozen apple out, for a rhubarb and apple crumple.
Thank heaven for microwaves!

Luckily I had to pop into the store to get ice-cream to go with the dessert, so I bought a pork chop as well (very small shop so I was fortunate that they had a pork chop!) which I chopped up to boost the pork content.

Fortunately dinner turned out great!

Dessert however, was a bit of a flop.  Not majorly, but my crumble top wasn't crunchy, so it mostly ended up being stewed fruit with ice-cream.  Still delicious, just not styley like I hoped!

All in all it was a good dinner.  I was tired, and my back hurt, but it was all good.

I thought I would also include a few photos I snuck of TJL during the day, attempting to drench our two 1 year old bulls with pour-on, without taking them to the yards.  I caught him doing it through the window.

'C'mon Dougal, you know you want to come closer than that!'

'How about you Douglas?  Would you like a drench?'

Yes, that would be a big 'NO  THANKS'
And TJL ended up using the yards after all.

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Wellness - Falling to pieces

Weight loss

Hooray, I am down to 86.9kg, so I lost 800g this week.  Makes up for the 900g last week anyway!  So I am feeling a lot better about myself at the moment.  That said I did make a really scrummy treat food yesterday, and I can't stop eating it!  Luckily I made the pieces quite small, so hopefully I am not eating as much of it as I dread that I am.  Or I am just fooling myself into thinking that it is ok.  Weigh-in next week will tell!

Falling to pieces

The cold that I was 'suffering' through last week has FINALLY gone.  The nasty thing ended up giving me a couple of days of toothache, well I suspect that it did.  Each time I 'blew' my left nostril one of my top left teeth hurt, and a gazillion years ago when I had my wisdom teeth out I had to do some inhalation stuff as they had reached into my sinus's.  Self diagnosis, but there you go.  Cold is gone, toothache is gone, I'm happy.

Other parts of me are falling apart though.

I have a bruised hand, due to having an argument with the motorbike about my lack of backing it with a trailer skills.  Bike 1, Me 0 - lesson in staying calm in that one perhaps?!  

My hand problem however, is being multiplied by the fact that our calves can be a little bit rough while feeding.  What I often have to do is let the calves suck my fingers so I can draw their 'not so tiny' mouths towards the teats on the feeder.  Once they get the hang of it most of them find the teats on their own, a few however, are that busy faffing around, checking out what all the other calves are up to, that I have to repeatedly show them.
These 'darling, little' calves then start bunting, because they are HUNGRY, and my hand has been repeatedly bunted, with extreme force, into the plastic feeder!

Hand is getting sorer!

And my back hurts.  I thought it was getting better today, but no, once I have started feeding the calves in the morning it starts to hurt again.
It is not just down to the weight of the buckets, but the constant bending over the new arrival calves, to get them to feed on the feeder, or bottle.

Unfortunately, this all means that I am not the most pleasant of people to be around at the moment.

I am tired, and sore, which is not a great combination.

I am incredibly grateful that my cold and toothache has gone.
I am incredibly grateful that TJL gives me a hand, despite my totally grumpy 'I shouldn't have to ask you when you know I have a sore back' response to his 'why don't you ask me to help'.  My man has such patience!
I am grateful that my back is just muscle soreness, it's not 'out' (as far as I know), and that I haven't had problems before now, and I am 40!, so that is pretty rare.
I am grateful that I don't have to go out to work, and I can help TJL on the farm.
I am grateful that all of my ailments are temporary!


Total Home - Winter washing

Blog housekeeping

I still can not comment on other peoples blogs!  So sorry, I am trying, but it's just not happening.  Don't know WHAT I might have done.

I WAS supposed to show off my new front door area today.
I caught a cold, that I am only just getting over now.  The cold led to toothache (tooth somehow connected to my sinus' perhaps?  I know when I had my wisdom teeth out I had to inhale some 'stuff' because it had reached my sinus').  And feeding calves has lead to a sore back.  It's just muscle soreness (I hope), and once I am used to lugging 2 x 20kg buckets of milk at a time I am sure I will be fine.
All of this means that I didn't even get to a shop until today to buy some 'decorations', and with my back being a bit tender, I wasn't in the mood to carry one of my very heavy pots to the front to get replanted.  Hopefully I will get onto it this week.

I did snap a photo of what I did buy today.
2 x 12 packs of Pansy's, 4 x cyclamen, a 'bird feeder' which is WAY too light to hang outside, and 5 colourful plastic pots. 
Total cost for all of this, $41
Boy oh boy I hope it works!
If not, I will have learned one way NOT to do it :)

And so today, I am reduced to a total home post all about getting the 'washing' dried on our outside rotary clothesline.

Not our clothesline and NOT our garden!

While I do have a dryer, I do prefer not to use it, because it can cost a bit to run.  
Fortunately being at home 'all the time' I get to take advantage of any fine days we have, which I have to admit this Winter have actually been quite plentiful.

What I have learned this Winter when it comes to hanging our laundry on the clothesline is:-

1.  Don't even bother on a drab, dull day unless there is a breeze.  It just hangs there doing nothing, and you end up using the dryer anyway (so it doesn't get that 'left in the machine' smell) which means you do a whole heap of extra work for nothing!

2.  Don't use every line on the washing line.  Use every second one to ensure any breeze out there can circulate amongst the clothes.

3.  Get the washing done early AND bring it in early, like hung out before 10am and brought back in BEFORE 3pm!  After 3pm it just starts to get damp again.

4.  Don't beat yourself up if you end up having to use the dryer.  Sometimes there is just no way around it, whether for just finishing off what nature has done, or because nature isn't letting you get loads hung up outside.  Better to use the dyer than to have no clean clothes!

So hows THAT for an exciting Total Home Tuesday post :)

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Meals and Munchies - Chicken Bacon Fettuccine; Blueberry Muffins

Mmmmmm, cooked up a couple of nice things this week.  They mightn't photograph so well, but rest assured they were YUM!.

First up I made a 
Chicken Bacon Mushroom Fettuccine
including making the Fettuccine!

Mix egg & oil into flour and salt.

Knead dough to smooth consistency, roll into a ball.

After cooling in fridge for an hour, split the dough and roll out and cut with pasta maker.
Sorry, forgot images of pasta maker :)
Image shows how far one ball of dough will stretch!

Homemade fettuccine getting a good boil up :)

Bacon, chicken and button mushrooms.

Final product, all served up in a delicious cheese sauce!

2/3 C flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 egg
1 tsp oil
(This made enough for 2 adults for dinner, plus leftovers)

Whisk eggs and oil together.  Knead dough (by hand) to smooth consistency.  Roll into a ball, cover with a cloth (I wrap in plastic wrap) and leave for half an hour in fridge.

Cut dough in half and work dough through the pasta machine as per instructions.  I worked the dough 4 times through each setting, = 28 times per piece of dough.  Having attempted to make pasta before it definitely pays to make it as thin as possible (I could literally see through mine) as when it is thick it is quite rubbery!

Cook in boiling water until al dente.

2 rashers bacon
2 free range boneless chicken thighs
8 button mushrooms

1 Tbsp butter
1 Tbsp flour
1 Cup milk
1 Cup cheese
Salt & pepper

In individual lots, cook/fry diced bacon, diced chicken thighs, and diced mushrooms until cooked.

In a saucepan melt butter.  Stir in flour, and cook until frothy.  Gradually add milk, stirring constantly until sauce boils and thickens.  Remove from heat, add salt and pepper, and cheese and stir until cheese is melted.  Mix in bacon, chicken and mushrooms.  Stir in cooked fettuccine.

(Note I don't use a recipe for my cheese sauce, so have just copied one out of the very trusty Edmonds Cookbook!)

Next Edmonds Cookbook recipe
Blueberry Muffins

Mix eggs, oil, sugar, and milk,

until all blended.

Add flour, baking powder and cinnamon.

Add blueberries (mine were frozen, it is Winter here :)

Mix until just combined.

Dollop into greased muffin tins (I am not the tidiest dolloper!, and recipe said it would make 12, I only managed 11)

Nicely baked and brown, and some are deformed, still taste the same, believe me!

Cool.  As in cool on a wire rack, not wow these look cool, as they certainly don't look that great, but they are YUM!

2 eggs
6 Tbsp oil
1/4 C sugar
1 & 1/2 C milk
2 C plain flour
4 tsp baking powder
1 tsp cinnamon
1 C fresh or frozen blueberries, blackcurrants or chopped apple
Icing sugar, to dust (I didn't)

Beat eggs, oil, milk and sugar together in a bowl.
Sift flour, baking powder and cinnamon into egg mixture.
Add fruit and mix LIGHTLY to just combine.
Spoon mixture into greased muffin or patty tins.  Bake at 200 deg. celcius for 15 minutes, our until golden.
Dust with icing sugar before serving.