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

Monday, April 22, 2013

Kerre Woodham's Musings from Middle Age

I just finished reading Musings from Middle Age by Kerre Woodham.  And I did enjoy most of it.   It actually taught me a lot too.

If I wasn't in the headspace I am currently in it might have been a different story - but let me do a quick overview first.

Essentially it is a book for women over 40 (a category which I just fit into), and just how life goes at this stage in your life.  How you become 'invisible' to society.  Men are hitting on the younger ones kind of theme.  Of course this is coming from a 'celebrity' who is blissfully unaware that some of us have spent their entire lives being pretty much invisible, but thats okay with me.  Essentially she covers how women age.  There is humour mixed in with helpful advice, which I thought made it quite a unique read.

The part where I might have struggled is that she, of course, deals with empty nest syndrome.  And it did feel like she referenced to it quite a lot.  Of course, she has a daughter, and it's what she knows.  So if one was not in the right headspace to deal with such topics it may have been upsetting.  However, I am in the right head space, and she certainly intersperses this with tales about her friends that are childless, and/or single etc, so I never felt like I was isolated from the topic.  

Her book also highlighted for me that there are older women, who's husbands may have died and all of their children live overseas, have been left isolated as well.  It showed me, reminded me, that just because people do have children it is NOT a guarantee of your children being around forever.  Really, regardless of whether you have children or not, at some point you will be left alone, either as a couple or single.  So in that case we are far better to ensure we develop and maintain adult relationships to see us happily through these times.

It has given me a bit of a kick in the pants to get back out there and get social.  I have sat around assuming that I would get pregnant and then, woo hoo, instant fellow mummy friends.

That ain't happening so now its time to get busy and find a way to make some new friends, and to solidify, cement, renew old ones.  Trouble is I am hopeless at friendships.  I'm good at making small talk briefly, but forming friends and having them long term, I suck at it.

So would I recommend this book.  Yes I would, as long as you are happy to handle hearing mum stuff. I honestly laughed out loud numerous times, just one of those snorts, eye watering, hold in laughs, but in hindsight I wish I had just let a loud belly laugh instead.

Both my Mum and sister will be reading this book next.

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Why farm dogs are outside dogs.

I'm not sure if my photos will do my title justice.  Lets just say Max-a-million was FILTHY this morning, after having chased some birds into the sh*i ponds.

 It's a bit hard to tell, but he is wet, wet, wet, and he's wet with diluted cow poo.  I had thought it was just mud splash from the paddock, but TJL came home and told me off for not hosing Max off as he'd been in the sh*t ponds.  Ooooops!  TJL hosed him off, such a great guy.

It was hard trying to get a photo as he just thought that he should have pats.  Yeah right Max!  Filthy, stinky dog! And that is why they are outside dogs.  YUCK!

On a good note we (the dogs and I) managed our afternoon walk without the use of a lead for Max!  I still took one just in case, but it went really, really well.  Of course there are no rabbits around at the moment (knocks on head, touches wood) for him to bolt after, and the birds he chases just fly up.  Todays walk was so, so, so much better than any other walks we've had.  Of course it is a combination of time spent walking him on lead, ie a couple of months!, and me learning to chill out a bit, and not panic when he gets 'to far away' from me.  

I have to say I was just totally ignorant of the fact that being an older dog meant that he needed time to learn to trust me.  I don't know if ignorant is the right word as logically I know this, but at the time, I dunno, it just didn't cross my mind THAT much.  I was just so focused on everything he was doing wrong, and that was making my life with him miserable.  So, so, so stupid.  And at the start I did lose my cool a wee bit, and when I did you could see him just totally switch off, no eye contact, just a real cold shoulder.  I am so thrilled at how far we have now come.  Part of my losing my cool was me panicking about the trouble he was causing, and part of it was my totally ridiculous attitude that 'I've rescued you from the SPCA, you ungrateful mutt'.  A couple of times I did threaten him with being put to sleep, as I didn't think he would be any good (sometimes they just aren't), but I was also aware that at the early stages it was totally my fault, as I wasn't training him right.  Turns out I just needed PATIENCE and to remember that it was going to take TIME.  And by time I'm talking MONTHS not weeks (or hours).  Unfortunately I do like instant results, I just need to be reminded that animals don't give you that.

Life is a learning curve.

I took a couple of photos of the small spare room today.  It's pretty sparse, since we are moving and I have packed up most stuff, but you get a general idea.  We did not do the 'decorating'.  It's not our house to decorate.

You can see in this first photo how small the room is.  It is as wide as the bed is long, and where the heater is you can see where the door stop for the wardrobe is, and I'm standing in the door.  Where you see the light on the wall is NOT where I plan to have the head, as I don't like heads by windows, incase you get a wee bit of a draft etc. Originally the bed went along that wall by the window.  I think only one niece has ever slept in it, and that was for one night.

This photo was taken from standing in the wardrobe door.  The pillows are new, hence they are SUPER DOOPER high.  And they don't have their proper pillowcases on, as they haven't arrived in the post yet.  Hopefully tomorrow.

So this room is super tiny.  Probably more of an office size.  Once we move I hope to maybe paint the bedside table, to give furniture renovation a go.  I plan to start super small and then, if all goes ok, move onto bigger things.  The lamp I bought looks so TINY.  But it will do, for now.  And you can see the window up above the bed head. That window leads to the hallway.  Oh yes, yes it does.  And that is so when you turn the lightswitch on in the hallway, the light in the bedroom comes on and shines into the hallway.  Yep.  That's how it works.  There isn't an actual light in the hallway, it's in the bedroom.  Fortunately, this being such a tiny house, and we don't actually use the hallway unless we have guests, and we're moving, so it doesn't really matter.

So, if you haven't noticed, I am slightly pre-occupied with our upcoming shift.  Today I packed away plastic containers, and recipe books.  Tomorrow, I need to get more boxes.

So excited!  (I actually am).

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sick again??!! Wot whaaaat?

Was feeling crappy again today.  Twas only about a week ago that I had my man-flu.  Today I just had kind of a niggley throat, and was rather tired, so spent the majority of it on the couch dozing and watching television.

Feeling a lot better now, it was just exhaustingly weird.

I did manage to achieve two things.

One, shopping again.  Via infomercials - no, no, no, no MJ, but alas yes.

Turbo Fire has sucked me in.  90 day risk free, money back guarantee, sucked in.  This happens to me everyone once in a while, like once every 5 years or so.  But TJL thought it looked pretty good, and heck, that's all the permission my spendy spendy pea brain needs.

So it should be here in a week.  11 work out DVDs with 13 workouts, exercise bandy thing, tips and a guide.  Of course I went for the delux offer that has 4 more DVD's, weighted gloves, a jump mat and a journal. 


 ... a free 11 piece knife set.  I KID YOU NOT.  I had the option of a knife set or Thin Lizzy, fortunately I do know myself somewhat and know that the knife set will get far more use.

It does look really good, in that the music seems totally pumped up and the sweat seems to pour off the participants.  I also like the fact that it has a programme for the 90 days, ie what DVD to do on what day, which is what I need as when spoiled for choice I tend to sit around wasting time just trying to make the choice, and then end up doing nothing because it's just too hard.

We shall see how I go.

The other thing I did was rearrange the small spare room, and get it ready for the girls visit in 8 days time.  Stupid thing is that I now have the bed in the position I wanted it all along.  I hadn't been sure if it would fit or not.  With help from TJL it does.  5 years of hating where it was, 6 weeks of having it right.  Better late than never, yes?


Thursday, April 18, 2013


I do love to shop.  Unfortunately I really can't afford to, but I'm naughty and shop anyway.


But I use any excuse, I'm not a total spend-a-holic but I do just love to buy.  

First up I got Mothers Day cards.  One for my Mum and one for TJL's.

This is the one for TJL's mum.  If you can't quite read it, it says Mum, I realise it wasn't easy raising me ... (inside) The best and brightest are always a challenge.  It's so very, very TJL, and since he was a premie he definitely wasn't easy at the beginning, and he definitely thinks he's the best.  Of course I buy a card for TJL's mum and dad each and every year, whether or not he gets it to them is another story.

 This is for my Mum.  I think this one is a little easier to read.  And again, it's totally appropriate.  Even though I'm 41 I still rely quite heavily on their advice and help.  And I was definitely a difficult child, very very headstrong and stroppy.

Since I was in a bookshop (Paper Plus - my favourite) I also bought an Oprah magazine.  I haven't had one of those for ages.  TJL read it while I was in The Warehouse buying ...

Three cute little bowls.  I will be using these for M'n'Ms, mini marshmellows, and broken up flake chocolate for the girls to put on their sundaes.  After that they will be great for dipping sauces etc, if I ever have anything that needs dipping.  Or candle holders.  Or just for future sundae making.  $3.00 each

I needed new socks.  I love these socks, super dooper cosy.  My gumboots do have a habit of chewing through them rather quickly, but at $10.00 for 3 pairs who's complaining?  Actually I am, for some reason I totally bought the wrong size, noticed only after I removed the tag and wrapper. They will fit TJL if they are totally unsuitable for me. 

Cutsie little column heater.  It's not very big but should be ok for the small spare room we have here when the girls visit.  And I think our 'new' house has 3 bedrooms and an office.  I am assuming that the office is quite small, so new heater should fit perfectly in there.  $40.00, sweet!

Finally I bought a small desk lamp for the small spare room for when the girls visit.  Noticing a theme anyone.  The small room's light switch is in the hallway, as I think the hallway was formed out of the small room to go down to the added on bedroom (hence why the small room is actually TINY).  The wall is topped by glass allowing the light from the small room to also go through the hallway.  Does that all make sense?  Anyway, a lamp was needed so whomever is in that room can actually turn a light on and off from in there, rather than stumbling into the hallway.  $10.00

I also got some teaspoons.  I was looking for little ladle-like spoons but couldn't find any, and since I was in the spoon section I just HAD to buy something.

I also got David Bowies latest CD, which I have left in TJL's ute.  I do like me a bit of Bowie.

After I shopped myself, not out but sufficiently satiated, we headed to Shakee Pear for some lunch.  I had potato and bacon rosti's, served with what I think was a rhubarb chutney and sour cream.  Was scrummy.  Crazy thing was I had thought about ordering a side of fries, but SO glad that I didn't.  Yeah, that would be me.  Have a potato main served with a side of ... potato.  Dork much??!!  Why yes, yes I am.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Hurrah for a practice run

I saw a great idea for the girls to make when they are here, aquariums with blue jelly, and other stuff.  Of course the recipe I saw had fruit as the other stuff, and I went for lollies.

I am so, so, SO glad that I did a trial run through first as EPIC FAIL.  Seriously.

Side view

So from looking at it, it didn't turn out too bad.  The MnM's (gravel) lost their colour, and the mushroom lollies (plants) lost a bit of their coconut, but the chocolate fish handled it all ok.  The jelly was a bit dark, and my container may have been a bit smallish, but the look wasn't the fail.

Top view

Where the MnM's lost their colour I had a grey watery liquid, which was a partial fail.  The big fail was the taste.  Seriously, I figured regardless of what it might look like, the taste would be fabulous.  But no.  Super sweet, and I can do sweet, but this was just off the scale awful sweet.  I don't think that the coconut helped.   Of course TJL and I managed to choke the stuff down.  I should have thrown it out but I hate waste.  And now I know why the original recipe had fruit and a small amount of chocolate.

You live and learn.

So we won't be making blue jelly aquariums with the girls.  We will make jelly, and have lots of other stuff, and they can make themselves ice-cream sundaes instead.  I LOVE ice-cream sundaes.  (If you haven't worked it out already when I say that we will be doing this kind of stuff 'for' the girls, it's really all for me!)

On a happier note, some little cross-stitches arrived in the post today.  It was such a surprise as I ordered them from the USA and wasn't even sure that they would arrive before the girls went home, so super stoked that they arrived a week after I ordered them.  Big ups to JuliesXstitch.com, very impressive service (and yes I have emailed her to thank her).

... Puppy ...

... Butterfly ...

... Fish...

I have wrapped them up in mermaid paper and numbered them (I have no idea what number corresponds to which set) and when the girls get here I am going to have them draw numbers out of a hat (maybe 1-15), and they keep going until they get a 1, 2 or 3, and what ever number they get, they get that package.  I'm hoping it will save arguments over which one they want.

So kicking myself for not ordering myself a set.  Might get around to doing that soon, or may just buy one here in NZ, though choice and cost may limit me!

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Guest baskets

In a couple of weeks we will be having 3 nieces to stay for a few days of the school holidays.  Two are my sisters girls, and one is my cousins daughter.  Ages 6, 9 and 10.

To make them feel welcome I decided to make them a gift basket each.

So the first step was to locate said gift basket.  I had a wee bit of a search around and discovered these brightly coloured, and what I consider a wee bit funky, rubbish bins, which will be a lot more useful long term than an actual basket.  Score 1!  Oh, and they were $3.00 each, so inexpensive.

Funky monkey rubbish bin.

Then it was a matter of finding loot to go into the gift bins.  I found out the girls favourite colours from their mothers, to give me a bit of a theme for each girl, and so they wouldn't mix up who's was who's.

I had an idea to get them a named facecloth each, from memory they were around $13.00, so a bit expensive, but great quality.  To go with the 'bath' theme I also bought them a couple of soaps, and a loofa(?).

Bath time!

Aside from liking clean kids, I always like to get a wee bit crafty with them so I got mugs that they can paint, then bake in the oven, they were $12.50 ish each.  I also got a bumper activity pad, stickers, plain pads, crayons, and a 6x4 photo frame.  I'm hoping to get a nice photo of the three of them, and pop that into their frame so they can remember their visit with us.  I have a ton more arts and crafts stuff for them to use, so they are not limited to this small amount.

Artsy craftsy.

And one can't forget to have a few chocolates.  I got a few Easter Eggs on sale a couple of days after Easter, so have bagged them up, and added a lollipop on top.  We got the lollipops from the local Pizza place a couple of nights ago, which was lovely of them.  And to save myself from eating yet more sugar, what better way to get rid of them.  I also have them a 'proper' Easter Bunny Easter Egg in the fridge for them, as I haven't seen them since before Easter.

Yum, yum, yum.

So here it is all displayed out on the table.  It has cost me around $150.00 I guess, but since we don't have kids I don't mind.  TJL has a bit of a heart attack about it, but I point out that we don't have kids, so in the grand scheme of things, we can afford it;

Loot, glorious loot.

Heres the three bins all full to the brim ...

... and a close-up.

The girls will be here for 3 full days, plus 2 days of travel (3.5 hour journey, extended by bathroom and play breaks).  One day we will go to a movie, I'm hoping to go to the Crood's, but we shall see.  One day we will go to the pools, as T & G always have a good time there, so no doubt K will too.  And I've booked them in for a riding lesson for one of the days.  G and K are super excited about the riding lesson, T (the 6 year old) is a little less sure, but I'm sure she will be fine. 

The sheets are washed.  The duvet covers are washed.  It will be all go in 2 weeks time.  

Saturday, April 13, 2013


We are moving to a new farm in around 6 weeks time, June 1st.  So I've started packing up the house, which I am actually enjoying.  So far I have 3 bags of stuff to go to the SPCA shop for them to sell, or use for the animal cages in the case of old sheets etc, plus I have discovered stuff that I couldn't locate when I needed, like an electric blanket for the single bed.  Of course I found the two I knew I had somewhere the day after I bought a new one.  Oh well ...

I have also sorted through our multitude of towels.  Why I waited until now I'm not too sure, as stuffing, shoving, pushing, and forcing clean washed towels into our overstuffed only cupboard was just stupid.  I have now cut the house towels down to around 20, and bagged up all the other old ones to be used as dairy shed towels.  Any ripped or torn ones have become mini-sprint towels (dirt track racing = filthy car cleaning).  I have room in our towel cupboard.  Oh yeah!

The trouble with packing is that now an area of our house now makes it look like I'm a hoarder, and truth be told I am a bit of a hoarder (see towel comment above), just not the 'no space left to walk in the house, old newspapers, animal faeces' hoarder.

Taadaa!  Messy much??!!

I use rubbish bags for sheets, towels, blankets etc.  Much easier to 'squash-in' a bag of soft stuff when moving, than extra boxes.  This would be my much travelled, many moves opinion.  Plus they are awesomely handy when unpacking at the other end, and you need a rubbish bag.  See, I know what I'm doing.

Aside from the linen cupboard I have also emptied my closet, and the spare room closets (mostly, one still has Christmas decorations in  it, just need a huge box to put them all in).  TJL's closet is still to go, but I won't start on that one until he has had a wee bit of a holiday, he will need to help or I will throw out something he likes, whether he has worn it in the last five years or not.

Unfortunately I am having to store all of this packed up stuff in my office area of our secondary lounge, which is a bit of an eyesore should anyone visit.  This is because I can't store them in one of the spare bedrooms until the girls (nieces) have been and gone.  Once that has happened I will definitely move all this stuff into the large spare room, which will be awesomely handy for moving, ie has doors that leads to the porch, to right onto the driveway. Perfect!  Until then, we shall survive with the embarrassing mess.


One of the great points about shifting is that you do end up going through everything you own.  This means you can make note of what you do need to replace, and/or get rid of a multitude of junk that you just don't use.  It's pretty cathartic.  And quite eye opening.  I guess if you are a regular spring cleaner you actually do this annually.  And while I'm inspired right now to do it annually, truth be told, I probably won't.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013


I have had man flu for the last 24 hours.  Yes, that's right, man flu.

I hate, hate, hate feeling anything other than fine and dandy, so I get all very woe is me, it's all about me, feel sorry for me, feed me, bring me water, I need a blanket.

Yep, I'm pathetic.  I get man flu.

And the worst thing is how you end up feeling so greasy!  Or is that just me?  I have had a shower today, which made me feel better, but I'm back to feeling greasy again already.  Might just be the lip balm ...

But, as I said, luckily I only get it for 24 hours, so it's going.

I wasn't totally useless today.  I did drive the tractor while TJL sprayed the drains.  I did it, but I wasn't happy as I was FREEZING (there was a very cold wind), and my nose kept running.


I had planned to walk the dogs down the back only.  It's flat, but it meant that Max wouldn't get off leash.  I got a wee way down and remembered TJL had sprayed the cutting, so up the hill we went instead.  So Max got some off lead time, and he was so good!  I was so impressed!  But I'm not getting carried away, there were no rabbits to chase once again, so *phew* yet again.

Got a call from the adoption/foster lady today.  Something I had totally forgotten we had done, it feels like it was so long ago.  It did get me thinking about fostering again.  But I just don't know.  Something I was so sure about doing, I am no longer really thinking about.  

Will take some time after our shift to work things out, but at the moment I'm kind of obsessed with our move.  5 years and an entire farm to pack up.


Monday, April 08, 2013

Getting braver

Our new dog, Max-a-million is an absolute handful.  We have only had him for 3 months so I really shouldn't expect miracles, but man, he is HARD work.

Of course, having had a bit of trouble with him, I haven't exactly been brave, so a lot of it is my fault.  And I don't spend THAT much time training him, but still ...

He's not dangerous, in case that is what you were thinking, but he is FAST and if he gets onto a scent, his ears switch off.  And then if he actually see's the cause of the scent, he's off and he's not coming back.  Definitely no ears in this case.

He's not so bad with the birds, they just fly away and he watches, and gives up.

Rabbits are another story,  Maxi is just gone, gone, gone.  Fast.  And I mean SUPER FAST.  He outruns the quad bike when TJL is driving it.  He's fast!

And so most of his walks are spent on a 15M rope, which is a shame when we live on a farm and he could be having a lot more exercise.  But we have pregnant cows, and 6 month old calves, and dairy farm fencing, which means access to neighbours pregnant cows is super easy.  And so he spends his walks on a lead so we don't have any chaos.

He does have free rein around the house of course, which is better now I have blocked his latest escape route.  Fortunately when he does escape, it's just to go down to the milking shed to scavenge any old milk he can find, which is NOTHING since we have now dried off.

However, the last three days I have let him off lead for walks in a few of the Western paddocks, once I have checked that the neighbours haven't got stock in neighbouring paddocks.  I'm so, so brave, and so far, so good.  We haven't encountered a rabbit yet, which will make me panic.  But I'm happy he has had a bit more of a chance to have a run and a good ol' sniff around.

Part of training is getting him to come to my whistle, at which point he gets a liver treat.  He loves his liver treat (ol' fatty dog Stella loves them more and just sits at my side waiting for me to blow the whistle so she gets one).  He does ignore the whistle when on a scent though, so we still have a lot of work to do.  Biggest trouble is that I can't always get a sound out of my whistle, and I really don't have anywhere to practice, as I expect him to come every time he hears it, and he's to get a treat every time he comes when he hears it, so I can't practice blowing it when he's within earshot, which is all the time.

Why oh why do I get myself into these situations! 
I should stick to puppies and kittens.  
Oh, and the chickens have been 'attacking' me at meal times too. 

Friday, April 05, 2013

Somewhere in-between

Living in limbo is just plain boring.

Mentally I have fully adjusted to living sans child.  Yep, I'm going for sans child as my status, my label, my grouping.  Childless sounds depressing, child free sounds by choice, and I am neither, I am sans child.  Happy with my life, even though it wasn't my choice, my dream, my plan.

However we still have one embryo to go.  I really can't be bothered 'using it'.  I'm 41.  Life is a bit busy at the moment so by the time we do get around to 'using it' I'm probably going to be 42.  And based on my track record, it won't stick and we will have 'wasted' another couple of thousand (give or take a few hundy).  I could buy myself a horse with that $2k!  Or a new wardrobe.  Or a dining table.

'Using it' in reference to the embryo seems to be the totally wrong terminology, like I actually don't give a damn, but to be perfectly honest I actually don't.  I do apologise if this does offend anyone out there that stumbles upon this, but I'm just so over the whole thing, and am happily moving on with my life sans child.  I have life plans which all involve being sans child.  And from what I've been witnessing lately, having no children sure seems so much easier, and freer, and quieter and cheaper! 

We will use it, the embryo.  And I will roller coaster once more, between hope and reality.  And when it fails to work this final time I will be sad.  But it will be temporary.  I have such a view to my future that a negative result will be a mere bump in the road rather than a huge crevasse, as it has been in the past.

But what it does mean for me, at the present, is that I actually don't fit into any grouping.  I read more childless blogs than infertility blogs these days, but until this final embryo is used, this final TTC chapter is written, I'm in limbo, not able to fit completely into any group, so I hang on the sidelines, observing but not contributing.