TMI meme

From Suse, the TMI meme. Just because.

Eye Color: greeny grey hazel. I think.
Hair Color: dark reddy brown with a lovely (not) stripe down the middle which shows how much grey I really have. Hairdressers appointment booked for tommorrow.
--Dyed or Natural: ahem, see above. I keep thinking I'd like to go natural, but the grey shits me. So does the regrowth. Am thinking of going really short and grey during summer to see what I think. But will need to find a groovier hairdresser than the one next to the BiLo.
--Curly or Straight: very thick and pretty straight, although if it's neck length and a bit layered, it has some wave. Which I quite like.
Right- or Left-handed: right handed.
Tan or Pale: pale in winter, tanned in summer, even with sunscreen and hat. Which doesn't mean I don't need to slip slop slap. We all do. So I end up quite multi shaded in summer.
Jeans or Khakis: jeans I guess. although it's been a long time since I bought any. I tend to have homemade (or sistermade) denim jean like pants. My favourite pairs don't fit at the moment. Bummer. I'm blaming the purple pills.
Country, Rap, or Rock: country, it's hard to beat George Jones singing, I've had choices, Since the day that I was born,There were voices,That told me right from wrong... Sends shivers up my spine. However we have all sorts of music here. I even listened to some swing the other night and didn't mind it.
Heritage: bitza this and bitza that. Mostly anglo welsh german with a bit of chinese and spanish thrown in for good measure. According to mum and dad.
Shoes you're wearing today: dark greeny brown suede Birk slip ons, with stripey merino possum socks. My favourite footwear combination at home this winter. When I'm not wearing the disgusting old uggs.
Your weakness(es): staying up too late, spending too much time on the computer, newborn babies (the sight of which makes me want to cry even at a distance), paper emphemera, pictures featuring washing lines, buying books at the opshop for Grace, plastic toys, buying material, liquorice allsorts.
Your perfect pizza:
homemade and including anchovies.
Favorite colour: green.
Favorite place: home.
Goal you'd like to achieve: move into our new house. And write a book with accompanying highly succesful commercial website so I could give up my dayjob. But I'd settle for writing a website and book. But not until after move/rennovation.
Your most overused phrase(s): is that right? or alrighty then (said in a chipper tone at work when moving things along).
Your thoughts first waking up: I try not to think too much in the morning, otherwise I can't get up at all.
Your best physical features: I think I have quite nice lips. And pretty good hair, apart from the grey.
Your bedtime: 10.30. hahahahahahaha.
Your most missed memory: I've forgotten.
Pepsi or Coke: Coke, with ice. In a glass. And the diet one really isn't as good, although in some circumstances it hits the spot.
McDonald's or Burger King: Maccas. No more than once or twice a year and only when that strange urge hits. Took Grace to the Clayton Mac Donalds on Saturday and she was unimpressed with the food but liked the playground.
Single or group dates: Not a dating kind of gal.
Adidas or Nike: Keens, love me keens.
Lipton Ice Tea or Nestea: Liptons, but only lemon, all the other flavours are gag inducing. Ice tea is even better made from scratch with tea, lemon and mint from the garden.
Chocolate or vanilla: Both.
Cappuccino or coffee: That's a silly question. If I'm out I have a latte, at home a stovetop espresso with milk.

Smoke: Not since 2001. Except for three occasions when I've had one or two. They were: when I was in hospital and forgot that I didn't smoke anymore (my family were very annoyed that I was allowed to), a drunken new years in the country and at a wake last year.
Cuss: Try not to. There's something disturbing about a three year old saying oh for fuck's sake in your exact tone of voice. Not a good look at childcare.
Have a boyfriend/girlfriend: Yes. Although I tend to be grown up and call him my partner.
Take a shower: On occasion.
Have a crush(es):  No.
Think you've been in love: Well, one would hope so. Ten years without love would be a long time.
Want to get married: Think we've let that moment slip here.
Believe in yourself: Most of the time.
Believe in God: well that's a tricky one. Probably not. However, I do believe there's a calling within us all to do good, be happy and seek enlightenment as to the meaning of life. Organised religion or spiritual practice is one way to express that. Which is fine as long as we're all respectful of each other's beliefs. And not at all fine (I'm thinking the crusades and other abominations here) when we're not.
Believe in your government: I do believe in having a government. Actually, I believe in having quite a lot of government, as in the provison of health, education, housing, employment and care for the young, old and sick. Not sure whether this one will deliver anything much at all yet.
Get motion sickness: Not really.
Think you're attractive: I'm OK.
Think you're a health freak: I wish. But no.
Get along with your parents: Yes.
Like thunderstorms: Yes. Except while camping.

Drunk alcohol:
Yes, and I shouldn't. I tend not to when I'm out. The pills make me a very cheap and unpredictable drunk. However I do like a glass of wine some nights.
Gone on a date: No. As if.
Gone to the mall: No. Yuck.
Been on stage: No.
Eaten an entire box of Oreos: No.
Eaten sushi: No.
Been dumped: No.
Gone skating: No, but I wouldn't mind trying ice skating again one day. Maybe.
Gone skinny dipping:  No.
Stolen anything: No, not unless you count ferreting through the recycling bins at work for empty boxes.

Played a game that required removal of clothing:
No. I'm prudish like that.
Been trashed or extremely intoxicated: Ooooh yes. More than once. But not for a long time.
Been caught "doing something": No.
Been called a tease:  Yes.
Gotten beaten up: No.
Age you hope to be married: Don't care anymore.
Number of children you'd like: Two, but one is enough.
Describe your dream wedding: I'm dreaming of bathrooms and paint colours, not weddings.
What do you want to be when you grow up: Not sure.

Best eye color?:
Best hair color?:
Bown with a scattering of grey.
Short or long hair: Short but a bit shaggy is OK too.
Taller than me (just) and lanky.
Best first date location:
A road trip to Adelaide to see Carlton play Port with some camping thrown in.
Best first kiss location: Trashy niteclub (nb this preceded the first date).

Number of people I could trust with my life:
Number of CD's: I don't know, they tend to merge with Gerards. Lots. And we have vinyl and cassettes and digital too.
Number of piercings:
Three, and they've all grown over.
Number of tattoos: None
Number of times my name has appeared in the newspaper: Once, in a review of our cafe
Number of scars on my body:  No big ones.

So there. I'm more boring than I ever thought. Tomorrow is shrink day. I have bathroom dilemmas. Bet she'll be fascinated.

gardening in the rain and looking for a bath

So. I feel like I have an extra job now. Or two. One doing the project manager/bureaucrat stuff and the other doing some less skilled labouring. And it did cross my mind when I went to my paid employment on Monday morning that it would be really, really nice to be working on the new house instead. Even in the was cold and wet. Not just because there's so much to do, it's scary, but because it's fun. Even hacking out weeds and digging in the rain. After a while I got sick of sheltering under the eaves or going inside each time it rained so I put my raincoat on. And remembered back to when I first had the gardening bug. Back then, it took serious weather to stop me. As I cut and pulled kikiyu, dug weed trees and bucketed yet more rubbish, I thought alot about an old friend I haven't seen for quite a while. I'd really like to show him this garden, walk over the space, talk through my plans. A new garden is so full of possibility and I swing between wanting plant everything all at once and nothing much yet. But despite other urgent things on the list, Mum and I transplanted two, two year old, fruit trees. A job that needed to be done sooner rather than later, before they blossom. Each got a good dose of compost and a very hard pruning. And now they will have been well watered by the rain. This shot was taken after the hard work had been done, and the weather cleared.

Next weekend, I'm going to start preparing the front garden. When G pulled out the carpet in the back room there was old coconut fibre underlay which makes fantastic weedmat. So I'll score the front yard with a pick and throw on some dynamic lifter, then place the underlay over the top. This will get it out of the shed and as we move plants and cuttings from the old garden I can just cut holes in it and plant as I go. Then as I hack up banches of the weed tree we remove, that can go on top and I'll cover the lot with pea straw when I get the chance. Much less labour intensive than doing fully dug beds.

Gerard has also removed everything from the bathroom. Including the concrete (!) base that the crappy vanity was sitting on. My jobs in this area are to list the spa bath on ebay, compile information about tiles and other surfaces and to source a new bath and handbasin. Hopefully a nice 1940s or 50s set in a colour other than pink. We saw a gorgeous yellow pedestal basin, in good nick in a salvage yard but there wasn't a matching bath, so I said no. Salvage yards are a new adventure, yikes. Some we went to last week were just a bit scary. So I've been doing a whole heap of research and I've found some new ones to check out. As well as ebay and trading post. Must also investigate re-enamelling, just in case.

Some people we've talked to seem surprised that we're actually shrinking our bathroom back to it's original size to gain hallway space and potentially a linen press (although there is some discussion about this). And it's true, it will be quite small. Just enough room for a full length bath with a small ledge at the end, a shower over the bath (we both like that set up), a handbasin and towell rack along the wall. We'll rework the existing cabinetry so it has a mirrored door. When I was househunting, I saw a bathroom in the same type of house that was probably original. It had been really well maintained and was light and airy despite it's small size. Really charming. Actually, the whole house was dead cute and in fantastic condition, but it was on a semi main road so I kept my hands tightly clenched in my pockets during the auction. What we're planning in our bathroom is different in finish, but a similar approach to the space. I'd show you a picture from the net, but there's new people there now, so that would be a bit weird.

Oick. Must go to bed. Have had extremely tiring day with small child who refuses to wear underpants (instead of nappies) but is otherwise quite charming and delightful, especially considering the changes going in her life. I would not even be asking her about the underpants, except that the staff at the new childcare place keep asking me about this and I'll feel like a slack mother unless I can say that I tried.

Will try and not be total rennovation bore forever. But am going to write out weekly schedule sheets, a week by week plan and have started watching Grand Designs on the ABC and reading house blogs. So I fear the worst is yet to come.

Oh, and if anyone happens to know of a great source of old bathroom stuff in Melbourne, I'm all ears.

it's lucky eight is a good number

On Friday we took ownership of our new house. Settlement occured the afternoon before, but I guess you could say that the eighth of the eighth o'eight was the first full day we owned it. Along with the bank, of course. Setting off in the morning was very exciting, so exciting we forgot to play music in the car (that's quite big for G, he plays music everywhere). Eventhough it was childcare day, we took Grace for a look first. The house was dirty. And full of detrius: safety pins, lolly wrappers, pills, tampon wrappers, coins, coathangers, dog hair. Lots of dog hair. And yet once we opened the curtains and the windows, it was immediately better. After walking Grace to childcare, via the park, I started with the garbage bags. Then mum, Lance and Ruby came to visit. There was a lot of standing around and looking. And it was a glorious day, with little white puffy clouds in a blue sunshiney sky. And as the house is near the top of a hill, there are some big sky views. I like that.

Gerard did a magificent job mowing grass that was so high, the children were frightened. I swept and knocked away dirt inside. It wasn't that hard. It's still pretty dirty but it's getting that empty look. So full of promise. I tell you, it was a very happy day. This house feels very right for us. After lunch, I had a twighlight zone moment with the eights in the date and realised that the street number is also an eight. I had planned to write something here about those moments of joy, but by the time we got home and through bath, dinner and Grace's bed, I was nearly falling out of my chair with exhaustion. Happy, but dogtired. All I could do was google eight, and think, phew it is lucky.... Not that I really believe in such things, but you can't have too much luck and it's nice to re-inforce all that feelgood stuff.

On Saturday, the rest of the family came for a squiz and there was lots of standing around and looking at rooflines and pondering the future extension (stca), the dirt and the bathroom. Grace cracked the shits and stated that the house was smelly and 'scusting. It was all a bit much for her. Suddenly her parents are talking brickwork and floorboards, paint finishes and schedules. The ideas and information are being thrown around hurly burly as we ready ourselves for making the big list and schedule that is this weeks goal. And all she sees is a house that isn't her home yet and doesn't really accomodate her in any way. Yet. I think we might paint her room first up. It'll be interesting to see how she views the transformation. Over the weekend, we've met a few of the neighbours and pretty much figured out what we want to do in the next few weeks. Last night I fell asleep dreaming about the bathroom refit, ooh gosh it's exciting.

ps. I'm posting over at Mrs Washalot again. Suits my frame of mind at the moment.


Had another psych visit on Tuesday. It was our third meeting following the demise of Dr X. My new doctor is pleasant and professional but there's no history between us yet and I don't feel as though she knows how I work. Or vice versa. Anyway, as predicted, new doctor wanted me to increase my medication. I have, although I delayed until Thursday night so as not to be so affected at work. I'm not at all happy about it. Now as well as feeling anxious, I feel stupid and drowsy. I do understand that about being well covered during this time, but on the other hand feel that adjusting medication right now is a big ask. When I challenged her and said that if the dose was that far under the theraputic level, then perhaps I didn't need the medication at all, she looked rather alarmed. And then agreed that the level of medication I was on was still having a significant effect. I mentioned that I had this particular thought quite frequently as I became well again. but that I had no intention of going off the medication at this point, because I didn't want to be unwell again. New doctor relaxed a bit. Even cracked a smile.

I miss my old doctor. We had talked alot about medication levels and the balance between feeling a range of emotions, feeling creative and alert and being stable. I got the feeling that old doctor was prepared to keep my medication at the lowest possible level to keep me compliant on it. If she'd have said that it was really in my best interest to increase my dose, then I probably would have just sucked it up. When I had talked with my GP, he thought my dose was very close to the theraputic range and that I seemed OK. Indeed, I feel like I've been doing pretty well, no days off work, no major disharmony in my life, no major mood swings either way, sleeping well and going about my business. If I feel a little anxious at times, well we're about to spend a huge amount of money on a tiny, somewhat smelly house in a new area where there are no trams just outside the door. I'm sure it will all be good, but you know, there's an element of risk and big change here so it's one of life's stressful times. It's normal to feel a little anxious, yes?

So. Next week we settle on our house. All going well. There have been some hiccups with the paperwork. None of it really our fault, but time consuming and anxiety inducing nontheless. I remember last week at the bank asking some questions about the process of settlement. Only to be told that it was all automatic. Which I foolishly believed. I should have known there would be a form to complete for that part of it. Afterall, I do do bureacracy for a living! It turns out that there was a missing form in our loan pack and that the junior Mr Bostonov hadn't picked it up.  Anyhow, while Grace was at her first morning of childcare, we met with the branch manager who sorted it all out. He produced the missing paperwork for us to sign, rang other departments to check that all was OK and thouroughly explained the the anwers to all my questions. I left feeling that eveything was well under control, unlike last week. Lesson here, if you think someone doesn't know what they're talking about, they probably don't. And thank goodness for competent, serious bureacrats.

Grace's first half day at childcare was a wrench for both of us. Eventhough I feel totally fine about the centre. She skipped in with excitment but became cautious as she realised that she couldn't free range like at home and then retreated to observe. Once it was nearly time for me to leave for the house inspection, I gave her a big cuddle and said goodbye and that I would be back after lunch, but before nap time. Then she burst into tears. Big sobs. We'd talked about childcare and that mummy or daddy leave you there and then come to pick you up later. But the reality was just so much harder. I got her blanket and gave her another cuddle. Then I retreated to the staff room for a cup of tea and a little sniffle myself. When I finally left and peeked through the window, there she was, sitting at a little table, engrossed in an activity. Not crying. But the wrenching feeling stayed with me all morning. When we collected her, she greeted us with a big smile, saying with obvious joy and relief, I'm so glad to see you, mummy and daddy. It will take a few visits for us both to feel in the rythym of it.

Still, amidst the anxiety and downer of the big stupid pills, it's all very exciting. This weekend is the very last weekend where this house which has been my home for nearly half my life is the physical centre of that life. Next weekend our focus will be on the new house and turning it into our new home. Next weekend, I imagine I'll be pulling up carpets and cleaning, walking around and checking out every inch of the house in detail. Yesterday, I stocked up on gloves and hardcore cleaning supplies because that will be the first thing I have to do. I remember spending hours washing the kitchen walls when I moved in here. I'm also thinking about about tiles for the bathroom and paint colours for the walls. Moving the little fruit trees that are starting bud. And about getting ready to move.