Of course there are lots of reasons why I haven’t written.  Lots of property stuff, lots of personal stuff (grandmother passed away, been sick, jury duty) and lots of work stuff.  No new job as yet, but the current contract is keeping me busy.

I was in a real funk earlier today – absolutely miserable and very very tired.  As in, I woke up at noon and my first thought was, ‘I’m so tired’.  I kind of stuffed around all day, not doing much, but late this afternoon I actually got out into the garden and did some work.  I trimmed back both the plumbago plants in the front garden – they were looking really scruffy with their dead flowers hanging off – and then attacked the various little shrubby thingswe have around the place, that had got very leggy and overgrown. 

After all that I was full of beans and felt much happier, so I came in and made C dinner – two bacon and egg rolls, which he devoured.  I then decided I’d use the same pan I cooked the bacon with, and make spaghetti bolognese, which is just cooling now.  I’m hoping that cooking the mince in the bacon grease will make it taste extra good.  I don’t like the fat content of bacon (and in fact I don’t eat bacon at all for that reason) but as the mince was ‘gourmet’ low low low fat, it didn’t worry me as much as it normally would.  Plus the flavour should be an interesting addition.

Looks like tomorrow will be another day in the garden, given it’s a public holiday here in WA.  C and I have already organised C’s dad to lend us his trailer, so we can dispose of the garden trimmings.  I always feel better when I’ve done some gardening, so I’m looking forward to it.

Not doing so incredibly well at the moment, but that’s primarily because I’m in a fair amount of physical pain.  Of course this colours my view of the world, which I currently hate. ;)

I was walking through a carpark the other day after a meeting and tripped.  Well, tripped doesn’t really sound adequate to describe exactly what happened.  It was more like, I threw myself onto a hard gravelled surface, with nothing breaking my fall, except for both knees, and my right forearm.  Luckily, nothing serious happened – no sprains or breaks.  However, I am covered in bruises, I hurt all over, and tomorrow will be my third day off work and on painkillers.  Who would’a thunk a relatively minor thing could cause so many problems?!  Bizarre.  And embarrassing.  Great combination.  C couldn’t believe his eyes when he picked me up from work and saw me.  I’m personally just glad I didn’t land on my face, or rip any clothing (both my knees were bleeding through my pants, but my pants didn’t actually tear).

Otherwise all is good.  Heaps going on with the properties at the moment – we have bought a new one, plus doing fairly major works to an existing one, and turning over a third this weekend.  The major works on the existing property includes painting throughout – including skirts and architraves – how I hate enamel paint!!  plus we are replacing the cracked shower screen and horrible old leaky toilet.  Fortunately I’m nearly finished with the enamel paint, which I hate more than almost anything – the fumes, the mess, the turps cleanup, you name it.  Acrylic paint is completely different, so easy to use and clean up, and I don’t mind the smell.

In some good news, I have actually finished our tax for 2010-11 and got it to our accountant.  It’s such a relief, I loathe doing it, it’s a huge time suck, plus I find it stressful.  It was a particularly nasty year as well, as we bought two properties and sold one, so there were lots of additional bits over and above the usual that I had to make sure I included.   We’re hoping for some money back, we need it for our latest purchase.

Work was going well, at least until early afternoon Tuesday when I tried to leave the entirety of my skin behind on the bitumenised carpark.  I’ve been off ever since and I don’t think I’ll be in tomorrow either – the bruising is so extensive that I can’t really manage without substantial painkillers every four hours.  Have I mentioned lately how much I love the pharmaceutical industry?  I know that Big Pharma is the devil, but to be honest it beats the crap out of pain.

Today, for the first time since before Christmas, I actually feel like I have time to breathe.  Things have been just so frantic, both with work and the properties, and today was the first time in months that I could actually properly relax.  So I did!  I did the food shopping, then went to my usual Saturday morning zumba class (so much love for zumba :D ) which I’d only returned to last week.  I’m happy with how I went over my extended break – I weighed myself this morning and came in at exactly 75kgs.  Considering I haven’t been exercising, and not really watching what I eat, that’s a great outcome.  Plus, I didn’t hurt after my zumba class – I must be getting my fitness back reasonably quickly, which is a great thing.

After zumba, I came home and had a nap – then got up for lunch – then had another nap.  Just about the best way to spend the day possible :)  C was helping his dad so he was out of the house and kept busy while I imitated Rip van Winkle.  Other than that, I haven’t done anything, and that’s just fine too.  I think I needed a day off from life, to be honest, and I feel like I got it.

Sorry about the long gap between postings.  What with Christmas, my birthday, New Year, and buying another property, it’s been flat out.

Just the new property by itself has been hectic.  We managed to negotiate possession prior to settlement, so we’ve been putting in the hard yards after work and on weekends.  Needless to say it’s been tiring but rewarding.  For example, the backyard was a complete hovel – lots of cr@p left behind by the flakey previous owner, a rotting pergola, and a sad little paved area surrounded by dust.  From the skeletal remains of reticulation (irrigation) we dug up, it was apparent that at some stage the dust was meant to be a garden.

We spent hours taking the cr@p to the tip, digging up the pavers, dead plant corpses and reticulation, and getting rid of the excess sand.  Today the pavers came and started laying our beautiful new charcoal pavers (with a natural coloured border, of course) and we will also be getting a new patio installed.  I can’t wait.  If nothing else, having the entire back area paved means no more dust in the house!

So yes we have been pretty busy.  It’s been good though, especially now the most back breaking part is finished ;)  There’s still lots to be done, but we’re getting there.

Courage doesn’t always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, “I will try again tomorrow.”

I’ve been on leave since Wednesday lunchtime, and it’s been wonderful.  I’ve done food and Xmas shopping, and cooked here and there.  C and I have spent a considerable amount of quality time in the garden as well, which is really starting to shape up.  Together we’ve spent about eight hours just cutting back the bougainvillea, or as C refers to it, the ‘creeping death vine’.  Yes, it was long overdue and yes, it serves us right, being such an enormous task now.  The good news is it’s looking much smaller, and will probably only need about another three hours to be a manageable size again.

We’ve really enjoyed this time off.  It’s been relaxing but we’ve also got stuff done, which is the best outcome for us both.  Now we just need to survive tomorrow – the annual Day from Relative Hell – and we’ll have another week and a day off work together.  Yay!!

I’m feeling a bit all over the place this weekend.  It’s been a good week in a few different ways; I’ve started to really clean out the house.  I’ve donated a car-full of stuff to the local Good Sammie’s, and I’ve also gone through one shelf in the pantry and got together a box of stuff which I donated to the local Christmas food drive.  I cooked dinner last night, and I’ll cook again tonight.  I’ve finished my usual cleaning, and I’ve been to three zumba classes this week.  I had a really lovely chat with my little brother this morning, who rang me of his own accord and was full of news.  My weight is 75.6kgs, which for me is a BMI of 24.97 – for the first time in years, I’m in the ‘normal’ BMI range.

On the other hand, I’m feeling a bit – flat.  Not crap, just – flat.  I’ve felt like this for a little while now, maybe a week, and I’m not really sure what to do about it.  Do I increase my meds?  Do I wait and see how I go?  Do I learn some relaxation techniques?  Who knows.  At this stage I’m tempted to up the meds a bit, just to see if they make a difference.  I’ve had a couple of bad days in the last few weeks as well; so bad I was a mess.  One of them I managed to get to work, the other I just stayed home and cried and slept all day.

The more I think about it, the more I think I will increase my meds.  I don’t like feeling like this – the best medical description would be ‘flat affect’ – and I’ve felt like this for a little while now.  It’s not improving depending on how much sleep I get, how well I’m eating, or how much exercise I’m doing; I think it may be time to bring in the big guns.

Generally though life is going okay.  C is on leave now for two weeks (I go on leave from Thursday) and he’s celebrating by spending about twenty hours a day in front of the computer.  This doesn’t particularly worry me, as he needs a bit of time to de-stress after the last few weeks.  Work has been ridiculous and he needed a break.

It’s hard to believe it’s Sunday evening already.  And mid-December, no less.   WTF has happened to the year?

I’ve had a pretty good week and weekend.  Work was satisfying this week – for one of the few times this year I actually felt like I was working on something important.  I had to write up a document for the Premier’s chief of staff, in a very short time frame and with little direction, and it went through without any amendments.  This made me happy :D

The diet and exercise etc is still going well.  I’ve now lost 4.6kgs, which means I’m about half-way to being a size 12.  I’m starting to get a lot of comments about it too, mostly from various people at work.  I just have to stick with it, I guess.  Zumba is having a two-week break over Christmas, so I’ll have to see what I do about that.  In theory I’ll go running instead.  In reality, I loathe running with a passion, so we will have to see.  Maybe I’ll just limit my eating to 1000 calories a day, who knows.

Also, we’ve bought another property!!  This was the truly exciting news of the week.  It’s a 3×1 villa, and we got it for $322K.  This is a BARGAIN, and it has really made my month.  It needs a bit of work in the outside areas (new paving, and a garden needs to be established) but inside it’s relatively okay.  The really exciting thing is we’ve also negotiated access to the property after finance approval, but before settlement.  This means we can start doing stuff to it, before we have to pay the mortgage on it.  First time we’ve managed to negotiate this so I’m really stoked!

I saw my mum today, who was in good form.  We spent two hours together gasbagging, and it went really well.  I don’t always get along fantastically with my mother, so today was really nice for a change.  I even got my act together and bought a secret santa gift for this coming Friday’s work Christmas party – a calendar with smartarse sayings.  The recipient will love it, she’s got a similar sense of humour to me, so that was a win.

I’m in the process of cooking a lamb roast for dinner.  It’s got to the point where the lamb-roast odours are wafting around the house, and driving me nuts.  I’m so hungry, I’ve only had 900 calories today – I thought I’d save up and splash out for dinner :D  Plus, I may even have a chocolate mousse for dessert.  I’ve found these great Aero chocolate mousses which are only 69 calories, with pretty much no fat, so they’re an allowable indulgence.

Four kilos in four weeks, that is.  I couldn’t hold off this morning, and jumped on the scales – my normal weigh-in day is Sunday, but I figured, what’s one day early?  And sure enough, the scales reported 76.8kgs, down from 80.8kgs four weeks ago.

I guess you could say this little experiment has been a success, so far at least… I’ll be interested to see how much more I drop.  I’m not planning on doing any exercise over and above what I’m doing now (which consists solely of zumba 3-4 times a week), but Christmas is just around the corner.  I’m not planning on angsting over it by any means but by the same token it’ll be interesting to see what the scales say in another four weeks.

My work has been offering a few ‘extras’ lately to employees – fasting blood tests and mole checks, to name two.  I actually went along and utilised both, as part of my new ‘self care’ regime.  Bloodwork came back pretty good – everything’s looking okay, apart from my iron saturation levels – no surprise there.  The mole scan went well too, everything all looks fine.  I’m very fair, and I do have a few moles on my body, so I thought it worthwhile to get it checked out.  I’ll be seeing the doctor next Saturday about the iron levels, and hopefully he’ll have a suggestion or two as to how to remedy it.  I’ve been on iron tabs for years, I take them with vitamin C, I don’t drink, and I’m not vegetarian – I just absorb iron incredibly poorly.

Otherwise all is smooth sailing.  I’m sticking to the exercise and ‘eating plan’ regime fine.  I’d love to say I was feeling better for it, but to be honest I’m so tired I’m not feeling hugely different.  I know this is because of my iron issues though, so I’m powering through.  I’ve managed to not blow off any zumba sessions due to tiredness, and I haven’t eaten naughty food in desperation, so I’m pretty happy with myself overall.

In terms of my mental health, that’s also ticking along okay.  If my work life settles down a bit next year, and my iron level picks up, I’ll be looking to (very slowly) reduce my daily dosage of prozac.  I’m on 40mg at the moment but would love to just see how I go if I do decrease my dose.  Of course I’ll be very careful doing it, the last thing I want is to end up in a hole again.  But I do feel like my lifestyle changes are setting me up well to give it a go, at least.

Had my second weigh-in today.  Only lost 0.4kg, but hey it’s better than nothing I guess.  I’ve already checked out my eating plan and have worked out where I can reduce my breakfast a bit to cut back, so that’s a good thing.  If I tend to overeat at any meal it’s breakfast – I wake up STARVING and so I eat as much as I can stuff into my little mouth.  However I’m working out that if I cut back on my muesli/no fat milk/yoghurt combo a bit, it reduces the calorie intake and still leaves me feeling full.  Anyhow, we’ll see what the coming seven days brings.

I’m hoping to get to four zumba classes again this week.  I just feel so good when I’m in a class (and afterwards as well of course).  I was telling C yesterday that I’ve started deliberately upping my energy level in the class – I’ve always been a high energy participant, but I’m trying to deliberately remember to lift my knees higher, etc.  Again, mindfulness is a key part of this.

We went to Mum & J’s last night for dinner.  Poor C, he spent just about the entire four hours we were there sorting out their laptops.  I finally had to put my foot down at 10pm and drag him home – he was too polite to say he’d had enough.  However the dinner was lovely and Mum was in good form, so that was nice.

We spent a good two hours this afternoon weeding the back paving area.  The cat hung around the entire time, ‘supervising’ as C says.  She just really likes hanging out with us when we’re outside.  I think she enjoys the company.  Every so often she’d walk over to one of us for a pat, then walk back to her spot to lie down again.  So cute.

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