Wednesday, January 28, 2009



Um... I've been sick - that's why I haven't been posting. Yep. That's what it is. No, I didn't get the sore throat, but I've definitely had Januaryitis. Never mind Ms 15 with her glandular fever. When they develop a blood test for my condition, maybe I'll get as much sympathy and concern as she's been getting.

I seem to get it each summer when we spend the school holidays at home. My circadian rhythms slew off course. I fall into the stupid, stupid, stupid pattern of sleeping in, then going to bed late. Over and over and over. That causes more lethargy, and so by the time the kids are back at school, I'm really struggling.

Throw in your typical late summer heat and humidity, and then the occasional stupidly early morning (for our Saturday morning community bike ride), and I'm totally cactus. While Ms 15 is bouncing back from what appears to be a fairly mild dose of Glandular Fever, right now I'm the one who feels inexplicably fatigued. (Though yesterday the chiropractor attacked my adrenal glands, and I feel a bit more sane today.)

In my defence, I haven't actually been achieving nothing in all this time - even though my natural tendency is to focus on what I haven't done, rather than what I have.

Our Tassie bike trip is looming fast, and I have spent many days agitating, via email, for all the participants to respond and to help make decisions on who is bringing what, where we are meeting, what we are eating, the route, etc etc. I'm also trying to coordinate what we, as a family, need to take - and what else I might need to buy. Tick, tick, tick. Now entering the STRESS zone over it all, as it is now just under 2 weeks till blast off.

I've done netball meetings, netball newsletters, sourced and organised new netball uniforms for the association, updated the website with rego details, and worried about when I'm going to find the time to do a website makeover.

I've done a BUG (Bicycle User Group) meeting, and I've been trying to coordinate organising a club jersey (and resisting the urge to scream at people who reckon we should go with x or y company 'cos their stuff is cheap, never mind that their size range is unsuitable for the non-athletic types we are encouraging to get on bikes with the BUG) and also worried about when I'm going to find the time to do a complete website makeover.

I have been worrying about Ms 15 - trying to suss out whether she just feels unfit from lack of activity, or whether some of it is still the GF, and whether she will be ok for Tassie. (She is not feeling the need for lots and lots of sleep, so we suspect it has just been fitness.) Given her reversion to her normal habit of staying up late, despite my pleas for her to look after herself, I'm pretty much ready to pronounce her totally recovered. (And having escaped lightly.)

We have been trying to get a bit of tandem and triple riding in, in preparation for the Tassie trip - easing Ms 15 into it gradually. But despite riding last weekend, and doing swim squad on Monday, somehow I've done no exercise the rest of this week, and so am quite disgusted with myself.

I am back to taxi driving my kids hither and thither after school, and wondering how I'm going to fit in my exercise with all their stuff and a husband who plays Touch three nights a week. (There's this thing called DINNER you see...)

I have enrolled in my TAFE course [Cert IV Information Technology (Websites)], and it starts on Monday. Eek!

I spent a day last week timekeeping at Ms 10's school swimming carnival, and being very proud of her going in every event, even the 100m freestyle, and the 200m medley, and so ending up being age champion again - despite the fact that the sports teacher announced it incorrectly at the school assembly the following day. (The results sheet that came home had her down as 11yrs champion, and the points add up.) She is SO a convert to the 'got to be in it to win it' attitude now. (The only 11yrs girl to go in every event. Did I mention I am so very very proud of her?!)

I've not had the headspace for blogging (ie. I've felt too guilty about the time it takes me to compose a blog post) and I am feeling like this blog might have had its day. I think it has just about served its purpose for me. I started it to practise my writing, and I do think that I have improved over the 2 or so years that I have been doing it. Alongside my web design course, I intend to pursue my writing as well, with a grand plan to get stuff published - magazine/feature writing of course - I don't have an imaginitive bone in my body - and 2009 is shaping up to be the year to reinvent myself. A new blog, a new look. A new me. With my usual time management issues (which is code for 'procrastination over housework') I need to focus on getting my act together - a challenge with the whole Januaryitis thing on top of everything else.

(And while I'm about it, lose the dumb weight I put on over Christmas and January.)

So, posting here will be sporadic for a while, until I set myself up somewhere new. Of course, I can't help myself - I do seem to have an unhealthy addiction to maintaining an online presence. (Hey world, this is ME. Oi! ) But I'll be making do with Twitter, and Facebook (which I finally joined, but use merely as a quick and easy diary/journal, not all the other rubbish.) Right now it's the more appropriate course for a time-poor procrastinator.

I'll still find time, of course, to keep reading my fav' blogs... so I'll continue to buzz around like an annoying mosquito and I'll post here occasionally.. maybe more photos than anything else...

If you want to keep up with me, there's always the dreaded Facebook (link to the right), and I'll try and keep Twittering as well (which doubles up on Facebook.) I promise I don't participate in the typical Facebook crap (much like I don't indiscriminately forward chain emails) My "wall" is my diary, and not a mindless joining or clicking on causes.

Wish me luck in my 'recovery' eh?

Thursday, January 15, 2009


The week that went nowhere.

Ms 15 is sick. Came down with sore throat on SAturday. Took her to after hours dr on Sunday. Tonsillitis. So she got antibiotics. (Syrup version as she still can't swallow pills.) By Tuesday, no improvement, worse I'd say. So took her to local drs surgery. The only dr you get to see when you make a same day appointment is the newest blow-in, new-out doctor who never gives you much confidence. Dr Inexperienced fiffed and faffed looking up stuff on his computers. Eventually gave us script for different type of antiobiotic but told us we should wait till the next day, as it can take 2-3 days to kick in...

Next morning she is WORSE. I fill the script. This time it's only a twice a day dose, so needless to say it wasn't a surprise that she didn't improve yesterday.

Today.. still no good. Worse even. Reckon I might be cranky I took the doctor's advice?

So we're off to the doctors again this afternoon. (Taking her to a different surgery.)

Meanwhile all she is up to (for distraction purposes) is TV and movies. So we have been through this year's Schools Spectacular. Just about every episode of Black Books. All three Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and now we're watching last year's Schools Spec.

It's hot outside - there is no incentive to go out, or even to go upstairs. Our loungeroom is also the computer area. Distraction much? Oh yes, and I am easily distracted. I find myself sidling over to the lounge chair and watching too. (At least we are keeping her company, no?)

Now? Don't care so much, but can I concentrate on any of the computer (volunteer) stuff I have to do? Not a jot. Noise, noise, noise. Arrrgh!! It's doing my head in, but I don't have the heart to deprive her of a distraction.

I'm fighting off the sore throat thing too now.. just feels .. not right... Which would be all I needed.

Happy Holidays.

Ed: Glandular fever. aka Mononucleosis. Epstein-Barr virus. Kissing disease. (See what happens when you get yourself a boyfriend, oi. To be confirmed by bloodtest and throat swab, but it all fits. Yeah, I had it when I was at college. Hope I therefore have a good resistance to it, and that noone else in the family manages to catch it/have caught it and come down with it when we are headed off to our bike ride in Tassie....

Monday, January 12, 2009


The one about the crazy mother and the shoez.

Last night Marc and I decided to whizz out after dinner to the summer holiday open air cinema. (I am still getting used to this concept of just waltzing out spontaneously, no need for babysitting...)

BYO chairs, food, drink etc. Obviously no need to dress up, but I seem to have reached a problem point with my footwear these days. I wanted to wear closed in shoes, but my joggers are really daggy - I need new ones - and I feel like such a frump. I needed something to brighten myself up.

"Hey Cait. I don't suppose you'd let me wear your volleys?" (These are the canvas shoes she has handpainted.)

"What?! WHAT?!!!"

"Oh.. well, it's just that I feel like wearing something a bit nicer than my joggers, and I don't have anything decent right now."

"You want to wear my handpainted volleys.. the ones that took me 5 HOURS to paint. On a TREK or something...?!!!"

"Trek? We're just going to the outdoor cinema thingy..."

"Oh! OK then, sure."


"Well, you just never know with you two. You're always going off doing crazy outdoor stuff..."

* She is starting to take orders... and once she's done some, she might get an online shop going. (For now she's advertising it on her myspace, which I don't even dare ask if I can see. (I mean, sheesh, you don't let your mother see your myspace!)

Nonetheless I am very proud of her artistic ability, and so I'll do my best to promote her little enterprise. I guess I might just order my own pair now too!

Contact her at caitlinmuffin(at)hotmail(dot)com for a quote.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009


The road to somewhere is paved with good intentions.

Hell, isn't it? But if I don't start with the good intentions, then there is no hope, is there? Resolutions, schmesolutions. I've made them before, not always to great acclaim, and the new year variety is all a bit ho hum, yadda, yadda, sure Tracey...

My head is spinning with the various things I should be doing. They range from the Cleaning variety (of which there is much too much) to the Catch Up With All The Stuff You Were Meant To Do For Christmas variety, to the Put Plans Into Action variety. Like Plans for 2009 - our Tassie trip for one. And the Lets Get On With The House Renovation plan. And, foremost, the Get Off Your Bum and Lose The Weight You Have Inexplicably Put On Since November plan.

So what has been chewing up my time these past couple of days? I decided to finally sign up for Facebook, that's what. What the hell? Where was that on the List of Things that Need Doing Urgently?


The road to hell is actually paved with procrastination and distractions.

I did learn an interesting new word today from an article in Saturday's newspaper: "Staycationing". So now I have a name for what we just did. You're welcome, local economy. Though heaven knows, I've tried to avoid the shops since Christmas. From the crowds in the shopping centres you'd have to seriously query that there is any sort of economic crisis. My god, yesterday there were so many people in one place, and on MY mobile phone network (Yes. Optus. YOU.) I couldn't get texts or calls out. Or in as it turned out. This was kind of inconvenient when I was in the middle of agreeing to meet up with Marc for lunch. I found him eventually, but not till we'd wasted half an hour of his precious lunch hour, never mind my sanity. His text telling me time and place came in 15 minutes after we'd managed to meet up.

So today?

Stuffing around on Facebook, trying to figure out how it works, how you search for people, how you network. [I have no idea why this is suddenly so important to me when I have, up until now, dismissed it.]

I've caught up with the hilarious entries on

I have read others' blogs, of course.

And here I am doing a blog post.

I am, at least, going to a holiday swimming squad class tonight. Heaven knows I need the exercise.

Meanwhile, it's 35 degrees out there. It is a bit cooler sitting here with a sea breeze, thankfully, wafting through the french doors - this is the coolest place in the house, which is probably another reason why I'm loathe to get up. At some point in the next hour I need to figure out what to prepare for dinner - preferably without needing to go out to any shops. The staycation is over, Trace. The easy BBQ meal option is again relegated to weekends when the BBQing King is around to cook it, and it's back to agonising over what feed the troops for dinner.

Please tell me I am not the only one who struggles with good intentions but many distractions.


Monday, January 05, 2009


Hi ho, hi ho, it's back to work he goes...

Marc went back to work today, so the Family Holidays are kind of officially over. There are still almost 4 weeks standing in between me and the relative freedom that Back to School represents. (Although the term time after school insanity kind of cancels that out.) But then, the grand plan is for me to enrol in a full year (almost full time) TAFE course this year, so *whooshka* - there goes any thoughts of me and any sort of swanning around with some ME time. But more about that next post or two.

The last few days of our hometime holiday wound down to a bit of an anticlimax. Friday's grey skies (and thus no sun, sand and surf) were given a bit of a lift; Marc, in a moment of weakness, had suggested that we let the kids take a friend each to the annual local summer holiday amusement carnival. It proved successful, if not expensive.. The grey skies led to a bit of rain, but I suppose that was provident - it kept the crowds away, so there was no queueing. (And only a bit of grumbling from me.) Just watching the kids on the rides is vicarious entertainment in itself. I could feel a stupid grin on my face as I watched them. (Except for watching Ali and friend on the Skywalker*- that just freaked me RIGHT out.)

Photo time:

Yes, that is a boy friend with #1. We have only just met him too. If you can count a noisy carnival atmosphere as "meeting". Apparently we are scary and/or embarrassing, and/or excruciating so we had not been entitled to meet him, up until the drawcard of an amusement carnival. (And that's about as much as I can say on THAT without being further pilloried for being whatever it is that I am.)

#2 and friend - or rather friend + #2 - preparing for one of the tamer rides.

* And now, I am posting this youtube video to demonstrate the Skywalker, because even if we had managed to take a picture (given that we forgot the camera, and the above shots were taken on Marc's phone) it could not go anywhere near demonstrating how a mother might be feeling watching her baby UP THERE! DOING THAT!

This was taken by someone at the EasterShow this year. Same ride. First 2 minutes will give you the idea.

Anyway, they survived. Without a silly grin on Mum's face. Speaking of silly grins, the Mum and Dad had a go on the old Cha-Cha (aka Whizzer), for old time's sake. And #3 was braver than we've ever seen her, helped by the fact that the friend she took was not pushy about encouraging her to have go on some rides that looked ever so slightly scary. We took them both on the Hurricane, which was a HUGE thing for Zoe - she needed Dad's protective arms for that one. (I screamed too.) And so a happy and carefree time was briefly had by all. (As long as I try not to think about value for money...!)

Because we'd been enjoying our days of sun, sand and surf, and generally lolling about, we had left it till the bitter end to pay a quick "Christmas" visit to Marc's mum. We'll just duck down to Tea Gardens on Saturday afternoon, we said. And stay the night, and come back Sunday. Is it an Australian thing to use the words "duck down" - meaning a 'quick trip' - for a 4 hour Plus drive? Each way? And to then NOT factor in holiday traffic on the Pacific Highway (caused by extensive kilometres of roadworks, and merge-into-one-lane factor AND the one-set-of-traffic-lights factor of soon to be bypassed towns?) And also to NOT factor in the IDIOT factor of holiday drivers who can't even build their speed back up to the 80kph (for roadworks) limit when the traffic DOES dissipate and spread out?!

So a four hour drive became an over 5 hour drive, with quite some time crawling along as per above, and we cursed our the stupidity of our timing. But we think Nana appreciated the visit.


Friday, January 02, 2009


Constant cravings

This isn't a good start to the new year. Most of this afternoon I was prowling around the house restlessly, looking for chocolate, when I knew full well I didn't have any. Even though I knew FULL WELL that I seriously don't need to ingest any more kilojoules. How the hell can I have put on weight so quickly and easily over the past few months? (Feels like a new year's resolution coming on, doesn't it... ho hum.) I may have mowed the yard, front and back, today, but I don't think I burned enough energy to warrant any treats. Damned holiday season, where you eat whatever just BECAUSE. Will have to put a stop to that real soon.

We have been so fortunate with the sunshiney days. Beach Days! We got our Beach Days this year! To the point that I was secretly relieved that a southerly blew in overnight, and the grey, overcast skies and cooler temperature put paid to any thoughts of heading down to the surf again this morning. (On top of the super-sleep-in, catching up with the late night out on New Year's Eve.)

We've had a few great morning swims, though. Heaven knows, jumping around in the ocean, catching waves, and then wading back out again, constantly diving under incoming waves, has got to be rated as a good workout. (My leg muscles tell me so, anyway, and I think it's contributing to a bit of the slight weariness I feel.) My dearly beloved tells me that I'm 'really getting the hang of the body surfing', so I am quite chuffed with myself in that respect.

We also headed down there a couple of afternoons, even though the waves are never quite as good at that time of day (particularly on the low tide) - so I did manage to muck around with the camera a bit more. (All the time wishing I had more zoom.)

Low tide is always good for reflections:

And for those who are taken with the sand balls made by the crabs, I took some more photos.

I really don't know much about how or why the crabs make them. We think they are probably sand bubbler crabs. We just take them for granted at low tide.. They are funny to walk on in bare feet. A bit like masseur sandals!

I try to get all arty farty. Nothing amazing, but I'm working on it:

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