Saturday, July 31, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

It's late, I'm tired. Here's my 6...

A photo of Sam

Another 'undiscovered' photo. This one was taken some time late last year by my mother in law.

A photo of Oliver
Laura took this one with her phone (I think!). She took Oliver to the Raiders/Cronulla game last weekend (his first). I don't think he was that excited about the football, but loved going out with Laura (and apparently quite liked the cheerleaders....that's my boy!)

An old photo

Me in probably 1989 (or thereabouts). Have no idea where...

An Interesting Photo

This was going to be my entry into the EB challenge. I love cockies!

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:
This week's theme is 'flora and fauna'. This fella was roosting in Anthony's shed for most of today. Lovely looking young man...

Morguefile Lesson Photos
I haven't got a morguefile picture for this week, so I thought I'd show you this. It was an alternative for the challenge (the fauna obviously!)
I was playing around with exposure a bit. This one was about the best.

Friday, July 30, 2010

How am I?

Three weeks into my health kick, and I've gotta tell you, I'm feeling pretty great!

Yesterday, I did my first Zumba class, which was I think about the best fun you can have exercising! For those who don't know (and I'm not sure that there are too many people out there that don't know!), Zumba is an aerobic style exercise class based on latin dance moves, like the salsa and the merengue. There's a lot of shimmying, hip-swivelling and butt grabbing (of yourself, not other people! ;p). It's an enormous amount of fun, and left me on a real high. I'm definitely hooked!

Apart from that, I've been doing pretty well. I'm managing to exercise 5-6 times a week, and do fairly active things in between.
I'm eating well; in fact I think the couple of weeks of cutting out almost everything really helped with the cravings etc. When presented with the kinds of things I craved (and pigged out on) before, like chocolate, potato scallops etc, I'm not even really all that interested, and can leave them behind. This is very unusual for me. I hope I can keep it up!

But I haven't been depriving myself. There have been a couple of days where I know I haven't eaten enough, but I've had the odd handful of hot chips or couple of beers in the last week and a bit. But I have been able to stop after a little bit. And I have no interest at all in going back to coffee. I'm happy with my green tea at the moment! I even ordered it yesterday when I went for coffee with some friends.
Which is great for me! I'm not sure if it's willpower, or that something's clicked in my brain, or if that 2 weeks of cutting stuff out was enough to change the way my body craves things.

And I've lost about 4 kilos already! I know that some of it is fluid (although I have been drinking massive amounts of water), and I shouldn't lose weight that quickly, but it's a good kickstart and it's very motivating.

And my mental health?
I must say, after my initial resistance to taking anti-depressants, I've gotta say they've done the trick! I'm a lot more balanced, and the days aren't so dark. I still have a bit of sadness, but it's like it's been wrapped up in a parcel, which I can only open every now and then.
I'm not sure if that's a good thing really, or what might happen when I go off the drugs, but they have helped me get my act together again, and I've gotta be grateful for that.

I still miss Sam, so much, and there are times when the feeling is stronger; like yesterday when I was walking through a shopping centre and there were teenagers everywhere, but mainly I am able to remember him more calmly and fondly.

K's mum said something that seemed to hit the nail on the head the other day. She said that sometimes she felt like K had been just a dream, and other times she expected here to walk in the door after school and say 'hi mum'.
That's what it feels like too sometimes. I still have all the reminders that Sam was here, and still have some moments of extreme pain and sadness. I'm definitely not in danger of forgetting him, but sometimes it does feel like he wasn't here at all. I hate that feeling.

But apart from all that, things are OK. Ollie and Anthony are OK. I'm OK. Everything's OK. I can't say great, but they are OK.

More later...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Those lovely boys...

Ok, so one week in and I've dropped the ball already!
I know, I said I was going to so my Sam post on Monday, but I didn't! Ollie and I drove to Sydney and back on Sunday, so I was a little weary then, and yesterday I was in bed by 9pm, so no go there!

And of course, then there's the problem of what to write about. I thought I had a topic for this week. We've just come back from Ollie's parent teacher night, which was quite a lovely experience actually. He's doing very well at the moment, and moving along in leaps and bounds. Well done baby boy!
But this one's not about him, it's about Sam. So I thought I'd reminisce about his time at school.
But once I started, I thought that I'd like to get out some of his old school stuff so I could do it properly.

Unfortunately that leaves me back where I started. With nothing to write about.

But Laura asked how things were going at his school, so I thought I'd update a little.

The lemon trees have finally arrived, so some time in the next few weeks we'll go up to the school and plant them with Sam's friends. I'm quite looking forward to that.

But the really nice thing? Some of Sam's friends have been on touch a bit on Facebook. A couple of them have written a song, and they are going to perform it at the final assembly this year. They asked me to come and watch it, which was a really nice gesture.

They've been so great, Sam's friends. I just know they're going to become great men as well.

That's it for me for now. Bed is calling once again. Ollie and I have been reading Harry Potter each night, and it's time consuming and tiring, but so worth it! Lovely time spent together.


Saturday, July 24, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Hi all!
The weekend's come around again. How quickly the years move by as we get older!

I had a pretty nice first week back at school. The kids tend to lull you into a false sense of security until the second week or so, then...

My first Friday off was good. I got to walk Ollie up to school, and even got to go to his assembly.
I did some gardening, had a nice relaxing lunch in the sunshine, and then went out to take some photos. What a great day! So glad I made the move that I did!

But I've gotta say, life's weird sometimes. Y'see, there's this job I've been wanting for about two years now, working with teachers to help them use technology well in their classrooms etc. I've done heaps of professional development in this area, and have even presented a couple of workshops.
I'd been hoping the job would come up all year, as a few of the staff I know there are off on maternity leave.
Well, wouldn't you know it, just as I get myself organised with work etc, the job finally comes up for application! What timing!
Of course, I'll apply for it. I'd regret it forever if I didn't. Wish me luck!

Oh, and I performed my good deed for the week (year?) this year. When I was on my way out to take photos on Friday, I ended up behind a poor soul stuck broken down in the middle of a three-lane road. Everyone else just drove around him, but I thought I'd help him.
So I helped him push his car all the way over to the side of the road. Just me, with him steering.
We'd just got it off the road when I noticed a police car (lights flashing) coming up behind my car, which was still parked in the middle lane. I thought I was done for, but he just thanked me for helping the other driver and sent me on my way.
So I felt a bit better knowing that I'd helped someone. Just a warm, mushy feeling for a while, nothing more (I no longer believe in karma, for reasons I think I've made clear).

Anyway, I'm sure I'll have more news soon. In the meantime, here's my photos for this week:
A photo of Sam
Another 'undiscovered' photo. It was taken in October last year. Lovely.

A photo of Oliver
Last Saturday, Ollie and I and my friend Deb walked up Mount Taylor, a rather steep and challenging mountain. Ollie, of course, was at least 100m ahead of us the whole time, and stood at the top (and the bottom) saying 'it's about time' as we puffed our way up.

An old photo

Me in about 1974. Quite the stylish one, even then...

An Interesting Photo

I took this on Mount Stromlo the other night. The building in the foreground was one of the telescopes that were burned during the bushfires of 2003. I love this photo, except that I managed to overexpose the sky in the background, and I'm not sure how to fix it.

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:
This week's theme is 'buildings'. This is one of the the buildings that used to house the telescopes before the bushfires. It's pretty much empty now. Sad.
Morguefile Lesson Photos

Lesson 4 - White Balance
This storyboard has shows all the different white balance settings in the camera. Each photo is of a white piece of paper. Isn't it amazing that hardly any of them are actually white?!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Another month passes

Why do I keep marking the months as they pass? It doesn't serve a specific purpose I guess, but I guess in a way it helps.

Outwardly, we are seeming more and more 'normal' every day. Well, not normal, perhaps less 'sad'.
But readers, I do want you to know that even though on the outside we are getting on with things, there are still moments of sadness. They are more private now, relegated to dark, night-time moments, or brief periods when a memory intrudes. But they are still there. They always will be I guess.

7 months later and there is still not much progress on a permanent memorial. We haven't really been inspired by and ideas yet, and still don't like the idea of leaving Sam in a cemetery. I think we will probably always keep his ashes with us, but I also think it's important (for me anyway) to have a public place that other people can visit. I just don't know what. A bench or something somewhere might be nice, but where?

I think we're all going to have to support Oliver a bit too in the coming weeks and years. Outwardly he is fine, but I do get glimpses of the sadness inside him. He is a lot more sensitive than he was before; I was a bit cranky when I got home last night, and he copped a bit of a mouthful. Very bad on my part, I know, and I apologised straight away, but I could see that he was quite upset.
He's also very lonely. As I've already said, he was quite clingy during the holidays, wanting to spend every minute with me. He jumps at every opportunity to spend time with someone else, and is finding it hard to play on his own (harder than it used to be anyway).

Apart from the days immediately following Sam's death, Oliver hasn't really shown much emotion. Perhaps it's coming? Whatever happens though, we'll be here for him.

Miss you Sam.

Clumsy strikes again?

Less than 12 hours after I posted the last entry, I was out walking (in the dark - if I don't do it in the morning, I don't tend to do it!), when I had a bit of a fall. I tripped over a rock or something on the path and came down hard on one knee and one arm.
I had heard something click in my arm, and because it hurt so much, I thought I might possibly have broken it. It seemed a little ironic, considering the topic of the last post!

Nevertheless, with my soldiering-on attitude, I went off to work, and spent most of the day in a lot of pain. By the time I got home I could barely move it, so went off to the walk-in clinic at our local hospital.

What a fantastic experience (apart from the pain thing)! The clinic is run by nurses, but to be honest, I think a lot of nurses, and I think they know just as much as doctors.
The nurse I saw was kind, funny, thorough (more so than many doctors I've seen over the years), and he was good looking too, which didn't hurt! ;p

In the end it turned out I'd sprained one of the muscles in my upper arm. Of course by then I felt like a little bit of a drama queen, but it was nice to know it wasn't broken. It even felt better afterwards (it's funny how that can happen, perhaps we over-compensate for it when we think it's a serious injury, making it worse!)
Anyway, all's good now, and my arm is starting to feel a lot better.

More soon.

Monday, July 19, 2010

The day(s) my child broke.

Well, I've got lots of ideas to go on with now. Thanks everyone.

One thing that my mum suggested was a dedicated 'Sam' post each week, which I think is a damn fine idea! It will (hopefully) force me to dig through some of those memories of mine! I'll aim for a Monday post, but you know what I'm like....

Jaimee asked about Sam's broken arm. I have posted a little about it, but I thought it would be a good place to start, seeing as it's late on my first Monday back at work!

So today I chronicle the broken Sam!

I was always amazed when Samuel hurt himself. He was such a careful kid. He never went on roller coasters or rides, he didn't take risks (apart from his wheel-based hobbies, which I'll talk about another time), and liked to keep his feet on the ground.
Funnily enough, I kind of expected it from Oliver. From the time he could walk, he ran; and was always on the go. For a while we called him 'Hurricane Ollie', and people would make comments about his energy (which has ended up with him being quite sporty, which is OK); so I always expected him to be the one with broken bits and the occasional stitch. But no, it was Sam.

I think his first major fall was when he was quite young; still a toddler. I wasn't there and only heard about it later, but he was at Anthony's mum's house and actually fell off a chair and through a window! God knows how that happened! Luckily he wasn't very hurt, but perhaps we should have seen that as a sign of things to come??

The first one that I can remember happened at his friend Patrick's house. He was about 4, and they had been playing on the bed when Samuel fell off and hit his head on the door handle, ending up with a small gash on his scalp. He went of to A&E and ended up with a bit of glue on his head, that from what I can remember, he was quite proud of!

He had his share of bumps, bruises and grazes over time. He did, after all, come from my loins, and I am not always the most coordinated of folks! He was forever stubbing his toe on one thing or another, and for a while, he was (I'm ashamed to say) quite funny when he hurt himself. Instead of crying or sitting down to rest whatever he'd hurt, he tended to run up and down angrily, making a lot of noise. We'd laugh a bit, which would only make him more angry. But eventually he'd calm down enough for some first aid.

Sam broke his arm on Canberra Day(18th March) in 2007, less than 3 weeks after his 11th birthday. We had gone to a local park for a picnic dinner. The boys went off to play while I got busy getting things organised. The big boys were playing on a big twirly thing that you have to hang on to while it spins around. Anthony was swinging Samuel around, getting faster and faster. Samuel was starting to protest when he fell off, landing on his arm.
At first I thought he'd just sprained it, but it kept swelling and swelling. So we packed ourselves up and headed for A&E (we hadn't actually eaten our dinner at this time). Several hours later, Sam had been x-rayed and slinged (slung?) with instructions to front up for plaster the next day. By then he was starving, so I remember taking him to one of those caravans that sell greasy hot food and buying him a very late dinner on the way home.
He was very brave throughout it all, even when the doctor told him he might need surgery. In fact, I think (apart from the pain) he kind of enjoyed the whole thing. He got lots of attention, got to get out of some school work (why do they always break the hand they write with??), but otherwise didn't have to miss out on too much.
When he got the cast off, he insisted on keeping it (perhaps because of all the signatures on it). It STUNK, but we wrapped it up in plastic bags and shoved it in the cupboard.
I can't remember when we threw it out, but I haven't seen it for a while. So we must have...

I thought things were going quite well until April 2008. I sent Samuel outside to get some washing off the line (as I have said before, I am very happy to put my children to work!)
He came back in not long after, saying he'd hurt his leg. He pulled up his pants leg to reveal that he'd taken all of the layers of skin off a good part of his thigh. I'm not good with that sort of thing, and nearly barfed, but managed to pull myself together enough to take him up to the A&E department again. He was extremely brave, despite having local anesthetic inserted and 10 stitches. Which he was very happy to show off:
But that was Sam, good-natured through all sorts of hardships.

It was his last major injury, but not the last trip to the emergency department.

For his 12th birthday, Samuel decided to go ice skating with two of his closest friends. He'd never been before and was pretty excited.
Anthony took the boys to the rink while I did stuff at home. About half an hour after they had left, he called me to say they were going to the hospital. But it wasn't Sam this time, it was his friend. They had been on the ice for only 5 minutes when his friend fell, jabbing his skate into his calf.

By the time I got to the hospital, Anthony still hadn't been able to get in touch with his parents, so we tried hard to comfort him, while he insisted that he 'was not getting stitches'. Eventually his grandmother arrived and we were off the hook, but needless to say it was an eventful birthday for Sam.

I guess, all in all, he didn't have too bad a run. I know many kids who have broken several bones and had many stitches, so I guess one of each wasn't too bad.

And that's the story of my broken boy. Of course now I realise that he didn't really have to be so careful. It wasn't misadventure that killed him after all. But I'm not going to dwell on that.
Clumsy as he was, he was my clumsy boy. And I loved (love) him very much.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Hi all,

You thought I'd miss another Saturday, didn't you??
Well, I nearly did. I had a very busy day today. Starting with a difficult (because I'm so unfit) but satisfying (because we made it to the top!) walk up Mount Taylor with Deb and Ollie, some digging out the back, and then dinner with some friends at their place (K's family). A lovely, but tiring day.

But because I am going to try and write a post tomorrow, I thought I'd better put my photos up today. Thanks to those of you who have left comments and sent emails; I now have a few ideas to write about.

So here are today's six:
A photo of Sam
I love that nearly 7 months after he died, I can still get the occasional photo of Sam that I haven't seen before. This one was on my mother-in-law's camera. Lovely smile...

A photo of Oliver
I love this photo. It looks like one bird just told Ollie a secret and he's passing it on.

An old photo

This was taken around 1992, when I was 18. It's on my godmother's farm down near Moruya (I would move there in a heartbeat, I love her property!)

An Interesting Photo

I took this on Monday when Ollie and I went for our huge ride. The lake was like glass. (The next two days were wet and cold and horrible, but Monday was great!)

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:
This week's theme is 'sculpture'. I read recently in a photography magazine that you shouldn't just reproduce someone else's artwork, that if you're going to photograph a sculpture, you should try and do something different with it. So I came up with this. This is a photo of a kinetic (moving) sculpture down by Lake Tuggeranong. It's called 'Angel Wings' and it's by an artist named Phil Price. I'm pretty happy with it. It was taken about half an hour after sunset, at a shutter speed of 5 seconds, and has been processed a little in 'Lightroom' (mainly cropping and colour enhancing.
This is what it looks like in the day time (and from the other side):

Morguefile Lesson Photos

Lesson 3 - ISO

This storyboard has two identical photos taken with the lowest and highest ISO settings. You can really see the 'noise' in the second one.

Thursday, July 15, 2010


Help! I'm a little stuck!

I'm having a bit of a block at the moment; possibly because I'm getting some other bits of my life together, also possibly because of the drugs.

I love blogging, but lately I've really been struggling to find (inspiration?) things to write about.

What I would really like is to write down some memories about Sam, but I seem to be blocked there most of all (either that or the ones I think of are ones I've already written about).

So I'm wondering if you lovely people can help me? I'd love some feedback or comments with some ideas about:
  • Posts you'd like to see.
  • Things I could give an opinion about.
  • Things you'd like to know.
and most of all, memories that you have of Sam that might help jog my memory.

I'm sure I'll get my groove back soon, but I would really love some inspiration...


Tuesday, July 13, 2010


I'm sitting here watching Oli and my 'other' son (my best friend's son, who for the last few years has been my 'middle child') play. Gee it brings back some memories.

Samuel and Oliver were never a perfect fit. There were just too many years between them. When Ollie was a baby, Sam was 8, 9...just finding his little place in the world. When Oliver was old enough to be an interesting little brother, Sam was heading into his teens, and absolutely uninterested in a pesky little brother.

Don't get me wrong, they did have their moments. I didn't tend to let Sam get away with ignoring Oliver all together, and when I gave him the choice of 'play with Oliver or do the jobs I would not be doing if I was playing with Oliver', he always chose to play with him.

And properly motivated, Samuel did play well. He taught Oliver to play board games like Headache, Mastermind and Battleship, as well as a variety of card games. He played hide and seek and went out riding in the street with Ollie. He caught animals for Oliver to touch and see up close, and he showed Oliver how to draw cool pictures. He built amazing lego spaceships (that were sometimes 'hands off', but not always) and played video games with Ollie.

I've noticed that Ollie's been feeling a bit lonely lately. I know that some of it is the reality of losing his brother sinking in. The knowledge that even though Sam did his fair share of tormenting, he was still a pretty awesome big brother. He's been very aware of death and illness and stills asks questions similar to this one, but it's more the loneliness that makes me sad. He always wants to be around me or Anthony, and likes having friends around. He's always asking if one of them can come over (or if he can go there), and gets really excited about visiting my mum and dad, or when J (the middle child) comes around.

As I write this, Ollie and J have been arguing, wrestling and carrying on just like brothers. The trouble with both of them is that they're both used to being alone and getting their own way, which makes it an interesting combination. But it's a nice one. It's nice to know that even though Ollie has lost his brother, he's still got someone who he can share that brotherly bond with.

Monday, July 12, 2010

I'm on my way....

Today I started a 'health kick'. Well, really it's a diet, but I do so hate the 'd' word.

I've been psyching myself up for the past week, as I have been very good at abusing my body over the past few months. I've been telling myself I'm enjoying all the junk I've been eating, but I really don't think I have been! My poor body certainly hasn't loved it!

At first, I thought I might do a 'detox' or a low-carb diet to get me started, but the more I thought about it, the more I realised that would be a silly move. One of my biggest (and lifelong) problems has been that I am quite capable of 'dieting', it's just that when I stop 'dieting', I pile all the weight I've lost back on (and then some!).

I did have some success a few years ago. In 2004 I decided I'd change the way I did things: I ate well, exercised a lot and lost about 40 kilos. Then Anthony got sick and I started teaching in a really stressful class, and it was the beginning of the end. I was just starting to get myself back to a good routine when we lost Sam (and you know the story from there).

So instead of the detox, I thought I'd do a couple of weeks with no junk (or alcohol or sugary stuff or processed food), and then eat well and make some long term changes.

This is what I plan to do (for the next couple of weeks):
  • Eat more vegetables.
  • Eat more fish.
  • Cut out coffee, cola and other fizzy drinks.
  • Cut out alcohol.
  • Cut out chocolate, lollies, cakes and biscuits.
  • Drink more water.
  • Exercise more.
After the two weeks, I'll hopefully not be craving them, and will be able to eat small amounts. I really think this is the key to my success: not depriving myself.

And why am I telling you all this?

I don't know actually, perhaps it will help keep me honest? Every now and again, perhaps my lovely readers you could ask me how it's going?

The First Day

I actually made a very good start today. I ate good food (muesli for breaky, chicken salad wrap for lunch, salmon and vegies for dinner), I even passed on an ice block when Ollie had one. I also did a MASSIVE amount of exercise!
Oliver and I decided we'd go for a big bike ride around the lake. So we drove out to Lake Burley Griffin and set off around the West Basin. Little did we know that it's an 18 km ride! Never mind, we set to with determination and an abundance of energy (at first!). At the halfway mark, we noticed our bums were getting sore, and by 13km we were both pretty tired. Ollie had had enough and his lovely dad came and picked him up. I managed the next 5km, and despite a very sore bum and a tired body, I felt good!

We'll see what tomorrow brings...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Saturday's Sensational Six

Short and sweet today...
A photo of Sam

This photo shows what a great big brother Sam was, and how good he was with animals. He caught the duck so that Ollie could pat it.

A photo of Oliver
Taken yesterday at Mount Franklin. A totally un-set-up photo!

An old photo

From back when we used to keep our kids in cages. 'Nuff said!

An Interesting Photo

This was taken yesterday as well. I like the composition.

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:
This week's theme is 'love'. I chased these swans around for a good hours, trying to capture the 'love heart' shape they make with their heads together. This is close enough I thought!

Morguefile Lesson Photos

Lesson 3 - Lenses.
This was taken from the top of Mount Franklin. I love the view and the clouds and the foreground. I tried with a couple of lenses, but this one (the long one) was the best one.

Friday, July 9, 2010

The simple things...

Today I walked up a mountain.

No, it wasn't a metaphorical mountain that I needed to climb to conquer my depression, it was, literally, a mountain. Mount Franklin to be precise.

We had a lovely day actually. We packed a picnic lunch and headed up the muddy (and sometimes snowy and slippery) dirt road into the Brindabella Ranges. The last time we went up that road was around this time last year, when the four of us went and had a lovely day at the snow:
It was one of the last big things we did as a family, which I guess is why it's stuck in our minds. Oliver remembered the road, and the places that we pulled over to check out the snow. We had a couple of sad moments along the way, as the memories hit. Especially Anthony, who'd taken the boys up to the Brindabellas (but a different part) one day while I was busy writing reports.

For a little while, we were the only people at the Mount Franklin Chalet, which was very nice. It was so quiet and peaceful, and there was just enough snow to have a bit of a snowball fight and build a snowman.

Then Oliver decided he wanted to walk to the summit. Which was only about 1.5km away, but up a steep (in places) hill covered in snow, so needless to say it was hard going, especially for super unfit me. I did vow though, once I'd reached the top, to come back at the same time next year and go up twice as fast! Hopefully I can do that!

The view at the top was definitely worth it, with lovely clouds rolling in and (behind them) a view for miles and miles...
We're so lucky in Canberra to have this beautiful scenery all around us. I can see these mountains from my front door, and it's always very nice to go up there. It's also nice to know there is a place where there's snow, but not lots of people (and ski bunnies, who are not real people as far as I can see!). Then we have Sydney within 3 hours drive, the coast in about 1.5 hours, and many other lovely places in between. At the same time getting to live in this beautiful city.

So all in all, it's been a great week. I've done a little bit of work (not too much though folks, don't worry!); I've been bike riding with Ollie out at the whiz-bang new Stromlo Forest Park;
We went and saw Toy Story 3, which was lovely (I love Pixar movies); I spent a day playing with Photoshop and getting our tax paperwork organised (I can cross off number 16 on my list! yay!!); And then I spent a lovely day yesterday just doing stuff I wanted to do, by myself: taking photos by the lake, going to a photographic exhibition (which made me feel very good about my skills - on par (or better?) than many of the photos displayed), going shopping in the city, all of which was topped off by a great dinner out with Anthony and a DVD snuggled up on the couch (thanks Mum and Dad for having Ollie!)

I guess these kinds of things are helping me with this depression stuff (as well as the drugs), and I hope I can keep them up, because I feel pretty good at the moment.

Well, back tomorrow with my photos.

Mental Health Update

It's been 2 and a half weeks since I started taking drugs for the depression. So I thought I'd update.

Although I was fairly resistant to taking at first, I can feel that they are helping. I have more energy (I have actually done some exercise every day this week), I am doing things (I have even crossed one or two things off my list), I cleaned up a bit (shock! horror!), and can smile a bit again.

There's a long way to go, but I guess the doc made the right decision. I'd like to keep talking about it with you, as I think it's important. But not now, I'm going to go and have a nice day with my little family; driving up into the mountains for a picnic.

Monday, July 5, 2010

50 Things

It's been done to death I'm sure, but I thought I'd write a list. It does happen to coincide with the latest Blog This challenge; their 50th and a very popular one at that. But I'm just using it as a inspiration, as I reckon this post is hilarious!

There are a few things that I could (and still might) write a list of: my favourites songs; my favourite movies; the best things about Canberra; my favourite books; my favourite children's books; naughty things I've done; good things I've done; things I'm grateful for (to go with my previous 10); places I'd like to visit; as well as the more serious ones, such as: 50 things I'd say to Sam if I could; 50 things losing a child has taught me; 50 regrets etc.

In keeping with my recent 'theme', I thought I'd list 50 things that I would like to do before I'm 40. But I got to about 12 and realised that I couldn't really think of 50!

So I thought I'd write a to-do list, some things to do on my extra day off (and other days). Maybe I'll even be able to cross some of them off soon!
  1. Work out what to do with Sam's ashes.
  2. Work out what to do with Sam's bedroom.
  3. Work out what to do with Sam's mural (or a place for people to go to remember him).
  4. Organise Sam's drawings/photos into a scrapbook or something.
  5. Organise Ollie's drawings/photos into a scrapbook or something.
  6. Learn more about drawing (something I started trying to teach myself a while ago).
  7. Teach Oliver how to sing/play the guitar.
  8. Do some stop-motion animation with Oliver.
  9. Get back into a regular exercise routine.
  10. Learn more about photography.
  11. Take a photo a day.
  12. Master Photoshop.
  13. Finish the scarf I've started knitting.
  14. Clean out the linen cupboard.
  15. Organise my photos and back them up to disc.
  16. Get the tax paperwork ready to send off to the accountant.
  17. Plant the fruit trees that (should) be arriving soon.
  18. Do some major weeding out the front.
  19. Write the kid's book I've been thinking about.
  20. Clean out the kitchen.
  21. Clean out the bathroom.
  22. Clean out the laundry.
  23. Go swimming at least once a week.
  24. Go to an exercise class (might tag along with you one day Deb!).
  25. Fill up the frames I've been buying.
  26. Take some nice photos to use on cards/in frames.
  27. Get a whole lot of stuff ready to sell at trash and treasure.
  28. Clean out my car.
  29. Get organised to start growing sprouts (to eat).
  30. Set up our home theatre/surround sound system.
  31. Write a book.
  32. Sort through the 'memory' chest.
  33. Prune the trees and the grapevines.
  34. Update my CV.
  35. Write my transfer application.
  36. Sort through all my school stuff and get rid of a lot of it (why did I collect all those resources? I never use them!)
  37. Update my Flickr more regularly.
  38. Clean the windows.
  39. Cut back the boysenberry bushes before they completely take over the world!
  40. Replant the strawberries and raspberries.
  41. Plant some serious vegetable plots.
  42. Fill my 'camera' money tin.
  43. Buy some new lenses for the camera.
  44. Buy a funky camera bag. These are quite lovely, but sadly only available from the U.S. Perhaps I should make one??
  45. Go for a bushwalk.
  46. Walk around Lake Burley Griffin.
  47. Go for regular bike rides.
  48. Bake yummy (but nutritious) recess treats.
  49. Read.
  50. Declutter!
Ok, for the last 20 or so I was probably reaching a little, but nevermind, it's done. It will be great if I can cross a few off...

I might do a list every month or so, the top 30 on the 30th or something. Would probably be an OK blog topic.

Stay tuned....

Sunday, July 4, 2010

(Sunday's) Sensational Six

Oops I did it again!

I've been so carried away doing....absolutely nothing! And boy, has it been nice!
Well, actually that's not technically true!
Yesterday, I did a lot of housework (I know, so unlike me, but the house was pretty atrocious!). Then I played around with Photoshop a bit. Still so much learning to do!

Today has been fairly relaxed though. A bit more Photoshop, some outside stuff (it was a beautiful day today!), Anthony and I went into town briefly (and he bought me a second battery for the camera - very nice!). and then Sunday afternoon drinks. And what a lovely session it has been. Great company, and a really great time.

Of course, this all means I haven't posted my photos. And I know you're all desperate to see them!

So here goes:
A photo of Sam
This is in 2007. He had broken his arm not long after his birthday, at a local park. His dad was swinging him around on this big whirly thingy and he fell off, landing on his arm. Luckily he didn't need surgery, just a cast for 6 weeks. And boy did it stink when we took it off!

A photo of Oliver
Taken when he was 20 minutes old. He was so alert even then!

An old photo

This is one taken quite early on with our lumix camera. Not a bad photo for people who knew exactly nothing about photography! Like I have said, sometimes I think I took better photos before I started learning about photography!

An Interesting Photo

This was taken yesterday morning. It was foggy until well past 10am. I love a gum tree at the best of times, but shrouded in fog, they're just magnificent!

My weekly entry into the EB photo of the week challenge:

This week's theme is 'animals'. We certainly have plenty of them around here! As you can see, our cat is very patient (the one at the back is actually sitting on him)! It could use some editing, but I submitted it anyway, as I was running out of time.

Morguefile Lesson Photos

Lesson 3 - Lenses.
The final assignment in lesson 3 was about using the aperture and shutter speed to achieve an interesting effect. This wasn't quite the right thing, but I do love the perspective (the lego banana looks like it's the same size as the real one).

Saturday, July 3, 2010

All quiet on the blog front...

I know, I know, it's been very quiet around here lately, but I promise I've been thinking about you!
Thankfully, now it's holidays, so I might be able to blog a little more regularly for a couple of weeks.

But when I last left you, I finished rather abruptly. On Thursday night I was writing the post when Anthony hurried me out the door. Which is fair enough, if not surprising (we are NEVER on time for anything!).

We had a lovely Turkish banquet with my work colleagues and friends. I love a good Turkish banquet: always WAY too much food, but delicious nonetheless.
We are lucky enough to have a wide variety of restaurants (as well as a supermarket, butcher, chemist, newsagents, gym, pool, clubs etc) less than 2 kilometres from here, so it's nice to know we can walk over for a meal if we want it (mind you, on Thursday we drove there!).

Friday was a busy final day of term, trying to get things wrapped up for the holidays. Then Anthony, Ollie and I settled in for a night of Dr Who. Ever since he got into 'The Sarah Jane Chronicles' on Nickolodeon, Ollie has been totally hooked on Dr Who. We have been working our way through all of the current day episodes; and getting very excited about them! We haven't watched the current series yet (as we wanted to get up to date), but now that we are, we are ready to catch up with series 5 (anyone got it on DVD yet?)

So that's been my week in a nutshell. I've had an ongoing back-and-forth with Adobe, who got very confused after I ordered Photoshop and Lightroom; but it's all worked out now and I'm trying to work out how to use them!

Speaking of photos, I will be back later with my sensational six, just waiting for the camera's battery to charge (must buy a second battery....) so I can upload some photos taken today. Might be a late one today! See you then.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

One more day....

They say that teachers only like teaching because of the holidays. Normally I'd disagree, but today I'm very glad I've only got one more day of term 2 left! Soooooo ready for a break!

It's been a busy week, as usual. Hence the no blogging situation!

I've been trying to get home before it's too dark to complete my last morguefile assignment, but alas, have not been able to do it!

Today, we took Ollie to a pediatric surgeon to get his testes checked out. The GP was concerned about them the last time we saw him, so he referred us. Turns out that he does have retractile testes, but hopefully will not need surgery. Phew! It's not a major surgery, but anything involving a general anesthetic is a bit freaky at the moment, if you know what I mean!

But for now must run, we are off to dinner. Will post more later!