Friday, August 27, 2010

Hooray for me!

I got the job!!
Remember that job I told you about a while ago? Well today I found out that I got it!!
Hooray for me!

It's an office-based position, so no classroom for at least 5 months, but I think I can handle that. I think it might be nice to take a break from kids, much as I love them!

And as I said to my dad, as it's only a temporary job, if I don't like it, it's only 4 months, but if I do, I can try and get it renewed.

Anyway, I'll tell you more about it when I know more!

Yay for me!

Monday, August 23, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

I've been very busy lately. Thought I might update you on some of the things I've been doing. Because I've been moving stuff around, soon I'll be able to do more Sam posts! yay! But in the mean time...

Work has been pretty busy lately. It's Book Week this week, so as the librarian I have been trying to get that organised. I have an assembly on Friday that I have to run, and of course I've had to find a suitable costume!!
A couple of years ago, I dressed up as Mrs. Trunchbull from Roald Dahl's Matilda:
Complete with riding crop and horrible fashion sense. I played the part well, even scaring a few kindergarten students.
It has been my most successful costume, and each year I have to try and top it (I haven't yet!). I'll let you know how I go this week!

Apart from that, I've been busy writing a couple of applications. The first was my transfer application for the new school being built not far from my house. I'd really love to work there in an exciting new school, and I've been working hard on that.

I have also been working on an application for the job I mentioned a couple of weeks ago. I'm happy to say that I was shortlisted for the job, and had a brief phone interview last week. I'm still waiting to hear about the outcome though! (keep your fingers crossed!)

You might have noticed that I haven't posted any photos lately. Apart from the busyness described above, I've been a little down on the whole thing lately, so I haven't really been taking many photos. I think I've (hopefully temporarily) lost my phojo (photo mojo), but hope to find it again soon. The dismal, freezing weather we've had here lately isn't really helping matters either. But there are nice days coming up (I hope).

I'm now 6 weeks into my new 'regime'. While I'm not quite as strict as I was the first 2 weeks, I'm still not drinking coffee or eating junk. I've been very impressed with my ability to say no to yummy cakes and things actually.
I've been exercising regularly, usually 5-6 days a week. This is how my week of exercise usually goes:
  • Monday - early morning walk to the gym for weights.
  • Tuesday - morning walk (most of the time), and now Zumba with some people at work in the afternoons.
  • Wednesday - early morning walk to the gym for weights (I try to do a more circuit-based one on Wednesdays)
  • Thursday - Zumba in the evening (I've found 20 minutes on the elliptical trainer before the class works wonders).
  • Friday - I usually walk to the pool and swim a bunch of laps.
  • Saturday/Sunday - I try to do something active with Oliver and/or gardening. Yesterday we went for a long bike ride. Although I think I'll be doing cardio boxing with Deb on Sundays soon.
I'm feeling better - more energy definitely, and my digestive system seems to be working better. The best thing is that I don't seem to have too many cravings for junk! And, I've lost nearly 8 kilos already!

As you know, I've been busy rearranging furniture and whole bedrooms, so things have also been pretty hectic on the home front.
I've been trying hard to be there for Oliver, and available for him when he needs it, and on the most part I've succeeded.

I must share with you though, Oliver is entering a new 'phase'. As I've mentioned before, he tends to latch on to things, sometimes bordering on obsession. For a long while it was Spiderman (clothes, pictures, costumes, parties etc), but he's also had an Indiana Jones phase, a Dr Who phase (which is only inactive because of the lack of current episodes), his Lego phase. and other minor ones over time.

At the moment, he's in a 'tie' phase. On Friday last week he announced that he wanted to wear a tie. I found him one at the Salvos, and from then on, he's pretty much wanted to wear one constantly. He wore one to my parent's house for dinner on Saturday, to the bird sale (where Anthony was selling some of his birds) and then out to dinner at the club last night. We were just going to get take away, but Oliver wanted to dress up and go out (a good thing, because the club is better for my diet than take away!)

Now he wants a little black suit and tie to wear to places. He asked me what jobs people do where you need to wear a tie, and every time someone asks what he wants to do when he grows up (people seem to ask him that more when he's wearing a tie!), he says "work in an office so I can wear a tie".

We're not exactly sure where it came from. He does like James Bond and The Transporter (both very dapper, tie-wearing, butt-kicking tough guys), and Dr Who, and his Mathletics avatar (the little picture that represents him) wears a tie. But we're not sure how it came on so suddenly.

I guess there are worse things. He does look very handsome dressed up, and there's something to be said for a man who dresses well, I think, but who knows where it will lead.
I've been joking about those ultra-professional people who have kids that end up as punks or hippies (slightly stereotypical I know, but you get the idea), and how I hope that because we're, well, hippies I guess, that Oliver won't turn out ultra-professional. No child of mine!...

I'll keep you posted on his adventures in fashion anyway.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Still Moving....

I'm writing this (brief) post from my new "study". It's nowhere near ready yet, but I've moved the computer in and I can move around in it.

I think we've done the right thing by putting Sam's stuff in the lounge room. It's so much more accessible to everyone now, and I feel comfortable knowing he's 'there' with us.

I'm not so sure about putting everything else in the cupboard. I still feel a little bit funny about it, but it is easily accessible if we want to look at it.

And I get my study.

I spent a lot of Friday running around looking for some shelves for the study, as I have a lot of stuff that I need to find a place for: school resources, framing stuff, photography stuff, etc....(you get the picture!).

I went around a few furniture shops, but I've gotta say, I was fairly unimpressed with most of the stuff I saw. It might have something to do with the fact that I've got a wood craftsman for a partner, or perhaps I'm fussy about what I outlay lots of money for.

Because I wasn't really prepared to spend $1000+ on bookshelves that weren't finished properly or had totally impractical shelving arrangements, I ended up having to choose between some very cheap Fantastic Furniture shelves, or some second hand ones I found at the Ex-Government Furniture store. Second hand won in the end, as even though they weren't exactly what I was looking for, they were very sturdy and at a great price.

I won't post photos yet, as I'm going to wait until I've got the room completely sorted. Which hopefully won't keep me off here too much.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010


I told you that I'd share my adventures in rearranging furniture..

For a while now, I've been keenly aware of the need for a space of my own. Somewhere I can spread out all my work stuff or photography stuff and really concentrate on it. At the moment my space is the dining room table, and having all my stuff out there really contributes to a constant state of clutter and disarray.
I used to be able to handle it a bit better, but lately it's been grating on my nerves. I don't know if it's the new way I'm thinking about things, or the drugs even, but it's making me a little stressed.

Anthony and I had talked about it a few times, with me emphasising that he doesn't really know what it's like, as he has his massive shed out the back as well as his aviaries. Eventually he got the message and suggested that I use Samuel's room.

But after thinking about it for a few days, I told Anthony that I wouldn't really feel comfortable using Sam's room for that. So he suggested that we move in there. And that's what we did.

Oliver was busy with his friends all weekend, so I decided I'd at least make a start. I started by emptying Sam's room. I liked the idea of having memories of Sam with us in the lounge room area, rather than enshrined in his bedroom, so I created a shelf in the lounge room:
My apologies for the quality of the picture, it was dark and I was tired. I'll take a better one soon and replace it.
This is what I've put on there:
  • On top: His Broncos football and stand thingy. He was a Broncos fan, but didn't really watch rugby much. His friends were quite into footy, so I guess that's where it came from (certainly not from us - we're not big sports fans in this house).
  • Top shelf: Gritty Kitty, the stuffed tiger he'd had for years (for a while it was a bed partner, but even though he was well into his teens, it still stayed on top of his cupboard, with a bunch of other stuffed toys; mostly tigers as he had a real thing for them); a lego ship he built; and a little penguin he made in high school textiles.
  • Next shelf: A photo of him as a baby, sitting in his high chair at my parent's place; his key rings, including a bit of twisted plastic he made in year 6; his rip curl beanie; his sunnies; his watch and his wallet (it still has $5 in it - I'm surprised he had any cash!)
  • Middle Shelf: His ashes (wrapped in his Green Day concert shirt); a Living End t-shirt and his year 8 school photo.
  • Second from bottom: His money box (we still out change in it); his Aussie glitter hat; A photo of him with Anthony, his Nanna, Oliver and Jonathon (his half brother); a model guitar we bought for him when we were in Perth.
  • Bottom shelf (not in photo): the clothes he was wearing the day before he died (in a box); the cards and paperwork from his funeral; his baby album.
Next to the shelf is a poster describing Pisces, his star sign. The description is pretty spot on. We'll probably put it up next to the shelf.

I got the idea for the shelf from Kate, a fellow blogger and grieving mum (thanks Kate). The rest of Sam's stuff I packed into a cupboard in the spare room. I'm not going to get rid of anything yet, and it's all arranged in there so we can look through any time we want. I felt a bit funny doing it, but I guess the pragmatist in me decided it was an important step.

As for the other rooms, as I said I (single-handedly - Anthony was busy) moved the furniture and vacuumed and arranged. All weekend.
Anthony and I have moved into Sam's room; a bit smaller, but we really only use it for sleeping (etc!), so it doesn't really matter.
We moved Oliver into the master bedroom and gave him Sam's old double bed. Some people might not agree with this move, but we've actually done it before. When Sam was younger, he had the master bedroom until Oliver came along. We figured that while all adults do is sleep (etc!), kids actually use their room: they play, have sleepovers, etc. So it makes sense that their room is bigger. Of course that's difficult when there are two kids. We had intended to extend Sam's room at one stage, so both the boys could have big rooms, but hadn't got there yet. So for now, Oliver gets the big room.
And Oliver's old room is now my study. It's the only one I haven't finished arranging, but then again, I've got lots of stuff to arrange (I feel a big purge coming on!)

I feel a bit better now (and will even more when I've cleared the clutter from the living room), apart from the absolute exhaustion I felt yesterday (I was asleep by 8:15pm last night). I've had a couple of really good night's sleep in the new bedroom, and I think Anthony's happy with it too.

The only problem now is, I want to repaint and buy some new furniture! We still have the same bright blue and yellow paint in the bedrooms, and an odd assortment of bits and pieces we've always had, and I'd like to do a bit of updating. The first item on the list is a couple of big bookcases for my study. I'm thinking a dark brown, tall sturdy......

We'll see how we go.

Monday, August 16, 2010

I know, I know

I've been slack again this weekend.

I spent pretty much the whole weekend rearranging all three bedrooms in our house. A complete move/changeover. All by myself.

I'll tell you more about it tonight, I've got to go to work. Hopefully I can get through the day - I'm exhausted!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Vote Mel!

I forgot to tell you, I've entered a photography competition.

On Friday, I drove up to Cooma to drop off three photos at this lovely little gallery.
I know there's not the hugest chance of winning, but it's about getting your pictures out there, getting exposure, isn't it?

These are the photos I entered:
I left it until the last minute (surprise surprise!) so I didn't frame them until Friday morning. It turned out to be a bit of a bodgy job, but they looked OK. I'm not 100% sure if any of them were selected (they were only going to choose 30 or so finalists), but I'm hoping at least one of them was.

So here's where you come in. If you are one of my local (ish) readers, and you happen to be in Cooma any time in the next month, perhaps you could pop in and vote for me? There is a voter's prize apparently - a bottle of Penfold's Grange Hermitage.


Monday, August 9, 2010

A moment

I had a bit of a moment last night.

Since I started taking the anti-depressants, my mood has certainly changed (as you've probably noticed). I'm a lot more alert, have tons of energy and am not so down all the time.

There have been some unexpected consequences though. Things that make me hope that I don't have to take them for long.
The first is that I seem to have lost my creative spark. I've had a bit of a writer's block, and I just don't seem to be taking as many good pictures as I was before. Perhaps it's true that the tortured mind is the most creative. I don't know where I heard that, but it makes sense, look at Kurt Cobain, Mozart, Van Gogh, Andy Warhol...
Not that I'm saying I'm in their league!

Anyway, all I know is that before I started taking these drugs, I was very low, but could pull out a good blog post without too much trouble. Now, It's a real struggle, and they never seem to read quite right for me.

The other consequence is that I have not been able to cry. And I mean at all. Not even a little bit; a single tear.

Until last night.

I don't know what set me off, but I had an overwhelming feeling of loss. Of missing Sam. And I had a good cry. Luckily my boys were there to give me cuddles, and I just let it out.

Don't worry, I feel better now, back to (my crazy version of) normal. But it was a good release.

Now to tackle the creativity thing...Do you think that being a little crazy (eccentric; off-centre; tortured; etc) is a necessity for creative thinking?

Sunday, August 8, 2010


In case I do have any readers left, thanks for your patience while I have slacked off this week!

I've had a bit of a cold, and have been going to bed very early each night. I'd get home, make dinner, do all the night time stuff, and get about halfway through a chapter of Harry Potter with Oli (we've been reading it together, we're up to Chamber of Secrets), when I'd get all drowsy and have to go to bed.

I know I haven't done my six yet, but it's late and I'm tired. I'll try to fit it in later. I was busy judging the challenge this week, so that was another thing that took my attention!

That on top of applying for this job and doing all the other normal stuff, and unfortunately blogging has come way down on the list. Perhaps I'll do better next week!

Thanks for sticking with me!

Monday, August 2, 2010

Wheelie Boy

OK, I know, I'm slack. I've been so busy at work, and have had a bit of a cold this week, so I've been in bed very early every night (my blogging time). I'm starting to feel better now, so hopefully I'll be able to blog more often (that is, without falling asleep at the computer!)
The other thing you'll notice is that this blog post looks like it was published on Monday, when really I am just putting it up today (Saturday). It's a weird blogger thing....

I know I've mentioned it a few times, but today I thought I'd talk about Sam's fascination with all things on wheels...
Actually, I'm not sure fascination is the right word. It wasn't like he obsessed over trucks, trains, bikes and cars from the minute he could obsess, it was more like an interest that simmered quietly throughout his life as he got on with a whole lot of other things.

Samuel certainly liked trucks and trains and bikes and things right from the start; but then again, what self-respecting child doesn't?

From the time he was a toddler, we would strap him into the bike seat and take off on rides around the place, and he was riding bikes from an early age too.
He was about 5 when he got rid of his training wheels. I don't remember much of it except that it took about a day. I took him out to the reserve out the back (so that if he fell down it would be onto grass), and eventually got him to the point where he barreled along happily, not realising that I'd let go a long time ago!

Anthony remembers one time when they dropped the car off for me one night, as I was doing the night shift. With both dogs along for the walk, they set off on the (about) 3km journey back up the steep hill(s) to our place. Both Samuel and Anthony thought it was hilarious when our dog cheese managed to tow Samuel (on his back) all the way back up the first hill.

Over the years we'd often get on our bikes. When Sam was between 9 and about 11, we went through a bit of a bike riding phase. We'd often ride around the lake, or over to my parent's house, or Anthony's mum's place. Sometimes Ollie would be on the back of my bike, other times it would be just me and Sam. That was nice.

Sam would also quite often ride to the shops (about 1.5km away) for us, especially when he got his new bike.
We bought Sam a new bike for his 11th birthday. I love the look on his face as he sees it:
It was (is) a very nice gold Diamondback bmx, which he was very excited about. It's currently sitting upside-down in his bedroom, although Anthony has ridden it a couple of times. But Sam certainly got some good use out of it. When he wasn't on one of his other wheeled thingies that is...

Because Sam also loved his skateboard. He went through a bit of a skateboard phase, from about 10-12, where he got busy learning the tricks and buying stuff like new trucks and stickers for his deck. He even bought himself a fancy skateboard with some money he ended up with one Christmas (I think).

The skateboard was superseded by a ripstick, which has been a bit of a craze over the last few years. I think he must have been 12 when he got into it, and I bought him one with my tax return that year. He was very good on it, taking to it straight away. It's a bloody hard thing to ride - you have to balance on it and swivel your body from side to side to get it to move. I could never manage it, but Sam took to it straight away. He was often out in the street for hours, practicing and wowing the neighbours (they couldn't understand how he stayed on it either!).

But even the ripstick didn't last long, as scooters came back into fashion, and he ended up with one of those. He was pretty good on it too. Before long he was doing heaps of tricks, and spent a lot of time at the local skate park doing tricks with his friends. He wore through at least one pair of shoes using the brakes on the thing, and had a couple of pretty gruesome stacks, but as usual, he did pretty well on it.

I don't know if it was just because he was a teen living in this wheelie world, or if he just had good equilibrium, but Sam always did very well on anything with wheels. And that's my memory of him for this week. Sorry it took me so long to get it up.


Well guess what? I found out late last night that I won last week's photo challenge, for my photo of the owl.

There's no prize or anything, I just get to choose the next topic. But it's very nice to have my photo selected over a lot of other really awesome ones! I was starting to feel a little uncertain about my photographic skills, so it's a nice boost to the ego.

I've chosen 'Chaos' as my topic, as that pretty much sums up my life (and especially my house) a lot of the time. It's going to be tricky for some people I guess, but we'll see how they go...

It's also hopefully a sign of some good luck coming my way. My application (for the job I mentioned last week) is due in today, so fingers crossed for me!

I'll be back later tonight with a Sam post (that's if I don't crash out at a crazily early hour again, I didn't sleep much last night!)