Sunday, March 30, 2008

The study

Is completed. A few rounds of 15 minutes and I got the following done;

*all walls and skirting boards wiped down and cleaned
*all furniture removed and thoroughly cleaned
*all floors vacuumed
*all drawers cleaned and sorted
*all books sorted
*all *get rid of* stuff taken to the Salvos
*all rubbish chucked*
*all cables sorted, labelled and cable tied so they aren't everywhere.

I walked in here tonight and smiled. It just WORKS. I heart being organised, truly.

Thursday, March 27, 2008

We're in the handbasket on it's way to hell...

I'm posting twice in one day!! Goes to show just how eager I am to get this organisation thing sorted and done.
Today was a beautiful day. Not weatherwise (well, yes it was really, we got some nice, well deserved rainfall!!), but it was a day just pottering. And, as you all know, pottering is my favorite thing to do.

Mum needed to get some things from the local shopping centre, so myself and the children tagged along for the ride. T'was rather interesting to say the least - I should do a post about the people I see aka Jenn . Suffice to say, there'd be giggles. But, enough about that.

Once we got home, the baby went to bed and the older one wanted to watch Monsters Inc. I adore that movie, so I thought I'd kill two birds with one stone. Given I had started with my study and this was in my study;
I thought I'd put it all into money bags for the bank.
1 hours work = $120.00 for me!!! Please excuse the feral money box - it is about the only reminder of my darling husbands batchelor life. (It hides away behind my desk... ;) ).

When my mother came over this morning, she bought over two massive garbage bags full of clothes for me to see if I liked them before she took them to the Salvos. Before I go any further, lets discuss that a little.

My mother will never try things on. Never ever. Which is great for me; because things that don't fit get thrown my way. Anyway, she'd cleaned out her wardrobe and threw some stuff in a bag for me.

Usually, I am quite pedantic about the order in which I do things. I.e. I am currently working on organising the study - so, to start on the wardrobe isn't something I'd normally do. But, these bags were driving me nuts, so my wardrobe went from this;
To this - in the space of an hour.

In order to do this properly, I pulled all the clothes out of the bag and worked out what I wanted to keep. Everything else, went straight back in the bag. Then, I pulled all of my clothes out and did the same.
Whilst all the clothes were out of the wardrobe, I cleaned the walls and got rid of all the scuff marks that, for some reason, tend to show themselves so prominently in a wardrobe.
Once all the clothes were back in (I put them back in regards to their thickness - i.e. jackets at the back and singlets at the front), I did the same with the shoes. Vacuumed the entire thing out, put all the shoes back and yay. The top shelf was simply a matter of putting stuff back in it's place (and there is a GRAND example of my inability to bother getting a chair half the time!!). Vacuumed the whole lot out and put a few drops of lavander oil on the globe (just to make it all smell nice when the light goes on!) - and there you go.
Break it down into 3 different parts - but seriously, if you haven't been into the bowels of your wardrobe for awhile - there is a weekend job for you. I'd love to see photos.

The study

My first room to be sorted will be the study. (Yes, that's right, Grant doesn't go away until next week... ;) ). To me, the study is one of my epicentres. Its' here that I work from home, pay all my bills, keep in contact with a heap of friends and keep all my stationary type stuff. To me, it's vital that it be organised; because it's a small space that is used for numerous things.

The key to organisation is short and sharp bursts. My personal rules tend to be as follows;

1. ENSURE all your "normal" jobs are completed first.
2. Be prepared to let go of "stuff" - or even better, find another use for it whereby you'll actually use it.
3. Utilise the space you have as best you can.

I know it's not a big deal, but in 5 minutes, one drawer went from this;
to this

It's the instant gratification that you want. That "Wow!! That does look good!" Because, quite frankly, if you are going to spend 8 hours doing something and seeing nothing for your efforts, you are going to get sick of doing it quite quickly, and get disenchanted with the whole process at the same time. Which is NOT what you want - remember, we're doing the entire house.
So, for 5-15 minutes each burst, focus on one thing. Whether that be sorting out one drawer of your study; or whether that be taking all your clothes out of the wardrobe. You need to see a result for your efforts.
Now I have finished that particular drawer, I will put all the stuff that doesn't belong there (Crafty bits mostly) into the world that they belong. Then, I will start on the second drawer. Not a big deal, but by the end of the day, I should have 3 wonderfully clean, sorted and organised drawers.

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Time to start being more effective...

Last time G went away for ages, I used the time, in the beginning, most effectively. Although, it tapered off pretty quickly and the computer became my friend.

This time though, my aim is to get every room sorted, cleaned and done. Finished.

I will miss him like crazy when he does go; but the thought of having the house to myself 4 NIGHTS A WEEK is, at the moment, a really nice thought.

It's not even as though G gets in the way. He's up early for work, so he's in bed early - but once the kids go to bed of an evening, this place is MINE.

God help my house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Easter and other news...

Again, I apologise for the length of time in my blogging. I have seriously had SUCH a busy week, it's been ridiculous. Then we had easter...

Before Grommets - my five year old would NEVER have attempted to make let alone wear this;

After Grommets - I can honestly say that he made 90% of it. AND he wore it!!!

G's parents live in the country. They are country people through and through; They barely even have a computer; let alone the internet!! So I plead lack of technology as my excuse. I did, however, take lots of photos.
G's parents are lovely. Truly lovely. Most holidays, both the boys are sent up there for a week to spend time with them. They aren't these holidays because G's parents are off for a holiday to Adelaide. So, instead, they spent (what I perceive to be) true quality time with them.

This is poppy dick teaching C how to play bowls. He got the kids their own set, so they'd stop playing with his. Tell me how this is not a good thing.

The time was superb. Simple life, simple food and great conversation. G is one of 4 boys, and three made it up. It was lovely to catch up with them again and have a laugh. I love them dearly and I truly value the relationship they are forging with my children.

In other news; G is going away for work. For FOUR MONTHS. It's not too bad, because it's not that far away and he can come home/I can go up on weekends; and due to his job, nearly every second weekend is a three day one. So, at the end of the day, rather than moping about, I intend to use this time to get my house in order. The next four months of blogs will be "organising your house" LOL!!!

It's just so nice to have everything done in my life. R has his grommets, Easter is over for another year; and it seems we're just about at the end of summer. I need to get back into the vegie patch this weekend and start seriously preparing it for some Winter vegies.

But here in wannabe hippy land - things are great.

Monday, March 17, 2008

How positively RUDE of me!!!! & Oatmeal biscuits

I have had this blog for a little while now, and this morning on my walk, I realised that those that read my diary really don't know much about me at all.

Obviously, I am 30. Just turned, if you've just tuned in. I live in a green wedge part of Melbourne and I am very daydreamy. I love listening to my Ipod whilst pottering away on a nice still evening after the kids have gone to bed. Sometimes with a Baileys, sometimes without; but always my music.

I have been with G for 10 years now and married for 7. We have two kids Riley and Connor who are 5 and two respectively. I work 3 days a week for the family business and whilst I am there, Connor goes to daycare and Riley either goes to kinder or my mothers house. It is a really fantastic spot to be in workwise, working for my father, because it is truly flexible. I am horribly lucky to have this job - but in saying that, I worked awfully hard for it.

We have a dog, Harvey, who is a golden cocker spaniel, and whom I adore. We did have his brother, Arnold, who was put down just over a year ago. Roger, our adopted cat and Bill, our galah, make up our weird and wonderful home.

I know I haven't been tagged before, but I have been constantly seeing this tag of "7 things about me" - which, I personally think, will make this whole thing easier on both of us.

1. I have an irrational fear of stitches. Every time I have had them, I actually have anxiety attacks with the fear that they will burst open.

2. I adore the cure. Anything and everything. I have no idea what planet Robert Smith was/is on - but everything he has ever produced has resonated with me somehow.

3. My favorite food is a cold roast lamb sandwich. With margarine and lots of salt; washed down with a glass of full cream milk. Obviously it's a special meal - it probably has an entire days calories in it. But, oh *bliss*.

4. I read tarot cards. Not for anyone; but with them. I don't believe Tarot cards tell the future; anymore than I believe that pigs fly. But, they are a useful tool in providing an alternate point of view. It's nice to see a situation through a completely new set of eyes.

5. I have a severe case of map reading disorder. I'm sure people think that I am kidding when I say that 'no, seriously, do NOT follow me, because I have absolutely NO sense of direction' - but usually, they find out. When we first moved here, I got lost going to the milk bar. One street away.

6. I cannot go to bed without the pillows on the couch being just so. Don't ask me why, because I really couldn't tell you. And trust me, I've TRIED to leave the house 'as it is' - but I lay in bed and brood on it.

7. I have only developed a love of gardening over the last 3 years. I was reading Gardening yesterday and they were taking nominations for gardener of the year. Just seeing last years winners completely made me wonder why people even bother. Why can't they have a 'most enthusiastic gardener'???? I might have a hope!!!

So, there you have the bits and bods of me. Well, the bare essentials anyway.

Lenny has asked for my oatmeal cookie recipe, so I shall provide without delay.

3/4 cup Rolled oats
3/4 cup plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup caster sugar
2/3 cup desiccated coconut
140g butter/margarine
2 generous tablespoons golden syrup
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda (see, this stuff is good for EVERYTHING!!)
1 tablespoon water

1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Line baking tray
2. Place oats under grill and toast until golden
3. Cool oats slightly and process in a food processor until finely ground.
4. Sift flour & baking powder into bowl with oats, sugar & coconut. Make a well in the centre.
5. Melt butter with syrup in small pan. Dissolve soda into the water and add to pan. Stir until butter has melted and mixture froths a little. Remove from heat.
6. Pour butter mixture into well of dry ingredients and mix well with wooden spoon until combined.
7. Roll heaped teaspoons (and yes, DO this, they will be HUGE otherwise!) of the mixture into balls. Place on trays leaving room to spread.
8. Cook for 12-15 minutes, or until lightly golden. Leave biscuits on tray for 5 mins, then transfer to a cooling rack.

Ciao for now!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Ears, holidays and other things....

Sorry I haven't updated for quite awhile (in my terms!!) - I have just been busy.
First big piece of news - Riley now has "loud ears" again. When we were in the car on the way home, he said "Hey Mum, I've got my LOUD ears again". Very delightful to see him coming back out of his shell again. I'm pleased to report that the change in him has been as instant as what it was last time - but the fact that he was doing so well prior really makes me feel good about the immediate future for him.
They are no big deal really, but the fact that his speech and confidence suffer when he doesn't have them is. He's a different child again and I feel like the weight of the world has been lifted off my shoulders.

Byron. This was our backyard.

To get to that view, we had to walk through this delightful one;

Talk about a beautiful place. I would move there tomorrow if I were brave enough to up and move my entire life. Maybe one day. It was beautiful catching up with my darling friends again and I wish we could do it once a month. I missed them even on the plane home to Melbourne, even though half were sitting next to me!!!

Whilst I was away...I don't know what you'd call it actually. But, all of the pieces just seemed to click. Like I had all these pieces of a puzzle and I had nearly finished; but that week in Byron really clicked it for me. I feel so much more focussed on what really matters and less on what really doesn't. And, truthfully? It feels good.

It's been ridiculously hot down here lately. I mean, it's Melbourne. Who ever thought Melbourne would see such a heat wave? Our garden has held up unbelievably well considering - and we still haven't used mains water to water. The whole garden (except for my camilias, which, unfortunately, didn't appreciate it) seems to be thriving on recycled water alone. Obviously the vegies get the good stuff; but there are not much of those growing at the minute. I did plant some more snow peas and some lettuce seeds; but I think it's still a tad too hot down there.

Bizarre as this is going to sound, given how ridiculously hot it's been here - I have been cooking.

This is what went into my minestrone soup that i made for our lunches. Now, I'm not a big fan of soups at the best of times (and doesn't my waist know it!!!) - but this soup was/is really really nice. I have no idea as to quantites, and used a fair bit of stuff that was nearly finished in the fridge; but all in all, it truly is a yummy soup. "They" tell me you can have it cold; but uggh.

I also made some oatmeal biscuits. Can I just say that they are the nicest things I have ever had? They are yummy and, with my bread roll baking, are two of the yummiest things that I have ever tasted. What is even better - I made them.

After all that rambling, I should probably go and get organised. What I *do* find weird is that I feel I am writing this to people - when I have no idea if any people are reading it!!! Ploise let me know if you are reading - I am feeling rather alone over here! :)

Have a good week and I hope everything works out.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Richness vs wealth

I was reading a blog yesterday discussing what wealth is; and how it really is in the eye of the beholder.

So many people think that the latest gadget, flat screen or couch is a great indication of wealth. Because it doesn't suit anymore, or because it's too small or not working anymore; some people delight in the upgrading of their lives.

I ask - what is missing? Why do people turn towards the thinking that buying stuff will make them better?

Stuff is just that. Stuff. Meaningless rot that we cannot take with us when we leave. It's the emotions and the closeness and the love that should be treasured; instead, our society as a whole is shutting down.

I'm lucky. I smile at my neighbours on my morning walk and they smile back and say good morning. Sometimes there is a collaboration of dog walkers meeting in the park discussing their babies. Sometimes, neighbours will both happen to be out the front and have a discussion that turns into a BBQ dinner.

Our kids won't know that I don't believe. I believe our society is heading further and further away from direct communication - and I think it's the beginning of the end because of that. If people don't care about the people and things surrounding them - how is anything ever going to get done?

I could have all the money in the world. But, I'd be the least richest person in the world. Or, I could be where I am now; certainly not wealthy, but not living hand-to-mouth; but living a life that is so rich and full and meaningful that sometimes, I forget just how lucky I really am.

I am one of the richest people alive today.

Riley has his surgery on Thursday. I am very pleased about that. He has had an accident whilst I was on holiday; we are missing a shaving of bone off one of his feet bones. He's walking on it again now (thank GOD, do you HAVE any idea how hard it is to constantly carry around a 28kg child?!!!!) and we're all set for hospital on Thursday.

My holiday was just as I expected. I have a great number of photos to put up - but time has not been my friend this week. Although, thanks to the public holdiay today; I am just about ready to take on whatever is thrown at me again.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Light goes on, light goes off....

Light goes on.

I had an excellent time in Byron and feel as though it's a whole new world.

I have spent the little free time I have had this week back in the garden. I will post some photos tomorrow.

I'm just grand.